November 25th – Utter nonsense in Ukraine

November 25, 2022

The thin red line: NATO can’t afford to lose Kabul and Kiev

October 13, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Let’s start with Pipelineistan. Nearly seven years ago, I showed how Syria was the ultimate Pipelineistan war.

Damascus had rejected the – American – plan for a Qatar-Turkey gas pipeline, to the benefit of Iran-Iraq-Syria (for which a memorandum of understanding was signed).

What followed was a vicious, concerted “Assad must go” campaign: proxy war as the road to regime change. The toxic dial went exponentially up with the instrumentalization of ISIS – yet another chapter of the war of terror (italics mine). Russia blocked ISIS, thus preventing regime change in Damascus. The Empire of Chaos-favored pipeline bit the dust.

Now the Empire finally exacted payback, blowing up existing pipelines – Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Steam 2 (NS2) – carrying or about to carry Russian gas to a key imperial economic competitor: the EU.

We all know by now that Line B of NS2 has not been bombed, or even punctured, and it’s ready to go. Repairing the other three – punctured – lines would not be a problem: a matter of two months, according to naval engineers. Steel on the Nord Streams is thicker than on modern ships. Gazprom has offered to repair them – as long as Europeans behave like grown-ups and accept strict security conditions.

We all know that’s not going to happen. None of the above is discussed across NATOsan media. That means that Plan A by the usual suspects remains in place: creating a contrived natural gas shortage, leading to the de-industrialization of Europe, all part of the Great Reset, rebranded “The Great Narrative”.

Meanwhile, the EU Muppet Show is discussing the ninth sanction package against Russia. Sweden refuses to share with Russia the results of the dodgy intra-NATO “investigation” of itself on who blew up the Nord Streams.

At Russian Energy Week, President Putin summarized the stark facts.

Europe blames Russia for the reliability of its energy supplies even though it was receiving the entire volume it bought under fixed contracts.

The “orchestrators of the Nord Stream terrorist attacks are those who profit from them”.

Repairing Nord Stream strings “would only make sense in the event of continued operation and security”.

Buying gas on the spot market will cause a €300 billion loss for Europe.

The rise in energy prices is not due to the Special Military Operation (SMO), but to the West’s own policies.

Yet the Dead Can Dance show must go on. As the EU forbids itself to buy Russian energy, the Brussels Eurocracy skyrockets their debt to the financial casino. The imperial masters laugh all the way to the bank with this form of collectivism – as they continue to profit from using financial markets to pillage and plunder whole nations.

Which bring us to the clincher: the Straussian/neo-con psychos controlling Washington’s foreign policy eventually might – and the operative word is “might” – stop weaponizing Kiev and start negotiations with Moscow only after their main industrial competitors in Europe go bankrupt.

But even that would not be enough – because one of NATO’s key “invisible” mandates is to capitalize, whatever means necessary, on food resources across the Pontic-Caspian steppe: we’re talking about 1 million km2 of food production from Bulgaria all the way to Russia.

Judo in Kharkov

The SMO has swiftly transitioned into a “soft” CTO (Counter-Terrorist Operation) even without an official announcement. The no-nonsense approach of the new overall commander with full carte blanche from the Kremlin, General Surovikin, a.k.a. “Armageddon”, speaks for itself.

There are absolutely no indicators whatsoever pointing to a Russian defeat anywhere along the over 1,000 km-long frontline. The spun-to-death withdrawal from Kharkov may have been a masterstroke: the first stage of a judo move that, cloaked in legality, fully developed after the terrorist bombing of Krymskiy Most – the Crimea Bridge.

Let’s look at the retreat from Kharkov as a trap – as in Moscow graphically demonstrating “weakness”. That led the Kiev forces – actually their NATO handlers – to gloat about Russia “fleeing”, abandon all caution, and go for broke, even embarking on a terror spiral, from the assassination of Darya Dugina to the attempted destruction of Krymskiy Most.

In terms of Global South public opinion, it’s already established that General Armageddon’s Daily Morning Missile Show is a legal (italics mine) response to a terrorist state. Putin may have sacrificed, for a while, a piece on the chessboard – Kharkov: after all, the SMO mandate is not to hold terrain, but to demilitarize Ukraine.

Moscow even won post-Kharkov: all the Ukrainian military equipment accumulated in the area was thrown into offensives, just for the Russian Army to merrily engage in non-stop target practice.

And then there’s the real clincher: Kharkov set in motion a series of moves that allowed Putin to eventually go for checkmate, via the missile-heavy “soft” CTO, reducing the collective West to a bunch of headless chickens.

In parallel, the usual suspects continue to relentlessly spin their new nuclear “narrative”. Foreign Minister Lavrov has been forced to repeat ad nauseam that according to Russian nuclear doctrine, a strike may only happen in response to an attack “which endangers the entire existence of the Russian Federation.”

The aim of the D.C. psycho killers – in their wild wet dreams – is to provoke Moscow into using tactical nuclear weapons in the battlefield. That was another vector in rushing the timing of the Crimea Bridge terror attack: after all British intel plans had been swirling for months. That all came to nought.

The hysterical Straussian/neocon propaganda machine is frantically, pre-emptively, blaming Putin: he’s “cornered”, he’s “losing”, he’s “getting desperate” so he’ll launch a nuclear strike.

It’s no wonder the Doomsday Clock set up by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947 is now placed at only 100 seconds from midnight. Right on “Doom’s doorstep”.

This is where a bunch of American psychos is leading us.

Life at Doom’s doorstep

As the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder is petrified by the startling Double Fail of a massive economic/military attack, Moscow is systematically preparing for the next military offensive. As it stands, it’s clear that the Anglo-American axis will not negotiate. It has not even tried for the past 8 years, and it’s not about to change course, even incited by an angelic chorus ranging from Elon Musk to Pope Francis.

Instead of going Full Timur, accumulating a pyramid of Ukrainian skulls, Putin has summoned eons of Taoist patience to avoid military solutions. Terror on the Crimea Bridge may have been a game-changer. But the velvet gloves are not totally off: General Armageddon’s daily aerial routine may still be seen as a – relatively polite – warning. Even in his latest landmark speech, which contained a savage indictment of the West, Putin made clear he’s always open for negotiations.

Yet by now, Putin and the Security Council know why the Americans simply can’t negotiate. Ukraine may be just a pawn in their game, but it’s still one of Eurasia’s key geopolitical nodes: whoever controls it, enjoys extra strategic depth.

The Russians are very much aware that the usual suspects are obsessed with blowing up the complex process of Eurasia integration – starting with China’s BRI. No wonder important instances of power in Beijing are “uneasy” with the war. Because that’s very bad for business between China and Europe via several trans-Eurasian corridors.

Putin and the Russian Security Council also know that NATO abandoned Afghanistan – an absolutely miserable failure – to place all their chips on Ukraine. So losing both Kabul and Kiev will be the ultimate mortal blow: that means abandoning the 21st Eurasian Century to the Russia-China-Iran strategic partnership.

Sabotage – from the Nord Streams to Krymskiy Most – gives away the desperation game. NATO’s arsenals are virtually empty. What’s left is a war of terror: the Syrianization, actually ISIS-zation of the battlefield. Managed by braindead NATO, acted on the terrain by a cannon fodder horde sprinkled with mercenaries from at least 34 nations.

So Moscow may be forced to go all the way – as the Totally Unplugged Dmitry Medvedev revealed: now this is about eliminating a terrorist regime, totally dismantle its politico-security apparatus and then facilitate the emergence of a different entity. And if NATO still blocks it, direct clash will be inevitable.

NATO’s thin red line is they can’t afford to lose both Kabul and Kiev. Yet it took two acts of terror – on Pipelineistan and on Crimea – to imprint a much starker, burning red line: Russia will not allow the Empire to control Ukraine, whatever it takes. That’s intrinsically linked to the future of the Greater Eurasia Partnership. Welcome to life at Doom’s doorstep.

Massive Wave of Missile Attacks Reported Across Ukraine, Zelensky Confirms Strikes

October 10, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Multiple missile strikes targeted Ukrainian cities all across the country on Monday morning, according to local officials and media, which attributed the attacks to Russia. This comes two days after a bomb damaged the strategic Crimean Bridge – which Moscow called a Ukrainian terrorist attack.

President Vladimir Zelensky highlighted the attacks on the capital, Kiev and the cities of Dnepr and Zaporozhye, before urging people to take shelter. Local officials in Lviv, Kharkov, and Odessa also reported that their cities came under fire.

The office of Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, reported they had detected at least 75 missiles and claimed they had intercepted 41.

In Kiev, damage from the strikes was reported near the headquarters of the Security Service of Ukraine [SBU], which is located in the government area of the capital. City officials halted operations of the metro system, and the stations are now being used as shelters for civilians.

Kiev mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, issued a statement via his official Telegram account, saying, “Several explosions in the Shevchenskivskyi district – in the center of the capital.”

At least four explosions were heard, the Kiev Independent reported and according to public broadcaster Suspilne, an explosion was heard near a railway station in the city.

A cloud of black smoke was also reported to be seen rising from one area in the city center.

According to Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko, one rocket fell “right in the center of the city”.

“Cars are burning, and windows have been shattered in houses. There are dead,” he tweeted.

The head of Lviv Region, Maksim Kozitsky, reported that elements of the western province’s energy infrastructure came under attack.

Boris Filatov, the mayor of Dnepr, a major city in central Ukraine, confirmed the strikes and said he could only feel “hatred and the wish to fight,” while urging residents to take shelter.

Vitaly Kim, who heads the southern Nikolaev Region which borders Russia’s Kherson Region, reported dozens of projectiles and a number of kamikaze drones coming from Russian troops. He claimed that Moscow was targeting “critical infrastructure” throughout the country.

With similar accounts coming in from many parts of the country, senior Ukrainian officials have expressed determination to fight Russia. “Our courage will never be destroyed by terrorists’ missiles, even when they hit the heart of our capital,” Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov tweeted, also claiming that Russia’s future is that of “a globally despised rogue terrorist state.”

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the explosion. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has, however, declared in a Twitter message that the bombing was “the beginning.”

The blast came amid a February-present Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine, which has been seeking to defend the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk’s pro-Russian population against persecution by Kiev.

Russia Illegally Annexes Its Own Land and People, According to Western experts

October 3, 2022

Stephen Karganovic

The referendums set a dangerous precedent for the rulers of Western “democracies,” in addition to constituting a direct and serious non-military threat to the sustainability of their Ukrainian project.

Yes, that is the unanimous refrain of Western opinion makers following the referendums conducted in the four regions of Eastern Ukraine. That the overwhelming majority of the population there, braving deadly Ukrainian artillery barrages, expressed their preference to be part of Russia, and not of the discriminatory Ukrainian state (or whatever is ultimately left of it) makes no difference to these opinion shapers and policy makers.

The mechanical unanimity which prevails in the West concerning the major geopolitical shift that has just taken place in the East is a disturbing reminder of the single mindedness which, in roughly the same part of the world but under a different ideological guise, used to characterise political and media discourse about a generation ago.

To anyone with a superficial knowledge of the historical and political context, the epilogue of popular consultation in the four regions, as well as in the Crimea eight years ago, should be an open and shut case. (Doubters will be edified, while being entertained, here.) Invocations of international law, not to mention human rights, in these situations work entirely in Russia’s favor.

A fact-based and rational analysis, however, is unlikely to greatly impress the utterly ignorant and brain-washed Western public. The only version of events that they have heard is that Ukraine, allegedly a “sovereign” country, was invaded by a foreign aggressor and that sizable chunks of its territory are now being swallowed up by the invader.

The notion that Ukraine is a sovereign state is, of course, laughable. Ukraine is in fact a subservient political vassal of the collective West, all traces of autonomy having been voluntarily renounced by its own corrupt and traitorous political elite after “independence” in 1991.

It goes without saying that the Western public, with few exceptions, are blissfully unaware of the demographic, historical, and cultural realities of present day Ukraine. Political borders, however arbitrarily drawn, are in their minds the equivalent of ethnic frontiers which must be respected. That dimension of their ignorance was spectacularly illustrated, but on a much higher level, by the then U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher during an international conference held in the midst of the Bosnian war. To the shock of the better informed participants, he casually asked when did the Bosnian Serb population cross the Drina River to invade Bosnia, apparently unaware that in Bosnia they had been indigenous for at least the preceding thousand years. British foreign secretary (now prime minister, unfortunately) Liz Truss made a similarly embarrassing gaffe late last year at a meeting in Moscow, stunning her hosts when she expressed strong disapproval of Russian military manoeuvres on territory she thought was in the Ukraine, evidently unaware that it was part of the Russian Federation. The list could go on, but the point of it is that if high level political functionaries are ignorant of basic historical and geographical facts, how much can reasonably be expected from members of the zombified general public?

With regard to the allegedly egregious violation of international law committed by Russia by conducting a referendum to enable residents of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye to choose the country they wished to live in, a couple of hard data points are in order.

The first and most fundamental data point (probably beyond the knowledge of most citizens of Western counties) is the fact that prior to the 1920s there was a geographical concept associated with Ukraine, mainly in the form of several provincial subdivisions of the Russian Empire, but that as a self-sufficient political entity with defined borders before then it had never existed. To the question, what lands constituted Ukraine as an internationally recognized entity prior to its emergence within the USSR in the 1920s, there is no answer.

Just as the creation of Ukraine as a constituent republic of the USSR was an arbitrary political gesture, so was the determination of what fragments of the former Russian Empire it should eventually be made up of. Ukraine was fabricated by an act of revolutionary political will, for the ideological convenience of the USSR’s central authorities and certainly without any meaningful consultation with its inhabitants. As a decreed-from-on-high constituent republic of the USSR, the Ukrainian SSR was the precursor of the present-day Ukraine. Its separation from the USSR was similarly accomplished by agreement of three unelected and unauthorised Russian, Byelorussian, and Ukrainian functionaries. In terms of international law, and of the vaunted Western democratic values in particular, present-day Ukraine, and its borders, have therefore as much legitimacy as the entity created in the 1920s that it originated and evolved from.

The second hard data point has to do with precisely how the regions of Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk and others bordering on the Black Sea came to be incorporated into the newly constituted Ukrainian Soviet Republic. It was done to augment the substance of the new soviet republic by expanding it to include huge swathes of territory populated by Russian speakers who had no relation to the new Ukrainian identity that was being created out of thin air. There was no referendum or even a political climate in which inhabitants could freely manifest their preference. About a hundred years ago certain decisions about the geographical and ethnic composition of Ukraine were made at the top and then administratively implemented at lower levels. Options of dissent and appeal were excluded.

