Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 14, 2022

The Kharkov Counterattack - No Big Success - No Large Defeat

The 'western' media are euphoric about the 'successful' Ukrainian counterattack in Kharkov oblast.

Ukrainian forces retake key villages as counteroffensive advances writes the Washington Post. How Ukraine Gained Momentum Against Russia and Took a Critical Hub says the New York Times. WaPo again: Intelligence points to potential turning point in Ukraine war. Ukraine News: In Reclaimed Towns, Ukrainians Recount a Frantic Russian Retreat, headlines the NYT. Is Russia on the run? asks the Economist.

All have fallen for the belief that the Ukrainian rapid advance has caused a Russian defeat. That however is not the case.

The main Russian forces had already left the area. What was left were sentry guards of the Luhansk People's Republic and a few companies of the Russian National Guard which is more or less a police force. That is why the 'western' official talking with Reuters is quite cautious with his assessment:

"There's an ongoing debate about the nature of the Russian drawdown, however it's likely that in strict military terms, this was a withdrawal, ordered and sanctioned by the general staff, rather than an outright collapse."
...
"Obviously, it looks really dramatic. It's a vast area of land. But we have to factor in the Russians have made some good decisions in terms of shortening their lines and making them more defensible, and sacrificing territory in order to do so," the official said, adding he did not expect Russia to immediately seek to regain lost territory.

The main Russian reason for holding onto Izium southeast of Kharkov was to use it as a springboard to attack Sloviansk and Kramatorsk along the M-03 highway. However over the last months several Russian attempts to cross the Siverski Donets river south and east of Izium and to establish a bridgehead on the southern side had failed.

Situation at the end of August with Izium in the upper left corner

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The Ukrainians were well established in the 'Sherwood Forest' on the southern side and had defeated all attempts to push a larger Russian forces into the area. (According to Yves Smith Alexander Mercouris had made that point and predicted a Russian withdrawal from Izium in one of his shows before the Kharkov 'counteroffensive' started.) I myself had missed that point.

The region, which is sparsely populated (Izium had a pre-war population of some 40,000), has little additional value. Russian forces that had been there shortly after the war began had been pulled out over time to rotate into other areas.

According Colonel Markus Reisner from the Austrian military the Ukraine used six full brigades (vid) in its attack. If Russian Defense Ministry numbers are halfway right the Ukrainian forces lost some 4,000+ soldiers, nearly two brigades, in the attack. These were troops that ran into areas that the Russian artillery had pre-registered. They received barrage after barrage and were destroyed.

The Russian air force caused additional damage. Hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles the 'west' had delivered to Ukraine were destroyed. Talk of large Russian material losses and of thousands of Russians taken prisoners of war are nonsense.

One Washington Post piece today cites a partisan 'open source' organization about the losses:

According to preliminary estimates from Jakub Janovsky, a military analyst and contributor to the Oryx blog tally of equipment losses, Russia lost 40 tanks, 50 infantry vehicles, 35 armored vehicles and two jets.

However other Washington Post journalists looked at the evidence:

The equipment left behind in the video amounts to about a tank company, Hodges said, which is typically outfitted with about 10 or 11 tanks.
...
Another video, taken along a street in central Izyum, shows a marooned 2S19 Msta self-powered howitzer. The system does not have obvious signs of being disabled.

Other pictures taken in Izyum show heavier damage to Russian military equipment, indicating they were hit in battle. One armored vehicle can be seen at a gas station in the city with bullet holes, burn marks and deflated tires.

Ukrainian forces published a video showing the husk of a TOS-1A, a multiple-rocket launcher, using its nickname “Solntsepyok.”

Given the huge areas that does not sound like large losses. British 'intelligence' claims that the 1st Guards Tank Army was destroyed in the attack are ludicrous. The 1st Guard has the equivalent of about 20 brigades with some hundred tanks and armored vehicles in each. Its units were not even in the area when the attack happened.

As Larry Johnson has laid out, planning for a withdrawal from a large area takes time. The Russian decision to let go of the Kharkov region must have been made before the Ukrainian counterattack was launched. That it was coming was known. Since mid of August the deployment map by Military Land showed strong tank formations south and west of the Izium area. The Russians had reported attacks on those and other units on a daily base. Dima of the Military Summary channel had mentioned them several times.

When the counterattack happened the Russian forces pulled back to the eastern side of the Oskol river and are now protected by it. At the southern end, near Lyman, the Siverski Donets river is used to cover the Russian forces. These are strong positions, hard to attack, that can be held by a limited force.

Current situation:

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I had expected that Russia would draw in the attacking Ukrainian forces to then cut them off. But it did not had the forces, or interest, to do so now. It had instead ordered a withdrawal. The use of artillery and air force to attack the Ukrainian forces while they were still on the roads, attacking an enemy that was no longer there, has proved to be the right decision.

Colonel Reisner, linked above, says the first 'counteroffensive' in the south against Kherson was a major failure that has cost many Ukrainian lives. Another military professional, Lt.Col.(ret) Daniel Davis agrees:

When Putin prioritized the capture of the Donbas as his primary objective, the Kremlin conducted what’s known as “economy of force” missions in the north around Kharkiv and in the south near Kherson. The intent of the Russian missions in the north and south was to use as few troops as possible to keep the UAF tied up so that they could not move more troops to the Donbas to resist Russia’s offensive there. Russia then thinned its defenses even more in late August to deploy more troops to defend against the known offensive about to start near Kherson.
...
The additional Russian troops in Kherson appear to have helped Moscow’s forces inflict grievous casualties on the Ukrainian attackers in the Kherson region but fatally weakened Russian defenses in the Kharkiv region.

When the Ukrainian troops shocked the Russian defenders at the start of the Kharkiv offensive, the Russians began to surrender territory quickly. They not only had few troops left in the area, but those troops were mainly volunteers. Moscow began frantically sending reinforcements to try and stem the tide, but Ukraine advanced faster than Russia could get reinforcements in place. The Russian leadership was faced with a conundrum: order its troops to contest every meter of territory in an attempt to buy time for reinforcements to arrive, or evacuate the area and preserve its manpower for future fights.

They chose the latter. Russia not only surrendered Izyum without a fight but later evacuated nearly the whole of the territory they occupied north of Kharkiv all the way to the Russian border, up to 3,000 total square kilometers back under Ukrainian control. Many in the West are hailing this move as proving Ukraine is well on its way to winning the war and might even result in the downfall of Vladimir Putin. A little context might be helpful before making such sweeping judgments.

Daniel Davis says that "Moscow began frantically sending reinforcements to try and stem the tide". He must refer to the video, released by the Russians, that showed armored air-mobile forces landing in huge Mi-26 helicopters. But Colonel Reisner says that those helicopters landed east of the Oskol river. The troops they carried never went into battle in the Kharkov region. The helicopter video was a deception as there was nothing left in the Kharkov region to reinforce.

Davis concludes:

Ukraine has likely expended the majority of its striking power in these twin offensives, suffered many casualties, and will require considerable replenishment and replacements before being able to go much further (there are reports that a smaller Ukrainian attack may be in the offing for Ugledar [southwest of Donetsk] but as of this writing none has materialized).

I also still expect another Ukrainian attack in southern Donbas region. But the Russian forces there were reportedly reinforced by the new 3rd Russian corps. Those are some 30-50,000 Russian veterans called up to form a new formation. They will likely be able to withstand anything the Ukraine can throw against them.

