Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 25, 2022

Propaganda Does Not Change The War - The Ukraine Is Still Losing - Updated

Updated below (17:30 UTC)

This map of the situation in Ukraine on March 24 is provided by the French Ministry of Defense.


It is likely the most realistic and neutral one available. It comes with short notes about the numbered theaters.

Here are my own takes:

  1. The Russian forces around Kiev are making no offensive moves but defend against minor unsuccessful counterattacks from the Ukrainian side (see below). I have seen no hint that Russian forces strives to get into Kiev. It would be too costly to do that and for little strategic gain.
    But the forces east and west of Kiev are binding a big part of the Ukrainian army and prevent it from sending reserves towards Donbas.
    Yesterday an air attack or missile strike destroyed the largest Ukrainian fuel depot left near Kiev. The Ukrainian army will soon lose its mobility (if it hasn't yet done so).
  2. Kharkiv is about to get encircled.
  3. Dnipro is a strategic target that the Russian forces will like to isolate or take by coming up from the south on both sides of the Dnieper river as well as from the north.
    Russian forces destroyed a railway station between Dnipro and Donbas from where resupplies were flowing to the Ukrainian forces fighting there.
  4. After large progress yesterday Mariupol is now in a mop-up situation. The Azov forces still there have no chance to survive.
  5. Russian passage through Mykolayiv towards Odessa has proven to be difficult. Artillery is now softening up the Ukrainian defense lines.
    There are unconfirmed reports of large Ukrainian losses in Mykolayiv (300+) due to a missile strike on their barracks.
The U.S. has tried to use yesterday's NATO and G-7 meeting to push the Europeans towards sanctioning Russian hydrocarbon exports. It also tried to attach China to Russia and to get the Europeans to sanction its biggest trading partner. Both attempts failed. There will be no additional sanctions on Russia. And while the NATO communique mentions China it only urges it to leave its neutral position. Everyone knows that that is not going to happen.

The only thing NATO agreed on is the release of a new load of fresh propaganda.

NATO: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops dead in Ukraine - AP

A senior NATO military official said the alliance’s estimate was based on information from Ukrainian authorities, what Russia has released — intentionally or not — and intelligence gathered from open sources. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by NATO.

Andrei Martyanov looks back at the casualties Soviet forces suffered in 1943 when they liberated Donbas from then still first class German Wehrmacht forces. Back then there were more than 1,000,000 Soviet soldiers involved against some 600,000 Germans. Some 1,600 Soviet soldiers were killed each day in fierce fighting. We are now supposed to believe that the much smaller operation against a less fierce and less capable enemy in the Ukraine is killing 550 Russian soldiers per day? That's obviously nonsense.

As one anonymous Pentagon officer said about the NATO number:

"We continue to have low confidence in those estimates"

For the record Russia's Defense Ministry just announced that as of today 1,351 Russian servicemen have been killed and 3,825 wounded. (The losses of the Lugansk and Donetsk militia are not included in those numbers.)

There is more propaganda bullshit out there like this from the New York Times:

Counteroffensive in Ukraine Shifts Dynamic of War

Sure, the headline gives that impression. But only to those who do not read down into the report:

The asserted gains in territory are hard to quantify, or verify. In at least one crucial battle in a suburb of Kyiv, where Russian troops had made their closest approach to the capital, brutal street fighting still raged on Thursday and it was not clear that Ukraine had regained any ground.

But even this muddied picture of Ukrainian progress is helpful for the country’s messaging to its citizens, and to the world — that it is taking the fight to a foe with superior numbers and weaponry, and not just hunkering down to play defense.
In Makariv, another battleground town to the west of Kyiv that Ukrainian officials claimed to have recaptured this week, the fighting was also ongoing, Vadym Tokar, the mayor, said in a telephone interview.

“I don’t understand where this nonsense came from,” he said of reports his town had been liberated. “It is not true. We have shelling and we have Russian tanks shooting into the town right now.”

Here is more 'western' media nonsense:

The Ukrainian Army Has More Tanks Now Than When The War Began—Because It Keeps Capturing Them From Russia - Forbes

Ukraine has lost at least 74 tanks—destroyed or captured—since Russia widened its war on the country starting the night of Feb. 23.

But Ukraine has captured at least 117 Russian tanks, according to open-source-intelligence analysts who scrutinize photos and videos on social media.

In other words, the Ukrainian army might actually have more tanks now than a month ago—all without building a single brand-new tank or pulling some older vehicle out of storage.

The Dutch "open-source-intelligence analysts" who came up with those stupid numbers are the people who run the Oryx website and who were also the source for this Economist bullshit:

Stijn Mitzer, an analyst in Amsterdam, and his colleagues at Oryx, a blog, track losses by surveying openly published photos and videos of the war. Nearly three weeks into Vladimir Putin’s reckless campaign, Ukraine has destroyed, damaged or captured at least 1,054 pieces of Russian equipment, about four times as many as it has lost to Russia.

Counting published photos from dubious sources in a war where both sides use the same equipment is as dumb as it gets. As even the Economist notes:

These figures are far from perfect. They are a lower bound, only counting losses confirmed by photographic or video evidence. Ukrainians are far more likely to capture such evidence and disseminate it than Russian soldiers who have probably had their phones confiscated and are, according to the Kremlin’s propaganda, on a peacekeeping mission. Nevertheless the figures provide a glimpse through the fog of war.

The figures and pictures do not provide "a glimpse through the fog of war". They ARE the fog of war.

Russian soldiers are prohibited from carrying cellphones and from taking pictures. (The Russian-Chechen militia currently cleaning up Mariupol is an exception). Ukrainian soldiers do carry cellphones and upload pictures of all kind. There are often several of each disabled vehicle from different perspectives which makes for a lot of double and triple counts. There is also the inconvenient fact that both sides use the same Soviet weapon systems which often makes it impossible to identify the side to which a vehicle belongs.

Last but not least the authors of Onyx are obviously taking sides in the conflict arguing to send more arms to the Ukraine as if that would change the inevitable outcome.

Update - 17:30 UTC

About an hour ago the Russian Ministry of Defense published the text below.

Speech of the Head of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy

The speech sets a frame for the Russian operation in the Ukraine, explains the battle plan and the so far achieved results.

As the site is blocked or difficult to reach from several countries I have uploaded the speech as a text file.

Posted by b on March 25, 2022 at 14:27 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Why does Barnard keep referring to Ukraine as "the Ukraine"? Is he some sort of East German Communist who regurgitates nonsense theories about Ukraine not being a real country?

Posted by: Ghost of Kyiv | Mar 25 2022 14:32 utc | 1

Right so a short term question I would have is , what are the Russian plans with Kharkiv. Leave alone? Isolate? Target heavy military gear? Conquer? Negotiate change of government?

