“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth ” – TTG

ISTANBUL, March 29. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry has decided to cardinally decrease the military activity in the direction of Kiev and Chernigov, according to the military agency’s statement following Russian-Ukrainian talks in Istanbul read out by Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.

“Due to the fact that the talks on preparing an agreement on Ukraine’s neutrality and non-nuclear status as well as on providing Ukraine with security guarantees are moving to the practical sphere, considering the principles discussed during the meeting today, in order to bolster mutual confidence and create the necessary conditions for the further talks and the achievement of the final goal – the coordination and the signing of the aforementioned agreement – the Russian Defense Ministry has made a decision to cardinally, several-fold decrease the military activity in the direction of Kiev and Chernigov,” he said.

“We are proceeding from the premise that Kiev will make corresponding basic decisions and conditions should be created for the further normal work,” the military official added.


Comment: Well, that’s Moscow’s official line and it’s a sugar coated crock of shit. Truth is the Russians are pulling out their badly mauled units to regroup and redeploy. First, they tried to kill or capture Zelenskiy on the first day with an airborne/airmobile decapitation strike. Failing that, they tried to surround and choke Kyiv into submission. Both attempts failed with terrible losses. As that noted American philosopher, Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” So, at this point, pulling out those badly mauled units to rebuild, regroup and redeploy is a prudent military move.

Now Moscow’s stated goal is to secure the Donbas. Gone is the campaign of denazification and demilitarization. Even Ukraine’s membership in the EU is now acceptable. However, these more limited goals are only the result of being punched in the mouth. They are mere stepping stones to the much larger goal of eventually pulling Ukraine back into a greater Russia. Putin, himself, has said so many times in the past. On 28 February, RIA Novosti accidentally published an article that had been due to run two days into what the Kremlin thought would be a quick and easy war. “Ukraine has returned to Russia,” it boasted. “Did someone in the old European capitals, in Paris and Berlin, seriously believe that Moscow would give up Kiev?” The RIA Novosti article was quickly removed, but not before it was archived and translated into English by “The Frontier Post.” Here’s a sampling, but the entire article is well worth reading. It is clearly written and revealing.

Vladimir Putin has assumed, without a drop of exaggeration, a historic responsibility by deciding not to leave the solution of the Ukrainian question to future generations. After all, the need to solve it would always remain the main problem for Russia – for two key reasons. And the issue of national security, that is, the creation of anti-Russia from Ukraine and an outpost for the West to put pressure on us, is only the second most important among them.”
The first would always be the complex of a divided people, the complex of national humiliation – when the Russian house first lost part of its foundation (Kiev), and then was forced to come to terms with the existence of two states, not one, but two peoples. That is, either to abandon their history, agreeing with the insane versions that “only Ukraine is the real Russia,” or to gnash one’s teeth helplessly, remembering the times when “we lost Ukraine.” Returning Ukraine, that is, turning it back to Russia, would be more and more difficult with every decade – recoding, de-Russification of Russians and inciting Ukrainian Little Russians against Russians would gain momentum. Now this problem is gone – Ukraine has returned to Russia.”
“This does not mean that its statehood will be liquidated, but it will be reorganized, re-established and returned to its natural state of part of the Russian world. In what borders, in what form will the alliance with Russia be fixed (through the CSTO and the Eurasian Union or the Union State of Russia and Belarus)? This will be decided after the end is put in the history of Ukraine as anti-Russia. In any case, the period of the split of the Russian people is coming to an end.” 


https://web.archive.org/web/20220226051154/https://ria.ru/20220226/rossiya-1775162336.html (RIA Novosti article in Russian)

Comment: That is Putin’s crusade, a religious crusade. He’s not alone in seeking this new world order that goes far beyond bringing Ukraine under Moscow’s heel. There are plenty of Russians like Pyotr Akopov, who wrote the RIA Novosti article, who are just as dedicated to this crusade. There are also those outside of Russia who are just as committed to the cause.

As Colonel Lang said in an earlier posting, “The Ukrainian program has to be to kill as many Russian soldiers as possible.” That is the task at hand. Along with that, the Ukrainian military has to keep blowing up and capturing as many Russian fighting vehicles as possible, shooting down as many Russian aircraft and missiles as possible and depriving the remaining Russian soldiers of every last piece of ammunition, ounce of fuel and bit of food as possible. We should continue supplying Ukraine with the means to do just that. And we should ratchet up our sanctions to deprive the Russian military of the ability to continue this war in every way possible.

There is one thing that Pyotr Akopov is right about. This war will lead to a complete new world order. It won’t be what Akopov and Putin envision, but it certainly won’t be the same old, same old. 


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77 Responses to “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth ” – TTG

  1. Jovan P says:

    The Russian people, according to comments of readers and bloggers, are strongly against any king od Minsk 3. They want to finish this operation by denazification all of Ukraine. This on the other hand leads to partition of today’s Ukraine and some kind of incorporation with Russia (the eastern and southern parts), for many reasons. Hence, although it’s logic to assume that this was the plan from the beginning of the op for whatever reason (resurrection of imperial Russia, new world order, etc.) it was not. On the Russian side it’s the case of a Zugzwang, which could have been avoided even if e.g. the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote down that Ukraine would not accepted in NATO.

    The Russian public opinion was very strongly influenced by videos of torture and murdering of Russian POW’s by Ukranian units near Kharkov.

    • TTG says:

      Jovan P,

      Akapov is not alone in saying all Ukraine is part of Russia. Many other Russian commentators have said this. Some referring to Ukraine as country 404. Putin has voiced the same opinions many times. These people want all of Ukraine. Making that a reality is just beyond their reach.

