Monday, March 7, 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.


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

  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.

    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

    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.

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


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

    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.

    3. "Kiew will become Gronzy Pt.2"
      Aged like Milk.

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

  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?

    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.

    1. Agree with above. Much of the analysis is decent - I particularly agree with the pivot towards a new geopolitical and economic axis with China and India, this surely is the primary motivation for the invasion. But the Nazi stuff? Russia simply does not give a shit. It's somewhat shocking that Wartard even mentions this facile pretext for war. However, most articles are right about some stuff and wrong about others and any degree of bias should only bother readers if they're unable to evaluate information independently.

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

    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.

    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.

      • Relations return back to what they were before through peace negotiations/diplomacy. (How likely is this now?)
      • 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?)
      • 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.

  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:
    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!

    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.

    5. "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."

      Where are you getting your numbers from? Also, in other comments you said divisions (plural) which signifies thousands of Azov members. So which is it - 1 division or some divisions?

    6. should've said *tens of thousands above

  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?

    1. So what the fuck should the Ukranians do? Stand here with their pants down while their country gets destroyed? I know Wartard is against this, but I am 100% sure as fuck that Russia won't pay anything back or do anything in terms of rebuilding parts of the Country. Also how? Russia's currency is worse than the Turkish Lira. Also they'll loose more and more Material in the time.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  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?

    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.

  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.

    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.

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

  21. Replies
    1. And now you prove how much you hate my articles by reading and commenting on them constantly.

  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.

    1. Let's see how they are going to "win" thi war. What is winning in your definition? Russia will never take over whole Ukraine. That's simply not & will never going to happen. I think their goal is to make Satellite States in the South-East. Question is, how long will take? Ukrainians getting more and more Equipment. Russia's Currency is turning more and more into a turdball & they can't to anything against it.

      Also let's not forget the West has his hands deicately in the Warfare. Remember the Moskva when it got hit? Yeah before that there was a German & American P-3 & P-8 Poseidon that turned their transponder off before it got sunk. Oh for fucks sake, or should I say it got tactially sunken to destinguish the fire? :-

  23. There is no way the Kremlin and the Russian general staff can interpret this:
    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

    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.

  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"

    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!"

  25. NHK Japan news running round the clock editorials on:

    • Ukrainian-Russian war (cast as USSR irredentism)
    • Isolating sanctions on Russia
    • Russian-Chinese alliance
    • Chinese desires to take over Taiwan and expand territory (cast as Chinese irredentism)
    • How the example of sanctions on Russia may deter Chinese expansionism

    Whatever about the truth and propaganda behind this war, it looks like this is being used by the West to start the new Cold War with China and friends before they get too powerful.

    Pictures of blown up Ukraine and dead Ukranians are a blank checkbook for the Western war machine.

  26. Hey War Tard, we are now more than 2 weeks later than the original article.

    Can you please critically review your writings, especially the bit about the humanitarian corridors and working with gloves?

    From what I read Russia is playing the Aleppo playbook on Mariupol, quite the opposite of working with gloves.

    Also you can revise the bit about who is winning given that encircling Kiev has stalled and Ukraine even managed to push back a little.

    Do you still maintain your predictions for middle of April?

  27. Russia has made some mistakes and serious miscalculations. The Ukrainians have adapted and retreated into the cities and fortified them, negating Russian air superiority and artillery. In other words, the Ukrainians are making the Russians fight on their terms. That itself is quite an achievement. When Mariupol falls, we'll see what happens next.

    One thing is for sure, the era of the tank is certainly over. The future is fast moving mechanized infantry with shoulder mounter ATGMs. One thing is for sure, the longer this war goes on, the uglier it will get. I think NATO will provide just enough weaponry to keep the war going but not enough for the Ukrainians to win.

    Eith way, the 21st century chessboard is forever changed.

