Ukraine – review, sanctions, Germany’s downfall

Ukraine at the end of its military, financial and political rope – Russia strengthened – the West weakened – an analysis.

Peter Hanseler

Things turned out differently – Selenski – Habeck – Putin


In our article “Ukraine is militarily finished” in mid-September, we reported on the military situation in Ukraine. It is and remains catastrophic – for Ukraine. What’s more, the USA has already started the process of abandonment and is moving on to the next bloodbath.

“The narrative of the West does not match the facts.”

American and European propaganda is so far removed from reality that even the most gullible media consumers are beginning to realize: The West’s narrative does not match the facts.

The West is beginning to lose its grip on the situation. We look back, discuss the West’s misjudgements and wrong decisions and look at the results. The potential consequences will be discussed later.

Military retrospective

Special operation to force Ukraine to negotiate

When the Russian special operation began on February 24, 2022 with 180,000 soldiers, Russia’s aim was to force Ukraine to the negotiating table. They succeeded and Ukraine and Russia were already negotiating in Turkey in March. A few weeks later, an agreement was reached. Donbass remains Ukrainian, Crimea remains Russian and Ukraine as a whole remains neutral: no NATO membership.

USA and Great Britain prevent peace

The people in Russia and Ukraine breathed a sigh of relief. Then Boris Johnson, then Prime Minister of Great Britain, flew to Kiev as a herald of the USA and convinced Selensky that the Russians could be beaten without any problems. NATO as a whole would do everything in its power to make this possible. Ukraine would be supported with money, weapons, mercenaries and logistics.

Peace successfully prevented – Boris Johnson and Volodymyr Selenskyi in April 2022 – Source: Ukrainian Presidency

“The calculation didn’t work out.”

Even the Berliner Zeitung admits in an article from November 19 entitled “How the chance for a peace settlement was missed” that the chance for peace in April 2022 was missed, not by the Russians.

An acknowledgement that comes too late.

Misinterpretation of Russian war tactics

When the Russians tactically withdrew from the city of Kherson and Kharkov in the fall of 2022 to prepare for the winter, this was interpreted by the West as a victory over Russia. The major counter-offensive would finish off the Russians and they would stand in Crimea in March.

Russia began the operation with 180,000 soldiers, Ukraine with 700,000. Since then, the Russians have mobilized once, the Ukrainians constantly. With the tactical withdrawals, the Russians gave themselves time and space to integrate the newly mobilized forces into their ranks and train them. Experts saw it that way – propagandists didn’t want to see it that way.

Catastrophic grand counter-offensive

The grand Ukrainian counter-offensive had been announced since last winter, but only began around May 10, 2023, six months after the major announcement.

The Russians took advantage of this long delay. They fortified the frontline with at least three lines of fortifications. A great achievement. The front line is around 1,000 km long, the distance from Zurich to Copenhagen.

The much too late start of the counter-offensive is reminiscent of the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943, when the German Wehrmacht also gave the Russians months to prepare.

The aim of the counter-offensive was to overrun the Russian land bridge to Crimea and then recapture the peninsula – within weeks.

The first major event of the Ukrainian counter-offensive was a complete defeat. Bachmut fell to the Russians on May 20. A city of great strategic importance and vital for the Ukrainians’ logistics. This defeat was described by the West as merely symbolic in order to keep spirits high.

At no point did the Ukrainians manage to reach the Russians’ first line of defense, let alone break through it. The entire counter-offensive took place in the Russian security zone. A bloodbath for the Ukrainians. Military experts such as Douglas Macgregor estimate that the Ukrainians have suffered over half a million casualties since 2022, i.e. well over a million losses in total.

The Ukrainian counter-offensive in the summer of 2023 failed, as did the last German offensive in the east at Kursk in 1943: both attackers were bleeding to death on the front line.

Lack of soldiers among the Ukrainians – the opposite among the Russians

The age range is becoming increasingly absurd: 17 to 70-year-olds are being sent to the front, including women. These are indeed conditions like those in Germany in the final months of the Second World War: Volkssturm.

