The battle for Ocheretyne

The Ukrainian army’s 100th Mechanized Brigade in training. UKRAINIAN ARMY PHOTO

The 47th Mechanized Brigade is one of the Ukrainian army’s best brigades. Equipped with American-made armored vehicles and trained to NATO standards, it fights like the best NATO brigades fight: swiftly, violently and often at night. But this prowess is a blessing and a curse for the brigade’s 2,000 troopers. The Ukrainian command wants the 47th Mechanized Brigade to be wherever the heaviest fighting is. So the brigade helped to lead Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive back in June. And when Russian regiments attacked the Ukrainian garrison in the eastern city of Avdiivka in October, the 47th Mechanized Brigade redeployed from the south to the east and reinforced the city—delaying though not preventing the garrison’s eventual retreat.

The 47th Mechanized Brigade has been fighting for nearly a year without a break. Its soldiers are tired; its battalions are running low on their best M-2 Bradley fighting vehicles and M-1 Abrams tanks. The brigade needs a break—and it almost got one this week. But that planned break was an invitation for the Russian field armies around the ruins of Avdiivka—an opportunity to inflict on the Ukrainians the kind of major defeat the Ukrainians inflicted on the Russians farther north around the city of Kharkiv in late 2022.

As the 47th Mechanized Brigade was pulling back from the front line east of the village of Ocheretyne this weekend, the Russians attacked—and very nearly broke through Ukrainian lines into the 20-mile-wide ribbon of undefended terrain separating the free city of Pokrovsk from the front line. The Ukrainian army’s 115th Mechanized Brigade was supposed to take the 47th Mechanized Brigade’s place along the front line. But something went wrong. According to Mykola Melnyk, the famed 47th Mechanized Brigade company commander who lost a leg during the summer counteroffensive, “certain units just fucked off.”

Russian scouts and drone operators, surveilling positions once held by the battle-hardened 47th Mechanized Brigade, expected to find fresh troops from the 115th Mechanized Brigade in the same trenches. Instead, they found … no one. It was a chance for the Russian army’s 30th Motor Rifle Brigade to roll along a railroad track threading west from Avdiivka and capture a narrow salient that, on a map, looks like a five-mile-long knife stabbing into the Ukrainian line, its sharp point lodged halfway into Ocheretyne.

A Russian breakthrough could have collapsed the entire Ukrainian line west of Avdiivka—and forced tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops and potentially hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee Donetsk Oblast. A Ukrainian breakthrough around Kharkiv in the fall of 2022 resulted in a major rout for the Russian army. The only reason the Russians didn’t advance deeper into the Ukrainian rear this weekend is that the withdrawing 47th Mechanized Brigade turned around and rejoined the fight. “The 47th Mechanized Brigade is back in business,” Melnyk wrote. Over the next couple of days, the Russians slightly widened their salient, but didn’t advance any farther to the west. Disaster averted for Ukraine, for now.

Comment: This was a close one and, as David Axe notes, the possibility of a major Russian breakthrough still exists at Chasiv Yar and beyond. The full story points out the unevenness of the Ukrainian Army’s brigades. Sure there are crack units like the 47th Mechanized Brigade and the 3rd Mechanized Assault Brigade, but there are other units lacking the Western equipment, manning and training of these crack units. For the last six months, they are also lacking ammunition. I find it amazing that they can hold a line at all. Axe points this out in an article on his fairly new Substack called “Trench Art.” He’s writing some good stuff there.

One point he makes is that it is too easy to blame the 115th Brigade for this failure. It is also wrong. A relief operation like this is planned at least one echelon above the brigades. That’s where the failure happened. Plans for a relief involve sending recon parties from the relieving unit to the positions of the unit being relieved to coordinate the handover down to the company and platoon level. Relieving units are guided into defensive positions as the relieved units are guided into assembly areas to the rear. In the best of circumstances, it’s a dangerous maneuver. But it’s a maneuver that the Ukrainian Army has to become better at quickly.

David Axe wrote a follow on article on the decision to order the 100th Mechanized Brigade to counterattack the Russian penetration at Ocheretyne. This brigade was only recently incorporated into the Ukrainian Army from being a Territorial Defense Brigade. It is still a lightly armed unit lacking the supporting armor and artillery of a regular brigade. Despite these shortcomings, the 100th counterattacked and succeeded in halting elements of the Russian 41st Combined Arms Army. Ahh, the light infantry. God bless them.

The fate of the 100th Mechanized Brigade brings to mind one of the missions of the 25th Infantry Division back in the late 1970s. We were to reinforce Europe in the event of a Soviet invasion. At the time we were a light division before that designation became official. We had three M-551 Sheridans in the entire division. We were comprised of six understrength active infantry battalions and three Hawaiian National Guard battalions. Hardly what one would expect to be facing the 3rd Shock Army as it pushed towards the Rhine. Yet we took the mission seriously and trained accordingly.  


