The Endgame, Part II: How The Conflict In Ukraine Ends

By Tuomas Malinen

In this piece I present four scenarios for the ‘endgame’ to the Russo-Ukrainian war. They are:

  1. The overruling majority (peace).
  2. The immovable majority (wider war).
  3. Regime change in Russia (risky conflict).
  4. World War III (nuclear holocaust).

Scenarios concentrate on the drivers of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, or NATO. More precisely, they deal with whether NATO is being driven by simply erratic decisions, or whether it’s an aggressor. I went through these basic scenarios in length in my last entry.

I have not visited Russia since 2011. I made this decision after the annexation of Crimea. I don’t think that wars of invasion should be allowed in modern Europe. Yet, I’ve visited Russia, and even the Soviet Union, many times. My relatives were working at the Finnish embassies in Russia, which led me and my mother to visit the Soviet Union two times, when I was just a kid. The visions of a chaotic Soviet Moscow have been burned into my memory for the rest of my life.

In 2009, we went to Moscow with a group of family and friends. The theme of the few day trip became nje rabotaet, which essentially means “it does not work”. This was because nothing seemed to work, and everyone kept telling us that phrase (in metro stations, bars, cafeterias, etc.). Russia is a chaotic, but funny place. Slavic people are not actually known for their exuberant niceness, but you do get help in Russia, when you ask for it.

The leadership of a country naturally often tends to mimic the culture and national characteristics. The spontaneous actions of the current Russian leader President Putin are not anomalies in their history. Many Russian leaders from Ivan the Terrible to Char Peter I and further to Stalin and other leaders of the Soviet Union have fought invasive wars and acted very reactively.

In my view, the demonization of Russia arises mainly from two sources:

  1. People do not understand Russia, and thus fear it, and

  2. War propaganda.

This piece essentially deals with both. First, I go through the Finnish experience with Russia, which should act as a comforting lesson for the rest of the world, and how it applies to the current situation in Europe. Then, I will present four scenarios for the endgame of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

The Finnish experience

Finns fought two wars against Russia, more precisely against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was, or it became a military behemoth during WWII. It has been said that before Operation Barbarossa, for example, the air force of the Soviet Union was larger than that of the rest of world. The purge of the Red Amy, by then-dictator of Russia Josif Stalin in 1937, reduced the morale and efficiency of Soviet military right before the onset of WWII. This was visible in the Winter War fought between Finland and the Soviet Union between 30th November 1939 and 13th March 1940. The Finnish seriously unequipped military inflicted devastating losses on the Red Army almost solely with ‘Sisu’. After the Finnish troops had stopped all progress of an over-whelming Russian invasion force at the end of December, Soviet high command went into re-thinking and re-grouping mode. On February 1st 1940, the Red Army started its crushing attack against an already stretched Finnish defenders. Heroic resistance of the Finnish soldiers and growing international pressure saved Finland, while she lost some 12% of her landmass.

Wars between Russia and Finland did not end with the Winter War, because Finland took part to Operation Barbarossa as an unofficial ally to Nazi Germany. An excerpt from my Finland and NATO piece in the Epoch Times:

The Winter War was largely bilateral, caused by territorial claims of the then-leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, and the secret amendment of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact placing Finland under the Soviet “sphere of influence.” The Continuation War was fought alongside Nazi Germany in an effort to reclaim territories lost in the Winter War. Finland actually had very little choice under the constraints created by the ongoing European war. There was a constant threat of a Soviet invasion, and Finland held the largest known nickel deposit in Europe in Petsamo, the northern “arm” of Finland, which both Hitler and Stalin sought to command. It thus had to either join forces with Germany or face a possible new Soviet invasion. The wars resulted in the loss of around 12 percent of Finland’s territory, including Petsamo.

After the wars, Presidents Juho Paasikivi and Urho Kekkonen formulated a policy line of passive neutrality called the Paasikivi–Kekkonen doctrine. It was based on the “fear factor” Finland acquired during the two wars and friendly co-existence. While Finland lost 12% of her landmass, we earned our right to co-exist, independent, during the Cold War right next to the most formidable military power the world had ever seen.

