It is easy to follow the usual sources at home, which for me are SVT, SR, NRK, Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet and Göteborgsposten. The foreign sources I follow are The Guardian, The New York Times and also German DW. I also read what is written by ISW (Institute for the Study of War, Washington), which is often reproduced by other media. In addition, I try to follow the websites of Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe.
Different sources have different commentators. A number of these can undoubtedly be trusted (this is not to say that other people would not provide credible information). The people I would like to single out are Gudrun Persson (FOI), lieutenant colonel Joakim Paasikivi, Swedish Defence University and Professor Michael Clarke (Sky News).
I cannot judge the credibility of news and comments on Twitter and Facebook, but I know that some consider these sources to be important and credible.
There is indeed a lot of information on Youtube. However, it is difficult to know which sources on Youtube that can be trusted. One has to assume that the two main actors in the war are trying to plant false and distorted information.
One source on Youtube that can be trusted is the German Armed Forces’ information programme ”Nachgefragt” (“Asked”), which I would like to highlight in particular. There are over 40 video programmes in which senior German military and civilian commanders are questioned by junior information officers at headquarters. I have not found any similar information. It is qualified military technical and tactical information. The interviews (about 25 hours in total) are conducted in the German language (the automatic translation into English is substandard).
In my opinion, it must be assumed that official representatives of the authorities do not feel free to inform about everything they know and the assessments that the authority may make without going public with the information. It is therefore important to try to identify independent informants who are both knowledgeable, well-informed about the situation at hand and also independent in their assessments. It is also important to find out when interviews have been conducted (time is of the essence) and when newspaper articles have been written.
Some names that I have identified as particularly knowledgeable people are the following. It should be noted that the majority are people who are no longer in official positions, but who have good background knowledge and follow developments closely. Sometimes one can also guess that some of the persons are used as covert information channels for government agencies. My guess is that, for example, Professor Michael Clarke is privy to information from the British intelligence. He was the director of the Centre for Defence Studies and later also of the International Policy Institute. It may be noted that the British intelligence has always been considered to be very well informed, which may be explained by the historical fact that during the Second World War Britain was heavily dependent on intelligence gathering.
Interesting interviews with the following persons can be found on Youtube (check dates).
1. Professor Mike McFaul, Stanford University, Russian-speaking. US Ambassador to Moscow from 2010 to 2012. Very outspoken and independent. Long-time advisor to US presidents.
2. Professor Michael Clarke. Remarkably well-informed. Former director of the Centre for Defence Studies and later of the International Policy Institute, London.
3. Former CIA Director John Brennan, advised Clinton. Non-Russian speaking and has worked mainly on post-9/11 security issues. Lacks military training.
4. Former General Mark Hertling, former commander of US forces in Europe and of the US Seventh Army.
5. Security Policy Advisor John Bolton. Former UN Ambassador. Lawyer. Considered a hawk. Reserve officer.
6. Security Policy Adviser Fiona Hill (Russian-speaking). Security Policy Advisor to the US National Security Council. Educated as a historian (Harvard). Adviser to the Brooking Institution, Washington.
7. Colonel Cederic Leighton, (Ret. USAF). Former US intelligence officer. Now a security consultant and lecturer on security policy issues.
8. Journalist Julia Ioffe. Russian-speaking. Belongs to a Jewish Russian family who left Moscow when she was seven years old. Journalist who writes for the New York Times and other publications. Educated at Princeton.
9. Journalist Ekaterina Schulmann, Russian-speaking. Russian academic. Both her parents were professors. Educated in the mid-1990s at Georg Brown College, Toronto. Was an advisor to President Putin. Was a columnist for the New York Times. Arrested in January 2021 during a protest against the arrest of Navalny. Emigrated from Russia in April 2022 and the Russian Justice Department declared her a ”foreign agent”. Publishes herself on Youtube and has many information recipients in Russia.
10. General Richard Shirreff (ret.). British general who served from 2011 to 2014 as Deputy Supreme Commander of NATO. Served in the Gulf War and in Afghanistan.
11. Radoslaw Sikorski, former Polish Foreign Minister and also for a time Minister of Defence. Married to American journalist Anne Appelbaum. Educated in PPE at Oxford.
12. General Ben Hodges, (US Army, Ret.). Former Commander of the US Army in Europe (2014 – 2018).
13. William (Bill) Burns, current Director of the CIA. Former Ambassador to Moscow and also Undersecretary in the US State Department. Non-Russian speaking. Has been involved in negotiations with Russia for a long time under various presidents. Son of an American general who played a prominent role in negotiations with the Soviet Union. Well-informed. Lacks military training. Was Deputy Secretary of State 2011 – 2014. Head of CIA since 2021.
14. Air Marshall (ret.) Sean Bell, British RAF. Long operational experience as an air force officer and has been active in the development of military doctrines.
15. General Karlis Neretnieks, Swedish general and former head of the Swedish Defence College. Former head of the Army Staff’s tactical department. Good insight and judgement.
16. Researcher Gudrun Persson, FOI. Very good knowledge of Russian conditions, both political and military. Russian-speaking. Has studied Russian military doctrine, strategy and tactics for a very long time. She is invaluable as an interlocutor.
17. General Erhard Bühler, German army (rt). There is a podcast twice a week with interviews with Bühler (“Was nun, Herr General?”). Bühler commanded Allied Joint Forces Command Brunssum from March 31, 2019 to April 22, 2020.