What my Russian Wife Says about Russia’s Plans

September 2011, first meeting with Natasha, Novosibirsk, Russia

My wife voted for the communists in 2012, not for Putin, and after ten years here, says if she went back, she would vote for them again. If you use the word Perestroika around her, duck, because you are going to be attacked. I thought this was all very cute until my friends in Ukraine were run out of their apartments and cities by Russian missiles, and Natasha keeps insisting on calling it a special operation, and until the 12th week of the war would not lay any blame at all on Russia, saying Ukrainians were criminals. She has never liked them.

Finally, she admits it is not credible to think Ukraine destroyed 30% of itself, and some of those missiles are Russian, and it’s not right. But that’s as far as she’ll go. In ten years of living here, she still prefers Russian news and believes Western news is just propaganda. Well. I cannot exactly point to all the stupid articles that say Russia is losing (plainly they have tripled the territory they control since February 24th) or Tucker Carlson and dispute her.

The cab driver who took my wife to the airport, to come to America, in October of 2012, asked her, “How can you leave this beauty?” Russia is beautiful. The view from my wife’s flat, which she still owns, her sister lives there, is of gorgeous trees on both sides. You can reach out and touch the leaves. The sounds of kids playing in a garden across the parking lot drift up into the open window. Have you noticed the sound of kids playing is identical in every language? It is universal. In a few steps one is in a local shopping area, with access to a Metro Station, their name for “subway”. For about ten cents you can ride to any other point in the city. Just a two block walk away is a modern American-style shopping mall with a gun store and a food court and a supermarket in the basement. The roads are wide and the cars big like in America. I was comfortable renting a car and driving there. It is not crazy like Europe. Ukraine is like Europe. I wouldn’t drive there.

I once remarked to someone there were no homeless in Russia, that the government provides housing. My. Wife. EXPLODED at me. Nooooo. You didn’t get a place to live unless you WORKED. Housing, food, daycare, everything was associated with a job. The Soviet Union was no welfare state. Sounds like a Republican paradise, in fact.

I imagined a political refugee seeking freedom, a better life. Well. Truth is Natasha and I couldn’t communicate very well for the first half dozen years. Very nice. No arguments. But eventually we began to talk. Natasha left because it was too cold. Her body didn’t function in the middle of Siberia, and she could not have children there. Immediately we had a child in warm Houston. Now she has heat exhaustion. I guess there is always something.

My wife, you will have guessed by now, despite her short stature and sweet voice, is no pushover. She was an accountant. A chief accountant, she’ll have you know. And has stood up to Russian businessmen and let them know if they bothered her, she’d expose all their crookedness and they were wise enough to back off. You can mess with me, but I’d suggest you not mess with my wife.

Natasha keeps in touch with people in Russia every day. She says they are being told the war will last three years.

Ukraine is still a “special operation”. “War” is the word used in connection with NATO. The vile enemy supplying weapons and fighting a proxy war using Ukraine. We call it the Ukraine War, which is apt. Why? Because it is confined to Ukraine. What Russian city has been attacked and demolished? None. Maybe a couple of oil depots and one weapon factory, but otherwise no damage, and zero Russian civilians have been killed. Only one out of every 20 funerals in Russia are for a dead soldier. Their loss rate compared to their population is nil. They can keep going forever, gaining territory inch by inch. They don’t have negative news about the special operation because the public won’t tolerate it. Putin is just complying with his public’s wishes. His popularity jumped to nearly 90% and stays there.

What could Russia conceivably do with 3 years of fighting, I asked myself? That’s way more than enough to take Ukraine, even at their slow pace. Suppose they spend the rest of 2022 consolidating Donbas and perhaps taking Odessa to lock up the coast and create a world food crisis. Then what? Well, the 65-mile Sulwaki Gap connecting Belarus to a split off piece of Russia called Kaliningrad is only monitored, not actually defended. NATO probably would not do much if Russia seized it. What could they say? “No, you can’t connect to your own territory”?

Sulwaki Gap highlighted in yellow, lower right. There is a fenced rail line there now.

I can see them grinding away as they did in Ukraine, suffering NATO counter attacks, but nevertheless gaining ground inch by inch which they never give up. NATO will only be reactive. Punitive. Once the ground is Russian, NATO will be “afraid” to actually push Russia back off “its” territory for fear of escalation, nuclear war, whatever.

Russia will insist on a buffer zone to keep NATO nukes away from its territory. And a connection between Russia and Kaliningrad which doesn’t rely on Belarus, the upper lime green region. Lithuania and Latvia will just be glad their whole countries were not taken over (but eventually they will be). Then Russia will go for the port of Gdansk in Poland.

3rd year campaign – encircling Ukraine

By 2024 they will begin encircling western Ukraine, which they probably won’t have tried to directly occupy, letting the West think they have given up. From Odessa they’ll push through Moldova, using their allies in Transnistria as an excuse, and south from Kaliningrad along the Polish border toward Lviv in western Ukraine. Who is going to stop them? If we haven’t by then, we won’t.

Natasha says nothing will change if Putin is replaced. Russia might become even more aggressive. She’s thinking about Medvedev, who is the most hawkish at the moment, making threats of nuclear war as fast as spokesman Peskov can retract them. Shoigu, she says, is soft, and might be the better outcome from our point of view. Here is my take on all of them:

Medvedev will give orders to kill everyone, but no one may follow them.  He’ll probably miss if he does it himself.  Too hotheaded to take steady airm.
She thinks Shoigu, defense minister, is softer.  He might just continue in Ukraine, or try to find a way to phase down.  Sogiu is not ethnic Russian.  He may continue in his post, or be replaced by Gerasimov.
The intelligence chief, Naryshkin, is as crazy as Putin and in my opinion, completely unstable, typical torture chief.  He was the one Putin publicly humiliated two days before the war.  There is no need to kill Naryshkin if he doesn’t obtain power.  He will die of the excitement.  Naryshkin would have worked for Lehman Brothers had he lived in the US.
Vicktor Zolotov, head of the Russian National Guard (former Putin bodyguard) is the man I most fear.  He might not be smart enough to grab power, but he is a complete raving maniac and could be incredibly dangerous if he did.  Hopefully whoever grabs power will immediately kill him.  Otherwise he will immediately kill all threats to his power, starting with Naryshkin, Mededev and Shoigu in that order.  Sorry for the small view of Zolotov’s head, but he is mostly body.  His head is just that small in comparison.
Lavrov is an errand boy.  He will be killed because he will have become useless, not because he is disloyal.  It will be an accident, of course, not an obvious murder.  Like the former security head who last year “jumped off a cliff in the arctic to save a cameraman”.  Lavrov is not even smart enough to have figured this out yet.  The things he is required to say have required brain botox shots to kill off higher intelligence.  That is the reason his face is frozen in such a scowl.
Well, actually, Dimitry Kovalev, the young man seen with Putin on May 9th and touted as his successor, will be the first killed, for obvious reasons.  Not that he is any threat.  Looks still wet behind the ears.  That’s why Putin likes him.  Sycophant, inexperienced, no threat.  Kovalev would have been G.H.W. Bush’s vice president had he lived in the US.
Putin will NOT be killed or even deposed in the conventional manner.  He is much too popular.  He will simply become too ill to continue.  See speculation Ex MI6 chief says Putin will be sent to a sanatorium (msn.com)  In this photo Putin looks like one of my uncles, who was a real hard ass and spent his last years bedridden in a nursing home.

Natasha says Navalny is a joke, that no one would vote for him. The opposition is the communist party. Most of the parties are artificial creations that Putin arranged to give an appearance of democracy.

Russians are not suicidal Islamic radicals. They are not expecting 70 virgins in heaven. Remember the cab driver? They are in love with life and beauty. My wife intends to live another 50 years. When I mentioned nuclear war, she immediately started stockpiling supplies and looking for local fallout shelters (there aren’t any anymore, the US is unprepared for nuclear war compared to the 60’s).

Russians are Orthodox Christians. They have never had a Protestant Reformation. They have never developed an idea of thinking and interpreting things for themselves. Natasha made a comment that all American churches were greedy for money. I had to think about what she meant. Heck, I had to do some research. The Roman Catholic church got some crazy ideas. One of them was selling “indulgences”. For money, your sins are forgiven, or you get out of purgatory. The Eastern half of the church, Orthodoxy, would have nothing to do with it. The church was split. Years later Martin Luther and others started thinking this didn’t make any sense, and developed the idea of thinking for themselves. Well, in Orthodoxy that’s not allowed. But there isn’t much motivation for it. The Catholics had provided the motivation. In some letters exchanged between the Lutherans and the Orthodox Patriarch, it was apparent that even though both had a beef with the Roman Catholics, they could not even comprehend each other’s way of thinking. Tradition and authority were the rule in Orthodoxy. Freedom to do whatever you wanted as long as you weren’t hurting another group was the rule in Protestantism.

