There are those out there who don’t like Ukraine and think Zelensky isn’t worth the effort. They think Ukraine is corrupt. It was, and maybe to some extent still is, but when looking at the bigger picture we don’t believe that should be the top priority when it comes to our involvement in their war against Russia. Before the war Zelensky had been taking positive steps towards ending his country’s corruption, and he was making progress in that direction. He was elected by the people of Ukraine to change the direction of his country, and as we well know from our recent history draining the swamp is not an easy task.
Zelensky didn’t start this war. Putin did. And because Ukraine is not a member of NATO it fell to other nations, many of them NATO member nations, to step up and assist Ukraine in any way possible. Yet many in the U.S. still don’t want to be involved as they see no benefit to the U.S. in doing so.
Here’s a brief look at the bigger picture.
Without assistance, military weapons, and money, Ukraine would have quickly fallen to Russia, and anyone who believes that Ukraine would have been enough for Putin is only fooling themselves. Putin believed at the onset of the war that Russia would quickly overwhelm Ukraine, but that alone would not have solved the problem Putin claimed to have in not wanting a possible NATO member as his next door neighbor. Before the war Ukraine was the buffer between Russia and NATO, but had Putin taken Ukraine, as was his plan, he would have then had NATO members directly on the other side of his border.There is no way Putin would have stopped there. Putin would then have moved into Poland, and Poland is a member of NATO. And as per NATO's charter, should one NATO member be attacked, the whole of NATO... which includes the United States...would have had to become involved militarily. What we’re involved in now is not a cold war and it is not a hot war either, but if Putin should direct Russia to attack any NATO member we would, by our membership in NATO, be automatically engaged in a hot shooting war with Russia.
The bigger picture shows that we are far better off as things stand today by us assisting Ukraine in any way we can without us becoming directly engaged in a shooting war with Russia than we would be by simply leaving Ukraine to their own devices. Staying out of it altogether would have allowed Russia and Putin to take Ukraine and use it as a base of operations to further invade countries in Europe including Poland among others. Frankly, the cost of allowing Putin to do whatever he wants in Europe is far too high a price to pay as it would cause a global economic disaster with Russia emerging as the most powerful country in Europe.
If you think oil prices are high in Europe and here now, just imagine how much worse it would be if Putin were allowed a complete monopoly over Europe’s energy needs with no checks and balances. Furthermore, now imagine Putin’s Russia holding all of Europe hostage economically...it’s most definitely not a pretty picture.
European stability is the benefit we, the United States, derive from our involvement in Ukraine's war against Russia, and that stability is gained by keeping Putin and Russia in check. While we may not see immediate dividends from our involvement, we most certainly will see rewards down the road including the ability for future U.S. administrations to work with Ukraine on measures favorable to both our nations while holding Ukraine accountable to clean up their own internal corruption.
So while we believe that U.S. involvement is necessary we do not believe that our involvement is being handled correctly, and that goes back to the Obama/Biden administration. Remember, it was Obama who sent blankets to Ukraine when Russia invaded Crimea while Biden was playing quid-pro-quo games with monetary and military aid to Ukraine. As hindsight isn’t always 20/20, it’s a fair bet that had the Obama/Biden administration stepped up in a bigger way back then, neither we nor Europe would be in the position we’re in today. Had Putin been held in check then he wouldn’t have been brash enough to move on Ukraine now.
Remember, Putin was held in check through Trump’s tenure, and it wasn’t until he sensed weakness with the installation of Biden in the Oval Office that he made his move against Ukraine. Putin saw the same weakness in Joe Biden, perhaps even to a greater extent than he saw in Obama, and he took advantage of that weakness as quickly as he could. Putin knew that Biden, because of his ties to Russia, would do as little, if anything, as possible to hold him back.
What we should have done at the onset when Russia invaded Ukraine nine months ago, was send Ukraine everything they needed and requested including military aircraft and defense systems, rather than slow-rolling aid and dragging our heels where military hardware is concerned. Had we done that, there is a good chance that diplomacy, not from us as Biden isn’t capable or respected on the world stage, but from Europe could have ended the war in a matter of weeks.
