Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 14, 2023

Accepting Defeat In Ukraine

In early November the Economist published an interview and several pieces by the commander in chief of the Ukrainian army, General Zaluzny. As I summarized:

Zaluzny's central thesis is that the war is currently at a stalemate. It has become positional, with no large maneuvers being possible. He compares it to the war in Europe in 1917. There, he says, a change only happened through the introduction of new technologies (i.e. tanks).
...
I for one think that Zaluzny is mistaken. The war is not at a stalemate. Russia has clearly the advantage as it is free to maneuver along the whole frontline and to attack wherever it likes. It does not do so in full force because the current situation allows it to conveniently fulfill the order its commander in chief had given to it - to destroy the military capabilities of Ukraine.

Finally a western mainstream writer has caught up with those facts. Lee Hockstader, the Washington Post's columnist for European affairs,  opines:

In Ukraine, the risk isn’t stalemate. It’s defeat.

Hockstader laments the lack of support from the U.S. and Europe for the new demands the Ukraine is making. He states:

Without those infusions of cash, arms and munitions, even the disappointing status quo over the past year, in which Ukraine has not managed to recapture much territory, is unlikely to endure.

Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told a Washington forum last week that the “big risk” is that Kyiv’s troops could “lose this war.”

That message should jolt policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic. The danger, as Ukraine’s top general warned publicly last month, isn’t simply stalemate. It is that Ukrainian forces, running low on equipment, might be compelled to fall back, shorten their defensive lines and abandon territory.
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It’s essential to think about what Ukraine’s defeat means, because it would be as much a strategic disaster for the United States and its NATO allies as a tableau of terror for Ukraine. Dual cataclysms, equally stark, played out on different timetables.

Well, yes. The West has shot its wad and it proved to be sterile.

There will be no terror for Ukraine, just the loss of the ethnic Russian people, industries and land the communist - Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev - had for whatever reasons attached to it. The rest of it will be a smaller, more poor and purely agricultural rump state without access to the sea. This was obvious from the very beginning to anyone with a clear view of the balance of the forces involved in the war.

As I wrote on February 24 2022, the very day Russian forces entered Ukraine:

Looking at this map I believe that the most advantageous end state for Russia would be the creation of a new independent country, call it Novorussiya, on the land east of the Dnieper and south along the coast that holds a majority ethnic Russian population and that, in 1922, had been attached to the Ukraine by Lenin. That state would be politically, culturally and militarily aligned with Russia.


bigger

This would eliminate Ukrainian access to the Black Sea and create a land bridge towards the Moldavian breakaway Transnistria which is under Russian protection.

Excursus:

The yellow part of that map marked 'Ukraine in 1654' was actually the land of the Eastern Orthodox Zaporozhian Cossacks. Under threat from the Catholic Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth, which at the time held the green parts under serfdom, they negotiated the Pereiaslav Agreement (1654) with Russia and pledged allegiance to the Tsar. They area thus became an autonomous part of Russia.

End Excursus

The rest of the Ukraine would be a land confined, mostly agricultural state, disarmed and too poor to be build up to a new threat to Russia anytime soon. Politically it would be dominated by fascists from Galicia which would then become a major problem for the European Union.

Thanks to Stalin's additions to the Ukraine three countries, Poland, Hungary and Romania, have claims to certain areas in the Ukraine's western regions. If they want to snatch those up again it is now probably the best time to do so. Despite being part of NATO, which likely would not support such moves, those three will have domestic policy difficulties to withstand the urge.

Since then we learned that Novorussiya will not be an independent state but a genuine part of Russia. So be it. Meanwhile analysts like Hockstader still delve in fantasies:

A complete Ukrainian military collapse is unlikely, at least in coming months. Kyiv’s armed forces remain well-led and motivated, and they are husbanding equipment to prepare for shortfalls. But it is equally unlikely to expect a negotiated cease-fire with Russia that would maintain existing battle lines. To believe in that seemingly anodyne outcome is to misjudge Putin — again.

This is not misjudging Putin, but misjudging the capabilities left to Ukraine. It has run out of men and material. There are daily videos of this or that Ukrainian army unit condemning its leaders and announcing to leave its positions. The potential of a collapse of Ukrainian army is real.

On November 2 I also wrote about the 47th Ukrainian brigade:

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.

Yesterday, the Ukraine friendly Military Watch Magazine confirmed my opinion:

Ukraine’s Elite 47th Mechanised Brigade Surrounded and Low on Ammunition: Critical Front Faces Collapse

The Ukrainian Army’s elite 47th Mechanised Brigade stationed in the town of Avdiivka in the disputed Donetsk region has been surrounded and forced to contend with growing ammunition shortages, according to multiple reports from Ukrainian and Western sources. British reports indicate that the brigade was meant to attack a Russian column before it linked up with assault infantry on the northern flank of Avdievka, but failed to do so due to a lack of ammunition. The brigade’s efforts to stop the advance of Russian forces in Avdievka were described by The Times as “desperate,” fuelling perceptions of an “inevitable collapse” of Ukrainian positions, and diminished hope of preventing a Russian victory by the beginning of the New Year holidays.
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A serviceman from the 47th Brigade, cited only as Sergeant Danylo, observing when interviewed over the past week “a shitty situation” as the shell shortage forced soldiers to make impossible life-and-death decisions.“We had 10 times more ammunition over summer, and better quality… American rounds come in batches of almost identical weights, which makes it easier to correct fire, with very few duds. Now we have shells from all over the world with different qualities, and we only get 15 for three days. Last week we got a batch full of duds.” Thus instead of firing on Russians as soon as they came within range, Ukrainian personnel increasingly had to wait to be sure the Russians were heading for their positions and to only engage large groups. Munitions produced by European states have very frequently been faulted for their quality, and at times been considered near useless, with Italian equipment being particularly notorious for its poor quality, in contrast to superior equipment either inherited from the Soviet era or produced in by the United States.

Now tell me again that these are "well-led and motivated" forces which are "husbanding equipment to prepare for shortfalls". Neither rings true to me.

Hockstader continues:

For the Kremlin dictator, a “compromise” would involve Ukraine’s subjugation and dissolution as an independent state. That would include regime change, with Zelensky in exile (or dead), as well as an end to Kyiv’s aspirations to join the E.U. or NATO.
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If he is right, the timetable of that ending would be accelerated if Congress and the E.U. fail to approve fresh support. That would leave Ukraine’s government unable to maintain basic services, and its military increasingly short of artillery ammunition, air defense capability and other equipment. Ukraine’s already badly battered front-line forces would become more brittle. Russian territorial gains would be accompanied by murders, rapes, kidnapping of children and other Russian war crimes on a chilling scale.

That grim scenario would be a staggering blow to Western prestige and credibility, revealing that pledges to back Ukraine for “as long as it takes” were empty.

Yes, those pledges, by Biden and others, were indeed empty. That is why he has recently changed his talk:

Amid a Republican standoff and polarizing politics that puts new aid to Ukraine at risk, President Joe Biden emphasized his administration's willingness to support Ukraine, but the language was different. He said the US will be there for Kyiv "as long as we can."

It's a change in tune from previous messaging that the US would be a staunch and fierce ally to Ukraine, aiding it for "as long as it takes" to defeat Russia's invasion.

The West can no longer support the proxy war it had started.

History will now follow its destined path.

Posted by b on December 14, 2023 at 10:59 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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b, Hockstader couldn't carry your intellectual jockstrap.

Thanks for the comprehensive analysis, thanks.

Posted by: canuck | Dec 14 2023 11:08 utc | 1

Increasingly Ukranazi propagandists like @SmartUACat on Twitter are threatening that if the West "allows" Ukranazistan to be defeated by Rushes, embittered Ukrainian soldiers will join up with Russia to invade and roll over NATO.

Schrödinger's Russia: simultaneously will be defeated if Ukranazistan is immediately admitted to NATO, and will overrun NATO if Ukranazistan is not included in NATO.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Dec 14 2023 11:14 utc | 2

Yeah, even the BBC this morning was admitting the war has developed not necessarily to Ukraine's advantage, and that for some unaccountable reason, the Russians were now very optimistic and confident.

Posted by: laguerre | Dec 14 2023 11:14 utc | 3

Из заявлений Путина.

