” … the pleas of Russia’s captured pilots.”

The “penitents”

“On Thursday, though, Ukrainian defence officials released footage of a group of Russian tanks that tried to storm their way into the north-east suburb of Brovary the day before. The footage showed the group – which included vehicles carrying thermobaric weapons – being hit by Ukrainian drone missiles as they drove down a motorway. At least four of the 20-odd vehicles were crippled by huge explosions, with the rest of them then driving around in disarray. A senior Russian colonel was said to be among the casualties.

The fact that the tanks were even driving in formation along an open road has surprised Western military experts. Russian forces, they say, still seem to think they can roll into Kyiv unopposed, despite being beaten back several times already by their Ukrainian foes.”

“”You would only group in that way if you felt relatively secure from attack,” Air Marshal Philip Osborn, a British military expert, told Sky News. “This video proves that was a misjudgment.”

George Barros, a researcher with the US-based Institute for the Study of War, said the Kremlin had assigned “suboptimal units” so far to taking Kyiv. “The Russians took some of the worst units of the Russian army, arrayed them in a poor way, and told them to waltz into Kyiv,” he added.

In Brovary on Friday, smoke could still be seen drifting up from the vanquished tanks, while an acrid burning smell hung in the air. Ukrainian forces blocked off the road several miles from the attack site, saying the area was unsafe to visit.

In the rest of Brovary, life continued in many ways as normal, with shoppers browsing at supermarkets that remained well-stocked with food. Along the main highways, large defences were being erected, with emplacements being dug for tanks and militiamen filling up sandbags. However, the exodus of people from the city – which saw huge queues of traffic fleeing in the first few days – now seems if anything to have reversed.”

Comment: The Rooshians are a mess. Why they would have used poor quality troop units for a job like this is a mystery. pl

‘Do not invade Kyiv, we have already lost this war’: the pleas of Russia’s captured pilots (telegraph.co.uk)

This entry was posted in Russia, The Military Art. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to ” … the pleas of Russia’s captured pilots.”

  1. Polish Janitor says:

    “George Barros, a researcher with the US-based Institute for the Study of War, said the Kremlin had assigned “suboptimal units” so far to taking Kyiv. “The Russians took some of the worst units of the Russian army, arrayed them in a poor way, and told them to waltz into Kyiv,” he added”.

    So based on this assumption, Russia is bogged down due to the combination of miscalculation/bad planning, allocation of “suboptimal units”, and continued dismissal of Ukrainian resistance and will to fight back. I disagree. I believe this is the best that Russia can do and it is at display for everyone to see. She cannot do anything more. I’d assume a big chunk of the budget that was supposed to be allocated for military modernization under Shoigu found its way to Swiss banks, private jets, luxury yachts, soccer clubs etc… The Ukrainian resistance even shocked the U.S. and EU to the point that they finally decided to help the little guy out against the Russian behemoth. I mean, it literally would be the definition of insanity to do things the same way and expect different results in the case of Russian current invasion strategy! What else is left for Russia to do now to tip the scale? It’s now the most-sanctioned country in the world by far (surpassing Iran and N.Korea) with 5600 sanctions and counting.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      RF is a state run by the Security forces, not the military, who are kept down and intimidated systematically. Read Kiril Glazeev on Twitter: @kamilkazani
      He has awesome threads replete with info on the horror of their military.
      Generals who prove competent during an active shooting war are eliminated when the war is over, bc their soldiers have become, during combat operations, conditioned to automatically obeying them. Thus they are a threat to political leadership and eliminated.



      Why is the Ru army so weak?
      See thread:

      • Polish Janitor says:

        Thank you very much. Just started reading the verrrrry long thread “Why is Russian army so weak”. Again I cannot stress this important fact enough that before this (historic!)Ukraine blunder, Putin’s Russia was perceived at being adept at converting military successes to (geo-)political power. It amazing how the massive misperception of Russian mighty military machine has collapsed and that reality has finally emerged at the end of the day. One may wonder whether or not it is applicable to China as well.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Careful jumping to conclusions. It’s bad because of the mendacity of that sector of their society and especially the abuse of the military by the secret police state. And that they still have a carry over from earlier times whereby the value of a human life is zero to the officers of the police state and military. Ever read General William Odom’s book on the disintegratation of the Soviet military? Heartrending. If you can find Glazeev’s Twitter thread on the catastrophe of the VDV paratrooper battalion (the heavies who wear the talyonishkas – striped blue and white undershirts — turns out they are strictly for show, for intimidation, but were sent in sent in early in this campaign with the idea that the Ukrainians would be so frightened they’d give up) your mind will be blown halfway to Mars. It’s so incredible that it forces you to doubt the source (obviously Glazeev isn’t happy about the corruption he described). But it dovetails with so many stories of Russian brutality, neglect and borderline insanity in their military annals. Finnish war of 1939. Disaster of early Barbarossa. First Chechen war. Horrors of battle of Berlin – vicarious, thoughtless waste of human life, their own. It pains me to mention it all. There’s so much I love about the Russians.

  2. Whitewall says:

    “The Russians took some of the worst units of the Russian army…” Is it normal for a major military power to allow anything like ‘worst units’ to even exist? Well stocked supermarkets are located nearby…amazing!

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    At the end of the Telegraph article Lt Col Krishtop (in the center of the picture above) is quoted as saying the following:

    “We have attacked our brother people for not [sic] logical reason, and with no provocation – the consequences of this barbaric action will be with us for generations”

    It is interesting to compare this sentiment with a change in Russian domestic propaganda 2 weeks in. In his piece yesterday, Gilbert Doctorow again analyzed the Russian talk show Evening With Vladimir Solovyov last broadcast on March 9th. Doctorow cites the views of one of the contributors:

    In Shakhnazarov’s view, the result of watching scenes of damage to civilian quarters in Ukrainian cities and scenes of refugees en marche were awakening the long inculcated antiwar sentiments of various strata of the Russian population and setting the stage for civil disorder if the war is not wound down in the coming two weeks or so and instead goes on for months

    I have read elsewhere that another of the shows guests called for an end to the war too. Is the ground being prepared for Putin to declare ‘mission accomplished’ in this unwinnable war in the not too distant future? I wonder what the minimum criteria are for a ‘victory’ to be claimed by Russia – perhaps the extermination of the Azov Battalion in Mariupol and annexation of a land corridor to Crimea. There seems little chance of Kyiv being subdued by force, especially by poor quality troops. Might Zelensky be tempted by a negotiated settlement? Doing so with an undefeated army which has withstood the Russian invader will surely cement his place in the history books. Conversely, Putin’s place there has never looked more precarious.


    • Jimmy_w says:

      Destruction of Ukrainian tank inventory is probably part of the minimum acceptable outcome.

      • Peter Hug says:

        Well, my minimum acceptable outcome for going in to work on Monday is for someone to deposit a million dollars in my bank account. Both these outcomes will only occur by actually making them happen yourself. I’m working (slowly) on the million dollar bit. It’s not clear that Putin is working very effectively on the Ukrainian tank inventory – my calculations suggest that they probably now have more than they started with, and I think they’ve traded a bunch of T-64s for T-72 and later.

        I really think his minimum actually achievable outcome is getting worse every day.

    • Polish Janitor says:

      I don’t think Putin could ever declare “mission accomplished” after all the crap Russia has been through e.g. sanctions, isolation, negative global perception, being revealed as yet another petty midget-sized warmonger with unnaturally high ambition, etc. Additionally, in the case of the Iraq war the Bush admin. had to ‘sell’ the idea to the public because the American political system required it do so. But in the case of Putin, as an authoritarian who gives zero crap about public opinion, it is do or die. I believe there is no way Putin will be able to get himself out of this disaster without paying a huge price for it or inflicting massive damage to his adversaries. I’d be watching my back if I were Putin (God forbids!), as there are a lot of very angry and ruthless billionaire oligarchs who have lost and still are losing millions each day the war drags on. It is also interesting that he knows exactly how low the Russian troop morale has sunk so he decides to unleash Muslim jihadis and militias belonging to the ‘Resistance Front’ into Ukraine to fix this issue.

