Ukraine: Somewhere between Afghanization and Syrianization

Ukraine is finished as a nation – neither side will rest in this war. The only question is whether it will be an Afghan or Syrian style finale.

August 30 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

One year after the astounding US humiliation in Kabul – and on the verge of another serious comeuppance in Donbass – there is reason to believe Moscow is wary of Washington seeking vengeance: in the form of the ‘Afghanization’ of Ukraine.

With no end in sight to western weapons and finance flowing into Kiev, it must be recognized that the Ukrainian battle is likely to disintegrate into yet another endless war. Like the Afghan jihad in the 1980s which employed US-armed and funded guerrillas to drag Russia into its depths, Ukraine’s backers will employ those war-tested methods to run a protracted battle that can spill into bordering Russian lands.

Yet this US attempt at crypto-Afghanization will at best accelerate the completion of what Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu describes as the “tasks” of its Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. For Moscow right now, that road leads all the way to Odessa.

It didn’t have to be this way. Until the recent assassination of Darya Dugina at Moscow’s gates, the battlefield in Ukraine was in fact under a ‘Syrianization’ process.

Like the foreign proxy war in Syria this past decade, frontlines around significant Ukrainian cities had roughly stabilized. Losing on the larger battlefields, Kiev had increasingly moved to employ terrorist tactics. Neither side could completely master the immense war theater at hand. So the Russian military opted to keep minimal forces in battle – contrary to the strategy it employed in 1980s Afghanistan.

Let’s remind ourselves of a few Syrian facts: Palmyra was liberated in March 2016, then lost and retaken in 2017. Aleppo was liberated only in December 2016. Deir Ezzor in September 2017. A slice of northern Hama in December and January 2018. The outskirts of Damascus in the Spring of 2018. Idlib – and significantly, over 25 percent of Syrian territory – are still not liberated. That tells a lot about rhythm in a war theater.

The Russian military never made a conscious decision to interrupt the multi-channel flow of western weapons to Kiev. Methodically destroying those weapons once they’re in Ukrainian territory – with plenty of success – is another matter. The same applies to smashing mercenary networks.

Moscow is well aware that any negotiation with those pulling the strings in Washington – and dictating all terms to puppets in Brussels and Kiev – is futile. The fight in Donbass and beyond is a do or die affair.

So the battle will go on, destroying what’s left of Ukraine, just as it destroyed much of Syria. The difference is that economically, much more than in Syria, what’s left of Ukraine will plunge into a black void. Only territory under Russian control will be rebuilt, and that includes, significantly, the bulk of Ukraine’s industrial infrastructure.

What’s left – rump Ukraine – has already been plundered anyway, as Monsanto, Cargill and Dupont have already bagged 17 million hectares of prime, fertile arable land – over half of what Ukraine still possesses. That translates de facto as BlackRock, Blackstone and Vanguard, top agro-business shareholders, owning whatever lands that really matter in non-sovereign Ukraine.

Going forward, by next year the Russians will be applying themselves to cutting off Kiev from NATO weapons supplies. As that unfolds, the Anglo-Americans will eventually move whatever puppet regime remains to Lviv. And Kiev terrorism – conducted by Bandera worshippers – will continue to be the new normal in the capital.

The Kazakh double game

By now it’s abundantly clear this is not a mere war of territorial conquest. It’s certainly part of a War of Economic Corridors – as the US spares no effort to sabotage and smash the multiple connectivity channels of Eurasia’s integration projects, be they Chinese-led (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI) or Russian-led (Eurasian Economic Union, EAEU).

Just like the proxy war in Syria remade large swathes of West Asia (witness, for instance, Erdogan about to meet Assad), the fight in Ukraine, in a microcosm, is a war for the reconfiguration of the current world order, where Europe is a mere self-inflicted victim in a minor subplot. The Big Picture is the emergence of multipolarity.

