Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 11, 2022

The Izium Withdrawal - A Catalyst For 'Starting In Earnest'

"We can say that today was the best ever, the second best ever, day for the Russians in the territory of Ukraine. Something must be changed. If you ask what the Russian should change, to tell the truth, I don't know. But I believe, if they don't change anything after this situation, that means there is no need to continue this Special Operation. Because the Ukrainians managed to collect a big number of infantry. Some sources are saying, joking of course they are joking, that now the Ukrainians these days have a so big army that the Ukrainian authorities can give them just stones. And this army is able to crack the Russians' defense order just with stones because there are so much of them."

The above is the opener of Dima's Military Summary of yesterday's events in Ukraine.

The simplistic view that "quantity has a quality of its own," is usually attributed to Joseph Stalin, the Georgian leader of the Soviet Union during the second World War (as well as before and after).

Stalin was wrong, as the Second Battle of Kharkov, mentioned here yesterday, provides. In May 1942, near Izium, the Nazis thoroughly defeated a counterattacking Soviet force twice their forces size.

Stalin was also right. In the end the Soviet Union simply outproduced the German Reich and its allies in nearly everything - tanks, airplanes, cannons, ammunition, fuel, food and soldiers - which enabled its victory. (The much propagandized U.S. role in this was historically a mere sideshow.)

Yesterday's Russian withdrawal from the region between Izium and the Russian border was a disaster for the (pro-)Russian people on the ground. It was also the rational consequence of a lack of military resources. The Russian military forces in Ukraine are too few to hold the 1,500 kilometer long frontline against a Ukrainian military which now has a.) a much larger force to work with, b.) no concerns about high human losses and c.) a steady supply of 'western' weapons.

Russia must adapt to this.

The most mentioned demand in the pro-Russian commentariat yesterday was to "take off the gloves" - to seriously interdict 'western' deliveries of weapons, to destroy Ukrainian bridges and other dual-use infrastructure, to switch from a 'Special Military Operation' towards war.

Why hasn't the Russia's political leadership done this yet?

After observing it for two decades I have concluded that the Russian political leadership, foremost its current leader Vladimir Putin, is driven by two guiding principles. The first is to follow the will of the people. The second are rational policies. The high ratings of Putin and other political leaders have in independent Russian polls is not by chance. It is the result of policies that are a.) rational and well explained and b.) thoroughly democratic in that they follow the public opinion of the majority of the people. They do not allow particular interest groups to have an oversized influence on it.

This can best be seen in the war Putin waged against those billionaires who, in the 1990s and early 2000nds, tried to enter politics to prioritize their interests over all others. They were defeated and those who didn't flee to London have since stopped to interfere with the state.

The other group that traditionally had an oversized role in Russia, especially during the Cold War, is the military-industrial complex. It shrank during Yeltsin's rule due to the catastrophic financial consequences of his mislead privatization drive. Under Putin the Russian military was somewhat resurrected, rearmed and sufficiently resourced. But it was also tamed. Under Defense Minister Shoigu and Chief of Staff Gerasimov the priority of general state policies over perceived military needs is no longer questionable.

The biggest opponents to Putin's policies are the nationalist, not the 'western' favored 'liberal' clowns like Navalny. The nationalists can be found on the political left, right and center. They are not well organized but have a voice throughout the political spectrum. (The former President Dimitri Medvedev currently plays to that audience.) The nationalists even have a voice in public media.

Here are Gilbert Doctorow's observations of their recent position discussed in prominent Russian talk shows:

For his part, Vladimir Solovyov went beyond presentation of the threat posed by the United States and its allies to analysis of Russia’s possible response. He spoke at length, and we may assume that what he was saying had the direct approval of the Kremlin, ..
...
So, what did Solovyov have to say? First, that Ramstein marked a new stage in the war, because of the more threatening nature of the weapons systems announced for delivery, such as missiles with accuracy of 1 to 2 meters when fired from distances of 20 or 30 kilometers thanks to their GPS-guided flight, in contrast to the laser-guided missiles delivered to Ukraine up till now. In the same category, there are weapons designed to destroy the Russians’ radar systems used for directing artillery fire. Second, that Ramstein marked the further expansion of the coalition or holy crusade waging war on Russia. Third, that in effect this is no longer a proxy war but a real direct war with NATO and should be prosecuted with appropriate mustering of all resources at home and abroad.

Said Solovyov, Russia should throw off constraints and destroy the Ukrainian dual use infrastructure which makes it possible to move Western weapons across the country to the front. The railway system, the bridges, the electricity generating stations all should become fair targets. Moreover, Kiev should no longer be spared missile strikes and destruction of the ministries and presidential apparatus responsible for prosecution of the war. I note that these ideas were aired on the Solovyov program more than a month ago but then disappeared from view while the Russians were making great gains on the ground. The latest setbacks and the new risks associated with the Western policies set out at Ramstein bring them to the surface again.

The recent Ramstein meeting promised "long term assistance" to the Ukraine and announced weapon transfers of new quality.

In the view of the nationalists in Russia it requires a response. Russia, in their view, needs to escalate.

The Kremlin was and is extremely averse to Russian casualties. In this war it prioritizes Russian lives over everything else. That has worked well during the first months of the war. In my estimate the Russian casualties so far were about one tenth of the Ukrainian ones. But the Ukrainian leadership has never cared about casualty numbers. The issue thus does not really matter to it.

Russia had set out to 'demilitarize' and to 'denazify' the Ukraine. The main geographic priority was to liberate the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. The land corridor to Crimea, and the very Russian city of Mariupol, were also important targets.

The demilitarization, mostly by long range weapons, has worked well. The Ukraine no longer has a defense industry. The de-nazification is an ongoing process. The fascist 'nationalist' units like the Azov battalions and their brethren in the Kraken and other groups have been decimated.

The first phase of the war was about pushing the Ukrainian government into an early agreement. The threat to Kiev was designed to achieve that. It nearly worked. At the end of March Kiev agreed to fulfill Russian demands. Then Boris Johnson was sent to push for prolonging the war to "weaken Russia". The Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski has since obeyed that order.

Russia pulled back from Kiev and started phase two of the war. Since then the Luhansk oblast and the land corridor to Crimea, especially Mariupol, have been won. The liberation of the Donetsk Republic has stalled. The number of Russian and allied forces fighting the war was kept steady or even decreased over time. Meanwhile the Ukrainian forces have grown manifold. They are getting a very significant amount of arms from 'western' sources and new promises to keep those supplies coming. Even when they are armed to a lesser degree, higher numbers of men do matter over time.

This made potentially costly defeats, like recently at the Izium front, possible. The Russian military has readjusted to this threat by decreasing the held territory and by concentrating on the original aims of the war.

The Russian public, which at first did not fully understand why the war was necessary, has since grown in its awareness. It now understands the big game that is played against its country. It may soon demand to adjust the level of resources put into the war to the one needed for a decisive victory. Polls will clarify if or when that point is reached.

That is why Dima concludes that: "We can say that today was the best ever [..] day for the Russians in the territory of Ukraine."

It is now probably assured that they will be liberated. One way or another.

I also believe that the withdrawal from the Izium region, which left behind a significant number of pro-Russian civilians under deadly threats from fascist 'filtration' groups, will be the catalyst for a significant escalation on the Russian side.

I may, like so often, be wrong. There is still an intermediate play to come. The 3rd Russian Corps, formed from well paid reservists, armed with new weapons and now reportedly deployed south of the Donbas region, might be a game changer. If it moves north, and manages to role up the Ukrainian fortifications at the Donetsk line from behind, it may become the decisive force. But the establishment of the mobile Ukrainian forces that in recent days moved, largely unopposed, towards the Oskol river, is a new card which the Ukrainians can play again against any weak spot in the Russian lines.

The Russian public, softly led by the Kremlin through Russian media, is now likely to demand more. The question then is how much more. It must not mean the total mobilization of the Russian military. 'Western' claims that Russia is isolated are wrong. It has many friends it can call upon to contribute to its efforts. Diversion moves against the U.S. military in many regions of the world are just one of several possibilities.

Time is always the third force on the battlefield. Both opponents have to play against, or ally with it. Europe is currently starving itself by boycotting Russian energy resources. That is unsustainable and it will, over time, have to stop following its current U.S. directed policies. Economically the Ukraine is broke and it can not, despite foreign subsidies, sustain a long war. There are also potential political changes within the U.S. that will play a role. The long game favors Russia.

Still, the war must be won on Ukrainian grounds. Russia must up its game. On July 7, in a session with Duma leaders and party factions heads, Putin said:

Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. Well, what can I say? Let them try. We have already heard a lot about the West wanting to fight us ”to the last Ukrainian.“ This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but that seems to be where it is going. But everyone should know that, by and large, we have not started anything in earnest yet.

Well, maybe now is the time to do so.

Posted by b on September 11, 2022 at 6:36 UTC | Permalink

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The Kremlin was and is extremely averse to Russian casualties. In this war it prioritizes Russian lives over everything else.

This is always true. Whatever the collective west says, RF forces, earlier the Soviet forces, always cared for the soldiers' lives. A Russian soldier is a part of a family, and the life a family member is valued, so has to be safeguarded. A piece of terrain can be regained, but a dead soldier cannot!

Posted by: mnra | Sep 11 2022 7:02 utc | 1

If the effect is as stated in this article, it will be a positive one. I agree that the Izium affair needs to become an incentive for renewed Russian efforts, a 'phase III' which should be decisive. It is not enough to respect the independence of DPR/LPR to the degree that they are left more or less alone defending themselves. The relative slow developments in Donbass before the latest Izium offensive, even taking the steady progress into account, shows that a decisive conclusion must be reached sooner.

As stated in the article, the real war is much wider

Europe is currently starving itself by boycotting Russian energy resources. That is unsustainable and it will, over time, have to stop following its current U.S. directed policies.
This is the real issue.
Still, the war must be won on Ukrainian grounds. Russia must up its game.
Also true. Militarily, not much has changed after this. It is mostly a propaganda victory for the western supported Nazis, but any civilians who now find themselves in areas taken over by the Ukrainians have every reason to be extremely worried, this problem must be solved immediately.


Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 11 2022 7:21 utc | 2

... Yesterday's Russian withdrawal from the region between Izium and the Russian border was a disaster for the (pro-)Russian people on the ground. ...

The threat to civilians in overrun areas and the “civilised” world’s collusive silence in the face of Kiev-sponsored atrocities is simply intolerable.

Allied forces can make whatever mistakes and miscalculation they wish and bare the consequences either way but we are all well aware of how Kiev’s sponsors like their protégés to conduct themselves in the matter of civilian reprisals.

Posted by: anon2020 | Sep 11 2022 7:25 utc | 3

The critical point will come when the AFU is grinded to such an extent that NATO-countries must send their own soldiers there to continue this war. - I am in the Middle East and the people here recognize that the West uses the Ukrainian in the same way it used ISIS, both own „creatiosn².

Posted by: Hausmeister | Sep 11 2022 7:30 utc | 4

Usually, its best take 'revelations' of Dima with a grain of salt. He's supposed to be a Belarussian married to a Ukrainian. Most probably, he doesn't live in Belarus. Gilbert Doctorow is an American living in Brussels. By the way, even Valdimir Solovyev doesn't know much, other than what he can read in the mod.ru or what's sent to him from Kremlin. The last time he had interviewed Putin was in 2015!

Until the mod.ru says something, say, on Monday or Tuesday, we won't know much.

