Igor Ivanovich Strelkov – TTG

Regarding the situation at Donetsk frontline (Ido not have any information about other frontlines):

Area south of Izyum:

Continuing are fierce fights along the whole perimeter of the Russian foothold. Tactical advances can be observed everywhere. According to incoming data, the most fierce fights are happening on the right flank – in the area of Velika Kamyshevakha village (and possibly, directly in the village), but also at the spearhead of the offensive – in the middle of the foothold – in the area of (and possibly, inside) Nova Dmitrovka village. After capturing  this locality our forces will directly reach the Barvenkovo-Sloviansk highway and create a danger for its takeover (which will not be easy, since localities along this highway merge into almost a continuous agglomeration). It’s important to note that fights are of a continuous, close nature. The enemy has enough manpower to prevent Russian troops from making deep breakthroughs despite the lengthening of the frontline in this area.

At the same time, the enemy continues pulling out their forces from the foothold that is still under their control on the left bank of the Sever Donets river – from Lyman-Yampol area and the Severodonetsk salient, leaving the positions most protruding to the east, between Severodonetsk and Popasna (where fierce fights continue).

It’s presumed that soon (today or tomorrow) the enemy will leave Lyman and withdraw its troops to reinforce flanks of the group – to Barvenkovo and Sloviansk. Russian and DPR Armed Forces were unable to prevent this and surround the enemy forces.

Overall, the enemy is defending competently, fiercly, it controls the situation and its troops. No panic among UAF troops is observed. It’s clear that their bet is on WINNING TIME AND DEALING MAXIMUM DAMAGE TO STRIKE FORCES OF RUSSIAN AND DPR AF – by slowly forfeiting territories.

Ahead of Russian troops in this territory is a huge and well prepared for defending Sloviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration. The UAF will certainly not give it up for as long as they can, defending it as a “besieeged fortress” if necessary. (In this regard very high importance is given to remainings of the Mariupol garrison – they should not be freed up and transferred in anycase, otherwise the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk garrison will be defending for just as long and desperately, if not longer and even more desperately). However, this “fortress” still needs to be surrounded, which is not easy with existing limited forces and such slow tempo where the enemy is able to freely withdraw their troops and prepare new defense positions.

In the south – in the area of Huliaipole and Orekhovo, the situation is without significant changes. The southern part of the pincer has stalled.

In the central area – near Donetsk, the situation is generally without changes. It’s quiet in most areas, fights are only occurring north of Avdeevka where DPR Armed Forces have insignificant tactical successes.

The general conclusion in unfortunately not joyful – the expected (by the enemy) offensive of the Russian group to encircle the Donetsk group of Ukrainian armed forces met fierce resistance and will most likely not lead to a complete encirclement and destruction of the enemy group (unless 2-3 tank corps “fall from the sky” to urgently break through the frontline and link up deep in the UAF rears). The “Cannes” certainly did’t happen.

In the best case scenario, the enemy will be slowly “pushed out” of Donbas with large losses (for both sides of course) across many weeks and possibly many month. This will allow them, without major rush, by summer, to create and introduce into the fight their strategic reserves en-masse at any chosen area.

– translation by @mdmitri91

Comment: What does Igor Girkin, aka Igor Strelkov, have on Putin? He is consistently getting away with things in interviews and in writing that paint the Russian invasion as a complete fiasco overseen by complete morons. I got to hand it to him, he has balls of steel to continue to talk like this while openly living in Russia. The above is his latest assessment published yesterday.

I agree with Strelkov. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are fighting a masterful defensive war at the moment. They are buying time for their strategic reserves to prepare for going on the offensive at the place and time of their choosing.

Strelkov writes regularly on his Telegram channel, if you’re into that kind of thing. Often links to his postings are available through other online venues, as in the linked Politico article, and are often translated by @mdmitri on his Twitter account. If you want an account of the war’s progress by a dyed in the wool Russian nationalist, Strelkov’s your man. But be warned, his views will do little to soothe the souls of Russophiles or the West’s many Putin fluffers.



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82 Responses to Igor Ivanovich Strelkov – TTG

  1. Sam says:

    Blinken & Austin’s meeting with Zelensky shows that US commitment to Ukraine is unwavering. As western military aid arrives in country, Ukrainian forces continue to repel the renewed Russian offensive in the East despite limited territorial gains.
    1 of 20


    It appears the Biden administration is going all-in. Once the logistics train gets in gear and the training on the new equipment gets done the fight will only intensify. It appears that the aim is to break the back of the Russian military invasion.

    TTG, what do you think the Russian military tactics would be considering this impending re-arming of the Ukrainian forces? How will the Russian military disrupt this logistics train scaling up? If the Ukrainian forces with US assistance including intelligence start getting the upper hand would Putin go nuclear?

    • TTG says:


      Unless Putin is set on going full on nuclear war and emerging from his bunker to rule over whatever is left, he’s going to have to fully mobilize the entire Russian nation if he wants to continue his invasion past this summer. I bet that would lead to a lot more things catching fire and blowing up across Russia.

