You want to get transports instead of ICs for the first couple of rounds. Once you are filling and emptying 4 transports with equipment and you have money left over, then get your ICs. Slow and steady wins the race!
At the end of J1 you should have 4 Transports and enough equipment to fill all 4 of them. (Philippines 2 Infantry, Okinawa 1 Infantry, Wake Island 1 Infantry that’s 2 transports full right there, 2 infantry and a tank on Japan and you’re rockin.)
You need to clear the US fleet, kill the US fighter in China.
As for side-stepping or crushing the Russian wall in Yakut SSR, why not just invade Mongolia? Costs 3 IPCs, you sustain no losses and you can now walk into Novosibirsk or force him to retreat giving you Yakut for free.