Posted by: mnra | Sep 11 2022 7:43 utc | 5

Thank you ( b ) rarely read such a detailed summary !
I follow some blog and 3 telegram channels, but mostly nothing comes from them without taking sides and partly glorifying them!
Yes, it's true, contrary to all reports in the Western media, not only does the majority of the population support the SMO, but the voices are getting louder, more forces to use more weapons!
But, don't forget one thing... the danger of NATO escalating at the Finnish border is not small, which would almost automatically involve Belarus in a real war!
The Russian public also sees this as a real danger, at least in discussions among colleagues and neighbors! Incidentally... came through that the Chinese forces that took part in the maneuvers have not YET left Russia ??
Putin, our leadership is getting more and more pressure from ALL directions to finally come clean with NATO in Ukraine, it's just not communicated that way in the media. An attempt is made to appease these increasing opinions!
Many reservists, some of whom are Syrian fighters, are giving up their jobs and volunteering, the problem for some is that they are not allowed to because they are mostly industry professionals who are needed.
A relatively large number of women also report, which was little knowledge in Russia and there are pure women battalions!
What do I want to say with my comment (first here)?
The mood in Russia is more positive towards the SMO than it is portrayed in the media, on the contrary, the anti-NATO mood is becoming more aggressive, not only in large parts of the military leadership, but also among the people!
The SMO is not hidden, which we can already see here in Moscow from the fact that hundreds of military vehicles driving equipment mostly at night through Moscow and being relocated. Last night we counted about 700 of them, but we don't know where they were moved to? Is it now escalating in Ukraine = NATO? Many demand it, some call for moderation...but all say it must end before winter! Since a winter standstill would only serve to upgrade and plan! Oh yes, many fugitive Ukrainians IN Moscow are demonstrating for an escalation! Yes, there are plenty of these refugees in Moscow and on the outskirts!
I am trying to machine translate these words... sorry if some of them sound a bit strange.
Greetings from Moscow, I hope to have contributed something to the mood and opinion here in Russia...I read very little about that in your blog.
Except for some "clever Americans" who don't know anything about the Russian mentality, some East Germans who have a hunch, many Westerners who find Russia on the map here, but know everything?
It should be said to them that every sanction and every fallen Russian brings us closer together!

Posted by: oleg | Sep 11 2022 7:44 utc | 6

The Kharkiv region isn't particularly Pro-Russian. The threat to civilians loyal to Russia is being over-stated.

One myth being perpetuated is Russia was taken off-guard or surprised. Everyone saw this counter-offensive coming. If I knew three weeks ago, certainly the Russian Military Staff did too.

" We also simply don't have enough concrete information about the events leading up to and during the Kharkov offensive to make any sweeping statements about it."

Posted by: Ian Kummer | Sep 11 2022 7:04 utc | 2

I like Dima, but his military vision beyond immediate tactics is pretty limited. He is also pretty emotional. Kind of has a NCO mentality.

My biggest criticism of Russia is they aren't integrating with China fast enough. The Chinese industrial capacity is huge, it is the biggest advantage the Allies have, which ultimately makes China the top target and the biggest worry for The Empire.

A criticism I have of many commentators is people are prone to underestimating the USA military industrial capacity...it is larger than Russia's by 30%, not counting Europe. Is it in decline? Yes. Is it inefficient? Yes, but there is plenty left, plenty of capable folks in the military too. The whole "Woke" military problem is also overstated.

Not much else to say, still collecting data. The amount of hand-wringing doesn't match the severity of the problem...if there even is a problem, we will see.

Posted by: Haassaan | Sep 11 2022 7:49 utc | 7

If the Ukraine situation is considered a global event, and the dictum “Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan”, then the mobilization required is beyond what nationalism aspires to.

China's 20th Party Congress happens in the 3rd week of October. Nothing significant out of Asia will occur until the completion of the Party Congress.

After the Party Congress concludes a fresh deck with be reshuffled and the players will be dealt new hands.

Posted by: too scents | Sep 11 2022 7:50 utc | 8

I am more inclined towards the analysis of Alexander Mercouris at The Duran, who several days ago suggested that the very beginning of the Kharkiv offensive that the Russians might simply decide that Izyum isn't worth holding on to.

He (like me) thought back in March that the capture of Izyum was an important event, as it would allow the Russians to press down the highway and take Slavyansk.

That - obviously - didn't happen. Apparently the wooded areas south of Izyum presented too big a barrier, and the Russians never pressed that advance very seriously.

So he posed the question: If Izyum isn't useful as a springboard toward Slavyansk then what use is it to the Russians?

He conclusion: not much.

Hence his musing at the time (against almost everyone else) that he wouldn't be at all surprised if the Russians simply withdrew from Izyum rather than fighting for it.

He turned out to be correct, because that is exactly what the Russians did: again, against almost all expectations.

So I suspect that the most straightforward answer is the correct one: the Russians withdrew their forces in the face of this Ukrainian advance because as far as they are concerned there is no good tactical or strategic imperative for them to shed blood over this particular territory.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2022 7:51 utc | 9

Another failure by Russia, after months holding the nuclear plant and not being able to protect it from ukrainian attacks, it has now to be shut down altogether!

Last power unit switched off at Zaporozhye nuclear plant The ‘cold shutdown’ of the sixth reactor at the Russia-controlled facility was performed early on Sunday
https://swentr.site/russia/562575-zaporozhye-nuclear-ukraine-shutdown/

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 11 2022 7:57 utc | 10

@5 anon2020 "The threat to civilians in overrun areas and the “civilised” world’s collusive silence in the face of Kiev-sponsored atrocities is simply intolerable."

Once again the Concern Trolls make an appearance.

It is amusing that they appear to placing the blame for Ukrainian war crimes on the Russians.

Dude, the Russians are fighting this war according to the Laws of War.

They can not be held accountably for the Ukrainians deciding that they will commit war crimes, and they certainly can't be blamed for refusing to allow Ukrainian war crimes to dictate their own military necessity.

That is a ridiculous proposition, because it opens a slippery slope where a brutish regime can decide to adopt war crimes AS POLICY knowing that indulging in such allows them to make their opponent dance to their tune.

IF Ukraine decides to commit war crimes then the responsibility for that falls on their head, not on the Russians.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2022 8:00 utc | 11

What am I missing? In trench warfare salients happen. It simply isn't possible to have a wide line of engagement so strong and placed with such foresight that it can stand a focussed attack. In a wide front with low manpower, the art is chosing where to put more or less. Logically you put stronger defences where the risk is greater, the strategic value greater, or the difficulty of reinforcement greater, as in Kherson. The Karkhiv line was lightly held despite extensive information about Ukr troop buildup in the area. But a salient there leads into non-strategic terrain, and the greater the advance, the shorter the reinforcement/resupply lines to Russia. The question now is what resources Russia will commit given that this is visibly and predictably a NATO-led operation. As winter approaches, NATO is well aware it needs to visibly advance and demonstrate the validity of the war effort to keep the huddled European masses on side as their political leaders fleece them for entirely neoliberal reasons. Bottom line: this was inevitable, predictable, not reasonably possible to mitigate in its early stages, and the ball is in Russia's court. Arguably, it should among many other things use air superiority to interdict Western cross-border rail and road freight. All it takes is persistent strafing.

Posted by: TPaine | Sep 11 2022 8:01 utc | 12

🇷🇺⚡Ramzan Kadyrov addressed and criticized the situation in the Kharkiv direction of the special military operation in Ukraine:

- I, Ramzan Kadyrov, officially declare to you that all these cities will be returned back. Our guys are already there. Another 10,000 fighters are ready to leave;

- In the near future we will reach Odessa, you will see concrete results;

- I'm not a strategist, as in the Ministry of Defense. But mistakes were made. I think they will draw conclusions. When you tell the truth to your face, you may not like it. But I love to tell the truth. We talked with the commanders at the fronts;

It's a shame that nothing was said for several days. It is clear that people were not prepared for this. We always talk about our work;

- If today or tomorrow changes are not made to the conduct of a special military operation, I will be forced to contact the country's leadership in order to explain to them the situation on earth. She is very interesting, “awesome” I would say;

- The fact that several villages and cities were given to them, there are several pluses in this. We did not advertise, but we have a special task. Our guys stood up and started their work;

- In the near future we will meet with the military commanders, we will explain to them what patriotism is. Patriots should not be offended if someone did something wrong. We must unite people around ourselves;

- I know one thing. Russia will win. NATO weapons will be suppressed by the spirit of our fighters. Our hands and feet are already trembling.

Posted by: Moaobserver | Sep 11 2022 8:03 utc | 13

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2022 7:51 utc | 15


So I suspect that the most straightforward answer is the correct one: the Russians withdrew their forces in the face of this Ukrainian advance because as far as they are concerned there is no good tactical or strategic imperative for them to shed blood over this particular territory.

This, in my opinion, differentiates the Russian way of war in almost every (modern) theater from anything the Ukrainians and others practice:

The Russians do not waste time and lives defending lost causes.
They move fluidly over battlefields diverting around obstacles.
They don't "fight to the last man" to hold useless ground.

The AFU have yet to learn that lesson ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Sep 11 2022 8:05 utc | 14

Well, with my decade of living around and with Russians, you can't tell them Nothin. They are very very hard headed and they will not listen to a foreigner, when it comes to showing them another way of doing things. Of course I'm only talking about my living conditions - Construction, Mechanics, building things in general , flying, boating, even a little military scenarios from my own time as a SE Asia war games participant.

Nope, the Rooskies will do it their way and that is that. The Ukie HoChiMinh trail should have been closed { destroyed} months ago , And even with their own military fighting experience in the Vietnamese triangle, they obviously understand how that Trail was responsible for South Vietnam's defeat. The Russian people will get tired of their men dying in Ukraine, but whether they want an end to it or they want a change in military strategy is anybodies guess. Get used to the Russian way - I doubt it will change for you . Spacibo M o A

Posted by: GMC | Sep 11 2022 8:10 utc | 15

Right now, this war is asymmetric in the sense that it takes great effort for NATO to maintain it, while Russia expends very little effort. We also simply don't have enough concrete information about the events leading up to and during the Kharkov offensive to make any sweeping statements about it.

Posted by: Ian Kummer | Sep 11 2022 7:04 utc | 2

This post is quite the retort to B’s articles over the last few days. I remain very respectful of B’s analytical and writing skills so I’m not too bothered by his recent missteps. Honestly, I wish he had simply done an open thread over the last two days and wait until the fog of war cleared up a bit, before giving us his assessment. The only thing that can be reasonably said right now is an obvious fact, Russia and the allies have seemingly suffered from the enormous numerical advantage the UKrops and their NATO overlords have in this battle. All I have seen from watching and reading telegram sources on the events the last few days, confirms this fact.

Another thing I noted is the warrior courage the Russian military leadership has shown in making the “correct” judgement to tactically withdraw instead of having their soldiers slaughtered unnecessarily. They aren’t fighting a public contest or popularity war, watch all the headlines in the western world this morning, all of a sudden Ukraine is suddenly a hot take again, with very creative headlines of how Russian soldiers fled……. There is a reason we aren’t seeing videos of dead allied soldiers in mass, pows etc…. This should tell a discerning mind that the Russians are performing well under the circumstances, live to fight another day! So rather than speculate on rapidity changing events, lets all show some prudence and exercise patience. The reality of these events will be revealed in time.

Posted by: Antilogic | Sep 11 2022 8:11 utc | 16

The phrase is that the Russians are "Hunkering down". Find an comparitively easily defendable area from which to move out later.
Still with a limited amount of troops in the firing zone.