The US was founded by two groups: The commercial enterprises like the Virginia company. And the religious groups that didn’t fit in Europe, the Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers, etc. We get the idea of working and making money from the first, and the idea of freedom from the latter. When Russia clamped down on their press at the start of the war, I tried to explain the Bill of Rights to Natasha. She had no clue, and was not able to understand it. Regulation of the press in Russia was just a matter of laws passed by majority vote in the Duma. I actually asked Natasha not to apply for US citizenship just yet. I think she needs to study some US history. She has no clue what it means. Fortunately, communists aren’t running for office here, but plenty of socialists are, and I’m afraid she might get the two confused as I did.

If you don’t like what Natasha said, then do something about it. Biden is not going to act unless pushed. Trump is still welcome in Russia; they think he is an ally. Liz Cheney is really tough on Russia but the Trumpites aren’t going to vote for her. So what are you going to do?

Well, agitation and protest does not work unless it is continuous. I suggest writing the President and your Senators and your Representative about twice a week, until they finally step up. I think air force intervention is necessary to actually push Russia out of Ukraine. Short of that, we should think about what would make it costly to them? Sanctions they’ve got handled. Sanctions are there whether they fight or not. They aren’t going to meet all the demands to remove sanctions, so they aren’t really an incentive. Sanctions are useful for slowing them down, just not a motivation for them to stop. Control of a quarter of the world’s grain and cooking oil exports, combined with the metals in Ukraine, are worth an enormous amount, and they will be able to sell these things sanctions or no.

Here is one suggestion that adds cost to Russia for everything they blow up. Send this message to your leaders: Support Zelensky formal Russian compensation multilateral agreement to deter further destruction!  Use US assets to forcibly unblock port of Odessa!  Expel Russia from pre-2014 borders! No negotiation with terrorist state Russia!

As far as supporting Ukraine, what do you think it takes to stop a military with a budget of $66 billion a year? That is Russia’s defense budget. Of the recent $40 billion package, only $15 billion was weapons. That’s not even a good start. Send this message: You will have to out-spend Russia to stop them – the Reagan method.  They spend $66 billion a year.  Actual military aid from US to Ukraine is only $19 billion counting the new so-called $40 billion package.  This is a joke.  Russia now has carte blanch to fight a forever war and no incentive to stop.  Step up and use serious US assets to stop slaughter, prevent world food crisis and prevent food refugees flooding US.

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United States Senate
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For correspondence to a Senate committee or to a Senate committee chair:

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I do not think you’ll get far trying to convince them. You can (a) deluge them with evidence, which eventually convinced Natasha, or (b) just scare them. Russians don’t want to lose a war, or to even have a nuclear war.

The items below are formatted to bring up translations of news pages into Russian.

‘We need a way out’: Former Russian colonel criticizes war efforts in Ukraine, for Russian speakers: 

https://www.cnn.com/videos/media/2022/05/17/russia-former-colonel-criticizes-ukraine-war-efforts-orig-aw.cnn

«Нам нужен выход»: бывший российский полковник критикует военные усилия в Украине для русскоязычных:

BASELINE NEWS LINKS FOR RUSSIANS – Start with Bucha, this is the information they don’t have.

Bucha Massacre
Бучанская резня

Shooting two men in the back near Kyiv
Под Киевом стреляли в спину двум мужчинам
https://www-cnn-com.translate.goog/videos/world/2022/05/11/surveillance-video-russian-forces-sidner-pkg-lead-vpx.cnn?_x_tr_sl=en&_x_tr_tl=ru&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Russia Attacks World Food Supply
Россия атакует мировые запасы продовольствия

Russia attacks civilians and residential buildings in Odessa
Россия атакует мирных жителей и жилые дома в Одессе

Russian casualties are higher than reported
Потери россиян выше, чем сообщалось

Russians destroy Mariupol completely and kill 21,000 civilians
Русские полностью разрушают Мариуполь и убивают 21 тысячу мирных жителей

Because Russia attacks civilians, UW vows to weaken Russia so cannot attack another country
Поскольку Россия нападает на мирных жителей, UW клянется ослабить Россию, чтобы не нападать на другую страну

Lying Supreme Court Justices Trigger 2nd American Revolution

From upper left chief justice Roberts. justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett
(not shown Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan)

No I’m not talking about raising a uniformed army and rebelling against the British, nor secession nor a civil war. I’m talking about special operations, like anticipated by raising an 8 foot wall around the supreme court building, and warning of violence at abortion clinics. See https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/20/politics/clarence-thomas-john-roberts-supreme-court-roe-wade/index.html

These measures and warnings remind me of the walls around American compounds in Baghdad and Kabul. They are symptoms of insurgency, not civil war.

US Embassy wall in Baghdad
US Embassy wall in Kabul – no one there now
Makeshift wall around US Supreme Court
Protestors at the wall
Guarding the wall (he’s not actually walking on it)
A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, Monday night, May 2, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a report published Monday night in Politico. It’s unclear if the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter. The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft Politico posted, which if verified marks a shocking revelation of the high court’s secretive deliberation process, particularly before a case is formally decided. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Let’s get straight what’s important – which is illustrated in the last photo “We won’t go back.” I am not here to get an abortion. I’m male and too old for that. Bigger fish are swimming. The issues in order of importance are:

  1. “We hold these truths to be self-evident . . . Governments are instituted . . . from the consent of the governed . . . whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. . . . laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . . . when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1776, Declaration of Independence of the future United States of America.
  2. Supreme Court justices are the highest guard of integrity in our country. Misleading, lying or otherwise manipulating their appointment and confirmation process is a gross violation of integrity and there is no course of action imaginable except their immediate removal. If the votes for impeachment are at hand, then all impeding members of Congress should be expeditiously removed by recall or at the earliest possible election.
  3. Prior to Roe v. Wade, backstreet abortions were a travesty and a plague upon the United States. Almost none of the right-wing Christians now lobbying to end abortion even remember. But I do. The freedom of America is the principle of not telling other people what to do if they are not harming you. You are not called upon to judge others. The Christian bible says: Matthew 7:1 KJVJudge not lest thou be judged!” I judge you now and find you guilty of torture, slavery, misogyny, and crimes against women. The governor of Nebraska said he was going to outlaw abortion even in cases of rape, even from DAY ZERO. This is the grossest crime imaginable. Personality is largely determined by genetics (look it up, there is solid research based on identical twins). Survival of rape fetuses will assure an increase in the population of misogynistic males. God does not step in and overrule natural selection. In fact, God says in Matthew 18:18NIV: “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” So, you are going to allow rape in heaven? Not if I have anything to say about it.
  4. In the short-term population might be 4th priority in this discussion, but in the long term it is the only thing that matters. The population of Earth has increased 4 times since I was born. Frankly, it should have been held to less than half what it was then. I will elaborate below, but first, the Declaration of Independence, or the argument of precedence.

To call Roe v. Wade precedence is misleading. It’s not some legal technicality. Over 50 years it has become to be self-evident, in the language of Jefferson. That is beyond precedence and cannot be overturned by a court. Or by – anything. The people have the right and duty to claim their self-evident rights. This is why Russia is so messed up. The population there has no history of standing up for itself, only of being ruled by despots. The American colonists had a unique history of being in countries where first nobles stood up for themselves (the Knights of the “Round” Table, the Magna Carta), and then ordinary religious folk learned to think for themselves in the Protestant Reformation. Some of those religious groups, unwelcome in Europe, came here – Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers. It was the Quakers who first petitioned Congress to disallow slavery.

Now a message to non-religious Republicans who take stands against things like illegal immigration, or excessive and frivolous amnesty of masses of people fleeing ordinary criminality, not political persecution. Why do you want to keep out children and adults that are already living, and allow unwanted unborn fetuses of at best dysfunctional relationships and at worst rape, to enter through wombs, which is a kind of border? That’s, well, stupid. I don’t have another name for it. And if you allow them to enter, why do you not support and welcome them lavishly? Why do you vote to cut their benefits, or deny them, while you insist they arrive? Anti-abortion is not a natural Republican issue. Get it out of your platform.

And finally, population. The same people who lobby against abortion generally lobby against sex education and birth control. Don’t believe that? Trump endorsed Michigan state representative candidate Jacey Eubanks said she would vote to make birth control illegal. “Sex ought to be between one man and one woman in the confines of marriage . . . and open to life. Absolutely.

And not only in the U.S., but abroad in every country. U.S. restrictions on abortion in foreign aid result in less birth control and actually more abortions! Here is a map of where population is growing:

Orange countries will double in population by 2050, including Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan.
Blue countries are rapidly declining. Ukraine, Russia, Japan, Portugal are fading from existence.

Just for example, Nigeria has a population of 200 million, 2/3rds of the US, in an area barely larger than Texas. And a quarter of that area is Sarah Desert. Its growth rate is not projected to level off until well after 2100, likely at a population of 2 billion.

In a democratic world order, assuming it comes out that way, these people will rule us. Before you answer, keep in mind Nigeria is mosty Islamic, as are the other orange countries, and most of the tan ones in the Middle East and Africa. I think we can be sure the planet will be placed under Sharia Law. You have Christian motives for not reducing birth rate? So you have Christian motives for assuring Sharia Law in the future. As I said earlier, not as long as I have anything to say about it.

To all those who think it’s so cool that a trick was played and cheaters placed on the Supreme Court so your side could win, think about the consequences of your actions. It doesn’t mean your side wins the long game. It means the Islamists do.

