Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 19, 2022

Russia Has Launched Phase Two Of Its Operation In Ukraine

The neo-conservative 'Institute for the Study of War' (ISW) releases daily 'Russian offensive campaign assessments'. A lot of people in Washington DC seem to read them.

They are of course pure propaganda only slightly aligned with the actual tactical situation in the Ukraine. I confess that I read them once a while purely for my amusement.

Their main source seems to be the Ukrainian defense ministry which is of course lying left and right about the state of the war.

This for example is from their assessment from Sunday, April 17:

Russian forces continued to amass on the Izyum axis and in eastern Ukraine, increasingly including low-quality proxy conscripts, in parallel with continuous – and unsuccessful – small-scale attacks. Russian forces did not take any territory on the Izyum axis or in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts in the past 24 hours. Russian forces deploying to eastern Ukraine reportedly continue to face significant morale and supply issues and appear unlikely to intend, or be able to, conduct a major offensive surge in the coming days. Deputy Ukrainian Minister of Defense Anna Malyar stated on April 17 that the Russian military is in no hurry to launch an offensive in eastern Ukraine, having learned from their experience from Kyiv – but Russian forces continue localized attacks and are likely unable to amass the cohesive combat power necessary for a major breakthrough.

I have no idea how anyone could have come to those conclusions.

  • "appear unlikely to intend, or be able to, conduct a major offensive surge in the coming days"


  • "the Russian military is in no hurry to launch an offensive in eastern Ukraine"


  • likely unable to amass the cohesive combat power necessary for a major breakthrough

What are these guys smoking?

Yesterday evening heavy artillery attacks on Ukrainian frontline positions announced the launch of the expected offensive.

Belatedly ISW took note of that:

ISW @TheStudyofWar - 23:40 UTC · Apr 18, 2022
#Donetsk and #Luhansk Oblasts Update:
#Russian forces likely began large-scale offensive operations in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on April 18. These offensive operations are unlikely to be dramatically more successful than failed operations around #Kyiv.

Today the start of phase two of the Russian operation was officially announced:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow was starting a new stage of what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine which he predicted would be a significant development.

"Another stage of this operation (in eastern Ukraine) is beginning and I am sure this will be a very important moment of this entire special operation", Lavrov said in an interview with the India Today TV channel.

After the heavy artillery preparations last night several offensives were launched into multiple directions.

Source - bigger

A major one is from Izyum (in the upper left on the map) towards Slovyansk. The distance between the two cities is 27 miles (47km).

Several villages on that route have already been taken. The "low quality proxy conscript" who "continue to face significant morale and supply issues", as ISW claims, might have something to do with that.

Phase two will include the liberation of all of Donetzk and Luhansk as demarcated on the above map by the dashed red lines.  

I expect the whole phase two operation to take four to six weeks with maybe some extra time necessary to clean up the well defended cities Kramatorsk and Slovyansk.

Questions remain. Will there be a third phase? What will it include?

Posted by b on April 19, 2022 at 17:49 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

I really don’t expect phase II to take as long as it could. At some point the lack of resources plays out. Today say videos of regular Ukrainian troops shot in the back with surrender leaflets in hand. I’ve noted that Ukrainian POWs are being “allowed” to call other guys they know. All it takes is for word to spread that they won’t be killed an tortured.

And when Ukrainian resistance collapses it will collapse all at once. You can almost smell the fear and desperation of this in the west. There won’t be an embargo of Russian oil. That’s the dumbest idea in the world and it’s likely French politics more than reality. It will be like the sanctions, a lot of talk with more carve outs and exceptions. The US is reduced to empty threats. But at the same time the US cannot lose here. It’s a prestige issue. Ruling the globe by fear only works if you can instill fear. Every day Russia erodes that fear.

Right now NATO looks like it’s having a grand moment. But step back and put yourself in Eastern European shoes. You have to calculate that the NATO core will not put its blood on the line to defend you. And the military leadership of those nations may be coming to the conclusion that NATO can’t defend them even if it wanted to.

Posted by: Led | Apr 19 2022 21:29 utc | 101

Posted by: Tim | Apr 19 2022 21:03 utc | 85

Certainly the fire was a coincidence which is suspicious but without much more information I can have no opinion either way. Firstly I am not sure how big the fire was. Secondly how the hell would Russia have caused the incident. Sabotage perhaps but relatively unlikely and not easy.

On the other hand the fireworks story is ridiculous- sort of picture book stuff for a six year old - "then the fireworks all caught alight and there was a very big bang. The children and the cat and the dog sheltered under a bush and went home to have high tea." It is a sequel to "the wicked wizard smeared novichok poison on our hero's underpants, but he quickly got to the doctor and was well enough to take the cat to the vet. They all celebrated with cake and lemonade"

Posted by: watcher | Apr 19 2022 21:30 utc | 102

Phase three will see Russian forces escalate by directly striking NATO forces and it may include the entry of China into the kinetic aspect of the showdown.
I think Russia will strike NATO after they are in a position to unoquivically prove/expose NATO’s direct assistance in a Ukranian attack on a high value Russian target (another naval asset perhaps). Russia would be shaping the information side of the battlefield and throwing down the gauntlet at the same time. Russia would start exercising its escaltion dominance over the US and NATO. In particular I feel they would take out some US and UK forces, and at that point China would likely go kinetic and make a move on retaking Taiwan.

Posted by: Tahi | Apr 19 2022 21:30 utc | 103

Phase three will see Russian forces escalate by directly striking NATO forces and it may include the entry of China into the kinetic aspect of the showdown.
I think Russia will strike NATO after they are in a position to unoquivically prove/expose NATO’s direct assistance in a Ukranian attack on a high value Russian target (another naval asset perhaps). Russia would be shaping the information side of the battlefield and throwing down the gauntlet at the same time. Russia would start exercising its escaltion dominance over the US and NATO. In particular I feel they would take out some US and UK forces, and at that point China would likely go kinetic and make a move on retaking Taiwan.

Posted by: Tahi | Apr 19 2022 21:30 utc | 104

Arioch | Apr 19 2022 21:25 utc | 97

I had read some time ago in the MSM that white helmets had been pulled in to help with the propaganda effort.

You've been quiet the last few days. I was beginning to wonder what happened to you.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 21:32 utc | 105

Yeah - and nrk has also launced an attack on the "Russian propaganda outlet"

This time mainly by attacking Steigan's affiliates, and by that their connection to the former Marxist/Leninist party Rødt (red). of whitch Steigan was a founding father.

Posted by: Anne B | Apr 19 2022 21:35 utc | 106

Posted by: james | Apr 19 2022 18:08 utc | 4

I think it's a sign, James, that b now trusts that we can figure it out for ourselves.

We know what we know.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 19 2022 21:36 utc | 107

None of the destructive US wars was ever covered the way this war is, with a major "news" concern for the people who are affected by the war, including that of course it was the dastardly Russian nasty people who conducted the war crimes, coupled with frequent front page photos of destroyed buildings. Russians are responsible for everything, in the "news," and the "n" word (the other one) is never, ever used. Nazis just don't exist in the MSM.

This isn't enough. Just listening to National "Public" Radio today I hears again from the so-called "experts" maintaining that Russia planned to take Kiev in a week or so and take over the government and is now losing the war. The retired US generals who have never won a war anywhere are good at this -- they have seen failure before and know what it looks like, never mind the Russian "special operation" logic.

Anyhow, looking on the bright side, perhaps such coverage will re-awaken people to the fact that war is hell, and act against future wars even against non-Europeans.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 19 2022 21:37 utc | 108

MFA finally has the transcript and video of today's Lavrov interview with India Today TV. Here's the first Q:

"Many people today are asking the question: what is the reason for this special military operation? Why did President Vladimir Putin start it at the very moment when, as we have seen, the talks were taking place? What is the main reason? We heard America say that Russia was going to carry out this operation. India, like many other countries, did not suspect and did not think, but it happened."

To properly answer, Lavrov reviews the sordid history since the supposed end of the Cold War, and then from 2003 for Ukraine. IMO, these are the paragraphs that matter:

In February 2014, the European Union helped broker a deal between the Ukrainian president and the opposition. The next morning, the signatories, namely representatives of the EU (Poland, France and Germany), were ignored by the opposition, which committed a coup d'état. They announced that they were creating a "government of victors", would abolish the special status of the Russian language, threatened to expel ethnic Russians from Crimea, and sent armed groups to storm the Supreme Soviet of Crimea. That's how the war started. Crimeans said they wanted nothing to do with such a Ukrainian government. As I said, they were under threat of violence from armed groups. In the east of Ukraine, too, people said that they did not support the coup d'état, asked to leave them alone. They have never attacked other regions of Ukraine. The putschists attacked them, calling them terrorists. The Ukrainian government called these people terrorists for eight long years.

