Russian Special Military Operation In Ukraine, Day 2 – by Willy B

Willy B

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenko reported in a 3-minute statement  posted on youtube this morning that DPR militias have advanced 1 kilometer around the village of  Volnovakha, while LPR militias have advanced up to 9 kilometers in the Stepovoe area. “During the hostilities, more than 150 servicemen of various power structures of Ukraine laid down their arms and surrendered,” Konashenkov said.

            He also reported that Russian troops have taken the island of Zmeiny in the Black Sea where 82 Ukranian troops surrendered. “At present, they are signing a refusal to participate in hostilities,” he said. “In the near future they will be returned to their families.”

            Konashenkov also tallied up the Ukrainian military infrastructure that has been destroyed:

* 118 targets total, including 11 military airfields, 13 command posts and communication centres of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 14 S-300 and Osa anti-aircraft missile systems, 36 radar stations.

            * Shot down: 5 combat aircraft, 1 helicopter, 5 unmanned aerial vehicles.

            * 18 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 7 multiple rocket launchers, 41 units of special military vehicles and 5 combat boats were destroyed.

            Konashenkov also noted that Russian troops took control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the surrounding exclusion zone, yesterday. Chernobyl is about 95 km north of Kiev.

            There was also heavy fighting reported yesterday at the Gostomel airport which about 25 km northwest of Kiev between Russian airborne troops and Ukrainian defenders with both sides claiming victory. The twitter site Russians With Attitude, cites the Russian Defense Ministry reporting that a second attack on the airport, a huge helicopter-borne assault, breaking the siege on the paratroopers and ensuring the blockade of Kiev from the west.

            RWA also reports in the last hour (as of 1030 hrs EST), the following:

            * Kherson seems to have fallen to Russian forces

            * Ukrainian Grad MLRS have been deployed on Shevchenko Sq in Kiev to bombard Gostomel airport

            * Putin directly addressing Ukrainian Armed Forces: “Don’t let the Banderites and neo-Nazis use your children, wives, and elderly as human shields. Take power into your own hands, it will be easier for us to negotiate with you.”

            * Chernigov, roughly 125 km north of Kiev, to the east of the Dnieper River, is reported to have fallen to Russian forces.

            * At least one Russian military convoy has been seen on the outskirts of Kiev.

            Russell Bentley, an American who has been living in Donetsk since December 2014 and has fought against the neo-Nazi groups, reports that Spetznaz units from Chechnya are now being deployed to fight the Azov Nazis in Mariupol. “There’s going to be a hard battle for Mariupol,” he says. 

            With large numbers of Ukrainian troops reported to be surrendering or being captured, DPR leader Denis Pushilin told Russian TV this morning that they are receiving medical aid and will be released once hostilities are ended. “Currently, they receive medical aid, they are even being tested for COVID. As for food and other essentials, they are being provided with everything. After they sign agreements not to participate in hostilities, the war is over for them then and there,” he said. “On our side, as we stated earlier, we create all conditions, provide medical aid, and, once the hostilities are over, they will be able to return to their families,” Pushilin said.

            Pushilin also admitted there were some casualties among the DPR militia as a result of Ukrainian bombardment but didn’t say how many. “I have to admit that some soldiers were killed and others wounded,” he said

            On the other side, Ukraine’s Healthcare Ministry reported 57 dead and 169 wounded in yesterday’s fighting but didn’t apparently didn’t differentiate between military and civilians.

 21,512 total views,  1 views today

This entry was posted in Russia, Ukraine Crisis. Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to Russian Special Military Operation In Ukraine, Day 2 – by Willy B

  1. Sean says:

    I get the sense Russians are pulling their punches. There are no reports of their using some of their most advanced artillery, there has been no use of heavy bombers or really much of any bombing campaign other than rather limited (by American shock-and-awe standards) missile strikes. From what I gather the Russian land forces inside Ukraine are quite small in number (I’ve heard 20,000 people or so).

    If you remember how America does invasion (Iraq 2003), there are weeks of very intense aerial bombardment to make sure the theater of operations is as safe as possible for American ground forces. Russians did one salvo of cruise missiles to start and then sent relatively small land forces in. At the least it shows a much higher casualty and risk tolerance. I also think Putin is trying to limit bloodshed on the Ukrainian side (he said he sees Ukrainians as part of the Russian people and I think that sentiment is genuine on his part).

    All things considered, the Russian offensive is proceeding rapidly, but they are taking more casualties (even putting a heavy discount on Ukrainian reports) than I expected. I also think they are taking a pause to consolidate forces for some sort of move on Kiev. I don’t really see how they intend to take Kiev without major bloodshed. Even a few thousand motivated defenders would make taking the city very tough.

    I’ve stayed away from popular American media for the last few days, except for checking NY Times, CNN, and BBC breaking news feeds. I dipped a toe into Twitter an hour ago and wow I have never seen such a unified opinion about anything before.

    My personal take is that sanctions and frankly hysterics in the west are a way to deal with a very unwelcome and unexpected feeling of powerlessness. The sanctions announced yesterday by Biden have loopholes you could fit an oil-filled supertanker through. All energy and natural resource products (so in other words, all Russian exports) are exempt. I hope this keeps up because I live in America and I don’t want to see Russia going buck-wild on us with counter responses if they feel they have nothing to lose.

    • jld says:

      Pro-Ukrainian Twitter has indeed much less to show than pro-Russian.
      https://twitter.com/marqs__

    • LondonBob says:

      The number of Russian forces committed seems negligible so far. Do they even want to fight for any cities, I doubt it. Just sit outside controlling transport nodes.

