“Ukrainian Attack May Have Crushed Production Of Russia’s Deadliest Drone”

Supplies of Lancet kamikaze drones fell off sharply after the ZOMZ explosion

The Lancet has been one of Russia’s most effective weapons in its war with Ukraine, a small kamikaze drone which can find and destroy targets from 40 miles away with deadly precision. Lancets knock out Leopard tanks, artillery and even parked aircraft. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief, singled the Lancet out as a problem in his recent paper on the current military situation. Only a few appeared at first, dozens per month, but in July 2023 numbers were set to soar. Instead, something interrupted the supply.

That month Russian news media showed a video of Lancet makers Zala Aero, featuring their flamboyant CEO Aleksandr Zakharov touring a giant new production facility in a converted shopping mall on a Segway. The video showed racks of hundreds of Lancets, and one article suggested that production could increase by a factor of fifty. This looked like bad news for Ukraine. But instead of surging, Lancet strikes dropped off markedly. There was initially no clue as to what had happened.

Information from Molfar, a Ukrainian OSINT group looking at sabotage operations in Russia, suggests that the cause may have been a well-targeted strike by Ukrainian forces.

On August 9th, Russian state media source TASS reported a massive explosion on the site of the Zagorsk Optical-Mechanical Plant (aka ZOMZ) in Sergiyev Posad near Moscow. They described the facility as making optical and optoelectronic devices for law enforcement, industry and healthcare. The company, established in 1935, is well known in Russia for high-quality binoculars and opera glasses, and according to ZOMZ website they also make medical equipment for diagnosing eye conditions as well as X-ray amplifiers.

The damage was considerable. Thirty people were taken to hospital, four buildings close to the center of the explosion were severely damaged and windows were blown out over a wide area. The damage extended to part of the local university, two schools, a sports complex and a store as well as thirty-eight apartments and four cars.

The article and analysis continues at this link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2024/02/01/how-one-blast-shut-down-production-of-russias-deadliest-drone/

Comment: David Hambling did a good job in connecting the “incident” at the ZOMZ factory with the battlefield effect of a stark drop off in lancet drone attacks. The graph alone is strong evidence. The real question is whether this is due to another careless Russian smoker in a nearby fireworks factory or a deliberate Ukrainian drone strike or act of sabotage. No matter how it happened, Ukraine was fortunate that a massive increase in Lancet drones did not materialize. The Lancet is very effective and was tearing the Ukrainians a new one.

I’m inclined to believe this was a deliberate Ukrainian operation resulting from sound target analysis. As we developed target folders back in 10th SFG(A), we employed the CARVER methodology. This methodology allowed us to create the desired effect with the least risk. I’m sure US and other Western intelligence and special operations trainers have been training their Ukrainian counterparts in this methodology for years. 


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

54 Responses to “Ukrainian Attack May Have Crushed Production Of Russia’s Deadliest Drone”

  1. Jovan P says:

    Тhis may have been the case or there could have been some other reason. But this was half a year ago, in January 2024 the Russians had ca 140 hits with Lancets, the most since the beginning of the war.

  2. Augustin L says:

    This blog is nothing but bullsh*t and Neocon propaganda now. When the Russian army enters Kiev, I predict what remains of the committee will cease to operate. Russia now produces close to 250000 + drones a month. I/O or dupes…

    • TTG says:

      Augustin L,

      I think it’s your source who is nothing but bullsh*t. Typical Kremlin cope.

      Jan 6 (Reuters) – Russia plans to produce more than 32,000 drones each year by 2030 and for domestic producers to account for 70% of the market, the TASS news agency cited First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov as saying on Saturday. “The annual production volume of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – excluding educational UAVs – is planned at 32,500 units,” Belousov told TASS. “This is almost three times higher than current production volumes.

  3. leith says:

    Can’t believe that Forbes article called Krivoruchko “Russia’s Dense Minister”. Their words not mine. Either an elaborate joke or they layed off their proofreaders to save a buck. And what happened to Shoigu, the real Dense Minister? Has he been shipped off to never-never-land like General Gerasimov and Admiral Sokolov?

    And Molfar seems to be an ego-tripping blowhard. Is he for real?

  4. wiz says:

    That graph shows a pretty constant rise in the use of the Lancet. The surge during the summer makes sense since the Ukie offensive created a target rich environment.

    The dip in september also makes sense after the surge of the previous two months.
    The supply needed to catch up.

    Humanity has entered the time of drone wars. Those that have better drones and the AI coordination system will be superior on the field of battle.

    Maybe thats a good thing. In future wars, the opponents will unleash their drone armies at each other and maybe humans will not have to die in the hundreds of thousands any more.

    • Lars says:

      Since civilians are increasingly military targets, I am afraid that your wishes will not be fulfilled. There may be less military killed, but I suspect that drones will not entirely replace them. The only deterrent to war is the cost, which is increasing.

