Tag: Russia-Ukraine War

Decision Time in Ukraine


In the Land of Confusion podcast covering the six-month anniversary of the start of the Ukraine War, I stated that the behavior of the Ukrainians over the last six weeks struck me as consistent with their shaping the battlefield for an offensive around Kherson. The types of strikes that Ukraine had been making were designed to isolate Russian forces in Kherson by cutting supply routes, destroying ammo and fuel dumps, and forcing the Russian aircraft out of Crimea.  I thought it would start in September, likely mid-September.

It appears I was off by a week or two. Both Ukrainian and Russian sources are reporting that such an offensive has begun.  At this point, both sides are declaring they are winning. That, too, is to be expected.

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A panel discussion was held and sponsored jointly by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and the Hungarian Migration Research Institute (MRI), which examined the challenges posed by the Ukrainian refugee crisis. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unleashed a deluge of refugees on Europe comparable in size only to the massive displacement of people at the end of World War II. Front-line countries in Europe – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova, and Romania – opened their borders to those fleeing Ukraine, and the EU in an historic decision offered them temporary protection, including the right to work. The United States has focused on helping Ukrainians where they are in Europe, pledging up to $5 billion in humanitarian assistance. In addition, however, the Biden administration has pledged to take in 100,000 Ukrainians, granted Temporary Protected Status to those already in the U.S., and created the “Unity for Ukraine” program to allow individuals to sponsor Ukrainians who don’t want to stay in the EU.

November 3rd Led to February 24th


The Russian attack on Ukraine can be traced to the 2020 presidential election. Leaving aside the question of voter fraud, the replacement of Trump by Biden strengthened Russia’s economy. One of the first actions Biden took was to cancel the Keystone pipeline. He also discouraged drilling. Gas and other fossil fuel prices jumped. Russia depends heavily on energy exports so this was a huge cash infusion into its economy.

Biden appointed incompetent people such as Austin who became secretary of defense. When he wasn’t chowing down, he appeared to think that his most crucial issue was to root out conservatives in the defense department. A friend of mine knew a young man who joined the Air Force to work on cyber defense. With the emphasis on transgenders getting surgeries, he’s getting out as soon as his enlistment ends.

Eight Important Lessons on Deterrence from Ukraine


There’s nothing that complicated about deterrence theory. To successfully deter potential adversaries from doing bad things to you and your friends, they need to believe you are willing and able to do unacceptably bad things to them and their friends in response. The degree to which they believe this is the degree to which deterrence is effective. Hence, successful deterrence employs the tactic of ambiguity to create doubt in adversaries’ minds over how far you may be willing to go, which is where the phrase “all options are on the table” has often been employed through past conflicts and crises.

So, what lessons have we learned about deterrence over the past two months?


A new report and podcast from the Center for Immigration Studies provides an overview of the Ukrainian refugee crisis, which has seen more than four million people flee Ukraine for neighboring countries. The report describes the European Union’s response to those seeking protection in various countries in the region and also highlights the U.S. response, which has been primarily aimed at providing economic and humanitarian assistance to enable Ukrainians to remain in their own region. However, President Biden, under pressure from refugee advocates, eventually committed to resettling 100,000 Ukrainians. The report provides a snapshot of the Ukrainian population already resettled in the U.S. which these individuals would be joining.

Most Ukrainians already resettled in the U.S. arrived under the “Lautenberg Amendment”, a Cold War-era program that gives priority to Ukrainians and others from the former Soviet Union who claim to be persecuted because of membership in a religious minority group. The program is on automatic pilot, being renewed yearly despite the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists. It will undoubtedly be used to fast-track the resettlement of Ukrainians in the coming months despite the lack of religious persecution in the EU, where the Ukrainians are located.

Loose Lips Sink Ships (of State)


The dotard’s discourse has deadly consequences at home and abroad. pResident Biden has already caused thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of violent deaths in Ukraine, for starters. And the butcher’s bill will likely tally much higher over the next two years, and more if the self-serving RepubliCAN’T cohort, led by Mendacious McConnell and Misleading McCarthy, get their way. McConnell and McCarthy are salivating, to put it politely, over the pain abroad and at home. They are already measuring their imagined new offices for drapes and carpet, while rolling in donors’ dough. If we allow them to win, if we do not use the primary process to crush them, we will pay — from the pump, to the grocery store, to our liberty and our future prospects in the world.

