Another strike on Sevastopol

Kyiv launched a strike against a ship repair facility in Sevastopol early on Wednesday, seriously damaging the Rostov-on-Don, a Kilo-class submarine. It would be the first time one of Russia’s deadly subs was hit by Ukraine in this war. Another ship appears to have been damaged with observers suggesting the large landing ship Minsk was also hit. Footage showed huge explosions erupt at the dock and large fires breaking out.

Kilo-class submarines can launch cruise missiles out of their torpedo tubes for long range attack and subs in the Black Sea have used this to pummel Ukraine throughout the war. They typically carry an array of up to 18 torpedoes or 24 naval mines, but can also load a maximum of four Kalibr cruise missiles.

Ukrainian government adviser Anton Gerashchenko said: “Russian media report that a large landing ship “Minsk” and a submarine “Rostov-on-Don” were reportedly seriously damaged as a result of the attack on Sevastopol.” The Russian defence ministry claimed: “Tonight, the Ukrainian Armed Forces launched a strike with ten cruise missiles at the ship repair plant named after. S. Ordzhonikidze in the city of Sevastopol and three unmanned boats from a detachment of ships of the Black Sea Fleet on the sea crossing. “Air defence systems shot down seven cruise missiles, and the patrol ship Vasily Bykov destroyed all unmanned boats. As a result of being hit by enemy cruise missiles, two ships undergoing repairs were damaged.” Tass, the Kremlin’s media agency, claimed 10 missiles were fired at Sevastopol overnight.

Besides potentially knocking out even more of Russia’s Black Sea fleet – having famously sunk the Moskva flagship last year – Ukraine has kept up the psychological pressure on Crimea with this strike.

Comment: Initial reports suggested it was R-360 Neptune cruise missiles that struck Sevastopol, but Russian reports and subsequent British reports say it was Storm Shadows. Ukrainian reports congratulating their Air Force supports that. Whether the attack consisted of ten cruise missiles has not been confirmed. But it does appear that the attack took out another Ropucha class large landing ship Minsk and the Kilo class diesel-electric sub Rostov-on-Don along with the dry dock facilities. Nice. 

The success of this strike was no doubt aided by the earlier Neptune strike taking out an S-400 system and the amphibious raids that took out radar and EW capabilities on the Crimean coast and oil platforms in the Black Sea. That’s some good planning. Ukraine’s long term planning has been consistently good from day one of this war.


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82 Responses to Another strike on Sevastopol

  1. drifter says:

    Wow, after reviewing all of this, it seems the Russians are winning.

  2. Fred says:

    I believe it is the US/NATO that has been doing the target planning. Did the cruise missle destroy the launchers for the ” maximum of four Kalibr cruise missiles”? (Which somewhat explains the crappy launch capabilities of the Russians if they can only carry 4 of the things per deployment.)

    Can the Kalibr be launced off a tractor-trailer rig? It’s not like submarine launch platform on a Kilo is that large. With a 300km (~150mile) range that might be a bit more flexible given the location of targets the Russians might want to shoot at.

    • TTG says:


      US/NATO are supplying plenty of intelligence. Milley said our intel pipes are wide open to them, but the planning decisions rest with the Ukrainians.

      The Kilo Class subs aren’t the main Kalibr launchers. There are missile frigates and missile corvettes for that. I’m sure the Ukrainians would have liked to have two missile frigates in those dry docks, but they had to take what was there. Most of the frigates and corvettes have probably been relocated to Novorossysk. Their land attack Kalibrs have a range in excess of 1,500km.

  3. leith says:

    Good planning and damn good execution! A multi-domain operation is what General Ben Hodges called it.

    I have my doubts regarding the RU report of ten cruise missiles in the attack and seven being shot down. If it was in fact Storm Shadows they are ground skimmers. It would have been damn hard to to get that high of a successful shoot-down rate. Decoys were undoubtedly used in addition to the storm shadows. Or perhaps there was some electronic countermeasure (ECM) spoofing of RU radars to mimic multiple missiles?

  4. leith says:

    Fred –

    If it was Storm Shadows, they use a 450kg BROACH two stage warhead. Per wiki the first stage is a shape charge that goes through outer shell of target with a larger second stage to penetrate inside:

    If so, then wouldn’t the pressure hull on that Kilo class sub is be permanently compromised? Or could that thin outer hull provide some protection against the shape charge? Kinda like the cope cages that armored vehicles use to protect themselves against ATGMs.

  5. Whitewall says:

    Well at least Moscow didn’t blame the fire on carelessly discarded smoking materials.

  6. Morongobill says:

    I believe this attack will tip the scales and force the Russian high command to take the gloves off at long last. A ship here, a sub there, pretty soon you’re talking about a fleet.

    • Whitewall says:

      “At long last” Does that denote an air of excitement? For the last 18 months Moscow has been trying to hold their pants up instead of managing their gloves.

    • Billy Roche says:

      Your post mirrors my thoughts. What and how big is the Russian Black Sea Fleet anyway?

      • leith says:

        Bill Roche –

        By my uneducated count the Black Sea Fleet still has four frigates, four diesel subs, several amphibs (mostly used to ferry supplies), lots of patrol boats and several squadrons of naval aviation. I have no clue on their operational readiness but suspect it’s in the toilet. Judging from past performance all their ships and aircraft are staffed and maintained by blind drunks sipping torpedo juice cocktails. Or perhaps they are all ‘geedunk sailors’.

    • ked says:

      the fleet means nothing when you have such a huge population advantage. ‘course, they’ll need to keep the gloves on to row across the Black Sea… or handle all their melting armor.

    • Fred says:


      GCHQ continuing to provoke the Russians into a response to justify ‘intervention’, like they did with the White Helmets in Syria more than once. Not to intervene with thier own armed forces, of course. Those keep shrinking in size and capabilities.


