Russia invaded… by Russians

We call on all Russians, all soldiers and officers of Russia to join us and our fight for a Free Russia.

Ilya Ponomarev, the political leader of the Freedom of Russia Legion, told Tonight With Andrew Marr that his group is one of two regiments that have taken part in an operation that seized a village near the Ukrainian border during a cross border raid. The anti-Putin forces say they have overrun Kozinka and has units on the way to Grayvoron, a town in the Belgorod region. Footage of armoured vehicles purportedly moving around that area has been posted online, while Russian authorities declared a “counterterrorist regime”. Russian and Ukrainian officials both said there was fighting at the border, though claims of taking territory have not been verified.

Mr Ponomarev, a former opposition deputy in Russia’s parliament, exclusively told LBC: “This war will not end in Ukraine, this war can only end in Moscow… when Putin’s regime is replaced. “Obviously it will not be done by Ukrainians or by Nato forces, British forces, whatever, it will be done by Russians.” He said his group’s fighters are made up of Russian army defectors who have been trained by Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence agency. “But it’s our job. It’s not fair if Ukrainians would spill their blood for our freedom,” he added. No Ukrainian troops were involved in the operation, he claimed. He said the other regiment was a right-wing militia but his group is considered centrist.

It follows escalating activity in Russia that looks directed against prominent war supporters and the regime. A war blogger was blown up in a St Petersburg café in April, while the daughter of a far-right thinker who was once dubbed “Putin’s brain” was killed in a car bombing last year. Earlier this month, a drone exploded over the Kremlin. Mr Ponomarev said that was done by “people we know”.

Comment: Reports of this cross-border raid have been coming in most of the day. It appears that in addition to Ponomarev’s Freedom of russia Legion, Denis Nikitin’s Russian Volunteer Corps took part in the combined arms assault. I’ve seen a drone video of an armored column heading up the road towards Grayvoron, no more than ten miles beyond the border. There was some fighting there, but the resistance Russians seemed to have pulled back and dug in in a couple of towns just across the border. The Russians have engaged the rebels with reports of Grad fire being heard. I don’t know if the rebels are still there or have returned to Ukraine.

The meaning of this action is well summarized by Artor Micek (@Artur_Micek), a Polish twitter commentator.

My commentary on what is happening in the Belgorod region. What we are witnessing is a small rain from a large cloud, heavily inflated by the Ukrainian side. That’s the truth. This is not a Ukraninian offensive, although some local form of attack has taken place.

The aim of the operation, which in my opinion will end soon, is to force the Russians to disperse its own forces. Recently, the Russians left quite a small amount of troops on the border with Ukraine. Kyiv probably wants Moscow to send its own reserves to this area (as well as other). Thanks to this, real Ukrainian attacks can be more successful in other places.

This is another element of the last phase of preparations for the main offensive, i.e. forcing the Russians to move the reserves. Thanks to this, Ukrainian forces also have an easier task in attacking the logistics and command points of such formations. Oh, there will be more similar actions plus a lot of fake attacks.

In addition to how this contributes to the Ukrainian shaping of the battlefield, This action has “symbolic significance and the hope that is being spread among Russian elites and diaspora cannot be overestimated.”  as explained by Ponomarev. Plus, this does confirm my thoughts that the drone attack on the Kremlin was the work of Russian resistance forces just like all those factory fires and train derailments across Russia.


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119 Responses to Russia invaded… by Russians

  1. Smedley says:

    Looks like a meaningless stunt designed to give globalist rumpswabs an excuse to avoid talking about the Russian victory in Bakhmut. Unfortunately for the Ukranians, marketing departments do not win wars.

    But how did a Ukranian army built up over the better part of decade, with the most advanced recon tech at its disposal, end up getting its ass handed to it by a convict army deploying human wave attacks armed only with shovels?

    • leith says:

      Smedley – How did your unarmed convict army manage to level and destroy all those buildings in Bakhmut? Did they use their shovels to undermine the building foundations?

      PS – I admire the alias that you use. He was a gentleman and a truthteller. You should not demean his legacy with your rants.

      • English Outsider says:

        Leith – it was bad PR. People associated with neo-Nazi ideology going into Russia on a commando raid type operation may be just a pinprick, but it got a lot of publicity and will serve only to harden Russian attitudes.

        Bakhmut does need thinking about. I tried to assess it recently as it affects us in Europe. I reckon it’s a big deal but not for the reasons usually given.

        The fall of Bakhmut was not, in military terms, any sort of turning point in the SMO. It’s a slight variation of Surovikin’s stated aim of attrition. Maybe he judged that Bakhmut was losing its usefulness as a “magnet”. That is, an iconic location the Kiev forces would have to defend, thus enabling the killing of great numbers. That fits in with the “Falkenhayn scenario” one could identify at the time as the strategy the Russians moved to after the failure of the Istanbul peace talks.

        Or maybe, given Bakhmut’s communications, it fitted in with his need to tidy up logistics for the next stage. We don’t know. But either way, the fall of Bakhmut was not that militarily significant. It’s a biggish step along a road, not a turning point.

        The missile attacks are significant. We’re watching the Russians slowly degrade Kiev logistics and assembly points.

        Avdeevka will be significant. It’s from there, or from villages close by, that the Kiev forces have been shelling the civilian areas of Donetsk. Stopping that will be a much bigger step than what happened in Bakhmut.

        Though not a turning point in military terms, the fall of Bakhmut is very significant in political terms. Our proxies will see that their often heroic efforts were used merely as a PR exercise. And it will be dawning on even the most committed Western politicians that the illusion of Western victory they’ve been feeding us for so long is about to disappear.

        We’re now looking to see how the politicians escape from a lost war without losing face with their electorates. I can’t see how our European politicians will. They’re all in and can’t acknowledge defeat without losing face. For the American politicians it’ll be easier. They can move on to the next venture without too many in their electorate caring that much.

        Watching the European politicians, particularly the British and German, twisting and turning as they attempt to put the best face on the disaster, it’s impossible not to conclude that we’re in for Cold War II. It’s not going to be like the first one. Not as easy a time.

        • leith says:

          English Outsider –

          It was just a pinprick. And it will harden Russian attitudes. Kapustin or Nikitin or whatever his latest alias, the founder of the Russian Volunteer Corps, has been described as a White Nationalist and a football hooligan. But he is just a small part of the Resistance. The other group, Freedom for Russia, has no such stigma that I’m aware of. But for sure Putin’s own neo-Nazi propagandists will label them as such.

          As for Bakhmut: The reason Putin wasted so much Russian blood there is a mystery. Kyiv did not have to defend that city. But they chose to use it as a meatgrinder for Prighozhin’s mercs. BTW I thought Falkenhayn’s Verdun was a failure, what am I missing in your comment.

          The missile attacks are significant only in the fact that Putin is destroyning apartment houses and schools, killing innocent women and children.

          Kyiv forces have not been shelling civilians in Donetsk. That is a Putin tactic, a failing one. You are drinking too much Kremlin Kool-aid.

          You are right about American politicians. We’ll get tired and eventually move on as you say.

          I don’t keep close watch on European politicians. But Wallace and Scholz seem damned determined in supporting Kyiv. Plus I doubt that Poles, Balts, Finns and other East Europeans will ever kowtow to Putin.

          • English Outsider says:

            Leith – I should have said that the “Falkenhayn Scenario” was what Falkenhayn planned for, not what he got. Surovikin’s similar plan of attrition has been more successful.

            It struck me soon after the start of the SMO that, apart from the action at the beginning, the Russians were hanging around rather a lot. We now know that they were “slow walking” their offensive partly because they were originally hoping to arrive at a settlement with Zelensky. Peace negotiations were more or less continuous from the start of the SMO until the Istanbul talks.

            There were other reasons too, but I reckon that was the main one.

            It didn’t apply after the failure of the Istanbul talks. There was no reason to slow walk once it had become clear that the West would not countenance peace. Israeli, Turkish and Ukrainian sources indicated that the West had frustrated peace efforts so the Russians knew then that the settlement they hoped for was not on the cards and wasn’t going to be.

            I still don’t understand why the Russians hadn’t understood earlier that the hard liners in Kiev wouldn’t allow peace either. It was pretty obvious the hard liners could never allow a settlement, not after Putin had stated his aim was denazification. A Ukrainian negotiator in the Belarus talks had been murdered, apparently because he was reckoned to be too inclined towards peace, and Zelensky must have feared the same fate had he agreed a settlement.

