“What would a Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kherson look like?” – TTG

One way or another, according to Ukraine’s leadership, it’s bound to happen. Even though the Battle of Donbas is far from over, Ukraine is expected to open the next chapter of the war sometime in the near future — a highly anticipated, major counter-offensive operation in the south, particularly to liberate the Russian-occupied city of Kherson. Kyiv has declared its intentions to liberate the only regional capital captured by Russia following the Feb. 24 full-scale invasion. 

Experts across the world agree that retaking Kherson is the most feasible way for Ukraine to score a major victory over Russia and turn the tide of the war. As part of a counter-offensive operation, Ukraine would likely seek to block the occupied city, cut the Russian garrison off from supplies and reinforcements, and hold the blockade until Russia surrenders. This would be a daring mission, demanding the most effective contribution of all components ranging from infantry to air defense and counter-battery activity. 

Thanks to local terrain and Russian military flaws, Ukraine’s plan may in fact be realistic.  But in order to carry it out, Ukraine’s military would have to demonstrate excellent coordination of war power and do the difficult work of clearing the area of Russian forces, supply lines, and ammunition depots — before going in.

There are three key objectives Ukraine has to meet in order to encircle Russian troops and force them to surrender in Kherson. Ukraine would have to impose firm control over the M14/P47 highway that runs east of Kherson and connects the city with Nova Kakhovka, one of Russia’s key bases in Ukraine’s southern Kherson Oblast and the site of recent attacks on Russian ammunition depots carried out with the help of newly delivered Western weapons. 

It would also need to destroy two bridges across the Dnipro River, the Antonivsky Bridges, one for vehicle traffic and the other for railway, close to the town of Antonivka on the outskirts of Kherson. The two bridges currently allow Russia to reinforce its garrison in Kherson from occupied territory across the river. 

Ukraine would also have to cut off the Kakhovska Hydroelectric Power Plant in Nova Kakhovka some 55 kilometers east of Kherson. The dam also serves as a bridge, along which the M14/P47 highway runs.  

If the highway is cut off by Ukraine, Russian forces would have no way of getting across the Dnipro. With the two Antonivksy bridges destroyed, the only other way to make it across the Dnipro’s right bank is in Ukrainian-controlled Zaporizhzhia over 200 kilometers away from Kherson. 

This first phase would only be considered successful once Russian forces are blocked and cut off from supplies and reinforcements. If successful, Russian forces in Kherson would be backed up against a giant natural obstacle. The Dnipro River is nearly 350 meters wide near the city. Ukrainian artillery would also be close enough to prevent Russian forces from installing any sort of river cross, such as floating bridges. 


Comment: The full article by Illia Ponomarenko, a long time defense reporter in Kyiv, has a lot more to say about this possible counter-offensive. His view is far more realistic than some I’ve seen claiming a quick retaking of Crimea.  I doubt that will happen for quite some time. It would be dependent on a full collapse of Russian defenses. Possible, yes. Imminent, no. Even so, Russia is moving a lot of their Black Sea Fleet out of Sevastopol to their port at Novorossiysk.

Taking Kherson and especially the north bank of the Dnipro opposite the Nova Kakhovka Dam would be enough to put Russia right back to where they were before the invasion with a dry Crimea. Crimea needs the water to continue flowing through the Dnipro canal. Loss of access to that water would be a far greater loss to Russia than the full loss of the Donbas. That’s the importance of the inevitable Kherson counter-offensive.

In my opinion, Russia is far too focused on the Donbas to the detriment of securing the Dnipro Canal. That may be why Kyiv is putting up such a fight on that front, to keep Russia’s focus and forces away from Nova Kakhovka and Kherson. The Ukrainian HIMARS are doing a good job of keeping ammunition away from Russian forces on the Kherson front over the last few weeks with nightly fireworks displays at Russian ASPs. They also took out a Podlet K1 radar system located on the coast at Lazurne. The system is designed for detecting and tracking low-altitude targets, providing early warning and support for systems like the S-400. It was undoubtedly meant to protect Sevastopol from Ukrainian missile attacks, but its loss also leaves a big hole in the air defenses of the entire Kherson front. One of the Dnipro bridges at Kherson has also been struck twice and put out of action for truck traffic. 

Read the room, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Read the room. You’re about to have a lot of thirsty people in Crimea… again.


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63 Responses to “What would a Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kherson look like?” – TTG

  1. Whitewall says:

    Ukrainians have the will, but do they still have the manpower for such a bold operation?