      Not very, nor has it been for some time.

  7. Eric Newhill says:

    This attack on the Russian fleet will not alter the trajectory of the war one iota. The Ukrainians are being slowly ground into the dust and cannot militarily prevail in the long run. The Russians will now launch pay-back strikes on Ukro targets. But the west will be encouraged to continue arming and funding the Ukros so they can, even in their own death throws, kill more Russians and generally do damage.

    However, it does highlight the stupid way Russia is fighting, tying one hand behind their own back. They should have never jumped off the SMO if they were not prepared/not resourced to open up on the Ukros with a devastating, infrastructure destroying, shock and awe attack followed by total annihilation of anything that survived in a ruthless mop up operation over the course of the next month or so – including a decapitation of the pro govt.

    The Larry Johnsons, Ritters, MacGregors, Martyanovs, et al can gush and revel in their school girl crushes on their fantasy image of Russians as master 5D chess players all they want, but the reality is that Russia is merely dragging its ass and exposing itself to increasing risk. The enemy (Ukraine/NATO) has too much time and latitude to come with ways to do damage. The Russian people are becoming demoralized and angry that Putin and the generals won’t (or can’t) finish this thing. That is a risk in itself. I guess that (political impact) is the only possible strategic value of these forlorn Ukro attacks. Heck, just might work if Russia keeps screwing around. Now we’ll see if Russia finally wakes up and gets serious. I doubt they will.

    I just don’t see what Russia’s end game is at this point. They seemed to have gambled on a quick favorable peace agreement from Zelensky (and his western masters?). That having not materialized, they can either go 100% all in and end up with a new iron curtain, or accept an endless hot war that devolves into generational insurgency and terrorist attacks after the the Ukro military dissolves. The Russians are dolts.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Should have included that Putin is starting to look like a little bitch. I would have sworn he made big talk about red lines and what would happen if there were attacks on Russian territory. He is afraid of NATO and too weak to do anything effective to protect his country. That obvious fact only encourages NATO to keep pressing its psychotic plans to destroy Russia.

      Either the nukes fly at the end of the day, or Putin gives up and goes home and allows Russia to be dissolved. It’s a risk NATO is willing to take. Thanks a lot.

      • d74 says:

        The Russian window of opportunity is narrowing, so expect to wait one to two years. That’s how long it will take the Western military industry to ramp up its munitions and armor production.
        According to some sources, the Russians are producing or will produce 2 million 152 mm shells and 200 heavy armored vehicles a year.
        This production allows the Russian army to be comfortable at this time, but it will not be enough when the Western projects become effective.
        The good question is whether the Russians will be able to revive the bet. I doubt it.

        As for the rest, it’s important to remember that nuclear weapons are not tactical, regardless of their payload in kt or Mt.
        Nuclear = strategic level.
        This is my credo, because I want to live: nuclear weapons will not be used.

        Another argument: I don’t see the point of sterilizing an area (western Ukraine) when the plan is to install a “friendly” or neutral government there. The Russians may be stupid, but they’re not so stupid as to screw up a neighbor.
        Besides, the Russians are far from having exhausted their fighting resources, at least for another year or two.

        Regarding Putin’s popularity and the mood of the average Russian, I’d like you to share your sources.
        In my opinion, the Russians know and take what’s at stake.
        We should never underestimate their ability to endure suffering, wherever it may come from.

        • TTG says:


          The Russians have demonstrated their ability to endure suffering throughout history, but we forget that the Ukrainians have demonstrated that same ability. Plus the Ukrainians are fighting for the very existence of their motherland. The Russians are not. Who is more motivated to endure that suffering?

          • Eric Newhill says:

            TTG, given Ukraines desire to seize Crimea and aid and abet NATO’s stated goal of breaking up Russia, I’d say Russia is also fighting for the motherland.

            Two sets of thick skulled slavs pummeling each other as slavs have done throughout history. I’m supposed to care why exactly?

          • leith says:

            Eric Newhill –

            I’ve yet to hear NATO state that their goal is to break up Russia.

        • Barbara Ann says:


          I think the average Russian does know what is at stake, but Russian patriots are just one constituency whose support is (currently) crucial to VVP. In the West we are used to pundits treating Russia as a dictatorship in which the head of state has unlimited power, but the reality is somewhat different. The oligarchs and liberal business élite remain a major power bloc, despite some high profile émigrés in the aftermath of February 2022. John Helmer illustrates this in an interesting article on Putin’s recent comments on Chubais (who fled to Israel). Helmer describes what he calls an election “warning” from Deripaska if the Russian gov. dare mess with the oligarchs’ assets. This shines a small amount of light on the power struggles going on behind the scenes.

          My suspicion is that a lot of how the SMO is being fought so far can be explained by the balancing act Putin is trying to conduct wrt to these two major centers of support. It is clearly an unsustainable situation and something will have to give. Either Russia will negotiate a peace on far from ideal terms – to appease the globalist/business faction, or Putin will be forced into putting the country on a proper war footing. The latter course of action would mean widespread nationalizations and an end of the deal he struck with the oligarchs when he first came to power. This would be very disruptive, to say the least, and I think the ever cautious Putin it trying to avoid crossing this Rubicon for as long as possible.

          What is absolutely obvious though, is that if NATO continues to escalate the war, Putin is going to be forced to do something. Rolo Slavskiy, Riley Waggaman and the Z doomer crowd (hardly a crowd, as it is tiny group) expect Putin to capitulate and sue for peace. Most of pro Z pundits seem to think Putin has somehow had everything under control all along – the 5D chess thesis. My own view, after trying to understand this very bizarre conflict for nearly a year and a half now, is that we may be approaching a crunch point. The delenda est Neocon faction expect their pressure to collapse Russia into internal conflict or even civil war. I actually think in their hubris the Neocons may well force Putin’s hand – very much against his nature – into re-engineering the Russian economy in order to try and avoid a catastrophic defeat. If this does happen, the patriot/ultra-nationalist wing could consolidate control very quickly and Putin himself could end up being swept away in the ensuing maelstrom. Putin has this wolf by the ears, for now.

