“Russian forces destroy Kakhovka dam, triggering humanitarian disaster”

An image shows the damage to the destroyed Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant in Kherson Oblast on the morning of June 6, 2023. (Energoatom)

The dam of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant across the Dnipro River, occupied by Russian forces, was destroyed on the morning of June 6, sparking a large-scale humanitarian and environmental disaster across southern Ukraine. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported early in the morning that Russian forces blew up the dam.

Video footage widely spread on social media clearly shows a major breach in the section of the dam closest to the Russian-occupied eastern bank of the river.  According to a resident of a nearby settlement cited by Ukrainska Pravda, there was a single explosion, after which the dam “collapsed like a house of cards.”

Ukraine’s national police have called for the residents of 10 villages alongside the bank of the Dnipro River to evacuate, as well as part of Kherson city itself. In the hours after the explosion, floodwaters quickly began to hit settlements downstream from the dam. At 9 a.m., Kherson Oblast Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported that the villages of Tiahinka, Lvove, Odradokamianka, Ivanivka, Mykilske, Tokarivka, Poniativka, Bilozerka, and the  Ostriv district in Kherson were “fully or partially flooded.”

Speaking to Ukrainska Pravda, Volodymyr Kovalenko, the exiled mayor of the occupied city of Nova Kakhovka adjacent to the dam, reported that Russian forces had also blown up the machine hall of the plant, and that the city was experiencing significant flooding.

The Moscow-installed official in the city of Nova Kakhovka in the Russian-occupied parts of Kherson Oblast initially denied that the dam had been completely destroyed. “Everything is quiet and calm, there is nothing at all,” RIA Novosti, one of Russia’s state-owned news agencies, cited the mayor, Vladimir Leontiev, as saying. He later said that only “the upper part of the power plant” had been damaged, but the dam itself was intact. Leontiev later claimed that the dam was destroyed by Ukrainian shelling.

Built in 1956, the power plant was a crucial component of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. According to the country’s state hydroelectric power agency, the damage caused by the breach is “impossible to repair.”

“The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they (Russians) must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land,” wrote Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Twitter in response to the attack. Zelensky also called an emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, according to the council’s head Oleksii Danilov. “Not a single meter should be left to them because they use every meter for terror. It’s only Ukraine’s victory that will return security.”


Comment: Many feared the Russians would blow this dam as they withdrew from Kherson last year although doing so would render the North Crimean Canal bringing water to Crimea inoperable. It now appears the Russians are moving into the “scorched earth” phase of their war. Crimean reservoirs have been filled so there is no immediate danger to the drinking water supply, but the long term prospects for Crimea are now pretty dim. The dam and canal will take years to rebuild.

Militarily, blowing the dam does protect Russia’s flank from possible amphibious incursions across the river at least until the resulting mud flats dry out. But any such amphibious incursions by Ukraine would have been raids at best. Ukraine does not have the capability to sustain a major offensive action across the Dnipro. Russia has sacrificed the foreseeable future of Crimea in exchange for assuaging their fear of these phantom raids. 

I think Russia has resigned herself to the eventual loss of the rest of Kherson oblast and the waters of the Dnipro. They may think they can or, more likely, must retain Crimea. But the loss of the North Crimean Canal, the very likely future interdiction of the Kerch Bridge and the continued threat of drone and missile strikes at Sevastopol will largely negate the strategic value of Crimea to Russia. The symbolic value of Crimea to Russia, however, is immense. Russia will not withdraw voluntarily, especially under the Putin regime.


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147 Responses to “Russian forces destroy Kakhovka dam, triggering humanitarian disaster”

  1. Fourth and Long says:

    I don’t think I’ll be posting here any longer. Asserting that the Russians did this without even considering otherwise when even CNN, the NYTIMES and every single other coverage allows that it may have been Ukraine or Nato who did so is just plain ludicrous. And all the analysis I’ve read says it advantages Ukraine more to do so in the military terms, though it’s obviously a huge long-term environmental and human catastrophe —— which means it’s the US and UK and the hedge funds, no real Ukrainian would do this. I have zero respect for this place now.

    • TTG says:


      Well then, goodbye and best of luck to you. The very idea that Ukraine or NATO deliberately did this in the face of witness accounts is just plain ludicrous and the height of bothsideism. Stay away for as long as you think prudent and necessary.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        I’ll return when it returns here to Combat! turcopolier dot com — I was never a big fan of Ricardo Montelban. OK, Tanya Roberts, forgot about her. Fantasy Island turcopolier? Don’t get me started.

      • Christian Chuba says:

        ” The very idea that Ukraine or NATO deliberately did this in the face of witness accounts is just plain ludicrous”

        Witnesses, who?

        Both Ukraine and Russia have access to the dam as the river dmarcs their territory. The Kiev Post says that the dam breach was at the edge of Ukrainian held territory, “clearly shows a major breach in the section of the dam closest to the Russian-occupied eastern bank of the river”. Note the wording, ‘closest’ as opposed to ‘in’.

        MoA proposes a reasonable motive, it’s a cheap way for Ukraine to clear out obstacles on the Russian side of the bank to make crossings easier after the water subsides.

        • TTG says:

          Christian Chuba,

          Russia occupied Nova Kakhovka and controlled the non-operating hydroelectric plant and the sluice controls. Residents of Nova Kakhovka reported hearing first an explosion, then heard and felt the rumbling of the collapsing dam and the roar of the water.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            Why in the name of frosty fairydust would the Russians do this to themselves?? (Whereas it makes eminent sense for Hato and Yourcranium to do so.)

            In just half a day, the situation with water intake into the North Crimean Canal becomes critical. On the first photo – “norm”, on the second – the entrance to the mouth of the channel in the afternoon. Apparently tomorrow the water will stop flowing into the canal

          • TTG says:


            Crimea went for years without water from the canal. Since the Russians restored the flow last year, the reservoirs were filled to 80% capacity. It’s not an immediate crisis for Crimea, just a long term one.

            In the hours immediately after the dam collapse, Russian telegram channels were saying a hole was blown in the power plant section of the dam and the Ukrainian positions on the south side islands were being flooded out. It wasn’t until the full extent of the catastrophe became apparent that Russia changed the story to either accidental dam collapse or a Ukrainian strike.

          • Christian Chuba says:

            I believe that the witnesses heard the explosion that resulted in the dam breach. That confirms it was intentional but not who did it.

          • TTG says:

            Christian Chuba,

            Very true. A Russian soldier boasted months ago about the explosives in the hydropower plant section of the dam. Ukrainian intelligence also claimed for months of knowing of the explosives placed in the plant. Seems to be a likely source of an explosion.

          • Christian Chuba says:

            If the Russians did it as a defensive tactic, it would make more sense for them to only do it a few days or even a week after Ukrainian forces crossed the river. Blowing up the dam then would strand that force and deprive them of resupply.

            The mere threat of being on the wrong side of the river caused Russia to pull back from Kherson. There would be no need for Russia to rush in blowing it up now. They have plenty of missiles to do it at any time given the weakened state of the dam.

          • TTG says:

            Christian Chuba,

            I doubt they intended to totally destroy the dam, just cause enough flooding to clean out the Ukrainian lodgment on the southern bank islands. Maybe the sluice gates weren’t operable so the had to resort to using the pre-placed explosives. Shit happens.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        There are videos over at Simplicius the Thinker that shows at least two explosions on the shoreline near the dam.

        He suggests – and it is an idea worth considering – that these explosions are the result of floating naval mines that were intended to float up to the dam wall instead detonating when they hit the shore.

        The Ukrainians were mulling an attack on that dam using exactly that method, and it was one of the reasons why the Russians decided to withdraw over the river.

        Don’t be so quick to discard the possibility that the Ukrainians did this. They DO have the means, and they DO have a motive.

        • TTG says:

          Yeah, Right,

          He’s partially right. Those explosions are mines swept away from minefields and exploding when they hit the shore again. There are a number of those videos.

          The Ukrainian proposal was to put several holes in one or more sluice gates with HIMARS to cause enough flooding to hinder Russian bridging efforts, but not enough to cause flooding of populated areas. They shelved that plan and it’s a good thing they did. That’s hardly something that can be carefully controlled. The Russians did blow a section of the roadway over the dam as they withdrew across the river. Those massive explosions were filmed. Those explosions could also have weakened the main part of the dam.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            Any explosions caused be “swept-away minefields” are going to be downstream of the dam, and the videos I refer to are clearly showing explosions occurring upstream of the dam.

            As in: whatever is causing those explosions is floating TOWARDS the dam, they are not being swept away FROM the dam by the flooding

            To say I am not convinced by your explanation is, well, an understatement.

          • leith says:

            Yeah Right –

            The Russians did have sea mines upstream of the dam in Kakhova Reservoir. So it is entirely possible that those could have swept loose and be the ones you saw in the videos. I’m not saying that is what caused the dam breach. It happened after the dam was deliberately sabotaged – either ordered by the Kremlin or by the Russian unit controlling the dam. Russian explosive charges in the dam have been known since last year.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            “The Russians did have sea mines upstream of the dam in Kakhova Reservoir.”

            Did they now? Why, I never….

            “So it is entirely possible that those could have swept loose and be the ones you saw in the videos.”

            Speculation piled upon unsupported claim. Not impressive, Leith.

            “I’m not saying that is what caused the dam breach.”

            Heaven forbid, no, that would be… a claim entirely unsupported by fact.

            “It happened after the dam was deliberately sabotaged – either ordered by the Kremlin or by the Russian unit controlling the dam.”

            As is that: a claim entirely unsupported by fact.

            “Russian explosive charges in the dam have been known since last year.”

            Oh, really? Do tell….

            This is a fact: at least two explosions were videoed UPSTREAM of the dam.

            This is also a fact: both explosions occurred on the shoreline, with no whistling or visual evidence to support the idea of mortars or bombs or missiles.

            Q: Was whatever caused those explosions also the reason for the breach of the dam wall?
            A: I don’t *know*, but it seems a reasonable question to entertain.

            Q: Was whatever caused those explosions released by the Ukrainians, or by the Russians?
            A: I don’t know, but that seems to me to be a reasonable point to examine.

            By marked contrast, both TTG and you dismiss out of hand the possibility that anyone other than the Russians could be responsible.

            And both of you appear to be so dismission for reasons of…. reasons.

            For reasons of preconception, based upon nothing more than conjecture that is derived entirely from those preconceptions.

            I don’t know about anyone else here, but that seems a pretty thin basis for such absolute certainty.

          • Yeah, Right says:


            An IR camera recording a second explosion against the dam wall from upstream.

            No obvious sign of an incoming projectile, so it looks to me that a possible explanation is a naval mine released upstream and impacting the dam wall.

            Maybe it was the Russians.
            Maybe it was the Ukrainians.
            Maybe it was the Pelican in that video.


            But I also don’t think anyone should be closed-minded about this and claim that – obviously! – it had to be the Russians.

            That’s as one-eyed as claiming that – obviously! – it had to be the Ukrainians.

            Both have the means. Both have motives.

