Illia Ponomarenko on two years of war

Two years.

It’s been two years since that fucking night of February 24.

We knew — well, we’ve been told “it’s not 100% confirmed yet…but THIS is possibly due at 4 am or  5 am, stay put.” 

A half-glass of single malt whisky with ice poured into a glass, the final hours alone in sweet silence in front of a laptop. 

Scrolling through the news all the time. 

And then the morbid face of Putin twisted with sick rage live on TV. And, shortly after, the rolling thunder of missile strikes coming in from all around Kyiv. 

That was supposed to be the apocalypse of a nation, but, thanks to so many men and women standing up, that night became the beginning of Ukraine’s finest hour. 

The one that old grandpa Winston was once talking about. 

Oh, it’s been an epoch of time ever since that day. 

The Battle of Kyiv. The heroic resistance of Sumy, Chernihiv, and Kharkiv. A lone Ukrainian Marine sacrificing his life to blow up a bridge and stop advancing Russian tanks.

The tragic debacle in the south. The Russian extermination of Mariupol. The Bucha massacre. The unspeakable meat grinder in Donbas. The Kharkiv operation. The cheering crowds jubilating from the Ukrainian colors getting back to Kherson. 

The fields of death and gore at Bakhmut and Avdiivka. Battles in the sea and the air. 

So many ups and downs, so many heroes, human-made miracles. The price of survival as a nation is terrible. We’re going to mourn and shed tears many decades in the future over what Russia has done.

We’ve seen unbelievable things in this war. Ukraine has done and is doing incredible things in this war in spite of all odds.

The Ukrainian military has been making a gargantuan sacrifice against one of the largest and the most brutal war machines in human history.

Everyone in this war has revealed their true face, from very ordinary people to the highest-ranking power brokers.

Frankly, I don’t get it how some could choose to side with the evil, bloodlust, blatant lies, hypocrisy, and imperial savagery over the story of a nation that was supposed to go extinct within weeks but now enters the third year of resistance against the most terrible war of extermination since Adolf Hitler.

With everything that has happened over the last few months, we all should be ready for a lot of hard things to happen. A lot of hopes have been broken due to things we have no control over. 

Yet, we need to keep doing what we should and what is simply right. 

We’ve made an extremely long way, and the struggle continues no matter what.

– Illia Ponomarenko, Bucha

Comment: Illia Ponomarenko was a defense reporter for the Kyiv Independent when the Russians invaded two years ago. Today he is a freelance writer living in Bucha. So many people were dead certain that he would never launch a full scale invasion of Ukraine. Even Putin and Lavrov were telling the world it was an absurd notion… until they launched their invasion. No one thinks the notion is absurd now, especially in Ukraine. No one thought the Ukrainians would last six months, never mind two years. From the course of the last two years, the war will probably continue another two years.

The above video is from a benefit concert performed by Lithuanian opera singers in Kaunas featuring the a cappela version of an old Ukrainian folk song “Oi u luzi chervona kalyna” sung by Andrii Khlyvnyuk in front of the Cathedral of Saint Sofia in Kyiv only a few days after the invasion with the Russians standing on the outskirts of the city. It was a dark time. That video of Khlyvnyuk became a worldwide symbol of Ukrainian resistance copied by many including the Kaunas opera singers. That version struck me because scenes from the January 1991 bloody confrontation with Soviet VDV and Spetsnaz forces outside the Vilnius radio and TV broadcast station played over the singing of Andrii Khlyvnyuk and the Lithuanian opera singers. That was another dark moment. I’m sure the significance of that was not lost on anyone in attendance at that benefit concert.

This is the original version of Andrii Khlyvnyuk singing “Oi u luzi chervona kalyna” in that empty Kyiv square. Damned inspiring.

And this is Pink Floyd’s version, Hey Hey Rise Up, also featuring Andrii Khlyvnyuk.

TTG… Slava Ukraini!

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101 Responses to Illia Ponomarenko on two years of war

  1. English Outsider says:

    Time to wrap it up. No question but that the Ukrainians are courageous and resourceful fighters. Incredibly so. Krynki was a tale of heroism almost past belief. Half the troops killed before ever getting across. Scrambling over the corpses as they landed. Holding out under savage fire. And the battered remnants giving the Russians a tough time right to the end.

    Soldiers can’t choose the scale of the actions in which they are engaged. On a tiny scale, but no less heart rending for that, this was Omaha Beach levels of heroism and that day after day, week after week, month after month. And for all the tiny scale, the casualties by the end exceeded Omaha Beach.

    In among the carnage three brigades of the best fighters the Ukrainians had got were chewed up in this hopeless venture. These were regulars, Marines, not the Azov or Aidar equipped with fancy Western equipment. The Azov fighters have more autonomy and can pull back when sent in on suicide missions. These men did not. They stuck to the mission with which they were tasked and it’s said that even now there are still a few of them trying to hold out in the trees nearby.

    The best the Ukrainians had. And they were thrown away on what was always a media show. No more than that. Thrown away like unwanted rubbish even long after it was certain past doubt the mission had failed.

    In miniature the story of this war. Men casually sacrificed merely to keep the illusion going as long as possible. Had Milley or Cavoli or Radakin used our own troops like that they would have been cashiered. So too the NATO officers below them who are micro-managing this war. So too Zaluzhnyi, who obediently went along with it. None of those men were professional officers in any sense of the word, nor even competent. They were stage managers and the men they threw away merely unconsidered extras.

    Well past time to wrap it up. A country destroyed and half a million casualties minimum. We hear the politicians saying that keeping it all going weakens the Russians at little cost to the West. I saw that line coming out of Washington and London. I have recently seen it repeated in Europe. What ghouls are these politicians, who can sell us this criminal nonsense? What ghouls are we, who buy it so acceptantly? And how degraded our professional military, when they not only approve this calculus but work to it.

    • leith says:

      English Outsider –

      “According to Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, Krynky is completely under Russian control.” Shoigu and Putin might truly believe this, but have again been suckered by misinformation from lower level commanders who only report what the boss wants to hear. Krynky is still a slaughter zone for Putin’s troops.
      Not much has changed at Krynky, much of it is still controlled by small elements of Ukrainian Marines and Spec Ops units. A group Russians from the 337th Airborne Assault Regiment surrendered last night in Krynky. There is video of them mocking Shoigu’s statement. Even Russian milbloggers on telegram channels contradict Shoigu. There are reportedly now two Russian divisions, (104th Air Assault Division and 70th Motorized Rifle Division) currently trying to take the Krynky bridgehead. They may eventually prevail but at great cost.

      • English Outsider says:

        Leith – I’ve seen a fair few reports like this:-

        Since then the Russians have been able to use drones on the boats at night also. It was a slaughterhouse, kept going only by intense and very effective drone and artillery fire from the right bank. Kept going purely for PR purposes.

        Looks like another amateur night from the NATO generals. How would any bridgehead in Krynki hope to reach the Russian lines to breach them, given that even that had proved impossible further up when they didn’t have a river crossing to cope with?

        Zelensky needs at least the illusion of progress to keep Western aid flowing. This was the best show we could devise for him? I don’t know about Admiral Radakin, but surely two top NATO and US Generals could have come up with something a little more convincing than this.

        I know I keep saying it but there is no lipstick to put on this pig. The Ukrainians would not have dared to provoke this war had they not thought NATO would come in in force to back them. Instead, after praising them to the skies and pushing them on far further than they knew it was sensible to go, we ran out of old kit to give them and ditched them at Vilnius.

        On top of that we couldn’t even run their war for them in a way any professional would regard as adequate. As Krynki and just about everywhere else along the line demonstrates. Amateur night indeed from NATO for all the big talk and don’t let’s fool ourselves that the Ukrainians aren’t aware of it. They’ve been had and they know it.

        • leith says:

          English Outsider –

          You ask ” How would any bridgehead in Krynki hope to reach the Russian lines to breach them, . . .?”

