Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 18, 2022

Ukraine - Switching The Lights Off

The careful destruction of energy systems in Ukraine continues.

From today's clobber list as provided by the Defense Ministry of Russia:

On 17 November, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a concentrated strike, using high-precision long-range air-, sea- and ground-based weapons, at the facilities of military control, defence industry, as well as related fuel and energy infrastructure of Ukraine.

The goals of the strike have been reached.

All the missiles have accurately stricken the assigned facilities.

I have no idea if the last line is true but it does not matter much.

The targeting of 330 kilovolt transformers in various switching stations has cut some 50% of the distribution capability of Ukraine's electricity network. These transformers weigh up to 200 tons. There are no replacements. You do not buy them at the next corner but will have to order them with years of lead time. As far as I can tell Russia is currently the only producer of transformers of that type.

Isn't it a war crime to destroy the infrastructure that supplies civilians?

It depends. If the infrastructure is used exclusively for civilian purpose the destruction is illegal. But the electricity and transport infrastructure in Ukraine is used for civilian AND military purposes. In a recent Politico piece Ukrainian officials are even confirming that:

Ukraine tells allies it may not be able to recover from more Russian attacks on energy systems:

An unreliable energy sector could have deadly consequences, Ukrainian officials say. In recent conversations, they’ve added that it could halt food production and transport operations — critical services needed to support military operations.

The clobber list also includes this curious item:

The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.

I wonder where and what that has been:

One depot of artillery armament, delivered by western countries and prepared for being sent to troops, has been destroyed.

The redeployment of the reserve forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), and the delivery of foreign armament to operations areas have been frustrated.

The last sentence describes the real purpose of the attacks on the energy systems.

The lack of energy is degrading the railway network that brings weapons from the west to the eastern front. It makes redeployment of units from one front section to another very difficult and time consuming. It will give the Russian forces the advantage when they change the Schwerpunkt of their attacks from one corner of the frontline to another.

Another effect of the strikes on the electricity systems and the blackouts in the big cities that follow them is a renewed stream of refugees that will want reach western Europe. It will over time change the public opinion and the political priorities of those countries. If they fail to end the war they will have to carry the burden.

Posted by b on November 18, 2022 at 14:37 UTC | Permalink

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the true state of affairs in this war is revealing itself, and Zelensky's recent panic moves become understandable, so does the West's prepartion for dumping him Diem style.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 18 2022 14:44 utc | 1

“The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.”

Nazis with nukes. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: nwwoods | Nov 18 2022 14:45 utc | 2

"...dumping him Diem style."

Few! Love it!

Posted by: Uno Strawman | Nov 18 2022 14:48 utc | 3

I think the public perception that Ukraine is winning (Kherson being proof) is seen as a good moment for pushing for negotiations in the knowledge that er, Ukraine is not winning.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Nov 18 2022 14:55 utc | 4

Another effect of the strikes on the electricity systems and the blackouts in the big cities that follow them is a renewed stream of refugees that will want reach western Europe. It will over time change the public opinion and the political priorities of those countries. If they fail to end the war they will have to carry the burden.

It will make ordinary people more against the war but we've witnessed the greatest burdens on the indigenous populations of Western Europe for 30 years in terms of immigration. It never seemed to deliver much change of policy. (Though the massive moment of Eastern Europeans into Britain did deliver Brexit which is somehow impossible for b or many continental Europeans who had a 5 year ban on the right to work and live for them coming into force, to appreciate in terms of scale, b can comprehend Trump derangement syndrome but not Brexit derangement syndrome.)

But I am fully expecting Poland to fob all the Ukrainians it is currently hosting onto Western Europe while using it as an outflow for it's own massive diaspora. It'll be something something something, "We're just not prepared socially to permanently integrate all these foreigners not like the West!".

If nothing else this whole episode makes the case for the EU to break into 2. The Eastern Europeans deserve each other.

Posted by: Altai | Nov 18 2022 15:02 utc | 5

I’ve watched with amazement scenes of urban life in Kyiv over the last 8 months as citizens went about their daily lives unscathed by the war on their doorstep. They were driving new cars and wearing better cloths than you see in most Western Capitols. They dined out in large numbers in expensive restaurants and celebrated their propaganda victories over Russia in pubs and bars. The billions in Western aid were turning the city into an upscale welfare state. Now that has all changed as the reality of what their leadership as done and what their Western protectors are powerless to stop.

Posted by: Reno | Nov 18 2022 15:06 utc | 6

I would like to add that there is no mention of energy scarcity in Ukraine due to Russian strikes in any of the main stream media, nor any talks of possible refugees. They want to hide it from the western public, I guess Ukraine is still winning in their eyes.

Anyone with 2 grams of brain wonders here and there what all those million of people without heating/electricity/water are like, being thrown under the bus for someones profit.

Those people are basically fucked, as b said, transformers are almost impossible to replace anytime soon, so is the other stuff to repair infrastructure... and winter has come. Its about freezing time in Ukraine. How long can this bubble of lies last, are they gonna let people freeze/starve to death and cover it all up? Sounds impossible.

My thoughts are with all the innocent people being affected, at least the sentient ones. Sheep gonna baa baa anyway. It smells in the herd but its warm at least.

Posted by: Jzo | Nov 18 2022 15:13 utc | 7

In the first 2 weeks of the SMO I've been saying that trying to keep the war between 2 militaries just wouldn't work unless one party had overwhelming forces to bring to bear. But modern wars since the beginning of the 20th. century have always been more existential than just 2 armies fighting in a field. So, I thought that Russia should have gone after whatever Ukraine needs to function as a modern state. Attacking civil engineering works was always going to be needed to degrade Ukraine's core functions, so as to reduce them to smaller units lacking coordination between them. So communications, transportation, and the economic functions have to go. A modern state is best viewed as a SYSTEM and that matters. From a Russian point of view what's going on now is more strategic. And the modern state SYSTEM is built around electricity.

Posted by: A. Pols | Nov 18 2022 15:21 utc | 8

Thanks, b.

Dual use cuts both ways and provides legal cover for the strikes. The dual use argument also allows for the implementation of sanctions (unilaterally illegal or UN based legal) to prevent some very simple products from reaching civilian hands. Nevertheless, striking facilities that are legitimately used by the military, even when they are also used for civilian purposes is legal. Russia waited quite a long time before reaching this point - they could have struck these facilities much earlier. Some call this weakness or incompetence. I believe that Russia is only reluctantly escalating and preparing for more intense warfare. I also believe Douglas McGregor who recently said that he thought Russia underestimated the depth and breadth of the support that NATO/US would provide for Ukraine. Russia did not want things to go this far and was hoping for a negotiated settlement earlier. That did not happen - NATO/US/Ukrainian opposition has been strong, and now, Russia's response will be stronger. Will the US continue the escalation with Ukraine willing to sacrifice itself on the altar? I hope not.

Posted by: Objective Observer | Nov 18 2022 15:22 utc | 9

Just as we have seen the effects of HIMARS blowing pontoon bridges in early September,two months later in November at Kherson, we will see the effect of these strikes today on the battlefield in Donbas in the coming spring.

Russia is playing a very dangerous game.

The cabal of politicians, wealthy backers, think tanks, 3 letter agencies and media colloquially known as the "deep state" are souless, minions of the anti-christ who'd sell the blood & limbs of their children for control over other humans. They'll stop at nothing and will not accept a Russian victory under any circumstances. Mushroom clouds. This trajectory can only lead to mushroom clouds next year.

But Zelensky is a schmuck. Russia might try striking a deal with him. Not Zelensky, the Ukraine president, but Zelensky, the recreational narcotics abuser. Make him an offer he can't refuse, a villa bigger than the one he has in California (or where ever it is). A few bullion in gold. For his life, perhaps to be more persuasive if required.

Anything to avoid mushroom clouds all over the planet.

Posted by: FieryButMostPeaceful | Nov 18 2022 15:24 utc | 10

Posted by b on November 18, 2022 at 14:37 UTC

"The lack of energy is degrading the railway network that brings weapons from the west to the eastern front. It makes redeployment of units from one front section to another very difficult and time consuming. It will give the Russian forces the advantage when they change the Schwerpunkt of their attacks from one corner of the frontline to another."

That could turn out to be an understatement, especially as diverse units with unique contributions to offensive and defensive actions need to show up for battle in a coordinated fashion.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Posted by: Babel-17 | Nov 18 2022 15:28 utc | 11

"Another effect of the strikes on electricity systems and the blackouts in the big cities that follow them is a renewed stream of refugees that will want to reach western Europe. It will over time change the public opinion and the political priorities of those countries. If they fail to end the war they will have to carry the burden."

