Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 17, 2023

Ukraine SitRep - Media Ignorance, Counter-Artillery War, Three Lost Armies

Yves Smith asks:

What if Russia Won the Ukraine War but the Western Press Didn’t Notice?

She points to several headlines which, despite decisive Russian victories like its taking of Soledar, present the Ukraine as winning the war:

Nevertheless, Soledar has fallen and the loss of Bakhmut looks baked in, absent horrific Russian errors. The so-called Zelensky line is breaking even before Russia has put its recently-mobilized forces to work in a serious way. Regular commentators are waiting for the Russian hammer to fall, although Russia may simply grind more forcefully by pressing harder at more points along the very long line of contact. Remember one concern on the Russian side is avoiding “winning” in a way that leads to NATO panic and desperate action ... not that the Collective West’s fragile emotional state can be readily managed.

With that context, you’d expect some members of the press to have worked out that things are not going very well for Ukraine and the classic cowboy movie rescue of the calvary riding over the hill (here in the form of tanks and artillery) will be too little, too late.

Instead, the media seems to be trying to integrate snippets of facts on the ground with the heroic tale of inevitable Ukraine victory.

That is certainly correct for the wide majority of the stories, which claim that Soledar and Bahkmut, are irrelevant towns, but some pieces are creeping up that differ. A few days ago the Washington Post headlined:

Bloody Bakhmut siege poses risks for Ukraine

Ukraine faces difficult choices about how much deeper its military should get drawn into a protracted fight over the besieged city of Bakhmut, as Kyiv prepares for a new counteroffensive elsewhere on the front that requires conserving weapons, ammunition and experienced fighters.

Russia has escalated its assault in the area in recent days, unleashing savage fighting that has underscored the high cost of the battle. Russian mercenaries and released convicts from the Wagner group pushed into the neighboring salt-mining town of Soledar and inched closer to Bakhmut, the capture of which has eluded them for months despite an advantage in firepower and the willingness to sacrifice troops.

The piece quotes several Ukrainian soldiers which speak of huge losses on their side. But the U.S. is still egging them on:

The senior U.S. official cautioned against completely dismissing Bakhmut or neighboring Soledar as nonstrategic places that Kyiv can simply relinquish, noting that the salt and gypsum mines give the area economic significance. Theoretically, the Russians could use the deep salt mines and tunnels to protect equipment and ammunition from Ukrainian missile strikes. Moscow has also endowed the city with import.

“To some degree, Bakhmut matters to [Ukraine] because it matters so much to the Russians,” the senior U.S. official said, noting that control of Bakhmut is not going to have a huge impact on the conflict or imperil Ukraine’s defensive or offensive options in the country’s eastern Donbas region.

The official added, “Bakhmut is not going to change the war.”

I believe the senior U.S. official to be very wrong. Soledar and Bakhmut are bleeding the Ukrainian army dry. That is of relevance. Look at the insane number of Ukrainian units deployed on that only 50 kilometer (30mi) long sector of the front.


Source: Military Land Deployment Map - bigger

I count the equivalent of some 27 brigade size formations in that area. The usual size of a brigade is some 3,000 to 4,000 men with hundreds of all kinds of vehicles. If all brigades had their full strength that force would count as 97,500 men. In a recent interview the Ukrainian military commander Zaluzhny said that his army has 200,000 men trained to fight with 500,000 more having other functions or currently being trained. The forces which are currently getting mauled in the Bakhmut area constitute 50% of Ukraine's battle ready forces.

Zaluzhny has pulled units from other fronts like the Kreminna and Svatove sector further north in Luhansk province to feed them into Bakhmut. That has minimized any chance that the Ukrainian forces in those sectors will be able to make any progress.

What nearly all reports from Ukraine seem to miss is the huge damage that Russia artillery is causing on a daily base. Ukraine has little artillery left to respond to that and whatever it still has is getting less by the day.

A few weeks ago the Russian military started a systematic counter artillery campaign which has since made great progress. The typical western way of detecting enemy artillery units is by radar. The flight path of the projectile is measured and the coordinates of its source are calculated enabling ones own artillery to respond. But counter-artillery radar itself depends on radiating. It is thereby easily detectable and vulnerable to fire. Over the last months Russia deployed a very different counter-artillery detection systems with the rather ironic name of Penicillin:

Penicillin or 1B75 Penicillin is an acoustic-thermal artillery-reconnaissance system developed by Ruselectronics for the Russian Armed Forces. The system aims to detect and locate enemy artillery, mortars, MLRs, anti-aircraft or tactical-missile firing positions with seismic and acoustic sensors, without emitting any radio waves. It locates enemy fire within 5 seconds at a range of 25 km (16 mi; 13 nmi). Penicillin completed state trials in December 2018 and entered combat duty in 2020.

The Penicillin is mounted on the 8x8 Kamaz-6350 chassis and consists of a 1B75 sensor suite placed on a telescopic boom for the infrared and visible spectrum as well as of several ground-installed seismic and acoustic receivers as a part of the 1B76 sensor suite. It has an effective range for communication with other military assets up to 40 kilometres (25 mi) and is capable to operate even in a fully automatic mode, without any crew. One system can reportedly cover an entire division against an enemy fire. Besides that, it co-ordinates and corrects a friendly artillery fire.


bigger

The Penicillin system can hide in the woods and stick up its telescopic boom to look at and listen to the battlefield. As it does not radiate itself there is no good way for an enemy to detect it.

The system pinpoints Ukrainian guns as they fire. They are then eliminated by immediate precise counter-fire. As the artillery relevant part of today's 'clobber' list provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense claims:

Operational-Tactical Aviation, Missile Troops and Artillery of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have neutralised an artillery ordnance depot of 114th Territorial Defence Brigade near Veliky Burluk (Kharkov region), as well as 82 artillery units at their firing positions, manpower and hardware at 98 areas.

Counterbattery warfare operations have resulted in destruction of:

  • one Polish-manufactured Krab howitzer near Peschanoye (Kharkov region);
  • one U.S.-manufactured M109 Paladin howitzer, and one fighting vehicle equipped with Grad multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) near Lozovaya (Kharkov region);
  • one D-20 howitzer near Terny (Donetsk People's Republic);
  • two Giatsint-B howitzers near Maryinka and Orlovka (Donetsk People's Republic);
  • two Akatsiya self-propelled howitzers near Nevskoye (Lugansk People's Republic), and Preobrazhenka (Zaporozhye region);
  • five D-30 howitzers near Zmiyevka, Novokairy (Kherson region), Sofiyevka (Donetsk People's Republic), and Orekhov (Zaporozhye region).

Four U.S.-manufactured counterbattery warfare radars have been destroyed:

  • two AN/TPQ-50 stations near Mylovoye and Dudchany (Kherson region),
  • one AN/TPQ-36 counterbattery warfare radar near Ugledar (Donetsk People's Republic),
  • one U.S.-manufactured AN/TPQ-48 counterbattery warfare radar near Senkovo (Kharkov region).

Air defence facilities have shot down six Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Kremennaya (Lugansk People's Republic), Nikolskoye, and Petrovskoye (Donetsk People's Republic).

14 rocket-propelled projectiles launched by HIMARS and Olkha MLRS have been intercepted near Udy (Kharkov region), Smolyaninovo (Lugansk People's Republic), Donetsk, and Khartsyzsk (Donetsk People's Republic).

One U.S.-manufactured anti-radiation missile has been shot down near Radensk (Kherson region).

One Ukrainian Tochka-U ballistic missile has been shot down near Berdyansk (Zaporozhye region).

The above is the equivalent of two artillery companies (batteries with six guns each) eliminated in just one day. Ukrainian counter-battery fire against Russian artillery is no longer possible as the necessary detection equipment gets eliminated and as Ukrainian counter-fire is shot down by Russian air defenses.

This Russian counter-artillery campaign has been going on for several weeks. It has disabled large parts of what was left of Ukrainian longer range capabilities. Meanwhile the Russian artillery keeps on knocking down Ukranian troops that hold the frontline. Only when all parts of the Ukrainian trenches have been hit by intense fire will the Russian infantry move in to clean up whatever is left behind.

This form of battle is causing huge losses on the Ukrainian side while the Russian forces incur just a minimum of casualties.

In his recent talks Col (ret.) Douglas Macgregor put the deaths in Ukraine forces at 150,000 and casualties at 450,000. I, like Yves Smith, doubt that number of wounded is that high. As the system of Ukrainian battlefield extradition and hospitalization is in a bad state there will be less wounded and likely more dead.

In a huge contrast to U.S. waged wars, the civilian death count on the Ukrainian side is remarkably low:

Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential staff, said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, “We have registered 80,000 crimes committed by Russian invaders and over 9,000 civilians have been killed, including 453 children.”

Feeding more troops into the battle in the Bakhmut sector, as the Ukrainian side has been doing, is not a good use of resources.

We can state that Ukraine has by now lost the nominal equipment of two larger armies.

At the beginning of the war the Ukrainian army was said to have some 2,500 tanks, 12,500 armored vehicles and 3,500 large artillery systems. It is doubtful that more than half of those were in a usable state but they may have received enough repair to be workable.

The Russia military claims that most of those have been eliminated:

7,549 tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, 984 fighting vehicles equipped with MLRS, 3,853 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 8,081 units of special military equipment have been destroyed during the special military operation.

If one doubts those numbers one has to ask why the Ukraine has needed to import so many more weapons and is still short of them:

  • 410 Soviet-era tanks delivered by NATO members in former communist bloc, including Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia.
  • 300 [Armored/Infantry Fighting Vehicles], including 250 Soviet-designed IFVs from former communist states.
  • 1,100 [Armored Personnel Carriers], including 300 M113 troop carriers and 250 M117s.
  • 300 towed howitzers. 400+ pieces of self-propelled artillery, of which 180 is on order.
  • 95 [Multiple Rocket Launchers]

There were also a number of fighter airplanes, helicopter and air-defense systems. The above was the second army, after Ukraine's original one was mostly gone, that has by now been nearly eliminated.