      • Sam says:

        If Putin finds himself at risk of being seen as failing he may try to up the ante. Right now I worry his response to
        Austin/Blinken promise to flood UKR with more weaponry will be application of tac nukes to force Washington rethink. US not ready for that


        Harald was in the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile crisis. It will be a different world if Putin drops a tactical nuke. Dunno how Xi & Biden will react?

  2. Leith says:

    ‘The “Cannes” certainly did’t happen.’

    Cannes? Is that the long awaited cauldron or sack that some commenters were bragging about?

    • TTG says:


      Whether it got lost in Strelkov’s original Russian or the translator’s interpretation, I don’t know. I’m sure he’s referring to the battle of Cannae and the massive Donbas cauldron which was supposed to swallow up and destroy the bulk of the Ukrainian Army weeks ago.

      • Leith says:

        You and James Nawroki are right. Russian wicki lists the Battle of Cannae as “Битва при Каннах”. Google translator agrees. But strangely if you plug the single word Каннах into google translator you get Cannes for some reason.

        I don’t think that Zelensky’s generals in the east are going to copy the tactics of roman consuls Varro and Paullus. The general who led Ukraine’s earlier disaster at Debaltseve is gone now.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Translation bots are funny. In Russian to English you’ll find that;

          Quarantine is Crayons
          Navalny is Bulk
          Gorbachev is Hunchback
          Ukrops (Ukrainian forces) are Dill

  3. Al says:

    Very interesting, as is the Politico link! Stalemate ahead?

  4. James Nawrocki says:

    “Cannes” must be the plural in Russian for Cannae (8/2/216 BC). The famous “double envelopment”.

  5. plantman says:

    “Putin fluffers”???

    Does that include Larry Johnson, Scott Ritter and Douglas MacGregor?

    You’re not making your case by calling people names.

  6. walrus says:

    Strelkov comes across as a “glass half empty” kind of guy. is there anything that pleases him?

    • TTG says:


      He’s all for the invasion. He’s just disappointed with the half-assed effort and embarrassed by the ragtag state of the Russian Army and its ineffective leadership.

  7. Clueless Joe says:

    Looking at his latest Telegram post, it’s more or less “Kanni” in Russian. Cannes would be French – it’s Canne in Italian, Cannae in German, Cannas in Spanish…

  8. d74 says:

    Girkin: “In the central area – near Donetsk, the situation is generally without changes.”

    Donbass – Six civilians killed and 24 injured by Ukrainian army shelling against Donetsk and Yassinovataya. ( According to Donbass Insider 28/04 and many video by Patrick Lancaster )

    But true , nothing new in the region since 2014.

    In fact, the Ukrainian army continues to shoot at civilians in Donetsk and its region . As is often the case, it is easier to shoot at civilians in the east than at fighters who are in the south and soon in the west. It is as if the Ukrainian army besieging the Donbass had a mass of 122 and 152 mm shells. In any case, more to massacre civilians than to defend themselves.

    I am surprised that the Donetsk militia did not do anything to sweep out Ukraine controlled Marinka and Avdiivka which are really close -a range of 120mm mortar- to Donetsk suburbs.

    • Philip Owen says:

      And yet, Donetsk city still stands after 8 years. Mariupol centre is destroyed in 2 months.

  9. Al says:

    ISW (Institute for the Study of War

    Key Takeaways in report

    Concentrated artillery is likely enabling limited Russian advances in eastern Ukraine, though Russian forces continue to struggle to break through prepared Ukrainian defenses.
    Russian forces funneled additional reinforcements and tactical missile units into the Izyum front and made minor advances. Russian forces are likely attempting to bypass Ukrainian forces on the road to Barvinkove by advancing directly west before pivoting southwards in the coming days.
    Heavy Russian bombardment and continued assaults failed to make headway against Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol’s Azovstal plant, even as Russian forces reportedly prepared to stage a press tour in the occupied areas of the city on April 28.
    Russian forces around Kherson are likely preparing for a renewed push to capture the entirety of Kherson Oblast in the coming days but Ukrainian counterattacks continue to disrupt Russian operations in the area.
    Russian occupation forces continued preparations to announce the creation of a Russian proxy “Kherson People’s Republic” (KNR) amid widespread Ukrainian resistance.
    The Kremlin may be preparing to either bring Transnistria into the war in Ukraine or destabilize Moldova itself to put additional pressure on NATO.

  10. aleksandar says:

    “Ukrainian strategic reserves ”
    Do they have some ?

    • TTG says:


      At least 100,000 were called up at the beginning of the invasion. Those unit won’t be fully trained until June or so.

