Russian Tycoon Criticized Putin’s War. Retribution Was Swift.

Russian Tycoon Criticized Putin’s War. Retribution Was Swift.

Oleg Tinkov spoke out against his country’s war in Ukraine. Now he is in hiding. In an exclusive interview he said, “I don’t believe in Russia’s future’’ under Vladimir Putin.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/01/world/europe/oligarch-putin-oleg-tinkov.html

“I’ve realized that Russia, as a country, no longer exists,” Mr. Tinkov said, predicting that Mr. Putin would stay in power a long time. “I believed that the Putin regime was bad. But of course, I had no idea that it would take on such catastrophic scale.”

He Was a Penniless Donor to the Far Right. He Was Also a Russian Spy.

He Was a Penniless Donor to the Far Right. He Was Also a Russian Spy.

An investigation in Slovakia has exposed how Russian clandestine operations are trying to sow discord in Europe and create sympathy for Moscow over Ukraine.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/20/world/europe/russian-spies-europe-ukraine.html

“I told Moscow that you are such a good boy,” the Russian spy, Sergei Solomasov, can be heard telling his Slovak recruit before explaining that Moscow would like Mr. Garbar to act as a “hunter” on the prowl for people of influence willing to cooperate with Russia.

Is the Russian Military a Paper Tiger?

Is the Russian Military a Paper Tiger?

At a critical juncture in the war in Ukraine, logistical miscalculations and poor planning have revealed key weaknesses in Putin’s armed forces.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/is-the-russian-military-a-paper-tiger

They were showing the same kind of problems back then: this disunity of command; logistical weaknesses; poorly trained, poorly motivated, poorly led troops; very poor quality of officer corps; very poor quality of campaign design and ability to plan. They also have very poor integration within and among the armed services, including the synchronization of air and ground operations.

Atrocities in Ukraine War Have Deep Roots in Russian Military

Atrocities in Ukraine War Have Deep Roots in Russian Military

Like the shelling of cities, the seemingly pointless, close-up killing of individuals recalls wars in Chechnya. Do they reflect intent, or only indifference, propaganda and a military culture of violence?

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/17/world/europe/ukraine-war-russia-atrocities.html

The brutality of Moscow’s war on Ukraine takes two distinct forms, familiar to those who have seen Russia’s military in action elsewhere.

Opinion | How Do We Deal With a Superpower Led by a War Criminal?

Opinion | How Do We Deal With a Superpower Led by a War Criminal?

There’s never been a pariah state as consequential as Russia.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/10/opinion/putin-russia-ukraine.html

But with Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, his indiscriminate crushing of its cities and mass killings of Ukrainian civilians, he went from “bad boy” to “war criminal.” And when the leader of Russia — a country that spans 11 time zones, with vast oil, gas and mineral resources and more nuclear warheads than anyone else — is a war criminal and must be henceforth treated as a pariah, the world as we’ve known it is profoundly changed. Nothing can work the same.

Will Mercenaries and Foreign Fighters Change the Course of Ukraine’s War?

Will Mercenaries and Foreign Fighters Change the Course of Ukraine’s War?

At a critical strategic juncture, non-state actors threaten to complicate the conflict.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/will-mercenaries-and-foreign-fighters-change-the-course-of-ukraines-war

The infusion of outsiders and “irregular forces” could further complicate an already messy conflict, according to a report released on Monday by the Soufan Center, a nonprofit, global-security research group. “The battlefield in Ukraine is incredibly complex, with a range of violent non-state actors—private military contractors, foreign fighters, volunteers, mercenaries, extremists, and terrorist groups—all in the mix,” it concluded

A Brutal Russian Playbook Reapplied in Ukraine

A Brutal Russian Playbook Reapplied in Ukraine

The besieging of cities, the deliberate targeting of civilians — they are the tactics Russia used before, in Grozny. I saw it firsthand.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/29/world/europe/russia-chechnya-grozny-ukraine.html

They were met by highly motivated units of Chechen fighters, armed with anti-tank rockets, who ambushed their columns, trapping and burning hundreds of Russian soldiers and armor in one night. An entire brigade, the Maikop brigade, was wiped out almost to a man.

How Putin’s Oligarchs Bought London

How Putin’s Oligarchs Bought London

From banking to boarding schools, the British establishment has long been at their service, discretion guaranteed.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/03/28/how-putins-oligarchs-bought-london

The stark implication of “Putin’s People” is not just that the President of Russia may be a silent partner in one of England’s most storied sports franchises but also that England itself has been a silent and handsomely compensated partner in Putin’s kleptocratic designs—that, in the past two decades, Russian oligarchs have infiltrated England’s political, economic, and legal systems.

China’s Information Dark Age Could Be Russia’s Future

China’s Information Dark Age Could Be Russia’s Future

Russia and China have the tendency to learn the worst from each other: tyrants, famines, purges and, now, internet censorship.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/18/business/chinas-russia-information.html

“When people ask me how info environment within the Great Firewall is like,” Yaqiu Wang, a researcher at the Human Rights Watch in New York, wrote on Twitter about China’s censored internet, “I say, ‘Imagine the whole country is one giant QAnon.’”

The Russian Military’s Debacle in Ukraine

The Russian Military’s Debacle in Ukraine

A series of strategic missteps has hampered Putin’s campaign. Will desperation make up for a lack of preparation?

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/the-russian-militarys-debacle-in-ukraine

I always tell people that military defense analysts focus on capabilities, but military strategy and the operational concepts really matter. It’s the force employment that really matters. The initial Russian campaign represents completely irrational force employment and, in many cases, frankly, nonemployment. A host of capabilities sat on the sidelines

Opinion | In Russia, I Learned, Threats Were Always Real

Opinion | In Russia, I Learned, Threats Were Always Real

A sense of menace floats long enough to make you think you’re paranoid. Sooner or later, what was feared happens. And nobody makes a secret of it.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/02/opinion/russia-putin-nemtsov.html

Life in the compounds was punctuated by ostentatious intrusions: household items conspicuously rearranged, computer files left open, alarm clocks reset to go off in the middle of the night. It was considered gauche to broadcast these events, though, because we reporters were not the story we’d come to cover.

Opinion | Did We Miss Biden’s Most Important Remark About Russia?

Opinion | Did We Miss Biden’s Most Important Remark About Russia?

Putin has something bigger to worry about at home than anything that happens in Ukraine.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/25/opinion/president-biden-russia-ukraine.html

“An unseasonably rare forest fire has engulfed the Russian tundra as the country faces significant changes from climate change, Interfax reported.” Some 900 acres “are burning despite below-zero temperatures in the Magadan region some 10,000 kilometers east of Moscow. ‘The tundra is usually covered with snow at this time of year, so such fires occur extremely rarely,’ Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying. Firefighters’ efforts to extinguish the flames are hampered by frozen water reservoirs, Interfax reported. Video posted online shows firefighters working to stamp out the fire with their feet and with tree branches.”