Tanks and Anti-Ship Missiles to Ukraine

Germany and the Czech Republic are sending tanks to Ukraine for its coming battles with Russian invaders in the Donbas region. But the biggest donor of tanks to Ukraine is Russia:

Russia Gives Tanks to Ukraine

Slovakia is donating Mig-29s to Ukraine. Other NATO countries are also willing to donate Mig fighters to Ukraine under certain conditions. Ukrainian pilots are vastly superior to Russian pilots, even using older and less capable aircraft.

Ukraine will be receiving anti-ship missiles from the UK, and eventually from Norway.

Mig-29s From Egypt

Egypt recently procured 46 MiG-29Ms of the latest Russian standard, along with a compliment of R-77 active radar-guided missiles which Ukraine has repeatedly requested. Egypt has also ordered Su-35s, but when these were flown against Egypt’s French-built Rafales, their inferiority became starkly apparent. In consequence, it is probable the Egyptian Air Force would welcome a one-for-one replacement of its MiG-29Ms with U.S.-made F-16s. Egypt already flies a substantial number of F-16s, and it already has the infrastructure for an expansion of its F-16 fleet. There are no concerns about U.S. capabilities being compromised with the transfer of advanced F-16s to Egypt: The U.S. government has expressed willingness to export F-16s to Turkey — in spite of Russian-made S-400s being present on Turkish soil — as well as to Taiwan.

In the first month of the war in Ukraine there was insufficient time to explore such options. Arranging such a complicated deal requires considerable diplomatic legwork, and few expected Ukraine to withstand the initial assault. Now that the conflict is protracted, however, such options are viable — indeed vital. The MiG-29M, while an effective air-defense fighter, lacks the range to contest the air over the Donbas, especially in the face of an expanding Russian air-defense presence. But it would offer protection for western Ukraine. The delivery of Switchblade-600 loitering munitions, meanwhile, should give the Ukrainian forces a tool for harassing Russian air defenses, potentially creating windows of opportunity for more aggressive air operations from all Ukrainian aircraft and aviation.

A Long War Will Unfold In Stages

The US will be supplying Ukraine with advanced laser-guided rockets for use with Turkish drones and with homemade Ukrainian drones.

Ukraine is slated to receive other, more secret weapons systems which are meant to come as a surprise to Russian forces on the battlefield.

Reaper drones to Ukraine?

Russian war crimes in Ukraine against civilians continue to accumulate. As the details of Russia’s ongoing brutality emerges into the global limelight, western politicians will have less and less reluctance to approve increasingly lethal assistance to Ukrainian forces.

The Ukrainian People Respond Unequivocally to Putin

Ukraine has its own history of changing religions, borders, and peoples that goes back more than a thousand years. Its capital, Kyiv, officially celebrates its founding year as 482 and was already a major city while Moscow was still a small village. Kyiv’s legendary and eponymous founder Kyi, along with his brothers Shchek and Khoryv, and sister, Lybid, are often depicted as arriving on a Viking-style longboat. But soon after Putin’s accusations of Lenin creating Ukraine, Ukrainian Facebook users shared photoshopped images of Lenin at the head of this legendary longboat. This satirical picture illustrates how the Ukrainian sense of nationhood, going back to at least the medieval period, is deeply at odds with Putin’s notions of a modern date of origin.

Of course, what is even more impactful is that they are at war. And war and violence can craft mutually constitutive identities among both sides of a conflict. The Euromaidan Revolution, also known as the Revolution of Dignity, and past Russian threats and aggressions have already done much to strengthen Ukrainian state identity. Olga Onuch, who has been part of several studies gauging Ukrainian identity and political attitudes, says that the data following Euromaidan demonstrated that already, “civic identity or state attachment was extremely strong amongst Ukrainians,” but adds that “[a]s the conflict escalated, so did support for the Ukrainian state.”

Back then, Ukrainians of diverse origins collectively stood against the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych, as they now resist Russia’s brutal efforts to reimpose direct influence over the nation. Onuch, along with colleagues Henry E. Hale and Gwendolyn Sasse note that there are signs that in Ukraine, “civic identity is gaining ground at the expense of ethno-nationalist identity.” So, although Ukrainians in the south and east largely favored pro-Russian presidential candidates from 2004 to 2014, that support evaporated by 2019. In 2015, 56 percent of Ukrainians considered the various nationalities of Ukraine as constituting a Ukrainian nation, compared to just 39 percent in 2007.

Ukrainians Can Think for Themselves

Putin has solidified Ukrainian identity and their resistance to Russian oppression. He has solidified NATO resistance to Russian expansion. He has pushed Sweden and Finland into the arms of NATO. And he has made Russia the most hated country in the world. Sadly, he is making the people of Ukraine and his own people of Russia suffer unnecessarily — merely in an attempt to boost his own ego.

Putin is boosting Germany’s defenses against Russia

Putin is unintentionally boosting Australian defenses against China

It is not a coincidence that Taiwan is urgently tightening its defensive posture against China at this time. Vietnam and other regional antagonists of China are likely to similarly take this opportunity to tighten defenses and to prepare to fight an insurgency against China if necessary.

China Unravels in Shanghai

Children are being taken from parents, the pets of people with a positive test are being shot, people are screaming from skyscrapers, and food is rotting in warehouses even as people report to be starving. There are videos online of stores being ransacked. There is talk of revolution in the air.

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