      • aleksandar says:

        1 – Yes, but out of these 100 000 how many showed up ?
        ” In October/November 2017, 70% of conscripts did not show up for the “Fall 2017” recall campaign ”
        How many of them have already left Ukraine ?
        2 – Seems also that UKR have many procurement issue and is not able to properly equip them with basic stuffs like rifle, ammo, MRE, bullet proof vest, helmets and so on.
        Foreign fighters complained that they were send to front with only 4 magazines.
        No surprise, 3 or 4 four years ago, MRE can be found in UKR super market.
        Military police discover that half of battalion commanders (not paid for months ) sold them to earn a living, that more than 40% of conscripts haven’t been seen for months, that they have an agreement with battalion commanders, they declare them present, take their military pay and the guys were free to leave.
        It was so widespread that nobody was punished.
        3 – To engage this strategic reserve you have first to deploy them on the front line by rail or by road.
        It’s the same for tank, howitzer and so.
        Russia systematically destroy now all railway node and network.
        There is no refinery left.
        No fuel depot.
        The 2 railroads used to import fuel from Romania wiped off this week.
        Conventional warfare is first of all about logistics.
        Will not be an easy game

        • TTG says:


          While millions of refugees flowed west, over 66,000 Ukrainian men returned from living abroad to volunteer to fight. That’s in addition to the reservists called up under full mobilization and the volunteers of the Territorial Defense Force. Manpower is not a problem. Equipping and training them is still a challenge. This is not the corrupt and destitute Ukrainian Army it once was. Back in 2014, they barely numbered 6,000 and they were largely ill equipped, unpaid and demoralized. They’re come a long way since those days.

  11. Mark Gaughan says:

    UAF are getting their butts kicked. Tine to throw in the towel.

    • Mike G says:

      Leonidas and The Thee Hundred got their butts kicked at Themopylae, because they did not throw inb the towel, which is what you would have presumably recommended the Spartans to do .

  12. Mark Gaughan says:

    Oops, time, not tine, sorry

  13. aleksandar says:

    Igor Girkin has criticized Poutine since 2014.
    He think he should have invade all east, south east and south west of Ukraine, in fact all Russian speaking regions.
    Gerasimov answer was : “we are not able to do that…………. for now”.
    So he was sidelined.
    A courageous man, no doubt, but with no tactical background and no knowledge of combined arms maneuver.
    So everything he write is to take with a pinch of salt

    • TTG says:


      True he both seized and lost the battle for Sloviansk in 2014. He’s supposedly a retired GRU colonel. That certainly doesn’t make him a tactical genius.

  14. Muralidhar Rao says:

    TTG I don’t get it. I see that the Azov guys in Azvestol steel factory are begging urgent pleas for help. It seems no body seems to care for them, they are left to their fate. So the question arises where is the Zelensky’s administration? Also there are lots of videos showing an awful lot of dead soldiers in the field. If the Ukranian’s are defeating the Russians, why are they not posting the dead Russian soldiers on the net? Something doesn’t add up. Thanks

    • TTG says:

      Nobody can do anything for the Azov Battalion, Marines and Border Guard defenders at Azovstal. It’s a wonder they held out this long. They’re still tying down several BTGs.

      The Ukrainians have a little more decency than to publish every dead Russian soldier they come across. There’s still plenty of them out there. The Russians aren’t showing a lot of dead Ukrainian soldiers, either. That’s as it should be. There are a lot of photos/videos of decapitated and burnt out Russian tanks and IFVs out there. There’s no need to show burnt corpses as well.

  15. English Outsider says:

    TTG – I’m having difficulty finding explanations for the payment in rubles system the Russians are now insisting on for gas payments.

    Essentially it ensures that European payments for gas don’t get frozen. The Euros are exchanged immediately for roubles by Gazprombank. But none I’ve seen discussing the system state who is left holding the Euros after that. Or what those Euros are spent on.

    They have to be spent somewhere. Not by Russian companies buying European goods because such purchases are now limited. If exchanged for dollars – same problem.

    Unless they are spent somewhere they are merely worthless book entries. The currency dealers are left with Euros on their hands they can’t sell on to anyone in Russia. Unless there’s some way of spending those Euros Russia is effectively giving away gas for free.

    Maybe those Euros get recycled through third countries. If so, the sanctions become ineffectual. If not, I don’t see the current Gazprombank arrangement working for very long. Am I missing something here?

    On the subject of the urgent need for a peace settlement the fear that the longer this war goes on the more territory the Ukrainians will lose is now being confirmed. According to this brief clip here (set, if it works, to a passage at the end of the video) the Russian Parliament is now considering just that.


    Whatever is pressuring Zelensky to refuse a peace settlement, whether it’s NATO or the extremists in Kiev, is causing further loss of life and further loss of territory. If it’s not already too late,the Ukrainians should grab what terms they can get now instead of waiting until they’ve lost more or all of the Black Sea coast. Maybe more, if the Poles or other neighbouring countries see the chance to move in.

    • English Outsider says:

      TTG – I checked that clip before posting but I’m afraid it came out wrong. Might I repost the clip at the point intended?


      • TTG says:


        The point of both plan A and plan B seems to be bringing Ukraine back under Moscow’s sphere of influence. Plan A was to be a quick, near bloodless decapitation of the Zelenskiy government followed by the installation of a suitably compliant government before Ukrainian and Western resistance could mobilize. That plan failed miserably. Plan B is to seize as much of Ukraine as possible by force. Unfortunately for Moscow, Ukrainian and Western resistance to Moscow has fully mobilized in two months of dithering by the Russian armed forces. Moscow may seize a sizable chunk of Ukraine, but the hard part will be holding it in the face of continuing Ukrainian and Western resistance.