The third hard data point concerns the manner in which in 1954 the Crimea was incorporated into Ukraine. The method followed was exactly the same as described previously. The peninsula which during the preceding hundred fifty years, since before Ukraine had made its political appearance, was incontrovertibly a part of Russia populated by a Russian majority, suddenly, without explanation, and without consultation with its inhabitants, was transferred to Ukrainian control. The first opportunity that the people of Crimea had to manifest their will in regard to this was in 2014, just as the first such opportunity granted to the people of the four regions was a few days ago.

What is the principle of Western democratic governance that prohibits a review of decisions made behind the backs of those they impact? Why may such decisions not be tested for popular consent? If the inhabitants of former British colonies and Dominions have a legally recognised right to decide whether they still desire to be subject to the British monarchy, why should inhabitants of the four regions of Ukraine and Crimea be deprived of the inherent right to decide whether they wish to be subject to the government in Kiev? Especially since they became locked into the present-day Ukrainian state not by their own choice but by the imposition of arbitrarily drawn internal borders. Later, just as arbitrarily, those internal borders were declared to be international. What legal doctrine or moral principle obligates the inhabitants of those regions to treat as sacrosanct political decisions made at their expense by others, behind their backs and lacking their consent?

The hysterical uproar in the collective West over the referendums, one suspects, has less to do with the results – which were foreseeable based on expectations of normal behaviour of threatened and abused human beings – than with the fact that someone had the audacity to organise them at all. In the West unmanipulated expressions of popular sentiment have become a relic of the past. The referendums set a dangerous precedent for the rulers of Western “democracies,” in addition to constituting a direct and serious non-military threat to the sustainability of their Ukrainian project. That is why a vicious propaganda campaign was immediately unleashed to smear, disqualify, and misrepresent them at any cost.

A possible strategy for peace

September 28, 2022

Source

by Gav Don

We now await the results of the referenda in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhiya and Kherson to request membership of the Russian Federation. In the first three regions the result is a foregone conclusion. In Kherson the vote is also likely to be for membership, in spite of the fact that Kherson’s pre-war population was a majority ethnic Ukrainian one, but the margin may be closer. Many, indeed probably most, of Kherson’s pre-war Ukrainians have, though, left the region as refugees, and will not vote in the referendum by virtue of their absence. President Putin stated in a recent speech that Russia will immediately accept the applications for membership of the Federation that follow.

In parallel Moscow announced this week that Russia will call up army reservists for service. Russian army reserves include men in a wide range of preparedness, from people who had completed conscripted service long ago to a much smaller number of “active” reserve formations similar to western reserve formations – i.e. ones which meet regularly for paid training with regular forces. These latter are a relatively new addition to Russia’s ground forces.

RAND reported in 2019 that “active” reserves totalled only 5,000 men. In 2021 Moscow announced a plan to increase the active reserve under the headline BARS-2021 to 100,000, but no information has reached the public domain since then on how well (or not) that strategy performed. Subsequent clarification stated that reserves called up will undergo months of refresher and update training. Interpolating the limited data suggests that this reserve call-up might bring 20,000-40,000 men with material fighting power to Russia’s Orbat in the short term.

Mr Putin made no reference to the number of men (and women, presumably) to be called up, but within minutes of his speech being broadcast the number of 300,000 appeared throughout western media coverage. The most likely source for that very large number is the media briefers retained by Kyiv.

Prior to this week’s reserve call-up Moscow was already in the process of creating a new unit, the 3rd Army Corps (Luhansk and Donestk militias form the 1st and 2nd Army Corps), comprising some 40 Battalion Tactical Groups. When fully formed the 3rd Army Corps would therefore contain some 35,000 – 40,000 men, but at present is probably less than half that complement, and in an early state of formation and training which will limit its combat power to low-intensity and defensive operations only for several months to come.

Reserves are not the only news: a third insight to Moscow’s objectives has come to light, in one of Mr Putin’s replies in a Q and A at Samarkand, and again in his “reserves” speech. In both he referred for the first time to the Russia’s “main objective” in Ukraine as the full occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. This is the first time since February that Moscow has made an unequivocal statement about its objectives.

It is tempting to extrapolate that Russia’s lesser objectives must be smaller than its main objective. That extrapolation would rule out the taking of much more ground than Russia already occupies, including Odesa (or even Mikolayev), Kharkiv or the ground between the western border of Donetsk and the Dnepr River.

Building on that tentative conclusion leads to another conclusion, that Moscow’s strategic objective now is to conclude the remnants of the peace deal agreed to (and then reneged on) by President Zelensky in Istanbul in March. Much of the rest of Mr Putin’s “reserves” speech was expressing Russia’s defensive rights and plans – the protection of Russian territory and Russian people from Ukraine and the greater west. There was no talk of extending Russian occupation of Ukraine beyond Donetsk and Luhansk.

Last week, the day after the reserves announcement, President Zelensky made a recorded address to the United Nations which Moscow is likely to find discouraging for a peace deal. Mr Zelensky’s first words were a demand for “just punishment” for Russia’s aggression: “Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory”.  Mr Zelensky stated four preconditions for peace:

·         Punishment (of Russia) for the crime of aggression, to continue (a) until the borders are returned to 2013 line and (b) full financial compensation has been paid for all physical damage. The punishments, to be administered by a special tribunal, specifically include a trade embargo, suspension of Russia from the UN and of its veto, a travel ban on all Russians, and a system to obtain financial compensation from Russia.

·         “The protection of life by all available means”. It was not made clear what this term means in detail.

·         “The restoring of security and territorial integrity” – which must mean a return to 2013 borders.

·         Security guarantees for Ukraine enacted in a suite of bilateral and multilateral treaties, to supplement existing treaties (so, probably not membership of NATO per se). The new guarantees will be written to provide pre-emptive action rather than reactive action (like that in the Atlantic Charter).

To these Mr Zelensky added a fifth precondition, which had no actual provisions or form but appeared to be a call for firm adherence to the four explicit conditions to punish aggression.

Mr Zelensky finished with “I rule out the possibility a settlement can happen on a different basis than the [this] Ukrainian peace formula”.

Ukraine’s position depends entirely on continued materiel and financial support from Washington, London and Brussels. Since it will be immediately clear to even the most Russophobic members of those administrations that the only practically obtainable component of President Zelensky’s formula will be financial compensation from Russia’s frozen foreign reserves, there is probably a different peace deal, which might be imposed on Kyiv by the West. What might those preconditions be?

They would probably include:

·         A clear demonstration by the people living in the four Oblasts that they no longer wish to be part of Ukraine;

·         Clear evidence that the Kharkiv offensive is a one-off, and that it has no practical chance of being repeated elsewhere;

·         Acceptance by the voters of Europe and the United Kingdom that a bad peace is more attractive than a continued war (the voters of the United States are almost completely indifferent to the war and have already lost interest);

·         Acceptance by Prime Minister Truss and Commission President von der Leyen that the economic price of continued conflict with Russia is higher than they will, or even can, pay;

·         Acceptance by the US State Department that the EU Commission and Downing Street are no longer willing to send money and weapons to Ukraine (Mr Biden’s cognitive decline more or less rules him out of the decision process, and the Pentagon has been against the war since February);

It is possible to map last week’s Russian events and announcements against this list of preconditions.

The popular will in the occupied territories

Three of the four referenda are guaranteed to return a strong desire for a transfer from Ukraine to Russia. The fourth, Kherson, may return a less equivocal desire, though a majority for Russia is likely. Moscow may be setting up the surrender of west-bank Kherson to Ukraine as the price of peace.

The western popular consciousness (in so far as it exists as a single “thing”) readily accepts the principle of self-determination where clearly and fairly expressed. Indeed, rather more than half of the people of Europe are independent or unified by virtue of that principle (this would include all Germans, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Greeks, Italians, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Slovenes, Croats, Montenegrans, Dutch, Danes, Maltese, Kosovans, Macedonians, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Finns, Irish, and, outside the EU, Norwegians, and in future perhaps Scots and Catalans, and of course Ukrainians themselves). Why, then, spend large amounts of money and incur acute economic pain to resist the clearly expressed desire for self-determination by ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine?

In the debate which might follow this line Moscow will undoubtedly call in aid the referendum in Kosovo, supported by the western alliance against Russian ally Serbia, as a precedent for the moral right to choose one’s parent state. It will find support from the 2010 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in the Kosovo case, that “…international law contains no ‘prohibition on declarations of independence” (the caveats and specific circumstances of the Advisory Opinion are unlikely to gain much traction with public opinion).

So, it is possible at least that bringing the referenda forward to now is a step towards undermining popular support for the war in greater Europe.

Clear evidence that the Kharkiv success is a one-off

I covered the Kharkiv offensive here, concluding that a successful attack by some 20,000 men against a space held by 4,000 low-grade troops says little about future military prospects for Ukraine. Most of the rest of the Line of Contact is held in substantially greater force by Russian and allied troops of substantially higher fighting power. Moscow’s announcement of reserves mobilisation will shortly add to that fighting power and deepen the thinly-held Contact Line that runs west from Donetsk to Zaporizhiya.

Moscow’s change of strategy by attacking Ukrainian civil power assets for the first time simultaneously restricts Kyiv’s ability to concentrate force and demonstrates Russia’s willingness to use more violence if and when required.

Kyiv is still capitalising on the glow of the Kharkiv offensive, hoping to use it to persuade an international audience that its goal of returning to its 2013 borders is a realistic one. Indeed, the Kharkiv offensive forms a key foundation stone for President Zelensky’s plan for a peace deal articulated to the United Nations last week.

If the Kharkiv offensive is indeed a one-off and not repeatable it will take time for that truth to prevail in the strategic calculus of Washington, London and Brussels.

The economic price of resistance

The European Commission’s sanctions on Russian gas supplies (shuttering Nordstream 2, forbidding EU states from paying for gas in Roubles, obstructing Nordstream 1 by sanctioning its turbines and supporting Kyiv in its shuttering of pipelines for reasons with little engineering validity) have increased gas prices in Europe and the UK by a factor of roughly ten times, and consequently increased power prices by factor of around five times.

Spiking energy prices undercut popular support for the war while at the same time threatening almost all parts of greater Europe’s industrial and commercial sector, rendering large parts of commerce and industry unprofitable overnight (and catastrophically loss-making in the case of low-margin energy intensive primary industries).

Brussels and London have been forced to respond with a combination of massive subsidies, price controls and windfall profit taxes. In the case of the UK Ms Truss’s emergency plan has an initial (6-month) budget of some £65 bn – 2.5% of GDP to be borrowed and spent in half a year alone. While the Commission’s plan for windfall taxes and targeted subsidies is considerably more sensible, both the EU and the UK are looking at sharp GDP contractions as a result of the energy price spike alongside large adverse swings in international payments balances. The value of Sterling has crashed to its lowest level against the dollar since American independence. The Euro has also dropped by some 20% against the dollar.

Europe will weather the price spike better than the UK, which is facing another economic disaster generated by the inflation-linked coupons on some £500 bn of its government debt. With inflation running at 10-12% per year (depending on which measure is chosen), UK debt interest will leap this year from approximately £48 bn in 2019 to a likely £110 bn in 2022.

UK government debt interest will be yet higher in 2023, when, if the war and EU sanctions on Russian gas continue, the United Kingdom will need to borrow a net £200 bn (plus half as much again to roll over existing maturing debts), with a weak currency, high inflation and a shrinking economy. This toxic combination will further weaken the pound, import more inflation through rising import prices, further increase the cost of index-linked government debt, and drive the government’s budget deficit to around 10% of GDP. Unable to raise taxes (because she has promised not to) and unable to cut government spending (because an election looms in 2024) Ms Truss will be at risk of sinking under a tide of debt.

The question is how long will Downing Street accept the costs of its unequivocal support for Ukraine?

The European Commission’s plans for handling the energy price spike are more sensible than London’s, and it starts from a position of having zero debt (though European members all owe large amounts). There is a possibility of a split emerging between the strategic desires of London and the Commission, with the latter welcoming acute economic pain for the UK as part of the “punishment regime” for the UK’s departure from the European Union. Moscow may try to use that divided agenda to detach the UK from Ukraine’s life support system.

Popular rejection of support for the war

Throughout the war European and UK popular support for Ukraine has been solid. Indeed it is almost impossible to find any voice in either mainstream or niche media that is anything other than entirely on the side of Kyiv (not completely impossible – a small community of dissident thinkers and analysts does exist, led by this website, but with a repeating audience that barely breaks half a million people it has little real-world impact).

Popular support has flowed in roughly equal parts from a latent fear of and dislike for Russia born of the Cold War, from a collective view that states should not invade each other, from perhaps the most successful information war ever waged (by Kyiv) and in part from the reality that so far support has cost Europeans personally nothing in either blood or treasure.

The coming price in treasure is discussed above. It is likely that Mr Putin’s remarks this week on the circumstances in which Russia would be prepared to use nuclear weapons were deliberately intended to alarm European and British citizens with the concept that the distant war might become a very non-distant reality if it is allowed to continue.

Moscow can rely on Europe’s media and politicians to misrepresent and exaggerate its statements (conflating tactical with strategic weapons, eliding the question of use against armed forces or civilians, ignoring the fact the Mr Putin’s remarks were expressly preceded by a reference to Ms Truss’s bellicose statement of her willingness to use nuclear weapons during her election campaign, and neatly ignoring the subtlety of whether Russian weapons might be used in Ukraine, Russia or Europe) to cultivate panic among peoples who had more or less forgotten that nuclear weapons still exist and have no clear idea of what they do or how they work.

If that is what Moscow’s talk of nuclear weapons was intended to spark then it has quickly succeeded – the nuclear threat is now top and centre of mass media discussion, and may be creating the space within which Brussels and London can press Kyiv to a negotiated peace, however uncomfortable.

American guns and money

The final piece of the puzzle is how to persuade the US that it should stop sending weapons and cash to Kyiv.

American support for Ukraine does not require popular consent since the price is small by comparison with total US government spending, and its budgets are readily approved by Congress.

American popular consciousness is also much less responsive to the rattling of nuclear sabres, by virtue of distance, by familiarity with life in the front-line of nuclear brinkmanship and because of innate popular confidence in the size and power of US retaliative capabilities. There is no media panic about possible use of nuclear weapons in the US.

Indeed, Ukraine barely breaks into the national mainstream media consciousness, which is preoccupied with inflation, racial tensions expressed by police killings, and the “threat” posed by to US hegemonic power by China, and specifically to Taiwan.

Meanwhile the methane price spike will generate extraordinarily high profits for US LNG producers.

That combination of US circumstances presents Moscow with a wicked problem. There may be one solution to how US opinion should be persuaded to abandon Ukraine.

US popular consciousness firmly believes that Europe (including the UK) has freeloaded on US defence spending for two generations. There are few things the average American dislikes more than a freeloader.

