Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 05, 2022

Ukraine's Forces Are Told To Hold The Line Where Russian Artillery Is Pulverizing Them

The Russian military forces are grinding down Ukrainian ground forces by extensive use of heavy artillery. The Ukrainian artillery has been destroyed or lacks ammunition.The Ukrainian forces have orders to stay in their position and to hold the line. That only makes sure that Russian artillery strikes will destroy them.

The order was given because the 'west' has pushed the Ukrainian president to not make peace with Russia. The consequence will be the assured destruction of the Ukrainian military.


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There are claims that the Russian progress in Ukraine has been slow or has even come to a halt:

The United States assessed last week that Russian troops were making “slow and uneven” progress in the Donbas, often of no more than “several kilometers ... on any given day, just because they don’t want to run out too far ahead of their logistics and sustainment lines,” one senior U.S. official told journalists.

But in its daily reports, the Institute for the Study of War noted that Russian forces made no confirmed ground attacks on Monday or Tuesday. It said a Ukrainian artillery strike April 30 on a Russian command headquarters near Izium has slowed the Russian push, and noted that, farther north, a Ukrainian counterattack Monday pushed Russian forces back 25 miles east of Kharkiv.

Those claims do not hold up to reality. As Clausewitz wrote about the Schwerpunkt in 'On War':

[N]o matter what the central feature of the enemy's power may be—the point on which your efforts must converge—the defeat and destruction of his fighting force remains the best way to begin, and in every case will be a very significant feature of the campaign.

Basing our comments on general experience, the acts we consider most important for the defeat of the enemy are the following:

  1. Destruction of his army, if it is at all significant.
  2. Seizure of his capital if it is not only the center of administration but also that of social, professional, and political activity.
  3. Delivery of an effective blow against his principal ally if that ally is more powerful than he.

Accordingly the Russian military is tasked with demilitarizing the Ukraine, Clausewitz' task one, and that is what it is doing.

Russia is using the best available means to destroy the Ukrainian military. On the ground that means ruthless systematic mass use of artillery.

Reports about the high morale of the Ukrainian soldiers who halt Russian advances are copium when compared with the reality of the battlefield.

From the preface of the book King of Battle: Artillery in World War I (also here):

Artillery dominated the battlefields of World War I. That was seen in various ways, from wounding patterns and doctors’ clinical data, to memoirs, diaries, and letters, through to changed military doctrine after the war. No nation that had experienced significant ground combat would blithely assume morale could replace firepower. Artillery even holds the dubious distinction of causing a new diagnosis, shellshock.

Morale can not replace firepower. Morale gets destroyed when soldiers come under concentrated artillery fire. Russia has plenty of the later.

As I wrote a week ago after reading the Russian military report for that day:

The nearly 1,000 artillery missions in the last 24 hours and on the days before speak of intense preparations for upcoming attacks by Russian mechanized forces. Over all artillery will do the most damage to the Ukrainian troops. In World War II and other modern mechanized wars some 65% of all casualties were caused by artillery strikes. The recent rate on the Ukrainian side will likely be higher.

There were at that time few reports about the artillery situation at the frontline. I have now found three which have since come out. They convey what the power of artillery does to an army and confirm my previous take.

First a Politico piece that was published on the same day I wrote the above and was added to its update. The starkest quotes:

“The situation is very bad, [Russian forces] are using scorched- earth tactics,” the 31-year-old married father of two said via text. “They simply destroy everything with artillery, shelling day and night,” [First Lt. Ivan Skuratovsky] said via text.
...
The day before, he told POLITICO his soldiers were being bombarded with Russian howitzers, mortars and multiple-launch rocket systems “at the same time.” Just hours earlier, he said, they had been attacked by two Su-25 warplanes, “and our day became hell.”

From an AFP piece, published on April 30, we have this:

Russian troops in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region have shifted from a steamroller strategy to one of relentlessly chipping away at their opponents in the hope of grinding them down.

Ukraine’s army has little option but to try to stall their larger and better-equipped enemy in the sprawling plains of Donbas, where artillery is king.
...
Pessimism about the chances of pushing back the Russians appears to be spreading.
...
Although they are holding their ground on the battlefield, many of Ukraine’s infantry soldiers admit to feeling overwhelmed.

“Viking”, a 27-year-old staff sergeant who fought in Kreminna said his comrades are exhausted and waiting for the order to pull back.

“If it was a war between infantry forces, we would have a chance. But in this area, it’s first and foremost an artillery war and we don’t have enough artillery,” he says.

“For every 300 shells they fire, we fire three.”

And from yesterday's Christian Science Monitor this:

The Ukrainian artillery team was moving into position in the northern Donbas region, along the front line near Izium. The soldiers did not even have time to orient their guns before they were found by a Russian drone.

The first Russian 152 mm shells – fired by howitzers more than 10 miles away – landed near the Ukrainian guns. As the artillery team ran for safety, its vehicle was hit and set on fire.

The driver, badly wounded, veered straight into bushes as shells rained down. The survivors escaped on foot, across open fields.

Roman, a young artilleryman with a short patchy beard, recalled the events from a darkened military hospital room in Kramatorsk, his eyes glazed and an intravenous drip in his left arm, as he recovered from blast concussion. He gave only his first name, in keeping with Ukrainian military rules for wounded soldiers.

The biggest surprise for him? “That I am still alive here, after that shelling,” he says listlessly, closing his eyes and lying back on his bed.
...
Russia has escalated its shelling in an apparent bid to advance on the eastern region both from the Izium axis in the north and up from Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south. The pincers movement seeks to cut off some of Ukraine’s most battle-hardened forces ..
...
In Roman’s unit the driver is dead, the commander is in intensive care, another artilleryman has shrapnel wounds, and the rest are concussed, like Roman.
...
“Their artillery never, never stops,” says the deputy commander of Ukraine’s Donbas Battalion, a major who only gave the nickname Kot (Cat). He spoke in Sloviansk with a balaclava covering his face, as an air raid siren wailed across the city.

“They are changing their strategy, but it is still what we would expect from Russia,” says Major Kot. There are no more long, vulnerable columns: “They are sending recon units, then shell with artillery, and then send tanks,” he says. “If those tanks are destroyed, they send more tanks.”
...
“We really have a lack of heavy artillery,” says Ukrainian Sgt. Viktor Davydov, still wired and speaking quickly of Ukraine’s needs, after returning to the town of Druzhkivka from the front, where he says Russian artillery strikes continue “24/7.”

“When Russia sends incoming 200 shells, we send back 10 shells,” says Sergeant Davydov, who wears sunglasses, a pistol on his thigh, and a skull shoulder patch in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag.

His job is to take freshly mobilized men to the front “to show them not to be afraid,” and to teach them “how to dig in and make very effective defensive positions” to compensate for the firepower imbalance with Russia.

“I tell them that all they have to do is hold our line, and not retreat,” says Sergeant Davydov. The cost can be high. The sergeant recalls 10 recruits in late April being sent to him one night at 11 p.m. By 6 a.m. two were dead and three wounded by Russian artillery.

The Ukrainian parliament recently change the law so that the Ukrainian territorial defense forces, comparable to the German Volkssturm, can now be used throughout the country. The locals in west Ukraine who volunteered for these units hoping to avoid being drafted into the army will now be send to the Donbas frontline where Russian artillery will eat them up.

The U.S. has send about 100 howitzer to Ukraine and a similar number of various artillery pieces will come from other NATO countries. There are several problems with these.

The first issue is training. Howitzer can not be used by newbies. How many Ukrainians with artillery experience are still alive?

Delivered to the west-Ukrainian border the guns will need to be transported 1,000 kilometer (600 miles) to the east. Their heavy ammunition, and artillery needs a lot, will have to come the same way.


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Russia has now destroyed a total of 16 electric substations along the railway lines. Yesterday Russia damaged a major railway bridge over the Dnieper. Another railway bridge on the line from Romania to Odessa was completely destroyed.

The Ukraine can therefore only use its few diesel locomotives to transport the guns and ammunition. Whatever will come through to the eastern front will be too little too late.

For some time Russia had made it a priority to destroy Ukrainian artillery. Yesterday's evening briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry noted:

High-precision air-based missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces during the day destroyed: 4 artillery batteries at firing positions, 3 ammunition depots near Mirnaya Dolina, Bakhmutskaya and Tashkovka, 20 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, and 1 US-made counter-battery radar station near Popasnaya.
...
Missile troops and artillery have hit 1 Ukrainian battery of BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers at firing positions, as well as 83 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration.

