The New York Times has a great story on the massive logistical effort to move weapons to Ukraine. One of the big takeaways: nations are flooding gear into Ukraine, but few want to actually talk about it: “[N]ations are trying not to advertise to Moscow exactly what is being provided. France says it has supplied 100 million euros of military equipment to Ukraine, without specifying what it has sent. Some countries have no desire to goad the Russian bear.” There’s also this sentence, which is either the scoop of the week, or an embarrassing journalistic error:
The United States has also agreed to provide some 155-millimeter howitzers, along with 40,000 matching rounds, while trying to buy Soviet-standard ammunition from countries that use it, including nations outside of Europe, like Afghanistan and even India, a longstanding buyer of Russian arms.
The U.S. is trying to buy weapons from the Taliban? Did India, one of the few nations still happy and eager to do business with Russia, actually get approached to sell arms headed to Ukraine? Did they say “yes”? In any case, 30 countries are assisting Ukraine in its war effort, which is 30 more than are assisting Russia, all coordinated by the United States. No one does logistics like the United States.
Meanwhile, Russia’s broad-based assault along the entire Donbas front has netted them some small gains.
Losing any ground sucks, of course. But the tactical withdrawal is a legitimate tool in any army’s toolbox, and Ukraine has several layers of defensive lines set up. None of these losses are particularly strategic, the way Izyum was. If the plan is to fall back behind the Siverskyi Donets river, you better believe dug in positions are already in place, but with a river assisting in the defense—just like the Irpin halted the Russian advance toward northwest Kyiv. Ukraine’s Severodonetsk salient is unfortunately becoming more and more exposed, with a city that has been absolutely pummeled sine the beginning of the war. There were celebrations in pro-Russian channels last night that Ukraine was falling back from Severodonetsk, but I’ve seen no real confirmation. Ukraine did announce that every single food storage site in the city had been destroyed by Russian shelling and the city was full cut off from supplies, which certainly seems ominous.
In total, Ukraine’s General Staff claimed 10 Russian attacks yesterday, which is double the intensity of the previous weeks, when we’d see four to six daily attacks. The Institute for the Study War noted that “Russian forces have not achieved any major breakthroughs, nor have they demonstrated any new capability to conduct multiple successful, simultaneous advances.” You know me, I don’t see how Russia gets its shit together. If a “major offensive” ever materializes, I suspect it’ll feature troops rushing forward as someone yells “charge!” except that half the troops won’t hear it because their radios won’t work or were sold for booze, while another quarter will be like “no thanks.” Ukrainian defenses will inevitably be pushed back from sheer numbers, but then what? Russian losses will continue to be horrific, while Ukrainian reserves gear up in the west, and heavy artillery, suicide drones, and more armor joins the fight.
Strelkov Igor Ivanovich is a Russian nationalist who formerly served as minister of defense of the Donetsk People’s Republic (one of the two separatist regions in Donbas). He’s turned into a fierce critic of Russia’s management of the invasion: (Run through Google Translate)
If the enemy [Ukraine] had few forces, the protection of communications [supply lines] could be partially ignored. But the Armed Forces of Ukraine (thanks to mobilizations) already have enough forces—comparable to the number of our troops in the theater. In addition, the enemy has the ability to shorten the front line and transfer the released forces to threatened areas—the Russian Federation does not have complete air supremacy simply because of the insufficient number of strike aircraft and the negligible number of strike drones. At the same time, the enemy can hold the front line near Donetsk with relatively small forces due to the excellent engineering equipment [trenches] that has been produced for many years […]
Thus, after some time in these areas, the situation will repeat itself, which already exists in the areas of Rubizhnoye-Severodonetsk, Popasnaya, Avdeevka and Marinka, where the Allied forces are moving forward very slowly and with very heavy losses (especially in the infantry). Or they don’t advance at all (Avdeevka). The enemy is “more than completely” satisfied with this method of warfare. Why? – Because the Armed Forces of Ukraine need another one and a half to two (maximum —three) months to prepare large reserves […] while Russian forces “bleed”, storming the fortified cities of Donbass […]
In this regard, I remind you that the so-called “Ukraine” is finishing the THIRD STAGE OF GENERAL MOBILIZATION. It has a human resource (200-300 thousand people) and a technical capability (a huge flow of various weapons from Europe and the USA) to not only maintain a sufficient number of its troops at the front, but also create new reserves. And to create them “in quantity” (even 100 thousand people – this is about 50 battalion tactical groups, including reinforcements and rear infrastructure – that is, about 10 full-blooded divisions).