Notice to all. This is my blog. I can say anything I want. I don’t hate anybody. I just look at what they typically do. If you think they would do differently, don’t tell me, show me.

What is the problem with population? I have a friend who thinks 50 billion people would be nice. More brains to drive innovation.

  • Quantum Mechanics (which enables modern electronics), electric power, trains, air travel, Relativity (Einsteins theory of gravity, black holes and all), radio, TV, refrigeration, antibiotics, the theory of computing, and most other modern concept and inventions were accomplished with a world population of about a billion. From my perspective, born in 1950, innovation and meaningful change has slowed dramatically since the early 1960s. A lot of things have backed up since the early 70s. Middle class living standard in the US stagnated and declined.
  • Beach area near Houston has declined by half due to over use, while the population has increased 4 times since I moved here. That’s 8 times density increase. All the sand is so hard packed my kid cannot dig a sand castle in most places. The windsurfing area has been shored up with rocks to prevent more erosion, and I can no longer access the water there. It was one of the best windsurfing locations in the country. Ruined by population.
  • Energy? We will use up all our uranium in 80 years at current rates. Forget nuclear power. Trust me, fusion is still a century or more away. Every tiny improvement is big headlines, but reports are not even counting the energy to run the facility and most produce only a tenth of breakeven power, and only operate for a tiny fraction of a second. Windmills wear out in 20 years and there are already massive graveyards in Montana. Wind is not sustainable. We might have enough materials for solar power, but it is a vast change to the landscape and habitat, and likely would affect climate. More importantly, solar needs massive batteries to operate at night or on cloudy days, and batteries use lithium, nickel and cobalt, which are in short supply even before we start to scale up globally. Keep in mind much of the world still uses less energy per capita than the US and Europe, but wants to catch up. Including those future 2 billion citizens of Nigeria. We have no moral right to tell them no. But we have a moral responsibility to educate them about the consequences of population growth.
  • Conflict? Solid research results show cooperation evolves in small groups, and diminishes in large populations. If you want to know more, write me and I’ll try and dig up some references. One requirement of cooperation is that the parties must not feel they are losing ground in the long run. If one population increases faster than another, or migrates more aggressively, then the other population is losing and will resent it. Whether the growth is a military invasion like Russia taking Ukraine and wiping out its culture, or a legal infusion of a higher growth culture, or political dominance by a large population even if it remains separate, or simple competition for resources, rebalancing power will destroy cooperation, leading first to polarization and then conflict.

So that’s what we have. First polarization. Then one side getting an upper hand, rigging the Supreme Court. Then conflict. Then the self-evident right to abolish an abusive institution and replace it. The 2nd American Revolution.

* * * * * RUSSIA ATTACKS WORLD FOOD SUPPLY * * * * *

I just realized stealing tractors wasn’t an isolated humorous incident.  It is part of a consistent and deliberate pattern. 

Farm machinery stolen by Russian army.

This will create starvation and instability in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and other places.  Refugee waves and even violence will spill into Western countries.  This affects You even if you weren’t otherwise interested in Ukraine.

Starving people will stream into any country that has food.

The resulting world instability will wipe out markets and your retirement accounts, both directly through volatility, and indirectly through massive inflation.

The end of your retirement from market instability and inflation.

Russians stealing grain & equipment, attacking grain storage facilities

https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/05/europe/russia-ukraine-grain-theft-cmd-intl/index.html

  • accelerated in recent weeks
  • Russians only allowed farmers to sow in Kherson if they agreed to surrender 70% of the harvest for nothing
  • 6 million tons of wheat and 15 million tons of corn were ready for export from Ukraine
    • much of it held in the south of the country
    • most of it blockaded since it was destined to flow through Odessa or Mariupol
  • repeat of history – Soviets took grain in 1933-4
    • Led to a near-tie for largest ever genocide in history
    • This was explained to me on my very first trip to Ukraine
    • It is the reason Ukrainians will fight to the death rather than submit to Russia
  • Ukraine produces 12% of world export grain, and Russia 12%
    • Together they control ¼ of grain export market
    • This is a blatant attempt to control markets and enable extortion
    • I mentioned this possibility in my earliest newsletters
The grain in this facility burned for TWO WEEKS – It was clearly a pinpoint deliberate attack.

This is an attack on all the people of Earth, not just Ukraine

Countries that are the most vulnerable (hint: there is one near you)

  • Venezuela – 80% of population insufficient income to buy food
  • Northern Ethiopia – 16.8 million food insecure people
  • South Sudan – 60% of population living in crisis level food insecurity IPC3+
  • Syria – 12.4 million food insecure
  • Afghanistan – 55% of population in crisis food insecurity IPC3+4
  • 1.7 BILLION could be pushed into poverty and hunger
    • 1/5th of humanity
    • Are you a Republican?  Do you care about immigration?  This will destroy your hopes.
    • Are you a Democrat?  Do you care about refugees?  Try handling 1.7 billion.

Tremendous damage can be done in a few days or weeks

Urge your officials to take unilateral action to expel Russia from Ukraine immediately

  • Use cruise missiles and F-35s to gain air supremacy
  • Relieve humanitarian crises first, while notifying Russian troops they must withdraw
  • Provide Ukrainian army air cover as they push Russian troops back
  • When Russians retaliate or escalate (they will), destroy the port of Novorossiysk completely
  • When Russia retaliates again, destroy all retreat paths and annihilate Russian army in Ukraine

Russia is not a country.  It is a gang of common criminals threatening the world. 
– – – – – – – Put an end to it today. – – – – – – –
Russian citizens do NOT get a pass.  Many support the war, the rest are complicit.

Suggested wording for letter to your officials

Dear Senator ___ / Representative ___ / Mr. President,

It appears from recent news that Russia is systematically attacking the world food supply.  I’m sure you have the details.  Grain blockaded, rails that might provide alternative export attacked, farm equipment and grain stolen, grain storage facilities bombed.  Projections as high as 1.7 billion people thrown into poverty and hunger. Imagine the refugees that will flow into any country that has food. 

Do you consider this an attack on the people of Earth, not just Ukraine?  Does it not already qualify as something that requires a firm response?  Is it not potentially more devastating than limited tactical nuclear and chemical attacks?  Can I persuade you to advocate / do something more immediate than the current slow approach, or mere sanctions?

Yours truly,

CONTACT LINKS:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
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https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

The Honorable (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

For correspondence to a Senate committee or to a Senate committee chair:

(Name of Committee)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

TELEPHONE #s https://www.senate.gov/general/resources/pdf/senators_phone_list.pdf

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

Larger War Looming If Not Stopped Soon

from Al Jazeera

There are many ways the Russian War on Ukraine could escalate, but most articles only discuss ONE of them. Why do you suppose? Here is my list . . .

  1. Russia attacks Finland and Sweden to prevent them joining NATO (probably with missiles, since their troops are tied up in Ukraine). Both have said they are going to join NATO. Russia already attacked Ukraine to prevent it joining NATO. Russian spokesman Peskov said such a move would not be existential (Russia would not use nuclear weapons). However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said deviation from Finland’s non-alignment policy would bring “military and political consequences.”
  2. Serbia attacks Kosovo using the Ukraine was as cover. Much like Russia’s claims about Ukraine, Serbia has continued to claim that Kosovo attacks Serbs living in Kosovo. Here is an example of a 2019 claim. Two days ago, China sent 6 cargo transport jets to Serbia with a semi-secret delivery of air defense missiles. These could be used to protect Serbia from NATO while it attacks Kosovo. There is not really any other need for them, since Kosovo does not have an air force. It is too small and can’t afford one. Serbia does not have any other enemies. Surrounded by NATO countries, no one else could even reach it. Kosovo is concerned that Serbia may use the present distraction to attack.
  3. Russia attacks inside NATO accidentally (wandering drone, there have been several but no harm done) or on purpose (e.g., to hit a supply base).
  4. Ukraine attacks inside Russia (an airfield or supply depot just across the border). This morning Ukraine attacked an ammunition depot in Donetsk. Two weeks ago, Russia alleged Ukraine attacked a fuel depot in the Russian city of Belgorod, which Ukraine has never confirmed nor denied. If Russia starts losing again in the east, or civilians are killed, escalation could follow.
  5. Russia does something egregious. This could happen if they feel they are losing in the east of Ukraine. It could be the use of chemical weapons. They’ve said they won’t use tactical nukes (Peskov said Ukraine was not an existential threat), but when have they told the truth? It could be just a more rapid destruction of cities and greater humanitarian crisis than Mariupol. NATO leaders have indicated they would make a strong, unspecified response, and pretty much all possible sanctions are already in place.
  6. China attacks Taiwan. I consider this unlikely unless one of the other escalations already has the US fully occupied in Europe. Then it becomes likely. I list it for completeness.
  7. Russia reacts to a US or NATO defense of Ukraine. This is what all of the other articles on escalation are about. Putin experts say the only time he bluffs is when he is weak. He has no viable military response to NATO, he’s basically admitted that, so this is not a real possibility. Russia, via Peskov’s comments, has carefully walked back any nuclear threats over intervention in Ukraine.

