Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 18, 2023

Ukraine SitRep - Casualty Numbers, Lack Of Tanks, Something Is Up

There is some interesting news on the casualty count in the war in Ukraine.

Ivan Katchanovski translated bits from a Russian language BBC report:

"Based on open sources, the BBC managed to establish the names of 14,709 Russian soldiers who died in the war in Ukraine. Throughout 2022, Russian sources typically reported about 250-300 dead each week. In January, these figures doubled." #Russia 1/

"But in just two weeks in February, the BBC Russian Service, together with Mediazona (recognized as a "foreign agent" in Russia) and a team of volunteers, managed to confirm the names of 1,679 dead, which is five times more than the usual weekly numbers." #Ukraine #ukrainewar 2/

The war started in eighths week of 2022. There were thus 44 weeks in the rest of the year. With 300 dead per week the number of Russians killed until the end of 2022 was 13,200. (These numbers likely included the number of Wagner mercenaries killed but probably not those of the Donbas militia.)

The BBC then counts 2,400 killed in January and 1,700 in February.

The total is thus below 20,000 the number Col. MacGregor and others have estimated for the Russian side. The BBC says it estimates that it only catches half of the dead but gives no sound reason why that would be the case.

The daily losses on the Ukrainian side are much higher. The daily clobber list of the Russian Ministry of Defense mentions about 400 Ukrainians killed every day. This is consistent with the numbers Ukraine's government mentioned last summer and fall.

Over the 358 days of the war the total sums up to about 143,000. The Russian reports do not include the number of those who got killed by the Wagner mercenaries in the Bakhmut area. That number is by likely well above 20,000.

In total the numbers are in the same range that we discussed previously.

I, as well as others who daily read the clobber reports, have noticed changes therein. Since the beginning of the year Russia has focused on countering artillery fire. An earlier Sit Rep mentioned the Penicillin passive artillery detection system that has been newly deployed with great success. Since then Russia reported a daily average of 12 destroyed Ukrainian artillery pieces. (This does not include shorter range mortars.) The number is now much higher than it was last year.

There are other changes one can demonstrate with a few lines from today's report:

Kupyansk direction:

The AFU losses amounted to 80 servicemen, three armoured fighting vehicles, four motor vehicles, one Msta-B howitzer and one Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer.

Krasniy Liman direction:

Over 100 Ukrainian military personnel, two armoured fighting vehicles, two motor vehicles, Akatsiya and Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers, as well as D-20 and D-30 howitzers have been eliminated.

Donetsk direction:

The attack has resulted in the elimination of up to 150 Ukrainian servicemen, five armoured fighting vehicles, three motor vehicles, one Grad MLRS and one Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer.

South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions:

The enemy suffered losses of over 50 Ukrainian servicemen killed and wounded, four armoured fighting vehicles, two pick-up trucks and one D-20 howitzer.

In Kherson direction, up to 20 Ukrainian servicemen, as well as four Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers have been eliminated.

Next to the 400 killed Ukrainian soldiers the report mentions 14 armored fighting vehicles, 7 motor vehicles and 2 pick-up trucks as destroyed. It mentions zero tanks!!!

It has been like this for the last two weeks or so. Clobber reports that mention killed tanks have now become a rarity. Previously there was usual one tank killed for every two or three armored fighting vehicles. Motor vehicles and pick-up trucks were rarely mentioned.

That no more tanks are seen and killed at the front line might have either of two reasons. Ukraine has run out of tanks that are usable for fighting OR the Ukrainian army has called back all tanks and some armored fighting vehicles to train and equip additional forces for the rumored large counterattack.

I am not sure which is it. But given that before the war started Ukraine had a large number of old tanks in reserve that could be fixed up I presume it is the later reason. This is extremely bad for those who are currently holding the Ukrainian front line. They now lack the maneuverability and fire power for any local counterattacks.

There are other signs that something is up. The Wagner group has bemoaned an acute lack of shell supplies from the Russian army. I do not believe that Russia is running out of shells. But there has been a general reduction in artillery use. A good guess is that the Russian army is building up field reserves for an upcoming big offense that will need a lot of munition.

There are other signs for such an attack. Putin will hold a televised speech on noon February 21. The next day there is a parliament session which could enact any additional legislation that Putin may need. Then there is the Defender of the Fatherland Day on the 23rd plus two additional days of public holiday.

Last week Russia named new commanders for its four military districts. All are young 2 and 3-star generals in their 40s or early 50s. To prove themselves they will likely be aggressive and eager for action.

All together this seems to be a build-up towards some larger action. It would be good for Russia to finish the war before next years presidential election. Whatever is planned might be designed to allow for that.

Posted by b on February 18, 2023 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink

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Seems to me that before this is over Ukr has a lot of bodies to account for. A mass casualty event incoming?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Feb 18 2023 16:30 utc | 1

On the 21st, Putin will probably list the eventual aims of the war, whatever that might be, to be achieved prior to next year's presidential election. Commanders will then get their orders to implement these new aims and then the fireworks will start soon after.
March is going to be a rough month...

Posted by: Tom Ernest Weiss | Feb 18 2023 16:31 utc | 2

The links to the daily clobber list don't work.

Posted by: A. Pols | Feb 18 2023 16:36 utc | 3

Kaplan/Nuland at Carnegie "Peace" Institue, a cringeworthy performance, stuck with 200k dead Russian troops. Wonder if she believes it. I just hope none of my son's friends find themselves facing Russian artillery and armor.

Posted by: drpeck | Feb 18 2023 16:41 utc | 4

Tanks . . .from kyivindependent
Piecemeal tank delivery schedule can limit their effectiveness in Ukraine

. . .However, there are some issues to solve before Ukraine’s new tank units are ready to fight. A key challenge is one of logistics and maintenance for so many different high-tech tanks, including different models of the Leopard 2.

But equally great is the issue of just getting them. Western allies are now saying they might not be able to supply two full battalions of Leopard 2 tanks as they previously promised, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Feb. 15, according to Bloomberg.

Moreover, the fact that Ukraine is getting these tanks in a gradual, piecemeal manner, will make it trickier to assemble the units and squeeze the most use out of the tanks’ technological superiority, even though Ukrainian forces are up to the challenge.

. . .Furthermore, there is a ceiling on the usefulness of tanks if they’re not combined with mechanized infantry and solid air support. While countries have pledged infantry vehicles, the notion of fixed-wing aircraft for Ukraine is currently getting the same treatment that main battle tanks did in 2022. "We're keeping Ukraine on a starvation diet for the aid that is necessary for it to win," said George Barros, Russia Analyst and Geospatial Intelligence Team Lead at the Institute for the Study of War. "It's a day late and a weapon short." . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 18 2023 16:42 utc | 5

A quick thought that might be of interest. I had been puzzled for some time about why only three pipelines were blown. Based on pre-Hersh info I thought there had been four explosions on three pipelines, which was kind of strange. Would a nation-state attacker have been so sloppy, and accidentally put two mines on one pipe? Now Hersh says there were 8 bombs, presumably two per pipeline. Sounds like good planning... It also sounds as if A) the delayed-action detonations were added somewhat at the last minute, and B) that the Biden administration had mixed feelings about taking the radical step of actually pulling the trigger, and thus might have repeatedly delayed making that decision.

