Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 24, 2022

Ukraine - Wrong Assumptions, Wrong Conclusions - And A Lot Of Dead Soldiers

As the war in Ukraine passes the half year mark lots of media produce their conclusions about the beginning of the war. But when looked at in detail these are most superficial write ups of what people assume Russia's plans at the start of the war were and how those assumed plans fit with the presumed reality.

The Washington Post has a long 'exclusive' piece headlined:

Battle for Kyiv: Ukrainian valor, Russian blunders combined to save the capital

It first describes the immediate start of the war and then states a false assumption:

The question everyone faced at that moment, [Ukrainian Interior Minister Denis] Monastyrsky said, was: “How far can the enemy go with that enormous fist?”

If the Russians could seize the seat of power in Ukraine, or at least cause the government to flee in panic, the defense of the country would quickly unravel. Moscow could install a puppet government.

That was the Kremlin’s plan.

I don't know why the authors think they know what the Kremlin's plan was. I am certain that the described one is not what Russia intended to strive for.

A piece in Newsweek makes similar assertions:

How Putin Botched the Ukraine War and Put Russia's Military Might at Risk

Ukrainian defenders have indeed been ferociously determined, while Russian troops have had to contend with bad battlefield leaders, inferior weapons and an unworkable supply chain. They've also been hobbled by Putin himself. He misread the world situation and personally ordered a disastrous invasion, looking to overthrow the government in Kyiv. He directed a botched effort to take Donbas, depleting the Russian armed forces in the process.
"Putin, like every other dictator we've known in the modern era, thinks he knows better, more than his own military, and more than any experts," one senior intelligence official who works on Russia (and requested anonymity to speak frankly) tells Newsweek.
The February invasion was designed to overthrow Volodymyr Zelensky and take over the entire country, and Russia deployed tens of thousands of troops in Belarus to Ukraine's north, threatening Kyiv.

Given Russia's overwhelming numerical superiority, Putin expected the government in Kyiv to fall in as little as 72 hours.

There is no evidence that any of those assertions are true.

At the beginning of the year Russia faced a problem. In the larger picture it had to prevent Ukraine's admission to NATO. Negotiations with the U.S. had failed to achieve that. In the immediate situation Russia also had to prevent an imminent Ukrainian attack on the Donbas republics.

There were several potential ways to achieve that each of which came with a different time lines and price point.

At the beginning of war Putin made one remark to the Ukrainian military command to give up, to make the necessary concessions, and to remove the civil government should it not agree with them. But during the first days of the war it became immediate clear that the Ukrainian military command did not want, or did not dare to do that. This military coup would have been the cheapest and fastest solution for both, Russia and Ukraine.

A second option was to press the Ukrainian government into agreeing to Russia conditions to end the war. To remove the Ukrainian army from the Donbas, to accept Crimea as part of Russia and to repudiate any NATO association plans.

The move of Russian forces to around Kiev was designed to achieve that. It nearly reached that aim during talks held at the end of March in Turkey. As soon as the Ukraine seemed to agree to the Kremlin's conditions, and to a potential summit, Russia ordered its troops to move back from the city.

On March 29 France24 summarized its daily report collection with this:

Ukraine proposed adopting neutral status and a 15-year consultation period on the future of Russian-occupied Crimea as long as a complete ceasefire with Russian forces is agreed, negotiators said at the conclusion of peace talks in Istanbul on Tuesday. Despite Russian vows to "radically" reduce military operations near Kyiv and Chernigiv, Western officials urged caution.

The Kremlin's hope for a fast end of the conflict was disappointed when, a few days later, Zelensky suddenly refuted all the concessions his negotiators in Istanbul had made.

This followed a phone call between the British prime minister Boris Johnson and Zelensky on April 2 and Johnson's visit to Kiev on April 9.

A report in the Ukrainian Pravda describe what happened (machine translation):

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.
[T]wo things happened, after which a member of the Ukrainian delegation, Mikhail Podolyak, had to openly admit that the meeting of the presidents was "out of time."

The first is the exposure of atrocities, rapes, murders, massacres, robbery, indiscriminate bombing, hundreds and thousands of other war crimes committed by Russian troops in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories…

The second obstacle to agreements with the Russians arrived in Kyiv on April 9."

Details: 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."

The 'west', in form of Joe Biden's messenger Boris Johnson, told Zelensky - first in a phone call and then in person - that he would be on his own if he should sign a ceasefire agreement that made any concessions to Russia.

Russia's initiative to achieve fast concessions, and its motive to keep troops around Kiev, had failed because the 'west' did not agree to it. It wanted a long war to drag Russia down.

Zelensky accepted the 'western' pressure for a war 'down to the last Ukrainian' and ended the negotiations by making new demands that Russia could never accept.

Since then Russia removed its troops from the vicinity of the big cities Kiev, Chernihiv, Sumy and Karkiv. This to drag the Ukrainian troops away from the civilians in the cities into the countryside and to exposed them to the massive artillery strikes the Russians use along the frontlines.

There the Ukrainian troops get 'demilitarized' and 'denazified' just as Putin had ordered.

Anyone who says that Russia is 'too slow' and 'does not make progress' along the frontline misunderstands this situation. Russia is deliberately dragging the Ukrainian forces towards the rural frontline to destroy them there without creating massive civil casualties:

The Russian army deliberately slowed down its advance in the special military operation in Ukraine in order to reduce civilian casualties, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting of defense chiefs from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states on Wednesday.

"We strictly comply with humanitarian law during the special operation. Attacks are carried out with high-precision weapons on the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ military infrastructure facilities, including command points, airfields, depots, fortified areas and defense industry sites. At the same time, every effort is being done to prevent civilian casualties. It certainly slows down the advance but we do it consciously," Shoigu pointed out.

If the following document is really original this approach seems to be quite successful.


Up to July 1, according to the document, the losses of the Ukrainian military were:

  • 76,640 dead
  • 42,704 wounded or shell shocked
  •  7,244 captured
  •  2,816 missing
  •  1,610 non-combat casualties (suicides?)

The total numbers look realistic to me. The number of dead is higher then my estimate but the number of wounded seems to be low in relation to the dead.

There may be several reasons for that. The evacuation of wounded soldiers from positions under artillery fire is extremely difficult and Ukraine's military medical service is not exactly up to date. There are no helicopter evacuations and no tracked medical transport vehicles that could take the wounded out.

A lot of wounded will thereby miss the 'golden hour' and simply die before they can be brought into effective medical care. We can also assume that the Ukrainian staff only counts the heavily wounded and that people who get patched up and send back to the front line are likely not included here.

July 1 was in the 17th week of the war and the total number of likely dead on the above list is 81,066. That makes for an average kill rate of 4.767 per week or 681 Ukrainian soldiers per day. As the first weeks of the war were not exceptionally bloody the number of current dead per day is likely higher.

Nine weeks have passed since the reference date of the above report. They have likely added another 42,000 dead to the list.

These numbers are consistent with the Russian military's daily 'clobber list' which reports of several hundreds Ukrainian casualties per day due to air strikes and well target artillery.

A recent New York Times piece about the costs of war also gives some numbers:

Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the top commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, said Monday that about 9,000 Ukrainians had been killed at the front.
[T]his month, Pentagon officials estimated that 70,000 to 80,000 Russians had been killed or wounded; they put the number of deaths at 20,000.

Those numbers are simply not believable.

Here, from the same piece, is why:

Analysts estimate that Russia is firing around 10,000 artillery shells a day, down from a peak of as much as 20,000 during the campaign to take Luhansk, and that Ukraine is firing several thousand artillery rounds a month.

10 to 20 thousand rounds per day(!) means some 450,000 rounds per month fired from the Russian side. The Ukrainian counter fire is down to 'several thousand artillery rounds a month'. That is ratio of 100 to 1.

How the heck is that supposed to result in only 9,000 killed Ukrainians and 80,000 Russian casualties? It simply can't.

The deliberately slow advance Shoigu describes is achieving the war aim of 'demilitarizing' the Ukraine while Russia's army takes a minimum of casualties.

Most of the experienced younger officers, captains and majors and the senior sergeants that were the backbone of the Ukrainian army will by now be dead. Together with the high material losses and high troop casualties the Ukrainian army has taken this will make it less and less capable of any organized maneuver or resistance.

