Malcolm Nance Reports From Ukraine
Anti-Trumpism author Malcolm Nance has been tracking Putin’s dictatorial style for through his whole career. Now he’s doing groundwork and he sent this report from the Ukraine.
Ukraine is a fledgling democratic republic.
I’m here with my buddy Terrell Starr, who is the host of the Black Diplomats podcast. Awesome guy. He is actually an expert on this region. I’ve done his Black Diplomats podcast several times. Back in December, he said, You know, I’m going back to Ukraine in January. I said, I’m coming. He goes all right, and and I came over to assess the situation.
I’m doing an on the ground fact finding mission for my think tank, the Terrorist Metrics Project, using my skills to get a feel for the situation that’s around Ukraine. So right off the top in Kiev, the capital city. This city is the size of Baltimore, it’s 3 million people in the metropolitan area. It’s very big.
My hotel is right off Maidan Square. Where they had their their revolution that threw out the pro Moscow government that was holding them back from becoming a democracy. That was holding them from wanting to lean towards the West. The guy who got kicked out by the way, was the guy who was paying off Paul Manafort. Donald Trump’s campaign manager dirty Paul.
So, I’m in this metropolitan city, which is bustling and lively, and very, very, very Western. I’ve never seen so many Teslas and Porsche Cayennes in my life. That’s not true. I’ve been to Hollywood.
So it’s a very western place. Yes, it has parts that are traditional, but it’s a Russian and Ukrainian speaking country, on both sides. This is not a city at war. I’ve been to many cities that were approaching war, and I’ve been to cities in war. As you’re watching the news, you will get the impression that that’s what’s happening here. That’s not what’s happening here.
These people are not concerned. Because they have their own geopolitical considerations. They know Russia. They have been at war technically in the southeast for eight years. So to them, they’ve already had the drumbeat of war. However, what’s going on around Ukraine is an order of magnitude different. Now I’m wondering whether it’s a little bit of head in the ground syndrome.
The President is sending troops to back up NATO in Romania and Poland.
I recall that last August, there was a lot of discussion about the United States not being prepared for the collapse of Afghanistan. That It would only be prudent for the President of the United States to position airlift and mobility forces. Romania and Bucharest are one of the other NATO air bases. Because Romania is a member of NATO, in order to do a very fast noncombatant evacuation if it looked like the situation was going to go critical.
The American Embassy has evacuated its dependents. They evacuated all non critical staff. I think the last one leaving on Thursday. You know, we still have a presence here. We have National Guard troops that are training Ukrainian forces. Nowhere near the East. There also is a very big American presence here. Dual citizens as well, but you wouldn’t know it if you came here. I went down to Maidan Square.
Where the first thing that happened is Sergei is the Bear, who smells heavily like cigarettes. Started giving me hugs and now I have a picture of a bear eating my head. But you know, it was worth the $7. He was worth it. But there was a pro nationalist demonstration at Maidan. They have their guy and “I love Ukraine” signs there. That you can get your selfies with, and the department stores are open. Zara is doing a booming business. The Turkish hookah bar is full of people. This is not what you’re hearing.
Ukraine Ground Observations by Malcolm Nance
Now, that being said. I have been tracking over the last month and laying out in fine detail through many open sources, where the Russians are really deployed. How they’re deployed. Do they have capacity to reform, reinforce, rearm, refuel. Can they bring on follow on troops. Because Ukraine is not an empty country. It’s got an army, and it has an army, even though it’s low tech. Well, the Taliban did a pretty good job with just rifles and mortars.
These guys are nationalists. They are ready to fight and they may lose the air war and not have total air supremacy. But they have more than enough capacity to make an armor assault in this country, bloody and painful for the Russians. So that has to be part of the factors that Putin has, but Putin is moving an enormous amount of forces into Western Russia along the Ukrainian Eastern border. Now we’re seeing a very large amount of airborne forces and light infantry forces and other motorized infantry. Motorized rifle brigades going to Belarus
That puts them only two and a half hours from Kiev. A straight run. That is if it was unopposed, and since I’ve been in several wars, where people fight and they fight hard. It would be a two or three day, full scale slog down to the Capitol.
