I think that three weeks into this special military operation we can take a few moments to pause and think about where we are and where we go from here.
My first observation is this: there are, roughly, two main groups of people out there, those who “get it” and those who don’t. In practical terms, this is what this means for me: when I write I am either “preaching to the choir” or I am trying to reach folks who are “unreachable” (being polite here).
For the past three weeks, I have tried to debunk the US PSYOP narrative, alongside folks like Andrei Martyanov at Reminiscences of the Future and Bernhard at Moon of Alabama. My health does not allow me to sustain such a crazy tempo and I need to enter something of a “temporary rest mode” if I want to avoid being forced into rest by my body.
Yet I still get a daily deluge of questions from those who did not “get it” and, frankly, I am exhausted trying to debunk the same stuff over and over and over again.
So, one last time:
In purely military terms, the picture we see now is simple: the Ukie military as a strategic instrument basically died in the first 24 hours. Then the Russians used a small force to bypass and block main cities. With some very notable exceptions (Mariupol) they did not try to enter them. Why? For 3 crucial reasons:
- they did not have the manpower needed (in Mariupol the force correlation is about 1:1 when it should really be 3-5:1 in favor of the attacker)
- they wanted to kill as few Ukrainians as possible and
- they did not want to flatten cities only to have to pay for their reconstruction.
So where are the rest of the Russian forces and what are they doing?
They are mostly in their permanent deployment bases and they are ready for a war against the US+NATO.
And if you are the type of believes that “the Russians are running out of manpower” ask yourself why the Black Sea Fleet did not use its elite Naval Infantry, amphibious landing capability or its firepower (I remind you that all the huge damage done to the NATO base in western Ukraine was just a single salvo from one single small vessel (what the Russians call a “small missile ship”), probably with one (land or air based) Iskander to add some specific “punch” where needed. If the Russians were running out of manpower, would she not use the Black Sea Fleet to the max? Instead, she is keeping it near Odessa, ready to strike if/when needed, not only at the Ukraine, but at NATO too (ditto for the group of Russian ships in the eastern Mediterranean).
This is why Putin refers to this operation as a “special military operation” and not as a “war” or a “combined arms operation”.
Again, you either “get it” or you don’t. It’s that simple, really.
So here is roughly where we are today (yesterday’s Readovka map):
So we are likely to end up with something looking like this:
And I don’t see the point of reporting how we will go from the top map to the projection above blow by blow, town by town.
The real question that comes to my mind looking at the projection above is not “how do we get there?” but “where do we go from there once we make it?”. Right now this decision time is still probably a couple of weeks into the future.
Whatever may be the case, I have decided to stop posting updates every day (sometimes several times a day) and, instead, alternate analyses days and open thread days.
So from now on, expect analyses only every 2nd day (unless big events happen).
Next, I don’t see any other way to stop the US+UK+PL to intervene other than by means of a Iskander/Kalibr strike not “just” upon any target in the Ukraine, but also strikes on whatever NATO facility is central to the current war preparations by NATO, including locations in Poland , Romania or anywhere else in Europe.
I hope that I am wrong and that the US+UK+PL are not as terminally blinded by their hatred of Russia as to risk an actual full scale war in Europe.
But I have to admit that this hope is small and getting smaller by the day.
It is therefore quite possible, maybe even likely, that in the not too distant future we will see US and Russian military personnel meeting in combat. If that happens, not only will the risks of a fullscale nuclear war go sharply up, but it would place me personally in an impossible situation: I would be a guest of the USA (“Green Card” – I only have a Swiss Passport) while my country of ethnic origin would be at war with the USA.
I have therefore taken the following decision: if there is a war in Europe, I will continue to cover it until 1) Russian and US soldiers meet in battle and/or 2) a nuclear strike happens anywhere. If we reach either of these points, then this will not only prove that the Saker blog failed in its main mission (avoid war) but it will also place me personally in an impossible situation.
If either of the two events happen, I will then “freeze” the blog until the war stops.
I don’t like to have to take the two decisions above, in fact I very much regret them both, but things are quickly getting out of hand and I need to prepare, both the blog and my personal life.
Question: remember the Israeli war against Hezbollah in 2006?
Hezbollah won this war by a humongous margin, and the US+Israel had to surrender to Hezbollah terms. Not only that, but this war made Hezbollah much, much stronger than it was before. Yet it began by a miscalculation which Hassan Nasrallah himself admitted: Hezbollah never expected the Israelis to go so far overboard and basically hammer Lebanon with everything they had for over a month.
I see a parallel here.
