Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 26, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-74

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

The open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b on May 26, 2022 at 12:49 UTC | Permalink

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@ Jpc | May 26 2022 17:42 utc | 55

thanks for that link.. i finally got round to reading it and agree, it is worth the read - tom luongo.. here it is again for anyone interested..

Davos 2022: The Octogenarian Oligarch Cage Match

@ Citron | May 27 2022 5:24 utc | 198

interesting take from george webb... a guy could make or break his career on that type of prediction..

Posted by: james | May 27 2022 5:34 utc | 201

@BroncoBilly | May 27 2022 0:09 utc | 147
Discussing comparative strenght by GDP figures is moot. Taking IMF figures I see Russia at "rank" 11 nominally, and 6 by purchasing power. Both are in no way bad or weak figures, and both do not tell a lot, neither about the situation on the ground nor about the strength of a country military wise (look up the figures in wikipedia's list of countries by GDP, not that it matters).

As already cited
explains the problem of GDP comparisons nicely.

Just to remind, Russia has less than 10% of the military expenses of the "Western" bloc, 1/7 ca. of the US, and hardly more than Germany. Compare that to the military strength and efficiency, e.g. in Syria.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 27 2022 5:37 utc | 202

I hadn't run into this guy before, but got it from the latest Saker sitrep. He's been cited here in this thread already as stating that Wagner was part of the latest developments - I'm not going there, but I enjoyed his video because he shows in very clear and granular detail how the overarching Russian methods of warfaring have played out and are playing out (and speculatively, may play out) in the Donbass theater:

Major Russian breakthrough at POPASNA

I like that he throws in references to WWII and Napoleon and other notable campaigns - I'm not military enough to judge but he seems like a man filled with enough understanding of warfare that it keeps spilling into his analysis. Very rich 18 minutes.


My takeaway is how Russia is fighting this campaign. He says Russia has "no plan" - by which he means only that Russia has "all plans" and is supremely flexible in how it goes about winning ground, because it can select at each crossroads which way to go. And having gone, whether to proceed further, or to spread to the flanks to avoid its own encirclement. And having spread to the flanks, whether to proceed even farther to the side, to take another objective, which would then lead to another possible path to take. And so on.

As in the Great Patriotic War, Russia attacks at multiple locations, and when one succeeds it throws its bulk of support into that salient - i.e. not rushing to support the failing forces, or seeking a solid front line, but always pushing through. I remember Dmitry Orlov teaching us that several years ago - and so it shows on this man's maps, which he marks up with a pen as he explains.

When you follow the multiple twists and turns that RF forces have taken in his brief recap, you can see the tactical and operational moves that are open to the commanders at every mile or two. Thinking that the progress is slow is to misunderstand the inch-by-inch nature of this cleansing operation. This video can be a palliative for that, for any who wish to be cured of the misunderstanding.

Watching the progress of the Russian forces at this moment, on this man's map, shows us that we don't know what Russia will do next, but that we can see the several choices that will exist for the commanders, parsing the latest data and shape on the ground, to make their next decisions.

I found the video one of the most fascinating ever in this war. It actually put me into the Russian decision-making. Very good.

Posted by: Grieved | May 27 2022 5:59 utc | 203

Posted by: Citron | May 27 2022 5:24 utc | 198

Well, that's an interesting prediction. Good luck with that. Because if NATO goes against Russia, it's either a disastrous NATO defeat or WWIII. Take your pick.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 6:08 utc | 204

Can somebody explain what this display of amazing "fireworks" is?

How destructive is it and is it equivalent to carpet bombing?

Posted by: ct | May 27 2022 6:08 utc | 205

Posted by: ct | May 27 2022 6:08 utc | 203

Looks similar to a video I saw of a similar attack on the Azovstal plant. I think it's cluster munitions. They look like sparkly Christmas tree lights. This site gives a nice picture.

How Cluster Bombs Work

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 6:18 utc | 206

i thought this sums up ukie army. guys on moped laughing at guys on tractor. while we laugh at both. thats some billions there. never let the boss buy cocaine before putting in the tank and truck order

Posted by: hankster | May 27 2022 6:20 utc | 207

You might find this thread amusing

This dude has been one of the major proponents of the 'OMG! rushans suk, us rules, we gonna whip your ass russki' school of military thought.

Now he is facing the facts of the impending Ukrainian collapse.


Posted by: Hidari | May 27 2022 6:25 utc | 208

Can you believe the Washington Post published this?

Ukrainian volunteer fighters in the east feel abandoned

As Donbass Insider says,

I sense a disturbance in the Narrative. Recall last week's calls for a truce by the New York Times and in the Atlantic, and then (sort of) by Kissinger at Davos? Now the Washington Post of all places runs a shockingly honest account ( of how Kiev is throwing volunteers and conscripts from western Ukraine into the Donbass meat-grinder.

Once you get past the required embellishments of "bad Russia, good Ukraine", you're left with a volunteer company from Uzhgorod being reduced from 120 men to 54 "because of deaths, injuries and desertions." They speak of constant Russian artillery pounding, being reduced to eating a potato a day due to supply problems, and having no radios, few RPGs, and only basic training in how to shoot.

The most interesting part to me is that they were deployed in Toshkovka, south of Lisichansk -- where a massive number of Ukrainian troops is currently trapped -- and last week simply LEFT for a town south of Kramatorsk, after their command bailed on them, "taking food, water and other supplies." In a twist ending, the commander and his XO were both arrested for desertion by the Ukrainian army, after spilling the beans to WaPo.

What I wonder is, how does this serve the Narrative? Shall it be used to send more weapons and money to Kiev, or is it preparation to rationalize the impending defeat of Ukraine's military? I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 6:26 utc | 209

One more point, as Mark Ames pointed, out the West really f***ed up by wasting time and money sending javelins etc. to the Ukraine when the Ukies were crying out for heavy artillery. That artillery is now coming, but it's far too little and far too late. By the time the Ukies have learned to use it, the war will be over.

Posted by: Hidari | May 27 2022 6:28 utc | 210

Posted by: Hidari | May 27 2022 6:25 utc | 206

This post cracked me up. Wait until he finds out the real attrition rate which is 5-10 times Zelenskyy's figures. That he takes anything Zelenskyy says as worthg repeating shows my Martyanov dismisses these guys as "wannabes." As Martyanov says, he's gonna be so butthurt.

Michael Kofman @KofmanMichael
May 25
Recent Russian gains in the Donbas, despite a relatively weak military advantage, suggest that UKR forces have suffered significant attrition. Zelensky mentioned a range of 50-100 KIA per day. This is a high casualty rate. 9/

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 6:30 utc | 211

uhg, typing too fasty... "worthg" s/b "worthy"..."my" s/b "why"

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 6:32 utc | 212


After the first day, it was too late.

If this were chess, it would be like losing your queen, rooks and bishops after the first move.

Game over, just formality for the superior forces to slice and dice up the remaining knights and pawns. That is not to say a tenacious defense cannot be constructed and the superior side will need to sacrifice some material to break through the defenses.

Does the number of moves it takes to achieve checkmate matter so much? Especially when the longer it takes, the more money Russia earns. If war finishes today, oil prices goes way down and sanctions are still in place. So when incentives all say to take your time and be methodical, that is what happens.

People complaining that it is move 92 and still not checkmate, while the position is still totally winning and there being no chance for counter attack, think about whether it is better or worse for Russia to complete the mission immediate.

Posted by: ct | May 27 2022 6:35 utc | 213

@ct #203

From comments it is a volley of 9M22S incendiary rockets, likely being used against enemy forces hiding in wooded area (a legal use, by the way). Strangely beautiful if you're not on the receiving end.

Posted by: Billb | May 27 2022 6:49 utc | 214

Posted by: Andrew B. | May 27 2022 0:44 utc | 155

That article is intriguing. They’re using a sonic ‘fingerprint’ to identify the type of ordnance being used. Then use triangulation from multiple listening points to identify a rough location to send a drone which pinpoints the location for the return artillery fire.

Posted by: auximenes | May 27 2022 6:53 utc | 215

Maybe this is the way things will really go?
The civilian populations will decide, not the military. This way they can avoid loss of life and destruction, and IF they can also avoid the Ukrainians (s)hitting on them when they leave. (Destroying everything on leaving, as has been already seen.)

