I’ve gotten a lot of push back on my last thread on Russian casualties about AFU casualty counts being horse shit. Lets talk about that in this thread. RUSI had reported every Ukrainian front line platoon in the war has a quadcopter drone working for it. At 5km of front per platoon and 2,500km of front, that is 500 DJI Mavic or better drones doing photo intelligence for the AFU daily. That is 1000 times the video intel density of any previous war. Again, the usual suspects will claim BS.
In this case, the usual suspects are the ones spewing BS. Radio Free Europe gave us an interview with a AFU drone team to give us an idea the kind and scale of photo intelligence that Ukraine is using as a basis of its Russian casualty counts.
For instance, I don’t know of any other military in the world using artificial intelligence with organic overhead photographic intelligence assets (quadcopters) to locate artillery targets at platoon level. And they are using it to conserve precious artillery ammo. Remember all those “Western analysts” claiming Ukraine was wasting artillery ammunition recently? Here is a Ukrainian tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) reason to question the “Competent Intelligence Analyst Badge.” IOW, “Sure, Jan.”
Again, from the same http://rferl.org article: “This cycle of field work and analysis can be exhausting. “For a week we’ll sleep just two hours,” Lego said. “We’ll fly till 7 p.m., then go to the base, and then analyze 3,500 photos from the flights.”” We are talking about 3500 photos a day for a very small 5 km section of the Ukrainian front. For the scale of the AFU daily photo intel effort, now multiply that by 500 platoons across the whole front. That is 1,750,000 photos of RuAF front line positions _EVERY DAY_
Photos that have first level analysis by artificial intelligence looking for square/man made objects, or day to day differences, to alert photo analysts to examine more closely. The 1.75 million photos a day are the photo intelligence grist for the Ukrainian GUR mill to grind out Russian battle damage assessment/casualties with. That granular level of photo intel detail is the grist for the GUR mill that grinds out well and exceedingly fine.
This AFU photo intel efforts is my TTP basis for trusting Ukrainian General Staff announcements of RuAF casualties. And remember, that http://rferl.org article is from 22 Oct 2022? Five months is a lot of time to improve an AI. Just ask the Twitter ChatGPT mavens.
There are a lot of other implications that fall out from this AFU photo intel at retail levels. First the demolition of the delusions of superiority that many Western ground force officers have over AFU. When was the last time they went to a battalion level FTX and had nine quadcopter intelligence teams on their table of organization deliver 31,500 AI curated photos of the opposing force’s field positions to them to support their operations? Ukraine’s Army has been fighting that kind of war for the last five months, minimum. IOW, all the time the last five Russian casualty bars on the graph below.
I have a months old numerical Ukrainian photo intel TTP basis to trust AFU General Staff casualty numbers. What basis do the Ukrainian casualty number doubters have?
Comment: Trent Telenko’s purpose in putting this thread together was to explain how the Ukrainian MOD comes up with their Russian casualty figures. He credits it to an unprecedented AI assisted aerial imagery effort that is updated on continuous basis. But this explanation does a lot more than prove a point about casualty numbers. This capability shows how far the Ukrainian Armed Forces have gone in the illusive pursuit of battlefield information dominance, the golden fleece of US doctrine. They’re not there. They never will be. Nor will we or anyone else, but this is still one hell of a capability. It’s a lesson to be learned by every military in the world.
This all begins with the widespread use of fairly cheap recon drones providing a networked and near constant view of the battlefield. It’s certainly not the older, Soviet trained Ukrainian officer corps that put this together. Nor was it NATO trainers. It’s the young Ukrainian techno-nerds who modify and often fly the drone fleet and write the coding to tie it all together. The kids are going to be okay.
This the original thread by Telenko on Russian casualty counts. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1640159311853678592.html
The other side of the coin: for every dead Russian soldier thereis a grieving family left behind: either a mother who has lost her son, or a wife who has been left without a husband, or a son or daughter who has been left without a father.
Every dead Russian soldier leaves someone.
So where are the 173,360 cries of outrage? Where are the 173,360 grave sites?
Russian society just shrugs the shoulders and gets on with life, does it?
Russian information cyber-space is *that* controlled, is it?
I don’t believe that for a second. I don’t believe that it is possible to hide such numbers from the Russian population, and I don’t believe that the Russian population wouldn’t react with outrage to such casualty figures.
But, obviously, you do.
Good for you.
The 173,360 cries of outrage are lost in the vastness of Russia and a population of over 140 million. I also doubt all the cries are of outrage, grief and endurance yes, but Russians, Buryats and other eastern minorities don’t strike me as hot headed people. As horrible as those losses are, they pale in comparison to Russia’s and Ukraine’s losses in WWII.
It’s not a matter of being “hot headed people”.
Your son is killed. Your husband dies. The state can’t hide that fact from the family, not for long.
I…. honestly, you believe that Russian society doesn’t notice that there are 173,360 grieving families? That this isn’t something that gets talked about?
I’ve seen videos and read reports of grieving Buryat villages. What do you expect them to do? Storm the Kremlin? All they’re going to get out of Moscow and Saint Petersburg is thoughts and prayers. Those that do try to protest are quickly hauled off to jail. I’ve seen those videos, too. Here’s an article from year ago.
And a more recent one.
I don’t know if TTG is correct. You have to admit he has a rationale for calculation. About 173M cries of anquish from Russia consider what just happened to a little girl and her father; she “taken away”, he 2 years in jail. The word gets out; shaddup! Consider Russians and ask if they have shown a willingness to bear death and injury for “Mother Russia”. They have. Consider if there are Russians all-in on punishing those insolent Ukrainians who would deny them empire status; there are. Nevertheless, war is butchery but Czar Vlad can end it tomorrow. It seems I must daily remind our body of correspondents that Russia invaded Ukraine. Ukraine d/n invade Russia. Russia is the aggressor. Ukraine is the defender. Russian cities and civilians are safe, Ukrainian cities and civilians are under fire. To borrow a line from Col. Lang, the “Butchers Cleaver” is held by the Russian. Russia is a big country filled w/patriotic and talented people. It doesn’t need to “own” Ukrainians to make them feel more important. Or does it? That last may be why there is no howl of anquish from the Russian people. They want to subdue those Ukrainian “untermensch”. I’ll go on record. I don’t know.
There are well over a million dead bodies from Covid, and everyone seems to have moved on and stopped wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and for that matter getting vaccinated. I don’t have a difficult time believing that 173,000 dead (and presumably 2-3 times as many wounded) can be tolerated by a civilian population, in particular if they’re strongly encouraged to ignore them by the government.
” […] the Ukrainian Armed Forces have gone in the illusive pursuit of battlefield information dominance, the golden fleece of US doctrine. They’re not there. They never will be.”
Your remark is surprising, coming from you. But it is common sense.
Totalitarian, know-it-all, can-do technology is a dangerous illusion.
Using technological advance as proof of the veracity of the Ukrainian figures is therefore laughable. Not that these figures are wrong in principle, simply the method is not one that can guarantee reasonable accuracy.
By the way, in 1942-1944 French intelligence obtained German casualty figures on the Eastern Front by collating local German newspapers (memorial services, funerals, assistance to families who had lost their fathers, etc…). A clerk’s job, as one can imagine. The accuracy was very good concerning the loss in officers. By first months of 1943, intelligence could declare that the German army was engaged in a meat grinder where victory was impossible.
There are expressions of outrage within all strata of Russian society, but they are balanced by *comprehension that they are in a serious situation. These numbers cited here are hugely inflated and constitute outright war propaganda, and are par for the course. Nonetheless the concern and alarm and outrage is there, you won’t find it advertised in leading headlines in Russia for obvious reasons, and you won’t find it advertised here for several reasons, one being that the West doesn’t want to reveal where they get their information and consequentially how open to deception they might be and certainly they don’t want to equip Western publics with techniques whereby they can come to their own conclusions. Plenty of people are exceedingly upset in the RF that’s no 1. And no 2 is these are highly inflated numbers devised by mortal enemies, for understandable reasons of their own. A skeptic would not be out of line in thinking they say a great deal about Ukrainian casualties if they feel obliged to do this, but it goes on in all wars. Remember the body counts during the VN war, routinely displayed in the Upper left hand corner of the network news screens at the outset of each evening newscast? In that case the Viet troops casualty numbers were indeed very high. The deception then was in claiming that because column A exceeded column B by a factor of 10 to 50, it meant that the US was winning and that the whole endeavor and waste of life was somehow worth it.
Sorry to interject here, you obviously know this.
The meeting with the mothers, for which apparently Putin prepared carefully, indicates that the Russians are conscious of the sacrifice their part in the SMO is demanding.
They limit their casualties as much as possible. That’s why we’re seeing no dramatic “Broad Arrow” evolutions of the sort many expected: so far they’ve preferred to stay more or less static for the most part and let the enemy come to them. Nevertheless, going by the BBC they could already be up to around half the number of American dead in the Vietnam war and that in far less time, so they don’t take those casualties lightly.
They should not be taking them at all, nor our proxies. There’s a feeling going around in the West that the Russians wanted this war. In fact Putin left the SMO as late as he could – too late for most of his critics in Russia – because he wished to see Minsk 2 implemented if at all possible.
Putin is very cautious and legalistic. Not a man who jumps willingly on a rollercoaster. I doubt he wanted to risk our “Sanctions from Hell” even though it turned out in the end they didn’t do much harm.
I see much discussion in England about the shortcomings and failings of the Russian government. All entirely beside the point. Poke the Bear hard enough and eventually the Bear comes back at you. That’s obvious whatever sort of Bear it is.