Similar with Odessa. Destructive battle like Odessa? Aidar is there. Something negotiated? Abandon?

How long is the heavy militarized conflict supposed to last anyway after the east Ukrainian army is defeated?

Will they move on the west?

Is there a map of the military concentrations anyway? I don't know if there is anything significant left in the west.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 25 2022 14:37 utc | 2

The Donbas-Kessel, announced being closed since two weeks by Mercouris and others, seems to be still open.

Posted by: njet | Mar 25 2022 14:41 utc | 3

@ Ghost of Kiev
in German you would say "the Ukraine" (die Ukraine). harmless mistake.

Posted by: Sternberg | Mar 25 2022 14:46 utc | 4

I notice the French drew the "big counterattack that pushed moskals back 70km" around Kiev that the media crowed about so much as if it was fait accompli. It only ever existed on paper, the Russian reporters filmed yesterday evening in the place Ukies swore they had retaken yesterday morning, road signs and all. Just as the title says, lies do not win wars.

It seems the Russian game plan is based on tying down all Ukie forces across the territory so none of them can try to deblock or reinforce the Donbass grouping while they demolish it. The fun will begin once the Donbass Ukie remnant is gone, because Russians will have operational freedom across the entire Ukiestan, the L-DPR forces will be able to serve as the spearhead anywhere on the eastern direction up to Dnepr at least, and the 404 will have lost three quarters of its total military power in that Donbass cookpot. It seems the preparations for a northbound strike from the south indicate where that phase of the war will go. Donbass cauldron won't be over by the time that offensive happens, but it will be by the time it reaches its first big intended goals, likely sealing off Kiev's southern approaches in a hammer-and-anvil sort of pincer move and linking up with Transnistria. The meltdowns in NATOstan over all this will deplete all popcorn supplies in the world.

Posted by: Red Outsider | Mar 25 2022 14:48 utc | 5

The Ukraine is the name of the damned country; sorry Ghost; it'll be absorbed into THE BORDER, to some degree; so it's kind of moot. Any borders you'd point to are relative. Poland's borders resemble an accordion if you know history; the Ukraine hardly 30 years.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 25 2022 14:52 utc | 6

"The Ukraine" is what it used to be called.. before the USSR it wasn't a country, it was a region in southern Russia called "the Ukraine" which means "the borderlands" or "frontier region".

Posted by: oldcutlas | Mar 25 2022 14:55 utc | 7

Posted by: Red Outsider | Mar 25 2022 14:48 utc | 5

I imagine that those who desire NATO intervention are somewhat rushed. They want to supply troops to the western edge of Ukraine before the Donbass kettle in the east is completed and the troops caught within it captured or killed.

The aim may even be to prevent or prolong the formation of the kettle by focusing Russian attention to the west.

If Russia completes the kettle, captures or kills 60,000 of the Ukrainian troops, and has unfettered free reign over the east and central part of the country, then the NATO object becomes securing the western part of Ukraine as a kind of Polish protectorate.

There are still many people in the state department, media, and second-tier Nato countries who want to see armed conflict between Russia and Poland/NATO/US (all fungible), probably focused in the Western half of Ukraine.

Posted by: WJ | Mar 25 2022 14:57 utc | 8

Red, I wouldn't assume anything about that Belarusan force. A good "Judo" strategy is to never over extend if you can avoid it. The Russians have avoided any heavy commitments save in Mariupol and closing the Eastern flank; this consolidates Russia's footing and secures stated interests. Moving out West would expose those troops to unknowns and from many directions. Maybe once Dnipro is surrounded/secured... Russia may well use those forces to force a surrender, but I think they're wanting to secure the East and demilitarize and deNazify all lands East of Kiev before Russia would be willing to accept surrender terms at this point.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 25 2022 14:59 utc | 9

After a month, a good opportunity to take stock of the situation.
Linked from a comment in the previous thread, Russian MoD briefing presented some figures.

via, summarizing further:

Reported RF losses: 1351 killed 3825 wounded , may not include LNR/DNR and other off-the-books specialists

Estimated UA losses: 30k (killed + wounded + captured?), with 14k categorized as "irretrievable". 50%-70% of important UA equipment destroyed.

6500+ foreign mercenaries/etc present.
As far as on-the-ground objectives are concerned:
* The capture of DNR and "demilitarization" of the large force dug in to the LOC is going significantly slower than most commentators predicted 2 weeks ago.
* Mariupol's particularly nationalistic garrison is past the point of no return. Oligarch Akhmetov may be very disappointed that his property was not spared. When finished, RF urban-specialty troops would presumably have the chance to give their attention to the smaller bypassed urban pockets in the South, and possibly may add another dimension to action to the west of LOC.
* Overall, civilian losses and destruction of non-military targets has, thank goodness, been far below expectations.
* As mentioned by another commenter, thanks to effective propaganda, unrealistic optimism both in the West and in Ukraine, leaves little political support for compromise in the near future, even if the negotiators were better informed and wished it.
* Because the ground-objective of pushing UA forces out of DNR seems to be a fundamental one, and in light of the rate at which that is happening, the conflict seems set to drag on for many weeks, probably a few months at a minimum. This means very likely impact to both Ukraine agriculture production and ability to export by sea. This in turn would cause global problems, adding to the raw-materials squeeze from the sanctions.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 25 2022 15:00 utc | 10

The USA was experimenting on Ukrainians with unknown drugs.

"The US has been involved in testing experimental drugs on “volunteers” from the ranks of the Ukrainian military, the commander of Russia's Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Forces Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov alleged during a media briefing on Thursday.

The experimental drug testing came within the so-called UP-8 project, exposed by the Russian military earlier this month.

“We continue to publish information about the research with the participation of Ukrainian military personnel. I would like to note that such work is prohibited in the United States and is carried out by the military outside of the country,” the official stated.

“According to data published in the Bulgarian media, about 20 Ukrainian soldiers died during the experiments in the Kharkov laboratory alone, and another 200 were hospitalized,” Kirillov added, while claiming that “more than four thousand people” were involved in the testing in Ukraine."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 25 2022 15:02 utc | 11

Why does Barnard keep referring to Ukraine as "the Ukraine"? Is he some sort of East German Communist who regurgitates nonsense theories about Ukraine not being a real country?

Posted by: Ghost of Kyiv | Mar 25 2022 14:32 utc | 1

Dear Fraudulent Airplane,

I don't know about "Barnard" but my reason for preferring "the Ukraine" is that it pisses people like you off. If you prefer, I can write "Ukronazistan" or "404" in the future.

Posted by: malenkov | Mar 25 2022 15:02 utc | 12

@1 Because 'Ukraine' translates as 'the borderlands' you effing troll.