On the other hand it will provide a wonderful opportunity for Europe's not very Christian Christians to show the world just how generously Jesus-like they can be toward refugees they helped create when the whole world is watching.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 18 2022 15:30 utc | 12

Anything one side can do, so can the other. Russian energy infrastructure is also being targeted, with some success.

So start the countdown to some dramatic loss. I'm thinking something that causes a blackout in moscow. Who wants to take bets there's some critical energy nodes undefended?

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Nov 18 2022 15:32 utc | 13

When you take it all in, the effects of these strikes alone are utterly devastating to Ukraine, and indirectly to the EU as well. Think of the enormous strain, social and economic, having millions upon millions of Ukrainian refugees entering the EU en masse will be. This, while the EU is suffering from the self inflicted economic devastation of their own sanctions on Russian energy. Also, it appears that reality is working itself into the minds of the European population, driving them inexorably toward the truth of this conflict, their leaders, and the direct consequences it has on themselves. This alone is likely enough to break Ukraine, the EU, and NATO all at the same time. Then you add the military situation, the weather and the coming storm....

Checkmate.

Posted by: JustAMaverick | Nov 18 2022 15:33 utc | 14

There is a weird claim in the BBC article about the S-300 impact site in Poland. Allegedly Russia uses S-300 missiles to attack ground targets. I have seen the same claim repeated in other Western media.

Ukraine war: What happened in Poland missile blast?

"Who fired the missile is unclear," says J Andrés Gannon, a security expert at the US Council on Foreign Relations, who agrees that it may be from an S-300 system.

"We know Russia has been using the S-300 for ground attacks, even though it's an air defence system, but Ukraine also uses them for air defence against cruise missiles."

It is extremely unlikely that Russia would use S-300 missiles to attack ground targets. The missiles do not have the guidance system needed. Even if they had, Russia has other missiles and rockets far more suited for the purpose. This must be a Ukrainian lie regurgitated by Western warmongers. Civilian targets in Kiev have been destroyed by stray S-300 missiles. The Zelensky regime is lying to its people, that these are Russian missiles intentionally targeted at civilians.

***

I also find the Polish missile story odd. What caused the crater? It was not the warhead on a S-300 missile, as the trailer would have been destroyed by the blast and the shrapnel. On the photos we see, that the rubber tires are not even punctured. The warhead is disarmed, if the missile loses its target. Could the hole be caused by the kinetic energy of the missile or its booster part?

Russian sources claimed that maybe dozens of stray Ukrainian missiles have flown into Poland. In previous cases they have only frightened squirrels. How likely is it, that a stray missile in the countryside would manage to hit two people.

***

The target of the Russian missile strike was not Lviv, as many have suggested, but the Dobrotvirska TPP situated just some 20 km east of the impact site.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Nov 18 2022 15:34 utc | 15

War is hell … to avoid conflict is so much easier … I do not recall any war is fought with one arm kept behind your back. The executions and torture after RF left Kherson needs to be on the media headlines.

In all wars on Palestinians, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, civilian infrastructure was demolished by Israel … critical silence from Germany and the Atlanticists.

Today murderous Prins Muhammad Salman got immunity due to his new position as PM. Humiliation for the West and “human rights” in general … UN.

I prefer to hit power stations with loss of electricity than more bloodshed and collateral damage USA style. Insanity reigns.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 18 2022 15:40 utc | 16

Here is an archived article from today's NYTimes, about how Russia seems to be defying predictions of "Western and Ukrainian officials" about running out of missles. Aside from claiming North Korea and Iran as possible missle sources, as well as that Russia may have been stockpiling chips and missles for some time now, it even allows that Russian may actually be building their own! Then, to tie into the Polish tractor missle, it mentions how Russia is using S-300s to launch attacks:
NYTimes Article

Posted by: Peter | Nov 18 2022 15:41 utc | 17

It's snowing in Lvov.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Nov 18 2022 15:43 utc | 18

Is it possible that Ukraine is using warhead-free missiles to shoot at the Russian incoming. It might also account for that NATO honcho saying that they didn’t shoot down the Poland-bound one because it was assessed not to be a deliberate attack. Maybe they knew there was no warhead in it and/or had no warheads in their own AD missiles as well. I get the sense over the past week or so that the Russians have their tails up.

Posted by: Guy L’Estrange | Nov 18 2022 15:46 utc | 19

Petri Krohn | Nov 18 2022 15:34 utc | 15

Most Russian missiles are dual capability.S-300/400 can be used in ground attack mode and also bastion coastal defense missiles can be used in ground attack mode.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 18 2022 15:54 utc | 20

"...dumping him Diem style."

The Diem history is very interesting. John Pullman, Lasky's money man shows up 1 yr. after the hit in Saigon. A year later "China White" sourced from Vietnam morphine base floods the US. President Johnson even admitted the US killed Diem on one of his tapes.

Posted by: JackG | Nov 18 2022 15:56 utc | 21

Anyone else think the forced de-industrialization and de-population of Ukraine is the whole point of this war? I can't explain the West's deliberate destruction of the country any other way since Russia's not "being weakened" by this.
Ukraine will be an agricultural society with 20-30% of its pre-war population by next year.
Model for the Great Reset we are about to all experience?

Posted by: Tom | Nov 18 2022 15:59 utc | 22

Hoarsewhisperer no. 12

The first wave of refugees was welcomed with open arms and fanfare. Lots of people in the UK are not renewing their offers to house them, and the refugees will be homeless.

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | Nov 18 2022 16:02 utc | 23

Objective Observer @ 9
Agreed. The RF political leadership has only very reluctantly reached this point in the war, going all the way back to 2014 (or beyond), in stark contrast to how Russia is portrayed by the westies. Just not as blood thirsty as USA, USA!

Posted by: Zed | Nov 18 2022 16:03 utc | 24

Rybar's writing on the state of Ukrainian power is not encouraging, ie they still have it, and there's no danger of the system collapsing. Despite launching hundreds of missiles at the Ukrainian power grid, they are apparently only consistently losing power for a short time during peak hours. The strikes have not been hitting either the most critical or the most difficult-to-replace equipment. Damaging the power grid is likely to become difficult, as the Ukrainians are learning to cope now by fortifying vulnerable equipment with sandbags and other barriers, and new western AA equipment is arriving.

I would really like to know why the bridges on the Dnepr have no all been destroyed. According to Wikipedia there are fewer than 40 of them in Ukraine. Rybar reported that there was one rail bridge that was rendered inoperable by a single missile in June, and it still has not been repaired since. Now that the Kherson bridgehead has been surrendered, what possible reason is there for these bridges to be allowed to remain standing?

Posted by: catdog | Nov 18 2022 16:07 utc | 25

"The targeting of 330 kilovolt transformers in various switching stations has cut some 50% of the distribution capability of Ukraine's electricity network. These transformers weigh up to 200 tons. There are no replacements. You do not buy them at the next corner but will have order them with years of lead time. As far as I can tell Russia is currently Russia the only producer of transformers of that type."

For high voltage transformers, lead time from purchase order to delivery is 24 to 30 months depending on vendor, number required, etc., etc. Add time, up to 10 months, for engineering and tender, total 32 to 40 months.

It will be in Russia's interest for Ukraine to be rebuilt quickly after the war.
These transformers were built in Soviet days. The Russian factories that built them likely have the drawings and specifications in their archives. That cuts out the engineering duration.
I believe it is quite possible the Russian electrical engineering equipment factories have already been ordered to manufacture replacement transformers for installation after the war. Expedited delivery of replacements would be a nice sweetener for any peace deal.
Still, even with prioritised manufacture, overtime and multiple shifts, it would likely take at least a year for the first units to be available

Posted by: ltexpat | Nov 18 2022 16:11 utc | 26

Does not matter the bravado of Z or the West for that matter, at the end it will be just like in the "All quiet on the Western Front": https://youtu.be/yMzdEIRrQt8

Ukraine will be in ruins, and if Russia agrees to help them get off their knees, it is only as part of Russia and no more Urkaina.

The other scenario is WWIII and a very long nuclear winter in Africa, Asia and Australia, the rest of the world is probably gone.

Posted by: tudupka | Nov 18 2022 16:12 utc | 27

Oh its not just ukraine being targeted. Some elites have figured out they need ration out earths resources because they are researching how to live longer, maybe a lot longer.

They've been quite clear about humanity destroying the climate and biodiversity. Clearly the logical solution to that problem is eliminate the peoples energy consumption and then the people will follow.