          • leith says:

            Yeah Right –

            Ukraine has Zero motive to cause herself an economic and humanitarian disaster.

            Regarding your response “Oh, really? Do tell….” to Russian explosive charges in the dam being known since last year:



            Ukraine asked for international observers at the dam last year. Too bad it never happened.

          • TTG says:

            Here’s one more where two Russian soldiers talk about rigging the dam, actually the HPP, with explosives for a planned New Year’s Day detonation.


          • Yeah, Right says:

            “Ukraine has Zero motive to cause herself an economic and humanitarian disaster.”

            Of course it has: the Ukrainian army is now free to redeploy the forces that were guarding Kherson to participate in The Great Spring/Summer Counter Offensive without any fear of the Russians taking advantage.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            TTG I do not doubt for a moment that the Russian forces rig explosions up to every dam, bridge, overhead road, and tunnel that they have taken possession of.

            That’s what sappers do, because that’s what sappers are for.

            But there is that problem of explosions occuring later, both on other sections of the dam and on the shoreline near the dam.

            I assume we are both agreed that Russian sappers would not attach explosives to random bits of shoreline 100s of meters away for the dam, correct?

            So you are left in the situation of claiming that the Russians detonated explosives ON the dam face, and then suffered the indignity of having multiple subsequent – and unexpected – explosions as Russian mines that were planted upstream dislodge themselves and tumble helter-skelter towards the confligration.

            That is, indeed, your claim, is it not?

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            Explosives were placed in the Turbine hall and, judging by the damage, that’s where the breach occurred. It would take many tons of explosives to do this. The explosions we see in videos post breach are far too small to destroy a Soviet era built dam designed to withstand bombardment.

    • Babeltuap says:

      It’s impossible to know without credible reporting in the trenches which is not allowed. The dam was critical to both sides that is certain. One side however it was more critical. That side is probably going to leave it alone. The CIA just released a report stating Ukraine planned the gas pipeline bombing so….it looks like Russia blows up all things critical to them indeed…meh.

    • cobo says:

      4&L – Reread “Job” now you’ve got time. I made the mistake of responding to your personal attack on me, personally. Obviously, the subject then under contention, was your lack of understanding of that old chapter. Sometimes you’re interesting, but you whine too much. buh bye.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Sorry. I’m too busy reading and annotating the collected speeches of Job Iden. His job seems to gave been: Iden. It’s puzzling. I’m embarrassed to admit it but the only thing I’ve figured out so far is that Iden spells Dine if you rearrange the letters. And thanks for your concern. Are you making any progress with your master plan to nuke the evil Rooskies and save America? Good luck. Remember though – nuke spells n uke. Looks very possibly like no uke meaning no ukies. So be careful. Could be no ukeleles though. Which makes sense. Ukeleles are in Hawaii. I guess your master plan must necessarily cover the Pacific theater too though come to think of it and your strategic subdivision which studies evil commie China is keeping that hush hush. So no ukeleles. Time to get back to your Oboe, cobo. Toot toot.

      • LeaNder says:

        As long as you don’t come up with anything comparable to: “Why in the name of frosty fairydust”, instead of references to Job, I surely hope Fourth and Long stays.

    • Though I shall not take a blood oath to never comment, and I am not a constant commenter anyway, one must note that Turcopolier.com is partisan for the Uke cause.

      This is sad, because the American cause is not the Uke or Russkie cause.

      Which side are we on?

      • TTG says:

        Richard Morchoe,

        Both Colonel Lang and myself were partisan about the Ukrainian cause of defense against an invader. That was made obvious since February 2022. Well before that, we were both very outspoken about jihadis as well.

  2. James says:

    Zelensky writes:
    “Russian terrorists. The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land. Not a single meter should be left to them, because they use every meter for terror. It’s only Ukraine’s victory that will return security. And this victory will come. The terrorists will not be able to stop Ukraine with water, missiles or anything else. All services are working. I have convened the National Security and Defense Council. Please spread official and verified information only.”

    Interesting that Zelensky strongly implies that Russia blew it up but he doesn’t actually SAY that Russia blew it up. When have we seen this kind of carefully chosen language before?

    • Fourth and Long says:

      The heads of the intelligence agencies of 24 countries just met in Singapore. China was there, so was the US and all 5 eyes. Russia was not represented. And they “leaked” (announced, in reality) that info far and wide. Guess why? They knew this dam attack was coming and had to huddle. That last is my inference but it’s transparently obvious. And Blinken is going to China- announced today. You don’t have to be Alexander the Great or Julius Ceasar to understand what’s coming next. And the (vampires) powers that be just printed up absolute nonsense that the North Steam destruction was done by Ukraine all by itself – recently released “Intelligence” just today on the day of blowing up this dam, told them so. Your duty as an American? Renew your Netflix subscription so you can watch all the hero worship military spectacles and idolatry of cia agents.

    • TTG says:


      Structural collapse due to lack of maintenance and management is another real possibility. The Russians kept gates closed allowing the water to overtop the gates in the last month adding more stress to an already damaged dam. There is before/after satellite imagery of a collapse of the roadway at the south/power plant end of the dam most likely due to this overtopping.

      • James says:


        Point well taken.

      • Mark Logan says:


        To embellish that here’s the BBC report showing the deterioration.


        IMO if the Russians deliberately took down that dam they have decided they are either unable or unwilling to hold the occupied areas of Zaporizhia and Crimea, which at this moment strikes me as an unlikely thing for them to admit…even to themselves.

      • Laura Wilson says:

        With Russian in control of that portion of the dam, then their lack of maintenance makes them responsible. Period. the sovereign nation of Ukraine is damaged the most by this dam collapse so it seems very unlikely that Ukraine blew up the dam. Zelensky and the Ukrainian military have got to keep the Ukrainian people united in this war and why would they jeopardize that by harming their own population and agricultural base by blowing the dam. The Russians, on the other hand, are perfectly fine with a scorched earth policy and have demonstrated this on many occasions and in many countries. I don’t buy all of the conspiracy theories put forth. I am of the “desperate men do stupidly destructive things” school and Putin and his military fit that bill quite nicely.

  3. Babeltuap says:

    “Like the Battle of Normandy or any other major battle, warfare is a give and take,” Milley said. “There will be days you see a lot of activity and there will be days you may see very little activity. There will be offensive actions and defense actions. So this will be a back-and-forth fight for a considerable length of time.”

    All true but Milley is leaving out a critical lesson from WWII; logistics. Uniformed equipment that can be manufactured and repaired swiftly. Gotta have it to keep punching. Ukraine has the will to fight obviously but this logistics part is a nightmare of all these different models of equipment and the means to produce more and get it repaired. Germany is in an official recession, Macron is on the ropes and US Generals are more concerned about ESG and diversity. They believe diversity of equipment is a strength.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Speaking of logistics – how do logistics look for the Ru army on the left side of the Dnieper post flood? Not good at all. Miserable. Doesn’t subtract from your point but I’m just sayin’.
      You’re the soldier, not me — Are they opened up to be massacred from the air or sea now that they have to move back? Have we got a “highway of death” situation now?

  4. Eric Newhill says:

    Sure Russia blew the damn and long term hurt themselves as a result; just like they blew Nordstream. Uh huh, yep, no question about it, those stupid orcs. Pay no attention to the Brit SAS guys slithering away from the scene of the crime.

    Ridiculous propaganda, IMO.

    • Stadist says:

      So let me get this straight, Russia can’t finish off Ukraine in a war, can’t protect infrastructure critical to itself, and every level of the government seems corrupt and incapable of coherent action, did I mention total lack of meritocracy based on competence and skill?

      Russia sounds like a total fail state to me. Also have to close it’s borders so military age men don’t ‘flee to West’ against the ‘Western aggression’. One side is using excessively silly double speak and outright lies, and that side isn’t the West. I’m sure you can figure what Russia is, eventually.

  5. leith says:

    The only advantage is to Putin. Now the chance of Ukraine establishing a bridgehead across the river are zero – or have gone “from slim to none” per #noclador a knowledgeable commenter on the war.

    RU artillery is reportedly now shelling Ukrainian troops who are trying to evacuate civilians from low-lying river islands.

    Stalin’s NKVD did this exact same thing in August 1941 trying to stop the Germans from crossing the Dnipro. Thousands perhaps tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians died in the ensuing floods. It did not stop the German advance.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      If it was hydroelectric it deprived them of an energy source though. You absolutely couldn’t allow the Germans, advanced as they were technically then, to set up shop and have that infrastructure bonus of labor & investment. I don’t think Stalin went in for wife sharing either. Now this guy? Good question.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      The paltry UKRO forces had no chance of establishing a bridgehead before they blew the damn. Ukro banzai charges are being destroyed by Russian air and arty all along the line of contact. A UKRO offensive that actually achieved anything meaningful was always an ISW kool aide drinker’s fantasy.

      • leith says:

        Eric –

        I thought you would know the definitions of ‘slim’ and ‘none’, which is what I said above. But on the other hand when the counteroffensive does happen elsewhere, if I were Putin’s Stavka I wouldn’t rule out Ukraine’s commandos crossing the river to sow havoc and tie down Russian troops.

        “Banzai charges”? You’re believing too much into those coping messages on RT, Sputnik or various Russian Telegram postings. That is where the kool aide is being dispensed. Putin does not like bad news, so most everyone reporting up the chain of command deflates their own losses and inflates Ukrainian losses.

        Meanwhile, Ukraine is now facing an economic and humanitarian disaster due to Russian destruction of the dam.

    • walrus says:

      Leith, the flooding is expected to subside in a week, leaving Russian defence lines to the east of the river destroyed. This area then allegedly becomes a pathway for a Ukrainian attack.

      The only thing that destroys trench systems better than artillery is flooding. Think about it……..or are the Russians so inept that they deliberately destroyed their own defensive trench systems and logistics corridors? Just like they blew up nordstream and sabotaged the nuclear power stations under their control?

      • Eric Newhill says:


        Flooded Russian defenses. Must be part of the famous clever and hyper-detailed Rookie maskirovka – or more of that massive bungling fragmented that command structure that didn’t tell these Ru forces to pull back before flood waters hit their defensive positions. Amazing how Russians can be so clever, yet so incompetent, simultaneously.

        At any rate, IMO, you are correct about the flood waters adverse impact on the Russians.

  6. Fred says:

    Russia has blown up this damn because:
    A major cross-river assault in the UA offensive? Naw, because: ” Ukraine does not have the capability to sustain a major offensive action across the Dnipro.”

    So therefore:
    “Russia has sacrificed the foreseeable future of Crimea in exchange for assuaging their fear of these phantom raids.”

    Right, I believe. It’s just the brilliant planning they do all the time. Of course, they did it with a single explosion and no witnesses. Oh, conveniently the UK is doing just like they did with the White Helmet operations in Syria.

    Russia, Russia, Russia! So stupid they colluded with Hilary; invaded but didn’t conquer, but still hold the same 20% of country’s resource rich territory; blew up Nordstream2 that they controlled gas flow into; and now screwed Crimean water supplies for years to come. Trust the press, when have they ever been wrong.

