Updates (2023-02-17)

The “balloon panic” continue to successfully distract the public from the real issues.

Russian supplies of energy to EU managed to bring the prices or natural gas to their pre-war level, around 500-600 USD per 1,000 cubic meters.

Russian government is searching for a way to retroactively tax “large” businesses to bring another 300B rubles into the budget. The fossil fuel companies are expected to be exempted from this “one time only” tax.

Meanwhile, Russian government is placing a “hand tuned” discount limits on Russian crude exports, tying it to the price of Brent oil benchmark.

Evil clown Prigozhin admitted RuMoD has cut supplies of ammo to Wagner Group. Some retaliatory measures were expected from the Shoigu fraction, but this can potentially collapse the Wagner operation in Artemovsk/Bakhmut.

Russian Tretyakov Gallery displaying the wood works of art of the Russian Minister of Defense, the transparently corrupt and totally incompetent Shoigu. It seems the minister not only enjoys power struggles with his opponents, giving preferential treatment to some minority groups in Russian Army and MIC (while destroying the rest) and losing wars, but also wood crafts. How nice for him!

Piotr Butowski, who is probably the best Western analyst of Russian military tech, published an article about the cost of some Russian military hardware used in the war. More interestingly, he shows that Russian MoD under Shoigu is consistently contracts new weapon systems below their cost prices. This means he practically bankrupts the Russian MIC, putting it under MoD and government control. Some companies receive preferential treatment, while others die or get absorbed by the state-controlled mega-corporations.

Russian large offensive is still nowhere to be seen, and the activation of positional warfare still bear no real fruits.

The largely trumpeted project of “Western tanks for UA” has largely deflated. I was expecting up to two hundred modern western main battle tanks to be supplied in 2023, but it seems US will supply practically nothing this year, and the EU will supply maybe one or two UA-standard battalions worth of tanks and support vehicles at best. UA tank battalion is considered to consist of 31 main battle tanks, while heavy NATO battalion — of ~44 MBTs.


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