The Kharkiv offensive is continuing, it may become the Donbas offensive – TTG

“IZIUM /2345 UTC 19 SEP/ RU contact reports corroborate earlier info that UKR has established & exploited crossings of the Donets & Oskil Rivers.  Geolocated photographs confirm that UKR has liberated the important junction town of Yarova; this gain exposes RU positions in Lyman.”

The Russian plan apparently was to hold at the Oskil River and anchor that defensive line at Lyman. Seemed like a reasonable plan… for a while. Ukrainian forces crossed that river at Kupyansk and appear to be heading towards Svatove and the R-66 highway, the last great MSR into Kremenna, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. I think Chuck Pfarrer is a little too optimistic in those three blue arrows bearing down on Svatove. However, it is likely that Ukrainian reconnaissance elements are ranging that far forward. That’s exactly what happened in the initial advance towards Kupyansk. 

The lead elements of the four brigade Kharkiv strike force were two sabotage-reconnaissance battalions of the Kraken Regiment, a volunteer Azov unit that began forming back on 24 February in Kharkiv. The core of this unit are veterans of the original Azov Regiment. It also includes a number of foreign volunteers. They are equipped with artillery, D-30s and D-20s, mortars, drones and mostly wheeled light armored vehicles. There’s a video of a 50 cal equipped Humvee manned by an American making the rounds. They also have quite a few pickups, SUVs and vans for transportation. This hodge-podge of a unit was quite effective in pushing the Russians away from Kharkiv earlier in the summer as an assault force and are performing quite well in this offensive as an armored, albeit lightly, cavalry screen.

Further south, the Ukrainians are also keeping up the offensive pressure. Yarova, northwest of Lyman and Bilohorivka, east of Lyman, have fallen. The Russians at Lyman will have to withdraw once again or risk being surrounded. Russian bloggers are saying that the Kremlin has issued orders for no more retreats on this front. Seems the generals don’t think their units are capable of retiring in good order. If that’s true, and the Russians try to adhere to that order, there will be a lot more Russians in the bag. However, I don’t think the Russians on this front have the discipline and morale necessary to stand their ground. Maybe they can form a coherent defensive back at Staroblisk. But they better hurry or the Ukrainians may beat them to it. Of course, that means abandoning Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. It also means the Russian’s summer gains and more will be gone, gone except for all the casualties and destroyed/captured equipment. That’s going to be tough to spin in both the Kremlin and the blogosphere.

TTG    

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54 Responses to The Kharkiv offensive is continuing, it may become the Donbas offensive – TTG

  1. Babeltuap says:

    Going to punch yourself out constantly posting maps. Russia cut off the resources. Mainly to Germany. Bet you don’t post a map of the impact during the dead of winter when it rolls in.

    I assure you Germans will be begging for mercy. People are going to die. The youth can handle it but not the poor elderly. They can’t chop wood, pick up a cord of wood or light it. And forget about standing in line for coal. The goal was never to take Ukraine with a small force. I don’t know why people don’t understand this fact. They don’t want it. Only very specific regions and they have those regions.

    • The elderly dropping like flies is a feature not a bug.

      As someone in his dotage, I shall be costing SS as much as I can, as long as I can.

      In Europe, the retirement system is probably more costly. Those countries need the savings of seniors exiting.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      Babeltuap

      You seem to be arguing that the military situation in Ukraine is irrelevant. If the AFU manages to inflict a massive defeat on the allied Russian forces on the battlefield in the near future, what difference to the war will potential future misfortunes in Germany make?

      • Fred says:

        Barbara Ann,

        Will the Ukrainians be marching into Moscow and forcing them to make the gas flow?

        • cobo says:

          No need to do that, Fred. A little discomfort, break up the Federation and take what is needed. It will be a bad year for some, possibly for me, too. But, that is the way of things in this world.

      • JamesT says:

        Barbara Ann,

        Even if the Russians were to go into full retreat and pull all of their forces out of Ukraine including Crimea, they could still continue the economic war against Europe. They are still exporting lots of oil and gas to Europe that they can turn off whenever they like … and even given current exports Zerohedge is reporting “Majority Of Hungarian Gas Stations To Run Dry Next Week”.

