On 24 January 2022, the Russians opened their offensive by attempting to pulverise forward Ukrainian positions, apparently in between of Pavlivka and Mykilske, and on the eastern side of Vuhledar by TOS-1 MRLS’. While looking like ‘hell’ on a video (and certainly being ‘comparable to hell’ for whoever was within the targeted area), I’m not sure if this was effective at all: there are simply no reports indicating a large number of casualties of the Ukrainian 72nd Mechanised Brigades, which is providing the core of Vuhledar’s defences.
Now, some say that TOS-1-strikes were followed by the — ‘compulsory’ — massive artillery barrages on Vuhledar, aiming to soften up the defences. Others say there were no artillery barrages, because the Russians attempted to take Ukrainians by surprise.
The Russians then assaulted through Pavlivka and from its northern edge straight for southern Vuhledar. Some say, they actually tried to move around the western side of the town, with the aim of encircling it. Is possible, but I guess they might not have liked the idea to marching over 1,000 metres of open space with full Ukrainian garrison in their deep flank, all the time. On the other side…well, gauging by the intellectual qualities of VSRF officers: one can never know.
What is sure is that simultaneously with this attack in south-west, the Russian Naval Infantry advanced from Mykilske around the southern side of the datcha area before turning north — because, the first two days of this offensive the Russian social media was brimming with reports about firefights with ‘Ukrainians trapped behind Russian lines’.
Through 25 January, reports surfaced indicating vivid activity of the VKS in this area: Su-25s and attack helicopters must’ve flown a few dozens of sorties, continuously spraying Ukrainian positions with unguided rockets. It was under the cover of air strikes and the Russian artillery fire that the Naval Infantry pushed through the ‘dacha area’ towards north, apparently aiming to by-pass Vuhledar and encircle it from the east (for this reason, it would’ve made sense for them to advance from Pavlivka towards north and thus try encircling Vuhledar from the west; but, and again: sorry, no clear confirmation in this regards).
Sometimes during 26 February, perhaps after another TOS-1 volley during the night to 27 February, the Russians reportedly reached the petrol station at the northern edge of the dacha area, about 400 metres outside of Vuhledar. No idea if this was along the plan, or somebody made a mistake, but at that point in time they turned north-west and attacked the south-eastern side of Vuhledar.
This was a very bad idea. They were advancing along a relatively narrow route, all the time in sight of Ukrainian observers posted atop of high buildings in Vuhledar, and now facing about 500 metres of empty terrain on the eastern side of the town. Worst of all: by 27 January Ukrainians were ready and thus the advancing Russians came under very precise and systematically-deployed Ukrainian artillery fire, which stopped their Naval Infantry. When the infantry was stopped, accompanying T-80 MBTs and BMP-2 IFVs stopped, too — and then they began dying in big numbers. Atop of this, Ukrainian artillery not only caused heavy losses to the advancing units, but hit their rear too — cutting off both their supply links and their possible withdrawal routes. Finally, on 28 January, the 1st Tank and the 72nd Mech counterattacked the dacha area from north-east and destroyed or captured whatever shaken Russians were still around.
Certainly enough, the Russians brought in reinforcements and regrouped their battered and demoralised units, and were back to attacking from the southern part of the dacha area in northern direction, on 30 January. Moreover, they began attacking garrisons of the 68th Jäger in villages of Zolotay Nyva and Prechystivka, west of Vuhledar. However, nothing of this left lasting impressions upon the ZSU, which also claimed the downing of some 5–6 Ka-52 helicopters in this battle, all between 24 and 28 January.
On 31 January, the Russians attacked Vuhledar directly again, this time operating in smaller groups. That was too little and ended with the loss of another bunch of T-80s and BMP-2s. What is left of the Naval Infantry of the 40th and 155th Brigades is back to the Mykilske area.
Overall: this was no ‘small’, no ‘probing’, and no ‘diversionary’, but a major attack of almost all the forces the 58th CAA was able to scratch together. Denis Pushilin might be a corrupt and incompetent politician, but he clearly said, “liberation of this city solves many problems”.