Posted by: par4 | Mar 25 2022 15:02 utc | 13

This conflict fits into the US calculus in a lot of ways, but in the long-term they are probably
The 24/7 MSM push 2 months ago that the Russians would invade in the next 24/48 hours was because the US gov. knew they were creating facts in the ground in Ukraine that would force a military response from Russia. Also, this conflict seems to achieve a number of objectives for US policy:

- Get the European colonies in order, dissipating the talks about strategic autonomy of Europe.
- Turbo-charge a decoupling between Russia and Europe, specifically in the economic, political and energy areas.
- Massive profits for the MIC.
- Have someone to blame (Putin) for the inflationary pressures that have been mounting in the Western Camp for the last year, and that will keep growing.
- Slow down (if stopping is not possible) the Eurasian integration process lead by Russia and China.

The US decided to use the Ukrainians as cannon fodder in their desperate attempts to retain its hegemony over the world, but we will see if the financial 'power' of the West is enough to feed its population and keep the lights on.

Posted by: some noob | Mar 25 2022 15:03 utc | 14

@njet | Mar 25 2022 14:41 utc | 3

Hmm, I watch Mercouris regularly but didn't notice any such claim from him; sounds also out of character given his caution about military claims. Could you point out where you saw him make it? I did see it from the Saker, and going by almost all other sources (what else can one do) he was wildly premature. His Orthodox passions may color his view to be too optimistically pro-Russian; not for the first time either.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Mar 25 2022 15:04 utc | 15

don't know if Russia has a plan to integrate west Ukraine as well, or if it's still surveying the situation.

not integrating it leaves a site of instability and a point for US interference. but it is also too different from the eastern oblasts to constitute part of a cohesive whole. past voting patterns are split between east and west.

if west Ukraine is split off to form a separate state, it will suffer economically. that by itself makes it vulnerable to interference and unstable. people like the saker basically say it's a shithole and they don't want it but the new republics don't a shithole right next door either.

we can now only wait to see how facts on the ground materialize, but the road map going forward seems quite unclear.

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 25 2022 15:05 utc | 16

Ghost of Kyiv | Mar 25 2022 14:32 utc | 1

Why does Barnard keep referring to Ukraine as "the Ukraine"? Is he some sort of East German Communist who regurgitates nonsense theories about Ukraine not being a real country?

Probably the same reason people refer to "The Bahamas", "The Maldives", "The Gambia", "The Netherlands" "The Democratic Republic of the Congo" and "The United States of America". It's the name of the country.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Mar 25 2022 15:07 utc | 17


Ukraine COULD have been a real country, if only it wasn't swallowed up by the Great Satan. Now like an old jalopy it will be sold off for its parts.

Most people in most countries in the world have 'buyer's remorse' for accepting freedom and democracy from the Empire of Lies For Profits. Read Confessions of an Economic Hitman, and The Shock Doctrine. What the United States tells itself about itself is the epitome of The Big Lie.

Posted by: gottlieb | Mar 25 2022 15:07 utc | 18

This could be the root of the phosphorous propaganda from the West, and Biden hints here that Nato could take action.

"Biden said NATO would “respond” if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine, but he would not say how that would manifest itself. Washington and its allies have made allegations in recent days that Moscow might be preparing to use chemical weapons in Ukraine. Russia has rejected the assertions and countered that Kiev might be planning a “false flag” to pin the blame on Moscow and trigger a NATO intervention."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 25 2022 15:08 utc | 19

Well Europeans can expect to pay far higher costs for US gas than Russian gas, the US has finally got part of what it wants, Russian gas out of the way and their higher cost gas in.

"The European Union has reached an agreement to buy at least 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) more from the US this year in order to lower its dependence on Russian natural gas, Bloomberg reported citing industry sources. However, American imports would cover just a fraction of Europe’s energy demand.

The deal is expected to be announced officially by US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen later on Friday.

Under the agreement, the parties are to form a special working group to monitor Europe’s energy needs. Sources also say that the deal provides for increasing US LNG exports for 2023."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 25 2022 15:14 utc | 20

ptb, the Ag conclusions may be hasty; the farmlands are likely pretty damned calm even during war; the fields will be flat/low no matter what, be it Winter Wheat, or Spring Wheat; we're talking about Ottowa, Northern Canada; they still have a month of freezes to go. If we agree that Russia isn't laying waste to infrastructure, and certainly would have little interest in laying siege to farmlands, assuming major interruptions in farm production are speculative. Sewing isn't terribly labor intensive; with all the "aid" rushing in; one would hope John Deere and Caterpillar are getting some benefit and it's not ALL going to arms producers. Dunno.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 25 2022 15:15 utc | 21

RepublicofScotland, the US does those very trials all over the US too. They usually pay about $100/day, but it's pretty widespread among the plasma seller set.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 25 2022 15:16 utc | 22

Re my (20) comment, maybe not so fast, Europeans can still save themselves from higher costs, if they act.

"Replacing Russian natural gas on the European market is “not practically possible,” Qatari Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said in an interview with CNN on Thursday.

The official, who is also the president and CEO of state-owned QatarEnergy, noted that “from 30 to 40% of the total volume of gas supplied to the world market comes from Russia.”"

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 25 2022 15:17 utc | 23

@ Troll of Kiev: ever heard of "The Netherlands"?

Posted by: Feral Finster | Mar 25 2022 15:17 utc | 24

“… the lowered “iron curtain” of information…” This from the Russian MoD briefing. Excellently put.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Mar 25 2022 15:19 utc | 25

The "Russia is losing" theme that dominates western media has a clear propaganda purpose. It leads directly to the "Russia was desperate" which will be used to keep people from thinking clearly about the false flag they intend to stage. Obviously if instead it was clear that Russia has destroyed 85% of the Ukrainian military the public would see that it makes no sense for them to resort to chemical weapons and that the side desperate to get NATO involvement might have other motives.

Posted by: RootBier | Mar 25 2022 15:22 utc | 26

Judging by the amount of drivel from Poland I am almost certain that Russia and Poland agreed on the division of Ukraine before the war. Poland is just publicly making "virtual" aggressive moves toward Russia to show the west how anti Russian they are, while in reality they are preparing to take western Ukraine, which was traditionally theirs anyway. I think Ukraine will be no more after this excursion. Perhaps Russia is making amends with Poland by giving them their share. If this is correct, I think it's a good move.

Posted by: Balkanizer | Mar 25 2022 15:22 utc | 27

ScottinDallas (22).

I'm guessing you are replying to my (11) comment.