          No need to breach Russian lines there. Ukraine’s primary intent was to stop Russian artillery on the left bank from shelling civilians on the right bank in Kherson & Beryslav cities and the towns and villages in between. Keeping a couple of Russian divisions busy there and away from the Zaporozhye and Donetsk fronts is a bonus.

          Putin provoked this war, nobody else.

          • English Outsider says:

            You get to the heart of it, Leith. Was the SMO “provoked” or “unprovoked”?

            I can only repeat Walrus’ brief summary I copied to Dr North’s site:-

            ” in my opinion, the Russians launched a classic spoiling attack in Donbass to prevent a Ukrainian advance.

            “As you would be aware, once Ukrainian forces had advanced into Donbass, the outcome would have been a catastrophe for the predominantly Russian civilians of that region. The Azov types could rerun their grandfathers WWII genocidal behaviour and the Russians would have had the impossible task of trying to protect the Donbass civilians from them.”

            FAFO. If we don’t want the Bear to come storming out we shouldn’t fool around on its borders.

          • leith says:

            English –

            The Ukrainian Army was in the Donbas for ten years in northern Luhansk and northwestern Donetsk. They were there to protect Ukrainian citizens, no matter what language they spoke, from violence by Putin supported separatists. There were no mass murders or imprisonments of Russian speakers Your imaginary catastrophe never happened. From 1991 up to 2014 all of the Donbas was under Ukraine control, and citizens there were given the same level of protection as was given to citizens of Liv or Kyiv.

            Putin knew that the Ukrainians were never going to invade the Luhansk & Donetsk People’s Republics. That is a Red Herring put out by the Kremlin, a Chewbacca Defense, or perhaps what you Brits would call Boris Johnson’s Dead Cat Strategy.

      • Christian J. Chuba says:

        Krynki was not a defensible operation for Ukraine. The Ukrainians basically sat in a bog for months while Russia pounded them with artillery. Look at the terrain,
        You had the Dnipro river with the added insult of small canals and lakes on the left bank. With no working bridge, this meant that Ukrainians on the left bank had no heavy equipment, only small arms ferried by boats.

        Name one military operation where having infantry units stuck on a river bank was successful, Gallipoli?

        Actually, the 62nd army at Stalingrad was successful only because it was their job to keep the Germans occupied in street fighting on the right bank of the Volga river and they got mauled as were their reinforcements. They won, not because sitting on the wrong bank of a river was a good idea but because two other armies enveloped the Germans from the north and south. My point being that no army has ever succeeded just by crossing and then sitting on a river bank without being part of a larger operation.

        • leith says:

          Christian –

          So who says Krynky is not going to be part of a larger operation?

          In any case they are successfully keeping two Russian Divisions busy there that could be better used by Putin elsewhere in Ukraine. And recently the Russians have had to support those two divisions with elements of the 45th Guards Spetsnaz Brigade.

          The Ukrainians only have small units in Krynky. The supporting arms that are covering them are unleashing a heavy toll on Russian units attacking Krynky, and are safe on the other side of the river. Ukrainian Marines have been there four months now and still have not been overrun or forced to withdraw.

          And Krynky is just a small part of Ukraine’s Dnipro River Campaign. There is also a small lodgement southwest of Kozachi Laheri and another across the river from Kherson City. They’ve kicked Russian units off several of the river’s islands. Spec Ops raid or recon across the river at will from Nova Kakhovka to the estuary and even to the Kinburn Spit. Plus they are running several Partisan groups further inland from the river.

          • Christian J. Chuba says:

            “Ukrainian Marines have been there four months now and still have not been overrun or forced to withdraw.”

            There is no reason for Russia to overrun them, only contain them on the crowded banks of the riverbank and destroy equipment on the landing. It’s a bog, they have no trucks or APV’s, the UA force is going nowhere without an intact bridge.

            I don’t know anyone who would want to be on the wrong side of a riverbank but what do I know.

          • leith says:

            Christian –

            Russia is not containing them in Krynky. Those two Russian divisions have been actively trying to overrun them and recapture the village. And in doing so they, the Russians, have had several hundred vehicles destroyed or damaged, plus two Sukhois.

            Regarding your comment: “the UA force is going nowhere without an intact bridge”. Of course they’re not – or as my old platoon sergeant used to say “No shit Sherlock”! They did not cross the river there to mount an offensive on Crimea or Melitopol. They went there as a flytrap to draw or lure Russians forces from the East.

            Krynky is not a bog. It is a farming village that had almost a thousand residents before Putin invaded. There are a few hundred homes there plus a hundred or so agricultural greenhouses and a few fish camps. All are much destroyed now, some from when it was inundated last June, and others from bombs and shelling. But those waters receded and Krynky Village is high and dry now. The boggy area you are thinking of is the area behind Krynky, beyond the Konka and Krynka rivers.

  2. English Outsider says:

    Should say, not a response to your article, TTG. It was prompted by what I read in another comment section this morning:-

    The armchair warriors of Europe versus the “Putin shills”. No contest, of course. So after Ukraine goes down looks like we Europeans’ll be following suit.

    • TTG says:


      That’s a pretty good article by Richard North. He believes that lack of faith in Ukraine’s eventual ability to defeat Russia’s invasion will inevitably lead to a Russian victory. That’s a reasonable view. However, I don’t see signs of the Ukrainians losing faith in their fight for survival. There is definitely despair over what the invasion and resistance to that invasion is costing them, but that does not equate to a loss in the belief of prevailing against the invaders.

      I have no doubt that the Kremlin’s belief in eventually winning, in eventually eradicating Ukraine and the Ukrainians, will not dim. They will not stop. They will not negotiate. To defeat that kind of faith, the Ukrainians have to defeat the Russian Army in Ukraine. A tall order to be sure. As last year’s counteroffensive proved, it cannot be done through frontal assaults. It has to be done through deep battle which Ukraine seems to be pursuing. But, as North notes, there are no guarantees. The next year will be hard, but it may be decisive.

      • English Outsider says:

        TTG – that was good to hear. I’ve submitted references in the past to his much earlier articles on EU expansion eastwards. We are now witnessing the consequences of the Merkel/Ashton endeavours in that respect. From the European perspective – not, I believe, the American – the briefest summary of those consequences comes from Dr North’s son, Pete North:-

        “For a political entity that sees its primary role as the promotion of peace, the EU’s crowning achievement of the century will have be been to wreck Ukraine to the extent that it may never recover, risking WW3 in the process. With friends like that, who needs enemies?”

        • TTG says:


          The same was said when the Western shock therapy was applied to Poland. It was a painful process and probably not the only way to do what had to be done, but it worked well.

  3. leith says:

    Pomarenko is writing a book on the Battle of Kyiv. It will be on my shortlist when it’s published.

    • TTG says:


      I’m looking forward to that book, too.

      • leith says:

        TTG –

        In the meantime, take a look at this article in the ‘British Army Review’ on the Battle of the Irpin River, which was crucial in the defense of Kyiv. Good maps with lots of detail on units in some cases down to the platoon level of 2nd Battalion, 72nd Mech. That unit had to travel 85+ km to take up their defensive positions. Interesting story on the Kozarovychi Dam that had to be breached twice to flood the fields north of Kyiv, holed carefully without destroying the entire dam and the critical pumps within. Lots of civilian volunteers joined the 2nd Battalion at Irpin also.

        It was published by CHACR (Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research), which calls itself an ‘independent think tank for the British Army.

        • English Outsider says:

          ” On 24th February
          Russian forces launched attacks
          across multiple axes, breaking out
          from Crimea in the south, attacking across the
          Donbas in the east, advancing from the north
          on Kharkiv and Sumy, and attacking from
          Belarus towards Kyiv. The invaders’ main
          effort appeared to be the combined airmobile
          and ground assault towards the capital from
          the northwest, which was intended to rapidly
          overthrow the Ukrainian government by
          killing or capturing the country’s leadership
          or forcing them to flee.
          Once that was
          achieved, Russia planned to install a pro-Russian regime.”