What if the batteries put into the detonation devices were only designed to last for a month or two? While it is possible with large batteries or careful design to extend such things to a year or more, they might not have had the time or inclination to give the detonation electronics such a long battery life, and resorted to a bit of a hack. Then in September, as the batteries were dying, the Biden administration found itself in a "use-it-or-lose-it" scenario: act immediately, or their whole effort would become "a lump ... on the bottom of the ocean." And, potentially, a seriously incriminating lump.

It is a little odd still that both failures seemed to have been on the same pipeline, and that there was no reporting at the time of two of the explosions (reports at the time included 4 explosions, not 6). Also I don't see why a P8 and a buoy would be needed to send out the detonation signal, when a UAV would have been less obvious, or even a powerful transmission from a ship or shore. Sound travels long distances easily in water. Planning haste, perhaps?

Posted by: TM | Feb 18 2023 16:43 utc | 6

The aim of Empire is to drag the Ukraine quagmire on for years to 'weaken' Russia as per the policy documents. Russia wants to wind this up quickly through negotiations. I think a Putin ultimatum is coming. "Get thee to the 'peace-talk' table, or no more Mr. Nice Guy."

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 18 2023 16:44 utc | 7

The 4 generals are not exactly new:

February 17. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry officially published information on appointment of four commanders of Russia’s Military Districts Friday.
Thus, Lieutenant General Andrey Mordvichev was appointed as the commander of the Central Military District in 2023. In January this year, Colonel General Sergey Kuzovlev was appointed commander of the Southern Military District, while Lieutenant General Yevgeny Nikiforov became the commander of the Western Military District. Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov was appointed commander of the Eastern Military District in August 2022, the Defense Ministry said.

Posted by: rk | Feb 18 2023 16:46 utc | 8

During WWII, the English were able to estimate with surprising precision Axis casualties by collecting death notices from newspapers, mostly local small town papers. I think this was done in Switzerland where they had access to Axis newspapers. ( as an aside, that would have been a super cushy WWII gig, living in Switzerland and readimg newspapers all day with a notepad )

If any Barfly can confirm or deny this recollection - much obliged.,

the BBC numbers appear to be using a similar approach. Therefore, one might expect a decent level of accuracy.

Posted by: Exile | Feb 18 2023 16:51 utc | 9

[.]That no more tanks are seen and killed at the front line might have either of two reasons. Ukraine has run out of tanks that are usable for fighting OR the Ukrainian army has called back all tanks and some armored fighting vehicles to train and equip additional forces for the rumored large counterattack.[.]

@ b

FWIW, there are some training in Germany.
Suspend belief--- after 5 weeks, .... Ready to go.

Ukrainian troops finish crash course on US ‘tank killers’

The first Bradley battalion has completed its training in Germany, the Pentagon announced

The first group of Ukrainian soldiers has completed their “battalion combined-arms training” at the US Army Grafenwoehr training area in Germany, the Pentagon told reporters on Friday. The training focused on using M2 Bradley armored vehicles, which were promised in early January and began to arrive in Germany this week.

“Approximately 635 Ukrainians completed the approximately five-week period of instruction,” Pentagon spokesman General Pat Ryder said in a statement. The training included “basic soldier tasks like marksmanship, along with medical training, squad, platoon and company training, and a battalion force-on-force exercise,” he added.

The second group began training at the start of February, Ryder said, while another 700 Ukrainians were being taught how to operate M109 Paladin self-propelled artillery. Another 900 or so Ukrainians will start training on field artillery and M1126 Stryker armored vehicles next week.[.]

These UKIES are members of MENSA.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 18 2023 16:58 utc | 10

On the 21st, Putin will probably list the eventual aims of the war, whatever that might be, to be achieved prior to next year's presidential election.

Posted by: Tom Ernest Weiss | Feb 18 2023 16:31 utc | 2

One sometimes reads about Putin's re-election being in jeopardy, if "someting BAD happens", or even about Putin being unseated if "someting VERY-VERY BAD happens", and this is reduculous. Noone outside Russia can imagine the kind of support Putin has there. You just can not measure it in the outsider terms.

Posted by: Poslan1 | Feb 18 2023 17:00 utc | 11

Thanks for the update b

As I mentioned on another thread, I am seeing local anti-war protests starting up and so the public focus control is being lost by empire to some degree. The only solution for empire is to create something bigger and more horrible to distract and redirect attention.

It is not just that something is up in Ukraine but more to my view, the pot is actively boiling now and LOTS of things are UP

The shit show continues until it doesn't

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 18 2023 17:02 utc | 12

The Russians seem to preparing for a massive attack. They are reported to have accumulated 450 planes, 300 hundred helicopters and 11 Russian navy ships, including five Kalibr missile launchers, have entered the waters of the Black Sea on top of all the others equipment.

NATO countries have seen the build up , realised that Ukraine is about to get crushed and are bailing out of all the promised hardware to Ukraine. It’s like they’re trying to cut their losses. If there was any chance Ukraine would win they would not be sending obsolete crap to Ukraine.All they are doing is prolonging Ukraine’s inevitable defeat. .

NATO members have publically said they are not sending the good stuff for fear of it landing in Russian hands. How’s Ukraine supposed to win with support like this?

Posted by: Down South | Feb 18 2023 17:12 utc | 13
There are some parallels between events now in the Donbas and many battles in previous wars - ie see this link.

Despite massive numerical, firepower, air power and mobility advantages, veteran US forces suffered heavy losses attacking an enemy dug into fortified positions in difficult terrain at a time of bad weather.

It is highly likely that Russian/Wagner losses are currently higher than in the past given the increased tempo of operations against a dug in and as yet unsubdued enemy. However the Ukrainians will not be having an easy time of it either, and infantry in fixed positions have been vulnerable to massed firepower since at least 1916.

It is likely losses on both sides are much higher at present than previously. Up until now the RF and associated formations had an infantry manpower disadvantage. I believe we may now be witnessing the opposite. It remains to be seen whether or not the Ukraine can sustain these losses. If you believe the standard western narrative then their losses have been slight and Russian losses enormous. I judge that Ukrainian losses have been severe, and Russian losses serious but a fraction of those claimed pro-Ukrainian commentators. However I have concluded that western intelligence agencies do not agree with me.

I agree that the UAF has pulled its best units out of the line to re-fit a mobile reserve with the latest NATO wunderwaffen and patched up Soviet era kit [some of which has been captured]. I would say that the destruction and/or neutralisation of this reserve force must be high on “Stavka’s” list of priorities – though it may well in part at least be outside the borders of Ukraine.

Anyway, by slow pounding attritional warfare the Russians are creating time and space for this force to be prepared. I have no doubt they have considered the alternative – that is to break through and bring it to battle and [thus far at least] decided that their current approach better suits their goals and the force structure they have at their disposal. After all, why expend your own mobile reserve if you think that the risk of a direct NATO intervention is real? However it is a long way to Kiev at 50m per day.

Posted by: marcjf | Feb 18 2023 17:24 utc | 14

Posted by: Humbert Humbert | Feb 18 2023 17:19

Zanon is that you, under a new alias?

I recognize the writing style. Welcome back!

Posted by: Chris | Feb 18 2023 17:25 utc | 15

The situation now is not much different from last summer, when "experts" missed the preparations for Ukraine's autumn offensive: it seemed to come out of the blue sky.

Is there anything to learn from six months ago?

Posted by: Marvin | Feb 18 2023 17:28 utc | 16

Strange that nobody talks about the weather... Which has been playing out detrimental against any plans for any offensive Russia or Ukraine may have (had).
It would seem unlikely that Ukraine's strategy from last summer could be repeated, with Russia now having a shorter front to defend, with a lot more Soldiers and - presumably -assive fortifications at all critical points. Same for Ukraine.

