The Russian view of HIMARS – TTG

Here’s Igor Girkin’s take on HIMARS

12:28PM, 10 July 2022

Today at 5AM and (again) 10AM the enemy carried out powerful missile strikes in Kherson. A day before similar strikes were carried out at Novokakhovska hydro power plant.

15:47PM, 10 July 2022

The enemy continues with powerful missile strikes in Donbas.

Most likely, the Russian air defence which previously relatively (quite relatively) coped with the attacks with “Tochka-U” and “Uragan” turned out largely ineffective against massive strikes of HIMARS missiles. Today once again burning and detonating is Shakhtersk. Worse than last time.

In the past 5-7 days over 10 large artillery and other munitions stockpiles were hit, several oil depots, around 10 command points and roughly as many personnel locations in our near and far rears. In addition to several air defence and artillery positions. This resulted in LARGE losses in personnel and equipment.

P.S. I am not writing this to inform ukrs *Ukrainians* about the effectiveness of their strikes – they know it better and earlier than me. And not to “gloat” (which all kinds of pseudo-patriotic scum accuses me of). But to ask one single question:

WHEN WILL THE RF AF START FIGHTING WITH FULL FORCE? I.e. when will destructive strikes be carried out at the transport system of the so-called “ukraine”, using which all these HIMARS, “777”, “Caesars” (and ammunitions for them) are safely brought unhindered to the combat zone?

Asking for maximum repost. I don’t need it. I’m not (yet) in the danger of the enemy missile strike.

Another Russian war blogger, Roman Saponikov shared his thoughts on HIMARS on his 25k+ telegram channel.

As it happened yesterday I observed the strike of HIMARS at Chernobayevka, Kherson, almost in front of my eyes. I’ve been under shelling many times, but what struck me was that the whole pack, 5 or 6 rockets, landed almost into a penny. Usually MLRS fall over large areas, and at maximum distance scatter in a fan-like manner. It makes quite an impression, can’t argue with that. Especially when later that day on a trip along our way we saw cluster “Uragan’s” fall around 500m from us. It scatted over a large area, unexploded missiles remained stuck in the fields. After the Americans this doesn’t look serious. The area was later shelled with howitzers, also missed. If it was HIMARS, it would have been covered completely from the first go. So this thing is good.

I see an unhealthy panic in social media following the results of the first strikes. Obviously, this is just the beginning. They will hit Kherson and other border cities. Belgorod included. They will shell all checkpoints and military facilities, data on which have been collected over the past 4 months. But I am sure response measures will be taken, for instance with the constant duty of AWACS aircraft, I hope they can detect something. There is no single wunderwaffe that allows to win a war. For example, try remembering the stories about the wonderful electronic warfare tool which, if all of our media was to be believed, shut down all systems of USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea, and American sailors shat their pants. However, the reality turned out to be somewhat different.

And finally, the decently influential Russian commentator Dmitriyev (100k+ telegram followers) on why suggested solutions to Ukrainian missile strikes are fruitless.

Another thing regarding the effectiveness of Ukrainian rocket strikes. Many write about how to minimise losses from them. Aside from strengthening air defence it is suggested to disperse ammunition storages, avoid bringing armoured vehicles to one base, avoid lining up helicopters in one line, and decentralise everything in general. But you see what the problem is – you can decentralise, but this will be a completely different army, not the Russian-Soviet army. Decentralisation is contrary to the structure of not just the army itself but the whole state structure in general. Indeed, along with distribution of ammunitions to different stockpiles, along with moving vehicles to various forests, also the powers must be transferred down – to these forests and stockpiles. But these powers for hundreds of years have been carefully focused in one location. And that is how the authority preserved itself. But here – decentralisation. This is worse than military losses.

Comment: Not much else to say beyond what these three bolskeviki said. These translations are provided by Dmitri, an Estonian living in South West London. He maintains a website at

ISW is reporting that another Russian milblogger, Rybar, claims that the Russian MOD is getting sorely annoyed with these Slavic nattering nabobs of negativism and will probably start reigning them in. ISW is bemoaning this possible loss of Russian sources.


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54 Responses to The Russian view of HIMARS – TTG

  1. Babeltuap says:

    Have to get in between the belt buckle and the skin. They can’t do it so the bombing will continue and the retreating will continue. Slow methodical push. Going to go on for years.

  2. Al says:

    From The “D” Brief, Defense One, today:

    New: The Pentagon is sending Ukraine another four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, along with a few tactical vehicles, a thousand rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, “demolition munitions,” counter-battery systems, and more. The Defense Department announced the new transfers in a statement Friday, which put the cost of the items at about $400 million—and that brings the total costs of all transfers during the Biden administration to about $8 billion.

    The M142 HIMARS have been a “game changer,” Ukraine’s military chief, Oleksei Reznikov told the Wall Street Journal Sunday in Kyiv. But: “We need more. We need it quickly” because “the war is grim,” he told the Journal’s Vivian Salama.
    Disinfo watch: “I know there’s been some Russian reports that they have destroyed Ukrainian HIMARS systems; [but] that is not correct,” a Pentagon official said Friday. “And the ones that have already been provided are fully accounted for, the Ukrainians are still using them in the fight.” With this latest addition, the U.S. will have sent a dozen HIMARS to Kyiv’s forces; eight are already in-country.

