The 250,000 troops conscripted by Putin are not there to fight, they are there to occupy, and Putin has good reason to think they will, and soon, before winter.
Putin’s Army is already empting Kherson of civilians, after which they will evacuate their forces. As the triumphant Ukrainian army rolls in, Putin is going to use a tactical nuke on the city.
At the same time, to the west he will say this: now that you know what I am capable of, are you really ready to risk the end of the world? Because I don’t give a fuck and you do. NATO will not immediately retaliate.
Putin will threaten to drop a nuke on a Ukrainian city every week his demands for capitulation are not met.
In the US, and cities all over the world, there will be mass panic and hoarding. The stock market will crash.
China will enter the picture as a negotiator representing the rest of the world. It will promise to put in safeguards so this can never happen again. Ukraine will be forced to capitulate. Russia will agree to reparations and justice for war crimes against civilians. Of course it’s kind of moot, since they will essentially be paying themselves reparations and investigating themselves. NATO, China, and Russia agree to multilateral nuclear disarmament talks which will drag on for decades.
Putin will pat himself on the back for sparing civilians in Kherson, and putting an early end to the war. Putin’s conscript Army will then occupy Ukraine.
With the US economy a wreck, and inflation soaring to historic levels, Trump or another far right Republican will become president. You can be sure they’ll be calling for an end to the democrats’ foreign adventures and promise peace, a restoration of the economy, law and order, and a focus on our problems at home.
Taiwan will be forced to make a face-saving (and life saving) deal with China to avoid being the next Ukraine.
On the other hand, the west could respond. If Biden is weak here, it’s probably the end of the historical anomaly we call democracy, both at home and abroad, but this is already happening anyway. If Biden is strong, there is a good chance of some kind of nuclear escalation. Even a limited nuclear exchange will leave tens of millions dead. Combined with climate change, this would be the beginning of a mass extinction event. How many Americans think that’s worth it? I’m not sure I think it’s worth it.
Makes you want to hoard cash and buy a gun. The gun is not to protect the cash, it’s to shoot myself.