Adding:

Yves just published a writeup on the more political side of things. Scholz continues to be one of the dimmest guys in this game:

Olaf Scholz and Vladimir Putin Talk Past Each Other as Ukraine Pushes for Formalizing Ukraine’s NATO Lite Status

Posted by b on September 14, 2022 at 14:13 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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This is a much more reasoned assessment of the situation than that which coughed up by many commentors in the west

Emphasis on the surrounding political economic and social context is important, especially to counter narrow minded and hysterical westie propogranda and trolling which has overwhelmed numerous blogs and comment sections

Focus now should be less on the battlefield and more on the SCO meeting upcoming

Posted by: Gerrard White | Sep 14 2022 14:22 utc | 1

Brian Berletic at New Atlas had a vid update that has thinking in parallel with b:
Ukraine's Offensives: Tactical Victories Can Contribute to Strategic Defeat
Update for Russian military operations in Ukraine for September 12, 2022
- Ukraine has committed what is left of its best troops and equipment to multiple and expensive offensives - both around Kherson and in Kharkov, and rumors of offensives being prepared elsewhere;
- The Kherson offensive has failed, costing Ukraine multiple brigades’ worth of men and equipment with little territorial gain;
- The Kharkov offensive has cost Ukraine a large amount of men and equipment with significant territorial gains but failed to eliminate the Russian forces holding the region;
- Russia’s decision to withdraw from Kharkov conserves men and equipment for fighting later on and to be determined on Russian terms;
- There will be a significant strategic cost for Ukraine’s tactical gains - some of which are already being paid along the line of contact where Ukrainian lines have been weakened as Kiev cobbled together these offensive forces;
- There are significant parallels between this Ukrainian push and Germany’s Ardennes Offensive in 1944;
- Russia is targeting Ukrainian infrastructure including communication towers and power plants for the first time amid its military operations, signalling a possible escalation;

And he uploaded this an hour ago:
Escalate or Grind On? Russian Ops in Ukraine Update for September 14, 2022
Update for Russian military operations in Ukraine for September 14, 2022
- Ukraine’s recent offensive in Kherson remains stalled;
- Ukraine’s advance into Kharkov took place with an absence of Russian forces present;
- Ukraine’s offensive in Kharkov has slowed down as Ukrainian forces meet larger concentrations of Russian and local militia forces;
- Russia hitting Ukrainian electrical infrastructure may signal an escalation beyond its special military operation;
- Ukraine may still launch yet another offensive operation, but likely toward directions with significantly more Russian troops than Kharkov;
- Rumors persist that Russia is receiving drones from Iran and artillery shells and rockets from North Korea - if true it would enable Russia to either increase the intensity of their operation in Ukraine, or extend it for a longer duration;

Posted by: Melaleuca | Sep 14 2022 14:25 utc | 2

More videos of English speaking American accented soldiers in Izyum emerge. Go over to Telegram and watch.

The sole virtue these soldiers have is they are fresh. Well rested and not yet blooded. These are not Rambo or Soldier of Fortune types. Basic American hicks. Those not already dead will be ready to come home following their excellent adventure.
They do look healthier than most enlisted types. There are not large numbers of these yahoos available. Repeat performances will be harder to cast.

Posted by: oldhippie | Sep 14 2022 14:26 utc | 3

Boy, MoA is becoming like zerohedge in terms of the number of comments lately!

I stay away when the comments go over 200.

Words of warning from the unplugged Dmitry Medvedev:

The Kyiv camarilla gave birth to a project of "security guarantees", which in fact are a prologue to the third world war. Of course, no one will give any "guarantees" to the Ukrainian Nazis. After all, this is almost the same as applying Art. 5 of the North Atlantic Pact (Washington Treaty). For NATO - the same 💩, only a side view. Therefore, it's scary.

Our sworn friends - Western bosses of various calibers, to whom this hysterical appeal is addressed - must finally understand one simple thing. It directly concerns NATO's hybrid war with Russia. If these half-wits continue the unrestrained pumping of the Kyiv regime with the most dangerous types of weapons, then sooner or later the military campaign will move to another level. Visible boundaries and potential predictability of the actions of the parties to the conflict will disappear from it. She will follow her own military scenario, involving new participants in it. It has always been so.

And then the Western countries will not be able to sit in their clean houses and apartments, laughing at how they carefully weaken Russia by proxy. Everything flares up around them. Their people grab grief in full. They will literally burn the earth and melt concrete. We will also get a lot. Everyone will be very, very bad. After all, it is said: “From these three plagues, from fire, smoke and brimstone that went out of their mouths, a third part of the people died” (Rev. 9:18).

But while the narrow-minded politicians and their stupid think tanks, thoughtfully twirling a glass of wine in their hands, talk about how they can deal with us without entering into a direct war. Dull idiots with a classical education.

Posted by: Sam Smith | Sep 14 2022 14:29 utc | 4

"All have fallen for the believe that the Ukrainian rapid advance has caused a Russian defeat. That however is not the case."

So far as I can tell they're still advancing, and we now know for a fact Russia does not have air supremacy.

"The main Russian forces had already left the area. What was left were sentry guards of the Luhansk People's Republic and a few companies of the Russian National Guard which is more or less a police force."

Heckuva job.

I must repeat that even if they did evacuate civilians as they withdrew, something only alleged so far, it's telling how callous the cheerleaders are about people being forced upon threat of torture and death to flee their homes at probably moment's notice by "liberators" who had promised they were there for good.

I'd like to see that happen to the Putinbots. Maybe they'd learn something about the implications of their totally un-responsible blathering.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | Sep 14 2022 14:30 utc | 5

In just a few days time the RF forces with a minor setback in territory managed to:
1. Reduce the size of the battle field from thousands to hundreds of kilometers.
2. "Incentivise" the Ukrainian army to mass mobilize and locate all major forces on one hot spot.
3. Mass accumulation of all western provided equipment and mercenaries at one spot.
4. Next steps -> RF attack, destroy enemy...
5. Back to war of attrition.

Wether this was intentional or not...I dont know, but it sure is an opportunity.

Posted by: ForWhomTheBellTolls | Sep 14 2022 14:30 utc | 6

I think Russia is completely rethinking its war strategy in toto. The invasion itself was a gamble, if not an outright mistake (not to mention technically illegal in diplomatic parlance). Russia must defend Mariupol and key strategic areas in Donbas. Beyond which lie Crimea and, of course, oppositely Russia proper. Ukrainian incursion into Donbas and attempts to retake Mariupol (gateway to Crimea) change the nature of the war, into essentially a defensive war for Russia. The dynamic thus becomes entirely different, almost diametric (perhaps what it should have all along). Russia can thus philosophically, ethically, strategically take its gloves off in defense of its essential national interest.

Posted by: MallardB | Sep 14 2022 14:30 utc | 7

thanks b...i value the view from outside the propaganda press of the west.... since we are not their, it is impossible to know, but this sounds more realistic...

Posted by: james | Sep 14 2022 14:31 utc | 8

⚡️ Russian Defence Ministry report on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine (September 14, 2022)

◽️ Russian Aerospace Forces, missile troops and artillery launch massive fire attacks at the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) at all operational directions.

💥 8 Ukrainian tanks, 13 infantry combat vehicles, 11 other armoured vehicles and over 150 Ukrainian servicemen have been eliminated within unsuccessful offensive of the 24th, 28th mechanised, 46th Airmobile and 60th Infantry brigades of the AFU near Mirnoye, Sukhoi Stavok, Belogorka, Bruskinskoye, Olgino (Kherson region) and Ternoviye Pody (Nikolayev region) at the Nikolayev-Krivoy Rog direction.

💥 High-precision attacks launched by Russian aviation at the temporary deployment points of the 53rd, 54th and 110th Mechanised brigades, 128th Territorial Defence Brigade and 68th Infantry Brigade of the AFU near Seversk, Verkhnekamenskoye, Nikolskoye, Avdeyevka, Novokalinovo, Petrovskoye, Novosyolka and Vremevka (Donetsk People's Republic) have resulted in the elimination of up to 250 Ukrainian servicemen and over 20 units of military equipment.

💥 The positions of the 65th Mechanised and 68th Chaser Infantry brigades near Novosyolovka and Dobropolye (Zaporozhye region), up to 70 Ukrainian servicemen and 5 units of military equipment have been eliminated as a result of high-precision strikes of the Russian Air Force.

💥 Massive fire attacks have been launched at the manpower and military equipment of the 14th and 93rd mechanised brigades of the AFU near Dvurechnaya, Balakleya and Kupyansk (Kharkov region). The enemy has lost up to 150 Ukrainian servicemen and over 10 units of military equipment.

💥 Сombat and temporary deployment positions of the 25th Airborne Brigade, 9th National Guard Regiment, 56th and 61st mechanised infantry brigades of the AFU, 103rd Territorial Defenсe Brigade, Kraken national group near Zoryanoye, Nikolayevka, Krivaya Luka and Ray-Aleksandrovka (Donetsk People's Republic), Kamyshevakha (Zaporozhye region) and Ternovka (Nikolayev region) have been struck by operational-tactical aviation, missile troops and artillery.

💥 4 missile, artillery armament and munitions depots near Seversk and Raigorodok (Donetsk People's Republic) and the cities of Kharkov and Izyum (Kharkov region) have been destroyed.

💥 1 Ukrainian combat vehicle for Uragan MRLS has been destroyed near Krasny Liman (Donetsk People's Republic).

💥 1 U.S.-manufactured counter-battery interception radar (AN/TPQ-64) and 1 radar for illumination and guidance of Ukrainian S-300 air defence missile system near Lepetikha and Lozovoye (Nikolayev region) have been destroyed.

