Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 04, 2023

The Ukraine Peace Talk Trial Balloon

A trial ballon has gone up on the NBCnews website. It is testing the public reaction to the upcoming U.S. and NATO acknowledgment of their defeat in Ukraine:

U.S., European officials broach topic of peace negotiations with Ukraine, sources say - NBCnews - Nov 03 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war, according to one current senior U.S. official and one former senior U.S. official familiar with the discussions.

This comes the same week that saw a Time piece about Zelenski's unwillingness to consider the real situation on Ukraine and to admit defeat. The same week the Economist interviewed General Zaluzny who optimistically spoke of a stalemate at the front even while his army is on the cusp of disintegration.

Taken together the three pieces might well be part of a U.S. administration campaign to concede its defeat in Ukraine while blaming its Ukrainian proxy forces for the results of its blunder.

Back to the NBC piece:

The conversations have included very broad outlines of what Ukraine might need to give up to reach a deal, the officials said. Some of the talks, which officials described as delicate, took place last month during a meeting of representatives from more than 50 nations supporting Ukraine, including NATO members, known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, the officials said.

The discussions are an acknowledgment of the dynamics militarily on the ground in Ukraine and politically in the U.S. and Europe, officials said.

They began amid concerns among U.S. and European officials that the war has reached a stalemate and about the ability to continue providing aid to Ukraine, officials said. Biden administration officials also are worried that Ukraine is running out of forces, while Russia has a seemingly endless supply, officials said. Ukraine is also struggling with recruiting and has recently seen public protests about some of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s open-ended conscription requirements.

The problem of the Ukrainian army is an obvious one. It is running out of men and has few it can still recruit. It is difficult to assess the real losses the Ukrainian military has had, but I would not be astonished to learn that they sum up to about 300,000 dead and some 500,000+ wounded, many of whom will now be disabled.

Finally these concerns about Ukraine's manpower get acknowledged:

President Joe Biden has been intensely focused on Ukraine’s depleting military forces, according to two people familiar with the matter.

"Manpower is at the top of the administration’s concerns right now,” one said. The U.S. and its allies can provide Ukraine with weaponry, this person said, “but if they don’t have competent forces to use them it doesn’t do a lot of good”

The last sentence seems to be taken from the Time piece which had said:

In some branches of the military, the shortage of personnel has become even more dire than the deficit in arms and ammunition. One of Zelensky’s close aides tells me that even if the U.S. and its allies come through with all the weapons they have pledged, “we don’t have the men to use them.”

Ukraine itself is destroying its own brigades faster than it can generate new ones:

During the last days tanks from the 47th brigade (Leo 2) and 10th mountain brigade (T-64BM/BV) have been seen, and were destroyed, near Avdiivka. Both brigades had only recently been mauled during their hopeless attacks at the southern front. It does not make sense to throw what is left of them into another battle without reconstituting them. The whole experience and knowledge these brigades had gained will be lost with them.

The whole professional middle-block of the army, the sergeants and young officers, have mostly been killed or wounded. Without them it is impossible to constitute new forces.

The NBC piece has made news in Ukraine (in Russian) but I have yet to find Ukrainian reactions to it. While I was publishing this a first political reaction, total denial, appeared:

Zelenskyy: There is no stalemate, and there will be no talks or concessions - UA Pravda - Nov 4 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy does not think the situation on the front in Ukraine is a stalemate and has said that Ukraine will not negotiate with Russia.
...
Quote from Zelenskyy: "This is not a stalemate. Russia controls the sky. We are protecting our troops. No one [in Ukraine] wants to just throw our people [into the battle] like Russia does [...]

How can we overcome it? With the F-16s, we have to wait for our guys to get trained and for them to come back. When there’s air defence on the front, our soldiers advance, and they deploy the equipment they have."

What will he say when the F-16s, the fifty year old wunderwaffen, fall out of the sky faster than they go up?

There are sure signs that the divide between the political and military leadership in Ukraine is growing. President Zelenski, on request of his new defense minister, just removed the commander of Ukraine's special forces and installed a new one:

Major General Viktor Khorenko does not know the reasons for his dismissal from the post of Commander of the Special Operations Forces. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, did not submit a request for his dismissal.

It is very unusual to fire an officer without a request from his superior commander.

There are also shots fired against Zaluzny himself:

President's Office advises Commander-in-Chief of Ukrainian Armed Forces not to publicise situation at front - UA Pravda - Nov 4 2023

Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Office of the President, commenting on the article by Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, for The Economist, has said that the military should not bring to the public what is happening at the front.
...
Zhovkva also stated that "one of the heads of the leaders' offices" called him after the mentioned article was published.

"And they simply ask me in a panic, ‘What should I report to my leader? Are we really at a stalemate?’. Are we trying to achieve this effect with this article?", the President’s Office representative said.

The NBC piece even sets a time frame to Ukraine to admit that it is over:

Officials also have privately said Ukraine likely only has until the end of the year or shortly thereafter before more urgent discussions about peace negotiations should begin. U.S. officials have shared their views on such a timeline with European allies, officials said.

Russia will likely agree to peace talks. But it probably will demand more than Ukraine is willing to give. At a minimum that is the full control over the five oblast it has annexed, including Crimea, and no NATO relations with Ukraine. The current Ukrainian parliament will probably reject those requests which will then lead to further Russian demands.

Kiev has yet to acknowledge reality. The Ukrainian state has been bleeding out - financially as well as physically. Its masters have found that their aim at the start of the war - to weaken Russia - has led to the opposite. Russia now has a bigger and better armed military with more real war experience than any of its possible opponents.

Russia has won.

Posted by b on November 4, 2023 at 13:23 UTC | Permalink

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Still seeing plenty of MSM still saying Russia is losing badly, bleeding out. Ukraine is dizzy with success.

Reality is optional in this brave new world.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 4 2023 13:27 utc | 1

Of course, recalling the goals of the SMO, there's a good likelihood that the parties in the conflict will make moves that force the prolonging of the war into 2025.

Posted by: Sal | Nov 4 2023 13:29 utc | 2

I cannot imagine Joe Biden "intensely focused" on anything.

The people around Biden seem to speak and think entirely in nebulous propaganda cliches.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 4 2023 13:33 utc | 3

The summary "Russia has won" is certainly correct. Russia won this conflict 24 February 2022. It has taken 20 months and half a million dead for that victory to penetrate the skulls of some western officials. I very much doubt there is yet a sufficiently broad consensus amongst US "leaders" to end this needless slaughter soon.

Biden Blinken and Nuland won't know even after Russia takes Kharkove and Odessa. They are in Dreamland.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 4 2023 13:37 utc | 4

My view is Russia would require the following:
1) Existing annexations confirmed, including Crimea. This would include the entirety of any oblast territory still under Ukrainian control (Zaporozhie, Kherson)
2) Referendums with joint monitoring in a number of oblasts including Odessa, Kharkov, Dnipropetrovsk and Nicolaev to join the 5 oblasts in Russia
3) Alternately to referendums in 2), that these 4 oblasts would be a permanent demilitarized zone. I see this as highly unlikely because of the West's past treachery and "not agreement capability" not to mention Ukraine's own failure to even attempt Minsk II compliance
4) Insertion of a neutrality clause into the Ukraine constitution
5) Outlawing of far right parties including Pravy Sektor, Svoboda
6) Limits on Ukraine's military including prevention of US, EU basing of troops or equipment especially "anti missile" installations.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2023 13:37 utc | 5

If the US forces Ukraine to the negotiating table will Russia turn up? Why would it?