"Demand to join Russia goes well beyond Donbass linking up to Crimea - "We do not need grey zones, we do not need the Zaporozhye People's Republic." The Zaporozhye region, like the Kherson region, is already switching to Russian +7 phone numbers."

Note there is supposed to be a Russian build up along the front line close to the Dnieper river. There are also solid Uke defense lines along the eastern side of the Dnieper, between them and Zaporozhye.

Grieved | May 27 2022 5:59 utc | 201

The Russians give a lot of leeway and the possibility for initiative, to local command structures "on the ground".
One missing link is information on the "embedded NATO trainers" and special forces from several countries. (They were prevalent during the 8 years war in Donbas), Taken with the fact that the "commanders" of Ukie forces are often leave the troops to fend for themselves, => are the special/NATO forces the ones doing the "leaving" first?

Posted by: Stonebird | May 27 2022 7:42 utc | 216

@malenkov | May 26 2022 23:46 utc | 140

It's unlikely, I know, but I'm enjoying the fantasy of an emergency NATO meeting prompted by a 404 attack on, say, Hungary. It would be embarrassing to see Jens & Co. having to walk back their sacred Article 5.
Yes, that would be something. But, an unapologetic hypocrite like Jens will simply present it as renewed reason for NATO's existence, that is the only real objective they are serving anyway.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 27 2022 7:43 utc | 217

Posted by: Billb | May 27 2022 6:49 utc | 212

Just looked that up, it seems very similar to cluster munitions in that they have "brakes" on them to slow the descent. In fact, in essence they are cluster munitions as each rocket breaks up into 180 smaller munitions. Good that we've got the designation identified. Good catch.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 7:48 utc | 218

@Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 0:42 utc | 154

Jesus, can we please get off the bridge stuff...?
They are counting the inventory, in an environment of massive propaganda there are now many bridges to be sold.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 27 2022 7:53 utc | 219

something that I was unaware of....
Nato doesn't appear to be as solid as it likes to portray itself, nor does simply invoking that infamous Article 5 mean that everyone is going to ride to your rescue, apparently.
ASB Military News

❗️❗️ ‼️ There is an informal agreement between a number of NATO countries not to supply weapons to Ukraine - DPA

According to Germany's largest news agency, members of the Alliance fear that in the event of an open confrontation with Moscow over such supplies, NATO will refuse to fully support its partners.

"There are fears, for example, that Russia may officially consider the supply of Western tanks and combat aircraft as entry into the war, and then take military retaliatory measures. And therefore, weapons of this type are not being supplied to Ukraine," Germany’s DPA reports.

This is the reason Poland refused to supply Ukraine with Soviet MiG-29 fighters."

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 27 2022 7:54 utc | 220


It looks like the IAEA bureaucrats are working for the US to spy on Russian operations in the SMO.

The Doctor quoted in the article is a liar and an idiot like the author at the Livermore National Lab who stated the same lie. Actually, plutonium is highly carcinogenic if inhaled and taken into cells throughout the body. While alpha particles are slow and do not penetrate very far they pack a punch due to their mass and can readily cause double-stranded damage to DNA which results in mutations and ultimately cancer. One of my co-workers used to handle plutonium pits in the 325 building at Hanford. Both he and his wife died of cancer within one year of retirement.

Likewise, the IAEA director is lying about stores of plutonium and enriched uranium in Ukraine. Ukraine cannot produce 30 metric tons of plutonium without a plutonium processing plant? Ukraine lacks fuel reprocessing facilities to extract plutonium from fuel rods. In the US this was done using the PUREX process created by three senior scientists at the Hanford 325 building with level 2 security clearances (better than top-secret) Besides, the Ukrainian reactors are used for power generation and not for the production of high burnout fuel which uses metallic uranium as a fuel compared to uranium in ceramic beads in thermal nuclear power plants.

The Zaporizhzhia reactor complex depleted fuel rods were replaced with new fuel rods from Russia and the spent fuel rods were returned to Russia to be reprocessed until 2014. There was thus no opportunity to divert spent fuel into weapons production.

All nuclear weapons in Ukraine were transferred to Russia at the fall of the USSR. Much of the uranium is sold to the US to fuel the US commercial reactors. Same with much of the plutonium, with the "hottest" isotope used to fuel US deep space probes.

Plutonium is stored in segregated facilities with multiple levels of security. Strict spacial distribution is maintained and regular audits are conducted to account for the mass down to the nearest milligram. Ukraine just doesn’t have these facilities.

Posted by: Krollchem | May 27 2022 7:57 utc | 221

"There is no detailed data on the combat deployment of the “Peresvet” complexes during the special military operation in Ukraine, however, in early March, Wired reported that American satellites were “experiencing difficulties” in working when flying over the border areas of Russia and Ukraine. According to Wired, the intelligence department of the US Department of Defence could not get any pictures of the desired area at all before the start of hostilities, and the advanced units of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine were noticed from space only a few hours after the start of “Operation Z”. Neither civilian analysts nor representatives of the Pentagon specify why this happened."

Posted by: Mikkael | May 27 2022 8:08 utc | 222

“And amongst the heads of state there is only one who is standing up against the forces of evil. Don't count on Boris Johnson in England. Don't count on Macron in France. Don't count on Draghi in Italy. It’s Vladimir Putin! Who may be no angel and no saint, but nevertheless is a man of intelligence and great courage. And as the head of Russia, he has the means to stand up against the one world government,”

Posted by: Citizenfitz | May 27 2022 8:14 utc | 223

@Andrew B. | May 27 2022 0:44 utc | 155

More US junk to Ukraine
I found this section more interesting than what has been cited earlier:

Data leak

In the case of not the most outstanding mental abilities, American engineers have come up with DFCS – Digital Fire Control System. In simple terms, this is an electronic unit that works like a car navigator and tells the calculation what coordinates one needs to enter to accurately hit the target. However, 80% of American howitzers arrived in Ukraine without this device, and when the artillerymen began to complain that “they could not understand how to shoot”, an elegant solution was found. Instead of the original units produced by General Dynamics, Canadian GDMS were installed on the Ukrainian M777. Similar in characteristics, but without the American electronics inside.

The M777 howitzer brought to the position is detected in space using the onboard inertial navigation system, GPS and motion sensor, and coordinates for a combat mission can be “thrown” to the gun via a tactical communication channel. The Americans also equipped the Ukrainian army with communication systems in advance, about a year before the start of Operation Z.

But it was not possible to solve the problem with the accuracy of shooting. Suddenly, it turned out that the American artillerymen used howitzers with the DFCS system to shoot at an enemy armed only with small arms. The positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Donbass were actively “processed” by the Russian Army, equipped, among other things, not only with air defence, but also with electronic warfare systems that suppress any electronic systems at a distance of tens of kilometres. After switching on the electronic warfare system, the Canadian GDMS units stopped working, and the positions of the M777 howitzers were suddenly hit by artillery fire 25-30 minutes after deployment and loading.

A hunting ticket, or no music for sleeping at all

When the Ukrainian artillerymen and their American handlers realised how the Russian army was tracking down the M777 positions, the satellite navigation units were quickly dismantled. The effectiveness of American self-propelled artillery returned to its previous, almost zero level, but for some reason there were no fewer counter artillery strikes. The answer to this phenomenon probably lies in the “Zoopark” counter-battery radar of the Russian Army. The complex has been connected to a database since the operation to force Georgia to make peace, which stores not the sounds of the forest or music for sleeping, but key features of artillery pieces from different countries of the world, including the United States.

According to a sound-measuring officer, Lieutenant Colonel of the Ground Forces in the reserve Ivan Soshkin, “three sevens”, like any artillery of NATO countries, has its own acoustic portrait and its work is clearly “audible”.

M777 howitzers have special shooting parameters. But the bottom line is that “Zoopark” allows not only to distinguish one system from another, but also a conditional barrel from a barrel, since there are variables and constants there
Constant values, according to Soshkin, are the barrel length, caliber, type of gunpowder used, and much more, which makes up the “basic set” of target parameters. M777 has long been known to Russian counter-batteries — it is a 155-mm howitzer with a 39-calibre barrel. In addition, with a characteristic low-frequency sound after each shot, special cylinders also hiss to level the recoil. With this set of features, the M777 fires with a dull, low sound. As soon as these fluctuations are detected by “Zoopark”, a drone immediately takes off to the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. If the drone visually recognises the parameters of the target (which, by the way, was done by Russian intelligence officers) and the commander of the artillery division gains several signs of the target’s reliability, the enemy positions are hit.

