A couple of things.
First, my post yesterday about my utter disgust with the West’s attitude resulted in well over FOUR HUNDRED comments overnight. And an avalanche of emails! I only had the time to skim the comments, but I will absolutely read every single one of them this afternoon. I might write up a post to answer some of them, or all of them together, we shall see. But a huge THANK YOU!!! to all those who commented, your LACK of indifference give me courage and restores some faith in my fellow human beings.
Second, I am getting a steady stream of emails and I cannot answer them anymore. I am very very sorry, but until the war in the Ukraine comes to some kind of equilibrium, I will be way too swamped to answer private emails. I ask for your patience and understanding.
Third, it appears that the operational cauldron which will entrap the entire Ukie force in the Donbass is in the process of being finalized. According to recent news, only about 100km separate the northern pincer from the southern one, and since Russian MRLS can reach much further, this means that the Ukie forces are already blocked by fire (meaning that while they still can break through, they will do that under constant Russian fire) and that the encirclement will be completed if not today, then by tomorrow. Take a look at this map:
What you see here is, in red, the advance of the Russian pincers from the north and the south. The think black line is the section of the front through which the Ukies can still run, but it is already under fire from both the north and the south. As soon the Russian force meet somewhere along that lack line, then the operational cauldron will be shut. The yellow line indicate the limits of that operational cauldron which will have about 10-12 Ukrainian BRIGADES entirely cut off and surrounded.
By the way, the Nazi forces in Mariupol are also surrounded, but they decided to fight to their last breath, which would be fine by me if there was not a huge amount of civilians, including civilians herded into bunkers which, in reality, offer them no protection. The Russians could use a large FAE bomb to destroy the Nazis defenses in one strike, but the cost in human lives would be huge. It is possible that the Russians will have to liberate Mariupol the hard way: by sending in special urban assault teams, like what they did in Grozny during the 2nd Chechen war. If so, that will mean that the Russian command has decided to accept many more Russian casualties as a price to pay to save as many civilians as possible. What a horrible decision to have to make…
As for Kiev, the Russians are concentrating forces all around the city, but are not moving in yet, to my great relief.
Finally, Kharkov is being cleaned up by mopping up operations. Once that city is secure, there are rumors that some kind of government will be proclaimed there. Let’s wait and see.
A few practical matters:
- The blogs loads very slowly. Yes, I know, this is due to the huge increase in visitors and there is nothing much we can do. So far, we have not yet detected a deliberate DDoS attack, just a HUGE increase in readership.
- Emails: as I mentioned above, it will be impossible for me to reply to private emails until the situation in the Ukraine stabilizes itself, at least to some degree.
- Other sources: right now I recommend Moon of Alabama (since Andrei Martyanov is on holidays). Other putatively pro-Russians website have produced a lot of clickbait recently and they seem to ally themselves to the Russian 6th column. So caveat emptor, big time! :-)
I hope to produce a report by the end of the afternoon.