Also by Mike Eckel
February 19, 2024
Ukraine Has No Navy. But It's Hammering Russia In The Black Sea.
The landing ship that purportedly sank off Crimea last week is one of nearly two dozen Russian warships that Ukraine has seriously damaged or sunk since the full-scale invasion two years ago. It’s an extraordinary set of naval losses inflicted by a country that currently doesn’t even have a navy.
February 09, 2024
Battlefield Woes Mounting, Ukraine Gets A New Top General. Who Is He?
Ukraine's new top commander is a Soviet-trained artillery officer known for his role in thwarting the Russian thrust to capture Kyiv in 2022. Oleksandr Syrskiy is also known for his command during the disastrous retreat in 2015 in Debaltseve, and what some say was the costly defense of Bakhmut.
February 07, 2024
'The Situation Is Critical': What The Looming Fall Of Avdiyivka Says About Ukraine's Battlefield Mood
Along the 1,200-kilometer-long front line, Ukraine’s wintry discontent is turning into despondency as Russia forces close in on the capture of Avdiyivka, U.S. political infighting stalls a $60 billion weapons package, and Ukrainians brace for the expected ouster of country’s top military commander.
February 05, 2024
Yandex, A Bellwether For Russia's Tech Industry, Leaves In Cut-Rate Deal
Yandex, once dubbed Russia’s Google for becoming the country’s dominant online search engine, will exit Russia entirely, selling its assets there in a deeply discounted $5.2 billion deal that marks the end of an era.
January 31, 2024
Another Brick In The Great Kremlin Firewall: Mass Internet Outages Part Of 'Sovereign Internet'
Broader and wider than previous outages, the disruptions in Russia's Internet were the latest indication that Russian digital regulators are moving forward to create a "sovereign Internet" to wall off Russia's cyberspace and to restrict the free flow of information.
January 31, 2024
CIA Director Says Ukraine War 'Corroding' Putin's Grip On Power
Russia's war against Ukraine has eroded President Vladimir Putin's grip on power, hollowed out the Russian military, and stoked an "undercurrent of disaffection" within the country, according to the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
January 26, 2024
Under Sea, Under Stone: How The U.S. Claimed Vast New Arctic Territory -- In An Unusual Way
As competition for resources in the Arctic Ocean intensifies, nations are staking claims to swaths of undersea territory where oil, gas, and other minerals could someday be found and mined. The United States has just staked its own claim -- and it did so in a way that’s raising lots of questions.
January 25, 2024
Why Did The Russian Il-76 Crash? What We Know, And Don't Know, About A Major Aviation Disaster
A day after a Russian military cargo jet exploded in a fireball not far from the Ukrainian border, there’s still major uncertainty about why it crashed, whether it was shot down, and what exactly was on the plane. Here’s what we know so far.
January 12, 2024
First It Was Eggs. Now Exploding Hot-Water Pipes. The Domestic Headaches Overshadowing Putin's Reelection Messaging
Exploding pipes left hundreds of thousands of Russians freezing and angry. It’s an unwelcome headache for the reelection campaign of President Vladimir Putin, who is less worried about winning than he is about getting a credible mandate from an electorate already anxious about the Ukraine invasion.
December 20, 2023
Western Weapons In Doubt, Ukraine Ponders How Long It Can Hold Out
Not since the opening weeks of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, when its forces seemed poised to capture Kyiv and force the government to capitulate, has the outlook for Ukraine’s military commanders and its political leadership been so gloomy.
December 08, 2023
Offhand Remark Or Political Theater? Putin's Announcement Belies Kremlin’s Penchant For Pageantry
For months or even years, there’s been almost no doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin would announce his intention to secure another term in a March 2024 election. The announcement came on December 8, but not in the way most expected it to. Maybe that was the point.
December 07, 2023
The Ukrainian Fingerprints On A Shadowy Assassination Campaign On Russian Soil
For at least 18 months, Ukraine has been waging a not-so-secret sabotage campaign in Russia, targeting everything from border-town pipelines to the Kremlin itself. Then there's a shadowy assassination campaign that has targeted Ukrainians and Russians, with responsibility all but falling on Ukraine.
December 05, 2023
U.S. Charges Bosnian With Helping Russian Businessman Escape Italian House Arrest
Italian prosecutors have identified six suspects who allegedly aided the escape of the son of a Russian politician wanted by the United States on charges of smuggling Western technologies in violation of sanctions and money laundering.
December 02, 2023
One App To Rule Them All: Coming Soon To Russia's Internet
A single app that can be used for everything from social media and instant messaging to government services like paying taxes. It’s a “dream scenario” for the Russian authorities, a way to dramatically expand surveillance -- and manipulate public opinion. And it’s getting close to reality.
November 21, 2023
In Ukraine, Russia's Military Has A Manpower Problem. Now It's Becoming A Political Problem.
Russian officials are resorting to creative tools to keep military manpower in Ukraine at strength. That's causing grumbling, and public dissent, from relatives of exhausted soldiers. But if the Kremlin wants to decisively change the battlefield, they'll need a second mobilization.
November 14, 2023
Bridgehead On The Dnieper: Russia Struggles To Contain A Ukrainian River Crossing
Amid a grinding five-month counteroffensive, Ukrainian marine infantry forces are trying to pull off a complicated and audacious river crossing that has tied up a chunk of Russian troops on the left bank of the Dnieper near Kherson. Here's why you should be paying attention.
November 06, 2023
Russia-Israel: With Gaza War, A Complicated Relationship Gets More Complicated
Despite improvements, relations between Russia and Israel have never been great, a function of Soviet-era policy and Moscow's embrace of Israel's adversaries, Syria and Iran. They're getting worse in the fallout of the Hamas attack, and now a spasm of mob violence at a southern Russian airport.