By Nightvision for the Saker Blog
Let’s start with the largest and most impactful news today:
-Another emergency helicopter evacuation in Mariupol has been shotdown, ironically as claimed by DPR – with a requisitioned American Stinger missile. Remember I said those missiles are junk against Russian craft outfitted with advanced DIRCM (Vitebsk L-370 and Rychag AVM) but Ukr craft are not so fortunate.
There is various rumor out there and it’s too early for much of it to be confirmed but here’s some tidbits I can report:
-There was 3 helicopters previously shotdown in the past days, apparently whoever they were trying to evacuate is of extreme importance as they’re desperately sacrificing many choppers and crews for this.
-Today there are reports there were not one but 2 shot down, and 2 actually got away. Some say there were 4 total choppers that came for the evac at night flying extremely low to evade radars coming in over Berdyansk and then onto the Azov Sea. Maybe those Stingers in DPR hands weren’t so effective.
-Now this is very speculative rumor but Gleb Bazov reports the following claims:
“Sources indicate that, at #Azovstal, a group totaling 20—of #US (#American) & #UK (#British) military advisors of #Azov defenders, as well as several UK #SBU (#Ukraine|ian secrete police) advisors—is holed up, together with Azov fighters. They were too late to evacuate.
Sources indicate that, at #Azovstal, a group totaling 20—of #US (#American) & #UK (#British) military advisors of #Azov defenders, as well as several UK #SBU (#Ukraine|ian secrete police) advisors—is holed up, together with Azov fighters. They were too late to evacuate.”
-Take this with a large grain of salt BUT, if true then it would clearly explain the extremely disproportionate and desperate efforts to evacuate these surrounded VIP targets in Azovstal factory. Why else would Ukr command risk the downing of so many helis and crews which were lost in their attempt to exfiltrate these high value personnel?
There were at least 13 dead that we know of so far and at least 2 survivors. One of them is already being interviewed and giving up information, in fact he appears to be the source of the info about the other escaped choppers and how many there were total, etc. Here’s one of the survivors being interviewed: https://www.bitchute.com/video/htJxqyUZynZR/
Another of the survivors is said to be a high value Ukrainian GUR Military Intel officer pictured here: https://i.postimg.cc/mDt65GqJ/5343993649547033149.jpg
Here is a video of the aftermath, warning – many gruesome scenes are shown at the crash site.
I’m sure in the coming hours there will be a lot of important information extracted from them. But ultimately, these desperate last ditch operations are an obvious sign that Azov in Mariupol has collapsed and the rats are fleeing the sinking ship.
-In other news, South Ossetia has now joined DPR / LPR in announcing they will hold a referendum to join the Russian Federation proper. Ossetians immediately took to the streets in celebration:
“1. The referendum will be held separately from the presidential elections, which are scheduled for April 10.
2. Consultations are already underway on legal and practical issues of organizing a referendum on joining Russia.
3. The State Duma declares that the dates for the referendum are May-June. Legislation allows South Ossetia to become part of Russia, if it expresses such a desire.
4. After the reunification of South Ossetia with Russia, South Ossetia wants to unite with North Ossetia so that all Ossetians can live in one subject of the Russian Federation.”
It appears Russia is really consolidating its territories. We’ve already announced that LPR / DPR will be holding referendums once the hostilities are ended, in order to join the RF. Now earlier today Ukrainian Intelligence released a statement that Russia is “planning to hold an independence referendum in Kherson”. This could be propaganda from their side, but if not then it can be an inkling into Russia’s plans, and a confirmation of theories that Russia may intend to take not just LPR / DPR but the large swath of land stretching towards Odessa as well. Kherson is one of the regions where Russia is already setting up administrative infrastructure including Russian broadcasting, Ruble payments, etc.
This brings me to another important topic: Operation Z has clearly ruptured the world order and has precipitated tectonic shifts which are happening both as direct and indirect result of Russia’s actions. The unipolar globalist world order is now finally and truly crumbling and in its place, ushering in what China/Russia has now called the ‘Fair World Order’.
1. Syria’s Assad recently visited and was welcomed in the UAE, which was his first visit to an Arab country since the onset of the Syrian war in 2011. The rapprochement ended with the Crown Prince of UAE calling for all foreign powers illegally occupying Syria to leave and many bilateral trade/economic deals were discussed.
2. Saudi Arabia has just cried uncle and finally “sued for peace” to end the Yemen war after the Houthis bombed the Aramco terminal in Jeddah and humiliated the KSA on the eve of their large F1 race spectacle. https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/03/23/Full-text-of-Saudi-Arabia-s-new-peace-initiative-to-end-Yemen-war
3. India and China, the world’s 1st and 3rd most powerful economies by GDP PPP (a particularly relevant metric in light of what we’re talking about) are exploring increasingly major avenues of settlement mechanisms in native currencies. https://www.rt.com/business/552993-russia-india-swift-alternative-trade/
A tectonic reorganization of the world order is happening before our very eyes, and experts increasingly signal the coming death of not only the dollar, but the western financial system.
Now onto some developments on the ground. There aren’t a lot to speak of due to the fact that Russia is currently conducting its major reorganization and repositioning of troops in preparation for the beginning of Phase 2, as we all now know. Phase 2 will likely begin with the capture of Mariupol which now appears more eminent than ever, given today’s news of desperate, last ditch helicopter escape attempts.
In general, around Kiev and Kherson, Russia has dug in defensively. In Izyum and the north Mariupol/Donbass line, Russia continues to fight. The largest gains in the past 24 hours have been Russia seizing towns such as Zolota Nyva just east of Velyka Novosilka, which is an important Ukrainian command center in that region. It will likely be the first and biggest target to liberate once Phase 2 begins. For now it seems RF forces will continue surrounding it.
-A few comments on the operation in general. Many people continue to question the efficacy of Russia’s planning and general strategy. Here are a few reminders. From the horse’s mouth itself:
The advisor to Zelensky, Arestovych today has released a statement saying that, “Russia has practically destroyed our entire defense industry, and are now finishing it off.”
Here’s General Macgregor’s statement from earlier:
“Retired US Army Colonel McGregor:
✔️ I think in a few weeks people will know that the losses of the Ukrainian forces are very high, much more than anyone admits. I think there will be a different view on Russian operations.”
Here is one Russian analyst from Telegram whose view I mostly agree with. His description of the Operation Z so far:
“Let go of panic.
1. There is virtually no offensive near Kiev, Chernigov and Sumy. They hoped that they would take it with a light cavalry attack, as in 2014. But it didn’t work out.
2. The grouping needs to be rotated and increased. These are additional reserves.
3. The 2014 plan didn’t work. At the first stage, those territories that managed to occupy were lucky. Now just fight by all the rules. And this means combined arms combat and leveled with the ground, otherwise nothing. Attacking in all directions is unrealistic.
4. The first step is to finish off the grouping in the Donbass. Under it, it is realistic to collect another 15-20 thousand reserves and things will go more fun. Then Zaporozhye, Nikolaev and Odessa. It will not be possible to increase the grouping in all directions.
5. You can’t get through to Nikolaev from the south. There is the Southern Bug River Delta, there is no room for maneuver. You need to approach from Zaporozhye and Kryvyi Rih. Otherwise, the distances there are such that the enemy keeps under fire control a narrow supply line from Kherson itself.
6. Near Nikolaev and Odessa, a powerful enemy grouping is sitting, the second largest after the Donbass. Plus, units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the territorial defense from Kherson departed there. As a result, the light units of the landing force brush aside the second largest grouping there. And they successfully brush aside, no one can poke their nose at Kherson.
7. The grouping near Nikolaev is aggressive, it is impossible to leave it in the rear. There are no resources to simultaneously finish off the grouping in the Donbass and in Nikolaev, and even go to Kyiv. Therefore, we focus on the south direction.
This is not a drain, this is a revision of doctrine. Nobody is going anywhere.”
-So, the important takeaways. What he says is, Russia HOPED that they could accomplish another takeover like the 2014 Crimea scenario ‘without firing a shot’ by doing what he calls a ‘light cavalry attack’ on the major capital cities like Kiev and Kharkov. This is in reference to the Russian light VDV & Spetnaz assault which moved swiftly on those cities in the opening, with mostly BMD and Tigr vehicles and without much heavy support.
In short, this was a calculated gambit by Russia, but it in no way invalidates the greater overall plan, which still would have required those multiple fronts to be established for the reasons we’re now all familiar with (which I spoke about in the last update) of maneuver warfare and pinning strategies.
Think about it, if you have a chance to possibly end the entire war in a day or two in a fast lightning attack to symbolically capture key cities and possibly the country’s leadership, wouldn’t you take it? But as Andrei Martynov explained once, how military planning works is you never bank on just one strategy. There are many “envelopes” as he described in his video, and you take the first plan, if it doesn’t work, you open up the next envelope for the 2nd contingency, etc. So, of course naturally Russia would take the chance to see if it can quickly bring an end without much bloodshed, why wouldn’t it? But don’t think in a million years, Russia would ever have completely banked on such a low probability success, and in fact had full ‘main’ and much more reliable battle plans to fall back on if the gambit didn’t work out.
Now here are the reasons for why Russia would have had to open all those multiple fronts anyway, and why attacking in many directions at once was not just some foolhardy plan that “didn’t work”. In fact it succeeded in most of its important operational objectives as I will outline below.
Russia absolutely had to secure some of the key targets of potential false flags by the Kiev regime. This meant securing places like the Chernobyl plant, Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, possibly the Kharkov nuclear institute, various important dams and infrastructural objects which, if detonated, could create mass civilian casualty false flags that would be blamed on the Russians, and of course the infamous Biolabs.
-Chernobyl was a must, because its name alone brings a haunted specter to most of Europe and the world, and Ukraine script writers would have loved (and attempted to) use it for a big false flag scenario. So this absolutely required Russian forces to enter from the northern axis to secure this.
-Zaporizhzhia. What most don’t know is this plant is not only the #1 largest Nuclear plant in all of Europe, but in top 10 in the world, with only some Asian plants ahead of it.
So clearly such a high value target had to be secured as it had the potential for an unprecedented false flag (and we almost came to that if you recall) and various nuclear blackmail attempts from the Kiev regime. So this provides full validation for Russia’s axis from the south towards Zaporizhzhia.
