By Ljubiša Malenica for the Saker Blog
After two months of conflict, situation inside Ukraine is somewhat clearer. However, despite the fact that we can now, with more understanding, observe what is happening on the ground, media and propaganda sources, between which the border is often blurred, complicate and make it difficult to build a completely clear picture of the unfolding events. Moreover, certain media, especially the Western ones, have completely abandoned even an attempt at objective reporting and turned, simply put, into propaganda mouthpieces without any credibility.
This text will try, based on available data from numerous sources, to offer a possible explanation for the most important events of the Russian military operation in Ukraine and to point out its importance in the context of continental security in Europe.
To begin with, we will look at the number of soldiers that each side had at its disposal at the beginning of the conflict. Before any Russian soldiers crossed Ukrainian border, both sides grouped troops for an extended period of time. While Kiev was increasing the number of its units in the Donbas area, that is, in the operational zone of what Kiev authorities called the anti-terrorist operation, Moscow was deploying troops on the border with Ukraine. According to Russian sources, before the beginning of the conflict, Kiev deployed nearly 125.000 soldiers in eastern Ukraine, close to half of its regular military forces.During the current fighting in Ukraine, plans for offensive against Donbas republics were confirmed by captured Ukrainian soldiers with additional documentation related to these preparations being revealed by Russian troops in territories previously controlled by Kiev.
All of the above can be dismissed as Russian propaganda, but it should be noted that according to Western sources, the military forces of the two Donbas republics, together, in 2021 numbered just over 40.000 soldiers. In general, total number of troops for Donbas republics varies, according to different sources, between forty and fifty thousand soldiers. One of the generally accepted, though blunt, rules of war points out that in case of an attack on fortified positions, it is desirable that the attacking side has three times number of soldiers in comparison to defenders, the well known 3:1 ratio.
As can be seen, before the Russian operation, the ratio of conflicting troops in Donbas roughly corresponded to this rule, so it can be concluded, with a dose of caution, that Kiev really intended to conduct in Donetsk and Lugansk something similar to the Croatian operation “Storm”.
In terms of numbers, at the very beginning of the Russian offensive, Ukrainian army had 245.000 active-duty soldiers, along with an additional 220.000 in reserve. According to some sources, Kiev had as many as 900,000 soldiers at its disposal in the reserve. The number of members in paramilitary formations ranged from fifty to one hundred thousand. After the start of the conflict, between six and ten thousand foreign mercenaries arrived in Ukraine, though numbers varie wildely depending on the source.
On the other hand, when talking about the number of Russian troops on the border, before beginning of the conflict, most of the Western media agreed in the estimate of one hundred thousand Russian soldiers. We have already pointed out that most often used figure for military forces of Donetsk and Lugansk is close to 50.000. Generally speaking, in terms of the total number of Russian forces in Ukraine at the moment, figures between one hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand soldiers are used.
If we accept that 900.000 reservists is unrealistic, and consider only the lesser number, we see that at very beginning of the conflict, more than half a million soldiers were available to Kiev, as opposed to a maximum of 200.000 Russians and pro-Russians. According to Zelensky’s order, Ukraine mobilized its reserve units already on February 23, and on April 8, Zelensky ordered a new, third, wave of mobilization related to reserve officers.
Taking into account this information, it is clear that from the very beginning, balance of forces in terms of available manpower was, roughly speaking, 3:1 in favor of Ukraine. The romantic Western narrative that the conflict is between a weak but brave Ukraine and a strong but evil Russia has no basis in reality and serves exclusively as a propaganda construction.
Both sides have, on several occasions so far, presented results of their military actions, with information about their own and opponents’ losses. Apart from Russia and Ukraine, other indirect participants in this conflict, such as the United States and its NATO satellites, have published their own estimates, but, interestingly enough, only of Russian losses. According to Ukrainian sources, more than 20.000 Russian soldiers have been killed so far. On the other hand, Moscow claims that the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the conflict so far surpasses 25.000. According to NATO sources, after a month of fighting, total Russian losses, killed together with the wounded, missing and captured, amounted to more than 40.000 men. United States used similar figures in early April, as US authorities claimed at the time that number of killed Russian soldiers exceeded more than ten thousand. During an interview for the American CNN, on April 14, Zelensky pointed out that number of killed Ukrainian soldiers is close to 3.000.
Here Mariupol comes into play. In addition to its strategic and moral significance, Mariupol is important because it provides an opportunity to try and see more clearly the number of KIAs from the Ukrainian side. Namely, according to Russian sources, at the beginning of the siege, there was slightly more than 8.000 Ukrainian soldiers inside Mariupol. On the other hand, Kiev claims that Mariupol garrison did not number more than 3.500 people, in total. So far we know two facts. During siege, between 1.200 and 1.500 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered to Russian troops. We also know that there are up to two thousand Ukrainian fighters in the underground corridors of Azovstal, both ordinary soldiers and those from the Azov Battalion. If we accept the Ukrainian version, we come to a paradoxical situation. Namely, during the heavy siege of Mariupol, characterized by daily battles, almost no soldier of the Ukrainian garrison died!
The math is quite simple and clear. If close to 1.500 Ukrainians surrendered, and close to 2.000 of them are still inside Azovstal, it can be concluded that the number of Ukrainian dead in Mariupol ranges from a few dozen to a maximum of a few hundred soldiers. From the initial garrison of 3.500 soldiers, almost all survived the full siege that began on March 2, that is, the siege that lasts a little more than sixty days at the time of writing. Statistically, this situation is impossible given that it tries to reconcile the fact that Russian troops occupied Mariupol completely, except for Azovstal itself, and assumption that very few Ukrainian soldiers were killed during this conquest, perhaps only a few.
Things look markedly different if Russian figures are taken into account. According to Moscow, the initial garrison numbered more than 8.000 soldiers. The two previously mentioned facts we know remain unchanged. The logical conclusion is the assumption that more than 4.000 Ukrainian soldiers died during the siege of Mariupol. If we accept this as a reasonable argument, then it further must be accepted that number of dead with which Zelensky appears before the public are nothing but propaganda. The case of Mariupol shows that more Ukrainian soldiers were killed in this city alone than Kiev claims to have died during the entire conflict.
It will be necessary to wait until end of the conflict for true information, but for purposes of this text and consideration regarding the number of soldiers killed on both sides, we can use two military statistical rules. It must be immediately pointed out that, although generally accepted, they do not represent highly precision tools but more of a general picture statistical aids. We have already pointed out the first, and it refers to the necessity of the attacking troops to be three times larger in number than the units which are defending fortified positions. The second rule refers to ratio of dead and wounded soldiers within the same army. This rule points out that number of wounded soldiers in relation to the number of killed ones, roughly speaking, usually corresponds to a ratio of 3:1. The lowest ratio of wounded to dead soldiers, which author encountered, was 2.5:1. According to US sources, troops of the United States, during their wars in the last three decades, were able to achieve a ratio of 10:1 and sometimes even 17:1. Such a high number of wounded in relation to number of killed soldiers is mostly attributed to progress of medical science, medical care on the battle lines, and the improvement in quality of personal protection for soldiers. At the same time, the fact that American troops fought against far, technologically speaking, inferior opponents must also be taken into account.
For purposes of this paper, we will be guided by a ratio of 3:1, since this is the accepted average ratio in both cases. Although it would be wisest for a person watching this conflict from the sidelines to approach each source with a certain amount of reserve, Ukraine’s statements regarding military losses, both its own and Russia’s, must be taken with a high dose of skepticism. This is a natural product of the fact that Kiev official channels have served as just another amplifier of propaganda announcements since very beginning of the Russian military operation. It is quite understandable that civilian population, especially in the modern world, decides on its own to get involved in propaganda war that accompanies every conflict, through false footage and staged images. It is understandable when state information warfare agencies construct various forms of propaganda pieces behind the scenes. What should be inadmissible is that official representatives of the Ukrainian authorities take part in this type of conflict, if preservation of trust in the same representatives is a goal.
So far, top Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky, have willingly participated in spreading illusions about the existence of “Ghost of Kiev”, the real events on Snake Island and the fate of Ukrainian soldiers there, the alleged Russian bombing of nuclear power plants, and clearly staged “massacres”in Bucha and Kramatorsk, on the number of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine and the like. Given the long list of violations of this kind by regime in Kiev, the statements of Ukrainian authorities must be taken with suspicion.
In accordance with this, our attitude towards the number of killed Russian soldiers, according to the sources of the Ukrainian army, must be guided by suspicion as well. According to Kiev, more than 25.000 Russian fighters have died on the territory of Ukraine so far. When we take into account the previously mentioned ratio of dead to wounded soldiers, the total number of Russian soldiers unavailable for further combat operations, in under seventy days of fighting, is close to catastrophic one hundred thousand. Let’s compare this with the initial estimates of the total number of Russian troops participating in the conflict. If we accept the maximum scenario, of 200.000 soldiers, Russian side lost squarely 50% of its manpower in Ukraine in roughly two and a half months. To the author, who has no military experience, such losses seem catastrophic, but more importantly, such losses would, logically, in major part, prevent further offensive actions of the Russian infantry, given that this level of losses leads to a conclusion that Ukrainian soldiers are not only more numerous but are qualitatively better than Russians. On the other hand, if we take a more conservative scenario of total number of Russian troops in Ukraine, that is, some 150.000, picture on the ground becomes even grimmer and indicates the inevitable collapse of Russian military operations.
However, when you look at the current situation, Russian military formations have retained their offensive capabilities and are currently showing initiative in the Donbas area. Moreover, judging by available data from the field, advance of Russian troops is slow but constant. Opposite to this, no large-scale Ukrainian offensive has been observed for the entire duration of the conflict. Certainly, at the start of the military operation Ukrainian units at local level were able to organize counterattacks or small-scale offensive actions, certain villages and smaller settlements swapped hands several times but the overall situation, translated into lines on the map, has shown a remarkably high degree of stability in terms of territory possession and control.
There is no doubt that in the first days and weeks of the conflict, Ukrainian forces offered strong resistance, which was accompanied by saturation of social networks with videos and pictures of destroyed Russian, or allegedly Russian, equipment and captured Russian soldiers. Turkish Bayraktar, which almost took on mythological qualities after the conflict in Artsakh, also played a significant role in this period. Foreign portable systems, such as Javelin, Stinger and NLAW, have further strengthened the offensive capabilities of Ukrainian troops against both Russian armor and aviation. Despite all of this, in a period of several weeks, Russian units managed to take, roughly speaking, one quarter of Ukraine. The only great achievement of the Ukrainian troops was reflected in “recovery” of territories that were previously controlled by Russian units deployed on the Northern and Kiev fronts. And this success, if we can call it that, stemmed from the fact that Ukrainian forces took control of the areas from which Russian troops had previously willingly withdrawn.
This observation opens the question of both Kiev and Northern front, that is, their true purposes. Depending on the source, one encounters variations of three different scenarios. The first scenario, represented by Kiev itself and a large number of Western media, sees Russian withdrawal as a defeat, caused by inability to capture the Ukrainian capital and marked with high material and human losses. Bear in mind that this is the Western interpretation of Russian intentions, given that Moscow has never mentioned capture of Kiev as one of its goals. If we accept the narrative that Ukrainian units defeated Russians near Kiev, we must assume the existence of technical capacities for such an endeavor, that is, use of appropriate air and armored forces, and other means of war. If we further assume that Ukraine had such technical capacities after thirty days of war, then we must logically ask why those same capacities were not used to destroy a huge Russian column, 60 kilometers long, that was stationed not far from Kiev for days. The Western media incessantly droned about this concentration of Russian forces and showed satellite images of trucks and other techniques stretching along the highway. For a country that enjoys air superiority, such a sluggish column is a gift from heaven, and it represents extremely attractive target even for ground units. Everyone is free to draw their own conclusions, however, during the entire period of existence of this column, not a single air strike or armored and infantry attack was organized by Ukraine.
Second scenario represents a kind of compromise between first and the third. This rationale for Russia’s behavior presupposes that Northern and Kiev fronts were in fact opportunistic attempts to seize the capital and several other major cities while forcing the Ukrainian General Staff to redeploy its available forces from their initial positions on a nearly 3.000-kilometer long line of contact.
