trumpeters angry that Putin didn’t offer anything related to Hunter Biden

Peter Baker @peterbakernyt “A new report concludes that despite its massive deployment and menacing rhetoric, Russia does not plan to invade Ukraine, believing the political and economic costs are too high to sustain.”

Russia is trying to make the last call between Biden and Putin, possibly because defensive strike weapons are already deployed in Ukraine.

@PressSec said President Biden “urged Russia to defuse tensions with Ukraine. He made it clear that the United States and its allies and partners would react decisively if #Russia invades more #Ukraine. “



In short, Moscow appears to be setting the stage for launching a major conventional assault on Ukraine, even as the United States and NATO have shown their willingness to sit down and discuss the Kremlin’s concerns.

  • We believe the United States should, in close consultation with its NATO allies and Ukraine, take immediate steps to change the Kremlin’s cost-benefit calculations before the Russian leadership decides to escalate further. military. This means increasing the costs that would result if the Russian military launched a new assault on Ukraine, building on the excellent package of measures the Biden administration has already laid out: enactment of punitive sanctions against Moscow, sending major military supplies to Ukraine and NATO strengthening force posture on its eastern flank.
  • The administration should continue its good work with the European Union and other partners to secure agreement on the elements of a response to any Russian aggression against Ukraine, regardless of the scale or form of the escalation of Russia. Such a response would include a package of major and painful sanctions that would be applied immediately if Russia attacks Ukraine. Ideally, the broad outlines of these sanctions would be communicated to Moscow now, so that the Kremlin clearly understands the scale of the economic blow it will face. In particular, Washington is expected to consult Berlin and obtain German agreement that it would prevent Nord Stream 2 from entering service in the event of a Russian attack, specifying that otherwise the administration will not again waive sanctions on the pipeline. .
  • The most important thing the West can do now is to strengthen the deterrent force of the Ukrainian armed forces by providing military assistance and equipment on an expedited basis. For the Kremlin, a great invasion of Ukraine will only work if Russian forces are able to seize and hold Ukrainian territory without suffering large and constant losses. Western countries must act now to endow Ukraine’s military and territorial defense units with additional capabilities that can impose such costs.
  • Western military officials should urgently consult their Ukrainian counterparts on the assistance and equipment the Ukrainian army needs and could integrate it as quickly as possible into its operations to bolster its defensive force. Such assistance could include additional Javelin anti-armor missiles and Q36 counter-battery radar systems as well as Stinger missiles and other anti-aircraft missiles. The Biden administration should also encourage NATO allies to do more to strengthen Ukraine’s defensive capabilities, making it clear that the entire NATO Alliance stands together in opposing it. Russian aggression.
  • We believe that NATO should act now to begin to strengthen its military presence on its eastern flank and communicate to Moscow that Russia’s escalation would bring a substantial number of US and Allied forces and a permanent presence in the Baltic States and the United States. Black Sea region. NATO is also expected to alert Moscow that any further deployment could be reconsidered if / when the current crisis subsides.
  • The West is also expected to expand its political counteroffensive to recapture Moscow’s initiative as it tries to use the threat of force to intimidate Ukraine, Europe and the United States into accepting. its demands, many of which are clearly unjustified and unacceptable. The Biden administration should seek a Head of State-level Group of Seven (G7) declaration condemning Moscow’s threat of a wider war against Ukraine and work with its allies and partners to use other forums, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and possibly the United Nations, to stress the unacceptable nature of Russian military action and coercive threats. / …


  • Ukraine is a threat to national security that immobilizes a large part of the Russian ground forces necessary to defend the Donbass. Either Russia will try to force changes to the constitution / political orientation of Ukraine, or it will force NATO to stop strengthening its army in order to “solve” this threat. 2 /
  • A Russian military operation would be much more expensive if Ukraine had cruise and ballistic missiles that could target important Russian bases and cities, and future Russian coercion efforts would be weaker if Ukraine had such capabilities. . 3 /
  • I think Moscow thinks that Kiev will not make any concessions unless it is forced to do so by Washington or by Russian military force. Putin is currently trying with the first (and not attempting negotiations with Kiev) and will likely attempt the second if it fails. 4 /
  • Russia has broader security concerns with NATO and is taking the opportunity to try to resolve some of those with the threat of force against Ukraine. But the events in Ukraine are the most pressing concern for Moscow (and NATO membership is not the immediate cause). 5 /
  • Russia’s current actions are not routine. They gave :
    • 1) specific requests
    • 2) linked to a short deadline
    • 3) promising a “military and military-technical” response
    • 4) with substantial military capabilities capable of escalation, including invasion on short notice. 6 /
  • They deliberately put themselves in a corner where their credibility will be in doubt if they do not get concessions or use military force. These are classic elements of a competitive strategy, which generally requires strength if the target does not change its behavior.
  • There are different levels of force that can be used as part of compulsion, so a full-scale invasion is not the only possible option. Russia could shoot down TB2, target Ukrainian artillery / MLRS used in the Donbass, or unleash its long-range fire on the Ukrainian army. 8 /
  • The key questions:
    • – how ambitious are Russia’s goals?
    • -How much force does Moscow think it has to use to force Kiev to make these concessions?
  • I’m not sure, but Russia is making it clear that it considers current events unacceptable and worthy of using force to stop them.
  • The spring build-up did not meet Russia’s goals of deterring these measures, and the HMS Defender incident, the Ukrainian TB2 strike in Donbass (the footage has been made public) and the bomber flights of the ‘NATO over Ukraine / Black Sea etc. are a public embarrassment for Moscow. ten/
  • I think there are restrictions for Moscow on the type of military force possible (i.e. I think killing civilians or damaging Ukrainian cities would be very unpopular among Russians), but Russia can inflict severe suffering on the Ukrainian army without a larger invasion. 11 /
  • So when we try to assess Moscow’s cost-benefit analysis of the use of force against Ukraine, we must not only assess the costs of an escalation for Russia, but also their perceived costs of * don’t * “fix” this problem now, what they probably think is bigger.

  • We must not forget the example of Karabakh for Moscow and Kiev. Azerbaijan was determined to recapture these areas, spent decades of heavy defense spending and arms imports to prepare, then attacked when the balance of power shifted with the support of a member of the ‘NATO. 12 /
  • I don’t know what Putin is thinking, but Russia’s rhetoric and actions are in line with attempted coercion and there will be a cost of credibility if they don’t act or get concessions. Since the latter is unlikely, I think a military escalation is more likely than not.

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