Does anyone know what is going on in SE Ukraine?

Despite apparent de-escalation attempts by Russia, it seems that ‘Ukrainian leaders’ and its foreign sponsors are determined to instigate the war.

Over the past 24 hours, forces of the Kiev regime have been consistently taking efforts to deploy even more forces to the contact line with Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in the East. At the same time, particular units of the Ukrainian Army and affiliated militant organizations are blatantly violate the ceasefire regime in the area.

These developments are accompanied by reports that representatives of the post-Maidan Ukrainian elites are fleeing the country. Furthermore, reports claim that Mr. Zelensky himself ordered to evacuate his parents from the country. ‘Just in case’ as the leaked audio tape says:…”

“As of 12:00 local time, authorities of people’s republics reported the following ceasefire violations by Kiev regime:


  • 55:55 Kryakovka – Prishib: mortar 120mm (11 mortar shells);
  • 06:50 Prichepilovka – Zholobok: mortar 120mm (14 mortar shells);
  • 07:35 Stanitsa Lugaska – Zelenaya Roshcha: 120mm mortar (9 mortar shells);
  • 07:40 Svetlodarsk – Molochny: 82mm mortar (4 mortar shells);
  • 08:10 Stanitsa Luganskaya – Veselenkoe: SPG-9 (3 rounds);
  • 09:00 Lugansk – Kalinovka: mortar 120mm (10 mortar shells);
  • 09:25 Lugansk – Sanzharovka: mortar 120mm (6 mortar shells);
  • 09:45 Troitskoye – Kalinovo: mortar 120mm (5 mortar shells);
  • 10:23 Novotoshkovskoye – Golubovskoye: RPG-7 (3 shots);
  • 10:14 Luhanske – Kalinovka: AGS-17 (29 grenades), heavy machine gun, small arms;
  • 11:05 Krymskoe – Sokolniki: RPG-7 (2 grenades), heavy machine gun;


  • 05:30 – Nikolaevka – Petrivske: 12 shells of 122 mm caliber were fired.
  • 06:15 – Starognotovka – Novolaspa: 3 shells of 122 mm caliber were fired;
  • 06:45 – Chermalyk – Embankment: 5 grenades fired;
  • 06:55 – Nikolaevka – Dokuchaevsk: 10 shots fired from BMP-2;
  • 07:20 – Zamozhnoye – Embankment: 1 ATGM missile was fired;
  • 07:25 – Gorlovka (mine named after Izotov): 2 shells of 120 mm caliber were fired.
  • 08:00 – Verkhnetoretskoye (northern) – Verkhnetoretsk (southern): 6 grenades, 8 RPG grenades, 29 AGS grenades were fired;
  • 08:00 – Bogdanovka – Novolaspa: 12 shells of 120 mm caliber;
  • 08:10 – Dzerzhinskoye: fired 4 shells of 122 mm caliber, 16 shells of 120 mm caliber.
  • 08:25 – Novoluganskoye – Dolomite: 4 shells of 120 mm caliber.
  • 08:50 – Kominternovo: fired 5 shells of 82 mm caliber.
  • 09:00 – Verkhnetoretskoye (northern) – n.p. Verkhnetoretskoe (southern): 10 shells of 120 mm caliber.
  • 07:00 – Starognatovka – Belaya Kamenka: 20 AGS grenades fired.
  • 09:40 – Chermalyk – Nikolayevka: 6 SPG grenades fired.
  • 09:45 – Chigiri – Gorlovka (settlement sh-you named after Gagarin): 16 shells were fired. Caliber – 120 mm;
  • 09:45 – Noises – Gorlovka (settlement of Shakhty 6/7): 12 shells of 120 mm caliber;
  • 09:50 – Novgorod – Wide beam: 9 SPG grenades, 25 AGS grenades werefired;
  • 09:50 – Novoselovka – Wide beam: fired 6 shells of 82 mm caliber, 4 SPG grenades, small arms were also used.
  • 10:10 – Pavlopol – settlement Sosnovskoe: 16 shells were fired with. Caliber – 120 mm;
  • 10:10 – Hnutovo – October: 10 shells of 82 mm caliber;
  • 10:20 – Nikolaevka – Styla: a large-caliber machine gun was used.
  • 10:25 – Novotroitskoye – Dokuchaevsk: 2 shells of 82 mm caliber were fired;
  • 10:28 – Leninskoye – Gorlovka (settlement of sh-you named after Gagarin): 4 shots were fired from a battle tank;
  • 10:40 – Nevelskoye – Staromikhaylovka: 10 RPG grenades were fired;
  • 10:48 – Starognatovka – Belaya Kamenka: 25 shells of 120 mm caliber;
  • 11:10 – Glorious – Yelenovka: 10 shells were fired

Meanwhile, reports appear that Kiev troops tried to advance near the city of Gorlokva. This provoked clashes in the area.

Comment: South Front is a vehicle for Russian government Information Ops. The Bidenistas are pushing opposing views. Who knows the truth of this? Not I. pl

This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Borg Wars, government, Policy, Russia, The Military Art. Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Does anyone know what is going on in SE Ukraine?

  1. irf520 says:

    Looks like the balloon’s going up imminently. The breakaway republics have ordered an evacuation of civilians to Russia’s Rostov region:

    Yes, those are Russian sources, but I doubt you’ll get any honest information from Western sources on this subject.

    • Degringolade says:

      I am certain that the info from South Front and the Russian Government is every bit as accurate and unbiased as the info from the State Department and CNN.

      One of the reasons that I drop by every day is the excellent distillation and analysis allowed here.

      Granted, there is the occasional whackadoodle comment, but I have always been a fan of comic relief.

      Thanks again Colonel et al for all you do.

  2. Kenneth Alonso says:

    English translation at

    Civilians being evacuated from Donbass to Rostov region.

  3. Babeltuap says:

    Will US Troops get the Croix de Guerre without leaving the rear? About to find out.

  4. RZ says:

    The available news appears to show the DPR (civilian?) population evacuating to Russia.
    I presume a military presence will remain but are there are any treaties (Minsk?) regarding Donetsk militia?
    Is this move an attempt to forestall a Ukrainian false flag operation.
    I don’t see how Washington can allow themselves to loose face. Wait a week/month and find out.

    • Is this move an attempt to forestall a Ukrainian false flag operation.

      It is exactly the reason, frontline settlements are being evacuated to avoid atrocity and false flag. Term “Ukrainian” doesn’t apply–Ukraine is under direct control of the US and does as told.

  5. TTG says:

    The OSCE Special monitoring Mission daily reports are available. They report violations on both sides from ground patrols, video OPs and UAV flights. Long range UAVs seem to be operational. Short range UAVs are jammed a lot. The shelling of 17 Feb was a substantial escalation. The daily report from yesterday should be published later today.

    The DNR’s head Pushlin is warning of an imminent Ukrainian offensive as he orders a forced evacuation of civilians from the republic. I’d watch for artillery strikes on fleeing busses. That would make a picturesque provocation. Some DNR sources are already screaming about a Ukrainian offensive underway. They’re either delusional or deliberately provocative. The republics seem to be pushing for a provocation, even if Moscow is not.

    • MapleLeaf says:

      The republics are pushing for it. Russian media is running images of evacuation from the region. They are building up pressure, I can’t see these people living long if this is actually against the interest of Putin. But that being said, there was just a car bomb near one of their administrative centres, so maybe they were silenced, though I doubt it.

      Further, a friend of mine from Poland just informed me they are testing their air raid systems in some of the towns (these aren’t next to the border). She hadn’t heard them in a very, very long time.

      All signs point to a push for intervention by Monday. Who is doing the pushing? Good question…

      • TTG says:


        Pushilin never wanted an independent Donetsk Peoples Republic. He wanted the region to become part of the “Russian Empire” as he stated years ago. He doesn’t hold a candle to his predecessor, Zakharchenko, who was a true role model for the people of Donetsk. Pushilin might be off the reservation with his evacuation order. I have a feeling he could be targeted equally by Kyiv or Moscow in that case.

  6. Marty Heyman says:

    Perhaps President Z and his inner circle are out of the loop? There are other power players at work with their own army and agenda, no?