  7. Fourth and Long says:

    News flash. Prigozhin is .. in addition to anything else you imagine about him:

    A presidential candidate for running versus his nibs in March 2024.

    You heard it here first. (Oh and yes, by design.)
    It will be a caste of various jokers who are varying shades of hardline patriot. Maybe a peacenik for abusive heckling opportunities? Yes, possibly.
    Who ever supports Peaceguy Peacenikovitch? poor employment opportunities .. children called up.. taxman visits ..

    • al says:

      News Flash: F&L still on here!

      • AngusinCanada says:

        It’s like watching a car accident – he can’t turn away. Serious discussion happens in other places, this site has degenerated into a fantastical echo chamber where everyone agrees that Russia, after blowing up its own pipeline, decides to deprive its own people of Crimea with water.
        I just watched Tucker Carlson, and while I disagree with lots of what he says, he quite rightly ridiculed with deserving contempt, the absolute nonsense idea that Russia deliberately blew the dam.

        • TTG says:


          This is one of the few comments of yours that I haven’t trashed. This is hardly an echo chamber. Quite a few here have jumped to Russia’s defense. You’re right about one thing. An echo chamber would be boring and useless.

  8. ked says:

    “shaping the battlefield” is not only physical, but mental; “triggering your adversary” to worst fears & nervous reaction revealing plans & exhaust resources. so… good move to get Russia to blow the dam in order to prevent a direct drive on Crimea. CRIMEA MUST NOT FALL AT ANY COST! now they can’t redam what they’ve undamed… damn!

    evidently, Putin, his lackeys & the Russian High Command are not leveraging their impressive chess-playing reserves. instead, they’ve gotta rein-in the Angry Chef & pretend everyone on the home front believes it’s The Summer of ’42 in Stalingrad… & well worth dying for. but Vlad’s no Stalin & renamed S’grad is over 700mi E.

    Ukraine doesn’t need to take Crimea (it’s a negotiating piece anyway), just threaten & isolate it… enabling Russia to do more none-too-brilliant. if it happens to be a long summer / mild fall / late winter… they could be super screwed. Ukr slowly, broadly, not-overly-intensely, ratcheting up pressure across all fronts with all kinds of Russian weakness & waste in response. @ Paranoid Empire Central Planning react to everything real & imagined.
    when’s the counter-offensive? whenever.
    where? anywhere.

    • Poppa Rollo says:

      With the advent of the drones and Himars etc. Crimea is no longer sustainable for the Russians as it is not self-sustaining. Current Russian forces will bug out and go home when supplies stop.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Volgograd (present day Stalingrad) is 211 miles east of Donetsk as the Bluebird of Happy Map Reading flies. No matter. You probably meant from Keeeev to Volgograd which is 636 miles. (Which is very interesting because the two bags of popcorn I bought yesterday evening came to $6.36, no, that can’t be right, sorry). Anyway. I don’t know the date of TTG’s birthday but I’ve found him a nice present anyway. It’s a passage cited by blogger Simplicius, who is considered pro-Russian from this substack link and he gives no reference unfortunately:

      If Russia wants to cross the Dniper and liberate places like Odessa, this Dam needed to be blown up. Surovikin understood this immediately, that he cant advance with this dam in his back that can cut his forces from supply for weeks if blown up. So he left the west bank of Kherson when the water was not high yet.
      The spring rains filled it up.
      But for Russian troops to re-cross and move towards the Russian city of Odessa, to liberate the east and connect with the Russian troops isolated in Transnistria, the dam needed to go…
      Also now when it is blown up, it has some other bennefits. It floods all the ammunitions’ depots the Ukrainians had been building up. All their work over the past few months is going to be underwater now. Like bees they had been preparing for their sabotage groups to move forward and now… this floods their advance bases from which they intended to lunch and support commando groups to attack Russia in the ‘back’ in support of their offensive.
      The water also makes now a protective barrier for a few weeks at least on the Russian west side so Russia can concentrate on the North, where the ukrainian main counteroffensive is traying to develop. Now the Russian flank is protected. Other wise Russia would need to keep allot more troops in here, to counter the Ukrainian raids, keeping men tied up b/c if they let them trough those groups will move between the army in the north and Crimea.
      Finally blowing it now, allows the blame to be laid at Ukraine door, as something they did for their counter-offensive. So it is a good time to do it because the flooded population will blame Ukraine.
      Either side could have done it, but there are reasons why the Russian military intelligence carried this operation. It can not be excluded. Things look bad now, but imagine in a few months when the Ukrainian counter offensive is destroyed, their reserves chewed up. Vagner is back pushing forward in Donbass as do other Russian units. The Ukrainians are hard pressed and then all of a sudden Russian airborne and marines land in Kershon, back again! The Ukrainians have few reserves to meet them with, their main Ukrainian army is hard pressed in Donbass and they cant blow up the Dam.…
      See how kind and gentlemanly I am? I am a disinterested observer (almost) interested in the truth. TTG, as befits a high ranking officer, is also a gentlemen. I was very upset that he didn’t even mention the possibility that it was the US and UK with their proxy Ukraine that knocked out the dam. The more I think about it the more it looks like this could have come from an American administration that wants to be re-elected in 2024, which understands that it will not negotiate and wants a drawn out conflict with little to no chance of severe escalation as would ensue if Crimea was successfully stormed. This catastrophe not only throws a damper on the outlook for that, but simultaneously renders Crimea less desireable to hang onto because it is rapidly becoming more difficult to supply (and defend). Keep in mind that another hit on the Kerch bridge is still a distinct possibility, horrifying as that is to contemplate. A millions of cubic feet of water is quite a damper. If you look inside Russia now, remarkable things are happening. It’s beginning to look like 1917 & the great war with the peasants and workers replaced by westernized consumers and happy teen TikTokers. I think the American braintrust sees that and hopefully just wants to eventually replace Putin in some peaceful behind the scenes fashion, while safely getting re-elected. Putin has gigantic oodles of stuff with which to make (underhanded) deals with the western freak hedge fund owners of everything. And now that all this destruction has taken place, look at the construction opportunities. No one can live in a huge area now for a very ling long time. That’s the plan. Industrial scale monopoly farming (the land is already owned by western companies) and mining the resources of eastern Ukraine which are numerous. They’re killing the inhabitants of Ukraine. Partly because they don’t want them there and partly because the people giving the orders are not ethnic Ukrainians and therefore really have no empathy for them. It’s worth mentioning that there are other powers other than the west who also meet those requirements.

      I’m sorry, this wasn’t directed at ked whose comment is very good, his 700 miles to Stalingrad just sent me to the map room.

      • ked says:

        thanks for the correction F&L. methinks Gmaps gave me a driving distance to the capital rather than the border. I shoulda double checked (definitely prior to departure) – on the inflatable globe my Dad got my bro & I around ’60. it stays inflated for months, is excellent for getting the Big Picture in brightly colored 3D. colonial powers still ranged free, thus place-names are useful when reading (relatively) ancient history or relevant period literature. at least the shapes of the continents are pretty much unchanged.


        • Fourth and Long says:

          Believe it or not if you simply type:
          distance Kiev to Volgograd
          Into a browser message bar you get the info.
          One caveat. First datum is the darn distances by car, train etc with estimated times. A couple of entries down on the list of results it gives you direct air distance in km and miles.
          I used to love my books of maps etc. Not available. Lost everything in a fire. No regrets, made my life much easier actually. One guitar I loved, yes, but I was so broken down by age etc I really could hardly play any longer.

          • ked says:

            losing my library would be a tragedy right below losing family, loved ones, friends & the innocent. you have a good perspective on that awful experience.
            after a career mostly in SOTA high tech, I now find myself comfortable with materially tangible analog things that function well over the long haul. I select, fix, & use them … enjoying almost all of it.
            one of my life insights is that technical complexity drives systemic fragility & rapid obsolescence. the response cycle is more complexity (& pitching the results as desirable / necessary). this cycle drives civilization in service to complexity itself & rapid disposal. us modern earthlings seem committed to upping the pace w/ alacrity.

  9. cobo says:

    I haven’t said it here, but I think an attack through russian territory, bypassing the prepared defenses, is a great way to retake Crimea – and open additional possibilities. But I wouldn’t want to suggest breaking the gentleman’s agreement that russian territory is, of course, safe for russians. It would be like asking a woman for a dance, even though she already has a boyfriend…

    • TTG says:


      When those cross-border raids by Russian emigre formations started, I’ve read suggestions about launching a counteroffensive through all that Russian territory and reaching Mariupol from the east. It would take a hell of a lot more Ukrainian troops and a hell of a lot more fire or air support to do anything like that. The current level of Russian emigre action in Russia is doing its job. I doubt it can do any more.

  10. Fourth and Long says:

    Holy Cow Pastures, Bat People! My street in Queens NY, my building, and skies for a couple or more blocks down were filled with Smoke! The gentleman outside the bodega were saying it was from Canada. Those darn Canucks! Or could it be the devious R-Son battalions of Matchless Matt Matches of …. (Can’t say). I walked five blocks for non microwave popcorn, successively, and lo and behold. Then I remembered I heard something about wildfires in the North. Well it’s an interesting day of the three sixes.

    • TTG says:


      The smoke was on the national news tonight. The Manhattan skyline was totally obscured by the haze. Supposed to be the same across the northeast.

    • cobo says:


      Living in NorCal “- filled with Smoke -” is why I had plenty N95. Take care.

      • Whitewall says:

        Smoke in NW Piedmont area of North Carolina. Tomorrow too. Good day to stay in and blog or sleep.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Thanks for your concern. Nothing about evil rooskies and chicoms starting the fires? Did you start taking thorazine? Sorry, you know I like to joke around. I’m far more paranoid than you in fact. Remember those fires at Los Alamos back in the 90s? The Americans had locked up a very good physicist who happened to be Chinese American and kept him in solitary confinement for quite a while. My evil daddy the former 4 engine bomber navigator and nuclear physicist knew all about it and said what they were doing to him was unwarranted and outrageous (the fbi, I guess). I mentioned that the wildfires threatening a National laboratory were therefore even more suspicious in light of what he told me. I can’t remember what he thought of that remark.

  11. al says:

    Hardly appears to be in Ukraine’s intersest to blowup the dam and power station.
    From: https://kyivindependent.com/consequences-of-kakhovka-dam-demolition/
    “… Because the damage to the hydroelectric plant appears to be beyond repair (the explosions took out the plant’s engine room), Ukraine has lost an important and flexible power source, making the grid tougher to operate. The cost of rebuilding it will be very high.

    The plant had a capacity of 357 Megawatts, producing 1.4 Terawatt-hours per year. It was also profitable, bringing Hr 44 million ($1.2 million) to the national budget and Hr 6.1 million ($167,000) to local budgets in 2019.

    Former Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov told the media that the destruction will lead to problems with water and energy supply infrastructure, with distribution networks, substations and power lines facing submersion….”

    • Al,Fred says:


      Are all those who were still working at that plant and others “collaborators ” deserving to be shot like police officers and mayors who “work with Russian occupiers”? Surprisingly those things either stopped happening or just don’t make the news.