The final possibility is that both of these fronts were in fact, from the very beginning, feint fronts whose main purpose was to attract and keep in place a significant part of Ukrainian forces in the north and northwest of the country so as to ensure easier maneuvering and advance for Russian troops on the Southern and Eastern fronts, while simultaneously hampering attempts to replace losses and provide logistical support to Ukrainian troops in Donbas. Led by the assumed number of Russian troops in Ukraine, each front could field maximum of thirty-five to fifty thousand Russian soldiers at the beginning of the operation. DPR and LPR troops are included here. Personal opinion of author is that with this number of soldiers, it was not possible to take Kiev, a city of 2.5 million inhabitants, under any circumstances. If we presume Kiev had a garrison of only 30.000, then Russians would need to have at least 100.000 soldiers besieging just the capital, not to mention need to control all those territories which were under Russian control while North and Kiev fronts were active. Also bear in mind many larger cities remained under Ukrainian control, which would require even more Russian troops. Even some Western sources, after Moscow announced its withdrawal from the Northern and Kiev fronts, warned that this was not a defeat for Russia but a regrouping of Russian troops so they could be redeployed in Donbas proper.
We have already mentioned that Maria Zakharova placed number of Ukrainian soldiers in the east close to 120.000, before Russian troops entered Ukraine. Western sources currently estimate that there are between 40.000 and 60.000 Ukrainian troops in Donbas, roughly the equal number to that before conflict escalated in 2021. Assuming that these figures are correct, or at least approximately true, it can be concluded that Northern and Kiev fronts attracted close to 50% of Ukrainian forces from Donbas area.
As in the previous phase, it is now clear that Ukrainian forces currently do not have the ability to organize a major military operation that would critically jeopardize the results of Russian advances so far. The air superiority of Russian Federation is unquestionable at this point, and can be easily noticed by the daily campaigns of bombing raids by Aerospace forces of the Russian Federation, complemented by often use of cruise missiles. Russian helicopter units continue their operations, as well as armored and motorized forces, but we see very limited activity of these branches from the Ukrainian force, unlike in the first weeks of conflict. The agony of Ukrainian and Nazi troops captured in Azovstal continues, especially in the light of the fact that Zelensky himself recently pointed out it was impossible to relieve the besieged troops through a military operation. If it is already impossible to organize a large-scale military operation to regain Mariupol, then the same can be assumed regarding a possible operation aimed at supporting Ukrainian troops in Donbas.
At the time of writing, transfer of main operations to the Donbass theatre is noticeable. This front is important for both Russia and Ukraine. One of main reasons is the fact that, according to various estimates, the most capable Ukrainian troops are situated in Donbas. From Moscow’s perspective, eliminating this group would mean removing the best Ukrainian units from the battlefield. From Kiev’s perspective, these troops have the best chance of blunting and eventually stopping Russia’s advance, especially given the fact that Ukraine has been fortifying the area of current operations for eight years.
In everyday events, a special aspect of this conflict has remained largely neglected. Main reason for this is the constant propaganda work of the Western media, which managed from the very beginning, to create a romanticized image of the Ukrainian army. When main Western media talk about Ukrainian troops, in most cases positive terms are used, and even when they refer to well-known neo-Nazi units. Overnight, they all became “brave Ukrainian defenders”, “fighters against Putin’s aggression”, “protectors of Europe from tyranny”, gaining these and many other positive characteristics. On the other hand, the narrative about Russians is diametrically opposed, and terms like “aggressors”, “murderers”, “rapists of Ukrainian women and children”, “Putin’s war machine” and similar are in plentiful supply.
When an individual encounters this Hollywood-made portrayal of conflicting parties again and again, certain mental image of Ukrainians and Russians inevitably begins to emerge. Hyperhumanized, Ukrainian forces are waging a just war, their struggle is also our struggle, they are the guys from the neighborhood, factory workers, teachers, musicians, everyday good people. Opposite them are the Russians, faceless “orcs” emerging from the dark Asian steppe, not even people, but only cogs in the great mechanism of Putin’s war machine that will destroy the whole of Europe as soon as it ends with Ukraine. The dehumanization of the enemy is not foreign to any war, but in this case it has a secondary goal, and that is to present Ukraine as a weaker party, in every sense.
As we have already pointed out, only in terms of available manpower, Ukraine had an advantage of at least 3:1 at the beginning of the conflict, when we compare maximum assumptions about the number of soldiers on both sides. Additionally, often overlooked is the fact that Russian soldiers are currently in conflict with soldiers trained according to NATO standards. Moreover, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed this when he pointed out that the alliance countries had trained “tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers in previous years, provided modern equipment and supported reforms. Ukraine’s forces are now larger, better equipped, better trained and better led than ever before”. According to Western sources, within Yavoriv base alone, five Ukrainian battalions were trained during a single year.
Military assistance of the United States, which amounted to more than 2.7 billion dollars in the period from 2014 to 2021, depended on military reforms within Ukraine. One of these reforms focused on Ukraine’s ability to integrate its logistical support with other NATO units during joint operations. Back in 2016, Poroshenko himself sought and obtained experienced military advisers from United States, Canada, Great Britain, Lithuania and Germany, whose purpose was to modernize Ukrainian units and reach NATO standards by 2020, thus achieving a high degree of compatibility with units from other alliance countries. Ukraine maybe never would officially become a member of NATO, but judging by the mentioned sources, most of the military institutions in the country are already organized in accordance with NATO procedures and that is telling.
From the author’s perspective, what is currently happening in Ukraine is a conflict between the Russian and Western concepts of war, that is, the concept of war as conceived by NATO. Among other things, this conflict is also a question of the prestige for the West, which has so far seen itself as the most militarily capable bloc on the planet. Having trained Ukrainian ground army to NATO standards and equipped it with anti-tank and anti-aircraft portable systems, the West is now observing performance of these forces against Russian troops. This is, as well, one of reasons for the omnipresent Western propaganda campaign. Moreover, within this conflict, it is necessary to view Ukrainian media and propaganda sources as organic offshoots of Western intelligence agencies and public relations firms, of which at least 150 have participated in creating and spreading propaganda for Kiev since the beginning of hostilities. Likewise, make no mistake, majority if not all intelligence at disposal of Kiev is of NATO origin.
In an event that Ukrainian troops are defeated by Russian units, it will be clear that equipping and training army in accordance with NATO standards does not guarantee the highest level of combat capability. At the same time, the possible defeat of Ukraine will shake the reputation of NATO itself, especially the United States, whose last year’s debacle in Afghanistan is still fresh in memory. Russia’s eventual victory would be the second major case in modern times where forces equipped and trained by the West have been defeated by non-Western armies.
In this context, one should also observe the huge military aid that has been pouring into Kiev for two months now by countries of the West and European Union. As US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently pointed out, the United States wants “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” This only confirms what many analysts have already pointed out, that Kiev and Moscow are not at war in Ukraine, but Russia against the collective West led by Washington. The United States needs, both for domestic and foreign policy, Russian defeat in Ukraine.
This is the only way to explain the fabulous sums of money which have, in form of military equipment and financial support, flooded into Kiev from both the United States and European Union. A spokeswoman for the US president, Jen Psaki, told a news conference on April 28 that “as you know, we had $3.5 billion in military security assistance. We have about $250 million of that left in drawdown. So, obviously, we will work to expedite that and provide that to the Ukrainians”. For reference sake, US Congress approved this aid package on March 10! A new package of American aid for Ukraine, more than 30 billion dollars, is already prepared, according to the lend-lease principle that was used during the Second World War. Under this new tranche of aid, more than fifteen billion dollars will be spent for military purposes. Moreover, if you follow the process of creating this act, you can see that it was introduced into the Senate procedure on January 19, 2022, that is, 15 billion dollars for Kiev in the form of American military equipment was planned at least a month before the Russian operation.
At the same time, most countries within NATO and the collective West provide military assistance to Ukraine. However, some countries, such as Bulgaria, have refused to provide military assistance to Kiev from the outset for reasons of their own political stability, while others, such as Canada and Greece, have ended shipments of military equipment due to depletion of reserves which jeopardize their own security. In a recent address to Bundestag, German Minister of Defense, Kristina Lambrecht, pointed out Berlin’s limitation on further arming Ukraine comes due to problems facing Bundeswehr itself. According to Lambrecht, Germany has on paper 350 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, but in reality, only 150 of them are combat capable. The situation with Tiger combat helicopters is no different – only 9 out of 51 can take off. On April 28, Stoltenberg pointed out that NATO allies had sent military aid worth eight billion dollars to Ukraine since start of the conflict.
As we can see, the lion’s share of this burden has been taken over by Washington, but when you consider that West mostly procures its weapons from the United States, it is clear that this “aid” is actually a kind of financial incentive for the US military-industrial complex. According to American sources, by April 22, Washington had delivered more than 11.000 portable anti-tank systems to Kiev, including 4.500 Javelins. In the same period, Ukrainian troops received close to 1.400 Stinger systems. So far, these deliveries also included personal protective equipment, Humwie off-road vehicles, helicopters, huge amounts of ammunition, UAVs, radar systems, patrol boats and more.
Thanks to this feverish pace of weapons delivery to Kiev, people connected with US army warn of reduction to their own stockpiles of weapons. The head of Raytheon pointed out that it will be possible to replenish Stinger reserves, not just in United States but also in other NATO countries, only in 2023 and 2024 due to lack of components and production capacities. The situation regarding Javelin reserves is no better. According to sources from the American administration, number of Javelin systems in US reserves has been reduced by one third, and their replacement can be expected in just under three years.
It is important to keep in mind that all portable systems that arrive in Ukraine end up in three categories. Some of them reach end users at the front, some are captured by Russian troops, while some, apparently, end up on the black market and are sold to unknown actors.
Free, and therefore questionable, author’s estimate is that Russian units have so far captured at least several thousand different portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems. Washington and its allies do not seem to be worried about the undoubted fact that specimens of their vaunted systems have probably already ended up in hands of Russian engineers. At the same time, the West seems unconcerned about the possibility that advanced military equipment will fall into hands of various other groups, with special emphasis on criminals and terrorists, given that United States loses the ability to track delivered equipment as soon as it crosses the Ukrainian border. Proliferation of this weapons among current opponents of the West, Russian Federation and CPR, certainly does not exclude possibility of its spread among various militias and terrorist organizations in the Middle East and elsewhere in the future. On the contrary, Moscow and Beijing might be more than willing to create problems for US in the same manner Washington is creating for them in Ukraine and Taiwan. With everything mentioned above, question of the efficiency for all these Western systems delivered to Ukraine must be raised.
A little over a month ago, during one of his speeches, Zelensky pointed out that Kiev needs 500 Javelins and the same number of Stingers, on a daily basis. We can assume with some certainty that this is an exaggeration, but what if we reduce the number of these systems to 100 Javelins and Stingers per day? The legitimate question is where and why so many of these systems are consumed on a daily basis. The two answers that arise, although they may not be the only ones possible, are that the capabilities of the Russian armor and aviation were underestimated or that the capabilities of the delivered systems were overestimated.
A common feature of all Western systems, in which we will include Turkish Bayraktar, was a status of “miraculous” weapons that should drastically change the balance of power in conflict by its very presence. The Stingers were praised as an unsurpassed tool against planes and helicopters, Javelins against tanks and armored vehicles, while Bayraktars were presented as a danger against any type of unit found on the battlefield. Many analysts and amateur cheerleaders have missed that even some research institutions in the West have questioned the ability of these systems to influence the overall outcome of the conflict.
However, what we see in the field at the moment is far from the image that was built through the media. In the first few weeks of conflict, we really had the opportunity to watch in action all of these Western systems against Russian troops, although it is necessary to point out that even then propaganda activities often smuggled videos from previous wars as events from conflict in Ukraine. After the first three to four weeks, all those who have been following this conflict since its beginning have seen a sharp decline in number of publications and videos showing either captured Russian soldiers or use of foreign weapons against Russian units. In that same period, a significant increase in material could be noticed from Russian sources, which showed destroyed or captured Ukrainian equipment and downed drones, with special emphasis on Bayraktars. In his recent address to the public, Zelensky himself, referring to Turkish drones, pointed out that “with all due respect, Bayraktar and other drones can help, but it won’t affect the result”. This is far from the earlier euphoric rhetoric which accompanied Bayraktar, but also other drones such as Switchblade, Phoenix Ghost and Punisher.
Almost from very beginning of the conflict, Zelensky appealed to Western governments for delivery of heavy weapons, which would include fighters, tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, air defense systems, infantry transporters and helicopters, in addition to already presumed shipments of light weapons and equipment. According to the Kiev wish list, which has been circulating on Russian side of the internet for some time, Ukraine needs more than 200 planes, more than 350 air defense systems, more than 400 tanks and other heavy weapons, which also number in the hundreds. One Western analyst noted with irony that these quantities of weapons are not needed by a winning army but by military forces starting from zero. According to data of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the heaviest losses so far have been suffered by the units of Ukrainian infantry and armored forces, which to a certain extent coincides with Zelensky’s requests. The Ukrainian navy and aviation, as factors capable of influencing outcome of the conflict, have not existed since the first week of Russian operations.
