A Look Back–How Long Did it Take the Nazis to Capture Ukraine?

Irrefutable Proof of OUN Involvement in Massacre at Babi ...

We are at the dawn of day four of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and I have heard many media news readers and pundits suggesting things are going badly for the Russians and the operation is bogged down. This led me to ask, “how long did it take the Nazis to capture Ukraine following the launch of Operation Barbarossa on June 21, 1941?

The Nazis entered the 1941 version of Ukraine on the 21st of June. Note, the Nazis already controlled the city of Lvov (now Lviv), which was part of Poland at the time. Remember the Nazis launched a blitzkreig. They did nothing to avoid inflicting civilian casualties. The German’s Army Group South, which included the First Panzer Group (Gen. Kleist) and the German Sixth (Gen. Reichenau), Seventeenth (Gen. Stülpnagel) and Eleventh Armies (Gen. Schobert), Luftlotte 1 (Keller) and the Romanian Third and Fourth Armies, had the mission of conquering Ukraine.

It took Army Group South six weeks to reach Kiev (August 7) and another seven weeks to secure its surrender (26 September 1941). There was no holding back. Cities and civilian strongholds were bombed mercilessly.

I think this is an interesting benchmark for comparing Putin’s progress in defanging the Ukrainian military. In contrast to the Nazis of 1941, the Putin’s forces are focused on hitting military targets. Yes, they have killed and wounded some civilians. But Putin has not authorized a massive attack on civilians. Worth recalling that Churchill and Roosevelt authorized devastating bombing missions on civilian population centers in Germany during WW II.

While it took the Nazis almost two months to surround Kiev, Putins troops appear to have done it in four days. Remains to be seen whether this will be a prolonged war of attrition and suffering or if a political solution will become tenable once Kiev is sealed.

One final, terrible note. Three days after securing the Kiev region the Nazis herded almost 34,000 Jewish men, women and children into the Babi Yar ravine in Kiev. This marked the first mass extermination of Jews as part of Hitler’s Final Solution.

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51 Responses to A Look Back–How Long Did it Take the Nazis to Capture Ukraine?

  1. blue peacock says:


    Why do you think Putin decided to go for Kiev rather than consolidate the Donbass region which had already seceded, like Crimea?

    It appears his real intent is regime change not carving out the Russian speaking territory. I think he has miscalculated by going for Kiev. The Europeans are now getting galvanized and coming together with a punitive stance whereas before they were taking their classic do something symbolic not anything of substance. The fact that Hungary is capitulating says something.

    • Larry Johnson says:

      That’s why Pat created this platform. To have a reasoned debate about alternative possibilities. The coming days will tell whether surrounding Kiev was a fatal error.

      The West is putting enormous pressure on Russia. Putin has been very clear that he sees this as an existential threat. I don’t think he’s bluffing on that. If you are the Russian leader and you fear the very security of your nation is at stake would you back down? I think Russia’s role as a major supplier of oil and gas to Europe and other countries gives it some significant leverage to punch back. As I wrote above, time will tell.

      • Cerene says:

        The situation in Ukraine is tragic. The tragedy is the result of US policies. The ongoing bloodshed in Ukraine can be stopped if not the powerful interests that are not aligned with the interests of western civilization.
        Professor Michael Hudson:
        “The Americans want war. The people that Biden has appointed have an emotional hatred of Russia. I’ve spoken to government people who are close to the Democratic Party, and they’ve told me that there’s a pathological emotional desire for war with Russia, largely stemming from the fact that the Tzars were anti-Semitic and there’s still the hatred about their ancestors: ‘Look what they did to my great-grandfather.’ And so they’re willing to back the Nazis, back the anti-Semites in Ukraine. They’re willing to back today’s anti-Semites all over the world as long as they’re getting back at this emotional focus on a kind of post 19th-century economy. I’ve met these people. Their emotion is one of hatred and anger. You can look at their face and see what they’ve become. This is really dangerous. They are crazy.”
        These people, ziocons, have united with the Ukrainian self-proclaimed Neo-Nazis to destroy Russia. Why is the US military in compliance with the ziocons’ desires?