            So it was about that time that I reckoned this war would go the distance. The West, the hard liners in Kiev, and the Russians, would never agree on any settlement.

            But the Russians carried on slow walking! There were no grand offensives, no all out attacks, no destruction of enemy logistics on the scale we’re seeing now, no all-out destruction of enemy AD. Just, as it seemed to me, not doing very much.

            So I thought of Falkenhayn, looked him up on the Imperial War Museum web site in England, and realised that’s what the Russians were doing.

            Instead of taking the war to the Ukrainians, which must have led to heavy Russian casualties and maybe vulnerable logistics, they were sitting back and letting the Ukrainians take the war to them. They had good logistics where they were, ample ammunition, and the targets right under their guns. Just what Falkenhayn had hoped for.

            It was scarcely an original comparison. Not long afterwards I saw the Austrian commentator Colonel Reisner using it, so I’m sure anyone in the military had seen the comparison all along. They no longer talk much now of Verdun but call it the “meatgrinder” – vile term – and it was apparently Surovikin’s approach all along.

            On the subject of Russian intentions long term, I do have to disagree with you. I don’t believe they have territorial ambitions or any other ambitions in Europe. Why would they want Europe? The place is bust, nobody there likes Russians, and they’d have to keep the Europeans in food and fuel for ever.

          • leith says:

            English Outsider –

            Surovikin’s attrition backfired. Even Prigozhin admitted his mercs suffered 20,000 KIA at Bakhmut. That does not count WIA, and does not count Russian Army KIA and WIA

            Peace negotiations? Putin wants Ukraine, not peace. Any cease fire would only allow him to take a bigger bite later.

            The West had no say-so in peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. There was no attempt to frustrate peace efforts by the US and I do not believe western Europe did either. All those decisions have to be made by Kyiv and Moscow.

            There are no hardliners in Kyiv. All of Ukraine wants peace. They do want a peace though that returns their stolen lands and kidnapped people. And they want justice for those civilians tortured and murdered in Bucha, Irpin, Kherson and elsewhere.

            If Putin’s aim is denazification he should clean his own house. Start first in the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics where Russian neo-Nazis are widespread and unrestrained. Next start arresting the many that are in Leningrad. Sverdlovsk also and many other cities and towns in the southern Urals that are home to master-race-wannabees.

            You are correct that the Russians would never agree on any settlement (unless of course it allowed them to keep all stolen Ukrainian land they already occupy plus maybe a land bridge to Transnistria).

            And you are correct that currently the Russian military is not doing very much in Ukraine. Except of course targeting Ukrainian civilians with missiles and drones.

            And you are right about the meatgrinder – it is a vile term. In a Just World, Putin would have to spend an eternity being crushed into kibbles and mincemeat for his guilt in sacrificing the flower of Russian manhood at Bakmut.

            I agree with you that Russians as a people do not want Europe. Maybe they should build Sorokin’s Wall? And Putin’s ambition only extends to those parts of Eastern Europe that were once under the thrall of the Tsars. As for Putin keeping Europe in food and fuel – for food he would have to steal it from Ukraine first – for fuel he has already committed to giving that to China and India.

          • AngusinCanada says:

            “There are no hard-liners in Kiev”
            Welp, that’s quite a sentence. It would be comical if not for the unnecessary death of so many.

        • leith says:

          English Outsider –

          Speaking of Avdeevka, which you had mentioned above: a Russian unit of 28 soldiers, including officers, just voluntarily surrendered there.

          They had been given 40 year old weapons and a 50+ year old BMP-1. The had not been given provisions and had not been given a full ammo load. They cited the negligence of the senior officers at higher levels. They claimed they were treated like ‘meat’. It seems the Wagner mercs weren’t the only ones that were starved of shells and suffered severe attrition.

          They were survivors from three assault platoons of Russia’s 110th Brigade. That unit is part of the 1st Army Corps under the Donetsk People’s Republic Ministry of Defense.

          • wiz says:


            During the Belgorod raid, general Lapin used the occasion for shameless self promotion.
            He had himself filmed ordering a platoon of men around and directing traffic because that is apparently what the Chief of Staff of the Russian Ground Forces is supposed to be doing.

          • English Outsider says:

            Leith – I reckon we disagree on just about everything to do with this war, most importantly the question of who started it. That’s not denigrating, by the way, your much greater knowledge of the back and forth we’re seeing in the fighting at present.

            But within the context of that disagreement we can look at the big picture and establish some central points.

            For me, as a European, the most central is that the governments of Europe are solidly anti-Russian. The bulk of the people too. That’s important because although the Europeans are militarily not of much account, and the European economy is getting weaker, the continent of Europe is the main battleground for the current American administration in their struggle against Russia.

            We are the proxies, therefore, inevitably. Geography makes us proxies. There is no way the Blinkens/Sullivan/Nulands, who still determine American foreign policy, can get at Russia in a big way unless they have Europe on side.

            And my judgement is that it is on side. I myself also believe that Germany, the only significant economic power in Europe and in all sorts of ways the paymaster of most of it, is not only on side. I believe that Scholz is leveraging American military and financial muscle to pursue his own objectives. Those objectives taking his country and his people back some 80 years to a state of affairs that comes more natural to them.

            So the proxies are not only on side. The people, most of them, are all in, in a way I don’t believe the American people are. Using the metaphor that I believe you’ll understand, the White Tiger is up and running.


            1. Cold War II is a stone cold certainty. It would take a huge political change in Europe to alter that and it is, I believe, unrealistic to expect such change. After the active phase of the war is concluded that’s our future. It won’t be like the old Cold War.

            2. Remnant Ukraine. We’re already seeing arms deliveries and other assistance promised to Kiev that won’t do much to affect the current active war. The intention of the Western powers is now clear.

            If occupied by the Russians after the war sufficient arms and assistance will be rendered to remnant Ukraine to enable indefinite resistance. Countering this will bleed the Russians. We’ve seen the expression “Russia’s Afghanistan” used often enough and that’s what we’re hoping remnant Ukraine will be if the Russians occupy it.

            If the Russians don’t occupy remnant Ukraine then that remnant will be used as a spearhead of NATO aggression permanently. It’ll be supplied with arms and particularly missiles that will enable it to perform that function.

            Either way we’ll have in remnant Ukraine what Sleboda called “A zone of destabilisation and insecurity for the rest of our lives.” He of course is talking from the Russian perspective, but it’ll be that for us as well. That will ensure Cold War II keeps going into the indefinite future.

            Faint chance, maybe, that the Ukrainian people themselves will reject this future. But the “hard liners” – that term we disagree on – still have the whip hand over there and the SBU is pretty effective. Whether they want it or not, I don’t reckon the Ukrainian people will have much choice in the matter. They are, after all, proxies themselves and proxies don’t, usually.

          • leith says:

            English O –

            We do not disagree with everything. Your point about cross border raids being pinpricks is true as I said above (although sometimes a pinprick can burst a balloon so you may want to be more precise in your wordsmithing). I also conceded your point that the raids would harden Russian attitudes. Kyiv is playing with fire by backing those raids.

            And IMHO you are right that Americans and our politicians will tire of what is happening in Ukraine. Collectively we don’t like long wars. We will eventually move on and give it up as a lost cause, like we did in Afghanistan and Viet-Nam. That is what Putin is betting on.

            I have also agreed with your comment that the Russians would never agree on any settlement with Ukraine. And your assertion that currently Russian ground troops are not doing very much in Ukraine is in line with my observations. Plus I concede that your remark about the vile term ‘meatgrinder’ is righteous, my apologies for using it.

            Lastly I agree with you that Russians as a people do not want Europe. Neither does Putin. He only wants those Eastern European countries that once upon a time were colonies of the Tsars.

            We have a lot in common EO. We only disagree on mainly one big thing: I’m inclined to think Putin is an evil reincarnation of Ivan IV – you seem to believe he is some type of benevolent deity of wisdom and righteousness.