The charge contains an element of truth. Total defence spending by the EU plus UK and Turkey was about Euros 220 bn in 2021. Total US defence spending in the same year was approximately Euros 600 bn. Even allowing for those parts of the budget allocated to strategic nuclear weapons (about 15%), Carrier Strike Groups and amphibious warfare capabilities (10%), and US power projection in Asia and the Middle East (probably another 20%), US defence spending still exceeds Europe’s by about half.

If Moscow can manipulate either or both of the Commission and Downing Street into abandoning support for Ukraine that would leave Washington paying the bill alone. It is not the size of that bill which might undercut support for guns and money, but the fact that it has been forwarded on by decadent and cynical Europeans, which could make US support for Ukraine unacceptably unpopular.

Whatever the American voter thinks, the American neocon will not be persuaded to accept a peace deal with Russia. Indeed, the US is escalating. Last night the pressures in Nordstream 1 and Nordstream more or less simultaneously fell to 7 Atmospheres, and a large gas leak was observed off the Danish Island of Bornholm. 7 Atmospheres is the ambient pressure of the seabed off Bornholm under which both pipelines pass – at 70 metres of water depth. There is only one possible explanation for this event – an attack on both pipelines by an unidentified submarine.

The reliable rule of Cui Bono applies here. A US (or UK, on request from the US) attack on the pipelines secures the EU LNG market for US exporters against possible future competition from Russia after a peace deal, renders Europe dependent on US LNG supplies (in the short term at least), and serves to remove a major possible Russian contribution to peace in the form of cheap gas. It is staggering to see how far US policy-makers will go to promote a continued war.

A possible strategy for peace

Notwithstanding the Nordstream attacks it is possible to see, inside the announcements and moves that have emerged this week, the skeleton of a Russian strategy towards a negotiated peace with Kyiv. An uncomfortable one, to be sure, but peace nevertheless.

If a negotiated peace is not available Moscow can still opt for an imposed one, in which it would complete the occupation of Donetsk Oblast and call a unilateral halt to offensive operations.

Presented with that fait accompli Kyiv is likely to continue its present policy of shelling civilians in Russian-occupied territory wherever its guns can reach – a policy in blatant breach of the Law of Armed Conflict but one which has been consistently and thoroughly ignored by the major media channels in both Europe and the USA, and even by Turkish and Iraq media. An enforced peace would therefore require Russia to create and police an effective artillery “no fire” zone for some 20 kms west of its new imposed border with Ukraine, and a “no-rocket” zone for another 50 kms on top.

Russia’s present artillery and rocket forces cannot do that, since Ukrainian artillery can evade counterbattery fire by the tactic of “shoot and scoot”. Russian air forces are also unable to enforce a no-fire zone because at high altitude they are vulnerable to a SAM shoot-down, and at low altitude to the widespread presence of Man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS).

To create an effective no-fire zone Russia needs a force of unmanned drones capable of delivering 20-40 kgs of high explosive within 2 metres of their targets, both stationary and evading counterfire in “scoot” mode. These drones would have to be sufficiently numerous to give saturation coverage day and night, working in pairs (so that one of the pair can engage MANPADS and SAM launchers which target the other member of the pair), and cheap enough to be disposable.

At the start of the war Russia did not have a drone with those specifications, but now it does. The 1,000 or so Shahed 136 drones ordered this month are beginning to arrive (the first examples of 136 wreckage with their distinctive wingtips have now appeared in Ukraine). Russia has renamed the model the Geranium.

The 136 is an ideal candidate for enforcing a deep no-fire zone. Its 36 kg warhead can completely destroy a heavy artillery piece, a mortar or a Multiple Launch Rocket launch truck. The 136 can loiter for some 20 hours at heights well above the reach of MANPADs, before being dived onto the target by its operator. It can also carry out a chase of a moving target (it was a 136 which hit the bridge of the merchant ship Mercer Street while under way off Oman last year), and can break away and re-attack repeatedly if the target evades successfully.

One limitation is that control systems are line-of-sight, so require the drone controller to use a very high aerial to operate the drone successfully deep behind the Line of Contact, but the 136’s operating depth is likely in most circumstances to be greater than the effective range of most of its targets.

Moscow’s drone purchase also reportedly includes an estimated forty Shahed 129 drones. The 129 is a 400 kg aircraft theoretically capable of carrying guided ground attack munitions but more likely to be used for its electro-optical reconnaissance capability to identify targets for the 136s. The 129 too has a line-of-sight control link, which also limits its operational depth capability.

With sufficient numbers of these two drones, backed up by conventional artillery and MLRS systems, Russia should be able to enforce an effective artillery no-fire zone in defence of the occupied territories.

Amidst the uncertainty one thing is certain – there is a zero probability that Moscow will entertain President Zelensky’s UN peace proposals. It may not even respond to them, on the basis that they rest on a strategic fantasy. Equally likely is that President Zelensky will not respond to peace proposals which include the detachment of the four Oblasts. At least, not until pressured to do so by at least two of his three western backers.

The most likely outcome therefore looks to this author to be a frozen conflict, once the balance of Donetsk Oblast has been taken (slowly) by Russian forces. At the current rate of progress – a few hundred metres per day – that may not happen until the spring or even summer of 2023.

Who will run out of resources first?

September 15, 2022

Today I will keep it very short using my favorite bullet-style points:

  • By most credible accounts, the recent Ukronazi+NATO attack in the Kharkov area was even more costly in KIA/MIA, wounded and lost hardware than the attack towards Kherson.  The combined losses from these attacks are staggering.
  • Yet there are all the signs that the Ukronazi+NATO forces are preparing for even more such attacks.
  • The Ukronazi+NATO seem happy to trade human lives for territorial gains, no matter how small or how irrelevant that territory is.
  • The Russians seem happy to trade space and time to protect the lives of their soldiers and equipment.
  • We could say that the Ukronazi+NATO are trading bodies for shells.

Let’s remember the two goals set by Putin for the SMO: denazify and demilitarize.  Both of these goals are human-focused, not terrain-focused.  In other words, if a tactical-level withdrawal allows the Russian to kill scores of Ukronazi+NATO personnel and destroy their equipment, they will gladly accept the trade.

The other goal was to protect the LDNR.  Kherson is not part of the LDNR.

Territory can be reconquered, equipment is hard to replace, especially complex weapon-systems.

And soldiers cannot be resurrected.

It is absolutely clear that Ukronazi+NATO are “betting the farm” into these offensives.  Not only is the coming winter a major threat for them, but the political chaos in the EU and the US this fall and winter means that now is the time to try has hard as possible to conceal the magnitude of the disaster for the Ukronazi+NATO.

So, most of what is taking place now can be summed up in this simple question: who will run out of resources first: the Ukronazi+NATO in terms of manpower and equipment or the Russians in terms of firepower (mostly artillery, missiles and airpower)?

I think that the answer is obvious.

Andrei

The Kharkov game-changer

September 14, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Wars are not won by psyops. Ask Nazi Germany. Still, it’s been a howler to watch NATOstan media on Kharkov, gloating in unison about “the hammer blow that knocks out Putin”, “the Russians are in trouble”, and assorted inanities.

Facts: Russian forces withdrew from the territory of Kharkov to the left bank of the Oskol river, where they are now entrenched. A Kharkov-Donetsk-Luhansk line seems to be stable. Krasny Liman is threatened, besieged by superior Ukrainian forces, but not lethally.

No one – not even Maria Zakharova, the contemporary female equivalent of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods – knows what the Russian General Staff (RGS) plans, in this case and all others. If they say they do, they are lying.

As it stands, what may be inferred with a reasonable degree of certainty is that a line – Svyatogorsk-Krasny Liman-Yampol-Belogorovka – can hold out long enough with their current garrisons until fresh Russian forces are able to swoop in and force the Ukrainians back beyond the Seversky Donets line.

All hell broke loose – virtually – on why Kharkov happened. The people’s republics and Russia never had enough men to defend a 1,000 km-long frontline. NATO’s entire intel capabilities noticed – and profited from it.

There were no Russian Armed Forces in those settlements: only Rosgvardia, and these are not trained to fight military forces. Kiev attacked with an advantage of around 5 to 1. The allied forces retreated to avoid encirclement. There are no Russian troop losses because there were no Russian troops in the region.

Arguably this may have been a one-off. The NATO-run Kiev forces simply can’t do a replay anywhere in Donbass, or in Kherson, or in Mariupol. These are all protected by strong, regular Russian Army units.

It’s practically a given that if the Ukrainians remain around Kharkov and Izyum they will be pulverized by massive Russian artillery. Military analyst Konstantin Sivkov maintains that, “most combat-ready formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are now being grounded (…) we managed to lure them into the open and are now systematically destroying them.”

The NATO-run Ukrainian forces, crammed with NATO mercenaries, had spent 6 months hoarding equipment and reserving trained assets exactly for this Kharkov moment – while dispatching disposables into a massive meat grinder. It will be very hard to sustain an assembly line of substantial prime assets to pull off something similar again.

The next days will show whether Kharkov and Izyum are connected to a much larger NATO push. The mood in NATO-controlled EU is approaching Desperation Row. There’s a strong possibility this counter-offensive signifies NATO entering the war for good, while displaying quite tenuous plausible deniability: their veil of – fake – secrecy cannot disguise the presence of “advisers” and mercenaries all across the spectrum.

Decommunization as de-energization

The Special Military Operation (SMO), conceptually, is not about conquering territory per se: it is, or it was, so far, about protection of Russophone citizens in occupied territories, thus demilitarization cum denazification.

That concept may be about to be tweaked. And that’s where the tortuous, tricky debate on Russia mobilization fits in. Yet even a partial mobilization may not be necessary: what’s needed are reserves to properly allow allied forces to cover rear/defensive lines. Hardcore fighters of the Kadyrov contingent kind would continue to play offense.

It’s undeniable that Russian troops lost a strategically important node in Izyum. Without it, the complete liberation of Donbass becomes significantly harder.

Yet for the collective West, whose carcass slouches inside a vast simulacra bubble, it’s the pysops that matters much more than a minor military advance: thus all that gloating on Ukraine being able to drive the Russians out of the whole of Kharkov in only four days – while they had 6 months to liberate Donbass, and didn’t.

So, across the West, the reigning perception – frantically fomented by psyops experts – is that the Russian military were hit by that “hammer blow” and will hardly recover.

Kharkov was preciously timed – as General Winter is around the corner; the Ukraine issue was already suffering from public opinion fatigue; and the propaganda machine needed a boost to turbo-lubricate the multi-billion dollar weaponizing rat line.

Yet Kharkov may have forced Moscow’s hand to increase the pain dial. That came via a few well-placed Mr. Khinzals leaving the Black Sea and the Caspian to present their business cards to the largest thermal power plants in northeast and central Ukraine (most of the energy infrastructure is in the southeast).

Half of Ukraine suddenly lost power and water. Trains came to a halt. If Moscow decides to take out all major Ukraine substations at once, all it takes is a few missiles to totally smash the Ukrainian energy grid – adding a new meaning to “decommunization”: de-energization.

According to an expert analysis, “if transformers of 110-330 kV are damaged, then it will almost never be possible to put it into operation (…) And if this happens at least at 5 substations at the same time, then everything is kaput. Stone age forever.”

Russian government official Marat Bashirov was way more colorful: “Ukraine is being plunged into the 19th century. If there is no energy system, there will be no Ukrainian army. The matter of fact is that General Volt came to the war, followed by General Moroz (“frost”).

And that’s how we might be finally entering “real war” territory – as in Putin’s notorious quip that “we haven’t even started anything yet.”

A definitive response will come from the RSG in the next few days.

Once again, a fiery debate rages on what Russia will do next (the RGS, after all, is inscrutable, except for Yoda Patrushev).

The RGS may opt for a serious strategic strike of the decapitating kind elsewhere – as in changing the subject for the worse (for NATO).

It may opt for sending more troops to protect the front line (without partial mobilization).

And most of all it may enlarge the SMO mandate – going to total destruction of Ukrainian transport/energy infrastructure, from gas fields to thermal power plants, substations, and shutting down nuclear power plants.

Well, it could always be a mix of all of the above: a Russian version of Shock and Awe – generating an unprecedented socio-economic catastrophe. That has already been telegraphed by Moscow: we can revert you to the Stone Age at any time and in a matter of hours (italics mine). Your cities will greet General Winter with zero heating, freezing water, power outages and no connectivity.

A counter-terrorist operation

All eyes are on whether “centers of decision” – as in Kiev – may soon get a Khinzal visit. This would signify Moscow has had enough. The siloviki certainly did. But we’re not there – yet. Because for an eminently diplomatic Putin the real game revolves around those gas supplies to the EU, that puny plaything of American foreign policy.

Putin is certainly aware that the internal front is under some pressure. He refuses even partial mobilization. A perfect indicator of what may happen in winter is the referenda in liberated territories. The limit date is November 4 – the Day of National Unity, a commemoration introduced in 2004 to replace the celebration of the October revolution (it already existed in imperial times).

With the accession of these territories to Russia, any Ukrainian counter-offensive would qualify as an act of war against regions incorporated into the Russian Federation. Everyone knows what that means.

It may now be painfully obvious that when the collective West is waging war – hybrid and kinetic, with everything from massive intel to satellite data and hordes of mercenaries – against you, and you insist on conducting a hazily-defined Special Military Operation (SMO), you may be up for some nasty surprises.

So the SMO status may be about to change: it’s bound to become a counter-terrorist operation.

This is an existential war. A do or die affair. The American geopolitical /geoeconomic goal, to put it bluntly, is to destroy Russian unity, impose regime change and plunder all those immense natural resources. Ukrainians are nothing but cannon fodder: in a sort of twisted History remake, the modern equivalents of the pyramid of skulls Timur cemented into 120 towers when he razed Baghdad in 1401.

If may take a “hammer blow” for the RSG to wake up. Sooner rather than later, gloves – velvet and otherwise – will be off. Exit SMO. Enter War.

Betrayal (Andrei Martyanov)

September 11, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

While I have a very different take on 9/11, Martyanov, again, is spot on.  Highly recommended!

A footnote

13 Sep 2022 16:32

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Bouthaina Shaaban 

Because they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

Professor John Mearsheimer said the war in Ukraine will be a footnote in the history books written about the world changes this war has triggered. This remark may provide the best explanation of the huge noise the NATO countries have made about providing Ukraine with more sophisticated armaments and with billions of dollars in order to prevent a Russian victory. It also explains the big media campaign led by the West about the so-called advance made by the Ukrainian army against the Russians in Kharkov area. The press conference by NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, and the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, has to be seen and understood in light of the dire economic crisis which is biting into Europe. 

Despite the iron fist laid on Western media, it is an open secret today that the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia have backfired on the West itself, and it has become clear that Western people are the ones suffering because of these sanctions, and not the Russian people as the western governments planned. In addition, the Eastern rapprochement between China and Russia is treading fast steps toward an alliance, and the Shanghai organization is attracting more member states, which in a short while, will become one of the most important world alliances that NATO countries do not want to see at all. Both China and Russia have announced that their future dealings and trade are going to be in Yuans and Rubles, which will start to weaken the dollar and shake its world status. 

