Russo-Ukrainian Winter War State of Play For February 28, 2022: Now What

by Shelt Garner

State of play for February 28, 2022

Things continue to move quickly in the Russo-Ukrainian Winter War. It definitely feels as though a number of different things are being put into place before the main event.

One thing that may happen in the next few days is a Siege of Kyiv. The Russians have a 40 mile convoy of military vehicles headed towards the Kyiv area. And it would make sense if they use all those vehicles to surround Kyiv and proceed to bomb it into oblivian.

But the main issue is how unstable things are right now. I just don’t know what the endgame is for all of this. Because there is the fear if Putin feels he’s in a box he may try to break out by using tactical or low grade nuclear weapons. If that happens, then we really are in a new era.

And not a good one.

The thing to keep in the back of your mind is the United States continues to careen towards a very dark, existential choice of autocracy or civil war starting around 2024 – 2025. So, in a sense, we’ve left the Rona Era and are now in a new era of some sort, the type where we don’t know where we will end up on the other side.

It could be that at some point after 2025, we will enter a far more united world because of the combination of a Second American Civil War and WW3. Or, the opposite could be true for the same reason. But, anyway, things have changed.

The Struggle Is Real

by Shelt Garner

Now that I’ve had my birthday, I’m finally in a new year on an emotional level. So now I’m going to gird my loins and throw myself back into this first novel in a five novel series.

The reason why I keep banging my head against the wall is I know that a lot of the problems I’m experiencing come from my struggle to figure out how I develop and write a novel. So, in a sense, I would have this type of struggle no matter what novel — or screenplay for that matter — I was working on.

So my goal now is to pour myself some bourbon then start sketching out scene summaries then sit down and start writing new scenes from scratch. I’ve come to realize that I have to stop using scenes I’ve already written and fall back to writing scenes from scratch.

This is very frustrating, however. Some of all of this comes from still not knowing what the fuck I’m doing. And once I do know how I do tell this kind of huge story, the next four novels in the series will hopefully go a lot faster.

I Hope The Russians Love Their Children, Too

by Shelt Garner

The next few days will be crucial. I still struggle with the idea that Putin could potentially use nukes of some sort against Ukraine. But, remember, in real terms, there’s not much the West could do if he did, in fact, use them.

And, really, that’s not even the point of the problem. The point is the taboo against using nukes that has held since 1945 would end and suddenly one could begin to see the possibility of China using them against Taiwan or the DPRK using them against South Korea.

It is interesting to think about, however. To contemplate what the actual, specific implications of Russian using nukes of some sort on Ukraine might be. I think the shock of WMD being used on Ukraine would be something that would really make a lot of Americans who are indifferent to the current clusterfuck in Ukraine to sit up and take notice.

It makes you wonder, too, if using nukes would really do Putin all that much good. It’s not like the Ukrainians are going to give up, even if they are nuked. And Russia using WMD on the Ukrainians would only lead to a great deal of instability within their own nation.

But, if nothing else, the use of WMD by the Russians would push us into a new, uncertain era. Add to this how the United States is rushing towards its own crisis around the 2024 -2025 period and a lot of assumptions about the world are probably going to be challenged very, very soon.

‘Woke Sky’ — #Lyrics to #Pop Song

This is just me being silly. “Woke sky,” which is trending today, sounds like a great song title.

Woke Sky
lyrics by Shelt Garner
Please give credit if you produce or perform

I look up and see
the sky looking back at me
judging me for my sins
what can I do or say
to make it look away

woke sky
things seem to be getting worse

woke sky
everything is about the mind

woke sky
the sky should be blue not angry

we’re all seen from above
sometimes the sky gives us a shove
but don’t you fear
when the night comes
everything we hold dear
will be hidden from the fear

woke sky
things seem to be getting worse

woke sky
everything is about the mind

woke sky
the sky should be blue not angry

the ground below us
doesn’t care what we say or do
just loves the pounding of our feat
on top of it

woke sky
things seem to be getting worse

woke sky
everything is about the mind

woke sky
the sky should be blue not angry

The Russo-Ukrainian Winter War State Of Play For February 27, 2022: The Big Freak Out

by Shelt Garner

In just the last few hours, there’s been a shift in the current crisis surrounding the war. A lot depends on how rational Putin is. If he’s rational, then he sues for peace at the negotiating table tomorrow European time. If he’s not, then he takes things to the next level and begins to burn Ukraine to the ground to the point that WMD of some sort are used.

Logically, this is over. Logically, the Russians realize what a dumb idea this entire endeavor has been and they return to status quo ante borders. That is definitely what should happen.

