Facts on the ground: … All told, [the Russian force assembled on Ukraine’s border is] comparable to the force the US assembled against Iraq in 2003, with two decades’ worth of technological progress on top and multiple times the Americans’ artillery/missile firepower per soldier.
The crushing power of artillery was already demonstrated in the World Wars, accounting for most casualties; since rifle power has seen scant technological progress since then, while artillery fire is now much more precise, the mismatch between rifle power and artillery power would have multiplied since.
The morale/bravery of individual soldiers makes no significant difference. Even if it was very high (spoiler: it isn’t), any Ukrainian units caught out in the open will be spotted by drones and destroyed within minutes. Between this, and Russia’s total air and EW dominance, we will see a very quick collapse of any Ukrainian fronts, and mass surrender and/or defection to the Russian Army.
There are reports on Telegram groups of these defection dynamics already playing out within silovik organizations in the Eastern cities. Today has seen the open defection of a Rada deputy, Ilya Kyva of the Opposition Bloc, who participated in the “Anti-Terrorist Operaton” in 2014-15 under Interior Minister Arsen Avakov but now faithfully repeats Putin’s bromides about Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians being one people, and calls for Russian military intervention. We can expect to see many more such cases of “rats fleeing sinking ships” over the coming days.
On Thursday, a Su-27 Ukrainian Air Force was escorted by two F-16s Romanian Air Force after entering Romania's airspace. The Su-27 landed at 95th Airbase Bacău at 07:05 LT. Sources say the pilot lost all comms and couldn't communicate with his airbase. @TheAviationist @cencio4 pic.twitter.com/slTtKRz8zb
— Aeronews (@AeronewsGlobal) February 24, 2022
There are few Ukrainians who want to put up a serious fight. This will be over fast, except perhaps for a few outliers:
On a more general note, my impression is that the people who claim Ukrainian troops will offer serious resistance otherwise tend to either have a poor grasp on modern warfare, and/or are pro-Ukrainian partisans who have an understandable interest in trying to dissuade a Russian attack by making their capabilities out to be more threatening than they really are (i.e., blowfish strategy). …
The main class of people who would fight for Ukraine, even in principle, are highly ideological Far Right types from prole backgrounds, such as members of Azov (who, ironically, happen to be disproportionately ethnic Russian). …
His preferred outcome:
I tend to stay away from moralistic judgments as they are highly subjective and of scant interest to me. But I will make a brief exception here.
It would have been vastly better for all concerned had the unity of the Russian World — brutally contorted under the Bolsheviks, outright torn apart in the Belovezha Betrayal — been restored through boring but bloodless bureaucratic integration vehicles before the Euromaidan ruled it out, or even genuine federalization under Minsk II, had it ever been conscientiously implemented.
It is Western Supremacists and their local collaborators who hoodwinked part of our people with sweet lies and false promises, humiliating and exploiting them even as they turned their hands against their brothers and sisters, who are the real authors of the present war. All the blood is on their hands. They started this war, but I believe that we will end it, quickly and humanely, and then we will make the miscreants answer for their crimes.
Such a different perspective from many of the American commentators, who know so little about the Ukraine but presume it’s all about the US and the West. Not this time, apparently.