Ivanovich does an audit of reserves available to Russia forces, and basically concludes they can’t keep up without a general mobilization in Russia itself, which Vladimir Putin seems wholly uninterested in pursuing. Now Ivanovich has an ulterior motive – to convince Russia to fully mobilize and fully commit to the war, instead of depending on his home region’s almost-depleted supply of cannon fodder, in Donbas. After all, they’re conscripting men as old as 60. They’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.
But he is right—the best case scenario for Russia at this point is the conquest of the Donbas pocket still held by Ukraine
In reality, Russia likely doesn’t have enough troops to take that entire territory (from top to bottom it’s 200 kilometers of distance, or 120 miles), but if they did, they certainly won’t have manpower and logistical juice to push beyond. Meanwhile, Ukraine is building and modernizing its armed forces, and before long will have the offensive capability to seriously contest its lost territory—including territory lost in 2014.
Comment: Okay. Another snarky, left wing update from Daily Kos will probably send some of you true Russophiles into convulsions, but pay attention to what Igor Strelkov, a true believer in Russia’s destiny, has to say about Ukrainian reserves. This coincides with David Axe’s reports on Ukrainian reserves in Forbes. (Thanks to Leith for finding that.) It’s also in line with what I know about Ukraine’s reserves. It’s much closer to our system of reserves and national guard than to the old Soviet and now Russian system. As such, Ukrainian reserve units are far closer to being combat ready than Russian reserves. More importantly, the Ukrainian reserves were called up at the beginning of the war. Russian reserves have yet to be called up since since Moscow has deemed the war to be merely a special military operation.
I stated before may the least corrupt side win. I do not care. No impact on my life but:
Putin further declared Mariupol, which prior to the invasion had a population of about 450,000, is now “liberated” – and congratulated the defense chief on the military “success.”
Biden however said there is no evidence of it:
Were the people who thought invading Iraq was a mistake Iraqophiles? The ones who thought taking out Libya wasn’t very well thought out Quadaffi lovers?
We are not all teenage girls and everything is not all emotions. It is possible to be patriotic and still consider the powers that be to be sociopathic idiots.
Personally I hope I’m wrong, because I don’t see this working out for our country, when we should be much more focused on some very real problems, like exponential debt.
Regarding the war, in the fullness of time we will know the truth.
Regarding our arming of Ukraine I have this to say to Russia ‘it comes with the turf’.
Our arming of Ukraine is massive compared to how Iran armed native born Iraqis to fight us. On what grounds do we call Iran a terrorist nation? We invaded, the people who were born there fought back.
Someday Russia will find a way to pay us back. Mexico is a ripe target.
FWIW a full translation of Strelkov’s analysis on Telegram is here, for those who would rather not use Google Translate.
It seems very credible. He sums up with the following: “Without carrying out at least partial mobilization in the Russian Federation – to carry out deep strategic offensive operations on the so-called ‘Ukraine’ is both impossible and extremely dangerous”. He also warns that Russia runs the risk of repeating the Wehrmacht’s mistakes of Operation Citadel in 1943.
Does the Russian leadership not see the danger of the Ukrainian reserves pipeline coming online if, as seems likely, this drags on for another 2 months? Are they still of the ideological mind that the ‘little Russians’ only warrant a Special Military Operation and not a war?
During Nam (and I suppose Korea b/f it) you were in for 3 months of Basic and three months of AIT (more Basic). Ukrainians were calling up reserves at the end of Feb-mid March? Their reserves should start flowing in at the end of August so the Ukrainian military has to hold on till then. If they can, Putin will have to respond w/a gen’l mobilization of Russian manpower. If so, game, set, match; Ukraine can’t overcome Russian man power. But then, when will/if Putin make his call for nat’l mobilization. Won’t he have to wait several months (6?) too? Does that put this war into Christmas? By then Finland and Sweden will be NATO members, Poland will be sneaking Migs to the Ukrainians, Byeolruss will finally conclude “they were next”, and we’ll see if economic sanctions are really worth shipt. That’s my guess.
At least one reserve tank brigade is already in action. This could all very well continue in some form past Christmas. The sanctions are meant to be for the long term.