          My 2 cents FWIW.

          • Fred says:

            Barbara Ann,

            “Putin will be forced into putting the country on a proper war footing.” Kind of like the ‘phony war’ before the Ardennes offensive?

          • Billy Roche says:

            BA just a brief note of correction. NATO d/n invade Russia. Russia invaded Ukraine which now fights for its life and therefore accepts aid from anyone, mostly the US. NATO i/n escalating the war. One d/n need a program to get the players right. Russia is the killer, Ukraine the victim. Putin controls the fire he started and can end the misery tomorrow. Putin go home.

          • jld says:

            @Billy Roche

            You keep repeating word for word the same lame propaganda over and over.
            Those who favor Ukraine most certainly share your opinion and need not be schooled, while those who favor Russia dismiss it out of hand.
            So what is exactly your intended audience?

        • English Outsider says:

          Well, the position is exactly as it was in February last year. The more we push our proxies on to fight the more lives and territory they’ll lose.

          Washington still seems determined to keep pushing. Berlin/Brussels too. If that remains the case then the Ukrainians will lose all. Obama wasn’t shooting a line when he said the Russians had “escalatory dominance” in that part of the world and that 2019 Rand study spelt it out in detail for the slow learners.

          So end of the road for our proxies. What then?

          Call me a fool but I simply don’t see Scholz having his come to Jesus moment. He’s in too deep. Nor Washington. They’re all set for Cold War II after Ukraine’s done for.

          I’ve seen commenters looking at this entire episode as the US finally accomplishing the Trump/Grenell project of detaching Germany from its trading ties with Russia. Something in that, but more accurate to see it as Scholz’s Barbarossa II that Washington was only too happy to provide the muscle for.

          Now morphing into Scholz’s DIY Morgenthau Plan but that’s Europe’s problem. FAFO will be the verdict for Berlin/Brussels, more than it will be for Washington, and you couldn’t find a more deserving bunch of Russophobes than the German political elite to award that verdict to.

          So Cold War II it is. Scholz and Stoltenberg dream of a 300,000 man Rapid Response Force heroically manning Europe’s Eastern Marches. Nukes sprinkled all over the place to match. The Golden Billion churning out arms to their hearts content and missile bases ringing the RF’s frontiers.

          Trouble is, none of this fits with the European Security demands the Russians put forward in 2021. The Cold War dreams of Berlin/Brussels and Washington are, as Scholz and Biden will be happy to note, Russia’s nightmare.

          So one of two things will happen. The Russians will forget about those 2021 demands and get on with living unhappily ever after. Or they might feel that they’ve had enough of Europe’s FAFO and cut Europe’s rations.

          If the second, Scholz’s DIY Morgenthau plan is going to be a show stopper. For all Europe too.

    • wiz says:


      Short of nuking western Ukraine, there’s not much more the Russians can do at this point. Russians are indeed dolts, and so are Ukrainians. They had a lot going for them after the breakup of the USSR, yet they managed to thoroughly muck it up.

      • Billy Roche says:

        Stupid Ukrainians. They thought they could be a free people. They thought they were a sovereign state. The Russians made them understand they were still just Russian bitches. Ukrainians mucked everything up. Why c/n they just except being inferior!!

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Maybe, if they truly cared about freedom, the Ukros should have focussed on building a fair and equitable republic with rule of law instead of being a corrupt sh!thole by all international rankings – and with ambitions to kill ethnic Russians and seizing Crimea from Russia.

          But no, they are too stupid, crooked and violent by nature.

        • TTG says:

          Billy Roche,

          This may be sarcasm, but it’s exactly what at least some of the politicians and talking heads in Moscow are saying.

          “Petr Tolstoy, deputy speaker of Russian parliament: the war will probably last for 2-3 more years. Ukraine must pay for its desire not to be with Russia. He says he doesn’t care if anything is left of Ukraine after the war.”

          • Billy Roche says:

            Consider Russian anger/disbelief that any Finn, Balt, or Slav would be unwilling to submit to them. Russians believe they own all people in eastern Europe, but Ukraine presents a crack in that belief. It must not be permitted even if it reqrs elimination of every Ukrainian. So many wonderful correspondents to this site don’t under stand. Russians really believe they are the superior Slavic race. A sovereign Ukraine means there may not be an Imperial Russia. That is why this war appears, to the Russian, existential. Ukraine delenda est.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        100% agree, Wiz.

        Doltishness and aggression and changing borders is the history of the region. The US has no business joining the dolts, IMO. When you wrestle with pigs…..

    • ked says:

      aside from certain faith in victory, your post about the sources of Russian failure is fairly accurate.

    • F&L says:

      JAPAN Ave IQ 106.48

      USA Average IQ 97.43

      RUSSIA Ave IQ 96.29

      CALIFORNIA Average IQ 95.5

    • different clue says:

      I am a civilian citizen with zero military experience or knowledge. So I have to limit my suppositions to generalized thoughts that a reasonably intelligent civilian citizen ( which I will flatter myself as being) might have the background to have and to offer.

      I don’t think the RussiaGov necessarily had/has an end-game in mind. I think they have an end-state which they wish to get to. I think that end-state is a Ukraine so fighting-age-cohorts so demographically attrited and destroyed that Ukraine’s ability to keep fighting at all at any level no matter how small is finally wound down to zero. To that end, I think the RussiaGov will maintain its battlefront-battlelines with Ukraine as discrete lines so that the Ukraine side will keep sending and losing soldiers and then irregular fighters against that line till there are no more left to send.