  12. elkern says:

    Along with many others here, I’m very skeptical about blaming Russia for blowing the Kakhovka Dam.

    The only sensible motivations put forth (defense against UA attack across the lower Dniepr, and Scorched Earth policy) are *both* ruled out by the timing.

    I’ve heard no reports of Ukraine attacking in force across the lower Dniepr. The water [formerly] behind that dam was a one-shot weapon which could have been used to kill thousands of Ukrainian troops in less than an hour – but only if the dam was blown after those troops were transiting the flood plain. That kind of weapon only gets fired when you’re in a “use it or lose it” situation.

    And the Scorched Earth rationale could only make sense if Russia believed that losing all the occupied territory was inevitable and imminent, and Russia thinks it’s winning, not losing.

    Also – like with the Nordstream explosions – losing the dam is an expensive loss for Russia, for three reasons:
    1. The hydro plant at the dam wasn’t running, but could have been restarted/repaired when peace returns.
    2. Same for the ZNPP, which can’t function without the water from the reservoir above the dam.
    3. The dam was also crucial for the canal supplying water to Crimea.

    Russia clearly expects to retain control of the areas that it currently occupies (and perhaps more) long after this war ends and it wants those regions to be economically productive sooner rather than later; losing the assets above makes any recovery there slower and more expensive.

    Again, the timing rules out Russian culpability. Sure, if the promised Ukrainian counter-offensive was close to recapturing Crimea and/or the Azov coast, Russia could be motivated to destroy those assets; but that Counter-offensive hasn’t really even begun yet, so its success is far from assured.

    • TTG says:


      Your reasons for Russia not being responsible for blowing the dam are even more applicable to Ukraine. This is a Ukrainian dam and Ukrainians living along the river’s banks. Ukraine has an interest in preserving both dam and her countrymen. To Russia these people should not exist. Government media calls for their extermination on a regular basis.

      The dam is a far more expensive loss for Ukraine than Russia. Ukraine has every intention to reclaim her land, including Crimea. She needs the dam for hydropower, irrigation and nuclear power. Endangering the ZNPP poses a grave danger to Ukraine, not Russia.

      There is no logical reason for Ukraine to blow the dam. I do believe an unexpected collapse due to neglect is a possibility, but it was Russians who placed charges in the turbine hall. And that’s where the breach seems to have begun. The Russians may not have wanted a complete collapse, just enough to flood out the Ukrainian lodgments in the south bank islands. Initial telegram messages were cheering this. Once the extent of the collapse became known, that’s when Russia started blaming Ukraine.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        “There is no logical reason for Ukraine to blow the dam.”

        Of course there is.

        It is this: the Ukrainians are attempting a counter-offensive north of the Kharkov region with insufficient manpower and firepower.

        The success of that counter offensive may well hinge on the ability to throw additional men and material into that offensive.

        But where, oh where, can such forces be found?

        They might be found by redeploying the Ukrainian forces from the Kharkov front and throwing them into the Great Spring/Summer Offensive but – obviously – there is the risk that the Russians will take advantage of Kharkov being left undefended.

        What to do? What to do? What to do?

        I know! Blow the dam, flood the region,.

        The Russians can then do nothing more than fume as they see those forces being redeployed.

        • elkern says:

          I don’t buy this reason for Ukraine to blow the dam *now*. Both sides have always been able to blow the dam at will; for both sides, the resulting flood would be a powerful but temporary defensive weapon. If Ukraine fears a Russian advance there, they would have been better off leaving it in place until it happens.

          IMO, Ukraine’s motivations for blowing the dam would be more directly related to offensive plans – or threats – in that region, either above or below the dam. With the dam gone, Russia has to keep forces in Kherson Oblast which could otherwise be moved to defend against a Ukrainian drive further to the East.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            “If Ukraine fears a Russian advance there, they would have been better off leaving it in place until it happens.”

            No, you misunderstand: as it stood since last year NEITHER side is able to do anything other than stare at each other across the river.

            But if the Ukrainians DID redeploy their forces out of Kherson city to use them in The Great Spring/Summer Counter Offensive further north then they would be leaving Kherson undefended, and there would be a fear that the Russians would take advantage of that sudden lack of Ukrainian manpower.

            Blowing the dam now eliminates that threat: even if Ukraine leaves the defense of Kherson city to two men and a dog the Russians are unable to take advantage because, you know, they can’t get across the river.

            It is the only explanation that I can see that makes sense of the timing.

          • leith says:

            Yeah Right –

            Ukraine has received a few combat bridges from the West, but those are designed for narrower rivers than the Dnieper. Ukraine’s GUR could do commando raids. Pinpricks as someone here said.

            Russia’s army has a huge and capable river bridging capability. No electronics so even the ones in storage should work fine after blowing off the rust and cobwebs. Surely they can field a few experienced combat engineer platoons. It could be a good way to get Zalushnyi to divert forces from the counteroffensive. On second thought, they can’t spare the troops – Gerasimov does not have the competence to organize and execute such a strategem – besides Putin’s idea to stop the counteroffensive will be to do another false flag by sabotaging a reactor at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            “It could be a good way to get Zalushnyi to divert forces from the counteroffensive.”

            Thanks for the laugh. I suspect very much that the Russians have no desire to “divert” the Ukrainians from their offensive.

            The more the merrier, because I would suggest that the Russians are supremely confident in their ability to crush it all.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        Sorry, brain-fart in my previous post.

        I wrote Kharkov when I should have written Kherson.

        It’s late, and I’ve had a s**t day.

      • Fred says:


        What was the logical reason for the Syrian government to gas Ghouta? An operation that turned out to be a “White Helmet” project meant to get US intervention?

        Have you caught on to the narratives designed to cause public support for NATO (i.e. US) direct intervention yet?
        Children being “genocided”
        “(Russian) government media calls for their (Ukrainian) extermination on a regular basis. ”
        Russians shelling the nuclear plants in Zaporizhia?
        Russians purposely targeting apartment buildings?
        Lots of others too. The UK would never ever be behind an operation like this, or ship in missiles via freighter traffic immediately after grain shipments began (Kerch strait bridge). Nordstream 2? Had to be the Russians, all of them….

        Of course asking these questions means what? Analysis is not advocacy, useful idiot, Putin’s puppet, or just “pro Russia? Because like GWB said about our glorious action in Iraq, for WMD/9-11/democracy (take your pick), you are either with US, or you are against us.

        Analysis is not advocacy. Occum’s razor is pretty effective in cutting the narratives to shreds.

      • elkern says:

        Sure, Ukraine *intends* to recapture all territory occupied by Russia, but is it really capable of that? Frankly, I doubt it. The war seems to have stabilized into a WWI grind (a particularly terrible kind of war, for the poor Grunts on both sides). Worse, Russia seems to have advantages in artillery – at least in tonnage, if not accuracy – and manpower…

        The anticipated/promised Ukrainian Counter-Offensive will show us whether expectations of a Ukrainian victory are reasonable or not. IMO, anything short of punching all the way through to the coast of the Azov Sea – cutting land routes from Russia to Crimea – would count as a Ukrainian defeat. I consider that (retaking Mariupol or such) possible but unlikely.

        I agree that the collapse of the Kakhovka Dam could well have been accidental. Why waste resources maintaining a dam that is likely to be blown up (by either side, depending on circumstances)? Russia probably did install charges to blow the dam in case Ukraine managed to cross the river below in force; mistakes, sabotage, or Murphy could have caused those charges to blow prematurely.

        But if was intentional, I consider Ukraine the more likely culprit.

        Partly, this is because I view the lower Dniepr as the likely new border once this war eventually ends. Russia has signaled that it would settle for boundaries close to the current LOC (though with the threat of taking more territory if Ukraine refuses to negotiate soon), and I don’t see any evidence that Ukraine can drive Russia out without full participation (boots on the ground, bodies in the ground) from NATO.

        Some pro-Russian sources I read seem confident that Russia is just grinding down Ukrainian forces in preparation for a later offensive to take Odessa, but I think that’s BS too. IMO, crossing the lower Dniepr in force would be too costly for either side; so, it’s the most likely place for a new border.

        The Kakhovka Dam – and the reservoir behind it are (were…) far more important to whichever side actually controls the land between the Dniepr and the Black Sea at the end. I find it easier to believe that Ukraine recognizes that it won’t be able to take that area by force than to believe that Russia believes that it won’t be able to defend it.

        I may be wrong, of course. Either way, as a human who cares about other Humans, I hope that the outcome of the pending Ukrainian counter-offence leads quickly to a negotiated end to this miserable war.

    • Poppa Rollo says:

      elkern, why do people continue to assume that the Russian military is wholly “rational”?
      None of the military operations to date give any credence to that assumption. Instead, the actions to date are more like those of a third world army.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Yes, and that aside remember that “scorched earth” is their old stand-by. I even remember in my youth reading of the exploits of the Persian Cyrus (maybe wrong name) who ages ago attempted an invasion of Scythia and lost terribly because they kept retreating till he was too far into the interior.

        • leith says:

          F&L –

          Armenia and her mountains were the ones that made Cyrus do a U-turn. It was Darius who got frustrated by the Scythian strategy a la Kutuzov.

      • elkern says:

        I don’t know why “people continue to assume that the Russian military is wholly rational”; I don’t. From what I’ve seen, they are capable of both smart and stupid plans and actions.

        The early phase of the invasion seems to have been built on the hope that Ukraine would collapse quickly. They lost a lot of tanks in those early “cavalry charges”, perhaps hoping to get lucky and grab a quick, pure victory. That turned out to be a costly gamble (but not necessarily an “irrational” one, as a quick victory would have prevented all the casualties sustained – by both sides – since then).

        Russia also seems to have under-estimated US/NATO willingness to support Ukraine, militarily and financially. OTOH, some pro-Russian sources claim that the prolonged war is actually straining Western industrial capacity more than Russian resources.

        Sadly, I’ve become deeply suspicious of the way traditional US news sources cover US Military and Foreign Policy. I tended to mostly trust sources like the NYT, but their support for the US invasion of Iraq destroyed that trust. Since then, I am constantly suspicious that they have been assimilated by The Borg (Col Lang’s phrase?), acting as mouthpiece for the NeoCons who seem to control US Foreign Policy (regardless of which Party controls the White House).

        Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, these media have been producing more propaganda than objective journalism. One example: there always seems to be more reporting about what [someone claims] is *going to happen soon* than about *what has recently actually happened*. Overuse of adjectives and images chosen for emotional impact (Zelensky Good, Putin Bad) are clearer examples of bias. And if all their claims of Russian “genocide” of Ukrainian civilians were true, the population of Ukraine would now be negative.

        Of course, the alternatives (to MSM) are mostly similarly tilted *against* Ukraine/NATO/US, so I read those sources skeptically, also.

        Taking both sides with tons of salt is ruining my health…

        • LeaNder says:

          Yes, that was his coinage. The Foreign Policy establishment or polite society more generally quite a bit later started using Ben Rhodes’* coinage ‘The Blob’. Which means there was demand for such a term.