Things are different with the Russians. They only had to mobilize once. They were very selective. Only well-trained soldiers were considered. Thousands of young men left Russia to avoid mobilization. They were not stopped by the state and were able to leave Russia. Wisely, Russia did not use coercion, which is confirmed by the return rate. The situation is very different in Ukraine. Since March 2022, men fit for military service have been forbidden to leave the country.

A friend of mine who works in the security business told me that many retired military men in their forties who worked for him reported back to the army. Very good pay, a familiar environment and the conviction that they were doing the right thing.

Interim result

The Ukrainians are short of soldiers. They are sending poorly trained cannon fodder to the front. The Western ” wonder weapons” have achieved nothing. NATO has been preparing the Ukrainians since 2014 for a war that no longer exists. Russian drones, which cost a few tens of thousands, dominate the battlefield, see everything and destroy the Western luxury weapons that cost millions. The ammunition in the West is running out. The Russians had full stocks at the beginning and multiplied production. They shoot ten times more shells and are still able to compensate for consumption. The West parleys and leaves the Ukrainians out in the cold. A battered people will thank Boris Johnson for successfully preventing peace in April 2022.

So much for the military flashback. How did the West get so lost?

Russia’s geopolitical integration misjudged

The most significant mistake made by the West, which led to many other wrong decisions, is its geopolitical misjudgment. Contrary to all the obvious and accessible facts, the West held the erroneous – or rather absurd – opinion that the entire world community was against Russia. The West believed in its own Russophobic propaganda, which had been systematically fueled since 2014.

Western ignorance was based on looking at the map of the G7 states (Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the UK and the USA) and assuming that the rest of the world would do what the West dictated. People had become accustomed to the fact that 10% of the world’s population could tell the remaining 90% what direction to take and expected obedience.

Things turned out differently. To the great surprise of the USA and the EU, China and India were the first to opt out of the sanctions. Both giant empires stated this succinctly and clearly.

What’s more, trade activities between Russia, China and India have reached unprecedented heights since 2022. Many other countries in the Global South followed this trend.

This should not have come as a surprise to the collective West. But incomprehensibly, tectonic shifts in geopolitics, initiated by organizations such as BRICS, were underestimated or even completely disregarded – and still are today.

The Global South did not see the Ukraine conflict as an imperialist scheme by the Russians, but looked at the facts and came to the conclusion that this conflict was a (necessary) consequence of NATO’s eastward expansion. We have discussed a fact-based analysis of this conflict several times in this blog, most recently in an interview I had the pleasure of giving to Felix Abt in the summer.

In addition to the G7 countries and the EU, only a few allies, such as South Korea and Australia, ultimately took part in the sanctions.

This did not stop politicians and the Western media from describing Russia as an isolated state in December 2022. For example, Eric Gujer, editor-in-chief of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), lied on November 19, 2022:

“At the G20 summit in Bali, the Kremlin was isolated because even India and China turned their backs on it.”

Eric Gujer, 19. November 2022

Eric Gujer – and many of his colleagues – seem to hate the truth and are constantly carried away by statements that do not stand up to even cursory scrutiny. Weak people hate the truth.

Failed economic sanctions against Russia

The economic sanctions against Russia have produced results, though not those intended by the West.

The immediate overthrow of President Putin

The aim was to cause an immediate economic collapse in the giant empire by excluding Russia from the SWIFT system and freezing Russia’s foreign currency reserves, which in turn would lead to the fall of President Putin.

The nervousness among the Russian population lasted no longer than 24 hours. The Russian central bank made liquidity available within hours, raised the key interest rate to 20% and within days issued the entire population with new payment cards that were no longer VISA or Master Card, but MIR, the new Russian payment system.

The unrest among the population was over and President Putin and his team were rightly rewarded by the Russian population with approval and respect for their quick, effective and efficient reaction.

