October 28, 2022 There is an increasingly widespread, and popular, narrative in Ukraine and in the West that Putin realizes he's losing the war, has taken relatively extreme measures -- unthinkable until recently (mobilization, re-creating penal battalions, moving the economy to wartime footing) -- to slow this down because he fears the impact a defeat … Continue reading Russia is never as strong as we fear, or as weak as we hope
Month: October 2022
October 22, 2022 Today's ISW update has one interesting bit that might require reassessment in light of the latest "belief revision" that I wrote about recently. The update is generally sound, as usual. I am not saying this because I agree with it, which I do -- I wrote about almost all of it yesterday … Continue reading Reading tea leaves: Retreat from Kherson & the Wagner Line
October 22, 2022 Time to revise some beliefs... We have repeatedly noted and discussed how Russia's private military groups (PMGs), most famously Wagner under Prigozhin, have been recruiting convicts for service in Ukraine. At the time, I wondered under what authority a private individual like Prigozhin (or his representatives) could walk into a prison and … Continue reading The “private” military groups of Russia
October 20, 2022 Two days ago, the Ukrainian military asked all bloggers, YouTubers, and social media personalities to observe radio silence when it comes to events and operations in Kherson Region. The last time they imposed such a media blackout was when the Kharkiv Offensive began. There is, essentially, total compliance with this request, and … Continue reading The impending loss of Kherson: How will Putin spin it?
October 14, 2022 Putin announced that he expects mobilization to be completed in two weeks, having already produced 223,000 men. No next wave is planned. Sources claiming to know what's going on are divided on the actual numbers. One says only 91,000 have been mobilized, the other says that 570,000 have. Neither appears credible. The … Continue reading Travails in Mobilization
October 13, 2022 Many Russian opposition members are constantly giving interviews to all sorts of Ukrainian and Western news outlets, which are (naturally) hungry to hear Russians blast the war and Putin's regime. What the credulous journalists often do not seem to quite understand (the Ukrainians often do, but even they are tempted to air … Continue reading Russian “liberals” are no friends to Ukraine, part 1
October 12, 2022 This is Vladimir Solovyev, the current don of the Kremlin propagandists, who spreads hatred of Ukraine and demands blood on his shows, back in 2008. Back when he was a decent Russian who made sense: https://videopress.com/v/Hf3GJyeg?resizeToParent=true&cover=true&preloadContent=metadata&useAverageColor=true Vladimir Solovyev in 2008. "There will never be war between Russia and Ukraine because anyone who … Continue reading The Tragedy of Putin’s Rule: Turning Decent Russians into Monsters
October 11, 2022 It has been five days since my last update, and during this time a lot has happened and nothing has happened. The biggest (by design) news at first was the bombing of the Crimean Bridge on October 8th. After some initial confusion about what had happened, it appears that a truck laden … Continue reading The Russians resort to terrorism: why?
October 6, 2022 The current story spreading like wildfire in Russia, apparently with tacit but clear support from the Kremlin, is that the Generals screwed up the short, glorious, victorious special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine. Even rags like Военное обозрение (Military Overview), which staunchly hews to the mythology of the SMO, including Nazis, NATO … Continue reading Blaming the Generals won’t fix anything
October 6, 2022 The long knives are out for the top military brass in Russia, Gerassimov & Shoigu are probably done for unless they do something about it We've been following the murky developments in the Kremlin after the disasters at the front. These came out in the open with the astonishing statements by Kadyrov, … Continue reading The coming pogrom of the Russian Defense Ministry?