Why?
Several reasons; One The weather. Mud to be precise. Which will soon make most of the fronts into difficult terrain for heavy armoured vehicles, and rapid reaction forces. ...and then comes mister snowman.
*
Two; The EU has not caught on to the financial war properly yet. Only superficially. I can see empty shelves - (because I shop only at specific stores), that sanctions against the physical necessities (Metals, oil, Gas, fertilizers) are starting to be thought about. BUT, people either do not know of don't want to know that the US is PUSHING sanctions that hurt Europe. (think about it). For self-satisfaction and to keep Blackrock and derivatives from a catastrophic collapse.
You can also see that the EU is screwing itself through Green and vegan and incompetence, inability to think ahead, but those are another topic.
Staight up financial collapse due to over heating of the printing presses- or since money is made by magical butt(on) pushing.....collapse of financial bedrock to be replaced by a crypt full of vampire bankers. (Plebs get sucked dry).
*
Three; The Push by NATO can only lead to the use of arms that need to be replaced. But without the industries, without the metals (Steel, Aluminium etc), and without the energy. Could the US replace the amount it has agreed to?. Show me the fully functioning industrial society first. (We could ask Raytheon who will ask Zelensky if they can?)
*
Four; Russia will gain time for whatever new push needs to be made, and the retraining of troops etc. BUT we need to take into account that the "war" does not stop at the fontiers of a couple of countries, but has expanded to unrest across the western controlled part of the planet. Asia and Africa are NOT (so) prone to unrest - even if it is still there.
*
Five; tactical. Instead of the Russian attacking fixed fortifications, Let the previously weakened Ukie forces; "bolstered" by NATO/EU and US, now try to do the same.
*
Six; (maybe) The Russians need to improve several areas of defense (against GPS directed arms and ammunition), Drone warfare in local area battles (Some exist but not enough).
There has to be a renewal of ammunition and other improvements from the Russian side, due to attrition of normal capability since the debut of the SMO
*
Seven; This is my opinion: That the Russians wil have to do something to counteract the Troll MSM attakcks designed to separate bother from brother. The multiplicity of ethnies in Russia, is a strong point but also a potential weakness that the US will try to exploit.
****
All for now - have a nice day, and remember 9/11.

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 11 2022 8:18 utc | 17

I have a very simple question for all those "military experts" who are obviously smarter than the russian general staff and super-clever western "analysts" on ukraine who have never been there, do not speak a single word of ukrainian and would probably end up under some bridge in Kyiv or in front of a church in Lviv begging for Hryvnias after a week when put there ( two Gentlemen from London and Greece coming to mind). Here goes:

Imagine you are fighting a proxy war against NATO on a 1.500 kilometer long front line with several hot-spots. You are reducing their proxy forces and mercenaries very nicely and make "slow but steady" progress and NATO doesn't give a shit about how many natives you kill, and of course they are stupid enough to deliver weapons and ammo to the point where they run out of them, but you know exactly at some point in time NATO will panick and go all in, the seasons playing a role too. Waging war in ukrainian winter is no fun. So you know at some point they will go all in, but you do Not know where or when. What do you do, "experts" ?

Stuff the entire 1.500 kilometer long front line with men and weapons just to wait where they will strike ? That's impossible. Stop your SMO and go to trench warfare allowing NATO to dig in ? That's impossible, too. The only possibility is to prepare your reserves and logistics for the big one and just wait. In war, most of the time is spent just waiting. The "experts" do Not tell you because they don't know war. That's what the russians did. They waited patiently. Now NATO has finally panicked. It's exactly what russia was waiting for. Now they will do their thing. And people are calling for the removal of Putin. Idiots.

Posted by: Franz Beckenbauer | Sep 11 2022 8:28 utc | 18

Escalation may or may not be the militarily / politically correct thing to do but you can rest assured that the Cheyneys and Boltons of this world want this thing to escalate at any cost (except to themselves). Calling for escalation has even become a style of trolling, UA-NATO want escalation, we should at least be clear in our own minds as to why they do, before we call for it ourselves!

On a purely tactical note, I previously assumes that any counteroffensive would be suppressed by spotter drones guiding in RF’s long range ground-attack rocket systems. I’m guessing that, at a minimum, UA-NATO is keeping its forces dispersed and mobile, I’m also guessing that either RF doesn’t have drones in place or UA-NATO or systematically suppressing RF drones as an AD function of the offensive,

Is there any credible information about how UA-NATO have structured their attack?

Posted by: anon2020 | Sep 11 2022 8:41 utc | 19

Well, now may be the time to do so.

I'd say so. You said nothing about morale and optics. Many are watching Russia abandon people (for the second time) to Ukro-Einsatzgruppen. What must they be thinking in Donbas? In Mariupol? Could the Ukrainians appear there too, beyond all expectation?

This is a bad look and a black eye for Russia among many of us who take her seriously.

Get serious or pull out. Just don't waver in a limbo because the more determined player, the one who wants it more badly, will win.

Russia: stop fucking around!

Posted by: Patroklos | Sep 11 2022 8:48 utc | 20

Could it just be a chess player stratagem ?

Fake a weak spot somewhere along the front line, but not too weak to force the enemy to gather enough troops, attract those said troops and retreat to make them believe they're strong, let them celebrate their so-called victory and strike back with all your strength while they're all here to destroy as much as possible.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Sep 11 2022 8:49 utc | 21

In war, it's an enormous advantage to control the initiative. When a side controls the initiative, it denies the enemy control of its losses. Russia has the initiative, and Ukraine has the troop numbers which will eventually erode to the point of collapse. War of attrition.

Posted by: jenx | Sep 11 2022 8:53 utc | 22

The Russians were pushed to a point where sabre-rattling wasn't enough to make the neocons controlling the US to stop (Add in the success of the 'Russiagate' hoax and the upper middle classes and progressive liberals were convinced Putin was already at war with the US, though they couldn't explain why and there would be no voice against continued aggression) they had only one option left, deployment of actual military force. (I honestly doubt Putin or the Russians outside some hardcore nationalists ever really wanted to take the Donbas except that they had to come away with something from the force and indeed it seems likely in any negotiation that the Russians will be open to have them as 'independent' republics to form quasi buffer states between it and a NATO-ised Ukraine)

So the Russians have gotten almost everything they wanted just from showing they were willing and able to go to war over what they said they were willing to go to war with, the US seemed content to keep calling their bluff.

In the process it has triggered a new cold war in which Europe has already lost (Certainly Germany has given the country's power resolving around it's power-intensive industry and France too has exhausted all mainstream democratic options to deal with it's problems, Macron, the ultimate hollowman was the last pathetic card the French political establishment had against the far left and far right.) and which the US is poised too to lose not on the battlefield but in the economic sphere. Russian being pushed out of things like SWIFT etc will mean an alternative to them will be made with China and efforts by both and others in the 'global South' will be made to eschew the use of Dollars as a settlement payment. The rest of the world is aghast at how insane the West is being and know well the Russians didn't just wake up one day and decide to invade Ukraine, they can't believe how reckless the US is being. Blowing up Iraq is one thing, pitting Russia and Ukraine against each other in a major war is another.

Israel, the fulcrum of US foreign policy since 9/11 allowed for a neocon coup (The press treatment of Israel in 2000 is almost impossible to imagine today despite an apparent exponential increase in concern for colonialism and outgroups) is already in a bad situation with an active alliance forming between Russia, Syria, Iran and China. For the Chinese to now be arming Syria is a major bridge crossed. Previously China expressed no real interest in the Middle East, certainly not one that was immiscible with good relations with Israel. Russia too is reaching the limit practically of having it's historically good relations with Israel. Given that this war was driven by neocon outrage at Russian intervention against their intervention in Syria (This was when Russia went from Hilary with her 'reset' button to suddenly being the 'big bad' again) and a desire to tie Russian military assets down in Ukraine so they wouldn't be able to respond to renewed attacks on Syria to remove Assad it makes a new front in Syria likely. Indeed given his and other top Tories deep patronage as 'Friends of Israel', I'm inclined to think Boris went to convince Zelensky to keep fighting for that reason.

Ultimately talking about this war without mentioning Syria is meaningless to understand it. The US has gone so far to push the Russians into war because it wants them occupied and out of the way to attack Syria. That's why the US is so impossible to negotiate with because there is nothing you can give it because it's not acting to advance it's own interests but those of Israel, that's why the neocons hate Obama so much for the Iran deal, it was a rare example of a US president acting to remove an avenue of war against an enemy of Israel. And that's why when Trump stupidly took the US out of the treaty that Biden has made no effort to set it up again despite supposedly hating Trump and lauding the treaty when he was in the Obama admin. And ultimately why the outcome of the war doesn't matter so much as how long it lasts for.

Posted by: Altai | Sep 11 2022 8:53 utc | 23

MSM headlines in just another vassal EU state this fine sunday: Russians massively running east and of course a bunch of anniversary articles how 9/11 wasnt an inside job. :D

Have a nice sunday everyone fighting for the truth, I hope the outlaw empire trolls stay in their cages today since they worked overtime yesterday to support the "great counteroffensive" (read: tactical retreat as explained by many others here).

Posted by: Jozo | Sep 11 2022 8:56 utc | 24

Sorry to see b turn into Scott Ritter.

Guess Martyanov, Andrei Raevsky and Brian Berletic are the last commentators left who have a clue.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 11 2022 9:04 utc | 25

@5 anon2020 "The threat to civilians in overrun areas and the “civilised” world’s collusive silence in the face of Kiev-sponsored atrocities is simply intolerable."

Once again the Concern Trolls make an appearance.

It is amusing that they appear to placing the blame for Ukrainian war crimes on the Russians.

... (blah) ...

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2022 8:00 utc | 11

I neither said nor implied nor believe any such thing, you functionally illiterate oik.

Trolling? You betray yourself.

Posted by: anon2020 | Sep 11 2022 9:14 utc | 26

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Sep 11 2022 8:49 utc | 23


Could it just be a chess player stratagem ?

Fake a weak spot somewhere along the front line, but not too weak to force the enemy to gather enough troops, attract those said troops and retreat to make them believe they're strong ...

Bingo. Someone gets it. And that's how it's going to unfold over the next few days.


Posted by: Arch Bungle | Sep 11 2022 9:16 utc | 27

#20 You misquote.

Posted by: c | Sep 11 2022 9:07 utc | 29

Correct, but it was obviously deliberate. In reality no one wants the USSR back, except possibly the unelected Politburo of the EU.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Sep 11 2022 9:21 utc | 28

@26 anon2020 "I neither said nor implied nor believe any such thing, you functionally illiterate oik."

No, you didn't "say" but, yes, you did "imply".

That is the MO of the Concern Troll, after all. It's what makes them a Concern Troll.

"Trolling? You betray yourself."

No, I said "Concern Troll". But you know that, don't you.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2022 9:21 utc | 29

Russia is a nation of zombie cowards too fearful to think or to speak.

Posted by: H1000 | Sep 11 2022 8:53 utc | 26

You mean unlike you yapping his mouth and confirming own stupidity?

Posted by: alek_a | Sep 11 2022 9:30 utc | 30

Supply roads, trains, airports, internet, radio and tv stations, gov. buildings, major factories, electricity, visits to kiev, tiktok videos, dancing clubs... all is working in Ukraine.

Just shut down all of this and paralize Ukraine.

Russia, stop playing.

Posted by: Peter | Sep 11 2022 9:32 utc | 31

"Still, the war must be won on Ukrainian grounds. Russia must up its game" Entirely so. When people write that time is on Russia's side, it becomes questionable that it is so, at least in the short and medium term (while Ukraine is able to provide cannon fodder and the western beast is ready to purvey the necessary crutches. Besides, in dealing with the main actor - the western criminal oligarchical cabal - Russia is confronting an injured beast, but still able to cause great chaos and much damage; that should call for cutting off the reach of its paws where it is causing most hurt, namely, Ukraine - as soon as possible.

Posted by: Sam | Sep 11 2022 9:33 utc | 32

Larry Johnson asserts that the rapid redeployment of RF forces within a day of the offensive indicates that the Russian military was aware of the situation and that this whole thing was planned.

According to Larry, it takes at least a week to plan for and arrange the sort of redeployment of forces that the Russian military has executed during the last two days. On that basis, Johnson claims that we should assume this whole thing was a strategic retreat by the front line and that the Ukrainian forces were allowed to advance because:

A) It puts them in a substantially weaker position, essentially on unfortified ground (although heavily forested, apparently), and
B) Removes them from the civilian centers where they had built up their defense fortifications.