A major issue is the meaning of the word “reserves”. “Reserves” such as the Vietnam era enlisted reserves or national guard units will have already done their basic and AIT. They will need some time to gear up, but not 6 months to learn the very basics. TTG points out that a Ukrainian reserve tank brigade is reported to be already in action. Presumably they did not spend March just learning to drive tanks. So to say anything sensible you need an estimate of prior training for both the Russian and the Ukrainian reserve units. Both will have a mix of complete newbies and people with prior training. In the short term, the proportions of that mix are what matters.
fredw you make a good point on “reserves”. I wonder if Russian reserves also have had their basic/ait completed. Then, there will be questions about their quality, moral, determination, and leadership. Your last three sentences say it all. Some one, ISW perhaps, ought to be making that analysis. I am impressed that a Ukie reserve Tank Brigade is already in opn. How many Tanks/troops does an Ukr TB have?
A tank brigade has three tank battalions with 90 to 100 tanks, two mech infantry battalions, an artillery group and assorted combat support and support units. The Ukrainian army only has two active tank brigades. The rest are in the reserves. As I mentioned, Ukrainian reserve units are more like our NG and Reserve units. Russian reserves are cadre units at best and need to created from reservists who may not have been in uniform for years. The equipment may not have moved from the motor pool for ages.
Russia shares a border with Ukraine. Logistics favor Russia as a matter of common sense. Both of manpower and weapons. NATO supplied weapons are being destroyed as soon as they enter Ukrainian territory. A bonanza for western arms merchants.
Those Western weapons are blowing the turrets off Russian tanks at a good clip and still knocking Russian planes out of the sky.
They don’t need to hold the ground and actually do not want to hold it. Let the West absorb the blunt of the welfare class. More economic hardship. All they want is their Russian regions, water restored to Crimea and to stop paying Ukraine to run oil to Europe to the tune of billions annually. If they can do that they have won. Also create a buffer where Zelinsky is actually bombing and destroying his own country creating a wasteland. Nobody will want to live there.
If the Russians want those breakaway republics and water for Crimea, they will have to hold that land. Those breakaway republics will be destroyed and no one will want to live there so they will no longer be Russian regions. What would be the point of holding them?
TTG, any proof (beyond your hated-filled wishful thinking) on this “turrets blown off…..planes knocked out of sky “BS???
Field reports generally show the USAA Javelin is a massive failure and I haven’t heard of a single UKR fighter or ground support aircraft inflicting harm on anyone other than their maintenance crews!
Publicly available photos and videos.
This is great news! Is it too soon to talk about war reparations and the new structure of the government post the Putin’s war defeat of the Russian Federation? Will the same people from the 90s “advise” on that? If it is too early perhaps we could discuss the growing season, mineral exports, and fertilisers? (Not the kind the beligerants have been tossing around.)
I appreciate your witty sarcasm, as usual. But there is already talk of reparations, maybe coming from seized yachts, gold reserves and the resale of oligarchs’ luxury apartments.
I appreciate your dispassionate analysis. What is the legal basis by which the US and other western nations siezed these assets? Are private citizens who happen to be rich, however defined, collectively guilty of the conduct of the current Russian government?
I don’t know the legal basis for these sanctions and seizures. I’ve never understood any of that legal/financial stuff. The targeting of the oligarchs is based on their closeness to Putin and his government, not just their being rich.
Guilt by association, like the paralized olympians and tennis players and such folks. The West might want to take a look at the precident being set for governments world wide. I believe Trudeau did that with his ex-post facto siezure of assets of truckers, and Biden with the incarcertaion without charge or trial for January 6th offenders. Russia’s war is an affront, the West’s reactions are looking to be almost as bad because of the unintended consequences based off executive actions and coercion.
While we need to take these reports with a grain of salt, dunno if this has much effect on future development?
Reading Russian news I see the sentiment in Russia is pretty unanimously against the Western powers and in favor of the ethnic-Russians in Ukraine and against the Ukraine “Nazis” (Russians they say “Nazi” not “neo-Nazi”).
We have no chance of damaging Russia by arming Ukraine neo-Nazis. At least no chance of damaging Russia as much as we’re damaging ourselves.
And regarding the fact we’re helping Ukraine’s neo-Nazis, there is no benefit in denial.
Population Russia 140M
Population Ukraine 40M (w/up to 10M diaspora in Poland and Russia)
I’m going to chalk the manpower reserve statement along side the pending Ukrainian tank offensive after the Russians withdrew from Kiev. Remember that? That was when Russia’s tank inventory was either destroyed or captured by Ukraine. That was after the Czech Republic gave Ukraine a tanks a month ago.
