“Russian Troops in Ukraine Face ‘Extraordinary’ Casualty Rates: U.K. Intelligence”

“Among the most central questions facing the government in Ukraine and its Western backers is the extent to which Russia can continue fighting and the pressure that forces loyal to Kyiv can exert on invading forces to accelerate those shortcomings as Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin face growing dissent and dwindling resources.

The Institute for the Study of War, citing the BBC’s Russian service, noted that new Russian recruits receive only three to seven days of training before being sent to “the most active sectors of the front.”

The BBC also reported that volunteers within the Russian military along with the equivalent of national guard forces and Russia’s government-affiliated mercenary group have become Russia’s main assault force, as opposed to conventional military units.

READ: Ukraine Sinks Russian Ship With West’s Missile ]

The institute has previously noted that the Russian military is lowering its standards on things like age, health, criminal records and other routine qualifications for service while offering substantial financial incentives for recruits. The BBC also reported that the Russian Ministry of Defense is now offering to pay off the loans and debts of volunteers to entice recruits.

“On both sides, the ability to generate and deploy reserve units to the front is likely becoming increasingly critical to the outcome of the war,” the British Defense Ministry said.

The casualty counts have appeared similarly grim for Ukraine. U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted last week that public assessments of as many as 100 killed-in-action every day align with the Pentagon’s assessment of the battlefield carnage, combined with as many as 300 wounded-in-action every day.

“This is an existential threat. They’re fighting for the very life of their country,” the veteran commander of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan said. “So, your ability to endure suffering, to endure casualties is directly proportional to the object to be attained.”

Comment: The persistence of of Russian IO, paid or unpaid agents of influence and the merely gullible in proclaiming and believing that the war is over and that Russia has won is altogether impressive. Keep it up boys and girls. Keep it up. pl

Russian Troops in Ukraine Face ‘Extraordinary’ Casualty Rates: U.K. Intelligence | World Report | US News

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105 Responses to “Russian Troops in Ukraine Face ‘Extraordinary’ Casualty Rates: U.K. Intelligence”

  1. Worth Pointing Out says:

    I’m very much reminded of Hugh Dowding taking a call from the Air Ministry during the height of the Battle of Britain, where the US press is complaining that the British claims don’t match with the German claims.

    Dowding’s response: “I’m not very interested in propaganda. If we’re right, they’ll give up. If we are wrong, they’ll be in London in a week.”

    So ISW can cite the BBC, which is then taken up by the UK Ministry of Defense, and they can keep that going in one great big circle-jerk.

    But that really doesn’t mean all that much.

    What matters is this: if the Ukrainians are right then the Russians will give up. And if they aren’t then the Russians will continue.

    To my mind the Russians don’t look like they are going to give up any time soon.

    If they do give up then I’ll stand corrected.
    If they don’t then you should do the same.

    • leith says:

      WPO –

      Putin won’t give up. He might declare a phony victory and bring his troops home.

      Ukraine will never give up. Even if 100% taken over by Putin they will fight guerrilla war against the occupiers for a millenium.

      • Worth Pointing Out says:

        If you say so. I am of the opinion that you are incorrect on both counts.

        Time will tell.

      • Henry Carmichael says:

        Nothing like that happened in Crimea.

        The (100% Ukrainian patriot) population was marched at bayonet point to the polling booths to vote to rejoin Russia (at least that is what I was told by the prestige media in Britain), and that was that.

        • d74 says:

          Thanks for an early morning laugh!
          You should, perhaps, warn your readers of your ironic tone (sarcastic, in English language, I think).

          The main lesson of this war, for us mere spectators, is that the press lacks means and knowledge, and it lies brazenly.

          As Ian Fleming said: after 2 days, the press is only used to wrap the fish. In his time, press=paper. We have stepped backwards.

      • Fred says:

        “…fight guerrilla war against the occupiers for a millenium.”

        Sure am glad R.E. Lee was around in ’65 so that the US wouldn’t go down that path.

        • Pat Lang says:


          The Confederate leaders were very conservative men and they all wished to avoid the possibility of a levy en masse,

  2. walrus says:

    Call me gullible if you like. You know I am not a Russian IO. I don’t believe one word from the British MoD let alone the BBC.

    I label this as a potentially lethal bit of British IO that isdesigned to set the scene for what comes next in the script which is a false flag incident designed to justify a direct NATO intervention.

    The script looks like this: ” An increasingly desperate Russia whose army is crumbling (see BBC report June 25) has resorted to an MLRS attack on XYZ town on Polish soil. This is a direct attack on a NATO member”.

    “NATO members meeting in Brussels have accepted Polands request to invoke article 5, etc. etc.”

    WIII follows.

    • Jake says:

      My own fear exactly.

    • Polish Janitor says:

      Why would the Brits do that? I don’t see how bringing NATO at this stage of the war is necessary or even beneficial. So far, the Russians have been losing so much, Ukraine is doing the heavy lifting in terms of the actual fighting and the theater has not expanded beyond Ukrainian borders. The only thing that is been going on in favor of Russia is the grain and energy export market which they have managed to increase which is another totally different ‘theater’ to deal with and China, India, Turkey, northern African nations, Brazil and some pro-Putin ‘dependent’ nations like Hungry and Serbia are part of the problem. Biden needs to actually ‘enforce’ secondary sanctions against Russia which in all fairness has its own limits. Proper leadership is essential in dealing with the Russia-Ukraine problem and I don’t see the pathetic Biden and LGBTQ+ cohorts capable of understanding the situation let alone, handling it. They are more concerned with stupid and irrelevant issues than the real problems at hand.

      • Jake says:

        The Brits are eager to get involved to seal NATO-unity, and get everyone in the west on a war-footing. We are not in agreement about Russian losses, apparently. But from where I’m standing Russia is close to liberating the remainder of the Donbas, and my sources tell me there is not much left of the Ukrainian army.
        Moreover, the Brits and continental Europe are suffering badly from the sanctions regime they imposed themselves, and the people already lost interest in the war, and are starting to blame their own political leaders. Boris needs a war very much like Bill Clinton did during the Monica Lewinsky affaire. ‘Wag the Dog’.

      • Dolores O´Neil says:

        “Why would the Brits do that?”

        Because the willing mismanagement through the “pandemic” has led to a stagflation plus an unkonwn in 40 years energy crisis, leading to Boris announcing a general reduction of wages in the middle of a major sanitary collapse due the negative effect of the alleged “vaccines” with at least a third of the health care staff in sick leave in every Eu country due the “vaccines” side effects in full seventh wave and vacation season?

        Boris needs a war so that the Britons do not hang him from the next lampost…before they hang Nial Ferguson, Albert Bourla, Larry Fink, Bill Gates, Javier Solana, Ursula Von der Leyen, Thierry Breton, Borrell, Macron, Dragui, Sánchez, Scholz, and so on…

        • Jake says:

          The way I see it, the Brits do not give a rat’s ass about Ukraine. They loath Europe, especially the French. And they play the Americans for a fool. The Brits played Trump through Cambridge Analytics during the 2016 elections, and Hillary through Orbis business intelligence which was set up by Christopher Steele. How on earth they managed to get away with it, and blame the Russians, is still beyond me.

