In this image from video made available on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, a seaborne drone approaches a Russian tanker on the Black Sea. Ukrainian drones have hit a Russian tanker in the Black Sea near Crimea, according to Russian officials. The strike was the second sea attack involving drones in one day, after Ukraine said its sea drones also struck a major Russian port earlier on Friday. (AP Photo)

Statement of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

The Russian Federation has once again brutally violated the universal right to free navigation for the whole world and is deliberately undermining food security, condemning millions of people to starvation.

By openly threatening civilian ships transporting food from Ukrainian ports, launching missile attacks and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure in peaceful cities, deliberately creating a military threat on trade routes, the Kremlin has turned the Black Sea into a danger zone, primarily for Russian ships and vessels heading in the waters of the Black Sea in the direction of seaports of the Russian Federation and Ukrainian seaports located on the territory of Ukraine temporarily occupied by Russia. The responsibility for all risks lies entirely with the Russian leadership.

The fate of the cruiser “Moscow” proves that the Defense Forces of Ukraine have the necessary means to repel Russian aggression at sea.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine warns that from 00:00 on July 21, 2023, all vessels heading in the waters of the Black Sea in the direction of seaports of the Russian Federation and Ukrainian seaports located on the territory of Ukraine temporarily occupied by Russia may be considered by Ukraine as such. carrying military cargo with all the associated risks.

In addition, navigation in the areas of the North-Eastern part of the Black Sea and the Kerch-Yenikal Strait of Ukraine is prohibited as dangerous, from 05:00 on July 20, 2023. Relevant navigational information for mariners has already been published.

Comment: I could have alternatively named this post Escalation at Sea. This is a statement issued by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on 20 July. The words may not have attracted much world attention, but the ensuing sea drone attacks sure did.

The Russians, in reaction to the second bombing of the Kerch Bridge, pulled out of the grain deal and began striking Ukrainian grain facilities in Odesa along with the port facilities at Izmail on the Danube. Ukraine struck back by severely damaging the Olenegorsky Gornyak, a Ropucha class LST just outside the Russian naval port of Novorossiysk. The ship was towed into port listing heavily to port. Only a day later the Ukrainians struck the Russian coastal tanker Sig as it was anchored 30 miles south of the Kerch Bridge.

These strikes are rapidly moving to a complete closure of both the Ukrainian and Russian Black Sea ports to maritime commerce. This will affect a lot more than Ukrainian grain shipments. It could put a halt to Russian shipment of oil, gas and agricultural products. I think Russia will get the short end of this stick.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised at this. Escalation was bound to pop up somewhere. Russia did not stop or attempt to strike three non-Ukrainian ships headed for Ukrainian ports recently and the Sig is an already sanctioned ship working for the Russian Navy. But I think it’s only a matter of time when a third party commercial vessel is attacked.


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105 Responses to FAFO

  1. blue peacock says:

    This war appears to be a stalemate. Maybe its time for a ceasefire & settlement. But…sunk costs on both sides may make it politically untenable until real exhaustion sets in.

  2. walrus says:

    I’m afraid you are right TTG.

    • F&L says:

      They’re going to keep pushing and pushing in the hope that Russia resorts to the use of TNWs, which has been part of the agenda since inception. If they don’t use them, then they lose Crimea and suffer collapse – another branch of the Pentagon flow chart. Other branches involve setting China and Russia against each other as China becomes increasingly acquisitive of it’s weakening Northern neighbor – a dream worthy of Kissinger & Nixon but moreso the British empire – get your enemies to destroy each other for you.

      • TTG says:


        I don’t follow you line of reasoning in the first half of your comment at all. No one wants Russia to use TNWs. Not even the Russians want to use TNWs, except for the truly bat shit crazy ones. The US has dragged her feet in supplying more powerful weapons to Ukraine out of a fear of triggering Russian use of TNWs. To think Ukraine wants TNWs going off on her territory is absurd. But your observation that China is patiently waiting to pick up the pieces is spot on in my opinion.

        BTW, Keith Harbaugh has expressed his exasperation with your extended word play-numerology comments. I have to admit that some of those leave me wondering whether you’re crazier than a shithouse rat. But not to worry. I also see some of them as quite clever in a weirdly off-centered way. They amuse some of us. Keep posting them, but maybe not as often.

        • F&L says:

          I think the US authorities – not you or me or any reasonably sane person – would love to get out from under the onus of bearing the reputation as having been the only nation to have used nuclear weapons in a war, and particularly on a beaten adversary who itself didn’t posess those weapons. That’s point 1. Point 2 is that if Russia did resort to use of TNWs, they would not only become fully an international pariah (remember they still have plenty of support from the global south and various so/called BRICS etc) but the US could then finish it’s ongoing program of complete militarization and canceling of all domestic freedoms as they marshalled for a full out onslaught on Russia whose implementation details frankly elude me at the moment.

          I take your hint, TTG. I’m gone from here. And you can tell Keith Harborough, from me, to go **++ himself.

          • TTG says:


            If Russia resorted to using TNWs, the chances of escalation to a nuclear exchange would be quite high. At least that’s what decades of war games have shown. That’s a hell of a risk just for the privilege of being able to say we’re not the only one to use nuclear weapons.

            So Keith doesn’t like some of your comments. He probably not the only one. But take heart, there are a good number here that are driven to apoplexy by a lot of my posts and comments. That’s life. Roll with it.

          • Subject-wise, there was from the American rocket scientist Robert Goddard to the French New Wave auteur Jean-Luc Godard to the fictional character Jean-Luc Picard.
            And then examples of prime numbers.
            (Yes, there are infinitely many of them.)
            And all the anagrams.
            I appreciate your comments on events, but not so much the above.
            Thanks for your other comments though!
            Please keep posting.

          • leith says:

            f&l –

            I, for one, value your contributions to the discussions here. Even though in many cases I disagree with your point of view. You leaving would leave us all poorer intellectually.

          • Fred says:


            As an American my feelings are hurt that the Europeans, whose asses we saved in two wars, complain about the US bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It certainly worked to keep Stalin from taking over the rest of Europe. But lets not talk about Hitler’s ally Stalin, who the NYT coverd up for, like that.

        • ked says:

          numerology is like alchemy. humanity’s past effort to discover or invent meaning in things deeper than directly perceived reality. often through unintended consequences have been part of mankind’s march (stagger?) toward reliable knowledge. nowadays fun hobbies.

      • wiz says:


        The Russians will take out Starlink long before they resort to TNWs.

      • Fred says:


        LOL they’ll just use oil and natural gas as weapons. Oh, wait, the UK/Poland/UA did the latter with blowing up NS2 ensuring Germany can’t go back to RU natural gas, and the EU did the former via sanctions a year ago. How did that work out for Germany and France? I suspect the Germans can kiss what’s left of their middle class good bye in about a year. The French already have the hallmarks of decivilization happening but I’m sure their ‘people’ will be all in on supporting Zelinsky’s government at US/UK/NATO behest.

        • English Outsider says:

          Fred – German middle class in fine fettle and motoring along quite cheerfully at present. Or the bit I see of it.

          The “Oh bloody hell” moment hasn’t yet arrived. Nor in England. Give it a month or two.

          In the meantime, and indefinitely as far as I can see:-


        • F&L says:

          This is not your customary “federal reserve.” What happened to you? I always considered you the smartest person on this site with the possible exceptions of Walrus, myself and the late and, obviously, incomparably brilliant colonel W Patrick Lang. (Will I be censored by the comedic prodigy Keith “Hardy Har Har” Harbaugh for pointing out that Lang is also an abbreviation for Language, a numerancy of which in variety and fluency with which Colonel Lang was renowned?)

