RAND Corp is a government and industry financed large research institute. Founded shortly after the end of the second world war it mostly works for the Pentagon by developing policies and strategies.

In April 2019 RAND published a report about Extending Russia (pdf).


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The report summary explained its purpose:

I don’t know what the Russians are going to do in Ukraine and neither does anyone else outside of their high command. But there sure have been a lot of wrong predictions. Leaving aside the Western propaganda mill (of which more below), serious observers seem to get the timing wrong. We know the correlation of forces favors Russia but we expect things to happen more quickly. We agree that Moscow was expecting something shorter, less bloody and quicker at the beginning and was probably surprised by the resistance of the Kiev regime and NATO’s unhinged support.

A contingent of military officials is quietly pushing the Pentagon to approve sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to help the country defend itself from Russian missile and drone attacks, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.

Ukraine has kept American-made F-16s on its weapons wish list since the Russian invasion last year. But Washington and Kyiv have viewed artillery, armor and ground-based air defense systems as more urgent needs as Ukraine seeks to protect civilian infrastructure and claw back ground occupied by Russian forces.

North Korea has issued somewhat rare statements lashing out at growing US military involvement in Ukraine, with the influential sister of Kim Jong Un condemning the decision to transfer heavy battle tanks.

The US announcing that it will deliver its Abrams tanks to Ukraine was the result of a compromise between Washington and Berlin and basically a cover for Germany sending its Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev immediately while the supplies of the US-made vehicles are scheduled to begin later, according to an article in The Washington Post on Saturday.

 Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has lambasted Western attempts to justify arms deliveries to Kiev as an alleged effort to prevent a world war.

"Firstly, defending Ukraine, which nobody needs in Europe, will not save the senile Old World from retribution if anything occurs. Secondly, once the Third World War breaks out, unfortunately it will not be on tanks or even on fighter jets. Then everything will definitely be turned to dust," Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday.

Ukraine intends to receive 24 fighter jets from international allies as part of the first batch, Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, told the Spanish newspaper El País.

“The Air Force’s priority is to get American F-16s, although Kyiv is considering the option of French Rafales and Swedish Gripens,” the newspaper writes.

 Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer said that the US-led bloc is ready for a direct confrontation with Russia in an interview with Portugal’s RTP TV channel.

Replying to a question on the matter, he asserted: "We are ready." That said, he added that NATO is going to respond only if Russia crosses the red line by invading one of NATO member states.

At least 14 people have been killed and 24 injured after Ukrainian missiles struck a hospital in the city of Novoaydar in the early hours of Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The medical facility in the city, which is located dozens of kilometers away from the frontlines in the central part of the Lugansk People’s Republic, treated both local residents and soldiers, the ministry noted. It added that both patients and medical personnel were among the victims.