Especially along roads and railway lines, leaving open fields as only option.

Since fields have never been properly frozen this winter, and since it may be May before the mud dries Up suffiently to carry tanks: what does that means for offensives?

Posted by: Marvin | Feb 18 2023 17:35 utc | 17

Sorry Humberto, my post above was meant to reply to Be Realistic.

Posted by: Chris | Feb 18 2023 17:37 utc | 18

Posted by: marcjf | Feb 18 2023 17:24 utc | 21

One question is also the Polish volunteer legion. It's possible that actually there is nothing new going on in Poland in terms of volunteers (that is, de-listed Polish soldiers re-enlisted into UAF), it's just as before but by announcing the "volunteer legion", they now only admitted that it has been going on since SMO start.

The most likely answer about the missing UAF tanks is like you said, they pulled them back and will attempt to join them with the Nato wunderwaffen tanks for a "strike fist". Wagner has been split up, into those several smaller operations around the key points of the southern front.

As far as Bakhmut, UAF within the last few weeks was rotating the "regulars" out and terrodefense (new conscripted) in. I think like Dima on military summary said that Bakhmut in itself isn't as important as the other keypoints, maybe in the south. A redeployment from one part of the front to another can take up to several weeks, during which there may seem to be a lull. The Bakhmut thing needs to be solved by surrounding it, eventually. When it's cut off it will just be artillery'd to death. Of course they will need to hold the area NW/W/SW of Bakhmut while it happens.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 18 2023 17:41 utc | 19

The assigned Drive-by troller for MoA today writes:-

So they have been running out of shells. And for months. I cannot belive moa is simply quoting official Russian reports as gospel. 

Posted by: Be Realistic | Feb 18 2023 17:03 utc | 15

And you need to be true to your moniker and stop scripting from the “We are the only Truth” …..your western hoodwinkers.

Prigozhin stated that liberating just the Donbass will take two years. After a year, they haven't even liberated a town like Bakhmut. Not to mention other large cities.

Posted by: Be Realistic | Feb 18 2023 17:05 utc | 16

He was trolling and you fell for it like a wide mouth bass; it grabs the worm hook, line and sinker.

Is Mariupol a large city? How about the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works complex?

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 18 2023 17:45 utc | 20

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 18 2023 17:41 utc | 26

The most likely answer about the missing UAF tanks is like you said, they pulled them back and will attempt to join them with the Nato wunderwaffen tanks for a "strike fist".

My view of this is much simpler: I think Ukrainian tank forces have been depleted. That's all.

They're all tapped out.

Hence the angst and histrionics around tanks for the past few weeks.

The "strike fist" will either require a massed force, which the RF will see coming a mile away and act to fragment or a number of scattered "strike slaps" with armour sent in penny packets ... which will have a dissipated effect.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 18 2023 17:50 utc | 21

This war of attrition will be going on for a long time.

The lack of artillery shells going into Bakmut could signal the Russians are planning a large end around sweep to cut off supply routes. In other words, stalemate there is good for now.

The old men getting pushed aside for the younger may be a sign that the Russian leadership is not sure how their grand offensive will go. The younger heads are easier to chop off than the older generals. It would also be that the exploiting new technologies are beyond the old mens grasp

The lack of tanks is another sign that the Ukrainians know about the coming end around to cut off the Eastern front and have pulled them back to blunt the planned new offensive that swings a wide arc to cut off supply lines to the East.

At this point the frozen ground can turn to muck quickly so I would expect that the Russians will wait until spring and more stable weather.

The whole arc of operations could be changing in the coming year. I theorized that the initial Russian offensive was done on the hope that the Ukraine would capitulate quickly and it would fall into their hands quickly like the Crimea. When that failed they pulled back for the long struggle.

The Russians know the long term goal is to take over their country and place the Death Cult in charge of the resources. Anyone who aid that approach on the inside falls off a 10 story building of finds finds some other similar fate awaiting them.

Posted by: circumspect | Feb 18 2023 17:54 utc | 22

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 18 2023 16:42 utc | 5

Piecemeal tank delivery schedule can limit their effectiveness in Ukraine

Basically what people like Berletic and Mercouris have been saying for months ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 18 2023 17:54 utc | 23

I saw a post on Telegram recently with a video showing Ukrainian casualties lying everywhere around Bakhmut. It is clear the losses have been massive.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 18 2023 18:07 utc | 24

Like the other posters here and everywhere (except a soundproofed location in Moscow disguised as a delicatessen) I, too, have absolutely no idea the amount of artillery shells Russia had, has, or will have.

Two things are true. Russia has consistently used and continues using lots of shells and 2) the early, eager idea Russia has a never-run-out supply of missiles and artillery munitions was based on nothing.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Feb 18 2023 18:27 utc | 25

@Elmagnostic | Feb 18 2023 18:27 utc | 25

the early, eager idea Russia has a never-run-out supply of missiles and artillery munitions was based on nothing.
That's a new one, we constantly heard the exact opposite.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 18 2023 18:31 utc | 26

I cannot believe moa simply deleted all of my completely factual and polite posts that contradicted his article. What a complete echo chamber. Do you guys even realise that actual Russian analysts totally mock delusional western fanboys like you?

Posted by: Be Realistic 2 | Feb 18 2023 18:33 utc | 27

When that failed they pulled back for the long struggle.
circumspect | Feb 18 2023 17:54 utc | 32

According to Putin the retreat was something like a gesture of goodwill for negotiations. According to youtube talking heads like Marty from America or Gonzalo from McDonald's, it was a trick to keep Ukr army busy. Both reasons look strange to me. It's more like dumbo generals behind the planning really thought nato will surrender and had no second plan, they've been playing by ear ever since, without success, and nato doesn't want to negotiate because it's too easy to keep the war going, 200-400bn per year is nothing.

Now prepare for maximum cringe: "Joe Biden, during his visit to Poland on February 21, will address the Russians"

Posted by: rk | Feb 18 2023 18:35 utc | 28

lol... had all your fun yet??

thanks b for cleaning up the mess and continuing on with the concrete reporting in real time.. regarding your last statement - it might seem like a build up to some greater action, but i am still not convinced.. i think this whole operation is running on a different schedule then many of the pundits have predicted... so much for the russian offensive... i don't believe anyone can know what is coming next... euro leaders still have a chance to call a stop to this... they are missing in action on this front, but in the ongoing supply of weapons, i suspect the military complex is very happy at this point... i guess that is who pays for their next election campaign.. so sad....

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2023 18:37 utc | 29

The intrigue surrounding the figurehead replacement at NATO continues. From Slavyangrad Telegram:

Game of Thrones - Ukrainian Nazi's granddaughter could become next NATO secretary general

Speculation continues in the offices of the North Atlantic Alliance's headquarters on the theme of Stoltenberg's resignation from the post of the current secretary general - his term, as we have already written, ends this autumn, which means that if his term is not extended, he will have to look for a successor. Apart from the previously mentioned UK Defence Secretary Wallace and Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez, NATO is considering other "promising" candidates, among whom there is a place for the granddaughter of a Ukrainian Nazi.

The Western media reported that the alliance already has a number of the most likely candidates for the secretary-general's post. Of particular interest, in our opinion, is Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, whose candidacy was named back in 2022. The granddaughter of Ukrainian immigrants, she has a deep empathy for her small motherland and in 2015 even wrote a tearful essay "My Ukraine" about her ancestors.

