Dr Mike Martin ⛵️ Profile picture
Fascinated by what violent organised conflict teaches us about humans; Visiting Fellow @warstudies; Books: https://t.co/16w1kZNsOG; Videos: https://t.co/YgBbuUQpoi
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May 14 16 tweets 2 min read
We’re reaching a bit of a tipping point in the Ukraine War.

A thread. Over the last week or so, we have seen Russian forces begin to culminate in the east and the south of Ukraine.

That is: they’ve moved from the offensive to the defensive (conversely, the Ukrainians have moved from the defensive to the offensive).
May 6 40 tweets 5 min read
Time for a thread on Tunbridge Well Local Elections.

Followers - it’s the 🧵you’ve been waiting for.

Updates during the day live from The Count! I spent all day yesterday out in the Wards.

The big story is the Conservative vote collapsed.

And when I say collapsed, I mean twin-set pearls giggling like school kids after voting Lib Dem for the first time collapsed.
Apr 29 27 tweets 4 min read
Time for an update on the Battle for Donbas

A thread. As expected, the Russians have sort of fizzled.
Apr 17 76 tweets 10 min read
The Battle is Donbas seems to have started.

But it’s the Ukrainians who have started it. See here on my expertly drawn map Image
Apr 13 35 tweets 5 min read
Battle for Donbas

A thread. As every day goes past that the Russian doesn’t happen, we have to ask ourselves:

Are the Russian forces not actually able to generate a manoeuvre force over and above what they need to hold the line in Donbas?

Not clear yet.
Apr 9 28 tweets 3 min read
Much has been made of this Russian redeployment to the east of Ukraine.

A thread. First a few thoughts.
Apr 2 10 tweets 1 min read
These Russian mass graves and executions are going to change things.

Watch for a shift in western policy now. Think it makes it even more likely Russia is going to be turfed out of Ukraine.

All of it.
Mar 31 19 tweets 4 min read
Interesting potential encirclement of Ru forces around Kharkiv. This will make it hard for the Ru to link up with Crimea and encircle Ukr forces in the Donbas. The Ukr was obviously aware of that danger and are moving first to head it off.

Smart
Mar 25 10 tweets 1 min read
Fascinating. So the Russians are preparing the home population for a climb down. Watch for the retreat of Russian units around Kyiv.
Mar 25 22 tweets 3 min read
I’ve been having a think about whether Putin will use chemical or nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

🧵 The argument goes something like this …

The Ukrainians are handing the Russians arses to them on a plate, and Putin needs to achieve victory or his personal position is in jeopardy, and so Putin might feel backed into a corner …

… and use chem or nukes to force an outcome.
Mar 23 15 tweets 2 min read
Early reports yet but it appears that the Ukrainians might have encircled a pocket of Russian troops NW of Kyiv.

A (short) thread. Image This news should also be considered alongside news that Markhiv has been retaken by the Ukrainians, and various other Ukrainian counterattacks.
Mar 16 10 tweets 2 min read
As we grind on now into the third week, there is a big danger for Ukraine.

Civil War.

A thread. As I’ve been saying for a while now, Russia can’t win this conflict. No replacement of Ukrainian gov. No annexing of territory. No ‘denazification’ etc.
Mar 11 24 tweets 4 min read
Two weeks in. Here are some strategic thoughts on #Ukraine.

🧵 It seems fairly clear that Putin wanted to quickly decapitate the Ukrainian government.

Unfortunately he didn't commit nearly enough combat power to that political-strategic objective.
Mar 9 4 tweets 1 min read
Bombing of maternity hospital in Ukraine is a Putin prod to the West to overreach and eg enforce a no-fly-zone. Don’t fall for it - the plan (sanctions, isolation, arms shipments) is working. Stick with it. A no-fly-zone as well as being a provocation helps Putin with his domestic audience because it helps him frame the conflict as an existential clash with the west.

The fact that Putin’s major audience is his domestic one tells us a huge amount.
Mar 3 5 tweets 1 min read
A wk+ into the Rus invasion:

- Rus still doesn’t control Ukr airspace
- Only 1 small city taken by Rus
- Ukr leadership still in control and directing battle, saying they R going on counter-offensive
- Rus econ imploding under sanctions

This is the beg of a military stalemate I’m gonna call this:

I think the Russian armed forces are going to collapse, followed by Putin leaving power.

I can’t say this for certain (obviously), but I think this is the eventuality.
Mar 2 19 tweets 3 min read
There is a bit of a needle to be threaded on the Ukraine Conflict.

A thread. I guess what I am talking about is how it ends, as we are approaching a bit of a stalemate of aims.
Feb 28 24 tweets 3 min read
History has restarted again.

A thread. Loads of people went on about the withdrawal from Afghanistan as if it was the end of Western credibility, and started making big judgements about Taiwan and South Korea and Japan.
Feb 27 20 tweets 3 min read
Ukraine and the West (and, let's face it, Ukraine is in the Western alliance) need to start thinking about their strategic end state.

A thread. It seems clear to me that the Russians have bitten off more than they can chew. The Ukrainians were ready and they've fought valiantly.
Feb 26 23 tweets 3 min read
So let’s try and take a trip into Putin’s mind. A look at how Putin sees his strategy from now.
Feb 25 15 tweets 2 min read
I think there is something very interesting happening. There seem to be quite a lot of reports that Russia is not getting as far ahead as it would have hoped in its invasion.
Feb 16 23 tweets 5 min read
So everyone has been paying attention to Russia and Ukraine recently.

But, in my opinion, there is a bigger strategic play going on by Russia. More significant. More long term.

A thread. It's all about the Wagner group in Africa.