    1. If this war cannot be won in short term, would Putin softens on the negotiation table and make a deal happen?

    2. To make a deal you need a functioning government to make a deal with and Ukraine doesn't have one. It has a puppet front man in the form of Zelensky, but the actual power lies with the asset stripping oligarchs most of whom don't live in Ukraine, and US three letter agencies. That is who makes the call in Ukraine, and I can't see how that deal is done. The US, would prefer to supply Ukraine enough to prolong the war but not win it, sucking Russia further into the mire.

      Putin must push on and create more rubble even if his win will leave him king "king of the rubble". I can see Putin calling a ceasefire when everything East of the Dnieper is taken but by then Western Ukraine will be full of the latest drone tech, ATGMs and AA systems from NATO that further advancement would be too costly for Russia and never part of the original plan unless things went better than expected which they have not. Then we enter a dangerous Cold War scenario with massed forces on both sides, armed to the teeth and waiting for a spark.

    3. >One thing is for sure, the era of the tank is certainly over.

      era of tanks being used improperly is over, and was over decades ago

      tanks still have and will have a place on modern battlefield assuming they are actually used by someone with a brain

    4. So, the Russians do not know how to use tanks?

      You must have been sleeping or more likely not born. Russia won WWII via tanks. The Allies showed up at Normandy very late in the game with shit tanks. (Shermans). If any army on the planet knows how to use tanks, it is the Russians. They've lost a few to modern ATGMs and Javelins etc. If Russians lose tanks to modern shoulder mounted infantry that is a fact of warfare and technology; not because they are being used improperly or with half a brain.

      Modern counter weapons cost 100k per missile and it take 15 minutes to read the manual once you unbox your tube and heft it onto your shoulder. A modern 4th generation tank costs 5 million. Do the math. Heavy infantry is ascendent. It will not help the Ukrainians (because the war is lost for them) but it is something modern world militaries are taking note of.

    5. russians did the same mistake in chechnya, poorly trained crews, poorly maintained equipment, awful tactics

      whats happening in ukraine isnt a surprise to anyone, if you use tanks improperly as in without infantry support, proper suppression of enemy heavy infantry, proper AA (today anti drone i guess) you will lose your tanks

      this is literally tank 101 known for decades, nothing new and nothing that changes how you are actually supposed to use tanks, as in full combined arms deployment

      as for ww2 experience, seems like they forgot all that because back then tanks were supported by swarms of infantry protecting them in any even minor engagement, but especially in urban combat

      and sherman while not perfect did the job it was build for, t34 vs sherman doesn't seem to favor one side or the other that much

    6. Aggressive Maneuvers for Autonomous Quadrotor FlightMarch 28, 2022 at 5:29 PM

      World War 3: Drone-ageddon

  28. And why a puppet government cannot make a deal?

    What do those oligarchs have to gain from the war?

  29. Have been following your work since 2011, and have to say it's always been some of the most insightful and accurate assessments out there - way more accurate than many of the prominent OSINT thinktanks out there ATM. You should really post a BTC or XMR address for donations, I'm sure I'm not the only long time lurker who'd pitch in.

    1. +1 on this idea. would pay for this content.

  30. I had not expected Wartards analysis and coverage of the ukraine conflict to be so biased and factually poor. Reading over the last three articles even now at this date shows how wrong he has been, hilariously wrong even. Not a writer to be taken seriously at all. Probably also thinks the T-34 is an amazing tank lol

  31. Completely agree. I had been reading this blog on and off for almost 10 years, and his writing and analysis has taken a steep dive. It has been hard to believe just how terrible these past three pieces have been. He even oddly misstated the number of allied casualties on D-Day, presumably to bolster his threadbare arguments.

    Goodbye, War Tard, it was fun once...

    1. What's the weather like in Lviv?


    3. Steel rain with a a chance of hypersonic missiles lol.

    4. Completely disagree! Wartard is presenting one of the few unbiased accounts I've seen. Your MSM programming must run very deep

    5. Sorry to see you go. I have this awful habit of assessing war according to its moment-by-moment reality. HELP!

  32. The Ukranian Right and US did not support OSCE mediated Minsk II and won't let Kiev negotiate now. The West is pumping in weapons and sanctions to choke out the bear. Russia will not back down and talks of formally declaring War to increase troop mobilization.

