Saturday, March 12, 2022
I don't like discussing current events and politics here, but it's impossible to ignore what is happening in Eastern Europe. It's a tragedy and catastrophe for both Ukraine and Russia. It's also likely to have a negative impact on ancient DNA research, Indo-European studies, and thus also on this blog. I'm seeing a lot of confusion online about why Russia invaded Ukraine, but I don't think it's very complicated. After getting the better of the West in recent years, Russia finally overreached and made a massive tactical blunder, in large part because of lousy intel. More broadly, I also see this as the Soviet Union's dead cat bounce moment. Russia will now have to reinvent itself, possibly as China's junior partner or even vassal state. As for the "special military operation", Russia's initial plan was to achieve a quick, relatively bloodless victory, followed by a military parade in Kyiv. But obviously that's not going to happen. Russia's back up plan, if we can call it that, seems to be to keep pushing into Ukraine at any cost, and hope that the Ukrainians finally tap out. But right now that looks like a long shot.