      I think the RussiaGov would like to see all of central Ukraine ( Greater Kievistan and Dneprostan) depopulated and turned into a Free Fire Human-Presence Exclusion Zone for several decades to come, and would like to see a Lesser Galiciakraine emerge as the “Paraguay of Europe”, the way that Paraguay itself emerged after the Chaco Wars.

      One doesn’t need an end game for that, just the ability to keep playing Ukraine along like a fish on a hook for as many years as are needed to wear the fish out to a state of zero flapping and fighting. Then cut the line and let the fish limp along with a hook in its mouth for the indefinite future.

      But I could be wrong about that.

      • ked says:

        you may well be right about about Putin’s-Russia’s clever strategy to wear down Ukraine over the next coupla decades. there are numerous implicit assumptions w/ such an approach. time + unforeseen consequences arising & interacting along the way raise strategic risk significantly. in resource & tech intense modern war, wherein whole populations are actively aware of what’s up (& going down), the risk can get pretty non-linear … even explode. seems this kinda experience has grown since Napoleon had his day. in our rapidly unfolding post-modern planetary civilization, I doubt Putin will end up more successful w/ his style than any other of the recent Little Tyrants… or even taller ones.

      • English Outsider says:

        D74 – that’s an aspect that is seldom considered.

        Whatever the intentions behind it, we’ve been seeing de facto ethnic cleansing in Ukraine for many years and it seems that process is now accelerating. With accusations now that it’s intentional on both sides.

        The dramatic population movements we’ve been seeing in Ukraine since at least the turn of the century were at first down to economic factors. That intensified after the Association Agreement had the effect of devastating Ukrainian industry, particularly the more industrialised East. If the jobs aren’t there the enterprising or the desperate look to move. Same process in much of Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Ukraine was probably not as badly hit by exposure to more efficient Western European industry as, say, Latvia, but it was still hit quite badly.

        The gradual loss of the Russian market didn’t help, though how great that loss was in the early days of the civil war would be difficult to determine: the tangle of relationships between the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs must surely have reduced the loss of the Russian market to an extent.

        Superimposed on that was the population movement caused by civil strife. Fight or flight was the only choice open to the people of the Donbass in the early days of Right Sector incursions and many fled to Russia. For Kiev loyalists – and before the civil war got under way it’s safe to say there were very many such in the Donbass – living cheek by jowl with pro-Russians must have been disagreeable and sometimes dangerous. Add to that the economic push factor and many of them got out too, heading for areas controlled by Kiev or, very many, for Europe.

        Population movement accelerated after 2022. I recollect an odd video from just before the Russian withdrawal from Kherson. A stream of cars, possessions heaped on the roofs and families inside including young men or fathers of fighting age, being ushered into then Russian territory along what looked to be a muddy improvised road across fields. Ushered through by Ukrainian personnel! How was that happening, I wondered. Some informal agreement? Bribery? Wondered and never found out or saw it referred to again but there they were, masses of people getting out of the Kiev controlled area and fleeing to the Russian side.

        And on the Polish border great numbers were on the move. Legally, or bribing the guards if they had to, just getting out somehow.

        All that movement has greatly reduced the population. Sleboda put the population of the area under Kiev control at twenty to twenty fives million. That’s the range one usually saw mentioned. Add to that the now heavy war casualties. And the direct accusations of deliberate ethnic cleansing resulting.

        The Russian figures for Ukrainian war casualties are dubious. They are mostly counting front line casualties. They say they get those by listening to Ukrainian radio traffic. If so, not a good way of estimating. The Ukrainians themselves don’t know how many they lose and don’t report some deaths in any case. Emergency medical care is poor and many wounded die on the way back. Russian missile or drone attacks on military, intelligence and industrial installations in the rear are heavy and the military and civilian casualties resulting cannot be accurately known. Ukrainian AD kills many by accident and again some of those deaths are civilian. Across the lines in the Donbass, Ukrainian shelling of civilian areas continues, mostly it seems from around Avdeevka still, and the slow trickle of deaths resulting from that adds up.

        There are no reliable figures on the extent of the blood bath. Russian casualties were heavy in the first few days of the SMO and must have been heavy in Mariupol and, later, Bakhmut, but the “Falkenhayn scenario” tactics mostly adopted have kept them low in comparison. The BBC/Mediazone figures are I believe inaccurate but do at least show that trend. Russian emergency medicine is good and deaths of the wounded limited. One sees estimates of Russian and Allied deaths at thirty to forty thousand and of total casualties around a hundred thousand. Those figures from pro-Russian sources but certainly closer to reality than the figure of three hundred thousand Russian dead put out for PR purposes by Western sources.

        On the Ukrainian side, figures of deaths are given at two hundred thousand to half a million deaths and total casualties of all sorts, including surrenders, at around a million. The number of amputees, the overflowing cemeteries, and the Ukrainian plans for cemetery extensions do not confirm those figures but warrant the estimates as being of that order. In addition to the population movement mentioned above, war casualties are now biting deep into what remains of the population of the old Ukraine.

        Accusations of deliberate ethnic cleansing? On the one hand the accusations are that the Ukrainians tend to select their cannon fodder from the Russian or other minority populations of Ukraine. That’s been an accusation from Ukrainian Transcarpathia since 2014 and is more widely heard now. On the other, the ultra-nationalist units are not now in fact being held back from the front line. We see Azov units identified in the murderous fighting around Bakhmut. As the fighting continues such units, deliberately or not, will be whittled away. And more intensive recruiting around Lvov does at least in that area give the lie to the accusation that the ultra-nationalist sector of the population is being conserved. It’s likely in any case that when the war’s finished the extremists, if they have any sense, will get out and join their fellows already in Germany.

        Put all these factors together and it’s clear the population numbers – and the population mix – in what used to be Ukraine will be radically different from the numbers and mix in 2014.