No, I do not think that the Russian military operation has run into any major issues, by and large what happened in these three weeks must be pretty much what the Russians expected.
In economic terms, there is this big debate now about the Russian gold and foreign currency reserves which I am not capable of commenting upon since I am not an economist. I will let much smarter people than I deal with that.
I also think that the Russians knew in advance what kind of sanctions the West would introduce sooner or later, but I think that the Kremlin was taken by surprise at the speed and scope of the sanctions. How much of a problem is that? Well, I generally favor Western sanctions against Russia because they force Russia to build a sovereign economy and because they de-couple Russia from the institutions controlled by the Empire of Lies.
Here, again, time will tell and much smarter people then I can offer their insights into this.
However, I think that most people in Russia are stunned by what is a full-scale “hate war” on Russia which we can call the “Cancel Russia war“. In essence, the West did throw everything it had at Russia short of a overt military aggression and knowing the geniuses in power in the US+UK+PL I would not even put it past them to try to fight Russia directly.
So what began as a special military operation to denazify and disarm Banderastan in a preemptive war turned into a global “Cancel Russia” world war.
How could I blame folks in Russia for not being able to imagine the utter suicidal depravity of the Western ruling classes when I, who was born in the heart of Europe and lived all my life in the West could not imagine these ruling classes to be so absolutely out of touch with reality?
Again, to be clear, Russians were not “naive” to “trust” the West about anything, but they indeed assumed that the ruling class of the USA would not decide to blow up the planet economically and even possibly militarily because it would hurt the interests of the US ruling class. So if anybody is “dumbshit stupid” it is hardly the Russians, but rather the folks who rule over the USA (and, therefore, over the EU too).
There is also this Russian expression: “you should count your chicks in the Fall”. Let’s see by year’s end who was really dumbshit stupid and who will have prevailed.
Now I think that it is time for all of us, myself included, to let go of the thought “no, they can’t possibly by THAT delusional” and assume that yes, they are really THAT delusional.
I also see another parallel: remember how the USA forced Japan into a war and then wrapped itself in the mantle of an innocent victim and declared “this day shall live in infamy”?
That is exactly what the USA just pulled off in Europe. And the consequences might be just as immense.
But there is a big difference here: Japan could not meaningfully strike at the continental USA. Russia very much can, with both nuclear and conventional weapons.
Here I will only repeat the quote by Putin which I mentioned the day before the Russian special military operation: “if a fight is inevitable you should strike first“. In plain English this means that if the Russians come to the conclusion that the US is engaged in a “Desert Shield” type of operation (claim to be only defensive while preparing for months for a full-scale ground invasion) then you can be sure that Russia will strike EU airports, seaports or any other facility used to prepare an attack on Russia.
In fact, if the US/NATO do decide to attack Russia, this will be the final, nuclear, end for the Western civilization as such. After 1000 years of genocidal imperialism, one could be forgiven for thinking that this could be a fitting, just, end” in the “chicken coming home to roost” kind of karmic justice.
Now it is in the hands of the US ruling elites.
Frankly, there is very little Andrei, Bernhard of myself can do about that. I sure have said all I have to say on this topic and, again, some see it, others don’t – and there is nothing more I can do to affect this ratio.
The future of our planet now depends on whether the traditional Western hatred for all things Russian is bigger or smaller than the self-preservation instincts of US ruling class (the Eurolemmings are hopeless).
Only time will tell. All we can do now is pray and place our trust and lives into God’s hands.
Okay, these are the things I wanted to communicate to you all, my friends and readers. I still hope for the best, but I have to prepare for the worst, and I want to be fully candid with all of you.
“However, I think that most people in Russia are stunned by what is a full-scale “hate war” on Russia which we can call the “Cancel Russia war“.
They’ve been fanning resurgent antislavism (neo-Nazism) for years in the Western MSM, its maniacal repetition and scale forming a weird congruence with the in extremis condition they sought to achieve: an American public literally baying for thermonuclear conflagration. Mission accomplished. (About 35% of Americans favor the U.S. taking military action in Ukraine, even if it risks sparking a nuclear conflict; Pew Research Center, Mar 16.)
Cancel culture…the ultimate remote control fantasy of the petulant narcissist. Please vanish from my view…and if you can manage it, from my globe too.
“Russia labors under a West-imposed Original Sin that can obtain dispensation only with the former’s existential cessation. The root of this Sin is the root itself. Russia is Russia, after all. That cannot be rectified. –2018
Nothing short of cessation will do. That’s why WW3 is assured.
