“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”

— Seneca

I have struggled in vain for almost a year now to comprehend the frequently expressed fears of potential defeat from a great many Russian observers of this war – as though they are constantly haunted by a sense that inevitable humiliation is lurking in the shadows just ahead, and they’d best prepare themselves accordingly.

The now abundantly manifest facts of the ongoing NATO proxy war against Russia, as I have been able to ascertain them, are that Ukraine has now suffered approximately five hundred thousand irretrievable casualties and virtually the entirety of their original inventories of military hardware – the equivalent of ALL the personnel and equipment (both active and reserves) with which they commenced this conflict.

Their military strength was partially reconstituted over the summer of 2022, infused with the best equipment NATO could spare, but which, in both quantity and quality, are simply no longer capable of being replenished.

In addition to this substantial infusion of NATO armaments, several thousand “sheep-dipped” NATO soldiers appeared on the battlefield, mostly in the form of shock troops and technical specialists to operate and maintain the more complex systems such as M-777 howitzers and HIMARS rocket artillery.

This partially rebuilt army has now been effectively wrecked over the course of the previous four months of futile – arguably suicidal – Ukrainian “offensives” against layered Russian defensive lines.

We know this to be true because now the Ukrainian high command is desperately begging the west to provide it with yet a third fully equipped army to throw against Russia’s overwhelming firepower.

Meanwhile, here at the start of 2023, Russian combat strength is, by almost every metric, significantly more potent than it was a year ago.

On the other side of the balance, NATO quite literally has nothing meaningful left to deliver except the few remaining crumbs of their obsolete equipment, ammunition, and empty promises of future production, which is highly unlikely to ever materialize.

Western #EmpireEvangelists masquerading as “military analysts” continue to speak in terms of fabulous Ukrainian military prowess and their stunning string of “victories” over the course of this war. They then passionately entreat western governments to dramatically increase deliveries to Ukraine of the means to launch a final decisive offensive that will drive the (allegedly) militarily eviscerated and abjectly humiliated Russians from the Donbass and Crimea.

Indeed, in their most feverish fantasies, they speak of marching to Moscow itself, effecting regime change by force of arms, and then once and for all dividing Russia into multiple vassal states that can then be submissively incorporated into the rapacious “rules-based international order”.

And, incomprehensibly, for the perpetually fatalistic Russian doomer class, it seems as though many of these ludicrous chimeras just might be not-so-detached from the realm of possibility.

Whence cometh this irrepressible Slavic fatalism and the inexplicable inferiority complex that quite often accompanies it?

I am not Russian. I am not fluent in the Russian language. I have never been to Russia. I have never even had a Russian friend or acquaintance. But I have been fascinated with Russia since I was a child, and I am modestly knowledgeable of Russian history, and the high achievements of the Russian people over the course of the past several centuries.

From my distant perspective, Russia is a great nation inhabited by extraordinarily intelligent and capable people – albeit one that has repeatedly permitted itself to be deceived and abused by its western cousins, towards whom it has afforded far too much envy for far too many generations.

In my estimation, we are now witnessing what later historians will characterize as Russia’s “finest hour”. Faced with the prospect of submissively yielding to and embracing the demeaning decadence of declining western civilization, a great many in Russia have instead sought to reestablish the cultural guidance of their ancient Orthodox traditions; to reemphasize the family as the fundamental unit of society; to stand boldly independent of the degrading social trajectory of unmoored western “values”.

More significantly and pertinently, Russia has courageously chosen to “stand alone” against what almost everyone on the planet believed to be the indomitable power of the thoroughly corrupted American Empire. Yes, it can perhaps be argued that, in certain respects, Russia’s first steps in that direction were somewhat halting. But because it was audacious enough to take them, it has now attracted to its cause not only the moral support, but increasingly the substantive support of many other powerful nations who are determined to resist the continuation and exploitative expansion of imperial hegemony in their regions of the globe.

It has been said that, more than a physical contest of arms, war is a moral argument. I believe there is substantial merit to this thought. Vladimir Putin, Sergey Lavrov, Dmitry Medvedev, Sergey Glazyev, Aleksandr Dugin, and many other influential Russians have been engaging in that moral argument for many years now.

But in the context of the ongoing NATO / Russia war in Ukraine, I submit that Russia will prevail primarily because its military might and leadership are manifestly superior; its strength and capabilities are greater now than they were a year ago, and are growing month by month; its understanding of the rapidly evolving realities of 21st century warfare has been greatly educated by the events of the preceding year – and, not to be underestimated, I am convinced it will be supported to an ever-increasing degree by both China and Iran, both of whom now clearly understand that their existential fortunes are inextricably bound to Russia’s ultimate triumph in the present contest of arms.

From the perspective of this author and observer of events, and notwithstanding the fatalistic and often fearful inclinations of many who call themselves Russians, Russia simply cannot and will not be defeated in this war. Quite to the contrary, I am convinced it will emerge more self-confident, more self-sufficient, and more globally influential than it has ever been.