“Second star to the right….

And straight on till morning”

Nichelle Nicols passed away last night at 89 years young.

To this young man, Ms Nicols was a goddess on the screen. Intelligent and well spoken, she was someone to admire for who she was AND what she represented on the small screen. For little girls and women of any color.

Even though it was a small part of an ensemble cast, she was still a major part… and much like a few other folks I know, as a young man I had a bit of a crush on her.

Lots of folks had crushes on the actress who played Janice Rand- And yes, Grace Lee Whitney is/was a fine looking woman. But no where near as exotic to this poor boy in the ‘burbs. And far less interesting a character.

To me, Uhura was cool. And some of the better stories in the novels and in the TV series had her a key part of the story. One of my favorites was “Uhura’s Song” and I really wish I could find my copy (long buried in a box somewhere).

There was some controversy towards the end of her life over her guardians post Stroke/Dementia issues… but now its no longer an issue. She is in a better place now, having joined Leonard, James, DeForest and all the others who have gone before.

Rest In Power, ma’am… You have more than earned a rest and have served as inspiration for so many young women over the years. And likely will even after your death.

December 28, 1932- July 30, 2022

Ukraine shite… now Seventy Seven days in.

Who knew?

Who knew the Russians would be so damn inept… and woefully ill-prepared for a foe that could offer any true resistance?  I didn’t.  None of the experts did either, as like 90% of them had the Russians either taking Kyiv in four to six days or the country in a week to two weeks.

I know I was a lonely voice among my analyst friends in saying the Ukrainians would not roll over and collapse, that they would give a serious fight…. And that the Russians had nowhere near enough assets for their plans/goals.

 But this level of fight?  It damn sure exceeded my expectations.

Yeah, yeah… the Russian army performance has been crap and their plan has obviously been proven to be crap too… but the initial weight of their assault was no joke.  I mean, the initial successes *were* successes- unfortunately for them, they were not able to capitalize on the first few hours of successful gains.

  And as the last six weeks or so have shown, Russian combat doctrine and training- along with equipment and Logistical Ability-  have NOT lived up to any sort of previous expectations.  Between inadequately trained troops (conscripts!?!), poorly maintained gear, a garbage logistics plan and zero cohesion in battle plans…  it boggles the mind how bad they have shown themselves.   Worse performance is yet to come, I think… how much worse, is a damn good question.

What my nerdy, armchair-quarterbacking self is seeing and thinking…

  The Ukrainian Resistance has done far better than expected…… and over the last two weeks, has managed to push Russians along out of places they were abandoning… and give non-retreating Russian Forces something to think about in other places. This includes giving defending Russian troops a drubbing in spots, gaining territory back from them.  This is going to snowball a bit, as the West/NATO continue to up-arm the Ukrainians.  And that up-arming is a interesting thing….

I figure the AFV deliveries should really start to be felt soon- its all tanks they know how to use and stuff that is Upgraded and Maintained…  Might be Soviet Era tanks… but they have modern Western weapon sights, updated reliable engines and electronics.   And they are not conscript troops…

  We have seen how well the Javelins work, along with so much other light and medium Anti-Armor systems.  Some say that the Era of the Tank is over because of how well they are working… I disagree.  And I disagree for a couple reasons.

  1. Armor is not a be-all/end-all martial component.  Tanks can help you in the Assault, using their weight to shove an opponent back.  But they require SUPPORT… because of the prospect of a brave defender with aforementioned Javelin or other Anti-Armor weapon who is not suppressed…
  2. Proper doctrine for their use.  As stated, armor needs to be supported on the offensive.  Motorized Infantry, tactical air elements…  all things that can be utilized to assist armor to survive and deliver its fire against a foe. Without it, you get what you get so far… and this was proven three times in the last five or so years, with both Soviet style and Western Style equipment; in Syria for purely Soviet style and Iraq twice- early on with Soviet Style armor and later with Iraqi western-style armor getting stomped by ISIS.

