Russian defensive lines: screwing the pooch once again – TTG 

We are passing by the fortifications of the “Surovikin” line (or as many people call the “Faberge” line). In the process, we periodically stop and inspect it, while noticing a number of interesting facts. It is built mainly by civilians. They try to do a quality job and put their soul into the construction. (We saw how the bulldozer driver spent an extra 40 minutes making a neat exit from the strongpoint so that “It would be more convenient for the guys to retrofit it”)

However, in many areas we noticed nuances: The first of them – the line is built according to the map (and the old one at that) and in some places the terrain is simply not taken into account. That is, an anti-tank ditch and a line of concrete “dragon’s teeth” are located on the reverse slope (300 meters from the ridge) from the direction of the expected strike, while the trenches are nearly in a lowland. The enemy, having taken a height and not moving further, can easily hide behind the slope that is opposite to us and accumulate there and we will not even visually observe him.

The second nuance is the anti-tank ditch running in front of the “dragon’s teeth”. The soil dug during its laying is neatly put on our side in a 2.5 meter embankment, which often simply blocks the entire sector of fire and observation for positions. That is, not only is the enemy’s approach to the ditch not covered by barriers, the bottom is not mined, but also the approaches are not covered the defenders’ fire. The enemy will simply accumulate at a distance of a dash, and in the absence of cover, will plant explosives and blow up all engineering barriers. 

The third nuance is often weak and not thick enough ceilings on dugouts in one layer of boards (not logs), covered with a thin layer of earth. Such a layer cannot withstand anything larger than 82 mm mortars. Civilian builders tried to create comfort, and they succeeded, but they did not think about safety. 

The fourth nuance is the bottom of the trench, in which there is no drainage ditch, no drainage pits, and in some places there is no floor (we hope this will be eliminated), a very small percentage of the trench has ceiling (which is very important, especially with the use of air-exploding rounds and drones dropping small IEDs. And of course, the positions are not disguised in any way, as the grass on the dug-out ground does not sprout during the season. This makes it easier for the enemy to identify our positions and adjust fire. 

Fifth, the lack of good dirt roads along the line for quick access of vehicles and for the convenience of transportation or evacuation (on a Kamaz truck, the average speed along the line was 35 km/h, on a car about 20 km/h (after rain, even a pickup truck gets stuck in mud). The units occupying the strongpoints simply did not make markings in order to quickly navigate during the day and night. It is needed so that the driver, who is driving for the first or second time, could quickly bring ammunition and water to the 7th section, which he must quickly find, and not to the 3rd, from where the personnel will have to carry it themselves. In general, we are seeing a huge waste of funds on this line of defense. The involvement of civilian builders and equipment makes it possible to build these structures quickly enough, but the lack of participation in the planning of military engineers and infantrymen, who then hold these positions, leads to the fact that a significant part of these positions does not make sense.

It is extremely unpleasant that the money and resources allocated for this construction often go to waste. Not because of the corruption component (we do not touch on this issue), but simply because of the incompetence and/or impotence of the people who are building it on the ground and are afraid to report to the authorities about the need to postpone construction. This disregard will cost us dearly. What does it cost to start digging not in a lowland, but 500 meters further or closer in order to occupy one of the heights? Why don’t they remove the land covering the sectors? Or do they not use it to further strengthen their positions? If you are afraid to tell the high boss that his beautiful red line on the map needs to be moved a couple of centimeters to the side – you are worthless, as a military man and as a person!

Comment: This is an account of a recent tour of defensive positions in the “Surovikin” line in the Zaporizhzhizia area by the commander of the Sabotage Assault Reconnaissance Group Rusich. Rusich is a volunteer Russian “nazi” group which formed a military unit now fighting with the Wagner Group. His description of Russian defenses does not bode well for defeating any future Ukrainian combined arms offensives.

Laying out proper defensive positions and obstacles is a basic military function. If an Army officer cannot demonstrate this basic skill, he does not remain in any combat arms. General DePuy was TRADOC Commander during my formative years as a young Infantry officer. I was steeped in the DePuy fighting position an elaborate miniature fortress that interlocked with adjacent miniature fortress to create a formidable defensive line or strongpoint. At General DePuy’s insistence, infantry companies going into a defense were heavily augmented with pioneering tools and engineering support when available. But it was the infantry leaders and commanders that were responsible for siting the defensive lines and individual fighting positions.

From this Rusich nazi’s description, it’s fairly obvious that no competent military man is supervising those constructing the fortifications and those construction workers clearly have no access to a manual on the conduct of a defense. Old Soviet military manuals were very good and very thorough in this regard. Defense is something the Russian soldier has historically been very good at. Putin’s kleptocracy seems to have screwed this up, too.