      • mal says:

        LondonBob, listen the man’s speech….they want Ukraine deNazified, demiliterized. Spoiled children with guns, I’d spank them and their handlers, Putin, I don’t think he’s gonna be that nice.
        This is not about Ukrainians and converting their cities, it’s about Nazis and their ideology.

        Cheers, Mal

    • tedrichard says:

      when you look at the combined west all they control at this point is the digital space and a good piece of the financial space. in terms of real military power (non nuclear) it is russia by a mile followed by china. europe does not register and the usa after 20 years of pointless wars is exhausted and now at least a technological generation or more behind russia and falling fast. the covid response has wrecked the western supply chains.

      real wars are conducted in 3 dimensions not on twitter or facebook or the nyt. since neither russia or china give a s…t any more WHAT the west thinks or thinks of them all the west can do is make a lot of noise and pretend its a policy

      the west has already lost what you hear in the western msm is hysterical coping unless the elites living there want to up the ante to nuclear weapons and then the west will cease an hour or so later.

  2. Christian J. Chuba says:

    In any case, this is a victory for the Neocons.
    1. Russia never reacts and is eventually destroyed
    2. Russia responds, ‘I told you Putin was Hitler’

    We got door #2 and there is no turning back.
    Netanyahu does worse to the Gaza strip and gets unconditional support.

    • Sean says:

      Americans and Europeans didn’t like Russians 10 years ago, they didn’t like them 25 years ago. What we are seeing is Putin saying “enough”, and making a decision to cut ties to the greater West (USA, Europe, Japan, Taiwan). You are seeing it now, Russia cut off from Eurovision, the mobile technology conference in Barcelona, the European soccer tournament in St Petersburg. This will be very tough for a lot of younger Russians. Think of the young urban British reaction to Brexit, but 100x worse. It’s a big risk. China can sell Russians pretty much all the manufactured stuff they need, but for hipsters in Moscow, they aren’t looking forward to switching their iPhones for Chinese brands. On the other hand, this is not true isolation: 5/6 of the world’s population is outside the greater West. The West is not the world, despite how it seems to someone here in America or in Western Europe.

      • Marlene says:

        I doubt there are so many hipsters in Moscow with IPhones or any other Russian city for that matter, since there are not so many hispeters with IPhones even in the whole Western Europe, especially taking into account the prices of those devices and the current degrading of life style and astronomic increase in unemployment numbers here through the pandemic and “equalizing” empoverishing Davos´plans.

        I for one own a Huawei, although I am not a hipster really, and take into account I am not expecting improving by income in the coming next decade due the state of affairs here and the ruin they brought in along the pandemic and the current escalating prices in energy due the caprice and complete sold out to foreign powers and oligarchs by our governments.

        In fact, there will not be much techonolgical stuff the US will be able to sell in the EU due the pandemic provoked economic tsunami plus now the consequences of the Ukrianian war which addc to the los of purchaising power of the already plundered European taxpayers, which already had to unpocket billions in uneffective dangerous vaccines to save US economy.

        Now you are safer than us, but there is nobody who to sell anything.

        Enjoy your own scortched earth…

      • ISL says:

        Chinese phones also are have better technology and cost less. I think the hipsters will adapt (its not as if they have a choice).

      • Christian J. Chuba says:

        I’m aware of the successful campaign by Neocons to make us hate Russians. I am referring to the fact that it is now impossible to argue otherwise. Tucker Carlson is now dead.

        The only acceptable things to say in the U.S is that Putin is Hitler. Sure, it’s okay for Netanyahu destroys apartment buildings in Gaza, np.

        The Neocons are in full control. A loss for Zelensky is a big victory for the Neocons.

      • James says:

        I think they will be able to buy grey market iPhones – albeit at higher prices. If you visit Brest in Belarus, the streets look like a BMW museum because it is the main crossing point for stolen BMWs being smuggled from Europe to Russia.

  3. khc says:

    I’ve been really curious where the regular Ukrainian military is on this, as opposed to their (political) leadership (promoted by recent governments opposed to accommodation with Russia). The recent years’ fighting and other issues, on one hand, might have made them more hostile to Russia, but it seems that the Ukrainian gov’t is still reliant heavily on paramilitary troops and other “volunteers” more than their regulars, suggesting that they are (still) not too trusting of the regular military and/or their army is in bad shape (and the two could be related…)

  4. David Strom says:

    Someone on the radio this morning, reporting from Ukraine, said 50 to 60 Russian tanks (T-72s, I think he said) had been destroyed and some APCs as well. And that the Javelin anti-tank missiles were working well and easy to use.

    Anyone have any idea how true that report is? I have no idea whose reporting to trust.
    While I don’t hate the people in the Russian military, I do like the idea, if true, that the invasion cost to Russia was higher than Putin expected.

  5. plantman says:

    I don’t see this as “a victory for the neocons.” It looks to me like the allies are just humoring Biden to give the appearance of “unity”, but below the surface, they know Russia’s back was to the wall and had to act.

    Remember, all the EU leaders are familiar with recent history (Iraq, Libya, Syria etc) They know that the US tends to jump from one wild goose chase to the next without a whole lotta thought. I’m not sure they’re willing to fall in line whenever Uncle Sam snaps his fingers anymore. This Alliance is pretty threadbare right now, and I’d be mighty surprised if Germany doesn’t defect in order to get cheap gas and keep its economy afloat.

    This is a confrontation the US definitely did not need. It’s putting alot of strain on relations with countries we are going need in the future.

    I think Biden should find a way to climb down instead of putting his foot on the gas.
    But I don’t think he’s going to do that.

