The war in Ukraine continues, with unflagging bravery and fortitude on the part of the defenders, and the support of the free world.  This is the way it should remain, until the end- that being Russia’s surrender, return of all Ukrainian territory, and withdrawal.  We- the US, Europe, NATO, our allies, should not waver in our support. We should increase our physical support, and increase our “non-kinetic” pressures against the Russian mafia state (sanctions, denial of services, aid to states threatened by Russia). Now, with my personal opinions out of the way, on to some of the sources of data that help shape those opinions.

A recent RAND paper, from 20 December, 2022, Responding to a Limited Russian Attack on NATO During the Ukraine War discusses possible scenarios that a limited attack against NATO or European targets by Russia might entail, what might provoke such an attack, and the range of response and retaliation options that we have. The RAND paper notes the need for the US, NATO, and Europe to have this response matrix ready now in the event that Russia initiates such an attack, and notes that increasing desperation on their part might increase the possibility an attack occurring.

From the Diplomatic Courier from 14 December, 2022- RUSSIA RISKS LOSING ARMENIA AS AN ALLY– Russia further isolates itself from its neighbor and CTSO ally through inaction regarding the Azerbaijan- Armenia conflict. Armenia seeks help from France on resolving the conflict, and close ties to Europe and the US in its choice to promote freedom and democracy in the country.

From Ukrinform, from 07 January, 2023- “Belarus is being occupied by military forces that are stationed at training grounds, most likely for a long time. And there will be no future for Belarus as an independent country,” say Oleksandr Pavliuk, Commander of Kyiv Defense Forces. The story is here- Belarus has no future as independent country- Kyiv Defense Commander

If you have the time or inclination, some light reading- Russian ‘Hybrid Warfare’ and the Annexation of Crimea; The Modern Application of Soviet Political Warfare by Kent DeBenedictis, is available at

Another work that will prove informative is Putin’s Preventive Counter-Revolution; Post-Soviet Authoritarianism and the Spectre of Velvet Revolution, By Robert Horvath. It was published in 2014 and is available at  I have both books on order, and would like to point out that I am in no way affiliated with or do I receive any remuneration from any of the publishers or sources I cite.

From ISW, update on the war for 07 January, 2023.

Finally, Russian combat losses continue to mount:

Russian combat losses as of 08 January, 2023

Russian combat losses as of 08 January, 2023

There is not much more I can say regarding my feelings about Russia, and its mafia leadership. The facts are clear- it is a terrorist state. It is corrupt. It treats is citizens as subjects. It seeks to conquer and destroy and create havoc. It is the path of Russia for the last 100 years, for hundreds of years. That much should be clear after their actions this week. What is just as clear is that Ukraine will never give up, and my sincere hope is that the US, Europe, and the rest of their supporters will never abandon them.

Russia is a terrorist state

Russia is a terrorist state.

Now, closer to home, I recently caught one sentence by… he must not be named- that is, our own would-be dictator as he announced his intention to run for “president”- I put the word in quotes as his designs on the office have nothing to do with being a president, but more a strongman, a tyrant, a dictator.  The one sentence I did catch in the news, which immediately turned my stomach, was some derogatory line about the US Justice department.  It was in keeping with his “style”; that everyone in our government, all its agencies, should support him fully and blindly, otherwise they are traitors, to be dismissed and forever ostracised by the Party, whatever the definition and proper noun chosen to signify said “party”. Either way it sounded like something said by a 1930’s fascist leader, not a former president of the United States.

As a follow up, from last weekend’s Wall Street Journal, I found nearly the same statement, about the same department. From the article Special Council To Lead Trump Probes. The italics are my own.

Mr. Trump as president repeatedly stated that the attorney general owes a president personal loyalty and should deploy the Justice Department against his political enemies.

That from a US president! Not from Stalin, or Assad, or Kim, or Putin! Our president. If this is not clear evidence of tyrannical designs, and knowing that this is how he went about the business of destroying our country for four long years, grounds for arrest and imprisonment for life in itself, then we as a country are sunk. Food for thought.


The main news item today, for me, is the Russian-made missile striking inside Polish territory. The investigation is still underway as to who fired the missile, but a report on Aljazeera states that it was likely fired as part of Ukrainian defenses against a missile barrage launched by Russia:

Moscow’s forces launched 110 missiles and 10 Iranian-made attack drones throughout the country, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said, leaving millions of households without power.

Ukraine said more than 70 missiles were shot down, but some hit the city of Lviv, near the border with Poland to the west.