          Leith – that’s more or less the standard Western take. An under strength Russian army attempting a poorly planned coup de main, vulnerable supply lines, unexpectedly spirited resistance, a forced Russian withdrawal.

          The “Battle for Kiev”. The Russian failure there determining the course of the war.

          The Russian take on those events is different. It was set out for our convenience very recently by a mysterious chain smoking Russian Colonel. Mysterious to me anyway. I can’t imagine how a Russian Colonel seemingly familiar with operational details gets allowed to talk to a Western internet site.

          But following Colonel Lang’s principle of considering the information separately from the source, here’s what he has to say on the “Battle for Kiev”. It’s broadly consistent with the Russian take we’ve known since just after the start of the SMO. (At around 37 mins):-

          So there’s a conflict of stories there. The “Battle for Kiev” is happy talk for the journalists. Didn’t happen. I think what we’re looking at is a well planned, fast and devastating blitzkrieg style operation in the first few days of the SMO, with very tight ROE, and well away from Kiev.

          That done, the Russians were able to set themselves to what they’ve been doing ever since. Slowly grinding down Western supplies and manpower – the bulk of the latter being our unfortunate proxies – with the ultimate aim being what was stated at the start of the SMO: putting a stop to our use of Ukraine as a means of overextending and unbalancing Russia.

          But Clausewitz asks for more than that – all the experts instance Clausewitz so I don’t see why just once this non-expert shouldn’t do so as well. Clausewitz insists on the integration of military with political objectives. The political objectives for the Russians here were simply keeping their new friends on side. Those new friends being in the main the Brics or prospective Brics countries the Russians now want to do their trading with instead of us. The Russians don’t want the Chinese or the Indians or the Africans or the South Americans sanctioning the hell out of them as we’re doing.

          So as the Russians were slowly grinding down our supplies and our manpower, they were at the same time slowly letting the world outside Russia get their heads round the reason for the SMO. For the extraordinary spectacle of the Russians rolling their tanks into a neighbouring country does at first sight need quite a lot of explaining.

          And letting the Russians themselves get their heads round the reason for the SMO too. At the beginning there were many Russians who didn’t understand the SMO either. This is one Russian who started off by regarding the SMO as an act of inexcusable brutality; and who herself only slowly understood that it was a somewhat tardy Russian response to inexcusable brutality.

          • TTG says:


            Ah yes, a Russian retelling of the tale of the fox and the grapes. But it is true that the Russians were not so much beaten back from Kyiv, but forced to withdraw. The withdrawal was a conscious and deliberate Russian decision after the attack failed.

            I am waiting to see an analysis of how Russia so successfully broke out of Crimea, captured Kherson and were on their way to Odesa and Transnistria. That was a serious Ukrainian failure.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            The problem with the Russian slow grind approach is that all evidence points – to my mind at least – that it was not the intended strategy. Putin himself pretty much admitted as much in the Tucker interview. He claimed he expected Zelensky to negotiate a settlement within the first few weeks and thought he had actually pretty much achieved that objective and so withdrew from the Kiev sector (the latter part of the story probably being BS to cover for the inability to seize Kiev). When a quick overwhelming assault ultimately failed to cause Kiev to fold, the war just kind of naturally devolved into what it is now. There is no end in sight. Yes, yes, the Russians are very slowly beating back the Ukrainians, but it’s costing a lot Russia too. I don’t believe the Kiev/ISW propaganda figures and do think Kiev has lost between 500K and a million men killed and wounded/evacuated/taken out of action and Russia probably 300K.

            At the rate the war is going, it will be another two years or more before the Donbas, etc is cleared of Kiev regime forces. That assumes there is no alteration of the current trend. Big assumption. There are many ways that things could yet turn against Russia. There is also the Russian public’s will to continue the effort for years. That is the big downside of a “slow grind” approach. It wearies the home front and it gives the enemy time to develop new forces and new tactics. It may even be that as this thing drags on and Russia becomes weaker, someone, like Poland, sees the weakness and moves in to put an end to the Russian effort and, perhaps, take a bit of Ukraine for itself. There is some history supporting that possibility.

            A lot more Ukrainians and Russians are going to be thrown into the meat grinder before this is over. It doesn’t matter if you or I think it isn’t worth their lives. It is what the powers that be desire. No side of the conflict is going to back down and no side has the ability to end it quickly.

          • leith says:

            Inexcusable brutality! Kind of like Putin’s daily missile attacks on Ukrainian civilians for the past two years. Or Putin’s daily violations of the Minsk Agreements starting right after he signed ten years ago.

          • LeaNder says:

            and Russia becomes weaker, someone, like Poland, sees the weakness and moves in to put an end to the Russian effort and, perhaps, take a bit of Ukraine for itself. There is some history supporting that possibility.

            Highly unlikely scenario …

            How long did the US fight/has been fighting in Afghanistan/Iraq?

            Otherwise I agree.

          • James says:

            leith –

            More Palestinian Children were killed in one week than Ukrainian children were killed in one year. Maybe Putin should ask the IDF to train him men in how to kill women and children because clearly the IDF is much better at it.

          • leith says:

            James –

            At least four times as many. But then that discounts Putin’s kidnapping of Ukrainian children and their abuse & mistreatment.

            Netanyahu & Putin both belong in hell.

          • James says:

            leith –

            I do not believe the stories about Putin kidnapping, abusing, or mistreating Ukrainian children. I believe he was simply evacuating them from a warzone so they would not get bombed.

            I would like to see everybody – and I do mean everybody – start obeying international law. No more of anybody invading anybody.

          • TTG says:


            Putin’s commissioner for children’s rights boasted of taking more than 700,000 Ukrainian children as of last July. But a lot of those were accompanied by their families. That’s emigration and probably bodes well for both Ukraine and Russian once the shooting is over. On the other hand, thousands of those children were unaccompanied and often outright kidnapped. Only about 500 have been returned to their families.

          • leith says:

            James – ” No more of anybody invading anybody.”

            We agree.

  4. jld says:

    As for myself, I’m looking forward to that note
    Notes on Nationalism – George Orwell.

  5. wiz says:

    Much more than faith is needed to win a war of this scale.
    Ukraine is lacking in many things at the moment, of which manpower is probably the most significant deficiency.
    Volunteers have dried up. People do not want to fight and use all means possible to avoid conscription.
    The only untapped resource is Ukrainian future, 18-25 year olds, that haven’t yet fled the country.
    More and more, you can hear Western experts like Petraeus advising the Ukrainian government to make the “difficult choice”.

    Russian victory isn’t a certainty either. Although they have began to gain momentum they have problems as well.
    Putin is probably their weakest link. A single point of failure.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      It’s been obvious – to me at least – that logistics are against Ukraine and, given time, the logistics issues will deliver victory to Russia. Could Russia’s will be broken before the western logistics critical threshold is reached? Maybe. It’s my primary criticism of Russia’s slow approach – and the Andrey Martyanov and acolytes school of mindless Russian d*ck stoking. The longer the war drags on, the greater the risk to Russia that morale – both troops’ and civilians’ – declines to levels where the war cannot be continued. OTOH, I don’t see a high level of dedication to victory amongst the larger Ukrainian population either. The governments of the west seem more interested in defeating Russia than the Ukrainians do. As you note, there is not a post Pearl Harbor US populace type frenzy of indignation and desire for retaliation within the Ukrainian youth.

      • James says:

        Eric Newhill

        I wonder if the F-16s are going to help the Ukrainians quite a bit. I am cynical enough to think that the F-16 have been withheld up until now because the western plan has always been to stretch out the war for as long as possible.