        • mcohen says:

          Michael Hudson says China want extra noodle.cheap.

          Ukraine exported a record 8.2 million tons of corn to China in 2021, making up nearly 30% of total Chinese corn imports. Ukraine accounted for as much as 86% of Chinese corn imports in 2019. Ukraine also exports barley and sunflower oil to China.

        • walrus says:

          furiously agree! I have acquaintances who are grandchildren of eastern european refugees who were told in their formative years that they were aristocrats whose ancestral castles and estates were stolen by the soviets.

          They dream of destroying Russia and being Princesses / princes again. These are revenge fantasies you are being asked to fulfill

        • Fred says:


          “Why is the US military in compliance with the ziocons’ desires?”

          Do you propose they mutiny and overthrow the civilian government?

          • JerseyJeffersonian says:

            Well, if the civilian government was itself already overthrown through a combination of internal subversion and vote fraud, it does become a matter for reflection. Still waiting for more shoes to drop on these matters from the Durham investigation. This of course presupposes that that investigation is permitted to continue. If not, I would suggest that that itself would constitute prima facie evidence that there has indeed been a coup.

      • English Outsider says:

        “That’s why Pat created this platform.”

        Yes, at a time like this the site is a lifeline. Thank you, Colonel Lang, for making it so and thank you, Mr Johnson and all the others here, for giving a window into what’s happening right now that can be found nowhere else.

      • zmajcek says:

        6000 nukes give him the real leverage. If not for that, there would be NATO troops in Ukraine already.

        As for gas, it is interesting that it is usually not the Russians making threats about cutting off gas supply. It is the West who is constantly threatening to stop NS2 and finding alternatives to RU gas and oil, as leverage to any unwanted Russia’s action.

        • Mary M says:

          Smart people don’t threaten; they do.

          Putin gave a generic warning. No detail. Gas? EMP attack? Hack & bring down grid? Hypersonic attack on strategic locations?

      • Fred says:


        “…a major supplier of oil and gas to Europe and other countries …”

        The Greens, to use a generic term, across all Western countries set the foundation for that part of Russian influence. The”Climate Change” narrative and the elimination of inexpensive energy sources, nuclear and coal, from the EU nations, along with domestic oilfield production (by the Biden Administration), has certainly enhanced Russia’s short term influence in the energy sector.

        • ISL says:

          Fred, yes!

          If one does simple (napkin in a restaurant) calculations of energy needs, a transition to renewables is likely feasible in forty or fifty years – the battery/storage problem and thus needing ~400% capacity in the grid. Transitioning without the capacity installed results in shortages, increasing the geopolitical importance of fossil fuel producers.

          A shame there seems to be a paucity of engineers in the Greens movement.

      • Sam says:

        Putin sent young conscripts and his worst equipment to Ukraine. No shock and awe.

        He doesn’t accomplish anything other than get sanctioned and enrage the oligarchs.

        Now he’s talking nukes.

        Does this feel more like a real military action or a script we aren’t privy to?



        There’s something more than meets the eye here. First, we’ve gone against the agreement that Jim Baker had with Gorbachev and continuously expanded NATO east for 30 years. Then we’re in the middle of fomenting a coup in Ukraine with Nuland and the Obama administration and Republicans in Congress like McCain. Then there’s Biden in the middle of graft in Ukraine including the firing of their Attorney General. We had Ukraine in the middle of the impeachment of Trump with a whistleblower of Ukrainian descent.

        Now suddenly we have the media recycling imagery of Zelensky and making him out to be this heroic resistance fighter. I can’t put my hand on it but something doesn’t smell right?

        • jim ticehurst says:


        • Larry Johnson says:

          The cartoon version of Putin continues to be embraced by the ignorant masses. Did you watch the broadcast of his meeting with his national security team today? Is not breaking a sweat and is talking rationally and intelligently. More than I can say for Joe Biden. Putin has done more in four days than the Nazis did in two weeks.

          • Sam says:

            FOX NEWS host Harris Faulkner turns to Condoleezza Rice this morning and says, “When you invade a sovereign nation, that is a war crime” — Rice nods in solemn agreement. Just incredible. Establishment factions are going all-out leveraging this to whitewash their own past actions


            From the person that gave us “Mushroom Clouds” and the media that were cheerleaders in the invasion of a sovereign nation on the basis of false pretenses. There’s no irony anymore.