      • wiz says:


        “…Since civilians are increasingly military targets, I am afraid that your wishes will not be fulfilled…”

        Maybe not. I think the world has much less tolerance for civilian casualties than in previous wars.

        Look at the current 2 big conflicts, the one in Ukraine and in the middle east.

        According to a UN source, from the start of the war in Ukraine till the end of September 2023, there were some 9700 killed
        civilians and 17k injured.
        We don’t know the number of combined military casualties (Ru + UA) but lets say they run into the 300-400 hundred thousand.
        So, 98% of the casualties are military, not civilian.

        In Gaza the ratio is much different but even still, Israel cannot just wipe out 2 million Palestinians. Not, with the whole world watching.

        Compare that to the WW2 where just one US raid on Tokyo, on March 10th, 1945, killed some 100 000 people, and injured
        1 million more. Another million were left homeless. From just one raid. Most of those casualties were civilian.

        So maybe, just maybe we’ve become a little less savage.

        • Fred says:


          The Japanese army did not return to Nanking to repeat what they did there (or elsewhere), nor have we had to fight them in another war, either.

    • d74 says:

      “[…] maybe humans will not have to die in the hundreds of thousands any more.”
      Good feelings…

      In line with Clausewitz, the aim of war is to put the enemy out of action, through wounding, death or capture by any means permitted by international conventions.

      So, the purpose of technology such as quadcopter drones, small and cheap, is to ensure more casualties for the enemy.

      We can, all on our own, hope that small stuff will reduce mutual casualties. I’m afraid we’re the only ones to do so. And probably not for long. These magical thoughts will be the first to be dispelled by the realities of fighting.

    • leith says:

      Wiz –

      There is a good article on AI enabled drones at the War Zone website:


      My key take aways were that:
      – Automatic Target Recognition in small FPV drones is coming fast and will even be available to non-state terrorist groups.
      – The US edge of total air superiority will be history.

      • James says:

        leith –

        Interesting article. Thanks for the link.

        There has been little mainstream discussion about what is, to me, a hugely significant leaked google memo. The infamous “Google Has No Moat” memo:

        It argues that “AI software” … or to use more technical language, “AI models” … are going to be open source. That is to say – freely available to everyone for download off of the internet.

        This memo has been pretty much ignored. Semianalysis said they were going to publish a rebuttal but never did. I haven’t seen anybody publish a rebuttal. I find the author’s thesis persuasive (and I lead a data engineering team at an AI company so I know a bit about this).

        Once people start releasing open source models for target recognition and the like … it’s gonna be a brave new world.

        • Barbara Ann says:


          This is very good news. The least worst thing that can happen with AI models is for them to be entirely open source.

          • TTG says:

            Barbara Ann,

            I agree. The same goes for all the algorithms used to manipulate search engines and social media. Sure these algorithms make searching for information on the internet far easier than back in the day of exhaustively rummaging around the nooks and crannies of university data bases and BBSs, but now we have no idea what those algorithms feed us and for what reason.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            Convenience is tyranny’s Trojan horse. Yes, critical functions controlling access to information at the highest levels like search engines and SM news aggregation/content moderation (AI controlled or not) should be totally transparent. They are so obviously open to political abuse that freedom of information must override the profit motive.

            Heck I moved to an open source OS on my laptop a decade ago and never looked back. Open source firmware too is the Holy Grail, for those who don’t wish to have the NSA’s “Intel. inside” their machine (cue jingle).

            Back to censorship: Here is exiled Chinese artist Ai (no pun intended) Wei Wei telling Sky News censorship in the West today is no different to Mao’s China. And Congress seem intent on making this worse, not better. Sigh.


        • leith says:

          James –

          What are your thoughts on the use of AI in disinformation during elections?

          • James says:

            leith –

            I think you and I have different politics so what I perceive to be “disinformation” is probably different than what you consider to be “disinformation”. Quite frankly I think the talk of “AI and disinformation” is designed to scare people to just blindly accept what the Colonel used to describe as “the borg” wants them to believe.

            To my mind for AI to be useful it needs to be doing something at scale – for example arguing certain positions in youtube comments. But even that isn’t really “at scale” because the real target there is the population overall and not a particular person so you can write traditional code to do that and you don’t need an AI model.

            Where AI starts to frighten me is the whole skynet scenario. Two years ago I would have found it laughable but I am not laughing anymore. One of my colleagues who leads our UI development team says that Microsoft Copilot has doubled his productivity. We are all asking ChatGPT or Copilot to write code snippets for us. Once I can get to the point where I can say “Co-pilot – compile the code in directory /home/james/myProject and run it … and copilot runs the compile, fixes any compile errors, runs the executable, looks at the output to determine whether it is correct, hits a point where it is not sure what its next step should be and comes to me for help to figure out what the next step should be …

            Then it is learning in a closed loop to solve pretty much open ended problems. And its going to need access to the net because it will need to access documentation and such. I can see the whole thing accelerating very quickly.

