“How the Czech Republic has just stopped Putin cold and saved Ukraine”

The Festrunk brothers… a couple of wild and crazy guys

Russia went to war in Ukraine two years ago with twice as many artillery pieces as Ukraine had. But it isn’t the advantage in howitzers that really matters – it’s the advantage in shells. After all, a single gun firing 50 shells a day is about as useful as two guns each firing 25.

For hundreds of years, artillery has dominated land warfare. Firing far and hitting hard, it’s the biggest killer of infantry, the main means of supporting an attack and the main means of supporting a defence. It’s for that reason that, in charting the supply of artillery ammunition on both sides of a war, you can map the progress of that war. The side with the most shells is probably going to win. 

And it’s why a surprise initiative, led by the Czech Republic and involving more than a dozen European countries, has been so critical to Ukraine’s survival as Russia’s wider war on the country grinds into its third year. The Czechs found, for Ukraine, nearly a million shells precisely when Ukraine needed those million shells the most: at the peak of Russia’s winter offensive. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Czech artillery initiative probably saved entire Ukrainian cities, by giving the Ukrainian army the firepower to resist a much bigger Russian army.

By mid-February, the Russians were on the march in and around Avdiivka. The ammo-starved Ukrainian garrison retreated – and kept retreating as the Russians’ momentum carried them farther and farther west. But then, on Feb. 18, Czech defense policy chief Jan Jires shocked his audience when he announced – at a Munich security conference – that his government had identified 800,000 artillery shells “sitting in non-Western countries.” Those countries apparently include South Korea, Turkey and South Africa.

The shells could be had for $1.5 billion, Czech officials said. “Most of these countries [are] unwilling to support Ukraine directly for political reasons so they need a middleman,” Jires said, according to Politico reporter Paul McLeary and other sources. The Czech Republic would be that middleman, if Ukraine’s allies – other than the USA, of course – would help to pay for the ammo.

Belgium, Canada, Denmark and The Netherlands quickly signed up. Soon, another 13 countries joined the Czech artillery club. In three weeks, Jires and his colleagues collected all $1.5 billion. Shells were on their way within weeks. With months’ worth of shells on the way, Ukrainian brigades no longer had to conserve what little ammo they’d been saving for emergencies. In early March, Ukraine’s batteries opened fire.

“Most of these countries [are] unwilling to support Ukraine directly for political reasons so they need a middleman,” Jires said, according to Politico reporter Paul McLeary and other sources. The Czech Republic would be that middleman, if Ukraine’s allies – other than the USA, of course – would help to pay for the ammo.

Belgium, Canada, Denmark and The Netherlands quickly signed up. Soon, another 13 countries joined the Czech artillery club. In three weeks, Jires and his colleagues collected all $1.5 billion. Shells were on their way within weeks. With months’ worth of shells on the way, Ukrainian brigades no longer had to conserve what little ammo they’d been saving for emergencies. In early March, Ukraine’s batteries opened fire. 

Five miles west of Avdiivka, Ukrainian troops halted their retreat, turned and counterattacked. Finally enjoying something approaching adequate artillery support, they stopped the Russian offensive dead in its tracks in villages with names like Berdychi, Orlivka and Tonen’ke. 

Artillery – a shortage of it – is the main reason the Ukrainians nearly lost a whole eastern oblast to the Russians this winter and spring. And artillery – a million shells brokered by a tiny Eastern European country – is the main reason the Ukrainians didn’t lose that whole oblast. If artillery is the king of battle, the current kingmaker is … the Czech Republic.


Comment: I’ve been following this story since Czech President Petr Pavel announced the initiative on 18 February. Pavel, a special forces brother, cuts a dashing figure, doesn’t he? It now appears that Pavel is leading the way to prove one and a half million shells to Ukraine at a critical time. This is in addition to what is being produced in Europe and the US. It is notable that this is a European initiative. I think it’s fairly clear to many in Europe, especially to East Europeans, that another cold war is upon us and that the US may not be counted upon to ride to the rescue in a timely manner. They are taking their own defense planning and preparations seriously. That’s good to see. I’ve long held that the countries of eastern NATO will lead the way in Europe’s defense.

Still, this procurement is dwarfed by what North Korea is providing to Russia. Fortunately, Ukrainian gunners are far more talented than their Russian counterparts. They will make much better use of what they have. It will allow a more effective defense against current Russian offensive tactics. It certainly isn’t enough to waste on a 2024 repeat of last year’s disappointing and costly counteroffensive.


P.S. – Here’s another good article on the mathematics of artillery shells.