          * Ben Rhodes

          The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru. How Ben Rhodes rewrote the rules of diplomacy for the digital age. David Samuels,
          May 5, 2016, New York Times Magazine.

  13. Eliot says:

    “ Ukraine has an interest in preserving both dam and her countrymen.”


    The people who stayed behind are seen as traitors. They won’t be any kinder to them than they were to the people of Donetsk or Mariupol.

    – Eliot

    • TTG says:


      Absolute horseshit.

      • Eliot says:


        When the Ukrainians recaptured Kupyansk, they murdered at least five school teachers, women, and dumped their bodies in a pit. We know this because they filmed it, and released it on social media. In the eyes of the Ukrainian forces they were guilty of collaboration, because they had chosen to go to work while the city was under Russia control. And you’ve seen that attitude since the war began in 2014, very early on they started referring to themselves as “punishers” and using force against elements of the civilian population they believed were disloyal. That’s why they carried out the sporadic shelling of civilian targets in Donetsk. Ukrainian soldiers said in interviews from Bahkmut that they didn’t trust the locals in the city, because the only people left were pro-Russian. Whatever part of the population was pro-Ukrainian had fled westward, to government controlled territory. I would expect them to apply that attitude to the Russian controlled regions as a whole.

        So I don’t think they would flinch at flooding the river, even if it meant killing civilians. And that’s doubly true because it’s a war of survival for them. Which in their mind permits extreme actions. And as others have written, the water level at the dam isn’t dropping, someone opened the gates at the Ukrainian controlled dams up stream.

        They’re not trying to reduce the flooding.

        – Eliot

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Right, the Ukros are doing nothing to reduce the flooding and, it appears, they could if they wanted to (upstream). Actions/non-actions speak. Everything else is just story telling.

    • leith says:

      Eliot – Ukraine is sending food and water to residents of Oleshky on the Left Bank (East Bank). Putin’s occupation forces there are not providing emergency services. There is video of drone deliveries by a Ukrainian naval infantry brigade to those stranded in Oleshky.
      And Ukraine will undoubtedly gear up for more disaster relief of civilians in the occupied regions near the river.

      Meanwhile there are reports of Putin’s troops firing on Oleshky civilians trying to flee the area in boats. Is it deliberate or are they in a trigger happy panic of a Ukraine river crossing?

      • Fourth and Long says:

        The R’s aren’t doing much aidwise yet AFAIK, correct. But that’s a real howler about the aid by the Ukrainians – they did a PR stunt by flying in a bottle of water for a boy stuck in his attic. Well, who knows? Shoigu was chief of emergencies. He’s busy with other things.

        Thx re Darius. I was mixing him up with Artaxerxes in memory yesterday. Way off. Just ask a teenager. They’ll tell you it’s a pop-group.

      • Eliot says:


        Look up the Dnepro dam on Twitter, the Ukrainians are trying to release as much water as possible, as quickly as possible. It’s making the flooding worse.

        – Eliot

        • leith says:

          Eliot –

          If you looked up “Dnepro” dam instead of “Dnipro” dam then all you got on twitter was from Putin’s point of view. Of course he is going to spin it to what he thinks is his advantage. You need to look at the bigger picture. Lots of water is still flowing down from the headwaters of the Dnipro. They were not able to hold it for long in the reservoir above that dam. Here is the true story that I answered this with previously to F&L: “Closing the floodgates at DneproGES would cause the Dnieper Reservoir to overflow and inundate thousands of square kilometers of farms, villages, and cities. Including the city of Dnipro (formerly Dnieperpetrovsk) with a population of ~ one million.”

          By the way, those floodgates were closed when the danger passed. They will open them up again if needed in emergency.

          Don’t limit yourself to the “news” from the Kremlin and those on twitter and telegram who try to bolster the Kremlin’s words. Open up to other viewpoints to get both sides of this argument – or for any other controversy.

  14. wiz says:

    Whichever side is responsible for this, Mearsheimer predicted it nicely in 2014.
    Bit by bit Ukraine is getting wrecked.
    As all sides are scrambling to their increase military capability, I have a feeling these past 15 months were only a small taste of what is to come.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Not my favorite guy, but smarts? More than twenty nine beehives of cross-dressing angry wasps on sting-a-bumble-bee-jamboree night. I think the committee here will want to hear this.

      The Russians Go Scorched Earth: Destroying a Critical Dam For Crimea || Peter Zeihan:
      On June 6th, the Russians destroyed the Nova Kakhovka Dam at the head of a large reservoir on the Dnieper River. This is a logical move for the Russians…at least in the short term.

      • James says:


        Peter Zeihan is a mouthpiece for US empire. He used to work for Stratfor. I would not trust him as far as I could throw him. I don’t even think he is that bright.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Right. And yes the US empire is an evil horror, absolutely. But so was Tyrannosaurus Rex. I like neither and fear both. If Tyrannosaurus didn’t have something seriously on the ball though, I would neither fear him nor find him particularly horrifying. He’s a walking talking huge predatory dinosaur with a brain and an outlook on things. If you could magically read the minds of all the predatory monster dinosaurs and you lived in danger of being eaten by them hour by hour and day by day – what would you say? “Hey, get your lousy damn mind outta here you obnoxious beast, I ain’t interested!”
          You’re looking right straight down the freakin hatch of an organism that’s devouring the f’ing planet and it’s spilling it’s guts to you, bragging and trying to influence you and destroy mankind and your approach is: A mouthpiece for the US Empire, that’s all you are. I’m better than to pay any attention to the likes of people like you.
          Were you out shopping hon?
          Yes dear.
          Did you buy anything?
          I was going to but I needed help, and the salesman and the cashiers were just people who worked at the store so ..
          So you didn’t ask, right hon?
          Of course not sweetness.

  15. KjHeart says:

    “The destruction may also, for a time, complicate Ukraine’s counteroffensive plans. The Russians are trying to slow down Ukrainian tempo, said Serhiy Zgurets, director of the consulting company Defense Express.”

    From the Kyiv Times

    What are the consequences of the Kakhovka dam’s demolition?


  16. English Outsider says:

    TTG – Haven’t picked up any information on this not already mentioned except I think this:-

    “Satellite images suggest the dam’s condition deteriorated over a number of days.”


    And Business Insider looks at a WAPO article on it:-


    One question stands out, and that apart from the dispute about who was responsible.

    This was a solidly built built dam but its maintenance had been neglected and it had been knocked about by HIMARS. I’d have thought that the Russians would have had civil engineers inspecting it day and night. Apparently the Russians had been attempting to drop the water level and apparently sluices had been opened higher up to keep the water level up. Lots of “apparently’s” there but that’s normal for conflict propaganda.

    Apparently there were two Russian defence lines below the dam, one placed back from any possible are of flooding. The Russians had got their civilians – those who’d come which was most of them – out of Kherson at the time of the withdrawal and apparently the Ukrainians had evacuated their civilians a little later. But I only saw that said about Kherson. Did they evacuate more than that?

    The thing that stands out is that this was an at risk bit of infrastructure and it was known to be so. It’s because it was at risk that Surovikin had pulled his troops back earlier – for fear of just what has occurred occurring!.

    Yet neither side seems to have evacuated all civilians, got livestock out of the way or moved whatever agricultural stores or whatever agriculture infrastructure that was movable. If this had been the Hoover dam known past doubt to have been in bad shape or at risk, the authorities would have got anyone and anything movable at risk out of the way. Why not here?

    Not a useful contribution to the discussion you’re chairing above, I’m afraid. But it’s the question that occurred to me when I heard about the flooding.

    • TTG says:


      HIMARS strikes were concentrated on the road and railway bridge over a canal on the south side of the dam. Eventually the Russians just filled in that canal to maintain the road across the dam. The dam was not breached in that spot. In November 2022, the Russians blew the road and railway over two sluice gates at the north end of the bridge after they retreated. There’s a video of those explosions and the aftermath is still visible. Although damaged, those two sluice gates are still holding today. The other gates were still operable and the water was dramatically lowered not that long ago by the Russians. The gates were then closed. and the water level was allowed to rise to unprecedented heights. About a week ago now, a roadway section at the north end of the HPP collapsed and the sluice gates at that section of the dam were letting a lot more water through. Maybe the Russians were losing control of those gates due to deterioration. It is possible that deterioration and negligence led to the collapse. But that doesn’t explain the total loss of the turbine hall of the HPP which the Russians rigged with explosives some time ago.

      As I said before, I don’t think the Russians intended for the whole dam to collapse. They wanted just enough flooding to rid the south shore islands of the Ukrainian lodgments. In that process they screwed up. It does appear that the turbine hall exploded rather than just gates failing. The total collapse took everyone by surprise. Have you seen the video of the Russian installed mayor of Nova Kakhovka saying everything is fine while the flooding was visible through the window behind him?

      • Fourth and Long says:

        No idea the veracity of this below but it seems relevant. If accurate it implies that the Ukrainian (and Nato) side also has serious input into the quantity of water effecting things. There is a photo.

        Meanwhile, at the moment, the floodgates are still open at DneproGES (controlled by Ukraine), which means that the Ukrainian leadership is not interested in stopping the flood.

        • leith says:

          F&L –

          Closing the floodgates at DneproGES would cause the Dnieper Reservoir to overflow and inundate thousands of square kilometers of farms, villages, and cities. Including the city of Dnipro (formerly Dnieperpetrovsk) with a population of ~ one million.

          BTW the correct term for the dam you speak of is DniproHES or Dnieper Hydroelectric Station if you prefer. You should stop using that godawful Muscovy dialect.

          Don’t be surprised if Putin next tries to target DniproHES dam with KH47 Kinzhals and some other of his so-called wunderwaffen.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            Don’t know. They switched from hitting electric power stations to ports and agricultural infrastructure because the winter ended and it no longer mattered warwise. I’m not using any dialect – I’m copying off Telegram posts. Are you suffering from Sicilian Alzheimer’s or something – Never forgets the grudge?

            “Well Andy, it’s that time a year agin’ where we shoot ever Yankee on der highway wit a New Yawk accent..”
            “Yup, cornpone, an I reckon ah get me a few..”

        • jld says:

          It’s darn useless to include links like this:
          Message in a private group or channel.
          This link will only work if you are a member.

      • English Outsider says:

        TTG – this is stuff you know about and analysis you’ve done professionally and at a high level. All I as an amateur can say on the dam is that I’d like to wait a bit until more facts come out.

        Maybe also, that the attribution of it to the Russians isn’t at all consistent with the almost exaggeratedly cautious and conservative approach the Russians have so far taken to this conflict.

        For what my opinion is worth.

        I do note, however, that you in the comments here have taken a considerably more open-minded view than I’m seeing expressed in England. If I did have some killer proof (I don’t) that’d lead you to change your mind, I reckon you’d change your mind.