          The ‘City’ is crawling with people who desperately want to control the wealth Russia has to offer, and they are using Ukraine to make it happen. They willingly and knowingly threw that country under the bus. Before the Second World War ended, Churchill had this bright idea of picking up where the Nazi’s left off, invading Russia (again), and he called it ‘Operation Unthinkable’. To stab Russia in the back was indeed ‘Unthinkable’ in the eyes of Roosevelt, and he vetoed it. But the Brits have always had their eyes on Russia. Or rather, controlling all of the Eurasian continent, and China, restoring their ‘Empire’. Using others to make it come to pass by manipulating them to do their dirty work.

          And Russia is very much aware of what the Brits try to do. They warned others, without naming the Brits in particular, not to fall into that trap. They probably thought Europe would have wised up after Brexit came to pass, and seeing what happened in the US in 2016. They most certainly warned Ukraine, when the Brits openly tried to provoke a military conflict by sailing through Russian waters ‘on behalf of’ Ukraine before this war started. And it has been Boris who flew to Kiev to insist on not talking about peace with the Russians, but allow Ukrainians to be slaughtered while NATO was coerced to do sanctions and prepare the public for hardship and get into a ‘war mode’, blaming Putin for everything that western leaders had done to blow up their own economies, by handing the keys of the castle to the ‘Financial Elite’ and wrecking ‘Industrial Capitalism’.

          There is much more to it, but the point is that this is not about Ukraine. Which is why I do not feel any remorse at all when I point out developments that fly in the face of the accepted truth that we need to support Ukraine by giving it some more rope, so the country can hang itself. Nor am I willing to throw Europe under the bus by following Brussel’s lead, because it is stupid. Look up ‘Cipolla’ to find out why there are far more stupid people than generally accepted. And why even Nobel laureates can be stupid. Acting not in the interest of the public, nor in accordance with their own best interest. Intelligence has nothing to do with it. And the intelligence provided by the Brits is not to be trusted to guide us if you love your life.

          • joe90 says:

            Churchill had this bright idea of picking up where the Nazi’s left off, invading Russia (again), and he called it ‘Operation Unthinkable’.

            Well to be fair a lot of yanks thought it was a good idea and just about every Brit thought it was insane. Also Churchill was a yank. You are right about the “city” but that is it´s own place.

            I`m somewhat amused that you think the British people rule the world or even the USA. Also Europe is throwing itself under a bus, it was they who came up with the global warming BS to rule the world, just read what the club of Rome said.

    • joe90 says:

      Don´t worry about that, it is becoming clear to NATO that they cant fight ww3. Also everyone in Europe who is not stupid knows America will not die for us but as we are seeing in Ukraine, they will let us die for them.

  3. walrus says:

    With respect Col Lang, what is also impressive is the strength of our own IO. Just google “Russia wheat famine”. At least the first ten pages of results are references about how a Russian blockade is causing a shortage of wheat.

    • KjHeart says:

      Walrus – It is always a sure sign of propaganda when the first two pages of any search is populated with sources saying the same things – identical things in many cases. It is why I always go to page three of a search result – and now even page three is non-existent – filled with unrelated items…

      We live in unbelievable times

      • joe90 says:

        We live in very believable times for those who don´t choose to believe in lies. Everyone seems to ignore it was Ukraine that mined it´s own ports, which makes no difference since they only accounted for 2.5% of world grain exports.

        Everyone seems to have forgotten that the reason Europe has become a net importer of food is because of deliberate policy. I have an almond and olive farm and the only way it makes sense to bother is to pretend that I don´t farm it. I literally have to pretend I don´t farm it to make money thanks to EU laws that are designed to drive all small medium sized farmers out of business. If you go hungry this winter, it wont be by accident or the Russians, if you wont to believe that, fine, starve.

        And if you run out of gas, remember we not only banned imports, we banned payment for gas from Russia, we said “sure we will pay you but you will not have access to what we pretend to pay”. Of course we did not ban imports.

        Oh well we will reap what our stupidity has sown. It is no longer who could freeze, just how many. It is getting very close to the point were if Russia tried to give us all the gas it could, it still wont matter. Happy I wont be in Germany this winter, Poland´s lies will become clear.

        Also, no ww3, Europe wont have the fuel for that fight.

  4. Steve+G says:

    The Ukrainians have said they were losing up to
    1000 KIA/wounded or surrendered per day.
    Is that false?

    • Pat Lang says:


      It’s a big country.

      • OIFVet says:

        They can spare a few hundred thousand dead and maimed to fight the Russians. Besides industry, we have outsourcing our fighting, too.

      • Dolores O´Neil says:

        The same could be said of Russia, which is even bigger…

        • Pat Lang says:

          Dolores o’Neil

          Yes, but they lack the motivation of the Ukrainians. I know the men who trained the Ukrainians. This is now far different from the descendants of of the Tsar’s army.

          • joe90 says:

            You don´t know men who have trained the Russians though.

          • TTG says:


            Well I knew some Austrian Army Mountain Guides who trained both us SF and Soviet Spetsnaz.

          • Steve says:

            If they believe – as most Russians seem to – that they’re similarly threatened with extinction, they have at least an equal level of motivation partnered with a far greater level of capability. I seem to recall a couple of other hegemonic leaders who had similar thoughts when taking on the inferior Slavs. It didn’t end well.

    • joe90 says:

      Maybe but why would they lie? Everyone who had any sense knew they were going to lose. The Russians lost 27 million in WW2, people seem to forget that and also forget when Napoleon attacked them, they ended up in Paris. That was not his plan.

      • TTG says:


        Seven million of that 27 million were Ukrainians.

        • whoknows says:

          Do you imply that half of them were on the Nazi side?

          • TTG says:


            No. The Ukrainians made up a large part of the Red Army. The Ukrainian civilian population also suffered greatly at the hands of the German Army.

      • Bill Roche says:

        Actually Joe, Napoleon ended back up in Paris by the skin of his teeth. But the French learned a Russian word on their “run” back to France when they stopped to eat “bistro, bistro”. Did the Russians plan to get their butts kicked when they invaded Germany in 1915, 100 years after Napoleon? Did the Russians also plan to get a good whooping in the snow when they invaded those threatening Finns 35 years later? For sure the Russians lost many in WW II to the Germans who chased them from WW I. But not 27MM. About 1/3 of those killed were… Ukrainians.
        Some of the Ukrainians joined the NAZIs to help throw out the Russians who gave them communist slavery or Holodomore. Ukrainians are the people the Russians are killing right now. What manner of men do the Russians think the Ukrainians are?

  5. tom67 says:

    Don´t know who to believe. In war truth is the first casualty. For what its worth: had a talk yesterday with a friend in St. Petersburg. She said there are booths all over the city recruiting volunteers. Furthermore she reports that more and more death notices appear on the walls of a military academy where she knows someone. She supports the war by the way. So no defeatist. Would be interesting to know the state of affairs in Ukraine. I suspect it is even more dire. Simply the vast material superiority of Russia lets me believe that. Russia can still dial up the volume. She hasn´t deployed conscripts yet in a big way. Nor has she destroyed the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine yet. Electricity and the internet are still working in Kiev and Kharkov. But time is running out. If the West is not ready to concede Moscows most salient points
    i.e. neutrality, Crimea and the Donbass Putin will yet pump up the volume even more.
    I am sure Putin is still amenable to a compromise. I surmise that from the fact that the road from Ulaanbataar to the Russian border is now in such bad repair that the road traffic to Russia is basically cut off. Whereas the road from the Mongolian capital to China is in sparkling condition. Having lived in Mongolia for seven years I can assure you that this is surely no coincidance. The Chinese are demanding their pound of flesh and getting it. Have a look at the map. From Mongolia it is 150 k to lake Baikal. In between is the Transsib. If you cut off traffic there the Eastern half of Siberia cannot be supplied from Moscow anymore. I don´t believe for one moment the happy talk of Moscow propagandists about the great friendship between Russia and China. I believe the Russians are in a tight spot between the West and China and it is time the West realizes that you can still make a not to bad deal.

