Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 23, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-72

Only news & views related to the Ukraine conflict ...

The open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b on May 23, 2022 at 14:05 UTC | Permalink

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Johnny Dollar #194

Hey Billy Bob. Great interview with Scott Ritter! Thanks to you both.

One thing SR doesn't talk much about is why Putin is avoiding civilian casualties and, in fact, seems to be making sure he reconstructs the towns which his troops have necessarily destroyed.

Could it be that Putin, as part of his strategic objectives, is determined to win the hearts and minds of the Ukrainian people? If he accomplishes that while simultaneously "demilitarizing" Ukraine, could that be a game changer? Or as Scott Ritter says- an "Off ramp?"

Thanks for the post and I agree - thanks Billy Bob it is good material and sincere.

On your point of reconstruction and future roles in winning hearts and minds. IMO the Luhansk/Donetsk militias are being enabled to win their fight for their country. They will be the heroes as much as the Russian forces supporting them. They will go on to be the Ukrainian national/civil defense force. Russia is likely fully aware that the nazis will always kill any Russian soldier and there will be a few left behind after most walk into the west to destroy their societies. Also I assume many Ukrainians are really uncomfortable with being overwhelmed by Russia and subsumed into Russia so therefore if the nation is policed, defended and governed by Ukrainians there will be a major chance of a peaceful settling down.

So my take is that Russia is most definitely intending to annihilate the nazis - no matter how much weaponry is supplied by the west - right up to the Polish borders. Russia is most unlikely to agree to partition of the country. That is what the west does to smash unity, destroy nation state capacity building and maintain aggression - that does not seem like the Russian design for peaceful social systems afaik.

The war will continue until the last nazi is sucked into the vortex and annihilated. It would be folly to assume that Russia desires to destroy everything in its path as they are not global aggressors and they want a sane, peaceful ally of Ukraine if at all possible. With good fortune and military precision and solid allies along their side they will achieve that. It is only four months and the europeans are wavering, the nazis being daily decimated, the entire Ukrainian war machine severely disabled and the iconic AZOV almost in ruins. All is well.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 7:13 utc | 201

Is this a power play from Turkey to exercise greater control over NATO?

Posted by: Dadda | May 24 2022 4:47 utc | 188

I, too, am intrigued by Turkey's play, here, against Sweden/Finland.

The declaration by Turkey that Sweden is an "incubator" for "terrorist" enclaves is provocative, to say the least.

Some folks here would like to downplay the whole give-and-take as a mere consequence of Sweden's support for the Kurds, but that--in and of itself--begs the question why Sweden would be supporting the Kurds while the US is...seekritly supporting them?

This Turkish refusal to allow Sweden into NATO seems like a probable deal-breaker, to me.

Yes: it seems to me that if the US insists on Swedish inclusion into NATO, then Turkey may well bolt--and if that happens, then NATO is finished in any meaningful sense. Without Turkey, NATO becomes "The Western European Alliance minus the Austro-Hungarian Empire", which, frankly, isn't anything anyone other than the UK cares to spend money maintaining.

My WAG (c. SST's "old soldier" slang) is that neither Sweden nor Finland get admitted to NATO--but Finland stands a wee bit better chance than Sweden, which Turkey seems determined to snip at the bud.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 24 2022 7:14 utc | 202

Posted by: Tard | May 24 2022 2:05 utc | 173

I also have noticed Germany’s reluctance to dive in.
They are sending 15 Gerard AA units with 59000 rounds of ammunition which represents about 4 minutes of firing time per unit.
Poland aren’t getting replacements from Germany for the tanks they’ve sent to UKR.
Other items of German hardware are in a state of disrepair, or they don’t have sufficient numbers.
It’s been noticed by Russia. At a recent press conference, Maria Zakharova namedropped the countries supplying heavy weaponry. Germany was conspicuously absent from the list.
I

Posted by: auximenes | May 24 2022 7:17 utc | 203

@uncle tungsten, | May 24 2022 7:13 utc | 201

So my take is that Russia is most definitely intending to annihilate the nazis - no matter how much weaponry is supplied by the west - right up to the Polish borders.

My take is that the RF has held back its main force for a hard charge against any incursion by NATO members--foremost in its sights Poland and the Baltic States (which, frankly, are not so ungrateful and stupid as to invite such a response).

But Poland?

Yeah. Poland could be just that stupid, and I do perceive Russia as currently willing to put NATO to the test.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 24 2022 7:24 utc | 204

It’s been noticed by Russia. At a recent press conference, Maria Zakharova namedropped the countries supplying heavy weaponry. Germany was conspicuously absent from the list.
I
Posted by: auximenes | May 24 2022 7:17 utc | 203

May i ask where you watch the RF press conferences? the You tube channel i used to watch has disappeared.
Thanks

Posted by: K | May 24 2022 7:32 utc | 205

OK, I am listening to Ritter talking to Billy Bob

He didn't justify his assessment any more than he has before. He just reiterated it. Worse, he made at least two major mistakes:

1) He keeps reiterating that Ukraine is getting $53 billion. Ukraine is absolutely NOT (so far, at least) getting anywhere near that sum. Ukraine got $13 billion earlier (and I never checked to see how much of THAT actually went there), and as we've analyzed in this thread, of the alleged $40 billion new bill, at MOST $17 billion is going into actual weapons - which is 1) not that much more than the original bill, and 2) the original $13 billion has made no evident progress on the battlefield.

2) He claims that Russia can't justify a further incursion into Ukraine, for instance to achieve de-Mazification by seizing Lvov, because 1) they don't have enough troops, and 2) they don't have the UN Charter Article 51 justification which is limited to the Donbass region.

See, this is where Ritter, who spends most of his time proclaiming his credentials (which I have no problem with - they're good credentials) and his ability to interpret data, and not making anything up - all of which is true, falls down: logical extrapolation. That and internal consistency.

Ritter claims Russia had the right in phase 1 of the SMO to penetrate to Kiev and do other operations to "shape the battlefield" in order to make its primary objective - the relief of Donbass - possible militarily. Well, that exactly applies to any "phase 3" and beyond! Because a Donbass sitting by its lonesome, with the rest of Kiev not de-Nazified or de-militarized, is going to be a perpetual problem for the regions Russia has liberated. Russia is fully justified under Article 51 to continue the operation to whatever extent is necessary is insure the security of Donbass and the Russian Federation.

And frankly, I don't give a rat's ass - and I suspect Russia does not, either - about that Article 51 justification. I suspect Russia views the overall threat of a NATO-armed Ukraine to be an existential threat to Russia and therefore Article 51 applies to whatever Russia decides to do about Ukraine.