  2. Fourth and Long says:

    Videos at link. In other news Georgia Meloni left the G-7 in Hiroshima due to six months of rainfall in one day which killed 14 people in Italy.
    Video of the accident with Aurus in the center of Moscow and its consequences
    Telegram channels write that the car belongs to Patriarch Kirill.
    At the intersection of Prospekt Mira and Bolnichny Lane at around 6:30 am, Aurus crashed into a Volvo as the latter was leaving the lane. There is no information about the victims yet. @worldprotest
    According to urban legend, assassination by car crash is the preferred method of …

  3. Fourth and Long says:

    You might want to look at this brief Twitter thread from UK mil Intel.
    Russia is highly likely creating a new ‘elite’ attack aviation group code-named ‘Shtorm’ to operate over Ukraine. The unit is likely to consist of at least one squadron of Su-24 FENCER and Su-34 FULLBACK fighter-bombers, and a squadron of attack helicopters
    A -Maarten Vreeburg- responded:
    Nice of them to wait with that until Ukraine got the whole NATO anti-air catalogue in place.
    Pay no attention. Hybrid war. The Brits made it up just so a Brit using the handle Maarten Vreeburg could say that. But maybe not. I suspect it’s fake because the correct spelling is Maaaaaarten Vreeeeeeburg. It’s so easy to plant fake stories if you can’t spell.

  4. wiz says:

    The timing of this raid suggests an attempt to redirect attention from the fall of Bakhmut. In that, they were successful.

    The raiders proudly displayed their US MRAPs. Maybe the intention is for Kremlin to take the bait and escalate towards the US.
    From a Ukrainian perspective, anything that improves the chances of direct involvement of NATO in this conflict is worth a try.

    For real, positive change to occur in Russia, the people need to voice their discontent on the streets of Russian cities. These raids will only antagonize the locals and feed into Kremlin propaganda. The Chechens tried this and it did not work, quite the opposite.

    • Eliot says:

      “ For real, positive change to occur in Russia, the people need to voice their discontent on the streets of Russian cities. These raids will only antagonize the locals and feed into Kremlin propaganda. The Chechens tried this and it did not work, quite the opposite.”


      It will be seen as an attack on the people of Russia. The Brits who organized this don’t appear to understand the Russians. But perhaps this was solely designed for Western consumption? If so, then it was successful.


      • AngusinCanada says:

        The only real discontent amongst the Russian public, is restated to the rather large portion of the population who wish for the state and armed forces to take a harsher approach.

        The whole concept of pro-Ukrainian Russian “rebels” is about as silly as the ghost of Kiev invading snake island with a pickle jar whilst shooting down hypersonic missiles.

  5. Whitewall says:

    These reports are encouraging and I have wondered about train accidents within Russia. Pretty soon their train accidents will equal ours. All is not well in ‘mother Russia’.

  6. It was a raid, not an offensive.

    You just may be reading a little too into this.

    • fredw says:

      Agreed. It is an annoyance and perhaps a demonstration of vulnerability, but that is all. The diversion of military resources to suppress it is trivial. It gets some media coverage. No doubt irritates the hell out of the Kremlin elites. But it can only amount to a few days of cheeky (and admittedly entertaining) defiance.

      • cobo says:

        I think that not only is it a brilliant distraction for the launching of the coming counteroffensive, it represents the opening move in the destruction of the old Soviet that still rules Russia. The reason I think this is more than just the distraction mentioned is that there are legends being created instead of only masked bandits and heroes, “Ponomarev’s Freedom of Russia Legion, Denis Nikitin’s Russian Volunteer Corps.” Names are being placed in the Russian public’s minds. Someone has to lead the revolution to overthrow of the Soviet.

  7. Babeltuap says:

    I picked some acorn squash the other day near my compost pile. Normally I don’t let compost seeds grow but it was store bought and never tried to grow it. One thing about acorn squash I didn’t know, it’s hard as a rock freshly picked. It has to sit for a while before even thinking about cutting it open.

    Understanding this current situation reminds me of that acorn squash. It’s going to have to ripen a while to know if it’s any good at making Russia move forces but it does appear they had to move several units forward to deal with it. Is this going to be the tactic for a while of probing with these quasi suicide missions? Likely so but who knows. Have to wait a couple weeks.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      If the limey Intel cited above about creation of Airplane squadrons is in the ballpark maybe it’s a measure devised to thwart more powerful forces than raiding parties which might cross the border. The SU had lots of border guards. Mostly gone. And you can’t stop an army with border guards anyway.

      This is likely disinformation and meant to frighten and destabilize but it’s in a Telegram post this AM, from a very smart guy who intensely dislikes his government. Translation by bot:
      Ukrainian resources are voicing information that 10 kilometers from the place where the border was breached, there is a military unit-storage of nuclear weapons. Allegedly, now part and storage facilities are hastily evacuated.

      If so, then blatant negligence is literally evident. Keeping special ammunition in a potentially threatened place is how big the brain should be at the General Staff in order to assess the level of risks.
      Someone should find the cure for the virus which causes the brains of Planet Earth’s leaders to shrink to the size of an ant. “Don’t fret, our safety codes are unbreakable.” Said the man hiding in a forest under 43 floors of steel-reinforced concrete with a personal fleet of only 29 Air Force One Boeing 747s who needs his … to make sure his family’s corruption makes the bottom right margin of page 16 in the year 2048. Possibly.

  8. Fourth and Long says:

    Putin explained everything yesterday. Translation at link.
    Not interesting at all. But if you go to the end of the article and click on “Show Comments” and then “Read Completely” within the individual comments you can get a sense of how far advanced the Russians are as compared to us in the realms of humor and sarcasm. I don’t think it’s intended to make their enemies die laughing, for that they have their present leadership. Another reason why I love those poor ….ards. If you don’t get the jokes or appreciate the humor, don’t feel bad. They, out of dire necessity which eventuated out of their tragic history, have evolved into beings more advanced by far than we are in this category. Soon, if things keep going this way here, we might evolve to catch up with them, also out of necessity. Nikolai Ovchinnikov is a grandmaster of grandmaster as his reply to Alexander illustrates. Notice that he can’t say what he’d like to say too directly. He makes the defensive blunders which allow border raids, Kremlin attacks and hits on nuclear weapons carrying supersonic bombers look like a brilliant strategy of the geniuses in charge instead. The disturbing occurrences are obviously part of a cunning plan to enable a step up to “anti-terrorist operation” from “special military operation.”

    This degree of covert humor is even more wonderfully on display in some of the very recent performances of some few of their most brilliant performing artists. But I love my Russian divas and pop stars too much to post those performances here. They’re so clever most people don’t notice and just enjoy the music.

    • Babeltuap says:

      Paul Paul McCartney’s ‘Back In The U.S.S.R’ was originally suppose to be ‘Back In the UK’ but he changed the words up as a joke. To his surprise, everyone in the studio loved it. Even the Russians loved it. Most countries would be infuriated but gotta hand it to the Russians. They can take a joke to the chin no problem:

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Nice. The man from Glad was in the audience. Let’s not forget that
        Skirpal is almost Sir Paul if k is u. And he’s from the u k. Now I really need a drink.

  9. leith says:

    Two months ago partisans who IDed themselves as the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) also raided into Russia. They hit Russia’s Bryansk Oblast. They went over the border from Chernihiv’s Novhorod-Siverskyi region in the northern Ukraine.

    So this attack into Russia’s Belgorod Oblast is not the first cross-border raid.

    Artor Micek’s commentary is on target. The main intent is to force Russia to expend manpower to protect its border.

    PS – Wiz, No US weapons and equipment at all was used by the raiders including your so-called MRAPs. And no Ukraine-made weapons either. The raiders all carried Russian made weapons. Bone up on your vehicle types and how to identify them.

    PPS – Glad to see that while the raid was going on that UAVs attacked an FSB headquarters in Belgorod City.

    • Peter Williams says:

      PS – Wiz, No US weapons and equipment at all was used by the raiders including your so-called MRAPs. And no Ukraine-made weapons either. The raiders all carried Russian made weapons. Bone up on your vehicle types and how to identify them.

      leith – The video evidence contradicts your claimбелгород:8

    • wiz says:


      I don’t think I’m wrong about this. Looking at the various photos and videos available I try to account for fakes and propaganda, but I think there was definitely a lot of US provided gear involved in this raid.

      Do you have and good links that prove otherwise ?

      • leith says:

        Wiz –

        No. And there are no links that prove it is true either.