    "Generals gathered in their masses..."

    1. The only acceptable outcome of negotiations is for Russia to fully leave Ukraine, including crimea

      And that's not gonna happen

    2. If you can't drive them out by force, you won't drive them out by words.

    3. "Just like witches at black masses..."

  33. I’ve been following Wartard religiously since 2011. I hate to say it, but I agree with many of the posts here that describe a steep degradation in credibility and quality since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (it actually really started to slip with conspiracy posts about COVID).

    The issue many of your lifelong followers have here is your tacit support for Putin’s war of aggression against a sovereign, democratic, European nation (definitely not perfect, but a far car from Russian, Chinese, or ME authoritarian regimes).

    Constant references to “humanitarian corridors”, the prevalence of Ukrainian Nazis, NATO encroachment and Russian attempts to minimize civilian casualties are wildly inaccurate to the point of being indescribable from Sputnik TV. Most importantly they are telling of your true opinion: for some reason you are rooting for Russia invaders and against the West here. And hey, it’s fine to have personal opinions (as bizarre as they may be), but once those opinions cloud your analysis it becomes a problem. You’ve be overstating Russian capabilities/gains and understating Ukrainian resolve from the get-go. Russia has categorically failed by every quantifiable metric at every stage of this invasion. And no, capturing Mariupol 2 months after the start of the invasion doesn’t count as a “win”.

    Invading Ukraine was supposed to be the war that Russia was built for. Not just because of land focused military composition, but because of short lines of communication and an established foothold in the East. Given all this, it still took two months — and how many casualties??? — to take the closest city to occupied territory. Key Ukrainian cities lie just kilometers from Russian and Belarusian border, yet they remain out of reach of Russian “air power.”

    The perfect storm of corruption, arrogance, and incompetence shows a Russian military machine rotten to its core.

    Now the Russians are going to do what they do best, level entire city blocks with indiscriminate artillery barrages. It’s all they have left. So much for giving 2 fucks about civilian casualties.

    And so this slow grind of destruction will carry on. All the while , you’ll talk about how the West caused this, and the civilian casualties are actually the fault Ok Ukraine for defending their own sovereignty. Are you listening to yourself man?? NATO ‘encroachment’ happened because Russia failed to provide a viable alternative. They demonstrated again and again that they were not a reliable or economically attractive neighbor, using threats and energy blackmail to bully the region into being its friend. Guess what, you can’t bully someone into being your friend. So the neighbors chose Europe. They were not coerced. Russia was the one doing the coercing. Are these countries allowed to make their own decisions?? If the answer is yes, drop the encroachment bit. It’s tired and intellectually dishonest. Russia has fucked itself time and time again, and when it can’t get what it wants it turns off the heat in winter or invades a you. Who the fuck would want to be a part of that?

    Without order there is chaos. Thank god for Pax Americana. Russia is learning the hard way that we have rules that cannot be broken — same lessons we taught Saddam in the 90s. Fuck with our friends and you’ll pay the price. I’ll choose imperfect democracies over bloodthirsty dictators any day.

    You’re on the wrong side here Wartard, and it truly hurts to see. Not just because it’s significantly hurting your analysis, but because t shows a broken moral and intellectual compass.

    1. Lulz, while pointing out his biases, you clearly can't decouple yourself from you own biases. Must be hard realizing that not only the "better" (aka western democracies) countries can invade other (sovereign) countries to "spread democracy", while destabilizing the entire region in the process, and securing some sweet oil resources. As for Saddam in the 90s, pretty sure US wasn't there out of the kindness of it's heart, but rather because of that sweet oil again. Given the amount of keywords you've used ("war of aggression", "sovereign, democratic, European nation", etc.) I'd suspect you might be one of those 300000 of the internet army of ukraine going around internets, setting things straight :D

    2. Buddy - I agree with you. I loved WTs earlier posts but this last one is just messed up.

      You summed it up quite well, and I thank you.

