Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 18, 2022

Ukraine - Drones Turn Off Electricity

In early September Gallup did a survey in Ukraine:

More than six months into a war that many around the world (including Russia) thought Ukraine would lose quickly, most Ukrainians are resolved to keep fighting.

A clear majority -- 70% of all Ukrainians interviewed in early September -- say their country should continue fighting until it wins the war with Russia. Just over one in four (26%) favor negotiating to end it as soon as possible.

That 70% poll number is likely the high point as it came at a time that promised Ukrainian successes.

The situation for Ukraine has since gotten worse. Much worse.

Since mid September the Ukrainian counter offensive east of Kharkov has come to a halt. Despite serious Ukrainian losses the counter offensive in the southern Kherson direction has likewise not moved a lot. Both of these front lines are now stable. On the Donbas front the central Ukrainian position in Bakhmut (Artyomovsk in Russian) is in danger of being overrun.

Russia has mobilized some 220,000 reservists and some 70,000 volunteers. These are now in training and by next month most of them will be able to join the fight. The weather in recent weeks has become more rainy. Tanks and trucks can no longer move over open fields without risking to get stuck. In late November/December frost will set in. The ground will freeze and Russia will be able to launch large attacks.

Russia has also changed the war's rhythm. While it had so far refrained from hitting civilian infrastructure, aside from electrical transformer stations serving the railroad network, it has now launched attacks on thermal power stations and Ukraine's 330 kilovolt long range electrical distribution network.


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In Ukraine, as in Russia, thermal power stations are also used as district heating sources. Hot water is distributed to houses over large pipe networks. When the power stations are out people's homes will freeze. There will also be no drinking water. The freezing lines will experience serious damage.

The Russian attacks are effective:

From towns near frontline battlefields to high-rises in the capital, Ukrainians were trying to conserve energy as President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Tuesday that Russian attacks over the past eight days had destroyed 30 percent of Ukraine’s power stations and caused “massive blackouts across the country.”

The latest strikes have increased the likelihood of a miserable winter, with residents having to do without basic services such as heat and water.
...
Mr. Zelensky urged Ukrainians in his nightly address on Monday to reduce their electricity use during peak hours to “enable the whole country to go through this period more stably,” and many residents and businesses have been doing their part.

In his statement on Tuesday, he did not specify which power stations had sustained significant damage. On Tuesday, blasts hit a district on the eastern shore of the Dnipro River in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, according to the mayor, along with cities in the north and center of the country.

The attack on Kyiv killed three people and knocked out electricity and water in parts of the city, officials said, and came one day after Russia struck the city with exploding Iranian-made drones, apparently targeting electricity and heating facilities.

In Kyiv, lights flickered just after 9 a.m., and residents living in the city’s eastern reaches said they had heard an explosion. The mayor, Vitaly Klitschko, said that an “object of critical infrastructure” had been struck. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a senior official in Mr. Zelensky’s office, said that at least three strikes had hit an energy site, resulting in “serious damage,” without elaborating.

The USSR left Ukraine with a very decent electricity network and substantial generation capacities.


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The backbone of Ukraine's network are the 13,000+ kilometer of 330 kV lines and the 88 330kV transformers which connect the regions and allow capacity to be moved around. It could move enough electricity even to the eastern frontline when, due to the war, the power plants in the east were turned off.


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The Russian attacks seem to have two focal points:

  1. To turn off all thermal (coal, gas) power plants in Ukraine.
  2. To destroy those switching station where more than two 330k lines connect.

This will cut the generation capacity in Ukraine by half and totally disconnect some regions, especially in the east, from any generation capacity.

It will thereby darken the cities in eastern Ukraine which will make waging war more difficult for the Ukrainian military. It will also make it more difficult for material support like weapons and ammunition to reach the front lines. (The regions that were integrated into Russia receive electricity from Russia.)

The attacks on the Ukrainian electricity network will have some external effects. Throughout the last years Ukraine supplied surplus electricity to some of its neighbors. Moldavia and Hungary were the two biggest buyers of Ukrainian electricity. While Hungary is connected to the wider European network Moldova is not. It also has only 350 megawatt of generation capacity. In 2017 some 20% of its energy came from Ukraine. Should one of its own power plants fail or need maintenance  it will likely see blackouts.


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Partying in Kiev had continued throughout the war. It will now end. The misery of war will now come to its capital and to the rabidly nationalist cities and towns in its west.

Wars come at a cost. Last month most of Ukrainians had yet to personally feel that. That will now change.

A survey in Ukraine held in spring 2023 will likely show the opposite result of the one held in early September.

Russia has ordered more drones and missiles from Iran. Where it will put those to use is likely not yet decided. If Ukraine thinks of another provocation, like the recent Kerch bridge attack, it should better consider the consequences.

Posted by b on October 18, 2022 at 17:27 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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The rump state of Ukraine days are numbered as is it's grifter in chief

Posted by: JoeDontSurf | Oct 18 2022 17:36 utc | 1

#1
Ukraine is not finished yet. Thanks to the great lads at Boston University, there is sure to be another twist in the tale. Who needs to read great works of dystopian fiction anymore?

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Oct 18 2022 17:52 utc | 2

Didn't they feel the cost of war when Russia was trying to conquer Kyiv? And haven't there been several missile barrages far away from the front before the ones of the last two weeks? Ukrainians have been feeling that cost all this time.

And how is the Kerch bridge not a legitimate target? The three deaths in that attack are regrettable, along with all the war's casualties. But note that the attack did not happen when the bridge was packed with traffic.

And doesn't that 70% result debunk the accusation that the West was forcing Ukraine to fight this war against their will?

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Oct 18 2022 17:56 utc | 3

General Armagedon just spoke on situation. Says its very tense and he might have to do some difficult decisions. Also alluded to Ukro plans to blow dams.

Kherson is being completely evacuated. Russians might retreat again.

Im starting to like this Generals honesty.

Posted by: Comandante | Oct 18 2022 17:57 utc | 4

End of the Rechtsstaat

MK Bhadrakumar wrote about the future of Liz Truss as British Prime Minister and speculated about a "Night of the Long Knives."

The Night of the Long Knives was a purge in Nazi Germany from 30 June to 2 July 1934. Chancellor Adolf Hitler ordered a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his power. According to Wikipedia:

At least 85 people died during the purge, although the final death toll may have been in the hundreds, with high estimates running from 700 to 1,000. More than a thousand perceived opponents were arrested. The purge strengthened and consolidated the support of the military for Hitler. It also provided a legal grounding for the Nazis, as the German courts and cabinet quickly swept aside centuries of legal prohibition against extrajudicial killings to demonstrate their loyalty to the regime. The Night of the Long Knives was a turning point for the German government. It established Hitler as the supreme administrator of justice of the German people, as he put it in his 13 July speech to the Reichstag.

The Night of the Long Knives meant the end of the German Rechtsstaat. Rule by law was replaced by rule by terror.

The attack on the Nord Stream pipelines has resulted in a similar transition in Europe. Everyone knows who did it, but no one will name the culprits. Germany is not even allowed to investigate.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 18 2022 18:01 utc | 5

Great maps!

Posted by: too scents | Oct 18 2022 18:05 utc | 6

The accusation is the U.S. Warmongers will fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

Happening now....

