Why Are the Russians So Bad? War Stories from Ukraine with Neil Vermillion

Back by popular demand, we have Neil Vermillion again today. We’re talking about his experiences while volunteering as a trainer for troops in Ukraine. We’re going to discuss why the Russians underperformed so badly, what the Ukrainians are doing well to adapt and improve, and perhaps why he has a somewhat scorched Wagner patch on his wall…


  1. It’s not that the Russians are actually bad.
    Don’t make that mistake. Most of their 1st line troops are deployed elsewhere.
    Russia went into this expecting “A Short Victorious War”, which didn’t happen. which to be fair, given their success previously was a reasonable expectation.
    What we are actually seeing here is a difference in philosophy. Russia doesn’t care about casualties so long as victory is achieved. What is commonly referred to as the Sledgehammer approach to war. That is what WW2 taught them. Attritional warfare.

    • In 21st century, Russia is a country with the GDP of Spain and 4 times the population that pretends to be some sort of great military power.
      It could pretend it because its army was sitting on a huge stockpile of Soviet leftovers. Over that, they layered a “coat of paint” of modern equipment, because that was all they could afford.
      Now, there’s not much left of the stockpile, and much of that equipment can’t be replaced.

      • Russia in 2022 had about the same sort of army as Germany had after the Versailles Treaty a hundred years earlier. I.e., it consisted mainly of undermanned “paper” formations, essentially training cadres, that in event of war were to be “filled out” with draftees to bring them up to fighting strength and get OTJ training in the process.

        The fallacy of this is first of all, things happen a lot faster in warfare today than when the fastest-moving thing other than an artillery shell was a biplane or a rhomboidal tank.

        Second, the pace of modern warfare, and its complexity (soldiers in 1922 might have to learn to use a field phone; today, they have to learn how to use drones), means that the “makee-learnee” curve is a lot steeper than it’s ever been before.

        The main reason UKR has hung on as long as it has is that Western weapon systems are highly sophisticated, to the “point-and-click” level. And they’ve been given a huge amount of them to expend.

        As for Russia, considering that they’re the ones who can threaten to turn Western capitols into sheets of glass, and be believed, it’s only the West’s leaders’ interest in their personal fortunes being at stake in UKR that has escalated the Western response beyond the proverbial Harshly Worded Letter.

        If not for “banking” interests operating through Kyiv, this war would have been over the first time UKR was Winchester on ammunition.

        But then, those very interests are why Putin attacked to begin with. At the behest of the oligarchs who back him. They control the money laundering for most of Asia, and they wanted to own the European side, too.

        This is essentially a war between the equivalents of the Chicago Capone mob on one side and the New York Masseria mob on the other.

        Night of the Sicilian Vespers (15-16 Apr 1931), anyone?

        clear ether


    • If you underperform because most of your best troops are elsewhere waiting for a war that never comes, you get judged by the war you do fight – especially if that was a war of choice. Thus it doesn’t matter how good US troops in Germany were 1964-1973, that Army will always be judged by how it attained the goals we chose to fight for in Vietnam – and especially its progressive decay over those years.

      And I suspect those “best” troops are being bled away battalion by battalion, but only after their supplies were. China and Japan are getting noisy about ancient Russian border disputes; I wonder what their military intel is seeing over there that encourages them.

      The entire premise of Putin’s regime and Russian government in general is paranoia; that everyone is out to get them all the time. If Putin strips all his borders of defense forces so he can wage an offensive war in Ukraine, it undermines that argument.

      • They aren’t anywere else. Since the first months of war the NATO commanders in Europe noticed “in front of us there is nothing left”. Almost the entire Russian Army and any piece of usable equipment is in Ukraine. The garrison of Kaliningrad had been one of the first to be transferred there. Kaliningrad today is defenseless. The “Suwalky gap” problem resolved itself.
        The best troops, IE the paratroopers, had been the ones mauled the most in Ukraine, because they had been used improperly, as “last ditch defenses”. Moskow is hit by low-tech drones because all the anti-air defenses are in Ukraine.

        • The best Russian troops are on the frontlines. Or they were. Huge numbers of them have been killed or wounded. The VDV troops were decimated early in the fighting and have not yet recovered. Likewise Russian marines have been slaughtered in the the battles near Vuhledar. As well as Spetsnaz. To believe that Moscow is holding anything back is absurd.