💥 1 Mi-8 helicopter with a sabotage and reconnaissance group on board near the Kinburn logjam (Kherson region) has been destroyed by fighter aviation of the Russian Air Force.

💥 4 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Maksim Gorky, Ukrainka (Kherson region) and Svetloye (Zaporozhye region), as well as 1 Tochka-U ballistic missile near Aleksandrovka (Kherson region) have been shot down by air defence means.

💥 In addition, 33 shells of MRLS, including 7 projectiles launched by Olkha systems have been intercepted near Kiselyovka, Burgunki (Kherson region) and Donetsk, as well as 26 launched by HIMARS near Musikovka, Novaya Kakhovka, Vesyoloye, Rakovka, Tomarino, Kakhovka hydroelectric plant, Antonovka bridge (Kherson region) and Staromlinovka (Donetsk People's Republic).

📊 In total, 293 airplanes and 155 helicopters, 1,948 unmanned aerial vehicles, 374 air defence missile systems, 4,921 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 835 combat vehicles equipped with MRLS, 3,386 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 5,552 units of special military equipment have been destroyed during the special military operation.

Posted by: rumodreport | Sep 14 2022 14:34 utc | 9

I must repeat that even if they did evacuate civilians as they withdrew, something only alleged so far, it's telling how callous the cheerleaders are about people being forced upon threat of torture and death to flee their homes at probably moment's notice by "liberators" who had promised they were there for good.

and who is threatening the "torture and death". oh yeah the nazis. Russia loses a battle, it hasn't lost the war. people who claim it has are nazi apologists.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 14 2022 14:34 utc | 10

We are in a *very* interesting time to be alive. This situation will shape the course of humanity.

Posted by: chunga | Sep 14 2022 14:34 utc | 11

Yes. The Russians withdrew in good order saving their troops but this does show they are undermanned.

1. If Russia had sufficient forces, this was a golden opportunity to inflict a massive loss on Ukraine as they advanced and were out in the open. The fact that they were enable to do this shows they under-budgeted for this operation.

2. While Ukraine only managed to kill / capture very few Russian troops they did capture Russian supplices including operational tanks. I don't think the Russians had enough drivers to move all of their tanks out. It looks like Russia is stockpiling weapons in multiple locations and shifting a relatively small force around as needed.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Sep 14 2022 14:34 utc | 12

"FOREIGN MERCENARIES REPORTEDLY SHOOTING CIVILIANS TO BLAME RUSSIANS IN KHARKOV",
https://southfront.org/mercenaries-reportedly-shooting-civilians-to-blame-russians-in-kharkov/

Posted by: Hannibal | Sep 14 2022 14:37 utc | 13

I suppose it's a question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did the Russians decide to withdraw when they realised the Ukrainians were planning an attack, or did the Ukrainians plan to attack when they realised the Russians were starting to withdraw? It's a moot point.

Ultimately, from Russia's perspective, what's important is where they go from here.

Ukraine is lost. It doesn't want to be saved. Despite Putin's early pleas to the Ukrainian military to stay home, and the ample opportunity given to people from Kharkiv to Odessa to rise up against the Ukrainian regime, it hasn't happened. This isn't because the US has been flooding the country with weapons. It is simply a fundamental rejection by millions of Ukrainians of Russia's position. And based on the present situation on the ground, Ukraine has absolutely no incentive to negotiate.

So even if Russia is successful in liberating the LPR and DPR, what good is this if the remainder of Ukraine hates Russia and is hell-bent on joining NATO? No LPR and No DPR? No problem. NATO strike weapons can be positioned in Kiev instead. We are not witnessing the collapse of the like last seen in Yugoslavia which NATO has turned into a geo-political gold mine. Instead, Russia will be left with two bombed-out shell countries and both strategically irrelevant.

Ukraine's backers have effectively assured them that they will never be demilitarised. It might be a financial drain but the strategic win is priceless. And denazification? For every Right Sector fanboy left dead in a ditch on the front line, two more sign up for service, motivated by the sacrifice of their Right Sector and Azov brethren

The premise of the SMO was that this was to be a short sharp intervention; regime change. This failed to materialise. Confronted with the loss of territory in the South and East, Ukraine was then supposed to negotiate to retain its sovereignty. This failed to materialise. Their tails are up and Ukraine has chosen to never give up and to never surrender. Russia has no answer to this.

B, I am reminded of the piece you wrote back in February – “Russia Is Pressing For More Concessions While Donbas Heats Up”. Here you quoted Dimitri Orlof, who wrote in April 2021

“[W]e have to pay careful attention to the official pronouncements Putin has made over the years, and to take them as face value. First, he said that Russia does not need any more territory; it has all the land it could ever want. Second, he said that Russia will follow the path of maximum liberalization in granting citizenship to compatriots and that, in turn, the well-being of Russia’s citizens is a top priority. Third, he said that resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine through military means is unacceptable. Given these constraints, what courses of action remain open?
The answer, I believe, is obvious: evacuation. There are around 3.2 million residents in Donetsk People’s Republic and 1.4 million in Lugansk People’s Republic, for a total of some 4.6 million residents. This may seem like a huge number, but it’s moderate by the scale of World War II evacuations. Keep in mind that Russia has already absorbed over a million Ukrainian migrants and refugees without much of a problem. Also, Russia is currently experiencing a major labor shortage, and an infusion of able-bodied Russians would be most welcome.
...
Domestically, the evacuation would likely be quite popular: Russia is doing right by its own people by pulling them out of harm’s way. The patriotic base would be energized and the already very active Russian volunteer movement would swing into action to assist the Emergencies Ministry in helping move and resettle the evacuees.”

Putin was correct here in observing that resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine through military means is unacceptable. War is an unacceptable form of conflict resolution if neither side is prepared to surrender on the battlefield.

And so I am also reminded of Putin’s Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly in January 2020 where he said


"Each step we take and each new law or government programme we adopt must be scrutinised from the viewpoint of our top national priority – the preservation and increase of Russia’s population.

Those who want to be saved have fled. The UNHCR states that a staggering 2.5 million Ukrainians have crossed into Russia since February. Targeting critical infrastructure around Kharkiv and in the South (rather than Kiev and Lviv?!), just as the Russians did a few nights ago, will send the last of those still holding out to flee.

So what is left?


Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 14 2022 14:39 utc | 14

Ritter has an interesting view
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_KB3MlgP-s

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 14 2022 14:42 utc | 15

Eastern Kharkov did not fall because it was only defended by a small number of LPR forces. It fell because Russia did not have the reserves allocated and ready to move in to the area.

Russia practices deep defense. The front line is just a tripwire. The real firepower is in the rear, outside the range of Ukrainian artillery.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 14 2022 14:42 utc | 16

The second front is certainly in play…. And this episode is reminiscent of 2014 “maiden” tactics, where CIA stooges fired on and killed protesters and police, causing both sides to retaliate on each other…
ASB Military News
Azerbaijan has fired on the building of Russian FSB in Armenia. The building is riddled with bullet holes.
Azerbaijani MOD quickly denied it. Armenians say they have clear evidence.
ASB Military News:
Azerbaijan reiterates that their forces did not fire at Russian FSB.
So who did? Armenians? Armenians fired at their own border guards? Logic ??
Absolutely Maiden tactics….
https://t.me/s/asbmil

Posted by: Melaleuca | Sep 14 2022 14:45 utc | 17

winter is coming. that's going to put the squeeze on NATO and expose cracks in the alliance. meanwhile Russia is training more volunteers and China is improving its navy. this is one battle in what may well be a long war. what's left is the main act.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 14 2022 14:47 utc | 18

It's hard to know who to believe and how to really evaluate the situation. I don't doubt that Ukrainian, US and EU media accounts are exaggerated. That said, what the Russians are claiming sounds to me like spin. At a minimum, Russia has handed Ukraine and NATO a major propaganda victory. Ukrainian, US and EU sources claim Russian troops are demoralized. Whether that is true or no, I have no way to know.

Posted by: Chip Poirot | Sep 14 2022 14:48 utc | 19

To recurring “trolls”, keep taking the paycheck but “quiet quit” — do your job poorly — while working towards something positive in your life. In your spare time, learn a trade and more skills to help you transition to a business (maybe your own) that actually helps your friends, family, neighbors, community, or country rather than hurts or kills innocent people in foreign lands.

NATOstan has been destabilizing and bombing the rest of the world for two generations, while robbing its citizens via taxes and unaudited money-printing. It must be disbanded. You don’t want to be a part of that. Do you?

