Ukraine Predictions

Reprinted from Facebook (2017/12/31): Geopolitically, 2015 will be crunch time for the Poroshenko regime. Short of massive Western support, a fiscal crisis is virtually certain. How will Poroshenko deal with it? A new assault against Novorossiya can’t be excluded; military spending is rising to 5% of GDP. That’s higher than any industrialized nation bar Israel. […]

Was MH17 Terrorism?

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/15): Let’s say that the SBU recordings are genuine and the NAF was directly responsible for shooting down MH77 on the mistaken impression that it was a (valid) military target. Should this then be classed as terrorism? Would it invoke NATO’s Article 5, as some of the most heated rhetoric is suggesting? (See http://www.spitsnieuws.nl/…/nederland-en-vs-bereiden-invasi…) Well, […]

The Fall of Slavyansk

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/15): 1) The fall of Slavyansk is mainly a political problem, not a military one. In military terms, it is, if anything, a success, with Strelkov managing to successfully exfiltrate the great bulk of his forces from encirclement. 2) Donetsk has almost ten times the population of (pre-war) Slavyansk. Having aquired the great bulk […]

The “Anti-Terrorist Operation” in the Ukraine has been a Disaster

In a short piece I wrote on 11th April 2014 on my Facebook page under the the title “More evidence of the Ukrainian security forces’ refusal to carry out Kiev’s orders” I said: “A report I read on Novosti citing an anonymous but apparently senior source in Kiev suggested that the force deployed today in […]

The Donbass Referendum

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/14): Preliminary reports turnout is going to be high in Donetsk and Lugansk, with most people voting Yes to independence (though I’ve seen photos with a few No’s). I expected this (https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/465366857189310465) and it seems to have turned out correctly. Independence enjoyed 33% support in Donetsk and 25% support in Lugansk in opinion polls […]

Ukrainians on Federalism

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/14): Comprehensive, very important PEW poll on attitudes in Ukraine towards federalism, Russia, Crimea (after Crimean referendum, but before the Odessa massacre): http://www.pewglobal.org/…/despite-concerns-about-governan…/ Two critical points can be made: (1) There is virtually unanimous support in Crimea for recognizing the results of its own referendum (only 4% are against). This indicates that that referendum […]

Massacre in Odessa

Russia’s Channel Odessa has done a real piece of investigative journalism on the Odessa massacre. It appears to show that the street fighting in Odessa that preceded the massacre bore the hallmarks of a carefully staged provocation in which sections of the police and of the local authorities were actively involved. It shows that the […]

Why Constitutional Talks in the Ukraine Should Start Now

The US, Kiev, their EU allies and their media echo chamber are up to their invariable game of rewriting last week’s Geneva Statement to mean not what it says but what they want it to say. To repeat the Geneva Statement contains NO time line (see my previous post where I discussed what the Geneva […]

Deconstructing the Result of the Four Party Talks

The media refers to the document that emerged out of today’s four party talks as an “agreement”. This is not strictly correct. The text of the document is here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/17/ukraine-diplomats-meet-in-geneva-in-bid-to-ease-crisis-live-coverage?view=desktop#block-5350089ce4b056a9012cda6f As its text makes clear what this document is in reality is not an an agreement to settle the Ukrainian crisis or even an outline […]

Russian Federation Sitrep 2014.04.17

KIEV ATTACKS. On Tuesday what remains of Kiev’s army, accompanied with threats of destruction, entered two eastern cities, Kramatorsk and Slavyansk. The soldiers soon switched sides (or as they say in Kiev “Russian terrorist sabotage groups have been captured six units of armored vehicles”), up went the Russian flags and St George ribbons and the […]

Russia’s Game Plan in Donbass

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/14): Quick piece I scribbled off for RIA: First off, an elementary observation: Donbass is not Crimea. Crimea features prominently in Russia’s historical memory, having undergone two epic sieges over two centuries. It was only given over to Ukraine as a pure formality, to mark 300 years since the Treaty of Pereyaslav that was […]

My Advice to the Maidan

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/14): I’m not a Euromaidan supporter. But if I was, and was interested in the junta’s success and a smooth transition to an EU-orientated Poroshenko Presidency… –> First of all, it has to be realized that Ukraine is weakest precisely in the short-term. An election would give Poroshenko a democratic mandate to carry him […]

Russian Federation Sitrep 2014.04.03

  THE FUTURE OF UKRAINE. The Ukraine of six months ago no longer exists; it has been destroyed by the scheming of Brussels and Washington. If there is to be something on the map named “Ukraine” at the end of the year that in anyway resembles what was there six months ago, Moscow’s plan must […]

Was Crimea Worth It?

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/14): Was Crimea worth it? [editorial tone – neutral/objective] Pros * Secures major Black Sea naval base; Ukraine no longer able to link it to gas discounts. * Demonstration that Russia still counts to putsch leaders, pro-Russia elements in S/E Ukraine, and the West. From a realist, non-sentimental perspective, it’s better to be feared […]

Russian Federation Sitrep 2014.03.20

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 20 March 2014 PUTIN SPEECH. After the referendum (by the way, perfectly normal numbers for this sort of thing see Falklands Islands, Kosovo and others) the process of re-joining Russia has begun – Putin’s speech here. One of his points was the illegality of Khrushchev’s transfer in 1954 “What matters now is […]

Five Myths about the Crimean Referendum

As voting gets underway – and by all accounts, it seems to be overwhelmingly heading for the pro-secession choice – it’s worthwhile to dispel four common but erroneous beliefs about it. (1) The referendum is unconstitutional. This is true enough, as all of Ukraine would have to vote on it. But there is one big […]

After The Referendum

If, as seems to be generally expected, tomorrow’s referendum in Crimea produces a substantial majority in favour of union with the Russian Federation, what will Moscow’s reaction be? I strongly expect that it will be…… Nothing. There are several reason why I think this. One is that Moscow is reluctant to break up states. I […]

Russian Federation Sitrep 2014.03.13

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 13 March 2014 Propaganda. Watch for these news items in your local media outlet to indicate when it stops re-typing and starts reporting. Who is what in the new govt in Kiev; the sniper story; General Dempsey has no evidence the soldiers in Crimea are Russians; what the treaty allows Russia to […]

What If?: Ukraine vs. Russia

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/14): I’m almost certain it won’t happen, but it’s always fun to consider these what-if military scenarios. Namely, Ukraine vs. Russia. In terms of numbers, it will be about 100K vs 150K – Russia has more, of course – 300K in the ground forces – but can only devote a certain percentage of its […]

Russian Federation Sitrep 2014.03.06

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 6 March 2014 Information battlespace. Just as in the Ossetia War, Western governments and media are in full propaganda mode. And, again, their citizens and news consumers will eventually find out they are being lied to. But this time it will be sooner because the New Media is stronger and alternative views […]