1. Цели СВО не меняются. Мир наступит, когда они будут достигнуты.
2. Экономика преодолела последствия 2022 года и идет вперед.
3. Вопрос денацификации Украины по-прежнему актуален.
4. Главное для России это ее суверенитет.
5. С начала наступления ВСУ потеряли 747 танков и 2300 ББМ.

В целом, политически подтверждено, что цели СВО заявленные в феврале 2022 года не изменились.

From Putin's statements.

1. The goals of the SMO do not change. Peace will come when achieved.
2. The economy has overcome the effects of 2022 and is moving forward.
3. The issue of denazification of Ukraine is still relevant.
4. The main thing for Russia is its sovereignty.
5. Since the beginning of the counter offensive, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have lost 747 tanks and 2300 armored fighting vehicles.

In general, it has been politically confirmed that the goals of the SMO announced in February 2022 have not changed.

Путин о мобилизации.

1. Всего по частичной мобилизации было мобилизовано 300 000 человек.
2. 244 000 из них до сих пор находятся в зоне СВО.
3. 41 000 уже вернулись домой по разным причинам.
4. 486 000 записалось на контрактную службу.
5. 1500 человек в сутки записываются на контракт.
6. 14 мобилизованных уже стали героями России.
7. Новой волны мобилизации не будет.
8. Все добровольцы должны находиться в одинаковых условиях с военными.

Putin on mobilization.

1. A total of 300,000 people were mobilized under partial mobilization.
2. 244,000 of them are still in the NWO zone.
3. 41,000 have already returned home for various reasons.
4. 486,000 signed up for contract service.
5. 1500 people per day sign up for a contract.
6. 14 mobilized people have already become Heroes of Russia.
7. There will be no new wave of mobilization.
8. All volunteers must be in the same conditions as the military.

Путин о ситуации на фронте.

1. На Украине сейчас находится 617 000 российских военных.
2. Среди знакомых Путина были погибшие в составе ЧВК.
3. Юридически ЧВК в России нет, но де-факто они существуют.
4. Права бойцов ЧВК должны быть защищены, они должны получить все права.
5. Списки всех участников ЧВК пока восстановить сложно.
6. Женщин-военкоров надо убрать с фронта.
7. Линия фронта СВО - 2000 километров.
8. Плацдарм ВСУ в Крынках не спешат ликвидировать по предложению Герасимова.
9. Ситуация с дронами улучшается, но их пока хватает не всегда.
10.Путин поблагодарил всех, кто добровольно помогает фронту.

Putin on the situation at the front.

1. There are now 617,000 Russian troops in Ukraine.
2. Among Putin's acquaintances were those who died in the PMC.
3. Legally, there are no PMCs in Russia, but de facto they exist.
4. The rights of PMC fighters must be protected, they must receive all rights.
5. It is still difficult to restore the lists of all PMC participants.
6. Female military correspondents must be removed from the front.
7. The front line of the SMO is 2000 kilometers.
8. The bridgehead of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Krynky is in no hurry to be eliminated at the suggestion of Gerasimov.
9. The situation with drones is improving, but there are not always enough of them yet.
10. Putin thanked everyone who voluntarily helps the front.

Posted by: Lerroni Sunny | Dec 14 2023 11:15 utc | 4

Hockstader wants us all to sacrifice what we have left of our standard of living to pursue the neocon dream of world dominance, which would just further enrich the wealth elites who launder money through the military industrial complex. What idiocy. The people of Ukraine, except the oligarchs and the Nazis, would all be much better off if the "dictator" gets his way. Long live Vladimir Putin.

Posted by: Steven | Dec 14 2023 11:18 utc | 5

If we look at the map, it implies that Russia will have to take all of the remaining territory for the existing provinces (which will not be easy at all) but also Kharkov, Nikolaev and Odessa (3 major oblasts).
Yes, in theory this will cripple Ukraine as a potential adversary for generations, but this is a very long (if not impossible) objective without complete collapse of the Ukrainian army and society.

Posted by: JamesBond | Dec 14 2023 11:25 utc | 6

Russian territorial gains would be accompanied by murders, rapes, kidnapping of children and other Russian war crimes on a chilling scale.

That Hockstader sentence displays the delusional paranoia and aggressive evil now abusing the world. Putin is reminded: you can't negotiate with or persuade the neocons, you just have to defeat and destroy them.

Posted by: fairleft | Dec 14 2023 11:37 utc | 7

b, if only everyone would read your superb intuition and analysis. Waiting for your take some time on the worrying rise in Europe of pro-Zionist Islamophobia. The outcome in Gaza will probably fuel this.

Posted by: aniteleya | Dec 14 2023 11:47 utc | 8

Posted by: JamesBond

With a handle like that idiotic brit fake hero, wonder which bullshit you've believed this whole time. Which "narrative" aka nonsense have you read constantly?

Posted by: Jkloi | Dec 14 2023 11:57 utc | 9

Who own and controls the agricultural land in Ukraine, known as the "breadbasket of Europe"?
The largest landholders are a mix of oligarchs and a variety of foreign interests, mostly European and North American. These firms are holding companies and generally run their operations through subsidiaries.

Around 4.3 million hectares are under large-scale agriculture, with the bulk of it, over 3 million hectares, in the hands of just a dozen large agribusiness firms. Most of these firms are registered overseas – in tax havens such as Cyprus or Luxembourg, as well as in the USA, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia.

In addition to these large landholders, the state of Ukraine owns over 7 million hectares of land. However, about 5 million have been “stolen” in recent decades according to an October 2020 statement by President Zelenskyy.
The interests controlling this massive amount of land – the size of two Crimea – have not been made public by the government.
Added to the official amount of land leased, this massive theft makes the total amount of Ukrainian land controlled by oligarchs, corrupt individuals, and large agribusinesses approximately 9 million hectares, or 28 percent of the country’s arable land.

It is believed that the remaining land is used by over 8 million Ukrainian farmers, though comprehensive data on the status of land tenure in Ukraine is lacking.

War and Theft: The Takeover of Ukraine’s Agricultural Land by The Oakland Institute.

pdf: https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/takeover-ukraine-agricultural-land.pdf
web: https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/war-theft-takeover-ukraine-agricultural-land


Although this war is not about war and land per se, the theft Ukrainian land by the West is completely in line with the usual vulture capitalism culture of the US and its lackeys.

Posted by: Winston, journalist | Dec 14 2023 11:58 utc | 10

It seems the narrative is shifting very volatily pretty much every week, or even intra-weekly now. From "OH MY GOD EUROPE IS DOOMED" to "Russia has massive casualties and about to collapse" and again rehashing "Russia is running out of missile and ammunition" and "Palace coup in Kremlin about to happen".

The uncontrollable glitch in the Matrix is happening and spreading.

Posted by: unimperator | Dec 14 2023 12:01 utc | 11

Yes, in theory this will cripple Ukraine as a potential adversary for generations, but this is a very long (if not impossible) objective without complete collapse of the Ukrainian army and society.

Posted by: JamesBond | Dec 14 2023 11:25 utc | 6

Why is that impossible? Isn’t that the end result of many wars - the collapse of one country’s military, the loss of its political will? It will happen in Ukraine as well.

Putin has stated there are over 600,000 Russian troops in theater, with more in reserve. How many Ukrainians do they face? A million, half a million, quarter of a million? How long can they last? The end is coming, very, very soon.

Posted by: James M. | Dec 14 2023 12:02 utc | 12

"with Italian equipment being particularly notorious for its poor quality,"

I had to smile as I read this.

As an Italian, I recognise in this my ever-smart compatriots, always willing and ready to look good on the cheap as they unload on the Ukrainian their oldest, worst ammo.

Kudos to them.

I am also sure they informed Putin, at the very start, that they would do for the Ukraine as little as they could without having the megafight with the EU kutns like von der kutnsen.

Posted by: Augusto Pi | Dec 14 2023 12:05 utc | 13

@ 3

It actually reminds me of the wartime accounts of Wehrmacht generals. They were geniuses whose superior Germanic solders relentlessly gave the Tatar-Mongol Ivans a sound thrashing. Until oops, another army group gets inexplicablly gutted.

All the "Bohemian Corporal's" fault of course. They never screwed up anything.

What national socialism? Well *I* never joined the party.

War-crimes? Not me guv! The German army was cleeeen.

Of course Waffen-dweebs believe that s**t, to this day.

It'll be same thing here, these "New New Order in Europe" types will never admit the AFU, NATO's best army got wrecked. Despite them doing everything short of having the balls to take Russia head-on.

