The Ukrainian leadership will be tense but I suspect that if the Russians want to throw away men and resources in ineffective offensives that's not too bad an outcome. The worst fear is that the brutal school that is war may teach the Russians how to do more effective ones. That's the unsung lesson of the Red Army triumph in World War 2. Let's just hope the lack of allies and extensive Lend Lease support will mean that they won't be able to continually replace and rebuild smashed units.

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The New York Times put up a map of hypothesized grand double envelope anchored on Kremmina in the north and aimed at enveloping Bahkmut. Well, you could draw those lines on the map but their armor forces are merely bad across every dimension. Theoretically this is (perhaps) supposed to kick off on the 24th which would mean Putin was.... repeating last year's mistake of launching an a major offensive just before mud season starts and they seem to be able to make use of the winter freezes, so God only knows how they're suppose to have adapted to the mud. All of this while the Russians are conducting an offensive around Bahkmut (they are certainly committing enough manpower to this effort to call it an offensive) and it's failing because the Russians seem committed to reenacting the WWI Battle of Verdun. Just as an exercise in anticipating an Russian offensive I tried to conceive of something the Russians could do and I'm drawing a near blank - anything they could do wouldn't involve Luhansk or Donetsk at all.

The NYT talked ominously of the posited 320k troops the Russians have mobilized posing the big threat and my immediate thought was that aren't going to have 320k troops for long at the rate they are burning off men. It's not so much admiration of the UKR performance (outstanding) I am feeling as exasperation that Putin won't throw in the towel here but insists on 'killing the flower of a generation'. It's just terrible.


thanks for piece

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He hasn't "killed off the flower", he's killed mostly minorities, with a large chunk of prisoners doing the dying in the past month.

This is why the next move is politically serious, part of the grand bargain Putin has with his 140 million victims is that Moscow and St Pete aren't really drafted, lower ranks do the dying.

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Thanks for the interesting analysis. Cogent and timely as always.

As you point out, Ukraine leadership will have some difficult tactical questions to address over the coming weeks and months, but the narrative “arcs” of the conflict seem set: Russia remains a diminishing force -- with poor leadership, morale, training and equipment -- while Ukraine’s capabilities grow with time.

Provided continued Western support and excellent strategic execution, Ukraine’s victory is the more likely outcome. But for this outcome to be realized EVERYONE -- including the “commentariat” in the West needs to avoid fixating upon every “lost” village and hamlet in every oblast.

Your work in this regard is helpful and we all have a role to play in amplifying it in the cyber domain in the months to come. This will give Ukraine time and space to make the right decisions at the right time.

“Trust the Ukrainian Army” is not just a slogan, it’s an imperative call to action.

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Thank you General, a healthy dose of realism and clarity at a time when many with little knowledge seem to be sowing unfounded concerns about some kind of Russian major offensive way beyond what they have shown to be capable of.

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Thank you for your thoughts. Always so worth listening to. Always very interesting.

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Stunning how little the Russian military values it’s own people.

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Thanks. The big push seems to be diminishing before it started from the Vuhledar fizzle and the fact the Soledar win has only been followed by small grinding gains at huge cost.

Seems like the Ukrainians are using the Sievrodonetsk playbook and letting the Russians exhaust themselves on endless defensive lines knowing Putin will not let them pause or employ more intelligent tactics.

Time isn't on their side but what when they've loist their 250 grand mobilized which they seem to be half way through ? Another mobilization and another - this is reminding me of the Iran-Iraq war.

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