The Russian clobber list now regularly reports of combat with Ukraine forces that kills, for example, one tank, three armored vehicles and a number of pick-ups and motor vehicles:

One Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group has been eliminated near Liman Pervy (Kharkov region). The enemy has lost over 50 Ukrainian personnel, one tank, two infantry fighting vehicles, and two pickups.
...
[In Donetsk direction] over 60 Ukrainian personnel, one tank, three armoured fighting vehicles, and six motor vehicles have been eliminated.
...
Two AFU sabotage and reconnaissance groups have been eliminated in the area to the north of Levadnoye and Vladimirovka (Donetsk People's Republic). The enemy has lost up to 40 Ukrainian personnel, two armoured fighting vehicles, and three motor vehicles.

Pick-ups and unarmored motor vehicles should avoid the frontline and certainly not be part of force attacking the immediate frontline. If these reports reflect the current structure of Ukrainian forces, as I believe they do, than its state is indeed dire.

In his Economist interview General Zeluzhny has requested a third army to be delivered to him immediately:

“I know that I can beat this enemy,” he says. “But I need resources. I need 300 tanks, 600-700 IFVs [infantry fighting vehicles], 500 Howitzers.”

As the Economist writer dryly noted:

The incremental arsenal he is seeking is bigger than the total armoured forces of most European armies.

The stocks of two complete armies have by now been destroyed in Ukraine. The resources for a smaller third one will be delivered in the next rounds of 'western' equipment deliveries during the next months. Russia will dully destroy Ukraine's third army just as it has destroyed the first and second one. It is doubtful that the 'West' has enough material left to provide Ukraine with a fourth one.

That then leaves only two options. Send in 'western' armies with the equipment they still have or declare victory and go home.

The neo-conservatives as ever favor the first option. President Joe Biden may still be against sending U.S. soldiers but this could change if he indeed gets blackmailed into doing it:

[A]s the ‘classified documents’ scandal gains momentum, the malleable president will likely fall-in-line and do whatever the hawkish foreign policy establishment demands of him. In short, the documents flap is being used by behind-the-scenes powerbrokers who are blackmailing the president to pursue their own narrow interests. They have Brandon over-a-barrel.

There is no evidence that this is happening but the signs are there.

The second option is to declare a non-existent victory and to forget about the whole issues.

But will the 'western' media, as Yves asks, notice any of this?

As commentator David correctly remarks at Yves' site:

I’ve said for a long time now that the West will be able to claim “victory”, or at least not defeat, by establishing fantastical victory conditions that the Russians never had and never wanted, and then claiming credit for frustrating them. With luck, this will just about enable western elites to hang onto power, at least temporarily.

"Putin tried to conquer Europe but we stopped him after he took only half of Ukraine," will sound like victory. But it is of course extremely far from the truth. Anyway, the media may well buy it:

But in the wider sense, we’re seeing the latest and most degenerate stage of the stupidity and ignorance which has afflicted the western media and pundit class over the last year. They didn’t know about the war in the Donbas, nobody told them Russia had the strongest army in Europe, nobody knew about the defensive lines in Donbas, nobody understood the seriousness of the Russian threats, nobody realised the Russians hoped for a short, sharp war to bring the Ukrainians to their senses, nobody understood why Russia went over to Plan B while it mobilised, nobody realised the Russians had been stockpiling weapons and ammunition for years; nobody knew what attrition warfare was …. In other words, the most disgraceful example of ignorance and stupidity of any ruling class in modern times. It will go on to the end, and “victory” will be proclaimed.

The war the U.S. provoked in Ukraine has been won by Russia even when no one wants to note it.

Posted by b on January 17, 2023 at 18:14 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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"“To some degree, Stalingrad matters to [Germany] because it matters so much to the Russians,” the senior official said, noting that control of Stalingrad is not going to have a huge impact on the conflict or imperil Germany's defensive or offensive options in the country’s Volga region.

The official added, “Stalingrad is not going to change the war.”

Great reporting as always b, many thanks.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 17 2023 18:30 utc | 1

thanks b, excellent. I have talked with one of my friends that understands the financial collapse is ongoing and that our country lies about it. On the other hand, due to following a Russian blogger who seems to be doom and gloom about Russia, and states that they are losing. I tried to inform him and realize propaganda is extraordinarily difficult to combat when the subject is bombarded with it when watching television. When there is no alternative, we get ignorance on a grand scale.
We have a horrible wait for the uncurious amongst us to realize what they have had nonsense shoved down their throats and poison in their arms over the last 2 years. They still don't understand they have actively participated in a mass psychosis and voluntarily taken what they were told was a vaccine. Many refuse to believe the facts as they become public. I can certainly understand them not wanting to die for trusting their idols.
Refusal to think is the new pandemic. This one will kill millions more. Consider the fact that it is all voluntary.

Posted by: Tard | Jan 17 2023 18:38 utc | 2

I don't see either option in the short term. I'm with the (now former) Defense Minister of Germany who didn't want to send more equipment to Ukraine. Germany's going to need it for their defensive line on the Oder.
2023: Novorossiya conquered
2024: Spring/Summer: What remains of the Polish Army kettled near Lviv (after being invited into Galicia)
Fall: Pesky Baltics are taken out with Belarus assistance
2025: Consolidation/logistics buildup as Russian troops hunt down the CIA-trained sabotage squads
2026: Upsized 1.5M man Russian Army reaches the Polish-German Border. Germany withdraws from NATO and sues for peace.

Posted by: smashsc | Jan 17 2023 18:45 utc | 3

Interesting Details found on a Ukrinform-article on Patriot:
"Regarding whether the Patriot systems will be able to intercept S300 and S400 missiles, Ihnat noted that it depends on many factors, including intelligence data, which suggests Russia has about 7,000 such missiles."
"The only thing is that we need quite a lot of such batteries to protect as many cities as possible, important objects of critical infrastructure."
"It may take several months here as the system requires more attention. It’s somewhat more complex..."

Posted by: Marvin | Jan 17 2023 18:50 utc | 4

,,Excellet Article and assessment . Nato will have depleted their supplies and US will not have much left either . Russia held back from War till they had built up a huge stock of weapons , armor and supplies .

Posted by: leocz | Jan 17 2023 18:50 utc | 5

Scott Ritter has a new outlook on a possible Peace Movement strategy. Look for his Trust but Verify article. This is an approach that us USians should join.

Posted by: Paul Spencer | Jan 17 2023 18:54 utc | 6

US led former state of Ukraine must be hiding something atrocious in Bakhmut.

Posted by: chunga | Jan 17 2023 18:55 utc | 7

Posted by: leocz | Jan 17 2023 18:50 utc | 6

As far as I can tell the US is not mobilizing war production at all and
given our ability to produce weapons that work went out door long ago I don't think the Russians have anything to worry about.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jan 17 2023 18:56 utc | 8

excellent coverage b.. thank you... forget about winning the propaganda war - the west has already won.. as to the real war - russia is winning, and unless something changes, russia will continue to achieve its goals... the western corporate msm will not say this as it is sacrilege.. speaking truth is sacrilege to them!

the bigger question remains - what does usa/nato do here?

Posted by: james | Jan 17 2023 18:59 utc | 9

I disagree that Biden needs to be blackmailed into sending in US troops or increasing support. He has always been a hawk and loves foreign military interventions. More importantly, Ukraine has been his personal project going back to at least 2008 as VP. Most likely it proceeds it since he was on natsec Senate committees and has always had extremely close ties with natsec circles and the MIC. I'll go against the grain of the blogosphere like Johnson, b, etc on this and wonder if the classified docs dust up (at least partially concerning Ukraine) are more about trying to find a way to step back from a progressively failing quagmire but require getting rid of Biden to do it.

Because Biden is all in and all the minions from DoS and intelligence that worked with him on the Ukraine brief during the Obama admin got big promotions and more power in the Biden admin. Biden's pushed for everything, including pre-budgeting aid for 2023 once it was clear the Dems wouldn't control the House. I'll go so far as to say that the real and only reason Joe Biden ran for president is because nobody in the Dem field was going to be truly reliable in terms of kicking off a war in Ukraine. And Biden wanted to be the one to defeat Putin and Russia. He's paid serious attention to almost nothing else in the first half of his admin.

Posted by: Lex | Jan 17 2023 19:04 utc | 10

Re: b's statement (via Mike Whitney) that Joe Biden is being blackmailed (via the classified docs scandal).

That is the least of the skeletons in the Biden family closet. But one that does not implicate key members of Congress.

It has long been my thesis that the "10% for the Big Guy" is a slush fund distributed to key members of Congress, including RINOs like Graham and McConnell.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jan 17 2023 19:05 utc | 11

Thanks for the reporting b

Demilitarization of NATO is a feature, not a bug of the SMO, IMO

What I see is JIT (Just-In-Time) feeding of the Russian destruction tools....not enough to do any good for the battlefield but ongoing presentation of arms to the front

And, there is not the pedal-to-the-metal push to make more/new that I see...which makes me smile....don't need more weapons of war....destroy them all!

Bankruptcy of the West is coming...this year would be my guess.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 17 2023 19:11 utc | 12

Morgan Stanley and Goldman have each put out a paper on investing in the new multi polar world, the one China/Russia keep talking about (zh). Doesn’t seem they would say this now if they thought Russia was losing.
Imo finance has moved on and may be signaling its time for a new narrative. Plus us trumpeting Japan doubling def spending, plus new pacific base. Looks like the pivot to China is well underway. My fond hope is that Taiwan is less likely to provoke nukes.
Wonder if the papers talk of reviving trade with Russia as an investment op.

Posted by: John k | Jan 17 2023 19:14 utc | 13

Thank you for this article. I'd just like to point out that Ukrainian army has been defeated many months back, it is NATO forces, plus of course the Ukrainian left-overs, that Russia is now demolishing. And no matter how much pressure the US war party puts on the doddering President, the US army would not easily sign on to a suicidal mission. Especially with the news that the army is finding it hard to reach its recruitment quotas. So, I think declaring a false victory is what it's likely going to be.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 17 2023 19:15 utc | 14

@ Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 17 2023 19:11 utc | 12

Partly true, we have to recognize that the nature of war is slowly changing. Drones, missiles, satellite recon, infrastructure sabotage, remote sensing, and eventually robots and AI. Tanks and armored carriers are big slow targets. This may be the last big war with massive troop formations, which would be a good thing.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jan 17 2023 19:19 utc | 15

"The war the U.S. provoked in Ukraine has been won by Russia even when no one wants to note it."