In my opinion, if you have properly trained crews and a good doctrine for armor use… plus supporting arms, the Tank remains very viable. The US proved this ad-nauseum (granted, twice it was against the Iraqi’s) over the years… and the Ukrainians are trying to do same to the Russians.  And they seem to have had *some* success with the same gear.
 It is a bit harder, truth to tell, with being outnumbered but they are managing.  And its going to improve, I think, as the better equipment comes into play.  The Ukrainians are better trained… and have morale on their side.  Both help immensely.

Speaking of supporting arms…  The Ukrainian Air Force apparently STILL exists and is STILL flying missions.

  Russian propaganda claims the Ukrainians have no craft left…  Considering that Mariupol resistance was being supplied by helicopter until recently… and that two SU-27’s recently hammered the occupied Snake Island (of “Russian Warship- go Fuck Yourself” fame) with a sortie…  Wow.

Now, given what both sides claim to have killed/destroyed is most likely inaccurate by a lot (or massively in the Russian case), one can draw a few conclusions as to the health of both side’s armor and air assets.

  And its not looking good for the Russians. 

Putin’s Army started out with a massive advantage in Air, Armor and Artillery.  Over the last several weeks, those advantages have been reduced greatly or worse for all but their Artillery.  And its not going to get any better.

There is plenty of concern for the possible use of nuclear weapons or Chemical Weapons.  And these are damn valid concerns.  That they have not, is a good sign.  That there has been saber rattling on their being used… Dude.  Not surprised… but using them NOW is a tacit admission to having lost/being in a losing position.

  I still expect gas to be used in the Azovstal Steelworks plant…  as Chemical Weapons can get into places that explosives cannot… It’s part of their old doctrine, as I recall… and Russia has lots of experience in using chemicals.  That it is regarded as a line that should not be crossed… well, I’m not sure Vlad cares at this point.  So much has gone wrong with this entire “Special Military Operation”, between Intelligence Failures, Doctrinal failures and the incredibly poor performance of his vaunted Military… that nothing really is off the table.  But it is a line that crossing would show exactly how desperate He is for something resembling a success.

  That it HASN’T yet, is surprising.  But either there is concern for gassing their own or there is concern over their delivery systems even being of viable function (remember the poor maintenance issue?) which makes employing them problematic.  If you are gonna use that stuff, you want to be sure the delivery systems work….

  Same goes for the Strategic Rocket Forces.  Given the 40% or so failure rate of their CONVENTIONAL missiles, it makes one wonder if the Strategic systems have the same potential problem.  40% failure is abysmal…. And that is on systems that should be far easier to maintain.  So in my opinion, despite the saber rattling, there *could* be hesitancy on using for both reliability issues… and that Red Line.

I think more the former than the latter…  I mean, the sanctions are biting Russia hard and its become apparent how much of their ability to do things or make equipment relies on Western parts. Add in the previously discussed Kleptocracy issues that undercut everything else’s capabilities… so why would *that* one facet of their forces be immune?

Pretty scary, eh?

The other thing going on… is the Home Front morale of the Russians.  With attacks on mobilization sites, mysterious fires and explosions at places FAR from the border show issues in his backfield.
  When you add in the reported VPN downloads allowing civilians to bypass the Internet Blocks the Kremlin had put up, the façade Putin has thrown up to delude his populace…. Has developed more than a few holes in it.

  That May Day parade speech…  some delusional wording that will only be believed by those without a means to access outside information.  And that number, that percentage of his populous… is going down daily.

This war is going to drag on through the Summer unless Ukraine’s counter offensive really does kick them out or something happens to Vlad to cause a pullback.  Because Vlad is not gonna back down- because he can’t.

And that the west is STILL more or less on the same page… makes it that much worse for him.

New stories to post within the next few days. Possibly by Saturday.

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.)

Ukraine- Two weeks in and where I think things are… and may go. By the gods, I hope I’m wrong.

 Day fifteen….


 The resistance by Ukraine to the Russian invasion has been pretty epic… and has decidedly defied the experts on how everything was going to go.  Just wow.