Posted by: Gravy | Oct 18 2022 18:07 utc | 7

Ukraine would be well advised to shut down all of their nuclear reactors. While the fission chain reaction in a reactor shuts down almost instantly when the control rods are inserted, the residual heat from decaying fission products is equivalent to about 5% to 8% (depending on weather Uranium or Plutonium fuel is used and when last refueled) of the thermal power of the reactor at shut down. The cooling pumps will need to continue operating for weeks after shutdown to prevent a nuclear meltdown like Chernobyl or Fukushima. Russia is not going to target Ukraine's nuclear power plants. However; continued attacks on other thermal power stations as well as transmission lines and distribution stations are drastically increasing the risk of problems at the nuclear power plants. Even if Ukraine shuts down it's reactors now, they will need to continue topping off the reactor cooling systems and spent fuel storage pools.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Oct 18 2022 18:07 utc | 8

@Inkan1969 #3
A legitimate target does not excuse any and all forms of attack.
Disguising a suicide bomber as a Red Cross representative, for example, is not.
Neither is using civilian traffic plus an internationally negotiated embargo lifting to transport explosives through multiple neutral countries.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 18 2022 18:13 utc | 9

Oh, rest assured all will be well for our glorious Ukraine. Just yesterday, some Dan Sabbagh explained in the Guardian that Russia was running short on missiles (again?) and that the Iranian drones would never form a substitute as they are too few, too slow, and too easy to intercept. See here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/17/russia-targets-ukraines-energy-grid-as-winter-approaches

Jokes apart - thanks for today's piece, b. However I doubt that in spring 2023 (West-)Ukrainians will answer very differently in surveys. As Ivan Katchanovski and other researchers have shown in their analyses, Ukraine is a haven for national-chauvinistic attitudes and the war has only hardened their stances over the last year. So, after this winter, they will only cry victim louder than before. And don't forget – we have seen this behaviour in other wars before. Did the Germans perhaps terminate World War I in the wake of the Turnip Winter of 1916/1917 or have they drummed Hitler out of the Reichskanzlei amidst the Bombing War? Neither will the Ukronazis suspend their campaign, especially as the Empire of Lies and its cronies continue to fodder them with money, weapons, and more of these stupid Guardian articles...

Posted by: Seneschal | Oct 18 2022 18:14 utc | 10

inkan1969. If the comedian and his entourage actually told the truth the number would be much lower.
Dont forget that the 70% is a # taken when they thought they would win.
I read a story this morning on telegram about protests in Kiev over missing troops.
The narrative is beginning to unravel on the home front
IMO the bridge is legitimate if it is used to transport military stuff.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Oct 18 2022 18:17 utc | 11

inkan1969. If the comedian and his entourage actually told the truth the number would be much lower.
Dont forget that the 70% is a # taken when they thought they would win.
I read a story this morning on telegram about protests in Kiev over missing troops.
The narrative is beginning to unravel on the home front
IMO the bridge is legitimate if it is used to transport military stuff.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Oct 18 2022 18:17 utc | 12

So, Russia needs to KO the 88 transformers and has already hit some but how many? Unfortunately, b didn't provide any info which might be hard to unearth. IMO, the high voltage transmission lines would be easy targets. Transformers aren't off-the-shelf items and usually only a few replacements are kept in any national inventory.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 18 2022 18:17 utc | 13

Zsellout-ensky will go down in history as a Jew who collaborated with Nazis and caused his citizens to live like the Amish.

How long does this guy seriously expect to live for now? I give him 3-6 months max, and that's only because the public will need time for a narrative change first.

The amount of dirt he has on Western leaders alone means he is a walking dead man once his role of a lifetime act has expired its use by date. Easiest job in the world will be finding a Ukrainian with a grudge, or a general willing to step up the old school way, perfectly in line with NATO's plausible deniability of 'we didn't dunnit'.

Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 18 2022 18:18 utc | 14

From the Gallup article:

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 2-11, 2022, with a random sample of 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, living in Ukraine.

These things are allways worth checking, an often mentioned poll by Deutsche Welle about joining the EU was based on a sample between 18 and 65 year old in cities with more than 50,000 people, not quite representative of the voting population. Women seem still more in favor of a quick end of the war, even if they had better options for fleeing the country.

Posted by: Proteiros | Oct 18 2022 18:20 utc | 15

Thanks b. for compressing such valuable info.

Concerning 'Iranian' drones, and possible current and a future US bullying of Iran, are those really 'Made in Iran' or 'Made in Russia, under licence'? Does anyone know?

So far it was really intelligent and a cost-effective way to un-grid Ukraine for some time.

Questions arise on how quickly can Ukraine repair and recover its grid?

And there is maybe a quiet message to NATO to be read 'in between the lines' on a possible overloading of remaining few nuclear plants with knocking their distribution trafos, as an answer to Ukrainian shelling of NPP in Energodar.

Message is very clear - Do not do it any more, otherwise...

As I thought and thanks to Western propaganda efforts, there are hardly any 'hearts and minds' to be won West of Dnieper. Maybe later, but not now.

So putting a harsh no-party reality for Kiev and other cities might do the classical trick of 'Ukraine winning - by loosing' quality of life and having it equal to the last 8 years of a Donbass experience.

It might even have some reactive changes and start a pressure on Ukrainian, whatever they call themselves - peer rulers of the US/NATO.

It might be possible, but I doubt it, as it takes an amazing amount of time to sober up after so much propaganda bombardment.

Posted by: whirlX | Oct 18 2022 18:21 utc | 16

There was an article/opinions about intention of Russian bombing, and that is prevention of exports of electricity to EU and turning off some strategic assets (transportation etc.), not as a terror weapon to freeze civilians. It is in line with Russian soft touch tactics so far.

Basically, Russia destroys transformer, Ukies repair it - if it is used for civilian infrastructure it is not hit again, if it is used for export/railroads/military resupply it is hit again.

Something like that. Time will tell.

Posted by: Abe | Oct 18 2022 18:22 utc | 17

I do not believe these attacks on energy infrastructure of Ukraine are not more then PR stunt. Just to show that Russian army "can do something".
Sergey Surovikin is in fact announcing a Russian withdrawal from Kherson. Ukrainians are brave, ready to die for their oligarchs, like all Europeans. They also have this typically "western" determination.

See bellow:

RT:
Army General Sergey Surovikin on Tuesday spoke to media for the first time since assuming overall command of the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Describing the situation as particularly “tense” around the city of Kherson in his statement to Rossiya-24 broadcaster, he added that the military may be forced to make “difficult decisions.”

Posted by: marko | Oct 18 2022 18:23 utc | 18

IMO the bridge is legitimate if it is used to transport military stuff.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Oct 18 2022 18:17 utc | 13

Does this mean attacking the Ukrainian electricity network is legitimate if there is a soldier who shaves electric?

Posted by: Passerby | Oct 18 2022 18:27 utc | 19

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Oct 18 2022 17:52 utc | 2

“Ukraine is not finished yet."

* * *

Are you still snorting that cheap stuff? Ukraine is terminated and so, by the way, are you.

Posted by: GreyRaven | Oct 18 2022 18:27 utc | 20

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Oct 18 2022 17:52 utc | 2

“Who needs to read great works of dystopian fiction anymorep?”

Indeed.

It’s ‘funny’ how the dystopias portrayed in popular western novels, films and video games are quickly becoming reality. I wonder how the entertainment value of games like Fallout and apocalypse pr0n generally will hold up now that the events and circumstances they portray are no longer strictly in the realm of fantasy or things that only happen ‘over there.”

Posted by: Harry Haller | Oct 18 2022 18:29 utc | 21

How many people here foresee an all out assault on The Ukraine's interior and full-on occupation of Kiev by next June? If installing a friendly government is the objective, it seems there is no other way now other than that tactic -- especially since negotiations are forever off the table.