    • Bill Roche says:

      I see little chance that Kiev w/n be subdued by force, this becomes a siege. The citizens/soldiers of Kiev w/b the ones doing most of the suffering, NATO calvary’s not on the way, and food and supplies will run out. On the flip side, Putin’s 40 mile column can be attacked by rocket but is not threatened by air strikes. Ukrainian flanking assault doesn’t seem to stop it and there is no attack on the rear that I have read reported. It will arrive at Kiev. Ukrainians have given Russia the deepest cut; denial, rejection, disgust. I see no reason for Ukrainian optimism and hope Zelinsky will treat for the best deal possible.

  4. Fred says:

    Two obvious questions. First, where are the good Russian units?
    Second, if this is true:
    “supermarkets that remained well-stocked with food.”
    are their prices as high as ours?

  5. The irony is the greatest danger to the West are its own sanctions. As my father liked to say, “Owe the bank a hundred dollars and you are in trouble. Owe the bank a million dollars and the bank is in trouble.”
    When all is said and done, the Russians are still sitting on some of the largest energy and mineral reserves and the largest amount of land. If climate change happens as forecast, their greatest long term challenge will be Chinese moving north.
    As Nietzsche said, “What doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger.”
    Europe is still probably screwed.

  6. Fourth and Long says:

    I think the committee here should read this by Gav Dan, a former British military professional and now consultant and writer. He’s revisiting his earlier prognostications and acknowledging error. But has very valuable info and he’s smart. In fact if he’s on the money here, it is urgently necessarily to consider his presentation.

    Eastern Ukraine has almost completely fallen, but Putin now needs a peace, fast.


    • Rob Waddell says:

      Yes, mandatory reading. A non-biased view of the beginning, present and possible end of this conflict.

      And a serious warning; “Scariest of all each passing days contains (and increases) the risk that some event (most likely a false flag “chemical attack” arranged by Washington but attributed to Russia) pushes the peoples of Europe, the UK and the USA over the brink of active participation, to a full-blown Nato declaration of war. We can already see US news channels and government spokespeople, supported by UK sources, working to manufacture consent for that based on a chemical attack.”

      I believe that western propaganda has already ‘softened us up” for that scenario. A TVNZ reporter on the news last night said “(paraphrased) Russia is very likely to use chemical weapons as they did in the Syrian conflict..”. IMO an outright lie but easily believed by the general public.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Thanks for summarizing it better than I could. It’s fully as chilling in my opinion as Barbara Ann says below.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      Fourth and Long

      From Gav Don’s piece; “If he listens carefully Mr Putin will be able to hear the knives being sharpened in and around the Kremlin”. Yup. This invasion was worse than a crime, it was a mistake. Putin and Russia itself will be fortunate to survive it. If the author is right about the possibility of a chemical attack false flag we will all be fortunate to survive it. The neocons can smell blood in their forever war on Russia and none of them appear to appreciate what ‘winning’ will look like. Hint; there may be no one around to witness it.

      • Rick Merlotti says:

        This might be the cataclysm that kills off most of Homo Sapiens, as the cycle of Atlantis-like civilizational extinction events happen again, same as it ever was. Future archeology will study the mysterious disappearance of the lost world of America, wiped out by a huge asteroid of their own making.

        Or maybe this is the birth of a multi-polar world and a chance to de-couple nation states from the globalist agenda of Neo-feudalism. I hope to still be around to see the denouement of this cosmic Act III of the clever primates’ struggle to understand WTF is going on and why.

      • Ishmael Zechariah says:

        Barbara Ann,
        Two comments:
        1-re: “This invasion was worse than a crime, it was a mistake.”
        IMO Messrs Putin, Lavrov and Shoigu would have been delinquent in their fiduciary duty to Russia had they not attacked as they did. The UAF was ready to act as the tip of the Western spear. Now the crack corps of UAF are (almost) encircled. It will be interesting to see their equipment once they surrender.
        2-re: “The neocons can smell blood in their forever war on Russia and none of them appear to appreciate what ‘winning’ will look like. Hint; there may be no one around to witness it.”
        Perhaps the neocons have COVID and lost their sense of smell :). Contemplating the loss of all that investment in time and money must hurt. Being impotent they can only resort to name calling:
        IMO Russia got into this game fully cognizant of where it might ultimately lead. Folks here have been speculating where the Russian crack troops are, and why their best equipment have not been used. Perhaps these will take the stage if there is a second act. The Russians have been commenting on TEOTWAWKI for a while. For example:
        Interesting times.
        Ishmael Zechariah

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Well said, Ishmael. I am glad you have not drunk the Kool Aid.