In the same region as you know, Russia had to unblock the dam stifling all water to Crimea. And of course then there are the biolabs, which Russia had to capture in a timely manner not only to prevent them being used to stage false flags, but to prevent the U.S. intel exfiltration of important and incriminating documents which Russia luckily got in time from some of them. Seeing as how there are many biolabs in multiple directions, this alone justified Russian advances towards certain disparate fronts in the opening in order to capture these very significant targets.
So in short, there are extremely clear reasons for why Russia didn’t follow a simple-minded strategy some people seemed to think would have been ‘more conducive to winning the conflict quickly’ such as the idea of sending all troops only to the Donbass and clearing the cauldron first, while leaving the rest of the country to finish later. This idea is very shortsighted for the above reasons as there was a whole array of critical objectives Russia had to achieve simultaneously.
People not well versed in military matters tend to think in a very binary fashion, where something is either black or white. That’s not how things work. Operational objectives are conceived in a fashion where one action can achieve as many collateral objectives as possible for the sake of efficiency; in short: killing multiple birds with one stone. So as I’ve outlined, as an example, when Russia had to establish an offensive from the north to secure Chernobyl, and then to also pin down forces in Kiev nearby so that they could not relieve the groupings in the East, the other multifaceted objective would have also called to ‘attempt’ to seize Kiev with a quick lightning strike just to see if it was possible to end the war early with as little bloodshed as possible. Unfortunately, Ukrainians and 5th/6th columnist seemed to have misread this chancy gambit as some sort of major ‘Russian failure’ as if Russia’s sole and only objective was to take Kiev and now it has failed. No, as I have outlined above, it was a minor tertiary sub-objective as part of a much broader and more important operational battle plan which was fully successfully achieved.
Lastly, I wanted to repeat some of my calculations I’ve made in thread comments.
The other part of the collective west’s failure in correctly estimating Russia’s successes thus far has stemmed from what appears to be an incorrect calculation of Russia’s force disposition in Ukraine. You see, early on in the operation, the Pentagon made some statements about Russia utilizing 150-200k troops and “100% of all its allocated troops” and everyone, including most of us in the resistance sphere, just ran with those numbers and assumed them as base standards. But in reality, those numbers are highly questionable and there is no proof whatsoever that Russia has committed that many forces, nor has Russian MOD ever officially declared any amounts.
However, what we can glean is the following:
Russia is listed as having ~280k official troops in its ground army. However this is counting both kontraktniki and conscripts. The ratio I could find in RF armed forces is about 62% to 38% so that would leave about 173k of those as contract regulars which can be used in Ukraine (remember, Putin has prohibited conscript use)
There are an additional 45k VDV and ~15k Spetnaz and also Naval Infantry (Marines) of about 12k. The conscript percentages are much lower in them, so let’s just say there’s roughly 50k+ total usable troops from this group. Then there’s National Guard (Rosgvardia) which appears to have a massive 350k+.
My thought has been that Russia has so far not used anywhere near the ‘claimed’ 150-200k. It could be as little as 80-100k or less. But let’s just say even if they have used 150-180k, then according to my estimates, Russia could still have at the least (173k + 50k = 223k subtracted from the current estimates of troops in theater) 50-70k troops available still to inject, and much more if my own hunch is correct that Russia is using no where near the amounts the Pentagon claims (of course it conveniently fits Pentagon’s narrative to pretend Russia has exhausted all of its forces, etc). And this is not counting the National Guard simply because I’m not certain of the parameters of its use, though clearly we’ve seen many Rosgvardia troops in Ukraine. But this could add another huge amount.
So in short, I believe once Mariupol is fully captured, we could see the additional injection of tens of thousands of troops at the minimum, to finish off the Donbass cauldron. And recent reports from the frontline, written by a soldier in Izyum state that the “feeling in the air” is that a major Donbass battle / operation will begin soon, and it will go much faster than before. If Russia does inject these huge reserves and goes all out for Donbass, then we could see the cauldron collapse very quickly.
As for Mariupol, clearly it’s close to the end. Satellite photos today indicate rapid advances towards the absolute southern ends near the water.
And by the way, Putin’s approval rating in Russia continues to skyrocket. I reported a while back that prior to the operation it was in the 60% range (still much higher than any western leader like Biden (sub 40%), Macron and Johnson (both in the 20-30%). As the operation started, Putin’s rating went to 70, then to 80. Now the newest Levada center polls show a massive 83%, the highest approval rating of any world leader.
And as for the Ruble, it has regained 100% of all its losses: https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/ruble-regains-100-its-loss-after-russia-invaded-ukraine-why
And in fact on many index it is now LOWER than before the conflict. Some index had it at 83 to 1 dollar on February 22, and it is now showing as 79-81 on many indexes to the great chagrin of the west.
In fact in the biggest face slapping irony, the Ruble is now being hailed in financial circles as the greatest performing currency in the world for the month of March.
Lastly, the RF forces continue taking lots of Ukr prisoners all over:
While the Chechens and RF / DPR forces continue pounding the Azov Nazis all over:
Kiev, meanwhile, can only mine roads and kill civilians as usual:
Wow! Your reports are excellent. Thank you so much.
Nikolaev and Odessa,- in this area 4 combat brigades (28.Mech, 56/57/59 motorized inf,) of the Ukie Southern Command. Any insight if these units are still in the region or have been sent elsewhere ?
Krywyj Rih – the 17.Armoured Brigade used to be located here before the big Ukie reorg a few years ago. Is it still here ?
Ukie West Command – there are 4 combats brigades in this Corps ( 10.Mountain, 14 & 24 Mech., and 128.Mountain) any reports of these units in eastern or southern fronts ?
Marine Infantry – there were reports of Marine infantry in both Odessa and Mariupol – any insights ?
It’s very difficult to say with any updated info because the OOB’s are not really published officially for obvious OPSEC reasons and the only person I’m familiar with that was doing real detailed maps with OOBs is the famous Russian cartographer DragonFirst who ended up being SO good and accurate that the Kremlin asked him to stop making his maps.
The only one I know roughly off top of my head because it was considered one of their most elite and best equipped — which is the 59th, based in Vinnitsya which is a major center for Ukr military in general not only logistically but C&C command. And the 59th as I understand it was heavily involved in the Kherson region and supposedly got smashed badly according to several reports:
““The Russian force that poured out of Crimea was five times the size of his Ukrainian unit and quickly overwhelmed it. His brigade had no air support and few functional antiaircraft systems, because most had been sent to Kyiv to defend the capital.”
“Much of the brigade’s tanks and armored fighting vehicles were destroyed in the initial attack by Russian aviation.”
“The brigade’s commander … had lost touch with military leadership and was forced to make decisions on the fly.”
“Encircled [in Kherson] and suffering heavy losses from strikes by Russian fighter jets, Col. Vinogradov ordered his remaining tank and artillery units to punch a hole through a unit of Russian airborne assault troops that had positioned itself at the Ukrainian brigade’s rear.”
“The fighter jets of the enemy attacked our tanks, several tanks were hit and burned, and the rest remained and did not flee,” Col. Stetsenko said. “… they gave up their lives to break through the bridge to dig in on the other bank.””
Many of the others appeared to have been deployed to Donbass long ago like the 57th. What I would have assumed is many of the better ones would have been sent ahead to fronts like Kherson (59th) and Donbass (57th) while their previous areas replenished with the newly mobilized conscripted forces at start of the conflict. But like I said it’s impossible to say with full certainty because the dispositions of these OOBs are just not publicly available info and the only slight inklings we get here and there which I sometimes try to note down, is unit patches recovered from Ukr bodies in some of the conflicts.
But if you’re really interested, though they’re older from a couple weeks ago due to the aforementioned cease-desist, Dragon First’s maps are probably the closest you’ll get to generating a rough OOB disposition on the battlefield, try to search his older maps like this one https://i.redd.it/m35ylbqqy0m81.png
As for the Marine Infantry, I did see the REPORTED exact unit mentioned yesterday but it now slips my mind and I forget which of the sources listed it, I’ll see if I can find it, if so will post it here.
Awesome report Nightvision. One small bug: Search for “Sources indicate that, at #Azovstal”. This paragraph is double-copypasted.
Thanks, for some reason I messed up and actually was trying to paste this second “rumor” instead:
“Further sources indicate the presence of two #France intelligence #DGSE operatives (both said to be dead) on board the crashed helicopter. This would explain #Macron’s desperate please to #Putin as of late to organize a French-led evacuation from #Mariupol”
Readovka had a long bit on the Helo mission :
Самым обсуждаемым событием сегодня стали сбитые под Мариуполем вертолеты ВСУ. После крушения выжили двое украинских военных, которых пленили и допросили. Один оказался членом полка «Азов» (запрещен в РФ), а второй — опытный боец ГУРа (военной разведки). По их показаниям около 5 утра в порту Мариуполя сели 5 вертушек: 4 транспортных Ми-8 и один ударный вертолет прикрытия Ми-24, доставившие боеприпасы заблокированным украинским частям.
Машины забрали раненых, взлетели и взяли курс обратно, в Днепропетровск. В Мариуполь вертолеты летели на сверхнизкой высоте, в слепой зоне наших средств ПВО. Однако, возвращаясь, нарвались на расчет армии ДНР с ПЗРК. Бойцы из трофейных «Стингеров» сбили два Ми-8. Один сразу рухнул на землю с высоты 7 метров. Второй Ми-8 от попадания ракеты получил повреждения и начал уходить в сторону моря, но потерпел крушение в 20 километрах от берега. Больше про него ничего не известно. Остальным трем вертолетам удалось уйти.
На первом борту было 16 человек, 2 из них выжили. В МО РФ заявили, что помимо раненых вертолеты эвакуировали еще и руководящий состав.
Machine translation –
The most discussed event today was the APU helicopters shot down near Mariupol. After the crash, two Ukrainian soldiers survived, were captured and interrogated. One turned out to be a member of the Azov regiment (banned in the Russian Federation), and the second was an experienced fighter of the GUR (military intelligence). According to their testimony, at about 5 am in the port of Mariupol, 5 helicopters landed: 4 transport Mi-8s and one attack helicopter covering Mi-24, which delivered ammunition to the blocked Ukrainian units.
The cars took the wounded, took off and headed back to Dnepropetrovsk. Helicopters flew to Mariupol at an ultra-low altitude, in the blind zone of our air defense systems. However, when returning, they ran into the crew of the DPR army with MANPADS. Soldiers from captured Stingers shot down two Mi-8s. One immediately fell to the ground from a height of 7 meters. The second Mi-8 was damaged by a missile and began to move towards the sea, but crashed 20 kilometers from the coast. Nothing more is known about him. The remaining three helicopters managed to escape.