We poked the Bear very hard indeed and it came back at us. We’re still poking hard, and the Bear’s still coming back at us, so those casualties will keep coming until we give up or until our proxies do.
We Europeans think in the main that if we don’t hammer the Russians they’ll swoop in and take the Baltics and Eastern Europe. Fools if they did. The Baltics and Eastern Europe are depopulated industrial wastelands, reliant on heavy subsidies and fiercely Russophobic. Where would be the profit in swooping in and taking them?
That’s if the Europeans think at all. I can assure you, the infantile hysteria one sees at present in Europe is a wonder to behold. Expect no rationality from them.
Washington, by contrast, is coldly rational. The aim there is simply to “overextend and unbalance Russia”. My own view on that? Setting moral considerations aside, I reckon they’re on a loser. We’re now seeing that beginning to dawn on Washington and the politicians there are looking for a way to extricate themselves without losing face with the American electorate.
In the meantime, while they’re doing that, it costs the Americans little to keep the war going. Huge amounts of equipment but often equipment they’d have to scrap anyway. In any case, little of the American money gets to the front. Most stays at home or gets filched before it reaches the fighters.
I’ve been listening to Bed Hodges and similar people recently and it looks to me as if the intention is to keep the Ukrainians fighting as long as possible in the hope of killing more Russians.
You hear that said explicitly from time to time in the States. But eventually they’ll run out of proxies and it’ll stop. Until then, the casualties will continue to mount.
Russia, Putin in particular, did want this war. He initiated it. The West was counting on the threat of massive sanctions to dissuade Putin from launching his invasion. Putin is, or was, a very cautious and legalistic man. But he willingly jumped on this rollercoaster. The Ukrainians are fighting for their existence. They are not anybody’s proxy. They will continue to resist the Russian invaders with or without the help of the West. Like Jake and a few others here, you clearly see the faults and foibles of the US and the rest of the West, but you are inexplicably blind to the gross evil of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Why you all continue to cheerlead for naked aggression and the continued commission of war crimes is beyond my comprehension.
Why you all continue to cheerlead for naked aggression and the continued commission of war crimes is beyond my comprehension.”
The only explanation, IMO, is that they hate the US and are jealous of it.
I’m not convinced of that. Opposition to war itself is honorable if consistency is maintained. One may be opposed to helping Ukraine defend herself as long as one is equally opposed to helping the victims of ISIS. That does not necessarily mean support for Russia or ISIS. Or one simply does not want their country involved in any way. It may not involve self-loathing or hating America at all. On the other hand…
TTG – forgive me for being obstinate. But had Putin not moved the Ukrainian forces must have overwhelmed the smaller LDNR forces and got into the Donbass.
That would have been a terminal disaster for the millions of ethnic Russians of the Donbass: Kiev’s made it clear over the last eight years that it wants them killed or expelled. It must also, incidentally, have led to the fall of the Putin administration and its replacement by the Russian hawks – of whom there are many and who, it seems were already critical of Putin’s cautious approach.
So the massing of the Kiev forces along the LoC in a posture of attack, and the greatly increased shelling across the LoC, left Putin no option.
If we take the line I see taken so often in England – that Putin is a power mad dictator just itching for a chance to dominate Europe or recover old empires or whatever – even if we take that line, then there’s no military excuse for what we did. You don’t fool around like that on the borders of a power mad dictator and expect to get away with it.
I don’t happen to believe Putin’s a power mad dictator. Looks more like a highly competent CEO type to me. But whatever he is, and whatever Russia is, the verdict on the whole disastrous enterprise can only be FAFO. We fooled around. We found out.
That won’t go down very well with the Nulands and Blinkens and Sullivans in Washington. Such people are accustomed to fooling around and getting away with it. Not this time. They’ll just have to lump it.
As for the military side of things, General Lord Richards sounded a prescient warning not long after the start of the SMO.
Speaking, I believe, from a purely military perspective, he identified what we’d done wrong in Syria and warned us we were making the same mistake in Ukraine:-
“But what we’ve then ended up doing is stoking the (Syrian) war by feeding in weapons and resources and some advice, but never giving our proxies the means of winning it; and I thought at the time that that was morally questionable because it would result in a huge number of deaths; which is exactly what happened.”
“We’ve got to be very careful that with our current approach to Ukraine, we don’t end up with the same result.”
We have. So disregarding the economic blowback of the sanctions war, this venture will lead to the pointless loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and the destruction of a country.
Painting Russia’s invasion as a preemptive attack is pure Kremlin propaganda. The LOC was heavily fortified on both sides and was not at all conducive to an attack by either side. The majority of Ukraine’s heavy weapons remained in OSCE monitored concentration areas away from the LOC up to the day of Russia’s invasion. Ukraine and the West expected Russia to fully occupy the LNR and DNR up to the LOC and many expected the Russians to continue over the LOC. However, I doubt that was ever the plan given the strength of the LOC defenses. Ukrainian forces along the LOC were under strict orders to limit any firing across the LOC in the days leading up to the invasion to avoid giving the Russians a pretext for an invasion.
Putin might have moved his troops into the LNR/DNR in great numbers up to the LOC, stopped there and gotten away with it. That was clearly not enough for Putin. He believed Ukraine had no right to be an independent country and sought to bring it back into his sphere of influence, the near-abroad of post-Soviet parlance. Now we see where his greed has gotten all of Russia. FAFO indeed.
EO, the Ukrainians are the unfortunate foil chosen by Putin as a means of reigniting Russia’s “love of the motherland”. Putin is more frightened by Russian apathy and lack of patriotism as both presage the collapse of Russia as a country than the number of young Russians killed. The USSR collapsed because it cost more to maintain than it provided.
A rewriting of your thesis is that there are many in Russia who see the societal and political decline of Europe and don’t want that for their own country.
But if we accept your thesis, or its rewriting, that doesn’t alter the fact that forcing a Russian pre-emptive military move was dumb, given the overwhelming Russian military superiority and the fact that a sanctions war must always have hurt us more than it hurt Russia.
I’d go further than that. It was outrageously reckless. Biden and Scholz certainly had a Plan A. Break Russia. But as we’re now finding out, they had no Plan B in case plan A went awry.
On the purely practical level, and setting all moral considerations aside, what are we to think of national leaders who can risk a gamble like that?
There’s this element you put your finger on that some don’t want to discuss. How closely related are these elements with Putin and are they embedded in his organizational structure?
for EO, you plead ardently for mother Russia but the apathy and rates of self harm prove the rot at the center of Russian society.
If your vision of Russian military superiority is true, what does that tell us about their incompetence and resulting body counts? That both were deliberately inflicted by Putin. He is truly the reckless one.
for blue peacock
Putin treads a fine line between the oligarchs and their necessary commercial activities and the crazies with their love of martyrdom and their growing hatred of Putin’s failures.
You can’t buy patriotism, you cannot force patriotism, it must be genuine. There will be many more deaths in Russia as Putin tries to put a lid on media personalities criticizing Putin’s process. Putin will fail but he sees no other way.
I’d like very much, if you will permit, to bring to wider attention an item of knowledge that to my knowledge and that described within the archives of the several large institutions which my necessarily secret organization maintains is only being made available to the public now for the very first time. Please consult the short paragraph below which is found in the article Eliphantidae, linked to directly beneath it.
Now I ask you, and I’m certain you know the answer: What color are elephants?
Do you see what I’m getting at? Thank you.
The family was first described by John Edward Gray in 1821, and later assigned to taxonomic ranks within the order Proboscidea. Elephantidae has been revised by various authors to include or exclude other extinct proboscidean genera.
Are you talking about the astoundingly magnificent scientific breakthrough of creating a gigantic wooly mammoth meatball? What drives these people to devote their live to things like this. Why create a monster meatball with a caveat that eating it may cause an allergic reaction? I’m far more impressed with the dung beetles ability to employ celestial navigation to move their shit balls where they want to move them. I believe I wrote about this years ago.
How did you guess?
Since I’m so intimately familiar with the dung beetle’s celestial navigation, how could I not have at least a passing interest in the mammoth meatball. I know things… weird things.
My understanding is that the Russians are using DJI drones extensively as well. I write code for an AI company and I would say that AI has an even bigger problem with “garbage in -> garbage out” than other disciplines, so the use of AI makes it more likely (not less likely) that one will fall into another “McNamara body count fiasco”. But then I did not see ChatGPT coming so what do I know.
The Ukrainians are using a lot of DJI drones, too. Their indigenous drone industry is continuing to develop. The AI used here for imagery analysis is separate from the DJI drones. I see your point, but imagery analysis is probably one of the simpler AI uses. I do wonder how advanced the Chinese are in this field. Not only is DJI a Chinese company, but I remember China going on a hiring spree almost two decades ago for all the top world geometric algebra experts they could get their hands on.
“What basis do the Ukrainian casualty number doubters have?”
Because if it was true then the Russian public would not support the war. Afghanistan broke the Soviet union with a 10x lower casualty count and that is when they hat twice the population.
Yeah, I had that thought too re Afghanistan. But that was almost 50 years ago? The western press told us then that the Russian people gave the gov’t a hard time but I don’t know if I believe what the western media told us. That’s what happens when the press is controlled by or in league with the gov’t. I don’t believe what the American Socialist press tells us today. That’s why I prefer the dialogue we enjoy here. You might not always like the banter but you always learn sumppin!
Messrs Roche, your opinion on our media is the same as mine. Trust evaporated over time and picked up speed. Even FOX wore out its welcome when Newt Gingrich was blocked from using George Soros’ name in a commentary. Some of the links provided here, especially on the ‘open thread’ prior to this one contain info and insight not found on tv news or from the scribblers in most newspapers.
