Syria, with Russian support, used many of the brutal tactics now seen in Ukraine — and its dictator stayed in power. That conflict offers lessons for Russia’s leader, analysts say.
“Creating a humanitarian catastrophe is part of the war strategy, not a secondary effect, because this is how you shift the burden on to the other side,” he said.
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
Social media’s aesthetic norms are shaping how Ukrainians document the Russian invasion. Is it a new form of citizen war journalism or just an invitation to keep clicking?
via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/infinite-scroll/watching-the-worlds-first-tiktok-war
as the Russian convoys outside of Kyiv continue attempting to penetrate the city center, traditional news organizations are pulling their journalists to safety. Social media is an imperfect chronicler of wartime. In some cases, it may also be the most reliable source we have.
As the invasion unfolded, images straight out of Cold War nightmare dramas butted up against 21st-century politics.
Mr. Trump’s “good relationship” with Mr. Putin, he said, was “hurt by the Russia, Russia, Russia hoax.” The invasion, he said, “all happened because of a rigged election.” (Ms. Ingraham dismissed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine’s plea that Russia not overrun his country as a “pathetic display.”)
After marinating in conspiracy theories and Donald J. Trump’s Russia stance, some online discourse about Vladimir Putin has grown more complimentary.
Right-wing commentators including Candace Owens, Stew Peters and Joe Oltmann also jumped into the fray online with posts that were favorable to Mr. Putin and that rationalized his actions against Ukraine. “I’ll stand on the side of Russia right now,” Mr. Oltmann, a conservative podcaster, said on his show this week.
Putin has declared that history is destiny, and that Ukraine will never get away from Russia.
via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-crushing-loss-of-hope-in-ukraine
“Are you listening to Putin?” is not the kind of text message I expect to receive from a friend in Moscow. But that’s the question my closest friend asked me on Monday, when the Russian President was about twenty minutes into a public address in which he would announce that he was recognizing two eastern regions of Ukraine as independent countries and effectively lay out his rationale for launching a new military offensive against Ukraine. I was listening—Putin had just said that Ukraine had no history of legitimate statehood. When the speech was over, my friend posted on Facebook, “I can’t breathe.”
Documents obtained exclusively by TIME reveal the American businessman’s ambitious plans to take over Ukraine’s military industry.
via Time: https://time.com/6076035/erik-prince-ukraine-private-army/
At least one of Prince’s offers to Ukraine appeared to be in line with U.S. geopolitical interests. As the Wall Street Journal first reported in Nov. 2019, Prince has been competing against a Chinese firm to buy a Ukrainian factory called Motor Sich, which produces advanced aircraft engines. China sought those engines to develop its air force. The U.S., concerned about the rapid growth of the Chinese military, has long urged Ukraine not to complete the sale. Prince emerged as the American alternative, offering to save the factory from China’s clutches.