Grandpa Freeland, whom she tried to portray in the text as a sufferer and exile, was not so simple: Mykhailo Khomyak worked in Nazi-occupied Kraków on the anti-Semitic newspaper Krakovskie vesti. "Journalist and lawyer", as his loving granddaughter calls him, produced articles with the headline "Adolf Hitler - the outstanding personality of the twentieth century". Should we say what NATO policy will be under such a Secretary General? The US, by the way, actively supports her candidacy, according to Foreign Policy sources.

Other variants, of course, are much inferior to Freeland in "colorfulness", but they also exercise Russophobia. For example, the candidacy of the Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Shimonite, who already called for changing the second language in Lithuanian schools from Russian to Polish, and also declared in an interview with La Repubbliсa that "Russia has no achievements either in the present or in the future", is mentioned.

Whether or not Stoltenberg will stay on for another term remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that if necessary he will be replaced by an absolutely "fabulous" one.

As a Canadian, I say please take her off our hands. From her side, she must know she is unelectable as PM after Trudeau is gone.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 18 2023 18:38 utc | 30

@ rk | Feb 18 2023 18:35 utc | 28

i appreciate your humour even if it is soaked in your own sense of reality..

@ Opport Knocks | Feb 18 2023 18:38 utc | 30

ditto your position on the witch.. i have friends in that toronto riding who voted for her - in complete ignorance, i might add..

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2023 18:42 utc | 31

Marvin and circumspect noted the feeze/thaw conditions that prevail at present and have done for most of the winter campaigning season.

This weather would argue for the Russian current policy of grinding attrition, keeping their own mobile forces back until the ground dries. But the weather is unpredictable and there is no guarantee that come the spring the ground will indeed harden, indeed the Raputitsa usually lasts for many weeks. And even in the late spring and summer it rains.

There will come a time when the Russians need to take a bigger risk and attack with the intention of taking some ground and bringing to battle and defeating the UAF mobile reserves. IMHO the current policy does not provide a path to a Russian military victory and hence [from their perspective] a satisfactory political settlement and the achievement of their original and now expanded war aims.

Posted by: marcjf | Feb 18 2023 18:43 utc | 32

Re. Posted by: circumspect on Feb 18 2023 @ 17:54 utc # 22
I have been wondering about the reason for the lack of tank kills and I think circumspect is probably closest to the truth. The line of conflict is static for now and tanks are mobile. Artillery can supply the needed firepower on the line and tanks will be needed both to train new crews and to respond to an anticipated offense which could come from several different or multiple directions.

Posted by: Quid Me Vexare | Feb 18 2023 18:46 utc | 33

The huge danger at this point in time is IMHO a huge false flag, given plausibility from the absurd statements from Wallace, Milley, etc making it appear Russia is on the ropes, and desperate enough to try something irrational. Of course, it is actually the reverse, and again IMHO the danger may come from some sort of biological/chemical event, rather than a nuclear one.

After all, the Deep State put all those labs in Ukr for a reason...

Posted by: Simplicius | Feb 18 2023 18:53 utc | 34

the early, eager idea Russia has a never-run-out supply of missiles and artillery munitions was based on nothing.
Posted by: Elmagnostic | Feb 18 2023 18:27 utc | 25


I think at this point in the game the question is which economy can sustain the inflation caused by the unsterilized spending necessary to ramp up armaments production.

The West, with its massive debt overhang and the service requirements that overhang entails, is much more susceptible to increases in interest rates. Serious financiers are already rallying the FED to abandon its interest rate targets.

Guns or butter economics is coming to USA with great force, at a time when they cannot afford to maintain their basic infrastructure.

Posted by: too scents | Feb 18 2023 18:55 utc | 35

The whole Kiev situation still manages to create troll material. All of the above can be the answer.

My assumption is that A. Kiev was very much a pinning maneuver to protect the actions particularly in the south where Russia’s primary geostrategic focus was (and it was quite successful) but also B. done with the hope that either the army and/or the population would rise up against Zelensky in which case there would be Russian troops nearby to support that (because those troops were never numerous enough to take Kiev), and then C. came into play given that it was difficult to maintain those troops around Kiev given the way the conflict developed so it was a logical “good will” gesture at a time when we now know that negotiations were actually progressing. That gesture would show that Russia was not intent on overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine.

Posted by: Lex | Feb 18 2023 18:56 utc | 36

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Feb 18 2023 18:27 utc | 25

the early, eager idea Russia has a never-run-out supply of missiles and artillery munitions was based on nothing.

The idea that this was ever relevant was based on nothing.

The question that mattered was:

"whose supply will run out first?"

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 18 2023 18:59 utc | 37

I still don't get the obsession with tanks in this conflict. They are slow, heavy targets with a huge heat signature. Totally obsolete, as cavalry was in the 20th century.

Surely there are more efficient methods of recycling them as scrap metal.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 18 2023 19:18 utc | 38

I tried to get a friend to run against her, in the election before last in direct opposition to her dreadful pro-dictator, death squad fan record on Latin America. Instead the ball was handed over to the NDP which dropped it.
This disgusting women, lined up to write Soros' official bio before the cabinet position opened up for her, would be no loss if demoted to NATO. But it would be a terrible thing to do to the poor people of Europe.
Still I'm with Opport from Brantford, take her, dear god, take her. We have suffered enough. Take Justin too, between them they are midwifing the birth of a political monster in Canada. Just ask Patrick Armstrong-threatened with the loss of his pension and life savings if he didn't close down his scrupulously fair and unusually well informed blog. Not quite as badly as he would have been treated in Cracow by the Gestapo but on the same continuum.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 18 2023 19:22 utc | 39

Posted by: Simplicius | Feb 18 2023 18:53 utc | 34

Hey there, are you the Simplicius The Thinker? If yes then thank you for your substack! Just finished all your writings today, excellent stuff!

Posted by: Zet | Feb 18 2023 19:26 utc | 40

@ bevin | Feb 18 2023 19:22 utc | 39

we seem hell bent on some death wish with these folks in positions of power... hopefully canucks will come to their senses, but i am not sure they will... the 2nd runner up in the green party leadership race Dimitri Lascaris was a good candidate... instead they picked the politically correct candidate - Annamie Paul - and we saw how that turned out.. canucks are all for politically correct behaviour and bullshit.. so sad... not sure if or when it will change...

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2023 19:36 utc | 41

@bevin | Feb 18 2023 19:22 utc | 39

Still I'm with Opport from Brantford, take her, dear god, take her.
I had the same idea with Stoltenberg. Look where that got us.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 18 2023 19:39 utc | 42

Russia seems to have an idiotic superstructure to some extent.Content of the linked article:The combat-experienced commanders of the New Russian republics are demoted or even dismissed from service because of their lack of military careers in the Russian armed forces,even though they have more and better combat experience and leadership quality than many from officer school...
--->Some will be screened by future commissions, some have already been thrown out as alcoholics and violators, like Basurin (he has been dismissed and it is too late to drink booze) and many other war-hardened officers. By the way, Basurin is the symbol of the DNR army, he is the voice of the 1st Corps, he is the brand, if you like. And he is to be kicked out. And how many more will be dismissed "for incompetence" or demoted from commander to deputy commander.