It appears the Russians counted on overrunning the two battalions of the 72nd deployed in Vuhledar at the start of their attack (the town and the neighbourhood are much too small for squeezing any more troops into it) and then aimed to drive further north, perhaps all the way into the southern flank of the ZSU forces deployed along the old line of control in the Donbas. The plan didn’t work thanks to a rapid reaction of the rest of the 72nd, but especially well planned fire of the 55th Artillery, and good support of the crack 1st Tank Brigade. That converted this Russian operation into a debacle: RUMINT has it the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade lost 200–230 KIA in the first three days of this operation, just for example, and another rumor circulated in the social media is that all the involved Russian units suffered up to 20,000 casualties (KIA, WIA, MIA) over the last week, prompting troops of two involved units to flatly refuse to attack, after witnessing what’s happening ahead of them. AFAIK, nothing of this has been confirmed, but the fact remains that Vuhledar is firmly in Ukrainian hands.
Comment: This account of the battle for Vuhledar was assembled from various OSINT sources by Tom Cooper, an Austrian specializing in the analysis of contemporary warfare. He is an author, illustrator, and book series editor for Helion and Company. He’s been writing on the war in Ukraine from last March.
Taking Vuhledar has strategic importance to the Russians. The Ukrainian presence there puts the only overland rail line into Crimea and Kherson under fire control. The Russians need that rail line. Russian warbloggers were hailing this as the beginning of a major offensive.
The Russian forces of the 58th Combined Arms Army (CAA) had a reported strength of around 20,000 troops organized in the equivalent of four maneuver brigades and two artillery brigades. This included two naval infantry brigades and at least a regiment of Spetsnaz, all elite Russian formations. They had around ninety tanks, twice that many IFVs and about a hundred artillery pieces. For a once all mechanized Russian Army, that’s an anemic number of combat vehicles.
Cooper’s “social media rumor” of 20,000 Russian casualties must have included casualties from the equally costly battle to take the village of Pavlivka. Or it could have been another bullshit casualty estimation. It doesn’t even track with Ukrainian MOD estimates.
One point that sticks out to me is that the 58th CAA mustered 100 tanks and 200 IFVs for this important offensive action. That puts into perspective the importance of the number of Western tanks and IFVs now on their way to Ukraine. It will be a formidable force in this war.
” The Ukrainian presence there puts the only overland rail line into Crimea and Kherson under fire control.”
Just what does that mean? The UA artillery has to be there to reach the rail line or that it allows forward observation of a rail line – which doesn’t itself move around any? (Except for the bouncing caused by exploding artillery shells.)
“The Russian forces of the 58th Combined Arms Army (CAA) had a reported strength of around 20,000 troops…..”
“Cooper’s “social media rumor” of 20,000 Russian casualties….”
Yeah 100% casualties does stretch the bounds of imagination and doesn’t do much for Cooper’s credibility.
Vuhledar is ten miles from the rail hub at Volnovakha. That is the only rail line from Donetsk to Melitopol, Mariupol and the rest of southern Ukraine. Ukrainian drone observation and artillery fire prevents the Russians from fully using these rail lines and Volnovakha as a logistics hub.
So the artillery range is 10 miles? Putin obviously needs a CCC program to build a railroad elsewhere. Those are “shovel ready” jobs. They’ve undoubtably got a very deep pool of guys skilled with shovels now.
The M777 has a range of 18 to 25 miles. The 25 miles is with the Excalibur round. Other artillery pieces and of course HIMARS have longer ranges. The Russians already had to move their logistic hubs when they lost Kherson. If the Ukrainians get the GLSDB, the Russians will have to adjust again. I’m pretty sure they’ll run out of safe space from the GLSDB.
if they get the ATACMS they can even target the Kerch bridge. The Russians have just about finished repairing it.
which weapons system gift to Ukraine will trigger the repsonse from the Russians that finally means “NATO” is at war with them rather than Ukraine?
comment content deleted by TTG
You were not cancelled. This comment went into the spam folder. It happens. At one time a lot of my comments went into spam. But your comment’s wording was certainly grounds for deletion, if not a temporary ban. However, I’ll just chalk your comment up to your being bewildered and exasperated at the prospect of being “cancelled” and be on the lookout in case any of your future comments end up in the spam folder. In the future, when it comes to crafting your comments, I’ll leave you with the admonition of Governor William J. Le Petomane, “You watch your ass”.
Logic is powerless against the subconscious.