We were able to stop this bloodshed. In February 2015, the Minsk agreements were signed, which provided for the assignment of a special status to the regions of eastern Ukraine: language, the right to have local police, special economic relations with adjacent Russian regions. In general, the same thing that the EU agreed on with Northern Kosovo and Serbia. In both cases, the European Union has failed to meet the obligations guaranteed by the signatures of EU members. For eight long years, the governments and presidents of Ukraine have repeatedly said that they are not going to fulfill the Minsk agreements, that they will move to plan "B". They continued to shell the territories of the self-proclaimed republics. We wanted the Europeans, the United States and Ukraine to admit that they were ignoring the document that was approved by the UN Security Council.

People don't want to turn their gaze back into history because they don't want to take into account events that don't paint them. But these specific events are connected with the actions of the United States and the "collective West", with their desire to dominate the whole world and demonstrate to everyone that there will be no multipolarity, but a unipolar world. [My Emphasis]

Lavrov then details the real essentials the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals don't want the Global South to know:

They can operate anywhere: in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yugoslavia. These countries are tens of thousands of kilometers away from the United States. When there are "threats" to their safety, they can do whatever they want. For example, to raze cities to the ground, as they did in Mosul (Iraq), in Raqqa (Syria). Russia warned its colleagues that right on our borders they are creating a bridgehead against us, pumping Ukraine with weapons, ignoring the legislation of this country, which completely banned the Russian language, incited the practice of neo-Nazi ideology. Nationalist battalions were formed, which were active against their own territory, which proclaimed independence, which was promised a special status inside Ukraine.

All this is due to the fact that Ukraine has become a springboard for NATO, for its expansion. They said that Ukraine would become part of NATO, no one could stop Ukraine if it had such a desire. Then President Zelensky said that he was thinking of possessing nuclear weapons. In November 2021, President Vladimir Putin invited the United States and NATO to sit down at the negotiating table, cool down a bit and discuss what we can do with legal security guarantees without further expansion of the alliance to the east. They refused. At this time, the Ukrainian army significantly intensified shelling of the republics in violation of all ceasefire regimes. We had no choice but to recognize them, to sign a mutual assistance treaty. And in response to their request to send our military units as part of a special military operation to protect their lives.

Legitimate, not contrived, R2P. The interviewer is confrontational, an aspect I didn't expect from an ally of Russia. Lavrov invokes the need for Ukraine to be provided the Four Freedoms during the discussion about democracy. Since the week in review is mostly a dead thread, I'll post the entire machine translation there, complete with all its errors. As I wrote earlier, Lavrov makes it very clear that Ukrainians will be allowed to chose what they want to be associated with, and generally that means the ouster of Zelensky and the imported NATO virus.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 21:37 utc | 109

Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 21:23 utc | 96
no worries. i'm trying to elucidate some principles that offer guidance to people who are too young or inexperienced or miseducated, guidance through the blizzard of propaganda we are all subject to during war. people can't find Ukraine on a map but they are sure Russia is pure evil.

in a very phenomenological, existential way, the principle of geography is the most important for the individual, because it shows where the sphere of ethical and political agency is. people generally but certainly anyone in the US worrying about the crimes (real or not) of another country is a big sick joke, a huge distraction, designed to render people eunuchs whose agency consists of eating, spectating and defecating opinions on FB and the like.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Apr 19 2022 21:40 utc | 110

#phase 3 - let em smoke and relax as we do haha barbecue time ,)

Posted by: Macpott | Apr 19 2022 21:41 utc | 111

The Chechens are not a game changer. They are part of the multi ethnic nation the Russian Federation.

If the second line is legit, the first line is wrong. It will be very interesting to see if the Chechens end up with more “vertical power” within Russia. A fiercely independent culture being prosperous within a larger state? That would be a real game changer.

Posted by: Rae | Apr 19 2022 21:45 utc | 112

Posted by: Arioch | Apr 19 2022 21:25 utc | 97

Remember the middle-aged woman that was filmed with a bloody bandages on her head standing in front of a destroyed building somewhere around Kiev? She became very briefly the face of the war in the begining of the conflict and the photo was plastered all over the western MSM.

Several weeks later she ended up being used as a "widow" claiming that her husband was kidnapped and tortured by the Russian army in Bucha. The Russian OSINT identified her as an officer from the special department of the Ukranian army doing psy-ops.

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 21:48 utc | 113

"Questions remain. Will there be a third phase? What will it include?"

Well, everyone knows my opinion on that. But I can no longer predict it, given that Lavrov made the state about not being "about regime change".

Well, if they want to achieve the stated goals, they'd better be.

David Stockman has a pretty comprehensive article on the history of the cobbling together of Ukraine over the centuries.

In Praise of Partition

To wit, Ukraine could have been partitioned with autonomy for the Russian-speaking Donbas provinces – or even accession to the Russian state from which these communities had essentially originated.

So the appalling truth of the matter is this: Adding insult to injury after its blatantly foolish and reckless coup in February 2014, Washington now insists that the grandsons and granddaughters of Stalin’s industrial army in the Donbas are to be ruled by the grandsons and granddaughters of Hitler’s collaborators in Kiev, whether they like it or not.

Yet that historic chasm is exactly where the present civil war originated.

And its also why partition of an artificial polity forced together by 20th century commie dictators is the only way out.

That may be true - but it won't get Russia what it wants. Apparently no one but me can see that. Not even Russia.

Of course, Lavrov could either have been lying or not told the real goal.


Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 21:49 utc | 114

rjb1.5 | Apr 19 2022 21:26 utc | 98

I have noticed people often develop an opinion on based on what the west calls dissidents.
I first developed an aversion to war when seeing so called boat people arriving here in Aus from Vietnam. I had a young family at that time. to have to put your family on a small boat to an uncertain destination is a terrible thing. They arrived here worked hard and where not politically active 'dissidents'. They were also traitors to their country. they worked for the french, then the Japanese, then the french, then the Americans.
but others that are useful tools do become politically active. I don't think it is a good thing to judge a nation on these types. there are also the sharks, be they from china or wherever, a nation cannot be judged on the sharks that leave their own country.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 21:49 utc | 115

Posted by: watcher | Apr 19 2022 21:19 utc | 95

I agree with your assessment.

I also believe both sides suffered from believing its own bs, with the west being way off the charts. However, perhaps the Russians also overestimated on how well it will by civilians on the ground in Ukraine.

Its amazing what a decade or two of brainwashing does. I myself have seen it with children brainwashed by propaganda turning against their own families.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 19 2022 21:53 utc | 116

In a month, two at the most, Zelensky and the Ukrainian refugees in Western countries will look like children with lice on the playground: nobody wants to get close.
Nobody likes a barrage of "give me, give me", "you owe us", "the government of (choose your country) MUST help Ukraine", "Ukraine is suffering because you don't give us money/weapons/more money/food/even more money", etc.
I bet one month, even with US sponsorship.

Posted by: SCan | Apr 19 2022 21:54 utc | 117


I doubt Lavrov is lying or unaware of the real goal. There are many ways to skin a cat according to folklore. The Ukrainian cat will be skun.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 21:54 utc | 118

Thought: even with a LePen victory, France would still be cut off from Russian oil/diesel as France would still be behind this new iron curtain.

The PTB will spin her win as a Russian op, the same as the establishment did with a Trump victory.

LePen winning will mean a possible overruling of Finland's and Sweden's entry into NATO, but does it really matter? Europe is going hot soon, regardless and they will be "deputized" into NATO.

I wish it were otherwise.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 19 2022 21:54 utc | 119

@ 108
Lavrov: When there are "threats" to their safety, they can do whatever they want.

He can be excused for suggesting that the US Department of Defense actually exists to defend the safety of US citizens. . .that's what should be . . .but let's get real. . .

. . .from the Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy
The costs of not implementing this strategy are clear. Failure to meet our defense objectives will result
in decreasing U.S. global influence, eroding cohesion among allies and partners, and reduced access
to markets that will contribute to a decline in our prosperity and standard of living
. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 19 2022 21:55 utc | 120

PeterAU1 @ 39

Have to disagree with you about the prisoners. What I see are men who are defeated and know it. Next, they realize from first moment of contact these Russians are treating them with respect and with fellowship. It is unmistakable even when you don’t know the language. My God, wounded promptly get care where the Uke army would shoot them.