Putin, as a Kremlin dove may well be in favour, but he has a very real problem, his people appear to want quite reasonably a just reward for the sacrifices they have been forced to make. Russian deaths over the last 18 or so months are what its all about at that political level but are just a part of it diplomatically. Putin is on course to be lauded by his people as the most significant Russian leader for centuries. Will he put his place in history at risk by doing a deal that the people view as ‘soft’.

The aggressive posture and actions of the US/NATO since 1991, including the move of NATO many times more than “not an inch” eastwards, followed by the blatant admissions that the Minsk Agreements were only a cover for Ukrainian military enhancement, have made certain that the Russians know from bitter experience that the US is not “agreement capable”.

We are now moving at a pace dictated by the Russians into the position where their military will unambiguously defeat the Ukrainian Army (there not being much left of its Airforce and Navy). Can the US allow this NATO invincibility destroying event to occur or does it have to settle it diplomatically? Again, why would the Russians let them?

You all may not be aware but the Russians have just increased by around 70% their defence budget for next year. This is not like the US profit bloated spend as most is in State owned organisations. They are cranking out everything from tanks to fighters to bullets as if there is no tomorrow. Basically trying to ensure that for them, plus their friends, there will be a tomorrow. Does that sound to you as if they are looking to do a deal anytime soon?

Regardless of the rights and wrongs the Russians are looking on aghast at the US supported slaughter of civilians in Gaza.

They may in DC think they can get a deal but they have misread the Russians at every move for years. Seemingly trying to judge them by their own standards. Will someone rise out of the Swamp with the skills to sort this?

With a US President’s word or signature now proven worthless, would the US Congress, for that is who the Russian would insist sign up to any deal, get on board?

Posted by: JohninMK | Nov 4 2023 13:38 utc | 6

Time magazine wrote two day's ago that some Generals and Politician would have to go:

Khorenko said that Zaluzhny did not submit for his resignation.
Major General Viktor Khorenko does not know the reasons for his dismissal from the post of commander of the Special Operations Forces. According to him, Decree of resignation, which was signed by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, he saw in the media.

The former head of the Special Operations Forces spoke about this in Etheri talk show of Ukrainska Pravda.

"I don't know the reasons personally. I learned about the dismissal from the media. I talked to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who also could not explain this to me. It is the commander-in-chief who should submit his resignation, but Zaluzhnyi did not do this. I don't understand what happened," Khorenko said.

The officer added that Zaluzhnyi has no complaints about his performance of combat missions. He said that special forces are working almost along the entire front line and have planned operations, in particular in the Avdiivka direction.

"As far as I understand, there are people who will perform operations better," the soldier said. He has not yet spoken to his successor.

The brigadier general noted that he had not finally decided on his future, but "he will do everything for the victory of Ukraine." Khorenko noted that he was "not given access" to contact the President's Office to find out the details of his release.

"Persons responsible for communication with the Armed Forces, the Defense Forces, have not yet provided me with such information," said the ex-commander of the Special Operations Forces.

When asked about a possible conflict with representatives of the Office of the President or the military command, Khorenko said that he would not comment on this: "let certain persons give an answer to this."

The major general has served as commander of the Special Operations Forces since July 2022, replacing Hryhoriy Galagan. Now the Special Operations Forces of Ukraine will be headed by Serhiy Lupanchuk.

Earlier, journalist Simon Schuster, in an article for TIME magazine, said that at least one minister and General for a slow counteroffensive.

From ukranian media: https://zn.ua/ukr/UKRAINE/diznavsja-pro-tse-zi-zmi-ekskomanduvach-sso-khorenko-prokomentuvav-svoje-zvilnennja.html

Posted by: Paul from Norway | Nov 4 2023 13:39 utc | 7

RE: oldhippie | Nov 4 2023 13:27 utc | 1

“Reality is optional in this brave new world”

Couldn’t agree more.
I read an article in TASS regarding this “new” peace type talks, and it pointed out that because of all the Russian deaths, the Russian people would not settle for anything less than the SMO objectives met.

I think Putin would settle for the EU 2021 Security Agreements & the 5 territories (including Crimea) , it would be willing to leave US 2021 security demand on the table, knowing they’ll get nowhere on that and wait out their collapse. But I don’t see any of that coming to pass for another year probably… so war it is.

Posted by: Trubind1 | Nov 4 2023 13:40 utc | 8

No sleep 'til Odessa (Odessa)
No sleep 'til Odessa, yeah

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Nov 4 2023 13:40 utc | 9

Senior western leaders have publicly admitted that the Maidan accords were a sham designed to buy time for Ukraine to build up its military. Surely Putin doesn't want to be suckered a second time? I have no crystal ball, but at this point I would think that Putin will not stop until Ukraine is totally crushed and he can directly or indirectly take control. I would also think that as long as the western elites remain as amoral and lusting after Russia's resources and desiring to eliminate a geostrategic competitor, that in broader terms the war against Russia will never stop until/unless the current western elite system collapses.

Posted by: TG | Nov 4 2023 13:44 utc | 10

"Russia has won."
Yes, from the very first day - just by taking the step to defend their interests.

I am just glad the failed US-conquest against Russia ended without an armageddon.

Posted by: Klaus | Nov 4 2023 13:47 utc | 11

There can be no "Peace" without an humiliating Western Mea Culpa.

Posted by: too scents | Nov 4 2023 13:48 utc | 12

Odds are it's another fakeout. Signature move of the Blinken state dept.

Travel to wherever, talk with counterparty, in the press conference say something ambiguous enough that it could be interpreted as leaving the door open to compromise, then make a bridge-burning escalatory move immediately upon returning home.

Posted by: pxx | Nov 4 2023 13:48 utc | 13

I have just updated the piece with Zeleski's reaction to the trial balloon.

Posted by: b | Nov 4 2023 13:50 utc | 14

Ukraine was bound to lose because its aims were unrealistic. And they were unrealistic because they were foisted on it from outside.

Kiev wanted the Donbas back so that it could torture it: wiping out the Russian language and pulling down war memorials make absolutely no sense to rational beings but to Ukrainian fascists who have been stewing in Calgary and Chicago for seventy years these are the things that dreams are made of.

And what made their idiotic fantasies important was the fact that NATO, where as in any military organisation, the brain cells are in short supply and only doled out reluctantly by the Quartermaster, didn't care what Ukraine's war aims were- it had only one aim, which it has had since 1949, and which even then was an ancient idea.
And that was the humiliating defeat of Russia.

It ought to have been easy- Russia has been run since 1988 by sentimental romantics who can't give up the idea that, just as in the movies, everybody loves them, wants peace, longs to share prosperity, can't wait to be friends with them and wants Russia to have their baby.

Actual hostilities, therefore, even after a succession of events, from the Olympic surprise in 2008 of Georgia's sudden attack, to Syria, Libya and the Maidan follies, had made it plain that those 'Western Partners'(TM)could not wait to rape and butcher it, came as a very unpleasant surprise to a country that had privatised its army on neo-liberal lines.

Now Russia has to make up its mind whether to renew those illusions- seize the moment and surrender to its Partners, wiping the tears from its eyes and giving them just about everything except the naked prostrate body of Crimea- or to lay down the law, take Odessa, link up with Transnistria and schedule plebiscites (not overseen by the US State Department/OSCE) and let the people of NovoRossiya decide what is to be.
But I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 4 2023 13:55 utc | 15

Nice going Neocons.

Ukrainians should be pzzd.

In 2014, before the US staged coup, the Crimea and Dobass
were undeniably part of Ukraine. After the coup the Crimea
was gone and was never coming back.

Before 2022, Russia was trying to get Ukraine to agree to federalize
the Donbas. The Ukraine could have kept the Donbass they simply had
to agree to protect the rights of the citizens living there
and agree to keep NATO out of Ukraine.

