Trenin article: 2023 is a “make or break year” for Russia

Reference News Network reported on January 26 that the Russia Today TV website published an article titled “2023 will be a year of success or failure for Russia” on January 19. · Trenin. The article is excerpted as follows:

In a particularly turbulent time, predicting the course of political events is a thankless and little rewarding endeavor. Yet in times like these, we not only need but also have the opportunity to gain a greater awareness of the major trends shaping the world.

The longer the conflict in Ukraine goes on, the more it looks like an uncompromising confrontation between Russia and the US-centric West. The escalation of hostilities remains the overriding trend. The stakes are extremely high for all parties, but more so for Moscow than even for the US or Western Europe. For Russia, this conflict is not only about external security and its place in the world, but also about internal stability, including the cohesion of its regime and the future of Russia as a state.

Following a partial mobilization last fall, combat operations in Ukraine have begun to resemble a much broader operation. What began as a “special military operation” could well turn into a “Patriotic War”.

All conflicts eventually end in an agreement. However, the above situation makes it almost impossible to reach a peace agreement or a stable armistice agreement like the Korean armistice agreement in the 1950s.

The problem is that the biggest concessions Washington can make are far from Moscow’s smallest goals. The U.S. goal is to exclude Russia from world powers and trigger regime change in Moscow. The strategy is to overwhelm the Russian military on the battlefield, shake the foundations of Russian society, undermine trust in the authorities, and eventually bring the Kremlin to its knees. As for Russia, it has the resources and the power to thwart these plots and achieve its goals in a way that avoids another armed conflict in the future. Combat operations in Ukraine may not end in 2023, but in the next 12 months we will see who has the stronger will and which side will ultimately prevail.

So far, the conflict in Ukraine has been a proxy war between Russia and NATO. However, as more and more Western countries join the conflict with the intention of “strategically defeating” Russia, this could lead to direct clashes between Russian armed forces and Western forces. If that happens, the Ukraine conflict could turn into a war between Russia and NATO. Such a situation would inevitably entail nuclear risks. And that risk will be further exacerbated by the fact that Kyiv’s desperation actions could spur the direct involvement of the US-led military bloc in the conflict.

Even if a direct confrontation is avoided, overall hostility toward Russia in the West will continue to grow.

Western European countries continue to isolate Russia, viewing it as a direct threat and using this “threat” to strengthen the group’s internal cohesion. The Western Europeans put down their pens and picked up their swords.

In Russian-American relations, dialogue has long since been replaced by hybrid warfare. Ukraine is only one direction of this matchup, albeit the most dramatic. Washington’s goal is to actively demonstrate its global dominance and its willingness to take serious and risky steps to this end. The foreign policy of the United States is merciless to competitors, enemies, and allies. Russia can only rely on its own strength to stop the United States.