  6. Deap says:

    Joke, but not a joke: Posters required to identify Ukraine on the map before being allowed to comment on the current situation.

    https://babylonbee.com/news/americans-will-now-be-required-to-identify-ukraine-on-a-map-before-being-able-to-post-opinion-on-ukraine

    (NB: spoof website)

    • Shako says:

      This is good. From many of the comments on this site it is clear that not very many writing “expertly” with certitude have ever set foot in Russia, Ukraine or anywhere else in the former Soviet Union. It is also clear that hardly anyone here has ever listened to Russian or Ukrainian news or read anything in the Russian or Ukrainian press, or read much literature or history in these languages. Too much parroting of English language translation of Putin and pro-Kremlin press. I listened and watched both Putin’s and Zelensky’s televised speeches in real time, without the English language “translation”. A tremendous amount can be read from the body language and facial expression and eyes as they spoke. The English language “translation” completely missed these important expressions. In particular Zelensky’s nuanced pauses at certain points in his speech were clear and telling signals to Ukrainian and Russian viewers as he delivered his speech first in Ukrainian, then Russian. I play a a Level-1 game with certain friends and acquaintances – I give them a blank map of the former Soviet republics – name the republics. Level-2 is the same map – name and locate the cities. Level -3 – name the oblasts (it is surprising how many Russians and Ukrainians fail this one – Americans, not a chance).

  7. ISL says:

    SST,

    On the duran, an interview live with someone in Kiev said, the Russians have declined to destroy civilian infrastructure with phones, power, water, etc., all working.

    1. Very different from NATO which destroys all first. Almost as if the Russians are not trying to kill the subjects of their R2P.
    2. Seems Russia is not concerned with private cell phone videos of their actions. They see no reason to control the narrative. I think this is a combination of caring about facts on the ground, not spin, and because of the care they are taking not to massacre masses of civilians, and because they are acting professionally.

    The non-western world is comparing with the recent NATO (disorderly) retreat from Afghanistan.

    • Matt says:

      to back up yout point;
      Russian troops who’ve seized An airport in Kiev have let CNN film with them

      https://twitter.com/MuradGazdiev/status/1496852721311309834

      the Western media is just awful, it’s obvious in the photo’s they use that everyone is using their smartphones, the electricity is on and life in the cities is not particularily disrupted,

      the story of Russia bombing Kiev took an amusing twist, it may well be the case they shot down their own SU-27 on close air patrol above the city with their own anti aircraft missiles!

      https://english.pravda.ru/news/hotspots/150457-ukraine_shoots_down_kiev/

      I’d really like to get to the bottom of who lost control of their APC in the outskirts of Kiev, drove over a car with an old man in, reversed off it and drove away,
      the West swears it was some Russians dressed up as Ukrainians but I’m not buying based on how many times the amateur Ukies have skidded APC’s into traffic in the past 8 yrs,

      https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/videos-show-military-vehicle-crushing-moving-car-ukraine-driver-surviv-rcna17751

      at the same time there was a firefight between guys on foot and some guys in an army truck, across the road from this crash, again I’m not buying the media explanation,

      this vid is some Ukrainian civilians in their car driving along the road, they pass about 100 assorted damaged or abandoned Ukrainian military vehicles and various bodies, idk if the guys want to do a BDA on this vid?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR8BVr_B338

      I think it’s on the M14 from Melitopol heading towards Kherson, they turn off just after crossing the bridge at Kherson.

  8. Barbara Ann says:

    Just now from Reuters:

    “NATO allies to provide more weapons to Ukraine, Stoltenberg says”

    What part of “No matter who tries to stand in our way or all the more so create threats for our country and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history” is hard to understand?

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/nato-allies-provide-more-weapons-ukraine-stoltenberg-says-2022-02-25/

    Unless someone talks some sense into this lunatic fast this is going to end very, very badly.

    • JerseyJeffersonian says:

      Well, ya know, these people don’t feel as if they need to listen to Untermenschen, whether foreign or domestic. And so they don’t.

    • Marlene says:

      Stoltenberg should be taken to trial along with Turchynov, by now the most wanted man in the Ukraine…As organizer of the first ATO on Donbass the Russians want him for trial in Russia on genocide charges.

      Stoltenberg as main fuller for war in Europe should be next.

      It would be good that the Russians do not allow him even take over at that hedge fund he is soon to manage…

      Genocide crimes do not prescribe, do it?

    • mal says:

      Barbara Ann, by the time those planes get loaded there will be no Ukraine to deliver weapons to. All major airfields are under RF control. As for countries giving refuge or help to neo Nazi Banderas….”consequences, the like never before seen” I think he means it.

      Cheers, Mal

  9. blue peacock says:

    Fog of war. I suppose we’ll know the reality in couple weeks. I think it would be prudent to remain skeptical of reports from both sides as separating fact from fiction may be challenging.

    • fredw says:

      This is a vital point. When you see a news announcer standing on the bridge at Kherson, you can believe that the Russians have taken it. The next day when you see him again with a different story you can believe that the Ukrainians have retaken it. Everything else has to be be treated as rumor at this point.

      That extends even to things that may seem clear cut. Russian troops fail on their first try to take Kharkiv. Were these cannon fodder sent in to see what’s there or their best assault troops sent to get it over quickly? It makes a difference and there’s no way to know right now. The difference between the best and everybody else is enormous.

      Or the Ukrainians retake the airport near Kiev. Which end of the scale do the Ukes come from? Most likely an equally gigantic difference.

      Everybody is trying to make whatever success they get look decisive. About all we can trust at this point is who advances and who gives way.

    • TTG says:

      blue peacock,

      Very true. All specific reports should read with a jaundiced eye. However, I found a report from Michael Kofman, Director of Russia Studies at CNA that seems reasonable.