It depends what drugs they are using and for what purpose, we know that biolabs in Ukraine had pathogens in them and that the US removed what it could, and that Ukrainian personnel were not allowed access.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 25 2022 15:23 utc | 28

Posted by: Ghost of Kyiv | Mar 25 2022 14:32 utc | 1

You dont understand German and make nonsense statemnts regarding b.'s use of "the Ukraine". Learn German, then you understand where b. is coming from.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Mar 25 2022 15:26 utc | 29

@21 ScottinDallas

Hope so. I take your point about the sowing not being labor intensive. There's a business side to it too. If you're a landowner or corporation managing this business, and you aren't sure who the land will belong to in 3 months, aren't even sure if there will be access to seaports, do you still put down the money now to get the season started? Especially now that some of the material inputs are more expensive than ever...

Posted by: ptb | Mar 25 2022 15:26 utc | 30

RepofScotland; the US and Israel have used White Phosphorus so often so recently, that's going nowhere. LNG is expensive and thus silly; The boats are expensive, the ports are expensive. I know there's some excess capacity round Houston/Gulf, maybe a bit more; Nigeria and Algeria have some capacity they could probably bring to market, but new pipe lines or LNG ports are again expensive and take time; and a pipeline can make them obsolete. It's hard to flip something like that on a dime.

Where are you on Scottish independence, I thought Brexit might result in them breaking out; these events seem have really made Brexit a back burner issue. Which adds intrigue to the idea of the US/UK vs EU angle regarding this Ukraine issue. And UK is a net exporter too are they not?

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 25 2022 15:29 utc | 31

The "real" map of military action according to RF MinDef.

Posted by: Boo | Mar 25 2022 15:30 utc | 32

Kukulkan (17)

Some countries have the word (The) officially in their name.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 25 2022 15:30 utc | 33

From RF MinDef:

Smoking gun document(s) for Ukrainian assault planned for beg. of March. Memo from Nat. Guardian boss general-colonnel Balan on 22 Feb. to prepare by 28th of February.

Posted by: Boo | Mar 25 2022 15:34 utc | 34

Also The Argentine, old fashioned but still correct. These wokies/ open borderers /ukro nationalists are either very ignorant or very biased or both! Yuck!

Posted by: Brother Ma | Mar 25 2022 15:38 utc | 35

@some noob,
All of those things require putting significant planning in place to actualize. I don’t disagree that your list is the 30,000’ view of the US plan. And a splendid little war that saw Russia embarrassed after US bullying would have made it work (maybe, if it did destabilize Russia). Or, the US assumed Russia would make a dash for Kiev and then an insurgency of the bypassed troops could grind Russia down.

But if these were the US plans, they were developed on best-case scenarios with no responses to different outcomes or realistic plan B, C, D and E. Because now the most realistic projection for the near term is almost the opposite of what the plan was and likely economically and politically destabilizing the whole of the west in under 5 years.

Posted by: Lex | Mar 25 2022 15:43 utc | 36


No it's not a harmless mistake. It's not a mistake at all. Some call it country 404, I.e a failed state, like Andrei Martyanov and others like Bernhard and the Saker call it "the ukraine" for the same reason.

This might be offensive to some Nazi affiliated Banderista ukranians and before the US imposed coup in 2014 even to many more but after 8 years of Nazi rule and countless of unspeakable crimes against humanity, im pretty sure that those "unfortunate" of not being heirs to Nazi criminals wouldn't mind at all. This abomination has forfeited any reason to exist...

Posted by: mikhas | Mar 25 2022 15:45 utc | 37

Thanks for the map b.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 25 2022 15:45 utc | 38

Vladimir Putin compared the current attack on Russian culture in Western countries with what happened in Nazi Germany

The Russian leader spoke about the "culture of cancellation" at a meeting with the laureates of the Presidential Prize in the field of literature and art, calling the current situation "cancellation of culture." In his opinion, ostracism and suppression of facts that do not fit into their patterns are now flourishing in Western countries.

“Movies have come out in Hollywood over and over again in which the only victors of Nazism were called the United States. At the same time, the courage, heroism and victory of the Red Army, its decisive contribution, were simply taken and canceled. And in Japan, on the day of remembrance of the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they either bashfully keep silent about who dropped the bombs, or write obvious nonsense - they say that some abstract allies did it, ”Putin said.

Posted by: Kim | Mar 25 2022 15:46 utc | 39


Poland isn't getting anything in the Ukraine my guy aside from Zircon and Kinzhal love if they get too uppity.

Posted by: Gege | Mar 25 2022 15:54 utc | 40

Rough translation: chatter and speculation about de facto partition of (the) Ukraine. In case of succesful move from the main Russian forces from Donbass to Kiev, the US-led NATO is expected to take Lvov. Questions about the multiple visits from CIA/Army bosses in Moscow before the offensive, relocation of ambasadors/consulates, Kiev in the pro-russian part, etc.

Posted by: Boo | Mar 25 2022 15:55 utc | 41

Ghost of Kyiv aske in the very first comment:

"Why does Barnard keep referring to Ukraine as "the Ukraine"? Is he some sort of East German Communist who regurgitates nonsense theories about Ukraine not being a real country?"

The answer, Specter of Kiev, i simple: In English, German and Scandinavian languages, some states and countries take the definite article while other place- and state-names do not: "The Netherlands" or "The Low Countries" for the Durch Kingdom, "The Argentine" has been a common usage. In German and French, we have "Die Schweitz/La Suisse" and so forth. In my own language, the county of Nordland" has no article, while the new County of "Vestlandet" is in the definite form of that noun. Easy as that! If we just wrote "Ukraine" it bight mean "a boarder"while "The Ukraine" means "The border Nation" --peace of Kake!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Mar 25 2022 15:59 utc | 42

@Sternberg #4:

harmless mistake.

There are historical reasons for the definite article.

Netherlands (nederland) literally means “lower countries”. The definite article is added to distinguish the specific territory, the Netherlands (so it’s not taken to mean some arbitrary lower countries, but the Lower Countries).

Ukraine (okraina, oukraina) literally means “borderlands”. The definite article is added to distinguish the specific territory, the Ukraine (so it’s not taken to mean some arbitrary borderlands, but the Borderlands).

Ukrainian Nationalists came up with a theory that the usage of the definite article in “the Ukraine” is an evil Russian plot to deny Ukrainians their dignity or whatever and kept nagging the U.S. and the U.K. about this until they forced their media to drop the article. (Note that the U.S. and the U.K. themselves have the definite article and are not perceived as “inferior countries” because of that.) Similarly, they nagged them about changing from Kiev—a spelling that has been in use for hundreds of years—to unpronounceable Kyiv, even though English-language media continues to write Munich (not München), Moscow (not Moskva), Rome (not Roma), etc.