All that is left is Ukrainian cannon fodder which Russian artillery eats up with enormous ferocity.

It is sad that it has come to this.

Posted by b on August 24, 2022 at 17:58 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Yeah I wonder why Russia won't just tell us what its plan is. That would it make it so much easier for us and the whole global community and the climate too.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Aug 25 2022 6:59 utc | 201

Gilbert: ‘*RF forces moving north in two directions across the Kherson plain toward Nikoleiv. That means the RF military is moving TOWARD UA forces that are defending a fixed position (Nikoleiv, i.e. UA defense).’

I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make here. There has been activity around Kherson and other cities for weeks and months now, but such to-and-fro movements don’t necessarily point to an offensive as such.

An offensive is usually a larger-scale operation that has some sort of major objective in mind. Ukraine has been bombing selected military targets in Crimea, with the aim of weakening the Russian logistical and offensive base. This has all the appearances of the beginnings of an offensive. Whether that offensive will take off, or in the usual manner, remains to be seen.

It may be that the Russians have been preparing an offensive and the movements you speak of signal the beginning of that operation. Time will tell.

Out of curiosity, and since I’m willing to learn, which more ‘balanced’ sources of information would you recommend? I will check them out (not videos).

Posted by: MrB | Aug 25 2022 7:32 utc | 202

Looks like some of those newly modified MIGs for US AGM-88 got destroyed.

Did Marvel get in on doing propaganda?

Posted by: unimperator | Aug 25 2022 7:38 utc | 203

There's a great map or pictorial graphic on Martyanov's latest talking head at the saker about the military obstacles the AFU has to surmount in terms of Russian forces if it wants to mount a counter offensive let alone and offensive. The odds are insurmountable.

Posted by: Jo Dominich | Aug 25 2022 7:46 utc | 204

The farce keep on going...


Zelensky praises Neo-Nazi soldier on social media
Nazi symbols are commonplace in photographs of Ukrainian troops endorsed by the president

Mirror link since RT links are banned here:

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 25 2022 7:57 utc | 205

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Aug 24 2022 22:36 utc | 107
Sitting in the US, one just can't know the Russian "strategy." Even Biden administration doesn't seem to know/fathom the Russian "strategy." Maybe, you could help them.

Posted by: rp | Aug 25 2022 8:09 utc | 206

Neocon Robert Kagan admits endless foreign wars are mainly to maintain control over Americans, reports Alastair Crooke, 3/15/2021:

Robert Kagan (husband of V. Nuland) "asserts that the U.S. empire abroad is required--precisely in order to preserve the myth of ‘democracy’ at home.

An America that retreats from global hegemony, he argues, would no longer possess the cohesive binding to preserve America as liberal democracy, at home either.“...[March/April 2021, “A Superpower, Like It or Not. Why Americans Must Accept Their Global Role,” Foreign Affairs, by Robert Kagan]...

Reported March 15, 2021, “Leviathan Mobilises for Decisive Battle,” Alastair Crooke, Strategic Culture...

Posted by: susan mullen | Aug 25 2022 8:12 utc | 207

too scents | Aug 25 2022 6:41 utc | 201

""Ukraine is Russia's fulcrum to apply leverage against the West with the force of Winter.""

This leverage you speak of is properly called the sanctions applied by the west to Russia

A (kind of) military defeat or collapse by Ukraine may bring the EUUS to their sense, may not: they may lift sanctions they may not - it can be said they have taken lever of their senses

In either case these sanctions and the resulting moves by Russia are aklready well advanced and irreversible - as per SCO, EAEU, bilateral agreements with Iran and Turkey, the Gas 'Opec' , the trade currency plans, Metal Exchange plans, developement plans and aid and security to third world, notably Africa

It is these moves which will bring about the long lasting shift in the balance of power and of economic strength, and offer hope aid and assistance to the Non Aligned

Posted by: Gerrard White | Aug 25 2022 8:12 utc | 208

Jonathon W at 207 "Yeah I wonder why Russia won't just tell us what its plan is. That would it make it so much easier for us and the whole global community and the climate too."

I think that Russia has told us what its plan is. The plan is to establish a world that is safe and secure for Russia. They have moved through various stages in pursuing this plan, and with parallel developments. They were prepared to contemplate a continuing Ukraine with sub-national autonomy for regions (Donbass) and protection of minorities and languages (hardly a novel concept).

What Russia would have accepted in Ukraine (Minsk) proved impossible to achieve. Therefore my reading is that it is no longer on the table. What remains the objective is that Ukraine will be removed as a threat to Russia, and this includes the possibility of danger to Russia from any residual rump State of Ukraine.

Europe will also not be allowed to continue as a danger to Russia. If the Europeans persist in their attitude to Russia then their economies will fall apart. I see the Russian moves on gas and oil as ratcheting up the pain on the Europeans, but leaving the door open to resume trading relations if the Europeans come to their senses.

I think the Ukraine has to be looked at as part of the bigger picture. Russia is winning the battles in Ukraine, but how it goes from here in the Ukraine depends on Russia's assessment of that bigger picture.

In late February I thought the chance of global nuclear war by the end of 2022 was about 30%. My assessment now is somewhat less, simply because of the measured approach of the Russians.

Putin has said (to paraphrase his words) that a world without Russia is not a world worth saving. What he did not say, but is implicit, is that a world with Russia is worth saving. I see that as the Russian's plan, to save a world with Russia.

Posted by: Ross | Aug 25 2022 8:24 utc | 209

Posted by: MrB | Aug 24 2022 21:44 utc | 92

Thanks, very amusing indeed.

Posted by: Dane | Aug 25 2022 8:33 utc | 210

Thanks b. for your detailed analysis.
Whilst writing I’d also like to thank posters such as bevin, Republicofscotland, juliana, james. There are others too whose input is much valued by me and, I suspect, many others who I may not have mentioned. So apologies for any omissions.
By far the best forum.

Posted by: Vragtes | Aug 25 2022 8:37 utc | 211

Denazifying Elensky when the Ukranazi military failed to coup him would have achieved the same result as a coup.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 25 2022 8:50 utc | 212

Intel Slava Z
The Ukrainian ambassador in Madrid said that Kyiv was not satisfied with the military aid from Spain, the last shipment from May had been returned

Posted by: mac998 | Aug 25 2022 8:55 utc | 213

Ross | Aug 25 2022 8:24 utc | 215

EU as economy is already badly damaged and I doubt Russia will ever go back to cheap resources like before. They may even refuse to sell at all some day. EU knows it and that is why they sponsor the war in Ukr. US has various problems too, now it has to steal 66k barrels from Syria every day which is 80% of the production.

Posted by: rk | Aug 25 2022 9:01 utc | 214

Posted by: rk | Aug 25 2022 9:01 utc | 221

My guess is that EU will become more useless/a drag to the global economy. Why? Because the main external export driver in EU, i.e. German industry will become absolutely uncompetitive. This will also cause a chain reaction of many other EU countries industries shrinking and becoming uncompetitive, as they no longer have German export markets to service. All this chain reaction will mean an euro currency no one wants. In US this may be slightly less of an issue. But the US will too decline after its euro-vassals have crashed. They wanted to tighten grip on EU. It's the same of one trying to tighten their grip on water, or a rotten orange. It just disintegrates.

My guess is that the BRICS will form a new special-drawing rights type of system and collective currency, where firstly euro is completely or mostly excluded and non-accepted, or significantly devalued. Euros are best used to covert to gold, to preserve some value in the new world.

Posted by: unimperator | Aug 25 2022 9:19 utc | 215

On the issue of all the NATO weapons flowing into ukraine and why it is not being stopped.

I used to think that Russia should destroy the weapons at the polish border, but now realize it is better for Russia to let them into ukraine and give hope to NATO that they will be useful.

The reason is that these weapons already exist. So the question is where is the best place for them to be? Seems that ideally all the weapons would go into the meat grinder because they will be the most ineffective in the hands of the ukraine military.

The alternative is that NATO stops all weapons deliveries and have it in reserve for later. Once all the existing weapons are sent to the meat grinder, then how brave will the NATO countries be about aggravating a victorious Russia?

We all know Russia can convincingly win this anytime its wants. Having a 100 to 1 kill ratio is as good as it will ever get, so might as well continue the current super slow pace as long as possible.

