Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 04, 2022

Ukraine - What Explains The Recent Russian Retreats?

Over the last months Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive against Russian positions in the Kharkov region. The attack against thin Russian forces was quite successful but has cost the Ukrainian army several thousand men and irreplaceable hardware. That does not seem to matter for Kiev.

Several reasons for the success were given. The Russian forces in the area were even smaller than people had thought and the Ukraine was willing to push every reserve it had through the Russian defense lines. The Russian artillery was equally thin and could not use enough area weapons like multiple rocket launcher systems to stop the storming Ukrainian forces.

In consequence the Ukraine took a quite large share of land. Most st of these was thinly inhabited rural areas. Even the city of Lyman which the Russian gave up on had less than 30,000 pre-war inhabitants.

Kharkov region October 4

Kharkov region September 1


But another Ukrainian counteroffensive lets me doubt the explanations given for the area losses near Kharkov.

In the Kherson-Nikopol region the Ukrainians made several attempts to push the Russian forces from the land north of the Dnieper river. All had failed with large losses for the Ukrainian side. But over the last week the Ukrainians tried a new attack along the river and breached through the Russian frontline.

The Russian troops retreated in good order and the Ukrainians pushed further.

Kherson-Nikopol region October 4

Kherson-Nikopol region September 1


Neither the explanation of too few men, nor the explanation of too few MLRS systems or ammunition which may explain the Kharkov success hold up for the Kherson region.

During the summer Russian troops were pulled from the Kharkov region and send to the south to defend the Kherson regions. There are lots of Russian units in the area including many artillery systems. And while the Ukrainians have damaged some bridges that cross the Dnieper the Russian forces have enough ferry equipment to keep up the supplies. Most of the previous Ukrainian attacks were defeated rather easily.

I thus find it hard to explain the current situation.

My current 'feel' is that the Russian forces have orders from high above to conserve forces and to let go of land and retreat when the pressure becomes big enough and severe Russian casualty numbers are likely.

Why were such orders given? What are the plans behind them?

I don't really know.But I am sure will find out when Russia opens the new phase of the war.

The weather has become quite bad in Ukraine with rain making the passing over fields with tanks etc nearly impossible. That is why the attack in the south was pushed along a road. In two month the ground in Ukraine will likely be frozen.

The Russian military leadership seems to believe that the Ukrainian operations will cease soon and that the mobilized reinforcements that are starting to come online will be able to decisively change the picture as soon as the winter comes.

Another potential reason behind the order to conserve forces and to not hold onto territory at any price may be political. The Russian public was starting to get a bit tired of the war but after the losses in the Kharkov region the TV pundits pushed for winning the war. That allowed Russia's president to launch the mobilization of reservists. The further losses since may be designed to allow for more political measures.

The law that will allow for the four regions to return to Russia after a hundred years of being part of Ukraine today passed the upper house of Russia's parliament:

According to the documents, the DPR and the LPR will retain their status as republics after joining Russia and Russian will be their official language. The Kherson and Zaporozhye regions will also join Russia as constituent entities and will continue to be called "regions." The borders of the republics and regions will be the same as those that "existed on the day of their creation and accession into Russia." International accords specify that their borders with other countries will be regarded as Russia’s state borders. At the same time, under the constitutional laws, the DPR and the LPR are joining Russia under the 2014 borders enshrined in their constitutions.

President Putin will now have to sign the new law to enact it. The heads of the DPR and LPR have already signed laws ratifying treaties on joining Russia.

With the laws enacted the Special Military Operation will become a war to prevent attacks on Russian grounds and to retake the parts of Russia that are currently under Ukrainian occupation.

I expect that the gloves which Russia was still wearing during recent operations will come off.

Posted by b on October 4, 2022 at 16:39 UTC | Permalink

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Russia was doing very well against AFU and it showed. Then America decided to get more involved in the war and now look what's happening. It's basically downhill from now on for Russia. I feel sorry for all the innocent ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in the Donbass. They are going to get slaughtered.

Posted by: Witness | Oct 4 2022 16:42 utc | 1

This is a stark contrast to the way the US operates. Behaving as a carbon copy of the Americans will not win anyone over. Having read his speech I think he has not given up on that.

Posted by: chunga | Oct 4 2022 16:44 utc | 2

Why lose mens lives for meaningless land?

Posted by: Anon8888 | Oct 4 2022 16:52 utc | 3

So they scold Musk's idea for Peace . Cut the flowing avalanche of free money and they will be the first to beg for Peace.

Posted by: PanFlute | Oct 4 2022 16:56 utc | 4

The way I keep looking at the Russia SMO in Ukraine is as part of the bigger civilization war going on and how the timing of activity in Ukraine fits with the financial component of the war.

I see the Russia/China axis as trying to not let empire have its war as its financial system collapses.....timing is important and so keeping the Ukraine game going at a lower level gives time for financial collapse.

I have no doubt that Russia has the ability to secure the regions it is operating in if it wanted to. But a bigger war is going on and the Ukraine SMO is just the most public facing part.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 4 2022 16:57 utc | 5

Losing ground that you later intend to control looks bad but war is a back and forth operation. We are all speculating here. I think this is a eternal war and it will continue even if things cool off.

The equipment losses will eventually be made up with equipment like the M1 tank. Training areas are being enlarged and developed in Eastern Europe. Manpower can be agumented with NATO soldiers working under the Ukrainian flag.

Depleted urainium rounds are coming to Ukraine.

Posted by: circumspect | Oct 4 2022 16:58 utc | 6

thanks b.... i kind of see it like @ psychohistorian | Oct 4 2022 16:57 utc | 7

i also see it like @ circumspect | Oct 4 2022 16:58 utc | 8.......... the usa-uk and nato gang will continue to throw as much at they can at is calling for something bigger here and i am not sure what it is... one side wants to be left in peace and the other side has no interest in peace..

Posted by: james | Oct 4 2022 17:02 utc | 7

"The AFU 30th Mechanized Brigade units were disorganized due to several commanders’ desertion"


Several commanders desertion, if that was true then such a humiliation of Russia's army would be on the front page of the New York Times.

Oh, "AFU", aka Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"Never mind."

Nevermind - Emily Litella

Posted by: Babel-17 | Oct 4 2022 17:02 utc | 8

Larch, a regular commentator on Martyanov’s blog has put the SMO into a succinct summary

Putin set the goals of the SMO. The demilitarization of an enormous military, stocked for eight years and restocked feverishly from the bases and warehouses of 30 countries in NATO, is going very well. The Ukies had 750,000 men in trenches and fortified positions and embedded in big cities, shielded by civilians everywhere from Kiev to the smallest settlement in Donbass.Ukraine had a significant air force and stout air defenses with BUKs and S-300s in large numbers.

The Russians have reduced this order of battle markedly. The navy of Ukraine is gone. It has no functioning naval bases. The Ukie air defenses have been reduced to mobile radars and a few extant S-300s. The most effective air defense they have is the tactic of massing MANPADS and receiving real time alerts from NATO of oncoming Russian jets and helos. This has not stopped the Russian aerospace forces, though it is a hampering defense that has to be recognized as a threat. The Ukie air force is 95% gone, only replenished from NATO with aircraft that stay in the battle for minutes before they are reduced to losses.

Over 500,000 Ukies are gone, dead and forever off the battlefield. Thousands of mercs have been killed or chased off the battlefield.

Martyanov also linked his latest video in the same article.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 4 2022 17:03 utc | 9

I'm finding the debate on military matters less and less relevant now. The Washington neocons are locked in to their Weltanschauung and nothing's going to change there. My fellow Europeans are locked in to the picture they've been sold. The military result was obvious from February on and the sanctions war lost soon after. End of story?

Not quite. Mr Martyanov makes the point that none are privy to the game plan of the Russian General Staff. That'll adjust anyway according to whatever Washington does next. According also to a whole lot of stuff that's getting factored in but we can't quite say how: the SMO or CTO or whatever it morphs in to is going to be played out in the context of what looks to be a world-wide rejection of Western dominance.

A very cautious rejection of Western dominance - the Washington neocons have a lot of bite left in them - and a jigsaw puzzle of responses from each individual non-western country, each making its own assessment of how far it's safe to go in getting out from under that Western dominance.

That jigsaw puzzle, particularly the line taken by India and China, is I believe as much a factor in the Russian calculations as the immediate exigencies of the military situation in the Ukraine. One of the reasons, only one but an important one, why the SMO looked more like a hostage release operation than a real war is that had the Russians gone in from the start with all guns blazing ,they'd certainly have forfeited the support or acquiescence from the SCO countries that they now enjoy.

Different now. We in the West are weak on China analysis, dangerously so, but whatever the Chinese are up to they've certainly latched on to the notion that my enemy's enemy is my friend. The accord reached in Samarkand was the essential preliminary to President Putin's St George's Hall speech; and with that accord behind them the Russians have virtually a free hand in the Ukraine. We can only wait now to see what they do with it.

There are still three unexamined questions left. The first receives little attention now but it's key. Will the Russians get their December 2021 security demands met? Will Macrons earlier acceptance of the need for a new "Security Architecture" surface again now the Europeans have lost the sanctions war? If not, we're going to be left with nukes possibly stationed a short flight time from Moscow and a continuance of NATO sabre rattling on the Russian border.

I don't like short flight times for nukes. Increases the risk of accident. As for the NATO sabre rattling, in the '90's I don't believe the Russians had any troops of any consequence on their Western border. Then there was one heavy duty formation stationed there. Now Shoygu's talking of eleven. That, directly in response to the sabre rattling.

And on our side Scholz and Stoltenberg are talking only of remilitarisation, and of rattling yet more sabres on our Eastern borders. I don't want my children living under the threat I lived under as a child, nuclear catastrophe by accident. Nor do I want them living in a dangerously unstable armed camp. And as an Englishman rather than a European, I don't want my country towed along behind Scholz's dumb Barbarossa 2.