Theres two reasons to eliminate energy consumption first is to halt resource consumption the second is to reduce defence potential.

Coming soon to a theater near you.

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Nov 18 2022 16:12 utc | 28

"Anyone else think the forced de-industrialization and de-population of Ukraine is the whole point of this war? I can't explain the West's deliberate destruction of the country any other way since Russia's not "being weakened" by this." ~ Posted by: Tom | Nov 18 2022 15:59 utc

No deeper explanation than the fact that the US doesn't care is necessary. The US never cared about Ukraine as a state or its people, that's why the only things the US helped develop since 1991 have been corruption and the military. Ukraine's purpose in the "mind" of the US is nothing more than a means to threaten/attack Russia. Russia not being weakened by this conflict (it has been but not significantly) is because the US miscalculated in every possible way. It miscalculated how Russia would prosecute the conflict, how effective the sanctions would be, what Russia's actual military strength was, what the reaction of the rest of the world would be, and its own strength relative to Russia.

Posted by: Lex | Nov 18 2022 16:17 utc | 29

RT is now reporting the same murder of Russian POW's, this time in English: https://www.rt.com/russia/566776-kiev-soldiers-kill-russian-captives/ .

[I'd posted the RIA-Novosti account of it in Russian here earlier, but it never appeared, although it seemed to have been accepted. Maybe because it was from a Russian account. It is also on Vsglyad in Russian, which describes it a "beastial."]

[Or maybe I'm persona non grata from joking with Willian Billy-goat Gruff the other day.]

Posted by: Seward | Nov 18 2022 16:17 utc | 30

"Another effect of the strikes on electricity systems and the blackouts in the big cities that follow them is a renewed stream of refugees that will want to reach western Europe. It will over time change the public opinion and the political priorities of those countries. If they fail to end the war they will have to carry the burden."

There is a mixed effect. Those refugees will also serve as ambassadors for Zelensky.

And don't forget that emigrants are the fiercest "patriots". Being far from the conflict they feel the need for compromise and peace less.

Posted by: Wim | Nov 18 2022 16:21 utc | 31

catdog | Nov 18 2022 16:07 utc | 25

The bridges issue was discussed on one of the many programs I watch. The bridges over the Dnieper are exceptionally strong. If you remember many Ukrainian missiles were lobbed at the Antonovsky bridge and it still remained at least partially usable until the Russians withdrew from Kherson and blew it up.

I seriously doubt that western AA equipment will stop Russian missiles, partly because the Ukrainians are not trained on those systems and partly because Russian missiles so far have seemed to hit their targets despite attempts to shoot them down. To send more trained western operators of those systems into Ukraine puts more boots on the ground that might be harder to deny. The western powers have not heavily developed AA systems because they have assumed that they will have air superiority and won't need anti-aircraft systems.

Posted by: Belle | Nov 18 2022 16:23 utc | 32

Destruction of electrical substations and grid is educational for West European regimes facing an energy-constrained winter. US is facing grid strain as weather turns colder and Germany is already considering ATM outages, Internet and Mobile Phone outages and refrigeration food logistics chain outages not to mention offices and elevators and hospitals and teams and trains

Just seeing 330kV and 750kV transmission systems destroyed shows Western Europe how easily US policy can render Western Europe as poor as Ukraine

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Nov 18 2022 16:26 utc | 33

Thanks b. for the change of the subject.

Electricity runs countries and the world.

What RF military is doing is decomposing the electrical network, paralysing trains, trolley buses and neutering everything else connected to it. An enemy state in a standstill is a lot less harmful.

Now the question is to what purpose?
Turning the lights off is helpful if you want to bring the morale down. Bringing the morale down is good for an attack/offensive.

An idea of a combined warfare is doing things simultaneously.
Adversary shuts electricity and degrade all relevant means of energy production.
Brings the country to a standstill – attacks and pushes forward.

So far, there are no big or hardly noticeable RF offensive movements. Yes, some stuff gets repaired, and a limited life goes on, when electricity trains move on, reinforcements arrive.

Is Ukraine going to be demoralised by such actions? Maybe, but I doubt it. A hate for Russia is big enough there.

But, the only thing I am sure of is that at the first sign of EU and US stops flickering money on Ukraine, things will change drastically and Zielensky and his entourage will turn against their owners.

They have been riding the high wave for too long.
I am pretty sure that all of those Ukrainian neo-Nazi hipsters running the country into the ground will be tracked, found and punished one day.

I think RF is searching for the recipe on how to create such conditions.

Posted by: whirlX | Nov 18 2022 16:31 utc | 34

Posted by: Belle | Nov 18 2022 16:23 utc | 31

My understanding is that the HIMARs missiles couldn't destroy the bridges in Kherson because their missiles have a very small warhead, smaller even than the Iranian dorito drones. The warheads in the iskanders and kalibers are 10x larger. I vaguely recall that the USA destroyed every bridge in Serbia, some of them with Tomahawks. Maybe Ukrainian bridges are stronger than Serbian bridges, I don't know. It seems like a major oversight in Russian arsenals if they don't have some kind of non-nuclear capability for taking out bridges at long range.

Posted by: catdog | Nov 18 2022 16:37 utc | 35

thanks b...

i don't believe the west is broadcasting the loss of power in the msm.. they are leaving this out of the news.. i agree with @ Lex | Nov 18 2022 16:17 utc | 29 in answer to tom.. my sentiments also.. it is amazing that europe sits by and continues to allow this..

Posted by: james | Nov 18 2022 16:41 utc | 36

Russia has been enormously strengthened by this conflict. While NATO has been immeasurably weakened.
This is particularly true of the diplomatic world, in which Russia is seen as the moderate, sensible, clubbable partner while the US is seen as a place to steer clear from.
The time taken by this conflict is not what is important. Its importance lies in the lessons that the world takes from it.
The "Free World" is dissolving rapidly. All that is left of it are the ragged alliances the US cobbles together to support its non-binding UNGA resolutions. And the world understands that every vote was either purchased or extorted by threat. Left to themselves most countries would simply abstain.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 18 2022 16:42 utc | 37

and of course usa want the destruction of ukraine, next door to russia.. russia inherits much of the mayhem by being right next door.. the usa won't allow this to stop.. zelensky is under orders to continue as usual... not sure how many people see it this way, but i do..

Posted by: james | Nov 18 2022 16:44 utc | 38

It has been interesting (in a military sense) to see play out the Russian strategy on the energy systems. It seems that the Russian attacks began relatively mildly, as if they were showing the Ukrainians what was coming. The electrical systems were hit, but not all of them and not completely taking them down. The electrical system could be restored to an extent, but far-seeing civilians could see what was coming and could leave.

Little by little more of the energy systems are being destroyed and fewer can be restored or re-directed from another source. This strategy has been essentially without loss of life of civilians, in contrast with the US carpet bombing of Iraq. I did not realize until reading your article that Russia is the only producer of that type of transformer.

JustAMaverick | Nov 18 2022 15:33 utc | 14

Exactly. It seems that the US, NATO, and the western allies should have taken more seriously the warnings that Russia is not losing and not going to lose. Now they are being slowly hoist by their own petard. IMO, the entire conflict would have been avoided if not for the greed of the west and their corporatist governments. Their whole focus has seemed to be 1) regime change in Russia 2) division of Russia into separate and weak states 3) the western multinational corporations strip the resources and take over the manufacturing in Russia. There are trillions at stake.

Posted by: Belle | Nov 18 2022 16:51 utc | 39

"...I would really like to know why the bridges on the Dnepr have no all been destroyed. According to Wikipedia there are fewer than 40 of them in Ukraine. Rybar reported that there was one rail bridge that was rendered inoperable by a single missile in June, and it still has not been repaired since. Now that the Kherson bridgehead has been surrendered, what possible reason is there for these bridges to be allowed to remain standing?"

Posted by: catdog | Nov 18 2022 16:07 utc | 25

I will give my own poorly defined and no doubt too simplistic answer. How about, instead of those refugees swamping Europe, they head east instead? That's what happened after Maidan - smart people crossed over into Russia. So, those bridges will help them do that. Russia has already shown the way by itself withdrawing across the Dnieper... so leave those bridges intact and welcome those civilian refugees!

Posted by: juliania | Nov 18 2022 16:55 utc | 40

Slow learners in US and EU.

They will be hit with the bill for supporting and reconstructing Ukraine for years. And even if Blackrock now owns Ukraine as some say, i bet it won't be them providing the cash, it will be Western Taxpayers, as always.