This entry was posted in Europe, The Military Art, TTG, Ukraine Crisis. Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to “How the Czech Republic has just stopped Putin cold and saved Ukraine”

  1. James says:

    In my experience the Czechs don’t hate the Russians as much as the Poles and Baltic peoples do – presumably because they are further away and haven’t been fighting constant wars with the Russians for the last 1000 years. I think the Czechs were hand selected by NATO to do something that NATO planned out years ago, but what do I know.

    My views on Czech/Russian relations might be somewhat shaded by seeing the Czech film Kolya in 1996 … which I highly recommend. I really like the Czechs and the Dutch – they both have Germanic efficiency but more of a “live and let live” mentality.

    • TTG says:


      You may be right about Czechs having a lower level of hatred towards Russia. This is the land of “The Good Soldier Švejk.” But don’t forget the ’68 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. However, I seriously doubt this is some kind of long thought out NATO scheme. Sounds much more like a Petr Pavel, former SF soldier, hatched and initiated plan.

  2. F&L says:

    Off topic development. Sounds like something still works almost.

    Big win for Texas . After two months of battles, the Supreme Court sided with Texas – and allowed the state to independently build immigration policy . Now Texas authorities will be able to arrest all illegal immigrants on their own – and deport them across the border to Mexico.
    Throughout the three years of Biden’s presidency, a migration crisis has been raging at the US borders. Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants storm the southern border every month. They are adding to the homeless population in US cities – and worsening the crime crisis .
    The White House does not have the political will to fight this. That’s why individual states are taking the initiative into their own hands. Texas has already taken control of a section of the southern border. Moreover , the state sabotaged the decision of the Supreme Court, which prohibited the Texas National Guard from driving away border guards .
    In Texas, they are concentrating the National Guard on the border – and they want to prohibit Biden from sending it to Europe for the sake of his militaristic attempts. And the Supreme Court decided not to further provoke Texas, which was supported by 25 more Republican states. Therefore , Texas can now pursue an independent migration policy – and not rely on Washington .
    Separatist sentiments are already growing in the state. Well, the current decision of the Supreme Court will continue the further federalization of the United States , where centrifugal processes are accelerating against the background of all internal crises and splits. Liberal states will ghettoize , accepting illegal immigrants from all over the world. And the Republican ones should gradually fence themselves off from them.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Great. Good for TX. Unfortunately, bad for me. Now the illegals will all come through AZ where I live and where we have a liberal governor who is in office due to stealing an election.

      But look over there. Russia invaded Ukraine!

      • F&L says:

        Sorry I don’t have the link but I read this morning (somewhere) that Arizona is going to court to try to sue for a remedy similar to the one that Texas received (they were hit with another delay, the second, from an appeals court). I wish them success. If you think you have it bad just be grateful you’re not living in NY or one of the cities which are deluged with illegals now to the point that they risk falling to pieces.

      • Fred says:


        I’ll tell DeSantis to send you some Haitians. Just think Barbecue.

    • LeaNder says:


      would you be willing to cooperate on the issue with TP members (TurcopTurcopolier, once SST, or sic semper tyrannis) of your choice to offer a look into the wider present of the US legal fights,but surely not only them, surrounding the issue for debate?

      So far this is nothing but a simple question.

      I am admittedly open to pure law & order perspectives on the issue to some extent. And strictly, it no doubt could be an open gate for all type of unwanteds to mix and mingle with the larger south-north stream? Eric may have expertise. On the Chinese infiltration conspiracy, too. Maybe?

      Details, legal issues involved, et al.?

      • TTG says:


        I was considering this as a possible article and found that Justice Alito issued another stay on implementation of the Texas law late last night along with an Appeals Court stay. I don’t understand the process at all.

        • LeaNder says:

          Yes, TTG, it may be a matter for Robert Willmann, really. His last entry on SST Feb. 2019 dealt with legal matters around the US’ southern border. …


          But here is the latest on matters:

          William Melhado of The Texas Tribune looked into the history of the longer struggle between Texas and federal agents. But the go-to person of the TT seems to be Uriel J. Garcia, the immigration reporter based in El Paso:


          Texas seems to challenge the US State authority on immigration for longer now. They seem to have created a Texas law for matters. Arizona?

          It is a hot election issue over here, too. Election issue? Yesterday, North Rhine-Westphalia’s minister of the interior made it into the news citing the latest crime statistics, with an emphasis on ‘foreigners’. And yes, there is more a more talk about cities are reaching their limits for much longer now. …

    • cobo says:

      The best border ‘on the ground’ coverage I’ve found is JLR Investigates on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/@jonathanleerichesinvestigates.

      For the past several months he has been covering the border from California to Texas. Having grown up in San Diego’s east county and been all about dirt bikes, I know the border from San Ysidro to Calexico very well, and Ensenada to Mexicali.

