First, my deepest gratitude to you all!

I want to begin today’s report by thanking all those of you who have reached out to help me and the blog.  In spite of the hard economic times, many of you have sent donations, offered to volunteer and, last but not least, said prayers for me.  Of course, your donations will help financially, but it is your moral support which most deeply touched me and which give me the courage and determination to keep on fighting this fight, in spite of the apparent futility of taking on an entire obscenely rich and powerful ruling classes which are waging merciless warfare on all of mankind.  I wish I could thank each and every one of you personally, but I simply don’t have the material time to do so, so all I can do is thank you all here for your unwavering and kind support!  You are truly the best community any person can hope to have!

Now let’s turn to the latest news next.

The Ukrainian so-called “counter-offensive” in the south:

The biggest news out of the Ukraine is the failure if the much announced Ukrainian “counter-offensive”.  Here are the latest reports from the Russian MoD: (emphasis added)

The enemy suffered losses and was pushed back from Olginka, Thorn Ponds and Arkhangelsk.
A battalion of the 57th Motorized Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was defeated near the settlement of Sukhoi Stavki. Currently, the destruction of its remains is being completed.
To unblock the AFU units, 12 tanks supplied to the Kiev regime by Poland were transported across the Ingulets River. Some of the tanks were destroyed by the powerful fire action of the Russian troops. Several tanks were blown up in their minefield during a disorderly withdrawal. Only five Ukrainian tanks were able to break back, deep into the territory controlled by the AFU. During two days of unsuccessful attacks on Mykolaiv-Krivoy Rog and other directions, Ukrainian troops lost four combat aircraft: two Su-25, one Su-24 and one MiG-29. Three Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters were shot down in the air. Russian troops also destroyed 63 Ukrainian tanks, 59 infantry fighting vehicles, 48 other armored combat vehicles, 14 pickups with heavy machine guns and more than 1,700 Ukrainian servicemen.

But this does not tell the full story.  1’700 KIAs might not sound like much, but in reality this is a huge deal for the following reasons:

  • These 1’700 soldiers were supported by armor, artillery and even some aviation and the USA/UK had huge hopes that this much announced “counter-offensive” would yield some good PR.  The Brandon administration is absolutely desperate to show at least something vaguely successful, yet this so-called “counter-offensive” resulted in only a few tactical attacks which brought no tangible results whatsoever.
  • The size of this force shows that this operation was mostly about PR (and not a real counter-offensive!).  The Ukrainians never had a chance, not on the tactical level and, even less so, to develop tactical attack into an operational counter-offensive.  Considering that it took them months to prepare this rather modest operation, this shows how much the Ukrainian armed forces have been degraded over the past months.
  • Even worse for the Nazis and their US patrons is the fact that now the entire southern front just lost a lot of its best soldiers and hardware.  Considering that the Russians are reinforcing their southern forces (see below), this is an especially dangerous development for the regime in Kiev.

Also, 1’700 KIA in one single maneuver is the biggest defeat for the Nazis since 2014, even bigger than the Ilovaisk “cauldron”!

I noticed with absolute dismay that, apparently, the Ukrainians tried one more time.  The result? Another  350 personnel, 31 tanks, 22 infantry fighting vehicles, 18 of other types of armored vehicles, eight armed pickup trucks, and 17 of other types of military vehicles destroyed by Russian artillery and airpower.

This is what is left of the Ukrainian “assault barge”

And today (Thursday) there are report that the Ukrainians tried to seize control of the ZNP.  First they fired over 100 artillery shells.  Then 2 diversionary groups totaling 60 soldiers on two crafts landed near the ZNP.  They were detected and destroyed by the Russian aviation.  Two hours later, the Ukrainians used two barges carrying an entire battalion (200-300 soldiers).  They were detected and sunk.

All that while the IAEA inspectors were already at the nuclear power plant!  (I wonder if they will have the courage to report what they must have seen).

Crucially, it showed, yet again, that all that nonsense coming out of Kiev and the other Nazi capitals in the West is just total, utter and terminal nonsense with no connection to the real world.  None whatsoever.  Hence the mass freakout of the western ruling classes.

And then there is this: CNN confirms that the USA helped the Ukrainians prepare this “counter-offensive”!  Oh wow! Who would have thought ;-)  But then, what else could we expect from a US military busy withincreasing its lethality” by “embracing, promoting and unleashing the potential of diversity and inclusion“?