          • James says:

            leith –

            In my previous reply I was skeptical about AI and disinformation. But after thinking about it for a bit … one could compile psychological profiles of particular youtube viewers and then feed them video recommendations containing disinformation tailored just for them. But I think to be able to execute such a strategy you would have to control a social media platform like youtube or Tik Tok.

        • leith says:

          James –

          Time Magazine has a fascinating article on AI in Ukraine. Fascinating to me anyway, an admitted software dunce. Palantir Technologies out of Denver has embedded its AI capabilities within Ukraine free of charge. It’s claimed their software is “responsible for most of the targeting in Ukraine”. Their data analytic capability is being used to analyze: satellite imagery, open-source data, drone footage, and reports from the ground to present commanders with military options.

          But they also work for ministries other than Ministry of Defense. They use AI to collect evidence of war crimes, to clear land mines, to resettle displaced refugees, and to root out corruption.



          • James says:

            leith –

            I’m very interested in this subject so I am glad you flagged this for me.

            That said – as someone who has blown smoke in customer’s faces about “how awesome our software is” I was looking for an interview with a grunt on the front line talking about how the software helped him do his job. I did not see that. But I have no doubt that Ukraine is a great laboratory for Palantir and their platform must be getting much better as a result of their efforts there.

            You can test in the lab all day long but until you run it with “real customers and real data to solve real problems in the real world” it’s just research.

  5. Fred says:

    If the Houthis are Iran’s proxies does that make Ukraine the “West’s” proxies. It’s NATO weapons, intel and planning that seems to be doing all the damage inside Russia.

    • TTG says:


      I think proxy is an imprecise term at best either in the case of Ukraine or the Houthis. We did supply weaponry and intelligence to Ukraine since shortly after the first Russian invasion. We demanded Zelenskiy’s government flee into exile in February 2022. They refused our bidding. The US has stopped supplying weaponry to Ukraine this year. The Ukrainians decided to resist against the Russian invasion and will continue to resist with or without Western assistance. The Houthis received military aid from Iran in their resistance against the Saudis and the rest of the Gulfies. They would have resisted that invasion whether Iran helped them or not. The same applies with the Houthi decision to attack shipping in the Red Sea.

      A better term for both cases would be undeclared allies much like Britain and the US were undeclared allies early in WWII. Our Lend-Lease program did not make Britain a proxy for the US. Britain would have continued to resist Germany with or without our help. Just as now, there were plenty of Americans back then who considered our assistance to Britain a bad idea. They said we should mind our own business or even be friends with Hitler’s Germany.

      On your last point, it is Ukrainian drones, missiles and SOF doing damage inside Russia, not ours. We continue to resist giving Ukraine the means to carry the war to the Russian homeland.

      • Fred says:

        You left out Wilson’s manipulation of our people to get the US into WW1. Not doing that would have saved 100,00+ American lives and forced the Europeans to end their war without us. No WW2 as a result. We’ve been getting manipulated by Europeans (especially brits) and “progressives’ ever since.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Edward Bernays’ WW1 contracted propaganda, the beginning of the end of the USA as a free people.

          • James says:

            Eric Newhill,

            I did not even know about the connection between Bernays and the Committee on Public Information!

      • Christian J Chuba says:

        ‘proxy’ is a viciously abused term. If I ran a newsroom, I’d ban the use of the word until someone was able to justify it.

        ‘proxy’, perhaps it’s my comp sci background, connotes a very strong relationship where a device works literally as a forwarding agent. If one is an Iranian proxy, it means they work exclusively on behalf of Iran.

        I would call Hezbollah, the Houthis, and to a much lesser extent Hamas, allies or partners as I would for Israel and Ukraine when it comes to the U.S.

        IMO calling someone an Iranian proxy is meant to dehumanize them. By calling Houthis Iranian proxy’s you are depriving them of their identity as Yemenis, ditto Hezbollah and the factions in Iraq. Both native born residents of their respective countries.

        • Barbara Ann says:

          Christian J Chuba

          If you ran a ABCNNBCBS propaganda factory newsroom I expect you would have to use the terms you were told to use 😉

          But yes, “proxy” here is clearly intended to convey to the audience that Ansar Allah/Hizbullah etc. lack any agency of their own – i.e. Iran dunnit. Loaded Goebbelsesque language is all pervasive these days. “Militant” is just synonymous with “bad guy” and of course “Axis of Resistance” and other such groupings of “militants” are de-legitimized by prepending them with the inevitable “self-styled”.