The rest of Ritter's talk is just reiterating his position - which as far as can tell is entirely based on his over-emphasis on money - that $40 billion and the "Lend-Lease Bill" which he presumes will somehow enable Ukraine to continue fighting for all eternity (except in the Donbass which he admits is lost to Ukraine - until of course the huge "counter-offensive" Ukraine keeps talking about happens, based on "thousands" of Ukrainian soldiers trained over 60 days to use the NATO wunderweppens which enables Ukraine to "re-militarize" and keep the war going forever.)

I and his critics have dealt with those notions already. No need to beat it into the ground. I would note that he at no point addresses the criticisms of his critics in any specifics or even generalities.

One last thing: He's trying to duck out of the fact that he's implying Russia can not win its strategic objectives in Ukraine - other than in Donbass - by saying that all he means is that these new events are a "game changer". Most of us imply "game changer" to mean the advantage swings in the opposite direction. He says that all it means is that if you don't change your game, you lose. Well, since he says he doesn't see any change in the Russian plan - right now - therefore his assessment is that Russia is not changing and therefore cannot win, which in much of English means you lose (or a stalemate at best.) He explicitly said that in his Energy Intelligence article and in his interview with Medhurst: that Russia will lose if it does not win - and that Russia can't achieve its strategic objectives without changing its approach.

And why the hell are we supposed to assume that Russia will NOT change its operational plan? Once again, he's fixated on "now" and extrapolating that into the far future, when the US has trained up another half million man Ukrainian army loaded with wunderweppens - which is going to take months, if not half a year or a year. Does he think Russia is just going to sit around and wait for the US and NATO to seal Russia's defeat? What part of Putin's explicit statement about "hitting first" doesn't he comprehend?

He also gives credence to the rumors of two battalions of Polish troops - or mercenaries - being sent into Ukraine toward the Donbass front. I've yet to see any confirmation of that from anyone.

He thinks Putin will declare a general war between Russia and Ukraine and will define it to extend into Poland and also to deal with Finland and then Russia will mobilize 1-1/2-2 million men. Which he also calls a "game changer". Well, if that is so, why is he bitching about the state of play now, when no "phase 3" has even been announced?

Consistency is not Ritter's strong point.

The last ten minutes are about the economic situation which is fine, although he does emphasize that if Russia mobilizis, it will suffer from the economic effects, etc. He thinks Putin will "slow roll" phase 2 and hope the economic situation brings down the European economy or that if Finland and Sweden are denied NATO membership that will simplify the situation so Putin might only partially mobilize. He thinks this will frustrate everyone and make everyone think Russia has suffered a strategic defeat. He ends by asking how is Russia going to deal with a reconstituted Ukrainian military, how is it going to deal with Lend-Lease, and how is it going to deal with Polish mobilization. He admits there are no answers now. So not only is his assessment limited to now, he does the one thing he counsels against doing - fixating your assessment in the absence of data.

Until Russia tells or shows us how they're going to handle it, why is it reasonable to draw a conclusion that things are not going correctly for Russia?

I give Scott credit for one thing: He didn't make this personal and he reiterated that he has no problem with his critics challenging his assessment as long as they don't make it personal or impugn his underlying motivations. And I don't. I just think he has had lapses in logic influenced by an over-valuation of certain events, e.g., the $40 billion (which isn't $40 billion) and his over-assessment of the effect of NATO training of a certain percentage of Ukrainian forces over an unknown time frame as compared to the pace of the Russian advance which is also an unknown time frame.

As to the latter, I also remind readers that once Donbass is reduced, and possibly after several other cities are taken (if necessary), specifically Kharkiv, Nicolaev and Odessa, that Russia will have the option of moving across Ukraine against a far weakened Ukraine long before NATO can "reconstitute" the Ukrainian army sufficiently to make that a problem for Russia.

After Donbass is reduced, expect Russia to institute another operational pause, replace units, possibly increase the size of its forces, and re-evaluate its operational plan. Then and only then can we see how the game has changed and what Russia intends to do.

It is far too premature to be making negative assessments on Russia's eventual outcome. This is Ritter's primary mistake.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 24 2022 7:34 utc | 206

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 6:36 utc | 198

Hey Wolfram, made my morning coffee.

a totally disreputable ally deserved of the garrotte"

Makes sense to add an extra tee in English but then add another trait, we always say "el garrote vil", that is vile garrotte with the adjective order inverted for enphasis sake.

Posted by: Paco | May 24 2022 7:40 utc | 207

An example of what Ritter fears from the Colonel Cassad Telegram channel...

New Zealand has sent 30 military instructors to train members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The training process will take place at training grounds in the UK.

New Zealanders will train to-britain/WVBJ67NRDOAMKOJD5BFZIBYORE/) 230 Ukrainian soldiers using 105 mm L119 field howitzers.
#New Zealand #Ukraine
@rybar

I'm sure Russia is terrified... This is not "thousands of Ukrainian soldiers", let alone the scores of thousands Ukraine would need to alter the outcome of this war, or even extend the timeline of the war, which Ritter also fears.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 24 2022 7:41 utc | 208

That was an m

Posted by: Paco | May 24 2022 7:42 utc | 209

A proposal is made in the Rada to allow Ukrainian officers to kill deserters (RIA Novosti, May 24, 2022 — in Russian)

A member of the Verkhovna Rada and Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, Maryana Bezuglaya, has introduced a bill proposing to allow Ukrainian officers to kill soldiers who arbitrarily leave their positions or refuse to obey orders.

The bill is in the database of the Rada. Changes are proposed to be made to the statute of the internal service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on ensuring the possibility of stopping criminal offenses in the conditions of a special period.

The current version of the document states that “in a combat situation, the commander (chief) may use a weapon or give an order to his subordinates to use it, if it is impossible to stop a criminal offense in another way, while not causing death to a serviceman”.

The draft proposes to exclude from the document the last part of the phrase—“while not causing death to a serviceman”.

Posted by: S | May 24 2022 7:44 utc | 210

Waiting for Patroklos to suggest an elegant translation to hat throwing. шапкозакидательство.

Posted by: Paco | May 24 2022 7:44 utc | 211

Meanwhile, from Army_Russia Telegram channel, how Russian ECM protects Russian helicopters... So much for Stingers...

HOW VITEBSK PROTECTS RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS IN UKRAINE ‼️

The Russian airborne defense system L-370 "Vitebsk" made helicopters of the army aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces practically invulnerable to the calculations of Ukrainian MANPADS.

According to RIA Novosti, on average, for one sortie, the electronic warfare system takes aside from three to five Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

"For the characteristic, reminiscent of bird's eggs, rounded appearance of the complex's optoelectronic suppression stations, which protrude from the helicopter's body, the pilots nicknamed Vitebsk "the eggs of life," the news agency reports.

