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September 22, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-155

News & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

Please stick to the topic.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b on September 22, 2022 at 10:34 UTC | Permalink

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Any thoughts on the prisoner swap? Is it true Azov leaders were released? Are we happy?

Posted by: Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 10:36 utc | 1

According to last RMOD report, two more HIMARS are down. Does it means 10 down and 6 left, by all rumors and calculations?

Posted by: ldragon | Sep 22 2022 10:47 utc | 2

Another strike in the middle of Donetsk today, multiple deaths.
Thank you Mr Shoigu for defending Kiev

Posted by: rk | Sep 22 2022 10:55 utc | 3

Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 10:36 utc | 2

Yes – many have trolled dismay but this is clever choice by RF

The prisoners were taken by and held in a jurisdiction which is about to cease to exist – in all liklihood, given the referendum

To go ahead with a trial would present not only a very complex legal situation, maybe an impossible problem, but would give the barking poodles a field day

Much better to impress SCO and RoW, swap out the neos, get back some needed people and by this show loyalty to all captured prisoners – well not in that order – to impress that all steps will be taken to save the lives of your soldiers is worth far more than ignorant randoms worrying about motive

Posted by: Gerrard White | Sep 22 2022 10:58 utc | 4

Did you see that thing in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago? Where Ukrainian grain was undercutting EU farmers producing grain? Risking driving them out of business. That’ll teach those Dutch farmers for protesting! Of course the article claims that the Ukrainian grain should be going to poor countries but what’s that compared to reducing nitrate use in the EU? And do people not know how much fuel it takes to produce nitrates?

Posted by: Guy L’Estrange | Sep 22 2022 11:04 utc | 5

The released Nazis will be looked at as traitors who didn’t die in battle; they won’t be trusted; they may well get executed; they certainly won’t trust their Masters who sent missiles to destroy them in captivity. They will remember that the Russians they were captured by were actual humans and not what they believed in their drug addled Nazi training schools and they certainly will be wanting to get rid of all their ugly tattoos knowing they are branded for life.

Truth hurts eh?

Posted by: DunGroanin | Sep 22 2022 11:05 utc | 6

It seems that USA shall try the expulsion of Russia from UN and Security council, based of majority vote in the UN assembly.

Posted by: rex | Sep 22 2022 11:12 utc | 7

Guy L’Estrange @ 6

I understand that the grain shipped from 404 is of low quality, and only good enough for animal feed.

Posted by: Hereward | Sep 22 2022 11:16 utc | 8

Russians (outside the liberal bubbles from Moscow etc.and the expat russian bloggers with an altright US fanbase) are disgusted or appalled by the release of the creme de la creme of their nazi prisoners. Comments of betrayal rival those of stupidity or corruption. Specially when a corrupt ukrop oligarch tied to the Kremlin is among the exchanged.
But it is not surprising: neoliberal Russia is not the Soviet state under Stalin, a capitalist class has his own constant internal war on its people, even when under war from imperialist capitalists.
Nonetheless this decision and the timing if it (eight after a bizarre oartial mobilization) sounds like a sick joke or a middle finger to all russian (and Donbass patriots). How to demobilize politically, ideologicaly when your country is surrounded by rabid thugs of NATO...

Moscow just sent a message that "denazification" was just a marketing buzzword to invoke the Great Pateiotic War. Whoever organized this exchange on Rus side should get a medal from the freaks of Kiev.

Posted by: Kareem | Sep 22 2022 11:24 utc | 9

Ruasia looks "reasonable" after the prisoner swap, i.e. weak amd unserious about the destruction of her enemies.

Wasn't everyone here saying Aslin amd Co. were Nazi scum deserving of execution? Now he's going home -- 56D chess now in retrospect, isn't it? Played a blinder there, the Russians. No one saw that one coming! /s

Posted by: Herr Ringbone | Sep 22 2022 11:33 utc | 10

Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 10:36 utc | 2

Sure enough – here is a typical expression of ‘dismay’, all knowledgeable, a helter skelter one sentence rush with a sneer, and a veneer of ‘concern’

Kareem | Sep 22 2022 11:24 utc | 10

Posted by: Gerrard White | Sep 22 2022 11:33 utc | 11

Ewe Papart weighs in via Asia Times.....
A Russian mobilization, to be sure, will take time – even a partial one of reservists who have previously served. But the call-up creates the opportunity within two to three weeks to shift trained and fully equipped forces, for example, from the Far East to the Donbas front. They can be replaced as the reservists come up to speed.

I agree..... the newly mobilized reservists can be distributed into existing Russian units to free up active duty forces for immediate transfer to DonBass. This immediately solves the Russian manpower dis-advantage, while providing time to build cohesion in the force structure.

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 22 2022 11:37 utc | 12

The following is speculation on what happens next in 404.

Premise # 1
US and EU support for Z declines

Rationale
Biden has described Putin as an autocrat and a "killer" the implication being that Putin is psychopathic and lacking in all moral scruples and therefore not to be trusted.

The key question is "How do you treat a person you describe as a dangerous, power mad, psychopath?"

It is clear RF has repeatedly established red lines and NATOstan has crossed those red lines: 1) Claiming responsibility for the Moskva sinking; 2) Providing highly accurate long range missiles; 3) Enabling UAF attacks on RF territory; 4) Delivering advanced weaponry, NATO level training, combat planning and assistance, provision of ISR; 5) Assisting in highly provocative propaganda campaigns (Bucha, Iszym). This is not the conduct associated with the stance of a neutral state.

Putin has now made clear statement that he is not bluffing and he is actively responding to NATOstan's support for 404.

The issue for Biden and NATOstan is "Do we push Putin even more when he is clearly aggrieved and escalating his response?" and "Do we not run the risk of triggering an unexpected and unwelcome response from a state we assert to be led by a madman?"

Biden faces the fact he is now trapped by his public description of Putin. If Biden acts in a way that triggers an escalated response from RF the American public will ask "Why did you provoke someone you described as a madman?" "Are you totally irresponsible and incapable of understanding your own pronouncements?"

Given the fact of the upcoming mid-terms and the risk to the Democratic slate, it is doubted Biden will run the risk of triggering the RF. The US is likely to slow walk the promised delivery of additional war material, is likely to reign in 404 adventurism, to dial back its ISR and combat assistance, and seek to restrain 404.

The EU faces a deteriorating economic situation due to the effect of their own sanctions. Their populations face unemployment, inflation, reduced heating and a higher rate of disease, the prospect of de-industrialization, loss of markets, and the high costs of transfers to 404 while time being burdened by high social spending and ever greater long term economic uncertainty and social unrest.

Given these facts it is likely the members of NATOstan may wish to re-assess their commitment to further poking the bear. Given all of their problems do they really want to risk the arrival of Mr Kinzal?

It is therefore likely NATOstan will follow the US lead and dial back support for 404.

Without NATOstan paying the daily operating expenses of 404 the outlook for Z is bleak.

Posted by: Sushi | Sep 22 2022 11:44 utc | 13

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/7877025.html

Significant exchange of prisoners just happened. Around 55 Russians for 215 Ukrainians. Medvedchuk, 108 Azov.

Posted by: Kaiama | Sep 22 2022 11:49 utc | 14

The entire operation was a lie, why? Because oligarchs and kleptocrats can't be trusted, regardless of where they are. Alexander Dugin himself has said as much, with reference to Russia. Ukraine was invaded under false pretenses, to wit: Russia committed itself to the exact same sort of maximum international crime committed by the US in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc (although admittedly on a smaller, so far less destructive scale).

The question, of course, is how will this end, considering Russia is not led by a professional political class, nor even by likes of Stalin, but by Third World thuggery and the security state, for whom power itself is all that matters!

What is Putin's true endgame? Perhaps permanent separation of Russia, in its own sort of "Brexit," and the sequestration of its people into a more or less purely Asiatic bloc of tyrants, autocrats, and other authoritarian tyranno-capitalists. In any case, this Special Operation is clearly not what it claims to be. Who can not honestly recognize the obviousness of the false nature of this war as a whole?

Posted by: Silvanus | Sep 22 2022 11:50 utc | 15

Posted by: Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 10:36 utc | 2

Any thoughts on the prisoner swap? Is it true Azov leaders were released? Are we happy?


Try Military Cronicle:

09/22/2022 BREAKING NEWS from Ukraine: exchange of Azov leaders in Turkey. Map of hostilities for today (19 videos)

Posted by: António Ferrão | Sep 22 2022 11:50 utc | 16

Posted by: Sushi | Sep 22 2022 11:44 utc | 14

Ukraine is ready to be dropped, that has been in the works for a few months, which makes the Ukies fight even more doggedly. But that means the fighting will move somewhere else.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 11:50 utc | 17

Posted by: Sushi | Sep 22 2022 11:44 utc | 14

Tragically - NATOstan leadership has painted itself into a corner. They can not back down now. They are bound to escalate the Ukrainian Civil War all out of proportion.