      • English Outsider says:

        TTG -as Panetta says this is a straight proxy war. The Ukrainians are the proxies of the neocons who now not only have control of American foreign policy but have managed to take the Euros along with them.

        The neocons have been using, supporting and training neo-nazi units for years for just this sort of war. The neo-nazi technique of using civilians and civilian infrastructure as shields follows the practice of the Jihadis in Syria and is well attested.

        The West had its chance to stop the bombardment of civilians across the line of control. It had that chance for seven years. It failed. The Russians are now stopping it, though I note that civilians in the old LDNR are still subjected to random bombardment.

        The assertion that the Russians could have stopped it by sweeping through the Donbas along the other side of the line of control and leaving it at that is I’m afraid not tenable. That would still have left a formidable and well supplied army with freedom of manoeuvre to their west. With respect, I believe you are wrong on that point.

        We have done what we normally done with the proxies we use. Egged them on and then left them in the lurch when it mattered. We egged the Ukrainians on and then left them in the lurch. That was criminal.

        We are now encouraging the Ukrainians to fight on in the hope of drawing Russia into an unwinnable guerrilla war. That is criminal too. It will lead to the further destruction of the Ukrainian army.

        It is a tragedy that the neocons are now in full charge of American foreign policy. A further tragedy that the Europeans are now eagerly following on behind. But the worst tragedy is what the Ukrainians themselves are now living through. That should now be stopped and the neocons should no longer be blocking a peace settlement.

        TTG. I don’t live in your country but I have relatives there and I know a little of the people. It is a magnificent country and a magnificent people. Why back a President who is clearly not fully in control? Why back this small but powerful clique of neocons who are clearly not acting in the interests of your country or of your people?

        • blue peacock says:

          “Why back this small but powerful clique of neocons who are clearly not acting in the interests of your country or of your people?”


          Not just the neocons who have a stranglehold on US foreign & intelligence policy but also the neoliberals who have a stranglehold of US economic and financial policy. The combination are also in a war against the bottom 80% of the American people and so far, over the past several decades have been enormously successful in stripping us of our liberties and our standard of living.

          The Party of Davos have been brilliant in their execution as they have mastered the art of propaganda. We have to give credit to how they have orchestrated tribal warfare among the the bottom 80% who are more focused on partisan, faux ideological and other distractions. And as we saw with the covidian emergency even got the majority to accept and openly support, I dare say demand draconian & authoritarian policies using the rhetoric of The Science without showing any scientific evidence that lockdowns, mask mandates and other theater are actually effective.

          The covidian emergency is the template. We know where this is heading. Justin Trudeau, Jacinda Ardern, Scott Morrison and others rang the bell. It is all plain to see but the beauty is that unlike past historical episodes of totalitarianism the majority of the people support it.

          • Sam says:


            The covidian emergency has been quietly and quickly vanished. Even Fauci is walking back the disastrous lockdown policy saying we don’t know the harms caused when earlier he was touting it as a panacea. As you note there is no randomized double blind trials that prove lockdown efficacy. That was a purely political decision and as you and I suspect it had nothing to do with managing the virus. It should be noted that as of yet there is no transparent investigation into the origins which one would think should have huge momentum considering we shut down our society and caused immense infringement on basic liberties.

            Below is link to a speech by an Australian Senator. Australia like its neighbor New Zealand went full Stasi.


          • Fourth and Long says:

            EO was being polite, I think, to use either euphemism. Neoliberal or neoconservative.

        • TTG says:


          You characterize the Ukrainians as mere proxies manipulated by our neocons. I disagree. The Ukrainians are an independent people living in an independent country. They are not a country 404 or little Russians who must be taught to know their place. The Ukrainians are fighting for their independence against an invading Russia. Yes, I support that fight. I also support Churchill’s resistance to Hitler’s Germany in WWII. Surely if Churchill made peace with Hitler after Dunkirk, he would have saved many lives and prevented much destruction. Thank God he kept fighting along with the British people. And thank God my country kept Britain supplied with the necessities to continue that fight.

          Putin could have prevented many deaths and much destruction by not launching this invasion. He could have stopped the DNR and LNR shelling of Ukrainian territory. That alone would have caused all the guns to be silenced along the line of contact. Of course that would have left him with two largely depopulated and widely destroyed rump republics and still no Dnieper water for Crimea. It would still leave an independent Ukraine facing west, but the now crippling sanctions would not be in place and Nord Stream 2 may even be flowing by now. Putin brought this all on himself.

          If the Ukrainians continue to resist the Russian invaders by conventional or guerilla warfare, I will continue to support them and I hope my country continues to support them as well.

          • jld says:

            “He could have stopped the DNR and LNR shelling of Ukrainian territory. “

            Might it be that it was the exact opposite, as reported by the OSCE?
            (14000 deaths in 8 years, mostly civilians)

          • English Outsider says:

            TTG – Minsk 2 was on the table. Russia had been pressing for it for years. Were Scholz and Macron faking when they seemed to press for its observance right until the end? I now think they were.

            Why the shelling was ramped up around February 21st? Why did not the Russian recognition of the LDNR put a stop to the shelling immedediately? Why did our media ignore what was happening over those years? Why was the OSCE farce allowed to continue for so long?

            The questions pile up and are impossible to ignore. What was the cream of the Ukrainian army doing massed along the line of control? Why had we been supplying and training known extremists? Why were the Russians given the brush-off when they raised what most recognised to be genuine security demands?