What did they win? There was little demilitarization and little denazification. The attacks in Donbass now include other regions like Belgorod and Crimea, so it's worse than before 2022.
At this moment any option other than reaching Ukr borders will be a failure. If they stop at Donbass borders, Ukr will simply continue the 2014 war. If US goes in and turns Ukr into Syria (most probable outcome, thanks to team Shoigu), using their bases to protect and train nazis to attack Russia, is even a bigger failure.

Here's a quote from an interview a few days ago: Daniil Bezsonov - deputy head of the press service of the DPR army - " In order for the conflict with Ukraine to end, we need to completely take control of the country's territory. Any piece of Ukrainian land that remains will be a piece from where missiles and shells will fly at us, so this must be understood. This issue must be ended here and now, and not left to our children for later, because this will not stop until we take control of the entire territory."

Posted by: rk | Jan 17 2023 19:20 utc | 16

I would have thought that Biden is blackmail-proof. Somewhere in the collapsing labyrinths of his brain he must understand that he cannot run for a second term as president, so all he has to do is threaten to resign in favor of Kamala Harris. That prospect should deter even the most rabid of neocons.

Posted by: pasha | Jan 17 2023 19:21 utc | 17

Amazingly, in the long article by the American Committee for US Russia accord, not once is the real problem, the existential problem mentioned.

A US base in Ukraine with decapitating strike cruise missiles tipped with 'battlefield' nuclear weapons.

US anti ballistic missile weapons in Poland Romania soon Finland, Japan. And in US dreams, Kazakhstan, Mongolia.

A Ukraine with it's own indigenously built nuclear weapons.

Yes, it's part of 'walkback', but it is very carefully crafted misdirecting propaganda.

The real problem is a far more serious Cuba crisis setup - the US threatening Russia (yet again).


Posted by: Powerandpeople | Jan 17 2023 19:24 utc | 18

The US is not the strong industrial manufacturing economy of post WW2. The EU, UK and the world would abandon any remaining illusion of US/NATO supremacy if a savvy hacker could bypass the censors and infiltrate western mainstream media to upload images of the true state of America, showing miles of tent villages in every US city, where people are living, dying, defecating and OD'ing in streets. Perhaps the EU/UK would stop funding the NATO protection racket if they became aware the Empire has no clothes for itself, let alone its people.

Posted by: Willow | Jan 17 2023 19:25 utc | 19

Perhaps a stupid question as b probably knows them personally, but I always thought Yves at Naked Capitalism was a male as that's not an uncommon name for men in French speaking countries. Was I wrong this whole time?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 17 2023 19:29 utc | 20

(Apologies if I'm not posting under the same name. I relied on the saved suggestion and it was cleared somehow.)

Never underestimate the gullibility of the western, especially US, press. Critical thinking has been systematically eliminated since the 80s and is now gone in any MSM format. Prominent outlets are little more than propaganda founts for the government/aristocracy. Less influential outlets, like second-city daily papers and TV stations, just recycle what comes from the networks or NYT or WaPo.

The public's attention span is very short. Most US citizens are consumed with feeding themselves and staying housed. They know what waits for them if they don't.

Posted by: D | Jan 17 2023 19:29 utc | 21

Appreciative of your analysis b, each supersedes the last posting.

+ + + +

the bigger question remains - what does usa/nato do here?

Posted by: james | Jan 17 2023 18:59 utc | 9

Panic. It's happening...former sec of state, Condoleezza Rice and former sec of defense, Robert Gates led the way writing in Wapo. After depleting war materiel, the remaining option is unthinkable. Humanity ends.

+ + + + +

@ Lex Post 10
@ Opport Knocks | Jan 17 2023 19:05 utc | 11

Question: Why did Hunter record paying Dad $50,000 monthly rent when the houses in the area range at $3,500 -$6,000 max? The Bidens are well invested in UKR and there is much there that should not see the light of day. Hope the little green men will uncover the stash of docs.


Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 17 2023 19:38 utc | 22

@ smashsc | Jan 17 2023 18:45 utc | 4

All this can be done in only 2023.

I glanced Medvedev recent interview while visiting Uralzavod (lost the page link, sorry) on some Russian website, and he exclaimed to have peace by the Victory Day, so in early May.

If RF, of course, can manage to continue and accelerate SMO without much troubles along the way.

Also what just might prevail is West acceptance that Ukraine Army and its combat capability is broken and cannot be fixed.

I see three choices for the "Matching" West aka US:

1. Invent the way at their own home countries to justify the humanitarian, veterinarian, what not and why not even WMD "intervention" and get smashed to dust by RF in a conventional way.

2. Use reality on the field and try to freeze it, by reactivating whatever is left of Western diplomacy. Basically concede and surrender.

3. Open an embassy and rent a base in Taiwan. Ukraine? Oh, that is so last year news.

One can go on, but three are good for now.

Accepting the long war would be again obeying the NATO narrative, kind of what was accepted back then as a MINSK - it was the last red line with the 'Herding Cats West'.

A Russian friend told me that actually in their understanding if someone crosses the one red line he crossed them all.

Posted by: whirlX | Jan 17 2023 19:41 utc | 23

Perhaps a stupid question as b probably knows them personally, but I always thought Yves at Naked Capitalism was a male as that's not an uncommon name for men in French speaking countries. Was I wrong this whole time?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 17 2023 19:29 utc | 20

That isn't even the real name:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_Capitalism

Susan Webber, the principal of Aurora Advisors Incorporated - a management-consulting firm based in New York City - and author of ECONned, using the pen name Yves Smith, launched the site in December 2006.

Posted by: shadowbanned | Jan 17 2023 19:44 utc | 24

Posted by: shadowbanned | Jan 17 2023 19:44 utc | 24

Thanks. Geez, who knew they even had a Wikipedia page.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 17 2023 19:46 utc | 25

@ Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 17 2023 19:29 utc | 20 with the question about ALMOST nakedcapitalism

NC is owned by Susan Webber and I was an earlier patron until she called me "crazy pants" for my ongoing discussion of global public/private finance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 17 2023 19:49 utc | 26

IMO, b's article confirms what was opined on yesterday's thread that NATO cannot defeat Russia unless it directly intervenes with its air forces to secure the battlespace so its ground forces have a fighting chance. And of course, there's zero guarantee it would win the air war and every possibility it would lose it just as badly as Ukraine has lost.

IMO, Russia learned a very valuable lesson from the USSR--there's nothing to be gained by trying to hold onto lands where the people are not tied to the Motherland. That would be the Baltics, Galicia, and other areas of what are known as the near abroad, most of which were part of the Russian Empire. Those nations have had 30 years to contemplate their relations with Russia, some have remained close via the CIS, CSTO and Union State. One has opted for neutrality--Turkmenistan. Most have very large populations of migrant workers employed within Russia which Russia cannot do without. For NATO to defeat Russia, it would also need to defeat all the near abroad nations, a task it's only tried via very weakly attempted Color Revolutions.

China via the editorial pages of the Global Times has said NATO has lost the reason for its existence as it has no chance of defeating Russia or the RoW that's allied with it. Yet, NATO politicos continue to act as if there's something to gain through their actions when only further death and destruction will result. Today, it was made very clear that NATO is well past its sell-by date and needs to be removed from the shelf as it's clearly a spoiled product.

So, what will Russia do during 2023 that differs from the last two months of 2022? It's announced that there'll be no offensive from Belarus. There's no need to capture Kiev. The four new regions will be fully liberated and the lands beyond demilitarized so their security is sealed as best as possible. IMO, Odessa will be liberated and Transnistria linked, while Moldova is allowed to figure out where its loyalties lie. Beyond that, the slog Westward will continue until the Outlaw US Empire surrenders and agrees to Russia's security demands.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 19:49 utc | 27

"The war the U.S. provoked in Ukraine has been won by Russia even when no one wants to note it."

What did they win? There was little demilitarization and little denazification. The attacks in Donbass now include other regions like Belgorod and Crimea, so it's worse than before 2022.
At this moment any option other than reaching Ukr borders will be a failure. If they stop at Donbass borders, Ukr will simply continue the 2014 war. If US goes in and turns Ukr into Syria (most probable outcome, thanks to team Shoigu), using their bases to protect and train nazis to attack Russia, is even a bigger failure.

Here's a quote from an interview a few days ago: Daniil Bezsonov - deputy head of the press service of the DPR army - " In order for the conflict with Ukraine to end, we need to completely take control of the country's territory. Any piece of Ukrainian land that remains will be a piece from where missiles and shells will fly at us, so this must be understood. This issue must be ended here and now, and not left to our children for later, because this will not stop until we take control of the entire territory."
Posted by: rk | Jan 17 2023 19:20 utc | 16

100% correct.

But it doesn't end there.

It isn't just Belgorod that is attacked, now we've had the first strikes deep into Russia, which will be followed by many more. It is openly discussed already in the West. And not the just from Ukraine, there are apparently plans to use commercial vessels as platforms for drone attacks on key facilities (such as the Sukhoi factories in Komsomolsk-on-Amur) from the Pacific. It has gotten to that point.

So now we are on the brink of a nuclear war and global extinction too. All because of the indecisive way the war was fought.

We will see what happens, the rumors on Russian Telegram channels are that the SMO will end tomorrow. What that means exactly we can only speculate, but the current situation cannot continue.

Posted by: shadowbanned | Jan 17 2023 19:51 utc | 28

"..forget about winning the propaganda war - the west has already won..." james@9

The West has just about held its own- kept its narrative front and centre in its propaganda outlets including the MSM.
But, where it matters, beyond the range of the networks and newspapers of record in the NATO capitals, it has not won any propaganda wars. Where it matters is in India, Indonesia, Brazil, across Africa and in the Levant and west Asia. And there the west has less credibility than at any time since Vietnam.

So, no james, I don't think that the west has won. It has lost badly and that is going to be important. It hasn't convinced MBS or Modi, it hasn't convinced China or any of the central Asian states. It hasn't convinced Turkiye. And Finland and Sweden didn't need convincing.
The US propaganda system has settled back comfortably into preaching to the choir. And it is very happy to report that, while most of the choir slept, there was no dissent.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 17 2023 19:51 utc | 29

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 17 2023 19:29 utc | 20

Yves:

Without doing any research, "Yves" is seen occasionally in both sexes, somewhat like Lee, Jesse or Beverly to name a few others. And sorta French-European, yes. Hard to get worked up about such fine gender distinctions these days anyhow.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 17 2023 19:53 utc | 30

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 17 2023 19:29 utc | 20

In French Yves is male, Yvette is female. OTOH, this is the internet.