Now, just to clarify: did the Ukrainians take a few villages and positions?  Yes.  Absolutely.  Why?  Because the Russians had absolutely NO reason in the world to do what the Nazis do and “stand immobile to their last breath” in a static defensive line.  So they did the following:

  • Where the Ukrainian attack was weak, they used their infantry and armor to beat them back.
  • Where the Ukrainian attack was strong, they simply moved back, let the Ukrainians advance, and then wiped them off in what can only be called a “turkey shoot” (not to mention a useless butchery).

This is nothing new.  The Russians have done that since the beginning of the SMO.  In every case, the villages or positions the Ukrainians took (and triumphantly presented as a huge “peremoгa” or victory) saw the Ukrainian forces destroyed by Russian artillery, follow by a withdrawal (or total annihilation).

So next time when you hear that the Ukrainians took control of village/location X, always make sure to follow what happens in the next 48 hours and see for yourself if this Ukrainian “victory” then developed into anything meaningful.  As soon as you do that, everything becomes quite obvious.

Western weapon deliveries to the Ukraine

This is one of the biggest canards in this war.  Today, I will deal only with one aspect: the planned delivery of ex-Soviet aircraft to the Ukraine.  Basically, this is utter nonsense.  Like with ANY advanced weapons system, combat aircraft need all of the following things to be effective:

  • They need to be fully integrated into a combined arms operation.
  • They need to be operated by highly trained crews.
  • They need to be used in sufficient numbers to achieve any meaningful effect, which in the case of the Ukraine means real military airfields, not dirt roads, highways or field refueling stations.
  • They need to be maintained/supported by a complex and advanced supply chain and qualified specialists.

Since none of that can happen, the deliveries of MiG-29s (or any other aircraft, really) to the Ukraine will make for semi-decent PR and that’s about it.  There are even rumors that the US is now training Afghan pilots to train them on ex-Soviet fighters…  Let’s see how many pilots the US and NATO actually can convince to fly these one way missions.

In reality, it takes MANY YEARS to form a capable military pilot, and there is no substitute for this.  So no, even if the US finds enough suicidal pilots to try to fly MiG-29s (or other aircraft) against Russian Su-35S, this will achieve exactly nothing other than marginally slowing down the Russians (who will have to deal with this new threat just like they dealt with all the others Wunderwaffen: HIMARS, M777, CAESARs, etc. etc. etc.).  Even the (so far hypothetical) delivery of, say, F-16s, will make very little difference.  There is no Wunderwaffe, least of all old Soviet kit (even when somewhat upgraded with NATO equipment).

Rumors of a major Russian offensive

Okay, as of right now, this is a rumor, but there is strong evidence of two things happening:

  • The Russians appear to have assembled one (some rumors say two) Army Corps composed of volunteers and equipped with modern weapons.
  • These forces seem to be deployed through and near the city of Rostov-on-the-Don.

Whether these forces were deployed as reserve force in case of a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive (however unlikely) or whether these forces will be used to attack the southern front is anyone’s guess.  In fact, it could be that these forces had and still might have both tasks.  And now that the Ukrainian counter-attack was defeated, they might well be used to move towards Nikolaev along the coast (supported by the BSF) which would put immense pressure on the over-extended and weakened Ukrainian forces.

In this context, I was recently sent a pretty interesting document:

This is a letter from the Mayor of the Siberian City of Omsk who announces that at three battalions of volunteers have been formed in this city alone.  It is reasonable to assume that similar things are happening in most other Russian cities.

Speaking of which, there is another canard which I have to debunk:

Will Russia declare a full mobilization?

The short answer is no.  Unless NATO moves forces into the Ukraine, then all bets are off (but even in that case I doubt that a full mobilization would be needed and, not to mention, rather hard to execute) Furthermore, this question is based on a flawed assumption: that Russia’s so-called “slow progress” is due to lack of manpower (about the “slow progress” see here).  That assumption, in turn,  is based on two major mistakes: the first it conflates overall manpower with manpower available at any specific moment in time on a specific sector of the line of contact.  What matters is not overall numerical superiority, but local superiority, superiority on your main axes of attack/defense.  This is how Ze’s MILLION soldier army ended up being defeated with only 1700 KIAs: there never was a million soldiers army anywhere near Zaporozhie in the first place.

Second, the Russians have been fighting this entire SMO with less than 10% of the Russian military and with a 3:1 advantage for the Nazi forces almost everywhere.  You could say that the Ukrainians are fighting a positional war while the Russians are fighting a mobile war, counting on their qualitative superiority (in most fields, with a few exceptions – such as counter-battery radars and squad level need for commercial quad-copters similar to the famous DJI Mavic series, see below – and these limited disadvantages are now being quickly addressed).

