Ukraine supporters are proud of their work on social media winning the meme war with Russia.
In the real world, the Russian army is slowly turning Ukraine into the world’s largest mound of rubble. In the Donbass, they have the Ukrainian army and the tens of thousands of militia members surrounded. It is not easy to get reliable information about what is happening on the ground, but reliable estimates say fifty thousand pro-Ukrainian fighters are now trapped in the Donbass “cauldron.” Barring a peace deal, they will be vaporized over the next couple of weeks. …
The point here is that despite losing the social media war, the Russians are winning the actual war in Ukraine. It has been slow going as the Russians do not wage television friendly wars, so no cool video. Ukraine was slowly being turned into a fortified outpost by Washington, so the Ukrainian army is well trained and supplied. Digging them out of those fortifications will not be easy, but it is inevitable. The Russians will turn Ukraine into rubble if that is what it takes to achieve their objective.
What this war has revealed is a clash of realities. On the Washington side, reality is played out on TV chat shows, office politics and the internet. They really think winning the public relations campaign matters. In the reality in which Western leaders live, words count for everything. Facts are just tools to be used to decorate a clever argument or a novel public relations campaign. From the perspective of the West, the war has been a disaster for Russia.
On the other side, the Russians operate in a different reality. They are focused on securing their border, which means neutralizing Ukraine. They have prepared for the economic consequences. They have prepared their people, who seem to be overwhelmingly supportive of the effort. Westerners have described Putin as having a medieval mindset, which may be true, but he is dealing with a people and a reality that still thinks the old way about the world.
Depending on how the the war goes, one or both of these narratives will collapse.