    3. You've got some of the deepest clarity on this whole blog's comment section. This dude is totally sold on the Russian propaganda. He's a goner, my friend. No evidence is gonna change his mind.

    4. War Tard calling the Ukraine war as he sees it is bias now in favor of Russia? Anything he writes allowing Russia's side of the story is not bias, it is your own bias seeing it that way. I find the article remarkably centrist.

  34. It's hilarious to see how badly off WT has got the whole war. No wonder there's been no new posts since this one.

    1. WT has let conspiracies addle his brain and cloud his analysis. Sad.

  35. If "Democracy" is the just moral cause here, why couldn't everyone avoid this war by recognizing Luhansk & Donetsk & Crimea, all of which held referendums on seccession and the Kiev government has disenfranchised and tried for 8 years to put down by force? Or implement the Germany and France backed Minsk II peace agreement?

    In the cold calculus of the powers involved, "democracy" and "sovereignty" are secondary concerns and casus belli.

    At the time of the USSR's collapse in the early 1990s, Ukraine comprised ~35% of it's military-industrial-research capacity.

    U.S. Senator and GOP presidential candidate John McCain himself flew over in 2013 to publicly bless the Maidan coup that ousted democratically elected Yanukovych (48% of the 2010 vote), who was delaying exclusive EU integration while trying to keep ties open with Russia.

    By pulling Ukraine away from the Russian sphere of influence, the U.S. and NATO want to permanently kick a major leg out from under the dangerous Ruskies, and turn Ukraine into an enemy at the gates.

    And now the U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin directly states:

    > "We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine."

    This is now "officially" a U.S. proxy war with Russia.

    1. Correct. It has been a non-official proxy war against Russia by the U.S. since the Nuland tapes got leaked in 2014 when the CIA openly instigated a coup in Ukraine and installed and funded a NATO/EU friendly dictator. Since then, it's been open war versus the Donbass and has been hell on earth via indiscriminate shelling by the Ukrainian military on Russian speaking civilian populations.
      Now that the chaos is expanding, amid the blowback, one wonders where the endgame is.

    2. Wow, you still can't get over your own damn biases. Dude above is right: "Are you listening to yourself man?? NATO ‘encroachment’ happened because Russia failed to provide a viable alternative. They demonstrated again and again that they were not a reliable or economically attractive neighbor, using threats and energy blackmail to bully the region into being its friend."

      You're gonna wait till May 9th to publish some bullshit post about Russia fighting for its survival, aren't you? Good luck with that. For everyone else here looking for actual DAILY analysis of the war in Ukraine just go here: (Institute for the Study of War)

    3. Institute for the Study of War is a Zionist neocon publication. These are the same people who said there were WMD in Iraq. William Kristol is on the board of directors, one of the chief propagandists for the US to invade Iraq. They also supported ISIS in the war versus Assad in Syria and the destruction of Libya. Anything that publication says is pure Western propaganda. Into the trash they must go.

  36. How about RUSI:

    1. We are still in the fog of war to know all the details, but this RUSI report also has some interesting analysis about the first phase on Ukrainian successes and Russian failures in the North.

      E.g. Successful early electronic jamming, Ukranian artillery did more damage than portable anti-tank missiles, rapid but haphazard deployment, lack of flank screening, poorly trained forces, out of order advances, command and control stations were easily targeted, lack of timely support to hold objectives, etc.

      The Russian equipment while not modern is also not the worst, but was deployed poorly against a prepared and entrenched foe with much better recon.

    2. I doubt that the Russian economy wouldn't be able to substitute electronic components in their supply chains. Big electronics companies do that all the time when faced with component shortages, though it can take a few months to redesign and test.