Posted by: Urban Fox | Dec 14 2023 12:05 utc | 14

Posted by: JamesBond | Dec 14 2023 11:25 utc | 6
No, I don't believe the Russians will have to "physically" take all of the remaining territory for the existing provinces (which will not be easy at all) but also Kharkov, Nikolaev and Odessa (3 major oblasts). They will grind the enemy down in other areas, increase bombing and missile strikes on Kiev, and demand unconditional surrender of entire Ukraine. The other possibility is a surrender of Ukraine which allows the areas to have a referendum to be part of Russia. I have been to Odessa and it is a beautiful city with strong historic roots to Russia. The Russians do no want to take it by force.

Posted by: Chicago Bob | Dec 14 2023 12:06 utc | 15

Russia will not have to physically invade the territory it wants.

Russia is following von Clausewitz's doctrine. The aim is the destruction of the Ukrainian army.

When the Ukrainian army implodes, the Russians will simply roll their thanks wherever they want to have them roll.

Think of it as a house of cards, not a risk game. When the house of cards falls, everything falls, and Putin will decide what cards he wants to keep.

Posted by: Augusto Pi | Dec 14 2023 12:11 utc | 16

@ b.

Thanks b. for the astute analysis.

The West can no longer support the proxy war it had started.

Oh, they still can, and I am afraid they will not just bug out overnight. There is Euro 1 bil. left for this year in EU budget, more to be reserved for the next 6 month.

The biggest cost is supporting the Ukrainian bureaucracy and its social stability, and that is minimum about $4 bil. a month.
Without it, the whole state apparatus will crumble in no time and Ukraine falls apart.
However, there are some additional military packages incoming from the various sides, just enough to keep
Ukrainian chin above the water.

When one really roughly calculates the totals of the stuff sent to Ukraine, it appears that despite great efforts of RF in destroying in-depth and behind the front lines, there is still a mountain of stuff untouched and more on the way.

History will now follow its destined path.

Well, true, but not now and yet. The next year in spring, summer possibly.
RF needs the Black Sea as the entire dominance there. And that fight is yet to come.

Posted by: whirlX | Dec 14 2023 12:12 utc | 17

@ 13.

Heh.

I find it endlessly amusing that the EU/NATO "leaders" are all (with a couple of exceptions) S**t-Lib human avatars of their national stereotypes.

Posted by: Urban Fox | Dec 14 2023 12:27 utc | 18

Posted by: whirlX | Dec 14 2023 12:12 utc | 17

Gaining full control of the Black Sea is far off, but one prelude to it could be taking advantage of the AFU gaps in the south (Kamyanske-Orekhov-Gulyaipole-Urozhaine). Say, getting to Pokrovsk and isolating Zaporozhye from the rest of Donbass and blowing up the bridge to Zaporozhye could really start putting the heat on the Donbass front, leaving only one way to go. North-west toward Kramatorsk and Kharkov. Slowly, the rest of the area east of Gulyaipole and Pokrovsk could start to be back-filled.

It will leave one effective major route into Donbass, which could be easier to threaten and dismantle, only a few rail nodes, forcing them to rely on very long range truck voyages and lowering supply efficiency. But of course no one knows whether it's possible and what's going to happen, maybe the situation will continue as it is.

Posted by: unimperator | Dec 14 2023 12:34 utc | 19

husbanding equipment to prepare for shortfalls

I think this must refer to the enlistment of women to the frontlines. They seem to have ignored an important aspect of this kind of husbandry though: when the new "equipment" is husbanded, it then takes decades for the new "equipment" to grow up and become able to fight on the front. Are they expecting the Russians to sit and twiddle their thumbs while they wait?

Posted by: BM | Dec 14 2023 12:38 utc | 20

Finally a western mainstream writer has caught up with those facts

Well hardly! He is only trying to use it as an argument for throwing more support for Ukraine after bad. He is explicitly saying: "Continue supporting Ukraine, otherwise it may lose". There is nothing factual about that: whether the West continues supporting Ukraine or not, EITHER WAY it is still guaranteed to lose, it is just a question of putting off the inevitable.

Posted by: BM | Dec 14 2023 12:46 utc | 21

Sorry about reposting but it is within one of your former analysis and might be useful to guess what endgame can be in line. It concerned the US General and staff sent to direct the defense.

Just a thought.

UK supports, as seen in the economist, Zaluzhnyi

US still holds Zelensky as his card.

Could this general, and staff, be a way to displace Zaluzhnyi and “f*ck the uk!”?

Posted by: Newbie | Dec 14 2023 12:33 utc | 217

Posted by: Newbie | Dec 14 2023 12:47 utc | 22

Indeed. But don't count out the western oligarchs just yet.

Readers from the United States and Western Europe are reminded that they are being invaded by third-world refugees, which will crush living standards for the many even as it boosts the profits of the few. That's not a bug it's a feature. And while the failure of the proxy war in Ukraine must smart, never forget that the elites themselves have profited mightily off this enterprise, they lose nothing in terms of money, status, power, whatever. And they can always try to stir up more trouble for Russia: maybe a defeated Ukraine could be turned into a quagmire for Russia like Afghanistan. Maybe some other country could be turned into a mindless zombie and hurled at Russia: Armenia? Poland? Mongolia? Maybe the western elites will finally corrupt enough oligarchs in Russia and turn it back to the days of Yeltsin. You get the idea.

Posted by: TG | Dec 14 2023 12:52 utc | 23

> with Italian equipment being particularly notorious for its poor quality,

LOL! Considering the Italian's place in the Universe of European Prejudices, I'm not surprised. xD "Produce things that are good looking but of low quality" is the description, in case any non-Europeans are curious.

Posted by: rert | Dec 14 2023 12:57 utc | 24

'A complete Ukrainian military collapse is unlikely, at least in coming months.' -- 'Hockstader'

That's what the CIA told us as August 2021 began: plenty of time (months) for US troops to make an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Then the Taliban took over the country in a couple of weeks, routing the Americlown occupiers in a humiliating spectacle.

Should we expect any less in Ukie-land, when soi-disant experts like 'Hockstader' are spouting the same delusional, soothing gibberish?

Posted by: Jim H | Dec 14 2023 12:58 utc | 25

@9,

Haha, the nickname is just a nickname .. I'm not following a narrative, it's just my point of view based on what seems the current situation from both sides. I think it's a bit wrong to talk about grand objectives such as Odessa until there is a major collapse of the Ukrainian Army or that the Ukr society is tired of the war. This is not the case even if the articles in MSM paint it like that (not saying it might not happen though). They showed in the past that they are incompetent at making predictions, it's not like they become experts now.

@12,

Yes, that has happened in the past and as I already mentioned above, it could happen in this case as well. But considering that Ukraine itself is more or less a state prison and the fact that the West keeps pumping money endlessly, it doesn't seem realistic to think that Ru can take almost half of the country. And yes, Ukraine probably can still mobilize 1 milion peole even if they are low quality. They have 0 respect for their people and they show it everyday.


@15,

A lot of people are saying that Ru goal is to attrit the Ukr army in order to not make every settlement look live Avdivka or Bakhmut when the war is over. Of course, taking a city like Odessa or Kharkov in the same way as Mariupol, Bakhmut or Avdivka would be brutal for the Ru army no matter how competent or well equipped they are (specifically because Ukr have no respect for the life of it's soldiers). The idea of referendum would indeed be nice and would indeed offer other oblasts the possibility to choose their future.

Posted by: JamesBond | Dec 14 2023 13:06 utc | 26

The new US generals exactly repeat the ‘Steiner will save us’ copium of Das Bunker mentality.

As we know the US generals are only good for abandoning the wars they stalk about chewing gum in. Retreating with tails between their legs. Abandoning their quislings and servants promised a green card. With chaotic scenes where people are crushed or drop from the undercarriages of the last evacuation aircraft. Having already gone Homo! With cross dressing men with fake tits it’s time for that end stage imperium to heed he call of Yankees Go Home!
I
It’s quite funny seeing the German sgt Sholz and fuhrina Ursula and the gaggle of goosestepping green Natziods marching themselves up their own arseholes, to the oblivion of the Third Reich! Heck they didn’t even get to build new autobhans and trains that run on time this time. Did not pass go , did not collect their $200, took a chance and now going straight to hell!

