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August 15, 2022

Various Points On Ukraine And Media

Let me start today's write up out with two reading recommendations.

Lambert Strether and Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism discuss a piece on the Russian operation in Ukraine that had been printed in the Marine Corps Gazette and of which facsimile pictures were published two weeks ago on Twitter and later in full at Reddit and by Southfront.

A Marine’s Assessment of Russia’s Military “Operation” in Ukraine (a “Profound Appreciation of All Three Realms in Which Wars Are Waged”)

I had read the Gazette piece when it first appeared some weeks ago and found it excellent. It realistically depicts the early Russian move towards Kiev as a feint. This is also my view. The feint, with too few troops to actually occupy Kiev, had a political and a military purpose.

Politically it put pressure on the Ukrainian government to quickly agree to Russian conditions for a ceasefire. This nearly worked when negotiations between Russia and Ukraine at the end of March in Turkey had promising results. The talks were then sabotaged by Boris Johnson's intervention in Kiev where he, speaking for Joe Biden, demanded a continuation of the war which Zelensky then promptly provided.

Militarily the feint had near prefect results. Some 100,000 Ukrainian troops were fixed around Kiev while Russian troops from Crimea moved nearly unopposed to connect the island via a land bridge to the Donbas and Russia and also grabbed a large foothold in Kherson on the west side of the Dnieper.

The hasty feint had a high price in the form of Russian casualties but helped to established front situations in the east and south that allowed for the mass destruction of Ukrainian forces with a minimum of casualties on the Russian side.

When the feint towards Kiev was no longer useful the Russian forces moved back to their starting positions without much fighting. The Ukrainian claimed that to be a victory but they had hardly anything to do with the well planned and executed retreat.

That the Gazette would print a piece that confirms this view is remarkable. Even more remarkable, as Lambert notes, is the lack of echo it has had in U.S. media:

Cont. reading: Various Points On Ukraine And Media

Posted by b at 16:57 UTC | Comments (147)

August 14, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-130

Only for news & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 12:24 UTC | Comments (209)

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-129

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

With New Weaponry, Ukraine Is Subtly Shifting Its War Strategy - New York Times
> While the approach has been aided by the long-range Western weapons, it has also been encouraged by Western officials. Mr. Reznikov, Ukraine’s defense minister, said this week that the American and British defense ministers had both offered him a piece of advice: “The Russians use meat-grinder tactics — if you plan to fight them with the same tactics, we will not be able to help you.” <
War Propaganda About Ukraine Starting to Wear Thin - Covert Action Magazine
> Contrary to the best efforts of those that have funded, molded and justified this proxy war the truth has a habit of resurfacing. It will be impossible to “manage” the oncoming tide of reality that will gush out of Ukraine as the western powers refocus on their self-inflicted domestic troubles this winter, Zelensky himself may become the fall guy for the failed NATO escapade in Ukraine. <
Monopolistic nationalisms - Yasha Levine
> Ukrainians started to coming to Canada in the 1890s. Almost all of them came from what is now western Ukraine. They came from the historic regions of eastern Galicia (Halychyna) and Bukovina. These regions were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Few of the immigrants called themselves Ukrainian. As you mentioned, Ukrainian nationalism is a modern phenomenon and while the name Ukraine is ancient, it's only in modern times that it came to be used as the name of a nation. <

---
Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-129

Posted by b at 12:23 UTC | Comments (168)

August 13, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-128

Only for news & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 14:40 UTC | Comments (139)

Iran Confirms Drone Sale To Russia - But What Will It Buy In Exchange?

Small birds do not taste well and their small bones makes eating them a fickle. I will have overcome that though as I will now have to eat some crow.

On July 12 Moon of Alabama headlined:

No, Iran Will Not Deliver Armed Drones To Russia

In March this year we were treated to an onslaught of obviously false claims that China would deliver weapons to Russia for the fight in Ukraine.
...
Now an equally stupid claim was launched by the very same liar who launched the fake Chinese weapons claim.

White House: Iran set to deliver armed drones to Russia - AP - Jul 7, 2022

...
Russia has absolutely no need to buy drones from Iran. Besides that it is dubious that Iran would be able to deliver some and certainly not 'several hundreds'.
...
The whole issues is just a talking point designed to put Iran and Russia into the same 'baddies' binder for Biden's talks in the Middle East. The countries there may not like Iran but they will certainly not allow for a condemnation of Russia. The whole idea is, as many others Sullivan had, stupid to begin with.

So no, there will not be any Iranian drones going to Russia or fly over Ukraine.

I, like the other Iran-watch writers I quoted, was wrong.

Elijah J. Magnier, who has excellent contacts within the 'axis of resistance' led by Iran, reports:

Russia buys 1,000 drones from Iran and expands the level of strategic cooperation

Cont. reading: Iran Confirms Drone Sale To Russia - But What Will It Buy In Exchange?

Posted by b at 14:29 UTC | Comments (130)

August 12, 2022

Ukraine's Mystic Kherson Offensive Did Not, And Will Not Happen

There has been much talk in 'western' media about a Ukrainian offensive in the southern Kherson region. However most of the claims made about it seem to be divorced from the observable realities on the ground. The detailed look below provides that there is no such offensive and that there is little chance that there will ever be one.

The purported offensive has for months been a core talking point:

Lets look at the map of the Kherson area and how it has changed over time. LiveUAmap, the source used here for these maps, is know to be more in favor of Ukrainian claims than Russian ones. The red parts are held by Russian forces.

This is the Kherson area as depicted on May 13, 2022:


Source LiveUAmap 13.5. - bigger

This is the Kherson area as depicted on May 14, 2022:

Cont. reading: Ukraine's Mystic Kherson Offensive Did Not, And Will Not Happen

Posted by b at 10:17 UTC | Comments (265)

August 11, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-127

Only for news & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 12:54 UTC | Comments (214)

Open (NOT Ukraine) Thread 2022-126

News & views NOT related to the Ukraine conflict ...

Posted by b at 12:52 UTC | Comments (177)

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.


bigger

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 (245)

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 at 14:01 UTC | Comments (189)