        Not so in England. We’re all in and there’s no changing of minds here. If there was an authenticated video of a bunch of Ukrainians carrying explosives and brandishing a placard saying “We’re about to blow the dam”, and a video of them doing so, together with a video of a press conference with Budanov and Zelensky chorusing in unison “We did it!”, most here in England would just say “devilishly clever Russian propaganda”. And see it as irrefutable proof the Russians did it.

        And I don’t think it’s pushing it to see that as an illustration of a widening difference in the way the Americans consider this war and the way we Europeans do.

        That Business Insider article linked to above, and other American material I’ve seen, shows the American politicians and media sitting back just a little and so far not plumping without reservation for blaming one side or the other. For months now it’s looked as if the Americans, and an increasing number of them, are looking for the off-ramp.

        The English media is considerably more hawkish. There’s a little caution there but not much. Our English politicians and media are, as said. all in. (I usually say “English” these days just in case. Nobody knows what the Scots are up to including, it seems, the Scots themselves. To use the term “British” might be chancing it.)

        I shan’t link to UK articles showing we’re all in because I believe that’s generally accepted. That Yahoo article says it all.

        And I see from that same Yahoo article that we’ve been promoted to the position of Russia’s “eternal enemy”. As a grumpy aside, wrong on a point of fact, Mr Medvedev. We’d already got a millennium and more of English history under our belts, and that the formative period, before ever Russia showed up on the scene. Maybe eternal for you but not for us.

        Anyway it’s us and the French who are traditional enemies, a state of affairs we and the French are accustomed to and amicably contented with so don’t, Mr Medvedev, go horning in on matters you don’t understand.

        Humph. Returning to the subject. So we the Brits are the superhawks. Over in Berlin/Brussels they’re running us close:-

        Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, and Janez Lenarčič, European commissioner for crisis management, issued a joint statement warning the attack could be a war crime.

        “It represents a new dimension of Russian atrocities and may constitute a violation of international law, notably international humanitarian law,” they said.

        Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said at a televised town hall meeting: “By all accounts, this is aggression by the Russian side to stop the Ukrainian offensive, to defend its own country. This shows that this is a new dimension.”

        That last is the significant one. Germany is the leading power in Europe. Where it goes the rest of us follow.

        All this is in contrast to the generally accepted view of the various NATO countries. That accepted view is that it’s the Washington big dog towing the Europoodles along in its wake. But the indications are that it’s the Americans wanting to move on to other conflicts – China’s there waiting – while the Europeans are not at all keen on the China venture but are dug in on the Ukrainian conflict in a way the Americans aren’t.

        This has important implications for the NATO defeat in Ukraine I believe we’re going to see. That defeat will be damaging for Biden and maybe such as Sullivan, but it won’t be an earthquake. We already see the American media preparing for the climbdown. We don’t see the European politicians and media doing the same. On the contrary, they’re digging themselves ever deeper and deeper in.

        If I’m right that NATO defeat is coming, and barring nuclear I don’t see how I can’t be, then that defeat will be the earthquake in Europe that it won’t be in the States. We’re already seeing the German government going in for repressive measures against dissidents that would have been unthinkable before last year and as defeat looms we’re likely to see more of them.

        We’re also already seeing the early effects of blowback from the sanctions war. And the internal stresses within the EU, plus the long worsening structural defects of the Eurozone, from which we in England will by no means be insulated, look to me to be brewing up for real trouble.

        I keep on harping on about the White Tiger. It’s a mangy old brute and lame in all four paws, but it’s there for the long haul. The UK and EU politicians are going to find it quite impossible to get off it. It’s going to be a pretty grim Cold War II for us in Europe. Thanks Olaf.

        • TTG says:


          If Russia was cautious and conservative, they wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine like they did. That was a reckless act and key to the inauguration of this new Cold War.

          I think Europe and NATO are evolving into something more than just a minor extension of US power. The new frontline states are going to be key to that. You English are going to be in both camps between the new assertive and enlarged NATO and the “special relationship” with the US.

          • English Outsider says:

            I’ll come clean, TTG.

            A defence union with the EU would be most undesirable. Horribly unreliable, unstable as hell, and too sunk in their various tribal animosities.

            We’d get loads of defence contracts out of it, which is why HMG is so keen on the idea, but there’s more to defence than getting defence contracts. As we’ve just seen so dramatically, if there was a real job of defence to be done an EU defence force would be as useful to us as a rubber hammer.

            In any case the only real muscle they have at their disposal is American and the Americans are getting increasingly reluctant to put it at their disposal.

            And the bastards grabbed our fish. Say what you like about the Americans, and a lot of people do I find, but they’ve never ever tried to grab our fish.

            A small matter, the fish? In itself yes, I suppose. But indicative of the relationship we’d have with them across the Channel if we were fool enough to get even more tangled up with Brussels on a matter as important as UK national defence.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Read my post below referencing Margaret Simoniyan’s appeal (propagandustic feeler but real) for peace. You need to wake up and smell the coffee. They are in serious trouble. Is there danger for us? Yes. But not from any White Tiger, which I’m guessing is a reference to Karen Shakhnazorov’s movie about a supernatural tank.

          • English Outsider says:

            Many thanks F&L As usual you direct me to something I’d missed.

            But I’d heard of the Indonesian peace plan. Great idea. Except it doesn’t address the problem of remnant Ukraine.

            One plus I can see in the Indonesian plan, were it ever the basis for a more comprehensive peace plan that would meet Russian objectives, would be that it would render all in HMG speechless with indignation. HMG’s baying for blood. Russian blood. Giving them a peace plan instead? It’d be like offering a sabre-toothed tiger a vegan takeaway.

            More to the point, been saying since the failure of the Istanbul talks that the only “peace plan” the Russians will now talk about will be the terms of capitulation. That’s probably still true, except that they may not bother with talking and may just set out those terms unilaterally.

            For after Merkel’s admission that agreements with us are worthless, why would they bother talking even?

            These are hard truths, F&L, but they’ve been staring us in the face since February ’22 and it’s time we stared back at them.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            I’m impressed. (I needed two consecutive words beginning with im?) By your (finally) boiling it down to the (sabre toothed) tiger’s reaction to vegan food re HMG. I would have expanded the metaphor to the waiter or delivery boy being devoured. You have a thing for tigers. Griste or Griest(anagram). If it’s a long i as in tiger then we have Gryst. Sounds an awful lot like Kryst or Christ, but you may have a thing for Chrystal. If so, tell her hello from me. Could be Cry yes or cry yest. “Cry lest I eat you laddie.” An interesting word tiger. I prefer the Count Dracula analogy myself because it captures the sense of human beings who’ve come to live on human blood and believe themselves to be and con(vince) everyone that they are immortal and divine (rights of kings).

            My goodness, we agree on something finally. My point wasn’t the merits of the Indonesian peace plan, it was the sense of despair within Russian elites that Margarita S was communicating. But cool, I get it, you are interested in a settlement, not more war, egads we keep agreeing, I’d like nothing as much as that.

            I think there are two themes out there representing a severe foreign policy divergence that are worth pointing out. 1- due to Mearsheimer says that the Russians have no interest in going into the baltics or annexing all of Ukraine, that there is no evidence of that etc. 2- due to the neocons & HMG etc and voiced by the admittedly obnoxious Peter Zeihan who giggles at genocide, says that Russia will go all the way to Warsaw when they finish off Ukraine because X, where X represents their buffer state requirements.

            I consider 2 to be cruelly deceptive nonsense which is cover for greedy arms manufacturers and an excuse for standing armies the better for the rulers of the west to suppress their slaves.

            One of the effects and I propose purposes of the dam disaster is to (warning bad joke ahead) burn the bridges so that there is no way back now though that was probably the case anyway.

          • English Outsider says:

            “My goodness, we agree on something finally.”

            I don’t think we agree about anything much, F&L.

            “Sense of despair?” The Russian blogosphere is much of it even dumber than the Western. They sensationalise events and make mountains out of molehills to get clicks just as ours does.

            Ignoring the internet froth, the bulk of the Russian people are not “despairing”. Impatient, some of them, because it’s dragging on, but aware they’re warding of a dangerous Western proxy offensive and fully behind their current administration as it does so.

            Unless we understand that, or unless the loons in Washington and Berlin/Brussels do, we’re likely to dig ourselves ever deeper into the pit Biden and Scholz dug for us with their reckless scam.

            Forcing a Russian military move so we could break Russia with sanctions? When Wall Street, the Fed, and the German industrialists were strongly advising against the attempt? These reckless loons will end up having caused over a million casualties, the destruction of a country, and a heap of unnecessary damage to the various nations of the West.

            I doubt very much we see eye to eye on any of that.

      • English Outsider says:

        The Yahoo article won’t link because the address is too long, but it’s the one dated June 5 and entitled:-

        “How the U.K. helped convince the U.S. and its allies to spend big to help Ukraine in its war with Russia”

        It shows early support in advance of that given by the rest of Europe –

        Months before Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, the U.K. began flying planeloads of shoulder-launched anti-tank missile launchers, the Anglo-Swedish NLAW, to Ukraine at a time when doing so was highly controversial in Europe. The prevailing assumption on the continent was that Russia would overrun Kyiv in days.

        Royal Air Force C-17 heavy transport planes were tasked to fly a circuitous route to avoid German airspace on their way to Ukraine to avoid the possibility of a fellow NATO ally declining overflight permission. At the time, Berlin was itself highly reluctant to send lethal kit to Kyiv and fearful of perceived escalation with Moscow.

        – and also shows the UK pump priming to encourage arms deliveries from elsewhere –

        Unnamed Biden administration officials told Politico on May 9 they believed the British trigger-pulling on Storm Shadows would silence critics who have been pressuring the U.S. to send its own Army Tactical Artillery Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine. But weeks later, President Biden told reporters that the question of providing ATACMS was “still in play.”

        London’s bullishness, U.S. and U.K. officials say, has had a galvanizing effect on Western security assistance in general. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior U.S. diplomat told Yahoo News that the provision of Storm Shadows even helped break the White House’s impasse on sending F-16 fighter jets.

  17. mcohen says:


    Strange picture to go with article which is interesting.I reckon anyone will start moving forward.As to the kerch bridge.it might be heading down

  18. Fourth and Long says:

    I left this link in a reply to wiz a few minutes ago:
    Russians Go Scorched Earth: Destroying a critical dam..

    But for better getting at the roots of this affair this, which Peter Zeihan kindly posted 8 days previous to the Dam failure, is exceedingly illuminating and thought provoking. Especially since Monsieur Zeihan is, I believe, widely listened to and is, based on his earlier work, someone who reflects the thinking of our masters. It may infact make you suspect the Ukrainians as the culprits, but it may not. Very complex. Keep in mind that it preceeds the dam collapse by 8 days.
    Ukraine Q&A Concerning Crimean Canal ..

    Also absolutely riveting is this on the Belgorod attacks and his brilliant observations about that city being pivotal to the entire logistics operations in Donbass etc. Brilliant assuming it’s correct, which I don’t know.
    Anti-Putin Russians Attacked City of Belgorod – Peter Zeihan:
    Three main takeaways
    Zeihan is all around blazing of late. I’m pleased to see that he finally said in a recent tape he would prefer not to see a nuclear exchange.