But will it?

The next few hours will be telling. A lot will depend on how badly the Russians want to be prove a point before tomorrow’s negotiations on the Belarusian border.

Just from what I can tell from Twitter, we’re in a very unstable crisis in Europe at the moment. And a lot depends on what’s going on in the mind of Putin. He really has all of our fates in his hands at the moment. If he backs down then all eyes turn to the domestic Russian reaction.

If he doesn’t back down, then we have a real problem on our hands. Because then, logically, Putin decides to go full Gotterdammerung on us and burns Ukraine to the ground like he did Chechnya. He could use WMD in various forms on Ukrainian cities and THAT would prompt five to seven million Ukrainians to leave the country.

Europe is already pretty much full of refugees at the moment, so all those people would likely be forced to head to North America. Such a huge influx of people into the politics of the USA and Canada might have some pretty astonishing and unexpected consequences.

Many of these Ukrainians would be highly trained and highly educated and for the purposes of starting a new life in North America might take jobs that citizens otherwise would not take. There is a least a small possibility that if this happened to a huge scale that some — but not all — of the macro trends that lead to MAGA might be abated to some extent.

But that is very speculative.

I will suggest that the next day or so will be crucial to this crisis. It all depends on what the Russians — and specifically Putin — do. No matter what, though, I fear Russia itself is primed to be extremely, extremely unstable. The jig is up for Putin one way or another.

It’s just a matter of time now.

Russo-Ukrainian Winter War: A Curious State Of Play — February 26, 2022

by Shelt Garner

State of Play, as of about February 26, 2022

Things are very curious right now in Ukraine. I say this because we’ve reach the point where it is clear that whatever reasoning Putin used to start the Russo-Ukrainian Winter War clearly is not working out.

So, we’re at something of an impasse.

Logically, Putin would sue for peace and retreat back to status quo ante borders (maybe even giving Crimea back to Ukraine.) But we don’t know for a fact that Putin is still a rational actor. He could be bonkers. And we are still just in the early days of the war.

So where does that leave us?

Well, I think we have to take seriously the idea that Something Bad might happen that would escalate the situation in Ukraine significantly. It’s possible that the Russians would use thermobaric rockets on major Ukrainian cities and burn them to the ground, much like what they did to Chechnya. This would make an already serious situation even worse, but it would likely give the Russians the quick fix of some significant victories.

And then there is the idea that Putin has really lost his mind and he might use some form of tactical nuclear weapon (or WMD in general) on the Ukrainians. That would greatly, and I do mean greatly, aggravate the situation. But, in real terms, NATO and the USA wouldn’t do anything. They would get really, really mad, but they wouldn’t do anything.

The consequences of the Russians using some form of WMD on Ukraine out of desperation would be unexpected and long lasting. Ukrainians would be enraged and there might be a spontaneous revolution / civil war in Russia. And, who knows, once the slice the seal on using WMD, China might think they could get away with using them on Taiwan.

And that doesn’t even begin to address the situation with the DPRK and ROK. It would be a real new geopolitical world, one that was dark and as uncertain as the interwar period that led the WW2. Add to this that the United States is tearing itself apart and facing the existential choice of autocracy or civil war in 2024 – 2025, and, well, lulz.

So, something’s gotta give. One way or another, things are going to change. I suppose things might continue the way they are going if the Russians managed some sort of major breakout, but that remains to be seen if that is still even possible.


What If Russia Used Low-Grade Tactical Nukes On Ukraine?

by Shelt Garner

I love to run scenarios, that’s my thing. So, let’s run the following scenario — Putin, frustrated with the lack of progress in the Russo-Ukrainian Winter War, decides to break the nearly 80-year-old taboo against using nuclear weapons. Now, I find it highly unlikely that even bonkers Putin would use a traditional tactical nuke.

More likely, he would use a very small nuke, a low-grade nuke, which would be more like a MOAB with a radioactive footprint than an actual tactical nuke. The question is, if he did it, what would be the consequences?

Given that Ukraine doesn’t have its own nukes and NATO / USA would be extremely reluctant to get involved after such a thing, all that would likely happen is a more extreme version of what’s already going on. The real question is not so much what would happen to Russia, as it is what would happen to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian people have already shown they’re badasses and I think after the initial shock wore off, that things would go from bad to worse for Russian forces attempting to occupy the country. The rage that the general Ukrainian population would feel at even low-grade nukes being used on them would be as white hot as the sun. As such, what Putin might think is his fail safe, would likely only hasten his own demise.