The above illustration is the work of Dr. Lester W. Grau and Dr. Charles K. Bartles of the US Army FMSO from “Russian Future Combat on a Fragmented Battlefield.” Both are noted experts on Russian warfare. Full size Russian (Soviet at the time) strongpoints were constructed at Fort Benning so us young Infantry lieutenants could learn and practice how to reduce these defenses over and over again. The defenses constructed at Zaparozhzhia sound far poorly sited and constructed than our practice strongpoint at Benning.


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54 Responses to Russian defensive lines: screwing the pooch once again – TTG 

  1. Fourth and Long says:

    I read that account of the defensive construction recently on Telegram but was a bit skeptical, just a bit, because I read it as forwarded to Strelkov’s channel where he passed it on but editorialized a bit in his usual gloomy manner. He seems to be having serious negative mood swings especially lately. However he has an exceedingly high batting average overall. People of his high intelligence and intensity are often dysthymic according to folk psychology, in no small part because comparitively they are surrounded by imbecility and greed. I also wondered if there might have been an intent to mislead and instill overconfidence in the opposing forces. Forced to wager I would place my bets on incompetence.

    On topic is George Soros’s article released today about climate change and the Ukraine war particularly. It’s free for first users but demands a sign-in so I’ll quote from the relevant parts below the link. See what you think. Obviously he keeps abreast of the conflict in detail. I personally don’t agree with him that Putin is trying to reestablish the old Russian empire, I rather think he is trying to counter Nato expansion and was tricked into hastily invading by means of the nuclear scare (dirty bombs etc) perpetrated at the Munich conference where Zelensky said that the Budapest agreements concerning nuclear arms and Ukraine no longer applied – while no less than the US Vice President was on hand to raise the levels of alarm in Russian eyes. But that’s just me.

    –The countries of the former Soviet empire, eager to assert their independence, eagerly await defeat of the Russian army in Ukraine. At that point, Vladimir Putin’s dream of a renewed Russian empire will disintegrate and cease to pose a threat to Europe, and the world will be able to focus on its biggest problem: climate change.–

    The other domain where important changes have taken place is Russia’s war against Ukraine. Until October, Ukraine was winning on the battlefield. Then, Russia, with the help of Iran, introduced drones on a large scale. Their aim was to undermine Ukrainians’ morale by depriving the civilian population of electricity, heat, and water. This put Ukraine on the defensive.

    The regular Russian army is in desperate straits. It is badly led, ill-equipped, and gravely demoralized. President Vladimir Putin recognized this and took a desperate gamble. He turned to Yevgeny Prigozhin, who had marshaled an army of mercenaries called the Wagner Group and was eager to prove that his forces could outperform the regular army. Putin allowed Prigozhin to recruit prisoners from Russia’s jails. With the former convicts’ help, and at an enormous cost in their and other mercenaries’ lives, Wagner started to gain territory around the town of Bakhmut while the regular army remained stymied or was losing ground elsewhere.
    Putin’s gamble worked – up to a point. The regular army, feeling threatened, started waging a bureaucratic war against Prigozhin – which they won. They saw to it that Prigozhin was prohibited from recruiting more prisoners and supplied Wagner fighters with the wrong types of munitions. In recent weeks, Prigozhin went public with his complaints, an action that put Putin in a difficult position. At first, Putin tried to help Prigozhin, but the establishment supported the regular army. Together, they convinced Putin that Prigozhin poses a threat to his continued rule.
    Ukraine is taking advantage of this Russian infighting. President Volodymyr Zelensky consulted his army’s leaders, and they unanimously recommended putting Prigozhin’s army through the proverbial meat grinder while it is so disadvantaged. Ukrainian forces will thus be able to mount a counterattack when they receive the up-to-date armaments, in particular Leopard 2 tanks, they have been promised. That should happen around May, but it could also be earlier.
    So, most of the important predictions I made in Munich a month ago about the war – including that a powerful Ukrainian spring offensive will decisively turn the tide – are likely to come true. I am aware, of course, that a number of reputable publications have published articles that paint a much more dismal picture of the war’s progress. How can they be reconciled with the upbeat view that I hold? Only by postulating a successful disinformation campaign.
    Putin is desperate for a ceasefire, but he does not want to admit it. Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the same boat. But US President Joe Biden is unlikely to jump at this seeming opportunity to negotiate a ceasefire, because he has pledged that the US will not negotiate behind Zelensky’s back.
    The countries of the former Soviet empire, eager to assert their independence, can hardly wait for the Russian army to be crushed in Ukraine. At that point, Putin’s dream of a renewed Russian empire will disintegrate and cease to pose a threat to Europe.
    The defeat of Russian imperialism will have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. It will bring huge relief to open societies and create tremendous problems for closed ones. Most importantly, it will allow the world to concentrate on its biggest problem, climate change.

    Well, that’s all from Soros. I think he is obviously a brilliant man – and an old one – who is unfortunately stuck in a past which conditioned him very negatively regarding Russia. And I think his liberal ideas, which normally I greatly sympathize with, have overshot the mark especially in their overestimation of people’s ability to tolerate and rapidly adjust to other cultures, ethnicities and deeply rooted outlooks evolved over the course of millennia. He titled his essay “Updating My Munich Predictions.” The section, brief, on climate change is certainly worth reading too.