      • wiz says:

        Eric Newhill

        Ukraine is in a lot of trouble.
        I suspect they’ll spend most of this year trying to avoid military and economic collapse.
        There is also the question of a political crises coming in May when Zelensky’s presidential mandate ends.
        We’ll probably see some intense political infighting.
        This conflict is far from over with many serious opportunities for escalation.
        Macron, the man child, wants to send in NATO troops, Transnistria may come under attack, which is another possible way for NATO to get involved “defending” Moldova etc.

        Being in Europe, I am more than a little concerned. I saw some of the Putin/Carlson interview and Putin seems more than a little emotionally compromised. He is not bluffing.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Europeans, poodles or not, have a long history of going nuts and killing themselves off. WW1 and 2 only being the most recent examples. They’re overdue for another round.

          Had Russia totally gone in huge, shock and awed Ukraine, wiped out all transportation, communication, electrical and other utilities infrastructure across the country, seized, cleared and 100% controlled the Donbas, etc. within the first six months and built formidable defenses of all types against all weapons, all up and down the Dnieper, then, as with Crimea post 2014, there’d be nothing left for the Euros except the crying.

          Instead, Russia f’ed around – either because that’s the best they can do, or for some misguided strategic reason (e.g. the slow grind). 4D chess experts they are not, despite all of Martyanov’s bloviating and all of his worshippers’, like Larry Johnson, adulation.

          Now the Euros are working themselves up to do something. The failure of Russia to fight war correctly has encouraged them. Even our host and some of our fellow forum members see it that way. They might even be right (to some extent). They are all gambling that Russia wouldn’t respond in a nuclear manner, should they be truly be losing. They are also gambling that Russia really is as weak as it appears to be, but if the Euros get into the fray and start getting their collective ass thoroughly kicked, they, themselves, might escalate to nuclear. IMO, we should never underestimate the impulse to craziness in the Euros. The US, for its part, will sit back and fan the flames and watch Euros and Slavs die until something happens that sucks it too into the funeral pyre.

  6. ked says:

    an indigenous people united through deeply engrained culture over time & space are very difficult to dislodge. Col Lang made that point often. I contemplated his insight when reflecting on courses I took in world history, western history, social demography & the like. it occurred to me that victory over Deep Culture was achievable when & where invaders engaged in successful extermination & thereupon colonized those lands. {it also occurred to me that N. America’s aboriginal peoples had a shot at a comeback… hard to wipe out / hold valuable resources / have unique gambling status}

    I’m confident Putin understands & accepts that course as necessary to achieve his strategic intent. NATO’s front line Russian neighbors also understand. some are trying to cover their bets; “maybe we’ll be the last & he runs outta gas before he arrives”, or “time to rehabilitate the Quisiling Solution… for the good of the people.” & etc.

    so far from the front (physically & politically – & for some, spiritually) the US is being gamed on this matter, from within & without.

    • gordon reed says:

      Could you explain how the US is being gamed.

      • ked says:

        obvious as heck we’re the target of adversaries active strategic intel / influence ops since forever – we’ve been at it for years, ham-fisted American style … today, our party of rubes is more susceptible than Alger Hiss ever was. cheap dates for cheap hoods. from Angleton & Philby to dangling chicks & fun drugs, gun-touting Russian babe-agent inside the NRA (or vice-verca). Manafort! hello Manifort! {what a class act… like roger S, but w/o style or emotion.} jeeeze… catch up. plenty out there to check out on your own.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          You’re out of you mind with partisan BS. How many democrats sleeping with Chinese agents? How many deeply imbedded with Ukrainian corruption. Any idea of how many investigations are currently ongoing regarding corruption with funds going to Ukraine? Hint: A lot. Look into it.

          Chicks and drugs? Really? Who is more into that scene than the Bidens?

          Only a starry eyed boy scout buys into the western narrative about Ukraine v Russia. It’s an oligarchs’ war. The freedom narrative is fools’ gold – on both sides – to get boy scouts, tools and mercenaries to die for the oligarchs; and for US tax payers to get ripped off by oligarchs.

          • ked says:

            no idea what you’re so upset about.
            … sex & drugs are part of human experience. it’s the STYLE that reveals truth.
            so… ya got yer porn star pay-offs, Borbert’s theatrical handiwork, the Gaetz girl scout brigade… one could go on, but it’s too depressing to contemplate how once mighty moralists have fallen into the purest hypocrisy.

            to be clear, I’ll take Hunter’s open & admitted sins over the exceptional ones of trump’s kids, leveraging dad’s power to cut $B deals they’d never rate in the real world. & it’s an ugly world out there… grow up & be thrilled w/ your crime gang of choice. & speaking of research… oh, never mind.

  7. d74 says:

    According to today’s Guardian, Zelensky said that Ukrainian losses since the start of operations are 31,000.

    In my opinion, disinformation is reaching new heights. Or the very nadir.

  8. Fred says:

    I thought the Russians were defeated a year ago? Meanwhile the EU economy teeters on middle class destruction, which will of course be re-energized by all those non-European immigrants. Backed by the Eurobonds.

    How did those work out the last time?
    “A €7 billion 0.1% coupon SURE bond maturing in October of 2040 is now trading at a yield of 3.867%. Now that doesn’t look so bad until you grep the price of that bond, which is trading with a bid/ask spread of 0.54/0.55… or a 45% loss.”
    via Tom Luongo.
    What will pay for all those eurobonds since the EC has no taxing authority? How dare you ask such questions. Who actually received the money the US sent to Ukraine? How dare you ask such questions.

    Speaking of how dare you, did you see where Catherine Herridge had all her files seized by CBS? I’m sure nobody was naive enough to trust an MSM journalist with confidentiality when they keep their sources info in the corporate computer network.

    Special shout out to the Ghost of Kiev and Boris “let’s not make a deal” Johnson. BTW anyone here invest in Ukrainian issued war bonds?

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Yes. they reached their “culmination point” in like June 2022 (rolls eyes) according to people who’s opinion cannot be questioned – and that’s about the time they started to be one month away from running out of ammo (palm to forehead). Anyone who questioned those “facts” was labeled a defeatist Russian tool.

      There’s no end to BS. The goal should at least be to produce BS that is a least somewhat convincing. Why the west is unable to do that tells me the situation is dire to point of being beyond spin.

      • Fred says:


        Yes they reached the culminating point back then; however, Ukraine had no assets with which to exploit the opportunity – which didn’t last.
        BTW Ukraine now says Navalny died from “Not the Vaxx”

        • Eric Newhill says:

          If you culminate and then un-culminate was the first time an actual culmination?

          How many time can you culminate in a conflict? Did Clausewitz write anything about premature culmination? Inability to culminate?

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            An offensive can culminate as many times as one can launch offensives. It’s not a one time thing. Nor is necessarily a national army-wide thing.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            I know – and that’s merely one example of why I see Clausewitz as overrated mil-geekery. A culmination point should really mean something significant and at least quasi-permanent.

            If it can happen more than once, even frequently, on all different scopes and scales and here and there simultaneously or not, then it really doesn’t mean anything at all and is just a term used to demonstrate that one has attended mil-science class at academy or ROTC and/or war college.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            I’m more or less with you on Clauswitz. I find his writing as difficult to read as anything by Max Weber. I had to slog through a lot of Weber in school. I never had to read Clauswitz in my military career although I did on my own. A lot of both Weber and Clauswitz are theoretical frameworks useful for studying their respective subjects. Neither are to be considered the one true word in their fields. There are a lot of theoretical frameworks out there.

            I know Pat had little use for Sun Tzu. I liked him, far more readable in the several translations I’ve seen. In the same vein, I like “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Mushashi. My interest in him came through fencing, which I’ve been doing since grammar school. It’s amazing what our little town school offered.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            And yes, I realize I am committing blasphemy, but seriously, does anyone really like Clausewitz? Has anyone really read the whole thing? Few admit it, but most have their eyes cross and then fall asleep before half-way through.