Posted by: Exile | Sep 22 2022 11:53 utc | 18

Given these facts it is likely the members of NATOstan may wish to re-assess their commitment to further poking the bear. Given all of their problems do they really want to risk the arrival of Mr Kinzal?

Posted by: Sushi | Sep 22 2022 11:44 utc | 14

I seriously start doubting that the "European West" has enough sane and reasonable politician left or at work, people who can look beyond their dome of self-delusion, people who noted the weight of Putin`s words.

Likewise, I thank Fate on a daily basis that Putin and Co. know that not all Germans or people in Western Europe are brain-dead Russophobes and restraints his military power to the level we see now. If roles were reversed, we`d all probably dust by now.

The "irony" is that some (even on here) view Putin`s inaction as some sort of weakness. I never knew that the death-wish is as widespread as it sometimes seems.

Posted by: CM of Berlin | Sep 22 2022 11:56 utc | 19

Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 10:36 utc | 2l

Just thinking:
In this moment DPR and LPR have legal death penalty, but within month, as it seems, it would be impossible to execute already courted sentences. Russian law doesn't allow that
So, this exchange is elegant and human solution to legal problem.

Posted by: ldragon | Sep 22 2022 11:57 utc | 20

Posted by: ldragon | Sep 22 2022 11:57 utc | 21

True, although I do think Russia has death penalty on the books but has not carried out any executions as a matter of principle.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 12:00 utc | 21

And they could have been put on trial even if there were not to be executed. ON the other hand, it was clear from the outset for many that Medvechuk would be used for prisoner exchange. He was put into custody in April, as we remember.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 12:04 utc | 22

NATO is not going to back down. Not a bit. That is a delusional theory.

This is going all the way, we can only hope it won't take nukes to get there. It will however take some major event. What ? I have no idea, I do not think it is predictable. The US is led by a bunch of certified ignorant idiots, so anything is possible.

Posted by: windwaves | Sep 22 2022 12:06 utc | 23

Legitimniy. Carryover from "Russia Announces Partial Mobilization". DeepL translation:

Our source reports that the Office of the President specifically requested the prisoner exchange for yesterday in order to use it as a discredit to the partial mobilization in Russia.

The source also explains that there are a lot of idiots working in the Kremlin who could not calculate the strategic consequences of this step and prepare in advance a "counter-campaign" with the right talking points and narratives to be launched at moment "X".

Original:

Наш источник сообщает, что в Офисе Президента обмен пленными специально затребовали на вчера, чтобы использовать его как дискредитацию частичной мобилизации в России.

Также источник поясняет, что в Кремле работает очень много идиотов, которые не смогли просчитать стратегические последствия от этого шага и подготовить заранее «контр-кампанию» с нужными тезисами и нарративами, которые будут запущены в момент «Х».


https://t.me/legitimniy/13509
Once again, I'm sorry.

Posted by: js | Sep 22 2022 12:13 utc | 24

@2 Jonathan W
"Is it true Azov leaders were released? Are we happy?"

Ostensibly a difficult decision, but in reality an easy one. The russian POW's were in danger of death, since NATO ally Ukraine could care less about Human Rights/Geneva Convention. Western media typically only harps on that issue when it concerns a country where they need another regime change. Of course it never concerns the US, Israel, Britain or France, unless its used to embarrass an undesirable politician.
It would have been bad for the morale of russian soldiers if the intelligence value of the Azov commanders were to be rated higher than the lives of ordinary soldiers. That would typically be more of a NATO-type move.
I doubt Russia gets much intelligence value from the captured commanders. Basically Russia knows the score already form its own intelligence and interception of the Ukrainian comms. And even if they could prove beyond a doubt that Zelensky/NATO directly ordered atrocities, who in the West is going to prosecute that, or even publish that? So the propaganda value is also limited.

Posted by: xeen | Sep 22 2022 12:13 utc | 25

@9 Hereward
"I understand that the grain shipped from 404 is of low quality, and only good enough for animal feed."

And full of the Monsanto/Bayer GMO crap. What they cannot force through European parliaments, they solve via Ukraine. Even if only used as animal feed, it ends up in the food chain.

Posted by: xeen | Sep 22 2022 12:17 utc | 26

what the prisoner exchange shows, again, is that Russia has high ethics and cares for the lives of its soldiers. Rather than gloat over the hanging of some foreign criminals, they chose to save their own people. And nowhere in the Western media will you read about the disgusting tretment the Russian POW's received. Nor about how NATO, without a care in the world, sends thousands of Ukrainian soldiers to a certain death. So: on side bloodlust, cruelty, cynicism, on the other side decency and loyalism. What do you choose trolls, do you even understand?

Posted by: Anthony | Sep 22 2022 12:18 utc | 27

There was a 4:1 RU/UA prisoner swap? I remember when the UA were frustrated because RU insisted 1:1. Plus, one of the prisoners is just some UA dude. More evidence Russia is not doing well.

Posted by: GoFast | Sep 22 2022 12:18 utc | 28

The prisoner exchange is interesting. What seems like a long time ago at the start of ukraines stupidity there was a rabbit anti Russian lady (I use the word losely) who was guilty of various crimes against humanity and was considered a hero of Ukraine. Her names escapes me and everyone seems to have forgotten about the episode.
She ended up in Russian custody and subsequently, and surprisingly released, but she had changed her tune on release and became a vocal critic of the war.
As misguided as those Azoz clowns are they do see themselves as patriots of Ukraine, even if their actions have been the opposite. Under Russian supervision they may have been exposed to some home truths about the US plans for Ukraine and the future they have been fighting for.

Posted by: halofive | Sep 22 2022 12:19 utc | 29

I understand that the grain shipped from 404 is of low quality, and only good enough for animal feed.

Posted by: Hereward | Sep 22 2022 11:16 utc | 9

Also, I read that the owners of the shipped grain are the big international combines like Monsanto and Cargill who have been allowed to purchase Ukrainian farmland. Maybe true, probably true, given the nature of neoliberal finance capitalism.

Posted by: Tedder | Sep 22 2022 12:21 utc | 30

It's going to be glorious listening to the Blinken Administration denounce the referendums today as shams, after working so hard to provoke the entire situation from literally the other side of the globe. I imagine people out there voting risk being killed by weapons furnished by the Wretched City, vanguard of wholesome goodness and fair play.

We give hypocrisy a bad name. What a disgrace.

Posted by: chunga | Sep 22 2022 12:24 utc | 31

What is Putin's true endgame? Perhaps permanent separation of Russia, in its own sort of "Brexit," and the sequestration of its people into a more or less purely Asiatic bloc of tyrants, autocrats, and other authoritarian tyranno-capitalists. In any case, this Special Operation is clearly not what it claims to be. Who can not honestly recognize the obviousness of the false nature of this war as a whole?

Posted by: Silvanus | Sep 22 2022 11:50 utc | 16

The great thought of Silvanus is contrary to rationality and is just a repeat of the crafted narrative from Washington, London, and Brussels. He seems to conclude that what Putin is really after is exactly what the West is really after: balkanization of Russia and control of her resources. I don't think so.

Posted by: Tedder | Sep 22 2022 12:25 utc | 32

@Kareem #10
No, Moscow just sent a message that it doesn't need to execute a poser foreign mercenary when there are far greater strategic issues at stake.
While any given foreign mercenary is a nobody - each one executed is a potential cause celebre for the Western public.

It isn't like this guy or any of the other guys matter jack shit militarily or anything else. Nor is it helpful "pour encourager les autres" since there are plenty getting missiled, shelled, bombed etc.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 22 2022 12:31 utc | 33

@Sushi #14
The leaders of the West show no signs of backing down; if anything, they have been doubling and redoubling.
So in that respect, you are totally incorrect about "back down".

The question is if and/or when the Western populations are going to boot these politicians out - who are directly responsible for the economic suffering. Which is precisely WHY the doubling and redoubling is occurring.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 22 2022 12:34 utc | 34

@Silvanus #16
Who can recognize the idiocy of your post?
I do.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 22 2022 12:35 utc | 35

From IntelSlava reposting from rybar, the breakdown of the Russian prisoners swooped

🇷🇺Of the 55 Russians who returned from captivity today in prisoner exchange:

▪️2 senior officers (lieutenant colonel and major)
▪️6 junior officers
▪️4 warrant officers
▪️40 privates and sergeants
▪️2 servicemen of the NM DPR
▪️1 serviceman of NM LNR

🔗rybar

Posted by: Down South | Sep 22 2022 12:37 utc | 36

re: CM of Berlin | Sep 22 2022 11:56 utc | 20

Your post prompted a question I have wondered about for sometime. Are many Germans familiar with Putin speaking directly in German?