          Hitler had several allies but Stalin was certainly not one of them, his pact with that minister of the devil was purely for purposes of delaying the inevitable. Hitler’s allies were primarily 3 – Mussolini, Franco and Hirohito (please note the first 4 letters and remember the Enola Gay’s target list). But he certainly had others in Eastern Europe, Norway and France etc if you overlook the exiled and dethroned King of England and his American socialite wife who slept with Third Reich Foreign minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop, to name only one.
          Fred, you are a brilliant man and a superior comedian. Please be well or at least better. Stalin was a nice man, a kindly and loving paranoiac who shot 690,000 Russians without trial in 1937 and sent away another 2 million or so to build vacation camps and rest homes with extensive railroad and canal construction thrown in for free for the upcoming war’s logistics and industrial needs. What’s gotten into you Fred? Stalin was one thing. And that one thing was Stalin. That’s what he was and he was never anything else. He was not Hitler’s ally. The New York Times deserves every possible bad and awful thing that I pray (as an atheist) is coming to them. And you know us atheists don’t believe in heaven or angels or tooth fairies. We do believe that the following entities did exist though: Hirohito, Tojo, Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, the New York Times, Madam Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors, the Tower of London and King Edward VIII and his lovely filthy rich wife. And Stalin. And Harry Truman. And, a very very great man – General Dwight D Eisenhower and also his Vice President who became President and to whom humanity owes a great unrepayable debt even though he went about earning that merit in somewhat unusual ways and did have some rather unsavory associates- Richard M Nixon.

          • Fred says:


            You left out Sweden. The Bavarian Corporal, decorated by the Kaiser’s army, betrayed Stalin a couple of years after the two of them worked together to carve up Poland? Who said alliances are forever, except for Victoria Nuland and NATO, of course?

          • F&L says:

            Speaking of Rosemary’s Baby, Anatoly Nesmiyan (a Ru intellectual) posted this today on Telegram.
            Your guess as to what it means is better than mine, but here’s my knee jerk response anyway: The She demon went there only to try to better ascertain Russia’s position – so she can then try to do the direct opposite of whatever that turns out to be.
            Victoria Nuland came to Niger and met with the generals of the junta. Judging by what she said at the end of the trip, no results were achieved.

            True, it is not entirely clear which results are important and interesting for the US authorities. In a certain sense, the conflict between Niger and its surrounding states and France can in itself be quite important and be a kind of “bookmark” for the future.

            Reformatting the world space requires crises that turn into each other, and Niger is very promising in this sense, as a potential problem for one of the largest European economies. The question is still the same: global circles are looking for any ways to promote projects for the transition to a new system of relations – economic, political. And this requires destroying the existing system.

            Each such crisis undermines the existing state of affairs, gradually reducing the overall stability of the world system. If we believe that such actions look important and useful for the builders of the new world, then provoking a whole series of local conflicts is what suits them perfectly.

  3. Fred says:

    “.The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine warns that from 00:00 on July 21, 2023, all vessels heading in the waters of the Black Sea in the direction of seaports of the Russian Federation and Ukrainian seaports located on the territory of Ukraine temporarily occupied by Russia may be considered by Ukraine as such. carrying military cargo with all the associated risks.”

    Isn’t transporting military cargo in ‘neutral’ vessels exactly what the Russians accused the Ukrainians of before the sinking of the Moskva or the first attack on the Kirch Strait bridge? Whose ‘neutral’ ship will they sink first? Lusatania 2.0. pending.

    • Mark Logan says:


      Aside from perhaps a few, the commercial shippers will not go in there to be sunk. Nobody will issue insurance for that as things currently stand.

      Russia rescinded the grain deal, cutting off Ukraine’s grain shipments…and now Ukraine has shown they can effectively shut down Russian grain shipments through the Black Sea in retaliation.

      “Your move, Vladi.”

      This will cause a lot of people to start howling at both sides to find a way to get the grain deal back in place. I suspect some accommodations to Putin’s conditions stated when he scotched the grain deal, the easing of restrictions on Russian fertilizers and some grain payments stalled through banking sanctions, seems possible.

      • Mark Logan says:

        To clarify, the Russians are not saying there are sanctions on their fertilizers or grain crops, they are saying it’s restrictions on associated shipping and banking related to those items they want lifted to restore the grain deal.


      • Fred says:


        Ukraine did nothing of the kind. They showed that they can put a low profile speedboat into the side of the oil tanker carrying fuel for use by RU forces into the port:

        “Nobody will issue insurance for that as things currently stand.”
        Lloyds won’t insure them. As yet none of the BRICs or anyone else has sent a ship under their national flag into those ports due to sanctions. Please see walrus’ comment below on the details of what ‘grain’ went where and why.

        • Mark Logan says:

          The tanker was a commercial ship, not part of the Russian navy. Hitting just one (and so far only one) commercial vessel has, in effect, placed a de facto embargo Russian commercial shipping in the Black Sea.

          “You shut us off? We shut you off.”

          I don’t think the where the grain went is relevant. What is is what Putin has said he wants to lift the blockade on Ukrainian wheat. The where-that-particular-batch-of-grain-went is a deflection.

          • Fred says:


            I doubt anyone in the commerical shipping world sees the Ukrainian attack on the Russian owned and chartered ship as an attack on neutral shipping. Where the physical grain went is irrelevent? You mean it’s a global commodity, like oil, and thus sanctions won’t actually do much but an actual blockade of a shipping route will? I’m sure every neutral will be sure to “stand with Ukraine” and their latest dictat.

  4. MTJ says:

    What I find interesting is the Saudi hosted Ukraine peace talks (China is participating, Russia is not), not expecting anything to come out of them but maybe a signal that the East and South want stability. Many rational actors do not want famine in Africa and other points in the global south which will bring more turmoil.

    • walrus says:

      The Saudi peace talks gambit – hosting peace talks that deliberately exclude Russia is an example of what we would call “social bullying” at a personal level. At an international level, it is plainly designed to reduce the level of Russias international support.

      • F&L says:

        Have it queued up, haven’t watched yet. Col Lang greatly respected Chas Freeman. His latest on the ME hegemony of the US being over. Rather long. I suspect we here know whatever he says already for quite awhile. I will probably watch the key of awesome’s parody of Despacito again before getting around to it.

        US Hegemony in the ME is over. East Asia will define its own future. 44 min

        Luis Fonsi – Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee PARODY! The Key of Awesome UNPLUGGED 4 min


        • English Outsider says:

          You are a one man treasure trove, F&L. This bit was particularly relevant:-

          “”The Impact on the United States’ Regional and Global Roles

          “Sadly, on none of these issues is the United States now able to exercise effective leadership. Washington has no ties to Teheran or Damascus. It has strained relations with Riyadh, tense relations with Ankara, stagnant relations with Cairo, and mutually exasperated and deteriorating relations with Jerusalem. The region’s move away from the United States is reflected in the efforts of countries there to join the so-called BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization and to use currencies other than the dollar for trade settlement. While they do not wish to sacrifice their relationships with the U.S., regional powers including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have signaled that they intend to take full advantage of these new openings as they prepare for a post-American, multipolar world.

          Dedollarization is part of this evolution. It remains a work in progress but has been accelerated by apprehensions generated by the U.S. and European confiscation of Iran’s, Venezuela’s, and Russia’s dollar and gold reserves. These seizures made a mockery of the fiduciary responsibilities of central banks. They underscored the reality that the United States and its Western allies now make and break the rules of the post-World War II international order as they see fit. They raise serious doubts about the extent to which dollar deposits will remain reliable stores of value.

