“Two Russian Ammo Depots Destroyed After Key Bridge Crippled: Ukraine”

his photograph taken on December 13, 2022, shows a destroyed ammunition depot belonging to the Russian army on the outskirts of Izyum, Kharkiv region, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On Wednesday, Ukraine forces also destroyed two ammunition depots in Zaporizhzhia.© GETTY

“Mark Cancian, a senior advisor with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Newsweek that Ukraine will likely launch a winter offensive against Russia once the ground freezes, likely in January. Although it’s impossible to know for certain where Ukraine will target its attacks, Cancian said Russian forces in Zaporizhzhia may have “potential weaknesses” that make the region an ideal place for Ukraine to launch a counteroffensive.

“There’s a long, thinly held front and there hasn’t been a lot of activity up until now,” Cancian said of the Russian forces occupying Zaporizhzhia. “That would be a logical place to attack.”

Cancian said Ukraine also could be using the recent Zaporizhzhia attacks as a way to deceive Russia before striking stronger elsewhere.

Earlier this week, Ukraine claimed the attack on the critical bridge, which crosses the Molochna River and connects the city of Melitopol and the village of Kostyantynivka in Zaporizhzhia. Newsweek previously reported that Russian news outlet Ria Novosti said the bridge was damaged but survived the attack. Ria Novosti reported explosives were placed on the bridge’s support system, and although it didn’t fall, traffic was suspendedNewsweek could not independently verify the outlet’s statement about the bridge’s condition.

Experts previously told Newsweek that the bridge damage could cut Russians off from necessary supplies, such as food, adequate uniforms and weapons. Both Russia and Ukraine have attempted to use the cold winter weather as an ally by targeting their opponent in a way that could degrade soldier morale.”

Comment” Last night “TC tonight” featured a TC diatribe against Ukraine and aid to Ukraine that was so intense as to make me think Russia grows more desperate. pl

Two Russian Ammo Depots Destroyed After Key Bridge Crippled: Ukraine (msn.com)

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61 Responses to “Two Russian Ammo Depots Destroyed After Key Bridge Crippled: Ukraine”

  1. Al says:

    ‘Wiped out’: War in Ukraine has decimated a once feared Russian brigade
    The bloody fate of the 200th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade is emblematic of Vladimir Putin’s derailed invasion plans

    HELSINKI — Nuclear-armed submarines slip in and out of the frigid waters along the coast of Russia’s Kola Peninsula at the northern edge of Europe. Missiles capable of destroying cities are stored by the dozens in bunkers burrowed into the inland hills.

    Since the Cold War, this Arctic arsenal has been protected by a combat unit considered one of Russia’s most formidable — the 200th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade — until it sent its best fighters and weapons to Ukraine this year and was effectively destroyed.

    The 200th was among the first units to plunge into Ukraine on Feb. 24, as part of a fearsome assault on the city of Kharkiv. By May, the unit was staggering back across the Russian border desperate to regroup, according to internal brigade documents reviewed by The Washington Post and to previously undisclosed details provided by Ukrainian and Western military and intelligence officials.

    A document detailing a mid-war inventory of its ranks shows that by late May, fewer than 900 soldiers were left in two battalion tactical groups that, according to Western officials, had departed the brigade’s garrison in Russia with more than 1,400. The brigade’s commander was badly wounded. And some of those still being counted as part of the unit were listed as hospitalized, missing or “refuseniks” unwilling to fight, according to the document, part of a trove of internal Russian military files obtained by Ukraine’s security services and provided to The Post. …

    … “They are barely at 60 percent strength, being forced to rely on reinforcements that aren’t near enough,” Pekka Toveri, former director of Finland’s defense intelligence service, said in an interview. “You have guys who are refusing to fight, guys who are missing. It all tells us that for Russia the war has gone terribly wrong.”

    … the brigade was being degraded from within. The skilled troops and professional officers sent into battle at the start of the war with state-of-the-art T-80BVM tanks have given way to an assemblage of poorly trained conscripts pressed into service with paltry or outdated gear.

    Some of the brigade’s own soldiers described its condition as dire.

    “The unit is in a state of decay,” said a soldier now serving in the 200th after being drafted under mobilization orders that Putin issued in September. He and others were initially issued “painted helmets from 1941 and vests without plates,” he said in an interview with The Post this month. “They are not even training us. … They just tell you, ‘You are a shooter now. Here you go, here is a machine gun.’”

    Question: Is there an effective unit left to provide base security for Russia’s northern sub fleet?


  2. blue peacock says:

    The head of the Ukrainian army is reported to have said that Russia is preparing a large military force to attack Kiev from Belarus during the winter.

  3. Eliot says:

    Col. Lang,

    Tucker probably hates Washington (and it’s policies) for the simple reason that Washington, and whatever passes for a national culture these days, despises people like him. Tucker is a not a particularly revolutionary person. But he is an artifact of a country that longer exists, he is, problematically, a traditional Episcopalian, which is a very boring thing to be, and while his views on life might have been normal 15 years ago, they mark him now as a pariah. If Tucker feels anything, it’s probably mystification, as he’s seen his world collapse.