    About the incoming U.S. artillery ammo: It’s an improved kind that’s headed to Ukraine, a Pentagon official told reporters Friday. “It has greater precision” and “will save ammunition,” the official said, “so it’s a further evolution in our support for Ukraine in this battle in [eastern Ukraine’s] Donbass” region. (These could be Excalibur rounds. Former U.S. Navy explosives technician John Ismay of the New York Times asked U.S. officials about it, but they declined to say.)

    The Pentagon’s message to Moscow: “If the Russians think they can outlast the Ukrainians, they need to rethink that,” a defense official said Friday, “because this effort—we are already pivoting towards thinking about what the Ukrainians will need in the months and years ahead.” Another Pentagon official told reporters the flow of U.S. arms to Ukraine “is a steady drumbeat now and it is a long-term commitment…So we’ll be ready for whatever the experts tell us is required for the battlefield. And if there is a peak or an ebb or flow I’m sure we’ll work that in.”

    Russian military strikes are gradually widening across Ukraine’s Donetsk region as Moscow’s invading forces continue to flatten and prepare to occupy more land. It’s day 138 of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion, and his patchwork of soldiers are temporarily exhausted, but their officers show no signs of stopping the wider war anytime soon. Indeed, Putin just signed a decree on Monday fast-tracking Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians, not just those living in currently occupied lands like the Luhansk oblast and the Crimean peninsula, according to Russian state-run media TASS.

    Pentagon officials say they assume Russia’s military plans to subjugate all of Ukraine. That assumption was reconfirmed just a few short days after Russian officials indicated the same, as we explained in the top of last Wednesday’s newsletter. “The specific military objectives were—as I said at the outset—to move to Kyiv, to overthrow the government and control it,” the U.S. defense official said Friday. “I think the objective remains the same, which is to prevent the existence of a sovereign, independent Ukraine. It’s just the specific military objectives have shifted as they failed in that initial take on it and you know, I don’t think those political objectives have changed; it’s the military means or operations have.”
    Update: Russia is jamming the heck out of drones that the U.S. and allies have sent Ukraine, Defense Minister Reznikov said in that interview with the Journal. But overall, the war has settled into the long-range artillery that observers and U.S. officials predicted moving into the summer. Cities closer to Russia, like Kharkiv and Izyum, e.g., are getting hit particularly hard by Russian rockets and artillery. “Our antimissile systems can fight with their ballistic and cruise missiles—it’s not 100% but we can get them,” Reznikov said. “But we cannot close the sky against their MLRSs,” he added. A separate strike Saturday in the Donetsk city of Chasiv Yar has killed at least 24 people so far, according to Ukrainian officials. Carlotta Gall of the New York Times has more, reporting on location, here; Reuters has still more, here.
    Otherwise, a “theater-wide operational pause” remains in effect for Russia, which means artillery and long-range strikes are still taking place, but ground offensives appear to have temporarily stopped, according to the analysts at the Institute for the Study of War, writing Sunday evening. Meanwhile, “Russian military leadership continues to form ad hoc volunteer units and private military company combat organizations partly comprised of older men and criminals to support operations in Ukraine,” which underscores some of the broader personnel problems outsiders have assumed Moscow is working through.
    About Putin’s personnel crunch: “[T]he Kremlin is relying on a combination of impoverished ethnic minorities, Ukrainians from the separatist territories, mercenaries and militarized National Guard units to fight the war, and promising hefty cash incentives for volunteers,” Neil MacFarquhar of the New York Times reported this weekend, leaning into the work of independent Russian analyst Kamil Galeev.
    The British military elaborated slightly in its latest battlefield update Monday morning, which emphasized that the apparent “lack of scheduled breaks from intense combat conditions is highly likely one of the most damaging of the many personnel issues the Russian [military] is struggling to rectify amongst the deployed force.”

    The M142 HIMARS have been a “game changer,” Ukraine’s military chief, Oleksei Reznikov told the Wall Street Journal Sunday in Kyiv. But: “We need more. We need it quickly” because “the war is grim,” he told the Journal’s Vivian Salama.

    • Fred says:


      ” It’s day 138 of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion, and…”
      The authors failed to mention how the economies of NATO countries are doing. Germany is rationing fuel, the Dutch have a mini-Sri Lankan style protest, which the Germans are also joining, Boris is out, Germany’s ex-Chancellor Schroeder refuses to distance himself from Putin (quoting Reuters), Ukraine fired 5 of their own ambassadors, Poland is still refusing to make the Euro their currency, and “Germany’s Union Head Warns of Collapse of Entire Industries” (Bloomberg).

      It makes one wonder how Ukraine is doing domestically, even though any day now their counter-attack will …..

      • Al says:

        Boris is only out as party leader which he resigned. Still remains PM ( for now).

      • Poul says:

        Fred. What have the Dutch farmers got to do with the Ukraine War?

        The farmers are protesting new restrictions on their use of fertilizer and the size of their animal herds. In short a forced reduction of their business and profits which no business owner will like.

        Ukraine has nothing to do with those policies which is the Dutch government’s implementation of EU environmental policies

      • Polish Janitor says:

        I used to believe that Russia is taking revenge by influencing the domestic affairs of the West and now I understand that it’s not that dire as one might think. The problems can be addressed through policy, and let’s not forget that all these countries are capable industrialized modern states with many instruments and capacity to fix things. On the Russian side, the losses have been colossal and irreversible. Putin single-handedly screwed everything and short of the nukes, he’s got nothing. Russia is badly damaged and it takes years to repair the damages it has been suffering. Putin could never have imagined that it would turn out this terrible for him. Last but not least, apart from shortages, almost the entire EU nations have returned to their senses in giving priority to security, stability, economic wellbeing and social cohesion and a ‘vital center’-to borrow James Schlesinger Jr’s term- is being developed among the western nations. So it’s not that bad in the medium to long-term I think.