 What helps is the apparent ineptness of the Russian effort, their piss-poor logistics and the outright unexpected poor performance of their ground & air forces across the board.

 As things moved(?) along, there has been much written within the Media and as much or more talked about behind the scenes as to what drove this invasion.  And no one has a sure concrete answer… though there have been some major findings and developments no one expected.

The following is my takes on all of it.  I am by no means an expert on ANY of this.

  What I am, though, is someone who does pay attention, reads up on situations/subjects and tries to have it make sense…  An Informed opinion, as it were.  And some of my observations made early on have been far more accurate than *I* expected in some cases.  I really didn’t expect to be this right on some things.  And even where I was wrong, I was not wrong by much.  Wow moment for me, lemme tell you.



 Early on, discussion with friends who are and were in the Analysis Biz has debated on that question…  One of the theories is a desire for a return to the Cold War….  Because traditionally, the Russian mindset and people unite around the concept of “Everyone Is Against Us” otherwise known as Siege Mentality. Its fact that Putin’s hold on the country has been slipping and a rise of a questioning of his position has reared itself in Russia- and using a real or imagined belief in Us Versus Them can strengthen one’s rule.

 Can.  Not always…. But it can.

  Some may disagree as to how prevalent it is… but with all the poisoning of Opposition Leaders and or Critics of his regime, there is strong support for the notion that he’s not as secure as he may have been.

 So, it was my thought that he was combining both his Known Desire to re-establish the Glory Days of Russia with a return to a Cold War mentality along with using the inherent Nationalism of the Russian to rally around the flag.  It was also thought that this invasion would help splinter the West even more, so skittish as they are about pain/personal suffering and the possible amplification of its internal divisions.

Instead…. What this invasion as done is pretty much the opposite.

 It galvanized the West into working together truly for the first time instead of splintering them.  I mean, The Germans, considered the weak link in NATO due to the Pipelines and their reliance on Russian Gas; declared they would take the pain in order to help stop Russia.  They also have reversed major policies on Defense Spending and shipment of Lethal Aid…  This is pretty damn huge for anyone who paid attention to their self-disarming semi-pacifism of the early part of this century.  The Germans had a proud military tradition once.  And Vlad’s shenanigans have reawakened something in the Krauts.

 Another unexpected event is in that it’s had traditional Neutrals pick a side.  My god… the SWISS have not picked a side in any major European Conflict since the 1500’s…  That’s FIVE HUNDRED YEARS.  The Finns and the Swedes are looking at Nato membership; while a big deal, its not as big as Switzerland no longer remaining its traditional Neutrality and picking a side in all this.

Might be a sign y’all messed up huge if they are against you.

The only countries who seem to be on his side… are places with dictators (Syria) or who pretty much are puppets (Belarus). And even among the Dictator Set, there are not terribly many supporting this invasion.

No one knows what really is driving this. Whatever the true reason, it is costing Russia far more than what he and his advisors likely expected.


Vlad’s military has shown that it apparently ISN’T all that as many thought- and may be less able then believed.  It has me a touch surprised about things I never expected to be surprised at.

  Remember, so many experts thought 200k troops would roll over the Ukrainian army like they weren’t there…. And that three to five days would be enough to take the entire country.  I disagreed vociferously against my analyst friends on this…  I didn’t see it, as this was not the Ukrainian military of 2014 and their will/morale/desire to resist was far higher than experts were thinking.  The Ukies were not going to roll over… and in my opinion, were going to do far better than anyone expected them to.

To say I was a minority opinion on this would be an understatement.

   As events have shown, despite being outgunned, the Ukrainians have not only given the idea of Russian Might a black eye, but you could also say they have utterly wrecked it.  Again, Russian errors have helped in this matter…. But as the saying goes- Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics.  Based on what I am seeing, its is very much Amateur Hour in the Russian High Command.  And this is surprising as hell to me- at least initially.