The Russian Ministry of Defense spoke about how Vitebsk works in a video about the landing operation at the Gostomel airfield near Kyiv. The actions of the Mi-8 and Ka-52 helicopters are demonstrated "through the eyes of the pilots" - images of the front hemisphere with an indicator on the windshield and the screen of the sighting and navigation system are shown.

At the 23rd second, you can hear the commands of the voice informant BKO "Vitebsk": "Attack from the left!" and "Attack from the front!". The pilot responds to the signals with an evasive maneuver and comments: "He sees everything is fine." A few seconds later, the informant again announces: "Attack from the front - Stinger" and the L-370 complex again leads away from the missile.

Note that the Vitebsk complex entered mass production in 2015. The device automatically detects anti-aircraft missile launches at the helicopter and calculates their coordinates. Then the L-370 suppression station blinds the homing heads of anti-aircraft missiles, after which they lose their target.

https://topwar.ru/uploads/posts/2022-03/vitebsk-2.jpg

Army Ka-52 with "Vitebsk". Behind the nose fairing, an ultraviolet direction finder is visible on board; at the wingtip there is a block for shooting false targets; next to the main landing gear are optical jamming stations.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 24 2022 7:45 utc | 212

Latest Russian MoD briefing...

Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry

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

High-precision air-based missiles have hit 3 command posts, 36 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, 1 self-propelled artillery division of the 14th Mechanized Brigade near Soledar, as well as 6 ammunition depots in Minkovka, Bakhmut, Nikolaevka, Spornoe and Krasnyi Liman in the Donetsk People's Republic, including 1 large depot of 155 mm shells for US M-777 howitzer in Razdolovka during the day. [MY NOTE: Ritter was saying about interdiction?]

Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit 2 command posts, 3 ammunition depots, 80 areas of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as 1 Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile system near Pilipchatino in the Donetsk People's Republic.

The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 210 nationalists and up to 31 armoured and motor vehicles.

Also, Russian fighter aviation have shot down 1 Ukrainian MiG-29 aircraft near Kramotorsk in the Donetsk People's Republic.

Missile troops and artillery have hit 84 command posts, 463 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as 137 artillery and mortar units at firing positions.

13 tanks and armoured combat vehicles, 4 Grad multiple rocket launchers and 3 ammunition depots have been destroyed.

Russian air defence means have shot down 5 unmanned aerial vehicles in Chernobaevka in Kherson Region, Dibrovnoe, Kamenka, Pitomnik and Malye Prokhody in Kharkov Region.

In addition, 4 Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets have been intercepted over Topolskoe, Semenovka and Sukhaya Kamenka in Kharkov Region.

In total, 178 Ukrainian aircraft and 125 helicopters, 995 unmanned aerial vehicles, 320 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,243 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 425 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,658 field artillery and mortars, as well as 3,124 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.

#MoD #Russia #Ukraine #Briefing
@mod_russia_en

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 24 2022 7:51 utc | 213

Vostok Battalion officer Fidel on the main reason of AFU and Azov Battalion surrender:

They didn’t surrender because they didn’t have food. We are finding food in normal quantities, there was drinking water. They surrendered simply because the morale was at the level of “enough already”. Roughly speaking, we pushed them to the edge.

Posted by: S | May 24 2022 8:00 utc | 214

Pacifica Advocate #204

But Poland?

Yeah. Poland could be just that stupid, and I do perceive Russia as currently willing to put NATO to the test.

Certainly Poland political leadership is just that stupid but among the Polish people there are pacifists and genius and supporters of a different political position. The current Polish government is an wholly owned pawn in the UKUSA game. It has been persistently created by UKUSA for the past 30+ years. So it is a stupid pawn.

We cannot dismiss the persistence of Integrity Initiative, The Institute for Statecraft and their journalist pawns in every major and minor media company in the what used to be eastern europe then add in the USA National Endowment for Democracy and its multitude of ideology framing NGO's planted throughout Poland. Nations don't stand much of a chance against this level of propaganda shaping and civil society undermining. In the face of such an obsessive onslaught the public mind is turned and fooled into accepting and even embracing the new Polish order. Had the Polish nation loving and independence minded citizens sacked and destroyed every NED office they >might< have created an alternative path. But they now have to bear the cross of their passivity as do so many of us in the western world.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 8:12 utc | 215

I really don't understand why so many people here are putting such a strong emphasis on "understanding" Ritter.

Ritter's an analyst--one amongst many. He has been wrong in the past (late 90s, anyone?) and could well be wrong here, too.

Ritter's a GOOD analyst, but no analyst is beyond error--Ritter included. If this were a betting game, I'd put my money on some tri/quadr-angular between Consortium News, John Helmer, and MKBhadrakhumar/Pepe Escobar.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 24 2022 8:18 utc | 216

Paco #207

Makes sense to add an extra tee in English but then add another trait, we always say "el garrote vil", that is vile garrotte with the adjective order inverted for emphasis sake.

➰➰
🪢


Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 8:21 utc | 217

Ukrainian Nationalists mined the only exit from the port of Kherson (RIA Novosti, May 24, 2022 — in Russian)

The work of the Kherson Commercial Port at this stage is blocked, as the Ukrainians have mined the only exit to the Black Sea, Kirill Stremousov, Deputy Head of the Military–Civilian Administration of the region, told RIA Novosti.

“The port of Kherson cannot be used at this stage, because the only exit to the Black Sea in the Dnieper–Bug estuary near the port of Ochakov, Nikolaev Oblast, which is controlled by Ukrainian Nazis, has been mined,” he said.

According to Stremousov, it is “practically unrealistic” to open it now, and merchant shipping along the Dnieper has also been suspended.

“When Ochakov and the entire Nikolaev Oblast are completely protected from Ukrainian Nazis, then the port will be opened and unblocked,” the official noted.

Posted by: S | May 24 2022 8:22 utc | 218

In discussions in Scandinavia (among the left wingers) about Russia and Ukraina the question of the oligarchs in Russia often arises. Many say that Putin is controlled by oligarchs and that they are his best friends.As far as I understand he is increasingly taking controll over them. I would love to hear your opinions.

Posted by: Northern Eve | May 24 2022 8:25 utc | 219

How long can a military lose 0.5% of its fighting forces per DAY and still remain viable?

UKR seems to be losing roughly 0.5% per day on a sustained basis, with this amount increasing as it shrinks overall while losses stay about the same or even increase.

Posted by: ct | May 24 2022 8:26 utc | 220

Norther eve

My understanding is that Putin has wanted to get rid of the oligarchs for a while but was not able to

Posted by: ct | May 24 2022 8:27 utc | 221

Pacifica Advocate #216

Destroy Ritter and silence one of the most effective credible critics of the empire's game, the 40 US pentagon biolabs, credible analyst of the emerging biolab evidence. Normally the state would simply erase him, but they are thinking they can use him and this blog to springboard their propaganda and distractions here.

