For What It’s Worth

Read and consider a long thread posted yesterday by @igorsushko about the planning and conduct of Putin’s war on Ukraine.

It’s based reportedly on the insights of an FSB analyst who was involved at some level in preparing for the Russian Army’s invasion of Ukraine.

Obviously, many say this account isn’t genuine, it’s a fabrication, etc. Who can know? It’s the fog of war. Everyone has to decide whether they believe it’s authentic.

From this observer’s perspective, it rings true.

What follows are the best parts edited and consolidated.

Putin’s plan to invade Ukraine was kept secret from everyone.

The FSB’s analysis seemed to be a check-the-box exercise and it had to come out favorably for Russia. It contained no clue as to the depth and effect of Western sanctions.

The Russian Army’s KIA might be 2,000 but it’s probably closer to 10,000. It’s lost contact with two entire divisions. Of 20 paratroop “groups” deployed, only one had even provisional success.

Russia has proven utterly incapable of supporting its invasion force with supplies. Its roads can’t accommodate logistical convoys. With the Turkish straits closed to Russia, it can’t supply its force in Syria. For Russia, airlifts are akin to “heating up the oven with cash.”

It cannot possibly occupy Ukraine; it would need a force of 500,000. Moscow can’t find a Quisling to run the country on its behalf. And Putin can’t declare a general mobilization. It would cause an economic, political, and social explosion in Russia. There could be a political battle along anti-war and pro-war lines. The only way for Putin to keep control is to “tighten the screws” on his own people.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian resistance grows stronger. Ukrainians now hate Russians as much as the Chechens did in two wars. Though Putin is wantonly destroying major Ukrainian cities, they will be kept alive by humanitarian convoys arriving from the West.

Putin thought war against Ukraine would be a 100-meter dash; it turned out to be a marathon.

Putin doesn’t have an “off ramp” and has no options for victory. He faces the prospect of more losses. It’s like the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 when Tsarist Russia thought it would easily defeat the Japanese. But the Russian Army found itself in a state of calamity.

In economic terms, Putin’s deadline is June, by then there will nothing left of Russia’s economy. Finance Ministry efforts are like plugging holes in a ship with your fingers.

If Putin threatens war unless sanctions are lifted or rattles his nuclear weapons, it’s just a tactic to scare the West.

The SVR is sowing the media with false allegations that Ukraine is building its own nuclear weapons.

Somewhere in the chain of command, someone will refuse Putin’s order to go nuclear. Putin might not even give the order because self-preservation is his main goal.

6 responses to “For What It’s Worth

  1. Ray C Finch III

    Thanks for sharing. Agree, sounds true—but who knows? If it is genuine, hope this FSB analyst has some good cover, or he will soon be behind bars or worse.
    On a somewhat related note, the pro-Kremlin media has actually become the equivalent of WMD, and have so poisoned the minds of many Russians, that a “cure” appears out of the question.

  2. Interesting – have you wondered where Putin will be in 3 weeks, 1 month or longer if his population revolts against him? Who would be a likely successor if they depose him? When he uses a tactical nuke, is he prepared for WW 3 when he can’t overtake Ukraine. Keep posting as it is a good perspective. Cheers

  3. Fascinating report which summarizes the longer threads on twitter. Meanwhile, it seems to me that RU mil forces in UKR are increasingly exposed. The communications and logistical breakdowns are obvious. Regardless of what the US does, Europe’s security perspective has transformed. Will European mil supplies arrive in theater in time to be a factor? The use of refugees as a weapon of war may turn out to be RU most effective weapon in short to medium term. However, unless RU is able to resupply, reinforce and remobilize forces deployed in UKR, those forces will quickly degrade in readiness in a hostile foreign field. Could the Ukrainians win by not losing? Could they win on the basis of a Russian withdrawal? What would be the consequences of such a withdrawal in the RU mil, security services and Moscow power structures?

  4. Ukraine is turning into Afghanistan ’22 Greatest Hits, as I’m pretty sure we see an endgame in sight or somebody else handling within a week or two, which is a speedrun of a 10 year conflict in less than a month(I hope). I blame the internet, we’re watching war crimes in real time, and there’s really no suppressing data without shutting off the web entirely.

  5. Lots of good questions for which the answers are uncertain at best….

  6. Sadly, Putin’s already practiced unplugging the net. And running a limited Chinese-style one instead, blocking mostly everything but govt approved crap.

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