According to current information, Zelensky’s appeals bore fruit, but only partially. European Union countries are indeed sending heavy weapons to Kiev, but in a significant number of cases they are non-modernized combat systems more than four decades old. Poland sends 200 T-72 tanks to Kiev, Germany is ready to sell 50 Leopard 1 tanks, last time modernized in the end of the eighties. United States will deliver its M113 armored personnel carriers from Vietnam War, which are largely obsolete today. The United Kingdom, Norway, Australia and other countries have also promised, and some have already delivered, combat vehicles and other heavy weapons to Kiev. Observing the rate of the conflict escalation, one wonders how long will they be able to finance Kiev, especially when we take into consideration current unenviable economic situation in the West coupled with negative forecasts of economic trends in the future.
While heavy fighting continues in Donbas, the inability of Ukrainian troops to organize an effective counter-offensive, both quantitatively and qualitatively, raises the question of what will happen to Ukraine when/if Russian units fulfill their task and completely defeat enemies in Donbas. If this scenario unfolds, it is doubtful that another similar Ukrainian force exists, capable of taking on burden of fighting Russian troops. The defeat in Donbas, that is, the destruction or surrender of more than 50.000 Ukrainian soldiers, most likely represents an end to Kiev’s hopes for a positive outcome in the conflict and imposes capitulation as the only option. On the other hand, defeat of Russian troops entails the possibility of crisis and internal instability within Russian Federation together with impression of external weakness. Even the heavy weapons that Zelensky demands do not have to affect the course of the fight at all, considering that Russia has initiated more frequent attacks on transport hubs, bridges, electric network and presumed ammunition and equipment warehouses. Attacks with cruise missiles on energy infrastructure and oil depots have been going on for several weeks, and the lack of this energy source is starting to be felt across Ukraine itself.
At the same time, Ukraine has become a hole in which foreign weapons are disappearing and, most likely, finding buyers on the black market. Some certainly reach Ukrainian units, but some also fall into the hands of Russian troops. It is almost impossible to expect that this massive infusion of weapons will not jeopardize the security of both the Middle East and Europe itself, which, apparently driven by desire for economic suicide, could overnight find itself in a much worse situation, socially and economically, than the one it is in presently. As prices of basic foodstuffs, utilities and fuel rise, governments across EU will have trouble explaining to their citizens why fabulous sums are being set aside for Ukraine and the new militarization of the continent. On the other hand, we should not forget the problems of Taiwan and China. Can the collective West afford to spend precious military reserves on Ukraine after Washington showed its intention to turn Taiwan into an Asian copy of Ukraine?
Russia’s central bank pointed out that full stabilization of country’s economy is expected in 2024. The ruble has already recovered and is stronger as a currency now than before the military operation began, while inflation has returned to the level recorded before Russian troops entered Ukraine. Reorientation and restructuring of Russian economy is expected as a logical product of economic attacks, with special emphasis on opening up to Asian countries and developing its own capacities in order to replace imports from abroad. Russian Federation will reorient itself towards Asia, which will certainly be accompanied by difficulties and challenges, but where will Europe turn if it really cuts itself off from Russian energy sources.
One certain consequence from all these events will be a decline in the level of security and economic stability in Europe. The decline in living standards is almost inevitable, which will, in turn, lead to progressive radicalization or demoralization of the population. The internal cohesion of the Union, already on shaky ground, will only decrease. Political dependence on imperial policy of Washington will undermine the sovereignty of European Union and its prestige on the global level. All of this will be presented as a result of Vladimir Putin’s evil genius and despotic aspirations. As usual, this will not be the truth. The only culprit for the current situation is the NATO alliance and political elite of its leading country, United States. Negative economic and social trends within the collective West will provoke a backlash from their populations, characterized by violence. No matter what form of instability it takes, Europe will be far more exposed to the crisis, given that Washington will use every instrument at its disposal, for sake of its own survival, to transfer the negative consequences of its current moves onto its European satellites in the future.
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How is this possible (South fornt)?
Ukrainian Armed Forces reached the borders of the Russia’s Belgorod region near the village of Nekhoteevka. According to local reports, the AFU also took control of the village of Ternovka located near the border. The joint forces of the Russian Federation and the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics continue their resistance. Ukrainian forces are pushing Russian troops out of the village of Cossack Lopan. Fighting continues north of Stary Saltov.
This is being spun as a “counter offensive” by Ukrainian forces, but there is not much actual fighting going on in these villages. Russia may be withdrawing in order to draw Ukraine forces out of urban areas to avoid high civilian casualties. Also keep in mind, the more Ukrainian forces move and maneuver, the more precious fuel it consumes, an already dwindling and limit amount. It is strategic for Russia to allow Ukraine to come out of the major city, spread its forces out across a wider line, spend its fuel, keeping Ukraine forces occupied and not able to reinforce Donbas, and fight on terrain of its own choosing. Russia doesn’t fight like Ukraine does. Russia is willing to give up some territory for many advantages. Ukraine is thinking tactics. Russia is thinking strategy.
UFA forces are under NATO advisors, and they and the U.S. with the sole exception of Desert Storm in 1991, haven’t prosecuted a major war to a successful conclusion since 1945. Everything else, they have excelled at tactics, but Strategy has been lacking at both the “above division” level, and at the civilian politicians level. They took a slam dunk win in Iraq in 2003 and turned it into a long, bloody war which barely ended in a draw. And in Afghanistan, a 20 year conflict to produce a solid loss.
Well, someone is not telling the truth and/or someone else isn’t doing accurate analyses & projections.
We may know what happened in a bit (or a few decades?) assuming the next step in escalation leaves both enough resources to expend some on research and enough surviving humans who give a damn about how this all went down.
This question should be answered by a professional military analyst, which I am not. However, using basic common sense, if the Ukrainian military has the capability to push the Russians back, why push in the northern direction toward the border and why not push in the direction of the Donbas, in order to rescue their troops there, and thwart Russia’s main plan? What’s there to achieve around the vast Russian border? Taking the supply route? Does Russia have only one supply route for its troops? That’s impossible. So, most probably, those recent claims by Ukraine about pushing Z out of Kharkiev region is in fact just a military maneuver or strategic retreat by the Russian Army aimed at spreading the Uki troops away from Donbas and keep them sort of busy there for a while.
The question is a very sound one and needs a professional to answer it. Russian AWAC systems should be able to pick up the movements on the ground and in the air since they own the air. I see a serious problem that needs addressed.
I’m not a military expert but…
This whole question which keeps popping up is due to micro-managing a battle in real time thanks to technology.
For example, in the battle of Gettysburg, land lost or taken really didn’t matter compared to the eventual outcome of a seriously weakened Confederate offensive capability.
Nobody cares if a nearby town was taken or lost or what happened in nearby theaters prior to the battle. (e.g. The Confederates took the town of X five days prior to the battle, so what?)
The current conflict will be won or lost by the battle of the Donbas (Mariupol having already been decided). That is where the main killing capability of the Ukrainian army currently is. If it is neutralized, then the country will be severely de-militarized along with Putin’s first goal of the war and there will follow either peace negotiations or Russian moves to take whatever they want by force.
>>why push in the northern direction toward the border… Just to guess about it is probably logistics. There ability to get stuff into the Donbas is very limited. Plus I suppose some info about how many Russian troops are around.
Ive watched this since 2014 and every single time the Ukies think that they are developing an offensive, with Novo Russians retreating before them the offensive gets cut off turned into a cauldron and destroyed. Every time.
Seems like a trap is being set for the ukies.
You all must be getting desperate. Making up such nonsense.
Now, for news from the REAL world:
Russian planes destroyed the American station of counter-battery warfare of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
This was told at a briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry.
The aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed 4 ammunition depots, a counter-battery radar from the United States and more than 170 Ukrainian military.
The Russian artillery hit the S-300 installation, hit 14 headquarters, fuel storage and almost 360 places of concentration of infantry and equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
▪️Complexes ️The air defense destroyed 8 drones, 10 MLRS “Smerch” rockets and the Tochka-U RTR missile
Since the beginning of the operation, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 164 aircraft, 125 helicopters, 304 SAMs, 3022 tanks and armored vehicles, as well as 1,845 pieces of barrel and rocket artillery.
I started to look at that last week. It has the look and feel of an ambush. The MOD is not saying a word about it so, something is probably cooking.
Larry Jonson shows southfront contradicts itself.
This from a vet.
According to what I’ve read, neither the Ukies nor the Russians have many troops concentrated near Kharkov. Both sides are stationing the vast majority of their soldiers further south, in the Slayansk/Kramatorsk/Bakhmut/Severodonetsk salient. That’s where the real action is; in Donbass.
And, according to what I read, the Ukies are launching this Kharkov offensive simply to draw Russian forces away from the south. In other words, Kharkov is a side show for both belligerents. Little more.
Anyway, the sources I’ve read indicate that, near Kharkov, the Russians are falling back on a defensive line established along the Donets River. That means the Russians are abandoning a little ground east of Kharkov, but nothing more.
My guess is that Western media, true to form, is vastly overhyping the significance of the small scale Ukie successes in the Kharkov area. Keep in mind that the Ukies seem to be in trouble at Severodonetsk, where 8,000 soldiers are dangerously close to being totally cut off by the Russians. Maybe Western media wants to deflect public attention from that front, which is looking more and more unfavorable for the Ukies with each passing day.
I’m not a military man, so I can’t say for certain what’s really happening. That’s especially the case given that all of Western media is functioning as a US/NATO/Ukraine propaganda machine regarding war news. They play up any and all conceivable Ukie successes, and suppress any news that bodes unfavorably for the Ukie war effort.
Mario greetings, I see a lot of people gave you already answer to your question. I happen to concur with most of what Tom and Maskazer said. I do not necessarily see it as a crucial development. It depends on how will it proceed in the coming days, so far it seems that Russians are holding their positions after leaving/being pushed out of some towns and villages. Furthermore, we need to look at the whole expanse of the current front. It would seem to me that the most aggressive push by the Ukrainians is this offensive around Kharkiv, but when you look at the rest of the battle line, no similar thing is happening, at least as far as I can see it.
From Russians sources, Kiev attack on the Snake Island was a disaster and Ukrainians (and West) are rather quiet about that. If we take Russian MOD data as reliable, the loss of equipment for Ukrainians was severe. Nikolaev and Herson are still trading artillery fire as they were for the last 2 months. In the south east heavy fighting around Avdeevka and Ugledar. Maybe Russians can’t punch through or just keeping Ukrainian forces tied down. The most advance is on the east where Severodonetsk has been encircled from northeast. By some accounts, Russian troops are already in the city proper.
It is necessary to keep calm and focused. To me, this might be the hardest part of the war. Kiev had eight years to fortify these positions and 50.000 to 60.000 men is a lot of soldiers, for any war in any period. Fighting will take a while there. If I had to give my layman’s prediction, I would say roughly 3-4 months more but this is very very rough estimate of the top of my head.
Operation Z is a first phase in defining the new global order. Russians believe they’re at war with the “COLLECTIVE WEST” headed by the U$A/UK.
Here is a very good discussion with Dimitri Simes, based on his recent visit to Russia, where he met with Lavrov and other officials, and he states that Russia sees this as a conflict with the “collective west.”
– Neocons want regime change in Russia or unconditional surrender
– MSM can frame it as a war between Russia and Ukraine, but very few people who have power in Russia accept that. They do believe they’re at war with the “collective west” headed by the U$A. They do believe that they are confronted with a military coalition organized by the collective west.
– Why the Russian move on Ukraine now? Ukraine was getting lots of military assistance and being integrated into the west.
– Russian officials are determined to achieve victory whatever may have been the initial mistakes or reservations
– Ukraine might suffer catastrophic damage if this goes over a long period. Zelensky speaks very radically, shaming everybody in the west who is not willing to address Ukrainian needs. He is a good actor.
– The major problem Russia has in its confrontation with the west is the conviction among the European nato members, particularly anti-Russian countries like Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Lithuania, that they can say whatever against Russia, can do whatever against Russia, because they are protected by article 5. If this small group arm Ukraine, and sustain the conflict, then they may become targets for the use of tactical nuclear weapons, a potential widening of the war beyond Ukraine.
– There is a possibility of uncontrolled escalation which may have a truly apocalyptic consequences for both Russia and the U$A
– Fatalistic determination of Russians is surprising that they will not be defeated.
