More musing on Ukraine.

Where we’re at, a month in.

Kyiv- still not surrounded.  For a stated goal going in, that it still is not taken a MONTH into this war speaks a few volumes about a good many things.

Mariupol…  surrounded and defiant (“Russian Warship, Go Fuck yourself”- the land version) but running out of food/water and places not bombed.

Belarus still not in (“We might, we might not…  Depends if we got an Army to use or if they have deserted)

The Vaunted Chechen Force hunting Zelensky…  bulk of them Killed (“liquidated” was the term used) and the rest left to go home.

The Russian Army…  still suffering supply issues as well as severe morale issues.  No secure Coms, no reliable supply chain, and no real reinforcement.  And being held in check by a force comprised of mostly infantry…. With the Ukrainian Farmers taking ANYTHING not guarded or really disabled. (DUDE!!!!)

Its not all bad news for the Russians though.  They still (sorta) control the air, still know how to bomb civilian targets really well (hospitals, schools, theaters marked as Shelter for Children, etc, etc…) and their Artillery Corps are still pretty good with Mariupol being turned into a pile of small rocks like Grozny and Aleppo….

***

Ok….  Real talk.

  The Russian Army is in shambles at this point.  Yes, they have made serious headway in areas (mostly out of Crimea) but even that is stalled now.  Hell, the long-expected push at Odesa just happened- and was repulsed… with reports of the defenders actually pushing the Russian forces back.

  The attempt at Kyiv…  has also suffered.  As per recent reports, the towns of Makariv (west of Kyiv) is back in Ukrainian hands (though not safe for Civilians to return yet) as well as parts of Irpin.  Some effective counter-attacks… not as successful as the Ukrainians would like or have you believe… but its far more than what the RUSSIANS claim they are doing.  Its another sign the Invaders are on the back foot here.

  Recent reports just in and confirmed are the capture/find of a Krasukha-4 Mobile EW System.  Mind you, it was not the entire system, just the command module… but this is a big deal.  A very big deal as there is likely some serious intelligence to be found in its databases and documentation. 

  Add in the capture of one of the mobile command post carriers from a week ago and these are substantial setbacks.  When the Enemy has access to important data like command frequencies and plans, your ability to engineer success takes a hit.

And the Ukrainians have gotten two (known) windfalls with these. 

Russian Troop morale is in the toilet…  with reports of troops turning on their officers, extensive medical problems from the environment (frostbite) and inadequate gear…  its affecting performance and ability to fight.  I’m pretty sure there would be a higher rate of desertion (always an issue in Soviet armies) were there an ability to get away reliably.

  But outside the columns, there are lots of Ukrainians who they (the Russians) are told would just as soon shoot them (not completely wrong- the Ukrainians just might but they are also big on showing compassion for the common grunts)… and of course, if caught by their own, there would be a bullet waiting for them.  Tough choices.

Then there is the ongoing issue with Russian Secure Coms… as in they have almost been non-existent per a good number of reports.  Between compromised networks, non-functioning equipment and use of commercial gear, the Russian ability to pass information and orders securely… is a mess (and that’s being kind).

  Ukraine has also been pretty successful with taking out senior Russian officers through these compromised networks, it seems.  Six General Officers and one Naval Officer have been killed in this war.  Granted, one was an Airborne officer who was killed in the fighting at the airport… but the rest?  All targets of anti C-n-C efforts.

  Its said that senior officers are balking at being sent to Ukraine now because of these successes.  And to be fair, can’t blame them too much- I’d be worried about being assassinated by an enemy you were told in the beginning of the “Special Operation” that they couldn’t hold a candle to your Army- but apparently has.  That has got to be a big worry…

  Other items of note in all this-

  The quality of Russian Gear.  I had initially noted the shabbiness of the armor and vehicles…. But those with a more critical eye really noted it… and what has been pointed out to me (and is only hitting media now) is the very shoddy maintenance of their equipment. 

Rusty, paint-flaking, bad tires…  All signs of a force that has NOT been maintained.  Both a consequence of bad morale (if you don’t wanna be there, you aren’t cleaning/maintaining gear) and a sign of the lack of discipline within their armed forces.  Maintenance requires a measure of discipline and professionalism- both items in short supply along with the shortages in actual supply.

  Dude… that the Russians have even managed what they have so far with all these issues…. Is damn amazing.

  The Ukrainians maintained their equipment and if they had more of it….  I think the embarrassment of the Russians would be higher.  Like it isn’t high already.

 Another item becoming apparent is the cracks developing behind the lines.  Putin is channeling his inner Uncle Joe and instituting serious efforts at culling “traitors” and “undesirables” from the Defense Ministry as well as his Intelligence Apparat.  You know… all those folks who told him that this Military Adventure was a sure thing and the West would fall apart as Ukraine was overrun.

All those things… that have NOT happened.

Vlad is mad.  Vlad is nervous… and those combined are not good things.  I did note his attire during that big Rally he had conducted and caught part of his speech.  I didn’t listen to its content- it was reported on as well as the glitches in the video feeds.  What caught my eye was his body language… and what he was wearing *under* that parka.

What I noticed was the artificial bulk under that coat.  Putin, in all of the pictures I’ve ever seen of him, even in a damn winter coat, has never worn anything bulky that could hide a vest.  Until now.  His movement around that stage and stiff-ness of motion…  To some, they might think it was the cold affecting him… or age.

Vlad is a fairly healthy dude… and has NEVER shown any impediment to ambulation.  He also never has shown the cold to affect him over much.

So him possibly being encased in a ballistic vest- is an important detail.  And as much a sign of worries internal on potential civil strife as the purges for Loyalty…

I really think this is all over by Easter.  The only real questions… is will Putin still be in power by then, will he still have an army to speak of for whatever other plan he has in mind?

(for readers of the stories… they are resuming sometime in the next 24 hours.  Maybe sooner.)

Author: John T

Warrior-Sage and full time healer. Gamer and Arm Chair Analyst (who isn't these days?) who isn't afraid to read up on what I don't know.

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