The German Youth must be saluting the end of their careers before they even began. The German Greens will be eating worms until they make themselves sick like the spoilt brats they are. The German Industry is wrecked, it will soon be begging for Chinese and Russian firms to come invest.
But for now they are melting down like Hitler in that bunker their fascist ‘volk’ nightmare by cancelling the Herendet Prize!
Doubling down on their Naziness by mindless support of the nazios jackboots upon the Palestine … idiots! will they never learn?

Meanwhile we Brits now have another reason for why BrexShit was perpetrated- we suspected that Russia would not be defeated yet again - We could pretend it was all a EU folly if it went wrong. And mainly a U.K. led victory if it worked. Perfidious R Us !

So even as we were central to this latest failure with OUR proxies , the Nazis of Ukrops, planned, trained, funded with many of our boots on the ground including the Royal Navy and special forces. - the Senior Service has a lot to answer for and the dumb aristo dim Admirals and their bum chums in the Crown, need to finally and forever go down with what remaining leaky dinghies they have left.

The landlocked rump Ukraine is the grand prize they will have to settle for after centuries of the Great Game. Huzzah ! Time has told and now there only remains one more futile , magnificent charge into a valley of death to get rid of all the evidence - the mercenaries and foot soldiers who can testify that they were following direct orders.

Ay well let’s have some war crimes trials anyways which should drag out all the conspiracy going back decades.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Dec 14 2023 13:16 utc | 27

Posted by: Newbie | Dec 14 2023 12:47 utc | 22

They are NOT being sent to direct any "defense"! They are on a learning mission to take advantage of the limited time remaining and glean as much situational, strategic and tactical Intel as possible on Russian military stuff before Ukraine collapses.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 14 2023 13:22 utc | 28

Posted by: Augusto Pinochet| Dec 14 2023 12:05 utc | 13

As an Israeli you should take more pride. No need to masquerade.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 14 2023 13:24 utc | 29

They are NOT being sent to direct any "defense"! They are on a learning mission to take advantage of the limited time remaining and glean as much situational, strategic and tactical Intel as possible on Russian military stuff before Ukraine collapses.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 14 2023 13:22 utc | 28

Can't they do both? Nullify UK's Zaluzhanyi and learn whatever they want (but they might do that passively, I'm sure there are plenty of "observers" already, it only makes sense if they want to try something that the AFU wouldn't)

Posted by: Newbie | Dec 14 2023 13:25 utc | 30

Good luck to Biden getting any more congressionally approved funds while under impeachment. LOL enough is enough.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 14 2023 13:28 utc | 31

If funds from US will stop for the next year, this will indeed put pressure on the rest of the vassals to either contribute more to equal the funds that US did or ask Ukraine to make more sacrifices. Either option they choose will be bad for Ukraine and good for Ru. Will see if indeed this will be the case.

Posted by: JamesBond | Dec 14 2023 13:31 utc | 32

@33,

Sorry also to break your reality, but outside of Turkey (which seem to be a bit friendly to Russia lately) & Russia, rest of the countries that use the Black Sea are irrelevant.

Posted by: JamesBond | Dec 14 2023 13:47 utc | 33

Curious question. A US Presidential election is less than a year away.

Would it be another disaster, like Afghanistan, for the Democrats
if the Ukrainian front line collapsed before the election?
Or, more likely, would it be a good thing, as Republicans showed less support for
continued feeding of the Kiev/MIC corruption fund?

Would the collapsing front become an election issue with Democrats pointing fingers at
the Republicans for their lack of support?

What can the Biden administration do to speed up the collapse, or create urgency, today?
Yesterday, a US 3-star general was sent to Ukraine to help
develop a new strategy. (Watch your back, Zaluzny)

---
I have wondered at the collapse in Afghanistan, the Pentagon sabotaged the
orderly draw down of US forces. Our Afghan allied forces just crumbled
almost overnight. Had the Pentagon expected a lengthier collapse of the
US propped-up Afghanistan government in the hopes that the US Congress
could be compelled to send urgently needed aid to "stabilize the situation"?
And then Pentagon mission creep would set in and, viola, the US is back
in Afghanistan again.

Could the US 3-star general get it right this time in Ukraine?
Create urgency that demands immediate funding of a stabilization,
or go for a long and drawn out collapse complete with protracted
wailing and crying for more support.


Posted by: librul | Dec 14 2023 13:52 utc | 34

Dear B

I wouldn't consider MWM Ukraine friendly (in fact often seems to post fair evaluations of military equipment and situations)

Often they break or relay things that MSM usually doesn't, take this one today.
(BTW not good news for AFU as it needs auxiliaries)

https://militarywatchmagazine.com/article/sri-lankan-recruitment-ukraine-block

Posted by: Newbie | Dec 14 2023 13:56 utc | 35

Yesterday, a US 3-star general was sent to Ukraine to help
develop a new strategy. (Watch your back, Zaluzny)


Posted by: librul | Dec 14 2023 13:52 utc | 34

My thoughts on 22

Posted by: Newbie | Dec 14 2023 13:58 utc | 36

Posted by: CommiesGoFY | Dec 14 2023 13:40 utc | 33

It appears the RF has learned just how obsolete Navies are, the US is the one that seems to have not learned yet, I am waiting for the Houthis to sink a Carrier to pound that lesson in.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Dec 14 2023 14:02 utc | 37

@ rert | Dec 14 2023 12:57 utc | 24

---

Vis-a-vis Italian quality. Perhaps Italy is simply more selective in what they discard in Ukraine.

Posted by: too scents | Dec 14 2023 14:07 utc | 38

Anybody seen or heard from Zalnutzhny or Budenov lately?

Oh yes, the west will support Ukraine.

Serbia has been waiting for EU membership for 15 years and earlier this year they startet talking about Bricks membership. A week later Borell came out and started talking about accelerating the EU prosess.

So they will find some smart wording, (like Nato did at the Vilnius meeting) to bring Ukraine closer, and in that way spoiling any chance for a ceasefire/surrender. The west will not let Ukraine of the hook.

Nato and EU have also made a pact earlier this year, bringing the two organizations closer. In that way Austria and Irland, and probably the EU candidates in the waiting rooms have to commit themself to a closer cooperation with Nato.

It aint over yet

Posted by: Paul from Norway | Dec 14 2023 14:09 utc | 39

Ukraine is still strong. Their army still holds the line and Russian attacks are still costly in life and equipment. Sorry, but when listening to Dima, that is the impression.
Ukraine can sustain guerrilla war very long and that is something their western masters would like.

Posted by: zorge | Dec 14 2023 14:22 utc | 40

Putin the dictator has far more legitimacy to rule, as his recruitment numbers show, than Joe Biden and the neocons do, as their recruitment numbers show.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 14 2023 14:26 utc | 41

"Novo Russiya" is already a dead letter. The Donbass and Crimea are already part of Russia. The map of additions to the Ukrainian state is misleading. The yellow area should be labelled 'Russia in 1654.' Ukraine has historically been a region of Russia, it's existence as a modern state doesn't grow out of a medieval kingdom based on a distinct ethnicity, but on two conflicting dynamics- the conflict between western imperialism as an expression of Catholic universalism with the east generally, and the establishment of a Ukrainian 'state' during the 1920s, the conflicts of that being again on an east/west axis informed by the bourgeois-communist conflict. That Ukrainian 'state' was within a few weeks of 'independence' from Russia, a Soviet Socialist Republic- ie, once again an integral part of Russia. The difference between Ukraine and Belorussia in this regard was that the lingering cultural consequences of language and religion were available in Ukraine as fuel for exactly the kind of identity politics the west continues to use to divide and conquer.

The current conflict in Ukraine is a civil war and a class war for the re-establishment of full capitalist control first on the periphery of the old Soviet state, and then of all of Russia. From the Russian perspective it is primarily a civil war, with consequences for national liberation and sovereignty. Because of this, the OLDER the connection to the original Russian core of Ukraine, the more Russian an area is, and almost all the region that didn't belong to some state on the losing side of WWII has been fundamentally Russian for centuries. So, the green area of the west on that map may go back to those nations, but the rest is going to end up being Russian again. If not in the settlement of this SMO, then in the next round, because any significant rump state will be used as a launching pad for further aggression. The Russians know this, they are winning, their technical, organizational and quantitative military capabilities are ahead of the west's and the gap continues to widen. I think the prospects for an end to the fighting in which Ukraine is a thing beyond the outskirts of Lvov are minimal.

