Monday, October 31, 2022

NATO v RUSSIA via Ukraine: The Impossible War

   


  Who ever said war was a truthful environment? 

   Of course, nobody. 

   That old aphorism of "truth being the first casualty of war" seems quaint in the modern-day environment post WWII. If only they could have imagined it back in 1943. Modern communications, 24hr news and the Internet. They could have thrown reality out the window. With this power, they could have made war anything they wanted it to be and convinced a population to kill. This has been done throughout history and this is where we are now.

   The current enemy is Russia. 

   Maybe I could go hard with facts (and I will soon) but what I really want to know is why the US and EU have disrupted energy markets, destroyed Germany and the EU's natural gas supply all for a border dispute on Russia's border with Ukraine. It's nobody's business outside of the interested parties.

    I made a prediction that Russia could not win this war in a month. But that they would win this war eventually. I stick by that. That was back in March when Western media was salivating that Russia had already failed. In my previous posts, I got most of it right and some of it wrong. Nobody got this war right. Because this war has changed from an initial border dispute between a minor power versus a larger power which Russia should have won in a month and did not and has now transformed into a conflict involving Western Civilization versus the rise of the East (China + vassal states) and the energy Russia can supply to it overland negating China's weakness.... sea power.

    In simpler terms, a clash of civilizations is being forced.




     Eurasia is a land power. But it is too huge to ever be a unit. Right?

     The idea that China via Russia could build a high-speed Silk Road highway to Europe is terrifying to US strategic planning. If it were ever complete, if you could drive or take a high-speed train from Paris to Beijing, then the US becomes an island far from commerce. This is not the reason for the war in Ukraine, but it is a major geopolitical concern.

     Ukraine is a battlefield.

     It is the open ground where greater powers choose to do battle.

    This war began as Russia v Ukraine.

    And Russia believed they could win quickly. They drove South and reached the outskirts of Kiev. They drove East and captured Mariupol. That alone would be an armistice option. "Let's make a deal". And any logical deal that does not involve losing your own territory is a good deal. But the Ukrainians did not make it.

    Why?

     Because the Ukrainians are not running this war, NATO is. The orders, the money and the weapons are coming from the West. Because the West is afraid. The West is not afraid of the Russian military. The West is afraid of the challenge to their global hegemony via the petrodollar currency. And their governments are willing to blame their rampant inflation and failing economies on a border dispute in Eastern Europe that most citizens could not even point out on a map. 

  There are many reasons why the West has inflated its currency, but they are beyond the scope of this article.

  With this background, let's talk war. 



   "War is a racket," said Smedley Butler and he was not wrong. What defies logic is that the United States has sent 100 billion dollars to keep Ukraine afloat while its own homeless population is in the millions and dollar inflation defies logic. For what reason? After invading Iraq on a fake premise and abandoning Afghanistan on a whim, there is no moral authority here; so, what is this obsession with a border dispute in Europe? It's hard to believe I wrote about it eight years ago.

   It is a geopolitical move to prevent a symbiotic relationship between the Europeans and the Russians based on energy exchange (oil and gas) in exchange for access to the vast EU service economy. With the sabotage of both Nordstream I and II Baltic pipelines by 'mystery actors' (this stuff reads like a cheap spy novel where you already know the culprit after the first chapter).

   So, the question remains... who is winning the Impossible War?

   According to Western media, Ukraine is smashing the Russian Army. Since, I've got no dog in this fight, I'd like it to be true because I love the underdog in every sport or war. But unfortunately, this war is a disaster for Ukraine. NATO is running the war and that means satellite intelligence, logistic support, training of Ukrainian troops by foreign countries, mass conscription (fifth round), 18–50-year Olds and throwing these men into a fodder line. This is good for spotting weaknesses in the Russian line and successful attacks have been made south of Kharkov. But these successes were orchestrated to make your tax dollars feel like they are achieving something.

  I hate maps of war. Especially while a war is ongoing. But I'll go with the Swiss Map. The Swiss are neutral right? They got away with that in WWII so why not now?

  https://uawardata.com/

 

Odessa must be had.
  

    I don't think the Russians will stop until they take Odessa. Not only is Odessa a city by the sea beloved of many Russians, but most of the people who live there despite the Ukrainian Government banning the Russian language in 2014 in the city and since the CIA coup under Nuland in 2014, it exists, despite the apartheid as a Russian city.

   Militarily, it will be a difficult advance. But the Russians have mobilized 300,000 men. The Russian public wants this. Apart from the difficult advance, Odessa's capture will cut Ukraine off from the sea and render it a non-viable state. It must be had.

   War is merciless but never impossible.


This just keeps getting more insane.


   Addendum: I'll add to the following to clarify things. I am not a supporter of Russia or Ukraine. I pick no sides. I view what can be seen. War in its naked interest via Western media already includes enough uncritical propaganda for Ukraine. What is of interest is the geopolitics, motivations, resources and constraints of the prime movers fueling this clusterfuck.


Zelensky himself has thus far done a brilliant job in his presidential and ambassadorial role maintaining western political support, and the Ukranian army are legendary heroes for holding out against Russia with all of their clumsy bludgeoning firepower. Ukraine's savior was both NATO assistance and the halting of modern Russia's military reforms.

 1) I believe Russia made a global INTEL mistake by invading with insufficient data. Who could have known back in February that the US would throw 80 billion dollars into Ukraine's defense and persuade its NATO allies (EU vassal states) to throw in $20 billion more.

2) I think it is clear now what Russia's initial gambit was. Throw 160,000 troops at the Ukrainians, drive a convoy at Kiev and hope that a minimal use of regular army troops could trigger a surrender achieved by a simple demonstration of force. This was a gross miscalculation and did not happen mainly because US war planners took over this war with the full capabilities of NATO satellite intelligence, weapons imports and raw cash injections which basically keeps the Ukrainian civil service and government alive and on a payroll.

3) The US government has gone off reservation. With the sabotaging of the undersea Nord Stream pipelines, it has made sure that there is no profit for the EU (and especially Germany) if they choose detente with Russia either through the realpolitik of dependence on Russian energy supply for their industry or when the riots start in Europe due to cost of living increases. We can already see this as European currencies nosedive while the dollar increases in value despite the fact that 40% of dollars in circulation were printed in the last two years.

4) The game is more now dangerous than ever. With Russia changing its stance to a war footing and the US and its EU vassal states (which Putin correctly pointed out in his speech; the EU is a vassal state of the US since the Post WWII Marshall Plan) persisting in attritional type warfare using the men of Ukraine as pawns in a proxy war versus Russia, supplied and armed and trained by NATO, we are entering new territory.

