Oh. My. God. As I’ve grown older, I have found that I suffer fools far less gladly then I did when I had more patience. But at the same time, nothing pleases me more in my dotage than seeing supreme acts of stupidity punished with the severity they deserve.

48 days ago, Vlad the Imp invaded Ukraine. Putin can put any shade of lipstick he wants on that pig with his ever changing series of excuses and justifications, but he did it for one reason and one reason only. Putin has been demanding international guarantees that Ukraine would remain neutral, meaning that they would never ask for admission into NATO, even though their constitution calls for it. Forget the fact that Ukraine isn’t even qualified to apply for NATO membership right now, Putin was terrified of another 400 mile long border being controlled by NATO, and pinching him in, so he took matters into his own hands.

As I said in the headline, stand up and take a bow, fool! Earlier today, both Sweden and Finland confirmed that their governments are seriously considering applications for NATO membership, and that the decisions would likely come in weeks, not months. Remember, Putin was terrified of a 400 mile Ukraine-NATO border to his south. Well, guess what? Finland shares an 800 mile border with Russia to the north! Man! Talk about being hoist on your own petard.

And Russia has already tested Finland, and it didn’t work out so good. In the winter of 1940, whie Stalin was still an ally of Hitler, he invaded Finland to expand his borders. And got his sorry Bolshevik ass kicked. The Finnish army, camouflaged in white to match the snow, and travelling on skis,ran rings around the Russians. And another reason. The Finns, ready to fight in the cold, had no trigger guards on their weapons, allowing them to wear warm mittens and still shoot. The Russians had to wear thin gloves in order to slip a finger inside of the trigger guard. Russia bailed and settled for a handful of extra miles of border.

Putin, of course, is absolutely furious with Finland and Sweden. And he has gone so far as to threaten dire consequences, including military consequences if Finland and Sweden go through with it.

In fact, a report today said that Putin had moved Russian military troops up to the 800 mile border with Finland. Seriously? Reputable military analysts say that Putin has almost 50% of his available ground forces and equipment tied up in Ukraine. So, what is he sending up to the Finnish border? The Russian equivalent of the National Guard? Conscripts? Reserves? Stalin Scouts? And if Putin can’t tackle Ukraine with his alleged best, why should Finland be worried about the Russian equivalent of Michigan weekend warriors? 

Putin invaded the Ukraine in order to to try to secure a 400 mile border. And instead, he’s about to have an 800 mile NATO border to his north, and likely no guarantee that he won’t end up with a 400 mile Ukrainian-NATO border to his south. Pride may goeth before a fall, but arrogance goeth before a pratfall. Don’t touch that dial.


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  1. Related to this fear: a working democracy like Ukraine just on Putin’s border puts the lie to how great his Russia is. Ergo, it needed to be destroyed…only he’s in the process of destroying himself. As for the Finns and Swedes, they can look Putin’s threats in the eye and honestly say, “You and what army, Vladimir Vladimirovitch?”

  2. I must confess, I did not pay much attention to the incursions in Georgia and Chechnya by putin nor the invasion of Crimea. It was much like Iraq and Afghanistan that a superpower could pretty do what it wanted in a sphere of influence. Until now.
    This is the culminating event. Putin has backed himself into a corner. He has lost his toady trump. He is facing a real cold warrior in President Biden, some one who will say war crimes and genocide. Someone who will send the real killing weapons that russians fear.

    The weapons of war have made this type of invasion impossible by traditional military. Rockets will destroy every tank that advances. Rockets will take down jets and helicopters. Ground forces cannot advance without tanks and air cover. All that is left is long range artillary and rockets that cannot advance out of russia.

    russians are good chess players, hopefully they will recognize a stalemate sooner than later.

    • I have to state some disagreement (albeit with some nuance) to what you said near the end of your comment. A conventional war of the type Russia started can in fact be won (controlling the area/country taken over is a separate question however) with traditional arms and tactics. It does however require good, professional troops with both excellent command & control and up to date & well maintained equipment. Russia fails on every point I just mentioned. On paper they had (and continue to have) the “numbers” but their equipment isn’t up to snuff and their historic problem of a lack of rank & file disciplined & well-trained soldiers and more importantly a backbone of even a solid, much less really good corps of Non-Commissioned Officers continues. This means more than lacking good leadership of regular troops at the company and platoon level, it also means lack of crucial training for young Officers, who have always been tasked with performing duties in the Russian military that’s done by NCOs in western (and even some authoritarian armed forces) militaries in addition to providing overall leadership and ensuring proper training and performance of their units! IF willing to put up with appalling losses of troops (and more equipment than should wind up being destroyed) AND a willigness to employ methods that are at best “only” brutal but in fact are war crimes a country like Russia can get away with it. At least in places where either the world doesn’t much care or they have a solid base of civilian support. That is NOT the case with Ukraine and that’s been the flaw in Putin’s (and much of Russia’s) thinking all along. Even in the old USSR days Russian control of their country Ukrainians were okay with. They have always been as fiercely nationalistic as Russia. It’s also worth remembering that it was UKRAINIANS that moved east and created what became the Russia we know (starting roughly a thousand years ago) and not the other way around as so many Russians including Putin continue to delude themselves into believing.