  Further thought…. Did not lessen the surprise but it did allow me to clarify the WHY it happened.

  Analysis/discussion of their tactics show them using methodology that was Doctrine from the mid 70’s to 80’s for a European War… so you are talking about war plans that were considered adequate or good for enemies and equipment then.  This war has shown their shortcomings…. And really solidified the shortcomings of Soviet Era Equipment.  And I say Soviet Era because for the most part, the armor and gear in use dates to the heyday of the Soviet Army which was (drum roll, please)…  1960-1985.

  This is not to say the equipment isn’t capable; it is but the strategies and battlefield plans/doctrine being used has proven not to be in the CURRENT Era.  Things in a modern western army that are down at the troop level (night vision!!) and squad level (reliable communication) are NOT found in the Russian forces attacking Ukraine.  Hell, as hodgepodge as the Ukrainian resistance is with gear, there is decent reliable comms along with some Night Vision capability among them…  And these items are proving to be giant advantages against the Russians.

The strategy and doctrine might have worked in the 1980’s (and I emphasize MIGHT…) but given all that has been learned about the old Soviet Doctrines, the equipment being used and adjustments to Western Fighting styles, Putin’s Generals thinking they were going to use Tried and True to stomp on Ukraine was fantasy.
  Some of these strategies were used in Hungary and Czechoslovakia back in the day.  But you also had a bit more pliable populous in those countries…  especially compared to Modern Ukraine.

  Change is Scary.  And to the Russian High Command, it would seem any deviation from Doctrine or attempt to Make New Doctrine was ignored or stomped out.  The current Defense Minister- Sergi Shoigu- is/was supposed to be a lead figure in the modernizing of the Russian Army and its Doctrinal Thinking…  but right now, either all the money that was spent to do so went into the hands of those other than enacting modernization or it was all a sham.
  What is being shown in terms of plans/procedures…  is what may have been current 40 years ago.  Hardly modern, if you ask me.  If I recall correctly, the US Military has undergone at least two doctrinal changes as to how it fights wars… and is in the middle of a third (more like a reversion to a modified earlier version but still, change)

  Some of what I have read via media (non US media- American sources are far too biased in odd directions) is that Putin was told by his Generals that the Army was Ready and Able to meet the expected timetables (taking of Kyiv within three to five days) and from what was predicted by them, the expected capitulation of Ukraine not long after.

Events have proven that they sold him a bill of goods.  Sergi’s still alive so far… so Vlad, a purported Stalinist, has not gone Uncle Joe on him.  Yet.  Time will tell.

Another aspect of the Military Analysis is the sheer unreliability of the forces being used.

Granted, its 3rd hand reporting in some cases, but according to the Human Intelligence (HUMINT) experts, morale among the Russian forces is pretty low.  Reports of many not even knowing they were going to war are rampant and there are many stories of troops being told they were on a three day maneuver on the border as a show of force.
  Some of the higher officers knew, of course- though (according to reports) the orders to cross the border were given mere hours before.

 As such, reports of desertions are plentiful.  And the Ukrainians have been able to make some hay out of those units that Surrendered to *them*.  Denials by Moscow, of course…   but the evidence is absolutely there.  It also explains WHY, to some degree, they didn’t have the supplies for more than three days of operations.  No one trusted those below a certain level with plans for the op, which is indicative of how much Russia trusts its smaller commands.

Which, to me, says not at all.


  This is not my strongest area and I had to do more than a bit of reading to understand a few items.  But the potential effects on Russia of all the sanctions was understandable.  To say that Vlad’s country is in danger of insolvency is an accurate statement and potentially an understatement.

  Russia has been cut off from Export Revenue of its products, is having Sovereign Assets frozen in international banks and the Energy Sector is now getting moved on.  They have lost the ability to perform international money transactions and secure funding due to being booted from SWIFT… and their elites are rapidly finding all their assets being seized all over the world. Based on my reading of various economist articles and the informed opinion of one of my analyst friends, Russia’s economy is d-o-n-e done by next week.
  Default on loans, inability to pay for goods/services and a lack of ability to GENERATE revenue via international means… will destroy their economy and potentially collapse their government.  There is many schools of thought on who really holds power in Russia- Putin/the Party or the Oligarchs, those very rich men/families who provide a large amount of support to the Government via patronage.  Money Talks- especially over there.