Well then, I’m sorry. My comments just went away to nothing. I think I’ve stated my case. I see big war coming. I’m quite unhappy that America seems to be throwing away its sense of its own self-worth. I’ve pointed to the usual suspects. I don’t have the background to analyze the war I consider already underway except through my own basis for understanding, my art. I’ll move further into that. I piss people off all the time and generally just go my own way. I come here because I respect you, the Colonel and the commenters. But I am an asshole, and I’ve probably too long said too much. Thank you for your reply.
Aren’t we all.
20,000 men, you actually believe that.
No, I don’t. That’s why I said it could be just another bullshit social media casualty estimation. The 20,000 figure doesn’t track with any other estimation I’ve seen including the figure of 200 to 230 KIA in the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade in the first three days of the operation. It’s highly unlikely that casualty rate would lead to 20,000 casualties in 7 days.
Although these are US estimates and written up in the NYT, this seems plausible. It is equivalent to the size of the initial invasion force. That is staggering to contemplate.
What I don’t get is how come the Russian airforce hasn’t achieved air superiority or the Russian army defeat a much smaller and less we’ll equipped Ukrainian army? Weren’t they supposed to be capable to fight NATO (US) in a conventional war in Europe?
The initial Russian air campaign had some success, but they ran into an air defense largely based on their own doctrine, tactics and equipment. The S-300 is formidible when employed properly. The Ukrainians were also aided by a saturation of MANPADS when used in conjunction with the S-300 made life difficult for the Russian Aerospace Forces. Now, neither side’s aircraft venture into the other’s territory.
Given the success of the Russian/Ukrainian model of air defense, I have serious concerns about just how well the USAF would do against those air defenses. Could we counter the mobile S-300/S-400/S-500 umbrella?
If anyone knows, the Israelies do.
They’ve got the F-35s. They have the S300/400 in Syria to practice on and a strong motivation as well as capability for creative thinking.
I though Ukraine’s success in air defence was largely attributable to NATO AWACS acting as search radars for the Ukrainian SAM batteries, so that said batteries can keep their search radars turned off and remain invisible. Its pretty hard to locate and take out a SAM battery when its radars remain silent.
Similarly, Ukrainian troops armed with MANPADS are more effective when some chick in an AWACS calls them on their satphone and says “You will have a SU-24 flying 1km south of you, coming in from the north east, in 130 seconds from now”. Or so it seems to me.
The AWACS definitely assist, but its the Ukrainian SAM batteries and MANPADS equipped troops that manage to stay alive and shoot down the Russkies. The Ukrainians also a nationwide spotter network based on smartphone apps.
James T –
AWACS can cover much of the right bank of the Dnieper. But not much of anything on the left bank where the fighting is going on. They do not risk flying in Ukrainian airspace.
My understanding was that NATO AEW&C airframes are flying over the Black Sea so I assumed NATO had some visibility east of the Dneiper … but looking at a map it appears they would have to fly over Sea of Azov to see much and that would be pretty ballsy even for NATO. So point well taken.
We in the West bought the legend that the Russians were ten feet tall. In reality they are about as tall as V. Putin if they stand up straight. Their submarine fleet may be a whole different matter.
Regarding Western tanks, I am seeing suggestions that Switzerland is now thinking about releasing ~100 Leopard 2A4 that they have in storage to other countries (I believe the suggestion is that the purchase price would be 1 CHF/tank) so that those countries could then send their tanks to Ukraine – the limitation being that the Swiss tanks themselves could never be sent there.
As a young Marine I recall a dark green Marine SSG bragging about the quantity of women he picked up. The LT chimed in and said it’s not about quantity, it’s quality which I firmly agreed. Some things in life however it is absolutely about quantity. Like sketchy mail in ballots and crappy rockets in a land war. Hell, if it wasn’t for sketchy ballots it’s highly likely Russia would not even be firing these large quantities of crappy rockets.
There are more checks and balances with mail-in ballots than with other methods. The ballot must first be requested with an address. The request must be approved and sent out by election officials. The ballot must be returned with one and often two signatures and be accepted by election officials. That full paper trail is preserved. With all those checks, mail in ballots are barely secret.
Pawn Stars show they bring in trained signature verification experts for measly valued art and posters. Granted, it’s made for TV but to my point; nobody verifying ballot signatures has even novice training in the field. They don’t throw out ballots or investigate them for shaky signatures either that’s for damn sure.
