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April 17, 2023

Ukraine Open Thread 2023-93

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b on April 17, 2023 at 17:11 UTC | Permalink

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It seems they are trying to ensure that Russia does not over-look any of the valuable data contained in the "leak".

Pentagon leaks name date of Ukrainian counteroffensive – Newsweek

Posted by: jared | Apr 17 2023 17:14 utc | 1

Minimum, incomplete, low-ball KIA(only)(FEBA only) 490+ ... Translated:

Summary of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the progress of a special military operation (17.04.2023)

💥 On the Kupyansk direction, assault and army aviation strikes and artillery fire of the "Western" group of troops hit AFU units in the areas of Dvurechnaya, Timkovka, Tabayevka and Berestovoye settlements of Kharkiv region.

◽️ Also, the actions of three Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups were suppressed in the areas of Sinkovka, Kislovka of Kharkiv region and Stelmakhovka of Luhansk People's Republic.

◽️ The enemy's losses during the day in this direction amounted to 35 Ukrainian servicemen and an Acacia self-propelled howitzer.

◽️ In addition, Ukrainian P-18 and 36D6 all-around and targeting radar stations were destroyed near the settlement of Kupievakha, Kharkiv region.

💥 On the Krasno-Limansky direction, air strikes, artillery fire and heavy flamethrower systems of the Group of Forces (Forces) "Center" hit enemy units in the areas of Terny, Hryhorivka of the Donetsk People's Republic and Chervona Dibrova of the Luhansk People's Republic.

◽️ Over 70 Ukrainian servicemen, an armored fighting vehicle, as well as a Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer were destroyed.

💥 In the Donetsk direction, assault squads in the past 24 hours captured two blocks in the northwest and central part of Artemivsk.

◽️ Airborne troops, operational and tactical aviation, army aviation and artillery of the Southern Group of Forces supported the actions of the assault units in the area and hindered the actions of the enemy on the flanks.

◽️ Aircraft flew 22 sorties. Artillery of the Southern Group of Forces carried out 54 firing missions.

◽️ As a result of the strikes the AFU units in the areas of Bogdanivka, Chasov Yar and Konstantinovka of the Donetsk People's Republic were hit.

◽️ Total losses of the enemy during the day in this direction amounted to more than 270 Ukrainian servicemen and mercenaries, one tank, an infantry fighting vehicle, seven armored fighting vehicles and five vehicles.

💥 In the South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions, strikes by operational and tactical aircraft and army aviation and artillery fire of the Vostok Group of Forces struck enemy units in the areas of Ugledar, Velyka Novoselka of the Donetsk People's Republic, Zagornoye, Malaya Tokmachka and Kamenske of the Zaporozhye region.

◽️ The activities of a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group were suppressed near Novomikhailovka settlement of the Donetsk People's Republic.

◽️ During the day up to 60 Ukrainian servicemen, two pickup trucks and one Msta-B howitzer were destroyed in these areas.

◽️ In addition, an ammunition depot and a hangar with weapons and military equipment of the 65th AFU Mechanized Brigade were destroyed in the areas of Novodanilovka and Novoandreyevka, Zaporizhia region.

💥 In the Kherson direction, more than 55 Ukrainian servicemen, three vehicles, a US-made M777 artillery system, and Acacia and Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers were destroyed as a result of the shelling.

💥 Operational-tactical aviation, missile forces and artillery of groups of troops (forces) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation during the day hit 95 artillery units of the AFU at firing positions, manpower and equipment in 123 areas .

💥 The air defense forces intercepted three HIMARS rockets.

◽️ In addition, four Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were destroyed in the areas of Verkhnetoretske, Vasylivka, Krapivnitske of the Donetsk People's Republic and Golaya Prystan of the Kherson region.

📊 In total, since the beginning of the special military operation destroyed (losses over previous 24hrs(+?)):
407 aircraft, (Daily avg 1.0)
228 helicopters, (Daily avg 0.6)
3,764(+4) unmanned aerial vehicles, (Daily avg 9.1)
415 surface-to-air missile systems, (Daily avg 1.0)
8,699(+10) tanks and other armored combat vehicles, (Daily avg 21.1)
1,086 multiple rocket launchers, (Daily avg 2.7)
4,606(+6) field artillery and mortars, (Daily avg 11.2) and
9,552(+10) special military vehicles. (Daily avg 23.1)

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 17 2023 17:16 utc | 2

Raw video

2 months before the Pentagon were shared illegally, China blasted the U.S for surveillance abuses.


Posted by: Dave Oneil | Apr 17 2023 17:18 utc | 3

Interesting analysis of the Pentagon leak. This guy says the leak, and the explanation for it are most likely legit.

Posted by: Иван Иванович | Apr 17 2023 17:34 utc | 4

i think the leaks are just a sign of a faction dispute in Washington. we will learn more sooner or later, but they won't make any difference on the ground.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 17 2023 17:43 utc | 5

@ Иван Иванович | Apr 17 2023 17:34 utc | 4
An ex Public Relations officer. Tells a different tale in debate with Larry Johnson at Sonar21 ...

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 17 2023 17:48 utc | 6

Posted by: Иван Иванович | Apr 17 2023 17:34 utc | 4
Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 17 2023 17:43 utc | 5

For those interested, Larry Johnson raises more red flags about the “leaks” here:

Posted by: West of England Andy | Apr 17 2023 17:50 utc | 7

More Unanswered Red Flags Regarding Jack Texeira Sonar21, Larry Johnson, April162023

Several former military and intelligence professionals have contacted me and voiced similar doubts about the pat story being circulated regarding National Guard Airman Jack Texeira and the allegations that he removed TOP SECRET documents from a SCIF, photographed them and then posted them to a gamer chat. They all agree, something is not right. The media account does not make sense.

The biggest oddity are the two two separate documents from the CIA’s Operations Center. Neither are complete and both deal only with the Ukrainian/Russian war. To reiterate a point from my previous article, that CIA Operations Center produces two daily reports — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is not a “Community” product, i.e., it is not distributed to the other intelligence agencies. It is an internal CIA document (of course, it is available to the Director of National Intelligence).

Texeira’s alleged possession of two separate reports is doubly odd because he did not copy the full reports. The one dated 1 March 2023 only shows 3 of 8 pages. If he was taking the documents to impress the youngsters on the gamer chat, why did he not take the whole enchilada? And why did he only publish the portions of the intel report that dealt exclusively with Ukraine and Russia?


Posted by: Outraged | Apr 17 2023 17:55 utc | 8

Good evening Barflies,

Please, can someone post a link to the last and FULL/original Prigojin's text on telegram,

talking about "stoping the smo" (as western's media affirm), when that text seems to be titteled somthing like "no negociation"?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Tak-Tik | Apr 17 2023 18:08 utc | 9

It occurs to me that if young Jack wants to really stir things up (and maybe get a reduced sentence) he will identify whoever gave him the documents.

Posted by: dh | Apr 17 2023 18:10 utc | 10

Now, it becomes unnecessary read about how Empires declined and fell in the past. You can watch the American Empire collapse in real time.
1. Let your Elites (the new Princes) sell out your industrial base. Preferably to an enemy.
2. In lieu of incomes from real jobs, know-how and enterprise, print money for your Monied Friends. Let a pittance trickle down.
3. Let that newly conjured money jack up prices of "nothings" such as stock prices, conspicuous consumptions, and real estate.
4. Ignore the fast approaching cliff and print more money, incur more unpayable debt
5. Increase your belligerence. Dare otherwise relatively complacent nations to cross your many and obtuse Red Lines.
6. Start a war with one of the best armed Nations on the Planet, then blame them for starting it. Tell them it is them, not you that is being unreasonable.
7. Sanction yourself, deny critical elements to your declining circle of friends. Most especially, chop off the arm of one of your purported friends, just to show you can do it.

Little Boots Biden hath spoken

Posted by: kupkee | Apr 17 2023 18:11 utc | 11

"At Ugledar, the Khokhlyas suddenly decided to rehearse a counterattack.
Our Army Air Forces entered the battle and, for the first time in a long time, they used Whirlwinds to hit enemy tanks, BMPs and infantry.
In the morning we will count what and how much our troops have destroyed.
So far only aviation has killed two tanks, BMPs and a bunch of infantry, but "it's not over yet"."

"👉👉👉 Reports of fighting from across many fronts...things heating up."

"Near Ugledar, the Khokhlov sky is full of drones, and there is no shortage of shells for artillery. Aircraft of course work, but quality counter-battery warfare is one of the pillars of victory. And if the Ukrainians can now afford to hit a single soldier with artillery, it is very difficult to conduct successful offensive or active defensive operations."

"This afternoon our aviation worked intensively, leaving many inversion trails in the sky.
In the evening the enemy artillery woke up on the front line and the counter battery went off.
There was an attempt, to probe one of sites, timely, a group of 20 people was spotted, covered with artillery, finished off with mortars."

Posted by: unimperator | Apr 17 2023 18:14 utc | 12

Doc Leaker's job - the reality. Leak remains Highly Suspicious. Judge Napolitano - Judging Freedom Youtube 1m09s

Call me a Traitor? Doc Leaker Jack Teixeira is a hero. Let me explain why Judge Napolitano - Judging Freedom Youtube 1m10s

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 17 2023 18:14 utc | 13

Is Biden being Misinformed on Ukraine & China? - Ray McGovern Judge Napolitano - Judging Freedom, 4hrs ago, Youtube 22m04s

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 17 2023 18:21 utc | 14

@ 4 Иванович

Man... I disliked the guy since the few seconds. Him patting himself on the back for first correctly predicting the leaker was a "gun owner and republican" based upon seeing Glock posters on the walls in the background.. Boy what great detective work there captain obvious duh. I patiently watched the full duration thinking maybe he had something but he never addressed any of the true points indicating it is a psyop, he only addressed fake points that no one is questioning.