During the week and contrary to the expectations of Western media, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, announced that he is going to Kazakhstan for a Shanghai meeting with the aim of meeting with President Putin. Every time these two leaders meet, they add another brick to the fortified base of their alliance whose grand announced aim is to change the world system into a multipolar system after getting rid of Western hegemony once and for all.

Of course, western experts and planners know all this and dread it, but instead of mentioning it or trying to address it in the real world, these jumped to the domain that they know best; i.e. the military claiming to their audiences that “Ukrainian forces have been able to stall Moscow offensive in the Donbass strike back behind Russian lines and retake territory.” On this narrative, they built the argument that NATO countries should send more support to Ukraine, with more billions of dollars and with the most sophisticated arms. Their imagination was set free to imagine that this is a very important moment for the Ukrainian people and army, and we should support them in order to prevent a Russian victory in Ukraine, as per their illusions.

First, there is no doubt that the press conference and all the media fever that came in its aftermath hailing progress made by Ukrainian forces against Russian forces was meant to change the focus of the Western people’s attention from the horrible consequences of the war on Ukraine on their daily lives and to stop the masses from taking to the streets to forcefully object to these policies, which proved to be disastrous to most of them.

Second, NATO countries have a history of supporting wars that have nothing to do with their geography or history. They now claim that they have to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers to protect the Eastern borders of NATO. What about Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; are those also bordering NATO, or threatening its power? And what about Taiwan now; is it on the borders of NATO too?

The history of these countries proves without a shadow of a doubt that the military industry is at the core of its survival and continuity, and that is why they cannot survive and keep their hegemony over the world without this industry being well and prosperous, knowing that for this industry to be well and prosperous, it can only feed on wars. That is why they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, and that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

What we have to remember is that we are dealing with two different worlds, two different systems of thinking, two different histories, and two very different objectives. The West, which has subjugated and colonized many countries across the world over centuries, has perfected the usage of media and psychological wars to keep people as its subject. Throughout history, Western colonial powers gave no thought to civilian casualties. A reminder of the answer of Madeleine Albright about millions of Iraqi children being killed; she said, “But it was worth it,” whereas Eastern powers represented by Russia in this war pay so much attention to avoiding unnecessary loss of civilian lives. They change their plans and their tactics if they can save lives in their military or on the adversary’s civilian lives. In fact, the Eastern attitude always believes in taking time. They are not in a hurry, and they do not rush to launch a media or psychological campaign because their objectives are far-reaching and by far nobler than those of the party whose main concern is to sell arms and accumulate more capital. 

For those reasons and many others unlisted here, we have to take the Hollywood postures made by the NATO Secretary-General and the US Secretary of State with a huge pinch of salt. Their major aim was to divert attention from the huge disaster they have created to their people through this uncalculated and misconceived adventure. It would have been much wiser and historically correct to review their decisions and decide whether they should continue in this futile endeavor or acknowledge the new realities on the ground born from the rise of the East and its determination, supported by the majority of people on Earth, to put an end to Western hegemony and remap the world on the basis of equal integrity and mutual respect. This may take a bit more time than what most people desire, but the train has left the station and it will undoubtedly reach its abode. The rest are insignificant details that no one will mention in the future.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Ukromedia: Decommunization of the infrastructure has begun

September 12, 2022

Source

translated by A.

source: https://aftershock.news/?q=node/1153027

Well, aggressive Ukrainian efforts to the tunes of the Western customers seem to have borne their first fruits – Russia’s extremely careful attitude to infrastructure on the territory of the Former Ukraine is now in the past and a wild field and new dark era are peeking around the corner.

The Unian (Ukromedia) on line – I replaced the dubious local jargon in the text below with a more appropriate terminology:

Critical infrastructure attacked, power and water cut in several areas

Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov confirmed that there had been a blow to an infrastructure facility in Kharkiv.

On the evening of Sunday, September 11, an air alert was announced throughout Ukraine. Following reports of explosions, there are no lights or power problems in several areas.

According to the Derkachevo city council (Kharkov district), the Coalition troops hit critical infrastructure facilities.

“Dear citizens! At the moment, the territory of the community is completely de-energized due to the fact that members of the Coalition to clean up Ukraine from the Bandera scum hit our critical infrastructure! Please remain calm. Kharkovoblenergo is already working on resolving this issue!” .

A similar message came from the Pervomaysk community in the Kharkiv region.

Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov confirmed that there had been a blow to an infrastructure facility in Kharkiv.

“As a result of the impact, power went out in many areas of the city. For the same reason, there is no water in the same areas – pumps do not work. This is the Russia’s retribution for our hooliganism on the battle field,” he wrote.

He also urged everyone to remain calm and confirmed that specialists and public utilities are already trying to repair the damage.

Meanwhile, in the Sumy region, as Dmitri Zhivitsky, chairman of the OVA, said, the voltage in the power grid dropped throughout the region.

“I recommend turning off electrical appliances and other household appliances whenever possible in order to avoid damage! The electrical system of the region remains unstable due to destruction as a result of the enemy bombing in March. Attacks on energy supply facilities in Ukraine by the troops conducting the Demilitarization and Denazification of the Ukraine are also possible,” he said. he.

In addition, there were reports on social networks about the blackouts in the Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Poltava, Odessa and Zaporozhye regions. There are also reports of the problems with the water supply.

The head of the Poltava OVA, Dmitry Lunin, without giving any reason for the problem, said: “Electricity and water supply in the region will soon be restored. Power engineers are already working.”

The speaker of the Odesa OVA Serhiy Bratchuk said that the situation in the region is completely under control. All services work in accordance with their schedule.

The head of the Nikopol RVA (Dnipropetrovsk region), Yevgeny Yevtushenko, published a message advising the population to charge their mobile phones and power banks.

The head of the Dnepropetrovsk OVA, Valentin Reznichenko, later said that some cities and communities in the region were left without electricity.

As reported by Ukrzaliznytsia, due to the shelling of infrastructure in the Sloboda region, a number of trains are expected to be delayed in the direction from and to Kharkiv, Sumy, Poltava.

“Not a single flight today has been canceled, traffic continues throughout the entire railway network. Safe disembarkation and embarkation of passengers has been organized at the stations of Kharkiv and other temporarily de-energized cities. Passengers will also be allowed to stay on the territory of the stations during the curfew. We ask passengers to remain calm, we will take all as always. Ironically,” the message says.

Trolleybuses are reported to burst into flames due to the wild power surges .

Trolleybuses catch fire in Poltava

Critical infrastructure attacked, there is no electricity and water in several regions of Ukraine: what is known

Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov confirmed that there had been a blow to an infrastructure facility in Kharkiv.

Author’s comment:

Preliminary summary (unofficial!):

Strikes on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine: what is known at the moment

▪️At about 20:00, the RF Armed Forces launched rocket attacks on the largest thermal power plants in eastern and central Ukraine:

Kharkiv CHP-5 and Zmiev CHP in the Kharkiv region,
Pavlograd CHP-3 in the Dnipropetrovsk region ,
Kremenchug CHPP in the Poltava region.

Rocket launches were carried out from the Black and Caspian Seas waters.

▪️The surge and sudden energy shortage led to a lack of generating capacity. The transfer of additional capacities along the energy rings of 750 kV and 330 kV power lines did not lead to the elimination of problems in the network.

▪️Due to the drop in frequency at substations, protection began to work, first turning off large consumers, and then entire regions.

▪️The collapse of the power system has spread to the networks of Kharkiv, Sumy, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and Odessa regions. It also affected the areas of Donetsk regions controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Kyiv region and the capital of the country.

▪️Two Ukrainian nuclear power plants at once – Khmelnytsky and South Ukrainian— began shutting down power units due to the inability to transfer the generated electricity to the grid.

▪️ The accident was localized by disconnecting the western and central regions of Ukraine from the eastern and southern ones. Electric trains stopped almost all over the country, in Poltava several trolleybuses caught fire right on the streets.

The situation was complicated by the shutdown of the last operating unit of the Zaporozhye NPP on the night of September 11 😊 , which was caused by repeated attacks by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the facility. Prior to this, Ukrainian power engineers disconnected 750 kV and 330 kV power lines. All this led to a significant decrease in the stability of the country’s energy system.

▪️Later, work began on restoring power supply in the local segments of the Ukrainian energy system. Reserve capacities were connected, energy was being redistributed from the hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper and power lines in the western part of the country.

Is it enough to disable the country’s energy system? Definitely not: for this, at least you need to hit power autotransformers 750/330kV in the western and central parts of Ukraine, as well as on the Dnieper.

🇬🇧🇺🇦 Strikes on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine: what is known at the moment

▪️At about 20:00, the Russian Armed Forces launched missile attacks on the largest thermal power plants in eastern and central Ukraine:

➖ Kharkiv CHP-5 and Zmiev CHP in the Kharkiv region , 3 in the Dnipropetrovsk region,
➖ Kremenchug CHPP in the Poltava region.

Launches were carried out from the waters of the Black and Caspian Seas.

الأطلسي ينتحر في أوكرانيا وطغمة كييف تحاكي مصير هتلر!


‎2022-‎09-‎12

محمد صادق الحسيني
رغم كلّ الضجيج والصراخ الأميركيّ عن تحرير مناطق او استعادة أخرى وإبراز هجوم أوكراني ضدّ روسيا، فإنّ الأنباء الميدانية التي تصل من ميادين المعارك في أوكرانيا عن نجاح الأطلسي في هذه المهمة باتت مستحيلة ولا تبشر إلا بالكارثة التي تنتظر طغمة كييف ورعاتها الدوليين.

فوزارة الدفاع الروسية تتحدّث عن 4 آلاف قتيل و8 آلاف جريح في صفوف قوات نظام كييف على محورين خلال الأيام الأخيرة فقط…

في المقابل فإنه وعلى الرغم من حملة الأكاذيب والتضليل الممنهج، التي أطلقها رئيس الأركان المشتركة للجيوش الأميركية، الجنرال مارك ميلي، خلال المؤتمر الصحافي المشترك مع وزير الدفاع الأميركي، الجنرال لويد اوستين، الذي عقد في قاعدة رامشتاين الجوية الأميركية في ألمانيا عقب انتهاء لقاء ما يسمّى: مجموعة الاتصال من أجل أوكرانيا (50 دولة)، بتاريخ 8/9/2022 (نص التصريحات موجود على موقع البنتاغون الرسمي)، فإنّ قراءة بين سطور تصريحاته تؤكد ما يلي:

أولأ ـ إنّ خسائر العصابات الأوكرانية، على جبهتي خيرسون في الجنوب وخاركوف في الشرق، قد فاقت كلّ الأرقام المعلنة وكلّ التوقعات أيضاً. حيث بلغت هذه الخسائر، على الجبهتين، ما يزيد على سبعة آلاف مسلح، بين «جنود» ومرتزقة أجانب، ومسلحين أوكرانيين من كتائب آزوف وكاراكن والذراع الأيمن، وغيرها من عصابات النازيين الأوكرانيين.

ثانيا ـ وقد جاء كلام الجنرال الأميركي ميلي، في قاعدة رامشتاين، ليؤكد هذه الأرقام، عندما قال: «… إنهم تكبّدوا خسائر فادحة، عشرات آلاف القتلى والجرحى…» وأضاف، في معرض حديثه عن محاولات التعرّض الفاشلة، التي قامت بها المجاميع المسلحة النازية على جبهات القتال، والتي أسماها الجنرال ميلي: محاولة استعادة المبادرة العسكرية، التي شرعت بها تلك المجاميع بداية الشهر الحالي. اضاف قائلاً: «إنه لمن المبكر تقديم تقييم دقيق عن نتائج هذا الهجوم (المضاد)، وذلك لأنّ العملية لا تزال في بدايتها».

ثالثا ـ لكن الجنرال الأميركي حاول التخفيف، من وقع كلامه الواضح نسبياً، عن فشل المغامرات الهجومية الأوكرانية، وذلك عندما أردف قائلاً: «إنّ القوات الأوكرانية تستخدم أسلحتها بشكل جيد… وهي بذلك تمهّد الطريق لإنجاح المناورة البرية بالقوات».

انّ الضجيج الإعلامي الكاذب، الذي أطلقته آلة الدعاية والحرب النفسية النازية الأميركية الأوروبية، مدّعية نجاح العصابات النازيه الأوكرانية الأطلسية الأميركية (إذ لم يعد هناك شيء اسمه الجيش الأوكراني وإنما هناك خليط من المرتزقة المحليين والأجانب وآلاف النازيين الأوروبيين يقاتلون الجيش الروسي)؛ نقول إنّ هذا الضجيج بعيد كلّ البعد عن الواقع الميداني، في مسرح العمليات، وعلى قاطع خاركوف/ إيزيوم بالتحديد.

وبما انّ الميدان هو الميزان، فإنّ وقائع الميدان تقول، خلاف ذلك تماماً كما أسلفنا في الإجمال أعلاه.

وحتى نعرف ما يجري على مسرح عمليات خاركوف طبقاً للعقيدة الحربية الروسية فقد ارتأينا أن نعود بالتاريخ الى الحرب العالميّة الثانية والعقيدة السوفياتيّة التي قاتلت بالضبط في هذا الميدان ومسرح العمليات المُشار إليه نفسه، وإليكم المقارنة:

أولا ـ لقد قامت الجيوش السوڤياتية، بقيادة المارشال إيڤان كونيڤ والمارشال نيكولاي ڤاتوتين، بتحرير مدينة خاركوڤ، من الاحتلال النازي، بتاريخ 23/7/1943. وذلك بعد معارك كر وفر طاحنة استمرت منذ صيف 1941 وحتى التحرير الكامل للمدينة وإبادة الجيوش الألمانية الغازية على تلك الجبهة، وعلى رأسها فرقة الدبابات الثانية لسلاح الإس إس (قوات الصدمة) الهتلرية. واسمها الألماني الكامل: شتورم شتافِلْ

ثانياـ إنّ الجيوش السوڤياتية كانت قد استدرجت الجيوش الهتلرية النازية، بقيادة الفيلد مارشال الألماني فون مانشتاين، والتي كانت لا تزال تسيطر على كلّ شرق أوكرانيا، الى كمين مدفعي صاروخي هائل (كانت راجمة الصواريخ من طراز كاتيوشا قد دخلت لتوّها الخدمة في الجيوش السوفياتية آنذاك)، وعندما اعتقدت القوات الألمانية انّ بإمكانها البدء بهجوم مضاد، باتجاه خطوط الجبهة السوڤياتية، أطبقت عليها الجيوش السوڤياتية وبدأت في هجومها الاستراتيجيّ، بتاريخ 3/8/1943، والذي انتهى بسحق الجيوش الهتلرية النازية على تلك الجبهة بشكل كامل. وقد استمرت هذه المعركة الكبرى حتى 23/8/1943، عندما أنهت الجيوش السوڤياتية هجومها، بتحرير خاركوف ومحيطها، من الاحتلال النازيّ.