Regardless, the BBC put out a report years ago that the #1 gateway drug to voter fraud is mail in ballots. No real way to audit signatures or verify addresses without physically going to the address and checking it out. Nobody is taking this measure, even for a small sample of questionable mail in ballots.
Can I prove the election was stolen though? No, I can not but neither can the person saying no voter prove prove their claim either. All that can be said is this circumstance is a fine situation for anyone wanting to commit voter fraud with mail in ballots.
Babel….Having lived and voted previously in Oregon, the incidents of “residential voting” …use this term rather than “mail in” as a large % of votes are taken to drop boxes or direct to clerk offices.
Staff are trained for review signatures as are those in law enforcement via same hours and standards for certification.
Over the decades of home voting in Oregon the legitimacy of election results has been highly accepted. Obviously, though, does not stop the WACKO conspiracy NUTS with their tin hats from yapping!
Oregon used to have two Republican senators and often a Republican governor. Correlation is not causation, but the loss of those Republican senators and the election of a veto-proof Dem majority in the state house and senate track fairly well with the implementation of mail in ballots. Of course all the Californians moving up here during that time also could be the cause. I’ll take off my tinfoil Headwear now.
Burt, Post WWII Repub Sens and Govs in Oregon were some of the most liberal ever found in the Republican Party..Hatfield, McCall, Smith, Packwood.
Ballots or paper on which to print the ballots on election day? In the districts your political oppents happen to reside of course. Take that in person voters. “Democracy” as Uncle Joe said in his “red” speech.
Ah yes, the Reichstag Address complete with military members.
I (unfortunately) live in NY City. I have such faith in the outcome of elections here that I don’t vote except in presidential election years (and that is unnecessary too). Let me see if I can recall the year – 1980 or 1984 or both, not sure. At that time I usually voted for the hyenas wearing Democratic party dog tags. On the way to the voting booths you could stop for beer or saunter into one of several illegal gambling operations which operated storefront betting parlors, very basic, no frills, just grill windows but you could place a bet on literally anything, anywhere on our beautiful spinning spheroid — and these places were as visible as any so-called reputable establishment. There were also bodegas and delis on every corner where you could purchase brand new, plastic wrapped packets of brand-name playing cards complete with official seal. And inside the packets? The cards had been marked by a criminal organization which had an “office” below the poolhall on union square. “If you’re so worried about cheating, pal, why don’t you go down the block and pick up a few fresh decks, eh?” Should I mention some of the other sights, more or less “adult-oriented” or the age of some of the .. to be seen along the way to the voting booth – located in a school as threadbare and wornout as the no frills betting parlors?
Where was I? Yes. Voting. So as an experiment I tried an experiment. I voted D on the presidential ticket (D for devil, demon, Democrat, demented?). I did so by pulling down a lever next to the candidate’s name. It registered with a smart, crisp “click” and an unmistakable feeling, transmitted through the solid media of the voting machine and floor to my hand, body and feet, of mechanical engagement. (“Yep, that sure registered, no doubt about it!” – a fitting thought baloon for a cartoon version). And then (“zee experiment,” Dr Frankenstein, “zis vass zee experiment”) I voted R or Republican for several of the local state and municipal offerings such as attorney general, dog catcher, beauty contestant judge etc). Ha ha ha! You should have been there to experience the difference. Those levers and their behind-the-curtain mechanisms needed dosing with Viagra, and very badly. Limp, unconnected to anything but elastic or rubber. No click, no sensation of engagement with anything, and instead of snapping back smartly into place, they wimpishly sagged at first and eventually moved upward like drugged plastic tortoises. Those levers most certainly registered nothing except surprise perhaps that someone had tried them out.
Pretty soon Fred, pretty soon at this rate, people will be whispering that there’s trouble afoot in River City. But pay no heed. Things in River City are on the up and up. Always have been. Nothing but good deeds and boyscouts from sea to shining sea.
Corruption in River City?
Those were the standard mechanical voting machines when I was young although I never voted on one. My absentee ballot for the 1972 election, my first election, was a massive paper ballot that was laid out exactly like those mechanical, lever action voting machines. I unfolded it and it covered my desk. Never voted in person until the 1996 election with simple fill in the circle paper ballots here in Virginia.
Those mechanical voting machines seemed just as untrustworthy as all electronic voting. Virginia experimented with that electronic voting fad for a few years as an option, but dropped it fairly quickly and stuck with the paper.