Finns also understood that you should not poke the Russian bear. While she may seem vulnerable and weak, she’s not, and will become much more dangerous if wounded. I don’t think we will ever know for sure, why Stalin spared Finland after the Moscow Armistice after the Continuation War, but we know why the relationship with Russia (Soviet Union) later became so prosperous and friendly, which brings us to the current problem Europe faces.

The problem of Europe

The Russian mindset is not so complex or chaotic as many in the West make it to be. Like I explained in my previous entry, Russian leadership seeks to increase its influence in the neighboring regions driven by bezopasnost. They also follow strength instead of diplomacy. Finland cemented her position beside the Soviet Union by not making herself a threat and making herself strong both economically and militarily (that is, a very ‘bitter pill’ for Russia to swallow). So, the success of Finland to coexist and prosper alongside Russia (Soviet Union) was based on strength and keeping friendly relations with Moscow. Easy recipe.

The problem Europe now faces is two-fold. First, after Finland became a full member of the NATO, Russia has been cornered from every side in Europe by a force it does not consider peaceful, which is something we really cannot blame the Russian leadership from. Previous Finnish leaders knew that if Finland makes herself a threat to Russia, consequences will be dire. Ukrainian leadership must have known this too, but they were clearly manipulated by western leaders. Secondly, we can now conclude that NATO is not what it says it is.

The future of Europe now basically hangs in the balance between two dangerous scenarios of what is actually driving NATO, which can be categorized as:

  1. NATO, the erratic, and

  2. NATO, the aggressor.

These characterizations draw from utterly irresponsible or deliberately aggressive actions taken by NATO leadership over the past three decades and especially during the past year. You can simplify this by stating that either NATO leadership massively underestimated Russian resources and the devotion of her leadership to bezopasnost or then they deliberately over-stepped the red lines of Moscow in an effort to create a military conflict that would engulf Europe.

In what follows, I sketch future scenarios based on the two assumptions of the motives of NATO. They show that the underlying assumptions (erratic or aggressive NATO), dominates the future paths of Europe, and the world, while three of the four scenarios may end up in the same terrifying end-result, that is, a nuclear holocaust. Scenarios are behind a paywall, but you can read them through the 7-day free trial.

NATO, the erratic

Here I assume that the leadership of NATO has (is) simply making cataclysmic mistakes and is currently engaged in a desperate effort to ‘save face’ with the collapse of Ukraine looming. I will concentrate on the political response of the ordinary populace of how the future will play out through overruling majority and immovable minority.1

Scenario I: The overruling majority

On March 4, our Minister of Defense, Antti Häkkänen, said in a speech he held at the opening of the National Defense Course that “It’s time to recognize the facts. Russia is a threat to the whole democratic world”. Coming from a Finnish Minister of Defense, this is as close as we can get to a declaration of war without actually declaring it.

I consider that this speech was a marker, signaling that Finland is committed to a war against Russia. I naturally sincerely hope that I am wrong about this. However, this is so exceptional coming from a Finnish Minister of Defense that I am having difficulties explaining it by any other motive (I don’t, for example, buy the extreme stupidity argument).

If we assume that the leaders of NATO, and member countries, are simply making mistakes, then this speech can be seen as a cataclysmic one, because Moscow is likely to take it as a sign, or a “marker” of aggressive future plans by leaders of Finland and NATO. This means that Russia will most likely start to gear up for a war at her north-western border, again. The Finnish-Russian border, and especially the Karelian Isthmus (peninsula) has been one of the main ‘hotspots’ of Europe for centuries. It was the main battleground for Swedish and Russian empires from the Russo-Swedish war in 1475, till the Finnish war in 1809, when Sweden finally lost Finland to Russia, effectively ending the Swedish Empire. The isthmus was also the main battleground in the Winter and Continuation Wars.

It’s obvious that neither the vast majority of Finns nor Europeans want a war, but could they be manipulated into one?