There are already unmistakable signs of de-escalation from the west. De-escalation = surrender. My supposition is that multiple central European nations – Germany included – have threatened behind the scenes to break with the EU over the energy boycott issue, something that will lead to its dissolution as an institution.
The $40 billion “Ukrainian aid package” voted on by the U.S. Congress is in fact money being paid to U.S. business interests that gambled and lost in Ukraine. The Europeans who were spearheading this “experiment” are not covered by this grant.
This is called “cutting your losses.” The political fallout in the U.S. from this “wealth transfer” will be devestating, far greater than anyone realizes at present. There is at present a shortage of baby nutritional formula in the United States. Imagine the political dynamic at work: your baby must go hungry so we can give the plutocrats money to cover their gambling losses.
The U.S. has recently “clarified” its procedure for sharing intelligence with Ukraine. Something has spooked it and the announced procedure is clearly restrictive in nature. Military intelligence must have concluded the U.S. is at a heightened risk of attack by Russia.
The Swiss have “unfrozen” about 2 billion euros in frozen Russian funds.
The U.S. media has reoriented its propaganda to explaining how the absorbtion of Ukraine’s Black Sea regions into the Russian Federation is actually a sign that the Russians are losing. I kid you not.
It ain’t over until it’s over, peace in Eurasia & our world, nations trading I their national currencies and new multilateral order defined. Until the Financial Empire has more than 10 military bases, there is no peace in the world. Vladimir Putin has BHAGs to achieve. Time will tell!
Many declared victory when Germany let the NS2 construction be completed in 2021. It ain’t operational yet. When victorious emerge then it will be complete. During the Iraq war Germany declared neutrality, yet its intelligence agencies shared target information with U$A/UK led military alliance. Jordan let counterfeit Iraqi dinars be transported to Iraq, to destroy its economy. Let’s focus on the big picture and goals. We’re still in the first phase and inning.
Yes, “the Swiss have “unfrozen” about 2 billion euros in frozen Russian funds,” from $7 billion. “Switzerland’s bank lobby estimates that the country’s banks hold up to $213 billion of Russian wealth.” When will those $213 billion move back to Russia and invested in its growth? Why do Russians like unproductive assets? Russians accumulate money in foreign markets, according to their central bank. So Russia funds adversaries.
“Russia has altered its stance on Ukraine’s prospects of EU membership… Moscow feels that the EU has become completely aligned with the US-led NATO… our [Russia’s] position on the European Union now is more similar to NATO because we don’t see a big difference,” Reality sync in and validated by Finland (EU member) joining NATO.
Our world is a sea of surprises. It will get interesting…
Yes, there is movement going on behind the scenes. It seems to suggest that the US has lost control of something and that is creating anxiety in the “responsible” elements of the American power structure. Other than that everything is speculative.
To me it suggests that several of the gas-dependent countries are threatening to veto Finland’s admission into NATO, hoping to trade that with the US and EU for no embargo.
But Russia’s more aggressive posture suggests it is threatening its own embargo if Finland joins NATO. That would make the central-European nation’s gambit moot.
Russia may have calculated that a gas-embargo will ultimately force the central-European nations to quit the EU and or NATO. That might explain why the U.S. getting nervous.
Let us stick to what will transpire Putin’s lifetime, Max. Maybe the collapse of the EU. Unlikely the collapse of NATO. Perhaps Germany or Hungary will veto Finland’s admission? Perhaps its even been arranged for them to do so?
Today’s front page (12 May) of the Financial Times had no article on the SMO, the first day since the original incursion in February. Extremely striking, as hitherto every front page had at least one story on a Russian loss, failure or crime against the civilian population.
Moreover, the lead story on tomorrow’s front page is about Finland’s NATO application.
that aid package was just delayed in the american senate by one senator who refused to allow it for a vote. it would seem there is all sorts of machinations going on now
Ukraine is a sovereign state and Russia promised in the Budapest Memorandum not to invade if its nuclear weapons were dismantled. Obviously Russia broke its promise and invaded a sovereign country. Russia has a pattern of invading (Georgia, Crimea, Donbass, etc) And why has it been doing this? It has not made a difference at all to the average Russian citizen whether these countries fall under Russia’s umbrella. Putin really fears Western influence in Russia if Ukraine becomes westernized. Who would want to live under a regime where any negative journalism is punished by death or saying the word “war” can be punished by 15 years in prison? Putin is absolutely responsible for every death in this conflict and creating greater enmity between Russians and Ukrainians, contributing to world hunger, and unleashing raping and babykilling soldiers on civilians. NATO is a defensive organization – and even if Ukraine had applied to be a member it would not have been accepted initially due to the same corruption and oligarchy issues plagueing Russia. And Russia is constantly bragging that it has the most nuclear missiles and that its missiles have the longest range etc. With that capacity why does it care who is on its border? Plain fear of western influence and also Putin’s desire to recapture Soviet era control over nations which are now independent. The West 100% blames Putin and he deserves the blame. A commenter above stated that nations should be free to choose their government – EXACTLY – and this applies to Ukraine – and shows the hypocrisy of the Russia foreign and military policy.
What is happening in Kharkhiv? What is happening on the Russian border itself? Are they pushing Russia to declare the open war against the West?
Please ignore everything but the Donbas. Mosquitoes attacking an elephant everywhere else.
Why is it that a jew (zelensky) is ordering the certain death of his military (most of whom are likely not Jewish) and why do the Nazi regiments who supposedly hate jews take orders from him. Is it because they are all goyim? Why does the death of men at their prime in Ukraine seem like a strategic initiative? Why are slavs killing slavs and at the behest of whom? This is a genocide all right but not by Russia’s or even Ukraine’s hand as their general staff did not support zelensky’s recent insane order to attempt to retake Snake Island and who lost valuable men and assets in the process. So who is behind this slaughter and why, and why is it never discussed as to me it is a critical part of this war agenda? Perhaps those who are behind this horror wish to breed the current generation of child-bearing women in Ukraine out to the west or elsewhere to genetically weaken the Slavic race. I wouldn’t put such a sick agenda past the actual agitators. Who are they and what is this really about, anyone care to guess?
My guess is that it is Klaus Schwab giving the orders.
I think so too. But check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v1pB8l6pQc
Removed. Stop spreading these MSM lies. Mod. Also, he has made a couple of very strong statements against the Russian oligarchs who’ve left Russia along the lines that they could remain in their villas and advised not to return to Russia unless they brought their money with them to invest in Russia. Also, even commentators who say they’re no fan of Putin opine that he means what he says. Time will tell. Both Schwab and Soros look like characters out of a horror movie.
Gonzalo Lira talked about this recently.
Zelensky has a net worth of around $800M. He has mansions in Italy and Florida, among other places.
But now he is a prisoner in Kiev. He has three factions he must serve. If he refuses they will kill him. They are the nationalist military brigades (i.e. nazis), who will be executed if Russia wins, the Ukrainian oligarchs who put him in power, and NATO (i.e. US).
Zelensky is just a pawn in the game now. He’d like nothing more than to escape with his fortune to a Caribbean island and forget about all of this stuff, but he can’t. He is an owned man and will do as he’s told.
“He is an owned man and will do as he’s told.”
Gratifying that these bought and paid for traitors are imprisoned in the world of their own making. Much like the US congress.
I understand that Zelensky was threatened with death should he negotiate peace with Russia. Those Nazis are a real threat to his existence. Maybe he would prefer they die and feed the narrative of glory and sacrifice.
I would simply call them the top 300 Oligarchs of the Planet, who have nothing more important to do than to turn the normal folks, whom they fondly refer to as “useless eaters”, into debt-slaves, and get rid of them via organized mass murder (genocide). Now they want to get it finished. Around 7 billion dead bodies.
Zelensky is in charge because he was selected by central casting (the Neocons) to play a role. That role is to deflect the world from the reality that the Ukrainian government is a fascist dominated organization. Right Sector is on record saying that they would assassinate him if he ever deviated from their demands.
I’ll buy this.
Zelensky got the part because he is Jewish.
Sort of like the conservative Republican Nixon being the one who initiates friendship with Communist China.
Inoculation against critics.
Like a vaccine (a real one).
Un artículo eterno que no explica que ha pasado en Kharkhov.
Google-translate from mod:
An eternal article that does not explain that it has passed in Kharkhov.
Let’s not expect the Russian general staff to inform us, and by this means, or by any other massive means, about their tactics and strategies, right? Among other things, because some of us, in social networks, could be the ears and eyes of the enemy… (and, also, deducing from some comments on these posts, some of the most denialists would question them anyway)
great article and read.
personally I trust the Russian mod for losses on both sides with a high degree of accuracy. they usually supply video evidence , and it is their modi operation to display truth in the face of exposing the empire of lies.
there is no doubt that Russia is winning this war. and winning it big time very soon.
everyday more 1st hand accounts exposing ukie nazi crimes comes out.
it’s only a matter of time before the entire front line collapses!
it will be glorious for the free world!
Agree that Russia is doing its best to tell the truth as a weapon against the empire of lies.
Also for this reason I would state Russian statistics are undercooked and only account for losses to Ukraine that can be confirmed.
The last death toll I saw from the Russian mod (at about day 30) was approx 1:15 in Russias favour. As the war gets worse for Ukraine this ratio will only be expanding.
Kanite se više Hrvatske, “Oluje”, samopravednosti i mitova.
DNR i LPR rade upravo ono što je Hrvatska radila – oslobađaju svoj povijesni teritorij od okupatora. Jasno?
Google-translate from mod:
More Croatia, “Storms”, Self -Prophet and Myths.
DNR and LPR do exactly what Croatia has done – they release their historic territory from the occupiers. Clear?
Wrong. Serbs were the inhabitants of that area for hundreds of years at least. Those regions were empty when Serbs settled them. Austria was encouraging Serbs to settle there and be a buffer zone against the Turks. And the Serbs there were fighting against the Croatian military. Croats went after the civilians and systematically murdered civilians who had no protection from their military. Even a U.S. diplomat referred to Croats as “our junkyard dogs” – this was in response to another diplomat learning of the carnage and atrocities the Croats were committing. The Croats continued killing the civilians there for months. UN reports document them finding several freshly decapitated bodies of mainly elderly Serb men well into October 1995.
Wrong. Serbs were the inhabitants of that area for hundreds of years at least. Those regions were empty when Serbs settled them. Austria was encouraging Serbs to settle there and be a buffer zone against the Turks. And the Serbs there were fighting against the Croatian military. Croats went after the civilians and systematically murdered civilians who had no protection from their military. Even a U.S. diplomat referred to Croats as “our junkyard dogs” – this was in response to another diplomat learning of the carnage and atrocities the Croats were committing. The Croats continued killing the civilians there for months. UN reports document them finding several freshly decapitated bodies of mainly elderly Serb men well into October 1995.
Hihi, I don’t know where to start but your Statement is so full of misleading information that is staggering:
„ Serbs were the inhabitants of that area for hundreds of years at least. Those regions were empty when Serbs settled them.“ —> wrong, there were always Croatians living there. During osman occupation Serbian refugees found shelter in these „Krajina“ region and formed a mixed population with Croatians.
„And the Serbs there were fighting against the Croatian military. Croats went after the civilians and systematically murdered civilians who had no protection from their military. Even a U.S. diplomat referred to Croats as “our junkyard dogs” —> again wrong, when in 1991 Croatia declared independence after the referendum they granted the Serbians full minority rights according to western standards. The Serbs there full of nationalistic mindset and „great Serbian“ dreams wanted to create an ethnically cleansed Serbian republic (they already printed their own money)
In 1995 intensive diplomatic initiatives were started from Croatian officials including a confederation offering to the Serbs there. They declined.
The rest is history with operation storm („oluja“), btw Ante Gotovina was the leading General there and he was released from all accusations for war crimes by The Hague.
Right now many Serbs came back to Knin area (Krajina) and they live peacefully with the Croats there.
Please let us stick to the facts here.
Sorry for that off-topic but I need to make this clear.
From the Moderator:
Everyone. Please get back on topic and take extra-topical discussion to the Moveable Feast Cafe or an Open Thread. Thank you.
“The Hague” or ICTY was a kangaroo court which was the idea of Madeleine Albright. It allowed perjury against Serbs while it deliberately blocked thousands of pieces o exculpatory evidence for Serbs. There are official Croatian documents and transcripts/records of Croats planning Operation Storm and the cleansing of ethnic Serbs. There are also signed Croatian military documents where Croats gave permission to their troops to rape Bosnian Serb women, as Croatian troops entered Bosnia and were rounding up and killing ethnic Serbs there before that war was said to officially start.
