Putin's ill-considered invasion based on profoundly false intelligence on Ukraine and bad judgement resulting from him isolating himself from Covid-19 for two years while immersed in books about Russia's glorious imperial past seems to be on its way to bringing a swift end not only to Russia's 19th century imperialist daydreams but its stature as a relevant independent power, or an illusion of that, as well.
It's all about technology chains. For example, top of the line semiconductors are absolutely vital to a modern military and Russia does not manufacture let alone develop any of those itself. Not even China does - without foreign (Western) machines. If Chinese manufacturers are caught selling high-end processors to Russia, they're fucked because they will end up among sanctioned companies.
While 70% of Russia's entire 200,000 strong high readiness forces bleed in Ukraine showing pretty unbelievable incompetence and lack of preparedness across the board - no doubt brought about by deep corruption, it will continue to try and overwhelm the Ukrainian military by mobilizing more troops and equipping them with rusty Cold War era gear. Russia's callous disregard for human life is already seen in the way it has bombarded residential areas. The resulting bad optics close to the heart of Europe will guarantee that the private sector will not lift the already massive sanctions any time soon. The reputational damage from dealing with such a state is too great for even China to disregard.
Russia will not be able to rebuild after the war ends. Vultures are already circling above the dying Russian empire. The Chinese are looking into buying into Russia's crown jewels such as Gazprom on the cheap. When the Russian military is spent, I bet interesting things will begin to happen in the North Caucasus region. There is no shortage of hotheads in that part of the world. The Belarusian military is already refusing to cross the border. There is no doubt China will be looking greedily at expanding its sphere of interest in Central Asia.
Europe will be building nuclear and renewables and will be forced to expedite the process. When the transition is complete, Europe will never go back to oil and gas to the extent it is reliant on them now. The way the world uses raw materials is incredibly wasteful. We have scarcely even begun to do proper research in recycling. Those things will be absolutely vital going forward.
The writing has been on the wall for quite some time but it is always interesting to see how the world can abruptly switch from one state into another based on one catastrophic decision by a leader.
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