Posted by: Passerby | Jan 17 2023 19:55 utc | 31

So, what will Russia do during 2023 that differs from the last two months of 2022? It's announced that there'll be no offensive from Belarus. There's no need to capture Kiev. The four new regions will be fully liberated and the lands beyond demilitarized so their security is sealed as best as possible. IMO, Odessa will be liberated and Transnistria linked, while Moldova is allowed to figure out where its loyalties lie. Beyond that, the slog Westward will continue until the Outlaw US Empire surrenders and agrees to Russia's security demands.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 19:49 utc | 27

Zero possibility for peace without annexation of everything east of the river.

Right now you have Sumy and Chernigov as a dagger in the heart of the Russian-Belarussian heartland. That was one of the main reasons for starting the war in the first place -- can't have an attack on Moscow being launched from that close. Imagine if Hitler had started with the assault on Kursk rather than taking Lvov, Brest, etc. first and then having to go through the whole of Ukraine and Belarus?

But with modern long-range weapons even that isn't enough. The whole proxy that is Ukraine has to go. Then it goes back to direct nuclear deterrence and theoretically there should be peace as there was in the Cold War. Theoretically. But that's still a lot better than the current trajectory that is taking us straight towards annihilation.

Posted by: shadowbanned | Jan 17 2023 19:58 utc | 32

I'm just in waiting mode these days, waiting to see how the US responds to losing this proxy war.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 17 2023 19:58 utc | 33

Donbas is not Kuwait.

RF is not Iraq

u$$a/otan has atrophied over 30 years.

the iron mountain, and lakes of jet fuel cannot get close enough.

uk or Germans sending un supported troops of rusty tanks is for show.

let the RF bleed what little is left of the Pham shamble

Posted by: paddy | Jan 17 2023 20:05 utc | 34

USians know everything there is to know about the SMO, know that this us 100% accurate, and react very hostily to any disinformation that contradicts these obvious truths.

There is no point in Russia doing anything other than flat out ignoring what USians think and feel. Every bad trait of the US is attributed to Russia, every US attack is a glorious blow for freedom, every Russian attack is a hideous war crime, and USian delusions go on and on and on.

There are people that Putin should cater to and care about. They are the leaders and people of China, India, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Argentina, etc.

Posted by: Woke American | Jan 17 2023 20:06 utc | 35

The US has tightened its control of Europe, via NATO
Stoltenberg--

From the start of the conflict, NATO and the European Union has stood with Ukraine and have stood together. Just yesterday, we signed a new joint declaration. You and I, Ursula and the President of the European Council Charles Michel. This will take the partnership between NATO and the European Union to a new level.
In a world of growing geopolitical competition, we will address new areas, such as emerging and disruptive technologies, space and the security impact of climate change. Resilience and the protection of critical infrastructure are a key part of our joint efforts, as we have seen both with President Putin’s weaponising of energy, and as you mentioned, Ursula, the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 17 2023 20:08 utc | 36

This penicillin thing is interesting. Seismic waves are 20-30 times faster than sound. It won't be directional. Maybe they can deduce a rough distance from the analysis of the wave(dispersion, different wave types at different velocity), good enough to start setting up artillery and send out a drone. With two of these detectors they can triangulate and if they have distance data get a fairly accurate location. I doubt if just using Penicillin they can aim with sufficient accuracy but they can gain time.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 17 2023 20:13 utc | 37

[.]IMO, Odessa will be liberated and Transnistria linked, while Moldova is allowed to figure out where its loyalties lie. Beyond that, the slog Westward will continue until the Outlaw US Empire surrenders and agrees to Russia's security demands.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 19:49 utc | 27

From your fingers to the big one's ears.
BarKeep, the next round of drinks for Karlof1 is on my tab.

+ + + + +
[.] So now we are on the brink of a nuclear war and global extinction too. All because of the indecisive way the war was fought.

Posted by: shadowbanned | Jan 17 2023 19:51 utc | 28

while very appreciative of your contributions here.

Russia does not do shock and awe - wedding parties and funerals. They are methodical; especially in urban settings. Civilians live matter.
Previously noted. Russians harness slow but ride fast.


Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 17 2023 20:14 utc | 38

so all he has to do is threaten to resign in favor of Kamala Harris. That prospect should deter even the most rabid of neocons.

Posted by: pasha | Jan 17 2023 19:21 utc | 17

You will know the Democrats are serious about dumping Biden when they do a Truman for Wallace or Ford for Agnew type switch to replace Kamala. They are unlikely to commit political suicide by allowing her to become President.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jan 17 2023 20:15 utc | 39

the ‘classified documents’ scandal gains momentum, the malleable president will likely fall-in-line and do whatever the hawkish foreign policy establishment demands of him. In short, the documents flap is being used by behind-the-scenes powerbrokers who are blackmailing the president to pursue their own narrow interests. They have Brandon over-a-barrel.
There is no evidence that this is happening but the signs are there.

That was also my first conclusion. I give a small <5% chance there were genuine anti war internal defections at play post mid-terms.

"Putin tried to conquer Europe but we stopped him after he took only half of Ukraine," will sound like victory.

Kind of reminds me of the recent South Sudan wet pants incident. What a brilliant narrative: 'The president courageously failed to poop in his pants, and only pissed down the front of them. Hail to the chief!'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_96muXW0XM

-Side note. When the guy enthusiastically emulated one former President with the cowboy hat, one wonders why he couldn't just have copied the current one with a diaper too?


Posted by: Et Tu | Jan 17 2023 20:18 utc | 40

Easy.

Remember USA lost the Syria war a few years ago.

Remember the "Assad must go" daily chants by everyone from Obomba, Shillery, Dump and our current chief Old Man Joe.

Hillary was ready to say abpit Assad: "we came he died" but he didnt die to go anywhere. USA and its terrorists lost in Syria.

What did we do? We installed ourselves and our terrorists in a remote area in Syria, steal their oil and pretend we didnt lose.

Most likely the same will happen with Ukraine.

We will install ourselves on the Western remote area of Uktaine with our Nazis. And pretend the war has not been lost.

It would be funny if it wasnt such a sad pathetic behaviour.

Posted by: Comandante | Jan 17 2023 20:20 utc | 41

Yes, it is important to openly discuss what happens now after Russia has won rather than continuously debate with idiots about why Ukraine's army is no longer relevant.

And particularly to point out that most of this victory occurred in teh first month when the Distraction and subsequent withdrawal resulted in Ukraine's air force, most of its air defence and its Navy to be neutralised; and a strong artillery force to be set up in front of Donbas. The main Ukrainian force has been deeply dug in in front of the Donbas, with the expectation that it would be impossible to position enough artillery there to defeat it. The Distraction made that possible.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jan 17 2023 20:22 utc | 42

It's hard to predict what will happen to the collective west. Any or all of totalitarism/fragmentation/desintegration.

There is WEFs agenda 2030 on the one side and the 2025 Deagel forecast on the other side. Who knows?

Its easy to predict what will happen to Russia - Slavic unification. It's extremely likely now that Belarus and whatever is left of Ukraine will join the Russian Federation at some point in the not so distant future. Other former soviet states will most probably follow. I count on seeing it in my lifetime.

The west can't do much to prevent it.

Those who matter, don't mind.
Those who mind, don't matter.

Barflies don't mind and don't matter.

The possibility for life-on-earth-ending WW3 still exists, but the key decision makers don't seem to want it.

Posted by: Vikichka | Jan 17 2023 20:24 utc | 43

Hopefully for everyone, Natzo and US Neolibtards will just declare victory and go away. It's very easy to sell to the dumbo-population. But unfortunately it probably won't.

Posted by: unimperator | Jan 17 2023 20:27 utc | 44

Beyond that, the slog Westward will continue until the Outlaw US Empire surrenders and agrees to Russia's security demands.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 19:49 utc | 27

The US/UK will never surrender, how could they surrender what they pretend is not theirs. Nor will they formally agree to Russia's security demands.

This will most likely play out as a long stalemate, but not as long as the 1945-1990 stalemate. Until one side or the other can no longer keep up the appearance of control.

Russia will have to win the hearts and minds of the territories it has chosen to occupy or semi-autonomous place puppet regimes in power. They have far less expertise in that than the US/UK.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jan 17 2023 20:30 utc | 45

Posted by: D | Jan 17 2023 19:29 utc | 21
The public's attention span is very short. Most US citizens are consumed with feeding themselves and staying housed. They know what waits for them if they don't.

Very true. Additionally, there are the distractions of shallow entertainment, SPORTS and consumer culture, making sure that the average US citizen is completely ignorant about pretty much anything outside of these realms. I find that the typical US male can recite Football, Baseball or Hockey scores with amazing recall, but is unable to locate, say Cuba, on a map, or knows anything about foreign policy. It's a feature, not a bug of the "Shining beacon on the hill" (TM). This is of course a highly unstable historic situation that MUST end badly as reality will eventually assert itself. Who knows, maybe the current continuation of WWII as seen in Ukraine will be the rude awakening. Predictions are hard, especially when they are about the future, as the saying goes.

Posted by: NewJerseyJoe | Jan 17 2023 20:32 utc | 46

"The stocks of two complete armies have by now been destroyed in Ukraine. The resources for a smaller third one will be delivered in the next rounds of 'western' equipment deliveries during the next months. Russia will dully destroy Ukraine's third army just as it has destroyed the first and second one. It is doubtful that the 'West' has enough material left to provide Ukraine with a fourth one."


It's easy to predict. If well over 7000 APCs and tanks have been destroyed and Natzo delivers another thousand, they will be destroyed even quicker, because there's lack of other targets and the firepower which was used to destroy over 7000 APCs and tanks, will now be concentrated on those new 1000 pieces. They'll be looking closely satellite photos and seeing where this new stuff builds up and counter by placing the arty / AT gun and loitering drone munition pieces.

Posted by: unimperator | Jan 17 2023 20:32 utc | 47

@ Comandante et al:

This is qualitatively different from our entanglements in places like Syria, Afghanistan, etc. You didn’t see people flying flags of our puppet governments in those wars. Nor was their a sainted TV star we could all get behind. Nor were those people white. And nor was the country one we’d been taught to hate for at least a century.

