Ukraine War Grows Fiercer, More Likely to Spread

A tank lost in the Ukrainian War
Both sides are taking losses as the Ukrainian counteroffensive probes Russian lines and recaptures some villages.

Note: I wasn’t able to post this yesterday because our power went out, and the Internet with it. Quite ironic since last week I posted “How to Survive when the Grid Fails for Good” and was now writing about war. It’s enough to make a guy paranoid, and if there is one thing preppers don’t need, it’s an added dose of paranoia. 

This outage occurred at night when there was no bad weather, which always makes you wonder. I checked all the things I wrote about and was satisfied it wasn’t an abnormal outage. Then I went out to walk the dog, and I saw the blinking red light of an airplane flying so high above I could not hear the engine noise. Since I expect planes will fall from the sky if an EMP or CME hits, that convinced me 100 percent that it was a run-of-the-mill power outage.

Because it was dark when the power went off, my wife went straight to bed. I hung around for another 90 minutes, wearing my headlamp and reading before I threw in the towel and joined her. I kept the Shockwave with the Streamlight fore end handy, just in case. Because, you know, paranoia.

My plan was to start the generator the next morning to power the freezer and the refrigerator, but it wasn’t necessary. Power was restored at some point in the wee morning hours. After waking up, we had to reset the internet router, the digital clocks, and all the cameras. The electric company blamed it on “equipment failure.” I considered it another training exercise.

The Ukrainian Counteroffensive Begins

Just days after a major dam across the Dnipro river collapsed (or was blown up by parties unknown), Ukraine appears to have launched its much anticipated counteroffensive and is making incremental gains along the front line, although there have been no significant breakthroughs. They are supposedly probing the Russian defenses and will pour in more forces when they find a weak spot. Russia, in return, is waiting to see where the heaviest attacks will come so they can direct reserves to that spot.

The worst fighting of the war looks to be ahead of us, with both sides bulked up and ready to go toe-to-toe in the heaviest ground fighting seen since the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and January 1945. The way things are ramping up, this may be the ultimate battle with the outcome of the war riding on how successful Ukraine is in regaining its lost territory.

On Other Fronts

Russia is also moving tactical nukes to Belarus and reportedly positioning them near Lithuania, within striking distance of the NATO summit which will be held there July 11-12. At that summit, NATO is expected to review plans for a NATO vs. Russia war that would make the Ukraine “special military action” look like a picnic. Plans that haven’t seen daylight since the Soviet era have been unearthed, dusted off, and updated to include more countries, new weapons systems, and lessons learned in this war.

NATO Is also in the midst of its biggest aerial war games ever, which are meant to be a show of force but probably appear quite threatening when sitting behind a radar screen on the other side of the Russian border. What is billed as a training flight could quickly become an attack, although I expect an initial attack by NATO would have even more aircraft than this massive training exercise. The risk is that a Russian air defense person could have itchy trigger fingers and fire a grounder-to-air missile prematurely, risking a response from NATO.

Meanwhile, Sweden, which has not been admitted into NATO because Turkey won’t vote for them, has decided to allow NATO to move men and material onto Swedish territory. It’s kind of “We may not officially be in NATO but we can act like we are” move. Sweden considers this a defensive move, signaling to Russia that they are not on their own. Russia, however, likely sees it as a threat.

Media Downplays War

Once again, we see warlike actions and preparations for war even though our media is downplaying these actions, distracting us with the Trump indictment and what makeup Taylor Swift is wearing while out on tour. (Yes, that was a recent headline on an online news channel, because they think that’s newsworthy.) I can’t help but wonder if the whole Trump indictment is to keep people from focusing on news that a Ukrainian is believed to have recordings of phone calls with both Hunter Biden and Joe Biden setting up the payment of $5 million in bribes.

Biden, or whomever is feeding him his lines and setting policy, doesn’t seem to care about a looming war, just like he didn’t care about our allies in Afghanistan and ignored warnings from State Department officers on the ground in Afghanistan. As long as we are building more solar farms and draining our strategic oil reserves, the Biden Administration seems happy. The war is getting worse, you say? We’ll just send some more weapons.

Still Talking About War

Yes, I’ve been talking about the possibility of war since before Russia invaded Ukraine. But I think the chances of war continue to increase. When history looks back at 2022 and 2023, the path to war will be obvious. Because we are living through it, because people are in denial, and because of normalcy bias, too many don’t want to admit it.

I just hope you have used these last two years to prepare. I am far more prepared than I was in mid-2021. In a year, I expect to be even better prepared. I just don’t know if we have that long.