    I grew up Episcopalian, and having experienced the crusade against my people in this country, I think that I can begin to understand him.

    – Eliot

    • Peter Hug says:

      Traditional Episcopalian? Here’s what his Wikipedia article has to say about that.

      “Carlson was baptized as an Episcopalian but has said he grew up with secular beliefs; he credits his wife for his religious faith. In 2013, Carlson said, “We still go to the Episcopal Church for all kinds of complicated reasons, but I truly despise the Episcopal Church in a lot of ways,” citing his opposition to the church’s support for same-sex marriage and abortion rights. He has said he stays in the church because he loves the liturgy and he likes the people.”

      Washington does not despise people like him – it’s composed of people like him. He’s been wealthy all his life. He grew up in San Francisco and La Jolla, went to private schools (including two boarding schools, one in Switzerland and one in Rhode Island), and is basically part of the East Coast Establishment. Frankly, culturally and socially he has much more in common with Al Gore than with you or me.

  4. Mark Logan says:

    One more major defeat on the scale of the Sept offensive or the loss of the right bank at Kherson might collapse both whatever morale which still remains and public support. They should be scared spitless.

    • Pat Lang says:

      there are also reports of Russian preparations for a Winter offensive. The Macgregor/Vlahos school if thought is pushing that. IMO a Ukrainian offensive south to cut the supply from Crimea is more likely.

      • Jake says:


        Not just the Macgregor/Vlahos school is expecting a large Russian offensive, but both top Ukrainian generals expressed similar thoughts in an interview with the Economist. Above and beyond that, Zalushny referred to the Finnish surrender to the Soviets, as the Soviets were preparing for the eventual war against Germany, because Ukraine, like the Fins back then, lacked sufficient weapons and ammunition, and the west can’t provide any more than it does.

        In your expert opinion, is Zalushny just spreading misinformation to goad the Russians into an attack on Kiev, enhancing his own chances for this offensive you are predicting for quite some time now? Or is this a cry for help, and a warning that this NATO proxy war is going to end badly?

        • blue peacock says:

          “….this NATO proxy war is going to end badly?”

          You’ve been saying this for a very long time. But…the one that it is going badly for is Putin. His army is a shell of what it was “supposed” to be prior to his invasion of Ukraine. His army was chased from Kyviv, Kharkiv and Kherson.

          • Jake says:

            There was a question mark behind the quote. A question is not a statement.

            But like most people supporting this NATO proxy-war, which it always was in my opinion, but most certainly became since Ukraine is broke and out of everything, needing NATO to keep it afloat, you are focussing on terrain. What if Putin was telling the truth when he went in, in March?

            1. That Russia wanted to support the LPR and DPR to get rid of the daily shelling by Ukraine, and the threat of war.

            2. That Russia wanted to demilitarise Ukraine.

            3. That Russia wanted to denazify Ukraine.

            There are ways to go about this. But even western sources say Bakhmut is a ‘meat grinder’, and though they add that Russia is hurting as bad as Ukraine is, they admit that Ukraine is outgunned six to one, or worse. While Russia has this nasty habit of leaving the territory when they run the risk of losing too many men. Or when they need their men elsewhere. Ukraine’s generals say they are down to 200.000 soldiers worth anything on the battlefield, which apparently includes a considerable number of women.
            The massive operation which threatened Kiev and Kharkiv were meant as a display of force, to bring Zelensky to the negotiating table. And it worked. In April he was ready to sign an agreement, and Russia withdrew from around Kiev. Not ‘chased away’. But instead of signing, Zelensky was ‘convinced’ by the UK and US to stay in the fight, since Russia was about to collapse, and would run out of ammunition and missiles any day now. If this goes on at this pace, NATO will be demilitarised as well. Or……?

          • blue peacock says:

            Who gave Putin the authority to demilitarize and “de-Nazify” Ukraine? You do know that Ukraine is a sovereign country.

          • Jake says:


            You confuse me. I’m simply stating what Russia says it wanted to do. I do not, in this contribution, address the issue of legitimacy. This war is a fact, so if these Ukrainian generals seem to suggest that they will have to surrender, because Russia’s ‘meat grinder’ is actually working, are they simply lying to get a few billion extra from the American taxpayers? Or do we take their word for it, and save thousands of Ukrainian lives, while cutting NATO’s losses by negotiating now, before we’re back in Kabul 2021, or Saigon 1975?

          • blue peacock says:


            Why are you concern trolling with Putin’s messaging?

            And which Ukrainian general “seem to suggest that they will have to surrender”?

  5. Lars says:

    One of the more important reasons for helping Ukraine kick the Russians off their territory is the message it sends to the Chinese Communist Party. Thus, the aid to Ukraine should be increased to allow the Russian defeat. Nobody is advocating invading Russia and any fallout causing them to falter is self-inflicted. Let’s not forget how this war started and blaming former Soviet client states for wanting to join NATO is understandable. They understand Russians better than most.

    The nuclear threat is mostly bluffing. Many people in the higher levels of their government know that first use is suicidal. Also, they can’t even rely on those rockets functioning as intended, as they have found out about a lot of other military assets.

