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Russian Ukrainian War Report Series March Onward 2022

Nov 21, 2022 at 12:15 am by mikewood


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Russia Ukraine War Report Series - March - May 2022

This section contains our Russia Ukraine War Report Series which we began in March of 2022. We hope it will end by the end of May, but who knows how long it will take the Russian people to rise up against the oppressive Putin dictatorship / regime.

russia ukraine war weapons politics culture languages trade economies population military strength currency morale

Russia Ukraine War Report Series - March - May 2022

This section contains our Russia Ukraine War Report Series which we began in March of 2022. We hope it will end by the end of May, but who knows how long it will take the Russian people to rise up against the oppressive Putin dictatorship / regime.


* Ukraine VI: War Sustainability & Possible Outcomes

A Closer Look at the Probable and Possible Outcomes of the Russo-Ukrainian War

April 4, 2022 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz

nyc things to do nyc things to do this weekend nycIn Part VI, we're going to zoom into the current situation, looking at their wars are being financed, recent politics in both Russia and Ukraine, and popular support for the war in each nation.


A Little More History

The Cossacks were legendary fighters. The name trouble w/ authority so headed to the steppes.

Russia Relations - include Catherine II and Potemkin Village -
Two premiers, Nikita Kruschev and Leonid Brezhnev, were Ukrainians. And both of them helped moved the Soviet Union toward a less autocratic repressive regime.

Industry & Natural Resources

Natural gas, wheat, corn, fertilizer and the Black Sea / Azov.
They are a country rich in natural resources including coal, iron and steel, natural gas and oil (?).
They have x number of nuke plants. They became a technology and weapons sector during Soviet times in the 1980's.

There's a natural gas pipeline that flows through the Ukraine that provides a good part of Europe with its energy. It's still flowing as it also provides Russia with a significant amount of its reserves.

Languages and ethnicity is mixed. Borders fluctuated with the Poles in the west and the Russians in the east.

Ukrainian, Russian and Polish. Ironically the eastern section of the nation is where Russian is based and they voted to go west toward Europe. The western, Ukrainian / Polish part leaned toward Russia. There's enough of an ethnic and language mix there to defy easy categorizations, so beware.
Lang map.

The cities are predominantly in the east along the Dnieper River, Black Sea, Sea of Azov and the Russian border. That's also. where the industries and technology are. The western half of the nation is largely agrarian.


Ukraine Part V: Adding Context to the Shallow Reporting of TV News

In Part V We Delve into the Russian Politics Leading up to the War in Ukraine, the Role of the Russian Mob and Oligarchs and a Look at NATO Expansion & What's Happening at the Peace Negotiation Table in Turkey

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisMarch 28, 2022 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.


To Understand Russia Today, a Little Background is in Order - Unfortunately the Incredibly Lame TV News is Failing Miserably at Providing it

In the graphic at right is the head of the Russian mob, Semion Mogilevich. Mogilevich, a Ukrainian, rose in the criminal world in Russia reportedly starting in the 1980's. In the early 1990's as the government of the Soviet Union was collapsing, Mogilevich and Vladimir Putin became fast friends.

At that time, the Russian mob began spreading like cancer to the nations of Eastern Europe, as well as to Britain and the U.S.. The spread of the Russian mob was fueled by disgruntled Russian veterans from the Afghanistan War, and by ill-gotten gains, some of which allegedly came from an incredibly corrupt Russian government which was first headed by Boris Yeltsin, and then his hand-picked successor, Vladimir Putin.

One of Mogilevich's under bosses met with Donald Trump as early as 1984. According to a January 12, 2019 report by Vox,

"... The very first episode that’s been documented, to my knowledge, was in 1984 when David Bogatin -- who is a Russian mobster, convicted gasoline bootlegger, and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss -- met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin came to that meeting prepared to spend $6 million, which is equivalent to about $15 million today ... Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob ..."


The Primary Differences Between a Free Society & a Dictatorship - Truth & Transparency vs Deception & Corruption

Except for the most corrupt of people, most humans - given the choice - would like to live in a democracy: 1) in a society governed by laws, 2) where free speech doesn't get you 15 years in prison or a death sentence like it does in Russia today, 3) in a nation where you get to choose your leaders, and 4) can non-violently fire your leaders when they implement bad policies for the nation. That's what we have here in America, and that's what most of the other NATO countries offer their people.