      He covers the wall and the lack there of. He shows the Border Patrol and National Guard at work. He shows the migrants getting in and getting caught and processed. He also shows the hotels being closed off and dedicated to the migrants. He showed a school in San Diego, fenced off and dedicated to processing and sending migrants on. He shows the non-profits aiding the migrants, largely in secret, like Catholic Charities and spotted at the school in San Diego, Haitian Bridge. Coupled with Michael Yon’s work at the Darien Gap, which I linked previously, you can get a pretty good look at the ground reality.

    • Peter Hug says:

      I presume that if Texas’ ability to block entry of undocumented immigrants as a state is upheld, the logical corollary would be that a state like CA would be able to allow similar people into the country, perhaps provided that they remain within the state. Given the challenges that all agriculture faces right now in finding people to do the work, that might give farms in California a major competitive advantage over farms in Texas or Florida.

  3. babelthuap says:

    CCP can outproduce the planet. Russia will have plenty of shells to out shell NATO. Many CCP shells have been found already. Believe what you want though.

    • TTG says:


      I have no doubt China can outproduce all others. I’m also fairly sure those Chines rounds in Ukraine came in via North Korea.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        If one were looking for a great way to motivate China to start delivering arms to directly to her Russian ally I’d suggest this is a very good place to start: Taiwanese media is reporting that your brother GB’s will be permanently based there for the first time – just 6 miles from the Chinese mainland. It looks like the China hawk faction of the Borg are gradually getting the upper hand.


        • TTG says:

          Barbara Ann,

          They are three man training teams probably rotated in and out on a continuous basis, 3 to 6 months. This is just barely provocative, especially considering they are working with the purely defense-oriented Taiwanese SF.

          • Barbara Ann says:

            I’m not sure the Chinese see it that way.

            A sensible foreign policy to defeat Russia would involve scrupulously avoiding anything which could antagonize China and trying to split the two apart. As it is, US FP in the post Kissinger era appears to me to be the result of whichever one of the set of competing policy fiefdoms has the temporary advantage – and so the current pivot to China. The result is Russia and China (and now Iran too) are being forced ever closer together. This is the recipe for a self-defeating policy disaster which no amount of pivoting will fix.

  4. Barbara Ann says:

    The Europeanization of the war is going swimmingly. The Europoodles (thanks EO) will be buying their Freedom Gas and Freedom Bombs from Uncle Sam and be left alone to go to war with Russia – or not. Mission accomplished. It’ll soon be time to pretend the whole thing never happened.

    The two guys in that photo look like they’ve just watched this video where a French Jack Keane explains where French troops (or “priority targets” as Sergei Naryshkin calls them) will likely be deployed in Ukraine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCwBjmCzulU (in French)

  5. Fred says:

    Looks like a fine future income stream for whomever makes artillery shells. Will they be made in Europe or will China be opening a factory in Mexico like they are doing with their bloodbath mobiles? (Media narrative reference).

    • TTG says:


      China is openly selling to both sides, but there’s no evidence of China providing artillery shells or other munitions directly to Russia. Chinese arms given to north korea are definitely making their way to Russia.

      • Fred says:


        Then Israel, soon to be cut off by the Biden Administration, will know where to turn to when they continue pounding Hamas. Blinken & Co. show their true skills.

        • TTG says:


          Exactly. That’s why Biden can’t just dictate terms to Netanyahu. He needs a sugar daddy and doesn’t care who that sugar daddy is. It all depends on whether China would consider becoming Netanyahu’s sugar daddy to be in China’s best interest.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            Netanyahu has an alternative sugar daddy a lot closer than Beijing. An Israeli alliance with Trump makes much more sense anyhow. As Alastair Crooke observes, liberal Zionism is these days an oxymoron. The spectrum of Israeli politics (from a US POV) is far right; extreme right and ultra right. The Zionist ethno-nationalist project is utterly incompatible with woke values and the Lobby’s divorce from the Democrats is long overdue. Biden is trying to delay this event until November. That is why he won’t dictate terms to Bibi.

          • Fred says:

            Biden and Barack have been trying to get rid of Bibi for years.

  6. leith says:

    There are several articles in the media saying that the 800K shells include 300K of 122mm. And yet the Telegraph article by David Axe says the shells are coming from South Korea, Turkey and South Africa. None of those three countries uses 122mm. So maybe David Axe, the journalist who wrote the story got it wrong. He’s been wrong before. Or perhaps those three countries are a cover story to keep the Kremlin from knowing the source? Or did South Africa get 122 shells from one of her neighbors – Zimbabwe comes to mind? Or Turkey is a middleman for Azerbaijani shells?

  7. F&L says:

    Translated and pasted directly from Telegram this morning. I’ll leave these here without comment at TTG’s discretion only to mention that I never liked Slavoj Zizek and now I like him even less. I suspect he’s on drugs. Does he even have a vague idea how many people would die if TNWs were used in Ukraine and Russia?