The Russian military does not comment in any way on the strikes on the positions of the UAF artillerymen equipped with M777 howitzers, but the Ukrainian army loses these guns almost every time they leave their places of deployment.

Clearly, the Russians are significantly smarter than what NATO have thought. Or is NATO just using the ukrainians as expendables in order to learn?

Posted by: Norwegian | May 27 2022 8:21 utc | 224

Grieved | May 27 2022 5:59 utc | 201

Thanks you very much for the video - clarity at last! The scene changes really fast, and the three point semi-encirlement is straight out of Sun Tzu.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 27 2022 8:22 utc | 225

Ukrainian Ambassador to Berlin Andriy Melnyk attacked German leader at Davos saying German Chancellor Olaf Scholz lacks courage and leadership. He also accused him of delaying on sending heavy weapons to Ukraine, meanwhile George Soros said at Davos that Russia must be defeated.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 8:34 utc | 226

This from the head of the ECB who was found guilty of negligence in 2016 but suffered no consequences as such, she is a Bilderberger and a Atlantic Council member, and WEF board trustee.

"EU countries need to flex their muscles and show collective power more often, rather than focusing solely on their own interests. said The head of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, speaking at the economic forum in Davos.

"Europe needs to make more use of the 'astounding collective power' that it possesses and flex its muscles," the ECB chief said."

No doubt by "flexing its muscles" she means complying more with the USA's belligerence to Russia and China.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 8:42 utc | 227

Posted by: Mikkael | May 27 2022 8:08 utc | 220

I was able to get to the earlier Stalkerzone article, using a VPN with a server in the US, but I can't get to this one even with the VPN. Probably varies by server location even within the US because it depends on the upstream ISP DNS servers. Too bad, I'd like to read it.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 8:46 utc | 228

Ukrainian Gestapo agents (SBU) captured during checks near Kharkov.

"Russia’s National Guard has detained agents for the Ukrainian security service (SBU) during targeted checks in the Kharkov Region, the Guard’s press service said in a statement on Thursday.

One of the detainees, a previous convict, said there was a disguised cache near his place of living, where the Russian National Guard found more than 20 hunting arms, ammunition rounds, a cell phone and radio communication devices, the statement reads. The man also named his accomplices, and thus an agent network was uncovered.

The other detainee has been providing his foreign curators with data on the number of Russian servicemen, as well as the positions and moves of columns of troops and military hardware, the Guard’s press-service said.

"A camera, a video recorder, a compact quadcopter and communication devices were found at his place of living. The suspect has been communicating all his collected data via a private chat on a messenger," the Guard said."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 8:47 utc | 229

@Karl luck | May 27 2022 4:34 utc | 195

The only thing left is to talk a bunch of conflicting bull shit, that clearly shows one side is differing from the other.
It was always about the west grip on this world, and COVID excaserbated the deep ecominc problems of the west, and their monetary schemes.
Consider the fact that "covid" wasn't something that was an unlucky event causing innocent problems, but an integral part of the "bunch of conflicting bull shit" that succeeded more spectacularly than imagined and thus backfired astronomically along with the other failures you mention.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 27 2022 8:52 utc | 230

The self-proclaimed world police's (USA) belligerent bully boy gang Nato will move its "defence line" to the Pacific Region, even the EU is thinking of expanding its remit (military wise) to the region, the gall of this lot is staggering who gave them the right to police the world as they see fit.

" NATO’s remarks about security in the Asia-Pacific region apparently signal that the alliance’s next ‘line of defense’ will be moved to the South China Sea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with RT Arabic, aired on Thursday.

"Lately, NATO Secretary General [Jens Stoltenberg] and belligerent politicians, such as UK Foreign Secretary [Liz Truss] stated publicly that the alliance should have global responsibility, that NATO should be responsible for security in the Pacific region. Apparently, it means that next time, NATO’s ‘line of defense’ will be moved to the South China sea," Lavrov said.

In his words, the European Union also seeks to assume security responsibilities in the region, but will not be allowed to create its own ‘army.’

"[European Commission President] Ursula von der Leyen <…> said the EU should be responsible for security in the Indo-Pacific Region. How are they going to do that? They talk of an ‘EU army’ of some sort. No one will allow them to create this ‘army’ as long as the North Atlantic Alliance exists,""

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 8:53 utc | 231

@Mikkael #5

“The reason Western militaries dig one-man foxholes…”

Oh for Christ’s sake I’m truly getting sick of these fucking bullshit keyboard commando posts.

Nobody digs one-man ‘fox-holes’.

The standard protection for 2 men is a Battle Trench, with a shelter bay at one lend large enough to allow. A soldier to lie flat in order to rest, with at least 18-36in of overhead protection. It requires at minimum about 24-36hrs of preparation (read digging & picking without any rest) to finish without any additional camouflage or concealment. A Fire Team Battle Trench is two of these joined together housing 4 men with an additional revetment of overhead protection in the centre.

These trenches are 29.5inches in width & 6ft in depth in order to make them robust.

To fully reinforce them fully they require revetting with corrugated iron, wire, star pickets & lots of sand bags … defence stores that must be brought on to a forward position on vehicles or carried from just to the rear of the forward defensive area by those digging.

The idea is that all these trenches have mutually interlocking direct weapon fields of fire to support each other. But I’d rather not try sitting in one waiting for a Russian indirect fire mission.

The reason we don’t put people out on their own is simple; they cannot administer themselves (sleep, food) & there is a lack of moral component to putting young lads into “fox-holes” on their lonesome.

Stick to Call Of Duty on your laptop.

Posted by: Per Terram | May 27 2022 9:19 utc | 232

On 'missing' tons of plutonium etc:

I posted this about 24 hours ago on the Ukrainian upside down flag thread and I repost it below as it contains the source data references for the story and some contributing information. The links are in the original post should you care to look further.

The odd thing here is that the global data on plutonium stockpiles totally undermines the malign proposition of this wanker, Mr Grossi of the IAEA. If this sort of inflated tosh is being fed to the Davos gang of rogues then it is no wonder they have become the subject of global ridicule among thinking people. There seems to be a global contest going on for the prize of presenting the most extreme threat propaganda with the least basis of proof or even rationality.

Perhaps we need to inaugurate a White Helmet in Journalism Award?

Grossi - inaugural award winner.

Defense Politics Asia is running a report on missing plutonium in Ukraine.

"He said the use of nuclear weapons was “unthinkable” and explained that the IAEA’s focus was on avoiding nuclear accidents derived from an attack on a nuclear power plant or the release of radioactive material. Mr Grossi added that the IAEA is seeking to visit Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, under occupation by Russian forces, to verify that the 30,000 kg of plutonium and 40,000 kg of enriched uranium stored there have not been deviated for other uses."

The Global Inventory of Separated Plutonium 2019 data does not even list Ukraine. There is 0.7 ton in the entire group of non nuclear weapons countries. This seems like a BS claim from the IAEA. Then the Institute for Science and International Security doesn't even mention Ukraine. Is this IAEA propaganda?

Perhaps this is the same IAEA that is blind on Israel, totally distrusted by Iran and scratching around looking for glory in tough budget times.

The next fake news cycle has begun as sure as the sun rises.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2022 9:39 utc | 357

Here is the IAEA press statement at DAVOS.

The key extract:

States of concern

Mr Grossi took part in a panel discussion moderated by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Distinguished Fellow, Moises Naim, titled ‘States of Concern’. Joined by Ukrainian Member of Parliament Alona Shkrum, Royal United Services Institute Director-General Karin von Hippel, and Munich Security Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, Mr Grossi spoke on the nuclear risks from the conflict in Ukraine and the renewed interest in multilateralism globally. A recording of the event is available for replay.