And for those who still cannot see the benefits of our country's involvement in Ukraine's war against Russia, a war started by Russia for the sake of but imperialist expansion, we remind you that by ignoring the lessons taught as a result of two World Wars...wars we did everything possible to remain out of until it was nearly too late...would unquestionably lead to WWIII.
Without the assistance of the United States, limited as it is, Ukraine would have fallen months ago, and the future of Europe would be much darker than it is today. But there is something else Putin never counted on which has led to him being trapped in a corner making desperate threats, and it is not something to be taken lightly.
Simply, Putin's military operation against Ukraine is falling apart.
Now suffering defeat after defeat both on the ground and in the air no matter Russia's recent large scale bombardment of civilian areas within Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, and other key Ukrainian cities, President Zelensky recently gave both “Mother Russia” and the Russian people a way to “save face” with his words to the affect that, “the terrible consequences of the war could be stopped at any moment if one person in Moscow gave the order. The fact that there is still no such order is obviously a humiliation for the whole world,” to which we add, no truer words spoken. And with both Finland and Sweden now joining NATO, Putin could soon find himself in a difficult position in regards to the all-important Baltic Sea, as his forces are already being stretched thin, and can only handle fighting on a limited number of fronts at any given time.And so it might well be up to the Russian people...or Russia's military itself...to force Putin to end this war as Zelensky's forces continue to successfully push back Russian forces including in the key industrial now battlefield city of Sievierodonetsk. And it's here where Putin has now ordered the blowing up of bridges to prevent Zelensky's forces from bringing in military reinforcements and delivering aid to help the civilians trapped in an almost nine months long war...a war Putin still insists on calling a “special military operation.” But while he can call it whatever he wants, Putin can no longer hide the fact that the once overwhelming advantage in both personnel and equipment that Russia once held has now suffered humiliating defeat at the hands of a rag-tag army of resistance fighters whose best weapon has been that their fight in the name of freedom has proven to be the best and most powerful weapon of all.
And with word having leaked out that Russia's elite 3rd Guards Spetsnaz Brigade...the GRU agency's (which is the acronym for Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate) secretive and highly classified military intelligence unit which has been operating in Ukraine...may have lost at the hands of Ukrainian forces 56 of its soldiers...as in a full 75% of its reconnaissance manpower. And loss of such an elite unit is a sure indication that the tide of the war has now started turning in Ukraine's favor. And this should not be as unexpected as it seems to be for some for the Ukrainian people have been preparing for just this war ever since Russia illegally invaded and then annexed Crimea back in 2014.
Simply put, and due to its now “rapid collapse and disorderly retreat” from northeastern Ukraine...most especially from Lyman where Ukrainian forces have now moved deeper into Russian-held territory in the neighboring Luhansk region...Russia's military has proven that it truly is ill-prepared to fight against NATO forces in Europe if it were to come to that, what with Putin still sounding the nuclear alarm.
And with the Ukrainian military having modernized, if you will, the sum of its forces, tactics, strategy and command...thanks of course to help from the NATO nations...the Russian military under Putin's command still remains mired to Stalin's old style diktat that “quantity has a quality all its own.” And while this has allowed Russian forces to succeed in wars past, those very words are proving to fail when up against the entirety of a country now mobilized together to fight to the death.
And as Putin's battlefield losses start to add up...what with 65,500+ Russian soldiers killed to date (October 17th) as we write this...the scope of these loses is truly staggering as there are 367% more casualties now than in two 4-year long Chechen wars, and 335% more than was lost by the then Soviet Union during their nine years of fighting in Afghanistan.
Now add in the 17 and a half+ billion dollars that Putin has spent (again to date) on military equipment and the amount of equipment lost*...lost to Zelensky's less equipped and less numbered military...and you can see that Putin is losing the war on both fronts. And with almost half a million military age men having fled “Mother Russia” to avoid having to fight in Ukraine, Putin has been grabbing young men off Russia's streets...men ill-prepared to fight...men who do not want to fight...showing the world not the face of Russian victory but the face of desperation on Putin's part alone.
And it's desperation tempered with humiliation and his overwhelming need to “save face” that now drives Putin's war forward...forward to use the only means left at his disposal that could turn defeat into victory...but it's victory that comes at a high price via both threats and blackmail of the nuclear kind.