Posted by: tucenz | Sep 22 2022 12:40 utc | 37

re: CM of Berlin | Sep 22 2022 11:56 utc | 20

Your post prompted a question I have wondered about for sometime. Are many Germans familiar with Putin speaking directly in German?

Posted by: tucenz | Sep 22 2022 12:40 utc | 38

It is therefore likely NATOstan will follow the US lead and dial back support for 404.

Without NATOstan paying the daily operating expenses of 404 the outlook for Z is bleak.

Posted by: Sushi | Sep 22 2022 11:44 utc | 14

Is it really? I don't think so.
Not only te US is caught in a trap of its own making, the EU is, too. And the US knows this - and might keep pushing EU to keep poking the bear. Since some EU NATO countries want to keep doing that anyway, that is not hard to accomplish. The money will keep flowing. As will NATO-style "humanitarian aid".

Posted by: Martina | Sep 22 2022 12:45 utc | 39

@38 tucenz
Most West-Germans were thoroughly brainwashed by the so-called Allied-reeducation campaign which the allies implemented after WWII, and which permeates the German education system. East-Germans seem to have survived Soviet-reeducation much better. Politically most Germans are morons. So even if Putin were to speak perfect Hochdeutsch, most Germans, especially the Uber-Politcally-Correct German females would reject him outright and not even bother to listen to what he has to say. Now they even think that the moronic NATO-Greens, who have been working on deindustrialisation and destruction of Germany's sovereignty since their inception, are the future of the nation. And everybody is running around trying to reduce energy consumption, without thinking even once about who is causing this and why.

Posted by: xeen | Sep 22 2022 12:50 utc | 40

Serious question - what happens when the gas and oil sales to Europe stop?

Thus far the Russian Federation have not used economic warfare against the West. The pumps for the pipelines are not on Russia, that is NATO/EU cock-uppery. Even the insistence of payment in Roubles is reasonable given the financial aspect of the West's actions.

In some human relationships no amount of effort by one party can necessarily get the other party to comply. In our own lives we have all been rejected by partners, potential employers and others. Luckily there is more fish in the sea and these personal failures to win over someone else only cause a small amount of pain, unbearable it may be at the time.

What happens if the gas and oil really does get cut off and there is no means of convincing Russia to sell to Europe or the US ever again?

Oil and gas is worth more than printed money. Russia can get real money worth real goods and services from the world outside of NATO/EU. Or they can use it to extract resources to make sure the supply of artillery shells stays in the millions.

Given all that has gone on, the gas cut off is coming. Ukrainian sabotage efforts are ongoing. If the Ukrainians nuke themselves by taking out a nuclear power plant (they have been trying) then we are done. I can't see NATO/EU being able to go back to Russia, apologising and getting the gas turned back on.

Small children sometimes get sent to the naughty step and forgiving parents let them back in. People that stand shoulder to shoulder with Azov are allegedly grown adults. They do not even know what they are doing wrong by being passive NPCs. Do we really expect Russia to just roll over and give us the gas again?

Despite the efforts of the Russian Federation to play nice, I see the gas getting cut off good and proper as a near certainty. In our own lives, when we find ourselves in an abusive relationship, the solution is to go no-contact, move away and get new friends. Russia have kind of done this already. I just don't see the going back.

The Russian President mentioned about how nobody owes the former colonial powers a living. The view seems to be that the EU is a welfare recipient, whether this is through Russian hydrocarbons or goodies from the rest of the world. We have not got anything to trade.

Actually the Germans and Swiss have plenty to trade. But even then, Belarus fancies itself as the place of machine tool manufacture. In the UK the Brexit debacle brought to the fore the question of what the UK does. What does the UK have that the Russian Federation needs? Why would Russia sell hydrocarbons to the UK when only paper money is available in exchange?

Capitalism requires a constant energy supply for 'growth'. If there is no 'growth' and no energy then the same mechanisms that make stock markets and housing markets a store of wealth come into some vicious reverse feedback loop. All of that paper money is worth nothing. The illusion of wealth is laid bare.

On the battlefield the Russians wait for the Ukrainians to get half way across the bridge before they blow up the bridge. The Ukrainians get their victory posted to Snapchat with a flag in a wasteland, maybe with a swastika for good measure. But then the artillery sorts them out and that is how it goes.

Are we in a similar noose in the West? NATO is well across the bridge but the bridge (the gas) still stands. Is it not inevitable that the oil/gas gets cut off good and proper some time soon?

Posted by: P J | Sep 22 2022 12:59 utc | 41

Posted by: P J | Sep 22 2022 12:59 utc | 42
In Germany the radical Greens, who basically run the government, will just double down. And most Germans will follow without blinking. Just like they did during the Corona scam.

Posted by: xeen | Sep 22 2022 13:09 utc | 42

@Xeen 41

You describe the situation in Germany's big liberal cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich. The rural people in my parts are completely different. Yes, even the females. There's either outright anger at German politicians or simply fatigue and indifference. I'd attribute a 1:4 quota. (one angry, four indifferent) After three years of daily Covid19 fearmongering people are simply tired of tragedy. They just want to live a normal life, and that's what they are focussing on.

Posted by: Arminius | Sep 22 2022 13:09 utc | 43

I post this for MOAers "entertainment". It was in the Guardian recently. This person is crazy, stupid and worse - these people are crazy, stupid and worse.
.
.
.


Experts predicted a stalemate in Ukraine, here’s why they keep getting it wrong
Orysia Lutsevych

Mon 19 Sep 2022 12.46 BST

Ukraine’s recent stunning success in liberating a huge swathe of its territory from Russian occupation directly contradicted months of consensus opinion by commentators and experts who predicted that the war had settled into an indefinite stalemate. Public perception of the conflict, as well as important policy decisions, are swayed by such assumptions. At this stage we must ask: why do experts keep overestimating Russian strength and underestimating Ukraine’s military capabilities, and how can they avoid doing so again?

One obvious point is that western states have gradually increased supplies of powerful and sophisticated weapons, and Ukraine’s forces have convincingly demonstrated they can use them to powerful effect on the battlefield. But this is only part of the story.

By focusing on military hardware, experts often miss the “software” of war: the quality of leadership, morale and motivation, decision-making and governance and the engagement of society.

War is an expression of political culture on the battlefield. And there are stark differences between Ukrainian and Russian culture. Many in the west mistakenly thought Ukraine was just like Russia, but weaker, more corrupt and chaotic. In fact, while Ukraine is by no means perfect, it is more agile and decentralised, compared to the autocratic and rigid Russian state.

On paper, Russia’s military power is massive, with three times the forces, and a 10-fold higher military budget. It looked like Ukraine had no chance of withstanding a full-scale invasion. But it did. President Zelenskiy was extremely effective in stabilising the situation by demonstrating personal bravery, staying in the capital and delivering regular briefings. This wasn’t just a media exercise; his work in boosting morale and organising society around supporting the war effort in novel ways has been crucial to Ukraine’s success.

This societal mobilisation and cohesion have paid off throughout the conflict. The high morale of the Ukrainian armed forces reflects the general societal resolve to resist Russian aggression. Ukraine’s military budget is in effect much larger than the official state funding. Ukrainian citizens and the private sector work to support the army every day, and every company, family and city is providing additional support to soldiers on the battlefield. News outlets fundraise and buy drones for units where their journalists are serving. Agricultural companies send night vision goggles, used all-terrain vehicles, mobile showers, chocolate and much more to employees who have signed up to fight. Private companies of all sizes invest millions in upgrading Soviet equipment with modern microchips and electronics, add armour to vehicles, assemble drones and retune communication devices. Millions of these invisible threads connect soldiers to families and companies back home. They feel they are supported; they know there is a home front.

Moreover, many in the west have underestimated the basic intellectual and combat capacity of Ukraine’s forces. They have substantially improved after eight years of holding back the Russian incursion into Donbas. The strategic deception of drawing more Russian forces to Kherson while concealing the gathering counter-offensive in Kharkiv in the north would be seen as a huge success for any army. The commander-in-chief, General Valeriy Zaluzhny, is 49 years old and has combat experience in Donbas. Younger officers with promise are quickly promoted, and unit commanders are empowered to act independently and provide feedback. He is turning the army into an agile and modern network of truly collaborative units.

