Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 04, 2023

Bakhmut, Strategic Or Not, Is Falling

'Western' media can not decide if Bakhmut is a strategic city or has little strategic value. They claim both is the case.

Bakhmut is of course of strategic value. It is covering the crossing of three major train lines and four major roads (M-03, M-32, T-13-02, T-05-13). As such it is the linchpin of the whole Donbas region. Besides that it also has some valuable mineral mines.


That is why the Ukrainian government has send ten thousands of its troops to fight and die for that city.

People who claim otherwise are simply coping.

Some examples:

This DW piece, originally written in Russian, is probably the best on the issue:

Bakhmut: What will be the outcome of the battle? - DW - Mar 3, 2023

Bakhmut is of great strategic importance to both the Ukrainian and the Russian forces, says Marina Miron, a research fellow at the Centre for Military Ethics at King's College London. Miron believes that, if Russian troops capture the city, they will advance further, perhaps toward Kramatorsk.

"They would control important roads, cutting off the Ukrainian armed forces and making the defense much harder for them," says Miron. She warns that this would also undermine the morale of the Ukrainian troops, and could lead to Western partners losing confidence in the capabilities of the Ukrainian army.

Ralph Thiele, a retired German colonel who has served on the personal staff of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, agrees. "The Ukrainian side is basically compelled — also by its Western partners — to deliver successes. There has to be some sort of constant public justification for the huge amount of support being given to Ukraine," says Thiele.

Mike Martin, a researcher at King's College London, says Russia is persisting in its efforts to capture Bakhmut because it corresponds to Putin's stated war aim of, in his words, "liberating the Donbas." Martin explains: "If you look at the way the roads and the rail networks are arranged, there are two bigger settlements to the west of Bakhmut, but still in the Donbas: Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. And in order to take those bigger cities, which he needs to do to complete his strategic goal, he needs to take Bakhmut first."

The Ukrainians in Bakhmut and elsewhere are outgunned 10 to 1:

The Ukraine war has become a ferocious battle dominated by artillery and Ukrainian forces are operating at a huge disadvantage: Russia has numerical superiority of 10 heavy guns to every one at the disposal of Kyiv. Furthermore, Ukraine is running low on ammunition and requires urgent supplies of shells, Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government has warned.
According to data from the European Commission to which EL PAÍS has had access, Russia fires between 40,000 and 50,000 artillery shells per day, compared to 5,000-6,000 Ukrainian forces expend. The Estonian government, which has been one of largest contributors to Kyiv’s war effort, puts the average use of artillery at between 20,000 and 60,000 Russian shells per day, and 2,000 to 7,000 Ukrainian rounds, according to a document sent to EU Member States by Tallinn, to which this newspaper has had access. These numbers equate to between 600,000 and 1.8 million Russian shells fired per month, compared to between 60,000 and 210,000 by Ukrainian artillery.

Over the last six weeks the Russian counter-battery campaign destroyed some additional 500 Ukrainian howitzers and multiple rocket launchers. The Russian Lancet suicide drones (videos) have done a lot of that work. Russia has thereby increased its own artillery advantage even more.

As artillery is the major killer in any modern war this also means that casualties on both sides will follow a similar ratio as the number of guns and rounds fired by each side.

For the last several weeks the daily 'clobber report' by the Russian Defense Ministry reported some 350-400 Ukrainian soldiers killed per day along the whole frontline. On Thursday that number increased to 640, stayed at 640 in Friday's report and increased to 880 in today's report. 490 of those were reported in the Bakhmut area.

BBC cooperates with other organization to count every announcement of a dead soldier in the Russian local media. Since the start of the war it has identified a total of 16,000:

Throughout 2022, Russian sources typically reported about 250–300 deaths each week, doubling in January and continuing to grow again in February.

Russian source report death per week at a lower rate than Ukrainian death per day. The ratio is again about 10 Ukrainians for 1 Russian. That number of Russian dead has doubled in January and further increased in February says the BBC. But the 10 to 1 ratio between Ukrainian and Russian dead will still have been the same.

I have said for a while that Bakhmut was in operational encirclement. Russian artillery could reach its last roads in and out. Since three days ago Bakhmut is in tactical encirclement. Russian direct fire, i.e. tank guns and hand held anti-tank missiles, can now cover all of Bakhmut's supply routes. They will shot at any car that attempts to drive there. Its one reason why the reported deaths have harshly increased.

Should the Ukraine decide to order its soldiers to stay in Bakhmut the city will be physically encircled. All roads will be blocked not only by fire but by heavily armed Russian checkpoints. The Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut, several thousands still seem to be there, will then be left with only two options: surrender or die.

Posted by b on March 4, 2023 at 16:49 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b... when the narrative isn't going according to plan - change the narrative.. that sums up the western approach to myth making..

Posted by: james | Mar 4 2023 17:06 utc | 1

the sad part is those soldiers left in bakhmut are probably those that have been dragged off the street unwillingly...when does the false flag - chemical weapon thingy, raise its ugly head?? the west is despicable..

Posted by: james | Mar 4 2023 17:10 utc | 2

Prigozine already told in his own way that the humanitarian corridor to exit Bakhmut is open and the AFU can use it to save their lives.

The offer is likely to expire in 7-10 days.

Posted by: W | Mar 4 2023 17:11 utc | 3

Bahkmut is indeed strategic, you can tell from a map it's important. It also provides some heights to deploy artillery too, which like popasna some months ago provides a circular field of ability to place firepower at range advantages to the enemy.

Chasiv yar has heights as well so it'll probably back westward advance. Focus will go north after this to sustainably hold Lyman and hold the east bank of the river (oskil?) That guards luhansk.

Once you got that the southern front can work with the bahkmut front and set the stage for deeper campaigns

Yes, bahkmut us the key stone by any measure.

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Mar 4 2023 17:12 utc | 4

Big Serge argues here that we didn't see a big offensive from RU regulars over the winter because their brigades were being expanded with extra infantry to division size.

So while UA shills today are talking about how Bakhmut "bought time", it seems Wagner was really buying time for RUAF to reorganize. But the UA "spring offensive" might not be called off. Despite reinforcing Bakhmut for no gain, at least they didn't commit their new bradleys, strykers and leopards.

Posted by: catdog | Mar 4 2023 17:15 utc | 5

I don't think this thing can end until, Russia ends it by taking everything to Odessa and a 225km surround area or, there is massive change in DC/London, their 3LAs, the 3LA's-media-hacks. Only then would there be breathing space to allow for negotiations.

But with the anti-populist foreign policy of the Clinton/Cheney/Obama/Biden administration [singular intended] in place, no negotiations are possible and Ukrainia must send it's citizens to the coliseum floor to amuse the elites of DC/London.

Would you be a quisling to your country just to get a mansion in Miami? What could have been a golden-age of man has been transformed into a burning pyre of human flesh. That the elite of empires would play this game is unsurprising, after all they have nothing useful to do with their meager talent but, why-oh-why do ordinary people keep falling for the same old troupe?