Posted by: Norogene | Oct 18 2022 18:33 utc | 22

@Comandante | Oct 18 2022 17:57 utc | 4

Kherson is being completely evacuated.
Of course. Sure. By all means.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 18 2022 18:35 utc | 23

One key factor is the withdrawal of Foreign Embassy staff from Kiev, and a corresponding remark from Lavrov to withdraw staff from the West.
A hardening of stances by the military pf both sides

Ukraine has ordered a media blackout - which is also a sign of a new assault
**

Kherson civilians are being moved to be able to provide for an increased defensive line by the Russians.
There are at least 9000 Russians near Kiev on the Belarussian side plus armour. (My own bet is a decoy force to ie up Ukrainian troops to protect Kiev)
**

Plus the arrival of Chechens (on one side) and the arrival of NATO/US arms and operating forces, on the other.
**

As time presses the US/NATO/UKrainian side may try a massive attack before, the winter sets in, and while they still have arms supply routes, and before the drones make an irreversible difference to the abilities of the USUKie forces (Even the arms smuggling by grain ships is likely to stop), from lack of electricity.
ie. Due to the new de-transformer policy of the Russians, it has precipitated a counter action from the US/NATO.

**

Conclusion, a massive and risky attack by USUKies, with a very real possibility of nuclear war, and external countries becoming directly involved.
****

For those who want a very comprehensive account of the underlying themes, (Oligarchs and Corporate. China/India and Africa)

https://medium.com/@nayakan88/understanding-the-great-game-in-ukraine-330897142aaa

He misses a bit about the reasons for the pre emptive start in February 24th, and underemphasisies the 8 years of bombardments of thee Donbas. But otherwise a good summary (Long)

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 18 2022 18:35 utc | 24

@uncensored | Oct 18 2022 18:34 utc | 25

70% of all West-Ukrainians, maybe,... what about the rebel Ukrainians, the East-Ukrainians.
Obsolete question, they are now Russians.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 18 2022 18:38 utc | 25

Ukroids will feel the benefits of OUN living standards. Watching their destruction as we throw them at Russia. Human stupidity is an amazing thing.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Oct 18 2022 18:38 utc | 26

70% during normal times in 'democraty' with 'free speach' would mean something. Now most probably answer as they should. Some of corse believe but others prefare being in safe side with gov opinions.

Posted by: Alef | Oct 18 2022 18:40 utc | 27

District Heating is a yuge subject. Next few days Kiev, etc will seem nighttime lows of 4c. My guess is Kiev will run their power plant boilers simply to heat the district heating water even if said power plant is cut off from the power grid and can’t generate electricity.

District Heating - is going to be a big topic.

Posted by: Exile | Oct 18 2022 18:41 utc | 28

The Reuters story seems to be an extension of an earlier Wash Po story:

"U.S. intelligence agencies declined to comment on the reports of pending Iranian shipments to Russia."

Both Iranian and Russian officials deny the comments.

It's no so straightforward to work out what it really boils down to, as dubious statements from Washington and Kiev have also been circulating. I doubt the Iranian's are exporting directly, but design details etc may have been acquired

http://acloserlookonsyria.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Shahed_136

Posted by: diagonal | Oct 18 2022 18:44 utc | 29

Stonebird | Oct 18 2022 18:35 utc | 27

Few here in the west understand that we are the modern Nazi Germany and we will fight for full spectrum dominance until our absolute destruction.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Oct 18 2022 18:46 utc | 30

#22 Grayraven

I'll be back.

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Oct 18 2022 18:46 utc | 31

#22 GayRaver

I'll be back, again. I am back.

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Oct 18 2022 18:48 utc | 32

Ukraine would be well advised to shut down all of their nuclear reactors. ...

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Oct 18 2022 18:07 utc | 8

Perhaps RF’s strategy is to make UA utterly dependent on its remaining nuclear generating capacity? Or it might simply be that RF is gradually knocking out all generating capacity but draws the line at attacking nuclear facilities.

Posted by: anon2020 | Oct 18 2022 18:48 utc | 33

karlof1 | Oct 18 2022 18:17 utc | 14

Hit big transformers and trains and supply lines and airports and troops and military leadership? No!!! after 7 months it's still preparing stage, evaluating.

Posted by: rk | Oct 18 2022 18:49 utc | 34

"...doesn't that 70% result debunk the accusation that the West was forcing Ukraine to fight this war against their will?" Inkan1969@3

What it tells us is that in states run by Nazis who publicly torture dissidents, ban all opposing viewpoints from publication and keep death squads busy, people answering phone polls are very unlikely to trust the polling firm not to hand their names and phone numbers over to the Gestapo.

The fact that 30% of a demographic excluding the eastern, anti fascist regions, went on record as being opposed to the war suggests that a massive revolt against the regime is coming soon.
And that is in Ukraine, elsewhere in the land where NATO rules the revolts have already begun.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 18 2022 18:52 utc | 35

Hit big transformers and train ...
Posted by: rk | Oct 18 2022 18:49 utc | 36

---

It would not be funny if the transformers in traction engines were repurposed to power villages.

Posted by: too scents | Oct 18 2022 18:53 utc | 36

Army General Sergey Surovikin on Tuesday spoke to media for the first time since assuming overall command of the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Describing the situation as particularly “tense” around the city of Kherson in his statement to Rossiya-24 broadcaster, he added that the military may be forced to make “difficult decisions.”

Posted by: marko | Oct 18 2022 18:23 utc | 20
.
Now this statement can also be defined or interpreted differently!
They interpret these according to their silent wishes, I as a neutral observer possibly like this:
There may be large-scale bombing raids ?
The use of destroyed weapons may be planned (flamethrowers)
It may be necessary to let the Ukrainians into the city and then completely destroy it?
For every single action it is better to have civilians out of the city !!
You see, it's all a matter of definition or wishful thinking!

Posted by: Mo3 | Oct 18 2022 18:54 utc | 37

Looks like the Kherson region will see a warm Autumn. The idiot yanks and brits having bombed the bridges think they can take it. This will be like Dier Ezzor. The Russians are preparing a killing field.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Oct 18 2022 18:55 utc | 38

reply to 4

No one seems to explain why Kherson will be evacuated. It hardly seems like Ukr can put up a good offensive anywhere. Send in a few tanks, lose 2 or 3, retreat.
Or.... is this a feint to entrap troops and then roll into Odessa with minimal opposition afterwards?

Posted by: Eighthman | Oct 18 2022 18:57 utc | 39

@3Inkandescant

If you believe that polls offer complete veracity and objectivity, I possess a nice block of flats in Warsaw for which I will make you such a deal.

Posted by: aristodemos | Oct 18 2022 19:01 utc | 40

Well, deep state conspiracies aside, if one was about to go public with proof the US was behind the Nord Stream sabatoge, they wouldn't be Assanged. They'd be killed. And from their perspective they'd have no choice but to handle it that way.

Posted by: GS | Oct 18 2022 19:01 utc | 41

It’s truly astounding that the Ukrainians have placed so much faith in the Americans to lead them to the promised land when a cursory glance over recent history shows that the Americans spent 20 years in Afghanistan to replace the Taliban government with a new……Taliban government. The American puppet Afghani army was trained and supplied to NATO standards was it not and it folded like a cheap tent when Taliban soldiers were sighted coming over the nearby hills. Iraq and Syria are two more examples of American failure to achieve their aims. Unlimited American support is no guarantee of success but the probability of catastrophic failure seems to increase exponentially. It defies common sense and human nature to embark on a campaign when the certainty of catastrophic failure is almost guaranteed. With this level of irrational thinking at play it is unfortunately not possible to completely rule out the use of weapons of mass destruction because the people on the Western side of this conflict are disconnected from reality and increasingly so it would seem.

Posted by: John G | Oct 18 2022 19:04 utc | 42

Hey guys how did the russians survive in very cold winters? A good quantity of russian Vodka


I see sales are going to rise in europe :) :D

Posted by: Macpott | Oct 18 2022 19:06 utc | 43

Seems a lot of people here are incredibly impetuous and just can't wait to get WW3 on the go.