5) Conclusion: For the first time since the post war Bretton Woods accord, the US is not being viewed as a rational actor by those who should (China, India, Malaysia, SE Asia). Its actions scream of desperation and maintaining dollar reserve status. Also, Russia has not thought out its actions and seriously underestimated the West's response. The price of this miscalculation will echo down the decades. Russia has now permanently married itself to the East and will be gobbled up for its energy by China. It's passing grade in the war has not helped it. The EU is not a serious entity. It's encroaching bureaucracy, insane energy policies and embrace of globalism and mass emigration has weakened it.

   So here we are. Peace seems impossible. The New Cold War I predicted in 2019 is in full effect. And I take no pleasure in this.

   We sit and we watch and witness.

   An impossible war. 


   

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

 

Russia v Ukraine: Who is winning this mess of a war?

Russia on Mexico's border would be unacceptable. When the Warsaw Pact
 tried it in Cuba, it almost led to a nuclear war (Plan A) below.


 

   This war is entering a new phase.

   Russia really wants to avoid the bloody, high casualty infrastructure destruction type of warfare that would make Ukraine a post war rubble pile failed state (almost as bad as having NATO on your border). Instead, the invasion seeks to "reshape" the country to Russia's liking, getting rid of the Nazi militias, inflicting as little civilian casualties as possible (hence the ceasefires and opening of humanitarian corridors). Putin has lost the war perceptually in the West but he must have been prepared for the massive 24/7 propaganda campaign run against him in Western media him before he invaded; just like the one ran against him when Putin bailed out Assad in Syria. Only, this time far bigger and more hysterical.

   Militarily, the war is going as Russia plannedIt is a shame that NATO countries are sending weapons to Ukraine urging them to fight a war they cannot win and by fighting can only prolong it and lead to more death and destruction. Every Javelin anti-tank shoulder mounted weapon NATO ship to Ukraine, the further it increases the likelihood of prolonged battle and civilian casualties in a military war that cannot be won. It seems the Russians may be forced, as a Roman general once said, "To create a desert and call it peace".

   This is definitely something Putin does not want and will try everything to avoid. Russia ultimately would like to negotiate a peace with a government ideally recognized by the rest of the world and you can't do that if the country is in ruins or you've murdered millions of civilians. Hence, the opening of humanitarian corridors from every besieged city.

    However, there is the lingering question, and it's hard for me to even comprehend this but it is being asked, which is, does this thing go nuclear? A 2019 Princeton University simulation on the escalation to nuclear war called Plan A, chillingly started out as conflict in Eastern Europe. And with the hysteria being whipped up in the Western media and talks of a Western no fly zone even being discussed, one wonders if the post Covid public are being battered to demand something like this from a deranged media apparatus, which is insane unless you love dying in nuclear fire.



  This will not happen since the military part of the war is winding down.

  One large area of discussion in Western media is why it is taking so long for the Russians to capture Kiev or create a cauldron/total encirclement of the Ukrainian forces in Donbass. Let's take a look at the numbers. I don't see the slowness Western media is championing as proof that Russia is losing this war or even suffering unexpected losses.

   By the numbers...

   Russia has allegedly committed 234,000 ground troops versus Ukraine's 125,000 troops. Russia has allegedly amassed 1,200 tanks of various types, mainly T-72s and T-90s in unknown proportions. And 1500 APCs and uncountable numbers of Ural supply trucks. Against all this, Ukraine fields 620 T-64s, 100TBM Bulat's, 133 T-72s (all of it old Warsaw pact equipment) which is not going to cut it as this conflict resolves. Ukraine's air force was wiped out in the first 48 hrs. 

   Also, remember, Ukraine in area is 233,000 square miles. In Gulf War II, it took the US and its coalition partners 41 days to capture Iraq (a country of 169,000 square miles) and six days to capture Baghdad against far lesser trained troops and an obsolete army with no NATO supplied state-of-the-art ATGMs or Stinger AA missiles. And neither were the Iraqis being supplied with satellite data as I'm sure NATO is providing the Ukrainian high command. And neither did the coalition care so much about civilian casualties. So, we could only possibly call the Russian advance slow if Ukraine hasn't surrendered by sometime in mid-April.

  The Russians have used their older equipment first as a kind of cannon fodder to probe Ukrainian positions and hardpoints with the Ukrainians claiming outrageous Russian losses, like 5000 Russian troops killed. This just does not pass the smell test. For comparison, on D-Day on June 6th,1944 to 25 days later, when the Allies had fought their way off those bloody Normandy beaches and driven inland in horrible bocage country ideal for German defenders, the Allies lost a total of 2,811 men. How the Russians could have lost twice that many in one third of that time simply cannot be true. It would be impossible to hide losses of that scale in an era of camera phones and satellite monitoring. 

   Actual Russian losses are probably high by Western standards, but Russia always fights its wars with a high threshold for losses that would make Western populations riot. That was one lesson the US took away from Vietnam and rectified in Gulf War I and II. 

   In an era of camera phones, one mutilated soldier posted on the Internet can go viral and sway an entire country's thirst for war. Add a few photos of dead babies on 24hrs news channels and you can turn a sizeable portion of your population into attack dogs baying for "justice". War is a fickle and dangerous thing. The first casualty is truth. The second casualty is reason. 

  Remember the picture on the below left? That boy is Omran Daqneesh, who appeared on the front page of every Western newspaper in 2016 supposedly pulled from the rubble of a Russian air strike in Syria. It allowed NATO to launch 200 cruise missiles at Syria and Assad. Turns out, the entire thing was staged, the dust and blood were all fake and there he is fine with his dad in 2017 explaining how the Syrian "rebels" forced him to do it.

Media manipulation is disgusting and it gets people killed. It's a psy-op on one's own citizens.


   Russia has already lost the media war in Western countries in a huge way. But that is more testimony to the overwhelming power of mass media and its manipulation of the average man on the street in the West. Russia is holding its own in China and India. Both countries abstained to condemn the Russian attack at the UN Security Council. They want Russian oil and gas and have the luxury of sitting back and watching Europe implode and wait for the post war Russians to come ready to make cheap new energy deals with them.

  Russia knew the cost of taking Ukraine in advance. The US probably did too. You've got to give US intelligence credit when they predicted the attack in the weeks before. Biden may be an empty suit but the vast web of entrenched power behind him (no matter who they push in front of the cameras) was right. The US has no particular interest in fighting this war besides its weakening of Russia and its separation from Europe. A united Eurasia is always a danger to US hegemony in the West and increasing economic ties with Russia were mutually beneficial for Europe. 