1. To recap, if these numbers are true then Russia has lost 20x what they lost in Afghanistan, yet the Russian people still support the war.
2. Russian conscription by year … globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/personnel-draft.htm
Is below average. If Russia was hemorrhaging losses then you would expect this number to increase. BTW thank the Daily Star for pointing this out by accident when they flipped their lid, claiming that ‘Putin is calling up new recruits to replace their terrible losses’.
My main concern, is not about Russia, but how we in the U.S. consume our own B.S.
Of course they support the war or at least keep their thoughts to themselves. What choice do they have? Voicing opposition is a crime.
Annual conscription is different from partial mobilization. The mobilization is in addition to the conscription. Then you can add on the recruiting of convicts for the meat grinder. If the SMO was going according to plan, Puti wouldn’t need the convicts or the mobilization.
“Voicing opposition is a crime.”
Do you think that is not true in the supposed democracy of Ukraine?
From what I have read, Ukraine has banned parties, media organizations, and even CHURCHES
which are accused of supporting Russia.
Most egregiously, IMO, Ukraine’s actions against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
“The Pechersk Lavra is a seat of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church (UOC), which split from the Moscow patriarchate after Russia’s invasion last year.
But Ukrainian officials suspect some of the top clergy have maintained ties with the Church in Moscow, which they deny.”
TTG, you have an interesting position here.
You have historical ties to the Roman Catholic church in America, which I would think would make you at least somewhat sympathetic to Christians trying to practice Christianity in other countries.
So when the secular Zellensky government suppresses Christians in Ukraine,
do you feel some ambiguity on who is in the right?
The choice is between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), still under Moscow’s patriarchate and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), granted autocephaly by Barthomew I of Constantinople in January 2019. Several UOC churches and priests have supported Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. They have been targeted by the Ukrainian government including some in the Pechersk Lavra. Ukraine intends to pass custodianship of the caves to the OCU, but have so far not resorted to physically removing the UOC monks holding out there.
In the occupied territories, the FSB is attempting to stifle OCU churches and force UOC subservience to Moscow. However, most UOC churches have declared independence form Kirill and Moscow and seek unification with the autocephalous OCU. It is just those remaining loyal to Kirill and Putin that Zelenskiy is moving against.
It may be useful to reference Wikipedia’s take on this:
You should keep reading that Wikipedia article to the end. It covers events since the February 2022 invasion. For info on the current status of the reunification of the two orthodox churches in Ukraine, there’s this article.
And the OCU’s stance on cleansing the Pechersk Lavra of Kirill’s and Putin’s influence.
I think the following is worth noting:
“Ukraine’s top security agency notified Father Pavel that
he was suspected of justifying Russia’s aggression, a criminal offence.”
So Zelensky is now the judge of what Orthodox Christianity actually is? That certainly gives new meaning to “Why we fight”.
It’s the Orthodox leaders in Ukraine who are deciding how Orthodox Christianity is to be governed in Ukraine in conjunction with the Constantinople Patriarchy. Zelenskiy is judging those Orthodox clergy engaged in treasonous activity, those who continue to support the Russian invasion, as well as Kirill and Putin, both KGB veterans.
Exactly. Trials? What trials, the president knows you are guilty. It’s the values we…
Well, you know the values this administration supports.
Metropolitan Pavel Lebed was arrested, tried in a Ukrainian court and placed on house arrest for two months. The offense was justifying Russian aggression, a crime under martial law. Others had their Ukrainian citizenship revoked. I don’t know if there was a court procedure for that or not.
One person tried, but the other, meh. Why we fight, indeed. Is Zelensky still firing prosecutors in exchange for foreign payments?
Let me also add the following:
“A Kyiv court ordered a leading priest to be put under house arrest Saturday
after Ukraine’s top security agency said
he was suspected of justifying Russian aggression, a criminal offense.
It was the latest move in a bitter dispute over a famed Orthodox monastery.
Metropolitan Pavel is the abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery,
Ukraine’s most revered Orthodox site.
He has denied the charges and resisted the authorities’ order to vacate the complex.
In a court hearing earlier in the day,
the metropolitan said the claim by the Security Service of Ukraine, known as the SBU,
that he condoned Russia’s invasion was politically driven
and that he had “never been on the side of aggression.” “
KH & Fred –
A trial is better than the extrajudicial killing, beating and banishment that many Orthodox Ukrainian patriot priests have been subjected to in occupied areas.
Historically (and sadly) Orthodox priests throughout the USSR had to accept oversight by the KGB and its predecessors. In order to survive a few became pawns of the KGB or worse. Forbes reported in 2009 that Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow was affiliated with the KGB and so was his predecessor Alexei: ” According to material from the Soviet archives, Kirill was a KGB agent (as was Alexei). This means he was more than just an informer, of whom there were millions in the Soviet Union. He was an active officer of the organization.”
That taint in the church is also in Ukraine and other former Soviet republics. Abbot Pavel needs to leave the monastery. His lease has been terminated. He is suspected along with other Moscow-Patriarchate UOC clergy of being ideologically committed agents supporting Putin’s invasion. Not only supporting Kremlin info ops and spying, but also allowing their churches and monasteries to be used by Russian FSB or other special services as safe houses for equipment and personnel. Ukraine is at war with Russia. No way can she allow a fifth column inside her borders.
Using religion as cover is a widely established practice of the Kremlin. It has a built-in protection mechanism because of the political sensitivities of state targeting of religious institutions. Which is why the FSB still continues to use it.
Abbot Pavel needs to leave the monastery. His lease has been terminated
“Lease has been terminated”, sounds really odd. Would it be as easy as this to dispossess the Roman Catholic Church? Just asking. Religion and/as national/nationalist politics?
Russia is a bit odd in this context too, but is Ukraine really that much better? And what services and influences are and/or have been active behind the Archbishop/Patriarch of ‘Constantinople’?
No doubt as a ‘Westerner’ I may well prefer the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, but I doubt he has not been or is not connected to influential circles too. One or the other Western agencies too, apart from the Pope?
Leith, ok, true, he [we*/the Orthodox?] won’t get the Hagia Sophia back either. …
Can UNESCO declare the Vatican World heritage and allow the Italians to turn it into a Museum? Why don’t they?
* Someone with the name of Tyler on SST once felt we should reconquer Constantinople.
“Ukraine is at war with Russia. No way can she allow a fifth column inside her borders.”
No S***, I didn’t know they were at war! BTW we have a war on terror, I sure hope we don’t allow a 5th column inside our borders. See GWB, the Patriot Act, the Authorization for the use of force, Gitmo, and don’t forget J6 and Russia collusion. Thank goodness we support a country that we have always, well since 1991, been obligated to both defend and reform. Including the need to defend their borders, established when they were an enemy, because, well reasons that disagreement with makes one a Putin Puppet, fifth columnist, traitor, etc, depending upon who is talking.
Now we are also helping the reformation of their religious institutions. (I wonder now if there was any such involvement when the College of Cardinals chose Bergolio over Sarah, but that’s probably bad think.) Where’s that authority in the Constitution? Ah, well, the President says so thus it must be. Or did Blinken or others make that grand strategy objective, with the advice and consent of the Senate of course. Which can be found where?
Where is Tyler lately I wonder?
Your link to Bartholemew’s ordinations and appointments seems a bit strange. Does that somehow lead you to believe his enthronement as Patriarch was a devious plot by the CIA or MI-6 or maybe Ukraine’s SBU?
Bartholemew did meet with Obama way back when, but then he also went to Moscow and met with RF president at the time Dmitry Medvedev and with Patriarch Kirill.
The pressure on Bartholemew was from Ukrainian believers who were fed up with the pro-Putin views of the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate. I find it hard to believe it was from the ‘Western agencies’ you hint at with zero evidence.
As for your question on the dispossession of the Roman Catholic Church: Garibaldi and General Cardona’s Bersaglieri stripped Rome and other Papal States of 1000 years of rule by the Popes. One of the Pope’s residences along with the Pauline Chapel and another smaller papal chapel are now the secular home and offices of Italy’s government.
In line with this discussion, I found a brief account of an incident in a church in west-central Ukraine. It was accompanied with a few seconds of the parishioners (if that’s the right term) celebrating outside the cathedral. It was a substantial crowd.
Small religious revolution in Khmelnytskyi
In the morning, Moscow priests beat a Ukrainian soldier during the mass. In the afternoon, the residents of Khmelnytskyi escorted the Moscow priests to the exit and handed over the cathedral to the Ukrainian church. In the evening, Ukrainian chants and prayers for Ukraine, for Ukrainians, and for the Ukrainian military are heard in the cathedral.
Let me remind you that the Moscow patriarchate has taken an active role in supporting the Russian invasion since 2014
believe his enthronement as Patriarch was a devious plot by the CIA or MI-6 or maybe Ukraine’s SBU?
That’s a bit too colorful for my taste. I thought that was known by now. Even in fiction, I would find that scenario a little to crude. 😉
On more profane ground the OSS/CIA and the Papacy had shared interests. And yes there were encounters. You feel the services are not interested in other denominations? Should not be? Why?
Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor… ???
Garibaldi and General Cardona’s Bersaglieri stripped Rome and other Papal States of 1000 years of rule by the Popes.
Not that I am aware of. But then I am not into Garibaldi worship. Did Garibaldi and Cardona ever fight together? I did not have any Papal possessions in mind, or the Papal States. I talked about the Vatican.