Items 1-5 seem just as likely as 7. Items 1-5 increase in probability as the war continues, since they are time and opportunity based. Item 7 decreases with time. If they haven’t reacted to the supply of T-72 tanks and British anti-ship missiles, they aren’t going to react to a few old jets or land cruise missiles.

What does the US public think of the risk of nuclear war? I’ve run two polls recently of 500 random people in the US, giving a margin of error of 4%. A week ago, I learned that 60% favored increasing the range and capability of weapons provided. For discussion of this poll see ShulerResearch.org. There has since been some of that, like anti-ship missiles from Britain, T-72 tanks from the Czech Republic, Air Defense through various collaborations, ability to re-arm the Bayraktyar drones from the US, and armored vehicles from Australia and the US. No jets yet. No cruise missiles publicly acknowledged.

The second poll, just completed today (April 11, 2022) shows that 55% think the risk of eventual nuclear war from allowing nuclear autocracies to take one country at a time, is greater than the risk from confronting Russia now, even a direct NATO confrontation:

US poll designed by ShulerResearch.org and conducted by GregLingInsight.com 4/11/2022

While a few people are hyper-concerned, most people think the risk of nuclear escalation from Russia losing ground in Ukraine, even with US/NATO help, is of order 1/1000:

US poll designed by ShulerResearch.org and conducted by GregLingInsight.com 4/11/2022

A wrinkle in the polling data is that 55% do not really want to defend any country other than the US from nuclear war, counter to our treaty obligations . . .

US poll designed by ShulerResearch.org and conducted by GregLingInsight.com 4/11/2022

So, in an election, it would depend on what order you asked the questions in, or which you most emphasized. This provides insight into the success of Trump’s isolationist “withdraw from NATO” ideas. Most people favor defending democracy, e.g. in Ukraine, and just evaluate the risk of actual nuclear war as small. But if a candidate fans this flame and enhances the nuclear risk, as Fox News has been doing a lot lately, people may be induced to make a decision based on something that is not likely. Since this is a Trump-Republican strategy, it is actually illogical for the Biden administration to over-state nuclear risk.

However, when one considers again the first opinion, that escalation due to continued events like Ukraine is twice as likely to result in eventual nuclear war than confronting Putin now, then the equation changes again. Even those hyper concerned about nuclear war would, if they are in the 65%, chose confrontation now. Only by hiding this scenario can a candidate employ nuclear fear. Trump asserts that Putin will not take countries while he is president. Even if you buy this argument, and you make Trump president for life, he is 6 years older than Putin, far more overweight, and likely to die first. It took Putin only 13 months to invade Ukraine after Trump left office.

Can the war be stopped by negotiation? Most of those involved or in a position to judge likely outcomes think not. Austria’s chancellor visited Russia to talk directly with Putin today and got nowhere. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister said “I personally have no reason to believe that he’s talkable.” Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavsky said “Don’t be naive. Putin is a perpetrator of this horrendous war crime and those atrocities, and he should be punished for that.” Zelensky himself has given up finally on negotiations, saying he is not interested in NATO’s diplomacy. Even before, he estimated the chance of negotiations working at only about 1%.

Russia has broken every treaty ever signed with Ukraine, including the 1994 Budapest Memorandum where Ukraine gave up nukes to get border security, the 1997 Russia-Ukraine friendship treaty, nearly 500 treaties when it annexed Crimea, and the Minsk Agreement which should have ended the 2014 war. It’s hard to think of a treaty Russia has kept. They said they wouldn’t invade Ukraine, then did. They claim they are not targeting civilians, but they are. Can you honestly find a statement made by Russia which is true? What is an agreement with a liar worth? Absolutely nothing. There is no negotiated settlement possible. Even the complete removal of Russian troops, even from Donetsk and Crimea (astonishingly unlikely) would not resolve the West’s complaints enough to remove sanctions, because Putin and most of the rest of his government are now wanted for war crimes. That leaves only a military solution to Russian troops in Ukraine. The solution to what to do about Russia’s criminal government I will not address in this post.

Can the war eventually be stopped by sanctions? We know it won’t be quick but would sanctions eventually stop the war? Extremely unlikely. Even Russians who oppose Putin will not want to appear so weak as to be manipulated by Western sanctions. It’s most likely a first coup would be driven by hard liners.

The basic mechanisms of a globalized economy (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, now replaced by the World Trade Organization) were established after WW2, along with the UN and World Bank and the IMF, to try and prevent large scale war. The theory was summed up by Immanuel Kant, the “power of money … perhaps the most dependable of all powers,” would compel nations “to prevent war wherever it threatens to break out.”

What actually happened was Russia and China played along for a while to get fabulously wealthy. China nearly surpassing US in GDP has the second largest number of billionaires. Russia has the 4th largest number of billionaires behind Germany. They’ve used this wealth to build up their militaries and ensnare other nations in economic dependency. An article today in the Washington Post puts it like this:

All of that now seems hopelessly naive. Putin invaded Ukraine despite unambiguous Western threats that Russia would be immediately isolated from the global economy through sanctions. China under Xi Jinping has crushed democracy and press freedom in Hong Kong, increased military threats against Taiwan, and entered a loose alliance with Russia to challenge the U.S.-led global order. Rather than moderating the ambitions of authoritarian leaders, their rising wealth — brought about in good part by foreign investment and trade — has emboldened them to challenge Western democracies head on. So has economic engagement been a catastrophic failure? . . . Economic interdependence breeds peace only if the costs of breaking those ties are high enough — and just as important, if all sides recognize that the costs are high enough.”

The cost of sanctions to Russia’s economy in the next year are predicted to be maybe as little as a 10% contraction. They’ve survived lots worse. The economy of Ukraine, which they might hope to add, is worth already 1.5 times that, and much more if they develop its energy reserves. It’s a straight business deal to them. Acquire Ukraine. Pay the cost.

The cost to the rest of the world hasn’t been calculated. I can’t find it anywhere. But there are already fuel or food price protests in more than a dozen countries.

Recent food protests due to Ukraine War, various sources

Sanctions will lead to instability and other wars in the world, in the same way the Financial Crisis led to the Arab Spring. Recall it was started by a Tunisian who “just wanted to work,” not for ideological reasons. What is the cost of not having fuel to drive to work, or gas to heat your home? Infinite, basically. This is not a guess. Here is the evidence:

https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2012/01/do-high-food-prices-cause-social-unrest/
https://www.axios.com/global-food-prices-coronavirus-protests-9d81f4c6-7665-4aa5-9250-a5b670efdb30.html

World Trade is a cooperative enterprise. China and Russia favor extortion and ultimatum, not cooperation. In 2012 Press and Dyson showed in a now-famous game theory paper that extortion beats cooperation, mathematically.

There is nothing you can do about it, except disallow extortion. And there has never been found a pleasant, “cooperative” way to do that. At the level of countries, it is a matter of joint military action. It cannot be the action of a single or a few countries as “Who watches the watcher?” Aside from the atrocities committed, that is a fundamental problem with Russia’s unilateral intervention in Ukraine.

So as time goes on and the probability of the first 5 increases, taking action to roll back Russian troops from Ukraine decreases the chance of escalation by cutting the time short for the most likely causes of escalation. It is just backward of what people are claiming. If you don’t want escalation, write to or call your legislators now and request they intervene directly to help Ukraine drive Russia out. Here are the addresses:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

The Honorable (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

For correspondence to a Senate committee or to a Senate committee chair:

(Name of Committee)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

TELEPHONE #s https://www.senate.gov/general/resources/pdf/senators_phone_list.pdf

For members of the House

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

You CAN STOP GENOCIDE in Mariupol Today. Tomorrow it won’t make any difference.

While you eat breakfast and go about your day, 300,000 civilian hostages in Mariupol may be killed. 

Russia issued an ultimatum.  Ukrainians refused to surrender. 

There may already have been such a massacre in Kherson.  Remember the protests when Russia took it?  Streets are now empty, buildings are empty, survivors allege Russia killed EVERYONE!

To evaluate for yourself, watch this video https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2022/03/21/russia-mykolaiv-kherson-ukraine-nick-paton-walsh-pkg-vpx.cnn  If that doesn’t work, here is an alternate link to same video https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/21/europe/ukraine-russia-posad-pokrovske-mykolaiv-kherson-intl/index.html

  • @ 1:40 Two weeks ago this place [Kherson, soldier, not shown] had life, now nothing.
  • @ 2:15 [crying man on left] They killed ALL the civilians.  These are bastards, reptiles, parasites.  They don’t fight troops, they fight people. WORSE than fascists.  Yes, worse, worse.
  • @ 2:35 [older man, on right] I remember how the Germans attacked us.  They didn’t mess with us like this

Civilian deaths from deliberate bombing/shelling in Ukraine already exceed some European genocides (Slovenia and possibly Croatia).  Kill lists, forced deportation of around 6000 from Mariupol, targeting of schools/hospitals/shelters,  placing landmines in refugee corridors, and Putin’s rhetoric point toward genocidal intent.  It often takes a long time to “declare” genocide.  War crimes have already been declared.

I researched all known genocides since WW2. 