The societal crowdsourcing approach employed by Ukrainians has also seriously impeded Russian capacity to advance, occupy and gather intelligence. A new crowdsourcing intelligence tool allows Ukrainians to report Russian collaborators and saboteurs instantly and anonymously. Over 300,000 Ukrainians have used it. Various other IT solutions developed by civilians allow territorial defence units to protect information about checkpoints and sniper locations. It is a beehive of innovation.

The picture for Russia is quite the opposite: a rigid, hierarchical system, full of fear. Many in the west underestimated how little motivation there would be among Russians to fight and die for Putin’s imperial ambitions with no just cause. Russia is struggling to replenish its forces, turning to mercenary firms who have gone as far as recruiting prisoners (the Russian private military sector acts on orders from the Kremlin). War relies on accurate information about the enemy, and Putin is not getting it, because his subordinates are afraid to tell the truth.

Despite Russia pumping billions of roubles into modernisation, its armed forces remain unreformed at the command level, with corruption eating resources. To conceal massive embezzlement, official figures are often inflated. Tanks, artillery and armoured vehicles are only as good as the people operating them. And people are the last thing autocrats care about.

Finally, many were fooled by Russia’s menacing projection of the image of a great military power that can dominate any region with layers of missile power. Misconceptions about Russian military power are rampant. Ukraine’s successes in hitting Russian warships in the Black Sea and bases in Crimea demonstrate that Russia is vulnerable in ways few would have predicted.

Incredibly, many of these factors were obvious after the first few disastrous weeks of the Russian invasion. But it can take time to overturn long-held beliefs. We must not continue to make the same mistakes. Distinguishing myths and misconceptions about Russian and Ukrainian capacity from the real drivers of battlefield dynamics will be key to making sound policy and providing effective support for Ukraine. Indeed, it will be crucial for the outcome of the war.

Orysia Lutsevych is head of Chatham House’s Ukraine Forum

Posted by: tucenz | Sep 22 2022 13:11 utc | 44

This immediately solves the Russian manpower dis-advantage, while providing time to build cohesion in the force structure.

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 22 2022 11:37 utc | 13

Also, I believe existing RF troops already in Donbass can be used far more proactively and less for mainly support & artillery at arm's length from the conflict which up to now has mainly been executed by the Donbass militias.

Plus once attacks on them are attacks on RF proper the range of responses will change accordingly, again even from already in-theater forces.

The point being that although the newly mobilized will take time to be deployed, there will be changes on the ground ops almost immediately. Plus no doubt there are other troops ready to go but not in theater.

Phase III has begun.

Posted by: Scorpion | Sep 22 2022 13:15 utc | 45

How Ukrainian forces and its mercenaries are torturing and gruesomely murdering Russian troops, videoing the murders, and posting them online to try and turn Russians against the conflict, extra propaganda is provided by Valent Projects a UK deep state connected PR group.


https://www.mintpressnews.com/covert-british-information-war-targets-russia/281975/

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Sep 22 2022 13:16 utc | 46

Two of the latest videos from Andrei Martyanov

About partial mobilisation
https://youtu.be/WdZMYGMz89o

Game did change
https://youtu.be/KI8EmsdlBHU

Posted by: Down South | Sep 22 2022 13:20 utc | 47

Given these facts it is likely the members of NATOstan may wish to re-assess their commitment to further poking the bear. Given all of their problems do they really want to risk the arrival of Mr Kinzal?

It is therefore likely NATOstan will follow the US lead and dial back support for 404.

Without NATOstan paying the daily operating expenses of 404 the outlook for Z is bleak.

Posted by: Sushi | Sep 22 2022 11:44 utc | 14

The worse their economies get, the more Western leaders need the Russian Bear as scapegoat. They might reduce support as you say behind the scenes but that won't be the narrative in public. They instigated this conflict mainly to provide cover for their engineered collapse.

Posted by: Scorpion | Sep 22 2022 13:21 utc | 48

Mercouris and Garland Nixon livestream now. two of the best IMO.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP5IHoegHMo

Posted by: migueljose | Sep 22 2022 13:24 utc | 49

From IntelSlava

🇷🇺🇺🇦🇮🇷 The operational command "South" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that this morning the RF Armed Forces destroyed a port tugboat in Ochakovo, Mykolaiv region, using a Shahed-136 kamikaze UAV (baptized name - "Geran-2"). Also, the same drones hit a two-story building in Krivoy Rog.

Thus, we can safely say about the increasingly active participation of Iranian kamikaze UAVs in the conflict.

🇺🇦🇮🇱 Khokhls ask Israel to disclose intelligence about Iran's military support for Russia, - Axios, citing senior Israeli officials


Posted by: Down South | Sep 22 2022 13:25 utc | 50

Sushi@14

‘If Biden acts in a way that triggers an escalated response from RF the American public will ask "Why did you provoke someone you described as a madman?" "Are you totally irresponsible and incapable of understanding your own pronouncements?"’

I think you give the American public more credit than we deserve. Where I live (out in the sticks), I haven’t heard anyone even mention Russia/Ukraine in several months. The only “current affairs” talk I hear is about how bad the economy is.

Posted by: McAgnew | Sep 22 2022 13:26 utc | 51

108 neo-Nazis returned to the Azov battalion, including high ranking Azov commanders, these animals will go straight back into the conflict and commit war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

I wonder what happened to that US (bald guy) I think he was lieutenant-Colonel who was trapped in the Mariupol plant, and there was also the retired American Colonel who we saw as a captured prisoner taken out of the Mariupol plant. I wonder if the former died, and the latter exchanged or released.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Sep 22 2022 13:27 utc | 52

"Neither will there be an additional call-up of reservists"

https://twitter.com/francis_scarr/status/1572867519102296065

Should put a rest to the narrative that everything is going according to plan for Russia's war effort.

Posted by: Yenwoda | Sep 22 2022 13:30 utc | 53

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Sep 22 2022 13:27 utc | 52

Not true. By agreement, they shall stay outside Ukraine till the end of the conflict.

Posted by: KitaySupporter | Sep 22 2022 13:36 utc | 54

Renazification.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Sep 22 2022 13:37 utc | 55

NATO is not going to back down. Not a bit. That is a delusional theory.
Posted by: windwaves | Sep 22 2022 12:06 utc | 23

You are absolutely right.
Any hope in rebellion or street protests is futile.
I would add that EU is also not going to back down.

Posted by: rex | Sep 22 2022 13:40 utc | 56

Putin should have mobilized his reserves back in 2014 after the US sponsored Kiev Maidan-Nuland coup, installed their US stooge Porochenko who also ordered the Kiev Nazis to start shelling-bombing the Donbas Russian speaking civilians.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2022/09/14/has-the-kremlin-finally-realized-that-ukraine-is-no-longer-a-limited-military-operation/

Posted by: Hannibal | Sep 22 2022 13:41 utc | 57

@43 Arminius
You are probably correct. I live in a larger German city, and am amazed how gullible most people are, even after they were tricked with the Corona-hoax. They just sternly do whatever the government tells them to do, even when it's obvious to any schoolgirl how contradictory, incompetent and authoritarian the Greens are, and how destructive their policies are to the country. And they like to ostracize everyone who does not follow the government's instructions.

Posted by: xeen | Sep 22 2022 13:52 utc | 58

I think it may depend on perspective, but I would say that the Russian build-up will initially serve only to stabilize the front - providing some degree of normalcy of life in the liberated/conquered/seperatist areas. Unfortunately, Ukraine will respond with further provocations - missile attacks on civilian areas. Russia will respond with further more damaging attacks on infrastructure (Yugoslavia in slomo) and will then require Russia to further "escalate" to clear the Uskies back - the Dnieper (+ some) seems ideal for the near term.

I further conjecture that Russia feels allow continued influx of aid to Ukraine has some benefit - a drain on west and brings military to the front where they can be shot at. Also making NATO look somewhat impotent.