I don't see that first question getting resolved or even examined now. Nor the next two, which are related.

2., The information coming out about conditions under the Kiev regime is inadequate, pitifully so. Are the Ukrainians living under that regime now fed up with the corruption and fanaticism? Or have eight years of Glory to the Heroes and Biletsky summer camps turned them all into heart and soul Banderites. That's important because it has a direct bearing on the third question.

3. How will Russia cope with remnant Ukraine. If it occupies then the cost of upkeep will be huge and the population largely antagonistic, especially in the far West of the country. If it doesn't, then Washington keeps feeding arms and increasingly long range weapons into the remnant and Russia is still confronted with the running sore on their border they've been confronted with since 2014.

That is the puzzle the Washington neocons are setting Russia. Barring a comprehensive peace settlement, that Washington has been frustrating for six months now and will it seems continue to frustrate, how does that puzzle get solved?


Posted by: English Outsider | Oct 4 2022 17:05 utc | 10

Your educated guess is as good as anyone's.

While, expectedly, Musk's 'peace proposal' was pilloried, I do sense the talk of nuclear annihilation has sobered some up. An interesting article at Unz suggests the USA has given up its dream of world hegemony, and the attack on Nordstream was a parting shot to the ROW, and binds European markets to itself, a smaller empire.

So, maybe other billionaires concerned about their business interests will suggest that maybe nuclear winter doesn't come with xmas lights.

Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 4 2022 17:08 utc | 11

First things first, Russia controls the battlefield. It can attack when and where it wishes.
So if it is withdrawing, that means it wants to withdraw.
What we are seeing the results of a major shift in Russia's goals for this war, instead of the Western fantasy that Russians are fleeing due to Ukrainian military power.
Namely, the Special Military Operation, where the focus was on grinding down the Ukrainian military, is over. That is why the Russian military is withdrawing, they are no longer ordered to seek out and destroy every Ukrainian unit that they can.
In the new Anti-Terrorist Operation, my take is that the new focus will be on the replacing the political leadership in Kiev to make a negotiated peace.
Not sure how Russia will do this but I wouldn't want to be in Kiev or working for their government right now.

Posted by: Tom | Oct 4 2022 17:10 utc | 12

From Slavyangrad

@Rezident_UA claims to have inside information:

MI6 has passed intelligence to the Office of the President (Zelensky) and the General Staff (Zaluzhny) that Russian forces continue to amass forces in the Belgorod region and are appear to be in no rushe to use them as a reserve.

British intelligence has warned the General Staff that these forces may be concentrating for a Russian counter-attack along the border of the Oskol River to cut off the increasingly stretched Ukrainian forces grouping that has only a few supply routes available to it.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 4 2022 17:11 utc | 13

From Slavyangrad

Analysis of the Russian withdrawal in the northeastern part of the Kherson Oblast of the Russian Federation: The Russian army is retreating in the south to create a solid front line instead of a broken front dominated by focal engagements.

In the north of the Kherson region, our troops are urgently reformatting the front line. Due to the enemy's large numerical superiority, the Russian Armed Forces are creating a new defensive line in a narrower area, eliminating the threat of our units falling into a cauldron after a breakthrough by the AFU in the direction of Berislav.

Igor Strelkov writes:

▪️"Avoiding an outlined encirclement, the Russian Armed Forces have withdrawn along the entire front of the Ingulets River to the east of the enemy's previously captured bridgehead on the said river.

▪️ The key settlement of Davydov Brod (for which fierce fighting took place for two months) and a number of other major villages in its vicinity were left behind.

▪️The retreat continues. Apparently, the purpose of the command of our group is to reduce the front line to at least a continuous (rather than focal) front line covering Beryslav and the Novo-Kakhovsk Dam."

▪️On the other side of the Dnepr river's left bank bridgehead, during the enemy's breakthrough along the Dnieper, our troops left Dudchany and held the defence line along the Mylovoye-Borozenskoye line.

▪️Here from the right bank of the Dnieper our artillery will also be able to support the defending troops.

▪️But we urgently need reinforcements, primarily with heavy equipment.

▪️Tanks, IFVs, and other equipment are on their way to Crimea, while our mobilised units are being prepared at the training grounds. The front must be held before they can be inserted into the conflict zone.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 4 2022 17:14 utc | 14

"b", Ilove your optimism...
I live on it. Othervise I would think, this world is becoming a hell.
There are so many things happening. In my coutry fags today got right to adopt children. And turn them into fags...

But, there were a lot of mistakes made. Wrong personel. Wrong planning...
I am civilian. But I was in my working time Site manager. So I know, what planning is.
When I got a project in Lybia, I had to prepare at home EVERYTHING what I would need for 6 months!
Because in Lybia you can't go to shop and buy.
What means, from persons you will take with you, iron profiles, all dimensions, cable, cable ties, tools, machines..... Million things.
It seems to me, that this RF army does not have officers, capable to deal with challenges, because they were not in war for decades.
At he same time politicians are choking them!
We know, west is giving decisive help to Ukraine, politicians are not giving permit to blind that help!
Most dangerous are satellites with infra red detection! They can sense any concentration of heat emitting heavy equipment!
By the way, I hope membership here is aware that such satellites can follow nuclear submarine by spreading cooling water from space!
So, submarines are more in danger from detecting from space, than from ships... Not weather dependand...

So, if soon RF will not set capable generals on rigt places, Russia will loose thet war...
And then only Sarmat remains...

Posted by: preseren3 | Oct 4 2022 17:14 utc | 15

It's funny to see the shill tsunami here and on twitter. The dying empire seems to sincerely believe that aggressive narrative management will prevent the end of their empire.

Posted by: Jesrad | Oct 4 2022 17:15 utc | 16

The attack against thin Russian forces was quite successful but has cost the Ukrainian army several thousand men and irreplaceable hardware.

Erm... the Ukies seem to have all their hardware regularly replaced by ZATO.

It's the Ukrainian men who are irreplaceable.

Posted by: Observer | Oct 4 2022 17:16 utc | 17

"I thus find it hard to explain the current situation."

How about this: they fucked up.

...simple as that. Why would you need anything more complicated?

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Oct 4 2022 17:18 utc | 18

Posted by: Tom | Oct 4 2022 17:10 utc | 17

Yes, I agree it makes sense that this is happening because the grinding operation is coming to an end. Best explanation I have seen yet.

Analogy to the withdrawal from Kiev region when grinding was ready to start.

I would suggest that other things besides taking Kiev might be in store, but I would not want to guess which.

Thinking about it, what would be Putin-like would be to freeze the conflict at this point and then "manage" it. Which might even allow Ze to stay in place. Hmm.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 4 2022 17:20 utc | 19

Rybar has posted the following:
"from the field they are reporting that our tactical insignia were applied to the enemy’s equipment, i.e. "Z" and "V", which caused confusion in the first hours of the battle, when the front collapsed. If so, then the enemy has an American network-centric battle control system, when all units on the battlefield are tied into a grid and marked on computers, even at company level... If so, then this is very bad, because. this is a qualitatively new level of command and control. And our retreat is a consequence of the loss of control."
This is plausible. We are searching for a reason why *all* Ukrainian offensives suddenly are making more progress than formerly. The allegedly heavy casualties among the new echelon of NATO-trained troops hasn't slowed down the progress. And if so, where is the purported Russian EW capability?

Posted by: Walter | Oct 4 2022 17:26 utc | 20

If they want to make the EU pay for their involvement and degrade it all together, disable all electric generation in Ukraine. First of all, EU will then need to export ridiculous amount of electricity to Ukraine, which will wreck their economic position fatally. And on the other hand millions more will head west, leading to wrecking of its economy. The imbeciles in charge don't seem to mind anyway.

Posted by: unimperator | Oct 4 2022 17:27 utc | 21

I've given up thinking that there is some cunning plan.

Simply put, Ukraine's operational awareness is now excellent. A thousand eyes up in space, looking down at Russian positions and allowing Ukrainian forces to find holes in Russian lines.

Until Russia fills these gaps at the front with 300,000 men, Ukraine will continue to advance.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Oct 4 2022 17:27 utc | 22

B's theory is that Russia is retreating to conserve forces.

But how do you differentiate between intentional retreat and collapse? Perhaps they're running out of weapons, fuel or morale.

On this hypothesis, what would be different?

Posted by: GoFast | Oct 4 2022 17:29 utc | 23


depleted uranium

u watched a very good topic!

me and my comrades spend lots of times in Kosovo trenches
kosovo theater was horrible compared to Krajina and bosna
carpet bombing day and night
it was raining radioactive munition!!!
nobody of us knew about this special baby NUKE

they could not kill us in the trenches but they killed us on a later time
after we retreated from kosovothe health problems have started
in a period of 5 years 218 comrades died from different cancers
since the 90s until today only from our corpus I know 1276 comrades who died from cancer
i ve managed to get my treatment in Germany
they think I am a Croatian

my question to the barflies:
when it starts to be a NUKE ATTACK?
at which quantity of uranium an attack is nuclear?

my opinion:
NO MATTER if its 1 microgram or 100kg of uranium plutonium or whatever radioactive material in munition IT IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE NUCLEAR!
After Japan the empire of evil nuked again in Kosovo and Bosnia
Only this time they ve packed the radioactive material in smaller projectiles not fat boy but baby boys

Maybe it might be a good idea for b to open a thread discussing when an attack can be called NUCLEAR

russia has every right to nuke ukronatostan
give them the taste of their own medicine
germans pay everything but ve only if u re croat passport

Posted by: radkomladic | Oct 4 2022 17:29 utc | 24

The explanation is pretty simple. At the beginning of the war the total of Russian Ground+Airborne+Marine forces was no greater than 340 thousands. Roughly 40% of these are drafted conscripts, who cannot be used in Ukraine yet. Some percentage of contract soldiers and officers must be left simply to oversee the conscripts. Some units are scattered all accross Russia's borders. Some must be kept in reserve in case of further political complications. Overall, various analytics agree that at no point Russia was able to deploy more than 120 Batallion Tactical Groups in Ukraine, while keeping some in rotation. 1 BTG = 500 men at best. Double that by counting logistical and staff echelons, plus Rosguardia's formations, plus PMCs, and that's still only around 120k. Then you must substract losses (with around 6k deats, you have 20k+ wounded in recuperation*) and desertion hidden by the fact that as war was not officially declared, contract personnel can simply refuse to fight with no penalties other than breaking the contract. Add 30-40k of LDRN troops, and you still only arrive at 160k at best, assuming various volunteer formation, raised throughout the summer can at least cover losses, which they probably can't, because most of them seemingly weren't ready on time. That estimate may be wildly optimistic. This is obviously not a number that can cover a frontline so long against enemy that has at least half a million men, and that subtracting various static territorial defense units and paramilitaries and assuming high figures for Ukrainian losses, unless that enemy is glaringly inferior, and probably even then.