Posted by: S Brennan | Mar 4 2023 17:30 utc | 6

Bahkmut's fate, and that of it's garrison units, was sealed, lost, the moment the last marginal, partially viable, MSR came under RF Fire Control.

On to Chasovoy Yar, Kupyansk, etc, as the defense lines encountered are ever weaker, less developed & units thinned by continual & unsustainable & ever more critical Manpower, Arms & logistical supply depletion, through sustained disadvantageous attrition & relentless shifting pressure, held in contact by the RF all along the FEBA. Zero respite, ever diminishing juggled reserves trying to plug the gaps & broken Battalions/Brigades, along with insufficient rotations out of the line, nor unit re-org & re-reinforcement worth diddly-squat.

AFU's formations ever declining Combat effectiveness/cohesiveness/capabilities continues along it's downward spiral, on a one way trip to Valhalla, or Surrender. No imagined AFU counter-offensive, no mythical Armored Corps, to viably 'turn the tide'.

As per the notional German civilians listening to Goebbels speeches near the end of WWII ... The AFU's victories will get, though for the moment currently slowly, yet inevitably, ever closer to Kiev, Odessa & Transnistria ?

AFU ? Stick a fork in it.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 4 2023 17:33 utc | 7

Thanks b. it is amazing how ignorant the west is when it comes to strategy and body bags.

First: If body bag reports (fake or true) won wars the west and even the Nazis would be the victors in nearly every engagement over the last 100 years or so. There is little correlation between body bags and winning wars.

Second: The western talking heads seem to assume that Russia and Ukraine have no idea what they are doing however logistics is the life blood of any military operations and Bakhmut gives the victor power over lines of communication not only on the defensive, but in offensive operations either way. If Russia takes Bakhmut before Ukraine can deploy modern tanks on the defensive it may be all over for the Donbas Region.

Posted by: ATM | Mar 4 2023 17:33 utc | 8

@6 I agree it's pretty crazy how the Ukrainians are being forced to death by the satanic pedo elites of the west, all putin is trying to do is protect his people from those satanists and he is made to look bac because of it. Once this war is over all the western leaders will be trialed at the Hague for their crimes against humanity.

Posted by: Wappius Maximus | Mar 4 2023 17:36 utc | 9

Posted by: catdog | Mar 4 2023 17:15 utc | 5

I recall seeing reports that UAF had used up 5 of their best Nato trained brigades to defend Bakhmut and they got severely mauled if not destroyed, during this year. While it's geographically important, at least as important was that fact.

Just now in the final week or two, they rotated some of those "best" units out and terror defense in.

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 4 2023 17:53 utc | 10

thanks b to keep us up to date. It is likely the truth because western media don`t talk to much about Bakhmut - what is a sign for "things went down the pipe there". And if anyone talks about, there is total confusion if Bakhmut is very important or less.

@catdog wrote : Despite reinforcing Bakhmut for no gain, at least they didn't commit their new bradleys, strykers and leopards.

If I`m not wrong, the Ukros didn`t received a lot of those? Or even a few ones? So what can 5 Leopard do in Bakhmut against a overwhelming russian artillery which much longer artillery range, hundreds of manpads, drones and at least fighting helicopters and jets? For my opinion, they won`t survive the first day. And then, Russia would show the burning wrecks to the world.
That would be a coffin nail for western support, which is at the brink of being shutdown. May be, the German dog - eh - cancellor Scholz is at urgent visit in Washington to accept new orders for slowing down the war.

Posted by: ableman | Mar 4 2023 17:57 utc | 11

Regardless of the strategic value, as long as it can hit the other side's resources, it is valuable.

Posted by: Colin | Mar 4 2023 17:58 utc | 12

Prigozine already told in his own way that the humanitarian corridor to exit Bakhmut is open and the AFU can use it to save their lives.

The offer is likely to expire in 7-10 days.

Posted by: W | Mar 4 2023 17:11 utc | 3

I saw a vid of him yesterday, flanked by 2 16 year old boys on his right & an old man on his left, begging Elensky to please let their conscripts retreat.

They don't want to be forced to kill untrained, defenseless kids & old men.

The 'elite' Ukes already left & blew up bridges behind them; the conscripts left behind to "buy them time."

Posted by: Mary | Mar 4 2023 17:59 utc | 13

Posted by: ableman | Mar 4 2023 17:57 utc | 11

I'm not saying that a Leopard or Bradley is any better than the T-72s or BMPs that Ukraine already has, it's just a potential easy watermark for judging how fast they're committing new equipment to the front. Since the new weapons weren't immediately committed it means that the AFU is not quite on its last leg, and they may even be successfully segregating a new army for their hyped counteroffensive.

Posted by: catdog | Mar 4 2023 18:05 utc | 14

Accounts of the fighting indicate Ukraine losing one to three tanks a day. The elusive new Western tanks are going to have a mighty big hole to fill.

Posted by: Pancho Plail | Mar 4 2023 18:05 utc | 15

Posted by: Pancho Plail | Mar 4 2023 18:05 utc | 15

Jihadi Julian posted today saying that Ukraine has received 90 modernized T-72s from the Czechs. If true then the Czechs alone have done more for the AFU than all of the nations whining about sending a few leopards.

Posted by: catdog | Mar 4 2023 18:09 utc | 16

The tide seems to be turning in Russia's favour. Since the beginning of February numerous pundits and other interested parties have been trashing the neocon fantasy. I try to catch DW Conflict Zone when I see it in the TV guide. I nearly fell off my chair when the guide said Tim Sebastian asks Katerina Barley, an EU Parliament VP, if the EU is sincere about helping Ukraine win?

And he did ask that. And Katerina was VERY unconvincing. My rating of the interview: Seriously depressing comedy.

The day approaches when Zelenski will have no choice but to grab a mic and perform a tearful rendition of the Impalas 1959 hit song - I Ran All The Way Home, Just To Say I'm SORRY.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 4 2023 18:09 utc | 17

Military Watch Magazine had an article on Bakhmut.

" One of the latest such reports came from Konstantin Goncharov, a former Deutsche Welle journalist from Kiev who joined the military when the war began. Speaking to the German state outlet on February 28 after time on the frontlines he provided valuable insight into the state of affairs, recalling: “In Bakhmut of course its just a meat grinder. Many recruits who go there [pause] its a lottery for their lives.” He further elaborated that the “intensity of fighting and artillery shelling was colossal, even the people who lived through parts of the hybrid war from 2014 in the Donbas,” stressing that Bakhmut in particular saw Russian firepower used on an entirely different scale. “Meat grinder” has very commonly been used to describe the experience of the battles around Bakhmut for Ukrainian forces, and refers to massed deployments of numerous ground units, usually infantry, to capitalise on their numbers but in the knowledge that extreme casualties, far greater than the adversary can expect to face, are highly likely"
"The Russian Military has reportedly focused on maximising Ukrainian military losses rather than taking territory. Former senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Defence U.S. Army Colonel (ret.) Douglas McGregor, reported accordingly that “the Russians went over to a defensive posture, and they have ground away at the Ukrainians who poured tens of thousands of soldiers into their meat grinder. The Russians have taken very light casualties compared to the Ukrainians, and the Ukrainians have lost most of their capable forces and capable manpower."

