Mar 9, 2022Liked by Alexander's Cartographer

A remarkably comprehensive take of unusual quality, I think. Something even more remarkable given its concision.

In particular, I really like your inclusion of the Belarusian color revolution as a precursor event. The connection is something that I've noted privately. Indeed, the lack of effective and reliable Belarusian support in 2014 may have been among the decisive factors against Russian intervention back then.

Seems like the attempt to color revolutionize two of the three Russias has turned out like many of the other badly motivated and poorly thought out adventures that have been intrepidly advocated by the Western consensus. It does appear that these ops keep colliding with each other.....

Heads up on what might be a typo: 'I might be completely wrong with this assessment, but I do think the immediate objective here is Odessa.' Surely you meant 'I do not think the imm. obj. is Odessa' based on the following text?

I, for one, do think that Odessa is intended to be bypassed. The threat to city will, I suspect, remain convincingly credible, but only to level required to pin the considerable Ukrainian resources committed to the area.

I also think that Kiev is going to be one of the last major pieces to fall into place - much better to seal it up and let the defenders chew on each other than risk blowing it to bits. I made a joke to someone that Russian tanks will be in Lvov before Kiev, but I definitely think that the priority is to destroy the Ukrainian military as quickly as possible and to solidify control of the key road, rail, and river networks in the center and east of the country before pressing the issue of the capital. It's unfortunate that Kharkov is facing a probable sacking but trashing Kharkov does appear to be a rather Lindy event and its example may prove a useful and motivating counterpoint to whatever agreement capable parties the Ukrainians are able to assemble.

I do think that however unlikely it does appear, there is considerable risk 'in the moment' for dramatic escalation. I'm sure that the Russian leadership is well aware of this and is probably positioning itself as best as it can to present a credible deterrent capability. Preserving its air forces and certain categories of weapons I'm sure is a key part in being able to fight a larger war. There does appear to be considerable movement of American military units to the broader region and there are plenty of signs that NATO is attempting to prepare its own best possible force profile. My hope is that all these and related activities are merely due diligence risk mitigation and not a prelude to Global Thermonuclear War.

At any rate, great writeup - it is one that I will be sharing.

I also unironically endorse your final paragraph.

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Mar 12, 2022Liked by Alexander's Cartographer

Astute and impressive........I am sensing that something a bit "more" may be in the offing in Ukraine but we will know for sure shortly. I'm surprised by your estimate of the size overall of the available Russian Army....... Only some 300,000 ? Are you sure?

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Mar 12, 2022Liked by Alexander's Cartographer

I have skimmed very quickly the lengthy situation report but am thinking much about your “Final Thoughts” . Yes a “Rubicon” , yes an assault on the “liberal international order” or, better, the globalist WEF clique which in no genuine sense was ever “liberal”. But since history has been restarted I think we should recognize that it has always been extremely messy and right now it has become almost incomprehensibly messy. In short, even in a best-outcome-for-Russia situation we are nowhere near an “overthrow” of the “order”. Rather it is no more than a skirmish, a battle space shaping probing of the frontier – writ large that is, with old fashioned geographical boundaries being perhaps the least important aspect of the space and, just one example, the landscape of social media presence being far more crucial.

Add to that the fact that the battle space comprises a very real civil war which further defines the kinetic action in a place called Ukraine of less importance than Putin’s closure of Echo Moscow; that may well be a far more momentous Rubicon.

But never forget messy; that best-(kinetic) outcome-for-Russia outcome seems to recede each day and at some not too distant point the mere duration of the operation forecloses anything close to best outcome. Seems to me (straying into subject matter that I only skimmed) that it had to be accomplished quickly and it wasn’t.

Still, battle lines that were vague before have become much better defined; there is no going back. If I try hard enough I find that exhilarating and even encouraging.

Finally, in the midst of our false end of history how very surprising to find a reference to Ernst Junger! However, I think Kurt Eggers is a more appropriate reference point in this context. Junger was an old man, a respected author by the start of the war. Eggers was much more the Nietzschean hero who met his fiery doom in a Panzer at Kursk in 1943.

