Author: Branislav Slantchev

Realism without reality: Kupchan in the NYT

November 3, 2022 Another day, and another shoddy analysis of the Russo-Ukrainian War, with appropriately counter-productive policy prescriptions: this time by Charles Kupchan in the New York Times. As usual, I will note problems with logic and evidence in specific parts of the argument. "The war in Ukraine is dangerously escalating." This is the opening … Continue reading Realism without reality: Kupchan in the NYT

When analogies go to war: Lieven on “the West” misreading the Russo-Ukrainian War

November 2, 2022 It has been a while since I wrote a response to a polemic about the war in Ukraine, but this one caught my eye. It's an article by Anatol Lieven published a few days ago in Foreign Policy. In it, the author advances the thesis that the correct analogy for the war … Continue reading When analogies go to war: Lieven on “the West” misreading the Russo-Ukrainian War

Russia is never as strong as we fear, or as weak as we hope

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

The “private” military groups of Russia

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

The impending loss of Kherson: How will Putin spin it?

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?

Russian “liberals” are no friends to Ukraine, part 1

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

The Tragedy of Putin’s Rule: Turning Decent Russians into Monsters

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