Posted by: ct | Aug 25 2022 9:21 utc | 216

Did a Pentagon AI computer make the decision not to negotiate with Russia, but for US National Interest, a military confrontation would give most benefits to MAGA?

AI integrated systems are part of warfare in the battle today and Big Tech is helping out.

From the start, I couldn’t wrap my head around the last twelve months leading up to war in Ukraine, that humans would be so freaking stupid and cold to the suffering, wounded and deaths that would result in a military option.

Can anyone elaborate?

Why did futurologist Yuval Harari freak out the moment the military operation did go ahead on 24-02-2022.

UK Defense Artificial Intelligence Strategy - June 2022

Posted by: Oui | Aug 25 2022 9:23 utc | 217

Posted by: rp | Aug 25 2022 8:09 utc | 212

Sitting in the US, one just can't know the Russian "strategy." Even Biden administration doesn't seem to know/fathom the Russian "strategy."


Interestingly, the Biden gang reminds me of a Columbo episode in which Mr. JustOneMoreThing very aptly characterized the villain.

No conscience...

Posted by: Nobody | Aug 25 2022 9:36 utc | 218

Posted by: rp | Aug 25 2022 8:09 utc | 212

Sitting in the US, one just can't know the Russian "strategy." Even Biden administration doesn't seem to know/fathom the Russian "strategy."


Interestingly, the Biden gang reminds me of a Columbo episode in which Mr. JustOneMoreThing very aptly characterized the villain.

No conscience...

Posted by: Nobody | Aug 25 2022 9:36 utc | 219

@unimperator | Aug 25 2022 9:19 utc | 222

Yes, that BRICS currency will surely be very important, mixed with that new metals exchange, new gas "opec" and whatever else they want to do. In a way, the weaponization of dollar and euro was a gift

Posted by: rk | Aug 25 2022 9:38 utc | 220

Posted by: Ross | Aug 25 2022 8:24 utc | 215

I don't doubt that at all. But the better Russia sticks to their overall plan, the bigger the quandary at which some Nato shills now find themselves in as they start asking why Russia fired 15 rounds today at 1500 than the day before.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Aug 25 2022 9:39 utc | 221

@rp | Aug 25 2022 8:09 utc | 212
In difference to Biden, the Doctor appears sane. So, yes he could. But he is not allowed to.

Someone like you who pretends to not even know the simple fact that western administrations are a closed circle, immune against advice from the commons, is naturally unable to grasp that an outsider can infer from actions about the strategy of the Russians. Moreover, what you say underlines the inability of the Russian leaders and thinkers to make their goals clear to the world community. Glasnost missing. Is it this what you wanted to tell us? You play in the hands of those who warn that Russia has a dire agenda, in order to justify NATO's existence.

Posted by: OttoE | Aug 25 2022 9:49 utc | 222

"The move of Russian forces to around Kiev was designed to achieve that. "

Many report this but conveniently only after retreat already started. It seems a very inefficient and expensive way to "pin" down troops when months later all those troops still flow to the Donbas front. Perhaps it's more like myth or at best a partial truth?

The forces around Kiev in combination with the botched but daring operation around the Hostomel/Antonov airfield which beyond any doubt was designed to be a large operation behind enemy lines, aimed at the center at Kiev. The many large transport planes full of elite troops arriving but forced to leave again speak volumes.

Then again, failed as this might have been (and some generals were fired over this) it seems to have been a worthwhile attempt to strike at the head first, in combination with some kind of coup might which have saved Ukraine and Russia a lot of death and destruction (demilitarization done literally and forcefully).

Was there any additional gain in keeping some troops pinned down around Kiev? Yes, it might have confused Ukraine tactics and delayed troop movements for a little while. But considering the larger Donbas operation, its scale, time frame and costs, this pinning didn't seem to have been its main purpose at all. Never mind that it really looks bad for moral, pride and most observers do agree that the quality of colones approaching and surrounding Kiev was not up to any task but a symbolic one. Perhaps after a coup or stand-of, policing, showing up, biding time, etc. But not a credible modern fighting force.

Posted by: John Dowser | Aug 25 2022 9:59 utc | 223

A colleague confronted me with the argument that “…NATO didn’t do anything to undermine Russia’s security…”. Sic. I gave him this view:

The prime driver for all the wars in the last decades is the expansionism of USA/NATO. Gradual but steady change of the military status quo. With the goal to bring back the golden days of Yeltsin-time plundering. Better, this time with particularism.
In Syria was at the core of the regime change attempt the port of Tartus, the only Mediterranean repair and replenishment point for the Russian navy. With NATO having control over the Dardanelles, the toppling of the Syrian regime would have had dire consequences for the world’s military status quo. And yes, Assad used to be a dictator, but what the West’s interference caused -half a million dead, two million wounded, six million refugees- is the lifetime achievement of a double-digit number of even worse dictators. Same as Iraq, where half a million dead children were “worth it” according to Albright. Anyway, oil was only a second-ranking motif.
Sewastopol is similar. The only Russian warm water port for the nuclear part of the Russian navy, leased to Russia until 2040 as part of the dissolution of the USSR, was under constant threat of subversion. Especially after the Maidan putsch. I think this was the reason why Russia seized Crimea so swiftly in 2014.
Pre 2014, Ukraine invited the US navy to get a foothold in Sewastopol. These good people did a lot of charity work. In 2010, US EUCOM bragged about renovating schools there. Malicious is he who thinks there might have been other missions. Example: Document is meanwhile removed from page (Would be nice if a barfly could request it via Freedom of Information Act and put it on archive).

I found a real gem on Quora, however:

The United States military renovates schools all over the world through its Humanitarian Assistance Program. Its navy renovated two schools for 3,100 Ukrainian children in Sevastopol, Ukraine, in 2010… This is a part of the United States’ global humanitarian programs. It’s one reason the USA has immense soft power: even if they disagree with many of its policies and disapprove of its actions, much of the world wants to live in a country that is more like the United States. From 2014 the Russian Federation abandoned any attempts to project global soft power when it attacked Ukraine and escalated a hostile campaign of election meddling and cyber attacks against Western countries. Nobody wants to live in a country that’s more like the RF…[my emphasis]

Here is a related story by the army from 2016. Newly renovated school for Ukrainian students. Quote "Before we couldn't even open windows in the corridors and now we are extremely glad that we finally can do that." Sounds more like a 404 to me. (German proverb: By schools and roads, one knows country).
Everybody who “wants to live in the US” gets the link my brainwashed family member got when I was told “…but Russia,…even villages without electricity…”: In LA alone live 60,000+ homeless people in the gutter. 200 villages at 300 people each. No electricity, water, healthcare, education. Or, am I wrong? – Anyway, I think that the misery of these and many more “working poor” justifies a Humanitarian Assistance Program by Cuban military educators and medics in San Diego with its large Latin community, which is one of the most affected by poverty fraction of the population. And yes, the Cubans are good in medicine and education.

Finally, if someone honestly wants to change the status quo, then he launches a credible, balanced for both sides DISARMAMENT INITIATIVE, starting with the abandonment of nuclear arms.

Posted by: OttoE | Aug 25 2022 10:07 utc | 224

Posted by: unimperator | Aug 25 2022 9:19 utc | 222

My guess is that EU will become more useless/a drag to the global economy. Why? Because the main external export driver in EU, i.e. German industry will become absolutely uncompetitive.



Regardless of the political gossip in Berlin and elsewhere and rising production costs for the German economy, for which the domestic market is mostly irrelevant, the euro is developing positively for European export nations.

Posted by: Nobody | Aug 25 2022 10:10 utc | 225

"Many report this but conveniently only after retreat already started. It seems a very inefficient and expensive way to "pin" down troops when months later all those troops still flow to the Donbas front. Perhaps it's more like myth or at best a partial truth?"

I didn't realize it was a feint until around day 11. Before that I was fooled,so it isn't a matter of "convenience", more like hindsight is 20/20.

Expensive is a relative term. The 1300 KIA in a relatively short time represents over a quarter of Russia's total losses, pretty expensive. But, in return they got the land-bridge to Crimea along with the water-supply. They got the city of Kherson, which can serve as a bridgehead later if need be. The big prize was Mariapol, without the feint that would have been much more difficult. Most the elite troops would have gotten away to fight another day.

The biggest thing they got from the feint was positioning. All that artillery and ammo along a 700 mile front doesn't get positioned via magic. The most vulnerable time for artillery units is in transition.