I say that because everyday Russians are just humans like you and me. And any problems Putin face in real terms for using low-grade nukes would likely come from a huge swell of revulsion on their part. That would be the thing that would be Putin’s ultimate punishment for doing something so stupid.

I don’t think Putin would do this nightmarish thing, but it is something to think about. Russians aren’t exactly known for playing nice when they don’t get what they want militarily. So, be prepared for some dark days ahead.

And one last thing — once the taboo about using nukes is broken, there are plenty of other nations that might suddenly think they, too, can use them to solve long-term geopolitical problems. China taking Taiwan is a lot easier if they can do the “love tap” of a few tactical nukes during the invasion process. Don’t get me started about the DPRK and ROK.

Oh boy.

Russia’s Potential Chechen Scenario Endgame For Ukraine

by Shelt Garner

Russia’s current tactics in Ukraine don’t make much sense. The Ukrainians still have electricity and Internet access and who, exactly, has control of the air is up for debate.

All of this is even more curious when you remember what the Russians did to Chechnya over the course of two wars there.

As such, it seems possible that the worst has yet to come. It could be that Russia may be willing to burn the entirety of Ukraine to the ground to achieve its goals. Of course, there would be dramatic consequences for both Ukraine, Russia and the world if this happened. I continue to be nervous about the potential use of the Russian equivalent of the American MOAB if they can’t get what they want. Or, worse yet, low-grade tactical nukes.

And, yet, we don’t know if Putin is still a rational actor or not. It could be that he’s now so bonkers that he’s willing to destroy everything simply to get what he wants — Ukraine under the Russian jackboot.

But only time will tell. It could be that this is about to be wrapped up. It could be that Putin will give up far sooner than we might otherwise think. Then, of course, there’s the risk of massive instability within Russia itself. Russians do tend to have major, historical shifts in government because of war defeats.

Russo-Ukrainian Winter War State of Play For February 25th, 2022

by Shelt Garner

Here’s my hot take on where things stand at the moment with the Russo-Ukrainian Winter War.

We could be in for a massive refugee catastrophe in the coming days. The more it becomes clear that Ukraine might turn into Afghanistan 3.0, the more likely that we’re facing the projected 5 million refugees. Then, you have to worry about where all those people would go. I doubt they would be very welcome long-term in Europe, but because of the innate racism of the America MAGA New Right, it’s possible that because well, Ukrainians are white, that a big portion of that potential 5 million refugees could end up in the US.

Battle For Kyiv
This could be very horrific. And, in the end, if Kyiv falls, I’m assuming the Ukrainian government will fall back to Lviv. That would mark the end of the beginning of the war. And if the president of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dies at the hands of the Russians in the next few days, he will become a martyr to the cause and the they will unleash the gates of hell.

The Nightmare Scenario

There is the possibility, of course, that Putin is no longer a “rational actor” and he might strike major Ukrainian cities with either really big conventional bombs or really small nuclear bombs. In either case, that would push the whole world into a new, very unstable era. Once the taboo against using any form of nuclear weaponry is broken — for any reason and at any size –then all eyes turn to the DPRK, India, Israel, etc. Things could get very dark very quickly.

The Southern Front
This is something we’re not paying enough attention to. The Russians have a major breakout in the south of the Ukraine in the Crimea. They could split up their forces so they go east to Odessa while going west behind the line of contact in Donbass. They would also just go straight north and head for Kyiv. The whole of Ukraine east of the Dnieper River could collapse because of this souther breakout.

Russian Instability
It’s possible that the thing we’ve all predicted if Putin invaded Ukraine in a big way — some sort of Russian Revolution / Civil War — may very well happen. It probably won’t happen anytime soon, but we definitely have a potential setup for it happening around 2024 – 2025. This, of course, would be just about the same time the US will have its own existential choice of civil war or autocracy. Talk about Great Reset!

Keep An Eye On The DPRK

by Shelt Garner

It goes without saying that the DPRK is something of a black box. You just don’t know what’s going on with those guys at any particular moment. And while it’s impossible for someone who isn’t Korean to understand a Korean, I do know enough about how Koreans think to know the DPRK loves to cause trouble at just the wrong moment.

As such, it’s very easy to imagine the DPRK testing an H-Bomb or shooting off an ICBM at any moment just to be assholes. And, if you really wanted to get dark, you might even suggest that they could grow more aggressive with the South Koreans simply because the Russians are actively working to destroy the post-WW2 global order and, well, lulz.

Though, to be fair, I don’t really don’t see the DPRK doing something so suicidal unless it was at the behest of the Chinese in the context of them attacking Taiwan.

But all of that is very speculative. It could be that the DPRK will mind its own business for once and we won’t have anything to worry about.