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63 Responses to The battle for Ocheretyne

  1. cobo says:

    The outcome in Ukraine is far from certain, although since day three of the Russian invasion those supporting Russia have been claiming victory. However, far more uncertain is what will happen when the war is over.

    Those supporting Russia seem to want to declare victory, make peace real fast in their favor and, then, what? Russia gets all it wants? I don’t think so. NATO, at least many NATO countries, those not already somewhat leaning toward Russia, isn’t going to be appeased.

    And what if Ukraine actually defeats the Russian forces in the battlefield, then what? This is what interests me most. When the battle hardened Ukrainian troops return home, they are going to continue thinking for themselves. The future Ukraine will be shaped by them.

  2. leith says:

    47th Mech Brigade’s year without rest from combat and rotation to a rear area is a recipe for disaster. That would be the same for any unit, no matter how good they are.

    The 67th Brigade’s officers that sent those new recruits into combat with inadequate training and support have blood on their hands. And since they did it for political reasons they should have been court-martialed. Busted down a rank or two. Or at the least they should have been drummed out. Instead they skate by being re-assigned? That’s not justice.

  3. Fred says:

    When was the last time a NATO brigade fought a peer enemy in actual combat?

    • TTG says:


      I don’t think it’s ever happened. We best take copious notes of what some of these Ukrainian brigades are doing. We’ve already cancelled a helicopter program in favor of drones. Above brigade level, I think we should be advising Ukrainian staffs a lot more. Our command and general staff colleges and war colleges are all about staff work.

      • Fred says:


        “it fights like the best NATO brigades fight” to quote Mr. Axe and his puff piece. Mr. Axe is full of it there. What we should do is get our collective heads out of our asses before the DEI turns into a literal DIE. Give special thanks to the Barack and company for his fundamental transformation of our armed forces. Pompeo &Co didn’t dd Trump (or the Republic) any favors either. His (Obama’s) acolytes are all over this administration, along with crooks from both sides. Take a look at our surface fleet of rust buckets and you’ll see part of our problems plain as day.

        • TTG says:


          The infantry of the 70s was far more DEI than today’s infantry. Our rifle companies were majority black and Hispanic. My weapons platoon was mostly Mexican. The 82nd Airborne was known as the African Airborne at the time. And we endured the same “human resources” periodic lectures and training that we see now.

          The status of our Navy ships and the lack of them are due more to seeking the glorious peace dividend than DEI policies.

          • Fred says:


            Don’t confuse racial make up of the force with cultural Marxism of the force and leadership. In the 70s that infantry was all green, which is nothing like today’s green army.

      • Keith Harbaugh says:

        The U.S. is having major problems with shipbuilding for the Navy.
        See, e.g.,

        I note that the Democratic party seems to be all in in supporting Ukraine.
        Would that they had equal interest in supporting the U.S. industrial base wrt American, vice Ukrainian, needs.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        “Above brigade level, I think we should be advising Ukrainian staffs a lot more.”

        To do what, exactly?

        Do you really think the US Army has anything to teach the Ukrainian higher staff, since there is not a single person in the US Army at any command level that has tangled with a foe as capable as the Russian Army.

  4. Keith Harbaugh says:

    M1 tanks can’t survive versus drones?

    “Ukraine pulls US-provided Abrams tanks from the front lines over Russian drone threats”

    Anybody have info on exactly how a drone can kill an Abrams?
    I thought the Abrams had plenty of protection.

    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      Five out of 31 Abrams tanks were destroyed in six months of heavy fighting. That doesn’t sound too bad to me. I’d guess more than hat had to be taken out of combat due to damage or mobility hits.

      I bet most of those destroyed fell to a combination of mines, drones, artillery and ATGMs before they could be retrieved and repaired. They are non indestructable, but they are usually survivable for the crew unlike the turret tossing Russian models.

    • leith says:

      The US should have sent more air defense systems instead of tanks. Or EW systems. Probably should have equipped the Abrams (and all other armored systems sent there) with C-UAS aka anti-UAV defense systems.

      M-1 Abrams were first fielded to Army units in 1980, and were designed and developed in the 1970’s. They are a logistical nightmare, and even more so for Ukraine, who has to deal with a dozen different tank designs within their armed forces. So resupplying those huge behemoths had something to do with pulling them from the front lines.

  5. aleksandar says:

    1 – No army in the world would have gone beyond Ocheretyne and then expose its flanks to a counter-attack and extend logistical line.
    To go further, they needed forces to exploit that they didn’t have there.
    So the victory of the 47th is a dream, nothing more.