    Do you remember that I said that Ukraine would receive any kind of weapons, including nuclear weapons? Well, military expert Alexander Zimovsky also says this:
    In the near future, Ukraine will receive the entire range of Western weapons of the ground forces and aviation, which includes a full set of systems comparable in power to TNW.
    In addition, Ukraine already has all the platforms for the use of TNW of Western models. And even suitable for the use of Soviet / Russian TNW samples.
    My private opinion is that before the end of this year, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will have access to Western TNW systems and the “go ahead” for its use on targets / facilities in Russia. Ukraine’s failure on the Eastern Front is already obvious to everyone.
    This is all the more obvious to the professional military in the so-called West.
    The alternative to the military collapse of the Nazi Ukrainian non-state can only be the coercion of Russia to peace by the forces of the United States and NATO.
    The intention of our opponents in Europe and the United States to force Russia militarily has already been announced.
    It remains to take this topic offline.
    And we need to understand: where, when and how will it start?
    Don’t even doubt what will start. All political decisions have already been made. It’s up to the big battalions.”
    The dream of the Ukrainian Nazis is coming true – NATO is going to war with Russia.

    A little bit of Western propaganda, I’m sorry.
    Slovenian cultural critic and philosopher Slava Zizek:
    “We need to give Ukraine nuclear weapons. I say this as a leftist. We must do our best! [Yes. It was a terrible mistake to convince Ukraine to give up its nuclear capabilities, because, as it seems to me, it became a green light for Putin to then invade Ukraine]. We should read what horrors they tell. The Russian media, they have completely returned to religious fundamentalism. They portray the war in Ukraine as a war of Christian civilization against demonic Satanism and so on. I mean, they’re no better than the Arabs. Today they are fanatical religious fundamentalists in the worst sense of the word. They need to be stopped.”
    Ukraine did not have nuclear weapons. It was a weapon of Russia, as the legal successor of the Soviet Union. Similarly, there were no nuclear weapons in Belarus. And if Russia has now placed TNW there, then this is a Russian weapon under Russian control. And let Ukraine be given nuclear weapons. The war will end in a few days with the complete destruction of Ukraine. It will happen anyway, and without nuclear weapons, but later.

    • TTG says:


      I think both these fellows are off their rockers. Ukraine is not getting any nuclear weapons from the West. The West won’t even give them the full range of conventional weapons to strike Russia. While they could use some of those longer range conventional weapons, along with a lot more air defense, they certainly don’t need nuclear weapons. And Ukraine has been able to stymie the Russian behemoth from reaching any of their objectives with what they currently have, what their developing and what the West has given them. Nuclear weapons talk is just flat nuts.

  8. F&L says:

    Did Trump put these officers up to this as a provocation? Otherwise it’s totally bizarre unless I am overlooking something obvious.
    In the US, the military asks the Supreme Court to explain whether they are obliged to kill the president’s political opponents
    In their own way, a stunning collective request was filed in the US Supreme Court by former high-ranking military officers. They ask, just in case, to explain to them: will the order of the President of the United States, given to the special forces team SEAL Team 6 under his direct subordination, to kill a political opponent be considered legal? Otherwise, you know, doubts arise.
    ▪️ The request provides an extensive list of precedents – including the tragically famous events in the Vietnamese village of Song My – with legal comments that the order to kill for no reason, and even more so to kill political opponents, would be illegal.
    The request was sent by difficult people. Colonel Robert Wilkie served as assistant secretary of defense under Bush and under secretary of state under Trump, and is now head of the Department of Veterans Affairs. General Keith Kellogg commanded special forces in Europe and served as Trump’s chief of staff on the National Security Council. General William Gerald Boykin conducted special operations in Iran during Carter’s time, then commanded all the Green Berets and was the US Deputy Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
    ▪️ What kind of “political opponent” of Biden can we talk about? The text of the request does not hide the fact that its authors are concerned about the fate of Donald Trump, first of all.
    The three authors of the request have enough influence and sources to determine whether such a request is relevant or not. You have to understand that they have information about Biden’s potential use of SEAL Team 6.
    ▪️ It would be nice to send them a second request – about the interrogation of a certain Emmanuel Macron. Who recently publicly stated: according to his reliable data, Trump will not be president …
    But in general, excellent standards for “American elections.”

  9. James says:

    Michael Kofman has an interesting Twitter thread up in which he writes:
    “At this point Russia’s fires advantage of 5:1 to 6:1 is significant, but not decisive. The growing problem is a higher rate of glide bomb employment by the Russian VKS, averaging 30-40 per day on parts of the front and from increasingly longer ranges (from 40-55km to 60km+).”


