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April 25, 2022

Here’s today’s link to continually-updated Russia-Ukraine stories from Fox News:

Weekend developments: Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were in Kyiv for a meeting with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Afterward, Blinken said, “The strategy that we’ve put in place — massive support for Ukraine, massive pressure against Russia, solidarity with more than 30 countries engaged in these efforts — is having real results. When it comes to Russia’s war aims, Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding. Russia has sought as its principal aim to totally subjugate Ukraine, to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. That has failed.” Nevertheless, Putin shows no signs of ending his military assault on eastern Ukraine, and he reportedly aims to take control of southern Ukraine.

While it’s debatable whether Russia is actually losing, it isn’t winning the swift and overwhelming victory that Putin apparently thought it would. Why? Lawrence Person has some fascinating data and theories on that, and it’s a lesson Americans can learn some lessons from.

Russia spends 5% of its GDP on defense and 20% of the nation’s industrial jobs are in arms manufacturing. Yet some of their missiles turned out to have a 60% failure rate, their planes are being shot down, their tanks are stuck in the mud, and their soldiers not only don’t have enough ammo, they don’t even have decent food. What’s the problem? The rotten thing that ruins everything it touches: socialism!

Instead of embracing free market capitalism and cutting deals with private companies for weapons and supplies, Russia relies on state monopolies that are staggeringly corrupt and incompetent and have no incentives to do better. Read the full article. It will make it clear why Russia’s military looks so fearsome in parades but gets its rump kicked by Ukrainian volunteers with personal small firearms. You’ll understand why the term “Potemkin village” – a phony façade created to fool onlookers into thinking things are going better than they really are – originated in Russia.

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  • Ken Housley

    04/25/2022 05:01 PM

    We can't rest yet.
    The Russians are not done as they have plenty of men and resources to throw against this relatively small country. We must bend the rules of non-engagement by not only supplying but training the Ukraine armed forces as well as volunteers from any and everywhere. US Army field artillery vets like me should be encouraged to go. I'm 83 or else I would be there in a heart beat. We can drain Russia to the point that they may do two things. Overthrow Putin and learn to keep out of foreign aggression. Just remember the lesson that Margaret Thatcher taught Argentina in the Falkland Island war of 1980 even at great disadvantage to Great Britain.