Speaking as an ex-prison inmate I see lots of stuff. The prisoners are eating with metal utensils and no one is counting or tracking that in any way. If they wanted to make shivs there it is, the Russians know these guys are not making any shivs. They are all wearing heavy coats with infinite possibility for concealing contraband. Again the Russians are not worried about contraband. The prisoners walk around with their hands in those coats. Sometimes allowed minutes after surrender. The prisoners and the jailers are brothers and they know it. Ukes figure that one out immediately.

Prisoners are telling stories about surrendering because all their officers vanished. And they do not know what to do without command. Finding another Uke unit to join could be plain dangerous. Otherwise to:surrender they have to kill the political officers in their platoon, company, battalion. I do not know if that is happening, if it is the Russians would sure know which side the prisoners are on.

Some number of prisoners have been interviewed, fed, asked to sign a paper saying they won’t fight again. They are handed traveling food and sent home. Even given that opportunity some want to stick around, going home could be dangerous in wartime. So there is video of work crews barely supervised handling tools that would make fine weapons, disposing of ordnance that would make fine bombs.

The surrendered are going to go home and tell the family and neighbors what great guys the Russians are. That the Russians treated them better than Kiev ever did.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 19 2022 22:01 utc | 121

What can we do to make the French voters realize that a Le Pen victory is the way to stop this war?

Posted by: Lysias | Apr 19 2022 22:02 utc | 122

Don Bacon | Apr 19 2022 21:55 utc | 119

Protecting US 'interests' is the phrase... US interest is global full spectrum dominance.
I suspect their interests have hit the brick wall of Russian reality.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 22:03 utc | 123

Looks like there is no kalibration going on tonight. Are the Russians finally running out of them? BBC might be right after all...

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 22:05 utc | 124

A small part of Zaporozhia has voted today to join DPR.

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 19 2022 20:53 utc | 79

Rozovka, 3000 inhabitants before the war.

Posted by: Olivier | Apr 19 2022 22:06 utc | 125

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 19 2022 21:54 utc | 118

Sweden and Finland are both NATO except in name.

The same will become of a 'neutral' Ukraine. It cannot be policed, it cannot be trusted.

The only *relatively* peaceful way out is for the current Western financial order to collapse, taking NATO with it a-la USSR 1991.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 19 2022 22:09 utc | 126

Boo | Apr 19 2022 22:05 utc | 123

boo, you are becoming a concern troll.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 22:10 utc | 127

---Cookie Nuland reminds me of Christia Freeland up there in Canada, similarly ignorant, narcissistic, dogmatic, and destructive.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 19 2022 18:55 utc | 29

That's no coincidence, believe you me!

Posted by: Anne B | Apr 19 2022 22:14 utc | 128

Where is the "Ghost of Kee-eev" to translate for me?

@NemesisCalling | 22


I was just as confused you are. but the Ghost is now the "Phantom of Kiew", and his latest, #14, helped clear things up for me:

"Not content with being humiliated the first time around, the Russians have decided to launch Special Military Debacle 2.0"

And of course with similar clarity, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry made ne realize that the heroic UAF is merely toying with Russia's "proxy conscripts" who "appear unlikely to intend, or be able to, conduct a major offensive surge in the coming days..." It seems that they are "likely unable to amass the cohesive combat power necessary for a major breakthrough."

Hope that helps.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Apr 19 2022 22:17 utc | 129

@Led | Apr 19 2022 21:29 utc | 100
I agree. Not only it will become ever more problematic to deliver combat tech, mostly post soviet scrap, from NATO borders to the theatre of operations, Ukraine is running more and more into fuel problems, the same which hobbled the Nazi forces from 1944 on. The West may ship old Migs, tanks, APC and BMP, as well as MANPADS and ATGM, and a few artillery ammo, to Lemberg and the like.

So far Russia did not even interrupt train traffic except a few hubs in Zaporoshye, Dnepropetrowsk, and Nikolayev. No Dniepr bridge, and no major bridge at all, has been calibrated so far. Once Russia has reason to take NATO shipments serious, that could change.

There is a difference to ship a MBT over shipping its mass in fuel it spends within a week or two on the battlefield. More and more armour is caught undamaged and just abandoned by Russian and allied troops. I reckon they just ran dry, and the crew decided to run and live. Not few defecting.

Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 19 2022 22:18 utc | 130

oldhippie | Apr 19 2022 22:01 utc | 120

I may have written it wrong or you may have taken my comment the wrong way. its a change of attitude once they realize they wont be tortured and killed. I guess the Russians have a bit more self discipline than me. that dyke helicopter pilot responsible for killing Russian journalists. pardoned, went back to Ukraine and upset the western propaganda apple cart....

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 22:19 utc | 131

@Peter AU1, #122:

Good observation. 4 years ago Trump hit the brick wall in launching a trade war against China. This year Biden hit the brick wall in instigating a war against Russia.

Things don't seem going well for the Empire these days.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Apr 19 2022 22:20 utc | 132

"I confess that I read them once a while purely for my amusement...."
hahaha. I like Bernhard's sense of humor these days

can you imagine Russia not responding to Finland entering Nato, how could they not? Take a look at the map, it would be a matter of a minute or two from launch time in Finland to striking/destroying St. Petersburg, or way north at the Russian fleet at Severomorsk on the Barents Sea near Murmansk

this is all madness - as in mutually assured destruction MAD

the Finns had better come to their senses, or they will be next.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 19 2022 22:23 utc | 133

financial matters @83--

Thanks for your reply! For US citizens to actually fulfill their genuine needs--not those advertised on TV--they need to gain control of their nation for the first time it its history and follow the rationale stated in the 1787 Constitution's Preamble, specifically forming a More Perfect Union by Providing for the Genral Welfare so ourselves and our Posterity can enjoy the fundamental Four Freedoms of Liberty. And of course, that's exactly what Russia's trying to do for those captured by NATO and its Nazis within Ukraine.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 22:24 utc | 134

@Lysias, #121:

Unfortunately, even if French people realize election of Le Pen is the way to stop this war and act accordingly, Macron will still end up winning the election. This is how democracies are wrapped under control these days.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Apr 19 2022 22:24 utc | 135

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 22:10 utc | 126

Peter, my tongue was firmly in my cheek...

BBC was the give away.

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 22:27 utc | 136

@Oriental Voice | Apr 19 2022 22:24 utc | 134
Agreed. Even if I do not really like her winning (would be interesting though how she betrays her electorate) I fail to see a chance, and do not really wish for, at least not wholeheartedly. She remains a fascist, and her attitude is tactical.

Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 19 2022 22:28 utc | 137

Oriental Voice | Apr 19 2022 22:20 utc | 131

This cartoon mostly covers it. The Kremlin wall or the great wall - both the same.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 22:31 utc | 138

Boo | Apr 19 2022 22:05 utc | 123
boo, you are becoming a concern troll.
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 22:10 utc | 126

Noticed that, too, have you? He's a particularly slick one, too. Very cheerfully agrees with you once you prove him wrong - then he does it again.

Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 22:32 utc | 139

Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 22:32 utc | 138

You managed to out me. Congratulations!

Seriously, suspecting bad intent is hallmarks of cranks. When have you proven me wrong?

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 22:37 utc | 140

Rasta | 19 avril 2022 19:00 UTC | 34

The contribution of Chechen fighters is essential.

First of all, they have a reputation, and not only a reputation in urban combat. They are the ones who defeated the Russians in 1996 in endless urban battles.

Then they are courageous and want to show it in the same fight that they have led in the past against but today for Russia. Blood is the proof and seals the bonds.

Moreover, there are still many urban centers in the west towards Brussels.

Finally, it is obvious politically that it is the recovered unity of a multi-confessional Russia in a fight for multilateralism in opposition to the fascist and colonialist idea.

Posted by: la bouteille | Apr 19 2022 22:42 utc | 141

The Kaganates at ISW are beneath contemptable.

All they are doing is shilling for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, with a few pretty maps thrown in. There is not an original or contrary thought put into any of their reports, so you may as well cut out the chattering monkey that is Fat Freddy Kagan and go straight to the organ-grinder for your "information:"

Fat Freddy still insists that the Russian "main effort" was initially to take Kiev by surprise, and it was only when that effort failed that they turned to Donbas.


The lunge towards the outskirts of Kiev via Gostomol and Irpin was always intended to be a feint, an attempt to trick the large Ukrainian forces in that area to fall back inside Kiev itself, and then immobilize that force through an aerial assault on their logistics and C&C.

