“Russian President Vladimir Putin has committed “around 75%” of his military forces to the unprovoked attack on Ukraine, a senior U.S. defense official said Wednesday.
The official said that the 75% figure mostly referred to “battalion tactical groups [BTG], which is the units that he has primarily relied upon.”
Each Russian BTG includes a self-contained combined arms force with tanks, infantry, artillery, and air defense. It also has its own logistics, maintenance, and support facilities.”
Writing for the Center for European Policy Analysis think tank on Tuesday, former U.S. Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges wrote that “at the height of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we were about 29% committed. And it was difficult to sustain that.”
“While most of their military offensives in Ukraine continue to be stalled amid fierce resistance, Russian forces continues to fire dozens of missiles and rockets at Ukrainian civilian and military targets daily, the senior defense official said at a Wednesday briefing in Brussels.
“The Russians still have, we would assess, the vast majority of their combat power available to them inside Ukraine,” the senior official said.”
” Hodges wrote that Russian generals were “running out of time, ammunition, and manpower.”
“There is no suggestion that the Russians have big units lurking in the woods somewhere,” he wrote. “It’s apparent that the notional 900,000 strength of the Russian military is a hollow number.
“Russia will call up another 130,000 conscripts on April 1,” he added, but while “the Ukrainian diaspora is flocking home to help the fight; Russians are not coming back home — and indeed, many are leaving to avoid Putin’s fight.”
Comment: The Russians, i.e., Putin, Shoigu and Gerasimov gambled and are in the process of losing their “hats, asses and overcoats.” It couldn’t happen to more deserving people. When this happens, I will name people who should be registered under. FARA. pl
Pentagon Estimates Putin Has Committed 75% of Forces to Ukraine | Newsmax.com
Pentagon states Kabul is still expected to hold for at least 3 more months.
What are they doing with this combat power? Are they now in a defensive position trying to consolidate their gains around the border areas while they pummel other Ukrainian cities?
Here’s Arnold’s message to Russians:
Arnold’s message is right on. Powerful stuff, but will anybody in Russia see it other than a tiny percentage?
“Arnold’s message is right on. Powerful stuff, but will anybody in Russia see it other than a tiny percentage?”
Russians don’t believe even their own children who are against this war: (Ukraine war: ‘My city’s being shelled, but mum won’t believe me’ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60600487)
Did you catch the “there was an attempted insurrection on January 6th” part at the 3 minute mark? That wild crowd trying to overthrow the US Government. If you saw how Trudeau crushed the peasant revolt in Canada you’ll understand what the left will do to all who oppose them this election cycle here.
On a completely unrelated note, I hear Hunter’s laptop wasn’t a Putin propaganda effort afterall. https://technofog.substack.com/p/us-intelligence-operations-against?s=r
The intensity of the Ukraine narrative is impressive. Zelensky’s presentation to Congress on a big screen in t-shirt with high production value video in the script and a multi-minute standing ovation. The image of the hall with the big-screen with him on and all members of Congress standing straight out of a Hollywood set.
All this right after Justin and Fauci Central. And now Arnold tying Putin & Trump together with a video widely shared. You have to be amazed at the quality of the narrative engineering.
IMO, Putin screwed up. It has brought another dimension to the crew.
Did you catch the “there was an attempted insurrection on January 6th” part at the 3 minute mark?
I would not have bothered to listen to a Hollywood degenerate, but since you mentioned that, I took the time to listen to Arnold. He did indeed refer to the 6 January incident with horror.
I do not trust Schwarzenegger about any nontrivial matter, but I found it very interesting that he denied the existence of Nazis in the Ukraine. Does the USA endorse those Ukrainians who wear the “Black Sun”? Does the USA endorse Bandera-inspired nationalism?
On a completely unrelated note, I hear Hunter’s laptop wasn’t a Putin propaganda effort
That is worth repeating.
I thought the presentation was skillfully done, but his analysis that this conflict is all Russia’s fault and there are no Nazis in Ukraine is patently dishonest.
Yes – Putin is going to lose in Ukraine.
But will the lesson be lost on him? The lesson being that if you provide training, ATGMs, and MANPADs to militia highly motivated militias who are at odds with your geopolitical rivals you can cause big headaches to said rivals.
Will Putin provide ATGMs and MANPADs in very large quantities to Hezbollah, Chavistas, etc? Will he invite Hezbollah to send people to train at Russian military academies?