When Russia first invaded Ukraine back in March, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) first raised concerns about shelling anywhere near the proximity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant...concerns that it could lead to what they deemed to be a possible “nuclear disaster.” And after such a shelling did occur early on in the war President Zelensky rightfully stated that, “For the first time in the history of humanity, the terrorist state (meaning Russia) has resorted to nuclear terrorism. We must stop the Russian Army immediately!”
And not surprisingly both the IAEA's concerns and Zelensky's statement sadly did prove true for Vladimir Putin has continued throughout this now almost nine month long war to let the world know that for him...that for “Mother Russia”...the nuclear option, tactical in scope or otherwise, remains on the table. And while most think that what Putin is referring to is the actual dropping of a nuclear bomb on Ukraine...which surely must not be dismissed...there is another option that most have overlooked and it involves the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant itself...the very plant that had already seen land mine explosions which resulting in a fire that posed a serious threat to the infrastructure of the first unit of the facility.
But first a little background on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant beginning with the fact that said power plant is not only the largest in all of Europe but is amongst the ten largest in the world. And not only does this plant generate half of Ukraine’s nuclear-derived power with its having a total capacity of about 6,000 megawatts... which is enough to power about four million homes for a full year...but is located only about 125 miles from Crimea and about 342 miles southeast of Kyiv...two very heavily populated areas now seeing both heavy ground fighting and large scale Russian missile attacks.
And know that while the Zaporizhzhia plant itself has six Soviet-designed water-cooled nuclear reactors each containing uranium 235, the actual reactors themselves cannot explode on their own because the fuel feeding them is not compact enough to allow for an uncontrolled chain reaction. But, and this is key, that does not mean that a leak or worse cannot occur what with the plant itself being heavily shelled by the Russians or that an internal deliberately set explosion is set off, thus allowing the core to actually be breached or destroyed, either of which could result in a reactor meltdown.
And if such a scenario were to occur not only would we then find huge amounts of radioactive material being released into the air, but it would fall back to Earth as radioactive fallout, and would reach more than a dozen European countries** as well as Russia herself, in but a mere three days time. And as the fallout is picked up by the jet stream, said fallout would, in time, also reach areas of China...which the Chinese would surely not be happy about...albeit having dissipated contamination wise to some degree.
So as we write this article, the still Russian controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant supposedly remains shut down as it was disconnected from the electric power grid back in September...meaning the reactors are in a “cold shutdown state” (with the reactors coolant system at “atmospheric pressure” and at a temperature below 200 degrees Fahrenheit following what's known as a reactor “cooldown”). But the fact is that's not totally true for the plant's six reactors always require a certain amount of electricity for cooling and other safety functions...meaning some power must still be running into the plant whether it be by emergency power lines or by diesel generators as “nuclear material” must...and we repeat “must”...continue to be cooled even when switched off.
And so if power in any form is still on even if not in full or near capacity mode...whether said power is courtesy of power lines or diesel generators...even if they're in an alternating mode...this allows Putin plenty of time to sabotage the plant if he dared to deem so.
And sabotage could be the very means by which one or more of the reactors are breached, thus leading to an actual nuclear explosion/meltdown which would indeed pose problems for Europe for years, if not decades, to come. And Putin could have his seemingly wanted nuclear scenario...a nuclear winter if you will...while not having to actually launch a nuclear missile attack on Ukraine, albeit an attack with the same result...the same destruction...just courtesy of a different delivery means.
Simply, and by no means are we saying that this is Vladimir Putin's plan, we're just presenting a possible scenario where Putin could deem a “nuclear accident” more plausible and yet just as effective in both the short and long term as an actual nuclear attack on Ukraine with his response being akin to a how did that happen “ooops” moment to the nth degree.
And with Putin now finding himself in a self-created bind of sorts as his nuclear blackmail threats can only go on for just so long, it wouldn't come as any surprise to see some sort of nuclear scenario taking place as both he and “Mother Russia” need to “save face” especially after not being unable to crush Zelensky's forces or hold onto territories captured. And with history showing that it was the United States alone who dared to drop a nuclear bomb on another country, history also shows that with said drop our country became and remains the world's number one super power. And this is something Vladimir Putin cannot abide...his narcissism and delusions of grandeur simply won't allow it...never mind that our dropping the bomb on Japan was done to end a war...Putin's using nukes in Ukraine is to see nuclear armageddon come to fruition with “Mother Russia” alone, he hopes, being the so-called “last man standing.”
