I am getting emails from all types of sources about Ukrainian cities already being liberated.  The problem is that there are, as predicted, A LOT of fakes out there, including from anti-Putin Russian interests.  So rather than risk getting it wrong and list those cities, I will just offer a few comments and then take a break.

  1. I was expecting an operational-level Russian operation, but what I see today this is clearly a strategic operation. This is way bigger than what I expected.
  2. We are in the very early phases of the operation, but I see all the usual signs of a Ukrainian strategic collapse.  By tomorrow morning we should know a lot more.
  3. The first strike phase of the operation has been extremely successful and the Ukrainian ground forces are now not only without any kind of cover or support (the Ukie Air Force and Navy passed away today), they are also without orders: not only has the Ukronazi HQ in the Donbass been totally destroyed, the Russians are, no doubt, putting down their EW blanket on the full area of operations.
  4. I think that by tomorrow evening the operational envelopment of the Ukie forces in the eastern Ukraine will be completed.  After that, only two types of Ukie soldiers will be left: those who surrendered and the dead.
  5. The Russians have either approached or even  surrounded several major Ukrainian cities.  I won’t list them now.  Why?  Because by tomorrow we will have that list confirmed.
  6. Belarus is fully backing Russia (Lukashenko was very emphatic about that today), as does Iran.  Our Chinese friends have been rather restrained and proffered only well-intended generalities, let’s see if that changes in the future.
  7. I also suspect that tomorrow will be the last day for the US PSYOPs to try to control the narrative, after that there will be too many cellphones with cameras to conceal the magnitude of the disaster.
  8. For this reason, I still expect a major false flag.
  9. The Poles and Hungarians have declared that they fear a massive influx of refugees and that they are therefore deploying more forces to the border to “control the situation”.  These forces could be easily and quickly moved inside the Western Ukraine to seize the Lvov and Ivano-Frankovsk regions.  Best of all (for them) is that they can be pretty sure that the Russians won’t object.  And with all the NATO facilities in the Ukraine being destroyed right now, the Russians can toss this (mostly Nazi) and faraway bone to whoever in the EU who wants it (The Hungarians are probably too smart for that, but the Poles???).  Whatever may be the case, I expect a minor NATO operation into the western Ukraine in the next couple of days.  Frankly, I couldn’t care less.
  10. Another MAJOR risk is the presence in the Ukraine of A LOT of very dangerous part of the civilian infrastructure (including 15 nuclear reactors which barely function)  The Ukies have already blown up at least one (pretty small) damn near Lugansk.  I hope that the Russian and Belarusian special forces will secure these facilities as soon as humanely possible.
  11. Next: watch the Russian Black Sea fleet.  Something tells me that tomorrow we will see it A LOT and, probably, along the entire Ukie coast.
  12. Last but not least.  Iraq has shown that it is one thing to destroy an army, and quite another to deal with an insurgency, even one armed with only small arms and RPGs.  I remain categorically opposed to any Russian mid/long occupation of the Ukraine.  I am confident that Putin will soon declare the end of major combat operations (if only because there won’t be many enemies left) and that many Russian forces will begin a pullback.  But the nightmare of having hundreds of thousands of assault rifles distributed to “the population” but which, in reality, armed what NATO will want to see as a “stay behind insurgency” will begin.  And I want the Ukrainians to fight that battle by themselves, with some Russian help if needed, but not by hiding behind Russian forces.  So A LOT really depends on the people of the Ukraine: the coming days will show us who and what they are.  Now is the time for them to do the right thing.

That’s it.  I wish we had more info, but here we need to stop and wait.

By tomorrow we will know A LOT more.

Goodnight everybody

Andrei

==>>ADDENDUM: IMPORTANT PERSONAL NOTE FROM ANDREI TO YOU ALL

 

First, a HUGE THANK YOU to all those who have reached out to help:

  • we have several new potential moderators
  • the donations have risen very sharply
  • and I was contacted by 5 volunteer translators!!!

So we are doing great, thank you to all!!!!  As always, the Saker Community helped immensely!

Second, we have one small area of concerntraffic is so huge that our servers are working hard and our networks struggling.  So far, no DDoS attack, it’s just the “price” to pay for such huge traffic.

If you have a hard time reaching the blog, just be patient, it should load up.  If a disaster happens, I will inform you there: http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/

Andrei

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