The really sick thing is that the second Ukraine makes pease w/Russia, they will become the new Belarus. We will turn on them and impose sanctions the second they stop listening to us.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for Ukraine to go the way of Belarus.
How about the way of Yugoslavia?
How about those Russians who want to be Russian just move to Russia. Many have over the last eight years. In the last two months even more have left. A lot of those left have been drafted for cannon fodder. The demographic problem is sorting itself out.
“How about those Russians who want to be Russian just move to Russia. ”
That is an excellent idea. Does that apply to other nationalities living outside their home countries as well?
As another example, if all those seeking asylum in the US don’t want to become US residents or citizens and abide by US laws, then yes they should just remain where they are or move to a place other than the US where they will abide by the local laws. That doesn’t mean they must forsake their languages and cultures, just abide by US laws.
“or citizens and abide by US laws”
You mean those tens of millions here illegally should go home. I agree.
“That doesn’t mean they must forsake their languages and cultures, just abide by US laws.”
So assimilation is not a thing any longer. I disagree with you there.
Assimilation to a level to allow one to function in a society is fine and happens naturally, but full assimilation into government determined language, religion, cultural practices and beliefs… Hell no.
The Jesuits skipped over the Tower of Babyl story?
Or was it just a now inconvenient story to be replaced by a new mor expedient story?
Uhhh…I’m getting so dizzy. Please mister G man tell me what’s real and I’ll go along with it just to lessen my cognitive stress (you’ll never hear from me and so many more who are waking up)
“government determined language, religion, cultural practices and beliefs… Hell no.”
Thank goodness we agree. I don’t think the CRT people and the climate change true believers do though.
DeSantis definitely doesn’t agree. You either tow the government line and sing the government’s praises or risk the government’s wrath. Abbott and a few others aren’t far behind.
We had politicians in the US talking about “self deporting”. Your suggestions sounds like “self ethnic cleansing”. Would it be just the ethnic Russians, who have been there since forever, moving? How about the Roma? Where do they go?
Look at a map that overlays national borders with the ethnic communities of Central and Eastern Europe. I suggest this is not a ball you want to start rolling unless you want a civilian population re-alignment that would dwarf what happened after WW2.
Maybe the Ukrainians can stop their Neo-Nazis from committing war crimes against ethnic minorities unless the message you really want to impart in this volatile part of the world is “if you don’t like minorities in your country, do a few pogroms and people will tell them to move by the millions to a different location”.
Read the history of the region a bit and you will quickly find the people will not move. It will just start another war. If pogroms worked Central and Eastern Europe long ago would have been made up completely of pure, ethno-states as those in the Neo Nazi paramilitaries in the region would love. It would be a mistake to think there are not other Neo Nazis in the neighbouring countries that wouldn’t like to get rid of their ethnic minority citizens as well. They are looking to Ukraine to see just how it would work.
Self-deporting is only applicable if one is unwilling to abide by the country’s legal system. Lithuania embarked on a different approach towards the ethnic Russians living in country several years ago. They no longer seek full assimilation of the Russians. The Russians are encouraged to embrace their Russian ethnicity and culture while being Lithuanians. The old assimilate or get out approach was counterproductive. It generated real grievances and created a potential fifth column. That’s not something you want with a defense strategy of national resistance.
“DeSantis definitely doesn’t agree. You either tow the government line and sing the government’s praises or risk the government’s wrath.”
The voters of the state, through their elected representatives in the Florida Legislature, enacted a parental rights bill. Disney’s executives submitted to the demands of the intollerant LGBTQ+++ employees and engaged in very public politics over the law. Disney is a multinational corporation headquartered in California, it is not a parent nor a voter in Florida. But if you think he’s a dictator because the state legislature passed the bills he signed then you should lobby to have Biden remove him and the legislature from office because of this. Good luck.
All of this might well be true, and I don’t think for a minute that we will see an end to the party anytime soon.
But I am not at all certain that the reserves, without excellent supporting logistics, can have a net impact on the whole affair. They might be what is needed to turn the tide, but I would say that the whole thing is pretty iffy should they get deployed.
I have odd tastes in internet gurus. The colonel has been my go-to for quite a while now, but another person I read a lot is a hippie up in Rhode Island who thinks things through pretty damn well.