Then again, you would be talking about the airport would be destroyed, communications would be knocked out. Heavy jamming would be going on. We saw Rob Lee from the Foreign Policy Research Institute and some civilian open source intelligence people. Whom identified jamming trucks that are designed to stop the radars of the synthetic aperture radars of our J Stars aircraft that can track a motorcycle. It can track every vehicle literally moving in Ukraine.
What the USA and NATO can do about Putin attacking Ukraine
The first Gulf War we devastated the Iraqis because we had that. Because J Stars would be downloading data straight to the Ukrainians. So the Russians brought that strategic jamming equipment here. That is what we call an unambiguous intelligence indicator. They don’t just move it because they’re moving other forces. They have goals. So what is going to happen? Nobody knows at this point.
The question is, can Putin back down from this? Because he’s not getting concessions. We’re not going to turn Ukraine over to him, and we’re not going to withdraw NATO back to the German borders.
Well, there are a lot of train movements all around the country. Now there’s two ways that you can look at these there are a lot of Russians with car cameras. When you see the hundreds of these videos of train convoys, armored convoys, vehicles. That could literally be a strategic deception campaign. Where the Russians are moving trains one way and moving them back the other. Or they’re putting them into bivouacs out in the field without the forces. Without the logistics behind them.
Moving blood is also one of those little indicators that you can make slip at a party right? And have it actually happen. Actually get that and it looks like they’re doing something that the logistics chain requires. Also, the big thing is food and water, fuel. Not the stuff that’s in the Eastern Military District or the Southern Central Military. I mean, moving from around Russia, but when the ammunition moves by the 1000s and 1000s of metric tons, you know then you’re getting stuff you just don’t want to put back in the bunker.
Is there a way for Vladimir Putin to get out of this saving face with his people at home?
You know, the propaganda is so strong there. I had a friend of mine, who was a Russian national, called her mother. When she asked her mother what she thought about the situation. The mother said. Oh, it’s terrible that the United States put weapons into Ukraine. Now Russia has to move forces down there to protect against the American attack that’s coming.
They have one source of information in Russia. Vladimir Putin and his cronies control the news media. So to them it’s whatever Moscow says, it’s happened. Whereas the reality is they moved 130,000 troops here, and we’re going whoa, whoa, whoa, we’re all these troops going? What’s the objective here? If he wants to get our attention, he’s got our attention.
He wants concessions, like I said, big concessions, like he will ask for us to withdraw back to the Polish borders and abandon Ukraine. Well, Ukraine is working their way into joining NATO. The big problem here is that the thing Vladimir Putin is most afraid of is not American Javelin anti tank missiles. Although those could devastate his armor columns, and that could make it look very bad on television.
What he’s really afraid of is this nation is a functioning democracy. It’s overcoming the corruption that Paul Manafort got paid off. There’s a very large, pro Moscow contingent of people here. These people under Putin want to go back under essentially Putin’s new Iron Curtain. Putin is definitely afraid of this country, infecting Russia with democracy. I’m wondering whether he thinks it’s worth it to just cause a trillion dollars of economic damage, like Syria. Do to Eastern Ukraine what he’s done to Syria. Which is bomb every hospital, bomb every fire department, kill all the police and make your life devastated until you have an occupation force coming.
When he gave a speech the other day 50% of it was about the economic data. The economics of him trying to bring Hungary on course leaning toward straight fascism. Tucker Carlson is broadcasting from there. To bring Hungary into this saying you’ll have essentially free gas and fuel from Russia. Trying to splinter NATO. You attack, NATO is going to consolidate. Finland and Sweden will join NATO. They’re not members of NATO yet, but they now understand 30 nations supporting anything Russia does is better than us supporting ourselves alone.
It’s doubtful that Biden wants to get us back into war with Russia
It wouldn’t be a short war. It will affect everything in your life. It’s literally a dictator, invading a foreign country that was aligned with the West. That was working with the United States, wasn’t a member of NATO, but can you allow that to happen? Throw all these people into essentially Russian slavery? He’s already done it in Belarus. He has his dictator up there, he overthrew the election. Now he has Russian forces poised to come down from the North very quickly. In Belarus.
So what’s next? What if he decides, well, Romania really shouldn’t have been part of that. Or maybe he’ll just isolate and want to just take Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Who are made of NATO members. If he goes by the calculation that NATO won’t fight. We’re not here to fight. You know what we can do? We can take 5 to 10 thousand Javelin missiles, which Russia is very afraid of, and make them fall off a truck at the Ukrainian border!