Yes. Those are the ones. In Chicago they were specially engineered to sink, not float, in Lake Michigan. In the 19 twenties and thirties friendly gentlemen with fedora hats were on hand to encourage voter turnout. And provide flowers in case you voted .. haphazardly, let’s say.
One way to improve the veracity of ballots is to move to 100% paper ballots with the voters thumbprint on the ballot. Which should be matched with the version on the voter roll before being anonymized prior to counting. Many countries have 100% paper ballots and have no difficulty in transparent counting under surveillance cameras. This would also prevent after the fact ballot stuffing as the number of ballots counted must match the voter verification ballot tab.
Sam; “something there is that doesn’t love a fair election”. Something that must find ways around an honest representation of the public will. The public don’t know what they need. Who or what is that “something”? It falls to the elite to produce the correct results. The elite will not countenance a wall b/t them and their vision of the future.
I hoped to vote on those mechanical machines for Nixon in ’68 (those were the same machines that the dems coopted to give the ’60 election to Kennedy via Chicago and the state of Mich.). Unfortunately I found myself in Ft Jackson and missed my date w/destiny. I made up for it in ’72 by voting for McGovern. If that dope wanted socialism lets give it to him and see how the country likes it. My rebellious phase. He won South Dakota but never another election. There is something magnificent in going to your local polling station on election day. It is a grand celebration of America. For those who genuinely can’t personally be there by all means vote by mail; I understand. I do not like the left destroying yet another feature of our democracy; namely, your vote, along side your neighbors, on a day that rivals Independence Day.
Fourth and Long,
Never used of those fancy machines. I did vote absentee from seven or so states North of home; required a witness signature on the exterior of the envelope (The XO as I recall). Did that once from the Med too, though I’m pretty sure the election was long over by the time I got that ballot, much less sent it back. Uncle Sam never got my sea pay wrong though. Thanks for small miracles.
Oh, and elections in NYC. Joe Crowley trusted elections, too. Right up until he forgot John Dingell’s adage: There are only two ways to run for re-election, unopposed and scared. Whoops. I wonder who he pissed off?
At the end of the day it should be clear that the US military is the only entity that stands in the way of dominance by Putin and Xi. This is going to be part of the similar debate in the US prior to our engagement in WW II. On one side were those that argued the US must play a leadership role in international affairs and on the other side those that argued that we have two big oceans providing a buffer and we should not intervene in the Axis powers military invasion of their neighbors.
Finnish PM Sanna Marin on the weakness of EU.
The biggest question in today’s environment is what happens when Xi orders the invasion of Taiwan. If we stand back, would Xi be emboldened further, as some argue that Putin was emboldened by our silence when Crimea was annexed. There’s never going to be a right answer as the arguments from both sides of this debate are potent. Clearly the biggest threat to Asian stability is Emperor-for-Life Xi and his jackbooted CCP. Taiwan, India, Japan, S.Korea, Philippines, Vietnam have a lot of concern about the massive buildup of the PLA. This has huge implications for US national security due to our massive dependence on the Asian supply chain. It is clear that our DC & Wall St power elite are not doing much to prepare irrespective of if we intervene or not in the next Asian conflict when (not if) Xi acts militarily.
Sanna Marin is not only a very pretty women, she is a very correct woman. But that d/n matter. Europeans don’t care one bit about one another. Remove the veneer of concern for sovereignty and democracy and you will find the same petty people who blundered into WW I; stood by when the Turks murdered 2MM Armenians, Russians killed 6MM Ukrainians, raped Finland, invaded Poland, when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland, murdered 6 MM Jews, and WW II. Europe never embraced democracy and individualism. At their core they are still socialist principalities who, I think, are ripe for another Charlemagne, Hitler, Stalin, E.U., or Russian hegemony over the eastern half of their continent. England/Britain may have once been a promoter of freedom but remember, she too has a history of sometimes brutal colonialism. Today her “mixed” society has forgotten the lessons of Locke and is comfortable w/restricting public rights. P.M. Marin has got it mostly right. Europeans are weak at heart for defending individual freedom. But she has it wrong about the future. They will not improve. They are not “wired” that way. My opinion.
Individual liberty is uniquely American and protected by the supreme law of the Constitution in the 1770s. Prior to that and after that there was no country that placed such a primary importance to the concept of individual liberty and the limitations of governmental power. Of course Jefferson, Madison, et al we’re substantially influenced by Locke.
