Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 02, 2023

Ukraine SitRep: Offensive In Doubt - No Talks - Social Breakdown

Since early April, when Pentagon briefing slides about the state of the Ukrainian army 'leaked' onto the web, the writing in 'western' media about the much discussed Ukrainian counteroffensive has become more gloomy.The hyping is largely gone and the assessments become more realistic. Three days ago the London Times offered a piece in that category:

Ukraine isn’t ready for its big offensive, but it has no choice (paywalled, archived version)
Kyiv is locked into a spring or summer push despite burning through ammo so fast that the West can’t keep up. Luckily Russia is out of ideas too

[W]hile the Ukrainians are moving quickly to assimilate their 230 new and reconditioned western tanks and 1,550 armoured vehicles, they still lack proper air defences for any big offensive operation. That puts them at risk from Russian airpower. Western defence sources are also uncertain whether senior commanders can adapt to the new systems as well as their soldiers on the ground.

Yet Kyiv has little real choice but to launch a major spring or summer offensive. Its leaders are increasingly boxed in. As an American defence official put it: “The Ukrainians have surprised us as well as Putin in the past, but have much less room for manoeuvre now . . . and the Russians know it.”

President Zelensky has managed the West with great skill, but to maintain its support he has to show what Washington insiders rather tastelessly call a “return on investment”.

He must also balance domestic politics. Hawks such as Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, prevent any meaningful talk about negotiations, even though some in the government think now is the time to put out feelers. One western diplomat in Kyiv described a “surreal parallel experience” as his interlocutors “discuss potential formats for negotiations one evening” and then “shout that there can be no talks with Russia” in public the next day.

During the war Kiev first burned through its standing army material and personnel. It then received a large amount of Soviet era equipment from former Warsaw Pact members and burned through that stash. It has now received 'western' arms for a third army that will largely consist of mobilized civilians with little military experience. After the counteroffensive has run its course, no matter the outcome, that third army will largely be destroyed. There will be no more material and personnel for a fourth army.

In contrast the Russian military is largely undamaged. So says General Cavoli, the U.S. commander in Europe:

Russian ground forces have suffered significant losses in Ukraine. Despite these setbacks, and their diminished stockpiles of equipment and munitions, Russian ground forces still have substantial capability and capacity, and continue to possess the ability to regenerate their losses.

Russia remains a formidable and unpredictable threat that will challenge U.S. and European interests for the foreseeable future. Russian air, maritime, space, cyber, and strategic forces have not suffered significant degradation in the current war. Moreover, Russia will likely rebuild its future Army into a sizeable and more capable land force [..] Russia retains a vast stockpile of deployed and non-deployed nuclear weapons [..]
Russia pursues a military modernization program that prioritizes a range of advanced conventional, hybrid, and nuclear capabilities to coerce the West. [...] These weapons provide Russia asymmetric threats to NATO and present new challenges to Western response options.

If or when the Ukrainian counteroffensive will start is still an open question. The weather is a major factor:

The spring rains have been much more intense this year than normal. The heavy downpours in Zaporizhzhia over the last few weeks have turned the battlefield into a gelatinous soup.

“This has been an unusual spring,” a commander with the brigade said. “There has never been this much rain before.”

There is of course also the question of ammunition. Ukraine already lacks sufficient numbers of artillery rounds. Each days it uses more than it receives and what it receives is more than the 'west' can produce. The counteroffensive will burn through whatever ammo is left. Then what?

There may be additional reasons to hold up the counter offense. The British Ministry of Defense is requesting offers from the industry for some specific equipment. Among it are mine breaching equipment for main battle tanks, tank launched bridges with 70 tons capacity and transporters for heavy main battle tanks.

With around 40 tons Soviet tanks are build significant lighter than 'western' tanks which weigh up to 70 tons. The newly delivered Leopard and other tanks can not pass over typically Ukrainian country bridges without seriously damaging them. Without the necessary infrastructure and support equipment in place the 'western' tanks are largely useless. To launch a counteroffensive against hardened Russian defense lines without such equipment is not really possible.

But waiting is not possible either. There is not only the pressure from Washington and other supporters of the war in Ukraine but there is also the permanent threat of Russian strikes on the accumulated stocks and forces. As longer those stay in the preparation areas the higher is the chance that they will get detected and destroyed.

Over the last two weeks Russia destroyed a large part of the Ukrainian air defenses in the Kherson and Pavlograd region. There are no replacements for those systems.

Still, the British Ministry of Defense seams to believe that the war will continue for several more years. For Ukraine it also wants to acquire:

Missiles or Rockets with a range 100-300km; land, sea or air launch. Payload 20-490kg

The closing day for that request is May 4. If you happen to have a few of those missiles laying around or if can produce those you have two more days to make your offer. But realistically the earliest possible delivery for such missiles will likely be in 2024/25. One wonders if Ukraine will by then still be around.

Yves Smith is discussing the chances of a ceasefire after the counteroffensive has run its course. She finds that Russia is unlikely to agree to one without receiving very significant concessions:

I don’t see how peace talks get anywhere. The hawks are still in the driver’s seat and will either balk at negotiations or set preconditions. Recall Russia previously rejected preconditions; even if they were to entertain them now, the odds are very high the West’s initial demands, like an immediate ceasefire, would be rejected, or quickly vitiated by Russian counters like “Only if you suspend the sanctions.” That does not mean there won’t be backchannel chatter, but don’t expect it to go far.
Let’s charitably assume, despite all that, that the West actually does ask Russia to negotiate. Unless the request is made in an obviously unacceptable manner, Russia has to entertain it.

But I don’t see how this goes anywhere until leaders in West have really, really internalized that Russia holds a great hand and does not have good reasons to stop until it has subjugated Ukraine.

And all Russia has to do to substantively sabotage negotiations is to bring up the demand that Putin has been making in different forms since the Munich Security Conference of 2007: security guarantees.

Who will give them? The gleeful French and German admissions of duplicity with respect to the Minsk Accords means no NATO state can be trusted, save maybe Turkey (and if Erdogan survives, he’ll likely be deemed too close to Russia to be acceptable). The US clearly can’t be trusted. China would not be acceptable, and is not suited to the role (it’s not a land power and does not have a presence in theater).

So unless some tail events happen (and Taleb warns tails are fat), we still look to be on course to Russia prosecuting the war until it can impose terms on Kiev.

Meanwhile the social-economic situation in Ukraine is getting worse:

The scene in the pawn shop illustrates the crisis of growing poverty in Ukraine, the reality of which stands in contrast to the surface bustle of Kyiv’s busy restaurants and bars where it is often hard to get a table, with many living a precarious existence.

Poverty increased from 5.5% to 24.2% in Ukraine in 2022, pushing 7.1 million more people into poverty with the worst impact out of sight in rural villages, according to a recent report by the World Bank. With unemployment unofficially at 36% and inflation hitting 26.6% at the end of 2022, the institution’s regional country director for eastern Europe, Arup Banerji, had warned that poverty could soar.

Behind his window in Treasure, Stepanov describes the hardships experienced even by those who have work. “The price of everything has gone up. Food is the most expensive and then it is fuel for the car. Some things have gone up by 40-50%. Before the war my wife would go to the supermarket to shop and it would cost 200 hryvnia, now the same shop costs 400-500.”

The billions of dollars and Euros the 'west' provided to Ukraine are skimmed off by those who visit fancy restaurants and bars in Kiev. Those not in the bribes receiving circles will have to get used to being hungry.

Posted by b on May 2, 2023 at 16:32 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Don Firineach | May 2 2023 16:45 utc | 1

Collected articles and SitRep's for today.

Posted by: Will | May 2 2023 16:46 utc | 2

i dunno b.. btween the blackout of rt news in spain and portugal and the regular lies on display in the cbc and bbc, i would have thought ukraine had russia on the ropes!

@ waynorinorway.. no live music in tomar.. i am living fado, as opposed to hearing it! maybe in porto tomorrow it will be different.. visited the covent of christ earlier today.. all that praying and look what this culture got for it.. my wife told me earlier today that. britian has been portugals ally for centuries! well, regardless, the portugues are a warm and friendly people..the leadership, i have no idea, but the signs aren’ as encouraging..maybe some fado tomorrow in porto..

Posted by: james | May 2 2023 16:48 utc | 3

Could the "nuclear sensors" the USA are installing in UA be something differt. A way to bolster their Air- Defence.

Found these itens in the British MOD tender you pointed to

*Sensors to detect and track cruise missiles, low flying (<50m) DoD Group 2 drones, and/or ballistic missiles.

*Sensor-guided air defence cannons to defeat low flying drones and cruise missiles. Sensor could use radar, electro-optical, infra-red etc.

*Air burst rounds for cannon-based air defence systems (30mm, 35mm, 40mm). Must be at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 9.

A way to use cannons together with sensors to guide the amunition?

And by the way: some are saved in Ukraina, so it's not all bleak:

Cat Rescued From Shattered Building Hit by Russian Missile in Uman (

Posted by: Paul from Norway | May 2 2023 16:53 utc | 4

james, try the ham, its acorn fed I believe. Are there any Carnation Revolution celebrations?

"...Still, the British Ministry of Defense seams to believe that the war will continue for several more years. For Ukraine it also wants to acquire:

Missiles or Rockets with a range 100-300km; land, sea or air launch. Payload 20-490kg.."

The Ministry of Defence, the War Office as it used to be known, is nothing more than one of Washington's better run Think Tanks.

Posted by: bevin | May 2 2023 17:01 utc | 5

This is all very true. What confounds this is that those who run the world are all members of the global economic neoliberal cult that doesn’t give damn for human beings only money. The striking basic aberration today is that the rulers are all for the woke free movement of people for their cheap labor but the Deep State at the same time is using basic human ethnic hatreds to fight their wars at the edges of the Clash of Civilizations. The Kremlin (the Wagner Group) made a WWI and WWII strategic mistake of aggressively invading another nation state starting WWIII (even though the Russians were provoked as were Imperial Japan or Imperial Germany before). Ukraine will defend itself to the last man. The West is going along in the hope that there is a Russian Regime change in the next year to get access to cheap energy. Except, the sudden part of collapse is happening right now. The West was de-industrialized - deregulated and is not self-sufficient in energy resources for a growing economy. Three of the Four largest Bank Collapses in US history have been in the last two months. Nuclear explosion experts are in Ukraine setting up monitors to detect the culprits who will have started a nuclear war.