Listen to this at Richard Medhurst on Rumble. It has been posted before but I place it here for ease of access.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 8:29 utc | 222

Posted by: K | May 24 2022 7:32 utc | 205

I read this as a transcript.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the link.
It came from a comment on thesaker.is site.

Posted by: auximenes | May 24 2022 8:31 utc | 223


https://www.anti-spiegel.ru/

I posted a link to some great reports there but the internet goblins gulped it.

There is a really top report on how GW Bush got gamed by the Russian hoaxters into admitting to the USA biolabs in Ukraine. Another on how the German media report BS on Mariupol.

Take a read, easy to translate and mighty good stuff.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 8:39 utc | 224

Jimmy Dore

The Biden klan is as bad as the Clinton klan, thieving jackals.

Hunter Biden Raked In $11 Million From China & Ukraine.

Twenty two minute utoob

NBC News has conducted a detailed analysis of the Hunter Biden laptop, which was once derided by mainstream news outlets as a “classic example of Russian misinformation,” offering further description of the President’s son’s business interests in China and Ukraine. Biden apparently earned more than $11 million between 2013-18, much of which was frittered away as a result of his spiraling drug abuse.

Jimmy and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald discuss the truly scandalous way intelligence agencies and mainstream and even independent media outlets worked together to quash the Hunter laptop story prior to the 2016 presidential election.


Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 8:46 utc | 225

Andrei Martyanov

Lloyd Austin disowns Ukrainian operation and says Ukraine has to settle its future - "the end of the conflict will be defined by the Ukrainians and not by us".

HERE

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 9:04 utc | 226

@ Posted by: Peter | May 23 2022 22:57 utc | 126

A most interesting question.

The answer is simple . The ground attack SU-25 has stone guard inlet shields. The power plant is multi fuel.

In fact many Russian Military aircraft are designed to use basic landing strips. Plus one additional feature. Above average EMP rating.

Finally "The take-off and landing roll of the Su-25 are 750m and 600m respectively. The aircraft weighs around 10,740kg and its maximum take-off weight is 17,600kg."

Basically any straight piece of road(plenty of those in country 404), At a pinch, a civil aviation light plane air strips is usable. The aircraft can be hidden in a standard civil aviation hangar.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 24 2022 9:16 utc | 227

today British transport minister.
We're looking at all the different options ... there are lots of different potential ways to get grain and other goods out of the country," he said. "It's absolutely essential that we do, otherwise there could be a lot of hunger and indeed even famine."
think some one has just woken up.

Posted by: slippery | May 24 2022 9:16 utc | 228

@RSH
This is real. The opposition as well as some parts of the ruling parties are after Scholz for stalling the delivery.
The talk about this is going on for roughly 4 weeks.

Posted by: Goingo | May 24 2022 9:19 utc | 229

Here's an interesting source of information on events and well worth reading:

The situation for Kiev is going from bad to worse to impossible. Recent days have seen the Ukrainian side both hammered and humiliated, the Russian machine getting into the swing of things like never before. The West continues to offer the same aid as it has for months, a gravy train of weaponry slowly heading into eventual Russian possession. For all the laurels that Russia is earning however, we must pause for thought. The satanic machine that the Ukrainian government and its myriad of extremists had become needed denazifying, the state being completely reformed.

What we see however is an increasingly desperate government throwing its people to the lions, thousands dying in order that both Zelenskiy and his backers can keep the western-run bandwagon rolling for a day or two more. The victories that Russia will enjoy over coming days should be a turning point in the war, that point being where the current regime is removed from power meaning that the Russians and Ukrainians can again win the victory of being reunited as a common people…

'The Van Says...'
https://gpovanman.wordpress.com/2022/05/23/a-quandary-for-kiev/

Posted by: Barofsky | May 24 2022 9:34 utc | 230

@Uncle--

Thanks for the feedback. Listening/reading now.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 24 2022 9:55 utc | 231

@Northern Eve #219:

In discussions in Scandinavia (among the left wingers) about Russia and Ukraina the question of the oligarchs in Russia often arises. Many say that Putin is controlled by oligarchs and that they are his best friends.

There are no oligarchs in Russia, only billionaires. There used to be oligarchs in Russia (Semibankirschina, various industrial oligarchs, etc.), but by the end of Putin’s first term he clearly set out the rules of the game: you can continue to own the property that you have amassed (stolen) during the 90’s, but stay out of politics and media. That is, Putin turned oligarchs into billionaires. Khodorkovskiy didn’t listen (not only that, he announced to his circle that he’s going to create a political party to kick Putin out of power), so he lost his fortune and freedom. The billionaires continued to be consulted on the matters of economy, but that was the extent of their influence. Putin is certainly not “controlled” by them, that’s laughable. They fear him. The billionaires tried to promote neo-liberal economic policies via the “liberal” wing of Russian elites (people like Kudrin, Chubais, institutions like Higher School of Economics and their alumni, etc.), but that wing is now dead.

Russia is ruled by Putin, Russian military and Russian intelligence services in the interests of Russia and Russian people.

Posted by: S | May 24 2022 10:02 utc | 232

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 8:29 utc | 222
"they are thinking they can use him and this blog to springboard their propaganda and distractions here."

Who is "they"? Who at this blog is "they"? Specify.


Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 24 2022 10:11 utc | 233

Posted by: Goingo | May 24 2022 9:19 utc | 229

Thanks for the info. Will be interesting to see how this turns out. Can Scholz actually defy the US and NATO? Most people seem to think not, but some people think there are serious cracks developing in some of the EU states like Italy.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 24 2022 10:13 utc | 234

For Eurasia and multipolarity channel:


Tolstoy: neither the world nor Russia will be the same

Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy said on social networks that deputies of the lower house of the Russian parliament would soon review a large number of international agreements.

“In the near future, we will review more than 1,300 international agreements ratified by the Parliament, and we will withdraw from those that openly harm us or simply do not benefit us,” he wrote.

Tolstoy also emphasized that Russia would retain its membership only in those international organizations where the voice of our country sounds on an equal footing with the rest.

“Neither the world, nor Russia, in particular, will ever be the same again. And it's not just about the special military operation in Ukraine. The existing world order is collapsing, life is changing, and this process is irreversible,” he wrote.

Earlier, Tolstoy said that the Ukrainian military needs to lay down their arms, since the country for which they risk it will not remain in its former form soon.

Posted by: Bloke from block 8 | May 24 2022 10:25 utc | 235

@RSH
It will be interesting to see if Scholz can stand up against internal calls to supply heavy weapons.
Parts of FDP (Strack-Zimmermann), Opposition CDU (Merz oor Kiesewetter) or great chunks of msm.