          Someone should write a translator app which removes the Pavlovian trigger language from Legacy Media excretions and turns it into plain text. Then again it looks like the Legacy Media may not be around long enough to make it worthwhile. These days news of even the most mildly dissident nature must be searched for in places like Samizdstack.

          And inevitably the very word “news” itself has now succumbed. It’s contemporary usage is exclusively applied to information consistent with The Narrative. What remains is “dangerous misinformation” and Congress seems determined to get that menace under control before it interferes with the election.

  6. Fred says:

    Answering, or brining back up a question I asked here long ago: Underway replenishment of cruise missiles:


  7. Leith says:

    Agreed! But what going on in the photo at the top of the linked article? Sure looks like a VLS reload. Or was that a failed experiment? Or something else?

  8. English Outsider says:

    On the question of whether this can be termed a proxy war Leon Panetta, former director of the CIA and secretary of defence under Barack Obama, March 2022: “It is a proxy war with Russia whether we say or not … we have to be sure we are providing as much weaponry as possible … the way you get leverage is by, frankly going in and killing Russians. That is what the Ukrainians have to do. We have to continue the war effort … Because this is a power game.”


    The often mentioned 2019 Rand study identifies the use of Ukraine as a means of weakening Russia. The academics refer to the conflict as an “internationalised civil war”. But none of these terms cover the reality of what we have done in Ukraine. We have destroyed our proxy – surrogate, ally, call it what you will – in our attempt to harm the RF. We have lost what international credibility we had in that attempt. We have severely weakened the Western economies. And “proxy” war or any other term we care to use, we’ve lost it. Ours was a defeat entirely predictable in February 2022 and we further harm ourselves and Ukraine by pretending it has not occurred.

    • TTG says:


      In my opinion Panetta and the authors of that Rand study don’t give a damn about Ukraine or Ukrainians or probably most East Europeans for that matter. They view only “great powers” as relevant or even worthy of existence. That’s why they can’t recognize a people’s struggle for independence and self-determination when they see it. It’s not a new attitude. It’s been around throughout time and throughout the world. We in the US are certainly not immune to it.

      • wiz says:


        There’s another struggle that is happening in Ukraine.

        The struggle is of those people that do not wish to worship Stepan Bandera and associates as national heroes, that don’t wish their children to be taught to hate Russia, that don’t want
        their political, religious and cultural identities suppressed, they want to be able to speak their native Russian as a second official language etc.

        This struggle is ignored in the West or put exclusively in the context of the Russian military action.

        Ukraine is not a homogeneous country like Finland or Poland and the relentless efforts to make it so contributed immensely to this conflict.

        • TTG says:


          The Russian invasion and Russian conduct in the occupied territories is doing far more to eradicate the once heavy minority of Ukrainians favorable to Russia, the Russian language and close relations with Russia than any actions of Ukrainian nationalists in the Verkhovna Rada. There are many Russian speakers in Kharkov and elsewhere who are learning and using Ukrainian because of their growing disgust with Russian behavior.

          • wiz says:


            the process of forcibly making Ukraine into something it is not and trying to get it into NATO, began years before the first Russian tank crossed the border.

          • TTG says:


            It began with Kyiv’s declaration of independence from the Kremlin. At the time, even the Kremlin seemed to desire independence from the Kremlin.

        • James says:

          I am firmly of the belief that the plan here has long been to kill as many Ukrainian men as possible so that the Ukrainian women get remarried to European men. Thus the children will be raised in a European culture with a European mindset.

          Thus Ukraine will cease to be a “Russian” country in terms of its culture and its mindset and will be pulled firmly into Europe’s mindset/culture/sphere-of-influence.

  9. English Outsider says:

    TTG – of course I agree absolutely. But I hold doggedly to my view that this is not primarily an American disaster. What the Panettas and Brzezinski’s and the Blinkens do and what they want to do is a matter of open record. What the Scholz’s and the Macrons and the Johnsons. not. We all know of Mrs Nuland’s cookies. How many know of the Association Agreement? Or of the long premeditated deception of Minsk 2?

    Merkel. Hollande and Poroshenko have now, somewhat late in the day, admitted to the Minsk 2 deception. All forget what came before. Richard North, the leading UK authority on the EU – he knows more about it than the Commission and the Council put together – was casting a sceptical eye on what was being attempted with Ukraine long before. The UK was a member of the EU at that time and HMG was also pressing hard for EU expansion. I put some references on this together a while back:- (Article titles in bold)

    “EU politics: BBC misleads its audience on Ukraine – again.”


    Extract from the above:-

    “There should thus be no mistake. These (EU) agreements are not about increasing trade in sunflower seeds and walnuts. They are an attempt by the EU to become a regional force that can project power, right up to the Russian border. Just don’t expect the BBC or other British media to tell you.