“You have bystanders, abstainers, analysts and you have problem solvers. You must have people who look at problems practically,” Mr Grossi said, describing the IAEA as a problem solver. He said the use of nuclear weapons was “unthinkable” and explained that the IAEA’s focus was on avoiding nuclear accidents derived from an attack on a nuclear power plant or the release of radioactive material. Mr Grossi added that the IAEA is seeking to visit Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, under occupation by Russian forces, to verify that the 30,000 kg of plutonium and 40,000 kg of enriched uranium stored there have not been deviated for other uses.

Hesitant to describe the conflict in Ukraine as having a silver lining, Mr Grossi did say that there is now, “a renewed conviction that working through international institutions, multilaterally, together will always be a solution — unilateralism doesn’t solve anything it aggravates everything.”

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2022 9:47 utc | 358

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 27 2022 10:07 utc | 233

Jacob Driezin has two more videos out...

Breaking the Line

In this video, the Dreizin Report explains the general principles of breaking a static defensive line, from the perspective of the advancing Russian and Donetsk/Lugansk forces. However, we start with some comedy from Foreign Affairs magazine, which shows just how crazy the scene has gotten here in the USA. (Not mentioned in the video, it turns out the author of the piece in question is Anders Aslund, one of the architects of the misguided and catastrophic, economic “shock therapy” in Russia in the early-mid 1990s, which gave us the oligarchs among other problems.)

Donbass: Up to 16,000 Ukrainian personnel about to be cut off in one or more cauldrons in Lugansk

I was told by another viewer that I must have Aspergers (high functional autism) due to my attention to detail and (what this person sees as) my lack of social/emotional skills. Amazingly, the person leaving this comment was not my wife.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 10:08 utc | 234

By the way, you're probably going to need a VPN to access Stalkerzone. When I tried without it, my system went straight to

Earlier in the week we got bombed by a DDoS attack from the US and Germany. So we had to temporarily restrict access from that direction. Now things have stabilised, so for now the restriction has been lifted :)

Posted by: Oliver Richardson | May 27 2022 10:13 utc | 235

Posted by: Oliver Richardson | May 27 2022 10:13 utc | 233

Thanks for that! I just tried again and it went through even without the VPN.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 10:33 utc | 236

From Stalkerzone Web site... a reminder that the SMO is going well...

Russian’s Special Operation in Ukraine Is Meeting Expectations

Strangely, a certain number of fans of blitzkriegs suddenly appeared in Russia who were suddenly saddened when the Russian tank columns did not repeat the inhuman successes of Guderian, Hoepner and Kleist with Manstein. We remind you that the entire special military operation was launched just so that the fans of Hitler’s “pantheon” who raised their heads would never try to restore their order again.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 10:41 utc | 237

'Something' happened to Gonzalo Lira's normal internet connection in Kharkov according to a short message

2022.05.27 Internet is out

Posted by: Norwegian | May 27 2022 10:41 utc | 238

This is probably getting old, but here’s another instance of Ukrainian ammo being stored inside a school (indoor gym), found by Chechen fighters in Toshkovka: video.

Posted by: S | May 27 2022 10:44 utc | 239

From Gonzalo Lira's Twitter account, a reference to this thread on Twitter about another set of "game-changers"...

Armchair Warlord @ArmchairW
Alright team, news came out today that the US is looking at giving Ukraine MLRS systems. BrOSINT is of course saying this is a game-changer and will turn the tide of battle.

It's going to be a bust like every other "game changer" weapon thus far. Let's look at why.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 10:49 utc | 240

@Norwegian | May 27 2022 10:41 utc | 236

According to GL's own comment in the YT post:

EDIT: I found out what happened. A facility belonging to Triolan, which is an internet and cable TV service provider (the one I use), was bombed yesterday evening around 7pm local time. I don't know what was bombed, but obviously some essential equipment. Whether it will be repaired or not, I do not know. From now on, my workaround is only available from 11am to 3:30pm local time. Follow me on Twitter for updates. GL

Obviously, since you're reading this, I figured out a way to upload content. It seems that the TV/internet got cut for my whole neighborhood. (I won't say which neighborhood for obvious reasons.) Not clear if it can be fixed, so I'm assuming at this time that it's permanent. So it's a hike to find internet. Hopefully my content will be back to its regular schedule on Saturday. GL

Posted by: Norwegian | May 27 2022 10:55 utc | 241

Posted by: Norwegian | May 27 2022 10:41 utc | 236

According to his Twitter account, his ISP got bombed, apparently.

Gonzalo Lira @GonzaloLira1968
OK, I just found out that Triolan, the company that provides internet and cable TV to a big chunk of the city of Kharkov, was bombed yesterday—hence why I have no internet. (My cellphone is still with the SBU, and there's no chance to buy a new one.)

I've figured out . . .
1:32 AM · May 27, 2022·Twitter Web App
Gonzalo Lira
. . . a work-around for online access. But it'll mean that until further notice, I'll only be online between 11am to 3:30pm Ukraine time.
The situation here in Kharkov is very fluid. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 10:55 utc | 242

Posted by: Norwegian | May 27 2022 10:55 utc | 239

I just ain't fast enough...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 10:56 utc | 243

Like smearing more old lipstick on a dying fat pig:

This is not an act of war in the 21st Century…not unless you have full air superiority.

Posted by: Per Terram | May 27 2022 11:05 utc | 244

Vladimir Putin addressed the plenary session of the 1st Eurasian Economic Forum

Report from The Saker, which contains full text of Putin's speech

Which addresses the need for even more progress on import substitution, to take advantage of western sanctions, to develope economic leading to political itegration, independence from SWIFT, a shared map for re idustrialisation, development of reinsurance, etc etc

One of the very few reports on this event was from Reuters, which, despite the top and tail regulation Russia is evil Putin is too, was straightforward enough

(VP) "The Eurasian Economic Union has developed a roadmap for industrialisation, with over 180 projects with a total investment of over $300 billion. A programme for agricultural development has been prepared, including more than 170 projects worth $16 billion.

Russia has something to offer here, and businesspeople are well aware of this. We have grown to be highly competitive at the global level, in the global markets. Russia remains – if we speak about agriculture – the largest exporter of wheat, number one in the world. Until recently, we were buying it – now we are selling it, number one in the world. True, countries such as the United States or China produce even more, but they also consume more. But Russia has become number one in international trade.

Our high-tech industries are growing successfully, too. And we would like to continue growing together with our EAEU partners. We can and should restore our collaborative competencies."

Posted by: Gerrard White | May 27 2022 11:13 utc | 245

Replying to RepublicofScotland @225:
"EU countries need to flex their muscles and show collective power more often, rather than focusing solely on their own interests. said The head of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, speaking at the economic forum in Davos."

Let us not forget who pushed Lagarde to the top of the greasy pole, and how. Strauss-Kahn was too far left for the US and was by remarkable coincidence disqualified from an easy election to IMF MD because of a NY hotel honeytrap scam so blatantly rigged by the State Department they could have left business cards.

"French finance minister Christine Lagarde has been chosen as the first female leader of the International Monetary Fund. Her selection was assured early yesterday when she was endorsed by the U.S. shortly before being elected by the IMF’s 24-member board. She had also won support from Europe, China and Russia. Miss Lagarde, 55, takes over as IMF managing director from Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is under house arrest in the U.S. on sex charges after an alleged assault against a hotel maid." -

Posted by: tPaine | May 27 2022 11:51 utc | 246

Boris Johnson is now talking about creating a "European Commonwealth" between the UK and Ukraine + the Baltics etc. as an alliance against Russia.

Posted by: Jonathan W | May 27 2022 12:07 utc | 247

Well, now that the Davos week has come to an end IMHO, apart from Kissinger's speech, the rest was just empty rhetoric. There was nothing substantial from any of the speakers. Just blah blah blah blah empty weasle words with no focus, no intelligent comments or insights, no purpose and completely lacking in Statesmanship of any kind. Just a bunch of complete and utter idiots we call our Leaders in the West wanting to here and liking the sound of their own voices all the while looking like the empty garbage cans that they are. Set against that of course, was Putin's excellent address to the first Plenary Session of the Eurasian Economic Forum which was full of information, strategy, economic integration and the way forward. Davos has completely lost any relevance.

Posted by: Jo Dominich | May 27 2022 12:10 utc | 248 that would be a Brexin?

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | May 27 2022 12:45 utc | 249

Sociopaths engage in word salad to disorientate their victims and status-signal to the higher ranked sociopaths in the group. Amongst other techniques.