There’s a parallel story in Russian language, where the correct way of writing “in the Ukraine” is “na Ukraine”, yet Ukrainian Nationalists demand that Russians use incorrect “v Ukraine” because the “v” preposition is used with most countries and Ukrainian Nationalists think that using “na” is some kind of insult, even though it has always been written like that. Cuba is also used with “na”—“na Kube” (“in Cuba”)—and nobody thinks that Cuba is an “inferior country” because of that.

Posted by: S | Mar 25 2022 16:02 utc | 43

With the Ukraine conflict, hitlers gold train has finally arrived at a Polish station. Free EU/UK/US money.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 25 2022 16:07 utc | 44

By the way, dear Ghost: I and many other prefer the spelling "Kiev" not because it is Russian, but due to being the traditional name in English. Most Germanic speakers would be at a loss or simply unable to pronounce "Kyiv" correctly.
And should we talk of "Chicken Kyiv" instead of the established Russian and English names for that signature dish?
Likewise, I prefer "Lemberg" to "Lviv" since I've known many stemming from that fair City and who have used the former irrespective of which language they spoke: Americans, Ukrainians, Russians, Yiddish and Hebrew speakers -- all of them!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Mar 25 2022 16:09 utc | 45

❗️Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Nikolaev are blocked by Russian troops, Kherson and most of the Zaporozhye region are under full control - the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The department added that the tasks of the military operation in Ukraine are carried out taking into account minimizing losses among personnel and minimizing damage to civilians

❗️The Ukrainian air force and air defense system have been almost completely destroyed, the country's navy has ceased to exist - RF Ministry of Defense

❗️The presence of Russian troops in the area of ​​the blockaded cities of Ukraine fetters the forces of Kyiv - Russian Defense Ministry

“Initially, we did not plan to storm them in order to prevent destruction and minimize losses among personnel and civilians. Although we do not exclude such a possibility, as individual groupings complete the tasks set, and they are successfully solved, our forces and means will be concentrated on the main thing - the complete liberation of Donbass," the Defense Ministry said.

❗️The RF Armed Forces hit 16 main military airfields, from which combat sorties of Ukrainian aviation were carried out, 39 arsenals were destroyed, where up to 70% of all stocks of military equipment of Ukraine were stored - RF Ministry of Defense

The department also reported that out of 2,416 tanks and other combat armored vehicles that were in service with the Ukrainian army on February 24, 1,587 were destroyed.

Posted by: Kim | Mar 25 2022 16:13 utc | 46

Ghost of Kyiv@1 Well Trolled.
Of the first 42 comments after yours, 14 or a third, are replies to your idiotic and irrelevant question.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 25 2022 16:16 utc | 47

Why does Barnard keep referring to Ukraine as "the Ukraine"? Is he some sort of East German Communist who regurgitates nonsense theories about Ukraine not being a real country?

Posted by: Poofter of Kyiv | Mar 25 2022 14:32 utc | 1

It sure isn't a democracy as the grifting west with it's ideas of the democracy industry allege.
It's a puppet state like the US. Your limp wristed panty waist clown takes his orders from the pedo US power puppet, Biden. You need some iodine supplement to get over the room temperature IQ and I see the Russians are teaching you twits some manners in THE Ukraine.

Posted by: Adolfina Schicklegru | Mar 25 2022 16:18 utc | 48

Why are we wasting space to reply to Trolls?

Let us invoke the 12th Commandment: "The Trolls shall not be fed"

= = = = = =

@ b.

Deeply appreciative of your great work.

Using your instructions on email format found on Main page, email returned invalid. Mailbox not found. I wish to have you confirm new mode for another donation.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 25 2022 16:21 utc | 49

thanks b

and thanks ptb for the update and back and forth with scott in dallas on the grain cultivation and etc...

@ bevin.. it is such a shame so many posters here even bother to respond to the stupidity... oh well..

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2022 16:22 utc | 50

Likklemore | Mar 25 2022 16:21 utc | 49

is this what you are using?? works for me..


Posted by: james | Mar 25 2022 16:24 utc | 51

@47 Couldn't help noticing that myself. I thought all the meat was picked off the definite article question months ago.

Anybody wondering what happened to the thousands of Azov fighters who were supposed to be in Mariupol? That's a lot of bodies/prisoners.
Could most of them have slipped quietly away?

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2022 16:24 utc | 52

What is the proportion of state budgets of Baltic states and Poland provided by EU, NATO, and US? Doesn't this explain their eagerness to forego trade with Russia and refuse Russian energy imports?

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 25 2022 16:27 utc | 53

Two pieces at today. One on a prisoner swap: Assange for Navalny.
The second, more interesting to MoA readers on the Biden reference yesterday to Chemical Weapons. Doctorow puts it in the context of Russian media's calls for explanations, from the US, of the Biolabs in Ukraine and elsewhere.
The speech afforded Stoltenberg- current best bet for Nobel Propagandist and liar of the year award- to wheel out the discredited Sarin attack on White Helmets nonsense. This man really was wasted as Prime Minister of a Nordic nation, he is a political Baron Munchausen.

Also of interest is this report, with photographs in by Sonja van den Ende
"Intrepid Reporter Finds that the Russians Were Welcomed as Liberators in the Southern Ukrainian City of Henichesk along the Sea of Azov"

Posted by: bevin | Mar 25 2022 16:30 utc | 54

The Ukraine/Ukraine, Kiev/Kyiv, Lvov/Lviv - a good topic for light entertainment amidst more serious matters. Western reporters religiously use Ukraine, Lviv and Kyiv so as not to offend their nationalist clients.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 25 2022 16:33 utc | 55

Stoltenberg is just another talking head for usa-nato empire building... he is full of shit and anyone who believes a word he says has damaged grey matter.. norwegian has hammered on about this for at least the past 2-3 years here at moa and rightly so.. as for the assange for navalny trade - i doubt the usa-uk would go along with that as navalny is of no value outside russia - or inside for that matter!

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2022 16:36 utc | 56

I was trying to find out the latest update about Mariupol when I came across this gem of a Tweet

Anastasiia Lapatina
Mar 24
BREAKING: Russians are deporting Ukrainians from sieged #Mariupol to Russia en masse – at least 6,000 people have already been displaced. Russians force people on buses and take them to “filtration camps,” after which people are sent to distant Russian cities.

So this is how they are spinning ethnic Russians fleeing to Russian held zones for safety from the Neo-Nazis that currently occupy a diminishing area of Mariupol.

Posted by: Down South | Mar 25 2022 16:39 utc | 57

wonder how long it will take before the divergence between reality and the propaganda starts to become more apparent to significant numbers of people in the US and NATO countries?

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 25 2022 16:48 utc | 58

If the European Union has an agreement to replace cheap Russian gas with expensive US gas, then Russia is likely to push Europe towards buying more US gas than European wallets can comfortably deal with.