          • I have to agree with your take. From what I’ve been able to glean from the open-source intel that I’ve seen, nearly all of what we might term “regime support troops”, namely the guys Putin can trust as internal enforcers, have been committed and are more-or-less gone. Along with the limited modernized kit.

            In other words, the Russians are running on fumes. It’s only the scale of the fuel tank they’ve been draining that makes it seem like they’ve been even somewhat effective. When the end comes, and it all caves in on them, it’s going to look a lot like the collapse of the Russian Imperial Armies in the aftermath of the Brusilov Offensive. The structures and resources just aren’t there, whether you’re talking cultural, material, or military.

            I’m actually surprised that they’ve lasted as long as they have without the Russian people saying “Enough, already…”, but I underestimated the hold that the old-style “Little Father” mentality has on the populace. The endless videos the trusting peasants send out, decrying the misdeeds of the middle-management, intended to hit Putin’s ears, which they are sure will bring justice…? Jeez. It’s like watching the kiddies writing letters to Santa…

            Once the reality sinks in that Putin isn’t going to rescue them, and that he is the author of their predicament, don’t look for the results to be at all good for Russia. The biggest problem we have coming up is going to be cleaning up after the collapse, because it is coming. It’d be one thing if he was even close to being able to say he’d won something, but… When Ukraine retakes significant ground and finishes grinding up the mobiks? Yeesh. Lanchester Square collapse, here we come… Followed by chaos across most of Russia.

            Similar to how the whole thing caved in after the setbacks of WWI. Putin had no idea what he was playing with when he started down this road, and has been lied to endlessly by his yes-man apparatchiks, leading to this disaster.

            Remains to be seen just how big a mess it is, but I wouldn’t rule anything out, at this point. There’s no telling how much of the nuclear arsenal is in the same shape that the rest of his military force has demonstrated… The number of “accidents” surrounding developments in that arena aren’t exactly encouraging.

          • @ Kirk
            I wouldn’t hold my breath. “Complain and do as you are told (with the lowest possible effort)” is the Russian way. As long as units that suffered 50% casualties are making videos complaining that they have not been provided the tools to make their job, or units that suffered 75% casualties are making videos complaining they had not been replaced on the frontline yet, he’s not really risking anything.
            He only risks if he’s defeated. That means if he’s kicked out of Ukraine in its entirety. Donetsk, Luhansk and, above all, Crimea included.

          • @Dogwalker,

            There’s a point where even the Russian peasant recognizes reality. The breakdowns in Imperial authority after the massive defeats and maladministration of WWI eventually broke their faith in the “Little Father” in Moscow, and we had the Russian Revolution to show for it.

            The really amazing thing is how they transferred that same idiot belief in authority to first Lenin, and then Stalin: These plaintive missives to those in authority pleading for them to fix all the bad things? They ain’t new; there are historical documents that are basically the same thing, Russian troops gathered around the one literate guy in their element, writing the Tsar. Also, see same letters written by prisoners in the Gulag, soldiers in WWII, etc., etc., ad infinitum

            The inherent Russian capacity for self-delusion and utter failure to recognize who their actual oppressors are is truly incredible to contemplate, from an outside perspective. It’s about like dealing with an abused woman who won’t admit that her bruises come from her daily beatings by her husband. “No, no… He really loves me and cares for me… I’m just so clumsy…”

        • Explain that to the Tucker Carlsons and the tankies; I’m thoroughly sick of them screaming that Russia is barely scratched – while simultaneously saying that Russia needs massive forces on all its Western borders because NATO will strike any day now.

          • The Black Knight from Monty Python comes to mind…

            The other odd thing you point out is that the various Russophiles seem to ignore the idea that perhaps, just perhaps…. Other people deserve buffers, too: Not just Russia. And, what, precisely, entitles Russia to have these buffers? Anyone been invading them, since 1941? An invasion they basically enabled, by supporting Nazis invading Western Europe?

            If not for the historic Molotov-Ribbentrop deal, would the Germans have had their “year in the sun” from ’39-’40? I think not; ’41 was the price they paid for enabling what happened to the rest of Europe.

