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Two Years in Ukraine

ukr-saluteWorld War II and the Cold War it created are finally ending on Ukraine’s battlefields. The war went kinetic two years ago yesterday when Russia invaded Ukraine. However, the Ukraine War first went kinetic in 2014 with the invasion of Putin’s little green men, leading to the loss of Crimea. The inter-invasion period was filled with a massive propaganda campaign claiming that Ukraine was really part of Russia and that the locals loved Stalin so dang much that they wanted to be repressed again.

Putin’s propaganda effort was mostly domestic as he worked to expand his power by creating a new Russian historical narrative intended to fill the gap left by the USSR. He relit the passion for Orthodoxy as a state religion. He reinstated blasphemy laws as he positioned the narrative of Russia as a moral crusader.

The Russian propaganda was merely reactionary to the rotting social trends in the West. When a drugged-up transvestite shot up an American school, Putin responded by publicly arresting and imprisoning deviant Russians. The timing and coordination between Western deviant events and Putin’s reactions made everyone wonder how Putin seemed to be able to predict each Western LGBT+ crisis event. It was as if the Western news media was staffed full of Russian apologists and profiteers.

During the dreary eight years of Obama, the Western narrative became one of extreme decadence and wild, debt-fueled spending. The Hillary Clinton presidency was to see the erasure of international borders as each identifiable American strength was to be eroded. The end state, the ultimate narrative, was to be a singular world board of directors with nations reduced to mere taxation zones. The watchword was soft power. Information control through all-of-government propaganda turned citizens into subjects of the new world order.

The first batch of trillionaires eagerly supported the Obama-Clinton narrative as they could only gain more by tacking on a fee to every movement of information or economic transaction.

The Democrats offered the tech industry global taxation authority in exchange for administering the narrative control apparatus capable of enforcing total world-wide speech control by the American political class.
But then something went wrong. The Democrats failed to steal the 2016 election hard enough, and President Trump stepped into the White House. Trump began to deal with the decadence in America, especially by directing the federal government to pursue child molesters, prostitution, and the drug trade. Trump began to dismantle the narrative of the decadent, satanic West filled with the worst of people. He deregulated sufficiently to slow the global taxation of information transfers, which is the dream of Silicon Valley.

Trump presented the Heroic American to the world in place of the deplorable, white trash that the Putin narrative relied upon as his antithesis. Trump made powerful enemies. He threatened the power and wealth narratives created after President Reagan left office. So many years had passed that the majority of the American government spent their entire careers climbing the deplorable narrative ranks. Trump even threatened to reduce the number of federal employees, which was as unthinkable as were real estate prices falling in 2007. Reality found that real estate prices can fall, and reality will eventually discover that the federal government employee roster can fall, too.

America experienced the Great Coup through rigged elections, lawsuits, and an incredibly suspicious pandemic.

After Trump, the narrative was back on.

Putin directed the Russian military to spin up the plans to invade Ukraine. Russia doubled down on the propaganda of Putin, who claims to be the True Vicar of Christ. Western news organizations went into overdrive as they delivered one story and yet 1,000 more, maximizing the difference between Western decay and Putin’s anointed role as savior and hero of the Slavic people, benighted by the Grand Metropole of Moscow of the Russian Orthodox Church.

So critical is the new narrative of the spanking-new Russian history that Putin spent over 20 minutes delivering it to the world via the Tucker Carlson interview. Russia is attempting to erase the USSR from history as Putin promotes the idea that, this time, things are different. According to the new narrative, this time things are different. Russians should not fear the arbitrary rule of one man. Putin is different from past dictators, after all. Putin does not have a mustache.

Putin’s inner circle is mostly Vladimir’s age or older, and they grew up in the late-stage USSR. The dreams of the New Soviet Man were long gone by then; all that was left was the hyper-paranoid national security state.

Putin is not a communist, as evidenced by the absence of the New Soviet Man. Nor is he a NAZI, as he does not place the state above all. Vladimir Putin is purely practical; everything revolves around him at the center of the new Russian narrative.

2 Corinthians 11:14

No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.



The Psychotic Utilitarian

Working in Russia as a consultant to the Russian steel industry pre-COVID took me to the Russian shop floors, usually unseen beyond the Euro-inspired front offices. Their very best industrial base uses 1970’s technology.