There were 16 people on the first board, 2 of them survived. The Russian Defense Ministry said that in addition to the wounded, the helicopters also evacuated the leadership.
What a pity ANY survived . Why can they not get all of the rescue attempts?
The most discussed event is that today early in the morning two Ukrainian MI 24 ( Crocodile) managed to fly over the Russian city of Belgorod ,one of them hit the oil base and it is still burning. None of them was intercepted, not even on the way back to Ukrainian territory . How was that possible? Belgorod is near the frontline, the oil base is a main supplier of the Russian forces.
There are explanations: 1. inability to recognize them from the Russian MI 24, which is plain bulshit.
2. the terrain with hills around Belgorod did not allow Russians to shoot them,because they were low. Another bulshit.
Probably no one was there, because no one thought of it. Типичный русский “Авось”.
I mostly agree with this analysis – and said something similar. I’m looking at this from an American perspective with the doctrine I was taught. I don’t comment much on the “real” war – but rather, the public relations and psyops portion.
“At this point in their operation, Russia has clearly performed Deter(try to achieve their desired goals without a war). They obviously seized the initiative. And they dominated. Now the definition of “dominated” isn’t necessarily as obvious as you might think, I am going to get more into that later. But for now, yes, the Russians dominated Ukrainian forces. They achieved air superiority, divided and isolated Ukraine’s best trained and well-equipped units, destroyed their Command and Control (C2), radar, air defense, and supply objects, and completed all of the other tasks required to truly “dominate” the battlefield.
Now that the MoD has declared the “first phase” of their special operation over, I personally believe, and I would bet a lot of money on this, that their equivalent of the “domination” phase is over. Making a bold declaration like this is risky, and would be embarrassing if Ukrainians started firing off a bunch of Tochka-U missiles, or successful air strikes. So I think the Russians are very confident that they have effectively neutralized Ukraine’s heavy weapons, supply lines, and communication networks. We might see a few isolated incidents of successful missile and drone strikes, but probably nothing that could be considered a real counter-offensive.”
Cheers, nice pragmatic realist account from the Yank perspective, have added to my RSS feeds … we five eyes really need the realists to step up as our idiocracy appears to be finally achieving peak idiocy!
The last video, with the mines. Saw it earlier today, in the one I saw it is claimed it was a russian minefield on the road. Which is correct I do not know, it appears to be TM-62 tank mines which both Ukraine and Russia uses.
Did these 2 choppers that got away, did they made a U-turn and run away before arriving to Mariupol… Or they got away with the nazis?
If Mariupol is surrounded by RF forces and Ukies do not have access to Azov sea, how did these choppers managed to get there in the first place?
Honestly not sure yet, it seemed to be implied that they got away with the Azov officers in it BUT it’s hard to say 100% because the report from the chopper shot down 2 days ago actually was clarified today that, in THAT shoot down, there was a 2nd chopper which approached via the water, and actually turned away and escaped (WITHOUT rescuing anyone). So maybe these 2 that allegedly got away also did not evacuate anyone. We’ll see as the updates roll in.
As for how the choppers made it in, one of the photos of a chopper has ID’d it to a unit in Poltava if I’m not mistaken (mid-north Ukraine) and there was a hypothetical trajectory drawn up by someone which showed it could have gone down via a corridor directly south of Poltava to Berdyansk where Russian troop disposition is fairly thin, and if the choppers flew extremely low, they could (with superior knowledge of the topography of their own country) possibly created a corridor where radar coverage would be minimal. As you know even the world’s most powerful radars are limited to only where they can “see”. So if there’s mountainous or hilly terrain, the radar simply can’t see behind the “hill”. If you brought the most powerful radar on earth to Manhattan as an example and flew planes through the buildings in Times Square, the radar at another point of Manhattan would not be able to see them due to all the obstructions. So similarly they could have found a path where either slight elevations/rises and/or towns with moderate sized buildings and trees etc could allow them to go under a lot of radar fields. Then around Berdyansk they go over the water to Azov sea.
There are other possibilities:
1. if there is any truth to ‘rumors’ that there are high value US/European special forces/intel officers there then clearly such ‘corridors’ could be greatly aided via massive U.S./western satellite help etc.
2. The easiest explanation: Russia knew the choppers were going and LET them pass on purpose to fulfill the plan many of you last time suggested, which was to let them pick up the VIP’s first out of the factory THEN blow them all to hell. But somehow perhaps in the 2nd part of that plan, they accidentally missed a couple of them because the DPR forces in that area are not equipped with the best equipment.
Those are just some thoughts, at the end of the day we don’t know if it’s even true that choppers got away, that could be complete b.s.
A report from Veteran Today blog:
3 helicopters were shot down but Russians chose to let the 4th land where Azov commanders who were hiding in an underground bunker (left over from a real German Nazi base during World War II) popped out and loaded themselves on…thinking they were going to be brought to Biden’s side.
Russians watched the whole thing with drones…they let the 4th helicopter take off….then shot it down as well where the crash would not endanger civilians.
there is no excuse for a poor air defence, especiall when the area to cover is relatively small like Mariupol. It is really all up to the skill of the officers on the ground. A good field commander would have been able to identify where the radar’s blinds spots are and set up “manual” guard i.e ears and eyes on the ground.
There were some reports that one of the choppers that got shot down had French intelligence officers on it. I haven’t seen any confirmations about it.
I wonder the same: how could helicopter even get in with so many soldiers in Mariupol?
Well, in the “Southern Penal Colony” we’ve had saturation coverage of our “leaders” giving Zelensky a standing ovation for being “A Champion of Democracy”.
It would be quite the irony for Russian / DPR forces to have an opportunity to see how effective those captured NATO Javelins are against other NATO armour – despite the hype, the bushmaster is really nothing special.
In other obviously MSM news – “The Ukraine has clearly won” this encounter” – and “Russia will need decades to restore its global image”
Pity the reality is diametrically opposed to such wishful thinking. The policing action has if anything done a great deal to enhance Russia’s global image amongst the Countries that will be important in the NEW World Order – the “Productive” Countries.
Good to see the Australian government has returned to the rule of international law when countries’ borders are respected. Thus far they where amongst the first ones to support Euro fascist and Islamic terrorists he’ll bend on destroying countries slotted in for destruction by lap dog’s master.
I fully expect they withdraw the recognition of terrorist-run Kosovo*, demand American occupiers out of Iraq and Syria, withdraw recognition of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herz, North Macedonia. /sarc
Really makes me mad and ashamed to be an Australian as the kowtowing to Uncle Sam disgusts me!
We’ve been a willing participant in War Crimes and illegal invasions ever since the Anglo’s settled and Uncle Sam’s local sheriff since the MI6/CIA supported coup of 1975 overthrew the then PM Gough Whitlam.
Never heard about the coupe in 1975. I’d like to know more about it.
Here is one useful overview of the situation to start you off:
The ‘expert’ in the second linked article is cited as an ‘Economic Futurist’!
Combining the Dismal Science with technocratic fortune telling.
Would it be possible to get anything closer to a witch doctor?
I did not watch the speech (I am upset enough already). I am utterly furious at the Australian Government’s unquestioning support for Ukraine, and despairing at the total anti-Russian bias in the MSM here. I just feel so powerless to combat this, and embarrassed to be Australian. Relations with Russia will be destroyed for years to come.
Another excellent sitrep!
Thanks. I always make sure to read your comments and this is an excellent addition. I’m the furthest thing from a military expert or analyst. Sometime early in this a comment somewhere mentioned the Soviet/Russian doctrine of deep operations. I spent an hour on the internet and from that minor investment have seen all the news in a different light. Even just a conceptual understanding makes the picture pretty clear.
I’m sure that lots of things have gone wrong or not according to Russian plan. But it’s also clear that none of those things were significant. My conclusion about western analysis is two (or three) fold. First, an expectation that the most important objective is always the capitol city so not taking it is evidence of failure and taking a capitol will usually come from the main push of a military. Second, an expectation that everyone fights like the US, and with this a misunderstanding of the near civil war aspect of this conflict. Putin wouldn’t be at 80% approval if the operation was killing civilians in large numbers. Add to this how many people seem surprised when I say “it ain’t Afghanistan, every Russian soldier can speak directly with every Ukrainian civilian”. If we’re adding the third it’s that America believes it’s own propaganda. Nobody’s bothered to learn that 2003 wasn’t an easy romp to Baghdad. So anything less than the myths of the American military seems like a failure. Bonus point that US media just repeats everything UMoD says as the truth.
Thanks! I look forward to these.
About the helicopters, and the evacuation efforts from Mariupol. There’s two other factors I’d like to point out that may be relevant. They are educated guesses mostly. However, the best predictor of current behavior, is past behavior.
First, several Western countries, like the UK and France, have been very vocal lately about some kind of international ‘humanitarian’ evacuation effort in Mariupol. All of a sudden they seem to care about the fate of people in the Donbass. I’m not buying it at all. That is 180 degree change from their past behavior. So something else is driving this. Something related to Mariupol.
Also, i have a hard time believing that they ‘accidentally’ forgot to pull out all those western troops/instructors/spooks in time. I suspect that they believed that they would be able to get them out, even if things went sideways as they are indeed now going.
Remember how in Iraq and Syria mysterious black helicopters kept showing up to evacuate people from ISIS, Al Nusra, or other jihadist strongholds close to falling? Each time, these appeared to take place without running into opposition form the forces engaging the jihadist. I think backroom deals were made each time (including some involving Russia) for certain people (western advisors to these terrorists) to be evacuated. The most likely reason the other side would agree, is that if they were to publicly kill or capture western personnel, this would inevitably lead to a considerable escalation of the conflict, which would not be in their interest.
I suspect these western nations were once again counting on Russia giving in and allowing these extractions to take place, so as to not further escalate the situation. But this time, that didn’t happen. Russia said ‘njet’ to any delas. So now they’re frantic and trying whatever they can to get their people out, because things have changed dramatically in the international political arena recently, and now it’s the west who can’t afford the escalation that would come with captured western operatives embedded with Azov.
The reports mention the rapid Russian attack out of Crimea caught the Ukies off guard, they weren’t even mobilized. Strike first……that’s how you trap western advisors….not like they can wet their panties and run away.