    2 -Russians are following a very conventional tactical plan.
    They discovered that the Ukrainian rotation maneuver was a failure and took advantage of it.
    Nothing about ” chance” but Russian scouts and drone operators work.

    3 – Now entrenched in Ocheretyne, they are extending their AOR southwards, 2 km behind Ukrainian defense line to take Berdichy by the rear.
    Soloviove already conquered

    Russian COA up to now :
    3 directions
    – Ocheretyne/Progres north
    – U’manske/Skuchne center
    – Netaylove/Karlovka south.

    Result expected : Force Ukrainians to abandon these 2 pockets thus created.

    Russians priorities :
    – Complete liberation of Donetsk oblast.
    – Push Ukrainian ARTY far from Donetsk.

    • leith says:

      Aleksandar –

      According to one report from yesterday Russian forces in Ocheretyne are moving northeast towards Arkhanhelske. Perhaps they’re trying to encircle Novokalynove and Keramik?

      If successful, perhaps they will try to follow that up with a thrust to the north trying to flank Chasiv Yar? But your COA regarding Prohes to the West and even to the hub at Pokrovsk would also be a good option. If they can.

      • aleksandar says:

        It’s interesting that Russians stick to the basic law of warfare.
        “Take the heights first”.
        Popasna,Soledar, Bakhmut,Avdeevka and so on.

        Arkhanhelske,Novokalynove and Keramik ?
        Tactically done, Ukr are leaving to avoid encirclement.
        They also retreated from Berdichy.
        If Russians conquer Novoprokovske and U’manske, Ukrainians will have to abandon Netailove.
        Then Russian offensive will be blocked for some time by 2 lakes.

        Your COA is correct.
        Orechetyne – Bersek – Kostiantinivka.
        All in the rear of Ukrainian defense line following high grounds.
        But perhaps a little too greedy.
        Would need boots on the ground akin to a division to progress and covert both flanks.

        Happy Russians J3 planners.
        They have now 2 COA possible.
        Strategic/tactical initiative is on Russian side.

        • leith says:

          Alexandar –

          It has not happened yet.

          CDS is reporting that last night and this morning: “Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 35 enemy attacks in the areas of Novokalynove, Keramik, Umanske, and Netaylove. “

          CDS (Centre for Defense Strategies) is a Ukrainian security think tank so take it with a grain of salt. But I have found them to be reliable in the past. General Wes Clark and former Ambassador William Taylor are on their team – as well as three Brits, a former MOD advisor, a professor of War Studies at King’s College London, and a barrister who previously had been on the OSCE team in Ukraine.

          • aleksandar says:

            I wrote “Tactically done”.
            Meaning in military language that you control all roads, in and out by fire.
            Desperate situation.

            But I should have explain.

    • elkern says:

      Yeah, the Forbes article (OP) crediting the 47th Mech as the “only reason the Russians didn’t advance deeper into the Ukrainian rear” set off my BS alarm too. Russia lost a *lot* of tanks in March-April 2022 when Ukrainians forces closed in around over-extended columns; I don’t think they’ll make that mistake again. Russia is *not* playing Blitzkrieg now, it’s playing WWI, where “success” is measured in meters and enemy casualties.

      And I agree that taking the rest of Donetsk Oblast is Russia’s highest territorial priority now. I do expect them to step up the pace a bit, in order to create “facts on the ground” before new US weapons make the war more painful.

      My best hope at this point is the possibility that the US recognizes the futility of the maximalist “victory” scenario (retaking all former Ukrainian territory, esp Crimea) and has made delivery of new arms contingent upon Zelensky accepting the loss of roughly the areas that Russia currently controls.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        The cynic in me suspects the maximalist “victory” scenario this administration is now aiming for is Ukraine hanging on until November 5th. After that the effect the coming collapse/surrender/abandonment has on the voters won’t be an issue.


        I’ve finally finished re-drafting my suggested post for the blog, so if you are still interested send your contact email address to me at this email address and I’ll ping it over to you. You might need to check your spam folder.

  6. F&L says:

    My reading indicates that the next big operation will be an attempt to take out the Kerch bridge. The sources believe it will be in early May so as to ruin the victory day celebrations. Scott Ritter thinks there’s a good chance of success unless the Russians do something.

  7. drifter says:

    So are the Russians winning? Forbes isn’t a real source of intel. Maybe 3 degrees away?

  8. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Larry Johnson sitting there in a suit, addressing the UN Security Council!
    Whether you agree with Larry or not (on this particular issue I do), you have to agree that is impressive.

    Here is the prepared text of what he was to say

    And here is a video of him making the address

    I wonder who invited him.
    I would think it takes an invitation to appear in such an august setting.