Everyone is simply in denial. Even China has deep-sixed public health, ignoring the coronavirus pandemic, for the sake of the economy and opened up travel. “China records 348 million rail trips during 2023 Spring Festival travel rush, recovering to 85.5% of 2019 level.”

The sole way to keep the earth habitable is to avoid a nuclear war, stop polluting, controlling pandemics and recognize that this is a multi-polar world and compromise. Sign a UN armistice and make Odessa and Ukraine part of the DMZ manned by Eastern Europeans along the current line of contact. Cooperation, sharing and living with one’s means are the only way to insure a future for human civilization.

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 2 2023 17:15 utc | 6

As usual I have no real idea what's going on. Maybe the Russian senior leadership really is that bad and Ukraine will run over them. Maybe the Ukrainians are on their last legs and the much-awaited 'counteroffensive' will dash itself to pieces against a stronger Russian war machine. Maybe the 'counteroffensive' is a bluff designed to make the Russians hold a lot of their forces in reserve and waste their time digging fortifications in Crimea that will never be used. Maybe Ukraine is only pretending to be weak, to lull the Russians into a false sense of security. Or something.

But: the Ukrainians/Western Powers are not (tactically) stupid. Remember, Ukraine didn't retake Snake Island with a frontal assault: they took out the transports and used precision bombardments to make Russian occupation untenable. Ditto how the Ukrainians got the Russians out of Kherson. You really think they won't try something like that again?

Think back on the bombing of the pipelines: that was audacious, vicious, and effective. The western elites may be vile, but they are creative and decisive. And they are determined to bleed Russia.

I have no idea what's going to happen. Some possibilities:
- Kerch bridge is demolished.
- The Ukrainians have stockpiled long-range anti-ship missiles and, using western targeting information, take out the Russian Black Sea Fleet - AND the big ferries and transports. And maybe NATO takes out the subs.
- The Ukrainians have stockpiled a lot more long-range missiles than they have let on, they take out every major bridge and ammo dump etc. all the way down to the tip of Crimea. And maybe also into Russia proper. Long-range cruise missiles taking out every Russian oil refinery East of the Urals? Or every major Russian pipeline?
- False flag events, anyone? NATO enters the war directly?
- NATO has identified some Russian computer vulnerabilities, and exploits all of them at exactly the right moment.

Maybe Ukraine will collapse, but if I were the Russians, I would be staying up late worrying about what the Ukrainians/Western elites might be up to.

Posted by: TG | May 2 2023 17:15 utc | 7

Evidence mounts everyday that the US is preparing some sort of false flag, likely nuclear, in Ukraine. Looking from a neo-con/globalist perspective it makes sense too. They know that a failure in Ukraine is the end to their agenda, their hegemony, their global power. They have quite insanely staked everything on this Ukraine gambit and are getting quite desperate to find a way to change the course of events back in their favor. With a presidential election in less then two years and given the possibility that literally anything could happen they feel on the clock too.

Consider these are the people who recently gave you the Nordstream debacle. They are capable of anything no matter how insane. They harbor the belief that given the opportunity US Airpower can save the day for them and turn defeat into victory. All they have to do (in their minds) is find a way to make it happen.

What they will not do, is make peace or have negotiations led by China.

Posted by: JustAMaverick | May 2 2023 17:16 utc | 8

As Will says above, "i would have thought ukraine had russia on the ropes" This has been official policy now for what, 9 months? Reverse every battle outcome by changing one word.
They really think they can get away with claiming the Ukra "mislead" them. That the west was a victim of "fake news" or "misinformation" Perhaps a "conspiracy theory" "our satellites went blind" "Elon Musk betrayed us" "radical extremists planning on going shopping for food" "Terrorists planning on having lunch" "Russia is so sneaky and had secret codes" "Nazi's running Western governments" (wait a minute, how did that get in there)

Posted by: Tard | May 2 2023 17:20 utc | 9

The counteroffensive will burn through whatever ammo is left. Then what?

Then the U.S. 2nd horseman of war, John Bolton, may have succeeded in provoking a (civil) war in China/Taiwan similar to Ukraine and the ever increasing pile of Western failures in Ukraine will fade away from MSM "news" as fast as a snow flake before the sun in the Sahara desert.

Unfortunately Taiwan with Tsai Ing-wen have their own version of Ursula von der Leyen, Kaja Kalla or Liz Truss willing to sacrifice their nation for a mirage of prosperity.

Posted by: xor | May 2 2023 17:21 utc | 10

Well, Lula was actually in Portugal for the 25th of April - official visit in Europe, specially in Iberian peninsula. Yet I was one of the few in Lisbon who actually wore red (shirt) for the occasion, even though I spooted a handful of people with a carnation behind the ear and a couple of signes here and there. I quite had the feeling it's not as big a holiday as 4th of July in the States or 14th of July in France.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 2 2023 17:25 utc | 11

Is it true that the US has moved air tankers to Poland? That doesn't sound good.

Posted by: Sentient | May 2 2023 17:26 utc | 12

And they always wondered why the bulk of pogroms happened in lands largely comprised by modern-day Ukraine.

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored | May 2 2023 17:27 utc | 13

You have to wonder what Ukraine and the US is up to. They certainly have enough armer to cause a world of pain, but sustained meaningful attacks that end in consolidation typically require air superiority and close air support until the artillery catches up. Perhaps they have received quite a few long range missiles 75 miles plus and copperhead rounds to get pin point accuracy?
Furthermore it is unlikely that they can sustain standard artillery barages given the reported shortage of rounds. On the offensive you cannot count on accuracy alone to carry you through a well dug in position. I suppose they could use tanks to lob in HE and machine guns in indirect fire, but these methods are normally considered desperate. Surprise close air support and B-52s from NATO seem unthinkable. Perhaps they are thinking about doing what ever they can do until the offensive literally runs out of gas and calling it a propaganda victory. It all seems rather mysterious.

Posted by: ATM | May 2 2023 17:28 utc | 14

"Let’s charitably assume, despite all that, that the West actually does ask Russia to negotiate. Unless the request is made in an obviously unacceptable manner, Russia has to entertain it."

There's no conceivable scenario where such a request wouldn't be obviously unacceptable to any Russian leadership determined to attain Russia's necessary war goals, especially since the Kiev regime has no sovereignty, has placed itself beyond the pale of enemyhood and therefore is existentially incapable of making any acceptable request for talks. The parallel with how the Allies had to view Hitler's Germany is exact.

If Russia is to succeed in this theater war it must impose its will forcibly on the entire ground of the Borderland. The only "terms" to be "imposed on" Kiev are be the taking and, probably, annexation of Kiev. There is no alternative.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 2 2023 17:29 utc | 15

"The billions of dollars and Euros the 'west' provided to Ukraine are skimmed off by those who visit fancy restaurants and bars in Kiev. Those not in the bribes receiving circles will have to get used to being hungry."

Russian cynical strategy is to let the greedy indulge in their own greed and hope social unrest will end up being Russia's best ally. Western sanctions policy reversed.

Posted by: Et Tu | May 2 2023 17:33 utc | 16

@ Posted by: Paul from Norway | May 2 2023 16:53 utc | 4

TRL 9? Funny stuff. I assume some here know what TRL 9 means.

Might as well shout, "Hey, anyone got something that might work that we DON'T know about, and that you haven't tried to sell us before?"

Posted by: BroncoBilly | May 2 2023 17:33 utc | 17

The question I have is:

The mob at the used goods store. Where they there to try to sell something for money, or were they there to rob it?

It wasn't clear from the small video clip I saw.

Posted by: BroncoBilly | May 2 2023 17:35 utc | 18

Why are the barflies entertaining that offensive fantasy by the UAF ?

The whole shadow staff (ie genuine command structure) has been buried alive with a Khinzal strike. The ukrainians have no more decent armor. Their "army" is now made of low morale forced conscripts without serious officers experienced in warfare. They are running low on every kind of ammunition and we could see recently that their AD is crumbling apart. Regarding the foreign Mercs, the two stupid canadians killed in Bakhmut recently teached us that even fat geared-up-to-the-teeth safari hunters were sent to the meat grinder, and not only poor ukrainians cannon fodder.

So who excatly will lead that offensive, and whith what kind of equipment and material ?

Posted by: Pierrot | May 2 2023 17:37 utc | 19

Col. Douglas Macgregor just claimed that the recent Russian missile attacks hit nine brigade headquarters killing 1,000, along with destroying massive ammo depot.

Putin's Bloody Missile Attack Is Horrifying | Col. Douglas Macgregor

Looks like the Ukraine military is devolving int Iraq before the US ground invasion under Bush Jr. The Western propaganda is pushing the notion that when the counter offensive starts, the Russian military will collapse. Just the same theme over and over that the Russian military is not competent.

Posted by: Erelis | May 2 2023 17:39 utc | 20

Now the Nazis insult Hindus ... One assumes that Modi is not amused ...

Russia comes out in support of Hindus; Lashes 'Nazi' Ukraine for mocking Goddess Kali | Details [2 mins 30 secs]

regional US banks still in free-fall ...


Festina lente!

Posted by: Don Firineach | May 2 2023 17:42 utc | 21

"...Russian cynical strategy is to let the greedy indulge in their own greed and hope social unrest will end up being Russia's best ally. Western sanctions policy reversed...." Et Tu@16

Social unrest in Ukraine, under the Gestapo death squad regime will be difficuly. But social unrest in the donor countries -'You give billions to Ukraine, all skimmed off by oligarchs, while we starve'- is very likely.

Posted by: bevin | May 2 2023 17:43 utc | 22

"Ukraine will defend itself to the last man."
That is the only objective the USA, NATO, Britain and Russia 100% agree on.
" the last man"
That is Ukraine's red line, and all their backers are totally onside, and Russia will achieve that objective for them.

