From vintage submachine guns to water cooled belt-feds, all the stops have been pulled out to assist in repelling the Russian invasion of Ukraine which is not going to hot for Russia right now.
Or rather it is in Chernobyl, really hot. Like seven buses of troops with radiation sickness hot and rumors they are abandoning their hold on the place. Now it doesn’t appear to be terrible radiation sickness but it does fly in the face of Russia’s report that everything was fine and they were handling the power plant with care.
Add to that the small nibbling counter-offensives that the Ukrainian forces keep pulling off to push back the Russians and their renewed efforts at peace talks this week start to make sense. This war has not gone Russia’s way, period. A much smaller power held off a much larger, one considered a super-power still militarily. They prevented Russia from achieving their military goals of quick regime change in Ukraine.
Now the question is really, how bad does this get for Russia? How much crow do they eat for this in order to start playing on the world stage again? What steps do they take to start consolidating a reputable power and financial base again? Russia is going to have a much more difficult time existing as a bigger grumpier North Korea, but that is one path they could take. Effective isolation. But I don’t see that standing up like it does in North Korea. Russia has too many neighbors, is too internationally connected, and cannot establish the same narrative of propagandist bullshit effectively enough to make it stand up. Regardless of Putin’s at home popularity, the game now is to somehow make this not a total loss in the eyes of the Russian people. I don’t know how you do that. The longer they stay the more likely Ukraine is to still join the EU and NATO. The more Ukrainian success against Russian forces the less likely they are to let stand Crimea and Donetsk Oblast.
I originally thought that would be Russia’s realistic military gain was hit Kyiv and demand those regions independence (aka Russian sympathetic buffers) and once agreed to Russia could go home and make the US Military’s history of long and subjectively effective long occupations in foreign regions look foolish, at least as a propaganda card. Now I think those goals are effectively off the table. Crimea might not change hands back but Donetsk Oblast might, Crimea even might. This might take total Russian withdrawal in the region to start reconnecting economics.
Anyway, enough GeoPolitical hot takes from a dude with a keyboard, enjoy the oddball guns video Brandon posted.