    • TTG says:


      The Russians are also getting the hang of locating and striking targets like HIMARS and Patriot launchers. If they get better at that, the Ukrainians are in real trouble.

      • James says:


        My understanding is that the Iraq war allowed the US to rapidly develop its ability to do Long Range Precision Strike. It would seem that the Ukraine war is helping Russia do the same thing with one difference … Russia is learning to do it in non-permissive environments where it does not have air superiority.

        That said – Russia is paying a heavy price and the US continues to lead the rest of the world by a very wide margin. The war in Ukraine has convinced me that the US has no near peers.

        • wiz says:


          if anything, this conflict shows that a smaller opponent can inflict some serious damage to a bigger foe.

          Just look at how successful Ukrainian sea drones are against the Russian Black Sea fleet.

          Now, the US relies a great deal on its navy for logistics and power projection. People were laughing at Iranian concept of small, fast attack boats overwhelming big, expensive ships. I bet you, they are not laughing any more.

  10. English Outsider says:

    TTG – on the subject of ammunition shortages Vershinin of RUSI and Brian Berletic of “New Atlas” were working on the problem well before it became a subject of general concern. It’s not so much that we in the West don’t make enough, it’s that we don’t have the ability to up our production on any useful timescale. So too with other war material we supply.

    Vershinin seems to have been reading Martyanov since then. He’s picked up that the Russian approach to the sort of fighting we see in the Ukraine is radically different from ours. Dr Richard North referenced Vershinin’s latest article in an article of his own yesterday:-


    Dr North’s article, in which his own conclusions are similar to Vershinin’s though arrived at independently, here:


    The attempt to get round our limitations in this respect may not be successful for several reasons.

    – the countries we’re trying to obtain shells from may not be prepared to sell them.

    – it’s not only shells. Barrel wear is also a problem. Many Western guns wear out quickly because of the higher pressure. It used to be the case that the Russians were able to change barrels in the field whereas our guns had to be transported several hundred miles back from the front to get that done. If that’s still the case then it’s more than a lack of shells that slows things down.

    – Manpower. The willing are already at the front and their replacements, increasingly, are untrained and unwilling. It’s said to cost as much as $5,000 to get out of the country but large numbers are finding the money to do just that. Lindsey Graham’s recommendation to lower the recruitment age looks logical, but in practice that’s already been done in many cases and the recruiting officers are anyway hunting men down using methods that cause resentment in the general population. There’s a punchy article on Senator Graham’s approach in one of the US mainstream journals – so if it’s mentioned even there, it’s a problem:-


    For these reasons it doesn’t look as if the Czech proposals will do much to address the problem. My own view on all these “Europoodle initiatives”, those of Pistorius, Shapps, Macron and now this Czech proposal, is that they will enable the various countries to deflect blame for the coming defeat by asserting they did all they could and more than the Americans were prepared to do; and also to keep us in the European population in the mood for the transition to Cold War 2 that we’ll see after the defeat.

    But to return to the Vershinin article. Of course our defences should be better prepared. I know of MOD contractors who were busy – a long time ago now – in designing and setting up shadow production facilities. Are we still doing that? I don’t know but we should be. So Vershinin is right to draw attention to such problems,

    But is Vershinin right overall? The Ukrainian war is very much a one-off. Where else in the world are Western forces going to find themselves engaged in a straight war of attrition. If we followed Vershinin’s proposals, would we not be preparing for a war of the sort we’d never fight in the future?

    • TTG says:


      I’m not so sure that we in the US have forgotten how to mobilize for a long war. My last active duty job was as the mobilization and deployment officer for Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Plans were extensive and involved the entire state. As a training post, Fort Jackson planned for and laid in the required logistics to rapidly expand the training base as well as assist the STARC (State Area Command) in moving forces to air and sea ports of embarcation. Retirees would be mobilized to fill the larger training base. I walked the rail lines and viewed rolling stock with my state guard counterparts. All this was exercised regularly. I’m sure the plans are still there even if the exercises are not as frequent.

      Unless western nations decide to go to a war footing, resources will not be allocated nor will laws be changed to enforce our industrial bases going to a war economy. Given that Ukraine has managed to limit Russian advances, attrit Russian forces in great numbers and prevent the Kremlin from achieving their goals, I doubt Western nations, except maybe for the frontline NATO states, will ever go to a war economy. However, in my opinion, we should put a little more effort into guns at the expense of the butter. We are allowing Ukraine to bleed unnecessarily with our current moderate level of support.

      The problem of gun tubes have been observed by many. Barrels are replaced regularly on artillery supplied to Ukraine. Maintenance facilities for this have been established in Poland, the Baltics and elsewhere. I don’t know about the Soviet designed equipment. Russia has been cannibalizing their vast stockpiles of Soviet stocks for replacement barrels.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        I’m confused: the USA has for decades been spending more on “defense” than the next eight countries combined, but now I’m being told that the US economy wasn’t on a “war footing”?