The meatgrinder in Bakhmut has been relatively one-sided, contrary to what western MSM has claimed.

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 4 2023 18:17 utc | 18

B. ‘falling’ ? - you musta meant to write ‘Liberated’

Posted by: Exile | Mar 4 2023 18:22 utc | 19

So the "elite" units left the city leaving behind children and old men. Hurrah, the best troops have been preserved. Those elites, Poles and mercenaries, US and UK, have seen a lot of dying by now. Every last one of them has PTSD. They are all overdosed on amphetamines, losing health. And they have seen how much their command cares about them. They also know they have been defeated by a second string irregular force. Wagner might be best in Hell, everyone knows they have not yet faced the Russian Army.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 4 2023 18:24 utc | 20

⚡️🇷🇺🇺🇦⚔️ Boris Rozhin on the Situation in and around #Artyomovsk (#Bakhmut) in the Evening of 4 Feb 2023; pub. 20:29⚡️

🔹 Based on the enemy's actions today, we can say that the enemy is not only pulling some units out of #Artyomovsk, but is also preparing for a gradual withdrawal to the western parts of the city (hence the undermining of the remaining bridges).

🔹 The reserves transferred to Chasov Yar are used for counterattacks at #Krasnoye and towards #Kleshchiyevka to regain partial control of the Chasov Yar - #Krasnoye #Artyomovsk road.
➖ At the same time, retaining control over #Khromovo and #Bogdanovka enables the AFU to retreat in small groups, which is important as the defence line in the city itself shrinks.

🔹 The fact that this line of conduct would be used by the enemy was pointed out back in October when plans for the defence of #Artyomovsk were discussed.

🔹 The success of these actions by the enemy depends on holding #Bogdanovka, #Khromovo and #Krasnoye, the loss of even one of these three settlements would be a disaster for those AFU forces that remain to the east of them. Therefore he will not surrender them without a fight.

🔹 The mechanized reserve concentrated near Chasov Yar acts as an "insurance" and "fire brigade" in case events accelerate and a terminal scenario threatens the AFU forces in #Artyomovsk.

Posted by: Down South | Mar 4 2023 18:25 utc | 21

Posted by: Down South | Mar 4 2023 18:25 utc | 21

4 Feb 2023

Just a mistake by the author. Should be Mar

Posted by: Down South | Mar 4 2023 18:28 utc | 22

The meatgrinder in Bakhmut has been relatively one-sided, contrary to what western MSM has claimed.

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 4 2023 18:17 utc | 18

I find it striking to see a country (Ukraine) disadvantaged in population, economy, education, government, in every way; yet throwing away what it has in a profligate manner in this war. Had George Washington fought this way, we would still be British. Balls out all the way is not a plan.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 4 2023 18:29 utc | 23

AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎@AZgeopolitics

🇷🇺🇩🇪🇮🇳Differences in how German and Russian Foreign Ministers Annalena Baerbock and Sergey Lavrov were met in India.

Posted by: Down South | Mar 4 2023 18:30 utc | 24

"Ukraine may soon lose Bakhmut as Russian troops seek to claim 1st major 'victory' - India Today - Mar 2, 2023"

Dishonest reporting and crass imbecility is not limited to the West. 1st major victory indeed. I suppose the India Today's reporter and editors were not born when Mariupol fell.

Posted by: Steve | Mar 4 2023 18:35 utc | 25

@ Down South...that's pretty good. Lavrov is the boss of every room he walks into.

Posted by: chunga | Mar 4 2023 18:36 utc | 26

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 4 2023 18:09 utc | 17

As a South Park fan, I believe the SORRY wold be along these lines (sorry utub):

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Mar 4 2023 18:39 utc | 27

I believe that a big part of why Ruskies advance at such measured pace is they have to be careful not to become extended and vulnerable to a very large counter attack which it is expected the Ukers are are preparing z the reason for throwing the unprepared to the front.

I am surprised there is not mass surrender, suspect they threaten family of conscripts.

Suspect that the longer this continues, the more wealthy becomes Zelensky.

Posted by: jared | Mar 4 2023 18:40 utc | 28

Less 10%, I imagine.

Posted by: jared | Mar 4 2023 18:43 utc | 29

Posted by: jared | Mar 4 2023 18:40 utc | 28

The Leopard tanks are out there, lurking, for an opportune moment of over-extension and counter-attack, for sure.

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 4 2023 18:43 utc | 30

Ukrainian channels complain that the Russian Aerospace Forces have begun to use UPAB-1500V (index K029B) gliding bombs weighing 1500 kg at Ukrainian military and dual-use infrastructure facilities.

Presumably, the first use of these munitions was recorded several weeks ago against one of the facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Chernihiv region.

The UPAB-1500V was first demonstrated at one of the exhibitions in 2019 and is designed to destroy highly protected objects at a distance of up to 40 km (dropping from heights of at least 14 km).

Posted by: Down South | Mar 4 2023 18:45 utc | 31

@ Pancho Plail | Mar 4 2023 18:05 utc | 15

AFU has been carefully holding back, husbanding its last few remaining MBTs/IFVs/APCs since late December. The average loss rate over the last 373 days has been 21.8 AFVs per day, that's ~5-6 MBTs & ~15-16 IFVs/APCs every 24 hours.

The elusive imaginary tanks are down to ~62 Leopard IIs, ~88 Leopard Is & 40 French AMX-10-RC heavy armored cars(AC). Of those only ~14, 1 Coy of Leo IIs will likely arrive anytime soon, the Leo Is will be delivered piecemeal along with the AMX-10-RC ACs. The Leo Is & AMCs being little better than extremely vulnerable obsolete Light Tanks & ACs in 2023. The Poles seem intent on keeping their refurbished T-72s (T-91s) for a possible gambit OP in western Ukraine and the promised 90 Czech T-72s are coming, one day, 'supposedly' rumored ~20 already in Ukraine.

So all up about enough to last re daily losses, higher rate when deployed in larger numbers (Target rich environment), oh somewhere between ~20 & ~40 days ... quite probably dramatically less if deployed offensively/suicidally en mass, as is AFU past 'offensive' practice. Then the cupboard is bare excluding follow-on dribs & drabs. Anyway, not much prospect of seeing 'em in significant numbers (Company size(14) or larger) til late Mar, early April, then they go ... big-bada-boom.

Zero defense against attack drones, loitering munitions, RF Attack Helos or RuAF Fast Mover CAS, just for starters. Their rapid destruction will be high priority tasking by any & all available means given the significant propaganda/morale value.

They'll burn just as quickly if not more so than the current daily loss rate, given they're drawn from refurbished derelict reserve war stocks, with unskilled, inexperienced, unfamiliar & incohesive crews.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 4 2023 18:49 utc | 32

@ Posted by: unimperator | Mar 4 2023 18:43 utc | 30

West badly in need of P/R victory of some sort. They will get one, then Russia will crush them. I expect.

