Monday, September 26, 2022

Another Sign the War is Not Going Well for Putin

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has thrust himself more directly into strategic planning for the war in Ukraine in recent weeks, American officials said, including rejecting requests from his commanders on the ground that they be allowed to retreat from the vital southern city of Kherson. ... American officials briefed on highly sensitive intelligence said that behind the scenes Mr. Putin is taking on an even deeper role in the war, including telling commanders that strategic decisions in the field are his to make.

Politicians inserting themselves in decisions on how the war is fought on the battlefield don't have a good record of winning their wars. Hitler is a prime example. So is LBJ, whose staff members were deciding what targets the Air Force and Naval Air could strike. In contrast, Stalin was reportedly content to leave the fighting of the war to his generals, who all knew that success meant they got decorations and prestige, and failure meant a bullet in the back of the head.

Russia has been a major arms supplier for the Ukrainian Army. The advantage for the Ukrainians in using Russian tanks is that Russian anti-tank weapons are not designed to defeat Russian armor.

Meanwhile, Edward Snowden has been given Russian citizenship. Snowden has claimed that he did not give the secrets he absconded with to the Russians, but who knows the truth of that. The fact that Putin's given Snowden a Russian passport says something, but I'm not sure what. One thing is certain: Putin does nothing out of the goodness of his heart.


  1. The joke today about Snowden was that now he'll be drafted.

    -Doug in Sugar Pine

  2. Snowden can't be drafted because the draft only affects 18-19 year olds. He can't be called up as a reservist because he never served in the Russian military. But yeah, I do suspect there was some quid pro quo involved in his being granted Russian citizenship. Ten year old secrets aren't really that secret anymore, but they're still secrets.

    Kherson is not "vital" in any way. It's a mid-size port city with some port facilities such as a couple of drydocks and a bunch of docks for loading grain onto ships. Putin intervening to keep Russia's military from evacuating it is totally a political dick move. Having an entire army group trapped and destroyed apparently is less important to him than the political cost of being seen to abandon a captured city.

  3. The Russians have been drafting lots of people under this recent order that are not eligible to be called up. Students, men who have never served, men who are physically in eligible, men who are too old. But, serves during the drafting or just grabbing bodies without any regard to quality.

    So if some commisar grabs up Snowden, it will suck to be him.


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