It’s difficult to run when wearing red stiletto high heels….
Try again, It took what, two weeks or so before Mariupol was surrounded.
Don’t know, wasn’t there, they were. They stayed, indicative of soldiers on loan to units, which are then deployed. That’s how a Canadian General recieved a US medal for service during Gulf War 2.0….he was cross training with US engineers, and deployed to Iraq with them….just another thought on how they got there. He was CO of US Engineers building a brand new, paved, four lane highway through Iraq, all during the War if memory serves.
Thanks for now fully agreeing with me.
Deputy commander of the Ukrainian Azov* regiment, Lieutenant Svyatoslav Palamar (call sign Kalina), was eliminated in Mariupol, First Deputy Minister of Information of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Daniil Bezsonov, told RT.
See more at https://english.pravda.ru/news/world/150938-ukraine_azov_mariupol/
Well also in the Debaltsavo cauldron ~2014. Advisors allowed to live another day via a deal.
As our great statesman once said:
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.“
— George W. Bush
Great report and solid work.
Thanks for this great service.
Thank you! What an amazing time in history we’re witnessing! The right side of history this time, and the best is yet to be!
Z for victory!
“This is in reference to the Russian light VDV & Spetnaz assault which moved swiftly on those cities [Kiev, Chernigov and Sumy] in the opening, with mostly BMD and Tigr vehicles and without much heavy support.”
How does this square with your previous idea about early high Ukrainian success rate against tanks?
There was never intent to take those cities because the defenders didn’t have to be forcibly evicted, as they do in Donbas.
I actually read a statistic that 80% of all Russian losses so far have been in the VDV ranks. No clue how accurate this is (you’ll never get such official break down, so take with grain of salt) but it could be an inkling into the early part of operation.
But yes in general you brought up a point I forgot about that I probably should have expounded on more (though I already have done so long ago in comments), that many of the so-called losses occurred due to the rapid deploy nature of the operation not only through direct action but even over the fact that they blazed through soggy Rasputitsa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasputitsa) affected fields and swamps and many tanks were reportedly quagmired down. But in actuality I will expound on this in more detail on the next report because it already fits into a continuation of a certain topic I plan to do (which would have been too long and tangential for this sitrep)
The Russians have a saying: tanks are not afraid of mud.
The supply convoys have been bogged down. Not tanks.
Very good Night vision……
Keep up the good work.
Please don’t get sucked into the currency hype……
” strong” = good
” weak”= bad
Is a false narrative.
It is out of the very same propaganda playbook of
” Deficit” = Bad
” Surplus” = Good
Makes no sense at all – See Brexit for details
Leavers of the EU were bombarded with the same false narrative and framing. How the £ was finished because we voted to leave blah, blah, blah…..
Russia runs an export led economic policy.
A strong currency kills exports. They have to monitor that.
Canada is a small economy that is extremely open to trade, but one with a long experience a floating currency (the Canadian dollar floated long before the demise of Bretton Woods). As is often pointed out by developed economy central bankers, inflation has been stable since the early 1990s – but currency markets continue to move. Move in a large way.
Australia is another fantastic example and Japan. Exchange rates move up and down all the time in a big way for years. Yet, inflation remained stable.
The empirical evidence is that the estimated effects are quite low when it comes to floating exchange rates.
The Candian $ has dropped from 1.6 to below 1 and nothing bad happened.
The Aussie $ has dropped from 1.4 to 0.75 nothing bad happened.
The £ after Brexit nothing bad happened.
The US$ from 160 to 97 nothing bad happened.
During these periods in most cases these countries were scratching their heads wondering how to hit their 2-3% inflation target.
Remember this very important point:
When the ruble gets strong every other currency gets weaker against it. Russia has plenty of friends and some friends might get hurt by having their currency weakened.
Depends on the context and what type of Domestic and trade policies they have in place.
Some friends might benefit from a weaker currency.
Balance of payments constraints
Is exchange rate depreciation inflationary?
One of the key pieces of data from the UK recession was the collapse in the strength of the British Pound. It fell by 20% from an elevated level down to what it was in 1997.
A HUGE drop.
There was quite a big impact on the producer price index, but very little impact on the consumer price index and nothing at all on the wages index.
And of course that was because the level of demand was insufficient to sustain the supply. Competition for customers was intense and substitution happened at an accelerated rate.
Thanks again. I am glad you are including financial and non-mil in the sitreps. This is the critical part now! The Empire’s deathgrip on mankind will only be removed by decoupling and building new institutions..
“Zaporizhzhia.. not only the #1 largest Nuclear plant in all of Europe, but in top 10 in the world, with only some Asian plants ahead of it.”
Wait. was Canada already sold to China? #3 Bruce NPP is in Ontario, but the Khazarians could be really desperate.
Any news from the Poles? They have been awfully quiet.
Any ideas on how Odessa might be handled? Very difficult location.
The news of the Ossetian referendum is so beautiful. An invigorating clean breeze blows in long suffering lands! Mothers plump yet sturdy arms will embrace many more soon.
Meanwhile, MoA noted 2 inches or 5 cm of snow covering Deutschland this morning.. 1 day before Payment Day.
I can confirm that – it’s currently a cool +3° C in Cologne, Germany, which has a comparatively mild climate.
So I imagine that in more mountainous regions it’s real chilly right now
I’m with you on the troop numbers for sure. I think much lower than 170K. Certainly I think no more than 80K to start with. Time for rotation and replenishment and then into the Donbass. Good solid reporting.
Yep in my previous posts I had estimated more realistically maybe 80k-100k just based on what I was seeing with my own eyes. I expressed how a force of 200k, we would be seeing videos of massive formations similar to WW2 divisions and Army Groups and battles the size of Kursk from WW2. But we’ve never seen anything and the “40 mile column” was proved to be mostly a hoax.
The Pentagon is the only source that claimed 150-200k and they have a huge incentive to fear-monger and make it sound like the big bad Russian bear was doing a WW2 style invasion to destroy everything and also an incentive in being able to say “Look, even with 200k Russia has failed to take Kiev! Blah blah!”
Pure troopnumbers don’t mean much anyways in a Blitzkrieg, where the majority is motorized to rush b. Troop numbers only became relevant in recent weeks during urban warfare. Before that, armor, recon and air superiority was more important.
Actually the Russian strategy reminds me more of this, before Erwin Rommel arrived in Africa, to take over command of the Axis forces there:
Operation Compass – 1941
36,000 mobile British verses 150,000 immobile Italians on the Egypt-Libya frontier, 1941. (approx. 1 attacker to 5 defenders).
Once a force is immobilized, due to lack of transport, petrol or air cover, the mobile force is free to smash the immobile force at will, piecemeal. I am sure the Russians were aware of Compass as it is quite well known to military historians. Hannibal in Italy, during the Second Punic War, would be another example, but in that case the Romans were in fortified cities and could keep themselves supplied by sea.
This operation reminds me of Operation Compass on a much larger scale and the Ukes, like the Italians, are out of fuel, transport and air cover.
I suspect that those who the ukies tried to evacuate were not banderites. I doubt they were even ukies. They may have been foreigners of significant importance, US/NATO military specialists, intel agents? Judging by the latest US and EU temper tantrums and embassy staff expulsions, there may be truth to it. They are angry about something, but obviously will not say what.
I believe you are right,they wouldn’t go to all the trouble for some small time Nazis living in their own deluded world,probably Western SF Nato gangsters,i hope they catch them,those survivors from the choppers will have information.
did you catch the end of the video posted showed some strange mercenary patches found at the crash site. Patches that said South Africa, Tanzania, Morroco etc on them. Sounds like some dead Int’l mercenaries in that crash. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I on that topic can pick up on it
The British mercenary industry:
What we do know is that many of these mercenary companies, especially ones based in the UK and US, were heavily involved in military campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We know their armed personnel can earn as much as £10,000 a month, tax-free. And we know that some private military contractors have been directly implicated in civilian deaths; the employees of Blackwater, now Academi, a US private military corporation, opened fire on Iraqi civilians in September 2007, killing 17 and wounding a further 20. In 2007, employees of Aegis Defence Services, based in London and run by the former Scots Guards officer Lt-Col Tim Spicer, posted footage on the web showing their guards firing their weapons at what has been reported as ‘civilians’. The company said the shootings were legal within rules of protocol established by the now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. The company has also been criticised for allegedly employing former child soldiers from Sierra Leone as mercenaries in Iraq, for the simple reason that they were cheaper than their European counterparts. James Ellery, a former director, said the company had a cost-reduction ‘duty’ to recruit from cheaper countries.
Action on Armed Violence’s investigation of 235 UK-based, internationally operating, private military and security companies has illustrated numerous areas of concern about this often hidden industry, where profit-seeking private entities are trusted with governmental security tasks, while themselves being subject to a perilously weak system of ‘self-regulation’.
The Mercenary Business – James Harding 1996
The soldiers of fortune who followed the wake of crisis in Africa during the Sixties and Seventies were almost always bound to clandestinity – the public bragging came later. In most cases they were sourly and implacably ****opposed to national liberation, which they saw as a Communist conspiracy on behalf of an inferior race that had failed to identify its interests with those of its betters.**** For the mercenaries who fought in Katanga at the time of the Congo disaster or in Angola before independence, ****anti-Communist ideology had a useful subsuming role: greed, adventurism and some brusque racial views were comfortably rolled up into a defence of the free world.****
I truly hope that if any foreign intel goons are captured, they will not be quietly allowed to go home. Show their faces on TV, and put them in front of a court. Let the EUSUK axis squirm and sweat for once.
Historically the Cossack has been like a special unit in previous wars.
I never hear nothing about them in all of this.
Are there some special reason for them not to play a role in this?
They used to be highlighted and well respected for their skills.
Now its like the Chechens are “today’s Cossack”.
The Cossacks suffered greatly under the communists, they have never been the same again
Buy shares in Gazprombank ……
Gazprombank is the only Russian bank able to transact in Euros. Gazprom will now only accept payment into its RUB account at Gazprombank.
Therefore EU buyers will have to send EUR to Gazprombank who will then credit Gazprom with the appropriate amount of RUB.
In other words banks will have to open a correspondent account with Gazprombank rather than whoever they were using as correspondent previously in Russia.
What Gazprom was doing internally (discounting Euros into Roubles within Gazprombank), now everybody has to do. And no doubt Gazprombank will make a tidy turn on each of those transactions.