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    A quote: “The disruption to Iranian forces in forward areas was so severe that Iranian armed forces from that time on lost any real chance of large-scale offensive action in the war” – from the chapter “Druid Leader” in Tattoo.

    • mcohen says:

      Read this on zerohedge
      Probably China using Iran as a decoy to supply russia with drones.
      Time to head for the mountains in iran

      • James says:

        It seems to me that one reason Iran would have for supplying drones to Russia right now would be to embed IRGC officers in the teams that are planning and executing the missions so they can get first hand experience in using them in real world missions.

        If the Iranians have any brains they should be very sobered by watching the Russians fare so poorly against a US proxy/ally.

        • leith says:

          James –

          I expect that Iran is light years ahead of Russia in drone technology, drone tactics, & mission execution. If they embed it will be to teach the Russians.

        • Polish Janitor says:

          I read the news too. It is very odd for Iranian to commit themselves to a losing war, especially at this stage. Why would they do it?

          I think Iran is returning the favor to Russia (or being demanded by Russia, as it has quite influence there especially among the ranks of the IRGC) when back in September 2015 Putin (at the request of Gen. Sulemani) helped Iran in keeping Assad alive in Syria and turned the tide effectively through its air-support. I think it’s that bad for the Russians and Iran is obviously adept at the military drone use.

    • James says:

      Barbara Ann,

      I have to read this. I just bought Tattoo.

  4. cobo says:

    It has been a long time since I’ve been able to stomach the writings of “b,” the saker, and pepe, but I’d sure like to see them realing back as the Eastern European shuts them down. And then the NATO awakens – make it real !

  5. Sam says:


    What’s your take on the war? It appears from the many media reports from the western propaganda outlets that the Ukies are getting their asses handed to them. It also appears that the Russian military is figuring out the game after their initial hubris believing they could take Kiev with a multi-thrust offense.

    • TTG says:


      From the beginning, Ukraine has done far better than I expected her to do and Russia has done far worse than I expected. I expected the war would be in the UW resistance phase by now. Instead we have a slug fest of a conventional war where both sides are taking a beating. I think the Ukrainians pushed the attrition battle too far in the Donbas, but maybe not. The Russians have exhausted themselves into an offensive pause. At the rate they advanced, it will be well into next year when they finally take the Donbas. That’s only if they can pull more troops and equipment out of their asses. They could go into a full mobilization and get the troops.. eventually. But they won’t be able to generate replacements for their lost equipment and munitions because that is the one sector where the sanctions are having a growing effect. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, mobilized on day one and are receiving a steady supply of new equipment and munitions. The Ukrainian MOD has announced they will start an offensive to retake the south. I think it will happen this Summer.

      What the war has made clear to me, so far, is that the Russian Armed Forces are not an imminent threat to NATO. Not only do I doubt they can ever take Warsaw, but I now have real doubts about their potential to take the Baltics. But I would also expect Russia to be able to repel anyone foolish enough to ever attempt to invade Russian territory. The Russian people would rise up in total mobilization just as the Ukrainians did in the face of the Russian invasion.

      • Fred says:


        That would pretty much negate the reason to put any missles into the new NATO countries, which the Russians believed was a major provocation. Pretty much negates having to have any of our troops over there. Let the Germans and French lead the way for a change. It’s their continent, not ours.

        • TTG says:


          I agree that the demonstrated weaknesses of the Russian military should inform the defensive strategy of NATO as a whole and individual European countries, but which missiles are you referring to? Certainly not the Javelins and NLAWs, which will undoubtedly proliferate across Eastern Europe because of their success in Ukraine. HIMARS and similar systems will also be on every NATO country’s list of desired weapons as will many NATO standard artillery systems. You must be referring to the SM-3 missiles of the Aegis Ashore installations. Given the Russian’s penchant for launching long range missiles against apartment complexes, NATO will want more SM-3s and other A2/AD missiles in their arsenals, especially in the newer NATO countries of Eastern Europe. Or maybe you’re referring to our future Precision Strike Missile or Long Range Hypersonic Missile, our answer to Putin’s invincible Kinzhal hypersonic missile. I don’t think we should base those US missiles in Europe on a permanent basis. But the technology is now out there and Europe may develop and/or buy them for their own forces. Without a replacement for the IMF, neither Washington, nor Moscow, can stop that.

          Why would Europe want such weapons and why are they reinvigorating the whole NATO concept? Simple. By invading Ukraine and demanding the rollback of NATO, Moscow has showed her hand. She demands influence in her near and abroad. She even brags about being able to strike various European capitals with impunity with her unstoppable hypersonic missiles. Before this, NATO was dying on the vine while Russian economic and even ideological influence was rising in most of Europe. Putin breathed new life into NATO. He gave it a reason for being and brought about its inevitable expansion and reinvigoration. He screwed the pooch.

          US troops in Europe is another question. We certainly don’t need or want the permanent basing of multiple corps like in the Cold War or even the rotational stationing of such forces in Europe. All European countries should be implementing a total national defense strategy as developed in the Baltics and implemented in Ukraine. But I’m all for a constant flow of our air, land and sea forces to Europe for joint training exercises. I think that’s beneficial and worthwhile for our forces and European forces.