The Russian MO believed that they can compensate for lack of men by firepower and superiority in armor. Assuming tactical excellence on the part of every single unit, and extremely rational use of volunteer manpower, it might have. These assupmptions were unrealistic. Double the troop number again by counting recuperating rotated units on the other side of the border and VKS, and you still fall far short of 500k+ used in 2003 against Iraq, against an enemy far weaker and worse equipped. And supplies from NATO precluded the possibility of simply making Ukraine run out of ammo and equipment. Not to say, that there was no fault in Russian equipment and tactics, but the primarily problem lies in arrogance of top commanders, which twice assigned their army the tasks which even the very best troops in the world would have been extremely hard-pressed to perform.

What happened is the Russian offensive eventually faltering, as sheer difference in available manpower grew too great, and equipment was worn down or lost due to lack of infantry cover, and then Ukrainians pressing against whatever places were merely screened, rather than properly defended. AFAIK, the entirety of Russian line in northern Kherson area which gave way now was defended by a 2-batallion "brigade" (Ukrainian brigades, by comparison, have 4-6 batallions).

What is happening is Russians falling back to avoid encirclements and destruction, until mobilized men (and volunteers which are completed their training) can be sent to the frontline to rectify the crippling lack of manpower, and until various flaws exposed by war can be rectified.

What will happen is Russia gradually but inexorably going into the total war mode and rectifying the immediate crisis by more than doubling the amount of manpower available at the frontlines by the end of December. Probably 2/3rds of the new formations would be poorly trained and equipped, but as the same or worse is true for Ukrainians, that would be enough to stabilize the front and probably make an immediate pushpack, depending on how overstretched the Ukrainian army would be by that point.

Ukrainians have a time window until at least the end of November to either annihilate enough of the Russian army's formations to prevent or seriously hinder the latter's regeneration, something they have so far have failed to do on any meaningful scale, or to convert their territorial victories into a crippling blow against the morale at Russian's home front.

*Note on losses. Sheer lack of numbers on the Russian side precludes them from being drastically higher than the official figures, though the latter probably are still undercounted.

Posted by: Stanislav | Oct 4 2022 17:31 utc | 25

From Russia show in Syria-late and pathetic 7 year campaign with one 3rd land taken by usa, I was sure that Russia will f--up this Ukraine war as Russia is lazy and unimaginative so turns almost won war into Quagmire.


"Should be clear long ago how utterly psychopathic and criminal the USA and it's wimpish allies are. Meanwhile everyone ignores Russia and China, permanent UNSC members, sitting on their hands for over 8 years while ~14,000 people in the Donbass were being murdered by Ukraine and the collective west non-stop.

People are still dying, they are still being shelled in Donetsk by the Ukraine military today!

A pox on all their houses. What Putin did no Friday they could have done in 2014! Where was China, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Turkey, the SCO 'stans, and the global south then? They were no where. They were all hiding in a cupboard cowering in fear. They still are!

Russia lacks the will to fight back. So many people in Putin's environment lived like kings, traveling to European destinations... They cannot give up their dream: to be loved by the West.
russia is done. you can't win anything, let alone war, with such inferiority complex...less talk, more walk, but this message is lost in russia. russia still thinks like milosevic, truth will prevail and everything will be okay and west is going to love us can't win mafia war with the one cares about it...might make respect. russia has two choices: takes the gloves off or kiss the mafia don ring...there are no third magical choice."

Posted by: Sam | Oct 4 2022 17:32 utc | 26


Russia very well understands that conundrum - if the western Ukraine is swallowed, and if it is full of Banderites, it will be trouble for a very long time; and if the western Ukraine is not occupied, America could take it into the NATO, and turn the border into a festering wound, to bleed Russia.

But America can supply money and material to Ukraine only so long as it has money! And American strength is derived from American dollars. That is why Russia and China are feverishly working to undermine the dollar domination, without damaging themselves too much in the process. Once the dollar loses the public confidence, America's free ride over everyone's back is finished. Then whatever remains of Ukraine will not get even a cent from America.

Posted by: Old Brown Fool | Oct 4 2022 17:32 utc | 27

There is absolutely no clarity on what exactly Russians want to do in Ukraine?
- They did not hold referendums in the past. Only after Kharkiv withdrawl, public pressure has build up that Russia may leave behind these territories soon on the name of military regroupings. Thus annexation process has been done.
- Russian leadership is still hoping to negotiate with Ukraine, Europe, and the West. West has a single goal to destroy Russia and they are using Ukraine for that. If Russia knows it than they have to take this war seriously. If they are worried about casulaties, lose of public support in Russia; then losing a war will be even bigger humilation. That could change the government in Kremlin. People in Russia are tired of this slow and useless appoach in Ukraine. They want more heavy handed approach. So far, Russian leadership has disppointed them. Bridges, infrastructure is still intact. Why? No one really knows.Ukraine is allowed to build an army and allowed to bring reinforcements without any hesitation. There is absolutely no clue, if they even have an intention to go all in or just keep on retreating to avoid fighting.
- They are still wasting time in storming well-fortied structures in Donetsk head-on instead of encircling them (because they simply don't have military personnel). This creates again the same question on what is Russia's goal in Ukraine. Donetsk is shelled everyday and a lot of attacks on facilities in Russia itselft yet there was no response from Russia.

These retreats are not going to go well with military leadership in Russia. There is already a blame game started on the planners by some famous military commanders. They still cannot understand the lack of seriousness by Russian Military planners to fight this war. Further retreats on the name of saving troops & regrouping by losing strategic ground will make such voices to go louder.

Posted by: Candle | Oct 4 2022 17:33 utc | 28

So its schoolshooter time? Russia will kill everyone until it is killed? Even China might agree to that, if its insane Hitler, war against Satanism we are talking about here.

Posted by: Fnord73 | Oct 4 2022 17:33 utc | 29

The context of these battlefield moves is socio-economic. There seems little reason to doubt that an economic crisis is imminent (see yesterday's blog). No doubt the neo-cons and their european acolytes are persuaded that the "Stand By Ukraine" propaganda is so compelling that it will keep the masses hypnotised into submission while the heavens around them are falling.
We shall see.
In the meantime Russia now has a clear duty to defend its people and territories- which have borne the brunt of NATO aggression for more than eight years. Those adjacent Russian regions in which the people were unable, and some unwilling, to assert their opposition to Kiev-places like Odessa, victims of a Stormtrooper revival financed, as the original was, by oligarchs and industrialists, will have to survive the dark days ahead.
The change will come when the EU collapses in the way that flimsy constructs do collapse when exterior pressures are relaxed and interior pressure becomes unbearable.
My knowledge of the EU countries at present is cursory but it seems very obvious that without reliable energy supplies and in a period of rapidly declining living standards for the broad mass of the population the unity required to fight a war is going to be absent. In its place we can count on the idiots running the show to call in the Dragoons and make people love the 'cause' of NATO.
It is here that the recent and comprehensive decline of the social-democratic movements across the continent can be seen as a benefit rather than a loss- in place of the old faux radical guard, mouthing the socialist slogans that make them laugh in private, a new generation of radicals will set in motion campaigns like "Can't Pay: Won't Pay", rent strikes, direct action and regional general strikes. In all of which a day's participation is worth a library of books and a lifetime of media indoctrination.
It is not surprising that the Kremlin is thinking in these terms- the amazing thing is that the ruling class, which generally protects its investments, has entrusted its fate to the intellectual dwarves (their names are well known) running the EU, NATO and the United States- the original 'paper tiger' which has the military capacity, no doubt, to kill millions but lacks the power to prevent the victims surviving countrymen hating them, all that stand for and, in the medium term, to drive them out.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 4 2022 17:34 utc | 30

What about simple incompetence?

I don't doubt that in the end Russia will prevail and at least partially achieve most of the goals outlined by Putin in February. But there's been several mistakes by the Russian military. The most obvious one serious
lack of men power and basically mostly relying on DLPR militias to do
most of the fighting.

Posted by: Ivan | Oct 4 2022 17:35 utc | 31

What we’re seeing here are the consequences of a neoliberalized state. Russia is at its max capacity as a state and can barely scrounge up troops to defend its lines because Putin’s oligarch owners looted the place. America isn’t any better but has an overseas empire it can bleed dry first.

In the end this isn’t a civilizational conflict. It’s just liberal-on-liberal violence between two dying powers. But hey someone’s gonna make a buck on all sides.

“Don't forget the real business of war is buying and selling. The murdering and violence are self-policing, and can be entrusted to non-professionals.” -Gravity’s Rainbow

Posted by: linbiao | Oct 4 2022 17:37 utc | 32

Neither the explanation of too few men, nor the explanation of too few MLRS systems or ammunition which may explain the Kharkov success hold up for the Kherson region.