      “Some very early impressions of the last two days. It’s an operation with maximalist war aims, and Moscow’s thinking on this war seems to have been colored by war optimism. It looked as though Russian forces were expecting a quicker UKR military collapse and easier gains. Early campaign to knock out Ukrainian air defenses and air force had mixed results, Russian aerospace forces aren’t particularly practiced at SEAD or DEAD. Most of the strikes in the opening phase were via cruise missiles. UKR air force still has some aircraft up.
      A brazen heliborne assault to take Hostomel airport with a small airborne element was a puzzling move. I doubt the goal was to land more airborne at a contested airport easily covered by artillery and MLRS. Likely they expected to hold out for ground reinforcements.”
      “So far we’ve seen only a fraction of the Russian force arrayed for the operation. Unclear if Russian forces reached initial objectives, but best estimate is they expected more rapid gains & less resistance. Russian forces seem to be avoiding use of massed fires, except maybe around Kharkiv, focusing on trying to make a speedy advance. Expect they will revert to much larger use of fires when frustrated. Not seeing much in the way of cyber and less EW effects than many anticipated.”
      “Russian forces are mainly sticking to the road network (as in 2014-2015). Early advances made by recon troops, but driving along roads left support units open to ambushes. Already signs of urban warfare and firefights in cities.
      There has been heavy fighting around Kharkiv and in Symi. Russian forces tried to advance past Okhtyrka, and it looks like they’re attempting to go around Kharkiv. There is also an advance west of Symi to Konotop. This is a very incomplete picture. Russian forces entered from Belarus and went through Chernobyl exclusion zone to Dymer. Early signs of fighting on outskirts of Kyiv in Obolonskyi distict today. They’re clearly going for the capital.”
      “Main breakout appears to be in the south from Crimea. Russian forces pushed to Kherson, and Melitopol. There’s sustained fighting for Kherson still and around Antonovsky bridge. Some early signs they may have entered Mykolaiv, but probably just a recon element.”
      “Russian forces retain significant quantitative and qualitative superiority. UKR forces have demonstrated resolve & resilience. Russian conventional overmatch, such as it is, may not translate into attaining their maximalist political aims. This is just the opening of the war.”

      “The one thing I will add to my earlier thread, is that we should take care making assumptions on how this war will progress based on the opening 24-48 hours. The Russian military clearly tried something. I think it at best yielded mixed results for them. They will adjust. What’s clear is that is that if Moscow had hopes of quick and easy gains, they were terribly optimistic. My main concern is that over time the Russian military may revert to heavy use of firepower, and this will result in immense destruction, and large civilian casualties.”

      • zmajcek says:

        To quote a certain historical figure: “We have only to kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.”

        With Putin today encouraging Ukrainian army to switch sides it seems they were indeed very optimistic.

      • Barbara Ann says:

        TTG

        “My main concern is that over time the Russian military may revert to heavy use of firepower, and this will result in immense destruction, and large civilian casualties.”

        That is one of my main concerns also. Putin said today the Ukies are sheltering artillery & missile launchers in built up areas. This cannot possibly be unexpected though, as in the televised warfare era use of ‘human shields’ has become a standard tactic for the weaker side.

        This is a huge gamble for Putin, necessarily so from his POV. I dearly hope he hasn’t been lead to believe it would be a cakewalk by his planners. My first impressions are we may be looking at some sort of invasion lite attempt, with a primary aim being to decapitate the government. It had better be all over quickly as a prolonged conflict has dire implications. A nuclear superpower in an existential war that starts to go badly does not bear thinking about.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Now I think I fully understand what Putin is doing and why, he cannot lose. Looks like he wanted to minimize civilian casualties and infrastructure damage – invasion lite – but if he has to crank up the dial to win, he will.

          So far, Putin seems unconcerned with his troops being filmed in action by Ukies. Maybe even pleased because the films show minimum to no civilian death and carnage.

          All kinds of encouragement from various sources for Ukie civilians to pick up rifles and make Molatov cocktails, etc. and “resist”. Some of it coming from the same US media imbeciles that say the second amendment is stupid and outdated because no way civilians can fight a modern military that way. At least that’s what they say when it comes to insurrection in the US. IMO, they would be happy to have Russians kill those civilians. Something to report on and something to use as propaganda against Russia.

        • Marlene says:

          After watching Soloviov´s show, after dfiscovering advised by one commenter at other site you could pick authomatic translation from Russian in the gear, and even when authomatic translation was quite fool, I managed to understand by one of the participants that more than testing what the Ukrainian military would do after being offered the gambit of laying arms, what the Russians wanted to test was what was the mood for the Ukrainian people at least in the operation ivolved areas to liberate themselves from the nazi yoke once the Russian support arrived in the city…Read here Mariupol, Odessa, Kherson, Nikolaiev, Dnepropetrovsk, even Kiev..

          Thus, it is clear that they were discounting with some unknowns in advance. Of course, they would had planned estrategies for varied outcomes with such high stakes at play, do not you think?

      • English Outsider says:

        TTG – very early days but the “liberating” theme doesn’t seem to be going down very well with many Ukrainians.

        There was a reason why Putin didn’t allow the rebels to do “On to Kiev” when they might have been able to, and even a reason why he was hesitant about the Donbas. Too many people there who want to be Ukrainian and want to be part of or linked to the EU. I still remember the family I knew of in Sloviansk, who were only too happy to see the rebels leave and who knew none who weren’t.

        Am I right? If the Russian forces stay then for many Ukrainians it won’t be a liberation. It’ll be an occupation.

        Rather as if, somehow, Irish forces marched in and occupied Northern Ireland. Many there would be delirious – but many irreconcilably opposed.

        So what’s the end game of all this? March out again when military installations have been destroyed? Some sort of puppet government? Or break the country up. Are there any indications of what the Russians want to do afterwards?