            Too many people cast them as victims of WWII, when what they were was actually more in line with the idea of “unindicted co-conspirators”. Just because they flipped sides doesn’t make them any less culpable for what they started. I feel not one moment of sympathy or pity for them, and whenever I hear a Russian say “More of us died fighting the Nazis then anyone else…”, all I can say is “Well, you deserved it… Without your help, they’d have never been in a position to do the things they did.”

    • Yeah, the russophile hotheads in beginning of the invasion loved to rationalize; “Oh, so you wait when best troops arrive, fight would be over in 2,3 days”. Yet somehow it became quickly puzzling why would somebody slaughter their troops, half of the army in poorly planned attacks just waiting for these miraculous best troops to join the fight and “now show to the world how its done”.
      Rude awakening was that they simply did not exist, and lot of the operational quality of russian army was a shit from the beginning, yet in previous conflicts being localized, it did not show so drastically much.

    • I’d agree that their best troops are deployed elsewhere – albeit horizontally, six feet underground. I’d also agree (with the caveat that the Soviets did quite well in manoeuvre warfare in WW2) that they know and are engaged in attritional warfare, but out of necessity rather than choice. The problem is that they are the ones that are getting attrited.

    • >> Russia doesn’t care about casualties so long as victory is achieved.<<

      …as we know, this brilliant strategy worked really well during the Crimean War, First World War and Russo-Polish War (1919-1920).
      History repeats itself. As a farce.

  2. pundits used to say during the cold war Russia (USSR) was Upper Volta with missiles.
    The USSR & Upper Volta no longer exist. Now Russia is Burkina Faso with missiles

  3. In 1984 I attended a talk at Cornell University by the highest ranking Russian Intelligence officer to defect at that point. Someone asked whether Afghanistan would generate Russian anti antiwar movement like the US had during Viet Nahm. The answer, not really, that the Soviet Army lost about the same number of draftees yearly in training accidents. The audience gasped. In prerevolutionary Russia, when a man was drafted the family considered him dead until he returned.

    • The problem here is that the people running the place are still operating on the assumption that there are endless numbers of halfwit peasants to be drafted into the forces and sent off as cannon fodder. That isn’t the case any more, and the demographics simply do not support Russia’s ability to continue making war in this manner. At. All.

      Putin has been the absolute worst thing that ever happened to Russia, no matter how you look at it. You also have to realize that he’s a front-man, a shill, for the Leningrad/St. Petersburg faction of the old regime, and that they put him in place. All of them are heirs of the old-school dimwits that ran both the Russian Imperial system and the Communists into the ground, and who really know nothing about life outside the capitol regions. They think the endless horde of proletarian strugglers are still out there, and raw fact is that most of them were never born, the ones who were are mostly drunk, and anyone with potential and ambition has left Russia for better places… The comeuppance is going to be ugly, where the trend-lines meet.

      Modern Russia is making war as if the demographic facts on the ground were still those of the Tsar; they are manifestly not. The population of Russia isn’t growing any more, the fertility rate has been below replacement since the 1990s, and it ain’t exactly going to go up with all the dead buried in Ukraine not there to do their jobs making more Russians. Also, once the minorities figure out what’s going on, they’re not going to be too damn happy about their situations, either…

      • Long ago I learned the story of Russian peasant rebellions. If things were going particularly badly, some demagogue in the boondocks would spread rumors that the true Czar had been replaced with an impostor, and that he himself was the real Czar. Then he would raise a peasant mob to march to Moscow to restore God’s favorite and thus Russia’s fortunes. But not actually change a damn thing about the political structure.

        That’s as close as a modern secular mind could get to Prigozhin’s march on Moscow to demand that the Czar’s evil advisors be sacked.

        • That feels about right, TBH.

          I don’t discount the idea that the Prigozin thing was a put-up job. If he’d been serious, and the regime was really worried about him? We’d have seen Rostov-on-Don hit with a tactical nuke, or two.

          I still don’t know what the hell was going on there. Prigozin was always a tool for Putin; any and everything he did was at Putin’s behest. So… Why would Putin put on the clownshow? To smoke out dissidents in the force structure? Someone was telling me that the VDV unit that rallied for Prigozin is also the one getting ground down right now in Ukraine, sooooo…? Maybe?

          Still hard to make out what is really going on in Russia. Hell, I doubt the Russians really know, and I include Putin in that number.

          • Cost saving. Wagner cost the Russian state billions. The Russian state wanted to eliminate all private contractors. They wanted Wagner soldier to sigh contracts with the Russian state. Prigozin was protecting his cash cow. He played his hand and lost. If Prigozin had no opposition to his march to Moscow he might have won.