        So where did all that spending go?

        • TTG says:

          Yeah, Right,

          The last time our economy was on a war footing was in WWII. No way our citizens or businessmen would stand for that again, although those beltway bandit businessmen have no problem bleeding us dry for overpriced, overly complicated, gold plated hardware.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            But how do you square that circle without your head exploding?

            How can the USA be spending such an obscene amount of money – truly mind-boggling amounts of dollars – on “defense” for year after year, decade after decade, and yet *not* be on a war footing?

            How is that even possible?

            I get the idea that, say, European countries aren’t on a “war footing”. Goodness knows that Trump has castigated them for not pulling their weight.

            But that’s not true of the USA, where (did I mention this?) utterly incomprehensible amounts of money has been spent for decade after decade on “defense”.

            I can’t cope with the cognitive dissonance that comes from trying to hold those two conflicting ideas.

            But, apparently, I’m alone in that discomfort.

            It doesn’t even appear to be on anyone else’s radar.

          • Fred says:

            Or medical care.

    • LeaNder says:


      I wish you had linked North’ article one day earlier about the power of war in driving innovation, ideally combined with industrial production capacities, in which Israel and Russia clearly come out as winners versus Ukraine’s dependency on foreign donors. Which actually has been an issue here too. …

      Sadly your off-topic comment, is gone now. I wondered about that comment, admittedly, but probably shouldn’t have. 😉 :


      Senator Graham’s approach in one of the US mainstream journals
      that’s a bit too easy a classification for my taste. Not entertaining enough?

      • English Outsider says:

        LeaNder –

        1. I took the liberty of submitting to Dr North’s site a collection of references I’d already submitted to TTG. Added a reference to it that came out since. I was a little unsure it would be accepted since its was very long indeed! But I’ve just checked and it’s still there. So I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

        It’s a little difficult discussing this war since the question of whether it was “provoked” or “unprovoked” is unresolved for most. That renders further enquiry or debate difficult.

        But there is further enquiry to be made and it’s on a question that the American analysts or commentators almost always ignore. Was Scholz really the new boy on the block who got dragged into this by Biden? Or was Berlin/Brussels fully as eager to break Russia with sanctions as Washington?

        I believe the latter: and all that has happened since confirms that view. Berlin/Brussels was leveraging the financial and military power of the United States in order to achieve an objective they were fully as resolved on as Washington.

        “Barbarossa Scholz” is not merely a pretty name. Like his predecessor eighty years ago he was in it for real and that well before February 2022.

        2. My understanding is that “Responsible Statecraft” is one of the heavyweight US journals focusing on US foreign policy. But I could well have that wrong. Please correct if so.

        3. “Entertaining”? Yeah, it’s one hell of a laugh, watching our proxies getting slaughtered. Wildly amusing in Syria too.

        I’m pretty sure you share my views on that matter, LeaNder.. We have psychos for politicians, Europe and the States alike, and the sooner we get shot of them the better.

      • English Outsider says:

        LeaNder – confusion on (1) above resolved.

        You were referring to this comment section:-


        My link in the comment submitted to TTG was to this:-


        The comment referred to – the ultra long one – starting “I take the above article , from my own point of view, as epitaph on a war that should never have been provoked.” That contained the references I had already included in a comment to TTG a while back..

        My mistake. Apologies. I had assumed you were referring to the link I’d submitted to TTG.

        Took a long time sorting all that out. Was it worth it? Don’t answer that question.

        • LeaNder says:

          You were referring to this comment section:-

          No, I wasn’t. Hmm, ok you may have edited it? In your initial very unrelated to context comment you referred to Richard’s son Peter. … Which he may have picked up on

          You must be one of his longtime regulars. I had just figured out the larger North family blogging empire and thus who “Pete” is. 😉 Interesting to watch.

          • English Outsider says:

            Very briefly, nothing edited. Comment still there. Dr North’s son wrote the other article referred to.


            No blogging empire. Not a commercial venture.


            Less briefly, yes, a regular since a little time after our Brexit referendum. I regret fussing about Brexit, LeaNder. I was warned it’d be a waste of time by a friend who’d been inside politics but didn’t heed the warning. Wish I had! Though it was a fascinating balls up.

            I got something out of it though. An insight into how Berlin/Brussels works.

            We Europeans landed ourselves with a bum deal there. Germany in particular. One aspect of the EU – only one but an important one – is that it’s effectively a German trading empire. But that hasn’t worked out right and you need to recognise that.

