The Die is Cast
Russia’s unholy war on Ukraine has begun
Aggression, deception and subversion: Those are the hallmarks of Russian foreign policy under Vladimir Putin. And so it is today.
Missiles rained on airports in several cities overnight as Russian troops, in some cases supported by rocket and artillery fire, began entering Ukraine territory from east, north and south, signaling Vladimir Putin’s apparent plan to decapitate the government in Kyiv. He is a man in full raw rage at Ukraine’s temerity to be independent and free of him. In a chilling speech Wednesday night, the Russian strongman referenced his arsenal of nuclear weapons and threatened foreign nations with “consequences you have never seen” should they get in his way.
Should Putin escalate, veteran intelligence sources predicted that he would open with massive cyber attacks on NATO nations that attempted to reinforce Ukrainian military forces. “That’s where it would start,” a retired CIA officer with extensive experience in and around Russia told SpyTalk.
An American source in Kyiv told SpyTalk Thursday morning that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remained in the capital but was preparing to leave and deliver a major speech from somewhere outside the country.
“Dangerous gamble,” said the source, who is close to Zalensky. “If he leaves, he may never get the chance to come back.”
Update: The same source later said Zelensky and close aides were remaining in Kyiv against “strong U.S. advice” that he move to Lviv.
By the way, I was on Chicago superstation WGN-TV early this morning talking about the Ukraine crisis.
What’s next? We’ll be offering clues on ex-KGB agent Putin’s strategy as events unfold over the following days. Meanwhile, in case you missed them, catch up on Filip Kovacevic’s insightful profiles of FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov and SVR boss Sergey Naryshkin and Russia expert Angela Stent’s exploration of Putin’s brain.
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