Putin's targets

Obviously, Putin and the older generation of Russian officials still feel threatened by NATO’s acceptance of 14 new members between 1999 and 2020 - adding Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.


In countering NATO’s expansion, Putin successfully tested NATO and Western governments by adventures in Georgia and Crimea. If he succeeds in this offensive as he did in Crimea and a small area of Georgia, one can simply look at the map to know which borders Putin will be tempted to cross next. Without advanced and seriously lethal weaponry available at their ready disposal, each former Soviet Republic will remain a sitting duck if it is not a member of NATO.


After seeing how callously Putin sends his troops into neighboring lands, people who live in the following countries have reason to fear that Putin may come for them next: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

After witnessing the Russian Army pour into Ukraine from every direction, one starts to understand how military tacticians and arms experts came to believe that the neutron bomb could serve as a deterrent to precisely the type of assault Russia has perpetrated on its peaceful, prosperous, civilized neighbor.

[D]uring the 1970s, the neutron bomb was considered by some American military planners to have a convenient deterrent effect: discouraging an armoured ground invasion of western Europe by arousing the fear of neutron bomb counterattack. At least in theory, a defending NATO country might sanction the use of the bomb to annihilate Warsaw Pact tank crews without destroying its own cities or irradiating its own population.


It now is clear that Ukraine will need many more troops, more advanced weaponry, and lots more ammunition in order to repel Russia’s tanks and troops. If it were better-armed, Ukraine might be able to teach Russia’s arrogant and belligerent nuclear-armed dictator that there are lines he should not cross.

The independence of non-NATO former Soviet Republics will be a lost cause if Putin is successful in taking over Ukraine’s government. In light of the fact that Russia has China supporting its territorial expansion, even independent, formerly Soviet NATO-member states need to be seriously beefing up their forces and advanced weaponry to protect their own people.



Broadly, I agree, with one caveat.

Putin will only invade the former republics if they are not loyal or move towards western democracy.

The obvious example is Belarus. As long as it is run by a friendly dictator, Putin has no need to expend resources. As soon as they start demonstrating in the streets, Putin will send in the tanks to keep the dictator in power.

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Broadly, I agree, with one caveat.

The other caveat is the invasion is not going according to Putin’s plan.

My cousins escaped Hungary after the 1956 revolution failed. Russia sent in hundreds of tanks into Budapest and thousands of people died but they were met with Molotov cocktails and in narrow streets there is not much tanks can do about it. As I recall the best place to hit the tanks was in the air intakes. Gets hot quickly!

The open arming of civilians and the production of Molotov cocktails was most likely not in Putin’s plans. Even Germany is now sending missiles to Ukraine and has approved the SWIFT sanctions. There are opposition protests in Russia as well. With a bit of luck the whole thing might blow up in Putin’s face.

Other encouraging news is that the Russian logistics are not up to the task of more than a few days fighting. I heard that Putin expected the campaign to last four days. The US bombed Iraq for five weeks before invading. Putin thought one day was enough. Hubris! If Putin is like most dictators he is probably surrounded by yes men. He might be a KGB operative expert in murder but not a military genius.

Russian tank out of gas

The Captain


Russian tank out of gas

Pretty bold to troll Russians like that. I would have expected the guy in the car to eat about a dozen rounds from an AK for mouthing off like that. Wonder what was up with the tank and the truck he passed moments later. Siphoning gas out of the truck?

Actually, diesel engines will run on gas, sort of. When the Office Depot in Kazoo first opened, the delivery driver said the truck was running funky. I looked at the gas station receipt from when the driver had refuled the day before. The receipt said “unleaded”. The gas ran through the truck and was gone in a day or so.

In western Europe, diesel powered passenger cars are common, so not that hard to refuel a tank from, say, a couple dozen cars.


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And yet… flipside: they invaded and fought in Afghanistan for 10 years with zero at stake.

4 days into closing down a vastly more strategic “risk” and things are slowing down a bit?

Don’t hope for a deus ex machina. It’s a little early.

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The other caveat is the invasion is not going according to Putin’s plan.

Agreed on two counts: Putin seems to have thought it was going to be fast and easy, and I think he believed the Europeans would back down to his threats.

Instead, it is going slow. Today the local leaders in Kiev allowed people out of their homes because the “situation is under control.” Besieged but under control. Ukraine is huge and there is a lot of land to the west of Kiev still under Ukrainian control. Who knows, maybe Putin believed his own propaganda that he was ‘liberating’ them and his troops would be welcomed as heroes…

I’m sure (as you say surrounded by yes men) Putin believed Europe didn’t have the courage to stand up to him. Putin has been threatening European leaders behind closed doors for years. There are rumors he has threatened Macron with nuclear weapons. And there was his famous first meeting with Sarkozy back in 2007 where the (non-drinking) Sarkozy appeared to be drunk at the press conference afterwards. The real story seems to be that Putin threatened to “crush” Sarkozy if he opposed him.

Instead, Putin wakes up this morning to find the Germans have increased their defense budget to 100 billion euros, and the EU is sending not simply arms, but fighter jets to the Ukraine. The EU has simply ignored Putin’s nuclear saber rattling of the past week.

And longer term, what is likely Putin’s biggest miscalculation is that his invasion has unified Europe in a fundamental way. Everyone is against him now.


Based on how evil putin is, he knows fully he is not a liberator and he is very keen on lying.