The proxy war in Syria lasted a decade, and it’s not over yet. The same may happen to the proxy war in Ukraine. As it stands, Russia has taken an area that is roughly equivalent to Hungary and Slovakia combined. That’s still far from “task” fulfillment – and it’s bound to go on until Russia has taken all the land right up to the Dnieper as well as Odessa, connecting it to the breakaway Republic of Transnistria.

It’s enlightening to see how important Eurasian actors are reacting to such geopolitical turbulence. And that brings us to the cases of Kazakhstan and Turkey.

The Telegram channel Rybar (with over 640k followers) and hacker group Beregini revealed in an investigation that Kazakhstan was selling weapons to Ukraine, which translates as de facto treason against their own Russian allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Consider too that Kazakhstan is also part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the EAEU, the two hubs of the Eurasian-led multipolar order.

As a consequence of the scandal, Kazakhstan was forced to officially announce the suspension of all weapons exports until the end of 2023.

It began with hackers unveiling how Technoexport – a Kazakh company – was selling armed personnel carriers, anti-tank systems and munitions to Kiev via Jordanian intermediaries, under the orders of the United Kingdom. The deal itself was supervised by the British military attaché in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital.

Nur-Sultan predictably tried to dismiss the allegations, arguing that Technoexport had not asked for export licenses. That was essentially false: the Rybar team discovered that Technoexport instead used Blue Water Supplies, a Jordanian firm, for those. And the story gets even juicier. All the contract documents ended up being found in the computers of Ukrainian intel.

Moreover, the hackers found out about another deal involving Kazspetsexport, via a Bulgarian buyer, for the sale of Kazakh Su-27s, airplane turbines and Mi-24 helicopters. These would have been delivered to the US, but their final destination was Ukraine.

The icing on this Central Asian cake is that Kazakhstan also sells significant amounts of Russian – not Kazakh – oil to Kiev.

So it seems that Nur-Sultan, perhaps unofficially, somehow contributes to the ‘Afghanization’ in the war in Ukraine. No diplomatic leaks confirm it, of course, but bets can be made Putin had a few things to say about that to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in their recent – cordial – meeting.

The Sultan’s balancing act

Turkey is a way more complex case. Ankara is not a member of the SCO, the CSTO or the EAEU. It is still hedging its bets, calculating on which terms it will join the high-speed rail of Eurasian integration. And yet, via several schemes, Ankara allows Moscow to evade the avalanche of western sanctions and embargoes.

Turkish businesses – literally all of them with close connections to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) – are making a killing, and relishing their new role as crossroads warehouse between Russia and the west. It’s an open boast in Istanbul that what Russia cannot buy from Germany or France they buy “from us.” And in fact several EU companies are in on it.

Ankara’s balancing act is as sweet as a good baklava. It gathers    economic support from a very important partner right in the middle of the endless, very serious Turkish economic debacle. They agree on nearly everything: Russian gas, S-400 missile systems, the building of the Russian nuclear power plant, tourism – Istanbul is crammed with Russians – Turkish fruits and vegetables.

Ankara-Moscow employ sound textbook geopolitics. They play it openly, in full transparence. That does not mean they are allies. It’s just pragmatic business between states. For instance, an economic response may alleviate a geopolitical problem, and vice-versa.

Obviously the collective west has completely forgotten how that normal state-to-state behavior works. It’s pathetic. Turkey gets “denounced” by the west as traitorous – as much as China.

Of course Erdogan also needs to play to the galleries, so every once in a while he says that Crimea should be retaken by Kiev. After all, his companies also do business with Ukraine – Bayraktar drones and otherwise.

And then there’s proselytizing: Crimea remains theoretically ripe for Turkish influence, where Ankara may exploit the notions of pan-Islamism and mostly pan-Turkism, capitalizing on the historical relations between the peninsula and the Ottoman Empire.

Is Moscow worried? Not really. As for those Bayraktar TB2s sold to Kiev, they will continue to be relentlessly reduced to ashes. Nothing personal. Just business.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

All the way to Odessa

August 27, 2022

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

Dmitry Medvedev, relishing his unplugged self, has laid down the law on the Special Military Operation (SMO). Bluntly, he affirmed there is a “one and a half” scenario: either to go all the way, or a military coup d’Etat in Ukraine followed by admitting the inevitable. No tertium applies.