ثالثا ـ وبتاريخ 3/8/2022 (التصادف العجيب للزمان والمكان) كانت القواتالروسية، المكلفة بِمَسْكْ محور خاركوڤ / ايزيوم، على أهبة الاستعداد، لتنفيذ أوامر هيئة الأركان العامة الروسية، التي كانت قد استكملت خططها، المبنية على معلومات استخبارية عالية الدقة، حول نوايا مجاميع القوات النازية التي تحرّكها كييڤ، في محاولة تنفيذ عمليات تعرّض للقطعات العسكرية الروسية، على تلك الجبهة. وكانت هذه هي اللحظة المناسبة، لتنفيذ خطة الهجوم الاستدراجي، المتضمّنة مسبقاً في خطة العمليات لدى الأركان العامة الروسية (خطة شهر آب 1943 نفسها وفي المكان نفسه وضدّ التشكيلات النازية نفسها)، حيث بدأت المجاميع النازية بالتحرك الهجومي، ايّ عملية للانفتاح القتالي، مما جعلها عرضة للسقوط في الكمائن الصاروخية والمدفعية والأسلحة الروسية الأخرى، بدءاً من يوم 6/8/2022 وحتى تاريخ 10/8/2022.

رابعا ـ وعلى الرغم من انّ البيانات الرسمية، التي تصدرها وزارة الدفاع الروسية، حول سير العمليات العسكرية على مختلف محاور الجبهات، في الشرق وفي الجنوب، تتسم بأعلى درجات الدقة والرصانة والمصداقية، فلا بدّ من القول إنّ خسائر المجاميع النازية، خلال الأيام الخمسة الماضية حسب مصادر الميدان، أعلى بكثير من الأرقام التي أوردها الناطق العسكري باسم وزارة الدفاع الروسية، الجنرال إيغور كوناشنيكوڤ.

خامساـ إذ انّ مصادر الاستخبارات العسكرية، في دوائر حلف شمال الأطلسي، تتحدث عن سبعة آلاف قتيل وما يزيد قليلاً عن عشرين ألف جريح، تكبّدتها المجاميع النازية خلال محاولاتها الفاشلة على محاور… جبهة خاركوڤ. هذه ارقام تتمتع، حسب تقديرنا، بنوع من المصداقية، خاصة أنّ الخبراء العسكريين ينطلقون، في حساباتهم للخسائر، من حقيقة أنّ كلّ قتيل يكون مترافقاً مع 3-4 جرحى. وهي أرقام تنطبق بدقة على خسائر الطرف الأوكراني. ويُضاف الى ذلك، طبعاً، الخسائر الكبيرة في المعدات والتجهيزات، التي تقدّرها المصادر، المُشار اليها أعلاه، بثلاثمئة دبابة ومدرعة وسيارات الدفع الرباعي، المجهّزة برشاشات ثقيلة، من عيار ٢٣ ملم و٣٧ ملم.

سادسا ـ في خلاصة الأمر، وبغضّ النظر عن التكتيكات، التي ستتبعها القوات الروسيّة وعن كيفية مناورة القيادة العسكرية الروسية بقواتها، سواء على جبهات شرق أو جنوب أوكرانيا، فإنّ الحقيقة المؤكدة لدى الخبراء هي :إنّ المجاميع النازية الأميركية الأطلسية قد استنفدت آخر ما لديها من موارد، بشرية وتسليحية، وزجّت بها الى أتون محرقة تسبّبت بها قيادة تلك المجاميع في كييف، والتي يُفترض أنها كانت على علم بأنّ محاولة الهجوم، التي خططوا لها، لا يمكن أن تتكلل بالنجاح، لأنّ إخراج القوات من تحصيناتها الدفاعية، ودفعها الى التحرك الهجومي، بدون غطاء جوي، هي عملية انتحارية فاشلة بلا أدنى شك.

سابعا ـ وعليه فإنّ هذه المحاولة الكارثية سوف تكون آخر تحرك من نوعه، تقوم به هذه المجاميع، أيّ أنها، وعوضاً عن استعادة المبادرة العسكرية في الميدان، فإنها فقدت القدرة على المبادرة لأيّ تحرك، مهما كان صغيراً، تماماً كما حصل مع الجيوش الهتلرية في محيط خاركوڤ، في شهر آب نفسه من العام 1943.

وغني عن القول انّ هزيمة الجيوش الألمانية، في معركة تحرير خاركوڤ المدينة والمقاطعة، قد مهّدت الطريق لوصول الجيوش السوڤياتية، منتصرة، الى برلين عاصمة الرايخ الثالث، في شهر أيار من العام 1945.

وهو ما يتوقع حصوله الخبراء مع الدمية النازية الأطلسبة، القابعة في كييف، زيلينسكي… الذي على الأرجح سيتمّ إخلاؤه بمروحية عسكرية أميركية، الى بولندا المجاورة، هذا إذا لم يسبقه الى ذلك قيام الشعب بالانتفاضة ضدّه والقبض عليه وزجّه في السجن أو إعدامه ميدانياً، بتهمة ارتكاب سيل من الجرائم في حق الشعب الأوكراني، والتي ليس أقلها إثقال كاهل الأجيال القادمة لهذا الشعب بالديون، التي سرقها هو وعصابته ولم يستفد منها الشعب الأوكراني في شيء أو رتّبها على شعبه بسبب استئجاره القوات الأطلسية والأميركية بديون آجلة، ولكن لأهداف ربحية أميركية محضة.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Interview with Yuri Podolyaka

September 08, 2022

Source

by Batko Milacic

Recently, the Ukrainian army launched a counter-offensive on the southern and eastern front.

The Ukrainian leadership seems to have started to sober up and it has become clear to them that they have no use for false praises about successes on the southern front because in the end the people will find out the real truth.

For this reason, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Anna Molyar, criticized those bloggers and journalists who speak prematurely about the victories of the Ukrainian army, while the former Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Alliance, General Serhiy Krivonos, harshly criticizes the military and state leadership for the large number of victims.

– We have the right to ask the authorities why we have hundreds of thousands of wounded and dead? What did you do to save their lives, General Krivonos said on his YouTube channel. That general believes that more and more citizens will ask the country’s leadership why so many soldiers are dying.

Also, the American Institute for the Study of War admitted that the Ukrainian counterattack in the south of the country cannot lead to significant successes.

At the end of August, a document signed by the commander of the armed forces of Ukraine, General Valerii Zaluzhny, reached social networks. According to that document, at the beginning of July 2022, – 76,640 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, and 42,704 were wounded. At that time, 7,244 Ukrainian soldiers were captured, and 2,816 of them were missing.

Ukrainian counter-offensive in the east it’s also going slow with a lot of casualties.

Kiev has been trying to compensate for the fiasco of their counteroffensive on the southern (Kherson) front – where they lost two motorized brigades and over 300 tanks, other armored fighting vehicles and heavy artillery – with strikes northwest of Kharkiv for the second day. They are suffering heavy losses, as evidenced by the fact that they have been sending reserve forces into the fighting.

Because of all of the above, my interview which I did with the respected Russian analyst Mr. Yuri Podolyaka, who has 2.2 million followers on Telegram, regarding Ukraine (but not just Ukraine) has great importance. The conversation was long, because two Italian journalists took part in it also, but here I will outline Mr. Podolyaka views in short. What is important to emphasize is that Mr. Podolyaka is under the protection of the Russian special services, because his security is threatened by the Ukrainian intelligence services. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian intelligence services use terrorist methods, all with the aim of neutralizing critics who use arguments to expose the lies of the regime in Kiev.

First of all, I was interested when, the special operation in Ukraine will end?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Next year if we’re lucky. Otherwise, in 2024.

Me: Will the Russian army liberate all of Ukraine up to the Vinitsa-Zhytomyr line or will they agree to the division of Ukraine?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: In my opinion, most likely the entire Ukraine will be liberated up to the line Vinitsa-Zhytomyr.

Me: Will there be a mobilization in Russia, bearing in mind that the ratio of the number of soldiers is 1:3 in favor of Ukraine?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: I think there will be no need for mobilization in Russia, because the situation at the front does not require it.

Me: And if Russia decided for mobilization, how would the Russian people react?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: The people would accept it, the majority of Russians are patriots.

Me: We saw that the liberation of Mariupol was difficult, with many victims. Do you expect it to be the same with other major cities in Ukraine?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: No. Ukraine no longer has the resources it used to have. And the longer the conflict lasts, the weaker Ukrainian resources will be.

Me: How many soldiers does Russia lose monthly in Ukraine?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: About 1,500, which is small number for such a demanding special operation from the perspective of the military doctrine. On the other hand, Ukrainians have huge losses.

Me: In your opinion, was the Russian army prepared for the special military operation? Was there a need to provide combat drones and a larger number of soldiers?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Above all, the Russian army and the Russian state wanted peace. This operation in Ukraine was imposed on them by the West. As for readiness, no army is ever fully prepared. Problems always arise. However, the Russian army successfully solves everything as it goes.

Me: Have combat drones from Iran arrived in Russia? Since the flights of transport planes on the route Iran – Russia have been recorded.

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Yes, they arrived. Cooperation was established for mutual benefit. Iran, on the other hand, will receive sophisticated Russian weapons.

Me: In your opinion, did the Russian army make a mistake when it immediately started liberating Kiev? Should Odesa and Kharkiv be liberated first and only then Kiev?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Absolutely, a big mistake was made there, people were lost. The larger pro-Russian cities had to be liberated first, and only then Kiev.

Me: Bearing in mind the bad position of the Russians in Kazakhstan, could the issue of the position of the Russians and the decentralization of Kazakhstan be opened there in the future?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: No. Cooperation between official Moscow and Nur-Sultan is good, so all misunderstandings will be resolved by the agreement of the leaders of the countries. Also, Kazakhstan and Kazakhs need Russia, primarily for economic reasons. On the other hand, Kazakhstan is a soft underbelly for Russia.

Me: In your opinion, what is the future of Belarus?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: After the departure of Lukashenko from power and the settlement of the situation in today’s Ukraine, Belarus will become part of Russia.

Me: If a conflict broke out in the Balkans (Kosovo and Bosnia) in the near future, would Russia have the resources to help the Serbs?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Now there will certainly be no conflict in the Balkans, for one simple reason. The West cannot lead a conflict on two fronts. The West knows that in that case, Russia would solve the situation in Ukraine very quickly.

Me: However, if Russia were to suddenly begin to forcefully win in Ukraine. And if the West then wrote off Ukraine and started a fire in the Balkans, would Russia be able to help the Serbs?

Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Certainly, Russia has enough resources for a conflict on two fronts. Serbs would get help.

Author: Batko Milacic

Ukraine’s Military Suffers over 1,200 Casualties in Failed Offensive: Russian Top Brass

 August 30, 2022

Ukraine’s military lost over 1,200 personnel in the past day upon its attempt to launch an offensive in the Nikolayev-Krivoi Rog and other areas on order by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Tuesday.

The enemy suffered heavy casualties as a result of the rout of the Ukrainian military’s offensive in the Nikolayev-Krivoi Rog and other areas, the spokesman said.

“In the past 24 hours, in their effective operations the Russian forces eliminated 48 tanks, 46 infantry fighting vehicles, 37 other combat armored vehicles, 8 pickup vehicles with large-caliber machine-guns and over 1,200 Ukrainian servicemen,” the general reported.

In repelling the enemy’s advance, the Russian forces routed the units of the Ukrainian army’s 128th separate mountain assault brigade redeployed from western Ukraine to participate in the offensive, Konashenkov said.

 “Five servicemen of that brigade laid down their arms and surrendered,” the spokesman said.

The Russian forces delivered strikes by ground-based precision weapons, eliminating over 200 Ukrainian militants and about 40 foreign mercenaries in the Dnepropetrovsk Region, Konashenkov reported.

“The strikes by ground-based precision weapons in the area of the settlement of Aleksandrovka in the Dnepropetrovsk Region destroyed the following targets: the temporary deployment site and an ammunition depot of the Ukrainian army’s 1st tank brigade. The strikes eliminated over 200 militants, including about 40 foreign mercenaries, more than 20 armored vehicles and a large amount of artillery shells,” the spokesman said.

Over 100 militants of the Ukrainian army’s foreign legion and Kraken armed formation were killed in Russia’s strikes in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Konashenkov reported.

“In the area of Konstantinovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic, concentrated fire strikes were delivered against the temporary deployment site of mercenaries from the foreign legion and against the command post of the Kraken nationalist formation. The strikes eliminated over 100 militants and also seven items of military hardware,” the spokesman said.

Russian combat aircraft, missile and artillery troops struck five Ukrainian army command posts in the past day in their special military operation in Ukraine, Konashenkov reported.

“Operational-tactical and army aviation aircraft, missile troops and artillery continue striking military sites on Ukrainian territory. In the past 24 hours, they hit five command posts, including those of the 108th and 65th mechanized brigades near the settlements of Vodyanoye in the Donetsk People’s Republic and Veselyanka in the Zaporozhye Region, the 35th and 36th marine infantry brigades of the Ukrainian army in the area of Nikolayev and a nationalist formation in the city of Kharkov,” the spokesman said.

The strikes destroyed 52 Ukrainian artillery units, manpower and military hardware in 142 areas. The Russian forces also wiped out three missile/artillery arms and ammunition depots near the settlements of Sarny in the Rovno Region, Krivoi Rog in the Dnepropetrovsk Region and Vernopolye in the Kharkov Region, the general added.

The Russian Aerospace Forces obliterated the production workshops of the Intervzryvprom factory in Krivoi Rog in the Dnepropetrovsk Region, which produced explosives for the Ukrainian army, Konashenkov reported.

“In the city of Krivoi Rog in the Dnepropetrovsk Region, precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces wiped out the production workshops of the Intervzryvprom factory that produced explosives and other items for the Ukrainian troops,” the spokesman said.

In all, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 278 Ukrainian combat aircraft, 148 helicopters, 1,837 unmanned aerial vehicles, 370 surface-to-air missile systems, 4,539 tanks and other combat armored vehicles, 822 multiple rocket launchers, 3,357 field artillery guns and mortars and 5,136 special military motor vehicles since the beginning of their special military operation in Ukraine, Konashenkov reported.

Source: Agencies

An unpleasant truth for Ukrainians is coming to light

August 07, 2022

Source

By Batko Milacic

Ukrainian forces have threatened civilians by setting up bases and operating weapons systems in populated areas, including schools and hospitals, as they battled the Russian intervention that began in February, Amnesty International said in a statement.