Posted by: jared | Sep 22 2022 13:59 utc | 59

It seems some progress is being made on Russia's attempts to engage the interest of the UN in the biolabs dotted about Ukraine. This from the Russian MoD (I reproduce in full because you can't access the site without a Russian VPN server): Long read but worth it.
19.09.2022 (16:15)
Briefing by the Chief of nuclear, biologic and chemical protection troops of Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov on recent consultative meeting of BTWC member States
Member States of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) attended Russian-led conference in Geneva due to the violation of the articles I and IV of the abovementioned Convention by the U.S. and Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defence of Russia has analysed the data of U.S. and Ukrainian representatives' speeches, the working documents of the member States, joint statements and the outcome document of the conference.
The Russian Federation has raised over 20 questions related to the illegal activity of Kiev and Washington within the BTWC. Here are some of these questions.
What was the reason for choosing the pathogenic microorganisms examined in Ukraine within the Biological Threat Reduction Programme and why was the range of the studied pathogens not related to current healthcare problems as, for example, Tap-6 project dedicated to examining agents of glanders that had never been recorded at the territory of Ukraine?
How shout the accumulation of most dangerous infections' strains and sending them to other countries contribute to improving the situation related to the contagious morbidity?
Why was the main emphasis made on examining the natural focal and most dangerous infections that, according to the lists of the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, are considered possible agents of biological weapons?
What researches that supposed using agents of contagious diseases and toxic substances were Ukrainian servicemen and mental patients involved in, being one of the most vulnerable categories of citizens?
And, finally, why do the U.S. and Ukraine obscure the military-biological cooperation in international reports under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), while the U.S. has been blocking the development of its verification mechanism since 2001?
The participants of the conference received the copies of genuine documents previously mentioned by Russian Defence Ministry, as well as the physical evidence that proved the implementation of works within military-biological programmes' in Ukraine.
There was no delegation that doubted the authenticity of the presented documents, including those related to the accumulation of pathogenic materials in Ukrainian laboratories counting the Mechnikov Anti-Plague Institute.
Ukraine has recognised the fact of inspecting the Institute by a commission from Healthcare Ministry, emphasising that '...80% of infringements have been eliminated...'. At the same time, Ukrainian party has totally ignored the questions related to unreasonable volume of storaging dangerous biological agents at the establishment and the detected gross infringements of their storage conditions: accumulating biological materials at staircases, absence of proper control system that provides access to pathogenic microorganisms.
No explanations on the range of the accumulated strains of dangerous pathogens have been received, though there had been implemented 19 researches related to examining possible agents of biological weapons (Congo-Crimean fever, hantaviruses, anthrax and tularemia) within UP and Tap projects since 2008 in Ukraine, as well as economically important infections (African and classical swine fever, Newcastle disease).
Neither Ukraine, nor the United States have presented convincing evidence to prove that the cooperation contributed to improving the sanitary-epidemiological situation after recent 15 years of its steady deterioration.
The outcome of the activity carried out by the U.S. Defence Department's DTRA in Ukraine presented at the meeting was limited by showing several pictures of repaired laboratory premises. There have probably been no results achieved, apart from the abovementioned pseudo-'achievements'.
The US and Ukrainian explanations regarding the export of strains and biological materials of Ukrainian citizens, as well as the observance of ethical standards while conducting research on military personnel, low-income citizens and one of the most vulnerable categories of the population, patients of psychiatric hospitals, looked extremely unconvincing.
While discussing this issue, the U.S. delegation recognised these facts emphasising that the pathogenic biological materials were '...seldom...' sent to the United States.
Apart from this statement that does not allow to evaluate the volume and the frequency of sending biological assays, the participants of the meeting have received no other explanations.
The questions related to the reasons of emergency elimination of documentary evidence of the military-biological activity have also remained with no comment. At the same time, Ukrainian delegation stated that '...it is not a trial and we are not at a cross-interrogation...'.
Russia presented the documents that proved Ukraine's interest in receiving technical equipment for delivering biological weapons.
This refers to a request by the Ukrainian company Motor Sich to the Turkish manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles Bayraktar Akinci, dated 15 December 2021, to equip the UAV with aerosol spraying systems and mechanisms with a capacity of over 20 litres, to which the Turkish party responded negatively.
Having no other points, Ukraine expressed doubts about the authenticity of this document, with the far-fetched argument that Ukrainian state institutions do not use Russian language in their correspondence. I would remind that Motor Sich is not a Ukrainian state-run company and it uses Russian and English languages to communicate with the Turkish party, that were the languages of the document we have presented. However, Motor Sich itself refrained from commenting.
I would like to particularly focus on the U.S. response to patents on technical equipment for delivering and using biological weapons, including an unmanned aerial vehicle to spread infected insects in the air.
The U.S. delegation stated that '...the development and production of biological weapons is prohibited in the U.S., and any violation is punishable by penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment. However, the decision to grant the patent does not violate U.S. obligations under the BTWC and does not mean that the U.S. government condones the inventors' claims ...'.
This statement is fundamentally contrary to the U.S. patent code that clearly states that a patent in the U.S. cannot be granted in the absence of a full description of the '...the device actually existing...' and its expertise.
Attempting to evade the raised questions, Kevin Garrett, Deputy Director of the Biological Threat Reduction Programme, spoke exclusively about the historical aspects of the programme.
However, Garrett haven't pointed out that the real goals of the programme, which were aimed at reducing the weapons of mass destruction potential of the former Soviet Union, and which had been achieved as early as 2008. Within the congressional hearings, it was reported that the goals of the programme had been achieved, after which it was extended to other regions of the world. Within the congressional hearings, it was reported that the goals of the programme had been achieved, after which it was extended to other regions of the world.
I would like to pay attention to documents confirming Ukraine's attempts to end its cooperation with DTRA. Thus, in April 2013, an interdepartmental commission consisting of representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine, Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food and the State Veterinary Service of Ukraine jointly decided that it was unreasonable to continue DTRA projects in Ukraine, but the US administration continued to impose them on Kiev.
A confirmation of the US administration's pressure is the address on the slide from US Ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft, dated 8 February 2013, in which he demands the Head of Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food to influence his subordinates to extend the DTRA project for another four years.
Even though the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food tried to refuse to participate in the Biological Threat Reduction Program in its response of 13 March 2013, the project continued.
We have said that in the run-up to the event, the US persistently demanded from the participating states on a joint statement on the supposedly "peaceful nature" of the Biological Threat Reduction Program, and some countries signed the statement. Fearing the US reaction and the threat of sanctions, many countries abstained from attending the meeting, as a result of which only 89 countries out of 184 BWC member states participating.
Only 43 delegations took the floor during the event, of which more than half (22 states) either supported the Russian position or took a neutral position. 21 states, among them Ukraine, the US and most of their NATO allies opposed, but even among them there was no unanimity.
Thus, the Russian speeches have caused many states to pay attention to the risks of cooperation with the Pentagon in the military-biological sphere, as well as to take a fresh look at the necessity and feasibility of such relations.
The emotional pro-American speeches were directed by the head of the US delegation, Kenneth Ward, who is currently the US special representative to the BTWC.
I would like to recall that he was the US Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons from 2015 to 2019. Before his arrival, the work of the organisation was constructive and focused on specific issues. One of the results of Ward's work has been to transform the professional, highly technical organisation into a politicised structure, with roles for the foreign policy goals of Washington and its NATO allies.
Within his time at the OPCW, Ward worked closely with the so-called White Helmets, who staged the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces in Khan Sheikhoun in 2017. Using this provocation as a pretext, and without waiting for an investigation to be launched, the Americans launched a missile attack on the Shayrat airbase, thereby grossly violating international law. In the coming year, following another White Helmets provocation in Duma, a missile strike was launched against a Syrian scientific research centre, already a well-established scenario.
It is clear that Ward's destructive activities on the BTWC platform are aimed at achieving similar goals and will help "tweak" the Convention mechanisms to suit Washington's goals.
We have repeatedly spoken about the true nature of the Pentagon's military-biological programmes outside national territory.
While the stated goals are to monitor infectious diseases and assist developing countries, in reality we see a capacity-building of US military and biological capabilities to circumvent BTWC commitments.
This manifests itself in the construction of military laboratories along the borders of geopolitical adversaries; the collection of strains of particularly dangerous micro-organisms specific to certain territories; and the testing of toxic drugs on humans.
In the case of Ukraine, we see that the declared nature of interaction was only superficially in line with Article X of the BTWC (international cooperation and information exchange for peaceful purposes). As a result of the DTRA projects, there has been no improvement in the disease situation and the situation in the countries bordering Ukraine has deteriorated in a lot of aspects. Other signs of "peaceful cooperation" were also absent.
As the event resulted in a "zero", non-binding report, we proposed initiatives to strengthen the BTWC.
The first is the resumption of negotiations on a legally binding protocol to the Convention that includes lists of microorganisms, toxins, equipment (similar to the CWC control lists), is comprehensive and has an effective verification mechanism. I would like to recall that the draft protocol was prepared by an international expert group, VEREX, back in 2001.
The second is the establishment of a scientific advisory committee with broad geographical representation and equal rights of participants, while respecting the so-called "principle of ten", according to which a decision must be taken taking into account the alternative viewpoint, even if it is expressed by only one state.
The third is the expansion of confidence-building measures with mandatory declaration by states of their activities in the biological field outside national territory.
As questions remain about the US and Ukrainian military-biological programmes, the Russian Defence Ministry will continue to take further steps to clarify the situation.