          • cobo says:

            One of the things I’ve always respected about Reagan, was the way he built up our military. And every Friday night he fired it up in his garage and revved it up a couple of times, oo. But he never put it out there to win or lose. He just revved it up every week to let everyone know…

          • Fred says:


            “Before this, NATO was dying on the vine…”

            I see I triggered you again. Have you looked at the NATO expansion map recently? Hardly ‘dying on the vine”, more like marching East to the Russian border. Why was the Biden administration moving to station SM-3’s in Aegis launchers in Eastern Europe if NATO was “dying on the vine”?

            BTW Can’t you put cruise missles in the same launcher? Let me help you out, yes, yes you can. And yes you can arm them with nuclear weapons in short order, too. In no way shape or form should any nation (Russia) see that as a provocation though. (Nato is “dying on the vine”, trust us! It’s to defend against Iran, really it is!)

            It was all just “rope-a-dope” bait for President Putin. Mission Accomplished. Now we have the neocon dream: a US obligation to every nation-state in Europe and the same old enemy, and the same strategic thinkers guiding the West. All it will cost is thousands of some other country’s soldiers lives; and the middle class of every nation state in NATO because of what the same politicians did to their energy sector for the past 20 years. Not a single neocon architect of this war has been injured in it; just like their two decades of success in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a true win-win for the elites of the Republic. Too bad for the rest of us.

      • Bill Roche says:

        I agree w/y on a gen’l invasion of Russia. No one w/a brain is talking about that. Let ‘s get back to the mongoose and the python. One chews, the other compresses. But unless the mongoose can rip the shit out of the snake in any particular front the struggle goes on to the goose’s demise. I’m glad America’s backing Ukraine and wish more from neighboring Slavs (but expect no help from the Germans and have grown to understand them better. I wonder about French commitment to Ukrainian sovereignty as well. Can the rest of the EU not have taken notice of the French/German talk/action disconnect). Recent Russian comments indicate its intent was always the complete elimination of Ukraine and its people as separate from Russians. What a “smarty pants” am I. I have been saying that since day one. When Ukraine is crushed can the Balts NOT KNOW they are next? If the Python cannot be significantly ruptured its pressure will win. Although not a military mind, I expect more HIMAR’s, precision guided artillery ammo, and a breakthrough of jet aircraft to the UKM. That must happen or “the goose will be cooked” and the diner will look north for his next meal. Correspondent “Jakes” comments are very astute but IMHO he is lost in the detail of the past 8 years and misses the LT goals of Russia, whose history is an open book. Really, who doesn’t know where this is all headed.

  6. Worth Pointing Out says:

    Wunderwaffe. Just as the M777 before it was the game-changing wunderwaffe.

    The US military mind used to think in terms of the “conservation of force” as the way to win military campaigns. Now, apparently, it pins its faith on one wunderwaffe after another.

    I don’t doubt that HIMARS is a fearsome weapon, just as I don’t doubt that Russian soldiers detest being on the receiving end of a barrage of rockets.

    But, really, if anyone thinks this changes the game then they are in for disappointment.

    If HIMARS can reach hitherto unreachable ammo depots then the Russians are going to disperse those depots. They are going to take much more care in disguising them. They are going to start setting up vast numbers of “dummy depots” to tempt HIMARS into firing at them. And they are going to beef up both their AA protection and the number of drones and anti-battery radars to try and catch those launchers as they flee the scene.

    And, really…..
    “Here’s Igor Girkin’s take”
    “Another Russian war blogger,”
    “the decently influential Russian commentator ”
    “ISW is reporting that another Russian milblogger,”

    What on earth is going on here? This is kindergarten stuff.

    Bloggers are – by definition – amateurs. So you have a *supposedly* professional outfit in ISW who are basing their “assessments” of the situation in Ukraine on the postings of amateur bloggers.

    And somehow – and this is never explained how – the laundering of those amateur musings through the pages ISW is supposed to make those musing …. what, exactly?

    Embarrassing, in my book.

    • TTG says:


      You just don’t like anybody’s opinion or observation about the war. Girkin led the Donbas rebel forces at the beginning of the 2014 Donbas war. He’s a Russian intelligence colonel, not some amateur blogger.

      I do agree that “game changer” is a vastly overused term. That Russian blogger used the term wunderwaffe in a sarcastic tone in the original article referring to them as wonder waffles.

      • Worth Pointing Out says:

        “You just don’t like anybody’s opinion or observation about the war.”

        Quite untrue.

        What I am objecting to is this (recent?) habit of ISW of laundering the views of bloggers through its website as if there is some big revelation to be made by doing so.

        In essence ISW is lending them a credibility that they do not deserve.

        And in doing so ISW is not only elevating the opinions of those bloggers, it is also debasing its own credibility.

        “Girkin led the Donbas rebel forces”…

        And what is he doing now, TTG?

        He is – like all the others – an outsider looking in.
        As are you. As am I. As is leith. As is Pat Lang.

        And that’s fine. I honestly have no problem with that.

        Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I even occasionally share you opinion on matters, though recently that has been less and less so.

        But I wouldn’t expect to see your opinions described in the pages of ISW, and I *certainly* wouldn’t expect to see it published in those pages in order that ISW could use those opinions to support its “assessment” of what is happening inside Ukraine.