  19. peter mcloughlin says:

    Establishing the truth in any contemporary war is difficult, the information so infused with the necessary propaganda. Regards Ukraine, it is hard to tell where the conflict is going. But history can tell us – its pattern – where the war is leading.

  20. Fourth and Long says:

    TTG (or anyone who has an opinion),
    Do you give any, or some, or full credit to this appraisal by Zeihan that Shoigu “personally” stole one out of every three rubles of the Ru defense appropriations over the course of recent years and his underlings another third? Minute 1 and following 40 seconds. How would anyone determine such a thing? I know Strelkov and Prigozhin despise the man, but they also despise each other and if you’re a hater then this is a paradise almost as rich as Twitter. I recall over a year ago you discussing admiration for the man Shoigu. Woodworking shop etc. Since it’s always joke time where F&L lives I’ll leave with the observation that the man’s expertise and long experience was as overseer of emergency situations. Yes, very funny.
    Ukraine War Q&A: What Happened to the 500k Russian Soldiers? || Peter Zeihan
    Question number one of the series is…what happened to the half million Russian soldiers I predicted would hit the battlefield by June?

    • TTG says:


      I have no idea how much, if any, Shoigu stole. But looking at the condition and performance of the Russian Army over the last near year and a half, a butt load of people stole a butt load of money. I bought into the Kremlin marketing of the last ten plus years. Their new army seemed real to me. Their actions during the first invasion of Ukraine and in Syria reinforced that marketing campaign. I still think their campaign in support of Syria was/is magnificent. I figured Shoigu, although not a military man, was a good manager to oversee this transformation. But now events have proven him to either be oblivious to the rot in the Russian Armed Forces or part of that rot.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Thanks. Sorry to bother with that. I didn’t buy into the Kremlin military marketing. Because, due to my having fallen in love with the wonderful Russian divas due to the opportunity afforded by the internet, I delved fairly deeply into what I could through social media, even trying to learn some of the language. Watched lots of Ru movies and TV. I could see, or thought I could, that the place was in many ways really run down and quite backward after the SU collapse. Also the leadership contingent is really unimpressive. (I studied psychoanalysis earlier and read everything I could about them). A beautiful place, marvelous people, led by not so wonderful folks. (But that’s true everywhere at all times because the people who rise to leadership by definition are those that will use deadly force on other human beings. Few people will unless absolutely necessary). If you need to practice dropping your jaw, I can recommend a channel which tracks corruption cases in gov and business. But compared to our financial crooks of 2007/08 and the politicians who systematically robbed the Savings & Loans etc I’d classify them as minor league pikers.
        This is relevant to your discipline – what happened to Ru “humint.” The detail about Burns or whoever telling them about how we know everything going on there is fascinating. It might be in the 2nd clip about nukes in Belarus, not sure.
        Russian Intelligence capabilities in decline:
        Russian nukes in Belarus – Zeihan
        Turns out it’s a nothing burger. Real danger – proliferation. Remember Putin’s threats about non-symmetric retaliation. Imo should be taken seriously.

  21. Glenn Fisher says:

    Even the NY Times is beginning to remember they, and almost all western media, spent the last ten years warning everyone about the heavy Nazi influence in Ukraine.

    Remind me again why we’re arming Nazis?

    • TTG says:

      Glenn Fisher,

      The Ukrainian nazis appeared to be at their high water mark in 2014 to 2015. Their influence has waned dramatically since then. The nazis in Russia seem to have a stronger hand right now than the Ukrainian nazis. Witness the power of the Wagner Group, founded by a tatted up nazi and the openly nazi Rusich Group. Why any of these people are so enamored with nazi symbolism and regalia is beyond me. But they are. Hell, we had a president who claimed that torch wielding, nazi banner carrying jackasses shouting “Jews will not replace us” were among the good people on both sides. Although he was forced to eventually admit that nazis are bad.

      • Laura Wilson says:

        “Nazis are bad unless they vote for me,” is closer to the actual meaning of the statement.

      • Glenn Fisher says:

        TTG: Perhaps you should watch the entire Trump quote in real time instead of the information gatekeepers lying to you. Start at the 1:50 mark then after maybe ask yourself why they’ve spent 6 years repeating that lie so often that you and half the country now repeat it as truth: https://youtu.be/JmaZR8E12bs

        More of a tree-hugging Republican than a Trump supporter, but the idea that Trump was bad because he theoretically “sided” w neo-Nazis (see, we have the out of context clip to prove it!) while simultaneously believing it’s our patriotic duty to collaborate with (and arm) a country whose own sense of patriotism is deeply embedded with and “enamored” by Nazi symbolism is rather puzzling…

  22. Fourth and Long says:

    Tatiana Stanovaya of Carnegie Ru on a big internal development inside Russia on the 4th of June. M Simonyan is director of RT, formerly Russia Today.
    Margarita Simonyan’s recent appeals (https://t.me/meduzalive/85365) to stop the war, freeze the situation, hold referendums and the like, caused a great resonance and misunderstanding. Various versions of this Event (with a capital E) have emerged. It has been suggested that she is now the leader of the “party of peace” (cursed, of course), that the elites are splitting, that this is Putin’s new plan, that this is part of a large, specially developed propaganda plan to confuse everyone, and so on… In general, people are stunned, as Simonyan had until now mostly advocated for harsher measures.

    The explanation for this “turnaround” has nothing to do with any of the above. Simonyan’s proposal reflects the Kremlin’s acute need to freeze everything as it is by all means – everyone in the Kremlin understands the danger of the Ukrainian counter-offensive. This is an attempt to play the game of “doves,” when the enemy is preparing for an attack. Russia is currently not ready for Ukraine’s full-scale attack. Freezing the situation is very convenient, as this is exactly what will give Putin the time he needs for Ukraine and the West to lose their military zeal and unity. The idea of a referendum in this case is irrelevant, as everyone understands, including Simonyan, that if any voting were to take place, it would only be as it was last year. That is, such a proposition cannot be sold to the West, not to mention Ukraine. Simonyan’s statement is an attempt to say that there’s no point in continuing the war, let everything stay as it is, and we’ll see. It’s also clear that “we’ll see” could ultimately result in a new offensive by the Russian army (although this is probably not a question for the near future).
    Original of referenced Meduza article (u need to translate) with interesting excerpt pasted below:
    Here are quotes from Simonyan’s speech with minor cuts:

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine will receive long-range missiles and fighter jets. They will inflict all blows on us, on our territories. Belgorod region, they will go further, Voronezh region is not far there, God forbid, Rostov region, Krasnodar is my native, and so on. I’m talking about the Crimea.
    And what will be the red line for us then? For some reason, it seems to me that the red line is the damage that is comparable to the damage that will be inflicted on us when we cross this line. We have not crossed the line – strikes against those with whom we are actually at war … At some point, we will have to strike at the airfields from which these fighters will take off, at the factories where all this is produced, at the places of dispatch , by ports. But after all and they same will respond. But it will be, as they say in America “cake fight”, like children throwing cakes at everyone at a holiday. It will be a difficult story, both for them and for us. I wish it didn’t come to this.
    Indonesia has come up with a wonderful plan. I’m not just signing up for this plan, I’ve said it myself. I’ve been talking about this all year, how wonderful it would be to stop the bloodshed right now. Stay where everyone is, freeze and continue to hold referendums, as suggested by Indonesia. Referenda in all disputed territories. And where people want, with whom they want to stay, this territory remains with that. It’s fair. Well, okay? Do we need territories that do not want to live with us? I’m not sure about this. And for some reason it seems to me that the president does not need them either.
    It would be great, but there is one catch: they will never agree on this.
    This Telegram post was referenced.( I can confirm that “Z-bloggers” mentioned above were livid. In fairness they are not all simply bloggers, some have fought. Better to read entire Meduza piece. Does this shed light on the Who tanked the dam conundrum? Possibly. Possibly not. )

    • mcohen says:

      Don’t read anything in Russian on telegram.The pro’s will play you daily.Unless you are an active participant in the war,it is a waste of time.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Thanks. Good to know. Did you tell former US Army Special Forces officer and professional intelligence analyst and trickster TTG? I hope so. He uses Telegram. He could use a pro-tip like this. Maybe we should tell Carnegie analyst Tatianna Stanovaya too, she seems to be blissfully unaware. I’ll make a note to drop her a line.

        • TTG says:


          I read Telegram posts just as I read Twitter posts. I don’t use them or have an account with them. For that matter I don’t have an Instagram account either. I do have a Facebook account, although I post nothing with it. I just use that account to sign up for private Facebook pages that interest me, none of them political or martial in nature.

  23. mcohen says:

    Just read a book by an ex fighter pilot Hasard Lee called the Art of clear thinking.Great book.He believes in ACE

    • TTG says:


      Sounds similar to the idea of another former USAF fighter pilot, Colonel john Boyd and his OODA loop.

  24. mcohen says:

    Ooda ? Sounds swedish

  25. drifter says:

    Maybe this has been addressed up thread, but it seems the long-telegraphed Ukrainian counter-offensive is going poorly. Evidently, sometimes when one party takes action to shape the battlefield, the resulting battlefield shape favors the other party.

  26. drifter says:

    It’s a day later and it still seems the long-awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive is going poorly. We haven’t seen 7 of 9 NATO trained brigades reported in action. Just 37th Marine (defeated) and 47th Mech (in process of being defeated). Two non-NATO trained brigades mauled (23rd, 31st). No tactical breakthroughs. Lots of video.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      US/NATO gonna have to send more armor.

      As I’ve said before, the “offensive” is more of a desperate banzai charge and the results will be the same for the Ukros as they were for the Imperial Japanese – a signal that the end of the campaign is arriving soon.

      • TTG says:

        Eric Newhill,

        Most of those kills were mobility kills, 2 Leopard-2A6s, 5 Bradleys, and several other vehicles. In a video, Ukrainian troops can be seen exiting the disabled Bradleys. Since Ukraine retained the battlefield, most of those will be recovered and repaired. The campaign is just beginning.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Oh, ok, TTG, chuckle, but I’ve seen videos of several kills on leopards, Bradleys and, I think, Strikers, that were most definitely from Russian drones and arty.

  27. Peter Williams says:

    The Ukrainians are now talking about peace talks with Russia, that is an indication of how badly they’ve been mauled in this counter-offensive. TTG and leith (and others) believe unconditionally, everything that comes from Kiev, and disbelieve everything from Moscow. That the Ukrainians suddenly want to talk peace, shows that Russia is winning. Personally, I hope that this talk is serious, young men (and in the Ukraine’s case old men) do not need to die needlessly.

    • TTG says:

      Peter Williams,

      Are you talking about the visit of the papal peace envoy to Kyiv? Cardinal Matteo Zuppi was there on 5 and 6 June as the beginning of his mission to seek peace. The Vatican acknowledged that both sides are not ready for a ceasefire. Maybe the effort, along with other international efforts, will eventually lead to a peace, but that appears to be a long way off.