Now, thanks to Western warmongers and profiteers, the Donbass is gone.

Will Ukraine now lose even more than the Crimea and Donbass?
TBD

So

Posted by: librul | Nov 4 2023 13:57 utc | 16

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2023 13:37 utc | 5
2) Referendums with joint monitoring in a number of oblasts including Odessa, Kharkov, Dnipropetrovsk and Nicolaev to join the 5 oblasts in Russia
Posted by: JohninMK | Nov 4 2023 13:38 utc | 6

I agree with you two gentlemen, but there is a bit more to this:
- The Aegis launcing sites in Romania and Poland
- Belarus security
- Moldovan path to their own Maidan: banning russian media, banning russian language there, changing laws similar to Ukraine undt weiter
- Armenia's pro western turns
- Georgia's path towards their Maidan
- Transnistria's future security and independence
- the gazpipes trougth Ukraine to Hungary and Serbia that Ukraine is closing now

This is not gonna be easy - it would probably be solved at a battleground

Posted by: Paul from Norway | Nov 4 2023 13:58 utc | 17

A very good article. In the end is the magnific " RÚSSIA HAS WON "

YESS!!!

Posted by: Maria Teresa Soares | Nov 4 2023 14:04 utc | 18

I may be proved wrong but I think that RF will not accept any peace now unless under they conditions.

Peace talk, from the west, is only wishful thinking hoping to buy time for a new ukr army.

RF won't buy it.

Posted by: Mario | Nov 4 2023 14:07 utc | 19

@Paul from Norway #17
The other points you raise are certainly Russian security concerns but they are not remotely in Ukraine's capability.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2023 14:09 utc | 20

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told RIA Novosti that Russia was invited to a meeting of the foreign ministers of the OSCE countries in North Macedonia, to be held 30 Nov. - 1st Dec.

Russia was not invited to this meeting last year, and now is invited back again. Also a sign of the timeframe to admit the collective west defeat and try to find a solution to conceal it for our audience.

Posted by: w | Nov 4 2023 14:09 utc | 21

As I wrote before, Ukrainians are not tired of war. Their reason of existance and their identity is a
based on hating Russians.
For the West this is a very cheap war. So rhe fight would continue untill defeat of Russia or untill Russia using nuclear weapons.

Posted by: zorge | Nov 4 2023 14:10 utc | 22

@JohninMK #6

If the US forces Ukraine to the negotiating table will Russia turn up? Why would it?

Russia would turn up because they have consistently said they would.
It doesn't mean Russia will either accept a bad agreement or compromise battlefield operations.
Willingness to negotiate is exactly the type of behavior that underpins Russia's credibility with the World Majority.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2023 14:12 utc | 23

Regardless of the rights and wrongs the Russians are looking on aghast at the US supported slaughter of civilians in Gaza.

Posted by: JohninMK | Nov 4 2023 13:38 utc | 6

A good point in a good post.

Why would Russia make peace except on the most favourable terms, when they can see what might happen to them should Ukraine be allowed time, space and money to re-arm?

Posted by: marcjf | Nov 4 2023 14:16 utc | 24

@zorge #22
Whatever Ukraine's willingness to fight - their capability to fight is declining precipitously.
We will see if Ukraine has the same willingness to fight to the end as their National Socialist precedent did.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2023 14:18 utc | 25

Ukrainians will seek a scapegoat.
How will the history narrative of their defeat
evolve over time?

Posted by: librul | Nov 4 2023 14:18 utc | 26

Simplicius's latest highlights Zaluzhny's Economist op/eds which IMO were very revealing about the complete and utter underestimation of Russia's military, as if NATO's propaganda was taken as 100% correct estimates and strategy was prepared on those estimates. This was my comment:

"Zaluzhny failed because he didn't convince his political master(s) to do the right thing. Even worse, he probably didn't know what the right strategy was in the first place. Clearly, his appraisal of his opponent and his assets to attain victory was mistaken. And it's far too late to fix those initial mistakes. Even worse, he continues to make the same mistakes. Yes, this is a very general report card, but a more specific explanation wouldn't differ. And that's why it's pointless to get into greater detail."

One huge mistake was the targeting--misuse--of Ukie artillery against civilian targets. The utter lack of air superiority which meant NATO doctrine didn't apply at all was not dealt with, same with the lack of AD and thinking that NATO systems would make a difference when they were already proven as junk. And that also meant no defense against Russia's massive inventory of stand-off weapons and ability to inflict massive damage to Ukie logistics at the front and in the rear. The mistakes continued to snowball as the planned offensive was negated by Russia's initial thrust, the order to abandon the negotiations was followed instead of shoved back in BoJo's face, which resulted is the gross misreading of Russia's troop realignment and resumption of the offensive. Yet another mistake was the calculation that NATO could supply Ukies with enough artillery ammo, which was also related to the completely wrong estimation of Russia's industrial plant and its ability to massively outproduce all NATO combined in that one critical aspect. But the resumption of the offensive was the key mistake that resulted in massive losses for the Ukies--nothing was learned from the earlier failures that resulted in Minsk Agreements. After the elimination of the first Ukrainian Army, Zaluzhny failed to tell the politicos they were wrong, and Ukraine needed to go over to the defensive and try to reverse the war of attrition. He then failed to do that after the Second Ukrainian Army was destroyed, and only now does he seem to be doing the right thing, although that's not being seen on the battlefield.

Shoigu said it will end in 2025, which makes sense when the two main SMO goals are recalled--demilitarization is proceeding well, but denazification has barely begun and requires much more territorial acquisition by Russia to accomplish in Ukraine; the rest of the West is another matter but clearly related as many Nazis have revealed themselves within NATO. Indeed, global denazification will be an ongoing project that will take at least a generation and includes dealing with the Zionist Nazis too, in Palestine and within the Outlaw US Empire, neither of which will be an easy task and will require a global effort.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2023 14:18 utc | 27

Perhaps it's the entire "West" that has in fact lost the big chess game, even if some pieces can still be moved around.

Posted by: dpy | Nov 4 2023 14:19 utc | 28

@librul #26
No doubt the Azovs and Aydars will keep going like their OUN forebears, but that isn't the question.
The question is what the 90% to 95% of the remaining Ukrainian population thinks.
Chechnya came to the realization that they were used like a plugged nickel by the West - will the ROU (Rest of Ukraine) come to the same correct conclusion?

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2023 14:21 utc | 29

Sure, Russia should negotiate with the West…while continuing to degrade Little Russia’s ability to fight snd the West’s ability to fund and arm it. Keep talking, talking, talking — just agreeing to the shape of the negotiating table could take months — until Russia gets, at very least, everything she is asking for.

Posted by: malenkov | Nov 4 2023 14:25 utc | 30

It would seem by the insistence on "stalemate" that they hope to freeze the situation before totally losing Avdiivka.

Posted by: El Rucio | Nov 4 2023 14:26 utc | 31

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-american-origins-of-the-russo-ukrainian-war/

Worth a read. Is there a message here trying to blame the Dems? I am not so sure.