On the upside: Never has widescale depravity been so thoughly documented. I expect history books to be revised. Although it scarcely measures up to what Flemming reports about WW#1

Posted by: jared | Mar 4 2023 18:52 utc | 33

The problem of "free stuff" is that you take it for granted and don't value it. Free weapons and free soldiers and free money are easily spent.

Posted by: Vikichka | Mar 4 2023 18:53 utc | 34


You forgot to add in the THOUSANDS of tanks Kiev captured from the Roosians. All summer our best media told us that Kiev had Caputured so many Roosian tanks, they didn’t know where to put them.


Posted by: Exile | Mar 4 2023 18:55 utc | 35

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 4 2023 18:49 utc | 32

If this is true, and the Ukrainians must know it - what could they possible think that their path to victory is? As recently as yesterday they were still claiming that it is impossible to negotiate with Russia. Nuland is even talking about taking Crimea.

Posted by: catdog | Mar 4 2023 18:59 utc | 36

@ Exile | Mar 4 2023 18:55 utc | 35

The various Ukie ones they abandoned and then managed to recover now and then falsely claiming they were Roosian MBTs/IFVs ?
Roosian ? Is that somewhere near the Maldives ? ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 4 2023 18:59 utc | 37

Important news with regard to the UA president moving his residence from Kiev to Lvov

"Zelensky has moved his residence away from the Donbass - he has been holding official meetings in Lviv for days. Here, today, he is hosting a legal forum, to which even the US Attorney General has come.

For the first time in recent years, Zelensky does not mention Artyomovsk in his speech, and this is a sure sign that the city has already said goodbye. As with those who are still trying to defend him.

"Every person matter. That is, any person matters. Every human life is important to us. Glory to all the great people who defend Ukraine. Both on the legal front and in battle," Zelensky continues to convince Ukrainians to die for the interests of the West.

At the palace of the Polish princes Potocki, Zelensky, accompanied by romantic music, kisses the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.

And he tells her that Ukraine would like to join the European Union this year. Perhaps, only the western part of the country is meant - by joining Poland. There, the Central Bank is already preparing coins with the image of the Lviv City Hall for minting, and Polish farmers are exporting Ukrainian black soil, and these cubic meters immediately become European."

Posted by: Oblomovka daydream | Mar 4 2023 19:01 utc | 38

The Ukrainian army was defeated by a PRIVATE ARMY in Artyomovsk. This is a big humiliation for Ukraine and NATO.

The old men and children that comprise most of the Ukraine army can not slow Russia down.

It'time for Ukraine to admit defeat.

It's time for the dumb and cowardly Ukrainian public to plead for forgiveness for allowing their government to kill Donetsk civilians for 8 years.


Posted by: Anton Gorbatow | Mar 4 2023 19:04 utc | 39

Russia could hand over captured Ukrainian soldiers of the Hungarian minority to Hungary.

Posted by: Passerby | Mar 4 2023 19:12 utc | 40

🇷🇺🇩🇪🇮🇳Differences in how German and Russian Foreign Ministers Annalena Baerbock and Sergey Lavrov were met in India.
Posted by: Down South | Mar 4 2023 18:30 utc | 24

Pity they cut the scene with world leader Baerbock tottering to the taxi booth in the front of the airport, flagging down a cab to take her to the hotel ....

Posted by: Marvin | Mar 4 2023 19:16 utc | 41

Vikichka @34--

The Outlaw US Empire never gives anything away gratis. You can bet there's a list of absolutely everything supplied to Ukraine that will later be presented as the bill to be paid. The reason I advocate for the disappearance of Ukraine is to make the Empire swallow that bill or to try and saddle its NATO flunkies with it as it's done in every past war.


I see the BBC is way behind in knowing what Russia's strategic goals are as they've changed over the past year. All Novorossiya is to be liberated and the lands beyond cleared of all weapons systems capable of reaching Russian lands. And with the increasing range of drones and already emplaced missiles, the area to be cleared goes well beyond the current borders of the artificial Ukraine entity and includes the Baltics, Poland, and Romania. That's the reality the Outlaw US Empire/NATO has made for itself through its war on Russia, but few seem to realize that fact which comes from a series of statements made by Team Putin, which was made even more determined by the terrorist attacks of the past several days.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 4 2023 19:20 utc | 42

How serious a defeat for Ukraine in Bakhmut depends on how many soldiers get captured in an encirclement. Still, it doesn't seem good for Russia to need seven months of devastating fighting to take one small town. Bakhmut could be an Alamo for Russia.

Posted by: Anton Gorbatow | Mar 4 2023 19:04 utc | 39

The Ukrainian army was defeated by a PRIVATE ARMY in Artyomovsk.

So now it's shameful to be in a "private army" like Wagner?...

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Mar 4 2023 19:21 utc | 43

So many UAF strongholds have fallen this past year, some taking many months to crack. For the last 9 years the UAF have dug in, fortified, solidified and camouflaged their mighty defenses and I'm sure they felt pretty good about their chances to hold. But in just a few months many of these first line defenses are gone, violently taken from them and pushed the remaining forces a lightly fortified defensive line that will likely be overrun in weeks. In Zelensky's videos you see commanders and tough looking soldiers waving their weapons but all Proghozin sees are scared little kids and older, sullen-looking grandpas.

Posted by: sane | Mar 4 2023 19:23 utc | 44

Posted by: catdog | Mar 4 2023 18:59 utc | 36

The author of that article, Stephen Bryen, is a complete tool of the MIC. I wouldn't place a shred of confidence in anything he's written.

Posted by: One Too Many | Mar 4 2023 19:23 utc | 45

why do you trust Russian reports? They are war party and provide no evidence for their numbers.

Posted by: Why trust | Mar 4 2023 19:24 utc | 46

@24 Down South

I was looking at that yesterday and had a good chuckle over it. Lavrov is IMO a little more respect from others these days mainly because the European and US leaders/foreign ministers are looking and acting so clownish and weasel-ish every single day.

Posted by: sane | Mar 4 2023 19:26 utc | 47

@ catdog | Mar 4 2023 18:59 utc | 36

Path to victory ?

They are fully cognizant, just as US/NATO leadership has come to reluctantly realize & accept since Nov/Dec '22 they cannot be victorious on the battlefield. Best case, they can limit/reduce the onerous terms they will be presented re surrender. Think 'Downfall', enjoying the best of the last days in the bunker ...

Potential for criminal use of lethal chemical weapons in a desperate one off OP, yet that would not change the outcome and engender a brutal retaliatory response. Zee WWII Nazi's never even went that far ...

There is essentially zero prospect, given current forces & resources available, of an AFU successful offensive Breaching/Breakthrough OP re RF defenses/forces into & thence Penetrating/Exploiting through Kherson Oblast, even to just reach the Crimean Oblast boundary line. Crimea can be minimally harassed, yet not taken by AFU ground forces in current Situ.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 4 2023 19:27 utc | 48

@46 whytrust
Why not buddy? Everything is mostly going their way with Wagner, Chechens, LPR/DPR militia and Russian military looking awfully GOOD out there. Everything well almost everything is falling in their laps thanks to the decent organization and strategic planning that's good enough! The UAF is actually helping bring the message home to Russian folks with their goofy forays into Russian territory that actually continues to piss the Russian people OFF!!