“Such a tactic violates international humanitarian law and endangers civilians, as it turns civilian objects into military targets. The Russian strikes that followed in populated areas killed civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure,” the statement said.

– Amnesty International has documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when conducting operations in populated areas – said Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

He pointed out that the defensive position does not free the Ukrainian army from respecting international humanitarian law.

The organization’s researchers spent several weeks from April to July investigating Russian attacks in Kharkiv, Donbass and the Mykolaiv region.

The organization inspected the attacked sites, interviewed survivors, eyewitnesses, relatives of the victims of the attack, and carried out remote detection and analysis of weapons. During those investigations, evidence was found that Ukrainian forces were firing from heavily populated areas and were themselves inside civilian buildings in 19 towns and villages in these regions. The organization analyzed satellite images to further confirm some of these incidents – it is emphasized.

According to Amnesty International, most of the residential areas where the soldiers were located were kilometers away from the front.

– Viable alternatives were available that would not endanger civilians, such as military bases or densely wooded areas nearby, or other structures further away from residential areas. In the cases it has documented, Amnesty International is not aware that the Ukrainian military, located in civilian structures in residential areas, asked or helped civilians to evacuate, which is a failure to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians. announcement.

Directed shooting from populated areas

Amnesty says survivors and eyewitnesses of Russian attacks in Donbass, Kharkiv and the Mykolaiv region told researchers that the Ukrainian military was conducting operations near their homes at the time of the attacks, exposing the areas to counterfire from Russian forces. Amnesty International researchers have witnessed such behavior in numerous locations.

International humanitarian law requires all parties to a conflict to avoid locating, to the greatest extent possible, military targets within or near densely populated areas. Other obligations to protect civilians from the effects of attacks include removing civilians from the vicinity of military targets and providing effective warning of attacks that may affect the civilian population.

– The army was stationed in the house next to ours and my son often brought food to the soldiers. I begged him several times to stay away, because I feared for his safety. That afternoon, when the attack happened, my son was in our yard and I was in the house. He died on the spot. His body was mutilated. Our house was partially destroyed – said the mother of a man (50), who was killed in a rocket attack on June 10 in a village south of Nikolaev.

Amnesty International found military equipment and uniforms in the house next to hers.

Nikola, who lives in the block in Lisichansk in Donbass, which the Russians regularly targeted and killed at least one person, said that it is not clear to him “why our army fires from the cities and not from the fields”.

Another resident said that “there is definitely military activity in the neighborhood.”

– We hear “outgoing” and then “incoming” fire” – he said.

Amnesty International teams saw soldiers using residential buildings located 20 meters from the entrance to the underground shelter, which was used by residents and where an elderly man was killed.

In one Donbas town on May 6, Russian forces used cluster munitions over a neighborhood of mostly one- or two-story houses where Ukrainian forces were manning artillery. Shrapnel damaged the walls of the house where Ana (70) lives with her son and 95-year-old mother.

In early July, a farm worker was injured when Russian forces attacked an agricultural warehouse in the Nikolayev area. Hours after the attack, Amnesty International researchers witnessed the presence of Ukrainian military personnel and vehicles in the grain storage area, and witnesses confirmed that the military was using the warehouse, which is located across from a farm where civilians live and work.

As researchers surveyed damage to residential and public buildings in Kharkiv and villages in the Donbass and east of Mykolaiv, they heard gunfire from nearby Ukrainian military positions.

In Bakhmut, several residents said the Ukrainian military was using a building barely 20 meters across the street from the high-rise. On May 18, a Russian rocket hit the front of the building, partially destroying five apartments and damaging nearby buildings.

Military bases in hospitals

Amnesty International researchers witnessed Ukrainian forces using hospitals as de facto military bases in five locations. In the two cities, dozens of soldiers rested and ate in hospitals. In another town, soldiers fired from near a hospital.

A Russian airstrike on April 28 injured two workers at a medical laboratory in the suburbs of Kharkiv after Ukrainian forces set up a base in the compound.Using hospitals for military purposes is a clear violation of international humanitarian law.

Military bases in schools

The Ukrainian army routinely set up bases in schools in the cities and villages of the Donbass and in the Mykolaiv region. Schools have been temporarily closed to students since the beginning of the conflict, but in most cases the buildings were located near civilian settlements.

In 22 of the 29 schools visited, researchers either found soldiers using the premises or found evidence of current or previous military activity – including the presence of military equipment, ammunition, military ration packs and military vehicles.

Russian forces attacked many schools used by Ukrainian forces. In at least three cities, after Russian bombing of schools, Ukrainian soldiers moved to other schools nearby, putting surrounding neighborhoods at risk of similar attacks.

In a city east of Odessa, Amnesty witnessed Ukrainian soldiers using civilian areas for accommodation and staging areas, including basing armored vehicles under trees in residential areas and using two schools located in densely populated residential areas.

Conclusion

Amnesty International’s report was not a surprise to me as an analyst. Since the beginning of the conflict, all of us who follow the behavior and tactics of the Ukrainian army have witnessed such tactics of the Ukrainian army, which are strictly prohibited by international law. Also, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned about the behavior of the Ukrainian army that threatens innocent civilians. However, the fact that the respected Amnesty International writes about it in its report represents a strategic turn. Bearing in mind that this is an extremely respected Western non-governmental organization, we can safely say that even in the West, the opinion is slowly growing that the criminal behavior of the Ukrainian army will no longer be tolerated.

More

Sitrep Operation Z0V: Back to Hot Steel Rain

July 14, 2022

Source

By Saker Staff

The Ukraine conflict is in fact already a world war, given that the West is fighting Russia via its proxies in Kiev, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told local media on Wednesday.

Serbian President Vucic: “I know what awaits us. As soon as Vladimir Putin has done his work in Seversk, Bakhmut and Soledar, after reaching the second line Slaviansk-Kramatorsk-Avdeevka, he will come up with a proposal. And if they [the West] don’t accept it, – and they won’t – all hell will break loose.”

On the Hot Front

The situation in the Soledar direction as of 12.00 on July 14, 2022
🔻On the Seversk front:
Units of the Allied forces are fighting on the outskirts of Verkhnekamenskoye with the aim of reaching the eastern outskirts of Seversk.
Clashes continue in the vicinity of Ivano-Dariivka, taking the settlement and the station is important for reaching Seversk from the south, as well as cutting the road to Soledar.
🔻On the Soledar front:
Soldiers of the 6th Cossack regiment of the LPR took the settlements of Novaya Kamenka and Stryapovka, reaching the eastern outskirts of Soledar.
Units of the Allied Forces are fighting in Yakovlevka.
The units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are entrenched in the eastern part of Berestovoye on the Soledar — Lisichansk highway.
🔻On the Bakhmut front:
Russian forces are fighting near the village of Pokrovskoye. Together with the nearby Bakhmutsky, they are the last settlements controlled by the AFU on the approaches to Bakhmut from the east.

We have a naming problem from time to time.  With translations, the names of the villages and areas frequently get mistranslated.  (Eg. Kharkov in Russian, is Kharkiv in Ukrainian, and Ilium in Russian translates to ‘Raisins’ in English machine translations).

So, for those struggling to follow, let’s repeat two simple maps for orientation:

Overview

Oblasts

Yes, the front line is on fire.  As we’ve seen before, there is a lot of quiet time, positional battles, rest and relaxation for soldiers and then hell breaks loose.

On the broader front (please note the correct channel for the Russian Mod in English – https://t.me/mod_russia_en and in Russian  https://t.me/mod_russia)

⚡️Russian Defence Ministry report on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine

▫️The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine. The enemy suffers significant losses.

💥High-precision strikes near Bereznegovatoye, Nikolaev Region, Konstantinovka and Kramatorsk, Donetsk People’s Republic, hit temporary deployment points of units of 35th Marine Brigade, 54th Mechanized Brigade, 81st Airmobile Brigade and 109th Territorial Defence Brigade. As a result of strikes, the total losses of these formations amounted up to 1,000 personnel and more than 100 pieces of military equipment.

💥High-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit temporary deployment point of 14th Mechanized Brigade battalion manned by nationalists and foreign mercenaries near Chasov Yar, Donetsk People’s Republic. The attacks have resulted in the destruction of 43 militants and about 170 injured.

🚁💥Russian army aviation hit temporary deployment point of 97th Battalion of 60th Mechanized Brigade of AFU near Malaya Tokmachka, Zaporozhye Region, with high-precision missiles. The attacks have resulted in the destruction of 30 militants and about 37 injured.

▫️Conflicts and clashes with the use of weapons have increased among nationalist fighters. On July 13, more than 200 fighters of the 226th Kraken nationalist formation refused to follow the command’s order to move to the Kramatorsk area and claimed a “transfer” to the Kharkov city’ territorial defence. During the ensuing fight with the commanders and the ensuing gunfight, 6 militants were killed.

▫️Russian Armed Forces continue strikes against military facilities in Ukraine.

💥High-precision sea-based Kalibr missiles destroyed multiple rocket launcher vehicles of 45th Artillery Brigade of AFU hidden in hangars at the high voltage equipment plant in Zaporozhye city.

💥In addition, high-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed 4 command posts, including those of 61st Infantry Jaeger Brigade of AFU near Bereznegovatoye in Nikolaev Region and 80th Airborne Assault Brigade near Kramatorsk, 3 ammunition depots near Soledar, Tat’yanovka in Donetsk People’s Republic and Nikolaev, 1 fuel storage facility for military equipment near Kharkov, and 21 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration.

💥As part of the counter-battery fighting, 1 battery of multiple rocket launchers near Slavyansk, 1 platoon of MLRS near Nikolaevka in Donetsk People’s Republic, and 1 artillery platoon of US-made M-777 howitzers at firing positions in Pervomaiskyi in Kharkov Region were destroyed.

💥Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops and artillery hit 19 command posts, 78 areas of artillery units in firing positions and 232 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration.

✈️💥Russian Aerospace Forces fighters have shot down 2 aircraft of Ukrainian air force in the air: 1 Su-24 near Slavyansk and 1 MiG-29 near Troitskoye, Donetsk People’s Republic.

💥Russian air defence means destroyed 12 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Balakleya, Izyum, Lozovaya, Shchurovka in Kharkov Region, Snegirevka, Novaya Kakhovka in Kherson Region, Belogorovka, Karmazinovka, Slavyanoserbsk, Mikhailovka in Lugansk People’s Republic and Derilovo in Donetsk People’s Republic.

💥In addition, 2 Tochka-U ballistic missiles and 6 rockets of Uragan multiple-launch rocket system were intercepted near Novaya Kakhovka in Nikolaev Region.

📊In total, 249 Ukrainian airplanes and 137 helicopters, 1,534 unmanned aerial vehicles, 354 anti-aircraft missile systems, 4,050 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 744 multiple launch rocket systems, 3,145 field artillery and mortars, as well as 4,292 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.

The Nikolaev Ukrop base now looks like this:

Yet, another shelling of Donetsk Center has just happened.  Here is the video:  https://t.me/russianhead/5253?single

https://t.me/russianhead/5253?embed=1

Military summary at the end of day yesterday starts with, The Worst Nightmare for the Ukrainians has Started.

We remain with questions:

What is Mr Putin going to do in Iran next week in his talks with Raisi and Erdogan?

and, can we take Vucic seriously?

Serbian President Vucic: “I know what awaits us. As soon as Vladimir Putin has done his work in Seversk, Bakhmut and Soledar, after reaching the second line Slaviansk-Kramatorsk-Avdeevka, he will come up with a proposal. And if they [the West] don’t accept it, – and they won’t – all hell will break loose.”

Are we reaching an end phase of this part of the SMO?

Ukrainian propaganda is in full voice and that includes western propaganda.  Keep ‘yer eyes peeled.  Take in Larry Johnson’s latest:  “The speed of Russia’s advance appears to be accelerating. There are reports today that Russian forces are entering the outskirts of Seversk, one of the key strong points of the new Ukrainian defensive line. If true, the Russians are likely to achieve a strategic breakthrough in the Donetsk. What the gullible reporters and the morons who staff the CIA and DIA fail to comprehend is that Russia’s tactic of systematically destroying the air, armor and artillery assets over the past three months appears to have achieved Clausewitz’s culminating point–i.e., the point at which a military force is no longer able to perform its operations.” https://sonar21.com/western-media-and-military-analysts-still-dazed-and-confused/

The seeds of the split: How the Russian-speaking Donbass first attempted to win independence from Ukraine in 2004

11 Jul, 2022

FILE PHOTO.Viktor Yanukovich, former Prime Minister of Ukraine, greets his supporters in Severodonetsk, eastern Ukraine, 28 November, 2004. © AFP / PHOTO MIG

In late June, after fierce fighting, the last remaining units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces pulled out of Severodonetsk, a large industrial center in the western part of the Lugansk People’s Republic.

Back in 2004, the city hosted the famous congress of the ‘federalists’, Ukrainian politicians – elected at different levels – who backed the presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych during the Western-backed Orange Revolution. Back then, they declared then that the Kiev protests were an attempted coup and warned that an illegitimate government coming to power could prompt the congress to establish south-eastern autonomy to protect local residents.

At the same time, regional deputies decided to hold a referendum on changing the country into a federal state and appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for support. In this article, RT recounts the first attempt of Ukraine’s southeastern regions to gain independence from Kiev and explains why the events of 2004 defined the future armed conflict in Donbass.

Just a step away from federation

Political discussions about a possible disintegration and reconfiguration of Ukraine have been going on ever since the country became independent in 1991. Ironically, one of the first people to doubt the country’s unity was Vyacheslav Chornovol, the founder of the national democratic party Narodny Rukh (People’s Movement) and a hero for Ukrainian nationalists. Admittedly, he only mentioned the possibility of turning Ukraine into a federation. The idea of federalization was the focal point of discussions that – until the Maidan political crisis of 2014 – were commonly referred to as “separatist” discourse.

As early as 1989, Chornovol said that Ukraine should be a “union of lands.” “I imagine future Ukraine as a federal state, a union of lands, which have come together throughout the course of history and whose natural, climatic, cultural, ethnographic, and linguistic differences, as well as idiosyncrasies in their economies, habits, and customs define the unique diversity of a single people. I envision the People’s Republic of Ukraine, which includes such lands as the Kiev Region, Podolye, Volhynia, Galichina, Bukovina, Transcarpathia, Getmanshchina, Sloboda Ukraine, Zaporozhye, the Donetsk region, and Tauria, whereas Crimea could be an independent neighbor or an autonomous republic in alliance with Ukraine,” he wrote

Chornovol added that Ukrainian should be the only state language in the new federation, although local authorities could make certain provinces bilingual.