        (I don’t want to come off as too pro-Russia. The US has clearly demonstrated that it has no near peer militarily and deserves full credit for that.)

        The US has no near peer militarily and has done a superb job working

      • Babeltuap says:

        Barb,
        The military situation is absolutely relevant. Over 10M refugees and over 1 trillion in damages inflicted. The war is over. They never wanted Ukraine. The resources to the Eurozone are cut off and they have the areas they wanted.

        Have you ever been in a war? I have and that is winning. All their objectives were met. If you thought they wanted the whole region then you were feeble minded. That was never the goal with a small force.

        • TTG says:

          Babeltuap,

          Russia wanted regime change in Kyiv. They didn’t get it. They wanted all of the Donbas. They didn’t get it. They wanted NATO dismantled. They got a revitalized and enlarged NATO. Their energy sector was built to supply Europe. That market is lost to them. The majority of their pipeline infrastructure is now useless. They do have a land bridge to Crimea and the water from the Dnipro Canal… for now. That land bridge, Crimea itself and what they currently occupy of the Donbas is now subject to attack with Western weapons. That wasn’t the case before 24 February. It takes a special breed of vatnik to see that as winning.

          • Fred says:

            TTG,

            We wanted regime change in Ukraine, we got it. Which Ukrainian government cut off water to Crimea? Why were either actions, especially the first, in the national interest of the US? What precisely is that interest?

        • cobo says:

          Babeltuap

          Please my friend. We have a lot of problems here at home. Self-hate isn’t helping. War is the way of the world. Nothing is new.

        • Bill Roche says:

          We disagree. The use of the small force was b/c Russia did not respect Ukrainian ardor for independence, nor their willingness to fight for it. Oh those Ukies really like being Russia’s bitches. They don’t. You disregard history but it still counts. Ukraine has fought for independence for over 100 years. They have fought the Czar, the communists, and said no to the Russian Federation. Putin’s goal was never the Donbas and Crimea but to intimidate all Ukraine to come to her senses and her knees. BTW, this would have a chilling affect on neighboring Slavs, Balts, and Finns (Swedes too?). Back to the future with Putin… yes back to 1914.
          But the rest of eastern Europe dont wanna go.

    • fredw says:

      Babeltuap

      “I assure you Germans will be begging for mercy.”

      It gets tiresome reading assertions that some one cause is going to have decisive effects. The “Cotton is king” mentality deserved to die in the 1860s. Any particular economic effect can only be decisive when:
      1. There are no similar countervailing effects imposed by the supposedly helpless party.
      2. Adjustments in the economies of the targeted parties cannot alleviate the hardship.
      3. Motivations for tolerating the effect are low.

      Well there is a lot of bluffing going on in both directions. But nobody is screaming in pain yet. When they do, things will become clearer. And they will. None of the parties to this conflict have “suffer in silence” mentalities.

      Just as in a military conflict, you have to evaluate the gains and losses. Not the predictions. Until the effects become real and blatant, predictions are just predictions. The enemy gets a vote until he doesn’t.

      My own prediction is that if the Germans give in to this, then they will never again own their own economy. And they seem to have grasped that point.

      • Fred says:

        fredw,

        Chemicals and steel, not to mention home heating a slew of other things, are impacted by the sanctions imposed on Russia and their resonse. Unlike cotton that effected the textile industry, which has alternatives and substitutes, this is effecting everything in their economy.
        https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/arcelormittal-shut-blast-furnace-german-plant-gas-prices-soar-2022-09-02/

        https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/europe-is-facing-an-energy-crisis-as-russia-cuts-gas-heres-why

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/arcelormittal-closes-two-steel-plants-amid-european-energy-crisis-11662136823

        Yes they shouldn’t ‘give in’, but they sure ought to try a solution that does not destroy their industrial economy and their middle and lower classes with it.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Fred,
          What if the global authorities (all sides, shared info) know that with high confidence there is a huge set of magnetic sun storms on the way, or worse? Could this all be theatre?
          🎭 Battening down 🦇?

          Sorry. Slack of leap.

          Let me get back to hello.