    • TTG says:


      Yes, Ukraine still has uncommitted reserves still undergoing training and being equipped by the West.

      • Matthew says:

        Do you even know what their losses are? I ask, because everyone seems to know the UA’s assets, but mysteriously can’t seem to answer a simple question: What are the UA’s losses?

        I can’t remember prior war coverage where this question is so intentionally avoided.

  2. Fourth and Long says:

    Hmm. You see USAF Chief Ralph Ken-Doll saying that “Non Soviette” fighter planes are destined soon (unspecified in public) for Your Cranium? Those horror story A-10s or whatever they’re called have been mentioned. Guesses are F15 and F 16s at least. Stock up on iodine tablets.

    • TTG says:


      Ukrainian pilots are being trained to fly F-16s and F-15s. This training just started and will take a while. Eventually Ukraine will be equipped with all NATO standard equipment, including aircraft. A-10s might be nice as Colonel Lang and I talked about months ago, but I’m not sure how’d they do when every platoon carries MANPADs. Right now, both Russian and Ukrainian ground attack aircraft stay over their own lines and fire barely aimed rockets at distant targets because of the MANPAD threat.

      It’s not just MANPADs that pose a threat. In Hawaii, we would practice shooting at BATS rocket targets. They were designed for Vulcan, Redeye and Chaparrel targets, but each rifle company was also given several passes to practice our skills. Not only did we usually hole the rockets pretty well, but we shot some down with just M-16 and M-60 MG fire.

    • Bill Roche says:

      It takes two to tango and two to talk. Who’s not talking? Putin? Zelinskyy? We don’t know. I think Putin refuses to talk peace; unless its that Zelinskyy!

      • Fourth and Long says:

        I think Elenskii (didn’t get the memo? – they dropped letter Z bc it’s a Russian symbol of the “special operation “) is captive to the West (UK and US) and his religious fanatic nationalists or Ukronazis, Neonazis or Nazis, your pick. Azov and others. They wield serious power in that they will and have use force. So (z)Elensky is protected by special forces of the Oeust – I’ve heard SAS and US special forces. Sans uniform, unshaven etc. He just arrested a large number of his aides including two former friends who were dismissed rather than arrested. Talk is that Americans are working the Himars and those crews have to synch with Ukrainian crews who launch mlrs & artlly as distractions for Ru air cover. But the Americans don’t trust the Ukrainians bc they are penetrated. And it led to 600 arrests? I certainly don’t know but that’s rumored on telegram channels. It probably played a role.

        Hopefully TTG sees this and can evaluate the claims in this short Twitter thread about a Russian weapon system used yesterday that is twice as powerful as the Himars. I wonder if it can be as accurate bc of satellite insufficiencies or no.


        • baduin says:

          My dear bot, Zelenski is Ukraininan. There is no letter “Z” there – they use З instead. The name of the President of Ukraine is Зеленський.

          Russian military sign and propaganda symbol is a Western Z.

          Many bots have been programmed with this stupid meme. I think it works like Nigerian scams – they are very stupid by design, in order to reach the proper audience.

      • Steve says:

        Blinken called off all negotiations on Feb 15 just a day before the Ukrainian army launched its offensive on Donbas. Talks between the Russians and Ukrainians began in early March but then the Ukrainian negotiator was assassinated for treason when being seen to compromise. Since then BoJo twice visited Z to order him not to involve Ukraine in any more negotiations – this according to Z’s senior staff.

      • Leith says:

        Bill –

        Putin won’t talk peace until he loses a significant amount of the territory he has illegally occupied. His current negotiation position is that he keeps all of the Donbas, Kherson province, and all much of Zaporhyzhzhia province. Zelensky says he won’t negotiate until ‘all’ of Ukraine is liberated. But I suspect he will back down to accept pre-Feb-2022 lines.

        Blinken and Boris have no say-so in any negotiations despite the Kremlin agitprop.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Agree; agit prop not withstanding the UKM is doing the dying so they’ll do the talking. Of course Blinken would remind Zelinskyy that the US is doing the arming. I have thought since day one that Zelinskyy should give up the Donbas, and Crimea and accept reality. But I “watch” this 4000 miles away b/h a keyboard. Occasionally I look at latest euro news on Ukraine. Rpts this morning, 7/24, “suggest” UKM is moving into position for counter offensive into Kherson. The story implied they are going to get it on soon. The next 3 days ought to be crucial.