        That’s just…. amateur-hour stuff, and totally unbecoming of an organization that is supposed to be a professional outfit.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          I tend to agree with you in general here. That said, and I’m non-professional and scan various Ru media and Telegram channels such a Girkin’s, they do seem to have been hit hard by the Himars, harder than they anticipated and prepared for. Could intentional deception be their motive in blogging their concerns? Yes, conceivably. But look the few bits of info that seem reliable almost by definition: 1-The Himars is in fact exceedingly accurate (with satellite guidance, I assume) and packs a hefty destructive lethal punch. 2 – It’s over there and being used and so are the satellites 3- Range of latest projectiles is 300 km and rumors have surfaced of 500 km. 4 – Distance from say Belgorod to Moscow is 567 km; Distance Donetsk to Volgograd is 340 km; Donetsk to Rostov on Don is 167 km.

          On another Ru telegram channel with many followers it is claimed that the Himars are being worked by active duty US specialists (I have no idea of the truth of that) but it’s out there and some folks (thanks, Obama) probably believe it. TTG doesn’t mention that but he can’t monitor everything and if he strictly takes this material (I don’t know) from ISW they certainly wouldn’t mention that.

          Then you’ve got Harpoons over there and types such as Generals Hodges and Breedlove saying “drop the Kerch strait bridge.” My Google search page this evening leads with a story about NYCity releasing an “in case of nuclear strike do this” public service message. And the purely 100 percent amateur Col Lang posting a perils of nuke war piece on the same day here. There’s also trouble brewing in Syria for awhile now. Supposedly Ru jets hit a US base after a heads up to get troops to safety.

          Possibly they are trying to prompt Russia to over-react. Certainly they are listening carefully.

          Girkin has an undeniable charisma, a dark charisma perhaps but he’s not precisely an amateur blogger at all, lots of people listen to him. He’s seems a pessimist by nature. But Dmitri Trenin is no amateur in any way and no war enthusiast and he also emphatically stresses that Russia is in a very serious situation and must above all get their stuff together in short order or face dissolution.

          In my opinion this is a critically perilous juncture. Many reasons. One hopefully unlikely one would be that Nato starts piling on into Ukr in the belief that they are winning.
          You actually have a professor Eliot Cohen who advocates doing just that with US troops, because, get this, he knows Putin is bluffing. And Joe Biden is a fresh, energetic and seasoned commander. And Kamala Harris looked cute today, I thought, discussing the merits of the new Hubble space photo contraption which coincidentally seems to be playing Simon and Garfunkel’s Kodachrome up in Buck Rogers space adventure land right as soon as YourCranium heats up and up and up and away. I’m certain it would never ever spy on little planet Earthy-pooh here. No. Kamala would certainly know about all that and tell us, wouldn’t she? And former Indiana Mayor Petey Poop BootyGiggler the Trans-Sport Minister once carried an entire gun in Afghanistan. He said.

          Petey Pooh’s last name, I predict, will soon be changed to the much easier to spell: Butbuttbutbutthiscantbehappening. And Admiral Rachel Levine. Is. In. The. Batter’s. Box.

        • cobo says:

          “I honestly have no problem with that.” Dude, “trust me” …

  7. leith says:

    Every night at HIMARS O’Clock another of Putin’s ammo dumps, fuel dumps, or command posts is de-Nazified.

    Iranian supplied UCAVs will undoubtedly be hunting HIMARS. Those HIMARS units will need some air defense and EW assets. Anyone have insight as to which model the Iranians are sending are sending? Shahed-129 maybe, or something older?

    • walrus says:

      It would be good to have plywood and timber “Himars” – lots of them, on old truck chassis, just sort of laying around, suitably far from human habitation. The Russians then get to guess which one is real. They can waste a lot of time and ammo that way.

      • borko says:

        I’m sure the Ukrainian maskirovka is alive and well.
        Of course, the Russians play the same game.

        It is probably their best option at the moment. Get Ukraine to waste HIMARS on faux targets.

        • Fred says:


          actual ammo dumps are a bit hard to hide, and they don’t have the assets to fake a bunch of them. I’m sure they have a map of where the real ones are, and enough sense to figure the range of fire and thus likely areas of launch. Plus they likely have enough comandos available to send a few teams to play hide and seek and maybe capture a couple so they can reverse engineer them.

    • mcohen says:

      They tried to use them on the israeli oil rig karish but all 4 were shot down.this is last week.probably a demo run to try and sell them to the Russians who would be getting them cheap.just a guess.the Russians would be better off buying the Israeli drones but that’s not on the cards yet

      • leith says:

        mcohen –

        That Israeli kamikaze drone ‘Harop’ would be just the thing. It played hell with the Armenians during the Nagorno-Karabakh wars.

        Maybe Putin can talk India out of a few if he can’t buy them from Israel?

    • borko says:

      Secrecy and mobility is their best defense.
      The more systems and people they keep near them the easier it will be for the Ruskies to locate them.

  8. Jose says:

    The Dumas will declare war and the gloves will come off.

    Good luck Ukrainians, because will know how this will end.

  9. borko says:

    If Russia were to fail in Ukraine and it brought about a significant political change inside Russia with a more modern, democratic and less corrupt government how would the West react ?

    Would it be like in the 90s after the USSR fell (or even go for the jugular), or would it recognize a second chance for what it is ?

    • Barbara Ann says:


      The jugular. Russians know this, hence widespread support for the SMO at every level.

    • James says:


      Russia is modern. It is corrupt, yes, but about as corrupt as all the other BRIC nations. As for democratic – you want Russia to be democratic like Estonia where 1/3 citizens are not allowed to vote because they are ethnically Russian? Imagine if all African Americans were all stripped of their right to vote in the US.