Once the Russians were certain that trick had worked - and it did - they pulled their forces out of Irpin and sent them to Donbas.

It is obvious. Except to Fat Freddy, whose entire knowledge of "The study of war" is what the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense tells him.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 19 2022 22:42 utc | 142

Boo | Apr 19 2022 22:27 utc | 135

You will have to post a pic of a bulging cheek to prove that :) This is troubled times. physiological warfare times. Mind bending stuff. Don't get drawn into the Russia is ... blah blah. sit it out.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 22:45 utc | 143

``What can we do to make the French voters realize that a Le Pen victory is the way to stop this war?``
Lysias 121

That is something that Le Pen is going to have to do. But I doubt that she will. If she were ready to campaign on a platform of putting France`s interests first, making energy deals with Russia and trade deals with eurasia, she would be in a very strong position. The problem is that it is very late in the day to unveil such radical-though perfectly reasonable- policies.
At this stage most French voters will have made up their minds. Socialists should abstain- she has not offered enough to make them vote for her, if she did she would lose half of her base. But abstention would be enough- Macron is banking on the votes of the Left. Without them he might lose. And a low turnout, with a well drilled `neither of the above` message would be a good basis for the coming years of struggle.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2022 22:46 utc | 144

The only thing that Fred Kagan leaves out of his ISW reports are the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense own obligatory:
"We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine! Let's win together!
Glory to Ukraine!"

Other than that an ISW report is simply a re-edited version of a Ukrainian MoD communique.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 19 2022 22:46 utc | 145

Yeah, Right | Apr 19 2022 22:42 utc | 141

Kaganates and fat freddy. Fat is a resource. people of the north used it for light and heating. Hopefully the people sent against them are well fed and fattened.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 22:55 utc | 146

Posted by: Led | Apr 19 2022 21:29 utc | 100

In total agreement. The important part is not the "end" of the battle, but the tipping point, after which the "end" is now unmistakably certain.

Phase 2 will appear in two stages. First is the unleashing of intense force in order to break the enemy's will (no supply lines; under the war clouds of hell; and sunk in trenches with Nazis <- fragging targets to ramp up!), and the second stage is mopping up (clearing all Nazis and such) and the completion of Phase 2 will be either here in Donbass or will include Odessa, but make no mistake about it, the tipping point will cause all remaining resistance to rapidly fall.

Posted by: Seer | Apr 19 2022 22:59 utc | 147

"I think respect for cultures that are not our own is a big thing.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 21:23 utc | 96

Indeed. Often are biases are unconscious or not so. As a Dutch-American, I enjoyed Nigel Powers' (Michael Caine) view on that in Goldmember: "There are only two things I can't stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch."

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Apr 19 2022 23:01 utc | 148

Well articulated!
I expect a third phase where operations include: Odessa, Kiev and central Ukraine.

Posted by: Habtamu Abay | Apr 19 2022 23:02 utc | 149

"I had read some time ago in the MSM that white helmets had been pulled in to help with the propaganda effort."

Peter AU1 | 104

No doubt just in time here to stage and document "Russia's" next atrocity, just as they appeared in Syria to fabricate "Assad's" chemical attacks.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Apr 19 2022 23:09 utc | 150

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 22:45 utc | 142

I'm afraid after living for ten years in Old Blighty, my humour and my toungue are quite dry and non-bulging :P.

I realize I made a mistake posting all these somewhat pessimistic opinions on what NATO can do to Russia, because it does seem like I'm expecting Russia to lose when in fact the opposite is true. I wish this damn SMO or war or what have you be resolved with minimal losses for Russia, especially in Russia proper. I thought bringing alternative opinions from Russian channels that do not align to "all is good" Martyanov/Saker type posts would be interesting, but it seems they cause overreaction and suspicion of concern trolling. I guess it's all for good at the end since it does take chunk from my time that I can use elsewhere.

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 23:12 utc | 151

Approaching a dangerous phase.
History does repeat because humans never change and neither do we learn from history.

Kim @ 18
"EU To Impose Full Embargo On Russian Oil Next Week, Will Send Price Above $185 According To JPMorgan?"

And what will landlocked Hungary do. Declare they will exit the EU?
= = = = = = =

Under the radar and glossed over. A demarche

Russia Sends Diplomatic Note to US, Warning to Stop Arming Ukraine
 a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning of ''unpredictable consequences''

A demarche from a country at war? - it's a formal protest to cease and desist specified actions.
Will the US wise up that ALL deliveries will be targeted?

= = = = = =

And there is this Simpleton: Senator Coons,,,

US Senator’s Plan to Place Troops in Ukraine to Deter Future Russian Advances

[.]During a recent interview with CBS News, he said, “The American people cannot turn away from this tragedy in Ukraine.”

“I think the history of the 21st century turns on how fiercely we defend freedom in Ukraine and that Putin will only stop when we stop him.

Sen. Coons is warning that a failure for America to act now will somehow make Ukraine ‘become the Syria of Eastern Europe.’[.]

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 19 2022 23:13 utc | 152

Sushi #20

On phase 2:

It will include the capture of Odessa oblast.

The rumoured strike on the cruiser and the UK shipment of Naval Strike Missiles will have made RF aware the naval base at Sevastopol can be attacked from Odessa and the tongue of land extending down to Romania.

This would deny the rump Ukraine a coastline and would permit RF forces stationed in the southern end of Odessa oblast to threaten NATO missile installations in Romania and any associated NATO port facilities.

Agreed, I see that region as being immediately blocked from the Ukraine centre then taken. It wont be straightforward as the western borders are clearly porous and a flanking action along the borderlands is likely.

I gather that by then the Nato team will be finally assembled for a counter invasion here as this is a vital strategic asset and Nato will strive mightily to deny Russian control. Time will tell.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 19 2022 23:16 utc | 153

It is worth reflecting on the purpose of propaganda especially when it channels cognitive delusions like this. One common error is to assume that those who 'propagate' seek to determine the outlook of mass populations by circulating narratives they themselves know to be false. But the earlier use of the term 'propaganda' is instructive here because it signifies a mode of evangelisation. From that perspective 'propaganda' is 'the good news' (εὐαγγελία), a message of the hope and redemption that attends faith (fides) in the activities of those who evangelise. In other words, the central epistemic authority wants you to believe—but not necessarily because it's good for you. In fact, arguably the short-term benefits of propaganda (escapism) are outweighed by the longer term effects caused by denial of the truth, namely a catastrophic collapse of legitimacy in the ruling order. No, the central epistemic authority wants you to believe because only through mass belief can it derive the critical mass of psychic energy necessary to maintain its own self-belief. For example, only in the presence of a devout Catholic congregation can the church rejuvenate itself and deter a cynicism always threatening to supplant belief in its mission.

Propaganda is therefore always self-reflexive. Like the pathological liar who must continuously throw good money after bad, the resulting narratives are inwardly directed at propping up an unstable persona. The pathological liar is the target of their own lies. He is one who must for himself alone constantly maintain a dangerously unstable self-narrative which requires more and more lies catching him up in the grip of a hopeless law of diminishing returns. The liar is not seeking to pull the wool over our eyes in the way a criminal con-man does. The key difference is that the pathological liar believes the lies—and he needs you to believe them too. This vampiric relation situates the propagandist at the centre of a web of narratives which are essential to the survival of the propagandist in the epistemic role he occupies. You must believe at all costs so that he can endlessly defer the collapse of the lies.

We must believe that the Russians are incompetent, failing, third-rate because if they're not then the alternative is not only unthinkable but entails the negation of the epistemic authority, namely liberal ideology, which has constructed itself since 1945 as the 'system without ideology', perhaps the most successful propaganda effort in world history. Liberalism is facing a crisis of self-belief because this world schism has forced it to reveal itself as ideological after all. All this MSM hysteria and escalating frenzy of fear and loathing are just so many signs that the pathological liar's lies are finally being caught out. Liberalism is not the answer, just a system that allows the bourgeoisie to think they're acting on behalf of 'humanity' when they rape the world.

In my view, the greatest illustration of how this works will always be Conrad's masterpiece Heart of Darkness. Kurtz is the Western liberal order. We are Marlow. We wanted badly to believe in his vision. But his vision was self-delusion, rape, murder and good old-fashioned theft. The Ukraine is the Congo. Liberalism is the horror.

But it's unravelling. Good. I hope I live to see "on their knees the war pigs crawling" (to quote the mighty Ozzy).