    • TTG says:


      Good to see somebody else noticed that China is seeing this war as an opportunity. They talk a good story about their Russian brothers, but have not agreed to supply any missiles or other lethal aid. They have counseled several Central Asian countries not to get involved with
      Russia’s war. They are also driving the price down for the oil and gas they are getting from Russia, almost half price. China is in it for China. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a far cry from all the talk about Russian-Chinese brotherhood.

      • joe90 says:

        Russia hasn´t sold China the tech to produce Russia´s best so of course China cant supply missiles to Russia. As for oil, LMAO so Russia is selling it at 75% more than last year instead of 125% more to Europe. BTW is China trying to help NATO against Russia? Do you really think China hasn´t noticed it will be next if Russia falls?

        • TTG says:

          China is paying $73 a barrel for Russian oil when Brent crude was going for close to $140 a barrel. That’s a hefty discount even from last years prices.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            “China is paying $73 a barrel for Russian oil when Brent crude was going for close to $140 a barrel. ”

            Very misleading.

            Russia doesn’t sell its oil based on the “Brent crude” index. Russia’s oil product is “Urals crude”, whose May 2022 price was $78.80.

            So if China is buying Urals Crude from Russia at $73 then that represents a discount, but not a massive discount.

            “That’s a hefty discount even from last years prices.”

            Untrue. Urals Crude was going for $66.60 in May 2021 i.e. last year’s prices were significantly lower than this year’s prices, and even significantly lower than the discount price that the Russians are giving China.

            You gotta compare apples with apples, otherwise your conclusions are going to be incorrect.

    • Jimmy_w says:

      Yet our President couldn’t stop himself from needling China with “Defend Taiwan of course”.
      China wants the Ukraine War to end when it is good for China, not at the West’s convenience. (Not when it is best for Russia, either.)
      Of course, our current leaders are not capable of making a “not too bad deal”.

      • Tom67 says:

        If you really love freedom be afraid, very afraid of China. I lived in both China (studied there 30 years ago) and Russia (studied there as well) and can tell you without any doubt that Russia is a paradise of liberty compared to China. You can still access any internet site from Russia. Do that in China and the stormtroopers will be at your door in no time. It is crazy to push Russia into Chinas arms. It would be the job of the US as the leader of the West to find the right balance for everybody. There seems to be nobody in Washington having any strategic foresight. The whole Ukraine affair smells to me like the Wokies thinking they can do to Russia what they do to conservatives in the West. Cancel culture as foreign policy. That is not to say that the US shouldn´t show a big stick to Russia. But introduce LBGTQ to the marines, let the military industrial complex dictate weapon procurement and on the other hand screech eternally how bad Putin is is certainly no winning strategy.

        • leith says:

          @Tom67 – “You can still access any internet site from Russia. “

          Not any more you can’t. Not since Putin recently started censoring the internet. But his censorship seems a bit porous, so perhaps you are right.

          • Tom67 says:

            I am regularly in contact with Russia thru telegram. Try that in China! I am German and already years ago industrial specialists from my area didn´t want to be posted to China anymore as they could neither access the website of their local paper (yeah news about fires, traffic accidents and the carnival) nor use skype. VPN doesn´t work or will call in the stormtroopers. No such problems in Russia where the selfsame specialists went to no problem. Sure Russia is no
            paradise either and especially not now. But at least people aren´t afraid to talk on the phone.
            Russia is a place where people have had communism. When the goverment tried to introduce a covid pass system like in China there was massive grass roots resistance and the government gave up. War is another story and of course Putin is misusing the patriotism of the Russian people. But to my mind the West is not blameless and I hope and pray people with some sense will come to the fore in Washington

  6. Lars says:

    From mainly Scandinavian media sources, there are a lot of reports about the serious and growing Russian military problems. That includes poorly trained recruits sent to the front and a lot of contract soldiers not resigning. There are also reports that the sanctions are starting to bite a lot more.

    There is also a lot of talk about increasing restlessness in the eastern parts. In many ways Russia is losing a generation of young people, both as casualties and emigration. It is well to consider that the Russian economy was not all that big to start with.

    The US Marines recently had joint exercises with the Swedish Army on the island of Gotland and the Swedish soldiers expressed a lot of awe over how well prepared and trained the Marines are.

    As far as WWIII, I am reasonably sure the higher ranks in the Russian military know that they would lose big and quickly.

  7. Jimmy_w says:

    “Russian Ministry of Defense is now offering to pay off the loans and debts of volunteers to entice recruits.”

    Oh no, the US Army is now also running out of volunteers! In peacetime with a looming recession no less. For that matter, during all of OIF the US Army was in a same critical state as the Russians now, according to UK Intelligence’s metrics.

    The Western spin is almost farcical nowadays.

    For all the talk of Russian shenanigans, they’re actually following their own laws (mostly) in not deploying conscripts and not using chemical weapons (yet). So that is an indicator of how bad things are going for Russia right now.

  8. scott s. says:

    Not worried about the USA, as it can always draw from its DEI corps as a strategic reserve. And we know in war, the most important thing is diversity of thought.

  9. drifter says:

    The Ukrainians seem to be focused on defending territory while the Russians are focused on destroying the Ukrainian army. A large part of the regular UAF in the East is tied down facing off against the DPR militia in the vicinity of Donetsk. And when the UAF launches counterattacks outside the cauldron areas, the Russians simply inflict causalities on them while giving way. We know this is happening because the UAF gets stopped in the actions within a day or two, and there is no resumption of the attack.

    In the cauldron areas, the Russians continually attempt new penetrations which are sometimes successful. The salients thus created extend the line of contact, sucking even more UAF into static defensive positions where they can be “degraded” by Russian artillery. Think of this as increasing the “surface area” of the war. The line of contact is a phase separation between the two militaries, and at the boundary the rate of destruction of the UAF is unfavorable to them.

    The Ukrainians, being focused on defending territory, deploy additional forces into positions flanked by Russian salients. As a result of this, the Russians have even more UAF in the range of their artillery. An industrial killing process is in place that is to the advantage of the Russians.

    All this said, my view is that a lasting victory for the Russians in this conflict is a long shot. Many of the committee were certain Russia would not invade precisely because there seemed no clear path to victory (and there were non-kinetic pathways to success). I agreed with this assessment.

    But “long shot” does not mean “impossible”. The Russians can achieve a semi-durable “win” if they destroy the UAF (militarily and politically), defeat the US proxy warrior and impose a “neutral” government in the rump Ukrainian state. Much destruction and death is required of the Russians. But for the Ukrainians (and the US) to prevail, they also have to address a problem: Ukrainian manpower, specifically trained military manpower.

    • TTG says:


      The Ukrainians are still fighting a defensive war, except in Donetsk where they just gained more territory west of Donetsk than they lost in Severodonetsk. This was territory the Russians first took back in mid-March. They also beat the Russians back around Kharkiv and are on the offensive along the entire Kherson front.

      The Ukrainians just crowd sourced 20 million dollars in three days to purchase four Bayraktar drones. They only set out to collect enough for three drones. As one Ukrainian reporter said, “Are you sure you want to mess with a nation that crowdfunds money enough to buy four Bayraktar strike UAVs within three days?”