      • Leith says:

        Bill –

        “Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN have today signed an agreement about providing safe passage for ships with Ukrainian grain. – – Ukraine is not signing any agreements with Russia, instead, Russia will sign a mirrored agreement with the UN and Turkey.”

        About time I say. I kinda wonder what kind of arm twisting worked on Putin.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Leith; Russian has admitted to shelling Odessa yesterday despite their agreement to let grain go out to market. Lavrov said it was ok though b/c only military targets were hit. Russia sent a msg. What was it?
          For those who thought those dastardly Ukrainians bombed themselves, or that the CIA bombed Odessa, or that the Turks “did it”, sorry, it was Russia all along.

  3. Lars says:

    I read with interest this: https://nadinbrzezinski.medium.com/lets-address-a-fantasy-regarding-the-russian-b180393b05b2. What I find compelling, is that some of the points made I have read about from other sources. I don’t know what will happen next or when, but I get a feeling that the tide is turning. Living in Florida all these years, I know something about tides and I think King Knut was unsuccessful. I am sure those with military experience will attest to that motivated troops are better than the less so. I have also long held the view that the Russian economy, as small as it is compared to EU and US will eventually make a big difference. Having a leader with delusions of grandeur can also be rather problematic.

  4. Barbara Ann says:

    I saw that the Ukies had punched a few holes in the Antonivka road bridge recently (HIMARS?). I bet they are regretting not destroying both that one and the rail bridge in their retreat. It looked like they just need a lot more of whatever did hit it to do the job. The road across the Kakhovka dam is another matter, destroying that is not an option I imagine.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      That would be a war crime with few precedents. Even at the height of the colossal bombings of VN Kissinger and Nixon did not hit the dams. That’s on the order of what Genghis Khan did to ancient Mesopotamia where his troops ripped out extensive canal and irrigation systems that were the work of the best part of a millennium. Gibbon, the British historian, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire said that the depth of the damage visited upon the Islamic east by the Mongols (GK, later Timur the Lame) was so serious that little recovery had been made centuries later by his time, and he expected it might never recovery. Imagine the Dresden, Hanover fire bombings with Tokyo and the two atomic bombings thrown in and trying to come back wo internal combustion, steam, electricity, steamshovels etc.

      • Personanongrata says:

        Even at the height of the colossal bombings of VN Kissinger and Nixon did not hit the dams.

        You need to look back a decade earlier when the US saturation bombed North Korea back into the stone-age.

        Side note – the US dropped more than 7.5 million tons of bombs on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia – more than double the amount dropped in Europe & Asia during WW2

        Italicized/bold text was excerpted from a report found at nationalinterest.org titled:

        How American Air Power Destroyed North Korea

        Indeed, Maj. Gen. Emmett O’Donnell, who led the Far East Bomber Command of B-29s that participated in the bombings, described the plan as going “to work burning five major cities in North Korea to the ground, and to destroy completely everyone of of about 18 major strategic targets.” Curtis Lemay boasted that Strategic Air Command “burned down just about every city in North and South Korea both.” He also estimated that “over a period of three years or so, we killed off . . . 20 percent of the population.” And future secretary of state Dean Rusk, who also served in the State Department under the Truman administration, would say that the United States bombed: “Everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.”

        The sheer number of explosives used is absolutely astonishing. As Tom O’Connor has recounted in Newsweek, the “U.S. dropped 635,000 tons of explosives on North Korea, including 32,557 tons of napalm.” To put this in perspective, throughout the entire Pacific Theatre in World War II, the United States dropped 503,000 tons of bombs. And that was throughout an area that was multitudes larger than North Korea (Japan alone is roughly three times the size of North Korea). Not surprising, then, that the historian Charles K. Armstrong has written, “The U.S. Air Force estimated that North Korea’s destruction was proportionately greater than that of Japan in the Second World War, where the U.S. had turned 64 major cities to rubble and used the atomic bomb to destroy two others.”

        North Korea’s lack of industrialization limited the number of enticing targets for strategic bombing. Consequently, as Armstrong again points out, “By the fall of 1952, there were no effective targets left for US planes to hit. Every significant town, city and industrial area in North Korea had already been bombed.” This is barely hyperbole: the bombings destroyed 100 percent of Sinanju, 95 percent of Sariwon, 85 percent of Hungnam, 80 percent of Wonsan, and Hamhung, and 75 percent of Pyongyang.