    • peter mcloughlin says:

      I think George Soros’ predictions that Russia will “disintegrate and cease to pose a threat to Europe” allowing humanity return to the problem of climate change is dangerously mistaken. Putin’s Russia will disintegrate, as will the rest of the planet, for it is on course for WW III. The pattern of history makes that prediction.

    • English Outsider says:

      F & L. This?

      “The regular Russian army is in desperate straits.”

      In England, even more so in Germany, any attempt to look facts in the face is now regarded as unpatriotic. Even treasonous. Hence very few are willing to poke their heads above the parapet and state “This isn’t working.”

      Particularly so in the case of this war. One of the things that’s surprised me about the response in Northern Europe, UK included, is that it’s revealed a deep streak of tribal animosity to the Russians.

      I don’t see that in the States at all. You breathe a different air. But I do see it in Northern Europe. Put simply, very many of us here hate the bastards and would like to see them hammered. And quite a few of us go the distance and return to the ’30’s. The Russians are Untermenschen and when you’re dealing with Untermenschen anything goes.

      Bad time to be an Outsider in Northern Europe, then. But facts are still facts. Biden is wrong when he says the Russians are guilty of “unprovoked aggression”. We poked the Bear until it got fed up and poked back. A Neocon scam to give the Neocons, Scholz at their head in Europe, cover for the sanctions war that was to scupper the Untermenschen once and for all.

      And you’re wrong too, I’m afraid. “The regular Russian army is in desperate straits.” That’s just whistling in the dark.

      So far the Russians have committed a fraction of their forces. With that fraction they’ve already defeated all the combined West can throw at them. Our politicians had one plan and one plan only – forget all this military nonsense. That plan was to break Russia with sanctions. Fail. Time to pack it in.

      You won’t have that much trouble packing it in in the States. I’ve seen the politicians and the media men over your way preparing the ground for that for months. Easy come, easy go, failed wars for the Washington Neocons.

      Could be different in Europe. Our politicians are going to have one hell of a job telling their electorates the whole thing’s a bust. Still waiting to see how they do it. A little worried that they might not be able to do it at all.

      • Bill Roche says:

        No, “we” d/n poke the Bear. The Bear never intended for there to be a free Ukraine. This is clearly evident, to any one who cares to look at 20th century Ukrainian efforts for independence. War was guaranteed in the summer of ’91 when Ukrainians (again) declared their independence. History of Ukrainian Russian relations d/n start in 2014. Some may conveniently think so but history continues to insist on being heard. So it is time to pack it in? Just what Czar Putin wants.

        • English Outsider says:

          Bill – soon after February last year I was one of those who insisted that the longer we made the Ukrainians keep fighting the more lives and territory they’d lose.

          Had we not given the Right Sector such a boost in 2014 the Ukrainians would not have lost Crimea. After the failure of Minsk 2 they were bound to lose the Donbass. After the failure of the Istanbul peace talks they lost more.

          We have done our proxies no service. If we keep on insisting they fight on they’ll lose yet more. And the casualties mount daily. This is not a war the West is going to win, whatever we think of the rights and wrongs of the matter.

          I know you and I disagree on those rights and wrongs. You believe we are fighting a just war and I don’t. But setting that issue aside, it is still the case that the longer we insist the Ukrainians keep fighting the more lives and territory they will lose. That is why I believe we should stop now.

          • Bill Roche says:

            The West are not using or mandating Ukrainians die for us. Ukrainians have been fighting and dying for their independence, since 1914. Regardless of your constant attempt to characterize it as a proxy NATO war vs Russia, Ukraine does not die for the west, Nuland, or NATO. Ukrainians dies for their freedom. The minute Ukrainian soldiers say “enough” the war ends. The minute Czar Vlad gives up on his dream of a new Russian Empire, the war ends. An American, whose family was of English extraction, once said “give me liberty, or give me death”. Quaint, but some people still do that.

          • Jake says:


            ‘Ukrainians have been fighting and dying for their independence, since 1914.’

            They got independence in the early nineties, although Crimea opted out through a popular referendum even at that stage. It was ugly, mainly because a large chunk of the electorate did not want to be independent at all, but were looking to join the EU and NATO. Both organisations are notoriously undemocratic, and usurpers of independent nations, looking for expansion 24/7, imposing their ‘Rules’ on the citizens within, and the ‘Rest of the World’ if you let them.

            Note, this was not meant to be. The EU was never meant to be anything else but a league of independent nations, looking for opportunities to draw down trade barriers, and improve the wealth of the people. And NATO said it was about defending the member-states only. It is now aggressively confronting countries around the globe who refuse to accept NATO as the sole policeman in the world.