      • Steve says:


        “….they just gained more territory west of Donetsk than they lost in Severodonetsk.”

        Really? Where are you seeing that? I’ve seen no information that would corroborate that assertion.

    • Worth Pointing Out says:

      “The Ukrainians seem to be focused on defending territory while the Russians are focused on destroying the Ukrainian army.”

      That is also how I see it.

      TTG’s statement about the Ukrainians fighting a defensive war is (a) simply restating half of the above while (b) ignoring the other half.

      I am not sure how anyone expects anyone to win a war if they – apparently – aren’t giving any consideration to what the other sides wants to do.

      TTG: “They only set out to collect enough for three drones.”

      Probably very wise to have a spare. Or two.

      Or four.

      • TTG says:


        The Russians may be focused on destroying the Ukrainian Army, but the Ukrainians are doing a much better job of destroying the Russian Army. My point was that, in the last two months or so, the Ukrainians are doing a lot more than just statically defending.

        • Worth Pointing Out says:

          “The Russians may be focused on destroying the Ukrainian Army, but the Ukrainians are doing a much better job of destroying the Russian Army.”

          So you say, because that’s what ISW says, because that’s what the Ukrainians say.

          Excuse me for being unimpressed.

          I also seem to remember reading that the Russians were down to two-weeks worth of ammo (March 15, in fact), and that the Russians have reached their “Culminating Point” (also March 15).

          Both seem to have been more than a little optimistic.

          I suspect your current claim is even more so.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Isn’t this a silly discussion? Of course the Ukies are focused on defending tty. Their country is being invaded. What other choice should they make. All ears Sir!

          • TTG says:

            Bill Roche,

            Yes it is.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            Once more, yet again: it takes two to make a war.

            This conversation is “silly” in your view because you are fixated only on what one side is attempting to do.

            By failing to even acknowledge the other side (and are you even aware that you could not bring yourself to mention the other side?) then your conclusions about the wisdom of the “choices” that are being made regarding the conduct of this war are going to be – at the very least – one-sided or (more likely) completely wrong.

      • leith says:

        WPO & Drifter –

        Remind me again what von Clauswitz said about the defensive form of warfare being stronger than its attacking counterpart. And didn’t he say that the defense is about awaiting the chance to strike? The Soviet Stavka knew that. Stalingrad is a case in point. But the get-rich-quick Russian generals are too busy trying to catch up with Putin’s oligarch buddies, and seem to have forgotten those old hard learned lessons.

        Aah, never mind. I have a copy somewhere. But in any case Ukraine is not just on the defensive. She is attacking where Russia’s occupation troops are weak.

        I wonder what CvC would say about Putin’s War if he were alive today? I suspect the 21st century wunderwaffen would not change his outlook.

        • Worth Pointing Out says:

          “Remind me again what von Clauswitz said about the defensive form of warfare being stronger than its attacking counterpart.”

          And yet the Russians have just turned the Ukrainians out of their defensive positions. Even though the Ukrainians have more troops.

          Go figure, heh?

          “And didn’t he say that the defense is about awaiting the chance to strike?”

          With what, exactly, leith?

          “I wonder what CvC would say about Putin’s War if he were alive today?”

          I suspect he’d say that it ain’t over till it’s over.

          • leith says:

            wpo –

            turned out? I think not. And CvC was not talking about a single battle. You need to focus on the forest, not the trees.

            I agree with your last sentence.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            “turned out? I think not.”

            Riiight. And I’m certain that the 1st British Airborne weren’t turned out of Arnhem.

            Oh, no, no, no. They were ordered out.

            QED: they were not turned out.

          • leith says:

            WPO –

            At Arnhem the Brit 1st Airborne Div lost 2000 KIA and 7000 captured. Any that were left got ‘turned out’ as you say. Boy Browning should have listened to the Pole who led the Polish Paratroop Brigade. And he should not have disregarded the intel from his G2 that two SS Panzer divisions were in the area. Instead he went ahead and proceeded with his badly planned operation.

            To compare that to Severodonetsk is apples and oranges.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            “To compare that to Severodonetsk is apples and oranges.”

            Why, exactly?

            The Ukrainians attempted to make a stand in Severodonetsk even though they knew that the main Russian objective was to destroy the Ukrainian military.

            In effect: the Russians set up a meat-grinder, then invited the Ukrainians to stand their ground.

            An invitation that Zelensky accepted against the advice of this own General Staff.

            Comparisons to Arnhem seem very apt to me.

          • leith says:

            @WPO – “Why, exactly?”

            The Ukrainian General Staff ordered a defense in Sieverodonetsk because they knew it was a major political objective of Putin and they used it as a way to bleed out more RU/LNR troops.

            In effect: the Ukrainians set up the meat-grinder. They didn’t even have to send out invitations. Putin sent in his troops and accepted huge casualties in urban house to house fighting. They averaged 20 meters a day in their advance over the last 80 days. And they turned Sieverodonetsk into a rubble pile.

            Meanwhile, safe in Moscow, Putin posed for more look-at-how-macho-I-am photo ops:

          • borko says:


            Do you have any info on how many casualties the Russians suffered in Severodonetsk approx?

            Btw, that photo of Putin with an AK is 10 years old.

          • leith says:

            Borko –

            My bad on the old Putin photo. Got it from a February 2022 Eurasian times article. Should have checked. But it is just one of his many showboating photo shoots. Must have been taken during his 2012 election campaign. Which model AK is that?

            As far as RU casualties at Sieverodonetsk there is no easy answer. Wikipedia says “heavy” and they reference ISW for that. Putin and Konashenko aren’t saying. Ukraine General Staff publishes their estimate of total RU casualties since 24 February. And we should take those with a grain of salt.

            But the battle started on about 6 May. On that day the Ukrainian estimate for total RU casualties (including RU Army, Rosgvardia, LNR/DNR, Wagner, etc) was 24,900. Today their estimate is 35,000. Those are for all of Ukraine, not just Sieverodonetsk. They also claim an additional 250 destroyed RU artillery tubes and 70 more destroyed RU MLRS during that 6 May to 27 June timeframe. As I mentioned they are estimates and are probably exaggerated. To my limited knowledge, enemy Battle Damage Assessments in any war are always too high no matter whose military publishes them. So follow your own instincts.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            leith: “Putin sent in his troops and accepted huge casualties in urban house to house fighting. They averaged 20 meters a day in their advance over the last 80 days.”

            Really, I’m going to stop you right there an point out a few facts:
            1) The ground assault on Sieverodonetsk did not begin until May 27th.
            2) Haidi admitted on May 31st that the Ukrainian defenders were falling back into the Azot chemical plant.
            3) By June 2nd the British accepted that the Ukkie defenders were bottled up inside that chemical plant.

            So sorry, from that point on Russian losses would have plummeted because they could just bomb that plant with impunity.

            So maybe a week of heavy fighting, or a bit less, and then a game of whack-a-mole for the Russians.

            leith: “they used it as a way to bleed out more RU/LNR troops”

            ISW (May 28): “Moscow will not be able to recoup large amounts of effective combat power even if it seizes Severdonetsk, because it is expending that combat power frivolously on taking the city.”

            Haidi (June 6): “The Russians have amassed huge reserves.”