            Globally, Germany’s an awkward country. The truism that it’s too small to be a world power but too big to be merely one of the European powers is like many hackneyed truisms correct. That can’t be resolved, however, by frog-marching the rest of Europe into a new Festung Europa and thus, in the term one sees used in Brussels, being able to “project the power of a continent”. You end up with an ersatz imperium that’s too liable to fragmentation to work.

            Better to discard the imperial dreams of Berlin/Brussels and focus more on looking after the Heimat. Quite enough there to get on with.

            You’ll have come across these two. They hold to the Mearsheimer fallacy but that’s common enough so don’t let it worry you. Also seem to have a certain fondness for the EU but I expect that’s just habit. Might be worth listening to what they have to say on the subject of looking after the Heimat. Krone-Schmalz comes up with a few home truths and “Deutschland verstehen”, as Lafontaine says, is a good place to start.

            “Um einen Konflikt zu verstehen, muss man die Vorgeschichte kennen!


            And Lafontaine, who knows his way around German politics as do few others, gives his view on the big conundrum that’s been bothering me since early 2022. Are the politicians fooling us with all the nonsense they put out, or are they fooled by it themselves.

            Lafontaine says the latter. Hmmm. Not even politicians can be that dumb, surely?

          • LeaNder says:

            You’re wasting your time on me with your grandiose Kraut theories & I have a copy of your comment, it made me feel almost a little sorry for you, which actually surprised me.

            One bit of what I call North’ blogging empire:

  11. wiz says:

    All that this new ammo will accomplish is prolong the war and cost Ukrainians many more thousands of casualties. Lindsey Graham will be happy.

    Here’s a Polish general, Rajmund Andrzejczak, a former chief of the general staff of the Polish army commenting on the ammo situation in Ukraine and in Poland and a few other interesting topics.


  12. Christian J Chuba says:

    We have trains packed with artillery shells streaming from NATO, across Poland, into western Ukraine.

    What happens when Russia decides to start hitting them with missiles while they are still in Poland before reaching Ukraine? Will anyone here argue that it is not a legitimate, military target? You are transporting deadly ordnance that is specifically going to kill your people.

    • TTG says:

      Christian J Chuba,

      That would be a direct attack on a NATO country. It may also give a green light to sinking or seizing Russia’s fleet of oil smuggling ships, although that would be another unnecessary step to a full blown world war.

      • wiz says:


        “That would be a direct attack on a NATO country. It may also give a green light to sinking or seizing Russia’s fleet of oil smuggling ships”

        Russia selling its products to willing buyers is actually a smuggling operation ? Who knew.

        • TTG says:


          To be much more accurate, that shadow fleet is evading Western sanctions rather than run of the mill smuggling. Perfectly legal and correct from a Russian point of view. In the same vein, supplying weapons and ammunition to Ukraine is perfectly legal and correct from a Western point of view.

      • Christian J Chuba says:

        There are no ‘Russian oil smuggling ships’. To say that implies that the U.S. has the right to control global merchant shipping (aka ‘freedom of navigation’).

        Countries have a right to remain neutral and are not required to join our side just because we tell them too. There were neutral countries during WW2. If China chooses to buy oil from Russia, it is not smuggling.

        Equating artillery shells with a commercial product such as oil?

        • LeaNder says:

          To say that implies that the U.S. has the right to control global merchant shipping (aka ‘freedom of navigation’).

          Christian, the US has a long extraterritorial legal arm, which may help to produce good poodles. You better try not to change matters you cannot change, really. Easier, to adapt. Otherwise, you have to create your own structures from scratch. *

          But yes, made me uncomfortable occasionally too. 😉

          * Which some by now have. That’s why we have the talk about seizing and converting Russian assets into arms. Something Paul Robinson thinks could well come back to haunt us.

    • Fred says:

      If they could ever figure out where railroad tracks led to in Ukraine they could just blow them up there. Just like the first year of the war.

      • Christian J Chuba says:

        Russia has bombed western Ukraine numerous times to interdict NATO weapons. The reason I bring up the possibility of Russia hitting those supplies before it crosses the border is because it would be easier to do. For example, NATO assumes that Russia would never dare do that so while they are stockpiling and shipping artillery shells, they are optimizing for efficiency, not stealth. There are very likely huge ammunition depots and staging areas. Once you get to the border crossing into Ukraine they will split it into trucks from Poland or smallish boats from Romania to Odessa.

        The U.S. and Israel bomb foreign countries for the purpose of preemptive self-defense. For some reason we believe Russia will never do this and Russia can establish a direct cause and effect regarding weapons transfers.