          • Larry Johnson says:

            ZERO. ZILCH. NADA. You nail the heart of the issue Sam. Hell, what about our invasion of Grenada? The list of countries we have invaded is long. Russia under Putin? Only border regions once under Russian control.

    • zmajcek says:

      Well Putin has said it, he is attempting to thwart the creation of what he calls an anti-Russia on Russia’s borders.

      Looks like they are attempting to take all east of Dnieper + Odessa. Kiev would then be the capital of that Ukraine with all of its most important cities (except Lviv.), ports and industrial capacities.

      • A Convert says:

        It also appears that the plan is to surround the cities and siege them. This includes Kiev, Mariupol, Odessa, and Kharkiv, as well as creating a cauldron using the newly independent Republics on the east, and the Russian military building a hard line at the Dnieper.

        There’s no need to enter the cities if food, water, and electricity are cut off. The civilians will decide to flee to refugee camps set up on just the other side of the Belorussian or Polish border. From Belorussia, they can continue on to wherever they wish. Meanwhile, the “defenders” will remain, eating what is left to be eaten and drinking what is left to be drunk. It should be a process of only a few weeks to fully depopulate the cities of everyone except for the hardcore Nazis, the abject poor, and those hired by the wealthy to protect their properties from looters.

        Once all of the “human shields” have departed, the heavy weapons will be brought out.

        It appears people think they are being withheld, now, because Russia feels it is weak. The opposite is true. Russia feels it is strong, and is protecting the weapons from NATO reprisals. It is advancing in a step-by-step fashion, just as it did in Syria.

        Russia humiliated the Syrian US backed forces. Those fighters also had got heavy US weaponry and were trained by the US military.

        The Ukrainian air force can’t be any better than the Syrian air force, closer to ISIS’s air force.

  2. Marlene says:

    Western media says Ukraine is different from other countries in Africa and Asia being bombed, because Ukraine is a civilized nation….




    Schwab told we all will be equal…but it seems it will be some more equal thna others…as always have been…

    Welcome to the IV Reich…

  3. Begemot says:

    I appreciate your point about how long it took the German Wehrmacht, the mightiest and most efficient army in Europe at the time of Barbarossa to advance through Ukraine. It is a useful comparison to the progress of the Russian Army in the current conflict in Ukraine, which some have suggested is lagging and failing, even though they were on the outskirts of Kiev by Day 2.

    • Pat Lang says:


      Army Group South captured 500,000 prisoners in a grand encirclement in cooperation with Army Group Center while overrunning the Ukraine. That slowed them up a bit.

    • TTG says:


      The Wehrmacht largely moved on foot. Its artillery and logistics was horse drawn. The mechanized/motorized part was small, but effective. However, its advance was totally dependent on a horse drawn supply line and foot infantry. It moved at the same speed as Napolean’s army.

  4. Babeltuap says:

    Civilians on both sides jumping in the ring this early on should tell everyone in the media there is probably a lot more to unpack here. Like maybe the conflict has been going on a long long time. Possibly years prior to this situation for some reason?

  5. Marlene says:

    Ursula von Der Leyen gives obviously a damn about civilians, Ukrainians, or from any other part of Europe, for that matter…

    Ukrainian artillery located next to a school in Severodonetsk….IS style…


  6. Marlene says:

    A viral video filmed in Gorlovka (Donetsk) during the evacuation of children to Russia (!!!), where a father says goodbye to his daughter, was presented yesterday to the UN Security Council as proof of the “guilt of Russia” …


  7. Eric Newhill says:

    The lights are still on in Kiev. Everything appears to be working. The Russians are deliberately being very gentle to their Ukrainian brothers and sisters. The US would have blasted the infrastructure (see, for example, Iraq/shock and awe). So it is even more impressive that Kiev has been surrounded so quickly. I see no evidence of anything like an effective Ukrainian military or a fighting spirit of the people – one usually doesn’t it thoroughly corrupt countries – other than a few stories in the “news” that are turning out to be BS.

