He also pointed out that when talking about the reasons for starting the war, you should not reduce Russia to Vladimir Putin alone, because he no longer operates in a vacuum – Putin has a wide circle of supporters.
Putin does not operate in a vacuum
Pozins revealed that he was always in the minority of experts who did not believe in the illusion that there would be no more large-scale war in Europe. Unfortunately, he turned out to be right.
“[Krievijas motīvi] were perfectly clear, it was simply a question of whether we publicly wanted to accept those troubling moments, and to what extent business and short-term profit interests outweighed moral and practical strategic interests, because
we have also financed this problem to a large extent by buying Russian oil and gas. They were ready to bluff, they were ready to use force. The result is what it is – we have a very big war in Europe right now,” said Poziņš.
In politics, especially in democratic countries, many interests have to be coordinated, and for many people it was financially beneficial to cooperate with Russia for purely personal reasons, Poziņš reasoned.
“Many also had the illusion that if we invest money in Russia, then these people who have earned in the market economy will start to think democratically, but we know from history a lot of examples when perfect market economies started absolute dictatorial regimes and started cruel, aggressive wars. The signs were much earlier. In fact, they were already visible before [Vladimira] Putin,” Pozins analyzed.
As an example, he cited the famous Russian army raid under Boris Yeltsin in Yugoslavia, when they occupied positions they were not supposed to occupy.
“It was already one alarm bell that there are political forces in Russia that are ready to take revenge for the defeat of the Soviet Union.
Russia should not be reduced to Putin’s personality alone. Putin does not operate in a vacuum, he entered the political arena with a fairly wide circle of supporters from certain business circles. It was quite interesting to watch Putin taking control of the mass media space, forcing TV channel owners out of the market. There, many processes showed that this country is preparing society for military revenge,” said Poziņš.
The pre-war plans did not materialize
At the same time, as was often the case in the past, when longer or shorter periods of relative peace were followed by serious hostilities, the war in Ukraine has also brought quite a lot of surprises to both practical warriors and theorists.
“Each war, each act of warfare introduces changes in theoretical ideas. It is usually the case that during the period of peace one processes, ponders and draws conclusions from the previous war, and in many cases it turns out that countries have prepared for the past war, but real, modern warfare introduces quite significant changes to the pre-war in plans. This has often happened, and it has happened in many situations in Ukraine as well,” said Poziņš.
If Russia’s goal was to return to the past by restoring the principles of the Soviet Union, they have succeeded in many ways, because they literally fight like the Red Army in many ways, Pozins admitted.
“On the other hand, many in the West were ready to share Europe in the sphere of economic interests and looked at Ukraine somewhat arrogantly. In Ukraine, many problems stem from their internal political situation, because, unlike the Baltics, they had not yet clearly declared that they would immediately go to Western values. They kept their membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), they had open borders, it is no secret that at one point the Minister of Defense of Ukraine was actually a citizen of the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian elite cooperating with the Kremlin had made Ukraine an easy target,” analyzed Pozins.
Therefore, Kremlin ideologues thought that they would easily conquer Ukraine, but the West thought that they would easily give Ukraine back, because it would not resist at all.
“Both sides were wrong because they forgot one essential factor in politics – people and the nation. Sometimes, I think, it’s quite careless to think that the world’s greats can always divide the world as they see fit. There are situations that go one way or the other what matters is how the local politicians or the local elite or the local army reacts, how the masses of the people react. If the locals are aggressive enough to defend their local identity or attitude, then the big plotters fail,” said Poziņš.
Support of modern technologies
Speaking of the technical aspects of war, we must not fail to mention drones, or flying robots, the extent of their use has significantly changed the nature of war operations. Autonomously controlled aircraft have been used in warfare before, but in the case of Ukraine, modern technology and the cheapness of these flying robots allowed civilian devices to be adapted for military purposes.
“It was a very big surprise for many experts. It forces us to review a lot of technical things. The use of flying robots in the case of Ukraine greatly expands the importance of another type of combat – means of radio-electronic warfare, signal suppression, detection of signal sources, automation of equipment and modern software, maybe even become essential elements of artificial intelligence,” said Poziņš.
At the peak of technological development, Ukrainians have learned to use equipment at the company or division level, which was previously available in small numbers only to the armies of large countries. This is another aspect that becomes very important in this conflict.
“The Ukrainians have managed to implement it purely technically, but does it help to resolve the stalemate? If Russia had hoped for an easy victory, that calculation did not come true. But the Ukrainians were poorly prepared to repel such a large, widespread attack, and the European allies are actually neither politically, nor in terms of production volumes, are ready to ensure a sufficiently large supply of modern weapons.
In the case of Ukraine, the most modern weapons are needed in very large quantities, if this impasse is really to be solved,” emphasized Pozins.
Soldiers are not a problem for Russia
He admitted that, of course, all the information about the full picture is not available, but according to him, Ukraine currently has only enough armaments for the Ukrainians to be able to defend themselves and disrupt the expansion plans of Russia, but it is not enough for the Ukrainians to carry out open counter-offensive operations.
“Then, when I put those numbers on paper, it turns out that Ukraine with [Rietumu] supplies only compensate for the losses caused by Russia. If Russia continues to actively attack, all the time throwing new forces into this cauldron, the Ukrainian army has no real reserve to organize a counterattack.
There will be no blitzkrieg. Does Ukraine have air superiority? No, the F-16 is still not there. Does Ukraine Have the Long-Range Weapons to Disrupt Russian Army Logistics Deep in the Rear? Are not. Does Ukraine have enough artillery? No, it cannot suppress Russian artillery. So what kind of counterattack are we talking about?” analyzed Poziņš.
Russia’s calculation is simple – they can afford to lose their soldiers, Pozins explained, because Russian society is controlled to such an extent that it no longer asks why thousands of people are lost in an unnecessary war every day.
“Putin can afford to lose these people. Those who follow Russia’s military history know that the loss of a soldier in Russia is not a problem for any general – they will send the next ones.
This is not just a phenomenon of the Red Army or Tsarist Russia. This country’s vast human, natural and economic resources allow this type of war to be waged. We do not know when the moment will be when the Russian public will start asking questions. Stalin sacrificed 20 million [cilvēku] and even more, and no one asked any questions,” said Poziņš.
The outcome depends on the West
“I hope that the West will finally activate its democratic principles and economic resources, because in fact, from the point of view of the West’s economy, aid to Ukraine allows the revival of the Western European arms industry,” said Pozins.
According to him, Ukraine is much more important than most people think, because the events in Ukraine are currently being watched by other authoritarian regimes.
“If Russia remains unpunished, it means that all other dictators have the green light, and the world will start such chaos, such conflicts, which no Western superpower will push back. Then there will be a catastrophe of a grand scale. It will develop into such conflicts, compared to which the Ukrainian war and the Middle East conflict will be entertainment in the kindergarten sandbox,” said Poziņš.
He emphasized that the war in Ukraine must not be allowed to go out of control, the aggressor must not go unpunished.
“The British defense minister formulated it very precisely in one of his speeches – we have gone from the post-war world to the pre-war world. Whether the result will be positive for Ukraine and the West, it depends on the West at the moment.
Maybe unpleasant, unpopular, sharp decisions have to be made, but if those decisions are not made, the consequences will be very bad. It may happen that we save a cent now, but later lose trillions,” concluded Poziņš.