   This war has now sunk the Nordstream II energy pipeline and condemned the Europeans to import the 25% of its oil and 40% of its natural gas it had been buying from Russia. Now that must come by sea from the lovely head chopping off misogynist Arabian Sheiks at a higher price and, crucially, be paid for in dollars which suits the US just fine. The US is okay with sitting back, watching the carnage and supplying some weaponry so the whole macabre show can go on longer.

   Russia has adapted its military strategy on the fly. The opening of the humanitarian corridors is another wise move. Remember, here is a map of the languages spoken in Ukraine.

Notice anything?


   Remarkable isn't it, how closely this map matches up with the territory in Ukraine almost now captured by the Russians? As we know Russia has conducted few major airstrikes on Kiev. They could easily have destroyed the government buildings were Zelensky is supposedly holed up like the way the US did in Iraq in 2003 when it shock-and-awed all of Saddam Hussein's palaces, blew up all power generation, cut off communications and squashed the city into darkness. 

   Not so in Kiev. Nope, the lights are still on, you can still walk to the supermarket and buy bread; that's if you can avoid the fighting gangster mobs who Zelensky handed thousands of AK rifles to who now seem more intent on using them to settle internecine old scores amongst each other than waste ammo using them to fight Russians.

   The humanitarian corridor and evacuation at Mariupol is being hampered by the Ukrainian Neo Nazi Azov divisions who need the 95% Russian speaking population there as human shields in case the Russians resort to artillery or bombing. These groups are funded by shady foreign money and ex oligarchs, still pissed at Putin for ending their asset stripping of the Soviet Union after its fall and lack of leadership under permanently inebriated Yeltsin during the 1990s. 

Ukrainian Azov Division. A lovely group of Nazis according to Western Media.


   Ironically, it was NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999 which ultimately brought Putin to power. The Russian people had had just about enough of Western style "democracy" by then and Putin stepped in and was elected soon after. Sure, I'm not going to say Putin is a saint; very far from it. But neither is George Bush the Younger or Tony Blair who killed or starved a million Iraqi's and they're free men who lied their countries into a war. One now paints bad portraits on his ranch, the other made a few hundred million in backroom deals and 'speaking fees' and regularly appears on TV pushing the globalist agenda. Where were the screaming crowds or calls for assassinations of Western leaders when NATO did this to Belgrade in 1999?

Belgrade 1999. Not a holiday destination.

    When the West starts a war, it's sex.
     When Russia does it, it's rape.

   The Russian strategy of humanitarian corridors has multiple purposes beyond the one's already stated. It does allow the Russians to consolidate its logistics issues. But more importantly, Russia want's to de-Nazify the hard core Neo Nazi groups sprinkled around the country. The Ukrainian air force has been wiped out, their missile systems are neutralized and the remaining ground troops are scattered and entrenched in cities where removing them will be impossible without massive civilian casualties and infrastructure damage.

  Allowing these large humanitarian convoys from all major cities means that the Russians consider the major tactical part of this war over, with fierce mopping up operations as the only task left. If the Ukrainians had any credible military command and control structure left, why not knock out that 40-mile-long convoy of sitting duck Russian fuel, food and ammunition trucks north of Kiev? The reason is because they can't. To the extent the Ukrainian's have a strategy, I guess it is to drag the war on for as long as possible while hoping to get other countries involved.

  The Russian's strategy will remain much the same. I would imagine they will surround the cities, sit in Forward Operating Bases in artillery range of cities, allow civilians to leave hoping that the Ukrainian military and Azov divisions leave for the West of Ukraine which is primarily Ukrainian speaking, has not been attacked and can be a buffer zone of sorts. This is the same strategy the Russians used in Syria, using the Syrian Army to surround cities but not storm them allowing ISIS to trickle out to the north around Idlib province where they have more or less wilted or at least been isolated and contained. By no means am I saying this plan will work or saying I'm sure this is even the Russian plan, but it is how the Russians handled things in Syria and it worked there. Either way, the main country v country part of this war is over. The Russians have won militarily however long the fighting drags on.

   It's ugly but there's no turning back at this point.

   In the medium to long term, I would imagine a slow civilian return to their homes and some kind of internationally observed election process or, if this fails, a possible division of the country with Russian annexation of the Black Sea coast cities and all territory east of the Dnieper and Kiev. The Ukrainians may have to settle for the former Polish city of Lviv as a capital of "New Ukraine". (Of course, this is pure speculation on my part). The Russians may just take it all.

   Ugly, messy and horrific but go ahead and name a "nice war".

   As far as winners go, well it certainly isn't Russia in the short term, and it certainly isn't Ukraine. Russia will win militarily but Russian citizens will suffer from sanctions for the foreseeable future. Will this weaken Putin's control? That we cannot yet know. It will be interesting to see if business with China can make up shortfalls in consumer goods and banking and help Putin maintain public support as they weather the Western blockade. 

   Russia will now switch all of its diplomatic relations to the East, the new emerging centers of global finance, growth, manufacturing and open new pipelines for it's oil and gas to India and China and Asia in a relationship which could be mutually beneficial; Russian oil can solve China's huge weakness, it's reliance on energy imports via sea lanes which the US Blue Water Navy can blockade at any time.

Expect more pipelines East in the coming years.


  The US wins the war in the short term but they will have to consider fracking and going energy independent again in the medium term to control their own energy prices and their inflationary problems. An Iran nuclear deal, could allow Iranian oil back on world markets which would make up shortfalls. As would sanctioned Venezuelan oil. There are only so many countries you can sanction and not destroy yourself in the process.

  Europe, on the other hand, suffers another huge refugee crisis it cannot afford, massive energy inflation which results in cost-of-living expenses in an EU block already suffering vast Covid disruptions, massive pension obligations, and growing public dissatisfaction even before this war started. The ECB is not in a healthy position.  Brexit and the yellow vest movement in France have shown that an EU dominated by Germany is unstable. Couple that with dissatisfaction and lower standards of living in countries like Spain, Italy and Greece and Europe will take a further blow by this war.

    In the end, the future is unsustainable.

   In the end, we all lose.

   And as we lose, expect more war.


64 comments:

  1. Great post WT. Cutting through the media fog as usual. Keep em coming!

    Reply
  2. "It'd be interesting to know what NATO would do if Mexico and Cuba joined the Russian Federation and started filling it up with troops, airbases and missiles."