            My prediction is, that Ukraine turns on NATO and the EU, embraces Chinese proposals to end the war, and become a (reluctant) member of the BRI, leaving the NATO-countries with the debt, and depleted military stocks, while the ‘Collective West’ crumbles. Sour grapes for the Neocons and their Neonazi friends.

      • Whitewall says:

        “You breathe a different air. But I do see it in Northern Europe. Put simply, very many of us here hate the bastards and would like to see them hammered.”

        I think maybe over here in the former colonies, the ‘hate the bastards’ may break down to above a certain age or below. I am unashamedly above the age line.

        I’ll leave the rest alone.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Forgive me if I seemed to be endorsing Soros. I don’t. I think he’s a greedy bastard who wants everything destroyed which stands in the way of his “Open Empire” – international capitalism on steroids. Low labor coolies imported from everywhere to do grunt labor – no living wages, no rights, etc etc while his class of oilygarkkks sit home raking in the trillions. Everything else he does, however seemingly progressive is clever window dressing in support of his wealth and power grab. Look at his name – not his original name, but one he himself invented, check his Wiki page for his real name:

        SOROS .. … … ORO SS … SS ORO. (SS GOLD).

        If you’re in fact a Brit, I’ll wager you’ve solved a cryptic puzzle or two, so the anagram is no challenge. But the history? As an adolescent he assisted Nazi SS officers in retrieving gold and valuables from Jewish victims in his native Hungary. He is Jewish. ORO – gold. That alone qualifies him for the innermost of innermost circles of hell. He bloody well freakin advertises it right there with his name for everyone to see. The Unconscious is a thing I’m afraid, deny it all you like. He’s so messed up in the head that in my estimation his eco-friendly climate agenda is also a devilish ruse, and I am generally someone who takes the environmental issue seriously but not when I see the likes of him promoting it.

        I don’t support the West at all in this conflict, it was cleverly provoked and planned for years and years.

        • Bill Roche says:

          FnL once more you are right. This war HAS been fought for years. Ukrainians have been fighting it since 1914, and again in 1921, again in 1931 – whoops I’m wrong, they had to take time off to bury 6MM of their own – , but again in 1942, and again in 1952, and finally, free at last free at last, thank god almighty we’re free at last in 1991. Problem was the Russian Boyar/Authoritarian Class d/n agree. Provoked by Ukrainian independence they cleverly bided their time and acted to subdue those impudent Ukrainians with Czar Vlad’s SMO.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            Bill Roche,
            I realize that Hemingway said or wrote that Taras Bulba was one of the six finest stories ever written, and I personally think that his own short story “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” is impossible to equal, but you could in my humble opinion benefit from expanding your view of history. Perhaps Napoleon, maybe Hitler, Kaiser Willy and Genghis Khan and Tamerlane could be located by your friendly neighborhood librarian if he she or it can find time away from the library’s weekend drag-queen readings for little children on transexual ex-drug addict commemoration day and remember how to use a card catalog.

          • Bill Roche says:

            F&L thanks for the suggestions on expanding my historical knowledge. I think I’m doing ok. As to Hemingways views on Taras Bulba… he’s entitled. I got a hang for Michener(sp) some years ago. So descriptive! Just last week some old friends were talking about “Killer Angels” and some thought it wonderful and others said “yeah, but it is historically inaccurate as to military references” whatever that means? Years ago I told my wife I read two books on Washington and he wasn’t so great at all. She suggested I read more. After about 10 books I sheepishly confessed, Washington was not perfect by any means but I believe w/o him there would have been no Republic. Retired, I find myself in my local library more often than I like to admit. Currently reading “July 1914 Countdown to War”. Author picks up the story of WW I the month b/f Tuchman gets hold of it. All the characters of the day are there and, to my surprise, they all were pretty level headed people. Princip comes off a trifle heroic, and Czar Nicky is not a fool after all! Finished a wonderful book by Parkman on early American history. He paints Pontiac as more than a vile savage, although not quite noble. He takes his story up to 1848 (I think it was written around 1850 ish) and in the end those injuns just aren’t capable of civilization. The author is a man of his time. Waiting for me is yet another tome on the Norman Conquest. Author is an Englishman. I wonder how he’ll paint that bastard William. Beyond agreement on place and date, history begs for interpretation. Often readers of history differ. Taras Bulba you say? My sis-in-law is from St Petersburgh I wonder if she had to read it in school. Maybe she has an opinion … too.

        • English Outsider says:

          F & L. Yes, I’m a Brit. A Brit puzzling over “Whitewall’s” description of the USA as a “former colony”.

          Er, what do you mean, “former”, Whitewall? Is there something I’ve missed?

          But F & L. My sixth para above reads uncivil. Please put that down to haste rather than intention. I’m spending a lot of time at present running a relative to and from hospital. Anything to do with hospitals these days means lots and lots of time so I didn’t check over that comment as carefully as I should have done. Apologies.