        Thereafter, American and allied aircraft turned their sights to North Korea’s hydroelectric plant and the the twenty dams in North Korea that controlled 75 percent of the country’s water, which was needed for agricultural and the production of rice. In May 1953, U.S. forces knocked five of these dams out, causing massive flooding. It also put millions in North Korea at risk for starvation, although the worst of that was prevented because of a massive influx of food aid from the Soviet Union and China. The bombings did cause widespread electrical outages, and by the U.S. Air Force’s estimates destroyed all but 4 to 5 percent of North Korea’s railways.


        However the US dropped in excess of 7.5 million tons of bombs on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia between 1965 – 1975 which was more than double the amount of bombs dropped in Europe & Asia during WW2. At present there are still millions of pieces of unexploded ordnance littering large swaths of each nation that continue to maim and kill innumerable persons.



        Additionally during Operation Ranch Hand (1961 – 1971) the US sprayed over 20 million gallons of herbicide (Agent Orange, Purple, Green, etal – ie Rainbow Herbicides) over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia whose active ingredients commonly called dioxins which are toxic and are known endocrine disruptors causing cancer, birth defects (etc). Toxic dioxins can remain in the environment for decades – polluting food chains – after being used and affecting generations of people.


        • Fourth and Long says:

          Thanks. Yes, I was aware of that. You’ve provided valuable context for consideration of my observation that hitting /destroying dams and canals and irrigation systems would be an irredeemable war crime of rare precedent. I hope my information is correct concerning the US not hitting them in VN. By the way, did you know that in a discussion not long before he died Robert McNamera said that total fatalities in VN were more like 6 to 6.5 million rather than the usually accepted 3 to 3.5 million? (He was a professional numbers man.) I saw it in an interview with a Professor Brenner of U of Pittsburgh. The fatalities in Korea are usually cited as 4 million.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            I forgot to mention that religious fanaticism can drive people to exceed any otherwise conceivable bounds. We saw that with the Nazis of the third reich and with early stage bolshevism (The God That Failed – famous book). We saw it on 911 and with suicide bombings. Your citations above indicate to me that the anti communism of the cold war was also religious fanaticism. Why mention? Because I think and others do too that the Azov battalion types are in fact religious fanatics. Doesn’t bode well. Especially when handed super powerful weapons.

    • . says:

      Barbara Ann –

      My first thought was HIMARS also. But there are many OSINT folks on twitter and Telegram saying it was 155mm Excalibur rounds. It is just the road bridge so far. I would have thought the RR bridge would have been a higher priority.

      But why cut the bridges? Why not give them a way out? And thus avoid urban combat in Kherson City.

      • TTG says:


        Whether it was HIMARS or Excalibur rounds, I don’t know. I do think it was a warning to the Russians. Don’t wait too long to skedaddle back across the river. We can make those bridges impassable whenever we decide to do so. I also think the Ukrainians will wait out any Russians left on the wrong side of the river rather than engage in street fighting in Kherson. They can wait months, well into winter.

        BTW, Leith, check your name field. It’s showing up as a period.

        • Leith says:

          TTG –

          Fixed it, thanks. I mistakenly had assumed it was something on your end.

          BTW in your best guess, why haven’t they yet taken out the RR bridge a few km upstream?


    • Leith says:

      Barbara Ann –

      They could cut the P47 HiWay at Khakovka without destroying the dam. Just put a well placed round or two on the bridge at the shipping lock to the east of the dam. Yes, it is shorter and easily repaired, but that works in Ukraine’s favor also.


      But why bother? Give the occupiers a way to leave.

  5. mcohen says:

    Besides the ukraine the natives are restless elsewhere.retired commanders and experienced men are being brought forward especially in the middle East.shields up.just a inkling but have been wrong before.
    Kherson needs to wait for the cold snowy windy muddy days just before the ice maiden’s axe strikes terror into the hearts of the men from the North.bbbbrrrrrrrrr

  6. cobo says:

    This is an excellent article, and TTG as always makes it real. However, let’s look at the news reports coming out today and over the past two days – I’m using Al Jazeera to avoid Politico, so perhaps less bias:

    “Ukraine war must end to prevent nuclear ‘abyss’: Lukashenko”
    Constant threat of nuclear war is why warring with nuclear powers needs to happen NOW, before the blackmail, regardless of its actual threat value, overwhelms even warriors.

    “Russia resumes eastern Ukraine offensive and expands war aims”

    This combines earlier articles particularly focused on Lavrov’s expanded war aims,,, SEE

    NATO “all in” or go home.

