02.21.22 23:58 UTC UPDATE:
Two minutes to midnight. Literally.
Iron Maiden sums it up and yeah, still popular with us old timers.
Russian troops are moving into the Donbas.
Military forces around NATO and Europe are going on alert.
Financial markets are in turmoil.
President Biden again demonstrates he is a dysfunctional senile old fool with a meaningless Executive Order designed to punish no one in reality.
European leaders are freaking out as they now have to stand on their own.
Yet here we are, no major conflict yet, watching thousands of Russian military forces on the move into what was Ukrainian territory with no reaction at all. Zelensky knows any military reaction will be the end of his regime and worse a costly war which destroys what’s left of his “loyalist” military factions.
There have been enough developments already re-hashed on other blogs and websites, so I’ll pick up the baton from my perspective as Asian markets open and into the wee hours as I doubt many of us who monitor these events will sleep much tonight.
A great reminder from someone who was inside the game:
02.22.22 2100 UTC UPDATE:
Here we go boys and girls, apparently President Zelensky is ordering a full mobilization. God help those people:
And less than 30 minutes later, confirmed:
And now the move by Russian and Pro-Russian forces to the LoC (Line of Contact) in the Donbas is underway in Lugansk:
Equipment on the move in #Luhansk this afternoonpic.twitter.com/9J5KIRTCSH— marqs (@MarQs__) February 22, 2022
In Belgorod region, yeah, they are moving closer to the border:
Белгородская обл pic.twitter.com/vqlidF36pC— IgorGirkin (@GirkinGirkin) February 22, 2022
Just a reminder; once you see the armor with loaded machine guns on the turrets and auxiliary fuel tanks, it means the offensive will be taking off shortly. Once these tanks reach their assembly area for the assault, the fuel reserves topped off, troops fed, then the real invasion begins.
MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) starting to soften the periphery of the Donbas region:
Це відбувається зараз. По українських позиціях в районі Комишувахи з Первомайська б‘ють РСЗО «Град» бойовиків. https://t.co/WGyqPOcCgg pic.twitter.com/W9xjKAjqGX— IgorGirkin (@GirkinGirkin) February 22, 2022
🇷🇺 🇺🇦 Shelling footage from eastern Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/f6gshHo3Pr— Intelsky (@Intel_sky) February 22, 2022
And even more:
Grad rocket impacts in Schastya, inside Ukrainian controlled territory pic.twitter.com/M1tKKXQbgi— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) February 22, 2022
And now, finally, a rumored resolution to the Z IFF markings plus others now appearing closer to the Ukraine border:
A popular Russian-language Telegram channel is claiming that vehicles with the “Z” will be used in the Kharkiv direction, the triangle for units going towards Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, and the circle for the mobile reserve. This obviously isn’t confirmed.https://t.co/IBSu6y2UNw pic.twitter.com/rN0E0ehpRk— Rob Lee (@RALee85) February 22, 2022
If true, the offensive will be broad, fast, and slashing probably hitting the weaker points in the Ukrainian lines thus avoiding the major cities as much as possible.
Rob Lee on Twitter hits a home run with this one:
Yeah, good luck with that.
The Russian consulates left in Ukraine (Kiev and Odessa) are having a top secret document cookout before they leave:
Smoke is billowing from the Russian embassy in Kyiv this evening. https://t.co/Za3oSTAaSx pic.twitter.com/jO8DEA9t5h— C O U P S U R E (@COUPSURE) February 22, 2022
Perhaps Vlad can call his old friend Hillary for assistance in wiping hard drives properly.
More to come. The violence is just beginning.
02.22.22 1000 UTC UPDATE:
And the morning starts with shelling throughout the “new” Republics:
Meanwhile near Belgorod this morning, which has nothing to do with the DPR/LPR area and is closer to Kharkov:
Белгородская обл pic.twitter.com/y8c6Dnn9dv— IgorGirkin (@GirkinGirkin) February 22, 2022
And more video from last night:
Video uploaded 30 minutes ago claims to be from Shebekino in the Belgorod region of Russia- just 2.5 miles at the closest from the Ukrainian border. pic.twitter.com/79VG8MhWb2— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) February 22, 2022
This Tweet from the Twitter handle English Lugansk, a must follow as he’s on the front lines sums up what most of us already knew:
The fighting is still ongoing inside the Donbas:
Semyon Pegov published a video that he claims shows DNR rebels striking a Ukrainian military truck with an ATGM. pic.twitter.com/UOqDIQPMdk— Rob Lee (@RALee85) February 22, 2022
Everyone is watching the Donbas, but there are some watching the moves elsewhere. With the LST’s and assault ships loaded up in Crimea, watching the next move of the Russian Navy is critical to understand the overall Russian military strategy.
The naval arm of Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine is in place. Landing ships, major warships, submarines and aircraft effectively dominate the Black Sea. And the visible preparations extend into the Mediterrean. It appears overwhelming 🇷🇺⚓️🇺🇦https://t.co/Yl4wKssQB1— Naval News (@navalnewscom) February 22, 2022
The usual hysteria from the UK Daily Mail for my readers:
‘The invasion of Ukraine has begun’: Sajid Javid issues stark warning as Boris Johnson vows ‘first barrage of sanction’ are ready to go after Putin ordered his troops to go in on a ‘peacekeeping mission’, prompting condemnation from the West
I can’t wait to see how the rest of the invasion is portrayed.
Lastly, barring more breaking news, here is a treat by the user Russian Trad which sums up the idiocy of the Western mindset regarding Russia (emphasis mine):
And Konrad at Rochan Consulting posts this reminder last night which is still valid this morning:
This could become a very long day. I shall try to post any updates I find on my Telegram feed (link above on main page).
The playbook is the same, but will the violence used to enforce it be far greater or will Putin browbeat the Ukrainians into a surrender without the carnage?
Georgia – 2008/ Ukraine – 2022. Putin did not even have to write a new decree. pic.twitter.com/MGnroOo4Ta— Alona Shkrum (@Aly_shkrum) February 21, 2022
Putin signs ‘immediate’ recognition of Donbass regions
And just like “that”, they are gone….from Ukraine.
ABC News, part of the US propaganda network chimes in with its insight and “inside” information:
Russia-Ukraine updates: US urges Ukrainian president to head to Lviv for his safety
Based on the US State Department, Pentagon, and CIA’s track record, I would probably take a hard pass on that idea and gamble on a house in Odessa from the Ruskies.
It’s getting hairy now…
🇺🇸US planes didn’t receive a permission to enter Ukrainian airspace and are withdrawing to its base. #Ukraine #US https://t.co/uRRKjGEoCB— MilitaryLand.net (@Militarylandnet) February 21, 2022
Vlad sends a parade towards Donetsk tonight:
“This night, in the direction of #Donetsk, dozens of Russian tanks, artillery pieces towed by trucks and military vehicles” – Le Figaro correspondentpic.twitter.com/G3cLbWQVxY— marqs (@MarQs__) February 21, 2022
More “peacekeepers” in position:
Even more disturbing news, even if it is from CNNisFakeNews:
Needless to say, Ukrainian troops have to be questioning the lack of leadership from Kiev and nervous about what may happen tonight in their foxholes:
Meanwhile, speaking of a lack of leadership, apparently President Zelensky of Ukraine has found the remains of Hunter Biden’s party stash and hit it pretty hard:
Apparently Mr. Z has not paid attention to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia, South Vietnam, Nicaragua, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Angola, Yemen, etc.
And the usual rats are leaving the sinking ship:
And this wise Ukrainian Marine (an Englishman) sums up the big fear tonight:
Much, much, more to come….