Newsflash: Unless you want to die, in which case I totally understand, I have no idea why you don't leave the running of this operation to competent people who, you know, do it for a living.

Putin didn't spend the better part of 2 decades rebuilding his country, only to be remembered as the man who initiated WW3, and make no mistake, if that gets going (and some of you might well get your wish), that is all he will be remembered for.

It seems that some people don't understand the logistics of moving tens of thousands of troops, hundreds of vehicles etc.

This is not 'Command and Conquer', you can't just teleport stuff all over the map wherever it is needed.

That is not to discount the fact that this has not gone perfectly for the RF, or that wars ever do, that is again fallacy born of people who don't know the first thing about fighting a war, especially one where the RF is going to considerable extremes to avoid hurting/killing the civilian population as much as possible.

In other words, be careful what you wish for ...

Posted by: Bob Jenkins | Oct 18 2022 19:07 utc | 44

It would be a miracle if the Ukrainian (NATO) army is still fighting by spring of 2023. The Kiev regime is in deep hole now as its principal backers, the Uk and the USA, are embroiled in their own national problems. The "Stand with Ukraine" meme is also no longer popular in Europe for obvious reasons. Annalena Baerbock and her partners in crime may continue to wallow in fantasy, but reality has a way of intruding on pipe-dreams in an unexpected way. At the moment even the NATO megaphones have started reporting the increase in social unrest around the European continent. My guess is that before spring, the bubble will burst, and the Ukronazis would be faced with a fait accompli.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 18 2022 19:07 utc | 45

RE: Kherson evacuation, they are talking about the countryside, not the city. This just in from the Governor:

ÄThere is an immediate danger of flooding of territories due to the planned destruction of the Kakhovskaya HPP dam and the release of water from the cascade of power plants upstream of the Dnieper. In such a situation, I took the difficult but correct decision to announce the organized relocation of the civilian population of Beryslav, Bilozersk, Snigiryivka, and Aleksandrovsk municipalities to the left bank of the Dnieper.

This decision is prompted by the creation of large-scale defensive fortifications so that any attack can be repelled. There is no place for civilians where the military operates. Let the Russian army carry out its task.

Under these conditions, our key task is to save human lives and allow the troops of the Russian Federation to effectively perform their functions in defending the Kherson region. We will be removing the civilian population to the left bank in an orderly, step-by-step manner.

For those residents of the region who decide to move on, to the regions of Russia, the Russian Government will provide housing certificates. This was specifically announced by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin. The relocation and temporary accommodation of residents of Beryslavskiy, Bilozerskiy, Snigirevskiy, and Aleksandrovskiy municipalities will be free of charge, by the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation and the Government of Kherson region.

I ask everyone to keep calm and not to listen to alarmists, Kherson region remains under the reliable protection of the Russian army. Our cause is just. We know it and our enemy knows it. And the victory will be ours.(So no panic just removing civilians to safe areas,removing them from danger if Kakhovka HPP is sabotaged in any way)"

Posted by: dask | Oct 18 2022 19:10 utc | 46

No one seems to explain why Kherson will be evacuated.
Posted by: Eighthman | Oct 18 2022 18:57 utc | 41

---

Flood risk from the possible destruction of the upstream dam at Kakhovka.

Posted by: too scents | Oct 18 2022 19:10 utc | 47

Elmer Fudd @8

My surmise is that the Russian authorities have taken in the nuclear meltdown possibilities into full consideration. From all their past actions, there is no indication that they wish to cause innumerable casualties within the population. So it seems not unlikely that hey will have a cutoff point, after which they will focus their degradation bombardments at another whole field of targets, particularly the electrical railroad network.

Bear in mind that Russia considers Ukrainians as not only Slavic brothers, but also as their deliberately deluded and misled little brothers. But it is obvious that their aim is to shut down the place to the point where their campaign beginning sometime next month will be essentially a cakewalk.

If there are any sober heads within the Ukie power-structure, they ought to be full well aware by now that provocations will only bring on even stronger punishment.

Posted by: aristodemos | Oct 18 2022 19:12 utc | 48

... If I were a US deep state cadre I'd be thinking we could probably start killing European dissidents like Wagenknecht with impunity, without even investigations. ...
Posted by: Flying Dutchman | Oct 18 2022 23:32 utc | 42

Maybe send an oblique message first?

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/09/05/German-businessman-named-as-owner-of-jet-that-crashed-i

Posted by: anon2020 | Oct 18 2022 19:15 utc | 49

Is there any reason why a dam couldn't be able to open at Nova Kakohvka reservoir to start releasing it towards the sea? To mitigate the damage an attack could cause.

Posted by: unimperator | Oct 18 2022 19:17 utc | 50

Waiting impatiently for Down South to show up and provide us with Telegram updates.

I appreciate all that Karlofi and Down South do to make sure we have updated real news during the time between B's updates.

Plus, they outweigh the trolls' "contributions", which get annoying.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Oct 18 2022 19:18 utc | 51

I have been of the opinion that if Russia if forced out of Kherson, it would be a political disaster. If Russia is forced off the west side of the Dnieper it will be a Political and Military disaster.

The only reason why Russia might be defeated in Kherson is an inability to supply the forces needed to hold the place. That means Novokahovka where the dam and the rail line running over the dam is located.

If Russia driven off the west bank, they will unlikely to be able to cross back over. The only hope of return, assuming Ukraine is still able to resist, would be from the north. The political fall out and loss of confidence in the military and in the Putin government would be non-trivial.

Russians are already inclined to have little confidence in their institutions. Russians expect their institutions to be incompetent.

It really is show me time for the Russian Army. Not every decision can be purely a military decision. The purpose of war is to fulfill political ends.

If the difficult decision the General is describing is loss of Kherson/West bank, it can only be because the political leadership has consented. If such a loss occurs and is not immediately followed by a massive decisive offensive in another location, Russians can rightly conclude that the Army and Putin has failed them and press for change.

Posted by: Dan Farrand | Oct 18 2022 19:18 utc | 52

The situation in Ukraine is like a pre event welcome & cocktail get together. Can be business, can be social, can be sports related.

But as is usually typical, attendees are really thinking about the ensuing day(s) to come, so one by one politely excuse themselves to return to their rooms while the main ballroom goes empty.

But who is covering the coming big event in the real world? How many times can Ukraine be flogged when the true impacts which will change the course of human history are waiting in the wings?

If the current crop of alt media mavens can't get off the dime, is anyone picking up on more relevant hosts? Or is it simply time to stop watching and start acting?

Even if it is time to shut up and get on with it, it would be interesting to interact with others in their respective regions to share insights as to what is and isnt happening.

I can speculate and position for what I think is going to occur in the us-mx sphere, but I'd be curious whether similar dynamics are in play throughout the vast multitude of fracturing geo political zones as the hegemon thrashes about in its death agony.

Posted by: B9k9 | Oct 18 2022 19:21 utc | 53

The Confédération générale du travail (CGT) has blocked the country to contest the high prices and the loss of purchasing power caused by inflation. With the march on October 16, hundreds of thousands of Parisians marched from Place de La Nation to La Bastille shouting “we have no petrol but the energy of our legs”. And today it has been replicated.

Some people hope that The West can change its direction due to these protests.
But they are wrong.

Posted by: marko | Oct 18 2022 19:22 utc | 54

norogene@24

Doubtful that the Russians have any intentions of fully occupying Kiev...too many rats in the sewers and cellars. Their logical solution would be to sift through their Ukrainian POWs to determine which of them would be willing to form the cadre for a NovoUkrania army. That way, Ukrainians, not Russians would keep the peace in the capital city.