    Just the starting caption here is one of the dumbest arguments I've been hearing, if only because:

    * Cuba was full of Soviet weapons. US wouldn't let the USSR put nukes there, but Cuba was full of Soviet troops.
    * NATO is already on Russian borders in Estonia, Latvia, and Alaska. The former two didn't really have meaningful US troops. They will now.
    * Russia cannot with a straight face say that it's worried about a NATO territorial invasion unless they also announce that they are getting rid of their nukes. NATO governments have never suggested attacking Russian territory, from Ukraine or anywhere else.
    * NATO was created as shield against Russian invasion. Russia just invaded Ukraine - therefore, Ukraine had every reason to want to be in NATO. If US started hinting at invading Mexico and taking pieces of its territory (again), you would probably see Mexico look for a defensive alliance against US (that would be tough to find).
    * If NATO attacking Russia was a real concern, why is not happening now that a decent chunk of Russian forces are tied up and they have a good excuse?

    There are lots of other problems here, but skipping to the conclusions - you envision a mutually-beneficial relationship of Russia, in the middle of reorganizing its economy, and China of equals. That's just not realistic in a world where a much more economically powerful China is Russia's main customer for its goods, but Russia constutites a relative small market for China. Almost certainly in this scenario, Russia ends up a client state of China, used as a pawn to push the West into concessions.

    Reply
    Replies
    1. I appreciate the critique. However,

      * NATO is on Russia's borders in Estonia, Latvia and Alaska. But the reason Ukraine is different, at least in the Russian mind, is its demographics, the NATO backed coup there in 2014, the ongoing war in Donbass and the quintessentially Russian character of Ukraine itself. For Putin it was a redline and it's not like Russia hasn't telegraphed warnings of conflict since the failure of the Minsk Agreement.

      *NATO countries do not have to announce their intentions as they encroach on your border. By their very existence they present an existential threat. And this threat has been absorbed in the Russian psyche but Ukraine, being hugely Russian speaking, is "The Bridge Too Far" for them. (Obviously, since they invaded).

      * NATO was created as a shield against the Warsaw Pact. Not Russia. The Warsaw Pact ceased to exist 30 years ago. Why then has NATO only grown bigger since? Its very reason for being is gone and yet it grows all the way up to Russia's border. The Russians could be forgiven for feeling jittery.

      *You say since a good chunk of Russian troops are tied up, why doesn't NATO attack if they really wanted to attack? NATO does not attack because it cannot attack due to any attack triggering PLAN A, which is nuclear war which I clearly state in the article, the Plan A video being exhibit one.

      *I didn't say Russia's relationship with China would make Russia and China equals. That's impossible. But new markets for Russian oil and gas are beneficial to China. And Chinese consumer products and banking can insulate Russia somewhat from Western sanctions. That is mutually beneficial. Not equality. There is zero chance that this invasion was initiated by Russia without the tacit agreement of the Chinese beforehand.

      *Russia does end up a client state of China but it was a client state of the Western economy and the Chinese before this war anyway. Now this focus shifts decidedly eastward. Like I maintained in the article, Russia loses access to the Western economy and knew this going in. This war/invasion is a decidedly Eastern tilt in geopolitical affairs and Russia walked into it with it's eyes open.

      Whether that was a good idea or not is a whole other question and in truth, nobody knows yet and only time will tell. Thank you for your interest.

    2. An Mhuc ChogaidhMarch 8, 2022 at 6:31 AM

      It's interesting also to note that The EU despite all their sanctions have committed to purchasing Russian oil and gas for the foreseeable future, in order to provide their energy requirements. That's a financial commitment of €600 million daily, €4.2 Billion a week. So, one hand takes away and the other hand gives back.

    3. 'Russia cannot with a straight face say that it's worried about a NATO territorial invasion unless they also announce that they are getting rid of their nukes.'

      Having NATO radars in Ukraine surely has the effect of severely degrading the effectiveness of the Russian nuclear deterrent.

    4. >Having NATO radars in Ukraine surely has the effect of severely degrading the effectiveness of the Russian nuclear deterrent.

      but having russian radars and nukes 300km away from warsaw is fine?

    5. * The NATO in Ukraine thing is such a red herring that I can't believe people say it with a straight face. The things you mentioned is why NATO already refused Ukraine joining for years before this war. What was a redline for Putin, NATO refusing to let Ukraine join?

      * While you can raise valid questions about what happened in 2014, the government in Ukraine today was democratically elected and there's no argument about that. Donbass is now well-understood to be a Russian creation, with Russian soldiers participating and Russia supplying arms, as a prelude to the war. Russia created the Donbass separatist conflict in order to have a reason to invade.

      * When have NATO countries encroached on anyone's borders? The only offensive maneuver they have ever done is Yugoslavia, which, again, you can raise valid questions about, but has nothing in common with Russia, which, again, at least has nukes.

      * You're arguing from two sides of the same issue. NATO can't attack because Russia has nuclear weapons, but Russia is still worried about NATO attacking and neutralizing its nuclear weapons. Which is it? Isn't it more likely that Russia has no concerns about NATO attacking and more concerns about NATO preventing from attacking its neighbors?

      * Russia was not really a client state of the Western economy. It had wide-open trading relationships with much of the world and could have bidders for its products. It was not dependent on a single main customer and could play customers against each other. In this new world order, just China (except for a few poor Central Asian states, who are also a bit worried about being back in the USSR) controls Russia's economic lifeline.

    6. Dude you lost the argument. You raised nothing new. You accuse War Tard of arguing from both sides. You know what used to be called? Journalism.

  3. Sure about those d-day numbers? Otherwise well written

    Reply
    Replies
    1. Wikipedia lists casualties on D-day. Not deaths.

    2. Weird, because official US estimates have it around 2800 deaths in the first days alone. British around 3000. 37,000 from June 6th till August 30th. https://www.historyonthenet.com/d-day-casualties



      Also if you could give us a source for the Omran Daqneesh being completely staged that would be great.

    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omran_Daqneesh

  4. Great read. I wonder does the fighting stop by mid April or does this become Russia's Afghanistan Part II?

    Reply
    Replies
    1. An Mhuc ChogaidhMarch 8, 2022 at 6:32 AM

      No. Kiev will become Grozny Pt. 2.

    2. Hard to see that. Grozny was a whole different type of conflict. It had ethnic and fanatical Islamic religious dimensions. Putin felt no problems levelling a city like Grozny. But Kiev. AS WT said in a previous post,in the minds of most Russians and by the facts of history, Kiev is a Russian city just under a different jurisdiction for the last 30 years. Many Russians have family there. All the great architecture in Kiev was built under Tsarist Russian. I cannot see the Russians reducing it to rubble. They will siege it and force surrender.