That’s as stark as it gets: the leadership in Moscow is making it very clear, to internal and international audiences, the new deal consists in slow cooking the Kiev racket inside a massive cauldron while polishing its status of financial black hole for the collective West. Until we reach boiling point – which will be a revolution or a putsch.

In parallel, The Lords of (Proxy) War will continue with their own strategy, which is to pillage an enfeebled, fearful, Europe, then dressing it up as a perfumed colony to be ruthlessly exploited ad nauseam by the imperial oligarchy.

Europe is now a runaway TGV – minus the requisite Hollywood production values. Assuming it does not veer off track – a dicey proposition – it may eventually arrive at a railway station called Agenda 2030, The Great Narrative, or some other NATO/Davos denomination du jour.

As it stands, what’s remarkable is how the “marginal” Russian economy hardly broke a sweat to “end the abundance” of the wealthiest region on the planet.

Moscow does not even entertain the notion of negotiating with Brussels because there’s nothing to negotiate – considering puny Eurocrats will only be hurled away from their zombified state when the dire socio-economic consequences of “the end of abundance” will finally translate into peasants with pitchforks roaming the continent.

It may be eons away, but inevitably the average Italian, German or Frenchman will connect the dots and realize it is their own “leaders” – national nullities and mostly unelected Eurocrats – who are paving their road to poverty.

You will be poor. And you will like it. Because we are all supporting freedom for Ukrainian neo-nazis. That brings the concept of “multicultural Europe” to a whole new level.

The runaway train, of course, may veer off track and plunge into an Alpine abyss. In this case something might be saved from the wreckage – and “reconstruction” might be on the cards. But reconstruct what?

Europe could always reconstruct a new Reich (collapsed with a bang in 1945); a soft Reich (erected at the end of WWII); or break with its past failures, sing “I’m Free” – and connect with Eurasia. Don’t bet on it.

Get back those Taurian lands

The SMO may be about to radically change – something that will drive the already clueless denizens of US Think Tankland and their Euro vassals even more berserk.

President Putin and Defense Minister Shoigu have been giving serious hints the only way for the pain dial is up – considering the mounting evidence of terrorism inside Russian territory; the vile assassination of Darya Dugina; non-stop shelling of civilians in border regions; attacks on Crimea; the use of chemical weapons; and the shelling of Zaporizhzhya power plant raising the risk of a nuclear catastrophe.

This past Tuesday, one day before the SMO completing six months, Crimea’s permanent representative to the Kremlin, Georgy Muradov, all but spelled it out.

He stressed the necessity to “reintegrate all the Taurian lands” – Crimea, the Northern Black Sea and the Azov Sea – into a single entity as soon as “in the next few months”. He defined this process as “objective and demanded by the population of these regions.”

Muradov added, “given not only the strikes on Crimea, but also the continuous shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the dam of the Kakhovka reservoir, peaceful facilities on the territory of Russia, the DNR and LNR, there are all preconditions to qualify the actions of the Banderite regime as terrorist.”

The conclusion is inevitable: “the political issue of changing the format of the special military operation” enters the agenda. After all, Washington and Brussels “have already prepared new anti-Crimean provocations of the NATO-Bandera alliance”.

So when we examine what the “restoration of the Taurian lands” implies, we see not only the contours of Novorossiya but most of all that there won’t be any security for Crimea – and thus Russia – in the Black Sea without Odessa becoming Russian again. And that, on top of it, will solve the Transnistria dilemma.

Add to it Kharkov – the capital and top industrial center of Greater Donbass. And of course Dnipropetrovsk. They are all SMO objectives, the whole combo to be later protected by buffer zones in Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts.

Only then the “tasks” – as Shoigu calls them – of the SMO would be declared fulfilled. The timeline could be eight to ten months – after a lull under General Winter.