Posted by: aristodemos | Oct 18 2022 19:23 utc | 55

reply to 55

https://t.me/Slavyangrad/15188?single

Slavyangrad shows a flood map that is ominous. Ukr blows up a dam and Russians get trapped in front of a flood. I can now see how retreating Kherson might be needed. Doesn't look good.

Posted by: Eighthman | Oct 18 2022 19:25 utc | 56

@41 buildup of nato/ukr forces in area. Expectation of attacks on civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, dam that supports major electric power facility, etc.

Russia is also building up its forces. It's a last ditch effort by Nato to take Kherson before winter.

Russia has "surprises" in store, but they expect heavy fighting. Of course, another firebag is always possible too.

Regardless, better for civilians to be out of the way.

It's strategically important to Russia, so they will do what they have to. The "tough decisions" by General Armageddon are more likely to be flatten than retreat.

Posted by: Mary | Oct 18 2022 19:29 utc | 57

joejoe@44

Enough fantasy fun for today, young feller. Time to hie on back to Trollheim and crawl under a convenient bridge.

Posted by: aristodemos | Oct 18 2022 19:31 utc | 58

Is there any evidence that Russia is using Iranian drones, not that there is any reason why they should not? If they were using them I would expect the Ukrainians to have produced some tell tale fragments by now. Both Iran and Russia have denied it.

Posted by: Theophilus | Oct 18 2022 19:31 utc | 59

It seems there's a funny bug in the board software. Every time I reload the page to see new postings, the posting of "Flying Dutchman" (where he supposes that the deep state could kill Wagenknecht) jumps forward in the number of postings.

I saw it as number 42 as number 49, 52, and at the moment as number 60.

Posted by: Helmuth von Moltke | Oct 18 2022 19:31 utc | 60

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Oct 18 2022 17:56 utc | 3:

And doesn't that 70% result debunk the accusation that the West was forcing Ukraine to fight this war against their will?

That 70% result was 'produced' by an entity precisely to allow trolls like yourself to say what you just did. It was a western entity. Had it been done by a Russian entity, I suspect the result might have been 7%. Neither such results are true gauges of real Ukrainian sentiments, of course. But I suspect you know what I mean, yet would still trumpet silly narratives to earn your 50cents per sentence pittance.

That party picture that NYT posted on its front pages, do you think it's really how Kiev residents feel about how the war is going? You western groupies are really despicable.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Oct 18 2022 19:34 utc | 61

dask@49

Thanks a bunch for doing the research and clearing up the evacuation matter. Your findings will greatly disappoint the nervous nellies, wet blankets and assorted trolls. Now, they will need to find another issue which they can paint into a sore point.

Posted by: aristodemos | Oct 18 2022 19:38 utc | 62

If Russia has indeed fortified Kherson, and prepared itself for a siege, then any talk of "difficult decisions" could be part of an attempt to lure the AUF to making a siege.

If Russia could keep them at the perimeter for a few days then all of Ukraine's forces, both troops and equipment, would be out in the open and exposed to withering bombardments. If Russia were to mine the outlying structures, and was prepared to have artillery and missiles detonate only a few hundred meters ahead of their positions, then Kherson could be like a "Roach Motel" for the Ukrainian assault.

It could become the case that a quick and easy withdrawal wouldn't be possible. And if/when Russian tanks and tracked vehicles can start rolling toward the Ukrainian assault forces because freezing weather has arrived, it might be too late to make any kind of a retreat.

"And the rock cried out, 'No hiding place'."

Babylon 5 : And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYeU0nFpDyY

Posted by: Babel-17 | Oct 18 2022 19:39 utc | 63

Comandante #4:

Yeah, if Kiev started blowing up dams etc., it's clear indication that Zelensky and Biden have really decided to fight this war to the last Ukrainian. Biden, I've never doubted his inclination to do such a thing. Zelensky, I'm a little surprised since he is Ukrainian after all. But these days, there are really lots of animals walking around. SIGH!!!!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Oct 18 2022 19:41 utc | 64

I was listening to "Dr" John Campbell's broadcast on ytube from about 5 months ago on the 1st appearance of the coronavirus in North Korea. You know, because China's policy sucks so much, it has also spared a completely unvaccinated N Korea, up until a few months ago? because of what unscientific idiots the Chinese are?

lo and behold, during the broadcast, Campbell goes thru a list of some of the medical supplies denied to N Korea by sanctions, like steroids.

and he cannot help but express the wish that the coronavirus will destablize the N Korean gov't. a medical expert expressing the wish that a public health threat will be so catastrophic to the populace that it destroys their government, gloating in the possible consequences.

the same mentality infects every aspect of US elite "culture." a vicious, vicious brutality that cannot recognize itself for the monstrosity it is. The problem may not be so much what Russia can or cannot do militarily but that the West has no hesitation to sacrifice a populace to achieve its ends.

Poor Ukrainians, they better revolt soon, against Kiev and Brussels and DC and Warsaw and Berlin, or they'll be starving and freezing to death in a few weeks.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 18 2022 19:44 utc | 65

@69, SG:

Agreed with your opinion. I think NATO made a huge mistake in their assessment of Russian resilience. They overlooked the China factor, due either to arrogance or ignorance. They'll be sorry big time for this mistake.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Oct 18 2022 19:47 utc | 66

Dan Farrand @55

All the earmarks of a "nice guy" concern troll. No doubt that Russian logistical experts have come up with plans to re-supply the Kherson region with the use of boats, if none of the bridges can sustain the traffic. With aerial supremacy, the issue will not be one of great difficulty, except perhaps for transportation of heavy armor and howitzers. But between a mass of mortars and great flocks of drones, any drives by the remnants of Ukrine's T-55's and 74's should be obviated without great difficulty.

As in the Liman counter-offensive, it is probable that the Ukies will begin their onslaught with the usual cannon-fodder, their conscripted "Territorial Defense" brigades. With the exception of donations from NATOstani countries, Poland in particular, the professional Ukrainian army of some 200,000 men are now mostly horizontal and immobile.

Exactly three weeks from today, any impetus for Ukrainian attacks on that front will fritter away in the late autumn breezes. Why? November 8 is the day of the Democrats' feared Midterms, during which virtually every polling and public research organization predicts that they will take a bath. Only exception would be the not indistinct possibility of a nuclear false-flag, most probably on a mid-sized American city, likely somewhere in the Bible Belt. Let's hope, for the future of the human race that whatever cool heads still exist in the Pentagon would put a strong thumbs down on that Neocon notion.

Posted by: aristodemos | Oct 18 2022 19:51 utc | 67

One notes that, due to the exodus of the population and the shutdown of much heavy industry, Ukraine's baseline electricity demand is about half that of pre-war levels. So if 30% of the generating stations have been hit, that's really nothing. Russia will have to take out something like 80% of generating capacity to really cripple the Ukrainian economy (wild guess)- and perhaps they can, but they haven't just yet.

I also note that it's a lot easier to repair a damaged electrical generator, if you still have electricity. In fact I think many electrical power stations can't even be restarted in isolation from a functioning grid. There is I think a threshold of generating capacity below which repairs themselves become much much harder, though I don't know what this number is.

Of course the Western elites and their Ukrainian puppets care less about Ukraine itself, the people themselves can freeze to death, it doesn't matter. It would only take a tiny fraction of pre-war generating capacity to handle the military needs for repair depots etc. Military supplies can continue to be brought in from the west via diesel powered trucks and trains, and military equipment can be run using portable generators. Still, if Russia can wipe out enough of the national grid, that will hurt Ukraine's war effort, no doubt.

It would seem to me that a major effect is that this will further increase the cost to the west of subsidizing Ukraine. The West wants to use Ukraine to bleed Russia, but Russia is also using Ukraine to bleed the West.