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 19 2022 23:17 utc | 154

This link tells you all you need to know about ISW

ISW facts with receipts

Posted by: Will | Apr 19 2022 23:18 utc | 155

On the Chechens, I did lots of research into the Chechens and other peoples of the Caucasus from 1991-93 for a book I was writing whose topic was their attempt at gaining independence which anticipated Dzhokhar Dudayev's 1994 declaration that began the First Chechen War. It was a historical novel set in the near future for I could read the tea leaves. I benefitted greatly by having access to the University of Hawaii Manoa's three outstanding libraries, of which the Asian Library had numerous sources on my subject matter, mostly British, but many in Russian, which at the time I couldn't read nor did machine translators exist. My draft was about 150 pages when Dudayev made his declaration and my premise exploded into reality. Very soon there was a book published, The Chechens, and I no longer had a product to market, only the knowledge I gained via my research. Their story is fascinating and still merits studying. Imam Shamil was quite the wizard and warrior. He was honored upon his capture in a manner only Russians would provide. His Wiki entry is very good, although the overall narrative about the struggle between the Caucasus Peoples and the Russian Empire is biased by Russophobia. The British sources I read from the 19th Century were far more honest about both sides. The one main problem for those peoples is the fact of their languages not being mutually intelligible with hundreds of local dialects thanks to the topography. The oddity is the longstanding connection Georgia had with Imperial Russia yet today all we hear is animosity.

As for Chechens being natural warriors, that must be taken with a grain of salt. I'd say they're people of great honor that you'll never want to double cross, which is mostly the same for all the Peoples of the Caucasus. IMO, their characters are very similar to Samoans and Maoris. They are people you want on your side.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 23:21 utc | 156

Just listened to Martyanov's "talking head". He makes an interesting speculation, but emphasizes that it's only that.

He noticed that some hatches over some of the Moskva's missile launchers appeared to be slightly open. He describes when the hatch is popped, the launcher comes out with two missiles, fires them, then goes back down to reload and pop up again with two more missiles. He thinks an open hatch might mean that there was an AD engagement involved in the Moskva incident.

However, he emphasizes that if it was merely a fire, the fire could have damaged some of the electrical components, actuators, etc. that might have caused that effect he noticed. So he's not submitting that as any kind of theory - just something he noticed.

He's also mentioned on this blog a vague reference to theories similar to the one mentioned early involving a full-on attack on the Moskva. But he steadfastly maintains that we don't know what happened. He also doesn't dismiss the sabotage possibility, given that the US Navy had such an incident recently.

Personally I'm inclined to accept the Russian MoD statement, but remain open to anything that has actual evidence behind it. That full-blown combat theory was interesting to read, well constructed and perhaps plausible - but devoid of actual evidence. Whereas Nightvisions' analysis at The Saker made sense based on the image provided.


Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 23:22 utc | 157

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 22:05 utc | 123

Russia is running out of targets. Unlike the US the Russian AF doesn't bomb rubble and waste their top shelf stuff.

Posted by: One Too Many | Apr 19 2022 23:25 utc | 158

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 23:12 utc | 150
"it does take chunk from my time that I can use elsewhere."

Me, too. Which is why I don't like having to debunk them.


Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 23:26 utc | 159

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 21:37 utc | 108

Thank you for the Lavrov interview, karlof1. He went a bit further back than 2014, which I found helpful.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 19 2022 23:29 utc | 160

Rasta | Apr 19 2022 19:00 utc | 34

Rasta, do some research on the Chechen Wars, and the way in which they were brought to an end...

Posted by: donten | Apr 19 2022 23:31 utc | 161

From Russian MoD Telegram channel...

Emergency statement of the Joint Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine (April 19, 2022)
April 19, 2022

According to the available reliable information, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) is preparing another provocation to accuse the servicemen of the Russian Federation of so-called war crimes with the mass destruction of civilians in the Odessa region.

To this end, in the near future it is planned to dress one of the SSU units in the uniform of Russian servicemen and make a demonstrative shooting of local residents.

Photo and video footage of this action with alleged "Russian atrocities" will be published by Ukrainian and Western news agencies to immediately promote fakes.

The upcoming provocation of the Ukrainian authorities demonstrates their inhumane attitude to the fate of peaceful citizens of Ukraine and testifies to the complete disregard for all norms of morality and international humanitarian law.

We warn the countries of the "civilized West" led by the United States in advance that the Russian Federation has an operational evidence base about the upcoming next terrible crimes of the Kiev regime.

Taking into account the catastrophic situation at the Azovstal metallurgical plant, as well as guided by purely humane principles, the Russian Armed Forces once again offer the militants of nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries from 12:00 (Moscow time) on April 19, 2022 to cease any hostilities and lay down their arms. All who lay down their weapons are guaranteed the preservation of life.

For the practical implementation of the measures of this next humanitarian operation, the following algorithm of actions is provided:

from 13:00 (Moscow time), continuous communication is established between the Russian and Ukrainian sides for the mutual exchange of information;

from 13:30 (Moscow time), the militants of nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries – on the one hand, the Russian Armed Forces together with the military formations of the Donetsk People's Republic – on the other hand, declare a ceasefire and guarantee its strict observance. The actual beginning of the ceasefire by both sides is indicated by the raising of flags: from the Russian side – red, from the Ukrainian side – white around the perimeter of Azovstal. In addition, the fact that the parties are ready to introduce a ceasefire is confirmed by all communication channels;

from 14:00 to 16:00 (Moscow time) – the exit of all Ukrainian armed units and foreign mercenaries without exception, without any weapons and ammunition.

Once again, we call on the official authorities of Kiev to show prudence, to give appropriate instructions to the militants about ending senseless resistance and leaving the hotbed of resistance. However, realizing that they will not receive such orders and commands from the Kiev authorities, we urge them to make such a decision on their own and lay down their arms.

In addition, we appeal to all AFU servicemen and foreign mercenaries - with the attitude of the Kiev authorities, an inglorious fate awaits all of you. Do not test your fate, but take the only right decision to end hostilities and lay down your arms now, wherever your "curators" force you to fight for the ideas of Nazism. The Russian Federation guarantees to each of you the preservation of life and compliance with all the norms of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war, as has already happened with the AFU servicemen who previously surrendered in Mariupol.

This urgent statement is subject to immediate publication and communication to the United Nations, OSCE, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations through all available information resources.


Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 23:33 utc | 162

@ karlof1 | 108

Thanks again for the Lavrov transcript on the India Today TV interview, look forward to Part 2. I didn't watch it, but perhaps the interviewer's combativeness was theatrical?

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Apr 19 2022 23:35 utc | 163

bevin @143--

There's an item in RT about Le Pen and her proposed Russian policy:

Russia is a great power and European diplomacy needs to work to prevent it from uniting with China into the world’s leading economic and military bloc, French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said in an interview on Monday. Agreeing with her rival, the incumbent President Emmanuel Macron, Le Pen argued that having Moscow integrated with the rest of Europe would help preserve the security of France and the continent.

“I think Russia is a great power, and I would not want it to finally enter into an alliance with China,” Le Pen said Monday morning, in an interview with France Bleu Normandie, a radio station.

Re-attaching Russia to Europe politically “is an important condition for ensuring the security of our continent and our country,” Le Pen quoted Macron as saying. Noting it might seem strange that she was agreeing with her opponent, she pointed out that “the head of state cannot be short-sighted, one must see the future.”

“Imagine we do nothing to prevent a situation in which the largest country in the world unites with the country with the largest population. We will allow the largest world producer of raw materials – Russia – to unite with the largest ‘factory’ of the planet – China – perhaps we will let them become the number one military force in the world. I think this is a big danger. Therefore, it is necessary to use diplomatic measures, when the war is over, when the peace agreement is signed, to avoid this unification, which can become a threat to us in the 21st century,” Le Pen said.

Macron and his supporters have accused Le Pen of sympathies for the Kremlin. On Monday, she rejected such accusations again, pointing out that she condemned the Russian decision to send troops into Ukraine in February. Russia’s attack goes against her belief in the sovereignty of nations, including Ukraine, Le Pen said. However, she disagreed that Crimea – which voted in 2014 to rejoin Russia, after a coup in Kiev – amounted to an invasion.

“There was a referendum. We can challenge it, we can disagree, but there was never a military invasion in Crimea,” she said.

IMO, it's in France's interest to befriend both Russia and China while spurning the Outlaw US Empire's hegemony and return to issuing its own currency to escape the EUCB's hegemony.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 23:39 utc | 164

Second statement about humanitarian corridors opened for the Azovstal plant...

Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, Head of the Russian Federation Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response - Head of the National Centre for State Defence Control of the Russian Federation:

▫️Taking into account the catastrophic situation at the Azovstal metallurgical plant in the city of Mariupol, from 14:00 (Moscow time) on April 19, 2022 the Russian Armed Forces have opened a humanitarian corridor for the withdrawal of Ukrainian servicemen and militants of nationalist formations who voluntarily laid down their arms.

▫️For this purpose, a ceasefire has been introduced, any hostilities have been stopped, units of the Russian Armed Forces and formations of the Donetsk People's Republic have been withdrawn to a safe distance along the entire perimeter of Azovstal.

In the immediate vicinity of the metallurgical plant, three humanitarian convoys are deployed in three directions:
the first one is from the western direction on Shevchenko street;
the second is from the eastern direction on Pobeda avenue;
the third is from the north direction on Taganrogskaya street.

▫️Each humanitarian convoy consists of 30 buses and cars for transporting people, 10 ambulances with medical and nursing teams. In addition, meeting points and temporary accommodation have been deployed in all three directions, food and primary medical care facilities have been organized.

▫️On all routes of movement of humanitarian convoys, the Russian Armed Forces, together with the formations of the Donetsk People's Republic, strictly observe the ceasefire.

▫️Once again, we call on the official authorities of Kiev to show prudence, to give appropriate instructions to the militants about ending senseless resistance and leaving the hotbed of resistance. But realizing that the commanders of Ukrainian units may not receive such orders and commands from the Kiev authorities, we urge them to make such a decision on their own and lay down their arms.

I would like to emphasize that the leadership of the Russian Federation guarantees the preservation of life, complete safety and the provision of qualified medical care to all those who have laid down their weapons. Russia has repeatedly, including through the surrender of Ukrainian marines who have laid down their arms and surrendered in practice, confirmed its humane attitude towards prisoners of war and its full compliance with the norms of international humanitarian law. And this time the Russian side guarantees compliance with the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war.

▫️This statement was brought to the Ukrainian side through the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Ukraine Vereshchuk Irina.

#MoD #Russia #HumanitarianResponse


Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 23:40 utc | 165

@Peter AU1, #122:

Good observation. 4 years ago Trump hit the brick wall in launching a trade war against China. This year Biden hit the brick wall in instigating a war against Russia.

Things don't seem going well for the Empire these days.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Apr 19 2022 22:20 utc | 131


To early to expect defeat of those effort. As we should know from history (but actually, we read in the Bible, almost the same thing but better), there exist an excellent and proven way to make the walls crumble:

march around them while making a great noise with trumpets etc. and praying, in other words, the battle for Jericho. For those who disrupt that noise making and praying we got censorship. So everything goes according to the plan.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 19 2022 23:42 utc | 166

Second briefing for the day by Russian MoD Telegram channel...

Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine.

As a result of the strike, high-precision air-based missiles hit 2 strong points near Kalinovo-Popasnoe and 6 areas of enemy's manpower and military equipment concentration near Mirnoe, Slovyansk and Popasnoe.

Up to 180 Ukrainian nationalists and 15 armoured vehicles were destroyed.

1 Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile launcher was also destroyed near Barvenkovo.

Operational-tactical aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit 31 military assets of Ukraine. Among them: 2 command posts and 28 areas of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment concentration near Razdolnoe and Novogrodovka, as well as 1 ammunition depot for multiple rocket launchers near Privol'e.

Russian air defence means shot down 3 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles in the air over Chernobaevka, Zaliznoe and Pokrovskoe.

During the day, missile troops hit 2 command posts of Ukrainian units, 1 ammunition depot, 1 artillery battery, as well as 1 area of Ukrainian military equipment concentration.

📊In total, 140 aircraft, 490 unmanned aerial vehicles, 253 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,367 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 256 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,021 field artillery and mortars, as well as 2,225 units of special military vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed during the operation.

#MoD #Russia #Ukraine #Briefing


Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 23:45 utc | 167

Interesting comment on the British StarStreak antiaircraft missile system from Telegram channel...

Talking about sending the British Stormer HVM to Ukraine, one interesting fact is forgotten. This is a development of the 70s, and the British have been using such machines since the late 80s. In terms of the effectiveness of the Starstreak air defense system installed on such a chassis, it is somewhere between the first samples of Soviet MANPADS. That is, it seems to be able to fire and, in theory, can be used, but the defense systems of modern aviation simply do not notice these launches, immediately diverting the missiles.

The range of Starstreak is short - in ideal conditions, up to five to seven kilometers. The British did not make a big series. Built 200 units, tested, disappointed and decided not to do it again.

Regarding the Stormer's ability to drive on "wet Ukrainian soil", it is worth remembering that four cars were lost during field tests at the SAS Credenhill base, which, as it were, hints at reliability and ease of use.


Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 23:49 utc | 168

@ Likklemore 151
Senator Coons. . .US Senator’s Plan to Place Troops in Ukraine to Deter Future Russian Advances

How about Coons being the first US trooper to stand in Ukraine and deter Russian advances? Lead man! Coons is prepared and qualified.

wiki: Coons co-chaired the 2017 and 2019 National Prayer Breakfasts and co-chairs the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 19 2022 23:53 utc | 169

Nobody seems to have noticed my post on the last thread, so I'm reposting here, @b, @karlof1, @RSH, @Don Bacon. Kadyrov's perspective on events is critical insofar as he's essentially an ally~not an inferior.

Not sure if anyone's posted this, yet, but Kadyrov (Chechen leader) came out with a statement today that's pretty provocative and details what his vision of the process Ukraine is headed for:

Kadyrov: "I don’t understand a lot of things when great politicians, political scientists and strategists make statements that we need to negotiate, we need to withdraw troops from Donetsk and Luhansk, as if there is power in Ukraine. There is no vertical of power. There is no president, no supreme commander, nothing at all. There is a bandit group there, which at one time was with us, in the Chechen Republic. With the roots you need to destroy these Nazis, banderlog, shaitans. After that, it is necessary to appoint an interim acting head of the region, after that, how can we start forming a vertical of power in the Chechen Republic, ask the people what they want, how they want to live on, what are their main problems, as Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin used to be gave the opportunity to our Chechen people".

Can be found here:

And the original video (in Russian, no subs) can be viewed here:

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Apr 19 2022 23:55 utc | 170

TOS-1(A) claimed to being used. Someone posted a picture of a heavily bombed battle field area (trenches) and I was wondering if this system could have been used in that case. Seems like "entrenched" is the key word here...


The TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system is intended for direct fire support of advancing infantry units and main battle tanks and moves in their combat orders. It is extremely effective against entrenched personnel. The TOS-1A is used to clear out buildings, field fortifications and bunkers. It is also effective against light armored vehicles. The heavy flamethrower system is generally similar to multiple launch rocket systems, however it fires different types of rockets and has a much shorter firing range.

The main element of the TOS-1A system is the BM-1 launcher vehicle. Comparing with the original TOS-1 a number of launching tubes was reduced from 30 to 24, arranged in three rows of eight tubes each. New launching tubes are longer in comparison with the previous heavy flamethrower system. There are at least two types of 220 mm rockets. These are 3.3 and 3.7 m long and weight 173 and 217 kg respectively. The TOS-1A uses longer rockets and has a longer range than its predecessor. Maximum range of fire was increased to 6 000 m. Minimum range is 400 m.

There are at least two types of warheads - incendiary and thermobaric. The thermobaric weapons are also called vacuum or fuel-air explosives. This type of munitions releases a large cloud of flammable gas and causes massive explosions. It is used to clear out buildings, bunkers and other fortifications. The TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system launches a single rocket, or a pair of two rockets within 0.5 s. Full salvo duration is 12 seconds when launching rockets manually an 6 seconds when launching all rockets in automatic mode.

Posted by: Seer | Apr 20 2022 0:01 utc | 171

karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 23:21 utc | 155

I have not read a lot about the first Chechen war but from how I understand it it was a war of independence. Second Chechen war was something different entirely with cia moving in saudi clerics and afghan mujahideen in the interim.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 20 2022 0:04 utc | 172

Chechens in action - you gotta admire their style!

Posted by: Mongo | Apr 20 2022 0:05 utc | 173

"...IMO, it's in France's interest to befriend both Russia and China while spurning the Outlaw US Empire's hegemony and return to issuing its own currency to escape the EUCB's hegemony..."