        Cui bono is the key here. Putin is the one that benefits from these photos. As English Outsider says above “it hardens Russian attitudes”. He can now bombard the Russian people with lies about Evil America invading Russia. It allows him to press for mass mobilization. Nobody in the Duma would oppose that. And saving the Rodina would be shouted throughout the entire country.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        It’s an open secret by now. Wagner reported killing over 6,000 western “volunteers” (mercs). Yes I get that exaggeration happens. There are ongoing drone strikes over the border. Tass reported this on front page internet version early this morning:
        MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has dropped an explosive device on a car road in southwestern Russia’s Belgorod Region, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on his Telegram channel on Wednesday.
        There’s a lot of things that might be reported on that way, from trivial to significant to an actual Reaper or Predator (however unlikely it’s possible). Why on p 1?

  10. Fred says:

    The vaunted Ukrainian offensive is now a Moscow coffee shop bombing in April and 2 ‘regiments’ of ‘anti-Putin’ Russians ‘invading’ Russia. Reminds me of Fips Priller straffing the beaches of Normandy to stop the allied landings.

  11. Fourth and Long says:
    Two Ukrainian tanks, one armored personnel carrier and nine armored vehicles entered the territory of the Russian Federation from the Graivoron border crossing.
    The enemy managed to advance to the Kozinka-Glotovo crossroads, and from there the DRG on foot reached the Glotovsky House of Culture.
    At the moment, the operation to eliminate the militants is still ongoing. 39 saboteurs were killed as a result of fighting in the Graivoronovsky district of the Belgorod region, several people were taken prisoner, Baza and Shot sources report.
    As a result of the attack of the Ukrainian DRG on the Belgorod region, 8 civilians were injured.
    As of today, the legal regime of the counter-terrorist operation has been introduced in the Belgorod Region, which establishes special measures and temporary restrictions – Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.
    That was posted at 12:59 yesterday. Did you mention anything about 2 tanks that I missed? It’s possible.

  12. walrus says:

    It’s a pity that we are so unoriginal when it comes to destabilising our target countries.

    “A Russian resistance movement”! My @ss! I wonder how much we pay these guys? Recruiting and training isn’t hard. Just trawl through major cities and prisons and look for low life Russian nationals in need of some cash and voila! Overnight they are redefined as freedom fighters for Russian democracy ™.

    I’ve read somewhere that the biggest problem with using these scum is recidivism- they revert to type and start raping and murdering, then they have to be “disposed of” – which is usually done by sending them off on a one way operation then tipping off the Russians about it and you get a bunch of dead martyrs for free. TTG ,you would know how it’s done.

    So we are unoriginal – I expect that we will soon see the kazakhstan, uxbekistan, uighur and chinese versions all clamouring for US style democracy and blowing up the OBOR infrastructure.

    Why at least couldn’t we be original for a change? Why aren’t these raids been done by a purported LGBTQ brigade in pink uniforms? Where is the Pussy Riot sabotage group? CIA and MI6 are way too conservative.

    • TTG says:


      Ilya Ponomarev, head of the Freedom of Russia Legion, was a member of the Russian Duma from 2007 to 2016. He voted against the Russian gay propaganda law and against the annexation of Crimea. He joined the TDF after moving to Ukraine and before he started his resistance outfit. Denis Nikitin’s Russian Volunteer Corps is a right wing white supremacist group similar to the Russian Rusich or the Ukrainian Pravy Sektor. That group is closer to football hooligans. This incursion is almost pure IO with little militarily significant objective. The constant stream of sabotage actions across Russia is the heart of the resistance movement today.

  13. Yeah, Right says:

    Well, that certainly didn’t last long.

    The “Rebel Russian” force was hit before it could retreat back to “Not Where We Live, Honest!” and wiped out.

    At least 70 dead, apparently, and all without any redeployment of Russian forces.

    Seriously, what did this stunt achieve? Some headlines in the western media, which will now go very quiet regarding what eventually happened to these “Not Ukrainians, I Swear!” before they made it back to the safety of “Some Place That They Weren’t Born”.

    If that was its only aim – and it surely was, despite what TTG believes – then it was a complete waste of a perfectly good Ukrainian platoon of soldiers: Zelensky could have simply put out a press release announcing a raid and the presstitutes would have rushed into print irrespective of whether or not it had actually taken place.

    Seventy Ukrainian men, dead, and for a headline.

    • TTG says:

      Yeah, Right,

      “At least 70 dead, apparently, and all without any redeployment of Russian forces.”

      So says the [Russian] government.

    • leith says:

      Yeah_Right –

      There will be more – 4th and 5th cross border incursions soon – maybe a 6th and 7th. The same 70 raiders that Kremlin propaganda claims were killed will magically appear elsewhere. Maybe Crimea or Transnistria is next?

      The danger is that it may make it easier for Putin to convince the Russian people that mass mobilization is needed. But that may take too long to have any effect on Ukraine’s offensive.

      In the meantime the balloon floating over Moscow with a Freedom-of-Russia flag is undoubtedly giving Putin and his oprichniks a case of red arse:

  14. leith says:

    There is a report of a third cross border raid. This time they penetrated Kursk Oblast into the village of Gogolevka. Hit and run. It’s typical guerrilla warfare or perhaps Comanche or VC tactics. Border guards can’t seem to stop them and they skedaddle before a QRF arrives.

    Report is from twitter account: @Tendar

  15. ked says:

    I expect the Ukrainian air defense units, from manpads to Hawk to Patriot, are as excited as the Russian pilots, if less nervous.
    & “a whole lotta shake’n goin’ on”

  16. Poppa Rollo says:

    Putin is finding that he is the czar of a potemkin country.

    • Fred says:

      Ukraine, with the combined backing of NATO, can’t push the potemkin country soldiers out of their own land, after a year of trying?

  17. Walrus says:

    What if the Russians decide that the best solution is an uninhabitable 5km wide free fire zone, chock full of AP mines carved out of Ukraine territory?

    • TTG says:


      Why not carve the barrier strip on their side of the border? They have free reign over what they do on their own territory.

  18. walrus says:

    Indeed TTG, they might. My. observation begs the question “why now?” Putin has been in offices for many years yet it is only now that “freedom fighters” appear. Why is that?

    Secondly you and I know about the large expense of funding such a group and the recruiting, training and logistics involved. “Someone “ is bankrolling this operation and it isn’t funded by donations at church on Sunday. That someone can only be us or the British or both. Isn’t this sort of work straight out of the green berets playbook//

    • TTG says:


      Why now? I think it’s because, up until a year ago, Putin’s miracle seemed real. His actions were usually prudent and the full extent of the corruption and ineptitude was well hidden. This war exposed all that.

      I also think there was always a small segment of the population who were aware of the rot and were ready to take advantage of that widespread corruption and ineptitude to strike back. It wouldn’t take much to push this small segment into action. Financing and equiping a regiment of Russian revolutionaries in a war zone like Ukraine would be easy. Sustaining and directing a wider campaign of sabotage would be tougher, but not at all impossible. I’m fairly confident 10th SFG(A) was training Ukrainian SOF to do just that.

      • Fred says:


        “..there was always a small segment of the population who were aware of the rot and were ready to take advantage of that widespread corruption and ineptitude to strike back.”

        Sounds like Antifa and BLM in the summer of George Floyd. I wonder who is financially backing them?

        • TTG says:


          BLM raised $90 million in 2020. They’ve organized nationally and managed to finance themselves, primarily through crowd funding. Groups like Proud Boys and Oath Keepers do the same. However, BLM doesn’t have sugar daddies like Barre Seid who pour billions into various right wing groups. Antifa does not organize nationally, nor does it fund raise beyond the local level. That’s done on purpose.

          • al says:

            TGG, Thanks for explaining some bits of reality re groups like Antifa and BLM. Those wearing tinfoil hats get sparkin’!

          • Fred says:


            They certainly (community) ‘organized’ nationally and use local ngo/nonprofits to camouflage the money flows. Marxist BLM founder Patrisse Cullors managed a $1.4 million home purchase on the money, not to mention millions more to the realtor, and millions in ‘consulting’ on to a firm owned by the woman who repalced the founder after ‘scandals’ forced her out.