            Hmmmm. A bit of cognitive dissonance going on there, if I’m not mistaken: the Russians were being bled dry, the Russians have amassed huge reserves.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            leith: “Wikipedia says “heavy” and they reference ISW for that. Putin and Konashenko aren’t saying. Ukraine General Staff publishes their estimate of total RU casualties since 24 February.”

            The flaw is obvious.

            There is only one source for leith’s opinion in that quote: the Ukraine General Staff.

            Wikipedia sources from ISW, who source from…. the UGS.

            Leith cuts out the shill and goes straight to the UGS.

            But there aren’t “three” different sources of information. There isn’t even two different sources of information, because all roads lead back to the one place: the Ukraine General Staff.

          • leith says:

            WPO –

            Re your point 1] On 6 May LNR & RU sources said they had advanced and were successfully attacking the suburbs of Severodonetsk. Voronove and Voevodivka I believe, but there were other thrusts that were fought off. Massive artillery attacks on the city itself also started, although sporadic artillery strikes had happened earlier. Your 27 May comment may be when they finally penetrated the city limits, but the battle for the city started three weeks earlier.

            Re point 2] Haidi? Are you talking about Governor of Luhansk Province, Serhiy Haidai? What he said on May 31st was that the Ukrainian defenders were actively fighting against the RU/LNR forces in the northern, southern and eastern parts of Sievierodonetsk. The only thing he said about Azot was that RU shelling and airstrikes hit a nitric acid container there.

            Re point 3] I have no clue which Brits you are trying to quote. However, the UK Defense Intelligence update of 2 June said the Ukrainians still held the main road into the Sieverodonetsk pocket. No mention of Azot. Several days later their update said fierce street-to-street fighting was still ongoing there.

            You appear to be correct about cognitive dissonance, but not in how you meant.

        • drifter says:


          So Putin is doing just as you assert (and I’m not denying any of it): failing miserably, killing people, etc. Should the Ukrainians hunker down in static field fortifications along the line of contact? What would your dead authors say?

          • leith says:

            Drifter –

            Thought I had answered that above. But perhaps I was not clear. Maybe I should not have posed it as a facetious question, sorry about that. Carl von Clausewitz is the only author I was referring to. Not sure who the others are you mention.

            The Ukrainians are awaiting a chance to strike offensively. Once they are fully mobilized and trained up on the new weapon systems they’ll push Putin out of their country.

            But in the meantime they are NOT all 100% hunkered down in static defenses. They are using pinpoint artillery to attack and destroy RU logistics, CPs, and armor. Their special forces are behind enemy lines assisting the partizan resistance against the occupation. They are doing probing attacks in Kherson & Donetz provinces reconnoitering and testing RU Army, ahem, static defenses.

            And by the way, the ones that are hunkered down are constraining RU forces from conducting large scale maneuver warfare. In the recent past those defenses prevented RU from capturing Kiev, Kharkiv, Mykolayev, Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhzhya, and others. Unless of course you believe the BS about those being feints.

  10. VietnamVet says:


    It sure is a relief to read a post and a string of comments that all make sense. But, both of the opposing sides’ information operations are unbelievable. This is now an existential war for both Ukraine and Russia. To take Odessa and make Ukraine a rump state, Russia must fully mobilize and make this a war for the motherland which of necessity has to include the reining in the oligarchs and using their wealth for the people. Ukraine wins if it keeps Odessa. The smart thing to do is to give up the Russian speaking Tsar’s lands for an armistice and establish DMZ between Ukraine and Russia along the Dnieper River and the Line of Contact. But Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron do not want peace.

    The shortage of pilots, truckers, energy and food due to the failures of the western public health systems and the proxy world war are already causing soaring inflation which is hitting the West and the Third World right now and could be a catastrophic this winter with no heat and starvation. Peace and a multi-polar world are better than the West collapsing economically or the conflict escalating to WWIII. Sri Lanka is the harbinger of the world without money.

    • TTG says:


      Conversely, Russia could retreat back to within her borders. She would no longer be under an existential threat. No one is going to invade Russia. If NATO tried that, they would face the same fully mobilized, determined defense that Russia is now facing in her invasion of Ukraine.

      • Worth Pointing Out says:

        TTG: “No one is going to invade Russia.”

        That glib comment is pure propaganda.

        The Russian concern was never that Joe Biden would grab his Field Marshall’s baton and march on Moscow.

        It was always that a Ukraine under the protective umbrella of NATO’s Article 5 could be used to house missiles that could launch on Moscow before the Kremlin even knew it was being decapitated.

        You know that just as well as I do, so why indulge in such cheap misrepresentations?

        • TTG says:


          What NATO or US missiles are those? Anything we have now would be air or sea launched from the Baltic. Vilnius is as close to Moscow as Kyiv.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            “What NATO or US missiles are those?”

            The missiles that the USA would have installed if Ukraine had been admitted to NATO.

            Are you really denying that the USA would have refrained from putting Aegis Ashore in Ukraine? Or that the Ukrainians would have refused to consider Washington’s entreaties to agree to their installation?

            Poland says otherwise, as does Romania.

            “Anything we have now would be air or sea launched from the Baltic.”

            Ahem. Poland. Romania.

            “Vilnius is as close to Moscow as Kyiv.”

            And Lithuania joined NATO in 2004, when Russia was still to weak to do anything about it. But even the Luthuanians aren’t so crazy as to allow such missiles to be installed on their territory.

            Unlike Poland. Or Romania. Or, indeed, Ukraine.

            But the Russia of 2022 is not the Russia of 1999 or 2004. They may not be able to do anything about the events that transpired back then, but they are clearly determined not to let a bad strategic position deteriorate further.

            Honestly, your rebuttal is a picture-postcard illustration of why the world has got to the point that it finds itself in now: a hard determination not to consider any validity to Russian concerns, and a glib insistence that Black is White, Up is Down, The Sky is Green and the Ground is Blue.

            As in: Russia has no need to be concerned about the prospect of missiles in Ukraine because, you know, we have plenty of other missiles elsewhere.

            Go on, tell me again how that fact should be oh-so reassuring to the Kremlin.

          • TTG says:


            Aegis and Aegis Ashore is an A2/AD system designed to target ballistic and cruise missile threats. It is a threat to Russia’s ability to launch ballistic and cruise missiles against European capitals as they have boasted. The Aegis Ashore systems in Poland and Romania are not configured to launch Tomahawks so that’s an imaginary threat to Russia. Poland and Romania also have the latest version of the Patriot system. I’m sure Putin has designated Patriot batteries in Poland and Romania as a threat to Russia. I could be a Patriot battery eventually going to Ukraine. Still, even that would not be a threat to Russia proper, just to Russia’s ability to strike at Europe.

            The offensive missile threat to Russia remains with our ship and air launched cruise missiles. In addition to our systems in the Baltic, Polish and Finnish F-16s have air launched cruise missiles capable of striking Russia. That’s a threat that Russia confronts with their own A2/AD network. Invading Ukraine has no effect against that existing threat.

            Obviously Russia does not want to see Ukraine become a NATO member, but the decision to accept Ukraine is up to the existing NATO countries. Invading Ukraine was counterproductive to convincing one or more NATO countries not to accept Ukraine’s bid for entry. Instead, the invasion convince Sweden and Finland to seek membership. The invasion breathed new life into NATO. It renewed its purpose. The invasion was a desperate blunder for Moscow. Russia could have continued to curry favor with Hungary, Turkey and maybe others to keep Ukraine out of NATO.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            TTG almost every word in you reply is intended to mislead rather than to explain, but I’m only going to respond to this one, because it goes to the heart of it:
            “The Aegis Ashore systems in Poland and Romania are not configured to launch Tomahawks so that’s an imaginary threat to Russia.”

            not. configured. to. launch. Tomahawks.

