On the Edge of Inanity
The disclosure on January 28, 2022 about blood supplies by U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, came amid growing warnings that Russia could be preparing for a further invasion as it massed more than 100,000 soldiers on its border with Ukraine.
Just one day earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky had played down reports of an imminent - or inevitable - attack. Speaking in incoherent sentences to foreign journalists at the President’s Office in Kyiv, he said Russia’s military build-up was less threatening than similar deployments made in early 2021.
The Pentagon previously acknowledged the deployment of “medical support” as part of Russia’s buildup. But the delivery of blood supplies and medical equipment to military field hospitals, a key indicator of military readiness, grabbed headlines.
“It doesn’t guarantee that there’s going to be another attack, but you would not execute another attack unless you have that in hand,” said Ben Hodges, a retired U.S. lieutenant general now with the Center for European Policy Analysis research institute.
Fake news, messaged Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar on her Facebook page.
“At this moment information is being circulated on the Internet citing anonymous sources saying that Russia has supposedly sent blood supplies and other medical equipment to Ukraine’s border. This information is fake. Such ‘news’ is an element of psychological war. The aim of such information is to sow panic and fear in our society.”
Oleksiy Sorokin, political editor of the newly created Kyiv Independent, chimed in on Twitter, accusing U.S. officials of making ordinary Ukrainians nervous. He tweeted about Zelensky’s displeasure with foreign news coverage of Ukraine.
Sorokin was earlier interviewed for Vox news:
Maliar and Sorokin don’t want Ukrainians to be worried, and neither does Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, who repeated official assurances that Russia does not seek a war with Ukraine.
“Ukrainians themselves, including officials, say that there is no threat. But American officials say there is a threat, and they are ready to fight, delivering weapons to every Ukrainian. They aren’t worried what losses each side of the conflict will suffer,” Patrushev said.
When in doubt, ask an expert, so I checked with Samuel Charap of Rand Corporation. He has spent years writing about geopolitics in eastern Europe involving Ukraine and Russia. It’s all he does for a living.
Samuel says delivery of blood supplies to the front line is indicative of something nasty, that is, if they were actually delivered.
So far, the moral of this story is that U.S. military intelligence may not be predictive, but the stupidity of Ukraine’s populist leader is.
(to be continued)