To say that last night into Tuesday is weird, well, is an understatement. This thread will be update all day and night until 1900 ET tomorrow when the calendar flips (UTC) and the news day changes in Eastern Europe.
UPDATED 02.15 16:30 ET:
And more updates now on the war that will never end or never start so it would appear. Then again, this ominous tweet from CBS News speaks volumes:
Of course other tweets from other observers like this one from a VOA News reporter (US propaganda outlet) tend to support this:
NEW: @POTUS not alone saying #Russia amassed 150,000 troops along #Ukraine‘s borders— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) February 15, 2022
New report from #Estonia‘s foreign intel service says “Russia mobilized 150,000 men…deploying units & capabilities from all its military districts, including the Far East, & all 12 armies” https://t.co/li0TdLQO09
If anyone has ever watched these weapons online for their effectiveness, then one would understand my hesitancy to declare this crisis over:
TOS-1A thermobaric MLRS reportedly passing through Orenburg. https://t.co/YgMdQMdF5Z— Rob Lee (@RALee85) February 15, 2022
And another warning:
316. Meanwhile only 16 km from Ukraine at Krasnaya Yaruga, Belgorod Oblast, film in link reportedly from this morning seems to show new arrivals, believed to be from 15th Motor Rifle Reg of 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Div— Dan (@Danspiun) February 15, 2022
4x BMP-2 + 3x T-72s + others unclear. https://t.co/o37uDwk55j
Then again, there is this tweet which is most interesting as it has “hi, I used to work for the KGB” written all over it:
At this point, I’m not saying the “war” is still on nor am I acting like a Wall Street moron and declaring “peace in our time” as I honestly think the fog of war is actually settling in over the region. More tonight as news events warrant, and no, President Dementia’s comments are not newsworthy.
UPDATED 02.15 0515 ET:
The one video which is disturbing to counteract the happy reaction in the West, and should cause caution is the movement of armor to Luninets in Belarus from Western Belarus. If the buildup is continuing there, then indeed this is a clever feint designed to lull the Ukraine military and NATO into a false sense of relief. A buildup at Luninets appears to have continued through yesterday:
And here is the story from Interfax.ru which has caused rallies in equity markets and futures and offered a glimmer of hope of de-escalation (translation via Google):
Units of the Western and Southern military districts began returning to their bases after the exercises
Moscow. February, 15. INTERFAX.RU – On Tuesday, units of the Western and Southern military districts begin returning from exercises to their bases by rail and by road, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
“The units of the Southern and Western military districts, having completed their tasks, have already begun loading onto rail and road transport and today they will begin moving to their military garrisons. Individual units will march on their own as part of military columns,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
“A number of combat training events, including exercises, were carried out in accordance with the plan. As the combat training events are completed, the troops, as always, will march in a combined way to their permanent deployment points,” he stressed.
With the Russian news service Kommersant.ru reporting this however, don’t celebrate the rumored withdrawal of some troops yet (translation via Google):
Ukraine will regard the recognition of the LPR and the DPR as Russia’s withdrawal from the Minsk agreements
Ukraine will consider the recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR) by the State Duma as Russia’s withdrawal from the Minsk agreements, said the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba. The Rada adopted an appeal not to recognize the possible decisions of the Russian authorities and asked Western countries to impose sanctions. Today, February 15, the State Duma will consider two resolutions on an appeal to the President of Russia on the need to recognize the DNR and LNR.
“If a decision is made on recognition (LNR and DNR . – “Kommersant” ), Russia will de facto and de jure withdraw from the Minsk agreements with all the attendant consequences,” Mr. Kuleba said at a briefing (quoted by RIA Novosti ). He added that the Ukrainian authorities have already warned representatives of the partner countries about their position.
Interesting to wake up to this news this morning:
Some Russian forces near #Ukraine returning to bases: ministry – AFP— marqs (@MarQs__) February 15, 2022
We heard that before. Lets wait and see what is happening on the ground.
And one more interesting perspective before I call it a night:
Head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has addressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and urged him to be prudent. “Mr. Zelensky! The time for clowning has come to an end. The hour has come to fulfil one’s duty to one’s own people in order to avoid irreversible consequences”. pic.twitter.com/wawg2PGqfT— Dean O’Brien (@DeanoBeano1) February 14, 2022
Even more evidence of the build up:
US Officials today said that they now saw Russian forces assembling in attack positions. @Maxar sends these showing new arrival of troops and attack helicopters, ground attack aircraft and fighter-bomber jets to forward locations, ground units in attack formations (thread) pic.twitter.com/i4lJCY4Hon— Patrick Tucker (@DefTechPat) February 15, 2022
A good map for reference of what has happened through Monday, February 14th:
Our map at @Cen4infoRes showing the movements of Russian military forces along Ukraines borders now has 250+ pieces of geolocated & verified footage: https://t.co/52ovgsfc8a pic.twitter.com/wBvyQppNJ8— Benjamin (@hengenahm) February 14, 2022
Not a good look, even as Zelensky demanded they return to support their “employees” in a last minute plea:
Just a reminder, that this is not a game. One of America’s B-52’s dispatched from the United Kingdom declared a PAN-PAN today. Full story at this link and a reminder that people can and might die due to mechanical or other issues, not just to show the flag or in combat:
Now the reality dawns on the idiots at the US State Department (like anyone would want to travel there now anyways):
First up the “peace in our time” headline via the Journal.ie from Ireland:
Shortly thereafter, the Financial Times of London blows that up tonight:
So that’s that.
And a fantastic observation by OSINT Technical which requires one to actually pay attention to the news and postings from those who are in the know:
Someone brought this up to me, Russian tanks use parade tracks with rubber pads in order to avoid destroying road surfaces, these tanks clearly are not using them. https://t.co/iYowG5jpY8 pic.twitter.com/SvyQSn0qkH— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) February 15, 2022
Nicely done by both posters to observe this.
And remember this posting by Rob Lee as things accelerate:
Military operations can be shifted depending on weather conditions and other factors. I don’t think focusing on a single date is particularly helpful. We’re in the window in which Russia could conduct a significant escalation, which will probably last for a few weeks. https://t.co/WJFOnotZ1S— Rob Lee (@RALee85) February 15, 2022
And one more from Rob, validating the theory that the “go” date is not Tuesday or Wednesday:
This area is a good 30 km from the Russia-Ukraine border so another indicator that no offensive action is pending has been flagged by yours truly.
And more indications that the buildup has not reached a climax to launch as per the United States continuing “imminent any day, next day, yesterday, everyday, one more day” claims:
This video confirms the deployment of elements belonging to the 2nd Combined Arms Army (CAAs) near Ukraine. The last CAA to arrive. Therefore, at the moment, elements of all ground forces CAAs (11/11) are “working towards Ukraine”. https://t.co/4GN4DFZio6— Konrad Muzyka – Rochan Consulting (@konrad_muzyka) February 14, 2022
More to come and if anything older catches my eye, I shall post it below.