Posted by: dfg | Sep 14 2022 14:49 utc | 20

Hard defence of Kherson and a crumple zone in Kharkov. To be honest it seems the russians are happy to have conflict in Ukraine as a point of friction justifying/enabling the strategic economic war against the west. I don't think they are actually looking for a quick military victory. Bit cynical though.

Posted by: Adamski | Sep 14 2022 14:50 utc | 21

I think it's just a matter of time until Nato pilots posing as Ukrainian ones begin sorties over the frontlines, Nato bigwigs must know that Russian air superiority, is, and will continue to be a major hinderance for ground attacking forces, that in my opinion also contains Nato troops posing as Ukrainian forces or mercenaries.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Sep 14 2022 14:50 utc | 22


Killing three birds with one stone (or a proxy war):
The weakening, destroying Germany, the EU and Russia's economies resulting in the removal of some "industrial competition" from the global theater could greatly benefit the US/UK.

Posted by: Hannibal | Sep 14 2022 14:50 utc | 23

Notably, @Pat Bateman | Sep 14 2022 14:39 utc | 13 is a commenter that has never (??Probably Never? Almost certainly never....) appeared here before.

And yet here he (she? SATNL skits aren't ignored, here) is pretending to know what Putin "knows", and what Putin "plans", and what Putin "controls."

Nobody here, on the Western/European/Euramerican side of things has even the slightest inkling of what "Putin"/"The Russians"/"Eurasians"/"Americans" are actually thinking.

Europe is fractured; Central-and-South America are "fractured" (if one wishes to portray a leftist-leaning, tribal-affiliating politic as "fractured"); South America's leftist throngs are awakened; Central America's throngs are...stirred.

And let us not pretend as if Cuba--of the 195/60s was not the originating force.

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Sep 14 2022 14:51 utc | 24

In fact, Kherson and Kharkiv show for the first time in this war that the Russian Air Force knows how to operate in broad daylight across large swaths of Ukraine with complete impunity. Where were all the stingers?

Posted by: Cesare | Sep 14 2022 14:54 utc | 25

Posted by: MallardB | Sep 14 2022 14:30 utc | 6
"The invasion itself was ... technically illegal in diplomatic parlance"

No, it wasn't. Unless, of course, you accept that NATO/US is similarly an illegal actor. In what respect is the defence of Donetsk and Luhansk less 'legal' than US invasion of Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and rather a large number of other countries? Defence of endangered independent states under a mutual aid agreement is recognised by the UN charter.

Posted by: TPaine | Sep 14 2022 14:54 utc | 26

So, those articles I’ve seen in the Western press suggesting Zelensky is on his way to the gates of Moscow are over optimistic?

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored | Sep 14 2022 14:55 utc | 27

There is one factor that will push the Ikis and NATO to attack and that is time. As long as the MSM can keep the attention span of their clients focused, then alternative viewpoints (such as the Kharhov advance was against smaller force than expected) will not be heard. They can only do this for a limited period, so to keep the "winning" winning, more has to come.

One of the theories and b's idea is that Donetsk will be the target. There are several who follow this. The second idea is that the attack will be towards Zaporhizhia ZNPP, There are couple of posts at the end of the last thread pointing to a "massive" Ukie build-up somewhere around there.

I think the second is possibly more correct.

A Russian major counter-attaack can be expected once the reserves arrive and the Ukrainians lose a few more men. This could (ie provisional idea) be a push on Nikolaeva, Odessa, or secondly, the crossings at Dniepro or Zaporhizhizia (The town and dam) Which could be used to supply the Northern/western front of the Kherson Oblast, north of the Dniepr.
***

The Ukies want to split the Russians (via Mariupol,) or by reaching the coast, The Russians may now enlarge not only the means of action but the area to cut them in two along the Dniepr as far as they can go.
***

PS.
With the SCO and an advancing winter snowman, plus the rain has already made an appearance, I suggest the 23-24 september for some arcane reason. (There is scheduled a massive three-sunspot CME for those dates as well. CME's would cut/blow-up electronic communications if they happen. It all depends if the sun is feeling spotty.

Apologies in advance for the vagueness of some of my spelling of towns. It depends whose map I have open at the time of writing !

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 14 2022 15:09 utc | 28

"It remains to be seen if Putin and Lavrov will give up Russian sovereignty in order to be part of the West. That is the only condition that can open Western membership to Russia. Russia, like all of Europe and the UK, must accept Washington’s hegemony."
Again, Putin could have ended this very quickly 6 months ago with a decisive steamroller.
Now they have encouraged NATO/Washington on further escalation, Finland and Sweden on joining NATO, and given the opportunity to the pentagon o start fires around Russia in Armenia, Tajikistan, etc.

Posted by: J | Sep 14 2022 15:10 utc | 29

So even if Russia is successful in liberating the LPR and DPR, what good is this if the remainder of Ukraine hates Russia and is hell-bent on joining NATO?

Ukraine's backers have effectively assured them that they will never be demilitarised.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 14 2022 14:39

But that is exactly what Russia needed to happen. What if the goal of Russia is, at first, to lose this SMO? The second target was to cut off Europe from its energy source, so as to plant the seeds of the revolution which will soon be unleashed. Everything Russia does is in regard to its primary objective, the revolution.

Posted by: Sandokhan | Sep 14 2022 15:11 utc | 30

"The real world is based on power, and Russia’s delusional restraint on the use of its power has left Russia at extreme disadvantage. With Russia perceived in the West as weak and indecisive, Washington will push until Putin has no alternative but Russia’s surrender or nuclear war."

Posted by: J | Sep 14 2022 15:11 utc | 31

@Pacifica_Advocate @23

Pat Bateman has regularly posted at MoA since October 2012.

You appeared here the first time in March 2018.

As you are the newbie you probably shut up.

Posted by: b | Sep 14 2022 15:11 utc | 32

The daily clobber list posted by ; Posted by: rumodreport | Sep 14 2022 14:34 utc | 8

Shows 18 Kiev/NATO brigades hit - that’s an enormous number compared to the past few weeks. This suggests ( but does not confirm ) that the Allies may have sucked NATO into a trap.

TBD

Posted by: Exile | Sep 14 2022 15:14 utc | 33

Neither success nor failure but stupidity on a baffling scale.

First, NATO has made its move and this is now a NATO war. That all those "experts" and "analysts" still speak of "ukrainian forces" only shows they are incapable of learning and will push their false narrative till the end. Of course NATO never officially went in, declared war or even acknowledges they are engaged now. That means no negotiations, forget about international law or the "rules based order". This is the wild west playing out in the Donbass.

Second, those tanks and AV's that were lost will not be replaced, because NATO quite simply is running out of wespons and ammo.That all those "experts" and "analysts" still have not noticed this can best be explained with a quote by Maria Zacharove: The western analysts and experts have an amazing ability: They see what is not there but do not see what is there. It's just amazing.

And that will be the endgame of the SMO: NATO's eastern division, which the "experts" and "analysts" still call the "ukrainian armed forces" will simply run out of everything. And that point is approaching fast. The two "offensives" have made sure it will happen fast now.

This is not success or failure, it's stupidity on a baffling scale.

Posted by: Franz Beckenbauer | Sep 14 2022 15:21 utc | 34

Good to see that everyone is calmer now. The Russian General Staff are clearly very professional and take sensible decisions to preserve the lives of their own soldiers whilst still meeting their objectives. On the other hand, the west and the paid for Ukrainian elites seem to care not how many Ukrainians die just to create some short term propaganda.

Posted by: Stephen | Sep 14 2022 15:23 utc | 35

I remain of the view that the west wants a big war and will get it one way or the other.

The western powers may become increasingly desperate since they want Putin to declare it.

But listening to the stupid one (van der leyen) is very painfull. It is obvious that europes economy will collapse long before russias. There comes a day when they will have to escalate themselves, when they wanna keep the illusion.

Unfortunately the european public is totally brainwashed. Sorry to use the term, i dont like it, but i dont know how to describe it.

Posted by: Orgel | Sep 14 2022 15:24 utc | 36

One may think that Scholz is simply a dimwit. But then, remember Truss said that she was not afraid to push the button.
Putin is looking at an Anglosphere that is saying that it has NO Plan B, no fall-back option.
Putin is hoping that a voice of sanity appears somewhere in the west, or it leaves him no choice but to begin making plans for WW III.
for winning WW III that is.

Posted by: Gerald | Sep 14 2022 15:24 utc | 37

The collapse of the entire Kharkov front in such a short time is very suspicious. If I was a military general, I'd be concerned about how quick it fell. Is it a trap? If anything, Ukraine's now committed the bulk of their most capable fighting force in that area. Winter is approaching and the rivers are swelling up. Once the bridges behind them are blown up, they'll be in real real crap. This was is far from over.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 14 2022 15:25 utc | 38

Re: Pat Bateman’s post (#13):

Very good point re demographic trends.