  7. . says:

    Shutting the flow of water in the canal to Crimea might finally put Putin in a mood to negotiate. What did Crimea do for water in the past before that canal was built in the 1960s (largely with labor and expertise from the Ukrainian SSR)?

    It’s not just drinking water. Pre-canal they did not grow rice and other highly water dependent crops like they have done since the canal was built. Neither did they have large fish farms that have been developed in the last 50 or so years. If Putin gets to keep Crimea the locals will have to get rid of the rice paddies and the aquaculture, plus put a brick in their toilet tanks, get some lo-flo showerheads, and either invest in desalinization infrastructure or drill baby drill.

    Whatever happened to the Kuban-Kerch Pipeline that opened last year to lots of pomp and publicity? Putin was there and drank the first glass of sweetwater from the Kuban River, and said the Crimean water problem was officially over. I guess they needed bigger pipes. Or maybe some of Putin’s oligarch buddies took too much graft off the top during construction so that it had to be patched together a bit shoddily?

    • Steve says:

      Cutting off water to Crimea- as the Israelis have in Gaza – is a war crime at the serious end of collective punishment. Doing so would invite a more gloves off approach from the Russians.

      • Leith says:

        Steve –

        Why would it be a war crime since in September 2021 Putin declared the Crimean water shortage was over after he opened up the Kuban-Kerch Freshwater Pipeline?

        I’m sure that after the Ukrainians kick Putin out of Kherson and Zaporhizhzhia provinces and return the borders to pre-February status that they would sell Crimea all the water they wanted. Price might be a mite high to help rebuild and for reparations.

        • Steve says:


          This whole thing has been an American project from the outset. And if the results are “unforeseen” consequences then its drivers are just plain stupid or if intentional, the conclusion that’s pretty much impossible to ignore, then it is a crime against humanity. Why would any sentient person agree with or support it?

          Please note that 160 out of the world’s 190+ countries oppose the west on this war. And that it is turning out to be the “game changer” in the medium to long term.

          Hatred is a fascinating emotion that usually leads to self-destruction. Europe is getting that message loud and clear.

          • Pat Lang says:


            “Stupid?” You think TTG and I are stupid? That would be ad hominem

          • Steve says:

            Its drivers being the deeply embedded Neocons in every administration.

          • Pat Lang says:

            How about the Ukrainians just wanting to win? Not a possibility?

          • Leith says:

            Steve –

            This whole thing as you call it has been a result of Putin. His petty grievances and paranoia have unfortunately driven him to destroy the Russian Army. When this is over he will be lucky to keep Crimea and his DPR/LPR holdings.

            You are right that hatred is self-destructive. Putin is now getting that message. Hopefully for the Russian people someone will step in and keep him from destroying the Russia Federation itself .

          • Steve says:


            They shouldn’t have been put in this position in the first place. The US gave Putin little choice, if any, once Blinken had cancelled diplomacy on Feb 15. When the Ukrainian Donbas offensive began the next day there was no choice other than to accept the mass killing of Russian speaking Ukrainian citizens.

            FYI, polling in Ukraine places pretty much equal blame on the US as on Russia when asked whether it’s a shared responsibility.

            Ukraine has no hope of winning or recovering territory. Their economy has been flushed down the toilet and anything worth holding onto has been sold. I’m sure most Ukrainians are fully cognizant of the impossibility of their plight and just want a negotiated settlement. But will Washington allow them one? I don’t think so.

      • walden5 says:

        According to various news sources, including Reuters, US News and RT, the Ukrainian government dammed the canal that had supplied 85% of Crimea’s freshwater needs in May 2014. I don’t recall any great outcry about this at the time.

        Negotiations to restore the supply failed. One of the first things the Russians did in its February SMO was to destroy the dam and so restore the supply of fresh water to Crimea.

      • Bill Roche says:

        Using water as a weapon against Russia (Crimea) is almost as bad as Russia using gas/oil against Europe. War brings out our worst.

        • Steve says:

          Almost as bad? Really? Tell me how many alternatives are there to water? Off the top of my head I can’t think of one…..

          Anyway, Europe can buy its Russian oil from India – at a premium – and the US is licking its lips at selling its high priced LNG to whoever wants to pay for it.

          But when it all boils down, Bill, the Europeans have only themselves to blame (or at least their governments) for going along with this criminal coup and regime change policy pursued by Washington’s NeoCon foreign policy team.

