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Russia’s Ukraine Fiasco Threatens Relationship with China

Posted on Monday, May 2, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

As Putin’s invasion of Ukraine enters its third month, the cost in both lives and material for the Russian military has been staggering. While exact figures are difficult to obtain, experts assess that Russia had lost as many as 15,000 men by the end of March, in addition to thousands of armored vehicles and pieces of military equipment. Those figures today are likely far higher. But while these numbers are tragic in terms of the unnecessary waste of human life they represent, they also highlight how devastating Putin’s war has been both for Russian morale at home and Russian prestige abroad. The world has been watching the unfolding Russian disaster but nowhere more closely than in Beijing. What they have been seeing helps explain why Chinese communist angst has been growing.

Russia’s diminishing status was made all too clear last month with the sinking of the Moskva, Russia’s flagship in the Black Sea. While Russia has largely been silent on the exact cause of the sinking, Odessa Oblast Governor Maksym Marchenko alleges that the Russian cruiser was damaged and ultimately destroyed by Ukrainian-built Neptune anti-ship missiles. Reports from American, Turkish, and Romanian military officials seemed to confirm Ukraine’s version of events. Casualty numbers are unknown, but the ship had nearly 500 crew members on board at the time, including 66 officers.

In an ironic twist, Ukrainian officials say that Moskva was the same ship that demanded the surrender of Ukrainian forces on Snake Island earlier in the invasion. While that moment marked a low point for Ukraine, the sinking of Moskva seemed to reinvigorate Ukrainian resolve and deliver a devastating blow to Russian morale.

In addition to the damage this event must have done to Putin’s image at home, the Moskva disaster also appears to have Russia’s newfound friends in Beijing growing more skeptical of Russian military prowess – and concerned about their own warfighting capabilities. At least one ship in the Chinese Navy, the aircraft carrier Liaoning, has similar armament to the Moskva and was built in the same Ukrainian shipyard, meaning that it too is likely vulnerable to anti-ship missiles like the Ukrainian Neptune system – which is similar to another anti-ship missile that is currently in use by Taiwan. The Liaoning routinely sails through the Taiwan Strait in a blatant provocation of the island nation.

Chinese officials were thus reportedly shaken by the Moskva incident, particularly as China and Russia work to develop closer military ties. While China has relied heavily on Russian military technology to bolster its own forces with an eye toward Taiwan, Taiwan has in turn closely watched Ukraine to see how it fares against its larger and more powerful neighbor. The defeat of the Moskva was undoubtedly a positive sign for Taiwan and a concerning setback for China.

Typically, Chinese propaganda doesn’t dissent from the official Russian narrative, but this time was different. Instead of repeating the Kremlin’s line that the Moskva sinking was simply the result of mechanical issues and storm damage, Chinese Communist Party leaders instead focused on the supposed superiority of Chinese ship armor in defending against missile attacks, a tacit acknowledgment of the Ukrainian claims.

Chinese experts who discussed the incident on Weibo noted that it appeared that the Russian ship’s air defense system did not activate, nor did the weather radar detect the threat. Others even explicitly pointed out the fact that the Liaoning contains similar defense systems to the Moskva, suggesting it might not fare any better than the Russian cruiser against anti-ship missiles.

While this type of open speculation about the failings of another country’s military is not out of the ordinary in a country like the U.S., they are unusual for an authoritarian regime like China that seeks to stamp out all speech that does not line up with the CCP’s official narrative. The fact that Chinese officials are allowing so much questioning of their allies to spread on state-run social media platforms could suggest that the CCP itself is having second thoughts about its partnership with Moscow.

In addition to uniting the West against him and devastating his country’s economy, Putin’s invasion may thus have also dealt a significant setback to Russian-Chinese relations. China wants a partner that will help challenge the West, while Russia appears to be unable to even handle its much smaller and militarily inferior neighbor in Ukraine. This could prove to be Putin’s ultimate miscalculation and the one that deals a fatal blow to Russia’s dreams of regaining great power status.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher. 

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Hal
Hal
2 years ago

I don’t think China or Russia want to get into a direct military confrontation with the USA. And the seeming poor performance by Russia against a much, much weaker Ukraine has to be a somewhat unexpected turn of events for both China and especially Russia. In the long term, Communism governance must steal from non-Communist Nations and peoples to maintain the godly attitude of the small group running the Commie Nation. I think this Nation should never trust either China or Russia as to their commitment to take-over/steal from the wealth of non-Commie Nations to maintain long term dominant control over the population of the people. The tactics and actions of the DemocRat party in this Nation tends to follow the Commie playbook too much for my trust.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Gee thought it would aid China??

Barbi
Barbi
2 years ago

… in Washington DC since WW II, it’s been one Vietnam, right after the other –

Granky
Granky
2 years ago

China is in a much better position as compared to Russia: more industrial capacity, a larger better equipped military and a population completely under government control. At this time they own Biden and they do not fear interference from the USA. I suspect they will attack Taiwan in the next 3 months, definitely before November elections and the republicans take back congress and the senate.

Becky
Becky
2 years ago

China would also be woefully inept and without defense, if they hadn’t been stealing all of America’s technology since the stealth fighters.
That America continues to bring these thieves — who fully intend to destroy us — into our research universities and our most high tech businesses like our power grid stations, is outright Treason against the rest of us. We, the citizens who have built America, are being robbed daily toward imminent, total destruction.
Why aren’t we camping on our southern border to stop bidden’s invasion?

Dee
Dee
2 years ago

Wouldn’t this article be considered misinformation?