There is little need to lie or misrepresent anything really. If they are then just take away 10% of their victories.

Posted by: sane | Mar 4 2023 19:35 utc | 49

Inkan 1969 43, I,of course, do not think it's shameful to be in a private army like Wagner. I was pointing out that Russia was able to liberate Artyemovsk without having to use their soldiers.

Posted by: Anton Gorbatow | Mar 4 2023 19:39 utc | 50

Would you be a quisling to your country just to get a mansion in Miami?
Posted by: S Brennan | Mar 4 2023 17:30 utc | 6

Hi S Brennan, I don't think the question works like that. If it did then the obvious answer (for most people I would think) would be an emphatic NO!

What I suspect happens is that when everything is sweet and nice they get a little here, a little there and in their mind there is no harm done. After all its only a "small" bribe or a "minor" indiscretion. Later on they get a little something in their bank balance and a little something for the ego as a thank you for playing the game. And everyone smiles.

They can now rationalise it as no big deal as everyone else is doing it.

Then there comes a point when the winds change and they begin to recognise that they are in too deep. That the hand which was giving out the favours is now demanding some action and the smile is gone. And its now much too late to back out and live. Previously, they probably weren't too concerned about what the hand was connected to as long as the gifts inherent in their position kept coming, but now with the changed winds the mask has slipped and they now begin to realise what the hand is really connected to.

Now couple that with the wanton depravity and total barbarity on display and you know its not just their life on the line but that of their entire family, young, old, men women and children. Everybody.

According to reports Zelensky ran for election on a platform of peace with Russia, and wanted to actually implement the Minsk accords but was told in no uncertain terms not to.

He is now where he is, caught between a rock and a hard place. Does he truly think that Ukraine will win with a few more tanks? a few more planes? a few more bodies on the front line? One thing for sure is he cannot run for cover without the say so of certain Washingtonians. If he does then where does he go? And will he be safe from any negative karma from the people left behind in Ukraine? So even if he does get the go ahead to run from Washington he will also need it from the Ukrainians as well.

A rock, a hard place and zero sympathy.

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Mar 4 2023 19:45 utc | 51

why do you trust Russian reports? They are war party and provide no evidence for their numbers.

Posted by: Why trust | Mar 4 2023 19:24 utc | 46

If you have evidence that disproves their numbers I’m sure many of us here would like to see it.

Marks from troll-school: Low effort 1/10, must try harder

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 4 2023 19:46 utc | 52

It is reported that Wagner is near a meat processing plant in Bakhmut. Kind of ironic, given the meat grinder metaphor.

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 4 2023 19:50 utc | 53

"left with only two options: surrender or die"

My guess is that the option will be the latter, aiming to inflict as much damage as possible in the process.

Posted by: PASTA PASTA PASTA | Mar 4 2023 19:51 utc | 54

Balls out all the way is not a plan.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 4 2023 18:29 utc | 23

True, but that can only be said when you have total control of your own balls, when you look down and someone else has your balls firmly in their grasp I think the tendency is to do what they say...

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Mar 4 2023 19:56 utc | 55

1000 hryvnia for reporting a dodger: residents of Odessa are called to help gravediggers 

The military committee of Odessa has come up with a solution to look for mobilization evaders with the help of a peculiar referral program. Citizens are invited to "surrender" men who evade conscription, for which they are promised a reward of 1 thousand hryvnia for each potential conscript. It is not known at whose expense this initiative will be financed.

Posted by: Down South | Mar 4 2023 20:01 utc | 56

Suspect that the longer this continues, the more wealthy becomes Zelensky.

Posted by: jared | Mar 4 2023 18:40 utc | 28

I really don’t think he’ll live to enjoy the bulk of the cash. Once he’s no longer useful he’ll be toast. He knows too much.

Posted by: PalmaSailor | Mar 4 2023 20:03 utc | 57

❗️Battle for Bakhmut
situation by the end of March 4, 2023

🔻 Fierce fighting continues in Bakhmut and its environs. Assault detachments of the Wagner PMC, with the support of the regular Army of the RF Armed Forces, are pushing through the defense of the Ukrainian group.

▪️Over the past day, control has been established over 20 strongholds of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in various areas. The "Wagnerites" advanced in the directions to Bogdanovka, Khromovo, in the areas of Ilyinovka, Sobachevka and Budenovka in Bakhmut.

▪️Since yesterday, the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Bakhmut began a partial withdrawal of forces from the city along the country roads between Khromovo and Krasny - the road from Khromovo to Chasov Yar is under the full fire control of Russian units.

▪️ At night, when trying to withdraw from Krasnoye, two groups from various formations were destroyed, including 24, 54, 110 Ombre, 81 oambr DShV and 113 abr troop of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Losses amounted to 26 killed and 64 wounded.

▪️Now the Ukrainian command of the forces of the 93rd mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with the support of the SSO detachments of Ukraine, on the sections of the routes to Chasy Yar and Konstantinovka, is conducting counterattacks to contain the Wagnerites and gain time.

🔻The Armed Forces of Ukraine are withdrawing forces from the central and western regions of Bakhmut. At the moment, the most combat-ready formations are withdrawing from the combat zone.

At the same time, while individual units are resisting and conducting sorties, creating a corridor for the withdrawal of troops under the blows of artillery and aircraft of the Russian troops.

These efforts are only intended to buy time and delay the Russian units as much as possible. The battle for Bakhmut is close to its end.


Posted by: Down South | Mar 4 2023 20:04 utc | 58

Hi found this link over at Larry Johnson’s blog :

Not sure how plausible it is, but the source seems credible, not like the usual BS we get from the UK or the US media.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 4 2023 20:05 utc | 59

I think it was yesterday that Prigozhin did a little PR show with captured Ukrainian soldiers parading 1 old and 2 children that in the US would be unable to buy alcohol because of being underage. The 3 of them had surrendered and pleaded to the actor posing as president to send an order so their comrades can retreat from Bakhmut. Whether the actor (or his handlers) gives the order or not, when Bakhmut is fully encircled I hope for the belligerent troops that they surrender given there won't be a second Azovstal. In Soledar there were no week long negotiations and the Ukrainian soldiers unwilling to surrender were swiftly eliminated without hesitation by Prigozhin's troops.

Posted by: xor | Mar 4 2023 20:07 utc | 60

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Mar 4 2023 19:45 utc | 51

It has become apparent that the plan is to cordon off "west Ukraine" from the rest of Ukraine, join it to EU and become a Polish protectorate. Zelensky today demanded that EU handle Ukraine's application to join EU this year.

That also explains why the Ukraine mobilization has first and foremost taken place in the east and central Ukraine. The population is considered expendable.