  7. Christian J. Chuba says:

    With U.S. / NATO giving uniform backing to Ukraine and if Russia really is withdrawing forces, it encourages Ukraine to get aggressive to their eastern province. Any claim that they are being attacked will be dismissed as Russian disinformation.`

    I think it was Saker (or one of the many people smarter than me) who said that Zelensky has the following motives … 1. keep the fascists that terrify him busy in the front lines, 2. a limited war will bring in more western aid and he thinks and actual Russian invasion is not in the cards.

    TTG regarding the OSCE reports, I read them and they are very dense. they just say, ‘we see evidence of X number of shells of this calibre having landed here’ and they do so after the fact. They do not get into who fired first. If by ‘both sides’ you only mean that the ethnic Russians are also being shelled as well as the Ukrainian side I am certain you are 100% correct. But according to CNN, it means the Russian army is shelling Ukraine. I bet they don’t even know about the OSCE or and could not even spell it.

    • TTG says:

      Christian J. Chuba,

      Yes, the OSCE reports are dry and totally lacking in editorial comment and educated guesses. OSCE reports have been like that for years and offer a dispassionate record of what’s happening. That’s exactly what’s needed.

    • Philip Owen says:

      Saker is not smarter than you. You write coherent Englsh for a start.

  8. nardami says:

    My wife comes from Lugansk and is in contact with her girfriends there. Every 5 year old knows where the shells are coming from and can tell you the calibre of the mortar that fired them. Yes, the Orks are attacking; car bomb went off outside HQ in Donestsk..likely assassination attempt. Shoigu warned of US contractors assisting Orks to move large chemical containers near the contact line back in early January. This will not end well. Russia will be as patient as possible but is prepared to unleash hell from above if it goes too far.

    • d74 says:

      Come on, come on, a five-year-old can’t know more than the OSCE. A kid is a kid, but the OSCE is maned by professionals on the ground.

      Sarcastic mode 50% weaker:
      Right, for every 100 shells fired by the Ukies, the LDNR militia responds with 5 shells. This way, the OSCE can claim that the LDNR are shooting at Ukraine.

      No sarcasm:
      A French TV report on the front line on the UK side.
      An Ukie officer: “Ukrainian conscripts do not want to fight. No moral. The people here, Russian-speaking, don’t like us. No sympathy. When there is an exchange of fire, people from here phone the militia to adjust their fire on us. [I think it’s unlikely, but you never know. He must have been depressed…]

      Another TV report, on the Donesk side, a village not too far from the front line.
      A mother: “I’m fed up. Almost all the time we live in the basement.”.
      Images of the basement, with two entrances, one inside, the other in the small garden. Utterly wretched. (In USSR times, these concrete basements were compulsory. Civil protection).
      “We want to be Russian and have nothing to do with Kiev”. She shows the five Russian passports recently granted to her family.
      (Out of 3 million inhabitants, 1 million have applied for and received these passports. Mostly to be able to travel freely).

      These two short TV reports were made by paragons of ‘Americanism’. No suspicion of working for the enemy but sometimes, rarely, they do their job. That won’t stop them from claiming the Russians will invade Ukraine tomorrow or soon. But the wine fair in Trifouillis-Les-Oies (250 inhabitants) will make the most headlines. Trifouillis-Les-Oies=Triple muddle-with-Geese.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        Reading this comment got me to thinking that indications of sarcasm levels the reader should infer would be a really useful grammatical feature. Perhaps there is a linguist here (Colonel, Professor Willett?) who can point to a language whose grammar or syntax has this intrinsic capability. English, being infinitely adaptable, could perhaps benefit from an upgrade. \s is useful when one wants to be unequivocal & fears a misreading may give offense and perhaps we should leave it at that, as achieving ambiguity in sarcastic prose is often the highest form of the art.

  9. Leith says:

    Zero evidence of the so-called Ukrainian cease fire violations claimed by the People’s Republics of Donetsk & Luhansk. Zero evidence for reports of Ukrainian sabotage within those areas.

    Ask yourself, ‘cui bono’?

    Yesterday saw a huge 200% increase in shelling by the Russian backed LPR and DPR forces across the contact line into Ukrainian territory – to include 122mm, antitank missile, 82 & 120 mm mortars, RPG rounds, and 14.5 & 12.7 HMGs. They are hoping like hell they can get some Ukrainian on the lines to respond so they can have their false flag. Some poor bastard in the trenches who is fed up with the cease fire orders might just say the hell with fire discipline and give them the excuse they are looking for.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      No evidence Ukrainian cease fire violations? I suppose not if you only consider western and Ukranian sources reliable. Do you accept what some western sources are saying; that the DNR is shelling their own towns as a false flag? Otherwise, there appears to be ample evidence that Ukrainian forces are shelling DNR towns.

      Have you considered that Ukraine wants to do away with Russophile rebels in the country and is, indeed, attacking DNR pockets and is getting its bought off and ideologue US/NATO “friends” to support that action by threatening to propagandize the whole thing as Russian aggression should Russia seek to intercede on friendlies’ behalf?

      • Leith says:

        Eric –

        Reuters has reporters inside Donetsk and Luhansk. They have reported hearing the sirens. But they witnessed no shelling. They heard distant rumbling, but had no way to tell which side of the gray zone it was on.

        A Reuters photographer did see and take pics of the remains of a destroyed UAZ DPR vehicle that is being claimed as a truck bomb meant to destroy the Donetsk Government House. But the pictures of the remnant of that UAZ seem to me that it was a pretty piss-poor bomb. There was no damage to the government building, and there were no other cars in the parking lot. Looks like more of a fire than of a detonated explosion. Probably a gasoline soaked rag stuck in the gas tank and lit by the Donetsk MoSS or a fanatic off the street as another false flag. Even Donetsk residents are making fun of this incident. And the explosion conveniently happened just a couple of hours after the sudden evacuation announcement. But let me be more charitable, and say maybe it was an accident as many of those UAZ’s in the Donbas have been converted to methane.

        I have not seen your ample evidence. Ukraine has had no offensive operations against the separatists since Minsk II. Why would they do so now when surrounded by over 100 Russian BTGs crowding their border. They’ve been told they will not get US or NATO troops if war starts.

        • English Outsider says:

          Leith – is there any evidence of evacuation of civilians on the Ukrainian side of the line of control? Would this be evidence that the Ukrainians are genuinely expecting a Russian/separatist attack?

          • zmajcek says:

            Not sure Ukrainian army cares much about civilians on their side of the line of control. Most of them are pro-Russian or are ethnic Russian.
            However, there is still no convincing evidence of any mass attack from any side yet.

          • Leith says:

            EO –

            As to your first question regarding evacuation by the Ukraine: Years ago many civilians left from the ‘buffer zone’ or ‘no man’s land’ due to separatist shelling coming from below the line of contact. Others left from areas well north of the buffer zone. Most supposedly moved to Kiev. Farmers stayed, else what would they do with their crops and cattle, their livelihood. Others, who were not farmers stayed to protect their homes and belongings from potential looting.

            The OSCE negotiated three “Disengagement Areas” within the buffer zone, one of which was where the kindergarten was hit. But those can no longer be considered safe, so who knows what will happen.

            I suspect that if Zelensky orders an evacuation that not many would go willingly (just like most of the civilians in the separatist areas that have refused to be evacuated). Also an evacuation could be construed as an invitation for the separatists to invade. The aspirational boundaries of the LPR and DPR include all of the two provinces, not just the areas they hold.

            As to your second question regarding Ukraine expectation of an attack: Seems to me that Zelensky has said publicly he does not expect a Russian invasion. But that was a week or so ago.

            I do believe he and his MoD know full well the aspirations of the separatists to gain control over 100% of the two provinces instead of the small pocket they now control. Which is why the Ukrainian Army (ZSU) and Territorial Defense Battalions have constructed extensive WW1 style trench lines and bunkers. They’ve been expecting a separatist attack for years, and recent events have undoubtedly exacerbated their apprehensions.

        • Marlene says:

          According to my sources there are no Western journalists in Donbass, they report from Kiev….
          Of course, they report what they are fed from some HQ, as they did during the whole pandemic.
          It is not difficult to believe that all those who lied as oif there was n otomorrow and told us the wildest “scientific” theories about the virus, its spreading and the seriouness of the myriad of “variants” along the astounding “effectiveness” of the great “vaccines”, who submitted to the propaganda which contributed to the pandemic carnage plus the criminalization ans de facto starvation of their fellow nationals suffering the same kind of sanctions that are being applied to the enemies, would not have the balls to go there, do not you think?