      When I was in Russian (2007ish – admittedly a long time ago) and I asked people what they thought of their government, everyone had an opinion and nobody was afraid to voice it. When I was in Colombia and I asked people what they thought of their government they replied “I can’t talk to you about that – it’s too dangerous”.

      We label countries as “democratic” or “not democratic” like it is some sort of binary condition. Its actually more like a bell curve with a whole lot of countries (including Russia) sitting somewhere in the middle.

      • TTG says:


        Many of those Russians living in Estonia are not Estonian citizens. They cannot vote in national elections, but are often allowed to vote in municipal elections. That a common situation in most countries. One must be a citizen to vote. Estonia is unique because 1/3 of the Russians are Estonian citizens, 1/3 are Russian citizens and another 1/3 are without citizenship.

        • borko says:


          Estonian jus sanguinis principle for obtaining citizenship is messed up.

          You could be ethnic Russian who was born and raised and lives in Estonia. Then USSR breaks apart and you can’t get Estonian citizenship. Yet, someone who was maybe born and lives in Australia and does not know anything about Estonia can get it without trouble just because his grandparents were Estonians.

          I went through a similar thing and I can tell you it makes you feel like sh*t.

        • James says:


          Saying that those ethnic-Russians living in Estonia are not Estonian citizens is true – because they were stripped of their Estonian citizenship by an apartheid citizenship law! We are talking about people who were born in what is now Estonia – people who had citizenship when the same land was part of the Soviet Union but who were then stripped of their citizenship because of the ethnic group they belonged to when Estonia declared its independence.

          Again – it is like black people in America being stripped of their citizenship because they have black skin and observers saying “Well they are not citizens so they should not be allowed to vote!”

          Many of those people who were stripped of their citizenship by the racist government of Estonia were later given citizenship by Russia. That does not make stripping people of their right to vote simply because of their race/creed/colour in any way democratic or morally defensible. If Canada stripped all Jews in Canada of the right to vote tomorrow and then some of them got Israeli passports – that would not make Canada’s actions in any way OK.

          • James says:

            And I actually like the Estonians much more than I like the Russians. I know from experience that if you dropped me in Moscow, within 2 hours I would be muttering to myself “I hate these f-ing Russians!”

            But we have to stand up for our principles even if it helps people we don’t like – otherwise we have no principles at all.

          • TTG says:


            Until the reestablishment of Estonian independence in 1991, there was no Estonian citizenship. All were citizens of the Soviet Union. No one was stripped of Estonian citizenship. Ethnic Estonians and ethnic Russians whose families arrived prior to 1918 were granted Estonian citizenship. Those non-Estonians who arrived during the Soviet era had to apply for citizenship if they wanted it. They weren’t deported, just not given automatic citizenship with full rights of Estonian and now EU citizenship. Some left. Some remained and applied for Russian citizenship. Some remained and never applied for any citizenship. Those people remain stateless of their own volition.

    • Polish Janitor says:

      Ain’t happening, not in this generation at least. Liberal democracy is incompatible with the Russian culture. The road to proper western liberal democracy is very long and took at least from 1215 (at the time Magna Carta during King John’s reign) to the mid 19th century and later with expansion of universal citizens’ rights in the 20th century to what we have now. The best Russians could do is another more stable and less paranoid president that could round up oligarchs and let then know he’s boss.

  10. Jake says:

    Previously Zelensky said that August would be great to go back to the negotiating table. He predicted that the Russians would be struggling by then. Various authorities in Ukraine are saying they are preparing an attack on Kherson, ordering the civilian population to leave the area if they care for their lives. There are claims that a force of a million Ukrainians is preparing for the assault. And NATO is now involved beyond acting as cheerleaders and war profiteers. Nobody ever doubted the capability of various western weapons combined with western intel, which is now being provided. So, is this the turning point? The Russians are still taking territory in the Donbas.

    So, from the looks of it, NATO/Ukraine gave up on the Donbas, at least for the time being, considering Kherson more important. Why?

    My analysis of this entire war is different from that of TTG and Pat Lang. In January, well before the war started, I claimed on my own Dutch language blog that the Russians wouldn’t invade, if only Ukraine, Germany and France came around and implemented the ‘Minsk II’ agreement they signed in 2015. But if that didn’t happen, and ‘Kiev’ would signal further escalation instead, the Russians would go ahead with forcing the implementation of ‘Minsk II’ by military means, after recognizing Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states. I also added that if they would take this step, they would most likely add the entire southern region right up to Transnistria. Why? Because those areas have plenty of people who previously supported Yanukovitch, who was the elected head of state until Victoria Nuland and her team removed him from power. Moreover, they needed the fresh water and electricity for the Crimea peninsula which was cut-off by Ukraine in a rather unsavory tradition the west is promoting worldwide of holding the civilian population hostage. And to create a ‘land-bridge’ for the ChinoRussian ‘New Silk Route’ into Southern Europe. But the Russians would not ’take’ Ukraine.

    I still have no reason to recant. Quite the opposite. And NATO pushing for Kherson, rather than the Donbas area, makes sense from my perspective. As well as NATO using Ukraine in a much bigger fight, struggling to keep the ‘Davos’ version of globalism alive, with the US/Wallstreet/London City (’Financial Capitalism’) in the driver’s seat, trying to kill ‘Industrial Capitalism’.