        I do believe, though I don’t know whether you hold this view, that the Ukraine has been used by the West as a means of getting at Russia – the “overextending and unbalancing Russia” approach. How is it possible to shut that use of it down and at the same time allow it the autonomy it seems to me to want?

        • TTG says:

          EO,

          I think the whole game, never mind the end game, is regime change in Kyiv. Everything falls into place if that happens. All it takes is removal of Zelenskiy and the strong arming of the Verkhovna Rada to vote in a new leader. That’s what happened in 2014. Yanukovytch ran away giving the Verkhovna Rada the opportunity to pick a new leader with a simple majority. Had Yanukovytch stayed, the votes for removal (impeachment) were not there, even though his decision to dump the EU in favor of Moscow was widely unpopular. That decision is what precipitated the Euromaidan. Nuland’s cookies just added fuel to the fire.

          If Zelensky is killed, captured or forced to flee, or even go underground, regime change can happen with VDV troops standing behind the Verkhovna Rada. Even if that happens, it doesn’t mean the Ukrainians are going to quietly accept a Moscow friendly government. As the effort to change the regime becomes more destructive, the likelihood of a long-term resistance grows stronger. Think Solidarność under martial law in 1981 to 1983, except with lots of guns.

          • zmajcek says:

            How would this Russia friendly government be enforced ? It would be the beginning of a civil war.

          • TTG says:

            zmajcek,

            I think the only way such a Russian friendly government could be enforced is by massive Russian occupation and repression. At this point, it would not be so much a civil war, but a full on war of resistance. This isn’t the Ukraine of ten years ago.

        • Barbara Ann says:

          EO

          “So what’s the end game of all this?”

          That’s an excellent question. After demilitarization & de-Nazification are accomplished there are a range of possible outcomes. At one end of the spectrum is annexation of the whole country, which seems highly unlikely, and at the other is returning full sovereignty to Ukraine (less Crimea & LDNR I guess). Perhaps the Committee would like to have a dedicated discussion of the Kremlin’s planned end game.

          My own view at this stage is that an interim government will be installed followed by new elections & Ukraine’s entry to the CSTO – not necessarily in that order. The latter is probably vital from Putin’s POV as it would allow the new (and presumably Russia-friendly) Ukrainian government to request assistance putting down any future Maidans – c.c. Kazakhstan.

          A big question is how much of Western Ukraine Russia will seek to subdue & control, if any. Anatoly Karlin’s prediction (on Twitter) is that Russia will incorporate much of Ukraine into the RF (via a Crimea-like plebiscite, I’d assume). He is giving 15% probability Galicia is included which seems very high to me. Excluding the historically Polish/RC parts would give any referendum a much higher degree of success and generally make the territory more governable. What to do with a demilitarized Banderastan rump though? Perhaps it will be offered (back) to Poland.

          All this of course assumes Russia’s ‘liberation’ operation does not degenerate into a bloodbath and leave an ungovernable state.

      • khc says:

        This seems rather consistent with my early reaction–that Russians seemed spread thin, going after a lot more objectives than I’d have expected with a lot fewer troops than I’d have thought. There are many different paths things could develop, but interesting observations. Thanks!

  10. TTG says:

    Sweden and Finland will attend a NATO summit today and are making noises about applying for membership. Of course, Maria Zakharova issues a threat aimed at Sweden and Finland over their possible NATO membership, saying it would have “serious military-political repercussions.” I doubt if this was an outcome that Putin envisioned, another NATO nation on Russia’s border. Will Russia invade Finland… again?

    • Kotlin says:

      Aren’t you the one who claimed: “Putin was bluffing”!!? At least be humble and stop embarrassing yourself for a while.

      • TTG says:

        Kotlin,

        I assessed that Putin was smart and prudent enough not resort to an invasion as his first choice, that his military build up was a bluff to intimidate Ukraine and NATO to meet his demands. He told the world for months that he had no intention of invading. I erroneously though he could be taken as his word. I guess I was wrong. He fooled a lot of people who thought an invasion was an absurd idea.

        • LondonBob says:

          I expect plan A was a negotiated deal, but the leadership of NATO, the EU and the Ukraine were too stupid. This was plan B.

    • Mal says:

      TTG, what makes you think Russia hasn’t gamed that out. More NATO countries with a big fat hypersonic bulls eye painted on them.
      Stupid is, as stupid does.
      Now, should NATO choose to re-house the Bandera neo Nazis in Finland, Finland will get Ukrained somewhere down the road. What’s in happening in Ukraine is the result of fostering Nazi ideology, it is not about taking territory.

      Cheers Mal

      • TTG says:

        Mal,

        Why would Finland have Bandera neo-nazis? Finland is the country of Mannerhiem. Remember the Winter War? Although they did end up siding with Nazi Germany against the aggressions of Stalin’s USSR.

        The government of Ukraine is led by a Jew from eastern Ukraine who speaks Russian as his first language. And Putin wants to denazify him. More bullshit just like his lies about never invading Ukraine. He has valid security concerns. Why lie about nazi ideology?

        • Marlene says:

          But, why this Jew from Esatern Ukraine speaking Rusain did nothing to get rid of the nazi battallions embedded into the Ukrainian Army, who are there not to fight durectly but to avoid young recruits deserting the front?

          Kolomoisky is also a Jew who speaks Russian fro mEstern Ukraine, yet he had his own nazi battallion. Gaidar, if I am not wrong, scaring the hell out of the people of Dniepropetrovsk..while raping and plundering the region…

          Also Israel contributed highly to provide weapons to the current Ukrianian junta..

          It is quite time ago that nazi Jew is not an oxymoron, have not you noticed?

