The West is confused: the "gas station country” that was defeated in the Cold War, ruled by an authoritarian regime with its economy in tatters is now winning a proxy war against the West.
Politico has recently categorised Russian Central Bank Chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina as one of the disruptors of the year. Overcoming sanctions and mitigating their effect comes as an unconditional achievement of the entire financial and economic bloc, and not just of one person. In fact, it is the whole government, including Prime Minister Mishustin who did not let the Russian economy crumble.
Western observers do not understand why the Armed Forces of Ukraine failed to conduct a successful counteroffensive. The West has given Ukrainian military men everything they needed, but the Russian forces, after the disastrous summer of 2022, managed to gather up and and launch a sustainable offensive along the entire front line.
The West does not know how to analyse Russia's institutional stability. The US can no longer produce analysts and strategists like Henry Kissinger, who managed to create Chimerica (symbiotic relationship between China and the United States) and weaken the USSR.
Where did Western strategists do wrong when they started a war with Russia in Ukraine?
They never understood the Russian mentality that it consists of:
They failed to predict what Russian President Putin would be capable of against the background of the crisis with the West. Shortly before the start of the special military operation, French President Emmanuel Macron came to Moscow to dissuade Putin from making sudden movements. When Putin was clarifying his position on Russia's security guarantees at a news conference, Macron was looking at him half-turned and grinning. The Frenchman does not smile today. Macron admitted a year ago that the European security system would be impossible if the West did not take account of Russia's interests.
Western strategists hoped that the Russians would rise or that Putin would be dismissed in a coup. The coup did not happen, although there was such a threat. Suffice it to recall Roman Abramovich with his "mediation” in Istanbul. The unity of the Russian people came as the biggest surprise for the West.
They conducted a poor analysis of the capabilities of the Russian economy. Russia managed to overcome sanctions and develop the defence industry while keeping all other sectors of economy well afloat. Russia is still building houses, roads, icebreakers, power plants, factories. Social obligations have not been ignored either. Russia's GDP is expected to grow by 3.5 percent this year.
They underestimated the power of the Russian army. There are a number of miscalculations here — from the spirit of the Russian soldier to the ability of Russian military leaders to quickly learn and adapt.
The confusion of Western analysts suggests that the end of the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is not going to be advantageous for the West. Who will be responsible for the sufferings of millions of people in Russia and Ukraine? Will the United States get away with it yet again? Will Joe Biden go on trial?
Ukrainians are fleeing the cities that could be taken by the Russian army. Apartment prices have already dropped by as much as 50 percent in Kharkiv. Housing sales have increased in Odessa as well, even if compared to 2022