The people naturally have the final say in every system, because if they start to revolt, no dictator can hold that force at bay. Could there be an actual rebellion against the erratic, or even aggressive, NATO leadership? Of course there could, but I am not seeing such signs yet, which does not mean they could not appear, if (when) the war starts to look imminent.2

There’s also the possibility that NATO leadership is looking for a way out of the conflict in Ukraine. If this would be the case, public opinion turning against the war, even in smaller portions, could provide support for the leadership of NATO to retreat from their prior erratic decisions and enact the process of de-escalation, while saving face.

Taking everything that is going on into account, there are too many errors made for them to be random, imho. And if the errors are not random, then they are systemic (deliberate), which implies that NATO is the aggressor. However, before diving into that, let’s consider one more scenario.

Scenario II: The immovable minority

Worryingly many European political leaders seem to support, if not an outright war, but a confrontation with Russia. There’s also a very vocal minority of Europeans demanding harsher measures against Russia, while some are even advocating for a wider war.

In this second scenario, of NATO the erratic, these minority forces prevail and control the public narrative and thus the conflict, pushing it into a wider European war. This scenario coincidences with the World War III scenario below. The difference is that in this scenario the world drifts into a WWIII and nuclear annihilation that would likely follow, while in the scenario presented below, a deliberate escalation by NATO ignites the conflict. In this scenario, escalation comes in the form of toughening rhetoric towards Russia and re-armament, fueling the conflict, while in the deliberate escalation scenario nuclear war ignites from pushing the envelope too far or through an intentional act. I will not speculate on the possible military developments that could lead to this scenario in any detail, but mention, that at some point, escalation (naturally) leads to a broadening of the conflict.

NATO, the aggressor

In the next two scenarios that follow, I assume that the aim of NATO is to either force a regime change in Russia or destroy the nation in a war. The motivation for these aims can rise from three sources, which can intertwine. So, the endgame for NATO the aggressor can be to:

  1. Gain control of vast Russian mineral resources,

  2. Destroy the Eurasian alliance (and keep it that way), and/or

  3. Ignite a world war, for the global elite to gain widespread control over societies.

It’s my current thinking that all of these motives can act as drivers, while the last one is highly speculative.

Scenario III: Regime change in Russia

It is obvious that a nuclear holocaust would not serve the aim of this scenario, as it would evaporate most of the populace, machinery and infrastructure from the world. Major cities and areas would be uninhabitable for years, including, most likely, mineral deposits in Russia, Europe and in the U.S. This is why we can assume that in this scenario the escalation of the conflict to a wider war in Europe is not the aim of NATO, but there is a high likelihood it will lead to that.

The likelihood of this scenario can be considered to be relatively high, considering everything that has happened in Ukraine. It looks like NATO tried to slowly increase the pressure and to cause heavy losses to Russian forces. The ‘Prigozhing incident’, also fits with this narrative, as the “mutiny” started during the (failed) Ukrainian counter-offensive, which makes it looks pre-planned. Often, when such plans for a coup have been laid, one has to go through with them regardless, because there’s no actual way to retreat. In this case, the likely plan assumed that Prigozhin would have started his march to Moscow after devastating Russian losses, which would have angered the Russian populace and de-moralized the troops. None of this happened, because the counter-offensive of the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine) failed. Moreover, it’s likely that Yevgeni Prigozhin were supported by, at least some western intelligence offices. These plans would have most certainly been revealed at some point, if Prigozhin would have failed to act as planned. Thus, while there’s no certainty that a coup was part of a western plan that is how it looked, and Prigozhin was forced to follow it through with the most extreme personal cost.

The question we now face is, what would be the next steps for NATO to accomplish a regime change? Two scenarios rise above others:

  1. A re-armament race that eats through Russian economic resources, leading the country to collapse from inside out, similarly to what happened to the Soviet Union in the late-1980s.

  2. Major conflicts in the neighbouring regions (Abkhazia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, etc.), destabilizing large parts of Russia.

The first would essential bring back the darkest times of the Cold War, while the latter could create a highly unstable Russia. Both of these can, naturally, lead to the extreme scenario of nuclear holocaust. The former would take us there through some escalation, during which a nuclear detonation occurs (through a mistake or deliberately) enacting a nuclear war. In the latter, the risk of a nuclear confrontation arises from some extreme faction taking power in Kremlin after  Putin’s regime fails, and/or some nuclear arms fall into the possession of such a group after such an event. This latter was essentially the main fear, after the collapse of the Soviet Union pushed Russian military forces into a state of near-anarchy.