            It just goes to show that if a guy with the right rank and political positioning takes some fairly mundane concepts that pretty much everyone above E3 already understands, express them with weird word choices and screwed up grammatical structure, he can become enshrined as an untouchable genius of almost mystical proportions.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            I kind of like Sun Tzu too. I thought it was a good companion to the small wars manual + my edition of Sun Tzu could fit in my pocket.

          • LeaNder says:

            Eric, I was not at all aware of Clausewitz before PL mentioned him. And even then I was more interested in the man of this time, a Prussian who had studied Kant in school. A man who had fought Napoleon as Prussian first, had to surrender to him and was supposed to fight on the side of Napoleon against Russia later, but decided to fight Napoleon on Russia’s side:

            Carl von Clausewitz: „Der Eroberer ist immer friedliebend, er zöge ganz gerne ruhig in unseren Staat ein.“

            Translation: The Emperor is always peace loving, wouldn’t mind to quietly move into our state.

            For Clausewitz war is politics by other means., that is important to keep in mind. The Russian Wikipedia version of Culmination Point/Climax is interesting in this context.

            Besides Clausewitz’ scholars or critiques had centuries to read him whatever way they like.
            Back to our context: It definitively did not feel like Ukraine had reached a culmination point at the time PL thought they did. With all due respect for our late host.

   / Climax

          • LeaNder says:

            Sorry, used Google Translate a bit fast:
   Climax (Clausewitz)

  9. F&L says:

    Apparently this article today in the NYTIMES is a big deal. I’ve quoted the first paragraph of Sergei Markov’s post on it. Find the remainder at the link.
    “Today’s sensation is a huge article in the New York Times. The CIA created 12 top-secret bunkers in Ukraine 10 years ago on the border with Russia to spy on Russia. They have been providing unique, extremely important information about Russia for 10 years. And they send missiles that hit Russia. The CIA has also created a new generation of Ukrainian spies for Russia around the world.
    All this is controlled by a joint intelligence group of the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.
    This article, of course, completely confirms Putin’s decision to launch the Northeast Military District..”
    The Spy War: How the C.I.A. Secretly Helps Ukraine Fight Putin.
    For more than a decade, the United States has nurtured a secret intelligence partnership with Ukraine that is now critical for both countries in countering Russia.

    • TTG says:


      A joint intelligence group of the United States, Britain and the Netherlands operating observation posts in Ukraine. I can’t read the article, but I bet the Ukrainians were partners in all this. Imagine that, monitoring a border with a hostile or at least potentially hostile neighbor. What is shocking about that? CIA cooperating with Ukraine to collect intel on Russia. I bet we do the same with the Baltic services and the Polish services as well. I’m sure there are other relationships. Finland and Sweden will join if they haven’t already done so. Again, what’s shocking about this? Surely you don’t share in this shock, do you?

      • F&L says:

        “Therefore, the CIA agreed to an unprecedented disclosure of top secret information.”

        I wasn’t shocked and neither I nor Markov used that term. “Sensational” according to Markov. I imagine he is conveying interest over there in Ru. He concludes his post as quoted above. Don’t you recognize that publishing secret information is somewhat “sensational,” “shocking” or at least out of the ordinary under most conditions? Try waking up on the other side of the bed and not using messengers for target practice. I find the content of the release very ho him – I’d expect it to be this way. Markov is making the point that the CIA and the administrator are so pissed over the delays in funding that they broke secrecy, which they pretend is a very big deal – see Assange, Smowden and Chelsea Manning. Maybe they will imprison themselves? Or the FBI locks up the CIA. Sure.

      • LeaNder says:

        TGG, when I read about the it in a headline on the Kyiv Independent. It did not raise further interest. Sensational? Not for me. This is exactly what I thought:
        … the administrator[s] are so pissed over the delays in funding that they broke secrecy

        A government, NSA, or some old-man-approved leak?

        I was checking different takes on the latest Maidan verdict in Kyiv. 1,500 pages? Here different takes on the FSB.

        Kyiv International:
        “Oleksii Donskyi, the head of the Department for Maidan Affairs of the Prosecutor General’s Office, during a press briefing in Kyiv”:

        “If someone would like to hear that there were Russian snipers, Russian law enforcement officers on the Maidan, then there was no such thing,” Donskyi said

        “This is a pretty version, not based on real facts. It was Ukrainian law enforcement officers who received instructions from Ukrainian authorities, who killed, and who committed violent crimes.”

        While the violence itself was committed by Ukrainian officers, “the Russian Federation had a huge influence on these decisions (and) on the entire course of events that took place during” the revolution, Donskyi concluded.

        Around 20 officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), as well as officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), carried out joint “information operations,” according to the official.

        “Twenty FSB officers, including five generals, came to Ukraine several times and, together with SBU officers, prepared relevant informational materials that became the basis for committing certain criminal acts,” Donskyi said.

        He also said that the initial violence in November 2013 was already the result of Russian hybrid warfare, which was meant to escalate the situation and prevent Yanukovych’s administration from shifting toward the pro-EU direction.

        Headline: Prosecutors: EuroMaidan violence perpetrated by Ukrainian officers under Russia’s guidance
        Versus arbitrarily, I could quote others, like Gordon Hahn …


        Ivan Katchanovski, University of Ottawa | Université d’Ottawa, School of Political Studies, interviewed by Stefan Korinth:

        No firing order by Yanukovych, no Russian involvement
        The verdict also confirmed my studies’ findings that were no massacre orders by Yanukovych or his ministers and that there was no Russian involvement in the massacre. It specifically stated that “the “Russian trace” was not confirmed after examining the relevant documents, in particular, all cases of crossing the border zone by FSB officers into Ukraine, their movement around Kyiv and the region, the time and place of their stay, as well as the dates and ways they left the territory of Ukraine,” that “this group of persons was constantly monitored” and “accordingly, they did not have any participation” in the massacre.

        Two Berkut officers were acquitted of murder charges. Three Berkut policemen, who were exchanged on Zelensky’s orders to Donbas separatists, were convicted in absentia for the murders of 36 out of 49 protesters and wounding of 52 out of 172 Maidan activists. This conviction was based on a single, fabricated forensic examination and collective responsibility. On the same basis, a Berkut commander was also convicted of the manslaughter of four protesters and the wounding of another eight, for supposedly having ordered his officers to fire indiscriminately during the evacuation of Internal Troops by the Berkut company, and its subsequent retreat after one Berkut officer was killed and another wounded.

        Headline, longer subheadline in support it was of a coup: “Court in Kiev has confirmed: Maidan snipers fired from the Hotel Ukraina”

        • English Outsider says:

          LeaNder – a most useful summary. I expect more details will come out as the ultra-nationalists cut and run. But no one in the West will believe them.

          We used the local thugs to overturn a corrupt but legitimate government. Then we put in place a brutal and still corrupt government more in tune with our aims. Neither the Nuland nor the Ashton recordings were contested so through them we got a glimpse of the process.

          Only a glimpse but enough. I came across a piece by Patrick Armstrong recently that had predicted back then, accurately, how those events of 2014 would play out. We’re now watching them play out.

          A lot of unanswered questions still. What were the Russians up to, letting it all happen? What was the interplay between the Russians and the Ukrainian oligarchs? When they weren’t one and the same. And the key question for you and me, what was Merkel up to? The “Bride left at the Altar” as she innocently described herself at the time.

          We regard the Europeans now as “Europoodles”, subservient to the Big Dog in Washington and led by the Big Dog to their own destruction.

          But that’s not how it was, was it? Right up to February 2022 the Europeans were playing their own hand, using that clumsy giant across the Atlantic to further their own objectives. That’s the angle you and I as Europeans should be examining, rather than playing the helpless victim as Scholz is going to do and pretending “The Yanks made us do it.”