Reports are saying as many as 2000 dead Ukrops a day; that would mean 6000 total, for the offensive. Martyanov suspects it may be more, but then others claim less.

In any event, if it was a planned retreat, b hits on yet another reason regarding why it may have been planned this way: to provoke the Russian public into supporting a larger military commitment so the conflict can be escalated with full domestic support.

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Sep 11 2022 9:37 utc | 33

Forgot the link to Larry Johnson's post:

https://sonar21.com/understanding-planning-orders-and-troop-movements-in-ukraine/

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Sep 11 2022 9:37 utc | 34

Posted by: H1000 | Sep 11 2022 8:53 utc | 26

That's funny (strange). Because as I was reading through the comments above I was thinking of making the point how the US/UK/Nato/5 Eyes are all run by Cowards. Delusional insipid school boy cowards at that.

Posted by: SeanAU | Sep 11 2022 9:37 utc | 35

You should be ashamed of posting 6 and a half months of western propaganda and literal mud and slime, nobody should read any of these. If a source ever refers to this special military operation as a "W*r" or an "Inv*s*on" than it is literal garbage propaganda.

There are sadly many westerners who are relatively "neutral" on the special military operation like the former American military member and probable current American asset Scott Ritter who are sadly still 90% rabidly hatefully ANTI-RUSSIAN while still being 10% neutral, as opposed to most Westerners who are 99% rabidly hatefully ANTI-RUSSIAN, and thus Scott Ritter foolishly and hatefully constantly refers to this special military operation as a "W*r" or an "Inv*s*on".

I am saddened, ashamed, and disgusted at this website and its author[s]. The troika harness will out liars in the end

Posted by: InsaneWorld | Sep 11 2022 9:38 utc | 36

Today somewhat less trolling. Maybe the trolls take sunday off? I wonder how many commentators, especially the trolls, have seen a mutilated body up close. Or a dozen. Or a thousand, on the battlefield. The graphic Telegram video's show some of the gore, but not the smell, not the buzzing flies. But in this war, let us be honest: a war it is, NATO is responsible. Ultimately, whatever any of the parties does or doesn't, it is NATO who has caused the massacre, the immense suffering. All those Urrainian (or Russian) casualties, they are the consequences of plans made in Brussels and Washington. I think Dante would place them in the innermost circle of Hell and certainly I do. Let us not forget this, while discussing tactics or strategics: people are getting shot in their abdomen, having limbs torn of, having their head crushed to pulp. All because some idiots decided they wanted to hurt Russia and steal its resources. If NATO could look into a mirror, it would look at Medusa but they won't look until enough of humanity forces them to do so.

Posted by: Anthony | Sep 11 2022 9:41 utc | 37

I understand that the Ukrainian forces are well supplied by Nato countries, however what I don't understand is the huge increase in manpower, especially since the Ukrainian forces lost many of their seasoned and battle hardened troops earlier on in this SMO.

The West has been training Ukrainian troops in their respective countries, this could account for better tactics from the Ukrainian troops whilst in combat, but not the huge increase in numbers.

Speculating, could Western backed fighters who fought in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc now be within the ranks of the Ukrainian troops, along with Nato troops? Another option is that the breakthrough area was defended by ill prepared troops from the DPR, undermanned and lacking in modern equipment, that would've made inroads for the Ukrainian forces a bit easier to achieve.

I also understand Putin's reticence to commit more forces to the battlefield, however this may now be inevitable, it's now how the Russian military hierarchy goes about addressing this issue without incurring civilian casualties. Speaking of civilians, those now under the control of the Ukrainian troops will be terrified and examples will ultimately be made of some of them in bloody reprisals.


Posted by: Republicofscotland | Sep 11 2022 9:43 utc | 38

Oneliners against concerned commentaries are not much better than those themselves.

Whereas concerns can be more or less argumented, calls to silence them are often just that.

Truth is, none of the handful of off-broadway blogs prepared their readers for what just came around. Nobody seemed really to worry about thinly manned lines on a very long front. Nobody took the pain to see the things from Ukraine's or NATO's perspective. There was just this otherworldly, Mystical Counter-Off, which never seemed to realize. Slo-Mo offensive seemed deliberate.

There was no surprise that after victories in Lisichansk and Severodonetsk things seemed to come to sudden halt. Seversk and Bahmut were considered rather easy to take after these successes, by "Dima" among others.

Not many wondered what exactly was this "operational pause" that Putin called.

People without knowledge in military matters seek guidance and predicitive insight. None was given. No surprise then the reaction was painful. Were we deliberately kept in the dark I wouldn't know. I prefer to think not.

Posted by: js | Sep 11 2022 9:43 utc | 39

I see, my favorite commentator lost nerves, so I would like to help...
Is this area included i Luhansk administration teritory?
As i see, NOT!
Is this area mostly prorussian? As I see, not!
Did they anounce referendum where they want? As I see, not. Herson area don't want to be Russia.

So as my hart bleeds, I have to realize, they will be "liberated" by ukro nazis.
Only Luhansk and Donetsk teritory will be protected. And others, which has enogh support of prorussian population.

Because Russia is bleding for them!
Yesterday one Su34 was shot down in Izum area... Why?

Beeing some genaral in such conditions, where whole western world is your enemy, you must accept decisions which hurt!
Front is 1500km long. You can not hold that line, and some areas even dont want to be liberated...

As I read today, helis Mi35 hold the line on river, where they will not allow to be crossed...
And that is....

And: Scott Ritter is only qualified from WESTERN side to say something, he is a cornel, inspector, and realistic person.

Posted by: preseren3 | Sep 11 2022 9:48 utc | 40

@14 Archie Bungle

To my mind you have described the only way a numerically inferior force can defeat a larger opponent.

Don't get bogged down. Maneuver, maneuver, maneuver. If the choice is between falling back or fighting a battle of attrition then... fall back. Never, ever, leave yourself in a position where you have to trade lives to hold territory, precisely because that's not your territory but it is your blood.

Seems a pretty simple concept to me.

In Kherson the Russians were sitting behind massed firepower, and the Ukrainians had to cross open steppes. Makes sense to stand your ground, for the simple reason that the Ukrainians aren't going to get across that open ground.

But in Kharkiv there is no such advantage, and so the alternative is preferred: withdraw to a defensible position and let you opponent have his moment of chest-beating glory.

After all, why would that chest-beating matter to you, if you managed to withdraw in good order?

This always needs to be kept in mind: the Russians have artillery to burn, but it doesn't have enough warm bodies that it can simply expend them willy-nilly.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2022 9:50 utc | 41

„Some sources are saying, joking of course they are joking, that now the Ukrainians these days have a so big army that the Ukrainian authorities can give them just stones. And this army is able to crack the Russians' defense order just with stones because there are so much of them."

This is nonsense. It took the empire 8 years to build up this army, which is now being destroyed. They conscript women. The number of soldiers means nothing without the equipment and the experience how to use it. Dima is no reference to nothing. These teleshopping-guys get drunk from their YouTube success. Why do you repost such bs?

Take a break, Bernhard. I am afraid you are loosing the distance a clear view needs.

Posted by: njet | Sep 11 2022 9:55 utc | 42

Whether or not this problem was created by the source or by outside interference, my heartfelt response to Oleg was relegated to invisibility in hyperspace. A message was given that my time had "expired" and that I should try again.

How can I possibly recall everything that I composed? This situation both saddens and angers me, as I was trying to create a bridge between the Russian people and those of us Westerners who are awake and aware. If there is any way that this mistaken (or deliberate interference by outside hackers) obliteration of my missive can be corrected; I would be most appreciative.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 11 2022 10:01 utc | 43

I can breath a sigh of relief now, because ISW has just released its latest assessment.

And since those clowns have never got a single thing right with their assessments, well, I'm no longer worried.

ISW: "Russian forces are not conducting a controlled withdrawal and are hurriedly fleeing southeastern Kharkiv Oblast to escape encirclement around Izyum."

Ahem. The Russians have already withdrawn from Izyum, and in good order. No encirclements, no surrenders, no cut-off troops.

Indeed, I am unaware of a single instance in which a Russian unit has been cut off and surrounded during this offensive operation.

Not a one.

ISW: "Ukrainian forces will likely capture the city of Izyum itself in the next 48 hours if they have not already done so."

Well, yeah, not at all difficult once the Russians withdrew from it. The only way the Ukrainian forces could have NOT captured Izyum is if someone snuck into the field tents at night and tied all their shoelaces together.

"It would eliminate the Russian advance in northwest Donetsk Oblast along the E40 highway that the Russian military sought to use to outflank Ukrainian positions along the Slovyansk – Kramatorsk line."

This would be the operation that the Russians haven't actually been carrying out but, whatever....

"A successful encirclement of Russian forces fleeing Izyum would result in the destruction or capture of significant Russian forces and exacerbate Russian manpower and morale issues."

Woulda' Coulda' Shoulda'.

The phrase we use around these parts is "a day late and a dollar short".

Clowns.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2022 10:01 utc | 44

some math

estimated ukr forces for recent attack at 30000 or more
estimated allied forces across entire 1500 km frontline of 250000 or so.

if more than 10% of available forces are concentrated on a few percent of the front, what exactly is expected to happen?

basically if something much bigger than you is coming straight at you, would you stand your ground to face massive losses and even a total annihilation... Or retreat to a safer place where you can firstly survive?

The fact that very few allied soldiers were lost indicates it was a planned retreat. We need to wait until after the allied response to assess the overall effectiveness of the nato attack

Posted by: ct | Sep 11 2022 10:03 utc | 45

It is all very well to rant and rave about taking off the gloves and ^whatever cliché of the month is put out there. But not especially useful. The weak point of Russia is the Ukrainian ability to strike at the most valuable targets within range of their best fires and the ability to know well in advance the arrival of Russian strike packages. And both of these are down to US intelligence sharing -- and this sharing involves US electronic intelligence and other platforms. Think AWACS and JSTARS for a start. Can anybody say with certainty that all flights are outside of Ukraine's territory? And what sort of a solution can there be other than blinding them, as destroying them would be difficult.

There is also the information war. It ought to be obvious that in general the 'western' news.gathering organisations are dedicated to repeating Ukrainian propaganda verbatim and sometimes qualifying it with a 'claimed.' Whereas Russia-originating information is ALWAYS qualified as being 'without evidence.' How to deal with this? An associated problem comes from bloggers of any and every persuasion. At least those capable of reaching the Russian population. The outsized influence of social media is pernicious, especially for Russia as platforms are in the mood to police (that is, to vet) content and to shut down Discordant Voices.

Does Russia wish to : move indirectly or directly against hubs of activity outside of Ukraine's frontiers? Probably not, though covert activities may already be taking place. For reasons of security these are NOT discussed till after, or well after, they lose importance. Overt action such as cross-border attacks can only come from missiles following a ballistic path and with a decent range. There may be many of them; how many and what against is the question even for an insignificant country such as Romania, for obvious reasons. Keep n mind that ousting the Black Sea Fleet from Sebastopol IS a NATO aim, now enabled by Kiev. Even when Yanukovich was in power negotiations must have been fraught. Kiev's position is all or nothing. If Crimea is threatened that would be ample reason to say Kiev gets nothing.

Posted by: DilNir | Sep 11 2022 10:08 utc | 46

I noticed today about 100 comments were deleted from 2 long article threads. fwiw here is some background re trolling/bots etc. from this recent academic research paper.

The interaction of bots and humans in discussion of the Russia/Ukraine war

Abstract. The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine emphasises the role social media plays in modern-
day warfare, with conflict occurring in both the physical and information environments. There is a large body of work on identifying malicious cyber-activity, but less focusing on the effect this activity has on the overall conversation, especially with regards to the Russia/Ukraine Conflict.
(original paper in full) https://arxiv.org/pdf/2208.07038.pdf

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have published a landmark paper on the activities of bot accounts on Twitter related to the conflict in Ukraine. These Australian findings are truly staggering – of 5.2 million tweets on the social media network from February 23 to March 8, between 60 to 80% were shared by fake accounts. What’s more, 90% of those posts were pro-Ukraine. [...]