Yes, I know, there are some LDNR officials who constantly whine about the fact that Russia is not fighting this war the way they would.  But with all due respect, it is one thing to be a deputy commander of an LDNR battalion and quite another a specialist in the Russian General Staff with several academies and years of command experience under your belt.  Furthermore, the LDNR forces, for all their undisputed heroism, courage and skills do not fight the same war as the Russians.  The LDNR forces are fighting to liberate the Donbass, and they have just recently acquired the kind of capabilities needed to even contemplate an operational level offensive.  In sharp contrast, the Russians are fighting a strategic war against NATO and the US, so it is no wonder that their notions of what ought to be done differ.  Here is just one example:

What about the supposed lack of UAV/drones/quadcopter?  Did/will Russia buy UAVs from Iran?

The problem here is that UAV/drones/quads come in all sort of sizes, from truly tiny one which you can fit in the palm of your hand, to large, strategic ones with advanced electronics/optoelectronics/EW/etc. and even weapons of various types.  So let’s separate the two.

Example one: a reconnaissance unit from the LDNR forces is tasked with finding out what is happening, or not, behind a small forest.  You can use a relatively cheap and simple, off the shelf, DJI Mavic (even a mini model!), which you can send a kilometer or two over the forest and to take a peek what might be hiding inside/behind the trees.  If you do not have that Mavic, you have to send a reconnaissance patrol.  Going on such a mission is very dangerous, because not only can the Nazis plant all sorts of mines in the forest and under the leaves/grass, they can also set up an ambush (the Ukrainians are pretty good at that).  So if you are the commander of this reconnaissance unit, you are going to be absolutely furious that the lack of Mavics forces you to send your soldiers into a very dangerous situation, day after day after day.  And if you are young and inexperienced, you are going to blame the Russian military’s procurement system for not sending boxes of Mavics to the LDNR.

So to the question “did the LDNR forces have enough Mavic-type quads before the SMO began?” the answer is “no they did not”.  Once the LDNR officials and their supporters raised a big enough stink over that, volunteers from all over Russia began sending quads to the LDNR and things slowly (especially for those who had to risk their lives every day!) began to improve.  But this never was the “fault” or “lack of care” from the Russian armed forces whose job is very different.

Now the Russian military has exactly *zero* need for Mavic-type quads.  Not only that, but Russia has large stores of all sorts of advanced UAVs (see here for details).  As for the Russian military, it is not in the business of supplying LDNR forces with whatever they might need, it is in the business of fighting a war against the consolidated West, this requires a totally different kind of kit and training than the LDNR forces.

Example two: Russia needs long range UAVs to detect Ukrainian columns on the move, force concentrations, assembly position, battle formations, etc.  The good news is that Russia has plenty of those more advanced UAVs.  These advanced UAVs do not fly 1-8km in distance, but for hundreds of kilometers and their flight time is not counted in minutes, but in tens of hours.  In this kind of warfare, Mavics are totally useless.

Is it possible that Russia might buy some Iranian UAVs?

I would say that it is not very likely, but quite possible.  Why?  First, Russia and Iran are (informal but strong) allies and the Iranians would probably love to test their gear in real, modern, warfare conditions (Syria, Iraq or Yemen do not qualify).  Second, the Iranians have superb UAVs, not necessarily better than Russian ones (it really depends on the mission and what the rest of the forces are doing), but very good ones indeed.  Since Russia is flush with cash thanks to the western sanctions, Russia could do worse than purchase an X number of Iranian UAV and use them (or even give them to the LDNR).  Again, I don’t think that this will happen because of a simple problem: the more primitive a UAV is, the more you can use commercial, off the shelf, equipment (this is what the (in)famous Bayraktars are – assembled off the shelf commercial hardware).  But the more advanced a UAV is, the more it needs to be able to “talk” to a lot of highly specialized networks and equipment, most of which are secret to begin with.

[Sidebar: I happen to personally fly both cinematic quads – a DJI Mavic mini – and first-person-view (FPV) acrobatic/freestyle quads and, as a result, even a private civilian like myself can have equipment which could be used in a reconnaissance situation like the one I describe above.  This is not different than LDNR forces using family and consumer radios (FRS and GMRS) to communicate, or the purchase of commercial laser rangefinders, GPS/GLONASS/GNSS navigation equipment and the like.  Nowadays recreational and commercial microelectronics are so capable, that you can buy most of what a reconnaissance unit might need online and for relatively cheap.  And if your pockets are deep enough, you even purchase and get all sorts of very good thermal imaging systems.  So what the LDNR forces needed the most, is simply money to get all that good stuff.  Some of this is already being built in Russia but, if needed, Russia can get it all from China directly or through Kazakhstan.  For the LDNR the issue was always money, and this is why the Mayor of Omsk is asking for donations at the end of this open letter above]

In sharp contrast to the LDNR forces, the Russian military has plenty of money and capabilities which the LDNR can only dream about, including a high tech military industrial base which dwarfs anything Iran might have.