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Good synopsis, I agree with the ending as well. Of course all this could have been avoided had the US minded it’s own business and not broke the Minsk accords in the first place. I see Jews and jesuits everywhere though and the outcome either way is going to be a problem. A strong Russia is a good thing as is a strong China and a strong US. Problem is, at least here in the US. We have been castrated and earmarked.

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Mar 15, 2022·edited Mar 15, 2022

Yes the Ukraine is a highly corrupt state but nobody is suggesting that the Ukraine should set to conquer Russia. Did Poland "deserve" German conquest in 39 because of its own corruption? No.

Your military analysis (former mil intel professional here) is excellent. I fully agree with you about the insanity of a no fly zone.

However your concluding paragraph is perniciously evil Dostoyevskoid/Nietzschean madness. The storm of war invigorates nothing. A dying ex-superpower that killed 60 million of its own people plus aborting perhaps a hundred million more this past century should not be in the business of violent conquest--it needs to repair and restore its once vast population.

Putin has made a vast, stupid blunder. Full stop.

The West and the United States have a primary interest in ensuring an independent Ukraine for one simple reason. They need to rub China's nose into the fact that conquest of its former province of Taiwan is equally stupid and doomed. They must be discouraged from doing it.

If China goes to a war of conquest of its own as well the the conflict that follows could last 50 years. Russia must be stopped.... Without direct NATO intervention ... To keep the peace of the world. The whole point of the invention of nuclear weapons was to stop this madness before it starts.

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I don’t agree with much of this analysis. I am reading it one week after it was posted.

The Ukrainian militias are denigrated, and Russian combat effectiveness clearly overstated.

They obviously tried political de-capitation and failed, now they are using standard Soviet tactics and equipment.

The reality is that the spring is coming, and with it the mud. That means only road transport of heavy vehicles. That means a lot of NLAWS and Javelins, in the hands of a lot of people, are very likely to fundamentally test 80 year old Soviet tactics and 40 year old equipment run by conscripts.

While Russia has nearly 100% of ground forces committed, with very little recent movement, Ukrainians are mobilizing at an enormous rate. The Russians are calling on the Chinese for help.

Clearly plan A was rapid troops with large numbers of people to quell the public. Plan B is a war of attrition and minimal bloodshed. Plan C is what this person lays out “shelling of cities and mass bloodshed”. People who believe the war is going well for Russia, need to start asking about “What is plan D and E?”

Russia better start thinking about its supply lines, on the roads, in the mud, with 500,000+ people with NLAWS roaming around and no clear air superiority. The smart play now is diplomacy, but politically speaking, Russia has already lost. The only question will be how much is it going to cost them in the future. Ukraine survives, it will forever hate Russia. You can bank on that.

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Almost anyone with an interest in military history can figure out these points. The appalling statement that Ukraine is willing to sacrifice populations to achieve Western support is outrageous. Putin lied, “no plans to invade” - “will not target civilians” - “only aim to protect the Donbas russian population”. Your observations start from the disgraceful fact that an invasion of a sovereign nation has been instituted by a corrupt and dangerous leader and you then start along a revisionist history (while it is happening). This essay is disturbingly close to an endorsement of russian stupidity and arrogance, I really don’t expect anything else from an obvious apologist armchair warrior.

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Should what is basically a colonial war against a long oppressed nation from an extremely corrupt mafia state be celebrated? Shouldn't it be condemned without reservation?

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Well, that analysis apparently didn't age very well...in view of the events of the last week...not so surprising for me actually, knowing Russia inside out am not surprised at all.

Would be interesting to read some follow-on from Alexander Cartographer

Here is a very good analysis on the Russian military on why it's proving to be so hopelessly inadequate up till know:


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Your line: "For example, the British population was emotionally manipulated into joining the First World War thanks to fake information about German atrocities, the infamous “rape of Belgium”." Checking with WIkipedia, it seems the German atrocities were real, which makes me wonder where you got your version of the story.

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" I might be completely wrong with this assessment, but I do think the immediate objective here is Odessa."

I THINK THE WORD not is missing here. Check it.

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