The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate talk live with ex-UN weapons inspector and military expert Scott Ritter about the Russia-Ukraine war. Ritter provides a detailed analysis of the battlefield that stands in stark contrast to the rose-colored perspective of most Western analysts, and offers his perspective on the political follies that drove the conflict.
The following is excerpted from the transcript of Scott Ritter’s interview. (If you are viewing in YouTube, click the three dots after the SAVE option and choose Transcript.)
Listen to what the Russians said: The Russians are not engaged in a battle of territorial acquisition; normally when you seek to occupy somebody you seek to seize territory, hold territory, the territory becomes important.
Russia has two stated military objectives the first of which is denotification, that is to destroy the military units that are aligned with neo-nazi, ultra-nationalist political forces in Ukraine units like the Azov battalion units, like the Don battalion and others of that ilk; the Russians are seeking them out and destroying them on the field of battle as we speak.
The second is demilitarization, that is Russia has recognized that the Ukrainian military is a de facto proxy of NATO it has been trained for you know the past seven years by U.S. forces–NATO forces at training facilities and Ukraine trading facilities out of Ukraine to to be interoperable with NATO, meaning that you can take a NATO trained battalion of Ukrainian soldiers,, unplug them from Ukraine, plug them into a NATO exercise in Germany, and they’ll function seamlessly. They have the same command and control the same training tactics, etc. Russia views this as a proxy of NATO and has said this must be dismantled.
Russia gave the Ukrainian military the opportunity to do this peacefully: Stay in your barracks we’re gonna come in and we’re gonna get rid of all that NATO provided junk tha;t you were given. It’s actually pretty good equipment, but I mean that you know that’s the process of demilitarization–or you can seek to meet us on the field of battle and we’ll do it old school.
Unfortunately for both sides the Ukrainians have chosen old school. Now what does old school mean: Let’s come back to what I said at the beginning: this isn’t the Iraqi military, this isn’t a military that stood up the United States in 1991 and got destroyed on the field of battle, annihilated, and then spent the next decade plus unable to reconstitute itself because of economic sanctions, and therefore went up against the world’s finest combined arms fighting force in 2003 with nothing, and still put up a pretty good fight, by the way.
But my point is the Ukrainian military is the exact opposite. These are highly trained highly educated people who have been put through the road by their NATO trainers. You know there’s an interesting slide that the Department of Defense put out there it shows the the NATO training facility in western Ukraine that was bombed the other day, and it says we train up to five Ukrainian battalions a year to NATO standards.
What Russia has maintained and what was pretty apparent was that this [Donbass] was a de facto NATO base inside Ukraine, which is technically not a member of NATO, so you’re talking about de facto NATOization being the main factor in this war,,,I mean for Russia. This war was predicated by NATO’s appetite for eastern expansion, the expansion eastward to include Ukraine..
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How to correctly invade and conquer Russia
Reactionaries love ad hominen non logic. It appears to me that the current Ukraine border dispute, that it compares to the Russian war with Finland prior to the Nazi invasion of Russia. Real live-fire training, it separates good generals from bureaucrats with ribbons. It purges the excess fat from the soldiers as well. Non-commissioned officers make up the backbone of any Army. The only way to test if these sergeants in fact merit their stripes – a bloody cluster-f*ck.
Russia has the potential for massive air superiority … yet to date it has not taken advantage of this most essential war time asset. Why? For starters, Russian military planners took into account that a war with the Ukraine would invite international intervention attempts. No-Fly Zones in particular. By not employing their air superiority ace, this prevents Nato escalation of this local border dispute. It effectively rules out a No-Fly Zone provocation. No country on the Planet wants to start WWIII.
By removing the air superiority Ace, this so to speak, equalizes the battle field. Soldiers, like new equipment, require live-fire tests. Armies need to taste the “blood” of battle. Another critical advantage of a relatively much longer conflict … than the West expected … Warfare stands upon the foundation of deception … the Russian Army appears incompetent, consequent to a bloody Ukraine conflict.
Hitler risked a 2 front war. The Soviet “disaster” war with Finland, most definitely influenced his decision to violate his own conclusions reached in his 1925 Mein Kampf. Stalin desperately needed a 2 front war, he continually demanded from FDR and Churchill, his “allies”, to open up a 2nd front within Europe! The Finnish War greatly influenced Hitlers’ decision to invade Russia.
Stalin also had a pretty good insight as to where the Nazis would invade. Napoleon invaded Russia through Lithuania. This threatened the Capital City of St. Petersburg. But it became obvious that Napoleon sought a climatic battle to defend Moscow. The Nazi generals, like Napoleon sought Moscow as the first Prize objective of the war. As a consequence of Stalin’s disastrous Collectivization starvation of the Kulaks in the Ukraine, hatred for Stalin made that territory an open door for the Nazi invasion of the USSR.
The current quagmire in the Ukraine therefore bloodies the Russian Army; it culls bureaucratic Generals and sergeants from the Army; it makes the Russian Army appear weak and incompetent. The latter entices the General Staff of Foreign hostile Capitals to likewise fall into the seductive trap that an invasion of Russia – as a quick little war. Russian military planners however, they base their strategies on a long destructive war.
In point of fact, any war with Russia more closely compares to the Pacific war made against Japan. Western generals should well remember the trench warfare of WWI. Encircle large Cities, cut off their supplies, and turn these isolated cities into prisoner of war camps. By making the inhabitants of these strategic surrounded cities, this obviously excludes St. Petersburg, its frozen winter lake likely prevents a total enclosure of that city, the invasion Armies could “kill the enemy with kindness”.
By digging trenches around isolated “prisoner of war camps”, the inhabitants of those cities would depend upon supplies of both food and medicines from the invaders! The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising conclusively proved the stupidity of that Corporal had infected the minds of the Nazi generals as well. Had the Nazis treated their captured prisoners with dignity and respect; permitted them to write letters to their families, and feed them rather than starve them, this would most certainly have broken the Will of the enemy to fight.
The Pacific War, the US navy employed the strategy of Island hopping. An invasion of Russia, key prisoner of war isolated cities would established heavily fortified WWI like trenches which would likewise serve as supply route fortifications. Furthermore, by not shattering the glass of these prisoner of war surrounded and isolated cities. Should the invading troops decide that their strategic interests require to capture a “Stalingrad”. Then they could not only achieve surprise, but just as essential, they could time the attack of their Armies to capture that “Stalingrad”, in conjunction with moments after their bombs exploded all the glass within that city.
The shock effect of shattered glass, a one shot chance to capture the city while its inhabitants suffer shock from those mass explosions. Buildings with no glass window do not produce the explosive shock felt by building whose glass explodes due to the pressures of high explosives, napalm, and white phosphorus bombs. A tight “window of opportunity” exists to quickly capture an entire city due to the shock effects of mass exploding glass.
Sharply contrast the Nazi stupidity and arrogance, they bombed Stalingrad days, even weeks before their soldiers attempted to capture that city. The Nazis lost all shock and surprise – and thank G-d, they lost WWII as a consequence of their racial bone headed stupidity, coupled with their dumb ass barbarism — which effectively steeled the Will of their enemies to make a fight to the death — as happened in both the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt and Leningrad.
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