    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      Larry was definitely invited to speak, but I don’t know by who. It was a good, sober speech calling for a UN investigation. Good for him.

    • Keith Harbaugh says:

      For the complete 100 minute Security Council meeting, see this:

    • Keith Harbaugh says:

      Larry describes who facilitated his talk, and his perceptions of the reaction:

      While I did not memorize the speech,
      I knew it well enough that I could make eye contact with the other delegates as I did my brief.
      I was pleasantly surprised that the overwhelming majority we leaning forward in their chairs and listening intently.
      Only the American rep was fooling with his phone and feigning disinterest.

      My goal in appearing was simple —
      remind the UNSC of its duty to ensure a proper investigation of the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipeline is done and that
      the party or parties responsible are held accountable.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      LJ is the one repeating, ad nauseam, that the Ruskies are 4D chess players and all of that. If they have almost as many dead as the Ukrainians and have gained but a few klicks in two years, I’d say LJ should consider that in his “analysis”, but he won’t say anything negative about Russia. My instance that he is overlooking the possibility that Russia, rather than playing 4D chess, is merely stalled due to corruption, incompetence, Ukraine resolve and NATO ability is what caused him to ban me. LJ absolutely tolerates racist rants, just as long as they are against Jews. He also tolerates commenters that slander ALL US veterans as being “war criminals”. He most certainly is paid to appear on pro-Russian venues. If it walks like a duck….

      • Keith Harbaugh says:

        “LJ absolutely tolerates racist rants, just as long as they are against Jews.”

        I think your information is out-of-date.
        See his 2024-04-04 post

        The new comment system is in place.
        You must register if you want to comment.
        One person, who uses the name “brussell” is now banned thanks to this system.
        I want there to be a free, open discussion.
        For example, if you love Israel you are welcome to comment.
        If you hate Israel, you also are welcome to comment.
        Same for Ukraine, Russia, China and any other issue.

        What I will not allow are blanket, universal attacks on ethnic or religious groups.
        “brussell” is gone because he insists all Jews are evil.
        He wants to ignore the good, courageous work that Jews like Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate are doing.
        If you want to launch a blistering attack on Zionism, have at it.
        But I will not allow the written equivalent of collective punishment.
        Jews are not inherently evil.
        Nor are Muslims. Nor are Christians. Nor are Buddhists.

        Also, rein in the name calling.
        I’ve been guilty as well so this applies to me as well as some of the commentators.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Read his post as of this evening. He repeats the black lives matter-esque lie that Israelis just shoot down Palestinians, who didn’t do nothing, all day every day.

          Then he goes on to state that Hamas atrocities are propaganda and the worst of Oct 7th was Israelis killing their own (he has said this before) and that there were no rapes, killed babies or any of that. He chuckles at the very notion that Hamas would do anything like that. Worse, he concludes that Oct 7th gives Hamas legitimacy and that any plans for the future must involve Hamas at the table.

          The dude is a total whack job. And a Jew hater. And a propagandist. If he’s not being paid by some government or NGO, he ought to be and I can’t imagine what motivates him other than a deranged psychology with an axe to grind.

          I’ll give the devil his due and admit that he is clever in a base and non-original way in that he mixes occasional sound thinking on some topics with absurd, evil BS on others (e.g. Hamas and Oct 7th). That is classic psychopathic gas lighting technique – and it often works on the gullible who are being told what they want to hear.

          So sure he says he won’t tolerate antisemitism, even as it can still be seen in the comments and, indeed in his own posts. He sure gave you a misdirection to point at. Shabby cover to be sure, but it doesn’t have to work on everyone, just enough.

          But yeah sure the EVIL CIA and US IC! Yet here we have a trustworthy insider who is a man of the people like us. A Truth Teller! Where would be getting all of his insider info? Answer = nowhere beyond his imagination and death to America/Israel central clearinghouse (a BRICS funded organization if I hazarded a guess).

          What a schtick. Wake up my friend.

      • Fred says:


        ” he most certainly…”

        Again attributed with no proof.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Ok. Fine. You’re right. I was wrong.

          He’s just a guy that never has anything but disparaging remarks for his own country, has only glowing things to say about Russia, attracts commenters that are the same, has “friends”, like Martyanov, who are the same, travels to Russia, does interviews with anti-America/pro-Russia platforms practically daily. However, I have no evidence that he is being paid or otherwise compensated by Russia connected entities.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            One more thing…..

            The whole great white Bwana with CIA and State Dept training understands what is happening in wogistan better than the people that live there and is ready to jump in and save the day routine is beyond tiring. It is, however, kind of funny, in an ironic way, especially when it is believed by the same people that claim to hate “colonialism”.