            What does that even *mean*?

            You and I both know that the very first thing the USA did when it abrogated the INF Treaty was to test-launch a Tomahawk from the very same land-based version of the Mk41 cell that is installed in Aegis Ashore.

            No “reconfiguration” needed: just drop one into the tube then light the wick and Whoooosh! off it flew.

            (and, I’ll note in passing, that test proved the Russian argument that Aegis Ashore was always a violation of the INF Treaty, which banned missiles *and* launchers)

            So in what way are those Aegis Ashore not “configured” to fire Tomahawks?

            It’s not because the land-based Mk41 can’t physically fire them, because it can.

            It’s not because there is some software block on them doing so: that definitely fails the “trust, but verify” rule that the USA insists on for everyone else.

            It’s not because there aren’t any Tomahawks in those launch tubes because, frankly, that’s a claim that also is not going to make it into the “trust, but verify” column.

            The US military could pull the Standard missiles out of those tubes and plonk Tomahawks into them whenever they like, and nobody would be able to tell the difference.

            It is simply untrue to claim – as you are claiming – that the only thing the Russians have to fear are sea-based missiles.

            That *all* went out the window along with the USA’s copy of the INF Treaty.

            Oh, yeah, and totally unrelated: I don’t suppose you know anyone from the I Corps’ 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, by any chance?

          • TTG says:


            All Aegis Ashore systems lack the fire control hardware, and additional support equipment necessary to launch a Tomahawk missile. The software isn’t in place, either, but that by itself isn’t a massive obstacle. The Mk41 is little more than a steel framework to hold the missile in place along with some basic electronics. Without that necessary fire control hardware and software, it cannot launch a Tomahawk.

            It’s not just the sea-based Tomahawks the Russians should fear. It is the US, Polish and Finnish F-16s along with our F-35s equipped with cruise missiles that the Russians should worry about. Now when the M270 MLRS and M142 HIMARS launchers eventually get the precision strike missile, that will be something else for the Russians to worry about.

            No, I don’t know anybody from the 3rd FA Regiment.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            “All Aegis Ashore systems lack the fire control hardware, and additional support equipment necessary to launch a Tomahawk missile.”

            Is that so?

            What part of “trust, but verify” are you having trouble with?

            “The offensive missile threat to Russia remains with our ship and air launched cruise missiles.”

            One more time, yet again: the Russians have said time and time again that what they fear is a sudden decapitation strike.

            You know, missiles that strike Moscow before the Kremlin staff can even rouse Putin from his mistress’ boudoir.

            You can’t launch such a decapitation strike from an aircraft that takes off from Ramstein Air Base, or from an Arleigh Burke class destroyer sailing around the North Sea.

            “No, I don’t know anybody from the 3rd FA Regiment.”

            A pity, because he’d be able to explain to you what he is being trained to do.

          • TTG says:


            Biden offered a trust but verify regime for the two Aegis Ashore sites so the Russian can verify the lack of Tomahawks and Tomahawk capability at those sites before the war. It would have been similar to the INF treaty inspections years ago.

            Ah, now I see you’re referring to the Army’s new Multi-Domain Task Force and the 5/3 FA part in the strategic fires battalion. I introduced the new MDO doctrine here a year ago. Once those strategic fires battalions come on line, they will be another headache for Moscow. The mid range capability battery is now scheduled to have dual Tomahawk/SM-6 capable mobile launchers. Is that your true concern with this discussion rather than the two Aegis Ashore installations, I agree you have a valid point about future deployment of a mid-range capabilities battery in Ukraine. However, that same battery could just as easily be deployed to any of the Baltic nations. The long-range hypersonic weapons battery doesn’t need to be placed in Ukraine or the Baltics to threaten Moscow. Poland, Finland or other locations would do nicely. I guess that’s why Putin was demanding that NATO to be rolled back to Cold War borders.


          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            “I guess that’s why Putin was demanding that NATO to be rolled back to Cold War borders.”

            And I’m guessing that you are correct.

            Indeed, the faster the missiles fly then the further away the Russians will want them to be.

            Not because they can stop them – they can’t – but because they’ll see them coming and can react to them. Deterrence at its purest.

            Seems very reasonable to me, so I really fail to understand why the USA and NATO insisted on flipping the bird to the Kremlin back in late 2021.

            This war is the result of that arrogance.

          • TTG says:


            The arrogance lies in Russia’s development and deployment of hypersonic, long range GLCM, boasting about how they could now strike Western capitals with impunity and then not expecting the US and NATO to respond with a countering capability. First, Trump pulled us out of INF Treaty with Russia based on Russia’s deployment of GLCMs. Now Moscow will be faced with our MDO doctrine backed up with multi domain task forces and strategic fires battalions. The Army and Marines have already awarded contracts for air transportable Tomahawk launchers. With the right modifications those launchers could also fire the SM-6 family of missiles. Our long range hypersonic missiles are in the testing phase and will also be air transportable. These new weapons capabilities and the MDO doctrine itself is also aimed at deterrence. We’re back to intermediate range MAD, except Russia no longer has the WTO as a buffer. Moscow should have thought of that before escalating and now being in the position of first trying bluff us out of Eastern Europe and now trying to reestablish that buffer by invading Ukraine.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            Ah, I see now, I was only aware of the NATO response to the Russian proposal. Washington sent a separate response, which is the document you are leaning on.

            It contains this: “The United States is prepared to discuss, in consultation with and, where appropriate with the consent of, Allies, a transparency mechanism to confirm the absence of Tomahawk cruise missiles at Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and Poland”

            Quite apart from giving Poland and/or Romania a right of veto, the proposal is not what you claim it to be.

            As in…..
            TTG: ..”so the Russian can verify the lack of Tomahawks and Tomahawk capability at those sites”…

            Biden: …”confirm the absence of Tomahawk cruise missiles”…

            Note the missing “Tomahawk capability” in the proposal, which is what you have been making so much about in the last few posts.

            So Washington is proposing facilities that are “fitted for but not with”, as the used-car brochures often say.

            So if Washington did decide to launch a decapitation strike then it is a simple matter of pulling the Standard missiles out and dropping the Tomahawks in and …. they are good to go.

            All that would be required is to do that the night before and hope that the Russian spy satellites don’t spot the activity.

            Not very reassuring.

        • joe90 says:

          Thank you for pointing out the truth. This is NATO v Russia in Ukraine. And it never needed to happen.

  11. Henry Carmichael says:

    ISW – Founder and President = Kimberly Kagan (wife of AEI Senior Fellow, Frederick Kagan, and sister-in-law to Brookings Institute Senior fellow Robert Kagan and Undersecretary at the Dept. of Sate, the fragrant Vicky Nuland).

    The ISW is also telling us that the recent shelling of Donetsk was a Russian false flag


    Make of that what you will.

    The Ukrainians are certainly winning the information war in the west – the Telegraph (the voice of the Tory establishment) ran this article about the *Goat* of Kyiv, today, which shows just how confident they are in their command of the information space :


    • joe90 says:

      I might as well say I used to live in Cambodia, you go there and they will agree information is powerful, but not as powerful as a bullet which really does settle matters.

  12. Jovan P says:

    The British have a long and exceptionally successful tradition of pushing other nations in war, when they deemed it was in her majesty’s interest. The Ukrainian conflict fits the line.