The reality however is that we have had a slow but steady slide to authoritarianism. The national security surveillance state has become the 4th branch of government, unaccountable and now brazenly exercising unlimited power with impunity. The covidian emergency laid it all bare. Just like the Church committee discovered in the 70s.
The other bastion of rule of law in the West has also gone south.
Sam; UR Rite. Pres. Trump is a product of the disgust in which the rulers in Washington are held. The country doesn’t know, yet, how to rid themselves of the slugs and the socialist press deliberately deceives them. But the public will figure it out. “A republic, Madamn, if you can keep it” “our system of govt is designed for and intended for men of character. Lesser man will never support it.”
Been voting for over 50 years. I’ll vote for the dog catcher if he’ll run. I am convinced a reckoning must come to save the republic.
If Beijing going into Taiwan counts as an invasion, doesn’t that mean that Kiev going into Crimea counts as an invasion? Asking for a friend.
Crimea is internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.
Taiwan is internationally recognized as part of China – even the US recognizes it as such. The Taiwanese constitution states that Taiwan and mainland China are both part of a single country.
One thing I’ve learned since I don’t have any military experience is to wait and focus on the outcomes. I found the after-action reporting on the attempted capture of Hostomel airport by elite Russian airborne forces at very beginning of the invasion fascinating. The gameplan was decapitation of Kyiv. But it ended in failure even though the Ukrainians were unprepared as they were able to muster up forces with mobile weaponry quickly enough to prevent the landing of the big Ilyushins which were already airborne with the large Russian army force with heavy weapons including tanks that was to take Kyiv and topple Zelensky’s government.
Have any of you contacted your Senators, Congress(wo)man, or the White House and asked them to stop providing weapons to Ukraine and end this?
Absolutely not, quite the opposite.
Excellent use of the language.
There is a pretty good chance that whatever is sent to Ukraine will be attrited along with a lot of Ukrainian soldiers. Suppose that happens and the Russians keep grinding on.
If you were POTUS how far would you be prepared to go to defend Ukraine, DOL and all that ?
Of course much of that war materiel will be attritted. That’s the nature of war materiel in time of war. The Russians are also being attrited. The Russian Army units are no longer fully mechanized. The units now engaged in combat are reduced to ill-equipped and ill-trained infantry. Still big and dangerous, but only a shadow of what both we and they thought they were before this invasion.
If I were POTUS, I’d be massively ramping up munitions production. That’s happening. Many plants are now running three shifts. I’d be sending ATACMS without announcing it until after the first strikes were made. And, if we are not already in place, I would very likely have US military advisors and liaison personnel in Ukraine. I might even extend missile defense into western Ukraine from sites in Poland and Romania. I would also keep up sanctions and other economic measures to reduce the Kremlin’s ability to effectively continue their war.
You should know.
If you go back and review the individual OSCE reports of explosions observed/heard and ceasefire violations, you will see that the vast majority of explosions occurred in Kyiv government controlled territory. The location of each instance was tabulated in those reports. Yes, there was an increase in shelling leading up to the 24 February invasion. It was mostly coming from the Russian/non-government controlled side of the line of contact. That fact is unknown or ignored by those claiming the Russians invaded to save thie allies in the self-proclaimed DNR and LNR.
The reality is if the US and Eastern & Western Europeans stop providing arms to Ukraine then Putin’s invasion will be successful. Curious, why aren’t you calling for Putin to withdraw his army behind Russian borders? That would end the war.
It would not end the war. What it would do is make a nuclear war all but inevitable.
NATOs Drang nach Osten would continue, now with rearmed Ukraine totally under US control and with Belarus and Kazakhstan being the next targets of regime change and NATO expansion.
Whatcha smoking? Pretty vivid imagination. Have you considered writing a script? None of what you describe is inevitable.
The script has already been written and acted upon after USSR fell. Wesley Clark spoke of one such script or action plan for the Middle East.
Color revolutions for Belarus and Kazakhstan have already been attempted. None of this is fictional.