    • TTG says:


      I don’t understand the reasoning behind ruble payments, either. Perhaps it’s to ensure access to money paid to Russian banks. Sanctions may mean Russia will have a hard time accessing dollars or Euros deposited in Russian banks, while rubles could be accessed more readily. Just a guess. On Russia’s move to cut off gas and oil to Europe, I don’t see the logic in that either. Russian infrastructure is built to send gas and oil to Europe. Without that European customer base, Russia will be left with a lot of gas and oil it can’t get to other customers. No sales means no money. Don’t see how that helps Russia’s ability to pay for the war or service debt.

      • Poul says:

        A couple of points.

        If the EU pays in Euros that money is also limited in what can be bought. Gazprom Bank would have to sell the Euros to the Russian Central Bank to get roubles but the Central Bank is under sanctions, so by forcing the EU to do it you leave the Euros in a Gazprom Bank account. It is not under the same limitations. The converted roubles go into the Russian economy.

        There is a reason Poland and Bulgaria refused to pay. If the forced conversion into roubles was without effect the EU would say “Yes”.

        As for gas sales I think the Russian government has seen that there will be very little trade with the EU in 6-8 years time so value of gas sales is limited versus political value of inflicting pain on EU economies. It’s an acknowledgement that Russia will be treated like North Korea by the West in the future. With the sanction the value of dollar and Euro payments are also less due to the problems of using the money freely.

      • Sam says:


        This is a way to get hard currency. Europeans paying in rubles to get gas and oil will go to a Russian bank to exchange Euros for Roubles. The Russian bank now has Euros to pay for stuff overseas.

        • TTG says:


          Wouldn’t taking payment in Euros or dollars also give Moscow hard currency? I do think it has something to do with the sanctions on Russian banks.

      • VietnamVet says:


        This is a currency war.

        Poland and Bulgaria use their own currency, like the UK. Euro is a world currency so Russia can buy things from India or Brazil with the euros that were converted into roubles by a Russian bank under the counter. Eastern Europe is at war and with also the sanctions, there is nothing for Russia to buy and ship from Poland or Bulgaria with any złote and lev that they may hold. Tourism to Russia was crushed by plague and war. Russia is simply cutting off their natural gas supply — the hell with them.

        Russia and China want to create a world commodity based currency. The Western Establishment is pushing right up to the red line to keep the Ukraine war going until the Kremlin changes hands in order to maintain the US dollar as the global reserve currency to purchase Russian resources.

        The human tragedy is that the survival of the current ruling western ideology that “only money has value” is dependent on the valor and sacrifice of the soldiers defending their homes and families from the Russian invaders. A peace treaty/armistice would end the killing and maiming right now if Ukraine keeps Kiev and Odessa and a DMZ is established along the line of contact on the east side of the Dnieper River.

    • Steve says:


      “Whatever is pressuring Zelensky to refuse a peace settlement, whether it’s NATO or the extremists in Kiev….”

      Perhaps both. It seems the only person who really cares about Zelensky is Zelensky and his family – plus the foreigners who have fallen in love with him of course. As I’ve mentioned before I reckon safe place for him is Moscow.

      As to the Ruble exchanges: I understand the next stage is gold purchases.

      • TTG says:


        National resistance to a foreign invader is not an extremist reaction.

        • Steve says:


          It has been in Iraq and Afghanistan:)

          My point is that Zelensky was elected on a campaign of peace for Ukraine. That wasn’t an option, as we clearly see and there have been significant threats to his life by the far-right as we now wish to call them, who for reasons that remain obscure to the average observer, prefer to keep the war going ad infinitum. This has also been made clear by numerous current and former officials in Washington including the CinC himself.

          Why are these factions opposed to a peace settlement that would have delivered greater returns than are currently held by a Ukraine that’s losing ground by the day – incrementally perhaps but losing it nonetheless. The conflict in its current phase was revealed in February when the Ukrainian offensive ready to be launched in Donbas was about to kick-off and the US abandoned diplomacy and switched to “by other means” as the Russians maintained “with other means.”

          Some Ukrainians may still have the will to fight, though I’m sure that for the average citizen that’s being steadily eroded as families are being asked to sacrifice more and perhaps questioning, for what reason, but concomitant with the erosion of will is the significant degradation of means even as the US and Europe dump their mostly obsolete weaponry onto the fire only to be routinely destroyed by Russian attacks long before they can be put to use. Meanwhile the NATO arms industries are celebrating the diminution of stockpiles that must be replaced at the taxpayer’s expense.

          It’s time Zelensky was allowed to save his country further pain and not fall further into the trap set for him by the Nulands and Blinkens of this world.

          • zmajcek says:

            I agree that negotiations are a way forward, because even if Russia loses this bout and is forced to retreat, it will not be the end of it.
            Another, potentially much greater war could be the consequence.