TTG – Lucky for those parishioners it wasn’t in the occupied territories. They’d all end up in a ‘filtering camp’ or worse. In the occupied areas some UOC-ProMoscow priests were disciples of the FSB. They sorted out the local population for them – said who were the Ukrainian patriots in town less likely to collaborate; or who were veterans of the Ukrainian Armed Forces or Police. Those so identified had some bad times if they survived at all.
LeaNder – General Cadorna captured Rome and part of the Vatican in 1870. He left a tiny piece for the Pope who declared himself “Captivus Vaticani”. 20 years earlier Garibaldi had taken all of central Italy away from papal ownership. I have no idea if they knew each other.
Thanks, for the little excursus into Italian revolutionary history. Appreciated. My knowledge of Italian history is selectively better around my favorite writers over the centuries, but it is really deficient overall.
I have to ask my friend the theologian turned journalist what is known about the connection of the Russian services with the Orthodox church, historically and into the present. The politics of the Russian Orthodox Church since 1990s may be quite interesting overall. Not a fan, admittedly.
” According to material from the Soviet archives, Kirill was a KGB agent (as was Alexei).
Mental Meanderings: I don’t think we had agents among the priests in Eastern Germany. If so, they must have been that well-connected that their files were destroyed. … lots of shredding going on … Concerning religion as cover as established Kremlin practice, did they pass it on to their loyal students in Eastern Europe? East German churches were strongholds of political rebellion. With one or the other informer among the rebels, no doubt. You feel all those priests that allowed it must have been agents, giving the informers a chance to collect information?
On a fast check, we only got news over here on the activities of the Ukrainian services, e.g. that the Kyiv monastery of the caves was searched several times late last year. One time to check if they gave shelter to foreign fighters, arms, espionage and sabotage troops. They may rely on the relaunched of our Nachrichten Dienst Östliche Kirchen/News Service (Intelligence) Eastern churches for religious news from Eastern Europe, at least partly.
gotta get back to work
@LeaNder: “East German churches were strongholds of political rebellion.”
Exactly. Which is why the Stasi tried so hard to infiltrate them.
But fortunately for Germany they failed and never could suppress the protests led by pastors.
The Soviet war on Afghanistan is overplayed. Learning from operations of a colonial nature is not very meaningful.
This is not the case with the first Chechen war (1994-1996). It was atrocious, Russian casualties comparatively high, all that in a tiny territory and in 18 months. And they lost it.
This war suggests that Russian resilience is high, if they haven’t changed. Add to that the phenomenon of rallying around a recognised warlord. Here, nothing of a dictatorial nature, it was the case with Clemenceau in France, an old left-wing democrat.
The difference is that Afghanistan was completely foreign with no Russian-speaking minority. No shared history. The Russian public saw no need for the adventure.
Can those who are convinced that Putin will crush Ukraine because , please explain how the vastly larger and supposedly superior “super power” Russian army remains bogged down in Ukraine after a year of fighting?
The reality of the last year on the ground militarily is that the much smaller and supposedly inferior Ukrainian army has: prevented the airborne assault of Hostomel airport from decapitating Kyiv, forced the Russian army column coming in from Belarus with aim to backup the Hostomel airport airborne assault team to withdraw completely out of Ukrainian territory, prevented the Russian army from breaking through their defensive lines, counter-attacked and forced the Russian army out of Kharkiv & Kherson regions, prevented Russian airforce from air superiority, sunk the Black Sea fleet flagship.
Recall all the cauldrons that would envelop & crush the Ukrainian army at the beginning of the invasion and all the other military maneuvers the Russian army were gonna do peddled by Larry Johnson, Doug McGregor, MoA, and the other Putinistas?
Very few provide objective analysis. Most are just talking their book. Look at how silly Larry Johnson, Doug McGregor, MoA, et al look. But…they have so many who continue to lap up whatever they say. These folks just want commentary that reinforces their anti-American prejudices.
Now compare with Col. Lang’s analysis. He has been proven correct and prescient that the Ukrainian army wasn’t a pushover and that they’d give Putin’s forces a run for their money. A year later after the Russian army invasion of Ukraine, Putin is no further along than before he invaded and in fact his position is significantly weaker.
One of the big rhetorical complaints of so many of the anti-Americans is our foreign policy hypocrisy. Yet they do back flips to explain away CCP hypocrisy. Nor can they see the “hypocrisy” of every major world power’s leadership throughout human history.
I’ve got to agree with you about those young Ukrainian UAV techies. Not just in intel collection. But also in acting as FOs for artillery and long range rocket fire, getting BDA on struck targets. Plus conducting both CAS (modern grenadiers) and deep interdiction strikes as an auxiliary air force. They’ve revolutionized warfare. Kind scary for the future if we don’t adapt.
I agree also that Putin has suffered massive casualties in his ill-advised invasion. And I believe Telenko has done an outstanding job with his many threads on logistics.
But here I differ from Telenko’s conclusion. Body counts are consistently inflated. Always. Doesn’t matter if it the count is being done by adding up platoon or company level spot reports or from UAV operators. And how does UAV imagery differentiate between a KIA or a WIA or a soldier playing possum waiting for the angry bird to go away? What about hits on APCs, IFVs and such – how does that eye in sky score how many died inside? Do they count the full crew and troop complement? How does a UAV operator count casualties in a strike on a bunker or covered trench? I would put forward that there is some estimation going on.
I’m also uneasy with other of his claims: i.e. platoon front of five km in the defense, maybe when behind a river or other barrier but certainly not where the action is hot, what’s your opinion on that? And his 1.75 million images a day seems way too high considering he bases that on the experience of just that single drone team in the rferl.org article he cited. That team is not the standard. Who were they working for – an infantry platoon or an artillery battery? Some units may have a fulltime UAV team attached but for other units it might be an additional duty for a rifleman? If so there is no way he is taking 3,500 images/day and forwarding them to GUR.
I still believe that RU forces have suffered massive casualties. I’m just not comfortable with the body count. IMHO it could be anywhere from 5 to 25 percent less than advertised. On the other hand I do trust the BDA on tanks, other vehicles, artillery, air, etc. They are not the much higher than those verified by Oryx or other OSINT sites.
A platoon front of 5 km struck me as awfully wide, but I’ve seen videos of the fighting around Bakhmut where a position manned by a fire team or less was apparently on its own without supporting fires from adjacent positions. Videos of the fighting in Syria also struck me with the sparseness of both defenders and attackers. This is certainly not what our field manuals call for. In mountain jungle of Hawaii, a platoon defense would be swallowed up by a small piece of terrain. On the open lava fields of the Big Island, we could spread out a mutually supporting defensive line of up to two kilometers with a severely understrength platoon. That same platoon would also spread an assault line up to a kilometer’s width. Along the Souq El Gharb ridge in 1983, the Lebanese defenses varied greatly in density. Some were isolated positions, almost listening posts, islands in a sea of Druze and Syrian fighters.
I don’t know if drone teams are part of a Ukrainian platoon’s TO&E or not. I think it’s more ad hoc than that. Videos from last summer showed separate drone units operating around Kherson sending data to adjacent infantry, mortar and artillery units as well as uploading that data into the national targeting data base. These units were Territorial Defense or reserve units. The drone operators often seem to take the place of forward observers, a separate military specialty rather than an extra duty. During the Kharkiv offensive, one tank battalion (or company) commander directed his tanks by drone. It made more sense than leading from inside a buttoned up tank. The drone operators appeared to be part of the command staff, much like radio operators.
After rereading Telenko’s rferl.org article I’m even more convinced that his justification is incorrect. The article plainly states that the team is working for the Ukrainian military unit Khartia. That unit, Khartia, is often referred to as the Billionaire’s Battalion. Although technically a TDF battalion, it is funded by jet setter Vsevolod Kozhemyak CEO of Agrotrade.
No way your average battalion has that kind of support.
Plus nowhere in the article does it say or imply that this drone team is providing support at platoon level . I like Telenko, but for this item I think he let his common sense get overrun. His assumption that one specific UAV team’s productivity can be extrapolated to 500 teams sending 1.75 million images to the GUR is a WAG, nothing more.
The most famous Ukrainian drone unit is Aerorozvidka formed back in 2014 by model airplane enthusiasts. It took off from there. Another advance was the establishment of the “Free Air School in April 2022 reported to have trained 5,000 drone pilots. Telenko claimed his drone team per platoon came from a RUSI report which I haven’t found, but if that school trained 5,000 drone pilots or anywhere near that number, 500 drone teams is easily feasable. Here’s some more or less random links about Ukrainian drones.
I’ll gladly take your word. Those Ukrainian drone pilots were for sure a good source for BDA tally of 3615 tanks, 6977 ACVs and the other Russian equipment losses on that chart. And they (the UA drone pilots) played a critical role in much of that damage. But regarding the body count, I don’t accept that as having been confirmed.
I do agree that there must be some estimation involved in those body counts. With a T-72 exploding with a turret toss can reasonably be counted as three dead. A destroyed APC, truck, ammo storage site or barrack can only yield an estimation of bodies.
Clearly the number of casualties (on both sides) is important for two reasons. It has a certain value in the propaganda-war, if you can make claims stick that the losses are horrendous, and spread the word to create doubt on the side of your opponent. Especially if the party losing plenty of soldiers is regarded as (relatively) uninterested in the outcome of the war. This was why the US lost in Vietnam. And why they switched to ‘Proxy Wars’ and ‘contractors’ in their conflicts with ‘major powers’, wherever losses could be stiff. In part this is true for Russia and the use of ‘Wagner’ too.