Give this a read and think about what it is saying, might not be the whole truth, but there are points there to ponder:
And this came out today from Gail Tverberg that gives some background on energy issues:
I still say that this one is too close to call right now, I think that it is the Russians war to lose. Still don’t trust them. I’m still an ancient cold-warrior.
Oh, and this one too
Are you sure those Western weapons will keep flowing?
“This is presenting Western countries with a stark choice between pouring more supplies into Ukraine or husbanding finite capabilities they may need for their own defense.
Germany has declined to transfer tanks to Ukraine on grounds that it simply cannot spare them. Canada quickly ran short on rocket launchers and other equipment that the Ukrainians desperately need. The U.S. has provided one-third of its overall stockpile of Javelin anti-tank missiles. It cannot easily deliver more without leaving its own armories badly depleted — and it may take months or years to significantly ramp up production.”
A stark reminder of the hollowing out of America’s manufacturing capability.
Of all the industries that of arms manufacture was the one most jealously retained in the USA. Yet even that is a shadow of what it was.
How quickly can the Ukrainian’s blow through the entire US stockpile of Stingers and Javelins? And what capacity does the USA have to ramp up the production of both to replenish those stocks?
The answer to both questions is probably going to be very sobering indeed.
Javelins are being sent to Ukraine at a rate that exceeds our current replacement rate, but there’s still plenty for several more months at least. There’s no problem if fighting is reduced to bullets and artillery shells. Not a pleasant prospect, but think about the Russian replacement rate. Their tank production line already had to be shut down due to a lack of Western made components.
“Their tank production line already had to be shut down due to a lack of Western made components.”
Yes, I saw the Ukrainian General Staff making that claim.
Has anyone actually identified the “Western made components” whose deprivation has crippled Russian tank production?
Because, honestly, I believe that story about as far as I can throw a Russian-made tank.
The missing parts are chips which were sourced from Germany. No more chips. No more tanks. No more a lot of other things either. Our auto industry was recently hit by the same problem due to supply chain breakdowns.
The Germans were supplying critical items to the Russian defense industry? Is this the same Germany that needs NATO to defend it against Russia(!) ? The same NATO that ‘needs’ to expand to defend countries from Russia? Whose side has Germany been on? Aren’t they subject to ITAR and FARA or other export technology related rules in some manner, or didn’t we consider Russia a potential enemy all those years we were expanding NATO?
Germany has been looking east since Willie Brandt and his Ostpolitik. France and Germany have sold millions in defense products to Russia since 2014 through a loophole in the arms embargo. If Putin didn’t start his idiotic invasion, that trade would still be going on and NS2 would be pumping gas. He screwed the pooch.
“The missing parts are chips which were sourced from Germany. ”
Yeah, again, I saw the Ukrainians making that claim.
“No more chips. No more tanks.”
Again, this is an unsubstantiated claim, one that is made by the Ukrainians and not corroborated by any other source.
I am not even certain that the GERMANS are claiming that their refusal to supply chips (and what chips, exactly?) have had the effect of grinding Russian tank assembly lines to a halt.
I… honestly, when did war-by-wish-fulfillment become a thing?
What you are saying is that Germany and France, the two major European powers in NATO, have been arming the Russian Federation, the one nation NATO says it exists to defend its member states from? What kind of moral duplicity is that? Why on Earth should we be obligated to defend such people?
And Putin continues to supply those major European powers with gas and oil, the lifeblood of their economies. He does this as his tanks and troops are being blown up and burnt out by weapons supplied by those European powers. What sense does that make? We continue to sell grain to China and push for them to buy more. IMO that doesn’t make any sense, either.
Those things are true, but we have no mutual defense treaty with Russia or China. The Europeans need to defend themselves. The Eastern Baltic nations need their own defense agreements, we should not be involved in either.
“IMO that doesn’t make any sense, either.”
You have this completely ass-backward!
What does not make sense is to pursue aggressive noxious endeavors toward people you depend on. 😀
That was the thought behind the promise of an integrated world economy, but there are strong national motivators beyond economics… not always logical, but strong.
That is a good idea of yours for alliances between former Warsaw Pact and/or SSR countries.
A mutual defense agreement between Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Finland, and the Baltic States has been proposed. AFAIK it never has gotten past the talking stage. A great idea I think. But I’m not sure how that would work since some of those states are with NATO. It would entangle the US and the West. Something our first & greatest Prez warned us about.
