13 February 2023 (updated)

Strategic commentary on and professional analysis of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine:

13 Feb 23 17:45 EST – the War in Ukraine has just entered a radically different phase.  As the war approaches the 1-year anniversary of an invasion date set to optimize fighting conditions for heavy tracked vehicles, the materiel and fighting forces both sides now field has significantly escalated from 1-year ago.

We predict the conflict will be concluded by the campaign apparently launched on Friday (local time).  In our view, the possible outcomes are widely variant but only in nature not in number.  The conventional war objectives for both sides are likely total control of the annexed regions for Russia versus restored territorial integrity for Ukraine.

If Ukrainian battlefield ingenuity continues, we think the latter is the most likely conventional warfare outcome; however, it is unknown if Ukraine will be able to reclaim territorial integrity without Russia using WMD.

The market accepted the long-war status-quo and as is the market’s nature, moved on.  Thus, we let our last update stand.  Since then Ukraine was able to launch a successful counter-offensive (aided by western long-range ground systems) and then establish an impressively static winter front-line all while primarily using inferior soviet-era equipment versus what the Russians field.

The decision to give Ukraine modern armor is game changing; one can only imagine what they might accomplish with far superior tanks to what the Russians field (and in significant numbers) given their successes when most had written them off to a 72-hour collapse nearly 1-year ago.

16 Mar 22 08:55 EST – risk-appetite update: situation is highly-fluid; concentrating behind our best ideas, trying to be patient yet move with conviction when we do (both risk-on & off) // yesterday, we balanced the likelihood of a relief rally against our grave concern that Russia could use ‘tactical’ WMD (weapons of mass destruction) in Ukraine.

09 Mar 22 09:28 EST – best outcome for Ukraine: emulate the Finnish Winter War 1939-1940 whereby they inflict perpetual heavy losses while frustrating the attack, forcing the Russians to withdraw.

04 Mar 22 17:05 EST – the operational delay for the siege of Kyiv is, in our analysis, primarily a result of the Ukrainian’s denial of Gostomel airbase for use as the landing zone for the Russian main effort and secondarily the fierce Ukrainian resistance in the east // we are deeply concerned that the conduct thus far shown by Russian regulars on other fronts will be in sharp contrast to the total horror that the units we deduce are in the Russian main effort will unleash on order. Given that we’ve already witnessed the widespread bombardment of civilians and the firing of heavy ordinance at a fueled nuclear power plant – we see a siege unfolding for Kyiv where mounting war crimes feed the righteous indignation of the Ukrainians. Each day the Ukrainians hold, the reluctant West is shamed into further action – raising the stakes even higher. The number of pledged anti-armor & anti-air missiles actually getting to the battles are the ultimate variable against the main effort the Russians are almost certainly about to unleash on Kyiv.

25 Feb 22 16:05 EST – the worst idea of all is escalating to cyber warfare because they utterly failed Ukraine in all the ways they shouldn’t have // it goes both ways and it’s insane to escalate there.

25 Feb 22 13:55 EST – reports of Ukrainians retaking Gostomel airbase from Spetsnaz and the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ making six air-to-air kills (fighter ace) on the first day of the war // heroic if true // in our view, the tenacity of the forthcoming defense of Kyiv will indicate all.

24 Feb 22 19:40 EST – the West is powerless to truly sanction Russia because of dependence on Nord Stream 1 and the inflated cost of fossil fuels in the U.S. during an election year.

ZERO HOUR – 22:00 EST on 23 Feb 22 – the Russian leader makes announcement on Russian media at “zero hour” as Russia initiates it’s invasion of Ukraine (at approximately 04:00 local time).  At the same exact moment in New York City, Russia opens the U.N. security council meeting convened to avert the invasion of Ukraine.  Russia acts as the sitting U.N. security council chair.  This is called Day-0 in military terms.