All the Russian MoD does is lie. Basing your theory on obvious lies (difficult to shoot people while you’re running away) is naive. And total war works both ways.

Expand full comment

This is a reasonable and balanced analysis which I mostly support. Luring or coercing Russia into a full war escalation will come at the price of Putin the evil dictator but what are the alternatives given that most of the propaganda in the west portrays him as that anyway. Very difficult situation for Russia. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Give that the encroachment and provocation are existential threats to Russia, there is really only one choice, escalate and flatten the Ukraine. Yes that makes Putin the monster....

Expand full comment

Yes to all that.

But at the end of the day, Russia defended Kherson, which was important, at the expense of Kharkov, which wasn't.

What did Ukraine actually gain from its ruse d'guerre besides a face saving victory to justify more U.S. bailout, as pointed out?

Was there any strategic or tactical advantage?

Seems Russian intelligence knew there was going to be a serious attack somewhere and stripped Kharkov to meet it so they haven't been entirely in the dark about NATO supply.

Russian intelligence was also busy with terrorist attacks in the south which would also indicate an impending attack there, that "resistance" business: and Darya Dugin.

IDK I don't see how this really changes much of anything except how its perceived, which is important, of course.

But it's also a cheap shot that can easily backfire on its perpetrators since a ruse works only with a bit of luck, which one must never count on.

Had the Russians figured it out in time, the Kharkov salient could have beome ducks in a barrel.

Bet, they'll be more wary.

As for Putin, who knows? He has a lot of angles to cover.

He really doesn't want this war. That is obvious.

Expand full comment

Now the First Army that Putin recreated in 2014 is smashed - a Potemkin military from a dwarf with zero defense background. Game over for Putin-Chabad.

Expand full comment

It is almost impossible to believe that the russian military intelligence was unanware of the preparations for the Kharkov offensive, when even russian telegram channels posted info about an ukrainian build up with the assumed intention to push for Balakliya on Aug. 30th. That is almost an entire week before it started.

e.g.: t.me/intelslava -> search for "Important! There are messages from local residents" this should get to the right post.

Expand full comment

What a load of horseshit.

Expand full comment

Mobilization would damage the economy, leading to increasing shortages of domestic goods. The videos of mothers crying over the death sof their sons, forced to fight with minimal equipment and inexperienced (and so incompetent) command in a war they did not choose will lose Putin so much support he'd be toast. And he knows that.

Expand full comment

Putin-Chabad is just about done murdering Slavs

Expand full comment