Three in Europe were present, all related to the breakup of Yugoslavia:

  • There was a 10-day conflict in Slovenia in 1990.  This set expectations conflicts would not be long lasting.  In Croatia, starting at the same time, the US, mired in aftermath of First Gulf War, was obsessed with the Middle East and too slow to intervene.  Typically it takes the US over a year to intervene.  The conflict terminated in early 1991 with UN intervention.
  • In Bosnia, 1994, the US and NATO intervened via a bombing campaign.
  • In Kosovo in 1999, the US and NATO intervened via a bombing campaign.

That bombing campaigns were successful and show that such interventions do NOT typically require troops on the ground.

It appears to be STANDING US POLICY TO INTERVENE IN EUROPEAN GENOCIDES since WW2.  It can take a while, resulting in being too late in Croatia.

  • Likely due to the ancestry and large number of family connections to Europe, and US membership in NATO
  • The US has also intervened in Middle East genocides, e.g. the Yazidis targeted by ISIS
  • The US typically does not intervene unilaterally in Africa but supports UN intervention.  Sometimes the African Union takes action.
  • The US typically does not intervene in Southeast Asia where there have and continue to be genocides.  It may participate in economic boycotts.  We may be reluctant to intervene because of our history in Vietnam, and the sheer numbers of people involved in the region.
  • Limited economic boycotts have been undertaken against the Uyghur alleged genocide by China, which is a complex issue, perhaps a cultural genocide.  The physical ability to intervene inside China’s border was conceded to be beyond the US will to act during the Korean War.

Due to the high standards for declaring genocide and disbelief that Russia would actually invade Ukraine, no US intervention other than economic and supplying weapons was contemplated prior to the February 24th invasion.  That situation appears to have changed.

141 countries have voted to condemn Russia’s invasion.  This interactive map will show which ones. https://www.axios.com/united-nations-ukraine-russia-141-55872481-a143-4423-9d3d-80450f01c754.html 

This is no error of “opinion” in the US.

The Senate approved overall legislation including increased Ukraine aid by 68 to 31.  40 Republicans and an unknown but numerous number of Democrats lobbied the administration to send Polish jets to Ukraine.  67 Senators can override a Presidential veto.  We MAY have already reached a veto-proof majority in the Senate.

YOUR efforts are combining with millions of other Americans contacting their politicians.  Keep going until we get the action that will come eventually anyway, America will support, but let’s do it BEFORE 300,000 HOSTAGES ARE KILLED!  (See Mariupol ‘will NOT surrender’: Besieged Ukrainian city where 300,000 are trapped vows to fight to the LAST soldier and rejects Russia’s demand to lay down their arms or face ‘humanitarian crisis’ – as those who do make it out go to ‘filtration camps’ )

Suggested message:  INTERVENE TODAY! TO PREVENT GENOCIDE IN MARIUPOL – USE VETO-PROOF BIPARTISAN MAJORITY – WILL YOU CO-AUTHOR A BILL?  PLEASE RESPOND.

Contact links:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

War Crimes & Corrective Action in the United States since 1950

Summary: A review of major incidents suggests the US has had to some degree all of the problems now evident in the Russian government-military apparatus. It improved the transparency of its handling of war crime incidents through the early 1970s, culminating with the removal of a US President who had covered up the extent of the Vietnam War and illegally attempted to discredit the person who disclosed that information. Then the US began backsliding until in the present day persons who’ve performed similar acts of public service find themselves locked away in maximum security prisons, in some cases indefinitely.

We further suggest that the example of the US promoted democratization and liberalization in major powers around the world, contributing to the dissolution of the USSR and opening of China. But the reversal of trend in the US presaged a reversal of trend in the same countries. Nations may receive permission by example. We therefore recommend that an unexpectedly effective measure in combating the atrocities being committed in Ukraine would be for the US to immediately redress the injustice done to disclosers of autocratic abuse and war crimes type of information in the last decade.

No Gun Ri massacre

This incident occurred over 4 days in late July 1950 early in the Korean War.  South Korean refugees were fleeing further south, through the retreating US line.  That line was attacked from the rear.  Reports spread that North Korean soldiers were infiltrating refugee columns.  Troops and their officers were inexperienced and had no training in dealing with civilian refugees.  Orders were issued to fire on Korean civilians in front-line areas.  Who gave the orders and the various circumstances you can read in the Wiki article. 

The incident was covered up until an Associated Press article in 1999.  However, information reached the American military command by way of captured North Korean documents.  North Korea had discovered the massacre.

Eventually, decades later, survivors became bold enough to make claims against the US.  The Associated Press investigated and found the orders.  300 or more had been killed at that one location.  More than 200 other cases of large scale killings by the US military were uncovered in investigations that only ended in 2008.  This series of incidents even after half a century is not really resolved and weighs on the US, likely explaining some of the North Korean distrust and antagonism.

Overthrow of Democratic Government of Iran

From 1951 Iran Premier Mosaddeq began calling for nationalization of British oil companies operating in Iran.  In 1953 President Eisenhower approved orders for a covert CIA operation to overthrow this government.  The Shah was returned to full rule and as a reward signed over 40% of Iranian oil fields to American companies.

The Shah was toppled from power in 1979 and hostages were taken in the US embassy, embarrassing President Jimmy Carter who gave the shah refuge, and contributing to his electoral defeat.  Iran has been our sworn enemy ever since, and is likely to attain status as a nuclear power in the near future.  The long term consequences of the short cited decision to meddle with another country (much like Russia meddling now with Ukraine) has been absolutely devastating for the US.

When I get very excited and urge you to try and prevent Russia from doing something, these are the kinds of consequences I’m trying to avoid.  Putin has to be the stupidest most short-sighted man in the history of the world.  He is following the example of meddlers such as Adolf Hitler and Julius Cesar, all of whom were killed shortly after their meddling.  He has these clear examples to go by, and a professed interest in history.  Yet he picks the wrong lessons, the wrong behavior to copy.

My Lai Massacre

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3pFYlvdyvM

This is a very short video, with the story told by the only survivor.  From the description: “On March 16, 1968, American soldiers of Charlie Company, were sent on what they were told was a mission to confront a crack outfit of their Vietcong enemies. They met no resistance, but over three to four hours killed 504 unarmed civilians.”

News of the incident broke on the evening news in November, 1969.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fKUdeixBaQ  The report was touched off by a soldier Ronald Ridenhour who heard the story from another soldier.  He is interviewed in the news report.  He wanted to see the people responsible (officers) arrested.  This is true patriotism.

From https://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/my-lai-massacre-1 we learn that army commanders that Charlie Company should consider anyone found at the village to be active VietCong and destroy the village.  William Calley led the unit.  They “no Viet Cong. Instead, they came across a quiet village of primarily women, children and older men preparing their breakfast rice.”  Calley ordered his men to begin shooting the villagers, using not only machine guns but also grenade launchers.  Only 3 weapons were captured and no military age men were in the village.  Not a single shot was fired against Charlie Company.

The slaughter was ended with helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson landed between the soldiers and retreating villagers and threatened to open fire if they continued their attack.

Calley was given life in prison, later reduced to 20 years.  28 officers were charged in connection with the cover up, but eventually only 14 were charged.  All were acquitted except Calley.  The helicopter pilot was ostracized and received death threats.

Calley claimed he was only following orders given by captain Medina.  Later investigations found this was not an isolated incident.  An operation called “Speedy Express” commanded by General Julian Ewell killed thousands of Vietnamese civilians.

It became untenable to continue fighting in Vietnam after this revelation, but Nixon in secret dragged the war on for almost another 4 years.

Kent State Shootings

Six months later at an anti-war protest at Kent State University, the Ohio National Guard opened fire for 13 seconds, killing 4 and wounding 9 students.  They were protesting the expansion of the Vietnam war into Cambodia.

The excursion into Cambodia may have triggered instabilities that later allowed its overthrow by the Khmer Rouge, who instituted one of the worst genocides in the history of the world.  Meddling in other countries can have terrible, horrible results, especially when it is dishonest and done on false motives to begin with.

The Pentagon Papers – Daniel Ellsberg

A year later Daniel Ellsberg leaked a study of the Vietnam War to the New York Times.  This study showed that the government had systematically lied about the progress of the war, not only to the public but also to Congress, and that the US had secretly enlarged the scope of the war, and kept the extra attacks out of the public media.  Sound familiar?  So what did we do?

First you have to understand what President Nixon did.  Johnson, who committed most of the misdeeds described in the Pentagon Papers, was already out of office.  He had declined to run, likely thinking that his conduct of the war would be exposed if he did run.  Nixon ordered his secret unit called “The Plumbers” to engage in unlawful efforts to discredit Ellsberg.  This came out as part of the Watergate Scandal.

President of the United States Richard Nixon was removed from office.  This is what you have to do when a leader engages in an illegal, secret and unethical war.  This is what Russia must do now.  No matter how painful.  The hole Russia is in will just get deeper and deeper until they do this.

The question is not what country commits no sin, no error.  The question is what do they do about it.  Sad to say, the US does not do as much today as it did back in the 1960s and 1970s, and our prestige in the world greatly suffers for it.  I will cover a few of those later incidents now.

July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaqY12VHFv4

Just watch the video.  The object one man is holding is a camera.  He is a newsman who worked for Reuters news service.  No guns are actually visible in the video.  The man interviewed, who provided the video to news services, is Julian Assange. 

