Perhaps we will stop hearing that there is no change possible in the Kremlin. All the world’s Russologists, or almost all of them have been saying and pounding on it since 24 February, but faced with the victories won by the Ukrainians, faced with the breakthrough towards Donestk that the recapture of Kupiansk and Izium now allows them to make, perhaps they will come to realise that the time for reckoning is inevitably approaching.
The fact is that the Russian executive no longer has enough intelligence capacity in Ukraine to have acknowledged that the counter-offensive on Kherson was only meant to hide an operation of a completely different scale in the north-east. This means that the Kremlin no longer has any high-ranking men in Kiev and this collapse of the Russian presence was, in this case, accompanied by an unprecedented negligence on the ground since no plan allowed for an orderly retreat of troops taken by surprise. The soldiers had to flee as best they could, some on bicycles. Tons of equipment had to be abandoned while the Russian army already has to be supplied ammunition by North Korea and the most serious thing is not the humiliation.
The most serious thing for the Russian executive is that defeat leads to more defeat as surely as victory leads to more victory. The supply of weapons and food rations to the Russian soldiers is now even more difficult to organise. Already low, the morale of the men and their confidence in the command will suffer. This defeat will not be easy to overcome and on the two hundredth day of what turns out to be an upmost special military operation in terms of its level of amateurism, the results are becoming appalling for the sponsors.
It is not just that they failed to control Ukraine within three days as they had hoped. It is also that they have brought the two sides of the Atlantic closer together at a time when precisely the United States was moving away from Europe, that they are precipitating the transformation of the European Union into a political and military union, that they have permanently diverted European countries from Russian energy supplies, that they threw Finland and Sweden into the arms of NATO , opened the doors of the European Union to Ukraine, sowed ruin and desolation, cut Russia off from the world market and broke an age-old link between Ukraine and Russia.
These men have turned the immense Russia into an ever more relative power whose citizens are now more justified than ever in asking them what they have done with the power they entrusted to them.
With a gagged press, decimated opposition and a tenfold increase in repression, the Russians have no way of asking this very legitimate question, but the abasement their nation now faces is such that necessity may soon be the law.
Because Russia must emerge from this war and a turning point is needed, a change may now come in six hours, six days or six months. We do not know when it will happen, but it will happen because this country simply cannot continue to stand by while it sinks nose-deep into failure. Too many people and too many forces in too many social circles and generations will aspire to refuse this suicide in order for new figures not to come along and offer them another destiny. The main question is who that will be and what direction Russia will then take.