A battery is a company sized (~100 men) artillery unit with usually 6 guns. The battery is used as a firing unit which means that all its guns fire at the same time and onto the same target.

Today's morning briefing claimed more Ukrainian artillery losses:

Missile troops have hit 2 AFU command posts, 1 artillery battery at a firing position, as well as 2 launchers and 1 transport and loading vehicle of Tochka-U tactical missile system during the night.
Artillery units have hit 32 command posts, 5 ammunition depots, 403 strongholds, areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, and 51 Ukrainian artillery positions.

Those are six Ukrainian batteries, each most likely with 6 guns or multiple rocket launchers, destroyed in just 24 hours. Those U.S. guns that reach the frontline will have a similar fate.

In total the Russian military claims to have destroyed "325 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,306 field artillery and mortars" during the war.

A new participant in artillery fights are drones which are used on both sides to direct artillery fire onto enemy positions. The Russian military claims that it took down 20 of the Ukrainian ones during the last 24 hours for a total of 726.

The briefings claim that Russian forces 'eliminated' up to 900 'nationalists' over the last 24 hours. That number may be too high but with all the mass use of artillery it is entirely plausible.

Without artillery support in good quantity the Ukrainian military has no chance to hold the line and to stop Russian moves. Any unit which attempts is hold the line will simply be mauled by Russian artillery until it is no longer able to fight. That is happening now. As the Ukrainians have orders not to leave or move their defense lines they either have to give up or die defending them.

By giving 'hold the line' orders the Ukrainian leadership is contributing to the Russian demilitarization of the Ukraine.

Why is it doing that? The situation for the Ukraine is hopeless and has been for some time. Why has its President Zelensky not given up? Why does he not agree to Russia's peace conditions?

We can find the answer in a piece published today in Ukraine's Pravda (machine translation):

Potential Zelensky-Putin talks paused after Johnson's arrival - sources

After the arrival of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv, a possible meeting between Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin has become less likely.
...
According to UP sources close to Zelensky, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who appeared in the capital almost without warning, brought two simple messages.

The first is that Putin is a war criminal, he needs to be squeezed, and not negotiated with him.

And secondly, if Ukraine is ready to sign any agreements on guarantees with him, then they are not.

This position of Johnson testified: the collective West, which back in February offered Zelensky to surrender and run away, now felt that Putin was actually not at all as omnipotent as he was imagined, and that right now there was a chance to squeeze him.

Three days after Johnson left for the UK, Putin went public and said talks with Ukraine "have reached an impasse."

It is the 'west' that is preventing Zelensky from suing for peace.

The 'west' has fallen for its own propaganda. It believes that the Russian troops near Kiev were defeated by Ukrainian forces. In reality they retreated in good order after the diversion they constituted was no longer needed. The 'western' fairytale that they were 'defeated' gave hope that Russia could be 'weakened', as the U.S. Secretary of State said.

The war will hardly 'weaken' Russia. But the war will destroy the Ukrainian military and many, many of its men.

Posted by b on May 5, 2022 at 16:59 UTC | Permalink

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From IntelSlava

🇬🇪🇺🇦❗Georgia refuses to comply with Ukraine's demands for the supply of weapons and the opening of a second front, - President Zurabishvili.

“Ukrainians are demanding more and more from their partners, not only from Georgia. They used rude language against various partners... So yes, they want to get weapons from Georgia, and also open a second front in Georgia. All this is impossible,” the President of Georgia said in an interview with Deutsche Welle.

Posted by: Down South | May 5 2022 17:05 utc | 1

On the tool pic of holding the line

PK24 🇺🇦
@PK2451167992
·
6m
❗️ This is what is happening now at Azovstal... The third day there are heavy battles, the enemy broke into the plant, the situation is difficult, but the guys are holding the line, — the commander of the Azov regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Denis Prokopenko

Posted by: Down South | May 5 2022 17:08 utc | 2

On the topic…..

Posted by: Down South | May 5 2022 17:09 utc | 3

Excellent sitrep. Thank you, b.

Posted by: Sarmat | May 5 2022 17:22 utc | 4

Thanks b, this is rich information.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | May 5 2022 17:25 utc | 5

Thierry Meyssan has a nice phrase:

For the moment, Russian military operations are strictly limited to the destruction of the huge Ukrainian defense infrastructure, which the West has no idea about. The mobile phase of the war has not yet begun. After months of shelling, it is expected to take place only during the summer and should be quick.

It is interesting that he notes Russia knows much more about the "defence infrastructure" in Ukraine than does the West, largely because USSR put it in place

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 5 2022 17:30 utc | 6

Does the west think that Ukraine can beat Russia? Or are they just prolonging the war to sell more weapons?

Posted by: D J G | May 5 2022 17:30 utc | 7


Russia is winning and the mainstream media will make sure the public never knows this fact.


Here https://abrahamstein.substack.com/p/russia-is-defeating-ukraine-usa-and

Posted by: Dean Oneil | May 5 2022 17:31 utc | 8

Economic dependency works both ways

Western warmongers are right, when they say that a World War is impossible with the economic interdependencies between Europe and Russia. But these dependences work both ways; it is precisely the Russian dependency on European markets and Western financial systems that prevented Russia from acting in Ukraine in 2014. Western sanctions have forced Russia to free itself from these dependencies giving her a free hand to wage war in the Ukraine. From a military point of view, Russia should have launched "Operation Z" in 2014, when they could have simply walked into Ukraine without meeting any resistance.

For decades the US has fought against "European energy dependency on Russia". This dependency has prevented American aggression on Russia from European soil and has forced the US to find other fronts for its war on Russia and China. For the European people this dependency has guaranteed peace. Now the US wants Europe to sacrifice peace and its economy. Warmongers want war on Russia to the last Euro!

Germany’s preparations for a third world war in full swing - Peter Schwarz, WSWS, May 4, 2022

“The waging of a Third World War is not just a military issue,” he proclaims. It is “first and foremost an economic issue. For without economic disentanglement along the power and military blocs, effective warfare that can be sustained over a longer period is impossible, as we can already see from Germany’s dependence on Russian natural gas.”

“Whoever wants to make world warfare manageable must first unbundle world trade,” Steingart emphasises. “Economic independence is more important than billions more for the Bundeswehr. So, it is not only the soldiers and their military equipment that must be gathered into an offensive formation, but also economic resources.”

“Viewed with this economic eye,” he then states, “the preparations for making a Third World War manageable are in full swing.”

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 5 2022 17:34 utc | 9

I may well be wrong but am coming to see part of this as the Russian military being built and trained to defend Russia rather than a geographic conquering force. Not that’s incapable of going on a punishing offensive but that it isn’t inclined to do so.

The US/“Ukrainian” strategy is criminal. Any claim of supporting Ukraine is undermined by not only allowing but encouraging a strategy that can only lead to mass slaughter. A serious US press would be asking officials why they hate the Ukrainian people.

Posted by: Lex | May 5 2022 17:34 utc | 10

Thanks for excellent report !

Posted by: Truls Strandenaes | May 5 2022 17:40 utc | 11

This analysis is exactly how I imagined the Russian military action in Ukraine was progressing. To minimize their casualties and fight on the battlefield they're faced with the Russians will a) treat this action as Great War- WWII trench warfare. This means brute force destruction of enemy weaponry at a distance and reduction of fighting soldiers to concussed/ PTSD zombies.

b) the Russian strategy is also to impose a devastating Carthaginian Peace...

Anglo-American Defense Departments depicted the situation as Russian ineffectiveness/ incompetence etc. However, if B's analysis is correct it should be expected, I'd think, that Russian forces will burst through crumbling, disabled entrenched Ukrainian forces very suddenly.

Posted by: posa | May 5 2022 17:44 utc | 12

I heard an explanation about the substations for Ukrainian railroads. Substations convert the current from electric network into the current that electric locomotives use. The main thing there are transformers which are not THAT heavy, and repairs take few hours -- if you have spare trs

Number 1, there are about 300 diesel locomotives in Ukraine, and 1600-1700 electric.

Number 2, the only factory for making the transformers is out of action.

Number 3, the requirements of locomotives are different than in Western Europe, and the track is different, sending material aid may require several months for retooling the production (presumably, Europeans also use electric locomotives and transformers in substationstions).