            Ukrainians are willing to fight for their country and I cannot fault them for that but their politicians should find a way to make peace with Russia long term. It will save Ukraine and its people a lot of suffering.

          • Phillip e Cattar says:

            Steve,The minute Zelensky makes a call for a real peace agreement and theRussians pick up he is ready to negotiate and needs a deal badly,Z will most likely not get close to what he wants.Z most likely thinks time is on his side and it may well be…………..He cannot approach the Russians with a weak hand….Can you imagine sitting across the table from Lavrov and negotiating with him……..As is all negotiations the side who wants the deal more is at a big disadvantage.

    • Bill Roche says:

      There once was a young man named Alfred
      who fled to the marschs and made his bed.
      Oh many did deem, that Alfred was extreme,
      But in marsch land he found England; instead.
      Maybe Zelinskyy is not being pressured by anyone to accept Russian terms? You and I continue to assume that Russia will forebear a sovereign Ukraine w/o Crimea and the Donbass. We can hope. But I have explained to you my Anglish friend. Russia will not accept a Ukraine. I’ve posted previously that I knew for certain this war would happen the very day in ’91 when Ukrainians said “we are our own people”. If I could apply my prescience to horse racing I’d be rich. NATO is a factor here, not a cause. Nationalism is. It still exists.
      The Gael fought agin England forever
      1167 till 1921 what an endaevor
      Still at it they went, never did relent
      Now one county more, and they’re together
      Some things take time. The Ukrainians have been trying to gain freedom from Russia for 120 years. This is not a new phenomena. Other Slavs are rooting for Ki’ev. You can bet on it.

      • English Outsider says:

        Bill – I’m sticking my neck out, and there are many now in the Donbas who’d call me a fool or an ignoramus, but up until 2014 I do believe that most of the ethnic Russians long settled in the Donbas were either resigned to remaining or happy to remain governed from Kiev. And for those that weren’t, they were outnumbered by others in the Donbas, who wanted to be so ruled and certainly didn’t want either to be independent or to be absorbed by Russia.

        I base that view, not only on reliable figures put out before 2014, but on personal anecdote and, more importantly, on opinions I’ve picked up from various sources I regard as authoritative, some of them Russian. The Donbas was not like Crimea, with its majority of inhabitants who had shown their strong desire to be part of Russia from the breakup of the Soviet Union on. It could have stayed Ukrainian.

        That changed with the events of 2014 and the subsequent ATO.

        In my own country there are many in Scotland who wish that part of the UK to be independent. How that’ll go I don’t know. But I do know that if we sent a bunch of thugs up to Scotland to beat up the pro-independence activists, or if we’d occupied Glasgow with those same thugs as did Kiev in the case of Mariupol, the situation would change entirely.

        I know that because the British government had tried that approach a century before with Ireland. We sent a bunch of thugs to beat up the Irish, the Auxies. By no means were all the Auxies thugs. But what those who were did, in the frenetic atmosphere of those times, was enough. There wasn’t much prospect of Ireland remaining British before that. Maybe none. But afterwards, most Irish would have preferred to have died rather than remain subject to rule from London. The outrage that foolish policy caused still lingers with some in Ireland a hundred years later.

        So in the Donbas and possibly in other parts of the Ukraine. Whatever the position before 2014, there are now people living in what was the Ukraine who will no longer accept rule from Kiev under any circumstances. Not after the treatment they’ve received from Kiev over the past eight years.

        This isn’t something, I find, that most in England or Germany understand. This isn’t just a “geopolitical” scrap between Washington and Moscow. Nor should it be a scrap between Washington and Moscow over who gets what bits of territory. There are people living in those bits of territory and they should be the ones to decide their future.

        • TTG says:


          Most of the ethnic Russians in the Donbas and into Odesa are now supporting Kyiv in their fight against the Russian invaders. They will not accept rule from Moscow.

          • Klapper says:

            Where are you getting this information? Claims like this are not believable based on what we know about the language of choice, and previous voting patterns of south and eastern Ukraine.

            I would guess the militias of Donestsk and Luhansk are the ones fighting the hardest against the Ukrainian military right now; they were the ones that lived for 8 years under lethal harassment of the Donbass by the Ukrainian military. Now they suddenly want to rejoin Ukraine? Not a credible claim.

          • TTG says:


            Why would you believe all those people on the government side of the line of contact who suffered the lethal harassment by separatist artillery, mortar and sniper fire for eight years want to be ruled by those separatist or Moscow? Inhabitants of the separatist zones were leaving to both Russia and Ukraine in droves, not just because of the bombardments, but because live in the separatist zones was like living in a 1930s Soviet gulag. Look at the 2019 voting patterns southern and eastern Ukraine. Those areas were heavily in favor of Zelenskiy. There are plenty of Ukrainians who want to live under Moscow’s rule, but there are far more who don’t.

