Ukraine and Russia Nuggets (DRAFT)

a post in Rob's Blog by Rob O'Keefe

by Rob O'Keefe

also see Nuggets, Narratives, and Points of View

Note: This is just a TEST of using a format of a statement or assertion in bold with supporting statements underneath. The points about Russia or Putin are incomplete.

From an Obisidian/markdown point of view, there may be benefit in having each "nugget" in its own markdown file.


Putin is committing war crimes

  • targeting civilian buildings
  • targeting nuclear plants
  • invading Ukraine at all, no matter what his justificaiton is

Putin Aggressively Pushes Beyond GeoPolitical Norms

  • Chechnya (3 years after defeat goes back in)
  • Using Radiological weapons in London to kill dissident
  • Uses chemical weapons for assassination
  • Goes into Syria
  • Crimea
  • Ukraine invasion

Putin Blindspots or Miscalculations

  • Underestimated resistance by Ukrainians
  • Over estimated capability of Russian military
  • Misjudged morale of Russian troops

Putin Goals (Short and Long Term)

  • Putin Stated Demands:
    • Crimea recognized as part of Russia,
    • Donbas republics recognized as independent,
    • military neutrality by not joining NATO,
    • far-right groups excluded from their forces
  • Russia Negotiating Position
    • Russia ceases fire and withdraws
    • Ukrainian "neutrality" without NATO
    • Kyiv keeps its army but can't host foreign bases
    • Russian language gets legal status in Ukraine
  • Unstated Goals
    • disrupt NATO with mixed priorities (energy, economics)
    • Weaken the US Dollar as the global settlement currency, in favor of.... China, Bitcoin, other?
    • Align some countries against the USD: China, Saudi Arabia, India,
    • Disrupt US political stability
    • Take/Reclaim land that was formerly USSR
  • What's most important to Putin
    • afraid of Covid significantly (or even a targeted virus)
    • amassed personal wealth so that is done
    • Historical legacy - does not compare to Soviet leaders, but looks back to Czars pre-Soviet)

What was the state of Ukraine prior to invasion

  • Military buildup - "defensive" missiles
  • Far right active in Ukraine (Avov group)
  • Zelensky had low approval ratings

Putin Misinformation and/or Narratives

  • Nazis are taking over Ukraine
  • If you don't speak Russian or you push back on Russia-fication, you are a Nazi and are against us
  • US is aggressor
  • Ukraine is an illegitimate, militaristic, Nazi-based regime
  • Russia is offering peace, and a "new round of peace talks," not military attacks
  • Russia has "established control" over many Ukranian cities, and has handily neutralized most of Ukraine's military infrastructure

West/US Narratives and/or Misinformation

  • Ukraine is free to join NATO if they want
  • Russia is the aggressor
  • Russia is bogged down in Ukraine, Russian military has performed much more poorly than Russia expected
  • Ukraine is putting up good defenses, Ukrainian military is being battered, but holding up better than anyone expected
  • Ukrainian cities are battered, but not being conquered (yet)

Other Narratives and Unpopular Opinions

  • the US Industrial complex wants a steady flow of conflict and war
  • Russia is taking East Ukraine steadily, there is no way for Ukraine to prevail
  • US has trained and armed right wing Nazis in Ukraine
  • US will back away from Zelensky soon

How does Cyber fit into this?

  • Are there, or will there be cyber attacks on the West?

Russian military is underperforming

  • Putin does not care
  • Mounting Russian casualties

What is Biden relationship with Ukraine

  • this was his issue while he was VP to Obama
  • He was long term member/leader of the Foreign Relations Committee

Have we been on this path since the break up of the USSR?