Posted by: marcjf | Nov 4 2023 14:40 utc | 32

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2023 13:37 utc | 5


"My view is Russia would require the following"

I agree with your list however it is missing the demand from Russia to their $300 billion Central Bank money back"

Posted by: canuck | Nov 4 2023 14:40 utc | 33

bevin | Nov 4 2023 13:55 utc | 15--

IMO, altering Russia's internal political dynamic was a paramount task few of us noted the need to accomplish. My concentration is on Russia's changing political-economy practice and theory in conjunction with China, not on Russia's internal politics. I read others who dealt with that issue, like The Saker, who I hope is doing well. Yes, I knew of the Oligarch Problem, but also saw how Putin's alterations to the political-economy sidelined most of them while rebuilding Russia's power and raising the wellbeing of Russians. IMO, an excellent question to ask Putin when he finally retires in 2030 is what he would have done different prior to 2014. IMO, it's extremely difficult to know and understand any nation's political dynamics from the outside, particularly one that has undergone dramatic swings in its nature over the course of roughly two generations. The youth born after 2000 Putin talks to and actively interacts with in a manner no other leader does IMO is part of the healing and rebuilding process. My next substack will be Putin's meeting with the members of Russia's Civic Chamber organization on the eve of National Unity Day, all of which is part of Putin's reorganization of Russian civic life aiming at building a strong resilient Russia capable of growing stronger well after his days as leader are over.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2023 14:48 utc | 34

I agree with your list however it is missing the demand from Russia to their $300 billion Central Bank money back"

Posted by: canuck | Nov 4 2023 14:40 utc | 33

____

…which Russia should demand in gold bullion, rubles, or yuan.

Posted by: malenkov | Nov 4 2023 14:49 utc | 35

Agreement in this case has to mean unconditional surrender after the West's incessant double dealing..Putin would have to be crazy to demand anything less...That means reducing the Ukraine to a landlocked Western stub of the present country, and I doubt the US will agree to that before the 2024 election...

Posted by: pyrrhus | Nov 4 2023 14:51 utc | 36

Thank you b, you're right. Russia won!

Posted by: AI | Nov 4 2023 15:02 utc | 37

The problem, both of further ethnic displacement of natives in European countries and the economic burden of tens of millions of Ukrainians will be ignored though. But it too would be a great trial balloon of trying to proactively deport them back since they are white even if they are highly alien, culturally, socially and even physically (Americans in particularly think Ukrainians tend to look like Swedes for some reason) to North West Europe.

The big thing that needs to be pressed now is to not allow a second mauling of Ukraine in the form of "reconstruction". During Apartheid, I think it was Joe Slovo but it may have been somebody else, drew up a pyramid of the system, all the institutions and groups which held up the next level and so on. Activists then should focus on hitting the weaker elements first like rugby clubs etc and other Afrikaans cultural institutions to weaker their overall collective strength.

While such a model wouldn't exactly work as well in Ukraine with regards corruption but things like certain corrupt developers should simply not be given contracts. If you think you can't find any developer who isn't utterly corrupt then find them in places like Finland or the Netherlands. Corrupt developer classes can become entrenched and sow further corruption and lack of social trust. You need to attack each one and starve it of whatever funds it can get and then ice them out. This, of course, isn't the plan. The plan is to bleed Ukraine dry of whatever money it has left with massive corruption, incompetence and failed economic development. People should assess what banks, clubs, schools, businesses prop up the corrupt classes in Ukraine and just destroy them. Cut off their sources of money.

Then a Chinese style social credit system should be implemented since Ukraine has such a corrupt culture that even if you destroy the corruption at the top people will continue to emotionally act as if it's in place, it's a hard habit to break but huge success was had in this in South Korea over the years. And, most importantly, immigration from Ukraine should be tightly restricted, let the elites have to stick it out with the people they rob and see how well it goes for them. Again, obviously this isn't the plan, the plan is a huge wave of Ukrainians "on a path to citizenship" throughout Europe.

But we shouldn't let them get away with it, Europe shouldn't have to put up with tens of million Ukrainians so the people who started this war suck the country dry. Neoliberal development is an oxymoron, they shouldn't be allowed to get away with this.

Posted by: Altai | Nov 4 2023 15:03 utc | 38

Posted by: Trubind1 | Nov 4 2023 13:40 utc | 8
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/+++++
Russian deaths are minimal compared to those from ukraine. The ration is roughly 1:10

Posted by: AI | Nov 4 2023 15:07 utc | 39

Posted by: too scents | Nov 4 2023 13:48 utc | 12
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/+++++
Russia [and China] sat back relaxed and watch the west and nato falling back on their own trap. The west and nato have been weaken beyond repair.

Posted by: AI | Nov 4 2023 15:10 utc | 40

1. Zelenski will do as he is told or he will be erased. Like all drug addicts, once you get comfortable lying to yourself, like to others,and the whole world of lies and delusion, is an easy armchair.
2. Of course Russia will engage peace talks, but they are not going to stop fighting. The USSA/European Colonies have shot their wad. Miss Lindsay Graham will soon out herself and claim Putin is anti-gay. A certain tactic that will demolish Russian military capacity.
Lots and lots of yakking from both sides as Vicky Nuland, Zelenski and all the other War Mongering Leeches drink Ukrainian blood.

Posted by: kupkee | Nov 4 2023 15:10 utc | 41

"Regardless of the rights and wrongs the Russians are looking on aghast at the US supported slaughter of civilians in Gaza.
Posted by: JohninMK | Nov 4 2023 13:38 utc | 6"

"Why would Russia make peace except on the most favourable terms, when they can see what might happen to them should Ukraine be allowed time, space and money to re-arm?"
Posted by: marcjf | Nov 4 2023 14:16 utc | 24

John Helmer makes similar points in his post on a survey of Russian attitudes to the SMO. https://johnhelmer.net/if-the-army-says-fight-the-war-russians-agree-if-the-kremlin-says-stop-russians-agree-on-conditions-the-army-decides/
This is a quote

There’s something much bigger left unsaid,” a well-informed Moscow source adds, “which puts the people behind the war effort in the last week, and that is what Israel is doing to Gaza. That is what Brits and Americans did to Dresden and Hiroshima. That is what Germans did to Leningrad and Stalingrad. Russians, accused of anti-semitism and sympathy for Hamas by the usual media mouthpieces put two and two together and understand what awaited Russians of Donbass.  They see Gaza and understand the race hatred and cruelty of the western axis. The bombing of Gaza reminds Russians what was done to their grandparents and what would be done to them if they do not win this war.”


Posted by: cirsium | Nov 4 2023 15:18 utc | 42

Russia's strength is its land military capability. The West's strength is its mass and social media with endless BS and highfalutin culture and all that crap. Right now Russia is using its strength, so Russia should continue using its strength. If Russia stops using its strength by signing a peace treaty, then the West will just continue with its BS anyway. So Russia would be letting the West off the hook and well as shooting itself (Russia) in the foot if Russia signs any peace treaty in Ukraine.

Its like the recent Rugby World Cup, the Boks strength is its scrums and forwards. So the Boks used their scrums and forwards as much as possible (7-1 forward to back split on the reserve bench - if its legal do it). Imagine if the Boks had not used their strength and instead tried to play a free flowing running game. They would not have won the World Cup yet again. Any side must play towards its strengths if it wants to succeed, and is stupid not to use its strengths.

Furthermore, Russia is only now beginning to get into its military rhythm, with the military industrial pipeline starting to get into gear. Why stop when the momentum is only approaching its peak. Use the momentum.

At the end of WW2 the Russian military industrial complex was humming, so much so that the West dared not tackle Russia even though the West had a few nukes, the Russians would have advanced through the nukes and taken the whole of Europe and Britain without much problem. Similarly now the Russian military complex is only starting to hum, and once again the West can't handle it. Russia should pursue its advantage for as long as it takes until the West collapses. With this mickey mouse SloMO Russia can continue the slow grind indefinitely. In fact Russia should continue the slow grind in Ukraine and then also supply Iran, Syria and Hezbollah with all the weaponry they desire and so keep another slow grind going in the ME indefinitely.