Posted by: malenkov | Jan 17 2023 20:36 utc | 48

There seems to be a new trend here.

Double-spaced remarks.

I suppose just to take up more space.

But they are hard to read.

They are so unusual.

So I skip them.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 17 2023 20:36 utc | 49

This may be of interest:
https://www.telegraphindia.com/business/indias-breaking-all-records-for-buying-russian-oil-but-who-is-the-surprise-buyer/cid/1910044?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email


Guess who's the biggest buyer of refined products?
India’s breaking all records for buying Russian oil, but who is the surprise buyer?
Despite sanctions, the US is snapping up refined petroleum products from India made from Russian crude oil...

Posted by: Susan | Jan 17 2023 20:45 utc | 50

Thanks b.

@ karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 19:49 utc | 27

An only half joking scratch map of the New European boundaries/status (jpg) post conclusion of the 'Slow-SMO', or even should it transition to an actual War ?

@ bevin | Jan 17 2023 19:51 utc | 29

Indeed. The real conflict is for the RoW & the clipping of Empires wings. Has already lost its soft power & proven a Paper-Tiger as opposed to the myth of 'The Worlds sole remaining SuperPower'.

Mil Ops in Ukraine is a necessity, central to RF security & Russian diaspora human rights in The Borderlands, yet only the most prominent tree within the forest.

Geo-strategically Ukraine is a sideshow, very useful distraction, but most importantly an open 'window' into Empire.

@ paddy | Jan 17 2023 20:05 utc | 34

Well said, concur.

@ Tuyzentfloot | Jan 17 2023 20:13 utc | 37

An on station loitering drone is re-directed, if available a 'Lancet' to perform a search spiral, identify/verify, in real-time provide precise co-ordinates & engage(destroy a single target), even if targets are attempting to displace or have re-deployed to alternate prepared positions. On call dedicated priority Counter-Battery Arty assets promptly ... Fire for Effect.

@ rk | Jan 17 2023 19:20 utc | 16
@ shadowbanned | Jan 17 2023 19:51 utc | 28

It isn't just Belgorod that is attacked, now we've had the first strikes deep into Russia, which will be followed by many more. It is openly discussed already in the West. And not the just from Ukraine, there are apparently plans to use commercial vessels as platforms for drone attacks on key facilities (such as the Sukhoi factories in Komsomolsk-on-Amur) from the Pacific. It has gotten to that point.

... All because of the indecisive way the war was fought.

We will see what happens, the rumors on Russian Telegram channels are that the SMO will end tomorrow. What that means exactly we can only speculate, but the current situation cannot continue.

Oh, woe is me. Much hand-wringing ensues.

The trivial propaganda/narrative pinpricks will continue to be blown out of all significance, relevance & importance, & will continue to have zero distraction effect on RF Strategy or Operations.

Oh, woe is me, am so very, very, very concerned about this situation continuing ... RF alone comprehensively defeating US/NATO beyond doubt on the field of battle, whilst RoW is kicking Empire in the nuts ... um, not moi.

rk & shadowbanned ... peas in a pod.

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 17 2023 20:50 utc | 51

What next?

As Ukraine's air defence degrades, we might see more Russian air and heli activity. More hunting fighter-bombers, more gostomel-type air mobility, perhaps.

Posted by: Father Dougal | Jan 17 2023 20:51 utc | 52

The demilitarization of Europe by arms destruction, suits the "Americans" (and Davos crowd) just fine. It reduces the possibility of an armed insurrection in recalcitrant EU countries (or the US itself?). It increases the quantity of US aligned forces in positions of strategic importance (as in Finland or the building up of US forced in the "Three Balts" and Pologne). It increases profits for the "big man" and friends, and the Military industrial vultures.

Note that the main additions to the Ukrainiand forces are now supposed to come from EU countries. The US has been sending large amounts of arms with the intention of being repaid for their "trouble". The EU and UK give away their miltary prowess.
*

Basically it avoids problems for their own billionares.
****

So the next phase is financial. Which may be what Putin will announce. "Reverse-sanctions" anyone?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 17 2023 20:56 utc | 53

How can Russia "win"? How can this even be an argument on this blog almost 11 months into the war?!

Soledar LOL it is a city of 10k, the city is bombed to bits, nothing to hold onto obviously!

Ukraine could still also transfer arms, troops freely, now they are massing on the border of Donbass.
"Ukraine redeploying troops from Zaporozhye region to Donbass "
https://tass.com/world/1563579
Why have not Russia targeted these transfers? Why have Russia not bombed the railways? Airstrips.
Incompetence! Low IQ!

And you believe Russia is winning LOL?

Even Kissinger now believe Ukraine should be a member of Nato.
https://tass.com/world/1563597

Posted by: User:Z-on | Jan 17 2023 21:00 utc | 54

Saudi's announce that they will "consider" trading oil in non-US currencies.

Is the quickened decline of the Petrodollar an outcome of the West's idiocy in Ukraine?

This is winning?

Saudi Arabia Is Open To Discuss Non-Dollar Oil Trade Settlements

Posted by: Just Observing | Jan 17 2023 21:03 utc | 55

Thanks @outraged #50
And , I find that in principle it is possible to detect direction of arrival of seismic waves (of P waves)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214914713000226
So a single detector might be enough which makes a big difference.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 17 2023 21:07 utc | 56

Mardan (Russian commentator) on Telegram posted a 3-choice poll on the future of Ukraine. The results as of today (Yandex translation):

15% Neutral free Ukraine in still unclear in what borders.
12% as three new military districts under the command of Russian generals..
73% there will be no Ukraine. there will be new subjects of the Russian Federation in the amount of 23 pieces.

BTW, does anyone know what has happened today to rutube.ru? It loads up whitescreen with simple links. Did this a few weeks back, but then went back to normal...

Posted by: Peter | Jan 17 2023 21:13 utc | 57

AmeriKKKa's Ukraine war in a nutshell...

American psychos trick Ukrainian psychos into playing Russian Roulette ....
...with RUSSIA!!

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 17 2023 21:18 utc | 58

One of the best articles so far!
The west is living in an illusory world …

Posted by: Idaho | Jan 17 2023 21:19 utc | 59

nteresting times.
The usual off-topic diversionary troll tactics.
Plus a bad dose of misinformation. See USGS as to why it is so.

Since the destruction of country 404 power grid and the empty war toy cupboard. since much of the stocks are listed in assorted old Soviet warehouses. Have been spirited away in the 1990s.

The clobber list is verified wrecks as noted by the COSMOS 2XXX spy satellites and drones in real time!

Country 404 is on the very edge of internal revolt.

With the influx of fresh divisions from the eastern training grounds. It is time for the Western District to move mobile units to their winter training grounds.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jan 17 2023 21:20 utc | 60

Too early to declare victory. RU has had a good few weeks, yes, but let's see if it doesn't just peter out to nothing like Severdoneskt and Izium did. And after that, Ukraine still has enough of an army for at least one more big offensive.

Posted by: catdog | Jan 17 2023 21:22 utc | 61

Remember one concern on the Russian side is avoiding “winning” in a way that leads to NATO panic and desperate action ... not that the Collective West’s fragile emotional state can be readily managed.

It's more than the West's ego. Do you think the Nuland call was the ONLY call Russian intel intercepted? They probably have 100's of calls and 1.000's of texts. A little tip for journalists. Why don't you dig into Feltman, who was discussed in the Nuland call.

Posted by: JackG | Jan 17 2023 21:25 utc | 62

This blog seems like an echo chamber that believes Russia is winning, militarily and economically. While they rave about the pyrrhic victory of Soledar, Ukrainian army might take Melitopol and Vasylivka back before June and I wonder how the russophiles will cope about this.

Posted by: Malwen | Jan 17 2023 21:25 utc | 63

I vote for Declare victory and go home

This is the modus operendi for Neocons. The Neocons say this for all defeats.

1. Iraq, 'Obama squandered GWB's victory'

2. Afghanistan, 'Biden's abrupt withdrawal allowed the Taliban to take over' (as if Afg. was the Garden of Eden during our occupation)

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 17 2023 21:31 utc | 64

@ just observing Post 54


WOW. The US has been defeated by KSA.

The awaited day for the formal announcement. January 17, 2023 mirrors August 15, 1971.
What was being done quietly is now said out loud. And coming from the Saudi Min. of Finance, it's the last nail in the USD coffin. A Bombshell, considering Kissinger's "treaty" with KSA in 1973 to price oil in USD.

There are consequences for weaponizing the USD, not to mention theft of countries' foreign reserves and imposing oil price caps. Sadly the collective west, {G7}, does not do consequences.

MbS thinking; "after Russia, are we next"?

How does one go bankrupt? Slowly, slowly then an FTX. Sir, your credit card is declined.

Picture this: Sirs Putin, Xi Jinping with a bowl of popcorn and fine champagne.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 17 2023 21:33 utc | 65

Thanks for the replies. The map provided by Outraged @50 is curious and somewhat possible.

An article at RT--"Half of citizens in nine EU nations want quick end to Ukraine conflict – poll"--is worth the time, but here's the gist:

Skepticism was particularly pronounced in Austria and Germany, where 64% and 60% respectively of those surveyed, favored a shortcut to peace. Euroskopia noted that this perspective clashed with the official stance of the German government, which has been among the most generous supporters in the EU in terms of military aid to Kiev.

Respondents in the Netherlands (27%) and Poland (28%) were the least supportive of making compromises to achieve peace, the poll indicated.

A majority (56%) of people in the nine EU nations want to continue shipping arms to Ukraine, but there was a dissenting minority. In Greece and Italy, 60% and 50% of survey participants opposed the military assistance, while 38% in each country said they approved of it.

Greeks and Italians are also among the least supportive of the sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia, according to the poll. While over 51% of all people polled favored the restrictions, the share of Greeks and Italians backing the policy was just 29% and 38%, respectively. In Austria, 38% of respondents approved of the sanctions.

What the poll confirms but the article neglects mentioning is it's illustrating the fractures within NATO/EU that some of us have pointed to over the last six months. Yes, there's a bit more in the report which as usual lacks a link to the original report by the pollster Euroskopia, which appears to have two separate items that RT culled its info from.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 21:33 utc | 66

Seeing vids of a company worth of Abrams moving by rail through Germany into Poland, still in tan coloring. I think Wash-tin is trying to goad the Germans into sending Panzers into the Ukraine again, optics be damned.