Posted by: NJH | Apr 17 2023 18:38 utc | 15

Von RT:"Liveticker Ukraine-Krieg: Russische Soldaten befreien Artjomowsk - psychologischer Schlag für Kiew".
Finde aber keinen Text dazu, vielleicht eine verfrühte Meldung?
Wenn real, wäre es ein ziemlicher Schlag für Kiew.

Posted by: Diego | Apr 17 2023 18:42 utc | 16

Our OP source said that MI6 is proposing to the General Staff that they replicate the experience of the "Operation Neptune" landing in Normandy, where the main effect was achieved through surprise and a massive strike in bad weather.

Given the experience of disinformation operations under the code names "Glimmer" and "Taxable", the purpose of which was to mislead the Germans about the real direction of the invasion, various variants of operations are now thrown into the network for these purposes, as well as the timing of its implementation in order to confuse the Russian special services.

British intelligence suggested creating 5 real counteroffensive plans so that no one could get information about the main attack and only at the time of implementation would a real one be presented.

Now they are discussing the option of starting a counteroffensive in rainy weather, when they will not expect a strike and landing across the entire Dnieper, this will allow them to gain the advantage of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the left bank and create a springboard for further counteroffensive.

Posted by: Down South | Apr 17 2023 18:56 utc | 17

Just in case anyone was wondering why the ex-apparatchik/gangsters in Ukraine suddenly became born again Nazis, it was because fascisy indoctrination is cheaper than paying for schools, hospitals, wages, vacations etc- all that good money could be used to buy yachts or real estate in Chelsea or Miami.

"Caracas, April 17, 2023 (—Every Ukrainian government after the collapse of the Soviet Union has accommodated neo-Nazi ideology to wash away nostalgia for the Soviet welfare state from the collective memory of its people, noted Ukrainian Communist organizer Dmitri Kovalevich in an interview with Orinoco Tribune.

“Nationalist and neo-Nazi groups were systematically made mainstream by all Ukrainian governments after the collapse of the Soviet Union; they were needed to reverse the mass nostalgia for the late-Soviet welfare state with free healthcare, education, free apartments for workers, free trips to resorts and vacation homes with very low prices for food, gas, electricity and public transport,” Kovalevich explained in response to a question on the presence of Nazi ideology in Ukraine.

"According to him, the Zelensky administration continued that trend, but took it further and “made every concession to neo-Nazi militants because they themselves feared the monster they had armed to keep them in power… Now people get prison sentences for even wearing a Soviet badge, listening to Communist songs, or wearing a T-shirt with a hammer and sickle. Most of the communists left for the rebellious republics of Donbass (where their own communist party operates), some went to Russia, and some stayed to work underground in Ukraine,” like Kovalevich himself...."

Posted by: bevin | Apr 17 2023 18:57 utc | 18

Our source in the OP said that Zelensky at the headquarters demanded from Syrsky to keep Bakhmut until the start of the counteroffensive, the Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot start an operation in a negative information field.

Zaluzhny was instructed to transfer additional units that were trained in Britain for local counterattacks near Bakhmut, and new units of the Main Intelligence Directorate and Alfa SBU will be sent to the city.

Posted by: Down South | Apr 17 2023 18:58 utc | 19


what true points should he have addressed? Mr. Johnson is insisting it is impossible for a PFC to have a TS clearance, which is demonstratably false because Manning was also a PFC and had a TS clearance.

Posted by: Иван Иванович | Apr 17 2023 18:58 utc | 20

#14 Ray McGovern on Napolitano show - As usual, Ray has James W. Douglass' book on Kennedy over his left shoulder. Douglass' book "Lightning East to West" was very formative to me in the 1980's and I always looked forward to every issue of Ground Zero. However Douglass' book on Kennedy just devastated me when I read it. Glad I did. The book is impeccably researched. My viewpoints on the nature and length of time, etc. of state conspiracies were never the same after reading.

Posted by: paxmark1 | Apr 17 2023 19:02 utc | 21

Near Bakhmut, Ukrainian soldiers disappear without a trace.

Relatives cannot contact them, and the military command does not comment on the loss of soldiers.

Earlier, it was repeatedly reported that military commanders do not specifically say what happened to the fighters in order to receive their salary for some more time. The military themselves, who are now at the forefront, spoke about this.
The network began to surface what we had previously warned about on April 1st. Military officials and functionaries of the Office of the President hide the losses in the Bakhmut meat grinder using their favorite scheme: everyone whose bodies are not found is missing. Bodies are now in 90% of cases not taken out, but left on the battlefield or under a pile of stones and concrete.

Posted by: Down South | Apr 17 2023 19:04 utc | 22

Posted by: unimperator | Apr 17 2023 18:14 utc | 12

Whirlwind =

Nasty! Outranges most UA MANPADS by up to 1-2km, if launched by the KA-52/Mi-28, and double that if fired by the Su-25T*
*The Su-25T is quite rare, so more likely Army aviation refers to helicopters. During night-time engagements the UA will be at a severe disadvantage, as only Starstreak is fitted with TI sights. Another reason to question the UA offensive narrative, you can’t just retreat your armour into night time laagers, well behind the FEBA and bring them out in the day to resume operations. They and their supply vehicles will be virtually defenceless, from night time aerial interdiction and strike missions.

Posted by: Milites | Apr 17 2023 19:18 utc | 23

It occurs to me that if young Jack wants to really stir things up (and maybe get a reduced sentence) he will identify whoever gave him the documents.

It could get him a reduced sentence, could also get him killed.

Posted by: Fred777 | Apr 17 2023 19:26 utc | 24

From a tweet
The AFU chief, Zaluzhny, goes to Washington, meets with Sec Def Lloyd Austin and Gen Mark Milley, where he states Ukraine's KIA at 257K. This was according to Col Doug Macgregor, former Pentagon advisor, citing anonymous inside source(s). The recent major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian war (actually U.S. proxy war) started Feb 24, 2022, while Zaluzhny's visit occurred on Jan 16th, 2023. That is a 326 day spread, which works out to ~800 losses per day. Given that Zaluzhny was on a begging mission for long-range weapons and support, he'd have no incentive to underestimate losses. Instead, he'd be appealing to fact, in order to make the case for how Ukraine is paying dearly in lives and that the U.S. must do everything it can to help. According to CIA estimates of manpower fit for military service, Ukraine draws from a theoretical pool of ~7,000,000, while Russia's is ~23,000,000. This isn't accounting for the mass exodus of military age Ukrainians to Russia, the West and elsewhere

Posted by: oldrepublic | Apr 17 2023 19:26 utc | 25

@ Иван Иванович | Apr 17 2023 18:58 utc | 20

Ian Kummer is, to put it politely, talking out his ass. He has no direct knowledge, expertise or experience of the matters he discusses/asserts re Classified Docu, clearances or access to classified material, nor Codeword or compartmented beyond TS levels. He does NOT even understand what actual data access, service IT staff actually have, in reality and has openly admitted all the former since this publication.

A security clearance, does NOT equate to access, especially codeword or compartmented material beyond TS. Have explained these matters in detail over relevant threads.

Frankly, Kummer is full of it.

PS Manning was MI, active duty, base grade analyst, and had a TS clearance, yet was not briefed or granted codeword or compartmented access. The materials he/she accessed were Secret Mil Intel(entitled) & State(Not), over a mixed 'Secret' network in an active warzone, with insufficient access controls, with failed non-existent supervision, that was subsequently properly siloed & enforced. Zero relevance.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 17 2023 19:28 utc | 26

"If you can't grope and sniff young girls, you must lick the world." Joe Tzu

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Apr 17 2023 19:42 utc | 27


Maybe you're right and the kummer guy is wrong. But... is the US government too stupid to do a psyop properly? How is this supposed to survive a highly public and scrutinized trial? Why not just pick someone who does in fact have the required access?

Posted by: Иван Иванович | Apr 17 2023 19:43 utc | 28

Fred777 @ 24 "It could get him a reduced sentence, could also get him killed."

Assuming he was set-up I would think naming whoever set him up is his best hope for some kind of leniency. It's a chance he will have to take. Either that or he admits to doing it to show off. He's in big trouble either way.

Posted by: dh | Apr 17 2023 19:46 utc | 29


Another one went: the German tank Leopard 2A4 had its turret blown off before the battles
In the course of preparations in Poland, going down a hill, the tank stuck its gun into the ground and the turret came off.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 17 2023 19:48 utc | 30

Is it real, fake or intentional disinfo from wagner?
Can't access Prigojine's telegram channel, could someone copy past the full and original text please?

"Wagner boss says Russia must ‘put a definitive end’ to war in Ukraine
A first step towards the end of the conflict? As spotted by our colleagues from TF1 (french TV channel) Yevgueni Prigojine, the sulphurous founder and leader of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, called on the social network Telegram to end the “special military operation”

(...)"For the authorities and for society as a whole, it is now necessary to put a definitive end to the special military operation,”
“The objectives are achieved”
"“We have wiped out a large number of fighters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and we can declare that the objectives have been achieved”, he insists, referring to a land corridor that connects Crimea to Russian territory and the capture of the Sea of ​​​​Azov via Mariupol."
Finally, the leader of Wagner also spoke of the consequences of a hypothetical Russian defeat in Ukraine, synonymous according to him with a “popular revolt” against “the deep state mired in luxury and bureaucracy.”
“These people who today, without making any effort in a military operation, are as far as possible from the theater of operations”, he tackles."(...)

It's on every french talking medias, but seems hard to find on english-talking ones?

Posted by: Tak-Tik | Apr 17 2023 19:52 utc | 31


Two different casualty documents were released into the wild. The first aimed at Russia and picked up by Donbass Devushka gives a 7-1 ratio in Russia's favour. Thats the ratio that has been stated by Russia nod and I think Wagner in the past. Once that was in circulation in the pro Russian and Russian channels, the second document was released showing 2-1 un Ukraine's favour.