Number 4: the number of spare transformers in Ukraine was not known to the commentator, but it must be somewhat limited. Ukrainian railroad was in rather sorry financial shape, so one should not expect that it has big stockpiles of spare parts.

Disabling railroads is an escalatory move, reactive to the delivery of heavy weapons. Damaging substations is relatively easy to undo once the peace or ceasefire comes, but that requires either time to restart the Ukrainian transformer factory, or spare parts from Russia.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 5 2022 17:44 utc | 13

I'm so shocked that there are not more comments on this piece, B!
By the time I read and comment there are 100's!
Excellent analysis as usual.
The Western leaders are malevolent deluded Zionists, so that they believe their own propaganda is not surprising but rather a tragedy for Ukraine
With all this damage and loss to the Ukie military, how long do you think it will be before those that are left alive REVOLT against this little US puppet??

I just can't imagine that there won't be massive anger on a large scale within the population when they learn that not only have they lost the war but that it was Zelensky who saw to their deaths

I'm happy for Russia though and the people in the Donbass who have endured constant shelling by the Ukie military. I've seen interviews of Ukrainians liberated by RUSSIA from Ukie shelling and their joy is so palpable..
Thanks again for all your hard work, B. I look forward to every post!

Posted by: Kay | May 5 2022 17:44 utc | 14

Crazy times.

In the twitter-verse, armchair warriors across the West express the firm belief that the war in Ukraine verges on a dramatic reversal which will see a massive Russian retreat out of all Black Sea territories and lead to an encirclement and rapid military defeat in Moscow itself. Related, Zelensky has announced there will be no "ceasefire" until Russia retreats from all territories, including Crimea.

Incredibly, advocates for the Azov soldiers trapped in the steel works believe an international flotilla can be rapidly assembled to provide the soldiers with safe passage. An Associated Press story today was concerned with gently breaking the news that these soldiers face either death or POW status, regardless of what people may wish or believe.

The EU, having sanctioned just about everything else Russian, is now aiming its financial restrictions and asset seizures at Kirill and the Orthodox Church. EU officials also believe that a total boycott of Russian oil products can be applied universally.

US Congress has just passed a bill which removes 8 billion dollars from a Green Climate Fund, instead directing the money to DARPA for new weapons systems directed at China.

Posted by: jayc | May 5 2022 17:46 utc | 15

Very good but gruesome report.

As D J G asks @7 one wonders what the real end game is, because there is no doubt that the Russians will win decisively. The only logic I see is that the US intends to cause a major war in Europe, and profit from it. If so, someone should bring it to their doorstep.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 17:53 utc | 16

"The US/“Ukrainian” strategy is criminal. Any claim of supporting Ukraine is undermined by not only allowing but encouraging a strategy that can only lead to mass slaughter. A serious US press would be asking officials why they hate the Ukrainian people."

Posted by: Lex | May 5 2022 17:34 utc | 10

Yes, good post, but, we all know why the U$ press can't ask the right questions; Because if they did, they'd be unemployed.

Posted by: vetinLA | May 5 2022 17:54 utc | 17

I lol'd.
You retarded circle jerkers. Of course it is all lies and propaganda.
What did you expect? And it is a major war on the doorstep of Europe.

Did you really think you could print money forever?

European monkeys...

Posted by: Romanov | May 5 2022 17:57 utc | 18

Maybe I'm focusing on the trees and blind to the forest, but it baffles me that the Ukrainians are still able to shell civilian areas of Donetsk long held by the DPR--schools, clinics, residential areas, etc--and kill women and children. It may be militarily insignificant, but hell, that heartbreaking stuff needs to be stopped with some of the awesome Russian shelling and counter battery fire you describe.

Posted by: Rodrigo | May 5 2022 18:02 utc | 19

Basically, after a while (weeks, months) once 90% of Ukie troop numbers get killed, wounded or captured (or deserted), only most loyal/disciplined/payed nazis will be left as capable force.

They will probably take positions in big cities using human shields and holding admin or other centers. The rest of the country will be weakly defended by demoralized regular troops or not defended at all.

We can expect only then Russians to start maneuvering phase of war. Your guess is good as mine, but after all this attrition to Ukie forces is done, there simply wont be enough of them left to defend a line or anything similar. Russians will have freedom to move as they like.

Posted by: Abe | May 5 2022 18:03 utc | 20

thanks b.. excellent overview as depressing as it is for all involved.. thanks...

the west doesn't talk with 'terrorists'... the west are the terrorists though, so i'm not sure how that works.. it is totally criminal that zelensky is allowed to continue to be a mouthpiece for the war party - usa-uk-nato...

what i see happening here, is a lot of dead people, thanks for brilliant minds in usa-uk-nato... they don't give a fuck.. it is all about trying to take russia down and willingly sacrificing ukraine to do it... too bad the fucker zelensky is such a useful tool for this dead end strategy...

Posted by: james | May 5 2022 18:05 utc | 21

21CW reports that DU munitions are probably being (or going to be) used in Ukraine ...
OMG ... if true, this is a terrible war-crime (I remember Doug Rokke's testimony about the severe environmental / health impact of DU in Iraq and anybody who has seen the shocking pictures of Iraqi babies born with horrific congenital malformations (due to the poisoning of their parents DNA will never forget them ... and the radioactive fall-out will also effect other Eastern European countries ..


https://21stcenturywire.com/2022/05/03/revealed-are-france-and-nato-shipping-depleted-uranium-weaponry-into-ukraine/

https://uraniumisagenocidegiant.com/2022/01/09/ukraines-javelin-missiles-with-depleted-uranium-being-readied-for-battle/

Posted by: Pandora | May 5 2022 18:05 utc | 22

and i really believe russia didn't want it to play out like this, but the continuation is fully a 'made in the west' concept, with zelensky a willing accomplice...

Posted by: james | May 5 2022 18:07 utc | 23

Wow! Another great report. Thank you very much.

Seems to me that for a kinetic war like this to break out both sides must feel their national trajectories are mutually incompatible AND both sides must feel that they can win.

Ukraine is the field of battle in what is a geopolitical conflict essentially involving the entire world and its economic, trade and political systems.

Therefore there will be no victory on the field of battle without victory in that wider geopolitical context. Both sides are waging a protracted siege or attrition war. Both sides believe that the longer it goes on that much more likely it is that the other side will buckle.

The US believes that hardship in Russia will cause the people to rise up and overthrow Putin - no doubt with the help of some 5th column Color Revolution shenanigans.

Russia-Eurasia sees the internal divisions and dysfunctions finally coming to a boil in the West - thanks to concerted effort on the part of some in the elites for quite some time now - and believe that the current situation including both the kinetic battles and the trade-disrupting sanctions regimes will bring America and vassal states in Europe to their knees.

Neither side is in any hurry to wrap this up soon because neither side perceives their enemy as being on the point of collapse. Though of course what matters is that the collapsing side feels unable to continue and capitulates.

Looks to me that there is a very heavy advantage to the Eurasian side. But the West is filled with smart, devious bastards and it remains to be seen what mayhem, violence, subterfuge and financial shenanigans they are going to come up with. That said, it seems that the ruling class in the US now dominant is hell-bent on destroying the country from within, whether they are somehow coordinated with Eurasia or not. So that makes it even more likely that the US will buckle first, and maybe much sooner than many now anticipate.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 5 2022 18:08 utc | 24

Sounds good but even pro Russian sources are admitting Russians are being pushed back in Kharkov. And Ukrops are still able to easily shell Donbass and even were able to hit a Russian Command Center. Not to mention Belarus President Lukashenka has just said he thinks this Russian operation is taking too long. It just seems this is all bogging down to a crawl and that cant be good for Russia. And if they decide to Mobilize like many pro Russians say, that cannot be treated as good news or like a winning situation.

Posted by: Comandante | May 5 2022 18:11 utc | 25

At some point, IMO we'll see Clausewitz's third point commence:

"Delivery of an effective blow against his principal ally if that ally is more powerful than he."

The "principal ally" is NATO. So, I went looking for articles about NATO's artillery, and found this three-year-old item. Once past the political crap, the article provides lots of info, the most interesting being NATO SPA being manufactured in South Korea. Also, at the time of publication, many NATO members had 50+ year old systems and many that are incompatible--Soviet versus Western--in terms of ammo type.