            But yeah, the CIA and state dept are so awesome at solving the world’s problems. Why they should be in every country around the globe! If only they were, there’d be world peace by this time next year.

            The anti-terrorism guy who now believes rewarding terrorism with recognition and a seat at the negotiation table is also funny, in an ironic way, but simultaneously nauseating. To me at least. I can see where Hamas supporters/Jew haters would find the notion appealing.

            It’s all shabby self-promotion and moral posturing for manipulative purposes.

    • Keith Harbaugh says:

      Four items:

      1. Larry discusses the reaction of the members of the SC here:

      2. A 32-minute video of him rehashing his time at the SC with the Judge (I think that is quite good):

      3. Is Larry receiving compensation, to some extent at least, from Russia?
      I certainly don’t know, but I would think he is.
      But so what?
      What is important, to me anyhow, is whether his ideas are right or wrong,
      whether he has a clear and valid idea of what is good for America.
      I think he does.

      4. Is America the guilty party in the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines?
      If it isn’t, why did the U.S. rep to the SC ignore the desirability of a UN investigation into who IS responsible, and try to change the subject to the war in Ukraine?

      • Fred says:

        Once CIA, always CIA? Who knows.

        “why did the U.S. rep to the SC ignore the desirability of a UN investigation”

        Does America have allies that might be guilty of blowing up that pipeline and need protection? Would other member states trust a party to the conflict to investigate?
        How about trusting parties funding the other side to the conflict?

        (As an asside, when done with this will the UNSC investigate where all the UNRWA monies to Gaza went over a decade?)

        When the ‘west’ succeeds in siezing Russian assets (unlike Iran’s which were frozen) and spending them on funding one side to the conflict how many member states will be willing to have their assets in Western banks or otherwise hold Western financial instruments? Let us not ask these questions….

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Today, scrambled eggs for brains former State/CIA proclaims that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, but Israel is.

          Why, if you ignore Oct 7th, Hamas has hardly killed any Israelis. Only 53% of the historic attacks kill civilians. What’s everyone so upset about. Damn Zionist murdering pigs!

          Dude is a whack job of the first order. And an antisemite. And anti-America. Paid agent of foreign powers with high degree of certainty.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            The US has designated Hamas to be a terrorist organization in 1997. That designation remains in force. Israel remains designated as a major non-NATO US ally.

          • Keith Harbaugh says:

            “Dude is a whack job of the first order.
            And an antisemite.
            And anti-America.
            Paid agent of foreign powers with high degree of certainty.”

            It only seems fair to point out what it is that Eric is talking about:

            Eric has a remarkable knack for only seeing one side of a situation, and accusing those who see the other side of the situation as not being merely wrong, but mentally ill.

            E.g., how many Palestinians has Israel killed, either since Oct 7, 2023, or over any sizable amount of time since its founding?
            For example, see this from 2018:

            On May 14, Israeli snipers and other forces gunned down more than 60 Palestinians, and wounded thousands of others, including civilians, journalists, and paramedics.


            Israel, in large part due to its support, in many ways, from the United States, clearly has the upper hand in its relation with the Palestinians.
            I don’t think Israel has offered them what they are due.
            And basically ignores the harm it has caused them.
            This doesn’t seem fair to me.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Yes. I know. That is just one more reason that LJ has clearly lost his mind. I can only imagine what kind of sick game he is playing. I truly do not understand why anyone considers him credible at this point, let alone the UN. His appliance there is statement on the quality of judgment of the UN.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            “Eric has a remarkable knack for only seeing one side of a situation, and accusing those who see the other side of the situation as not being merely wrong, but mentally ill.”

            No. First, as a professional, if someone is presenting as an analysist then I expect analysis at a level higher than something a high school drop out would produce. Second, I despise deliberate liars (as opposed to people who make honest mistakes, like we all do); particularly when they try to lie using some hair brained statistical approach.

            LJ’s whole “Just look past Oct 7th” hand waving is seriously dishonest, especially since – and this is the kicker – after Oct 7th, Hamas said they would conduct attacks of that scale again.

            Get it? If Israel didn’t act to take out Hamas, there would be future Oct 7ths – by Hamas’ own words.

            That further tells us that Hamas WANTED Israel to attack Gaza. They knew Israel would have to move to prevent future Oct 7th type attacks. Hamas wanted dead civilians. They knew there would be civilians casualties b/c there always are in urban combat no matter what military is fighting. Even the US caused French deaths in infantry combat during the liberation of France. The US caused Philippine civilian deaths in the liberation of that country. At Saipan and at Okinawa.

            Then the whole argument that Israel has killed more Palestinians than Palestinians have killed Israelis is just stupid. There are a lot of reasons that could be the case other than what LJ says, not that LJ really says anything meaningful. It’s more that he is amping you up and then providing an emotional talking point for you to regurgitate.

