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August 10, 2022

How Ukraine Lost Its Riches

On February 24, the day Russian troops crossed the borders to Ukraine, I wrote about the potential end state of the operation:

Looking at this map I believe that the most advantageous end state for Russia would be the creation of a new independent country, call it Novorussiya, on the land east of the Dnieper and south along the coast that holds a majority ethnic Russian population and that, in 1922, had been attached to the Ukraine by Lenin. That state would be politically, culturally and militarily aligned with Russia.


This would eliminate Ukrainian access to the Black Sea and create a land bridge towards the Moldavian breakaway Transnistria which is under Russian protection.

The rest of the Ukraine would be a land confined, mostly agricultural state, disarmed and too poor to be build up to a new threat to Russia anytime soon. Politically it would be dominated by fascists from Galicia which would then become a major problem for the European Union.

On March 19 I revisited the question and added Kryvyi Rih (Kriwoi Rog in Russian), the yellow part of the map, to the list:

Cont. reading: How Ukraine Lost Its Riches

Posted by b at 14:15 UTC | Comments (49)

August 09, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-125

Only for news & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

Yesterday Russia destroyed a Ukrainian airforce command center:

High-precision long-range air-based missiles have destroyed an active buried command post of AFU Air Force near Voronivtsa, Vinnitsy Region.

Today several explosions took place at the Saki military airport on Crimea. Ukraine claims it attacked the site. There were however no incoming missiles seen or heard.

Russia considers Crimea as its territory. It had threatened to attack 'decision centers' should such attacks on its territory occur.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b on August 7, 2022 at 12:24 UTC | Permalink

Posted by b at 14:01 UTC | Comments (176)

Trump Raid Is Sabotaging The Democrats' Campaign

Over the weekend the Democrats finally passed their rather mediocre $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act, which will not reduce inflation and is mostly about climate related measures and drugs. They hope to profit from it in the November midterm election:

Vulnerable incumbent Democratic senators like Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada are already planning events promoting the landmark legislation they passed over the weekend. Democratic ad makers are busily preparing a barrage of commercials about it across key battlegrounds. And the White House is set to deploy Cabinet members on a nationwide sales pitch.

The sweeping legislation, covering climate change and prescription drug prices, which came together in the Senate after more than a year of painfully public fits and starts, has kicked off a frenetic 91-day sprint to sell the package by November — and win over an electorate that has grown skeptical of Democratic rule.

But on the very same day the the Justice Department and the FBI handed republicans a huge new rallying point that will significantly increase their election turnout:

Cont. reading: Trump Raid Is Sabotaging The Democrats' Campaign

Posted by b at 13:34 UTC | Comments (178)

August 08, 2022

Policy By Other Means - By Helmholtz Smith

by Helmholtz Smith

"Hybrid war". Western propagandists love the expression "The bad guys are doing nasty underhand things to counter our clean-cut decent and wholly justified activities" but they are just making noise. As Clausewitz knew, however, there is an actual meaning:

We see, therefore, that War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means. All beyond this which is strictly peculiar to War relates merely to the peculiar nature of the means which it uses (...) for the political view is the object, War is the means, and the means must always include the object in our conception.

In this sense, all intelligently-conducted wars are "hybrid wars" advancing on many levels to achieve the "political object" by "other means".

What is the "object"?

Cont. reading: Policy By Other Means - By Helmholtz Smith

Posted by b at 6:54 UTC | Comments (230)

August 07, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-124

Only for news & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

Off topic comments will be deleted and repeated offenders WILL get banned.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 12:24 UTC | Comments (155)

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-123

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-123

Posted by b at 12:15 UTC | Comments (161)

'Western' Conflict Reporting Has Come Down To "Officials On Our Side Said ..."