Is there a Gazprom (pipeline) stock and Gazprom Bank stock?
“polls show a massive 83%, the highest approval rating of any world leader”
Xi Jinping’s approval rating is higher. That aside, Putin is also massively popular in China.
that’s true, and probably Comrade Kim Jong-Un as well, who reportedly has a 100% approval rating hehe.
Hahaha..The world would shudder if Kim were less than 100%. I can give Kim 105%.
Great SITREP. Much obliged.
What would Zelensky explain to the remained thousands of AZOV troops in Mariupol? They are not that necessary? Or there are virgins waiting for them somewhere out of this world?
To be honest just as the U.S. playbook in Syria / Idlib ended up going once their proxies started losing badly to RF/Syrian forces where U.S. turned on the “moderate al-Qaeda”, I wouldn’t be surprised if the same play is happening here: in short, Zelensky secretly intentionally sacrificing Azov to die so that the new western narrative push can be that, “See! All the Nazis in Ukraine are no more. Russia has killed them but now the evil Russians continue to kill our regular troops!” yadda yadda. They want to be rid of the stench of the ‘extremist’ element so they can cover it up and sweep it under the rug, then memory hole it in their CIA mockingbird controlled media as if it never happened (which is already partly taking place of course). So I think that the evacuations were probably of certain top-important staff who they fear if they fall into the hands of the Russians would reveal way too many secrets to be comfortable, and many western intel assets. But apart from those, they are probably happy to let all Azov get slaughtered so they can sweep them under the rug and proclaim a new ‘democratic’, non-radical Ukraine that can be much more readily integrated and accepted into ‘wholesome’ European structures, NATO, etc.
thank you, nightvision, i learn so much from your thorough concise reporting. you invariably seem to know the questions we’ve all been asking & searching sites for answers.
You obviously put much time into this report. Thank you for your work.
Obrigado Night Vision por seus posts. Aqui do Brasil a imprensa parece porta voz do pentágono, mas tem muita gente que não está acreditando e com suas informações temos conseguido derrubar a hegemonia e tem muotos que estão começando a seguir os sotes como este. Muito obrigado.
Thank you Night Vision for your posts. Here in Brazil the press seems to be the voice of the Pentagon, but there are many people who do not believe and with your information we have managed to overthrow the hegemony and there are many who are beginning to follow the sotes like this one. Thank you very much.
Traduzido com o DeepL https://www.deepl.com/app/?utm_medium=android-share
If there are special advisers from the UK that the UK wants to evacuate from Mariupol, I tend to think they would negotiate their release with the Russian MoD. Maybe the advisers from the UK are mercenaries?
There should be NO negotiated release of those criminals,they need exposing in front of the world if captured.
Russian spokespeople have stated numerous times that foreigners/mercs have no legal status. The best they can hope for is a swift trial and life in prison.
Most will be shot on sight.
Maybe they are SAS?
Well the US is known to be in favour of a continental war in Europe because, like in WWII, they would except to benefit, being sheltered by two oceans on a separate land mass.
In the case of Ukraine, that does not apply to the UK. They will suffer enormous losses if a wider war spreads across Europe, like in WWII? Based on that, I’m assuming that the British will negotiate with the Russian military. If there are SAS members there, the uncomfortable truth looks to potentially be that the UK is abandoning them to their fate. (Not very good for morale when faced with the threat of war.) Or – it’s mercenaries from the UK who answer to some other authority than the leaders of the armed forces of the UK.
This Rambo or Vietnam-style helicopter rescue speaks “USA” to me, especially on continental Europe.
Nightvision, Do you think that the 45 buses that Kiev says they provided for civilian evacuation in Mariupol is really meant for Ukie soldiers (as part of a secret deal with Russia)?
Well, I think it’s POSSIBLE. I won’t say it’s more likely but it’s not out of the question simply because, in logical terms, if I were Russia, I would probably find it a good compromise to let the militants escape just to bring the Mariupol thing to a close. Because we know those militants will only end up being killed later anyway and Mariupol has suffered enough and in fact has a very large humanitarian crisis right now with tens of thousands of people without food which Russia is desperately trying to feed daily, but the queues and hungry mouths are huge. So I wouldn’t put it past them and won’t blame them if they do but, but I still don’t think it’s likely.
Did anyone catch the strange patches found in the crash, displayed at end of video?
Showcasing South Africa, Tanzania, and Morocco ? Maybe someone more knowledgeable can comment but it appears some type of mercenary patches. Were int’l mercenaries on board the downed Azov chopper?
Yes, I did. Could be from dead French operatives. DGSE operatives have been active in Morocco, and Africa. They just doubled their Paris office size.
Morocco in French is Maroc.
very interesting. I wonder if it goes with this rumor:
““Further sources indicate the presence of two #France intelligence #DGSE operatives (both said to be dead) on board the crashed helicopter. This would explain #Macron’s desperate please to #Putin as of late to organize a French-led evacuation from #Mariupol””
Not sure. Hopefully DNP and/or Russian Forces can release prelim findings soon.
More curious are the supposedly got-away helicopters, are they real or phantom? Any radar and/or air surveillance data to prove their existence or fake info?
And then, who else are in the Azovstal, including foreigners if any?
Bullseye; I looked up Maroc, yes, French for Morocco. I was going to post a comment along the lines of “these must be fake. I can’t think of three countries less inclined to be in Ukraine”, but that French connection suggests otherwise. But then, would they overtly be wearing such incriminating evidence? This would be an interesting story to pursue, as both sides may be reluctant for all the details to come out.
And thanks for your excellent reporting and great responses to questions. Sincerely appreciated.
The South African patches probably came from deployment in the DRC, we had troops there and our Oryx helicopters provided transport of troops while the Ukranians provided top cover, there is a video showing this.
The pentagon is heavily into “national character” I used to be in a group that studied Eussian army thinking in the 70s and 80s. They were seriously into WW2 studies and seemed to miss that Chuikov when he was head of the Army in 61-65 totally transformed Russian Army thinking. The Russian tradition was very top down and authoritarian, but Chuikov completely transformed it to one of the commanders at all levels using their creativity and acting independently rather than just blindly following orders. Since the US Army is very rigid, they do not understand the Russians, with Col MacGregor being the exception.
Nice update Night vision…. A couple of observations….
Firstly, as Brit (with a Zone B outlook) the “grain of salt” info on “US & UK intelligence operatives” on the ground inside Mariupol is unbelievably worrying.
I mean, what the absolute f#&*! are they doing there???
Secondly, all over our Lame Stream Media is our current Head of the UK Armed Services, Admiral Tony Radikan is quoted as saying “Russia has already lost the war…”
Incredible, 100% reverse messaging. Just stunning.
It’s not surprising. Remember, the entire Five Eyes group has already committed to fully integrating with Ukrainian Armed Forces and Intelligence in order to help them.
Here New Zealand openly admits to investing its intelligence assets to assist in the Ukraine theatre, specifically given the time zone differential so that they can be the “eyes” during daytime while Ukraine sleeps so to speak.
I’m sure as in every such proxy war, all western intel agencies have people on the ground in Ukraine to coordinate and liase but the only question is how truly integrated are they with the frontlines or whether they’re only in the rear quarters.
They are simply there for the planned capture of Donbas, Crimea, Bela Russ and later Russ. Those ops needed lotsa brains, not just hyped-up Azo’s, to crush the Rushans.
“So in short, I believe once Mariupol is fully captured, we could see the additional injection of tens of thousands of troops at the minimum, to finish off the Donbass cauldron. And recent reports from the frontline, written by a soldier in Izyum state that the “feeling in the air” is that a major Donbass battle / operation will begin soon, and it will go much faster than before. If Russia does inject these huge reserves and goes all out for Donbass, then we could see the cauldron collapse very quickly.”
I agree. I believe there have been recent reports that Russia has built up its armored forces on the border near Kursk which are even larger than they were on February 24.
I think that Russia intended to achieve what I call “phase 1”: the pinning and encirclement of Kiev, and 2) the Donbass cauldron, with only half or less of its available forces. It intends to use the other half of its forces, in concert with the released Donbass forces and the LDR forces, in what I call “phase 2” which in my view is the push across the rest of Ukraine all the way to the Polish border.
After the Ukrainian Donbass and Ukrainian forces in the south have been destroyed, and the available Ukrainian logistics have been destroyed, there will be very little left to oppose the full force of the Russian army. Russia can then sweep through Ukraine, bypassing the towns and cities that are not strategically important, and encircling those that are, using the Syria strategy, and go all the way to the Polish border, including seizing Lviv.
This will look more like the “blitzkreig” everyone expected.
Yah, my money is on that scenario. The operation will be finished decisively.
If the rumours of who the high values are turn out to be true, wouldn’t it be good if the Russian forces can capture them and then have a high profile trial.
Then hopefully once and for all people will start to wake up to the complicity, deviance, lies and willingness to work/fund with Nazis (while committing the most abhorrent atrocities) of the NATO allies…
Dead or Alive makes no difference, better the former.
Even if you had a trial, the ‘western’ freedom loving nazi countries would keep spinning the narrative so far from truth that nobody really woul give a damn. Look at the bio labs? One of the biggest scandals…The west turned a deaf ear.
“Even if you had a trial, the ‘western’ freedom loving nazi countries would keep spinning the narrative so far from truth that nobody really woul give a damn. Look at the bio labs? One of the biggest scandals…The west turned a deaf ear.”
A very good point, i guess i still have a little bit of misplaced hope that the scales will finally fall from the masses eyes.
Lionel Zinsou, former Prime Minister of Benin, on March 12 in a Parisian debating club Cercle des Nouveaux Mondes:
“Now we all only hear about this crisis, anti-Russian sanctions, oil, gas… Do you understand what this crisis means, for example, for Africa? Russia supplies us with grain and corn. All logistics go through the Black Sea. And the African world froze in horror from what was happening. Terrified by the actions of the US and the European Union.
You don’t buy Africans with stories about democracy. These are only your fairy tales for internal consumption. The majority of the African elite was formed in the Soviet Union – doctors, engineers, pilots, teachers, scientists. Russians are the only Europeans who have decolonized Africa. And Africa remembers it. Just as Africa remembers European atrocities.
If you notice, African countries did not support the UN resolution condemning Russia. And they will never support any resolutions against Russia. It is sewn into the backbone of any African: Russia is good, no matter what you think about it. This is a constant.