    “The Daily Telegraph, for instance, also omits the defence pact details. It simply reports on the “landmark economic trade pact”, the signing prompting “a furious response from the Kremlin”. Even the US press doesn’t get it. It talks of an “economic pact” and then has Grigory Karasin, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, warning in rather vague terms of “serious consequences”.

    “The Russian news agency, ITAR-TASS, however, is more informative. It has the Russian Foreign Ministry stating that: “the EU counterparts failed to prove the association agreements’ advantage”, expressing concerns that “the rupture of trade and economic relations with our neighbours can damage the Russian economy”.”

    A further article looked at EU expenditure on the project. Peanuts, OK, compared with the US five billion at that time, but expended judiciously:–

    “Ukraine: they catch up – eventually”


    Extract from above:-

    “The extent of funding to the Eastern Partnership is colossal. Between 2011 and 2013, just EU spending on Ukraine was €389 million with €13,524,357 given to single beneficiaries in 2012. As much again was given to multiple recipients. But even more sinister is the way money was parcelled out to NGOs in relatively small packages, making a little go a long way.””

    And a further article examines the implications of the Association Agreement:-

    “Ukraine: provocation disguised?”


    Extract from above:-

    “Go back a little, to December 2011, and you can see the game the EU was playing with its Association Agreement. The aim was, it said, “to accelerate the deepening of political and economic relations between Ukraine and the EU, as well as Ukraine’s gradual integration in the EU Internal Market including by setting up a deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA)”.

    “The Agreement was a “concrete way to exploit the dynamics in EU-Ukraine relations, focusing on support to core reforms, on economic recovery and growth, governance and sector co-operation”. It was also seen as “a reform agenda for Ukraine, around which all Ukraine’s partners can align themselves and focus their assistance”.

    “Thus the EU saw itself as the spearhead around which western penetration could be organised, including US aid.

    “But this was always much more than a series of isolated association agreements with individual countries. It was very much part of a concerted programme to detach Russia from its allies, under a programme called the “Eastern Partnership policy”, encompassing Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.”


    One cannot look at all that, in conjunction with NATO expansion in the region, and claim there was no concerted effort to bring the boundaries of the EU – and of NATO – right up to the borders of the RF. Mrs Merkel – the “bride left at the altar” as she put it when Yanukovych attempted to reject the agreement – was a key player and it was that debacle that led directly to the Maidan.

    Sakwa also goes into this period of expansion in detail. He’s also critical of the way Brussels steamrollered the Association Agreement through, disregarding legitimate Russian trade and security concerns. This was no US “patsy” dutifully following the dictates of the Washington neocons. It was a predatory entity in its own right, using US power and influence to further its local objectives.

    That was also the case in the run up to February 2022. More so, I believe.

    • d74 says:

      If I’ve understood correctly, the EU is playing into the hands of the USA.
      So EU is a proxy for the USA. (I know, it’s too easy ).

      The scheme of shared action (EU-USA) described by Peter North has been implemented for all the Eastern European countries that are now members of the EU and NATO.
      For these countries, bi-adhesion is logical: EU for the economy, NATO for defense. I don’t think it would be difficult to find that the applicants have been those countries. Which would explain Brussels’ ubris, comforted in its grandiose plans.

      All, or almost all, of these countries have added a bi-lateral agreement with the USA to their NATO membership.

      However, I don’t agree with your penultimate statement. Russia alone has moved dangerously close to the borders of the free world. The Russkoffs take great care to stake out Western military bases as they advance.
      Look at a map, it’s obvious. (!)

      • Fred says:


        Nobody in Europe has agency, they’re all rubes of the USA. Doesn’t anyone over there actually run their own country, other than Orban?

        • d74 says:

          Orban gave in to an “EU proposal” (read threats) that could not be refused.

          So, all american minds, regardless national ID.

          • Fred says:


            Slaves all. If only we could get you to give us your money instead of allowing you to make us pay for your border war in the East. The other borders being open to the sacred immigrants who are your strength. DEI baby. Just like America makes you do ’cause you’re actually all Americans now.

    • fredw says:

      “Merkel. Hollande and Poroshenko have now, somewhat late in the day, admitted to the Minsk 2 deception.”

      I am always amazed at the notion that the Minsk negotiations (1 or 2) involved some sort of “deception”. Who, precisely, ever believed that either side took the terms seriously? This was an agreement to stop fighting, not an arrangement for the future. Neither side gave up its goals. Both sides got the most they could get at the time and immediately set about reorganizing and strengthening the portions of Ukraine aligned with them. That was certainly what I expected at the time based on no deep understanding. It was baked into the whole process. It seems fatuous now to assert that either side expected anything different.

      What was surprising in the following years was not the consolidation itself but the inadequacy of it. The EU and the US did not in fact produce a Ukraine capable of standing up to the Russians. Nor did the Russians make much of the Donbas. The Donbas was a rust belt that was a financial drain on whoever had it. Neither side had any real interest in it except as a part of larger goals.