Posted by: liveload | Jan 17 2023 21:33 utc | 67

Z-on #53

Ukraine is being worn down at a faster rate and Russia has as many able fighters as Ukraine has humans, they are winning.
The USA is going to make Nato buy all it's old weapons and it has squeezed out the business competition in Europe, it is not losing anything. They are playing a no loss game. Unless the EU joins Russia the US is laughing all the way to the bank.

Posted by: OohCanada | Jan 17 2023 21:35 utc | 68

I don't think that the 4th army is coming which is a bit of a shame. Because the 3rd army will be quickly destroyed, but the 4th army.. well, 4th time is the charm:

When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England.

Posted by: team10tim | Jan 17 2023 21:36 utc | 69

Malwen | Jan 17 2023 21:25 utc | 63
yeah, the hasty retreat from Saigon, I mean Kabul, was all part of the plan.

"the US hasn't won a war since 1898" somebody commented here weeks ago. the US is the braggart soldier on meth, big macs and insulin.

how is the country, the US, to get the lard-laden lumpen masses into wartime production?

seriously, dream on.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jan 17 2023 21:37 utc | 70

Outraged, a couple weeks ago we discussed the possibility that a Himars was destroyed by a Lancet drone. Do you know if a video of a himars being hit by a lancet has come out since then?

Posted by: catdog | Jan 17 2023 21:38 utc | 71

This blog seems like an echo chamber that believes Russia is winning, militarily and economically. While they rave about the pyrrhic victory of Soledar, Ukrainian army might take Melitopol and Vasylivka back before June and I wonder how the russophiles will cope about this.

Posted by: Malwen | Jan 17 2023 21:25 utc | 63

###

How do you see the Ukrainian army taking (and holding) any territory? With which men, and with which equipment?

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Jan 17 2023 21:47 utc | 72

Never mind, the world's "leaders" are being told to intensify the war in Ukraine. Why did you doubt that they would say that?
But, I think that a grassroots resistance is building up (See Karlof1's post at @66). The mix of falling living standards - Political corruption and increasing authoritarianism - and a war that is pushed by a captive MsM, may well lead to more real signs of unrest.

https://twitter.com/NoMoreNATO/status/1615457734010470400/photo/1
***

Note the reversal of Kissinger, who is now "all-in" for expanding the war. We come down to the "rich" want it for their vampire feast, and the people do not.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 17 2023 21:47 utc | 73

Although it is getting in the right direction, I think it is premature to declare that Ukraine has been defeated (although they dont know it).

NATO still has some unused potential. They can start flying sorties somewhat inside Ukraine with their recon aircraft to guide drones towards bases. They can send troops from Romania and Poland to station inside Ukraine near Western borders to “protect” from a Russian offensive. They can send longer range missiles with realtime NATO guidance and have the Ukrainians fire towards ships in the Black sea.

What will Russia do then? Because the ball of triggering WW3 is then in their court.

Posted by: alek_a | Jan 17 2023 21:50 utc | 74

Saudi Arabia Is Open To Discuss Non-Dollar Oil Trade Settlements

Posted by: Just Observing | Jan 17 2023 21:03 utc | 54

###

This takes big balls. Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi both wanted to do the same and neither of them survived it.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Jan 17 2023 21:52 utc | 75

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 21:33 utc | 66

Sicily is served its fuel by mainly Esso and Lukoil stations. Mediterranean Europe is the true Europe, the rest are barbarians trying to smoothly erase millenia of culture and history forcing us to go shop at that German equivalent of Wallmart, where pale employees are always running around and the customers are always in line trying to be confused so as to purchase the last piece of junk,. Plastic stuff, garbage food to us that live and have lived for centuries in the middle of an blessed orchard and a turquoise colored sea rich in delicious fish. They're pushing it really far those barbarians, but they're doomed, they call us PIGS but we'll have a pyre feast while they eat their screws and scrap metal. Long live Mediterranea, time to push the barbarians back.

Happy what's left of the year guys, an interesting one to be. Misery and destruction served by those that have so much that they cannot manage the loot, sad, so sad thinking about all those young lives destroyed when life can be so Mediterranean, with a scent of orange blossom.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 17 2023 21:58 utc | 76

What will Russia do then? Because the ball of triggering WW3 is then in their court.

Posted by: alek_a | Jan 17 2023 21:50 utc | 74

###

Have you considered that time is on Russia's side, which may be why they are not proceeding with haste? They are not constrained by election cycles and domestic media the way the Western powers are.

Russia doesn't need to do anything new at the moment. They only have to hold the line.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Jan 17 2023 21:58 utc | 77

Interesting account about two armies already having been demilitarized during the SMO. Now a third army is being batched together by the collective West and sent to Kiev from British Challengers, American Bradleys, German Marders, German Leopards & French AMX. Russian journalist & military analist Viktor Baranets has written a funny yet factual assessment of these Western tanks.

Tanks on rubber wheels, without a stove and spare parts: How NATO is turning Ukraine into a military junk dump
KP.RU military observer Viktor Baranets on what kind of iron monsters threatens to put a collective West in Kyiv https://www.kp.ru/daily/27452/4706742/

THE CHALLENGER-2
The British government should provide Ukraine with 14 main battle tanks Challenger 2. This was reported in the office of the country's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak . And they added - "the prime minister asked Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to go further and faster in our support for Ukraine, including the provision of tanks."

Well, what kind of animal is this - "Challenger-2"? Let's listen to the well-known connoisseur of foreign military equipment, military expert Viktor Murakhovsky:

- This British tank in its current form has a number of critical flaws that cannot be quickly eliminated within the current platform. In particular, its outdated gun is ineffective against other modern tanks.

But there is nothing to replace the Challenger, so the British are planning "palliative" or, in other words, formal ways of modernization. In addition, an outdated 120 mm rifled gun is installed on the British vehicle, and it does not allow the use of powerful ammunition when firing at heavily protected targets. In fact, it is ineffective against most modern tanks. "Challenger-2" loses not only to our smooth-bore guns of 125 mm caliber, capable of using guided projectiles, but also to most foreign analogues.

In addition, this old British vehicle does not have an automatic loader, as on our tanks, and this leads to a low combat rate of fire, especially when moving over rough terrain.

Another serious problem of the Challenger is the outdated fire control system, in which, for example, there is no automatic target tracking system that is already common for modern tanks. And on all our modern machines there is such an automatic machine.

But that's not all. The hydropneumatic suspension of the British tank also needs to be replaced, as its capabilities are at the limit in terms of the tank's mass. With the canopy of additional armor and equipment in combat conditions, it demonstrated poor reliability and did not provide an acceptable ride. Earlier, for these British tanks, a LEP (Life Extension Project) modernization plan was developed, with which the British hoped to solve the problems listed. The program involves the installation of a new smoothbore gun, a new fire control system and a more powerful engine of 1.5 thousand horsepower. However, the project has not yet been implemented. But, apparently, in London they decided that it would do for Ukraine anyway”…

To Murakhovsky's words, it is worth adding that the 14 old Challengers in Ukraine will inevitably require spare parts and repairs. How this problem will be solved is unknown. But this will add a headache to Kyiv. So it turns out in the bottom line that there is much more show, deceit and populism in London's arms assistance than practical sense.

Isn't that why the Defense Committee of the House of Commons of the British Parliament mumbled dejectedly that "in the event of an armed conflict with Russia, the battle of tank units will most likely end not in favor of Great Britain"? Well, the main reason for such a conclusion is again called obsolete armored vehicles.

BRADLEYS

The United States is going to transfer 50 Bradley M2A2 ODS infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine ,upgraded as a result of Operation Desert Storm. That is, Kyiv is invited to conduct a winter campaign on old infantry fighting vehicles prepared for fighting in a hot climate in a desert area. And in the Donbass, it’s not hot, not hot sands, but snow and frost. Every army likes to call its equipment "the best in the world." The US Army is no exception, which praises the BMP M-2 Bradley very much. This machine, of course, has a number of advantages over analogues, but at the same time it has several weaknesses that American specialists do not like to talk about. Moreover, the opinions of the military of various countries are fundamentally at odds with what overseas propaganda is trying to inspire. In fact, for 35 years of being in service, despite all the attempts of the Pentagon, it was not possible to sell this combat vehicle to one of its allies. At one time, only Saudi Arabia dared to acquire it. And then only as a token of gratitude for protecting the kingdom from the alleged invasion of Saddam Hussein's troops. In total, about 400 Bradleys were purchased.
Royal M2 took part in the battles. And again, not very well. In a relatively short period, 5 vehicles were destroyed. At the same time, Saudi BMPs, after being hit by anti-tank weapons, caught fire like matches. According to military experts, in fact, the losses of the Saudis in the BMP are much greater. Not everything is made public. And during the fighting in Kuwait and Iraq back in 1991, the US Army lost two dozen Bradleys. American crews tried to hit enemy armored vehicles with TOU anti-tank missiles at the maximum possible range. But when the M-2s got too close to the enemy, they began to suffer losses not only from the T-55 or BMP-1 tanks, but even from the DShK heavy machine guns.

And if we talk about the losses of the BMP M-2 in Iraq in 2003, here the Americans lost up to 150 of these vehicles. Faced with the fact that the "Bradley" is absolutely not adapted to the conditions of the war with the guerrillas, the American command of the occupying forces was forced to reduce the use of these infantry fighting vehicles to a minimum. The Pentagon has long been feverishly looking for what to replace this "best infantry fighting vehicle in the world" (which, of course, it does not tell the Ukrainians about).

US generals at one time looked closely at the Israeli Namer armored vehicles and the Swedish CV9035 infantry fighting vehicles, and as part of the GCV program they tried to start developing 84-ton (!) BMPs. But in the coming years, the replacement of the BMP M-2 "Bradley" is not expected. And the American defense industry “riveted” them as many as 2300 pieces. "Old men" constantly need to be repaired, hundreds of them have long been waiting to be sent for remelting. And recycling also requires huge funds. And the Americans, who know how to count money, decided to save money - to transfer five dozen decrepit infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. Let her "recycle" these machines on the battlefield. Which was done with great propaganda fanfare. And Kyiv, happy from such "help", looks like a half-wild Papuan, to whom an American dodger, under the guise of gold, gives tinted pieces of iron.