          • Wagner also made the Russian state billions, in Syria and Africa alike.

            I don’t know what the hell was going on with Prigozin and Putin, but the outlines of their full operation with regards to Wagner make your interpretation highly questionable.

            End of the day, we just don’t know. Prigozin was always a Putin front-man; I think that what actually happened might come out in a decade or two, but for now? It’s opaque as hell; speculation is rife, and entirely meaningless.

            I somewhat suspect that the whole “March on Moscow” thing was meant more to smoke out potential disloyalties in the Russian military than anything else. Putin wasn’t exactly panicking; some of his subordinates were on planes heading into exile with a suspicious alacrity, and he never (apparently…) left Moscow. Then, there’s the whole Lukashenko thing, which just begs a ton of questions about what the hell is going on in Belarus.

            End of the day, ain’t nobody outside the Russian oligarchy really knows what is going on, and I suspect that they’re a little confused by it all, themselves. You build a hall of mirrors to live in, don’t expect to get a good view of reality…

    • Thats fairly true, russian draft experience for some or most is like if Full Metal Jacket movie training was a childrens saturday morning show, with probably no tactics knowledge instilled but instead, insane amount of hazing from older generation of draftees. A significant number of draftees even commit suicide or return handicapped (in wheelchair, without limbs etc.) from all the beatings.

      • First I dont buy the stupid “analyst” stories of Putin supposedly not knowing the real state of his forces capability when choosing to attack. Although on the west there are many semi woketarded politicians, he certainly isnt, and simply he didnt care, or/and had no option. It wasnt as when Saddam attacked Iran, believeing to score easy victory.

        The biggest question of them all is, why not go full scale invasion during so called Euromaidan revolution ? That was the only time when they could have, among all the chaos, conquer at least half, or 3/4 of Ukraine, maybe even all of it.

        As for the propaganda of russians being so childishly inept, “so bad”, and being swept on the battlefields by tens of thousands, how come ukrainians didnt forced them out of the country so far? Troops number is on their side, plus fight on their own turf. By these stories, they could have do it by now at least 3 times, yet it never happened.

        • There is no doubt Putin didn’t expect to fight for one year and half (and counting), losing over 50% of his army’s equipment (and counting) over 200.000 soldiers (and counting), the collapse of his weapon export once it had been exposed how shitty his weapons really are, etc…
          Putin absolutely believed he could have ended this story in one or two weeks. And he believed it due to the precedents in Cechenia, Georgia, Nagorno Karabakh, Siria, Ukraine itself… He absolutely believed the bullshit he had been told, on the effectiveness of his armed forces and the fact that a good portion of Ukrainian population would have welcomed the Russians.
          Plan A didn’t take into consideration any real resistance. The special forces would have occupied key positions in the capital, paratroopers would have taken Hostomel airport and used it (a thing that’s possible only in absence of any resistance, because you can’t use an airport near to the frontline). The Ukrainian government would have fled. The display of force of the Russian Army would have persuaded the Ukrainian army to stay calm. There would have been only a timid reaction of the west, some more sanction, but nothing affecting Russian gas export, since Europe depended on it.
          There was no Plan B.
          As for the propaganda of Russians being so childishly inept, they had been. They had not being forced out of the country so far because, for as much ineffective the Russian aviation had been, it’s still superior to the, almost non-exixtent, Ukrainian one. A NATO army would have not even tried an offensive operation without the complete air superiority. It had been aviation that ended trench warfare. Without aviation, welcome back to WWI. And still the main problem for the Ukrainians are not the Russian soldiers in the trenches. What’s slowing down Ukrainian offensive in the south are: A) mines; B) attack helicopters; C) artillery.

          • Putin absolutely believed he could have ended this story in one or two weeks. And he believed it due to the precedents in Chechniya, Georgia, Nagorno Karabakh, Syria, Ukraine itself… He absolutely believed the bullshit he had been told, on the effectiveness of his armed forces and the fact that a good portion of Ukrainian population would have welcomed the Russians.

            Hitler, Operation Barbarossa, 1941. Just going the opposite direction this time.