      It is hard to remember now, but that is how it looked! It turned out that despite their corruption and chaos Ukraine had managed to build some strength. And it turned out that Russian military “reform” was a chimera. So thing look different now, but it seems silly to think there was ever any trust to be betrayed.

      • English Outsider says:

        Fredw – the reason the Merkel/Hollande admission on Minsk 2 was such a diplomatic disaster was not that it wasn’t held to.

        Although some parts of it were, sort of, it was obvious to all sides that it was not being fully observed. The Russians didn’t need to be that bright to know about those massive fortifications being constructed. In fact they have good intelligence in Ukraine and would have known all about our training and equipping the proxies. None of that was consistent with Minsk 2 and the Russians could not but have known it.

        What was damaging was that Western politicians admitted they’ve never meant to hold to the agreement from the very start. It’s common enough for international agreement to be broken or not fully observed. Not common for politicians to brag that they’d signed a treaty intending even as they signed it to break it comprehensively.

        It wrecked Western diplomatic credibility. The Russians know now that any “peace treaty” they might sign with the West isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. That’s why they’ll sort the Ukrainian problem out without much further reference to us.

        As for the Germans and the French, who were the guarantors of Minsk 2, their name is mud. No more heart to hearts with Putin for Macron or Scholz. They have to stand in line to get to speak to him and sometimes the Kremlin doesn’t bother to take their calls. That bad.

        Have to disagree on the Donbass, I’m afraid. Rust belt or not, it contained a few million people the neo-Nazis in Kiev wanted to kill or drive out. When it looked as if they were poised to do just that the Russians, somewhat reluctantly, moved in to stop them.

        As for the Ukrainians “building strength”, yes they did. Or rather we did it for them. But it was small unit stuff. We gave them little that was any good for Combined Arms warfare. Deliberately. We’d been hoping for a quick Ukrainian defeat followed by an insurgency that we hoped would wear the Russians down.

        The chumps in Washington and Berlin/Brussels are still hoping for that. The Russians didn’t’ fall for it in 2022 and won’t in 2024. Might be worth pointing out that partisan warfare wouldn’t go too well now anyway. The neo-Nazi core will mostly be dead or fled to Germany, the country’s down to some half of its original population, and most Ukrainians are slowly getting to realise we’ve taken them for a ride.

        On the state of the Russian army, our trouble is that we all read too much Lee and Kofman and they’re information warriors, not serious analysts. We do know that the Russians have done a lot of reorganising and training and beefing up their forces. Can’t for the life of me see why they’ve bothered. For me, one of the big surprises of the last two years was discovering that European NATO was all hat and no cattle. But maybe if the Russians do what our information warriors are promising and decide to get as far as White Cliffs of Dover, the Americans will gear up for war and come in again to save our bacon. That’s the usual routine.

        On one other thing I do have to disagree with you. Those first few weeks of the SMO, particularly the first few days, were an astonishing example of military planning and execution. With a force very much smaller than the opposition they broke the Ukrainians for good. The Kiev forces will never threaten the Donbass again.

        Good thing too. I take it we agree on that. None would have cared to see the people of the Donbass subjected to another Endlösung. Few in the West knew what was happening in the Donbass in the preceding eight years. Those who did knew very well it would have been a humanitarian disaster if such as the Aidar had ever got into the Donbass again.

        • TTG says:


          Do you realize that neither France nor Germany were signatories to Minsk II? It was signed by representatives of the DPR, LNR, Russia, Ukraine and a Swiss diplomat as the representative of the OSCE. Even though Russia signed off on the agreement, she later declared she would do nothing to implement it because she was not one of the belligerents.

          Your neo-nazis were the Pravy Sektor, Aidar and Azov units and parties who were at their height of political and military power at that time. They outright declared they wouldn’t abide by the agreement and seek to continue to fight the DPR/LPR rebels. However, soon after lost political and military power. In two subsequent elections they lost all seats in the Verkhovna Rada. Their former militias were incorporated into the Army, lost all independent control and were subject to governmental discipline and command. Their original threats to continue the fight became mute. Continuing to claim that Ukraine is controlled by neo-nazis is a tired, old Kremlin trope.

          • English Outsider says:

            TTG – the ultra-nationalists don’t have the votes in Ukraine. They have the say. Zolote demonstrated that. Zelensky had been elected on a peace ticket but when he tried to move the troops back from the LoC he was threatened with death.

            Since 2014 the ultra-nationalists have expanded their control. The recent activities of such groups as C 14 are well documented and the videos put out by the ultra-nationalists themselves condemn them out of their own mouths.