All of Africa is watching the Central African Republic and Mali. What the Europeans could not do for decades, the Russians did in a year. In place of the Central African Republic there were gangs, today there is a real state there.
I know that there are diplomats in the hall, employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I appeal to you, to French diplomacy: look for a solution to your problem, as soon as possible, because if the conflict does not end in a month, Africa will break out.
It is for you that energy problems are at the forefront. In the worst case, you will have less heat and fewer cars, and we will have a hunger problem in Africa! Hear me, the crisis in Africa will entail the destruction of Europe.
Come to your senses, look for diplomatic solutions. And don’t forget that countries like India and China support Russia. Africa supports Russia.”
Hope this is no fake report.
I cannot stand Vice News because I think it is a Soros operation. I was looking for a Sam Chui video. Sam is Chinese who flys on planes as a passenger all around the world and posts on youtube.
Here is the Vice video
These Russian guys fly cargo in old Soviet era prop planes in the toughest parts of Africa. These guys have no fear. Russians have been active in Africa for a long time and seem to have a better record in dealing with the locals.
Is this plan B for evacuating the Nazi scum out of Maripol as air evac opps are not going so well? Plus this came from the BBC which says everything! “Ukraine war: Russia blocks buses heading to Mariupol, says Ukraine”
I still dont understand how anyone can think russia will limit itself to donbass.
after they decided they where ready to take the troubles, they will dictate the rules of the game.
how could they not take advantage of the strategic positions?
close access to the black sea, connect transnitria, block the dniper, land access to crimea. get odessa, karkov, mariupol and all historically russian friendly oblasts under her umbrella.
Why? because they can. And it gives a tactical, logistical advantage which cant be denied.
I said as much several times before the 24th.
Now, who can deny it?
You are probably right, Anodinous. The most significant aspect of this operation is likely to be revealed as to how few Russian forces have actually been involved. I believe it is far less than the numbers advertised, though it is about to increase somewhat as the Donbass comes under concentrated assault. The eleven Russian airports that have been and continue to remain closed are likely involved in what is sure to be a massive assault on the Donbass in the coming weeks. But I believe Russia is actively prepared for a counterattack in some form on Belarus, has actively prepared for a counterattack there, and for that the bulk of their forces are being held in reserve. This also explains their solicitude toward “the unfriendly” EU countries at present. At some point it knows they will be facing a choice whether to fight or not and is looking forward to that day. That is not to say this is what will happen, only that this is what the Russians have planned for and best explains some of Putin’s more curious actions to date.
Excellent summary as usual to date NightVision.
The helicopter rescue was well orchestrated by the Russians, I don’t believe there was any that slipped through, no matter how evasive they fly them. These were heavy and big Mi8’s. To believe that 2 got away is wishful thinking, and only fits the ‘incompetent Russians’ narrative, how far are they going to fly and where?
Anytime a sourced news (outside of the MOD, which has been much more truthful of the Special Op) that attempts to make the Russians look bad is a case of fake news.
As for the ‘stinger’ shoot down, is merely a pun aimed at the Empire of Lies and westerners.
Great job NightVision. It looks like at the end of that Chechen video they had been using standard RPGs. The last one looked like a USA LAW M72. It looks like the Chechens are putting the NATO gear to good use.
What a sad mess the Ukraine is. I feel sorry for the average Ukrainian. The avg Ukie military guy is always having to make sure the Azov nazi in their unit will not kill him first. This is what relentless internal propaganda can do to brinwash people just like Covid propaganda.
I think RUssia and Putin were hoping some Ukies would rise up but the gangster and nazi control in the country is so pervasive.
Thanks for clarification, I wasn’t paying attention to exactly what they were using and assumed it was the Shmel RPOs I’ve already seen a ton of over there https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPO-A_Shmel
But in regard to your comment about Chechens putting the gear to good use, here’s one from today:
I think you made a good call here, Edvard. Thanks.
Phase III coming mid April. Harry S,Truman likely to be made an example of.
Ambulances used to transport healthy troops:
An Al-Jazeera correspondent caught the Ukrainian military using ambulances to transport combat units that do not even have any wounded in their ranks.
The video was filmed on the territory of Nikolaev, where an ambulance suddenly appears behind the reporter, which is packed to capacity with armed people.
The destruction of such ambulances is followed by fakes that the Russian army allegedly shoots at medical vehicles.
The Slovenian ambassador in Kiev removed the flag of his country from the embassy building due to the similarity of the flag with the Russian one .
Diplomat Boshtian Lesiak himself spoke about this. Lesyak was approached by employees of the Ukrainian National Guard, who “urgently asked” to remove the flag for a while.
Removing your own national flag, from your own embassy, because it’s looks similar to that of the ‘enemy’, has to be one of the most spineless examples of virtue signalling self defeatism imaginable.
What next, cancelling letters of the alphabet?….
That’s already happening, the band ZZ Top will have to change their name to just Top.
Well Lesjak is not real diplomat, cuz diplomats from Mladika didnt want to visit Kiev in this part of a year ;)
He is half colonel (podpolkovnik) and went there to protect whole of Kiev from the Russians..JJ wanted to sacrifice someone for better PR.
Natzo slovenian sheeps are ready to change our flag, maybe replacing red with green. Fuck that, we are the worst whores of the Eu shithole.
Is it possible to use subs to extract those VIP terrorists from Mariupol? Just a thought!
Thanks for the Sitrep.
>>| Is it possible to use subs to extract those VIP terrorists from Mariupol?
Russia blocked sea access to the Ukrainian coast days before this kicked off.
Recall the Snake Island “heroics” where the Russian vessel was allegedly told to “go fuck itself”… (but this was just script writing and lines for the Comedian in Chief to deliver).
Snake Island became a control point allowing surveillance from the Romania border along the entire coast to Mariupol and beyond.
The Sea of Azov is quite shallow. There is a dredged channel leading to Mariupol but it is far too shallow for a submerged boat, and a surfaced boat is a target.
Many thanks for the analysis and updated report Saker, please keep it coming. Your blog is my only trusted source for the latest development in Ukraine.
Warm regards from Indonesia.
PS: The government is neutral but majority of my countrymen are supporting Russia in this conflict.
Sorry i just realized this report was made by nightvision, my appreciation and thanks for him as well.
Re: The Attempted Evacuation in Mariupol.
Reading the Russian telegram channels today, people are not buying this story at all. The Helicopters were shot down with Manpads? How did they penetrate so far undetected? Where were the Buks, Pantsirs, Sosna’s?
The consensus is they were allowed to land there to do the evacuation but somebody forgot to tell the DNR or they could not be bought off and didn’t play ball.
You know, all radars are easier to evade than you think. If you fly low enough no radar on the planet can spot you because their area of coverage is a few degrees upward. Also, in that area Russia only has short range systems like Pantsir and they can only detect in the 30-35km range. Don’t think there’s any S300/400 anywhere close to the area, and they’re the only systems I know of that have specialized radar stations which can telescope up very high into the sky like a cellphone mast in order to see a flat 0 degree (or as close as possible) coverage down to the horizon specifically for low flying craft/missiles. Like this: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-40V6M-Mast-System.html
But as you said, that other explanation is also very likely — that Russia wanted them to actually pick up the staff so they can shoot and kill them afterwards.
Since the start of this conflict, back in 2014, I have been astonished by the blatant bias of the Western media. Thank heavens for the few dissenting, or at least objective, voices out there:
George Galloway, Tucker Carlson, Russel Brand, Paul Joseph Watson and Peter Hitchens. The latter has written an interesting piece himself about NATO:
I hope and pray that the West gets a bloody nose from all this, militarily and economically.
Keep the faith.
Excellent reporting. Thank you very much.
Nightvision, I have not read this in all its details and don’t know if you have, but Illia Ponomarenko is the “defense and security reporter” at the Kyiv Independent. He gives a military analysis which, though it sounds utopian (i.e., “In achieving victory, the next big mission is to eliminate the Russian presence in the air”), shows how Ukrainians like him see the conflict and I think that’s its main value. His military map is a week old but still interesting; it shows these parameters: Assessed Russian Advances in Ukraine, Assessed Russian-Controlled Ukrainian Territory, Claimed Russian Control Over Ukraininan Territory, Claimed Ukranian Counteroffensives, Observed Ukranian Protest Against Russian Occupation, and Highways. https://kyivindependent.com/national/%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bukraine-reaches-breaking-point-in-russias-war/
Kyiv Independent is a CIA funded propaganda project like Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, Moscow Times, etc. It’s as fake news as it comes, I’m not interested in their cartoon level analysis. I already see Ilya P. retweeted here and there and am acquainted with his laughable propaganda and complete ignorance of the conflict.
Most definitely. Kyiv Independent, in fact, is a spin off of an older, Western NGO funded propaganda rag called the Kyiv Post.
The purpose of both media outlets to disseminate virulent, hateful Russophobia, to glorify Ukrainian nationalism, to whitewash the Ukrainian far-right political movements (the Nazis), and to make naive US readers believe Ukraine is literally an extension of the US/EU and US/NATO.
It is disgusting and frustrating to realize that so many foolish people in the US and UK believe the Kyiv Post/Kyiv Independent is a legitimate news source.
Two other repugnant English-language Ukrainian news sources are EuromaidanPress and Hromadske. Both of them exist to propagate vile Russophobia, push Ukrainian nationalism, and perpetuate the hoax that Ukraine’s political far-right is a benign, publicly acceptable movement.
Yep, you said it best. I’m a little shocked there’s people that actually read that ‘newspaper’ and think it actually has some value. I understand from previous posts Tranquilocomp appears to want a balanced diet of news sources from both sides but clearly he’s not familiar with the true provenance of some of these sources he’s reading.
tranquilocomp why do you persist in posting disinfo from obvious CIA, etc outlets?
You waste space here and we do know these scum outfits exist and are capable of navigating to them if we desire.
I appreciate the question, anyway. I have also heard that the CIA owns all the German media outlets. The way the CIA is said to own things, it could own everything but what you read. I’m indicating that it has to take more than only a probability – even a high probability – to just cross out a media source because it’s “CIA-owned.” It should not be, “I think it is, therefore it is.” You say “obvious CIA…outlets.” Would Peskov and Putin choose never to read or pay any attention to the New York Times and the Kyiv Independent? Might a 6th columnist cross them out quickly (no pun intended)? They are hard like that from what I hear. Whatever it is, it has to pass the news test, right? RT is owned by the Russian government, but it’s a good source of news even if some say that it’s propaganda that no one should read.