          At this point, I guess you would agree, Reuters has the credibility of the village busybody, since we knew that the same head of Reuters then sat at the board of Pfizer.

          It´s incredible you conceed credibility to the same people that were feeding you shit loads during two years.

          SAll of a sudden they become serious journalists?

      • Marlene says:

        The MSM started at unison to broadcast about the kindergarten attack.
        We know, from what has happened during these past two years related to the pandemic, the already proven fake data on cases, and the shameful and criminal demonization of those citizens who do not want to take the shots, that thye act this way as part of information operations.

        It is a fact that the Ukrainian side started the offensive, of course , the republics had not bu tto defend themselves.

    • Marlene says:

      The cease fire violations have been denounced by the OSCE….

  10. jim ticehurst says:

    Former Ambassador To the Ukraine,,,William Taylor Was on TV News..
    His OPINION..Russia Will Look For OFF RAMP…Blames Russia For Current Escalation,,

    OT..The Russian Equipment..Displayed..Looks Impressive to Me..Ground,Air,Ships,,,They hace Fired Lots Of Rounds.Must Have Large
    Stock Piles..

    • jim ticehurst says:

      The EORO WEATHER UPDATE,,”Berlin” UDA Today..

      “STORM Sweeos Northern Europe..Causing damage and Delays..Strong Storms Toppled TREES…POWER LINES..Delays..TRAFFIC and AIR..3 Killed’

      Services Halted in Scotland and ENGLAND…Brits Weather Service Named it STORM DUDLEY..

      OT..General Kean just Warned ZELINSKY To NOT FLY To Munich Tomorow


  11. Sean says:

    It will take weeks to evacuate all the civilians in the Donbas. Russia’s current military forward deployments can’t last that long. If Russia will make a move, it will be quite soon (which is I think the extent of American and British intelligence assessments of an imminent invasion).

    There’s obviously something going on, but I also can’t figure it out. If they could hypothetically evacuate in a few days, that would match the end of the Olympics and allow Russia to decimate Ukrainian forces around the Donbas, largely or entirely with missiles, long range artillery, and air strikes. And also do surgical strikes in Kiev and elsewhere for good measure. Then after the damage is done, count on the Europeans not going for maximum sanctions because there was no “invasion”, demonstrate Russian military capability, and show that if Ukraine rearms they will just destroy everything again. But a civilian evacuation doesn’t really mesh with this scenario because it would take too long.

    • Jimmy_W says:

      Yes, a complete evacuation can take a long time. However, a non-combatant evacuation operation is a risk-mitigation operation. Ideally, you would start evacuating the highest risk civilians: old people and children near the line of contact. Generally, those civilians most at risk are more motivated to leave, too.

      So, in terms of a risk-mitigation / combat-mobilization measure, you see “benefits” immediately as NEO commences. As a logistic curve, the benefits accrue that way as well. A few days will derive most of the benefits.

  12. David Habakkuk says:

    I drafted this as a response to comments by ‘Barbara Ann’ on an earlier thread. It seems more appropriate to post it on this one, particularly as it elaborates the ‘Government Health Warning’ I think needs to be made to anyone concerned with the actual interests of the United States about ‘TTG’ and his like.

    From Zakharova’s response to Psaki, accompanying a range of pictures of memorials in mass burials and bodies in the ground which are clearly of relatively recent origin:

    ‘This is one of the many so-called natural burials of victims of Ukrainian aggression discovered in 2021. According to various estimates, there may be several dozen. More than three hundred bodies of civilians have already been exhumed – victims of indiscriminate shelling of the Armed Forces.’

    Having acquired over the years considerable familiarity with both Western, and Russian, ‘information operations’, I know that both sides tell lies, but that, these days, our people tell far more than theirs – and with far less ‘excuse.’

    The four memorials pictured in the article are clearly recent, and the names on them would appear by themselves to add up to something around half the 300 figure Zakharova quotes, while the bodies in process of exhumation which are pictured certainly do not date from the ‘Forties.

    Of course, it is possible that ingenious forgery is at work, but I am not proposing to agree with Jen Psaki unless I see a serious respond from people in the West to Zakharova’s claims.

    This is all the more so, in the light of what Tony Blinken told the Security Council yesterday, in support of his claim that – despite their repeated denials – the Russians were preparing an attack on Ukraine ‘in the coming days’:

    ‘First, Russia plans to manufacture a pretext for its attack. This could be a violent event that Russia will blame on Ukraine, or an outrageous accusation that Russia will level against the Ukrainian Government. We don’t know exactly the form it will take. It could be a fabricated so-called “terrorist” bombing inside Russia, the invented discovery of a mass grave, a staged drone strike against civilians, or a fake – even a real – attack using chemical weapons. Russia may describe this event as ethnic cleansing or a genocide, making a mockery of a concept that we in this chamber do not take lightly, nor do I do take lightly based on my family history.’

    (For the full text of the speech, see .)

    The distinction between ‘a mass grave’ containing many bodies, and a number containing, in total, such a number, is thus hardly trivial.

    As it happens, I remember that Blinken was Deputy National Security Adviser when John Kerry, with the assistance of David Cameron, was attempting to use the patent ‘false flag’ sarin attack at Ghouta on 21 August 2013 to inveigle the United States into destroying the ‘Assad regime.’

    Together with Paul McKeigue, who as a Professor of Statistical Genetics at Edinburgh possesses scientific expertise which most of us involved in such investigations lack, and whose – crucial – contribution I can now acknowledge, as I could not then, I produced what I still think was a largely accurate account of this episode in a piece on ‘SST’ on 14 April 2017.

    (See .)

    This was just after the new sarin ‘false flag’, at Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April 2017. On 23 April, again with Paul’s help, I produced a post headlined:


    This was the text of an ‘open letter’ sent to the Chairs and members of the House of Commons Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees, pointing to glaring discrepancies in the claims that were being made.

    I got no response whatsoever from any of these, any more than I ever have from journalists to whom I have suggested that investigating claims about ‘false flags’, rather than acting as ‘stenographers’, should be something they needed to do, if they wanted to maintain any self-respect. (Answer to implied question: They don’t have very much.)

    Actually, rather by ‘happenstance’, I have over the years spent a good deal of time investigating claims about ‘false flag’ accusations and related matters, including the 1999 apartment bombings in Moscow, to which I think Blinken is also alluding in his speech.

    And this is indeed precisely why I have come to believe that, while certainly there are many matters about which the Russians do not tell ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’, their deviations from it are far more ‘venial’, and also understandable, than those of figures like Blinken, and ‘Bojo.’

    On the ‘knots’ in which the latter is now tying himself, a ‘tweet’ by the Ottawa University academic Paul Robinson, commenting on a ‘Guardian’ report, headlined: ‘Boris Johnson: Ukraine kindergarten shelling is false-flag operation; Prime minister says separatist attack in east is “spurious provocation for Russian action”’ is of interest.

    As this Paul – who, ironically, was a contemporary of ‘Bojo’ at Eton and Oxford, but then spent five years in our Army Intelligence, before going back into academic life:

    ‘Makes no sense. If this is Russian ‘false flag’ operation, why is the school which was hit on the Ukrainian side of the front line? Wouldn’t that mean it had to be a Ukrainian ‘false flag’? It seems that Boris doesn’t know what the term means.’

    (See .)

    Looking up another of the ‘dramatis personae’ from Ghouta, and subsequent incidents, I came across another ‘tweet’ from Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, who I discuss in my Ghouta post, which reads ‘Be wary of false flag operations as a pretext to invade #Ukraine .’ The letter to the ‘Telegraph’, which appears to be a kind of ‘lament’ for the failure of his earlier ‘false flag’, is headlined ‘Russian chemical war.’

    (See .)

    The issues involved are far too complex to got into here. However, I find it difficult to know for whom I should have the most comprehensive contempt.

    So, while Paul Robinson appears to have benefited from his time at Sandhurst, more ‘representative’ products of that institution, as it now is, like de Bretton-Gordon, or Tim Reilly, or Major-General John Holmes, with whom I have exchanged emails over the years, seem to regard the idea of an ‘officer and a gentleman’ is as quite ‘passé.’ (After all, we’re talking contracts, aren’t we!)

    And then we have ‘rich white trash’, like ‘Bojo’ – and his fellow former ‘Bullingdon Boys’, David Cameron, George Osborne, and Radek Sikorski – who find it natural that someone should write a ‘hagiography’ of Churchill, and take ‘Gleiwitz’ as a model.