        It is in the light of those figures that your conclusion should be considered. “One doesn’t need an end game for that, just the ability to keep playing Ukraine along like a fish on a hook for as many years as are needed to wear the fish out to a state of zero flapping and fighting. Then cut the line and let the fish limp along with a hook in its mouth for the indefinite future.”

        If I read your conclusion correctly, all that’s already done. The Ukrainian fish has been limping along with a hook in its mouth since 2014 and that hook was put there, deliberately, by Merkel/Scholz in particular and by the West in general. What we’re doing now is watching that fishing in troubled waters coming to its inglorious end.

        • TTG says:


          I watched and collected on the westernization process in Poland and in the German reunification in the early 90s. It was incredibly disruptive in both cases. There were several times Germany closed the borders to Polish visitors and refugees. It was true economic shock to those societies. You’re right that the Baltic populations have never recovered population-wise, but they’ll never willingly go back to Kremlin domination. Poland came through that shock pretty well even though her politics are now ultra conservative. But many forget how conservative Lech Wałęsa was all along. We should not be surprised with Poland’s current politics. Ukraine in 2014 was in probably the worst shape economically and corruption-wise of her post-independence era. Since then, even with the loss of Crimea and the Donbas, Ukraine has been improving in both aspects. Even under martial law, strong measures against corruption are proceeding. This is a necessity if Kyiv hopes to continue receiving Western aid.

          Concerning Ukraine’s refugees, a good number have been returning to Ukraine even in the midst of the war. The UNHCR noticed this trend last Fall. If anything, this trend is accelerating. This is not the sign of a collapsing Ukraine. This is from last Fall. The article also has a good map showing refugee flow including more than two million going to Russia. The Donbas problem may be solving itself.

          “Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has recorded more than 10 million border crossings from Ukraine into neighboring countries. However, recent border-crossing data has shown a steady increase of refugees back into the war-torn country, currently totaling 3 million. The trend represents concerning evidence that many Ukrainians would rather live in danger inside Ukraine than live the uncertain life of a refugee.”

          The WSJ has a recent article on this. It’s behind a paywall, but here’s a quote.

          “A survey conducted by the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration between May and June 2023 estimated about a million Ukrainians who were abroad had returned to their place of origin to pay a visit or stay. Another 353,000 returned from abroad but remained displaced within Ukraine.”

          • English Outsider says:

            TTG – Some Ukrainian refugees in Europe have a great time but for others it’s tough. Those who got to stay with families found they weren’t expected to stay for ever. A connection of mine in Germany put up some Ukrainian refugees for a while but living two families to a house doesn’t work for more than a year or so.

            Same in the Netherlands. The government there was supposed to use the breathing space allowed by private individuals taking refugees in to get proper accommodation sorted out. It didn’t, or so it was said. Without the language and without qualifications, often with children to look after so not a lot of time to get either, obtaining
            accommodation and jobs was difficult.

            Even before 2022 Ukrainians often got the short end of the stick. First class workers and very tough, they’d put up with pay and conditions and living quarters the locals wouldn’t look at. According to some reports they were starting to replace the Poles in work like asparagus growing and such like. But maybe that’s starting to move away from this specific problem of Ukrainian refugees to the general question of our Western addiction to the importation of cheap and biddable labour.

            Foreign countries are unfriendly places if you’re at the bottom of the heap. I bet more would go home if they could.

        • Billy Roche says:

          “To an inglorious end” … as only you can hope. Your post describes a bitter aspect of war. A war started by the invasion of Ukraine, by its avaricious neighbor. Russia started the war in hopes of regaining her glory as an empire. All of the earlier problems of the reunion of the German Federal Republic and the “Democratic Republic of Germany” can be laid to the refusal of Russia to leave eastern Europe as they had originally agreed following WW II. Recall the apprehension on the part of many Germans in the Republic who said “we don’t want/need those east Germans to pull down our economy”? It took over 20 years to reunite. Although Allied Victory in WW II gave Poland a chance to peaceably reunite in ’45 Russia w/n allow that. They retained their part of a “satellite” Poland and took Germany’s part to boot. The Poles got 50 years of oppression. Victory over the Nazi’s offered Russian communists the opportunity to create a new Baltic “peninsula”. Fat chance. Russian occupation d/n allow Lits, Lats, or Stones to be any thing other than dutiful communists. Ten million Balts got years more Russian oppression. The presence of Russian speakers in the Baltics offers Putin another chance to threaten his neighbors. In ’91, the fall of the S.U. gave the “mice” a chance to scamper away and not one looked longingly east for union w/mother. It also left Russian “occupation emigres” from the ’30’s looking east wondering where they would now fit in. Their children are part of the problem in the Donbass today. People were dealing slowly but inexorably w/these population disruptions. Until 2/24/22 when Russia invaded Ukraine to pull that mouse back in line. How dare those uppity Ukrainians forget their status as an inferior non people and their country as a Russian administrative unit. I think Ukrainians will go down fighting. It is up to Russians to decided how many of their lives are worth losing in order to reclaim the title … “The Russian Empire”, and their leader as the “Czar of all the Russias”. All this death and misery can end tomorrow if Russians tell Putin the killing is not worth the title; but I’ve come to believe the Russian man in the street needs the title more than the lives.

          • English Outsider says:

            Yes, a bad history, Bill. Even worse if one goes back a few years before that. And for the Russians it’s those few years before that count.

            Operation Barbarossa wasn’t just the Germans you know. It was most of Europe. And that’s how it is this time round. Romanians, Poles, Balts, Italians, Spaniards – you name it, they’re all in there with the Germans and all heading for their Stalingrad once more. Just have to hope they’re not heading for their Operation Bagration. Chumps.

            So for us they may be the evil sinister Russians. For them we’re the White Tiger come again.