            “That means it has spent two-thirds of the $90 million it raised, which Cullors — who quit over earlier financial scandals…”

            Not to mention all the corporate donations. But that other guy, Soros; whoops, sorry, wrong donor to wrong causes; Sied – didn’t he donate to the Federalis Society?
            “Last month, The Lever and ProPublica as well as The New York Times detailed how Seid secretly handed a $1.6 billion fortune to a key architect of the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority that recently eliminated federal protections for abortion rights.”….. My better get rid of those judges….

            BTW the NYT is a year late and $90 million behind BLM’s ‘in the red’ budgeting.

      • walrus says:

        From the Australian ABC:

        ‘ The RVC says it is made up of Russians fighting for Ukraine, and against Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

        “The US-based Anti-Defamation League has described Mr Kapustin as “a Russian neo-Nazi who lived in Germany for many years”.

        Mr Kapustin said his group was right-wing, and when asked if he was minded being labelled a Nazi, he said he didn’t “think it’s an insult”.

        I guess we aren’t too particular about who we finance.

        • TTG says:


          What makes you think we finance the RVC? Thy didn’t exist until last August. Even the Kyiv government is keeping them at arms length although they’re certainly letting them operate.

          • Walrus says:

            TTG, you joke. We both know you don’t leave heavily armed groups just loitering on your property. They have a habit of getting bored and going into business for themselves, robbing banks, etc. if left alone.

            We both know they must be used or liquidated.

          • TTG says:


            They’re not loitering if they keep doing these little cross border raids. Besides, Nikitin’s Russian Volunteer Corps is supposedly only 200 strong. I think the SBU can keep an eye on them.

  19. peter mcloughlin says:

    The attacks by Russians on Russians show that power – not commonality such as race or religion – is what truly motivates. In the chaos that is unfolding in Ukraine (and the Russian Federation) one thing is clear: the hoped-for order dreamt of by both sides will not dawn, rather the long night of nuclear Armageddon.

  20. leith says:

    Today, 25 May, the Russian Volunteer Corps returned once more to the Motherland. That’s four cross border raids that I’m aware of. Another pinprick, bu Putin and his accomplices may be getting paranoid.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Thanks. Interesting. Next post of the Vlasovites (a joke, it’s what they’re called by patriots in Ru, in fact almost everyone except the small liberal contingent):
      Worth a read or not in translation. It’s their sales pitch to the interior. Their recent foray is being reported by the authorities as having destroyed 500 houses and building in essentially one go, with something like 32 hospitalized. 500 buildings is no pinprick, as is on offer here. But I get it that the Ru state can crank that up to any number of buildings and lots of dead with horrendous photos if desired (and 500 may be an overestimation already, yes). The old rock and hard place. The rock – “see what the nazis did? Now let’s enlist now!” The hard place: “Very interesting, tovarich, 7,000 buildings destroyed and two schools full of children murdered, you say? And you are our government, do I understand correctly, and therefore I should listen to what you say?”

      I get the sense from the Telegram and media I read that it would be difficult for the authorities to misinform their population so completely. But I might be wrong.Quite a bit of the mayhem makes it to the screens of their 69 Minutes show (sorry, I am incorrigible, it’s 60, but I am a funny guy, huh, good porn movie title – 69 Minutes – use stand in Mike Wallace and Morley Safer doubles, I need a drink badly. .) . So so many of the ones that matter watch TikTok 18 hrs a day (which isn’t controlled by anyone as far as I can tell and absolutely should NOT be shut down because it promotes so much diversity and cross cultural and international connection, but ..) – the youth, you say? Yes but I know retired old men here who watch it all day for guess what -?- to watch far right antibiden videos along with secrets about lizard beings living secretly behind mission impossible team masks in Congress as Democrats ..

      Ok I need to stop (badly) but what I was trying to say is that there are serious and deservedly so, doubts about the competence of or sufficiency of means whereby the rulers in the Kremlin can effectively deceive the Russian people. There have been reports of the Shy Knees being in rather soonski to retailor the Russ web to Cher MunJeez’s — I prefer Share Mungee’s Munchie Munchkin Munchies but for reasons of space use Cher Munjeez, for the “jeez” effect after “mun” custom specifications and of course PeeWee Herman just said “F&L I’m off to ride my bike looks great to me and of course the US spies recruited from our huge Chinese American community would never ever be the ones sent from China where they already .. ooh, what am I saying ..)

      Summary. Old nitwits are ruining the shoe over there who care about only one thing – being the Old nitwits who continue to run the show, and nothing else. But I could be mistaken.

      • leith says:

        Fourth & Long –

        After the Vlasovites successful raid into Belgorod and their rout of a motorized rifle company, they got a mountain of applications. Over 29,000 anti-Putler Russians reportedly want to join the Freedom of Russia Legion! That’s only about a quarter of the troops that were in Vlasov’s Army. But all his recruits just wanted out of the starvation of the ‘special’ POW camps Hitler had set up for Slavs. They went AWOL into the night fast.

        Screen the applicants closely is my advice. Probably a good chunk of them are FSB plants.

  21. English Outsider says:

    An American writes in regularly to Dr North’s site in England warning that the current escalation could lead to nuclear war.

    I’ve always responded with the assurance that Russia doesn’t need to do that and the West won’t. But the situation is getting a little crazy. Hard information that the Ukrainians are shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant with NATO weapons. That means with NATO consent. Rumours, though only that, that NATO is assisting with the targeting. More rumours that British SF are organising or assisting with the raids in the vicinity of the power station, and hard information that the raids do actually occur.

    It’s beginning to look no holds barred and not only there. UK statements in the HoC that the conflict must continue and repeated assertions that the war now only continues because of Western insistence. I say “Western” rather than “US” because in spite of the facade of moderation Scholz hides behind, his government is as hawkish or more so than Washington. (Helmer:-

    “German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has been more explicit, claiming he supports air attacks on Russian territory, and is building German-Polish combat support bases on the Polish side of the border with the Ukraine. It is “completely normal” in such a military conflict, Pistorius has said, “that the attacked party also moves into the opponent’s territory, for example, to cut off supply routes.”)

    I had always assumed that the increase in bellicose talk and action from the West was in part a last hurrah before the conflict has to be put to bed before the US Presidential election. Partly an attempt to break Russian morale. And partly because the European electorates in particular had to be kept up to the mark in order to pave the way for the coming Cold War.

    But it’s all looking more and more frantic. Larry Johnson, who used to write articles here before the SMO started, now reinforces the foreboding Dr North’s American commenter expresses:-

    “It appears that Russia’s three week long bombing campaign — using strategic bombers — is taking a toll on the forces Ukraine has been assembling for their long awaited counter offensive. Ukrainian losses are making it difficult to assemble the man power and fire power required to launch and sustain an offensive operation beyond a few days. We will know for certain within the coming weeks.

    “I will put it simply — we are living in the most dangerous time in World history since the start of World War II. The United States is showing no sign of backing down from its effort to keep the war going in Ukraine in the futile hope of weakening Russia. And Russia is intensifying its operations to decimate Ukraine’s military capabilities. This appears to be a toxic recipe for a horrendous collision. I hope I am wrong.”

    I hope Mr Johnson is wrong too. But I believe we in the West are pushing it.

    • Billy Roche says:

      E.O. You are probably familiar w/t “Stockhom Syndrom”. I think you’ve caught a case of it. I repeat for the 100th time, Russia invaded Ukraine. NATO c/h never encroached on Russia if former soviet “republics” and satellites d/n beg for admission into NATO. NATO d/n force them. Sweden and Finland are proof of that. Those nations FEAR Russia. Russia’s invasion had nothing to do w/NATO, NeoCons, The Maiden, 2014, or Minsk Protocols. Russia’s invasion is a continuing campaign to subdue Ukraine b/c Russia thinks it is theirs. Ukrainians have been fighting for 100 years to convince Russia otherwise. The killing and threats caused by Russia can end tomorrow. The killing stops, trade opens, power is restored, people are fed, investors can make some money, and Europe, including Russia, can go back to enjoying civilization. Go home Vladimar.

      • Billy, I doubt if you will, but I recommend you read what John Mearsheimer wrote way back in 2014 for Foreign Affairs.
        He I believe adequately showed why a NATO-aligned (either de jure or de facto) Ukraine posed a threat to Russia:

        Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault – John Mearsheimer

        A 75-minute video version is here:

        Russia has very valid security concerns from a NATO-aligned Ukraine.
        Its been invaded often enough from the west.