Posted by b on October 4, 2022 at 16:39 UTC

You read it often enough you begin to believe it and it would go a long way towards explaining what we're seeing. Perhaps:

(1) Inadequate communications gear at least at the individual soldier level. In some combination either Russia doesn't have it, it's unencrypted, or it's subject to jamming. That would place the Russians at a significant tactical disadvantage versus an adversary with capable communications.

(2) A cumbersome artillery request system that is simply too slow to approve and execute fire missions. By the time the fire mission is approved, the target is gone.

As an aside, while I don't monitor Telegram for combat videos my impression from what I read here and elsewhere is that artillery is doing the heavy lifting of repulsing armour attacks which surprises me. Where are all the Kornet ATGMs?

Posted by: Mike314159 | Oct 4 2022 17:37 utc | 33

@27 US eyes in the sky helping their proxies already happened in Syria and the 2014-15 Donbass wars. The empire still lost. A different explanation is needed.

Posted by: Jesrad | Oct 4 2022 17:38 utc | 34


Your point #3 is crucial. I haven't heard a coherent explanation of
how this plays out.

> Mr Martyanov makes the point

Yes, but he never provides an analysis beyond "General Staff knows",
"US military doesn't know how to fight a war"...

Winning war may be easy (as Russia can completely destroy Ukraine if it wants), but winning peace and a working solution to many of the problems, not so easy.

Posted by: Ivan | Oct 4 2022 17:44 utc | 35

well, imho, carrying out a referendum for a region to join Russia while not having enough troops to defend it, is totally irresponsible

Posted by: salvo | Oct 4 2022 17:45 utc | 36

I wonder where Ukraine is getting the thousands of troops they are throwing into the meat grinder. The media seems confident that they will never run out of fresh bodies. Why? During the summer they were grabbing old men off the street and throwing them into battle, but suddenly they have fresh and capable troops? How many speak English? I've seen videos of American English speaking soldiers on the front lines. How many speak Polish or Romanian or German?

On the propaganda front, I have noticed that the pro-NATO trolls now openly admit that the Ukie Nazis will torture and kill civilians who live where the Russians have retreated. They used to deny this. Now they are blatantly bragging about it. Apparently they don't realize these are war crimes OR they think that US-backed forces don't have to follow international law. I guess the "rules-based order" allows civilians to be tortured and murdered if the US approves it.

I note that the husband of Anne Applebaum did a similar thing when he thanked the USA for blowing up the pipelines. Apparently he thought that if it's now OK to admit and endorse war crimes in Ukraine, it must be OK to admit and endorse war crimes directed against Germany. Oops!

Posted by: wagelaborer | Oct 4 2022 17:45 utc | 37

let me repeat in case somebody didn't received the message first time. russia has two choices: take the gloves off or kiss the mafia don's ring. i am afraid russia would rather do the second thing and that's the scariest thing...

Posted by: denazi | Oct 4 2022 17:46 utc | 38

The strategic goal of the SMO is to annihilate the military capabilities of the Ukraine and to weaken NATO in Eastern Europe, everything else is secondary. NATO tried to weaken Russia through a proxy war in the Ukraine, and Russia is trying to do a reversal.

Posted by: SG | Oct 4 2022 17:48 utc | 39

I watch Military Summary Channel each morning…

“Hello my dear friends!”

…about a week ago he mentioned 120k troops are
Moving through Belarus to seal off what I call
the Ho Chi Biden Trail in Eastern Poland

Haven’t heard anything since but this armchair
General thinks that would a splendid idea long overdue

Posted by: Anunnaki | Oct 4 2022 17:51 utc | 40

Posted by: radkomladic | Oct 4 2022 17:29 utc | 29

Here you have very good point!
Russia is not using depleted Uranium in Uraine.
Because population there is Russian minority. Which will continue to live there, so Russia don't want to poison them...

Posted by: preseren3 | Oct 4 2022 17:51 utc | 41

Russian forces are retreating because they face superior forces with better weaponry and, crucially, real-time battlefield intelligence and the ability to share this information and coordinate their forces accordingly.

The addition of 300k recently mobilised troops can at best staunch the Russian reverses by using bodies, but there will be no ability to respond offensively.

None of this is difficult to assess. Russian forces in the field keep telling everyone they are outnumbered and outgunned. What more do you need to know?

Posted by: Tom UK | Oct 4 2022 17:53 utc | 42

«My current 'feel' is that the Russian forces have orders from high above to conserve forces and to let go of land and retreat when the pressure becomes big enough and severe Russian casualty numbers are likely.»

From my armchair the reasons are quite clear:

* Those attacks make no military sense, either tactical or strategical, and have not happened so far because of that; the RF forces have had a thin presence along most of the front for months and the ukrainian government forces did not take advantage of that for a long time because it was militarily pointless. The ukrainian forces are spread even more thinly and are more exhausted and have much longer supply lines than the RF ones, lunging forward here and there is the last thing they should do militarily.

* Looking at the propaganda in "the west" the rationale for those militarily pointless (or worse) attacks is obvious: they are pure public relations operations to persuade the "home front" in the west to endure a hard winter because victory is imminent (collapse of the RF army soon, followed by a short siege of Moscow and the storming of the Kremlin in a few months :->). The RF forces don't seem to care much about that kind of public relations operations.

* Autumn mud is coming and most importantly winter is coming, and Ukraine and its military are in a much worse position with respect to winter than the RF and its military, because the Ukraine and its military have lost at least a third and probably half of their energy supplies and of their transport capacity. That's another reason for attempting some lunges forward now, before the ukrainian military is largely incapacitated by the mud and the freezing cold.

Posted by: Blissex | Oct 4 2022 17:54 utc | 43

Another "unicorns are coming" article. All reports on the ground available in russian media and russian Tg are pointing to a disastrous lack of manpower in Kherson area also. Reports of guys not rotating for months, supposed to hold miles of territory each. Ukronazis simply avoiding strong points and hitting the rear and supply lines. We all wanted to believe the narrative of "At least the defeat in Kharkov saved the guys who are sent to the south". Well how many donbass soldiers were killed or captured in the "orderly retreat" in the north? If it is all propaganda by US, UK usual suspects, these guys are not defending the Kherson area, or very few of them. Those who were right for (at least) the last 8 years, will not be listened by western (mostly altright) wannabe "putinists". Those "alarmists" are nonetheless listened to in Russia and Donbass, where it truly matters. They may be the ones forcing pragmatic, radical and healthy changes to win the total war waged by the empire of chaos.

Posted by: Kareem | Oct 4 2022 17:54 utc | 44

“The strategic goal of the SMO is to annihilate the military capabilities of the Ukraine”

The United States spent years “demilitarizing” the DPRK and Vietnam, racked up impressive body counts, dropped more bombs than in all of WW2, and still lost both wars.

Unclear how pursuing that strategy is gonna work any better for Russia.

Posted by: linbiao | Oct 4 2022 17:55 utc | 45

@44 SG

Then the SMO’s objectives have clearly failed as the opposite has occurred.

Posted by: Tom UK | Oct 4 2022 17:55 utc | 46

Posted by: English Outsider | Oct 4 2022 17:05 utc | 13

This was an excellent post.

I agree that the December 2021 security guarantees are key. Those guarantees included the removal of NATO bases from Poland and the Baltics and the removal of US nukes from Europe. I do not see how Russia gets either of these guarantees by winning the war in Ukraine alone. I do not see how Russia gets these guarantees apart from defeating NATO itself--either politically or militarily or in combination. This is because, were the US to pull its nukes from Europe, this would mean in fact the end of NATO as it is currently administered and understood.

You are right then, I think, that the aim of the US is to create a condition in which Russia "wins" the war in Ukraine but in such a way that NATO can continue to operate as before. As a result of Russia's "victory," then, NATO would simply build up its armaments even further in Poland, the Baltics, etc. And would adopt a more aggressive posture toward Russia, not less.

For Russia to achieve its security aims, NATO itself must be defeated. That is to say, the US must itself be defeated in the persona of its proxy force, NATO. But how is Russia to accomplish THIS task without instigating a nuclear war?

The answer to that question might be a decades-long transition in which the war in Ukraine is but the first step.

Posted by: WJ | Oct 4 2022 17:56 utc | 47

It could a combination of things such as the ratifying of the treaties, the preparing of the reserves properly to enter the fray, obviously having too few troops in an area under attack and taking the weather into consideration as well. Also, we have the willingness of Kiev to sacrifice any number of troops to make gains, all these things put together can have an effect on situations on the battlefield.

Overall, I think Russian forces have performed very well considering that it's not just Ukrainian forces and weapons that they have been up against. They are up against Nato and its vast reserves, as well as some non-Nato European nations and non-European nations such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. When you put all this into perspective, ceding some land here and there after nine months of gains in the conflict using limited resources is again in my opinion quite remarkable.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Oct 4 2022 17:58 utc | 48

Posted by: bevin | Oct 4 2022 17:34 utc | 35

Correct, this territorial "skirmish" is an extension of the larger economic war of the US and allies against the BRICS and SCO.

The conflict is still very much in asymmetric mode as both sides are seeing how much pain and hardship the other can endure. Russia is simply conserving resources and any major push, assuming one is needed, will come in winter.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Oct 4 2022 17:58 utc | 49

OTOH, the momentum seems to have switched since Ukraine started using HIMARS regularly. It's possible that accurate medium-range missiles - with targeting probably informed by US satellite data - have (partly) neutralized Russia's huge advantage in short-range artillery, by attacking nodes on Russia's supply routes.

I'd bet that USA has software (AI?) which can boil down huge volumes of satellite data to pinpoint likely locations of ammo depots and transmit coordinates instantly to HIMARS units. Such software could theoretically...
- track hundreds of thousands of separate vehicles, identifying which ones crossed [the old] border from Russia through to Kherson (likely military supplies).
- aggregate the traffic densities of tagged vehicles to identify nodes (likely storage areas) and places where those vehicles stopped temporarily (for gas?).