That amoungst a few other things puts into doubt the exact purpose of the fake leak. I suspect others of these documents will have figures and information that were inserted for the purpose of this leak.

Re the posts by Down South @19 and 17 and the Resident tg channel. The leak may well be part of the coming Uki/US offensive in Ukraine. A big red flag is air defence missiles. Especial the BUK missiles. There was an article in the media some time ago that BUK launchers could successfully use the Sea Sparrow missiles with a few mods.

This coming offensive is a suicidal propaganda mission, but if they can knock down a number of Russian aircraft, that would be a big propaganda win.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 19:56 utc | 32

"Is it real, fake or intentional disinfo from wagner?
Can't access Prigojine's telegram channel, could someone copy past the full and original text please?

"Wagner boss says Russia must ‘put a definitive end’ to war in Ukraine"

I have no problems with this statement if true and I agree 100%.

Enough dying has happened. Ukranians have lost 250k soldiers KIA. Most likely more than 500k seriously injured.

Russians have probably had 100k KIA and seriously injured.

Plus 3rd party casualties we are talking about 1 million KIA/injured.

Enough. Both parties can lick their wounds and resume the fight sometime in the future(sadly)

Posted by: Comandante | Apr 17 2023 20:08 utc | 33

Tak-Tik | Apr 17 2023 19:52 utc | 31

I read it a few days. One Russian politician held up a Ukraine flag. Prigojine said kick him out or end the war. Only two sentences in that tg post. For whatever reason Telegram is very slow loading but if i can get back to that post I will copy and paste it here.

Prigojine is obviously a man who gets things done but I suspect some or a lot of what he says is aimed at continuously drawing Ukraine forces into the Bakmut grinder. He has said in the past the purpose of the operation is not to take Bakhmut, but to destroy the Ukrainian forces. Not long back he said they were drawing in the reserves that were put aside for the spring offensive.

Butt hat about the Russian politician waving a Ukraine flag I assume was real.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 20:13 utc | 34

Martyanov in his video stated that the Kinzhal bunker strike in the reserve command bunker of the Transcarpathian military district, used by Nato generals and colonels is big news in the Russian media. The Kinzhals actually penetrated through a weak spot in the ventilation system of the bunker, 2 of them reached a depth of 60 meters, perhaps there were more than two in the same spot.

Posted by: unimperator | Apr 17 2023 20:22 utc | 35

"This is the "deep state" that I talked about yesterday. Some die to tear down this flag, while others, trampling on their bodies and spitting in their closed eyes, hang it and glorify it."

Yevgeny Prigozhin on the performance of Alexander Beglov in St. Petersburg against the background of the flag of Ukraine.

On the eve of Prigozhin revealed the thesis of the "deep state", the so-called representatives of elites who destroy any decisions aimed at victory.

That was on the 16th and there must be something from the 25th but have not found it. That post shows a photo of a meeting with a number of flags including the Ukraine flag. Have been through all the posts on the 15th and its not there so the must have removed it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 20:23 utc | 36

[But that] about the Russian politician waving a Ukraine flag I assume was real.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 20:13 utc | 34

That Rus politician can only do that because there is freedom of speech in Russia. Had that been done by some Ukrop Rada deputy, he would get killed on the spot.

But who knows. Russian high-rise windows are risky and patient, just like German or Austrian roads for some people...

Posted by: Nervous German | Apr 17 2023 20:23 utc | 37

Martyanov in today's video said that the news of the bunker strike on the reserve command post of the Transcarpathian military district, used by Nato generals and colonels, was everywhere on the Russian media. Apparently 2 of the Kinzhals penetrated in the weak spot of the bunker, the ventilation system managing to reach 60 meters. Perhaps there were more than two aimed at it.

But it's pretty likely true then.

Posted by: unimperator | Apr 17 2023 20:25 utc | 38

Nervous German | Apr 17 2023 20:23 utc | 36

From what I have read, it is a criminal offence in Germany to hold up a Russian flag. And your right about freedom of speech in Russia. he brainwashed fools here in the west think we have freedom of speech and the Russians are highly censored.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 20:27 utc | 39

At least seven US military personnel were injured in an accident involving military vehicles on the A6 autobahn in Germany.

🟡The incident occurred near the city of Amberg (Federal State of Bavaria) near the border with the Czech Republic. Four armored vehicles from the American convoy collided with each other. Seven servicemen were injured, one of them seriously. The causes of the accident are unkown.


Posted by: unimperator | Apr 17 2023 20:29 utc | 40

The "leak" is meant to pre-lube the slide out of Ukraine. Clearly the US/West isn't going to get anywhere near something resembling a "victory," in which case it needs to start paving the path out with excuses. Biden will take the fall: he'll hold the bag of crap as he exits his presidency (and won't run again). The Deep State is concerned about China and needs to push all its efforts in that direction: sure, Russia is part of the equation, but the attack via Ukraine is now, clearly, a losing proposition.

Again, the horse is dead.

Posted by: Seer | Apr 17 2023 20:32 utc | 41

Leopard 2A4 had its turret blown off before the battles
Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 17 2023 19:48 utc | 30

A bit of duct tape, and ship the Leopard to Ukraine.

Posted by: Passerby | Apr 17 2023 20:33 utc | 42

Here is the clarification from Prigoshin re end of the SMO. As far as I can parse this, I think he meant defining the end result of the SMO, not ending the SMO per se.

#1479 We publish a request from the editors of the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and the answer:
Dear Evgeny Viktorovich!
Request from the Russian-language department of the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat (News in Russian), which publishes our news in Russian.
First of all, we would like to thank you for your response to the previous query by Helsingin Sanomat published on 11/25/2022. Despite the fact that we have not been able to find additional information about any of the “about 20” Finnish citizens fighting in the Wagner PMC, we highly appreciate your willingness to communicate with representatives of the Western press.
We would be grateful if you could shed light on two more points for us:
1) We read with great interest your article on the current situation, published on 04/14/2023. In it, for the first time, we heard from you proposals to “put a bullet” and “announce the end of the NWO”. Please tell me what was the main reason that led you to such thoughts? The strength of the Ukrainian army? Insufficient level of training of the Russian regular army? Internal political nuances?

We publish a comment by Evgeny Prigozhin:
"Good afternoon! You asked an absolutely correct question, because foreign media took the most basic thing from my article, that you need to put an end to the CBO. Pay attention, my article is called "Only a fair fight, no agreement." The main idea of my article is only a fair fight. There is no way to follow the lead of the Western coalition. Therefore, the task is to put an end to the special operation, of course, exclusively observing all the interests of Russia, I immediately repeat once again - both for the authorities and for society as a whole, today it is necessary to put, attention, some fat point in the NWO. This bold point is the capture of Bakhmut, access to Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, and some other serious conquests. Further, the ideal option is to announce the end of the NWO, to inform everyone that Russia has achieved all the results that it planned. Because the main task of the SVO - since the results of this SVO and the tasks are blurred - it is necessary to put some kind of bold point. And the people of Russia must be satisfied with this set point.
We have ground, I said, a huge number of fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and this, among other things, is one of the tasks that were set during the beginning of the NMD - the demilitarization of Ukraine. Of course, Ukraine was stuffed with Western weapons, but the very destruction of a combat-ready population is a serious result for any war. Therefore, I am not proposing to stop the NWO in any way, I am saying that we can announce the end of the NWO so that the Russian people, the Russians, know that the results that we set for ourselves have been achieved and that we have received a sense of satisfaction from what has been done. Here is the basis of what I said. There is no decline. As the head of Wagner PMC, I have no hopelessness. We are ready to fight on. Until the end or until the next step. This is the first.


Posted by: Zet | Apr 17 2023 20:36 utc | 43

@ Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 19:56 utc | 32

This coming offensive is a suicidal propaganda mission

That is all it is. The AFU cupboard is bare, even IF it launches. AFU cannot defeat RF. Regardless, the outcome of the conflict was determined long ago. Once the surge munitions for limited Western Arty/MBRLS are expended and the equivalent combat power of three tank/mech brigades are destroyed, there is no more materiel coming. Does not exist.

Due political decisions re Bahkmut meat grinder, the 12 AFU Brigade reserve being built up for this 'counter-offensive', are now down to 9 incomplete/incohesive, or less, equipped with salvaged derelict/inoperable & obsolete MBTs/IFVs & battle taxis, majority thin skinned wheeled light armor. ~27,000-45,000.

No effective tactical ADS, no Airforce, inadequately trained troops/volksturm, critical shortage of NCO's/Officers, crippled logistics, etc. Mostly towed ex-soviet Arty left allocated, critically short of shells for 'em, each BDE only ~2/3 of TO&E Arty.

Must mass on a narrow frontage to achieve even minimal combat power at disadvantageous weight of Fire & manpower/arms ratios on the attack. Sitting ducks for the slaughter, against RF 10:1+ tubes/launchers, mass munitions, superior & numerical arms & manpower, Theater Air Dominance RuAF operational & Tactical & Army Tactical ... in prepared layered in depth multi echelon hardened defense lines 3-4 deep ... with uncommitted operational maneuver reserves of ~150,000-300,000+.

Death Ride. Regardless, the hourglass is running out.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 17 2023 20:39 utc | 44

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 17 2023 19:48 utc | 30

Wonder what happened to the crew sitting inside? The turret gets ripped off, probably engineers hadn't that in mind when it comes to crew spacing inside.

BTW, Martyanov in his video mentioned the Kinzhal bunker strike. They are a big news on the Russian media, supposedly they hit the weak spot, the ventilation system of the bunker. Two of them were enough to penentrate 60 meters deep, there could have been more of them. But maybe 60 meters is enough to cause unrecoverable damage and prevent anyone getting out alive.