Conclusion:

Initially, the Russians got absolutely destroyed in the propaganda war, at least that was true during the early months of the SMO.  Now this entire narrative is tanking (as evidenced, for example, this interview of Jeffrey Sachs on Democracy Now! or this video by Tucker Carlson).  Of course, the Neocons and the “extreme center” of the Uniparty (call them Republicrats or Demolicans – same difference) are still in deep denial and they are going through all the usual stages of grief (how is that headline: “German minister vows to back Ukraine ‘no matter what voters think’”?).  My biggest fear is that this hate-saturated narcissistic imbeciles will do something really dumb and trigger a much larger conflict.  The Kremlin is acutely aware of this risk, and this is why the Russians are only using about 10% of their current capabilities (that is before even a mobilization).

Most of the nonsense we now hear about the Ukraine (all the plain silly theories) is now quickly falling apart.  All the hysterics of the Russian 6th columnists (à la Girkin-Strelkov & Co.) have failed to force the Russian General Staff to fight the war like the 6th column would have preferred.  Instead of listening to these “allislosters”, Putin decided to listen to his generals.  What a surprise!

Furthermore, as Putin and others have repeated innumerable times, the SMO is going pretty much according to plan (besides the undeniable mistakes made in specific locations, like moving Russian forces in columns towards the Gostomel airfield without first suppressing the Ukrainian artillery and diversionary forces along the road; but the Kiev faint itself, however, was a total success and it achieved all its goals).  All the recent developments further show that Russia will methodically achieve all of her objectives in the coming months (though the denazification of Europe will, of course, take longer, not to mention the need to denazify the USA itself).

***

Finally, since this will be a long week-end, I leave you again with some beautiful music I love.

First, I want to introduce you to an Argentinian singer and guitarist whom I consider to be the most brilliant musician of traditional Argentinian (gaucho) music: Eduardo Falu.  Listen to this track, the song, entitled “Zamba de la Candelaria“, is absolutely beautiful (as are the lyrics for those who understand Spanish) and his guitar playing is nothing short of stellar (the other two songs in this video are also quite beautiful, I think)

Next, I want to introduce you to one of my absolutely favorite US Jazz/Improvised music group, named Oregon.  In this tune, entitled “Hand in Hand“, you will hear one of their most beautiful, yet understated, compositions.  The way the harmony “moves” here is so poignantly beautiful!  Also, listen to Ralph Towner‘s guitar solo and try to sing the melody over his improvisations, and you will discover a very beautiful “improvised contrapunctus”.   I had the privilege to once see Oregon at the Blues Alley in Washington DC and it was for sure one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen.

Next, a beautiful composition by Larry Coryell which he interprets here with the (always brilliant) Joe Beck and Joe Scofield entitled “Thurman Munson“.  This is also a very understated composition, but it gives ample opportunities for some truly beautiful and poignant improvisations (including some beautifully weaved through polytonalities).

Next, I want to introduce you to a French guitarist named Pierre Bensusan.  The guy is an absolute genius both as a composer and as in interpreter.  Today I want to share one of my favorite compositions by Bensusan entitled simply “4am“.  I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Lastly, I want to introduce you to a ridiculously talented group from, I think, New York: they are called the “Nation of Five“.  Here they play one of my favorite tunes, called “The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers” aka “Poem For No. 15.” composed by the Jazz pianist Steve Kuhn.  It is a most interesting Jazz waltz built around distinct keys (this is modal music at its best!) and which includes a very original use of something called a “hemiola“, that is “the articulation of two bars in triple time as if they were three bars in duple time” or, to quote Wikipedia’s fuller definition “a hemiola is the ratio 3:2. In pitch, hemiola refers to the interval of a perfect fifth. In rhythm, hemiola refers to three beats of equal value in the time normally occupied by two beats.  This makes the improvisation over this melody both very interesting and somewhat challenging.  I just love to explore all the possibilities this 1972 composition offers for improvisation and this is a fantastic performance by all these musicians!

MTV and and so-called “conservatories” have tried their best to stamp out real, improvised, music, and they failed.  What a joy for the rest of us, no?

Enjoy and have a wonderful week-end!

The Essential Saker IV: Messianic Narcissism's Agony by a Thousand Cuts
The Essential Saker III: Chronicling The Tragedy, Farce And Collapse of the Empire in the Era of Mr MAGA