Posted by: pasha | Sep 22 2022 14:00 utc | 60

DunGroanin@6

Astute posting. Read on another section of the blog is that the Azov commanders who surrendered will be held indefinitely in Turkey rather than extradited to Kiev.

Posted by: aristodemos | Sep 22 2022 14:01 utc | 61

And as Garland Nixon and A. Mercouris just said, this prisoner swap will keep Turkey (the mediator) in the game, bolstering its position in the battle of the MIR card etc.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 14:07 utc | 62

Honestly, I don't understand how patrons at the bar can speak with such confidence about what either Russia or US/NATO/EU is going to do.

There are so many possibilities, and since Russia has been, is, and will continue to keep its cards close to its vest, I think trying to speculate about exactly what they are doing and why is difficult.

US/NATO/EU moves are hard to forecast as well, not only because of the 'unpredictability' of US foreign policy by design, but because of the wide range of tools (political, legal, economic) in the Western array.

For me, the wildcard is how the rest of the world will continue to interact with Russia. If 90% of the countries continue to trade with Russia, and if countries like Mexico continue to openly state positions that either support Russia, oppose NATO, or are neutral, then the chance that Russia's plan (whatever it is) will continue to work towards its fruition. This could lead to a somewhat peaceful denouement in which the world continues its move to multipolarity, and the US accepts its role a major player in world affairs, not the main or only player.

However, if the US can apply pressure to a range of countries (which it undoubtedly will do) like Turkey, the Central Asia Republics, and other nations in Africa and the Middle East, they may be able to slowly undercut Russia's ability to stay afloat economically and politically. Seems that this would be a longer project for the US to build and would need larger nations, like India, Brazil, and China to stop working with Russia. By this time, while Russia may well have brought eastern Ukraine into Russia proper, the European population may also have been beaten down by sanctions and propaganda (much like Germany in the 1920's and 1930's) allowing "the stones of" Europe "to rise" into open warfare with Russia.

Sure Biden says nuclear war is not an option, but the US has nuclear weapons and a policy for using them, and Biden is not actually in control of the United States. The US can use weapons in extreme circumstances to protect US interests and allies, very similar to Russia's policy. We can see that the Ukrainian population is expendable to decision makers in the West, what makes anyone think that other populations aren't expendable as well.

Will winter cause a slowdown in the war or an uptick? Once again, there are arguments on both sides that make sense. Seems that using winter to continue its advance would make sense for Russia as they would more of an ability to supply troops and keep the energy necessary for continued military operations while Ukraine would not. However, I do not have enough knowledge to know.

As usual, I'm still sitting at the bar, soaking it all in, hoping that leaders in the West will come to their senses and stop supplying arms to Ukraine while making overtures to Russia that legitimately address their concerns. Not likely.

Posted by: Objective Observer | Sep 22 2022 14:08 utc | 63

More recent from PCR who is clearly relieved by RF's latest step:
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2022/09/21/putin-agrees-that-i-was-correct-8-years-ago/


Putin Takes Decisive Step to Turn World Away from Armageddon

Putin Agrees that I Was Correct 8 Years Ago

Putin has come to my conclusion of 8 years ago that the only way to avoid a dangerous war between the West and Russia likely to end in Armageddon is to incorporate the Donbass and liberated areas of Ukraine into Russia.

This means “game over,” as Paolo Raffone, director of the Belgian CIPI Foundation, put it. Once the areas are part of Russia, the conflict cannot continue without the West committing aggression directly against Russia.

https://sputniknews.com/20220921/checkmate-putins-address-marks-game-over-for-kievs-us–nato-backers-analysts-say-1101056726.html

Why did it take so long for this most obvious of all points to sink in? Indeed, if the Kremlin had accepted Donbass’ request in 2014, there would have been no conflict.

Here is the Russian point of view which you don’t hear from the whore Western media. Regardless of what you think, it is what the Kremlin thinks that will determine whether you continue to exist:

https://sputniknews.com/20220921/putin-wests-goal-is-to-weaken-disunite-and-destroy-russia–1101028273.html

Posted by: Scorpion | Sep 22 2022 14:09 utc | 64

It seems some progress is being made on Russia's attempts to engage the interest of the UN in the biolabs dotted about Ukraine.
@pasha | Sep 22 2022 14:00 utc | 60

I truly get the concerns of biowarfare labs and matters surrounding Ukraine US etc. But from what I have heard seen the UN doesn't really care less about these matters presented by Russian MoD etc and nothing is being done, no steps taken, no investigations, nothing.

In that Russia can can keep talking until they are blue in the face and no progress whatsoever has been made via the UN thus far (and is unlikely going forward ) ........ have you heard differently?

Posted by: SeanAU | Sep 22 2022 14:13 utc | 65

They just sternly do whatever the government tells them to do, even when it's obvious to any schoolgirl how contradictory, incompetent and authoritarian the Greens are, and how destructive their policies are to the country. And they like to ostracize everyone who does not follow the government's instructions.

Posted by: xeen | Sep 22 2022 13:52 utc | 58

Last Christmas holiday season my son in Germany canvassed all his friends and extended family in Saarland and found - to his horror - that not one single person had any problems with the vax mandate policies. He started seriously considering leaving Germany with his wife and family. At first she was against it but then when Ukraine happened she was open, tentatively, but her choices were US or Canada which are basically the same in terms of mass complacency and compliance. So they are staying put and will hopefully contribute positively in their community during whatever turmoil is upcoming.

The thing which has surprised - and saddened - me the most the past few years is the extreme collective stupidity of developed nations populations. Shocking. And scary.

Posted by: Scorpion | Sep 22 2022 14:13 utc | 66

Likely that, while some Azov guys will be held in Turkey for a while at least, the US Mercs and selected special skills people will be released to wherever the CIA wants them to go. Yes or no?

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | Sep 22 2022 14:17 utc | 67

Posted by: Hereward | Sep 22 2022 11:16 utc | 8
.
Grain quality :
First, grain is a collective term for canola / barley / oats / wheat / etc.
Wheat and wheat are two different things, there is bread wheat and feed wheat, which has something to do with the protoin content!
Ukraine has largely declared wheat as fodder wheat which is cheaper, shipped to Italy / Korea / Turkey / Ireland / France and YES USA!
The quality difference in the price then disappeared in the darkness of corruption.
Note... large agricultural areas in Ukraine already belong to US companies, they paid 0 for this crop!
When ships loaded with wheat went to Africa, they came from Russian ports !!!
Not a single ship from the Uraine was used to fight world hunger....as the headlines in the West went.
Not a ship!!

Posted by: Mo3 | Sep 22 2022 14:19 utc | 68

@McAgnew | Sep 22 2022 13:26 utc | 51
I think you give the American public more credit than we deserve. Where I live (out in the sticks), I haven’t heard anyone even mention Russia/Ukraine in several months. The only “current affairs” talk I hear is about how bad the economy is.

The US was not constituted to be a world hegemon and its citizens (as in other countries) have more important domestic matters than to be concerned with countries especially those who are on the other side of the planet.

from George Washington's Farewell Address, 1796 . . .

. . .It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it, for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But in my opinion it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them. . . .Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 22 2022 14:22 utc | 69

It is therefore likely NATOstan will follow the US lead and dial back support for 404.
Posted by: Sushi | Sep 22 2022 11:44 utc | 13

I'm more inclined to go along with others here and expect there is no chance at all the USA/UK/EU or NATO is going to be backing down over Ukraine. Not now, not next year, not the year after ... no matter what economic impacts or other surprising issues arise or might flow from Ukraine/Russia.

I suspect US/NATO and other 'western' leaning support will only continue to increase even if it totally turns Ukraine into a wasteland like Syria/Libya/Yemen etc ... they will not back off or back down.

They will continue to relentlessly poke the Bear. They do not care how much pain or deaths it causes. They are crazed psychopaths one and all. Spent 20 years in Afghanistan. They are all mad. Look what they have done to Julian Assange and Snowdon.

Posted by: SeanAU | Sep 22 2022 14:24 utc | 70

Symmetrical response?

This morning, Ilya Kiva posted on Telegram: https://t.me/The_Kyva/3676/
that Z had reached out to Polish prez Duda about holding referendums in three western oblasts - Lviv, Ivano-Frankovsk, and Ternopol.

Kiva, who formerly served in the Ukrainian Duma, then ran for president in 2019, moved to Russia in March, 2022, and has been a political commentator on Channel One’s news program, “The Great Game”.