    Are internal problems in Russia possible, if they are defeated in Ukraine? It is certainly possible and maybe even probable. NATO should make it clear that whatever happens there is an internal issue and that NATO will remain a defensive military alliance, as it has been from the beginning. If Russia eventually want to rejoin the world, other be with some other losers, they should know what it will take to get them there and remaining a dictatorship will not do it.

    The good news is that there are credible reports that the Russian public is turning against the war and that could in the end be the deciding factor as we move on.

  6. Bill Roche says:

    Col Lang’s comment makes me wonder again, who are TC, TG, and DM? Have they been bought and if so, w/what. I admire TC’s points of view b/c I think he has the same libertarian view on life as me, but can’t he understand that Ukrainian independence is as precious to them as it was to “us”? TG, a politician w/avowed socialist views still strikes me as a practical minded patriot but she and DM both feel Ukrainian independence is a fool’s errand. Washington d/n agree about America and I believe he would accept the world is no longer as it was in 1796, but is today, all in play. Carlson, MacGregor, and Gabbard are influential people. Have they been bought?

    • borko says:


      They each probably have their own reasons.

      MacGregor I think is bored in retirement and has found a way to be “relevant” and globally famous and also probably has a nice income from all the guest appearances.

      TC is on fox news which uses anything to criticize the Biden administration. If it was Trump in power, things would be different. Of course, while the orange man was in power, there was relative peace in Ukraine, and he didn’t initiate any new wars, and resisted the pressure to attack Syria (except in a very limited fashion bcs of alleged chemical attacks), bomb bomb Iran (https://youtu.be/U7s5pT3Rris?t=34), handled a tense situation with N. Korea etc.

      Tulsie’s opposition to US policies that contribute to war predates Ukraine. She even visited Syria, for which she was repeatedly called out and criticized (https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/08/01/tulsi-gabbard-syria-bashar-al-assad-anderson-cooper-post-detroit-debate-vpx.cnn).
      She is a politician, and a good politician has a power of self reflection and does not look at world as black and white.

    • Fred says:

      TC is the only mainstream news figure of note who isn’t touting the Washington line. It seems pretty obvious such figures need to be discredited given the loss of Twitter as a driver of news coverage.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Bill Roche,
      You have to present opposition by credentialed responsible people to the unwashed masses of America and its many hinterlands. Otherwise the peons would become dangerously bloodthirsty. They’re not “bought.” They demonstrate our thoughtfulness and concern for human welfare. And for raving old white guys like … And … that’s no small trick! Oh, and fear of being nuked? You mean the TV people would stoop to overawe the peasants with god like
      all annihilating power? Never. But it does demonstrate patronizing love and concern.

    • Jake says:

      Bill, try to look at it from the Russian perspective, simply to understand what they are after, since this clearly isn’t about conquering Ukraine ‘Shock and Awe’ style like NATO has patented. There is no doubt in my mind that they truly believe that elections held before 2014 revealed a little over 50 % of the population supported the presidential candidate leaning towards economic and cultural ties with Russia, and that those people did not feel represented by the regime installed by Victoria Nuland, as revealed in her ‘Fuck the-EU’-telephone call.

      And when Porochenko moved on his own people in the Donbas, and lost, the Russians honestly thought that this Minsk agreement could save the peace. But both Porochenko and Merkel recently revealed that there never was any inclination to honour that agreement, since it was only meant to built the second largest military force in Europe, after Russia, on Ukrainian soil. With the intent to take the Donbas, and conquer Crimea. So, when the shooting started on February 17, from Ukraine towards the Donbas, as reported by European observers, Russia faced this stark choice to let the people in the Donbas rot, or step up to the plate. One week later they went in.

      Though both critics and supporters of Russia maintain they miscalculated, expecting Zelensky to settle for a negotiated way out if only the Russians would threaten Kiev and Kharkov, I think it worked. But the UK and the US insisted that Russia was just bluffing, and that they would run out of ammo and soldiers in no time at all. So, with NATO’s help, it would be a great victory. I maintain that though Russia was disappointed in Germany and France, mainly, they never expected the US and UK, or my own country, Poland and the Baltic states to give up, so they came prepared, turning this thing into an artillery duel, with ample production of ammunition, for which NATO was ill prepared.

      These people you take issue with saw this, or came to see it ‘plain and simple’ as they watched what happened, and contrary to what you are suggesting, they feel strongly that this Ukraine/NATO combi will lose this war. Russia, by western estimates, is firing close to 40.000 rounds of artillery grenades, ‘grinding’ their opponents, while being economical with terrain, in order to cut their own losses. If that is your conclusion, helping Ukraine does not (no longer) amount to sending them more weapons and prolonging the war, with enormous loss of life, and incredible destruction since Russia decided to target the electrical grid, while mobilising another 300.000 troops, of which Zalushny says that this mobilisation was successful, contrary to what ‘sources’ claim. To preserve a Ukrainian nation, not buried under billions of debt, and with able bodied men left, the intelligent thing to do would be to stop the war, and allow the people to decide on which side of the fence they would like to live through setting up referenda.