Posted by: unimperator | Apr 17 2023 20:46 utc | 45

@ Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 20:13 utc | 34
@ Tak-Tik | Apr 17 2023 19:52 utc | 31
@ Comandante | Apr 17 2023 20:08 utc | 33

It has been lost in translation.
What Vagner chief said was his reaction to some regional city hosting the conference, where Ukraine was a regional member and had its flag raised with other flags. Probably the guy who was hanging the flags, he was reading old list, not thinking too much.

He was saying that his people are dying to tear this flag down wherever they can, while stupid bureaucrats are playing tolerance and stuff, displaying it. In his way, he attacked the need for a total war, without playing nice towards Ukraine, or more towards the West.

What he meant was more in the direction 'or we are doing it right or we do not do it at all'.
With this outburst he attacked the RF 'deep state' that is still running stuff here and there mainly on the local level and that should be eradicated. There is also some irritating stupidity in higher bureaucratic echelons, but I think RF is working on it, same as with conscription method that is changed from total mess to a pretty amazing efficiency and correctness.

In his eyes and he is correct there – the whole RF must commit to SMO and RF is apparently still not in unison and of course that discrepancy irritates committed warriors.
French are just translating what WSJ, WP and others happily twist around.

Posted by: whirlX | Apr 17 2023 20:48 utc | 46

Is anyone else dismayed by the decline of ? When I read it, I'm in an alternate reality, where NATO is crushing Russia, and Russia is on the brink of social collapse. And yet, its failure to predict with any accuracy what has happened in Ukraine damns its analysis as crap. Whenever they talk about anything other than hardware, they quickly lose the melody. They're living in an opposite reality. But if I apply the low standards most Americans use when consuming info, I could see how it persuades low-effort nationalist types.

It's unfortunate, because they used to be really good at analysis. I wonder if they are exemplars of US military thinking, or if they're just some overly patriotic dupes? Is it too hard to ask a journalist to look up historical data before just repeating what an official says? Like these absurd military spending figures for Russia? As if Russia had secretly decided to implement Grover Norquist's budgetary agenda during a time of war? I can't tell who is stupid and who is compromised and who is still on the learning curve.

This data source forking problem isn't just something ChatGPT struggles with, we in the analysis community have the same problem. How can I convince a dupe that Russian MOD data is at least corroborated with battlefield footage if they won't even look at it? How is it we live in an age of math, but nobody trusts forensic accounting? And then again, I'm not at the battlefield: I'm just depending on an information coherence model. Lots of potential problems there.

This public information warfare doesn't make sense if the opponent is able to get better intel privately(For example: is this leak so much more earth-shattering than tracking Russian fuel consumption?). Suggests this is all about consensus building in West. Russia doesn't have the same problem or need. At the same time, what would actually convince me that the pro-NATO info is 'accurate' or at least 'more accurate'? Personally, I just have a knee-jerk distrust of the US government now. It's like dealing with an extreme psychopath: you have to figure out what it wants first before you can even evaluate what course of action to take.

Garry Kasparov makes the point that propaganda exists to fatigue your critical faculties. I'm not seeing a great advantage to studying this leaked NATO intel. It would be far more useful to have detailed info on fuel distribution. Makes me think someone wants us to think about the wrong issue. And the fact it's all over MSM makes me even more distrustful that it has any value one way or another. Just a red-herring. Like when the market looks to the Fed to determine whether to bull or bear. The Fed is a distraction and pretext. I feel the same way about this intel leak. It seems like there are many more fruitful analytic paths one can take if attempting to understand the 'reality' of war events.

Posted by: Aaron Lee | Apr 17 2023 20:57 utc | 47

Quote. "British intelligence suggested creating 5 real counteroffensive plans so that no one could get information about the main attack and only at the time of implementation would a real one be presented."
That is why England must be annihilated, attack England first then all of other wars will stop because England is the real plotter of all major wars.

Posted by: Sam | Apr 17 2023 20:58 utc | 48

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 17 2023 19:48 utc | 30

Wonder what happened to the the crew. The engineers probably don't design that thing with crew spacing in mind in a scenario where the turret simply gets ripped off, wouldn't be a pretty way to go.

BTW, Martyanov in his video said that the Kinzhal bunker strike is big news on the Russian media. Supposedly it was the ex reserve command bunker of the Transcarpathian military district in use by Nato officers. Two Kinzhals hit the air conditioning shaft into the bunker (weak spot, apparently) and where enought to dig to 60 meters. Maybe there were more than two.

Posted by: _unimperator_ | Apr 17 2023 20:58 utc | 49

"What he meant was more in the direction 'or we are doing it right or we do not do it at all'.
With this outburst he attacked the RF 'deep state' that is still running stuff here and there mainly on the local level and that should be eradicated."

Well not sure I agree then.

A soldiers job is to go and kill as many enemies as possible and achieve the missions goals. A politicians job is to try to reach a satisfactory peace agreement with any means necessary including talking to the enemy. ASAP

Hes not even a soldier but a Merceneary. He needs to go kill and get paid and frankly STFU about anything else.

Posted by: Comandante | Apr 17 2023 21:00 utc | 50

whirlX | Apr 17 2023 20:48 utc | 42

That is roughly my thoughts. I only had the Wagner tg channel. Zet linked the cooks own channel which I did not know about before.

I guess for a lot of Russian's just looking at the static frontline it must be frustrating but sitting here on the outside and watching, I see that it is defeating the US and Nato.

Russia cannot complete its stated objective until US pulls its backing. It seems that will happen later this year.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 21:00 utc | 51

Posted by: Comandante | Apr 17 2023 20:08 utc | 33

Enough. Both parties can lick their wounds and resume the fight sometime in the future(sadly)

Seriously? Will Ukraine stop shelling the Zap nuclear plant or Donetsk city after the fighting stops? Or accept the boundaries as they are now? Neither will Russia, until all majority Russian areas of Ukraine are taken, at the very least. If the Donbass and two other provinces are not taken by Russia, expect a bloodbath by Kiev. The AFU is on the ropes and near collapse, and Russia is setting them up for the knockout. Ukraine's reasons for continuing are rooted in fanatical ideology. Russia's reasons are rooted in preserving their country as a nation and stopping the ethnic cleansing of its people in Ukraine. Neither side is going to stop until the fascist government of Ukraine is totally defeated.

Posted by: Mike R | Apr 17 2023 21:00 utc | 52

the First thing ( in fact the only thing) Russia must do is to kill as many English soldiers (and not only their hired mercenaries ), English spies masquerading as British and BBC journalists and mercenaries as possible as in shortest time. That will settle the problem of the world being destabilized by the England pirate island and there will be no more plotting for wars by English pirates. But Russia does opposite! It let English mercenaries escape safely from donesk (Debeltsov enckave) in Feb 2015!


" According to UP sources close to Zelensky, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who appeared in the capital almost without warning, brought two simple messages.
The first is that Putin is a war criminal, he needs to be squeezed, and not negotiated with him.

And secondly, if Ukraine is ready to sign any agreements on guarantees with him, then they are not.

This position of Johnson testified: the collective West, which back in February offered Zelensky to surrender and run away, now felt that Putin was actually not at all as omnipotent as he was imagined, and that right now there was a chance to squeeze him.

Three days after Johnson left for the UK, Putin went public and said talks with Ukraine "have reached an impasse."

Posted by: Sam | Apr 17 2023 21:00 utc | 53

Our OP source said that MI6 is proposing to the General Staff that they replicate the experience of the "Operation Neptune" landing in Normandy, where the main effect was achieved through surprise and a massive strike in bad weather.
Given the experience of disinformation operations under the code names "Glimmer" and "Taxable", the purpose of which was to mislead the Germans about the real direction of the invasion, various variants of operations are now thrown into the network for these purposes, as well as the timing of its implementation in order to confuse the Russian special services.

British intelligence suggested creating 5 real counteroffensive plans so that no one could get information about the main attack and only at the time of implementation would a real one be presented.

Now they are discussing the option of starting a counteroffensive in rainy weather, when they will not expect a strike and landing across the entire Dnieper, this will allow them to gain the advantage of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the left bank and create a springboard for further counteroffensive.
Posted by: Down South | Apr 17 2023 18:56 utc | 17

Little known by the Allied Powers, Hitler cleverly hid a few thousand of his best tanks far, far in the East so they would be away from Allied bombing.

Posted by: kupkee | Apr 17 2023 21:01 utc | 54

Posted by: paxmark1 | Apr 17 2023 19:02 utc | 21

Thanks mark for the reference to James T. Douglass, I am taking a gander at his book Kennedy And The Unspeakable, using the Read Within feature of Amazon.

Posted by: jonku | Apr 17 2023 21:02 utc | 55

Posted by: _unimperator_ | Apr 17 2023 20:58 utc | 45

Thanks for that. I had been wondering if the Kinzals had hit a vent or entryway.

My hearing is not good and I have a bit of trouble understanding Martynov at times so don't watch his videos.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 21:05 utc | 56

Shouldn't the state-organized pogroms aimed at eliminating the Russian Orthodox Church be declared Cultural Genocide? At minimum the actions confirm Russia's R2P reasoning and Article 51 use. The following is from Escobar's Telegram:

Part 8 of the attack on Christian Orthodoxy🙏.

🔹A civilian was killed & seven wounded when Ukrainian troops shelled Donetsk’s Transfiguration Cathedral during Orthodox ☦️ Easter Vigil on Sunday April 16th 2023. Ukrainian troops used Slovakian 🇸🇰-manufactured 122mm JROF-HEAP fragmentation rockets, which were supplied by NATO countries.

🔹The UOC Church of St. Matrona, located in the village of Huta in Mezhyhirsk, Kiev region which was accused by Ukraine's 🇺🇦 gov't of being pro-Moscow was burnt down during Easter.

🔹The mayor of Lviv in western Ukraine, declared UOC in his city was no more after authorities demolished the Church of St. Vladimir.

🔹The West/CIA politically created the Orthodox Church of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (OCU) (to foster neo-Nazi style nationalism) & undermine the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) - Moscow 🇷🇺 Patriarchate.