            It is now clear that Brussels and Washington had been preparing heavy sanctions well before the invasion. I believe it is now clear that the neocons knew they’d push Russia into some action to stop the shelling. This was planned.

            Did they know that the Russians would respond so forcefully? I now suspect so. I don’t believe American Intelligence is useless. The neocons were so confident the Russians would act because they were creating the conditions on the ground that made it impossible for them not to react. And they knew this was the only logical response.

            So in their obsession with “over-extending and unbalancing Russia” your neocons, and our European counterparts, have landed the Ukrainians with a regime that acts from lunatic extremist motives and in no sense acts in the interests of those who elected them hoping for peace. Because Zelensky came in as the peace candidate, not as the mouthpiece and tool of the neo-nazis we ourselves were building up and encouraging.

            It’s not the first time that the neocons, these obsessed incompetents, have wrecked a country and that with no regard for the interests or the welfare of those living in that country. But this time they are also wrecking their own. The rest of the world is looking at these psychopathic antics and saying “no more of that!” And now the Ukraine is wrecked, and will be wrecked more if the neocons can contrive it, the well being of my family and my country, and of yours, now rests on how far the psychos in Washington and Brussels care to take their sanctions war.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Bravo. Spot on. Well said.

  2. Ghost_Ship says:

    Nah, this was a deception operation from start to finish to persuade Ukrainian Army and its advisers that they had to defend Kiev rather than head off to Donbas to get involved in the real action, and it worked.
    It was designed to look weak and appear to be a failure because that would focus the attention of US and UK military experts, only too happy to see Russia in trouble, on it, and would amplify the deception.
    The CIA seems to have placed its faith in the SBU’s intelligence while the Pentagon has done the same with the Ukrainian MoD, both little more than propaganda operation in this situation.
    Wouldn’t surprise me if Oryx, the tank counters, was a GRU black propaganda operation or were at least played by GRU.

    • TTG says:


      Neither the CIA nor the Pentagon thought the Russian military would perform as poorly as they have or that the Ukrainian military would perform as well as they have. They thought the war would be largely UW by now or very soon. Your description of a grand Russian deception is a “fox and the grapes” fable designed to justify Russia’s poor military performance.

    • cobo says:

      I think that the Ukraine fighters ousting the Russian airborn assault on the airport and destroying so many attack helicopters means the attack on Kiev was all in.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      If Kiev was a deception operation why did Russia commit an estimated 60% of its forces to it? No, TTG is right, the Russian DoD is spinning a “fox and the grapes” fable about Kiev. Russian planners expected a cake walk, the Kiev government to collapse within 48 hrs and much of the ‘liberated’ populace to be welcoming the troops with garlands of flowers. It is notable that Russian MP’s & riot gear were among the personnel & materiel casualties seen in the early days in the attacks of the Kiev supply convoys.

      It is amusing to see the pro-Russia ‘analysis’ community happily persuading itself that wasting a month and thousands of lives was all part of a cunning deception. It seems to have simply been a case of political ideology trumping military best practice – see the Colonel’s recent post on Clausewitz.

      Marko Marjanović at anti-empire.com describes a much more realistic take, refreshingly without partisan bias (the title of the article in the link below is heavily sarcastic). He also suggests that Russia has finally decided to concentrate on what should have been the first priority; the encirclement and defeat of the Ukie forces in the Donbas. Recent Ukie gains in the north & south seem to be a result, at least in part, of Russia’s redeployment to achieve these ends.


      • Eric Newhill says:

        Barbara Ann,
        It wouldn’t have been much of a deception if Russia only committed 10% of their forces, would it? Also, there’s no harm in committing 60% of forces to the diversion when the remaining 40% are sufficient to achieve the true objectives, which is clear they have, based on maps of their gains, to anyone not making false assumptions and living a Russophobic romantic fantasy version of events.

  3. John Anderson says:

    #Ukraine: The same Kremlin-Kyiv deal that was ready in January. Gregory R Copley, @Gregory_Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs

  4. Brian says:

    Russians may be getting punched in the mouth
    That’s in order civilians don’t get punched in the head
    Unlike American shock and awe massacres, civilians are being protected
    And russia is winning : but if will take time . The war can be extended by usuk sending in weapons and mercenaries . These Russians will put out of commission

  5. Fred says:


    ” Even Ukraine’s membership in the EU is now acceptable.”

    To whom? Besides the “On to Moscow” wing of the regime change crowd, which includes Biden and the borg.

    Petr Akopov says “Russia is restoring its unity – the tragedy of 1991, this terrible catastrophe in our history, its unnatural dislocation, has been overcome.”

    The tradgedy was a century earlier with the Bolshevik rise to power. Too bad he doesn’t understand that.

    “That is why independent-minded Europeans are now completely uninterested in building a new iron curtain on their eastern borders – realizing that it will turn into a corral for Europe.” I would poin out to Mr. Akopov that they seem quite happy to go along with the digital iron curtain now in place, the Covid passport population control system (crushed yellow vest movement not withstanding), and the financial iron curtain the western governments are imposing. Like the Covid regime change policies there aren’t go to be repercussions on their (NATO nations) own people, to include the destrcution of their own middle class. At least those won’t affect oligarchs, think tankers, government employees, and various wards of the state.

    • TTG says:


      “Russia is no longer requesting Ukraine be “denazified” and is prepared to let Kyiv join the EU if it remains militarily non-aligned as part of ceasefire negotiations, according to four people briefed on the discussions.”

      This was in the FT’s reporting about Monday’s negotiations in Turkey. Russia is still firm on no NATO membership, no foreign military bases and no nukes.