The next ironic piece of the puzzle, is that if Russia is the only manufacturer of much of the infrastructure Ukraine will need, a lot of that cash will flow back to Russia. And since it is the only provider of the 330kV transformers crucial to Ukraine's reconstruction and road to self sufficiency, one imagines there will be a number of conditions set before their sale.

A great way to leverage the removal of sanctions, returning stolen funds, and reinstating favourable terms of trade. Who knows, Europeans may even find themselves to benefit too... who would have thought that trading with Russia again could even benefit Western Europeans as well... /s

Posted by: Et Tu | Nov 18 2022 16:58 utc | 41

I recently read an account of the Anglo-Sikh War. Basic story is that the Punjabi nobles conspired with The East India Company to destroy the "Khalsa" an army of quite competent pious Punjabis. These fanatic Sikh purists had to be massacred. See Gough, Havelock and Hardinge's machinations in John Company. There's a humorous version of how the Koh-I-Noor Diamond ended up in London in "Flashman and the Mountain of Light".


Ukraine is starting to look a little like this now. A territory to subdue loot and empty.

Posted by: Wokechoke | Nov 18 2022 17:01 utc | 42

The destruction of the Large Power Transformers (LPTs) in Ukraine illustrates how critical a role these devices play in a national electric grid. The US is equally as vulnerable to long-term black outs of its grid should its LPTs be destroyed by a High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP). LPTs are required for long distance transfer of electrical power from power production facilities to end users.

There are approximately 2140 LPTs in the US grid (about 3/4's of them are 345kV, with the remaining 1/4 mostly 500kV and about 58 765kV). No LPTs larger than 100kV are made in the US; there is about an 18 month lead time for custom manufacture overseas with another 6 months or more to deliver and install. These weigh between 200,000 to 800,000 pounds each and are very difficult to transport.

Scientists have confirmed, by “all means of measurement”, that the threat potential posed by HEMP E3 and E1 exceeds the intended stress limit that the US power network is designed and tested to withstand, see p. 3-2 in Savage, Edward, James Gilbert, and William Radasky. (2010). “The Early-Time (E1) High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) and Its Impact on the U.S. Power Grid”. Metatech Corporation, Meta R-320. https://www.futurescience.com/emp/ferc_Meta-R-320.pdf

A single HEMP over the US could damage or destroy the majority of LPTs in the grid. Lights out . . . no water, heat, light, sanitation, transportation, communication. Immediate transport back to the early 19th century for a population that has no ability to be self-sufficient.

Several bills have been introduced to the US Congress that would require the installation of technology that would protect the LPTs, but they have all been blocked by the electric and nuclear utilities.

See the US Air Academy 2018 Report that explains the threat to spent fuel pools at US nuclear power plants. Also see Appendix 1 of their 2019 Report that points out that US nuclear power plants are unprotected and vulnerable to the E1 component of HEMP, which will render the backup emergency power diesel generators and battery banks inoperable. This would prevent the reactor core from obtaining a cold shutdown and would lead to the core's destruction and meltdown of the reactor.

HEMP E1 can cover about 70.000 square miles with energy bands that can induce 12,500 v/M to 50,000 v/M into electrically conductive surfaces (see p. 2-30 in the first Metatech report cited above). This can induce 2 million volts and 5000 amps into power lines, which will fry any integrated circuits within modern electronic devices connected to the grid. So even after power could be restored (LPTs replaced), all the devices used in critical national infrastructure, which were exposed to extreme levels of HEMP E1 will have to be replaced or repaired.

Posted by: Steven Starr | Nov 18 2022 17:03 utc | 43

Russia has been enormously strengthened by this conflict.
Posted by: bevin | Nov 18 2022 16:42 utc | 36

---

Russia has obviously been weakened. But they are by far the cleanest dirty shirt.

It will be many years time until the world economy recovers its balance from this conflict.

Posted by: too scents | Nov 18 2022 17:04 utc | 44

It seems like a major oversight in Russian arsenals if they don't have some kind of non-nuclear capability for taking out bridges at long range.

Read up on FOAB as an example, the Russians have different types of weapons they aren't using in Ukraine because they don't want to. It is important to always keep in my that many in the Kremlin still feels and know that Ukrainians are their kin.

Posted by: AntiLogic | Nov 18 2022 17:08 utc | 45

When Zelensky suggested in his speech at the Munich Security Conference on Mar. 19 that Ukraine wanted to acquire nukes, that was the last straw that provoked Russia to invade. Now that he's feeling desperate, he may once again play this card.

Posted by: Lysias | Nov 18 2022 17:09 utc | 46

Below is a quote from a ZH piece that may effect how Biden deals with Ukraine


On Thursday, GOP Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan held a press conference to provide details into their upcoming investigations into the Bidens and the Biden administration.

According to Comer, whistleblowers have come forward to detail how Hunter and family "flourished and became millionaires simply by offering access to the family," Fox News reports.

"Was Joe Biden directly involved with Hunter Biden's business deals, and is he compromised? That's our investigation," he said.

Republicans have alleged a "decade-long pattern of influence peddling, national security risks, and political cover-ups" involving the Biden family.

"Committee Republicans’ investigation has uncovered evidence demonstrating deliberate, repeated deception of the American people, abuse of the Executive Branch for personal gain, use of government power to obstruct the investigation and prevent transparency, and potential violations of the United States Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause," states a GOP report released Thursday.

"The President's personal participation in his family’s global business ventures—committed through and by a complex network of relatives and associates to enrich the Biden family—has exposed the United States to national security risks that could be leveraged by our enemies to undermine the Office of the President."

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 18 2022 17:09 utc | 47

Posted by: juliania | Nov 18 2022 16:55 utc | 39

This is what happened to the great Anasazi civilization in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. The people, the civilians supporting those huge ceremonial houses, simply gathered their few belongings and left. (An excellent book on the subject is "Anasazi America" by David E. Stuart. He gets it right, I think.)

Posted by: juliania | Nov 18 2022 17:09 utc | 48

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 18 2022 15:54 utc | 20

Most Russian missiles are dual capability.S-300/400 can be used in ground attack mode and also bastion coastal defense missiles can be used in ground attack mode.

You are right. Wikipedia claims — based on this Belorussian source — that the S-300 system can destroy ground targets at a range of 120 km.

S-300s are capable of hitting ground targets. But the Belarusians did not teach them this

The range of destruction of ground targets can reach 120 km. The limiter here is the guidance system. Meanwhile, the power-to-weight ratio of the rocket allows it to cover much greater distances. It is known that in the course of work on the S-400 complex in the eighties, a successful experimental launch of the S-300 complex rocket was carried out at 400 km along a trajectory close to ballistic, with a maximum height of 70 km.

The ability to destroy ground targets is also preserved in the S-400 air defense system, which, in fact, is a deep modernization of the S-300. The management of the new missiles of the complex is combined. For most of the flight path to the target, they are controlled using an onboard inertial system using information from a ground-based radar about the coordinates of the target, entered into the onboard equipment by ground-based air defense systems before launch and corrected during the flight via the correction radio link. In the final phase of the flight, the rocket is controlled according to the data generated by the active radar homing head.

Wikipedia also seems to be spreading EuromaidanPress disinformation. The lede section of the Wikipedia article now claims "During the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, military analysts have stated that Russia has modified a number of systems to perform surface-to-surface strikes." The source is this BBC article and ultimately Ukrainian officials and EuromaidanPress.

War in Ukraine: Is Russia’s stock of weapons running low?

Some of the pictures of wreckage posted online appear to show the debris of S-300 missiles on the ground in Ukraine.

These are weapons originally designed to attack targets in the air, not on the ground.

Posts on social media have claimed these S-300 missiles have been repurposed by Russia to hit land targets.

We've taken a close look at a series of images circulating online, and have verified three pictures of debris on the ground in Ukraine which are consistent with S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

The article embeds this tweet.

Euromaidan Press @EuromaidanPress

Russian S-300 missile falls on office building in Kharkiv

A 45-year-old man was injured by shrapnel after Russia launched five S-300 missiles from Belgorod. They struck office, residential, business, school premises

All the photos in the BBC article and the Euromaidan tweet show booster sections of S-300 missiles, that have landed somewhere. Where is no evidence that a S-300 warhead has exploded anywhere near civilians.


Posted by: Petri Krohn | Nov 18 2022 17:10 utc | 49

Posted by: tudupka | Nov 18 2022 16:12 utc | 27

(WWIII and Nuclear Winter?)