Simply identifying a tracking a bunch of trucks driving from (old) Russia to Kherson and pinpointing common end-points (where they turn around & go back for more supplies) would identify Russian supply depots - and that's what HIMARS have supposedly been attacking. Blowing up enough supply dumps would reduce the number of shells Russian artillery could lob at Ukrainian ground forces.

My theory could be tested by counting volumes of Russian artillery fire across the last few months; but sadly, I don't own a bunch of satellites, so I can't do that on my own...

I'm kinda surprised that Russia hasn't been able to find & kill more of the HIMARS. Russia has satellites, too, and plenty of good programmers, and plenty of medium-range missiles & launchers; can't they track all the HIMARS missiles back to point-of-origin, and zap those spots within minutes?

This use of satellite info for targeting brings attention to a kind of warfare that would have repercussions long beyond the immediate conflict. Russia - and USA - probably both have anti-satellite weapons. If Russia can't neutralize the HIMARS batteries on the ground, they may feel they need to blow the satellites. USA would likely respond by attacking Russian satellites. The result would be a chaotic blanket of orbital debris, which could make human space flight impossibly dangerous, for decades or centuries.

War sucks.

Posted by: elkern | Oct 4 2022 17:58 utc | 50

So, far from a tactical point it all seems as a defeat of some and very few RF defence lines, from the operational view I think that message reads:

'Look NATO, we are loosing, send Ukr more weapons to defeat us even more.'

RF are not loosing people. Ukr stretches all over and wasting own soldiers.

Also, from an operational aspect, it is a learning process for RF - let us see what can we learn from this 'new' Ukr offensive tactics.

Learning about net-centric operations and command, command structure way deep back to the NATO lands of origin, and observing external factors such as which AWACS does what and which satellite is used for what and when. Surely they have done that from the beginning, but knowing more is better. And so far there was no way to learn anything as there were no offensive actions.

It also seems that everyone forgets that Kiev is just about 100 km away from Russian border and RF knows how and when to pinpoint decision makers when needed.

And as someone wrote somewhere, soon we will not really follow 3 or 10 BTG's, but
thick red arrows that depict RF Armies moving across Ukraine or towards the West.
All that because NATO/US is too stupid to back down.

Posted by: whirlX | Oct 4 2022 17:59 utc | 51

From a guy experienced in russian mil logistics: the ukronazis started destroying the rear and supply lines, miving freely around the few defenders. Even experienced generals are not listened to by the rotten commanding structure, so the hardware is increasingly blown up, situation with exponential increase of losses in the rear is not sustainable.

Posted by: Kareem | Oct 4 2022 17:59 utc | 52

Posted by b on October 4, 2022 at 16:39 UTC | Permalink
......"I don't really know.But I am sure will find out when Russia opens the new phase of the war."......

I found Mr. Mercouris' videos helpful in understanding recent events by BC RF in Ukraine. He postulated several plausible reasons.
Alexander Mercouris
Russia Completes Annexation of Four Regions; UK German Gov Lose Control of Economies Crises Deepen
Oct 4, 2022

Posted by: KitaySupporter | Oct 4 2022 18:04 utc | 53

Too soon.

I'm surprised that I'm not seeing as much as I expected as well.

Need to wait awhile.

Those 4 Regions need to be incorporated into the Russian Constitution; and Shoigu will present the New Paradigm.

It'll take a few months for Reservists to fill up the Reserve Billets as the Bulk of the Active Force Reconfigure.

This still is a Confrontation with ZATOCEANIA, so All Fronts+Fleets need to be prepared for Missile/AirStrikes - even though we don't see ZATOCEANIA moving many Ground Forces around.

Posted by: IronForge | Oct 4 2022 18:06 utc | 54

@57 whirlX

Seriously, what makes you think Russia is not losing men and equipment? It’s a war. There are casualties, and these will occur on both sides. It’s not just deaths, but the wounded, and mental fatigue, and exhaustion - all these factors erode an army’s ability to fight.

Then there is morale. An army advances, takes territory and loses comrades doing so. Four months later they are forced to retreat, and retreating is bad for morale, and then they are also thinking why did we bother in the first place? Why did we lose comrades for nothing?

This is not just retreating, but systemic collapse in places.

Posted by: Tom UK | Oct 4 2022 18:09 utc | 55

I remain puzzled by the Russian moves since the beginning of that operation in February. At this point I would cut all roads in the critical areas and force ghe Ukrainians to wade in the mud as they push forward. The Ukrainians now operate during the dark periods. They must be active advancinf while the eeather is bad right now. They need to use the roads and they can't cut through the muddy fields. Many people who have no military backgroung can spot the weaknesses in the Russian approach. Can't the decision makers see their own weaknesses?

The ogher point is that the civilians who are caught in the middle of this advance/retreat dance are at risk and they suffer retsliation from the Ukrainians when the Russians retreat. Mongolian advance & retreat tactics are good in open fields but quite bad in populated areas.

Basically the Ukrainian logistic appears to be quite effective over large distances and Russia semns to have no control over it.

I am curious to see how Russia is going to meet their goals from this point on. I am nor pessimistic but I see a need for quick decisive action. Moscow does not own the control of the clock.

Posted by: Richard L | Oct 4 2022 18:10 utc | 56

@GoFast | Oct 4 2022 17:29 utc | 28
Russia is retreating to conserve forces.. . .Perhaps they're running out of weapons, fuel or morale.

Yes, in Kherson 20,000 light infantry in a shrinking urban area without any ground line of communication (GLOC) to provide what an army force needs for operations including vehicles, weapons, ammo, replacements, food and fuel. Ferry boats are small and vulnerable, to include the vehicle wait lines on the shores. Ukies to the west, north and east and a wide river (with no bridges) to the south is untenable for Russia, and there is no escape possible as there was in Lyman. . . .Swimming, maybe.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 4 2022 18:11 utc | 57

The calm before the storm, dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

The UAF will scatter like the trolls here when the kid gloves come off.

PS To the dis/misinformation trolls, your bosses will never get their filthy mitts on Russia's abundant resources, EVER.

Posted by: WTFUD | Oct 4 2022 18:15 utc | 58

Posted by: elkern | Oct 4 2022 17:58 utc | 55
Posted by: Kareem | Oct 4 2022 17:59 utc | 58

I take Kareem's link at 58 to support elkern's hypothesis at 55 that the destruction of supply nodes and communication centers in the rear lines using US HIMARS has had a real effect on Russian capacity in theater that has so far not been solved by Russian command.

The key to taking out US HIMARS is tracing fire back to point of origin and hitting that origin before HIMARS unit is moved. This would require a very rapid response. Possibly field units calling in artillery strikes have to wait too long for those strikes to be realized, and hence are consistently missing the HIMARS launcher.

A Wagner operative/director on a Russian telegram channel noted that Wagner enjoys a rapid-response directive with Russian army that cuts through the bureaucratic processes that are required for regular army requests: when Wagner calls in air support, it's there in less than an hour; when they call in artillery, it's there in minutes. This is not the case for the LDNR militias on most of the frontlines, and it is not even the case, so they claim, for the regular Russian army units.

If something like the above is close to the truth, then this explains how US HIMARS, combined with US blitzkrieg tactics, and combined with slow Russian response, could lead to the situation we see today.

Posted by: WJ | Oct 4 2022 18:16 utc | 59

Something has certainly changed on the battlefield recently. Anatoly Karlin on twitter muses that this is the end result of too long spent without a general mobilisation, or to put it another way, Russia not taking things seriously enough, allowing the Nato side to bring some quite advanced technologies to the battlefield, as well as a large number of Nato fighters. Some of the technologies in question are apparently a realtime networked system allowing Nato positions to instantly know where their fighters and tanks etc are located, allowing instant ID of friend or foe in any instance. This allows them to use older Soviet tanks etc, made up to look like they are on the Russian side i.e. Z markings. If the Russian side don't have this instant ID system themselves, it becomes a serious hindrance.

The lack of real information on what is happening is making it very hard to determine the truth, and it now becomes obvious very few have any real knowledge at all of what is happening, including myself of course.

Posted by: tspoon | Oct 4 2022 18:20 utc | 60

Legitimate question: why does Zelensky care about "public opinion" in the west since anyone's opinion doesn't really matter what the so-called government does?

Posted by: unimperator | Oct 4 2022 18:20 utc | 61

"an American network-centric battle control system, when all units on the battlefield are tied into a grid and marked on computers, even at company level."

Walter | Oct 4 2022 17:26 utc | 25
Pat Bateman | Oct 4 2022 17:27 utc | 27
and; js | Oct 4 2022 16:29 utc | 363 on the previous Ukraine thread. Who added the links.

They have all found a clear reason for the change in the current frontlines -
a modernized warfare system based on satellite communications.
American soldiers (probably regulars) with US markings have been making an appearance as well. Plus the modern weapons, and troops with satellite communication capabilities, are well documented. (Starlink as well). Obviously the US troops have been trained fully and the Ukrainian troops would need their expertise to full profit from those arms.

Ukraine now has the third laargest arms budget in the world after the US and China ($86 billion), India is next and Russia is further down the list.
The nuclear threats from the US can be seen as a warning to Russia NOT to use nukes. However, US soldiers fighting Russians on Russian soil MUST lead to a deepening conflict. It cannot be otherwise.

I don't know how the Russians will react. Eliminating satellites could be start, or employing advance E-warfare units, but now anything will be one more escalation towards a "Dinosaur" event.

Very unfortunately the EU (Brussels and countries) are buying into this crap. VDL is promising more effort against "sanction busters". Limitrophe countries are preparing defensive lines. Poland and probably the three stooges as well (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.)

There have been interesting discussions on "tactical" nuclear weapons on the Ukraine thread. Realtive to third or fourth generation versions. On the FT they mention that the US has "only" 230 of these, but since Obama (I think) delegated $50 billion for their development, this small quantity is almost certainly rubbish. Or they probably have made several totally new series for the price.