          “Still, despite the increased risk attached to holding dollars, for now the petrodollar agreement of 1973 remains in force. This agreement enabled the dollar – having just become a fiat currency no longer backed by gold – to continue as the universal medium of transactions in commodity markets, like energy and raw materials. Under it, the Saudis – and by extension, other members of OPEC – agreed to maintain their currency reserves in dollars and to reinvest any dollars they received for their oil in the United States. The resulting ability of the United States to print money rather than export goods and services that balance its imports is both unique and the basis of American global primacy. But the indefinite perpetuation of the “exorbitant privilege” conferred on America by such monetary hegemony can no longer be taken for granted.”


          Stole it for an English site. I take it you don’t object?

          • F&L says:

            Not a bit. The man is awesome. Awesome. He is succinct and precise and courageous. That said, I’ve watched the KOA Despacito parody three times this morning and am only 60% through Chas Freeman’s. I’d rank those Looney tunes at their best up there with Tom Lehrer and George Fromby, though they limit themselves to the really degraded state of our pop music, probably otherwise they’d suffer the fate of the Dixie Chicks. As you no doubt noticed but were too polite to mention, the pairing of clips really belongs on TTG’s more recent post on the Voyager II snafu under the unstated subtext: Intelligent life in the Universe discovered at last!

            KOA’s main man took a hiatus 5 or 6 yrs ago. I wonder if the Biden and Trump campaigns haven’t persuaded him it’s more profitable to sit this one out too.

            Hamilton Parody: Hilary Clinton – KOA

            The Bernie Sanders stand in is marvelous.

    • d74 says:

      According to the UN, UKr exported around 30 million tonnes of cereals.
      Poor countries, really poor countries, received around 500,000 tonnes. The rest went to ‘semi-rich’ countries such as Turkey, China and Egypt. Egypt’s massive imports are perfectly justified. Spain imported around 3 million tonnes to feed its pigs (delicious dry-cured hams) and poultry.
      In short, in this case “famine in Africa and other points in the global south” is false. The West helps itself first.

      Besides, Russia produces far more cereals than Ukraine. Allowing it to export its grain would solve the famine you mentioned, real problems I agree. We could impose prices on Russia such that it earns nothing. We did it for oil.

      Given the methodical destruction of the Ukr grain port infrastructure by the Russians, we’re going to have to think seriously about the matter, including Russian grain. There’s also the usual solution: “the poor can die, and it’s Putin’s fault, personally”. Very good war PR.

      • TTG says:


        As I told Jake, there are no sanctions against Russian food and fertilizer exports.

        • d74 says:

          With all due respect:
          Russian grains and fertilizers are sanctioned like the rest by no money transfer West-East banks and no shipping insurance. The agreement negotiated by the UN or endorsed by it resembles Minsk I and II: you sign it and then make sure you practically never implement it.
          Lousy diplomacy and losing diplomacy.

          It would be so simple to declare Russia an enemy and act accordingly. Never deal with the enemy until he’s beaten. Our case is ripe for a blockade. When it comes to agriculture, the USA alone can feed the world. Everywhere else, our resources are virtually infinite.
          But no, we’re afraid of our own shadow and we’re losing our minds.

          An oversight: UKr also exports overland via Poland and Romania. Poland and other countries have banned UKr grain: it destabilizes local markets to the fury of farmers. Normal: the grain, instead of passing (via) remains partly on the spot. Sprinkler sprinkled.

      • billy roche says:

        Ah the west, the west. Always helping feed itself while others die … bad west. When did China join the west? This is resolved very easily … Russians go home.

        • Fred says:


          Didn’t that Russian, Catherine, take over Crimea a couple centuries ago? Maybe they can give it back to the Turks, it certainly wasn’t Ukrainian.

          • billy roche says:

            Yup, she took it from the Tatars who were kinda sorta vassals to the Ottomans. I think the Tartars
            were preceded by the Greeks. Sometime in the early ’60’s Kruschev, Ukrainian by birth, gave it to Ukraine. If it were up to me I’d draw a big n/s line down the middle and give the Russians the eastern half and the Ukrainians the western half. I’d further give up the Donbass but so far Zelinskyy hasn’t called me.

    • leith says:

      MTJ –

      Not just China but all of the other BRICS that are friends to Russia. Plus many other countries that are potential BRICS members.

  5. Jake says:

    Russia pulled out of the grain-deal first and foremost because the West never lived up to the promises in that deal which would enable Russian food and fertilizer sales; because Turkey as the umpire of the deal broke it’s promise to keep Azov commanders released to Turkey in a prisoner exchange in Turkey till after the war, proving it could not be trusted to honor contracts like the rest of NATO; and because grain which was supposed to be going to the poorest countries ended up in Europe, with intel that said that the empty ships were used to take weapons to this ‘peaceful’ port of Odessa. This second attack on the Kerch bridge had nothing to do with it.

    Bombing infrastructure in said ports does not equal posing a threat to civilian shipping as such, but running a drone into an unarmed oil tanker certainly does. No doubt there will be consequences for Ukraine, and if Russia becomes convinced that NATO is involved through relaying signals from and to those drones, even assisting in target acquisition and direction, this may become really ugly sooner than later, and NATO drones and Poseidon aircraft could be considered a legal target, since Russia can’t afford to ‘take it like a man’ from those pussies hiding behind Ukraine. And then what.

    • TTG says:


      There are no sanctions against Russian food and fertilizer exports.

        • TTG says:


          An informative article, but I thought Russia wanted to break the Western stranglehold on world trade and financing. Russia has an alternative to the SWIFT network, doesn’t she? Still, access to SWIFT or not, turning the Black Sea into an active part of the war zone is clearly not in Russia’s interest.

          • Jake says:

            TTG, you wrote: ‘..but I thought Russia wanted to break the Western stranglehold on world trade and financing.’ This is a serious misconception in our part of the world, and one of the most important reasons why we are in this pickle. If you look at ‘BRICS’, and the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, the glaringly obvious message is that the countries involved do not give a rat’s ass about the politics in the member countries. They focus exclusively on trade. This is what I labeled an ‘Industrial Capitalist’ approach in previous contributions. It explains why Russia kept delivering natural gas and oil, and all the rest, and stayed open for business even as the NATO-countries piled on one sanctions package after the other, from many years before this direct military confrontation on Ukrainian soil. Our conclusion, as phrased by the late Republican senator, and dyed in the wool Russofoob, John McCain, that Russia is a ‘gas station’ masquerading as a country, underscores that line of thinking. It suggests that their preparedness to trade with people who paint them in such a derogatory way is proof of that. A weakness. It isn’t. It is a principled choice, and the moral high ground. And that is immensely important if you want to know the outcome of this war.

            ‘Weaponizing’ trade and our ‘currencies’ was as stupid as it gets. Trying to sell the world on our increasingly weird ‘standards’ because we need ‘arguments’ to sanction countries, and strangle them, is a huge embarrassment since the bulk of these ‘standards’ may serve the advocates of a ‘Unipolar’ world well, but wide open borders, promoting previously very personal, and private life-style choices and sexual preferences as religious dogma, and wrecking the economy and the quality of government through ‘affirmative action’, promoting people not on tangible qualities and suitability for the job at hand, but on non-issues like the color of your skin, the sex you are born with, your sexual preferences, and any other ‘argument’ which grants someone the right to label him/herself as ‘part of a minority’, will sack the ‘West’. To my horror, people who agree with me on this point are nevertheless prone to ‘honor the flag’, rather than common sense.

            The reason why we are no longer the ‘only game in town’, is because we abused the moral high ground we once held, stealing money from other countries, corrupting their governments, regime changing entire countries and landing our family in plush jobs at Burisma and such, strangling the economy of countries because they are not ‘into gay’ and exploiting children, and won’t let us control their mining and factories. We really should have known better. And now we are busy committing suicide while we ‘elevated’ the political proces and business competition to a ‘cage fight’. Our made-for-Hollywood ‘Mad Max’-world is no example.