      Finally, when it comes to attack with helicopters and jets I’d correct you in saying they CAN be taken down with missiles including shoulder fired ones. CAN being the operative word. It takes lots of training and pilots with some serious guts but such aircraft can survive (and inflict a LOT of damage) on a modern battlefield even against SAMS and shoulder fired missiles like Stingers. Modern avionics that can confuse radar guided missiles help, as does other stealth technology and design that isn’t all that high tech. The placement and relatively simple shielding on the engines of the A-10 for example make it extremely difficult for HEAT seeking missiles to lock on, which is why despite quite a bit of use only a handful (six or seven) have sustained serious enough damage to take them out of action.

      I mentioned training. Nap of the earth flying takes either really sophisticated avionics which is hugely expensive or serious and FREQUENT training (or both) which isn’t cheap either. The more you fly combat aircraft the more maintenance they need and that takes trained mechanics and parts that are worth a damn. It has become clear that just as was the case during the Cold War, Russian officers have gundecked the actual truthful reports up their chain of command on training and readiness and the results are there right now for the whole world to see.
      Russian commanders including Generals up where the fighting has been going on have been skittish about using any more of their jets and helicopters than they have to precisely because they are as modern and capable of surviving against a capable enemy with good anti-air weapons, AND because those who pilot those jets and helicopters simply don’t have the endless amount of flight hours practicing high speed, low level nap-of-the-earth flying that is required. And those things (both the aircraft and the pilots) are expensive as hell and Russia simply isn’t in a position to replace them. Worse, that was the case BEFORE all this started in Ukraine! Keep in mind that Russia is a vast country geographically but not with a huge population. That’s a helluva lot of territory to defend. More importantly even though Putin is playing nice with China, Xi has got to be taking a good, hard look at things and the resource rich region of Siberia. Russia and China have only ever at best been allies of convenience but Russia’s combination paranoia combined with it’s massive inferiority complex means that a good chunk of what military resources it has will remain a long fucking way away from Ukraine precisely to keep China from deciding to take back territory that historically they feel is THEIRS.

      Sorry, this got longer than I intended but my main point is that WE have proven that with the right aircraft and well-trained people flying them modern jets and helicopters can survive even on the modern battlefield.

      • It’s interesting to note a comment made by a friend of mine while he was working for Collins Radio … a long time preferred military/avionics communication manufacturer.

        Up to a few years ago, Russian aircraft was still using tube-type radio and avionic circuits, WAY after Collins was building their own custom chips for newer and more powerful circuit boards … he mentioned, that being the case, Collins was building in EMP protection since the newer, faster circuits were more sensitive then the Russian relics … BUT the old Russian radios could plunk along and not be so sensitive to electro-shock during nuclear blasts … so much of Russia’s history in electronics shows an increasing level of engineering circuits, but the equipment was never more than clunky green boxes with crude mechanics, even knobs and scales were crude … their newest fighter jets are an example of the highest engineering levels … predicated on Kremlin funding which 50% of was and is going into Putin’s pockets …

        The strain on Putin and his oligarchs right now must be horrendous … keeping China happy and NOT daring to go nuclear without instant vaporization … and all his dwindling supply of still-working cast iron, trained and HAPPY troops, I believe the military is seeing the light in the tunnel is behind them, while nothing but flat black looms ahead …

    • Technically speaking, there was NO “incursion” with regard to Chechnya. Chechnya is not now, nor was it ever, a fully sovereign independent country. Its status as a “republic” (at the time of the “incursion”) was effectively the same as the “republics” in the old USSR (even Byelorussia and Ukraine, despite their seats at the UN, had no real freedom to set their own domestic, much less foreign, policies). Russia’s actions in Chechnya were done to quell a secessionist movement that would’ve led to a fully-independent Chechnya (at the very least, far more autonomy, allowing the Chechens to set their own internal affairs and withhold their men from serving in the Russian army–possibly, even joining international organizations as independent participants).

      What Russia did in Georgia and in Crimea was no less than undeclared warfare on two sovereign nations with little reaction from other countries (beyond some minor recriminations) because Russia couched their invasions as “protecting” Russian citizens.

  3. I’ve a feeling that the Putain isn’t really so much into rebuilding the USSR but more the Russian Empire. Look at the Romanov double eagle on army uniforms, the 18th century uniforms of the ‘palace guard’.

    No – what he wants isn’t to be president for life but Tsar Vladimir I, little father of all the Russias (which will include Finland, a large chunk of Poland and probably a few extra territories as well)

  4. “he has gone so far as to threaten dire consequences, including military consequences if Finland and Sweden go through with it.”

    Threatening dire consequences, eh? Well then they DEFINITELY need to join NATO. Nice going, Vlad.

  5. One thing that all fascists have in common are their “borders”.
    Its an easier concept for the losers to grasp than healthcare or acting like you had good upbringing.


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