PS I mentioned a "Dinosaur" event, but a more US-centric version might be called a "Trans-saur Rex" event (Tranny-saur wrecks?), so as to get their pronouns corrected before taking up eternal positions on fluffy clouds.

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 4 2022 18:21 utc | 62

Another potential reason behind the order to conserve forces and to not hold onto territory at any price may be political. The Russian public was starting to get a bit tired of the war but after the losses in the Kharkov region the TV pundits pushed for winning the war. That allowed Russia's president to launch the mobilization of reservists. The further losses since may be designed to allow for more political measures.

The Russian public was getting tired of the war, so Russian leadership manufactured a series of defeats and retreats to rally support for the war. Makes perfect sense.

Posted by: Yenwoda | Oct 4 2022 18:21 utc | 63

If you give your enemy time. . .
If you give your enemy's leadership safe haven. . .

Time never waits--that's time's very essence.

Get on with it or lose.

(Killing all these soldiers on both sides is a sorrowful abomination).

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Oct 4 2022 18:22 utc | 64

Why fight over vacant, burned out towns? There is nothing to be gained by losing troops over destroyed territory.

Russia is very happy to trade vacant land for Ukie soliders. The purpose of the SMO is to demilitarize Ukraine, and the Ukies are actively assisting. Casualty rates are guesstimates but 50:1 or more is likely, even including the Donbas militias.

As President Putin said, “You haven’t seen anything yet.” With the annexations complete it looks like the gloves are going to come off. The territory “gains” made by Ukraine at horrific human cost are going to be rolled back - and more - in the coming weeks as Putin starts to unleash the military.

Posted by: Black Cloud | Oct 4 2022 18:22 utc | 65

Posted by: seer | Oct 4 2022 18:20 utc | 67

War is a lot about minimizing amount of mistakes (making less than the enemy). As long as you don't make mistakes, you increase chances a lot. But numerical superiority (quantity) per Stalin is a quality of its own.

If you are numerically overwhelmed, mobile defense might not work as there is no solid anchor to retreat. Sure, you can harass and attrit, but here's a scenario. Suppose an enemy column advances, you ambush and destroy some percentage of them. Now the enemy just keeps advancing. What do you do? If you are overwhelmed, you should retreat to your standard defense line, but when there's nothing in the rear, you are just moving side by side with the enemy, or the enemy just blows by, without the ability to create another ambush. So the front moves backwards.

Posted by: unimperator | Oct 4 2022 18:28 utc | 66

It's also very interesting that the dark muttering of "the gloves are gonna come off now" is never accompanied by a specific sense of what will change. OK, freshly mobilized reservists who are now elite at standing in formations and maybe got range days in if they were lucky will get thrown into the trenches as gap fillers. Given that the much-vaunted 3rd Army Corps of motivated volunteers haven't made their presence felt, that can't be all, so... what else? What do you actually mean? What are the capabilities and/or weapon systems that the Russians are able to use but have thus far chosen to withhold?

Posted by: Yenwoda | Oct 4 2022 18:30 utc | 67

«Will the Russians get their December 2021 security demands met?»

Probably never, or only on paper for a short time. Realpolitik. There are 19th century precedents for that. The hostility to an independent Russia is based on long term geopolitical factors. Same for the USA hostility to an independent Europe.

«nukes possibly stationed a short flight time from Moscow and a continuance of NATO sabre rattling on the Russian border.»

The goal is re-"yeltisinisation" of the Russian Federation, with Navalny as the alter-ego of Guaido. Nuclear insecurity can help that.

«And as an Englishman rather than a European, I don't want my country towed along behind Scholz's dumb Barbarossa 2.»

The english government is pushing the continentals as hard as possible towards Barbarossa 2. "Let's you and them fight!".

«Are the Ukrainians living under that regime now fed up with the corruption and fanaticism? Or have eight years of Glory to the Heroes and Biletsky summer camps turned them all into heart and soul Banderites.»

There are 2-3 different groups:

* A lot of the ruthenians have always been fanatical fascists and will continue to be, will continue to try to re-create the Greater Ruthenian Empire, from Lvov to Rostov and Voronezh.

* Many ukrainians (whether educated to speak ruthenian or native ukrainian or russian speakers) have been trained to be ruthenian fascist nationalists, as the ruthenians have cleverly called "ukranian identity" what is ruthenian fascist nationalism.

* Many ukrainians, especially those speaking ukrainian and russian, are terrified of the ruthenian political police and of the fascist squads, and conform. But a lot of them are nostalgic of the USSR, under which there was peace and freedom of movement. Note that before 2022 the non-ruthenian, mostly-neutralist (and therefore described as "pro-russian") parties and presidential candidates still got a large chunk of votes.

* 7 millions of ukrainians have taken advantage of the situation to leave their country, and since most of them are women, they will easily marry and settle elsewhere, and never return. If the 2022 winter is bad as expected, another 10-20 million ukrainians may leave the country in desperation, and will not be very likely to return either.

«How will Russia cope with remnant Ukraine. If it occupies then the cost of upkeep will be huge and the population largely antagonistic, especially in the far West of the country. If it doesn't, then Washington keeps feeding arms and increasingly long range weapons into the remnant.»

It is not either-or, it is *both*. If I were an USA strategist:

* The strategic aim is regime change is Moscow, not a RF military defeat.

* The best first phase outcome is a very slow, very bloody ukrainian defeat to maximize both ukrainian resentment and RF attrition, ending with the complete occupation of Ukraine.

* For the second phase, many years of guerrilla action by fascist banderite irregular combatants in Ukraine backed from untouchable sanctuaries across the border in NATO countries (see Taliban and Pakistan, Vietcong and Laos/North Vietnam).

Instead I think that if I were the RF strategists I would want to leave a large depth of failed-state, Somalia-style unoccupied territory in western Ukraine, to lengthen the supply lines of the fascist irregular combatants and expose them to easier attack outside NATO borders.

Posted by: Blissex | Oct 4 2022 18:31 utc | 68

Large-scale explosions and detonations of munitions are now being observed at Gangneung Air Force Base on the Sea of Japan coast, where the South Korean Air Force's 18th Air Squadron is based. Local residents tell about the work of air defense.

Posted by: Mo3 | Oct 4 2022 18:32 utc | 69

Posted by: wagelaborer | Oct 4 2022 17:45 utc | 42


I've read talk that Ukraine had that brutal level of conscription so as to buy time and extensively train up, overseas in Britain and elsewhere, and at home, units that I guess I can call "prime". Younger, fit, aggressive, enthusiastic, and with a lot on the ball.

They got trained in how to really effectively use their weapons, especially the more sophisticated ones.

The older less trained conscripts suffered near unimaginable losses, but they did buy time for the AFU, and helped compel Russia to spread its forces out.

So all of the above goes to explain somewhat the success of the near "all in" attacks we've seen from Ukraine over the last few weeks.

My 2 cents is that the Zelenskyy regime has been playing from its last cards, and now only their reserves in Kiev, Odessa, and a few other places represent a reservoir of crack troops, and the AFU has according to some reports already drawn down from Odessa. We can read into what that portends for Odessa what we will.

Anyway, if luck favors Ukraine, who knows, Russia might begrudgingly cut them a better deal then they ever thought they'd feel compelled to. But if Russia is determined and the weather progresses in a predictable fashion then Ukraine could very easily see their situation maps getting cleared of most of the troops, resources, and equipment, that are currently seeing action along the front lines.

I'm curious how wide will be the fronts Russia will operate on, and how numerous their attacks and counter-attacks will be. The Russian military doesn't maneuver so as to gin up fodder for headlines, but they know Zelenskyy can be goaded by negative publicity.

Posted by: Babel-17 | Oct 4 2022 18:34 utc | 70

Posted by: Stanislav | Oct 4 2022 17:31 utc | 30

I agree with your assessment that Ukraine has a time window until the end of November for offensives. Russia can lose territory close to its border, so they can fall back and again. The Ukrainian offensives in Kharkov and North Donetsk dont really matter. However, Russia cannot afford to lose the bridgehead over the Dnjepr, because only this foothold can be further used as a launching pad towards Nikolaev and Odessa. If Ukraine can throw back Russian forces behind the Dnjepr until Russia has amassed enough troops, the plan to further annex Odessa and Nikolaev is closed. From a Ukrainian POV, they should have focused on Kherson, not Kharkov or Liman, territory that Russia can easily take back. But if Russia loses the Dnjepr bridgehead, its over for Russian long term plans of getting the entire South-East Ukraine.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Oct 4 2022 18:34 utc | 71

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 4 2022 18:21 utc | 69

If this is right and Russia cannot jam the system then she might eventually have to take out some satellites. US has advantage here as it is already using its own military-intelligence infrastructure against Russia, and yet Russia has not attacked it. Hence if Russia now chooses to attack it, this will be perceived as a new escalation, when in fact it is simply Russia responding to on ongoing act of war.

Posted by: WJ | Oct 4 2022 18:35 utc | 72

unimperator | Oct 4 2022 18:20 utc | 68

"Legitimate question: why does Zelensky care about "public opinion" in the west since anyone's opinion doesn't really matter what the so-called government does?"

Part of his job is to serve as a heroic propaganda focus for the Russophobic masses. It's not quite right to say the opinion of the masses doesn't matter. In modern societies no major war effort can be sustained without the basic support of the masses. Thus the relentless propaganda blitz.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | Oct 4 2022 18:36 utc | 73

Someone earlier said it best: The West does not believe that Russia is entitled to a nuclear deterrent.

Why? Because they realise that there is room on planet Earth for only one bourgeoisie. (Aka: sociopathic gang of thieves). Why go backwards?

That Putin witters on about Ilyin, the Orthodox faith, and still assures his oligarch friends of his fervent anti-communism confirms to the West that the guy is a sentimental fool.