Not immediately. Someone will probably 'test' an E.M.P. Nuke first to see how many satellites they can fry with one pot shot. Then the Yanks will creatively massage the definition of a Nuke and 'test' a Neutron Bomb.
At the end of that road ... a 20 megaton H bomb in the harbour next to a city can transform half a cubic km of water into 5 cubic km of red hot steam in the blink of an eye.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 18 2022 17:11 utc | 50

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Nov 18 2022 15:32 utc | 13

Anything one side can do, so can the other.

Reality doesn't work that way. If it did, Iraq would have defeated the US in a few months. Syria would have crushed israel. Hamas would be triumphantly hoisting their flag over Tel Aviv.

Russian energy infrastructure is also being targeted, with some success.

Pure fantasy. The scale of damage wreaked by Russian attacks is multiple orders of magnitude higher.

To be specific:

- Ukraine needs to use all it's missile launch resources in defense. Very little left for a massive coordinated strike on the Russian electrical Grid Which spans multiple time zones.
- Ukraine just doesn't have the volume or quality of cruise missiles, nor integrated missile targeting network to coordinate the same kind of attacks Russia is capable of.
- Moreover, it's manufacturing capacity to produce such systems has been eviscerated.
- Western countries would take years to provide Ukraine with a system on the scale capable to emulating what Russia can in terms of massive coordinated strikes (Including emulating the missile fleet Russia has in the Black and Caspian seas ...)
- Russia's air defense is still generally recognised as the best missile defense network in the world
- It has more capacity to shoot down Ukrainian missiles than Ukraine (or nato) has missiles to shoot down.

They might get the random shot in here and there, upon occasion but absolutely nowhere near enough to make a dent.

And last of all:

- Russia actually produces the technology for it's entire energy grid. It can actually repair it, unlike Ukraine.

So no. No cigar. Not even close.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 18 2022 17:12 utc | 51

Douglas MacGregor on Millie's Warning and on what is coming to Ukraine in a couple of weeks. It is too late for negotiations now.

Posted by: Fiji Refugee | Nov 18 2022 17:12 utc | 52

@belle
FYI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KAB-1500L

Posted by: mikey3d | Nov 18 2022 17:13 utc | 53

I will give my own poorly defined and no doubt too simplistic answer. How about, instead of those refugees swamping Europe, they head east instead? That's what happened after Maidan - smart people crossed over into Russia. So, those bridges will help them do that. Russia has already shown the way by itself withdrawing across the Dnieper... so leave those bridges intact and welcome those civilian refugees!

Posted by: juliania | Nov 18 2022 16:55 utc | 39

As far I as I know, the only working border crossing between Russia and Ukraine is at Vasilevka in the Zaporozhye oblast. The official border is closed. So it's hard to go east.

But the largest group of Ukrainians who left since February 24th went to Russia indeed -- some 3 million out 7.5-8 in total.

That, of course, is an inconvenient fact we don't talk about in polite western company...

Posted by: Tbx | Nov 18 2022 17:13 utc | 54

Posted by: Belle | Nov 18 2022 16:23 utc | 31

Destroying bridges comes down to which structural element you hit and the kinetic / blast energy in the projectile.

HIMARS missiles weigh 307 Kg with 120 Kg being warhead while the Russian KH-101 for example weighs 2400 Kg with a 450 Kg warhead ... assuming they travel at the same speed that's 8X the kinetic energy and almost 4x the blast in favour of the Russian weapon

HIMARS flies in a truncated ballistic trajectory so they can only strike the bridge deck whereas a Russian cruise missile can strike a supporting column causing far more structural damage to the bridge that's an order of magnitude harder to repair.

There is a video of a Russian cruise missile destroying a rail bridge near Odessa where the Russians took out the railway bridge and left the road bridge next to it standing by taking out the support column. Compare that to the Ukrainians trying to destroy the Kherson bridge for a month but only accomplishing to punch the bridge deck full of holes.

Even that massive truck bomb on the Kerch bridge only managed to destroy the bridge deck which was easy to repair ... a single cruise missile to a column would have put the bridge out for weeks to months even working around the clock.

Posted by: Dave_k | Nov 18 2022 17:19 utc | 55

Posted by: catdog | Nov 18 2022 16:37 utc | 34

It seems like a major oversight in Russian arsenals if they don't have some kind of non-nuclear capability for taking out bridges at long range.

They have many such capabilities. Iskander is just one that comes to mind. Khinzal is another. I'm sure kalibr can do it as well.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 18 2022 17:19 utc | 56

Thanks for the update, b. I hadn’t thought about how much transformers weigh and where they are made. And to Petri Krohn @ 15 with the thought-provoking questioning. I haven’t tried to find it, but did anyone ever announce who specifically those two people were who died from the missile in Poland?

Viktor Orban posted a tweet with a clip of him giving a speech. He says outright that illegal migration must be stopped, not managed.
https://twitter.com/PM_ViktorOrban/status/1593306092368535555

Also, western Balkan countries announced they are forming a single energy market, on the topic of energy.
https://tass.com/world/1538429

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Nov 18 2022 17:21 utc | 57

It's difficult to get a handle on just what is happening in Ukraine. One commentor pointed out that the moneyed in Kiev have been wining and dining like the war doesn't exist. Lesser cities like Lviv and that whole region seem to be in the grips of a Nazi death cult that doesn't care how much they suffer, as long as there's the possibility of killing Russians. Soon the basic necessities of life - warmth, cooked food, clean water, transportation, all dependent on reliable electric power - are going to be uncertain. Pensions disappear, the economy breaks down, a large sector of the population needs support from the government just to survive day to day while the money from the west goes to a corrupt elite. Meanwhile, how many Ukrainians have a family member - a son, husband, father - who left to fight and wasn't heard from again, while the family receives no compensation because a death was never recorded? There has to be a lot of Ukrainians who want this insanity to end, and they dare not say anything for fear of the SBU or fascist street thugs. At some point it becomes impossible for even the glitterati in Kiev or the rest of the west to pretend that there's anything like normalcy in that country. As much as many Ukrainians hate Russians, they probably hate their own masters even more.

Posted by: Mike R | Nov 18 2022 17:24 utc | 58

According to Helmer, somé in Poland have noted that if the S-300 missle fired by Poland was aimed at an incoming Russian missle, It would have flown in the opposite direction, east or south. It thus appears to be an attempted provocation. Since, as noted above, a nuke planta is in the vicinity It makes even more sensei.

Posted by: c | Nov 18 2022 17:28 utc | 59

The bridges issue was discussed on one of the many programs I watch. The bridges over the Dnieper are exceptionally strong. If you remember many Ukrainian missiles were lobbed at the Antonovsky bridge and it still remained at least partially usable until the Russians withdrew from Kherson and blew it up.

I seriously doubt that western AA equipment will stop Russian missiles, partly because the Ukrainians are not trained on those systems and partly because Russian missiles so far have seemed to hit their targets despite attempts to shoot them down. To send more trained western operators of those systems into Ukraine puts more boots on the ground that might be harder to deny. The western powers have not heavily developed AA systems because they have assumed that they will have air superiority and won't need anti-aircraft systems.

Posted by: Belle | Nov 18 2022 16:23 utc | 31

The Antonovsky bridge was hit with HIMARS rockets, which have 91-kg warheads.

The Russians could hit the bridges with Kinzhal hypoersonic missiles with 500-kg warheads and at least an order of magnitude more kinetic energy (remember that kinetic energy goes up as the square of the speed so something flying at Mach 10 has 100 time the kinetic energy it would have flying at Mach 1). And those are very accurate too.

It would be surprising if a single such strike isn't sufficient to take out even a supporting column.

Presumably you don't have to go that far either - so far there was the bridge in Odessa that they took down, and the Cherkassy bridge that is still unoperable. The one in Odessa did need three Kalibr missiles to fully disable, though it was unoperable after the first strike already and it was repaired eventually (but that took a couple months). It was still successfully taken out. And there are a dozen other missiles in the arsenal big and powerful enough to do that job.

So it's not for lack of technical capability.

There are optimistic reasons why it hasn't been done.

It might be that there are plans to move to the other side of the river eventually, and then you will need the bridges for your own logistics. At the very least Kherson needs to be retaken. But, as I have stated many times, there is no stable solution to this war that does not involve the Russian-controlled territory expanding all the way to the Polish-controlled territory so that the conflict can be frozen by mutual nuclear deterrence between NATO and Russia. Which means Ukraine has to cease to exist in its current form. It is presumably admissible that the Polish-controlled territory includes core Banderistan - let them deal with those psychopaths - but there is not acceptable for the Russians scenario in which the border is the river.