      • AngusinCanada says:

        Well said Jake. I suspect there will be a lot of participants on this blog who are going to be sorely disappointed when the dream of a Ukrainian capture of Crimea instead turns into the destruction of Ukraine. I’m also skeptical that the US will be able to maintain its chokehold on Western Europe. There’s large protests now across Europe against continuing this madness. Just wait until the economic catastrophe really starts to bite. Pro US govts will be tossed out, or they’ll finish their evolution to total police states

      • borko says:


        Zaluzhnyi will say whatever will get him more weapons and support.

        As for the genesis of this conflict, who’s right or wrong, the coup of 2014, the mysterious snipers on Maidan etc; we are past that.
        John Mearsheimer, a West Point graduate, thinks the chance for diplomacy was missed and it is now all about the situation on the ground. He is also concerned Russia might use nukes if pushed too hard.

        Btw, where do you get the info that the Russians are firing 40k rounds a day ?
        Some estimates I saw were about 20k a day but HIMARS, counter battery fire and attrition put a very serious dent in that.

      • Sam says:

        Russian invasion plans, obtained by The New York Times, show that the military expected to sprint hundreds of miles across Ukraine and triumph within days. Officers were told to pack their dress uniforms in anticipation of military parades in Kyiv.



        Yup, Putin the master strategist who’s getting his ass handed to him. How long have you been saying that the Ukrainian army would fold?

        It would appear that it is the Russian army that is folding. Having already done that from beating a hasty retreat from Kyiv early in their invasion to then getting whacked in Kharkiv and more recently scramming across the Dnieper in Kherson. The Ukrainian counter-offensives and battlefield innovations despite not being armed with long-range missiles or a meaningful air force says more about their character and resolve than anything Putin has thrown at them.

        You should be contemplating what a total military loss looks like to the Russians instead, especially if Crimea is also taken. But…that would mean taking a big hit to your ego and your advocacy of Putin.

      • Master Slacker says:

        I think Russia has overstayed their welcome, the 50% is now close to zero. “Overall, 77.8% of Ukraine’s population self-identified as ethnically Ukrainian and 17.3% as ethnically Russian. Several other ethnic groups amounted to less than one percent of the country’s population each – for example, Crimean Tatars 0.5%; Bulgarians 0.4%; Hungarians 0.3%; Jews 0.2%; Roma 0.1%.Mar 21, 2022”

      • Jake wrote:

        they truly believe that elections held before 2014 revealed a little over 50 % of the population supported the presidential candidate leaning towards economic and cultural ties with Russia,
        and that those people did not feel represented by the regime installed by Victoria Nuland, as revealed in her ‘Fuck the-EU’-telephone call.

        There is firm evidence that that
        is not merely a belief,
        but in fact the truth..
        See in particular the analysis of the July 1994 presidential election
        on pages 165-166
        (notably the map on page 166 showing quite sharp electoral differences between western and eastern Ukraine)
        of Samuel Huntington’s 1996 book The Clash of Civilizations

        Huntington includes a quotation:

        The election, as one American expert observed,
        “reflected, even crystallized,
        the split between
        Europeanized Slavs in western Ukraine
        and the Russo-Slav vision of what Ukraine should be.

        It’s not ethnic polarization so much as different cultures.”

      • Bill Roche says:

        JK sorry to be so late in responding. Russia’s war to reduce Ukraine to a colonial region has nothing to do w/Poroshenko, Nuland, NATO, “The Maiden”, 2014 elections, or Minsk. Nothing. Your efforts to introduce these elements are intended to obscure the issue which is Ukraine’s fight for independence. It has pursued this hope for over 100 years; long b/f the cast of characters you introduce into the question. This war for independence has similarities to America’s war for independence from Britain. Ukraine wants independence, has her own security concerns, and refuses to be part of the Russian sphere. Finns, Balts, Poles, and Slovaks understand this well. Ukraine wants independence, no more, no less. I believe you do also.

        • Peter Williams says:

          Novorossia never wanted to be part of Malorossia, but Lenin transferred it in 1922. Crimea never wanted to be part of the UkSSR, but Krushchev illegally transferred it in 1954. Novorossia and Crimea are the people fighting for independence against the Ukraine, the Americans in your belief. Ukraine is the British in your faulty belief.

        • Jake says:

          Bill, ‘Ukraine’ in this case is an arbitrary assembled part of the globe that never existed as a country, elevated to represent a ‘single voice’ so as to silence our conscience. This is lunacy. Individuals have opinions, and opinions may clash. Sometimes violently. The protestors who fled into the union-building in Odessa in 2014, to be burned alive by the people you, somehow, present as the legal representatives of all of ‘Ukraine’, based on your reading of history, did not feel represented by the regime installed in Kiev by Victoria Nuland and her ilk.

          The elected president the US ‘helped’ to remove from power had been elected by a wide margin, and he already agreed to new elections to let the people decide between the opinions he represented, and the opinions the ‘Maidan-crowd’ represented. Clearly the US (and her European allies) did not trust the outcome, so they installed Yatsenyuk, killed the parties seen as ‘pro Russian’, and the media-outlets representing that part of the population, and they were off to war with Russia. Which was an embarrassment in 2014, with Porochenko and NATO getting their ass whipped in the Donbas, before they even came anywhere near to Crimea, the main target of their effort, seat of the Russian Black Sea fleet, and according to Gallup polls held in 2013 and after the Nuland-coup, fiercely pro-Russian.