They believe he is delusional and weak. His Idee Fixe being "Russkiy Mir", combined with his foolish ideas about historical justice. (Easily caricatured as Hitleresque irredentism).

Therefore they went all in around March to win the war against Russia and do whatever it take to topple the regime and dismember the country.

The West can afford neoliberalism and waste in all matters because it is the administrative Empire of Capital and thus has capital to waste on a grand scale.

Russia cannot. After 10 years of post-Soviet collapse Russia needed a real alternative. Unfortunately Putin chose neoliberalism, now we see the results - winter uniforms become superyachts. Beautiful reports make their way upwards.

Western alt-right "anti-imperialists" are completely void of any material analysis and understanding. Anti-imperialism is not a successor to Communism, it is rather a branch of it, that when cut off, dies.

We can only hope that the Communist Parties of the world recognise the seriousness of the situation and a qualitative change occurs.

Posted by: moaobserver | Oct 4 2022 18:42 utc | 74

There are events and movements that don't make sense to anyone, even from abroad. Something smells very rotten.
Isn't it possible that the unmentionable word precisely describes the puzzling situation in Ukraine: Treachery?
Isn't it possible that a large gang of military and security personnel are operating against Putin personally and the military operation generally. Their aim would be to oust Putin and surrender the country to the western criminal oligarchical mafia?
It would be a global tragedy and a bitter and tragic end for Putin's long-lasting good rule of the country.

Posted by: Sam | Oct 4 2022 18:45 utc | 75

A few sage commentators, English Outsider, bevin, Walter, psychohistorian, to name some. As I wrote and Escobar echoed in his newest article, there's the Macro and Micro of our ongoing Hybrid World War. And as Alastair Crooke's developed over a series of essays, there's the ideological component merging a new form of Nazi-like Fascism with Neoliberal Totalitarianism.

On the Micro level, Walter's contribution is key as NATO, having used up most of its Ukrainian forces, becomes the actual op-force facing Russia utilizing modern NATO tech and related tactics. The retreats IMO resulted from the political pause and manpower adjustments which are following after each other, the political pause now ending today. IMO, too many have become accustomed to the Outlaw US Empire/NATO's complete disregard for following their constitutional and international laws related to the warfare they've waged, all of which IMO is Aggressive War--the #1 War Crime. Russia--as has pained many--doesn't do that. It has purposefully made certain to demarcate its actions from those of the Collective West for an extremely important reason--to get the backing of the Rest of the World--which it has succeeded in doing. So, the micro level integrates with the Macro level.

The Hybrid aspect being utilized by Russia is related to the West's energy sanctions and terrorism. A VK friend sent me this linked article, "Germany threatens neighbouring countries with a halt to electricity exports":

"The largest German grid operator warns that Germany could stop exporting electricity in winter. This would put other EU states in massive distress."

Yes, it's in German and most resides behind a paywall, but the gist is above. Ukraine was also exporting electricity; that will soon cease. I advocate the cessation of all gas flows to Europe except those via Turk Stream since they go to the few friendly EU nations. As Crooke revealed in his last essay, Germany's plan to become another Reich must be throttled at the outset by doing what the Outlaw US Empire insisted: denying energy to its industry. And since Germany's industry is the EU's economic engine, its idling will mean economic disaster for the Fascist EU/NATO. (After WW2, it was determined that if Germany's energy sources--oil in particular--had been concentrated on as a target rather than its civilian cities, the war would've been shortened by an entire year.) And that cessation of energy exports must be applied to the Outlaw US Empire too. Yes, civilians will suffer, but it now seems many have finally seen the truth now that the masks have dropped and are now rallying against their fascist governments with their Nazi ideologues.

With fresh determination, the remaining Russian lands that were ceded to create Ukraine will be liberated, including Transnistra, and Spring's thaw will see a different political landscape. In reality, the European components of NATO have no will nor means to directly intervene in Ukraine; the Outlaw US Empire's economic war on them made that possible. Only the Anglos on both sides of the pond retain the means, although the will is becoming more problematic daily. By Spring IMO, Europe will likely have a different attitude brought about by different leaders. It's seven full months until May first, and that's about as long as the SMO has lasted.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 4 2022 18:45 utc | 76

In response to
It's funny to see the shill tsunami here and on twitter. The dying empire seems to sincerely believe that aggressive narrative management will prevent the end of their empire.

Posted by: Jesrad | Oct 4 2022 17:15 utc | 21


Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 4 2022 18:46 utc | 77

"The attack against thin Russian forces was quite successful but has cost the Ukrainian army several thousand men and irreplaceable hardware."

Finde den Fehler.

Find the error. Hint: there is a contradiction hidden in this sentence. Well, actually it's not even hidden.

But very obvious.

Posted by: Franz Beckenbauer | Oct 4 2022 18:49 utc | 78

All of this is a result of escalation. That was my position from the start. I lost my cool yesterday with the situation but that was because I believed too much the blabberings of some internet personas about Russia’s wunderwaffens.

NATO havent really done much since a month or two ago. They were training lots of troops and supplying them with modern gear matched to their training. Now that is done and we see the results. It is the reaction time of NATO to the initial SMO launch. 7 months and 80 billion later.

This is at a higher level than what the Russian troops taking part in the SMO can handle at the moment. They have also been subject to high attrition as the war weeds out the real fighters from the carrierists in their contract troops.

Now its the turn of Russia to escalate.

And so on…

It will stabilize at a certain point. Both sides have reached parity. The question is: how will the world look like then, who will be left standing and where the borders will be at that point?

Posted by: alek_a | Oct 4 2022 18:53 utc | 79

68: «why does Zelensky care about "public opinion" in the west since anyone's opinion doesn't really matter what the so-called government does?»

That's not quite right: western governments are not principals, they are minions of the interests that they represent, usually a coalition of upper-class finance and industry oligarch, and of upper-middle class professionals and real estate owners, plus the USA (e.g. in the UK all three major parties represent the interests of english finance oligarchs, english property owners and of the Pentagon).

The propaganda seems aimed at persuading these rich or affluent people that the losses due to the was situation are not going to last, that now is not the time to stop supporting the ukrainian government because it is going to win. I believe that this is deceitful, because I reckon that the goal is for ukrainian to lose as slowly and painfully as possible, but that's not something for which upper-class businesspeople and upper-middle class rentiers are so willing to risk losses.

The critical detail is the "this is not our war" letter by affluent german small business owners to the government:
«Resistance to the EU sanctions against Russia decided in Brussels is growing not only in Austria, but also in broad sections of the population in Germany. In it they call for all sanctions against Russia to be stopped and negotiations to end the war against Ukraine to begin, reports In this letter of protest, the concerned craftsmen write: “We as craftsmen know from many conversations with our customers that the vast majority is not willing to sacrifice their hard-earned standard of living for Ukraine. It's not our war either!”»

Posted by: Blissex | Oct 4 2022 18:56 utc | 80

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 4 2022 18:45 utc | 83

That's why I repeat that UKR electric generation going dark will cripple the EU in a way that it will never recover. That will also shorten the length of the war. There are boat loads of mistakes that the wannabe Gosplan-Eurocrats have made, you gotta hammer when the iron is hot.

Posted by: unimperator | Oct 4 2022 18:58 utc | 81

I agree with your assessment that Ukraine has a time window until the end of November for offensives.

If the number of armoured vehicles is basically depleted, as evinced by the use of "Technicals", it is only a matter of a few weeks before the Ukies must attack on foot.

Much speculation here WRT real-time positional intelligence down to the company level in the Ukie army. Now, this stuff needs reliable electric power. Dunno, but it would seem that should be lacking in the field.

Anyway, the Russians are running their war their way....

We shall soon find out how effective that is...


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Oct 4 2022 19:00 utc | 82

Wow. What amazing quantities of copium.

Drunk on self-delusion and imperial hubris, Russia invaded a foreign country, and now is having its ass handed to it by people who are defending their homeland. Putin is unlikely to hold on to power now, and possibly not even to his life; in fact, the break-up of russia is now on the table.

Russia won't enslave Ukraine. Deal with it, and send back the kremlin checks you are cashing -- you will sleep better that way.

Posted by: Victor Danilchenko | Oct 4 2022 19:02 utc | 83

It is important to consider the legal aspect (UN Chart) from the Russian point of view.

This is an important element that from the beginning has underpinned Putin's and Lavrov's interventions, which Karlof1 takes care to detail and translate in extenso

In accordance with the international right of peoples to self-determination, the LPR and DPR referendums concerned only accession to the Russian Federation within the geographical boundaries of the oblasts, where independence referendums had already in 2014 been held.

The two maps from September and October are easy to read.
The troops of LPR and therefore Russia, now since today or tomorrow morning (only when the entry into force of the texts to be enacted) have withdrawn from a territory that remains Ukraine between the administrative border and Oskil.

Part of the territory of Donetsk Oblast is occupied by the Ukrainian army.
More or less Liman is legally indifferent.

The "regions" of Kherson and Zaporoje were consulted on their independence, where they were liberated and only the part controlled at the time of enactment is supposed to become Russian territory.

Russia can even claim to have legally respected the will of the people and just demand (ultimatum) the withdrawal of Ukrainians from Donetsk Oblast of Russia.

Zy & NATO won't do it.

And the Russian counter-attack will then be legally justified allowing a war on the initiative of Ukraine.
One can even consider the todays Zy's propros as a declaration of genocidal war.

We will know in a few days if the Russian army is out of means or was waiting for a legal framework.

Posted by: La Bastille | Oct 4 2022 19:02 utc | 84

My two cents on the question: What are the plans behind them?

First, it's not a rout: very little is left behind, if there was mass of prisonners or abandonned equipement, Ukrainians would show it, and they show nothing: two tanks here, a sergeant and a private there. So it's planned, and it's a typically Russian trade off: keep your looses at a minimum by giving land you don't need, and try to make them pay for every inch, so they will be weaker when the moment to hold the line come.