One notes that many of these (alleged) Iranian drones are very primitive - and very cheap. I have heard $20,000 each. If the western powers supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles that cost $400,000 each for a sidewinder, and $1,000,000 each for an AMRRAM, well, the Russians can send these cheap drones into Ukraine to be shot down all day. Even the vaunted western allies might have trouble paying for this for very long. And if the Russians are smart (not exactly proven) they will use these cheap drones to draw fire and screen the more capable ones, in particular locating anti-aircraft sites that are shooting at the cheap drones and taking them out.

But love or hate the western powers behind it all, there is no doubt that the Ukrainian military commanders are smart and tough and very imaginative. I suspect that the bombings of the Nordstream pipelines and the Kerch bridge will not be the last that we hear from them.

Interesting times.

Posted by: TG | Oct 18 2022 19:52 utc | 68

@Petri Krohn
It's already started, albeit a bit softer. Germany fired cybersecurity chief over 'Russia ties'. It's basically a slow rolling purge of anyone who was ever breathed on by a Russian.
Should EU stability come into question this winter, I suspect a lot of likely innocent people are going to become the victims of these witch hunts.

Posted by: V87 | Oct 18 2022 19:57 utc | 69

@Passerby21. Unfortunately electricity generation is a legit target, especially in 404, as transportation is heavily electrified as I understand it.
I do not know if the Kerch bridge was dual us or not, most likely. Hence my opinion. Im guessing 404's soldiers have bigger problems than a close shave, electrified or not.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Oct 18 2022 20:00 utc | 70

@Eighthman | Oct 18 2022 18:57 utc | 41
No one seems to explain why Kherson will be evacuated.
It's because urban Kherson is surrounded by ever-shrinking military line (FEBA) on three sides and the Dnipro River with blown bridges on the fourth side. An army cannot survive without logistical support, including weapons, ammunition, spare parts, food, medical support and also soldier replacements.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 18 2022 20:05 utc | 71

@John G | Oct 18 2022 19:04 utc | 45
It’s truly astounding that the Ukrainians have placed so much faith in the Americans to lead them to the promised land . . .
Considering the 15+ billions of dollars sent to Ukraine from the US and its puppets, I'd say that they are in the promised land. . ."war is a racket," Smedley Butler.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 18 2022 20:07 utc | 72

Yesterday Dima (military summary) talked to friends in Kiev who told him about the mood of people. According to them people in Kiev now get angry with Selenskij and start talking about Minsk II.

We never heard of any rebellious, anti-war, anti-gov. or anti-western movements in western Ukraine, and will prolly never hear coz of the nazis. You must understand that these guys penetrate the whole society and military, and people are scared of them. Without nazis there would 've been mass desertion and the whole army had crumbled already, there had been some political uprising.
That's why for Russia "denazification" is so important.
That's why for the western media it is so important to deny the existence of any nazis.
These guys are prolly backed now by Academi mercenaries, NATO soldiers, etc. and above all by the western media narrative of the "good Ukrainian".

I wonder if this war can be ended by means that no one saw coming. A showdown between Ukrainian civilian society and emerging truth on one side, and Selenskij, his nazis, and western narrative on the other side.

Posted by: cortomaltese | Oct 18 2022 20:07 utc | 73

@Theophilus
It's already taken as confirmed among the Russian Telegram communities that Russia is in fact using Iranian drones, albeit their name has changed from 'Shahed' to 'Geranium' and some have been modified to use GLONASS, Russia's navigational system, and a smaller payload, allegedly due to space constraints from installing the GLONASS module.

It seems that the Russian defence sector did not adequately invest in drones and is now using the Iranian supplies to fill this gap before their own production comes online. On the whole, it seems to be a good decision at this time because they're much cheaper than cruise missiles, and Ukraine does not have adequate anti-drone air defense (e.g. Pantsir) that would render drone usage uneconomical.

It is ultimately the EU that's paying for these drones with their oil and gas purchases, so a soft win of sorts for Iran and Russia.

Posted by: V87 | Oct 18 2022 20:07 utc | 74

Since global energy flows have all been affected by the conflict, this news is relevant although far from the front, RT reports, "US warned of winter blackouts: Gas supplies to several states in the northeast could shrink if the weather changes for the worse, the news outlet reports, citing grid officials."

And that's more than likely to occur thanks to the combination of US law and profit motive:

According to the report, the surging LNG demand across the ocean amid dwindling gas flow from Russia puts the supplies needed to provide electricity to the US’ northeastern region – including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island – in jeopardy. These states have limited pipeline capacity and rely on LNG imports from abroad for more than a third of their gas supply during periods of peak demand, according to the Energy Information Administration. They also cannot buy US-produced LNG due to the Jones Act, which bans the movement of ships between US ports.

Europe is also a much more attractive buyer for LNG suppliers than New England. According to the news outlet, while the European benchmark price for natural gas was over $100 per one million British thermal units, gas prices in New England rarely climb above $30.

Earlier this year, the governors of some New England states sent a letter to US Energy Secretary Jennifer Graholm asking her to dispel the Jones Act and allow for domestic LNG imports to the region. However, there are no reports so far regarding a change in legislation.

New England states are usually taken for granted as Blue--D-Party--States, so why risk further alienating voters by not using an executive order to waive the Jones Act? If the Act remains, then gas prices will need to rise to at least the levels of the European spot market to make LNG shippers "patriotic" instead of their greedy norm. I don't know if we have barflies living in the affected states, but the collateral damage caused by Biden's policy will include them as victims.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 18 2022 20:11 utc | 75

Flying Dutchman
Now at 74 and rising steadily.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 18 2022 20:12 utc | 76

bevin @79--

And others as well. I've noted the false time-out notices too. The blog's software was certainly damaged by the last attack and likely beyond b's ability to repair.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 18 2022 20:15 utc | 77

reply to 76

Could Russia approach parts of the Ukr army and talk them into non aggression/ceasefire? Find commanders who might arrest or shoot the Azoz types in their ranks? Better yet, use subregions within Ukr for separatism.

Posted by: Eighthman | Oct 18 2022 20:21 utc | 78

Maybe Outkast will get together again and make a another version of their weird hit B.O.B. (Bombs over Baghdad). They'd have to call it "B.O.K. (Drones over Kiev)".

Don't pull the thang out,
unless you plan to bang
Drones over Kiev
Don't even bang
unless you plan to hit something
Drones over Kiev

---

Petri Krohn | Oct 18 2022 18:01 utc | 5

"Everyone knows who did it, but no one will name the culprits."

Yes, it's sad. It's a country eating sh*t, pretending it's strawberries & cream. Obediently accepting insult on top of injury. I'm disgusted about being a part of this country when I wake up in the morning, I'm disgusted about it when I go to bed in the evening.

There are pictures online now of the pipeline damage. It looks massive. Not just cut in two and opened up, but destroyed along some length.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Oct 18 2022 20:27 utc | 79

karlof1 | Oct 18 2022 20:11 utc | 78

There are about 35 LNG tankers waiting offshore near Spain, to take advantage of the higher prices paid by the EU. BUT, there are not enough port facilities for them to unload.
****

Kherson and the Dam. Apparently the Russians have anticipated the problem of the destruction of the dam. They have been lowering the water level for the last seven days. (Lower level-less pressure).

It would take a very big bomb by the Ukrainians to destroy it. Don't ask what type, you might not like the answer.

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 18 2022 20:28 utc | 80

Martynov on the prospects of a US-masterminded terrorist blowing of Kahovskaya Dam.

