The Reason Russia Has Not Beaten Ukraine

The war between Russia and Ukraine has been going on for over a month, and Russia has not been able to beat Ukraine. In this video, I am going to explain why, and it is something the news media is not telling you about. WATCH NOW

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Do you remember when Russia first invaded Ukraine? It was Feb 24, 2022. I remember watching the news. The news anchors were saying that “Russia will win in three days.” Everyone was acting like the outcome was already decided. I was watching this and thinking to myself, “These news anchors do not know anything about history, because there is no way this war is over in three days.” Here we are, more than 30 days later, and Russia is not even close to winning.

What happened? Why was the news so wrong? And why has Ukraine been able to hold out? The news media committed a common strategic mistake: Only comparing assets. If you compare Ukraine and Russia by the size of their militaries, Russia is clearly larger. Here is a chart showing Russia’s military equipment compared to Ukraine. Russia dominates. In addition, Russia has nuclear weapons. So, the news media said, “Russia’s army is so much larger that Ukraine does not have a chance.” But history is full of examples of a smaller forces winning over larger forces in battle. Here is the reason why. You cannot just look at the assets, you also must understand the people. In strategy, people are a bigger driver of the outcome than assets.

Ukraine’s secret strategic advantage has always been their people. To understand the reason, you need to know a little bit about business history. The only reason I know about Ukraine is because they taught it in business school. I do not know if they teach this in college anymore, but they certainly did when I was younger. Ukraine is the best example when you are talking about communism vs. capitalism, because Ukraine shows why communism does not work.

Ukraine used to be part of the USSR. In 1932 to 1933, Stalin created a famine in Ukraine that killed millions of Ukrainians (roughly 13% of the country). This is referred to as the Holodomor. The Ukrainians were unhappy with Communist rule, and Stalin wanted to starve them into submission. He took the business owners and shipped them off to die in labor camps in Siberia. Only the workers were left. He then took all the grain from Ukraine to use in other parts of Russia, and left the workers with nothing to eat.

The reason why Communism does not work is because it removes the incentives for people to allocate resources to where they are needed. Instead, there is an incentive for government corruption, because decisions are made based on whether you are friends with the people in power. The result is mass starvation and death. Starvation is one of the most horrible and painful ways to die. Ukrainians endured this torture for two years. In these chaotic situations, it is difficult to estimate the number of people who died, but it was somewhere in the millions.

Let me share with you a story of how the people were treated. There were two peasant boys who were caught hiding fish and frogs they caught in the wild. The Soviets saw this as food hoarding. They beat the boys up, and left the boys tied up and gagged in a field to suffocate and die. That is just one example of the horrible treatment of the Ukrainians by the Soviets.

You might think this happened a long time ago. What does this have to do with today? People remember and still talk about this. To put this in an American context, one of the tragedies of American history was slavery. Slavery was abolished in American in 1865 (67 years before the Ukraine famine). Even though it happened a long time ago, slavery still impacts modern American society today. People still talk about it. So, you can understand how the Ukraine famine impacts how Ukrainians are reacting to a Russian invasion. When they think, “Do I want to be governed by Russia?” they are also thinking, “Am I going to be starved to death like my grandparents?”

So, when we talk about today’s conflict between Russia and Ukraine, we must consider it in the context of the past. This is what the media has not been reporting on during this conflict. The Ukrainians who are fighting have two things on their side 1) They are in the right 2) They are fighting for revenge. This is a very powerful combination. They are right because they were invaded. They did not start this conflict. But more significantly, this provides them a justified opportunity to get revenge. They care about the outcome of this war.

Think about the Russian soldiers. The Russians also think they are in the right, because they have been told Russian propaganda. But the Russians are not fighting for revenge. They probably do not care that much. If there are two people fighting, I am going to bet on the person who has a deeply personal motivation to win.

I do not want to glamorize revenge. Actions motivated by revenge always creates a lot of suffering. But we must acknowledge that it is part of what is driving the conflict. We are seeing a reaction to historical events from 90 years ago.

Now I do realize it is complicated. It is not black and white. There are Russian Separatists inside Ukraine that are pro-Russia. Not everyone thinks the same way. But there are clearly a majority of people who are fighting back against overwhelming firepower. When we look at this conflict and ask, “How have they held back Russia for over a month?” The answer is Ukraine’s strategic advantage of their people. Ukrainians are a passionate people dedicated to their goal of freedom.

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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.