Another Lend Lease for Ukraine

Many counties are supplying arms to the Ukraine but, according to The Wall Street Journal, one of them is more generous than any other: Russia.

Gratefully received

That country has boosted the Ukraine’s heroic resistance with $2 billion’s worth of heavy armaments.

These include over 500 tanks worth about $800 million, 1,163 armoured personnel carriers (almost $700 million), 200 artillery pieces ($154 million), 209 AA systems ($175 million), 51 multiple rocket systems ($46 million), 503 military vehicles ($50 million) and even an attack helicopter ($10 million).

These supplies didn’t come from the Russians’ generosity and sense of fair play. Rather they were abandoned intact as the Russian troops hastily retreated from Kiev, Chernigov, Kherson and especially from the Kharkov region.

Ukrainians refer to such donations as the ‘Russian Lend Lease’. They gratefully pick up the armaments and, since they are familiar with them, instantly turn them against the former owners.

Some of those weapons are the latest vintage, such as the T-72B3 tanks, up-to-date mines and also the Orlan-10 drones. The tanks in particular are most welcome since Nato isn’t especially generous with weapons construed as primarily offensive.

Putin and his people aren’t taking this technology transfer lying down. Anticipating the possibility of Russia’s whole arsenal gradually falling into the Ukrainians’ hands, they are hatching farsighted plans.

The plans focus not on gaining victory, which they know isn’t going to happen, but on mitigating the consequences of defeat. According to reliable intelligence sources, the Kremlin gang is working on a project codenamed ‘Noah’s Ark’.

The name telegraphs the nature of the project: they are establishing escape routes and destinations where they can shelter from the wrath of victorious Ukrainians, frustrated Russians and vindictive international tribunals.

At first they set their hopes on China, but the Chinese evinced little enthusiasm for providing such hospitality. They are understandably unwilling to burn their hands by handling the hot potatoes that Putin and his coterie will become after they lose their war.

The Russians then switched their attention to Latin America, especially Venezuela, whose dictator Maduro they see as a kindred soul. Apparently the first approach was made by Igor Sechin, chairman of Rosneft, Putin’s confidant and Maduro’s friend.

Does this remind you of anything? Historical parallels are never 100 per cent accurate, but some 77 years ago Latin America also gave refuge to another group of evildoers who had lost their aggressive war.

Countries like Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and a few others didn’t mind all those Heinrichs becoming Enricos, Richards turning into Ricardos and Karls into Carloses. Now it’s Venezuela’s turn, although I can’t see immediate Spanish equivalents for Vladimir, Dmitry and Igor.

But who says the names have to be the same? If the Russian Patriarch Kirill didn’t mind being called ‘Agent Mikhailov’ for decades, his former runners can easily turn into Diegos or Manuels. Vitorio Putin does have a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?

The Noah’s Ark project will have a side effect of guaranteeing long-term employment for the Ukrainian secret services. Emulating Mossad, they’ll definitely continue to search for Russian war criminals, bringing them to justice, institutional or otherwise.

I wonder how much security all those billions the Putin gang has purloined from the Russian people will buy. Not an awful lot, would be my guess.

6 thoughts on “Another Lend Lease for Ukraine”

  1. You will be pleased to hear because of left wing influence Vladimir is a common name in Venezuela – nothing strange about it, so Putin will feel at home (although they pronounce it as Bladimir – V = B in Spanish and uneducated speakers will interchange them when they write).

  2. Vlad and team can help Maduro get Venezuela’s oil production back to peak levels, then help him skim enough off the top for his own Noah’s Ark one day.

  3. Dictators ought to be offered an ‘out’- if only to avert further bloodshed. At present what incentive is there for Russia’s ruling class to liberalise?

    In our world the deal is perhaps the only thing that is pure. Two tribesmen, aeons ago, met by a watering hole and found a common interest, thus ensuring the very survival of our species. The Anglophone West needs to don its mercantile cap and sell a viable alternative to the ‘Third Rome’

    1. I’m afraid you miss the point, two of them in fact. First, the ‘Russian ruling class’ and ‘liberalise’ don’t belong in the same sentence. Said class was formed by a merger of orgainised crime with career officers in history’s most evil organisation. The resulting ‘class’ has never betrayed its heritage, always acting in character. Second, you might have noticed that there is a third party to the conflict, the one whose people are actually dying for their freedom. If you think Ukrainians are going to accept any ‘mercantile’ deal between Russia and Nato, you haven’t learned much about this war — or indeed the history of the Russo-Ukrainian relations. Some dictators don’t deserve an out (Hitler, to name a popular analogous example).

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