This very current article lists the types and numbers of artillery systems being given Ukraine by NATO. Given the damage inflicted on Ukraine's rail network, I doubt if many will reach the Donbass--perhaps 10 destroyed for every unit delivered, or an even higher casualty rate. Dismounted from trains, many will die if motor-marched to the front being fat slow targets. The more NATO ships to Ukraine the fewer NATO can use to defend itself from Russia's later phase of operations. So, by all means, send as much as you can!!!

Posted by: karlof1 | May 5 2022 18:12 utc | 26

B's sitrep clearly exposes the madness of the Pentagram. They surely know what is going on. The belligerent tone taken by the Ukrainian leadership to anyone who will not bow to them tells much as well. With them at the helm they would continue the war in exile if they get thrown out of the country.

Those yankee dollars buy a great deal of allegiance.

Posted by: circumspect | May 5 2022 18:14 utc | 27

@Scorpion | May 5 2022 18:08 utc | 24

So that makes it even more likely that the US will buckle first, and maybe much sooner than many now anticipate.

We can only hope, but I wonder what would cause the US to buckle? A coup? Biden dropping dead?

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 18:15 utc | 28

The ruthlessness of the US and NATO elites is astonishing. They will destroy Ukraine and then their corporations will purchase what's left. In NYC a few mornings ago, there was a mighty thunderclap. It frightened me awake. I assumed it was the start of nuclear war. These are sad times.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | May 5 2022 18:17 utc | 29

The Donbass is like a Black Hole, sucking in more and more of the Ukie armed forces into assured destruction. The Russians don't need to close the cauldrons until they have bled the Ukie armed forces to the max. Then close the cauldrons and bypass/encircle/destroy the remaining concentrations. At the same destroying Western arms stockpiles.

Its was just what the Germans planned at Verdun in 1916, bleed the French white. The Germans didn't have the military discipline not to get embroiled though, and flexibility to react to changed circumstances, and ended bleeding themselves white as much as the French.

"Falkenhayn [the German General] believed that the French simply could not allow these forts to fall as the national humiliation would have been too much. By fighting to the last man, Falkenhayn believed that the French would lose so many men that the battle would change the course of the war."

Sounds a lot like the West/Right Wing Ukrainian view of the Donbass. In the case of the French, the high command did not allow themselves to be sucked into sending more men - keeping them for the next great slaughter on the Somme. Also, the forts were not as heavily defended as the Germans assumed.

"As the battle moved through the Spring of 1916, Pétain asked Joffre for more and more men but Joffre refused. He wanted the men for the planned attack on the Somme."

The Russians have total air superiority, and an artillery that can be pinpoint accurate through the use of drones (B's point about a Ukie artillery battery not even having time to set up before being spotted and attacked is a good example) and is much more fearsome than WW1 artillery. The Russians also have tanks, which were not on the battlefield in WW1. The Ukie supply lines are also pretty much destroyed, whereas the French ones were not. Russian casualty levels are falling while Ukie casualty levels are escalating.

Once the Donbass cauldron is under control the might of the Russian army will be freed up to take on the remnants of the Ukie army. Phase 3 may be surprisingly fast compared to Phase 1. The Ukies don't have any effective reserves, nor the military mobility and supplies to start a second front - as the repeated failure of Ukie "counter offensives" has shown.

https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-one/battles-of-world-war-one/the-battle-of-verdun/

Posted by: Roger | May 5 2022 18:17 utc | 30

midday on the currency exchange in nyc: 64 rubles to the usd

Posted by: paul spencer | May 5 2022 18:17 utc | 31

Piotr Berman @ 13

Around here lead times on transformers are in years. Should spares somehow arrive in Ukraine an installed transformer is not going anywhere. In other words it simply becomes a target. Transformers are a real point of fragility in US power supply, in a war zone forget it.

Yes, they are heavy.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 5 2022 18:23 utc | 32

Just discovered both Russian and English language MoD sites are 403 Forbidden for me here in Oregon, but I can still access Kremlin and MFA sites. Looks to me that MoD is providing info that's to be kept from our prying eyes, like its sitreps. That didn't happen during Syria.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 5 2022 18:24 utc | 33

james @ 21; Dude, one of your better posts.. Every thought rings true!!

Posted by: vetinLA | May 5 2022 18:27 utc | 34

Whew--
Finally off that last thread.
Back to discussing reality.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | May 5 2022 18:31 utc | 35

Russia is using the best available means to destroy the Ukrainian military. On the ground that means ruthless systematic mass use of artillery.

Manus McCaffery, former serviceman of U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment who joined AFU’s Special Operations Forces and was wounded by artillery shrapnel on April 27 at Orekhov, Zaporozhye Oblast, is saying the same thing:


It’s hard to describe, I think you do have to be there, but there’s a lot of artillery. You can hear it coming down, and you can hear it impacting around you. And it’s just… yeah… artillery is the name of the game right now. It’s the main deciding factor in how the war is playing out.

Posted by: S | May 5 2022 18:35 utc | 36

And in other news, oil rising back above US$100 and now at US$108, and the Ruble went as low as 64 to the US$ today.

Next up, the economic dislocation in Europe as they attempt to replace Russian oil imports and find that in the real world there is no such thing as "frictionless" change. Also, as Russia won't probably be able to find new buyers for all of the oil sold to Europe there will be an additional global supply shock, driving up oil prices even more. So, Russia exports less oil but gets paid more for each barrel coming out pretty much as a wash; while Europe and the world suffer from even higher oil prices and possible short to medium-term supply dislocations in the case of the former. What a bunch of geniuses running the EU!

US interest rates also popped above 3%, causing more pain for the massively over-indebted North America and Europe (and all the low and middle income nations who borrowed in US$'s). Add in global food price inflation and Russia will look like a sea of serene calm surrounded by stormy oceans.

The destruction of the enemy is both military and economic on a global scale, far beyond the Donbass. No need for Russia to escalate, better for them to keep the West in its own self-imposed cauldron.

https://www.npr.org/2022/05/04/1096699894/europe-eu-ban-russia-oil-imports-gasoline-gas-prices

Posted by: Roger | May 5 2022 18:36 utc | 37

Key to current artillery warfare is drone dominance. Keep yours up and the enemy's down.
US/UK have the thinking of the British generals behind the battle off the Somme. Feeding Ukraine cannon fodder into the Russian meat grinder.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 5 2022 18:38 utc | 38

Our host:


By giving 'hold the line' orders the Ukrainian leadership is contributing to the Russian demilitarization of the Ukraine.

Why is it doing that?

My guess is that the Z-boy does not like Nazis. I cannot say as I blame him if that is the case. It's just too bad there are a lot of brainwashed idiots mixed in among the Nazis and guys too slow to avoid conscription. You cannot really say they are innocents, but at least in better times they would not be out trying to kill people, unlike the Nazis.

Honestly, the more Nazis that get destroyed the better off Z-boy is. He even has an excuse: "I'm a Jew! What else would you want me to do with Nazis?"

Posted by: William Gruff | May 5 2022 18:38 utc | 39

"The Western leaders are malevolent deluded Zionists, so that they believe their own propaganda is not surprising but rather a tragedy for Ukraine." Kay@14

The real tragedy is that they believe Ukrainian propaganda as well.

"...I just can't imagine that there won't be massive anger on a large scale within the population when they learn that not only have they lost the war but that it was Zelensky who saw to their deaths.." Kay

A very important observation. And this is why, in my view, de-nazification will not be a long term problem. After all after 1944, most Ukrainians reacted to the brutal Nazi occupation angrily. It was not, as Freeland and the emigres claim that they had any principled objection to soviet rule. Or any fear of the Red Army. It was their neighbours, who were often their victims, who they feared and from whom they fled.
Had they stayed in Ukraine they would have been taxed with their record of collaboration and treachery.

Why should matters be different this time? In the Donbas, and beyond, the Nazis have made no friends by their violence and bullying. Any who do not get out are likely to be torn apart by the populace.
De-nazification is going to have to go through two stages. The first will be defeat on the battlefield. There is nothing like a boot on Aryan-Superman's neck to convince him of the actual equality of all.
The next stage, which will take longer, will be to de-nazify the holes out of which it crawled in the 1990s and back into which it is likely to scuttle when Lwow is Polish again.

Posted by: bevin | May 5 2022 18:39 utc | 40

S | May 5 2022 18:35 utc | 36

And he also says if he gets his eyesight back, he will go back to fight for Ukraine.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 5 2022 18:43 utc | 41

This machine is a bit like something out of "Star wars", 203 mm mobile artillery unit.

https://twitter.com/Intel_sky/status/1521714756926820352?cxt=HHwWgMC-gcrgm54qAAAA

Mobility in the field is also one of the key features, touched on by b, and as mentioned previously by another poster on an earlier thread. It allows quicker "setting up time", and then moving on before there is a reaction, or drones find them. Something the Ukrainians cannot do with the material they have on hand.