Kiva then suggests that Zakarpattia consider doing the same with Hungary, and Chernivitsi hook up with Romania.

Kiva’s post includes a revised map of a much-diminished 404, with Odessa, Nickolaev, Dniepropetrovsk, and Kharkov oblasts joining Russia. This leaves 404 with just 10 oblasts.

Interesting exercise for an economics student - could you build a sustainable nation with so many resource areas gone?

Academic, I think, since Z has sold off so many 404 assets that the sovereign nation must be dissolved (and NOT under the trusteeship of NATO). Cargill, ConAgra, DuPont/Biden, Soros & Assoc., et al, might get a few hryvnas in the settlement.

Posted by: LeoV | Sep 22 2022 14:27 utc | 71

news report (imagined). . .
Biden at the UN slams Putin's invasion of Ukraine in a speech to the United Nations . . ."Don't do what we do, rather don't do what we say you shouldn't do". . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 22 2022 14:28 utc | 72

@Silvanus 15

Your claim that Russia has breached international law, as the US, Ukraine and others have done is a blatant lie. Please read Chapter VII, Article 51 of the UN Grand Charter.


Chapter VII — Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression
Article 51
“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

After nearly a decade of artillery, rocket and missile attacks on civilian centers in the autonomous regions of the Ukraine, resulting in over 14,000 documented deaths of Russian Ukrainians, recorded in painful detail by OSCE monitors, with the Ukraine rejecting implementation of the Minsk Accords and escalating the bombardment in preparation for an imminent attack. Luhansk and Donetsk declared independence and appealed to Russia for assistance.

The CIS recognized the LPR and DPR and exercised it's "inherent right of collective self-defence", reporting the same to the UN. Contra the many US allegedly preemptive attacks on numerous countries, this is completely legitimate, which is why the majority of countries representing about two-thirds of Earth's population, have rejected the Anglo-American calls to sanction Russia.

Instead what is happening is the acceleration of ascension to a multi-lateral world, with the West having isolated itself from the fastest growing economies, ensuring and accelerating the West's decline, while subjecting their citizens to economic hardship and shortages of necessities.

Posted by: Hermit | Sep 22 2022 14:31 utc | 73

PS @70

for example as soon as the USA has the opportunity they will be sending in and arming a Ukrainian version of the Contras to reek havoc across the Donbass and elsewhere as if it's a "genuine freedom fighter rebellion against Russian occupation" - aka a Gladio-like insurgency ..... They will not stop. They will not relent or back down. Just look at their historical patterns of behavior all over the world. Money and resources is no object to them.

Posted by: SeanAU | Sep 22 2022 14:32 utc | 74

Brzezinski said in 1972 that, "international banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state."

They want it all for themselves. After the'ye razed the surface of the earth, they'll take it with them and hoard it in their deep underground military bunkers (DUMBS).

This is their back up plan. Everyone says they're flying by the seat of their pants. And hoisted by their own petards, but it's not true. They do have a back-up plan.

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | Sep 22 2022 14:33 utc | 75

... I wonder what happened to that US (bald guy) I think he was lieutenant-Colonel who was trapped in the Mariupol plant, and there was also the retired American Colonel who we saw as a captured prisoner taken out of the Mariupol plant. I wonder if the former died, and the latter exchanged or released.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Sep 22 2022 13:27 utc | 52

Accused of being trapped in Azovstal during the siege were Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier (US, bald guy who I think you mean), Lt. Gen. Trevor Cadieu (CA, retired) and Admiral Eric T. Olson (US, retired, looks a bit like someone seen in a line of Azovstal prisoners).

I haven seen any updates on these guys recently so this is my current knowledge, if anyone has more please chip in, apologies if things have changed!

Cloutier turned up June 4th at a ROTC ceremony in San Diego: search “cloutier rotc san diego”. There’s video, so it all looks legit, but not a word on his whereabouts from the Azovstal siege until then ... except the flimsy denials at the time. Someone posted this info in thread a few months ago, sorry I don’t remember who.

Eric Olson I don’t know anything on except for, again, flimsy at-the-time-denials.

Trevor Cadieu was admitted to be in Ukraine (not Azovstal) but nothing (photos etc) that gave decent support to these bland claims. Later, the Canadian press had the story that he’d returned to CA and presented himself to the police in relation to historical sexuality misconduct allegations. No photos, just light text.

Things might have changed but the last time any of this came up Cloutier was definitely in the US, Cadieu and Olson could be anywhere, in any condition, unless you place any stock in the unevidenced claims from Canadian officialdom. Poster c1ue argued with tenacious conviction in favour of the Canadian version of events, if you can work out why he/she did that, you win an awareness bonus =)

In spite of their seniority and the loud claims of them being trapped in Azovstal, not one of these guys came forward during the siege or at any other time when simply turning up somewhere else would have refuted any claims that they were in Azovstal.

Posted by: anon2020 | Sep 22 2022 14:35 utc | 76

Interesting exercise for an economics student - could you build a sustainable nation with so many resource areas gone?

Posted by: LeoV | Sep 22 2022 14:27 utc | 71

No worries!
If rump Ukraine becomes Israel 2.0 (as Z recently stated) then they will be a software/data/security state plus will be funded generously in perpetuam by City of L and USG, so no worries with finances, mate, thank you very much!

And just as with Izzlandia in ME, will be a thorn in the side of all neighbours in the region - including EU states. Their national anthem might lead off with:

"Blackmailing the West, blackmailing the East
With subsidized glory all round we plunder!!"

Posted by: Scorpion | Sep 22 2022 14:38 utc | 77

KitaySupporter (54).

I find that hard to believe.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Sep 22 2022 14:42 utc | 78

When Putin said "If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will without doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people - this is not a bluff". . . it is "a nuclear threat to West" in the MSM.

When Obama regularly said, with respect to Iran, that "all options are on the table" . . .it was 'so what' in the MSM.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 22 2022 14:43 utc | 79

I've read most of the posts above and what comes through clearly is that no one sat in on the meetings that led to the decisions to hold the referenda or to make the prisoner swap. Just quickly, I catch that many comments ignore important aspects of both questions. As an example, some do not realize that the Ukrainazi prisoners in the exchange will be spending the time till the conflict ends in Turkey, not Ukraine, thus they will not be donning their armbands and jackboots any time soon. All this tells me that we should perhaps hold our peace till we know exactly what is afoot, that, should we speak precipitously, we risk making fools of ourselves and proving that to the world very soon.

Posted by: Jack Gordon | Sep 22 2022 14:44 utc | 80

Don Bacon@69

Agreed. The point I was making (ineptly) was that I don’t think Biden will face political backlash for nuclear brinkmanship because no one I know seems to be paying the slightest bit of attention to the looming threat of nuclear Armageddon. Not that it will do him any good; his political goose is cooked because of the state of the economy.

Not that voting Biden out of office will do anything to help matters. Most of the people I know believe that Trump will return to the White House and make the economy better for the common man. You know. Just like he did last time. (SMH)

Posted by: McAgnew | Sep 22 2022 14:49 utc | 81

DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Office has published statistics on DPR deaths resulting from Ukraine’s war on Donbass:

  War deaths in the DPR
2014–2021 5041
2022 (up to Sep 15) 4003 including: Military & police 3082 Civilian 921
Total 9044

It seems to me that the number of civilian deaths in 2022 only includes deaths within pre-2022 territory. There must have been at least a thousand civilian deaths just in Mariupol alone.

Posted by: S | Sep 22 2022 14:54 utc | 82

Reports coming out from some of the ethnic republics that male university students are being taken straight out of classes. Some schools have closed and turned into enlistment offices. Men are being rounded up and conscripted from small villages.

I suspect in the poorer regions it will be full mobilisation rather than partial, however we will wait and see how it pans out. There is a lot of panic and confusion right now.

Posted by: Tom UK | Sep 22 2022 14:56 utc | 83

... this prisoner swap will keep Turkey (the mediator) in the game, bolstering its position in the battle of the MIR card etc.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Sep 22 2022 14:07 utc | 62

Dunno if anyone’s mentioned this possibility but I saw the claim that the office of RF president (I.e. Putin) had requested this exchange, so I was wondering if the return of Medvedchuk was the main thing?

Quite a few RF oligarchs have conveniently died since the start of SMO, presumably for scheming behind Putin’s back, other oligarchs might be worried on general principle. Now Putin is seen to make a personally damaging prisoner swap just to rescue a loyal / friendly oligarch ... a rather significant object lesson for RF oligarchy.

Also, the way things might be going, maybe there won’t be another opportunity to make this type of swap on any terms, I.e. if things get out of hand.