Posted by: gT | Nov 4 2023 15:25 utc | 43

I have my own informal poll of public opinion in the US regarding the Ukraine proxy war. Whenever there is a piece in the NYT proclaiming that the Ukraine military is doing just fine, while Russia is suffering heavy losses, I post a response in the comments section countering this blatant falsehood. For many months, there would be few, if any, likes and many angry and ignorant counter-responses. However, the comment section mood is definitely changing. In the past two months, my posts garner quite a few likes and very few posts in disagreement coming from a declining number of diehards. It is only a matter of time before Team Biden will be compelled to give in to shifting public opinion as well as to facts on the ground.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 4 2023 15:29 utc | 44

@karlof1 | Nov 4 2023 14:18 utc | 27

One huge mistake was the targeting--misuse--of Ukie artillery against civilian targets.

But "cleansing" the Donbas was one of the key goals of this Neo-nazi regime. Was the huge mistake not underestimating the quantity of ammunition and equipment which would be required to fight an army while continuing to kill civilians by artillery fire?

Posted by: cirsium | Nov 4 2023 15:31 utc | 45

Not that it will make any difference, but here is my two cent's worth: Russia should not accept any agreement that doesn't include Odessa, and there should be UN-supervised elections in all oblasts, not just the Russian ones.

Posted by: El Oso de Los Llanos | Nov 4 2023 15:32 utc | 46

What are they going for Minsk3?

Guess Russians are really dumb throughout their whole history- they can’t stop getting killed over and over again, like cartoon Kenny.
/sarc

Peace not available at any price.
Certain minimum redlines.
No Nazis left. No Nazi ideology or street names or fake history.
Restoration of soviet monuments from last Nazi defeat.
New monuments to celebrate this Nazi defeat.
Restoration of Russian culture and language.

Complete surrender of leadership , trials for war crimes,
Foreign conspirators named , and punished and forced to recompense;
truth and reconciliations, neutrality and dismantlement of natzo bases and weapons in Europe;
US occupation forces to leave Europe - their Hitler lost, again.
Natzios naval forces out of Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean.
Out of Red Sea too but that will be part of the Levant surrender treaty. 😉

And of course a democratic choice and referendums for all regions who might want to become independent, stay in rump Ukraine or join with another country.

Oh and every single idio who had their pukish blue and yellow symbol in their window or profile or chest - to publicly slap themselves in the face to all their friends and others who called them idiots for their dumb support for NAZIS and RACISM against all things Russian.

And they’ll need to do the same with the other cheek about the same Natzio unthinkinking support for the Apartheid Regime and standing by watching innocents being slaughtered in the name of some European Crime that had nothing to do with Palestine.

Sorry it is hard not to treat both arenas together. After all it’s the same oppressors in both.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Nov 4 2023 15:35 utc | 47

Ukraine Weekly Update - May be useful to some: https://robcampbell.substack.com/p/ukraine-update-6b1

Posted by: Robert Hamilton Camp | Nov 4 2023 15:35 utc | 48

It is all so, sad, tragic, and unnecessary. But once the die-is-cast, events go to the end. I would guess that Russia cannot allow Ukraine to have a Black Sea coast, considering how Ukraine and its NATO colleagues have deployed naval drone weapons, deployed covert deep water demolition forces to blow up pipelines, and deployed survailence drones to guide missile attacks fired from the Odessa region. Similarly, as Lavrov has many times said, missile and drone launches on Russia cities and airbases coming from the Kharkov region mean that Ukraine can not be allowed to own that region. The Russia-Ukraine border must move many 100s kilometers westwards. Because Ukraine and NATO have so well demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to be peaceful and sane, Ukraine must, and will, be reduced and contain to the point it cannot threaten Russia any more. Sadly. Tragically. And unnecessarily.

Posted by: Tulips | Nov 4 2023 15:48 utc | 49

Moldovan path to their own Maidan: banning russian media, banning russian language there, changing laws similar to Ukraine

Posted by: Paul from Norway | Nov 4 2023 13:58 utc | 17

By the way, Moldova will hold „elections“ tomorrow. But don’t hold your breath, they will stay on the ultra-pro EU/NATO course, any other outcome will be portrayed as Russian meddling.

Posted by: Zet | Nov 4 2023 15:49 utc | 50

I cannot imagine Joe Biden "intensely focused" on anything.
Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 4 2023 13:33 utc | 3

I guess you've never seen him when he notices a child near enough to grope. It's enough to make him fall off his bicycle, he gets so focused.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Nov 4 2023 15:50 utc | 51

As I said in my comment to bevin, here's "Putin's Meeting with Members of the Civic Chamber" that covers a wide range of topics including the SMO.

cirsium | Nov 4 2023 15:31 utc | 45--

Thanks for your reply. I would say both, but it should've been clear at the outset that the Nazi's political goal wasn't going to be attained unless the Russian military was defeated. Plus, the continual terroristic targeting of civilians was detrimental to cultivating any additional RoW support as Russia could point to their behavior to prove its accusations of terrorism. Just as the Zionists have turned the entire civilized world against them with their actions, so did the Nazi Ukies and their NATO masters. Indeed, that NATO never ever denounced that behavior provided additional proof to the world that NATO was essentially Nazi too. Canada's celebration of a genuine Nazi who escaped punishment for his crimes was "icing on the cake" proving NATO's essence to RoW. In other words, politically that was a colossal mistake by NATO/West as they proved Russia's accusations for them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2023 15:54 utc | 52

No sleep 'til Odessa (Odessa)
No sleep 'til Odessa, yeah

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Nov 4 2023 13:40 utc | 9

Made me smile. If only the bar could throw a real party to celebrate the defeat of these imperialist cockroaches.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Nov 4 2023 15:58 utc | 53

Then a Chinese style social credit system should be implemented

Posted by: Altai | Nov 4 2023 15:03 utc | 38

There is no social credit system in China! That people here still buy the western propaganda is really nuts…

Posted by: Zet | Nov 4 2023 16:00 utc | 54

This is empire trying to get control of the global narrative and cover over one of its thousand cuts that has turned into a festering and gaping wound.

Humanity is in a civilization war and all the pieces go together now. You have empire on one side and not empire on the other.

There is going to be no stalemate in Ukraine like there is in Syria and Iraq currently. And the cuts to empire in Syria and Iraq are going to open back up as part of the new cuts in the ME.

No more putting geopolitical situations on hold or pause to allow regrouping or misdirection.

There will be no peace talks because empire is inherently unable to agree to peace and the China/Russia axis sees this clearly.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 4 2023 16:01 utc | 55

I cannot imagine Joe Biden "intensely focused" on anything.
Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 4 2023 13:33 utc | 3

I guess you've never seen him when he notices a child near enough to grope. It's enough to make him fall off his bicycle, he gets so focused.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Nov 4 2023 15:50 utc | 51

...Or a weak country his shitty family can rape for easy profit. That seems to bring him back to life.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Nov 4 2023 16:03 utc | 56

Russia will negotiate but the problem is the West is agreement incapable (ref. Minsk)

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 4 2023 16:05 utc | 57

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 4 2023 13:27 utc | 1

The MSM are increasingly being outed as regime stenographers, and those who would have traditionally supported confronting Russia are more sympathetic to her than the US. From a website with close links to the MAGA movement.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2023/11/04/the-meatgrinder-report-u-s-and-eu-officials-gently-discussing-need-for-ukraine-to-enter-peace-negotiations-with-russia/

Posted by: Milites | Nov 4 2023 16:05 utc | 58

b asks What will he say when the F-16s, the fifty year old wunderwaffen, fall out of the sky faster than they go up?

He will ask for F 35s with NATO pilots.