    E.g. Macron, Draghi and Scholz visit Moscow (together with Romania’s president), the following day Boris Johnson rushes to Kiev. If the first three, whose nations are affected by Russian countermeasures, urged Zelensky to negotiate, take a guess why Johnson went to Kiev the next day.

    The British establishment and media absolutely don’t care if 100 000 or 10 million Ukrainians die. They don’t give a damn. Just as I think they wouldn’t give a damn if Lithuania or other Baltic states were pushed in a conflict with the Russians. Let someone bleed the Russians, at any cost of that someone. When the war ends and the KIA and MIA start being counted, I’m sure BBC will be all about cricket.

  13. SRW says:

    One thing I think most can agree on. This war is turning Ukraine into a Poland, a nation with a visceral dislike for Russia.

    • Jake says:

      That remains to be seen. Allow me to play the Devil’s advocate though. And not because I’m hoping for this alternative outcome, but because it is far from unlikely. I most certainly agree with most western observers that a dislike, in more than a few cases bordering on open hatred, or well past that stage in the well documented case of Neonazi’s within the country, was already present before the war. At least in those parts of the country controlled by ‘Kiev’ which did not vote for Yanukovych before 2014. The west built on it when they did the regime-change-coup in 2014, and certainly is expecting praise for their support today. Yet there is a fair chance that people in Ukraine come away with a different point of view when they lose the war, and realize that they have been left with an empty shell, buried in debt, to countries with no conscience, demanding austerity to be repaid, as a condition towards ‘progress’ in de direction of full membership of the EU.

      Lest we forget, millions of Ukrainians fled the country. And when they return, with the more fanatical segment obliterated in the fight, there will be some interesting conversations. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if many Ukrainians came away from this war with a nagging feeling that they have been used in a ‘Game’ of geostrategic poker, holding a losing hand from the very beginning.

      Now, consider the following in addition. If the Russians call it a day at some point, limiting military activity to defending what they took, and ‘discouraging’ new military adventurism, while doing some ‘heavy lifting’ on getting the Donbas area going economically, hooking them up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, not unlike what Russia did in Chechnya and Crimea, investing heavily, while the part left to be controlled by ‘Kiev’ discovers that Europe and the US ran a Ponzi scheme of ‘Services’, built on Mickey Mouse money, pure fiat, not supported by any viable industry, or natural resources, the mood may become foul towards the west. In addition, traditionally Ukraine earned a lot from Russian gas transiting the country, and that will be gone. As will be the subsidies from the already bankrupt EU.

      Yes, this reading hugs the Russian narrative of a ‘Special Operation’, and not a war, and saving civilian casualties, as well as infrastructure, and even offering access to ports on the Black Sea for exports of grain and other goodies. A narrative the west says is false. I cannot tell you one way or the other, but after the shooting stops, stories will feed into the narrative which are now blocked by propaganda and censorship, both ways, and the people will know who is telling the truth, and who is lying. It goes without saying that if we end up with a people hating our guts, because we hung them out to dry, in desperate need of a ‘Wag the Dog’-event to get the people in Europe and the US distracted from noticing the dire condition of our collective economies, we’re left with the worst of all possible worlds. I sure wish I could say for sure that we will be hugged and applauded, but I would be lying to myself. It is not what I’m witnessing. Instead I fear the possibility of further escalation as a ‘way out’.

      • jld says:

        “while the part left to be controlled by ‘Kiev’ discovers that Europe and the US ran a Ponzi scheme of ‘Services’, built on Mickey Mouse money, pure fiat, not supported by any viable industry, or natural resources”

        Why would the “returning” Ukrainians be any less stupider than other Europeans who have been sold this Ponzi scheme for decades?

        • Jake says:

          My bad if I wasn’t crystal clear. The fiat money the west has used to it’s advantage for decades, after Nixon left the gold-standard, and (together with Kissinger) replaced it with ‘Black Gold’ (oil) through striking a deal with OPEC, has reached the end of the line. We are about to find out the ‘Woke’, and ‘Talk’, ‘Hollywood’ and ‘owning’ things on paper won’t keep us warm at night, won’t feed us, and won’t deliver the goodies we grew accustomed to. While demand for the ‘Services’ elsewhere is waning. Technically Ukraine is in a (far) better position to survive a reversion to ‘Industrial Capitalism’ from ‘Financial Capitalism’. But not if they allow themselves to be bled dry on repaying the west on ‘loans’ associated with this war, and the build-up to it over the past eight years. Dealing with their adversaries in this war may very well be the (far) better option, since countries with a sound industrial base, or plenty of resources, are going to call the shots. And they won’t have to give up anything they didn’t already lose in this war, since Russia and China keep politics, and even war, separated for doing business. Or they would have already cut off the west from gas, oil and minerals, instead of waiting for Europe to tell them they are ready to commit suicide.

          That has nothing to do with the people who left Ukraine when the war hit. I do not pretend to know exactly why they left. But the impressive number of fancy cars with Ukrainian plates and healthy looking, fairly young, and well-to-do people I come across in my own country left me with this impression they were not prepared to die for their country. Others, including people who didn’t flee from being drafted, but lost loved-ones, will have had a front row seat in their host countries, telling them that ‘support’ meant that NATO would stuff them to the hilt with weapons, after training their men for eight years straight to die in this war, but that’s it. There is a fair chance that those Ukrainians will reach this rather painful conclusion that they were suckers, led to the slaughter of Brzeziński’s ‘Great Chessboard’ with nothing to show for it, save for some meaningless posthumus decoration handed to them by a ‘Kiev’ apparatchik when they returned to their country with nothing but questions. How did this come about? Why not honor ‘Minsk II’? How is membership of NATO something to be desired? What were our leaders thinking?

          Hopefully this clears things up?

          • Jovan P says:

            Beautiful comments. I tend to ask myself , what will the families of the fallen Ukrainian soldiers tell their kids what did their fathers die for?

          • borko says:


            if you were Russian, would you volunteer to go fight in Ukraine to defend your country from this “existential” threat ?

            In fact, you don’t have to be Russian. They have now begun officially accepting foreign volunteers. I wonder why.

          • Jake says:

            Borko, I fail to get the drift of your comment. My own world is not black versus white, or pro- versus con NATO. I served my NATO country as an officer and have no regrets. But observing the clear lust to expand NATO today, and use it as a tool to serve the ‘Davos’ crowd as a worldwide hegemon was not on the table at the time. Asking people what they would do when they were raised in another country is an oxymoron. How are we to know the answer to that question?

      • Bill Roche says:

        There is a serious possibility that in the end Ukrainians in Halcynia will seek an autonomous state position as a part of Poland. It will add 17 million to the Polish pop. Ukies who are familiar w/and trust the Poles. That will mean a bigger, more powerful, and angrier Poland for the Russians to deal with. Putin is really a foreign relations dope.
        Do you think the Finns, Balts, Slovaks, Poles, Slovenians, and Armenians will also seek to rid themselves of the third generation Neo Nazis who fought to rid their countries of the communist during and after WW II. Or is your interest only in Ukraine?

        • Jake says:

          No, my focus is not on Ukraine, nor any individual group within that country. This is the classic problem of a need to simplify a complex problem in order to understand certain developments. Oversimplification like in ‘Putin did it!’, or ‘It’s the Jews!’, typically serve no purpose, except feeding anger or existing hatred. Yet there is no escaping the need to identify certain groups which display ‘Group-Think’. Whether the common denominator falls within the boundaries of Nationalist tendencies, ideology, religious affiliation, or servitude to ‘Financial Capitalism’.