The Sijekovac massacre was where Croat troops (from Croatia) and Bosniaks murdered Serbs, including children in late March 1992. There is even a mass grave of 58 civilians and about 1/3 of them are children.
And if there were Croats in Krajina, then why was Austria inviting Serbs and not Croats to live there and be a part of the defense? If Croats were already living there in significant numbers then there would be no need to encourage Serbs to come and give them special support and rights and privileges to stay.
From what I understand the Serbs in the area had a special status and freedom.
Croatia committed the biggest ethnic cleansing in Europe since WW2 and massacred almost the entire Serb population in their country. From 1991-95 the ethnic Serb population decreased from 400,000 to 20,000. You can lie to yourself and pretend it didn’t happen but the evidence is there for everyone to see. To pretend that Croats “guaranteed the rights” of Serbs after their illegal declaration of independence is ridiculous. They were openly idolising the Ustache regime which massacred and ethnically cleansed Serbs during WW2 and they started the violence by killing and ethnically cleansing Serbs in the areas where they were a minority, and bragging about how they were going to “finish the job” they had started in WW2. In response to this the Serbs held their own referendum and declared indepence from Croatia, and then started ethnically cleansing the Croats in the areas where they were a minority. What’s good for the geese is good for the gander.
The problem with both Croatians and Ukrainians is that they love massacring other people but then whine and play the victim when the people they’re attacking actually fight back and defend themselves. The Croatians complain about the idea of “greater Serbia” but themselves declared independence in order to become part of “greater Europe” (the EU). Finally they could be accepted as “superior Westerners” to their “Eastern” Serb neighbours. The similarities between the Nato-puppet “neo-Nazis” in Croatia and Ukraine are striking. That’s why you see so many Croatians fighting on the pro-EU side there. They’re both Slavic wannabe “Europeans” who think that this makes them superior to their Orthodox “Eastern” neighbours and therefore they have the right to massacre them. The same reason they allied with the Nazis in WW2.
Like Ukraine’s current flag, which was used by Nazi collaborators during WW2, Croatia’s current flag was used by the Ustache. Germany created an “Independent State of Croatia” in order to weaken Yugoslavia, in the same way they created an “Independent State of Ukraine” to weaken the Soviet Union. The descendents of both these groups try to whitewash the crimes committed by them both in WW2 and in recent years, and pretend that they were just fighting against Communism or Serbian/Russian “aggression”. The burnt-out Serb villages are still dotted across the Croatian countryside as proof of the ethnic cleansing which according to Croatian apologists never took place.
Not a single Croat has been convicted of war crimes against the Serbs in the Hague because the whole purpose of the Hague Tribunal was to punish Serb leaders for opposing the will of America. They’re not going to punish the Croat leaders because they were their allies against the Serbs. The only Croat leaders who were convicted were the ones in Bosnia because they committed the mistake of massacring Muslims (who were also supported by the US) instead of Serbs like they were supposed to. They disobeyed their masters in Washington and so had to be punished. There is a tape recording of Franjo Tudjman openly admitting shortly before “Operation Storm” that the plan was to ethnically cleanse the entire Serb population from Croatia. Yet despite proof of this, none of the Croatian leaders have been convicted in the Hague (most have never even been arrested). Yet many Serb leaders have been convicted despite there being no proof that they ever gave orders to ethnically cleanse anyone or commit any war crimes.
This is because the Netherlands is a member of Nato and since WW2 has essentially been an American puppet state. The “trials” there were a farce which make Nuremberg look fair by comparison. Funny how the only people that get indicted for war crimes at the Hague are the ones who oppose the agenda of the US regime, isn’t it? (Milosevic, al-Bashir, Gaddafi etc.) When do Benjamin Netanyahu, Prince Bandar and Poroshenko get indicted? Not a single leader allied with America has ever been indicted. It’s a joke. That’s also why Croatian leaders haven’t been. They were allied with and supported by America which means they’ll never have to face justice for their crimes. At least not in this life. Hopefully Russia’s SMO in Ukraine will put an end to this hypocritical “justice” that America and its “allies” have enforced for the last 30 years.
And this is coming from an Irish Catholic who would naturally be sympathetic to the Croatians if they hadn’t acted in such a barbaric way, and still deny the truth about the crimes their people committed and instead try and blame the victims who they massacred. The only reason most people in Western Europe don’t have a negative opinion of Croatians is because most of them are completely ignorant of the crimes they committed both in WW2 and again in the 90s. The Anglo-Zionist propaganda machine went all-out demonising the Serbs while ignoring the much bigger crimes committed against the Serbs by other groups, similar to what’s happened in Ukraine over the last eight years. I fell for the propaganda myself at the time, it was only later when I started looking into it for myself on the internet that I found out the truth.
@Alieu: “And this is coming from an Irish Catholic who would naturally be sympathetic to the [Roman Catholic] Croatians if they hadn’t acted in such a barbaric way, and still deny the truth about the crimes their people committed”.
Amen to that, from a UK agnostic of Orthodox Catholic parentage. It’s called having a conscience.
Catholic (from the Greek, Katholos — to the whole world): one who preaches God’s truth to all sorts and conditions of men.
Clear? Actually not. Those occupiers you talking about lived on that land since middle age and there is a plenty of material evidences for that. The same thing is with Russian people in 404. In both cases countries (Cro, Ukr) acted to get rid of targeted population for racist reasons (plenty of evidences again). Also, it’s fantastic similarity of Croatia and 404 visible through the WW2 glasses.
In my humble opinion the whole Yugoslavia War, was also a long term attempt by the US and its Vassals to split up the State and get the Rest into their Influence. Maybe even a first try for Russia. The Propaganda was off the hook, brothers against brothers, everyone accusing the other side of being Nazis. Many mistakes were made, the Yugoslavian Central State should have agreed to more federalism and the single Parts like Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, should have be more patient. So many people died, just to see the same Parts now trying to get into the EU, a shame, and an example for Russia to not to follow. Where the West has its hands on, misery, death and poverty follow.
The War to Destroy Yugoslavia was certainly funded and managed by the war party in Washington. Washington was and remains terrified of a peaceful and stable Europe.
It a shame the Slovenes and Croats fell for the war party’s bait. The War to Destroy Yugoslavia set these regions back 50 years economically.
The War Party is using the same playbook in Ukraine.
Russia has reached the administrative borders of DPR and LPR, and is now entering the phase of control of historical borders.
Thank you Ljubisa. Yours was the best overall analysis of the situation I have read to date. It answered many questions and confirmed much that has been suggested. Also, thanks for the footnote. Damn good paper.
No problem Wayne, thank you for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.
Automatic translation sometimes doesn’t work so great.
I assume the writer is from Serbia according to his name.
He shouldn’t mix up these two conflicts since the history and roots of Yugoslavia wars in the 90s and this conflict are completely different.
Serbs, Croatians and bosnian Muslims should find a way to peacefully coexist without being instrumentalized by bigger powers like US , Russia, turkey etc.
And this also applies to Russian Ukrainians and non-Russian Ukrainians. They have forgive a lot to each other to find a peaceful way of living together.
I am talking here about ordinary people, not the Junta who should be all put to jail.
Thank you for that.
A believable summary.
You are welcome. Thanks for reading.
Good article! Cheers!
Thanks. All the best.
We understand the moves by Russian forces to withdraw from Kiev, but my question is what happened to the Chernobyl nuclear reactors or facility itself. Did they leave it fully to Ukraine or removed the nuclear reactors with them?
They withdrew away from Kiev, not from Norther ukraine.
Any word from Russian sources regarding the reports in Western media that Russia “lost an entire battalion” trying to cross Siverskyi Donets River?
It was ukraine who lost an entire regiment. They have been losing entire battalions all over.
Edward, I’m sorry but that’s not true. Russia did lose a battalion. .
Voenkor Kitten Z
Regarding the statements that the channel of the military commander Kotenok was hacked on the basis of what he writes about the losses in the area of the crossing over the Seversky Donets near Belogorovka. About the fact that there ours also have significant losses when forcing the river, I wrote 1-2 days ago. I don’t know to whom this came as a surprise. The fighting there is heavy, because the loss of Belogorovka means the imminent cutting of the Soledar-Lysichansk highway with all the ensuing consequences (a potential boiler is estimated at 8000-9000 people). Therefore, the enemy has seized on Belogorovka and is actively hammering artillery at our bridgehead and crossing to prevent us from gaining a foothold on this bank of the Donets and repeating what the Izyum grouping did in the Kamenka area.
The active use of artillery and MLRS by both sides causes serious losses of the parties. At the moment, the battles for Belogorovka continue. The enemy recognizes the deterioration of the situation. In the coming days, the intensity of the fighting in this direction will only increase.
The Russian troops tried to build the crossing itself three times (bridges A, B, C) from May 7 to 11, of course, in the same place. The classic Chernobaevka syndrome – the Ukrainians destroy the equipment of the RF Armed Forces, the Russian command brings in new equipment, then the cycle repeats. The lack of training of the Russian command, after 3 months of non-war, is frightening.
In total, the losses of the RF Armed Forces were confirmed from the photo:
– 6 tanks (No. 34, 41, 44, 46, 53, 54);
– 14 infantry fighting vehicles (No. 03, 07, 24, 25, 26, 31, 37, 39, 42, 52, 56, 58, 59, 62);
– 8 MT-LB (No. 20, 21, 22, 23, 33, 43, 55, 63);
– 2 boats (No. 35, 45);
– 1 BREM (No. 36);
– 1 PTS (No. 50);
– 4 special vehicles with pontoon links (No. 38, 47, 48, 49);
– 8 units of unknown vehicles (No. 08, 32, 40, 51, 57, 60, 61, 64).
The losses incurred by armored vehicles correspond to an almost complete armored personnel carrier, and it was not lost during the battle with superior enemy forces, as the Russian Defense Ministry likes to report, but solely because of the incompetence of the Russian command (my personal opinion).
Updated data on the losses of the RF Armed Forces at the crossing over the Seversky Donets near Belogorovka .
At the moment, after flying over the UAV crossing, 73 pieces of lost equipment of the RF Armed Forces were counted. Among them:
– BMP / BMD – 38 units;
– armored personnel carrier – 4 units;
– Tank T-72 – 6 units;
– Trucks – 3 units;
– MT-LB – 4 units;
– Boats – 2 units;
– Machines for the construction of pontoon crossings – 5 units;
– BREM – 1 unit;
– Other AFVs – 9 units.
According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, today was the 5th (!!!) attempt of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to build a pontoon crossing in the same place.
Voenkor Kitten Z
Updated data on losses of the RF Armed Forces at the crossing over the Seversky Donets near Belogorovka. At the moment, after flying over the UAV crossing, 73 pieces of lost equipment of the RF Armed Forces were counted. Among them: – BMP / BMD – 38 units; – armored personnel carrier – 4 units; – Tank T-72 – 6 units; …
Regarding my repost about the losses of our troops and the blows of the Ukronazis.
If you want fairy tales, then you have come to the wrong place. Then you are in officialdom and to those who speak and show “correctly.” There will be no dirt and blood.
It’s different for me. In time to get together, give the right assessment, speak good for the good, and bad for the bad, but the TRUTH.
And you want to sit in a warm bath and “fight”: cozy, soft and affectionate, wellcome to the TV eye. There you will find a lot of things for the delight of hearing, eyes and what else, to whom you like. If you want the truth, have the truth. He who has ears, let him hear, eyes, let him see.
War is such a thing, folks. Bloody. I am telling you not as a court commissar, but as a miraculous survivor of a direct missile hit. And I carry my pieces with me. Fight, and tell me for life.
And in war it happens that we suffer losses. Know this and … be silent if you have nothing to say in essence. Listen, and draw conclusions, if there is anything.
I seriously doubt this. Your sources seem to be buying into some of the more ‘believable’ Ukrainian/American disinformation.
Southfront has detailed pictures of these so called Russian losses on their site, (you’ll have to got here to yourself, links not allowed to them). These show these alleged 73 pieces of lost equipment. They too claim these to be Russian.
One thing appears obvious immediately. Contrary to their claims, most of these vehicles are not destroyed at all. In fact, the majority show little or no signs of damage. They appear to have been simply abandoned. Or maybe not even abandoned?
Secondly, not one of those 73 vehicles shows any sign of the tactical markings we always see on Russian and DPR/LPR vehicles (like the Z or V), even thought the pictures are clear and detailed enough to show them, if they were there in the first place. There are also some clear side views of (undamaged?) vehicles which again, lack all tactical signs.
Also, all of the equipment in evidence is of types that are also used by the Ukrainians. There are no vehicles I’ve been able to spot which are unique to the Russians. But, quite a few of the BMP’s in the photos appear to be BMP-1’s. That makes it considerably less likely to be Russian vehicles.