        • blue peacock says:

          “Russia has very valid security concerns from a NATO-aligned Ukraine.”

          Just like the Eastern Europeans and the Scandinavians have a security concern that Putin considered all these territories as his “sphere of influence”.

          Invading Ukraine in hindsight has not been a good strategic decision for Putin. He could have continued the game of political influence in Ukraine as he was doing before, competing with the neocons & others all playing that game. Now Sweden, Finland and Ukraine in time will all be NATO members for their own security, not because NATO has intentions to invade Russia.

      • English Outsider says:

        Bill – the problem is that there are two Ukraines. One, supported, trained and encouraged by the West, was threatening to attack the other.

        Minsk 2 having clearly failed, the Russians moved to stop it. It was a forced move. We gave them no choice.

        The Russians left it very late indeed to come to the aid of the two self-declared Republics. I think that was partly because they were still hoping Minsk 2 would hold. Mainly because they didn’t want this war and, pace the Mearsheimer school of apologetics, didn’t need it.

        We’re all going to have to make the journey this young lady made. She too started off convinced that the Russians were in the wrong. When she got to the Donbass and saw what was really happening there, I think she also understood that there had been no option for the Russians except intervention.

    • leith says:

      Sad, English Outsider, that you parrot Kremlin lies. Putin must be getting desperate about the soon-to-be Ukrainian counteroffensive. He undoubtedly is going to stage a provocation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and blame it on Zelensky and NATO. He has already started putting that plan into implementation by obstructing observation by IAEA observers there. Ukrainian intelligence spokesperson, Andrii Yusov, said in a comment to RBC-Ukraine that “the occupiers have already placed appropriate means of destruction” at the ZNPP.

      • English Outsider says:


        I’ve no quarrel whatsoever with Eastern Europe ensuring security. I don’t believe it’s needed much at the moment but who knows what might happen in the future?

        So if they think they need security that’s their business. If their defence forces are as skimpy as ours in England are, maybe they’d better put that right anyway.

        But on a whole number of counts, what’s going on at the moment is no way to do it.

        As for the States, I’d never dream of venturing to comment on your internal affairs (Big lie. Used to write in to Colonel Lang’s site doing that a lot.) but it seems to me the security you need is from your own politicians.

        And from the interest groups the politicians look after rather more diligently than they look after you. We have the same problem over here in Europe, only worse, so you’re scarcely alone in your plight.

        On “The killing stops”, not if Scholz and Biden have anything to do with it. Zelensky has to keep sending men into the killing fields or the money dries up. That’s the bit I particularly object to.

        How did all this happen? Continuing my new policy on never commenting on your internal affairs, I think you were ill-advised to let Trump go. They keep insisting he’s no little angel. Dunno. But he’d never have got you into this mess.

        Inexplicable. Over here we’re more or less passive electorates. Putty in the politicians’ hands. The Germans, the most important by far of the European electorates, are little more than hypnotised sheep. They’ll march along behind Scholz wherever he takes them. Down, by the looks of it.

        But the Americans are considerably more savvy. Yet they still put Biden in! The epitome of the crony neocon. What on earth were you thinking of?

    • Walrus says:

      EO is right.

      The war will kick off on about 12 June with an Ukraine false flag attack to coincide with the NATO air “exercises “ those will morph into a battle for air superiority over Ukraine.

      By the logic of those who reckon Russia started this; a policeman who shoots a perp who has a knife at the throat of a hostage is guilty of murder.

      • leith says:

        Walrus –

        Wrong analogy! The policeman didn’t shoot a perp with a knife at a victim’s throat. He shot the victim, Ukraine. Putin himself and his DPR/LPR pawns and puppets were holding the knife.

        • walrus says:

          Putin launched a spoiling attack against Ukraine forces who were forming up for an attack on Donbass, the way I read it.

          However if Europe and NATO get involved then it doesn’t matter who started it. There will be enough misery to go around for everyone.

          • leith says:

            Walrus –

            There was no pending attack on Donbas by Ukraine. It was the other way around. The whackos in LPR/DPR were trying to take all of the Donbas. Putin handed it to them on a platter.

  22. blue peacock says:

    I hope Mr Johnson is wrong too.

    He has been wrong since the invasion began. In fact he left posting here as Col. Lang wouldn’t go along with his propaganda.

    • English Outsider says:

      It wasn’t really like that, BP. Colonel Lang, as TTG now, always accommodated opposing views. Chucked you out if he didn’t like the way they were expressed, but that’s a different matter. One of the things that made this site unique.

      That aside, a lot of people from abroad stopped commenting here and elsewhere because the Ukraine was simply too difficult a subject.

      Very difficult. My own view, that the thing’s a neocon scam and more so in Europe than in the States, isn’t one I’d ever care to set out to my German friends in particular. I’d lose ’em all. Were I employed over there, particularly in academia, I’d certainly keep my head down. Conformism is a way of life over there to an extent I doubt most in the States understand. Enforced legally too, on occasion.

      Could be changing. There’s a triumphalist practice in Europe of exhibiting captured Russian tanks in various countries. In Berlin they’ve planted one outside the Russian embassy. Crass. But I’m seeing reports that in most of the countries where the tanks are exhibited, some people are laying flowers on them in protest. A risky protest – the authorities are collecting details of those who do so. But it does mean that they’re not all marching dutifully in step.

      Enough are to confirm my view that we’re in for Cold War II. This won’t be like Iraq, where most people eventually recognise they’ve been scammed by the politicians. On this one, looks like we’re in for the long haul.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Larry Johnson has gone off the deep end and gathered a cult following of America haters who, along with Johnson, are incapable of even noticing, let alone processing, any evidence to the contrary of their catechism of Russians as ten foot tall 5D chess masters and the US as blundering doomed idiots.

      On the other hand, this forum went off the rails in the opposite direction and became a forum for a cult of Russia haters who seem stuck in the Soviet era and have the neocon/ISW narrative as their catechism. I will say that this forum has recently become more open to allowing dissenting perspectives in the comments, whereas Johnson and his zombies are aggressively hostile to those who waver even a little from the narrative.

      Additionally, Johnson’s cult is an echo chamber of a circle jerk involving Johnson, Moon of Alabama, Martyanov, MacGregor, Ritter and a few dubious others; all of whom have been, to the objective observer, obviously proven wrong over time. That said, this forum’s poorly aging projections of Russia hitting culminating points, running out of ammo and faling in whatever ways Ukrainian propaganda puts out from day to day isn’t any more enlightening.

      Despite all the BS from both camps, best I can tell, the war is a stalemate; perhaps with Russia having a slight advantage over the long run. Both sides have made huge strategic and tactical mistakes. Basically, the US wants to bleed Russia and prevail and Russia is bleeding Ukraine dry. It’s a race to the bottom. Who gets there first is anyone’s guess. Neither side is willing to actually fight a real war because they are all afraid of escalation leading to nuclear exchanges.

      • leith says:

        Eric –

        Good to hear from you again. We need your insight on things.

        I’m undoubtedly one of the Putin haters. Good to see that he is hiding in his bunker now that his poker bluffs have fallen flat. But I have no beef against the average Russian citizen.

      • blue peacock says:


        Col. Lang’s post on the culminating point has been proven correct. The Russian army could not continue their offensive and have largely been in a defensive posture with the exception of Bakhmut. Even with their mobilization they have yet to mount a successful offensive anywhere near to what they attempted in the opening days of the invasion.

        MoA is a perennial America hater. That’s his monetization shtick. Martyanov now looks ludicrous. His continual posting on this blog of how Russian weaponry was so much superior to the US and his condescension towards US military leadership. Larry Johnson has always been more of an agent provocateur than a serious analyst.

        The one thing that this Russian invasion has proven is that Putin does not have a peer conventional military relative to the US. The America haters do not like that and would like to keep the myth going of the invincible Putin and the Russian army.

        • English Outsider says:

          “Putin does not have a peer conventional military relative to the US.”

          BP. Dangerous illusion. Subs, yes. Air force – second to none but we don’t know how vulnerable to Russian AD. Also – where would they be based? Missiles, one can never be sure but on the face of it the Russians are streets ahead.