Simply by being static under the present conditions, this has become a handicap overall.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 5 2022 18:43 utc | 42

Re do not retreat/hold the line...So? the commander still retains the choice to surrender.

IfIRecallCorrectly...in WW2, von Paulus took over command as the battle at Stalingrad approached. One of his first order was to countermand the previous commander's order to kill all civilians in that sector of the Wehrmacht going East [toward Stalingrad]. In the fog of battle and rapid movement, vonPaulus' order to stop needless killing of civilians was not fully disseminated and carried-out.

Then, at Stalingrad, vonPaulus eventually was forced to retreat from battle but Hitler refused his request to retreat.. So? vonPaulus chose to surrender the entire army under his command...and most of his starving troops survived as prisoners to return to Germany after the war.

So Mr. Commander, surrender is a viable option...unless you have established yourself as a bonafide war-crim.

...or unless you are so "useful" to your "enemy" that you get "special dispensation",,,like Japanese Emperor Hirohito who his claimed authority to commit unlimited War Crimes came directly from the gods...or so he believed...really, really believed. The UK/US crazies gave him "special dispensation" to continue in his palace as Emperor in Japan, and his spawn continues the Emperor dynasty ...thereby the enslavement of his subjects persists to this day...who after WW2 were never freed from his Master/slave hierachy.

Which helps explain the current scene dominated by similar Crownies, er...crazies.

I suspect the truth is that the madness of humanity is a disease, deliberately afflicted, that war and domination and riches cannot provide escape nor remedy. Nor can mis-education.

How did we get this way? Who did this to us?

Posted by: chu teh | May 5 2022 18:44 utc | 43

@Comandante

Sounds good but even pro Russian sources are admitting Russians are being pushed back in Kharkov. And Ukrops are still able to easily shell Donbass and even were able to hit a Russian Command Center. Not to mention Belarus President Lukashenka has just said he thinks this Russian operation is taking too long. It just seems this is all bogging down to a crawl and that cant be good for Russia. And if they decide to Mobilize like many pro Russians say, that cannot be treated as good news or like a winning situation.
- What's developing east of Kharkov is a Ukrainian attempt fo cut of the Russian supplies to Izium. The Ukrainian counterattack progress there is on a small front and relatively deep. It can be cut of, enveloped and destroyed at any moment.
- Yes, Donbas still gets hit. The lines there were hardened over 8 years and are difficult to break. But the amount of artillery hits has already been significantly reduced.
- The "hit a Russian Command Center" legend is Ukrainian propaganda.
- Lukashenka actually admitted that he does not know Russia's plans.
- 1,000 artillery missions per day (each mission with multiple guns and multiple shots per gun") is not bogged down to a crawl but a very active battle.
- There will be no mobilization as it is entirely unnecessary. The Russian forces committed are totally sufficient and can be rotated with rested troops when necessary.

Posted by: b | May 5 2022 18:46 utc | 44

As D J G asks @7 one wonders what the real end game is, because there is no doubt that the Russians will win decisively. The only logic I see is that the US intends to cause a major war in Europe, and profit from it. If so, someone should bring it to their doorstep.

Posted by: Norwegian @ 16
The war will be short lived. The EU have no energy to fuel the tools to consider going to war. They are proud to offer relics they can't sell to another nation state. After the short war, all the nations that are "friendly" will be offered entry to the EAEU sphere, Russia and China will help them rebuild their currency as well as their country. The EU can't do without what Russia has to offer. They are avoiding the sanctions now and paying in rubles, but at the same time condemning the Russians to further sanctions demanded by Sauron. It is schizophrenic.
The truth about what is going on in Ukraine seems likely to finally pierce the wall that the media has put up to keep it out and allow bogus reporting at corresponding times via their media. It is organized but hanging by a thread.
Why would the US give money to pay nazi's in charge of destroying the nation of Ukraine? Is it just to anger the Russians or is someone getting a kickback, or profiting by their business interest thriving on war? It has to be about money all the time when the financial system is throwing up. They are just trying to conveniently trying to tie one to the other.

Posted by: Tard | May 5 2022 18:47 utc | 45

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 18:15 utc | 28

"We can only hope, but I wonder what would cause the US to buckle? A coup? Biden dropping dead?"

All causes have an infinite number of codependent causes and so on ad infinitum. This is as true in Buddhist metaphysics as it is in practical terms on the ground. So when enough cracks start opening up, at some point the structure will buckle.

Some of the core architectural supports of the body politic known as USA are:
political system food distribution food supply energy supply and distribution monstrous USG bureaucracy Military Industrial Congressional (Ike's original term) Complex Intelligence Media's ability to steer narrative for increasingly diverse sub-populations with increasingly divergent views supply chain weather water supply employment rate depth of ongoing recession etc.

and so on. If US gets, for example, food shortages, higher prices, lower employment, political turmoil including riots and higher crime just to name a few, how will it cope? Look how the country handled Covid: survived, sure, but not all that well, and without time to recover are already about to get ploughed under by the next, and larger, crisis. With China shutting down over 11(?) cities at last count, supply chain crisis looms starkly not to mention the clear and present danger of a new pandemic wave. How will the US handle that whilst also dealing with war and riots and perhaps another stolen election in November and food shortages not to mention the inevitable media manipulation and top level sabotage from Intelligence that is going to permeating whatever transpires.

America is a supertanker, some say, so it takes a long time for even simple turns to take place. But there is also the notion of a tipping point when the waves become just too much and the vessel capsizes breaching the hull and sending her to the bottom in a matter of hours.

In any case, seems to me that America is far more vulnerable to this sort of 'perfect storm' turbulence leading to serious internal mayhem if not outright collapse than either Russia or China.

Time will tell.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 5 2022 18:47 utc | 46

Johnson is the classic Western chickenhawk: never seen action in war himself but ready to fight to the last Ukrainian. His advice to Zelenski reminds me of Hitler's refusal to allow his armed forces to withdraw when his generals requested permission to do so.

Posted by: ftmntf | May 5 2022 18:48 utc | 47

off topic, but Caitlin Johnstone has posted a great video of a dialogue between a scientist named Greg Mello and a pundit named Brian Becker, quite informative.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 5 2022 18:50 utc | 48

Worldwide, there is a practically inexhaustible inventory of standard 152mm or 155mm guns and ammunition. As mentioned, the people will probably run out before the equipment does. Not sure that training would be so much of a rate limiting factor in this war, especially with modern digital add-ons.

The raw loss rate is (??) 300-500 Ukrainian fighters + mercenaries most days, projecting to 100k-150k per year. Given the state of mind in Kiev, that too could go on for a number of years. (based on, say, 20 million portion of remaining UA population who could be compelled to serve (ie exclude those who would be likely to instantly desert and/or shoot their officers in the back), 10 million of those male, so turn over 1% of male population each year? Also not a rate limiting factor, if the government is willing to take the severe measures needed to force them into service, as they currently are.

There would also seem to be something of an arms race in deploying larger numbers of current-model SPG's and extended-range precision guided rounds. Both NATO and RF and China have newer fancier systems designed and tested, only not yet fielded in massive numbers.

Posted by: ptb | May 5 2022 18:52 utc | 49

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 18:15 utc | 28

I honestly don't know, the propaganda has been so effective and deafening as far as drowning other voices out, and of course the tech companies acting as agents of the state in seizing money and deplatforming sites. but Biden dropping dead won't make any difference, in my opinion. Harris might well be even worse.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 5 2022 18:54 utc | 50

Stonebird | May 5 2022 18:43 utc | 42

Those things are as good as eight inch naval guns. I run onto a video of one being loaded earlier. No brass powder case for those. Two sacks of propellant go in behind the projectile.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 5 2022 18:54 utc | 51

Hey! This is a bit off topic.

As I wrote a few days ago I am neutral in this conflict. I had an interesting discussion with a buddy of mine. He said: Russia may "win" this war and that he hopes for, but in the long run the effects of not having a strong and modern industrial base and most importantly to be cut off from many high-tech items which they cannot replace in required quantities will make them fall back having no chance to survive as a country. From his pov - and he is pro-russian - he is long term not optimistic at all. He said: long term RU has 3 choices: surrender to the West, blow up the planet or become a part of Greater China (like 3 or 4 new provinces).