Finally, look at what is absent. There isn’t a single air defense vehicle is sight (note, these are also useful in intercepting many types of incoming artillery/rockets/missiles). Russian battalions have a lot of those. So, I’m to believe that the Russians somehow failed to deployed these along with the rest of those vehicles? At a river crossing site of all places? Which, according to the narrative, had been hit by artillery and rockets before? Seriously? Or am I to believe that all of those air defense vehicles somehow escaped destruction? Either is possible, in theory, but not very believable.
If i were to see these photos without any commentary about what I was supposed to be seeing, then I would have to conclude that based on what the photos themselves show, these are Ukrainian losses, not Russian.
There is additional, although circumstantial, evidence that these are not Russian.
First, all photos are zoomed in, making it almost impossible to pinpoint the location (based on the course of the river and other terrain features). The exact location would go a long way to prove whose vehicles these are. It would make sense for the Ukrainians to show zoomed out photos to prove their allegations, and through their US friends, they would have no trouble getting those pictures. And yet, they seem to be deliberately making it hard to pinpoint the exact location of these losses. That doesn’t add up.
What makes even less sense, is that we are only hearing about this now, well after it has happened, as the photos appear to be made days after these losses are incurred. You can tell because there is no fire in evidence. There’s smoke in only one location in one photo, and it’s not coming from a vehicle wreck, but appears to come from a smoke generator. Some vehicles have clearly burned out, which takes time. There doesn’t seem to be anyone around either, so all rescue and recovery operations seem to have been concluded. So some time has passed between the strikes and when these pictures were taken, likely at least one day.
The lack of recovery operations is odd too. If these are Russian losses, inflicted by Ukrainian artillery, and most vehicles appear to be intact, why are they not being recovered? You would expect to see at least some activity of that kind.
But the big one is this, if the Russians had indeed lost over a battalion worth of armored vehicles, it would be the single greatest battle victory for the Ukrainians of the entire war. So why are we only hearing about it days later, when these photos suddenly pop up? Why didn’t we hear about it when it actually happened? Why would the Ukrainians have kept quiet about it? If they were hitting the Russians like this, they must have known what they were doing. They’re in desperate need of victories (just look at their efforts at Snake Island), so why didn’t they announce this one?
Especially considering the timing! If true, this has to have happened around the 9th of may. Just consider the impact of such a Russian defeat around that date. Why didn’t the Ukrainians, or the Americans, show the world then, with clear proof, of what had happened, just after it had? That would have been a massive propaganda victory. Yet neither of them did. Which is also a kind of proof.
Instead, all we have are some weak Ukrainian claims, well after the fact, combined with photos of dubious provenance, which don’t appear to show what it is claimed they show (Russian losses). It all reeks of improvisation.
All in all, I find it extremely unlikely that these are Russian losses, and highly likely to be Ukrainian ones.
It was the other way round- the Ukrainian are the one who lost. The msm simply swapped Ukraine to Russia for their local consumption.
No, not true, please see my post above from Colonelcassad and Voenkor Kitten Z accounts, very reputable sources.
Then that’s way too big losses for the RF. Why didn’t the RF troops suppressed those once they got to know that they were being hammered. The Russians were hammered not once, but thrice in the same spot. What might have gone wrong?
@Russian bear, can you please provide the link to colonel cassad. I can’t believe this.
Would be good to have people’s reflections on this as the MSM is painting it as the best example of the weakness of Russia’s strategy or at least it seems clear the Ukrainian forces are not as depleted as depicted, unfortunately.
There is an excellent dissertation in video at Martyanov’s site about this and it appears that what happened is a pontoon bridge was shelled during a crossing, a couple of Russian tanks were hit and the Ukrainians are posting bull excrement about an entire battalion. There is clear video of tanks clearing blockages and other tanks taking up defensive formations to protect the bridgehead. Most of the ‘destroyed’ equipment is fully operational.
With our friend Russian Bear posting mainly about Russian losses while stating he supports Russia it’s perhaps time for a handle change from Russian Bear to Ukrainian Teddy. :-)
I have also heard this, however, there are some things which do not sit well with me, regarding this whole affair. Russian Bear points out the narrative as I have seen it represented both on Telegram and in the West, however Harry makes very good points as well. I have found an article in Russian which deals with it. My Russian is basic and those who speak it proficiently will probably have less problems in reading it. I used Google Translate to read it, but these are some of the points which caught my eye:
1. Like Harry noted, almost no tactical markings on vehicles. Article shows (i will link it down) maybe 3 vehicles where you can clearly see “O” on them.
2. Large ammount of vehicles present are BMP-1s which are used by both sides, though article claims Russians do not use the basic version anymore and that basic versions are in use by LPR and DPR.
3. No bodies of the dead soldiers
4. This is my observation, but why are not social networks full of on the site pictures and videos by Ukrainians (who have shown that tendency) showing dead Russians and destroyed RF equipment.
5. Author of the articles is able to recognize two clearly Russian and Ukrainian pieces of equipment, Russian being a Kamaz 8×8 truck while Ukrainian being a tracked ambulance vehicle made in Ukraine.
6. Author of the article also points out, a good point, that the video is a “captured moment in time” thus we have no idea what happened before and what happened afterwards.
His conclusion, which seems rather plausible to me, is that this site is actually a place of protracted combat which lasted for several days and where both sides lost men and vehicles.
As I have heard that combat north of Belgorovka is developing, it would seem Russians managed to cross the river after all. Still a lot of fog of war around this, more time is needed to see what happened.
I personally highly doubt that Russian command, as Cassad claims, repeated the exact attack three times while not deploying its own artillery which is being heavily used everywhere else in the region.
Thanks Ljubiša Malenica for your geopolitical military balance. Very pleasant to read.
No problem Omowale, glad you liked it.
Thank you for the work , good summary, good sources.
One of the lingering questions I have is with respect to the flag level(Generals, Colones, Majors, etc.) of the officer core of the Ukrainian army. Where they also radicalized with Nazi/Azov ideology also or do they have political/SBU operatives attached to them(to keep them in line)? The reason I ask is because clearly there is going to be a coup against Zelensky at some point, I don’t see NATO/West/Ukraine Officer corps letting him out of alive of this whole thing. Why the officer core hasn’t turned on him is a big question, the UAF is taking big losses in the east and it’s unsustainable at this point, most of these mid level officers are not going to get a VISA to the West with paid retirements, hence it would seem logical that more would be surrendering/switching sides but we have seen very little of it. I am sure this puzzles Russian intelligence also , the whole feint on Kiev looked more like a peace keeping force in case there was a coup and the Ukrainian army surrendered but it didn’t happen.
As for NATO/USA this is going to be a big loss, they clearly underestimated the willingness of the Russians to go to war and for Russian servicemen to actually fight as they are doing in the East. This is going to make other countries in Europe think twice even NATO members who have nowhere near the capability or the willingness to fight as Ukraine did in withstanding a Russian conventional attack. It can be argued that Ukraine was the biggest NATO army willing to fight at the ground level and right now they are being decimated in the east.
This is also bad news for the USA in the pacific as they are having a hard time convincing countries out there to go against China via the Ukraine Proxy model. This may be the unraveling of the US empire.
Interesting how well Putin has played this game, he hasn’t even used his most powerful weapon yet which is restricting gas deliveries to the EU on a mass level. It’s quite possible this is the next move after Ukraine combat operations end.
Good points! This is the real game for Russia. This is a theatrical affair played before the world. Can some force actually defy the Empire and not be destroyed? If Russia can with a tiny fraction of the money NATO/US can put out there? The US wants to make sure that the money talks so is tripling down on money sent to the Ukraine War. Even though about two-thirds of that money will go to various levels of organized crime (meaning Western and Ukrainian oligarchs and their minions) the money trickling down to Ukrainian military will be substantial and will make it hard if not impossible for Russia to take all of Ukraine or even foment a coup.
If that money does stop Russia then the countries sitting on the fence will continue to fear Washington. For a multi-polar set of international arrangements based on international law (not a “rule-based order”) Russia must be seen as out fighting and outsmarting the Empire or at least coming close to that. If Russia can take Odessa and destroy the Ukranian positions in the Donbass then that’s enough. The idea that Russia can “de-nazify” Ukraine is ludicrous it won’t and can’t happen unless Russia choses to use its entire military (which it won’t do). Controlling the Black Sea Coast is, in my view, the prize in the short term. A fascist rump Ukraine will be trouble for Russia but not so much. Meanwhile the entire world order is upended except for those territories now part of the Empire and subject to it.
Ljubiša Malenica, first rate summation of the SMO, thank you.
Thank you for the kind words.
The US’ business is business so the US only wants the cash here; the US armed forces and state dept. are there for worldwide fund raising only. Current US brinkmanship in UKR is only about keeping the EU hysterical/under pressure/fully subjugated/buying more US weapons, i.e., to keep the EU paying for ever more ruinously expensive US “protection” for generations to come. The 30-year 60-$billion UKR provocation of RUS and the UKR war are the US’ defining geo-existential triumph for this century and no idiocy from POL will be tolerated that may compromise the US’ big pillaging of the UE that’s just starting. The US chokehold on germany+EU just became stronger than ever, e.g., merkel refused the F-35 but now germany announced it will earmark ~10 billion for buying… F-35s. This, together with the sales of ultra-expensive US LNG to the UE, is just the beginning but the real action will be in the “lesser” countries. The US will now move on to force even more than before and if necessary manu militari, all non-eurasian producers of gas, oil, and raw materials to sell their stuff in dollars. To this end the USA will soon brutally subjugate the entirety of latin america and southern africa. For its part fascistic euro-supremacism, now more than ever in full and unopposed control of the EU, will prey for Lebensraum in the mediterranean and northern africa (with US permission). RUS&CN cannot (yet?) oppose the armies/navies of US&EU in either region. In other words the US is about to be flush with cash again.
US doesn’t care about ukraine. It is using it to make money to prop up its economy.
The US is a compulsive gambler, drunk at the casino and knows he’s in over his mortgage and the kids’ college fund. Can’t stop betting now because if he doesn’t win soon he’s ruined.
I think this is an excellent article, encapsulating the War in ukraine. I thank the author.
Thank you John. I am glad you liked the text.
This analysis is partly based on Ukie/NATO propaganda. The “Russian column, 60 kilometers long” is a proven falsehood.
There is no question that Russia’s military operation near Kiev was a feint.
There is no chance that Ukrainian troops have crossed over the border into Russia.
Southfront has been coopted by Western intelligence.
I will bet that there are a lot lees than 2,000 Azov and foreign fighters in Azovstal, probably under 500.
Well, no one can say I’m a Putin man now :D I used almost exclusively western sources, and still the picture is nowhere near the MSM narrative. Regarding the column, maybe it was not 60km long, maybe it was 6, maybe more or less, but the significant grouping of Russian forces was there and Kiev could do nothing about it, as far as I could see. That was my point.
Thank you very much, Ljubisa – excellent piece of work – very comprehensive.
Sure thing Chris. All the best.
So, the conclusion is not war to the last Ukrainian but war to the last European?
This is the part I have been waiting for. The entertainment level just went box office.
The first American M777A2 howitzer given to Ukraine is in the hands of the Donbass militia.
A few photos of GI Rambo getting violated by a shell from one of these, I might pay for the premium service.
One thing I will say about both Russian and American militaries, they both have been fairly honest reporting their casualties, historically speaking. Of course this doesn’t always hold for Special Ops and covert actions, but those operations only make up a small percentage of overall military actions.
“American militaries…. have been fairly honest reporting their casualties”
I beg to differ. In the second illegal Iraq invasion (not sure about the first), deaths were counted only if the war criminal died on the ground. Once airlifted to a field hospital in Iraq, Germany or USA the deaths were not counted.
Mercenaries (Blackwater scum etc) weren’t counted either. Nor were the South Americans that were enlisted with the promise of a Green Card.
Official deaths are about 5 thousand. Many think it’s more like 50,000 from using official records that aren’t published.
Of course this is insignificant compared to Iraqi military & civilian deaths from both illegal invasions, sanctions and occupation, which would be well over two million.
The (Removed for language,MOD) admitted to half a million children dead from illegal sanctions.
I’d love to see those “unofficial” records.
USA and Russia count casualties in basically the same way. Mercenaries aren’t counted. As a vet from a military family this is an issue I have some familiarity with. If a family member dies of battlefield injuries or accidents a month after they were sustained, the family still gets their 100,000$ and the death is recorded as a war casualty.