Assange currently resides in the Belmarsh maximum-security prison in London.  The US is still trying to extradite him.  False charges of sexual assault resulted in Assange’s confinement to the Ecuadoran embassy in London for many years.  I don’t recall how they finally got him to a British jail.  But the assault charges were dropped for lack of evidence.

The person who leaked the video is now known as Chelsea Manning.  You can read about her here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea_Manning .  She confided to an online acquaintance that she had leaked the video, and was arrested and charged with 22 offences, including aiding the enemy, a charge that carries the death penalty.  She was acquitted of that, but convicted of pretty much everything else. In 2017 Barak Obama commuted her sentence to time served (about 7 years) and she was released.  She has been periodically fined and jailed since then for refusing to testify against Julian Assange.

Lesser Incidents

The Iran-Contra Affair during the Reagan administration involved selling arms to Iran, which had been banned. It might result in war crimes, but does not itself qualify. In the course of 14 prosecutions, ZERO charges were brought for disclosing the information. However, one could also say that prosecutions went very easy on the participants. See https://www.brown.edu/Research/Understanding_the_Iran_Contra_Affair/prosecutions.php for the record. Only Thomas Clines received any actual jail time. Many persons were pre-emptively pardoned, including the Secretary of Defense.

The Edward Snowden affair also does not rise to the level of war crimes. Snowden revealed that the NSA was engaged in a massive and illegal program of spying on Americans, in the US, without warrants, listening to and collecting most of their phone calls.  He leaked this information to The Guardian and The Washington Post, and fled to Hong Kong.  That became unsafe and he again fled.  He was passing through Moscow Sheremetyevo when the US State Department canceled his passport, making him unable to board a flight to continue on.  He eventually obtained permission to stay in Russia and became president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.  His fiancée Lindsay Mills eventually emigrated to Russia and they married. Snowden has not tweeted about Ukraine since the invasion, likely because he can’t think of anything to say without going to jail for 15 years in Russia.

Conclusions:

Consider the example set for Putin by the mindless pursuit of Assange and Snowden across international borders. It might be from the re-routing of Bolivian President Evo Morales to land in Austria after he said he might entertain an asylum request from Snowden that Putin got the idea that later led to Belarus forcing down a commercial airliner to arrest a couple of reporters. The US “seems” to have supported false charges of sexual assault against Assange to have him arrested in Britain and possibly extradited to a jurisdiction from which he could be easily extradited to the US. This tells Putin it’s “OK” to make up false charges and evidence. While there are many other dealings with Putin that could be criticized, these are selected because they specifically deal with examples in the area of suppression of the press’ access to information about the behavior of government in spying on their own people and covering up of war crimes.

In order to stand against Putin fully justified, the US would need to give up its pursuit of Julian Assange, perhaps even encouraging him to continue his former activities in support of the war in Ukraine. The US would further need to offer Edward Snowden the chance to return to the US, perhaps in exchange for pleading guilty to relatively minor charges with a promise of probation. Consider how badly this would embarrass Putin and up-end what he must have considered a public relations coup.

Wild allegations that the US was filling the Ukrainian government with Nazis and manufacturing chemical weapons in Ukraine would be taken even less seriously than they are now. It would be absolutely clear that the US allowed and even encouraged 3rd-party monitoring of its actions. The US would become unimpeachable on the matter of war crimes.

This unimpeachability would extend to other actions as well. If the US approved of supplying Polish Mig’s to Ukraine, as a matter similar to supplying other weapons and not as direct participation, the Russian government would have been so stunned by the Assange and Snowden matters they probably would not be able to make a timely response, and the transfer of the aircraft would become a done deal.

Over time, those who would expose misdeeds in Russia would come to believe that history was on their side, and that they had a chance of “getting away with it” and surviving. If the US can change and repudiate its treatment of those who expose war crimes, so could Russia. It happened once before, between the early 1970s and the late 1980s. It can happen again. The totalitarian trend in China also might be nudged in another direction. The cost to the US to try my suggestion is … ha! There isn’t ANY cost. There is NO risk and NO downside. Oh sure, some day some future conscientious person might disclose some evil deed committed by the US. But friends, THAT is NOT a downside. That our own society would benefit is in fact the MAIN benefit.

If you want to support this idea, you can write the President and your other representatives by following these links . . .

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

Who is the leader of the free world?

Traditionally the leader of the free world is someone who…

[ ] Can get things done with other leaders.
[ ] Fights for liberty even in the face of risk of death.
[ ] Puts his or her own life on the line.
[ ] Effective military leader in wartime.
[ ] Able to get US troops into the fight.
[ ] If he doesn’t get what he wants at first, finds another way.
[ ] Inspires bravery and courage in others.
[ ] Shows people what is worth fighting for.
[ ] Has a grasp of history and how things will play out.
[ ] Sees a tyrant for what they are.
[ ] Able to make the tough calls.
[ ] Can take the heat day after day.

How is it that Volodymyr Zelensky can persuade American veterans to fight for Ukraine when our own president won’t even ask them to do so? https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/american-veterans-are-heading-to-ukraine-to-join-the-country-s-fight-against-russia-report/ar-AAUEDcD?ocid=uxbndlbing

How is it Volodymyr Zelensky is still even alive in Kyiv when most analysts thought it should have fallen to the massive Russian invasion a week ago?

Why would Volodymyr Zelensky, turned down for jets by East European countries, have the audacity to have a Zoom meeting with the US Congress and secure promises from the House Majority Leader to have them turned over as soon as possible?

How is it the Russian convoy we so accurately predicted in our previous post about the bridge over the Pripryat is still stuck, unmoving, outside Kyiv?

Who would you rather fight for, pick one: [ ] Joe Biden, [ ] Donald Trump, [ ] Vladimir Putin, Ron DeSantis, [ ] Emanuele Macron, [ ] Boris Johnson, [ ] Olaf Scholz, [ ] Volodymyr Zelensky?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the leader of the free world.

Volodymyr Zelensky

Bridge construction reveals Kiev pincer plans

Troop movements are reversible. Construction of a tactical bridge in an unpopulated radioactive ecological reserve 4 miles from the border is not a bluff. Nor is it a joint military exercise with Belarus purely used by Russia to intimidate Ukraine. It is an invasion plan into which resources are being poured.

From CNN

Please translate this and forward to everyone you know inside Russia, so that the people there will have exposure to something other than state media focused on false flag events in Donbas. These are an intentional distraction.

You don’t build something like this unless you are intending to use it.  The nearest bridge is at the city of Mazyr about 45 miles northwest of this site.  The bridge is inside a large ecological preserve associated with Chernobyl due to radioactivity.  There is absolutely no civilian purpose for the bridge.  There are no population centers or even villages that it serves.

As you can see from map below, the bridge doesn’t go anywhere useful within Belarus.  It is on no major road.  The Prypyat River cuts across to the northwest.  To access the western side of Kyiv it must be crossed.  The closer to the border it is crossed, the shorter the distance to Kyiv.  From there the Russian Army will skirt to the west of the Chernobyl region, joining the main road at Ivankiv where there is an existing bridge over the Teteriv River.  From there multiple roads lead into the west side of Kyiv, which straddles the Dneiper River.

This is evil.  Pure evil.  Not distilled in so fine a form since Idi Amin or Hitler. 

Today Ukraine’s president Zelensky said, “We don’t need your sanctions after the bombardment will happen and after our country will be fired at or after we will have no borders, or after we will have no economy … Why would we need those sanctions then?”

I agree and have thought this for some time, but he is the first leader with the guts to say it. Western leaders, including Biden, are no better than Neville Chamberlin. Neither is Trump. He’s quite soft on Russia. Without a new, strong leader, our precious democratic West is likely to fall. Why?

After the invasion, Russia will control one quarter of the world’s grain supply, and nearly a third of the wheat supply. This is double what they control currently.  Putin is planning for future history, beyond his personal life.  Russia can wait until the world is starving.  Then who will sanction them?

From Mirror

Training Ukrainian civilians to use rifles will not help either.  These pictures may be cute but will just get them killed.  The relevant skills for fighting urban guerilla war are making IEDs and suicide vests and smuggling in Stingers.  Don’t paint a pretty picture on it. Here is what urban guerilla war actually looks like:

The Atlantic

Economists use the term Net Present Value (NPV) to gauge the present value of future actions and benefits. What is the NPV of a quarter of the world’s grain supply over an indefinite period? Since food is essential, it might be as high as one quarter of the world’s total wealth. What are sanctions compared to that? Nothing. Nothing at all.

In 2019 Ukraine took the “World’s largest grain exporter” title from Russia, Moscow Times

Write the President and your elected representatives today and tell them you favor using US military force to deter war in Ukraine. https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials/

Otherwise, you will witness the simultaneous invasion of the Baltics and Taiwan (where most of the semiconductors for cars and phones are made) by Russia and China, a full-scale world war, and a decline in your standard of living that will make COVID look like a paid vacation on the French Rivera.