🔹Ukraine continues the persecution of Orthodox Christians, has an unabashed profession of state paganism (not very discretely disguised in the form of vicious Neo-Nazi political cults) & supports eager acolytes inciting anti-Christian pogroms while flaunting satanic inscriptions.

💠 Pt 7: The Kiev regime arrests the abbot of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Monastery & raids church compound. The last Orthodox church in Ivano-Frankivsk was seized.

💠 Pt 6: Ukrainian neo-nazi arsons burn🔥 church of the UOC in Boryspil, Kiev.

💠 Pt 5: Ukraine's gov't inciting attacks against the UOC over accusations of connections to Russia.

💠 Pt 4: Ukraine proposes law to ban the UOC as the church is a threat to national security.

💠 Pt 3: Ukraine's SBU, raids the largest UOC monastery in Ukraine.

💠 Pt 2: Ukrainian militants shell St. Nicholas ⛪️, shot 3 monks in Svyatogorsk, held 800 monks hostage & seized Popelnya UOC.

💠 Pt 1: The West’s silence about multiple attacks vs Russian Orthodox Churches around the world.

Links to source at above link.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2023 21:11 utc | 57

_unimperator_ @51--

Which video was that, the date that is if you please?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2023 21:13 utc | 58

Posted by: Down South | Apr 17 2023 18:56 utc | 17

‘in order to confuse the Russian special services.’

It might confuse them, it certainly will confuse the people who are trying to carry out the offensive, as it means mission critical orders, timetables, deployment schedules, etc will only be disclosed hours before D-Day. Troops, who have had one third, if that, of the standard basic training allotment, are going to be expected to be able to digest and carry out complex plans (riverine assault)* without proper rehearsal, in poor weather. Poor sods!

* I guess though, if you show them this clip it will be more than enough.

Posted by: Milites | Apr 17 2023 21:17 utc | 59

Comandante | Apr 17 2023 21:00 utc | 46

Vagner is a private company integrated in RF military. A bit like Rostec or others that make weapons. Those all 'private' companies are actually part of a huge state controlled military complex.
So they are under the chain of command of RF Army.

Our Western perception of a merc is different, as you say

Issue there is that even regular contract soldiers (non-conscripts) and private professionals and volunteers (so-called mercenaries) still have no clear idea on objectives of the SMO.
What is neeed is clear steps towards the victory with clear goals and he points that out.

First we demilitarise. Done. Second we denazify. Doing. Then we take, something in this direction.

At least that is how I understand it.

Posted by: whirlX | Apr 17 2023 21:18 utc | 60

A big thank you to Outraged, whose ongoing work of boiling down the battlefield reports is very sobering, and thus immensely helpful to the discussion.

Posted by: persiflo | Apr 17 2023 21:19 utc | 61

Russian intelligence gathering capabilities are as good as NATOs....not one company sized formation can concentrate without satellite surveillance observing and tagging it... Russia knows exactly where and when any counter offensive is stacking.... This leak was for Western public consumption to initiate a change in foreign policy. As noted elsewhere....the leak only covered Ukraine....less than half of the original documents was reference to China ...Iran .... Sudan etc..the pretender in office is fighting an undeclared war without congressional approval....the information released to the public has been lies and the Media is an arm of military industrial complex....all this on the run up to the U.S elections

Posted by: Joe | Apr 17 2023 21:22 utc | 62

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 17 2023 18:21 utc | 14

thanks for that link, but i wonder if Biden has enough faculties left to even discern whether he is being lied to. I think of him more as a puppet, kind of an inferior chat gpt, you can program him but you're not always sure what he is going to say.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 17 2023 21:33 utc | 63

Posted by: Sam | Apr 17 2023 20:58 utc | 44

Natives would love to believe your characterisation of their country as the power behind global affairs; however, living here, one is confronted by overwhelming evidence that: ‘Mighty Albion’s roar is a croak, her dangerous jaws, increasingly toothless and her proud mane suffers from alopecia. Less of a lion in the Veldt, more a broken zoo specimen.

Posted by: Milites | Apr 17 2023 21:34 utc | 64

@commandante-33/Peterr AU1-34-35-37/nervous german-36/Zet-40/etc

Thanks a lot for your answers, note I had read that original Prigojine's satement was 30 (!) telgram pages long and titeled "Only a fair fight, no negociation/agreement."...

The clarification from Prigojine posted by Zet (tnx again) seems to go in the same direction as the words of Lukashenko, who were reported in this forum a few days ago, and who said more or less "this this war must stop, it's so atrocious that many Russian soldiers as well as Ukrainians warn the opposing camps before bombings or attacks to limit losses".

This semmes to confirm my feel, unlike some analysts or commentators who seem to like to play the most warlike, the reality on the ground is the need to end the massacre...and this before it ignites the rest of the planet.

Create peace-comittes everywhere, mobilize for cease-fire, now.

Posted by: Tak-Tik | Apr 17 2023 21:39 utc | 65

whirlX | Apr 17 2023 21:18 utc | 56

I believe Russia has some laws, maybe in its constitution about when and when the military can be used. The basis of it I think is that it is a defense force and only used on Russian territory if Russia is attacked. I believe that was the main reason of the referendums prior to the mobilization and now we see all the fighting taking place on Russian soil.

Wagner as a private military company is not bound by that and can operate anywhere in the world.
They have some tanks, artillery, aircraft ect but seem primarily and infantry force. From what I have read they are the best paid and best equipped. And although they look to be equipped with primarily Russian equipment, they can source equipment from anywhere if what they want is not made in Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 21:49 utc | 66

A comment on the Russian anti ship missiles that feature a final vertical attack, be they cruise or pseudo ballistic. Most of the discussion I have read is that their objective is to punch right through the ship, being fused to explode underneath, rather than inside the ship. The objective being to use the water pressure bubble created by the explosion to break the spine of the ship, replicating the final moments of a modern heavy torpedo.

Also re the Kinzhal, it is to all intents and purposes an Iskander modified to be launched by a Mig-31K or Tu-22M3M rather than from the ground. Using the Mig for the first part of its journey, lifting it up to probably around 50,000ft and then launching it at M2.5 using the resultant fuel saving to increase its range by 3-4 times. But as it heads back to earth it has all the deadly attributes of an Iskander. With the Tu much of the range increase is lost as it can't reach the Mig's launch speed.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 17 2023 21:50 utc | 67

Analysis of Ukrainian kamikaze drones from the fighters of the Russian Armed Forces on the front line. There are more and more such drones.

In short:
• speed — up to 95 km/h;
• warhead - +/-1 kg of explosives;
• flight range - 3-7 km;
• Estimated production price - from 20 thousand to 37 thousand rubles (depending on the quality of components);
• all details are available on Chinese websites;
• can be mass-produced even in the garage;
• due to their speed, anti-drone guns are almost useless - only electronic warfare systems are effective;
• Drones are controlled by specialists who move around the front in groups.

🇩🇪 The Bundeswehr will receive 18 newest Leopard 2A8 tanks to replace 18 Leopard 2A6 vehicles transferred to Ukraine. This was reported by the German newspaper Europaische Sicherheit & Technik.

The equipment will come as part of the program announced by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius for the purchase of new tanks for the army. Leopard 2A8 should enter service with the Bundeswehr in 2025. They will be the first completely new build of the Leopard 2 family to have been purchased since 1992.

The new Leopard 2A8 is based on the Leopard 2A7HU. The tank features improved armor protection using third-generation spaced composite multi-layer armor throughout the structure.
Also, the tank will be equipped with an Israeli-made Trophy active protection system.

Posted by: anon2020 | Apr 17 2023 21:53 utc | 68

Czechs steal Moroccan tanks, break law twice to aid Nazis yet again, "Moscow denounces 'egregious' Czech confiscation of Morocco’s tanks for transfer to Ukraine":

Moscow views the seizure by Prague of tanks belonging to Morocco, but undergoing upgrades in the Czech Republic, so as to transfer them to Ukraine as an egregious case of de facto expropriation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary circulated on Monday.

"We consider this egregious case to be yet further evidence of the hostile anti-Russian course pursued by the Czech authorities, within the framework of which Prague does not hesitate to stoop to violating fundamental provisions of international law regulating arms trade, and to seize the property of others. We observe with regret that the sad experience of World War II is being repeated, when Czech enterprises, being a part of the military-industrial complex of Nazi Germany, indefatigably supplied the Third Reich with armaments for prosecuting its war against the USSR," the diplomat noted, answering a media query about whether the Czech Republic had passed Morocco’s tanks on to Ukraine.

"It looks like the current leadership of the Czech Republic has learned nothing from history, as they have eagerly turned their country into one of the primary sites for the production, repair, and modernization of military equipment to be sent to Kiev's neo-Nazi regime," Zakharova stressed.

The diplomat pointed out that the goals and objectives of the collective West are quite clear: to help drag the conflict in Ukraine on and thereby inflict maximum damage on Russia, even if this requires continuing the fight down to "the last Ukrainian."

When asked to comment on media reports that Moroccan tanks that were undergoing upgrades in the Czech Republic may have ended up in the war zone in Ukraine, the diplomat said: "Indeed, we have seen these reports. We are continuing to look into it."

Zakharova said that, according to available data, before the start of the Russian special military operation, Morocco had signed a contract with Czech company Excalibur Army spol. s r.o. to upgrade its 130 T-72B tanks, purchased in 1999-2001 in Belarus. "After the work was done, 56 tanks were returned to the kingdom [of Morocco]. [But] the remaining 74 armored vehicles were de facto expropriated by the Czech side for further transfer to the war zone in Ukraine," she went on to say.

"The Moroccans were effectively presented with a fait accompli. Moreover, they were made to be culpable before the Belarusians for failing to honor their commitment not to transfer these tanks to third countries without the supplier’s consent, as stipulated under the contract," Zakharova stressed.