Posted by: Ciaran | Sep 14 2022 15:32 utc | 39

There's a lot of white noise about all this. Was it a Russian strategy, was it a military failure, were they caught off guard? Meh. If anyone, even for a second thinks Russia didn't see this coming then I have some some great farm land in the Sahara to sell ya. They launched the SMO first because they knew Ukraine was getting prepared to launch a major attack on liberated areas. Russia knows what Ukraine is going to do and when they're going to do it.

The trolls have been out in full force as of late and are easily identified. I do not respond to them and will not try to counter their comments. Most are probably paid and some most likely just want to stir the pot.

My own opinion is Russia has a plan, they won't stop or negotiate until they have fulfilled that plan. They're giving the ukraine and msm a bit of hope then snatch it away. Plus winter is coming so why not drag it on longer? The EU is already hurting from all the sanctions and such. The more Russia toys with these guys, the more it's going to hurt the EU and the rest of the west. Very interesting times.

Keep up the great work b!!

Posted by: Watzov | Sep 14 2022 15:35 utc | 40

If only people had listened to Larry Johnson and Andrei Matyuanov a vast amount of panic and misunderstanding would have been avoided. They have written article after article explaining what was happening but very very few people listened.

The best analysis I've read about this entire SMO comes from Martyanpv as he spent 30 years in the Russian military so he understands the mindset and thinking better than any western analyst.

Posted by: ffreeloader | Sep 14 2022 15:41 utc | 41

Posted by: Sandokhan | Sep 14 2022 15:11 utc | 29

"The second target was to cut off Europe from its energy source, so as to plant the seeds of the revolution which will soon be unleashed. Everything Russia does is in regard to its primary objective, the revolution."

I think you are right in seeing energy as a weapon against Europe. However, the Russians have been very judicious about using this weapon. Their actions always reactive, or cloaked in a technicality. I believe that this is not because they are reluctant to use the energy weapon, but rather because they know that there will eventually be renewed ties, and negotiating the framework will be easier if they (the Russians) can look innocent and say that they never wanted energy ties to be broken.

Such an attitude also helps the European populations understand that their economic problems are caused by their own leaders' actions.

Where I differ with you is that I don't believe that the Russians are aiming at Revolution in Europe (just economic collapse!). I also don't believe that Europe can sustain revolutions. Much more likely IMO is economic collapse coupled with intensification of Police States.

Posted by: Ross | Sep 14 2022 15:41 utc | 42

The pro-Russian side in this conflict repeats three things often:

1. Ukraine is running out of troops and equipment.
2. NATO is running out of troops and equipment AND CANNOT RESUPPLY THEM.
3. The EU will suffer a massive recession/depression this winter caused by energy prices.

As somebody who is very much on the Russian side of things, I think it behooves us to investigate these three claims very carefully and consider whether we can be certain of any of them.

1. Ukraine can keep providing cannon fodder for a long time.
2. While it is true that NATO has dedicated a fair amount of its equipment to this fight, there is much more that it can contribute, should it choose to do so. Also, while the US industrial capacity is not what it was relative to 1945, it is still capable of producing arms--indeed arms manufacturing is probably the biggest manufacturing sector in the US.
3. We cannot be certain about how the energy crisis will unfold in Europe. Clearly some people are betting that it will be manageable.

Posted by: WJ | Sep 14 2022 15:45 utc | 43

I have a tendency to view gleeful declarations of progress in war through a skeptical lens. When Russia and Syria first took Palmyra back from ISIS, for example, it didn't take long for Palmyra to fall back into ISIS's hands, after Russia had already had its philharmonic orchestra perform in the old Roman ruins (later demolished, out of spite, by ISIS). Historically it isn't that uncommon for cities, towns, and whatnot to change hands multiple times in a relatively short period: Huliapole, Nestor Makhno's hometown, was held by the White Army, then the Makhnovist insurgents, then the Red Army, then the White Army, then the insurgents again, and so on, over the course of only a few years of civil war.

Russia has shown that it likes to make strategic retreats. Russia's aim here is not to take and hold the whole Ukrainian territory, but to demolish the Ukrainian military. NATO intervention and resupply made that more difficult, but the goal of the operation - demilitarization of Ukraine, assertion/protection of the independence of the pro-Russian republics - hasn't changed.

It's still too early to tell if Ukraine can hold onto the territory it recaptured. Unlike Russia, their goal *is* to hold territory and protect their own territorial integrity. They have to fight back into Luhansk and the occupied parts of Donetsk. They have to keep throwing men into the artillery and cruise missile meat grinder, where Russia presently excels. Russian doctrine is also more malleable than many western commenters want to admit: the purchase and use of Iranian drones seems to signify that the top brass has accepted the utility of the UAVs in more than just a reconnaissance role.

The next few weeks will be decisive. If Ukraine has really been taking the beating that Russian sources are saying they have been, it won't be long until Ukraine begins to lose territory again and the momentum of the war shifts in Russia's favor.

Posted by: fnord | Sep 14 2022 15:45 utc | 44

There is a Card Game in East-Germany called "Skat". One of the saying in this Game is: You dont declare Win before counting the Score! The Score will be seen in the Coming Spring...

Posted by: NoOne | Sep 14 2022 15:46 utc | 45

This is interesting. Anne Applebaum lays it all out.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/09/ukraine-victory-russia-putin/671405/

Posted by: Longtrail | Sep 14 2022 15:48 utc | 46

@45

Anne Applebaum?? The Atlantic??

Please.

Posted by: Observer | Sep 14 2022 15:52 utc | 47

Melaleuka@#2

Thanks for the research and the updates. MoA is currently the premiere site for sharing info and takes on this war.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 15:54 utc | 48

Fliegende Hollander@ #4

Are you perchance schizophrenic?

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 15:55 utc | 49

Mallard b @6

"Quack, Quack".

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 15:57 utc | 50

I thought I liked the Russians. I even tried to marry one before (didn't work out). And since the start of the SMO, I have been rooting for them as I respect the fact that they are fighting the globalists. Then I saw their communist victory flag. But I passed it off since they use it as their Victory flag and they deserve credit for WWII. But now I've been seeing their chats in telegram and they are not exactly as many Americans think. A lot of the Russians still support the USSR. They even glorify people like Stalin. I tried to make them appreciate the fact that the USSR was evil and that Stalin killed many of their own people. But they are still so brainwashed. And now I doubt who is the good guy in this situation. If there is such a thing as the "good guy". The Russians are at best anti-NWO. But it doesn't mean that they are like us liberty minded USA Patriots. I hope that they can wake up and learn from their past mistakes with communism and the USSR, or they will be doomed to repeat it

Posted by: AltAlias | Sep 14 2022 15:57 utc | 51

So there's an interesting theory I've read, that Putin is in "the WEF team" too, and all this is designed to kill as many nationalists (on both sides) as possible in preparation for the globalists' Great Reset.

Perhaps the idea is to drag NATO into it eventually, to kill lots of European & North American nationalists as well.

I doubt "they" want nukes flying about; although the globalists are Malthusians who think the world is very overpopulated, I don't think they're suicidal.

It's noteworthy that Russia pushed the Clotshot onto its citizens as well.

We shall see.

Posted by: Observer | Sep 14 2022 15:57 utc | 52

One reason for the emphasis on the ZNPP nuclear area by NATO and the US, is that it could be used to open a path for an "International" peace keeping force to be installed - to save Europe or somewhere, anywhere,. ie Intervention, (would this also mean a "no-fly" zone or some similar asinine plan?)

Then the "Guarantee" nations mentioned in the previous thread, presumably would take charge. (Such as Micronesia, Palau, the Swiss guard of the Vatican, and all of the NATO aligned nations).
****

Pat Batemen. @13.
This depopulation/repopulation may have been at the back of Putins mind at the beginning, but as the assets in the ground are so consequential he is now obliged to keep them. If only to deny them to the US. With the land go the people.

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 14 2022 15:58 utc | 53

The post at @42 has the most sensible analysis.

I would not make the future success of any operation contingent on those factors.

We shall see what Xi brings.

Posted by: moaobserver | Sep 14 2022 16:02 utc | 54

Baitman@13

It's clear which side you are on. What is your motivation for supporting the hegemony of the Evil Empire ruled by the financial elite in City of London and Wall $treet?