          Eight years of relentless militarisation of the most corrupt nation in Europe, and NATO felt they were ready. But a series of failed strategies, military as well as economic/monetary, and geostrategic seeking allies for this new war, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, are threatening Europe directly as a result. In my perception NATO anticipated losing all of Ukraine, dreaming of an Afghanistan scenario, with ‘stay behind’ special forces bleeding Russia white, supported by sanctions from Hell. But it failed miserably, because Russia limited itself to support for the regions where the people live who have had enough of NATO and the EU, their lies, fake treaties and Hunter Biden scavenging the country for riches. And because Russia anticipated on these sanctions, which are hurting Europe more than Russia, and are going to bleed Europe white next year.

          How about setting up referenda, asking the people whether they want to serve the Biden family, or Putin, and go back to work? Even Kissinger suggested something along those lines recently, to prevent a nuclear holocaust, and save innocent lives.

          • Bill Roche says:

            These make believe people from a make believe region have been trying to win real independence from Russian oppression for one hundred years. They die today for that independence. But once, Ukraine d/n exist as a nation state. There was a time when the USA, Nigeria, Germany, Italy, Phillipeans, Canada, et alii, d/n exist. India existed as a geographic region but not a country until the Brits finally left, is India “illigit” too? Would that make Pakistan illigit? The Ukrainians have fought for independence since 1900 but your history begins after ’91 (when Ukraine said they wanted independence) and refuses to acknowledge that. You mention corruption. I have lived my life in NYS. My state capitol has the reputation as the most corrupt in the USA. Maybe NYS s/n exist due to corruption? Washington D.C. can teach the country about corruption too. Is Moscow, like Caesar’s wife, beyond reproach? Referendum’s are interesting. Should Ukraine be the only sovereign country forced to yield to referendum? I’d love a referendum to remove me from NYC. Can I have that? Basques and Catalonians want a referendum in Spain, will they get one? Shall Russian speakers in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to be parceled off to Russia? Will the citizens of Chechnia get a referendum too? Oh boy! Les Quebecois want out of Canada, how bout them? Seems Scotland asks for a referendum on UK membership daily. I’ll stop but you know I could go on. Your comments re Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen have nothing to do w/bleeding Russia white. The killing (Ukrainians bleed too BTW) can stop tomorrow if Russia and her soldiers go home and leave the other Slavs alone. I’m reminded of the RR hit “Hey teacher, leave those kids alone”. “Hey Russia, leave those Slavs alone”. They are not Russian, don’t want to be “lill” Russians, and do not look fondly on the “ole” Russian Empire. Jake I think you are an apologist for Russian imperialism but as they say, that ship has sailed. As far as Kissinger, I never thought he was so smart when he worked for Pres. Nixon. His Playboy picture was fun though!

          • Jake says:

            Bill, a lot of words, but you ignore my arguments. Ukraine was an administrative region within the USSR, and never a country. Personally I’m not fond of racial or cultural segregation, but the bulk of the Russians are Slavs. Identified by one A.H. about a century ago as an inferior race, together with the Jews. Those Ukrainians you identify as Slavs do not self-identify as such, if they refer to race at all. The most fanatical groups are in the North-West and they self-identify as being part of the Polish or German culture, and they were the ones served by the US/Victoria Nuland, which is an oddity as the Catholic Poles were fiercely anti-Semitic before the war, and part of my extended family left the country for that reason, settling in the US. Why people with a Jewish/Ukrainian background feel at ease with the following of Josep Bandera is beyond me, but it is beside the point anyway. Just give the people a choice, because they never had one when some administrators decided to cut the region they controlled within the Soviet Union loose, and do their own thing. Save for the people on Crimea, who immediately voted to do their own thing in a referendum, which was largely ignored until the reconfirmed their choice in 2014, and asked Putin to save them from Nuland and her chosen-ones.

            But if you want war with Russia, I hope it will hurt you, and not me, or that someone will bring you to your senses in time to save us from more senseless killing.

          • TTG says:


            You do realize Russia was an administrative unit within the USSR just as Ukraine was. Beyond that, you are woefully ignorant of the history of a region to which you claim familial roots. Kyiv was a thriving and important city long before Moscow was anything more than a collection of hovels. In recent history Ukraine declared independence in January of 1918 and again in August 1991. In a countrywide referendum that year, independence was supported by over 90% of the voters. Ukrainian independence was accepted by both Moscow and Washington that year. Moscow has no claim on Ukraine other than lust for a renewed empire.

          • Leith says:

            I believe Kissinger changed his mind and advised Ukraine not to relinquish any of her territory during negotiations. He disavowed his earlier position saying that: “ceding Ukrainian territory should not be on the table”.

            He probably remembered, or was reminded of, his own unrealistic negotiations with Lê Đức Thọ at the Paris peace talks.

          • Jake says:

            Leith, Kissinger also added that if a negotiated settlement could not be reached, and with such a Ukrainian position as you described that is an absolute certainty, the people themselves should be given the final say. The outcome might shock you.

