The Western media is filled with stories of the brave Ukrainian people rising up to fight the evil Russians and the Russians are paying a terrible toll, or so we are told. But if you step back and look at what is actually transpiring you will note the following:
- Unlike the U.S. “shock and awe” unleashed on Baghdad in 2003, which caused significant civilian casualties and destroyed infrastructure and damaged power grids and destroyed bridges, the Russian military is avoiding hitting population centers. The power is still on in Kiev and Kharkov last I checked.
- You are not seeing raging battles in the streets of Kiev or Kharkov between Ukrainian and Russian military forces.
Some believe this indicates Putin’s troops are bogged down and making little progress. But I think there is an alternative explanation. First, Russia has not deployed its most sophisticated weaponry. It remains in place in Russia on the Ukrainian border but showing no signs as of this writing of being activated. Second, little attention is being paid to eastern Ukraine where the bulk of the Ukrainian Army is deployed. Jacob Dreizin offers some important insight on this:
You won’t hear this on CNN, but Putin’s Army of Darkness, in the most complex and ambitious ground maneuver operation since World War 2, following the Soviet “deep war” playbook, is also working on cutting off the Ukrainian army group in the Donbass from Kiev. This is by far the most capable (or only capable) large portion of the Ukrainian army. Yesterday, its main reserves of diesel fuel were destroyed from the air. It will soon be cut off and immobile.
Once that happens, the entire Donbass front collapses (they will no longer have a “front”), and BILLIONS of dollars in U.S.-funded or U.S.-supplied weaponry will be captured almost without a battle. (To be clear, it’s almost all U.S. funded or supplied—even most of the Soviet vintage stuff was bought and shipped in from Poland, Czechia, etc. by the CIA, “off the books” but well documented in videos of tank trains crossing the border into Ukraine, in 2015-2016.)
The Russians have finally entered Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city, very close to the Russian border. Previously, they had bypassed it the same way that America bypassed every town in southern Iraq to reach Baghdad in 2003. On Saturday night, they finally wasted all significant, organized resistance with a rain of thermobaric death in the outskirts. Today, they started to go in and mop up. Of course, it’s not a job for one day.
The Ukrainian army is falling back (mostly in organized fashion) throughout the Donbass. They have largely evacuated Mariupol, a very pro-Russian, major steelmaking and steel-shipping center (responsible for billions of dollars in exports) on the Sea of Azov. The sole garrison in Mariupol is now said to be the Azov regiment, a group of bona fide, tattooed Nazis—you know, your typical Ukrainian democracy guys, the ones the MSM doesn’t tell you about, and our State Department prefers to ignore. The kind of guys you must use to garrison a pro-Russian city that hates you.
The “real” army looks to be falling back to Dnepropetrovsk, about 60 miles west of Donetsk, if the Russians don’t cut them off—that’s now the big “if.” Either way, they’ll get hit badly from the air.
They are leaving behind lots of brand spanking new, British and American weaponry. I wish I had time to make a photo collage for you. It turns out, the stuff doesn’t work well. Among other things, you have to charge the battery on those Javelins or whatever. No charge, no fire. No one told them. I guess they had so many dumped on them, it was not realistic to plug them all into the wall, and sit there and wait. I can relate, I don’t even like waiting to charge one new smartphone.
The Ukrainian Air Force, what is left of it, is now flying on Helen Keller terms. It seems that Ukraine combat aircraft rely on ground controlled radar to conduct air to air intercepts. Guess what the Russians obliterated in the first hours of their invasion on Wednesday? If you said, “ground controlled radar” you are a winner.
Without that radar the Russians have air superiority. They have castrated the Ukrainians ability to provide close air support and disrupt Russian air cover. They are flying blind (if they are flying and can find an operational air field.) Then there are the lines of communication for the Ukrainian Army. Critical military fuel dumps are on fire and the ability of the Ukrainian Army to keep their tanks and trucks running is slipping away.
This perhaps explains the volte face of Zelensky in being willing to sit down with the Russians and try to negotiate an end to the evisceration of Ukraine’s military capability.