      • walrus says:

        Correct TTG, there are no sanctions. HOWEVER we ensured it remained impossible to transport the same, let alone make sales by keeping the transport, insurance and banking sanctions in place.

    • billy roche says:

      Jake all can be resolved tomorrow …Putin go home.

      • English Outsider says:

        Bill – he’s love to go home. From what I read it looks as if the Russians have had it up to here with Europe and would quite happily wave it goodbye. Though it looks these days as if “home” is now going to include quite a few Russian majority areas in Ukraine.

        But he can’t go home. We keep shovelling the Ukrainian PBI against the Surovikin line.

        • billy roche says:

          EO; you continue to ignore the underlying truth (which isn’t too far down). Putin believes he IS home. Many Russians believe the land they dominate extends from the Priut River in Romania to the Oder-Niesse in Poland. When Ukraine, in the summer of ’91, declared itself free, and no longer subject to those Russians, I KNEW THERE WOULD BE WAR. I’m not a mystic but simple reading of history screamed this fact. Events there after were irrelevant. Russia BELIEVES Ukrainians are subordinates. Putin’s success in Ukraine will encourage him to go next to Trans Zenistra Moldova. And what will happen then. Does Moldova bare its neck or ask Romania for help? It will also lead to economic, social, and military pressure on the Baltics, and what then? They are NATO. You have already answered this. Its just tough luck for those Europeans who unfortunately live next to Russia. What would you say if the shoe were on the other foot? You’ve been rationalizing colonial oppression. I will not. That is our disagreement.

          • English Outsider says:

            Bill – we don’t disagree that much in practice. Give or take an oblast or two we agree what bits should now become Russian. Though I always thought it would have been far better had the Donbass remained in the Ukraine as per Minsk 2.

            That view partly deriving from the only bit of reliable personal information I ever picked up about the whole affair. I knew of a family in Slavyansk. The ineffable Strelkov was playing Garibaldi at the time and they were just sitting there hoping he’d go away. As were all in their circle of friends, apparently.

            So a split population up there. Minsk 2 was the only answer and my contempt for Scholz and Macron derives from the fact that they had neither the wit nor the guts to drive it through.

            But on Putin, it’s easy to devise a scenario that fits your view:-

            The European neocons are even dumber than Washington’s. Fairly predictable what they’d try and dead predictable they’d screw it up. In that alternative scenario, all Putin had to do was wait for them to fumble around, as they did, and use that as an excuse for starting his “colonial” expansion.

            I don’t go with that scenario myself because I don’t think any politicians play 4D chess like that, not even the very stable genius himself. I think Putin was just reacting to what came along.

            But that can only be a subjective judgement and if after this Putin starts grabbing bits of Europe you’ll be right and me wrong.

          • billy roche says:

            E.O. While I have no strong feelings for Scholtz or Macron, I believe you again! miss the mark in singling them out for criticism. Minsk II is not the issue. Minsk would have given Ukraine time to get more weapons/train more troops and they should’ve availed themselves of that. Why?? B/C war was decided in the Kremlin in August of ’91 when Ukrainians said they were free men. Russian money, materials, for Luhansk, Donatsk and invasion of Crimea were GIANT signs about their intentions. If I may be so blunt let me suggest to you the Russian opinion of her Slavic, Finnish, and Baltic neighbors. They are untermensch who have been subordinate to Russia since 1600 and should always be so. Since the Russian Empire must be rebuilt Ukrainians can’t be free men. That last sentence is the “be all and end all” in Putin’s mind and I fear many Russians agree.

      • English Outsider says:

        Bill! – that comment of mine you replied to yesterday. I’ve just come across a masterful summary form Major General Bashki that is relevant. He’s one of the commentators I really like, so perhaps I’m biased, but he does seem to have a knack for getting to the root of the matter.

        The first part summarised the war so far – with the essential proviso that we still don’t know all the details. The big picture given is more realistic than the one the Western media has given us and is well worth considering.

        A few minor points. The subtitles are not always accurate. At one point I think miles are used instead of km, which makes the front too long. “Conscripts” is perhaps used in the sense of “soldiers” rather than observing the distinction between the various classes of soldiers in the Russian military. Russian MOD casualty figures are 43,000, not 23,000 and are KIA, also not accounting for casualties resulting from destruction of military facilities in the rear. Major General Bashki does not distinguish between missile/drone attacks on military facilities in cities and straight attacks on cities. The position in the Black Sea is as yet uncertain. And there are conflicting reports on the locations of the Wagner forces and what is intended with those forces.

        That aside, the general picture given does fit what actually happened at the start of the SMO better than the picture given us by our media. This withering remark says it all, “Winning wars on TV is easy. Winning on the ground … more difficult.”

        After that summary, and some observations on the possibilities open to both sides in the near future, the Major General concludes with a powerful plea for negotiations. More hopeful than realistic, perhaps, because from my reading, and as far ago as April last year, it’s seemed the only negotiations now possible are negotiations on the terms of surrender, but I reckon both you and I would agree that however it’s done, it really is time for the fighting to stop.



        In that comment yesterday to TTG, and to you, I used Northern Ireland as an example of the sort of partisan warfare the Russians would come up against if they occupied remnant Ukraine permanently. I ventured to submit much the same comment to “b’s” site and met with some objections to the using of the Troubles as an example. I don’t think you were that pleased with the example either so should say, I was not commenting on the political position in Northern Ireland (wouldn’t dare!) but merely looking at the security problems met in the Province.

        • TTG says:


          Russia is already facing partisan warfare in the occupied territories, even in Crimea. Even in Russia proper things keep blowing up and catching fire. The Russian invasion has ignited hope where there was little before. These acts of sabotage and partisan attacks weren’t occurring in Crimea and Russia before. They weren’t even occurring around the LOC before. On the other hand, we have the guy who passed the Kramatorsk pizza restaurant to the Russians as a target and the woman just arrested by the SBU in Mykoliev passing targeting info to her Russian handlers.

          I’ll watch that whole analysis later, but his take on Putin’s original plan sounds right to be. It was meant to a quick and fairly bloodless regime change that would be announced as essentially over in a week. That was revealed in a pre-written victory announcement that was mistakenly released in the Russian state media on the original schedule of the SMO.

          • English Outsider says:

            Have to see if he passes muster with you, TTG. I hope he does. For me, he’s the image of what a General in the British army should be like. Very clear in his judgements and knows his trade.

            Though if he were a General in the British army he’d be getting a bit lonely. If we carry on cutting as we are Generals will probably be all we have left.

          • TTG says:


            Major General Bakshi is clearly an intelligent officer and good analyst. There is much he says that I agree with, even though he is heavily tilted towards Putin and the Russian pronouncements. He’s still worth listening to. His believing Putin’s claim that Russia withdrew from Kyiv as a good will gesture in service of peace is pure gullibility. It is true that Russian forces withdrew rather than being routed, it was wisely done to avoid being routed. He’s also right about the Ukrainian counteroffensive being overly hyped. The Russian defense was planned well and was very effective at halting the Ukrainian attempt at a US-style fast moving combined arms offensive. But the MG greatly exaggerates Ukrainian losses and neglects to mention Ukraine’s continued slow progress. The Ukrainians are now fighting within the 2nd defensive belt and are inflicting far more casualties on the Russians than they are suffering, especially in artillery systems. The decisive moment will not occur in two weeks as the MG declares. It is more likely to occur in two months. He obviously recorded this before the Ukrainian strikes at Novorossysk, but I would like to hear his thoughts on the probably closure of the Black Sea to Russian and Ukrainian shipping.

          • Sadly, the Ukies are really into arresting those who don’t toe the party line:

            A hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and the confiscation of property for various supposed crimes against the state.