Posted by: kupkee | May 2 2023 17:44 utc | 23

Posted by: bevin | May 2 2023 17:01 utc | 5

Jamón de pata negra, yes acorn fed black swine in big ranges, but the Chinese discovered the delicacy and it goes for about €1500 a piece of about 6kg.

So I see RT and RIA are locked in Portugal too, damn colonies we are, the two countries that in Tordesillas traced the line that divided the whole world between them. I get them in Telegram though, in Russian.

Enjoy it, Portugal for me is like Italy, a place where I feel warmly welcomed.

One more thing about Extremadura, that's Ukraine in Spanish, the land on the extreme, fighting bulls are raised there in big ranges called dehesas, they live free like kings, well cared and tendered to end their lives with a very slim but still a chance to survive in a fight, contrast that with the poor cows raised in cages and fed with their own shit -we forgot about madcow and not Maddow- to be slaughtered in infected and brutal places, so the cool guys from northern Europe can come and protest our thousand year brutality -from Crete times- of treating a fighter as a king that deserves a last chance, and after the protest visit a McDonalds to munch on the poor caged cow hamburger. But that's how it works, no denying that the anglos are the number one masters of propaganda.

Posted by: Paco | May 2 2023 17:44 utc | 24

India: Why Start-Ups Are Struggling | Ukraine’s “Hinduphobic” Post on Kali|Vantage with Palki Sharma

Ukraine at 10mins in ... That Cartoon at 16 mins in - Palki not amused ..

[I've also invited her to dinner - my diary if filling up - Maria, Clare, ....

Posted by: Don Firineach | May 2 2023 17:56 utc | 25

It's not just Ukies who are getting attritted; the finances and military resources of its sponsors are also being attritted, a fact not always included in overall analysis. Those sponsoring nations are also all infected with Neoliberal Parasites eating away their vitals, even within the Outlaw US Empire where a multifaceted crisis is ongoing. Russia, China and RoW are moving forward with their mutual integration known as Multipolarity that gathers more momentum daily.

The recent massive missile and drone strikes have elicited few reports thanks to new Ukie censorship rules. Even someone like Simplicius with his many sources had only limited comment and admitted to me in a reply that more happened but little is known as of late last night. Anyone can check to see what the weather's doing. The current 10-day forecast for Donetsk is for a clearing trend; further out are a few showers followed by more clear weather which IMO favors neither side as both benefit in different ways. Given the number of missile ships deployed, I expect several more rounds of missile salvoes targeting troop and equipment concentrations, while at the FEBA, a new siege will replace Bakhmut's focus. Also, what happens post Bakhmut liberation is also important. Overall, however, the balance sheet has Russia growing stronger daily while Ukieland and its supporters weaken.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 2 2023 17:58 utc | 26


I'm not Russian and I worry about what the desperate chancers who run the Western side of this war are planning. I'm afraid their idiotic miscalculations..already amply demonstrated at the strategic level.. are going to get most of humanity killed.

For fucks sake, they have fucked up at every single turn offered them. Of course they will try another gambit. The problem is NOTHING is going to take Russia down without a world ending nuclear.

None of the masturbatory fantasies Langley and the other clowns have cooked up is going to substantially change the direction of the conflict. It's either a Russian victory of some sort ..or the end of the world..that is global thermonuclear war.

For fucks sake.

Posted by: Doctor Eleven | May 2 2023 18:01 utc | 27

A few minutes ago I saw a report on German TV about a Ukrainian farmer who is happy to finally be able to raise his goats in the Kherson region without Russian terror.And everyone in his village can finally breathe a sigh of relief because the Russians are finally gone.The houses are being rebuilt,only the funds to build the village school are missing....
This is how the Germans are fooled by the television they finance with their taxes.
In Kherson itself, which the Russians abandoned in order to straighten the front, there is hunger, and those who remain complain that the Ukrainian leadership has abandoned them.
And I wonder in return: Russia had invited everyone to leave Kherson, so why are they complaining today?

Erlär mir Einer diese Welt!

Posted by: Oberbayer | May 2 2023 18:01 utc | 28

@Vietnam Vet: The Coronavirus pandemic had little to do with "public health." China is hardly in denial.

Posted by: LastLaugh | May 2 2023 18:07 utc | 29

meanwhile i see msm propaganda articles claiming "Russia is on the verge of collapse!" etc.

@TG 7 above
"But: the Ukrainians/Western Powers are not (tactically) stupid. Remember, Ukraine didn't retake Snake Island with a frontal assault: they took out the transports and used precision bombardments to make Russian occupation untenable. Ditto how the Ukrainians got the Russians out of Kherson. You really think they won't try something like that again?"

that is not how I remember things going.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 2 2023 18:08 utc | 30

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 2 2023 17:15 utc | 6

If your forum name is not the product of pure imagination, you will find the answer within yourself. People learn by making mistakes, at least they could. Those who do not repeat the same mistake are considered intelligent. However, direct contact with the error result is important for this. When other bodies catch the risk, the willingness to take risks increases.
We see here a kind of Vietnam War in the Slavic region. The coup dictatorship in the Ukrainian state ... Oh, we all know. The perpetrators even brag in public in front of cameras. It should actually be the case that the state leadership is posted in the front row in the event of war. That should sensitise most people. Or referendum - "Do you citizens want to send tax money or the government to support?

Posted by: 600w | May 2 2023 18:13 utc | 31

@7 TG

I don’t think Ukraine took back Snake Island. They drove out the RF by getting in range of it with bombing and shelling, but had several military debacles trying to establish control. It is now no-man’s land.

Posted by: Chris | May 2 2023 18:16 utc | 32

And yet my newsfeeds are still flooded w/stories telling us how Ukraine is pummeling Russia ...

1. Putin is dying and likely to be replaced as dissent increases in the light of massive losses (over 200,000 with 100,000 since December).

2. Ukraine is hitting strategic targets all over the place while the few Russian missiles that escape Ukraine's air defense hit apartment buildings.

3. Russia is out of missiles and ammunition, especially the Wagner group.

4. Ukraine is getting state of the art western tanks while Russia ransacks museums to activate antique tanks.

5. Russia building defensive positions, IN RUSSIA ! [in fear of Ukraine's pending offensive ]

It will be interesting to see how the western MSM spins it if Ukraine cancels the offensive or it is a catastrophe.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | May 2 2023 18:16 utc | 33

Some suspect that Ukraine's new offensive will quickly end in failure. Russia is already attacking key centers of the logisitics of Ukraine's latest offensive. Russia is making significant progress.

One outcome of this offensive is a quick and decisive Ukrainian defeat.

If that is the case, then Russia will move quickly to take the Donbas after the defeat of this offensive.

Warfare is not linear. Often there are long battles which result in the logistical weakening of one side. After their logistical failure, the enemy usually quickly advances. This may be exactly what happens after Russia destroys this most recent offensive.

It is possible that within the next 2 months, the Russians will have taken and secured all of the Donbas.

We will soon see. Two months is nothing.

Posted by: young | May 2 2023 18:36 utc | 34

German dude says the chaotic retreat from Kherson was just Russia straightening its lines. If they straighten their lines twice more they will be all straight, knee deep in the Black Sea.

Large missile attacks May 1, to distract from hard questions raised by Prighozin and Strelkov (the pessimists). Seems to have worked, the distraction that is. But now Shoigu is out of missiles again.

Posted by: Thim | May 2 2023 18:38 utc | 35

I'm an American who's lived in Russia for two decades. I married a Russian woman, and we eventually decided here was a better place for family than the states.

Russian-based media seriously downplays how unpopular the war is domestically. Definitely more than half of people are against it, and the strongest support is from the elderly who don't have internet and watch cable TV (Russian channels). I'm sure the Kremlin knows that - and it is the only significant factor that points to any kind of negotiated peace.

Those against the war usually follow logic like the following: the Baltics are already NATO on our border, and Romania/Turkey is already NATO in the Black Sea, so why is such a horrible war necessary when NATO encroachment is a done deal anyway?

The Russian public is heavily influenced by western propaganda, in the form of American T.V. shows and movies that are (well) dubbed with Russian actors doing voice-overs. It's hard to break away from that strong of an influence. Even since 2014 when the government started to promote domestic movies and T.V. shows, they're still sparse and mostly not of good quality. Pirating is the way of life in Russia; even VKontakte (Russian Facebook) freely allows it.

Lifting sanctions means nothing. They are fait accompli, a done deal. Russia has already adapted and would benefit little from their lifting - plus they can always be used again in the near future to hurt the country, so it's best avoided anyway. Everyone's already stomached the pain anyway; why not finish the treatment?

The Kremlin understands what Russian people don't - it was never going to end at the border of Ukraine. The neos will never stop until the destroy a stable government, and gain control over Russia's natural resources.

So what incentive does the Kremlin possibly have for a peace agreement? To not address the reason the SMO was launched in the first place (the certainty of destabilization spilling into the country proper once Ukraine was firmly in the U.S. orbit)? Buying a little peace now with the domestic populace who oppose the war means that it's probably much more difficult to tear the root out later, and the Kremlin probably believes there will be a later.

Ukraine is also largely about Jewish issues. Everyone in the Biden administration, and everyone in leadership in Ukraine, is Ashkenazi. A root issue is Putin's extending the FSB's (successor to the KGB) rules to all federal jobs and government contractors.

Every Jew in Russia has an Israeli passport (except Prigozhyn), if only for practical reasons. Russian passports are treated no different than Nigerian or Pakistani passports when people want to travel to AUKUS or Europe - you have to own property, provide proof of long term employment, show financial means, etc. Israeli passports have none of those hassles, and moreover grant the right to stay in the west for six months out of each calendar year.

FSB officers have never been allowed to hold foreign passports, have foreign bank accounts, or marry foreigners. Even if the child of an FSB officer marries a foreigner, that officer has to retire. And in 2010, Putin extended that requirement to anyone holding a security clearance or working for the federal gov't. Dual-citizenship Jews can't give up their Israeli citizenship, even if they want to, in order to comply; none of them went and spent a year in the IDF and you have to finish military service to relinquish Israeli citizenship. Age isn't the issue; you can serve at any age, even if it's sweeping floors or cooking. No one's going to Israel for a year at $650/month to comply.

So there's Ashkenazi anger at Putin for renewing the Russian Empire-era rules against Jews in government, even if that's not directly the intent of them.