  With the Oligarchs being threatened with loss of assets, it threatens their positions and their power.  None of them are going to like it much and I believe that they fully are aware of the threat to their lifestyle, assets and power stems from the actions of one man.  And if he doesn’t come up with a means to arrest the freefall of their situations (along with the country’s- some of them are loyal Sons of Russia), they may act.
  Vlad knows this… and may preemptively act to remove a potential threat to HIS position.  The Oligarchs know this could be a thing.  And in my mind, this could cause a Civil War there of the likes not seen since 1918.

Every Day that Ukraine holds out and fails to give up, its another day of damage to Russia and added impetus to remove the Architect of this War who is also the reason the West has completely turned on Russia- which in turn increases the possibility of Insurrection in Russia.


 There is no Political “Out” for Putin from this invasion.  The West has solidified its nerve and its stance, reinforcing it all the time with additional measures designed to make Russia (and its power base) cry “uncle”.  And that day is closer than one might think- though how close no one really knows.

  Militarily, there are two options that are available to Vlad.  The first… is adding more troops to the effort.  A large amount more.  Yes, the efforts in the South of the Country have been more successful in their objectives than the North and East.  Still not incredibly successful as it took too long to capture certain places, Like Kherson, but moreso than in the North/North East.

  And in that vein, that some locations STILL have not fallen in the South is incredible.  As of this writing, Mariupol is still not taken.  Surrounded, battered extensively but not taken.

  How much longer they can hold out… is a big question.

North and East, Some important cities have been surrounded but again, not taken. And every day they don’t fall… it’s a morale boost for Ukrainian resistance. 

More troops would help Russian Efforts…. But as far as I can determine (public source- not the most reliable but major movements show up there), no more Russian troops have been earmarked for the invasion.  Which is mixed news- the Russians seemingly cannot support properly what’s in play NOW, so more would make it that much harder to do.  The thought of Belarus committing troops looked probable a few days ago and their being committed would increase pressure on Ukraine.

  But it would seem that the desertion and morale issues that has affected the Russian Effort has also hit Belarus’s military- and a lot harder.  There are reports of mass desertions (ten to fifteen percent or more) in the units earmarked for use, as well as a general resistance to being committed against a country that was a friend until a few months ago.  So the More Troops angle has some major hurdles to enact.

  The second option is the big unthinkable one- and it’s a Military as well as a Political Decision to boot.

Deciding to Use a Weapons of Mass Destruction on a Civilian Target to try and force the West to back off their measures… and make Ukraine surrender is absolutely not a good idea.  Doing so is an act of Desperation.  It is an Unthinkable Act.

  There are many who think he’d never do it, never use Gas or a Nuke.  But then, there were many who thought he’d never invade Ukraine at all, many who thought he’d never go for more than the eastern third of the country (I was one of these) so the thought of the use of WMD is on the table where he’d concerned.

  I brought up the prospect he might a few days ago in a roundtable discussion….  Was told I was nuts.  Then about a day ago, Putin raised the spectre of their being used….

To my mind, they are only gonna get used if he can’t break the Ukrainians through standard means.

Right here, right now, the Ukrainian Resistance is showing the world that they will not fold, they will not break…. And the recent striking of a Children and Maternity Hospital via artillery along with the breaking of Humanitarian Cease Fires…  is only strengthening resolve to not give in.

  Using a WMD on them, in my opinion, will not achieve the cracking of their resolve that Vlad needs… if anything, it will likely strengthen it.  Putin already said a great many things pertaining to his belief Ukrainians are not who they are and are really Russian. That’s not the way to win friends and influence the populous to come to your side…

  It also may absolutely be the Red Line that brings the West into this war on a physical troop level.  NATO and the West have held their hands so far for political reasons…  But gassing Civilians would be a step too far and be the Political Cover needed to Do Something more than what they have.