      Putin seems to think the Bolsheviki’s tragedy was to establish the soviet socialist republics rather than declaring all those lands as one Russia.I don’t think there’s much light between Putin and Akapov. On Russian state TV, various other personalities are also calling for inclusion of Ukraine, the Baltics and even more into a monolithic greater Russia. I’ve said before that there is a continuity between the USSR and the RF that many Russophiles refuse to acknowledge.

      • Fred says:

        So the Financial Times put out what the great boot from NYC called “Fake News”? Sadly, from the way you wrote that it appears to be your words and not a quote from FT. Please excuse me for not realizing where that came from.

        What’s our objective in all this? Stopping Russia to keep Eastern Europe safe? What do we gain by all that besides a couple more generations of foreign entanglements?

      • Bill Roche says:

        TTG; I am not qualified to comment on military developments in the UK/RF war, but I can see obvious historical considerations. The Bolsheviks in 1917 were simply a replacement for the Czar. Russia remained but IMHO under no better rationale. Is this even debated anymore? In 1991 Russia, as “controller” of all Slavs, ended. This was the fundamental change for all of Europe from Poland to the Urals. B/c of current world politics, his age, or miscalculation, Putin thought he could turn Russia back to 1914. Looks like he was wrong. He got “punched in the nose”. What the Russophiles still refuse to consider is what the rest of the Balts, Finns, and Slaves think about this. Who has asked them if they want to surrender their nationhood and again become duchys, principalities, and regions of “greater Russia”. In “The Wizard of Oz” I recall that Dorothy just wanted to go home and be w/Aunty Em, Toto and her family. Sometimes you can’t go home. There was a different path for Putin and Russia to take. It was to accept the loss of their hegemony over Eastern Europe and extend a hand of genuine fellowship to “fellow Slaves”. What now of this?

      • Cerena says:

        The Russian Federation has wanted to have normal trade relationships with the western world. The RF should have been more attuned to the specifics of the US policies:
        “Paul Wolfowitz was introduced to the thought of Leo Strauss by his philosophy professor, Alan Bloom. He later became a student of the master, working directly with him at the University of Chicago. Leo Strauss had convinced him that Jews should not expect anything from democracies. In order not to endure another Shoah, they must build their own Reich. It is better to be on the side of the handle than of the axe.” Are you really blind to the influence of the Ziocons?

  6. Tom Russell says:

    Were the advances near Kiev and Kharkov halted by the heroic defense of the motherland or were they never part of the plan? You dismiss Putin’s stated goal of securing the Donbas region yet why was Mariupol the only city taken by force? Not coincidentally it is in the Donbas and was occupied by the Azov battalion, from the Russian perspective a Nazi force. How many prisoners were taken in the liberation of Mariupol?

    While the heroic defense has been certainly been played up in the American media, please answer the question of whether Putin is stupid enough to occupy territory that would necessarily lead to a long bloody insurgency? Is he as stupid as the brilliant American politicians make him out to be? His oft stated goal might just be real.

    • TTG says:

      Tom Russell,

      Where are you guys getting the info that Mariupol has fallen? Putin thought the Ukrainians would largely welcome him once Zelenskiy was either captured, killed or forced to surrender. He’s not the first world leader to fall to that kind of delusion. So, yes, Putin is fully capable of being as stupid as that. Or he’s been misinformed on a grand scale.

      • Leith says:

        TTG –

        They are all dittoing the lies that they have been told. I surmise some here will never give up the “Putin-plays-fifth-dimensional-chess” meme. Actually the guy is more of gambler, rolling snake-eyes with his dice. They call it Russian Roulette for a valid reason.

        Putin needs to stay away from windows. For awhile I was rooting for him to be arrested by his own security services. But that would probably prompt a civil war there, and we don’t want and don’t need that. Besides, who would take over? Dugin or Zhirinovsky or whoever they put forward could be worse.

      • Tom Russell says:

        At this point there are only mopping up operations in Mariupol.

        You did not answer my key question which was was was Marirupol the only city taken by force? Are you drinking the Kool-Aid that the heroic resistance of the Ukrainians stopped the Russian cold out side of Kiev & Kharkov? Or was it just that it was never part of the plan.

        • TTG says:

          Tom Russell,

          I answered a similar question from James further down the comments yesterday. The failure to take cities severely restricted the Russian’s ability to supply their forces. It’s similar to the German’s failure to take Bastogne. Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkov would have been critical railheads for resupply. I know of no other city that was taken by force. I don’t know if Kherson was contested in the first few days. That was the first and only city taken by the Russians so far. See my response to James for more info, especially on the town of Konotop.

  7. Christian J. Chuba says:

    Do we know what the Russian plan actually was?

    The official reason given for the invasion was to … ‘disarm and de-Nazify Ukraine [just re-stating what they said]’ . Capturing Kyiv could have been in their plans but was never necessary given that statement. All of the people the Russians call Nazis are in the Donbas area with Mariupol being one of the hubs.
    Regarding B.S., the terms of the agreement will reveal who was winning or losing. The terms sketched out above look rather favorable to Russia.

    If Ukraine is mauling the Russians so badly, ‘Z’ should strut into negotiations and say ‘I will allow you to withdraw without killing another 10 Generals, 20,000 soldiers, and wiping out what is left the RuAF and tank force. The status of your POWs is TBD, we are considering holding them as forced labor for 5yrs as partial compensation for damages.’

    The final status of any peace agreement will tell us more about the facts on the battleground vs what is being reported.