Posted by: expat-joe | May 2 2023 18:41 utc | 36

Not an original post by me, but I thought the analysis was fairly convincing (op is apparently ex-military):

"This post will probably get brigaded into the ground but screw it, I'll waste my time writing it anyway.

I was in Ukraine 25 years ago after the fall. We pretty much just cruised over the border from Poland to go to a former Communist horse stable to go riding. The people there were really nice, decent people. They were tough and burly, mostly farmers and manual laborers. When I was there I noticed that the person I was with, who was Polish, was able to easily understand them because the Polish language is much more similar to Ukrainian than Russian is. That's how you know who a people really are: Their language. It lets you know where they've been and how they got there.

Ukraine has been dealt a shit hand for a hundred years. I don't like Russians, and what they're doing to Ukraine is just wrong. My personal experiences with them has left me weary and prejudiced to them. Every time I was around them I felt I needed to keep my guard up and be careful at all times. But that's not what this is really about. This is about how as much as I don't like Russians I always knew that Ukrainians were never a match for them militarily, irrespective of how tough they are. And the US using them as pawns is very, very bad and will not end well in any sense. This war should have been avoided at all costs and could have been. People don't realize how much of a Pandora's Box has been opened.

The elephant in the room is that the Russian military dwarfs the Ukrainian military by almost an order of magnitude in personnel alone. And that's just what's known to be on the books. No amount of US munitions will be able to counter the level of superior numbers and weaponry that Russia possesses. They not only have superior infantry but they have ruthless, experienced mercenary forces and penal conscripts who have no conscience. The siege of Bakhmut is being downplayed by the MSM as insignificant. This is a bald faced lie.

I've been traveling to the Second World for a long time (You notice how the media never uses that term BTW). What you see is that all the post WWII communist buildings and infrastructure are all different than in the west. They are combat hardened and centralized. The power plants not only supply electricity but also heat entire cities through vast system of underground piping networks. The "flats" (apartments) built by the Soviets are thick poured concrete designed to withstand light arms and shelling. That's why Russia is having a hard time taking urban areas. But they are doing it nonetheless. The notion that the US would have an easier time attempting to take Russian cities is laughable.

Bakhmut is filled with underground tunnel systems. The Russians are now moving huge amounts of personnel and equipment into the tunnels. They are making Bakhmut their new forward operating command and there's nothing anybody can do about it. Once they've consolidated resources, regrouped and resupplied they will press into central Ukraine. Once they've taken enough territory they will begin encirclement of Kyiv and will invade from Belarus.

This is basic classical military strategy."

Posted by: Ludovic | May 2 2023 18:47 utc | 37

One of the costs of mass mobilization is reduction of labour force, so it limits economic activity. That should in theory drive wages up as businesses compete for very few available workers.

I wonder if what we're seeing here is EITHER massive destruction of economy, so even a small labour pool cannot be fully utilized OR actual mobilization was quite low in Ukraine.

Posted by: Curious Russian | May 2 2023 18:47 utc | 38

Posted by: expat-joe | May 2 2023 18:41 utc | 36
Do you believe their crap yourself???
You live in Russia ???
Come on then post here in Russian...
Cheer up, I speak this language... and lived in Russia for about 12 years, 2 of them in Kiev

Posted by: mo3 | May 2 2023 18:47 utc | 39

Well, the New York Times says that Ukraine’s air defenses shot down most of Russia’s missiles in the latest barrage. The only reason that I know this is that I read the Times for laughs.

Posted by: Rob | May 2 2023 18:48 utc | 40

Uhh. Russia has 3 main demands:

1. Ukraine stays out of NATO and becomes a neutral (read: Stepan Bandera cult outlawed) state
2. No US troops or bases in post 1991 NATO states
3. No forward missile sites on its borders (Romania/Poland)

The last two demands are not likely to be accepted any time soon.

Posted by: Webej | May 2 2023 18:49 utc | 41

Posted by: Chris | May 2 2023 18:16 utc | 32

IIRC in May 2022 there were two invasion attempts of Snake island. Both involved choppers and speed boats with highly trained special forces, which took significant losses due to their vehicles being destroyed out in the ocean, or on the shore. It was said the British MOD had designed both operations. They wanted a neat PR victory which never came.

Eventually Ukraine got the long range French Caesar howitzers which were used against the island and the Russians left Snake island, due to it not being sustainable to hold, and maybe becoming irrelevant at that point.

Posted by: unimperator | May 2 2023 18:49 utc | 42

Interview (English, Russian subs) with Nikita, mobilized Russian soldier by John Dougan and Masha. Quite interesting/worthwhile. They delivered humanitarian aid together before Nikita was mobilized.

Regarding unrest in Ukraine and the current level of political oppression - listen to Nikita's answer to Masha when she asks him if he is ever afraid. When anger and frustration reach a certain point then no amount of oppression and violence can contain it. Will the population of Ukraine reach that point? Who knows.

Regarding Mr Prigozhin and his various pronouncements - who is he? A businessman, friend (perhaps) or acquaintance of Mr Putin, media savvy, Russian patriot... Who is his audience? Well produced videos, English subs, some promoting his business (and Russian patriotism), some complaining about the state of political affairs in Russia regarding the SMO... Now, who is the intended audience? English speaking people in the US and UK for one. Ukrainians? No doubt. Various intelligence services and political actors with an interest in Russia and the SMO? No doubt. Russians? Yes, including potential recruits. So keep this in mind when evaluating what he releases.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 2 2023 18:49 utc | 43

I'd echo Don Firineach | May 2 2023 16:45 utc | 1's assessment: DIRE indeed!

It is understood that the Ukrainian population at large were supportive of Zelensky at the beginning of SMO (Feb. 2022) largely due to fantasies of joining EU/NATO for the good western life that was hyped and promised by western politicians as well as the Zelensky regime itself. Given that Ukrainians are one of the better educated former-Soviet entities, such fantasies and delusions sould only have held its spells for so long or so far. Now that 1-1/3 years later, with poverty/hardship/infrastructure destructions/genocidal death of likely two generations of the productive sectors of the population, already part of REAL history, how can this highly educated population still hold onto the delusion of utopia-western-style and support the Zelensky regime? If the population is actually not supportive of the Zelensky regime but acting out Zelensky's mandate at gun point, then Ukraine is no better than the old dictatorship of Idi Amin's Uganda (or perhaps even worse), then European at large in EU/NATO are consciously supporting the value system of a Nazi despot regime.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | May 2 2023 18:52 utc | 44

In terms of social collapse:

Fo thirty years any who were sound of mind and sound of body have been leaving Ukraine. Women leaving in even greater number than men. Various sources are saying rump Ukraine is down to twenty million. I don't believe it. Ten, maybe fifteen million. They are old and they are the bottom of the barrel.

Demographically Ukraine is finished. It is over. The word 'Ukraine' will soon be like Bessarabia or Ruthenia. Sorta sounds familiar but most will simply forget.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 2 2023 19:06 utc | 45

Karlof1 @26

Another fine high-altitude overview. However often many of us recognize that all wars are hybrid / multi-domain in Von Clauswitz's sense, analysts on both sides lapse into an unhelpfully Ukraine-centric perspective on the conflict. Understandable, but in the absence of counterweights such as yours, the local overdetermines the global.

At this point, I suspect Russia considers what is currently happening as secondary. Other than Odessa, Ukraine has little that Russia wants, and is only fighting there because forced to. Indeed, if Russia has to fight NATO in a limited engagement, SE Ukraine is pretty much the best place to do it. Put in other terms, Ukraine functions for Russia at the operational level, but the strategic level is conflict with the West of which the Ukrainian NATO army is just the most kinetic front.

A recent exception from an unexpected source came in the form of comments from a senior, serving Polish military figure. War is not just kinetics but something like the vector sum of economics, industry, finance, resources, etc., & on that basis Russia is nowhere near being exhausted while the West struggles with its logistics and defense-industrial capacity.

Basically, he seemed to be trying to warn people--perhaps specifically the Polish people--that Russia is at least 2 to 3 years away from so much as breaking a sweat.

Beyond the concrete enumeration of multiple factors and domains such as you provided in @26, a couple of additional considerations:

1. Insofar as Russia--at least since April--recognizes that it is at war with NATO, the RF is managing the conflict in such a way as to become stronger *relative to NATO* over time. RF could, for example, have "spent* another 50 to 100 aircraft to pursue an intensive SEAD campaign months ago, but has held them back to conserve strength *relative to NATO* not Ukraine.

2. I continue to speculate that one of the few leading scenarios that the RF strategic planners are considering, perhaps the leading one, is, as Gurulyov (sp?) has recently stated, a slow grind out to 2030--capturing perhaps 5km / month, and forcing NATO to send their resources across 1000km free-fire zone for Russia to attrit. Russia's leadership are not 'traitors' for leaving the bridges intact that bring NATO's resources into a shooting gallery optimized for Russian economy-of-force, attrition strategy.

3. Some--though surprisingly few--thoughtful Western observers have noted the shocking discrepancy in bang-for-buck between the US/NATO military spending and Russia's. One obvious (though still elusive to many) adjustment is from USD & GDP terms to PPP. Only a very few analysts (Martyanov, for example) point out that RF military R&D operates on a cost-plus basis, rather than using war-profiteering mark ups. But this can be taken further: as a global 'producer of margin' of most strategic resources, Russia is able to produce a stunningly high proportion of its weapons systems from raw materials to finished product--essentially wholesale pricing with negligible imports, vs. NATO's defense-industrial system of multiple stages of imports with debt-financed siphoning and corporate mark ups at each of multiple intermediate stages.

3a. Further, the more of its strategic resources that Russian MIC uses and that Russia sells to 'friendly countries' as a priority, the scarcer and more expensive these resources are in global markets from which the enemy countries must buy to produce their weapons. Only the most obvious of these is energy. But also such things as iron, aluminum, titanium, palladium, antimony, neon & other noble gases, sapphire substrates, etc--all needed for military production.