Posted by: Oberbayer | Feb 18 2023 19:40 utc | 43

I've been using Simplicius at MOA for well over a year, and had not heard/seen its use before, or the Simplicius the Thinker stack, which I also find particularly excellent. I may well give up the Simplicius in honor of the quality of that blog, as soon as I come up with a better moniker

(NOT) Simplicius (the Thinker)

Posted by: Simplicius | Feb 18 2023 19:40 utc | 44

rk @ 28

By that time the Russians had declared the West "not agreement capable". If Putin said that it was probably for public consumption. It appears to me their focus is to minimize casualties on their side and maximize casualties on the opposing forces.

Moving forward with their initial invasion would have been a bloodbath for them. Initially they did not use their airborne forces to secure the necessary bridges to move forward. That is why I suspect the initial invasion towards Kiev was a ruse in hopes of the whole government dropping into their hands like an over ripe fruit. Sort of like how Crimea fell.

A last ditch move that someone would come to their senses. It did not work for them.

Posted by: circumspect | Feb 18 2023 19:45 utc | 45

I had the same idea with Stoltenberg. Look where that got us.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 18 2023 19:39 utc | 42

It must be obvious that Stoltenberg is a wooden puppet, with the US controlling the strings. The only part missing is if his wooden nose grew an inch every time he lied. He would have tipped over face first 5 years ago.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 18 2023 19:55 utc | 46

Posted by: circumspect | Feb 18 2023 19:45 utc | 45

The government would have otherwise folded unless they were bought off with billions of dollars in bribes from US state department. Bojo told Zelensky to drop negotiations and use them in the Spring 2022 to gain time for reorganization and mobilization, just as they did with the Minsk agreement.

Also, the Pentagon or CIA control through funding and arming the neonazi factions in Ukraine, which also have the ability to hang a Damocles sword on any politician in Ukraine thinking otherwise. We've seen it through SMO time era, that the neonazis also go into tough front lines to form blocking detachments. They maintain things together with extreme punishments for anyone even thinking otherwise, like leaving position or surrendering. It's a reign of horror, and massive censorship of what's happenig has the ability to keep people fighting for the false reasons.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 18 2023 19:57 utc | 47

After watching the Munich Security Conference, I am changing my view of what is going on in Ukraine by 360 degrees...

Posted by: Simplicius (NOT 76) | Feb 18 2023 19:59 utc | 48

After watching the Munich Security Conference, I am changing my view of what is going on in Ukraine by 360 degrees...

Posted by: Simplicius (NOT 76) | Feb 18 2023 19:59 utc | 48

Careful, if you do it more than twice you may get dizzy and fall down, sooner with too much to drink.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 18 2023 20:05 utc | 49

”It mentions zero tanks!!!
It has been like this for the last two weeks or so.”

b, I look at the same list every day and I sorry, but you are wrong. It usually mentions one or two tanks destroyed on the southern front.
I know getting the facts right isn’t considered important by the commentariat, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

Still very few tanks. I don’t think them having been pulled back is a likely reason — when you fight to the death you don’t pull weapons out for training. And if they where concentrated for a coming offensive they would still have to be fairly close to the front (transport no longer work, remember) so they would be hit by missiles.

I’m fairly sure the Ukrainian side is simply running out of them. Which would be consistent with the losses they have been taking.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Feb 18 2023 20:16 utc | 50

I am reminded of John Wayne claiming that the genocide of Native Americans was justified because they were "selfishly trying to keep the land for themselves." At some point all the "democracy" talk will be dropped in favour of the bald statement that NATO has to fight Russia and China because they're "selfishly keeping all their resources for themselves."

I am unconvinced by the idea that NATO and its slaves will be deterred by the knowledge that they will likely lose any war they launch against Russia and China. Imperial Japan knew the probability that with its resource problems and its limitations in military technology it would in the long term lose if it entered WWII. But it did so anyway because the alternative was to abandon its colonial empire.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 18 2023 20:31 utc | 51

The answer is probably YES to both Ukraine tank theories. YES, Ukraine has a minimal number of tanks on the front line. YES, Ukraine pulled majority of tanks back to hiding places... to keep their powder dry for a future offensive.

Posted by: Ramsey Glissadevil | Feb 18 2023 20:36 utc | 52

@Jörgen Hassler | Feb 18 2023 20:16 utc | 50

when you fight to the death you don’t pull weapons out for training.

I’m fairly sure the Ukrainian side is simply running out of them. Which would be consistent with the losses they have been taking.

I tend to agree with this view. It seems the most logical, even if the war itself is surreal.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 18 2023 20:47 utc | 53

Here's some Kindersoldaten in Ukraine.

And a comment from our Sponsor, Ursula von der Lügen:

"Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective.
We want them to live with us the European dream".

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 18 2023 20:48 utc | 54

It must be obvious that Stoltenberg is a wooden puppet, with the US controlling the strings. The only part missing is if his wooden nose grew an inch every time he lied. He would have tipped over face first 5 years ago.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 18 2023 19:55 utc | 46

This is somewhat debatable. Modern technology uses cheap plastic parts to a maximum extend, occasionally exceeding that and retreating a bit. Surely, wooden parts do not grow. Moreover, in a recent video he showed clear signs of springs contained inside the body.

Kudos to voice engineers. They managed to modulate his voice! Took several years.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 18 2023 20:55 utc | 55

unimperator 54, on that same point check out "Story of a short life..."

also, why can't it be that Russia's ammo production runs 24/7?

i read the other day (yesterday?), that because UAF was pulling some heavy equipment out of Bakhmut, some analysis thought they were leaving, but that was not the case, instead they reinforced. just thought i'd mention.

Posted by: annie | Feb 18 2023 21:02 utc | 56

I find it hard to imagine Western countries even attempting a conscription today.
So Ukrainian's first,followed by the Poles etc.
In the meantime Russia has been carefully projecting defensive actions in the Dombass by protecting its Russian population with no big offensives to help the West in its efforts to convince the rest of the world in its anti-Russian narrative.
The grinding, Demilitization of the Nato-Ukrainian Army on the Russian boarder has infuriated the Western elites,forcing their masks to hit the floor along with their European values.
As for a big Russian Spring offensive,why?when the Ukranians are still eager to charge into the Russian artillery death zone, with a short supply route from the Motherland.
Imo,Russia is just preparing for the Ukrainian offensive if it ever eventuates.This will still further the Demilitization operation.
Russia will continue to preserve its troops till it deems it has very little resistance left,before moving further from its supply lines, into Ukraine.
I think the West will be in for a shock if they believe they can call for negotiations,at a time of their choosing.
The West has show Russia,it must now go all the way to Poland and not leave a Ukraine in the hands of the West.

Posted by: Kim | Feb 18 2023 21:04 utc | 57

About Madam Baerbock changing her views 360 degrees, the claim may be true if unverified for now, but it is actually the standard mode of French public statements, currently by Macron. I call it pirouette which, as everybody knows, consists of two 180 degree turns. So periodically Macron makes an unclear statement hinting a heresy from NATO orthodoxy, and quickly clarifies, thus making the second part of 360 degree turn. Friend or foe, everybody should recognize that, like his predecessors, Macron is quite agile.

Thus it is conceivable that Baerbock made a 180 degree turn somewhere far from prying eyes, but after say, completing her shower, there was not a trace of it. She could also refer to a somersault.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 18 2023 21:05 utc | 58

the ukrainians and the russians should join forces and agree to meet in London or Paris. they should get rid of zelensky, if possible.

Posted by: RexL | Feb 18 2023 21:08 utc | 59

As a way to obtain more insight in todays' German thinking, I present a book review in a serious, mainstream, conservative German newspaper.