        • JamesT says:

          Fred,

          Both Russia and Europe are feeling very real effects of the economic war. This article has a good overview of the industries that are currently shutting down in Europe as a result of the high fuel prices and rationing:

          https://www.intellinews.com/energy-crisis-europe-s-industry-shutting-down-255913/

          • Fourth and Long says:

            One thing I haven’t seen discussed is the effect of the seasonal long daytime darkness in these regions. They fought outside Moscow in Dec 1941. It’s not outside of Moscow yet. How dark are the days down in the Kharkhiv -Donbas and Cherson regions? Is it negligible? Will it favor the sides with satellites and smart remotely guided ammo? Will it hinder those without it? It sounds like a factor, I don’t know how serious though.

        • Poul says:

          Fred, none of those effects are long-term.

          As new LNG facilities come on-line a return to normalcy will follow.
          Natural gas was only 14% of total EU energy. Russia’s share of gas was ca 50%. As opposed to oil and coal, gas supplies are not easily replaced. But European industry does not depend on Russian gas for the long-term.

          Yes, it will be a few hard years but here it’s the political leaders’ job to get the support from the population and explain why the hard times must be endured.

          Whoever said it was going to be easy or pleasant to support Ukraine to the extend the EU has.

          • Fred says:

            Poul,

            A few hard years? For whom does that hardness impact, Ursula von der Laden, the multi-millionaire with the family estate and ‘average’ Europeans like her, or some other Europeans? How many years are ‘a few hard years’?

          • Poul says:

            Fred, Does Putin suffer? Will he lack the best medicine etc. That is a nonsense argument as the leaders of countries only suffer if they lose big time.

            The advantages of democracy is that the voters can replace policy makers as opposed to Russia.

            So if a majority of voters in say – Italy or Bulgaria wish to abandon Ukraine they can elect leaders who will pursue such policies. I don’t have a problem with that.

            But do you truly believe that Russian energy will have anything but a marginal role in the future for the EU? Do you believe that Russia will be able to import high-tech components, machines etc even if there is a peace?

            I don’t. I think all bridges have been burned for the longer-term so there is nothing to gain from a policy change.

          • Fred says:

            Poul,

            By all means change the subject to Vlad, even though Ursula is head of the EU Commission as you well know.

            ” if a majority of voters in say – Italy or Bulgaria …”

            Italian voters just got rid of Draghi, but by all means let me know when they voted on “being with Ukraine”, to use the common phrase. Did citizens of those two countries have a vote on that, maybe their politicians signed a defense agreement that obligates them to not ‘abandon’ Ukraine? When might that have been? It certainly wasn’t an obligation when the Presidium of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union made Crimea part of Ukraine in ’54 (Thanks Mr. Khrushchev), nor was it when the Russians took it back under thier direct control in 2014.

          • Poul says:

            Fred, Yes the voters in Italy did have a choice. Their representatives voted for supporting Ukraine. And a new Italian government can choose to change that policy.

            Did you see any massive demonstrations against the Ukraine policy in Italy?

            Did the police like in Russia crush anyone protesting?

          • Fred says:

            Poul,

            I rejoice that Italy stands with Ukraine. The election is Sunday the 25th of September. Not being Italian I have no dog in that fight. The voters might have a differnet view than mine given the latest news:
            https://www.thelocal.it/20220905/explained-whos-who-in-italys-general-election/
            https://euroweeklynews.com/2022/09/14/watch-italian-farmers-protest-forced-slaughter-of-cattle-and-energy-price-increase/

  2. Lars says:

    The dire forecasts for EU are overblown. These are not poor countries, at least not compared to Russia and they need the money more than EU needs the gas and oil. In the long run, Russia will run out of resources long before EU, or US, will.

    And as I have long predicted, Russia now has a growing problem in the east, with less abilities to deal with that too. At the recent summit, both India and China showed that they are less than happy with Russia and that will have an impact too.

    The fear that Putin will be replaced with an ultra-nationalist is real. Hopefully, the Russian elites know what needs to be done to maybe even save the federation.

    • Jovan P says:

      Lars,

      I don’t see how the Russians can run out of resources, if by them you meant water, oil, gas, wood, electricity, ore, food, gold etc.