Roy
Roy
2 years ago

Putin is fighting against nwo, get informed, wef wants Ukraine for money laundering, you don’t think it’s odd this admin is asking for such ridiculous amounts of money to defend it? Do you really think they care about the people of Ukraine? Look what they did in Afghanistan, and left all that equipment behind in the billions for the enemy..letting people die and they call us racist!

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
2 years ago

Personally, I have very conflicted ideas concerning Russia’s fiasco with the Ukraine. I can see China becoming more wary of entering into a close alliance with Russia, because China would want an efficient and powerful ally; however, Putin may also want to use more force against the Ukraine by using nuclear weapons, in the hopes of making Russia look more powerful. The dilemma makes me and many others very nervous. Hopefully, Putin won’t lose his senses. Hopefully, he will take the more rational route. He already is a monster and a cold-blooded butcher. Sadly, let it remain such, and not escalate into total insanity.

Susan Vandenberg
Susan Vandenberg
2 years ago

Good for the people of Ukraine, it’s about time that Putin gets his comeuppance in trying to bully a country that is willing to fight for freedom. Russia should get out of Uktaine and also Syria. China should back away from Russia as well.

johnh
johnh
2 years ago

The first year Trump was in office, he said he asked the Generals if he could do anything for them. They told him they had no ammunition & therefore Trump built this military supply back. The news said we are sending lots & lots of ammo to Ukraine . I hope the Defense Dept. is keeping our USA military supplied as well. Brings up another question, who made decision during Obama terms to diminish American ammo supply to our armed forces ? And why was this not noted until Trump did ??

Bruce P
Bruce P
2 years ago

I guess we’ll see about that ” militarily inferior ” part. “The bigger they are, tbe harder they fall”.

Casey C Matt
Casey C Matt
2 years ago

“Officials say..”, “figures are difficult to assess but ‘officials’ say…” These statements are nothing but the repeating of the western wishes as to the situation in Ukraine. The sanctioned narrative. From who? The same folks that assured everyone that the Hunter laptop was Russian disinformation, that President Trump had hookers urinate on him in some Russian hotel…..that the vaccine works and now that censorship is vital to maintaining free speech.
AMAC is spewing the official narrative. There are unfortunately too many outlets buying into the deep state narrative. All are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Ukraine soldiers being killed in a lost cause for a very corrupt Ukrainian government…..the same government that assisted the drug addled son of former Vice President Biden to obtain lucrative deals in items ranging from gas and oil to……..bio weapon research.
When is AMAC going to do some genuine research before putting articles in print??

Paul DASCENZ
Paul DASCENZ
2 years ago

I hope Putin Gets his Viet Nam!He’s a Fool!

Theodore
Theodore
2 years ago

… surprises me the Russians didn’t have their ducks in a row, roll over the Ukraine like the NAZIs did Benelux, circa the early 1940s. If the Russians don’t have Ukraine mopped up, by October, it’s going to be a cold winter.

David Millikan
David Millikan
2 years ago

Wonderful News. Both Russia and Communist China have BLINKED.
I dare Communist China to send their aircraft carrier close to Taiwan. I want to see how fast she sinks.

Mike Walker
Mike Walker
2 years ago

All the reports that I’ve been reading show Russia succeeding with their special operation.

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

“..experts assess that Russia had lost as many as 15,00”.. Ha-ha-ha. You guys at Amac are droll…Either you are brainwashed by NWO lies spewing media, or you`re just plain dense. The whole ‘war’ in Ukraine is STAGED..like for a film. Half of those photos NWO media is showing into readers faces, are not from Ukraine, but from wars fought somewhere else and some other times. 90% of those stats of dead and killed are LIES. Ukrainian “victims” “refugees” are getting paid by Zalensky to leave their homes and play refugees in Germany and other European countries…Russians are NOT demons of ‘Vlad the Impaler’, who suddenly – overnight – turned into blood drinking monsters.The whole ‘war’ is a SHA< – staged by NWO director, Pope in Vatican. Why??..Because Bible tells us that he is ‘Son of Perdition’/’Man of Sin’/Antichrist, who under direction of Satan is working to unite the whole world in rise/rebellion against God. And to rule the world.

Roger
Roger
2 years ago

Ben Solis is whose pen name?
Ah, just another deceiver who evidently bargained his soul, in his efforts to deceive more citizens by writing more propaganda. Your propaganda is laughable. Russia has already won. They have saved countless numbers of children and adults from the pits of slavery hell. They have stopped the flow of human trafficking, drugs, money laundering, movement of contraband. They will soon finish the destruction of the nazi/satanist military and government. They have stopped and destroyed countless bio labs. Where Covid 19 was created and eventually shipped to Wuhan. In order to protect Fauci, Clinton’s, Obama mike and Barack, Soros, Biden’s, Pelosi, Kerry’s etc, etc, etc. Keep living in your little brainwashed cocoon Benny.

GARY J KIROUAC
GARY J KIROUAC
2 years ago

One thing which wasn’t mentioned was the Russian people from many reported accounts was the sinking of this warship again bolstered Putin’s war effort.
Because the sinking of this warship is considered an act of war and the facts that it also was a coordinated effort of the US Awacs to carry out airborne surveillance and command, control and communications functions for tactical and air defence forces to coordinate the targeting and guidance of the Ukrainian missile to its intended target. This is what was pushed in the controlled Russian Media.
It is understood in the military circles the Ukrainians do not possess this capability to target especially a warship in the Black Sea.
There’s always a counter measure as far as how the Media in all of our countries changes, distorts, or out right lie’s in their reporting..
Just food for thought!

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