Posted by: Passerby | Mar 25 2022 16:49 utc | 59

previous thread -

@ Vintage Red | Mar 25 2022 4:38 utc | 276

thanks! the book is a short read... 82 stanzas... you can ponder 1 a day and be finished in less then 3 months!

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2022 16:50 utc | 60

@ cabe

update... she concedes that she doesn't want to talk about it... i accept... end of conversation... thanks again for your valuable contributions here at moa..

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2022 16:51 utc | 61

Re: "Ukraine" vs "The Ukraine" ...

It was the wish of Ukraine's government, well before all this business started getting ugly in 2013**, to drop the definite article (i.e. just "Ukraine"). This is for English language, I can't speak for German etc. Around the early 2010's they made a point of reaching out to English language media to standardize this. Why antagonize Ukrainian readers over this? IMO it's only harmful to loading a minor linguistic technicality with political significance... Similarly with the way western-language translations of place names differ, depending on whether they are translated from Ukrainian or Russian, and this becomes sortof a calling card of the speaker's affiliation, and then something that inevitably antagonizes half the readers one way or the other. Pointless.

** Note re: year 2013 -- there were back and forth agitations since early 2000's, but the year 2013 took it to a whole new level IMO

Posted by: ptb | Mar 25 2022 16:51 utc | 62

Progress does not necessarily show on a map.
Map does not reflect force concentrations and reinforcement and there are issues of terrain and rivers and roadways and other structures. Then the map does not reflect to actual military strength in any area. I suspect that the Russia presnce would look like a series of wiggly lines roughly boardering the areas of strategic interest. I suspect a problem for the attacking force is the need to move which may require use of roads rather than through fields. I imagine its fairly complicated. And they might not want to make obvious their plan of attack.

The media are now talking about pregress of talks and Russian strategy. Anything not coming from Russia is purely gossip often to suit agenda.

Posted by: jared | Mar 25 2022 16:52 utc | 63

the US would never trade Navalny for Assange. Assange is far too useful as a lesson to anybody that might want to practice journalism during one of the wars the US is either instigating or waging, which effectively means all the time, while Navanly is only useful as a prisoner in Russia. For the US and NATO, that would be a lose lose proposition.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 25 2022 16:52 utc | 64

Good story by Mike Whitney on the situation in the Ukraine. In the end he concludes that the media feels that Hunter Biden's laptop- no longer a threat to their election victory- gives them complete leverage over the President.

Whitney quotes the neo-con Jacob Dreizin, on the subject of escalation
"...Brandon doesn’t want to do it, but the hawks in Congress and the MSM are running the show now. There will be escalation. It is baked into the cake. In fact, I predicted before the invasion that Poland would take advantage of the war to create a protectorate in western Ukraine, and I stand by my prediction…”

Posted by: bevin | Mar 25 2022 16:53 utc | 65

@ comment 1: it's kinda not. very few countries in "eastern europe" are "real". if you had even the basic knowledge of what happened after WWII and/or what happened to "yugoslavia" you'd realize that. are the golan heights a "real" part of the "real" country called israel? borders are man made bullsh_t and always have been. but then you're named after an imaginary person so what should i expect.

as for western stupidity, the one i keep seeing everywhere is "derp russians are dying by the dozens from frostbite derrrrrrp". f_cking "frostbite". in f_cking MARCH. it's f_cking 8 degrees celcius in kiev as i type this.

also saw some inane dipshittery about "the pentagon says ukies have pushed russians back 34km from a major city". and of course more random "war pictures" that are exposed as bullsh_t with a simple reverse image search.

Posted by: the pair | Mar 25 2022 16:54 utc | 66

Posted by: Ghost of Kyiv | Mar 25 2022 14:32 utc | 1

Such withering criticism and so profoundly based upon legitimate issues noted in b's writeup. How do you do it?

But you *did* get the first comment; exciting amirite?!

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 25 2022 16:56 utc | 67

So this is how they are spinning ethnic Russians fleeing to Russian held zones for safety from the Neo-Nazis that currently occupy a diminishing area of Mariupol.

Posted by: Down South | Mar 25 2022 16:39 utc | 57

That was the spin on the Canadian news last night as well. Completely ignoring that Mariupol is a mostly Russian speaking city and that heading east is the shortest and safest path out of the conflict.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Mar 25 2022 16:57 utc | 68

Scott in Dallas@21. Buhler Equipment, major Canadian and international farm machinery manufacturer bought by a Russian group several years ago. No need for JD. Assholes in Ottawa forced the Russian CEO out recently. Syria has been at war for ten years or so, terrorists still have time to burn the crops come harvest time. Farmland is far removed from cities, not much to defend and cows are lousy at playing human shield, leaves ones legs exposed. As long as they can get fuel and seed to plant the Ukrainian farmers will do just fine, and come harvest.....well, Russia will have solved that problem too.

Cheer M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Mar 25 2022 16:58 utc | 69

American Mercenaries in the battles near kiev.

Posted by: Kim | Mar 25 2022 16:58 utc | 70

By the way, dear Ghost: I and many other prefer the spelling "Kiev" not because it is Russian, but due to being the traditional name in English. Most Germanic speakers would be at a loss or simply unable to pronounce "Kyiv" correctly.
And should we talk of "Chicken Kyiv" instead of the established Russian and English names for that signature dish?
Likewise, I prefer "Lemberg" to "Lviv" since I've known many stemming from that fair City and who have used the former irrespective of which language they spoke: Americans, Ukrainians, Russians, Yiddish and Hebrew speakers -- all of them!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Mar 25 2022 16:59 utc | 71

it's still getting down to freezing, if you're wearing sandals or get your feet wet you could get frostbite, but "frostbite" kills very few; now hypothermia will get you. It's hard to imagine the Russian army is fitted out like the Jamaican police though. Those hard white hats might make sense if it were still snowy, but I for one remain skeptical.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 25 2022 17:06 utc | 72

There may be an exit ramp from the current Ukraine catastrophe, but Professor Thomas Homer-Dixon believes the current trajectory is more dangerous than was the Cuban Missile crisis of 1963. His subhead summarizes the problem. "This time, ‘Mutual Assured Destruction’ might not work. The Russian leader has already shown extreme irrationality in his calamitous choice to start this war."
Here are the two things he says the West must do.
“To lower the probability that Putin will pull the trigger, the West needs to do two things, and fast. First, we should immediately and publicly declare that we’re not pursuing regime change in Moscow. We should also declare that our sole aim is to get Russian forces to halt their invasion and withdraw from Ukraine, and that, if these things happen, all sanctions will be promptly lifted. Statements like the one made recently by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, in which he encouraged Russians to assassinate Putin, are idiocy. Putin’s propagandists have already widely exploited Graham’s words in Russia’s state-controlled media.”
What are the chances that the West will recognize and create the political space to take the course that H-D believes can keep the war from escalating?