        • tom67 says:

          I am German and I lived in Ireland and Russia. I completely agree with you. But also don´t forget that people want to get on with their lives, have children and have to somehow support them. So they are prepared to swallow quite a bit. Regarding Ireland I am sure that more force by the British would have resulted in the eventual acquiescence of the majority of the population. Ireland would have gotten some sort of autonomy and the more radical Nationalists would have been suppressed. The Irish though had the US and therefore there was only so much violence the British could use without getting into trouble with their US bankers to whom they were in hock after WWI.
          Knowing Russian and having talked to both Ukrainian nationalists and people of the Dobass I believe that in the Donbass itself and in cities like Mariupol the Russians will not have to use much if any force. (Asov is not made up of locals. As much as I admire their military stance and willingness to sacrifice themselves in what they believe in one must also state that they behaved much like an occupying force. )
          In Odessa though the mechanism you described will come into play. Unfortunately Russia will do what the black and tans were not allowed to follow through to the end. I know the black and tans have a bad name but the following Irish civil war was more terrible.
          The tragedy of it all is that this war was wholly avoidable. Russia would have been quite happy to let Ukraine be whatever it wants as long as it respected Russia and her security concerns. Alas it was not to be.

          • Philip Owen says:

            Azov is entirely made up of locals including a substantial Greek element. The Greeks were ethnically cleansed from the Crimea about 150 years ago and more recently from Abkhazia in 1991 and completely 2008. They don’t like Russians. The Greek socialist party adores Russians and gets confused about Azov.

    • aleksandar says:

      First, GpB has only a mandate to exchange these €.
      But until this done, no gas deliveries.
      This exchange is not done immediately.
      GpB has to find buyers be it Russia Central Bank or others on the free market that need € to buy things in China, India or Brazil for example.
      These € owned by RCB or Russians inside Russia cannot be seized and probably sent immediately to China.
      Note that there is no fixed rate.
      So if you are an unfriendly country but not so unfriendly like Austria or Hungary
      RCB can exchange your € 1/80.
      If you are Germany, GpB will have to go on the free market and exchange your € 1/60.
      You will have to give more € to pay your debt.
      1 ) Russia will be able to go on buying everything using China CIPS.
      2 ) Financial sanctions are dead.
      3 ) No more US control using SWIFT scrutiny

      Bad : If there is no enough rubles to exchange, RCB will have to print money, pushing inflation to rise.

    • TheUnready says:

      Gazprombank will have to buy roubles on the open market on behalf of the western customers. They cannot sell them to the central bank because it is sanctioned and therefore will not accept useless euros. The open market consists of all those (mainly)Russian enterprises which are not currently sanctioned. They will accept euros, for a premium, and swap them quickly for commodities or other currencies. If the west sanctions the broader Russian economy then no one will be able to swap rubles for euros or dollars. Payment will have to be in 3rd party currencies or gold.

      • TheUnready says:

        ‘They cannot sell them’ should be ‘they cannot sell hard currency ‘

        • joe90 says:

          The Dollar is not a hard Currency, a hard currency by definition is fixed to a physical commodity. It is important you understand the meaning of the word you use.

    • Mike G says:

      Perhaps Halifax should have become Prime Minister in 1940, not Churchill, and the British Government should have sought a peace settlement with Adolf, rather than fighting on the beaches and so many owing so much to so few.

    • joe90 says:

      Maybe those Euros get recycled through third countries. If so, the sanctions become ineffectual.

      You have your answer. Look at Hungary, Israel and Turkey to volunteer, for a commission which will have to be paid for by the Europeans. Also Europe is now effectively on spot price for Russian gas due to taking on the exchange rate risk.
      That sucking sound you will hear getting louder as the year goes by is the US Dollar sucking the excess value out of the Euro as everyone who can gets out of Euros, does. Previously Russia spent it Euros in Europe, Europe like idiots stopped that. Europe will now have to export those Euros to keep the lights on but with the Europeans green crusade, it´s simply not producing the export goods to bring those Euros back to Europe, so the Euro goes down against the Dollar making the Dollar a safe haven for value. Oh and Europe will still get higher gas prices to boot as those “low long term contracts” wont be as Europe´s demand for Roubles far exceeds Russia´s demand for a currency it cant use.
      The level of ignorant incontinence at the top level of the EU is astounding, not up to the level of Liz Truss but still!

      • d74 says:

        The Euro/Ruble exchange in Russia made compulsory by the Russians will either work or not work.
        It seems to me that in both cases, the Russians don’t care. That is the least of their problems. It is up to the Europeans to find a viable solution, assuming they can’t wean themselves off Russian gas.

        • joe90 says:

          Do you understand basic economics? If you wish to buy from me then you pay me what I wont.

          Lets look at European gas, they import 150 billion cubic meters of gas by pipeline from Russia per year. The average LGN tanker carries 140,000 cubic meters of gas, there are 600 tankers with 150 being built or on order. That is what is currently available.

          To replace Russian gas takes divided by 140.000 which is 1.071,000 loads. It takes 8.2 days at 20 knots to go from Ney York to Rotterdam at 20 Knots per hour. So 22 round trip excluding docking time per tanker per year. How many tankers will be needed, well 1,071,00 divided by 22 is 48,600 tankers.