  5. Great article wartard. You just walked into the storm by swimming against the media stream. You must be a sucker for punishment

    Reply
  6. As a person from one from former Ex-Soviet countries that now is in NATO and EU it always baffles me the people who complains (including Russians and Russian government) about NATO and EU expansion. None of these nations were forced to join, I would even say they were eager to to so. And the only reason they felt like that was Russia. It wanted them weak, poor and under it's thumb.
    A point about the refugees. This time I don't know how much of the problem it will be in the long term. Because most of EU countries short of workers and a lot of Ukrainians already worked in Poland, Lithuania and most likely other Easter European countries. Furthermore, Germany has laws that makes hard to employ people from not EU countries and they had a plan (most likely still do) to change that in couple few years, because they got sick of paying EE companies to subcontract Ukrainian, Belarusian workers from them, because these countries make it easier to employ people from not EU countries. So some of the EU countries might welcome those refugees with ulterior motive.
    That Nazi battalion doesn't look "nice", however I can't blame Ukraine for using them. They offered to fight for them and they need everything they can get. Especially in 2014 when they were weaker than today. So, if some Nazis die fighting Russians.... But to claim that Ukraine is fully Nazi state and wouldn't be dealing with them differently if they wouldn't be fitting Russian propped separatist regions for almoest a decade is far fetched in my opinion.
    And on the same topic of how desperate Ukrainians are. I read somewhere that Ukrainians released prisoners willing to fight for them.
    The rest of the post I agree with. I don't want for Ukraine to fall, but I had some arguments with people who watches news in my country and see only what Ukrainian military managed to destroy, however they don't tell what loses they took, so you don't know if that even "a win" for them.
    And Russia definitely plays with kid gloves, but if they decide to take over all of Ukraine. What will happen next? Because Ukrainian people definitely have a will to fight will they have decades of terrorist attacks all over Russia?

    Reply
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your input. I agree that Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion is not Nazi based and it troubles me that you took that away from the article. Maybe, I pushed that too far. I know there are many patriotic Ukrainians fighting ideologically for Ukraine. I hope this war ends quickly and I appreciate your honest breakdown of my analysis, where I was wrong and where I was right in your view.
      Thank you.

    2. An Mhuc ChogaidhMarch 8, 2022 at 6:44 AM

      Russia have seemingly adopted the Western Media style of 'Tail wagging the Dog', Undoubtedly there are 'fundamentalist Nazis' operating within the Eastern theatre of War in Ukraine, (Azov Divisions). But they are in the minority to be sure. The whole thing smacks of the 'Weapons of Mass destruction' argument for the 'US led' "Military action" in The Middle east.

  7. I appreciate the analysis War Tard, though the article has a slight tinge of victim blaming I'm not a great fan of: "Russia is just there to denazify the country, it doesn't want civilian casualties, it's trying its hardest to open humanitarian corridors, it's NATO's and Ukraine's fault that civilians are being bombed, why don't they just surrender?" I can definitely see the US standing to benefit from the situation the most, but I just can't see Ukraine being the evil guy in this situation, especially when a foreign force enters your border with the intent to either change them or replace your government with a puppet.

    The West is certainly mounting an incredible (counter?) propaganda war against Russia, it's hard to tell exactly what's going on and who's winning, so I appreciate the analysis from another point of view I don't think I totally agree with.

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  8. It's clear to see how biased this article is. Conclusions on assumptions. Solid facts are missing here.

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    1. The article is biased toward facts. If not, please name all of the wrong facts. Are the Ukrainian Army winning? If so, please tell us the list of the towns and cities they have captured and explain the fact that they have no air force. Explain why a 64km convoy of Russian tankers of oil and gas is not being bombed and missiled like the sitting ducks they are? Because the war is over militarily and the Ukrainian military cannot take advantage of Russian logistic weaknesses on narrow forested roads.
      I'd love to hear your "conclusions and assumptions".

      Go swallow some more Kool Aid.

  9. Nice discussion. Wanted to chime in too. The position of who is winning this war is interesting and valid in my opinion, but it is hard to see how Russia has not shot itself in the foot with this invasion, psique and NATO-invasion fears included.

    The RU federation was up to this point in fact being quite successful in initiating a fragmentation of the West, with US-Republican moral support, imminent opening of the nord-stream 2 and a contested but overlooked takeover of Crimea. It just seems that Russia has thrown it all away, while a much more sustainable approach would be to slowly bring Ukraine to the fold by soft power influencing, or even infiltration. It even lost its media foothold in the US with RT and Sputnik, which was extremely valuable for this.

    In short, we should not dismiss the western narrative completely for being always wrong, but always keep a critical eye. Russia it seems has doomed itself in the medium and long term, as China should not want to risk its glorious future by using so much hydrocarbons in the climate-change ridden future. Either is the EU, which while facing trouble in energy in the short term should eventually wean itself from gas towards much more sophisticated technologies, and prosper greatly. The US seems to think more old-fashioned, even going after Venezuela´s (if not nuclear) side to support the oil empire.

    All in all very disappointing move from Russia in this invasion. Hard to see how it will bring Ukraine into its fold after this. For the EU, they just became more independent from fossil fuels and maybe even gained a bread basket.

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    1. From the Russian perspective, the situation with Ukraine deteriorated rapidly in the last few years since the Maidan revolution/coup, forcing them to act now as this may be their last good opportunity to prevent the total loss of their strategic interests in Ukraine.

    2. How so deteriorated? It would have been relatively easy for Russia to invest in a Putin-friendly candidate after Zelenski´s term ended, especially due to the large Russian-speaking population who could have simply voted. Hell, even instigating an impeachment of Zelenski would have not been that hard. Now, with this invasion I have no clue as to what the endgame is. It may sound gruesome, but it feels like his only option now is to depopulate the country and nuke it. Any other option would mean defeat, unless Zelenski agrees to a Finlandization of the country.

    3. Not true. After the Ukraine's failure to live up to the Minsk Agreement, pro Russian candidates were banned from election, some of Zelensky's opponents were imprisoned and the Donbass region wasn't even allowed to vote! Now I'm sure their burning documents in Kiev like maniacs. Mow with news of multiple biolabs in Ukraine

    4. @Teus

      Look at what happened to the last democratically elected* Russia-friendly President in 2014! (*According to EU voting observers in 2010)

      Russia's objectives now are to get to the negotiation table with as strong a position as possible to secure their strategic interests with internationally recognized binding treaties, and to get the most severe sanctions lifted. They are first trying to destroy the Ukranian forces, siege the major cities and doing some intermittent shelling to force the Ukranians to surrender. However they will literally do anything not to lose, including as a last resort turning Ukrainian cities into the surface of the moon like Grozny and Aleppo. This is something they are much better at than combined-forces tactical maneouvering.

