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THE PARADOX OF STALEMATE: Navigating Protracted Conflict

Slava the Ukrainian Socialist

Nov 28, 2023

War, just like a game, is a complex and multifaceted endeavor, and can sometimes lead to unexpected and challenging scenarios. One such scenario is the stalemate, a situation where opposing forces find themselves locked in protracted struggle with no clear resolution in sight.


A stalemate in war occurs when opposing forces reach the point of equilibrium; when neither is able to make significant advances or achieve decisive victories. Stalemates often arise from similar military capabilities, formidable defensive positions or, more often, a combination of the two. This results in a protracted conflict characterized by few territorial exchanges and military deadlock.


The western media recently started to call the conflict in Ukraine a stalemate. This new messaging is to be expected given how actual stalemates tend to drive countries from the battlefield toward the negotiating table. And since the new story drawing media attention and resources is the conflict between Israel and occupied Palestine, western chess masters have decided their ideal next move is to freeze the conflict, in part by declaring a "stalemate." But is the Ukraine conflict, the proxy war waged between Russia and US imperialism, really in a stalemate? Let’s analyze this claim, bearing in mind the main features of a genuine stalemate.


No Clear Advancement


In a military confrontation, we can fairly declare a stalemate when neither side is able to make significant progress or gain new ground and the frontlines remain stable for an extended period of time. It is clear that the Kiev regime in Ukraine has achieved little to nothing at great cost in its vaunted counter-offensive, which had been publicly advertised months in advance.



All of the territories it lost within months of the start of Russia's Special Military Operation remain under Russian control. A kilometer gained here and there by Kiev makes little difference, given the four large states that joined the Russian Federation following a September, 2022, referendum. And the Russian military keeps fortifying and advancing to secure all the territories that belong to those four states.


Mutual Paralysis


Stalemates often involve a state of mutual paralysis in which neither party can overcome the other's defenses or resistance. Russian commanders understood from the beginning the importance of tactical withdrawals to preserve their troops and spare them from deadly quagmires. For example, the Russians withdrew last fall from Kherson and, by pulling back a step, could soon take two steps forward.


But Kiev's Western puppet masters do not allow the Ukrainians to learn from their mistakes. The battles for Bakhmut and Artemovsk saw the deaths of tens of thousands of Ukrainians, pushed by the US into a meat grinder. When one side is clearly winning a war of attrition, this is not mutual paralysis.



Balance of Power


Stalemates typically arise when the opposing forces or parties are evenly-matched in terms of strength, resources, or strategic capabilities. Ukrainians, naively believing the whole "international community" to be on their side, expected to get the weapons necessary for the fight. The Kiev regime assumed that the Russian army could not withstand the giant military-industrial complex of the United States. It didn’t understand that western regimes had no real experience going up against a peer or near-peer rival; that they could only prevail with total air control and after first carpet-bombing a country to smithereens, as the US did during Shock and Awe, to a much weaker state. But Russia is not weak. And no Western ruler wanted to take the risk of NATO trying to close the airspace over Ukraine. Therefore, there is no balance of power. Russia is superior to all of the Western regimes combined.


Strategic Gridlock


Ukraine lacks effective strategies or tactics that can break the deadlock. Each side may be aware of the other's strengths and weaknesses, making it difficult to find a decisive advantage. Kiev understands that its weakness is a lack of manpower. Russia, a much larger country, has millions of possible conscripts. And as of today, Ukraine has no means of wearing down the Russian army and sapping that potential. 


Exhaustion of Resources


In a real stalemate, both sides may become exhausted or depleted in terms of resources, whether it be military resources, financial assets, or other means necessary for continued efforts. And it seems as if the US military industry is struggling to catch up with the demands of the Ukrainian conflict. This became especially evident after the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in October this year.





The American people are also tired of seeing their tax dollars wasted as their own needs go unmet. The west's arms reserves are rapidly depleting. Russia, on the other hand, had partnered with several countries with strong weapon production numbers. Just recently, news surfaced that the DPRK government is supplying the Russian military with equipment and munitions. If either side lacks resources, it’s plainly Ukraine and not Russia. While Zelensky begs for more financial and military support, his appeals increasingly fall on deaf ears.


Tension and Frustration


Stalemates often lead to frustration and tension between the parties involved, as the inability to make progress is both emotionally and psychologically challenging. With the approach of the second winter on the Ukrainian battlefields, the frustration is mounting in Western states. Drama is unfolding inside the Ukrainian government. As Zelensky blames General Zaluzhny for the failure of the summer counter-offensive, tensions are also rising between US leadership and the Kiev regime, signaling a possible third Maidan. 


If Zelensky were to initiate negotiations with Russia, Ukrainian neo-Nazis would quickly overthrow him in actions directed and sponsored by the Western powers. We may see this happen, sooner or later. Hopefully, when the time comes, Russia will be ready to help the Ukrainian people take back their sovereignty and free themselves from under the imperialist boot.

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