          On the Ukraine, if it weren’t for the number of deaths I wouldn’t be paying a lot of attention to it. Europe was going down anyway. Even the soundest economy on the continent, Germany, has been busily wrecking itself over the last few years with outsourcing and grabbing any cheap labour going. Idiots, The rest of us were basket cases anyway. So the Ukraine debacle has accelerated that process of economic and social decline but it hasn’t caused it.

          Or maybe I would be paying some attention to the Ukraine in any case. As an example of the most transparent scam ever practised by the European politicians on their credulous electorates.

          Force the Russians to take military action. Call that “unprovoked Russian aggression” and get everyone jumping up and down. Use that to justify the sanctions that were intended to break Russia.

          One of a long line of neocon scams. The WMD scam. The Syrian “moderate rebels” scam. We fall for it every time and we fell for it this time.

          As for the Ukraine itself, the 2010 election map shows the divisions in the country. Shouldn’t be too difficult to break a country like that apart. The neocons managed it with ease.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Interesting comment re breaking Ukraine (it has not been “the Ukraine” since ’91, it is a sovereign state now. Russia still denies this, perhaps others too?) apart. The same might to be said for Britain. Many in Wales and Scotland want out and the fat lady aint finished singing in Ireland. As to Ukraine, NO ONE forced Russia’s hand. You keep saying this and I’ll keep contradicting you. Russia’s refusal of Ukrainian independence has been going on since 1914. When the Ukrainians had the insolence to declare themselves free of Russia in ’91 you could “bet the house” that a war of “recovery” was going to happen. You just couldn’t say when. As long as Ukrainians d/n really behave independently Russia would tolerate them. Deny as you will, western neocons d/n start/cause this war. Russian imperialism did. That is what this fight is about. Ukrainians, after 100 years of effort still hope to be a free people.

  2. Fred says:

    Having destroyed the Ukrainian “nazis” in Mariupol the Russian Federation set about recruiting “nazis” to fight the country the other “nazis” were fighting for? Who writes this stuff, Mel Brooks?

    We’ve been supplying real time overhead intelligence to the Ukrainians, as well as artillery and ammunition larger than 81mm. Why haven’t they destroyed these positions already? If the battlefield is so lethal that the Russians have taken horrendous casualties, except here, how can they possibly entice “civilians ” to work on the front line? Maybe the Ghost of Kiev’s boss could provide an explanation?

    • TTG says:


      Russia and a lot of other countries have groups flirting with nazi/nationalist ideology and, except for in Germany, these clowns are often enamored with nazi symbology and regalia. The Russian group Rusich is no exception. The Rusich leader is a long time friend of the founder of the Wagner Group who also sports several nazi tattoos.

      “Why haven’t they destroyed these positions already?”

      Ukrainian forces haven’t attacked these positions around Zaporozhzhia yet. Maybe in the spring/late spring offensive.

      • Fred says:


        May in ….. LOL they’ve got a bunch of sitting ducks and just like the Russian truck column stalled NE of Kiev they can’t get around to finishing the job just yet. Maybe later. And here I thought the culminating point was reached back in September.

        • TTG says:


          They’re not sitting ducks. They’re poorly planned, poorly constructed defensive positions. They are not a priority target, nor are they an imminent threat to Ukrainian forces. Why strike them with scarce ammunition? For shits and grins?

          You misunderstand the culminating point. A culminating point is reached when the offensive can no longer be sustained without changing conditions. The Russians changed those conditions with the massive influx of mobiks and convicts. Culminating points can occur over and over again.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            TTG: “They’re not sitting ducks. They’re poorly planned, poorly constructed defensive positions.”

            I took Fred’s comment to be about the civilian contractors who were constructing those positions, not about the positions themselves.

            I have to say I find the entire argument to be a little bit…. far-fetched.

            Civilians built these fortifications badly because, you know, they are civilians. What would they know?

            Well, gosh, even if the positions were dug by civilians contractors the military guys who would man those positions were just… where, exactly?

            Went off to the pub and enjoyed a few beers and a game of darts?

            I mean, honestly, even if the soldiers didn’t want to DIG the damn thing they at least would understand that their lives were depended on those positions being defensible. So, you know, keep an eye on those shoddy civvies.

            Apparently not.

            Relying on those positions to keep them alive is – again, apparently – not enough to concentrate their minds.

          • Fred says:


            what scarce ammunition? Where did it all go?

          • TTG says:


            Where did it go? It was fired at the Russians, obviously.

    • Leith says:

      Fred –

      The Rusich Group have been nazis more than a decade before Mariupol was besieged and overrun. They were spouting nazi BS long before the Azov Battalion was formed and long before the Maidan revolution.

      • Fred says:


        Funny how news of Russian nazis only made the news now, the only link showing “Rusich Group” being this post by TTG, though stories of the Ukranian ones were on SST years ago.

        • TTG says:


          The information on Russian nazis has always been out there, along with Putin’s use of them in his policy of “controlled nationalism.” We just haven’t used it as a point of anti-Russian propaganda. And the Russian nazis were never as influential as the Ukrainian nazis were in 2014 and 2015.