Don’t think this can’t happen. You just don’t want it to happen. As the Pax Romana ended, so will the current era of relative peace eventually. To keep NATO from interfering in Ukraine, Putin personally oversaw drills in Belarus involving nuclear weapon delivery vehicles near NATO borders:

Yars, fired from mobile launcher, payload 3 MIRV warheads. Video on CNN.

If nuclear deterrence “works” against NATO, Putin will be emboldened to use it again. It is just too tempting. Russia has long coveted the Baltic states, which actually separate it from a small disconnected piece of its territory:

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia would complete Russia’s “buffer” and connect with isolated Kaliningrad
From Business Insider

Here are the top 8 reasons for war from https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/The-Main-Reasons-For-War

  • Economic Gain. – mentioned above, doubling of grain production, control of Ukrainian gas
  • Territorial Gain. – obviously applicable
  • Religion. – possibly the only one not applicable to current Russia ambitions
  • Nationalism. – Putin’s brand of “restore the USSR”
  • Revenge. – Putin uses revenge language when discussing the dissolution of the USSR
  • Civil War. – Ukraine separatists
  • Revolutionary War. – also applicable to Ukraine separatists, and Russia-Ukraine generally
  • Defensive War. – Russia’s most frequently stated objective

That’s 7 out of 8. Click on the video link (below missile photo) and listen to the Russian generals talk. They are clearly anxious to conquer.

Not all factions in the US see war in Ukraine as bad for them. Farmers are anxious to ramp up production to supply the grain that will be lost while Ukraine is at war in the short term.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told The Associated Press that a conflict in Ukraine would present an “opportunity, obviously, for us to step in and help our partners, help them through a difficult time and situation. We’ll obviously continue to look for opportunities to expand those (export) markets.” Note, he’s not talking about helping Ukraine, but other countries which buy grain from Ukraine. He’s not worried at all about 44 million Ukrainians. He was in Dubai when he said this, on a trade mission there.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack poses for a photo at the Fruit and Vegetable Market in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. A possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. . . offers American farmers a chance to boost production and prevent supply chain problems, he said. San Diego Union Tribune.

If you think this sounds a bit selfish and cold, write to your elected officials. I’m quite sure those with an eye on grain sales have written to ask the US to stay neutral.

Am I some crackpot reading more into the situation than warranted? Let’s explore that. First, I have traveled to Ukraine 4 times, visiting east and west, including the now-separated territories. I’ve visited Russia more than that and am married to a Russian. I do not believe the Russian people are informed on the matter, my wife is not, and they are not in any case now capable of resisting their tyrant who has gained near absolute power. What do others say? The UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said after listening to Zelensky at the Minsk summit on Saturday the 19th:

This is one of the most dangerous moments for European security that we’ve experienced since early in the 20th century. And we need to show unprecedented unity. There were many people who would want to think hopefully about the situation, but I think we need to prepare for the worst-case scenario, and that worst-case scenario could happen as early as next week.” – From CNN (scroll down to view post)

So, the British Foreign Secretary agrees with my pre-WWII analogy. Such people are not prone to hyperbole.

What can you do? Plenty. Share this with your friends, especially if you know anyone in Russia, and follow the link to write your Congressmen and the President. https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials/. All it would take is one US jet flying over Ukraine with anti-radar weapons loaded and the Russians would back off. Nothing would even need to be said.

Race War in Ukraine and the End of Peace

Military Size by Country 2022:

CountryTotal Personnel Active DutyReservesParamilitary2022 Population
Vietnam10,522,000482,0005,000,0005,040,00098,953,541
North Korea7,769,0001,280,000600,0005,889,00025,990,679
South Korea6,712,500599,0003,100,0003,013,50051,329,899
India5,137,5001,455,5501,155,0002,526,9501,406,631,776
China4,015,0002,185,0001,170,000660,0001,448,471,400
Russia3,568,0001,014,0002,000,000554,000145,805,947
United States2,233,0501,388,100844,950334,805,269
Brazil2,101,500366,5001,340,000395,000215,353,593
Taiwan1,831,800163,0001,657,00011,80023,888,595
Pakistan1,495,000654,000550,000291,000229,488,994
Egypt1,314,500438,500479,000397,000106,156,692
Cuba1,234,50049,00039,0001,146,50011,305,652
Ukraine1,211,000209,000900,000102,00043,192,122
Indonesia1,075,500395,500400,000280,000279,134,505
Iran1,000,000610,000350,00040,00086,022,837
Turkey890,700355,200378,700156,80085,561,976
Thailand699,550360,850200,000138,70070,078,203
Israel642,500169,500465,0008,0008,922,892
Colombia516,050293,20034,950187,90051,512,762
Myanmar513,000406,000107,00055,227,143

The Saturday Feb. 12, 2022 call between Biden and Putin has ended. This will likely be the last direct communication prior to invasion, which I’m now estimating at 85% probability.

At a very high level, I’d compare the current post-pandemic situation to that after the Financial Crisis. Hard times lead to war, like the Arab Spring and the 2014 Ukraine war.

Recent quotes illuminate that it is not just sanctions that the US envisions. We are conditioned to expect governments we have supported to fold quickly like Afghanistan and South Vietnam, but our support to Ukraine has been more distant and they’ve been preparing for this for 8 years. See table of military strength above. The quotes, mostly drawn from https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-news-02-12-22/index.html

  • US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned that Russia could be preparing to attack Ukraine before the end of the Beijing Olympics on Feb. 20
  • “We are basing his assessment on what we are seeing on the ground…which is a continued Russian buildup on the border with Ukraine, and no meaningful evidence of de-escalation, or really of any interest in de-escalation.” – State Department Official
  • “As to our plans going forward, I think President Biden and other officials have been clear, that should Russia continue down the path to escalation, the United States will continue to increase our support to Ukraine, to enable it to defend itself, and you know, that approach has not changed,” the official said.
  • Back in 2014, Reznikov (Ukrainian defense minister) said Ukrainians “were not psychologically ready to resist someone with whom they sat at the same table yesterday,” but “the situation is completely different” now.
  • Biden administration officials on Saturday reiterated their calls for US companies to remain vigilant in the face of potential Russian hacking threats. Hacking attacks are routinely traded between the US, Russia and China. Officials today warned of Russian hacking threats. Cyber war would not be limited to territory. Other parties get drawn in as the attacks domino around the world. Escalation could happen in a few hours.

Russians and Ukrainians feel about each other like American whites and blacks did prior to the late 20th century. This is not perceived by Americans because they look indistinguishable to us. But I have experienced it first hand by traveling there and attempting to speak Russian, and being given heavy cream when I asked for milk, among other insults. And no, there was no misunderstanding. When my guide advised me to abandon speaking Russian, I immediately got milk. When confronted with a group of Slavic people in the US, the first thing my Russian wife does is tell me whether they are actually Russian or Ukrainian. She has no trouble telling them apart.

Ukraine’s military was slow to react in 2014 for two reasons. First, they perceived they were fighting a civil insurrection against their own kind, which they were mostly not willing to do. Second, they thought their borders were guaranteed by the Budapest Memorandum in which Russia guaranteed their territorial integrity in exchange for Ukraine giving up their nuclear arms. The US signed this agreement. But Obama did not treat it as anything the US would actually stand behind, which undoubtedly surprised the Ukrainians.

Why should we care, or should we?

While Russia has the power to invade Ukraine and probably take over the whole country, it does not have the power to do this without a massive WWII-style invasion and commitment to total war. Ukraine has the world’s 13th largest military, counting reserves, and Russia the 6th. Russia has maybe a 3 to 1 advantage in personnel, but Ukraine has the home field advantage.

Deaths of Ukrainian forces will just make them more determined and angrier, while deaths of Russian forces will undermine support from a public that doesn’t care about Ukraine any more than we do, and are not really expecting Russia to actually invade (according to my wife).

There are already warnings from retired Russian military leaders that invading Ukraine is a bad idea, not in Russia’s interest, which will merely provoke NATO to strengthen. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/a-former-russian-general-is-warning-putin-not-to-invade-ukraine-that-might-be-a-big-deal/ar-AATKtPG?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531

The invasion of Ukraine should come immediately after the Chinese Olympics, otherwise the ground will be too soft for troop movement. It may already be. However, Putin may be overconfident. We’ve seen Napoleon and Hitler underestimate weather factors in invading Russia. Putin is just the sort of leader they were.

The invasion of Ukraine would be preceded by air and missile bombardment. This contains a risk that has not yet been discussed. Ukrainian military targets are not highly concentrated. The Russians would kill many civilians. Ukrainian military targets are not embedded within cities. If the Russians attack civilians or cities, the personnel involved could incur the indefinite lifetime risk of being apprehended and prosecuted for war crimes. There is no expiration on this risk. Personnel from the war in Kosovo and even WWII are still being apprehended and prosecuted. Even if such personnel never traveled overseas, there is a risk that some post-Putin Russian government would find some advantage in allowing them to be apprehended.

Air and missile bombardment would harden NATO’s resolve to deploy anti-missile defenses along Russia’s border, something Putin does not want. It appears Putin has lost his sanity. It appears to us on the outside that Russian leaders are impregnable, but typically they are removed at some point. Sometimes peaceably as in the case of Khrushchev and Gorbachev. Sometimes by poison, which Russians are fond of. It is at least possible Stalin was removed by poison.