As the turbo-charged SMO rolls on, it’s a given the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder will continue to prop up and weaponize the Kiev racket till Kingdom Come – and that will apply especially after the Return of Odessa. What’s unclear is who and what gang will be left in Kiev posing as the ruling party and doing specials for Vogue while duly fulfilling the mass of imperial diktats.

It’s also a given the CIA/MI6 combo will be refining non-stop the contours of a massive guerrilla war against Russia in multiple fronts – crammed with terror attacks and all sorts of provocations.

Yet in the Bigger Picture it’s the inevitable Russian military victory in Donbass and then “all the Taurian lands” that will hit the collective West like a lethal asteroid. The geopolitical humiliation will be unbearable; not to mention the geoeconomic humiliation for vassalized Europe.

As Eurasian integration will become an even stronger vector, Russian diplomacy will be solidifying the new normal. Never forget that Moscow had no trouble normalizing relations, for instance, with China, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Israel. All these actors, in different ways, directly contributed to the fall of the USSR. Now – with one exception – they are all focused on The Dawn of the Eurasian Century.

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.

Sitrep Operation Z: Back into The Grind while the penny drops in Europe

June 06, 2022

Source

by Saker Staff

Weapons incoming

Russia have struck a major artery for the shipment of NATO weapons from Europe via the Beskidy railway tunnel. The Beskidy Tunnel is a railway tunnel under the Volovets Pass in the Carpathian Mountains. Confirmed by Ukraine itself.

High-precision long-range air-based missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed industrial buildings of the smithy-mechanical plant on the outskirts of Lozovaya (Kharkov Region), where the AFU armoured vehicles were being rebuilt and repaired.

The consequences of the arrival at the Darnitsa car repair plant, which was converted for the repair of equipment and the preparation of Polish tanks for shipment to the front https://t.me/intelslava/30873

Russian Mod states that an An-26 military transport aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force carrying weapons and military equipment was shot down in the Odessa region.

More here

More Gonzalo Lira: No More Lies, No More BS

May 21, 2022

And this is the real issue:

And a little real history and situation today, that would be fine to discuss at a barbecue and probably not at a formal summit.

Sitrep Operation Z: NATO surrenders in Azovstal

May 18, 2022

Source

by Saker Staff with thanks to Pepe Escobar for that prescient title

Nazi Azovites – from rats in a hole to fish in a barrel – This is what denazification looks like!

The New York Times prevaricates as follows:  Ukraine ended its “combat mission” in Mariupol and said fighters were being evacuated, signaling that the battle at a steel plant was over. https://nyti.ms/3sIon9B

Zelensky adds some Ukrainian/Cocainian dreams to that: “The evacuation mission from Azovstal continues. It is led by our military and intelligence officers.”  (OK, Mr PianoDick, they’re being led straight into war criminal prison! – thank your military and intelligence officers for doing the job for the world!)

Dmitry Polyansky says it differently:  “I didn’t know English has so many ways to express a single message: the #Azovnazis have unconditionally surrendered.”

Nightfall did not stop the surrender process.  Ukrainians are still surrendering in crowds without stopping.  Sufficient forces to deal with this are on the terrain and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR are kicking ass and taking prisoners.

Illumination rockets are constantly launched into the sky, which at least somehow facilitates the crawling out of underground inhabitants 🙂

These invincible heroes are emaciated, ragged, hungry and a pitiful sight.

Donetsk Defense HQ – 962 Azovites surrendered and the process continues.  In the meantime, 11 servicemen of the 25th airborne brigade and seventeen of the 54th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their arms and went over to the side of the DPR.  We hope this is the start of a mass surrender.

This is denazification and movies will be made and books will be written.  After this major loss of prestige, expect a doozy of a false flag.

Starting point today is the MoD report and somewhat reformatted for ease of use.

