The Western media, primarily in the United Kingdom and Europe, has begun the long series of “what a Russian invasion of Ukraine would look like” series of video news pieces and to say that they are missing the point is an understatement. For example, check out the standard pablum from iTV and the UK Telegraph below:
One of my favorite commentators and writers on this situation, Micheal Kofman, makes a miscalculation based on the old Russian methodology, in my opinion:
This time it is different, but more on that later in this piece. Moving on to the usual Western propaganda news outlets, this story from Reuters speaks volumes as to the war hawk movement underway in Washington, D.C. and other Western capitals:
It’s sort of weird how every Western news outlet quotes “unnamed sources” or “intelligence sources” when the reality is that there is no active indication of military action for the next 21 days. I’ll one up that by pointing out a story in the Journal.ie on January 22nd, which has since been updated:
From the article:
“The location is not an accident and has been entirely anticipated – they could be doing this off the coast of Murmansk but have chosen the Atlantic instead. There has been an increased number of incursions in to this area and near to Irish airspace.
“The concern from a military perspective is that an exercise is a very easy way to assemble large amounts of military assets into an area under false pretences and be a precursor to other activities.
“It is not unprecedented, but it is unusual to see it so close to the Irish area of economic responsibility.”
Unusual thus the changes reported later last week:
THE DEPARTMENT OF Transport has issued a marine notice advising all seafarers that the Russian Navy will carry out manoeuvres off the southwest coast of Ireland from 3 to 8 February.
The Irish Government has received a warning of a major exercise by the Russian navy and air force in the Atlantic Ocean, as reported by The Journal last Saturday.
The Department notice to seafarers states: “Given the nature of the planned exercises and the presence of naval forces, vessels and crew are advised of serious safety risks in the operational area. Masters should navigate their vessel to ensure safety at all times.”–Journal.ie Story 01.27.22
Thus begging the question:
If another detachment of ships from the Russian Navy from their Arctic fleet is engaging in this activity, right before the Olympics begin, why would anyone perceive that the attack would occur during the games, humiliating and distracting the world from Xi’s propaganda show?
Add in the fact that there are ships from the Baltic Fleet, including amphibious vessels, now transiting the Mediterranean Sea, then those vessels from this test and the Pacific Fleet en-route also, I would be skeptical of any actions before the Olympics are over.
The positions displayed on the map above are estimated but they are pretty good guess. By the end of next week, barring R&R in Tartus or Egypt, these vessels should be in the Black Sea within the next two weeks.
What makes these naval vessel movements unusual is that in the history of the Cold War, I certainly can not, nor many others, any time where Pacific Fleet vessels were dispatched from Vladivostok to the Black Sea for potential military training or action. Thus as more “exceptions” to traditional Russian behavior become obvious, it must be taken into account that this is the new rule and the US intelligence community is, as usual, behind the times in estimating their course of action.
The following video from the CaspianReport YouTube outlet describes his theory on the intention of how the Russian invasion would proceed with some excellent points:
Again, I think the theory is sound except on three fronts:
- Occupation of major cities will be bypassed to destroy Ukrainian forces, leaving those in the cities to rot.
- Kiev is too large and too costly and will become an international circus. Putin will again, bypass and attack towards Transnistria, to meet the Crimean forces striking from the South and to cut off resupply to the east.
- There will be no “three phase” operation. Putin does not have the seasonality, resources, nor the time for such a move. This action will be more like the 1991 Gulf War or even faster with a deep strike behind Ukrainian lines using overwhelming air superiority and missile attacks in support of a land based attack to seize enough territory and destroy the majority of effective Ukrainian forces to impose a political settlement.
From the video above, I took this snapshot and added my own personal edits to reflect this opinion:
The flanking maneuver will leave the majority of the Ukrainian military isolated, cut off from supplies, and left with the decision to fight or surrender. The former means complete and total annihilation, unseen since the days of the battle of Kursk in 1943, the latter means the end of the Zelensky regime faster, and as such, a more likely outcome.
The action will be calculated to be completed within 2-3 weeks depending on the resistance along the Dnieper River by Ukrainian forces. Regardless, Putin is wise enough to have studied modern warfare as has his general staff to know that a slow slog of a ground campaign would be suicide for his nation.
Every indicator, including the movement of the Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard) from Far East locations like Tomsk, should be a warning that the buildup will continue for at least another 3 weeks (from TV-2 Russia, via Google Translation):
More than 130 Russian Guard servicemen left Tomsk for Kursk the day before. This information was confirmed to TV2 by a source at the Tomsk airport. According to another source, such a transfer of people was caused by the tense situation on the border with Ukraine.
Now call me a Soviet skeptic, but unless something pretty large is about to happen outside of a political settlement, why in the world would the Russian military move members of their Rosgvardia some 2400 miles for “just an exercise” when local units would suffice?
This is a buildup to something much, much larger and other units are still on the move from the Finnish border and Far East indicating that there is no perceived threat from NATO or China should a conflict begin.
With the movement of the Rosgvardia, patrol boats from the Baltic Sea via land (!) to the Black Sea, and other actions still underway that the Western media is ignoring, odds are the time period from the end of February through the first two weeks of March are still the most dangerous time period when an invasion could occur.
I stand by my original position that this is going to move forward, that the diplomatic dance routine is no different from that of Paris in the early 1970’s or Europe in 1939. Russia is playing the West for the fools that they are; fat, dumb, and happy and disbelieving that a major military conflict can or would occur because of their “globalist” union. Russia and China have elected to sit the unified global government concept out, instead taking one last chance to redraw the geopolitical game of Risk in their favor.
Based on the current US regime’s lack of leadership and the ineptness of NATO, odds are they will succeed.