The holding position came rather fast a Davydiv Brid, that is quite close from critical strategic positions. Here, The russians let them gain some small settlements, before pinning them and bomb them into oblivion. But the north of Kherson oblast is no big deal: very small towns, small roads, and for the rest open fields. Nothing to loose a BTG for, and they still have quite a lot of space behind to fall in if need be.

Same goes for Izyum: it was a big deal when a pincer on Slaviansk was seen as possible. But now that it's clear for everyone that the liberation of Dombass will be a very slow grind of ukrainian kamikase, Izyum is nothing more than land that require troops sitting for no purpose in a region that is quite cut off from Russia and difficult to supply.

It's a purely defensive strategy, and you rarely win on the defensive, but very cost effective and the Russian have used it for centuries. Sometime they just wait for the enemy to freeze and starve to death, but here they wait the Raspoutitsa, that will stop any offensive, and giving time for the mobilization to finish before launching a winter offensive. The only drawback is that it make the military look very bad, more so in the keyboard SMO supporters. But they currently don't have the number to do anything else and clearly Putin doesn't give a shit about what they are thinking.

The main question should be: why did it take so long to mobilize ? it has been clear for months that the Ukrainians don't want to negotiate, and that the Russians don't have enough troops to mount any significant offensive.

Posted by: Phocion | Oct 4 2022 19:04 utc | 85


Anyway, the Russians are running

Sure seems like it.

In all seriousness intel synthesis and planning would be done at central & district HQs and field HQs, the latter of which would obviously have generators. Then orders relayed to commanders by secure radio comms.

Posted by: Yenwoda | Oct 4 2022 19:06 utc | 86

At the start of the SMO, Russia issued a stop-loss order that extended service all those about to leave the military for six more months. Those extensions ended near the end of August. How many were there? How many re-upped voluntarily and how many left the service?

I don' know the numbers, but I'd venture a guess of around a 10% loss of troop strength.

Posted by: mso | Oct 4 2022 19:06 utc | 87

@ Stonebird | Oct 4 2022 18:21 utc | 64

thanks... interesting ideas to consider..


so much speculation and not worth reading it too.. special prize for the ignoramus's here!

Posted by: james | Oct 4 2022 19:08 utc | 88

A relatively good piece by b, but still relying on too many unproven assertions and the general hypothesis that, somehow, Russia was fighting "with its gloves on.".

I find that prodigiously insulting to the hundreds of Russian soldiers who died or were maimed. It's the same level of callousness displayed by a Martyanov or a Larch when treating Lyman as a non-event. So these guys explain away the failures of the Russian army since February by an exaggerated concern for civilian life, and find that admirable, while brushing away the sacrifice of hundreds of guys as if it were just cattle. Such a contempt reminds me of Hitler in the last days, musing that after all the Germans deserved to disappear as they didn't pass the test.

I also would like b to explain precisely what "taking the gloves off" mean. Could you name precise weapon systems, battle tactics, or troops, which have not been used before and will be now ? Can you estimate the number of fresh troops the Russian army will be able to bring to the table extra, or guess the order of battle ?

You may tell me it's impossible to do and that you don't have the data, but then on how do you base the original theory ? If you say that the Russians can take the gloves off, it must mean you have specific data on how they will be able to do it. If not, it's a pure guess, a hunch, something irrational and based on belief. Superstition, in other words.

Posted by: Micron | Oct 4 2022 19:12 utc | 89

Explaining what has, and will, happen on the Ukraine/Russia battlefield is actually very easy.

THE essential measure of success in any tactical phase of a land war IMHO is "number of BTGs per kilometer of frontline" (I thank Dima in his Summary Channel for calling attention). This is a KEY variable: in the details, the value of this number can typically predict success, or failure, on offense, or on defense.

This "variable of interest" of course would vary based on how well rested troops are, how experienced, how well equipped, etc, etc - it would also greatly differ based on whether you are attacking or defending.

The troops Russia has fielded (still mostly Wagner/LNR/DPR/Chech) and very, very few actual Russian troops) and where the number of BTGs per km of front is too low, they have had to retreat - particularly if the attacker's BTG/km ratio is 5 or 10 times higher than theirs.

If Russia gets its troop density up, they will no longer have to pull back. Simple as that, and clearly Stavka understands this hence the movilation. WHY it took so long is not clear. One can rationalize away that it is 5d clever chess, but in the meantime civilians in Donetsk and abandoned areas are killed, and retaking the abandoned areas will cost the lives of Russian soldiers.

The animal world is much more humane than ours - in a battle for supremacy the top dog shows shows dominance as quickly as possible and the contender slinks away mostly intact but recognizing who won. Dragging the fight out is because one, or both contenders are insane and don't know when to quit.

Posted by: Siimplicius | Oct 4 2022 19:13 utc | 90

Posted by: mso | Oct 4 2022 19:06 utc | 88

May be one third? Posted by: KitaySupporter | Oct 4 2022 18:04 utc | 54

I found Mr. Mercouris' videos helpful in understanding recent events by BC RF in Ukraine. He postulated several plausible reasons.
Alexander Mercouris
Russia Completes Annexation of Four Regions; UK German Gov Lose Control of Economies Crises Deepen
Oct 4, 2022

Posted by: KitaySupporter | Oct 4 2022 19:14 utc | 91


typical bullshit lead article on cbc - from right now..

Putin's threats have nuclear experts watching closely

from a wire service as actual reporting is so passe...
Thomson Reuters · Posted: Oct 04, 2022 11:02 AM ET

the fact they keep feeding the public this shit says a lot here...

Posted by: james | Oct 4 2022 19:15 utc | 92

@Victor Danilchenko

Your American owners made Ukraine sex trafficking capital of the world.

I’m glad you’re happy your sisters and daughters are getting hooked on heroin and being raped in every brothel from New York to Auckland though.

When your American masters really take over your sons and brothers are gonna learn the joys of making clothes and growing food for the Americans for $0.50/day. Maybe Volo will make a funny joke about it!

And guess what your new American owners will do business with Putin’s owners anyway!

Maybe read some of that Marxist theory you idiots keep burning and fight an actual people’s war instead of trading chains.

Posted by: linbiao | Oct 4 2022 19:15 utc | 93

@Mo3 | Oct 4 2022 18:32 utc | 76

Large-scale explosions and detonations of munitions are now being observed at Gangneung Air Force Base on the Sea of Japan coast, where the South Korean Air Force's 18th Air Squadron is based. Local residents tell about the work of air defense.

Hmmm... some videos at

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 4 2022 19:17 utc | 94

Posted by: Mo3 | Oct 4 2022 18:32 utc | 71

I went over all channels on TV.
You ow me a beer, to splash down feeling to vomit, because I spent some seconds on those channels...

Posted by: preseren3 | Oct 4 2022 19:17 utc | 95

Barbarians use lawyer tactics to lure lawyers into the trap who try to use barbarian tactics to lure barbarians into the trap


I guess the guys who want to lure the barbarians into a trap are not really sure what barbarians means and why rome called em like that :D

Posted by: Macpott | Oct 4 2022 19:19 utc | 96

Is anyone else getting the feeling that this show is ran just as a well produced TV show? We're now at a season finale. The ascension story arc is being resolved and a cliffhanger is being formed... Time to stock on some popcorn.

Posted by: TwoTricksPony | Oct 4 2022 19:20 utc | 97

I don’t have much to offer in this, I just wanted to remark on b’s speculation about Putin and the Kremlin perhaps accommodating the sentiment of the Russian public.

From watching Canadian media pretty regularly (pre-Internet, although it still applies after), European powers (like Britain) are very skilled at using the sensitivity of the Canadian public to being disliked, and viewed as an aggressor, to thwart Canadian military activity. I’m thinking back to the Mediterranean Sea. Every time a Canadian warship would go in there on a NATO exercise, something would happen. And the media coverage would show no welcoming, just hostility to the Canadian presence. The clear message to the average viewer is that we have gone somewhere where we are just not wanted. So Canadians challenged it, maybe we should just stay in the North, alongside Denmark, Norway, Sweden, where we never sell to upset anyone. The military finally came out and said (indirectly) that it’s the British behind our cold reception. (What a shock that was.) We have an arrangement with Sweden, they don’t like it, and they’re letting us know it. But for confidential military reasons, we have to remain in the Mediterranean on this exercise. And they even found a Greek general, who gave a 2 or 3 second statement on camera, saying Canada isn’t completely bad, and he looked very friendly when he said it.

Russia is definitely not comparable with Canada. But even so, perhaps the Russian public is sensitive to becoming an unjustified aggressor, thinking maybe that its time for the Russians to stop pressing, the Ukrainian side will now back off, relent. Maybe the public also needed to see how aggressive the opposing side is, even after taking a beating every day for months.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Oct 4 2022 19:21 utc | 98

La Bastille @85--

Thanks for your reply. Looks like you made the effort to read the speeches I posted to the Week in Review thread where Lavrov detailed those very important legalities.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 4 2022 19:22 utc | 99

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Oct 4 2022 19:00 utc | 83

Keep in mind that Ukraine needs mechanized troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers, as spearheads to execute offensives. But Ukraine hasnt gotten any Western tanks, only tanks from stocks of former Warsaw Pact member states that dont need different training and are now depleted. Each lost tank is one less for further offensives. If Russia can keep Kherson bridgehead, there is nothing that will change the outcome. The escalation dominance is simply too much in Russia's favour. NATO support can only do so much it can do. If Russia has force parity or superiority and Ukraine has deplete its male population, it cant withstand the coming onslaught. Russian CAS, ballistic missiles, long range rocket artillery, strategic bombers are no match to what Ukraine has to offer with then even less troops. The Wehrmacht as well thought their superiour tanks could overcome nummerical disadvantages and it ended in Berlin. All this NATO wundersystems talk will fall short. But I guess the trolls wont come back then and eat their words.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Oct 4 2022 19:23 utc | 100

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