The study is the first analysis of social media content related to the conflict, and covers a very small time period – just two weeks. It is almost inevitable that the level of pro-Kiev sentiment expressed by users – troll and organic alike – will have increased even further beyond the 90% recorded during this timeframe. Numerous commentators have drawn attention to the weaponization of Twitter, Facebook, et al in support of the Western proxy war in Ukraine.

One need only spend a few minutes scrolling major social media networks to identify a profusion of anonymous, recently registered users pumping out pro-Ukraine, pro-NATO, and pro-war propaganda, and attacking anyone critical of ascendant Western narratives. It is, in the words of writer Caitlin Johnstone, “the most aggressively trolled war of all time.”
https://www.rt.com/news/562509-ukrainian-bots-in-twitter/

related refs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Analytica
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook%E2%80%93Cambridge_Analytica_data_scandal
https://www.channel4.com/news/data-democracy-and-dirty-tricks-cambridge-analytica-uncovered-investigation-expose


Cambridge Analytica was shutdown / recreated in another form, and Facebook 'claim' they cleaned house, but this is now an industrial level activity. The RussiaGate fraud and Bellingcat are tarred with the same brush. It's good to be skeptical but also to not allow your emotional buttons to be pushed too easily while reading comments on places like this. Cheers

Posted by: SeanAU | Sep 11 2022 10:12 utc | 47

Zanon @ 10

Perhaps the Russians could have done one of two things to correct the attacks on the nuclear plant. One: It should have been possible to mount an overwhelming aerial and missile offensive on the Ukie artillery and rockets. Stand-off methods. This should have been preceded by a massive satellite and drone reconnaissance. Two: A major assault by helicopter and paratrooper forces could have overwhelmed the puppet regime's forces on the other side of the reservoir. Following that action the 3rd Corps could have mounted a supporting armored and artillery offensive by a combination of pontoon bridges and barges below the dam in the region of Kherson.

I was a bit shocked that one or possibly both of those actions was not taken. Perhaps nervousness regarding the looming puppet regime/Natostan offensive in the Kharkov region was the underlying cause behind this lack of action.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 11 2022 10:12 utc | 48

Larry Johnson asserts that the rapid redeployment of RF forces within a day of the offensive indicates that the Russian military was aware of the situation and that this whole thing was planned.
Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Sep 11 2022 9:37 utc | 33

Larry is fully supported by Anddrei Martyanov, a 30 year veteran of the Russian military. After reading Andrei's and Larry's blogs for a while I'll stick with them. This operation is a continuation of the Russian SMO strategy of bringing the Ukrainians to them and then utterly destroying them with artillery, air power, and all of their rocketry systems,

All the handwringing amuses me. Arm chair quarterbacks are panicking. Let's join them in forgetting everything this war has taught us.

Oh, the Russians suddenly forgot how to fight and the Ukrainians are walking over the top of them sans any air or artillery power. All I can do is shake my head. It violates everything we know about how wars and battles are won since WW2.

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Ffreeloader | Sep 11 2022 10:12 utc | 49

Please. Russia is just as much a dystopian hell as her Western and Eastern "partners" cooperating in the psyop the past 2,5 years, and continues to push injections, masks and restrictions on citizens who don't want any part of it.

Yes, very democratic indeed.

Posted by: leclerc | Sep 11 2022 10:12 utc | 50

They waited patiently. Now NATO has finally panicked. It's exactly what russia was waiting for. Now they will do their thing.

> Posted by: Franz Beckenbauer | Sep 11 2022 8:28 utc | 18

Not yet.

I'd wait until NATO has removed it's mask and poured as much material and men into that gap as possible.

.. but there are possibly too many considerations to be taken into account.

RE: > Republicofscotland | Sep 11 2022 9:43 utc | 38

I wouldn't be too sure there are many *more* men. One thing I noted the Ukranians doing (in particular the neo nazi's) is that they push conscripts to the front line and then abandon them as the nazis themselves retreat. As such I'd guess a huge portion of those casualties suffered under russian artillery fire weren't "professional troops" they were dressed up civilians.

Posted by: S.O. | Sep 11 2022 10:19 utc | 51

Nonsense. This is all according to plan. They're drawing the Ukies into preplanned killzones. They'll be much more effective this way. You just watch: they'll execute planned withdrawals all the way to Moscow. All according to plan. Russia is totally not a shit tier paper military. Russia is great. Russia will win. Russia can't lose. Everybody trust Russia. Trust the plan, guys, trust the plan. Where we go one we go all. Putin is a right-wing constitutionalist. Trust Putin. Trump is still in control. Trust the plan. This is fine. All totally fine.

Posted by: Rollory | Sep 11 2022 10:20 utc | 52

aristodemos | Sep 11 2022 10:01 utc | 43

That "time out" happens a lot to those like me that are slow typists.
What to do. Go to the top left corner of the browser window (on firefox) and touch the "reset page" symbol. (The circle with the arrow just after page back or forward arrows) This will leave your post at the "text entry box" stage, or if you are in preview, you then scroll down to the "enter text" rectangle immediately.

You should find the text still there with your moniker now in grey. Redo your name, or simply touch the extreme inside left of the "name" and "Email" boxes (which reactivates them). Post or preview again.

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 11 2022 10:21 utc | 53

Posted by: Ffreeloader | Sep 11 2022 10:12 utc | 49

This has been a cathartic experience. Now we know there are people who suggest we should cheer for the Ukies because the Russians could not stop their atrocities. (Which by the way has some truth in it, does it not? I mean the part about shaking the trust of the population in the areas the Russins have taken over.)

Posted by: Jonathan W | Sep 11 2022 10:22 utc | 54

Stonebird @ 53

Thanks for the info. Being within days of my 78th, I'm a bit handicapped when it comes to the innards of computers. I do use an iMac of relatively recent vintage, but am not up on Firefox. My keyboard work is fairly rapid, but the message to be composed had to be carefully thought out, thus the delay.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 11 2022 10:25 utc | 55

Arch Bungle #27

"Could it just be a chess player stratagem ?

Fake a weak spot somewhere along the front line, but not too weak to force the enemy to gather enough troops, attract those said troops and retreat to make them believe they're strong ..."

Bingo. Someone gets it. And that's how it's going to unfold over the next few days.


:))

I imagine a continuous air force grinding sound in the north and a bit of rapid chess play in the south. Now that the hidden thousands of Uke mercenaries are revealed, I trust they will not be able to retreat into the shadows for a while.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 11 2022 10:27 utc | 56

Roll Out the Barrel @ 52

There is a place in Norway called Trollheim. Perhaps you will find a new home there.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 11 2022 10:27 utc | 57

Posted by: leclerc | Sep 11 2022 10:12 utc | 50

I agree. One of the best researchers in the world posted that story about how the plans to act just like Trudeau is right on the Kremlin website. In fact he started out pretending he was talking about Canada and Trudeau.

Posted by: Ffreeloader | Sep 11 2022 10:29 utc | 58

The Russian aerospace forces, rocket troops and artillery are delivering precision strikes on the units and reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region. As a result of the strikes, the manpower and military equipment of the units of the 14th and 92nd mechanized brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the areas of Staroverovka, Chuguev and Volosskaya Balakleya, the 113th territorial defense Brigade in the settlement of Novaya Vodolaga, as well as the deployment point of foreign mercenaries in the area of the settlement of Klugino-Bashkirovka were hit. The enemy's losses amounted to over 200 servicemen and more than 20 units of military equipment.

In addition, during the day, concentrated fire strikes defeated the AFU units in the areas of the settlements of Pristin, Boldyrevka, Sinikha, Beloe, Komarovka, Gorokhovatka, Kupyansk, Senkovo and Podvysokoe of the Kharkiv region. More than 250 Ukrainian servicemen, 12 armored vehicles, three field artillery guns, one multiple rocket launcher and 17 vehicles were destroyed.

In the Mykolaiv-Krivoy Rog direction, high-precision missile strikes of the Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed the temporary deployment point of units of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Mykolaiv area. The enemy's losses amounted to more than 100 servicemen, as well as 15 units of automotive and armored vehicles.

In total, only in these two directions, from September 6 to September 10, the losses of the Kiev regime amounted to over 4000 killed and more than 8000 wounded.

Posted by: RuMoDsaid | Sep 11 2022 10:31 utc | 59

The Russians are smart not to compound one mistake with another. Looking at the maps, it's hard to understand why they didn't reform the line behind that water crossing when they were consolidating their lines in preparation for the Donbass assault. If they're now able to get their lines established and fortified, they can continue with their plans for the Donbass and further south with a solid right flank instead of that "sore thumb" sticking out into hard-to-defend territory.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | Sep 11 2022 10:31 utc | 60

@52 The best thing about your post is that it will either be proven correct or incorrect very quickly.

Either the Ukrainians cross the Oskii River - in which case you will be shown to be correct - or they will find that to be impossible. In which case you are blowing smoke out of your backside.

Won't take long, but I'm pretty certain by then you'll have yourself another moniker.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2022 10:36 utc | 61

Many people think that the Russians leaving Izyum is a "defeat". It is not. And Ukrainian occupation will be temporary. This is not a conventional war focused on taking territory -- but a mobile war which aims at destroying the enemy. That's what "demilitarization " is. The problem with the UAF is that they spend a lot of time in what I have called on my blog their "maginot grid". The problem for the Russians is getting them to come out to play. That happened in Kherson, and with the failure of that in Kharkov - all designed to convince the Americans to keep on paying. Not his season's blood money -- that was already decided - but the next one. Zelensky is already a billionaire -- but he needs MORE! The "Third Corps" is there to mop up. As for wonder weapons -- their guidance systesm are all vulnerable to electronic defenses. I write about it here: https://julianmacfarlane.substack.com/p/the-failed-nato-nazi-offensive-in?sd=pf The Failed NATO Nazi Offensive in Kharkov

Posted by: julianmacfarlane | Sep 11 2022 10:38 utc | 62

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 11 2022 10:27 utc | 56


Now that the hidden thousands of Uke mercenaries are revealed, I trust they will not be able to retreat into the shadows for a while.

I can tell you about one group of mercenaries who will indeed be retreating smoothly into the shadows soon - the trolls on this site!

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Sep 11 2022 10:39 utc | 63

A good try b, but it still rests on some key assumptions which, six months after the start of the SMO, look increasingly shaky and improbable.

Assumption 1 : the Russians have lots of spare capacity (men & material)

I'm starting to really doubt this. Given all we hear from the front, including direct testimonies collected by Cassad or Kotenok, there is a lack of manpower. It's time to switch the burden of proof : to all those who proclaim Russia has some unimaginable wealth of weapons and battalions just waiting over the border, please tell us how many, where they are, if they are kontratniki or conscripts, and if Russia can employ them in Ukraine without depleting significantly other parts of its defense posture.

Occam's razor says : if after six months and an humiliating rout in Kupyansk and Izyum the mythical Russian hordes haven't appeared, it's likely there aren't any absent a serious mobilization effort.

Assumption 2 : Russian weapons are superior or equivalent to NATO ones

Here also I would seriously requestion this. I am now getting convinced that Western, especially American weapons, have had a profound impact. I think they are more precise, more effective, whereas most of Russian weapons have a lot of firepower but are quite dumb (Tornado, Uragan). I am starting to lean towards Western estimates that Russians have depleted their stocks of missiles, and the rumor about Iranian drones has not been seriously disproven or energetically refuted.