Oh sure, Russia will claim it was the Ukrainians.  But there will be far too much evidence otherwise that would debunk Putin’s assertions- as hiding such an act is a lot harder here than in Syria.  Add in Ukraine doesn’t have any makes such a claim even more absurd.

No…  I well and truly think the longer Ukraine holds out, the higher likelihood of a Desperate Act…. And an act that would get NATO to intervene, causing the war to widen.

By all the Gods in existence, I well and truly hope it doesn’t happen… that the sanctions cause an upheaval there and ends this.  But it needs to happen soon as the prospect of World War Three is very much a possibility…

No one knows what is driving Putin to do this.  Lots of theories…  from Mania to Glory Days to some sort of Mad Prophecy to him having some sort of malady that is killing him and he wants to take everyone with him (sounds crazy but its possible!)….  But whatever the reason, something has to give before this gets worse in a way everyone loses.

Observations and thoughts- Ukraine shenanigans going on now…

Real World shit…

By now, everyone knows the Russians have started their movement into South Eastern Ukraine with their nonsense claims on those regions and Ukraine in general.  Right now, it’s the two south eastern provinces… and there is a ton of questions galore about what comes next.

From the perspective of holding what you take, the 190k+ troops he allegedly has available will have its work cut out for them if he tries to go for the whole of the country.  Its really not enough to do so and keep it- technology and weapons are far different now than when the area was claimed/held all those years ago.

In theory, some folks think he has enough to GET to the Polish Border.  I disagree for several reasons- notable among them being a march to the Ukie/Polish Border requires the Ukie Military to collapse fully and the population not being willing to fight.

Just no way- and I will explain

While I do not think the Ukranians can stop an invasion, I also do not believe they will collapse.  This is home ground, this their lands… and there is NO LOVE for the Russians.  Among my friends I talk about this with, at least two think the Ukie Troops will collapse like a house of cards under the onslaught. I agree that they are outclassed on the Firepower and Aviation fronts…  But there is a level of “Oh you Think So” that will be prevalent among them.  No one gives them a chance in hell among the talking heads…  and as a former grunt, I can tell you the one thing that will fire them up… being told no one thinks they can do shit.

They are gonna know they can’t stop them…. But then, they also know if they make them bleed bad enough, it may give subsequent resistance a chance to stop them… or even push ‘em back a bit.

  Remember, taking ground is one thing… but to claim it, you gotta hold it.

On the second point, the population being willing/not willing to fight…

Any push past the River Dnieper runs the risk of being an overextension… 190k is a large number of forces… but at this point, they would be going into far more hostile territory past that point.  You gotta remember, the Soviet Union did a whole resettlement thing with pushing Russians *into* their border countries while pushing *OUT* natives.  It happened to a degree in the Baltic States and it happened in Ukraine too- though mostly on the eastern side of the country and not as a whole…  And that area it was done in, is on the Eastern Side of the Dnieper River.

  Think on that a minute…

It is this built in Russian population, (which was planted years ago…)  that is helping to serve as a basis for Vlad claims of protecting the Russian Speaking folks there… and his manufactured (somewhat) stories of oppression of Russian Speaking Peoples for a partial justification.

 Dude… this was all set up YEARS ago, though I don’t think Russia ever expected to not be controlling that area when it was done.  And the Russians are not the only ones guilty of it.  The Germans did it too under Adolf… and well, I won’t discuss the shenanigans the US did with our native peoples. 

But yeah…  Eastern Third of Ukraine has partial support in place among the residents.  It’s a big part of how he managed Crimea and almost managed Donbass; the Ukrainians managed to stop him on that last part… but it was a bit closer than one might think.  To think they might have the same support past that river is crazy talk.

There are numerous geopolitical maps out there that key in on the predominate language of an area… and in the Eastern Third, Russian is a pretty common thing for speaking.  And many who do also claim kinship with Russia versus Ukraine.