            Plan A didn’t take into consideration any real resistance. The special forces would have occupied key positions in the capital, paratroopers would have taken Hostomel airport and used it (a thing that’s possible only in absence of any resistance, because you can’t use an airport near to the frontline). The Ukrainian government would have fled. The display of force of the Russian Army would have persuaded the Ukrainian army to stay calm. There would have been only a timid reaction of the west, some more sanction, but nothing affecting Russian gas export, since Europe depended on it.
            There was no Plan B.

            Brezhnev, Afghanistan, 1980.

            If you look back over the last two centuries, I mean all the way back to the Napoleonic Wars, there are two basic facts that have stymied every would-be conqueror.

            The first is that “populations” the conqueror expects to either join them and “rise up” against their existing rulers, or at least sit it out and not resist, just don’t. They either join their existing rulers’ army to fight, or they form ad hoc formations to “do it themselves”. European and especially East European rulers never seem to grok the concept of “No, they don’t like their rulers much, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to like you any better”.

            The second major sheep screw is that, whenever an invasion like this goes down, the invaders just can’t seem to resist the urge to “ethnically cleanse” the territory. Tribalism runs deep in the European psyche, and every war in Europe and Russia going back to the Knights of the Holy Vehm has quickly turned into a racialist bloodbath.

            This does not engender either cooperation or complacency on the part of those being invaded. It mostly scares them and pisses them off, with results predictable to anybody not a graduate of the average university.

            It also wastes assets and resources that could be better put to more efficient use vs. the actual military OPFOR. Or as one of my uncles who was “over there” with Patton put it, the Germans wasted a lot of time and effort rounding up “inferior races” to kill instead of fighting the actual Russian Army.

            When American forces arrived, the locals literally scratched their heads, wondering why we weren’t acting like, well, all of their armies traditionally did. “Where are the American Einsatzgruppen?” was the gist of it.

            Answer; We don’t have them. They’re not worth bothering with. And besides being morally wrong, “ethnic cleansing” isn’t worth the effort and assets.

            Americans overall tend to be “militant pacifists”. We don’t start fights, but if you start one with us, we will end you.

            Our problem is a ruling class that acts and thinks like their European counterparts. Because that’s how they prove their “innate nobility” and “superior consciousness”.

            This is on full display in our leaders’ handling of Ukraine.

            I call it the “Everybody wants to be Metternich” syndrome.

            News flash for our Fearless Leaders;

            It didn’t work for him, and it ain’t gonna work for you.

            clear ether


          • @ Eon
            The “Ethnic cleansing” thing is a VERY recent fashion. It did born with national states. Before that, for the ruler, the nationality of his subjects was indifferent and, apart for the nazi parossism, is a more need of younger states (see the Balkans and eastern Europe after WWI), since nationalism is the cheaper way to unify a population for a common goal.

            There is a quite long list of wars started by US.

        • Putin absolutely did not know the reality of the “truth on the ground” inside his armed forces. If he had, they’d still be parade-ready and the invasion wouldn’t have happened.

          They’ve documented this, already; copious open-source stuff has come out indicating that the Kremlin was getting told wunnerful, wunnerful things by the Defense Ministry about readiness and weapons and training and all that jazz. Lies; the money went to make yacht builders in the West wealthy. Same-same with nearly everything.

          Then, there are the lies that the FSB directorate was telling Putin about their networks in Ukraine; most of those were complete fabrications, made up because the guys “running” them were paid more for good reports and fictitious agents. I remember one case from sometime in March 2022 where the agent-in-place somewhere in Ukraine was getting paid for setting up a safe-house that was actually his own domicile, which the Ukrainians knew about already.

          Putin started this whole conflict under the false belief that he had all the advantages. Reality still ain’t done punching him in the face, and I suspect it won’t be finished until there’s something like the aftermath of the Brusilov Offensive going on. With his health being what it is, I strongly suspect he won’t weather that part of the storm very well. If nothing else, the men he’s a front for will find another stupid shill to play figurehead.

          Putin has never, ever been “The Man”. He’s a shiny star on top of the Christmas Tree o’ Graft that is modern Russia.

