Russia's Art of War with Ukraine (and Putin's Winning)

In chapter three of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, it says:

To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
Is Russia actually invading Ukraine? What will be the invasion routes?

Well, the answers to these questions are the world’s worst kept secret. All you need to do is to click on this link to find out what the invasion routes are. U.S. intelligence anticipates a Russian false flag operation (“liberating pro-Russian provinces” counts…and sounds like Hitler’s annexation of Alsace-Lorraine). Everyone reading the media knows what is going to happen next. All you need to do is visit Twitter to find endless videos of tanks, missiles, trucks, field hospitals and other war preparations being deployed on the Russian side of the border. This doesn’t look like a minor incursion.

Do you think Russia will do exactly what everyone expects them to do?

Of course not.

Russia is conducting psychological warfare and they are winning. Worse still, it is the actions of governments, mainstream media and social media doing the hard yards for Russia to win.

Look at what is happening in Ukraine.

Western governments pulled out their diplomats, and military personnel from Ukraine. They are telling their citizens to flee. The U.S. is relocating its embassy away from the capital. Airliners are treating Ukraine as a no-fly zone. All these announced on mainstream media and social media.

Although these are bad, but they are not so bad. You know what is worse?

We are now seeing Ukrainian state officials, politicians and business elites fleeing the country. Their president is urging them to return within 24 hours.

If this goes on, that will be the beginning of the end of Ukraine. Why?

Take a look at Valentina Constantinovska, a Ukrainian great grandmother. She’s training on an Ak-47 to protect against a probable Russian onslaught.


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How will great-grandmother Valentina feel when she sees the leaders of her country fleeing? Will it help her to feel braver?

Or the foot soldier serving in the Ukrainian army near the frontlines. How will he feel when he hears the news that the leaders of his country are fleeing? What will happen to his morale?

Bravery is infectious. Fear is even more so. When leaders flee, fear spreads. When fear spreads, morale will collapse. When morale collapses, the will to fight evaporates. When the will to fight evaporates, the country surrenders. When the country surrenders, the enemy has won without a shot fired.

Day in, day out, we watched Russia’s war preparation on mainstream media and social media. There used to be 100,000 Russian troops at the border. Then it was 130,000. Now it is 150,000. If you are a Ukrainian, the more you watch, the lower your morale will sinks.

The current narrative is that 150,000 troops is enough to wage war, but not enough to maintain a long-term occupation of a country that still has the will to fight. Russia has more than two million reservists. They have plenty of scope to increase the number of troops. Eventually, at some point in time, the narrative is going to change from waging a short war to maintaining a long-term occupation. But before it can happen, it is likely that Ukrainian morale would have collapsed.

What can happen next?

Should Ukrainian generals and defence ministers flee, you can be sure that Ukrainian military morale will collapse. The Russian forces will cross the border and simply accept the surrender of the Ukrainian army. It will simply be a walk-over for the Russians.

Should the Ukrainian president himself flee, that is a sign of regime collapse. When a regime collapses, there will be a power vacuum. When there’s a power vacuum, anarchy will follow. Which country will have the means to help maintain law and order at a moment’s notice? The answer is obvious.

Napoleon claimed:

In war, three-quarters of victory is down to morale, only one quarter to the balance of military forces.

What is happening right now is that with each mainstream and social media image and video, Russia is chipping away at the morale of Ukraine by spreading fear. The US military and intelligence assessments that a Russian invasion can cause up to 50,000 civilian casualties and announced publicly on mainstream media is helping Russia to spread even more fear. As fear spreads and gains momentum, morale will collapse more and more. Without morale on the Ukrainian side, the primary task of the Russian army will be to process surrendered prisoners-of-war.

I do not know when Russia will fully invade. But I am very sure of this: any predictions and forward warnings by mainstream media and government agencies (of dates, invasion routes and specifics) will precisely be what is NOT going to happen. But the moment Ukrainian morale collapses, that is when Russia will move in. That is something not even Russia will know just yet.

