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”

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”

Russian claim of U.S. sub in territorial waters: A little more than meets the eye

Smoke signals.

Russia claimed on Saturday 12 February that one of their Pacific Fleet ships, Udaloy-class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov (BPK-543), recently drove a U.S. attack submarine out of Russian territorial waters.

The claim appears to refer to actions allegedly undertaken during M. Shaposhnikov’s current underway period for fleet exercises.

According to RIA Novosti, the Russian navy “discovered an American submarine of the ‘Virginia’ type near the island of Urup.”

“The crew of the submarine,” says RIA Novosti, “was given a message in Russian and English via underwater communication: ‘You are in the territorial waters of Russia. Surface immediately!’” Continue reading “Russian claim of U.S. sub in territorial waters: A little more than meets the eye”

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”

The “sounds” of silence: Russia gears up for a war game unlike any other

Interesting times go high-order, under the sea.

As the world careens through January 2022 waiting to see what will happen with Russia, Ukraine, and NATO, a side drama unfolding off the coast of Ireland may yield clues to the scope of operation Russia has in mind in the coming days.

The initial indication of it came in a form that, in different circumstances, is usually prosaic: a hazard notice to airmen (NOTAM) lodged by Russia for an area about 170 nautical miles (NM) southwest of Ireland’s southwest coast.

The NOTAM indicates Continue reading “The “sounds” of silence: Russia gears up for a war game unlike any other”