    Quite as contemptible, however, is Blinken, who invokes the history of his family in the Holocaust, while, in addition to revealing himself as a ‘Gleiwitz type’, he is happy to collaborate with the likes of the ‘Azov Regiment’, and appears to find nothing to object to in the ‘Black Sun’ symbol.

    At this point, I come back to one of the key figures in Russian ‘information operations’, perhaps Putin’s most significant ‘conduit’ over the years, Vladimir Solovyov.

    Last October, the ‘National Interest’ published an interview with him by its editor, Jacob Heilbrunn. It contained an exchange which is I think as relevant to understanding Putin’s current thinking as are Karaganov’s articles:

    ‘JH: Would you like to incorporate all of Ukraine into Russia?

    ‘VS: Not my choice. It’s a choice of the Ukrainian people, what they like, how they see. It’s their choice like what happened with Crimea. Back in 2013, I mentioned that we will not fight for Crimea, and we never fought for Crimea. It was the free choice of people who lived in Crimea. They wanted to come back to Russia. But every time when we talk about Ukraine, you know, it’s an extremely hard topic as far as I’m concerned because my family suffered a lot from Stepan Bandera. His followers killed six members of my family. They buried them alive during the Second World War just because they were Jews. And when now I see Nazis in Ukraine?

    ‘JH: But is it any worse in Ukraine than it is in France, Russia, Germany?

    VS: Are you kidding me? Now, Jacob, is this question for real?

    ‘JH: Sure.

    Words fail me, frankly, just as they failed Solovyov.

    Frankly, if the ‘insulted and injured’ of the former Soviet, and Russian, ‘empires’ – be they Jews, Poles, or Balts – want to collaborate with ‘incurable Russophobes’ from the ‘Anglosphere’, then others of us, wherever we come from, badly need a ‘rethink.’

    To allow the ‘traumas of the past’ to dictate policy in the present is, as should by now be amply apparent, potentially suicidal, in a quite literal sense. If anyone pleads such ‘trauma’ as an excuse, they ought to be offered a well-funded ‘Medicaid’ programme.

    At the same time, they, together with their ‘Anglo Russophone’ collaborators, should be be deemed unfit for any paid position in either government or the ‘MSM.’

    And those of us concerned with the truth, and the actual interests of our countries in the present – be they the – increasingly disunited – United States, or United Kingdom, or indeed Lithuania – need to grasp that, however irksome it is, these people need exposing for the dangers they are to us all.

    • d74 says:

      A lot of information.
      The present replies to the past, which is also fairly fresh.
      Thank you.

    • walrus says:

      Thank you David. I find I can not believe a single word that Blinken and the American media, let alone the UK media, utter.

      The American and British attempt to encourage Russia into war over Ukraine and NATO are simply disgusting.

    • Ishmael Zechariah says:

      David Habakkuk,

      A few days ago one “Lola” posted Cavafy’s 1904 poem, in Russian, on Paul Robinson website. It seems rather appropriate for the current situation; someone is very intent on creating some barbarians, no matter what the cost. Here is the English translation of the Russian version:


      – What are we waiting for, gathered here in the square?
      – Barbarians are arriving in the city today.

      – Why is the Senate inactive? Why are senators
      sitting, not busy with legislation?
      – Barbarians are arriving in the city today.
      Why now the Senate with its laws?
      The barbarians will come and make laws.

      – Why did the Emperor get up so early?
      Why did he sit at the city gates on a throne
      with all the regalia and a golden crown?
      – Barbarians are arriving in the city today,
      and the Emperor is waiting for their leader
      to give him a parchment scroll,
      in which the following are written in advance
      ceremonial titles and titles.

      – Why are both consuls and praetors with him
      in the morning in scarlet togas embroidered with silver?
      Why are they wearing bracelets with amethysts,
      sparkling rings with emeralds?
      Why are their wands decorated
      with silver and gold coinage in their hands?
      – Because the barbarians are expected today,
      and the jewels captivate the barbarians.

      -Why are our rhetoricians nowhere to be seen,
      the usual eloquence is not heard?
      -Because the barbarians are due to arrive today,
      and eloquence tires the barbarians.

      – How to explain the sudden confusion
      and facial confusion? And the fact that the streets
      and squares were suddenly depopulated,
      that the population is hiding at home?
      – The fact that it is already getting dark, and the barbarians
      have not arrived. And that the messengers
      report from the border: there are no more barbarians in the world.
      – But what should we do, how to live now without barbarians?
      They seemed to us like a way out.

      Per. G. Shmakov, edited by I. Brodsky

      A direct translation can be found at:

      Interesting times.
      Ishmael Zechariah

      • David Habakkuk says:


        I started noticing comments by ‘Lola’ on Paul Robinson’s site early last year.

        Her idiomatic, and humorous, use of English suggests that she has lived in either the United States or Britain. So I was particularly struck by her explaining that when she was in ‘Piter’ over the summer, she planned to go to the ‘Lavra’, and light a candle to Saint Alexander.

        In a subsequent post, Robinson discussed the unveiling, in less than two weeks, of two monuments to the figure who defeated the Teutonic and Livonian Knights in the 1242 ‘Battle of the Ice.’

        One, near Pskov, closer to the Estonian border, was apparently erected at the initiative of the Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov, who is close to Putin. Yet more interesting, to my mind, was the putting up of a monument in the grounds of MIGMO University, ‘the breeding ground of the Russian diplomatic corps’, as Robinson put it.

        Given the extent to which very many Russian diplomats are extremely ‘Westernised’ – completely fluent, like ‘Lola’, in English, as well as other European languages, and having lived in the West, the ‘symbolism’ seemed particularly interesting.

        A central decision made by ‘Saint Alexander’, of course, was that the ‘Mongols’ were people with whom one could ‘make terms’, onerous though they might be, but subjugation to the ‘Crusaders’ had to be resisted at all costs, because they were determined to annihilate one’s religion and culture.

        (See )

        A more recent anniversary, relating to another act of defiance, was commemorated last Friday in another piece by Robinson on ‘RT’: that of the speech which Putin gave on 10 February 2007 at the Munich Conference on Security. It opened:

        ‘Fifteen years ago in Munich, Vladimir Putin shook the West with a sharp attack on its efforts to bend the world to its will. The West chose not to listen. As the clouds of war gather over Europe, one has to ask if that was wise.’

        (See ,)

        His column also brings back personal experience, from that time, of this unwillingness to listen – even more so, given the refusal of the ‘Financial Times’, to publish the piece they commissioned from Sergei Karaganov.

        A column on the speech by Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator of that paper – on whose ‘Foreign Desk’ I had part of my quite extended ‘apprenticeship’ in print journalism – published exactly fifteen years ago today, was headlined ‘As long as it is trapped, the Russian bear will growl.’

        (See .)

        In an exchange of emails, I attempted to explain to Wolf that the Russians were not ‘trapped’, and could do rather more than ‘growl.’ Unfortunately, at that time I did not make the analogy with Nevsky – but that disillusion with the West could provoke a turn to the East was precisely the argument I was making.

        All I got was economist’s ‘Fachidiotismus’, combined with Neville Chamberlain-style ‘Russophobia’, and bad manners.

        Early 2007 was, of course, also the time when the implications of what was – looking at matters in strategic terms – the decisive defeat of Israel by Hizbullah in the previous summer’s war in Lebanon were becoming clearer. On 26 February, Colonel Lang put up a post headlined ‘The Tabouleh Line Revisited’, pointing out that the organisation was building on its success by developing a new line of hardened fortifications north of the Litani River.

        (See )

        There followed a discussion which I for one found immensely helpful, of the implications of the obvious fact that normal processes of technological development were going to make conventional missiles of increasing range, accuracy, lethality, and also critically, cheapness, progressively more widely available.

        One of my concerns in that discussion was with the pressures that the evident threat that Hizbullah capabilities posed to Israel created for it to try to engineer a U.S. attack on Iran.

        However, I also became involved in an extended attempt to explain, to a fellow commentator who appeared almost as resistant to rational argument as Wolf, that another possible response to disillusion with the West on the part of Russian strategists was to focus intensively on precisely such technologies.