💥Over a day, high-precision air-based missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces have hit

  • 2 command posts, including the territorial defense headquarters near Soledar in the Donetsk People’s Republic,
  • as well as 31 areas of concentration of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment, including locations of foreign mercenary units from European countries in Nikolaev and Krasnogorovka.
  • In addition, 2 Ukrainian Su-24 aircraft have been destroyed at a military airfield near Dnepropetrovsk, 1 division of Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems near Nikolaev, as well as 4 ammunition depots for missile and artillery weapons and ammunition of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Ugledar, Pokrovskoe, Soledar and Bakhmut, Donetsk People’s Republic.

✈️💥Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit

  • 3 command posts,
  • 41 areas of concentration of AFU manpower and military equipment, as well as
  • 1 ammunition depot near Ugledar, Donetsk People’s Republic.
  • The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 270 nationalists and up to 54 armoured and motor vehicles.

💥Missile troops and artillery have hit

  • 76 command posts,
  • 421 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as
  • 147 artillery and mortar units at firing positions, including
  • 1 Ukrainian battery of US-made 155mm M777 howitzers near Pogornoe.
  • 1 pontoon crossing point equipped by Ukrainian Armed Forces to cross the Severskyi Donets River has been destroyed near Protopopovka, Kharkov Region.

💥Russian air defence means have shot down

  • 1 Ukrainian Su-25 aircraft over Tripolie, Donetsk people’s republic.
  • 1 Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29 has been shot down near Kamennaya Yaruga, Kharkov Region.
  • 15 Ukrainian UAVs have been shot down near Semenovka, Velikie Prokhody, Balakleya, Malye Prokhody, Velikaya Kamyshevakha in Kharkov Region, Rudnichnyi, Grabskoe, Staromikhailovka, Volnoe in Donetsk People’s Republic, Belyaevka, Chernobaevka in Kherson Region.
  • 8 Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets have been also intercepted near Kamenka and Malaya Kamyshevakha, Kharkov Region.

Not too shabby for a day’s work. And they will repeat it, and repeat it, and rinse, and repeat it again.

Secrets from Azovstal and surroundings are beginning to be revealed.  There will be many!

How the OSCE mission cooperated with the Azov terrorists

The filming crew of IA “Arbelet” was the first to visit the territory where the OSCE mission in Mariupol was located. Among other valuable finds, they found two mortar positions, equipped directly near the mission’s administrative building. The mortars themselves and their ammunition are of Italian origin, as evidenced by the markings. Another noteworthy fact: the last delivery of the Italian BC is dated March 11, 2022.

Do ordinary Italians know that their authorities are helping outright terrorists of the national battalions? How will the OSCE comment on the fact that they were in clear collusion with the terrorists, allowing “Azov” to fire from their territory? How, after these facts, will the OSCE be able to clean up their reputation at all?

(Sidebar:  Do you now understand why Russia is leaving international organizations?  Simple, these organizations are corrupt to the extent that they cannot be reformed but they have to be broken.  Mr Lavrov today is meeting with SCO Secretary-General Ming where new structures are being built.)

Update from Brian Berletic:  He views the canoodling from western sources and he hoists them on their own petard.  Do take a listen, specifically Brian’s explanation of how the Russian command and soldiers keep certain areas ‘fixed’.

Here is another example of such a ‘fix’. The Russian army attacked Ukrainian defense facilities in the Odessa region with precision weapons from the Black Sea. This information is confirmed by the Ukrainian operational command “South”. https://t.me/intelslava/29149

(Sidebar:  Today in Odessa – On this day “Russian Spring”

May 18, 2014 – “Odessa is a Russian city”, “Donbass – we are with you” – such slogans sounded at the House of Trade Unions in Odessa.

Hundreds of protesters with Russian flags and banners of the Victory came out not only to honor the memory of those killed in the May 2 tragedy, but also to show the Ukrainian Nazis that Odessans are Russian people who are not afraid of the Kyiv punishers.)

Is the Russian SMO beginning to touch hearts and minds?  Remember the stories that Russia underestimated the willingness of the Ukrainian people to support the denazification. 