On average, the Russian economy stands on 1950s technology. Russia has not graduated a significant quantity of engineers or scientists since 1991. They cannot produce commodities to modern standards, even close to the volumes produced in the past. Without engineers, Russia cannot build factories or change designs.

utilitarianismRussia needs Western know-how and made a play to capture Ukraine’s educated population, industry, and technology. While America outsourced its industry to Asia and Mexico, Russia allowed its sector to become hopelessly obsolete without building an alternative supply chain. Western nations are retooling their arms industries and will likely present overwhelming force against Russia within the year. Russia cannot build the factories to build the munitions needed to counter this new Western production. By analogy, the Ukraine War is in a similar state as the conditions in mid 1942. The West’s arsenal of democracy was being tooled in mid 1942. By late 1942, ships, munitions, new types of aircraft, and a new officer corp began to effect the situation.

A lot of people have died in the Ukraine war; who knows how many are starving in the Russian outback, as the propaganda seems to portray a clean and happy Russia within a Potemkin-sized city block of the Kremlin. Political opponents in Russia seem to be committing suicide at the same rate as Hillary’s DNC staffers. Putin imprisons his political opponents on dubious charges in much the same way as the DNC; only the Russian prison sentences are terminal.

Geospatial intelligence agencies do not confirm the rosy economic conditions in Russia reported by the MSM. Russia has covered up famines before. Is one brewing now? Putin keeps mentioning nuclear weapons, suggesting that he is in a tight and worsening situation.

Russia treats foreign policy and war itself as a zero-sum game. One state wins, the other loses. Besides the apparent emphasis Russia places on propaganda and military force, Russia relies on covert means to protect the Russian state.

Putin appears to believe that all states behave in a self-interested and nationalistic way. Anything else, such as humanitarian aid, must be considered PR and window dressing.

As a utilitarian leader, Putin calculates adversaries’ relative strengths and limitations and takes action when likely to profit at the expense of another. Putin is a martial arts practitioner and is, therefore, well-trained to spot an opponent’s weakness, even if the weakness is momentary.

Putin made his calculations about Western resolve, the anti-merit military establishment, and the apparent lack of masculine virtues in Western society. He took a good look at Joe Biden:


Which Narrative, Russian Man?

The War in Ukraine is the closing event for Twentieth Century Russia. If not for Trump, Putin would have indeed attacked Ukraine in October 2017, on the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution. The propagandists spin stories of Russia’s need to control the mountain passes and land bridges to maintain security as if they forget the invention of the airplane, missile, and computer.

russ-leaders-collageThe Russian government’s legitimacy is highly tied to the new narrative that Putin presented to Tucker Carlson. In short, the new narrative portrays Russia as the great bringer of civilization and enlightenment. The Russian state will likely fail if the new narrative fails.

Just as with the communists of the last century, failure to endorse the new narrative triggers blasphemy laws. Gone from the new narrative are the Mongols, Tatars, Chechens, Bashkirs, Armenians, and Kazakhs, and the rest of Russia’s 109 ethnicities. More significantly, the USSR is also missing from the Heroic Rus fable.

Many accuse Tucker Carlson of treason for providing a global platform to Putin. For example, the mouthpiece of the Deep State, Jon Stewart, said this: Here “I know I’ve said this before, but Tucker, you’re such a dick. You disguise your deception and capitulation to power as noble, moral, and based on freedom.”

However, Tucker Carlson presented the President of Russia, delivering the new narrative to 220 million people in one week. Breaking Putin’s narrative will break Putin. We will see whether Carlson or Stewart is correct in the end. Democrats want us to hate Tucker Carlson.

Here is another left-leaning publication going ape-shat crazy over the Tucker Carlson interview. Is this Deep State hysteria, professional jealousy, or recognition that the Biden Administration is failing to accept the propaganda aspects of the war?     Here

It is not enough to call Putin bad. He must be shown to be a false messiah and revisionist historian to the Russian people. He must be made inauthentic.

Russia gains nothing through continuing the war. Indeed, not security as Frenchmen and horse-drawn Napoleonic cannons no longer threaten it. Ukraine’s industrial base has been blown to shards, and both the Russian and Ukrainian industrial workforce have died. The dams are broken, the agricultural land is a mud basin, and the docks and rail yards are ruined. Nothing remains but the new narrative.

The United States has a potential future president with deep narrative management competency. One might say his ability to overcome an opposing narrative is Yuuuge.