In summary : Russia has a lot of firepower, but rather dumb, imprecise, so they are using a hammer to squash lots of very mobile bugs. I would take years to crush all the bugs and I think Russia's production capacities are not up to the task.

On the other hand, the US are delivering all their newest toys, and more confidently too : a few months ago they were afraid that Ukies would lose them, but after last week seems a lot less likely no ? Hence the news about Excalibur rounds and the like. Who here, apart fanatics like Martyanov, really believes that Russian armored colummns could seriously punch through the front and create a breakthrough ? Who still believes that the Ukie army is going to collapse ?

Exactly. And I think American war planners are thinking just like me and feeling suddenly a lot more confident to deliver all sorts of gadgets. Like counter-battery radar, HARM missiles, and so on...

What can Russians do against Excalibur rounds ? Judging by their reaction to the systematic bombardments of their border towns for months, not much apart brandishing the nuclear threat. But apart from that, Russian conventional forces have been exposed. They are effectively impotent against the combined effect of Western's latest weapons.

Posted by: Micron | Sep 11 2022 10:45 utc | 64

Altai @ 24

I$rael per se is not the problem. That concocted "Chosen" racist land is but the cat's paw for the Khazarian Mafiya and the millenniums old Talmudist agenda of total world domination. Thus was Crimea the chosen location for Neo-Khazaria. This was the reason why Viccious Nudelman, wife to Robert Kagan, a direct descendant of Khazaria's ruling Kagans, along with Little Georgie of Our $orrow$ and a totally corrupted U$$A Department of State; initiated the Maidan Coup.

Idea behind that was to resurrect the ancient Khazarian Empire in a part of that slave-taking and piratical tribal nation which was destroyed by the proto-Russians, then headquartered in Kiev and the Persians took down the Khazars in ca 1060. We are witnessing a war between the satanist cabal versus the rest of humanity. Russia sees itself as St. George in combat with the Dragon. The underlying factor behind the current war is of a spiritual nature. It is the age-old conflict between humanity and the Demi-urge.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 11 2022 10:48 utc | 65

Arch Bungle #63

It all reminds me of a Leonard Cohen song The Partisan.

As he was Canadian, I now wonder if it was inspired by tales of WW2 told by Uke expats.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 11 2022 10:53 utc | 66

Cauldron after cauldron after cauldron.

If we could describe last 6 months of Russian strategy in single word in east it is repeatedly using cauldrons to isolate and obliterate Ukie forces.

And Ukie offensive now, done on narrow line of front, deep into Russian territory, dangerously stretched and in growing risk to be cut of and turned into catastrophic cauldron... you think this was by accident?

Cauldron by design.

Posted by: Abe | Sep 11 2022 10:54 utc | 67

Abe | Sep 11 2022 10:54 utc | 68

Judging by the panicked reactions on the ground and the complete surprise evident in all the pro-Russian TG, yes it was by accident. And looking at the map, I don't really see the potential by a cauldron.

Unless, of course, if 100.000 Russian soldiers miraculously materialize, unbeknownst to all the US spy satellites, and start rushing down from Bielorussia. We can always dream.

Posted by: Micron | Sep 11 2022 10:58 utc | 68

#62:

„The problem for the Russians is getting them to come out to play.“

Made my day!

Posted by: njet | Sep 11 2022 11:00 utc | 69

Posted by: Micron | Sep 11 2022 10:58 utc | 69

Only panicked reactions I see are from people with attention span of a fly and military knowledge of a housewife, what they think doesn't matter.

We will get back to this in a week and see who was right and who was wrong.

Posted by: Abe | Sep 11 2022 11:01 utc | 70

I have come to the realisation that many of us here dont really understand the SMO (police action) philosophy. This is because of seeming contradiction between two goals: a) liberating territories and b) removing the threat of NATO led Ukraine on Russias doorstep. We conflate the two (since we are all amateurs) while that is not the case in reality.

While a) requires taking and holding territory b) means demilitarization. Not the same goal. One would choose different strategies when either a) or b) presented itself as standalone.

I believe we have the priority backwards. Russia’s goal is b) and considers a) as a consequence when b) is achieved. Witness the way the clobber list is given: it is a demilitarization list, not a territory-gained list. Also the slowmo gains after Severodonetsk and Lyschyansk. Its as if they on purpose do not want their main goal of b) to morph into a) on the way. It is also confirmed with the retreat last couple of days.

The question of course is whether the current resources (including intelligence) are enough to demilitarize Ukraine per goal b) as it seems that the level of support from the West has exceeded expectations (at least to me). Also, is it possible at all in this situation. This is the question I think and we have no way to answer that due to lack of information. RF staff and leadership knows.

Posted by: alek_a | Sep 11 2022 11:03 utc | 71

I have come to the realisation that many of us here dont really understand the SMO (police action) philosophy. This is because of seeming contradiction between two goals: a) liberating territories and b) removing the threat of NATO led Ukraine on Russias doorstep. We conflate the two (since we are all amateurs) while that is not the case in reality.

While a) requires taking and holding territory b) means demilitarization. Not the same goal. One would choose different strategies when either a) or b) presented itself as standalone.

I believe we have the priority backwards. Russia’s goal is b) and considers a) as a consequence when b) is achieved. Witness the way the clobber list is given: it is a demilitarization list, not a territory-gained list. Also the slowmo gains after Severodonetsk and Lyschyansk. Its as if they on purpose do not want their main goal of b) to morph into a) on the way. It is also confirmed with the retreat last couple of days.

The question of course is whether the current resources (including intelligence) are enough to demilitarize Ukraine per goal b) as it seems that the level of support from the West has exceeded expectations (at least to me). Also, is it possible at all in this situation. This is the question I think and we have no way to answer that due to lack of information. RF staff and leadership knows.

Posted by: alek_a | Sep 11 2022 11:03 utc | 72

Sorry, guess I'm a concerned concern troll here, given that I probably post once in 5 yrs or so. I am worried. I hate so see the wannabe-fascists around here (Germany) gloat, and I shudder to think that the US might actually get a win out of this.

Part of me still thinks that Russia still does not 'really' want to got to war with Ukraine, still sees Ukrainians as their wayward brothers or whatever, still doesn't get it that they're actually fighting Blackrock or NATO, with Ukrainians nothing but US sock puppets propped up for the looks (including that disgusting little ork in the green t-shirt). The USA wishes to buff up its failing economical power and uses Ukraine to wreck both Russia and Europe. The big hope is to reduce Europe to a utterly US-dependent customer base that they can bleed dry; and maybe initiate some Russian regime change to get a new Yeltzin into the Kremlin. Other than that, the only goal is to bog Russia down in their own version of Vietnam or Afghanistan and make a ton of money with it. And get that European market.

Unfortunately, most of Europe is dumb and suicidal enough to go along with that, and sadly, Germany is dumbest of all - or it's just the old Nazi genes creeping to the surface again.

I have some trouble believing that the current setbacks are somewhat part of a bigger Russian master plan, and I'm rather afraid that the SMO method doesn't really work when the enemy has unlimited supplies, unlimited resources and a fanatical total-war-mentality that doesn't leave room for rational thought or even basic self-preservation.

What's the alternative? Going to a full-fledged war, start bombing Kiev?

What would be the consequences?

I always liked Putin, even though I often got frustrated with him. Often thought someone should send him a copy of 'Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee' whenever he started yapping about his 'Western partners'. Guess he's a peacenik at heart, but in my humble opinion still the best guy to handle this ginormous clusterfuck.

But how can even the best man handle an enemy who won't ever stop warring? The US is out for utter destruction, mainly because they themselves are at breaking point and simply need the kills to sustain themselves.

How can anyone get out of that?

Posted by: Kath | Sep 11 2022 11:05 utc | 73

aristodemos | Sep 11 2022 10:01 utc | 43

Really Dimos, you're quite the bridge builder, aren't you. So awake and aware. Your comment disappearing, no that was not your very own stupidity. Oh no. It was outside hackers for sure.

Well thank you for this insight into your personality. Most appreciated.

---

ct | Sep 11 2022 10:03 utc | 45

"estimated allied forces across entire 1500 km frontline of 250000 or so."

Estimated by whom? There are nowhere near 250,000 men active in the Russian alliance. I'd be surprised if there are 100,000.

---

Republicofscotland | Sep 11 2022 9:43 utc | 38

"I understand that the Ukrainian forces are well supplied by Nato countries, however what I don't understand is the huge increase in manpower, especially since the Ukrainian forces lost many of their seasoned and battle hardened troops earlier on in this SMO."

Ukraine is slightly bigger, slightly more populous than Scotland. The manpower hasn't increased, it's just been made available to be sent to the east to die. Units from Ukraine's western and northern command, new conscripts who've reached military age, plus an infusion of NATO staff. They will repeat this again and again - unless Russia stops it. Both denazification and demilitarization are just open-ended processes at this stage. They can only be completed when the whole of Ukraine is occupied - like Germany in 1945.

---

Franz Beckenbauer | Sep 11 2022 8:28 utc | 18

I have a very simple question... So you know at some point they will go all in, but you do Not know where or when. What do you do, "experts"?

Possible answers are simple, but perhaps too simple for you.
You do not wait for NATO to complete its preparations. You do not wait for NATO to choose the timing for you. You choose the timing for them. More important, you do not wait till they've reached the battlefield that they have chosen, like it was a soccer match and your team is just waiting beside the field for the referee to invite you in. You deny NATO access to the battlefield by closing off Ukraine's western borders. You cut the connection between NATO and the Zelensky regime, so the regime can come to its senses and surrenders.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Sep 11 2022 11:05 utc | 74

@Abe

Yes - who doesn't remember the cauldron of Kiev, Sumy, Kharkov...

Ukraine still controls the suburbs of donets - 6 months into to the war! Daily shelling of the capital city.

Posted by: Frenziedfrog | Sep 11 2022 11:06 utc | 75

@ Arch Bungle | Sep 11 2022 8:05 utc | 14

"They don't "fight to the last man" to hold useless ground."

NO. But they WILL fight to the last man to hold important ground!

Argun Gorge, Chechnya, 29 February – 1 March 2000
90 men of 6/2/104 Guards Airborne Regiment of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division acting as a blocking force in an operation to prevent exit of Chechen forces from the gorge were surrounded, attacked and overrun by Chechens. Only 6 survivors.

Posted by: ltexpat | Sep 11 2022 11:08 utc | 76

Russia has to disarm both Ukraine and the EU. If the bankers in the west don't think victory is possible, they will stop sending weapons into Ukraine. What better way to disarm the west than to have them ship their weapons to the cauldron.

Fascism must be destroyed in Ukraine and the EU. Economics is the best way to destroy fascism in the EU and it will take some time. Russia can't rush this.

Posted by: Saul | Sep 11 2022 11:11 utc | 77

I have deliberately avoided posting, because I have no concrete information to share...
However....
I wish to add my thoughts to these....
Three; The Push by NATO can only lead to the use of arms that need to be replaced. But without the industries, without the metals (Steel, Aluminium etc), and without the energy. Could the US replace the amount it has agreed to?. Show me the fully functioning industrial society first. (We could ask Raytheon who will ask Zelensky if they can?)
*
Four; Russia will gain time for whatever new push needs to be made, and the retraining of troops etc. BUT we need to take into account that the "war" does not stop at the fontiers of a couple of countries, but has expanded to unrest across the western controlled part of the planet. Asia and Africa are NOT (so) prone to unrest - even if it is still there.
*
Five; tactical. Instead of the Russian attacking fixed fortifications, Let the previously weakened Ukie forces; "bolstered" by NATO/EU and US, now try to do the same.
*
Six; (maybe) The Russians need to improve several areas of defense (against GPS directed arms and ammunition), Drone warfare in local area battles (Some exist but not enough).
There has to be a renewal of ammunition and other improvements from the Russian side, due to attrition of normal capability since the debut of the SMO

WRT item #3....