        • Leith says:

          Fred –

          The news has been out there for years. I posted here on SST myself a year or so ago on several different neo-nazi units and militias who had been working for the Donetsk and Luhansk separatists since 2014/2015.

          And not just nazis, some far-left knuckleheads also put their neo-Stalinist two cents into the Donbas for Mother Russia. At least one of those lefty outfits, the National Bolsheviks, are said to be a 21st century blend of fascism and communism. I think we’ve always known there was an intersection and love affair between the two. It wasn’t just Hitler that started WW2 by invading Poland. Hitler’s partner and ally, Stalin, was right there with him invading the east half and murdering severl tens-of-thousand priests, police, military officers and NCOs.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Leith; Nazis and Commies are two sides of the same coin w/a common denominator fascism. The “match made in heaven” in ’41 was Hitler and Stalin. “Hey Joe, you get to kill some Poles and take the east and I’ll do like wise and take the west”. I don’t know why (yes I do) but few remember that Hitler’s invasion of Poland alone d/n start the European war again in ’39. It was the “Dolf n Joe Show”. By that time the commies had already murdered 6MM Ukrainians and Hitler was just beginning his murder of 6MM Jews. The world remembers the Holocaust, forgets the Holodomore, remembers Hitlers invasion of the Sudeutenland and Poland but forgets Russia’s invasion of Finland and Poland. Although it was 90 years ago I’ll bet Ukrainians remember Holodomore . It may even be why some Ukrainians are fighting so hard to remain free of Russia.

          • LeaNder says:

            By that time the commies had already murdered 6MM

            I agree with F&L, you should widen your historical perspective.

            But I do have a lot of sympathy with your diligent propaganda. I labored in the field too. Repeating matters helps indeed to hammer favored tunes into people’s head.

            Still, your numbers don’t get mysteriously right by repeating them.

            I am 100% sure that the ‘6MM’ you allude to above, the 6MM commies murdered, are meant to be the Ukrainian victims of the Holodomor. The problem with this quite familiar number is, while it no doubt surfaces in the wider historical context of the Holodomor, it does not signify Ukrainian victims only. The Ukrainian share is mostly agreed to be 3.5 MM, or 10% of all Ukrainians at the time. You don’t want to honor and remember all the victims of the forced collectivization, do you?

            But keep hammering away to your straight heart’s desire. 😉

          • Leith says:

            LeaNder –

            Why are you 100% sure Biil R. was speaking of the Holodomor when he mentioned the six million murdered Ukrainians?

            My assumption was that he was speaking of the Holodomor plus a few other incidents.
            1] those Ukrainian civilians killed during the Ukrainian War of Independence when they declared independence from Russia in 1917/1918.
            2] those butchered by the Reds in the Civil War .
            3] the Kulaks that died in the Gulag.
            4] those Ukrainian Marxists that were executed during Stalin’s purges.

            His six million figure seem way underestimated to me.

          • LeaNder says:

            His six million figure seem way underestimated to me.

            Leith, it’s a symbolic number, would you agree? Accidentially all the matters you mention + Holodomor indeed add up to 6 MM too? …

            It was impolite? The slightly ironic 100%? I am willing to excuse: I am sorry dear Bill Roche.

          • Leith says:

            LeaNder –

            Regarding the numbers of the Holodomor, there is another thing to consider. At the time of the Holodomor there were millions of Ukrainians outside of Ukraine’s borders in Russian and Belarusian areas; i.e. the Kuban, western regions of Rostov oblast, southern areas of Voronezh and Belgorod oblasts, part of Bryansk, far eaer Siberia, Khazakhstan.

  3. Al says:

    Regarding Russian military competency, Senator/Astronaut Mark Kelly flew with Russian pilots and offered this appraisal:

    Sen. Mark Kelly flew with Russian pilots in the Navy and with NASA, and he said the Russian fighter jet running into a US drone shows ‘how incompetent they are’.

    “I’m not surprised by this. I mean, I flew with Russian pilots, fighter pilots who couldn’t fly formation. And I watched this video, and it’s pretty obvious what happened. He lost sight of it, and he crashed into it.”

    Kelly compared the fighter jet incident to the “incompetence that we see on the battle field every day in Ukraine. That’s why the losses that the Russians are suffering right now are really high. ”

    • Mark Logan says:


      Our F-111 has a similar configuration of fuel dumps at the rear next to the engines. They used to light the afterburners to burn off most of it to limit the fallout on shrubbery and such. They used to do this at air shows, and sometimes just for S&Gs I suspect.

      I suspect this may have been what the SUs were trying to do to the Reaper, but they seem to have had difficulty getting the trail of fuel to ignite.

  4. d74 says:

    Thanks TTG, interesting article.

    Decoding the head diagram takes time but is worth it.