      An extra problem for them now is that "The Russian army is poorly trained and equipped with Soviet-era armaments" is becoming a popular Western meme, so I wonder will they be compelled to cause more destruction on the way out even if there is an early peace settlement.

    5. Thanks for the responses. It surely would take a lot of work to verify these claims of how democratic Ukraine is, or if there are or not biolabs. An interesting and maybe relevant event is the signing of the bill making Ukrainian the official language. It is easy to see how this (although not banning Russian and other minority languages, but basically requiring everyone to learn Ukranian and a having quota on Ukranian content) may have stoked severely the polarization of this area, especially knowing the culture of the region.
      But has this invasion helped to restore russian influence as a culture or language? I highly doubt this, unless we are being fed completely fake news and most Ukranians are supporting this intervention.

    6. Yeah, the national language laws play into Putins claims of Russian Genocide. They are like a lighter version of the Chinese erasure of independant Uygher culture, but many countries have historically had them, including Russia itself! Its part of an overall strategy by the West-Ukranian government to culturally homogenise and unite the demographically divided country, which means no more 10-15m Russia-sympathetic populace.

      Sadly what the Ukranians themselves want is of lesser concern to Russian and Western interests.

      To expand on the point above about why Russia are invading now, even if it's not a smooth operation:

      From the Russian security perspective, they see:
      • The 2014 Maidan "coup"
      • Hostile Ukranian government which is pro-West anti-Russia anti-East-Ukranian
      • Cultural erasure and political disenfranchisement of 10-15m pro-Russian eastern Ukraine
      • Escalating civil/proxy war
      • Failure of Minsk agreements
      • Declaration of independance of the pro-Russian seperatists who (in coordination with them) sent a defence request to Russia
      • Ukraine quickly joining EU instead of EAEU
      • NATO expansion to beside the belly of Russia despite (non-written) post-Cold-War assurances they wouldn't expand eastwards. Russia says this poses an existential threat to them. NATO might not attack today, but they might tomorrow, with some pre-emptive "Iraq WMD" type justification. Look at the media hype about "insane Putin" and thermobaric weapons which everyone else uses. NATO can fill Ukraine with artillery, long range missiles and nuke interceptors, which the current Ukranian government would gladly accept).
      • Western arms and training for Ukranian government turning them into de-facto military ally (Russia is doing this too with the seperatists)
      • A West/US that is continuing to chip away at Russia by stripping away allies, and trying to sanction, contain, and neutralize them.
      • The risk of losing Crimea and secure access to the Black Sea. This is a major geostrategic concern for them.
      • A decade+ of fruitless diplomacy with the West for Russian security concerns

      All of this compells Russia to act now before all of Ukraine was absorbed into the West, using the defence of the Donbass seperatists as a causus belli.

      Massing their army at the border was the last step in negotiations with Ukraine/The West - if they had backed down after being rebuffed, it would have told the world "Ignore Russian diplomacy and military threats, they will just give up". They had no real alternative.

      IMHO this conflict was 100% predictable and preventable 10+ years ago, and was fuelled by NATO who dangled the promise of a military alliance in front of a historically neutral Ukraine, even though it would clearly lead to a serious confrontation like this. The question is whether they have a plan (e.g. Russia, China, Taiwan etc), or whether they are just institutionally naieve.

      From history, Great Powers don't want to directly fight each other because they know it will be a total mess and both will lose, but a conflict involving a third party can steadily escalate out of control and drag them both into a major war. The only way to prevent it is with painful compromise.

    7. This is a very good take and makes sense. You seem to agree with WT. It was either now or never for the Russians.

    8. @Anon You laid out your points very well. This war happened so fast I didn't get time to lay out the causes of this war beyond the Western media's Russia=bad, Ukraine=good shit they are pumping out 24/7 on Western news channels. But if I did, I think you covered it in your post.

      As always not just with war itself, but with anything, there is always nuance and mountains of grey that go unexamined by those who see the world in black and white. Unfortunately, for those of us willing to see and examine with open minds, we're heavily outnumbered.

      Great post, thank you.

    9. I agree with all you said about the pressures Russia faced with NATO, and its "westernization". I just ponder on this option: What if Russia had just stepped back right now and swalled its pride, eventually even letting Ukraine join NATO? Would that have been the smartest move in the long-term? Before this war, NATO surely looked like it was on the ropes, with Macron famously announcing it "brain dead" and a new right wing president in the US in the horizon, maybe even Trump again. I do think Russia will subdue Ukraine, eventually even capturing Zelensky, but I really can´t imagine what Putin´s endgame is here (if he is in fact thinking strategically and not emotionally that is).

    10. (westernization of Ukraine that is).

    11. This does seem to have greately accelerated the threat to the Russian state, but I don't think it changes the outcome, which is why they acted now before it got worse.

      Checkout "Vladimir Pozner: How the United States Created Vladimir Putin".

      The only diplomatic options being offered to Russia from the West are to become a weakened client state of the US. Russia refuses and wants to maintain its "Imperial" independance and safety (just like the US and many other powers throughout history), but for the West it's too dangerous to let our old Cold War rival grow strong again, so the U.S. wants to decapitate the state.

      There are US PNAC/CNAS "Wolfowitz Doctrine" neo-conservatives all over US-Ukraine relations.

      What's worrying is where all this could be headed.

      Either:
      • Relations return back to what they were before through peace negotiations/diplomacy. (How likely is this now?)
      OR
      • What the west "say" they want: The entire Russian executive government is permanently overthrown, deeply purged and replaced with a malleable client state (doubtful as Putin still has public support, and he is too seasoned in statecraft to be at risk of a coup. Could another autocrat rise? Would it have a destabalizing effect on the state and region?)
      OR
      • We get a new Iron Curtain between Russia and the West, parallel global monetary systems, and Russia allying with China, the new Cold War competitor in the 21st century. Could this be what NATO/US/EU actully want for some sound strategic/economic reason? Or is this another classic American Foreign Policy total misadventure that will end in disaster?

      Why make a gamble this huge over Ukraine staying out of NATO and letting Russia have Russian majority Crimea and eastern Donbass.

      Don't get me wrong, Putin is a ruthless anti-democratic autocrat, and I love democracy and the Pax-Americana, but sometimes we can be led into absolute folly that could have been easily prevented.

  10. When the West starts a war, it's sex,
    When Russia does it, it's rape.

    Fucking classic.

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  11. I really wish you'd use sources for some of your statements.

    1. That map of languages seems way off. E.g for an opposing view: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Ukraine#/media/File:UkraineNativeLanguagesCensus2001detailed-en.png
    2. The story on Omran Daqneesh is conjecture, at best.
    3. There has been no opening of humanitarian corridors as stated twice and widely rebuffed by locals in all major flashpoints.