I hope for cracks developing inside NATO (which I think is a goal of the SMO, too).

Posted by: Goingo | May 24 2022 10:29 utc | 236


Who is "they"? Who at this blog is "they"? Specify.


Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 24 2022 10:11 utc | 233

My goodness gracious, man.

I like what you post, mostly, but sometimes you do go off the deep end.

Clearly, "they" refers to "the state."

When did you, a self-professed "libertarian anarchist," fail to notice when someone is referring to "the state"?

Seriously: are you just drunk, or is there something worse at work, here?

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 24 2022 10:31 utc | 237

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 24 2022 10:31 utc | 237

You are presuming he is referring to "the state."

You said in your post above: "I really don't understand why so many people here are putting such a strong emphasis on "understanding" Ritter."

tungsten responded: "they [apparently referring to your "so many people here"] are thinking they can use him and this blog to springboard their propaganda and distractions here.

Where is "here" if not "this blog"? Who is "they" if not someone at this blog? Is he referring to the "concern trolls"? If so, fine.

Let's have a little clarity is all I'm saying.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 24 2022 10:48 utc | 238

FFS get a room

Posted by: ld | May 24 2022 10:49 utc | 239

It will be interesting to see if Scholz can stand up against internal calls to supply heavy weapons.
Parts of FDP (Strack-Zimmermann), Opposition CDU (Merz oor Kiesewetter) or great chunks of msm.

I hope for cracks developing inside NATO (which I think is a goal of the SMO, too).

Posted by: Goingo | May 24 2022 10:29 utc | 236

Scholz has dedicated support from his own party (Wolfgang Schmidt, the chief of the chancellor's office, and Rolf Mützenich, leader of the SPD group in the Bundestag). He has also the discreet support of various German industry branches (especially those dependent on Russian gas) alongside their trade unions. He has also the support of many East German politicians of whatsoever party for simple economic reasons.

The one branch who is distinctly pressuring for more weapons (not counting politicians from other parties) is the media complex, which is 100% under transatlantic control. So as pressure comes from both sides, Scholz is quite in a comfortable situation IMO.

Posted by: mk | May 24 2022 11:08 utc | 240

Posted by: mk | May 24 2022 11:08 utc | 240

I do hope so.
Scholz commentary as to if he would travel to Kiev was great - he stated that he´s not in for photo-ops (and therefore clearly critizizing Barbiebock).

Posted by: Goingo | May 24 2022 11:16 utc | 241

Regarding the Marder infantry vehicles ... they weren`t even considered modern back in the day when the GDR/East Germany got their first batch of BMP-1s (while I served in the GDR navy marines. And that was back in the late 1980s. Even with updates, neither the Marder, the Leopard 1s and early Leopard 2s, nor the Gepards are up to scratch for modern das warfare, not least in the way carried out in Ukraine and without air superiority. Like the Strela anti-aircraft missiles, considered to be junk in 2009 because of structural failure by the Bundeswehr (and I have no idea how they actually survived or were kept that long in Bundeswehr arsenals), lots of old Soviet weaponry and totally outdated West German is being offered to Ukraine and no wonder their high-ups sneered at that suggestion. Might well be that German government wanted to spare itself the cost of having to dismantle this old stuff ...

Meanwhile, the chaps with the crystal balls really let off ever more ridiculous stuff to keep the Germans fixed on Putin`s disaster and Ukraine`s chances of actually winning this:

11:44 a.m
Due to increasing reports, there is speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin is in poor health and that he will soon be replaced at the head of state. Christo Grozev, an expert on Russian security with the investigative group Bellingcat, reports that the Kremlin's belief in a victory in the war in Ukraine is waning. High-ranking security officials see Putin losing control. He is no longer able to lead the country.


According to the news magazine Focus, the former head of the British intelligence service MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, expects a non-violent and bloodless transfer of power in Russia by 2023 at the latest. Dearlove surmised on the One Decision podcast* that he co-hosts that Putin is ending up in a sanatorium "from which he will never emerge as the leader of Russia."

However, Russia still lacks a suitable successor to Putin. Dearlove considers Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, suitable.

Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine's military intelligence service, and former British spy Christopher Steele have both confirmed to Sky News that they are aware of Putin's poor mental and physical condition. He was "very ill," said Budanov. There is speculation about dementia, Parkinson's disease and blood cancer. (hau)

* https://podfollow.com/onedecision/episode/a8995a96315ca660ef31afbe0e50d932cec9c7c8/view

You read it here first! (sarcasm intended)

Posted by: CM of Berlin | May 24 2022 11:22 utc | 242

Posted by: auximenes | May 24 2022 7:17 utc | 203

They are "Gepard" which means "Cheetah"

Why should Germany subsidise Polish stupidity infinitely ? Poland gained Leopard II tanks from Germany at a huge discount when Germany disbanded tank divisions 15 years ago - 48% tanks in European NATO were Leopards. Poland modified its units rendering them no longer identical with other operators...........now they buy Abrams from USA.

Poland wants to operate some huge tank army to take on Russia in the historic madcap goal of Intermarium - a Polish-Lithuanian empire from Baltic to Black Sea - to rival both Russia and Germany

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 24 2022 11:36 utc | 243

Parts of FDP (Strack-Zimmermann), Opposition CDU (Merz oor Kiesewetter) or great chunks of msm.

FDP just got creamed in NRW so she looks particularly sick.

Merz is the Man from Blackrock and not exactly credible.

German MSM represents the interests of a few Oligarchs. - Springer Verlag is in hands of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. - most are in hands of US Mockingbird funds. MSM is without traction in general public - simply elites in a hall of mirrors.

Crappy business press like Handelsblatt/WiWo is full of politics and no real business content. Business is excluded from the political because Kohl was obsessed with politics and ignorant of business except when it came to suitcases of cash...........but Merkel was simply disengaged from business and Green obsessed.

Now German business probably has decided to reduce headcount and only invest abroad even using shell operations to stay in Russia.

There is no way Germany will have an industrial base in 5 years time. They lost consumer electronics, they lost optics, they lost small electrical, they lost computers, they only have automotive and that is over.

Watch VW close SEAT and watch chemicals businesses scale back in Germany. Unemployment should become very scary for Habeck when it takes off by year-end

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 24 2022 11:45 utc | 244

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1pgmvIB3Fjw

For those interested, a 3 month review of SMO highly critical of RF. Well presented. Looks like the other side is far from capitulation - at least as far as narrative goes...

Posted by: Scorpion | May 24 2022 11:57 utc | 245

Dearlove considers Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, suitable.