          Zelensky never brought the Tornado guys to justice….let them scot free…the more jew he could be…

          https://www.stalkerzone.org/tornado-battalion-criminals-are-still-being-released/

          Then, I do not know about Finland, but the Baltics are clearly of nazi ideology.
          You have that Latvia recently labeled antri-fascism as a criminal offense…and there we go…

          https://www.stalkerzone.org/latvia-recognised-anti-fascist-beliefs-as-a-criminal-offence/

    • zmajcek says:

      If this major Russian gamble doesn’t pay off, Putin should step down.
      It may not be the legacy he had hoped to leave behind, but better to leave than to double down and risk making an even bigger blunder.

      • Barbara Ann says:

        zmajcek

        We are well past the stepping down option. This man believes Russia is in an existential war. It’s victory or death.

        • zmajcek says:

          I tend to believe him. However the question is, how immediate is the danger.

          If there are missile bases being constructed or a planned nuclear program etc Russia could do what Israel does regularly in Syria, and did in Iraq in 1981.

          Instead he is trying to take down the whole thing, 8 years too late.

          • Barbara Ann says:

            zmajcek

            I absolutely believe him.

            I’d earlier thought of the possibility of a grass-mowing outcome, but it would have to be limited to any small rump Banderastan that is left over. Putin wants to save as many ethnic Russians/Russia speakers in Ukraine as possible from the neo-Nazis yes, but also what Vox Day calls ‘Globohomo’. This aspect of the existential threat – the threat to Russia’s culture from nihilist woke neoliberalism – is no less real than that from WMD’s.

      • EoL says:

        day 2 of this conflict and some of you are already foreseeing him Putin stepping down because somehow things are not going as .you. expect it.

        • Ishmael Zechariah says:

          Agreed. As the “woke” would paraphrase the immortal Yogi It aint’ over till the fat transvestite sings”.
          Ishmael Zechariah

        • zmajcek says:

          Not really. I wanted him to step down back in 2014 while I watched a dying woman with her legs blown off begging for help with her groceries strewn across the pavement.
          When I watched the aftermath of the Odessa protests.

          Russia could have intervened and prevented most of the bloodshed that ensued. Some estimates claim about 40k people died in the Donbas. How many more were wounded, forced to leave their homes or forced to live in a warzone these last 8 years ?

          Perhaps he will be successful in making his point. In demonstrating how far Russia is willing to go to protect its security interests. But it saddens me greatly to see Ukrainians and Russians killing each other. This wound will take a very long time to heal.

          To have allowed to come to this is his biggest failure in my view.

    • khc says:

      It seems highly improbable that Russia has not expected Sweden to turn away from them sooner or later (and for that matter, Finland). Sweden was already a de facto NATO ally for most of the Cold War (with access to NATO equipment). Finland always made it clear that it was an unwilling neutral and turned notably towards the West after the 1990s. I doubt anyone in Russia expected them to embrace Russia, whether or not Russia remained weak or became resurgent in some form. There’s nothing in either, in other words, Russia would lose. But, in Ukraine (and possibly, looking forward, Moldova), Russia does have allies and assets and they can’t and won’t throw them to the winds unless they could reasonably expect some valuable compensation they could count on, which no one would give them.

      • zmajcek says:

        I wouldn’t worry too much about Finland.
        They always had that independent streak and would not be easily controlled by anyone.

  11. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    In regard to Chechen Spetsnaz in Mariupol fighting the Azov forces, I wonder if, as I have seen floated from time to time, that Islamist types have become involved in the side of the NeoNazis? I could certainly see the CIA having supported this after their conduct in Syria, and indeed going back years before that in Afghanistan, in not scrupling to work with these Islamic terrorist types. Perhaps this might explain the Chechens being involved, as they have some bones of their own to pick with these people, some of whom may be Chechen ethnics.

    • zmajcek says:

      There were (are) Chechens fighting for both sides. And for their own side I guess.
      Putin’s great “friend” Kadirov is probably pretty happy about this turn of events.

    • JerseyJeffersonian says:

      I forgot the use of al-Quaeda in Yugoslavia. Another reason for Bill Clinton to be fondly remembered.

  12. Sam says:

    On a visit to Ukraine, I met a number of everyday Ukrainians who have become good friends over the years. Some are stuck in Kyiv, others trying to get to the Poland border. They’re scared & worried for their families. Please join me in praying for their safety and the safety of all Ukrainians. Please join me in calling on US, Russian, and Ukrainian leaders to SERIOUSLY negotiate an end to this war (not just political posturing); and call on Putin to end his crackdown on anti-war Russian protestors.

    https://twitter.com/tulsigabbard/status/1497165869071302660?s=21

    Tulsi in this interview with Tucker is asking an important question that I don’t see being asked: what is this escalatory ladder that folks are climbing?

  13. mcohen says:

    The bringing down of Jeffery epstein,the clintons being stopped in 2016,and trumps Russian connections,prince andrew are all starting to make sense.These events are a brilliant move by Russia to neutralize the west into supporting the ukraine.
    Just imagine if instead of 2 years of trump there would be 2 years of clinton.There would of been no attack on ukraine.
    It is like the Russians have frozen the west into acting through compromise

    The snake bites tale sure has some interesting twists and turns.

    I bet when ukraine is “liberated” maxwell will be “liberated”

    What a conspi…. racy.

    • JerseyJeffersonian says:

      Only if I credit the “Russian Conspiracy” theory engineered by Hillary and her Deep State allies. Which I don’t.

      And since the fun in Ukraine got started with the 2014 coup during the term of Obama, I confess to puzzlement as to why if Hillary had won in 2016, things would have turned out differently, in fact I suspect it would have been worse.

      So no.

