Kherson. Stele at the entrance to the city, September 2022. Photo: Sergey Malgavko/TASS
A month ago, when the new commander of the troop grouping in the HVO zone, General Sergey Surovikin, first talked about the possibility of “difficult decisions”, of course, everyone thought of Kherson. When this decision was made, no matter how bitter it was, everyone noted: this time – without embellishment and lies. It hurts, my heart sank. But truth, as the wise have said, heals the wounds it inflicts. This wound will also heal when our men return to the right bank.
In no case do I allow myself to argue from a military point of view what was correctly decided by the commanders and what was not. When you lie on the surgeon’s table, trust in his hands, knowledge and will to win must be complete. Otherwise, you don’t need to go to bed.
The withdrawal of our troops to the left bank of the Dnieper, if you look at it not from the point of view of a military campaign, where advances, retreats, counter-offensives are inevitable, but as an event that forms the state of the spirit, it is a strong message and for difficult thoughts. And in order not to get lost in them and not to succumb to the temptation of emotional radicalism, one should not forget one’s own history. The landmark, which has already been voiced more than once these days, is Kutuzov’s statement that it is not difficult to capture the fortress, but to win the whole campaign, “you need patience and time”. Endure, gather, concentrate, draw conclusions and build new plans for victory – this is the task of the coming time.
A very important and very necessary reminder: the special military operation that Russia launched in February against the Zelensky regime, which, with the support of NATO, was going to “asphalt” its recalcitrant Russian Donbass, today has turned, by quite inexorable logic, into a real war with the West. The defeat of Ukraine, as Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the Western Alliance, has already openly said, will be the defeat of the entire bloc. Kyiv for him miraculously became the very needle in which Koshchei’s death is hidden – if you break it, he will die. Therefore, it is not the SBU that fiercely resists Russia, but “the most powerful military bloc in the world”, as they say about themselves. This only helps to scale the current maneuver of Russian troops near Kherson. The stake in the war is not the right bank, but the right to life. Therefore, to withdraw the 30,000th group from the threat of encirclement is to save it for future decisive battles.
There are, of course, those who are happy: Ukraine is returning its lands, but why did we turn up their noses? And why did Peter the Great go to Swedish Ingria, it is the Russian Izhor land, did he go? He returned his own and even built a new capital there. Maybe the Swedes should “return” these lands? Kherson, which has forgotten, was also founded and ruled by non-Ukrainians. Therefore, his departure is a temporary thing.
“Patience and time” in no way means detachment, they say, everything will take care of itself. This is an opportunity to accumulate forces, material and moral, for the inevitable bigger and more decisive battles. For us, raised in decades of “distant local wars” and corrupted by consumerist temptations, it is difficult for us to understand that trouble is at hand. And she herself will not go anywhere, because we were not looking for her, but she was looking for us. No matter what they say about what Russia started all this, she tried to keep the peace until the last, but was deliberately not heard and openly provoked. Now, when we are reminded of the times in which we live and which, as the poet said, we do not choose, it is time to refresh our memory: all this time, wars have been fought on earth without stopping. Far, near, sometimes with us, but somewhere on the edge. And now the war is already in our house.
The West is also preparing for war. Obviously, his current imitation of “negotiation expectations” is precisely due to the fact that they have no hope for “Ukraine the winner”, and they themselves have not yet prepared, a pause is needed. Why would Macron urge the French to prepare for war? And the European Union’s chief truth-seeking diplomat, Borrell, said it was necessary to establish military communications in the east. Well, a break won’t hurt us either. The military knows how to use it.
Another great poet wrote about our soldiers from the Great Patriotic War:
Left bank, right bank…
Thus, they become rough
Like two hundred years ago
Went with a flintlock rifle
The industrious soldier of our days will definitely return to the right bank of the Dnieper.