Posted by: Ronald | Mar 25 2022 17:07 utc | 73

I am getting ready to shit slam CNN on all cylinders...stay tuned.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 25 2022 17:10 utc | 74

The Russian language as with most Slavic languages have no article--a/an, the--which is rather confusing to speakers of languages that do as they always want to add one because in their native language that's grammatically correct. Okay class? Russian Grammar Lesson for the Day is now over.


I linked to article by Yves at NC since it discusses the fallout related to Putin's order for all hydrocarbons purchased by unfriendly nations to be in rubles, and also because one of the comments was made by Michael Hudson. But Hudson's comment makes no sense unless the whole article is read. The most fascinating part for me is the feverish activity going on in India since it has the longest history of using currency swaps with Russia, and the number of nations asking for advice/assistance is very large, which points to the abject failure of the Outlaw US Empire's policy ploy. Yes, it's not about Ukraine but it is about Ukraine and the Global Big Picture in the struggle for dominance between the Eurasiaan Bloc and the remnants of the dollar/euro bloc as the Empire fights to defeat the emergence of a Multipolar World.

One of the more important segments Yves cites is the comment providing this excerpt which is detailed:

India, one of the major economies and the largest democracy in the world has already been trading with Russia under Rouble – Rupee exchange agreements for many decades. Indian banking and finance lawyers privately say that India’s finance ministry along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Bank of Russia is “racing against time” in exploring options to “internationalise” Russian version of the SWIFT version – SPFS, starting with India as a launch base outside Russia (being helped by the fact that India has reservations in dealing with China’s CIPS – China’s version for SWIFT – though it is ready to accept expansion of China’s UnionPay card payment system subject to restrictions).

In fact many Indian online retailers, like Israeli online retailers and service providers, have/are on the verge of setting up Russia’s Mir card payment system online to enable Russian citizens to trade with/buy products from India.

Israel has/soon to have similar arrangements in place. Turkey, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Argentina, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and many AU countries and of course China all have (or most already rushing to have) rouble + their respective currency exchange agreements in place.

A number of lawyers based at Indian corporate law firms in Mumbai say “they are working around the clock” like never before following the outbreak of Ukraine war, in advising number of governments of African Union countries on enabling rouble-based trades and also currently advising many of the corporations and conglomerates based in emerging markets on setting up rouble based contracts, given India’s half-a-century unsurpassed experience in trading with Russia under rouble – rupee exchange agreement/and or rouble – rupee swaps.

European refusal to cut their own throats over energy is huge and is the first step toward the breaking up of NATO and EU. Soon, a slew of dollars will wash up on the Empire's shores and push inflation even higher as the dollar's purchasing power plummets. Also of interest is Yves linking to a recent Dallas Fed report barflies will be keen to read. One purpose of the 24/7 bombastic propaganda is to cover up the unfolding financial reality of Biden's poly, although insiders have their own communication platforms where they can get genuine information.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2022 17:11 utc | 75

Sean, I can hear strains of Hank Williams Jr.

I can plow a field all day long
I can catch catfish from dusk 'til dawn
We make our own whiskey and our own smoke, too
Ain't too many things these old boys can't do
We grow good old tomatoes and homemade wine
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Because you can't starve us out
And you can't make us run
'Cause we're them old boys raised on shotgun
And we say "grace" and we say "Ma'am"
And if you ain't into that we don't give a damn

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 25 2022 17:11 utc | 76

I don't like the subhead of the article
"The Russian leader has already shown extreme irrationality in his calamitous choice to start this war."
the US and NATO put him in a box, his choices were extremely limited.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 25 2022 17:11 utc | 77

@ptb #62:

Similarly with the way western-language translations of place names differ, depending on whether they are translated from Ukrainian or Russian, and this becomes sortof a calling card of the speaker's affiliation, and then something that inevitably antagonizes half the readers one way or the other. Pointless.

It’s not pointless. 95% of Kiev residents speak Russian in their daily lives. In Russian, the city is named Киев, which is transliterated as Kiev. The pronounciation in something between Kiev and Kiiv. A long vowel, basically. Not Kyiv. What’s going on here is that an aggressive minority⁠—Galicians backed by the Western powers-that-be⁠—is using lies and violence to erase Russian language, Russian culture, Russian history in the Ukraine. When one is writing Kiev, one is simply reflecting reality, both historical reality and present-day reality. When one is writing Kyiv, one is engaging in the Western project of anti-Russian culturocide.

Posted by: S | Mar 25 2022 17:14 utc | 78

Sputniknews Banner

Ukraine's Air Force, Air Defences Almost Completely Destroyed, Navy Has Ceased to Exist: Russian MoD

[.]Ukraine's air and air defence forces have been almost completely destroyed, and the country's navy has effectively ceased to exist, Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate chief Sergei Rudskoy has said.
The campaign to demilitarize Ukraine is taking place via precision strikes against military infrastructure facilities, areas of deployment of formations of troops, as well as airfields, command posts, arsenals and depots containing weapons and equipment, plus battles between Ukrainian and Russian forces, Rudskoy said in a briefing Friday.[.]

= = = = =

@ james 51

Many Thanks. I will try your format which differs from that on main page.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 25 2022 17:14 utc | 79

Lex #36 - "But if these were the US plans, they were developed on best-case scenarios with no responses to different outcomes or realistic plan B, C, D and E."

It's curious there has been such a lurching improvised quality to US/NATO/EU responses, particularly as it has seemed the goading of RF into Ukraine was set policy with many weeks to prepare for it. The rush to the top of the sanctions/banking pressure escalation ladder by the EU on the first weekend will have to at some point be explained. Biden came into yesterday's NATO meeting talking up more sanctions and "costs" - but there is nothing left in that tool-kit. It also seems the reality of being wholly dependent on RF gas just sunk in yesterday as well.

Associated with events in Mariupol yesterday was much talk from RF side that reconstruction programs in the city
will be a priority. This supports the notion that the entire Donbass region at least will be considered independent from Ukraine at the end of all this and reintegrated into the Russian economic sphere.

Posted by: jayc | Mar 25 2022 17:17 utc | 81

Its name and shame time as Poland and Nato members finger point at European nations that are still trading with Russia, Biden said that Nato had set up a body to specifically deal with on compliant members.

I'm sure I'd put my countries interests ahead of that of Nato's and the USA's personal agenda.

"Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki named three European countries on Friday that oppose blocking trade relations with Russia, and have acted as “brakes” with regard to further sanctions in retaliation to its offensive in Ukraine.