          Ammunition – neither the States nor the West in general have retained adequate production facilities. The Russians have. The RUSI reports go into all that in detail.

          Army? The Americans simply don’t have enough men and equipment over here and the European militaries are second rate. One of the big shocks of the last year or so is the revelation that European NATO is a paper tiger. General Kujat, who ought to know, states that the Russians could walk into the Baltics tomorrow if they chose.

          Unless we mess around with the Kaliningrad corridor, or do a Donbass on the Russian populations in the Baltics, they won’t choose. But no amount of chest beating will allow us to avoid the conclusion that they could.

          It cannot be sufficiently emphasised that no sane military ever thought the Ukrainians, reinforced with NATO troops or not, could defeat the Russians. The politician’s intention all along was to break the Russians with sanctions.

          That hasn’t worked. And all now know it. We can speculate on why Washington and Berlin/Brussels are digging themselves ever deeper into an impossible hole, but unless the Washington hawks go nuclear, defeat for the West is a done deal and has been since February 24th 2022.

          Is it only “America haters” who say that? Well, I’m no America hater. Quite the reverse. But should one draw back from telling the truth merely because one is scared of being called one?

          • blue peacock says:


            Please don’t take this personally, but IMO you’re delusional on this matter.

            The past year in Ukraine has demonstrated the ACTUAL performance of Putin’s military. No need for conjecture. Plain to see. The much smaller Ukrainian army with limited capability western weapons systems and just short range missiles, and highly contested skies have held Putin’s “vaunted” military to a standstill. And even beaten them back in some areas.

            Have you considered that Russian territorial integrity is not threatened. What is no longer viable however is that Eastern Europe & Scandinavia are “sphere’s of influence” for Putin. That train left the station when he invaded.

          • Billy Roche says:

            E.O. Repeat to one’s self three times then do it again. Russia invaded Ukraine Ukraine invaded no one. That is the starting point that you absolutely refuse to acknowledge.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Seems to me that all sides in the conflict have bit off more than they can chew. The US provoked Russia to invade and Russia stupidly took the bait. Russia thought Ukraine would cave in and quickly negotiate, but failed to go in big and hard enough to cause that little scheme to work (lack of shock and awe, etc). Russia was not prepared to fight a real war, nor for the long haul. The US, for its part, thought it could sanction Russia to death. Wrong. The US/NATO is now giving Ukraine just enough to keep the fight going and to bleed Russia. Russia is only committed just enough to not lose ground and to bleed Ukraine.

            All of the policy making geniuses, on all sides, got it totally wrong.

            One day, one or maybe all sides will have had enough and some kind of peace settlement will be had. That day, IMO is a long way off. No one – Russia, Ukraine, US/NATO, wants to admit that they can’t win. So the killing and suffering continues.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Russia has what they wanted; not total control of it yet, but that is coming in time – slowly but surely. There has been no real Ukro counter offensive at any point during the conflict. The little shows for political purposes that have been excitedly labeled “counter offensives” by the media have resulted only in huge casualties for Ukraine and very little to no strategic changes in the lines on the map. That’s just a plain fact.

          Anyhow, so of course Russia is in defensive posture. They’re protecting their new referenda territories. I still don’t know what culminating point you’re talking about. Did you think they were trying to roll all the way to the English Channel and ran out of steam and got stopped?

          That said, the Russians have been fighting in a very half-assed, disorganized manner, but so have the Ukros. It’s almost like this is casual sparring with each boxer having one hand tied behind his back, as opposed to a full on pro prize fight. Again, IMO, it is being prosecuted that way b/c both sides seek to avoid escalation to nuclear conflict and both sides have to answer to powerful oligarchs (sometimes the same ones) who have a range of covert interests that cannot be totally upset by the conflict. I do not think it smart to assess the real capabilities of either the US/NATO nor Russia based on what we are seeing currently in Ukraine.

      • wiz says:


        Glad to have you back.
        I tried reading LJ’s blog, but it is ridiculous in its extreme bias.
        Even tried commenting there, questioning the blog’s dogma but got called names by Larry and his fanatics in the comment section and then banned. Martyanov’s blog is even worse, complete trash.

        This, here blog is a rare oasis in the increasingly polarizing media space concerning this conflict. Here we can discuss matters, agree or disagree in a civil and respectful manner.
        Again, welcome back.

      • LeaNder says:

        Larry Johnson has gone off the deep end and gathered a cult

        LJ had gone off the deep end while still junior editor on SST/Turcopolier. Otherwise I largely agree.

    • Fred says:


      He was banned for personally insulting Col. Lang.

      • blue peacock says:


        If I recall correctly, Col. Lang did note in a comment that Larry Johnson called him to support Putin’s invasion. When he did not, Larry insulted him.

        I believe Col. Lang’s position was – now that Putin has invaded Ukraine, we should support Ukraine to resist. I believe this position caused some of the writers on the blog like Patrick Armstrong & David Habakkuk to stop posting.

        • wiz says:


          I believe Patrick stopped posting because he is concerned about possible negative repercussions since he is based in Canada.

          In UK, Canada, Germany etc, you can get into a lot of trouble if you publicly post content that can be interpreted as pro Russian.

        • English Outsider says:

          BP – I might have failed to express myself accurately above when I wrote “… a lot of people from abroad stopped commenting here and elsewhere because the Ukraine was simply too difficult a subject.”

          I should have said it was too difficult a subject in their home countries. For instance the ex-diplomat Mr Armstrong, writing from Canada where it’s simply not done to express other than total commitment to Kiev, wrote at the start of the SMO “I am going to pause this site and my other activities for a while until I see how things break out.

          “What was a post-retirement hobby – a continuation of my job of trying to figure out what was happening in Russia – has now led to accusations of being a Russian agent of disinformation.”

          “Deviation from the approved narrative is to risk, at best, being accused of sowing disinformation and, at worst, of treason.”

          And I think Mr Armstrong kept to that, for all that when he communicated his decision to the Colonel, the Colonel expressed regret and hoped he would continue to write articles for his website.

          Similarly in England I often saw the view expressed that it was unpatriotic, verging on treasonous, to express anything other that the accepted view on the Ukraine.

          Worse in Germany, where there have been prosecutions against people who have done so.

          I don’t see that in the States. Colonel Macgregor, Johnson, Martyanov, Ritter and a host of ex Intel or CIA personnel, all of whom have made valuable contributions to our knowledge of this conflict, seem to be able to express themselves freely without fearing the problems they’d get in Canada or Europe.

          Though, to be fair, there are some very senior military personnel both in Germany and England who’ve stood out against the flow. Not entirely unscathed – a couple have been sacked and they’re all regarded as unpatriotic or worse, but they haven’t lost their pensions or been otherwise penalised as far as I know.

          And such sentiments as “We’ve got to fight them over here so we don’t have to fight them over here”, or that the Ukrainian war is a cost effective way for us to “bleed” the Russians, are I think expressed as often now as they were at the start of the SMO.

          To be honest, I regard all this as a collective madness of the West – or of the peoples of the West as much as of the politicians. Plays into the Russians hands. of course, and reinforces the “White Tiger” scenario that is now the accepted scenario in Russia and in an increasing number of other countries. And as emphasised above, guarantees public support for a second Cold War for us in Europe that will in no sense be as agreeable as the first.

          • English Outsider says:

            Apologies. Should have written ““We’ve got to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here”.

            My typing remains unreliable. I might advance the excuse that I spent a fair bit of my Sunday scything the lawn, but that might invite the query “What the hell’s an Englishman doing scything his lawn?”

            To which I could only obstinately reply “Net Zero the hard way.” To get a decent finish on a lawn with a scythe is a lost art. Or at least I haven’t found it.

        • Fred says:


          If you search the archives you’ll find that the Col., in the beginning of this mess, suggested a presidential finding and covert support for the Ukrainians. We are far beyond that now. You would have to ask Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Habukkuk why they no longer post here.

        • walrus says:

          we have pensions and benefits, children have careers We own property. We have licences and permits for all sorts of things.We have passports, we travel overseas….. There are a whole range of government services and points of contact between individuals and government.

          There is national security legislation that prevents you even telling someone that you are being investigated.
          There is the punishment of whistleblowers……

          We also have the example of what was done to people suspected of helping Islamists of one sort or another.