At present Russia is the bizarro rendition of the free, democratic nations of NATO. Putin's changing of the Russian Federation Constitution in 2020 essentially enables him to hold government power for the rest of his life [until 2036, when he's age 83]. And the imprisonment and multi-year sentencing of Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny in 2021 / 2022, shows that Russian rule of law is merely a charade. Reportedly between 13,000 and 15,000 Russian peaceful protesters have been jalied since the Russian Invasion of Ukraine began in late February of 2022. Unfortunately, aspirations of becoming a free society, where the people are able to pick and choose their own leaders, continues to elude Russia, as the corruption in the Russian Federation electoral process, makes voting seem a useless waste of time.

For these and other reasons, Ukraine embarked on the path toward joining NATO since the collapse of the Soviet Union. And, as described in Part II of this report series, that's also why the Ukrainians have been seeking independence from Russia for at least a century - if not longer - prior to this most recent Russian invasion.


From Gorbachev to Yeltsin - Before, During & After the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Mikhail Gorbachev was the Secretary General of the Communist Party from 1985 to 1990. During his terms in office, he was a reformer who advocated for glasnost, which was the opening up of Russian society. Through glasnost, the government was more consultative with the people with respect to the policies it pursued, and there was wider dissemination of information. For the first time in about two thirds of a century [since the Russian Revolution] the Russian government loosened its restrictive control over the populace. Gorbachev also decided that Russia needed to withdraw from Afghanistan in 1989 [see our report on Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan which compares the two], since it was a winless war. In 1979, Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev had also expressed an openness to reforming the Russian government's role in society.

In November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Germany and Russia negotiated for East Germany's independence from the Soviet Union. In March of 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev became the first President of the Soviet Union. He continued trying to move Russia into the modern world via Perestroika, which at first was about automation, but grew to entail economic and social reforms. Some of the Eastern European nations, like Lithuania, began to push for greater autonomy from the Soviet Union. To continue on the reform path, Gorbachev needed money, and this is where the west failed Russia during this transition.

By failing to help Gorbachev, by keeping Russia frozen out of the G7 which would have given him access to the liquidity of global markets, things worsened in Russia. Eventually a group of eight leaders of the Communist Party held Gorbachev under house arrest while he was vacationing near the Black Sea, in an attempt to stage a coup. Gorbachev refused to make / legitimize the governmental changes they demanded.

Back in Moscow, Boris Yeltsin, President of the Soviet State [which if I understand this correctly that Soviet state is now Russia], stepped in with troops loyal to him and protesters to stop the storming of the Russian Parliament and to save the government of Gorbachev's Soviet Union [which included all other Soviet republics at the time as well as Yeltsin's Soviet State]. By beating back the coup initiated by the members of Gorbachev's own Communist Party, Yeltsin ascended to the top spot. But not until after some changes were made.


Ukraine IV: Adding Context to What You're Seeing on the TV Networks

In Part IV We Delve into the Weapons of War, Current Scorecard, Media & Morale

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisMarch 21, 2022 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I found the map at right on Al Jazeera, an Islamic news site founded in Qatar, which is located in the Persian Gulf, about 2150 miles south of Crimea. It provided more detail than most other maps I found, showing the status of the cities and nearby lands.


Recap of Parts I, II & III

We began this series immediately after the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, in order to better understand ourselves what was going on, because it was difficult to find anything on the American television networks that seemed to provide a solidly contextual view of the evolving situation.


Thus, in Part I, I looked at the size of the populations and economies, a brief look at recent history, the changing borders defining the Ukraine, and the warped, fascist-leaning coverage, of Australian-born, billionaire propagandist, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News.

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysis

In Part II, I looked at some of the geography and topography of the Ukraine, its strategic value to Russia because of the north / south Dnieper River which begins in Smolensk Russia and empties into the warm water Black, again provided a bit deeper dive into Ukrainian history and the role of the Cossacks in the Russian Revolution, WWI and WWII [some of which Putin has been trying to leverage in his propaganda campaign], stumbled upon and looked into Putin's incredible alleged corruption and his $1.4 billion grand palace overlooking a resort town of the Black Sea, how Putin's crony corruption and Russian army conscription of primarily poor people appears to help explain the Russian army's failures since the war began, and how Americans - who appear to be Putin enablers and apologists - have been disrupting our response to the crisis, and distorting the information the American people are getting.