            And you’ve got to admit, Berlin/Brussels was so dumb. They never learn, the Euros. Same old same old. Backing thugs wearing swastikas against the Russians of all people. Scholz was even dumber, sending his Panzers over. Unless the Russians are brain dead they could scarcely help remembering the last time Panzers were romping around the Donbass.

            You mention the Donbass Russians. They may be regarded as having deep roots in the Donbass. Way back before the ’30’s. Though both the Russians and the Ukrainians would do well to remember it was we Brits who got the show running over there.

            Concealed later by the fact that Hughesovka eventually got disguised as “Yuzovka”. That wouldn’t have bothered John Hughes because he couldn’t read that well anyway. He certainly wouldn’t have approved of “Stalino” but he was dead by then so no harm done.

            But all that history and more isn’t worth a hill of beans now. All that counts here is the old rule. Poke the Bear and the Bear pokes back. Shell Russians living in the Donbass, threaten them with a bunch of neo-Nazis, and the Bear comes growling out. FAFO is all one can say there and that’s it and all about it.

      • English Outsider says:

        Apologies, D74. My reply was to “Different Clue”. With whom I also agree but with one or two reservations.

    • babelthuap says:


      It’s difficult for people to understand attrition. Ukraine does have uncommon will. Amazing job on their part. They should be proud. Unfortunately Russia also has uncommon will and a lot more manpower and weapons. It can only end one way.

      I don’t have a dog in this hunt either. Just calling it how I see it as a recently retired combat officer. Try to explain this to people though and I am a Russian shill…meh. Par for the course these days if you say anything against the “Cathedral” of NATO and the west. They are ALWAYS right. You are wrong. Prepare to be persecuted for speaking any form of reason on any issue. So sick of this nonsense over and over. So is the rest of the world. They are not going to put up with it anymore. Times are a changing.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        Not to mention that the ill-conceived anti-Russia sanctions have totally flopped and backfired. Russia is cranking out more tanks and arty shells than ever before (more than 2X pre-SMO levels), whereas NATO struggles to manufacture, well, anything at all.

        So will + a tangible Russian production capacity advantage on the side of the attrition of Ukro forces.

        Ukro success is the dopiest of pipe dreams, but it does keep the skim coming home to those on Team USA Corruption.

        • TTG says:

          Eric Newhill,

          If Russian war production was as rosy as you say, Ukraine wouldn’t have obtained artillery parity and, in some areas, superiority. Russia wouldn’t have had to run to NK for additional artillery and ammo.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Didn’t NATO run to South Korea?

            What arty parity? That which can be seen via ISW fun house mirrors?

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            South Korea, Pakistan and maybe others are supplying arms and ammunition to Ukraine. There might be others outside of NATO as well.

            Major General Ivan Popov, and several Russian war bloggers complained of the lack of sufficient artillery support and effective counter battery capabilities. Ukraine, the US and the Brits also note the decrease in Russian artillery support as far back as the beginning of this year, up to a 75% decrease from last year.

  8. leith says:

    There will definitely be retaliation. It will be more missiles raining down on civilians. A War on the Cities continued. How dare those crafty Ukros destroy a military target! Putin will get his revenge on women and babies. Probably using Kim Jon-Un’s contributions – road mobile launchers with short or medium range ballistic missiles -plus lots of artillery shells and rockets?

    • wiz says:


      I guess an American would know a thing or two about destroying cities full of civilians.
      Maybe you can give Russians a few pointers. They seem to be doing a poor job of it.

      • TTG says:


        Those videos show the ineffectiveness of the Russian bombing campaign along with the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people. Ukraine is certainly not about to collapse. Nor do they appear to be running out of military age men.

        • wiz says:


          Like I said, they are doing a poor job.

          This is what efficiency looks like:

          • TTG says:


            It does speak well of Soviet/Russian air defense technology. Both sides use it and neither side can achieve air superiority. Without that, no one is flattening any cities.

          • ked says:

            lotsa cities flattened over the centuries. it’s always a human tragedy. as global hegemons go through history, the US is well-understood as a fiercely reactionary culture. may be that righteous Protestant Empire thing? anyway, a 2nd order consequence of coming in first (& undefeated) in nuclear war to date is that WWII was ended (just coincidence?) & no one has wanted to try it out again – yet. the UN is/was an attempt to get unnecessary war & city-destruction under control. we should all keep trying, regardless of who’s doing the destruction or what city we live in. what’s the point you are trying to make?

          • wiz says:


            Both parties regularly hit targets protected by their respective AD systems.
            Do you really think the Maidan Square and downtown Kiev are still in one piece because the Russians, try as they may, just can’t hit them ?

          • TTG says:


            Ukraine is quick to repair a lot of the damage. Look at some of the before and after pictures of Bucha. That ability to repair and recover is another sign of Ukrainian resiliency.

          • wiz says:


            your comment has no relation to my claim that Ukrainian AD is not the reason for Russians not hitting Maidan Square or Kiev downtown.

          • TTG says:


            Russia has been hitting Maidan Square and downtown Kiev since the first days of the war, just ineffectively and only with missiles and drones. Ukrainian A2/AD has effectively kept Russian aircraft away. Russian missile attacks have not been strong enough or prolonged enough to be effective. I always thought Russia would be smart to launch a hundred or more missiles every night for several weeks if they really wanted to make a difference. They can’t.

      • leith says:

        Wiz –

        My uncle Dinty told me everyone caroused with the nightlife in the clubs & pubs of London during the Blitz. Except of course when the sirens wailed.

      • Billy Roche says:

        Late in the war, spring of ’45, my Dad was a sailor headed west across the Pacific. He died 38 years ago; never said much about his service. “Pretty tame” he allowed. He was released from the Navy in November of ’45 and I was born in August of ’46. Yes, I’m glad Japan surrendered for a war they started. I’m glad I’m here. I’ll leave it at that.