Hopefully, the Czech people will oust their Eurofascists themselves.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2023 21:54 utc | 69

Docs Given to Leaker. Security Clearance does NOT equal Access Judge Napolitano - Judging Freedom, 1hr ago, Youtube 2m05s

@ persiflo | Apr 17 2023 21:19 utc | 57
@ pretzelattack | Apr 17 2023 21:33 utc | 59

Most welcome. Cheers.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 17 2023 22:04 utc | 70

Tak-Tik | Apr 17 2023 21:39 utc | 61

In Patrick Lancaster's latest video that I watched yesterday, when he was interviewing several peole that are now on the Dnieper river frontline, I saw a different perspective. I think they were ethnic Russian's but considered themselves Ukrainian. The ukies are now lobbing intermittent shells across the river into purely civilian areas. One said we now know how the people of the Donbass felt. They sort have had mixed feeling. They wanted the war to stop, basically go back to pre 2014, but as one said, the war will stop when Ukraine is demilitarized and denazified.
This is the video

I did not watch the video right through but near the start there is a meeting with farmers about Russia giving them subsidies which is relatively long, but flick past that to where the meeting ends and that is when the very interesting interviews begin. It gives a perspective on the mixed feelings which a lot of Russians must have. As Putin said at the start, they are brotherly nations.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 22:07 utc | 71

Posted by: Aaron Lee | Apr 17 2023 20:57 utc | 43

Personally, I just have a knee-jerk distrust of the US government now. It's like dealing with an extreme psychopath: you have to figure out what it wants first before you can even evaluate what course of action to take.

It's not just the US government, the tail wagging the dog. It's about the corporatization of the country, with business corporations using all the tricks of media saturation, bullshit narratives, financial bullying, celebrity cultism, to turn most Americans into corpowhore zombies. The US goverment is just one more entity using corporate techniques to control an all too compliant population. After all, the US doesn't have much of a culture other than corporate capitalism at this point (it never had much of an identity to begin with, or a contrived counterfeit one), and with government officials functioning as errand boys for the corporate world, there hasn't been much resistance to the takeover. At this point most Americans are thoroughly brainwashed, people obsessed with facebook, sports, and celebrity. If the media they watch says 'Ukraine good, Russia bad' that's good enough for them. I guess what I'm saying is that as a country, we are totally in the crapper and not coming out. I remember the '60's and '70's. I actually had hopes that we would make a turn for the better back then. Chalk it up to youth.

Posted by: Mike R | Apr 17 2023 22:19 utc | 72

Outraged | Apr 17 2023 22:04 utc | 66

That what Shaffer was saying, the boy must have been handed the documents as that is the only way he could have come in possession of them....
The so called leak was for a purpose. Simply handing the docs to an innocent 21 year old is a very hit and miss way to get those docs out into the public if that was the purpose. He had to either be part of the team or it didn't happen.
He could just as easy looked the documents, said shit these are classified - I had better hand them in to someone.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 22:28 utc | 73

Jack has not been charged with Theft. This means he did not steal or « smuggle out » the docs. He either found then (where?) or they were given to him (by who?)

Posted by: Adam Troy | Apr 17 2023 22:29 utc | 74

First, a comment on Prigozhin, once again: He DOES NOT KNOW what the ultimate objectives of the SMO are. Period. He is going off the speeches of Putin, like so many other people do, which are not operational orders from the President of the Russian Federation, let alone operational plans of the Russian General Staff, nor are they classified political decision documents submitted to the other authorizing bodies of the Russian Federation.

In short, Putin's speeches are political speeches intended to outline certain objectives - and likely obscure others - for the benefit of the electorate of Russia and foreign observers. They are in no way definitive, no matter how many times people talk about "Putin meaning what he says". Yes, he does - but he doesn't always say what he intends to do to achieve what he means. This is a subtle difference which apparently no one outside of government - any government - seems able to comprehend.

Now on to other matters:

This is the charging document issued on Jack Teixera:

Note the following:

"As of February 2023, TEIXEIRA’s title was Cyber Defense Operations Journeyman."

That is not what has been reported elsewhere. What was reported in that his title is "Cyber Transport Systems Journeyman", which as I described in an earlier MoA thread is very different. In other words, he was described as being this:


Whereas now he is being described as being this:


WBUR, Boston's NPR affilitate, had this article which repeats the claim that Teixera was the former, not the latter:

Major part of Mass. Air National Guard's job is analyzing intelligence

It’s not yet known how Teixeira, who held the title cyber defense operations journeyman, allegedly got the documents and shared them in an online group.

In short, it appears the FBI wants to "upgrade" his skills to a higher level computer security specialist in order to make it more plausible that he was the leaker, rather than being a "hardware monkey" who would mostly have been swapping out hardware like network routers, printers, PCs and the like.

Also note that the charging document contains this interesting bit:

According to a U.S. Government Agency, which has access to logs of certain documents TEIXEIRA accessed, TEIXEIRA accessed the Government Document in February 2023, approximately one day before User 1 reposted the information on the Internet. User 1 told the FBI that the information he reposted
was originally posted on Server 1 by the individual using the Subject Username.

This would indicate that Teixera, if he in fact did this, would have done so knowing - if he were indeed a 1D7X1 Cyber Defense Operations Journeyman - that his access was being monitored and that access to these documents was logged and monitored, whereas a "hardware monkey' might not know that - and might not have that capability at all.

Then the charging documents says this:

In addition, according to a second U.S. Government Agency, which can monitor certain searches conducted on its classified networks, on April 6, 2023, TEIXEIRA used his government computer to search classified intelligence reporting for the word “leak.” The first public reporting regarding the Government Information appeared on or around April 6, 2023. Accordingly, there is reason to believe that TEIXEIRA was searching for classified reporting regarding the U.S. Intelligence Community’s assessment of the identity of the individual who transmitted classified national defense information, to include the Government Document.

This appears to have been added solely to bolster the notion that Teixera was the leaker. It would seem to be beyond stupid for Teixeira, knowing that he was being monitored and that his access to classified documents was logged, to have conducted such an obvious search - if indeed he had advanced government cyber defense training.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2023 22:41 utc | 75

Blew the Blockquotes, sorry.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2023 22:41 utc | 76

The "Patsy" is the rule. Not the exception. There's always got to be a patsy.

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | Apr 17 2023 22:46 utc | 77

Martynovs video on the Kinzals is his latest.

That discussion on the Kinzels in the last thread was very interesting.

They are described as semi ballistic and I have read they reach mach 12 in the dive onto target.
With their described range it would seem the solid fuel rocket motor would have burned by the time its approaching target. Air resistance would prevent it reaching m12 in an unpowered dive.

I suspect the rocket motor fires for a while to take it up speed and into a bit of a ballistic trajectory then shuts down. When it turns down to dive at the target, the rocket motor fires again taking it into a powered dive.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 22:46 utc | 78

Fred777@24. FWIW I have a growing sense of unease about what is going to happen to Texeira. Does he have a lawyer? Where is he? Is he in contact with family? WaPo & NYT have already severely demonised him ensuring he will not get a fair 'Trial'. In fact, they have de facto found him guilty.

I have an awful feeling, ever increasing, that he will be 'disappeared' by the CIA or meet the same fate as Jack Ruby and the Skripals. I am having less and less confidence that we will ever see him in Court or in public again.

Posted by: Jo Dominich | Apr 17 2023 23:07 utc | 79

First, a comment on Prigozhin, once again: He DOES NOT KNOW what the ultimate objectives of the SMO are. Period. He is going off the speeches of Putin, like so many other people do.
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2023 22:41 utc | 71

Get real RSH. You are saying the the Chief of Wagner who is fully committed (and committed Russian citizens as soldiers) to fighting for Russia in UKraine has to read the newspapers like everyone else to get his directions from Putin?

First of all you do not and could not know what transpires between Prigozhin and Putin and or the Kremlin or Prigozhin and the Russian Military chiefs.

But you can be certain that the owner of Wagner is FULLY briefed for so many obvious reasons. If he merely refers to Putin's Political speeches for his own public statements you can be sure this is for security purposes.

Why do you make these ridiculous statements?

Posted by: K | Apr 17 2023 23:21 utc | 80

@ K | Apr 17 2023 23:21 utc | 76

my own take is prigozhin is obfuscating as much as anything else.. there is no way putin or prigozhin are going to tip their hand.. that is the exact opposite of what great warriors do.. so whether one or the other is saying anything, or leaving anything out - anyone thinking they know what they are saying, are living in a hall of mirrors but oblivious to it too..

richard @ 71 - thanks for the post...

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2023 23:27 utc | 81

Emil Cosman talks a bit about Prigozhin's relations with the Russian military here. He puts it quite well

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2023 23:27 utc | 82

Posted by: K | Apr 17 2023 23:21 utc | 76

You get real. You actually think that a big mouth like Prigozhin, who can't keep his mouth shut for 24 hours, who isn't in any way a member of the Russian General Staff or Putin's Presidential Administration team, is actually given Putin's top classified intentions with regard to the SMO? He's the front man for a Russian government "black ops team", and probably is lucky to have that position, having zero military experience in his background.

Why do you make these ridiculous statements? Just to run your mouth like you know what's going on, like half the people at this site?

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2023 23:35 utc | 83

@ Posted by: Jo Dominich | Apr 17 2023 23:07 utc | 75

“FWIW I have a growing sense of unease about what is going to happen to Texeira. ..”

Jesus Jo, I am pissed (on a Monday night!) and that is the latest comment I see here. So nothing personal. But…

Is that what can be accused of being ‘concern trolling’ ?

I don’t know. I vented at Craig Murray’s site. I think it has been an exercise in ‘Throwing a dead cat on the dining table’ .. FWIW

It’s linked here as I don’t want to write it all again if anyone is interested in my blathering.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Apr 17 2023 23:35 utc | 84

my own take is prigozhin is obfuscating as much as anything else.. there is no way putin or prigozhin are going to tip their hand.. that is the exact opposite of what great warriors do.. so whether one or the other is saying anything, or leaving anything out - anyone thinking they know what they are saying, are living in a hall of mirrors but oblivious to it too.