I agree, I think. The problem with Le Pen is that, like Macron, she is a fascist. In the final analysis she is going to side with the Empire, because she hasn't realised that it is a losing bet. Or, if she has, she knows that her base/backers disagree because they have too much invested in the Empire.
The people, however, have nothing invested in the Empire. And in France, of all places, this used to be well understood: Jean Jaures was not calling for peace, when he was killed, but for fraternity.
And then, from the Gaullist/French nationalist point of view, there is the very long C20th tradition of an alliance between Moscow and Paris, a political thing with roots in an older cultural affinity. (The French thought of Turgenev as a French writer.)
The problem with Lysias, and me, is that we are both old men in a hurry, hungry for real change. I think most of us here are.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 20 2022 0:10 utc | 174

Piotr Berman | Apr 19 2022 23:42 utc | 165

trumpets. the big bad wolf will huff and puff and blow the house down. US is winning the media war...
Assorted raptured western f.. - red high heel people make good targets for Russian military training.
This is like Syria, a training exercise. Somewhat lethal though but in terms of economy a training exercise.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 20 2022 0:15 utc | 175

There was a video today posted by azov leader, which suggests that the families of azov fighters are also in azovsteel tunnels. That explains the fierceness of azov batalion defence.

Posted by: Misa | Apr 20 2022 0:16 utc | 176

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 23:39 utc | 163

"“I think Russia is a great power, and I would not want it to finally enter into an alliance with China,” Le Pen said Monday morning, in an interview with France Bleu Normandie, a radio station....

IMO, it's in France's interest to befriend both Russia and China while spurning the Outlaw US Empire's hegemony and return to issuing its own currency to escape the EUCB's hegemony."

Le Pen is only about 10-20 years behind the times. With that comment she shows either that she is playing her audience for fools or she is the greater fool herself. She is a bona fide French nationalist and France needs that badly. She would make an excellent Prime Minister focused mainly on domestic affairs. Unfortunately that leaves nobody as President. Would be an improvement - no question - but constitutionally unacceptable.

Oh well. C'est la vie. C'est la merde! Or as the Americans like to acronym it: SNAFU!

Posted by: Scorpion | Apr 20 2022 0:20 utc | 177

@ Don Bacon

Thanks for dropping by. There is this that comes to mind:

"A hope and a prayer." is all the US led NATO has in the tool box as friends drift away - will not take your call, rejecting your dollar is on the to do list:

Just imagine!
US & Saudis Drifting Further Apart Since Russia Began Special Operation in Ukraine - (WSJ) Reports


The split that existed between the United States and Saudi Arabia in recent years has widened with the start of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported citing senior officials from both countries.

After the start of the Russian operation in Ukraine, the Biden administration wanted Saudi Arabia to produce more oil in order to damage the financial and military sectors of the Russian economy, the report said on Tuesday.

Riyadh’s commercial and political interests have been significantly altered after the Saudis became the biggest oil supplier to China and stopped selling as much oil to the United States as they have been doing for decades, the report said.[.]

Saudi State TV mocks the US administration

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 20 2022 0:24 utc | 178

Pacifica Advocate @169--

Thanks for posting that. Kadyrov's vision differs little from what Lavrov said today in his interview, the entire transcript is posted to the week in review and is also here along with a little editorializing by me. Note my subtitle--"The Regime Will Be Changed By the Ukrainian People, Not Russia"--which relates to Lavrov's words on the issue. Here's the related passage:

Question: Russia has appointed its mayors in Berdyansk and Melitopol. It was stated that they were going to convene a referendum that they would not remain part of Ukraine. It's true? Is that your plan?

Sergey Lavrov: Isn't this the highest manifestation of democracy – a referendum? People speak out for what they want.

Question: Does this mean that you will draw a land and water border through the territory of Sumy and Kharkiv regions? If you look at Zaporozhye and Mykolaiv...

Sergey Lavrov: In these regions, people have suffered for eight long years. Neo-Nazis forbade them to speak Russian language, were not allowed to keep the memory of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War, to hold parades and any events dedicated to the memory of their grandmothers, grandfathers, parents, fallen heroes of the Second World War.

Now these people have expelled neo-Nazis. Now they want to decide for themselves who will lead everything – their mayor, their legislative assembly. I believe that in many respects this is a manifestation of democracy after so many years of suppression.

Now compare that to what Lavrov describes as the sort of democracy the Outlaw US Empire promotes:

Sergey Lavrov: You know, when the Americans say that they are in favor of "democracy in the whole world", they mean one specific thing: they themselves decide who will be called a democracy, who deserves to be treated kindly by Washington. You just need to look at the list of those who were invited to the "summit of democracies". It will become clear that we are not talking about real democracy, but about something else. Now Americans around the world are setting their ambassadors the number one task every day to go to the Foreign Ministry, to the governments of those states in which they are accredited, and to convince countries to stop talking to Russia and join the sanctions against Russia.

Long before this crisis, I was talking to Americans and Europeans. At all conferences, they constantly talk about democracy and introduce the phrases "rule of law" and "democracy". I asked them, what about the add-on? In addition to the national level, we want democracy and the rule of law in the international arena. They don't like it. They are trying to gather everyone in this anti-Russian camp, including India, China, Turkey, Egypt – countries with their own thousand-year-old histories of civilization and culture. They're not even ashamed to publicly tell you what to do. Something is wrong not only with their manners (however, this has always been true), but also with their mentality.

Kadyrov and Lavrov are saying the same things but using different vocabularies. His description of the CIA's involvement during the Second Chechen War is great--devils--"shaitans"--indeed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 0:28 utc | 179

@163 karlof1

That comment gives me pause about Le Pen. However, sometimes it is the advisors around the person that matter most. Iow, we can't take a politician's dumb memory and off-the-cuff remarks about Russia to signal any intention.

Russia did secure Crimea militarily, installing checkpoints, etc., right after the Maidan coup.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 20 2022 0:29 utc | 180

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 22:05 utc | 123

Simple - - the Kalibers are running out of targets. That was expected.....there is only so much worth big bombs out there ....

may be no new "deliveries", no "logistics", no "troop concentrations", no 'fuel depos" or "military tank/vehicle repair facilities".....?

Posted by: Merlin2 | Apr 20 2022 0:29 utc | 181

karlof1 @ 155:

I think I may have read that book "The Chechens" ages ago. Unless I'm mistaken, it was not a big book, quite a slim one. I read it as part of my own research in writing an essay on Chechnya for Mark Chapman's The Kremlin Stooge back in 2013.

The Russians did more than honour Imam Shamil on his capture by giving him a large house for his wives and children - they allowed him also to make his Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, then part of the Ottoman Empire. The Imam did not return to Russia but died in Medina in 1871. There is also the story of his son whom the Imam gave up to the Russians as a hostage when the son was eight years old: the son was adopted by Tsar Nicholas I and raised to become a cavalry officer in the Russian Army. When the son was in his mid to late 20s (some time in the 1850s), he was returned to Imam Shamil but apparently could not adapt to the mountain way of life and died shortly after his return. Tsar Nicholas I died about the same time as the son did.

You are right, the Chechens value honour very highly, and this is part of their code of ethics which is known as the Konakhallah. Parts of it may contradict other aspects of their culture and traditions such as their emphasis on loyalty to the teip (clan) and to aspects of Islam and Shariah law - but then it is the contradictions and how they deal with them or reconcile them that make cultures like the Chechen culture fascinating.

Other MoA barflies are welcome to click on the link regarding the Konakhallah and read it - the code of ethics is very lengthy!

Posted by: Jen | Apr 20 2022 0:29 utc | 182

Here is a two-minute video of the Azovstal steel plant from a drone minutes before the start of the humanitarian corridor period from my Google Drive (46.3MB mp4 video):

The territory of Azovstal a few minutes before the start of the silence regime

As you can see, scores of buildings and structures still standing. Don't know how long it would to flatten it all. I don't know how far the tunnels spread so perhaps most of them wouldn't have to be. It's likely the bunkers are only under the main buildings. The tunnels may spread farther to enable crews to maintain underground facilities connected with the other structures. In which case everything would have to be destroyed.

I begin to doubt that burying the defenders in any reasonable time frame is feasible. The conundrum is that digging them out is likely to take equally as long. I suppose it's possible, if the plans are available to the Russians, which they should be, that the Russians can flatten the buildings over the bunkers, then identify where the tunnels go so as to block them up on the surface.

If not, it might actually be better just to starve them out, as that is likely to take less time than digging them out.

Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 20 2022 0:31 utc | 183

@173 bevin

You can't feel the world shake underneath you, currently?