I think they might have wanted Kharkiv, too, so the feint and fix wasn't perfect.

I argued initially with a couple buddies that the feint was too "cutesy", that a more direct approach would have yield better results. I realize now that I was wrong, the feint and fix was actually pretty masterful.

Russia never thought there would be a coup, or that a decapitation strike was possible. They were in it for the long haul at the get-go.

Posted by: Haassaan | Aug 25 2022 10:19 utc | 226

Comment on "slow pace." By design, I'm sure. 3 advantages: (1) RF can remain in place while UKR loses large numbers of troops, and then replaces them only to see them lost, and on and on. Gradually, the RF are wiping out the UKR forces just by holding in place in familiar territory, not having to move much. Move forward when front is clear, otherwise stay in place. Costly to UKR, saves lives for RF. (2) RF doesn't want to move any faster than their follow-up people can come in and establish order -- reconnect basic services and screen out potential saboteurs, set up elections. You don't want your soldiers to outrun the second wave of administrators and end up with a large force of saboteurs at your back. (3) The slow pace allows the EU to disintegrate economically without putting much stress on RF. It allows dissent to build up as economy sinks and energy supplies prove inadequate. The longer this goes on, the better it is for Russia. Just guessing, but one of the goals of Russia now is the collapse of the EU. Without Russian gas, they're not competitive. And over time they'll sink into depression. And if the EU goes, NATO is much more weakened. Kill two birds with one stone.

Posted by: Kellen | Aug 25 2022 10:19 utc | 227

Posted by: Nobody | Aug 25 2022 10:10 utc | 232

In a normal world exchange rate would matter for competitivity. But in the case of EU, where the problems are self inflicted and internal, it really doesn't help at all. More likely it makes things a lot worse. The decline in euro is caused from internal structural issues. Simply put the cost of production is rising a heck of a lot faster than the currency devaluation makes products cheaper for extra-EU customers.

IIRC already several months ago a big portion of German companies were planning to curtail production. Layoffs will be huge, the following impact on service economies will follow. The whole euro Target 2 system of balances in jeopardy the longer this goes on.

Posted by: unimperator | Aug 25 2022 10:20 utc | 228

The emphasis on "demilitarization" reminds me of General Westmoreland's Vietnam body count and crossover point.

Posted by: Rune Denmark | Aug 25 2022 10:21 utc | 229

LOL the euro is developing positively. Meaning: it has been heading down for the past two years against USD. And steadily. And why? Because the EU has such financial geniuses at the helm?

Posted by: Jonathan W | Aug 25 2022 10:24 utc | 230

add: The euro area Target 2 system has never experienced this situation where German (extra-EU) current account balance turns negative for the long term. The whole idea was built on the idea of this source funding deficits of most of the, rest of EU.

Posted by: unimperator | Aug 25 2022 10:24 utc | 231

How many Ukrainians does it take to change a lightbulb?

As many as it takes until one of them is not electrocuted.

Posted by: Leuk | Aug 25 2022 10:26 utc | 232

Forbes just declared Europe has become a 3rd world region. Lol

Posted by: Comandante | Aug 25 2022 11:02 utc | 233

check outgrayzone article

How Britain fueled Ukraine’s war machine and invited direct conflict with Russia

Posted by: Jo | Aug 25 2022 11:04 utc | 234

On August 25, 2022, at the initiative of the French side, the first telephone conversation took place between the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, General of the Army S.K. Shoigu, and the Minister of Defense of the French Republic S. Lecornu.

We discussed the situation around the Zaporozhye NPP.

The Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, General of the Army S.K. Shoigu, brought assessments about the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that could disrupt the safe operation of the station.

The importance of visiting the NPP by the IAEA staff and the readiness to provide the necessary assistance to the Organization's inspectors was noted.

Posted by: phone conversation | Aug 25 2022 11:05 utc | 235

Far be it from me to rain on anyones parade but I read in the FT that the SMO ( and covid and stuff) is turning the EU into a global political power. And If it’s in the FT who can argue? Seems we’re to have loads of industrial sovereignty, hydrogen, semi-conductors, education and the like.

Posted by: Constants the Grate | Aug 25 2022 11:11 utc | 236

So again Macaron pretends to do something while nato does something else. ZNPP and Energodar were shelled again today

Posted by: rk | Aug 25 2022 11:16 utc | 237

Why is Russia fighting in WWI fashion with artillery.
I hear on Military summary that Russians are not able to crack some fortifications.
Somebody said that air power is to risky and expensive, but even in Syria, seems to be using air power, not to mention US in Vietnam.

Posted by: Mario | Aug 25 2022 11:23 utc | 238

How many Ukrainians does it take to change a lightbulb?

Two. One to go look for a candle, the other to sell the new lightbulb on the black market.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Aug 25 2022 11:25 utc | 239

Boris Johnson is clearly at the wrong end of the spectrum but sadly not close enough for it to be obvious to all. He has a lot of blood on his hands, not though he would notice.

Posted by: RZ | Aug 25 2022 11:28 utc | 240

Scotch Bingeington | Aug 25 2022 11:25 utc | 241

Thanks for the joke, Mario is even funnier

Mario | Aug 25 2022 11:23 utc | 240

Posted by: Gerrard White | Aug 25 2022 11:30 utc | 241

sputnik - Zaporozhye NPP was temporarily shut down due to the shelling of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. A fire in the fields adjacent to the station led to a short circuit and "subsidence" of power systems. As a result, the NPP safety systems worked and the station was reconnected, the press service of Energodar reported.

Seems tass was attacked, it's down

Posted by: rk | Aug 25 2022 11:32 utc | 242

@Nobody | Aug 25 2022 10:10 utc | 227 ...German economy, for which the domestic market is mostly irrelevant

This is wrong. Especially under long-time aspects. (1) "Morals" can be defined as something "which ist still OK, when everybody is doing it". Clearly, not all countries in the world can have an export surplus. So, at first sight, it is IMMORAL. (2) Export surplus means that there are countries which consume more than they produce. This is only possible if one has financial reserves or a CREDIT. Both last just a limited time. Credits will finally fail, and banks must write off the loss. Or, as seen post 2008, must be bailed out by states. Those export sectors which profit from the surplus delegate the risks and costs to the general public, both bank owners and customers (everybody is) and, as seen, tax payers. (3) Under "normal" circumstances does the currency of a nation with export surplus appreciate. After introduction of the Euro, this mechanism does not work for Germany anymore. An rising Euro would mean for the EU countries with negative trade balance (Germany's main trading partners in EU's south) that their purchasing power decreased even faster, accelerating the arrival at the breakdown point. The burden mentioned in (2) is delegated to the Euro zone. (4) Finally, to not consume (this includes investment, e.g. in infrastructure; a defict strikingly present in Germany) what one produces is deprivation of the people of the fruits of their work.

To conclude: Germany's systemic export surplus is a credit Ponzi scheme, undue exploitation of workers and distribution of risks towards the general public, domestic and in the Euro zone. The latter one is an instance of neo-colonialism.

Posted by: OttoE | Aug 25 2022 11:47 utc | 243

Posted by: Nobody | Aug 25 2022 10:10 utc | 227

Exports to third countries (original values ​​of exported goods), July 2022
56.3 billion euros
+5.5% compared to the same month last year

WIESBADEN – In July 2022, exports from Germany to countries outside the European Union (third countries) fell by a calendar and seasonally adjusted 7.6% compared to June 2022. As the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports on the basis of preliminary results, goods worth 56.8 billion euros were exported in July 2022 after calendar and seasonal adjustments.

Exports to non-EU countries
Line chart with 31 data points.
Seasonally adjusted values ​​(X13-Arima), billion EUR
View as data table, exports to non-EU countries
The chart has 1 X axis displaying Time. Range: 2019-11-16 10:36:00 to 2022-08-15 16:24:00.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values. Range: 0 to 64.47.
So so !!
Third countries = Outside the EU, what does that tell us about demand despite the euro exchange rate being at a loss ? What do you mean shopping in the EU has never been so cheap!

Posted by: mac998 | Aug 25 2022 11:50 utc | 244

Getting set up for something?

