Three months of SMO: Russia has done well, but…

Almost three months have passed since the start of the SMO (Special Military Operation) in Ukraine. Some conclusions can be drawn. I will not consider the military aspect of the operation, which requires the opinion of experts in military strategy, and one cannot talk about everything while the battle is going on. I would like to assess other circumstances that are purely political:

is Russia ready for an EWS?
and what exactly needs to be done for Victory?

Russia as a whole turned out to be ready for the EWS.
First of all, I was surprised by the attitude of people in general. I recently travelled a lot around the country and saw the reactions of the people - beyond the propaganda. In my opinion, the people understand the goals and tasks of the SMO not worse, but much better than the elite. The people, deep down, are convinced that the West is our absolute enemy. It is difficult to change people's minds about this, and any confirmation, on the contrary, is greedily seized upon. War with the West is what explains and justifies everything for people, and in this sense modern Ukraine - especially after 2014 - is seen as a tool of the West in this war. Hence the rabid Russophobia, the desire to join NATO and the brutality of the punishers in the Donbass. If people understand it this way, it is a huge - almost inexhaustible - resource for the continuation of the SUP, it is its legitimisation. The only thing the authorities should do in such a situation is to repeat Putin's thesis, expressed at the Victory Day parade on 9 May: we are at war with the West, and if so, everything is clearer. The people listen to the depths of their souls and respond. The people are ready for war (with the West) and victory, and realistically assess the price.
The political system was also ready. One thing was required in emergency circumstances: unquestioning obedience and total control. This is what we see in politics. The slightest gesture of dissent and the end of anyone who dares to do so, regardless of party, ministry or region. The vertical of power has passed the test of strength. In extreme circumstances, this is the way it should be.
The information field within the country, with its flaws and reservations, again showed sufficient readiness. The media reorganised itself on the fly, the external propaganda circuit was immediately cut off by the West, but here too we are doing what we can. Not particularly effective? It could not be otherwise in such a situation. The West has declared war on us and is waging it on all fronts, especially in the field of information, and here too we are generally ready, there is no panic.
As far as the security forces were concerned, the structures of the FSB, however psychologically complex, were strengthened. Of course, many had already adapted to the fact that enemies were to be called 'partners' for many years and agents of influence were to be called 'respected system liberals'. But when all things were called by their names again, and the liberals and westerners became directly foreign agents, spies and traitors, the FSB and other services recovered rather quickly: it is always easier to work with the truth, the enemy is the enemy and what to do with him the brave Czechoslovaks need not be told. With the MVD or Rosgvardiya it is even easier, they are not directly connected to politics and honestly do their duty.
For three months we have not noticed any dramatic changes in the economy, and this despite unprecedented sanctions pressure aimed at razing the country to the ground. I am a staunch opponent of capitalism and our government's economic policy, but I must admit that so far, under extraordinary conditions, the government's actions in the economic field have been quite successful. Things could have been much worse. It does not mean that it will be the same in the future, our isolation from the global economic system, into which we have unfortunately plunged (to the detriment of our economy and its development), will still be felt, but three months is a serious period, and so far the Russian economy has survived. I am not sure that the ruble exchange rate is really the main indicator, rather the screen of success is the SMO's economic support, but it is good to see that too.
On closer inspection, things may look a little different - individual shortcomings and excesses are always obvious and conspicuous, but once you get the distance right, it becomes clear: in domestic politics, Russia has shown itself ready for SMO and a head-on clash with the West. It is frightening to think what might have happened to the country had this readiness not been there. Yes, just thinking in that direction is terrifying, however, it is difficult to say how sustainable this state of affairs is.
In this context, let us consider the second question: what should be done in the political sphere for victory at this stage? The question is not idle. Of course, it could be done in this way: once Russian politics has dealt with it for three months, it will continue to do so. Nothing needs to be changed. If it can handle it, fine, but what if it cannot? It is simply not rational to transfer the tendencies of the first three months of the SMO to its next course, when nothing foreshadows its imminent end. The government, however, was preparing for the operation, albeit in complete secrecy, and was aware that it would not be quick. So far, the safety margin was sufficient and the rest - without so much secrecy, because everything important has already begun - is worth preparing for the next phase.
In this regard, I would like to outline a number of areas that, from all points of view, will be the most important factors in victory in the future.
Russia now has a vital need for an idea. The fact that there was no ideology before has in practice made the political system manageable at a critical time and strangely enough has proved to be one of the most important criteria for success. All parties and politicians say and do exactly what they should do in such a situation; that is why the idea is not needed by the parties, but by the state. Then the bond between the authorities and the people will become much more vibrant. People already understand the whys and wherefores of their SSO, but they do not understand much else. Or they understand that this 'so much' is not organised as it should be. It is time for the authorities to open up to the people, and openness presupposes an Idea: the State formulates it and the people swear it. It can be a Russian idea, if you like, an Eurasian idea - taking into account the diversity of cultures and peoples - or an imperial idea. Then everything will become clear for everyone: what to live for and how to live. Of course, this Idea already exists, it only needs to be proclaimed openly and the power itself must swear allegiance to the people, because the people are the Idea.
In the Russian Idea the central place is given to the Spirit. It is best expressed in Orthodoxy and the Church, but the Spirit blows where it will. Russians have been devoted to the Spirit in all phases of our history. We love body and matter only because we want them to become Spirit. Russians detest crude selfishness and lust for profit. Wealth comes from the word God. He who is with God is rich. Victory always comes from Heaven.
We need a mobilisation of the people. I am not only talking about mobilisation to the front of SMO, but also mobilisation of the whole society. The rear is part of the front. If anyone is under the illusion that this is far away and will not affect them, the inhabitants of the Russian regions under fire from Ukraine have clearly understood: war has come to our Russian land, it will not leave us alone. Therefore, it is up to everyone to join the battle for victory. The authorities should not fear the awakening of the Russians. This is the main argument for victory. The SMO must openly become a 'people's war' (not with Ukraine, with the West).
Ideology implies a clear statement of values. If two civilisations, ours and the West, are now at war, we have a duty to explain to ourselves and the world what our values are. The West is deeply ideological, its ideology is totalitarian liberalism, which includes gender politics, LGBT+, critical race theory, individualism, artificial intelligence and... Russophobia. The West has condemned Russia as a civilisation. We disagree, so today we have to be clear about what values we are fighting for, what tradition, culture and identity is for us. And culture and education should be adapted to these traditional values, which include spirit, morality, goodness, justice, community/collaboration, purity and love.
It is not a blessing, it is an ultimatum, an ultimatum to Victory. The government must declare an ideology of victory. At present, it is a matter of life and we do not have much time to do it. The technical part of the operation was planned and prepared in the utmost secrecy, but now what is there to hide? We have neither the right nor the time to stay in domestic politics where we are now and see if we can do it without ideology or not? In the long term we absolutely cannot do it: we are at war with ideology and without our ideology we are simply doomed to fail, but it is very likely that in the medium and even the short term we will desperately need it. You will certainly have noticed how desperately the enemy resists. All of this is the result of ideology - hostile, false, extremist, Russophobic, criminal, terrorist, but just ideology. In the end, the idea decides everything.
Politics is going well for us, but the idea is still waiting in the wings. In my opinion, that time has come.
Translation by Lorenzo Maria Pacini