Posted by: dh | Nov 4 2023 16:06 utc | 59

Posted by: wagelaborer | Nov 4 2023 15:50 utc | 51

Yup, it might be an interesting, albeit sick experiment, to present the Potatus with two options, a young girl and a pile of corrupt money and see which one he sniffed first!

Posted by: Milites | Nov 4 2023 16:09 utc | 60

At the end of WW2 the Russian military industrial complex was humming, so much so that the West dared not tackle Russia even though the West had a few nukes, the Russians would have advanced through the nukes and taken the whole of Europe and Britain without much problem. Similarly now the Russian military complex is only starting to hum, and once again the West can't handle it. Russia should pursue its advantage for as long as it takes until the West collapses. With this mickey mouse SloMO Russia can continue the slow grind indefinitely. In fact Russia should continue the slow grind in Ukraine and then also supply Iran, Syria and Hezbollah with all the weaponry they desire and so keep another slow grind going in the ME indefinitely.

Posted by: gT | Nov 4 2023 15:25 utc | 43

While finding the truth from the U.S. Government is always a challenge, it is unlikely the U.S. had any extra nukes available. Hanford (plutonium) and Oakridge were the bottlenecks.

Posted by: kupkee | Nov 4 2023 16:11 utc | 61

thanks b...

removing the commander of the special forces without explanation is another fine example of the chaos emitting from ukraine..

@ JohninMK | Nov 4 2023 13:38 utc | 6

good post on the topic of negotiation... who in their right mind would negotiate with usa-nato? they are completely untrustworthy.. and yet, russia wants to appear honourable to the rest of the world who are not deceived by the propaganda.. so some form of negotiation will ensue.. i suspect it will be all on russias terms however and rightly so.. as for odessa - i am not sure how that plays out.. i would like to think nato and friends are seeing reality a wee bit more clearly, but because the crazies are in power, it might not matter much.. russia is in a commanding position and they have paid dearly for it.. of course ukraine has paid even more and one wonders when the people of ukraine stand up and say no to this madness.. i suspect many already are, but we're not allowed to hear about that in the western propaganda media..

sad kettle of fish either way and for russia to be drawing parallels with the west's actions towards gaza is very relevant.. why would russia stop, only to see some altered incarnation happen a few years down the road? i think russia will give the appearance of negotiating, while knowing full well they have to finish this off according to their long term plans.. anything else would be a dishonour to those russians who had died to make it this far... they will need to essentially march on kiev to end this and they probably will..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2023 16:13 utc | 62

However, the comment section mood is definitely changing. In the past two months, my posts garner quite a few likes and very few posts in disagreement coming from a declining number of diehards.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 4 2023 15:29 utc | 44

I’m in a German forum and there have been a couple hardcore pro-Ukraine / pro-NATO posters. They were there 24/7, replying on every pro-Russian post, like it’s their job. A week ago they all vanished…

Posted by: Zet | Nov 4 2023 16:13 utc | 63

@ Zet | Nov 4 2023 16:13 utc | 63

that would be a byproduct of less ''funds'' coming thru for the war... one wonders how many internet warriors they hired...

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2023 16:19 utc | 64

Surely Putin has understood that the US cannot be trusted on anything. Even if an agreement to handover the oblasts together with no nato membership was offered, he must realise from bitter experience of broken un security resolutions that such agreement would be bypassed/ignored/reinterpreted at the first possible occasion. The only point of negotations would be for optics.

Posted by: Oh | Nov 4 2023 16:25 utc | 65

An F-16 was shot down by a Mig-21 in one of the Indo-Pak conflicts.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Nov 4 2023 16:25 utc | 66

Re: the purge noted above

The purges of inconvenient personnel in the army for the Office of the President continue. Our insight is that the quiet internal conflict between the military and office workers is only intensifying.

Already ex-MTR commander Viktor Khorenko said:

“I personally don’t know the reasons. I learned about this from the media. I also talked with Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny, who also could not explain this to me, since there were no questions or complaints about him regarding the performance of combat missions. I don’t understand what happened.”

The confrontation between office and military personnel continues. Bankova needs only those who, without question and in any way, will fulfill Ze’s demands for the offensive strategy that Bankova pursues, based on political, not military-strategic goals. Remember the Time article and you will understand everything, our source tells us.

Zaluzhny and the military, who are on good terms with him, will be “leaked” by Bankovaya, since power is important to them, not military successes. Everyone understands that the fighting is fading, there will be no huge breakthroughs, but there will be a “positioning”. So it’s time to remove all the “inconvenient” ones.


https://t.me/legitimniy/16619

Posted by: Down South | Nov 4 2023 16:28 utc | 67

Posted by: gT | Nov 4 2023 15:25 utc | 43

If they didn’t mind their logistics centres being carpet bombed, their cities reduced to cinders and their troops continuously attacked, by bombers who flew well above the operating ceiling of their fighters. The West did not attack Russia because its democratic populations, especially unionised labour, would have revolted, Uncle Joe was the good guy, remember.

Posted by: Milites | Nov 4 2023 16:29 utc | 68

The short-sighted aim of NATO to drag Russia down with Ukraine war has turned out to be a blessing for Russia. The Russian system has been sharpened and the Russian population has been united more than before. President Putin and his government couldn't have achieved that if the hubristic West did not openly declare their aim to weaken and fracture Russia. The whole Western efforts have boomeranged in a way that they would never recover. The world would neverreturn to what it was before the start of SMO. The ship has sailed. Multi-polar world has arrived earlier than any one imagined. Thw world owes Russia a debt of gratitude for this.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 4 2023 16:30 utc | 69

The author of Time's resonant material on the situation in Ukraine, Simon Shuster, commented on our #Inside and stated that its sources are the current entourage of President Zelensky.

“If you read the text carefully, it does not talk about former advisers or “former employees” of the President’s Office. We are talking about Zelensky's current advisers. The word “former” does not appear anywhere, not in a single sentence,” he wrote in X.

“And once again: nowhere in the article do I quote Zelensky’s “former” adviser or assistant. Arestovich has not worked in the presidential administration since the spring or summer of 2022, when I last spoke with him,” Shuster added.


https://t.me/rezident_ua/20366
Colleagues, it has long been no secret that Western journalists read and monitor alternative sources of information, including insider/analytical telegram channels.

Therefore, Simon Schuster responded to your insight that Bankova considers Arestovich to be the “anonymous source” of the Time journalist.

Let’s add that Western journalists take many topics for publications directly from the telegram, considering it more interesting than the entire Ukrainian press, which has ceased to set the pace, but has turned into a “service to the functionaries of the OP.”


https://t.me/legitimniy/16620

Posted by: Down South | Nov 4 2023 16:30 utc | 70

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2023 16:19 utc | 64

Aye, that makes sense. Now they are hiring influencers to take a pro-Israel stance as Simplicius has shown on his second blog (scroll down to the middle of the page):

„Many teen influencers all over the world have come forward with stories of how Israel tried to bribe them to become propaganda mouthpieces“.

https://darkfutura.substack.com/p/censorship-clampdowns-redux-eu-dsa

Posted by: Zet | Nov 4 2023 16:33 utc | 71

Our source reports that Zelensky is being dissuaded from the idea of ​​dismissing Zaluzhny, since this will give the commander-in-chief a great takeoff in his political career, and his rating will be at its maximum. For Ze, because of such a step, on the contrary, there will be a drop in ratings, an increase in mistrust of the masses, and an increase in protest sentiments.

Most likely they will try to:
A) buy for yourself
B) discredit
C) push heads with someone from the system, in order to drag Zaluzhny into an unprofitable fight, in order to weaken his image/authority/rating.


https://t.me/legitimniy/16621
​​
Our source reports that the Minister of Defense Umerov, at the request of the office, dismissed the commander of the Special Operations Forces Khorenko.