      Otoh, they will surely have problems with aviation and lorry spare parts, machines and spare parts in the machine industry, iphones, luxury products like italian cheese and french perfumes… But this is more or less solvable through vendors from the rest of the world, mostly Far East (e.g. South Korea).

      The point is not if the EU is poor or not, it is can they take the shock.

    • Fred says:

      Lars,

      “These are not poor countries…” Not yet.

    • fredw says:

      Lars
      “both India and China showed that they are less than happy with Russia”

      More than unhappy. The significant thing is how much less respect Russia gets than at the start of the year. Eastern Europeans are not worried about their borders now that they have seen Russia in action. Wars are starting up in places where Russian peacekeepers were holding the lines. Heads of state are making Putin wait on them now. Kazakhstan is clearly pondering whether now might be the time to make a break for it. China is moving in on places the Russians considered theirs. They still have a lot of resources, but their great power mystique is gone.

      • Fred says:

        fredw,

        “Eastern Europeans are not worried about their borders now that they have seen Russia in action.”

        Thank goodness. Guess that means the US Army and the rest of the country’s military won’t have to defend them too. Maybe they’ll recind their applications to NATO now that they have nothing to worry about.

        What areas are China “moving in on” now?

        • Leith says:

          Fred –

          China is moving into the welcoming arms of Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs are tired of Putin’s BS.

        • fredw says:

          Fred

          Well of course their current lack of worry is based on assessed capabilities. Not Russian intentions. Nobody ever relaxes because they trust the Russians. And of course the assessment of capabilities includes the current military capabilities of the West. Change that and you change all the calculations.

          • Fred says:

            FredW,

            Ah, the US Taxpayer’s obligation to Eastern Europe is now locked in, because “Russia”. Neocon-think tank job security is now assured for another generation.

  3. Lars says:

    Modern economies are a whole lot more than raw materials, which is largely what Russia has and it does take tools to extract it, which Russia is dependent on Western technology to do. That has now been degraded and continues to do so.

    EU is capable of enduing more shocks than many expect and they have the resources to make up where Russia is trying to impact. The world economy moves around a lot more than it used to, as we saw when that was impacted by supply chain problems that are essentially now solved.

    But regarding Russia, a rigid top down system, which they have, is more fragile than an open one. While the material world matters, the psychological one does too and being isolated and facing economic degradation will eventually created more problems than the Russian government can handle and increased repression will cause even more resistance and further impact the economy.

    Putin made a mistake and a huge one. It is not clear that he either understands it, or will be able to do something about it. It has been talked about in these pages about a military culmination point. You will find the same in economic and social terms too and Russia is continuously getting neared to that point.

    • morongobill says:

      From this end, it looks like the Russian president is sitting in the catbird seat. We keep hearing a ton of negatives yet still the Russian forces keep going like the Energizer bunny, grinding down the Ukraine military.

  4. ed says:

    TTG – This is not to be disrespectful, but how would you respond, if and when the Russians were eventually to retaliate in force, destroy the Ukraine troops of this ‘counter-offensive’ and not only hold expected referenda in Lugansk, Donetsk, AND Zaporozhe (see Sergey Lavrov’s answer today on Russian TV), but also eventually in Kherson, Mikolaev, Odessa and Kharkov, resulting in an accession of those oblasts to the Russian Federation- such that further terrorist attacks in those regions would be regarded as attacks on Russia itself and justify converting the SMO into a counter-terrorism operation. The attack on Ukraine’s infrastructure last week may only have been to buy time to withdraw, but it was also as a ‘warning shot’, where the totality of Ukraine’s infrastructure could be destroyed within a short time.

    What I am suggesting may seem purely speculative, but my layman’s sense is that you have used your extensive military and intelligence experience in evaluating a temporary success of US and NATO military tactics, as opposed to a longer term strategy, or lack thereof, of the Ukrainian counter-offensive- and have relied primarily on information published by Ukraine, our Administration and the mainstream media, at least from what I am reading in your posts.

    Nor would I ignore Putin’s forecasts and warnings in his September 16th press conference in Uzbekistan, nor debunk the Russian military and its strategy as incompetent, nor fail to assess the Russian MOD’s estimate of Ukraine’s military losses, and their sustainability, notwithstanding active NATO training, supplies and on the ground involvement- i.e. NATO’s war.