Posted by: Honzo | Dec 14 2023 14:42 utc | 42

Bravo, Orban. He just said that he is not going to support Ukraine EU ascension formal talks and €50bn financial aid package. It is interesting to watch the west media going through cycles of sweet talking and accusing Hungary repeatedly. Delusional to the core.

Posted by: KitaySupporter | Dec 14 2023 14:45 utc | 43

Posted by: JamesBond | Dec 14 2023 11:25 utc | 6

Yes, the picture that b paints includes a lot of territory in addition to what Russia now controls. But I think b's analysis is correct and that Russia will take the entire Black Sea coast away from Ukraine, along with the additional oblasts colored pink. I think this will come about through peace negotiations that will happen after Ukraine loses external support from the US and EU, collapses, and sues for peace. It happened in a similar way at the end of the Mexican-American War, by which the US acquired almost 1/2 of Mexico. The endpoint for Ukraine may be soon, or less soon. Doesn't matter. The take-home is that all the signals are pointing in that direction, and that Russia can bide its time.

Posted by: Clever Dog | Dec 14 2023 14:49 utc | 44

https://www.commondreams.org/opinion/ukraine-victories-against-russia

Ukraine defeat? What defeat? Don't you know that Ukraine has won? ( 'Tis but a scratch)

Posted by: Eighthman | Dec 14 2023 14:52 utc | 45

Thanks b for the great work you do day in day out.

The most important information of the week was the desire of some Verkhovna Rada deputies to slip out of the Rada and flee, as evidenced by the David Arakhamia video (Simplicius). The rats, the people in the know want out. Things will unravell for Ukraine at the speed that money dries up (yes it is!)... shells dry up (yes they are!)... If those two key parameters sink rapidly (they could), Ukrainian soldiers will just abandon their positions. They'll take their guns back home with them and try and salvage what they can of a life. The Russians can walze to Odessa. Remember what happened to France in 1940, once the country collapsed?

Posted by: Shahmaran | Dec 14 2023 14:58 utc | 46

Posted by: librul | Dec 14 2023 13:52 utc | 34

Regarding how US politics play out over Ukraine, it's complicated. If Ukraine army collapses in 2024, Dems can potentially point to Republicans delaying funding and claim that they 'lost' Ukraine. On the other hand, there's a desire among Repubs to impeach Biden over his boy Hunter's time in Burisma, with papa's support, and it looks like there is enough there for an impeachment. A narrative could be developed that it was Biden's corrupt entanglement in Ukraine that brought about the Ukraine debacle, hanging the whole mess on him. Problem with that strategy is that mainstream Repubs have been in full-throated support of their Ukie proxy from the get go, and memory-holing that inconvenient fact could be too big a mountain to climb, even with the US public's chronic amnesia. Interesting that even Lindsey Graham is now saying that border security is prioritized over Ukraine funding, a real turnabout, which may be indicative of a new strategy incubating in the Repub party. If this is the narrative they go with then they must be confident that they have the goods on Bidet. Mostly I think that both parties are feeling out their election strategies, which are 100% based on politics and 0% on principle. The real tell will be if Mitch 'Turtle' McConnell backs away from his Ukraine jones.

Posted by: Mike R | Dec 14 2023 15:04 utc | 47

Important "off the cuff" statement by Putin at the Q&A: Odessa is a Russian city.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Dec 14 2023 15:04 utc | 48

It seems that Hockstader was ALLOWED to write this story.

Posted by: Mr. Market | Dec 14 2023 15:07 utc | 49

Whatever Russia has in store for the Ukraine, we will see it sooner or later. Lots of water will go under the bridge before this has ended.

Does anyone know this US 3 star general that got handed the thankless job of going to the Ukraine? He must have pissed off someone influential because for the life of me I can't see how this is a career enhancing move. More a career ending move considering the likelihood he might personally intercept a hypersonic missile.

Posted by: NaomiClareNL | Dec 14 2023 15:09 utc | 50

aniteleya @ 8 - Thats the goal and purpose of migrant influx in both EU and US. It helps build domestic support for all of the military aggression.

Posted by: jef | Dec 14 2023 15:14 utc | 51

One aspect of the Ukraine operation that few have talked about is the "Jakarta Method" effect. Great book by the way.

I am certain Western powers can and have used the threat, "you don't want to end up like Ukraine do you?"

Posted by: jef | Dec 14 2023 15:19 utc | 52

I too smiled at the comment that the Italian ammo was notoriously bad. Prior to WWII in the 30’s the Italians designed the best 15” naval guns in the world for the Littorio class. These high powered guns had short barrel life but unmatched range and never far from home where barrels could be swapped. With better speed and range and plentiful near by bases they should have been unbeatable in the Mediterranean. However, in actual combat they never hit anything. The ammo was too poor and inconsistent.

Being a long time aficionado of Italian cars, I can attest that their quality control has made incredible strides recently. However, as Pio commented above, I am sure the Italian military is turning over its older stocks to the Ukrainians made when it’s factory workers and foremen were equally committed to La Dolce Vita.

Posted by: tommylotto | Dec 14 2023 15:26 utc | 53

Posted by: NaomiClareNL | Dec 14 2023 15:09 utc | 50

We shall see how long is his shelf life. May be this is the Vietnam three steps: we come, we die, we escalate.

https://asiatimes.com/2023/12/gop-holds-up-ukraine-aid-asking-painful-questions/
Lieutenant-General Antonio Aguto. Photo: US Army
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Aguto
Antonio Alzona Aguto Jr.[1] (born November 18, 1966)[2] is a United States Army lieutenant general who serves as the first commander of a joint headquarters group of US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines Security Assistance Group–Ukraine (SAGU) since December 2022.[3][4][5] He most recently served as the 40th commanding general of First United States Army from July 8, 2021, to December 2, 2022.[6][7][8] He previously served as the Commanding General of the 3rd Infantry Division and prior to that as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans, and Training of the United States Army Forces Command.[9][10][11][12][13]

Aguto is a 1988 graduate of the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering. He served as the commanding officer of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment from 2010 to 2012 and the 7th Army Training Command from July 2016 to May 2018.[10]

Posted by: KitaySupporter | Dec 14 2023 15:27 utc | 54

Posted by: Lerroni Sunny | Dec 14 2023 11:15 utc | 4

##########

Thank you for sharing that with us.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Dec 14 2023 15:40 utc | 55

Can anyone provide a realistic estimate of number of Ukrainian soldiers killed so far?
Recently several Western sources are claiming 315,000 dead + injured Russian soldiers, and less than 200,000 Ukrainian dead + injured, but I seriously doubt that Russian casualties outnumber Ukrainian. I'm guessing total Ukrainian casualties should be approaching a million, no?

Posted by: Mark Mosby | Dec 14 2023 15:44 utc | 56

The more problems there are at the front, the more the opposition against the President intensifies in the Ukrainian elite.

Thus, after the failure of the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the general difficult situation at the front and the “frozen” elections, Zelensky’s political opponents became more active (read: the sabotage of the elites began).

Zelensky is already being “attacked” by a very broad coalition of heterogeneous forces:
▪️Poroshenko and his party;
▪️groups and individuals associated with Western structures and grant organizations;
▪️Klitschko and a number of other mayors who are in a hostile relationship with the OP;
▪️Kolomoisky (through Dubinsky, as well as through a whole pool of bloggers);
▪️Arestovich, who is now trying to gather his own political project around himself;
▪️other separate groups dissatisfied with the current government;
▪️Zelensky and Western partners are being “sandwiched”, moreover, through authoritative media.

It is noteworthy that such a varied public has a common goal - to weaken Zelensky’s positions as much as possible, to encourage him to “share power”, or, in the long term, to deprive him of power. And such a situation would not have been possible without the participation of the West - apparently, the Ukrainian political forces received a clear signal that their partners were “leaking” Zelensky and it was time to intensify their criticism of the authorities.

But the most interesting thing is the figure of Zaluzhny, who is key in this whole story. Yes, General Zelensky does not openly criticize and does not declare his plans to engage in politics, but he does not deny the existence of such plans. And, thanks to the very fact that Zaluzhny has a trust rating comparable to the president (and according to some data, even greater), the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine becomes a person around whom Ukrainian elites dissatisfied with Zelensky can unite at any moment.