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2023 23:27 utc | 77

Exactly! However this is not to say they aren't saying anything truthful or useful that can't be clearly understood.

I just think it's bizarre to state that the head of Wagner is not in the loop, whatever that classified loop is.

Posted by: K | Apr 17 2023 23:41 utc | 85

I have an awful feeling, ever increasing, that he will be 'disappeared' by the CIA or meet the same fate as Jack Ruby and the Skripals. I am having less and less confidence that we will ever see him in Court or in public again. Jo Dominich @75

I can't help but feel that the whole thing is a fake to save face in public - The full 'Lee Harvey Oswald' backstory, the method means and motive for the leak.

All for a convenient means to shift the narrative towards getting out of the situation militarily, but most importantly geopolitically, with as little shit hitting the fan as possible.

Jack Douglas Teixeira will quietly disappear from all public record with no trial, be given a new identity, and very specific instructions on what happens should he ever speak a word henceforth

Posted by: Rattus | Apr 17 2023 23:41 utc | 86

Doc Leaker: More Red Flags - Larry Johnson

Johnson tells Napolitano he's been directly told by someone formrly in the Air Force who is part of the Cyber Defense Operations command that there is zero chance Teixiera could have access to those documents.

As I said in my post above, a "hardware monkey" would not have such access, and even a Cyber Defense Journeyman probably wouldn't, and despite that Intelligence Wing having its primary task as analyzing foreign conflict intelligence for the Air Force, they still wouldn't have internal CIA and State Department documents.

Ray McGovern, in the other Napolitano interview mentioned by someone above, also concludes that this is an authorized leak intended to oppose Biden's insane actions in Ukraine conducted by someone high up in the Pentagon or the Director of National Intelligence. He thinks it might be Avril Haines, which has been suggested here before. If his assessment of Haines is correct, that is possible, but I don't think the motive as suggested by others as Haines being an operative of Obama and the Clintons to undermine Biden is likely. I continue to think the Pentagon is the most likely source, although the presence of the two CIA documents could cast doubt on that, depending on whether any CIA internal docs are ever acquired some how by, say, DIA.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2023 23:43 utc | 87

@JohninMK | Apr 17 2023 21:50 utc | 63
I used the example of using an ultrasonic missile to go straight down through the deck of an aircraft carrier and through the beam running along the keel from fore to aft from bow to stern. That would definitely end flight operations, but the ship might survive to make it back to port. Hitting engine rooms, fuel storage or weapons holds while also "breaking the back," the keel beam, might be more likely to sink the ship quickly. I'm sure that the Russian Navy understands the best way to sink every ship that might become an enemy.

Posted by: barstool | Apr 17 2023 23:56 utc | 88

Peter AU1 @74--

Thanks very much!! I see the article Martyanov refers to was posted here in its entirety over the weekend.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2023 23:57 utc | 89

as I didnt say much in the last days and well me drunk


corona f*cked ur brain and putin ended it


sry error


keep it easy it is easter and russian will stay hearthy as they always were - karma is more worth than money and well we just know better :) sorry noobs

Posted by: Macpott | Apr 18 2023 0:06 utc | 90

barstool @84
"..Hitting engine rooms, fuel storage or weapons holds.."

Just out of curiosity, has a nuclear-powered surface vessel of any navy suffered a critical reactor failure?

Posted by: Rattus | Apr 18 2023 0:14 utc | 91

Prigozhin said that they should end the SMO. Possibly he means Duma declaring war and ending this? He does troll the West, who have the best brains and Intel in the whole universe. Just spitballing here.

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Apr 18 2023 0:18 utc | 92

@karlof1 | Apr 17 2023 23:57 utc | 85 and other posts.

Karl, in the interests of clarity, when you reference another comment please copy and paste its time-stamp (you should realise why). I make the same request to old hippy, as I also value his contributions.

Posted by: Ново З | Apr 18 2023 0:19 utc | 93

@ Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2023 22:41 utc | 71

Never underestimate stupid.

Posted by: BroncoBilly | Apr 18 2023 0:25 utc | 94

Leaker(🤪) Timeline
As the stench around the patsy-leaker become increasingly putrescent, I’m becoming aware the “facts” are whatever “they” say they are.
However, the timeline of the emergence of the first 4pages of intel into the wide awareness was, as I’ve posted, the 4chan post dated:
This post was made to 4chan to support the argument “Ukraine is winning”.
The text stated this, and the image was posted to support the argument.
The first image to appear had the low Ukraine losses.
The post “blew up” and there were immediately a dozen or more threads with the image and debating the i) authenticity) ii)accuracy.
Interestingly many of the 4chan arguments were replicated right here at MoA.
That the “leak” blew up all over 4chan and bled into twitter and telegram I see as the work of Bellingcrap.
I am totally convinced nothing is organic and the whole thing is orchestrated.
*We are not the audience*
Repeat _ we are not the audience_ the purpose of the “leak”™️, is the incendiary faction fighting within the U$.
AFTER the first image appeared, showing low Ukrainian losses, the doc re-appeared, obviously photoshopped, and showing RUSSIAN losses lower.
*This* is what appeared on Donbass Devushka.
I am absolutely certain the account was set up.
i) once it appeared on that account, the narrative became “leaked docs that FIRST APPEARED on a Russian telegram channel”.
Being able to smear the leaked docs with the “Russian disinformation” epithet is just so boringly boring and predictable. But it works…
IMO.. Donbass Devushka was set up by Bellingcrap.
I see every element as a Bellingcrap work product.
Since publishing the “leaked docs™️” Donbass Devushka has been targeted, “doxxed” and scapegoated.
The account was obviously too successfully puncturing the controlled narrative. Way too many are finding their way out of the fenced narrative to places beyond the control of the U$.
Here’s a comparison of the original and the altered first posted image

Larry Johnson highlights that the tranche of “leaked docs™️🤡) included an internal (in-house) CIA doc that would never be made available.
It is available to the DIA
Tony Schaffer says the “leaked docs😉” would only be available to 15 people, at most.
Bellingcrap is to be found everywhere. This entire “leak” is an #op.

Avril Haines got helicopter dropped into the DIA role.
She is not someone who spent 30 years working her way up the slippery greasy pole of an intel service.
She had access to the docs.
Because she is not an insider, she would not know including the CIA doc would be a massive blunder to those that *are* 30/40/50 year veterans of intel services.
She’ll get away with it because they’ve arrested Boy. Made for television exactly like an episode of CSI or Hawaii5-0. Neat, scripted, satisfyingly resolved for those watching at home.

If they can keep Assange incarcerated for decades (and I include his time in the Embassy as incarceration), then this Pat Seh kid will be soon forgotten, especially in the cacophony of the 2024 campaign.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Apr 18 2023 0:33 utc | 95

RSH 2023 23:43 utc | 83

Avril Haines! Wow. This goes right to the top. Somebody needs to do a full and thorough investigation....but who can be trusted to do it?

Posted by: dh | Apr 18 2023 0:36 utc | 96

There a coming more leaks. Are the USA now leaking it self out of the spetacle. One leak a day so that everybody can see that the UKR have deceived/ lied to the USA?

Now first Bakmut, which the USA have asked Zel to abandon. He choosed not to. What can be the next leak?

And finally top it off with Sy Hearch report about corruption in Ukraine, a report that has not even been videly discussed in these pages!!! ???

And for the Europeans here- how has the US left every country after ravaging it. In tatters. Rebuildt it?

Well the refugees and cost it will fall on us from Europe.

Posted by: Paul from Norway | Apr 18 2023 0:44 utc | 97

Johnson said something very interesting in that video linked by RSH. He has been contacted by a number of people, one being retired airforce. That 21 year old worked in the airforce information warfare section.
I think it is safe to assume he is part of the team. yesterday or the day before, the judge run a video of the arrest and asked Shaffer what he thought. Shaffer said he believed it was simply theater and explained why.

The Teixeira identity most likely does not exist as a person. A fictional identity.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2023 0:47 utc | 98

Posted by: Melaleuca | Apr 18 2023 0:33 utc | 91

Problem with theory that Bellingcat is the author of the op: Why would they post docs critical of Ukraine?

I can see the Pentagon - or even Haines if she, as McGovern says, "used to have her head on right" - posting these in oppo to Biden. But Bellingcat?

Now what Bellingcat IS involved in is the subsequent spin on the leaks by the MSM - obviously, since their reporters are cited by the MSM like the Washington Post.

But Bellingcat did not INITIATE this leak just to get Donbass Devushka - that makes no sense.

Meanwhile from Twitter:

Geo_monitor @colonelhomsi
Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant writes on three pages about the miserable state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Article is here:

Here is the article translated into English (bolding is mine):

Ukrainian army struggles with lack of trained soldiers: 'We had no idea how to behave on a battlefield'

Now that many experienced soldiers have been eliminated, the Ukrainian army is cracking. Without much training, new recruits sometimes find themselves in the trenches. "Some guys are standing upright on the battlefield reloading their weapons."

Tom Vennink17 April 2023, 05:00

Medewerkers van het medisch vrijwilligers­bataljon Hospitaljery verzorgen een militair aan het front bij Avdiivka. Beeld Daniel Rosenthal / de Volkskrant
Employees of the medical volunteer battalion Hospitaljery take care of a soldier at the front at Avdiivka. Image Daniel Rosenthal / de Volkskrant

One afternoon with a drunken instructor and a Kalashnikov who gets stuck after three bullets. That's all the combat training Oleksii received from the Ukrainian army when he arrives at a base just behind the front in the Donbas early this year.