    If my take on this war is correct, it is unlikely that Russia and China didn’t think it through. Already we will have to conclude that the Russians came prepared, and that there is no end to artillery shells and precision missiles. With Iran joining to deliver additional drones that battle over Kherson could be ‘interesting’. Recently Putin said that NATO had seen nothing yet. Was that a clear sign of hubris? Or are we in for a surprise? In which way will the Russians counter an assault on Kherson? Sheer force? Tactical or strategical moves? Or will they let it slip, focussing on the Donbas? Will they allow NATO to remain on the sidelines with only prestige and plenty of money to gamble away? Or will they expose NATO as the director, and not just the sponsor of these post-Maidan developments? How?

    As Fred noted above, the NATO-countries are in disarray politically. All the gossip about Joe Biden and his son, closely tied to ‘everything Ukrainian’. Boris J. matching a cross in character from ‘Yes Minister’, a British series for comic relief, and ‘House of Cards’, said to be inspired by the Clintons, who were befriended with Kevin Spacey. The Germans preparing sport-complexes as places where the population can go to if they are cold and miserable without heating and food next winter. Farmers running amok in my own country. ‘Yellow Vests’ who are sure to re-emerge if the entire European economy is going down the drain because of sanctions imposed by our own politicians. Pension funds and saving accounts being blown up. Write-downs on investments of everything Russian and Chinese, directly as well as indirectly. How do you convince these European and American people that Kherson is ‘make or break’? Not by telling them the truth, that’s for sure!

    • Fred says:


      “How do you convince these European and American people…”

      I don’t know about the Europeans, but in this part of the US I know of no one who gives a damn about the Ukraine other than the Ukrainians who are here, and the Russians. We’ve got a few of those here too. Americans are more concerned about the gas and food prices and whether the recession we are in will turn into a depression.

      • Jake says:


        In Europe the situation is extremely complicated. In my own Dutch country people are suckers for the ‘underdog’ at all times. They will enter a fight to liberate terrorists, if the terrorists are portrayed as innocent puppies. They will hug and cuddle them, until the terrorists prove them wrong, at which moment in time they start to whine. This childish attitude is perfect for politicians without a conscience, playing them for the fools they are, using divide and conquer, and ‘nudging’ strategies to create, or kill their appetite, and direct anger. With a prime minister topping the list to replace Jens Stoltenberg, the country is cheering for Ukraine. For the moment.

        France, on the other hand, not so much. And that is probably an understatement. In general the French people do not trust NATO, or the Brits, which they label ‘Perfidious Albion’ from way back when, and they regard the Americans as a ‘side-arm’ acting as they are told by ‘London’ in the end. Not the people, but ‘Washington’, or the ‘War-Party’, which is a derogatory way of saying that ‘Republican’ or ‘Democrat’ is just the same from a foreign perspective. More like a ‘Good Cop/Bad Cop’ act.

        The people in countries which were part of the Soviet Union, or Warschau Pact, tend to be revengeful, driven by hate, not logic, generally speaking. They can’t see the difference between Russia today, and the Soviet-Union which caused them so much pain. Others are acting in a logical way, but not in the best interest of Ukraine as a country, where they harbor visions of restoring the ancient country of ‘Rus’ which stretched from Finland to the Black Sea, before the Mongol hordes destroyed it, mainly because of serious infighting among the family members of the ruling clan. One member of this clan is said to have founded Moscow, which is why Putin will tell you the Ukrainians and the Russians are family. Yes, but utterly dysfunctional, and while Poland may appear to be close friends with Ukraine, the very factions they are supporting today killed a huge number of Poles during the Second World War, so that is not exactly a match made in Heaven either.

        The Germans are a ‘shell-shocked’ people after two lost wars in the previous century, and as a people guilty of murdering six million Jews. The simple fact that Zelensky is of Jewish origin is guiding their foreign policy. If Putin had been of Jewish origin, they might have just as easily picked the other guy. All the obvious self-harm they are bringing upon themselves today, destroying their entire economy, is felt as ‘justice’ for creating the Holocaust at some subconscious level. Even though, in all of Europe, there are ‘Green-party’ members who want to destroy the economy in order to build a ‘Green Utopia’, and they see this war as a golden opportunity to get rid of the ‘carbon driven’ wealth. They accept the need to demonize Putin and Russia as the ‘gas station’ of the world, not looking beyond that cartoonish image of the real world. Soon they will be left with the keys of what is left of Germany, with no clue how to make this work, and the backlash may be a furious torrent of blind anger from the left and right of the political spectrum.

        This is merely a shorthand overview of various sentiments driving attitudes towards this conflict in Europe. Not an attempt to turn the people of the countries I named into a caricature. Sentiments ‘Pro’ or ‘Con’ are unstable, and though people will claim that their choices are ‘Simple Logic’, we are really talking about various tastes of ‘Kool Aid’, as Pat Lang once described the stuff that marked ‘Group Think’. Analysts like me are warning that this NATO-strategy focussed on Russia and China will wreck Europe as an economic entity, turning it into an area filled with tribal slave-states working for ‘The Man’. Or neo-feudalism, the rebirth of a feudal society which Adam Smith and other liberal thinkers at the time wanted to get rid of by promoting Industrial Capitalism. We are busy digging our own graves here.

        • Fred says:


          Are you for real? “The people in countries which were part of the Soviet Union, or Warschau Pact, tend to be revengeful, driven by hate, not logic, generally speaking.”

          So all those Germans who were born and raised in the German Democratic Republic are revengeful and driven by hate? Along with Poles, St. John Paul II excepted, and Hungarians, and even the great war leader Zelinsky. The later ensuring his survival by the firing of that prosecutor who was investigating Burisma. Biden will defend him ‘as long as it takes’.