I can chart the path of world spirit and it has shifted into overdrive.

Things are moving very fast and the west is headed for a reckoning.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 20 2022 0:32 utc | 184

On Le Pen and the French elections--IMO, the French have no alternative candidate to vote for. As bevin notes, they are both fascists, one being more open about it than the other. Melanchon was the candidate I wanted to see in the second round for he offers a genuine choice, although he too is rather imperfect. Since Macron and Le Pen are the only two boxes one can check, I'd abstain.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 0:36 utc | 185

The neocohens (nulandman, kagan, pyatt, yats, etc) behind all this hell which started with their 2014 coup can be punished by wiping out their cultural pillar, the city of Odessa. No more yiddish ever to be spoken there, all the swindlers on the roof sent to Palestine for the big wipe out.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 20 2022 0:38 utc | 186


Thanks for the Lavrov comments. Am working, today--honest work, as a machinist. Will comment later, if there's anythingeft to add.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Apr 20 2022 0:40 utc | 187

Somewhat off topic for the run of the conversation here but something from the last thread

Striking a balance between incentive and equality in wealth will always be a difficult issue.
From reading transcripts of Kremlin meetings, having policies enacted in the regions is often an issue due to regional bureaucracy. Federal funding for infrastructure or social policies often spent on other things or simply mismanaged. As far as I know, it is the elected government - the Duma that is responsible for overseeing and carrying federal policies set at the presidential level.
As we saw with Covid, China can mobilize the whole country as one unit and move very quickly, but I think Russia is far too diverse to be able to do similar. Its more a matter of finding policies ect that the majority will agree to.
I won't be doing a david efwit. Just something I think about a bit. this stuff, looking at other cultures, looking at other peoples. something that has been swept under the rug - since when?
the dances with bears clown is something that needs to be carefully sifted as there are gems amongst the turds.

But this - "Striking a balance between incentive and equality in wealth will always be a difficult issue."

That is something I always think on.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 20 2022 0:41 utc | 188

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Apr 19 2022 23:55 utc | 169

I tend to agree with Kadyrov, as I've indicated many times. However, it's not clear what "region" he is referring to - just eastern Ukraine or all of Ukraine.

He's correct that the government in Ukraine is illegitimate and needs to be rooted out of Nazis. That's why I say Russia has to take Kiev, even if it does not need to keep Kiev. And if that's true, then by definition there has to be a caretaker government until new elections, as Kadyrov rightly says, can be held. So if Lavrov is saying they won't do that, then in my view that is a big mistake and that is probably what Kadyrov understands as well.

I can't conceive of Russia just drawing a line down the country at the Dnieper and ignoring the rest. It simply makes no sense from a security standpoint.

Some people here think Russia is going to attack Poland and Romania in order to get rid of the Aegis Ashore installations. I don't believe that. I think Russia will want to base the equivalent installations in Ukraine and Belarus instead, to restore MAD. That's what I would do. But to do that, you need all of Ukraine to the Polish border so those bases are as close to Poland and Romania as possible.

As for Finland, Scott Ritter says Russia will invade and destroy Finland if it joins NATO because it has a border with Russia. Sweden, not so much, because there is no shared border.

However, people are stupid and almost always make the wrong choices. So maybe Russia will screw up. I guess we'll see. I suspect we're a couple months away from "phase 3", if there is one.

Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 20 2022 0:43 utc | 189

After not watching TV news for a week, tonight watched newshour on Dutch TV. Which is made by a government paid public broadcaster that is officially there "to educate the general public"

But somehow it was interesting. They had 4 Ukraine items

First a woman was laying in hospital wounded, she basically said, that all of the sudden there was an explosion and she lost her leg. Then the narrator said she was the victim of a "Russian attack" but for "strategical reasons they could not disclose where it happened.

Then they had a Ukrainian soldier that was badly wounded in a fight and how bad the fight was and that 14 out of 15 guys of his platoon were taking out of action.

Then they put on some dutch military expert, who actually seemed to be an expert and he was talking about the big cauldron in Donbass and basically more or less predicting the Ukrainian Army was going to lose and that military lethal aid from the west would not arrive in time to make a difference and for the first time they I saw in Dutch media, they actually showed a more or less accurate military situation map of Ukraine.

So the big take away was "Poor Ukraine"

Then they interviewed the chief of staff of Zelensky, who was more or less begging for Ukraine to become a candidate member of the European Union , even though they are far away from qualifying objectively, he was like "please help us with this , like you have helped us with other things"

It was kinda weird propaganda, Like: "Poor poor Ukraine they suffering so much over there, well lets let them into the EU, even though they don't qualify at all. "

Posted by: Jimmy | Apr 20 2022 0:49 utc | 190

Jen | Apr 20 2022 0:29 utc | 181
Thanks for that link.
I suspect the so called houthies, the hill tribes of Yemen are similar, also hezbollah, Iran also.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 20 2022 0:53 utc | 191


I took Kadyrov's and Lavrov's comments to mean all of Ukraine.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Apr 20 2022 0:56 utc | 192

Jen @181--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, that sounds correct; it was a thin trade paperback hastily put together. Yes, I was bummed, but the project served to vastly improve my writing skills and knowledge base--it was a product of my teaching Russian history to myself via a great library. Those were also the initial years of the Rape, and I learned much thanks to the specialist journals and publications only university libraries seem to obtain. I used a word processor and saved my work to discs in ASCII format, which no computer today can read.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 0:56 utc | 193

@ Boo | Apr 19 2022 23:12 utc | 150... boo, is english your first language?? i seem to remember you saying you are based in bulgaria... thanks...

@ Jimmy | Apr 20 2022 0:49 utc | 189... thanks.. i appreciate the update from the netherlands...

here in canada, the cbc - flagship media outlet for many canucks - here is the headline - "Zelensky calls Russian army 'inhuman' as Moscow increases attacks on eastern Donbas"

we are told regularly what zelensky thinks and believes and etc. etc... here is the 2ndary headline in the same article - "More hospitals hit"

here is the link... take a look yourself...

propaganda is full on here in canada at the moment, with no let up in sight...

i see indian punchline has an article out for today as well - Russia pushes back western sanctions, revs up operation in Eastern Ukraine

Posted by: james | Apr 20 2022 1:01 utc | 194

@NemesisCalling | Apr 20 2022 0:32 utc | 183

All that quaking going on and now that deafening roar of wings furiously flappin' overhead from all of those countless chickens coming home to roost, the sky's black with 'em.

It reminds me of my last days in Nineveh, way back in 612 BCE.

Posted by: majoab | Apr 20 2022 1:02 utc | 195

CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 20 2022 0:43 utc | 188

I am starting to suspect Russian version of US intel so called leaks. Kadyrov is very upfront.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 20 2022 1:06 utc | 196

@CJT, karlof1 b:

What I found remarkable about Kadyrov's comments was that he is talking entirely in terms of local power dynamics: no "vertical," local gangs which were recently allied with similar Chechen gangs, in a Chechnya were~also~there was no "vertical", and that vertical power structure had to be created by the Chechen people themselves.

That sounds an awful lot like all of Ukraine, not just the Donbass.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Apr 20 2022 1:07 utc | 197

james | Apr 20 2022 1:01 utc | 193

Our media seems to serve the same shit here. The majority fatten on their slops.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 20 2022 1:10 utc | 198

What are they smokin?
Bad juju, some empire cock, and meth.
That’s what they smokin.

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Apr 20 2022 1:11 utc | 199

From Rybar Telegram channel via ColonelCassad Telegram channel... Sounds like the Russian forces haven't even entered the actual plant yet - still fighting in buildings around the perimeter...

In the Left Bank region, fierce battles are going on for the last stronghold of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Mariupol - the Azovstal plant.

Assault groups cleared the adjacent buildings: the private sector along Taganrogskaya Street, LCD 1st quarter, microdistrict 6th section. Ukrainians were pushed out of the industrial development east of Unity Avenue.

Fighting is going on on Pobedy Avenue directly at the checkpoint of the Azovstal plant and in industrial buildings near the sorting station.

After taking the Sorting Pot at Azovstal, it will fall into two parts: the plant itself and auxiliary production facilities around the lime shop.

Allied troops provided a corridor for exiting the plant, but no one left Azovstal. The surviving civilians, whose evacuation was hindered by Ukrainian troops, were brought out of the basements of the residential area of ​​the 1st quarter and the microdistrict of the 6th section.

Map in high resolution
( #Mariupol #Russia #Ukraine


Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 20 2022 1:13 utc | 200

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