Since before Putin's Russia invaded the Ukraine, Tucker Carlson has appeared to be a Putin toadie. This is no surprise as Tucker visited Viktor Orban in Hungary last year, because Joe Biden called Orban a thug. Again President Biden appears to know what he's talking about as according to Wikipedia,

"... Because of Orbán's curtailing of press freedom, erosion of judicial independence and undermining of ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysismultiparty democracy, many political scientists and watchdogs consider Hungary to have experienced democratic backsliding during Orbán's tenure. Orbán's attacks on the European Union, while accepting its money and funneling it to his allies and family have also led to characterizations of his government as a kleptocracy..."

In one of Carlson's broadcasts the Tucker rhetorically states that,

"... anything less than hating Putin is treason ...".

Tucker then goes on to attack those who don't think Putin is such a great guy, blaming "the elites or the liberals or the Democrats" for pushing us around. This is the same old tired narrative Carlson uses in show, after show, after show - and yet somehow all of those 'bright people' who watch him don't tire of it. Carlson's multi-billionaire, Australian born boss - global propagandist Rupert Murdoch - has been using that narrative [blame the elities] since at least the 1960's, to undermine English-speaking democracies around the globe, in order to enrich and empower himself, in a manner comparable to Putin - but more slowly and insidiously, and with fewer casualties.


Hey, You Dumb Tucker, Putin is a War Criminal - Women & Children Dead

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisSo, to answer the Tucker's question, why should we hate Putin, I've included a few photos of Putin's recent handiwork. At right and below is an man injured by Putin's goons, followed by another man that Putin's goons killed, and further down is one of many locations, housing some of the 3.5 million Ukrainian refuges fleeing the war. Another 6 million Ukrainians have been displaced within their own nation. And countless others have been murdered by Putin's unprovoked invasion and war.

It's worth noting that within the past two weeks, Putin's goons have bombed a maternity hospital, a theater housing children and a number of schools - all in Mariupol which is located in southern Ukraine along the Black Sea, as well as a shopping center in Kyiv. None of these targets were military, all of them housed women, and at least three of the four locations housed children. So, to answer Tucker's question, the reason we might not like Putin is because he's a murderous war criminal, who continues to be aided and abetted by Tuckers like you, and your billionaire boss, Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox News ... because of your deceitful and distorted reporting of the news - including omissions of some of the information and photos provided here. The photos above right was shown on Amanpour & Company, a news hour that provides very informative interviews, and below right was shown on CBS Face the Nation, a Sunday News program.


Ukraine III: Adding Context to What You're Seeing on the TV Networks

In Part III We Delve into the Threat of WWIII, the Russia / China Pact of February 2022 to Keep Dictators Putin & Xi Jinping in Power is Reminiscent of '1939 Pact of Steel' by Mussolini & Hitler, Putin's Alleged Corruption & Yacht, and the Putin-Pleasing-Propaganda-Press in America

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisMarch 14, 2022 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.


Recap of Part I

In Part I, two weeks ago, I looked at the relative sizes of the economy, population and industries of Russia vis a vis Ukraine. This was followed by a very short topline summary of some of the politics, culture and fluctuating borderlines of the Ukraine. And lastly, talked about how Fox News, the Wall St. Journal and the NY Post which are owned and controlled by a fascist-leaning billionaire from Australia [Rupert Murdoch], appears to be aiding and abetting Putin's War by continually bashing the Biden Administration, through his cadre of propagandists.

In the graphic at right, put together by the BBC in London, you can see that western Ukraine has largely been left alone, while the war rages in the East mostly along the Russian border. Western forces should be sure to provide Ukrainian forces with sea and river mines to thwart Russia's water borne assault capabilities along the Black Sea and the Dnieper River. They should also give consideration to bombing Putin's Palace at Gelendzhik on the Black Sea in order to publicize the alleged corruption of Putin and the Oligarchs as one of the reasons that the Russian forces have fared so poorly and why Putin - like Benito Mussolini - is reportedly asking [begging] Xi Jinping for financial and weaponry handouts. Both Putin and Xi deny the reports.