  13. jim.. says:

    Interesting Line of Comments Here…I have Read the Ukrainian Gunners are Much
    Better At Dialing in their 155s and can kill alot of Russsians and damage and Destroy more Russian equipment…with One shot than the Russians can Just Shooting Across The
    Valley at Rebs…The New Rounds Sure Boosted Morale at a Critical Time…And
    The Suppliers Probably Intended That On Purpose…

    China is just Playing Both Sides…In Case They Get Back into The Ukrainian
    Government for Paydays…Like They were Two Years ago…

    I Read that Many Troops in NATO Militarys Are Quitting Now…Dont Know..

    Generals…Yep..Testified all Week on The Hill…Blamed the Afghanistan Surrender..Dont Shoot Mayhem…On The US State Department….We All Know that Story Well Eh…The Billy Bob…Bliinken ( Ukraine Family ) Hill…O Rye..Let Em All Die
    Pie in The Sky…Any Way You Can Collect…Other Form of Government..Gang..Bang..

    • English Outsider says:

      Europoodles in “Toujours l’attaque!” mode. Impressive.

      “French troops on the ground in Ukraine: the scenarios envisaged”


      Seems we envisage twenty thousand French lining the Dnieper. A UK contingent alongside. Should do to warn the Russians off, with a bit of nuclear in the background. Expensive but the Russians can pay for it. Since the US might be reluctant to stump up for the enterprise we can use confiscated Russian assets instead.

      My French is terrible and so in this case is the auto-translate.. So I thought at first when the Lieutenant-Colonel came on it was a skit. Feydeau farce territory and performed in style. But as it ran on I recognised the Macron touch. Braggadocio posing as strategy. If any of that comes off I’ll eat my, er, chapeau.

    • English Outsider says:

      TTG – I do so hate typing errors ….?

  14. Christian J Chuba says:

    “I have Read the Ukrainian Gunners are Much Better At Dialing in their 155”

    If you believe Zelensky’s assertion that there are only 36,000 Ukrainian KIA’s then this is true. If Russia’s claim that Ukraine has 440,000 irrecoverable losses is true then that claim is rubbish. We shall see which side bleeds out first. Ukraine can mobilize a maximum of 2M troops.

    • jim.. says:

      The Reason Those Cannons and Howies are So Accurate … Mr. American..
      Is That They Were ALL dialed In Shooting at Targets Of HANOI JANE…Paybacks,,,When The Opportunitys Are Down Range..

      Remember THAT War…?? REAL Men went there..Not Canada..

      While The Russia’s Seem The Be Having Equipment Problems…All Over The Black Sea..In The Woods and Warehouses..Oil Refinerys…And Around Saint Petersburg…. SST

      • Christian J Chuba says:

        I’m certain that both Ukrainian and Russian gunners are very accurate. The difference is going to reside in who has the better kill-chain, the time it takes from detecting a target to calling in an accurate artillery strike and in counter-battery fire.

        I’m also certain that both sides have improved their craft since the start of the war. Regarding who is pulverizing whom, I have my suspicions. Just hoping for this damned war to end but unfortunately it looks like that is going to require one side to completely bleed out. The artillery duel will be the first indication of who has reached the tipping point.

  15. wiz says:

    An extremely detailed account (gopro, drone, commentary) of an assault on a Russian trench by a combined Ukie/Western team.


    • Barbara Ann says:

      “combined Ukie/Western team”

      Yup, that’s why the SMO is now over. Welcome to the Third Patriotic War.

      • jim.. says:

        Indeed Barbara Ann…
        To All,,,What Barbara Ann Said is CONFIREMED….By Kremlin Spokesman…DMITRY PESKOV…in a Interview…on 3-22-24
        With a Magazine…..Argumenity.i Fakty…Peskov Said…

        “We are in a State of WAR…Yes,,,It Started as a Special Military Operation…SMO…But as Soon as the CLIQUE Emerged,
        the COLLECTIVE WEST became a Participant on the
        Side of Ukraine, It Became a WAR FOR US..

        Other News…Ukraine Power Grid Blown up in Massive Russian Attack..

        Large Concert Hall Full of Many People Attacked By Three Gunmen in Fatiques…and Set on Fire in Moscow.. Photos and storys online..

        Russia Threatened JAPAN…Not to Send Ukrain Patriots Missles..EU Debating Aid…

  16. jim.. says:

    The United States Congress is Withholding Aid to Ukraine…Russian Cruise Missile in Poland Air Space…NATO Fears Grow…Ukraines Losing Ground..I Have Never Seen a Large Concert Hall Full of People Burning to the Ground…In Moscow..The Timing
    and Excuses…Are Suspect…Russia’s Krystal Nacht..??

    Islam Wants World War…Its Prophetic For Them..Its ongoing and World Wide. Israel…Lebanon..Beruit…Its a Long Long Field of Death,, Peaking Out,,Anti American..Anti Israel…Anti Christ…The 12th Hour..For Them..Twelve..A Last Supper.

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