          Losing your pension, passport, freedom to use the internet and watch your childrens careers go up in smoke is all on the cards if you are an effective voice against orthodoxy. We are already subject to constant surveillance of our electronic communications. Questioning the official line on Ukraine is not wise.

          • Fred says:

            So you are surrendering to those in power? What freedoms will they leave you and your posterity The next time out?

  23. ked says:

    the neat thing about the Counteroffensive launch event is that it’s being rolled out in such a way that no one can reliably stamp a date & time on it. for those seeking a D-Day moment, it’s just not the way Ukraine is operating. also driving Putin up the wall (or deeper into his underground lair). we are observing further evidence of the shift in the style (non-nuclear) war is conducted by advanced tech peer nations.
    from Ukrainian military leadership:
    “It’s a complicated process, which is not a matter of one day or a certain date or a certain hour,” Mykhailo Podolyak said in an interview…”

    • walrus says:

      Excellent observation! We may only be able to put a date to the launch in hindsight…….if we are alive.

    • Fred says:


      Just read Victoria Nuland’s latest speech and the schedule NATO air operations for July, then figure on an Operation Barbarossa anniversary surprise ’cause that’s the way neocons love to play the Great Game.

  24. KjHeart says:

    …Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch…

    This is maybe a little off topic from the ‘Border Raid’ discussion

    Perhaps you all already know about this?

    Lukashenko Confirms Russian Tactical Nukes Arriving In Belarus

    Depending on who actually carried out the ‘border raid’ might answer whether or not it was a distraction or opportunity? Or none of the above… it could always be NOTA

    Gawd the world we live in…


    • TTG says:


      Russian tactical nukes in Belarus is not something to get worked up about. We’ve had our tactical nukes in a half dozen or so European locations for many years. It’s nothing to cheer about, but neither are our nukes in Europe.

      One opportunity presented by these cross border raids is reconnaissance. Ukraine now knows that Russian reserves are not hiding across the border and even border guard forces are practically non-existent. That’s good info to know.

  25. This is news to me:

    What a revolting development!
    You notice Russia, up until now, did not go after Zelenskyy.

    This is what people want to support??
    How classy! (Sarcasm intended.)

    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      Russia did not go after Zelenskiy? You forget the first days of the invasion when spetsnaz raiding parties had several firefights with Zelenskiy’s guards at the entrances to the presidential building. This is a war. Zelenskiy is a legitimate target as is Putin, Prigozhin and others.

      Concerning Zelenskiy’s piano-penis skit, I found it inventive and hilarious. If after winning the war, he decides to give a similar concert as a victory celebration, I’ll find it equally hilarious. BTW, you know it was a skit don’t you? Zelenskiy and his buddies are not talented enough to actually play the piano with their penises.

      • I think it necessary to think ahead.
        Suppose Ukraine somehow found a way to kill Putin.
        Remember Putin, and the war, are popular with a sizable number of Russians, who would demand revenge.
        What would that revenge be?
        No one in the West knows for sure, but a nuke on Kyiv is surely a possibility.
        And then what?
        Those so manifestly lusting for an all-out WWIII would get their wish.

        As I’ve said before, I think it’s time to end this thing with negotiations before things get totally out of hand.
        And definitely avoid menacing “exercises” near Russian territory.

        Oh, and BTW, if North Vietnam had somehow managed to assassinate either President Johnson [36] or Nixon [37], how do you think the U.S. would have responded?
        I don’t know, but I’m quite sure that there would have been demands for revenge.
        That act would only have emboldened the pro-war movement in the U.S.

        • TTG says:

          Keith Harbaugh,

          True, I didn’t say it was a good idea to kill Putin or even to try to engineer his downfall. Much like the Saudi Royals, what comes afterward could be much worse. Putin should pull back behind his border before things do get totally out of hand. No one is going to pursue him to Moscow. The fighting would stop and not another Ukrainian or Russian would have to die. Putin’s grip on the reins of power remain firm. He could easily silence those in Moscow still crying for the elimination of all Ukrainians and bring peace to the Russian people. If the war and casualties continue, his grip on those reins may not be so sure.

        • Billy Roche says:

          A reminder seems necessary.. Russia invaded Ukraine. Ukraine d/n invade Russia. Russia sends missiles into Kiev to kill Ukrainians. Ukraine d/n send missiles into Moscow to kill Russians. Stopping the death is entirely in Russian hands. It has always been.

          • English Outsider says:

            Bill – as this conflict balloons and becomes more and more complex, I’m finding I’m going more and more the other way and looking back to the origins of this war.

            For me it all hinges on one word, a word President Biden and many other Western politicians have been insisting on since day one of the SMO. Unprovoked.

            I don’t believe it was.

          • Sam says:


            The wife-beater argument. She provoked me.

            Nah! Putin believed he’d show everyone realpolitik through the barrel of a gun. His experience was the West acquiesced to his Crimea annexation and his throwing his military weight around the Caucasus. Heck, Trump showed great admiration for Putin’s strong arm tactics. What Putin didn’t contend with was that the Russian army was not what he advertised, a military super-power’s army.

            There’s no good/bad, throughout human history as Thucydides observed, “The strong do what they can, while the weak struggle as they must.”

            Putin played the strong arm card but couldn’t subdue the Ukrainian army. Instead, demonstrated his weakness that Xi will take advantage. It is popular to make value judgments on the use of power and violence to subjugate others, but human history makes no judgment – it is what it is – baked in our DNA.

            The order to invade Ukraine by Putin will IMO turn out to have been a strategic blunder. It will take a long time before Russia will be able to throw its weight around its neighborhood through the use of military force as it had done in the past.

          • Billy Roche says:

            We agree!!! This war was not unprovoked. Ukrainians provoked it by insisting they were free men in 1917! What you will not allow is that Ukrainians are in no way owned by Russians and they have been fighting for independence for over 100 years. One hundred years is far b/f any of the assumed provocations you believe happened. The war happened in 1917 and was RE provoked in 1991 when Ukrainians said “we are free and we mean it”.
            That was provocation enough for the Russians. That is what I meant months ago when I wrote I knew in the summer of ’91 this war was coming I just d/n know when. You can’t “negotiate” w/someone who believes you are their possession. The war is Russian Imperialism.

      • Fred says:


        Amazingly those particular spetsnaz disappeared from the internet, like the ghost of kiev and the middle finger guy on snake island. Last we talked about spetsnaz they were being used in the trenches as line infantry.

          • leith says:

            Who was the FSB informer? Or was it a bit of deception to keep Bortnikov busy on a mole hunt?

          • Poppa Rollo says:

            TTG Replay of the invasion of Afghanistan? Strike the heart of the government and hope the country collapses.

            If I were a betting man I would bet the tactical nukes sent to Moldavia are dummies.

          • Fred says:


            “two different outfits have been sent to kill the Ukrainian president – mercenaries of the Kremlin-backed Wagner group and Chechen special forces.

            But both attempts have reportedly been thwarted by anti-war elements within Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).”

            So the Wagner Group, not Russian spetznaz units, were stopped by – we really need a drum roll for this – Russia’s own FSB. Oh wait, just one ‘mole’. Sorry. I wonder if they rounded them all up before the combat started?

            “According to Time, the Ukrainian military told Zelensky that Russian forces had parachuted into the city…” From the Times of Israel ariticle. Which doesn’t match the London Economic which said the non-spetznaz groups were there weeks earlier. So did they parachute in weeks earlier and nobody noticed?


            So a digital only news site owned by Green Castle Limited which is in turn is owned by Linton Capital LLP, both of which have as razor thin information available as these heroic stories of Zelensky’s First Stand against Wagner and Kadarzov’s parachutists (or maybe not parachutists) non-spetznaz commandos. Who were so elite they couldn’t punch a hole through the rag-tag defenders who were caught completely by surprise.

            Thank goodness Zelensky can rely on cuckservative McCarthy to allow unlimited spending with his ‘deal’ on a debt ceiling. Thus billions more will be on thier way – no accountability attached. That ought to make the NATO air operations in July a wonderful success over Ukraine, where Russia will – once again just like with the White Helmets at Ghouta – do the one thing to guarantee America’s direct intervention in the war. Milley, and his soon to be replacement Johnson, is no Dempsey, so congratulations – premature – to the borg.

      • Billy Roche says:

        Boy oh boy I wish I could!

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