4. I'm not fully confident of this, but suspect we are getting some indication of this 'wholesale' vs 'high-end retail' and 'industrial capitalism' vs. 'finance capitalism' in the fact that Russia's inflation rates are in the 2 to 4% range, while Europe's is over 10% and the US/CAN in the 8 to 10% range. As the West buys in global markets that are tighter due to Russia exports being somewhat reduced, sold at higher margins, then laundered through friendly countries, the West's loss in real wealth is being experienced, for now at least, as inflation rather than currency devaluation, which may be just around the corner.

5. So as the West de-industrializes, de-energizes and its currencies & the parasitical FIRE sector of the global economy loses dominance, not just the industrial but the tax base--in real resource purchasing terms--erode, even as the West is almost weirdly slow in recognizing that it has a perhaps fatally flawed defense-industrial model. Whatever it costs to incrementally increase military production (already 10X what it costs Russia), the investments in new factories and technical-training systems to staff them will be immense--say 20X Russia's costs to bring production to massive Russian levels. And this is IF an adequate new business model can be developed, preferably on the first try.

6. Though the West seems almost certain to continue to weaken, giving Russia some security to **perhaps** negotiate an end to the conflict (on Russian terms), it may have become clear to Russian strategic planners that though the West will be weaker in the future, Russia will not likely have a less competent, less prepared enemy than it has NOW. That is, Russia may be readying itself--from now to 2030--to **break** NATO--even to confront the US directly *in* Europe by or before 2030, rather than accepting another decade of subversion from the Nazified West.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | May 2 2023 19:10 utc | 46

Here's a few links about the Ukraine attacks on Zmeinyi (Snake island).

🇷🇺🇺🇦Ukraine admitted that the capture of Snake Island failed

The head of the main intelligence department of Ukraine said that the island is of strategic importance for both the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Russian army, because. allows you to control the surface and, to a certain extent, the air situation in southern Ukraine. Also Snake island is strategically important from the point of view. the possibility of landing tactical amphibious assault.

The head of the GUR acknowledged an unsuccessful attempt to take possession of the island, but promised to fight for snake island as much as needed.

Russian control of the island is also confirmed by satellite images from May 12, where our air defense systems on the island, 2 landing ships and a floating crane of the Black Sea Fleet are visible.

🇷🇺🇺🇦 On Snake Island, English and American high-ranking officers disappeared during the landing. For their sake, the Ukrainian military fought for two days. But it was not possible to return the officers, or at least their bodies. According to our source in the General Staff, an American marine lieutenant colonel, as well as an English major from the commando brigade of the marine corps, landed on Snake Island together with Ukrainian fighters.

They coordinated the work of NATO intelligence assets and the Ukrainian landing forces. Both officers landed in the first wave. But then the Russians shot down three helicopters and one landing craft was sunk. The remaining boats withdrew, leaving the first wave of landing on the shore. According to our source, London and Washington demanded that Zelensky make every effort to return their officers. Despite several attempts to re-land on the island, it was not possible to find out the fate of the English and American marines. It is assumed that they died in battle with the Russians. But so far, as our source says, there is no confirmation of this information. It is possible that both were captured. In turn, the attempt to return their bodies cost the Ukrainian forces several planes and helicopters shot down, as well as several dozen dead marines and special forces.

Ukraine may have lost up to 78 spec forces and some Nato officers killed, who were supposed to coordinate the operation from the first landing wave.

Posted by: unimperator | May 2 2023 19:14 utc | 47

As an American citizen who has been bled dry by the US government in order to feed the money laundering operation known as Ukraine, I would like to ask anyone in Ukraine if they could see their way clear to sending me some of my money back. I sure could use it here. Or perhaps the Russians will return it.

Posted by: FJB | May 2 2023 19:14 utc | 48

Even without proper air support or proper artillery, Ukraine might achieve a better negotiating position. The entire thing could be a negotiation tactic a bluff backed up by incomplete military options, but still muscular display of armor. Ok negotiate our terms now or wait until next spring..

Posted by: ATM | May 2 2023 19:16 utc | 49

But social unrest in the donor countries -'You give billions to Ukraine, all skimmed off by oligarchs, while we starve'- is very likely.
Posted by: bevin | May 2 2023 17:43 utc | 22

If that happens it'll be in years from now and if you look at Macaron's tactics of ignoring and beating people you'll see why it won't work anyway. In western eu the energy cost difference is still covered, I read in Germany will be until end of this year, if they don't extend it. EU is basically a hostage situation, no one will escape it.

Posted by: rk | May 2 2023 19:19 utc | 50

Posted by: TG | May 2 2023 17:15 utc | 7
(Russia not winning in Ukraine)

The recent Ukie strike on the tank farm at a Russian oil refinery created a spectacular smoke cloud. But, according to Russian sources, looked a lot more serious than it was.

Having worked at a refinery many decades ago, I know that every tank in a tank farm sits inside a dyke capable of containing the contents of the tank. So the Russian claim of very little damage and disruption is almost certainly true :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 2 2023 19:21 utc | 51

This is an interesting angle from the Ukrainian newspaper

Are they calling the counteroffensive off:

"Kyiv is still considering a military-political way to de-occupy the peninsula.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov believes that Ukraine has the opportunity regain the temporarily annexed Crimea without a fight. During the interview The Atlantic he noted that Kyiv does not consider a purely military possibility of carrying out a counteroffensive, they talk about a military-political way to liberate the AR.

"After they [Russians] block roads, railways and waterways to the peninsula and target military infrastructure with drones, it can be assumed that many Russian residents, especially recent immigrants, will find that they would be better off living elsewhere."

Posted by: Paul from Norway | May 2 2023 19:21 utc | 52

Posted by: karlof1 | May 2 2023 17:58 utc | 26:

It's not just Ukies who are getting attritted; the finances and military resources of its sponsors are also being attritted, a fact not always included in overall analysis. Those sponsoring nations are also all infected with Neoliberal Parasites eating away their vitals, even within the Outlaw US Empire where a multifaceted crisis is ongoing. Russia, China and RoW are moving forward with their mutual integration known as Multipolarity that gathers more momentum daily.

You're right of course, again:-). But do recognize that the two attritions play out differently in the two different societies (Ukraine and the rest of the West, ie). In Ukraine, the finances are destroyed and Ukraine can't print money so they'll have to face poverty afterwards, unless the West ends up injecting wealth into their society. The military resources depletion would pose as a real security threat to them as a sovereign nation, as after the war they would have no means of defending themselves against rivals as insignificant as Estonia. The attrition of these resources is a real devastation to their nationhood. They'll be a beggar nation for quite a while to come.

For the west, it's a different story. The money attrition is not an attrition. It's only a transfer of asset from some pockets (tax payers') into others' (the oligarchs'). They have been playing that transfer game for centuries. This instance is just a script with a different narrative. The military resources attrition is a welcomed outcome, to transfer money into the pockets of their beloved MIC.

I think your error in feeling sorry for the west's attritions were based on the assumptions that the leaders of the west do care for their citizenries and would wish to preserve the societal wealth and securities.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | May 2 2023 19:21 utc | 53

37 - Where Ukrainian does not resemble Russian, it resembles Polish. Years ago on the Internet I commented on the number of Polish loanwords in Ukrainian, and a Ukrainian nationalist claimed that au contraire, it was the culturally superior Ukrainians influencing Polish. Well, the traffic in loanwords was not entirely in one direction but I suspect he was talking out of his fundament.

Posted by: Waldorf | May 2 2023 19:24 utc | 54

@ Paul Damascene | May 2 2023 19:10 utc | 46

IMHO you have, with comment, demonstrated that you belong among the first rank of commenters here.

Posted by: malenkov | May 2 2023 19:27 utc | 55

even to confront the US directly *in* Europe by or before 2030, rather than accepting another decade of subversion from the Nazified West.
Posted by: Paul Damascene | May 2 2023 19:10 utc | 46

Fighting US in Europe would be by far the most idiotic thing Russia can do. But very possible, they are so clever they're fighting Ukr inside Russia, there's no war in Kiev, only in Donbass, Crimea, Belgorod, Engels and so on. Now trains explode in Russia too, so things are progressing very "well" for the 4d chess players

Posted by: rk | May 2 2023 19:30 utc | 56

What is the latest from the Institute of Sluts and Whores?

Posted by: DilNir | May 2 2023 19:31 utc | 57

Posted by RK 50

Yes. you are rigth. The EU is a hostage, but have developed the Stockholm syndrom

Same with Australia

Brilliant observation RT

Posted by: Paul from Norway | May 2 2023 19:35 utc | 58

Russia is ready for a counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: What do the statements of Defense Minister Shoigu mean
Military expert Anatoly Matviychuk announced Russia's readiness for a counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

What did Sergei Shoigu mean when he said that we have enough ammunition in the NVO zone to defeat the enemy? We are sorting it out with a military expert, retired colonel Anatoly Matviychuk.

- Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the number of weapons that enter the NVO zone increased by 2.7 times over the year. And the ammunition is "sufficient for fire destruction of the enemy." What can this mean in terms of confrontation with the Leopards, Abrams, Bayraktars sent by the West to Ukraine...

- The West has promised to supply tanks, millions of ammunition, even planes are already being discussed. And the reality is that the ammunition was delivered in very limited quantities. Shells of the "Soviet" caliber of 152 mm are almost completely absent from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Poland and Slovenia did not fulfill this task, although they promised.

Tanks - a total of 40 Leopards have so far been delivered to Kyiv, which cannot do anything in such numbers. We oppose them with 3.5 thousand.

Well, of course, you also need to take into account the T-72 tanks that the Czechs supplied to Kyiv, which, by the way, they stole from Morocco. To date, Ukraine has about 200 tanks, a maximum of 220 units. Somewhere around 50 different aircraft. They have a large number of drones, yes. But the most important thing is that Ukraine does not have enough artillery ammunition. That is, they are not ready to gain fire superiority, air superiority.

What Shoigu said today, I perceive it this way. Our army after mobilization fully brought itself to combat readiness. And we should not, at least, feel hungry during the fire escort of our actions. We are ready to repel the offensive of Ukraine, if it takes place. And then go on the counteroffensive.

- Still, NATO tanks can break through our defenses?