            So much for freedom of speech!
            One wonders what Billy Roche thinks about this.

          • leith says:

            Keith –

            Ukraine is at war. Priest or not, the guy called for the seizure of power in Kiev and attempted to justify war crimes. Only five years? He got off easy. Hopefully they’ll deport him after his release to where he will be either honored or perhaps thrown in Lubyanka prison.

            We did the same to the German Bund leaders during WW2, and worse on the west coast to Japanese immigrants and their children & grandchildren.

          • For an update noting that Metropolitan Pavel has been freed on $1M (!) bail, see

            a new accusation was leveled against Pavel on July 13 [2023].
            The SBU pointed out that the Metropolitan had participated in a video interview with a domestic media outlet,
            during which he “denied the existence of Ukraine as a sovereign state.”

            “The suspect also referred to the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine as a ‘civil conflict,’ ongoing since 2014,” noted the SBU.

            The series of events originated in the autumn of 2022 when the SBU conducted multiple searches in churches and monasteries,
            gathering evidence of UOC-MP representatives’ collaboration with Russia.
            Subsequently, several criminal cases were initiated based on this evidence.

            By Dec. 1 of the previous year, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a move toward “spiritual independence” from Moscow.
            Sanctions were imposed on a number of hierarchs of the UOC-MP, including Metropolitan Pavlo, due to their connections with Russia.

          • TTG says:

            Keith Harbaugh,

            It certainly doesn’t sound like the Metropolitan was speaking on church or even social matters. Ukraine is at war and is under martial law. I’m not at all surprised he was arrested.

          • leith says:

            Keith Harbaugh –

            Metropolitan Pavel Lebed paid a million $ bail to get out.

            The other one you mentioned earlier was Metropolitan Ionafan in Vinnitsiya Province. He’s on his way to prison. Unless of course Putin negotiates swapping scores of POWs for him.

  6. leith says:

    Interesting new USV the Ukrainian Navy is using. What is it now, 4th or 5th generation? And that in only 18 months. The innovation within Ukrainian defense industry is light years ahead of the US and the EU at a fraction of the price.

    The latest version appears to have:
    1] 400 nautical miles operational range now so no more SeaDoo engine;
    2] carbon fiber hull vs earlier aluminum hull;
    3] probably stealthier with that new hull material and radar absorbing paint (?);
    4] new shape-charge warhead fused differently than the earlier impact fuse a la Humphrey Bogart’s African Queen makeshift gelignite torpedo;
    5] new comms since Starlink was geofenced.

    New tactics& strategy also? They appeared to be aiming for the engine compartment in both the ‘Sig’ oil tanker and the Olenegorsky Hornyak. Going for a mission kill instead of sinking them. Makes sense to me. IMHO it will tie up Russian Navy assets trying to repair them. Where is the nearest readily available dry-dock within the BSF – Sevastopol – Novorossisk – elsewhere? Didn’t the USS Cole take over a year in dry-dock to repair after being hit similarly by an Al Qaeda suicide boat? I think it took the Cole another two years of manning up and training plus sea trials before they could deploy? The Ukrainian USV operators have a lot more experience now. Possibly they’ve applied lessons-learned and now use stealthier approach tactics? Plus target selection is better now that they appear to be going after logistic ships – Sig routinely supplies fuel to Russian forces – and the Olenegorsky Hornyak has been ferrying military cargo to Crimea.

    • billy roche says:

      Leith; logistics, fuel, food, materials; you cant keep an army in the field w/o them. Can the RM in Eastern Ukraine be supplied entirely by road and air?

      • Fred says:


        Can the Ukrainian economy support the war effort? What was their biggest source of revenue in the last 12 months?

        • billy roche says:

          corn, wheat, barley. shut down ports and boats=eliminate sales=no revenue. Russia doesn’t have to fight 1mm angry Ukrainians throughout their country. They only need to prevent sales of grains. This is the real LT strategy for Russia, impoverish Ukraine and starve parts of the world. Another season and the UN will forget all the nice words about Ukrainian sovereignty and beg for a Russian victory. The spice must flow. Ukraine must make peace.

        • leith says:

          Fred –

          “By the end of the year, Ukraine will be producing NATO-standard 155mm ammunition as well as the Soviet 152mm and 122mm calibers already produced.”

          Source WSJ:

          • Fred says:


            whose money are they using for all the raw materials and labor?


            “They only need to prevent sales of grains. ”
            LOL they aren’t selling natural gas, oil, or even Xenon due to sanctions. But the poor starving farmers of (insert country X)….
            Nobody at the UN cares about the sovereignty of the government put into power by the National Endownment for Democracy or the Ukrainian oligarch(s) behind Zelensky (take your pick who put them in power).

            The poor countrys should turn to the breadbasket of Africa – Rhodesia, now ex-colonial Zimbabwe (and ex-Mugabe too).

          • leith says:

            Fred –

            Ukrainian labor is cheap. Materials are already in country.

            PS South Africa produces more corn & wheat than Rhodesia ever did.

          • Fred says:


            by ‘cheap’ you mean our money is paying them all as we are essentially the sole source of Ukrainian government funding.

          • leith says:

            Fred –

            By cheap labor, I mean average monthly paycheck in ₴ hryvnia corresponding to somewhere in the range of 400 to 500 US $ per month.

            And no, the US is not the sole source of Ukrainian government funding.

  7. walrus says:

    This data is quite hard to find. It’s buried behind paywalls and now under an avalanche of western propaganda. The facts of the matter are that SFA of ukraine grain went to the starving people of Africa. Most of it was owned by American traders and it went to Europe. It was mostly pig feed.

    Meanwhile, we continued to stop russia from getting anything out of the deal.


    “Indeed, contrary to popular perception, the majority of grain exports that were shipped out of Ukrainian Black Sea ports didn`t go to the poorest and most needed countries but rather to Europe and Turkey. Over the past five months, more than 12.3 tonnes of grain were shipped from Ukraine, with 44 percent of it being corn rather than wheat (29 percent). The main destinations of the cargoes were Spain (2.5 million tonnes), China (2 million), Turkey (1.9 million), Italy (1.3 million), and the Netherlands (898,000). Most of the grain that had been held up in Ukrainian silos after February 24 was corn (not wheat), contracted by international companies, not necessarily to feed people but, for example, to use as biofuel or animal food. Therefore the agreement wasn’t designed to immediately avert famine in countries like Yemen or Somalia but rather to stabilize the market and contain prices, which in turn hurt countries’ ability to purchase food.”

  8. leith says:

    Bloomberg Financial News claims “Putin’s barb that developing nations aren’t benefiting from the safe-corridor deal for Ukrainian grain isn’t backed up by the numbers.” They base that on shipping data. And the UN itself has said that “Developing countries received the largest share of food exports”.

    How Putin’s allegations got fed into a single report from the UN’s Joint Coordination Center (JCC) that monitors the grain initiative is no mystery since there are Russian representatives within the JCC.




  9. walrus says:

    “Some 25 per cent of grain has gone to upper-middle income countries – including Türkiye, China and Bulgaria; and 50 per cent to high-income countries like Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Republic of Korea, Romania, Germany, France, Greece, Ireland, and Israel.”


    I’m sick of this website being used to peddle lies.

    The figures are out there.

    Furthermore some of what is pushed here is plain unadulterated BS, like the crap about Russia using cluster bombs in 2022, but you actually have to go right back to the source documents to find the lie. It’s a pity that the website is deteriorating so fast.