Quite simply, Russia’s “special military operation” has grossly under performed as Putin has demonstrably underestimated the tenacity and resolve of Ukraine while overestimating his capability to inflict his will outside his own borders. And to be quite frank, Putin is now beginning to overcompensate for his shortcomings by threatening nuclear war.
Adding to Putin’s woes resulting from his self-inflicted war mongering, the Russian people even at gunpoint, are not with him. Last week Putin began tightening “security” within Russia’s borders which is Kremlin code for cracking down on his own people for their dissent. As for the regions Putin falsely now claims are Russian annexes inside Ukraine, Luhank, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, he has placed them under the Russian equivalent of martial law, something he would not have had to implement had the people in those regions actually voted, as Putin claims they did, to join Russia.
In fact, last week Putin ordered the pull-out of all Russian installed officials in the Kherson region as well as the “organized, gradual displacement” of up to 60,000 civilians. That means that Putin knows he’s lost that falsely annexed region, and he’s literally kidnapping tens of thousands of civilians to hold as hostages. We can add that to the growing list of Putin’s war crimes, although it remains unlikely that the U.N will hold one of their favorite thugs accountable.
Within certain regions of Russia itself, Putin has now resorted to what he calls a “medium level of response” which means that he is “boosting security and public order” (read threatening people to go along with his madness), and has restricting people’s ability to move about, and enter or exit those regions. Putin has also ordered regional governors within Russia to “meet the needs of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops and troop formations.” That means Putin is putting the needs of his already depleted and diminished military ahead of the needs of the Russian people, and that is yet another sign of desperation.
That sort of desperation coupled with what Putin has to believe is a shortened timeline makes him a very dangerous “actor.” And while it remains unlikely that Putin will actually resort to dropping nukes in Ukraine (unlikely but not completely out of the question or off the table) causing a militarily forced “nuclear meltdown” of Ukraine’s primary facility...one of the largest such nuclear power facilities on Earth...thus irradiating a large portion of a small country and potentially rendering that region uninhabitable for possibly thousands of years is something a desperate narcissist who has painted himself into a corner would be more than apt to do.
Putin has reached full boil over what he considers to be the disgrace of Gorbachev’s move to a far less belligerent and threatening Russia, and his determination to reclaim what Gorbachev gave away while increasing Russia’s sphere of influence in Europe has set the table for his ultimate downfall and humiliation on the world stage. Vladimir Putin is highly unlikely to go quietly into the night, and as he continues to lose both ground and “face” in this war, a scorched earth policy should be expected.
On the other side of the battle lines, Volodymyr Zelensky stands strong, and has positioned his country to become far more respected that it has ever been.
As for our involvement...what it has been up to this point as well as what it may become... we stand to benefit from a much more stable Europe and possibly reap economic benefits should we return not only to energy independence in a matter of a few years, but energy dominance, allowing the U.S. to overtake OPEC+ as a supplier of energy for Europe, thus cutting Russia out of that economic equation altogether.
In closing, we would be remiss not to mention that the world is watching how we respond to Vladimir Putin’s aggression, and specifically China is watching to see if there is any change after our midterm election. If the House and the Senate turn red, but the status quo with regards to our involvement short of “boots on the ground” remains the same, China will be emboldened to move against Taiwan before the 2024 presidential election regardless of Putin’s losses in Ukraine. On the other hand, sending Ukraine the military hardware necessary to bring about a rapid end to the war would have the effect of dampening China’s desire to engage in expansion.
We are on the cusp of dire things and a failure by the U.S. to force an end to the aggression of one of the world’s most dangerous “actors” could well lead us where no one wants to go…WWIII.
And that is the bottom line.
* Russian-Ukraine War 2022,
Statistics and Facts: https://uawar.net/stats
** The nations that would be directly affected by radioactive fallout: Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Russia.
Copyright © 2022 Diane Sori and Craig Andresen / Right Side Patriots / All rights reserved.