            America killed more Japanese than the Japanese killed Americans in WW2. So was that a genocidal unfair war too? Wait. Don’t answer that. I’m sure it’s going to be a conspiracy that paints America as the bad guy.

            What is it that you people don’t understand about war? Has your hatred of Jews blinded you that much?

      • Eric Newhill says:

        I think the US probably is directly responsible for destroying NS. If it wasn’t the US directly, then the US was in on the operation and at least OK’ed it. I also think the US was wrong to do that.

        My problem with LJ is that he’s deeply into conspiracy theories that make the US look bad. In fact, in his world the US (or Israel) is behind just about every bad thing that occurs in the world. Russia, China, Iran? awesome countries that are fighting the good fight against the evil US (and Israel).

        This is the same stupid, lopsided – and untrue – view of the world that one finds at Moon of Alabama and Martanyov’s site. It sells. The “death to America” crowd is large and global. There are a lot of brain washed dummies out there.

        LJ started out on the mostly right side of some issues, like being against US open borders, being against funding the losing Russia/Ukraine war. Then, it’s like he had his finger in the wind and decided the way to make money and become relevant was to go full in on the America the Evil meme. Screw him.

  9. mcohen says:

    Ships of the desert range
    Sailing across the Sea of Sand
    Upon the winds of change
    To Custer’s last stand

    Whereupon the poverty of identity
    Has no more answers
    To the coming reality
    Pouring forth from sewers

    Tear our enemy asunder
    For this we pray
    Deliver fire and thunder
    On judgement day.

    • LeaNder says:

      not bad.

      Just what’s on your mind related to “the poverty of identity” and “sewers”.
      Ok, actually my question started earlier with “Custer’s last stand” and his possible relations to deserts. 😉 As bloody foreigner that is!!!

      Concerning your last paragraph, if I may? What is the Jewish Judgment Day. I have to admit I do not even know its Christian varities.

  10. English Outsider says:

    Been attempting to look at what happens next, The question is the same as the question that’s been staring us in the face since February 22nd 2022. As ever, the question is “What will be done with remnant Ukraine?”

    I don’t think the Russians will want to occupy remnant Ukraine, not unless they’re forced to. Very expensive both in manpower and money. Their aims are, as ever, simply demilitarisation and denazification. Ours? We’re hoping to keep remnant Ukraine as a means of further annoyance. I don’t see that working for us.

    The Americans want a DMZ there or some sort of “frozen conflict”. I can’t see that happening. It would allow the West to use remnant Ukraine as a base from which to do more of the “look no hands” drone and missile attacks on Russia.

    Also to continue mounting assassination and sabotage attacks into Russia. Also, when we get our act together with arms and ammunition supplies, to re-supply remnant Ukraine for another go at Russia. So asking the Russians for a DMZ or anything like it is just saying to them “Please could you give us some time to get ready for another go?”

    Pentagon figures say the Russians have lost 60,000. That is a good deal more, even allowing for proportion, than we lost in the Falklands. It would have been politically impossible, after the casualties we took in the Falklands, for our politicians to have made concessions to the Argentinians. We in the general public would have said “What did our men go out there and die for, if there was no purpose to it anyway.” Thatcher would have lost the next election for a certainty.

    So here. Putin’s hands are tied. After the sacrifice of so many lives the Russians are not going to allow us to use remnant Ukraine the way we used the old Ukraine.

    Plus, they’ll look great fools if after all this the Nazi collaborator monuments in Ukraine remain. Most of us in the West don’t believe those Nazi monuments exist. Just a rumour put about by the “Putin shills”. But the Russians know well enough those monuments are there and they want them gone.

    Best case for the Russians would be for the Ukrainians themselves to get rid of the ultra-nationalists. But the hold the ultra-nationalists have on the country and the army is very strong, and the SBU still apparently very much in control.

    So the future of remnant Ukraine all hangs on whether the Ukrainians themselves want to or can loosen the hold the ultra-nationalists have on the administration and the army. But no one among all the commentators and analysts I read is able to give us a comprehensive picture of the general mood in Ukraine, or to evaluate the likelihood of the Ukrainians themselves pushing the West and the ultra-nationalists out of the way and arriving at the solution the Russians want – stopping us in the West using Ukraine as means of “overextending and unbalancing” their country.

    That’s the briefest summary possible of the likely outcome. We’re looking at the reincorporation of large parts of Ukraine into Russia proper and the pacification – as yet none know how the “demilitarisation and denazification” will be done there – of remnant Ukraine.