    • TTG says:


      Russian use of cluster munitions since the first days of the invasion are widely documented. It’s silly to try to deny that. As far as Ukrainian grain going to paying customers rather than directly to starving masses, I believe that. What I’m not sure of is the final destination of that grain as well as the changes between past grain shipments and present shipments. In past years, Türkiye had to import a lot of Ukrainian grain. This year, grain imports are limited because of a successful harvest in Türkiye.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      Turcopolier.com remains what it is thanks to principled folk like yourself challenging the views presented here. There are principled folk on the other ‘side’ doing the same. This is as Col. Lang made it and long may it continue.

      • F&L says:

        A man, after undergoing prolonged torture, said “ouch.”

        But we are not yet releasing the story, because:

        A) The torturers are on our “side.”
        B) “Ouch” might mean something in a foreign language and not only can we not translate it, we suspect it may represent an attempt to circumvent our constitutional rights to deceive us from exercising our 2nd amendment rights to make certain that automatic weapons increasingly fall into the hands of psychos and our 1st amendment rights to express our concerns in the press about possibly restraining our rights to make sure that the automatic weapons are increasingly made available in unprecedented numbers because we in fact are the real psychos but don’t tell anyone because that is against a law which was buried away under 29,000 pages of legislation which by an unforseen slight mistake somehow was not reported on.
        C) $$$

      • blue peacock says:

        walrus Turcopolier.com remains what it is thanks to principled folk like yourself challenging the views presented here.

        principled? the same guy that was all for lockdown and mandating a vax that didn’t prevent infection or transmission. Yup, the principle of authoritarianism on the back of covidian hysteria.

        Yup, principled like the Danish virologist Andersen, who in private Slack messages was noting the strong possibility of lab leak but then co-authored the disinformation paper in the Lancet stating categorically that the covid virus was a natural evolution, at the same time as he had a multi-million grant sitting on Fauci’s desk.

        Upton Sinclair was spot on. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

  10. walrus says:

    fUrthermore the issue of where the grain went is only secondary because it demonstrates the behaviour of the west. The primary issue that scuttled the grain initiative is that we welcomed on the deal by sabotaging the Russian side of it.

    Stop with the half truths!

    • Barbara Ann says:


      I cynic might note the timing of the Kerch bridge attack the day before Russia formally exited the deal. The timing was most convenient, as the uninformed public in the West were told by headline writers simply that Russia exited the deal because of the attack.

  11. walrus says:

    ukraine exports via the black sea 31 million tonnes wheat..

    Share for poor countries 725,000 tonnes about 3%

    UN figures, artfully hidden by the MSM

    • billy roche says:

      Walrus; pls explain further. Ukrainian GDP/person is about 3000/yr. It is a very poor county and under attack by a super power. Is it your point that Ukraine should give away its wheat? Help me better understand tnx.

      • walrus says:

        Billy, if you read the mainstream media, you will be told that Russia nixed the grains deal and precipitated worldwide starvation of poor countries. This is untrue.

        Russia bent over backwards to work with Ukraine Turkey and the U.N to secure transport for grains from Ukraine as well as from Russia as well as Russian fertiliser exports so as to ensure continuity of supply and avoid price spikes for poor countries.

        The deal was done and Ukraine has despatched something like 1100 ships and 32 million tonnes. With full Russian cooperation.

        BUT WE WELCHED ON THE DEAL! We kept sanctions in place on finance insurance and charter markets so that Russia couldn’t ship anything. Putin even. offered to give away grain and fertiliser for free to poor countries.

        The irony is that the bull of those 32 million tonnes was pig feed for Europe and the rest , all except 3% of the total went to “developing” not poor countries – turkey egypt etc all under normal commercial arrangements through Archer midland daniels, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.

        And then the bastards turn around and blame Putin!

        Now I don’t care for Putin or Zelensky but if you keep feeding people lies about what is happening in the world then pretty soon you start making decisions based on your own BS – you forget which are lies and which is truth. That will be our undoing.

        Undoing? Some of you forget that all those poor uneducated brown and yellow skinned people are watching this and while they may not be educated like Tony Blinken, they understand bulls*8t when they hear it even though they can’t speak English. Why should you care? Because they are sitting on and own the raw materials we are going to need in the futureAnd they see, and don’t like, what is being done to Russia and China. They also remember iraq, *iran, libya, palestine, Syria, kosovo and afghanistan as well as Guantanamo, rendition, Al Grhaib and probably other stuff like Chile and nicaragua…..and n ow Ukraine is being torn apart thanks to us.

        Now if you were looking for help, China and. Russia might be much more attractive partners than us…

        • TTG says:


          All those sanctions were imposed on Russia in response to the invasion. Nothing has singled out shipping of agricultural goods and fertilizer and I haven’t found any indication that Russia was promised an easing of the financial/economic sanctions other than not sanctioning agricultural goods and fertilizer. The same sanctions apply to oil and gas. Russia manages to circumvent those sanctions for their oil and gas. Why not circumvent them for grain and fertilizer. The truth is Western sanctions are hurting Russia. My guess is that Russia is trying to get sanctions lifted for grain so that it will be easier to ship oil and gas. It’s a strategic gambit to ease the pain afflicted by the sanctions. But this gambit has lead to Ukraine making the Black Sea largely off limits to all commercial shipping, including grain, fertilizer, oil and gas. The closing of the Black Sea will hurt Russia far more than it will hurt Ukraine.

          • Fred says:


            “Russia manages to circumvent ….”

            Most of the world told the US/UK/etc to FO regarding the sanctions. Those sanctions you talk about included the UK forcing Lloyds to not insure Russian flagged ships or other ships in the Black sea. A year later Ukraine has threatened other shipping because the sanctions are not working.

            A quick recap: Russian casualties are horrendous, moral is shot, there was a coup attempt (resulting in the coup leader meeting Putin a few hours later), their artillery tubes are shot, their tanks are museum pieces, they can’t mass fire cruise missles (and when they do they purposely target apartments, schools or hospitals), and any day now the Spring Offensive will sweep all the way to the gates of Sebastopol. Have I missed anything? Other than that the EU is now relient on higher priced natural gas, has a shortage of key metals, and a tanking economy. Did you see the news on the German Bundesbank and their Gold Revaluation Account? Any idea what happens when rates (and gold prices) continue to rise? (and they will.)

            But fear not. Events in Niger may show that the soft underbelly of Europe is in Africa, as most of the Colonial Franc nations, like everyone indebted to the IMF/World Bank governence, doesn’t like the poverty they are still stuck with after decades of Western aid, advice, and strings. (a dissenting view here from months ago: https://tomluongo.me/2022/11/28/meloni-v-macron-the-colonial-end-game/)

            How long ago was it that the leaders of 30 or so African nations were in Russia? What did a number of them tell Macron not that many weeks ago in Paris? Even more enlightening is Victoria Nulands going to Niger. I wonder if she brought cookies along with the green pieces of paper?

            Bad things happen after Wagner arrives? What happens after Victoria Nuland gets involved?

          • Yeah, Right says:

            TTG: “and I haven’t found any indication that Russia was promised an easing of the financial/economic sanctions other than not sanctioning agricultural goods and fertilizer.”

            Sophistry. The refusal of the west to ease sanctions on the bank that financed that trade in agricultural goods and fertilizer prevents that trade from taking place.

            The trade is sanctioned. That the West attempts to hide that fact by applying the sanctions on the bank rather than on the agricultural companies is simply a cynical display of bad faith.

  12. leith says:

    Don’t know what current figures are. But on 17 May this year the United Nations UNCTAD said: “Developing countries received the largest share of food exports”. Their pie chart shows 43% going to developed countries, 57% going to developing ones. Although Walrus is correct about the low share to poor countries. UNCTAD shows the poorest nations getting only six %. No info given on which countries those are.