          How much does a tanker weight, 60,ooo tons give or take (the gas only weighs around 250-300 tons). Total weight is 2.916.000.000 tons. What is the total ship building tonnage of the world ? Around 43 million tonnes. So Europe need to book, assuming it takes 1 year to build a tanker, it takes longer but meh, the next 67 years to build the tanker fleet.

          How much does a tanker cost to build? Well that depends but you can start at around $180 million per ship. 180 million x 48,600 is $8.7 trillion, Does Europe have that money? LMAO

          As an aside, the crew for those tankers is larger than the US navy. LOL.

          • joe90 says:

            I just wont to make it clear, I agree Russia does not care. The sanctions are an excuse to rape the European middle class, that it.

  16. Stadist says:

    “Overall, the enemy is defending competently, fiercly, it controls the situation and its troops. No panic among UAF troops is observed. It’s clear that their bet is on WINNING TIME AND DEALING MAXIMUM DAMAGE TO STRIKE FORCES OF RUSSIAN AND DPR AF – by slowly forfeiting territories.”

    Tavarish Strelkov describes here fairly classical ‘Defence in Depth’ approach to war.

    Goes to show and underline what fools the many russophile warmongers are on nakedcapitalism, saker, and consortiumnews and other fortresses of anti-USA thought. Their logic goes like this: Ukraine has lost significant amounts of territory – Ukrainian army must be severely beaten and decimated. As if Ukrainians were all lined up and waiting on the border for russians to destroy them. This is childish logic, only really naive people and those never exposed to any basic military thought or training would expect to do, which goes to show how anti-USA modern tankies mostly have never done any military service in their life.

  17. jld says:

    FYI, the likely outcome of “Russification” by an Ukrainian born Russophile.
    May be commentators can take bets for/against this. 🙂

  18. English Outsider says:

    TTG – I’ve seen Strelkov getting some publicity recently. He’s a blowhard, isn’t he? I suppose the Russians let him across the border with his fifty men as something for the resistance to crystallise around. Maybe, but the impression I got back in 2014 was that that resistance was crystallising pretty rapidly anyway.

    He’s now worse than de trop. From a recently released interview I saw he thinks, as do such as Tsaryov it seems, that Ukraine is full of people who only need to be helped to become Russian. But even the separatists fought first of all as federalists! I reckon, as I think do you, that pre-2014 Ukraine including the Donbas was full of people quite happy in the main to be Ukrainian. I shall always regard it as the tragedy of this now dismembered country that they weren’t left alone to be just that.

    On the Euro/Rouble business, I still don’t get it. Whatever chain of transactions occurs within Russia after receipt of the Euros, and whatever Western currency the Euros are swapped for, someone or some entity within Russia is left holding the baby. They’re left holding Western currency they can’t easily buy goods and services from the West with. Same goes for the dollars the Russians receive for the oil they sell to the States.

    So the Russians will have to use that Western currency to buy goods and services from other non-Western countries. Who in turn must use that Western currency to buy goods and services from the West.

    And it is “must”. You could wire me a hundred billion dollars tomorrow (not a hint!) but if I can’t spend that money what’s the point? It’s just figures sitting in my bank account looking pretty – but getting me nothing.

    If you’re sending me that money because I’ve sent you huge amounts of fuel I’m going to say, what’s the point of continuing with this transaction? And I’ll stop sending you huge amounts of fuel. I must be able to spend that money I get from you somehow, buying stuff from you or from anyone else – doesn’t matter to me – but I must be able to get goods and services for it.

    The upshot is that the West is going to have to supply non-Western countries other than Russia with goods and services equal in value to the fuel and materials they’re currently getting from Russia. The value of that fuel and of those materials rising steeply as a consequence of recent events.

    I”ll bet no one from Mrs Yellen downwards has worked out how that’s going to be possible. Nor Mrs Lagarde.

    Nor Mrs Nabiullina. But I think that one knows already it’s not going to be possible. This odd looking arrangement with Gazprombank only makes sense as a first step in sharply reducing the amount Russia sells to the West. We don’t at present have economies configured to cope with that so that’s going to hurt. A lot, given that our economies were not well structured in the first place. I was always regarded as a Cassandra when I asserted that February 21st marked the most profound change for us in the West that we’ll see in our lifetimes. It is in Europe that that change will be the most destructive.

    • Poul says:

      The Russian government spends roubles not Euros in Russia. That the EU pays Euros into a Euro account in GazpromBank doesn’t help when you cannot convert Euros into Roubles because of sanctions on the Russian Central Bank. By forcing the EU to convert into roubles removes the sanction effect (reducing the rouble income of the Russian government and reducing the value of the rouble) because the EU will not sanction themselves.

      The roubles (tax revenue) are then spent by the Russian government in Russia. They cannot use Euros in Russia. Euros are only relevant for paying imports. But here you have import restriction because of sanctions.

      Sanctions where to break up the

      • joe90 says:

        The roubles (tax revenue) are then spent by the Russian government in Russia. They cannot use Euros in Russia. Euros are only relevant for paying imports. But here you have import restriction because of sanctions.