    • TTG says:

      Christian J Chuba,

      “The final status of any peace agreement will tell us more about the facts on the battleground vs what is being reported.”

      I agree with you on that, but we’re a long way from any peace agreement.

  8. James says:


    You certainly put a positive spin on the fall of Mariupol. I’m wondering how those Ukrainian forces caught in cauldrons in Eastern Ukraine are going to get resupplied with fuel and ammo now that the Russian forces that were fighting in Mariupol have been freed up to attack them.

    • TTG says:


      Mariupol has yet to fall and the Ukrainian forces have yet to be caught in any caldrons. whjere the hell are you reading this stuff?

      • joe90 says:

        By their words you will know them.

      • Stefan says:

        TTG, multiple news outlets have quoted the mayor of the city as saying the city is now in the hands of the occupiers.

        • TTG says:


          Ah, now I see it. Mayor Vadym Boichenk spoke in a TV interview outside of Mariupol on Sunday saying “Unfortunately, we are in the hands of the occupiers today.” The Russians control almost all of the city. Whether there remains any pockets of resistance or active fighting is unknown. Ukrainian MOD said there was still a circular resistance as of Monday. I doubt it will last long. I also saw a report that those resisting were now relying on captured Russian munitions to resist.

        • zmajcek says:


          it has not fallen

          Southfront has a pretty credible account of what the situation on the ground is


      • James says:


        Andrei Martyanov. I will be more skeptical of the Russian supporters … but you did duck my question on whether Ukrainian forces have open lines of communications.

        • James says:

          Ukrainian forces in the far east that is.

          • TTG says:


            I know of no surrounded Ukrainian forces besides the remaining defenders of Mariupol. Chernihiv, NE of Kyiv, was the closest to being a surrounded city. The town of Konotop is surrounded, but it was the town residents that continued to resist and eventually force the Russians to remain outside the town and leave the local government in place. That is a strange situation.

            “On 2 March, Artem Seminikhin, the mayor of Konotop, stated that Russian forces in the city warned him that they would shell the city if the residents resisted them. However, according to a video, Seminikhin instead asked the residents of the city whether they wanted to fight or surrender, whereupon the residents “overwhelmingly” refused to surrender. Later in the day, city authorities began negotiations with Russian forces, with talks lasting 12 minutes. An agreement was reached under which Russian forces accepted not to change the city’s government, deploy troops in the city, obstruct transportation, or remove the Ukrainian flag. In return, the city officials agreed that the residents would not attack Russian forces.”

    • fredw says:

      “the Russian forces that were fighting in Mariupol have been freed up to attack them.”

      This projects two assumptions about the future:
      1. That Mariupol falls. Seems likely but it has seemed to be “any day now” for a great many days already.
      2. The the forces taking it remain combat effective and mobile. Seems rather more dubious. Urban warfare grinds units down even when they win. Seems doubtful that they are looking or feeling their best. I will want to see them advance north before I make any projections about closing the ring.

    • Leith says:

      James –

      I assume you are talking about the Ukrainian forces fighting at the Sieverodinsk salient and others defending the Donetz River line. The Russians have been trying for weeks to put them in the kettle by driving south from Izium. No luck so far. I suspect Ukraine knows what is going on, hopefully they have a plan B.

  9. MJ says:

    Spot on TTG, “This war will lead to a complete new world order.” Russia’s dream of a Neo-Tsarist Empire is stuck in the Rasputitsa of the Ukraine.

    This War is the biggest Geo-political event so far of the 21st Century.

    The next punch has already been telegraphed: Disruption to global food system. Wheat, fertilizer, and potash supplies will be severely constrained. Leading to all kinds of unknown effects worldwide. One of the causes of the Arab Spring was poor wheat harvests the year before. The second and tertiary effects of this conflict will reverberate for years.

  10. MJ says:

    “Kiev was just a feint, Donbass was always the objective.” So the VDV assault at Hostomel Airport were sacrificed for Maskirovka and those armored columns marching towards Kiev until it got stuck in Rasputitsa were also part of the plan. Damn, those Rooshkies are good. The ability to sacrifice thousands of troops and vehicles in these deceptions signals a strategic genius unseen in Eurasia since the Khan. The armored thrust down Fulda gap is soon, too bad the Blackhorse is no longer there to stop them.

  11. Mark Gaughan says:

    Scotter Ritter, Larry Johnson, Bernhard at MOA, Andrei Martyanov, and Andrei at the Saker all disagree with you.

    • TTG says:

      Mark Gaughan,

      So does Putin. Big deal. Martyanov denies Ukraine’s right to exist calling it country 404. I proudly disagree with him on that, too.

    • toto says:

      Mark: You forgot Thierry “No plane ever crashed into the Pentagon” Meyssan !


      • Mark Gaughan says:

        You’re snark is irrelevant. I didn’t forget him. He wasn’t in my list of folks who disagree with TTG. I think TTG’s assessment is wrong. Read Scotter Ritter, Larry Johnson, Bernhard at MOA, Andrei Martyanov, and Andrei at the Saker. I think they are correct. Russia is accomplishing what they wanted to.

      • Mark Gaughan says:

        And don’t forget, the US caused this.

    • Sam says:

      @MOA Bernard’s shtick is anti-Americanism. That’s how he earns his living by appealing to donors to support that audience. He’s for every anti-American movement from the Chavistas to the Iranian theocracy. Putin and Xi are his ideals.

