The deranged worldview and depravity exhibited by Putin in launching this criminal war should surprise no one. His list of crimes, many against his own people, is long. And while I don't want to shift to focus away from the suffering that is about to be inflicted on the Ukranian people we must recongize that Putin presents an imminent threat to global stability.
I have rounded up some notable tweets from the previous few hours as we watched this unfold. It doesn't capture every event (there were far too many) but I captured what I could.
The situation looked bleak earlier in the day as it became clear that Putin would likely go big instead of taking a phased approach to military force:
U.S. intelligence was right on target - as usual. The story of how intelligence was leveraged in the ramp up to this war is fascinating and worthy of much more study at some point in the future:
President Zelensky reached out to Putin in a desperate attempt to head off the attack but Putin wouldn't take the call. Instead, Zelensky spoke directly to the Russian people, in Russian:
More troubling signals followed - more than I can list here:
Instead, Putin (in an apparently pre-recorded video) effectively declared war on Ukraine launching a "special military operation" focused on the "de-militarization" and "de-nazification" of the country. A strange pledge from the nation that has nurtured neo-nazi movements around the globe and now uses them to destablize the west. However, the most unhinged aspect of the speech were his over-the-top threats against NATO:
The speech was broadcast, not surprisingly, while the UN Secretary-General, America's Ambassador to the UN, and others appealed for peace:
Reports of explosions from OSINT Twitter continued to increase and a short while later the White House issued a statement:
The Minister of Foreign Affairs for Ukraine took to Twitter to confirm everyone's worst fears:
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Baltics also issued a joint statement later in the evening. They are, rightly so, extremely concerned:
Many of the initial OSINT reports sounded quite bleak but some of them were debunked. A reminder that the fog of war doesn't necessarily lift with more sources - sometimes it just gets thicker:
However, there are still many excellent OSINT feeds out there. Rob Lee has produced a steady stream of quality updates throughout the crisis:
It's hard to watch all of this and not think that history is repeating itself. That thought, particularly applied to Europe, is nothing short of terrifying:
And a reminder that when Russia accuses someone of lying you can be confident that they're speaking the truth:
I don't know if tomorrow will bring any cause for hope. Likely not. However, President Biden and leaders from across the alliance have promised to unveil a strong response:
We must rise to this occassion. Putin's actions in Ukraine obviouslly demand a firm response but this issue is far larger than Ukraine alone. This is an attack on the world order, an attack on global stability, and it absolutely will not be Putin's last criminal act. The sooner we stop him, the better. It's time to pull out the (diplomatic) stops.