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2022/10/sadly-only-in-russian.html

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | Oct 18 2022 20:38 utc | 81

In the US and Canada we sit here in relative energy luxuriance, with the price of natural gas having dropped by over one third since its peak in August, and less than one sixth of the price paid in Europe. There may be a bit of a jump once the LNG installation that had been hit by a fire returns in November (2 billion cubic metre per year capacity), but unless the winter ignores the usual La Nina mildness there wont be that big a jump in prices in response.

At the same time Ukraine is having its electricity infrastructure destroyed for not implementing the Minsk Accords, for not settling terms in April, and for utterly stupid terrorist attacks. You poke a bear long enough its going to start munching on your arm as a prelude to a bigger feast. When the ground hardens and the skies clear things will rapidly get a lot worse for them.

In Europe, the protests against the drop in living standards required for Europe to "rid itself" of Russian oil and gas are ramping up. In the UK, the chancellor has just admitted that the government can only subsidize energy prices until April - then energy bills will be allowed to let rip. No thought of just taxing the energy companies for the required money, or imposing price controls. Only the non-wealthy will pay for the Ukrainian war.

Europe may scrape through this winter, but then they will have to refill their gas reserves at much higher prices than this year and without Russian gas, probably leading to higher prices and lower reserve levels. This winter will be the third La Nina in a row, and the probability of a fourth is pretty low. A flip to El Nino or even just an in between ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) will make the 2023-24 winter much colder than the 2022-2023 winter. If the first attack of winter fails, the second one will finish the job.

So, as per the usual policy post Vietnam/Iraq, the US will fight to the last dying Ukrainian and the last freezing, immiserated, unemployed European. Will the last Taiwanese be added to that list soon?
While in the US, Canada, China, Russia, Serbia etc., people will continue to enjoy cheap energy.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 18 2022 20:39 utc | 82

@Abe #19
Replacing very large transformers is a multi year process.
Most likely Russia is hitting switching stations, otherwise might as well do American style Shock and Awe

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 18 2022 20:39 utc | 83

I just read on CBC that Kiev's police is shooting down drones with AK-74. So, I guess Ukraine have a chance /s

Posted by: Pauleta | Oct 18 2022 20:48 utc | 84

whirlX | Oct 18 2022 18:21 utc | 17 - Russia reportedly initially ordered 46 drones "of various types" from Iran.

Some were the larger conventional-winged, gasoline-powered heavy attack/recon drone, Shahed-129, and have been spotted in the skies of Ukraine. Unknown number.

Other drones were an older model, the rack-mounted, containerized delta-wing Shahed-136 loitering munitions (nicknamed "Doritos"). Exact numbers unknown.

The number of Doritos used in Ukraine so far exceeds whatever Russia originally bought from Ukraine. Either they have licensed and are building new ones in Russia or they have continued getting shipments from Iran or both. There's many claims on social media either way with dubious credibility. Safe to say that nobody really knows. In any case, Russia seems to have modified at least the navigation electronics for their needs in Ukraine, and possibly other components of the Shahed-136 (all reasonable speculation based on observed performance).

Manufacturing Shahed-139s is simple enough (by design) so Russia will likely make their own eventually - if they're not already. Iran *may* have had several thousands of these today, possibly in various states of completion lacking critical parts (nobody knows for sure), so Russia may just be buying them for expedience and modifying/updating/completing them before their own production comes on line. Obviously, neither Russia nor Iran care to provide details, and we know little besides the reported number of drones in the initial shipment and Russia has used more than that so far.

Although Russia had nothing comparable in this class, the Shahed-139 would have been easy enough to clone. Still, it's an impressively simple and effective weapon - a testament to the skills of Iranian engineers, who probably based it on the much more sophisticated Israeli IAI Harpy loitering munition. I suspect Russia's 'deal' with Iran had more to do with optics than necessity, or maybe both. You can imagine which parties might be a bit irritated by this arrangement, undoubtedly to the delight of both Russia and Iran.

Not sure about the missile details, but that's one capability that Russia definitely does not need to look for outside sources. The capability of the Iranian missiles mentioned are similar to Russia's inventory. My guess would be convenience or optics again, not an act of desperation to replenish stores.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 18 2022 20:51 utc | 85

@Posted by: Flying Dutchman | Oct 18 2022 20:38 utc | 84

Martynov on the prospects of a US-masterminded terrorist blowing of Kahovskaya Dam.

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2022/10/sadly-only-in-russian.html

This would be a huge propaganda own-goal for the Ukrainians, as it would be obvious the Russians had not blown a dam that may drown tens of thousands of its own soldiers and citizens, and would be considered a major war crime by at least the 7/8ths of the world not propagandized by the Western media. It would also be difficult for the Western media to spin. Russia could then immediately go all in with the full backing of the 7/8ths that it needs, surrounding and starving out Kiev in the middle of winter to remove the terrorist authorities.

But then again we can never underestimate the psychopathic incompetence of the neocons...

And yes, the "Dam Busters" of WW2 should have been prosecuted as war criminals, but that would also be the case for all the perpetrators of WW2 area bombing on German and Japanese cities.


Posted by: Roger | Oct 18 2022 20:52 utc | 86

@Posted by: Pauleta | Oct 18 2022 20:48 utc | 87

I just read on CBC that Kiev's police is shooting down drones with AK-74. So, I guess Ukraine have a chance /s

The CBC turned off comments on their youtube videos as they were getting destroyed in the comments. The other media, such as CTV, have left comments on. They are getting destroyed in the comments every time they issue some new anti-Russia propaganda.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 18 2022 20:56 utc | 87

In Ukraine, as in Russia, thermal power stations are also used as district heating sources. Hot water is distributed to houses over large pipe networks. When the power stations are out people's homes will freeze. There will also be no drinking water. The freezing lines will experience serious damage.

As somebody from a temperate climate with mild summers and mild winters I was unaware of the phenomena in many places of keeping the heating and immersion on constantly at the height of winter to stop water pipes freezing and bursting until I heard the story of an American tourist who rented a house in Germany during the winter and thought they were being considerate to remember to turn the heating/immersion off when they left only to have the home-owner (Themselves ignorant of why somebody from a different climate wouldn't know) go ballistic upon returning some days later. I can only imagine the damage and humanitarian disaster from this.

Posted by: Altai | Oct 18 2022 20:56 utc | 88

Given the Shahed’s small payload how much damage can these things really inflict without swarms of thousands of these drones.

It’s also surprising they’re not being used at the front.

Posted by: Johnycomelately | Oct 18 2022 21:00 utc | 89

Oriental Voice | Oct 18 2022 19:41 utc | 67

"Zelensky, I'm a little surprised since he is Ukrainian after all."

AFAIK he's Jewish, not a Slav and certainly neither Orthodox or Catholic.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/russia-ukraine-zelensky-big-israel-moscow-nervous-why

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/ukraine-zelensky-says-israel-model-post-russia-war

"Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has cited the concept of a "big Israel" as a model for a post-war Ukraine, as the country continues to struggle under the Russian invasion."

Posted by: YetAnotherAnon | Oct 18 2022 21:00 utc | 90

Stonebird @83--

Thanks for your reply. I see there were a few mentions of Surovikin's words to the press at the thread's beginnings, but no one cited what the news reported him as saying. Here's part of RT's report:

Describing the situation as particularly “tense” around the city of Kherson in his statement to the broadcaster Rossiya-24, he added that the military may be forced to make “difficult decisions.”

“The NATO command of the armed forces of Ukraine has long been demanding offensive operations in the Kherson direction from the Kiev regime, regardless of any casualties – both in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and among the civilian population,” Surovikin stated.

The Russian military is aware of Kiev’s plans to use “prohibited” means of waging war in the Kherson area, Surovikin added. Namely, Ukraine is preparing a massive strike on the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant, located on the Dnieper River, as well as launching massive rocket and artillery attacks on Kherson itself.