Of course it would end the war. The alternative is that Russia destroys Ukraine and forces it to rtn to colonial status. That would end Russia’s killing in Ukraine but would send a frightening message to her neighbors. But should Ukraine keep her independence would 10MM Finns, Stones, Lits, and Lats be encouraged to launch an invasion on Russia’s North West? Murmanks or bust?! Will Poland attack St Petersburg? Maybe Bulgaria and Georgia will combine to sweep all Russian ships from the Black Sea? News Flash; other nations are as entitled to border secty as Russia. But if border secty is an issue, remember it took WW I to force Russia out of Germany, Finland and the Baltics. Communist Russia invaded Ukraine in 1919, Finland twice, Poland once, reconquered the Baltics after WW II, invaded Hungry in ’56, Czechoslovakia in ’68, and Afghanistan in ’79. And just last February Russia invaded Ukraine. So yeah, there’s a secty problem for any nation to be near Russia.
please define success. The Ukrainian economy is wrecked, its government apparently has zero domestic sources of revenue to fund its ongoing operations, ten plus million citizens fled the country and a mojority of the land mass with majority Russian nationals resident are controlled by Russia or its allies. Plus its armed forces have suffered tens of thousands of casualties and has little domestic equipment and ammunition manufacturing capabilities.
Everything you describe is a result of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. In that sense they’re already successful. However, the ultimate success is for Putin to arrive in Kyiv to the marching bands as conqueror.
He attempted that in the early hours of the invasion to decapitate Kyiv and topple the Ukrainian government. He even sent his soldiers with their dress blues.
So I am factually correct, however “victory” means a parade in Kiev.
Putin has wrecked much of Ukraine in the east, which he has supposedly annexed. However the Ukrainian government hasn’t been toppled. Why do you think the Russian army continues to fight and bleed?
They obviously don’t read this blog. If they did they would know all is lost and was lost months ago.
“What kind of people do they think we are? We will never ever ever give up”. Some one said that, right? Proud English, heroic Britain. But Ukraine’s difficulties today are applauded by some. Perhaps we should remember the old Puritan song “Simple Truths”. Ukraine did not invade Russia. Ukraine posed no threat to Russia. Ukraine is not a nation of teeming Nazis seeking to destroy Russia. So lets ask what manner of people would unleash death and destruction on their neighbor, … Russians. They are the subjects of the last European Empire and can only exists by subjucating their neighbors. Ukraine’s existence as a sovereign state belies the validity of Russia as an empire. Ergo Ukraine delenda est!
We went to war in ’41 to defend Britain and France. Are our tribal connections not as strong for Ukrainians? If Ukraine falls the Baltics, Poland, and Finland should be shivering in their boots. More Simple Truths.
If Ukraine “falls” the neocons/borg will use whcih nations like they used all the others? They will never give up.
Germany declared war on the United States after Japan attacked the country, fortunately for Great Britain, otherwise FDR might have found it difficult to declare war on them.
Victoria Nuland handing out cookies during the Maidan Insurrection might have also impinged somewhat on Ukraine’s sovereignty. That is, if you think a foreign backed insurrection counts as “interference in your democracy”.
For Fred; whatever the motives of the neocon they are not why Ukrainians are fighting and dying. For Ukraine this is a war of liberation, a war for independence. The Ukrainian who takes a bullet up his ass does not wonder if he has pleased some neocon. Once other nations helped Americans gain their independence. Twice, Americans helped Europeans preserve their sovereignty. If you include a mostly American effort in the cold war one may say America gave the gift of independence to western Europe three times. I don’t give a damn what Bismark or Kissinger or a neocon would say about “Real Politic”. We are doing the right think by helping Ukraine stay free. The French, British, Dutch, Germans, Belgians, and Italians who we helped for so long, need to do some soul searching about what manner of men they are.
I don’t give a damn about the Russians or the Ukrainians. I fully support you selling all you have and giving it to Ukraine. I fully support you signing up to help defend that foreign land. I suggest you check the appropriate laws first.
The Ukrainians in the Donbas are not Russian nationals – they are Ukrainians who happen to speak Russian as their first language. Not at ALL the same thing.
” For Ukraine this is a war of liberation, a war for independence. “
Bill – it was a war of survival for the Donbass for the past eight years. Minsk 2 was the only way of sorting out that muddle. The chance of getting Minsk 2 was lost on the 21st February last. The chance of getting anything like Minsk 2 was lost in the Belarus peace talks Naftali Bennet talks of and – the very last chance – in Istanbul.