          • Leith says:

            Jake –

            I did not describe any Ukrainian positions, neither on the war nor on negotiations. I’ll leave that to the Ukrainians themselves. Although I admit to opining here on Putin’s motives and positions. The positions of his propagandists on state run TV do not need opinions on my part: they are threatening any Russian elites who want to negotiate; demanding more more killing and devastation of Ukrainian cities; flaunting nuclear bravado; and one RU journalist even called for the drowning of Ukrainian children.

            I concur that the Ukrainian people themselves should be given the final say.

    • Sam says:

      A point you make often…

      “Understand: we are not at war with Russia; Russia is at war with us on our territory. They have to withdraw.”


      The Putin advocates like to always claim in their propaganda that it is NATO, US at war, when the reality is that Putin ordered his army to invade a sovereign neighbor. Ukraine is defending the integrity of its country’s borders. No one is threatening nuclear strikes but Putin. The fact that the Ukrainian army is methodically decimating the Russian army doesn’t deter their concern trolling that Ukraine must sue for peace on Putin’s terms. That’s backwards- peace can only commence when the Russian army is well behind their border.

  7. Fourth and Long says:

    “Only half a step remains”: after the Patriot air defense system, the West can transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine


    For the military experts here, see rumors on upcoming arms transfers in above Ru article today. First I’ve heard of those Shadow Storm British cruise missiles .

  8. Lars says:

    In order to buy the nice “story” from a Russian perspective, you have to ignore an awful lot of reality. There is no way to consider the Russian invasion as a defensive move. They were not threatened militarily by anyone. No doubt they would lose influence and the ability to dictate internal Ukraine policies, but that is about all.

    Putin is trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together after being traumatized by the collapse of his beloved Soviet Union and Ukraine was an important part of that fantasy. The biggest mistake the West did was to not go after them in 2014 and that is why we are where we are.

    Due to Russia’s actions, it is now imperative to get them back within their own borders and once they give up all the war criminals and pay for the destruction that they have caused, sanctions can be lifted. In the meantime, arming Ukraine is a necessity and they should also get more lethal, long range weapons, unless Putin stops targeting civilians. And by the way, one of those war criminals is Putin.

    • Pat Lang says:

      For the Russhian IO people here, I would think the UKies would welcome a Winter Ruussian offensive o the Donetsk front given the low quality of Russian leader and troops. Thr defensive is the stronger form of combat. This would be a great chance to bleed the Russians some more.

    • wiz says:


      Let’s suppose a not so hypothetical situation of Russians being pushed by NATO supplied and trained Ukrainian military out of Crimea and the Donbass, a home to millions of ethnic Russians.
      Let’s suppose Russia answers by using tactical nukes in Ukraine.

      Out of curiosity, what would in your opinion be the best course of further action ?

      A drive for diplomacy or a direct military action by NATO as advocated by general Petraeus ?

      • Lars says:

        Using nuclear weapons is very risky since you have no idea how it will play out, but if you use them first, you may not survive the next few hours and the Russian military knows this. But the more likely scenario is that if Russia loses Ukraine, it will more than likely result in Russia coming apart politically. What ensues after that is anybody’s guess. Regardless, there will be a NATO wall built with a very long border for Russia, which will take a lot of resources to defend. It is highly unlikely that Russia can afford too much of that, at least for a rather long time. However, they can be offered other solutions, but they will require a much different Russia.

        • wiz says:


          You did not provide an answer to my question so I’m guessing you are not sure and hoping that the nukes will not be used.

          US for example used nukes on Japan although the US was not in an existential threat, and Japan was not about to invade the US.

          Russia on the other hand, as you also said yourself, is in danger of breaking up in case of a humiliating loss. Is it not then possible or even probable that they will use nukes in a limited fashion as a last resort ? I think it is.

          Kissinger recently called for a negotiated piece, because as he says “dreams of breaking up Russia could unleash nuclear chaos”. There are no doubt many in the West that share that dream.

          I would not be surprised if Russia soon conducted a very public nuclear test to remind the West of the possible consequences.

          • Lars says:

            Given the hypothetical nature of your question, I did answer that I doubt Russia will resort to using nuclear weapons, since if you open that door, you have no idea what you will find. The idea that you can use such a device as a warning shot is not credible.

            US used nukes on Japan to save the lives of thousands of soldiers and it worked. But the main lesson from that is that we now know how destructive these weapons are.

            Henry Kissinger has been wrong before and I now think he is past his use date. Any break up of Russia will not be instant and could easily last quite some time. The only thing that could be negotiated would be the Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, which they may want rather soon, since their country is deteriorating rather rapidly as it is.

            You know Putin is desperate when he says they will send musicians to bolster morale. The realization that he is just sending more cannon fodder is spreading and that will add to his numerous problems.

          • wizz says:


            Consider that Russia might find itself facing economic collapse, rebellions, civil wars, dissolution etc.

            In a situation like that, yes there is a potential risk associated with using nukes, but OTOH there is a very real risk if not using them as deterrence.

            In a situation of chaos, a scenario similar to the one depicted in a movie Crimson Tide is very much possible. Who controls nukes if Russia starts falling apart ?