    I’m not suggesting that this ‘war’ will be over soon, but I would not be overly optimistic about an apparent counter-offensive ‘success’.

    • TTG says:

      Ed,

      I fully expected Russia to occupy Kyiv, capture/kill the Ukrainian government or drive it into exile, and occupy all Ukraine east of the Dnipro long ago. The Kremlin expected a quick victory, as well.

      https://central.asia-news.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_ca/features/2022/03/02/feature-02

      Instead, they failed in all that. Now they lack the conventional military strength to achieve those goals. All claiming captured Ukrainian territory as Russian land will do is allow the Kremlin to legally send their conscripts onto ostensibly Russian territory. To most of the world it will be seen as a meaningless stunt. How many countries recognized the independent DNR and LNR?

      In your thought experiment, you ask me how I would respond if Russia did accomplish her war goals. I would expect Ukrainians to continue fighting in a war of national resistance and I would expect the West to continue supporting the Ukrainians in that war of resistance.

      Putin set 15 September as the date when his army was to conquer all the Donbas. He failed. That’s as much a military reality as Ukraine’s success in the recent Kharkiv offensive. You can’t ignore Russia’s military failures any more than you can ignore Ukraine’s military success. This will be a long war. I’m fairly certain it may last well past Christmas. But as time goes by, I am becoming more confident of a complete Ukrainian victory. That victory does not include the fall of Putin’s government, the collapse of the Russian Federation or any invasion of Russian territory. It does include all Russian troops out of all Ukrainian land.

      • blue peacock says:

        TTG

        Wouldn’t you expect a full mobilization by Putin now that he is set to annex the Donbass?

        How would you see the evolution of the war in such a situation?

        The west will not accept the annexation and will likely have to step-up the arms supply to include long-range missiles and possibly even combat aircraft.

        • TTG says:

          blue peacock,

          Putin’s speech tomorrow is supposed to be three hours long. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t involve a call for full mobilization. However, calling for full mobilization does not mean a full mobilization will happen. The Soviet mobilization system and infrastructure is gone. It was never maintained and nothing has been put in its place.

          I spent a year as an installation mobilization officer working with the STARC to develop those plans, arrange for all real estate, training, logistics and transportation resources to accomplish that mobilization. It’s no small task. Given the kleptocracy in the current Russian military and government circles, a full mobilization will be a nightmare more for Russia than Ukraine.

          • Bill Roche says:

            More men means more uniforms, food, fuel, vehicles, housing, medicine, ammo, weapons, TRAINING, officers, NCO’s, money, etc. Bringing 100M addl’l men to the field absent these will just get them killed which won’t play well at home. Yet Putin is willing to do this and risk public protest (it aint ’41 no more!) in order to wrest away Luhansk, Donestk, and Crimea (which he already had). But there was more. Putin was going to de-nazify Ukraine and restore dignity to Russian speakers of the Ukrainian east (or in his mind the Russian west?), so he invaded Ukraine. As they say on a NYC street corner, that boy be talkin shit, he jive talkin you! It was Putin’s opening gambit to restore the Russian Empire and it has gone badly. Ukrainians had bigger friends than Putin anticipated. Russia can’t ready new troops b/f February. Where will the war be then?

      • ed says:

        TTG, Thank you for your response. And thank you Col. Lang for allowing my opinion to be posted.

        TTG, your comments are well taken, but I do however, question the conclusions of your first paragraph. I am only a layman, not a military or geopolitical professional or expert- but just from evaluating open source materials, I did not think- nor do I now think- that Russia ever intended to kill or drive the Ukraine government into exile when it reached Kiev. I believed instead that their attack was only intended to obtain leverage for a negotiated settlement with the Zelensky government without a protracted war, which in fact was nearly achieved, until Boris Johnson rushed to Kiev and the US and UK leaned on Zelensky to void those negotiations, refuse further ones, and resort to a military solution. Killing the Ukrainian government or driving it into exile at that time would have been counter-productive to those objectives and the ability to avoid the war that it has become.