Scenario IV: World War III (nuclear holocaust)

A nuclear holocaust is naturally something the vast majority of the populace would not want to see, but could there be some who would? Such ‘crazies’ naturally exist among us humans, but the question is, could they hold key places in our supra-national organizations, like NATO?

If we assume that such people do not exist in the leadership of NATO nor in the leadership of those countries running it (essentially the U.S.), the aggressive actions of NATO could still lead us into nuclear confrontation. NATO leadership could be, very aggressively, seeking one of the two first-mentioned scenarios, that is, to:

  1. Gain control of vast Russian mineral resources,

  2. Destroy the Eurasian alliance (and keep it that way).

The first one could be achieved with the regime change scenario described above. The latter would require that there will be no peace in Ukraine, which in this situation (Ukraine has effectively lost) requires that the war spreads. This would mean that some of the ‘frontline countries’, i.e. Finland, the Baltics or Poland, escalates (note that a ‘false flag’ blaming Russians is also possible), igniting a direct conflict between NATO and Russia. If that occurs, there’s a high likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used at some point, leading to a nuclear holocaust. Nuclear conflict would probably arise from a failure to understand the red lines of the other side and/or from a miscalculation. Russia has drawn a red line by incorporating the eastern regions of Ukraine it has annexed into Russian ‘motherland’. Crossing of it would most likely lead to a nuclear confrontation. Cyberattacks to ICT or power systems leading to a wide spread devastation could also trigger a response with nuclear arms. Moreover, in a sitution, where war propaganda is dominating, like it is now, the risk of over-reacting grows.

But, what if there are factions in key places in NATO leadership actually pushing for a nuclear confrontation?

This would naturally be the most dangerous scenario for us all, because it would imply that, if escalation through “traditional means” (war propaganda and luring Russia to respond militarily) does not succeed, there will, most likely, be a major false flag blamed on Russia. If, for example, the general populace cannot be turned to support a wider war using propaganda, a major false flag operation could be enacted. In practice, any escalation, in this scenario, needs to be on the scale of a nuclear detonation. In the worst case, the deranged background power players of NATO decide that an actual nuclear detonation in some populous area, like in a major European or Russian city, is required.

What could be the aim of such a suicidal power faction? They could foster an omnipotent view that they can control even a nuclear confrontation so that it could serve their aims of, e.g., establishing world-wide control systems. Also, there simply are men that “want to see the world burn”, albeit I highly doubt such persons could be in ruling positions in NATO or in our governments.

This last part of the nuclear holocaust scenario is naturally extremely speculative, and I really have not thought it through thoroughly yet. However, I don’t think we should be ruling out any scenario, considering the madness that seems to have taken over our political leaders. In that note, we should also acknowledge the possibility of a “lone wolf scenario”, where some small group of individuals is able to produce some cataclysmic false flag event leading to a retaliation from one side of the conflict with nuclear weapons.

Conclusions

Talking with ordinary people on the current situation in the world usually yields an answer: “this makes no sense”. I fully concur, but this only applies if we fully believe on the prevailing western narrative, which is that global elite and most of our political leaders are benevolent and Russia/Putin is “bad”.

I have speculated on the drivers behind recent developments in several entries (see, e.g, the Apocalypse Scenario -series). I think we should not shy away even on the most preposterous explanations, like some extremely secretive group ‘pulling the strings’. What we do know, however, is the the perilous direction we are currently heading into.

The scenarios presented here concentrated on NATO because it holds the definite role in the current crisis. Currently, NATO is escalating by, e.g., building military bases right next to Russian border in Finland and with its leadership giving comments of NATO-membership of Ukraine. These can be just extremely grave mistakes or deliberate actions of escalation.

In this piece, I have mapped the scenarios we are likely to face based on the actions by NATO. They are not the ones I would like to champion for, but I find them to be the ones we are facing.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 05/26/2024 – 22:45

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