Need a little more nuance. These are standard problems of any war that lasts more than a few months. See US navy in the Pacific 1942-3. Down to one carrier for a (short) while. Javelin anti-tank missiles in particular seem expendable in the short term. Who else would we conceivably need to use them on? Any conflict with China is unlikely to happen in locations where they have tanks. So get some production running. Indications are that ramping up production will be much harder for Russia than for the US. In the long term both will manage, but the issues right now are very much short term.
I was reminded of WW1 where the drain on munitions burned though stock piles intended to last the entire war in a couple of months.
The interesting bit is if production can be ramped up quickly. It’s not artillery shells so there may be bottlenecks. And of course the money need to be found also.
And here we go. An utterly-predictable-from-day-1 article. “It will be years before Raytheon Technologies can build new Stinger shoulder-fired missiles due to a dwindling supply of weapons parts, the company’s CEO said Tuesday.” This is about stingers, but javelins can’t be far behind.
Very true. Russia has also gone through more than two years production of tanks and aircraft to those Stingers and Javelins.
What our culture doesn’t seem to recognize, is that reality is a function of tension and friction. It’s more positive and negative charge, than any actual substance, even strings.
So it’s not a matter of everyone finally sorting out all the pieces, but finding levels of balance. Without the ups and downs, it’s a flatline anyway.
I think it’s about as likely Ukraine will get its eastern third back, as of Mexico getting Texas back. Facts on the ground.
Another wonderful little “story” is that the US “stole” the South West/CA from Mexico and it should be returned to Mexico by the racist Anglos.
So many stories. So many “realities”. So many beak nosed salespersons you’ll never meet working behind the scenes, for top dollar, for story manufacturing firms.
I grew up in the horse racing world. Narrative stops at the finish line.
Ten winners before the race, one after it.
I guess if I was to prognosticate the obvious, whatever line Russia draws by the time winter sets in, will effectively become their western border, while Europe has to deal with a lot more refugees and a lot less energy and the US devolves ever further into a political and financial meltdown, as all the competing “narratives” refuse to all fit in the same box.
The story is true enough, but only in a framework that accepts that they had the right to dispossess and dominate the people already living there. Otherwise it boils down to “You stole my loot!”
IMO, “frameworks” is another trick played by manipulators on the open minded and slightly intelligent. It’s associated with the modern woke meaning of “critical” (as in critical race theory) and that other odious neo-academic-linguisticologism “context”.
The world is full of professional whiners. They’re usually aligned with – perhaps preyed upon by, but at least existing symbiotically with – the story tellers; sometimes they are even the same people. They then hire [usually beak nosed] PR people that package the story in a way that sells and brings in investors b/c the story is going to make money for some industry sector (yes, in the modern “economy” lawyers and lobbyists are a sector).
Only well-meaning romantic fools searching for windmills to slay and sundry mindless dopes buy into any of it.
How does the great replacement theory fit into those frameworks? The whining and fretting about that is almost deafening. And who are these beak nosed people you keep mentioning?
The US sends stuff as covertly as a herd of lumbering three legged elephants with randomly firing car alarms around their necks and the Russians blow it up as soon as it lands in country. Ukraine impresses untrained civilians (call them “reserves” if it gives you a hard on) into service and the Russians kill them within 48 hours. There’s ample evidence of that fact – and it makes sense. You guys were saying just a year or so ago that would be the fate of US “militias” if they tried to take on The Almighty GOVERMENT. Another problem with story telling is that your stories have to be consistent. It can’t be untrained militias have no chance and the next, untrained militias will save the day. Then again, the almighty US military was defeated by religious goat herders over a 20 year span. So who knows? Stories and stories and stories. But so far, even veteran foreign volunteers are saying it’s death to go to the front and that UKR civilians forced into service are killed quickly.
As far as I am aware this covert crap, US SF/SOCOM and barely trained US allied foreign civilians/reserves have never won any wars. It’s your basic active duty 11 series and equivalents in the air, sea and in the rear that win wars. On top of that, UKR is going to starve, literally and financially, very shortly because their exports/farming are going to hell on a well greased 90 degree downhill one way roller coaster ride; no planting, no shipping.