        And, when the agreement or negotiations broke down, it made no military sense for the Russians to remain in Kiev. After all, there was, I believe, at least a 1:3.5 land troop disadvantage for Russia.

        I also think we must be realistic as to what has happened in Ukraine and why, not just since this past February, but for the past 8 or 9 years, and for years prior to that, including 2008 when Bill Burns was US Ambassador to Russia and sent his ‘Nyet means Nyet’ cable explaining Russia’s opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine- and even further back to 1990 with the Gorbachev and Bush agreement allowing the reunification of Germany – and the now disputed quid pro quo that NATO not expand Eastward, that the Clinton and subsequent Administrations have ignored.

        I don’t disagree that the war will continue, perhaps for long time, or that there are ethnic Ukrainians who will be committed to fight on, or that the US, UK and other NATO nations will be actively involved, to the extent they can believe they can afford it, but we are also dealing with a Ukraine in which a significant population in the South and East of the country, where referenda are expected to take place, is ethnic Russian- a population that has been ethnically cleansed, and/or bombed on a daily basis for the past 8 years, after holding a referendum in 2014 expressing its support for its constitutionally elected president who had been removed in a violent coup, notwithstanding a German, French, Polish and written guaranty of a coalition government agreement one day prior to the coup. That population is also one that is committed to fight for their existence and rights.

        And let’s be realistic about the conduct and actions of the Ukraine government and NATO for that full period, creating existential threats not only to the ethnic Russian population, but to Russia itself. Long range missiles, whether or not they are called defensive, are also offensive existential threats. Nor, has NATO ever agreed to negotiate an enforceable security agreement for Europe, including Russia. (I would re-read Putin’s February 22nd and September 21st speeches for a better understanding of how Russia perceives its interests and their legitimacy.)

        IMHO, Ukraine could instead end up as a landlocked, neutral, rump State, with Poland and Hungary eventually creating pressure on Ukraine’s Western borders to protect or advance the rights of their own ethnic populations- and we may also see the US and German multinationals become impatient if they cannot develop the millions of hectares of land they now own or control under concessions granted by Ukraine, something impossible without a sustainable peace.

        All of this is speculative. Only time will tell. I hope good sense and a demand for peace, stability and prosperity will triumph over ideology.

  5. Leith says:

    Ukraine Army has been in Sviatogorsk (aka Sviatohirsk) in Donetz Oblast for three days or more now. There are videos online of of Ukrainian troops there enjoying captured bottles of Russian Beer with their lunch. Yarova is also in Donetz Oblast. There are two Bilohorivkas, one in Donetz Oblast the other in Luhansk Oblast, both reportedly have just been liberated.

    Plus Ukraine had not lost control of the Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Siversk, Bakhmut, Soledar, Avdiivka, Vuhledar regions, which comprise the preponderance of Donetsk Oblast. How can Putin hold a referendum in Donetz and Luhansk Oblasts if he does not control all their territory? Dumb question I know since he’ll hold it regardless and falsify results.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      Leith

      Mail-in ballots are popular these days I hear.

      As casus belli go this would be pretty innovative. Traditionally an invasion is accomplished by a neighboring state moving their army onto your territory. Here it looks like Russia will be ‘invaded’ by moving her territory underneath the neighboring state’s army.

    • Fred says:

      Leith,

      They stopped their advance when the Russians were on the run in a panic? Why, to have lunch with captured Russian beer? For three days?

      • jim ticehurst.. says:

        Yes…Have a Beer Party.. Gather tight…Smile..For the Drones..
        Saw that Picture before..Syria..
        JT

      • TTG says:

        Fred,

        The Ukrainian forces have to rest and refit. Some units must be rotated from the front line to do this. Prisoners and captured equipment must be processed. Civil authority must be reestablished and aid must be given to the liberated Ukrainians. That’s a full plate. I think they deserve a beer.

      • Leith says:

        Fred –

        Who said they stopped at Sviatogorsk? They continued on to take Yarova and chased even more Russians out of a piece of Luhansk Oblast.

