1. The US ISR missions continue. It's difficult to express how important our intelligence is for the outgunned Ukrainian army. The US aircraft are putting together battle field data on all Russian positions every day. Imagine it's similar to what we'd produce for our own forces.
2. We also learn. Every day we fly we get stronger and Putin gets weaker. If he attacks it will be tragic and catastrophic. First Russo-Ukrainian war had a small poorly armed Ukrainian force against the Russian army. They fought to clear large parts of Ukraine then a cease fire
3. began another Russian frozen conflict. Now, they have had the time to build a competent force and command. With top NATO weapons that they had trained on in Germany, now in their hands, Ukraine's force stands a chance of inflicting enough damage on the invading force to once
4. again hold the line and force a cease fire. Putin wants a frozen conflict. He's not looking to fight a big battle. He hopes his theatrical boogie man show will scare everyone into giving in. It's not happening and now he's in a corner. If he backs down he looks weak.
5. If he attacks and the Russian force is bloodied he will spur resentment that last time turned into street protests. Ukraine needs elections in Donbas but not with Russian troops there. Putin will never allow a free and fair election. So Minsk will never form the basis of
6. a settlement.

I think Ukraine can retake Donbas. Most if not all. And I think Putin & Gerasimov know it. Putin's last big war was the second Chechen war. Official Russian war dead was approximately 7,500. Putin was in command. But the guerillas fighting in Chechnya didn't
7. have tanks, missiles or US spy planes. Putin knows he's going to face a the largest tank army the Russian/Soviets have faced since WWII. Interestingly, in Kursk where many of the videos of today's Russian tank movements were taken. Putin, Gerasimov and the Russian people
8. are not prepared for what Putin wants us to believe is coming. If Putin doesn't attack and the chess board stays like it is, it won't surprise me if Zelensky attacks in Donbas. After all, he's the President of all of Ukraine and an invading force has taken control of part
9. of it. It's his right and duty to remove it. And he'll never have a better opportunity to pull it off than he has right now.

Here is a US Rivet Joint right off Putin's Dacha.
10. This high altitude drone is giving the small Ukrainian force current battlefield intelligence that the Russian's can only imagine along the entire Russian line of contact. Radar created images that look like photos but that can pierce clouds and darkness and look hundreds of
11. kilometers into enemy territory.

I've been closely engaged in observing a conflict the Russians have been in for over five years. They are highly risk-adverse. Putin may attack but I still think he will try to find a way out. Biden's challenge will be to get Putin to quit
12. before Zelensky moves. And I think that may be why he's meeting with the NSC Sunday.

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More from @TimInHonolulu

Feb 21
1. I predicted Putin would bite off Donbas when his play didn't work. He already had control but now he's going to steal what ever hasn't already been stolen and extract the coal. It's theft.

Putin calls Macron and Scholtz first. I surmised they told him this was the offramp.
2. If not, I'm watching for some comment from them denouncing it. If we were not in the decision making on this there should be hell to pay.
3. If we knew they had discussed this and were not surprised by it then this joint call might make sense in a "job well-done" context. If they pitched this or discussed it and we didn't know that's entire other matter and at a min we need to know what they got for staying quiet.
Read 4 tweets
Feb 21
1. He walks away makes a threat towards @ZelenskyyUa and thinks he'll dodge being sanctioned. If he gets away with it he nets part of #Ukraine and all of #Belarus. Official Recognition to be wrapped up. Lawyers dwell on small details while he move forces into #Donbas.
2. He many think he can bait Zelensky into attacking so he can get Germany and France to say it was not an invasion. Even if he sits still, DNR and LNR are not well-manned. Putin has to put forces in or the mob may run. We can stop it by showing the UN our SAR work product.
3. My uncle Tunk drove Jack Kennedy around western Mass when he ran for the Senate. Said he never bought a drink. My parents didn't support JFK. They were Adlai Stevenson liberals. Thought the Kennedy's were shifty. I remember Stevenson's UNSC "Till hell freezes over" moment.
Read 5 tweets
Feb 21
1. Though I've seen enough tanks with sun shades to credibly support that Russia will invade Ukraine, that will trigger sanctions that will destroy the Russian economy and degrade the military. Soon Russia's submarines, planes and radars will begin to fail.
2. It will be 1989 all over again. By only recognizing DNR LNR independence, he kills Minsk but it was dead already. Putin's oligarchs don't want the sanctions. They will be forced to leave the countries that support the sanctions and perhaps could stay in fringe countries
3. but the good times will be over. Putin may be powerful enough to bully these folks, but the oligarchs control the mafia and they can get to Putin. He won't risk war with them. Image
Read 6 tweets
Feb 21
1. Video posted this morning near Belgorod reservoir shows Russian tanks and other heavy fighting equipment about 8 miles from the border NE of Kharkiv. They have now installed sun shades on the tanks the lack of which I reported evidenced they were not ready to attack.
2. Thus I conclude they are prepared to attack. I'm monitoring web cams in #Karkiv. Business as normal. Brave folks. @DefenseIntel @AP #UkraineInvasion2
3. I used to observe webcams on this border during the first invasion. There is a railroad crossing that I think a possible crossing point. Here's my old map. You can see one crossing is rail and the other is vehicular. That used to have a web cam I've watched many times. Image
Read 5 tweets
Feb 20
1. As I have predicted all along, Putin doesn't want to attack. Macron again offers Putin an off ramp and based on Russian media reports he has apparently agreed to resume Minks Normandy format meetings. The question will be whether Zelensky will play along. He likely will.
2. A quick survey of the Russian state controlled media. From official Tass the same contrived claim of Russia being under threat. Image
3. Izvestia has stopped the bloodthirsty rhetoric and is also focused on talks. Image
Read 6 tweets
Feb 19
1. One impact from Putin's pal the DFG's constant lies and gasslighting is that Russian propaganda has not been able to get traction. First, @WHNSC has handled the intel surgically and used it in a way that none of the usual Kremlin lies has gotten enough oxygen to long survive.
2. That doesn't mean that the Kremlin propaganda mills are not still at work, it just means that even in Kremlin infiltrated @Foxnews they are getting insufficient play to be effective. Truth is always the best weapon against propaganda.
3. A look a the headlines in Russian media is instructive. The working-class Izvestia continues to pump out Kremlin lies of fictious Ukrainian atrocities and will not doubt help keep the public thirsting for revenge.
Read 6 tweets

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