      IMO, and I have no competence in military affairs, the Ukraine invasion has been a disaster for Putin. The perception of strength of the Russian military has been shattered. With this massive concentration of force and beaten to essentially a standstill by Ukrainian irregular forces. The decision makers around the world get this. Yeah, guys like Bernhard will naturally have to claim victory for Putin’s 64D chess. Not so for the thousands of Russian soldiers returning back to their families in body bags.

  12. Polish Janitor says:

    Thanks as usual TTG.
    I too think now is the time to ruin Putin’s religious wet dream or whatever he wants to portray himself and his personal war as by moving beyond Ukraine’s border and actually bring the war into the Russian territory (or at least in Donetsk and Luhansk breakaway regions). Make no mistake, this was Putin’s personal war and he will always be infamously remembered for his humiliating blunder in Ukraine. Nevertheless, I know this is a war and when the shit hits the fan it’s all fair game you know, but after watching a short clip of the ‘make-shift’ medal ceremony of a handful of Russian soldiers at some hospital and the looks (horror/confusion/disgust etc.) on their faces, I was like: ‘my God! just look at their faces and body language…just miserable and broken’. It is really true that pathetic tin pot autocrats don’t give two crap about their citizens and all they fetishize 24/7 is holding on to power as long as it’s possible, even at the cost of the lives of Russian 20-smoething years olds. When the ultimate objective is to remain in power, the usual method is shockingly the same, i.e. “war and military aggression against neighbors”, and for this reason which almost always explains the conducts of autocrats, I don’t believe for one second that this war some sort of Putin’s religious crusade and a clash of civilizations against Western hedonism. I don’t buy it at all. IMO, the ‘make up’ was supposed to be Russia vs. the West and the clash of civilization theatre, while the real goal always has to do with the autocrat staying in power, but as you mentioned brilliantly, it was all hot air once Ukrainians started landing one-two combos on the jaws of the Russian largely-incapacitated hard power.

    Last but not least, I don’t know whether anyone has noticed it, but the frustrated and humiliated Kremlin has openly interjected itself into the American domestic politics by spreading information about the Hunter Biden et.al and their connections to Ukraine especially in the context of the biolab collaboration between the U.S and Ukraine. Whether or not the information is solid or not is not the main issue, but the fact that they are explicitly trying to ‘adjacent’ themselves to the pro-Trump wing of the Republican Party by giving oxygen to the political polarization in America, just at a time when it seemed as though both the far-left and far-right are losing turf to the more centrist elements (some of whom are clearly the traditional neoconservative and neoliberal centrists) is in my opinion a rather new development and something to look out for. It seems to me that some elements of the Republican Party would very much appreciate this new Russian pivot into the domestic politics and think it would help them win elections in the upcoming mid-terms whenever the political atmosphere becomes more and more polarized. For example notice how Trump quickly realized this new Russian tactic and called for Russia to “release more information about Hunter Biden”. The fact that Russian FM spox Maria Zakharova, and the Defense Ministry are invoking the Hunter Biden story, tweeting about it and openly sounding like Lynn Wood, Marjorie Taylor Green and Sidney Power is telling.

    • Mark Gaughan says:

      Bring the war onto Russian land. Russia has the capability to crush all NATO countries. Are you serious?

      • Leith says:

        Mark –

        Ukraine has already brought the war onto Russian land. On 25 February they hit Millerovo Airfield near Rostov. On 29 March they hit an ammunition depot near Belgorod. The gloves are off.

      • Polish Janitor says:

        Absolutely. Based on what we know today about the state of the Russian military capabilities and weaknesses, Ukrainian military, of course with some help from ‘good samaritans’ around the world’, can even penetrate into the Russian mainland and conquer (but not administer) territories. It would definitely be symbolic more than anything, but the damage/humiliation it will inflict to Putin will cement his latter-day legacy as a low-life tinfoil thug that he always was. Nevertheless, at that point in order to prevent humiliation, I think Putin will not think twice to launch tactical nukes on Ukraine, which automatically will trigger a regional war. The fact that Ukrainians intend to get their hands on some good ol’ armor point to the possibility of symbolic Ukrainian ops inside Russia in the coming weeks.

  13. asx says:

    * Russian offer of EU entry for Ukraine is a poison pill. The Europeans are staring at a significantly lower quality of life ahead, now that they have to import energy from afar and also have to spend more on defense purchases from the US. If only they did not sneer at Trump when he suggested they pay their fair share for collective defense. I don’t see the EU picking up the tab(remember Greece during the financial crisis), and future Ukrainians will have more grievance against the West than even Russia.

    * I don’t see any outcome where Russia does not cleave of the entirety of the Donbass and Kherson, to protect Crimea. They’re likely to give up for now, on the stretch goals of Odessa and the land bridge to Transnistria. That by itself is a great Ukrainian success.

    * However, when Russia does fight back against empires, they do so in a series of wars spanning multiple decades. It will be great for people who are history averse policy makers to study what they did to the Swedish, Ottoman, Qing empires and the Polish Lithuanian commonwealth(sorry TTG)

    * Whatever happens in this war, the pretence of Western frameworks, financial, technical systems and even values as being universal is getting and will continue to get a serious pushback from the rest of the world. In its retreat from the unipolar moment, the US is resigned and comfortable with a return to a bipolar world with China on the other side as an untouchable peer. But the resistance to bipolarity will likely be even greater than the resistance to the triumphal US unipolar moment. A chaotic multipolar interregnum awaits all.

    • d74 says:

      @ ASX,
      You are right on your first point.
      As a european citizen, I don’t want to pay for rebuilding Ukraine. In any case, we are in debt. We don’t make anything worthwhile anymore. We lack resources.