    It’s a monstrous slaughter and, again as ever, one wonders what the Western politicians are playing at forcing its continuance. Partly American electoral imperatives. Collapse before the Presidential elections would not be good. Partly because the Western politicians, particularly the European, don’t know how to get out of the disaster without losing face.

    Partly because most of the Western armed forces are not in good condition and there are plenty of senior officers around who see this debacle as an opportunity to get them back in shape.

    But mostly, I think, it’s “Go long Rheinmetall”. That Macgregor’s conclusion, more or less. A somewhat pedestrian conclusion but one can’t dismiss an explanation just because it’s boring.

    • elkern says:

      Regarding [eventual] negotiations to end this war, I find it easier to imagine Russia’s priorities than those of the US/NATO.

      I agree that Russia would not want to occupy and administer all of Ukraine; much better to leave the post-war clean-up & rebuilding to the Smart Guys at the IMF.

      IMO, Russia’s highest priorities will be to: (1) exclude US/NATO nukes from Ukraine; and (2) establish defensible new borders, to include most [formerly Ukrainian] ethnic/linguistic Russians.

      I don’t think Russia will bother trying to “de-nazify” whatever remains of Ukraine; the point of that was to protect ethnic Russians from the Banderites. A Rump Ukraine – on its own – won’t be a serious military threat to Russia, even if some new Hitler takes over there.

      The only major future threat that Ukraine poses to Russia is as a launchpad for US/NATO attacks; the hardest part of the eventual negotiations will be finding a formula for guaranteeing no US missiles there in a way that Russia could trust & verify.

      Ukraine, of course, wants [all] its [former] territory back, but that would require full military victory. Mostly, Ukraine will need *lotsa* money ($1T?) to rebuild & modernize the country’s infrastructure; they will get lotsa promises from USA & Western Europe, but I suspect that most of the money will come as “loans”.

      So, what does USA/NATO want? The current strategy seems to be just to bleed Russia as much as possible, ostensibly to prevent them from, uh, what, resurrecting the glory days of the Warsaw Pact? Or perhaps to keep Russia busy fighting on their borders so they can’t help Assad regain control over Syria? Or to punish Russia for throwing out the Harvard Boys who helped “rebuild” their economy after the collapse of the USSR?

      We keep saying that we’re trying to spread “Democracy” – even while it’s falling apart here at home – but it usually turns out that we’re expanding the reach of “our” Financial Empire. (scare quotes around “our” because it seems more & more like it owns us rather than the other way ’round).

      If I’m right about this (Financial Empire guiding US priorities), then “we” will be negotiating for (1) maximal territory (land & resources) for Rump Ukraine; (2) ways to minimize Russian/”Axis of Resistance” influence in Ukraine & elsewhere; (3) less defensible new borders, to pin down Russian Military!?; and (4) leaky [economic & human] borders between Rump Ukraine & Russia, as conduits to rebuild leverage in/over Moscow?

      • English Outsider says:

        elkern – unless President Biden comes up with a rabbit to pull out of the hat at the last minute, doesn’t look like we’re going to manage any of that last paragraph.

        On your “elsewhere … “ in that last paragraph. here’s Sleboda on Transnistria and Belarus.

        Set to around 43 mins. On the rest of it, if Mark Sleboda is any indication of the mood in Moscow, doesn’t look as if we’re going to be able to manage anything much at all in this conflict. Barring several tens of thousand more dead proxies.

        Except. Sleboda has always had firm views on remnant Ukraine. He insists it will be for the Russians a “zone of destabilisation and insecurity for the rest of our lives”.

        When I first heard Sleboda say this I couldn’t believe him. It’s seemed to me since Istanbul that the only negotiations between Kiev and Moscow would be on the terms of capitulation. Kiev was finished from then on, if not before. But Sleboda still reckons that NATO will retain a presence in remnant Ukraine. He’s reckoning on remnant Ukraine remaining a NATO enclave.

        To which I’ve always said, “Yavoriv,” Remnant Ukraine will not be a NATO enclave. Sleboda acknowledges that the US armed forces are still the most formidable going – but it’s difficult to see how those US armed forces could be deployed effectively in this theatre and under the restrictions of proxy war.

        The iron rule of this conflict, and of other recent conflicts between the US and Russia, is that the two sides will not fight each other. Ugly things happen and happen quite often but never open and acknowledged conflict between them. Sleboda is reckoning that that rule will always hold. That the 101st Airborne, say, can charge across to Odessa and that iron rule will prevent Russia attacking the tripwire force so deployed.

        Because open conflict leads to nuclear and the Russians will not risk that. I’m sure that’s what Sleboda is saying. Yavoriv was just mercs and irregulars. Had it been American boots on the ground the Russians would have wimped out for fear of nuclear.