  37. Great article on how inept Russians have been thus far on strategic and tactical levels:

    1. How can you be inept when you have total air superiority and the ability to interdict NATO resupply via missile from targeting data via satellite. And you've captured territory equal to twice the landmass of the United Kingdom. Just because Western media says victory is at hand, doesn't make it true.

  38. I found this thread extremely interesting for understanding the war (spoiler: the war is rooted in the history of the two countries (one country according to russia) and has little to do with NATO or US):

    1. More perspectives:

      "The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Motives and Response | Dr Daniel Kempton"

      His view, which is centered around Russia trying to secure its great power position through classic imperialism:

      - Cultural: Moscow/Russia claims it is the successor state & church & cultural center of 800s+ Kievan Rus. (The Ukraine Orthodox Church split from Russian Church in 2018). [More like a justification than a strategic reason?]

      - Geo-strategic: Russia thinks it has natural primacy over the "near abroad" border countries by virtue of its Great Power status, geography and security requirements. (Similar to the U.S. Monroe Doctrine and regime changes in South America). Ukraine's joining NATO is in conflict.

      - Economic: Ukraine has grain, coal & new southern oil fields that Russia wants. Ukraine has threatened Russian oil and gas pipelines running through their territory.

    2. For those interested, here's a pretty enlightening official Russian diplomatic communique to the UK written in 2014. It describes Russian military doctrine according to the Russians. Most of it is very relevant to the current conflict. It's a long read but I found it interesting.

  39. Yen Carry Trade.May 15, 2022 at 12:48 PM

    War Tard called it from the beginning.Even Western media is admitting that the war is over. Ukraine has lost, The New York Times reluctantly agrees. That's why I keep coming back to this blog. The analysis is pure.

  40. Are we so sure Russia will (ultimately) claim a military victory over UA?

    1. If a Twitter post says so then I suppose it's a done deal.

  41. Does Russia have the resources, leadership, training, and commitment to win urban warfare battles in Ukraine? The deck is stacked against them.

    1. I can answer that.

      Russia is seeking to avoid all forms of urban warfare except when mission critical (Mariupol). Here, they have succeeded but not without great cost and I don't mean men and material. I mean destroying the city to take it. The Russian objective seems to be to take Ukraine's access to the Black Sea, consolidate Crimea, plant a flag and let the EU and US have Kiev and spend the next 20 years pumping billions into it just to keep it afloat.

      But to your point about urban warfare particularly, I am sure you are referring to Kharkov.

      You are right. I cannot see the Russians mounting any kind of attack against a city of almost two million people. Especially a city on the Russian border whose population is largely Russian speaking. The Russians could have easily cut power, Internet, phone to Kharkov, or for that matter, Kiev, but they have not. That alone is a revelation of the war plan by method. The advance from the north to Kiev through the Pripyat marshes and narrow roads of the forest did result in Russian retreat but one wonders if that hasty advance was a Hail Mary advance hoping the Ukrainians would surrender with the enemy at their capitol gates.

      With massive NATO investment in Ukraine, that victory is gone and so have Russian tactics. Since the loss of the Moskva, (targeting information courtesy of NATO), Russian resolve will have been hardened and the Russian Army has fallen back to its tried-and-true way of fighting. Artillery. And more artillery. And small-scale tactical pincer movements that exploit the wreckage wrought. That is what we are witnessing in Donbass right now as I type. It is hard going but the Russian Ruble has recovered and with its commodity-based economy the West has failed to sink the Russian economy. So an atmosphere of exploding steel it shall be.

      If Ukraine were anything but a proxy NATO chessboard square, Ukraine would have made a deal by now and much life would have been spared. But today, the red mist of anger means the Russians will push and NATO will pay until the point where blood or money collapses first.

      The biggest loser is Ukraine because in most wars when you feel the tide run against you, you can surrender on your terms and extract concessions from the enemy. Ukraine, pawn of Western globalism, doesn't even have the sovereignty to surrender.