My opinion - since I am neutral - I think option #3 would be the best. What do you think?

Posted by: Tom | May 5 2022 19:02 utc | 52

@Scorpion | May 5 2022 18:47 utc | 46

Interesting thoughts, thanks for the reply. The sum of forces has brought it to a tipping point, so any freak event can cause a capsize, I will go with that.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 19:03 utc | 53

Somewhat related: finally a relevant leader is calling out Zelensky for the tool he is: former Brazilian president Lula said on record to Time Magazine that Zelensky is as much to blame for the war as Putin.

Posted by: Miranda | May 5 2022 19:05 utc | 54

@Tard | May 5 2022 18:47 utc | 45

Thanks, I hope you are right, but I have my doubts.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 19:05 utc | 55

Posted by: Tom | May 5 2022 19:02 utc | 52

Russia has no need to become a province of China, which I'm sure will trade with it for tech in any case. I don't know how you can be neutral in this conflict.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 5 2022 19:07 utc | 56

There is a very interesting piece today over at "Dances With Bears" written by Vlad Shlepchenko, in which he makes the case that in order to win and end the war, Russia will have to stop the flow of weapons from the West as they enter Ukraine from Poland. He believes that this will be done in Phase 3, which will involve moving 100,000 Russian troops into Ukraine from the north (Belarus) to block all road traffic from Poland. I will leave it to others more qualified than myself to judge this argument.

http://johnhelmer.net/the-last-ditch-is-poland-russias-phase-3-plan-for-western-ukraine/

Posted by: Rob | May 5 2022 19:07 utc | 57

#---On the topic…..

Posted by: Down South | May 5 2022 17:09 utc | 3

never!!!!!

Posted by: Anne B | May 5 2022 19:11 utc | 58

@pretzelattack | May 5 2022 18:54 utc | 50

Thanks. The propaganda has reached a new level of expertise, that is clear. There must be some seriously competent psychopaths running the show. Agreed that Biden dropping dead will not be a surprise nor a trigger for a collapse.

How about senior US officers turning up in war tribunals in Donbass?

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 19:12 utc | 59

Tom | May 5 2022 19:02 utc | 52

Your 'buddy' has no understanding of Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 5 2022 19:15 utc | 60

@47


they are called turkey ,3

Posted by: Macpott | May 5 2022 19:16 utc | 61

Reply to: Tom | May 5 2022 19:02 utc | 52
"in the long run the effects of not having a strong and modern industrial base and most importantly to be cut off from many high-tech items which they cannot replace in required quantities will make them fall back having no chance to survive as a country."
It sounds as if your friend is talking about the United States to me.

Posted by: Anonymouse | May 5 2022 19:17 utc | 62

Its quit obvious Zelensky and his gang take their marching orders from the Pentagon and London with promises of riche$$ and an escape hideaway to the Riviera or Miami of course.
Its time for Putin to hammer down, quit being nice and as a "tit for tat" stop all gas exports to NATO countries who are $$upporting and arming the Ukro Nazi's and nationalize all "unfriendly" countries assets in Russia.

Posted by: Hannibal | May 5 2022 19:19 utc | 63

Headline from Jerusalem Post:

As Ukraine's Soviet weapons dwindle, it races to adopt new gear. No comments yet.

In case anyone wonder where Anatoly Chubais feel most at home - JP can proudly tell us he is in Israhell.

https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-705996

Posted by: Anne B | May 5 2022 19:19 utc | 64

@Norwegian (59) "How about senior US officers turning up in war tribunals in Donbass?"

In which case the US might claim that the officers were not on active duty and, therefore, were acting on their own. Or they might say that the US officers were helping the good people of Ukraine fight the big ugly Bear, and, hence, were performing a good deed. I'm thinking of the Iran-Contra scandal, in which members of the Reagan's administration clearly violated the law by facilitating the selling of weapons to the Contra death squads in Nicaragua, yet were defended by their supporters on the grounds that the law was bad and deserved to be broken. It's a lazy, but surprisingly persuasive, argument to make.

Posted by: Rob | May 5 2022 19:22 utc | 65

osted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 19:12 utc | 59

maybe. i can tell you how it's going to be spun initially, as another example of vicious evil Russians persecuting heroic Americans for helping out the helpless Ukrainians in their struggle for freedom. I would like to think there is a limit to gullibility--I think it will help as living conditions in the US deteriorate more and more, people are less inclined to believe the government telling them that everything is fine and all is going according to plan.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 5 2022 19:24 utc | 66

Peter AU1 | May 5 2022 18:54 utc | 51

I wondered about that. There was no sign of any casings and the "flash" seems rather "cannonic" as from Trafalgar or some Tex Avery film. (The original Tex of course.)

Posted by: Stonebird | May 5 2022 19:25 utc | 67

@Tom (52) I would say that Russia's industrial base is probably better now than the US's, given that the latter deliberately deindustrialized and moved most manufacturing offshore. As for high tech components, I would bet that Russia will be able to find sources in China and elsewhere.

Posted by: Rob | May 5 2022 19:28 utc | 68

Anne B | May 5 2022 19:19 utc | 64

He paved the way for the oligarchs of the Russian nineties. The Ukraine operation is sorting the wheat from the chaff in Russia. Chaff getting blown away by the winds of change.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 5 2022 19:29 utc | 69

Biden dropping dead may not be a signal for a collapse, but what about Kamala Harris becoming president? After her, next in line will be Pelosi. What's she, 82 years old?

Posted by: Lysias | May 5 2022 19:32 utc | 70

@james 21
"what i see happening here, is a lot of dead people, thanks for brilliant minds in usa-uk-nato... they don't give a fuck.. it is all about trying to take russia down and willingly sacrificing ukraine to do it... too bad the fucker zelensky is such a useful tool for this dead end strategy... "

Yup, exactly. Which is why I can't stand western politicians and their absolutely nauseating moral lectures about poor Ukies, evil Russians and the media's constant shrieking about Ukrainian civilians. If these assholes really cared about the waste of lives they would be pushing the Ukrainians to sue for peace not sending them more weapons and stymieing efforts at a negotiated settlement.

Don't even get me started on the deifying of that goofy schmuck Zelensky. I have to bite my tongue every time I hear someone going on about what a monster Putin is and what a great guy Zelensky is. My dental hygienist teared up telling me about her dinner at a Ukrainian restaurant and what a great place the Ukraine was before the war (she got this from the restaurant's owner) and what a wonderful couple Zelensky and his wife are (she got this from the media). The media's tall tales and dubious stories from "expat Ukrainians" are turning people's brains into porridge.

Posted by: Antiwar Dinosaur | May 5 2022 19:32 utc | 71

a link to the Becker-Mello conversation posted at Caitlin Johnstone
https://soundcloud.com/thesocialistprogram/escalation-in-ukraine-the-nuclear-war-danger-is-real

or just go to her site, the article in which this video is embedded is well worth reading.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 5 2022 19:33 utc | 72

Tom @52

This isn't the board game Risk. Neither China nor Russia would want their countries to merge. The Chinese like China being China and as Putin suggested there is no point to a world without Russia. Both countries would become something they don't want if they merged.

As for high tech items, practically anything that cannot currently readily be made in Russia can be bought from China. By 2025 even the most advanced microchips on the market will be made in China. I wouldn't worry about Russia in that regard.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 5 2022 19:33 utc | 73

Okay, that article gave me a good laugh.
When I was reading the first lines I immediately thought, what I thought the last two weeks, when people commented on the lack of movement in this war: "Clausewitz wrote that the main goal should be the destruction of the enemy's army."
.... only to find that b read my mind when I scrolled further down :-)

Posted by: Helmuth von Moltke | May 5 2022 19:33 utc | 74

This zionist operation in Ukraine is a modernized version of "Plan Dalet", the 1948 Israeli operation to clear Palestine of its native inhabitants in order to make space for the jewish settlers. Ordering the Ukraine military to stay in place serves to destroy a significant part of the male Ukraine population, which the jews consider to be so much trash needing disposal. The owners of the zionist entity have come to understand that the eastern Mediterranean is no longer workable as a headquarters now that Persia and Lebanon have ultra-sonic missile stockpiles. The globo-homo-zionists will move their villas and high-rise office towers to historic Khazaria, after the natives have been driven out or destroyed. Nuland is the Ben Gurion of new-kzaria. Long live the repulsive queen!