Telescoping into the current pic on a map­ we see that cauldrons do not come in onesies any longer but in threes:

Readovka on the fronts

Kharkiv Front. The fighting in the area of Kazachya Lopan and the village of Liptsy is of a positional nature. The enemy in the area of Ternovka reached the border MASS MEDIA: Ukrainian Armed Forces have reached the Russian-Ukrainian border in Kharkiv region. Ukraine conducted a counterattack in the north-east of the Russian Federation, and is also probing the positions of the Russian Armed Forces in the area of Volchansk. The Russian Armed Forces do not conduct active offensive operations in the Kharkiv direction.

On the Izyum part of the front, fighting continues in the area of Kamyshevakha, Kurulka and Dolgenky. The enemy continues to try to strain the flank of the Russian group to the north-west of Izyum, forcing the Seversky Donets. In the Slavic direction, the troops took Drobyshevo and Krasny Liman in a semicircle. The front also approached Svyatogorsk.

In the Luhansk-Donetsk part of the front, fighting continues in the area of Kamyshevakha, north of Popasna. There are also battles for Toshkovka. There are attempts to enter the flank and rear of the fortified area in Gorsky and Zolotoy. Fighting continues on the outskirts of Severodonetsk, as well as to the west of Lisichansk in the area of Privolye and Belogorovka. According to unconfirmed reports, Russian troops occupied the town of New York.

On the Zaporozhye part of the front without any special changes. An attempt by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to attack in the area of Malinovka ended in failure and heavy losses. The battles here are of a positional nature all the way from Gulyai-Pole to Velikaya Novoselovka. The enemy is moving part of the reserves from the Zaporizhia direction to the Donbass, where the situation for the Severodonetsk group is rapidly deteriorating. Heavy fighting continues in the area of Novomikhailovka and Ugledar.

On the Southern Front, the development of the offensive is not yet taking place. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are waiting for the landing of Russian troops in the Odessa region and are working on mining the entire coast. In the Nikopol and Kryvyi Rih directions, the Ukrainian command is accumulating forces to uncover weaknesses in the Russian positions.

On arrival, it is already traditional – the APU shelled Petrovsky district Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled Petrovsky district of Donetsk.  The shell hit the school grounds Donetsk, a shell hit the school territory. The Ukrainian side also shelled the outskirts of Kherson, which resulted in the death of one civilian.

SmoothieX12 is correct when he says that the only battle that the Ukrainians know, is the battle taught to them by their NATO advisors, which is to shell civilian territory and hide behind civilians.

The battlefront is still in a relatively chaotic state, but Russia is now forming and shaping it.

Let’s take a look at Martyanov’s levels of war as we can categorize from this handy depiction:

Finland and Sweden formally submit applications to join NATO – currently, it is harassment but may well move up the scale to major operations.  We cannot say where Russia will stop.

FM Lavrov: “Ukraine… No one wants Ukraine. They are an expendable country in this hybrid war against Russian Federation. No one has doubts anymore”.   The language from Russian sources has changed and they now say clearly that Ukraine is a tool and the fight is against Russia by the West.

Weapons

Russian self-propelled howitzers “Msta-S” and “Acacia-M” are being put to good use and they destroy armored vehicles and fortified positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.  Distance of fire is up to 30 km and they use high-explosive fragmentation projectiles that can destroy buried concrete fortifications of the enemy. https://t.me/intelslava/29140

Incoming weapons.  On the Polish-Ukrainian border, seven South African-made Mamba Mk2 EE armored vehicles transferred to Ukraine by Estonia as military assistance were seen. These vehicles were specifically produced for the Estonian army.

We have to conclude if we can see these armored vehicles via telegram channel on the Polish border, then the Russian forces can see them too.  And ditto for all other incoming weapons.

There are smaller reports of new Russian artillery weapons appearing in the field of battle, but it is limited as yet.

Major Fail, other than war. 

Washington failed to get the summit with the ASEAN countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

ASEAN nations are Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

Another failure of freezing funds:  Switzerland released $6.33 billion of Russia’s frozen funds.