Either way, it has made a stir.  The fact that there are missiles flying around Europe at all should be our focus of attention. Why is this happening in the year 2022? Somewhere in the morning’s news items I did see that reports from Russia indicate that more and more people are speaking out, in social media at least, against the war and Putin.  Good, please keep it up! And if there is anyone inside of Russia reading this that is still on the fence about where that country is going, in my expert opinion your trajectory is unsustainable. Or, in Russian, buduschego net. That it, unless you take action and make big changes in your government immediately.

Made with Bravery- Bravery is in our DNA

Made With Bravery and United24

Recently I was introduced to the website Made With Bravery, a marketplace for Ukrainian businesses. The site launched in mid-September, and currently has around 250 merchants with products on the site. Not only do the merchants continue to do business, but the site donates all of their marketplace commissions, and an additional 5% if you pay with Visa, to United24. I am placing my first order today, for holiday gifts.

Every day I think about writing another blog- most days I have many ideas for topics.  I have personal reasons for writing, and I do so for the people of Ukraine, to bring more attention to their cause, their fight. Many days I am so overwhelmed by the information available that I am at a loss where to begin. But not today.

I am currently reading Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. The link takes you to Applebaum’s website where you can purchase the book, read more about the book and the author, and read some of her recent columns in The Atlantic. Here is a synopsis taken from the author’s website:

In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization—in effect a second Russian revolution—which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them.

If you want to develop a better understanding of Putin’s actions and goals, and their historical precedents, then read this book. You will quickly understand how history is repeating itself- how Putin essentially has no ideas of his own- he borrows everything from history. He uses the same arguments, the same rhetoric, and the same tactics that Stalin used in his attempt to kill outright, and to starve the Ukrainian people to death, over and over again in fact.

The starting point for any analysis of “modern” Russia’s actions is the revolution of 1917, and the pathological murderer, Lenin. The basis for the entire debacle- this is precisely what it was and still is- was a collectivised, classless society. Lenin’s first actions, and Stalin’s first point of businesses during his entire reign of terror, was to create division into… you guessed it, classes- the opposite of Lenin’s stated doctrine. After all, how can you conquer if your enemy is not divided? And the people were the enemy.

To justify the despotic, sadistic, “ideological” terror they wrought on millions upon millions of people, the state had to create tension, clash, and division. This is what Applebaum describes so clearly. She starts in 1917, with Ukraine attempting to free themselves from the emerging Soviet state. She takes you through the history of the country and its plight, day by day and month by month, with personal accounts from both “sides”, and extensive references. It is not the most pleasant reading, but then the truth is not often a pretty thing.

As soon as I am through with this work, I will be diving into her other books on Russia and Eastern Europe. In the meantime, everyone can support Ukraine. Even the smallest donation will help. See the links to the top right, and do what you can.

Where to begin this post… with so many thoughts bouncing around inside my head? How about the title, which somehow seems incorrect. Maybe so, but what is the “Russian Federation” but a rebranded Soviet Union, continuing the policies of Lenin and Stalin and repeating again and again the rhetoric almost word for word, along with the policies of the former Soviet Union. Rebranded, and more dangerous.

One piece of data is enough for today. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980’s they lost near 15,000 troops to that war. In ten years- that is 3,650 days. As of today in Ukraine, after 242 days there are nearly 67,500 dead Russian troops.  The pathological despot that claims to be the leader of Russia seems to think that his country has an endless supply of canon fodder, in keeping with Russian history.  Another delusion of the madman.  A breaking point will come, and Putin’s throne will be upended.

Russian war dead as of 23 OCT 2022.

Russian war dead and material losses as of 23 OCT 2022.


Thanks to Russia, the world is approaching a food crisis. According to reports, they are shipping captured Ukrainian wheat out of Ukraine and into Russian held lands.

From the Telegram channel Ищи своих, translated using Google Translate:

Only 10 weeks left of world wheat stocks – UN

The depletion of cereals in the bins is a challenge to the entire world community – such a formulation was used by UN food security expert Sarah Menker.

Even if the conflict ends soon, the situation in world markets will not improve without urgent coordinated action by many countries.

All the while rubbish from the Russian propaganda machine continues to be churned out. Here is an interesting read. My take is that it sounds great- the supporters of the nazis should pay reparations to all parties harmed. Of course, since Russia is the aggressing state, and at this point they are the “nazis”, the blame falls solely on them. Also, statements from the next supreme leader, Nikolai Patrushev, are beginning to make the news:

From the Telegram channel the Center for Countering Disinformation:

#CCD_reports: the russian leadership has launched a disinformation campaign on the “right to demand reparation from countries sponsoring Nazism”

🔺patrushev stated that “russia has the right to demand reparations from the countries that sponsored the Nazis in Ukraine, as well as the Kiev regime”
🔺At the same time, the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions “may demand compensation for all material damage over eight years of aggression, and the Ukrainian people deserve reparations from the US and Britain, for support neo-Nazis and providing them with weapons”

❗️Similar theses were voiced by the speaker of the state duma volodin.