“Poland strongly emphasized the need to limit the trade in hydrocarbons. Unfortunately, large countries, such as Germany, but also small ones, such as Austria and Hungary, are more restrained. They refrain from stopping trade with Russia here and now,” the prime minister said ahead of NATO talks in Brussels, adding that he hopes to convince them to share Poland’s point of view. "

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 25 2022 17:20 utc | 82

Pepe Escobar is now banned on Twitter and Scott Ritter being censored !!!. The Twit is an extension of ... feel free to fill in the blanks.

Escobar's last Tweet, March 23, was that Odessa was blocked and the Ukies can't be resupplied from Romania.

Scott observes that "Zelensky is reading from a script" written by the 3 letter agency, the (c)eeing-(eye) -(a)pple.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 25 2022 17:24 utc | 83

Tollef at @70

Well, "Peking", "Bombay", "Madras" and "Ayer's Rock" used to be the traditional names in English for several non Western sites. But when the local speakers objected, most English speakers deferred and started using "Beijing", "Mumbai", "Chennai" and Uluru" instead.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Mar 25 2022 17:26 utc | 84

@Ronald #72 quoting Prof. Thomas Homer-Dixon:

“Putin’s propagandists have already widely exploited Graham’s words in Russia’s state-controlled media.”

Translation from hate-speak: “Russian journalists have already accurately reported Graham’s words to Russians.”

Posted by: S | Mar 25 2022 17:28 utc | 85

@S 77

I understand the difference. Russian vs Ukrainian language and culture are a bitter and long-running source of conflict, and IMO anyone who is denied the use of their native language has a valid grievance. This element of ethnic conflict was repeated already in so many places, and the obvious real-world solution used in many countries, is to have an official bilingual system. IIRC, it was one of the elements of the Minsk agreements. And one which the current UA government singled out as offensive to them. That's worth my attention. Getting emotional about translations into a third language, which often can't correctly render the sounds of the original languages anyway, is just distracting.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 25 2022 17:31 utc | 86

For some better news:

Dutch TTF natgas futures (quoted via ICE) have have cooled down, returning roughly to the levels of March 21 -- as usual I'm looking out to DEC'22 to represent next heating season.

This suggests market participants think a working compromise will be found to arrange payments for natgas, in spite of central bank sanctions on Russia and the resulting requirement of Ruble payments for countries enforcing the sanctions.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 25 2022 17:40 utc | 87

Just a remark on grand strategy -- I believe that Russia will want to avoid a complete conquest of the Ukraine because it will need a negotiating partner to agree to a treaty that includes constitutional changes. If the government completely disintegrates, Russia will be in a position of having to impose a new entity with which to make an agreement, which clearly would have serious legitimacy issues.

If I was Russia, I would want an agreement that establishes the Ukraine as a loose federation of regions, each with the authority to secede if they desire.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Mar 25 2022 17:43 utc | 88

Scott Ritter on the 30k VSU casualty figure from RF MoD briefing -- says 30k = all KIA (!):

Russia has announced that Ukraine has suffered some 30,000 combat deaths, 14,000 “irretrievably” (i.e., the body doesn’t exist any more—welcome to modern warfare) and 16,000 “sanitary”, meaning Russia has recorded the identities and buried the bodies in marked graves.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 25 2022 17:44 utc | 89


This map of the situation in Ukraine on March 24 is provided by the French Ministry of Defense.

It is likely the most realistic and neutral one available.

No, it is not. Russian MoD’s official map that Boo has linked to in comment #32 is much closer to reality. Although, in reality, there is no 100% control of each square meter as the shading suggests. The best maps were made by but he was asked by “highly respected people” to stop making them, so we’ll have to live with simplistic shaded maps.

Posted by: S | Mar 25 2022 17:47 utc | 90

@S 89
Every 2-3 days, "dragon" still produces annotated versions of the RF MoD press-briefing maps, detailing the DNR region.


Not sure how reliable or complete the symbols of the VSU forces are, but great geographical detail. Square grid is 5km???, I think.


Posted by: ptb | Mar 25 2022 17:52 utc | 91

@Balkanizer 27
west Ukraine annexed by Poland might be good for both Poland and Russia, but in such an event, Ukraine would no longer be useful to the US, which wants chaos instead of a resolution. so I doubt the US would allow that. unless NATO at some point unravels.

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 25 2022 17:52 utc | 92

Henceforth, going forward and in permanent perpetuality please refer to my country as The Canada (tm).
We are full of The Ukrane Nazis (c). I should probably get The Fire Insurance.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Mar 25 2022 17:53 utc | 93

Ronald | Mar 25 2022 17:07 utc | 72

There may be an exit ramp from the current Ukraine catastrophe,... “To lower the probability that Putin will pull the trigger, the West needs to do two things, and fast. First, we should immediately and publicly declare that we’re not pursuing regime change in Moscow. We should also declare that our sole aim is to get Russian forces to halt their invasion and withdraw from Ukraine, and that, if these things happen, all sanctions will be promptly lifted.

The only exit ramp for the US is to get the fuck out of everybody's face and shut down its lying bullshit.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 25 2022 17:54 utc | 94

@ptb #88 quoting Scott Ritter:

Russia has announced that Ukraine has suffered some 30,000 combat deaths, 14,000 “irretrievably” (i.e., the body doesn’t exist any more—welcome to modern warfare) and 16,000 “sanitary”, meaning Russia has recorded the identities and buried the bodies in marked graves.

He’s wrong. “Irretrievable losses” means killed, “sanitary losses” means wounded.

Posted by: S | Mar 25 2022 17:54 utc | 95

The originals of the secret cipher telegrams of the 4th brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine captured by Russian servicemen

◽️ The secret order of the commander of the National Guard of Ukraine, Colonel General Balan, dated January 22, 2022, has been published.

◽️ The document is addressed to the heads of the northern Kiev, southern Odessa and western territorial departments of the National Guard of Ukraine.

◽️ The order describes in detail the plan for preparing one of the strike groups for offensive operations in the zone of the so-called “Joint Forces Operation” in Donbas.

◽️ All activities for the combat coordination of nationalists are ordered to be completed before February 28. In order to start performing combat missions as part of the Ukrainian “Joint Forces Operation” in Donbas in March 2022.

Original papers can be found here
for translation if anyone's keen!!

#Ministry of Defense #Russia #Ukraine

Posted by: Kim | Mar 25 2022 17:55 utc | 96

@ptb 90
re: 5km grid -- nah can't be right...
Someone want to figure out the grid size?

Posted by: ptb | Mar 25 2022 17:57 utc | 97

everyone can get rid of all the govt dns blacklists without even using vpn/proxies, just install unbound & 3 clicks later you'll be your own name resolver

Posted by: rototo | Mar 25 2022 17:58 utc | 98

@94 S

Posted by: ptb | Mar 25 2022 18:03 utc | 99

better yet, call Canada The 51st state.

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 25 2022 18:04 utc | 100

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