War has been raging in Ukraine for three months. Despite setbacks, the Russian army continues its attacks. Their goal: to turn Ukraine into a rump state using the “anaconda strategy”.

In the podcast “The Pioneer Briefing” with Gabor Steingart, former NATO strategist Stefanie Babst speaks of the so-called “Boa Constrictor Strategy”. A military tactic also known as the “anaconda” strategy since the American Civil War. This is intended to provide an explanation for Russia’s military action. Accordingly, the Ukrainian army is currently being strangled by the Russian, just like the victim of the deadly snake Boa Constrictor.

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Babst explains: “The Russians have stormed into the Ukraine from three sides and are now trying not only to decimate the Ukrainian armed forces militarily, but also to cut off the supply lines with economic means. You can see that very clearly in the south on the Sea of ​​Azov and on the Black Sea: three port cities have already been taken. The last remaining free Ukrainian port city of Odessa is under siege.”

In connection with Putin’s strategy, there is repeated talk of the boa constrictor strategy. As early as February 22, two days before the start of the war, US General Ben Hodges explained Putin’s actions in an interview with the Münchner Merkur newspaper: “He wants to strangle Ukraine like a boa constrictor! Vladimir Putin can already block all Ukrainian exports with his Black Sea fleet. He wants to destroy Ukraine’s economy in order to oust President Zelenskyy and get a government in Kyiv that is more accommodating and less pro-Western. Putin can achieve that without a major war.” Contrary to Hodges’ thesis, Putin did start a war, but the theory of the boa constrictor has survived to this day.

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Babst explained Putin’s goal to Steingart as follows: “Russia wants to turn Ukraine into a rump state, without a connection to the sea and without the really very important eastern industrial base, i.e. in the Donbass.” A state of Ukraine as a lifeless shell.

The peace negotiations, on the other hand, are on hold. “The coming weeks of war will be difficult,” Zelensky said in his evening video address on Monday. “Yet we have no alternative but to fight. Fight and win.”

Since the beginning of the war, the United Nations has registered more than 6.5 million people who have fled Ukraine – most of them to Poland. Another eight million people are displaced within Ukraine. At least 3,930 civilian deaths have been documented, and the number of injuries confirmed by the UN is 4,532. The British secret service estimates that Russian casualties in Ukraine are already as high as those of the Soviets in Afghanistan.

The boa constrictor strategy does not counteract this. The tactic Babst and Hodges are talking about is nothing new. On the contrary: it is also known as the “Anaconda Plan” and was already in use during the American Civil War. Back then, the northern states were blockading ports in the south while simultaneously attacking the states along the Mississippi. So they wanted to split the Confederacy and win the civil war. The plan originally came from Winfield Scott, Commander-in-Chief of the US Army. It got its name because of its relative passivity: the image of an anaconda slowly squeezing the life out of its victim suggests itself.