I dedicate some time to studying WWII. Guess what. I bought all the Third Reich literature translated to English that I could. Smart guy. So do I know Hitler better than Kershaw or the German historian Ullrich? Like this, I have to. I have their books too, of course. Western historians cross out a lot of things and end up looking like they’re copying from each other, like they graduated from the same class with the same teacher. Much is a matter of ‘positioning’, like in war. It’s a fact that at the Kyiv Independent you will learn some things that you can’t elsewhere, or only afterwards: That Zelensky stripped two Generals of their rank “due to treason.” He calls them “antiheroes” and “anti-heroism” (so any rational person who wants to surrender before there’s nothing left is “anti-heroism”); there’s an article about how much food and medicines there are there right now; one about Ze granting temporary tax and legal relief in an “economic patriotism” program he is introducing, and so much more of interest that I am surprised you guys are not reading it. Always aware that Ukrainian media is an important source of information these days, only now am I gearing toward paying a closer attention to it as a newspaper reader.
Good response. I teach courses in military history and had one recruit tell me he knew everything about WWII, I asked him whether he’d read the original documentation – in German, Italian and Japanese – produced by those three countries before, during and after the war. Obviously he hadn’t.
I technically agree that there is a good deal of operational information – and inference – that can be gleaned from reading the current news and data bias from the Ukrainian side. I think the biggest objection people have to your post is that you linked a crappy article that is poorly argued and asked for an opinion on it. It probably contains a great deal of debunked information so is perceived as a time waste.
You mentioned some interesting data about (Z)elensky stripping Generals of ranks due to treason. I might suggest posting a summary of interesting data and offering a bit of an opinion on what the data suggest versus posting a link like above and asking an opinion.
Thank you. “Crappy” it will be from any Ukranian just about. The good ones are “anti-heroes” there. I wanted Nightvision to do that because he knows more and speaks Russian (I don’t know if Ukrainian is similar enough). I also prefer political over military aspects and wanted to know if some “spice” can be added through contrasts. I like to comment, but what Nightvision is doing requires more time, and I appreciate his boundaries, which we all have.
Military history teacher, that’s great. I read Ammianus Marcellinus on Julian the Emperor’s way of fighting (he went to Persia with Julian), how this emperor would fight in any battle spot, sometimes standing behind the soldiers to stop them from backtracking. My interest was on Julian from the religious side. I soon liked Marcellinus’s other vivid battle descriptions. He describes one aftermath where this German warrior is sitting defeated and having lost his hand. The warrior’s face showed no pain, but only fury that his side had lost.
“And by the way, Putin’s approval rating in Russia continues to skyrocket.”
This is great news. Russia’s most vital, existential national interests are at stake in this war. US/NATO military must be cleared from Ukraine. Permanently. That means Ukraine must be Finlandized. As long as support for the war is strong on the home front – meaning that Russians fully understand the importance of this war – then the country will do just fine.
I have been reading Russian military for decades. Very, very rarely has Russia lost if and when the people are motivated to prosecute the war until a victorious ending.
Regarding Mariupol, I have read these reports that Ukraine is flying risky, desperate helicopter missions into the city for some reason. That’s remarkable, given that the remnants of the defeated Nazi army are making a last stand. Kiev, apparently had written these troops off.
But speculation about trying to ferry foreign military advisors from the city makes sense. Kiev and its Western backers will look very bad if NATO advisors are captured, or found dead, by the victorious Russians.
Nightvision: when Mariupol is finally secured, how thousands of Russian troops will be released for action further north, to seal the Severodonetsk cauldron?
More and more snippets are coming out that there were in fact foreign fighters there, and from trusted sources. Semyon Pegov of ‘Wargonzo’ fame who’s an embedded Russian journalist posted on his telegram that one of the captives supposedly stated the helicopters were for the express purpose of ferrying out 1. the higher ranks / command and 2. foreign fighters who were specifically deployed/stationed near the port presumably for the very reason that they were of high value and were in Mariupol only under the agreement that they would have a reliable ‘exit’ strategy if/when things go south. Hopefully we find out more about this as time goes on. And btw it appears to be confirmed at this point that a 2nd chopper was in fact shot down, but it was shot down over the sea and basically whoever was in there is probably not recoverable as they are somewhere at the bottom of the Azov Sea (fittingly enough)
Given how shallow much of the Sea of Azov is, after this conflict a Russian MCM vessel could easily locate the chopper, and recovery would be quite easy. It would be interesting to see who and what was onboard.
the enemy gets a vote…such is war.
ukraine is not iraq or afghanistan. it has been fattened with everything nato and its own oligarchs could throw at it for a decade. it had its own military industrial complex+nato surplus+training grounds facing Novorussia.
It is HUGE. it’s army still is huge if you compare it to the population size. basically the only “respectable” profession left for a man, who didn’t manage to secure a seat for himself next to the feeding trough. I was blown away by the amount of hardware secured by the invasion just the first few days.
it has much natural cover, aside from the hardened shelters, bunkers, hangars. to assign air cover and air defences to everything is just not realistic. of course, this is the second time Belgorod gets attacked, first time was an arty strike, with a priest killed. Should monitor that channel closer…
I agree somewhat about the lack of intelligence, but I can not know, what I do not know. It seemed to me from day one, that the hands of the Russians were forced to act promptly, hell or high water. many many possible reasons.
Oh forgot answer your 2nd question. It’s honestly hard to say. I’ve seen estimates in 15-25k range but there’s no guarantee that they WILL be deployed to that cauldron. Unfortunately we don’t know the full extent of Russian MoD’s battle plans and for all we know, the freed troops might be dispersed into several fronts like Kherson, etc.
We simply don’t have any real reliable information of how large the detachment in Mariupol is. We know there are multiple groups such as DPR, Chechen and Russian Naval Infantry, but no idea of the real amounts. I would assume it’s minimum 10k-15k with 20-30k being the high estimate.
The average depth of the Azov Sea, even in the most “serious” places, does not exceed 13.5 m, and the width of the strait is 4.2 km. Its extreme points are located at latitudes 45 ° 12’30 “and 47 ° 17’30”, longitudes 33 ° 38 ‘and 39 ° 18’. In general, the average depth of the Azov Sea ranges from 6.8 to 8 meters.
At this point the only personal worth saving from a foreign POV would be a comm specialist, with current nato codes for sat. data./comms. everyone else would be expectant, mabbe preferably so.
A seal operation is not out of q. there might b a sub. sitting on the bottom of the Black Sea somewhere close…
I believe, there were some 250 marine mines released by the ukr navy, most unaccunted for, creating possible explanation for any damage to any ship in the area.
not strong on the foreign merc thing. Not being fluent in Russian, being pampered makes them a liability to any unit – short of a VERY important skillset. thus comms/intel and/or forward air controll – which there is no use for short or air cover.
There won’t be a NATO submarine in the Black Sea, as Montreux Convention prohibits it, Turkey is zealous about its control of the Straights, and modern boats are far to big to transit the Straights submerged. Even AE2 had problems transiting the Straits in WWI, and she was tiny by modern standards.
Romania is a nato member…
What is Russian? on Telegram:
Once I was at a performance based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen “The Ugly Duckling”. And I was struck by the idea inherent in the play, which is not in the fairy tale itself. The ugly duckling did not understand who he was, and therefore was ready to consider himself a turkey, a rooster, a duck, any other poultry or even an animal. Because I felt rejected. But no matter how he copied the habits of other inhabitants of the poultry yard, he did not become his own for anyone. His suffering ended only when he realized that he did not need to be a member of a pack or herd at all, he should not live by someone else’s rules and copy other people’s habits. He is he.
And when the ugly duckling found its own, then it turned out to be not like everyone else there, because it was a black swan. But the swans gladly accepted “not so” into their flock, appreciating its beauty and uniqueness. Yesterday’s ugly duckling became a member of the swan community, which did not require him to renounce himself. He could be himself and be part of something bigger.
Why do I often remember this story lately? Because in this allegory – the causes of the crisis, in which Russia, Ukraine, and all of Europe were involved. This crisis is our fault. It lies in the fact that we for some time renounced ourselves. Tried to be someone else. And Ukraine has tried and is still trying to do the same. And we all have to pay a very high price for these mistakes. Russia, blinded by the brilliance of shop windows, aspired to become Europe, not understanding why it did not succeed?
The notorious “European values” are well known: they are respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. They are not bad and not alien to us. The problem is that our values are much greater than these. And we simply do not fit into the Procrustean bed of European values. After all, Russia is both Suvorov’s “die yourself, but help a comrade”, and the folk “do not dig a hole for another”, and the Christian “do not wish your neighbor what you would not wish yourself”, and the Caucasian “respect your elders”. Where is “mercy above justice” in European values? But all this is just what makes a Russian person Russian. Loyalty to duty, love for the Motherland, memory of one’s heroes, striving for justice and “mercy for the fallen”…
We aspired to Europe, but we are more than Europe. You can’t put more into less. It has proved impossible to narrow our values down to a market economy and the rule of law. And competitiveness, no matter how good it may be in itself, cannot be a national idea. And what is our national idea, you ask. And I will answer you with a question – what is conscience? Does it need to be further formulated? To be Russian is our national idea. Russian is more than a nation. It’s more than genetics. These are the very values that our people have kept for centuries and which have been tested for centuries.
The Russians are Dagestani Magomed Nurbagandov and Pole Konstantin Rokossovsky, Ukrainian Ivan Kozhedub and Tatar Fatykh Sharipov. In order to be Russian, one does not need to renounce one’s nationality or religion. You just need to be the bearer of the ideas of justice, mercy, mutual assistance, love for the Motherland and Russian culture. Democracy and the rule of law are, in principle, not values for a Russian person. These are just forms of existence of society. I am not ready to give my life for either one or the other. But I am ready for this sacrifice when it comes to my country and my people. Because being Russian is more than life.
Russia should not be part of the poultry yard and fight there for a place at the feeder. Just because she is a swan. Unique and inimitable. And who, I hope, will no longer renounce his destiny – to fly.
I’m pro Russia but the reality is that they did not have enough troops for the plan and were exposed.
