Iran, Russia, Oh My

What an interesting start to the week. Sleet and snow, along with falling temps, are making the roads around here fun. Thinking I may put off the bus trip to the stores until tomorrow.

Over the weekend, Iran was apparently attacked. Some of the initial reports, which come from usually reliable sources, indicated multiple targets. There were unconfirmed reports of fighters launching and other delights all around the country. Right now, there is still a dearth of solid data and I find it interesting that even though the Iranian government admitted to multiple attacks Saturday night, they and some interesting segments of the corporate media are now focusing on one particular attack. Which according to them, failed.

If you believe the official take of the Iranian government on anything, please do let me know as I have a bridge for sale that you would find the perfect investment opportunity. That out of the way, there is reason to believe that around five sites were attacked. All are military targets. Beyond that, insufficient data. And, no, I don’t think the fire at the refinery was part of this.

I also strongly suspect that a lot of the bangs, booms, aircraft launches, and other things reported elsewhere were the result of the Iranians. They do seem to have quite the habit of doing such locally and nationally, and when you fire at targets without identifying them (or verifying they are even real), you get UIA 752 and/or a lot of bangs, booms, and other delights. After all, if you fire an arrow into the air, you know it’s coming back down to Earth somewhere.

As for who did it, there is a LOT of speculation. Iran, Russia, and Saudi corporate media have all accused the U.S. of doing it. We, of course, deny any involvement. Others have pointed at Israel, which is believed to have conducted a number of highly successful (and needed IMO) covert operations in Iran. Israel has never, of course, confirmed such operations. The Ukrainian government appeared to imply they did it in a social media post, which is interesting given that I had them as my WAG. They do have quite a vested interest in shutting down the flow of drones, missiles, and such to Russia.

WAG: Ukraine. Median: Israel. Mode: take your pick. You have a public that has been in revolt for months and would love to see the Mad Mullahs gone. You have a number of other countries and groups that also would like to see them gone. I found the initial reports that at least some drones had been launched from Azerbaijan to be most interesting given the attack on the Azerbaijan embassy in Tehran last Friday. There were reports the embassy evacuated Saturday night in the wake of the attack.

I would not be surprised if this turned out to be some sort of joint effort by two or three different entities. While Israel clearly has the capabilities needed for such an operation on its own, a good case can be made for two or more entities teaming up to combine resources and get them into Iran and/or Azerbaijan to launch.

Hopefully some better data will be coming out soon. Meantime, let’s take a quick look at Russia.

Military situation in terms of the war: Winter. Has momentum shifted one way or another? Winter. Who’s winning right now? Winter.

I don’t think Russia can win. I think Ukraine can still lose. A lot is going to depend on who gets it into one sock in terms of logistics, training, and innovation this winter. If you want good and continuing coverage of the war, check out Stephen Green at Instapundit and Vodka Pundit. If you want a more complete resource guide, let me know and I’ll see about updating the one I did a while back.

Internal Russian politics remains interesting. Keep in mind that both business and politics are blood sports in Russia, even where they don’t overlap. Is Vladimir having GRU 29155 suicide all those businessmen, oligarchs, and others around the world? No. If you are in business in Russia, you know and/or work with some not-nice people. You pay for the company you keep.

Rumors about Vladimir, his health, and his control abound. Health wise, about the only thing I haven’t heard is that he’s pregnant with Elvis’s love child. To be honest, if I were him, I’d start that rumor myself just because. Do I think he has a medical issue? Yes. What is a good question, and one to which I don’t have a reliable answer.

The biggest change is that people seem to be fairly openly jockeying for post-Vladimir position. There is always a normal amount of that going on at any time (and in any government to be honest), but this is fairly blatant. I’m increasingly thinking that the placement of the Pantsir systems on rooftops in Moscow is related to the internal struggles.

Moscow has extensive air and missile defenses. Even the Kremlin is rumored to have air defense. Yet, two Pantsir are placed where they can provide overlapping close-defense of the Kremlin. Why?

Ukraine has nothing on the books that can reach Moscow. Could they create a one-off or even several that could hit Moscow and the Kremlin? Yes. Outside of propaganda, why would they do it? I mean there is a serious risk that such a move could backfire on multiple levels. Keep in mind that the Kremlin is not a building. It is in fact several buildings and bunkers inside a brick fortress that houses them and rather extensive grounds. Pretty place, enjoyed the museum. To do significant damage would take large payloads and precision hits.


What if your target wasn’t a building? What if it was an individual. One who regularly travels into the Kremlin via the vehicle gate at the intersection of Serafimo and Manezh. Vehicles used are, of course, armored. That top armor, however, really wasn’t designed with with even quad-copter drones and modified grenades in mind, much less modern anti-tank loitering weapons.

Would taking out Vladimir or other leader/leaders substantially change the war for Ukraine? No. In fact, pretty much all the likely succession candidates are more hardline than Vladimir. All have committed in public to continuing the war.

So, who would benefit from taking out Vladimir or another party who is regularly at the Kremlin? Take a hard look at any or all of those jockeying for position and power right now. Take out your target, blame Ukraine, and fan the flames.

If I were Vladimir, in addition to some of the jammers/projectors being used to bring down larger drones, I’d look at hiring some skeet shooters for dealing with smaller drones and such. Perimeter detail just got even more interesting.

Finally, as for the WHO story that is freaking a lot of people out, I agree with Sarah’s take and remain concerned that Vladimir will attack all the nuclear plants to cause disaster. He’s flirted with it and tested a bit, and I still see that as more likely right now than him using his fancy briefcase. Are there circumstances where that changes? Yes. Once winter cedes the field, and major combat resumes, all bets are off. As we’ve talked before, however, we may be benefitting from the 20 percent factor. Here’s hoping we never find out for sure.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Iran, Russia, Oh My”

  1. If I were you, I wouldn’t start the rumor that old Vlad is pregnant. We would hate to see you poisoned after surviving lightning.

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