Every day he sees groups of soldiers leave for the battlefield. When Oleksii and other soldiers make contact with one of those groups via messaging apps after a few days, they hear that of the 25 soldiers in the group, only 5 are still alive. The next group refuses to go on that, preferring criminal prosecution to "an end like cannon fodder," Oleksii says. He is ordered to take the place of one of the refusers. "Following that order was my big mistake," he says over the phone from a hospital bed in eastern Ukraine.

Of the 27 soldiers with whom he left, only 8 remain after one evening at the front.

Ukraine is struggling with a lack of well-trained soldiers now that many experienced forces have been eliminated. The Ukrainian army keeps its own losses secret, but the US army estimated the number of dead and wounded within the Ukrainian army at the end of last year at more than 100 thousand. A Russian winter offensive has killed and wounded thousands more Ukrainian soldiers in recent months.

About the Author
Tom Vennink writes for de Volkskrant about Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus and Central Asia. He regularly travels to the war in Ukraine. Previously, he was a correspondent in Moscow.

They are largely replaced by mobilized Ukrainians with no combat experience or extensive training. They usually have to make do in the trenches with fewer resources than their Russian opponents. The Ukrainian shortage of ammunition has not been solved, partly because Western countries have only recently started to increase their production.

Not a chance

Oleksii's platoon, who is not given by his real name because of possible punitive measures by the Ukrainian army, does not stand a chance when arriving at the front in Donetsk province. When Oleksii and his warriors disembark from an armored infantry vehicle, they are immediately fired upon with mortar shells.

The lack of training makes Oleksii insecure. In a trench, he discusses with a friend in his unit what they need to do to gain insight into the Russian positions. They decide to crawl out of the trench, see nothing and crawl back. They are seen themselves: immediately new mortars come down. "We had no idea how to behave on a battlefield," Oleksii says. "We didn't even know how to look out of a trench without being seen. The army should have prepared us.'

The eight hours he spends at the front consist almost entirely of hiding and, eventually, fleeing. In a pit covered with some branches and earth, he feels the thumps of exploding mortars, which sometimes strike a few meters away. "After each impact, my friend and I yelled at each other. "Are you still alive?" "Yes!" It went back and forth until he didn't yell back.'

Oleksii's eyewitness account is not entirely verifiable, partly because other survivors from Oleksii's platoon do not want to talk. But it ties in with cries for help from the front about a shortage of experienced or well-trained soldiers.

"I get a hundred new soldiers, but not the time to prepare them," a battalion commander from the 46th Airmobile Brigade told The Washington Post last month. Almost all five hundred soldiers with whom he went to war are dead or wounded. Their replacements "drop everything and run away" from the battlefield, the commander said. "When I ask a soldier like that why he doesn't shoot, he says, 'I'm afraid of the bang.'"

The training of new soldiers is a race against time for Ukraine. NATO countries have stepped up by organising huge training missions on their own territory. In Lower Saxony, Germany, Ukrainians learn to drive Leopard 2 tanks, in northern England they practice storming trenches. The EU and the United Kingdom aim to provide basic military training to 50,000 Ukrainians this year.

'Increase in losses'

In practice, not every Ukrainian at the front appears to be prepared. A platoon commander told de Volkskrant last year that he is very concerned about the training of new forces. "Some guys are standing upright on the battlefield reloading their weapons. Others don't pay attention to landmines at all.'

Refusals of orders have led to "an increase in the losses of soldiers, territories and civilians," Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, said this winter. "Often lost positions have to be regained with attacks that have a very high price." At Zaluzhny's request, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law in January that increases the penalties for disobedience (5 to 8 years in prison) and desertion (up to 10 years) within the military.

Oekraïense militairen passeren op de weg bij de stad Lyman, die in oktober vorig jaar werd bevrijd. Beeld Daniel Rosenthal / de Volkskrant
Ukrainian soldiers pass on the road near the town of Lyman, which was liberated in October last year. Image Daniel Rosenthal / de Volkskrant

According to critics, the sentence increases are contrary to a promise that distinguishes the Ukrainian army from the Russian army: humane treatment of personnel. Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny said in an interview with The Economist late last year that it is "always possible to remain human." He described the Russian general Sergei Surovikin, who was in charge of the invasion army at the time, as a brutal commander from the time of Peter the Great. "When you see him, you understand that you have to complete your task or else you're the dick."

Military analysts point out that the Ukrainian army still shows traits of the Soviet army, despite NATO training missions and intensive cooperation with Western military advisers. The Soviet army, from which the Ukrainian and Russian armies emerged, was known for a vertical chain of command in which units were not given room to make their own decisions based on the situation on the battlefield. Ukraine has been trying to break with that culture since 2014 by modernizing its military with NATO support.

'Culture of the old army'

"Many people who benefited from NATO training have died," Michael Kofman, of the American think tank CNA, said after a recent visit to the front in Bachmoet. "And many people who have not benefited from NATO training and retired have returned to high positions. They come from a different culture, the culture of the old Ukrainian army.'

Reporting on Ukrainian soldiers at the front has been restricted by the army leadership. Journalists have not been allowed to enter 'red zones', including Bachmoet, since last month. 'Yellow zones' are only accessible under the guidance of an army press officer.

Nevertheless, uncensored stories from the war front trickle down to the population. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, it has been known for its intransigence and its support for the armed forces. But the stories discourage some Ukrainians from enlisting in the military.

"A friend of mine says he is being treated as a slave by his commander," says a young Ukrainian from Kyiv who ignored a call from a military recruitment agency. "Everything depends on your commander. I also know positive stories, but the negative ones scare me.'

Ukraine's security service last month blocked 26 chat groups on messaging service Telegram that helped men evade mobilization. Members of the chat groups warned each other about places where recruiting officers handed out unannounced subpoenas. The founders of the groups could face up to 10 years in prison.
Russian attacks

The Russian army has never broken with the culture of the Soviet army and sacrifices its own soldiers in large numbers. In September, during a successful Ukrainian offensive in the northeast, President Putin personally called a local commander to tell him not to withdraw his soldiers despite a looming encirclement, the Wall Street Journal reported. Mercenary army Wagner sends people into the battlefield in waves, only to discover the positions of the Ukrainian army.

Putin expects to sustain a war of attrition longer thanks to a larger population. Last week, he signed a law that would make it easier for his military to mobilize civilians and punish conscientious objectors.

The Russian attacks have put the Ukrainian army under great pressure this winter, as is noticeable in a hospital behind the front. "I had to stay in my position longer than agreed, because the enemies came with many at once," said Serhii, a grocery delivery man at a Ukrainian supermarket chain who was mobilized late last year. He was shot in the leg by a sniper near the town of Lyman, but expects to return to the army. "It's tough, but we're holding out."

Serhii, die eind vorig jaar werd gemobiliseerd, verblijft in een ziekenhuis achter het front. Hij werd in zijn been geschoten bij Lyman. Beeld Daniel Rosenthal / de Volkskrant
Serhii, who was mobilized late last year, is staying in a hospital behind the front. He was shot in the leg at Lyman. Image Daniel Rosenthal / de Volkskrant

Soldiers at the front regularly lack medical knowledge, says a doctor from Hospitaljery, a volunteer medical battalion at the front near Avdiivka, a city where there is heavy fighting. "Compression bandages can save 90 percent of the arms and legs hit, but soldiers don't tighten the bandage far enough," says ambulance doctor Anton in a basement where the flap windows vibrate from impacting projectiles.

He jumps up to put on his bulletproof vest when a message comes in from a nearby army unit about three wounded. But after receiving a new message, he tells his four colleagues that they can take off their vests again. "All three are 200" – a Soviet army code for "killed in battle."

Anton and his colleagues prefer unpaid work on the volunteer ambulance to paid work on an army ambulance. "I've seen the army's system from the inside, I don't want to be in it," Anton says. His colleague Andrii, a floorlayer from Lviv who drives the ambulance: 'In the volunteer battalion I am a free man. No one can give me orders that oppose me. And yet I do very useful work.'

Together, they transferred more than thirty wounded soldiers to hospitals in a month at the front. The entire Hospitaljery battalion, consisting of about five hundred people, evacuated thousands of soldiers this war, mostly in unarmored ambulances and always without compensation.

Doctors are working overtime

The losses raise the question of whether the Ukrainian military has enough capacity for a spring offensive. Western military analysts assume that Ukraine is withholding military and ammunition to break through Russian lines this spring. It is unknown how many soldiers and ammunition are involved. Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine's defense minister, says his army could go on the offensive in April or May.

Doctors, meanwhile, are working overtime to patch up wounded soldiers. Even the loss of a limb doesn't have to get in the way of a return to the military. "60 percent of our patients go back," says Andrii Ovtsjarenko, director of Bez Obmezjen (Without Restrictions), a prosthetic center in Kyiv that made eight hundred artificial legs last year, mostly for military personnel. He says his patients return to the army as "immortal soldiers": a soldier who stepped on a mine only sustained damage to his artificial leg and was able to fight on.

Foto van een militair die met zijn kunstbeen op een mijn stapte. Hij liep alleen schade op aan dat been en kon doorvechten. Beeld Daniel Rosenthal / de Volkskrant
Photo of a soldier stepping on a mine with his artificial leg. He only sustained damage to that leg and was able to fight on. Image Daniel Rosenthal / de Volkskrant

"They won't give me a machine gun anymore," says Serhii Tumanovsky, a soldier from the 93rd Mechanized Brigade who lost both legs on a supply road to Bachmoet and takes his first steps on artificial legs in the prosthetic center. "My commander has already said he's taking me back. I can control drones or cook. I have to go back, there's no choice.'

But Sanja, a mobilized miner waiting for a new left leg, doesn't think about returning to the front on an artificial leg. He rubs his stump and says, "Fighting on my own feet was hard enough."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 18 2023 0:48 utc | 99

RSH@79....'no experience', and Zielinski does? Night and day difference, good managers, manage, delegate and listen. Unless Wagner is staffed by buss boys and dish washers......give credit, where credit is do.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Apr 18 2023 0:49 utc | 100

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