        • Pat Lang says:

          IZ et al
          I doubt if there are “better troops” in any sense that matters.

          • TTG says:

            I’ll second that comment. We’ve seen Russia’s best equipment captured or burning on Ukrainian roads. Everything short of the Armata line, which is really still in development. Some of Russia’s crack troops are also already in Ukraine. Multiple sources have reported that Ukrainian forces recently knocked out the whole command of one of the Russian 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade BTGs in an ambush. This unit was part of the little green men in Crimea in 2014 as well as taking part in several Donbas battles.

          • morongobill says:

            You may be right Colonel. But nothing stiffens the spine of a Russian soldier more than invaders crossing into Mother Russia.

          • Pat Lang says:

            They have not.

      • Fred says:

        Barbara Ann,

        When they are done with Russia they will turn on the Americans that don’t kneel in submission. Trump’s treatment was just a warning to all who dare oppose the borg and their domestic allies.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          The [what should be] obvious logical problem for the war hawks here is that if what they have been saying (the is Russia’s best) is true, then Russia isn’t a military threat to Europe at all. In fact, Russia is a paper bear that will be bogged down in UKR until ultimately destroyed. Any plans for world domination will stop a few miles outside of their own border. All those $ billions ($trillions?) in NATO and DoD budgets were based on a paranoid fantasy level assessment of Russia’s capabilities and represents wasted money.

          The only threat then that Russia poses is nuclear. One might think then that the best strategy for the US is to let UKR and Russia fight it out to Russia’s inevitable destruction and for the US to stay out of the picture so as not to risk Russia going nuclear. Also, the US govt should be working to keep NATO out of the picture as well for the same reason. The US govt’s first duty is the security of the American people, not Ukrainians.

          • Pat Lang says:

            I agree with all that, and IMO the UKR and Russia are going to fight it out for a long time whether with conventional forces or by guerrilla ar on the UKR side. Since that is likely so, I would continue to hope that a presidential finding has been signed to establish COVERT aid to UKR with maximum plausible deniability.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Col Lang,
            But that covert aid MUST be truly covert. The weapons should be non-US manufacture, better yet, they should be Russian weapons gathered from other parts of the world. That shouldn’t need to be said. It should be implied in the term “covert”, but I worry about some bonehead bureaucrat type getting it wrong.

          • Pat Lang says:

            We actually know how to do covert actions and have done them many times with maximum deniability. Maybe you think I am a “bonehead bureaucrat” but I have been involved in such things.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Clo Lang,
            I just posted a comment (don’t know if it went through, poor internet connection) wherein I said that covert MUST mean truly covert. Then I realized that you covered that in your own comment with “maximum plausible deniability”. Just acknowledging that you already said it.

            Anyhow, where we disagree is that IMO, Russia is still doing invasion lite on purpose, though they appear to be ramping up to something more traditional and heavy. I think the Russians are far more capable than you and some others here believe. Time will tell.

          • Pat Lang says:

            The way you make the project deniable is for its basic rules to be stated in the presidential documents creating it. IOW you put it in a box that bureaucrats fear to violate.

  7. Lars says:

    After reading all kinds of speculations, many derived from military experience, it appear to me that the Russian military is in trouble and about to get worse if they enter into urban warfare. On the political home front, I see younger people objecting, but older people, who endured the Soviet Union, is developing a bunker mentality. The problem with that, as I see it, modern Russia is coming to a standstill and I have a hard time not considering that to be significant. I am also a firm believer in tipping points and how that can have a serious impact on society and I think there is one in the Russian future and it may not be that far away. The main problem is that it may not be a good development. The problem with a guy on a white horse riding to the rescue is still a concern, even if Putin is deposed of. I have long held the view that the Soviet Union was not as much a threat for ideological reason as much as they were for being Russians. The idea of dominance has been around for a very long time and it has not gone away. Putin miscalculated and allowed to much corruption that is now being laid open in his military that is being asked to do things it appears it is not capable of. That means that we still face considerable danger and unknown results. To me, the only actors who can change the trajectory are the Russian security services and nobody today know where they stand.