Posted by: Ed | May 5 2022 19:36 utc | 75

Reminds me of one of my favorite books: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/743932.The_Myth_of_the_Great_War
WW1 was basically a massive artillery duel with Germany coming out on top most of the time until the US intervened. Tanks, planes and machine guns, which are usually pictured as dominating the battlefield in the popular mind, doing less damage than artillery.
Russia may be replaying Germany's role, attriting the enemy until they mutiny (like the French or Russians in 1917) with Ukraine hoping for US doughboys to fill the gaps.

Posted by: Tom | May 5 2022 19:36 utc | 76

Ukraine's army started with over 1,000 major tube artillery pieces.

At most, this Western supply is another 20%, and of types that can't use the existing ammo stockpiles or supply lines. They also require new training for existing trained people, and even more training for raw recruits to become proficient with Western artillery.

The supposed supply of 144,000 rounds is just 720 rpg, in the entire supply chain and including all promises of supply. Even if more follows, that only emphasizes that this does not mean what its hype tries to show.

This is hype, not real practical help.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | May 5 2022 19:37 utc | 77

Posted by: Lysias | May 5 2022 19:32 utc | 70

Kamala Harris is a great insurance policy for Biden. I don't remember who's after Pelosi, at this point I just think there are interchangeable parts ready to insert. I think it is going to take a good deal of domestic unrest in the US based on inflation, lost jobs, lost houses, etc. and i think that is going to happen, don't know when.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 5 2022 19:40 utc | 78

Antiwar Dinosaur | May 5 2022 19:32 utc | 71 "The media's tall tales and dubious stories from "expat Ukrainians" are turning people's brains into porridge."

Nah. Just manipulating the existing porridge. dumbocracy porridge. The best thing since sliced bread. Anglo dumbocracy designed to prevent revolutions. Perfidious albion's control of the peasants.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 5 2022 19:43 utc | 79

But the war will destroy the Ukrainian military and many, many of its men.

Posted by b on May 5, 2022 at 16:59 UTC | Permalink


Thereby sowing eternal hatred of Russia among many Ukrainians, and, as the West hopes preventing, or at least subverting Russian control of the country. This why the West insists on continuing the slaughter.

Posted by: Pagan | May 5 2022 19:45 utc | 80

During WW2 Russia discovered that towed artillery was particularly at risk during fast moving battles and switched to building self-propelled artillery on a large scale. Once the German forces were on the defensive, it became easier to protect artillery and towed artillery seems to have been used more widely.
The US always establishes air supremacy first so there is little chance that their towed artillery will be attacked let alone destroyed. US and NATO need to supply self-propelled artillery for it to be effective in Ukraine. Will they?

BTW, forget about trench warfare it became obsolete in the last year of WW1 with the largely ineffective German Spring Offensive and more importantly with the very effective combined arms operations largely launched by the British with their Canadian and Australian allies ably assisted by the French which largely gutted the Germany Army already hollowed out by their Spring Offensive. The AEF played little part in the gutting of the German Army as it was still largely doing trench warfare.

I suspect that the Russian Army is still using Soviet Deep Battle which requires the enemy to be fixed so that it can be destroyed with artillery. The "no step back" approach that Hitler ordered the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS to follow assisted USSR by fixing German forces in place to be destroyed by Red Army. Zelensky by following the same approach is assisting in the destruction of Ukrainian forces. Shame that Washington and London never understood the war on the Eastern Front and have forgotten how daft Hitler's orders were towards the end of WW2.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 5 2022 19:48 utc | 81

We can only hope, but I wonder what would cause the US to buckle? A coup? Biden dropping dead? #28

I think answer might be found somewhere here:
“A selloff in U.S. government debt gathered momentum Thursday, sending yields on 5- to 30-year maturities above 3% a day after the Federal Reserve delivered a widely expected half percentage point interest rate hike. MarketWatch

“There’s nowhere to hide,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate. “This is hitting everybody.” Inflation “is most pronounced on items that are necessities,” he added.
NBC

The US treasuries are becoming a hot item everybody is trying to get rid off. Real inflation is staggering, much more than 8.6% they Fed admits. Very soon there will be a sobering “Wher’s the beef” moment in US.

Posted by: Milos | May 5 2022 19:52 utc | 82

Excellent factual analysis of Ukraine war here:
http://johnhelmer.net/the-last-ditch-is-poland-russias-phase-3-plan-for-western-ukraine/print/

Posted by: downtownhaiku | May 5 2022 19:53 utc | 83

A serious US press would be asking officials why they hate the Ukrainian people.
Posted by: Lex | May 5 2022 17:34 utc | 10

That question comes to mind as I encounter a friend on the wrong side of history, waving a little blue and yellow flag, maybe even reciting Ukronazi slogans with glee: What did any Ukranian ever do to you, to make you hate them so much?

Such an incident is affective dissonance at heights so hopeless, I wonder if my former friend will be giving me the creeps, from now on. Relationships sever forever over emotional ships passing in the night, like this.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 5 2022 19:59 utc | 84

#--Posted by: Comandante | May 5 2022 18:11 utc | 25

Time is the best ally Russia has. If you care to wait for it. It helps their logistics, and to restore the liberated areas.

They also have to bury a lot of dead Ukrops, and clean up the villages turned to rubble.

Meanwhile - the ruble continues to strengthen, while western economies are facing a perfect storm by their own making.

This is fun.

Posted by: Anne B | May 5 2022 20:03 utc | 85

Zelensky was elected on better ties with Russia. He can't seek or negotiate peace because extremists have his back. If he makes the wrong move, he and his beloved will be eliminated.

For the West (US and its vassals), the war needs to be fought to the last Ukrainian.

Posted by: xor | May 5 2022 20:03 utc | 86

Paul Greenwood | May 5 2022 17:30 utc | 6

Many thanks to remind me to check Meyssan's voltaire.org from time to time. I m not always in tune with him, but when he focus on something , he does his homework. Latest two pieces are brillants and instructives . And some info are new to me :
Like this:
"Olexandr Muzychko ( right sector ) was elevated to the title of "hero of the nation" by the Islamic Emirate of Itchkeria (Chechnya) for "breaking the fingers of [Russian] officers, gouging out their eyes, pulling out their fingernails and teeth, and shooting others. He became the head of Emir Djokhar Dudaev’s personal guard".

or this
"Hungary covets Ukrainian Transcarpathia, which it lost when the Austro-Hungarian Empire fell. Ukrainian governments discriminated against its predominantly Hungarian population after the "Revolution of Dignity" (the 2014 coup). Like Russian, its language was banned. Today, Transcarpathia is at peace. Russian troops have not attacked it. It serves as a refuge for Ukrainians from the internal opposition"

Hihgly recommended :https://www.voltairenet.org/article216738.html

He sum it up :
"by following their American overlord, Europeans must therefore expect both a sharp drop in their standard of living and the loss of their family jewels. No one seems to care."

In the same time , french family jewel ENGIE totally surrendered to the overlord :https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/europe/lng-europe/408212/france-nextdecade-engie-lng/

Posted by: malamatias | May 5 2022 20:21 utc | 87

b's report is the perfect illustration of Xymphora's comment a while back that Ukraine is like Monty Python's The Black Knight - Tis But A Scratch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmInkxbvlCs

Posted by: Zhulik | May 5 2022 20:22 utc | 88

I hear more and more talk about the Canadian Lt. General being captured in Ukraine and being held in Moscow. Is there any chance we might get official confirmation of that from Russia in the near future? I think the perfect F.U. from Russia to the US & it vassals would be to reveal a bunch of captured NATO officers on the May 9 parade and announce their war crimes trials. Even if they don't reveal captured NATO officers I'm sure Russia will reveal more about the Bio-Weapons labs that were active in Ukraine and they release more information about the war crimes Ukraine has been committing and the upcoming trials.

Posted by: Kadath | May 5 2022 20:27 utc | 89

Just discovered both Russian and English language MoD sites are 403 Forbidden for me here in Oregon... That didn't happen during Syria.
Posted by: karlof1 | May 5 2022 18:24 utc | 33

Another extraordinary sign of these times, in which US Americans believe nearly everything you tell them -- we're making progress in absolutely extinguishing credulity. Ask the wrong questions, and you'll traverse the gauntlet from labels to bans to confiscation to incarceration.