  9. leith says:

    Short but interesting twitter thread on Admiral Vladimir Sokolev, commander of the Black Sea Fleet. It’s by Mike Petersen, a professor at the US Naval War College at Newport RI.

    My questions: Will Sokolov be relieved like his predecessor Admiral Osipov? If not, will he start to take greater risks with the fleet as the author implies?

  10. d74 says:

    TTG, well taken. ( Your September 14, 2023 at 3:19 pm )
    Two equal wills cancel each other out.
    So the one with the most resources and population wins.

    Counting on a so-called weakness of Russian society or loss of cohesion or political disorder is a mistake and a losing bet. If not, I’d like to see the proof. (A very young historian predicted the collapse of the USSR by analyzing Soviet statistics that had not been tampered with because they seemed innocuous).
    Similarly, banking on nuclear power is a Hollywood dream.

    Barbara Ann, I agree with you entirely, but not on one detail: the only red line that counts is article 5 of NATO’s regulations. Putin makes threats but never crosses Article 5. Threats of retaliation only affect Ukrainian territory.
    Ukr attacks on Russian territory have so far been pinpricks that can be overlooked by a self-confident power.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      Russians joke about how far Putin’s real red line extends (in meters) around the Kremlin, or maybe himself personally.

      The problem with Ukie pinpricks in Russia (including ‘occupied Crimea’) is that Putin’s ‘soft’ response is both damaging his reputation domestically and encouraging more of the same. If ATACMS are finally provided, Ukraine will have the capability to destroy a great deal more deep inside Russia. If it keeps going in this direction at some point Russia may need to choose between respecting Article 5 and losing the war.

      • ked says:

        if Putin takes it just a step too far… the Kremlin will be the future site of a memorial park.

      • Billy Roche says:

        BA; Putin does have another choice; negotiate. I know, I know, Zelinskyy say every inch of soil while Putin says Ukraine does not exist. No one is willing to negotiate until they start. My friend EO, who I sometimes believe is Putin’s advertising agency, and I have agreed since day one of the Russian INVASION, on what the agreement could be. The Donbass goes to Russia and in Crimea a big long N-S red line is drawn and Russia gets all to the east (a little Treaty of “Tortillas” if you will). Russia recognizes Ukraine’s sovereignty and Ukraine b/c much like Israel; loaded for war because no one in eastern Europe trusts the Russians and no country in western Europe cares about Ukraine. Putin has taken the measure of western Europe and has found it craven, selfish, and full of ship. This leaves eastern Europeans with the need to move ahead forcefully with their own defensive treaty organization because … no one trusts the Russians. I too don’t see this happening. Putin can’t be a Czar, Russia an Empire, and Ukraine sovereign.

        • English Outsider says:

          Bill – nothing wrong with the Intermarium as a concept. But the US would have to bankroll it. The Euros won’t and as for the UK, we’re skint. The only one of us in Europe with any real cash to spare is Germany and Germany’s not got as much as it had.

          The other problem is the basing of missiles in the Intermarium area.

          Those missiles were a central concern in the European Security demands the Russians put forward in 2021. Putin and Lavrov were always going on about them. The prospective Intermarium countries would have to hope the Russians have forgotten about all that. If they haven’t, the Intermarium alliance would have to risk the Russians saying to them “Are you feeling lucky, punk”.

          I’ve no idea whether the Russians would say that or not. But the Euros, the prospective Intemarium countries included, are living in a dream world at present. They haven’t yet grasped that Russia could shut Europe down just by turning off a few taps.

          On the subject of the Russians only taking the Donbass, yes, I agree fully. That would have been a happy ending to the SMO. But when the Russians proposed that agreement both Ukraine and the West turned them down flat. Twice, to my knowledge,

          After that, and after Mrs Merkel announcing proudly that she and her mates paid no heed to international agreements anyway, the Russians gave up on hoping to make any agreement with the West. They will now impose their own solution and we wait to find out what solution they have in mind.

          These are hard and disagreeable truths for us in Europe to have to take on board, Unless Biden goes nuclear, though, that just what we’ll have to do. Just wondering how Scholz and Macron are going to break the news to their electorates. Someone has to because as far as I can see, those electorates are living in a dream world too.

          • TTG says:


            The Three Seas Initiative was established in 2016. Although it started with an economic focus, it has now shifted to a security focus. Greece was just granted entry as a full member. Ukraine and Moldova were given partner status. Finland may also be interested in joining.

          • Billy Roche says:

            EO “there you go again”. As my dad would say, “you’re still missing the pernt” (it’s an Irish dipthong thing). The Three Seas Initiative is not about the western half of Europe; which is only that, half. The TSI exists b/c eastern Europeans have had to face the reality of being alone in front of the bear. S/t US be involved financially and militarily it will spell the end of NATO. The callow western Europeans will neither pay nor fight for, the eastern half so NATO is unpleasantly revealed. Western Europe will have to decide if they really give a shit about liberty. Put on your history hat and tell me a story about western Europe’s love of liberty. Shall we drag John from his cups at Runnymead? Perhaps a tale of Tell, w/an arrow to boot w/demostrate Swiss love of freedom? Did I miss a story about the Portuges love of liberty and how can we forget those Greeks sailing the Med to advance Athen’s hegemony. Ahh, western Europe, the cradle of freedom, meh. The Ukrainian war reveals an unpleasant truth. The west is happy to be “free” as long as America pays. Today Ukraine upsets what western Europeans care most about; commerce. You counted Kiev out the day Moscow launched its invasion. A year and half later they’re still fighting. I think Ukraine will last into the 24th of ’24 and wonder if “Aleksi and Valentina” will still have their blood up against those Ukrainians. Meanwhile, given another 6 months of war, will the east, from Sweden to Bulgaria, get serious with the TSI? Now that would be an eastern European game changer. Interesting times.