- 12 Challenger tanks supplied to Kyiv by Great Britain, they weigh 70 tons each. Even if they wait out the thaw, even if it dries up, well, imagine what such a tank will do on the bridges built in Ukraine during the Soviet Union? They have a carrying capacity of only 60 tons.

Second. London said it had delivered depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine. Well, the flag is in their hands, let them try to use it. I think that, besides the fact that the Americans have already installed nuclear sensors in Ukraine, our sensors have been there for a long time. And our diplomats have warned the British that this will untie the hands of our retaliatory measures. Once they use depleted-impact munitions, an environmental catastrophe could take on a universal scale - depleted uranium can be answered with real uranium.

Third. Tanks will need to constantly replenish ammunition. During an offensive, a tank, as a rule, consumes from 6 to 10 tank ammunition. I don't think they have that much ammo. Then it will be a disaster - the tanks simply will not be able to perform their tasks.

On the whole, I assess the situation in such a way that the fire, tactical, maneuver initiative is on the side of our troops.

- In your opinion, how much longer will Kyiv refrain from attacking? They constantly tell the West that there are not enough supplies, more is needed.

- Ukraine is a hostage. She will be told to advance, she will advance. That is, in any case, the offensive will take place, whether they want it or not, whether they have shells or not. They will be thrown into battle because money has already been paid for this music. The West is already asking questions - we have given you so much, where did everything go, why are you not advancing? I predict that they will still deliver several blows, perhaps even break through our tactical defense zone, that is, they can go 5, maximum 10 kilometers, then they will not have enough strength. The throw of our troops will follow - the defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and our transition to the offensive.

Posted by: Oblomovka daydream | May 2 2023 19:39 utc | 59

The reason there is abnormally large rain is because of the unusually warm winter. The next summer there will be extreme drought.

Posted by: A200 | May 2 2023 19:40 utc | 60

Today (May 2) is a 9-year anniversary of the Odessa massacre, when at least 50 people were burned alive in the Trade-Union Building. Most residents believe that the actual victim count is much larger. Naturally, nobody has been punished for the crime, although plenty of video recording are available, and the perpetrators would be easy to identify.

That day showed to normal people in Ukraine that any attempted at peaceful resistance to the coup would be crushed not just violently but with extreme cruelty. Just to remind everyone how it all started and what this is all about.

Posted by: EugeneGur | May 2 2023 19:44 utc | 61

Posted by: expat-joe | May 2 2023 18:41 utc | 36:

Russian-based media seriously downplays how unpopular the war is domestically. Definitely more than half of people are against it, and the strongest support is from the elderly who don't have internet and watch cable TV (Russian channels). I'm sure the Kremlin knows that - and it is the only significant factor that points to any kind of negotiated peace.

Granted that what you said is true, to me it simply reinforce the notion that a nation should be led by brilliant people rather than the average Joe. The average Russian cannot see the implications of NATO's eastward creepage. Geopolitics is too abstract and ambiguous for the average persona to decipher the long term consequences. Leaders of a great nation, therefore, must be ones who have the capacity and patience to think through what is best for their nation, even if what they decide may not be popular.

I just like to point out one thing: What Putin and his team decided to do in later 2021/early 2022 did not benefit themselves one bit personally! It was a decision purely for the security and wellbeing of Russia. The Chinese leadership understood it. The leaders of RoW understood it. Even the Empire's leaders understood it. The average Joes of these same nations don't.

Well, I think many barflies here do understand what and why Russia did what it has done. And I think I'll also say that they have done well.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | May 2 2023 19:46 utc | 62

Enough reading and posting on b's excellent blog for today. Bye all and have a good day!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | May 2 2023 19:48 utc | 63

@Paul Damascene, #46:

Just one more post :-). Excellent comments Mr. Damascene!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | May 2 2023 20:01 utc | 64

I see no signs that the west is giving up.
I would like it to be so, but I an very pessimistic.

Posted by: Srbin | May 2 2023 20:12 utc | 65

So NEST is wiring Nuclear detection sensors in Ukraine,funny how this false flag will work out maybe Wagner,Don bass Militias or Russian armed forces will be blamed on this one

Posted by: Sam Vandenberg | May 2 2023 20:16 utc | 66

"...Russian cynical strategy is to let the greedy indulge in their own greed and hope social unrest will end up being Russia's best ally. Western sanctions policy reversed...." Et Tu@16


It's worth pointing out, that this aspect really buggered the KMT in China. Massive outside aid became a loci of blatant corruption, which ultimately empowered the CCP.

Posted by: Urban Fox | May 2 2023 20:24 utc | 67

Oriental Voice no. 62

"even if what they decide may not be popular."

That's what Macron said about raising the pension retirement age.

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | May 2 2023 20:27 utc | 68

Adding to @46 very good summary:

Carbohydrates: wet spring, late planting for wheat.

If either a drought follows OR wet harvest, UKR & Russia's havest will be down.

Potato 'seed' has been & may be in future withheld from Russia. Domestic types will take years to improve to match the yield of overseas types.

If droght etc, Russia will eat more wheat, less potato.'s-Apartheid-Trading-System.html#Agriculture

But carb supply & marketing is under govt. control. Food security for Russia is paramount. History presses.

Not so Ukraine.

Hydrocarbons are not just assured - they are finally almost all 50+ % govt owned - thanks in part to the proxy war on Russia!

Most importantly, the hydrocabon businesses pay a dividend which is earmarked for development of the whole of Russian society. In other words, in the west oil and gas dividend goes to a limited number of shareholders, in Russia fully half the dividend is distributed to 100% of the population.

And this is the essence of Mr.Bidens greatest fear - that the Russian hybrid private enterprise/popular ownership model of strategic industry might show up the failures in the 'market will decide' financial industry-based US system.

Posted by: Powerandpeople | May 2 2023 20:30 utc | 69

About the coming US nuclear false flag.
It is not meant to deceive Russians or the rest of the world.
It is meant to deceive the Western population.
That task is going to be easy.
Evey day I am amazed how deeply ordinary people in EU trust their governments. Don't look at France, that is about the pensions, not about Ukraine.

Posted by: srbin | May 2 2023 20:30 utc | 70

I think it possible that Biden and Co. want the offensive soon because they want the war to end before US tanks and F 16's enter the fighting. When these get blown up, it's very bad optics for the MIC. They may have eliminated Leopards as competition and big $$$ awaits. There are also elections coming and the Neo Cons want war with China ASAP. Zelensky is screwed. They'll probe Russian defenses as usual but instead of being driven back, they'll have to plow ahead into mass deaths.

Posted by: Eighthman | May 2 2023 20:33 utc | 71

Some observations:

Energy is the life blood of an economy. It should be abundant, affordable, reliable, dispatchable and robust. The West is headed for disaster. Renewables and sustainables have none of these characteristics. Pursuing Net Zero will destroy their economies, and who will be left: Russia and China, among others like India. So good bye Miss American Pie. It was good while it lasted.

Posted by: El Oso de Los Llanos | May 2 2023 20:37 utc | 72

Oriental Voice @ 53

For the west, it's a different story. The money attrition is not an attrition. It's only a transfer of asset from some pockets (tax payers') into others' (the oligarchs'). They have been playing that transfer game for centuries. This instance is just a script with a different narrative. The military resources attrition is a welcomed outcome, to transfer money into the pockets of their beloved MIC.

I think your error in feeling sorry for the west's attritions were based on the assumptions that the leaders of the west do care for their citizenries and would wish to preserve the societal wealth and securities.

Depletion of existing military equipment backed by PROMISES to replenish. Promise by way of pledging future taxpayer money to defense contractors. Capital will go toward lesser-productive activities (military). Keep this up and productive output of a country collapses: I'd argue that for most of the West it's already right on the precipice. Economic attrition IS happening. And when the USD falls off its perch (not a matter of IF but WHEN) it's game-over.

Posted by: Seer | May 2 2023 20:40 utc | 73

Paco | May 2 2023 17:44 utc | 24
It has an element of cynicism to discuss in a thread about Ukraine bleeding to death and sinking into mass poverty the price of Iberian noble ham ("la mejor comida del mundo"). Still, your quote of "€1500 a piece of about 6kg" is too far off to go unchallenged. -> See: Jamón (not even paleta) Ibérico (100% raza pata negra) de bellota from Jabugo 6.6 - 7.0 kg is offered here for 365 € today.
If I'm wrong (quality hoax?), pls. teach me.

Posted by: OttoE | May 2 2023 20:46 utc | 74

Potato 'seed' has been & may be in future withheld from Russia. Domestic types will take years to improve to match the yield of overseas types.
Er...what do you know about potatoes and the varieties available in Russia?
Every, EVERY type of potato is exhausted after about 5 years and has to be refined again in order to be suitable as a sat potato...
And... Russia has been growing potatoes for almost centuries...
Given the size of the country, there are probably at least 10 varieties in use in different regions of the country.
So... what do you know about potatoes... NOTHING as I can see from your lines!

Posted by: mo3 | May 2 2023 20:47 utc | 75

@srbin | May 2 2023 20:30 utc | 70

Evey day I am amazed how deeply ordinary people in EU trust their governments. Don't look at France, that is about the pensions, not about Ukraine.
I have not seen that many pensioners in the demonstrations, but I have seen a lot of young people. I am not in France, but the impression I get is that it is indeed a crisis between ordinary people and the government.

FRANCE - Nantes. Here come the farmers! Joining the massive May Day protests.
71% of citizens are against Macron not even bothering to ask Parliament when he knows he’ll lose.
It isn’t about retirement age, it’s about democracy!

Posted by: Norwegian | May 2 2023 20:58 utc | 76

RT and Sputnik now being blocked in US

Posted by: Willow | May 2 2023 21:03 utc | 77

"Ukraine forms eight new ‘storm’ brigades for counterattack"

Move to recruit up to 40,000 troops aimed at inflicting heavy losses on Russia in Bakhmut area"

(Wonder what they'll be.)

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | May 2 2023 21:06 utc | 78

Seems anywhere in the West now a VPN is required for decent access to info.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | May 2 2023 21:07 utc | 79

what a great read today. wish I could comment more but not using the phone. fingers too clumsy.

fairly sure that i have been blocked by Microsoft but have no idea how to unblock.

