MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA AUGUST 15, 2022: Russia s President Vladimir Putin L and Russia s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu attend the opening of the Army 2022 International Military and Technical Forum at the Patriot military park. Military delegations from 72 countries will take part in the forum. Sergei Bobylev/TASS PUBLICATIONxINxGERxAUTxONLY TS13E217

Next Wednesday it will be six months since Russia invaded Ukraine. A great war in the middle of Europe. Up until February 24, hardly anyone in the EU had thought this possible. In the US it is

This is now shown by extensive research by the “Washington Post” (to be found here). In several detailed articles, the US newspaper reconstructed the months before the war; how much the Americans already knew about the invasion plans in October 2021 (actually everything, except for the exact beginning of the war), how the Russian secret service imagined the operation (only a small part of Ukraine in the far west should remain as an independent country), how difficult it was ultimately for the Americans to convince Ukraine and the West that a terrible war was imminent.

Interestingly, the Ukrainians were also expecting a raid, as Colonel of the Reserve Sergiy Grabskyi recently told in a podcast (source here). However, much later in the year and locally limited to the Donbass. The military in Kyiv considered a large-scale invasion to be too crazy an undertaking. But that’s exactly what Putin had in mind.

According to research by the Washington Post, Putin was not only mistaken about the Ukrainians’ will to defend themselves, which his secret service did not classify as particularly pronounced. The Kremlin ruler also misjudged the reaction of the West. To put it bluntly, there would be a bit of excitement and sanctions in the West, according to Moscow’s calculations, but nothing that would particularly harm Russia. Simply because Europe’s energy dependency on Russia was so great. He probably didn’t anticipate that the West would be sending state-of-the-art war equipment to Ukraine for many billions of euros or dollars over the course of months.

And so the war developed to the point where it is today: Except for one spot in Donbass, Ukraine has stopped the Russian advance and is now counterattacking. That alone is historic: a small, economically weak country defies a large, powerful opponent. Rather than reading historical books about the tsars as inspiration for his invasion, perhaps Putin should have studied modern wars. Perseverance and an excellent strategy often led to victory – not economic size and the number of tanks.

1. From filmmaker to minesweeper in Donbass: The women on the Ukrainian frontline

Ten percent of the Ukrainian army is female. What drives these women? Six soldiers tell what drew them to the military – and what they experience there.

2. Fear of death in the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant: Putin is allegedly planning a targeted reactor catastrophe

The New York Times sees evidence of a false flag operation. Moscow would then like to blame Kyiv for the radiation. An analysis.

3. Kneeling before the strong man: The rape talked up

How new rightists, pacifists and nationalists view the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A guest post.