The Brits genuinely appear to have some sort of ad-hoc strategy to recreate a mini-British Empire.

Can't see it ending well. However, if the EU falls apart then all for the good for them. Sociopaths - especially Narcissists - don't comprehend the idea of "win-win". This implies the Other gaining something, which is bad. It confirms that the Other is an equal, which disgusts the Narcissist.

I advocate a semi-theory, based on Lobaczewski, that sociopathic personality disordered people ("Cluster B") intuitively create the political economy that reflects their disorder - despotism, capitalism, imperialism. Occasionally principled people attain some power, which creates chaos as elites lack the cognitive ability to understand "ordinary" human values. You can see this in the extreme incomprehension and hatred of Putin by the Davos crowd. He is not sufficiently sociopathic enough. They respected Stalin for the opposite reason.

Posted by: moaobserver | May 27 2022 12:52 utc | 250

I think the West baited Russia into this conflict on the assumption that the economic "shock and awe" approach of sanctions, withdrawal of companies, boycott of Russian goods, and the economic "nuclear" option of exclusion from Swift would break Russia in no time. There is no Plan B as they were so sure of their flawed calculus. They didn't expect it to fail and they certainly didn't expect the strategy to backfire so spectacularly. Hence the comical flailing about now by "leaders" such as Biden, Von Der Leyen, Scholtz, Johnson et al. It's bad when Henry Kissinger is the voice of reason.

Posted by: Donal | May 27 2022 13:03 utc | 251

@ Grieved | May 27 2022 5:59 utc | 201

Yeah, I saw this on the Saker site yesterday and was mightily impressed. Anyone know who this guy is? Probably Russian, to judge by the accent, but speaks flawless English, puts together a good presentation, and as far as I can tell he really knows his stuff. I hope YT doesn't discover him and cancel him.

Posted by: malenkov | May 27 2022 13:09 utc | 252

@ 243 Putin- SWIFT will die

Mastercard CEO Teases CBDC Panel: SWIFT May Not Exist in 5 Years

Mastercard (MA) CEO Michael Miebach made people gasp. He answered “no” when asked if SWIFT, the current interbank messaging system that allows for cross-border payments, will exist in five years' time.
He smiled during his answer but the crowd seemingly took his answer seriously.
Miebach spoke on a panel adjacent to the World Economic Forum’s annual (WEF) summit hosted by the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC). The panel discussed the future of cross-border payments and the potential of CBDCs in the financial system.
“If you can get a payment with all the data attached that you need as a company [...] the cost savings of that in addition to a payment cost that is lowered, and the overall productivity boost, we can expect if we do this well, that’s the real goal here,” Miebach said on the panel.
The conference officially kicked off Tuesday, with crypto being mentioned frequently in panels adjacent to the conference. The subject is bolstered by the strong presence of crypto companies on promenade, the main street leading up to the Congress, where official WEF panels take place. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 27 2022 13:11 utc | 253

"The NATOstan buffoons appear to have believed all they needed to do was throw enough s*** at Russia and it’d be checkmate…. Game over."

Citizenfitz | May 27 2022 3:48 utc | 189

As karlof1 noted a while back, Putin alone is playing chess while NATO plays poker --- gambling, bluffing, and cheating.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 27 2022 13:18 utc | 254

Thank you, Grieved (201). Added to top of watch list.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 27 2022 13:30 utc | 255

AP: ‘Relentless’: Russia squeezes Ukrainian strongholds in east
WSJ: Russia Gains Ground in Bid to Encircle Troops Defending Ukraine’s East - Lyman falls
WaPo: Ukrainian volunteer fighters in the east feel abandoned
Fox: Ukraine needs to face reality to end conflict, talk to Putin: Zelenskyy
CNN: Russian forces are intensifying their bombardment of areas in eastern Ukraine still under Ukrainian control.
CNBC: U.S. may send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine; Russia captures more villages in Donbas.
NYT: How Does It End? Fissures Emerge Over What Constitutes Victory in Ukraine
CBSNews: Ukraine aerial video shows massive Russian shelling: "What the largest and most horrific war of the 21st century looks like"
YahooNews: Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Defence Maliar: the Russians are storming on several fronts at the same time, losses are inevitable

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 27 2022 13:35 utc | 256

Posted by: Donal | May 27 2022 13:03 utc | 249

I suspect you have an exaggerated sense of intellectual grasp among decision-makers. You really have no idea how "ordinary" these people really are. Remove the smoke and mirrors and they have very limited experience and IQ but are able to portray themselves as "special".

THEY - the p[eople you think about - have NO IDEA. They simply "expected" Russia to behave as they "wanted" because that is the linear thinking they embrace. They cannot conceive of being "outfoxed" especially by someone who does not think in English.

I know these people - they do not think there is anyone intelligent as themselves outside their bubble. They really do think they are "superior" - Dunning Kruger Effect.

They thought Russia would fall into a trap so obvious because Russians are stupid and act on the basis of templates. They are themselves so devoid go moral frameworks they think they can outfox anyone inhibited by structured thinking.

I really advise you to wake up before these clowns destroy your world. They are criminally insane because they are incredibly ignorant.

“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Matt 12:36 was what Jesus said on The Cross

These idiots are so convinced they will win they double the stakes each time - it is the Politics of The Gambler and the Voters give them endless chips mortgaged on their own lives

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 27 2022 13:43 utc | 257

When the Romans decided to attack Carthage in Africa, Scipio. the Roman general, took a
large army of mostly raw recruits to Sicily, where they would be safe, and spent many months
training them before moving on to Africa, where he defeated Hannibal (at Zuma). I think we
may get a kind of replay. Ukraine gets utterly defeated in Donbass (as the Romans were
at Cannae), but NATO equips and trains a Ukrainian army (in Poland, or even Britain) and
then reinvades Ukraine, say early in 2023. The long term loocks bad for Russia, and I really
fear this will escalate to world war.

Posted by: nick | May 27 2022 13:46 utc | 258

Posted by: Jonathan W | May 27 2022 12:07 utc | 245

Ah Jonathan you don't know the game, do you ?

BreXit freed Britain from the EU machinery and let it be unbound. Roettgen wanted to bind UK into a European Security Apparatus by generous post-BreXit deals but the Francophones wanted to punish Britain instead.

US wanted to split China from Europe by blocking German cooperation through Russia and the train links from Shanghai and Wuhan to Mannheim and Duisburg, especially after Merkel signed up to an Investment Treaty with China.

UK wants to use Baltic States plus Poland to isolate France and Germany within EU and if possible facilitate war between Germany and Russia. Macron is fighting against this.

UK sees an opportunity to fracture Europe so it can make itself the pivot and ally with the Polish-Lithuanian Empire revisited to damage German economic influence and use Ukraine as a giant Chernobyl-Zone where everything is quarantined and nothing regenerates.

This is Great Power politics as played before 1914. The EU is the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russia is being cornered as A-H was with Serbia and Black Hand.

It is so obvious there will be a nuclear war - the question is whether it is in Europe as envisaged during the Reagan Years or in USA. Macron hopes the latter but Germany is led by a very weak leader frightened of the Greens or he would kick Melnyk out of Berlin. NO German Chancellor in history would ever have tolerated an ambassador like Melnyk - how the German press hated Grenell from USA when Trump appointed him but who knows who the US Ambassador to Germany is today - and even if she is present in Germany ?

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 27 2022 13:54 utc | 259

"BreXit freed Britain from the EU machinery and let it be unbound."

Paul Greenwood (275).


Scots voted to remain, but were dragged out by the majority, anyway freed isn't a word I'd use 25 mile queues at Kent to get to Europe a barrel of red tape to get goods across the channel, billions in funding cut-off to the home nations , out the Erasmus Programme, Interpol, EU Science and Technology bodies, EU Medical bodies, millions of workers who picked our fruits worked in our hospitals and did the jobs that some UK citizens didn't want to do all gone home, and just before the pandemic which made it ten times worse.

EU medical health insurance gone, the right live and work across Europe gone, and ex-pats are wondering why life in the EU has gotten tougher. EU rights to be replaced with the British bill of Rights whatever that will be, a border in the Irish sea and the UK government is thinking of fiddling with the Good Friday Agreement to suit its own needs. Brexit might seem as freedom for you but for many more it isn't.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 14:02 utc | 260

@Peter AU1 #107
I think you're reading a little too much Ukrainian Twitter warrior nonsense.