Sanctions storm

Everything the West could sanction was now sanctioned. Within months, thousands of sanctions were imposed on Russia and once again the West was certain that Russia would be brought to its knees within months.

Countless Western brands left Russia, such as McDonalds, Apple, BMW, Mercedes and fashion houses. Exports to Russia were banned. The West waited anxiously a second time for the collapse. Again, things turned out differently.

The entire MacDonalds branch network was taken over by a rich Russian, is now called “Vkusna i tochka!”, which translates roughly as “Tasty that’s it!”, and has re-established itself in Russia within months. In 2021, MacDonalds generated 8% of its global sales in 850 restaurants in Russia. – Now a Russian is the boss.

MacDonalds on the left – Vkusna i tochka on the right – The name has changed, nothing else.

The prices of Apple products shot up by 250% – a few months later, prices were back to Western levels. BMW and Mercedes can be bought again, even if they are overpriced. Big Chinese luxury brands at unbeatable prices now dominate the street scene.

Every brand in the world is available at low prices in food markets. Imports are made via Kazakhstan, Dubai, Armenia, Turkey and African countries.

Here is an example of how the barrenness of Russian supermarkets is a complete myth. The YouTube channel “Traveling with Russel” regularly publishes tours of stores in Moscow. This post, which takes no less than 47 minutes to walk through a supermarket, does away with Western propaganda.

Russia has survived the storm of sanctions very well, it lacks nothing.

Germany – the victim of sanctions

The biggest victim of the sanctions is Germany. The ideologically tinged and incompetent leadership of the former world export champion has done everything wrong that could be done wrong. In terms of foreign policy, they lost their way by demonizing not only the Russian state, but also the Russian people, and betting on the “final victory” as they did two generations ago.

The German Foreign Minister Baerbock not only poisoned the climate with Russia through her statements, for example with the sentence “We are at war with Russia“, but she did not even meet the minimum standards of diplomatic courtesy.

Lack of manners – Foreign Minister Baerbock simply leaves Foreign Minister Lavrov standing – January 17, 2022

At the behest of Washington, Germany turned away from cheap Russian energy. When this happened a little too hesitantly for American tastes, Nord Stream – the main energy artery of German industry – exploded. We have discussed the authorship of the biggest terrorist attack on Germany several times, including in the article “The silence of the lambs: Nord Stream explosion – an act of war by the USA – the West remains silent“. The facts and common sense make it impossible not to see the USA as the perpetrator of this event, which is tantamount to a declaration of war against Germany.

“Mr. Habeck would do less damage as a children’s book author.”

Germany is heading for industrial ruin. The Ministry of Economics is led by a children’s book author who proves on a daily basis that he has no idea about economics.

Mr. Habeck would do less damage as a children’s book author.

The German Finance Minister, in turn, feels compelled to block almost the entire budget after the highest court ruled that the budget does not meet the legal requirements. This means that an economic rescue for Germany is now a distant prospect.

Interim result

In our opinion, facts speak louder than words: Economic growth Germany 2023: -0.6%. Economic growth Russia 2023: 3.2%. Further discussions are superfluous.


It is not surprising that the Western media are turning to the Middle East to accompany the next bloodbath with half-truths and cynicism: In Russia and Ukraine, there is truly nothing left to announce that would suit the taste of the West’s political and media caste. A maltreated people is left behind, dragged into a bloodbath by neo-conservative British and Americans that could have ended in April 2022 after just a few weeks.

Alongside the Ukrainian people, a German government – whose incompetence, aggression and ideological discoloration leave us speechless – has plunged its own people into an energetic, economic, financial and diplomatic impasse from which it will struggle to emerge; certainly not with the current leadership, which is no longer even taken seriously by its friends – let alone its enemies.

In a subsequent article, we will classify the facts collected here and assess the risks of escalation, also against the backdrop of an economic situation in the West that is also based on wishful thinking – i.e. debt – rather than on a sound foundation.

Ukraine – review, sanctions, Germany’s downfall

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