Suicides from PTSD aren’t recorded and there is a big gray area for deaths that are the result of lingering issues. Heart attacks are common amongst amputees many years after the fact, but rarely get counted as a war casualty. There are many similar issues with Agent Orange or depleted uranium related cancers.
Who cares how the war criminals die or when they die. As long as the scumbags end up in body bags.
The most stunning developments center on energy.
First, Ukraine unilaterally shut down one of the RF pipelines feeding Europe. The strategy behind this move is unclear to say the least. It looks like a desperate attempt by Ukraine to get NATO actively involved. But the reality is that is Ukraine played a Russian card by reducing the supply of gas to Europe. And for the Nth time Ukraine has literally shot itself in the foot as transit revenue is lost as well as the gas they steal in transit. Doh!
Second, Russia is shutting down the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which feeds Germany through through Poland. As a result Germany is in deep s#!t and Poland will lose transit revenue and whatever gas they steal in transit. This is the first weaponization of energy by Russia and it literally hits two birds with one stone.
With no small help from Ukraine, Russia is turning up the pain dial on Europe and especially Germany. Meanwhile there are a dozen new applications to buy gas in Rubles, in addition to the 10 already being served.
I’m not going to guess RF strategy but it seems to me that the dissolution of NATO and the EU is the best way to achieve security in Europe, as well as being the best way to kick the US in the balls (not an objective necessarily but certainly a welcome side effect).
dont forget finland gets its gas turned off next week by RF if it goes ahead with nato application. nevermind finland says we will build a floating dock with estonia in a few years and buy gas from somewhere. lol. ok i guess they are used to ice baths and no industry
The Finns will need to get their grandfather’s axes out of the shed and start chopping, it’s gunna be cold soon.
@Black Cloud: ” Russia is shutting down the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which feeds Germany through through Poland. ”
This will be a double whammy because the YE pipeline is capable of reverse flow. I believe Poland was hoping to save face and not handle filthy Russian money by purchasing “German gas” (at premium europrice plus a “handling fee”) back from Germany by reverse flow through YE, after Poland had piped same gas from Russia to Germany who buy it cheap priced in ruble).
How many EUssians does it take to open a gas tap?
Let’s not forget, there is a gas line which could ease the German pain, finished, brand new, just waiting there north of Berlin :D
Outstanding article and documented sources! Thank you so much!
No problem History Lass, glad you liked it.
Super Dobro, Ljubiša Malenica! Hvala!
Nema na čemu. Svako dobro.
Different objectives = different needs
RF objective is to destroy the military threat.
Ukrainian regime objective is to stay in power.
Russia has all the material capabilities to accomplish its objective. It needs the support of it’s people to take on the difficult task. They needed to convince their people the need to do it and it looks like they accomplished that
Ukrainian regime’s goal is to stay in power. Anything less than that is a loss to both the regime and the West. It thought it had the materials to accomplish that, but much of it has been destroyed. Support of it’s people doesn’t matter without material support from the West. The West is in the driver’s seat since they are footing the bill. And the west doesn’t give a crap about some lowly Ukrainian civilian thinks about things because they installed this puppet regime to do their bidding no matter what anyways.
Russia only needs its own people for support. Truth, even if uncomfortable sometimes, earns trust and support.
Ukrainian regime is, and has always been, a regime based on lies and deception. “Truth is the first casualty in war”, is a lie in itself. Reality on the ground is inescapable.
While deception is core to warfare, the outcome of the war is always based on reality.
Reality can be judged by the sum of actions and results.
The reality on the ground is that Russian troops have yet to lose any substantial ground anywhere in Ukraine and slowly grind advances on multiple strategic fronts.
Ukrainian regime has not gained any significant victory on any strategic front since the start of this. Only a few short lived PR wins which did nothing to change the outlook of the war.
What I’ve learned so far is that Russian lives matter and Ukrainian lives don’t.
West is more eager to kill Russians than to save Ukrainians. Soon, I think Russian lives will reach the same “exceptional” status as American lives. Proof of that is based on what exorbitant amounts of money the West is willing to spend to kill them.
.. They needed to convince their people the need to do it and it looks like they accomplished that..”.. easily done, with the mass distribution of the Azovs own vids of them torturing and murdering Russ. POWs.
Russians reached Krivoy Rog?
Vladimir Rogov – a member of the Main Council of the Civil-Military Administration of the Zaporozhye region posted a photo to his Telegram channel. The photo shows him standing next to a sign saying “Криви́й Ріг” (Kryvyi Rih). Such signs are placed on the roadside at the administrative border of towns and cities in Ukraine.
Krivoy Rog is a mining town with huge open pit iron mines. The town spans over 60 km from southwest to northeast along an ore deposit. The southernmost part is 20 km north from where the British claim Russian forces are.
The photo is fresh, as it shows Vladimir Rogov wearing a jacket with a Z sign. Most likely taken after sunset tonight. I cannot find the exact location, as neither Google or Yandex have street view coverage for the outskirts of Krivoy Rog.
Looks like the photo is a joke. A comment on Telegram:
Krivoy Rog (Ukr. Kriviy Rig) is a village in the Novotroitsky district of the Kherson region of Ukraine.
Ukraine doesn’t have enough energy to continue production of their assets. Plus production would be too costly at the current level diesel prices to mine iron ores (gold production’s another matter ). Starving Ukraine of these income sources would be part of Russia’s strategy one would assume. Investment in such resources at a later date will create income streams for the new republics making them self sufficient.
Much like how China enjoy the huge advantage of a highly skilled but relatively cheap labour force over US & EU (the reason industrialists in these entities transferred their factories brick by brick ), Russia’s overwhelming advantage in terms of cost of production is its huge energy resources.
The Big 4 of the wicked West (US-Germany-France, UK ) are usurped on every metric by the Big 4 of the East (China, India, Russia, Iran ). Only Mr $$$$$$$$$$$ hegemony has kept a semblance/illusion of power of the former. In poker terms America has gone all in with a big bluff , Russia has called their bluff and re=raised, the US can’t call; no one will fill their Central Bank safes with any more monopoly money; US debt will never be repaid.
Iran, China, India and Russia are investing heavily among one another (+ Allies) in infrastructural projects (Caspian, Iran/Qatar shared huge gas condensate field South/North Pars, Power of Siberia 2; Nuclear Power Stations in India; Missile Defence Systems; Agriculture, Minerals . . . . . . ). Many other countries in South America and Africa have various projects underway and pending with the new Big 4.
Hence the belligerence, angst and butt-hurt we are witnessing.
Kryvyi Rih Has been the target of numerous RF feints over the entire war. Kiev has a amoured brigade HQ there. It’s my estimate that RF is keeping the Kiev amour brigade tied in place by the feints.
One thing occurred to me, regarding the ‘advance to Kiev/fixing operation.
I think it also gave Kiev the idea that what they needed badly was anti-tank missiles/Javelins. Only now do they realize, WEEKS LATER, that this is an artillery war!
Globohomo Satanists of the City of London, Paris, Washington D.C., Wall Street, Rome, Jerusalem, have nothing better to do than organizing genocidal wars and terror, in which the other religions and races exterminate each other and not them.
Little by little the truth is seeping out to the West:
“I take full responsibility for what I say. While in Ukraine, I witnessed war crimes. All of them were committed by the Ukrainian army. But in France we don’t talk about it!” – Adrien Boke.
Here, the demobilized French soldier, the author of the book “Get up and go thanks to science”, went to Ukraine on a humanitarian mission and spent three weeks there. Upon his return, he made a difficult decision that could cost him his life or at least create many problems: he decided to convey to the French information about the crimes he had witnessed in Ukraine.
Here are quotes from his interview:
When I returned to France from Ukraine, I was shocked: TV channels invite as experts people who have not been to Ukraine and do not know anything about what is happening there now. However, they dare to speculate about these events. Between what I hear from the TV screen and what I saw with my own eyes is an abyss.
Azov fighters are everywhere. With neo-Nazi stripes. It shocks me that Europe is supplying weapons to neo-Nazis. On their uniforms, SS symbols are embroidered everywhere. Not only do they not hide their views. They advertise them. I worked with these people and treated them. They openly say that they are ready to destroy blacks and Jews.
Being there, there was nothing I could do. Just watch and make videos. I have this footage and will use it as evidence of Ukraine’s crimes.
I witnessed how the Ukrainian military shot through the knees of captured Russian soldiers and shot in the head higher-ranking officers.
I have personally seen American cameramen making fake footage from the scene of the events, staging staging.
All destroyed civilian buildings, given out by Ukraine for bombardment of civilians, are nothing more than the result of inaccurate shooting by Ukrainians at military facilities.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine hide ammunition in residential buildings at night, without even informing the residents. This is called using people as a shield.
Butch is a staging. The bodies of the dead were moved from other places and deliberately placed in such a way as to produce a shocking footage.”
Full version of the interview
https://youtu.be/ZoKnhXnp-Zk (in French only)
As being french myself (I assume you are too?) and knowing Sud Radio and our medias, I can say with certitude something this big this would never surface without a green light from our government. In a recent phone call between Macron and Putin, the latter mentioned his displeasure at the fact the western medias were purposefully ignoring Ukrainian atrocities. I bet they came with a deal where Russia doesn’t insist too much on french NATO officers training Ukrainian neo-nazis, and in exchange french press is allowed to disclose some of the Ukrainian unsavory practices. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a flow of leaks showing the true colors of the Ukrainian government in the coming weeks. Anyway it’s obvious Macron want that war to end as soon as possible; France has a lot of corporations working in Russia, and a prolongation of that conflict would be disastrous for them.
I don’t follow the mainstream US news anymore. They lie about so much stuff so routinely that it is too easy to be fooled by not noticing the latest fabrication. Not that I trust the Russian version automatically. People who lie with numbers often do it by the same amount. Just casually looking at the data, the Ukraine number seems to be ten times. By that criteria, if they claim 20,000 to 30,000 Russian dead, the real number is probably 2,000 to 3,000 dead soldiers. As the Russians are now being more careful, probably on a day by day basis the early period was worst.
Given the amount of equipment that is going into the Ukraine, I would imagine the problem they are going to have is with troop numbers. If Russia starts looking like success is a done deal, I doubt these lower priority troops will stay with it. They could well remain a hazard, but I find it hard to imagine that a large part of the population actually wants to take an undue risk in a military operation.
Russian forces may be abandoning efforts at a wide encirclement of Ukrainian troops along the Izyum-Slovyansk-Debaltseve line in favor of shallower encirclements of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. Russian forces likely control almost all of Rubizhne as of May 12 and have likely seized the town of Voevodivka, north of Severdonetsk. They will likely launch a ground offensive on or around Severodonetsk in the coming days. The relative success of Russian operations in this area combined with their failure to advance from Izyum and the notable decline in the energy of that attempted advance suggest that they may be giving up on the Izyum axis. Reports that Russian forces in Popasna are advancing north, toward Severodonetsk-Lysychansk, rather than east toward the Slovyansk-Debaltseve highway, support this hypothesis.
Travis, thanks for sharing and naming specific places so that one can follow your argument on a map:
Has anyone ever considered that maybe Russi, China and any of their close allies have actually engeneered all of this in an attempt to throw off the yoke of US/EU hegemony and have them fight amongst themselves and prepare the world for the new and upcoming multi global system? That Russia sacrificed $300B to justify her response and to embarrass the US/EU with their thievery?
The current global events strongly suggests this.
There is no evidence to support Russia and China engineering this.
There is enormous evidence as already set out in blog to support US UK engineering this.with EU and middle East vassals.
That said. Russia and China cannot be surprised at Western behaviour and have hopefully prepared enough.
Don’t know about the other stuff, but really our M113 APC’s (Armored Personnel Carriers) should be scrapped. A armor piercing round from a 30 caliber gun (308 or 30-06) will go into the thing with a flat on shot at close range, as will the standard 50 caliber ball round. I would imagine at most any distance for the 50. (At least that is the rumor mill stuff.) They run a more or less standard auto V8. Israel used them briefly and then went back to a light duty truck. I suppose NATO still uses them because they don’t think there is much chance they will be in a war, and you know, they look real military.
Wow! Absolutely super analysis, leaving “no stone unturned”. Thank you so much for this commendably studious effort, Ljubiša.
You are welcome JMF. Kind regards.
Stop with the kabuki theater. Take down the ukie power grid. No modern society functions without light, internet, commerce, transportation. No modern society functions in the dark. Get serious or bend over for the globohomos.