08/25/2022 02:38 PM (updated: 08/25/2022 02:39 PM)
Ria Novosti - flash

Putin signed a decree to increase the number of military personnel
The number of military personnel of the Russian Armed Forces has been increased by 137,000 units


Posted by: JohninMK | Aug 25 2022 11:55 utc | 245

It has been bogged down for months now. The King Of Half Measures has half measured himself into a quagmire.

Soon it spreads into Serbia. Not my wish, but the Albanians will provoke and provoke until the Serbs attack. Then Moscow can half measure that one.

If he wasn't prepared to fight to win, he should have just moved the Donbass Russians east onto Russia and avoided a botched and disastrous war.

A lot of dead Slavic Ukranians? Any of you think (((Zelensky))) cares one whit about the death of a Slav??

Posted by: Rangewolf | Aug 25 2022 11:57 utc | 246

Russian Defence Ministry report on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine.

High-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces have hit 5 combat aircraft of Ukrainian Air Force at Mirgorod military airfield in Poltava Region.

1 Su-27 and 1 Su-24 have been destroyed. Another 2 Su-27s and 1 Su-24 suffered critical damage. The enemy's casualties in manpower were up to 30 Nationalists.

In Dnepropetrovsk Region, high-precision strike on Dnepr military airfield has destroyed three aircraft of Ukrainian Air Force.

High-precision strike of the Russian Aerospace Forces near Novyi Bug, Nikolaev Region, has destroyed command post of Kakhovka grouping of Ukrainian troops. The attacks have resulted in the destraction of up to 64 nationalists and 7 units of military equipment.

Iskander missile have hit a military train at Chaplino railway station in Dnepropetrovsk Region, destroying over 200 AFU servicemen reserve and 10 units of military equipment on their way to Donbass war zone.

High-precision strikes continue against Ukrainian military-industrial complex facilities that repair weapons and military equipment for Ukrainian troops.

High-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Force have destroyed the workshops of armoured weapons and multiple rocket launchers repair facility in Shepetovka, Khmel'nitskyi Region.

In Zaporozhye, the production buildings of Iskra plant, where air defence and counter-battery radar stations are being repaired, have been hit. The production buildings of MigRemont aircraft repair plant, which was used to restore aircraft of Ukrainian Air Force, have been also destroyed.

Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops and artillery strikes continue against military facilities in Ukraine.

7 AFU command posts have been hit near Velikomikhailovka in Dnepropetrovsk Region, Nikolaev city, Artemovsk, Pereezhnoye, Kaleniki, Soledar in Donetsk People's Republic and Poltava in Zaporozhye Region, as well as 149 areas of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment concentration.

4 ammunition depots near Gulyaipole in Zaporozhye Region, Krasnaya Gora in Donetsk People's Republic, Zmiyev in Kharkov Region, Zhovtnevoye in Nikolaev Region and a fuel storage facility for military equipment near Golitsynovo in Nikolaev Region have been destroyed.

In the course of counter-battery warfare, 2 platoons of Grad multiple-launch rocket systems near Artemovskoye and Sukhaya Balka and 3 platoons of D-30 howitzers at firing positions in Novgorodskoye, Veseloe and Evgenovka Donetsk People's Republic have been suppressed.

Russian air defence means have shot down 5 unmanned aerial vehicles near Kamenka in Kharkov Region, Urozhainoye, Vasilevka, Zelenyi Gai in Donetsk People's Republic and Kamysh Zarya in Zaporozhye Region.

In addition, 19 shells of HIMARS multiple-launch rocket system have been intercepted near Kakhovskaya HPP, Kherson and Donetsk cities.

In total, 273 Ukrainian airplanes and 148 helicopters, 1,808 unmanned aerial vehicles, 369 anti-aircraft missile systems, 4,384 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 819 multiple launch rocket systems, 3,340 field artillery and mortars, as well as 5,048 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.


Ukrainian troops continue shelling the Zaporozhye NPP and Energodar city.

During the day, Ukrainian artillery have launched 7 large-calibre artillery strikes against NPP area.

The shelling was carried out from Ukrainian troops' firing positions near Nikopol', Marganets, Vyshetarasovka and Chervonogrigorovka, located on the opposite bank of Kakhovka reservoir.

Russian Armed Forces artillery return fire have suppressed enemy firepower.

Posted by: m98 | Aug 25 2022 12:03 utc | 247

@ JohninMK | Aug 25 2022 11:55 utc | 246

Not now, in 2023
All those new republics about to join Russia need their stuff

Posted by: rk | Aug 25 2022 12:03 utc | 248

Iskander missile have hit a military train at Chaplino railway station in Dnepropetrovsk Region, destroying over 200 AFU servicemen reserve and 10 units of military equipment on their way to Donbass war zone.

The attack on the train station was reported in DE as a war crime in all media. But not a word about the rest!

Posted by: mac98 | Aug 25 2022 12:05 utc | 249

@mac98 | Aug 25 2022 12:05 utc | 250

What did you expect? All those soon to be poor need something to hate or they'll turn against Schlitzy or Barecock. As the winter comes, propaganda will jump at crazy levels

Posted by: rk | Aug 25 2022 12:11 utc | 250


By yesterday's strike on airfields. According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation:

1. At the airfield in Mirgorod, 2 (1 Su-24 and 1 Su-27) were destroyed and 5 combat aircraft were damaged. The vehicles belonged to the 831st Tactical Aviation Brigade. About 30 people were also killed.

2. 3 combat aircraft were destroyed at the airfield in Dnepropetrovsk.

The command of the AFU yesterday confirmed the losses in the match in Mirgorod (there were also losses in personnel and wheeled vehicles), but kept quiet about what exactly the X-22 missiles destroyed.

They also keep quiet about the losses in the Dnipropetrovsk region.

Posted by: strike | Aug 25 2022 12:13 utc | 251

Joe Kana Duh | Aug 25 2022 1:13 utc | 163

Do you have a source re: monitoring?

Thanks in advance

Posted by: htyul | Aug 25 2022 12:23 utc | 252

Posted by: rk | Aug 25 2022 12:11 utc | 251
Is correct !
There is already unrest, at least in eastern Germany, but as always, no one is reporting it!
Many feel this probation just to puke... Statements like "I can't hear that crap anymore" are the order of the day!

Posted by: mac98 | Aug 25 2022 12:28 utc | 253

And, how is Russia going to settle this politically even after victory.
The population in Western Ukraine is overwhelmingly against Russia.
They are going to be supported by NATO and Russia cannot occupy the whole Ukraine.

Posted by: Mario | Aug 25 2022 12:43 utc | 254

It seems that Ukrainian losses on an ongoing daily basis, and in the aggregate, are truly horrific. There are credible estimates of 60,000, 70-80,000, 100,000 or more killed in action to date, but the true figures are unlikely to be known for some time, if ever. It is clear that this loss of life is of no great concern to the Kiev Regime, which routinely uses civilians as human shields as a matter of policy, and which is known to have executed large numbers of its own troops. This is a Regime which regards a large proportion of its own people as subhumans whom it wishes to exterminate, and which from the outset has employed terrorism and criminality on a huge scale to sustain itself. All these people have died for no purpose other than to further the interests of criminals like Nuland, Kagan, Blinken and Kolomoisky.

Posted by: paul | Aug 25 2022 12:45 utc | 255

Mario | Aug 25 2022 12:43 utc | 255

Is a better joke how

Posted by: Gerrard White | Aug 25 2022 12:46 utc | 256

johnny rotten via ROTF

Some important clarifications on the Crimea issue:

On 20 January 1991, before the independence of Ukraine, the Crimeans were invited to choose by referendum between two options: to remain with Kiev or to return to the pre-1954 situation and be administered by Moscow. The question asked on the ballot was:

“Are you in favor of the restoration of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Crimea as a subject of the Soviet Union and a member of the Union Treaty?”

This was the first referendum on autonomy in the USSR, and 93.6% of Crimeans agreed to be attached to Moscow. The Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Crimea (ASSR Crimea), abolished in 1945, was thus re-established on 12 February 1991 by the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR. On 17 March, Moscow organized a referendum for the maintenance of the Soviet Union, which would be accepted by Ukraine, thus indirectly validating the decision of the Crimeans. At this stage, Crimea was under the control of Moscow and not Kiev, while Ukraine was not yet independent. As Ukraine organized its own referendum for independence, the participation of the Crimeans remained weak, because they did not feel concerned anymore.

