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Stalin And Putin – Different Rulers – Same Tactics

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Stalin And Putin – Different Rulers – Same Tactics

DEC 30

Putin began his war in Ukraine with an attempt to demonstrate Russian mastery of an American-style shock and awe campaign. It was all to be over within days. Kyiv would fall. A new puppet government would be installed.
That was not to be. The Russian Army demonstrated it did not begin to have the ability to follow through on Vlad’s vision. So, now, Putin has fallen back on his roots. He has taken a page from Stalin’s playbook. He is counting on genocide to work.
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In the early 1930’s Joseph Stalin was working hard to cement Soviet control over the entire Soviet Union. There was grave concern about Ukrainian nationalism and resistance to Stalin’s iron rule. Stalin employed the most ruthless method of all to crush this resistance. He engineered a famine and let nature take its course.
Stalin and his minions starved over 4 million Ukrainian men, women, and children to death. The event has become known to history as the Holodomor.
“Stalin appears to have been motivated by the goal of transforming the Ukrainian nation into his idea of a modern, proletarian, socialist nation, even if this entailed the physical destruction of broad sections of its population,” says Trevor Erlacher, a historian specializing in modern Ukraine.
Stalin stepped in, seized land, and crushed family farms. When the grain harvest fell precipitously, Stalin seized what was left and withheld it from the population. People wandered the countryside in a vain search for food. They dropped in their tracks and perished amidst the snow drifts in the cruelest winter in history.
Putin has adopted the same mindset. Unable to beat the Ukrainians on the battlefield he is now using his drones, missiles, and artillery to target the power infrastructure in Ukraine. He is turning off the lights and most importantly the heat for the Ukrainian civilian population. He is counting on the cold and dark of the long Ukrainian winter to do the rest.
Waves of Russian missiles are striking Ukraine every day. They are not hitting troop concentrations or military headquarters. They are hitting power plants and other infrastructure connected to the power grid.
All across Ukraine as the deep cold of winter settles in Ukrainians are without electricity. In Lviv, 90% of the population is without power. In Kyiv, 40% are similarly affected. All together in Ukraine, at least nine million people are without power.
Even when there is power it is typically rationed. The power comes on for a few hours and is then off for several hours. People build their schedules around windows in which they can shower or charge their phones. In apartment buildings, people keep water, food, and diapers in elevators in case someone gets stuck inside when the power goes out unexpectedly.
After one wave of attacks recently Internet traffic in Ukraine fell by two-thirds.
Repairs to the electricity infrastructure are difficult and sometimes impossible. Replacement parts are often simply unavailable. Once energy installations are repaired they are often hit again. They are effectively impossible to protect.
Russian attacks hit all parts of the electrical distribution system. They do not just attack power plants. They hit towers, power lines, and substations as well. There are an almost infinite number of points at which the system can be taken down.
“This is not a new tactic for Russia,” said John Spencer, a retired Army officer and chair of urban warfare studies at the Madison Policy Forum. “If you think about what they did in Chechnya, and in Syria, to basically bring the civilian population to such despair that they’re willing to capitulate.”
“Russians are actually now acting very cruel, but also in a very well-thought-through way,” said Andriy Kobolyev, former chief executive officer of Ukraine’s largest national oil and gas company Naftogaz.
In areas where Russian troops have retreated they have taken pains to destroy all critical infrastructure before they leave. This puts Ukrainian forces in the position of having to take responsibility for repairing electrical and water systems. The government of Ukraine is even directing people displaced by the fighting not to return to recaptured areas until critical infrastructure has been repaired.
No power means no heat. It means no light. It means no water. It means every aspect of modern civilization grinds to a halt.
The cruelest months of winter are ahead of us. Millions of Ukrainians are going to go through the coldest part of the year without modern sanitation, heat, or a reliable supply of water. This does not mean inconvenience. This means death.
Putin knows all this. He is doing all this very deliberately. He has taken a page from Stalin’s playbook. In Russia some things are constant.
Different ruler. Same brutality.
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#Stalin #Putin #Sam Faddis

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