When it comes to mineral resources, the real prize for US is the titanium resources, which are around the immediate vicinity of Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporizhe. It's doubtful Blackrock or US entities will ever get their hands on those resources. As such, the rump west Ukraine would most likely become a major net drain for EU, and also competitive with Poland for EU subsidies, and also for Southern European subsidies. This could cause major friction inside EU, as it slumps into a major economic crisis.

As for Zelensky himself, he could end up having an "Epstein incident". Whether it will be a fake incident and he will end up in a villa in the coast of Israel with another identity or real incident can be left for the reader's imagination. He might not be safe in his Miami villa for any extended period of time just living with Zelensky identity.

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 4 2023 20:07 utc | 61

Neocons, Nato, EU et al. ought to be introduced to the concept of "Stop Loss".

Billions have been invested into the Ukraine project, from companies like Bayer-Monsanto looking to steal Russia' agri business, to the more obvious sponsors of warmongering think tanks, the MIC usual suspects etc.

At some point, even the dumbest investor ought to understand that making the guy on the other side of your bet bleed is not gonna give you any return on your investment, if you bet wrong.

Lose-lose is precisely why 3/4 of the world is going with win-win.

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 4 2023 20:11 utc | 62

Civilized Ukrainians always think about hygiene, even retreating from Bakhmut:

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 4 2023 20:14 utc | 63

I should think that if Ukrainian soldiers decide to surrender, they will do so as entire units, not as individuals or small groups of people making the decision to surrender on their own initiative. The leaders of their units will make the decision in order to save as many soldiers under their command as possible, at much personal risk from being executed by Nazis embedded in their units.

One might assume that someone leading a unit of teenage conscripts would decide to surrender to the Russians. A unit staffed mostly by pensioners or prisoners might decide differently.

After the fall of Bakhmut, or when the Ukrainian army collapses and Zelensky either goes into exile or presides over the carve-up of Ukraine, the US and NATO are likely to conduct terrorist campaigns in Crimea and other parts of Russia perceived to be vulnerable, such as poorer areas or potentially unstable regions along borders with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Moscow needs to be prepared for terrorist activities and also sudden separatist movements in its border regions. The example of Xinjiang in Western China as a focus of US-sponsored regime change activity through exploiting Uyghur separatism should be of interest and concern to Russia.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 4 2023 20:16 utc | 64

Unimperator @ 61:

The safest and most dignified future for Zelensky would be a life sentence in a Russian prison in a remote part of Siberia where he can help dig ditches for water and sewage pipes for remote villages. At least he wouldn't have to look over his shoulder in case a CIA or MI6 spook was coming from behind to kill him.

What would he be doing in Miami in exile, apart from buying and selling luxury real estate or making seedy porn films?

Posted by: Jen | Mar 4 2023 20:25 utc | 65

@Wappius Maximus | Mar 4 2023 17:36 utc | 9

Once this war is over all the western leaders will be trialed at the Hague for their crimes against humanity.
The Hague? You must be an optimist.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 4 2023 20:39 utc | 66

Posted by: Jen | Mar 4 2023 20:25 utc | 65

At least he wouldn't have to look over his shoulder in case a CIA or MI6 spook was coming from behind to kill him.

It’s likely to be someone a lot closer to him than that. Bodyguard, close friend, wife… something like that.

Posted by: PalmaSailor | Mar 4 2023 20:40 utc | 67

🇺🇦 Members of Armed Forces of Ukraine complain to their pan Zelensky about situation in Bakhmut

He says that their unit, consisting of 60% mobilized, was sent to reinforce Bakhmut. There they were thrown into assault without preparation and fire support, they suffered heavy losses.

Complaints are ignored by their command. The unit commander was still changed, but it only got worse. After refusing to comply with inadequate orders, they want to write them off as deserters. In the end, Starlink was cut off for them, and they can’t even get in touch with their loved ones.

Video in link in in Russian without subtitles

Posted by: Down South | Mar 4 2023 20:44 utc | 68

@ PalmaSailor | Mar 4 2023 20:40 utc | 67

The traditional SOP is for Empire to provide/impose his personal protective security detail very early on so he becomes familiar & dependent upon them. Useful for personal close surveillance & monitoring as well. Ex-SF/SpecOps/Mercs who know who butters their bread. Once Empires done with him his personal security detail unobtrusively executes a vanishing act. Suddenly lost & all alone ...


Posted by: Outraged | Mar 4 2023 20:53 utc | 69

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 4 2023 19:20 utc | 42

The whole point of "free stuff" is that someone else is paying the bill. Ukraine won't be paying the bill. If Ukraine wins, then Russia will pay for Ukraine. If Ukraine loses, then Russia will pay for Ukraine.

Posted by: Vikichka | Mar 4 2023 20:58 utc | 70

As funny and unimportant it may sound: I wonder what will happen - or has already happened - to the 50 million bottles ( according to this article of sparkling wine in Bakhmut.

If you go to just any supermarket here in Germany and grab a bottle of "Krimskoye" from the shelf, then it reads "Origin: Bakhmut, Ukraine" on the back of the bottle. At the moment they are still available everywhere. I have a bottle at home myself, which I will open as soon as Bakhmut falls. But I wonder ifI should invest a few bucks in some more bottles and whether the price will go up in the future :-)

Posted by: Helmuth von Moltke | Mar 4 2023 21:04 utc | 71

Balls out all the way is not a plan.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 4 2023 18:29 utc | 23

True, but that can only be said when you have total control of your own balls, when you look down and someone else has your balls firmly in their grasp I think the tendency is to do what they say...

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Mar 4 2023 19:56 utc | 55

It's still not a plan.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 4 2023 21:05 utc | 72

Prigozhin on his channel today confirms that the war should last another two or three years, in order to end the menace of Ukrainian nazi's for once and all. Medvedev sounds much the same. Tolstoj (greatgrandson of) also mentioned going to Kiev and Odessa. So, the subject of the SMO will remain hot on social media for quite some time...I wonder if the trolls here will keep getting paid that long...
And let's suppose the current social media existed already in WOII: would the Russian army have "failed and dragged its feet" until it reached Berlin? Imagine the sneering until the end? Goebbels would be so envious...
Meanwhile the Reinmetal boss boasts about being able to produce 400 Panther tanks a year in Ukraine. That must be trolling, as Medvedev says, but it also shows the Nazi depravity of part of Germany, again...Alas, poor Europe!

Posted by: Anthony | Mar 4 2023 21:09 utc | 73

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 4 2023 20:07 utc | 61

... agreed ... I simply cannot see how he lives to the end of this. His life is linked to Ukraine and his position within it. The more strained Ukraine becomes the more strain bears down on him. When Ukraine falls what purpose does he serve? Will he be lauded in song as the Banderists hail him a hero? Or will they blame him for the destruction of their dream and for not getting the West to send more? Even if they do will non-Banderist Ukraine forgive him for the destruction and loss they have had to endure?

I posted this a few days ago on MoA
Kneel Down And Ask Forgiveness - Angry Ukrainians Appeal To Zelensky. Presuming it is genuine, it is stark in its vitriol and might be an indication of how Ukrainians themselves view Zelensky.