Posted by: watcher | May 2 2023 21:07 utc | 80

El Oso de Los Llanos @ 72

Energy is the life blood of an economy. It should be abundant, affordable, reliable, dispatchable and robust. The West is headed for disaster. Renewables and sustainables have none of these characteristics. Pursuing Net Zero will destroy their economies, and who will be left: Russia and China, among others like India. So good bye Miss American Pie. It was good while it lasted.

"Sustainable" means NO CHANGE. You cannot have both CHANGE (growth [either negative or positive) and NO-CHANGE (sustainable). Doesn't matter what economic system or ideology is in place. The exponential function is the exponential function: growth consumes until it can no longer. Earth, as the case with all planets, is finite.

Posted by: Seer | May 2 2023 21:07 utc | 81

Willy OAM has an interesting bit in his latest update video on the rocket fuel plant that likely blew up in Pavlograd. While I don't often watch his short updates (pro-Ukrainian, but at least he is straight up about his position), but this one contains information I haven't seen elsewhere. This 'chemical plant' produced both solid and liquid fuel for all of the missiles in Ukraine's arsenal, including ICBMs during the Soviet era, as well as other types of munitions including the infamous 'petal mines'. The rocket fuel, much in expired status, was supposed to be disposed of or destroyed long before the SMO but bureaucratic corruption prevented this. The petal mines were also supposed to be destroyed. The plant restarted production of missile fuel in 2021. Local people were afraid of an environmental disaster if the fuel exploded, and a single defective storage container going off could set the whole thing off. The area is also laced with tunnels from mining operations and people feared that an explosion could cause tunnel massive collapses.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 2 2023 21:11 utc | 82

It seems very likely that those US radiation detectors across Ukraine are in preparation for their false flag. That would mean they might try to extort Russia to end SMO once the Ukro counter-offensive has run its short course, and most likely hit with a counter-counter-offensive with fresh reserves.

Posted by: unimperator | May 2 2023 21:13 utc | 83

Bear of the Plains @72
Succinct observations on energy as the lifeblood of an economy. And as your remarks at least imply, it's not just the quantity of energy but its quality. One of the best proxy metrics we have for this is energy returned on energy invested. (EROEI) It takes $$ out of the equation, and so also take money-printing out of the equation. You can borrow, subsidize, all the trillions you want, but have to get substantially more energy out of an investment than you put in (EROEI of 15:1, at the very least. Perhaps much more).

Malenkov @55
Thank you for your kind words.

Oriental Voice @64
Thank you, also. I think you're right to identify different attrition dynamics within Ukraine and outside of it. Indeed, one might say there are 3: the special case of Ukraine; the West generally which has a store of wealth still to draw down and at least some capacity to borrow; then the US, with the exorbitant privilege of the USD.

I confess to some uncertainty on this point, but as a thought experiment I wonder what happens as the moment approaches with the major foreign holders of USTs--China and now even Japan--stop buying and then start to sell their existing USTs at an ever increasing discount, and the world stops buying new USTs from a country with 31 then 35 then 40 trillion USD in sovereign debt, even vaster sums of state, corporate and personal debt, debt servicing costs of 100 billion then 200 billion just on federal debt.

Increasingly the world winds down its use of USD for trade but also for financing; demand for USD falls at an accelerating rate. How long can the US capacity to print money without inflation last when the last and only purchaser of US treasury debt is the Fed?

rk @56.
Rhetorically, you've got me: very few people would say it's ever smart to attack the US. The few who do, do it for reasons other than the smartness of doing so. But, as we saw in the case of Iran, a country may reach the point where--smart or not--the price of not challenging the US directly reaches a point they are no longer willing to pay. Iran straight up announced the time and location of its missile strike on a US base and made it clear that if the US retaliated, then the other US bases in range of Iran would become targets. The US has spent decades now more or less assuming it only had to play offense, never defense.

Many former US military officers--MacGregor, Ritter, Shaffer--make it clear that NATO--which is to say the US in Europe--is currently already a paper tiger. 50k US combat troops at most, and a year to build up a significant combat force.

Of course the risk of nuclear war is never smart. But, in conventional or military conflict, as Putin himself has said, if you know you can't keep avoiding a fight, hit first, hit hard.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | May 2 2023 21:14 utc | 84

@Willow | May 2 2023 21:03 utc | 77

Not blocked.

looks like a fake james posted above: james | May 2 2023 21:07 utc | 82

Posted by: the pessimist | May 2 2023 21:15 utc | 85

Posted by: Paul Damascene | May 2 2023 19:10 utc | 46

Good summation of Ukraine being simply chess pieces on a global board, upon which Russia is seeking to capitalise on the the set of self-inflicted moves made recently by, its traditional opponent, the West.

I think your points 4 and 5 are inextricably linked, although the narrative engineers blame Putin for high energy costs, they were rising dramatically after Biden’s ‘election’ and the adoption of the radical GND. These increases fed directly, albeit in a delayed fashion, into all sectors who were energy intensive, or who relied on the by products of traditional energy production (agriculture, chemical production etc). The disastrous COVID lockdown has also put a massive strain on public finances, resulting in irresistible inflationary pressures.

Trump’s election in 2016 is, I think, the progenitor of this crisis, Clinton’s defeat left the mutant neocon, progressive project in disarray. Ukraine’s role in Russia’s economic servitude and diminished stature was never meant to run concurrently with de-industrialisation and social reset. Worse, due to the lost four years both programmes were hurriedly executed with only ad-hoc contingency plans, spawning huge financial and diplomatic problems.

Posted by: Milites | May 2 2023 21:23 utc | 86

What the pessimist said. I can access both RT and Sputnik here in the Rockies foothills, and without VPN besided.

Posted by: malenkov | May 2 2023 21:23 utc | 87

Paul Damascene | May 2 2023 19:10 utc | 46--
Oriental Voice | May 2 2023 19:21 utc | 53--

Thanks for your excellent replies. I'd very much like to know what's on the minds of the Security Council and Russian General Staff, but the best I can come is an educated guess based on as much information as I can amass. The Parasites don't have any care of those they feast upon other than to keep them alive so they can keep feasting. However, as Hudson points out, there are limits and that's where the Outlaw US Empire now stands whether it's depicted as a wall or abyss it's something that's impassable. There's again serious talk of further debasement of the currency; the current dollar coins are now worth just 6.67% of their face value via their metal content. Perhaps the best comparison is the Eisenhower Dollar (1971-78) that was minted in two varieties, one with 40% silver content the other with no silver--the silver is now worth $8.0291 versus the non-silver at $0.2227676. There were once several versions of dollar gold coins whose metal value today is $97.53. Another excellent inflation proxy are postage stamps, the current forever stamp cost is $0.63; it was $0.03 when I was born in 1955. The outcome of this massive inflation/debasement is many critical things like Housing and Cars are priced out of reach of most people; so, to obtain them, the only alternative is to go into debt--that is IF you have a credit rating that's deemed worthy.

The current debate in Congress is how to bail out the already filthy rich whose banks and hedge funds are failing because of their greed. That ought to be a huge campaign issue being decried by Trump and RFKjr, but little is said because the Donors who also own BigLie Media don't want the public to get further roiled. And just under the financial debate is the For as long as it takes debate--note such talk is never mentioned about the US public. And much is the same in Neoliberal Europe. I know what I'd do if I was in charge, but I'm one of those who the Roman elite would have murdered ASAP as my changes would undo their interests forever, and we very much live in a Roman nation where Creditors Rule.

My answer to Oriental Voice is the unfortunate fact that we ordinary folk are seen as collateral damage and debt slaves given the current rules and their associated morals. At least we're not forced to go die in the trenches--yet.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 2 2023 21:24 utc | 88

@ 86 pessimist.. correct..thanks for noting that.

Posted by: james | May 2 2023 21:27 utc | 89

Waiting for the Chinese Air Force or the USAF to tip the balance.

The Great Wing Ching vs the Great Santini.

Posted by: Wokechoke | May 2 2023 21:35 utc | 90

Paul Damascene | May 2 2023 19:10 utc | 46

Thank you for your excellent post. Paticularly the last paragraph, which is the definition of a "complete De-Nato-ification". Which may be the only way to stop them finally. It is going to take several years.

"Russia will not likely have a less competent, less prepared enemy than it has NOW. That is, Russia may be readying itself--from now to 2030--to **break** NATO--even to confront the US directly *in* Europe by or before 2030, rather than accepting another decade of subversion from the Nazified West."

Expanding on one area of the anticipated offensive, which is all about what "Kiev" wants, there is also the question of what the US hopes to get out of an offensive that they are aware that it is unlikely to be conclusive. What short-long-term aim might be profitable for them?

First, five possible "fronts" suggested are; The three central directions in the "middle", towards Melitopol, Artemosk, Soledar/-, all supplied from Pavlograd. A northern strike (across Russian territory), or a "southern" Zaporhriziha-ZPP:

However, May I suggest that the threats that Kiev now makes about Crimea, might hide a real project of the US concerning Odessa.
Add the following items into the mix.
a) The raising of the water levels in the dams upstream of the Dniepr.
b) The suggestion of using radar neutral ("stealth?) Kayaks and other small boats for infiltration..
c) The buildup of US forces in southern Roumainia and Moldova. (One Moldovan Parliamentarian was asking why). Plus a new use of Forte 10/11 (global Hawks) and Italian and French spy planes. The latter were circling overland, just inside the southern part of Bulgaria, during the recent attacks on Sevastopol.
d) The preparations for a possible nuclear FF, and specialised (and equiped) personnel.

e)The Nuclear "sensors" and the veiled threats against the Russian commanding them not to use Nukes (All a pre FF narrative set-up). This part includes the ZPP and the storage of all that would be necessary for a dirty bomb.

So what would be a somewhat Hollywoodien scenario?-

The offensive is launched. Choose any one of the five.
THEN open the dams upstream, and possibly also destroy the gates of the one still holding back the water necessary for cooling the reactors at ZPP, which is under Russian control. The lower reaches of the Dniepr flood, and the area (Kinburn Spit and other lowlying land), become a means for kayaks and other small dingies to infiltrate using the reeds etc as cover. Russian troops would be flooded out of their trenches, (or drenched in their trenches).