          None of this had to happen when all they had to do was insist on diplomacy and help Kiev put down their extremists.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Steve we are world’s apart. Ukraine d/n invade Russia. Russia invaded Ukraine. As I have repeatedly posted, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was predictable by many Slavs, in the late summer of ’91 (31 years ago!) when Ukraine declared independence from Russia. This was far b/f 2014, or the Minsk Accords. Russian nationalist extremists (Putin) who can not accept a non Imperial Russia are the drivers of this war.
            As to denying water vs energy tell me how possible life will be for oil/gas economies plunged into the middle ages. You’re splitting hairs. Now I don’t know the truth to this but did you see the news this morning of Russian shelling Odessa? I thought the Russians and Ukrainians agreed to let grain flow. Maybe Russia wants to hold back fuel and grain?

          • Steve says:


            If Putin was opposed to Ukrainian independence don’t you think that would show up in his speeches or government documents? Why would he wait 20 years to act on it?

            I haven’t at any time written or even thought, Ukraine invaded Russia. But Russia did intervene in an ongoing killing and ethnic cleansing spree by the Ukrainian government. Think Kosovo without the honest causes belli.

            I have seen the news of shelling in Odessa. I don’t yet know the target, though I have seen it mentioned that one was a military airfield and another railway station used for military purposes. As always with these events I’m sure we’ll stumble across the truth of it in the days or weeks ahead.

            The grain agreement was not about Odessa but the cargo ships, which the Russians have agreed to allow passage unhindered. Once Ukraine has de-mined the Black Sea, of course. Even then, Ukraine has already exported almost all its grain production so even that’s a bit of a moot point.

          • TTG says:


            Putin tried to squelch Ukrainian independence through his turning of Yanukovych. It was to be a bloodless regime change. Thanks to forces released with the Orange Revolution, the US spendiing of 5 billion dollars over ten years and a bag of cookies, Putin’s plan was crushed.

            Two of the Russian missiles hit the port facilities of Odesa. Two others hit elsewhere and two were shot down. Ukraine has been able to export some grain, but most still sits in storage in Ukraine with more coming in from the current harvest.

        • Steve says:


          I know you find Ukrainian government information reliable (I don’t, equally to Russian information) but here’s the lowdown on grain from an independent business source: https://www.world-grain.com/articles/16997-ukraine-grain-exports-reach-472-million-tonnes-so-far-for-2021-22. Still, the agreement was about interference with shipping and says nothing about Ukraine being able to move military assets around without challenge. If that was happening – which we don’t yet know – but it is par for the course with the Kiev regime.

          Did Russia really try to squelch Ukrainian independence (given they’re now so beholden to the US and Europe for their very economic survival – or being cast aside like an out of favor toy, as is so often the case – I don’t think independent is the right word. All one has to do is look at the rejection of Ukraine by the EU in 2013/14 to understand they were better off sticking with Moscow. That, just by chance, was the trigger for the coup and the Yanukovic ouster by force.

          Non-violent regime change was never an option, which can be seen in the Nuland/Pyatt call at that time. The violence was a serious option that was almost immediately exercised and their instruments – who had been welcomed to the US Embassy on a number of occasions – were ready to do the killing.

          • Steve says:

            Just a reminder: When Yanukovic approached the EU he was offered $2bn in financial aid (another way of saying, f**k off) so he again turned to Russia and their $10bn. That set off the Neocon panic and the rush to war.

            Whose hands are stained in blood? Do they care? No! The more Ukrainians die is a bonus for these people and their fantasies of world domination. It’s all a game of Risk with someone else doing the killing and dying, so really no risk. Except it was. And the risk was enormous. And now it’s being realized.

          • TTG says:


            Your independent business source agrees with the Ukrainian government. Most of the grain has not been shipped.

            “Ukraine exported up to 6 million tonnes of grain a month before Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24, but in recent months the volumes have fallen to about 1 million tonnes, sparking global grain shortage concerns and price spikes.”

          • Steve says:


            They already exported most of their production before the war began. The accounting period is July to June. But the fact remains that Ukraine itself has been blocking seaborne exports by mining the Black Sea (with dangerous incompetence, it should be said) and still can’t continue the exports until they’ve cleaned up the mess they made.

