On the diplomatic plan, all has been told and there’s nothing left to talk about. Causes me to ‘upgrade’ my assessment about the outlooks for a war in Ukraine from ‘not going to happen’ to ‘is becoming likely.’
So, ‘Ukraine’, you ask….?
Well, that telephone chat between Biden and Putin, on Feb. 12, 2022, seems to have ended ‘inconclusively’. Essentially, they both repeated the same POVs like from month or more ago.
….and Putin just couldn’t turn a deafer ear at Macron, either….
US, Great Britain, France, plus most of NATO allies – and Russia – are currently evacuating their diplomatic personnel from Kiev, meanwhile. All for ‘plenty of good reasons’, or so they say…
Bottom line: on the diplomatic plan, all has been told and there’s nothing left to talk about. Causes me to ‘upgrade’ my assessment about the outlooks for a war in Ukraine from ‘not going to happen’ to ‘is becoming likely.’
….which is bringing me to the military plan…
Russian MOD have summoned the US Military Attaché to protest a violation of the Russian territorial waters by USS Virginia (SSN-774): supposedly, the latter was tracked down by destroyer Admiral Shaposhnikov, near the Kuril Islands (Pacific).
Provided this is truth (and that’s a big IF), perhaps USS Virginia was searching for all the Russian Army troops moved from the Far East to the Ukrainian border? After all, the Western and Southern Military districts of the Russian Armed Forces have been beefed up to 83 Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs; that’s about 700-1000 troops, every single one – just like in Syria of 2015-2017), with 14 additional in transit. Or about 100,000 troops, equipped with everything from T-72B3, T-72B3M, T-80BVM, and T-90M MBTs to 2S7 Pion and Malka guns calibre 203mm, Krasukha-4, Murmansk-BN, and ROSC-1 EW-systems. They have sufficient ammo stocks, pipelines linked-up with local refineries and civilian pipelines, necessary field hospitals, about a dozen of S-300/400 SAM-systems (from Belarus to the Black Sea), and additional Su-35s, Su-34s, etc. And at least two brigades of Iskander-Ms in forward positions. ….up to 50,000 additional troops are in transit and to be in position around Ukraine by the end of this week.
Might turn out the US intel was right assessing the Russians might want to have about 150,000 troops around before they (re-)invade Ukraine….
For comparison, the Ukrainian Armed Forces count about 100,000 trained servicemen (out of about 180,000 professionals they originally wanted to have). Supported by aged T-80s, T-64BVs, T-64BMs, and T-72UA1s, some 30 operational MiG-29s and 35 Su-27s. ….and a few overhauled SA-10s and SA-15s…. plus about 1500 Javelins, 2400 NLAWs, and Polish- and US-supplied MANPADs of latest generation, delivered the last few days. They’re slowly mobilising some reservists, and their civilian authorities are improving protection of strategically important installations, but there is no general mobilisation: Zelensky is insistent that ‘there will be no war’, so why ‘panic’…?
And that’s about all that can be said in this regard as of today (except that all of this is a brilliant advertising for contraception, actually….)
Now, we’ve got to wait and see if the US predictions – not officially confirmed by the White House or the Pentagon – for a Russian invasion this week (‘probably on Wednesday’, Feb. 16), are going to turn out to be truth, or Putin might ‘opt for just a big exercise’….
Check out Helion & Company website for books featuring interesting stories written by The Aviation Geek Club contributor Tom Cooper.
Photo credit: Presidential Press Service and Alan Wilson via Wikipedia