Posing a threat to the peninsula (Crimea) from the southern land route.

A FF flag is then declared, when the Russians are obliged to retreat to higher ground. "Look, look they are panicking etc." Probably the storage tanks at the ZPP but it is not sure. (could be on an urban area that Kiev decides on arbitrarily, such as Kherson or Nikolaev)

At which point the US "sends in the cavalry" to save the day. UN and EU loudly support the "save the Ukies" as expected. ie. The US occupies Odessa - which was the object all along. The Russians no longer being nearby and handicapped by the floods, and needing to cross the Dniepr to ripost.

However, this turns Odessa into a undeclared armed enclave (fortress/port) under US command. Making it a permanent threat to Sevastopol. Giving access for the US corporations to export whatever. I could even imagine the construction of an fortified US "Embassy" of many hectares as they have done in Beirut, Iraq, (are they also making one in Haiti?) and anywhere else the natives might not have been enthralled by being reduced to background chattel.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 2 2023 21:38 utc | 91

Milites @ 87

Bill Clinton's administration was responsible for Yeltsin. The Russian people should be thankful for that as, after all, it was Yeltsin who pushed Putin into where he is. Yeah, doubtful that that was their (Clinton et al) intent. And Hillary got Trump elected: her campaign's strategy was to push Trump above others so that HRC could easily come out on top. WHOOPS [again]!

Posted by: Seer | May 2 2023 21:43 utc | 92

'The billions of dollars and Euros the West provided to Ukraine are skimmed off by those who visit fancy restaurants and bars in Kiev':

Canadian Defence Firm Roshel Paid Ukrainian Broker To Secure $92 M Sole Sourced Contract with Canada...

"A firm entrenched in the rightist Ukrainian-Canadian power structure that has been widely lauded by media, both talked up probable financial benefits of Russian invasion and may have paid off Ukrainian officials with Canadian government money."

Galician mafia again thanks Ukro-nazi's grand-daughter and deputy PM Chrystia Freeland. Still the embarrassing 'Canadian progressive left' cheers on NATO-Nazi Ukraine.

Posted by: John Gilberts | May 2 2023 21:48 utc | 93

Paul Damascene | May 2 2023 21:14 utc | 85
karlof1 | May 2 2023 21:24 utc | 90

US money. (dangerous but OT?)

I believe the major threat is from the trillions of derivative trades falling apart. Which is why the 11 banks involved in trading are the ones also suddenly trying to save the latest Bank failure.


Posted by: Stonebird | May 2 2023 21:58 utc | 94

Thanks b, for this Sitrep.

There can be no doubting that the SMO will only end when Odessa is taken home. The grim anniversary has a message:

Russia 'will never forget' Odessa events of 9 years ago, will punish those responsible

The ministry expressed its indignation at the lack of any probe into the incident

MOSCOW, May 2. /TASS/. Moscow intends to press on with its efforts to identify and punish all those responsible for the 2014 Odessa tragedy, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its Telegram channel on Tuesday.

"May 2 marks the 9th anniversary of the tragic events in Odessa, which culminated in the chilling murders at the Trade Unions House. On that day [nine years ago], radical Ukrainian nationalists deliberately set fire to the building where those opposed to the new government were hiding. As a result, 48 people were burned alive, poisoned by carbon monoxide or died falling from the upper floors," Russia’s diplomatic agency said.

The ministry expressed its indignation at the lack of any probe into the incident. "We will never forget the Odessa tragedy. And we will seek to identify and punish all those involved in those atrocities," Russia’s MFA underlined.[.]

= = = = =

RT Featured:
Burned alive: How the 2014 Odessa massacre became a turning point for Ukraine

Clashes between opposing activists turned into mass murder. The perpetrators have never been punished[.]

slowly, slowly wins the day.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 2 2023 22:03 utc | 95

Likklemore # 97

I imagine that Russians feel the same way about the Odessa atrocity that conservative Americans feel about Waco. The same government and sponsored media kept us in the dark about the war against The Donbass.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | May 2 2023 22:12 utc | 96

Beyond believe: How will the Putin apologists, Russophiles, and 5D warriors explain this one away. I know I have an explanation.

- Russia to cease artillery fire in Artyomovsk during US media trip, says Wagner founder
Yevgeny Prigozhin warned the Ukrainian military against attempts to bring reserves to Artyomovsk under the cover of US journalists -

MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. Russian forces will cease artillery fire in Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine) during a trip by US reporters whom the Ukrainian military is bringing to the city, Wagner private military company founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a statement uploaded on his press office’s Telegram channel on Thursday.

"We were at the headquarters dealing with combat operations when information came that Tserber, commander of the Ukrainian army’s 57th brigade, was bringing American journalists to Bakhmut. A decision was made to cease artillery fire so that American reporters could calmly make footage of Bakhmut and leave home. The media is a sacred thing. They are also a sort of military reporters," Prigozhin said. "

Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 2 2023 22:15 utc | 97

Military expert Daniil Bezsonov
Chronicles May 2, 2014

On May 2, 2014 ...On this day, there was the first serious battle between the DPR militia and the Ukrainian security forces, and on this day the whole world saw the real face of Ukrainian Nazism because of the tragedy in Odessa.

Now in order.

During this period, the defenders of Slavyansk were only about 170 people, and it was not a well-coordinated professional military unit, but a collection of people capable of resisting and capable of a feat. In the Slavic direction during this period, the grouping of Ukrainian security forces consisted of more than 4 thousand soldiers and officers with armored vehicles, artillery and aircraft.

The enemy began to attack us from several directions around five o'clock in the morning. The enemy threw infantry, armored vehicles and aircraft into battle. Local residents tried to block the columns of armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but fire was opened on them to kill, several people were killed.

With the support of armored vehicles, enemy infantry attacked our checkpoints at the Feed Mill, in Bylbasovka, Andreevka, at a gas station along the Rostov-Kharkov highway (BZS), a fire station and a railway station. In addition to Slavyansk, Krasny Liman was attacked that day, but the local militia was able to fight back as soon as possible.

The enemy managed to occupy the BZS, Slavkurort and Mount Karachun. Karachun was defended by 12 of our fighters, all of them were from the Berkut unit. They were opposed by a company of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with four armored personnel carriers. The Berkut fighters retreated without loss in battle, inflicting damage on the enemy - five VSE soldiers died.

It was possible to shoot down two Mi-24 combat helicopters over Slavyansk and one Mi-8 combat helicopter over Krasny Liman. One of the Mi-24 pilots survived but was wounded. On this day, the Ukrainians lost about 25 soldiers killed. The militia lost about ten killed, among whom was the legendary commander Sergei Zhurikov with the call sign Romashka.

In the afternoon I was at the checkpoint, there were guys from Odessa with us. Somehow they all gathered at the screen of the phone of one of them. They were excited and extremely depressed about something. They said that Ukrainian Nazis burned people alive in Odessa. The other guys and I got into our smartphones. There were many videos from Odessa on the Internet. Some Ukrainian publics published phrases such as “Odessa shish kebab” or “grilled colorados”. On this day, we are still more convinced that we are on the right side and in the right place.

For the first time, this situation caused a very strong hatred of the enemy and a desire to kill.

After the events of May 2 in Odessa, more volunteers began to come to our Donbas militia from both the Odessa region and other regions of Ukraine, and from Russia. Then many understood what really happened in Kyiv in February 2014 and who rules the show. The footage from Odessa gave us all additional motivation to resist and strengthened our resilience in the face of fear and deprivation. That day changed everything in our heads.

Posted by: MiniMO | May 2 2023 22:16 utc | 98

Posted by: Deplorable Commissar | May 2 2023 22:15 utc | 99

Maybe he just saw it as an opportunity to squeeze in a few more extra ukrops to the increasingly overcrowded area they hold in Bakhmut.

Posted by: unimperator | May 2 2023 22:19 utc | 99

A Forever War is The True Game

Just now, Milley intimated, for the umpteenth time, that "negotiations won't be in the pipeline for a year or two". I think he means till Biden goes (Nov 2024).

Along with all the "for as long as it takes" rhetoric, it is patently clear that the real game, the long game, is to (try to) tire Russia militarily and economically and politically into either compromise, surrender, or State dissolution. My money is on --

[X] None of the above.

So perhaps now all the global peaceniks (civilians and their leaders) will shut up their virtue-signalling fantasies about some sort of ceasefire, talks, and unhappy/unsatisfactory compromise.


None of the 6 actually participating sides want it to happen (UKR, RF, US, UK, NATO, EU). Ironically, only the comfy bedroom and palace observers, and a few sensible trench fighters want "peace".

Imo, neither a slow lessening of Western support nor a sudden "losing" withdrawal bothers the US, because their global game is just to play, to fight, to disrupt their enemies however they can for as long as they can. They do lose, but they don't. They just start again elsewhere (vis: China). The widely-spread shit fights only serve their hegemony ... divide and rule, in a regional AND planetary sense.

Clearly, behind the scenes, they have lined up Poland to be the successor proxy against Russia -- for as long as it takes. Silly, puffed up Poles. They think they are the battle flag-bearer for NATO. And, contrary to all the hopeful bluster by McGregor and others, NATO is here to stay. True, it has expanded by 2 more countries in just one year. Do the anti-NATO bozos (and I'm one) really think "European Security" is going to fracture back into disjunctive national armies?


What has NATO always been to Russia? A: a threatening pain in the arse. It will continue to be so. Plus, even after a Kievan whipping, the US will (somehow) fund insurgencies "for as long as it takes", and keep on aggravating former USSR states towards its own ends. Russia (its old and new territories) is in for a serious long-haul anti-terrorism op. Ukraine has been priming their youth militants for 9 years to terrorise "The Orcs". Russia is gunna need 24/7 railway inspections, cafe entry inspections, total national aerial defence. That was always the West's Plan B. What else??? Drive Russia into a paranoid martial law??? Full, regime-unpopular mobilisation??? Fight till Putin retires then seed a new Navalny???

So grab the popcorn and sodas, kids. Settle in till at least Nov 2024. I reckon that's what Milley is really saying.

Posted by: The Dolphin | May 2 2023 22:20 utc | 100

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