        And I also noted that, the less they were concerned to ‘keep in’ with the West, the greater might be their readiness to sell such technologies to people the Western powers might prefer did not have access to them. I continued:

        ‘The Chinese also face the same problems as the Russians of squaring the circle of attempting to keep up with developments in military high technology while keeping military budgets down. In their case, I would imagine a particular priority would be working out how to sink American carrier battle groups, which may again cause them to develop technologies of use to other actual or potential enemies of the United States. They will also, I imagine, be very interested in acquiring the technology which the Russians developed for just this purpose, as this was a key priority for the Soviet navy for decades. One might have thought that keeping Russia and China apart would have been a strategic priority for the United States, among other things in order to avoid a coming together of Russian weapons design expertise and Chinese manufacturing capabilities. But it seems the Bush Administration’s motto is “come the four corners of the world in arms”, and it is far from clear that the positions of the Democrats are really very different.’

        These exchanges then provoked a response, of a strange kind. In the course of this discussion that an email arrived in my inbox, addressed to ‘David’ from ‘Tim’, whose address was ‘’

        Up to that point, I had taken very little interest in the story of the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, which had ‘broken’ the previous November. However, I dimly recalled that one of the companies to which he had introduced his supposed assassin, Andrei Lugovoi, and where polonium traces had been found, had been called Erinys International.

        Doing some quick Google checks, I discovered that Reilly was a former Parachute Regiment officer who had specialised in oil and gas ‘geopolitics’, with a particular interest in the Caspian Basin.

        Looking at again, the the email looked like a crude attempt to inveigle me into revealing the deep anti-semitic ‘bile’ which it would seem that the rather obtuse figure with whom I had exchanged comments on ‘SST’ thought could be the only possible explanation of my attempt to have a serious discussion about the way the world was changing.

        A few more quite quick Google checks revealed a mass of information about the role of Litvinenko in the ‘information operations’ networks surrounding the late Boris Berezovsky, and the connections of Erinys to British officialdom, the ‘World Economic Forum’, and also the – also late – Ahmad Chalabi.

        As a result, some facts began to become clear to me. It was certainly a major problem that people, in London and Washington alike, were utterly unwillingness to engage in a serious discussion of some of the possible implications of the kind of disillusion with the West manifested in Putin’s Munich speech.

        What made this enormously worse was that they really did believe there was no need to do so, in part because they were convinced that, if they tried hard enough, they could ‘turn the clock back’ to 1996 – the time when Berezovsky boasted to the ‘Financial Times’ that he and his fellow members of the ‘semibankirschina’ controlled about half the Russian economy.

        Something that ‘Russiagate’ has helped drive home is how slow this hope has been in dying. Indeed, I strongly suspect that the belief they can push the Putin ‘sistema’ into collapse is one of the reason why figures like Blinken – and ‘Bojo’ – are handling Ukraine in the way they do.

        And all this, I think, is rather relevant to the changing perceptions of people at ‘MIGMO University’, and also ‘Lola.’ A recent comment by her which amused me compared the relationship of Ukraine to the West to that of a girl who wakes up, the morning after, to find the young man on whom she had pinned her hopes saying: ‘You didn’t think I was going to marry you, you slit-eyed slut, did you? Here, take your tip.’

        My apologies to her, if I have misquoted, and even more if the analogy I am going to draw is completely ‘off-the-mark.’ The situation involved, I think, may have some resemblance to the relationship between Elizabeth Bennett, her sister Lydia, and George Wickham in Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice.’

        It seems to me that ‘Lola’ may be a not unrepresentative example of a large element in the contemporary Russian ‘intelligentsia’ who, growing up in late Soviet or immediate post-Soviet times, were once ‘entranced’ by the West – in particular by the United States: even more than Eliza Bennett is by Wickham at the start of the novel.

        Commonly however – as with Eliza – they now see themselves as having seen through the pretence.

        How then, however, are they to regard the ‘Lydia Bennett’ figure, who is only now discovering that the full extent of the callous and brutal indifference and cruelty lurking under the George Wickham-like ‘charm’ of the West?

        At this point, the analogy becomes somewhat inexact. However, at ’family conferences’ in situations such as this, one is liable to find that those are who argue that the ‘trollop’ is really ‘beyond redemption’, and in any case honest hard-working members cannot be expected to pay for her. But then, others will suggest that she is as much sinned against as sinning, and when she has had time to rethink – and perhaps had some ‘gangrenous limbs’, like Galicia, removed – any pleas she makes for readmittance should be welcomed.

        The one thing hardly any of the ‘adults’ in the room are going to advocate is trying, as it were, to ‘strong-arm’ the delinquent member back into the fold, while she is still working through the trauma of her disillusion.

        And that, I think, was part of the point of the allusion by ‘Lola’ to the Cavafy’s poem, which is precisely to do with a threat in which people want to believe.

        • Sam says:


          Very well said and IMO your analogy is spot on. I think it can be taken a step further wherein the “leadership” of the west along with their enforcer laptop class are also in a war at home against the minority who are more inclined towards what made Lola attracted to the west in the first place.

          During Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement in Poland there was such an attraction to the US since it represented in their minds a society of liberty and the rule of law. But…even during Reagan’s terms the Deep State and the neoliberal Wall St financial class were already moving to consolidate political, governmental and market power to create the illusion of rule of law and a competitive free market economy.

          I’m not sure how the “fringe” minority in the west can collaborate with the Lola’s of the east to restore the precepts of the Enlightenment that was the foundational intellectual basis of the US. We share the same goals for each of our nation states. Small government with enumerated powers and an open, competitive market economy.

    • jim ticehurst says:

      Just read Your Very Interesting Information,,Above,,Its An
      . EXCELLENT READ…Very Interesting..Thank You..Be Well

    • Barbara Ann says:

      David Habakkuk

      Concerning the mass graves: 2 days ago Sledkom (the Investigative Committee of Russia) announced a criminal investigation into 5 mass graves discovered in 2021 in Luhansk oblast. They say “The remains of at least 295 civilians who died as a result of indiscriminate shelling by Ukrainian armed formations in 2014 were exhumed from these graves”. Maria Zakharova, who I respect a great deal, has picked up this issue after Jen Psaki suggested that the discovery – or perhaps more accurately – the recently announced investigation, may be part of the effort to justify Russian intervention.

      In my previous comment I expressed skepticism that the graves do indeed contain victims of shelling from the recent conflict. In general my opinions on the matter accord with the author of this article:

      I do not profess any expertise in forensic pathology or other disciplines related to the investigation of war crimes, but there are several aspects to the story that don’t seem to add up. For example, why would the people of Luhansk bury victims of shelling in mass graves? The conflict since 2014 has cost may lives, but I cannot recall any incidents in which hundreds or even dozens of casualties resulted in the LPR from a single incident. Given the victims are alleged to have been killed by shelling, the mass graves must have been dug by the LPR residents to bury their relatives/countrymen. This is no Katyn massacre. During the height of the conflict during 2014 a total of 2,084 civilian casualties were recorded for the year (link from ‘War in Donbas’ wiki). This figure includes the 300 dead from MH17. Even if the victims are distributed equally among the 5 mass graves, we are expected to believe that there were 5 incidents where at least 60 persons were killed by Ukrainian shelling and in every case the people of LPR had no opportunity to give their kinsfolk proper burials?

      Additionally, one of the photos Maria Zakharova shared on the MFA website (link) appears to show a person recently deceased, whose hands are bound behind their back. Do the people of the LPR have some strange burial practices for their loved ones I am not familiar with?

      This is propaganda and not very credible propaganda at that. I’ll reiterate my view that this is a bad sign, simple because Russia and the MFA spokesperson in particular, does not seem to have indulged in this practice in such an amateurish way in the past. Combined with the seemingly voluntary creation of masses of photogenic Donbas refugees today, it looks to me like Russia may be taking a leaf out of Western R2P propaganda copybook, to prepare the public for an intervention.

      Our people may tell far more lies than theirs, but to my eyes this is an example of one.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Zhakarova was in my opinion being a bit sophisticated. Abstract. She was pointing out: Look here, there’s an area where it’s claimed that “mass Graves” are suddenly being discovered. As though all of a sudden. To put it another way — imagine a conflict which will primarily be waged with so-called hybrid war, in which information distortion and fabrication will feature prominently. So, one side gets busy creating “mass graves” in a certain territory, where conflict has occurred, is alleged to have occurred, and or may be likely expected to occur in the future. By whatever means, details are not important. The other side knows about it or suspects it. So — they themselves “discover” mass graves in the same territory, and of course make the “discovery” known. The graves they reveal may exist, may not exist, may be fraudulent imitations of graves. They may be the exact fake graves created by the side that created them initially, or not. The invitation, of course is: So would you like to discuss our findings in detail, in open court so to speak? She’s simply showing that the Russian federation is already aware of how to play silly, appallingly silly and downright shameless games, and is aware that such games are played. The statement in fact can be taken as a warning. But framed and presented so as to go over the heads of mere mortals other than the supremely gifted and wise Rhodes Scholar of renown, Anthony Blinken.