Stugna-P Ukrainian made anti-tank weapon

Air and missile bombardment would be ineffective without a following troop invasion. This invasion would face an entrenched and distributed force with effective anti-tank weapons, and not just those provided by the US and NATO. Ukraine has developed an arms industry and manufactures its own cheap anti-tank weapons reported to be extremely deadly, perhaps as effective as the US Javelin. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2022/01/11/ukraines-homemade-anti-tank-missile-has-been-blasting-more-and-more-rebel-vehicles/?sh=5e5d6a0e43ca

Currently Ukraine lacks effective defense against air and missile strikes. Lithuania just days ago promised immediate shipment of air defense capability. Ukraine has a missile defense development program underway, but it will not be ready in time for this invasion. Preventing such development likely determines Putin’s timetable. He must invade now or forever give up his ambitions to restore the USSR hegemony.

The West’s notion that it can control Putin with sanctions, or that he will only take Ukraine and quit, are no better than the weak ideas of Neville Chamberlain in appeasing Hitler. The US is currently distracted with the hoopla of comparing Donald Trump to Hitler. Trump only managed to marshal an ineffective band of conspiracy theorists to attack a building, most of whom are now in jail. Putin commands cruise missiles, high performance aircraft, and nuclear submarines, and has demonstrated willingness to use them.

Putin sees the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as a sign of weakness and lack of resolve. Given that he cannot wait for Ukraine to develop missile defense, I think it likely he will order an invasion of some kind this year. Nothing is yet certain, and this article may be obsolete within a few days, but that’s where the logic is driving him.

Putin also recently permitted Belarus to force down a commercial airliner flying over its airspace in order to seize dissidents onboard. The lack of effective Western response to that also will have emboldened him.

China is onboard with Russia’s plans and promising to buy their oil and gas. China’s Xi had newly taken office in 2013 when Russia took parts of Ukraine before and his aggressive policies had not yet been established. Putin could not be sure of China’s backing then. He is now.

Biden was vice president when Obama failed to take any meaningful action in 2014. Biden was historically an anti-war politician from the 70s. Putin is probably patting himself on the back for throwing the US into political disarray via his meddling in various campaigns. One cannot know the mind of Biden any more than Trump, but Biden has been belligerent with the press lately, and they can hurt him worse than Putin. He’s likely still fuming over the treatment of his son Hunter by the Russians. And Biden approved and carried out a successful boots-on-the-ground terrorist raid recently, something he opposed when he was vice president.

Biden, 79, could die at any moment leaving Kamala Harris as President. Her statements on Ukraine have been very evasive and there have been none in the last three weeks. This situation would be extremely unpredictable. She might fold. She might feel the need to establish herself and take more aggressive action than Biden.

Currently Republicans in Congress favor pre-emptive sanctions against Russia NOW, prior to invasion, and Democrats favor only a response to an invasion. Fact is, Putin has already caused a lot of problems and the Republican position is justified. Their position is oddly different than Trumps go-soft approach to Russia and will distance them from Trump in the mid-term elections. Early polls already show them gaining control of both houses of Congress to be a high probability.

A “small invasion” of Ukraine would not do anything for the Russians. Biden appeared to offer this a few weeks ago, and was quickly chastised. A small invasion would leave the West even more militarily supportive, and accelerate Ukraine’s missile development. It makes no sense to Putin. It’s all or nothing. If he backs down now without any concession from the West, he’s lost time and time is not on Putin’s side as Ukraine’s military gains more power by the day.

Add to this the racial element of disrespect and disregard for Ukrainians, and it seems very likely Putin could underestimate the costs and order an invasion.

Unless he can close the matter in a week with minimal loss of life, it will absolutely terrify Europeans. It will not be possible to get 6000 American citizens and several thousand UK citizens out of Ukraine. Most of the UK citizens are tightly coupled, with families and new babies that don’t have passports, and consular services have essentially been shut down. Russia has also withdrawn diplomats. These are historically moves in anticipation of danger, particularly due to a violent transition of government.

I see four possible outcomes at this time:

  • Unexpected removal of Putin, 5% likelihood.
  • Russia bogged down in a partly successful invasion, 45% likelihood.
  • Russia quickly successful and not making additional threats, 10%.
  • Russia backing down 10%
  • Russia succeeding eventually and demanding NATO withdraw from other border states, 30%

In the case of Russia bogged down, arms would flow across the border from Western nations, likely causing escalation such as cross border strikes. Russia demanding NATO withdraw from other border states and making military moves against them would eventually draw Europe into full scale war. Thus I see a 75% likelihood of a broader conflict than Ukraine to one degree or another.

The West will come to the realization that its precious world order has ended and economic sanctions will no longer be effective. A possible outcome is structural changes to the institutions put in place after WWII, including removal of veto power in the UN security council. In the case of a new world war, the UN would be completely dissolved and replaced with something else by the winners. Well, by whoever is left, if anyone. Nuclear winter would solve global warming.

How to Fix Russia-Ukraine Problem

Russian, US and NATO bases in Europe, MIGFlug

On the surface Russia, the EU and the US are arguing over whether Ukraine should ever be permitted to join NATO. The issue behind that is Russia doesn’t want NATO bases on its borders. Look at the above map. How many NATO bases do you see on Russia’s borders?

Zero. OK, how many Russian bases do you see on or near Europe’s borders, including non-aligned states? Include Belarus in your count.

At least 8 and you could count the two in east Georgia giving 10.

The US should respond to Russia’s request by saying we wish to address the underlying issue of border proximity of bases and deployments, on both sides, and offer a generous spacing.

We give up nothing. Russia would have to remove or reduce several bases.

Submarine deployments should be included as well, so that neither country patrols the other’s coast with nuclear missiles affording no attack warning.

This would require reinstatement of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) which Trump withdrew from. While Russian non-compliance would need to be addressed in the renegotiation, if China doesn’t want to cooperate, they can be excluded.

Russian gas supply to Europe, CNN

Would this work? Nothing lost by offering, and it gains a talking advantage. Yesterday Bret Stephens offered an opinion on what likely Russia really wants here.

  • Invading Ukraine provokes US/EU to kick Russia out of international banking system.
  • Russia cuts off gas to Europe mid-winter (see map of gas supply above)
  • US/EU capitulate and/or EU backs out of NATO alliance, NATO is limited or destroyed

Stephens proposes an emergency airlift of military supplies to Ukraine to support a possible guerilla war. With that I disagree.

First to analyze Stephens’ scenario. Is that credible? It is already expected by the EU and US, so I don’t think it would destroy NATO. Putin may hope it does, but Russia cutting off gas to Europe is not a response to kicking them out of the banking system. It is already known they depend on the banking system to support gas, so kicking them out amounts to refusing to accept gas from Russia. From nbcnews Russia is so reliant on SWIFT to export oil and gas that in 2019 its then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said blocking it would be “a declaration of war.”

That’s interesting. Does that mean they would attack NATO? If they did, then the response would overflow into Ukraine. What about the freezing Europeans? Reuters reports plans are being laid to do without Russian gas: “We are working very hard to identify and manage those risks with a range of contingency options and we are doing all that in very close consultations with Europe,” [an] official said. A source familiar with the discussions mentioned there is above-average inventory of natural gas in Asia and that Norway is a major producer of liquefied natural gas. The Netherlands, Italy and Qatar also have supplies, as well as the United States.

That’s interesting. Putin’s decision to invade might depend on a severe cold snap which he thinks Europe cannot withstand. So, watch the weather to predict the invasion.

Could Russia successfully invade Ukraine if all reasonable resistance was put forward? No. They would utterly fail. Let’s look at what happened in 2014 (from Wikipedia).

  • Ukraine launched a military counter-offensive against pro-Russian forces in April 2014
  • By late August 2014 this operation was able to vastly shrink the territory under the control of the pro-Russian forces, and came close to regaining control of the Russo-Ukrainian border
  • But from the middle of June the Ukrainian air force was taken out of the equation by Russian air defense systems, reference
  • So, when Russia decided to more openly reinforce ground forces, the tide turned against Ukraine

However, NATO and the US have stealth, ECM and various radar targeting weapons that can give any nation’s air defenses a run for their money. It is hard to get firm information on state-of-the-art weaponry as it is a closely guarded secret, and alleged deficiencies are used to justify funding. If we supply these vehicles, weapons and technology to Ukraine, while simultaneously supplying them with air defense against any Russian air incursion (which they can legitimately shoot down), then it is Ukrainian pilots at risk not ours, and I’m pretty sure they are willing to take the risk. They can probably even pay for it. Eventually.

This is what we should do. Not fuel a guerilla war. Without air superiority, Russia will get nowhere fast in Ukraine. The number of troops will have no effect except on the death toll of Russian soldiers, which will increase domestic political resistance.

Invading another country with a motivated military, which Ukraine now has, if they are fully equipped, to which there is no real obstacle, is tremendously hard. A Russian invasion of Ukraine can absolutely be made to fail.

Once on the run, I believe momentum would allow Ukraine to re-take Crimea. This might prompt an outsized reaction from Russia. However, a compromise along the lines of joint custody could be offered.