Once you get past the Dnieper, this paradigm changes the other way…  And folks are more pro-government (within reason).  Add in a large number of veterans in their populous and trained persons were WERE military at one point, the prospect of Native Resistance goes up.  And Effective Native Resistance at that.

  One of the more neutral news sites I read had an article where several veterans of their military were interviewed, with an emphasis on their thoughts with the Russia situation.  Almost universally, the vets indicated they’d go back in to the Army to fight if able or pick up weapons at home and resist if not.  As one put it…  “Why wouldn’t I shoot Russians?  This is my home, not theirs… and how often can one mix business with pleasure?”  (no lie- the sentiment was stated (my words are wrong but they do relay the content of what was said))

And I am pretty sure they weren’t the only ones.

So any push past that river…. Will have more to worry about than just Government Forces.  And 190k troops…. Is not enough to make a push and secure what was taken.  Its just not…  especially in areas where the population just isn’t that into you (At a minimum.)…

ALL that said, its my thoughts that Vlad will likely go after the eastern Third as early as the Weekend, depending on how this “peacekeeper” force he’s sending into the Provinces goes…  Past the Eastern Third, he is going to need far more troops than he has, for the reasons stated.

What About Nato, you ask?  Can’t/Won’t they get involved?

Well, that’s complicated, as you might expect.  And not just on a political level.

Anything NATO has within the area (with the exception of the Poles!!) is simply not capable of slowing down an invasion.  The Polish Army is very capable, and they have a large reserve.  But mobilization takes time…. And if the end goal is Poland too, they are going to be hard pressed.  They have the manpower- it’s the airpower they need help with and Air can/will complicate response.  In theory…

Force-wise, NATO can’t stop him from doing much were he to go for all Ukraine because World War politics….and if he tried to go for Poland, we can hurt him.  Bad….  But NATO isn’t going to be able to contribute much in Ground Troops cause of the across the board Drawdowns of land forces.

But what about Reforger?

Sure… what about it?  We can send all the manpower we want… but we do NOT have POMCUS available in Germany anymore.  Haven’t for a few years, actually.

  What CAN be done is making it expensive, manpower and equipment wise…. Through the use of Tactical Air and SpecWar in their hit/run/sabotage roles as well as guerilla/partisan activity

 Though from an Air Perspective, there may not be enough available to even do more than contest air.  The assets simply are not there outside of what the Poles have as well as rushed over US assets.  We cannot get enough in the area fast enough to do MORE than that- though the longer it takes for Vlad to move, the more we *can* get there.

  Nato for the most part let their Airpower degrade (dude, the Germans use to have a PROUD military…) as much or more than their ground forces…  Exceptions being the French (a so-so capability or so its said) and the Polish (they remember live under the Red Banner and don’t like it much…).  The Baltic Three also have robust (for their size) militaries but they aren’t scary- though any occupier is going to have a metric shitton of problems.

  Remember, all the warfighting plans for NATO/WP were based on everyone having assets to contribute.  Right now….  The most we can hope for is contested airspace.  At least initially.

Our pilots overall are better- we get more flight hours than Russian counterparts do and that will be the bigger edge.  IF it came to that and that is a BIG if as it means it is now no longer a Small War thing but  now a World War Issue.

Reforger isn’t possible right now.  Assets for it would have been needed to be moving two months ago… if the shipping hulls were available.  And if the hulls were available, one had better hope Big Army and Big Navy is willing to pitch some of the rules preventing fast loading of ships.

And that is a topic for another day…  cause as I read up on all this, y’all cannot believe how mad I got.

Its for sure that more is going to happen over there.  What past what’s going on as of this morning is the big question.  I just know it looks like (based on Moscow Rhetoric/theater) that the Eastern Third is getting taken…. And the prospect exists for more.

Time will tell… and for those who remember the Doomsday Clock, I am pretty sure that sucker just moved…. And in the wrong direction.