Russia's future.
After Putin. A scenario of the first days. By Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Putin's regime does not have much time left. The apparatus will not survive the autocrat, writes our guest author in his new book. But what then? The Russian empire is threatened with civil war, unless the "man with the gun" is brought under control. Welt

Posted by: Passerby | Feb 18 2023 21:31 utc | 60

KIA totals from Twitter account of Gonzalo Lira
Current Russian losses (RF, LPR, DPR, Wagner, Chechens), by source:

◾️Medusa: 14,000 KIA

◾️BBC: 12,000 KIA confirmed, possibly as high as 20,000 KIA

◾️Mossad: 18,850 KIA

🟥 Current Kiev regime losses:

◾️Col. Douglas Macgregor: 157,000 KIA

◾️Mossad: 157,000 KIA

Posted by: republic | Feb 18 2023 21:32 utc | 61

@10 Likklemore

You mean DENSA don't you? They will look all discombobulated on the battlefield with only 1/3rd the proper amount of training for these tin cans.

Posted by: safe | Feb 18 2023 21:33 utc | 62

@ unimperator, #54

Yeah, that one with the AFU kid was making the rounds a couple months back, maybe less.

Have you seen the one firing the mortar? A couple of versions of that one, I saw that more recently.

Posted by: DakotaRog | Feb 18 2023 21:34 utc | 63

james@31.... ignorant Torontonians.....hmm, you might be on to something there.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Feb 18 2023 21:52 utc | 64

I am compelled to observe that Victoria Nuland must be the most profoundly evil female (as per gender definitions of the 1960's) on earth. I can think of no one who even comes close because no one has had her opportunity to trigger mass death as she has achieved.

Forgive me if I drift into an ad hominem stance but I cannot overcome her repellent physical image while masses of Ukrainian males die in a meat grinder with no end in sight. "To the last Ukrainian" should be a glib propagandistic remark, not a deliberate intent. They aren't defending the Ukrainian nation because pushing the nation into suicide isn't its preservation.

Nuland, Blinken, Sullivan and others aren't freezing in trenches with shell shock. They seem well fed and rested (uh...some more than others). We can easily guess (in horror) what the end result will be when Ukraine is pushed to hate Russia more than it cares for its own people.

Posted by: Eighthman | Feb 18 2023 21:57 utc | 65

Ukraine is being ordered to launch an offensive. Western media announced Russias winter offensive, and then announced the Russians were losing the most ever. What's up is a split in Natos united front. The nord stream, legally an act of war state sponsored terrorism, has left Germany out in the cold, especially when other countries backed out on tanks once Germany promised.

Ukraine is going to attack, the tanks are being gathered up for an attack, and whatever missles from the uk and migs from Poland.

Russia bless their hearts is waiting to let ukraine go first instead of blundering into a trap by the media saying their out of shells, and how bahkmut will fall( all lies they have enough shells and reinforced bahkmut)

Another strike from Belarus is going to happen they'll have to flow reinforcements from deep within russia if they build up it gets hit.

From deep within russia like thousands of kilometers. Can't drone that, russia is using strategic depth better now. The airbase attack scared them smarter. They even decided to protect Moscow, like they know now red lines don't mean anything to anyone.

Ukraine is being told to win or else. Or else what? Poland will definitely defend its territorial ambitions.

The US? They're fine to let russia gain something, they paid for it, and from the US view its easy to try again with another group of locals to throw themselves at their hated former imperial masters. They only have to win once, and there's so much money to be made selling weapons and energy in russias backyard.

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Feb 18 2023 22:06 utc | 66

Here's a guess. The war can't end as long as NATO supply lines exist. The best place to cut those lines is the Dnieper. The "offensive" will attempt to do that, requiring a lot of airborne troops and bombing missions at every river crossing. To support this maybe some anti-satellite activity. Putin could say he's blowing up American satellites in retaliation for the Nord Stream pipelines.

Posted by: Deplorable Dave | Feb 18 2023 22:08 utc | 67

Posted by: Kim | Feb 18 2023 21:04 utc | 57

I tend to agree. I believe Russian intelligence is actively listening to the signs of desperation in terms of supply of artillery ammunition to Ukrainians. Once this is evident, and only then, they will initiate a massive advance. Meanwhile Everyday pressure will grow in all important sectors of the front. Fifty Bradleys, few Leopards and perhaps 400 old T64 will be no match for Russians. Once Ukraine military collapses Russian and Belorussian military will rush down to the Polish border. A longer chess game than I expected but still with the same outcome.

Posted by: Milos | Feb 18 2023 22:11 utc | 68

This is interesting, from John "torture-memo" Yoo & Robert Delahunty in Newsweek:

For decades, Biden maintained that only Congress could authorize an attack such as the one on Nord Stream 2. He savaged Republican presidents for allegedly violating the Constitution for acting as Hersh now alleges he acted. But if Hersh has got it right, Biden has discarded those constitutional principles. It should leave Americans wondering what other "principles" Biden would readily sell out.

The startling thing here, given the general silencing, is the mere mention of Sy Hersh's report in a partisan context. Republicans such as Yoo-know-who complain, now, of an unbearable stench from Biden's apparent constitutional hypocrisy.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Feb 18 2023 22:13 utc | 69

Afaik the Battle of the Bulge involved Hitler having previously ordered a lot of the military, including a lot of tanks, to be held back while he waited for the Allies to make long advances, and for cloud cover to develop.

It will be worth remarking on, imo, if Zelenskyy orders attacks with the remaining tanks during a period of cloudy weather, and possibly snow falling, in the hopes of that weather impeding the Russian response.

If Ukraine does attack, will they target areas that will make for the easiest territorial gains, so as to make for quick propaganda claims, and thus spur sympathizers in Western governments to insist that "now is the time" to go all in with aid to Ukraine? I'm worried that Zelenskyy might get F-16s, and ones with Western pilots. Things could get really out of hand from that point on.

Posted by: Babel-17 | Feb 18 2023 22:13 utc | 70

I am compelled to observe that Victoria Nuland must be the most profoundly evil female (as per gender definitions of the 1960's) on earth.

I think Hilary Clinton comes close. Madeleine Albright was in the same team.

Posted by: Milos | Feb 18 2023 22:19 utc | 71

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Feb 18 2023 22:06 utc | 66

As Dreizin report suggested, Belarus will probably join Russian Federation and get under nuclear umbrella. Although Belarus is technically already under that umbrella. The rationale is that it will thwart the suspected coming Polish attack on Belarus.

Re. attack from Belarus in Ukraine. I don't think that will come, if it does ever, it will be at the very end game of the Ukraine debacle. I mean when it's clear even to people like Kamala Harris with room temperature IQ that it's over. That means it will be even after the army would be defeated, routed, destroyed in Donbass and Odessa taken. As Nato will have sent all their stuff to Donbass, Ukraine will have nothing to stop it.

If Nato decides not to send stuff to the Donbass, then Donbass will fall quicker along the army there. Nato will probably throw every tank and artillery it has in Donbass, but they have already been reduced for a very long time in peace meal fashion.

There could be operational pauses over coming years, but there won't be any kind of deals regarding Ukraine. There will just be unraveling of organized resistance, and pushing nazi factions out of limits of Donbass cities, and eventually much further from Odessa (i.e. to Khmelnitsky line).

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 18 2023 22:20 utc | 72

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 18 2023 20:31 utc | 51

I am reminded of John Wayne claiming that the genocide of Native Americans was justified because they were "selfishly trying to keep the land for themselves."