          In a previous contribution I labeled the ‘Brits’ as the cause of many problems around the globe. Yet I never intended to accuse the population of that island jammed between continental Europe and Ireland of being united in their attempt to regain the Empire they lost. But certain important people inside that country, with branches extending around the globe, like those ‘educated’ in Oxford to become alumni of the ‘Rhodes Trust’, should be identified as steering a policy which captured the people on that island. Therefore the use of the label ‘Brits’ is useful. My contribution which you are responding to is an attempt to underscore the fact that fissures within the country of Ukraine not only exist, but that the balance is shifting because of developments we are discussing on these pages. Like a growing awareness among the survivors, if this war comes to a conclusion at some stage, that the people of Ukraine have been used, and played like a fiddle, by forces seeking the establishment of a global empire, led by ‘Rent-Seekers’, advocates of ‘Financial Capitalism’, or Neo-feudalism.

          Stacked in layer upon layer, the people in individual countries are caught unaware that they are being ‘employed’ by imperialists, until they are left with the memory of a life that was better, even though they had demands that made them vulnerable to being used by schemers who pretend to care, but couldn’t care less about the canon fodder they employ on their way to creating an Empire. Libya wasn’t Utopia, but it used to be the most wealthy country in all of Africa, with a burgeoning middle-class and relatively liberal compared to other predominantly Muslim countries. We (NATO) ‘liberated’ it for a reason. Not to free the people from a vicious tyrant, but to prevent that tyrant from establishing an alternative for the Dollar in the oil-trade by demanding to be paid in gold. In my contributions I refer to those schemers variably as ‘the City’ and ‘Wallstreet’, or ‘Davos’, or ‘the Brits’, because of the involvement of the political class in that country, and their secret services. Or ‘NATO’. Ukraine being awash with ‘CIA’ and NATO-operatives is no longer a secret. We claim to be ‘helping’ them fight this war, like we were ‘helping’ the people in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. By ‘we’ I do not imply you and me, but people planning this war in our name, while we sign on the dotted line, believing they are honest about their motives, electing them based on promises they have no intention to keep.

          But from where I’m standing, they are not creating a new Empire, but chaos, and increasingly powerful enemies, determined to stop the schemers in their tracks. Preferably by waking us up to what ‘Financial Capitalism’ is all about, and how it will leave us behind in Debt-bondage. But by military means if needed. Now I have been a lifelong supporter of ‘Industrial Capitalism’, which is the arch enemy of ‘Financial Capitalism’, and I hope that is reflected in my contributions here and elsewhere. I don’t mind a multipolar world, and countries working towards improving the Wealth of Nations, like Adam Smith put it, instead of the wealth of an Emperor and his ‘exceptional’ underlings.

  14. Deap says:

    NYT claims Kyiv is crawling with CIA and US Special forces.

    While Biden is still promising no US boots on the ground. What is the NYT agenda pushing this story….now? As the pro-Biden media mouth piece for the Democrat Party.


    I am reminded now about the Chapter in The Human Factor – the interdepartmental rivalry between military intelligence agencies and civilian intelligence agencies, but here we are allegedly having both working together – CIA and US Special Forces – or are “special forces” not really military in the conventional sense.

    Just re-watched the compelling movie about 1960’s downed Navy pilot Dieter Dengler’s escape from the Laotian prison camp -in the last scene the federal “suits” (CIA?) took charge of his debriefing upon his return, while his Navy buddies kidnapped him to return him back to US Navy control.

    • Pat Lang says:

      They work together when they have to or are ordered to work together.

      • Deap says:

        With two certified fools at the top of the US chain of command today, who is actually ordering these two forces to work together?

        Or do they settle their differences amongst themselves – DOD and CIA.

        Or is DNI Jake Sullivan the usurper of C-I-C authority in this current administration?

        • Jake says:

          Not a new development. They’ve been there from before the start, and trained, equipped and set up the Ukrainian forces for this development. But from my reading of events they miscalculated. Expecting the Russians to become an occupying force, vulnerable to ‘stay behind’ saboteurs draining Russia.
          Exposing NATO involvement at this stage became necessary because of the need to switch to a different strategy, escalating from passive (hidden) support to undeniable involvement and introducing trained military staff to operate complex weapon systems in a hurry. Moreover, NATO can no longer afford sending specialist when the face the death penalty as mercenaries when they need to surrender. This is just theorizing on my behalf, but I have no difficulty sympathizing with military staff demanding support from the political class sending them in harm’s way. Either you declare war, or you get the hell out of Dodge.

  15. mcohen says:

    China is locked into railway networks.china mongolia Kazakhstan ukraine.same thing in africa.
    Its cheaper than shipping and benefits the country it traverses.The best route for ukrainian grain to China is by rail.It is also a leverage point.maybe they could use camels to carry the containers


  16. Lars says:

    Once deciding aspect of the current situation in Ukraine is that the Russian economy is minuscule compared to the US and EU economies and they are backing Ukraine. Even any temporary conditions in these economies are nothing compared to what is happening in Russia. In the end, it comes down to who can afford what and it is doubtful that Russia will ever catch up. What drives the economy is entrepreneurship and to be fully engaged, it needs political freedoms. Top down countries can do well up to a point, but when that point is reached, further advances are stymied. There are plenty of historical data to back that up.

  17. Fourth and Long says:

    In my opinion one of the serious deficiencies of ongoing analysis is the failure to take into account the role of the nuclear capable F-35 fighter plane as an outright terror weapon in a campaign against Russia, assuming this goes forward for years as seems more likely than not. (Finland alone gets 64). Try to imagine the effect of ongoing waves of those stealth beasts. Unlike missiles you can maneuver them to a fare-thee-well. Can you call back missiles, cruise or otherwise? No. But you can call back your F-35s – piecemeal or all together. Additionally I think the F-35 has been the subject of a brilliant deception campaign – meaning I don’t believe the stuff about it being an outrageously expensive, awkward unmanueverable boondoggle. The PTB want you to think so. So I don’t think so.

    • walrus says:

      Try to imagine a series of Russian nuclear MIRV descending on the towns and cities where your loved ones live.

  18. leith says:

    Pat and/or TTG –

    FYI: Times article today about Ukraine Special Forces Unit crossing into Russia committing covert sabotage against selected high value targets. ‘Shaman’ special forces take the fight across the border into Russia.


    It’s behind a paywall. But there is a shorter twitter thread here:

    Claims they are from the 10th Special Forces Detachment. I believe this Detachment is part of the Alpha group of the SBU, Ukraine’s main intelligence and security agency. Not sure why the SBU is now letting them be interviewed by the press. Perhaps it is a little dig at the FSB, the Russian Army, and the Border Guard Service to sow dissension?

  19. drifter says:

    The the overarching consideration in this conflict is the risk of Russia and the US fighting a nuclear war. The US should change course “pronto” as they used to say.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Drifter a nuclear war is unthinkable. Why should the Russians not change course pronto and go home?

  20. Razumov says:


    “Comment: The persistence of of Russian IO, paid or unpaid agents of influence and the merely gullible in proclaiming and believing that the war is over and that Russia has won is altogether impressive. Keep it up boys and girls. Keep it up. pl”

    Remember when they said that about you?

    So all your friends who have been following your blog for all these years turned out to be secret agents of the enemy race?

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