Posted 3 марта 2022,, 14:32

Published 3 марта 2022,, 14:32

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Dmitry Nekrasov: “Zelensky will capitulate sooner or later”

3 марта 2022, 14:32
Russia is very well prepared for the special operation in Ukraine, so its success is a matter of time

Political analyst Dmitry Nekrasov, in his publication on the most topical topic of the day, tried to dispel the euphoria of his Russian and Ukrainian readers about the effectiveness of Ukraine's resistance:

“Against the background of the tactical mistakes of the Russian army, the failure of the blitzkrieg and Western sanctions, the public sympathizing with Ukraine (whether in the West, among the Russian opposition, or in Ukraine itself) fell into illusions and broke away from reality.

The real state of affairs in Russia is very far from critical

1. It is necessary to realize that under no circumstances can economic sanctions affect the stability of the Russian regime over the next few years. The Russians will live worse. The economy will shrink. But there will be enough money for the salaries of the security forces and the production of weapons for the Kremlin for another decade to come. And even for doctors and teachers something will remain. But for the stability of the regime, the security forces will be enough.

The main effect of the sanctions is exclusively long-term. These are years and decades. In the medium term, sanctions have no effect on Russia's ability to pursue its usual foreign policy.

Cars will stop delivering - so look at Cuba, cars of the 50s of production still drive there, but the regime has not fallen. And so on all counts. Almost any consequences of the sanctions will result in a decrease in the living standards of the population, but not a complete collapse of the economy and the bankruptcy of the regime. And certainly not in the next 5-10 years.

2. The fall in the living standards of the population does not in any way increase the likelihood of changes as a result of internal protests. In 2014-2016, the real disposable income of Russians fell by 10%, while support for the authorities grew by almost 30%. Yes, and over the past week, support has grown by 12% (with all the questions to sociology, I have no doubt in the trend).

Of the five regime collapses in the former Soviet Union as a result of protests, four occurred after a period of strong economic growth and none after a recession. In general, revolutions often occur not after an economic recession, but after growth. This is what Tocqueville noticed. In Venezuela, per capita GDP fell 5 times in a few years and nothing happened to the regime.

I am already silent about the fact that at the current level of repressiveness of the regime, even if protests had begun, it would not have led to anything. Lukashenka suppressed the protests by force, having 80% of the population against himself, and the Kremlin has almost 80% for (with any adjustments for the quality of the polls, still more than half).

3. Russian propaganda works and the majority of the population believes it. And not because people do not know how to use the Internet and VPN. Even some of my relatives and acquaintances, in the videos I send of the destruction in Kharkov, say that the Americans arranged all this and “bombed themselves.” Cultural codes and archetypes predetermine the attitude towards events. If a rethinking of the situation begins, it will be in months, if not years. In the horizon of weeks, losses will not affect public opinion. While everyone rallied around the flag.

4. The Kremlin approached this crisis as prepared as possible, with a budget surplus, minimal public debt, a huge trade surplus, colossal reserves (even after arrests many times higher than any recommended levels), stocks of everything. He was getting ready. No external action other than a nuclear war is capable of creating critical threats to Russia for the foreseeable future.

5. Separate successes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not nullify the offensive potential of the Russian army. Superiority in technology and numbers remains on her side (about morale below).

Two possible scenarios for further developments

Basic

Zelensky capitulates one way or another. The parameters of this capitulation are not so important, it is important that the Kremlin will present it inside the country as a victory and the regime will only strengthen. I think that Moscow's demands are a neutral status + recognition of the LDNR and Crimea. I would give 70-80 percent for this scenario.

If Zelensky in any case agrees to this or that version of capitulation, then it is better to do it sooner rather than later. Fewer people will die. And it is precisely the capricious mood of the population that will not allow this to be done earlier. Surrendering when most Ukrainians think they are winning turns Zelenskiy into a political corpse. As a result, it is very likely that the same thing will happen, but after many times more deaths on both sides.

Apocalyptic

Zelensky is not going for any form of capitulation. Acts a la Alexander I in 1812. A full-scale war and a humanitarian catastrophe continue. If the determination of the terrorist defense is real, then the Russian army simply will not have enough strength to establish control over the cities with millions of people (physically there are too few soldiers). The most likely blockade of large cities with the gradual capture of transport hubs and the suppression of Ukrainian units outside large cities.

The Russian economy is still very stable

PS

In 2016, I spent a lot of time in Kyiv, and at various events I was often surprised to hear that everyone around was discussing how much longer the Russian economy would withstand the sanctions for a year or two? And the most seemingly serious people simply without exception believed in the inevitability of its imminent collapse. I twisted my finger to my temple and said that I see only signs of an increase in the stability of the Russian economy. "Ukrainian Institute of the Future" ordered me then an analytical report "The Limits of Russia's Sustainability". In this rather voluminous document, I tested the most severe scenarios on econometric models (such as the average oil price for 5 years is $ 20 per barrel) and even a combination of all possible "black swans" could not draw a catastrophe for the Russian economy by 5- summer horizon.

At the presentations/discussions of the report, many in Ukraine then called me a hireling of the Kremlin and refused to believe. However, reality has shown that during the years of being under “terrible sanctions”, the Russian economy not only did not collapse, but increased reserves by 250 billion and at the same time reduced external debt by more than 250 billion, and so on. People began to live worse, the GDP growth rate was close to zero, but the catastrophe never happened and the stability of the system only grew. Today, disaster is even less likely. The structure is too stable. And I honestly am not sure that the change in external conditions between 2021 and 2022 is more significant than between 2013 and 2016”.