  11. Leith says:

    General Oleschuk, Ukrainian Air Force commander, confirms it was Brit Storm Shadow and French Scalp cruise missiles that took out the Russian ships Minsk and Rostov-na-Donu. He says SU-24s had the Brit missile on a pylon under the left wing and the French missile on pylon under the right wing.

    Did not comment on numbers of missiles launched during the attack.

    Most OSINT sources on twitter now are saying the Kilo submarine, Rostov-na-Donu, had her pressure hull pierced up front by the torpedo loading hatch. With a 450kg warhead it must have completely bolloxed the torpedo tubes and sonar head. This will take years to fix. They’ll have to get it to a major shipyard and attach a whole new nose section. Might as well scrap it as it could be cheaper to build a new one from scratch.

  12. TTG says:


    The attack on the dry docks was followed up the next night with another well planned and executed attack on an S-400 site at Yevpatoria, Crimea. The radars were first attacked and kept busy with drones apparently launched and controlled by SOF and resistance forces. This was followed by two R-360 Neptune missiles to take out the TELs.

    All these attacks over the last month have whittled away at Russia’s capability to protect her assets in Crimea, including the Kerch bridge.

    • Fred says:


      It also serves notice on every NATO member as to just how poor their own defense capabilities are around their own bases.

      • TTG says:


        It’s not just military bases. The FBI and power companies have been investigating a rash of attacks and attempted attacks on transformers and substations. “How to” manuals on this kind of sabotage is circulating in right wing chat channels. It’s the modern version of those old Paladin Press sabotage manuals.

        It’s not just a bunch of crazed neo-nazis. At least one was part of a robbery and I bet a lot were a bunch of likkered up good old boys doing it for shits and grins, like taking baseball bats to mailboxes.

        • Fred says:


          I commented on cruise missle and drone attacks, however: “…right wing chat channels”
          it is truly amazing that the news reads just like a narrative for an election and there’s never a left-winger, an Earth firster, eco-warrior, or even antifa. Of course to quote an industry expert ““Sabotage happens all the time at substations, since they’re usually in isolated areas and don’t have guards; but it doesn’t usually cause an outage, and certainly not a widespread one,” security consultant Tom Alrich said in an email. “Unfortunately, it’s very hard to stop some yahoo who gets drunk and goes out to shoot up a substation.””

          Yep, yahoos who get drunk. Unlike when the Patriot Act giving the government all that power it still wields was being debated because of terrorism from non-right wing yahoos – who weren’t drunk. (I feel so much safer after these decades) Given the computerization – and the ‘excellent’ IT security – it is always surprising that a rifle, or a squirel, cause so many outages. Good thing drunk yahoos aren’t hacking the grid with computers.

          • TTG says:


            If your talking about trashing logging and pipeline construction equipment, the Earth firsters and eco-warriors would be your likely culprits. Antifa is mostly about bashing in the heads of nazis. There isn’t much computerization involved in a transformer. You’re better off with a rifle or an inquisitive possum. Or you could use a small drone to drag a copper wire over the lines to short them out.

          • Fred says:


            It’s about shutting down the electric grid. Control the control circuits. Antifa is actually about ‘nazis’, who happen to be whoever they label as ‘nazis’. Of course! It is just a spontaneous idea, too, with no organization at all.

  13. ked says:

    an analysis of the Long War issue that many here are clear-minded about. it was released over a year ago. it treats in some detail key aspects of the Ukraine War specific to each side. a few concluding points, excerpted:

    “… the capacity of … Russia to sustain this type of conflict is mixed and verging on low. Russia will struggle to generate many of the foundations of military power. A weak industrial base will struggle to support an import substitution agenda – even if put on a war footing – meaning that Russia will not replace nonfungible military capabilities without external help from China.”

    “… the Russian military training system will struggle to generate combat-effective units in numbers – even if it can push new recruits into existing understrength units.”

    “Its ability to {“… generate enough combat capability to … enable a subsequent offensive.”} depends on whether the Russian system is given the breathing space to conserve existing resources, given its limited ability to replace human and material assets at scale.”

    no matter where one falls on the topic, the only certainty is “it ain’t necessarily so…”

  14. Billy Roche says:

    jld thanks for your comments. My audience is the same correspondents who continually post word for word the same pro Russian comments. I absolutely do feel they need to be countered. Unchallenged, their pov becomes accepted.

  15. al says:

    Came across this:
    “… Ukraine’s military intelligence agency on September 11 announced that its forces had recaptured several offshore oil and gas drilling platforms known informally as Boyko Towers. Russian forces have used the strategically located platforms as forward bases and helicopter pads; Russia was also believed to have installed radar installations and missile systems on the platforms….”

    If Ukraine holds on to these platforms does that further aide in cruise/drone strikes on Crimea?

    • TTG says:


      Seizing those offshore platforms deprived Russia of a lot of radar coverage of the western Black Sea and the Kherson front. The Russians were also using the platforms for rearming and refueling attack helicopters enroute to the Kherson front. Another set of radars and an S-400 were knocked out along the coast just before this raid by a Neptune missile strike and amphibious raid. Another S-400 and set of radars were recently knocked out by SOF/resistance force drone strikes and another Neptune strike. All these actions have made Russian forces in Crimea a lot more vulnerable to further attacks.

    • Fred says:


      Just like ‘snake island’. The correct responses are 1) peace 2) take over the coastal areas from which seaborne raids can be launced.

  16. jim.. says:

    What will the End Game Outcome Be From Kims Flag in Siberia…Looking over Silos…?? What will The BackFire Be..? Most of the Flags I September.Is..Hanoi Jane…and
    Red Flags…And NO White Stars…We Know Who the Real Production Company Is..

  17. leith says:

    New photos of that Kilo submarine – looks to me like it is a complete write-off:

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