- Peak Prosperity -

This article was written for Peak Prosperity by Terence Kam, founder and cybersecurity consultant at You can follow his company on LinkedIn. Or subscribe to his writings on Medium, where he writes on a wider variety of topics.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I’m surprised to see such a biased analysis here.
Russia tried for 7 years to get the Ukraine government to live up to the Minsk accord. Kiev consistently avoided any effort to create an autonomous governance for the two provinces.
Most of the Ukraine is an economic basket case. I doubt Putin wants it. He knows well that keeping it and the other former Soviet republics was a financial drain to the USSR. He can’t afford it even he did want it.
He wants two things: protect ethnic Russians (of which there are plenty in the East of Ukraine) and to prevent NATO missiles on the Russian border.
We were upset when the Soviets put nuclear missiles in Cuba for the same reason Putin is upset. The proximity means an impossibly short response time to a NATO attack. The little known flip side of the Cuban missile crisis is that the Soviets were responding to our putting missiles in Turkey. The agreement JFK brokered had us remove our missiles in return for the USSR removing theirs.
NATO promised Gorbachev not to expand eastward. He was too naive, or stupid, to get it in a formal treaty. When we violated that promise Yeltsin was in power. He was drunk and Russia was weak. They couldn’t mount any realistic response, short of a suicidal nuclear attack. Under Putin Russia has become a serious adversary to US power and he’s determined to stop and roll back the NATO advance.
His demands over the last many months have been consistent and non-negotiable. NATO must not expand eastward any further. Remove all missiles from the NATO countries that joined after the collapse of the Warsaw pact. The countries don’t have to quit NATO, nor do they have to kick out the NATO armies, just the nuclear capable missiles. We blew him off. The situation in Ukraine is the direct result of that.
Recognizing and supporting the Donetsk and Lugansk have accomplished his first objective, to protect ethnic Russians. The second is more difficult.
I believe he’ll stop at the border of the breakaway provinces, unless Ukraine still attempts to join NATO. Then he’ll overrun the whole country. I expect he’s been explicit about that in conversations with Macron et al. I also expect that the saner eastern NATO countries will in the next few years quietly insist that we remove our nuclear missiles from their soil.


Very well put.
I can’t even read the MSM articles about this. They are so completely “out of it” that they make me cringe.
And there is yet another reason why Russia doesn’t want Ukraine. Ukraine’s current government is so corrupt that the country’s best and brightest have already fled (in huge numbers) to either Europe or Russia. There is simply no intelligentsia left to run the place.


I concur. Was quite shocked to read such a one-sided explanation of a complex geopolitical situation. Putin is a chess master and his opponents are barely learning the basics of checkers.
IMO as per Gerald Celente when all fails they take you to war. Inflation, currency debasement, covid malfeasance and a litany of other maladies need a diversion.


The article is all bullshit…anyone with half a brain can see that. Glad you posted…saved me the trouble.
Hope I don’t see any more propaganda like this on pp again or I’m out.


of the source of the “Big Guy’s” bank deposits.


At present the forces amassed at Ukraines borders are the regular vollunteer military. Not conscripts.
Anyone who knows any military history knows conscripts are not motivated and difficult to control without proper leadership. If Russia invaded Ukraine the loss of those motivated military members would be catastrophic and there would be too few to fend off a counterattack on the homeland. Most of the troops amassed are merely there to pose a military threat if Ukraine decides to retaliate in donetsk etc.
Russian separatist regions being annexed is not a declaration of war, and the more our yellow-journalism contaminates the issue by beating those drums to hide crumbling poll numbers, the more likely it will be OUR missteps that widen this conflict.
Russia, and particularly Putin, are not so naive as to telegraph their troop movements and invasion plans where they can be countered easily. There’s something of more strategic value this is all a distraction from. This is the oldest trick in the magicians playbook. Were it not for grandpa’s ineptitude and perceived incontinence (oops, I meant incompetence) and weakness, the media would chalk this up to an everyday minor crisis. But because of those factors they are beating the drums of war to fight for someone elses border and ignoring the disintegration of our own.
Remember the Maine! Or the gulf of tonkin, or pearl harbor, or 9/11 or whatever. Just whip yourself into a forgetful patriotic frenzy so you csn’t see the real crimes at play.