No president in the entire history of confrontation between the nuclear superpowers, the Russian empire and the American republic, has ever spoken deliberately on microphone, let alone on camera, as has pResident Biden. Here are his words, from the official White House transcripts.

State of the Union 2022:

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Russia invaded Ukraine.  Why?  There are many theories, but there is a near hysteria in the media/political class about it.  My knee-jerk reaction is to be against it.  But I do not understand enough to really know whether there was any justification for the invasion. To those who today say there can be no excuse […]

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Zelenskyy Bans Opposition Parties; Nationalizes Media


Is there a chance… a slight chance, but still a chance … that Volodymyr Zelenskyy isn’t quite the great savior of democracy we are being told he is?

In an address to the nation delivered Sunday, he announced a temporary ban on “any activity” by 11 political parties. The ban includes the Opposition Platform – For Life party, which holds 43 seats in Ukraine’s national parliament and is the largest opposition party. Opposition Platform – For Life is a pro-Russia party, but on March 8, party leader Yuriy Boyko demanded that Russia “stop the aggression against Ukraine,” according to Ukrainian outlet LB.

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Dr. William Hamilton’s biography is too long to publish here. Suffice to say it is distinguished, accomplished, and meaningful. The native Oklahoman and Nebraska political veteran is a highly decorated US Army and Air Force veteran of 20 years, much of that served in West Germany and other European nations. He’s a graduate of the […]

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The Devil Made Him Do It?


Putin apologists and propagandists are channeling the late Flip Wilson, blaming NATO for Putin’s war against Ukraine. They’re ignoring a few things.

Those of a certain age may remember the late comedian Flip Wilson, who tragically died in 1998 at age 64 from cancer. He was the first successful black host of a television variety show in the early 1970s.

“Geraldine (Jones), with Wilson in wig, high heels and a colorful minidress, was perhaps his most famous character. Her spunky catchphrases “The devil made me do it” and “What you see is what you get!” became part of the national language,” CBS News described in announcing Wilson’s death.

Nuclear Rumors from Ukraine


This is a brief compilation of a couple of different rumors I’ve heard out of the Ukraine war and what they mean. Now I don’t know much but I know a little bit about nukes and how they work and some of these things are flat out implausible. What I’m looking to give here is a quick reality check to see if any given statement is worth worrying about further. To be clear I’m talking about science; whether or not Putin is willing to deploy tactical nuclear weapons is beyond the scope of this post. Let’s get down to it.

Increasing Radiation levels at Chernobyl

The Claim: In the first day or two of the war the Russians attacked and took Chernobyl. The fight kicked up a lot of dust. The Ukrainian government’s automated radiation monitoring says the background radiation there jumped from 3,000 nSv/hour to 65,500 nSv/hour. Claim found in this video, though I’ve heard it elsewhere too.

Тихая ночь в Москве: The End of Echo, No More Rain (Borscht Report #11)


I’m not quite sure how to start this. In fact, I’m not quite sure I’m going to post it. I write a lot about Russia, for Ricochet and in ‘real life.’ Watching the level of discourse about the war in Ukraine across American social media has been…well, let’s just go with ‘words I’m not allowed to say here because this is a family website.’ Maybe, if it were something that was less present in my everyday life, I would feel as though I could engage with this topic and not watch my temper rocket from zero to a hundred in record time. But it isn’t. 

As a historian, I have a sub-field specialty in Russia, and as a scholar with a professional interest in Jewish studies, Russia and Ukraine are vital research locations for me. As an undergraduate student, I spent three very difficult years going from my ABCs to fluency in Russian. As a Russian speaker, I’m sitting in an apartment filled with books, vinyl records, t-shirts, etc. in Russian. As a human being, I have people I love in Russia and Ukraine, and even more people I love have friends and family in both of those places. In the last week, I’ve seen a Ukrainian friend I studied with in London leave the safety of that city to fight for his country, and have watched from afar as a Russian friend’s life comes unraveled, her brother and father conscripted to fight, her Ukrainian family struggling with no hope of help, her avenues to the outside world growing narrower every day, and her activism a very real threat to her life. It’s entirely possible that he will die defending his nation, and she will go to prison for criticizing the megalomaniacal dictator that runs her country. A month ago, we were joking about our stress-obsessed former Russian teacher, or our shared taste in oldies underground rock. Now I’m just hoping that I won’t wake up one day and realize that yesterday would be the last time I ever heard from them.