Recap of Part II - Putin's Alleged Palace & Corruption Impact on Russian Military, Morale of Russian Military - Half of Whom are Poor Peasant Conscripts - the Economic & Military Value of the Ukraine to Russia & the Fighting Heritage of the Cossacks

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisIn Part II, a week ago, I talked about how Australian born billionaire, mass media propagandist Rupert Murdoch and dictator Vladimir Putin's tactics share many similarities. They are differentiated in that Rupert Murdoch uses economic muscle and propaganda to get indirect control / influence over the corporations and governments he wants to plunder. While Vladimir Putin also uses economic muscle and propaganda - but enhances it with a Nazi tactic by adding violence and force to the mix - to obtain direct control over the corporations and governments he wants to plunder. All of these tactics were used by the Nazis to gain control - first of Germany and then a significant portion of Europe.

The graphic at right shows Rupert Murdoch and Vladimir Putin during happier times. Eventually Murdoch exited Russian media under duress, likely because Putin realized how Murdoch manipulated his audiences. A Russian Oligarch, Boris Berezovsky, was said to be a Murdoch friend who at one time controlled a lot of Russian media. Berezovsky was believed to have been murdered, but it could not be proven, so the coroner left the verdict open. So why does Murdoch media appear to favor Putin? Fear? Because both have fascist tendencies? Or both?

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisThen I delved into the importance of the Dnieper River, which flows south from Smolensk in Russia through the Ukraine and into the Black Sea. It's important because currently Russia has limited access to the world waterways via the Baltic Sea which is treacherous for much of the year, and the Black Sea which is a body of water shared by many nations, including many of the former Soviet Republics, including Ukraine.

Conquering Ukraine would give Russia a broader, more defensible / offensible presence on the Black Sea. This is likely of great concern to other Black Sea nations such as Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Georgia. All but the last two are NATO member nations. And the Ukraine was working toward becoming an eligible member.

I also talked about Putin's $1.4 billion mansion at Gelendzhik, which is a beachside tourist resort in Russia along the Black Sea. Putin denies he built the mansion with public funds, although a number of military observers believe that Putin and the Oligarchs looted the Russian Defense budget, which is why Russia has performed so poorly in this war. Also, about half of the Russians of their 600,000 fighting force were young men conscripted to die for Putin's War in a manner not unlike what happened to the poor Russians during WWI when the Czars sent them to fight for the Czar's throne.

In the graphic at right, an American cartoonist shares a worldwide point of view that Putin is a war criminal.


Ukraine II: Filling in Context Not Provided by Corporate Run American TV Networks

In Part II We Delve into the 20th Century History of Ukraine vis a vis its Relationship with Russia & Examine a Couple of Putin's Propaganda Narratives, One of Which Murdoch's Fox News Amplifies

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisMarch 7, 2022 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.


The photo at right is currently on exhibit in 'The Storming of the Capitol' photo exhibit at the Bronx Documentary Film Center in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx. It shows how seemingly 'ordinary people' [like the man shown in the photo], can be incited by manipulative leaders, in concert with a faction of the press that manipulatively supports them, to destroy the very things for which they think they're fighting.

Some say there are parallels to what's happening in Putin's Russia, but the cultural differences and institutional complexities make such analogies cumbersome at best. One thing is clear, however, and that is that this saying - long attributed to Thomas Jefferson [and now uncertain] - remains true,

"Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy."


Last Week We Did Part I: A Ukrainian Overview

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisLast week I provided a look at some of the topline stats someone who wanted to know what was going on might ask. We researched the size of the two nations in terms of population, economies, industries and technology. Ukraine came in well ahead of what I had thought, while Russia came in behind what I had expected to find.

Then I started in on Ukrainian history and culture vis a vis Russia, but found it to lengthy and complex to discuss without further research, so again I gave a very brief topline report noting that Ukraine's borders have been in flux over the past century and beyond.

Then I provided another brief look into Ukrainian and Russian politics since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991. This was followed by describing how the Biden Administration is balancing deterrence while trying to minimize escalation in the face of the military aggression brought on by the new Madman of Europe, and minimize the collateral economic impact on Americans' daily life.