❗️The purpose of this disinformation campaign:
1⃣ substitution of the image of the aggressor in the russian-Ukrainian war in the perception of the Western world
2⃣ minimization of sanctions consequences for the russian economy at the expense of Western financial systems.

Another statement, apparently leaked, and of unconfirmed source, shows that Nikolai Patrushev may be preparing for other outcomes to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Here presumably is part of a speech to be given upon upcoming death of Putin during surgery:

It is with tremendous regret that I inform our country of the death of our great leader VVP who died bravely during abdominal surgery. To carry on the immortal mission of the great president is at this time an impossibility; no one will be able to lead the country as he did, not even myself. Therefore I now wish to inform the people of Russia of the plan to liquidate state assets, to end all military and police expenditures, and to diversify the countries’ investments through mergers, sell-offs and autonomy measures.

First we will dissolve the FSB, the police, and the military. This will begin at midnight tonight. All those currently serving in these branches of government will be sent home and given one week’s severance pay.

Next we will free all political prisoners. Alexy Navalny will become head and co-leader of the interim government along with a diverse group of businessmen and citizens.

Finally the country itself will be divided and sold off in parcels. Most of the country, all that bordering other nations such as Poland, Finland, the Baltic states, and Kazakhstan will be sold to those countries. All lands belonging to the country of Ukraine, as well as Georgia and Moldova, which we have plans to occupy and to bomb into submission, will be returned and all Russian presence in those lands will end immediately.

The central part of the country will be sold to Elon Musk for some 40B American dollars, equaling in value his proposed purchase of Twitter. Nothing will change in the central state sell-off once Musk takes over control, other than the Kremlin being turned over to him in its entirety to be used as a summer home and Twitter-Europe headquarters. Also Moscow will be renamed “Muskow”. Otherwise, no changes.

Proceeds from the sale of the country will be paid to Ukraine for rebuilding and as reparations for the destruction of the country, murder of its citizens, and war crimes committed by Russia against them.

Remaining funds, as well as some state assets still held, will be disbursed amongst every single Russian citizen- adults 16 years of age and up will receive a stipend of 100 rubles, 10 packs of Belomorkanal cigarettes, and 3 loaves of bread. Children under the age of 16 will receive 75 rubles and 3 packs of Belomorkanal cigarettes.

Be careful what you believe; anyone can create any storyline they care to.

Back to facts, Russians continue to die at Putin’s whim. There are however entire units that are refusing to fight- search for Donetsk People’s Republic, or DPR army 4th Infantry Battalion of the 107th Regiment. They have apparently refused to fight for a “foreign republic” – the Luhansk People’s Republic, or LPR.

Russian combat losses as of 25 May, 2022

Russian combat losses as of 25 May, 2022

Today on Telegram channel Ищи своих there is a post about the questionable health of Putin.

Putin looking less than healthy.

Vladimir Putin looking less than healthy; there was not date or location given for the photograph.

Translation of text from post via Google Translate:

In the mountains of Sochi, the 37-year-old general director of the Krasnaya Polyana resort Andrei Krukovsky died recently – he fell off the mountain path.

Over time, there were rumors that not everything is so simple. Political figure Mark Feigin suggested that the deceased could know too much about the state of health of Vladimir Putin, about visits to Krasnaya Polyana by oncologists and other doctors.

The day before, the British tabloid The Sun wrote that Putin is preparing for surgery – amid reports that he is battling abdominal cancer.

And during his absence, the country will be led by Nikolai Patrushev.

About Nikolai Patrushev from Wikipedia:

Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev is a Russian politician, security officer and intelligence officer who has served as
the secretary of the Security Council of Russia since 2008. Previously, he served as the director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) from 1999 to 2008 (replacing Putin as director… and now replacing Putin as authoritarian leader?) Patrushev belongs to the siloviki (a politician who came into politics from the security, military, or similar services) of president Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

And finally, from the Telegram channel The Center for Countering Disinformation:

Russia intimidates Finland because of its intention to apply for NATO membership

Finland is due to decide to apply to NATO on 12 May. It was reported by the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti, citing anonymous sources in the government.
In response, russian politicians have called Finland a fascist state and claim that:
🔺Finland and Sweden automatically switch to moscow’s opponents
🔺The state duma is ready to terminate the lease agreement for the Saimaa Canal, one of the most important transport arteries
🔺russia will begin a demonstrative strengthening of the ground forces and air defense forces on the border with Finland, as well as the fleet in the Gulf of Finland
🔺russian hackers will disrupt the Finnish banking system

Finland is already a partner of the North Atlantic Alliance, joining NATO will provide it with security guarantees received by full members of the organization

With the start of the war in Ukraine, the level of support for Finnish citizens to join NATO has increased from 20% to 70%.