I would think what the West should worry about, are all those arms that will end up on the black market, especially across Europe. We originally backed Bin Ladin in Afghanistan, now we are backing and arming the far right in Europe. Will there be similar unintended consequences, as these people realize they were always just bear bait and no one was coming to back them up?
Then will Russia keep selling oil to Europe, or try sending it east?
Considering all the refugees in Europe, from all our other imperial adventures, how will this play out over the next few decades?
We DID NOT back bin Laden in Afghanistan. The Saudis did that.
In France, former military specialists are very concerned about the shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles (manpads) so liberally distributed in Ukraine.
In the wrong hands, these missiles are deadly to civilian aircraft when they land or take off.
They argue it took 20 years of exhausting struggle by Western services to recover the unused Stingers given to “fighters”.
I hope the Stinger donors keep an accurate track of these weapons in Ukraine.
If he really wanted to create trouble for us, Mexico.
Mexico is already a borderline failed state. I can see a point where arming the cartels to turn the tables on us becomes attractive.
For the MANPADs to have any use, the side using them needs to have a capable mid-long range SAM umbrella to force the enemy down low. That’s what’s happening to the Russian air force right now. Large numbers of MANPADs to Hezbollah wouldn’t do much but make rotary wing operations hazardous.
May the most righteous form of totalitarianism prevail is the best we can hope for at this point. CCP? Russia? US? I’m probably going with the US since I have too much sweat equity in it. Just got a pool and outdoor kitchen. Haven’t even had my first Makers Mark out there…meh.
Yeah. I agree we should be fighting the growing authoritarianism here in the US. That’s the biggest threat we Americans face.
What I still find amazing is how seamlessly the covidian hysteria was wiped out to give us the new Ukrainian hysteria.
Notice how the Hunter laptop and its contents were deemed Russian disinformation and canceled by Big Tech and how Trump was impeached for legitimate questions on what was happening in Ukraine and the Biden family tag team.
I don’t have the impression that this article is close to the truth. IMO the Russians are leading an operation which has contradictory goals – protect the civilians and minimize casualties among them and force the UAF to surrender. The price for that is high and that’s why there are many dead and wounded Russian servicemen. On the side of the Russians, it seems to me the people as well as their leadership see this conflict as an existential war (not against Ukraine). That’s why they’re willing to make sacrifices, instead of bombing everything indiscriminately.
It is not so much a contradictory goal as a false premise that has doomed this
special military operationinvasion to failure. How does a military commander, told that he is to wage a war of liberation, adjust his tactics (& his pep talks to the troops) when it turns out the liberatees are not showering his soldiers with flowers, but instead with bullets, shells and Molotov cocktails? I also don’t buy the fact that Russia is taking excess casualties because of squeamishness about ‘collateral damage’. Mariupol and Kharkiv are being leveled. They are taking casualties because they face a skilled and determined enemy.
But how many of those “skilled and determined” enemies are Azov fighters from Lviv? I think it is clear that Putin got less of a warm welcome from the denizens of “east of the Dneiper” than he expected, but what the exact distribution of sentiment is among those denizens is hard to determine (for me at least).
I don’t trust either the western or the Russian news media to give me an accurate picture – and my Russian colleague who has friends in Ukraine refuses to talk to me about it.
The Azov movement was born and nurtured in Kharkiv in the the Russian speaking east just 38 km from the Russian border. The co-founder and first commander was a Russian speaker from Kharkiv. There are neo-Nazis on both side of the Dneiper, and on both sides of the Russia/Ukraine border.
Putin should spend some time de-nazifying Moscow and his parliament. Starting with the Russian National Unity (RNU) Party that has a Slavic swastika as its logo.
Didn’t Putin ban the RNU 22 years ago?
Wikipedia says that the RNU was banned in Moscow in 1999. Leith – your points are well taken and I will learn more about Azov before shooting my mouth off in the future.
RNU was banned by the city of Moscow in 1999. It was before Yeltsin resigned and before Putin became acting President in late December of that year.
But RNU, or splinter groups, remained alive and well in Russia, and within ethnic Russians in former SSRs. And it formed a neo-Nazi militia group in DNR.
My first impression was “bollocks” but you have a point. UN confirmed today 700 civilian deaths in Ukraine. We were killing that number every week(minimum average) in Mosul alone during the entire siege which lasted from October 2016-July 2017, under both Obama and Trump
Yes, I agree with your comment about this conflict being perceived by Russian leadership as an existential war. Many Russians on the streets within Russia probably hold views that will support this war. They have been subjected to 8 years of Kremlin propaganda to prepare them to manifest such a feeling, at this very moment.