  8. plantman says:

    I find myself alone on this blog thinking that Putin not only did the right thing, but did the same thing the United States would have done if confronted with a similar threat in its immediate neighborhood.

    I also think that the battle on the ground is being won convincingly. Here’s what former Marine Scott Ritter said in an interview the other day:

    “The media says the invasion is not going according to plan. ….. (But) the rate of advance of the Russian offensive is faster than the German Blitzkrieg in WW2. So when people say, “This is too slow”. No, this is the fastest advance in history. …. The Ukrainians are putting up a very solid fight, but they are losing, and they are losing decisively…. Sooner or later, there will be large-scale surrenders as they are given a choice between surrender or death.” Scott Ritter, Former weapons inspector and ex-Marine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BE2uobFCCk&t=11s

    Obviously, my views are very much in the minority, but I’ll stick with them.

    • Jovan P says:

      That’s my view also. Although it’s sad, because this tragic war was avoidable.

      • fakebot says:


        On this point I think there needs to be some nuance. Many of us here are mature and rational enough to see where Russia is coming from and can grasp the logic behind why they chose to invade. Whether we agree with that justification or not is a matter of ethics and pathos, not reason.

        That said, I’m of the opinion, and maybe you share this with me, that things could have been handled better by all sides involved to have avoided these circumstances. No one is blameless, not Ukraine, not the US, not Europe and not Russia. I think everyone has failed to have allowed circumstances to have arrived to this point.

        And in saying, special consideration must be put to Ukraine. None are made to suffer those consequences more than they. Our greatest sympathies rightfully belong with them.

        Also I don’t think it’s a coincidence Russia didn’t invade while Trump was president. Not because Trump was a puppet or because Trump was tough, like he claims himself, but because Russia felt they could legitimately work out some kind of deal with Trump.

    • morongobill says:

      Lars, I share your view.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      You are not alone. I agree.

      IMO, Russia was pushed into making the tough decision to invade UKR because UKR was being used as a proxy by the forever war crowd in the US, which has long wanted to destroy Russia for various reasons. The Russian wouldn’t be the men they thought they were had they not responded as they did.

      The Russians avoided the “shock and awe” tactics that the US would have used, destroying much infrastructure and killing many UKR troops and civilians. Avoiding shock and awe slowed the Russian advance and resulted in higher Russian casualties. I admire the Russians for attempting to minimize the death destruction and death of their UKR brothers and sisters. However, now they are beginning to lean more toward traditional artillery and CAS softening of UKR targets in order to expedite victory. Doesn’t play well on the news reels in the west, but does bring Russia closer to achieving their objectives.

      • Pat Lang says:

        IMO the Russians somehow deluded themselves into believing that they would be greeted as liberators and that is why they went easy on the fire support at first.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Col Lang,
          Yes. I think you’re right; they did. I also think Russia believed that UKR would accept surrender terms at some point early on, especially if a substantial portion of the UKR people were friendly to the invading Russian troops and there was a long column poised to take on Kiev. Those terms probably involved an autonomous Donbas, some reaffirmation of the agreement on Crimea belonging to Russia and something about UKR never joining NATO.

          That avenue to a cease fire has passed. Now Russia must pull out all of the stops and win decisively.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        The whole brother nation stuff is total BS. You cannot force your brother to be free and if you try he will inevitably grow to hate you. Yet this simple truism still hasn’t dawned on much of the pro Russia crowd. Here is Gilbert Doctorow today on the war aim of “denazification”:

        It means bringing into play Ukrainian Russian-speaking civil society, which has been cowed into submission by eight years of terror inflicted by radical bully boys across the country, so that identification and court proceedings against neo-Nazis and nationalist gangsters proceed without Russian participation. The whole educational system in Ukraine must be reformed to replace the hate literature that currently fills the classrooms and libraries in the guise of textbooks is purged. All of this requires a more comprehensive and effective outreach to the Ukrainian public than the Russian leadership has demonstrated in its conduct of the war till now

        It requires pretty high levels of cognitive dissonance to think that a fratricidal war will fix anti-Russian bias in the education system. I’m pretty certain the “eight years of terror” visited on the poor oppressed Ukrainians never involved a foreign power leveling Ukrainian cities or freezing & starving its citizens to death. And “outreach to the Ukrainian public” – does this guy hear himself? When this is all over the only outreach a Russian in Ukraine is going to get is a smack in the mouth.