        Whose surname begins with B l i n – a very common word of slang in the Russian language. It can be used almost as a curse, but hardly ever, it’s more usually a casual expression of fleeting amusement or slight irritation. I wonder if an instinctive reaction to him on the part of serious Russian people might not have been “how do we take such a person seriously?” And they are familiar with the name Ken as that of Barbie’s boyfriend, so “Blinken” must have been an occasion for amusement.

    • English Outsider says:

      Magnificent comment, Mr Habakkuk. Great work.

      I’d take issue with referring to the current lot in charge as “Rich white trash”. They’re just the usual run of “trash”.

      With any luck the Ukranians won’t be lured into another Debaltseve and will stay their side of the line. We saw enough of killing grounds in ’14/’15.

  13. Joe100 says:

    The following summary was recently posted at the Saker web site:

    “The civilians of the LDNR are being evacuated from the towns near the LOC (line of contact).

    The Ukies are bombing the LDNR with artillery and mortar fire along the full LOC.
    The city of Gorlovka has lost power. The city is under tank fire. The only road between Donetsk and Gorlovka is under Ukronazi fire.

    The cities of Dokuchaevsk, Staromikhailovka and Belaia Kamenka are under mortar attack.

    It appears that the Ukronazis want to cut through the defenses between Lugansk and Donetsk.

    That’s what I just caught myself.”

    The comments section has several reports from people who have been communicating with friends in the LPR/DNR.

    This is being updated as people comment.

    • zmajcek says:

      These could be probing attacks if that information can be trusted. There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment and both sides are revving up their propaganda efforts.

  14. Leith says:

    Russia used the same phony claims of massive shelling to “justify” their invasion of Georgia. This current state of affairs in the Donbas follows a typical Putin MO.

    Same same provocations were used in 2008 to justify Russian troop invasion of Georgian territory. Russian backed South Ossetian separatists shelled Georgian villages, with just a small response from Georgian peacekeepers. Then the separatists increased their attacks, this time with heavy artillery breaking the Sochi cease fire agreement, which stipulated heavy weapons were not allowed in the conflict zone. Still no response from Georgian troops and the Georgian government ordered a unilateral ceasefire. So a new wave of South Ossetian attacks on Georgian villages followed. This triggered the Georgian government into finally sending the Georgian Army into the conflict zone and taking control of a separatist stronghold where the heavy artillery was based. The Russian invasion of Georgia started shortly afterwards.

    Zelensky is smarter than Saakashvili. He will not fall into the same trap and respond militarily. Unfortunately, Putin is going to annex the Donbas whether Zelensky and his MOD respond or not. The question is how big a bite will he take? Just the current area up to the line of contact – or the entire Donbas region that DPR’s Pushilin and LPR’s Pasechnik claim?

    • Philip Owen says:

      Line of contact would make most sense. The Ukrainian areas are largely Ukrainian majority. The insurgent controleed areas are more like 50/50. Before the Russians pushed in, the population of the two oblast was about 5 million of which 2 million were Russian of which 1 million wanted to join Russia judging by their votes in elections. The industrial areas in which the insurgents are hiding behind civilians had about 4 million inhabitants split 50/50 by ethnicity althouigh the majority speak Russian. There has been ethnic cleansing since. Many Ukrainians have been expelled or left. The industrial areas will not be a thorn in Russia’s side. Add the rest of the oblasts and the balance changes. Neither Ukraine nor Russia can peacefully hold the industrial part of the Donbass.

    • Eol says:

      Zelensky is a former clown and a current puppet. He certainly is not running this circus

    • ISL says:

      I do not see any reason for Russia to need any claim to justify anything.

      And why do you think Zelensky has any control over Azov –

    • zmajcek says:

      So you are saying in 2008 it was not the Georgians who initiated hostilities trying to win back a part of their territory but was in fact the Russians. They started it just so they could return back to the starting positions after having trashed Georgian offensive units and bases. Doesn’t make sense.

      • Leith says:

        They did not go back to starting positions. Prior to the war there were just a Russian so-called peacekeepers there. After the war the Russian military established many permanent bases in South Ossetia. And the number of Russians within South Ossetia increased by more than several thousandpercent. Add to that the GRU listening posts they established there, FSB detachments, and VVS airfields. Ditto for Abkhazia.

        And I what I said was that the Georgians were baited into starting it -I never claimed they did not start thenwar.

    • FkDahl says:

      The bombardment of Thsinkvali by the Georgian army was not phony. I happened to see the BBC showing Georgian MRLS unleashing full salvoes, at night, against a city full of civilians, without any regards to their safety. I was taught that was a war crime.
      The intent was to shock the inhabitants to flee north into Russia and cause traffic congestion at the Roki tunnel – which was supposed to be blown off by Georgian commandoes.
      I presume you know that the peace keeping force in Thsinkvali was a joint Russian-Georgian one, and that the Georgian troops left the day before the base was flattened by artillery?

      • Leith says:

        FkDahl –

        I never said the Georgian shelling was phony. What I said was they were baited into a response by repeated shelling from the South Ossetian separatists.

        Was Tskhnivali full of civilians at the time? The separatists started evacuations a week prior to the Georgian shelling of that city. And Georgia claims they were aiming at separatist artillery positions. Were those firing positions deliberately placed in civilian areas? Human Rights Watch says they were.

        The plot to blow up the Roki Tunnel was an unattainable pipe dream. Before Tskhnivali some Russian units were already thru the tunnel and guarding it for the following columns of armor.

        Did the BBC broadcast the plundering and burning to the ground of the seven or eight ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia by the separatist militia? Did BBC broadcast the Russian bombing of Gori and the pogroms carried out there against ethnic Georgians by South Ossetians?

  15. nardami says:

    What we see as of right now in the LDNR is what could be called harassing or sporadic fire. When the Ukies used de-mining vehicles yesterday that could be part of a preparation for a ground assault. This has NOT happened YET. As for a ground assault, so far the Ukies have only sent in special forces and, apparently, they got detected, took casualties, and had to retreat. (from the Saker). He has cntributors who live in Crimea and get direct news from Donbas…has been generally reliable in the past …qualifies info with “unverified” if not solid.

  16. Pat Lang says:

    The great unanswered question for me at this point is whether as TTG suggested earlier the Russian government is or is not behind the opportunist actions of the rebels or is to some extent being driven by them taking advantage of the situation created by Moscow’s confrontation with the US and UK over NATO and Ukraine.

    • Philip Owen says:

      The Towers of the Kremlin come into play here as they did in 2014. To say the Russian government was or is united behind the insurgents would be a mistake. To say there was or is no influence from groups with whom the President sympathizes would be a mistake.

      Plans for whatever is going to happen have probably been laid for a while as in 2014. 2014 was played by the Russian media as a spontaneous reaction by the people of the Donbass against the Maidan. In 2012, I received an enquiry from a military dealer in Taganarog for 30,000 pairs of boots, “like the British Army wore in the Falklands”. (Russian army boots are not the best). Then there was a Warrant Officer of some sort I met who ran a tank maintenance school in Rostov (drunk Russians talk to you on trains). He had been given indefinte leave of absence to teach at the school. Not to mention the 2005 invasion scenario written up as a novel.

      I think Malofeev and the army’s Orthodox Brotherhoods are still driving things forward in the Donbass, unofficially but with support in key places. The less romantically nationalist parts of the government and army, who control the offical line right nowm are trying for restraint.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      The mass grave propaganda effort David Habakkuk & I discuss above is in my view a strong argument that the Russian government is now on the path to justify its intervention. Given the lack of casualties in the prelude to the evacuation announcement, I’d judge this to be part of an R2P narrative too, although it is possible this caught Moscow by surprise. The fact that aspects of the ‘beans on toast’ info op. coincide with Russian propaganda we are now actually seeing does not make the latter less real IMO.