The Russians certainly haven’t been employing all that they have in this conflict, keeping much of the longer strike systems loaded and ready in case NATO intervenes.
The last thing we need are for those in Western capitals to take similar gambles with their armed forces–that will only multiply the deceased and divide the living.
I still think Zelensky could end this war with one short phone call to Putin declaring that Ukraine will remain “neutral” and not accept foreign weapons or entry into NATO.
Also, he’ll have to accept the autonomy of the two new republics which is something that the Ukie gov agreed to originally when they signed Minsk.
I don’t think those demands are that unreasonable, but that’s just my opinion.
I don’t see the point of all this bloodshed when reasonable people should be able to hammer out a deal.
I am for a negotiated settlement, but you would have surrendered to the British.
What makes you think the forces who control Zelensky are at all interested in ending the war soon?
Indeed. I have seen spoken threats even from within the Ukrainian Parliament that should Zelensky cede any ground in these negotiations he will be killed. I truly sympathize with the poor guy.
“You might be right, but if the Russians can close the kettle in Eastern Ukraine, therefore trapping the best units of the UAF James Dolman The insurgency will go on forever bleeding Russia to death.’
I listen to Arnie’s message. He’s a helluva good spokesman.
Unconfirmed sources are saying that Russian occupation troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia are headed north. Possibly to join up with others of their parent unit, the 58th Combined Arms Army, in southern Ukraine. There are reportedly ~3500 Russian troops in South Ossetia and 3500 more in Abkhazia. But would Putin pull them all out, and leave an opening for Georgia to roll north? Doubtful.
There are videos of Russian armor staging on trains in Abkhazia. But the only videos I was able to find of troop movement going north from Tskhinvali was of a BMD and troop trucks flying Ossetian flags. So maybe true or not. If they are sending Russian armor and troops in addition to South Ossetian volunteers it is 100 road miles from Tskhinvali to the nearest rail terminal at Vladikavkaz. So even if true, it may take more time than Putin has available.
Chechnya just announced they were sending an additional 1000 fighters to go help out the Russians in Ukraine.
Reservists are being called up in Russian Transnistria, which lays between SW Ukraine and Moldova. But that would only free up enough regular Russian troops for two BTGs to add to the Ukraine invasion.
No word yet on Armenian troops. But why would they give Putin men and equipment when they are still fighting Azerbaijan?
Uzbekistan, with close ties to Russia, said today it would NOT recognize Moscow-backed separatist states in Ukraine. Turkey it seems has been proselytizing in most of the Central Asian countries against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Anyone ever read “The Next 100 Years” by Friedman? I read the book when it came out in 2009. He predicts Russia’s collapse and fragmentation in the 2020s after a disastrous attempted push into eastern europe
The “Friedman unit” is a thing because of the man’s well known accuracy in prognostications.
Wrong Friedman. George wrote the book. The unit was named for Thomas.
Pat Lang seems to have lost the plot, and become a stenographer for the liars at the Pentagon. What happened to Patrick Lancaster, who has a totally different view of the war, and Larry Johnson, who ridiculed the idea the Russians had only 14 days left? Why is their commentary not here? Too hot to handle for the old intelligence hand?
You mean Patrick Armstrong? He and Johnson have chosen not to post here. I suppose because they are Russian apologists.
This is always the dilemma of analysis. Once you have publicly committed to a position, isn’t the path of least resistance to claim it will be vindicated tomorrow, next week, next year….
I enjoy reading both Patrick Armstrong and Larry Johnson. Col. Douglas McGregor has very confident predictions too. Are they right?
I’m not privy to any intelligence materials, but I PROFOUNDLY overrated Russia’s strength and competence.
At what point does it become about “ego protection” versus “objective analysis.”
I guess we will find out soon.
Yes, and the bigger your ego the bigger the problem is.
I also overrated Russia’s strength and competence.
Why are you still here? I banned you. Ah, perhaps you are a different “James.” The other one had an IP in BC.
You are too kind Sir, not apologists…Russian Leg Humpers.
Their loss. I for one will not miss them.
Although I do hope David Habakkuk has not abandoned his comments to this committee. Despite his suspicions he has always had valuable history to contribute.
The real nuclear weapon is the derivatives market.
Informal Live Video interview from Ukraine / fyi/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeHwltm4WHs&t=2s
I don’t believe the Russians are targeting civilians. Which is not to say civilians aren’t being killed by Russians, but it’s not deliberate.