        I had plenty of sympathy for Russia in the lead up to the war and I reserved judgment for the first few days in case we did see mass defections from the Ukrainian armed forces. But instead it soon became apparent that it was the Ukrainians who were the men the Russians thought they weren’t.

        As I said above, the invasion has proved to be worse than a crime. Doctorow actually recognizes this in the title of his article. The invasion has given the Russia hawks everything they could ever have dreamed of. Russia is denazifying Ukraine by destroying it (and it is thereby destroying itself). The neocons will do everything in their power to make sure this goes on as long as possible.


  9. Polly says:

    I agree with Ishmael, Plantman, Jovan, & Fred, too. I think the Biden syndicate prodded Russia to defend itself by refusing to assure Russia of the obvious truth: Ukraine could never join NATO, any more than the US could allow Soviet nukes in Cuba, Mexico, or Canada.

    Biden, Inc, craves war for profit & a distraction from the con-job of the US Wuhan lab-created Covid & its harmful but profitable Shot (not “Vaccination,” bc real Vaxes work).

    • Leith says:

      Polly –

      Putin already knows that Ukraine can never join NATO. His whining about Ukraine joining NATO is a strawman to justify his invasion.

      And Zelenskyy said publicly just recently that Ukraine would NOT try to join NATO.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        How would Putin know that? Why can’t UKR “ever” join NATO? Big assumptions on your part. The US invaded Iraq in 2003 on the “1% doctrine”. Why the double standards? Yes, I know that two wrongs don’t make a right, but there is a standard out there set by the US. The US seems to me to be capricious in its international rules and standards. Therefore, UKR in NATO seems even more likely to be something the US would do on a whim. At least that is how Putin must see it.

        • Pat Lang says:

          EN The British Empire in the 19th Century was similarly capricious. IMO this was because of fluctuating policy in UK governments resulting from electoral results.

        • Leith says:

          EN –

          It was common knowledge that NATO did not grant membership to countries that have Russian military forces or separatist military within their internationally recognized borders Ukraine had a chance to join prior to the annexation of Crimea and the violent breakaway of the LNR and DNR. But not after that.

          Same thing for Georgia. In 2008 Russia’s President, Dmitri Medvedev, even thanked the Russian troops in the South Ossetian breakaway that because of them being there Georgia would not be able to join NATO.

          Ditto for Moldova who also had sought membership. Russian troops in the separatist enclave of Transnistria killed any chance of their joining.

          But now after Putin’s invasion, UKR may well get NATO status. She was just approved for EU membership I understand. The EU had been stalling UKR membership for a long time because of fear of Putin’s wrath. No more though, Putin has done it to himself.

  10. Polly says:

    The cowardly Victoria Nuland (& the Kagans), John McCain, & Lyndsey Graham toppled the elected Viktor Yanukovych & stuck in their “Yats is the guy” Yatsenyuk so they & other NeoCon-NeoLibs family gangs like the Bidens & Clintons could plunder Ukraine, turning a fertile “breadbasket” into Europe’s poorest state.
    & Now we know of another motive: the 26 US bio-labs.

    • Pat Lang says:

      IMO the biolabs thing is a big nothing. I would have to see proof that these labs were doing anything sinister.

      • Polly says:

        Thanks, wise Colonel: I respect your wish for proof, & yet I’d be aghast if the US Gov put nukes on my border.

        Once upon a time, I’d a friend who studied for a PhD in International Law just because he was so scared by the danger of atomic war.

        Ever after, I’ve felt that fear–and now much more with all Biden’s rankly political appointees: selfish, shallow, & “woke”: wholly fanatical & vowing never even to glimpse anyone else’s views or needs.
        Like Biden the Bribed, they’re egotists & criminally stupid.

Comments are closed.