The precision weapons, ships, and aircraft are also dependent upon MPU(s) & SigProcessing Chips based upon < 28nm technology, which, today, are made in China&Russia. NATO for all practical purposes, has embargoed import of these chips via sanctions. No chips, no weaps.

WRT item #6....

Russian AAM systems are currently intercepting HARM missiles.... That's right HARM missiles
no longer reach their AA RADAR(s) BECAUSE they are intercepted..

Much earlier I read reports of huge numbers of armoured vehicles and men sequestered in the catacombs of Kharkiv... I assume a very large percentage of these are now to be found on the steppe of eastern Kharkhiv Oblast.... out in the open.... where they can be targeted and destroyed..

It remains to be seen... what the Allies do about this...

Regarding interdicting the "Ukraine Trail"... part of the Allies goal is demilitarization of NATO... which seems to be ongoing.... with NATO ponying up it's weap stocks for destruction in the front by Allied weaps...

As always constructive comments are welcome..

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 11 2022 11:12 utc | 78

The Russians should set themselves the goal of not just eliminating the threat in Ukraine but destroying US forces all over the world. They should equip Iran with the means to destroy all US forces in the Gulf, including with weapons of mass destruction to do that. The message should be unequivocal that the US is being destroyed and its armies and fleets will perish all over the world, adn there is nothing it can do but die.

Posted by: Clubofinfo | Sep 11 2022 11:14 utc | 79

In my opinion a change of government in the USA would not change anything. But I think that the EU suicidal economic policy would be the game-changer. When the s..., hits the fan Ukraine would fall off the screen. But even before that, I believe the Russian MoD's explanation of the withdrawal is true. It is unfortunate that the civilian supporters of the Russians in those towns and villages are in real danger of reprisal attacks as happened in Bucha. And I hope that the Russian military has a plan to ameliorate it. I think sooner than later, the whole picture would be clear. In the meantime let the NATO suckers rejoice.

Posted by: Steve | Sep 11 2022 11:21 utc | 80

Posted by: js | Sep 11 2022 9:43 utc | 39

>>Truth is, none of the handful of off-broadway blogs prepared their readers for what just came around. Nobody seemed really to worry about thinly manned lines on a very long front. Nobody took the pain to see the things from Ukraine's or NATO's perspective.

I guess you never read Strelkov who predicted many of this. I remember him even in March when he predicted the retreat from Kiev. He also said (in March or April) that Donbass won't be taken any time soon, probably not in this year. Then he also said that there isn't much time, Ukr is reconstituting its army and will start significant counteroffensives by the end of the summer. He was consistently saying many times that the involved russian troops are too small for the task.

That does not mean that i was prepared for what happened, though. I remember i could not believe when he wrote that Ukr will regenerate and reequip its army and will be on the offensive later. Personally i thought that all those strikes in depth and the high number of casualties and destroyed equipment will not allow the regeneration of the ukrainian army.

But even if i was not believing him, i was keeping a close eye on him, because i noticed certain abnormalities with this operation, such as that many dual use objects, such as bridges and railways, were never taken out. As well as the decision making centers not touched. And supply rat lines rarely touched too, for example fuel trains directly coming into Ukraine and no one touching them.

To me, it looks there are some dirty deals behind all of this, probably NATO promising not to target and bomb Russia proper via Ukrainian proxies (with the exception of small attacks) in return of Russia not touching ukrainian infrastructure and decision making centers.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 11 2022 11:22 utc | 81

A little surprising that it's not picked up here that Dima obviously misspoke quite a few times, big time. The opener "We can say that today was the best ever, the second best ever" was clearly meant to be "worst" or he meant best for Ukrainians. Quite obviously as he continues that if nothing changes on the Russian side, they just as well could end the SMO altogether and go home. That is not "best ever". Meaning is always context. The context dictates without doubt that he misspoke. Not the only time, some other sentences for example reverse Ukraine and Russia as actors. It indicates to me a lot of stress and disappointment. Which is clear from the context as well and hardly being veiled. Dima seems more than ever heavily conflicted and his language and hesitations demonstrated this quite clearly. A real human. But quoting this line seems only to add to the confusion. Which is exactly the end result of this "raid": confusion.

Posted by: John Dowser | Sep 11 2022 11:28 utc | 82

To me, it looks there are some dirty deals behind all of this, probably NATO promising not to target and bomb Russia proper via Ukrainian proxies (with the exception of small attacks) in return of Russia not touching ukrainian infrastructure and decision making centers.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 11 2022 11:22 utc | 81

Wholeheartedly agree that there is a deal ongoing between Russia and NATO to prevent the level of damage that would normally be expected in a conflict of this type that one side or the other is required to ‘win’

How that ultimately plays out is yet to be seen

Posted by: Night Tripper | Sep 11 2022 11:32 utc | 83

Sorry ' b' that was nothing , "The Kremlin was and is extremely averse to Russian casualties. In this war it prioritizes Russian lives over everything else. That has worked well during the first months of the war. In my estimate the Russian casualties so far were about one tenth of the Ukrainian ones. But the Ukrainian leadership has never cared about casualty numbers. The issue thus does not really matter to it."

you mean caring about russians live, like sending Wagners PMC and Kadyorvs tchetchens sending in, like throwing bad equipped DPR troops at the fortifed bunkers in Adviika, instead "true" russians??

The demilitarization, mostly by long range weapons, has worked well." you mean a country is demilitarized when it lost its defense industry? what kind of childish logic is that?
Everybody beside of you is aware that the cradel of Banderism lays in west ukraine, so Ukraine is neither demilitarized nor denazified, not even close,
Time is not on russians side, EU will neither collapse or erode, what about russian economy?
Bad article all the way

Posted by: disorder | Sep 11 2022 11:32 utc | 84

What I don’t understand is leaving a bunch of hardware behind. The hardware they supposedly ran out of 5 trikes since February. Unless this i some kind of strategy I don’t understand, this is pretty admission of a defeat by Russia. And a pathetic one all. Something tells me, Putin wouldn’t let it happen like this. The entire word would laugh at for eternity. Big bag Russia lost a war with “democratic Ukraine”! This is also signals to the west that Crime is fair gain since Putin is a paper tiger and Russia loses Crimea along with the entire Black Sea Navy fleet, facilities and perhaps some warheads.

I am secretly hoping it’s a bluff bluff and genius one at that. At the same time they troll the US and re-enacting US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Run with their tails between their legs, abandon a bunch of hardware, asking taliban to let them exit and leaving behind thousands American citizens failing death.

I don’t think Russians. Will do that. Too much pride. I hope the plan is regroup, rotate personnel and roll back in with more people, more hardware. Can’t those fools with their pants down Circe jerking about how cool they are. I only hope.

Posted by: Nigerian Prince | Sep 11 2022 11:33 utc | 85

b writes towards the end of this fine analysis:
"....'Western' claims that Russia is isolated are wrong. It has many friends it can call upon to contribute to its efforts. Diversion moves against the U.S. military in many regions of the world are just one of several possibilities...."

go for it! it's about time to move against the US military interests throughout the world particularly in the middle East, where Russia can easily use ITS friends and 'proxies' like the Syrian and Iranian governments et. al. to help it - in other words, to work to reduce and/or eradicate US influence in the region, most especially in Syria and Iraq, where the US has certainly 'overstayed' its ...uh... visit.

heck I believe that North Korea has already offered to send 100,000 troops/volunteers. hell's bells, put them on a bunch of trans-Siberian trains tomorrow and put them to work! 20-30 servile and sycophantic NATO nations are training troops/contributing arms to the US-nato proxy war against Russia.....

Time to take off the kid gloves

Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 11 2022 11:36 utc | 86

Supply roads, trains, airports, internet, radio and tv stations, gov. buildings, major factories, electricity, visits to kiev, tiktok videos, dancing clubs... all is working in Ukraine.

Just shut down all of this and paralize Ukraine.

Russia, stop playing.

Posted by: Peter | Sep 11 2022 9:32 utc | 31

Well, here is the news from just now:

Rybar 🇬🇧🇺🇦As Vladlen Tatarsky @vladlentatarsky writes , the Armed Forces of Ukraine are starting to remove their minefields near Vuhledar: this is a signal for the preparation of a Ukrainian offensive in the direction. Indeed, a train with almost 150 pieces of military equipment recently arrived at the station in Pokrovsk in the west of the Donetsk region. They plan to use them to strike both near Ugledar and from Seversk to Kremennaya. #Donetsk #Lugansk #Russia #Ukraine @rybar

We heard about a lot of missile strikes this night, but did anyone attack that train? No, it was left to transport the equipment uninterrupted.

At this point expect Mariupol to have to be evacuated soon too...

Posted by: Tbx | Sep 11 2022 11:37 utc | 87

@60 Henry Moon Pie "Looking at the maps, it's hard to understand why they didn't reform the line behind that water crossing when they were consolidating their lines in preparation for the Donbass assault."

How do you know that they didn't?

I mean, let's face it, every man and his dog is now gnashing their teeth and shouting that the Russian front line in the Kharkiv region were far too thinly held. Couldn't they see that? What were they thinking? Idiots!

Maybe that line was lightly held because as far as the Russians were concerned that wasn't their front line, merely a "skirmish line". If the Ukrainians refrained from attacking that line then - great! - beers all round boys at the Hotel Izyum!

But if the Ukrainians did attack that line then that's no biggie, because they are simply attacking through the forward skirmish line.

The real line runs along the Oskii River.

It would explain a lot: the seeming inaction from the Russians when the Ukrainians started assembling their forces. The speed with which the Ukrainians advanced, which was matched only by the speed with which the Russian forward forces withdrew to the river.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2022 11:42 utc | 88

Yes, its shocking and surprising the number of men that Ukraine has been able to call on. The million man shout made a month or so back was likely accurate. It appears Strelkov was right that the Ukronazis arent playing games. Perhaps this is the reason Russia hasnt gone in with a far greater army - they are aware of what Ukraine under NATO/Western cabal guidance/instruction is capabale of raising in response?

Posted by: Night Tripper | Sep 11 2022 11:45 utc | 89

The slow grind has worked magnificently so far, by and large. On the latest developments, the jury is still out, but NATO/Ukraine have thrown all they have at it and those forces seem to be in a very precarious situation with very weak resupply posibilities.

It's time for some tweaking of the operation, no doubt about that. I think that very probably includes a significant - but certainly not massive - increase in manpower (maybe 30%, say?) and equipment, and some changes in methodology/approaches, but I think dramatic changes would be a mistake at this point - when it is generally working so well at present, don't mess with it. What is important is not only what happens militarily in Ukraine but also what happens politically and economically in the west - the latter requires sufficient time to properly develop, which is the major strength of the softly-softly determined grind.

President Putin has said the western elites will be turfed out of power - I think that is true, but only with the slow-grind approach. "When the enemy is making a mistake, don't interfere with him" - the western elites are strangling themselves, choking off their industry, enriching Russia while making it difficult for their own people to survive. I think when President Putin claimed the western elites will be overthrown, that is what he meant. But the docile and indoctrinated western public need to be made sufficiently destitute, hungry, cold and angry before that will happen. Making the war in Ukraine progress too fast will prevent that from properly developing. Possibly in winter - when Russian forces have more of an advantage compared to Ukraine/NATO in coping with hostilities in extreme cold - might be a good time for a further escalation, but that will also depend on developments (especially political) in the west.

What is most urgently called for at the moment, in my opinion, is the immediate destruction (or suppression, but I think destruction is more appropriate at this stage to demonstrate a forceful response to massive breaching of red lines by NATO) of all GPS satellites used to target Russian forces, and other critical satellites on the battlefield. To those naive fools who say "not that, that is an act of war" - everything NATO is doing in Ukraine is already outright warfare, right the way up to active deployment of NATO personnel on a huge scale right there on the ground in Balakleya and Kupiansk shooting at Russian soldiers - you have to be blind not to recognise that. NATO is coy about it because they don't want to force Russia to escalate. Russia keeps largely quiet about it (but makes sure it remains visible!) because Russia controls escallation, greatly to her advantage. Maybe also shoot down high tech US surveillance drones - but probably Russia will choose not to do that just yet. Also possibly use of EM to disrupt and suppress high-tech surveillance aircraft circling just outside Ukrainian airspace - although that has a cost in revealing Russia's latest EM technology, so Russia would not use the latest EM technology at this stage.