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    1. An Mhuc ChogaidhMarch 8, 2022 at 6:39 AM

      It seems as if the Humanitarian corridors (certainly from Mariuopol) are only leading in one direction - Eastwards, towards Russia. The Red Cross have been evacuating foreign nationals trapped in the East of Ukraine, Westwards.

    2. Humanitarian corridors alone are a major concession for an attacking force. Why the fuck are you complaining what direction they head in? North, South, East or West, I'll fucking run down what ever humanitarian corridor it takes to avoid a Russian rocket barrage if I were a civilian or a woman with children.

      To the guy above, Omran Daqneesh is real. Avoid Google. Use a different search engine and you will find the interview, hard though it may be to believe for you, it's real. Knowing it's real, how does that change your mind about what they tell you on TV? You see, at the very least, that they are lying to you.

      And finally, as a fan of WT, I don't say this article is perfect but I think he is right. Russia now goes East and the EU is dependent on energy shipping. Ever seen those LNG tankers? They are ships with huge spheres on board. One suicide speedboat in the Straits of Hormuz or missile from Iran turns that boat into a floating Hiroshima. Europe, via sanctions on Russia, has condemned itself to energy prices so high that it may break the union apart. And the Chinese will be laughing all the way to the bank.



    3. An Mhuc ChogaidhMarch 8, 2022 at 8:32 AM

      Well I'm just making the point, if I were a refugee I wouldn't like to walking towards the very people that are trying to bomb me out of existence. I would preferably like to go the opposite direction....but if its a case of pure survival, I suppose it's a case of 'better the Devil you know'.

    4. Plus, the majority of Mariupol are Russian and want to head East. Read a book idiot.

  12. @Bit-of-a-coin - I've seen the interview. His father is a pro-Assad lackey and is highly likely to have made those comments under duress or threat of harm.

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    1. Your subjective opinion does not make it true.

  13. @Bit-of-a-coin so what about it was staged, exactly? because 2 doctors testified the boy had a head wound that was treated, despite what his father says. just because soldiers used him as a photo op doesn't invalidate the picture at all.

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    1. Have you read about the "White hats" in Syria? I mean really deep dived? Hollywood even gave an Oscar for Best Documentary to a movie about them. It turns out it was all propaganda. It wasn't soldiers who set up the picture of the kid in the ambulance it was AP/Reuters news wire reporters. Now the Ukrainians are pushing the "Russians blew up a hospital" story. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm starting to believe the Israelis when they blow up hospitals in Gaza and say Hamas was launching rockets from there.

  14. I think you have lost your edge a little bit. I get the feeling you are grasping for straw man in several place here.
    "Russia really wants to avoid the bloody, high casualty infrastructure destruction type of warfare"
    Thats not what I am seeing.
    "getting rid of the Nazi militias"
    You make that point several times. Its not a strong point, I think.
    "Only, this time far bigger and more hysterical"
    That's very cynical, even for you. And can you really fault Europeans to draw fearful the obvious comparisons to the last big near-peer war in that specific battleground?
    "This is definitely something Putin does not want and will try everything to avoid."
    Are you Putin or what is your insight into his mind based on?
    "does this thing go nuclear?"
    Good part!
    "This will not happen since the military part of the war is winding down."
    What do you base that on? From the looks of it? Whose pointing the camera?
    "One large area of discussion in Western media is why it is taking so long for the Russians to capture Kiev or create a cauldron/total encirclement of the Ukrainian forces in Donbass."
    Good parts after that. I totally agree, Russian army is moving reasonably fast. The truth is also that the Ukrainians also put up a surprisingly good fight for such a large number of fronts against such a formidable attacker.
    "This just does not pass the smell test. For comparison, on D-Day"
    Your numbers stink as well. Omaha alone had 2.000. And anyways, again you are taking info - in this case Ukrainian info - right out of the fog of war, as if Ukrainians ballooning their victories is any suprise at all. Obviously the number is wrong, and every reputable source points out its not verifiable.
    "This war has now sunk the Nordstream II energy pipeline and condemned the Europeans to import the 25% of its oil and 40% of its natural gas it had been buying from Russia."
    You DO know that EU countries have other pipelines with russia. As of today, they haven't stopped buying gas and oil. NSII wasn't even in operation yet.
    "Notice anything?"
    Yes. Convenient map choice.
    "is being hampered by the Ukrainian Neo Nazi Azov divisions"
    Oh is it plural now, divisionS? You know why they call themselves Asov battalion? Because thats what they are, a battalion of around 1.000 people.
    There are several voluntary military battalions in Ukraine, which are afaik not “Asov”.
    Here is my take:
    Russia took the Ukrainian east as a distraction for taking Crimea, which they took because of huge deposites of burnable stuff in the sea and in the ground that was discovered there and in the east. Had Ukraine been allowed to drill that stuff uncontested, Russia would have lost is main lifeline as THE sole supplier of gas and oil for many europeans homes. Ukraine would've gotten that role instead.
    Ukraine teched up their military in reaction to all that. At some point late last year Putin must have realized that Ukraine might be able to challenge them for real. Putin is not a madman or psycho, as western media seems to think right now. But he is also not perfect or a genius. He never was. He thinks in terms of risks, as he has stated time and again in speeches and interviews. The biggest of which is the risk of being overthrown by a western backed uprising like you have beautifully laid bare in several older blog posts of your.
    Now its just a question what is "going to give" under the holistic pressure campaign of the west.
    If I had to guess, Belarus!

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    1. I've not lost my edge. You've lost your taste for war.

      Let's do it by the numbers.

      * "Russia really wants to avoid the bloody, high casualty infrastructure destruction type of warfare"
      Thats not what I am seeing."

      What are you talking about? Russian has 4,500 towed artillery pieces and a few hundred of their newest self-propelled artillery pieces. Koalitsia-SV (range 26km) and hundreds of towed artillery pieces (range 22km -18km arrayed around Kiev). These alone with spotting, drones, and air strikes will win. Slowly. Unless you want to let loose and level Kiev. Not going to happen. The Russians want a peace deal.

      *Do you deny the existence of the Azov divisions?

      *Do I know apart from Nordstream II supplying gas and oil to Europe? Of course I do. That's an Ace up the Russian's sleeve. They can turn them off at any time., destroying Europe and sending prices from food and fuel into the stratosphere.

      *The Ukrainian military is being supplied with high tech equipment via NATO. This prolongs the war, forces the Russians to use artillery and bombers and destroy their own comrades in a brother war which is exactly what NATO wants.