    Like everyone else, I have seen videos of these stop lines.

    It seems to me that the dragon teeth are ridiculous because they are too small and too light. Everything is cheap, worthless, fake.
    This line would only be to reassure the infantryman in case everything goes wrong. A PR operation for internal use, like “from now on, no more steps back”.

    No doubt that the author, Rusich, is on the receiving end of Putin’s latest ukase aimed at restoring the morale of the troops: 15 years in jail.

    • jim ticehurst.. says:

      The Ukrainians have The Best Organized Military ..You Can See It ill all
      thier Trech Positions..Photos..Videos…The Best Military Minds in the World
      And Engineers have been Involved…I Imagine.
      ..Both Sides in WW 1 had better Trenchs than Russia has Now..All I see is a Narrow Ditch..Dug by a Backhoe on thier side…
      and Some Poor Russsia standing out in the Open until a Drone drops a Grenade on Him…..Stench Warfare…Like WW1………..ALL Wars..Really.
      .Biden Sent anther #350 Million Dollars of Weapons and Ammo Resupply Today…..Not to ISIS this time.. My Regards to Pat..good man

  5. curious says:

    “The section, brief, on climate change is certainly worth reading too.”
    Climate change is an imaginary problem. Loads of sources out there to check for those who care to look.
    So why does an intelligent, (“brilliant” even?), man like Soros define it as the world’s biggest problem?
    It seems to me he is timing his comments to fit with IPCC AR6 SYR fairytales:

    • Fourth and Long says:

      I’m coming around to your point of view on the climate change issue. I’m a slow learner. In 1948 – 1950 the finest scientific minds believed that according to their evidence, the Sun was 1.8 billion yrs old while the geology showed that the earth was 4.5 billion yrs old. The west side highway in NY City was supposed to be under water by the year 2000 according to experts on the TV.

      They have an anti-racist campaign going full force for a long time now. Is it because those billionaires promoting it are touchy-feely on human rights all of a sudden after being genocidal slavers and profiteers for endless centuries? Or because when your job goes away to non-union labor to immigrants who look different, or overseas similarly, so that more money goes into the pockets of fat-cats, they can say to you in case you protest “don’t tell me you’re upset because you’re unemployed and your kids had to sell themselves into prostitution – oh no, I with the megahones and newspapers and TV shows will tell you why you’re protesting – it’s because you’re a G D racist .. Take That!”

      It’s quite possible “climate change” is being manipulated in a similar fashion. Take literally EVERYTHING …. EVERYTHING … Away from EVERYONE ON EARTH FOREVER and go meekly into the night over it .. Or Else you are complicit in destroying mother earth.

      • curious says:

        There are many problems with the climate crisis narrative.
        Lack of any evidence is the biggest.
        The motivations for the mistakes, misinterpretations, misrepresentations, and manipulations are likely to be multiple.
        The costs of the actions based on the all the above are beyond quantification. But some have benefited whilst many lose, that is certain and will continue.
        I don’t know why Soros wants to push it so hard, but he does like to play the big game.

        • curious says:

          PS – I can’t see how

          “You will own nothing and be happy”

          will not transform into

          “You will own nothing and be a slave”

      • Whitewall says:

        you will have nothing, own nothing and you will be happy.

      • KjHeart says:

        F & L

        So many people with agendas are trying to change some very simple definitions.

        There is a difference between ‘Climate” and “weather’; Climates can be seen in certain regions (of the world) and the boundaries do not shift much. Just look up the Zone Hardiness Map’s for farming and gardening and you will see what I mean by that statement.

        “Climates’ do not change (much); ‘Weather” changes all the time.

        I found this useful.


        • TTG says:


          Climates do change drastically over time. Remember the Ice Ages and the temperate forests of the Canadian Arctic 50 million years ago. There were once tropical rainforests in the Antarctic.

          • KjHeart says:

            Measured in Millenia then, Yes, climates DO change. Year to year, or decade to decade – not so measurable.


        • Mark Logan says:


          Nevertheless volcanoes have demonstrated that throwing a bunch of stuff in the air can change the “weather” a heck of a lot. See 536AD.

          Thus, the possibility that all the stuff we are throwing into the atmosphere is affecting the “weather” must be considered plausible. We are not capable of setting up another planet as a control and conducting a definitive test on the issue to either prove or disprove it.

  6. JamesT says:

    There is an article in The Economist arguing that “rigid Soviet military thinking” is holding back Ukraine’s armed forces, with “micromanaging commanders stifling junior initiative”:

    This is not about Soviet thinking vs modern thinking, this is about Russian thinking vs European thinking. I have been to Kiev, Odessa, and Lviv – the people in Kiev and Odessa had totally Russian mentalities and the people in Lviv had European mentalities. You can’t change culture overnight and the fact is that Russians (and the majority of Ukrainians) have a very top down approach to management that they can’t quickly give up to magically morph into Europeans.