  17. TTG says:

    Metadata on Pushlin’s evacuation order video released today indicates he recorded it on 16 Feb on a day when the front was quiet. The evacuation move seems to be coordinated with the increased artillery shelling of 17 Feb as one staged event.

    • TTG says:

      Not only were the evacuation order videos for both the LNR and DNR recorded 2 days ago, but Pushilin can be heard making believe that it was recorded today.

      Concerning the kindergarten shelling in Stanytsia Luhanska, the Russian spin evolved over time. First it was a deliberate Ukrainian shelling of a LNR or DNR village. Then when it became clear that the village was on in the Ukrainian government controlled area, it was called a deliberate Ukrainian false flag operation. I have no idea what the objective of such a false flag operation would be. Alexander Kovalenko, a Ukrainian from Odesa wrote an article about this. He also wrote about a false flag video by an infamous Russian war reporter, who calls himself War Gonzo, involving a staged shelling. It’s an interesting read.

      The jihadi false flag operations in Syria seemed to be better planned and executed than these recent efforts in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

      • English Outsider says:

        TTG – it’s only recently, at the Putin/Scholz press conference, that Scholz was pushing for the implementation of Minsk 2. It was about the only firm statement he committed himself to.

        Is Minsk 2 still on the cards? It seemed very much the best solution. Straight annexation of the LDNR would presumably mean that Putin had burned his bridges with Europe and didn’t give a damn about doing so. I thought he was too cautious to do that unless pushed to it.

        • TTG says:


          In early January, I thought I read about Putin pushing for the implementation of Minsk 2. The recognition of the DNR and LNR’s independence, well short of outright annexation, would totally destroy Minsk 2. Now it doesn’t appear Moscow or the breakaway republics would be satisfied with Minsk 2. Zelenskiy never seemed keen on its implementation, either. Minsk 2 stopped the major fighting back in 2015. I don’t think it has much life beyond that one accomplishment.

          I thought Putin was too clever to start any kind of further incursion, but I’m now thinking his dreams of restoring the territorial grandeur of Russia may be clouding his reasoning. I thought he would be using a combination of carrots, sticks and active measures to move Kyiv towards a more neutral position, but his current reliance solely on military threats and intimidation has moved Kyiv firmly into Western arms. He’s also managed to breath new life into NATO. That alliance has been floundering for years in search of a justification for its continued existence. Imperfect as it it, NATO has a renewed purpose.

          Maybe that sly fox Putin has another trick for us other than resorting to a further military incursion into Ukrainian territory. We can only hope.

  18. Fourth and Long says:

    Careful not to die laughing when you see the rest of the picture concerning the alleged kindergarten attack:

    Translation of Tweet:
    And here is the projectile that pierced a hole in the garden on the controlled 🇺🇦 territory. Tell me, what caliber is this?

    Joe took it easy on the evil rooskies in his presser just now. Claimed they attacked a kindergarten! Yes, evil Russkies would do that, wouldn’t they? You bet they would. My question is: Why is our president not revealing that they ripped little incubator babies off their life support and threw them on the floor? Lots and lots of them. Why? Do the evil rooskies have him running scared?

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Fourth and Long,
      Funny. Yeah, they probably made that hole with the front end loader in the pic. Again, I saw windows not broken from blast concussion and I also don’t see a line of sight for an AP round to hit that target.

      This all smells like the build up to the Iraq invasion with modern equivalents of Collin Powell, Rice, Cheney, et al. + some white helmet types.

      I don’t see why Zelensky wouldn’t be playing both sides. He gets to pretend he’s unconcerned about a Russian invasion as cover for his provocation of a Russian military build up and, maybe invasion, so he gets goodies from the US/Nato and, just maybe, gets to rid his country of Russophiles. The US, in turn, gets to play him for its own purposes. I mean for how long now has the US been making bellicose noise over the Ukraine? It looks to me like a bunch of liars and con artists trying to out game each other. The there’s the Russophile in Ukraine trying to suck Putin into fighting their cause.

      Putin, I think, is the rat trying to navigate the maze that is being ever constructed even as he attempts to move through it. Maybe he will just plain have enough of it and act one of these days. That is what the US is hoping for, both sides of the aisle. And it’s a very dangerous game, obviously. Screw ’em all. They’re screwing us. Even if the nukes don’t ultimately fly, economies will be destroyed; this after covid. And many will die.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Eric Newhill,

        They are prolific and persistent liars. And they couldn’t care less that some people are watching and can see through the fakery. Because of ownership of information resources (media) they figure it doesn’t matter. Col Lang’s blog is worth more than the sum total of all the prices of networks and newspapers that a person could reasonably list. They immediately doubled down on the kindergarten hoax, by the way. Monitoring Twitter as they do (while censoring it) it wasn’t possible to miss the large number of people who noticed the intact windowpanes — so on all the network gnus I saw late last night they made sure to show several photos and video clips of fractured window glass immediately after again showing pictures the manufactured hole in the kindergarten brick wall. Just fractured glass, quickly, with no context, assuming correctly in too many cases that Abe Lincoln’s witticism about fooling the people would apply. But they are as usual depraved illiterates and didn’t bother to either read or comprehend his entire aphorism.
        I’d love to comment on your further observations but will hold off for now as I’m pretty confident that the deceptions and misdirections are far more extensive than Tony Blinken’s imitation of Colin Powell at the UN with silly pictures substituting for the head-shop vials that Powell apparently picked up somewhere and waved in the faces of the people that Abe Lincoln knew so infinitely much more about.

      • Leith says:

        Eric –

        The windows in that kindergarten have obvious heavy spiderweb-type cracking. I suspect they are acrylic, which is why they did not fracture and shatter like glass. Or perhaps if glass was used (doubtful in a war zone) they were covered with that transparent vinyl film to prevent shattering and glass shards and splinters being turned into shrapnel. Kind of like a modern equivalent of the tape the Londoners used to use on their windows during the Blitz.

        Plus I’m interested in your observation that you didn’t “see a line of sight for an AP round to hit that target”. Can you share the pics or provide a source for that?

        PS – It wasn’t just a single hit on the wall of the kindergarten. A shell also hit the playground outside. They shelling also hit a schoolyard in Vrubicka, several homes in Kondrashovka, plus residential areas and a bus stop in Marinka.

  19. Leith says:

    The buses are a flashback to 2008 when Russian buses evacuated women and children from South Ossetia to the north. It was never needed, just as now. Just part of the casus belli.

  20. Marlene says:

    What´s happening…?

    Well, contrary to what Kiev did days ago, evacuating first foreigners, oligarchs and officials, Donbass Republics evacuated first the children, women, and the elderly.
    Some 225 orphan children from the Mirny Orphanage in Donetsk were the first evacuated civilians….It´s a pity, how many children there are without parents..
    I leave the images here of the beautiful orphans, attention to the group of little girls in the front line, I liked especially those in the light grey coats, so determined in front of the camera…May be some wealthy people here or those who could be married to Russian women may want to take one or two of them from there….I kew of a US diplomat who has several adopted children from the countries where he has been in mission.

    It brings memories for some people in Europe on the evacuations of Basque children during the Spanish Civil War…Those Spanish children were also evacuated to Russia, where they never returned from, some only in their elder years. It is said some already grown up fought in the siege of Leningrad..

    There have been at least two potent explosions in Donetsk capital, one targeted a car owned by a head on the Donetsk military which brings memories of the way they died commanders Mozgovy, Givi and others..The other targeted a gas station…there are currently long queues at gas stations and banks because of the evacuations..
    As always happens in Donbass, it seems that the goal was to provoke a carnage…

    It seems that the Ukrainian Army is shelling with weapons forbidden by the Misnk Agreements.

  21. Leith says:

    Reports now are filtering out that some social infrastructure facilities (i.e. schools, clinics or hospitals, orphanage, town halls, etc) in Donetsk People’s Republic are being mined. Sounds like they are getting ready for demolition in order to blame it on non-existent Ukrainian shelling.

  22. English Outsider says:

    Colonel – might I suggest that irrespective of whether it’s the separatists dragging Russia into an unwanted conflict, or elements of the Ukrainian army dragging Zelensky in, or any other scenario, any major conflict is a win for Biden.

    If it’s the Ukrainians attacking then any Russian response will be portrayed as Russian aggression. Scholz then has no choice but to agree to Biden’s sanction demands.