Posted by: anon2020 | Sep 22 2022 14:57 utc | 84

@ McAgnew | Sep 22 2022 14:49 utc | 81
The subject of this thread being warfare, not the economy, Trump took two major steps that limited US activities abroad -- cancelling the Pacific trade organization and setting up the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 22 2022 14:57 utc | 85

Ukrainian Armed Forces have shelled a market in Donetsk, killing 6 people: video. There were two hits: one at a minibus near flower stands, another near a grocery store.

Posted by: S | Sep 22 2022 14:59 utc | 86

The US-Ukraine strategy is sweet news to the US-MIC.
from Stripes
Acquisition of Apaches, other US materiel to make Poland formidable on NATO flank, envoy says . . .
Poland’s plans to acquire nearly a hundred “tank killer” Apache helicopters from the U.S. will be a difference-maker for NATO, a top American diplomat said. . here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 22 2022 15:06 utc | 87

Was just looking at photos of the released Russian prisoners. I have been one of those. I have escorted others out the gate. I know what a released prisoner looks like. This ain't it. Those prisoners have been used hard.

Also just did a quick google search on the cardinal acts of mercy. One of them, the one that is always missed, is To Set Free The Prisoner. Appears to have been memory-holed. Now it is become to visit the imprisoned. RF knows what Mercy is and good for them.

Historically setting free the prisoner was about paying the price to get debtors out of stir and a big fat injunction to rulers to pay attention and not forget. And from time to time empty those holes. Out of sight out of mind is what happens to prisoners.

Posted by: oldhippie | Sep 22 2022 15:08 utc | 88

Instinctively, releasing the Azov guys is prima facie a betrayal of the Principles of Justice RU et al have long been making a big noise about. How many times did we hear "War crimes and crimes against humanity shall not stand!" and "War Crime Tribunals"? Given what's happened, too many.

Instead of justice, we got a horse trade brokered by Saudis and Turks. WTF? Could it be worse?

The only conceivable scenario that can justify the trade is that the returning Ukrops were turned by RU Psy-Corps and have been re-directed to proselytizing RU's case, or better still into spies/saboteurs/assassins. I certainly wouldn't put any money on it, but maybe the Yelenovka Massacre triggered a Road to Damascus moment in a few of these ultra-violent brains that RU interrogators in turn developed into a cold lust for vengeance.

At any rate, if this was in fact a "Trojan horse trade", we're looking at a rather clever Maskirovka. Nobody will be surprised if Erdogan breaks his word and puts the ringleaders on a flight to Kiev (on receipt of suitable funds). The Saudis (no slouches in the betrayal business either) might provide the plane and/or the cash...

Time will tell, but as it is the prisoner exchange story doesn't square.


Posted by: HMS Terror | Sep 22 2022 15:11 utc | 89

I understand that the grain shipped from 404 is of low quality, and only good enough for animal feed.

Posted by: Hereward | Sep 22 2022 11:16 utc | 9

Also, I read that the owners of the shipped grain are the big international combines like Monsanto and Cargill who have been allowed to purchase Ukrainian farmland. Maybe true, probably true, given the nature of neoliberal finance capitalism.

Posted by: Tedder | Sep 22 2022 12:21 utc | 30

Correct in both cases - in the know

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 22 2022 15:20 utc | 90

I agree with the sentiment that the USA and its EU vassals are all in, because in a sense they have only victory or death as an option. It is clear (to me at least) that this conflict which has been manufactured over the past decade or more is a continuation of the Reset program which was kicked off by the response to SARS-Cov-2. Specifically the mass upward transfer of wealth and the hobbling of small and medium business combined with manufactured scarcity and the destruction of entire economies.

The big question that is getting tossed around is how the masses will respond as the winter shutdown effects take hold. While I agree that todays western human has been largely transformed into a feeble minded coward, that is not the case with everyone. Plus we cannot easily predict what a previously "domesticated primate" will do once cold hungry desperation kicks in. Sure we can speculate, but one really does not know the reality until it arrives.

Gladio style sabotage was mentioned earlier, and it appear already to be happening. Two can play that game however. A US made MANPADS was just caught in Germany, how much of the other gifted hardware has made it into the hands of naer'do'wells?! What about the legions of military aged men that were shipped in from MENA? How will those Parisian "suburbs" handle this winter squeeze? Stockholm? It's clear to me that the EU technocrats do not answer to the general populace and I don't even live there. I simply cannot believe that there is not a considerable percentage of the EU that can clearly see this.

Will the US & Friends keep pouring resources into what is fast becoming a 404 nation. It seems to me they have to. The Agri-Corps have bought ...what, 15 million hectares?! Given their considerable leverage on governments they wont let that just be taken away. Then there is the hell-bent drive to destroy Russia. Often this notion is greeted with skepticism but more than just a cursory glance at recent history confirms that it is indeed the case. For Russia it means a struggle for existence. For the US it means the dream of more pillaging to prolong it empire status. If I were a gambling man I would not bet on the latter: Bretton Woods is well past its shelf life, and the more nations that know it and act on it, the faster the avalanche will slide.

Escalation. As we all know this is pure speculation, but I am certain that thing will escalate before they simmer down. It comes down to whether or not the US and it EU vassals will respond to the pain that is inflicted like a rational creature, or just double down. I'll go out on a limb and say that Russian intelligence is aware of most of what goes on in Ukraine. What is a few "decision making centers" get whacked? A few satellites?

Posted by: Chevrus | Sep 22 2022 15:20 utc | 91

Gonzalo Lira reports in the following epiphany that he had to leave his apt because he is being targeted for elimination. He is telling all....

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2022/09/20/by-gonzalo-lira-coach-red-pill-who-is-zelensky-a-puppet-of-jewish-oligarch-ihor-valeriyovych-kolomoyskyi/

Everyone here should tune in and act as a witness...

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 22 2022 15:24 utc | 92

Ain't Capitalism grand? Because that's what WWIII is folks - the survival of Capitalism - the commoditization of creation - at any cost. Greed is the root of all evil and greed drives today's conflicts. Everything else is spin.

Posted by: gottlieb | Sep 22 2022 15:26 utc | 93

Tom UK | Sep 22 2022 14:56 utc | 83
Hope you're paid well to be such a useless tool.
Either prove your remarks or shut up.

Posted by: Pricknick | Sep 22 2022 15:28 utc | 94

@93 gottlieb

Oh, I don’t know. World wars are kind of bad for business. Rampant, pointless consumerism - the high point of capitalism- tends to go by the wayside when you are sitting in your foxhole and trying to stay alive.

Posted by: Tom UK | Sep 22 2022 15:32 utc | 95

Re: The prisoner swap.
Russia just proved again that it cares for the lives of its soldiers.
Remember when Israel traded 1,027 prisoners for one guy?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilad_Shalit_prisoner_exchange

Posted by: Tom | Sep 22 2022 15:33 utc | 96

anon2020 @ 76

There is an Admiral (4 star) Eric Thor Olson. SEAL and Special Ops. There is also a Major General Eric Thorne Olson. Yes, Eric Thor and Eric Thorne. Just a coinkydink. It happens. And it is hard to tell them apart in photos. Not related to each other. Whatever. You in the market for buying some bridges?

You will never have any solid information about Eric T. Olson.

Posted by: oldhippie | Sep 22 2022 15:35 utc | 97

@93 Tom - Greed has nothing to do with business Tom, like Empire has nothing to do with democracy, the rule of law or simple decency. And the point of surviving WWIII, which is US policy, is to rid the world of useless eaters like yourself.

Posted by: gottlieb | Sep 22 2022 15:36 utc | 98

Posted by: HMS Terror | Sep 22 2022 15:11 utc | 89


Instinctively, releasing the Azov guys is prima facie a betrayal of the Principles of Justice RU et al have long been making a big noise about

Depends on your instincts.

The Russians have realized that it's better to save the living than to avenge the dead.

This is a higher justice than the one you propose.

It acts in the service of Life and not in service to Death.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Sep 22 2022 15:39 utc | 99

>Posted by: Tom UK | Sep 22 2022 14:56 utc | 83
>
>There is a lot of panic and confusion right now.

The only panic I see is here in the West. Our economies are cratering, a great financial crisis is looming, our people are in a state of cold civil war, and our governments have long since been taken by corruption. It is us who are headed off a cliff. This view of impending doom here in the US is held by people of all political persuasions. Forget about Europe-they are toast. Save your concern trolling for the West...Russia's future looks very bright. They have tiny amounts of debt and endless underexploited resources.

Posted by: Ivan | Sep 22 2022 15:43 utc | 100

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