Two years later, in 1991, Chornovol initiated the convention of the so-called Galicia Assembly, which spoke in favor of administrative reform and the creation of a new autonomous regional entity, Galichina, based on the amalgamation of the Lviv, Ternopol, and Ivano-Frankovsk Regions. Even though the assembly was one of the catalysts of Ukraine’s independence, Chornovol’s supporters were accused of separatism after Leonid Kravchuk was elected president. This was in large part due to ideas to create a Donetsk Republic and Novorossiya in the Russian-speaking southeast of Ukraine, which began circulating in the 1990s. Over time, Chornovol’s proposals came to be viewed as too radical, and opponents of federalization have been linking his designs with the breakup of the country for more than 30 years now.

When the Ukrainian constitution was adopted in 1996, it defined Ukraine as a unitary state, which removed the issue of federalization from the agenda. And yet, apart from the 24 regions and two federal-level cities (Kiev and Sevastopol), Ukraine also included the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which, for a few years, even had its own constitution and president. Throughout those years, Ukrainian presidents Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma managed to strike the right balance in their foreign and domestic policies, especially as regards to handling relations between regions on both sides of the “Subtelny line,” which is traditionally used to divide Ukraine into two distinct parts.

FILE PHOTO. Some 3,500 local officials from 17 of Ukraine’s 27 regions meet in Severodonetsk, an eastern Ukrainian town 28 November, 2004. © AFP / PHOTO MIG

However, in 2004, when the outcome of the protests was still uncertain, politicians who supported Yanukovych (dubbed “pro-Russian” in the West, despite his years of negotiations with the EU) revived the idea of federalization. Members of the Party of Regions claimed that Ukraine had failed as a unitary state and therefore had to be reorganized as a federation with a high degree of autonomy at the level of administrative and territorial entities. Ukraine was going through a real crisis, and, probably for the first time, that schism was pushing the country to the brink of an all-out civilian conflict.

“Not going to let Galichina tell us how to live our lives”

The mass protests in Kiev, which would later be known as the Orange Revolution, were met with little enthusiasm in the southeast of Ukraine, especially in Donbass. While protesters at the Maidan claimed their ‘pro-European’ candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, had his victory “stolen from him,” many supporters of Yanukovych felt the same watching their opponents clamor for official election results, which had declared the latter victorious, to be repealed. A response to the protests in the capital was imminent.

On November 28, the All-Ukrainian Congress of Deputies of All Levels welcomed more than 3,500 pro-Yanukovych delegates from across the country. They declared that the protests were an attempted coup and warned that an illegitimate Yushchenko-led government taking over Kiev could prompt the congress to establishautonomy to protect the residents of southeastern Ukraine.

The final statement of the congress, which had been unanimously adopted by its delegates, said: “If the sociopolitical situation in the country develops according to the worst crisis scenario, we will stand firm and united to defend the vote of the people of Ukraine going as far as holding a referendum on possible changes to the administrative and territorial structure of Ukraine.” The significance of the gathering was further elevated by the presence of Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who delivered a sharp rebuke to Ukraine’s radical opposition. “On the one hand, we’re seeing this orange-fueled mayhem [orange became the symbol of support for Yushchenko – RT], which claims to represent the majority in Ukraine. On the other hand, we have this quiet force gathered in this room today,” Luzhkov said to a round of applause. 

At the same time, the Regional Council of Lugansk came up with an alternative project, proposing the establishment of the South-East Ukrainian Autonomous Republic with Kharkov as its capital city. Along with the initiative, local MPs also asked President Putin to help them organize a referendum on Ukraine’s federalization. The referendum was scheduled for December 5, 2004. At the same time, the Regional Council of Donetsk decided to establish its own police force. 

Leaders of Ukraine’s southeastern regions began to voice their support for the idea of reorganizing the country. Kharkov’s authorities decided to set up committees that would have executive state powers. Governor Yevgeny Kushnarev was elected head of the regional executive committee – he was well known as a pro-Russian politician and supporter of federalization, as well as a presidential hopeful according to many journalists and activists. His responsibilities at the time included coordination between other councils in the southeastern territories. The Kharkov Region also stopped making payments to the national budget, waiting for the situation in Kiev to stabilize.    

It was Kushnarev who put into words the idea that later defined the development of the Donbass armed conflict. Speaking at the Severodonetsk conference, he said, “I’d like to remind you that we are 400 kilometers away from Kiev and 40 kilometers away from Russia. We understand that the east is very different from Galicia in the west. We are not imposing our way of life on Galicia, but we will never let Galicia lecture us either.” Together with Boris Kolesnikov, head of the Regional Council of Donetsk, he proposed organizing a referendum in every city to see if people trusted the government and asked what they thought of ‘relaunching’ Ukraine as a federal republic.  

All of this political activity in the country’s southeast caused some serious concerns in the West, where governments started to see that the dissolution of the state was quite possible. The diplomatic channels were activated. EU and Russian representatives began making frequent visits in order to work out some compromises. At the end of the day, they didn’t include a referendum, but a process was agreed on to transfer power to Yushchenko. The compromise worked like this: Yushchenko got the green light at the election, and his win in the runoff was accepted by the opponents. In return, he agreed to change the constitution and have presidential privileges reduced as of January 1, 2005, thus turning Ukraine into a parliamentary republic. The local governments in the South-East wrapped up their plans. 

One Step Closer to the Abyss

As time went on, everyone felt comfortable forgetting about the convention of ‘federalists’ in Severodonetsk and the programs announced by the local governments in the South-East. They were only recalled when attempts were made to blackmail or jail the local big wigs. One shouldn’t underestimate the significance of those events, however. It was the very first time the South-East made it clear what its response was to “patriots” in Kiev trying to seize power and disregard the opinion of half the country’s population while they were at it. Back then, there were no consequences because the parties to the conflict worked out a solution based on compromise, while Russia abstained from backing and pushing Yanukovych.

A little later, however, the members of the Severodonetsk rally came under severe pressure. A criminal charge was launched against Evgeny Kushnarev – a famous member of the Party of Regions – on the grounds of separatism, to be dropped later. That was enough for Kushnarev to distance himself from the separatism agenda, focusing instead on regional issues. In 2005, he “engaged,” as he called it, Yanukovych by merging his New Democracy platform into the Party of Regions. The two politicians ran together in the parliamentary elections in 2006. It was Kushnarev who addressed the items on the election program the most, including the issue of the status of the Russian language.

In January 2007, Kushnarev was severely wounded during a wolf hunt in the Izyum district of Kharkov Region. He was shot by one of his friends, who had joined him for the hunt. A day later, Kushnarev died in spite of two surgeries. He was regarded as the leading anti-Maidan spokesman and a pro-Russian candidate for presidency.

The events of those years – Maidan, federalization attempts in southeastern Ukraine and the death of a popular champion of Russia and federalism, Evgeny Kushnarev – marked the end of the first era in the history of an independent Ukraine. The people in power, Kuchma included, were anything but impeccable. They had a lot to answer for. But they were forged in the Soviet era and they had a sense of responsibility for their country and understood how complex the situation really was in Ukraine and abroad.

During that period, politicians avoided any radical steps and tried to resolve conflicts through compromise. But when Yushchenko came to power, he abandoned this approach and attempted to impose on Ukraine an agenda that was alien to millions of its citizens. Aggressive ‘Ukrainianization’ and a policy aimed at distancing the country from Russia eventually resulted in mounting tensions and a protracted political crisis. 

All of that has brought Ukraine to its present state – a country plagued by domestic political crises and economic instability, a nation suffering territorial loss and ravaged by an armed conflict in the southeast that began in 2014. Today, Ukrainians look back on the period, which ended in 2004, as the last peaceful era in Ukraine’s modern history. Kiev’s failure to draw the right conclusions from the ‘Severodonetsk case’ contributed to the tragedy Ukraine experienced in 2014. Ukrainian society was never able to bridge its internal divide, and the revolution that came a decade later only split the country further, leading to the loss of Crimea and a bloody war in Donbass.

By Alexander Nepogodin, аn Odessa-born political journalist, expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union.

When the Lies Come Home

June 19, 2022

After lying for months, the media are preparing the public for Ukraine’s military collapse.

Douglas MacGregor at The American Conservative

Diogenes, one of the ancient world’s illustrious philosophers, believed that lies were the currency of politics, and those lies were the ones he sought to expose and debase. To make his point, Diogenes occasionally carried a lit lantern through the streets of Athens in the daylight. If asked why, Diogenes would say he was searching for an honest man.

Finding an honest man today in Washington, D.C., is equally challenging. Diogenes would need a Xenon Searchlight in each hand.

Still, there are brief moments of clarity inside the Washington establishment. Having lied prolifically for months to the American public about the origins and conduct of the war in Ukraine, the media are now preparing the American, British, and other Western publics for Ukraine’s military collapse. It is long overdue.

The Western media did everything in its power to give the Ukrainian defense the appearance of far greater strength than it really possessed. Careful observers noted that the same video clips of Russian tanks under attack were shown repeatedly. Local counterattacks were reported as though they were operational maneuvers.

Russian errors were exaggerated out of all proportion to their significance. Russian losses and the true extent of Ukraine’s own losses were distorted, fabricated, or simply ignored. But conditions on the battlefield changed little over time. Once Ukrainian forces immobilized themselves in static defensive positions inside urban areas and  the central Donbas, the Ukrainian position was hopeless. But this development was portrayed as failure by the Russians to gain “their objectives.”

Ground-combat forces that immobilize soldiers in prepared defenses will be identified, targeted, and destroyed from a distance. When persistent overhead intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, whether manned or unmanned, are linked to precision guided-strike weapons or modern artillery systems informed by accurate targeting data, “holding ground” is fatal to any ground force. This is all the more true in Ukraine, because it was apparent from the first action that Moscow focused on the destruction of Ukrainian forces, not on the occupation of cities or the capture of Ukrainian territory west of the Dnieper River.

The result has been the piecemeal annihilation of Ukrainian forces. Only the episodic infusion of U.S. and allied weapons kept Kiev’s battered legions in the field; legions that are now dying in great numbers thanks to Washington’s proxy war.

Kiev’s war with Moscow is lost. Ukrainian forces are being bled white. Trained replacements do not exist in sufficient numbers to influence the battle, and the situation grows more desperate by the hour. No amount of U.S. and allied military aid or assistance short of direct military intervention by U.S. and NATO ground forces can change this harsh reality.

The problem today is not ceding territory and population to Moscow in Eastern Ukraine that Moscow already controls. The future of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions along with the Donbas is decided. Moscow is also likely to secure Kharkov and Odessa, two cities that are historically Russian and Russian-speaking, as well as the territory that adjoins them. These operations will extend the conflict through the summer. The problem now is how to stop the fighting.

Whether the fighting stops in the early fall will depend on two key factors. The first involves the leadership in Kiev. Will the Zelensky government consent to the Biden program for perpetual conflict with Russia?

If the Biden administration has its way, Kiev will continue to operate as a base for the buildup of new forces poised to threaten Moscow. In practice, this means Kiev must commit national suicide by exposing the Ukrainian heartland west of the Dnieper River to massive, devastating strikes by Russia’s long-range missile and rocket forces.

Of course, these developments are not inevitable. Berlin, Paris, Rome, Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia, Vilnius, Riga, Tallin, and, yes, even Warsaw, do not have to blindly follow Washington’s lead. Europeans, like most Americans, are already peering into the abyss of an all-encompassing economic downturn that Biden’s policies are creating at home. Unlike Americans who must cope with the consequences of Biden’s ill-conceived policies, European governments can opt out of Biden’s perpetual-war plan for Ukraine.

The second factor involves Washington itself. Having poured more than $60 billion or a little more than $18 billion a month in direct or indirect transfers into a Ukrainian state that is now crumbling, the important question is, what happens to millions of Ukrainians in the rest of the country that did not flee? And where will the funds come from to rebuild Ukraine’s shattered society in a developing global economic emergency?

When inflation costs the average American household an extra $460 per month to buy the same goods and services this year as they did last year, it is quite possible that Ukraine could sink quietly beneath the waves like the Titanic without evoking much concern in the American electorate. Experienced politicians know that the American span of attention to matters beyond America’s borders is so short that an admission of defeat in Ukraine would probably have little or no immediate consequences.

However, the effects of repeated strategic failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria are cumulative. In the 1980s, General Motors wanted to dictate the kind of automobiles Americans would buy, but American consumers had different ideas. That’s why G.M., which dominated the U.S. market for 77 years, lost its top spot to Toyota. Washington cannot dictate all outcomes, nor can Washington escape accountability for its profligate spending and having ruined American prosperity.

In November, Americans will go to the polls. The election itself will do more than test the integrity of the American electoral process. The election is also likely to ensure that Biden is remembered for his intransigence; his refusal to change course, like Herbert Hoover in 1932. Democrats will recall that their predecessors in the Democratic Party effectively ran against Hoover for more than a half century. Republicans may end up running against Joe Biden for the next 50 years.


Douglas Macgregor, Col. (ret.) is a senior fellow with The American Conservative, the former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, a decorated combat veteran, and the author of five books.

US tested neuromodulators on socially vulnerable Ukrainians: Russia

16 Jun 2021

The Russian armed forces expose the atrocities of the US military biological programs in Ukraine and Cuba.

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The US administration acknowledged the financing of 46 Ukrainian biolabs

Igor Kirillov, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense of the Russian Armed Forces, revealed Thursday that employees of the laboratory in the village of Sorokovka in the Kharkov region tested highly active neuromodulators that caused irreversible damage to the central nervous system as part of the US military biological program in the region.

Sorokovka hosted a branch of the Merefa laboratory, built at the expense of the Pentagon, Kirillov said. In Merefa, laboratory staff performed experiments on patients from psychiatric clinics in Kharkov, he added.

“In accordance with the available information, highly active substances of neuromodulators were tested on socially vulnerable citizens of Ukraine, which caused, among other things, irreversible damage to the central nervous system. This is a clear violation of the norms of international treaties in the field of human rights,” Kirillov warned.

Experiments have been ongoing since 2011

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the laboratory in Sorokovka was listed as a company for the production of food additives, and with the start of the war in Ukraine, the equipment under the control of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was taken to the western regions of Ukraine.

Kirillov mentioned that experiments on mentally ill people in Ukraine have been ongoing since at least 2011, adding that one of the curators, US citizen Linda Oporto Alharoun, has repeatedly visited the laboratory near Kharkov.

He recalled that earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry had reported that employees of the biological laboratory in Merefa, built with US funding, had conducted experiments on patients of psychiatric clinics in Kharkov in the period from 2019 to 2021. One of the organizers of this illegal activity was US citizen Alharoun.

US confirmed link between Pentagon & biolabs in Ukraine

The Russian official pointed out that the US had confirmed the connection between Pentagon and biolabs in Ukraine.