            I’m sure the US has various contingency plans, but plans are one thing, the unpredictability of real life is another.

        • Sam says:

          You’re right IMO. No Russian command officer will execute Putin’s order to unleash a nuclear strike. They know that would be the end. Retaliation would be swift and overwhelming. Vaporizing Moscow!

          • wizz says:

            Vaporizing Moscow, yes. But also vaporizing New York, Washington, London etc. It is a two way street.

            I did not however suggest that nukes would be used against a NATO country, but within Ukraine.

            Personally, I doubt the West would commit suicide over Ukraine.

  9. Leith says:

    No way a new Muscovite offensive can change the tide. They would have to depend on newly mobilized, poorly trained infantry to overcome veteran Ukrainian troops. They have little effective armor left. They have no air superiority. They are outgunned in artillery.

    IMHO Putin’s strategy is to keep muddling along with Wagnerites and DNR/LNR conscripts plus cruise missile and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure until the US and the West get Ukraine-Fatigue and stop providing weapons and funds. It might or might not work. The Russian people might get burned out first.

    • Bill Roche says:

      I think you have it right re Putin’s strategy; extend Ukrainian misery until European compassion runs dry. Of course there is a simple answer of all this suffering; Putin go home! Russia go home!
      Is Russia threatened? No. Can Russia still be friends w/Syria, Iran, and China? Yes. What Russia can’t be anymore is an empire. That is the entire issue. Putin will assert Russian dominance over Ukrainians.
      I doubt the average young Russian is willing to get a bullet in Ukraine. But I also doubt that the average young Russian sees anything wrong with Russia dominating her neighbors.

  10. Fourth and Long says:

    It’s time to play American History Completion Tests, a holiday special!

    Last year we learned to pass by answering correctly:
    Q) An American President whose name begins with
    T r u m
    a) Who nuked two cities.
    b) Who didn’t nuke any cities.

    For this year’s try this warmup quiz first:
    A famous person’s first name – One letter: _ a m a l a l a l a

    All set?

    Which American Vice President had a name which began with the letters:

    H a r r?

  11. Al says:

    Tucker Carlson getting in some low blows on Lindsey Graham.
    Tucker Carlson claimed that the “personal life” of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – a bachelor – explains why he wants the United States to continue sending aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

    Carlson addressed the senator’s remarks on Thursday’s Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News.

    “So, the other day Lindsey Graham came out–” Carlson began, taking a long pause “–the Republican from South Carolina, and said that he agreed with Joe Biden and Zelensky.”

    Graham’s remarks came hours before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed a joint session of Congress and asked for more aid. After the speech, Carlson slammed the president and said he dresses like a “Ukrainian strip club manager.”

    “So, it’s really hard to overstate how crazy this is,” Carlson reacted. “And you don’t want to play shrink and wonder about, you know, what emptiness at the core of Lindsey Graham’s personal life causes him to identify so strongly with a country he’s not a citizen of. Something’s going on there.”

    • LeaNder says:

      Al, I wondered about the Tucker Carlson phenomenon, for me as outsider, so I looked him up a little. The most interesting item I f0und was a ‘US left-right dialogue’, with Tucker representing the conservative spectrum, versus forget who, I guess in the US context one has to say, representing the Democrats at least politically.

      But yes, do we have a list of the countries whose presidents addressed a joint session 0f congress? Are we only alerted to such events if there are standing ovations after every second sentence or … Indeed curious. More generally too. In the sense of what is standard? What is the history of these events, and so on???

      • Bill Roche says:

        There is a strong streak of Libertarian in TC and me. Some Libert. still suffer from isolationism; maybe TC too? I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt and not think he has been bought by the Russians??? Re his comments about Graham who is rumored to be queer. So what. Are we not “over” that in the U.S. If that was TC’s dig it sullies him, not Graham. Libertarians are “supposed” to be for accepting people whatever their life choices. Yesterday, Giuliani, on his mid day radio broadcast, commented on a recent dinner (date?) b/t Kelly Ann Conway and Andrew Cuomo. Lots to talk about but Giuliani, a divorcee himself, acknowledged their difficulties and wish them both the happiest of holidays. Political differences aside they were both good people said the Mayor. He left it at that. Perhaps TC could use a lesson from RG? Sorry to say, TC is losing his cachet.

  12. Lars says:

    Maybe we could exchange Tucker Carlson for Paul Whelan? I am sure he would be treated as a hero in Moscow.

  13. Sam says:

    Referring to Russian aggression in Ukraine, Morawiecki pointed out that the Ukraine war will end only with the defeat of Vladimir Putin.

    “We have warned that Russia’s colonial ambitions are a threat to eastern European countries and the entire EU,” said Morawiecki, adding that Europe must do everything to aid Ukraine, as the fall of Kyiv would open the way for Russia to conquer Europe.


    This point made by the Polish prime minister goes to the heart of the Eastern European belief. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has only strengthened this viewpoint of Putin as a colonialist. This war can’t end until Putin withdraws his army within Russian borders and he removes claims to Ukrainian territory. It would appear that this argument by the Polish PM is in direct opposition to Putin’s argument that the special military operation was to secure Russia from NATO encroachment.