The other possibility is that when the expected major offensive begins, the bridges will be cut to trap the Ukrainian army on the left bank to be encircled, but the time has not yet come for that.

Posted by: Tbx | Nov 18 2022 17:29 utc | 60

Where there's a will there's a way. I am not thinking your ordinary motorized travel. As folk get desperate, they will walk. Keeps you warm, that. Even I was once called 'walks far woman'. Don't do it now, but I know I could in a pinch.

And rivers do freeze.

I think it will happen. One of my sons lived homeless through several winters that were plenty cold. At a basic level, people, even civilied ones, find ways to travel, ways to cross to places of survival along with other warm bodies. Penguins do it; people can too.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 18 2022 17:31 utc | 61

Rybar's writing on the state of Ukrainian power is not encouraging, ie they still have it, and there's no danger of the system collapsing. Despite launching hundreds of missiles at the Ukrainian power grid, they are apparently only consistently losing power for a short time during peak hours. The strikes have not been hitting either the most critical or the most difficult-to-replace equipment. Damaging the power grid is likely to become difficult, as the Ukrainians are learning to cope now by fortifying vulnerable equipment with sandbags and other barriers, and new western AA equipment is arriving.

Posted by: catdog | Nov 18 2022 16:07 utc | 25

Presumably they are not destroying the power plants themselves (which isn't really viable for the NPPs and the HPPs - the former are nuclear, the latter are dams, in each case that would be catastrophic) in order to minimize the costs of repair later on. Because it will be Russia who eventually fixes it all.

All that talk about Russia paying for the restoration of Ukraine? Well, guess what, western idiots - it always planned to do that, is doing it now at full speed in Mariupol, and will begin doing it elsewhere as soon as those locations are moved beyond artillery range.

Posted by: Tbx | Nov 18 2022 17:32 utc | 62

Per Pepe Escobar, Blackstone and Vanguard (both Jewish) have already bought up a lot of Ukrainian land for the 2nd Israel (which should have as few Slavs as possible), but the heartless Russians may not respect those property rights. Nor do the Russians regard Syria as part of Greater Israel.

Posted by: Greg | Nov 18 2022 17:34 utc | 63

Petri Krohn 15
"How likely is it, that a stray missile in the countryside would manage to hit two people?"
Original story quoting anonymous US source had 2 missiles. What's the chance of 2 missiles hitting the same spot? I've seen suggestion that if the missile was heat seeking, it could have been attracted by the grain dryer where the people were working.

Posted by: geoff chambers | Nov 18 2022 17:34 utc | 64

My impression of Russian strikes so far is that it is limited to debilitate but not destroy Ukrainian infrastructure. Russians are trying to keep as much intact to enable them to rebuild Ukraine faster once the conflict ends. Hence, no shock and awe.

Posted by: Down South | Nov 18 2022 17:36 utc | 65

Another effect of the strikes on the electricity systems and the blackouts in the big cities that follow them is a renewed stream of refugees that will want reach western Europe. It will over time change the public opinion and the political priorities of those countries. If they fail to end the war they will have to carry the burden.

Triggering a massive wave of refugees might be intentional. And for the usually cited reason of destabilizing Europe, though it will indeed destabilize Europe.

Put yourself in the shoes of the Russians.

It took a decade and nearly 100,000 casualties in order to pacify core Banderistan between 1944 and 1956.

Since then the cancer has spread everywhere and the task is much more difficult.

You can imagine a core component of the solution being that everyone with a Nazi tattoo and Nazi paraphernalia has to go. But that would mean a huge number of people, and it would still not solve the problem - their wives and children mostly don't have such tattoos. Plus it is unacceptable in the modern age.

So what do you do?

Well, people can "go" as in dying, but that can also go by moving out on their own, and that is the vastly preferable option. The fanatical Ukronazi will not return voluntarily to Russian-controlled territory after that. And yes, they will be Europe's problem, which is an added bonus. Then you are left to deal with mostly elderly people in the villages, who are on average more sympathetic and will not cause much trouble anyway

Posted by: Tbx | Nov 18 2022 17:40 utc | 66

We'll see, but I have a sneaking suspicion Russia may be aiming for a sweet-spot that doesn't exist. They may be trying to hit the energy grid hard enough to cripple Ukrainian military transport and logistics yet not cause a humanitarian disaster for civilians. I'm skeptical that's possible.

We may end up with Ukrainian military transport and logistics "inconvenienced" rather than "crippled", and, despite Russia restraint, civilian life disrupted enough that it's "Russian brutality" headline fodder for Western media.

Posted by: Mike314159 | Nov 18 2022 17:40 utc | 67

This is coming soon across the country. In Odessa, people blocked the road to Tairova (Vuzovsky district), due to the fact that there was no electricity for 4 days. Alas, it will only get worse.

https://t.me/legitimniy/14120

Posted by: Down South | Nov 18 2022 17:48 utc | 68

As for the power transformators,
the biggest producer of them in Europe (the continent, not the TM) used to be ZTR, a Ukrainian producer of Soviet legitimacy. One of the biggest in the world.
http://www.ztr.ua/en/company

However, as the Ukraine intends to de-Sovietize, the Russians helped a lot few months ago.

Posted by: BG13 | Nov 18 2022 17:49 utc | 69

catdog | Nov 18 2022 16:07 utc | 25, re: bridge destruction

There have been numerous possible answers to your question that echo since the beginning of the operation:

1) Russia wants to spare Slavic civilian brothers from Ukr;

2) Russia does not want to break what it will have to rebuild;

3) Russia is waging an efficient military operation by letting the enemy come to the killing fields at the contact line all of its own volition;

4) Russia's unable to destroy those bridges (either missiles about to run out, absolute incompetence, Western weapons and intel cannot be beaten, bridges indestructible as per Belle | Nov 18 2022 16:23 utc | 31 above, etc.);

5) Russia's immediate aim was to settle for a quick settlement and had no long term plan and for some reason are stuck in a loop I suppose.

None of these explanations are fully convincing, some of them are even spurious, but maybe many of them taken together can more or less explain the situation.

One explanation that usually misses from that lot was provided yesterday by Bob Jenkins | Nov 17 2022 17:15 utc | 37. At least it was the first time I read about this - many thanks to Bob Jenkins, btw, apparently sourcing from an American journalist in DPR.

It goes like this:

"The Ukrainian railway infrastructure has not yet been destroyed, because Russian, Ukrainian and Western oligarchs are interested in this, continuing to earn money together on business schemes that have not changed since the start of the NWO.

Konstantin Sivkov, Deputy President of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Troops, stated this on ORT.

According to Sivkov, Russian titanium is delivered to the West via Ukrainian railways, on which a number of industries, including the military, critically depend...

Probably, this explains the “indistinct” position of the majority of the Russian oligarchy and many of the most influential figures in the Russian Forbes list in relation to the US and EU hybrid aggression against Russia, including its most sensitive component – the fighting in Ukraine, and this also explains the strange course of the special operation.”

This feeds into a possible 7th justification along lines that are often debated in the context of the globalist oligarchy. The idea is that Russia's leadership is divided among factions, some of which are inimical to Russia's national interests, and that Putin's engagement in what he must have understood to be a long term escalatory conflict was also an internal power play aimed at solidifying his power base and rooting out pro-western oligarchs.

I've been wondering about this for about 2 years, to my mind the jury is still out, I don't read Russian, and would welcome any thoughts on this.

Posted by: htyul | Nov 18 2022 18:08 utc | 70

Petri Krohn | Nov 18 2022 15:34 utc | 15

Most Russian missiles are dual capability.S-300/400 can be used in ground attack mode and also bastion coastal defense missiles can be used in ground attack mode.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 18 2022 15:54 utc | 20
.
It is exactly like that !
BUT.... in my training from about 1979 to 1984, the range of an S300 in ground-to-ground mode was a maximum of about 75 km !!!
Which has something to do with their ballistic trajectory in ground mode!
In ground mode, the automatic sprinkler head shutdown is also disabled.
You have to think of this as a single misplaced switch... when flipped ground mode is activated.
But what is only possible with a certain type S300, the S300PS !!!
All others don't have this mode, and the S300 must be equipped with the appropriate missile...if it is NOT, the missile will not launch!
But it's possible ????? That the wrong type of rocket was loaded when it was loaded after it was launched.... these do not differ on the outside only by a sign plus lettering on the rocket !!!