          ” Analysts like me are warning that this NATO-strategy focussed on Russia and China will wreck Europe as an economic entity,….”

          I don’t know where you are working as an analyst, but the EU was wrecking itself as an economic entity long before this war started. Blaming NATO now is a good way for bureaucrats and politicians to avoid accountability.

          • Jake says:


            The disclaimer that went with that reply was that it was a generalization. An attempt to underscore that a wide range of motives are in play within the European family, if you can call it a family. It definitely can’t be called a country, since it is a group of countries which is regarded as different from North-Americans, or Asian people, with huge differences of perception among the various people within. Not unlike the pattern you see within families. Same ‘last name’, and outwardly acting as a group, while they may kill family members in extreme cases for reasons that may go back ages, and defy logic. Numerous authors tried to discover the secret behind this irrational behavior. All I was trying to do is highlight a few evident impulses which may be conflicting, based on regional sentiments.

            These ‘Tribal’-tendencies are very real, even in highly developed countries. When I was an officer in the military, during the ‘Cold War’, the understanding within leading circles within NATO was that we would win without firing a shot, by exploiting ‘Tribal’ vulnerabilities within the Warschau Pact and the Soviet Union itself. Nationalist tendencies, religious differences, race, cultural differences, carefully ‘enhanced’ through propaganda and deliberate acts of our secret services. This ‘Divide and Conquer’-strategy has lost momentum by the looks of it, but if I’m not mistaken we are about to learn that it can backfire spectacularly. To win any kind of conflict, it is essential to know yourself better than you know your enemy.

            It doesn’t serve any purpose to imply that a generalization covers every single person within the boundaries provided. No, I most certainly do not suggest that all the Poles, all the people in former East Germany, or all the people in Ukraine are seeking revenge for those years under Soviet rule. I wanted to highlight irrational (Tribal) motives which are characteristic for various groups of people within the EU. Not unlike differences people identify when they look at people from the American west coast, or east coast, or from the rustbelt versus the oil greased south.

            While I’m not ‘working’ as an analyst in the employ of a company, that doesn’t disqualify my analytical abilities. I’m running a non-commercial daily Dutch language blog for many, many years now, analyzing national, regional and international political, economic and military developments. The very fact that I’m not getting paid, and I don’t need to serve donors, while not accepting contributions from others save for comments, marks my independency, and it allows me to ‘offend’ people with certain vulnerabilities if that is necessary to serve them the facts. My track record is pretty decent. Much more so than that of most professional analysts when I look at predictions I made about important developments. Yet I’m certainly not claiming I’m the ‘Go To Guy’ to know the outcome of this Ukrainian, or any other conflict. All I’m saying, is that I take responsibility for my claims, and take my claims seriously.

            This topic is not meant to explore how Europe was doing up till now. At various stages the Euro was trading at one Dollar forty, and looking strong. Was it despite policies you regard as paving the road to ruin? Or thanks to? My own nuanced point of view is probably at odds with yours, even though I’m no cheerleader at all of what ‘Brussels’ is up to. Bringing NATO’s warlust into the mix is certain to wreck Europe as a family, and return her to a Tribal state. But I see the same future for the US. Instead of advancing that agenda, we should join forces and say ‘NO!’ to NATO expansion, NATO wars and NATO scheming, NATO ‘Divide and Conquer’. Or live to regret it.

  11. Jovan P says:

    Since my first comment wasn’t given the green light, I’ll try again. The Russian Telegram account rybar commented on the ISW ,,analysis” (free translation):

    ,,Simply take a second and consider the lack of understanding (by ISW) of the Ukrainian conflict, if that side (ISW) is forced to resort to the service of Russian telegram channels.”

    On a personal level I find it good that the borg are using Russian sources (even when cherry picking), it brings us one step closer to a solution, and one step further from virtual reality.

    • TTG says:

      Jovan P,

      ISW uses a variety of sources, citing them and providing links as they do so. They seem to rely heavily on Ukrainian MOD reports which introduces its own bias. Why ignore Russian telegram channels, especially ones that are widely viewed?

  12. leith says:

    There is some suspicion on twitter and telegraph channels that Ukraine HIMARS are doing a bit of maskirovka to deceive Russian counter-battery efforts. Supposedly Ukraine Grads &/or Uragan MRLS systems are synchronized to launch at the exact same time that HIMARS goes after hi-value Russian targets.

    Since they don’t have the range & flight profile I’m not sure a trick like that could deceive a counter-battery radar. But maybe so depending on the target acquisition computer. For sure it could confuse night hunting drones or aircraft. But why sacrifice the Grads/Uragans? Or maybe not, they can scoot just as fast as HIMARS.

  13. leith says:

    Ukraine is now saying that Iran will NOT send UAVs to Russia:

    “Iran has officially refused to supply UAVs to Russia. MFA stated that, despite the defence agreements with Russia, Iran does not support any of the parties to the conflict. From the very start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Iran spoke out against the war.” From Stratcom Centre UA.

    Might be true? Iran has so far refused to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk puppet states. Plus they don’t want to mess up their current charm offensive – their Foreign Minister just visited the Pope in Rome. And why would Tehran want to be a punching bag for the West in lieu of Moscow? They are a lot easier to hit than Moscow.

    On the other hand, there have been an increased rate of Iranian air traffic to and from Moscow recently. Could be that instead of sending Putin UAVs, they are sending expertise and knowledge, or hi-tech circuit boards and optics?

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