    • Poul says:

      But such conduct gives credence to the idea Putin wishes to install his own people. You don’t want to destroy for billions worth of infrastructure if you have to pay for rebuilding.

      If you know you’re not going to pay. You can bomb to your heart’s content.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        Of course Putin is going to install his own people in governance of Ukraine – and whoever it is will have a skillset superior to the foolish comedian who plays piano with his penis and publicly jaws off about obtaining nuclear weapons.

        If you think Putin is going to depopulate Ukraine of its natives and fill its cities with Russians, you’re drinking some deep purple extra strength Kooolaid.

        • Poul says:

          I don’t know where you got the depopulation thing from?

          As for destroying infrastructure if the political goal was to forced Ukraine & Z. to sign an peace agreement with Russia you could copy what NATO did to Serbia. Destroying the economy is also a way of putting pressure on your opponent.

          The goal would not be a new government or ruling Ukraine by proxy.

    • ISL says:


      This would be consistent with Russian reports (few that there are – they are not conducting war for the benefit of the 6:00 PM war) of demoralization and success of efforts to engender large-scale surrender of Ukrainian soldiers, and per Gilbert Doctrow’s latest (worthwhile to read) piece, a similar approach to the takeover of Crimea.

      It also speaks to the likely success in the offer Putin made to talk with the Ukrainian generals (who Russian generals know from academy days) and which presumably would not have been made publicly if backdoor communications had not been long ongoing.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        That is what I think too.

        The Russians are not only minimizing civilian casualties and infrastructure destruction, they are minimizing military casualties, to some extent at their own expense.

        Where are the rolling preparatory artillery fires ahead of the Russian troops? Absent, even though Russia would normally have that in front of advancements.

        • Sam says:

          Zaporizhzhia and Motor Sich in Putin’s sights.

          These cities are slowly being encircled even as Russia takes heavy losses to do so.

          Putin appears to be trying to achieve his strategic aims while incurring minimal Ukrainian civcas or damage to infrastructure.


          To your point. It appears the Russian military is consolidating around the east and south. Maybe both sides then negotiate for peace. This is not how they “pacified” Chechnya.

          • Larry Johnson says:

            What is your evidence that Russia is taking “heavy losses?” I have seen nothing in Russian channels to support that claim.

  8. tedrichard says:

    syria is a useful template to see how russia fights wars……….to win with minimal losses to both sides not considered combatants. look how fast it took russia to root out isis the west had so assiduously cultivated for years to dismantle syria. does anyone really think the same fools and idiots in the west that gave the world isis are going to be more successful giving the world banderistas to fight russia on russia’s front door?

    the only thing more stunning than the wests actual political and diplomatic incompetence in working with russia is their belief in their own ability to recycle failed plans over and over again expecting them to work this time. what ws einsteins quip on that subject?

    if russia plays the sanction game in reverse, europe is cut off from nat gas and oil, america from titanium, heavy oil, plats metals for car exhausts, aluminum, nickel, heavy rocket engines to get much of anything weighty off the ground washington wants to launch. yes russia hurts from swift removal and europe closes down and seeks into depression and collapse while america sees inflation truly skyrocket simultaneous to economic collapse in certain industries like auto making and aerospace construction not to mention a massive spike in fertilizer prices since russia is the largest exporter of all kinds of nitrogen based items farmers need.

    what the west is doing now IS going to create a great reset, they are going to reset the living standards of their own citizens backwards in many cases MASSIVELY.

    you ought to ask this question, since the covid terror campaign now visibly failing to achieve the build back better, climate change hocus pocus…. is this new iteration of russia russia sanctions just a bug of western policies or a FEATURE? to try plan b to get the great reset because the last time i looked ukraine was a lot of things but not a democracy we are endlessly told needs protecting

  9. Sean says:

    I think American and European policy makers smell blood. The Russian intervention in Syria was a model of military efficiency and success. People were starting to believe the hype about hypersonic weapons. There really was the widespread thought that Russia was back. Then suddenly you had a very clumsy Russian invasion of Ukraine. I for one was shocked by the lack of coordination, air supremacy (or even air support), and inability to resupply 50km from Russian/Belarus borders. I think it’s because the invasion is perceived to be so ham handed, coupled with the the unprecedented unity of Europe in shutting out Russia not only economically but culturally, socially, that there is now a supposition that if we push a little harder, it will all come down, the Putin regime will fall. And back to the 1990s, maybe with Navalny in charge.