The old saw is that war is politics by other means, and the only thing I can figure is that Putin is playing this out for some kind of political gain. Although what the gain is, is obscure to me. Given the way Russia gets slandered anyway, what is the gain? Maybe for the home audience it plays out better: it is a political necessity? Wars do get more nasty, perhaps he doesn’t want to get ahead of the others for political reasons? I don’t know, hammer the crap out of the northwest and only annex the southeast? Trying to be nice in war often doesn’t turn out well, it puts you at cross purposes.
@NSA: ” Take down the ukie power grid.”
It was when NATO started to “take down the Serbian power grid” that I woke up and started to ask why the EU was dropping more bombs on Belgrade than the Nazi Luftwaffe had. Slowly, reluctantly, I began to realize that NATO is now NATZO.
By the way, is your moniker NSA or U$A? Because what you say sounds like “$hock and Awe” (bomb them back into the stone age) or “Bake and $hake” (drop white phosphorus then shell those who emerge with burning lungs gasping for air”.
“We bombed Korea until there was nothing left to bomb, but that wasn’t enough because of the Chinese. I would have won the war in 10 days by dropping an atomic bomb on every major city in China” — U$ General MacArthur.
You do realise taking down grids etc will affect power in East Ukraine and South?
Russia has a huge electrical job to do to connect power supply through Russia to these area. It’s not going to happen in one day.
This is not America UK bomb to death everything and go. This is a real liberation with the intention to give people a reasonable life.
Also lights are information as any pilot will know.
Incredibly detailed analysis and great article.
Would be interesting to get opinions from experts about the likelihood of timelines for RF troops to descend upon Kiev. A while back Kadyrov did mention a willingness to do this.
After Ukraine, the Nazis in the Baltics deserve to get the same treatment.
It is a shame that Poland’s elite declare their preference for Nazi regimes given they would have been wiped clean off the face of the earth if not for the resistance of the Red Army. Ditto for Banderastan once the useful idiots no longer served their purpose for the Nazi cause.
Note too how the Polish fascist government ignores the more than 100000 Poles slaughtered by the Ukrainians Nazis often in the most brutal way e.g bashing in the heads of children with axes. But when in posting an article yesterday on the demented ravings of the Polish PM RT said ” the German leader Hitler and the. Russian dictator Stalin” one can readily discern the failings of Russian propaganda.
You are israel now completely controls Germany. They need to now fight russia using Germany. So now all of a sudden Putin is worse than Hitler. You can see how sharp the zios are at turning propaganda. And now all of a sudden Russia is worse. You can really see through the lies. It is disgusting.
Thanx for the summary!
What I feel is deep sorrow and sadness for this lost generation of ukranians. Yes I know, they are far from being harmless, yet, can’t help from wincing before the full impact becomes a reality. I truly HATE these modern syrens whispering their lies into our collectives.
About those western made portables: it does present ANYONE a wonderful method for plausible denial when used against targets in the west air or ground – especially with all these ukies running around headless for the next few years.
I expect for both political and the economical “order” in the west to unravel to chaotic proportions, including totalitarian measures by the state.
Travel and transport to become restricted to cold war proportions even within nato states as necessity. All you need is a few terr-acts and the borders are back up everywhere.
so yeah: life as we knew it is ovah, get to redesigning yours while you have time/resources.
One more thing: the notion, that ukr has placed it`s best troops in the Donbass theatre does not make sense.
They knew, nato knew, that Russia will respond – or take the initiative. Also knew, that the locals are firmly anti-ukr.
Thus Novorussia lost to the nato/ukr cause is a foregone conclusion. It has been set up as a forward op-center, dug in, mapped, mined and calibrated, cashe-d for a blood letting. Which it is.
Since this war is much larger, than the territorial dispute over Novorussia, Crimea – by design, I expect them to use this theatre as one of the meat-grinders, one of their de-population machines. The de-ukranisation of the south of ukraine(khazaria) so to speak – destroyed and de-constructed, ready and fertile for new investment(at fire-sale prices), and a new population.
I would hold back the best of my military, security for the defense of the admin centres, the heart-land…and use them as the war dictates.
..They knew, nato knew, that Russia will respond – or take the initiative. Also knew, that the locals are firmly anti-ukr…”.. NO they didn’t know, they were all prepped to attack Donbass and Crimea on Mar 4, were fast forward. with massive shelling the night before Russ. invaded.. You were a Col. in which Regiment?
Judging by the Russian manuevers and the ultimatum presented by them before the the opening of festivities…
WHEN was – do You think – the decision made by the combined nato/uk headquarters to move on Donbass?
I ask you, because it is my belief, that within 24 hours of the go-ahead, the Russians knew about it. The escalation of shelling was just a confirmation – IMO.
Thus here we are.
Armchair headquarters of the 3rd Lazyboy division 69th Thinkpad brigade 666th Better Late Then Never batallion.
Lets go Brandon troop, hold my beer platoon…😎
A very good expose of the violent Ukrainian political culture.An object lesson of what happens when you don’t do everything needed to stop a problem. Will Russia today learn from the past and fully solve the problem today.Only time will tell us.But one thing that history shows clearly.If they don’t they will come to regret not doing so:
How a century of political violence in Ukraine is linked to the atrocities of today
Since today, in Romania, it is impossible to connect to thesaker.is without using a VPN.
Sakr flying well here in South Siam
On default android browser on samsung smart phone it is still visible
With regards to the U.S/Western Media.
I have been shocked by the level of deception and outright lies when compared to first hand information on Telegram channels. If they are lying to this level about this Ukraine scenario to a degree of 90%+ imagine what else they lie about.
Phase 2 of demilitarization is now in full swing – my estimate expected elimination of the (almost) cauldron will likely take until mid-July. Note – NATO is very likely going to try some reliving attacks from the west.
Unlikely Phase 3 of demilitarization begins before mid-August. My guess is phase 3 will be towards isolating Odessa and connecting with RF areas of Moldau.
That takes us until Winter.
Next Spring – NATO counterattack on massive scale.
Dmitry Medvedev (former, president, former prime minister, present president of the ruling party Jedyna Russia)
FRIDAY THE 13TH
What will happen next, or the World after anti-Russian sanctions (not a forecast at all)
1. A number of global supply chains of goods will collapse, a major logistical crisis is possible, including the collapse of the activities of foreign airlines that are prohibited from flying over Russian territory.
2. The energy crisis will intensify in those states that have imposed “shooting in their own feet” sanctions on the supply of Russian energy carriers, further growth in fossil fuel prices will continue, and the development of the digital economy in the world will slow down.
3. A full-fledged international food crisis will come with the prospect of starvation in individual states.
4. A monetary and financial crisis is possible in some countries or communities of countries, associated with the undermining of the stability of a number of national currencies, galloping inflation and the destruction of the legal system for protecting private property.
5. New regional military conflicts will arise in those places where the situation has not been peacefully resolved for many years or the significant interests of major international players are ignored.
6. Terrorists are becoming more active, believing that the attention of Western authorities today is diverted to a showdown with Russia.
7. New epidemics will begin, caused by the rejection of honest international cooperation in the sanitary and epidemiological sphere or by direct facts of the use of biological weapons.
8. There will be a decline in the activities of international institutions that have not been able to prove their effectiveness in the course of settling the situation in Ukraine, such as, for example, the Council of Europe.
9. New international alliances of countries based on pragmatic rather than ideological Anglo-Saxon criteria will be formed.
10. As a result, a new security architecture will be created, in which de facto, and then de jure, the existing realities are recognized:
a) the weakness of Westernized concepts of international relations such as “Order based on rules” and other senseless Western junk;
b) the collapse of the idea of an American-centric world;
c) the presence of interests respected by the world community in those countries that are in an acute stage of conflict with the Western world.
This all sounds like a wet dream for the multi-polarists at the WEF and their functionaries in Russia and elsewhere – Atlanticists – who are chomping at the bit to Build Back Better, but not before much destruction, as we’ve begun to witness…
Another good article for today.
We’ll all see how this special operation will end. It is some kind of distraction only.
In the meantime we – the western people – get killed by vaccines, new type of genetic unhelthful food supply is setup, banks change to new online identification apps for control, energy pricing gets exorbitant and gasoline may soon be prohibited, land and houses are bought by blackrock and vanguard above price level. The finance goes into matter because the money is of no more worth and due to inflate by 400%. And they are massively short right now on everything – the big bluff!
You guys, the war is against us! It continues as we talk about Russia and Ucraine.
The real war we are blind to see is the take away of our belongings and life style.
An outstanding article; objective, detailed & carefully referenced.
I’m new to The Saker and it’s an education, both the article(s) and comments.
Thanks to the Author & Contributors!
Thank to Ljubiša Malenica for this very important article!
Bayraktar drones did perform well in the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but in Ukraine they can target only poorly protected convoys. Russia’s air defense can protect in the battlefield it’s troops from Bayraktar, shows Brian Berletic in this excellent video:
Thank you for the complements Mikkado.
Two months on – doing well – cleaning out the dross.
The new Ukraine will be great place to be i think.
I doubt Russia will add more troops or push forward significantly until the ground dries up in summer. From a outside view it looks like there plan is:-
– support L&D forces (50,000 men ish)
– hold what is taken
– advance without taking significant casualties, use strikes
– assess and wait until conditions are right to move forward
There are now new realities on the ground
– NATO troops coming as mercenaries, trainers or boots
– higher tech weapons systems operated by NATO in Ukraine
– Transnistria conflict potential
– Georgia border conflict potential
– US removal of sanctions in South Syria(to steal wheat etc) and increase in attacks by US and Israel in Syria
– Russia can produce weapons but this takes time, they need to seriously stock up
– Russian government needs to think very carefully about how and when to move give what they are facing, basically, war with West economic and military
There is no point advancing fast and retreating equally fast.
The West will let Russia take the East.
They will fight over the South.
And then ofcourse, what to do with the West.
Note the West does not want to win this war. They want to degrade Russia economically and politically and militarily. So they want a long conflict.
That way they can steal Ukrainian resources, Syrian resources without people noticing. This war is s great distraction for the evil they do elsewhere.
Also they can try to get former Soviet republics on the East fully under their control.
Make no mistake. They are working on all sides of Russia and China.
So for them. The longer this war goes on the better.
For Russia. The picture is more complex. They did not want this situation.
Alot will depend on China.
China has to enter informally this war and hold its support of Russia.
India I think will always support Russia due to their friendship.
Much is going on.
The US/ Davos psychopaths had this all planned out. More evil than we can dream of is coming. We need to understand what they want.
America is the new Nazi Germany. Not the people. The government. So expect a savagery and cruelty on a scale we are not used to. Another tyrant rises to take over the world
Since May 9th Russia is rather silent on the war’s progress. Southfront Is telling Kiev arounf Kharkov have pushed back the russians, it says also that Ukrain is attacking the north-west side of the russian penetration around Izum. According to that,means that the backbone of the ukrainian army is not broken. Since May 9 the news are not in favor of Russia. Ukraine with US intelligence seems to have better knowledge of russian troops than Russia has of ukrainian troops. Ukraine is still able to bring to the front new weapons and Kiev is able to received every important visitor withour problem. Russia has not been able to destroy ukrainian communications systems and necessary ressource for Ukraine to keep their army aggressing Russia.Dombass has not fall yet.
Bayraktar drones did perform well in the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but in Ukraine they can target only poorly protected convoys. Russia’s air defense can protect in the battlefield it’s troops from Bayraktar, shows Brian Berletic in this excellent video:
A very scary situation for Europe’s ongoing economy and hence internal and external security – think “refugees” entering en mass from starving Middle East & African populations, armed with weapons donated by the West to Ukraine which ended up disappearing via the black market.
Seeing the difficulties Russia is experiencing with Ukraine, it is obvious that should NATO enters war, Russia would have to use nuclear weapons to compensate its weakness. Russia is no more able to mobilize millions of people to fight a conventional war against NATO.
So, you drank the Kool Aid
Best article so far. Bravo!
Thank you Gab, all the best.
I have a question. We’ve all seen that Mariupol has been pretty much flattened. But how much of that destruction happened before Russian forces arrived? To my eye, a lot of what’s visible in photographs looks like old damage, with the effects of weathering and rain to wash away the dust from explosions, and some of the destroyed residential blocks give an impression of having been empty before they burned (no burned-out cars in the area, implying the people had already left.). But I’d like to know for sure. Thank you.
One can ferret out the rats hiding in the underground tunnel network below the Azovstal steel plant by slowly (over a day or two) flooding it with sea water – in abundance all around the plant. They will have no option but to come out. That will absolutely end the siege of the plant. The water will gradually get into every nook and crevice of the tunnel network. Nobody’ll want to die like that when they have an option to get out.
It will bring the matter to a close immediately saving everybody’s life on both sides.