      And you also forgot the involvement of the Biden family and their financial schemes in Ukraine, that they and their fellow grifters were quite desperate to cover up. Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor who was on the trail of one of Joe’s and Hunter’s corrupt deals or Joe would interfere in delivery of arms to Ukraine. This was about Hunter’s no-show “job” on the Board of the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, owned by one of Ukraine’s infamous corrupt oligarchs. The unraveling of this plot to shut down the investigation led to the attempt to impeach President Trump in “Ukrainegate”; perhaps you may have heard of that little imbroglio.

      I think your hypothesis is improbable. There are other, more probable explanations for these events.

  14. Lytenburgh says:

    I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the undisputable fact – APPARENLY Putin managed to cure the entire world of COVID-19!

  15. drifter says:

    Looks like the Ukrainian forces are operating without a strategic plan. They are coalescing around urban areas which tactically favor the defense. But they are losing the rest of the country to the Russian army. Once Russia controls all of the internal lines of communication, they will be able to defeat the urban hedgehogs in detail. The only way the UAF could have won this fight was via a war of maneuver. Admittedly somewhat long odds, but every other scenario of military victory involves the total destruction of Ukraine.

  16. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    I just found this map on Twitter, but can’t vouch for its accuracy.
    https://militaryland.net/ukraine/deployment-map/

  17. Peter in Toronto says:

    It appears a fairly large force in southern Ukraine near Kherson was completely smashed and routed:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR8BVr_B338

  18. Shako says:

    What is all this fantasy, almost child-like fixation with “nazis” in many comments here and from the mouth of Putin during his public rant on TV? What “nazis” – who , what, when, where and how? I have worked and traveled extensively in Ukraine. since their independence from the Evil Empire. Never saw or heard any “nazis”. How many of you read, speak, write, or even understand Ukrainian? I bet, and I would win that bet, not many of you have much working knowledge of Ukrainian. Some of you may have some university level, DLI level comprehension of Russian. How many of you have been on the ground in Ukraine, and talked with Ukrainians, or listened to Ukrainian news or read the press? From your comments it is clear not many of you have ever set foot in Ukraine – keyboard warriors. I have a near native fluency in Ukrainian and Russian, plus – Politbureau Russian – that strange amalgam of interchangeable Russian and Ukrainian spoken by many on both sides of the border areas along the Ukrainian – Russian border. I listen to the Ukrainian and Russian news and read the Ukrainian and Russian press. The only “nazis” I have come across are in the allegations coming from Putin’s big mouth, and parroted in some of the pre-Kremlin press.

  19. blue peacock says:

    When Russia’s Vladimir Putin demanded that the U.S. rule out Ukraine as a future member of the NATO alliance, the U.S. archly replied: NATO has an open-door policy. Any nation, including Ukraine, may apply for membership and be admitted. We’re not changing that.

    In the Bucharest declaration of 2008, NATO had put Ukraine and Georgia, ever farther east in the Caucasus, on a path to membership in NATO and coverage under Article 5 of the treaty, which declares that an attack on any one member is an attack on all.

    Unable to get a satisfactory answer to his demand, Putin invaded and settled the issue. Neither Ukraine nor Georgia will become members of NATO. To prevent that, Russia will go to war, as Russia did last night.

    Putin did exactly what he had warned us he would do. Whatever the character of the Russian president, now being hotly debated here in the USA, he has established his credibility. When Putin warns that he will do something, he does it.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/buchanan-did-we-provoke-putins-war-ukraine

    Pat Buchanan’s essay reiterates what Col. Lang and several others have noted. Buchanan did not make a key point that James Baker & Hans-Dietrich Genscher agreed with Gorbachev that NATO wouldn’t move an inch eastwards. Why didn’t leaders from both our political parties honor the agreement that James Baker made? Why didn’t Clinton accept Putin’s offer to join NATO?

    IMO, NATO should have been dissolved and a new European security architecture modeled on Westphalia should have been constructed that included Russia and the former Warsaw Pact countries. We should have brought Russia into the western fold and reduced our military commitments in western Europe. Unfortunately the neocons have dominated our national security thinking across both political parties. The harm they have caused to US national interests is immense.

  20. optimax says:

    For over twenty years Putin has been trying to negotiate security guarantees with the West but has always been rebuffed, even threatened with the expansion of NATO towards its borders. He has seen NATO change from a defe3nsive to offensive force and NGOs from the west attempt to undermine it’s culture.
    He’ a traditionalist who is attempting to secure the future of Russia from the barbarians at his western gates. It looks imho like he wants to install a friendlier comedian as prez. It reminds me of the Indian Wars. Replacing the Bolshoi Ballet with a Gay Pride Parade is not an option with Putin.

  21. Sam says:

    Most times the details never add up.

    It’s a pretty sick fucking joke that ordinary Americans can have their bank accounts frozen immediately but Russian fucking oligarchs get 30 fucking days to find a cut-out for their Sberbank and VTB accounts.

    https://twitter.com/epsilontheory/status/1497355750406082560?s=21

    As Ben Hunt notes, the loopholes in the Treasury sanctions order are big enough to drive a truck. When government is all about kabuki…

  22. Leith says:

    AP news is reporting: “A second Russian Ilyushin Il-76 military transport plane was shot down near Bila Tserkva, 50 miles (85 kilometers) south of Kyiv, according to two American officials with direct knowledge of conditions on the ground in Ukraine.”

    I thought maybe it was information warfare when a Ukraine AF account claimed it earlier. But why would US officials act as Baghdad Bob for Ukraine? Were the US officials ELINT, or maybe AWACS? Anyway if it is true the wreckage may show up on satellite footage in a few days or so. But whether it is BS or not, Putin also has plenty of Baghdad Bobs of his own (RT, Southfront, Sputnik, etc) and will use them to either deny or print his POV on the subject.