            The ever increasing international reach of Azov has been a subject of serious academic study in the States. I don’t know if the Biletsky summer camps are still held but they were up until recently.

            Before 2022 there were numerous articles in the Western press about neo-Nazi activities in Ukraine. These article have now stopped but the activities have not. The educational material to which the children are exposed rewrites history and the events of the 1940’s are airbrushed out. Most of the OUN monuments were erected quite recently:-


            Dissent is forbidden, minority languages including Russian suppressed and the mass media tightly controlled. The corrupt and brutal conduct of the SBU is what keeps the Kiev regime in place. That tight control, and the fact that too many people, including many in the military, live on siphoning off Western aid, is why this entirely unnecessary war is still continued.

            That and the fact that the Western politicians are unable to stop it without losing face with their electorates. If only for the sake of the Ukrainians, TTG, this really isn’t a war we should be pushing on any further.

            On the part Germany and France played in Minsk 2. they were neither signatories nor, though I see I’ve used the word above, were they guarantors in any legal sense. They were involved through the Normandy format and played a leading role throughout.

          • Fred says:


            “Their former militias were incorporated into the Army, lost all independent control and were subject to governmental discipline and command.”

            And the ideology ceased to exist due to the great training of the Ukrainian army, which had been less than 6,000 men (and non LGBTQ+) before 2015. Unlike the USA, where the army suddenly became full of “white supremecists” whom no commissioned officer can name nor manage to root out, other than by DEI and dismal recruiting of that group that must be identified by the color of their skin, not the content of their character.

    • LeaNder says:

      Richard North, the leading UK authority on the EU

      Oh dear, maybe Farage’s research director in day in the EU parlament? Oh, yes I am heavily impressed on his “authority” too.


      Wikipedia: He was previously the research director in the European Parliament for the now-defunct political grouping Europe of Democracies and Diversities, which included the UK Independence Party (UKIP). ….

      North had “a brief career in the Royal Air Force”[4] before becoming a local government officer, and then for two decades ran his own consultancy business.[4] A 1994 contribution to the Institute of Economic Affairs’s journal Economic Affairs described him as “an independent food safety adviser”.[5] “He then moved into trade politics and thence to the European Parliament as research director for the group of European Democracies and Diversities”,[4] a grouping of eurosceptic political groups which existed from 1999 to 2004, in which the UK Independence Party (UKIP) participated. At the European Parliament in Strasbourg, North shared an office with UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage.[6]”

      • English Outsider says:

        Yes, my brief account of Dr North was incorrect. He is in fact the only UK authority on the EU.

        There are literally tens of thousands of experts on EU law and regulation. There have to be. There’s so much of it and much of that so fiddly you wouldn’t believe. There are also plenty of people who can see this or that aspect of the EU in the round. A self-perpetuating bureaucracy. A German trading empire. A set of would-be technocratic “Guardians”. A serious nuisance if all you want is a normal life. A trading arrangement that’s got too big for its boots. All that.

        But there’s only one man who can take the lot in.

        Of course no one’s perfect. Do you remember that old Brexit squabble? Probably not. Your Angie was too busy cosying up to neo-Nazis to pay much attention to it. But when it was going on that old Brexit squabble caused something of a stir in England. It was then that Dr North made his only error.

        You see, Dr North is also a defense expert. It therefore seemed appropriate for me, at the height of the Brexit dispute, to write in to his site enquiring where we kept the cruise missiles. He refused point blank to tell me.

        Truly an error. I could have sorted out that old Brexit squabble in half an hour if he had. As it was the blighters walked all over us and added injury to insult by pinching our fish!


        By the way. Dr North did indeed work with Nigel Farage for a time. He worked with many people and has an intimate knowledge of the political scene. But working with does not invariably indicate approval.

  10. English Outsider says:

    The link to the article “Ukraine: provocation disguised?” was incorrect. The correct link is given here:-


    Discovered when I thought I’d go back and see Dr North’s comments. In doing so I came across a comment from another commenter that vividly illustrates opinion at that time. It was Brussels that was seen by some as the main player in the Ukraine crisis around the period of and leading up to the Maidan, so much so that the query was raised as to whether the US knew what Brussels was doing: –

    “Do the Yanks know what these people are doing? I cannot imagine the Americans sanctioning anything so needlessly provocative. Should one be concerned that the EU is explicitly pursuing military co-operation agreements outside of NATO?”

    I think “the Yanks” must have known. Mrs Nuland’s robust declaration, “F… the EU” referred to the fact the Lady Ashton – the EU’s chief negotiator – wanted to install Klitschko as the new boss and Mrs Nuland Yatsenyuk. So by then Mrs Nuland had grabbed the steering wheel from Lady Ashton’s reluctant hands. But it was the Association Agreement debacle that got the Maidan under way in the first place.