Yes, it is true that modern combat between 2 moderately technologically advanced militaries is eggshells with sledgehammers, duking it out.

I would also bet money that Ukraine is getting direct intel feeds from US satellites and what not - and Ukraine still has MLRS, artillery etc - of course there are going to be Russian casualties.

However, I have not seen any evidence of Ukrainian "superiority" in any way. Ukraine has not executed any moderate, much less major offensives at all in the face of any serious opposition from Russia, whereas Russia has been smashing down stronghold after Ukrainian stronghold.

If the Ukrainians were truly qualitatively superior - and we know they are numerically superior - how exactly are the Russians proceeding from victory to victory?

Posted by: c1ue | May 27 2022 14:21 utc | 261

@Mathew Palmieri #111
Scott Ritter has extensively debunking the popular and MSM beliefs on NATO Article 5.
First of all, there is NO contractual requirement for any NATO nation to come to another NATO nation's aid under article 5. The only stipulation is that all of NATO should consult in an article 5 situation.
Secondly, the notion that the Baltics can aid Poland in the event of Poland getting into it with Russia is laughable.
The Baltics have zero military to speak of and would be rolled up like a cheap rug, NATO bases included. They are simply too close and too small to stand a prayer.
And to be clear: if all of NATO decided to fully mobilize for war - Russia would absolutely be in trouble...eventually. But the distance between sending obsolete and useless weapons and printed euros to Ukraine to full mobilization is an enormous gap, and one which I have yet to see any evidence, whatsoever, that the people in these various NATO countries are the least bit interested in.

Posted by: c1ue | May 27 2022 14:25 utc | 262

Posted by: Linda Wood | May 27 2022 2:46 utc | 179

For Linda and the others discussing the Wagner group- My understanding is that Wagner was founded recently, since 2014 in fact, and that it was actually founded in Luhansk. There were recently some photos on Telegram of Wagner fighters standing in front of their old office once it was recaptured/liberated. It has also been stated on Telegram that Wagner fighters are fighting in Luhansk as "volunteers", so my guess is the fact that Wagner was founded/headquartered in Luhansk Republic, and that they are currently fighting as "volunteers" allows Russia the ability to say that Russia does not have mercenaries, and that it is not employing them in Ukraine. Politicians and governments really love them some plausible deniability.

Posted by: Arkady Bogdanov | May 27 2022 14:30 utc | 263

@Patroklos #129
I agree with literally nothing you wrote.
From my view, the Volksturm was nothing more than the typical Ukrainian Twitter warrior nonsense combined with desperation.
Every indicator says that Ukraine thought they could stand up to and maybe even beat the Russians after 8 years of preparation and NATO training.
Even discounting the initial "surprise" - clearly Ukraine was wrong.
Nor is the notion that the US/EU wants Ukraine to resist ineffectively, the least bit credible.
You don't get another Afghanistan with incompetence or lack of determination.
To reiterate: Ukraine had the 3rd largest military in non-Russia Europe prior to 2/24/2022. It had been extensively trained by NATO since 2014; it had faced Russian units in 2014 directly, at least probably. Ukraine's military prior to 2/24/2022 would be the 3rd largest in NATO after the US and Turkey.
And while Turkey has more tanks, AFVs and aircraft than Ukraine, Ukraine has more artillery and MLRS.
Don't confuse what is happening now vs. what was expected to happen prior to 2/24/2022.

Posted by: c1ue | May 27 2022 14:32 utc | 264

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 14:02 utc | 258

You did not really write this ! Seriously ?
You think the world revolves around you ? Scotland is an irrelevant piece of real estate.

Geopolitics has no interest in a scrap of wilderness north of Newcastle. Did you actually read what I wrote. UK is NO LONGER bound by collective decision-making inside EU. It has inverted the system and put NATO in charge. Borrel now talks of EU not being prepared for war and needing more military spending.

You are so parochial. Now the EU is a military organisation spending borrowed money to arm Ukraine. It is raising debt in SPVs to fund Ukraine.

Scotland with population 5 million is hardly a player when we look at Russia, Germany, China and global politics and war strategy.

I cannot believe you are so self-absorbed as to write what you did when I mention nuclear war strategy !!!

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 27 2022 14:35 utc | 265

Latest on the biolabs:

Eurasia & Multipolarity, [27/05/2022 15:29] The Russian Defence Ministry continues to analyse documents on US and its allies' bioweapons programmes in Ukraine. Main:

- US instructors' materials on training Ukrainian specialists in emergency response to smallpox outbreaks found in biolaboratories;

- "the return of the smallpox pathogen would be a global catastrophe for all mankind." This is because it is as infectious as COVID-19, but ten times more lethal;

- back in 2003, the Pentagon developed a programme requiring US military, diplomats and medics to be vaccinated against smallpox;

- In Ukraine, the UP-4 project to study the possibility of spreading especially dangerous infections through migratory birds, which collected about 1,000 biological samples, was implemented;

- However, the US authorities called the control of drugs in the US inadequate. For example, unaccounted-for ampoules have been found in US laboratories in the past. This could put the infection in the hands of terrorists.

@rt_russian (

Posted by: Barofsky | May 27 2022 14:35 utc | 266

@uncle tungsten #191
Scott Ritter has contributed enormously to what we understand about what is going on, but he has not been even remotely - universally correct.
He said Russia would win in a week in February. Wrong.
He said Russia would "shock and awe". Wrong.
He said Mariupol would fall in 2 weeks max. Wrong.

Ritter is valuable because he explains why he says something; the explanations are what are valuable.

His actual pronouncements have been wrong far more often than right, but he is respectful enough to admit error and analyze where his error arose from.

That too, is extremely valuable.

Posted by: c1ue | May 27 2022 14:38 utc | 267

ct @ 203

You already have a good answer but yes, that is equivalent to carpet bombing. Will add that the show would be visible for miles on a clear night. On left of frame it shows that this display is not infinite. Anyone with a particle of self preservation will want to be out of range.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 27 2022 14:44 utc | 268

@Per Terram #230
Apparently to you the difference between a 1 man foxhole and a 2 man foxhole is enormous.
But you apparently missed the main point: nobody uses long open trenches anymore.
Stick to military manuals - apparently reading comprehensively is not required for that.

Posted by: c1ue | May 27 2022 14:44 utc | 269

@Grieved | May 27 2022 5:59 utc | 201

I think Military Summary gives a more informative, detailed view and has been covering all the issues discussed by History Legends. His video does give a nice overview of a couple of weeks fighting in that area though. It appears that by Early June the 'Donbass pocket' may be closed and represents a significant loss for the UAF.

The question is - what next? IMO Russia needs to take Odessa, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Poltava, and Kharkov - basically everything east of the Dnipr River (area with dark blue circles on this map) - using the momentum gained from the defeat of a significant portion of the UAF east army along the Donbass front, and do it within a meaningful time period - a few months at most. Odessa is a festering sore for variety of reasons and it needs to be neutralized to prevent the West from using it to cause trouble (grain shipments/convoys/harpoon missiles/Transnistria, etc). The main problem I see in doing this is that Russia doesn't have enough troops deployed to consider this while securely holding the captured territory - it would require full mobilization which clearly represents some perceived risks that so far have prevented Russia from going there. I don't think the current rate of progress will cut it as it allows Kiev and its partners to continually foment trouble and introduce additional threats. They need to be fully occupied with what Russia is doing on the ground with no time to gin up new distractions.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 27 2022 14:46 utc | 270

@nick #256
Have you actually seen evidence of this "large Ukrainian army" training in Western Europe?
One thing I learned recently is that it isn't just Zelensky that is an actor; much of the Ukrainian leadership is literally his production team. That explains a lot: the Ukrainian predilection for Twitter war vs. actual war, its focus on image vs. substance etc.
How do we know this talk about an expat Ukrainian legion forming in Germany, Poland, UK whatever isn't just bullshit too?
Piled on top of all the other bullshit they have been spewing?

The whole thing is like a weird version of Wag The Dog.