      • cobo says:

        Fred

        You’ve heard the term ? butthurt – can’t you just get over it and continue to offer counterpoint analysis without going nuts

        • Fred says:

          cobo,

          Did you not read Col Lang’s comment from a couple of days ago that the Ukrainians shouldn’t stop? The “counter analysis” is that the Ukrainians have follow on forces to do all the POW processing and re-establishment of the civil authority. Have you forgotten TTGs analysis about the effectiveness of Russian armor in March/April which is now followed by the counter analysis (his) that the same grade of tanks captured in the last 3 days will re-equip the Ukrainians. Did you not remember my questions on why the Russians planted no mines in their front nor had patrols out to detect Ukrainian movement? Nor the questions from months ago about why the Russians had not fielded their own commando teams deeper inside Ukraine? I am not sorry my questions bother you. TLDR is not technically accurate, but I think you’ll find the DR part works wonders.

          • cobo says:

            Fred,

            I’ve tracked all of that. Either it is complete corruption and incompetence in Russia, or its Pooteen’s relationship with Klaus Schwab and 64 dimensional chess. The latter is certainly more fun, but it looks like the former.

  6. Sam says:

    Let me get this straight:
    1. Russia thought their “special operation” would last 3 days.
    2. After 2 months of fighting with Spetsnaz, Airborne & 190+ BTGs, they achieved NONE of their Strategic, Operational or Tactical Objectives.
    3. Based on #2, they decided to shift their main effort to the Donbas, where they expended 70+% of their precision munitions hitting civilian targets, while failing to gain any significant military objectives.
    4. Then, Putin announced RUF would secure Luhans’k & Donetsk by 15 September.
    5. RU “mobilized”. the LPR & DPR militias, “recruited” prisoners, “drafted” locals, asked for soldiers from other countries & brought in the Wagner Group to execute #4.
    6. But, after announcing & then delaying the Kherson referendum & under threat of a UKR offensive in Kherson…

    https://twitter.com/markhertling/status/1572295602590912513?s=21

    I have no expertise in military matters, so my comment should be taken with a grain of salt. Prior to the invasion of Ukraine my perception was the Russian military had great strength and some claimed superior weapons than the US. I recall how Larry Johnson, Patrick Armstrong and others stopped posting here as Col. Lang and TTG started to provide contrary analysis to the consensus that the Russian military would steamroll Ukraine. I recall reading about cauldrons and how the Ukrainian forces were trapped and would be finished in days. I also recall reading how the Russian military would be in Kyiv within days and Zelensky would flee. This was the consensus opinion.

    The reality has turned out quite different. Kudos to Col. Lang and TTG for having the conviction to buck the consensus and analyze the situation much more correctly. The “b” @Moon of Alabama and other perennial anti-Americans have become a parody as they whip up new excuses for Russian military failure and then provide the hopium for the upcoming unleashing of the awesome power of the Russian military and Putin’s 64D stratagery. They’ve been in this loop for months.

    I have seen on this blog over the years so many correspondents write doom for the US, the collapse of the dollar, the “petrodollar” conundrum, etc which I always found hilarious since none of these economic doom theories were grounded in how the global trading and financial system actually operates.

    IMO, the European economic catastrophe prognosticators will be proven wrong. The European countries are not going to collapse nor are the vast majority of their citizens gonna freeze and starve to death this winter. This is a classic example of hopium as analysis. The Europeans have the financial resources and the ability to weather the costly transition from Russian energy. This transition will be challenging in the short term but their energy companies will not be allowed to collapse as the governments will intervene and provide not only financial backing with cash but also credit guarantees. Some firms may even be nationalized in the short term.

    What has been surprising to me is the resilience and tenacity of the Ukrainian military. Cobbling together a force with arms from so many different countries and now kicking some ass of the “super power” Russian military. This is strategically significant and I don’t believe many truly objective analysts get it yet. The global military power equations are not what they were 8 months ago.

  7. jld says:

    “Larry Johnson, Patrick Armstrong and others stopped posting here”
    What most surprises me is the disappearance of Philip Giraldi.

  8. Matthew says:

    I love reading TTG’s posts and then comparing them to Col. Douglas McGregor’s comments. By the end of this war, one of these retired soldiers is going to be look very bad.

    Let’s see which one it is.

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