Dearlove is barely credible after his Dodgy Dossier on Iraq. He did cavort with Steele and another Dodgy Dossier. He is tied into all sorts of cabalistic cliques and is probably a Freemason

http://consortiumnews.com/2022/05/18/boris-johnson-uk-cabals-brexit-coup/

Anyway, that aside.

Putin is not in sole control - STAVKA is. I suspect Putin was seen as repeating Gorbachev's mistakes in being too open to cooperation with West and persisting too long in futile hope. I suspect Putin is a linchpin between the factions where the Military wanted to teach Israel a lesson in Syria and Putin pushed restraint.

I think Lavrov and Foreign Ministry probably tilted towards Military as frustration at STUPIDITY of West reached a limit - and I mean with Personalities like Blinken, Truss, Baerbock - even Maas - and assorted third-rate politicians in the West.

Putin has a natural shelf-life. It does not require great insight to see Putin is at the end of his term and trying to set the future on a better course than he found it after Yeltsin - BECAUSE - where Russia faces danger today it is because of Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

What astounds me is that Gorbachev did not seem to understand the core belief of the CPSU that The West would seek to destroy them as it tried between 12 Jan 1918 and 20 May 1925

The film "White Tiger" (2012) illustrates that even 10 years ago the return of the Nazi attack on Russia was forecast and the last scene makes clear the idea that The West would come again to destroy

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 24 2022 11:58 utc | 246

Thank you ct (221) and thanks to s (232) for your valuable information about Russian oligarchs.Amnesty International shows its true colors by mentioning Mikhail Kodorkovskij as a prisoner of conscience(POC). .

Posted by: Northern Eve | May 24 2022 12:09 utc | 247

Posted by: ct | May 24 2022 8:26 utc | 220
-"How long can a military lose 0.5% of its fighting forces per DAY and still remain viable?
UKR seems to be losing roughly 0.5% per day on a sustained basis, with this amount increasing as it shrinks overall while losses stay about the same or even increase."
70 days later UKr will still have 50 % of her force,it will take much less time to get the last 50% if they are not démoralise before

Posted by: Svorane | May 24 2022 12:17 utc | 248

“Neither the world, nor Russia, in particular, will ever be the same again. And it's not just about the special military operation in Ukraine. The existing world order is collapsing, life is changing, and this process is irreversible,” he wrote.

Earlier, Tolstoy said that the Ukrainian military needs to lay down their arms, since the country for which they risk it will not remain in its former form soon.
Posted by: Bloke from block 8 | May 24 2022 10:25 utc | 235

Thxs. Strong stuff. Grandpa Tolstoy is no doubt cheering on somewhere...

This language is clear, logical, purposeful and seamlessly consistent with the many pronouncements of VVP and FM Lavrov. Russia seems to be the only adult nation in the conflict.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 24 2022 12:22 utc | 249

@ donten | May 23 2022 22:01 utc | 108

What do you use to translated from Russian?

Ubuntu 22.04

In descending rank of frequency of use not necessarily accuracy.

Translate Web Pages
Google Translate
Yandex Translate
Deepl Translate

Posted by: jrkrideau | May 24 2022 12:34 utc | 250

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 8:46 utc | 225

thanks for that Dore/Greenwald video.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 24 2022 12:43 utc | 251

I still think Russia is trying to force a deal. The deal they want to force is already on the table and it just matters how far they have to push back on empire before it capitulates. Russia is demonstrating its capabilities and empire is trying to figure our how to hang on to its corner of our new world.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 24 2022 3:07 utc | 178

Yes, I find that very workable too. Mainly I was trying to say I think this is going much better than expected, despites some hiccups. This is what comes from thinking things through. Putin does seems to be parsimonious with his planning, aims low, but also often gets much better results than he plans for. That is no accident.

Posted by: james | May 24 2022 3:55 utc | 184

Thanks james, best regards.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 24 2022 12:47 utc | 252

In regards to Lyman...

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FTddl9tVsAAfoaU?format=jpg&name=small

Posted by: BroncoBilly | May 24 2022 13:17 utc | 253

Shoot me if I'm stating something you all know but Telegram has a built in translator: select text -> right click -> translate

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | May 23 2022 23:05 utc | 128

You first need to set things up by setting a default language. That is done by clicking the hamburger in main page and choosing settings->language.

Posted by: Wim | May 24 2022 13:21 utc | 254

@ Tard re Wałęsa:

Wałęsa has been soundly rejected by Poles for not being right-wing nationalist enough. Not surprisingly, it was "revealed" that he'd been an informant for the Polish secret services during the Communist era -- indeed he probably was, but then, Poland's entire political class would consist of under-30s if all such ex-informants were eliminated from consideration.

Oh, and the guy has even come to accept same-sex marriage, which renders him even more toxic in the Polish political world.

Posted by: malenkov | May 24 2022 13:30 utc | 255

Could it be that Putin, as part of his strategic objectives, is determined to win the hearts and minds of the Ukrainian people?

Posted by: Johnny Dollar | May 24 2022 6:16 utc | 194


Most definitely . . . wrt the ethnically Russian and/or Russophone parts of the country. The rest will be an insanely hostile rump state; proper and effective disposition of it will be the great postwar challenge.

Posted by: malenkov | May 24 2022 13:34 utc | 256

Thermobaric rounds landing in the middle of Liman village... good thing they called this a "Special Military Operation" because Russia was trying to not harm civilians hey... not that Ukrainians can remain blameless for putting their troops there, but seems to me like both sides care about people and property as much as each other:

https://www.bitchute.com/video/8P6fKPEEqdMi/

Posted by: Et Tu | May 24 2022 13:37 utc | 257

i'll put some humour

https://archive.org/details/montypythonmr.hilter_201910

Posted by: Svorane | May 24 2022 13:40 utc | 258

Scott Ritter discusses the responses he's received from his recent analysis

Ritter explains his change of perspective of the Russian SMO. Phase 2 is coming to an end. What happens next? The presence of the Poles means Russia can now declare war. Another "game changer".

What can I say. Ritter's analysis makes a lot of sense. He uses building blocks that I didn't know existed to fill in justification for Russian escalation to all out war. "This is not a good time to be Europe." Same thing Hudson has been saying.

Ritter made guesses as to why there was such a negative reaction to his earlier analysis and I find myself agreeing with him, what was the problem? He illuminated aspects of this crisis that others didn't even know existed.

"Is Europe really willing to go to war because Poland elected to deploy troops to Ukraine?"

Posted by: fiji refugee | May 24 2022 13:40 utc | 259

Posted by: Et Tu | May 24 2022 13:37 utc | 257

That's not thermobaric :), and the original video from Sasha Kots does not mention thermobaric either. What you see is called Heavy Flamethrower System - ТОС, or TOS in latin multiple rocket launcher (capable of thermobaric!) used to destroy heavy fortifications/buidlings/depots. In fact, the only time I've seen thermobaric used were few rounds on Azovstal.