  14. Bill Roche says:

    Sam I have been thinking about the terms SMO vs War. Why has Putin been reluctant to say war. Russia has invaded a sovereign nation, is killing its citizens and destroying its cities. Isn’t this war? Putin sees Ukraine and Ukrainians as illegitimate. Ukrainians are just inferior Russians and Ukraine just an administrative district of Russia. But Ukraine refuses to be Russia’s bitch. Ukraine delenda est; that’s what Putin’s doing know. If Ukraine won’t submit it will be reduced to the 13th century; subdued to the “Great Slav”.

    • TTG says:

      Bill Roche,

      In my opinion the Kremlin chose to call this a SMO because they fully expected it to be over quickly and with minimal bloodshed, especially Russian bloodshed. Much as in the US, declaring war triggers a chain of actions that I doubt Moscow was willing to trigger. I also don’t think Putin wanted to legitimize Ukraine by declaring war. That would imply that Ukraine was a sovereign country and the government in Kyiv was also legitimate. He believed this was more of an internal Russian affair. Remember the near-abroad concept immediately after the breakup of the Soviet Union?

      • Sam says:


        You’re spot on in my opinion.

        Putin believed that his army would decapitate Kyviv within weeks. What he didn’t expect was the resolve by the Ukrainians and the capabilities of their army, along with intelligence & material support from the Europeans & the US.

        This has been a debacle for Putin. His army has been wounded and is now stuck in a long fight. The Ukrainians have the battlefield momentum. And the Ukrainians are showing improving abilities to counter Putin’s infrastructure aerial attacks.

        As the comments from the Polish PM elucidate, it is not only liberal European governments but also conservatives including the Italian PM, who are advocating the defeat of Putin.

      • Sam says:


        It is a war. Putin’s army has been fighting since last winter. He is stuck with no seat saving exit. He can’t win a good negotiating position militarily.

      • Jake says:

        Weird statements, if you allow me to say so, because they are even in conflict with the official history of how Ukraine developed. I understand why people who are being lied to 24/7 by politicians become conditioned to assume no politician is speaking the truth, ever. But Putin has been warning for this development at least from 2007, when he addressed the ‘Security Conference’ in Munich. In his opening statement he said that he would speak without the usual diplomatic ‘politeness’, frank and free, and he did. In the proces exposing his ‘trigger points’, which NATO used to rub him the wrong way ever since, looking for a fight to legitimize NATO’s prolonged existence, after their ‘Raison d’être’ ceased to exist when the Soviet-Union collapsed.

        No western politician has been truthful about Ukraine, ever. Least of all the true ‘Russofobic’ ones, driven by a blind hatred of a people, irrespective of ideology. Angela Merkel and Porochenko admitting that this Minsk Accord was a ruse, so as to be able to prepare for this war, after losing badly in 2014, is just another fine example. And on August 28 1991 Russia recognized Ukraine as an independent sovereign nation, and they used to have embassies and treaties covering their differences ever since. So what is this nonsense about a war which would ‘legitimize’ Ukraine?

        Russia even maintained diplomatic ties after Nuland removed the elected president, and installed her regime on behalf of the US, which you are so fond of. And it was Ukraine which cut these ties at the start of the ‘Special Military Operation’, not the other way around. These days Putin insists that he is still ready to talk about peace, but Zelensky is not. His choice. Or, in reality, that of his bosses in NATO, apparently, since he changed his mind in April after Boris Johnson rushed to Kiev when Zelensky was about to sign of on a deal with Russia to stop the fighting. In which case the SMO would not have escalated into a war. But it did, and there will be consequences.

  15. jim ticehurst.. says:

    Wouldnt Putin Now Be Afraid of any Peace Deal.or..Agreements…I Imagine Now Ukraine would Join NATO and Be Stronger than Any thing Putin could Imagine…And His
    Military Knows That…Interesting how Unstable World Leaders are Getting…Dead..Dying or Impaired…Out Smarted…And Chaos is Contagious..
    Louder..Like that Rapping…Tapping…On The Door…For Ever More…

    • Fred says:


      Turkey is going to agree to have Ukraine join NATO? Why?

      • jim ticehurst.. says:

        Fred….NATO Votes for Membership Should Be Modified..To Two Thirds Majority Vote Yes or No…Turkey…Urdogan is Playing Too
        Many Games…Now Playing Sweden and Finland along until June or July…Why..So Russia can Invade If it wants that Option..?

        Turkey Wants all The Pies…Playing Everyone along…Getting All That Money and Aid from the USA…Perks From Russia…Let Them Buy Russian Military Equipment…No More Dollars..No More Covert/Overt Assist…The USA Could put a BIG Hurt on Them IMO….Remember Our Blockaid of China..??..

        Oh…All The Most Current Posts on Russias lack of Shells..and Supplys…Well…I Think Colonel Lang Covered all Those Reasons
        Very Well…With How Bad Ass the Ukrainians really Are..This
        Post by Pat…”TWO (More) Russian Ammo Depots Destroyed”,,,
        December 16th…..And The “Patriots” (plus Stocking Stuffers) Are Coming…We know Who is Naughty…on Both Sides..

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