We end with biolabs

Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy gives key takeaways from the last UN Security Council meeting on US biolabs in Ukraine:

  1. The US refuses to explain its engagement in military bio activities in Ukraine. Keeps shrugging off several hundred pages of evidence. “These are all lies and Russia’s propaganda, and we are good guys because it can’t be otherwise”. Not a word on the point of discussion.
  2. Western delegations are praising the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and calling on us to make use of its mechanisms. They fail to mention however that it is the US who is blocking the elaboration of BWC verification mechanism. Such a hypocricy!
  3. The US refuses to explain why it doesn’t want an effective international verification mechanism for bio weapons. Why act like this unless you are trying to conceal something? Why does Washington position itself above the international law? American exceptionalism at its best.

Main conclusion: we have definitely hit their soft spot. It’s clear for any unbiased observer that they are obscuring the issue and trying to divert attention from this uncomfortable topic trying to discourage us to raise it by repeating mantras on “Russian aggression” etc.

So stay tuned, there’s more evidence on US military biological programs to follow!

Top level headline in China’s Global Times today:  ‘Neo-Nazism’ poisons Ukraine, Europe under US, West’s connivance

That is it for today. Enjoy your discussion and be careful with the Ukie propaganda. It is everywhere.

Megalopolis x Russia: Total War

May 07, 2022

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

After careful evaluation, the Kremlin is rearranging the geopolitical chessboard to end the unipolar hegemony of the “indispensable nation”.

But it’s our fate / To have no place to rest, / As suffering mortals / Blindly fall and vanish / From one hour / To the next, / Like water falling / From cliff to cliff, downward / For years to uncertainty.

Holderlin, Hyperion’s Fate Song

Operation Z is the first salvo of a titanic struggle: three decades after the fall of the USSR, and 77 years after the end of WWII, after careful evaluation, the Kremlin is rearranging the geopolitical chessboard to end the unipolar hegemony of the “indispensable nation”. No wonder the Empire of Lies has gone completely berserk, obsessed in completely expelling Russia from the West-centric system.

The U.S. and its NATO puppies cannot possibly come to grips with their perplexity when faced with a staggering loss: no more entitlement allowing exclusive geopolitical use of force to perpetuate “our values”. No more Full Spectrum Dominance.

The micro-picture is also clear. The U.S. Deep State is milking to Kingdom Come its planned Ukraine gambit to cloak a strategic attack on Russia. The “secret” was to force Moscow into an intra-Slav war in Ukraine to break Nord Stream 2 – and thus German reliance on Russian natural resources. That ends – at least for the foreseeable future – the prospect of a Bismarckian Russo-German connection that would ultimately cause the U.S. to lose control of the Eurasian landmass from the English Channel to the Pacific to an emerging China-Russia-Germany pact.

The American strategic gambit, so far, has worked wonders. But the battle is far from over. Psycho neo-con/neoliberalcon silos inside the Deep State consider Russia such a serious threat to the “rules-based international order” that they are ready to risk if not incur a “limited” nuclear war out of their gambit. What’s at stake is nothing less than the loss of Ruling the World by the Anglo-Saxons.

Mastering the Five Seas  

Russia, based on purchasing power parity (PPP), is the 6th economy in the world, right behind Germany and ahead of both the UK and France. Its “hard” economy is similar to the U.S. Steel production may be about the same, but intellectual capacity is vastly superior. Russia has roughly the same number of engineers as the U.S., but they are much better educated.

The Mossad attributes Israel’s economic miracle in creating an equivalent of Silicon Valley to a base of a million Russian immigrants. This Israeli Silicon Valley happens to be a key asset of the American MICIMATT (military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex), as indelibly named by Ray McGovern.

NATOstan media hysterically barking that Russia’s GDP is the size of Texas is nonsense. PPP is what really counts; that and Russia’s superior engineers is why their hypersonic weapons are at least two or three generations ahead of the U.S. Just ask the indispensable Andrei Martyanov.