Posted by: BM | Sep 11 2022 11:49 utc | 90

Is really DLPR & Russian army collapsing?
Or just as the last 6 months lacking of everything? That's a possibility but...
As Saker wrote

we are all observing the same thing: there is an ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE PSYOP operation being executed in support of the Kiev regime (and NATO and the Neocons). The Russian segment of Telegram is literally flooded with fake Russian channels all doing the same thing: trying as hard as can be to create a total panic.

I don't know why not a picture of Russians surrendering "en masse", pile of corpse in Russian uniforms, and burning armored vehicles likely Russians "according to Z" sign.
Beware of wet paint.

Some alternative understanding.

3rd Phase?

Russia is now “facing a NATO-style military force that is being logistically sustained by NATO, trained by NATO, provided with NATO intelligence, and working in harmony with NATO military planners.”
“The current Ukrainian counteroffensive should not be viewed as an extension of the phase two battle, but rather the initiation of a new third phase which is not a Ukrainian-Russian conflict, but a NATO-Russian conflict.”
https://www.presstv.co.uk/Detail/2022/09/10/688958/Former-US-Marine-Corps-intelligence-officer-calls-Ukraine-conflict-as-NATO-Russian-conflict

Patton's legacy?

I am not privy to the Russian plan. But what I do know is that the planning process required to deploy the troops and equipment moving into Kharkov was not a panicked response. Hollywood can create the illusion of rapid movement of military troops, but the real world requires alerting units, making sure they are properly supplied and then undertaking the logistic task of moving those units into combat. This means the planning was deliberate, not a crisis response.
https://sonar21.com/understanding-planning-orders-and-troop-movements-in-ukraine/ >

Classic SunTzu?

a whole range of measures was taken to mislead the enemy, an illusion was created that we had a weak defense in this direction
https://m-vz-ru.translate.goog/news/2022/9/10/1176889.html?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

What can we do?
We don't have to be hardliners keyboard warriors.
Yesterday, a young politician was questioned on French MSM TV.


What can we do to stop this war and rising prices on energy and food?
You can begin by not voting Macron...

Kind of Karlof1 quote:
We have to reduce the ability of the Empire to continue plundering.

Right now and where we are.
The front line is everywhere.


Posted by: La Bastille | Sep 11 2022 11:50 utc | 91

It’s a lot easier to hit armoured columns than entrenched troops.

Russia’s response is showing a glaring deficit of ability to strike mobile platforms, which does suggest they’re struggling with supplying smart armaments.

Posted by: Johnycomelately | Sep 11 2022 11:51 utc | 92

@Night Tripper #89, why is it surprising? Ukraine has the population of France on the eve of WW1. Only a small percentage of its fighting-age men have been mobilized, because in modern maneuver/mechanized warfare the limiting factor is equipment, especially for Ukraine which started with much less.

Based on photos it appears that Russia has evacuated from all of Kharkiv oblast. Thankfully that means Kharkiv city is safe from the indiscriminate conventional arty attacks it has faced for 7 months including with cluster munitions. Ukrainian arty will now be able to range a number of military targets in Belgorod region that were previously safe.

Posted by: Yenwoda | Sep 11 2022 11:51 utc | 93

Just in - Text The whole north of Kharkov region was abandoned, Volochansk was abandoned, the front is now the border itself between Russia and Ukraine, that means abandoning the border buffer zone between Russia and Ukraine in Kharkov Region.

In other words Russia in this region is at direct risk for attacks from Ukraine proper and the risk for Belgorod Region in Russia increases. Russian vulnerability to NATO blackmail via long range weapons increases too.

Thus what Martyanov and Larry Johnson say is massive wishful thinking and delusion, there is no "Battle of the Bulge", Russia continues to abandon large areas, including the border buffers. This is Kiev withdrawal 2.

The moment for Battle of the Bulge to happen was at the beginning of the Ukr offensive, when the ukrainians were in deep and narrow salient and a fire sack, now that moment is lost as they captured large areas giving themselves strategic depth and are no longer in a small surrounded fire bag.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 11 2022 11:52 utc | 94

"In the end the Soviet Union simply outproduced the German Reich and its allies in nearly everything - tanks, airplanes, cannons, ammunition, fuel, food and soldiers - which enabled its victory. (The much propagandized U.S. role in this was historically a mere sideshow.)"

I suggest you read Stalin's War instead of blithering about with this ignorant bullshit.

Posted by: Evan | Sep 11 2022 11:55 utc | 95

As someone said in the beginning of the Barbarrossa and now about Ukrainian offensive:

"Russian army retreats victoriously, Ukrainian army runs after them in panic"

The Ukrainians have been able to build a very big armored force with dozens of thousands of soldiers and hundreds of vehicles, very well equipped of all supplies (fuel, ammo, food, etc...) from many weeks in the nose of the almighty Russian Air and Missile Force unhindered...

Meanwhile the electricity, internet, phones, gas, bridges, trains, and so on are working in Ukraine as if there was any war at all; OK, well in fact there is no war, is merelly a SMO....

Kadyrov is right

Posted by: Dave | Sep 11 2022 11:59 utc | 96

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 11 2022 11:52 utc | 93


Just in - Text The whole north of Kharkov region was abandoned, Volochansk was abandoned, the front is now the border itself between Russia and Ukraine, that means abandoning the border buffer zone between Russia and Ukraine in Kharkov Region.
In other words Russia in this region is at direct risk for attacks from Ukraine proper and the risk for Belgorod Region in Russia increases.

This, in my opinion, is a clear indication of a planned strategy by the Russian MoD.

There is only one thing that happens when a NATO force rolls up to the border of Russia - all out annihilation.

Perhaps that was the intent all along ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Sep 11 2022 12:03 utc | 97

">>Truth is, none of the handful of off-broadway blogs prepared their readers for what just came around. Nobody seemed really to worry about thinly manned lines on a very long front. Nobody took the pain to see the things from Ukraine's or NATO's perspective.

I guess you never read Strelkov who predicted many of this. I remember him even in March when he predicted the retreat from Kiev. He also said (in March or April) that Donbass won't be taken any time soon, probably not in this year. Then he also said that there isn't much time, Ukr is reconstituting its army and will start significant counteroffensives by the end of the summer. He was consistently saying many times that the involved russian troops are too small for the task.

That does not mean that i was prepared for what happened, though. I remember i could not believe when he wrote that Ukr will regenerate and reequip its army and will be on the offensive later. Personally i thought that all those strikes in depth and the high number of casualties and destroyed equipment will not allow the regeneration of the ukrainian army.

But even if i was not believing him, i was keeping a close eye on him, because i noticed certain abnormalities with this operation, such as that many dual use objects, such as bridges and railways, were never taken out. As well as the decision making centers not touched. And supply rat lines rarely touched too, for example fuel trains directly coming into Ukraine and no one touching them.

To me, it looks there are some dirty deals behind all of this, probably NATO promising not to target and bomb Russia proper via Ukrainian proxies (with the exception of small attacks) in return of Russia not touching ukrainian infrastructure and decision making centers.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 11 2022 11:22 utc | 81"

Incredible Passer By ! These were exactly my thoughts at the time. I remember shaking my head at Strelkov. How could he imagine Ukraine assembling an army and attacking in depth, when they were so obviously destroyed, day after day ? To me it seemed ridiculous, the fantasies of an old crank and doomsayer.

Well here I am now, feeling absolutely ridiculed. Strelkov was absolutely right, and quite prescient at that. His credibility has shot up tremendously in my view.

The other thing I remember quite well from Strelkov was beginning of March, when he lamented at the failed attempt of the Russian forces to move past Ugledar. At the time he said that these mistakes would come back to haunt the Russians, and boy was he right.

Posted by: Micron | Sep 11 2022 12:03 utc | 98

Military expert explained the meaning of the regrouping of the RF Armed Forces in the Kharkiv direction.

During the implementation of the Russian special operation on Ukrainian territory, on September 11, the Russian Ministry of Defense informed the public about a large-scale regrouping of troops in the Kharkiv direction. An expert, TV commentator, member of the RARAN, retired captain of the first rank Konstantin Sivkov drew his attention to this. According to the expert, the command of the RF Armed Forces was aware of the preparation of the AFU counteroffensive in this area. In this regard, a whole range of various measures was carried out aimed at misleading the enemy. Near Balakleya, Izyum and other areas, the appearance of “weak defense” was specially created so that the Ukrainian army fell into a trap.

Therefore, now the troops are regrouping to destroy the grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which came to the areas of Balakleya and Izyum. It must be borne in mind that there are no fortified areas there, so the task of destroying the most combat-ready Ukrainian units will be solved quite successfully. This will take a few more days.

Sivkov drew attention to the fact that according to the report of the Russian Ministry of Defense, over 2 thousand Ukrainian servicemen, nationalist militants and foreign mercenaries, as well as more than 100 units of various types of heavy weapons, were destroyed over the past 3 days. He stressed that the RF Armed Forces are now faced with the main task of reducing the combat capability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, i.е. reducing their potential by eliminating personnel and various equipment so that the Ukrainian command does not have the strength and means to effectively conduct further military operations.

The expert added that during the interview with the Vzglyad newspaperthat the implementation of distracting maneuvers was needed by the RF Armed Forces to “pull out” the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the fortified areas, where they were well dug in. He pointed out that if the Ukrainian troops remained in Slavyansk or Kramatorsk, and did not head north, then the Russian army and its allies from the DPR and LPR would have to fight hard to “pick out” them from there for the capture of these cities.

And now it (the grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine) is in full view. Therefore, a whole range of measures was taken to mislead the enemy, an illusion was created that we had a weak defense in this direction and allegedly there was no information about the preparation of an offensive. The enemy was misled about the location and actions of our troops

summed up the expert.

Posted by: expert explained | Sep 11 2022 12:08 utc | 99

Reposting due to pathetic spelling mistakes I’ve made

What I don’t understand is leaving a bunch of hardware behind, like it’s nothing. The hardware they supposedly ran out of 5 times since February. Hardware that gets into hostile hands. Unless this i some kind of strategy I don’t understand, this is pretty much an admission of a defeat by Russia. And a pathetic one at that. Pathetic on every level. But something tells me, Putin wouldn’t let it happen like this. The entire word would laugh at for him for eternity. This will be his legacy. Heh wont let it happen. Big bad Russia lost a war with small “democratic Ukraine”! There will be endless stream of movies where he will be played by an angry midget where he willl be thrown in jail and executed. This defeat also signals to the West that Crimea is fair game to anyone with a bigger stick, since Putin got exposed as a paper tiger. Russia will lose Crimea along with the entire Black Sea Navy fleet, facilities and perhaps some warheads.

I am secretly hoping it’s a bluff and genius one at that. Russia trolls the entire West by re-enacting US withdrawal from Afghanistan. That would be fucking awesome. Look like their tails between their legs, abandon a bunch of hardware, aski taliban to let them exit and leave behind thousands American citizens facing death. Russians are not Americans. They would not abandon their toys u less they are coming back to grab them a few days later.

I don’t think Russians will just run like that. Too much pride. I hope the plan is to regroup, rotate personnel and roll back in with more people, more hardware. Catch Ukrainians with their pants down Circejerking about how cool they are. Get them all from every direction into a giant cauldron. I only hope.

Posted by: Nigerian Prince | Sep 11 2022 12:11 utc | 100

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