        So the French or the UK can insert forces, the US will be forced to back them up, and that will ensure that remnant Ukraine is retained for NATO. That is why Sleboda is saying that remnant Ukraine will remain a “”zone of destabilisation and insecurity for the rest of our lives”.

        And under the Sleboda scenario you also would be right. The Americans are trying for a DMZ or a Korea type solution by means of the threat of insertion of a US tripwire force that would deter the Russians. Maybe by means of the insertion itself.

        But I don’t believe it would deter the Russians. I think they’d go for broke and attack the tripwire force. With their openly acknowledged missile attacks on French, UK and US personnel in Ukraine already. they are signalling that’s where they are prepared to go. The Russians will not wimp out and Biden knows it.

        Therefore Biden will not put “boots on the ground”. Therefore remnant Ukraine will not remain a NATO enclave, that meaning that our prospects of using it for future destabilisation attempts against Russia are nil.

        So I see it. No tripwire force. No DMZ. No Korea solution. No solution for Biden at all except to recognise he’s come up against a brick wall. And no risking of the threat of nuclear to try to clear that brick wall.

        Hope I’m right. Therefore, with respect, hope your last paragraph is wrong. And hope Sleboda is too. Here are Martyanov and Sleboda, in a discussion I came across recently, discussing the very same point:-

    • leith says:

      EO –

      60K?? Pentagon figures say the Russians have lost 315,000 in Ukraine. That number is from SecDef Austin as of late March about a month ago. And the Pentagon figures are significantly under the British estimates of 450,000 put out by Leo Docherty of your Defense Ministry.

      Your trust-but-verify sensors seems to be out of kilter.

      • English Outsider says:

        Leith – you”ll expect more precision and be looking at figures for Russian soldiers lost for future service. Contract expired, WIA and captured, as well as KIA. Plus bad conduct to dishonourably discharged or whatever the Russian equivalents of those are.

        In strictly military terms I’d guess none of that makes much odds. With a claimed 1000 plus volunteers a day signing up and the bulk of the Russian forces still kept back in case there’s a scrap with NATO, the Russians war effort in Ukraine wouldn’t be much affected even by the level of casualties stated in some of the Western news sources.

        The Russian general public is. Every dead or incapacitated solider is a family circle affected and all in the neighbourhood aware. The figures matter in those terms and therefore in terms of what the attitude of the Russian public would be to the final settlement.

        As in the Falklands example. I knew of a soldier killed then and another wounded – that certainly would have affected my attitude had HMG conceded anything much to the Argentinians afterwards. So what are the figures?

        April 2023 figures reported in NYT give KIA at around that time of 43,000. These are very roughly in line with the Mediazone figures.

        Earlier this year estimated KIA were at 60,000. “The Russian death toll reached about 60,000 according to a recent assessment by the Pentagon, with troops wounded or otherwise taken out of action adding up to an estimated 300,000 casualties, according to an anonymous U.S. official cited by The New York Times.”

        Russian medevac is said to be good, as is the hospital care. Putin spoke on the subject a while back and stated that most of the injured eventually returned to service. So what the ratio of KIA to WIA might be is uncertain.

        ” with troops wounded or otherwise taken out of action” – don’t know what that refers to. Many Russian soldiers served their contracted time and left. Also frequent rotations. Plus captured or discharged.

        Against all that, if the Russian losses are heavier they’re not going to tell us. And the Mediazone figures allow a wide margin of error. I believe, however, that 60,000 KIA is a safe minimum estimate. From just after the start of the war the main Russian imperative has been the avoidance of casualties so it’s possible it’s not a lot higher.

        Taking the minimum of 60,000 for Russian dead, that’s still a heavy loss. After that loss, and presumably more to come, I don’t believe the Russians will be prepared to deviate from or moderate their war aims.

  11. Stefan says:

    It would seem commentators on all sides of the conflict are calling BS on Ukrainian military reporting. Turns out their information is pretty much BS. Meanwhile Russians are making “daily tactical gains.”

    • TTG says:


      If Ukrainian forces make many more errors like the botched relief in place, the Russians will be making a lot more than daily tactical gains.

  12. mcohen says:

    What would it take,you know to end this war.??probably divine intervention 05/05.a rock.

  13. Eric Newhill says:

    The cost of war. Lots of dead Ukrainians. Poor guys obviously came under heavy artillery fires. They really got hammered.

    If that is the fate of Ukrainians who attempt to hold their positions, then Russian estimates of Ukrainian casualties are closer to reality than the ridiculously low Ukrainian/ISW figures.

    • TTG says:

      Eric Newhill,

      The video has been geolocated to a treeline in Stepove near Avdiivka, an area over which Russians launched failed assaults for two months. The video I saw yesterday said they were Russian casualties from those failed assaults.

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