I can only watch, try to take in some of the more intelligent commentary and wait to see what happens in the wider geopolitical arena, but for Zelensky the outcome can only be grim.

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Mar 4 2023 21:22 utc | 74

If you believe that Ukraine is winning the battle, I have a safe & effective vax shot to sell you

Posted by: Rattus | Mar 4 2023 21:29 utc | 75

@S. Brennan (6) ” Would you be a quisling to your country just to get a mansion in Miami?”

Come the end of this war, I think it’s unlikely that Zelensky will survive for very long. It’s not a sure bet that he will even last to the end, as there are people inside and outside Ukraine who would love to see him dead.

Posted by: Rob | Mar 4 2023 21:35 utc | 76

Vikichka @70--

You misunderstand, there's no free anything. As with WW2's Lend/Lease, the Outlaw US Empire's holding the bill and will present it when the conflict ends--that is if there's an entity to present it to. Currently, the entity in hock is called Ukraine, but Ukraine is unlikely to exist at the end of the conflict.

As for Russia paying, yes, it already is as it rehabilitates its new/old Russian lands: Monies are allocated by the Duma and many thousands of volunteers from all over Russia have gone to help at their own expense. That latter fact is something few know of or understand the why behind the motivation, which reveals lack of knowledge of Russia and its people. How do I know those things? I investigate, discover and often share them here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 4 2023 21:36 utc | 77

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Mar 4 2023 19:45 utc | 51

Yeah. And besides, Burns already told him, "regrettably, we may not be able to proptect you" or some such line.

Posted by: Drinky Crow | Mar 4 2023 21:36 utc | 78

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 4 2023 19:20 utc | 42

"And with the increasing range of drones and already emplaced missiles, the area to be cleared goes well beyond the current borders of the artificial Ukraine entity and includes the Baltics, Poland, and Romania."

I don't think Russia will do anything militarily to "clear" the countries beyond Ukraine's borders. I suspect they will wait until the economic war has trashed the EU and the US and forced them to come to the negotiating table over those 2021 treaty proposals.

In the meantime, Russia will put a Military District in western Ukraine with a few hundred thousand Russian troops, a few thousand tanks, one or two air bases with MiG-31K's carrying Kinzhals, some Zircon and other missile sites, etc. - more than enough to restore MAD 2.0 and make the Aegis Shore installations in Poland and Romania irrelevant.

Call it the new "Ukrainian Wall."

With the overthrow of the European governments east and west, Russia will regain willing partners for the removal of those weapons eventually.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 4 2023 21:37 utc | 79

If Resident Z dies so does the trail of all those lovely billions and billions and billions.There is a mighty big price on his head.

If I were him I would consider a south facing cell in the middle of Siberia to be a better option.

Posted by: deal | Mar 4 2023 21:40 utc | 80

Anyone who overuses the words 'husband' and 'conurbation' in recent times has been watching too much Mercouris. There are better synonyms, just ask Mr. Roget.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 4 2023 21:44 utc | 81

Medvedev's been provocative on his Telegram again. This is from yesterday, emphasis original:

Western analysts have reluctantly acknowledged that when NATO specialists teach The Ukronazis how to use their military equipment, it can be seen as NATO's direct involvement in a military conflict on the side of the Ukrainian regime.

Since the 20s of the last century, there has been a well-established understanding that a country can be recognized as a participant in hostilities if, in addition to supplying weapons, it trains personnel in handling it (the Briand-Kellogg Pact of 1928, the Budapest Resolution to the Pact of 1934).

This is what is happening today: Canadian and German instructors in the EU are already teaching Ukrainian killers how to handle Leopards.

If we imagine that the NATO aircraft delivered in the future will be serviced by their military on the territory of some ragged Poland (the only possibility, given the deplorable state of the defense industry in Little Russia), this will be a direct entry of the Atlanticists into the war against Russia with all the ensuing consequences. And all decision-makers on the supply (repair) of such equipment or weapons, along with foreign mercenaries and military instructors, will have to be considered as a legitimate military target.

Apparently, this is the only thing that keeps Western infantiles from transferring high-range aircraft and weapons to Kiev drug addicts. Although it is not a fact that for a long time. The temptation to crush Russia is very great.

And yet – today's events have shown who is really supported in the United States, NATO and the EU. This is not a "freedom-loving people of Ukraine" who do not want to return to the "Moskal scoop". It's just Nazi bastards, a terrorist scum that attacks civilians by brandishing a smelly zhovto-blakit rag. Let them now be acquitted in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington.

These are your uproots, Messrs. Sunak, Macron, Scholz and Biden! And our attitude towards you is now the same as it is towards them. Now your countries are participants in the terrorist acts of the Ukrainian regime, and you are direct accomplices of terrorists.

And this from today, which is on the heels of yesterday's Security Council Meeting:

"The announcement of the construction of a tank plant in Malorossiya by the Rheinmetall concern resembles the primitive trolling of the Kiev regime. If, after all, the Fritz decide to build for real (although they are kind of pragmatic people), we look forward to it. This event will be duly marked by a salute from Kalibr and other pyrotechnic devices." [My Emphasis]

Do take note that the Kiev regime isn't Ukraine anymore but Malorossiya, clearly an indication about the correctness of my endgame prediction--No more Ukraine.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 4 2023 21:46 utc | 82

Posted by: Chris | Mar 4 2023 20:05 utc | 59

Cassad has some good info, but I suspect he's overestimating the ability of Ukraine to put together a capable offensive force. The figure of 100-150,000 troops he gives should remind people that this is all Ukraine has left out of their original 250,000, their additional 400,000 reserves, and what is it? seven or eight or ten waves of mobilization of civilians.

And 400 tanks (even counting Western MBTs)? They started out with 2,000. All gone now. Meanwhile, according to Macgregor, Russia has moved in another 1,500 to 2,000 tanks. And that's not counting, as someone mentioned above, the drones, the helicopters, the loitering munitions, and the antitank weapons, both hand-held and mobile like the Terminators.

Doesn't give one much confidence that they're going to succeed at anything except getting killed much like they did in their Kherson "offensive".

In short, nothing to be "concerned" about - so don't turn into a concern troll.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 4 2023 21:47 utc | 83

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 4 2023 21:44 utc | 81

You win the thread. :-)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 4 2023 21:48 utc | 84

RSH @79--

We shall see. IMO, the slow SMO is designed to cause economic havoc within EU due to their own hands. And do see today's revelation by Medvedev.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 4 2023 21:50 utc | 85

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 4 2023 21:48 utc | 84

Hehe... Mercouris is amazing but he is difficult to watch. I can only listen to him in the car at x2. Even then he waffles like the good barrister he once was, turning a 10 min update into 70 min water torture. Once he was reading out a RF MoD report; every time it mentioned Artyomovsk he added "which the Ukrainians call Bakhmut, and I will continue to do so while it is under Ukrainian control..." about 6 times. Every day. If he says "I can't read maps and I'm not a military expert"—and then goes on to analyse the topography and military situation in detail—one more time I'll throw my coffee at the wall.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 4 2023 21:58 utc | 86

... and at x2 god know what he's doing with his hands...

