TOC Ready Room 9 April 2022: Russia-Ukraine, Adieu mon status quo; Echoes of info ops dance in our heads

What’s wrong and right with the world.

The first order of business in the Ready Room is the state of the status quo six-odd weeks into the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Per our RR convention, this won’t be an in-depth look.  But it’s important to point out that the status quo has already changed, in ways that are likely to be irreversible, and that have been flying under the radar up to now.

I think a lot of people realize this is happening, even if they can’t readily think what the specific details are.  Only one border has been breached so far, after all.  NATO hasn’t been drawn into “World War III.”  How bad can it be?

We’ve looked at one detail already:  the immediate failure of NATO’s missile defense linchpin. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 9 April 2022: Russia-Ukraine, Adieu mon status quo; Echoes of info ops dance in our heads”

TOC Ready Room 24 Feb 2022: Putin in Ukraine, “C’mon man” Thursday edition

C’mon man.

We now proceed to wait-and-see mode on practically everything, as the intelligence coming out of the combat theater will be uniformly unreliable at this point.  We can at least say with some confidence that Kyiv has not fallen, and it doesn’t appear that Russia has established full control of the Odessa environs, much less the entire southern coast.

Various unrealistic claims have been made about the number of Russian weapon systems destroyed, shot down, etc. by the Ukrainian armed forces, and there’s no point in overloading on salt to go with them.  I wouldn’t assert that the Ukrainian defense minister is deliberately lying, but the chaos of combat is probably clouding the vision of battle damage assessors.  Some of the numbers don’t seem to add up because there’s been no evidence of the kind of combat that would produce such losses – but there are big chunks of Ukraine into which we have little visibility, at least in real time.

As others have mentioned, watching activity around Lviv, in the west, will be informative. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 24 Feb 2022: Putin in Ukraine, “C’mon man” Thursday edition”

TOC Ready Room 24 Feb 2022: Putin makes his move

Putin judge his man.

This will be rough and ready, fast and furious, and who knows what else.  Readers will be aware that Putin has just invaded Ukraine.  I include a few interesting tweets below, but for me the significant point is that we can now judge better what Putin’s intentions are.

We’ve always been able to assess with certainty that he wants to subjugate Ukraine.  The question was really what the timeline would be, and how much he was willing to breach the shaky semblance of order we still had left.

I wasn’t unprepared to see him move in something of a blitzkrieg style, but he’s being more emphatic and even “in your face” than I expected.  He’s apparently ready for a full, no-holds-barred breach, and will be counting on no residual conditions of stability to simplify his campaign. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 24 Feb 2022: Putin makes his move”

Russia-Ukraine: Putin announces his presence from inside the OODA loop

Fastest OODA Act on the planet? Or just faster than Biden and NATO?

UPDATE: See latest-breaking move by Putin at the bottom.

There’s nothing more tedious than listening to an interpreter translate Vladimir Putin talking for 45 minutes about Russian history and Ukraine.

But after the lengthy intro, Putin moved to the briskly-paced Act Four an hour and change later, signing decrees recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk (Donbas) as “People’s Republics,” and concluding Russian cooperation agreements with them.

The “presidents” of the so-called independent Donetsk and Luhansk were present for the event, albeit at the other end of the football field. Continue reading “Russia-Ukraine: Putin announces his presence from inside the OODA loop”

Russia-Ukraine: An alternative scenario

Rumors of war-war flying fast. What if there’s another option?

Saturday morning in the U.S. sees reporting that President Biden is recalling U.S. diplomats from Kyiv, and suspending consular services at the embassy.

Russia is also said to be pulling diplomats out of Ukraine. Continue reading “Russia-Ukraine: An alternative scenario”