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 16:02 utc | 55

The reason d'être of NATO: 'Keep America in, Germany down, Russia out'. It all has to do with the USA. The whole rest of the world is not free to disagree, hence the rabid, violent reactions to Iran, China, Russia, etc. Take a hike world, the Yankees cannot stop coming!

Posted by: Quentin | Sep 14 2022 16:04 utc | 56

Observer @ 51.
Russia still has a central bank controlled from Basel. Classic sign of NWO occupation. And yes, all were forced to take the Vax. Not much liberty there..

Posted by: AltAlias | Sep 14 2022 16:06 utc | 57

There are reports that missile strikes were carried out on the Krivoy Rog thermal power plant.

The AFU confirms the strike on Krivoy Rog with X-101 missiles launched by Tu-95 bombers.

-CC

Posted by: missile strike | Sep 14 2022 16:07 utc | 58

read Scott Ritter's 09/12/22 article in Consortium News. AFU is reported to executing civilians and massive looting in Kharkov later to be blamed on Russia, as per usual.

Posted by: wt baker | Sep 14 2022 16:07 utc | 59

@ Pat Bateman | Sep 14 2022 14:39 utc | 13

first off pat... i appreciate your posts, however infrequent they have become.. i have valued your input at moa for a long time.. but i have to say you make a lot of assumptions and draw conclusions that i think are very wrong in your post today... i am not sure where to begin!! suffice to say that aside from me processing what is happening here very differently then you, we can continue to see how this unfolds being open to learning more as time goes by... i will comment on one of your many comments -

"Despite Putin's early pleas to the Ukrainian military to stay home, and the ample opportunity given to people from Kharkiv to Odessa to rise up against the Ukrainian regime, it hasn't happened."

no one ought to be surprised by this... in fact, i would have been surprised if any of the ordinary people rose up against the ukrainian regime! look at how lackadaisical westerners are towards their own regimes! apathy reigns supreme and it takes a lot to get people to break with their situation, however deplorable and increasingly fraught with challenges they are...

Posted by: james | Sep 14 2022 16:08 utc | 60

Thanks for the Anne Applebaum article.
My favorite line "Russian troops are not fighting back."
In this war, one side fights for every inch of territory, the other side withdraws when needed to fight another day.
Maybe that's why the Ukrainians were surrounded and forced to surrender at Mariupol. Not sure if that's a winning strategy.

Posted by: Tom | Sep 14 2022 16:09 utc | 61

@ Pacifica_Advocate | Sep 14 2022 14:51 utc | 23

nah... pat bateman is/was a regular poster who i generally respect! fwiw, i very much respect and appreciate your commentary too! cheers..

Posted by: james | Sep 14 2022 16:11 utc | 62

Tho b's analysis, as far as it goes, is solid, as usual, there are problems with the narrowness of its focus:

1) the precondition of a failure to establish a path to Slaviansk is itself not explored. At least, it suggests an underpowered SMO. Surely there was nothing impregnable here that extra forces would not have solved.

2) in what world is leaving 1 to 2 thousand men in an area this large justifiable--and if they were planning to withdraw (it seems they were), in the face of a large UKR build up, surely there could have been more done to create fire cauldrons & more active use of air power including FABs to deal with light, fast mounted cavalry?

3) though given bizarrely limited Russian force structure, it can be said the swift withdrawal Russian forces left UKR "punching air", as it were, exposing the civilians to terrorist reprisals is unforgivable. It is simply a precondition of anything like a "controlled" SMO that Russia does not leave civilians behind for slaughter.

4) the Russian military approach--assuming minimal force presence can be somehow justified as militarily competent -- implied in an SMO seems to entail recognition of economic, domestic political, Russian-Ukrainian & Global geopolitical considerations. Russia's championing and leadership of a multipolar world is premised on the impression of strength, competence & resilience that their conduct had generated. Just as Ukraine's small success will be leveraged to maximal effect in the West; Russian's small setback risks being greatly amplified in the perception of a loss of mastery of the situation. Setbacks are bad. *Unnecessary* defeats are disproportionately bad.

5) Whereas the SMO's conveyor belt strategy of allowing Western weapons & Ukrainian forces to arrive at the front to be destroyed in horrific loss ratios could at least be justified, the rate of influx of Ukrainian forces seems to be leaving Allied forces exposed away from the static positions in the Donbass. It's one thing to slow walk the SMO when all vectors are pointing in Russia's favor, and another when NATO rates of reconstitution of Ukrainian forces prevents Russia from taking the initiative in places like Nikolayev, & losing the initiative Kharkov.

6) Not clear how much difference an Anti-Terrorist Operation designation would make, but at the very least it should permit greater destruction of dual-use infrastructure (highways, railways, airports, border crossings, all diesel facilities, electrical infrastructure, communications / internet), attacks on decision-making centers (ending the parade of NATO photo-ops to Kiev), forcing NATO planners to move out of Kiev, & justify 50k to 100k extra forces, through this expansion of objectives (and justify extra Russian casualties), & potentially to enlist Syrian 'volunteers' from experienced anti-terrorist campaigns in Syria.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Sep 14 2022 16:14 utc | 63

i have to read all the comments before i comment.. apologies for this..

Posted by: james | Sep 14 2022 16:14 utc | 64

Where I differ with you is that I don't believe that the Russians are aiming at Revolution in Europe (just economic collapse!).

Posted by: Ross | Sep 14 2022 15:41

The "intensification of Police States" will lead to revolution. The Western European states behave as did the Kerenski regime. Russia could have easily taken care of business back in 2014. The fact that they have waited until now, means that they are about to release the start of the revolution, since they know the time is short (geological/astronomical reset). There is no coincidence that Qatar was allowed to host the World Cup, back in 2010, so as to move the competition from the summer of 2022 to the winter of 2022 (the events we are witnessing now could hardly have taken place with the World Cup in full swing this summer). No coincidence in that Russia invaded Ukraine exactly after the vaccination campaign in the West had stopped. We are about to witness something similar to the plot of the movie Archangel (2005, with Daniel Craig) come to life, without the unhappy ending.

Posted by: Sandokhan | Sep 14 2022 16:15 utc | 65

J. @ 28

Looks as if all the cards are on the table now. You mention Sweden and Finland. The latter is under control of the WEF through their ridiculous "new leader" the youngish feminist, Sanna Marin, a favorite of Schwabby. Doubtful whether common sense Suomilainen much care for the bitch and her politrix on behalf of the Evil Empire of highest finance.

As for Svearige, their aristocracy is deeply inbred and accordingly quite stupid. They are major players in Swedish finance, commerce and industry. All at the same time they are beholden to the alien financial shotcallers that be. So they like Finland and allegedly "neutral" Switzerland have blatantly displayed their true colors.

This war is existential and civilizational. The Western puppet regimes fear that their hegemonic dreams are threatened by the Great Eurasian Alliance. Marginalization of a decadent empire is their great dread. They will fight to the last ambulatory Ukrainian...with a little help from their mercenary "friends", munificently paid by taxpayer dollars, pounds and Euros.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 16:16 utc | 66


In puncto Scholz:

While at the beginning of the war he kept the hawks in the government (Greens, Transatlanticians) down, in part due to pressure from the many Non-russophobes in his own party, and managed to take a comfortable seat on the fence, he now apparently has brought into line by his masters.

What happened? It may well be that blackmailing plays a role here. Scholz is involved in a smoldering scandal about tax fraud when he was minister of finance in Hamburg. A few weeks ago, prosecutors from Cologne announced that the may start investigations against him, based on new documents which had emerged. In front of a parliamentary commission, he denied any knowledge about the dodgy dealings happening under his oversight, and his memory turned out to have as many holes as a Swiss cheese. A very embarassing performance, but the opposition restrained itself to mild criticism. A resignation was out of the question, of course.

It is easy to imagine more sleeping compromising documents and a chancellor who has to choose between his personal welfare (avoiding jail) and the interests of the German people.

Posted by: mk | Sep 14 2022 16:17 utc | 67

It was a slick move by the Russians, the ukies filmed them leaving with a drone, lots of trucks all spaced out even, it was as controlled as it gets

1. Show footage of your new forces and symbol, make sure the bait is juicy but not scary
2. Drop off the artillery and reinforcments on the east river bank to set up.
3.Haul ass to get your guys in the trucks.
4.Run run run

Nato was so desperate to look tough they chased the bait. Those western Nato troops gaurd the cities and the locals hate them because they do not fight instead they walk around like kings and the locals get sent to the front.

Nato did the classic keep going deep attack and it spread itself thin, it got smashed by the planes and at the choke points on the river crossings.