          Hey, this is all grim stuff to wade through, don’t you think? Lets do some escapism and look at the other side of the coin. The incredible achievements of European culture that for you and I is our common heritage. Here’s one small part of it. Now on earth does our derelict continent come up with anything as good as this:-


          • LeaNder says:

            We regard the Europeans now as “Europoodles”, subservient to the Big Dog in Washington and led by the Big Dog to their own destruction.

            EO, I wish you the very, very best to solidly establish the term on Turcopolier. To some extent, I can understand the desire, looking back on the run-up to the Iraq war. Britain definitively still was the leader of the pack following the master. But now it is simply one poodle among equals, not the old top dog joining lots from New Europe and members of Old Europe, but hardly all. 😉

            I see it has already caught on. Congratulation. By France? Not surprisingly?

            But yes, the times changed, lots of water flowed down river Rhine. And I somewhat doubt that Patrick Armstrong thought Putin would be as stupid, as he turned out to be, to pick up a tiny bit from your favorite co-Britain scholar. You think he had to defend his Russians? Look out for Transnistria. Will he hear their desperate voices?

          • Barbara Ann says:


            I agree EO’s Europoodles is more than worthy to enter the Turcopolier lexicon. As for the Pridnestrovians, it seems their desperate voices have been heard. They have formally requested Moscow’s protection & help to resist economic pressure from Moldova’s government. Notably the entreaty included the fact that 220,000 Russian citizens live in Transnistria. Why is this notable? Because the Russian constitution obliges the Russian government to protect Russian citizens anywhere. By coincidence Putin has an address scheduled for tomorrow. I think it is wise to reserve judgement on the man’s stupidity for now too btw.


          • Keith Harbaugh says:

            Countering the “Europoodle” notion, as in

            We regard the Europeans now as “Europoodles”, subservient to the Big Dog in Washington and led by the Big Dog to their own destruction.

            there is a quite different POV being advanced:

            “What Europe wants from the State of the Union — love for Ukraine”

            “Senior figures from across the Continent want the president to use his address to push Congress to finally pass his $60B military aid package for Kyiv.”

            Angela Merkel was no “Europoodle” when she defied President Trump.

    • Keith Harbaugh says:

      The NYT article is summarized and discussed at length here:

  10. Jovan P says:

    How can he transcribe his name as Illia if it’s Iлля in Ukrainian?

    It is romantic to depict the Russian spec op/invasion/war as the orcs attacking the elfs, but sadly this is a war that could have been easily prevented. By writting this I don’t want to diminish the courageous effort of many Ukrainian soldiers, but I feel sad for them fighting and dying mostly for the interests of the Borg.

  11. walrus says:

    We poked the bear; no matter how you look at it, Ukraine is our fault. We are solely to blame. What we did is documented. We fomented, encouraged and trained Ukraine to firstly start a civil war and later to amplify that into the conflict we have today. That war only exists because of our continued encouragement.

    The Russian efforts to avoid war and develop a peaceful solution are also documented. We rejected them.

    The pundits in Washington think that this is a war of choice. At some point we can fold our tents and slip away. China and Russia will return to business as usual when sanctions are lifted. Europe, Russia and poor Ukraine will be scarred and impoverished for another hundred years while we sit back and party on our side of the Atlantic.

    At least that is how the playbook reads…. I think that the Russians now have other ideas. They have said as much but we ignore them. Big mistake. It’s also sad to watch the Baltics and perhaps others, fly in the face of good common sense and put their trust in NATO.

    To put it another way; suppose Russia hadn’t acted. Ukraine invades Donbass and allows the Azov battalions free rein. Genocide ensues. UKraine joins NATA and a string of bases are constructed from the arctic circle, through the Baltics and onwards. Anyone care to speculate on what happens next?

    • TTG says:


      Russian efforts to avoid war consisted of making demands for Ukrainian and NATO capitulation. Of course we rejected them.

      Ukraine did end up with a civil war, but even that was instigated by Girkin’s leading attacks on Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Don’t know if the Pravy Sektor types would have instigated one without Girkin’s provocation. The February 2022 invasion largely settled the civil war issues. The Azov battalions of 2022 and today are nothing like the militia battalions of 2014-2015.

      • Christian J. Chuba says:

        Russia didn’t want U.S. missile bases in Ukraine. I don’t see that as unreasonable. Of course, Ukraine has a right to ask for NATO membership but NATO is not required to accept everyone. That is why the U.S. approached us and not Ukraine.

        We in the U.S. told Russia to pound sand; Ukraine is paying the price, not us.

        • TTG says:

          Christian J. Chuba,

          Not wanting US missiles in Ukraine is a reasonable Russian desire, but Ukraine is a sovereign nation. She can decide that for herself or develop her own missiles/drones/ I’m sure NATO does not want Russian missiles in Kaliningrad, either. But we don’t have a real say in that.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            How come Saddam Hussein got hung for WMD that he didn’t have? Iraq not sovereign? Seems to me Panama was a sovereign nation too. Syria as well and the US has established bases there that I’m pretty sure are uninvited.

            I mean who is making these rules? Seems to me a sovereign nation can do whatever it wants and then another sovereign nation can decide it doesn’t like what the former has done and, as a sovereign nation, decide to invade – and that is the rule.

            Is Ukraine really sovereign? Can Zelensky make his own decisions and then follow through on them?

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            Our invasion of Iraq was a flat out war of aggression. Panama formally declared war on the US prior to our invasion and murdered a US serviceman. Noriega was also wanted for running drugs into the US and money laundering. Beyond that, we did want a compliant government in Panama which would not threaten our access to the Panama Canal. We were invited into Northern Syria by the one group of Syrians fighting ISIS in that region. We remain there in support of the Rojava Kurds, but we have overstayed our welcome. The legitimate Syrian government should be capable of controlling that region. Much like the Kremlin says it wants to protect Russian speaking Ukrainians from the legitimate Ukrainian government, we are protecting the Rojava Kurds from the legitimate Syrian government.

            None of that makes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine legitimate. Zelenskiy, the legitimatly elected leader of Ukraine, is making his own decisions. We wanted him to evacuate Kyiv. His response was ““The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.” He’s driving the train. We’re shoveling coal into the boiler.

          • Christian J. Chuba says:

            Agree. Russia sent the U.S. there ‘security agreement’ in 2021 and we told them to pound sand. DC Neocons dismissed it completely without engaging them.
            There is not one point that would restrict Ukraine from developing or even purchasing military hardware. The entire document is a restriction on NATO and Russian military activities.

            NATO membership comes with it a legal right to install U.S. military infrastructure. This is not just a theoretical construct. The U.S. has nukes in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Turkey. We have ABM’s in Romania and Poland, We have air bases all over the place.

            Was the Russian proposal just a fig leaf?
            We will never know because the DC crowd shouted, ‘no appeasement’.

          • TTG says:

            Christian J. Chuba,

            NATO membership does not come with it a legal right to install U.S. military infrastructure. The member countries decide what the US can and cannot base in their countries. There are a lot of NATO countries that do not allow US nukes or permanent bases. Finland is the latest to say no to US nukes.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            Thucydides’ iron rule (that the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must) was not suspended when the inviolability of national sovereignty was enshrined in international law. Just ask Iraq.

            The fact is that the leadership of a buffer state gambled that throwing their lot in entirely with one side would not lead to retaliation from the other. They undoubtedly felt confident in doing so because they judged the West to be stronger than Russia – i.e. Russia would be made to suffer what they must. Maybe they’ll turn out to be right. Maybe not.

  12. English Outsider says:

    Boris Johnson, previous UK Prime Minister, apparently a day ago.

    Considers that although at present Western industrial production does not enable us to support Ukraine as much as we’d like, in future the greater industrial power of the West will prevail against Russia. Set to around 3.20, “The big picture is, Ukraine is going to win,”

    Reckons Crimea can be returned to Ukraine. Believes missiles should continue to be provided. Believes that although Donald Trump might say the contrary, in reality he would continue to confront Russia and would continue to support Europe in the fight against Russia.