Ukraine became independent six months after Crimea, and after the latter had proclaimed its sovereignty on September 4. On February 26, 1992, the Crimean parliament proclaimed the “Republic of Crimea” with the agreement of the Ukrainian government, which granted it the status of a self-governing republic. On 5 May 1992, Crimea declared its independence and adopted a Constitution. The city of Sevastopol, managed directly by Moscow in the communist system, had a similar situation, having been integrated by Ukraine in 1991, outside of all legality. The following years were marked by a tug of war between Simferopol and Kiev, which wanted to keep Crimea under its control.

In 1994, by signing the Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine surrendered the nuclear weapons of the former USSR that remained on its territory, in exchange for “its security, independence and territorial integrity.” At this stage, Crimea considered that it was—de jure—no longer part of Ukraine and therefore not concerned by this treaty. On its side, the government in Kiev felt strengthened by the memorandum. This is why, on 17 March 1995, it forcibly abolished the Crimean Constitution. It sent its special forces to overthrow Yuri Mechkov, President of Crimea, and de facto annexed the Republic of Crimea, thus triggering popular demonstrations for the attachment of Crimea to Russia. An event hardly reported by the Western media.

Crimea was then governed in an authoritarian manner by presidential decrees from Kiev. This situation led the Crimean Parliament to formulate a new constitution in October 1995, which re-established the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. This new constitution was ratified by the Crimean Parliament on 21 October 1998 and confirmed by the Ukrainian Parliament on 23 December 1998. These events and the concerns of the Russian-speaking minority led to a Treaty of Friendship between Ukraine and Russia on 31 May 1997. In the treaty, Ukraine included the principle of the inviolability of borders, in exchange—and this is very important—for a guarantee of “the protection of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious originality of the national minorities on their territory.”

On 23 February 2014, not only did the new authorities in Kiev emerge from a coup d’état that had definitely no constitutional basis and were not elected; but, by abrogating the 2012 Kivalov-Kolesnichenko law on official languages, they no longer respected this guarantee of the 1997 treaty. The Crimeans therefore took to the streets to demand the “return” to Russia that they had obtained 30 years earlier.

On March 4, during his press conference on the situation in Ukraine a journalist asked Vladimir Putin, “How do you see the future of Crimea? Do you consider the possibility that it joins Russia?” he replied:

“No, we do not consider it. In general, I believe that only the residents of a given country who are free to decide and safe can and should determine their future. If this right has been granted to the Albanians in Kosovo, if this has been made possible in many parts of the world, then no one is excluding the right of nations to self-determination, which, as far as I know, is laid down in several UN documents. However, we will in no way provoke such a decision and will not feed such feelings.”

On March 6, the Crimean Parliament decided to hold a popular referendum to choose between remaining in Ukraine or requesting the attachment to Moscow. It was after this vote that the Crimean authorities asked Moscow for an attachment to Russia.

With this referendum, Crimea had only recovered the status it had legally acquired just before the independence of Ukraine. This explains why it renewed its request to be attached to Moscow, as in January 1991.

Moreover, the status of force agreement (SOFA) between Ukraine and Russia for the stationing of troops in Crimea and Sevastopol had been renewed in 2010 and to run until 2042. Russia therefore had no specific reason to claim this territory. The population of Crimea, which legitimately felt betrayed by the government of Kiev, seized the opportunity to assert its rights.

On 19 February 2022, Anka Feldhusen, the German ambassador in Kiev, threw a spanner in the works by declaring on the television channel Ukraine 24 that the Budapest Memorandum was not legally binding. Incidentally, this is also the American position, as shown by the statement on the website of the American embassy in Minsk.

The whole Western narrative about the “annexation” of Crimea is based on a rewriting of history and the obscuring of the 1991 referendum, which did exist and was perfectly valid. The 1994 Budapest Memorandum remains extensively quoted since February 2022, but the Western narrative simply ignores the 1997 Friendship Treaty which is the reason for the discontent of the Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens.

August 1, 2022 Jacques Baud

The Hidden Truth about the War in Ukraine

Posted by: MD | Aug 25 2022 12:50 utc | 257

james@137...a few dents, nothing a good body man couldn't

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Aug 25 2022 12:51 utc | 258

Meanwhile –this is one instance of how the war will be won

« « Iran’s ambassador to Moscow, Kazem Jalali, revealed on 24 August that entities in the two countries have started conducting trade in their national currencies for the first time.

The transactions were reportedly handled by the Russian Central Bank’s Mir system, according to Iranian state media. No further details were provided about the transactions.

On the same day, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji revealed that Iran and Russia are “very close” to signing a gas swap deal, after a meeting with a senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to Owji, a senior official of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) will be traveling soon to Moscow to sign the deal.

“The gas purchase and swap [agreement] with Russia has been finalized and it will be signed in the near future in Moscow between the NIGC and the Russian side,” the Iranian minister of oil said.

Iran is set to import gas from Russia and use it for domestic consumption. On the other hand, Iran will deliver the same amount to customers at other parts of their borders.» »
Russia and Iran will do the same for oil

Posted by: Gerrard White | Aug 25 2022 12:55 utc | 259

(2) Export surplus means that there are countries which consume more than they produce.
Posted by: OttoE | Aug 25 2022 11:47 utc | 244

An export surplus signifies a country that produces more than its local market consumes; an inequality, more export products than imports in aggregate by value or volume. Note that, some industries deliberately produce in excess of domestic demand (ie. market saturation) in order to export product to foreign markets where feasible demand is unmet and, ideally, competition is negligible.

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 25 2022 12:58 utc | 260

There seems to be a false sense of relief that German gas storage is up to 80% from 56% near the beginning of the SMO. This is small cause for celebration because if NS1 does not return to full capacity this winter German industry is screwed no matter how many
cold showers people take.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Aug 25 2022 13:16 utc | 261

Posted by: MD | Aug 25 2022 12:50 utc | 258

Incorrect link. Correct link below:

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Aug 25 2022 13:22 utc | 262

Note that, some industries deliberately produce in excess of domestic demand (ie. market saturation) in order to export product to foreign markets where feasible demand is unmet and, ideally, competition is negligible.

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 25 2022 12:58 utc | 261

The insidious part is the deliberate dumping of surplus product in foreign markets at cost or a loss, while protecting the domestic market with price-fixing and cartels.

It always astounded me that fresh produce in Florida was more expensive than the same items in Toronto grocery stores. It also explains the pressure of US farmers to change NAFTA to allow more of their dairy and poultry products to cross the border.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Aug 25 2022 13:41 utc | 263

Posted by: Ross | Aug 25 2022 8:24 utc | 211

Europe will also not be allowed to continue as a danger to Russia. If the Europeans persist in their attitude to Russia then their economies will fall apart. I see the Russian moves on gas and oil as ratcheting up the pain on the Europeans, but leaving the door open to resume trading relations if the Europeans come to their senses.

I think the Ukraine has to be looked at as part of the bigger picture. Russia is winning the battles in Ukraine, but how it goes from here in the Ukraine depends on Russia's assessment of that bigger picture.

Great post. Couple of points to add:

For Europe to come to their senses they will have to abandon their submission to the US-Neocon-FIRE cabals. That will most likely only happen when the US economy collapses and internal turmoil makes their Empire projects untenable. Unlikely, but more probable than any time since their Civil War.

The economic squeeze has expanded since Pelosi's (I think coordinated) visit to Taiwan and now China is lowering the boom on the global supply chain but especially against the West. It hasn't been reported on much so perhaps am exaggerating but I got the impression from their statements following that visit that the US is now on the verge of being an 'unfriendly' state. In any case, they continue to have widespread lock-downs involving hundreds of millions sometimes - further damaging the supply chain - and internally authorities are often expressing to their people that China is 'at war' with the West already.

The current war is a bit like siege warfare of yore, now called 'war of attrition.' If the Western nations are cut off from supplies needed to keep its civilian economy and population humming and also are severely hampered in rebuilding their military inventories after throwing all the old stuff into the Donbass Cauldron which has been chewing them up without too much indigestion, then the West is going to be in a very tough situation with few options for how to improve things. Which means that in this iteration of geopolitical siege warfare the West already seems to have lost or at least the writing is on the wall.