Well, Russia could echo Wayne regarding all the indigenous peoples it ran over in its expansion to the Pacific.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Feb 18 2023 22:21 utc | 73

@Down South | Feb 18 2023 17:12 utc | 13

They never were intended to "win", they were expected to become a morass. Had Russia fought this war conventionally, that might have happened.

Posted by: Hermit | Feb 18 2023 22:25 utc | 74

@Babel-17 | Feb 18 2023 22:13 utc | 70

Don't be concerned about it. The F16 is vastly inferior to Russian aircraft, and Russian air-defenses and missiles have the range to shoot them down before the F16 is able to engage. Which is why they are not going to be delivered. It would kill US military aircraft sales.

Posted by: Hermit | Feb 18 2023 22:30 utc | 75

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2023 18:42 utc | 31

Back in 2014, before JT was in power, I lived in Freeland's riding, and wrote to her about the heck is Canada doing in Ukraine, giving them Javelin. To my surprise, I got a reply... no mention of coup or Right Sector atrocities (Odessa) or protection of Donors or Crimea... just a pic of her with a Rabbi in E.Ukraine, claiming all is well. And then there's Harper telling Putin to get out of Ukraine - what an imbecile!

Posted by: xLemming | Feb 18 2023 22:34 utc | 76

@73 Inkan1969

Another excellent John Wayne quote comes to mind here- Life is hard, it's a whole lot harder if you're stupid!

Posted by: safe | Feb 18 2023 22:36 utc | 77

@Milos | Feb 18 2023 22:19 utc | 71

You may be confused. Nuland learned her exceptional ways as special assistant to Cheney and then Hildemort. While more Zionist (being married to Robert Kagan, consiglieri to the neocons), she does not compete with with either on the absolute evil scale. Given her hostorybof flying to weird li5le places for a day, she is probably CIA as well as State Department.

See my summary at Meet Victoria Nuland.

Posted by: Hermit | Feb 18 2023 22:47 utc | 78

As for the Ukrainian tanks in storage, my guess is that a lot of those - and the facilities to refurbish and upgrade them - have been destroyed or at least degraded over the last year by Russian missile strikes. It's not hard to spot a tank parking lot with several score or hundred tanks parked there. Anyone remember the satellite photos of Russian tanks parked in western Russia before the war started?

If Ukraine still had a thousand or more tanks, as some have suggested, they wouldn't be begging for 13 Leopards... So my money is on they are literally out of tanks. Look at the counts the MoD puts out; even allowing for the lumping together of AFVs and the like with actual main battle tanks (which is stupid in my view and the MoD should stop doing it), the count is, what, over 7,000.

Meanwhile, the idiot Western press claims Russia has lost half its main battle tank fleet. And that Ukraine captured 500 Russian tanks which make up for the lousy 450 they supposedly lost. You gotta love the MSM - Marvel Comics has nothing on them. :-)

As an aside, the main Ukrainian tank repair facility is in Kharkiv, discussed in this article:
Tank factory workers decry war that pits Ukrainian against Ukrainian

What is the likelihood that this hasn't been bombed by Russia repeatedly? All those explosions Gonzalo Lira reported...

And the only Ukrainian tank that more or less matched Russia's T-80 was in short supply before the war, according to this article:

T-84U: The Tank Ukraine Would Use in a War with Russia

Ukraine has an estimated 2,430 tanks in totality. But there are only a handful of T-84U tanks in service. Most of these still fighting are older and obsolete models such as the T-64. Hundreds of the T-64s have been destroyed in combat with the separatists.

Thus, the T-84U is too little too late to make a difference for the Ukrainians when it comes to defending against Russia.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Feb 18 2023 22:52 utc | 79

Posted by: Oberbayer | Feb 18 2023 19:40 utc | 43

‘The combat-experienced commanders of the New Russian republics are demoted or even dismissed from service because of their lack of military careers in the Russian armed forces…’

This happens when you arm insurgents with a long-term view to taking over their territory. In arming them, you have also created a problem: what to do with the insurgents, who are now potentiality an independent, competing centre of power.

The H man used a long knife, while the S man used a pistol. Thank god we moderns are civilised enough to merely decommission and demote.

On the other hand, some of the decommissioned might like to buy some protection.

Posted by: MrB | Feb 18 2023 22:53 utc | 80

Down South @13 Yes, it seems the Georgia scenario is being repeated (a Kiwi friend's dad would call USNATO's behavior "getting the salts up, then running away").

Posted by: robjira | Feb 18 2023 22:55 utc | 81

@Babel-17 | Feb 18 2023 22:13 utc | 70

One of the leaders at the Battle of the Bulge, Major General Karl von Wagener, who wrote the book, literally, on tank warfare in Europe, and who taught at the US Army Armor school after the war, used to say that if he had had 2 more hours of fuel, his tanks would have won the Battle of the Bulge and the war would have ended rather differently.

Posted by: Hermit | Feb 18 2023 22:57 utc | 82

@ Opport

Freeland is eminently electable if her opponents are even worse. That’s how you ended up with Justin Trudeau, after all, and why the abominable Starmer will be the next UK PM.

Posted by: malenkov | Feb 18 2023 23:01 utc | 83

The shit show continues until it doesn't

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 18 2023 17:02 utc | 12

the shit show now includes party balloons--it already had clowns aplenty, and donkeys and elephants. and Biden's high wire act, will the demented geezer drop one the nuclear bombs he is juggling, buy a ticket and find out! greatest show on earth!

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 18 2023 23:13 utc | 84

reply to 71

Albright is dead. Hillary I will admit could be the Most Evil Female on Planet Earth. It depends on how much death and suffering she caused in Yugoslavia and Libya. It is amusing to consider the 2016 election and ask, "how repellent and horrid a human being do you have to be to make Trump look like the better choice?".

Posted by: Eighthman | Feb 18 2023 23:19 utc | 85

pretzelattack @ 84

Speaking of the shit show. Another pico balloon incoming at 50,000 feet. Look out baby, Send up the F-35's and the air tankers. Lets float a few AWACS just in case.

Lock and load a million dollars worth of missiles. That darn balloon will not get away... NORAD control... NORAD control to pecker head one. Blow that object out of the sky.

Posted by: circumspect | Feb 18 2023 23:20 utc | 86

Freely admit this is an over-simplistic theory, but could the reason for the lack of Ukrainian tanks at the front line be due to the sheer lack of personnel available to train and then deploy the tanks?

The attritional Russian meat-grinder is having a huge effect on manpower availability, so, what does a Ukie commanding officer do? Withdraw front-line troops for tank training, thereby weakening (even more) the current defensive lines?

Posted by: West of England Andy | Feb 18 2023 23:26 utc | 87

Oh, and just seen this:

the abominable Starmer will be the next UK PM.

Posted by: malenkov | Feb 18 2023 23:01 utc | 83

Starmer has a huge skeleton lurking in his closet that goes by the name of Jimmy Savile, but more detailed discussion of this is probably best left to b’s next open (not Ukraine) thread.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Feb 18 2023 23:31 utc | 88

@ Milos | Feb 18 2023 22:19 utc | 71
I think Hilary Clinton comes close [to Nuland]
Yes, Nuland was able to overthrow a government, but Hill certainly earned her pay as "chief diplomat" on the battlefield for which she got the presidential nomination. Hillary was in charge of the destruction of Syria, and the replacement of President Assad when he got overthrown (he never was). And in the campaign she was (of course) never asked what her main accomplishment was as SecState (because she had none).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 18 2023 23:31 utc | 89

Regarding UAF tank availability. This was just a week ago:

"Polish PM Morawiecki announces Poland has transferred 250 T-72 tanks to Ukraine, and will send 60 modernized T-72 tanks and Twardy tanks, as well as 14 Leopard tanks in future."