    TTG – if Mr Johnson’s views represent the views of those now in power – I think they do – he is forcing the Russians to neutralise remnant Ukraine. Otherwise remnant Ukraine would be Sleboda’s “zone of destabilisation and insecurity” indefinitely.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      I saw a video today of a US Abrams tank getting hit and instantly going up in flames. It had been at the front for less than 24 hours according to the Russian report. At any rate, it was definitely an Abrams and it definitely was 100% destroyed. No doubt the entire crew was vaporized. Those tanks and trained crew are going to be hard to replace if they all more or less share the same fate. Then what?

      I still think that the possibility of a nuclear exchange is real. Russia is not going to back down (can’t). The West appears to be locked into a fanatical focus on beating Russia and even taking Crimea. Conventional wonder weapons haven’t made much of a difference beyond a minor tactical victory here or there before they are destroyed. So what is left? Certainly not peace.

      • TTG says:

        Eric Newhill,

        If that’s the video I’m familiar with, it was the blowout panels which blew out and the ammunition cooked off as it was supposed to do to ensure crew survival.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Hmmm….really? Designed cook-off or not, it looks like it would be awfully toasty inside that thing.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            A lot of Western designed tanks use those blowout panels along with armored doors separating the ammo from the crew compartment. They save lives. If the damage doesn’t extend past what’s in that video, it could be retrieved and repaired. If it can’t be retrieved, it will be destroyed by further Russian or Ukrainian attacks.

            The Bradley has become legendary in its ability to protect crews even with serious strikes. Up armored M-113s have surprisingly been able to do the same.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Also, the story is that the Russians first caused the reactive panels to go off with a drone strike. Then, when the panels were used up, they hit it with what I presume was a cheap shaped charge projectile. That brewed up the tank. Simple, but elegant approach to destroying an expensive US wonder weapon.

      • English Outsider says:

        The psychos in charge – the Blinken and Shapps and Baerbock types – are seriously out to lunch. They’ve all painted themselves – and us with them! – into a corner they’ve no idea how to get out of. So the Russians have been playing it long. Dangerous dog analogy. No sudden moves to set the brute off. Back off slowly and carefully.

        So nuclear isn’t on the cards. Unless accidental, which is a danger always at times of heightened tension. Both the American and the Russian military are being extremely careful not to let it go too far. The Europoodles are into all manner of war talk but they don’t count.


        Sooner those tanks get fully automated the better. Whoever makes them – Israelis, Americans, Germans, Russians – they’re death traps. Or “consumables”, as the more realistic analysts term them. In the Trukhan interview – or one of them, can’t remember which – he speaks cheerfully of losing a hundred or so just for first breach of a defence line.

        The Challenger is the best of the lot. They’ve built a tea making machine into the crew quarters. That’s what I call intelligent design.

        “They said there was an enormous difference between Challenger 2s and the Soviet-era tanks they were used to driving. “We were surprised to find a kettle inside the tank to brew tea and make food,” Aleksandr said.”,make%20food%2C%E2%80%9D%20Aleksandr%20said.

        Not sure why we’re sending tea-making machines to Ukraine when they’re more than capable of brewing up a cup unaided. Presumable, in the fuddled thinking of the psychos, there’s some deep geostrategic significance to it. But innocent enough in comparison to the shelling of nuclear power stations and bombing of civilians we’re doing over there. That, however, the Times doesn’t care to mention.

        • TTG says:


          Crew comfort and crew survivability are important design features of Western armored vehicles. Not so in Russian vehicles.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            I don’t see the crew bailing out. I do not believe they could survive in that furnace. Where would they even get oxygen? I think the tank and its crew (RIP) are toast. I hope they weren’t Americans.

          • leith says:

            A human factors engineering guru at the old Philco-Ford once told us a tall tale comparing US versus Soviet ergonomics in WW2. The US designed crew spaces in armored vehicles for median height of American males. The Soviets on the other hand picked the crew to fit the available space. They did this by sending recruits through a doorway 1.6 meters (~5 foot 3 inches) in height. Anyone who passed through without hitting their head became a T-34 crewman. Perhaps BS, but a good story.

          • TTG says:


            One of the Soviet vehicles my ODA qualified on was a T-62. I swear it was made for Mongolians and small Mongolians at that. For normal sized Americans, every position was a potential death trap.

      • James says:

        Eric Newhill,

        People have argued before “the tank is outdated” and the tank is still around. But those drones are going to be a real problem for tanks going forward.

  13. English Outsider says:

    Note. I can’t find out when that Boris Johnson interview was made but it could have been on the occasion of his last visit to Kiev.

    He seems in any case to have been expressing the general view among the European leaders.

    UvdL – “”More than ever, we stand firmly by Ukraine. Financially, economically, militarily, morally,” von der Leyen wrote about the visit to Kyiv on X, formerly known as Twitter.”

    Europoodles doubling down. Russians must be scared stiff. Presumably Meloni, the forgettable Belgian and UvdL cleared all that with Westminster before their visit to Kiev. I hope they’re not forgetting that it’s us who deliver the leadership that the world turns to Great Britain to actually provide.

    So all well in Europoodle world. This is the happy song the Europoodles sing when they congregate. In fact “We are the Europoodles …” is fast becoming the Europoodle anthem. They call themselves “Ovaltinies” here but that’s just deep cover.

    • English Outsider says:

      As ever with old manuscript that have come down to us through the ages, text disputed. Some scholars go as far as suggesting the Europoodle song was later adapted for commercial purposes. However, the definitive text has been painstakingly reconstructed. There is now little doubt that we have here the original Europoodle anthem.

      We are the Europoodles, little girls and boys,
      Make your requests, we’ll not refuse you
      We are here just to amuse you
      Would you like a song or story
      Will you share our joys?

      This was the song the Europoodle missionaries sang in ancient times to the savage tribes on the eastern periphery of the Empire. The tribes adopted it as their own and – the rest is history. The mellifluous tenor who joins in with the reprise is not Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, as is so often erroneously claimed.
      It is none other than our very own Barbarossa Scholz. .

  14. Keith Harbaugh says:

    To whom is Ukraine important, and precisely why?

    In at least one case, we have a clear answer to that question.

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday invoked his ancestors’ deaths at the hands of the Nazis as he called on House Speaker Mike Johnson to put a $95 billion foreign aid bill on the floor and cautioned about the dangers of catering to dictators.

    Schumer, in a personal moment at a news conference in New York,
    told the story of his Jewish ancestors during World War II in Chortkiv, Galicia

    “In 1941, the Nazis came in,
    they told my grandmother who was well known in the town of Chortkiv
    to gather her family on the porch.
    Thirty-five members gathered from ages in the 80s to three months old.
    The Nazis said, ‘You’re coming with us.’
    She said, ‘We’re not moving’ and they machine gunned every one of them dead.
    That’s what happens when you try to suck up to dictators. You can’t.
    Johnson has to learn that lesson,”
    said the New York Democrat, who just returned from Kyiv.

    For me, the idea that every dictator is a clone of Adolf Hitler
    is as absurd as the idea that every Jewish male is a clone of Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, Ron Jeremy, or Bernie Madoff.

  15. d74 says:

    To mark the 2-year anniversary of this war, and boost the morale of the excited, our minimax organized a meeting in Paris. They were all there, friendly, smiling and all.

    We heard the usual noises: ’till the end’, ‘as long as it takes’, ‘whatever the cost’ etc….
    Plus something new: the possibility of sending NATO troops to Ukraine, if necessary. (‘if necessary’ is in line with our diplomacy: 1 step forward, 2 steps back).

    This was not well taken. The Polish representative was shaken. The others looked at each other and thought: Come on, mate, we’re behind you, far away.

