by Shelt Garner
The growing conventional wisdom is Russia is going to wait until February 20th to start any war between itself and Ukraine. The reasoning is, Putin doesn’t want to overshadow the Winter Olympics and he waited until they were over the last time fucked with Ukraine in a big way in 2014.
Given that I’m always wrong, I suppose that’s a valid belief. But I have to note that things are moving really, really fast. There exists a momentum for a major war to start at any moment between the two nations. I struggle to see how we’re going to make it to the end of this week, much less the end of the month. For us to sit around for about a month until near the end of February seems a rather big stretch.
We seem to be careening towards war. Russia has established the construct of the conflict in such a way that for it to back down now — or just wait too long to start — will make it look like a fool on the global stage. There’s only been one time in my life when there was this much momentum for war and one side folded — NATO’s problems with Serbia about 20 years ago. All systems were go for a major war between the two sides and the Serbians choked.
So, that kind of thing is pretty rare. It could definitely still happen — and I don’t want a war — but on a macro level I think all systems are go for the war to begin within days, not weeks or a month.
But, again, I’m always, always wrong. Especially predicting what the Russians will do with Ukraine. So, we’ll see.