    I don’t know what to think of the state of the invasion. The Russian side announces nothing (which I gather is their usual MO). I check RT to try to get their side, balance their propaganda against ours, but RT seems not too different than western media. It’s amazing. Listing this sanction after that sanction, this denunciation after that denunciation. Meanwhile the Ukrainians are announcing success after success. Of course it’s in their obvious incentive to do so. There seems to be a distinct lack of battlefield news since Saturday. Perhaps this suggests that things are going less well for Ukraine, but who knows. It would boggle my mind if Putin loses this and is overthrown. But those are the stakes for him. It’s win or end up humiliated and in prison for life. For Lavrov, Medvedev too.

  10. Terence Reeves-Smyth says:

    Worth remembering that it was the direct ancestors of the ‘Bandera’ Galician nationalists (who pretty much control modern Ukraine) who played a significant role in the massacre of Jews at Babi Yar, many being in the Nazi-formed ‘Ukrainian Auxiliary Police’. In the war they also murdered huge numbers of Jews elsewhere in Ukraine (150,000 in the area of Volhynia alone) plus hundreds of thousands of Poles and Russians.

  11. JoeC100 says:

    Larry –

    I think Putin was clear about his objectives – which included establishing a demilitarized government in Ukraine. Reaching Zelensky in Kiev seems clearly consistent with this objective. But I have noticed that the key observers with deep insight I have been following were all surprised by the breath of this operation.

    De-nazification was also on his objectives list, which clearly requires going way beyond the Donbass.

  12. Sean says:

    Also, the Chinese seem to be their usual mercantilist selves, offering quite limited support so far. They either don’t understand or are too arrogant to consider that if the Putin regime falls, it will be viewed as an enormous, almost miraculous success by the Americans and Europeans, and China will absolutely be the immediate next target. China is a large country but there are contradictions to be exploited there and it is not nearly as large as what the greater West (after defeating and essentially occupying Russia a la the 1990s) can bring to bear.

  13. jim ticehurst says:

    Thats Another Piece of European History I Did Not Know About..
    Re..The BABI YAR Massacre..Another Parhetic Picture Larry..

    I Come here to Learn..I Then research Many Postings,,For more
    Data,, Larry This Post reminds Me of HUNGARY..GEORGE SOROS
    Association With The Nazis..And How He May Have Left Hungary For
    England With The Wealth of Jewish Victims,,

    Look At What He is Doing to The United States,,More NAZIFICATION,?

    It is Certainly UnAmerican,,And He Is Another Immigrant Who Has Come
    Here..To Loot..Steal And Destroy..

  14. Persona Non Grata says:

    Slight error: Lvov was part of the Soviet Union at time of the 1941 invasion, not part of Poland. The Soviets had occupied it after the Germans overran Poland in 1939, undoing the Polish conquest of the westernmost Ukraine in 1921. There were major massacres of Jews there after the Germans overran Lvov in 1941,.

    • Terence Reeves-Smyth says:

      Historically the capital of Galicia, the city of Lviv or Lwow, was for centuries very much a Polish city, being part of the Polish Kingdom from 1349 until 1772 when it was annexed by the Hapsburgs (who called it Lemberg). When it was again part of Poland in 1921, its population was still essentially Polish and remained so until ethnically cleansed by the Bandera Ukie nationalists from 1941

  15. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    There is a post over at The Conservative Tree House reminding us of what the first casualty of war almost always is; i.e., the truth.


    I recommend a close reading, and an even more perspicacious examination of the two sets of side by side presentations of the exact same images, the first ones on the left being today’s repurposing, and the second ones on the right being the original appearances of these same images, and for you to additionally note the time stamps associated with them, and to contextualize the image usages against their original and current propagandistic values. Oh, my.