Putin had no choice but to take military action on the 24th February. Had he not done so the Donbass would have been in flames. Looking at the events of around that time the only purpose of provoking the Russians to take military action on the 24th was to give cover for the sanctions war that was supposed to bring down the Russian economy. Thus destabilising the Russian government.
In the hopes of many, that leading to the break-up of the RF. Brzezinski’s old dream finally given some teeth.
It’s over now. All we’re seeing now are the Western politicians working out how to get out of the mess without losing face. Vying with each other to send in equipment, too little too late and it was always bound to be so, so they can say to each other “It was your fault that we lost.”
And many see China next on the menu and don’t want this failed venture to get in the way any more.
I read your judgement above. “P.M. Marin has got it mostly right. Europeans are weak at heart for defending individual freedom. But she has it wrong about the future. They will not improve. They are not “wired” that way. My opinion.”
I hope you’re wrong but do have to admit the possibility you are right. The Europeans have not covered themselves with glory during this episode. The main thing now is for the politicians to get their act together and pull out before many more get killed.
E.O. Neither Minsk, Brzezinsky, the Maiden, Nuland, nor Nazis stalking about Odessa (or for that matter Estonia, Lithuanian, Finland, or Armenia) has anything to do w/t war. The idea that Putin was provoked to save Donbas by igniting it is laughable. Are we to “not see” the aid and encouragement Moscow gave to pro Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. This is a war b/t Ukrainians who want to be free of Russia and Russians who want to keep Ukrainians as … their little Russians. Ukrainians don’t believe they are any one’s little people. War was declared in the Kremlin on the day in the summer of ’91 when those insufferable Ukrainians were so bold as to declare they were independent. Russians have not forgotten the Balts also declared themselves independent that summer. Will Russians living in the Baltics demand repatriation via Russian armies. Perhaps the ghost of Stepan Bandura haunts Riga and must be expunged. What most correspondents conveniently forget is that this drive for freedom began in Ukraine in 1914. Only the Irish have been more persistent in demanding freedom from an oppressor. Should Putin prevail his victory will leave 44MM people who will hate Russia for another 100 years. And they will be right on Russia’s south western border.
U R Rite about politicians vying to see how little equipment they can send too late. But that has more to do w/their cowardice then concerns over China. Europe w/n raise a penny over Taiwan.
The “main thing” you say, is to give European politicians a way out b/f more get killed. Someone asked a certain P. Henry what he thought the main thing was about America’s fight for independence in ’75. He would not have agreed w/y.
I don’t either.
“Are we to “not see” the aid and encouragement Moscow gave to pro Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. ”
Putin not only armed and provided direct support to separatist elements in the Donbass.
He also gave support to elements in other parts of Ukraine including Kyiv who could form a government in Kyiv and align Ukraine with Russia. He failed in that game of influence & power as Nuland outfoxed him.
Regarding the eastern expansion of NATO, what is being missed is that the Eastern Europeans and now Sweden & Finland wanted to join precisely because of their threat perception of Putin. Now borne out with the invasion of Ukraine. Not the other way around.
BP; I’ve pointed out in many posts that every former Russian “principality” and her Warsaw Pact “partners” turned their guns east when the S.U. fell. Only White Russian d/n. As you know, now even Finland and Sweden have asked to jump aboard NATO. Russian apologists answer that NATO arm twisted everyone of them. Right, but every one of them saw the threat to their sovereignty from Moscow, not Brussels. To date not one Russophile has answered; why?
War started in 1991? Was that the beginning of America’s obligation to Ukraine too?
Fred: no, the war started w/Russia’s decision (despite the S.U. collapse) to remain an empire. Ukraine’s independence refutes that. BTW, the same happened in the Balts. Many Russians are still offended (yes, offended, I’ve known some in my family who have said “just who do those Estonians think they are? Independent, well we’ll see about that”) at the insolence of the Baltic states to think they may be independent. But if you missed a Russian declaration of war against Ukraine and the Balts its because there was none. Never the less, the decision to not permit independence was taken in Moscow that summer. Let me put it to you in plain ole Americanese … I “woulda bet the ranch” there was going to be a Ukr/Rus war sometime in the future. I just d/n know when. As to America’s obligation to Ukraine it has none. No more an obligation than America has had to western Europe from ’45 to today, or Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines from ’45 to today. We obviously disagree, but I send you my best.