I didn’t think I’d see an article on PP like this either. Not well thought out and one sided. I am also saddened by the general direction of this site. I have hung in hoping it would change but it is becoming full of conspiracy theories and Chris who always used to proclaim to be non political is now anything but. I always used to enjoy his written analysis of events as he is remarkably clear-headed on many subjects but he doesn’t write much anymore. It’s all Covid videos. I recognize that Public health/Government etc have been lied about a number of things but the overall analysis of the economy and resource issues and geopolitical events that used to receive Chris’s attention, now rarely do. I am seriously considering whether to remain and that’s sad as I’ve been a supporter for ten years plus. I’m running out of hope. If you are part of the PP team, please don’t dismiss my comments. I’m sure there are others who feel the way I do, some of whom may not want to say anything and are hanging in like me or some who’ve already left. At least now you know.


I agree with much of what you wrote, Annie. I see a fair bit of nudging, too.


President Grandpa’s Handlers are desperate for the distraction. The bigger the kaBOOM, the more people focus on “the war” and the less they focus on inflation, the southern border, the disastrous Saigon II Afghanistan withdrawal (and the huge equipment hand-off to the Taliban), and soon - vaccine failure, CDC/FDA malfeasance, and the total failure of “policy” to “shut down the virus.” Otherwise - they’re all out of jobs.

  • not in the US sphere of influence
  • government as corrupt as the one in South VietNam
  • not a US strategic interest
  • having Ukraine join NATO would be a catastrophe - for NATO
If Putin seized the Ukraine, it would probably work out just as well for him as when the Soviet Union took Afghanistan. That million bucks paid to Hunter Biden sure is paying dividends. At this point I'm starting to miss the Bad Orange Man. Those were the good old days. No crazy invasions, no catastrophes, no creepy whispers of a "winter of disease and death", no lost trains of thought, no vaccine mandates. And no room-full of WEF factotums who appear to really be running the country. Anyhow.

I came here to get an unbiased, non-MSM view of the situation in Ukraine. What I read was superficial, emotional and uninformative. Of course Russia’s actions are meant to have a psychological effect on Ukraine’s population. Duh. PP has declined precipitously since Adam left–I keep returning every few weeks to see if the insight to which I became accustomed from about 2008-2019 would be returning, but alas, I found this article.



I have hung in hoping it would change but it is becoming full of conspiracy theories and Chris who always used to proclaim to be non political is now anything but.
Which conspiracy theories do you find displeasing? Supply your own, or choose from:
  • WMD in Iraq is a lie!
  • There were no "babies in incubators"
  • The virus came from a lab!
  • The National Security Advisor is connected with Klaus Schwab and the WEF; so is the President's Chief of Staff.
  • Lockdowns don't work!
  • Masks don't work!
  • There is early treatment for COVID19!
  • There is no asymptomatic spread!
  • Vaccines are not safe & effective!
All conspiracy theories. More or less. Which conspiracy theory do you dislike the most? Or maybe you have a new one that you find particularly galling? I need some new conspiracy theories. All of mine have come true.

Maybe conspiracy theories isn’t quite the right term, but it could be things like:
The specter of smallpox keeps getting suggested. Hmm. Why?
Possibly infected critters. Stirs uncertainty. Cui bono?
Things like that might not amount to outright conspiracy theories, but they are like hobgoblins in The Nightmare Before Christmas singing–I am the who when you call “Who’s there?”…filling your dreams to the brim with fright…
Is there a Who to the Who’s there? Or is it the wind being blown through our hair?

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The article speculates somewhat on Russia’s intentions - which are (obviously) unknowable. Absent of that, the criticism here seems to be mostly around whether this article is DESCRIPTIVE or PRESCRIPTIVE.
Most take it as an endorsement of past and future actions. (-> PRESCRIPTIVE).
I’m not sure if this was the authors intention. Many things said sound more like a description of what has happened or is happening. Don’t hate the messenger. Clearly, Putin is much smarter than all western leaders combined. It doesn’t take much. Turdeau and Grandpa combined are probably less smart today than Putin at age 4. If you think this is a conspiracy theory, LOL.
On the parts that speculate about future action - granted, that might be more in the “wishful thinking” / “what I would do” category of the author. Again, not clear if the author meant it to be an endorsement, or just his view of what Putin’s likely to do. And he might be wrong about it.
Is Chris taking sides here ? Not sure I would come to that conclusion.


I have not seen / heard Chris talk about that. Are you sure you are not conflating forum posts with “Chris’” view ?
And “possibly infected critters” - what are you referring to ? Can you post links to Chris talking about that ?


