Russia/Ukraine Biden Speech Roll-Up & Minor INTREP 24FEB22; 1424
[Originally posted on author’s Facebook page; post is publicly available.]
Solid speech; solid questions and answer period. Importantly, a slew of sanctions are about to go into effect, on a number of banks, etc. It does not include the disconnection of Russia from the SWIFT banking system due to hesitancy from the Germans and Italians. This is unfortunate and significant. I think these sanctions have real teeth, but the SWIFT angle would have given them bigger ones.
That said, I’m still very, very skeptical that these sanctions will have the desired effect. It will be some time before those effects are truly felt (though there are reports of Russians trying to withdraw dollars due to the ruble’s collapse). I honestly find it somewhat humorous that Russians are withdrawing dollars. But I have a twisted sense of humor.
Biden announced that US troops will be moving around a bit, some towards NATO’s eastern flank. This was expected, I think. Remember a while ago about the stand-by notices. Some F-35s have moved to Lithuania and Romania, but it was only a few. There’s not a lot of information about any of this aspect of our preparations, which isn’t a surprise. I am sure OSINT will clarify things soon enough.
This just in: 7,000 additional US troops will move to Germany, per SECDEF Austin.
The president did reiterate his belief that Putin was not interested in stopping with Ukraine. That remains to be seen, but it’s plausible enough. I’m reasonably certain that Putin is fully committed to his goals vis a vis Ukraine — the removal of the Zelenskyy administration. We shall see what follow on effects come.
In other news, OSINT is suggesting that Russian ground forces are now moving towards population centers. There’s some gnarly explosions heard from downtown Kyiv. On the plus side, for the time being, UA troops seem to be preventing RS landing operations at the Antonov Airfield, also known as Hostomel Airport, which sits to the northwest of Kyiv.
Edit: I think I may have understated how critical Hostomel is to this whole thing. This may be looked at as a critical battle in this war.