Larry Johnson is rightfully appalled by a New York Times piece that quotes a lot from 'officials' but fails to check any of their obviously false claims:

I never cease to be amazed by the utter failure of journalists to assemble facts. I think it boils down to laziness. Why should you do any independent research or thinking that requires you to go to the front lines when you can gobble up and regurgitate pre-packaged talking points? You get paid the same and hell, you might even get a Pulitzer if you are the most enthusiastic purveyor of regime bullshit.

A recent piece in the New York Times, Russia’s Shortfalls Create an Opportunity for Ukraine, Western Officials Say, illustrates this phenomena. Here are the salient points from the article by Julian Barnes and Eric Schmitt: ...

The NYT piece is also available here.

I am not going to join Larry in dispelling the myths those 'journalists' try to spread. These people do not go out into the field to look at the facts. They do not consult frontline maps, casualty statistics, structure of forces or economic data. They have no experience in the art of war. They are mere stenographers, highly paid ones, who hang on the lips of 'officials' and write down whatever the 'sources' who invite them want them to tell.

Hard to believe that? Well, here is the sourcing mentioned in the NYT piece Larry Johnson is raging about:

Cont. reading: 'Western' Conflict Reporting Has Come Down To "Officials On Our Side Said ..."

Posted by b at 8:12 UTC | Comments (127)

August 06, 2022

China's Reaction To Pelosi's Visit Reveals Its Taiwan Conflict Plans

China's response to Pelosi's visit of Taiwan continues:

Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Saturday that multiple Chinese military aircraft and vessels had operated near Taiwan in the morning in what it believed to be a simulation of an attack on Taiwan's main island.

In a brief press statement, the MND said multiple Chinese military aircraft and vessels conducted activities near Taiwan Saturday morning, with some of them crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait -- an unofficial buffer zone normally avoided by both Taiwanese and Chinese military aircraft and vessels.

The MND added that the Chinese military was likely "simulating an attack on Taiwan's main island."

The median line of the Taiwan Strait was drawn in 1955 by U.S. Airforce General Benjamin Davis. It no longer has any meaning.

Marine traffic around Taiwan continues without much trouble. Taiwan's harbors are still accessible. Ships avoid the zones China had designated as target areas.


Cont. reading: China's Reaction To Pelosi's Visit Reveals Its Taiwan Conflict Plans

Posted by b at 16:37 UTC | Comments (207)

August 05, 2022

Ukraine SitRep - Casualties Leak - Ukraine Admits Russian Breakthrough - Southern Front Paralysis

There is an report on Ukraine making the rounds that was allegedly written by the higher command of the Ukrainian army and leaked from somewhere.

Dr.Snekotron @snekotron - 12:50 UTC · Aug 5, 2022

Ukrainian channels are discussing what might be a leaked data from AFU General Staff:

- The AFU are only at 43-48% strength
- medical workers at their limit
- small arms and armor are not enough
- 191 thousand soldiers were killed and wounded (only AFU, not including others)
- there is not enough hydraulics and liquid nitrogen for M777 howitzers
- no one cares about the missing - there are no statistics
- the equipment transferred by the West is running out
- western weapons are operated by amateurs, since there are no qualified specialists
- no way to repair weapons on the spot due to the lack of spares and specialists - everything is sent to Poland

BTW, even with this dire report, I would caution against predicting a decisive break in morale. As with Peski, the walking wounded are sent straight back into the trenches

There are some pictures of documents written in cyrillic script attached to the above tweet.

The documents look legit. The overall numbers and issues mentioned seem plausible to me. The high number of casualties (plus the missing) is not astonishing. It would be astonished though if the Russian army and its allies have more than one tenth of those. This is mostly an artillery war and the Russian side has had a vast superiority in guns and missiles.

Cont. reading: Ukraine SitRep - Casualties Leak - Ukraine Admits Russian Breakthrough - Southern Front Paralysis

Posted by b at 16:49 UTC | Comments (200)

August 04, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-122

Only for news & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

Off topic comments will be deleted and repeated offenders WILL get banned.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 9:30 UTC | Comments (215)