The Ukrainians appear to be making some headway on the approaches to Kyiv, retaking a couple of critical towns. Last week there was some hope of encircling a significant portion of the Russian army in the north, but it seems the Russians have remedied that situation. The big area for concern remains the east, where the Russians are continuing to make progress against stiff opposition and have some prospect for a major encirclement of their own. In other news, the destruction of the Alligator amphib, along with the density of defense in Odessa, probably mean that the Russians have little hope of wrapping up the Black Sea coastline.
- Russia is beginning to take the “disarm” part of its war aims literally. I’m a bit skeptical of the effectiveness of this, because the real trick to making a defense industrial base work is in the human capital rather than the physical capital.
- Interview with a Ukrainian MiG-29 pilot. Awfully interesting stuff about what amounts to fighting a guerrilla war in the air. Definitely agree that airpower theorists are going to study Ukrainian tactics intensively.
- Big ol’ longread about Adam Tooze, which gets to Russia stuff towards the end. Myself I’ve done Deluge and Crashed, with Wages of Destruction and the book on German statistics waiting in the wings (along with Shutdown).
- A bit on how Russia is trying to counter inflation.
- Michael Krepon on the consequences of Russia using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine…
Finally some thoughts on the Russian and Ukrainian information economies…
Russian and Ukrainian forces are operating on entirely different economies of information. Russia’s apparent inability to compete with Ukraine in this sphere may make its failures even more catastrophic.
By “information economy,” we refer not simply to the techniques and technologies for the collection of intelligence, but also to how information moves vertically and horizontally through a military organization. How does command transfer information to subordinates? How do tactical units feed intelligence back to command? Finally, how do units at the same level of the hierarchy transfer information to one another?