    If it’s the Russians/separatists attacking then Scholz also has no choice but to agree to Biden’s sanction demands.

    Scholz’s recent attempts to get Minsk 2 observed may have been made too late. Any serious fighting, however it’s sparked off, forces him to sanctions. His only hope is that the fighting doesn’t start in earnest.

    • Eol says:

      Biden needs something to distract from … well.. everything else. The question is: have we witnessed just hot air and hysteria on the media? Or does team Biden has a hand in stoking the conflict beyond that? Qui Bono?

    • zmajcek says:

      If Ukraine attacks, the rebels only need to hold out for 3-4 days so there is no ambiguity as to who attacked whom. EU has their own sources of information and can then choose not to go along with US/UK.
      Maybe this is the reason for the evacuation, because the rebels do not expect to be able to hold the line for long without Russia’s support from the start.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      Putin said yesterday that he expected the ‘sanctions from hell’ to be applied no matter what Russia does. He is probably right, as that seems to be a ‘war’ aim of Biden’s administration. And yes, Biden may gain a point or two in the polls (the principal ‘war’ aim) when Russia finally makes good on its promise to use “military-technical measures” to get what it wants.

      However, I’d expect the victory to be a Pyrrhic one. Russia, probably in concert with China and possibly Iran, have a host of ways of making Biden’s life miserable in the run up to the midterms. What consideration have the oh-so-clever PhD’s at State given to the possible counter moves against ‘sanctions from hell’?

      As for Ukraine, who is to say that Putin doesn’t see himself as a 21st century Bismark who now needs to wage a brief bruderkrieg (Bismark’s was in 1866) in order to consolidate Greater Russia? This is the essence of Karlin’s view. Once this is achieved, Russia’s break with the West will be complete. In what Vladislav Surkov has called Era 14 Plus this may be a feature, not a bug.

      I am not personally convinced the above is the case, but I think it would be a huge mistake to assume Putin’s cautious and incremental approach to FP matters thus far could not suddenly and very dramatically change. After all, this is someone who says he “..will never allow our historical territories and people close to us living there to be used against Russia”* and is “..confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia”*.


      • English Outsider says:

        Barbara Ann – could the Russians afford the Ukraine? I thought their line was “You broke it. You mend it.”

        Strelkov outlined the vision of returning the country to the motherland in an interview the Saker linked to recently. As I watched it I though of a family I knew of in Slovyansk. It was just before Strelkov retreated. They and their friends were not pleased they’d been liberated, to use Strelkov’s term. They were just hunkering down and hoping Strelkov would go away.

        That was in 2014. By now I’d have thought more in the Ukraine would be reluctant. They’ve been fed a straight diet of Glory to the Heroes since.

        On the sanctions your President and our PM might be on a loser. The Euros are jibbing. It’ll take more than we’ve seen so far to get them to turn off the gas.

        But two can play at sanctions from hell if it comes to it. Would the Russians have to bother with “military-technical” options if they don’t get their security demands met? Those gas pipes have taps at both ends.

        • Barbara Ann says:


          Could the Russians afford the Ukraine? Indeed, although an equally valid question is “Could the Russians (and to be clear we are talking about the key decision making group in the Kremlin) afford to ‘lose’ Ukraine?”.

          We must be very careful I think with the word “afford”. I fear too many Western analysts fixate on the purely economic cost of rebuilding Ukraine. If we take Putin at his word in his ‘Historical Unity’ essay it is clear he considers ‘losing’ Ukraine – or more accurately Ukrainians undergoing a “forced change of identity” – to be an unbearable cost to his sense of Russian cultural identity.

  23. Marlene says:

    Related to the mass graves, genocide claims by the Russian and all that you are discussing, well, considering that only in the Mirny Orphanage in Donetsk have been evacuated some 225 children, one is to guess that at least the double of adult people died, since these children had for sure a mama and a papa, well, may be some are even borthers, but the numbers will reach half thousand easily…

    This is only an orphanage, and this is only in Donetsk,,,

    Then there is the number of children and elder people some of which were counted in the Italian documentary posted in the Open Thread.

    To this add those massacred in the Odessa House of Unions who died that terrible death bunrt alive and them those who sruvived beated to death as they fell from the walls and windows scaping the fire and smoke…About a hundred…

    Several thousands have been killed there, that is a genocide, since as the Italian documentary showed, children or their parents were being killed by snippers in their own homes, then they were killed by the same snippers when going to bury their neighbors or relatives in the very cemetary…Thism obvioulsy, is not the make of any sane soldier fighting a just war, but of psychos of the Azov and C14 death squads.

    I followed the events tightly through several soruces and even ome people who collect humanitarian funds for the people and who have contacts and relatives there.

  24. jim ticehurst says:

    Hello All….

    Busy Day..Lots of Activity..Ran Errands For SWMBO,,In AM and tonight now I’ve been watching news..made some Notes…Watched Potus..Says,,blink blink Yes
    They Will …
    and WE Have Excellent . we Know..(yes We Do..politicized)
    But Excellent Resources…

    After that,,Iheard a Comment on TV..Saying POTUS Biden.. should Should just get on the PHONE..And Talk to Putin Directly…Like JFK Did..Cuba,,,another Person on The Show Blamed JAKE SULLIVAN…

    RE..CANADA..More Arrests in OTTOWA..Report That TRUDEAU Needs the CONSENT Of Parliment,,To Continue What He is Doing..That VOTE Was ushed Next Week..

    Report That ZELINSKY,,,WILL go to MUNICH..Tomorrow..Wants To Bet In The BUNKER..Safely..With Every One At NATO ,,,Ahem.. Conference…He Already Has Flow His Family OUT to SAFETY. That Seems to be the Afghanistan Thing To Do..
    Credit Swiss..Or CASH..??

    Just Caught The Tail End Of News There Was a VOTE in the Senate I Think Was On The Budget.. 4 (FOUR) REUBLICAN Senators Voted Against This Item..

    Of The FOUR Names I Only Heard TWO ,,Mitt Romney..And Lindsey Graham..
    I’m OUT OF GAS….Pun Pun..

  25. aka says:

    I do not get what the US expects out of this. This is going to push Russia tightly towards China. Just because EU split from Russia does that imply that EU would be able to counter Russia alone?

  26. Suvorov says:

    If the Bear takes back his Ukranian chamberpot what are we to do? The Army can’t put boots on the ground and the Air Farce and their F-35 pork program is in no position to bully Russian AD. This isn’t Kosovo. Surely if the Bidet Admin was serious about conflict they would actually try and field a fighting force. Instead we have a clown show.

    We are beyond Psyops here into the Twilight Zone. It’s beginning to appear that Build Back Better will do so from rubble

  27. jim ticehurst says:

    The “BEAR” Has The Name Vladimer Putin..On It…This is a Manufactured and
    Manicured “Twilight Zone” Many Know That..The Whys and Hows..and here
    we are..

    We ALL Hope The is No “Buildback” from The Ruble..erhaps Some Exceptions,

    OT..Remember The Olympics Have Closing Ceremonies Tomorrow,,Sunday
    The 20th,,And Remember the Historical Connection with THAT.
    .I previously Wrote about That Date And What Might Happen..

    OT…Among The Overall Events In Europe..Its Still Recovering From A Very Bad STORM..Alot Of Damage,,Trees Down..Power out..Over a Wide Area..

    My Thought on That…WEATHER CONTROL..In Russia’s Arsenal,,,,How Long??
    I Heard Agents in the 1970s,,,Worry About Russias Space Program.. and Seciffically WEATHER Control…Among Other Concerns ….
    I Consider That a REAL Possibility..Even With Current Storms across the United States,,at Record Levels..Annualy..

    As I Speak..Strong Wind Gust Just Hit ur Region..Blew The Patio Furniture over

    Pray For PEACE..

  28. Stephanie says:

    “Putin said yesterday that he expected the ‘sanctions from hell’ to be applied no matter what Russia does. He is probably right, as that seems to be a ‘war’ aim of Biden’s administration.”

    Zelensky in Munich is pointing out that if the West really is convinced Putin is going to roll in, it makes little sense to hold off on sanctions:

    Zelensky also criticized the West for claiming that Putin has made the decision to invade, but not imposing sanctions until the attack has begun: “What are you waiting for? We don’t need sanctions after bombardment happens, after we have no borders, no economy. Why would we need those sanctions then?”

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