We – collectively in the West – have a perception of reality that has so far veered into fantasy land that one hesitates to believe anything anymore. Internal documents published by the WP show that the pentagon already knew in 2005 that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable. Right now anybody with any mind for statistics knows, that the Covid vaccines are an unmitigated desaster. I believe that Ukraine will turn out one as well. Instead of twisting the arms of the Ukrainians to finally ratify Mink II and thereby give Lugansk and Donezk autonomy within Ukraine and indirectly Moscow vetoing power in Kiev we have employed far right militias to prevent Selenski to do exactly that. Now our media are reporting great successes of the Ukrainians and make it sound as if victory is around the corner. The proof is in the pudding: if the Ukrainian main force in the East is – as I would predict – starved and pummeled into submission, we will know in about two months. Even our media won´t be able to hide a military defeat of such magnitude. Then follows a terrible winter for us as an energy boycott of Russia will drive energy prices into the stratosphere. Next spring could see regime change not in Russia but here and in Ukraine. I for one can´t wait to see all the chickenhawks, neo cons and assorted hysterics out of the window.
Heck, I knew that Afghanistan was unwinnable back in 2002! All you needed to know was something about Afghan history; no classified information from the Pentagon was necessary in that case.
“Then again, the almighty US military was defeated by religious goat herders over a 20 year span. So who knows? Stories and stories and stories.”
Really? That is about as US-centered a viewpoint as I have ever seen. What I thought I saw was that we went up against soldiers and commanders that already had 20 years combat experience fighting armies with modern weapons. They knew what they were doing and had an extensive tactical doctrine for accomplishing it. And our defeat was not their first win.
It is easy to use their cultural and religious difference to discount their competence, which for combat was actually substantial.
The goal is to create a wasteland. A buffer zone. He never wanted the whole region. The goal has been achieved. And it’s not just Russia. He has a large group of friends that will help him keep it that way. Their survival depends upon it as well. End of the day Zelinsky will end up bombing his own country into a plumb of dirt. Ever destroyed your own stuff to keep your stuff? Me neither.
If the Russian goal was to create a wasteland, they wouldn’t get water for Crimea or independent republics of DNR and LNR. Neither Putin nor his generals are so moronic as to want a mere wasteland.
Look at his comment again. He was talking about Zelensky, not Putin.
Maybe He is doing it on Purpose..
The problem with autocracies is that there no way to peaceful transition from the gerontocracy to a younger generation.
The goal of the Russian invasion is quite plain; demilitarize Ukraine and eliminate all of the neo-Nazis. The war is approaching two months and it will be shortly be clear if Russia has the manpower, tanks, artillery and close air support to secure Donbass and the Crimea Land Bridge without a full mobilization. Then what? The West is intentionally trying to drag the war out to get a regime change in the Kremlin. The USA/UK, Russia and China cannot even talk to each other.
If Russia pushes into Western Ukraine to fight the Nazi resistance, a full Russian mobilization is required and most likely NATO will use tactical nuclear weapons. NATO does not have the wealth, skill, or will to build a new Maginot Line the length of the Ukraine border from Romania to Poland to stop Russia’s drive west.
Peace is the only sure way to avoid a nuclear war. There is no way the USA can evacuate out of Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia like it just did in Kabul. To survive, the USA needs to acknowledge that this is a multi-polar world, once again. Ukraine and Russia must sign a peace treaty/armistice that establishes a DMZ on the east bank of the Dnieper River that keeps Odessa and Kiev in Ukraine and which is manned by Eastern Europeans to end the shelling and future conflicts. If not, WWIII will go incandescent.
It’s been a multipolar world for quite some time. Russia has to learn that she lives in a multipolar region. The nations of Eastern Europe are no longer her satellites.
Ukraine doesn’t need a Maginot Line. The whole point of a national resistance strategy is to make an invasion too costly to sustain. That strategy also creates a defense force equally incapable of sustaining a foreign intervention. That is real threat reduction.
You are right about the satellites. No longer Russian satellites, they are now US ones along with the rest of the Nato countries. We can disagree whether that is a good or bad thing.
Russia does not need to invade the whole Ukraine or even a significant part of it. If it deems Ukraine an essential threat to its national security it could do what Israel did to Lebanon in 2006 and go after civilian infrastructure targets (roads, bridges, airports, railways, ports etc).
This might get NATO directly involved, though.
Beautifully written. I’m not sure the Russians can let Odesa stay in Ukraine, but I guess everything is negotiable. Even if NATO doesn’t threaten with going nuclear, the problem with western Ukraine is if the Russians come in they would have a 90% hostile population (which is not the situation in the rest of Ukraine). And I’m sure they learned their lessons in Afganistan.