It is important to inform your audience that Ukraine is going to have a new identity and a new ‘function’ namely that it is going to be strictly neutral to the west (in best case) and a shield for Russia from the emerging newly failed states in the western Europe.
Russia is using only 15% of their professional forces in Ukraine. 150 thousand soldiers out of one million professional army. Plus they have another one milion of reservist. Total 2 million soldiers.
Still anyone confused?
Would you leave germany right now and if so- in which country?
I’m really afraid and pregnant with twins… 😔🕊
Thanks for the article, I went by my ex house today to ask what will we do with our children in case this spirals further out of hand. I agree with you that your personal life comes first. I live in the Netherlands and I believe we are a prime target may this situation turn into war in Europe. Painfull to see is that I don’t see any deescalation happening from Europe. And I believe that Putin will strike first if he believes they are in danger. A first strike would cripple Europe and sleepercells will be activated. I don’t want to be in such a situation. But when is the time to leave or at least send my children and ex to a save spot. Her reaction was surprisingly relaxed and understanding, she is a spoken word artist in the ‘woke’ world. I couldn’t believe that she believed me that quickly it terrifies me really.
I respect very much your sincerity in not trying to guess what’s coming next. A real analysis or forecast needs to assume the actors in this drama will act rationally (who on earth can predict the actions of insanity or sheer idiocy).
When I presented my last book, that dealt with the semiology of evil I was asked by a clever journalist (a “rara avis” indeed) what did I think was the most tangible form of “evil” in the modern world. I answered that it was “ideology”. The problem with ideologies is that they substitute reality with self delusion in the form of truisms. And if reality does not confirm their bias, then screw reality.
This form of thinking was as true for the third reich as it was for bolcheviks, and as it sadly id for the “exeptional nation” or the “Shiny city in the hill”.
So as long as the elites keep out of touch with a displeasing reality (at least displeasing for them) they will react based on their own prejudice and not whats going on. Just look at the ridiculous fantasy that is published in the MSM.
It is sad and frightening. I can only commend you on your wonderful effort and wish you always the best.
However, as a man that believes in God, I think there is a last sort of hope in his divine will and pity. Let’s hope he enlightens the hearts of those in power in the west (nothing is impossible for him). And let’s keep up in our struggle for truth and sense.
Very warm greetings to you and all your remarkable moderators.
I was following this post-Maidan horror since the beginning, starting from Slavyansk.org. Thank you so much for your precious contributions. And of course: take care of yourself. It must have been exhausting. Big hug, Belgian living in Crimea.
The War of Attrition:
Some Americans know how brutal the US of A’s House of Billionaires/Multi-billionaires is towards anyone who gets in their way of amassing much more billions $$s.They are far too enthralled in their hunt for riches, and will NOT allow a nuclear attack on either side of the playing field. Add a few hundred Super Billionaire Europeans, and you get the picture.
Instead, this US Power Structure may be starting the strategy of ‘drip, drip, drip’ until Russia becomes bankrupt from trying to win the “war.” The US is doing the usual – using proxies to wage the war, and making billions of $$s off it.
Russia has no such advantage. See how the EU nations are starting to send over military/tech machinery, along with a few troops? It’s the usual US strategy of biding their time. In the meantime, they shall continue buying off one political leader after another in: Saudi Arabia, Erdogan, and many others.
as for the economics, here’s a few cogent posts I believe have captured the moment:
America’s Real Adversaries are Its European and Other Allies – https://michael-hudson.com/2022/02/americas-real-adversaries-are-its-european-and-other-allies/
The reason the US wants war in Ukraine is ultimately all about the dollar – https://www.rt.com/news/549450-dollar-dominance-russia-invade-ukraine/
America Defeats Germany for the Third Time in a Century – https://michael-hudson.com/2022/02/america-defeats-germany-for-the-third-time-in-a-century/
It might be a much shorter list, to rattle off the wars Empires started, without a false flag conspiracy.
It would be interesting to compile data that is true, in what comes out of the MSM. All their truth could fit in a longish text. Powerful control, so many willing to let others die for a lie.
The list of things we can be afraid of is way too long. The most heroic thing I can hope for is to spit in the eye and then laugh in the face of my murderer. Killing each other just feeds the hysteria.
Am I alone in fantasizing about calling my own numbers to the big guns and knowing it will be the best hit ever?
So no! Would not be impressed taking orders from someone who makes his own men kill their brethren, just to get a war, that only needs fought for profit, started.
The war in the Donbass started in 2014, Putin didn’t start it, but was forced to escalate it.
Every single statement from the MSM now amounts to textbook psychological projection.
God, Family, Country! We understand you have bigger priorities Saker, God help us all!