I als don’t believe most of the claims being made by American intelligence agencies, the US DoD, or the US State Department on the Ukrainian war. That skepticism comes from digging for the truth of events like Benghazi, Douma, and Deir Ez-zor.
That makes two of us. This is, first and foremost, an information war.
Something that I wonder about is, if the Russians expend the last of their reserves with little to show for it, what happens next? Are the Ukrainians likely to make any significant gains without any serious air support or will they also expend themselves on the offensive? If the Ukrainians don’t regain their lost ground, then presumably the Russians would still gain some land in the peace conference.
Colonel – I believe the original Russian security demands are now being forgotten. As is the fact that originally Macron at least seemed to regard those security demands as reasonable.
Even if we set those broader security demands aside the fact remains that shelling of civilians occurred across the line of control for seven years.
Scholz and Macron had their chance to stop it. Right up to 21st February, possibly a day or so beyond, they were attempting to get Minsk 2 implemented. Whether that was a genuine attempt or not, they failed. They failed to stop the shelling across the line of control. So the Russians are now stopping it.
Putin’s recent speech explains why the Russians acted as they did. Had they stopped anywhere short of a complete invasion that would merely have left them with a still contested front line. The Ukrainians, backed by NATO, could have continued the battle indefinitely from that front line.
The Russian aim is not “victory” or conquest. Their aim is a settlement that will finally put an end to our using the Ukraine as a means of annoyance. The longer the war continues the worse the terms of any possible settlement look.
Before February 21st the settlement on offer left the entirety of the Ukraine bar Crimea as a federal but entire country.
Now it looks as if the Donbass is permanently lost. What of Odessa? What of Transcarpathia? The longer this continues the worse the terms available. Naftali Bennett and Lukashenko both have pointed this out but it does not need them to state the obvious.
I do not believe that the Russians have that good a chance of getting the settlement they want. If it’s true that Zelensky is still in Kyiv then the neo-nazis, who are running wild at the moment, will kill him if he agrees to a settlement. I also do not see how Zelensky can get the loss of Crimea and the Donbas past NATO. NATO’s hope is that this war will move to the guerilla phase and bleed Russian resources. Between the neo-nazis and NATO, Zelensky’s ability to stop the war before he loses all is severely restricted.
So the Russians might have to go all the way. Originally they put in an “invasion lite” in order to avoid civilian casualties and even in order to avoid hitting the Ukrainian army too hard. The use of civilians as human shields by the neo-nazis has made that difficult, as the similar use by the Jihadis during the battle to recover East Aleppo made that difficult. And it now seems that the Ukrainian army itself, never mind the neo-nazis, is getting increasingly heavily hit as the Russians start to clear the various pockets.
I suppose all this was predictable. The moral question is one that had troubled me. OK, the shelling across the line of control has to stop. Was this the only way of doing it? That question will be argued for a long time and for it to be argued fairly we have to examine that recent speech by Putin.
The other moral question is for me settled. We in the West have encouraged the Ukrainians to believe they can fight the Russians. We have given them great quantities of arms and have trained them up to do just that – and from what I read here and elsewhere they are fighting courageously and well. Having set the Ukrainians up to fight the Russians, as soon as the fight started we abandoned them. Took our ships and advisors and Special Forces out of the way of danger and left the Ukrainians to fight alone.
Setting aside the rights and wrongs of the case I do not think one could have seen a more monstrous and shameful betrayal than that. And the rest of the world looks on at this I hope last example of our proxy wars and draws its own conclusion.
Nothing is preventing her majesty’s government from sending her military into combat against the Russian Federation. There is amore monstrous and shameful betrayal though, that is the conduct of her majesty’s government in regards to Christopher Steele and the interference in American elections and governance.
Think of it this way English Outsider, the Ukrainians are taking care of business and you don’t have a Russian Nuke in your coffee cup yet. Be thankful for that. The West can incrementally supply and keep the Ukraine in a position to ultimately win the fight. If Putin decides to engage NATO conventionally, he has a Fresh, Undamaged and far more dangerous opponent to deal with.
I might add that the kicking Russia is taking right now is going to make a move on NATO far less likely for a long, long time. A viable, armed Ukraine that survives this invasion is not going to be a threat to Russian Borders, but it is surely going to be a guarantee d threat to Russian Hegemony in the post-Soviet space/Europe.
You’re right on all counts here. We should be calling this what it is; a proxy war between the US and Russia with the Ukrainians doing the dying on behalf of the US. If we’re looking for any parallel here it would be the luring of the USSR into intervening in Afghanistan in 1979. If we can trust the western data on that war it cost the Afghans as many as 1.5 million lives.
