“All told, the extraordinary series of disclosures — unfolding almost as quickly as information is collected and assessed — has amounted to one of the most aggressive releases of intelligence by the United States since the Cuban missile crisis.” U.S. Battles Putin by Disclosing His Next Possible Moves. The Russian troop build-up continues. Here’s the latest.

+ Anne Applebaum, as usual, gives a great reminder of who we’re dealing with. Why the West’s Diplomacy With Russia Keeps Failing. “Tragically, the Western leaders and diplomats who are right now trying to stave off a Russian invasion of Ukraine still think they live in a world where rules matter, where diplomatic protocol is useful, where polite speech is valued. All of them think that when they go to Russia, they are talking to people whose minds can be changed by argument or debate. They think the Russian elite cares about things like its ‘reputation.’ It does not.” (I think the media makes many of the same mistakes in its coverage of Putin.)

+ And the mistake America knows all too well: Doing energy deals with the devil. How Russia hooked Europe on its oil and gas – and overcame US efforts to prevent energy dependence on Moscow.