      Ukraine is obviously a US construction since the Maidan. It’s up to the Borg/Deep State/Foggy Bottom/whoever/ to foot the bill.

      Sorry for the overly selfishness, but we have already given. Christian charity requires us to take care of ourselves. And our future is not looking very bright, especially unemployment.

      • d74 says:

        I should have added that my opinion and my voice do not count in these shenanigans that is Europe anyway.

    • Christian J. Chuba says:

      ” Here is some links to identified Russian propaganda organs.”
      This shows how feeble Russian propaganda is. I looked at the graphic and the FSB/GRU/SVR only managed to reach a few, low traffic, English language blogs.

      I totally disagree that Saker belongs on the list. We are allowed to have different opinions, aren’t we? I read Saker and he always uses original sources, mostly interviews. I would only call it orchestrated disinfo it the GRU/SVR/FSB was able to anonymously feed news into the blog. Also, the Saker has identified himself as a former intel agent, he’s not pretending to be Aunt Edna in Iowa.

      If a blog or report starts with ‘according to sources, Russia is cremating 1,000 soldiers a day …’ then that would be a sign of disinfo.

  14. jim ticehurst says:

    Having seen what has been done so far..I will Never Under estimate Anything Putin Does in Ukraine..or any where ese he is focused on…He Has Long Term Plans..Including Iran and the Middle east..And Strategic Plans together With China..

    The Americans Should Focus on Thier Own Invasion..and Corrupt Politicians..
    I See P.U.Plunty …every where..You Can Smell it..When You Step over Dead Bodys..and
    Piles of Poop all over America…Hypocrites..

    We have Our Own Putins To Deal With..Thats a Reality..

  15. mcohen says:

    Something on the light side for all the serious military people


    Light show in Belgorod,Russia.Evidently an accident.
    This guy i know who took his dog to the parlour there said it was exciting with things flying high into the night sky.


    Beautiful story just a hop skip and run away

    • Leith says:

      mcohen –

      It was a series of explosions at an ammunition dump at Belgorod not far from Ukraine border. Perhaps an accident? Maybe, but Ukraine would never admit to a Ukrainian Tochka or Bayraktar setting off the fireworks. And Russia probably won’t either – gotta keep up the pretense of invincibility.

      Same thing happened at Millerova Air Base a dozen miles inside the Russian border on 25 February destroying two SU-30 and damaging several others.

  16. Leith says:

    All mappers of the war that I have seen still display Mariupol as still being contested:

    https://twitter.com/Nrg8000/status/1508997712167174145/photo/1 (Sentinel Sat imagery showing concentrations of Russian shelling in some neighbourhoods which reveals likely avenues of advance).

    https://militaryland.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/day_34_Mariupol.png (one day old)


    https://twitter.com/JominiW/status/1508276407381762052/photo/1 (three days old)

    Mariupol will fall soon unless it can be reinforced and resupplied. But hard to see a chance for that. Can they fight their way out to the north (like O.P. Smith and Chesty did at the Frozen Chosin? Damn hard to do without air cover.

  17. walrus says:

    The first casualty of war is truth.

    I think we need to go back to first principles….
    Rule number one. Apply the golden rule.

    2014 – The USA instigates a violent coup in Ukraine – a “made up” country established in 1922 that contains two violently antipathetic ethnic groups – Russian leaning slavs and would be Galician/Germans. The distinction is artifical untl you start playing identity politics. The Asov organisation does exist. It is violently racist and has its roots in Nazism. This is unarguable. There is no “glorious history’ that is made up academic BS. Read Tony Judt and Tim Snyder “Bloodlands” the area has been fought over depopulated/repopulated since roman times. We triggered this war – evidence provided by Nuland.

    Out of the coup comes the two Donbass proto republics. Russia tacitly and not so tacitly supports them. We don’t.

    Question: Considering the golden rule, how come we talk about “democracy” and support self determination for the Kurds, certain ethnic Syrians, etc., but not Houthis, Donbass, Crimea and the like? Why do we support anti democratic states like KSA?

    Russia was promised no eastern movements of NATO. We haven’t honored that promise. Furthermore we have not only encouraged NATO to move East but have engaged in a calculated policy of confrontation and denigration of Russia for twenty years. This includes everything from abandonment of arms treaties to allegations of cheating at sport.

    Question: Do the Russians have any reason not only not to love us but to believe we are actively working against their interests as a nation? yes.

    So by our own admission, we support and encourage a bellicose Ukraine to confront Russia, including ignoring the Minsk treaties. Russia straight out asks us before Christmas to negotiate a treaty to reduce tensions. We refuse.

    Not only do we refuse, we encourage Ukraine to smash the proto republics of Donbass.

    Question; Do we share any blame for what has happened since Christmas? How does our behaviour comport with the golden rule?

    • Fred says:


      As the ancient writer Sidonius Apollinaris put it: “Telling lies is despicable, but speaking the truth is dangerous”. The last thing the leftists in charge of Biden’s policies want bandied about in the US is truth, or anything approaching it. But thank you for bringing it here. Yes, the west shares a great deal of blame, and for a lot that happened in the looting of the shell of the USSR, not just in what happened since Christmas.

    • Bob Turner says:

      At last some truths are told, not mere suppositions from the myriad of “experts”
      Well done.

    • asx says:

      Agree on most counts except calling Ukraine a ‘made up country’. Most countries in Africa and Asia are made up. With the exception of Crimea, the rest of Ukraine is not particularly an unnatural state. And I feel deep sorrow for the the people of Ukraine who have been led to this state not just by the competing blocs, but by the decisions of their own leaders as well.