IF the Western polity collapses - and by polity I mean that there is not just an economic depression but a collapse in the political-governance regimes as well perhaps along with widespread social disorder - only then can European nations consider joining the Eurasian multipolar world which is now pretty much poured in place although it still needs a few more years to cure and set.

All this is possible, but if history is any guide this sort of thing doesn't happen overnight. There is also a distinct possibility that the world order will bifurcate for a few generations such that Eurasia goes forward with strong authoritarian states with good growth for their populations whilst Atlantia establishes a similar type of Strong State polity after stripping away the trappings of democracy with some sort of Reset techno-fascist model still run by the current elites who have made a play to rule the world. Maybe after a few generations they can merge into a single world multipolar order if/when those elites give up hegemonic intentions - which is unlikely but possible. In any case, the rest of the world is putting up a wall between themselves and those Money Power sheisters.

I think the biggest possible shift from the SMO short term might - if we are lucky - be the disbanding of the EU construct and the re-emergence of sovereign European nation states who can as such approach the Russian-led Eurasian multipolar alliance. They would have to purge their nations of bad actors throughout their leadership classes but it could happen, certainly in one or two nations and then others might follow.

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 25 2022 13:44 utc | 264

But why are the EU and USA elites want to bring down Putin.
The answer is obvious but not often mentioned. Putin did not bow the knee to the Globalist world order. In fact he kicked out the Rothschilds bankers and arch Globalist George Soros dare not put a foot in Russia.
The planned Globalist world government tyranny is the biggest threat mankind has ever faced.

Posted by: The Trumpet | Aug 25 2022 13:48 utc | 265

Posted by: Jonathan W | Aug 25 2022 6:51 utc | 201

I prey God you are wrong in your assessment. Mind you, Serbia is no longer the same lonely tiny country fighting “mighty” NATO for several months (even then Serbain air defences were never silenced completely). This was time of drunk Jelzin, now are different times.

Posted by: Milos | Aug 25 2022 13:52 utc | 266

"How many Ukrainians does it take to change a lightbulb?"

Just one but she's waiting for instructions from Washington.

Posted by: Walt | Aug 25 2022 13:56 utc | 267

Posted by: Mario | Aug 25 2022 11:23 utc | 240

Why is Russia fighting in WWI fashion with artillery? I hear on Military summary that Russians are not able to crack some fortifications. Somebody said that air power is to risky and expensive, but even in Syria, seems to be using air power, not to mention US in Vietnam.

Am no military person but for 2cents I offer best guess: Yes, they could use up more of their heavy bombs and hyperbarics to flush out the bunker complexes (perhaps the most extensive in world history?), but actually they DO want this to go a little slow precisely because the main battlefield is the geopolitical theater world wide. It takes time to bring new nations into the BRIC-ETC fold, it takes time for the European economies to get prepped for a disastrous winter, it takes time for the US economy to gradually get starved into dysfunction and so forth. A lightning-quick conquest of Ukraine would be pointless. Nothing substantive would change.

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 25 2022 14:00 utc | 268

The Ukrainian ambassador in Madrid said that Kyiv was not satisfied with the military aid from Spain...

Posted by: mac998 | Aug 25 2022 8:55 utc | 215

Great example of chutzpah!

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 25 2022 14:34 utc | 269

Posted by: OttoE | Aug 25 2022 11:47 utc | 244

To conclude: Germany's systemic export surplus is a credit Ponzi scheme, undue exploitation of workers and distribution of risks towards the general public, domestic and in the Euro zone. The latter one is an instance of neo-colonialism.


Thanks for your reply OttoE. I agree with you in this regard.

Of course, the introduction of the euro was highly immoral and, on the whole, even uneconomical, since the ever-growing mountain of debt from other member states with imposed trade deficit was supposed to keep the common currency low, while Exportweltmeister Germany was able to set one record after another, which was the basic idea behind this mind-boggling heist.

And yes, of course, the euro ultimately represents a Ponzi scheme doomed to fail. But so does capitalism itself, if you look closely. The dictate to perpetual growth, the crisis cycle, and, above all, the tendency of the rate of profits to fall are proof enough.

So, ultimately there are no moral winners here, except those who have already overcome the capitalist mode of production.

Btw, I would also like to thank the other forum members for the many thoughts they have expressed.

Posted by: Nobody | Aug 25 2022 14:48 utc | 270

@sln2002 | Aug 25 2022 12:58 utc | 261

Your attempt at limiting the phenomenon to within the borders of the country in question is narrow minded. One country's surplus MUST MEAN other country's deficit. On a world scale, the balance is zero. Hence, there are countries which consume more than they produce. And the export "champions" support such unsustainable behaviour for their own benefit. Banking included. The banks most affected by Greece's near bankruptcy were -no surprise- German ones.

What I didn't mention is that EVERY production goes along with consumption of environment. This is mostly borne by the public in form of external costs, from healthcare to cleanup. Example: German pork industry. Overproduction in the order of 30%. On top of an already excessive, unhealthy domestic demand. The nitrate load from the manure is contaminating the ground water in many regions. Nitrate levels are so high, that the water is not useful for baby food. The problem is growing. It will be future generations who will have to pay for the water cleaning (or the profits of the bottled water industry with headquarter in Switzerland), once the full blast of poison reaches the subterranean water beds. In the opposite direction (air), the ammonia is a main constituent for sulfate aerosols in the high atmosphere. (The other one being sulfur oxide from burning coal and oil). Particulate matter is estimated to cause 58,000 premature deaths in Germany per year. THAT's the picture I see when I hear "German export surplus".

Posted by: OttoE | Aug 25 2022 14:49 utc | 271

Thank you for your perceptive post.
It can be read profitably along side Doctorow's column today on Nazism

It is time that we stopped viewing Nazism as a discrete historical event which has passed. That is a very superficial way of looking at it and misses what Russians, like Putin, understand which is that this German form of Fascism was, as fascism is, the highest stage of imperialism.
There has been some cynicism on previous threads about my insistence that the primary victims of the British Empire were the people of Great Britain- the Welsh, Irish, Scots and the English people themselves. This is dismissed on the basis that enormous wealth flowed into Britain from the Empire. And so it did, but it did not end up in the hands of the working people. In fact the living standards of the working people in Britain were, until the second half of the C19th when Trade Unions and political organisation took effect, lower than those of most of the people living in the colonies.
It is important that this, like the fact that plantation slaves in Alabama had a better diet than Lancashire factory workers, should not be seen as a justification of imperialism- it isn't. Imperialism lowered living standards in India (and elsewhere). It brought poverty, just as capitalism brought poverty to the masses it displaced from the land, drove into the cities and then worked to death. And the slaves were fed in order to preserve the investment in their labour power: they too were worked to death but not until they had repaid the capital cost in its entirety, including interest and profit.
When we talk of the Russian Empire it is important to recall that the basis of the Empire was, very simply, the exploitation of the serfs who constituted the bulk of the population. When Russians like Putin talk of imperialism they come at the question from a very different angle than the European governments, which are the successors of imperialist regimes. The nostalgia for empire that permeates London, Paris and New York is absent from Moscow where there are no illusions about the empire being abroad and milking those of other races, other colours and other languages.
The Russian view of Empire is very much like that of the Chinese or the Indians or Africans- there is no longing for 'better days' when the colonies represented opportunities and wealth, status and purpose for those in the ruling class or clawing their way into its margins. Instead there is a revulsion bordering on hatred of all that it represented.

The Nazi project involved, rather as some forms of liberal imperialism in Britain or the States had, letting the nation as a whole in on the racket of exploiting foreigners. Rallying the poor and the working class to the national banner by promising them a share in the plunder to come. There was nothing coincidental about this- the ideas of liberal imperialism had been floating around on the margins of politics for a long time but they had never been taken seriously. The ruling class was not ready to share, not until it felt forced to do so. And even then most reluctantly.

