One feature of this almost two-week conflict between Russia and Ukraine is that civilians actually have access to lots of military information. Through open source intelligence, on the ground reporting and more we’re getting lots of details about battlefield losses of armor and aircraft, lines of control, shelling, ground movements, civilian and military casualties and more. But for most of us it’s pretty hard to know what these things mean. For instance, presumably it’s bad news for Russia if a couple of their planes get shot down. But are those expected combat losses or does it tell us something meaningful about the progress of the conflict? This is particularly important since Ukraine and its advocates are flooding social media with pictures of destroyed armor and downed airplanes. That makes total sense. They’re trying to maintain national morale and demonstrate their fighting capacity both to allies and to the Russian public. But assuming the photos are genuine, what do they mean? To help myself with this I’ve created the beginnings of a Twitter list specifically made up of military analysts. You can follow it here.
This new list is different from the one I’ve assembled for following the Russia/Ukraine Crisis in general. It only has a few members so far since this new list is focused on a very rarefied class of people: knowledgable military analysts with a special focus on NATO, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Russian “near abroad” etc. who are also prolific on Twitter. But I will be adding to it and would invite any suggestions.