      Zelenskiy only acknowledged yesterday that counteroffensive/defensive actions are underway. The Russians, obviously, are being a little more talkative about this. This is from yesterday.

      “According to the latest data, the 10th Army Corps of the Strategic Reserve of the Armed Forces of Ukraine replenished the ammunition, formed equipment into march formations and began to move. Attacks are expected along the entire line of contact on the Zaporozhye front, primarily along the Rabotino-Verbove line, previously, the enemy began to attempt to deliver the main blow.”

      • Peter Williams says:

        TTG, you’re obviously blind, ignorant, or unable to see what is happening! The Ukrainians are talking about peace talks, which they declared would never happen, on the 9th of June. Russia is winning, and I’m glad about that. Ukrainians are being slaughtered, and I’m far from glad about that. Col. Lang understood the dichotomy of war, especially in the ME, one reason that I followed him. I believe that he misunderstood the slavic world. You TTG have no concept of the slavic world because you are anti-slavic.

        • TTG says:

          Peter Williams,

          The only ones I see talking about freezing the conflict in order to establish peace are the talking heads on Russian state TV and Putin’s Western supporters. No one in Kyiv is saying that. And you seem ignorant of the fact that Ukrainians, Poles, Slovaks, Czechs and many more are part of the slavic world. Of course the Balts are not, but they are living in a slavic world. Your Russian chauvinism seems to have blinded you to all that.

    • leith says:

      Peter W –

      Of course Ukraine has a peace plan. It will be put into effect after all of Putin’s occupying troops start a full withdrawal from Ukrainian land and stop all missile and drone attacks. Kyiv will not accede to a ceasefire that locks in Russian territorial gains. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has pushed back on peace initiatives from China, Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa that give favorable terms and Ukrainian land to the Kremlin. Kyiv may amend that ipeace plan in the future, but so far they have been sticking to it.

  28. drifter says:

    One more day of lack of success!? An additional NATO-trained brigade, the 21st Mechanized, is committed in the Zaporozhye (Orikhiv) direction. This means one-third of the NATO brigades are in action.[1] Ukraine has other uber offensive combat-capable units, such as the 28th and 92nd, but let’s just stay NATO-centric and assume these other units are crap. [2] Ukraine has used up a third of it’s NATO standard guys in the Zaporozhye direction and hasn’t breached the LOC!

    P.S. Hey TTG! Remember what this blog was like back in 2014-15 (Ukraine) and 2015-17 (Syria)? It could be like that again if you focused on moderating rather than TTG-splaining. In those days, even b posted here. Now, MoA is more interesting than SST (although you have to plough through detritis). In the end, though, it’s what you want to be when you grow up. Love you, man!

    [1] Still to be committed are the 32nd, 33rd, 117th and 118th Mech, the 46 Airmobile and the 82nd Air Assault.
    [2] The right way to think about the NATO-trained brigades is that they are quickly and efficiently trained troops, not elite troops. The idea was to support a rapid expansion (or replenishment) of the UAF.

    • TTG says:


      No massive breakthroughs. Advances have been no more than 10 kilometers and that’s only in a few places. The Russians are trying to hide their losses. They are blocking the western part of Berdyansk to keep people away from the morgue and medical facilities.

      Back in the 2014-2015 Ukrainian war, Colonel Lang and I were heavily weighted for the rebels. They were idealistic and full of the scent of freedom back then, especially compared to the right wingers who seemed to be on the ascendency in Ukraine back then. The Russian take over of Crimea was near bloodless and masterful. A lot of that was due to the Ukrainian military being flat on its ass back then. Even today, Russia’s approach to assisting Syria is a model for interventions and revitalizing a failing military. It was far better than our “nation building” in Iraq and Afghanistan. With this invasion of Ukraine, Putin and his military has definitely jumped the shark.

      As for this blog, it is a hobby for me just as it was for Colonel Lang. It remains a hobby, one among many, and a banner I picked up from the hands of my friend, Colonel Lang.

      You’re absolutely right about the new brigades not being elite troops. They’re noobs, but they have a heavy salting of veterans. They’ve come a long way from the hollowed out force of 2014-2016. The Ukrainian mobilization went far better than the Russian mobilization. The old Soviet mobilization system was massive and well organized. All that went away with Putin’s military modernization program.

      • Peter Williams says:

        TTG stop with the copium! Stop believing Ukrop propaganda! The Ukraine is finished unless NATO intervenes, and that is WWIII. The US thought that it would gain Sevastopol, all it got was proof that US weapons are crap, and that the US cannot resupply their proxy forces.

        • TTG says:

          Peter Williams,

          These are Russian war bloggers saying these things. The Ukrainians are keeping quiet.

          • Poppa Rollo says:

            TTG, while I admire your restraint I feel that the invective directed at you is degrading the atmosphere of the community.

          • TTG says:

            Poppa Rollo,

            I’m willing to endure a little invective to allow different views to be expressed here. Without that this committee of correspondence would become a useless and boring echo chamber. Some can disagree with intelligence, style and even humor. Some are more challenged in that endeavor. Besides, I can and do trash comments that I feel have no value.

          • English Outsider says:

            This military stuff’s getting impossible, TTG.

            You want to get at the foe, sitting snugly tucked away in their trenches. Seems simple enough.

            Off you go, tanks and all. And find some bastard has sprinkled mines all over the place.

            Easy. Someone put up an old US army manual that says how to do it. Mine ploughs, or whatever, preferably working two abreast so if there’s some hold up in one cleared lane there’s another lane to take. While you’re doing that your guns can be “working” – I’ve learned to detest that idiom – on their guns.

            Done? No chance. Some oaf sitting miles away sends over a fresh lot of mines and it’s all to do again.

            And those tanks. Formidable brutes but they’ve got unprotected bits sticking out of them. Comms, active missile defence, radar, 360 degrees visual.

            Knock those bits around with a tiny bit of explosive and you can forget about all the fancy Netcentric Warfare. You’ve got a blinded lump of steel lumbering around of little use to man nor beast.

            Then you get your AD knocked out and gunships all over the place. And the drones. And the ISR. And the precision missiles knocking hell out of the rear areas and assembly points.

            This is getting to be warfare for techie nerds and men with encyclopaedic manuals. Nothing like the good old days. As the Russians discovered at Ugledar and the 47th have discovered for Kiev, it’s the devil’s own job these days even to get near enough to the foe for a decent scrap.

            One US General said a few years back that if he was commanding in a real fight, he’d expect to lose half his men and equipment in the first few minutes. Even Caroli, that snake oil salesman for the defence industries, admits that what’s happening over in the Ukraine is, for ferocity and scale, like nothing NATO’s ever dreamed of.

            And that’s just old fashioned war. They all talk about xth Generation this or that, and gearing up for this new dimension of warfare. But don’t you get the feeling – I do – that when we’re watching what’s going on over there we’re really watching the last gasp of old tech warfare? The last time when guts and determination, and humans running around getting shredded by explosives, and the survivors shredding the enemy in return, counted for anything?

            Future wars will be fought, if they can be fought, by AI, and by nerds sitting behind screens. Even the nerds won’t be that much in evidence because AI’ll be faster. There won’t be many humans around except for the civilians who get in the way.

            That’s the future, but even now, in this last of the old style wars, we’re watching a pointless carnival of death. Neither side, NATO or Russia has unleashed anything like its full potential and daren’t. The Ukrainians are destined to lose, fighting more or less solo as they are and that against a military colossus. And if NATO comes in directly that’s war in Europe, as the Russians hammer the airbases and dumps and command centres. For all the chest beating, the Europeans are a bunch of wimps. Enough of them fancy killing Russians from a safe distance but they’d cave if they got anything back.

            With or without NATO assistance Kiev will lose this war. The last spasms we’re seeing now are mainly occurring, not because anyone anywhere thinks it can be won, but because of the demands of American and European internal political imperatives. If we have shred of mercy for our proxies, it’s long past time to pull them out of the game.

            And then? Men of your trade, TTG, will have some thinking to do. Apart from keeping fire brigade forces on hand, is there any future for the old fashioned militaries, when any war they might fight cannot be won?

          • TTG says:


            You and many others seem to have forgotten just how deadly and destructive war can be. We were spoiled by the low casualties of both Gulf Wars and the GWOT. It was so low for our side that we could list the individual dead at the end of the nightly newscast. We forget that deaths were in the millions in WWII and all sides kept fighting with those casualties. What is now Ukraine and Russia bore the brunt of that death and destruction. Neither of those countries are ready to fold in the current war. The difference lies in what defeat means to Ukraine and Russia. For Ukraine, it means the eradication of a country, a people and a culture at worse and the subjugation of a large number of Ukrainians to the Kremlin’s cruelty at best. For Russia, and for Putin in particular, defeat would mean a tremendous political embarrassment and an end to imperialist dreams in Eastern Europe. A defeated Russia would continue to exist much as she existed before Putin launched this invasion.

            From a purely military point of view, combat has always been a seriously lethal endeavor. One of the buzz phrases I learned at the beginning of my training at Fort Moore (the former Benning school for boys) was that if you can be seen, you can be killed. Night vision devices were primitive back then, but still effective. They’re way more effective now. Ground surveillance radar (GSR) was in use. And my first experience with the effectiveness of thermal imaging in a cold Georgia swamp was eye opening. Digging in was the answer. In Georgia and later Hawaii we dug and dug and kept digging throughout our training, not simple trenches, but 2 to 3 man fighting positions with overhead cover and interlocking fields of fire. Again the Gulf Wars and the GWOT spoiled us. Those skills and lessons atrophied. Now we’re having our noses rubbed into those old truths.

            Military technology has changed, but that’s a constant through history. Artillery has been the king of battle and the cause of most casualties for quite some time. It still is. Guided artillery shells and missiles are extending artillery’s reach far into the rear. Drones are a game changer, although I hate that phrase. It still boils down to if you can be seen, you can be killed. A real advance is that drones are cheap. A kamikaze drone is far cheaper than a guided artillery round. And drone technology is really at the WW I aviation level in its development.

            A real unknown, at least to me, is how Western air forces will fare in a full blown AD/A2 environment. We see what’s happening in Ukraine. Air superiority remains a chimera. Our military strategy has revolved around achieving air superiority since WW II. Is that possible? We don’t know because we are not committing Western air power to this war. The fighter jockeys may not like it, but drones and missiles may be replacing much of any military’s manned airframes.

            For armor, survivability is more important than lethality. The turret tossed and ammo cook offs that characterize Russian armor means the guaranteed loss of trained crews. Getting a new tank or IFV is not a problem. Replacing lost crew members and infantry is far harder. I was heartened by the ability of the crew walking away from the catastrophic destruction of their Dutch APC a few weeks ago. The upgraded armor on that old M-113 truly saved lives. The same with the crew of that Bradley that were able to run out the back door after it was enveloped in a mine explosion.

            There are going to be a lot of military lessons learned from this war. In Europe, I see a widespread transition to a total national defense strategy. It was going that way, but Ukraine’s survival of the first year of the invasion proved the strategy’s worth. Maybe the most important lesson the world can learn or, more accurately, relearn is that war is hell.

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