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 4 2023 22:00 utc | 87

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 4 2023 20:53 utc | 69

I was just guessing, thanks for the confirmation, it has to be something like that.

There’s no way he’s anything but a huge liability in the medium term.

Posted by: PalmaSailor | Mar 4 2023 22:07 utc | 88

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 4 2023 18:43 utc | 30

‘The Leopard tanks are out there, lurking, for an opportune moment of over-extension’. Thought for a moment you were writing about the likely fate of the hands and arms of some of the barely-trained Ukrainian loaders.

Posted by: Milites | Mar 4 2023 22:13 utc | 89

The Ukranazistani "soldiers" still in Artëmovsk are Volkssturm- like the old man and two boys Prigozhin appeared on video with. Elensky is cynical enough to push conscripts with no training to die for him while removing his experienced troops (and the fully nazi units) to dig in at Chasov Yar. When Chasov Yar is about to fall he'll do exactly the same thing, pulling back the nazis to the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk fortified line. This will go on until there are no conscripts left to get killed.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Mar 4 2023 22:28 utc | 90


Escobar has a new column at The Cradle, "The Valdai meeting: Where West Asia meets multipolarity", reviewing West Asian happenings, which are considerable. I'd be remiss not to link to his recent SCF report about a roundtable discussion he attended in Istanbul before going to Moscow, "Seismic Diplomacy: Erdogan and the Aftermath of the Turkish Earthquakes". Perhaps the most important admission from the Valdai Club meeting is this and show the degree of the challenge still to come:

"Cagri Erhan, rector of Altinbas University in Turkey, offered a quite handy definition of a Hegemon: the one who controls the lingua franca, the currency, the legal setting, and the trade routes."

The trade routes are already changing, with the currency and legal setting to follow as they're linked. Last and hardest will be the lingua franca. Perhaps by 2050 if we make it that far we'll have AI-powered universal translators that will eliminate dominant language forever.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 4 2023 22:30 utc | 91

"AP releases this footage reportedly showing the Kharkov reserves being re-deployed to secure the Konstantinovka-Bakhmut road (further corroborating the hypothesis that Ukraine has given up on the major Kharkov offense it had supposedly planned)"

UAF reserve and stuff from Kharkov oblast moving to Bakhmut-Konstantinovka road, also T-64 tanks according to video if it's true.

Just watched Military Summary, as soon as Bakhmut is taken fully, the Russian front line currently running around Bakhmut will decrease from around 25km to 5km, enabling to again focus a lot more stuff on a smaller part of front. It should provide another opportunity to eliminate more UAF reserves with more overwhelming force, well we'll see.

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 4 2023 22:39 utc | 92

Mercouris speculates that if it is true that the AUK is blowing up bridges in Bakhmut, it may be to prevent soldiers from deserting. Thoughts?

Posted by: dadooronron | Mar 4 2023 22:44 utc | 93

The blob/arseholes/greedies/elite want a heart-rending alleged slaughter of old men & boys in Artyomovsk, that is why they have been sent there while the remnants of the trained forces have been pulled out. The next best thing to a loud over-hyped victory that rallies the credulous throughout the west, is a pathos-ridden, 'what beasts those Russians are ' alleged massacre of old, defenceless & young, innocent victims, plus it doesn't cost SFA in terms of resources, the old buggers are past their prime & therefore no use to the empire and the kids are so young that it is likely this conflict will be over before they will be old enough to be trained fighters.
One just has to consider the generations of idiots in the west raised on stories of how 'Stalin' slaughtered poles in 1939 & 40, never-mind all the atrocities were committed by nazis, when the tales of them surfaced in public after ww2, the blob wasn't gonna waste all those emotions of frustration, pain & anger on nazis, they were beaten plus many were working for 'us' now; the obvious use for them was to get compliant media to run horseshit yarns about these crimes had been carried out by commies so that those emotions get focussed on the USSR.
What we are seeing in Artyomovsk is the second generation of this horseshit where the horror scenes are created via 'stage direction'.
The horror in this is that it will work and probably be the first of many before the inevitable defeat of ukraine which will become a half-arsed nation with a 2:1 ratio of female to male citizens and an unpayable foreign debt which will keep Ukies enslaved for many generations.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 4 2023 22:46 utc | 94

why do you trust Russian reports?
Posted by: Why trust | Mar 4 2023 19:24 utc | 46

The day V. V. Putin plays piano with his p***s he loses my trust, too.

Posted by: Passerby | Mar 4 2023 22:49 utc | 95

Wappius Maximus #9

Once this war is over all the western leaders will be trialed at the Hague for their crimes against humanity.

I am not convinced the Hague is a worthy tribunal these days.

Perhaps an international crimes tribunal could be established in Damascus, Beijing, Hanoi, Saint Petersburg? Preferably not in europe, certainly not in The Hague or with any connection to the Dutch 'legal system' as they have cursed our planet for too many centuries.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 4 2023 22:52 utc | 96

Jen #65

Speculations on Zelensky and his fate

What would he be doing in Miami in exile, apart from buying and selling luxury real estate or making seedy porn films?

For the rest of his days in Miami or Tel Aviv he will be expecting a visit from and englander with MI6 breeding to deliver a line of novichok for his last act of service to the west. They will do whatever it takes to perpetuate Russia hatred.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 4 2023 23:01 utc | 97

"Yes, bahkmut us the key stone by any measure."

Actually, as the Wehrmacht and Soviets discovered in 1941-42, Slaviansk is the ultimate key hinge locus joining the upper Donets front to Kharkov, and the lower Donets front/Donbas. But yes, Bakhmut is the first critical step towards Slaviansk and you can be sure the Russians understand this perfectly as they slowly and patiently grind towards this summit in the Donbas.

When Slaviansk falls it is all over for the Ukronazis on the Ostfront, and their poor press-ganged and/or indoctrinated infantry. It's all very sad and predictable, a veritable Untergang, for the "Leader" in Kiev and all his Gauleiters in their bunkers. The Wunderwaffe are not going to help, and the Volksturm all know it is soon over as well. It's pathetic and grotesque, and incredibly tragic for the mislead manipulated Ukrainians. The sooner this is over the better I am sure all would agree.

As Mark Twain said, "History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme."

Posted by: DR-Montreal | Mar 4 2023 23:16 utc | 98

Although written ten and six years ago respectively, and from a US perspective, they are useful articles in highlighting how high-tech armies, facing PGM’s and their concomitant IRS networks, lead to adaptations of the ‘modern system’ and an ‘empty battlefield’ ; these though are two of the key features of the Russian SMO that frustrate some amateur commentators and posters, who insist that Soviet, all arms, offensives are the key to a rapid victory.

Posted by: Milites | Mar 4 2023 23:16 utc | 99

Posted by: DR-Montreal | Mar 4 2023 23:16 utc | 98

Quite right. It does indeed rhyme.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 4 2023 23:28 utc | 100

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