On the US side, as you pointed out, it is vital that the US acknowledge that the world has become mulitpolar.
So far only Putin has threatened going nuclear. His TV station broadcasters and talking head guests are chuckling about destroying Wash DC and Miami.
What Igor is saying makes a lot of sense.
He got a taste of Ukrainian determination to fight back in 2014 and tried to get Russia to commit with much larger forces. He is doing the same now.
Even in 2015 during the battle of Debaltseve it was not an easy win for the LDNR forces, and they had help from Russia.
Today, after 7 years or arming and training and with NATO poring in resources it will be so much harder if not impossible.
Russia should work to make itself as strong and prosperous as possible by focusing on economy, rule of law, demographics, import substitution, fighting corruption, improving its armed forces etc.
If it wants to fight to keep Ukraine (and Belarus, Kazakhstan…) in its sphere of influence, it should not do this with tanks. It should build a society that others will strive to imitate and be close to.
You’re correct. Russia should build a society which, like that beacon on a hill, attracts and lead others to it. “I am Russia, see me, see what a modern Slavic state can accomplish. See, my Slavic brothers and sisters what Slavs can do. Be proud to be like me, associate w/me, and we can help each other”. But this is impossible for the Russian soul. Russians just gotta dominate. They have to be the big pig in the trough. Sorry for being a “Johnnie one note” but all the explanations, speculations, and possibilities refuse to face the fact that Russians are simply bullies. After ’91, every prior satellite turned its guns to face east, to face Russia. Don’t they know best where their tormentor lives.
On One Trip to Germany…An Old..German Soldier ..(My friends Opa)…Sounded Bitter.. When He Said….”The Americans Butchered the Wrong Pig..”
Yes, Russia is a bully with an imperial complex. But so is the UK.
US is a bully on global scale. Even within the EU there are issues, because the western dominated institutions are trying to bully the eastern Europe into accepting policies they feel are encroaching on their cultural and religious entities. There’s plenty of bullying going around.
What the West did right is create conditions for much greater prosperity of it’s people than the communist countries lead by USSR.
Instead of providing an attractive alternative, Russia is sending tanks to destroy and conquer a country with whom they have so much in common. Lunacy.
So if ethnic minorities refuse to put up with roaming Neo Nazi paramilitaries they need to leave the countries their ancestors have lived in for centuries? The oppressed in Ukraine were ethnic Russians, Roma and others. “De Oppressor Liber” doesn’t count in Eastern Europe when it is ethnic minorities facing state sponsored Neo Nazi paramilitaries?
Say what you will about Russians, but ignoring ethnic minorities, oppressed by organs of the state would seem to be exactly what DOL is talking about.
Your suggest would lead to massive ethnic cleansing in Eastern Europe. If all that is needed is a Neo Nazi paramilitary or two committing some war crimes and those espousing DOL telling those being killed, accept your death and oppression, or leave.
There is a logical disconnect there.
Why do you believe this bullshit propaganda line about roaming neo-nazi paramilitaries? Eight years ago, you would have had a story there. There were also sporadic atrocities committed by the Donbas rebels back in ’14 and ’15. They and the Ukrainian neo-nazis were going tit for tat back then. If you’re worried about roaming murderers and rapists, look at the evidence of Bucha and other towns and villages where the Russian Army came and left. Certainly you aren’t cheering on that behavior of the Russian Army.
What’s your opinion on Roman Shukhevych and Stepan Bandera ?
Do you think they deserve to have museums, monuments, their own postage stamps, torch lit commemorations etc ?
What is needed is something akin to a truth commission that acknowledges the shortcomings and crimes of those people. There are a lot of national heroes with sordid sides. Without acknowledging those sordid sides, all those monuments and commemorations lead to cults capable of repeating those sordid deeds.
Moldova in the Russians’ gunsights….
Russia Wants ‘Full Control’ Over Ukraine’s South, East And Eyes Part Of Moldova, Commander Says
… would also open up a route to Transnistria, Minnekayev said, a breakaway region of Moldova backed and armed by Moscow.
… Belarus, its close ally, has retracted a map, shown in a briefing last week by the Belarusian president, that was marked with arrows suggesting a planned Russian advance into Moldova. … A Russian regiment is already stationed on Moldovan soil, in the breakaway, Russian-backed territory of Transnistria, where secessionists took control after a war in 1992. …
Like I’ve been saying,