      The rest of your paragraphs are amphoras and answered in the main post.

      I don't pick sides in wars. I just report on the destruction and implications of it.

    2. Battalion: Around 1000 men
      Division: Around 10.000 men

      You say its Divisions, as in plural? Reality says battalion, as in singular. Thats why its called azov battalion. I know you know the difference and don't make those kind of mistakes, so you are writing it this way on purpose.

      Besides, its interesting how much time you spend pointing out supposed Nazi hordes in Ukraine, all the while missing the facist regime and its, what, round about 200.000 men attacking. I mean, really?

      If the nazis are so strong in Ukraine, where are they to be found during elections? After all, the Neo nazis did form a huge coalition and yet still only managed around 2% of votes, not enough to even enter Ukrainian parliament and less than their originals in Germany right now and not even close to what their counterparts in Russia are getting.

      You picked you favorite side, and it shows. You just happen to also point out that Russia is winning so far, which really isn't a unique view point any more.

      And I know you are thinking about that, too. It shows.

    3. Azov battalions are privately funded from abroad. Their function is not to run for election, their function is to shoot and intimidate voters.

    4. @Anon You know I know the difference between a Division and a Battalion.

      The Azov Battalions are in Kiev (who knows their strength), Mariupol (2 battalions), Kharkov (2 battalions) with more forming in Lviv. That amounts to a division. You also know that military formations are subject to be broken into smaller more manageable units under Colonels and Majors. "Brigades" and finally companies under captains and platoons under sergeants. I know you know all this. But there are far more Azov people in Ukraine than you say. They mercilessly shot protesters in the street after Zelensky, the late-night comedian, was installed. Azov is not a voting bloc; they are a private militia.

  15. Good read as always War Tard. I do agree with the US supply of weapons can only prolong this war. The cutting off of Russian oil and then demanding Venezuelan oil they've embargoed is desperate. The Biden administration is a complete failure. I do think the aim is to create Afghanistan 2. What do you make of the Polish offering fighter jet and bases for the Ukrainians? Would this not trigger WW III as those bases become legitimate target for Russian attack?

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  17. AS I'm sure you know, Ukraine is the 4th bottom from the list of most corrupt countries in the world. Now with the discovery of multiple biolabs in the country and Victoria Nuland (the CIA woman caught on tape initiating the NATO coup in 2014) doing a press conference yesterday to try to get out ahead of the story, what damage do you think the Russians could do if they grab documents implicating all kinds of foreign intel agencies and release them on Wikileaks?

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    1. Lavrov is mis-handling the bio-labs thing. A show and tell @ the UN with suitable props plus bribe various nations to back the invasion, Ala the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

      There is an interesting discrepancy b/w the statements of various US gov't officials over this biolabs claim also.

  18. I've been binge reading War Tard articles all night. As a student of political science, some of his articles are normal things and some contain paragraphs that are so accurate and sublime that they push forward my will to finish my thesis. Thank you for your writing from someone you'll never know. Greetings from India.

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  19. You are my hero.

    Quick question though: I keep hearing people talk about the strategic importance of the Black Sea fleet to Russia but I just don't see it. The only way into the Med. is through the Dardanelles which is Turkey, a NATO member. How much power projection can Russia really have if it needs NATO's permission to enter the Med? Would love to hear your input. THANKS AGAIN.

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    1. The Russian Fleet is small. Russia has always been a land power and never a sea power. Their Navy is not consequential. The ships they do have are off the coast of Odessa to possibly open an amphibious attack in conjunction with land forces on Odessa, the rest are off the coast of Mariupol to supply artillery once the Russian ground forces are forced to go in and clean out the Nazi Azov Divisions. I did see that the Russians did sail six of their most modern missile destroyers through the Dardanelles about 5 days ago, probably headed for the Russian warm water naval base at Tartus in Syria.
      The Turks have backed away from this war now that it is entering this new phase. They supplied the Ukrainians with the drones they supplied the Azerbaijanis v Armenia that swayed that war. Erdogan may be erratic, but the Turkish currency is hyper inflating, and he sees that staying out of this is in his best interest. Pissing off the Russians at this point is not a wise move if you want to play innocent. Turkey is the shakiest member of NATO at the moment. They've stepped back and are claiming neutrality in all but name. I do not see the Russians having a problem with shipping through the Dardanelles.
      But neither do I see this as an advantage for the Russians as most of the supplies they will get to beat the sanctions will come overland. Not via sea.

  20. Just discovered this blog. I cannot stop reading. Everything the author said happened. Not just now but from 7 years ago. He must work for the CIA.

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    1. I do never join a club who would have me as a member.

  21. I used to like this ponce

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  22. Russia is winning the actual war, but they're taking heavy losses on Twitter and Facebook.

    Would be interesting to do a full deep dive on the (mostly Western) volunteers who signed up to join this war, didn't realize what they were getting into, and recently got hit with Kalibr cruise missiles early in the morning. What goes on in the minds of these people? Did they buy into the CNN propaganda that Russia is days away from losing? Did they think this would be "fun"? Was it for the likes and upvotes? Did they think they would be fighting goat herders instead of a modern, conventional army? Fascinating world we live in.

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  23. There is no way the Kremlin and the Russian general staff can interpret this: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/new-us-ukraine-charter-underlines-american-commitment-to-ukrainian-security/
    as anything other than provocation and/or an assurance that the USA will support Kyiv's oligarchs all the way in the event of an attack on Crimea and/or Donbass as per
    https://twitter.com/dmytrokuleba/status/1370060199621431301?lang=en

    Given that the GOP will take the US Congress in the midterms, Biden has to show what a tough guy he is compared to the Trumpists and hide his lack of a domestic agenda.
    Thus the Kremlin judged this was a do or die year.
    And here we are.

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  24. I tell Russia joke.

    Tired Putin look in mirror. See Stalin moustache, clothes of Tsar. "Da Comrade. The Great Game." say mirror. "Look out window." See torches forks big cloud of mushroom. "Nyettt!!!" He wake, bad dream. Is not Putin, is MBS. Find bonesaw, see Made of USA. Relax. He pick up phone. "Bomb Yemen"

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    1. I'll tell you a NATO joke.

      Feeling bout of dementia coming on, Biden goes for ice cream. Sees himself in mirror of ice cream truck. See reflection of Lincoln, clothes of 19th century lawyer. "The Great Game" say mirror. Looks around. Ice cream melts. See fiery mushroom cloud. Screams and wakes up from nightmare. Is not Robert E Lee. He relaxes. Lights candle grabs pen and ink. Begins letter to General Sherman. "Burn Atlanta!"