Russia is desperate. Good luck to them sending “troops” to the border of Finland.  Who will be left to send?  “Putin youth”, 12-18 year old children?  Their forces, equipment, and morale are being decimated.  Soon the people of Russia will have had enough. We had all better hope and pray that this happens before that last moment of desperation, before the nuclear button is pushed.

In the meantime, please continue supporting the brave people of Ukraine.  Pass on information, and if you can, please  donate through one of the links at the top of this page.

I could not pass up reposting this report and its images from the Telegram channel Ищи своих.  This type of “enforcement” smacks of Stalin’s methods for the purges. Back then any “infraction”, meaning in pretext whether true or fabricated, could be used against any citizen as cause for their arrest, torture, and execution.

Here is the translation through Google Translate of the original Ukrainian post:

Detentions for the blue-yellow color in Russia.

👉 In the center of Moscow, a girl was grabbed by the police for her manicure in the color of the Ukrainian flag. Two protocols were drawn up against her about allegedly discrediting the Russian army and violating the rules for holding a public event.

👉 And in Pskov, the police came to a woman who had a blue and yellow fence. They said that these colors are undesirable in the Russian Federation while the war is going on in Ukraine. The fence was forced to be repainted completely blue.

Russian arrested for having wrong color of nail polish. Russians harassed for having the wrong color of fence.



Another day of war, and all indications are that this is only the beginning. But then I am an eternal skeptic.

According to an article from this morning, Putin and his mouthpieces are still talking about a greater war… with Europe and the world.  The quote in the article that caught my attention was this one, by television presenter and staunch Putin supporter Vladimir Solovyov:

“When this operation concludes, NATO will have to ask itself: ‘Do we have what we need to defend ourselves? Do we have the people to defend ourselves?’ And there will be no mercy. There will be no mercy,” he said.

I will counter that statement with two numbers- 4,173 and 13,247. The first is the total number of Russian military aircraft (before they began their war of aggression- it is decidedly lower at this point), and the second is the total number of US military aircraft. (Number are from the website  Just US military alone. This does not includes NATO or other allies.  Russia may want to rethink its belligerence, rhetoric, and rather saber rattling. Reference the NATO airwar in Kosovo and operations in Serbia in teh late 1990’s if there is any doubt. Bottom line- if Russia pushes the world into war, most of the suffering will be on their side.

Next, from the BBC this morning- there is growing evidence for Russian war crimes, specifically in Bucha where the headlines spoke of 50 of the bodies from mass graves there being identified, with another 300-400 yet to be identified. The article Mass Graves Near Mariupol talks about war crimes in Mariupol, with mass graves being identified there.  A Reuters article from today confirms the growing evidence for war crimes, outlined in an interview with U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Michelle Bachelet.

Finally, Russian combat losses continue to mount. The question is, how long can Putin continue to send Russian sons, husbands, fathers, and uncles to be killed? And more importantly, how long will the Russian people continue to allow it?

It is time for the Russian people to summon some courage and make change happen in their country. If they need an example of what courage is- perhaps they have forgotten- they only need look towards Ukraine.

russian combat losses as of 22 April, 2022

Russian combat losses as of 22 April, 2022

The world is on the right track. Support for Ukraine is absolutely necessary, and it is happening. Here is an update from today from the Telegram channel Ищи своих (translated in Google translate from Ukrainian.)

US President Joe Biden announced the allocation of military assistance to Ukraine for another $800 million.

The new deliveries will include heavy weapons, dozens of howitzers, tactical drones and 144,000 rounds of ammunition.

Biden also announced another $500 million in direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian government.

In addition, the United States expanded sanctions against Russia, banning Russian ships from entering American ports

Here is today’s disinformation check from the Telegram channel Center for Countering Disinformation.

The CCD staff has compiled a selection of russia’s fakes, manipulations and disinformation bogus stories as of the morning of April 21, 2022

❌The russian ministry of defense warned that “Ukrainian Mykolayiv may find itself in the zone of an epidemiological catastrophe: against the background of the difficult humanitarian situation public utilities are not working there and the central water supply has been cut off”
🔻Warning: it’s a fake!

❌Representatives of the russian embassy in Washington said that “US sanctions are becoming increasingly absurd and speak of Washington’s inability to bend russia to its will”
🔻Warning: it’s a manipulation!

❌russian media with reference to the odious Kadyrov reported that Mariupol plant Azovstal “on Thursday will be completely under the control of the russian armed forces”. It was also added that “militants who have settled in the metallurgical plant can still lay down their arms and surrender in the morning”
🔻Warning: it’s a manipulation!