For this, Umerov was given the go-ahead to appoint “his own” to tasty positions. Such an exchange (agreement) took place, but everyone is playing against Zaluzhny.

After the public scandal, Umerov tried to smooth over the hostility, saying that the ex-commander was now needed “in a different direction.” Although previously there was no information about his translation, etc. Most likely, this is Umerov’s attempt to demonstrate to everyone that he allegedly “didn’t sell out” to the office, becoming their puppet in behind-the-scenes games, but is acting for the sake of national security.

Ermak framed Umerov and most likely now has him on a hook because of this story. He will now “steer” them. When a real agreement emerges, Umerov may resign, and Ermak will again have the opportunity to appoint his own man, and not a “mediator.”


https://t.me/legitimniy/16622

Posted by: Down South | Nov 4 2023 16:33 utc | 72

General Khorenko, the commander of the SSO of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, stated that President Zelensky fired him without the knowledge of Khorenko himself and without the consent of his immediate superior, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhny.

Today, during an interview, Major General Viktor Khorenko, commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, learned from journalists about his dismissal. The relevant decree was published on the website of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. Khorenko stated in a comment that his immediate superior - the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhnyi does not know about Khorenko's removal from his post, and Khorenko himself also heard about it from a media report.

Thus, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Volodymyr Zelenskyy interfered in personnel decisions in the Armed Forces by violating the procedure for dismissing the commander of the Special Operations Forces.

In his evening address, the president himself did not explain why he neglected Zaluzhny's rights. And he simply announced the dismissal of Khorenko and the appointment of a new commander of the SSO Serhiy Lupanchuk.

Censor.Net sources in the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirm that neither Khrenko's dismissal nor Lupanchuk's appointment was discussed or agreed upon with Zaluzhny.

What conclusions can we draw from Horenko's statement?

1. The president's office demonstratively insulted the general, the president does not even consider it necessary to explain the reasons for this disrespect to the military and society.

2. The replacement of the SSO commander is connected with political intrigues, and not dictated by military necessity, otherwise Zaluzhny would have been asked. In this way, the Office of the President deliberately weakens the influence of Zaluzhny in the army.

3. When it is profitable for Zelenskyi and his PR people, they cover up for Zaluzhny and say that he makes all the decisions himself. But in reality, there is no vertical management and responsibility in the army, because Zelenskyi and his office, i.e. Andriy Yermak, take personnel decisions themselves. In the same way, they make decisions bypassing Zaluzhnyi regarding other appointments to other command positions in the army.

4. Zelensky is afraid of Zaluzhnyi as a possible competitor in the upcoming elections. Changing the commander of the SSO of the Armed Forces of Ukraine without the approval of the commander-in-chief himself can be a warning about personnel decisions both for other senior leaders of the army and for Zaluzhny himself.


https://t.me/ButusovPlus/6000
The Resident's sources in Zaluzhny's circle said that the scandalous article in the Economist was a step of desperation by the Commander-in-Chief, who wants to save the lives of Ukrainians from the senseless decisions of politicians at headquarters.

Zelensky’s promise to take three cities by the end of the year, the battle on the flanks of Bakhmut, the counter-offensive in the Zaporozhye direction or the defense of Avdiivka in an operational environment, all these are not decisions of the military, but PR of politicians who are ready to abandon tens of thousands of soldiers for the sake of symbols.
https://t.me/rezident_ua/20378

Posted by: Down South | Nov 4 2023 16:39 utc | 73

agree with your list however it is missing the demand from Russia to their $300 billion Central Bank money back"

Posted by: canuck | Nov 4 2023 14:40 utc | 33

____

…which Russia should demand in gold bullion, rubles, or yuan.

Posted by: malenkov | Nov 4 2023 14:49 utc | 35

Yes, of course.

Posted by: canuck | Nov 4 2023 16:43 utc | 74

Moscow’s War Aims were published in Dec 2021.

One core goal is roll back of NATO to 1997 members.

Posted by: Exile | Nov 4 2023 16:44 utc | 75

NBC are writing about that it is neccesary to start peace negotiations with Russia.

Von Der Leyden is in Kiev.

There has also been rumors about EU- negotiatons with Ukraina will/can start next week.
Maybe that is the message for Zel- peace before EU membership- negotiations.

Posted by: Paul from Norway | Nov 4 2023 16:44 utc | 76

So at this point, what sort of peace offer might be an actual inducement for Russia to accept peace? Well, if I was Russia the minimum I would consider is:

-retain all regions that have voted to join Russia;

-free votes in each remaining Ukrainian oblast on future status, with the choice being independence, joining Russia, or staying with a newly constituted Ukraine (see below);

-formal agreement from NATO that no more states closer to Russia will be admitted and that certain types of destabilizing weapons will not be posted in NATO states admitted since 199?;

-a new government and constitution in Ukraine, outlawing Naziism, committing to neutrality, and limiting military capabilities;

-indemnity against specious legal persecution of Russian citizens for events during the conflict;

-investigation of crimes by the Kiev regime and its agents between 2014 and 2022; and

-release and remediation of all Russian assets frozen, seized or damaged by NATO members since February 2022.

I don't think Russia will ask for an end to sanctions. They hurt the west more anyway.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Nov 4 2023 16:46 utc | 77

Posted by: Trubind1 | Nov 4 2023 13:40 utc | 8
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/+++++
Russian deaths are minimal compared to those from ukraine. The ration is roughly 1:10

Posted by: AI | Nov 4 2023 15:07 utc | 39

I don't think the ratio was ever 10-1 , perhaps 7 or 6-1 during the Uke offensive. Now with Russia on the offensive in Adeevka (however you spell that wretched name)and elsewhere I would say it would be even or slightly in Russia's favour.

Posted by: canuck | Nov 4 2023 16:49 utc | 78

the F-16s, the fifty year old

Posted by: dh | Nov 4 2023 16:06 utc | 59

---

Tiny radar aperture can't.

Posted by: too scents | Nov 4 2023 16:49 utc | 79

#42 cirsium I tend to go to India Puchline and Helmer about every 3 -2 days. Thanks on Helmer. Good writer, but that article is superb.

Posted by: paxmark1 | Nov 4 2023 16:50 utc | 80

Posted by: Paul from Norway | Nov 4 2023 16:44 utc | 76

Who can possibly want Ukraine in EU.

It's a corrupted country that will require trillions to be rebuild.

I'm in Italy, and while, as everyone in 'democracy' I count nothing I will oppose to the max to Ukraine joining EU.

Posted by: Mario | Nov 4 2023 16:51 utc | 81

Norwegian | Nov 4 2023 16:05 utc | 57--

Agree with that, although psychohistorian's point @55 is also possible. However, Russia has always said it's open to negotiations provided they have the "proper basis." The first step as has been repeated many times is for the Zelensky edict of no negotiations ever to be rescinded. When that happens, we can expect negotiations over possible negotiations. The process will be slow as Russia continues to grind out its SMO goals. Currently at the front, Ukie forces are facing defeat in several locations but continue the idiocy of Bakhmut and destroy even more of their dwindling forces. IMO, the North is becoming exceptionally weak while Ukies concentrate on their continuing limited attacks in the Kherson region to delay any Russian push towards Odessa. If the North collapses rather suddenly as seems possible, the hardening ground will allow Russia to move quickly since the Ukies have very limited forces to oppose.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2023 16:57 utc | 82

"By the end of the year or shortly thereafter" is essential. Biden is hoping to bring an end to the war, claim he achieved peace, and apply for a Nobel Peace Prize for doing so. He needs the help to get a Democrat elected (because I do not believe he will be the Democrat candidate).

