Russia/Ukraine INTSUM 21FEB22; 1720 Eastern

[Originally posted on author’s Facebook page; post is publicly available.]

I have been out of pocket for a few days and have been unable to update my loyal readers…

1.) Over the last few days, numerous outlets have reported repeated cease-fire violations and artillery strikes into Ukrainian territory. The apparent goal of these actions were to give the appearance that Ukrainian forces were attacking separatists, and the separatists were merely returning fire. These have been described as the predicted “false flag” operations for justification for either a full-scale invasion of Ukraine or the recognition of these breakaway regions or, perhaps in the coming days, both.

2.) Earlier today it was reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin would recognize the two “breakaway” regions of Ukraine, the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lushansk (or Lugansk) People’s Republic. He did so. In a television address, a “visibly angry” Putin, joined by separatist leaders backed by Russia, signed the decree and stated, “I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago — to immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic.”

3.) The Jerusalem Post and other outlets are reporting that Putin has ordered Russian military assets into those regions in order to act as “peacekeepers.” Currently, there is no information on what, exactly, this supposed peace keeping force will look like. Along with the information in point number two, this is a very clear escalation. Given that, according to Russia, Ukraine has repeatedly violated the cease fire, it is well within the scope of reason that, with continued cross-border artillery fire, Russia will indeed find a casus belli necessary to invade Ukraine.

4.) Currently, upwards of 70% of Russia’s ground combat forces are deployed forward near Ukraine. This is an incredible figure. Some 190,000 Russian military personnel are now deployed. If you’ve been following along, you know that some of these troops have come Russian regions along the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, more than 500 planes, including heavy bombers, are within striking distance of much of Ukraine.

5.) Over the past few days, it has been suggested by the Biden Administration that Putin has already issued orders to Russian combat units, to include areas of responsibility for each, to invade Ukraine. What this will look like is, again, unclear. There are sufficient forces in Belarus, Russia, and the Black Sea, to engage Ukraine on three fronts. It could begin with a large scale cyber attack on Ukrainian infrastructure and military command and control, as well as the degradation of internet access within Ukraine, to be followed up by artillery, air strikes, and ballistic missile attacks on numerous targets, to include Kyiv. Then Russian ground forces could cross the border in a hasty attempt to surround or occupy Kyiv. Intelligence Community “leaks” by members of the Biden Administration suggest that Kyiv is the target.

6.) It has been reported, via targeted information presented by Biden Administration officials (on and off the record, apparently), that Russia has generated a list of pro-Ukrainian (or anti-Russian) supporters to be targeted for death and/or imprisonment.

7.) CNN reports that US intelligence shows the preparation of amphibious assault ships, including the loading of troops and equipment, that are currently in the Black Sea (and which just conducted a large-scale naval exercise that all-but blockaded Ukraine from the sea).

8.) I think shit is about to get very, very fucking real. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow. But pretty damned soon. Russian troops OFFICIALLY in breakaway regions may well be deemed as a trigger for Western sanctions. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cadre of people (Foreign Secretary Liz Truss) have stated that they will begin new sanctions tomorrow, 22 February. Johnson himself has said it is an “ill omen and a very dark sign.” French President Emmanuel Macron is requesting “an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council and for the adoption of targeted European sanctions.” Estonia’s President Alar Karis “has condemned…[the recognition of] the independence of two separatist pro-Moscow regions in Ukraine…”

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Halen Allison

Former Marine intelligence analyst. Current writer of words. Eventual worm food.