Ten days ago, one of our BTL anons asked: why aren't the Russians interdicting Western military supplies en route to Ukrainian forces? We suggested that wasn't the only dog not barking, and that we'd take a look at the whole subject. What hasn't Putin done, that he might have? And what might that mean? Here's a random handful - one could list many more.
- Cut off gas supplies to Germany. Indeed, nobody has done this - and nothing could be simpler, for Russia, Ukraine, or a rogue actor with a big long gas position and access to mercenaries with a kilo or two of semtex. We know exactly why: literally nobody wants to piss off Germany in such an obvious fashion.
- Use gas in Azovstal. We know Putin isn't squeamish in matters of chemical warfare. And he had to sit and watch for a truly remarkable number of weeks while the defenders of Azovstal incommoded him seriously, riveting observers worldwide, and buying Ukraine a lot of time. Obviously a Red Line there.
- Interdict inbound western military supplies - the one that puzzled Anon. Actually, I think we do hear occasional reports that Ukrainian logistical bases close to Poland have indeed been hit. But maybe not as much as one might expect, given that one presumes Putin's intelligence forces have at least some fifth-column sleepers and sympathisers on the ground with mobile phones. He seems, though, to be husbanding his aircraft and stocks of cruise missiles, which may be more to the point.
- Mount serious cyber warfare against the west. It could even be conducted on a disavowed basis, if Putin so chose; there are enough rogue players out there in cyberspace. Another important straw in the wind. Readers will recall I warned against this before 24th Feb: it seemed to be an obvious one. Clearly, I was being overly pessimistic.
- Deploy readily-available Red Army operational doctrine - which was purpose-written for invading places swiftly, based squarely on a realistic assessment of what Russian resources could muster. See below.
- Pick on 'loudmouth UK' for unpleasant unconventional retribution - as some of our own BTL commenters have suggested (!), a propos of some of the bellicose nonsense spouted by Truss, and our egregious military assistance. After all, the UK is no longer owed any "compulsory solidarity" by the EU: why not make an example of us ?
- Reduce Odesa to a smoking ruin.
- Have a submarine accidentally trawl up one of the massive transatlantic comms cables.