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisLastly, I took a look at an Australian born Madman's, American-based mass media outlets' coverage, of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The billionaire's name is Rupert Murdoch, and his organizations' daily distorted coverage of people, places and events is - as a whole - appears to be manipulative propaganda. His propaganda techniques are not unlike - but far more sophisticated than - the propaganda Putin is spreading in Russia.

Unfortunately, Murdoch and Putin appear to be in goal alignment, which appears biased toward kleptocracy and fascism. The difference is that from within our borders Murdoch's Fox News, Wall St Journal and NY Post appear hellbent in undermining Biden [and thus our nation at a critical time for Western Democracy] through their distorted 'news' reporting, while pretending not to do so. While Putin's propaganda machine is located outside of our borders, is state run, and thus answers only to Putin.

The graphics at right illustrate the point, where Murdoch's Fox News uses Biden's worst poll numbers over the past month, in lieu of using the most recent poll numbers. The Murdoch goal appears to use their 'distorted' [and predominantly if not totally negative] news accounts to undermine Biden during the Ukranian crisis, in order to pave the way for the Murdoch chosen candidate for president in 2024, which at present appears to be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who honored Murdoch by providing $570 million of the taxpayers money to Disney in a tax break.


New Yorkers, including Russians, Show Support for Ukrainian Freedom

On Sunday, in Multiple Public Spaces in NYC, I Found Rallies for Ukrainian Independence

ukraine russian war analysis russia war in ukraine analysisMarch 1, 2022 / NYC Neighborhoods / / Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

In the photo at right, you can see protesters in Washington Square in the Village, voicing their opinions about Vladimir Putin's unprovoked aggression and invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The woman at the center of the photo asks,

"Why should you care?" and then she answers her question writing, "Putin Invasion = War on Democracy".


Russia & Ukraine - Putting the Conflict in Context - Date Rape

We're going to start a look into Putin's War on Ukraine. In doing so, we're going to report on it by providing a contextual framework to help you see things in a holistic manner, which is something the corporate run daily national news organizations seem to fail to do these days - while favoring sensationalistic, ratings-chasing, gossip-like, news reporting.

The gist of this story is that Ukraine is like a pretty woman who turned down Vladimir Putin's advances, so he decided to rape her.


The Basics - Ukraine's Population, Economy & Technology - Far Bigger & More Developed than I had Thought

Russia has a population of about 144 million as of 2020, while the Ukraine has a population of 44 million. This surprised me, perhaps in part because Russia has played such a visible role on the international stage, while the Ukraine has not.

Russia is also a much larger nation than Ukraine economically, as Russia has the sixth largest economy in the world measured in PPP, which is defined as 'purchasing power parity'. Ukraine, by contrast was the 40th largest economy in the world measured in PPP, and is the 44th [of 45] largest economy in Europe as measured nominally which includes the distortions made by currency exchange rates. Thus, when measured on comparable purchasing power [PPP], the Russian economy is only three times larger than Ukraine's, but because of currency trading, Russia does rates better on the global markets. The PPP numbers are measured based on a basket of currencies - not just the dollar - and thus PPP more effectively filters out currency exchange rate distortions.

The economies of Russia and the Ukraine also differ in terms of what they produce. The Russian economy is the second largest producer of oil and energy, including natural gas. Energy is Russia's largest single export and accounts for a significant portion of their government revenue. Russia is also rich in raw materials, commodities and minerals, which are used in its manufacturing sector. But the bulk of the Russian economy has been modernized and nearly two thirds of its economy is comprised of services.

The Ukraine has a large agricultural sector, as well as metals and coal sectors, which - as in Russia - facilitate manufacturing, and the Ukraine has the second largest natural gas reserves in Europe [but they still are a net importer of energy]. I couldn't find out what percent of the economy of the Ukraine was in services, but they have the fourth highest number of IT professionals in the world, and by 2015 over half of the nation had internet access [and in Kyiv it was 90%]. And their manufacturing base includes shipbuilding, aerospace and automotive.

So, to my suprise, the Ukraine is far bigger and is a far more technologically advanced than I had thought. And this helps explain why the little dictator, Vladimir Putin, is having trouble subjugating them.