MARDERS

As is often the case in some gang (say, NATO), each of its members must be anointed with the blood of common crimes. Something similar is happening in Germany. Washington and Brussels are putting pressure on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz with all their might,demanding from him the supply of German tanks Leopard 2 to Ukraine. His arms are twisted with a bang, he is frightened, he is accused of betrayal, but he is not! It spins like a comb, but does not dare. On the one hand, the United States is pressing, on the other, the leadership of NATO, on the third, the opposition in the Bundestag. Scholz came up with an excuse: "The appearance of German tanks with crosses on the battlefield may cause the Russians not the best associations associated with the Second World War." And instead of Leopard 2, he promises to supply 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. This machine is also ancient by today's standards. The terms of its production ended in 1975. But, here's the irony, the Germans, who know how to build tanks, could not cope with a conventional infantry fighting vehicle. Marder's "permanent sores" were the engine and transmission. As soon as the driver "decided to turn up the heat", high speeds quickly overheated the engine, as a result of which the Marders often broke down. It took “only” 20 years to find the reasons. And at the end of the last century, German military engineers found the reason: it turns out that metallurgists could not find the right alloys for the engine and transmission, so Marder needs to be driven "carefully". But this did not suit the military. They even promised to abandon Marder as well, releasing the Puma infantry fighting vehicle to replace it. But here there was a bummer. Either the Germans lost their engineering school, or something worse, but due to frequent breakdowns, they had to return back to Marder. The Bundeswehr has heaps of this junk. For Ukraine - just right. it turns out that the metallurgists couldn't find the right alloys for the engine and transmission, so the Marder needs to be driven "gently". But this did not suit the military. They even promised to abandon Marder as well, releasing the Puma infantry fighting vehicle to replace it. But here there was a bummer. Either the Germans lost their engineering school, or something worse, but due to frequent breakdowns, they had to return back to Marder. The Bundeswehr has heaps of this junk. For Ukraine - just right. it turns out that the metallurgists couldn't find the right alloys for the engine and transmission, so the Marder needs to be driven "gently". But this did not suit the military. They even promised to abandon Marder as well, releasing the Puma infantry fighting vehicle to replace it. But here there was a bummer. Either the Germans lost their engineering school, or something worse, but due to frequent breakdowns, they had to return back to Marder. The Bundeswehr has heaps of this junk. For Ukraine - just right. but due to frequent breakdowns had to go back to Marder. The Bundeswehr has heaps of this junk. For Ukraine - just right. but due to frequent breakdowns had to go back to Marder. The Bundeswehr has heaps of this junk. For Ukraine - just right.

LEOPARDS 2

As for the Leopard tanks , while Scholz was thinking, Poland promised Kiev to transfer a whole company of the same German-made vehicles (naturally, “used”).

And now - about the Leopard 2 tank itself. Yes, this is a very decent fighting vehicle.

The basic characteristics of this "tank cat" are very good. Here you have the famous optics from Zeiss with a thermal imager and laser guidance, and an automatic fire control system, and an economical reliable diesel engine, and resistant armor and a 120-mm smoothbore gun. Yet there are serious flaws. And most importantly - weak armor. Which was especially clearly shown by the use of these machines by Turkey during the assault on the Kurdish settlement of El-Bab 6 years ago (2017). Kurdish partisans were able to "take out of the game" 5 of these machines. And this is the lowest estimate. The Kurds, on the other hand, voiced the figure 2 times more. Hence the conclusions: no matter how the opponents of Russia dream, the Leopard 2 is not the wunderwaffe capable of making a radical change in the NWO in Ukraine. These "cats" are burning from obsolete Soviet ATGM missiles, conventional anti-tank mines also undermine them, as well as artillery and more obsolete tanks destroy. And further. Any modern tank without a professionally trained crew turns into an ordinary beautiful museum exhibit. To make it different, you need high-class specialists. And still, there are too many electronics in the Leopard. Putting an unprepared crew into the tower is tantamount to giving a tank to the enemy. The Turks were well convinced of this near El-Bab. It is possible that the same could happen to Ukrainians near Slavyansk or Kramatorsk... Putting an unprepared crew into the tower is tantamount to giving a tank to the enemy. The Turks were well convinced of this near El-Bab. It is possible that the same could happen to Ukrainians near Slavyansk or Kramatorsk... Putting an unprepared crew into the tower is tantamount to giving a tank to the enemy. The Turks were well convinced of this near El-Bab. It is possible that the same could happen to Ukrainians near Slavyansk or Kramatorsk...

AMX

French peoplewith pomp they announced the direction of their armored vehicles to Kyiv. Not modern Leclerc tanks, of course, but the AMX-10 wheeled cannon infantry fighting vehicles - a typical product of the French neo-colonial policy: developed in the 1970s for military operations in Africa and, according to military experts, turned out to be completely unsuitable due to low security and reliability, and also poor permeability. AMX-10 is not a new machine, and crews still need to be trained on it. The process of transferring tanks "there" (that is, to Kyiv) will take two months, apparently they are waiting for spring. Probably because there are no stoves in these tanks. In fact, specialists qualify the AMX-10 as a French heavy armored car (or wheeled tank). It is not at all clear how he will behave in the conditions of muddy black soil or thick snow crust in Ukraine. One of the most significant weaknesses of the tank is the rubber wheels, which are easy to disable with a machine gun or a small-caliber gun. After this "nedotank" turns into a fixed firing point. An armored car tank is an old unit in the armed forces of France. It was produced from 1976 to 1994. That is, the youngest vehicles are already 28 years old, which means that their resource is almost exhausted. And in this case, too, you can say: "It will do for Ukraine" ... Now it is clear why the French Minister of Defense gets rid of them so easily. Disposal in France would cost the government more, so they give all the rubbish to their "second-class partners". Technical characteristics of the machine, too, so-so. While they were new, they could move along the highway at a speed of 85 km / h. Now, most likely, the engines are already ushatany and not so nimble. What they can do on rough terrain is also unclear.

Posted by: Oblomovka daydream | Jan 17 2023 22:00 utc | 78

Posted by: alek_a | Jan 17 2023 21:50 utc | 74

And what happens when the first 3-4 sorties are shot down by Russian missiles?

Methinks that doing something that stupid and provocative puts the ball in NATO's court, not Russia's.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 17 2023 22:01 utc | 79

Posted by: unoticed | Jan 17 2023 21:15 utc | 57

I'd argue that Russians were somewhat over-extended beyond the Kherson bridgehead. It also forced to maintain air defenses in the wider bridgehead area on the right bank of Dnieper river, while being able to maintain insufficient air defense on the bridge areas crossing Dnieper.

One of the ukie commanders responsible for that portion of the front told in an interview that his task wasn't only to capture Kherson, but cut off and destroy Russian forces on the right bank of Dnieper. The destroying of the dam was then a real possibility, sooner or later they might've succeeded.

So the rest is history, Russians moved to left bank, ukies moved in Kherson. Once the thing stabilized and ukies were no longer able to cross (they tried some attempts on Kinburn spit but we now know they weren't viable/useful without larger follow up offensive from Kherson across). Basically Kinburn spit is periphery without real cross attempts in Kherson. Then ukies sent their stuff from Kherson to the Bakhmut/Soledar area where they've been grinded ever since, best Nato trained reserves they had.

If the ukie army in Donbass is crushed, all those towns like Nikolaev and Odessa will eventually become free to pick off at will when organized resistance ceases to exist. Ukies have nearly 100k troops in the Bakhmut front/area. There's no time table here, like a stereotypical western person seems to think.

Posted by: unimperator | Jan 17 2023 22:02 utc | 80

As usual, the same crew arrives to spew the same FUD as they have previously to no avail. I see lots of recent layoffs at Big Tech companies in California collectively amounting to about 20,000 since Christmas alone. Both Stoneird and Likklemore expect an escalation in the financial side of the war. The indications from China and Russia are that's very possible since their economies are poised to do well in 2023. That condition was highlighted by Putin in his meeting on the economy today and echoed by what Duma Chair Volodin said today as reported by TASS:

Ukraine was chosen by Washington as a bridgehead both for the fight against Russia and efforts to weaken Europe as a competitor to the US, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Tuesday.

"The whole story has come out. Ukraine was chosen by Washington and NATO as a springboard for the fight against our country with a view to stifling its progress. However, it also happened to play the role of a springboard for weakening Europe, and removing it as a strong rival to the United States. It is just that Europe and countries on the European continent have not fully realized this yet," Volodin said at the first plenary meeting of the spring session of the lower house of Russia's parliament.

According to him, everybody can see now that the Russian special military operation in Ukraine "has been solving the problems of security not only for Russia, but for the entire world."

Addressing lawmakers, Volodin said, "In pursuit of maintaining its hegemony worldwide, Washington has transformed Ukraine into a testing ground for using NATO weapons and practicing new ways of waging war. This is why we have to realize how serious the challenges we are facing are, primarily by improving the efficiency of our work."

As Putin has said, the government's task in the SMO is to increase its operating efficiency and thus increase the productivity of Russians and Russia's economy.

This question's been posed before but I'll write it again: How does a nation or group of nations conduct an industrial war without a viable industrial base (including resources)? Think of the disparity between Japan and the USA in June 1941 then shift focus to today's NATO versus Russia and China. Even if the Outlaw US Empire rebuilt the shipyards and factories it operated in 1945, where would it get the iron, coal, oil, aluminum, nat gas, other logistical needs, and workforce? Only the latter exists as a possibility but utterly lacks the skills required. Paper money can't be magically transformed into MBTs and jets, although it sure seems Congress believes so.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 22:05 utc | 81

The number of citizens in US who do not believe in Ukrainian victory is a rounding error. In halls of power it is very little different. Those who are aware because of specialized knowledge know to keep quiet.

Ukraine is just out of men. Female soldiers are a propaganda novelty. The Polish only go home in body bags. Every merc who talks seems to be a total dullard. Even that US Colonel with "Mozart" was a featherweight and a dim bulb. There is no way to sustain this war. Wider war or nothing.