    How many combat loaded troops can an IL-76 carry? Were they VDV? Why would they be so overconfident to land a big target like a 76 into a hot war zone? Did they believe reports that Ukraine air defenses were completely neutralized? Even if all Ukraine radars, SAMs, AAA, & aircraft were destroyed (which I doubt), stingers could bring down an aircraft in the final leg of a landing pattern. So could 12.7 or 14.5 mm HMGs aimed at the cockpit. I recall shoulder launched RPG-7 rockets being used against low flying helicopters in Viet-Nam, and once in a while they got lucky.

  23. Sam says:

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was asked to evacuate Kyiv at the behest of the U.S. government but turned down the offer.

    Zelenskyy said in response: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” according to a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation, who described Zelenskyy as upbeat.

    https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-business-europe-united-nations-kyiv-6ccba0905f1871992b93712d3585f548

    Usually these guys get the hell out of dodge when the heat gets turned on? The stock market is betting that this ain’t gonna be a big deal.

  24. Stephanie says:

    Sam,

    You reminded me of this exchange, Different context, of course:

    DlEM: Some units have made a rebellion and I want to know, what is the attitude of the US?

    LODGE: I do not feel well enough informed to be able to tell you. I have heard the shootings but not all the facts. Also, it is 4:30 am in Washington and the US Government cannot possibly have a view.

    DIEM: But you must have some general ideas. After all, I am Chief of State. I have tried to do my duty. I want to do now what duty and good sense require. I believe in duty above all.

    LODGE: You have certainly done your duty. As I told you only this morning, I admire your courage and your great contribution to your country. No one can take awav from you the credit for all you have done. Now I am worried about your physical safety. I have a report that those in charge of the current activity offer you and your brother safe conduct out of the country if you resign. Had you heard this?

    DlEM: No. You have my phone number.

    LODGE: Yes. If I can do anything for your physical safety, please call me.

    DIEM: I am trying to re-establish order.

  25. Pundita says:

    Zelensky has left the building

    … “Zelensky hastily left Kiev. He was not in the capital of Ukraine yesterday. Together with his entourage, he fled to the city of Lvov, where he and his assistants were equipped with a place to live,” Volodin wrote in his Telegram channel.
    Volodin also noted that all the videos that Zelensky publishes on social networks were recorded in advance. According to him, information about Zelensky’s departure to Lvov came from deputies of the Rada, Ukraine’s legislature.” …

    https://sputniknews.com/20220226/zelensky-has-fled-kiev-for-lvov-russian-state-duma-speaker-says-1093390487.html

    • Marlene says:

      He seems to have left behind also the filming crew of “Servant of the People” comedy…or may be it is that of the White Helmets who got unemployed in Syria…

      https://t.me/rafapalreal/17677

    • Shako says:

      Video of President Zelensky last night was from Kyiv, not Lviv. I recognize the background – these are locations in Kyiv.

      • Leith says:

        The building Zelensky was standing in front of is a well known and one of a kind architectural treasure in Kiev. Nothing else like it in the world. Not far from Sophia’s Cathedral.

  26. Ed Lindgren says:

    A question for all the ‘geniuses’ with their graduate degrees in international relations or global security studies from Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Oxford, the London School of Economics, the Sorbonne, etc, and who assured us that advancing NATO membership east of a reunited Germany would be the best path to ensure peace in Europe….

    How is that plan working out?

  27. Leith says:

    Zelensky is still in Kiev. He released a video of himself walking the streets in front of major Kiev landmarks to refute Putin’s lies that he had fled. Same same for Ruslan Stepanchuk, who was also the target of Putin lies that he had run away, he is still in the Rada in Kiev.

    So far Ukraine’s armed forces have done well and foiled Putin’s attempt at a lightning takeover. Unfortunately it is just a matter of time, as now the Russian Army is sending in 203mm (8-inch) artillery and 240mm heavy mortars from the Belgorod/Kharkiv axis. Plus 14 BTGs are now on the move towards Kiev from the north on the Rechitsa/Chernihiv axis. There are also unconfirmed reports of BM-27 ‘hurricane’ 220mm rocket launchers moving in-country also. Looks like Shoigu and Gerasimov got fed up with Putin’s feeble blitzkrieg and are now sending in the big boys.

  28. Shako says:

    This is good. From many of the comments on this site it is clear that not very many writing “expertly” with certitude have ever set foot in Russia, Ukraine or anywhere else in the former Soviet Union. It is also clear that hardly anyone here has ever listened to Russian or Ukrainian news or read anything in the Russian or Ukrainian press, or read much literature or history in these languages. Too much parroting of English language translation of Putin and pro-Kremlin press. I listened and watched both Putin’s and Zelensky’s televised speeches in real time, without the English language “translation”. A tremendous amount can be read from the body language and facial expression and eyes as they spoke. The English language “translation” completely missed these important expressions. In particular Zelensky’s nuanced pauses at certain points in his speech were clear and telling signals to Ukrainian and Russian viewers as he delivered his speech first in Ukrainian, then Russian. I play a a Level-1 game with certain friends and acquaintances – I give them a blank map of the former Soviet republics – name the republics. Level-2 is the same map – name and locate the cities. Level -3 – name the oblasts (it is surprising how many Russians and Ukrainians fail this one – Americans, not a chance).

  29. Leith says:

    Willy B –

    Did Konashenkov present any proof of his claims regarding the Zmeiny Island surrender? Ukraine twitter account are praising the commander of the border guards on the island, who when he was asked to surrender responded by reportedly saying “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”

    I wonder if that commander is drinking a beer now up above with General ‘Nuts’ McAuliffe? How do you say cojones in Urkrainian?

Comments are closed.