“These actions can lead to the destruction of the infrastructure of this large industrial center and massive casualties among the civilian population,” Surovikin said....

“The enemy is the criminal regime that pushes Ukrainian citizens towards death. We are one people with Ukrainians and only wish for Ukraine to be a state independent from the West and NATO and friendly towards Russia,” Surovikin said.

So, the Outlaw US Empire is the ultimate enemy since it's the one pushing the policy. As I've opined, the only feasible way for the General to get his wish is to capture all of Historic Russian Ukraine.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 18 2022 21:07 utc | 91

@Roger | Oct 18 2022 20:39 utc | 85

A flip to El Nino or even just an in between ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) will make the 2023-24 winter much colder than the 2022-2023 winter.


Russian scientists forecasts lower temperatures, more ice along Northern Sea Route
MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Lower air temperatures and bigger amounts of ice are forecasted in the Arctic in coming years, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute's Director Alexander Makarov told reporters.

"According to certain estimations, before 2050, ice in the Arctic will remain - 100%," he said. "Moreover, the forecasts say we are entering a stage of certain chilling, which is related to the 70-year chilling-warming cycle."

"In fact, within a few years, the situation along the Northern Sea Route will change rather substantially," he added.

Ice conditions are not changing as unambiguously as expected, he continued, there is no linear decrease in ice.

"For all of us, for transport companies, ship owners exclusively important is the presence of ice in summer periods and the duration of summer periods. Right, the amount of ice has decreased, but yet, this year, in the end of August we forecasted more ice in the Chukchi Sea - to maximum levels over recent 20 years," the scientist added.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 18 2022 21:10 utc | 92

There are pictures online now of the pipeline damage. It looks massive. Not just cut in two and opened up, but destroyed along some length.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Oct 18 2022 20:27 utc | 82

From the relatively clean cut, it looks to me as if the entire damaged section was removed. There was no way that was done while the pipe was still under pressure. So the perpetrators must have come later and removed the evidence.

Or the video is a fake. I am leaning toward that explanation as the thickness does not appear to match the stated pipeline specifications.

https://twitter.com/GuyReuters/status/1582292909667516418

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Oct 18 2022 21:12 utc | 93

An example of the total disconnect of the US elites from reality, from a recent Anthony Blinken interview:

This is Alice in Wonderland. It’s the world upside down. Up is down, white is black, truth is false. But here’s the thing, Scott: All of these words, all of these words, ring totally hollow to every member on the Security Council so this spewing of words is not having an effect. On the contrary, I think it just shows the total disconnect between Russia and virtually the entirety of the rest of the world.

The only total disconnect is that of the Western elites from reality and virtually the entirety of the rest of the world outside the West. His own words are the perfect description of himself and the Western elites!

Again, describing himself and Western elites (pure 1984 speak that needs to be reversed: Western elites = China):

China has acted increasingly aggressively when it comes to Taiwan. That poses a threat to peace and stability in the entire region.

And then some revealing historical comments from the interviewer, followed by the usual bullshit about US "humility and confidence"

Antony Blinken is 60. One of his grandparents was born in Ukraine, his stepfather survived the Holocaust. And his father was a U.S. ambassador. Blinken has spent 30 years in foreign policy for Democrats mostly in the Senate and the White House. That’s him in the back of the room during the strike on Osama Bin Laden. His philosophy on American diplomacy is robust engagement with what he calls, humility and confidence.

https://ge.usembassy.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-interview-with-60-minutes-on-cbs-with-scott-pelley/

Posted by: Roger | Oct 18 2022 21:17 utc | 94

I don't think using Iranian supplied terror weapons, meant for Israel, is a good look. Now, if Putin had fought the war the way wars are meant to be fought i.e. in the most violent way possible to shorten the war and ultimately save lives, then I would support that.

But using terror state weapons against your own brothers is quite sick.

Posted by: Muthaucker | Oct 18 2022 21:23 utc | 95

Fantasizing about someone "going public" about the destruction of the pipelines is unrealistic, since "going public" would mean that a whistle-blower could give information to the media and the media would publicize it.

Ask Julian Assange how that works in real life.

The NY Times? Please!

Posted by: wagelaborer | Oct 18 2022 21:26 utc | 96

b -"The backbone of Ukraine's network are the 13,000+ kilometer of 330 kV lines and the 88 330kV transformers which connect the regions and allow capacity to be moved around."

Agree, but what's not so obvious is that Russia has also seemingly taken out the 'other' backbone: the 750 kV High Voltage (HV) network. That's significant because

1) The 330kV network is powered, in part, by 750kV to 330kV stepdown transformers and those seem to have mostly been taken out. Those are very expensive pieces of capital equipment and difficult to replace. Most thermal plants do no generate 750kV, but 330kV, so are unaffected by loss of the HV network aside from the increased load requirements.

2) Zaporizhzhia NPP (and I believe the others) were *only* designed to generate 750 kV to feed the 750 kV grid. Zaporizhzhia NPP has an offsite line to the 330 kV switchyard at the TPP, but does not feed it directly - it only uses a line *from* that TPP switchyard as a backup source. The TPP is inoperable for lack of coal, but is still connected to the 330 kV grid. Implication her is that the NPPs are effectively useless if there's no place to send their 750kV power. ZNPP does not have a 750kV to 330kV stepdown transformer.

The other very expensive pieces of equipment on the Ukraine grid is the 750kV switches/switchyards at the NPPs. But striking those directly is extremely risky because of their proximity to the NPPs. Russia may have been trying to remove the NPPs from Ukraine's grid without causing a catastrophe - unlike NATO/Ukraine who seemed to be eager to destroy the ZNPP switchyard. By disabling the 750kV *grid*, Russia effectively does that without risking the nuclear plants. Tit for tat since NATO and Ukraine insisted on disabling ZNPP and cutting it off from the HV grid.

3) 750kV HV network distributes power over long distances - region to region and to export markets. I believe the 330kV network segments are limited to much shorter distances - inter-region or to the next closest node in an adjacent region. Implication is that a working TPP in western Ukraine can't power the 330kV grid by itself or send its power half way across Ukraine unless several other plants on the grid are also connected and feeding it. A single plant can continue to serve it's local area in island mode.

I'm out of my league here though - someone with more knowledge about power distribution please jump in to clarify for us.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 18 2022 21:26 utc | 97

Vlad does not want a failed and completely destroyed state like Somalia next to him when this thing ends, so he is trying to poke and prod until he gets a result. The smug inhabitants of Kiev turned a blind eye as the Azov did slow motion slaughter in Donbas since 2014, now they can get an actual taste of war. Of course the Americans will eventually cut and run, that's what they always do, once the money laundering from taxpayer to arms merchant has run its course. Meantime we send unlimited monies to people with actual portraits of Hitler in their homes and swastikas on their uniforms

Posted by: AusYank | Oct 18 2022 21:27 utc | 98

@ Roger | Oct 18 2022 20:52 utc | 89
"Dam Busters" of WW2 should have been prosecuted as war criminals

wiki
Number 617 Squadron is a Royal Air Force aircraft squadron, originally based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and currently based at RAF Marham in Norfolk. It is commonly known as the "Dambusters", for its actions during Operation Chastise against German dams during the Second World War.//

The Dambusters were the first UK squadron to receive F-35 mistake-jets,

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 18 2022 21:27 utc | 99

Tass highlights of Surovikin statements to the press today:
headline - Ukraine attempts to attack, Russia grinds down the enemy
https://tass.com/defense/1524515
and
https://tass.com/defense/1524503

Posted by: JB | Oct 18 2022 21:28 utc | 100

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