Posted by: c1ue | May 27 2022 14:50 utc | 271

The hybrid/proxy war being waged by the US against Russia over Ukraine does not enjoy the unanimous support of the US population. There is a significant number who see through the BS, as now reflected in the Republican Party politicians, who are breaking away, including Trump. The war policy is being driven by the Neocons who began to infiltrate government at the policy level under Reagan, who penetrated the B. Clinton administration, who perpetrated 9/11, and who took over the Democratic Party under Obama/H.Clinton, and now Biden. When asked "Who are the Neocons?" G.H.W. Bush answered "Israel". So now we need to ask why the Neocons so desperately want Ukraine, even at the cost of WWIII?

Posted by: Richard | May 27 2022 15:01 utc | 272

Okay, meanwhile in 404 land...
t .me/ondutymd/8496

Kissinger got listed on that "Mirotoverts/Peacekeeper" online hitlist.

What do those niggas allow themselves???

Posted by: Arioch | May 27 2022 15:02 utc | 273

@the pessimist #268
I do not agree with the notion that everything must be wrapped up in "a few months at most".
In a contest of attrition, there is no timetable.
There is only when the other side gives up or is unable to continue.

One of the points of this SMO is that economically, Russia can do this more or less forever both as a country and as the military force deployed. The Russian army in Ukraine isn't a bunch of people working civilian jobs but displaced into fighting in Ukraine - it is the professional military core of the Russian army.

Furthermore, the population in the formerly Ukraine areas is available for LDPR type militia duty.

All this talk about re-arming Ukraine etc makes numerous assumptions for which I have yet to see any evidence:
1) that Ukrainians are willing to die in huge numbers to defend their sacred motherland;
2) that the West has the weapons to re-arm Ukraine effectively;
3) that the West can withstand the economic fallout from their sanctions ploy.

From my view, it is the opposite.
Ukraine has 6 months to defeat Russia - because the US is going to have a Congressional shift in November. While there certainly are Republicans on the war wagon - there were a large number of Republicans who both voted against the Ukraine appropriations bill and, I think, a larger number incoming who would do the same if for no other reason that the Democrats are all-in on Ukraine.

In Europe: the EU is gearing up to fight Hungary, to try and make itself energy independent of Russia and to try and weather the fallout from the substantive, across the board standard of living decreases occurring.
How much bandwidth is left for Ukraine?

Posted by: c1ue | May 27 2022 15:02 utc | 274

These idiots are so convinced they will win they double the stakes each time - it is the Politics of The Gambler and the Voters give them endless chips mortgaged on their own lives

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 27 2022 13:43 utc | 255

It's beyond their ability alright Paul.
It's all incredible how stupid they are.

"We must make Putin understand that there will be no imposed peace, Ukraine will not accept it - and neither will we - Scholz"

There's no buying of gas for ruples either Olaf


"There can be no appeasement regarding Russian aggression. It needs to be countered by force. We must work tirelessly to ensure that Ukraine wins through military assistance and sanctions. We can't take our foot off the gas pedal right now."

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss

Someone needs to have a word in Lizs ear WRT the current situation.
It's over!
How many people does she want to die is the question.

Posted by: Jpc | May 27 2022 15:02 utc | 275

German press hated Grenell from USA
Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 27 2022 13:54 utc | 257

LOL! Der Schmiegel's hit piece was hilarious. OMG. Where is that UGH hiding out anyway these days?

Posted by: sln2002 | May 27 2022 15:13 utc | 276

Beyond "clown world" and "you can't make this up...":

CNN/Guardian are publishing this tripe produced by some "genocide experts" from "New Lines Institute" (of the Colombian nose candy variety?).

Posted by: Bloke from block 8 | May 27 2022 15:14 utc | 277

Paul Greenwood (263).

Brexit wasn't just about Scotland, I merely pointed out Scotland's position within this rancid onesided union, anyway I'm sure you'll agree that many folk across the rest of the UK will be regretting their vote to leave the EU, I'm not talking about defending the EU, I'm talking about having access to the EU market without mega red tape, not just Scottish companies but UK companies, as Kent has become one gigantic lorry park for HGV's trying to get into Europe.

Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster for the UK, and its effects on UK citizens and businesses has been further compounded by the two year Covid pandemic, add on the idiots at Westminster imposing sanctions on Russia and you have the perfect economic storm in the UK.

As for the EU and its utter capitulation to the USA on Russia, I still want Scotland to have access to the EU market through EFTA, but not full membership, as first position after the dissolution of the so called union.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 15:14 utc | 278

@c1ue | May 27 2022 15:02 utc | 272

Perhaps economically and logistically Russia can "do this more or less forever", but will the Russian population tolerate such a strategy? They seem onboard with the liberation of Donbass but a 'forever war' is a different matter domestically. The macro economic consequences of the reaction to the SMO (sanctions etc) I think work in Russia's favor for at least the next 6 months to a year. That said Russia is not unaffected. Both the general population and the political elite must remain supportive, and a 'forever war' scenario with continued casualties and domestic economic consequences that does not show significant progress will likely see support erode - especially without a full mobilization which treats the war as a threat that the country needs to pull together to overcome.

We will see.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 27 2022 15:19 utc | 279

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 27 2022 13:18 utc | 252

well more like Putin is playing poker well, and NATO poorly.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 27 2022 15:22 utc | 280

@c1ue | May 27 2022 15:02 utc | 272

Also, if you think the November elections will change US foreign policy you are quite an optimist.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 27 2022 15:24 utc | 281

Russia may have found a way to avoid defaulting on its bonds debt, its has the funds to pay its debts, but US Treasury Department revoked it licence, the main route of payment.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 15:25 utc | 282

"and ex-pats are wondering why life in the EU has gotten tougher."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 14:02 utc | 258

Unless they've been deprived of their original nationality, or have found themselves "without a motherland" in bureaucratic terms, they're either long-term tourists or immigrants. Sometimes they're even goddamn fugitives from justice.

For the most part, british people in the EU haven't been deprived of their british citizenship, and the second doesn't apply since Perfidious Albion still exists.

This word has been prostituted by the British and other native english speakers to the point of absurdity, for some f***ing stupid reason they seem convinced that by contracting it to the cutesy "ex-pat" instead of EXPATRIATE they're somehow granted a halo while they go live somewhere else for shits and giggles, often without even bothering to try and learn the local language. But of course if they said "expatriate" with all its letters, they would get called out on it more often.

This usage is racist and classist as f**k.

An ISIS bride is more of an expatriate that the typical Brit you'll find on the southern coasts of Europe, since some ISIS brides have actually had their british citizenship revoked, for f**k's sake.

Posted by: Arganthonios | May 27 2022 15:29 utc | 283

Posted by: the pessimist | May 27 2022 15:19 utc | 276

It's not a 'forever' war, USNATO would like it to be but it will end when Russia has achieved its objectives. What we're seeing now is the military part of the programme, what follows will be the political outcome and the Russians have stated that publicly, over and over but the Empire is not only not listening but its pretending nothing is being said. Everything else is pure supposition or propaganda. As always, the Russians are playing the long game.

Posted by: Barofsky | May 27 2022 15:29 utc | 284

The Ottawa (Canada) ambassador Larisa Galadza to Ukraine makes an admission. It looks like the Donbas/Russian conflict has been long in the planning with the help of Canada.

"The Canadian Armed Forces have been training the Ukrainian military for seven years, about 30,000 soldiers have taken courses."

"We are already long-standing partners with Ukraine regarding military support. You know that more than 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers have already undergone exercises from the Canadian Armed Forces, which had been working in Ukraine for seven years before the war," Galadze said.
She added that Ottawa has already provided Kiev with lethal weapons, intelligence data from satellites, cameras for bayraktars."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 15:33 utc | 285

If having an army supported by the United States with the best equipment, advising, training and military intelligence - and even /airpower/ - was the difference maker in a conflict between two countries, then South Korea would just be "Korea" and the capital of "Vietnam" would be called Saigon.

Posted by: Ursula Zandt | May 27 2022 15:35 utc | 286

UK wants to use Baltic States plus Poland to isolate France and Germany within EU and if possible facilitate war between Germany and Russia. Macron is fighting against this.

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 27 2022 13:54 utc | 257

I'm not sure about Poland, but the Baltics will be obliterated sooner or later if they try their hand at anything else than symbolic and ineffectual shit - if they're even capable of doing so, that is.