    We don’t know what Lady Ashton thought of Mrs Nuland’s robust declaration but it was probably along the lines of “Well, Vicky. we’ll see about that, bitch.” Because Lady Ashton did see about it. The Agreement was soon pushed through, with the consequent partial deindustrialisation of Ukraine, that leading to the massive subsequent emigration.

    Also leading to a great many unemployed young men hanging around, ready to be employed by Kolomoisky and his fellow oligarchs as they battled each other for the spoils in post Soviet Ukraine. Right Sektor, as often as not. It’s how many of the neo-Nazi groups in the East got their start. Though as Baud remarks, they weren’t full on Nazis. Just football club hooligans who took a liking to the glamour of the swastika.

    After doing her bit Lady Ashton retired gracefully to the House of Lords. Not heard of her since. I doubt she worries too much about those far off days, when she battled Vicky so tenaciously in Kiev.

  11. LeaNder says:

    English Outsider, your worship of “Dr.” North, the English expert on the EU, with a doctorate in food poisoning–was it?–an expert on the mad cow disease, keeps reducing me to stutter. Better should have left me speechless. No doubt.

    What I asked myself yesterday was, did the legendary Daily Mail correspondent with notoriously scrubby hair in Brussels actually influence “Dr.” North? His articles had at least a highly entertaining quality. Which must have guaranteed a rather huge readership. No? Humor seems something North misses. As one would expect of ideologues. I seriously doubt BJ’s articles didn’t influence North, Farage and the other party soldiers.

    Thus, why is “Dr.” North your ultimate UK expert? Because he is an influential blogger on the right side of politics?

    • English Outsider says:

      Getting serious, LeaNder, if we must, we’re talking about a man of great ability and integrity. Rare to find a public figure like that these days.

      Staying serious, it is a fundamental error to see that Brexit episode as an “England versus Europe” match. It was primarily an internal UK debate. One by no means yet resolved.

      Moving away from a subject that can scarcely interest TTG’s readers that much, what news from the Heimat? Over in the States we see a debate raging that reaches into the very heart of politics. To compare that with the deadened political scene in Germany is like comparing a cage fight with a morgue. “We don’t want to talk about it” is the motto of every German politician of substance I see. Even the Wagenknechts and Weidels pull their punches.

      Your gas pipes got blown up. If that was done in the States they’d all be screaming blue murder. Even in England we might raise an eyebrow. In the Heimat, dead silence. What’s going on?

      And all these cracks about Barbarossa Scholz and his DIY Morgenthau Plan aside, the plain fact is you’ve been covertly egging on the neo-Nazis in Ukraine for more than a decade. What’s going on there?

      I used to buy the excuse that it was just your politicians doing it without telling you. I don’t buy that any more. All I knew in Germany saw the Melnyk interview. It received coverage in the German media. So the German public also knows what it’s getting behind.

      So dumb, all of it. You do know, I take it, that you’re playing right into the Russians’ hands. They haven’t forgotten eighty years ago if you have. How idiotic, to send Panzers over to that region of all regions again. How crass, to put captured Russian tanks on display outside the Russian embassy.

      So what happened to Nie Wieder? What happened to the Germany I used to know? I know enough of you to know that you yourself are not caught up in this current hysteria. Can you explain why so many of your politicians and fellow countrymen are?

      • LeaNder says:

        Brexit definitely wasn’t purely about the EU, More about the London Stock Exchange vs. threatening Brussels dictates, about a return to Global Britain? About Fish? … Now the latter I understand, as lover of fish and chips.

        Over in the States we see a debate raging that reaches into the very heart of politics.
        Yup, the greatest country on earth. Apparently, the most influential Ukrainians thought so too. It’s the US not Russia stupid! 😉 …

        “We/the West” should be fighting China with Russia on our side?

        Concerning Nord Stream, yes, it’s a bit sad that we cannot put someone on trial and then hang him publicly for the world to watch. We are neither too good to follow the evidence to the culprit nor that important for that type of international stage shows. Thanks, God!

        Sometimes you remind me heavily of a classmate who has been British for quite some time now. In spite of his quite excellent German, obviously, he often does not really get the German mood from following the media over here.

        Am I worried? Obviously. But I am too old to worry too much. It’ll be a short journey from now on.

  12. d74 says:

    I find the rebuttal against Dr. North (Richard, not Peter) odd. As if a man can’t evolve in his interests and rise to the level of what he considers an important stake.

    I advertised for this keen observer some time ago. I still think it’s worth reading. And certainly, forget a lot, but not everything or reject it in bulk.

    • LeaNder says:

      forget a lot, but not everything or reject it in bulk.

      d74, I wouldn’t. One should not do that with anyone, ideally. But neither do I consider him a particularly independent or outstanding thinker. Nothing presented above is particularly new. He is simply framing it expertly for mass consumption. …

Comments are closed.