The other argument is that no army is capable of continuing the war without the soldiers needed to man the weapon systems and do the actual fighting. Automation on the battlefield will kill that argument eventually, but we’re not there yet. This argument is not uniquely tied to pure numbers, since the loss of certain soldiers, with specialised training, may be even more important eventually, depending on the type of war being fought. Not too much training required for a suicide bomber, or ‘cannon fodder’, or ‘Stay Behind’ terrorists, but manning a ‘standing army’ doing battle in a ‘War of Attrition’, not anticipated by NATO for this ‘Regime Change’ operation targeted at Russia, will suffer from losing specialists, and familiar weapon systems.
The tally presented by this Ukrainian source of Russian losses cannot be confirmed by any independent source. But clearly there are no true independent sources left on either side, and the scarce reports by journalists reporting from the Ukrainian side are not painting a rosy picture of the balance between the two sides. The BBC and ‘Medusa’, using public records to check on the number of people ‘of a certain age’ buried throughout Russia, counted 16.000 dead in their latest report. A similar effort for Ukraine gave a number of over 150.000 deceased several months ago.
It is my assumption that casualty numbers as a propaganda-tool is useless on both sides, unless the number of soldiers killed surpass a certain, extremely high fix where the population will submit to the idea that ‘all is lost’, because both countries CONSIDER themselves to be in this war for existential purposes. This is not the case for the NATO-countries at all. On the contrary! They are happy to leave their own countries entirely without ammunition or weapon systems, feeding it to the ‘Proxy Warriors’ and ‘contractors’ fighting in Ukraine, relying exclusively on sanctions and a nuclear shield, feeling perfectly safe themselves, while they shove Ukraine under the bus.
Thus, the party which will ‘deplete’ the army of the other party effectively, both in a material sense, and at the level of men and women bearing arms killed or incapacitated, will win the war. In order to accomplish that, the party with the largest production capacity (including the capacity of allies if need should be), the best logistics, and the greater standardisation, and most manpower, especially trained men and women, who know how to use the weapons provided, is going to win, unless………
The ‘unless’ is the remote chance of a cascade of blunders, like giving in to the temptation to ‘show off’, and not being prepared for the need to withdraw when losses are getting too high, or defensive lines are at risk. So far, I see no lack of ammunition, or weapon systems on the Russian side, and according to the Russians the bulk of the mobilised reservists are still busy training, and haven’t been engaged in any battle yet. Belarus recently said that they used to supply Russia with ammunition, but that the upgraded production in Russia itself is now sufficient for what the country needs. Moreover, the Russians did prepare multi-layered defensive lines to have the luxury of trading land to save BTG’s in cases where Ukraine would decide to do ‘human wave’ tactics. Ukraine, on the other hand, is about to lose its ‘Zelensky Line’. It has to retrain its military at breakneck speed on unfamiliar military equipment of various producers, some of which will come with manuals in unfamiliar languages, and its logistics, with repair shops in Poland, and an electricity grid in tatters. The country is already down to teenagers and grandparents in the trenches to some reports, while their remaining ‘capable men’ are training in England and Poland, or waiting in European countries for this madness to stop.
In the end only the factually correct numbers will make a difference. Not the ‘stories’. Least of all the stories told by people who profit from this war, or can’t afford to tell the truth.
Yes, casualty counts (on both sides) have a certain value in the propaganda-war. Beyond that, it sounds more like you’re desperately clinging to stale Kremlin talking points. Try harder.
To me your reply comes across as if you are not interested in my arguments at all, and that you are glued to the propaganda-angle. All the more so since you insist that I’m some sort of ‘Kremlin stooge’, while my predictions, from before the war, are still ‘spot on’. Those on the NATO/Ukraine-side initially predicted a rapid victory for Russia, and when that didn’t happen, they drew the conclusion that it was due to Russian weakness, and Ukrainian strength. It wasn’t. It was a deliberate choice. It was the Russian strategy from the very start, leaving room for a negotiated settlement.
On the opposite end there are those who basically agreed that the Russians erred in the beginning, but that they would soon make amends, and succeed in taking all of Ukraine in a big offensive. I’m not some ‘middle of the road’ guy, or ‘sweeper for Putin’. I maintain that this war is progressing ‘according to plan’, with few, if any serious mistakes on the Russian side. And that is extremely important! Because it will tell us a few very important things about future developments.
If Russia would have ‘Desert Stormed’ in, they would have been seen as ‘just like NATO’ by China and in the ‘Global South’, and it would have left them isolated, even though they could have pulled it off, militarily. That was what NATO was hoping for, and it still is. Even more so today, since the sanctions didn’t achieve their goal of forcing ‘regime change’ in Moscow. They want Russia to take all of Ukraine for two reasons. Because it would enable NATO to unleash their ‘Al Qaeda-lookalike’ operation with ‘Stay Behind’ Nazi-terrorists to bleed Russia white, and to scare Europe into submission with stories about imperial ambitions of Putin. Two consequences Russia and China (at the Putin-Xi level) are very much aware of. And why it won’t happen.
Russia is not ‘bogged down’, and it came prepared for a ‘War of Attrition’. It will take territory incrementally, but limit itself to territory where they will have a fair chance to be accepted as liberators. For which purpose they will rebuild what has been destroyed, and create business opportunities in the potentially affluent parts of Ukraine under their control. As an aside, I predict that they will actively hunt those British tanks, with their depleted uranium ammunition, since they understand that radioactive soil will be lost forever. And I’ll even go as far as stating that NATO already understands what the Russians are doing, and that they have no chance in a million years to emerge victorious, and that the use of depleted uranium shells is a deliberate attempt to spoil the fertile soil for future use. Even though it is true that NATO has no ammo left, and one could argue that they simply have no choice. But this fistful of tanks is not going to make a difference anyway.
So everything is going according to plan. Russia deliberately left large parts of Ukraine’s air defenses and Air Force intact. Hostomel was a deliberate failure and sacrifice of VDV troops. Putin wanted the Zelenskiy government to remain in power to rally the Ukrainian people. The Russian Army was never meant to keep Kherson or Kharkiv Oblast last year. Those withdrawals were planned from the beginning. The current Russian loss rate necessitating a partial mobilization and emptying of prisons was planned from the beginning. No, these were Russian failures and setbacks at the hands of Ukraine and Western assistance. Sure Russia has adjusted to these failures, but everything is not going according to plan.
Russia had the chance to show all of Ukraine what a Russian alliance could mean with Donetsk and Luhansk. They could have plowed resources into those regions and created economic and social showcases. Instead these cities were neglected and allowed to deteriorate into 1950s era Soviet hellholes. In effect they did show what an alliance with Moscow would be like.
A plan like this, the plan I’m talking about, cannot be as detailed as you suggest. Nor will it not know setbacks, or unexpected openings. I’m convinced you must know this, yet you are trolling me so as to ignore the core issues. Why? It will only make matters worse in the end. Especially for the Ukrainians. But for Europe and the US itself as well, with de-Dollarisation now well underway. And the military weakness of NATO on full display.
An attempted assault on Kyiv by several combined arms armies is hardly a detail. Nor are the loss of large sections of Kherson and Kharkiv Oblasts last year. The military weakness of European NATO countries has been known for years. Hence the need for a defensive alliance like NATO. The revelation is the destruction of Russia’s aura of military competence and invincibility. This revelation does call into question the future need for a robust NATO. Perhaps NATO will be replaced by a new Nordic-Baltic-East European alliance with Western Europe contributing more from a renewed industrial base rather than military formations. Russia may end up as China’s junior partner or satellite.
TTG, as you know my ‘take’ on why the Russians showed up at the doorsteps of Kiev and Kharkiv is different from yours. We cannot know *for sure* who is correct. But it obviously does matter, a lot. Not just for the outcome of this war, but also for the future development you are envisioning. Which includes this suggestion of a subservient Russia being a ‘junior partner’ to China. I insist that your ‘reading’ of this entire conflict is wrong. As you insist my ‘reading’ is wrong. Only time will tell, but I maintain that the writing is on the wall that my ‘reading’ is correct. Or closer to the truth.
The current ‘DeDollarisation’ will be a devastating blow to the US. If you’re not familiar with the broadcast, you might want to take a look at the latest episodes of ‘Redacted’ or ‘Morris Invest’ on YouTube. But a wide range of commentators are now panicking about what that move is going to cause. You probably see both events as separate, while I maintain they are intimately connected. NATO looking for a ‘last ditch’ option to break up Russia, through war in Ukraine, and failing. And on the back of that failure, China, Russia, and a whole host of other crucial countries cutting us (the ‘EuroDollar/PetroDollar’ system) loose.
Moving on Kiev and Kharkiv served two purposes. The first purpose was to ‘convince’ Zelensky that his situation was hopeless, and that a speedy return to the ‘Minsk Accord’ was his best hope of saving his country and his people. That failed. But the second purpose was to tie Ukrainian military units to these areas, while the Russians cleared the ‘landbridge’ to Crimea, restored water- and electricity supply to the peninsula, create a defendable buffer, which would be used to clear the rest of the Donbas in due time, unless a deal could be struck (in Istanbul), and turn the Sea of Azov into a Russian lake.