According to Ms Nuland – in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just a few days ago – this will continue until it results in regime change in Moscow. Other, unidentified “administration officials”, have suggested this could go on for another 10 to 20 years before the Neoconservative fantasies are realized. How many Ukrainians must die in this round of bloodletting while we hold their coats?
I feel a great deal of sympathy for them to have been betrayed like this and even Mr. Zelensky, the holder of the poison chalice, now understands that he is between a rock and a hard place without much in the way of choices. I have seen more than once that should he sue for peace he will be executed by those we’re no longer permitted to call Nazis. It’s in the words of their leaders that should he give any ground in a settlement he will be strung up in central Kyiv. But I’m sure that as in the case of the Iraqi children dead from sanctions, in the eyes of the Washington warriors it will be, “….a price worth paying.”
In this information environment it’s almost impossible to tell how this war is going for either side. All the reporting is concentrated on Kyiv, Washington, and London with any information we receive from Moscow or the Russian held areas of Ukraine has already been burned into the minds of our populations as completely untrustworthy and therefore to be removed from any kind of assessment. What we’re left with is nothing but emotional outpourings fed by such blatant propaganda fueling a war that has become almost impossible to analyze.
I am German but speak Russian and am, what you might call a Russophile. Having read an awful lot and also talked to all kinds of people on both sides of the dividing line I believe that Russia might be able to win this war militarily, but not politically. How on god´s earth will Putin first destroy Ukraine and then find the Quislings that will keep the lid on things? The war won´t stop until the West convinces the Ukrainians to give in.
For now the US , GB and Poland are egging the Ukrainians on. France and Germany are on the sidelines. For now. I believe the next winter will be very bitter in central Europe without gas. That will finally turn things. And if not the next then the winter after. Our wokies have poked the bear for too long. But also Putin did the most stupid thing he could have done. We´ll need regime change both in Russia and in the West and if things continue the way they are we will get it.
The question that needs to be asked is why didn’t Russia end up like Germany and Japan after WW2.
Rather than the adult leadership we had back then, we had the thieves and amateurs, with under Clinton and Cheney’s handpuppet, where our oligarchs and their oligarchs made off with the loot , leaving space for someone like Putin to pick up the pieces.
After WW1, the inclination was to screw over Germany. Look where that led.
So the”west” should have occupied Russia after the collapse of the USSR and imposed a government up on its?
1) Germany and Japan were utterly defeated, physically destroyed and OCCUPIED. Their leadership was completely removed along with its governing apparatus. Only the Japanese Emperor remained and he was functionally a very useful tool of MacArthur to control/pacify the population that worshiped him.
2) The collapse of the Soviet Union was vastly different. Russia wasn’t physically destroyed, it wasn’t OCCUPIED, it was still a nuclear superpower, Russian nationalism and its unique sense of its own history still existed and the collapse itself came so suddenly, that there was no great deal of planning for a total rebuild. It had to come from within. The West too had had 45 years of cold war thinking and assumptions when that collapse came along. There was no PLAN and occupation/restructure as in Germany/Japan were impossible. It could only be influenced from afar.
3) Think of Russia like the later iterations of the Terminator movie franchise (very simplistic comparison here), the liquid metal and its AI could reconstitute itself and carry on with its mission/path. Historically Russian Empire collapses in 1917, Civil War and reconstitutes itself as the Soviet Union. Survives WW2 and takes 45 yrs to collapse again, begins process of reconstituting itself as modern Russia and its DNA simply manifests itself again with an ongoing attempt to reconstitute itself as the Empire it believes itself to rightly be. No coincidence that Russian Orthodox Church fits hand in glove with Putin’s regime. It was the same pre-1917. That 1000 year old Russian culture runs DEEP! No coincidence that the pre-invasion rhetoric and reasoning from Putin dating back to the beginning of his regime always emphasizes Russian culture and Russia’s unique and God given place in the world.
It is a fantasy to think that The West could have reinvented Russia. It is most reasonable however, to think that it made mistake after arrogant, short-sighted, self-serving mistake 1991 onwards. At best however, it could only INFLUENCE Russia, never dictate to it. The West came close enough to dictating terms to give rise to this iteration of Russia. Could have done better.
I do remember the 90’s and Russia was obviously quite open to westernization. The sticking point seemed to be an industrial policy in the west built around the economic benefits it gave the US after WW2. Eisenhower’s MIC.