          • As for the FSB network, it can be not a complete fabrication.
            It’s easy now to magnify the Ukrainian resistence, but in the first hours of the invasion, it had been terrible. Only the incompetence of the invaders saved them.
            First of all, To not seem “aggressive” the Ukrainians didn’t mobilize in advance, so only rapid response units were fighting in the first hours, and those did concentrate on Kiev, leaving the rest of the country by itself.
            Then, there is only ONE road linking Crimea to the Ukrainian mainland that didn’t pass on a Ukrainian-held bridge, and we did see that, in february 2022, Russian vehicles could move ONLY by road. Ukrainians are now hard-fighting in the south to regain territories that they could, and should, quite easily never had lost. No Melitopol, no Zaporizhia nuclear plant, no Berdiansk, no Mariupol (that, like Kharkhiv, would have likely never fell, had it been attacked from one side only).
            Same for Kherson. That was separated from the Russians (that should have never arrived there anyway) by the Dnipro, that was crossed by a gran total of three bridges.

          • All that “good Western advice” not to be provocative is one reason why I think the “fix” was in with the Biden administration. They either set Ukraine up deliberately, or they were idiots.

            Why the change in who they supported? You tell me. I suspect that there are things the Ukrainians know which would become very public, very fast, should the support falter…

            Nothing else really makes sense. They were setting the stage, and when they offered Zelensky a free flight for him and his family, they made it pretty clear what they really wanted; another joint looting operation to make the Russian oligarchy wealthy, and their Western enablers.

      • That is the genius of trench warfare. You can Shanghai hundreds of thousands of citizens off your streets, hand them shovels, and tell them to start digging. Trenches supported by artillery are still formidable obstacles. What Russia did was bumrush Ukraine, aided by local traitors, and grab a huge territory when nothing was in its way. Just like the Germans did in August 1914 until it met real resistance outside Paris. Getting that land back took four years of trench warfare, but completely ruined Germany.

        • Trenches supported by artillery are still formidable obstacles, until napalm arrives, and there are supply lines quite easy to spot, since trenches requires at least food and projectiles, and they don’t move. That’s why aviation ended trench warfare.

        • Attritive trench warfare is only “genius” when you’ve got a bigger and more endless cornucopia of manpower and weapons to feed into than your opponent. If you don’t, all it is would be a tar-baby.

          Putin ain’t no B’rer Rabbit.

          Russia was already f*cked, demographically. When Putin took over, nothing in the trends indicated anything other than utter collapse before 2100. He did nothing to counteract that; the countryside is still full of little villages without running water or indoor toilets, public health is still abysmal, there’s no economic hope for most Russian citizens, and the opportunity he had to parlay resources into actual beneficial development and growth have all been frittered away. The monies that should have helped Russians have better lives are all littered across the plains of Ukraine as smoking wrecks and in the harbors and yacht basins of Europe.

          Average Russian ever figures that fact out, and that the “Little Father” in Moscow really, truly does not care about them? Yeah; it won’t be pretty.

          It’s a lesson a lot of wannabe “maximum leaders” never quite seem to get: If you set yourself up as an all-encompassing God-like all-knowing, all-powerful superman, well… You’d better deliver. If you can’t, you won’t like the accountability that comes after.

  4. Mystic Pdb; consulting my crystal balls… Ukraine is not getting the Crimea or Donbass back. Well that was a useless exercise in unrealistic war aims, wasn’t it; leaving your country flattened and it’s entire population after leaving.

    • We’ll see what we shall see.

      I suspect a lot of folks are thinking of Russia in terms of it’s old reputation as a mighty force, as opposed to it’s even older reputation as a nation of f*ck-ups.

      Russia has been beaten before, and will be beaten again. I suspect that they’re still not going to get their act together, mostly because they haven’t gotten rid of the deadwood like Shoigu at the top. The fact that most of the senior ranking types that made the early invasion what it was are still running the show…? Yeah; this is not a “learning organization” that we’re dealing with. The exact opposite, as a matter of fact; they seem to keep doubling-down on failure.

      You’re not winning when your dead carpet the terrain, no matter how hard you hold your breath and wish upon a star. The base-level incompetence and sloth demonstrated from day one are what’s going to wind up destroying the forces, and when the majority of the rank-and-file figure out that their lives mean nothing to their leadership, it’ll be about like what happened after the failures of the Brusilov Offensive. I suspect that the historical verdict on Putin’s Russia is going to be something along the lines of the regime having reached it’s highwater mark at Hostomel, and everything after that was a long, slow slide into chaos and national dissolution. You’re already seeing the oligarchs starting to shoot at each other and loot the goods…

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