            Nice propaganda, though, getting so many to believe Putin was personally starving the world:)

          • TTG says:


            There are two major harvests a year. Grain keeps coming in and it must be shipped. Ukraine won’t have to totally remove the mines, just provide escorts through the mines, although the chance of a Russian amphibious landing attempt on Odesa at this stage of the war is slim to none. The Ukrainians should think about removing all the mines to prevent accidents.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Steve; Ukraine’s been fighting Russia for independence since 1900. Russia, in the person of the Czar, the Communist Party, or Putin has denied Ukrainian independence for 120 years. Putin’s said Ukraine is not a “real country” but exists at the pleasure of Russia. I knew Russia would ultimately invade in Sept. of ’91 so why didn’t Russia invade then? After the S.U.’s fall it couldn’t. It looks like I have to say this again and again; efforts for Ukrainian independence began b/f Nuland was born, b/f neocons arrived in Wash., b/f 2014, and b/f the Minsk Accords. The war you are observing had its roots in 1914, not 2014 and extends from this; Russia will not accept a sovereign Ukraine. Other Slavic eyes are full on the war and some think Ukraine is the canary in the mine shaft. Finns, Balts, and Slovaks are very close to a subjugated Ukraine and they will not accept an Imperial Russia. B/y a bloodied nose and lose of face, how is Russia hurt if it rtns to its borders. That’s the issue. Russia won’t accept Ukrainian sovereignty.

  8. VietnamVet says:

    Propaganda aside, Russia has yet to break through into the rear of Ukraine’s defenses. To me, history indicates that taking Odessa (much like the Allies’ breakout at Normandy or the US Invasion of Iraq) requires the manpower of a fully mobilized Russia, the concentration of all of the remaining working armored vehicles, and Russian Air Force close air support.

    Ukraine to remain a sovereign nation needs to retake the West Bank of the Dnieper River and isolate the remaining Russian troops in Kherson. Unfortunately, it appears that this battle will take place rather than negotiating an armistice and building a DMZ along the river and inland on the line of contact and letting Russia keep the Dnipro canal and Donbass Region. Every day that this war keeps escalating, a global nuclear war approaches closer.

    Russian natural gas flow from Russia to Europe has resumed. If it stops again, Germany and the EU will be in dire economic straits. Europe is suffering a hell of a summer and faces a frozen winter.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Correct imo. The “non Soviet” fighter planes going to Ukraine give me a sinking feeling. There’s a better than small chance however, knowing the crooked Russian leadership, that behind the curtains they will be convinced to sell out and be provided with routes for absconding with their wealth and or rewarded in exile if the deal envisions the necessity for departure. Nuclear war is absurd. It’s estimated that to shoot some or even one of them off Putin or whoever needs the cooperation of on the order of 1000 individuals. A forbidding task. They have families who would perish. To my mind that leaves the only realistic possibility to be a submarine launch bc a Captain with a picked and sufficiently tough and committed small officer group might be able to manipulate or deceive the crew into thinking that doomsday was already ongoing, cities were lost, etc. Still a gigantic crap shoot. So I don’t buy it. Not yet. They – something or someone announced the dby that the huge Dmitri Donskoy boomer sub was being retired.
      Sign of a negotiated crawl down? Dubious to think so on such meagre evidence. Then you have Boris Johnson down and out, the Japanese leader shot dead and Draghi out now too all within a short period of time. Are things afoot that those people wouldn’t sign on to? A nuclear war is too insane and too difficult to even do if the leadership did go full out nutcase.

      • Fred says:

        Fourth and Long,

        Shinzo Abe was not the Prime Minister, he stepped down in 2020.

        “To my mind that leaves the only realistic possibility to be a submarine launch bc a Captain with a picked and sufficiently tough and committed small officer group might be able to manipulate or deceive the crew into thinking that doomsday was already ongoing…”

        Biden and Company haven’t reformed the military down to that level of stupidity yet.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Sorry, you’re no doubt quite right. I meant to say that that was the only realistically conceivable way for the Russian to successfully perform a launch. I thought it was clear from mention that the launch infrastructure of the Ru military requires on the order of 1000 individuals. I took that number from a Ru YouTuber who interviewed a Ru politician of sorts who had been a bodyguard to bigwigs of the siloviki. Since the interview was provided with English subtitles, being in Russian, and the YouTuber (who is a popular Ru media personality a bit outside the beaten path), it might conceivably represent an attpempt to deceive, but I think more likely reassure westerners against the eventuality of first strike itchy trigger fingers of the American military. It appeared not long after the early nuclear sabre rattling of the Russian president. My personal layman’s estimate is that 1000 is on the high side. Also there are of course other methods than by sub to get off a missile shot which circumvents the very reliable (to common knowledge) safeguards of their missile forces. But any of the methods I can come up with in gedanken experiments are preposterously risky.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        I fear your are overly optimistic re the difficulties of starting a nuclear war. An order from the CinC is an order and the “cooperation” of 1,000 individuals is not what is required, merely their obedience. And I’d dispute the number 1,000 too. We likely all owe our existence today to one Vasily Arkhipov, in whose absence it is certain a nuclear exchange would have been initiated in 1962. From his wiki:

        Unlike the other submarines in the flotilla, three officers on board B-59 had to agree unanimously to authorize a nuclear launch: Captain Savitsky, the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and the chief of staff of the flotilla (and executive officer of B-59) Arkhipov. Typically, Soviet submarines armed with the “Special Weapon” only required the captain to get authorization from the political officer to launch a nuclear torpedo, but due to Arkhipov’s position as chief of staff, B-59’s captain was also required to gain Arkhipov’s approval. An argument broke out, with only Arkhipov against the launch.

        There you go, nuclear war was avoided as the result of the outcome of an argument between 3 men, two of which were in favor.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Depends how believable those stories are. They possibly serve propaganda purposes. In the Cuban missile crisis it says: See how seriously we meant bizness, Yanqui dogs? We wuz gonna launch, we sure wuz. Don’t you dare believe we chickens, you running dogs of capitalism.

          Then there’s the Petrov dude who bravely interpreted a signal of an American launch of ICBMs toward the USSR as being likely a malfunction. You don’t see that as taking credit for saving the world, responsibly and at great risk, countradicting American propaganda which portrayed Soviets as meatheads lacking initiative and compassion for the greater good?

          Everyone has their ax to grind. The Soviets had a smashing hit TV series “17 Moments of Spring” which was centered on a Soviet spy ring deep inside the Turd Reich including a charismatic handsome male lead who was a high ranking KGB officer while passing for a very high ranking German officer close to the Nazi leadership. The guy practically wins the war single handed, but it was even more extreme before it was edited after the Soviet Army high command demanded review previous to release. They were exceedingly displeased because the series made it seem as though the Red Army soldiers who fought, bled and died for the cause had little to nothing to do with the victory, rather it was due to the work of the espionage services. So it was revised. I grew up with a bunch of pointy head professors in the US who were the friends of my father who served on active duty in the Pacific in the Air force. If not for his presence and some of his friends like the ex US Army commando down the street who told me he used to swim five miles under water in German rivers with a dagger in his teeth and who liked to drink with my dad they would have led you to believe that Alan Turing and hut X won the war single handed. They were as a rule highly educated men who couldn’t carry a rifle and backpack to the neighborhood baseball diamond and back.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            If you really want to know the truth of this one you may want to ask Andrei Martyanov, he used to serve with the guy.

            In the fictional realm I’d recommend the German TV drama Deutschland 83 and its follow up series. The first one is about an HVA spy in the Bundeswehr (agent ‘Kolibri’) in the lead up to Able Archer. Gripping stuff.

          • Steve says:

            Barbara Ann,

            The crisis leading up to Able Archer – that had the Politburo opening the silos – was headed off by Oleg Gordievski briefing Reagan on the effects of his “evil empire” rhetoric.

  9. Jovan P says:

    According to Russian sources, yesterday an S-400 protected the Antonovsky bridge and all of HIMARS packages were shot down. We’ll see what the future brings.

    TTG, Why won’t you let me put the link to the video in which Ukrainian soldiers say that they wont let go of the fact that their officers beat up one of their brothers to death?

  10. cofer says:

    Is this a new video game? Sounds exciting, can’t wait to get an advanced copy.

  11. OIFVet says:

    IMO, all this talk about Kherson is Ukrainian maskirovka. The offensive will be launched from the Kharkov area and will result in the Ukrainian flag flying over the Kremlin by the end of August.

    • TTG says:


      I seriously doubt the Ukrainians have any designs on Moscow, although I also doubt there would be many tears shed in Kyiv if Moscow burned to the ground. But there is this joke that began making the rounds in Poland many months ago.

      Putin got buried alive in his bunker. He had plenty of food but no communications. Finally he manages to dig himself out after 20 years and he goes to the pub in Moscow, where he asks the barman how are things.
      – does Crimea belong to us?
      – yes.
      – what about Donestk?
      – of course.
      – and Luhansk?
      – too
      – how about Kiev?
      – it was always ours, stop with stupid questions, what do you want?
      Putin’s thinks it’s good news so he wants to celebrate.
      – a beer.
      – that will be 80 hryvnias…

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