Six weeks after he became Russia’s defense minister, General Pavel Grachev addressed a June 1992 NATO meeting in Brussels where he defined Russia’s sphere of interest as encompassing all ‘former USSR republics with which it shared territorial borders,’ and claimed that Russia ‘had every right to intervene’ in those territories unilaterally. Subsequently, Russia deployed troops throughout the Caucasus, ‘signed base treaties with Armenia and Georgia’ and ‘posted border troops along much of the former Soviet perimeter.'”Lawrence Kohn, “Russia’s Turkish Target”
Russia is bringing her Strategic Rocket Forces up to full readiness. Russia is going to be conscripting doctors in the weeks ahead. Russia has prepared for mass burials in anticipation of a catastrophic number of casualties. What is going on here? Amid all this we have Western observers suggesting Putin has failed. One analyst, citing a TASS source, wrote, “Russian President Putin is extremely disappointed with the progress of the military operation in Ukraine.”
…Russia overcame the inertia of collapse and started reviving its power, while the West, being lulled by sweet day-dreams of the liberal ‘end of history,’ castrated its armed forces to the point, when they could be good [only] for leading colonial wars with weak and technically backward enemies. The balance of forces in Europe has thus changed in Russia’s favor.Pravda, 13 November 2014
The headline of the Pravda article cited above reads, “Russia takes complete advantage of castrated armed forces of the West.” We also read in that same Russian article, “The illusion of world supremacy played a cruel joke on Washington.” We must ask a question here: Who fostered the illusion of American world supremacy? What country supposedly quit the business of nuclear competition, the business of communist subversion, the business of the Cold War? Russia supposedly quit. But they did not quit!
Russia initially did everything it could to make sure these disagreements could be resolved by peaceful means. However, the Kiev officials have conducted two punitive operations on those territories; and, apparently, we are witnessing a third escalation. All these years … the people living on those territories have been literally tortured by constant shelling and blockades.Vladimir Putin, 21 February 2022
President Vladimir Putin spent months deploying Russian troops around Ukraine, on three sides. Of course, he said Russia was not going to invade Ukraine; and many believed him. Last week, when Putin’s spokesmen announced the Russian troops were standing down, many people believed him. But the troops did not leave their deployments. They moved closer to the border with Ukraine. And then it was alleged that the Ukrainians did a bad, bad thing. So, the Russian troops did not go home as advertised. The troops stayed in position; and on Monday, Putin decided to invade eastern Ukraine. And now Putin has asked the Duma for permission to use the Russian military to attack forces outside of Russia. Some intelligence analysts believe that a general invasion of Ukraine will soon begin.
The event corresponds less to expectations in war than in any other case whatever.Livy, History of Rome XXX, c. 10
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, says that Wednesday will be “the day of the attack.” The Russian Duma will supposedly vote to recognize Luhansk and Donetsk. When that happens, Russian troops will move in to Ukraine.
Key points to follow: (1) The United States is evacuating its Embassy even as Americans have been advised to leave Ukraine; (2) Russian troops have surrounded Ukraine from three different directions (i.e., north, east and south); (3) Russia is demanding that Ukraine promise it will not join NATO; (4) President Zelensky says he will not make this promise; (5) Russian military bases near Ukraine show increased activity with units deploying to attack positions; (6) six Russian amphibious transports have left port in Crimea, moving up Crimea’s west coast, headed for the Ukrainian coast; (7) Russian rocket artillery units seem to be preparing to strike; (8) Ukraine is not seriously preparing to repel an invasion.
Many people today are completely convinced that a new hero of Russian history, as yet unknown, is changing its course … and we cannot comprehend his intentions, since the protagonist himself merges with other characters. Some call him by the foreign term mafia. Others express themselves more plainly in Russian and label him an ugolovnik, a criminal, struggling for power. Still others are disposed to speak of the traits and methods of today’s criminal mafia as bearing the unique stamp of yesterday’s apparatchiks, KGB agents, and influential ‘commanders of the socialist economy,’ especially the chiefs of the military-industrial complex who now occupy key political and economic posts.Lev Timofeyev, Russia’s Secret Rulers 
Introduction: Deceptive Liberalization
At the end of the Cold War, the Russian people demanded an investigation of “secret power structures” controlling politics and the economy. There was the suspicion, by some, that the old Soviet system was somehow perpetuating itself in an underhanded way. How odd this situation was, may be judged by some of the advocates of Soviet liberalization. These advocates included KGB or MVD generals who suddenly cross-dressed as liberals – like MVD Gen. Edward Shevardnadze, KGB Gen. Oleg Kalugin, and then there was the Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg, KGB Lt. Col. Vladimir Putin. Was the West suddenly willing to put its faith in such “actors”? At the time, of course, everyone thought Russia was all about reform “and the security services were on board.” But as journalist Yevgenia Albats reported in 1994, the “grand proclamation of reform was followed almost immediately by a much less publicized retreat.” What really happened? The Communist Party Soviet Union went underground from whence it continued to control the state and economy through its many “actors” and front-men, including the conveniently Jewish oligarchs like Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Khordorkovsky, and Vladimir Gusinsky. Here was an inside joke perpetrated by the Cheka – effective because antisemitism is the uneducated-man’s Marxism.
The last three months it is organized by both sides … with a clear division of labor. Good cop and bad cop…. This campaign stated that Putin is preparing to activate troops for a full-scale invasion to a big war, for a big war to conquer a substantial portion of Ukraine, with encirclement of major Ukrainian cities. And now we can see that many Western medias are publishing maps showing all these arrows of Russian troops moving into Ukraine territory and conquering that territory that there will be a huge war. Mr. Putin has decided to reinforce these claims. But Putin’s forces are insufficient for what is needed.Andrei Illarionov
I would be cautious about describing the Russian mobilization as an “empty threat.” It is not “empty.” This is the largest mobilization of Russian forces since the end of the Cold War. It is a real threat made with tanks, troops, aircraft and missiles. In his interview with Frank Gaffney, Illarionov’s arguments regarding the Russian deployments were not well-informed or well-considered.