The moment came after 1917 when the revolution in Russia put the fear of God into ruling classes everywhere. And particularly in Italy and Germany where strong and angry working class movements identified with the Bolsheviks in Russia. Their enthusiasm, aroused by the energy of the revolution which was an explosion at an elemental level of the people (and far from being the carefully engineered work of professional revolutionaries guided by theory etcetc), was sharpened by the manner in which the revolutionaries fought off multiple military challenges from the imperialist powers.
It had been a long time since the people and their masters had seen a revolution which could fight back and take power for the long term. It inspired the masses while it scared the wealthy, who, under threat, and with the help of all manner of philosophers and organisers, out of work intellectuals and true believers in Darwinism constructed fascism.
In Italy and Germany fascism required external empires with which to bribe the nations and provide those 'lower races' without the law, the untermenschen requiring strong government solidifying the national idea. In Britain and France these ideas had been bubbling up for decades but remained marginal- there was no need to make any changes to a model that worked well enough for the powerful.
In Germany, in which the idea of the nation constantly required reinforcement, and from which all imperial possessions had been stripped at Versailles, thoughts of Empire had always turned to the east. And to Ukraine in particular-Europe's bread basket, where an American West of acreage beckoned the German farmer. The parallels with America were many: the land was communal, the slavs living there simple souls, culturally deprived, inured to the knout, requiring strong , ruthless, rule.
And the fact of the revolution of 1917, putting in power, those enemies of mankind, the Communists gave a war of conquest directed against Russia a sacred, jihadic, quality.

The German nation would realise its imperial destiny not in the leftovers and scraps of Pacific and African lands but in a revival of the Teutonic Knights' crusade to the east.
For many, particularly on the margins of Russia, in Poland and the Baltic states and in western Ukraine that old Nazi dream has never been more attractive. These are all countries run by Nazi collaborators' lineal descendants- enemies of 'communism' for whom the Red Army's victory in 1945 was an unalloyed tragedy. It drove them from their native lands. It reduced them to poverty and mendicancy. One day: rulers of the Universe, contemptuous of the lesser beings around them, proud descendants of mythical god like berserkers -blond, blue eyed beasts. The next day: ragged refugees stammering in a thick accent their need for help and housing . And promising eternal fealty to their benefactors.
Putin's plan is as Ross says, very simple, it is to do whatever is needed to protect Russia and Russians from the greed and violence of the current iteration of the raiders who stole hundreds of thousands of Russians and sold them in slavery through the Dardanelles.
And the identity of these slave traders of today is clearly evident: it is those in the Baltic states who deprive Russians of their rights and dues, reduce them to poverty and confine them in impoverished pales beyond the margins of society.
It is those in NATO who arm and finance the Ukrainian fascists who hold that Russians are inferior, their language an offence to polite ears and their fate to be worked to death for their masters, the Oligarchs and the Foreign corporations owning the land.
It is those in London and Washington who work constantly to break up Russia into bite sized chunks which can be devoured in Imperialism's final triumph.
It is those who despatch terrorists and saboteurs and assassins into Russia to convince the population that there can be no peace before surrender.

Putin's plan is very simple: it is to link together, in defence, all those threatened by the Empire. So that the imperialists exhaust themselves beating against those defenses and finally become overwhelmed as the seeds of hatred and enmity that they have sown over many years are harvested in the form of uprisings in north America and western Europe.
In the immediate aftermath of what is called 9/11 I told my neighbour- a young man now sadly dead-
that the war then began would not end until Latin American militias policed the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. And when that happens the militias will be greeted as liberators, putting an end to the empire of which Pittsburgh and Liege have been as much its victims as Potosi and Manila.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 25 2022 15:32 utc | 272

Putin has said (to paraphrase his words) that a world without Russia is not a world worth saving. What he did not say, but is implicit, is that a world with Russia is worth saving. I see that as the Russian's plan, to save a world with Russia.

Posted by: Ross | Aug 25 2022 8:24 utc | 211

Thanks very much for your words, Ross. What your post overall achieves for me is a resurgence of hope that one of your assessments may be proven incorrect: that is, that the Minsk protocol is unachievable. My reason for questioning this is based on what Russia accomplished in Chechnya. The two situations cannot reasonably be compared as different conditions prevailed back then, and the size of the task now includes the involvement of outside agents. But we do know that the mission in Chechnya was successful, so I continue to hope that - no doubt in an altered configuration - the spirit of Minsk will ultimately prevail.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 25 2022 16:00 utc | 273

great post bevin! thanks and to ross as well for triggering your commentary...

Posted by: james | Aug 25 2022 16:02 utc | 274

Forget about changing the light bulb. There will be no electricity, and there won't be any Ukrainians left!

Posted by: g wiltek | Aug 25 2022 16:09 utc | 275

I returned to find this thread late last night and guffawed very loudly at Newsweek's idiocy. Then there's the spectacle of the Propaganda System going after Trump again to cover Biden and Congress's massive ineffectiveness. The false narrative being broadcast makes it almost impossible for Biden to surrender in Ukraine--can't give an inch to the Red Tide--except that was a different Era wasn't it?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 25 2022 16:20 utc | 276

This piece needs heavy editing. For 'surround it has 'around', in the following sentence it has 'refuted' where a better fit would be 'rejected - "The Kremlin's hope for a fast end of the conflict was disappointed when, a few days later, Zelensky suddenly refuted all the concessions his negotiators in Istanbul had made."
There are other errors - perhaps this was written up too quickly, they used voice recognition, or maybe the author is not a native English speaker. Please review and edit.

Posted by: Sebaka | Aug 25 2022 16:37 utc | 277

Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, General of the Army S.K. Shoigu

Posted by: phone conversation | Aug 25 2022 11:05 utc | 237

I hadn't realized that Russia's defense department is headed by the general of the army rather than by a civilian (as in the US). Not saying it's good or bad (although my impulse says, "good"), just that I find it interesting.

Posted by: David Levin | Aug 25 2022 16:43 utc | 278

Posted by: OttoE | Aug 25 2022 10:07 utc | 226

Thank you, OttoE - that is a beautiful post!

Posted by: juliania | Aug 25 2022 16:44 utc | 279

In response to: Sebaka | Aug 25 2022 16:37 utc | 279

Please provide links to your factual, informative, error-free site so we can all go there instead of MOA.


Posted by: Ranelagh | Aug 25 2022 16:47 utc | 280

Posted by: mac98 | Aug 25 2022 12:05 utc | 251

It must have been reported as a war crime all over the corporate media but the funny thing was that nobody had any details except to say that this was the brutal attack Zelensky had predicted would be perpetrated by the Russians on Ukranian Independence Day.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Aug 25 2022 16:57 utc | 281

David Levin @280--

This list is rather short, which makes sense as the Russian Federation hasn't existed very long.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 25 2022 17:14 utc | 282

Ross @211--

Very astute! I tried saying the same using ten times the words but still people were unable to understand.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 25 2022 17:18 utc | 283

@ David Levin | Aug 25 2022 16:43 utc | 280
I hadn't realized that Russia's defense department is headed by the general of the army rather than by a civilian (as in the US)

The Pentagon is currently led by General Austin, and recently by General Mattis. But they are civilians now? Not really, leopards don't change spots nor behaviors. Generals don't suddenly forget their misbegotten past and become true civilians.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2022 19:24 utc | 284

Worst of evils
Tomorrow the British will know how much they will increase their electricity rates for the fall. The upper limit is expected to be £3,500 a year. Now £1971, and last summer £1000. Moreover, analysts predict that from January the amount will grow to £5800.

The government has to choose from 6 previously unthinkable scenarios, which, however,
1️⃣ Electricity price freeze
2️⃣ Nationalization of energy companies
3️⃣ Attempt to set a global price ceiling (cartel of buyers)
4️⃣ Transition to a three-day working week and rolling blackouts
5️⃣ Cancellation of the green energy transition
6️⃣ Conclude a peace agreement with Russia

Posted by: rp | Aug 26 2022 11:23 utc | 285

So, does Brexit make sense now?

Posted by: Pyper | Aug 24 2022 18:31 utc | 10

First, one has to pose a question what difference Brexit makes, apart from changing political configuration inside England very much in Tory favor, with additional bonus of mobilizing fanatical Remainers in Labour against Corbyn.

Externally, EU is a tool that makes neutral countries in Europe joining sanctions against Syria, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Russia etc., so for NATO members it is unnecessary, at least for those who join all such, hm, stuff, enthusiastically. There is also green agenda (fighting for the windmills rather than against, like in a world literature classic) that UK follows enthusiastically etc.

Internally, besides having new invaluable issue for partisan divisions, akin to peeling of eggs (crack on the wide end or on the other, issue which caused a bitter war in Liliput in another world literature classic) there may be losers and gainers, I would love to learn about them.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 26 2022 12:42 utc | 286

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.