Second Anniversary

avdiivka-battleAvdiivka just fell to the Russians. Ukrainian forces fought valiantly but suffered from ammunition shortages. While the Democrats blame this on Congressional funding, in reality, the West is critically low on ammunition. Three new 155 mm artillery shell factories are being commissioned in Spain, Denmark, and Romania right now, and they will begin producing shells in about three weeks. In anticipation of the new production, Denmark just transferred their entire legacy inventory of artillery shells to Ukraine.

The Battle for Avdiivka was brutal. It was barbaric. But now that the land is in Russia’s hands, did they win a Pyrrhic victory? Have a look Here at Russian armor losses. Remember the critical point: the Russian industrial base cannot replace this equipment. Nor can it train new crews.

Russia lost these 447 vehicles in a variety of ways, with drones continuing to play a critical role. Some of the drones drop hand grenades, some drop-shaped charge warheads. Drones are either FPV or first-person view, meaning they are controlled by a rifleman on the scene. Or they are centrally controlled by someone behind the lines. Different drones respond to other radio signals using complex spectrum jumping algorithms. Some react to microwave transmitters, some to UHF, and some to a broader spectral band.

Russian jammer technology is in its third iteration since the start of the war and is proving to be a big problem for Mother Russia. Conscripts seem to be having trouble with antenna setup and grounding. The original equipment operated from dry cell batteries with finite operating time. Their very latest jamming equipment jams Russian own communications as well as the drones, meaning Russian troops cannot call for fire support when under a drone attack. Russia is losing the technology war. Check it out Here.

Western militaries expect to deliver 1 million drones to Ukraine this year. Russians have no defense against drone swarms, and many of these drones are now autonomous fire-and-forget devices. They seek and destroy using onboard cameras and sensors. Here.

Russians thought that the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan were relentless. Autonomous drone swarms number 10 – 100 or more drones can swarm a single Russian tank. The tanks can’t escape. Again, we are witnessing the final chapter of the long war of the last century as we watch the new technology eclipse the old.

In this video, Ben Hodges discusses the war and the potential for European security for decades. Run time 1:08. Here.



Russian Super Weapons

hypersonic-missileA lot has been said about Russian hypersonic missiles. They are indeed fast, but only when very high in the atmosphere. Just as the Apollo space capsules passed through a communication blackout upon reentry due to hot plasma surrounding the capsule, the Russian hypersonic missiles experience a communication blackout when entering the denser atmosphere prior to final attack. This means that they cannot be steered towards a maneuvering target.

Remember America’s first hypersonic vehicle? The X-15 flew at Mach 6.7 and required nearly the entire area of Arizona to turn around. The aircraft was propelled by liquid oxygen and anhydrous ammonia. That was in the 1950s.

Russia is making a big deal out of its hypersonic missiles, but their technology is based on the 1950s X-15. Putin is somehow claiming to be a world technology leader based on what? Seventy-year-old designs.



Speaking of Rockets

The American company Intuitive Machines landed the Odysseus spacecraft near the lunar south pole yesterday. Odysseus is the first successful American touchdown on the moon in 51 years, and the stock market price of Intuitive Machines is skyrocketing.

odysseus-on-lunar-s-poleThe lander is one of their Nova-C class autonomous drones, with the “C” being the Roman numeral for 100. That is a 100 kg payload capacity design.

The south pole is thought to have water ice on the permanently shaded side of craters., making this a high-value landing site. Most importantly, the lander carries laser ranging and measurement devices to measure the spread and projectile velocity of dust kicked up by the lander’s engine. The future manned Artemus Mission will require resupply from Nova C or similar vehicles, and they must be able to land near the Artemus lander and other structures on the moon without blowing shotgun-sized holes in the other vehicles.

At least two failures have occurred so far. A camera pod failed to eject and take selfies of Odysseus while it was landing, and the laser altitude sensors, or LIDAR, failed during the descent. The lasers mentioned above were reprogrammed on the fly to substitute for the LIDAR system.

India and Japan recently landed their spacecraft with the Japanese vehicle resting upside down. It still functions and was able to unload small rovers. The Indian vehicle went to sleep at the end of a two-week lunar day and is presumed to have experienced a battery failure at -250F. That is pretty cold for any machinery.

If the USA can land an autonomous, robotic drone on the moon with a 100kg payload, then such a vehicle can also land on the front porch of Putin’s dacha.

No doubt, this is a different century than the last.


Mike Ryan is a chemical engineering consultant for Iron and Steel, Minerals, Heavy Chemicals, and Fiber Industries.