Vacating the territories around Kiev, Kharkiv and west of the Dnieper river was sound military thinking, and executed with no, or hardly any losses, before the ‘War of Attrition’ kicked in. This ‘Industrial Warfare’ is something NATO was not prepared for, and it has no chance of winning it. Russia doesn’t even need their friends to lend them a hand. I understand why people trained in NATO doctrine insist that a ‘War of Attrition’ is something that did not work in WW-I, and cannot work today. But it does. It is a variation on using ‘Al Qaeda’, or ‘Stay Behind’ Neonazi’s, to ‘bleed Russia white’ as Lloyd Austin envisioned in the beginning, but using artillery, drones and missiles to destroy the opponent from the safety of ‘cleared territory’. Taking out his manpower, and his equipment, ‘for as long as it takes’ for this opponent to understand he/she is about to lose everything.
Ukraine has ‘set aside’ freshly trained troops for a Spring Assault, using a hodgepodge of NATO-equipment dragged from storage, with insufficient ammo. The Russians mobilised 300.000 (plus) soldiers to counter this Assault, and it is producing tanks, artillery and ammo in far greater numbers than NATO is able to. Moreover, this Russian equipment is not a hodgepodge of all kinds of stuff, from all kinds of weapons producers, but familiar equipment, integrated in familiar tactics, based on honed skills. And Russia is now able to use its airforce, since Ukraine is down to the bare bones minimum of capable air defence, thanks to these never ending barrages of missiles and drones striking Ukraine. I do understand that Ukraine will put up a fight, and it may achieve some success, but it is ‘Custers last Stand’.
As for the future, my own country just ordered billions worth of military hardware from all over the world, including the US and Israel, since it has depleted its stock, shipping everything to Ukraine. It will take years to restore the fighting capacity, and integrate all this new equipment. To produce it ourselves is out of the question, because, as so many other countries in the West, our industrial base, and accompanying knowledge, has been shipped to China. And we lost access to cheap energy, thanks to the Neocons who blew up Northstream, while no production facility will be built which is not ‘Green’, as stipulated by law, dictated by ‘Brussels’. Moreover, to facilitate the ‘Energy Transition’, Europe is totally dependent on China for essential products, ‘know-how’, and ‘rare earth’ minerals, as well as lithium mines in countries which are now, collectively, telling the ‘Collective West’ to find some *real* money first before expecting delivery. By exporting some real products, instead of debt and ‘banking services’.
Please take my observations seriously, because we are about to make some extremely serious mistakes, which are going to cost us dearly! Us. You and me, and the people we love dearly.
It looks to me as if you got it a lot earlier than I did. I was taken entirely by surprise by the recognition of the self-declared Republics on 21st February. Like most, I had thought the fuss would die down and we’d see a start made on the implementation of Minsk 2.
I thought that because a serious sanctions war was out of the question for Europe. It wouldn’t break Russia and the blowback would be too severe for Europe. The Washington hard liners would be up for anything, that was obvious, but Berlin/Brussels would have more sense.
They didn’t. I now believe that far from Washington being the prime mover in the debacle, the Europeans were just as keen.
I used to write in to an English site, asking the many Germans on that site why they were so set on Scholz’s “Barbarossa 2”. Calling the sanctions Scholz’s “do it yourself Morgenthau Plan”. And deprecating the rapid erosion of civil liberties seen there since the start of the SMO. Could they not see what was happening?
They could not. Neither, as far as I could make out, could most in Northern Europe. The Northern Europeans, particularly the all important Germans, had the bit between their teeth. And they’re still at it. A recent statement: ” “It is important to support Ukraine as long as it is necessary.” In view of the strained budget situation, this is “an important signal to Ukraine in particular, but also to our EU and NATO allies”.
So much for “Nie Wieder”. Where does this leave us now?
You mention the tactics I call the “Falkenhayn Scenario”. You also point out that the Russians have played a blinder on the military side. And have, incidentally, wrong footed most of the Western analysts who expected quite different tactics. But none of that solves the two questions that will confront the Russians after those tactics have worked :-
1. What to do with remnant Ukraine, that is, the part of Ukraine that is not absorbed.
If it’s left as it is it’ll be a permanent headache. Generously supplied with arms – the quote above shows Europe’s in for the long haul on arms supplies – and fiercely Russophobic. It’d be a country right on the Russian border with long range weapons and more than ready to use them.
And chock full of Bandera/neo-Nazi monuments. The Russians are going to look pretty foolish if those are left standing, after they’ve made such a big deal of “denazifying” Ukraine.
So on that first problem, the Russians are either going to have to take over remnant Ukraine or install a government that won’t be so dangerous to them.
If they take it over, that’s a recipe for endless partisan warfare backed by the West. It’ll also be a constant financial drain. I can’t imagine the Russians wanting either, not if they have any sense at all. But their chances of installing a less hostile government? How good are those?
So remnant Ukraine is going to be a problem and I’ve not seen anyone suggest how the Russians are going to solve it. On that one, we can only wait and see what the Russians decide.
2. The late 2021 Russian security demands have not been met. Will the Russians forget about those or will they return to those demands after the military operations are done? If they do return to those demands, how will they get them met?
I don’t see the European politicians thinking about either of those two questions, particularly the second. But the end of military action in the Ukraine will not, I believe, result in any sort of return to normal for us Europeans, not until those two questions have been answered.
I think the point is everyone is being duped on some level. I try to get the take from both sides but there are some good independent sources out there trying to punch through it all.
One of my favorites is McDonald’s and Starbucks leaving Russia despite both still being open. Granted, they are no longer called McDonald’s and Starbucks but it’s still the exact same products since the supply chain still works. Only thing gone are the names on the building, packaging and those pesky franchise fees which no longer have to be paid to America.
My point is if western media is lying about hamburgers and coffee what else are they lying about? From what I can tell everything at this point and the rest of the world is getting tired of it. Ukraine is not even the thing. It is a thing but not the thing. The thing is a much grander economic one where the US can no longer just do whatever it wants.
I was just reading in Swedish media that alcohol is a major killer of Russian soldiers. I am not all that surprised since the Russians have always had a drinking problem.
Some in Russia agree. A Russian Telegram news channel reported there have been “extremely high numbers of incidents, crimes, and deaths linked to alcohol consumption amongst the deployed Russian forces.”
The booze undoubtedly has led to death by hypothermia. Lead to death or injury by driving while intoxicated. Negligent or accidental shooting or other weapon or ammo handling safety violations is also a cause.
Lars, you don’t think that the Ukrainians have exactly the same drinking problems as the Russians, or even worse? And what about the drug use problems of the Ukrainians? Your Russophobia certainly clouds your judgement. Most EU countries have higher or comparable alcohol consumption rates to Russia.
I doubt that you can back up your contention with much data. But Russia’s drinking problem has been known for quite some time.
It brings no joy to me to be the one appointed by fate and a highly secret organization whose existence cannot be verified nor it’s name whispered or printed to issue a call to attention and present these two recent observations to you, in these two videos linked below.
Why one, and then the other, you say, and placed so near as to suggest, heaven forbid, that one could possibly have anything to do with the other?
Good, now that you’ve thought it over, please try to satisfy at least yourself and your loved ones if you have any, that you’re confident you think you know the answer to this next question and have also designed and made provision for a plan B in case in your opinion you assign too high a degree of uncertainty to the matter to really know or disqualify yourself from answering for other reasons you don’t feel it necessary to go into here.
Question:Why have two gigantic apertures appeared suddenly on the meridian areas of the Sun’s surface and why are they in the same rotational plane as that of our planet Earth? (Please make sure you are an atheist if after viewing the Gamma-Ray Burst video you are wondering if that can’t happen here if science has already established that it happens frequently all over the entire known universe).
Why The Sun Has Two Giant Holes And What That Means For Earth | Insider News
Two giant holes appeared on the sun’s surface. They’re called coronal holes and will send solar winds toward Earth, revealing stunning Northern Lights.
Overview of Gamma-Ray Burst:
Mar 31, 2023
Gamma-ray bursts are the most luminous explosions in the cosmos. Astronomers think most occur when the core of a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel, collapses under its own weight, and forms a black hole, as illustrated in this animation. The black hole then drives jets of particles that drill all the way through the collapsing star at nearly the speed of light. These jets pierce through the star, emitting X-rays and gamma rays (magenta) as they stream into space. They then plow into material surrounding the doomed star and produce a multiwavelength afterglow that gradually fades away. The closer to head-on we view one of these jets, the brighter it appears.
We now take you back to our regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.
МУРKISS – СОНЬКА
During a visit to the Skeptic’s Corner of Northwest Central Upthen Downland, we encountered a man wearing only jeans and a t-shirt ..
Extinction by Gamma-Ray Burst:
I don’t know yet if a certain individual has yet received from our secret society the instructions for entering our upcoming debating society’s preliminary spring season contest:
Resolved: It’s Impossible to Aim a Gamma-Ray Burst, and No we Don’t Think they are Always Preceded by Sequences of Tornado on the Target Sites.
As long as the Sun’s dark spots and solarwinds don’t affect the dung beetle’s celestial navigation and ability to roll their balls of crap to precisely where they want them, all is right with the world.
Here’s a couple of early videos of Aleksandr Malinin for your enjoyment. I had a source who would bring me bootleg tapes of those performances along with a host of other valuable information and artifacts.
I am curious as to how many people you consider “anti-American”.
Here are some names of well-known people who have spoken against the U.S. involvement in Ukraine:
Stephen M. Walt
Ted Galen Carpenter
All these people have expressed sceptical views on the wisdom of American involvement in Ukraine.
Does that, in your estimation, make them “anti-American”?
For a presentation of some of their views, you can sample this lengthy playlist:
Jack Matlock is not so well-known – you can listen to his views here:
(I note that Matlock has more experience with the USSR than just about anybody around.)
One other useful, IMO, overview of the Ukraine situation was written in 2022 by Christopher Caldwell:
Having a difference of opinion on policy and strategy is not at all anti-American.