        This is so correct, Euros are only useful in Europe. It is idiotic to say we will pay you in a currency you cannot spend. The Euro must go down aging the Rouble as long as Europe has a trade defficet againt Russia.

    • TTG says:


      I agree Strelkov is a self-important blowhard. I also agree the resistance largely formed as a defensive measure in reaction to the formation of right wing militias like the Azov Battalion. Neither side was under any kind of government control and they fed off each other’s anger and hysteria. Russia took advantage of the resistance and the Kyiv government necessarily took advantage of the militias since the Ukrainian military was flat on its ass at the time.

      I also share your befuddlement over the euro/ruble business. It must make sense to somebody. And yes the world economic order is going to undergo a major reshuffling. If it leads to more local and regional self-sufficiency, I’m all for it.

      • Bill Roche says:

        Befuddlement is a word I haven’t seen recently but it fits the bill. The currency question confuses me also. Thanks to you and E.O. for trying to lend some clarity. Can we start simply. Currency smarty pants don’t help others understand this question of trade by showing off their acumen. This started with Russia requiring Rubles, not EUROs for gas. You want Russian gas, you pay Rubles. Buyers must exchange EUROs for Rubles which drives up the value of the Ruble. So what? That only reflects the true value of Russian gas to the rest of Europe. Vietnam Vet suggests this is becoming a currency war and Steve allows the Russians could insist on trade w/gold (remember that?). The idea, ultimately, is to make trade difficult for all involved and if it is more difficult, support for Ukrainian independence will wane. Right?

    • zmajcek says:

      You raise good points.
      The popular pro Russians blogs (usually run by people living in the USA) are ecstatic how Putin forced the West to buy commodities for rubles.
      However, when you ask them what exactly Russia can buy for those virtual IOUs, they are not entirely sure.
      I get the feeling Russia jump into this whole mess woefully unprepared.

    • TheUnready says:

      You are correct. Does this mean that we will no longer be able to live beyond our means?

    • Philip Owen says:

      Malofeev employed Strelkov and Borodai (the very important PR man). He also found the 2000 Don Cossacks. Without Malofeev’s money, Strelkov’s presence and atrocity actor videos put out on social medai by Borodai’s Moscow team there would have been no Danbas insurgency.

  19. Dolores O´Neil says:

    Strelkov does not direct the Russian Armed Forces nor the Russian federation for a reason…

    I was wondering what your, and other EU armies, source on that narrative on defeat of Russia and astonishing success of the Ukrainian Army you are posting on non stop during the whole SMO was…

    In Sloviansk he lost not only the city but also a lot of fresh teenager conscripts…
    The military genius he is not, for not to mention that hyperdeveloped ego he has…

  20. Dolores O´Neil says:

    A guy in a Twitter account wonders:

    64 days of #war and there is almost no accurate information on the state of the Ukrainian forces: losses, positions, parts of advance, etc., but a cascade of opinion from Western OSINTers, analysts and “experts”, added to the projection of an abstract and naive heroism in the #massmedia and the anathematization of the Russian or relativization of its activity. 0 interest in covering the war on the spot:

    – No reporters at the front
    – Commanders do not appear
    – No kill stat
    – There are no field hospitals
    – All info is second line
    -Ukraine’s censorship on not posting on networks is assumed
    – Governments are not probed for the use of weapons or the march of the war
    – A multitude of fake “info” that passes filters to TV is not contrasted

    And there is still no info from journalists, official sources or experts from #Russia.

    • TTG says:


      We in the military profession call that OPSEC.

      • Bill Roche says:

        Gotta have an acronym, OPSEC. If I were the Ukrainians, or the Russians, I would not be posting operational details on the internet for the world to see.

  21. Dolores O´Neil says:

    Could we consider that Strelkov is to the Russian Army what Arestovich is to the Ukrainian Army?


    • TTG says:


      Arestovich is an official government spokesperson. Strelkov is not.

      • d74 says:

        A transvestite jester. Once disguised as a man, twice as a woman, advisor and more to Zelensky.

        He spent 17 minutes saying he admired Daesh, their political wisdom and all that.
        Scary. The most charitable thing is to think that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but this kind of speech gives a valuable indication of the political orientation and + at the head of Ukraine.

        I admit that this video could be a Russian set-up.

  22. Klapper says:


    The Donbass and southern Ukraine areas voted for Zelensky in 2019 because he was the peace candidate who promised to implement the Minsk agreements. Their only other choice was the corrupt Poroshenko. Anyway Zelensky didn’t follow through on implementing Minsk, so they wouldn’t vote for him again. They likely believe the same as I do: that Zelensky was planning to retake the Donbass by force.

    If you’re suggesting a majority in the Donbass want to rejoin Ukraine right now, I would say produce reliable data to back up your claim.

    My guess is a majority right now not only don’t want to rejoin Ukraine, but would rather be a part of Russia, than a separate republic as they area now.

    As for the claim that the separatists shelled civilians to the same degree as the Ukrainians, I also doubt that is true. Why would they shell their own Russian speaking, pro-Russia cousins on the west side of the line of contact?

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