There is nothing with which to wage a wider war except nukes. Not one American in a thousand is remotely concerned about that prospect. Maybe one in a million. Some of them are right here. If the cohort here has a brilliant idea...

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 17 2023 22:07 utc | 82

Lex @10

Biden has absolutely no agency. He's far gone into dementia and apparently has been replaced on pressers etc. by a similarly built man wearing a hard to detect face-mask and also equipped with a neat AI app which closely replicates Biden's voice. Technology, my man.

Even if the U$$A has become productivitally destitute and militarily deficient; the circus still has a plethora of tecnological legerdemain.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 17 2023 22:08 utc | 83

"NC is owned by Susan Webber and I was an earlier patron until she called me "crazy pants" for my ongoing discussion of global public/private finance."

psychohistorian | Jan 17 2023 19:49 utc | 26
______

I recall enjoying your commentary there some years ago, thinking how apt your moniker was... is, (harking to Asimov's Foundation series) as a prescient mind.

Yves was a bit authoritarian in monitoring/censoring comments for my taste. Largely intolerant of CT, she was more of a Coincidence Theorist when it came to the existence and machinations of the (very real) Deep State.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Jan 17 2023 22:12 utc | 84

t90, armata, and x12 (terminatore)

welll no more said

but some thing is off point

why are those vassals are sending weapons en mass?

Murricans said they will replace for free? :§

Posted by: Macpott | Jan 17 2023 22:15 utc | 85

Has the west won the propaganda war? Really?
Do you believe news about your countries' unemployment, inflation, gdp?
Do you believe news about crime, where the criminal is like a ghost - no face, no name, no nationality, no nothing.
Do you believe news about Russia, China, Iran, or any foreign country where we wish to overthrow government?
Do you believe news when there is no dissenting voice - when all social networks, all web sites, all tv and radio stations, all newspapers and magazines preach the same message?
Really?

Posted by: Passerby | Jan 17 2023 22:18 utc | 86

"Feeding more troops into the battle in the Bakhmut sector, as the Ukrainian side has been doing, is not a good use of resources."
No, it's not if you're a Ukrainian grunt... BUT, this strategy doesn't get any better if you're the RF!

Posted by: North Patagonia | Jan 17 2023 22:18 utc | 87

Looks like things are ramping up in the Russian offensive in the Donbas. I think we are going to see a lot of significant Russian advances in the Donbas in the next few months.

Looks like the Russians will start up major offenses in Ukraine again as soon as the ground is frozen solid again. The temperature is going above freezing in the Donbas for the next week.

NOTE: It has been unseasonably warm in Ukraine this winter. The colder weather causing the ground to freeze in Ukraine is about a month late this year.

Got a report today from Alexander Mercouris of the Duran that Putin ordered that the Donbas be taken by March.

A lot of the Wagner soldier contracts will expire in March (from Dima on the Military Summary Channel). So, Russia wants to best use these soldiers before they fulfill their time.

Russia knows that this conflict will not stop to escalate until the current Russian leadership is destroyed. Also, around May, the West will yet again be able to significantly militarily support Ukraine.

It is best that Russia takes and secures the Donbas as soon as possible. Then they will launch against the USA (Daniel 7:5).

Posted by: young | Jan 17 2023 22:20 utc | 88

Paco @76--

Very happy to read your comment although its content is certainly sad but true. The Euroskopia report about the Spanish people's attitude was good and will hopefully continue to gain backers. RT today had an item announcing:

"Italian energy major Eni has announced the discovery of a new offshore gas deposit in Egypt at the Nargis-1 exploration well, which is located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea’s Nargis offshore area concession, the company said on Sunday."

That will aid "True Europe's" future energy situation. Hopefully, Winter's being kind to you.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 22:21 utc | 89

Biden isn’t being blackmailed to induce him to double down harder in Ukraine.
Biden *is* Mr Ukraine. He’s openly called for Putin’s “removal”, and for the destruction of the Russian economy.
Remember, there was some wild chatter about mini nukes being unleashed in Ukraine… it was to be a false flag to blame the Russians, of course.
Shoigu personally dialled the defence ministers one weekend and the chatter mostly stopped….who do you think was behind the U$ plan for a “mini nuke”…
A: Biden. His whole presidency is about concealing his corruption in Ukraine.
The serendipitously discovered super sekret docs are about denying Biden a second term.
The U$ v Russia war is economic to a far greater extent than the poor, deluded fools of the west realise.
The “sanctions from hell”, prepared well in advance, and unleashed on Russia Day 1 of the sloSMO failed.
They are now working on sanctions package No. 10. This one will likely include Putin’s doggos, as that’s about all that’s remaining to target.
Big Business was promised, if they flounced away from the (small, but profitable) Russian market to comply with the sanctions, they’d be able to swoop back 6 months later and recoup what they’d lost.
Business has been locked out of the Russian market for a year now. Russia hasn’t collapsed. It’s economy has proved resilient. And whole market segments have been lost. Local entrepreneurs have filled the “McDonald’s” gap, and players like Turkey have positioned themselves to control gas distribution into Europe.
This isn’t what Big Business anticipated… they thought it’d be the wild rampaging 90s all over again.
This isn’t what winning looks like. They ain’t happy.
With Team Joe neutered, the sanctions can be diluted with workarounds, and anaemic oversight.

Joining Big Business in its disaffection for the Team Biden Ukraine Project are the more sober analysts in the U$ military.
Clearing old, outdated crap out of storage was fine.
Now, it’s understood Ukraine is a blackhole and without pushback will, as blackholes do, insist on consuming all, and includes the shiny, expensive top shelf toys.
There’s still enough old farts around who know what “mission creep” looks like, and why it needs to be avoided.
There’s been no overt U$ “boots” in Ukraine, and no plane loads of flag-dropped coffins.
Take Joe out politically, have the Wurlitzer play presidential campaign jingles, loudly, have the media simply banish Ukraine from its coverage… and voila! Just like that, …yes, “declare victory” and pivot to China.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 17 2023 22:24 utc | 90

LoL posters here whinijh about this being a pro Russia eco chamber.

90% of twitter and facebook are ukranian echo chambers. 90% of Western mainstream media is pro Ukraine echo chambers.

NATO and EU offices are pro Ukraine echo chambers.

Entire political class in US, UK, Germany, et. Are pro ukraine echo chambers.

Yet there are posters that land on this obscure qebsite and bitch about it. LoL

Posted by: Comandante | Jan 17 2023 22:25 utc | 91

young | Jan 17 2023 22:20 utc | 88 "Got a report today from Alexander Mercouris of the Duran that Putin ordered that the Donbas be taken by March."

Be wary about that one. As far as I know, it comes from a Ukraine intelligence official.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 17 2023 22:34 utc | 92

Penicillin. Modern version of sound ranging, experimented with in many places by perfected by the Canadian Corps Heavy Artillery in 1917 and brought to perfection at the Battle of Valenciennes in which every German battery was identified and neutralised before the attack.
Essentially you measure the distance to the sound from several listening positions and triangulate.
Very interesting to see this old and passive method modernised.
https://www.lermuseum.org/first-world-war-1914-18/1917/flash-spotting-and-sound-ranging-jan-mar-1917
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artillery_sound_ranging#World_War_I

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Jan 17 2023 22:35 utc | 93

Posted by: Comandante | Jan 17 2023 22:25 utc | 91

90%?! More like 99.99%! I've never seen such a quick development, widespread embrace and then lockdown on a narrative. Spanning all outlets and social media platforms. Creeping into family conversations and talks around the water cooler at the office.

I'm with you; anyone bitching that this is a pro-Russian echo chamber is a fool for not noticing that literally every other place is the opposite; no in-between allowed.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 17 2023 22:37 utc | 94

Passerby @86
Wow that shot came from the hip good for you. That right there is how I like truth told.

I'd like to add ...
Why is it in this day and age we only have two options- vote in a fake election or revolution.
We need an effective opposition not based in fake election or street fighting.
We are the mainy they are the view.
We could start with cleaning up the media to actually tell the truth.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jan 17 2023 22:37 utc | 95

Passerby @86
Wow that shot came from the hip good for you. That right there is how I like truth told.

I'd like to add ...
Why is it in this day and age we only have two options- vote in a fake election or revolution.
We need an effective opposition not based in fake election or street fighting.
We are the mainy they are the view.
We could start with cleaning up the media to actually tell the truth.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jan 17 2023 22:37 utc | 96

The production of subjects is the West's only significant advantage over its rivals. Without any defeated troops returning home to relay the outcome via word of mouth, victory by NATO against the special military operation shall be the history recorded via the semiotic triangle of capitalist subjectivation.

Posted by: Wilikins | Jan 17 2023 22:42 utc | 97

I see Martyanov has noted Putin's request to the Duma for legislation to cease Russia's adherence to various Council of Europe arrangements as reported by RT:

"President Vladimir Putin asked the Russian lawmakers on Tuesday to adopt a law that would formally end the country’s participation in 21 treaties and charters related to the Council of Europe. Moscow withdrew from the human rights body last March, saying it was captured by the US and its allies in service of Western political objectives. Putin has formally submitted the bill on terminating the treaties to State Duma chair Vyacheslav Volodin, following the provisions of a 1995 federal law. Among the 21 treaties that will cease to apply to Russia is the charter of the Council of Europe (CoE), the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the European Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism, the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and the European Social Charter. The CoE will also lose the immunities and privileges granted by the charter. The CoE was established in 1949 by several Western European countries, with a mission to promote 'democracy, human rights and the rule of law.' Russia joined the organization in 1996 and in 1998 ratified the human rights convention."

IMO, Paco would argue with Martyanov about where European civilization now resides, but I also think they would eventually agree to modify their POVs. Although, when it comes to geopolitics, I agree with Andrei, "Europe is inconsequential," thanks to its own actions and inactions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 17 2023 22:47 utc | 98

My @ 96 third line from bottom obviously should be few not view.
Auto correct glitch whatever.
Plus on topic as specific to Uqraine now.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jan 17 2023 22:51 utc | 99

@ catdog | Jan 17 2023 21:38 utc | 71

Don't recall offhand. Do not search them out, yet many clips of Lancet/other drone strikes on M777, D-20/30, various SPH, etc. SPH often produce a significant secondary explosion. RF sources recently talk of ~4-6 HIMARs left ...

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 17 2023 22:55 utc | 100

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