The west spun it as a win and those Nato boys are now local super hero's.
The Russians used their weakness (small numbers) against the west and hurt them bad.

Posted by: OhhCanada | Sep 14 2022 16:17 utc | 68

kFranz@33

Astute posting. Thanks

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 16:19 utc | 69

The post at @42 has the most sensible analysis.

Posted by: moaobserver | Sep 14 2022 16:02 utc | 53

I don't think so. The problem is 2.

2. While it is true that NATO has dedicated a fair amount of its equipment to this fight, there is much more that it can contribute, should it choose to do so. Also, while the US industrial capacity is not what it was relative to 1945, it is still capable of producing arms--indeed arms manufacturing is probably the biggest manufacturing sector in the US.

Posted by: WJ | Sep 14 2022 15:45 utc | 42

The US economy is not on a war footing. Weapons and ammunition are being produced slowly, much slower than they are being consumed in Ukraine. The Russians if anything know how to produce and use weapons en masse. The US could of course put its production on a war basis, but it's not difficult to imagine the complaints and opposition if it tried to do so. The wars of the trigger-happy militarists in Washington can only be waged if the US public doesn't feel the effects. Unless there is some great turnaround, the US can't match the massed Russian artillery. The stocks in current units are being depleted to send to Ukraine.

Posted by: laguerre | Sep 14 2022 16:20 utc | 70

Can be a planned withdrawal and a defeat at the same time.

As an American, I'm quite familiar with withdrawal-defeats. :D

Posted by: ThrowsOfWar | Sep 14 2022 16:22 utc | 71

fucking liar for putin..

day for day US will get more supporters, because russia totally failed in Ukraine and next front line straightening will happen close to Moscow.. hahahahaha

russia was not even able to protect their supporters around Charkov, around Kiev etc – how should they protect “partners” like syria or armenia hundreds of kilometers away from Russia?? hahahahahaha

everybody could see how weak russia is – not even strong and good enough to see where Ukraine will do the counter-strikes, not even strong and good enough to destroy infrastructure, to destroy weapon deliveries from the West, not even strong enough to catch some Ukrainian politicians, not even strong enough to react on even one crossing of red-lines.. hahahahahaha

Russia, a 3rd world shithole with incompetent leaders like Putin, Schoigu and Lawrow and permant drunk idiots leading the weak and coward, gay army to final break-down.. hahahahahahaha

you believe in Putin?? hahahah

russia will end as idiots-colony for delivering oil, gas etc for free to the West and putin-cheerleaders like you will have to work for the west for free.. hahahahahaha

everybody who is too gay and too coward and too stupid to fight will end as slave of Biden.. hahahahahaha

but maybe you have good luck – please follow the fleeing russian soldiers to Wladivostok where you have 2 more weeks time until the ukrainian soldiers will find you .. hahahahahaha..

Posted by: joseph king | Sep 14 2022 16:23 utc | 72

Zelensky (who likes to proclaim his jewishness whenever convenient) visited Izyum today. In the photo's and video's you can see one of the soldiers with a nazi totenkopf on his back. It's even on the BBC website (which I, unless I want to go nauseous, never read):

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62899474

The totenkopf is the same as on the SS caps as well as the badges of certain WWII nazi panzer divisions.

Posted by: xor | Sep 14 2022 16:23 utc | 73

Ross@41

Good points on the economic side of the ongoing conflict. The puppet regimes in Natostan are now becoming more and more apprehensive as to the mood of their own populace. Even their military and police forces usually have families, kinfolk and neighbors. The whole regimented regime may come to a sudden collapse, as per the false-dawn with the streets of Prague massively filled by common folks in growing detestation of their imposed government which ever heeds the threats and blandishments of the ruling high-finance elites.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 16:25 utc | 74

@Flying Dutchman #4
Your statement is completely full of shit.
If Ukraine were able to fly air sorties - they would have devastated withdrawing Russian/LDPR troops both before this "offensive" and during it.

Equally, if Ukraine were able to fly air sorties - the Russian artillery and air force would not have taken down 20% of the attackers.

In fact, the whole "offensive" is a gigantic nothingburger in terms of actual Russian/LDPR troops killed/injured or their equipment destroyed/damaged/captured.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 14 2022 16:25 utc | 75

@ fnord | Sep 14 2022 15:45 utc | 43

i think were you are wrong is the idea of russia wanting more land and real estate... i think this is very wrong to think they are interested in acquiring more land.. otherwise - cheers!

------------
someone brings up annie applepants, lol... that was good for a laugh... i also got a kick out of this quote "The Russians are at best anti-NWO. But it doesn't mean that they are like us liberty minded USA Patriots. I hope that they can wake up and learn from their past mistakes with communism and the USSR, or they will be doomed to repeat it" laughable, if nothing else...

Posted by: james | Sep 14 2022 16:25 utc | 76

pretzelattack | Sep 14 2022 14:34 utc | 9

"and who is threatening the "torture and death". oh yeah the nazis."

The point, of course, is that the Russian leadership's repeated willingness to abandon Ukrainians who had actually welcomed them or at least co-operated with them disproves the party line that "civilian casualties" is such a major concern for the "SMO". Therefore its apparent exhaustion needs other explanation.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | Sep 14 2022 16:26 utc | 77

WJ@ 42

All the markings of a concern troll. Go out and find yourself a real job, a productive one...but not for the WarDefense Industry. They are all about profits for the elite and destruction and death for everyone else.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 16:27 utc | 78

c1ue | Sep 14 2022 16:25 utc | 74

"@Flying Dutchman #4
Your statement is completely full of shit."

Then how do they move any of this?

Of course I know the answer is "by magic", so no need to tell me again.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | Sep 14 2022 16:29 utc | 79

J | Sep 14 2022 15:10 utc | 28

You are oversimplifying the existential part of the present conflict. This is not "just" joining western US hegemony, but the ripping off of assets, the dumbing down of the population by rotten education, the mercantilism and financialization (Make the plebs pay for being plebs), the alienation of civilian populations from any sort of participation in the running of their own country and affairs, Privatization of health and any industry or service. All industries that are viable to be shifted to the US (As W. Germany did to E.German industries during the reunification, or they closed them down as unwanted competition).
Then let Blackwater and the Oligarchs run the place for their amusement, by cruelty and avarice. The whole affair to be surveilled, organized, policed, and anything not already mentioned to be criminalized.

Then "allow" selected citizens to do their duty by going to an electronic "voting" machine once every five years to elect an old age pensioner who has taken on a second job for the ten percent extra he will get. (Like Biden)
****

....and you really think this is attractive?
***
PS.
You may have been just quoting someone else, due to using inverted commas, but since ALL "enemies of the state of the US", such as Ghaddifi and Saddam Hussein were suicided, "giving up sovereignty" means coming to a sticky end.

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 14 2022 16:29 utc | 80

@WJ
The 3 claims.

I dont know where you are from but i can confirm that none of the european militaries is capable of delivering a lot of equipment. In fact the german military was at the maximum of capabilities when trying to keep afloat 3000 soldiers in afghanistan.

For real substantial deliveries (more than a few dozens of this and that) nato needed to operate them themselves, which means nato soldiers on the ground.

The number of ukrainian canon fudder remains to be seen.

But the european energy crises is a given. The people who think they can handle it do mean by that "we can control the masses and riots by brutal force". Hence military on the streets for example.

@observer and altatlas
The assumption of "reducing population by war" is not plausible. If so russia would use a very different tactic and putins main goal of proping up fertility rates in russia is very consistent for more than a decade now.

Yes the kremlin pushes the vaccine. In fact very few took it. Why remains a little riddle to me. Even if they thought that it was a bio weapon in the beginning they need to know by now.

The central bank: i would suggest that the power structure is different in russia. Its not the central bank that is secretly in charge. The russian banking system is not as important as wallstreet and i think i know who would win a confrontation between the kremlin and the central bank.

Posted by: Orgel | Sep 14 2022 16:29 utc | 81

@69 "The wars of the trigger-happy militarists in Washington can only be waged if the US public doesn't feel the effects."

People employed making weapons won't complain. Nor will Raytheon stockholders.

Posted by: dh | Sep 14 2022 16:32 utc | 82

Re the ability of the US or Canada to supply munitions or equipment for this proxy war:

Unless it is something that is 100% made in North America, including the raw materials, it is unlikely there can be large quantities of it.

Some recent example lead times: nine months for a three phase electrical breaker panel, a year for a cisco switch, eight months for a telephone from a national telco, 9 months for playground equipment, indefinite back orders on aluminum rivets, Canadian designed and made circuit boards that take eight months to complete because of something missing like 7 segment LEDs ... it is insane and getting worse, despite the lockdown being over.

