JMS is a swede who lives in Romania. He has a Youtube channel about war, way before war became mainstream due to Putin’s invasion in Ukraine. Hence, this interview.
As a content creator, I wanted to ask these questions to someone that isn’t Romanian. Also to someone who learned history from a liberal and free perspective and is passionate about history, tactics, and military.
JMS was kind enough to offer me his time, to answer some questions regarding the war that Russia started in Ukraine.
First of all, hello! Tell us a bit about your passion for tactics, military, invasions, and wars.
In my family knowing about world war 2 was a kind of family hobby, all my siblings did well on those test at school, as my father was very interested in what happened.
What is interesting for me is not pure military tactics, but what they mean in a greater context, why mistakes were done, what was done very good. I also want to illuminate events that are maybe less known. Things like how many Swedish sailors died during world war 2, how a crash in Australia changed their government during world war 2. All this to learn may be from history, even though the saying is “What we learn from history, is that we learn nothing from history,” and currently that seems again to be proven.
Some people suggest that this war was brewing from the inside. That Ukraine was getting ready to fight Russia for some time now. What do you think?
This is simply not true. Putin had a Moscow-friendly president in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, that was moving Ukraine closer to Russia. After a demonstration against that, and some 70 demonstrates were shot, he fled to Russia and Ukraine moved towards EU. After that Russia annexed Crimea and supported the break-out regions in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine have not really attacked those breakout parts for some time, however, Russia has been fueling the conflict. Ukraine and its army is a fraction of Russia’s army. It would be like Russia being afraid that Sweden would attack. So that is just Russian propaganda to give some excuse for Putin to invade.
Why is Putin still using cheap propaganda to invade countries? Being contradictory and also, a little outdated in thinking. Did he really expect Ukraine to surrender immediately?
He is a dictator and the playbook for dictators is limited. He can not simply state the real reason, that he simply wants Ukraine for his own reason. We could see this in USA with Trump, just ignore facts and make up whatever truth you want people to believe in. I think he though it would be a short campaign, move in special forces kill the Ukrainian president and the rest of the country would fall quickly. The military situations seems to confirm that this was his plan.
We all saw in media and we shall consider for now that it is true, that Russia sent young soldiers to fight. People who weren’t prepared and were lied to. Young men that were to be cannon meat. Is this a strategy and they will send better army later once they deplete their enemy of energy?
The Russian army is made up of some professional soldiers, officers, but most of the Russian army is, and have always been, a conscript army. So any new forces he sends to Ukraine will be made up the same way, some few professional soldiers but mostly conscripts. They were unprepared for a long war, and he did not inform them to not alert Ukraine. Surprise is a major part of war; he just gambled that the troops could conquer Ukraine without preparing the troops.
I hate to ask this question, because I don’t like Russia’s army at the moment. But what would be their strong point and what would be their weak point?
Russia’s strong points are numbers; more men, tanks, and airplanes. The weak points are several; they have not managed what is called combined arms warfare, using different part of the army working together with force and speed. That has not worked at all. They also have a poor supply system, which is why we see the column north of Kiev. A unit has enough supplies for 24-48 hours then they have to be supplied, and a small part of most units have few trucks to carry out that supply. They also seem to have a low moral among some of the troops.
Also if anyone from KGB will read this, fuck Putin and fuck you too!
Of course my next question is regarding the Ukrainian army. Strong points and weak points?
The strong point of the Ukrainian army is moral, and in tactics, they have outperformed the Russians in almost every part of the battle. The weak parts are the lack of fighter airplanes and some heavy weapons.
Do you think all the financial operations that are currently being lovingly gifted to Russia by everyone, for their own good of course, will be fruitful? Long-term, short-term?
Short term it will not affect the current situation unless someone inside Russia would remove Putin from power, which seems unlikely at this time. Long term it will affect the Russian population, but as Putin is a de-facto dictator, as long as he has the army and security service behind him, he can stay in power indefinitely. Just look at North Korea. Long term it will decrease Russia’s ability to wage war, say 6 months and onwards it will slowly take effect.
What are the next steps that the Russian army will take in order to take hold of Ukrainian cities? Where do you think they will hit and why?
Russia has now reverted to the only way to wage war that they know. They will encircle cities, shell them, and then move in to capture them. If there will be street fighting, Russia will need 2-3 times as many soldiers as they have now. Their next main targets are capturing Kyiv, Kharkiv and also taking the whole black coast. They will try to do this simultaneously. Ukraine is a very open country, so if Ukraine loses its major cities, it will be hard for them to defend the rest of the country. If they lose the black sea coast, o new supplies can come to Ukraine from that part. That would be the Russian thinking.
Is there anything Ukraine can do to stop Russia? If not now, on the long run? To me, even after this is over and politicians may decide to have amnesia over what Putin did, the people won’t forget. How will they deal with the amount of kids that lost their fathers to war? They cannot feed them any propaganda.
Ukraine is doing what it should. Fight the Russian and make the suffer casualties in men and material. They need support both military and for the civilians who are suffering very badly right now. In the long run, when or if Russia takes Ukraine, Russia will be an occupying force and that will drag resources from Russia. You are right, no matter the outcome, the relationship between Ukrainians and Russian will be a bad one.
To me, they might have a small victory now, hold it under NATO ‘s or EU’s noses. Negotiate a thing or another, but things got a little too far. Will it even bite Putin back in a way?
No he will not, that would show weakness.
We see that NATO and the EU are still dancing and prancing to Putin’s music. Everyone fears this man will declare a nuclear war. Do you think he will be crazy enough to destroy the world for his USSR wet dream?
I think he has the possibility to do it. During the Soviet era, the Politburo would decide that now it is only in his hands, so a much more dangerous situation.
Russians declare officially and probably out of fright, that they agree with this situation, they don’t call it a war. Since they already face prison for free speech and judging that the richest are fleeing the country as we speak, what do you think it will happen to the rest of the population?
They will see a shrinking economy, and it will be a poor future for them. It will be something like early 1990 and even beyond that.
Do you think they will have the guts to protest in big numbers? Take a stand even if it results in blood loss, only to make Putin go away? Maybe get rid of him somehow…
One should remember that just protesting can give you 15 years in prison. That makes protesting very dangerous, and even so some demonstrations are happening in Russia. The ones that can get rid of him are military or secret service in Russia. If they are affected enough that might happen. The second possibility is if around 3% of the Russian population takes to the streets, the government will fall.
Do you think some realize now that Putin is the enemy of the people? And not some great leader that wants what is good for his people….
In the west I am sure everyone knows that except a minority like the president of Brazil, and some fringe groups. Inside Russia, polls have showed Putin’s popularity increase, so there it is harder. Russia seems to somewhat still live in the Soviet era time and that it is the destiny of Russia. But it is hard to judge what the majority of Russians think as it can be very dangerous to give your real opinions.
Any hope that Putin will share the same fate in history as other wonderful psychotic and sociopathic leaders?
If the Russian leadership will see him getting ever more paranoid, and they see that his way is leading to them suffering, it is possible. So yes I think that can happen, and it is the only realistic way it can end the current conflict, but I do not think it will happen in the near future.
These are all my questions, some long, some short. Thank you for taking the time to answer them and I appreciate your input. I cannot view war as great, but I do appreciate the strategy and the study of history and war.
JMS’s youtube channel. Subscribe because he updates daily on the topic of Russia’s mad war against Ukraine.
Use Google translate for the interview translation, thank you!