Posted by: Belle | Nov 4 2023 16:59 utc | 83

The expansion of NATO eastward, despite apparently sincere promises to the contrary, has convinced the Russians that Americans don't keep their word, that they are nonagreement-capable. And the nearly total duplicity on the Minsk II accords has also proven that the Europeans are similarly untrustworthy.

So in any treaty to settle the Ukrainian conflict Russia may ask for hostages. May I suggest Victoria Nuland, Ursula von der Leyen, and Biden's other diaper?

Posted by: Cyril | Nov 4 2023 16:59 utc | 84


Bob (44)

Your Times comment section poll is interesting. Based on my experience, it is surprising that your comments are published. The Times has refused to print comments I wrote that cited the OSCE monitoring reports that Ukrainian Army had escalated its shelling of Donestk to over two thousand shells a day before Russia acted. It also refused to print my comments citing the admission by Western and Ukrainian leaders that Ukraine had at no time considered implementing the terms of the Minsk agreements. They were a sham intended by the West only to buy time for Ukraine's rearmament. These are irrefutable facts that the Times does not want readers to know. They are facts few American will ever know.

Posted by: David | Nov 4 2023 17:02 utc | 85

There won’t be peace. They’ll scuttle the Ford and claim it was a Kinzhal to keep the party going.

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored | Nov 4 2023 17:12 utc | 86

It's the ammo, it's almost gone, April March it's over and the ukr throw the towel in and hope the Russians let bygones be bygones, which if I know the Russians they will, they are not grudge holders.

Posted by: Gerard Mc Cullagh | Nov 4 2023 17:15 utc | 87

@karlof1 | Nov 4 2023 16:57 utc | 82

Negotiating about negotiations as the fighting continues. Yes, I guess that kind of scenario is possible until something really breaks.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 4 2023 17:27 utc | 88

that would be a byproduct of less ''funds'' coming thru for the war... one wonders how many internet warriors they hired...

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2023 16:19 utc | 64

Is it my imagination or have comments quietened down at MoA as well?

Posted by: JohninMK | Nov 4 2023 17:29 utc | 89

Because of the situation with Moldova / Romania and NATO, it is essential for Russia to secure Odessa and Transnistria. Without that there can be no lasting security.
Important enough that even if total demolition of Odessa is what it takes -- do it.
More than eight years of appeasing NATO has cost far too many Donbas / Russian soldiers and civilians. If the Kremlin was genuinely fooled, then (given how blatantly obvious NATO intentions always were since the destruction of Yugoslavia and bombing of Serbia) its occupants are obviously unfit for office; but if their addiction to neoliberal Atlanticism is at the core of the problem then they have to be disposed of, otherwise Russia is eventually going to be finished anyway.
Also well past time the traitorous Oligarchs and liberal fifth-columnists were eradicated, with maximum force and to hell with "law" or any other pathetic excuse for not doing so.
It is no more than the globalist scum's own side has repeatedly done, worldwide -- and given the chance would certainly do again.

Posted by: Cynic | Nov 4 2023 17:31 utc | 90

If I were Russia then I would be hesitant to start talks with the Ukraine.

Posted by: Mr. Market | Nov 4 2023 17:32 utc | 91

@Belle | Nov 4 2023 16:59 utc | 83

"By the end of the year or shortly thereafter" is essential.
I have guessed before, and received some pushback for it, that Zelensky is unlikely to be able to mark the 10th anniversary of the Maidan coup. I could still be wrong, but I don't think his chances have improved lately.

Biden is hoping to bring an end to the war, claim he achieved peace, and apply for a Nobel Peace Prize for doing so.
The Nobel Peace Prize is worthless (and yes it is awarded in my country), the whole world knows this by now. Btw., the deadline for nomination is end of January, or else it is too late for the US election.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 4 2023 17:33 utc | 92

@canuck #33
The $XX (the number seems to keep falling) is not under Ukraine's control.
EU and US kleptocrats would never let go of this money regardless of what happens in Ukraine - just as they did in Afghanistan, etc etc.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2023 17:38 utc | 93

#####
He will ask for F 35s with NATO pilots.

Posted by: dh | Nov 4 2023 16:06 utc | 59

Will f35 with nato pilot stay flying longer than f16? 🤔😂

Posted by: Mario | Nov 4 2023 17:40 utc | 94

Still seeing plenty of MSM still saying Russia is losing badly, bleeding out. Ukraine is dizzy with success.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 4 2023 13:27 utc | 1

Including Sec Defense Austin just last week, UNDER OATH, in Congress.

Beyond that, the various articles, Time, et all, are US negotiating with itself. There is no stalemate, only, perhaps, the pause before the crash. This is just another game the West plays without the Russians and the Russians are the key player. Good luck with that.

Any negotiations are going to have to include security framework for Europe and all the stuff in the Chinese proposal of a few months back, but the US is going to try to make Ukraine take the fall all by its lonesome; the Russians are not going to fall for that. I'm pretty sure I can speak for the Russians there.

Ukraine will likely lose more territory. For example, I'm not 100% clear on rules for military in the Black Sea; Ukraine may end up land-locked. There may be carveouts for other demilitarized zones as well because the less willing the West is to renegotiate the overall framework. the more Ukraine will have to pay.

Posted by: oracle | Nov 4 2023 17:49 utc | 95

Will f35 with nato pilot stay flying longer than f16? 🤔😂

Posted by: Mario | Nov 4 2023 17:40 utc | 94

I doubt they will ever get there. How are the Abrams tanks doing BTW.

Posted by: dh | Nov 4 2023 17:51 utc | 96

The talks were probably less about peace and more about telling them they are being cut of and have to find another tit to suck on for weapons and ammo. We have found another new war which will bring more happiness to the Westerners, the consolidation of Israel and the expulsion of the Palestinians.

Posted by: circumspect | Nov 4 2023 17:52 utc | 97

@ Steve | Nov 4 2023 16:30 utc | 69

thanks steve.. that is a nice post and sentiment..

@ Zet | Nov 4 2023 16:33 utc | 71

thanks zet.. the west is on record as saying they were going to invest heavily in propaganda to fight this war.. at some point that has to dry up and reality sets in... cheers..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2023 17:54 utc | 98

It is difficult to assess the real losses the Ukrainian military has had, but I would not be astonished to learn that they sum up to about 300,000 dead and some 500,000+ wounded, many of whom will now be disabled.

As you can see that even now they have not run out, you might consider that AFU has basically refilled their 700.000 army with 400.000 fresh meat every 8 months.

Yet it never went higher than those 700.000. Losing 50.000 a month (half Kia half maimed). We’re at the 20 month mark, 1.000.000 out of service looks closer to the truth.

Furthermore consider that the first 400.000 were confirmed by reserves reduction.

Now for the final point, let’s consider that Ukraine has 30 million within government control.

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/ukraines-demography-second-year-full-fledged-war

1/2 are women , only 1/3 of men are military age, less than 2/3 are apt for service. Let’s say 10%, 3.000.000 +-10%

Roughly half , 1.500.000 were already thrown into the war (and 2/3 lost)

Another half a million are in other forces (police, borders, etc)

There is still enough for another 2 or 3 refills if money and equipment is available , and unless RF increases the rate a refill is good for 8 months, that’s why I say 25 December or 2025

Posted by: Newbie | Nov 4 2023 17:54 utc | 99

The question is what the 90% to 95% of the remaining Ukrainian population thinks.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2023 14:21 utc | 29

My guess is that individually they might not want no part of it but collectively they are still willing to fight for the western dream down to the last bullett and teenager.

Posted by: Satepestage | Nov 4 2023 17:55 utc | 100

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