    Poodles, EO say righltly.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      There is obviously zero chance of French troops going to Ukraine – yet. However, I think the odds that a creeping NATO deployment will be attempted are high. Here is what Andrzej Duda said at the Paris meeting

      After the deliberations, the President of Poland also said that “the discussion also concerned other forms of support, not only military support.” – But also support in demining Ukraine, training support and guarding the border of Ukraine – for example the border with Belarus, where there is of course no war, but which is known to be a significant threat from Ukraine’s point of view and also requires the activity of Ukrainian forces – he said.

      My emphasis.

      How does Poland support Ukraine in defending the border with Belarus without deploying its troops to that border? Once this Rubicon is crossed the NATOization of Ukraine would be a fait accompli in no time. Surely we’d see NATO troops deployed to Kyiv and then why not right along the Dnieper? This eventuality could not represent anything other than a loss for Russia – of Kyiv, of Odessa and of the war. This kind of creep was how the Vietnam War got started.

      The $64,000 question is what the Russian response would be to Polish troops crossing the border in the first place. Putin and Medvedev the Mad have talked up nukes again, but unless Russia shows the will to strike Polish forces immediately (no need for nukes) I think a gradual full NATO deployment would inevitably follow the entry of NATO troops in any capacity. Once the Ukrainian army starts to disintegrate the pressure to ‘secure borders’ will be immense.,nId,7355532?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp

      • d74 says:

        They don’t mind practicalities. They’re rambunctious kids, capable of setting Europe on fire on a whim. In that sense, they’re dangerous. Just as in 1936-1939, they don’t have a clear idea of their capabilities.

  16. Mark Logan says:

    Some notes from a couple experienced guys who appear to be serving as trainers in Ukraine on how the new world of FPVs we live is is being dealt with in infantry, among other things. I found interesting, anyway. As I suspected, skeet shooting just might become a part of firearms qual.

    • TTG says:

      Mark Logan,

      I’ve just started watching this. Still going through the “kit” section and already see it’s a different world from when I started. We went in naked compared to these guys. Other than our steel pots, we never had any body armor. NODs were the massive AN/PVS1 or 2, not the mini things these guys carried in pouches. No optics, just iron sights. Clearly we did not carry near enough medical supplies. The medic carried enough for the whole platoon… or so we thought. We also only had one PRC-77 at the platoon level as a radio. That’s as far as I got.

      Back then we were heavily into digging fighting positions, the DePuy fighting positions. We also trained to use every little “minute fold in the terrain” when moving. The three second rush was still a thing. We trained in assaulting the trenches and obstacles of a Soviet strongpoint. Another “lost art” was infantry air defense. No drones back then, but we were always on guard against helicopters and fixed wing threats. We trained on taking down such threats with concentrated rifle and machine gun fire on the squad and platoon level including live fire shooting at rocket powered target drones. With modern drone technology, such target practice should become normalized.

      • Mark Logan says:

        TTG, the DePuy fell out of style before my time, late 80s. I try to avoid contemplating the condition of no helicopter medivac for both sides in this conflict. I can understand why they’ve opted to pack a lot themselves. Could be a long time before evac out there.

        There’s some good stuff in the later part, which includes an addendum they tacked on a day after they shot it and reflected on what had been missed.

  17. Barbara Ann says:

    Big Serge has an excellent analysis of the current state of the war up on his Substack.

    Ukraine is facing strategic defeat, and the only way out is to go all in – not only for Ukraine, in the form of a more radical and totalizing mobilization plan, but for its partners too, who will have to adopt a quasi-war economy and devote radically more resources to arming and training the AFU.

    Serge is pro-Z and he ends will the ridiculous trope of Russian capacity for suffering being an advantage (conveniently forgetting that Ukraine has the same DNA in this respect) but otherwise it’s a good read.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Yes -it seems the Euros are going to go all in now that Ukraine is obviously losing big time. This is just as I have been saying it would be for the past year and half or more. The Finns are giving Ukraine missiles that have range to strike well inside of Russia and urging that strikes inside Russia be made. The French agree and are saying that Putin’s red lines don’t mean anything. He won’t back them up. The French want to send troops. NATO says “not yet”, indicating that there is a time when they will.

      There’s more, but the writing is on the wall for all but the willfully blind to read. The crazy Euros will immolate themselves yet again and the US will help them do it. All because the west would like to finally take Crimea from Russia – and then destroy Russia. They’ve been trying do that for a couple of centuries. Maybe third century is the charm.

      • Barbara Ann says:

        Eric Newhill

        The pro-Z crowd have convinced themselves that Putin’s nuclear threats will prevent the formal introduction of NATO troops into Ukraine. What is missing is the escalation ladder, as Putin is quite clearly not going to nuke Paris if a ‘border assistance’ force of a few hundred French troops (for example) are deployed to Western Ukraine.

        I think it is inevitable NATO ground troops will try and enter Ukraine later this year – unless Putin can come up with a meaningful deterrent. This could take the form of a threat to hit them as soon as they cross the border, e.g. with ballistic missiles. This would be quite credible and I don’t see any reason why Putin wouldn’t follow it through. Perhaps just as likely would be the threat of an asymmetric response (submarine cables?). Maybe such a threat has been issued via back channels already.

        Any deployment would inevitably expand right up to the Dnieper. Putin must know that a rump Ukraine west of the Dnieper (i.e. including Kyiv + Odessa) joining NATO and being militarized would represent a loss of the main war aims and thus a loss for Russia and him personally. Given this would be suicide, I expect he’d have no hesitation in destroying a NATO deployment at any level and no hesitation on escalating to low yield nukes in Ukraine if need be.

        What we are witnessing are the moves towards a new Cuban Missile Crisis, but all the lessons from that age seem to have been forgotten. Here is JFK in 30 seconds explaining why you don’t ever put a nuclear power in the position of facing a humiliating defeat:

  18. jim.. says:

    The Human Race and Nations Never Learn From History…Since Cain Slew Able..And Clan Turf Wars…Man Found better Ways to Throw Rocks and Fire..with Combustion Warfare…and Brutal Violence.Then God got mad at the Giants…and Killed Them
    all except a Boatful of Skilled Builders..With Better Behaviour..and Respect for Authority…….

    Since The Earth Dried Out and Grapes started growing in Armenia…The Progressive
    Party and Land Grabbers…Kept up the Killing..and Grabbing…And Nouning and Pro Nouning…What They Desired…Lusted After,,or Formed Armys To Kill…or Enslave..or Put Hooks into..

    The Researched Estimate of total Human Death from all Wars…is 1.1 Billion Humans
    Using All Means to Destroy thier Nieghbors..For Land..Pigs..Goats Cattle..Slaves..Because Most Human Have Little Self Control..

    For Our Generation and Current Geo Political Events…I Thing That
    V.Putin……Of The Russian Empire…Flying in His Strategic Bomber…Is at the
    FU Moment…and Would Really like to use Nukes..If they give Russias 300 Billion Dollars to Ukraine…That Would Be A Stalin Moment for sure..Eh..

    As For The United States,,,Its Been WAR ..War…War..Forever.. Then
    The New American Revolution..The Over Thrown of our University’s..And MASS Manipulation..Capitulation And Assasinations..To Change Our Political System and Its Operators..To What The United States has Today..Its Called DECAY..Social..Political..Moral…DECAY..

    How.Mao Zedong…1958-1962 The Great LEAP Forward..45 Million Killings..Manipulations…of Policys and Events…JFK…Bobby..MLK..Regan…Ford..
    …North Korea,,,Russia…Islam..Iran…and Surrender…Infiltrate..Surrender..Infiltrate…Drugs..Cartels…Deaths..Anarchy..Gangs..
    …only GREEN…and Pink…and Mutilation of People. Treachery..Betrayal..
    Troopers…Its on a Hypersonic Fast Track…Cavitating…With AI Guidance Systems.
    Our World..Our Time..Our Nation..and the Lord of the Flys…and Maggots..Indeed
    Ruling..and Devouring..The Lands of the Free..Every Where…With Malice..

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