That is, a broad coalition is being formed against Zelensky around Zaluzhny, who may well become the new face of Ukrainian politics.


https://t.me/rezident_ua/20812

Posted by: Down South | Dec 14 2023 15:44 utc | 57


Hockstader continues:

For the Kremlin dictator [...]

Good thing you don't have any dictators in the west. Like all the unelected EU elites and the monoparty US zio-satanists.


Ukraine’s already badly battered front-line forces would become more brittle. Russian territorial gains would be accompanied by murders, rapes, kidnapping of children and other Russian war crimes on a chilling scale.

Come on Hockstader, we know that you're the most chill of all. Even war crimes are chill when done by the west. By the way, you're KILLING IT in Gaza. It's a Game Changer. Especially the part about locating ambulances, hospitals and refugee camps and transmitting the coordinates to shitrael for bombing. Fucking chill. You earn one star, but it's a special star made of 6 illuminati triangles and 6+6+6 corners. Happy?


That grim scenario would be a staggering blow to Western prestige and credibility, revealing that pledges to back Ukraine for “as long as it takes” were empty.

Western credibility? We can reconsider whether that exists once you hang all the war mongers and covid genociders. Prestige? You mean drug dealer prestige? Weapon trader prestige?

Posted by: Michael A | Dec 14 2023 15:54 utc | 58

Twice before, this has occurred - the Nato proxy army destroyed and defeated and twice they have created new canon fodder armies.
This time there is something revolving around the F-16s. It could be that the war is mostly over, or it could be set to widen as the empire pushes other east European countries into direct war with Russia.

Russia has been warning against planes taking of from other countries to attack their forces. Biden/Nato appear determined to ensure 'Putin invades' other countries so I assume that is what is cooking this time round.
It ain't over till its over. When the US collapses we will know its over.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 14 2023 15:57 utc | 59

Group-think articles like that post article have nothing to do with the actual situation on the ground. None of these articles would exist if not for the Republican Party's initial refusal to pass Ukraine Aid. Negotiations over that aid are still continuing. And at very least, the GOP's refusal solidifies the fact that it's neo-Fascist political movements that are the true base of support for Putin and his war. Putin's claim of "fighting Naziism" is completely phony, as real neo Nazis like those leading the GOP rally behind him, pasting their fake concern about "border security", which is nothing more than a racist dogwhistle against Latinos, comparable to any discrimination against Russian speaking people pushed by the worst extremists in Ukraine.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Dec 14 2023 15:57 utc | 60

I for one think that Zaluzny is mistaken. The war is not at a stalemate.

Zaluzhny wasn't mistaken. He just lied because telling the truth is verboten.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 14 2023 16:05 utc | 61

Well, in the end we learned it: Drones force the enemy into their shelters, where they become an easy victim of the advancing infantry: https://lostarmour.info/news/nastuplenie-maryinka-rusich-army-4848

Posted by: Oliver Krug | Dec 14 2023 16:07 utc | 62

@Inkan1969

Do you have a bust of Stephan Bandera on your desk? Or is it in your closet?

Posted by: the pessimist | Dec 14 2023 16:10 utc | 63

People continue to misread the US evacuation of Afghanistan. The US military evacuation was flawlessly executed and spectacularly expedited. They had a deadline to leave and they met that deadline. It was the civilian (CIA, State Department, fake NGOs, etc) evacuation that was totally screwed up. The morons on the civilian side had not even started making plans to get out when the deadline arrived. The idiots were completely taken by surprise to find that except for a couple security detachments, the US military was gone from Afghanistan on the morning of the deadline. That efficiency was actually the source of the panic among the presstitutes and Establishment tools dragging their feet. I doubt they even believed the military would ever leave until after it was an established fact.

I think the same will happen in the Ukraine. Lots of spooks and fake NGO types will be taken by surprise when the Ukrainian military stands down and the Russians roll into town.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 14 2023 16:14 utc | 64

Posted by: the pessimist | Dec 14 2023 16:10 utc | 63

Not at all. I'm from Peru, where I know the choice of embracing a Fascist leader as some means of defying a hegemonic power is a mistake, a mistake many Latin Americans made in embracing the Third Reich because they fought against the US. And the current news in the US Congress shows that the "Stephen Banderas" of today like the ones running the GOP consider Putin their hero, protecting the traditional values of the White Race against homosexuals or some other "deviants"...

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Dec 14 2023 16:17 utc | 65

Shot its wad? More like didnt even get it up. As far as sexual metaphors are concerned anyways.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Dec 14 2023 16:17 utc | 66

Hockstader was posing a somewhat legitimate analysis albeit from a view the West should step up the fight...until he went full cartoonish with the terror, rape, kidnap crap. I agree with B, seems the Ukrainian Nationalists are going to wind up with the country they wanted without the land with the people they didn't want.

Posted by: WG | Dec 14 2023 16:19 utc | 67

1
UKRAINE CRISIS
13 JAN, 12:08
US may lose control of world finance due to conflict in Ukraine — French expert
Emmanuel Todd is certain that the United States is in a phase of long-term decline and, against the backdrop of its waning influence in the world, it has decided to press for greater influence in its "original protectorates," acquired after World War II

© AP Photo/Libkos
PARIS, January 13. /TASS/. The Ukrainian conflict is existential for the United States, which, in the event that friendly European economies become exhausted, will run the risk of losing its grip on world finance, French historian and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd said in an interview with Le Figaro.

In his commentary, he recalls a piece of analysis offered by Professor John Mearsheimer, of the University of Chicago, who argued that whereas for Russia this conflict was "existential," for the United States it was just another game among other countries, and that victory or defeat in it would be of little importance to the US. "But this analysis is insufficient. [U.S. President Joe] Biden now has to hurry. America is fragile and the Russian economy’s resistance is pushing the US imperial system towards the abyss. Nobody had expected the Russian economy would be able to withstand the ‘economic power’ of NATO," Todd said.

He is certain that the United States is in a phase of long-term decline and, against the backdrop of its waning influence in the world, it has decided to press for greater influence in its "original protectorates," acquired after World War II, in other words, Europe and Japan. Against this background the European economy’s collapse, the expert notes, is fraught with great risks for the United States itself.

"If the Russian economy offers long-term resistance to sanctions and manages to bleed the European economy white and manages to survive with Chinese support, US monetary control of the world will collapse, and with it, the US’ ability to finance its mammoth trade deficit for next to nothing. This war has become existential for the United States. It cannot get out of the conflict before Russia. They cannot let go. This explains why we are now in an open-ended war, in a confrontation that is bound to result in the collapse of one side or the other," Todd says.

Economic and social problems
The conflict in Ukraine "leads to a real economy that allows for gauging the real wealth of states and their productive capacity," the expert states. In particular, he points to a two-fold increase in Russia’s wheat production after the first major sanctions were introduced in 2014, as well as Russia's leading position in building nuclear power plants, not only at home, but also abroad.

The outcome of the conflict "will depend on the ability of both systems to produce weapons," Todd believes. The historian notes that the transition to a war of attrition reduces the influence of advanced US military technologies, being used by Ukraine. It brings to the forefront the availability of skilled personnel, material resources and industrial potential. "At this point the

West’s fundamental problem of globalization begins to intervene: we have moved so many industries [from our territory] that we don’t know now whether our military plants will be able to maintain the desired production pace," he added.

In addition to natural and industrial resources the expert notes the great role of human resources and education. He points to the United States’ more than twofold advantage over Russia in population, but advises his readership to remember that in the United States only 7% of students master engineering professions, while in Russia there are about 25% of them, which ultimately gives Russia a competitive edge. "The United States is filling this gap with foreign students, mostly Indians and even to a greater extent, Chinese. This substitution resource is unreliable, though, and is already dwindling," he said.

Clash of ideologies
Todd also urged not to forget about the "ideological and cultural balance of power." He recalled that during the Soviet era, the Communist ideology was used as soft power, which won acclaim in China, and partly in India and Europe. However, for the Muslim world, that ideology was not attractive due to its official atheism, the expert believes. "Today, Russia, which is again positioning itself as a great power, not only anti-colonial, but also patrilineal and conservative in relation to traditional mores, can attract far greater support," he explained.