Posted by: mo3 | Nov 18 2022 18:12 utc | 71

@Reno 6
What you describe re: Kiev and how life there was disturbingly normal, reminds me of a section of the Clash's Rebel Waltz.
As we danced came the news that the war was not won
Five armies were comin', with carriage and gun
Through the heart of the camp
Swept the news from the front
A cloud crossed the moon, a child cried for food
We knew the war could not be won

Posted by: Milton | Nov 18 2022 18:19 utc | 72

@ catdog | Nov 18 2022 16:07 utc | 25

To this, I am pasting here as a possible answer a post from another thread that I saved because I find this answer interesting and think it is possible.


[...]

"Attacks on Ukrainian railroads and critical infrastructure prevent Russian oligarchs from delivering, Sivkov said.

Ukrainian railroad infrastructure has not yet been destroyed because Russian, Ukrainian and Western oligarchs are interested in it and continue to make money together with business plans that have not changed since the beginning of the NWO.

Konstantin Sivkov, deputy president of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Forces, stated this in ORT.

According to Sivkov, Russian titanium is supplied to the West via Ukrainian railroads, on which a number of industries, including the military, crucially depend.

"Under the existing sanctions, which everyone must abide by, there is only one "gray" link connecting Russia and Europe. That is the Ukrainian railroads.

Russia produces 87% of the world's titanium. All this titanium used to be used for the needs of the Soviet Union - submarines according to the American classification "Alpha", according to ours - "Lira" of the 705. 3.5 thousand tons of titanium. Americans were shocked, because titanium is considered equal in value to gold.

After the destruction of our country by the thieving nomenclature of the Soviet Union, titanium was "not needed" here, because the West, especially the United States, had an interest in getting this titanium. All the titanium went to the West.

They started making airplane wings out of titanium, the Excalibur shells for the M777 gun used against us today are made out of our titanium. If titanium supplies are stopped now, then all this will stop. This is worse than gas, because the construction of the latest fighter planes depends on titanium, among other things.

Therefore, our oligarchy, the Ukrainian oligarchy and the West have an objective interest in ensuring that this rail link works smoothly," Sivkov said.

Most (90%) of Western military and material aid to the Kiev regime, which lost more than 70% of available weapons on February 24, comes by rail from western Ukraine (Lviv), which borders Poland and Slovakia.

Vulnerabilities - three bridge crossings within the range of tactical missiles and air forces, which can be destroyed by three pinpoint attacks at known coordinates. In this case, communications supporting the viability and military stability of the Ukrainian armed forces and the regime as a whole will be destroyed, with the prospect of recovery being at least a month or two.

Alternative transportation by road cannot compensate for the logistical disaster. However, this is not happening, just as many companies in the basic economic and defense structure controlled by Kiev are dodging missile and bomb attacks.

Export goods and products manufactured in the enterprises of Ukrainian oligarchs and their Russian partners are also exported in the opposite direction, to the West, via the aforementioned railroad lines. After the blockade of air transport, maritime transport and international automobile transport, the railroad, exempted from Western sanctions, has remained the only logistic export-import link.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, stated that contrary to the logic of hostilities, U.S. intelligence agencies have not recorded a single attempt by Russian forces and the LDNR to block the flow of American and European weapons available to front-line units of Ukraine's armed forces from late February to mid-April.

Probably, this explains the "unclear" attitude of the majority of the Russian oligarchy and many of the most influential personalities in the Russian Forbes list towards the hybrid aggression of the U.S. and the EU against Russia, including its most sensitive component - the fighting in Ukraine - and this also explains the strange course of the special operation.

The country needs to know its "heroes"..."

Posted by: Bob Jenkins | Nov 17 2022 17:15 utc

Posted by: oldwoman | Nov 18 2022 18:19 utc | 73

About time Ukrainians had a taste of what their government has been doing to the people of Donbas for the past eight years.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 18 2022 18:24 utc | 74

geoff chambers @ 63

If people heard two explosions, then they would assume there were two missiles. But if the missile was on a ballistic trajectory there would be one explosion shortly followed by the arrival of a pressure wave, ie a sonic boom.

Posted by: Hereward | Nov 18 2022 18:26 utc | 75

Tbx @ 54

As far I as I know, the only working border crossing between Russia and Ukraine is at Vasilevka in the Zaporozhye oblast. The official border is closed. So it's hard to go east.

Is the railway between Kiev and Kursk still operational?

Posted by: Hereward | Nov 18 2022 18:33 utc | 76

@72 Re: titanium

Russia isn't a big "producer" (mining isn't exactly "producing") of titanium, even a smaller one than the Ukraine. However, Russia's role in the titanium departement lies in metallurgy. They are capable of producing certain big parts out of raw titanium others can't.

Posted by: BG13 | Nov 18 2022 18:34 utc | 77

It will be in Russia's interest for Ukraine to be rebuilt quickly after the war.

Posted by: ltexpat | Nov 18 2022 16:11 utc | 26

---

Si, senor. The Russian economy will go absolutely bonkers working 24/7 to rebuild a vassal Ukraine to create a 3 state alliance as a bulwark to the west.

The russians will throw up a militarized border and control all ingress and egress. Imagine the pathetic Ukrainians living in polish refugee camps witnessing this Renaissance from afar.

Talking about human population flows, the demands for engineers and skilled workers will tempt many a German to defy their country's orders and head off to join the gravy train.

If shock and awe was the USAs signature message, rebuilding and treating a reformed Ukraine with respect and inclusion will be the Russians response.

A rebuilt Ukraine of course makes pragmatic sense from a security and economic pov, but the positive propaganda effect on the RoW won't be missed by anyone.

Posted by: B9k9 | Nov 18 2022 18:38 utc | 78

This beggars belief, the European parliament has completely and utterly capitulated to US interests now, how can any European take the authority of the parliament seriously anymore, it's now up there with the Hague on the sheer loss of credibility.


"The European Parliament has prepared a resolution on recognizing Russia as a "terrorist state" and intends to hold a vote on it at its November 23 session in Strasbourg, Deputy Spokesperson for the European Parliament Delphine Colard said at a briefing on Friday.

"On Wednesday, members of the European Parliament will vote on a resolution to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism in light of increased large-scale attacks on civilian facilities in Ukraine," she said.

The European Parliament’s resolutions have no legal force and are non-regulatory, however, they are widely used in the EU’s media and political spheres to promote and spread specific political positions."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Nov 18 2022 18:40 utc | 79

Many interesting comments. Of course, attacking an enemy's economic base is well established in warfare. The United States certainly does that as a matter of course: in Serbia, Iraq, Japan in WWII, Germany in WWI... It seems that Putin has decided that this is now a real war, and he will have to go through the Ukrainian people to get at their masters...

It will always be possible for the Ukrainians to use portable generators and diesel fuel to supply their military, but even if you don't care about the civilians per se (and the western elites don't), not having a functional industrial infrastructure will vastly degrade the ability to maintain and maneuver military forces. And of course, all the effort the Ukrainians and their western allies have to put into repairing the infrastructure etc. is effort they can't use to attack Russian forces.

But: one notes that with so many people having left Ukraine, and with the shutdown of so many major non-military industries, Ukraine's electricity demand is about half of what it was pre-invasion. Also, half of their electricity comes from nukes, you can cut them off from the grid but not I think blow them up. If Russia only cuts Ukraine's electricity in half, and the worst that happens is that civilians deal with rolling blackouts, Russia will have failed. There is, I think, some threshold level above which Ukraine does fine, and below which things unravel quickly. Reduce electricity to 20% of baseline? 15%? Not sure. As time goes on, and the big juicy targets are taken out first, Russia might have trouble getting to whatever this threshold is. But if they do, I suspect that it will be like falling off a cliff, and the speed of the collapse will surprise everyone.

Posted by: TG | Nov 18 2022 18:42 utc | 80

The thought keeps running through my head that this is all in preparation for shifting from Occupied Palestine to Occupied Ukraine.....

everything is everything.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 18 2022 18:42 utc | 81

The biased IAEA is urging the RF to abandon the ZNPP, I think we all know that with Ukrainian forces shelling the largest nuclear power station in Europe, that the ZNPP is safer is the RF's hands than Ukrainian hands.


https://tass.com/politics/1538919

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Nov 18 2022 18:46 utc | 82

Posted by: Steve | Nov 18 2022 18:24 utc | 74

Precisely !!!
For too long they lived in a dream where their Ukro-Nazi gov. was doing as it wished against eastern civilians.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Nov 18 2022 18:51 utc | 83

well lets say it is as it is

The russian still are nice until they are not

then they will be begged on to finish it...