I called out Larry Johnson & Doug McGregor not as anti-American, but as completely wrong in their military analysis of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and compared them to Col. Lang’s analysis which has turned out to be more accurate. Col.Lang’s analysis on other military conflicts including the Israeli invasion of Lebanon & our invasion of Iraq did also prove to be correct. A good analyst will update their analysis as facts change, but to keep pushing an angle that Ukraine is doomed coz Putin will prevail and so there’s no point in supporting Ukraine defend itself with arms & funding appears to be pushing for the defeat of Ukraine. Why are they so keen for Putin to be successful in his invasion?
Larry Johnson’s analysis in particular should be treated with some skepticism especially after his “Whitey” tape hoax. He seems more an agent provocateur than a serious analyst of military affairs.
MoA and their ilk are definitely anti-American. That’s their shtick. Everything is America’s fault.
Being against US intervention in overseas military adventures is a long held tradition in the US. There were many who opposed US intervention in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Syria. That’s a good thing as we need the debate before American kids are sent to fight in some distant land. It is one thing to have a position that US military intervention is not in the national interest, however, championing and cheerleading America’s enemies is another thing.
Blue Peacock – before he was ill Colonel Lang identified something about the SMO that I didn’t see identified elsewhere. He wrote of a “Culminating Point” in the hostilities.
That was and is a very long front line. Much longer even than in WWI. It was manned on the Russian side by few soldiers. Figures vary but it was a force much smaller than the opposing Ukrainian forces.
Against that, the Russians had more and better equipment and superior generalship; but they were still fighting a greatly superior force, NATO trained and with an advantage few recognised at the time: AD backed by the full assistance of sophisticated NATO ISR. Also command and control backed by those ISR resources right down to the targeting of individual guns and the movement of small units.
It wasn’t only Colonel Lang who recognised that the Allied Russian forces had reached their limit at that time. Surovikin did as well.
Hence the call up of men who’d done their training earlier and then returned to civilian life. Now the boot’s on the other foot and it’s the Kiev forces rushing around here there and everywhere to plug weak points in the line.
It’s that Russian ability to ramp up their forces as needed against whatever NATO can throw at them that will determine the military outcome.
According to Orban the Europeans are now discussing sending troops in to assist Kiev. Not covertly, as now, but openly and in quantity. No idea whether Orban’s right or not but if he is it’ll make no odds. The Russians will merely ramp up further.
The Americans don’t have the numbers in place to intervene on the ground to any effect. What they do have more or less immediately available is a fearsome Air Force but they can’t use it without turning Europe itself into a battleground. And however determined President Biden is, I doubt he’ll listen to the hotheads in his administration and risk using his tactical nukes.
There’s also the question of whether the Americans have got behind in military technology. I’m not qualified to do more than raise that question, but it’s there and probably also deters the American hawks from pushing any further than they have so far.
Barring nuclear this war is over. Time that was recognised and we stopped pushing more of our proxies into the meat grinder.
There’s another consideration you should now take seriously. It’s very difficult to pick up what’s happening in Ukraine at the moment but what does come out is consistent with a very ugly scenario.
The ultra-nationalists are still in the driving seat. There’s very much a last days in the bunker feel about what little’s coming out of Kiev. In such circumstances it’s likely further Kiev sanctioned atrocities will occur. Given the mixed population in Ukraine there are plenty of targets.
We’ve used the Ukrainian people to pursue our vendetta with Russia. More accurately, our politicians have but it comes to the same thing. As we use the Ukrainians to “bleed” the Russians, we should not forget that we’re giving those ultra-nationalists time and opportunity to further wreck their country.
So the fat lady has sung, Roy Orbison is crying “Its over” and Ukrainian Johnny has come marching home again; defeated. Russian “ultra nationalists” can overlook 170M dead. It was worth it! Put lipstick on the “bear” but this is an invasion to reestablish the Russian Empire. Yet Finland joins NATO (this week?) and can Sweden be far behind. Every single (w/t exception of White Russia) previous colony or soviet satellite has opted to look WEST for freedom and security. Why can’t they be comfortable w/”mother Russia”? B/C they all have had long, unhappy experience living next to her. This war was decided in the Kremlin in the summer of ’91 when Ukrainians declared they were free. As long as Ukrainians d/n get too “uppity” about it, Russia would let them pretend. Their declaration of independence was far before the Maiden, NATO, NeoCons, Nuland, the 2014 election, Istanbul, or Minsk. The problem was Ukrainians began to believe they were free. You count Ukrainians down and out. If you’re right what has Russia won, shopping mall bombs, blown up dams, and plane explosions for the next 100 years. St Petersburgh will make Belfast look like a cake walk. Occam’s Razor says simple is often true. Here’s Occam, Russia “needs” to be Imperial but Ukrainians w/no longer oblige. They refuse to be Russians, and will continue a partisan bloodbath. A pity Russians feel the need to harm a lesser to make themselves feel the greater. That is exactly what the Russian invasion of Ukraine is about.
Bill – what about the population mix, particularly in the Kharkov – Odessa arc?
The peace ticket Zelensky was elected on would have given the Russian-leaning element in the mix security. Zolote put paid to that.
Minks 2 would have worked. But the recent Merkel/Poroshenko/Hollande statements showed that was never intended by the West or by Kiev,
And the use of the Ukrainians as a spearhead by NATO/EU meant that we in the West supported the most violent of the extremists.
This is the neocon playbook. It’s now backfired:-
“Providing lethal aid to Ukraine would exploit Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability. But any increase in U.S. military arms and advice to Ukraine would need to be carefully calibrated to increase the costs to Russia of sustaining its existing commitment without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages.”
The Biden administration didn’t read the small print. ” … without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages.”
A neocon frolic that failed. Time to wrap it up.
Russia and the breakaway republics were never going to relinquish control of the Russian-Ukrainian border back to Ukraine. That along with everything else doomed Minsk 2.
Russian speaking Ukrainians are not automatically loyal to Moscow. On the contrary, most have remained loyal to Kyiv. Many have stopped speaking Russian and are now actively fighting the Russians.
Ukrainians cannot be used as or considered a NATO/EU spearhead. They have not left Ukrainian territory. That’s not what a spearhead is. The most violent extremists, always a minority, were only supported by US in 2015. They began losing support and votes with the 2016 elections and have continued to lose political clout. There are EU countries where extremists have more political power than in Ukraine.
That Rand study is nothing more than a Rand study. It’s not a government plan, nor is it endorsed by either party. The authors hold no government positions. Are there Americans who want to regime change Russia or break it up? Absolutely. They’re not in charge of policy either. But there are plenty, a majority, in our government who want to see Ukraine win this war and Russia lose. That means getting out of Ukraine, not breaking up or getting rid of Putin. There are Russians who want to exterminate the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian culture. They are in the Russian government and government media. They’ve been preaching their violent, hateful ideology daily for over a year now. They’re still in place.
To summarize your editorial in all your posts on this topic:
– Putin was “forced” to invade, because…
– US is weak and doesn’t have superior weapons
– Western Europe is weaker
– Xi & Putin have it all buttoned down & will rule the world
– Putin has plenty of men & material
– Ukraine will inevitably get crushed militarily
– So give up & surrender
I don’t think the current “regime” in Kyiv as you label them, agree with you. Nor do I think the Eastern Europeans & Scandinavians agree with your assessment. I believe the Ukrainian army has already demonstrated through the last year of military action that they ain’t no pushover!
Let’s check back at the end of the next maneuver season.
you have in fact reached your own ‘Culminating Point’ with your statement “the Russians had more and better equipment and superior generalship”
What the fighting on the ground has demonstrated is the sheer incompetence of the Russian military leaders. Remind us of how many military leaders have been sacked by Putin?
Just sing the praises of Putin the Perfect and stay away from military matters.
What’s all this about “Putin the Perfect”? The apologists for the neocons have only one argument. Call anyone who is horrified by what the neocons get up to a “Putin bot”.
But look at it logically, PR. How the hell would I know whether Putin is perfect or not? I don’t speak the language and the only Russians I know came over a couple of decades ago and more. That scarcely qualifies me to lay down the law on Russian politics. Find some Russia expert to debate that question with.
And you’ve caught me out in a mistake. I should have said “amazing generalship”.
Summary of the debacle that I knocked up early in the SMO for a Dane on Dr North’s site in England. :-
1. This war was deliberately provoked by the West. Short of nuking Moscow we couldn’t have done much more to get the Russians rolling.
2. It’s as much a civil war as international. The Donbas, perhaps other areas of the old Ukraine, is no longer prepared to be ruled from Kiev. That, whatever Moscow or Washington do or say.
3. The military war was won as soon as started. Don’t argue! ‘s obvious!
4. Not so obvious is how that was done in practice. We’re looking, in terms of economy of force, disposition of troops and equipment, operational flexibility, integration of military with political aims, at an operation the military historians will be studying admiringly for decades.
5. It follows that Western attempts to prolong the war merely condemn more Ukrainian PBI to death. Our host has permitted me to write in on this point several times. It’s one I feel strongly about. If the neocon ghouls want to get at Russia this murderous sacrifice of our proxies is no way to do it.
6. Nevertheless the war itself is something of a side issue overall. It served as a means of getting the European public on side with the sanctions war. None thought the Russians could lose the war itself. The politicians put their money on breaking Russia with sanctions.
7. The sanctions war was lost soon after February. It won’t break Russia. It’ll break us.
8. . The politicians know they’ve screwed up. They’re desperately trying to back off. But if the general public is as war hungry as those comments quoted above indicate, “We the people” won’t let them.