    2. there is no scenario in which Ukraine should surrender, no matter the cost Russia needs to lose

    3. USS Indianapolis.May 28, 2022 at 2:31 PM

      @Finear I presume, since you are so frivolous with the lives of Ukrainians, that you'll be taking the train to the front line? Talk is cheap, comment sections are even cheaper. I look forward to your first person shaky phone cam on YouTube as you dodge metal.

      Oh wait...

      You haven't a clue.

    4. @Wartard, do you feel that Russia is in the right to claim eastern Ukraine, and to claim the rest of Ukraine?

    5. @Thor You ask the wrong question. You have applied the question of right or wrong to the conduct of war and, though you may or may not realize it, you seek a moral answer. There is no moral answer because war is legal, state sanctioned murder. And that is the end of the matter as far as geopolitics are concerned and has been this way for 10,000 years since the first armies were formed. I fear your question is different and my answer insufficient, but you see the point. War is inevitable because we are human, and we are upright apes designed for war.

    6. God man, i hate you and love you. I hate you are right, but love you for it.

      God speed wartard.

  42. Thanks for this sober analysis.

  43. So, next entry? Is it coming soon?

    1. As I said to a friend on Facebook "I'm still waiting for something decisive. The Donbass is hell on Earth right now with the Russians using their old standby, artillery and the gains are slow and steady. The Ukrainians are entrenched and difficult to surround. Sadly, the US is sending 40 billion USD not for weapons but to merely pay Ukraine's civil service to keep the country viable and afloat. This is cruel. Funding a population to fight a proxy war they cannot win just to inflict casualties on your geopolitical rival. In short, I'll write something new when I feel the inflection point for East v West approaches. And that can't be far away."

      The war is over.

      How long it lasts is up to NATO.

      As a further aside, I don't think the Russians want Kiev. I think, after the sanctions and total economic war waged against them, the Russians have decided to let the West have it. It's such a money pit to just to keep it afloat that I can imagine the Kremlin laughing as the EU freezes from no natural gas this winter as they print billions of new Euros to swap the once proud city of Kiev from one vassal empire to another.

    2. I wonder though when the Ukrainians themselves will realize that.

    3. More bullshit

  44. Anyone else notice that this article and its comment section has become the most interesting place om the Internet to analysis this war?

  45. "Overextending and Unbalancing Russia: Assessing the Impact of Cost-Imposing Options. RAND Corporation, 2019"

    This itself isn't an official plan or declaration of intent from the US, just a think tank pro/con options summary of available strategies to U.S. foreign policy, to help inform the policy debates on which of them are wise or foolish. Probably comissioned as things were heating up.

    You can see many of them being used today in the current conflict and elsewhere, and from those infer U.S. policy intentions.

    The best defence is a good offence, as the saying goes.

  46. NATO Press Conference, June 16 2022

    "We will also decide on a new NATO Strategic Concept, setting out our position on Russia, on emerging challenges, and for the first time, on China.
    And in this context, I welcome that the leaders of our Asia-Pacific partners will take part in our summit for the first time."


    Thomas Gutschker, (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung): "Thanks a lot. Secretary General, Thomas Gutschker, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Secretary General. The Pope has made a few remarks on NATO's possible contribution to the war in Ukraine. He said that we don't know the whole drama unfolding behind this war, which was and I quote him somehow either provoked or not prevented. We all know the Pope can claim infallibility for his remarks. Maybe not for this one, but I'd be keen to hear your reply. Thanks."

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: "So NATO is a defensive alliance and the war in Ukraine is President Putin's war. This is a war that he has decided to conduct against an independent sovereign nation. And what NATO has been doing for many years is to support the sovereign independent nation in Europe, Ukraine, train, assist, advise, and equip the Ukrainian Armed Forces. That is what NATO Allies and NATO have done for many years. This is not a threat to anyone. This is not a provocation. And that is what we continue to do. So, it is President Putin and Moscow that is responsible for this brutal aggression against the independent country Ukraine."

    1. Looks like Cold War II fellas, yeehaw!

    2. It's like reading the minutes of Doctor Strangelove.