Apparently someone asked for an Ukraine update.
The NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) declaring a no fly zone for civilian aviation over eastern Ukraine went up about five hours ago.
NOTAMS over the entirety of the eastern border of Ukraine. https://t.co/FBmgJTggya
— Oliver Alexander (@OAlexanderDK) February 23, 2022
This indicates that Russia is intending to do something offensive from that direction.
About seven hours ago Ukrainian officials warned of a Russian attack on a chemical plant in Crimea that was intended to be run as a false flag to be blamed on the Ukrainians.
Now reports coming in — here from Ukrainian MP @marianabezuhla who sits on parliament's Nat Sec committee — that "an explosion is planned at the Crimean Titan chemical plant [in Armyansk], in which the Ukrainian armed forces are to be accused." https://t.co/h4LCkE6SZG
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) February 23, 2022
A little over an hour ago Putin declared war on Ukraine:
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is undertaking a "special military operation" in Ukraine saying his goal is to demilitarize and denazify the country but not occupy it.
— Paul Sonne (@PaulSonne) February 24, 2022
This thread has full details on Putin’s declaration of war, but it boils down to invasion, occupation, pacification, regime change, and installation of a puppet government.
Forty minutes ago President Biden responded to Putin’s declaration of war:
New statement from Biden: "President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring" pic.twitter.com/icLkU1DvcT
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 24, 2022
I’ve seen reports on social media of explosions in a number of Ukrainian cities including Kyiv. Here’s a live feed from Kharkiv.
The Ukrainians are smartly protecting their airports:
⚡️Ukrainian airports in Kharkiv, Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia are closed until morning and are blocking runways in case of possible attack, according to ZN media outlet.
The airport in Kherson is to be closed next.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) February 24, 2022
This appears to be a full scale invasion, not merely a reinforcement of the occupation of eastern Ukraine. Unlike 2014, the Ukrainians are far better prepared. They have far better capabilities. They have 8 years of combat experience in holding off further Russian incursions. I do not know, however, if they can withstand a full fledged Russian invasion that intends to take and hold Ukraine. I am in complete agreement with the assessment that without significantly more assistance, the Ukrainians need to adopt an Unconventional Warfare approach rather than meet the Russians head on. They need to draw the Russians into the cities and turn this into a three block at a time war. To do that, the Ukrainians will have to be willing to absorb significant casualties.
Putin seems to have decided to go all in. The discussion of whether he is physically and/or mentally ill are irrelevant at this point. I think it is far more likely that he has simply spent every day for the past 30 years being consumed by his belief that the fall of the Soviet Union and the diminution of Russia was solely the fault of the US and its lackeys in the EU and NATO. And that after forty years of stewing over this belief it has finally consumed him.
So now we wait. We wait to see what Putin does. We wait to see what the coming dawn in Ukraine brings. We wait to see what President Biden and our EU and NATO allies are willing to do and able to do in response.
If you’re the religious type, say a prayer for the Ukrainians tonight. If you’re not just keep good thoughts. This is going to get far, far, far worse before it gets better.
PS: If you want a list of people to follow regarding what is happening in Ukraine, use the list that Gin & Tonic put together for us last month. It can be found at this link.