Posted by: Bloke from block 8 | May 24 2022 13:59 utc | 260

from Kyiv Post

from-the-field report by Yury Butusov, a combat correspondent and operator of the market-leading censor.net news website, said that a critical road used by the UAF for supply runs between Severodonetsk and the UAF logistics hub Bakhmut was under nearly continuous Russian Federation artillery fire.

UAF artillery was present in strength a laying down curtain fire to block RF advances, and UAF defenses through stretched were still battle-worthy, Butusov reported.

RF units were pressing to cut the Bakhmut-Severodonetsk road at three villages – Yakolivka, Belohorodivka and Berestoho – but were not able to advance against heavy UAF shelling, he said.

RF units were hitting the Bakhmut-Severodonetsk road with artillery, mortars and rocket artillery, and at some locations with air strikes, Butusov said. . .here


That road is at the East end of the UAF salient, running SW-NE on this zoomable map

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 24 2022 14:01 utc | 261

The issue of Finland admitted into NATO is insane, why, Russia has not threaten Finland that I know of, had a treaty with Russia indicating they would remain a neutral country in any conflict, yet now want to join NATO, a should be disbanded organization!

If NATO places defensive weapons on Finland’s soil we will have WWIII. The U.S.is crazy enough to want that.

Posted by: ET | May 24 2022 14:09 utc | 262

Posted by: Bloke from block 8 | May 24 2022 13:59 utc | 261

THe TOS 1 uses mostly thermobaric ammunition, so what you're seeing in the video is indeed thermobaric explosions. Truly ugly, and really out of whack with what the RuA used to do till then...

Posted by: foxbatFR | May 24 2022 14:12 utc | 263

...Holodomor. I think that is the main weapon Ukrainian nationalism wield against Russians and pretend to equal the Soviets to the Nazis. Posted by: Mariátegui | May 24 2022 0:53 utc | 156

When I hear such arguments, I always have a serious doubt if the person who argues like that really think that Nazis were bad, which turns the argument into sophistry.

Selensky has paved the way for this and is bartering his own country to Warsaw. uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 6:51 utc

Note how Zelensky copes with the ban on letter "Z": German spelling to the rescue! (Germans use "z" for "ts" and "S" at the start of a word for "z", hence Selensky, henceforth the official latininization of Зеленський/Зеленский)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 24 2022 14:30 utc | 264

Peace must be at hand, Ivanka traveled to Poland last week to meet with Ukraine refugees. She handed out meals to refugees, met with faith-based groups. A fan on her instagram cheered, "Ivanka for President!" Very soon we'll be told that a peace deal has been negotiated by Ivanka. If she wants to be president of Ukraine, that would be fine.

Posted by: susan mullen | May 24 2022 4:42 utc | 187

Ivanka may say something in Polish and Ukrainian without mangling too much. It seems that she does not like to speak, which to me would be an attractive change on American political scene.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 24 2022 14:38 utc | 265

Posted by: foxbatFR | May 24 2022 14:12 utc | 264

It doesn't matter if it was thermobaric or not. Everybody can see what the size of the explosion is. Same size as any kind of powerful enough missile.
There is no special reason to be afraid of collateral damage.

As usual, it's obfuscation of reality, performed by Et Tu.

Posted by: Parisian Guy | May 24 2022 14:54 utc | 266

Thanks to Billy Bob for cutting to the heart of this Ritter flap. Right or wrong on this or that, Ritter is an honest and perceptive man speaking his mind. And given the incendiary material in his background (which, yes, he brought upon himself), Ritter is also a man of courage willing to open himself to further public humiliation by again taking an unpopular stand. Some apologies are in order, assuming his accusers are as big as he is.

Posted by: Newton Finn | May 24 2022 15:37 utc | 267

@ CM of Berlin | May 24 2022 11:22 utc | 243

thanks for the humour!

@ Paul Greenwood | May 24 2022 11:58 utc | 247

thanks for your ongoing commentary paul.. much appreciated..

@ regarding polish troops in ukraine - i am going to wait until russia mod says this, because every other news outlet is generally full of shite...

Posted by: james | May 24 2022 16:27 utc | 268

The reason why countries like Sweden and Finland want to join NATO plus the divinely neutral Swiss piling in on the sanctions should be pretty obvious to all barflies. The US and its UKet all inner circle have decided that this war is for all the marbles. They forecast and proposed this conflict and are in as they say to the bitter end. The end being a break up of the Russian federation and a divvying up of its natural resources. Any country which refuses to sign up will not get a share of the Russian cake when The Nuland/Kagan dream state is achieved. It is the fear of missing out (FOMO) that drives these so called allies.

At the end of the day Russia does not need to physically conquer the whole Ukraine land mass. Only subdue the whole country aerially which it has already done and acquire the bits that are ethnically friendly and strategically necessary for it to control the land locked rump state that remains.

Every part of Ukraine that is not physically taken over will be a subjugated remain. Unable to make friends or foes without Moscow's say so and more importantly be the bearer of the financial burdens of the former state. Poland know that if they move even a step across the western border in large formation, they will be greeted with hell fire. I somehow doubt they will risk it, Uncle Sam is always wary about getting its own feet wet in these situations. Its great victories have always come against minnow states who cannot fight back on equal terms. This SMO is almost over. There can be no fight without manpower. Ukraine is basically running out of Ukrainians.

Posted by: DaVinci | May 24 2022 17:21 utc | 269

"...Russia is ruled by Putin, Russian military and Russian intelligence services in the interests of Russia and Russian people."

Posted by: S | May 24 2022 10:02 utc | 233

Thanks, S. Nice distinction between billionaires and oligarchs.

Posted by: juliania | May 24 2022 17:44 utc | 270

"...Russia is ruled by Putin, Russian military and Russian intelligence services in the interests of Russia and Russian people."

Posted by: S | May 24 2022 10:02 utc | 233


I'm sorry, but I find that formulation utterly cringeworthy, as it implies ("ruled" as opposed to governed) that Russia is a military-security state headed by a dictator.

Posted by: malenkov | May 24 2022 17:55 utc | 271

The US economy is deteriorating quickly, with industry surveys showing a rapid weakening, share prices dumping, and housing market demand falling off a cliff as interest rates rise. Given the incredible level off leverage in the economy this can't be allowed to continue too long, otherwise a debt-deflation cycle will kick in which will make the 1979/1980 Volcker Shock look like a children's tea party. The Fed will have to back off and the neocons brought under control to limit the damage to the US economy, the latter will be a severe shock to the neocons as the limits of US power becomes apparent.

Then we have the reality of the Ukrainian battlefield, the resilience of the Russian economy and currency (now 58 to the US$), and the increasing difficulties of the European economy to punch the Western narrative in the face. Its not going to be a good Summer or Fall for the West.

