A month ago I was asked by a retired U.S. lieutenant colonel in a private email correspondence whether Vladimir Putin would be announcing general mobilization in his State of the Union address on 21 February. I answered with full confidence that this was unfounded speculation, that the Russian war effort was going well in the estimation of the Kremlin, that they expect the imminent capture of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut), opening the way for Russia to assume full possession of the Donbas.
Indeed, the fighting in and around Artyomovsk today continues to favor the Russians, notwithstanding the latest dispatch of 10,000 or more Ukrainian army forces to keep open supply lines to their comrades in the nearly surrounded city, who number perhaps 20,000.
Meanwhile, the United States and its NATO allies have come to agreement on what further heavy equipment they can ship to Ukraine in support of Kiev’s planned counteroffensive later…
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