"Western newspapers are tragically funny: they keep saying: 'Russia is isolated. Russia is isolated.' But when you take a look at the votes at the UN, it will turn out that 75% of the world does not follow the West, which at such moments looks very small," Todd says. "The current conflict, which our media tend to describe as a clash of political values, at a deeper level is a conflict of anthropological values. It is this lack of awareness and depth that makes the confrontation dangerous."

Global confrontation
"The reality is that World War III has already begun. It is obvious that the conflict, initially a limited territorial war, has evolved into a global economic confrontation between the entire West, on the one hand, and Russia, supported by China, on the other, to have become a world war," Todd believes. He speculates that given current economic and demographic factors, the hostilities should be expected to end within five years.

He believes that one way or another the European countries are "participating in killing Russians" by supplying military equipment to Ukraine, even though they do not put themselves at risk. "The Europeans are primarily focused on the economy. We can feel the real involvement in the war through inflation and shortages of various goods," the expert stressed.

Russia, he says, while participating in an economic war [with the West], is partially restoring the military economy, but at the same time it is doing its utmost to take care of the people."

"This is the purpose of the pullback of troops from Kherson that followed the pullback from the Kharkov and Kiev regions. We are counting the square kilometers captured by the Ukrainians, while the Russians are waiting for the fall of the European economies. We are their main frontline," Todd stated.
From TASS today, good article.

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Dec 14 2023 16:19 utc | 68

I don't know of any country that has won a war whilst relying on other countries for funding and weapons.

Posted by: Jeff Harrison | Dec 14 2023 16:23 utc | 69

"This is the purpose of the pullback of troops from Kherson that followed the pullback from the Kharkov and Kiev regions. We are counting the square kilometers captured by the Ukrainians, while the Russians are waiting for the fall of the European economies. We are their main frontline," Todd stated.
From TASS today, good article.

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Dec 14 2023 16:19 utc | 68

Thank you, M. Todd is always worth paying attention to.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 14 2023 16:23 utc | 70

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 14 2023 13:28 utc | 31

The impeachment inquiry is a joke. Several GOP congressman have admitted they have no real evidence of wrongdoing. If they really pursue impeachment, that will turn the US public even more against the GOP then they already are because of attacks on abortion rights and embrace of Trump's neo-Fascism.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Dec 14 2023 16:26 utc | 71

I can't think of a better way of destroying the morale of the Ukrainian forces than announcing the appointment of a foreigner to command them.
It says a great deal about the people running Ukraine that they don't understand this.

As to the belief that Ukraine is held together by some sort of deep patriotic feeling, there is no sign of that. The foundation of the current post-Maidan regime is repression of the Rusian speaking population which is by far the biggest and most homogenous group in the country. Ukraine is dedicated to civil war- the war against Russia is merely an extension of the war against Russians.

The probability is that half of the population is just waiting for an opportunity to get from under the Gestapo NATO supports and trains. It will all happen very suddenly. All that is needed is a mutiny which, unlike the famous Warsaw ghetto, the Russians can connect with quick enough to pevent its suppression. It could happen tonight.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 14 2023 16:34 utc | 72

librul | Dec 14 2023 13:52 utc | 34--

No amount of money can provide what the Ukies lack, so appropriations of $$trillions would do absolutely nothing except line the pockets of those already deeply steeped in the corruption associated with this action. What money can't buy: A million trained soldiers and the proper equipment that isn't being manufactured for the reasons Asterovitch cited. Along with that would be an air force and air defense systems that actually work.

As for Russia, it just needs to keep going, and it will.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 14 2023 16:39 utc | 73

From the Todd piece quoted by Eoin Clancy @68


"If the Russian economy offers long-term resistance to sanctions and manages to bleed the European economy white and manages to survive with Chinese support, US monetary control of the world will collapse, and with it, the US’ ability to finance its mammoth trade deficit for next to nothing. This war has become existential for the United States. It cannot get out of the conflict before Russia. They cannot let go. This explains why we are now in an open-ended war, in a confrontation that is bound to result in the collapse of one side or the other," Todd says.

My earlier comment was based on the insanity I see in the US and the European Nato/EU leadership.
Todd's view is based on economics and coincides with my thoughts. I doubt we will see the Russian frontline move much for some time as they now have a highly fortified frontline and there is still more war to come.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 14 2023 16:41 utc | 74

Bemildred 70: The Europeans have done and continue to do very stupid things, and they will pay for it with the loss of wealth. But anyone who knows the European media also knows that Putin and Xi are the only ones to blame for this - the USA have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with it.

Posted by: Oliver Krug | Dec 14 2023 16:42 utc | 75

bevin | Dec 14 2023 16:34 utc | 72 "As to the belief that Ukraine is held together by some sort of deep patriotic feeling, there is no sign of that. The foundation of the current post-Maidan regime is repression of the Rusian speaking population which is by far the biggest and most homogenous group in the country."

It goes even further to the repression of those Ukrainians that were neutral towards Russia and wanted the Minsk agreements followed. Most of those politicians are now in exile, in prison in Ukraine or dead.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 14 2023 16:47 utc | 76

Posted by: Lerroni Sunny | Dec 14 2023 11:15 utc | 4

Putin does not need to lie. Unlike the global west.

Krinky is a meat grinder. Strategy by the Russian army is top.

One rule: worse is the situation for the ukronazis, more active are the trolls.

Posted by: Naive | Dec 14 2023 16:50 utc | 77

Urban Fox @14
Spot on!

Posted by: wilsonK | Dec 14 2023 16:52 utc | 78

Nato/Ukraine's flagship unit '47th brigade' in Avdeevka is low on ammunition, unable to do much, complaining about low skilled troops and in danger of getting into some sort of encirclement. They also say the ammunition and weapons coming from Europe have a relatively high failure rate.

https://militarywatchmagazine.com/article/47th-mechbrigade-surrounded-lowammo

Posted by: unimperator | Dec 14 2023 16:52 utc | 79

Biden goes from his cocky as long as it takes to a sheepish as long as we can. Priceless!

It brings me joy to see these imperialist scum humiliated. Thanks to Putin and the good Russian people. You have been a light for humanity in the darkness of late imperialism.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Dec 14 2023 16:56 utc | 80

"It’s essential to think about what Ukraine’s defeat means, because it would be as much a strategic disaster for the United States and its NATO allies as a tableau of terror for Ukraine."

Yes, it's much worse for NATO to have a loss of face than for Ukrainians to die by the hundreds of thousands.

Posted by: Infinite Wars | Dec 14 2023 17:00 utc | 81

n.b. If "The Daily Beast" is to be believed, the press working in Ukraine knows full well that the situation is even worse than they report, but they would lose their press credentials if they reported the truth.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ukraine-is-on-the-cusp-of-losing-this-war-were-screwed

This of course, begs the question of why the press continue to go along with the charade if they know that what they write is all bullshit.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Dec 14 2023 17:04 utc | 82

Posted by: Winston, journalist | Dec 14 2023 11:58 utc | 10

The largest landholders are a mix of oligarchs and a variety of foreign interests, mostly European and North American

Do you have any other sources for this? You often hear about Blackrock, Monsato etc. have huge holdings but where is the documentation? Not that I doubt it personally, but I had never heard of that Oakland Institute before the Ukraine report (although they seem to fight for noble causes). Also, the footnotes in that report are a little skinny.

Posted by: Sudsie76 | Dec 14 2023 17:05 utc | 83

Bemildred 70: The Europeans have done and continue to do very stupid things, and they will pay for it with the loss of wealth. But anyone who knows the European media also knows that Putin and Xi are the only ones to blame for this - the USA have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with it.

Posted by: Oliver Krug | Dec 14 2023 16:42 utc | 75

Well yes, but that will not fix any of the problems they have. The USA wants control and will do nothing helpful.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 14 2023 17:05 utc | 84

@Posted by: Mike R | Dec 14 2023 15:04 utc | 47

"Bidet"

Was that a fortuitous typo
or have people been going with that one for a while?

Bidet 2024

Bidet put the US economy you know where

Go with Bidet in 2024

Afghanistan went in the Bidet for a reason

Ukraine is a Democrat's Bidet

What corruption?
Bidet for a cleaner America

Posted by: librul | Dec 14 2023 17:07 utc | 85

Important "off the cuff" statement by Putin at the Q&A: Odessa is a Russian city.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Dec 14 2023 15:04 utc | 48

Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time in Odessa would recognize this as a statement of basic fact, sort of like "Confucius was probably not an ethnic Aztec" or "Candy is Dandy But Liquor Is Quicker".