Posted by: Svorane | May 24 2022 12:17 utc | 249

Its which 0.5% is being attritted every week, if its the best troops as we are seeing in the Donbass then the military can crumble very fast after only perhaps a third of the military is gone (dead/seriously wounded/surrendered). Add to that the morale effect of constantly being under bombardment and retreating away from strong fortifications into more open ground. Add to that the realization that your weapons are out of date crap (or after their sell by date as many of the Western weapons seem to be), and your superiors have left you at the front as cannon fodder.

The other variable is the increasing amount of reality that seems to be getting into the Ukrainian media and the increasing videos from troops and their families about the reality of the fighting. I have to also assume that all those calls back from surrendered Ukrainian troops showing their good treatment must also be having some effect.

Collapse happens incrementally, then all at once.


Posted by: Roger | May 24 2022 21:29 utc | 272

The Telegram channel Slavyangrad Gleb Bazov has a Russian military intelligence translation of what appears to be an official Ukraine army report, addressed to the Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces of the Ukraine, highlights:

- The Ukie army has lost between 40% and 60% of its trained personnel, reservists are replacing them without proper selection
- Only 39% have body armour, only 50% have a bullet proof helmet
- Recruits are being deceived, they think that they will be doing territorial defence and then end up at the front line
- 30% of the troops that are sent to the front-line are not capable of carrying out military service
- Lack of instructions for soldiers and a lack of ammunition

If the above is accurate, the Ukie armed forces are close to collapse and Phase 3..n may happen relatively fast. The Donbass broiler will have done the job of cooking the core of the Ukrainian armed forces. No wonder the US wants a ceasefire, the Russians have their enemy on the ropes.

Posted by: Roger | May 24 2022 22:10 utc | 273

@RSH:

Full quote:

"Normally the state would simply erase him, but they are thinking they can use him and this blog to springboard their propaganda and distractions here."

Seems pretty clear to me.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 24 2022 23:40 utc | 274

@uncle tungsten | May 24 2022 8:12 utc | 216

All those NED "initiatives" you mention were first tested in Central American countries, and then next over here in Taiwan/Philippines/Indonesia/Singapore/HongKong/etc (Australia, anyone? Nobody wants to cop to white-on-white violence? Really?).

Long-story-short: I've been watching the NED float its nonsensical bullshit over here in Taiwan for nearly 30 years. Every year it gets worse, and every year Hollywood manages to make it more plausible.

Thank you, Taiwanese movie-makers.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 25 2022 7:49 utc | 275

@malenkov #272:

I'm sorry, but I find that formulation utterly cringeworthy, as it implies ("ruled" as opposed to governed) that Russia is a military-security state headed by a dictator.

I’m not a native speaker of English language, so sometimes I may get some nuances wrong. In this particular case, I didn’t think the verb “rule” had such a negative connotation.

On the issue of “military-security state”, I guess, it really depends on what it does. U.S. intelligence services take away freedoms of U.S. citizens, lie to them, and ultimately serve U.S. oligarchs. Russian intelligence services enable Russians to live more freely (have more opportunities in life than in the 90s due to security, social stability and re-industrialization programs), tell them the truth, and ultimately serve ordinary Russian people.

On the issue of “dictatorship”, which state is more democratic: one that installs a new pseudo-leader every four years, who never does things ordinary people want, or one that has a permanent leader who is carefully listening to the desires of the people and making and executing plans to achieve them? I think Russia is more democratic than the U.S.

Now, regarding Russia’s political system, yes, it’s managed. There are formal as well as informal barriers against undesired political activity. And the reason for that is the need to protect the country, not “Putin’s lust for power”. Opening up political system completely in the late 80s – early 90s has only resulted in economic collapse, break-up of the country, wars, criminalization of the society, and oligarchy. That is because the Soviets/Russians were not ready psychologically and culturally to operate such an open political system to their benefit. Many didn’t want to participate at all, leaving the field wide open to all kinds of manipulators, including foreign agents. Putin would be happy if Russians became more responsible as citizens: he is constantly making efforts to increase citizen participation in the government of the country, e.g., creation of All-Russia People’s Front, various NGOs/volunteer organizations, direct democracy systems like Active Citizen, etc. As Russians demonstrate more responsibility and success in self-governing, the political system will be gradually opened up. It may never become completely open, though, because a completely open system may simply not be the best political system for humans.

Posted by: S | May 25 2022 13:10 utc | 276

Posted by: Roger | May 24 2022 22:10 utc | 274

I suspect that the figures about the woeful state of AFU are exaggerated, because the resistance is still quite strong, there are hints of change, but it is still a very slow war. After initial miscalculations, Putin decided to be very careful with the lives of Russian soldiers, and there may be also consideration of sustainable supplies from the current production. Battleground is reduced to area where Ukrainian logistic is worst, and where the population and AFU mutually resent each other. On the negative side, Russia tries to keep destruction and loss of civilian lives to minimum, the civilians are their friends, and their property, even if shabby, is precious.

Overall, AFU still shows that it has artillery, vehicles, ammunition and they dig fortifications really well, reducing the effectiveness of artillery, but indeed, their largest limitation is the pool of able and motivated soldiers. Lamentably, Russia will exploit that. (If the West put as much efforts in feeding people rather than cannons...)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 25 2022 19:28 utc | 277

Sorry but im finding it impossible to keep up with all blogs, comments on them, videos, articles ect ect. Is there any info ive missed on the rumor of the polish brigades moving in ukraine?

Posted by: Mark | May 26 2022 1:52 utc | 278

the fatal failure of russias era cryptophone system

https://asiatimes.com/2022/05/the-fatal-failure-of-russias-era-cryptophone-system/

What do you mean about this ?

Regards from France

Posted by: Riff | May 26 2022 6:43 utc | 279

The AFU posted a pretend desperate we need help video, as far as I can tell reinforcements showed up having a laugh because they pulled a fast one.
Unfortunately for them the Russian DPR gang also followed suit, they said they were untrained tired students and local workers that needed a rest because they were on the front lines and smashed azov. Shortly after Russian regulars showed up with a boatload of tanks.
The twitter bots report how crappy the Russian tanks are and everyone is mad that the Russians want to force the DPR into fighting.
I guess most people missed these events all being conected. I bet the UFA guys in the warehouse probably lost there smirky smiles when thar convoy dropped.
They should make peace

Posted by: Dodger | May 26 2022 10:21 utc | 280

What do you mean about this ?

Regards from France

Posted by: Riff | May 26 2022 6:43 utc | 280

As I understand it, the Russian troops are not allowed to have cell-phones.

I hope that helps.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 26 2022 13:42 utc | 281

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