Here are some salient extracts from trenchant Russian nationalist milblogger Igor Strelkov's anniversary summing-up (based on MS machine translation with some variations of my own). 3, 5 and 7 are interesting. Some of you will fairly claim to have been saying some of this yourselves - not least, point 8.
It is not true that no one expected a protracted exhausting war. It is about this danger that your humble servant warned since 2015. Publicly and more than once. Trying to reach out to the inhabitants of the Planet of Pink Ponies....
The state of the "military industry" of the Russian Federation is such that we may soon have nothing to fight for a long, exhausting time ... without large-scale external support which only China can give ...
This is unprofitable for us and fatal for them ... Conclusions:
1. To defeat a large state, albeit in a half-dismantled condition [but which is being given] external support, won't be achieved by half-hearted measures.
2. On the other hand, it will not be possible to defeat a large strong state [Russia] ... even with the help of a proxy [Ukraine].
3. ... the result of the war is determined not by radios with drones, not by money and iron, but by such boring things as the determination of the upper classes and the motivation of the lower classes. They allow you to get the above, and use it correctly.
4. Without civil society and a powerful media outlet, there is no way. Their role all these years has been sharply underestimated by us
5. The loss factor was overestimated by both sides. Modern society turned out to be much more ready to die than the United States of the 60s or the USSR of the 80s.
6 . Over the decades, military schools around the world have become degraded pre First World War state. And besides Verdun and Baranovichi**, they can't offer anything.
7. Small and professional armies turned out to be a myth. As a result, without the whole population being engaged, they are meaningless, and the populations (on all sides) have not been taught or prepared for mobilization.
8. Post-industrial society is good, but it was the war that showed that there is no way without industry.
No one can back down. Neither the Coalition of the West, which has spent no less on Kiev than on Covid; nor us, who were left with no choice. So there will be a war. Long and positional in nature, with offensives of 5-10 km ...
Our winter offensive did not take place, so what is chosen is a war of attrition. It's long and hard. And bloody. To understand - [Ukraine] can afford 0.5 million irretrievable losses without much stress. And so many more with the help of an overt dictatorship. To which the West will turn a blind eye.
The only way to lose for [Russia] is through Internal Troubles. Just do not expect either good or bad - all this for a long time.
** a failed Russian offensive of WW1