A million men would barely be enough. Also, people don’t rise up if you tell them that your pen is literally hovering over the peace treaty ready to betray them to their government. The objective had to have been the permanent conquest of territory and the destruction of the enemy government. Putin fought a limited war and got limited gains. He showed quite clearly that he is not ready for a Big War.
I would have called his bluff immediately and dared him to nuke Rome, London, Paris – capitols of world history by shooting down a plane in Ukraine and placing NATO troops just inside Ukraine. When he chickened out, his career and life would have been over.
If his opponents were real men other than Biden and Zelensky, he would have been crushed.
Fortunately he is winning the True Prize: A Multipolar World. A few acres of Ukraine are nothing.
You see that’s where you lack understanding. The only thing “exposed” here is your ignorance of the Russian operation. If the “plan” had been an all out conquest and the “destruction of government” as you suggest, then why would troop numbers even matter? Why wouldn’t Russia just sling up a few Tu-160’s, Tu-95’s, Tu-22m’s and bomb Kiev and Kharkov to the ground, kill the entire gov’t leadership and end the war instantly? Russia has not even used heavy bombers nor even once attempted to target any gov’t leadership, so clearly your assertion is already wrong.
If Russia REALLY wanted to conquer the cities and “territory” they could bomb everything to the ground (Russia has BARELY even used its airforce so far in the conflict. They use a couple dozen planes and helicopters out of a total 4,200 airforce inventory. The only thing that was “exposed” was, as per my writeup, the tertiary sub-objective of attempting to take the regional capital cities of Kiev, Kharkov etc with a light cavalry force of VDV. That proved not possible, but of course Russia could still take those cities easily with a full tank force and airforce/bombing campaign, but clearly Russia decided it doesn’t want to do that, because it doesn’t want to level those cities to the ground and destroy them.
So it’s not about troop numbers, it’s about limitations adopted by the Russian army for their own LIMITED “special operation”. Those limitations in the ROE simply forbid them from ‘Total War’ of that sort and so they will now bring Kiev to its knees in the 2ndary way which is by finishing off its armed forces.
And by the way, the fact that Russia destroyed the majority of the Ukr armed forces (admitted today by their own leadership https://www.rt.com/russia/553061-ukraine-defense-industry-russia/) while suffering minimal losses of roughly 1300 casualties compared to 20,000 – 30,000 on the Ukrainian side, entire navy destroyed, entire airforce destroyed, 90% of heavy armor destroyed. How can that possibly constitute being “exposed”?
The only thing that was exposed was Ukraine/NATO being humiliated by a much smaller force.
At the end of the day, a tiny Russian force annihilated a NATO funded, NATO trained massive army that was 4 times larger than the Russian force AND had every defensive advantage of being dug in, prepared, entrenched and on “home turf”. Now THAT’S being exposed.
Thanks Nightvision. Excellent overview.
There were some stories that Russians may have underestimated the
combat readiness of the Ukrainian troops. There were also
stories that intelligence preparation was also rather poor.
Any merit to those stories?
What about those incursions into Russia proper? Belgorod? How can that happen?
I would say NATO provided a safety corridor for Mi-24.
What’s surprising is how it is possible that the site was unguarded, and the choppers managed to escape.
Yes, exactly. Any good analysis of what (might have) happened?
Incompetence, that’s what happened. This is even not the first time Belgorod was attacked…
Negligence in Border Guards, and Air defences.
It’s time to dispose incompetent people in charge.
I would not rule out that someone inside Russia (Military) did not act on purpose. That way the opposition to war can parade with words – “The war is coming to Russia”
First the ammo depot, now this. It should not happen. mind-boggling , Only in Russia :-)
I am frankly surprised that this didn’t happen sooner or more often.
II thought that Ukrainians would try to do it (and bring discontent to Russia).
Too hard to pull it off?
‘Should not happen’…big difference between real war…..and video games…..The Knights of Ni will deliver a blow here and there….while the Russians methodicly hack off their limbs, regardless. Once the appendages are removed the Russians will have to deal the Orc Ni’s most feared weapon…..Elinsky’s willy.
Gonzalo Lire has disappeared. His youtube reads
This video has been removed by the uploader”
He’s active on Telegram.
Belogrod was reported 3 days ago. Today is April 1st.Just saying
Jack Detsch (@JackDetsch) Tweeted:
NEW: U.S. assesses that Russia still has approximately 90 percent of combat power arrayed on Ukraine’s border “still available” 3 weeks after invasion: senior U.S. defense official.
Russia assembled as many as 190,000 troops on Ukraine’s border before invading on Feb. 24. https://twitter.com/JackDetsch/status/1504894256816824324?s=20&t=r-Epxv-OSSyYg8KREK24JA
I heard that Russian brought ginormous railway trains of military gear from the east in February.
Some were assessing matching man power up to 500,000?
VVP called in the last year reservists into the army (Lukashenko did it too).
The limited force sent into Ukraine might be the lure for NATO ground forces.
There are a huge number of posts on Russian sites about the Ukrainian helicopter attacks on Belgorod Russia yesterday.Many just with the pictures of the helicopters firing,or the burning oil tanks,or the damage from the assault on a nearby town.There is even one about the governor of nearby Kursk region offering aid to Belgorod. But this one I found most interesting that gives an explanation of helicopter attacks and what to do to prevent them:
Something about helicopters
A long time ago, when I had a Mohawk on my head and the first tattoos appeared on my arms, I worked as an aircraft mechanic at the Kamov flight test complex and studied at the department of helicopter engineering at the Moscow Aviation Institute under Rosvertol. That’s why it hurts me now to read about “how badly our air defense worked, what all the assholes are.”
Lord. Helicopter (any) is an ideal vehicle for sabotage and attacks on border infrastructure, for evacuation from enemy lines, etc.
Flying at ultra-low altitudes, it is guaranteed to pass “under the radar” of serious air defense systems. It can only be detected in radio silence mode by audio-visual method, using the “what the hell is chirping there, bt.”
In the mode of artillery duel and focal front, especially at night, it is extremely easy to get through the first line of defense. And then the magic begins.
The fact is that even if a crew with MANPADS or a mobile air defense system of the second and further lines notice a helicopter somewhere far away, they cannot immediately shoot it down. All of a sudden it’s “ours” with a killed “friend or foe”, all of a sudden it’s some kind of GRU soldiers flying from a mission, you don’t want to accidentally shoot down your own, besides, it flies far, does not attack anyone. It is necessary to unequivocally determine the affiliation, and ideally, contact the command and clarify.
While this process is going on, the enemy vehicles will already be out of sight. Then the chaos of the war comes into play, the lack of coherence of units in different sectors of the front, etc.
As a result, at best, the helicopter will be shot down when approaching the target or on the way back.
How to solve this problem? Put every 500-1000 meters in three echelons of calculations with MANPADS and various air defense systems, establish perfect interaction between units along the entire front line, order to shoot down everything superfluous. In short, it is extremely unrealistic even for the most disciplined and massive army.
This happened in Afghanistan and the Caucasus. This happened in 2014 in Ukraine during the evacuation of Yanukovych. It happened in the Crimea. It happened in Gostomel. Unfortunately, the same thing happened in Mariupol and it happened in Belgorod.
What to do then? Intensify missile and air strikes on the entire military infrastructure of the enemy, as well as on the transport one. Try to destroy everything on the ground that even remotely resembles a transport helicopter, even in the deep rear. Don’t feel sorry for the enemy. To understand that we are not fighting a bunch of terrorist rebels, but a full-fledged army, even if it has lost most of its potential. There is good reason to criticize the actions of the army and politicians for the cause.
What not to do? Howl “everything is lost” and consider that our army is completely incompetent. Panic. Act like hysterics.
Why can‘t Russian AWACS track these nap-of-the-earth helo flights ?
PS to my post above. For whatever reason,Ukraine officially denies that they attacked Belgorod Russia. Some of their ex-officials are freely admitting it. But not the official government. I suspect that is because their entire position in the world is based on claiming to be the “helpless victim,of bad Russia”. If they admit that they are attacking cities inside Russia,a lot of that “helpless victim” sympathy goes away. And they will be seen as just another state at war with another state:
Kyiv continues to cynically refute the UAF’s missile attack on Belgorod, despite irrefutable facts and statements by its own ex-officials
No matter how hard the former adviser to the head of the Defense Ministry, Yuriy Butusov, tried “with tears in his eyes” to assign “laurels of victory” for the Ukrainian missile attack on the oil storage facility in Belgorod, the official position of Kyiv is only this: this is not the work of Ukraine, we don’t know who bombed, period.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has officially stated that it is not going to confirm or deny the involvement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in this incident. And this despite the fact that, as Readovka previously reported, the strike was carried out from Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopters – all the evidence for this is obvious.
It is possible that the stubborn denial by the Kiev authorities of the strike on the Belgorod oil depot is due to the fact that the active actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the territory of the Russian Federation began to influence the “negotiation background”. As you know, another round of video consultations between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations is taking place today.
“Everything is lost” is far from true. Panick and hysterics are harmful.
Nevertheless, it is incompetence and should be addressed. Belgorod and Kursk are close to the frontline, not to mention Kurchatov nuclear plant. This oil depot is used to supply the Russian Kharkov group. It is unacceptable to leave it ungarded. The helicopters came from 60 km and went back 60 km without a single attempt to intercept them.
BTW, a man from Belgorod claimed that up to three days ago there was a heavy guarding by Russian helicopters and then it disappeared. That showed on satelite surveillance for sure, and Ukies used the window immediately.
What’s about the Border Guards ?
Russia its at war with Ukraine. It is not a peace time. I would expect that some soldier reports the crossing helicopters for further investigation. It is not far from a major battle, not to mention a sabotage. There should be a Guard at least every few kilometres
Or may be it is not incompetence and should be addressed as not incompetence.
Nightvision: Superb reporting, as so many others have already pointed out. Much obliged!
Strelkov: (I know, I know, very much disliked by many in this forum)
Situation around Kiev was becoming untenable, over-extended forces on both banks had too large an area in their rear to secure and available bridges across the Dnepr were too far in their rear to allow for rapid re-deployments at the front line. Retreat will include Gostomel and maybe the exclusion zone as well. Retreating is still the only available option to avoid outright defeat. The coming spring season would make matters worse since foliage would provide enemy with more cover than they have at present. (The latter will apply across the entire theatre, of course.) It will still be viewed and presented as a morale-boosting defeat of the Russians by the Ukrainians.
I do appreciate the objective reporting concerning the Ukraine/Russia conflict!