But why? People should be wondering, because this level of repression is so flagrantly gratuitous. US Americans -- the vast majority -- would be totally convinced if Kukla, Fran & Ollie delivered the news, so long as it's Russophobic. Convincing US Americans to hate Russians is like handing out free soda-pop: easier than pie -- so then why such a severe clampdown?

My expectation from the constellation of military and media events before us is along the same lines as Oliver Stone just articulated. If the Ukronazis detonate a nuclear device in the Donbass this week, US Americans are totally ready to blame it on Russia. Internet clamdown is crossing all the T's and dotting all the I's, in preparation, imho.

Russia, of course, would have no doubt about whence such a device originated. They surely would not wait for any international investigation before responding impressively, I'd expect.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 5 2022 20:32 utc | 90

@Milos | May 5 2022 19:52 utc | 82

The US treasuries are becoming a hot item everybody is trying to get rid off. Real inflation is staggering, much more than 8.6% they Fed admits. Very soon there will be a sobering “Wher’s the beef” moment in US.
Very good answer, thank you. The economy should have been on the short list.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 20:32 utc | 91

Excellent analysis b. Given Ukrainian demographics and the number of people who emigrated before the war, they have a long term manpower shortage even if they could provide instant training. I fear a whole lost generation of young to middle age Ukrainian males.

But- I think the stories we are reading may be "true propaganda"/ deception. I think they have given up on the east, but are going scorched earth, trying to inflict as much destruction as possible. But they may be trying to still have some quality troops in reserve, and to blend with the newbies training in the west. So- in early April pull some well trained tank and artillery crews from the east, along with a few tanks and artillery pieces. Especially if they are low on fuel/ammo for the weaponry they have. Also pull out many mercenaries and western Ukies. Send the middle aged reservists, especially those from the east as cannon fodder to make up for some of the pulled men. End goal is to have destruction of as many eastern Ukrainians as possible.

So the eastern forces start off with losses from March and some troop swapping and no surrender orders. Not an optimal defending force, but good enough in highly fortified positions to slow the Russkies. Russians attack, inflict many more losses, units and companies etc are completely devastated. Russians are slowed down, destruction everywhere reigns. Let a couple of news stories out- though make sure they are not repeated by most mainstream outlets.

But Ukies are maintaining a supply of skilled troops to defend Central/western Ukraine. Add some mercenaries who are trained on the disparate Western equipment, and they can hold out for a good while and inflict a lot more damage on Russia. This would be consistent with the stories and with your long term analysis which made todays analysis likely. It is the best case defense story for Ukraine, it could be true and I don't know why they wouldn't approach it this way. Always better to consider less positive scenarios for Russia. None of this would change the long term dynamics, but they might not fall apart if the east is decimated.

Posted by: Mesquite | May 5 2022 20:33 utc | 92

But why? People should be wondering, because this level of repression is so flagrantly gratuitous. US Americans -- the vast majority -- would be totally convinced if Kukla, Fran & Ollie delivered the news, so long as it's Russophobic. [snip]

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 5 2022 20:32 utc | 90


My, but you're showing your age with that reference!

BTW "kukla" is the Russian word for "doll." We should probably cancel that name now. ;-)

Posted by: malenkov | May 5 2022 20:35 utc | 93

So much for my digging up the two articles on artillery. During WW2, both USSR and Germany used horse drawn artillery, Germany more so since it lacked enough trucks or halftracks, whereas the USSR was provided them in mass quantity via lend-lease. As I noted in my earlier comment, most modern NATO artillery is being manufactured by South Korea. Also, the more current article details the numbers and types of artillery proposed to gift to Ukraine. If any survives the gauntlet to the front, it won't last long there. Using an artillery piece isn't the same as learning how to shoot a rifle or assault gun; all types require some amount of specialized training is required, not just to get close to the target but to protect the gun crew. Saying no training's required is bullshit, although SPAs require the least.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 5 2022 20:36 utc | 94

@xor | May 5 2022 20:03 utc | 86

Zelensky was elected on better ties with Russia. He can't seek or negotiate peace because extremists have his back. If he makes the wrong move, he and his beloved will be eliminated.
Yes, he is trapped.

2022.05.05 Zelensky Is Trapped

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 20:36 utc | 95

The Christian Science Monitor heavily sources the Institute for the Study of War, which although stating a goal to gain accurate information to assist policymakers, has Bill Kristol, Joe Lieberman and David Petraeus on its board.

Posted by: GS | May 5 2022 20:36 utc | 96

Yes, he is trapped. [snip}

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2022 20:36 utc | 95


True, but I've long since ceased to care.

Posted by: malenkov | May 5 2022 20:38 utc | 97

Some 'background' re: the 'neocons', i.e., Khazar Mafia that owns the US and EU. In 1666, a certain Sabbatai Zevi (sp in all) announced he was the expected Judahite Messiah ('jew' was invented in 1800s), and approx. half of all Judahites followed him. He exited the scene eventually, but a few decades later a Jacob Frank claimed to be the reincarnation of Zevi. His teaching is called 'Frankism'.

All this to get to their unique interpretation of the Talmud/Kabbala - to wit, the Messiah (Moshiac) will return only when the entire world is entirely 'good' (i.e., 'repaired') ala Talmud standards, OR is ENTIRELY evil. And Zevi and Frank put a lot of energy into pursuing the degradation of the world... especially their arch enemy - the Christian European civilization (see Talmud). Their influence can be traced in most (all?) of the most powerful Jewish 'cousinhoods' since that time, and is certainly apparent today. They are determined, ingenious, patient,and will never, ever, ever accept defeat.(after all, their 'god' is on their, the 'chosens' side). Their guiding principle, along with a dual loyalty,is a dual morality....any action, however venal, that benefits Jews, is 'good' - and there is no action, however venal, that damages the goy (non-Jew) is 'bad'.

This is well documented history, but largely unknown, of course, considering who owns our 'eyes' and 'ears'. But it's definitely time for the fog to clear, so we can see why TPTB so callously, blatantly, ney, demonically, ignore the welfare of humanity. They really and truly could care less about Europe, the West, et al.

Posted by: Nancy | May 5 2022 20:44 utc | 98

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 5 2022 19:48 utc | 81

"I suspect that the Russian Army is still using Soviet Deep Battle which requires the enemy to be fixed so that it can be destroyed with artillery... Zelensky by following the same approach is assisting in the destruction of Ukrainian forces."

Whilst deferring to your obvious military expertise I cannot help but wonder: even if they want to maneuver more adroitly do they still have enough gas to do so? And even if they do, are there enough bridges and suchlike still intact? And even if they are, won't they all just get decimated from above?

Apparently they are well dug in. And maybe the strategy is to let Russia deplete her supply of munitions before getting massive backup of materiel - perhaps even at that point more boots on the ground - to finally get her on the back foot. Not saying I think it will work but they keep talking their position up so much and insisting there will be no surrender under any circumstances that unless this is all more Baghdad Bob-ing, presumably they still believe they have a shot in this thing. (Or of course their troops are sacrificial lambs and their role is to buy enough time for a Color Revolution to take Putin out due to all the angry Russians against the war etc.)

Posted by: Scorpion | May 5 2022 20:47 utc | 99

Always watch for the details that don't fit the narrative.

Putin is said to have apologised for Lavrov's remarks to Bennett. (Haaretz) Why? What did he get in return? As an "apology" is used as submission by Israel.
****

The statement that US "intelligence" was responsible for the deaths of Russian Generals - which turns the US Generals into targets. They do not seem to appreciate "joining" the war personally.
****

The inflation scare - so the rape of EU and what remains of the assets of normal US people has begun. (Food, arms and ammunition for Ukraine cost money, or something shiny).

Biden is still spending "money" that he doesn't have to give to Ukrainians. Z, =elensky has gone off the front pages generally. Sign of things to come? (Must be because his green T-shirt, worn continuously since february, must have become a hive of bugs and even Pelosi had to hold her nose.)
***

There may be a reappraisal of the Ukie war by the top brass in the US. UK less so. Europe, they just don't think at all. The "South" is starting to get it's act together. The middle east is getting upset (by the US in Afghanistan and Pakistan.) Plus a new anti-OPEC bill in the works. Plus ça change, plus ça ressemble.

*****

Generally the average ability of western civilians to be interested could have reached saturation point. We need some new scare.
As one comic once said, holding his arm up, "Please teacher, may I be excused as my brain is full"

Posted by: Stonebird | May 5 2022 20:48 utc | 100

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