    I believe the totals shipped are now at 32.9 million tons. Yes, Corn is half of that, but not all of that corn goes to Spain to make jamón. Cornmeal pap or porridge is a staple in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, parts of South America, plus in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen. I admit to not knowing the stats on where that 32.9 million tons of Ukrainian grain are shipped. Perhaps there are more recent stats available? I don’t have access to them. I’d be interested in more recent reports if anyone has a link?

    UN Secretary General Guterres has been working with Putin for awhile to get Russian shipments of fertilizer restarted. Per Guterres spokesman Stéphane Dujarric: “The objective is to remove hurdles affecting financial transactions through the Russian Agricultural Bank a major concern expressed by the Russian Federation…”:

    • alessio says:


      Here are the data
      Apparently, China is still considered “developing” by UN

      • leith says:

        Alessio –

        Thanks – looks like today’s update. Amazing about China and looks like Turkey also considered ‘developing’. They apparently base that on Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, 2021 data. They need to change that. Both are economic powerhouses. The World Bank considers them both to have Upper Middle Class Income. If they used IMF formulas then China’s GNI per capita would put them over the top into High Income, i.e. a developed’ country. China has $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves.

        Ukrainians are a lot poorer than the Chinese and Turks. Two to three times lower income per capita is best guess. Possibly because for the last nine years Ukraine’s GNI has not included her Donbas industry, nor her Black Sea oil, nor her Crimean agriculture.

  13. peter mcloughlin says:

    As with all of history: “it’s only a matter of time”. It is clear that global events are following a dangerous pattern: escalation to WW III. History comes down to a simple syllogism: everyone eventually gets the war they are trying to avoid, their own defeat; everyone wants to avoid WW III; in conclusion – that is mankind’s fate. Paradoxically, if we do not accept this logic we will never change it.

  14. English Outsider says:

    TTG – “Bakshi”. Damn. I hate getting names of people wrong, though I’m not too bothered about the various transliterations of various Ukrainian towns and cities.

    Not helped, that latter, by the fact that those transliterations keep changing. Been reading Prit Buttar’s account of the fighting in the Donbass in ’43. There the names are spelt as one is used to, though one has to double take when one meets names like “Stalino”. The names stayed much the same when looking at the pre-2022 Civil War. Now there’s a fresh crop come along. And it’s got political. Bakhmut or Artemovsk? Just the use of one name or the other is partisan.

    That Prit Buttar book is beautifully researched, though it doesn’t look to me as if he’s read enough Glantz when assessing the methods of warfare adopted by the two sides. And the military historians or the modern analysts too often, it seems to me, think in terms of “The Plan”.

    So with the Gostomel/Kiev episode mentioned above. Was that a heroic feint, as some assert, to draw the Kiev forces away from where it mattered, the Donbass? Was it to put pressure on Zelensky to negotiate. Or was it in the hope of promoting or causing a coup, as others argue? Or, if the negotiations had come to anything, to police Kiev, as the Chechens policed East Beirut after the liberation to stop things getting out of hand. There were nothing like enough troops to storm Kiev, but plenty enough around to police it after the surrender.

    So no “The Plan”. Just a preparation for a whole range of possibilities, all possibilities covered whichever way the cat jumped. Same right now up around Izium. The Commander there talks of an “offensive of opportunity”. Some see it as the start of a major offensive. Or maybe it’s just a bit more of the slaughter house. Whichever it turns out to, be people will say learnedly that that was the plan all along. But maybe the Russian General Staff have a range of possibilities in mind, all covered, and are just doing suck it and see to find out what turns up.

    You’ll forgive these amateur musings. TTG, as you and the Colonel have so often in the past. But whether the Russians are working to “The Plan” or flexibly exploring a range of possibilities, the big picture is indisputable and clear to us both. The Ukrainian don’t have a chance by themselves. The Euros were never in the game. The Americans have left it far too late to come in in force and they’re not prepared to go nuclear. Time, surely, and whatever we think of the rights and wrongs of the conflict, to let the Ukrainian PBI off the hook.

    • TTG says:


      Publishing links without comment was a pet peeve of Colonel Lang, but this is an important article. The point that stuck out to me was the question of how sustainable are the losses the Ukrainians are suffering in this counteroffensive. They are supposedly inflicting more losses on the defending Russian than they are in the offense, but is that enough. What Western analysts, politicians and even military observers forget is the level of casualties and destruction endured by the USSR in WWII. And they all seem to forget that both Ukraine and Russia endured those casualties and destruction and kept fighting.

      • F&L says:

        A dismal dismal truth. Studying history was off limits for our fearless leaders. And speaking of hyena tenderness:
        Not bad, in general, the idea is finally profaned .
        Maternal capital is a development resource. This is something that is invested in the future, and the future of the child. And the proposed option to spend it on current consumption is a complete devaluation of the approach itself.
        On the other hand, there is no future in Russia anymore. There is only the current present. Tomorrow no one knows what to say about more distant dates. Hence the logic – walk, as on the last day.
        Are you as confident as I that the maternity funds will go for “apartment construction?” Haha.

        “Well, look at it this way – everyone dies, right? Would you prefer your son or husband to have died of alcoholism or to have been run over by a truck?”

        I bet you can guess which Solon it was who that paraphrases. He’s fairly safe according to some estimates, because they think the devil wouldn’t accept him into hell. One thing that worries me is that our Republican party have also figured out that that applies to them as well. This possibly also explains the contentedness of the Democrats – they know they’re going to hell, where everyone is a democrat now, at least since April 12, 1945.

      • Stefan says:

        I remember now. Duly noted.

        Casualties are one thing, the willingness of Ukraine’s backers are something else. Will they continue to fund and supply Ukraine’s effort or start to view any further help to be “throwing good money after bad” as the saying goes. Without continued significant funding and supplies Ukraine’s continuing struggle will not last long. WWII is a good example. Russia had the men (and women) to give to the fight, but received $180 billion, adjusted for inflation, from the US from 1941 t0 1945. Likely the outcome against the Nazis would have been different without that money. It was up in the air for awhile even with it.

      • Barbara Ann says:

        The Soviet leadership knew they were fighting an enemy hell bent on their annihilation (through Generalplan Ost). I do not think even the most ardent Ukrainian nationalist truly believes this bruderkrieg is a genocidal war, despite what a few Russian crazies have said.

        Stefan’s link highlights the real danger related to the counteroffensive, which is one of how it has clearly be ‘sold’ to the Western backers. The talk is of waiting a “couple of weeks” and “Even if they would keep on fighting for the next several weeks..” (can they not?) and of progress being “..slower than anyone would like..”. One is left with the impression that in order to maintain the NATO coalition’s support, unrealistic promises were made. Why is this so if we are in it for “as long as it takes”?

        • TTG says:

          Barbara Ann,

          Those Russian crazies hollering for annihilation of the Ukrainians still hold the government microphones. Any Ukrainian hearing them can’t help but think they’re serious. The Russian Army’s behavior in the occupied territories doesn’t do much to allay those fears. But I think you’re right about the soft West tiring of this long before the Ukrainians or Russians.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      More from CNN. CNN is broadcasting its own poll with the question “Should Congress authorize more funding to support Ukraine?”. 55% apparently say “no”.

      Now those who understand how the media works will immediately recognize that CNN polling is done at the bidding of its masters (the Dems) in order to reinforce/set the narrative. This is the clearest signal I’ve yet seen that “as long as it takes” is coming to an end real fast. There is no way such a poll would have been conducted and broadcast if the plan was to stay the course. This is part of setting the new ‘we did all we could’ narrative.

      It’s probably worth watching the whole 5 minute piece as the interviewee also brings up ‘as long as it takes’ and immediately says “The problem is that doesn’t really jive with our political cycle here”. This looks very much like the kiss of death to me.


