moon of alabama

A ‘Parthenogenic’ Conflict: There Is No Russian Invasion Threat To Ukraine
Moon of Alabama, Jan 25 2022

With regards to the completely made up story of the ‘imminent Russian invasion’ of the Ukraine a commentator remarked to me:

What we are seeing is a ‘parthenogenic’ conflict/war/crisis, a first to my recollection.

Indeed, the virgin birth of a conflict in which there is no enemy. There is no threat of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine now or in the foreseeable future. Despite that today’s NYT has put no less than four ‘invasion’ stories at the top of its homepage:

Here is more evidence that there is absolutely no indication of any Russian invasion of the Ukraine:

Yesterday, BBC News Ukraine asked he Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Alexei Danilov, whether there is a reason for panic, whether the Russian invasion is so real today and what the Ukrainian authorities are doing:

Some of our partners contribute to panic. This is beneficial to Russia – Danilov
BBC News Ukraine, Jan 24 2022

BBC: What is happening near the Ukrainian borders? Is the number of troops increasing, are they maneuvering?
Alexei Danilov: The number of Russian troops is not increasing in the form in which many people paint today. Do they have maneuvers there? Yes, but they have them all the time. This is their territory. They have the right to move left and right there. Is it unpleasant for us? Yes, it’s unpleasant, but it’s not news to us. If this is news to someone in the West, I apologize.

Likewise Ukraine’s Defense Minister via TASS:

Ukrainian defense minister sees no threat of Russian invasion in near future
TASS, Jan 25 2022

KIEV – Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov said early on Tuesday he had received no information so far indicating the possibility of Russia’s invasion of his country in the near future. He told Ukraine’s ICTV television channel: “As of today, the armed forces of Russia created no strike groups, indicating they were ready to launch an offensive tomorrow.” He added that a scenario of a Russian attack in the near future was also unlikely. When asked about the likelihood of Russia attacking Ukraine on Feb 20, the final day of the Olympic Games in Beijing, the minister said the probability was “low.”

This military analysis by the Center of Defense Strategies was originally published in Ukrainian by Ukrainska Pravda. The Kyiv Independent translated it and republishing it with permission:

How likely is large-scale war in Ukraine?
Andriy Zagorodnyuk, Alina Frolova, Oleksiy Pavliuchyk, Kiev Independent

How realistic is the scenario of a full-scale offensive into all or most of Ukraine in the near future? At the moment, there are not enough Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders and no fully-formed military groups needed to conduct a strategic offensive against Ukraine. According to our estimates, supported by many of the indicators below, a large-scale general military operation can’t take place for at least the next two or three weeks. As of Jan 23, we do not observe the required formation of several hundred thousand troops, not only on the border with Ukraine, but also on Russian territory behind the front line. Besides, we do not see the creation of strategic reserve units, nor the mobilization of the necessary connections and units on the basis of the centers for mobilization deployment. Russian troops move mainly as battalion tactical groups (mechanized, tank and airborne troops) and tactical groups (artillery, multiple launch missile systems). Russia hasn’t completed the formation of groups of troops in operational areas. It also hasn’t established and tested its wartime administration system. If Russia was conducting preparations for a large-scale invasion, it would have been much more noticeable. Therefore, what we currently have is the military threat posed by about 127,000 Russian servicemen along Ukraine’s borders, in the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine, and in Crimea. This number has not increased since April, and is not enough for a full-scale offensive. How likely is an invasion in 2022? In general, a large-scale Russian offensive operation against Ukraine in 2022 seems unlikely according to many indicators, even judging by purely military requirements.

The story of Russian preparations for an invasion of the Ukraine is made up from whole cloth. It was peddled in early November with cropped satellite images which pretended that equipment parked next to regular long term Russian barracks was newly moved there in preparation of a war. Based on such pictures, Politico for example wrote on Nov 1:

Satellite images show new Russian military buildup near Ukraine. The deployments come as tension is rising between Moscow and the West. New commercial satellite photos taken on Monday confirm recent reports that Russia is once again massing troops and military equipment on the border with Ukraine after a major buildup this spring. The new images taken by Maxar Technologies and shared with Politico show a buildup of armored units, tanks and self-propelled artillery along with ground troops massing near the Russian town of Yelnya close to the border of Belarus. The units, which began moving in late September from other areas of Russia where they are normally based, include the elite 1st Guards Tank Army.

Yelnya is 250 km north of the nearest Ukrainian border, not ‘close’ to it. The piece included this picture:

The picture shows parts of the regular storage area of the 144th Mechanized Division near Yelnya, Smolensk Oblast. The divisions was established in 2016-2017 on the basis of the former 28th Mechanized Brigade (Yekaterinburg). This is a large formation with hundreds of vehicles. The division’s forces include two mechanized regiments, one tank regiment, one recon battalion, one self-propelled artillery regiment, one anti-tank artillery battalion as well as supplementary forces. Here is an uncropped picture of the whole area. It shows large-sized barracks at the top right and parking grounds for each of its sub-units. The barracks roads and facilities were not built over night. The above picture was cropped to only show the lower middle part of the picture below:

Another picture that was circulated widely to demonstrate that Russia is ‘bolstering forces along Ukraine border’ is this one:

It shows parts of the 237th Tank Regiment near Soloti, Belgorod Oblast, Russia. The picture is cropped so that it does not show the troop quarters which prove that the tanks are parked next to the unit’s barracks where they belong during peacetime. Here is an uncropped image from Google maps:

Again, those barracks were not built overnight. They are long-term facilities. The 237th Tank Regiment is stationed in Valuyki and Soloti. It has 90+ tanks, 40+ infantry fighting vehicles, 18 howitzers, 8 mortars. It consists of three tank battalions, one mechanized battalion, one sniper company, one recon company, one self-propelled howitzer battalion and one air defence battalion. All such units also have lots of trucks to carry the ammunition, fuel and other supplies they need. All together those vehicles are clearly sufficient to fill that large parking lot. The pictures that were supposed to show a ‘new Russian military build-up’ only showed units in their regular barracks were they have been stationed for years. None of the units seen in them is deployed in a build-up to warlike manner.

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