” … Putin may have blinked …”

“Has Putin blinked first? The standoff between Russia and Ukraine entered its acute phase a month ago. Since January, Russian forces on the ground have probably doubled their strength, to nearly 200,000 troops. They also have many thousands of separatists and mercenaries (including the notoriously brutal Wagner group) operating in the Donbas region. “Exercises” in Belarus have now been extended indefinitely. The arsenal of airborne, land and sea-based missiles, heavy artillery and other ordnance now assembled in the vicinity of Ukraine is the largest in postwar European history.

So why is the invasion not already under way? Putin reportedly sees himself as the greatest Russian leader, along with Peter the Great and Stalin. He has been scheming to undermine, dismember and digest Ukraine for more than a decade. But he seems to be hesitating on the brink of grasping the prize. Is the Generalissimo willing to wound but afraid to strike? Is Putin a coward?

On paper, the balance of forces overwhelmingly favours the Russians. The open plains and steppes that make up most of Ukraine favour the attacker — one reason why this unfortunate country, doomed by its geography and history (“Ukraine” means “borderlands”), has been invaded and fought over so many times in the 20th century. In the 21st, military technology makes the concept of Blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) if possible, even more lethal. Even without using nuclear weapons, the Russians could destroy Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa and other major cities while scarcely risking losses of their own.”

Comment: My SWAG is that losses have been so bad that even he hesitates and there is the question of his health. pl

Why Putin may have blinked and how the West should respond | TheArticle

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15 Responses to ” … Putin may have blinked …”

  1. Eliot says:

    Col. Lang,

    The ground hasn’t frozen yet. The high today in Donetsk is 40, and the low just 35. There’s a 95% chance of rain.

    – Eliot

    • TTG says:


      That may have been a major consideration for waiting until 24 February 2022 to begin the invasion of Ukraine. Putin’s generals believed they could easily conquer Kyiv and defeat the Ukrainian Army in a lightning war over frozen ground. They were as much duped as most of the rest of the world was about the capabilities of the Russian armed forces.

      • Eliot says:


        I wonder if the MOD thought it was the only plan that could work, a lightening strike where speed and confusion papered over their numerical deficiencies.

        – Eliot

  2. Fourth and Long says:

    You forgot that Putin is where victory is.

  3. Fred says:

    This article is dated 21 Febraury 2022.

  4. Jake says:

    A hunch? And what if these hunches and the gossip are dead wrong? How many lives will be lost in addition to the estimated 100.000 plus Ukrainian lives lost already, and how much of the remaining country will be lost in addition to what is lost already? How many US Dollars will the US taxpayers, already on the hook for 300 Dollars for every citizen, including newborns, will be lost, which could have been spent on urgent repairs of a debt riddled economy which is going to hell as we speak?

    • Fourth and Long says:

      The US system collapses without more and more debt eternally till the sun supernovas. (That’s not to say I’m in favor of it).
      As for human life?

      From 1984: The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought.

      There are therefore two great problems which the Party is concerned to solve.
      One is how to discover, against his will, what another human being is thinking,
      and the other is
      how to kill several hundred million people in a few seconds without giving warning beforehand. In so far as scientific research still continues, this is its subject matter.

  5. Peter Hug says:

    He may not have blinked in the end, but at this point I would not be surprised to learn that he wishes he had. Execution has been less than stellar, and although he may have warm bodies to feed into the mess, I suspect he is quickly running out of the equipment they would need to be effective.

  6. Mike B says:

    Putin may finally be realizing that the desired end situation, Ukraine as a happy and productive part of mother Russia, is no longer possible. Putin can destroy, Putin can invade but neither will yield the desired result. If he goes full Stalin and transfers all Ukrainians to Siberia (assuming that is even possible) and replaces them with Russians, he merely creating more dependency, a larger drain on resources with no offsetting financial benefit.
    If Putin is unable to motivate Russians in Russia for greater productivity, what chance does he have in Ukraine?

  7. Bill Roche says:

    MB When the Germans invaded Russia in ’41 some Ukrainians donned Nazi uniforms and fought to beat the Russians. Some UkrainoNazis no doubt were just plain antisemites, others felt Bolshevik Jews had unleashed communism and more war on Ukraine after WW I and fought against Ukrainian independence. In ’30 Ukrainian farmers (tight fisted kulaks) refused to collectivize and were messing up Stalin’s plan for state agriculture and industry. In 1931 Stalin decided he would show those kulaks who was the boss. You can pick a number, estimates go from 4MM to 8MM but by the winter of ’32-’33 millions of Ukrainians had been deliberately starved to death (Holodomore). Death is very convincing and it subdued the Ukrainian pop.. But if they wanted independence from the Czar b/f WW I, after WW I, after the Holodomore, during and after WW II, and when they declared their independence in ’91, they sure aren’t going to accept subordination to Putin’s Russia in 2023. So your right. Putin will not gain peace/secty. He will get 44MM people on his western border who will hate Russia for another 100 years. But this was never about Russian secty, removing latent NAZI’s, or joining grateful Ukrainians into a Russian Pan-Slavic brotherhood. It has been always about re-establishing the Russian Empire. W/O Ukraine as a subject nation there may be no “Greater Russia”. You can be sure Finns, Balts, Poles, and Slovaks are watching events in Ukraine closely. They see Ukraine as a very big canary in the coal mine. If Russia can subjugate Ukraine, what chance does Estonia or Moldova have; … short of WW III.

  8. John Minehan says:

    This is just a guess.

    I suspect the Russian offensive COL (R) Macgregor predicted has not happened because the Russians have not yet created the pre-conditions they need for the offensive to succeed.

    Notably, despite the damage they have done, they have not yet dropped the Ukrainian grid. I suspect the Russians have systemic problems with IMINT and HUMINT.

    This is less than impressive when you consider how quickly the OIF Coalition dropped the Iraqi grid 20 years ago. Ukeraine no doubt has a larger and more complex grid, than Iraq had in 2003, but that might not be an advantag as such a system might be harder to repair

    This has not produced the volume of regugeees (and hence the pressure on Europe the Russians need before a major offensive.

    Let’s see . . . .


    • Bill Roche says:

      The ground hardens w/i a month. Yes, lets see.

    • Fred says:


      As I recall the US had maintained a no fly zone over parts of Iraq for almost a decade and deployed more than 1,000 combat aircraft during the initial air campaign, plus a variety of cruise missle strikes. The RU AF wasn’t that big nor as capable. It’s failures have been mentioned here before.

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