I’ve italicised the relevant point. I must confess, I’m conflicted on this debacle. Furious at what our politicians have done. But also furious that they’ve done it with such earth-shattering incompetence!
However, TTG has allowed me to set out that argument already so time to give it a rest. There are some interesting loose ends still to be examined. The main one is in Germany, a country I’ve come to regard as my second Heimat.
Any Germans around here at the moment? Tell me what’s happening! Pretty well an entire country determinedly looking the other way. None daring to ask why Scholz isn’t doing what any normal leader would do: raising hell until he finds out who blew up his gas pipes.
Is there anyone in that inert pudding of a country brave enough to raise his head above the parapet and explain why Scholz is acting so oddly?
I credit E.O. as an indefatigable foe of Ukrainian independence. He believes his main points but as the barkeep keeps settin’ em up, I’ll keep knocking’ em down.
1. The very premise is wrong. Ukraine was the victim. It was invaded by Russia. Ukraine d/n invade Russia. Russia w/n allow Ukrainian independence as declared in August of ’91. They would let Ukrainians “play at freedom”. The problem was the Ukies took their freedom seriously. Ultimately, the Russians took war seriously.
2. Another fundamental false premise. This is not a civil war. That implies that Ukraine and Russia s/b one, that Ukraine is part of, belongs to Russia. They are not. Ukrainians have fought Russia for freedom for over 100 years. This IS int’l violence.
3. The war was over as soon as it started. Don’t argue! All I can say is “that’s why they play the game rather than read the roster”. The fight is not over, the game is not done.
4. The Russians have employed “economy of force”. Did they do so in Finland, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan, and Czechnia? Look at Ukrainian cities w/o power, w/destroyed bridges and homes. Such restraint by Putin.
5. Concern has always been about the unnecessary loss of Ukrainian life. Ukrainians have something to say about that. They could have rolled over to the Russians in 1917, 1922, 1933 (whoops not that year), 1943, 1950’s, and 2022. They d/n. They’ll fight with bombs in Moscow taverns if they must.
6.,7., and 8. The war is a side issue for sanctions to destroy Russia. Sanctions are indirect attempts to reduce a country’s economic ability for war. They need time. Who really thought sanctions would work in a year? Who thinks sanctions w/n become effective after two years. Destruction of Russia maybe what neocons would like but they are one part of public opinion and gov’t policy about Russia. So am I. I don’t want to see Russia destroyed or broken apart. I want to see Russia enjoy being Russian while leaving her neighbors alone.
This is “fixable”. Putin calls off his army, Ukrainians remain independent, and energy and grain flows again throughout the west. We just need the chanters … “Hey Vlady what do you say, how many kids did you kill today!”. That is what is missing in Moscow. I believe the Russian public is willing to sacrifice sons for empire. That tells me something about the Russian soul.
BTW, why doesn’t Tucker have guests on with a different pov on the military situation in Ukraine? What’s his agenda with that?
Note from a personal viewpoint there’s many issues where I’m squarely with Tucker on his pov. FYI, I was personally opposed to our invasion of Iraq, Libya & Syria. I believed then and continue to believe now that allowing secular tyrants like Saddam & Assad to modernize the thinking of their tribal societies unfettered was a good thing.
“What’s his agenda with that?”
What’s the agenda with those who pushed “Russia Collusion” and “Ivermetcin = Horse medicine” and a few other agendas? What are they pushing now? Perhaps “analysis is not advocacy” is something to remember, and also an unreliable (however defined) source can provide accurate information?
If Tucker had Col. Lang present his analysis on the military situation in Ukraine, which has been proven correct, then it would have been analysis. Having McGregor or someone else on every week with a new story of how Putin is gonna win imminently in the military conflict, is no longer analysis but pushing an agenda. What is that agenda? That is the topic of the thread that you have responded to. What is your view on Tucker’s Ukraine military situation analysis segment, that has had the same analysis since the beginning of the Russian invasion and has been proven incorrect in over a year?
Russia Collusion has been discussed for a good long time on many threads. So have topics on covid.
So many Good Questions Up Here..So Many Arenas…So Few Righteous
Gladiators,,,or Eyes on the Spies..Those Who “Whisper”.;;while Sniffing The
Neck of NERO..
And…The Emperors Never Change..In Style Or Substance..Regarding Saddam..and OBL..Blue Peacock…Said It Right…That was a Jihad..Take Out The Infadels…
With The Fathers Blessings…..Saddam.;;Egypt…Lybia.Syria…Muslim Brotherhood.
Regime Changes,,,…All Done..by Bag People..And Secret Society Spooks…..
With Poor Vision.. IMO..and Vocabularys……No Class..They Embaress The Species..
As To Current Events..Sanctions Applied by “Biden”.on Putin….2 Days Prior..
V.Putin Should Have Figured That Out…More Bad CFR Players in Inner Circles
sniffing His Hair..Bad Move.. Sad Move..Many Ask about Whats Goimg on in
Russia Now..?? The Peoples reactions…The Media..? The Control Means..
According to the Published Long Report in the “VulkanLeaks”…Cyber..Internal..Means,,Methods..Agencys..Who..What..Where
When..Why..How…? Its all There Google…”Vulkan Leaks” Glimpse The Future..
China May Conjure Up…Nuclear Disarmament Agreements..Joy to the World…Eh..?
Doesnt Matter There Are So Many Other Developed Means And Methods..On A
Magnum Cyber Scale Just like Forth and Longs Solar Flares. the EMPS.. will be
Sufficient…To End Currency and Global Markets. Look Them Up…. Eh..Chocolate Chips..Sure..Chief..But The Ice Cream Melted…Along With Everything Else..Messy,,
But It Will All Be in a Dream..Like The Song…and the Season..Red Storm Rising..
Thanks Jim. I’ve worried for years that the stories about solar flares and sunspot cycles might be appearing in media not necessarily to disinterestedly inform but as a handy goto in case de-escalation from an emp attack was desired. I don’t worry to much though. Scenario: Side X knocks out our grid with Emp. Everyone freaks out demands that Side X be nuked immediately. News broadcasts reassuringly say “And just as our recent series on geomagnetic storms and increasingly powerful solar winds has warned us, our geophysicists were right on the money because as it turns out Side X, although they are evil, had nothing to do with the massive failure of our electric grids .. ” Ond of the strongest lightning bolt ever observed hit the world trade center tower only the day before yesterday:
Was it a warmup run for the Gamma Ray Burst from the holes on the sun? Of course I jest. TTG seems to insist that his precious beetles be written into the script. That may require the insertion of tales of intergalactic telepathy. It’s frowned on to link the two concepts, because it usually results in movies whose plot involve all the insects in the continental US simultaneously marching on Washington DC. Hmm .. he’s clever and knows this business, maybe he concluded long ago that that’s what it will take. Let’s see …⬇️
The speed of the fastest ant in the world has been recorded, traveling at 108 times its body length in a single second, or the human equivalent of 360 miles per hour.
Known as the Saharan silver, the incredible insect can go nearly a yard during that time frame, taking 50 strides per second. By comparison, Bolt, widely regarded to be the fastest human alive, takes four strides per second.
Fourth and Long…
You Are Not Alone With all Your Concerns…NASA and Space Force and other ATS ,,Agencys Have the Same Concerns…and there are Very Itchy Trigger Fingers Hyper Sensitized ..and Dangerous…KIM..
I Like Your Stuff Fand L…But You are So Cryptic..To Take
Matters To a Galaxy Far Far Away…But NASA says The CLINGONS…Are In Stealth..Close Orbit…Mother Ship..
It Would Be Interesting to Talk to You sometime..I Like
when You Communicate Clear Enough For Me To See some
This is a very interesting thread by Mick Ryan. It would imply that the Ukrainian army may once again surprise Putin with another successful counter-offensive. What is surprising is why the Russian army is not trying to breakthrough Ukrainian army defensive lines now while the Ukrainian army is getting assets in place?
Hey, Bill up above! We’ve already agreed there are two “Ukraines”.
For what it’s worth, my own view was that no matter its complex and bloody history, Ukraine including Crimea could have made a go of it. We lost the Ukrainians that chance.
After we installed neo-Nazis in government in 2014 Crimea was lost.
Had Minsk 2 been made a start on it would have stopped there. After eight years of repeated atrocities in the Donbass the Donbass has now been lost. Tough. Shouldn’t train up and use neo-Nazis as our proxies.
There’s no lipstick to put on this pig, Bill. We used neo-Nazis who regarded their Russian fellow citizens as “Untermenschen” and who wanted to kill them or get them out of the Donbass. Are you surprised that the people of the Donbass preferred not to be killed or expelled?
Now you’ve got an Englishman writing in and stating that NATO is a paper tiger. So it is. Generals Kujat, Zorn, Vad, Twitty and many others are saying just that. General Lord Richards warned early on that we might be leading our proxies up the garden path. So we have.
And given that those neo-Nazis we put and kept in power are not a large component of the Ukrainian population as a whole, we’ve let the Ukrainians down too,
Had we really been wishing to help the Ukrainians make a go of independence we’d have insisted on Minsk 2. We did precisely the opposite and frustrated it. This whole disaster is down to NATO/EU and please don’t suggest that recognising that makes anyone a Putinversteher or anti-Ukrainian.
Anti-neocon, that’s for sure. If you wish to complain about the forthcoming disintegration of what could have been a perfectly viable country, please take your complaint to Washington or Brussels.
Dunno if this is factual. But… if true would say something as top level insiders usually have the best insight into a situation.