Stolen from elsewhere on the internet:

Why does the Ukraine matter? Just a little info on the natural resources, economy, geographic location, and size of why it’s important to Europe and the global supply chain.
How the nation of Ukraine ranks:

  • 1st in Europe in proven recoverable reserves of uranium ores;
  • 2nd place in Europe and 10th place in the world in terms of titanium ore reserves;
  • 2nd place in the world in terms of explored reserves of manganese ores (2.3 billion tons, or 12% of the world’s reserves);
  • 2nd largest iron ore reserves in the world (30 billion tons);
  • 2nd place in Europe in terms of mercury ore reserves;
  • 3rd place in Europe (13th place in the world) in shale gas reserves (22 trillion cubic meters)
  • 4th in the world by the total value of natural resources;
  • 7th place in the world in coal reserves (33.9 billion tons)
Ukraine is an agricultural country:
  • 1st in Europe in terms of arable land area;
  • 3rd place in the world by the area of black soil (25% of world’s volume);
  • 1st place in the world in exports of sunflower and sunflower oil;
  • 2nd place in the world in barley production and 4th place in barley exports;
  • 3rd largest producer and 4th largest exporter of corn in the world;
  • 4th largest producer of potatoes in the world;
  • 5th largest rye producer in the world;
  • 5th place in the world in bee production (75,000 tons);
  • 8th place in the world in wheat exports;
  • 9th place in the world in the production of chicken eggs;
  • 16th place in the world in cheese exports.
  • Ukraine can meet the food needs of 600 million people.
Ukraine is an industrialized country:
  • 1st in Europe in ammonia production;
  • 2nd in Europe and 4th largest natural gas pipeline system in the world (142.5 bln cubic meters of gas throughput capacity in the EU);
  • 3rd largest in Europe and 8th largest in the world in terms of installed capacity of nuclear power plants;
  • 3rd place in Europe and 11th in the world in terms of rail network length (21,700 km);
  • 3rd place in the world (after the U.S. and France) in production of locators and locating equipment;
  • 3rd largest iron exporter in the world
  • 4th largest exporter of turbines for nuclear power plants in the world;
  • 4th world’s largest manufacturer of rocket launchers;
  • 4th place in the world in clay exports
  • 4th place in the world in titanium exports
  • 8th place in the world in exports of ores and concentrates;
  • 9th place in the world in exports of defense industry products;
  • 10th largest steel producer in the world (32.4 million tons).”

I have seen that list before. I have not taken the time to confirm that these claims are correct. But they do look like put together to “nudge” someone to think Ukraine is important. I agree with what Rich said - they are not. It’s about NATO, that’s it.
It’s clear that Ukraine is presently very corrupt, and a complete basket case. All of these things point to “potential” for Ukraine, but it doesn’t seem like they are realizing it. Heck, they have a clown, uhm, comedian as a president.


Thank you Dreinmund. Chris didn’t write it. The author generally writes about cyber issues. He offered this. It was timely and worth a discussion. The writer also did not get into the history of Ukraine and Russia, just what is happening now and how it might impact what’s going on.
As for other comments, we are not in the business of publishing only things we think everyone will agree with. We learn from discussion and debate. We like both. We appreciate those who add the discussion, even if it is in disagreement.


Sorry for the lack of clarity. I was referring to forum posts that keep popping up here and there. Chris has not discussed either that I recall. I do not mind the focus on medical issues. However, too narrow a focus may mean other important discussions are inadvertently overlooked. Perhaps that is where some of the concerns lie. Davefairtex noted that people’s attention is being directed to Ukraine and away from…what are we missing? Surely there are things undermining self-governance, education, individual liberty, and the like that we are meant to not see or see it for what it is.


I don’t know where you got that list. And I certainly don’t know if it is true or not.
I know that the iron ore is wrong.
As to the rest, are they right or wrong?
Maybe yes, maybe no.
But none of that matters since Russia has all of those resources and more. For instance, for all the coal Ukraine may have, Russia has five times as much. They have more resources than they can use. Madeleine Albright even said that Russia’s inability to use all its own resources justified other nations in taking them from Russia. She actually said that.
But the real problem is that Ukraine is a basket case of corruption. Even the EU has said that and demanded reform. It is also heavily populated in the Western part of Ukraine with people who despise Russians.
Russia had the experience in Afghanistan of occupying a fantasically resource rich nation who hated Russia. They learned of the futility of such an occupation. I don’t think that they want to do it again.