    I have a friend it Russia who told me how he manages IT projects:
    “When we start out we do it your way (the western way) and call everybody into a team meeting and tell them we are going to implement this new ERP system as a team. And we do all that cross team collaboration stuff – yada, yada, yada. And we run the project for three months or so during which time some people will invariably obstruct the project … we keep doing it the western way and we figure out who those people are. Then after 3 or 4 months we start firing the obstructionists to make an example of them. After we have fired 3 or 4 people and everyone can see we are serious they get on board and the project proceeds. Your western management methods don’t work here – Russian culture is different.”

  7. Can the Ukraine-supporters counter this assessment from Stephen M. Walt?

    Ukrainians—and their loudest supporters in the West—
    have gone to enormous lengths to link their country’s fate to lots of unrelated issues.
    If you listen to them,
    Russian control over Crimea or any portion of the Donbas would be
    a fatal blow to the “rules-based international order,”
    an invitation to China to seize Taiwan,
    a boon to autocrats everywhere,
    a catastrophic failure of democracy, and
    a sign that nuclear blackmail is easy …
    Hard-liners in the West make arguments like this to make
    Ukraine’s fate appear as important to us as it is to Russia,
    but such scare tactics don’t stand up to even casual scrutiny.
    The future course of the 21st century is not going to be determined by whether Kyiv or Moscow ends up controlling the territories they are currently fighting over,
    but rather by
    which countries control key technologies,
    by climate change, and by
    political developments in many other places.

    I think that makes a good counter to the more shrill, clearly exaggerated claims we all too often hear,
    making implicit comparisons of Putin to Hitler.

    • blue peacock says:

      “The future course of the 21st century is not going to be determined by whether Kyiv or Moscow ends up controlling the territories they are currently fighting over,..”

      Then Putin should withdraw his forces back into Russian territory and leave Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe alone to go on with their lives and make their choices of who they align with politically and militarily.

    • curious says:

      “rules-based international order,”
      Like “build back better” this is a flag phrase that it’s a top down message.
      We used to have the rule of national and international law.
      Spot the flags whilst you can, as AI wakes up, these obvious flags will be replaced with less revealing equivalents.

      Here is the current state of play in top down message placement for those who doubt it:

  8. KjHeart says:


    Good article. Thanks.

    Whenever I want to have a laugh, I just look up ‘Construction Fails’ on the almighty internet and have no end of entertainment -we have all seen those ‘bridges to nowhere’ and fenced in stairways etc. . This comes from construction workers being paid to ‘build a thing’ and ‘not ask questions’.

    The description of “boards covered over with a thin layer of earth” really got to me. Ugg!

    Much as I love trees, if I were in a situation of needing a (life) protective barrier (roof) I could definitely fell some trees for the needed logs… provided that the structure is sturdy enough to take the added weight. (more Ugg!)

    Given that global construction supply shortages have been ongoing for some years now, I decided to look to see what level of forestation there is in this part of Ukraine – it is not as much as I would have thought.

    Ukraine is more forested to the North, and not so much in the South and East. The total forestation for the entire (pre invasion) land mass is a little over 16% (pre Russian Invasion figures).

    For comparison, only about 7 US states (and a few island territories) have less forestation than Ukraine with Nevada being the closest at a little under 16%. Most of North America has a much larger forest cover than Ukraine.

    I found the United Kingdom has a little over 13% to 20% forest or tree cover. (as it appears to be a ‘much argued topic’ in the UK the sites with data vary a bit)

    My point here is that there may have only been ‘a few boards’ available to cover a ‘bunker’ in the Zaporizhzhia area.

    The importance of the Supply chain.


    • TTG says:


      The Ukrainians make heavy use of preformed concrete structures which are buried into defensive positions. Alternatively, preformed reinforced concrete posts can be used as logs. The problem being that these posts must be hauled in by train and truck. That Russian logistics system is already stressed. The Russians had some prefab bunkers in Kherson, but they were thin walled, poorly constructed and set up in the open. It looked like a line of porta-johns for a concert rather than a defensive line. Russian apathy runs deep. It keeps the population quiet, but it also makes for some pretty half-assed efforts.

      In Hawaii, we were not allowed to cut trees for our fighting positions. The engineers hauled in 4×4 and 6×6 posts that we manhandled into place for overhead cover. Then we dismantled them and the engineers carried them away for the next unit’s training.

  9. Leith says:

    What a great zinger by ISW with that ‘Faberge Line’ comment. I suspect they are right as it looks damn fragile and brittle.

    But even if it was built stronger it wouldn’t hold. China’s 10,000 Li Great Wall didn’t keep out the Mongols and later did not stop the Manchu invasion. Hitler’s Atlantic Wall didn’t stop Ike and the Nazi’s OstWall and Siegfried Line didn’t work well either.

  10. Fred says:

    Nazis meet Nazis, but not on the Ukranian battlefield. Agree that the nazis of both sides can sell grain to all comers. What will they agree on next?

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