Kirillov told a briefing that “on June 9, the Pentagon website published an official statement on US biological activities in the post-Soviet space. In it, the US administration acknowledged the fact of financing 46 Ukrainian biological laboratories and the connection of the US Department of Defense with the Ukrainian Science and Technology Center.”

He also noted that Russia has documents proving the connection between the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the US on biological laboratories.

Infectious diseases on the rise in Donbass due to biolabs

Kirillov underlined that infectious diseases have become more frequent in the Donbass region after Pentagon started funding Ukrainian biological programs in 2015.

“Infectious diseases have become more frequent among residents and military personnel of the LPR [Lugansk People’s Republic] and DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] after the start of funding of Ukrainian biological programs by the Pentagon in 2015,” he said.

He also noted during the briefing that the incidence of tularemia in the DPR increased by 9.5 times in 2016 when compared to 2007.

Biolabs in Ukraine caused dengue outbreaks in Cuba

In the same context, the Russian official revealed that biological laboratories in Ukraine cultivated dengue mosquitoes that caused artificial outbreaks in Cuba during the 1970s and 1980s.

Kirillov considered that the history of the outbreaks induced in Cuba in the 70s and 80s of the last century is completely silenced, especially the use of Aedes mosquitoes as biological weapons – the same ones that the US military cultivated in Ukraine.

Sitrep Operation Z: Denazification and Demilitarization by the hundreds

June 08, 2022

Source

By Amarynth

This will function as an open thread on the SMO in the Ukraine.

To start it off, we look at the early morning Russian Mod Report, in parsed form:

Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry

The Ukrainian grouping in Donbass is suffering significant losses in manpower, weapons and military equipment.

During the liberation of Svyatogorsk in Donetsk People’s Republic in three days of fighting alone, Ukrainian troops suffered:

  • losses of over 300 nationalists,
  • six tanks,
  • 5 armoured combat vehicles of various types,
  • 36 field artillery guns and mortars,
  • 4 Grad multiple rocket launchers and
  • over 20 automotive equipment.

High-precision air-based missiles have hit armoured plant near Kharkov, which have been repairing and restoring tanks and other AFU armoured vehicles.

In addition, high-precision air-based missiles have hit

  • 2 command posts, 1
  • 3 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as
  • 1 battery of Uragan multiple-launch rocket systems near Kharkov.
  • 4 weapon and ammunition depots have been destroyed near Malinovka in Kharkov Region, Spornoe in Donetsk People’s Republic and Zvanovka in Lugansk People’s Republic.
  • 1 fuel depot for AFU equipment has been destroyed near Chuhuev, Kharkov Region.

Operational-tactical aviation have hit

  • 63 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration.

The attacks have resulted in the elimination of

  • command post of 14th AFU Mechanized Brigade,
  • over 160 nationalists,
  • 8 tanks,
  • 2 Grad multiple rocket launchers,
  • 1 artillery battery,
  • 1 electronic warfare station and
  • 13 vehicles of various purposes.

Russian air defence means have shot down

  • 2 MiG-29 aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force near Snegirevka, Nikolaev Region, as well as
  • 1 Mi-8 helicopter near Belaya Krinitsya, Nikolaev Region.

In addition,

  • 11 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles have been shot down near Donetsk, Rubtsy, Lozovoe, Krasnorechenskoe, Koroviy Yar, Peski Rad’kovskoe in Donetsk People’s Republic, Izyum, Dergachi in Kharkov Region and Chernobaivka in Kherson Region.
  • 3 Tochka-U missiles and
  • 5 Smerch rockets have been intercepted near Chernobaevka, Kherson Region.

Missile and artillery have hit

  • 68 command posts,
  • 172 AFU artillery positions, including
  • 2 batteries of Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems near Aleksandrovka and Kutuzovka,
  • 1 battery of Uragan MLRS near Kitsevka, Kharkov region, as well as
  • 261 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration.

▫️The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than

  • 320 nationalists,
  • 4 ammunition depots near Novolenovka in Zaporozhye Region,
  • 9 armoured vehicles,
  • 3 Grad multiple rocket launchers,
  • 15 field artillery and mortars,
  • 14 special vehicles, and
  • Buk-M1 surface-to-air missile launchers near Shelkoplyasy and OSA-AKM in Verhnyaya Roganka in Kharkov Region.

To my count the Ukronazi military manpower losses touches on +- 800 for one day.   I think the Russian MoD is undercounting, in an attempt to be accurate for the day.

Kindly use as open thread.  A lot has happened on the front lines, but you may agree with me that at this pace of attrition, this phase cannot continue on for much longer.  Something has to give.

WHAT’S NEXT

The world after anti-Russian sanctions (not a forecast, it’s reality)

By Dmitry Medvedev

1- A number of global supply chains will collapse and a major logistical crisis could arise, including the collapse of foreign airlines that will be banned from flying over Russian airspace.

2- The energy crisis will deepen in countries that have imposed sanctions on Russian energy supplies, fossil fuel prices will continue to rise, and the development of the digital economy in the world will slow down.

3- There will be an international food crisis, leading to famine in some countries.

4 – A monetary and financial crisis is possible in some countries or groups of countries, combined with undermining of the stability of some national currencies, runaway inflation and the destruction of the legal system protecting private property.

5 – New regional military conflicts will arise where the situation has not been resolved peacefully for many years or where the important interests of major international players are ignored.

6 – Terrorists, who believe that the Western authorities’ attention is now distracted by the confrontation with Russia, will become more active.

7 – New epidemics will break out, caused by a lack of international cooperation on health and epidemiological issues or caused by the proven use of biological weapons.

8 – International institutions, which have not proved their effectiveness in resolving the situation in Ukraine, such as the Council of Europe, will lose their importance.

9 – New international alliances will be formed, based on Anglo-Saxon criteria that are pragmatic rather than ideological.

10 – As a result, a new security architecture is being created which recognises:
(a) the weakness of Western concepts of international relations such as “rules-based order” and other meaningless Western rubbish;
(b) the collapse of the idea of an America-centric world;
(c) the existence of internationally respected interests of those countries in sharp conflict with the Western world.

In the following post Medwedev says that all of this is not just a forecast, but is a process already underway.

Russian MoD: Briefing on the results of the analysis of documents related to the military biological activities of the United States on the territory of Ukraine

May 28, 2022

The Russian Defence Ministry continues to study materials on the implementation of military biological programs of the United States and its NATO allies on the territory of Ukraine.

Under the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons, each State Party submits an annual report in the form of a declaration of compliance with the requirements of the convention. It is currently the only reporting document on the implementation of the Convention in the framework of the Confidence Building Measures.

Due to the investigation of US military and biological activities on the territory of Ukraine, we have analysed the documents sent by these states to the UN.

It should be noted that neither Ukraine nor the United States provided information on cooperative biological research and development in the area of biological protection in the said submissions (in Form A, Part 2 “i”). Also, Poland and Germany have not declared engagement with Ukraine in their reports.

In addition, in these reports (Form F) for the period from 2016 to 2020, Ukraine states that: “The Government of Ukraine has not conducted and is not conducting any offensive or defensive activities in the framework of biological research and development programmes. The Government of Ukraine does not have any information on such activities of the former USSR on the territory of Ukraine since January 1, 1946”.

This contradicts a May 20, 2022 statement by Lewis Gitter, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the OSCE, that assistance to Kiev is aimed at “…reducing biological and veterinary risks, as well as securing the illegal stockpiles of biological weapons left behind by the USSR…”.

In addition, there are numerous inconsistencies in Ukraine’s reporting. Thus, the Confidence Building Measures form A for 2020 declares the complete absence of national biosecurity programmes. The Research Institute of Microbial Strain Biotechnology in Kiev, as a participant in the biological defence programme, is listed in part 2 “i” of this form.

In addition, the characteristics of the facility (area of laboratory facilities, number of staff) do not match the information previously submitted by Ukraine.

The question arises: Why did the US and Ukraine’s reporting documents to the UN not include work under the joint military-biological projects codenamed UP? Such secrecy is another reason to think about the true goals of the Pentagon in Ukraine.

The official documents before you confirm that the Pentagon, represented by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), is organising work with a clear military-biological focus.

Note the memorandum prepared by the Office of the US Secretary of Defense regarding the UP-2 project to map highly dangerous pathogens in Ukraine.

The document notes that the main objective of this project is to collect information on the molecular composition of pathogens specific to Ukraine and to transfer samples of strains.

Separately, it is emphasised that this work should be in line with the main guidelines for the Ukraine Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme on Preventing the Spread of Biological Weapons on November 29, 2005.

A similar memorandum was prepared as part of the UP-1 project to study rickettsia and other diseases spread by arthropods. The document notes the need to transfer all collections of highly dangerous pathogens to a central reference laboratory in order to facilitate their orderly export to the USA.

As part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme, an extensive UP-4 project was carried out to investigate the possibility of spreading highly dangerous infections through migratory birds. Documents received show that 991 biological samples were collected between November 2019 and January 2020 alone.

A total of ten such projects (including UP-3, UP-6, UP-8, UP-10) have been reported to have involved work with pathogens of particularly dangerous and economically important infections – Congo-Crimean fever, leptospirosis, tick-borne encephalitis and African swine fever.

Today, we would also like to draw attention to the numerous breaches of safety requirements in Ukrainian laboratories.

For example, work with dangerous pathogens under Pentagon control in Kharkov, Kiev and a number of other cities was carried out in laboratories with insufficient staff protection. However, according to official data, only three laboratories with a BSL-3 biosafety level are authorised to conduct such tests. These are the Odessa Anti-Plague Institute, the Lvov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene and the Public Health Centre in Kiev.

The Security Service of Ukraine noted the preconditions for the emergence of biological threats due to systematic violations and poor quality of work in the reconstruction of biolaboratories.

Black & Veatch, for example, declared that it spent UAH 37.8m on upgrading three veterinary laboratories in 2013. An independent expert review found that the actual cost of the work was overstated compared to the reported costs by UAH 17.7 millions.

This difference was reportedly sent to the accounts of fictitious companies such as Golden Ukraine, BK Profbudinvest and Capital Trade Agency, which further confirms the use of “grey” financial schemes in the personal interests of US and Ukrainian officials.

It is noteworthy that the US handlers demanded that the reference laboratory in Merefa be given a higher level of biosecurity. The Kharkovproject organisation said that this was not possible under the prevailing conditions and refused to approve the project. However, the regional administration decided to go ahead with the reconstruction. The facility was commissioned in circumvention of biosafety regulations and requirements. In doing so, the Pentagon’s total cost for its modernisation was around $15 million. But where the funds really went is unknown.

Note the report of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on the results of an inspection of the strain collection of the Ukrainian anti-plague institute in Odessa, which totalled 654 samples. There were 32 strains of anthrax, 189 of tularemia, 11 of brucellosis and 422 of cholera in storage at the facility.

The report shows gross violations of storage conditions for micro-organisms, lack of access control and management systems and inadequate ventilation systems.

In April 2017, there was a case of internal laboratory infection with tick-borne encephalitis in one of the institute’s laboratories as a result of a safety violation.

According to eyewitness accounts of an incident that took place in 2021, an employee of a biolaboratory removed several vials containing dangerous microorganisms from the institution’s premises. The consequences of such cases can only be guessed at.

It should be noted that all violations occurred during the period of the US bio-threat reduction programme. This demonstrates that Washington’s officially declared goals are merely a screen for the implementation of illegal military-biological activities in Ukraine.

The neglect of pathogens, the unprofessionalism and corruption of the executive branch, and the destructive influence of US handlers pose a direct threat to Ukrainian and European civilians.

Russian Defence Ministry experts have confirmed that Ukrainian biolaboratories are connected to the global communicable disease surveillance system.

The backbone of this network, which has been formed by the Pentagon since 1997, is the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Maryland). It includes land and naval laboratories as well as military bases around the world.

It should be noted that the deployment of such a network follows a typical scenario.

The Americans are initially concerned about the state of the epidemic in the region. The next step is to ensure that officials, particularly those in the health ministries, have an interest and a financial incentive to work together, and to enter into intergovernmental agreements. As a result, a biocontainment facility is erected and connected to the single biomonitoring system. All of the country’s biological developments become the US domain. Moreover, restrictions are placed on local professionals’ access to a range of tests, as well as on their results.

Meanwhile, the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is actively implementing automated disease monitoring hardware and software, as well as systems to control access and movement of pathogenic biological agents in storage and research facilities.

Equipping biological facilities with these information systems as part of the Biological Threat Reduction Program allows the U.S. to secure its military contingents in deployment areas, remotely monitor biolaboratories outside national jurisdiction and influence the global biological environment.

As part of the special military operation, materials of US instructors training Ukrainian specialists in emergency response to smallpox outbreaks were discovered in biolaboratories in Ukraine.

The Pentagon’s interest in this infection is far from accidental: the return of the smallpox pathogen would be a global catastrophe for all mankind.

Thus, compared to COVID-19, this pathogen is just as contagious (infectious), but its lethality is 10 times higher.

As early as 2003, the US Department of Defense established the Smallpox Vaccination Programme, which requires all US military personnel to be vaccinated. Vaccination in the United States is compulsory for diplomatic and medical personnel. This demonstrates that the US considers smallpox as a priority pathogenic biological agent for combat use, and that vaccine prophylaxis activities are aimed at protecting its own military contingents.

Lack of proper controls and biosecurity breaches in the US could lead to the use of this pathogen for terrorist purposes. Between 2014 and 2021, unaccounted-for vials of the virus were repeatedly found in laboratories at the Federal Drug Administration and the US Army Infectious Disease Research Institute (Maryland) and the Vaccine Research Centre (Pennsylvania).

Work at these organisations was in violation of World Health Assembly Resolution 49.10 of 1996, which stipulated that only one US laboratory, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, could store smallpox pathogen.

It should be noted that smallpox vaccination, which is not currently available in many countries, provides protection against monkeypox.

The World Health Organization has announced an emergency meeting of Member States on the outbreak of this dangerous infectious disease in May 2022.

We know that by now 98% of those affected are men over the age of 20 of non-traditional orientation. Earlier, Dr David Hermann, who heads WHO’s emergency department, told the American press that sexual transmission was the main cause of the spread of the disease.

According to a WHO report, the West African strain of monkeypox originated in Nigeria, another state in which the US has deployed its biological infrastructure.

According to available information, there are at least four Washington-controlled biolaboratories operating in Nigeria.

In this connection, it is worth recalling a strange coincidence that needs further specialist verification. For example, according to European and US media reports, the Munich Security Conference 2021, i.e. against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a scenario for dealing with an outbreak caused by a new strain of the monkeypox virus.

Against the backdrop of multiple US biosafety violations and the negligent storage of pathogenic biomaterials, we call on the World Health Organisation leadership to investigate the US-funded Nigerian laboratories in Abuja, Zaria, Lagos and inform the global community of the results.

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