Poland is by far the largest contributor of tanks to Ukraine. They have sent 250 T-72 tanks, and apparently they still plan to send in tune of 60 modernized ones. My guess is the "modernized" ones are the oldest of the stock, and perhaps worse conditions pulled from storage. The reason they weren't sent earlier was because Poland had functioning and more combat ready tanks, so they are pulling the mothballed ones and modernizing.

Maybe the 250 already ran out, which is kind of likely, but there might still be a small dribble of them coming randomly here and there, maybe some dozens at most. Maybe there are dribble of T-64 or T-55 from Czech etc. But it's a pretty reasonable guesstimate that there simply aren't none any more.

"Pulling back to save equipment" hasn't been a popular strategy for UAF so far, to put mildly.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 18 2023 23:35 utc | 90

RSH @79 They ask for tanks because they want to get NATO countries more involved. What they really want is an armada of tanks and planes to move on Crimea. It's not going to happen.

Posted by: dh | Feb 18 2023 23:35 utc | 91

@ sean the leprechaun | Feb 18 2023 21:52 utc | 64

lol... it is kind of harsh and i don't actually believe that, but maybe i could be persuaded!

@ xLemming | Feb 18 2023 22:34 utc | 76

well the office replied, but they didn't offer anything of substance...kind of how i see her too fwiw..

--------- regarding the tanks, i kind of relate to @ Jörgen Hassler | Feb 18 2023 20:16 utc | 50 commentary..

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2023 23:37 utc | 92

And then there's Harper telling Putin to get out of Ukraine - what an imbecile!

Posted by: xLemming | Feb 18 2023 22:34 utc | 76

When the difference between winning and losing in Canadian elections is only 2-3% points, the Ukrainian diaspora vote is very important. Other than trainers, Harper did not send much.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 18 2023 23:37 utc | 93

@ Eighthman: Excellent and correct perspective. More loathsome than Trump is possible theoretically only because Killary was in reality.

@ West of England Andy: Indeed, but he will still be judged preferable to Sunak.

Posted by: malenkov | Feb 18 2023 23:39 utc | 94

Effective force posture is dictated by many factors, but one of the critical determinants is the combat ability of the forces. Quite a few of the commentators express confusion at the Ukrainians fighting for every town and village, without realising that that’s all the majority of the Ukrainian forces can do with any effectiveness. Fixed defences go some way to mitigating poor troop training as assaulting these lines imposes restrictions on the assaulting force, especially effective fire and movement. It also seriously slows down the momentum of any combat, allowing inferior troops to be better able to react to events that might overwhelm them, if fighting in less restrictive terrain.

The debate about tanks is really moot as the battalions equipped with NATO hand-me-downs are being crewed by a cadre of veterans, which effectively means, due to their rushed training, that they became less capable in being able to mount offensive actions. The remaining crews with the ex-Soviet stock will be conscripts with little to no experience, so equally poor at mounting offensive actions. This then tends to suggest that the Ukrainians have been taught basic NATO doctrine using fall-back fire and staggered firing points/tank ramps which make the most of their superior gun depression. Expecting tanks to attack a Russian regimental defensive belt, without: experienced crews with specialised assault training, local air superiority/dominance, engineering assets and fire superiority at the break in points is tantamount to suicide.

Finally, by withdrawing armour, be it for 5D chess moves, necessity or they’re being needed to guard Z’s cocaine vaults means the Northern front is starting to collapse, threatening one of the Ukrainian’s main axis of assault (Svartove-Kremmina). Reducing the areas where they can launch an armoured assault further compounds the problems, which is probably one of the reasons why the Russians retreated in Kherson, using fore-knowledge of NATOs tank deployments to make that front unassailable to armour.

Posted by: Milites | Feb 18 2023 23:46 utc | 95

Posted by: Hermit | Feb 18 2023 22:57 utc | 82

Oh my, the perpetual cry from the Germans. ‘If only we’d had……. No Mr Wagner, you would have had your ass handed to you, even if you had ten times the amount of fuel you needed. Still, those gullible Yankees were desperate to hear you vindicate their strategies to fight the Reds and, if you told a few porkies along the way about why you failed in your mission like that nice Mr Peiper, then it was necessary, ja?

Posted by: Milites | Feb 19 2023 0:01 utc | 96

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 18 2023 23:35 utc | 90

Also addition: In September or October or that timeline, Militarywatch magazine already back then had an article that T-72 had run out from Warsaw pact arsenals. So there probably isn't anything anywhere anymore, maybe Cuba or Venezuela or Argentina etc. have some but Blinken wasn't successful extracting them to Ukraine.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 19 2023 0:02 utc | 97

@ Richard Steven Hack | Feb 18 2023 22:52 utc | 79

i agree with you!

@ malenkov | Feb 18 2023 23:01 utc | 83

that seems to be the situation at present.. bad politicians and even worse choices, although it would be hard to be worse then freeland and trudeau.. its possible...

Posted by: jams | Feb 19 2023 0:06 utc | 98

Posted by: Eighthman | Feb 18 2023 23:19 utc | 85

Really, the man who tried to pull out of Syria, planned to disengage from Afghanistan, began a meaningful dialogue with North Korea whilst not treating Putin like a pariah. To answer your question, ‘how repellant’ Biden would be my answer, the puppet placed into power because the Deep State hated Trump for opposition to the plans they had for Ukraine and many other countries

Posted by: Milites | Feb 19 2023 0:10 utc | 99 quoted a retired colonel from Russian Intelligence who said that Ukraine's total losses (dead and wounded) were 800,000. He said that number is supported by the 9 mobilizations Ukraine has conducted. You don't conduct a national mobilization if have 500,000 to 1 million soldiers under arms and lose 25,000. You do if you lose 100,000 or more. Do that 9 times and you've lost 900.000 soldiers.

I believe the 257,000 number of dead that Zaluzhny reportedly gave to Milley. That number is the only one from inside people who know. And if Ukraine incurs 2 wounded for every dead, then the 800,000 casualty number sounds about right. That a big number. But remember, 90% of Russian casualties are from artillery strikes. And Russia is firing off 10x as much artillery as Ukraine. So if you take the 20,000 Russian death toll and multiply it by 10, you again get to that 200,000 number. Probably 257,000 once you figure in Russia's drone superiority.

Von Der Lying "let slip" a 100,000 number. I really doubt that was a slip of the tongue. It was intentional, to lower the real Ukrainian body count which had become an issue at that point. She knew the real count was much higher.

One more thing to look at is the current mobilization of juveniles and women. You don't do that unless you've lost most of your regular adult soldiers. Certainly you don't do that if you hundreds of thousands of men under arms and lose only 100,000. And yet I just looked at a video of a busload of juveniles in uniform headed to the front. My God, they couldn't have been more than 16 years old (with a lot of girls too). Another video shows someone firing a mortar, and when he turns toward the camera it's clear he's no older than 16.

So I think Ukrainian casualties are far beyond what we're being led to believe by the EU and Ukraine.

Posted by: Kellen Cramer | Feb 19 2023 0:18 utc | 100

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