Sorry to be away for a bit, but been interesting medically. Some good, some we don’t know, but interesting.
Right now, in the media and in chatter coming out of Russia, there are rumors of rumors of rumors. The Gotterdammerung group is back at it, in public and in private, pledging to bathe the world in nuclear fire rather than admit defeat in the Ukraine. Hearing some interesting but unverified/unverifiable things about why such talk dropped off so much after 9 May.
There are rumors Vladimir is in surgery, already had it and used staged footage to hide it, has yet to have the surgery, take your pick. About the only thing I haven’t heard is that he is dead and one of his body doubles has stepped in while Patrushev runs things. Would be amazed if someone in Russia or the West didn’t claim such. As for the claim that Vladimir will end up in a sanitarium by 2023, well, he might for all of about five minutes. Once out of power he has the life of a mayfly at best.
The only thing that is verifiable is that Vladimir seems to be going as all in as he can on taking Eastern Ukraine. He would like to take more, plans to take more, but a lot of people still don’t seem to get that he no longer has the Red Army, more the Dead Army or the Potemkin Army. That said, there are enough resources to accomplish this if they can be brought to together. If they can’t and/or the Ukrainians continue to fight smart the Russian military will not just be defeated but gutted to an extent well beyond Vladimir’s worst nightmares.
In some ways, they are already there. Look at all the civilian trucks and vehicles brought in not just for logistics, but to replace military ambulances and a host of other military vehicles. Also, look for a lot more stories like this, as there seems to be a continuing array of disasters that may reflect a sizable chunk of the Russian population rather than Ukrainian sabotage. Whenever one of these ‘one big plants’ goes up, it is an unmitigated disaster for Russia. There is already quiet chatter that the loss of the chemical plant earlier is having a far greater effect than anyone in the Russian government wants to admit.
Until some of this shakes out further, it is hard to say what will happen on the strategic level long term. There is a lot of chatter out of Russia and the Kremlin, but trying to figure out what is real, or what is real but slanted and how/why, is interesting. Unless something happens to sideline Vladimir, I see him pushing on and trying to grab as much as he can, and to escalate things as far as he can. The larger question is, what will happen when he tries and how will his own people and troops respond, esp. as there are multiple units in an effective state of mutiny right now.
Meantime, for both micro and macro combat information and analysis, as well as just good general coverage, check out:
Evergreen Intel, The Institute for the Study of War, Trent Telenko, Kamil Galeev, Amelia Smith, Jomeni of the West, OSINTtechnical, Liveuamap, OSINTdefender, and Stephen Green at both Instapundit and VodkaPundit. Start with those, and you will soon spot some others.
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