And virtually no f**cking body is going to miss them.

If Kaliningrad goes, the Baltics go with it.

If they keep aggravating their Russian population (which they will just as they have) they may very well find themselves calibrated into a more amenable disposition.

I'm sorry, but I cannot feel any empathy for such minuscule countries with completely useless languages when they display such inflated sense of unwarranted importance - but of course, the smallest dog barks the most.

Posted by: Arganthonios | May 27 2022 15:39 utc | 287

Arganthonios (280).

I'm pretty sure most of them voted to leave the EU, which in most part negated their EU health insurance as part of the EU, it also made it more difficult buy properties, I've even read that Spanish courts are now looking into the legitimacy of properties purchased pre and post Brexit by UK immigrants, or as the UK calls them, as though they are some sort of special group not to be called immigrants, ex-pats.

There are other negative effects to UK immigrants who have chosen to live in Europe post Brexit, yet the majority of them voted to leave the EU, what does that say about the mentality of them with regards to I'd say entitlement.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 15:40 utc | 288

The US trained the Afghan army for over a decade, they lasted a few days after the US withdrew, despite better equipment than the Taliban and despite all that training. i wonder what that says about the prospects for success of the US/NATO against Russia.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 27 2022 15:44 utc | 289

>Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 15:40 utc | 285

I actually do not wish any ill on british citizens living in the EU, if at all I wish they actually learned the language of wherever the fuck they're staying (some of them do), which isn't any "ill".

But regarding what you said: You can't have your cake and eat it, too, which is clearly what the british establishment wanted: it wanted the EU out of the UK, not the UK out of the EU.

I just pop a vein everytime I hear that some pasty geezer is an "ex-pat" because they didn't like the weather in their homeland.

Which is entirely understandable, but it just doesn't make anybody a f***ing expatriate.

Posted by: Arganthonios | May 27 2022 15:49 utc | 290

@Barofsky | May 27 2022 15:29 utc | 281

"As always, the Russians are playing the long game."

The SMO is not a 'long game'. The Russian strategy from 2014 until Feb 24th was the long game. Putin has been criticized domestically since 2014 for being too cautious, and is vulnerable in that regard. The current pace of operations allows planners in the US and European elites to believe Russia is not serious and IMO will lead to additional complications due to their meddling. This is especially true of Odessa. Russia has many long standing unresolved domestic problems that need attention, and full mobilization would allow the Russian government to address some of them. There is an opportunity to invest some of their reserve fund to rebuild/restore the liberated regions and this could help with domestic unemployment. Such a program would need to be balanced with attention to the home front as well, where the economic impact of the sanctions is exacerbating long-term problems.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 27 2022 15:52 utc | 291

pretzelattack (286)

From what I've read the Taliban made quick progress because many Afghan's didn't want to fight them or welcomed their arrival. The US/UK trained Afghan death squads to hunt down their own, I know some Afghan judges made it to the UK and some Afghan pets, but the traitors to their own people seen in the video at the airport trying to cling onto a huge US plane because they knew their fate were not welcomed into the UK, maybe they are in Syria or the Ukraine right now.

Ashraf Ghani and Hamid Karazi were US/UK puppets who robbed the Afghan people, at present the US is also in the process of stealing Afghan gold held in New York, under the piss poor pretext of dividing it up to give to the families of 9/11 victims even though the 9/11 pilots were Saudi and not Afghani.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 15:55 utc | 292

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 15:55 utc | 293

the training program was a farce, and a source of profit for those contracted to train them, and a source of weapons for the Taliban. reminds me of Vietnam, and how long the South Vietnam army lasted after the US pulled out.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 27 2022 15:59 utc | 293

@the pessimist #280
In a word: absolutely.

I know 4 different men in Russia, personally, who have attempted to volunteer to go fight in Ukraine.

Russia is turning away people - and all 4 have past military experience including combat experience - from joining the SMO. 2 of literal new babies.

Politically: Putin is far more moderate than the overall population. From what I can see, most people are turning more and more from "it is sad that we are fighting our Ukrainian brothers" to "smash them flat and let God sort it out".

And this is entirely a function of Ukrainian "information warfare" success because the Russian government and military are barely saying anything.

Posted by: c1ue | May 27 2022 16:36 utc | 294

@the pessimist #282
I never said the US would change its general foreign policy.

What I said is that the war in Ukraine is Biden's war and the Democrat's war. It is their war because they went all in on it.

The Republicans who aren't literal finger puppets of the MIC are therefore intrinsically opposed to it.

So this is nothing about principle - I am not saying the Republicans are peaceniks or what not. I'm saying if Biden and the Democrats said the sky was rising in the East, the Republicans would argue that on general principle.

Throw in a situation where it is very possible that there will be a 2nd American military disaster (Ukraine surrendering would absolutely qualify as such) in less than 1 year - that's another reason to not be seen as supporting a losing cause.

So while I am sure some non-neocon dinosaur Republicans will support the Ukraine conflict no matter what, and some will support it because they believe it would damage America's prestige (and they're right), the basest and easiest path for a Republican is to oppose it because it is a loser and it hurts their opponents.

Posted by: c1ue | May 27 2022 16:40 utc | 295

"and ex-pats are wondering why life in the EU has gotten tougher."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 14:02 utc | 258

Do they really ? Well, I don't !

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 27 2022 17:11 utc | 296

@ the pessimist | May 27 2022 14:46 utc | 271 /280 and etc...

first off thanks for your posts and i pick up on your passion for all this too... i think it is very difficult to appreciate a different approach that russia seems to be exhibiting... i watched the dynamic in syria and was mystified for a long time... i think the concept of freezing something is brilliant... maybe that is a poor way to describe it, but i think russia has the ability and insight to get what it wants done... i don't believe you are correct in the land grab you articulate, but i remain open.. i don't believe russia is going to get bogged down here, but i know they have bitten off a lot! we need to let them go at the pace and set the agenda and be open to that.. for me the fact they are taking on a declining world power at this point means they see the opportunity here and are not going to be pushed around anymore... maybe i am wrong, but i don't think any of us know how this will play out, or what the best strategy is moving forward... i know things have to change and i believe russia and china are making the positive changes necessary to call out the bully... my 2c... cheers..

Posted by: james | May 27 2022 17:12 utc | 297

Kent has become one gigantic lorry park for HGV's trying to get into Europe.

There is a much bigger backlog on the Polish frontier to Belarus.
There are backlogs on every frontier. You should have seen the Czech-German frontier.

People in Britain are so self-obsessed. There is a trucker backup on every major EU frontier - Germany has more borders than any other EU country and lots of problems - there is a shortage of truckers, a shortage of overnight stops, a major problem at weekends as trucks cannot move legally so need to get home before Friday evening.

Only the UK thinks it is so very special.

As for EHIC Cards - they are still valid but only for travel. They are not a cheap way to avoid buying health insurance. Even UK nationals living overseas need Private Health Insurance to use NHS for at least 1 year if they return.

You are drowning in Daily Express self-pity. The EU was not a charity. It cost UK much more than it gained but Scotland has gotten so used to having 25% higher public spending per capita than Northern England that you have no idea.

The areas of UK that voted against BreXit were those with highest per capital public spending - those that voted FOR BreXit had the lowest like Yorkshire.

Every Celtic area of Uk has higher public spending per capita than England - N Ireland followed by Scotland - London has higher public spending per capita than Northern England.

The only Ex-Pats that had any difficulty in the post-BreXit EU were UNREGISTERED and had never bothered to file paperwork or buy health insurance

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 27 2022 17:19 utc | 298

Paul Greenwood.

Ah yes that old flogged to death fallacy that somehow England supports Scotland financially, of course if Scotland was such a financial basketcase then why has the English government done everything in its powers for years to thwart Scottish independence, the truth of the matter is that England has been robbing Scotland of its assets from the Malt Tax to North sea oil, we send half our revenue to Sunak's coffers.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 27 2022 17:48 utc | 299

Reply to 282

In general, Republicans want war with China, not Russia. Part of this may involve the Democratic Russia narrative going back to Hillary. Establish blame on Russia and just keep it going. Republicans are frustrated that China is clearly the bigger threat to US hegemony.

Posted by: Eighthman | May 27 2022 18:12 utc | 300

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