    Brave, brave Zelensky in combat kit, versus a latter day Dukakis in a tank. The intrepid Ukrainians advancing to fight the invading brutal Mongol hordes of Russia, versus (in 2016) these same Ukrainians likely moving eastward to continue to ignore and violate the Minsk II agreements. Ah, and in the foreground, those little children tugging on the heartstrings, the little girl dangling her favorite stuffed animal, while beside her a “little man” snappily salutes the passing mounted soldiers. Excuse me, but would it be too cynical to wonder if in the original image they had been photoshopped into the scene to, you know, tug at your heartstrings, and evoke certain emotions? (What is truly delicious is that this image was picked up by the consummate RINO, Uniparty member, and Never-Trumper, Adam Kinzinger. Spit…)

    Images are easily used to reach right past your rational faculties to activate your emotions, and even without words, you can be induced to swallow lies; but this works best when that lie is something you already want to, or have been sedulously primed, to believe. Two minutes of hate, delivered on a platter, enlisting you in the Party Line du jour. In this regard, remember the aphorism from Voltaire – Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    This should make you suspicious, even angry at the cynicism of this manipulation. Just a thought.

    Anyway, there is lots to unpack in this post.

  16. Leith says:

    Larry Johnson – You claim “the Nazis already controlled the city of Lvov (now Lviv), which was part of Poland at the time.”

    Obvious fiction! The Red Army controlled Lvov since the 1939 Hitler-Stalin Alliance aka the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Stalin got the entire eastern half of Poland and occupied it with 16 Divisions and 8 Tank Brigades. That does not count the armies of the Belorussian Front further north. Stalin’s bullcrap excuse that he wanted to protect ethnic Ukrainians and Belorussians from the nasty Poles is similar to Putin’s current day phony excuse for invading Ukraine.

    with Note, the Nazis already controlled the city of Lvov (now Lviv), which was part of Poland at the time.

    • Johnb says:

      Polands borders in 1939 were not as we would recognise them today. As an outcome of the 1921 Polish-Soviet war Poland acquired substantial Eastern territories, at one point they occupied both Minsk and Kiev but wisely decided to settle for less.
      Eastern Prussia and a remnant Pomerania were within Germany’s 1939 borders. The Poland created at Versailles was born out of the remnants of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires, it very soon decided to expand East. The Molotov/Ribbentrop pact split Poland along the Curzon Line
      which roughly forms the borders of the modern Polish state. In 1945 Poland was compensated for its 1939 losses in the East by being awarded lands in the West that had previously been German. Poland also had a non-aggression pact with Germany that saw it advantaged from the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia at the Munich conference. History is never straight forward

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Yeah. Those stupid Russians have fallen into the Ukrainians’ brilliant trap. The Ukies are straight up Chesty Puller reincarnated. They’ve simplified the situation by beating the Russians, in a matter of days, into surrounding Kiev (that’s Key Ev) and other important cities. Now all the Ukies have to do is shoot in any direction. Right?

      • Leith says:

        Hi Eric –

        Russians are not stupid. And Kiev is just a small piece of Ukraine. It would be a bad blow to morale if it falls, but does not necessarily mean surrender. I for one do hope that the Ukrainians do pull a miracle and kick Putin’s arse. Although maybe it is better if they don’t, cause then he might get his panties in a twist and start throwing nukes. I don’t know where you live, I’m not far downwind from a major USN submarine base.

        There is reportedly a meeting tomorrow 28th of February between Russian & Ukrainian diplomats. Let us hope some progress is made. If not an immediate peace, then perhaps the start of future discussions. I fear though that Putin will not sincerely negotiate and only use those talks to resupply and consolidate.

  17. Sam says:

    In 1997, a group of individuals including Robert McNamara, Bill Bradley & Gary Hart wrote a letter to Bill Clinton warning the “US led effort to expand NATO is a policy error of historic proportions” and would “foster instability” in Europe. Today it’s fringe, traitorous position


    NATO expansion contravening the agreement among Bush, Kohl and Gorbachev is of course conveniently buried. Our ruling elites across both parties never wanted stability in Europe. They just wanted our ham-handed hegemony. What is different in international law between our bombing of Serbia to excise Kosovo compared to Russian invasion of Ukraine to excise Donbass?

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