  15. leith says:

    Olenegorsky Gorny appears to be in floating drydock in Novorossiysk. Fast work! Hat tip to MT Anderson and Landsat. IMO they will patch her up fast in expectation of needing her to ferry Mil resupply to Crimea if the Kerch bridge is attacked again.


    Where is the tanker SIG? Perhaps also on her way to a drydock? She might be owned privately by a shipping company in St Petersburg, but she is currently leased to RF MoD so they’ll accommodate her in a Naval drydock

    • Fred says:


      Five or six hundred tons of sea lift is miniscule. A floating drydock makes for a rather stationary target though.

      • leith says:

        I’m liking your thoughts on targeting Fred.

        On the other hand, five hundred tons of artillery ammo is nothing to sneeze at. It’s perhaps eight or nine thousand 152mm shells, or double that for 122mm. Ballpark #s.

      • billy roche says:

        Fred; re ur earlier dialogue w/Leith. Do you think the Marshall plan was worth it. The US paid for it soup to nuts.

        • Fred says:


          How much of Ukraine was rubble in 1991 due to the USAF and British Bomber Command destroying them? Zero. Thanks for the straw-man arguement though.

          • billy roche says:

            Fred Marshall Plan was not just for Germany.

          • Fred says:


            Germany wasn’t the only country bombed either. Neither are relevant today.

          • Excellent point.
            I highly recommend The Fire by Jörg Friedrich
            on this.

          • billy roche says:

            Of course it relevant. The Marshall Plan was paid in full by the American tax payer in hopes of keeping communism from “capturing” the rest of Europe. Britain and France got most of the money but Greece, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, and the Netherlands got a lot. That was 1950. Today, the American taxpayer is again spending big money to prevent Ukraine from falling victim to Russian colonialism. Of course western Europeans should kick in some hard cash to help but when have those selfish bastards cared about anything but themselves. Nevertheless we try. Since western Europeans are too selfish and thick headed to help maybe we should do like wise. Is that your point?

          • Fred says:


            ” Of course western Europeans should kick in some hard cash to help but when have those selfish bastards cared about anything but themselves.”

            Marshal plan, Marshal plan! Hoo Rah! The “greedy bastards” who only cared about themselves; I almost put on my old Springsteen album but…….
            Ukraine! Victim of, what is it now? Colonization! My, my. How sad the children, especially the girls, of Afghanistan can no longer get a headline. Though Iranians get Frontline (airing as I type) so maybe there’s hope for the forgotten, other than Trayvon, George F. ,and all the rest here at home. Maybe their relatives can get in touch with Putin so Victoria Nuland and the National Endowment for Democracy(!) will be forced to spend American tax money in America for once.

  16. F&L says:

    Nesmiyan referenced this. I haven’t the time to find out what the rewrites amount to. I’ll leave off with jokes on this for now, but boy oh boy don’t get me started on “When Fearless Leader Was But a Wee Laddy of Eighteen!” Or “Chapter 1: The 1970s.”
    TTG might consider, if I get out of purgatory, letting me write an occasional guest column titled The Frylight or Crylight Zone. Just kidding. Well, they’re not the only rewriters of history, as a few thousand broken statues can testify to. But these guys have form here as the Brits say.

    Breaking News: Pythagorean theorem first proved by central African pygmies, research suggests. (Don’t laugh. Joe’s going with Kamala.)
    📚 The sections on the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s have been completely rewritten in the new Russian history textbooks for grades 10 and 11, Presidential Aide Vladimir Medinsky said during a press conference at which they were introduced.

    He also said that a section has been added to the textbooks from 2014 to the present, including SVO.

    Earlier, the Minister of Education, Sergei Kravtsov, said that from September 1, eleventh-graders will be taught according to a new history textbook, which was prepared with the participation of Vladimir Medinsky.

    • F&L says:

      Stalin was a professional criminal and renegade-rebel who rose to have a decent claim at one time to the title: Helmsman of All Mankind (well,..) . Fearless leader was a third rate KGB lawyer as the USSR fell to pieces who became the head of a crime syndicate known as the Kremlin of the Russian Federation after the drunken Bozo Boris Yeltsin sold off the remains of its colossal industrial and military empire to a dozen people whose ethnicity can’t be mentioned because Auntie’s Emetic Medicinals are banned in Chrishchun Rapture loving armed to the teeth America which directed the dismantling via Harvard on the Potomac. Oh, and he, not Rasputin, made it into an absolute presidential dictatorship in 1993 by shooting hundreds of Russians to death who were trying to establish their long dreamed of democracy – in large part for his new buddy from Arkansas, Slick Willie Clinton.

      “Yes yes, but do our tears flow down low enough to reach our pockets?” Said the Walrus to the Carpenter.

      I guess I shouldn’t be so critical, after all, look at this place here, so corrupt it busted the entire world financial system so badly that our cia had to get the mafia to bail out the federal government, and Obama, the “Democrat” sent no one to jail except poor little Chelsea Manning (boo hoo hoo).

      Please try to compare or get into perspective the crime of being conned by that great loving humanitarian Julian Assange (-!-) into sneaking out a short video of US soldiers double-tapping some poor Afghanis .. with the wholesale thievery and fraud of the 2007-08 crash – perpetrated in broad daylight, btw, on CSNBC etc for years and unpunished (no but lavishly rewarded) by Saint Oh-Bombah of Washington DC America. That Madoff was never looked into by Mayor Bloomberg who knew everything on earth there was to know about the financial markets and ran and licensed the world’s most profitable electronic trading service during the period that Madoff was setting up the computerized trading for the Stock exchanges is another work of wonder worthy of Nero’s Rome and explains why St John of Patmos saw in a vision the number 666 shining high above 5th avenue 2000 years into the future.

      ” Christian” America? In Eastern Orthodoxy the book of Revelation is taken so seriously that it couldn’t have happened. Yes, we are a long way from being slaughtered by Moses for worshipping the golden calf, Dorothy.

      Not too many domestic flights in Russia – coming soon.
      Chemezov told Putin today that starting from 2025, the fleet will begin to decline rapidly , as foreign aircraft will simply be out of action. Deliveries of spare parts are impossible, counterfeiting will lead to disasters.

      On the other hand, 2025 is practically somewhere in infinity. It is not clear what will happen tomorrow. And in two years, launching the domestic aviation industry will not work either – here the defeat is such that it takes years to raise everything and you still need to understand – on what basis. If again domestic, then you will have to raise a whole list of industries. Well, who will do it? And where does the money come from? And where are the specialists and the system of their training?

      In general, it is boring and uninteresting. Therefore, the information was taken into account, uninteresting words about “should” were uttered to no one, on which one can round off.

  17. Special to Fred;
    Given your Navy background,
    I thought you might find this interesting:


    It deals with the surface Navy (CG Princeton and CVN Nimitz) and naval aviation, but even so you might find it interesting.

    The enlisted witnesses say it’s disappointing to hear Fravor suggest some of their accounts are inaccurate.
    However, they all stand by their experiences, and equally support [CDR] Fravor’s account.
    For them, they say the only reason they ever came out with their story was to support Fravor and their fellow sailors.
    “That’s what it’s always been about since day one,” Turner says.

    • Fred says:


      “USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) completed AT [acceptance trial] in May 2017. The ship was unfinished and had significant deficiencies affecting many mission-critical systems.[1, p.9]

      The Type Commander presented the ship for a comprehensive ST [special trial] in June 2022. The ship’s material readiness was poor with one unsatisfactory and 13 degraded scores among 18 functional areas. There were one unsatisfactory and three degraded scores among the eight major demonstrations. Seven starred deficiencies that were CNO-waived for delivery were either uncorrected or not assessed during the ST….”

      A bit more important. We’ve been poorly served by the flag ranks.

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