Posted by: Macpott | Nov 18 2022 18:51 utc | 84

The Russian army has run out of cruise missiles.

So said the Ukrainian, American and Brussels propagandists. But there is a nuance.

▪️"This week's missile strikes raise questions about Ukrainian and Western claims that Russia is running out of missiles," The New York Times reports.

Journalists offer four options as to where the Russian Armed Forces are getting their missiles from.

▫️️The first is that it is foreign missiles from China and Iran, but even the Pentagon disagrees.

▫️The second option is that it is Russian defense enterprises that have been able to set up production.

▫️ The third option is that these are missiles from the S-300 Triumf SAM system, but this is the version of Ukrainian journalists.

▫️ The fourth version is that these are Russian reserves in case of a large-scale conflict with NATO.

The second is considered the most realistic. Moscow has most likely been stockpiling the chips needed to build high-precision missiles since 2014.

▪️"Russian missiles are probably being produced as we speak," an interlocutor told The New York Times.

Amazing discovery. Recently, we imported a large number of fridges...that must be it.


https://t.me/Slavyangrad/21012

Posted by: Down South | Nov 18 2022 18:53 utc | 85

@ Tbx | Nov 18 2022 17:32 utc | 61


The UN has adopted and passed a resolution that the West can use the frozen Russian funds to rebuild Ukraine. In order for this seemingly legalized theft of the West to pay off, damage is now being done to the Ukrainian infrastructure for exactly this amount, I believe 300 billion US dollars, according to my speculation.

Posted by: oldwoman | Nov 18 2022 19:04 utc | 86

It's difficult to get a handle on just what is happening in Ukraine. One commentor pointed out that the moneyed in Kiev have been wining and dining like the war doesn't exist. Lesser cities like Lviv and that whole region seem to be in the grips of a Nazi death cult that doesn't care how much they suffer, as long as there's the possibility of killing Russians. Soon the basic necessities of life - warmth, cooked food, clean water, transportation, all dependent on reliable electric power - are going to be uncertain. Pensions disappear, the economy breaks down, a large sector of the population needs support from the government just to survive day to day while the money from the west goes to a corrupt elite. Meanwhile, how many Ukrainians have a family member - a son, husband, father - who left to fight and wasn't heard from again, while the family receives no compensation because a death was never recorded? There has to be a lot of Ukrainians who want this insanity to end, and they dare not say anything for fear of the SBU or fascist street thugs. At some point it becomes impossible for even the glitterati in Kiev or the rest of the west to pretend that there's anything like normalcy in that country. As much as many Ukrainians hate Russians, they probably hate their own masters even more.

Posted by: Mike R | Nov 18 2022 17:24 utc | 57

Putin is to blame for a lot here.

He could have come out and addressed people in Ukraine, telling them "We sincerely apologize for what we are forced to do, but we are left with no choice. Please try to understand, and remember how many millions died in WW2 in the hands of the Nazis, we are trying to stop it this time before it gets to that".

But he never did.

Just as he never really sent a clear message to the Russian people regarding what the whole SMO is really about.

Posted by: Tbx | Nov 18 2022 19:08 utc | 87

I think the public perception that Ukraine is winning (Kherson being proof) is seen as a good moment for pushing for negotiations in the knowledge that er, Ukraine is not winning.
Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Nov 18 2022 14:55 utc | 4


That perception will soon fade away to nothing. But that is when things could really get dangerous. The EU (NATO) and the US must decide if they are really in this for the long haul, or will they agree to some kind of negotiated settlement favorable to Russia, and the new Russian territory? That moment of truth could come as soon as this winter.

Posted by: Ed Nelson | Nov 18 2022 19:09 utc | 88

@ Tbx | Nov 18 2022 19:08 utc | 87

how did you become an expert on what putin did or didn't say? do you live in russia and speak russian? i am seriously curious...

also - where is karlof1? i miss him posts..

Posted by: james | Nov 18 2022 19:13 utc | 89

FYI - 25 years ago when I was in the electrical equipment business - lead times for big High Voltage transformers was typically 48 months.

Also note the cooling ‘oil’ used in the old transformers is PCB laden. A nasty environmental nightmare if they leak.

Posted by: Exile | Nov 18 2022 19:26 utc | 90

re: Steven Starr | Nov 18 2022 17:03 utc | 43

The war against cannabis and its users has been going on for at least a 100 years, so HEMP has long been identified as a problem by powers that be ..

Posted by: tucenz | Nov 18 2022 19:26 utc | 91

re: Steven Starr | Nov 18 2022 17:03 utc | 43

The war against cannabis and its users has been going on for at least a 100 years, so HEMP has long been identified as a problem by powers that be ..

Posted by: tucenz | Nov 18 2022 19:26 utc | 92

re: Steven Starr | Nov 18 2022 17:03 utc | 43

The war against cannabis and its users has been going on for at least a 100 years, so HEMP has long been identified as a problem by powers that be ..

Posted by: tucenz | Nov 18 2022 19:26 utc | 93

From another perspective, and in light of COP27:

Russia is helping Ukraine to achieve Net Zero well ahead of schedule!

Posted by: Ltexpat | Nov 18 2022 19:28 utc | 94

Dont worry James, it’s just more of the Cult of Personality trope….tired as it is. Doesn’t matter if it Saddam, Manuel, Mummar, the tactic is always the same: BadBadMan….Baaaaaaaaaa! What appear to be closer to reality in this case is that VVP is a level headed moderate who does things by the books. But whatever, not my place to say. As far as the Ukraines power goes, they ought to count themselves lucky to have had 7 months to prep. The smart ones likely saw the writing on the wall when the US parasite class embedded it’s meathooks in their country in earnest right around 2014. I think of the successive waves of missile strikes as tenderizing. So now the EU technocrats want to list Russia as a “terrorist state” after what they did to Libya. Fuggin ClownWorld.

Posted by: Chevrus | Nov 18 2022 19:28 utc | 95

sorry about the triplicate..

I previewed, I posted then selected "another comment" option and there we have the x3 result..

Posted by: tucenz | Nov 18 2022 19:30 utc | 96

Posted by: Ltexpat | Nov 18 2022 19:28 utc | 94

Ha ha ha ...

Yeh, the Bright New Future when mankind finally conquers Mother Nature's nasty climate change powers.

https://twitter.com/hugh_mankind/status/1593617944038236162

Posted by: Tom_12 | Nov 18 2022 19:37 utc | 97

@ Chevrus | Nov 18 2022 19:28 utc | 95

thanks... i see this more in a similar manner to you... all this b.s. about putin is indeed tiring.. meanwhile his ratings in russia remain very high.. but the west will tell us 'putins war' putin this and putin that.. the western msm is also very tired and predictable..

@ tucenz | Nov 18 2022 19:30 utc | 96

thanks.. i thought that was funny!

Posted by: james | Nov 18 2022 19:48 utc | 98

@ Tbx |87

No, Putin has absolutely no guilt here in the Ukraine war. When Putin wanted to negotiate in December 21 with US and NATO representatives about security guarantees (NATO eastward expansion), the West turned him down cold and wanted to see the verbally given guarantees that there will be no NATO eastward expansion confirmed with a signature.

That this signature did not exist was exploited and will continue to be exploited.

This was the second trigger for Putin's decision to intervene militarily. The first trigger was the ignoring of Misnk II. The blame here lies squarely with the West and its allies.

Posted by: oldwoman | Nov 18 2022 19:53 utc | 99

Republicofscotland @ 79

"On Wednesday, members of the European Parliament will vote on a resolution to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism in light of increased large-scale attacks on civilian facilities in Ukraine," she said.

It's a complete farce, more Russia hate theater. Obviously non legally binding as the resolution would force the EU to sanction or block any member dealing with any country doing business with Russia, which would be the entire rest of the word. The EU would not be able to import or export anything from anywhere including from each other if any product contains anything made in China, Africa, India, etc, or...

... isn't the USA still buying RF titanium and uranium? No EU trade with the USA and freeze US corporate bank accounts.

Both EU and USA will clearly keep buying RF grain, and oil of course as that was the whole point of the Yellin price cap they worked so hard to institute, only now they will be buying it from terrorists. Can't wait for the warrants to go out for von der Leyen and Michel just to start with.

The desperation is become pathetic, the worse the war goes expect the theater to get ever more absurd. It's also possible Brussels leadership is actually insane, they are pulling and pushing in opposing and contradictory self destructive directions at the same time. If the entity was a single human being they would obviously be locked up as a danger to themselves.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Nov 18 2022 19:56 utc | 100

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