I think that even if North America was on a war footing, it would take years to ramp up because so many components in the bill of materials haven't been made here for decades.

Furthermore, the younger workforce isn't what it used to be. It has been sabotaged by the educational system.

I suspect that Russia is in a better position because of previous sanctions that forced self reliance.

Posted by: PP | Sep 14 2022 16:32 utc | 83

The hyperventilating and kabuki-theater about the Russian line getting pushed back a little one part of the line, and the withdrawal from Izium, was ridiculous. For chrissakes, it’s war, there are setback and damage in both sides. The fact remains that Russia still holds a large contiguous swath of territory that was formerly Ukrainian, and that the Ukrainian forces are being attrited badly. It’s as if Tom Brady made one bad throw in the 2nd quarter of a game and the audience in the stands fainted, “OMG, all is lost!”

I’m not rooting for either side, but i can see through the pro-Ukrainian lies our media spreads.

Posted by: A A Ron | Sep 14 2022 16:34 utc | 84

When arms speak, Muses are silent, that may be true.

But guns speaking are still telling a story. Over at Martyanov's "Reminiscences…" an author called Larch445 has something that could be called a Credo of Special Military Operation, a confession of faith of sorts. A short, concise and rather extraordinary text.

…If you hold in your mind these goals, these elements, you will have a long, broad view of the possible and you will appreciate the precise military operation, SMO, which will accomplish these ends with maximum efficiency, minimum losses, manageable costs, and timelines that are rational.

The SMO is scalable, a necessity in Ukraine.

The SMO is variable in velocity, pace and tempo.

The SMO is capable of multi-vectors, simultaneous concentration of force on hundreds of targets. Its agility is not just with land force weapons, but with aerospace and naval platforms, a variety of cruise missiles and deep penetrating hypersonic missiles.

The SMO delivers humanitarian aid almost at the hour of the end of hostilities in settlements, towns and cities. Liberators shift to aid deliverers, medical providers, and sappers who de-mine buildings, homes and fields.

The facility of the SMO is swift because it is not a brute force military. It is a light special forces organization operating with precision to save troops and protect civilians from collateral losses.

The SMO is sustainable for years by the Russian economy and MIC capabilities.


It does matter why the Russians left Kharkov area and how they did it. But what this whole episode revealed to spectators, was a huge gap between the stated goals of SMO and its actual execution. Slow grind came to a sudden halt, it never was enough. Retreats are part of the story.

There's no straight line, no simple cause and effect action between the liberation of Lugansk, Donbas or Kherson – even the whole of Novorossia –, and the stated goals of the SMO, of NATO's retreat behind its borders before the year 1992.

Lots of confusion came and will still rise from the lack of imagination and rigorous processes of thought in the context of missing evidence and half-truths from both sides of the conflict, necessarily.

Nobody will telegram his intentions to us. Nobody.

PS. Though, there's still a story that matches conspicuously well to the facts "on the ground" – it's a story of "you'll own nothing" and "I'll be happy".

Posted by: js | Sep 14 2022 16:35 utc | 85

Russian generals at MoD with calculators in hand hoping Ukraine keeps offensives like this going as long as possible. At this rate demilitarization is going lightning speed.

Posted by: Abe | Sep 14 2022 16:37 utc | 86

Posted by: AltAlias | Sep 14 2022 15:57 utc | 50

Oh please, sparse us with your child-like patronization wrt how evil the USSR was.

Posted by: v | Sep 14 2022 16:37 utc | 87

"Joseph King"@71

As I do not understand the Ukrainian dialect of the Russian language, could you please give me an exact translation of the name "Joseph King" in it's correct Ukie form?

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 16:39 utc | 88

I would welcome the view of anyone with the appropriate military expertise about the British intelligence services apparently misreading almost every situation in Ukraine.
Are they truly inept at analysis of combat situations or are they just trying to mislead?

Posted by: Pancho Plail | Sep 14 2022 16:41 utc | 89

Fliegende Hollander @76

Strategic withdrawal is quite complex. The Russians were able to rescue something like 10,000, mostly from Izyum itself. Perhaps you overlooked that simple fact in your enthusiastic trolling.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 16:42 utc | 90

@ Pancho Plail | Sep 14 2022 16:41 utc | 88

probably both - inept and trying to mislead, lol.... like a monty python skit, except for real... with leaders like boris or truss - what could go wrong??

Posted by: james | Sep 14 2022 16:43 utc | 91

V @ 86
You're right, USSR was great, glory be to Stalin.
/sarc

Posted by: AltAlias | Sep 14 2022 16:43 utc | 92

Stonebird@79

You nailed it. Thanks

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 16:44 utc | 93

“the preservation and increase of Russia’s population.” #13

This is quite an interesting point. How many people live in the Russian controlled areas? Can anyone put an estimate how many new citizens Russia stands to gain? I also think demographic element plays an important role here on top of industrial and agricultural potential of the East and South Ukraine.

Posted by: Milos | Sep 14 2022 16:44 utc | 94

Orgel@80

Strikes me as well-informed insights.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 14 2022 16:46 utc | 95

“This is interesting. Anne Applebaum lays it all out. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/09/ukraine-victory-russia-putin/671405/“ -Posted by: AltAlias | Sep 14 2022 15:57 utc | 50

The title alone is self-discrediting:

It’s Time to Prepare for a Ukrainian Victory
The liberation of Russian-occupied territory might bring down Vladimir Putin.
- Anne Applebaum

“Many things about this advance are unexpected, especially the location: For many weeks, the Ukrainians loudly telegraphed their intention to launch a major offensive farther south. The biggest shock is not Ukraine’s tactics but Russia’s response. ‘What really surprises us,‘ Lieutenant General Yevhen Moisiuk, the deputy commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, told me in Kyiv yesterday morning, ‘is that the Russian troops are not fighting back’.

Absent Russian troops “not fighting back” is a “surprise” so exciting that Ms. Applebaum repeats the revelation:

Russian troops are not fighting back.More than that: Offered the choice of fighting or fleeing, many of them appear to be escaping as fast as they can. . .The fundamental difference between Ukrainian soldiers, who are fighting for their country’s existence, and Russian soldiers, who are fighting for their salary, has finally begun to matter.“
If it wasn’t for Ms. Applebaum’s ignorance and propaganda, her article could pass as a deliberate parody.

Posted by: DocHollywood | Sep 14 2022 16:47 utc | 96

@Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 14 2022 16:29 utc | 79

90% of this criticism could be equally or better applied to Russia.

Maybe try to create a culture that is better than the West in some measurable way before trying to kill it.

Posted by: ThrowsOfWar | Sep 14 2022 16:47 utc | 97

first off, if anyone has been sleeping on this guy, check him out:

https://bigserge.substack.com/archive?sort=new

i will admit to some confirmation bias as he is basically confirming my semi-educated guesses with an impressive amount of information (e.g. i knew the river was a natural boundary for any battles but didn't realize it's one kilometer wide at some points. think about walking one kilometer. now think about traversing that distance with tanks over moving water.)

so here's everything confirmed now that everyone has settled down and changed their damn tampons:

- the areas taken were basically vacant with some sentries and such
- roughly 60,000 civilians were methodically evacuated from one town's area alone
- everyone knows that the russians have constant surveillance via drones and recon units and spies plus the ukie intel that leaks like a sieve.
- russian losses have been minimal and they still control the sky.
- this has allowed the "gloves off" approach so many impatient types have salivated for and it's still being done in a way that destroys replaceable things and not human bodies.
- there a LOT of natotards embedded in the ukie forces which explains their "success" and also gives the lugansk/russian guys a chance to pick off eurotrash.
- (i'm not a game of thrones fan, but...) winter is coming. remember all the reports and video of the well staffed/funded/supplied russian camps? they'll be fine. the ukies sleeping in concrete trenches? not so much. same for anyone hiding in a forest that isn't mostly evergreen trees.

again, just educated guesses but the longer this goes on the easier it is to see patterns.

Posted by: the pair | Sep 14 2022 16:48 utc | 98

I say Again - the Russians are hard headed folks and they are going to do things their own way. No matter what. I quit scratchin my head over the way they are leading this SMO. We re all just along for the ride, but I think it's going to get bumpier. I appreciate all the comments and synopsis - MoA

Posted by: GMC | Sep 14 2022 16:49 utc | 99

84 - Martyanov. There's a laugh indeed, although he does have his following.

Posted by: Waldorf | Sep 14 2022 16:49 utc | 100

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