      If we zoom up to the big picture a bit:

      * This is the third generation of Americans subject to a campaign of intense Russophobia. It has been ingrained into the American psyche by now that it doesn’t even feel a bit wrong. Russophobia has been very profitable for a lot of stakeholders here politically and financially.

      * The recently departed SoS was on record openly stating that it was ‘not fair’ that Russia, a country with half our population has control of disproportionate amount of natural resources. Refer to Frank Capra WW2 era film which gives a primer on Russian history and natural resources where the narrator is in awe of Russian mineral wealth. Yes, there is a raw battle for control of resources underneath all these tensions.

      * The number of policy makers with familial grievances against the Czars, Bolsheviks and now Putin exacerbates the level of Russophobia far beyond rational American interest.

      * I fail to see long term benefits for American interests as I listed in my earlier post. Short term, we can squeeze more out of Europe and others to our relative benefit, but will end giving up a whole lot more in the rest of the world.

      * Another curiosity is that all the liberal talk of WW3, nukes etc. has done little for Biden’s approval ratings. There is no rallying behind the CinC here, who has been reduced to the level of being a Cue card reader in Chief. This ill planned and ill conceived ratcheting up of tensions is failing to give even the usual political dividends.

      * All we can hope is that the PTB come to their senses and give space to voices who stand for the truth however unpleasant the short term consequences can be. A system which pushes aside people like Tulsi Gabbard does not speak well of its health. For the Soviets, it was three lying geriatrics before they struck out. I hope and pray it is not too late for a course correction.

  18. Matthew says:

    This all has an air of 1861 and 1914 to me. The premise of all these comments are that the Russians should just take the beating, learn their lesson, and then beg the West for forgiveness.

    If Russia really has stepped on the rake, why not just burn the field?

    I have just an awful feeling about all this, a vague sense that everyone is stumbling into a catastrophe.

  19. Johnb says:

    TTG though you wish with all your heart and soul for something to be so doesn’t make it so. You would know far better than I that the battlefield is a cruel master where only reality rules. Politics, on the other hand, is a field of illusions, now you see it, now you don’t, look over there not over here until your head spins.

  20. Mark Gaughan says:

    I enjoy watching reruns of the Andy Griffith show. You are cheering on the bully who has been taking Opie’s nickles. I’m cheering for Opie!

  21. Seamus Padraig says:

    Now Moscow’s stated goal is to secure the Donbas.

    I was always under the impression that securing the Donbas was one of the their principal goals right from the start.

    Gone is the campaign of denazification and demilitarization.

    I think significantly degrading Ukraine’s war-making capability would qualify as ‘demilitarization.’ And as for ‘denazification,’ the liberation of Mariupol and the collapse of the Azov Battalion would certainly bring Russia closer to that goal.

    Even Ukraine’s membership in the EU is now acceptable.

    When was it ever not acceptable to Russia? The reason Ukraine hasn’t joined the EU at any time over the past 8 years is because the EU doesn’t really want it. Ukraine, on the other hand, has always wanted to join. Remember when former president Yanokuvich (said by the Western MSM to be a ‘stooge of Putin’) tried to apply to the EU, only to be told by Brussels that this would obligate him to also apply to NATO, which he would not do? That’s what precipitated the coup in Kiev a few months later. Legend to the contrary, it was never about the EU; it always about NATO. (Of course, Ukraine will never be granted full, article-five membership in NATO either, but that’s a whole other story.)

    • Jimmy_w says:

      The Ukrainian call for more tanks, and the likely destruction of the Kharkiv tank plants, indicate that Ukraine might have lost most of its tank fleet, possibly including its stored reserves. That means, probably, Russia has partially succeeded in “demilitarizing” Ukraine. The destruction of Ukrainian regulars east of Dnieper would accomplish the other half of the goal.

      Who will pay for the post-war Ukrainian Army. Germany and France won’t do it. Poland might want to (PT-91/Abrams), but can’t afford to. Congress would, but only if Ukraine buys American.

  22. fakebot says:

    This strategy comes at the risk of pushing Ukraine’s luck. What is being encouraged is in the spirit of what George H.W. Bush warned against, a suicidal nationalism.

    This war represents something of an existential crisis for Putin and his federation. He imagines himself as the little father. Putin has made his mistakes. I’d rather not follow his mistakes with our own.

  23. I suspect that when the dust settles in a year or two, it is the fact the rest of the world didn’t jump on board with the sanctions and in a law of the jungle sense, are starting to see weakness in the West and smell blood in the water, that will be most remembered by history.
    We have a mid term election coming up that neither side will accept loosing, meaning this war will become an afterthought, Europe is going to realize all the Russian energy they use is actually important, the likely food crises across the Middle East will mean more refugees and as for this war, Russia will hunker down, hold onto the east side of the country, setting up a fairly solid border, with most of those arms on the west side of it and given how unstable the situation is, will find their way back into a Europe in the midst of an economic meltdown.
    Just because the Russians are lousy planners, doesn’t make us geniuses and our societies have much further to fall, to reach any sort of ground level.

  24. anEnt says:

    TTG: While I detest the war as I detest all wars, and while Russia is directly responsible for invading, it is obvious that US policy has been to instigate this confrontation. Rand corporation said as much in 2019, laying out the exact playbook of measures we have taken since then, including removing Russia from SWIFT. The problem is that our geopolitical strategy is self-defeating. We have shown the rest of the world that we cannot be trusted, and so risk the dollar’s status as reserve currency.


  25. KMD says:

    Mariupol uncensored
    Not drinking the Koolaid.

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