Posted by: Feral Finster | Dec 14 2023 17:10 utc | 86

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Dec 14 2023 16:19 utc | 68

He believes that one way or another the European countries are "participating in killing Russians" by supplying military equipment to Ukraine, even though they do not put themselves at risk. "The Europeans are primarily focused on the economy. We can feel the real involvement in the war through inflation and shortages of various goods," the expert stressed.

And many companies will go bankrupted, especially the smallest.

One question I have since the beginning of the SMO: why does Russia not address an ultimatum to the western countries supplying weapons to Ukraine?

My only guess is: not to start WW3. If the sociopaths leading the western countries would not accept the ultimatum.

Russia, he says, while participating in an economic war [with the West], is partially restoring the military economy, but at the same time it is doing its utmost to take care of the people."

It is obvious when listening Putin today.

"This is the purpose of the pullback of troops from Kherson that followed the pullback from the Kharkov and Kiev regions. We are counting the square kilometers captured by the Ukrainians, while the Russians are waiting for the fall of the European economies. We are their main frontline," Todd stated.
From TASS today, good article.

Kiev: only a show to put pressure on the negotiations in Minsk.
Kharkov: retreat when the forces were too unbalanced. Necessary to read Tolstoi to understand if necessary.
Kherson: all bridges destroyed, threat of dams being destroyed, isolating the Russian forces on the right bank of the Dniepr. Now in Krinky it is the exact reverse situation showing how stupid the ukronazis are or that their purpose is to let kill the Ukrainians, especially those speaking Russian or Hungarian.

Posted by: Naive | Dec 14 2023 17:17 utc | 87

Swiss @ 37
Given that the capacity of the Houties' missiles are probably insufficient, it would take a "Hood" shot to eliminate the Eisenhower - but if it happened, the visuals would be terrific.

Posted by: wilsonK | Dec 14 2023 17:21 utc | 88

Every day I wonder why is Russia not attacking Ukro electrical facilities. Is that not better then Russian soldiers dying?

Posted by: zorge | Dec 14 2023 17:24 utc | 89

Kitay @54
I guess the longer the title, the more important the Gruppenfuhrer. You would wonder how long it takes for these characters to memorize who they are.
Probably get the new name down just in time to get a Russian you-know-what right up the you-know-where. That's, of course, if he ever actually sets foot in Ukraine

Posted by: wilsonK | Dec 14 2023 17:38 utc | 90

Seeing how russia, according to aviapro, has done some new underwater drones, i wonder if they could deliver some if them to the houthis for “testing purposes“, like the brits did for the ukraine.
Maybe that could negate the insufficient missiles.

Posted by: Justpassinby | Dec 14 2023 17:42 utc | 91

As a side note, I always watch for the slanted nouns and adjectives when reading what people write. Mr. Hockstader refers to Mr. Putin as a dictator. In doing so he dismisses himself as a bigot. Dictators are one man operations – legislators and judiciary are unnecessary. This is clearly not the case in Russia.

Posted by: Jeff Harrison | Dec 14 2023 17:43 utc | 92

Reuters Home Page

Gaza has fallen out of the #1 and #2 spots. There is a sidebar article about Gaza, however.

The #2 article is Hope and Change coming to Ukraine.


[Headline:] How F-16 fighter jets could reshape Ukraine's aerial battlefield

[Subtext:]
As U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine arrive at training centres in the United States and Europe, Kyiv’s allies hope the modern aircraft can push Russian planes farther from the frontlines, target radar transmitters more effectively and hunt down more cruise missiles.

Posted by: librul | Dec 14 2023 17:57 utc | 93

Current Reuters headlines "How F-16 fighter jets could reshape Ukraine's aerial battlefield"
https://www.reuters.com/graphics/UKRAINE-CRISIS/FIGHTER-JETS/jnvwwqyylvw/

That is the next phase of the war against Russia and it will happen. That is when the war will widen.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 14 2023 18:00 utc | 94

Posted by: Winston, journalist | Dec 14 2023 11:58 utc | 10

"the total amount of Ukrainian land controlled by oligarchs, corrupt individuals, and large agribusinesses approximately 9 million hectares, or 28 percent of the country’s arable land. It is believed that the remaining land is used by over 8 million Ukrainian farmers"

Good way for Russia to win the 'hearts and minds' of the remaining Ukrainian population would be to gift this land back to another 8 / 10 million Ukrainian farmers

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Dec 14 2023 18:01 utc | 95

People continue to misread the US evacuation of Afghanistan.
Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 14 2023 16:14 utc | 64

Perfect evacuation.

Leaving armed weapons worth billions of dollars. It all had to be replaced.

Leaving all the Afgani people behind because of the rush. Not our problem. Even got some nice free dogs.

Very good deal.

Posted by: Paul from Norway | Dec 14 2023 18:04 utc | 96

NGP RaZVedka:

⚠️ Based on the situation in the Avdeevsky direction.

On the northern flank, our troops attacked the enemy in the area of ​​the settlement. Stepovoye (Petrovskoye) and also in the forest belts to the north and south of the settlement, the enemy was unable to repel the attack, was knocked out of a number of positions and was forced to retreat.

At the moment, our forces have occupied a forest belt in the north of Stepovoy, the northern part of the settlement, the southwestern outskirts in the gray zone, a forest belt on the southeastern outskirts of Stepovoy has also been occupied, the tigers are gaining a foothold in new positions and are preparing for further work, there is reason to expect positive news.

The enemy continues to use significant reserves, trying to plug the holes and prevent the collapse of the front on the flanks of Avdievka, in the areas of the settlement. Berdychi, Novokalinovo was transferred to a battalion of manpower in order to maintain the combat effectiveness of the garrisons.

On the southern flank, after prolonged freezing rain and sleet, on the southern outskirts of Avdeevka and in the SNT Vinogradniki area, severe ice has established itself, which significantly complicates movement on both sides, and poor visibility also remains.

In these circumstances, our tigers focused on consolidating the enemy’s materiel and manpower, in particular: massive attacks were carried out on Ukrainian targets in the DFS area from TOS-1A, the enemy’s position in this area is extremely unpromising, since supplies were disrupted after our tigers entered the southern On the outskirts of Avdeevka, the TOS-1 battery also struck enemy positions in the area of ​​the Khimik microdistrict.

The enemy groups trying to push our army back from their occupied positions were attacked by rocket artillery; by the end of the day, the crest had no success and was unable to regain any of the lost positions.

Bad weather is a temporary phenomenon, but our army will always be victorious, believe in our soldiers and they will not let you down. Everything will be as Russia needs!


https://t.me/Slavyangrad/79213

Posted by: Down South | Dec 14 2023 18:04 utc | 97

Meanwhile, in an alternate reality ...

EU Leaders Agree to Membership Talks With Kyiv in Historic Win

. Hungary’s Orban left the room before key vote was held

. Bloc also agreed to open accession negotiations with Moldova

European Union leaders agreed to open membership talks with Ukraine, in a historic political win for Kyiv as it grapples with uncertainty over future financial aid from the US and Europe.

European Council President Charles Michel announced the move Thursday as EU leaders met for a summit in Brussels.

“A clear signal of hope for their people and for our continent,” he wrote in a post on X. He said the bloc also agreed to open accession talks with Moldova and granted candidate status to Georgia.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-12-14/eu-leaders-agree-to-membership-talks-with-kyiv-in-historic-win?srnd=premium-europe

We are living in bizarre times. Nothing matters.

Posted by: too scents | Dec 14 2023 18:06 utc | 98

@Justpassinby | Dec 14 2023 17:42 utc | 90

Iran has received only two little training planes. Even more useless than the f16s Ukr will get. You think they'll give anything to Yemen? Or that they'll ever upset Bibi? Also these are the new multipolars, each for himself. They come pre-divided to be conquered by the "West" more easily.

Posted by: rk | Dec 14 2023 18:06 utc | 99

Every day I wonder why is Russia not attacking Ukro electrical facilities. Is that not better then Russian soldiers dying?

Posted by: zorge | Dec 14 2023 17:24 utc | 88

Indeed. The trite answer is "because the world's greatest strategic minds have calculated that it is not the best way to achieve their objectives". But they haven't shared the calculation, so us mortals are left tying to follow their reasoning pretty much in the dark.

Posted by: Tim | Dec 14 2023 18:08 utc | 100

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