cover art for Russia Invades Ukraine VI: We've Always Been at War With Eurasia


Russia Invades Ukraine VI: We've Always Been at War With Eurasia

What happens when you start really believing your own bullshit?

What happens when you’ve created a yes-man bubble where everyone only tells you what you want to hear?

First a war update:

  • Russia’s focus on the east and Donbass, which started a month ago, has made a bit of progress in a few places, but is now pretty stalled
  • They do seem to be regrouping from Mariupol, but they’ve also been going into a meat-grinder
  • Ukraine has made marginal advances towards Kherson and away from Kharkiv
  • SOMEHOW, Mariupol’s troops still stand in the Azovstal steel plant despite months of constant bombings and stormings -- there’s really nothing like it in modern military history (Alamo has absolutely nothing on it, not even a tiny bit close)
  • It REALLY seems like the vast majority of Russian attempts to advance are getting repelled, and that is going to grind them down and make them combat-ineffective
  • …and now Ukraine is getting tons of heavy weapons:
  • Tanks
  • Big, advanced howitzers
  • Radar systems to aim at Russian artillery
  • Rocket artillery
  • Drones
  • This is going to help them dislodge low-morale Russian troops and drive offensives


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  • Reconsidering Russia 2: Russia's Interest & What to Expect with Prof. Mitchell Orenstein

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  • Russia Invades Ukraine VII: Possible Aftermath

    First, war update:Mariupol fell after 2.5 months of truly insane holding out. Gosh dang. 1900 surrendered and there is a POW complication that I”m not going to get intoUkraine has mostly booted Russia out of Kharkiv, though there is still some fighting and the Russians have not given it up entirely the way they did Kyiv/Sumy/etc, so there’s no obvious way to free up those troops for UkraineRussians trying really hard to cross the Siversky Donets river by pontoon, in order to encircle Ukraine’s core defense force in the Donbass (largely around a city called Severodonetsk and one called Lysychansk). It seems at least twice the Ukrainians knocked out entire BTGs trying to make that crossing, which is incredible. Russia is generally short of pontoon type equipment…but Russia has a breakout of sorts, actually right in the northern part of the original Donbass battle lines, through a town called Popansa. TONS of troops moving through thereIt’s both a breakout……and a salient, which means significant risk for them. Somewhat exposed.Ukrainians are pretty good at mobile defenseJust not at all clear if they are running in open space (and just taking time to stage properly) or if they are running against really significant resistance at this pointThe original breakthrough at Izium seems to have stalled entirelyRussian troops also massed on the western side of the Siversky Donets (the northern part) to prevent the Ukrainian counter-attack there from threatening the supply lines and etc to Izium -- if that happened it’d be a total disaster(Ukrainians had temporarily broken across the river but had to withdraw)Russian tactics seem to be: just unload with artillery for days and days, then attempt an assaultUsually failBut rinse, lather, repeat, and you get some breakthroughsRussians seem to be planning to do this in the south, north of KhersonRussia may be running out of dronesWill hurt reconDomestic manufacturing capacity limited so they can’t build ‘emThings are moving SLOW, and will continue to do so IF the Popansa breakthrough is containedOK so how does this end?Well here’s where Russia blew it big time.The Ukrainians believe they can win.Russians could have had a settlement where they get Donbass and likely even Crimea as concessions. Now the Ukrainians believe they can win, and want to win.Ukrainians are also just full of morale, manpower, and money.-Zelenskyy says 700k soldiers now fighting for Ukraine -- 3x those of Russia. Can definitely win a war of attrition-Ukraine just got $40B promised from the US, and the G7 promised another $38BRussia on the other hand is having trouble manufacturing new weapons, and is losing tons of money from sanctions and withdrawals -- 45% of its GDP was made up from sales and operations from the companies that left Russia (which doesn’t, I think, mean a 45% GDP contraction, but it means a lot). So there’s just an economic slowdown generally, and a lack of ability to manufacture advanced weapons.Russia depends more and more on tube artillery, so it’s just blasting the Donbass to hell.And for Russia?See the full notes at