The Empire of Lies has no defensive missiles worthy of the name, and no equivalents to Mr. Zircon and Mr. Sarmat. The NATOstan sphere simply cannot win a war, any war against Russia for this reason alone.

The deafening NATOstan “narrative” that Ukraine is defeating Russia does not even qualify as an innocuous joke (compare it with Russia’s “Reach Out and Touch Someone” strategy). The corrupt system of SBU fanatics intermingled with UkroNazi factions is kaput. The Pentagon knows it. The CIA cannot possibly admit it. What the Empire of Lies has sort of won, so far, is a media “victory” for the UkroNazis, not a military victory.

Gen Aleksandr Dvornikov, of Syria fame, has a clear mandate: to conquer the whole of Donbass, totally free up Crimea and prepare the advance towards Odessa and Transnistria while reducing a rump Ukraine to the status of failed state without any access to the sea.

The Sea of Azov – linked to the Caspian by the Don-Volga canal – is already a Russian lake. And the Black Sea is next, the key connection between the Heartland and the Mediterranean. The Five Seas system – Black, Azov, Caspian, Baltic, White – enshrines Russia as a de facto continental naval power. Who needs warm waters?

Moving “at the speed of war”

The pain dial, from now on, will go up non-stop. Reality – as in facts on the ground – will soon become apparent even to the NATOstan-wide LugenPresse.

The woke Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Mark Milley, expects Operation Z to last years. That’s nonsense. The Russian Armed Forces may afford to be quite methodical and take all the time needed to properly demilitarize Ukraine. The collective West for its part is pressed for time – because the blowback from the real economy is already on and bound to become vicious.

Defense Minister Shoigu has made it quite clear: any NATO vehicles bringing weapons to Kiev will be destroyed as “legitimate military targets”.

A report by the scientific service of the Bundestag established that training of Ukrainian soldiers on German soil may amount, under international law, to participation in war. And that gets even trickier when coupled with NATO weapons deliveries: “Only if, in addition to the supply of weapons, the instruction of the conflict party or training in such weapons were also an issue would one leave the secure area of ​​non-warfare.”

Now at least it’s irretrievably clear how the Empire of Lies “moves at the speed of war” – as described in public by weapons peddler turned Pentagon head, Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin. In Pentagonese, that was explained by the proverbial “official” as “a combination of a call center, a watch floor, meeting rooms. They execute a battle rhythm to support decision-makers.”

The Pentagonese “battle rhythm” offered to a supposedly “credible, resilient and combat-capable Ukraine military” is fed by a EUCom system that essentially moves weapons orders from Pentagon warehouses in the U.S. to branches of the Empire of Bases in Europe and then to the NATO eastern front in Poland, where they are trucked across Ukraine just in time to be duly incinerated by Russian precision strikes: the wealth of options include supersonic P-800 Onyx missiles, two types of Iskander, and Mr. Khinzal launched from Mig-31Ks.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stressed Moscow is perfectly aware the U.S., NATO and UK are transferring not only weapons but also loads of intel. In parallel, the collective West turns everything upside down 24/7 shaping a new environment totally geared against Russia, not caring for even a semblance of partnership in any area. The collective West does not even consider the possibility of dialogue with Russia.

Hence talking to Putin is “a waste of time” unless a “Russian defeat” in Ukraine (echoing strident Kiev P.R.) would make him “more realistic”. For all his faults, Le Petit Roi Macron/McKinsey has been an exception, on the phone with Putin earlier this week.

The neo-Orwellian Hitlerization of Putin reduces him, even among the so-called Euro-intelligentzia, to the status of dictator of a nation chloroformed into its 19th century nationalism. Forget about any semblance of historical/political/cultural analysis. Putin is a late Augustus, dressing up his Imperium as a Republic.

At best the Europeans preach and pray – chihuahuas yapping to His Master’s Voice – for a hybrid strategy of “containment and engagement” to be unleashed by the U.S., clumsily parroting the scribblings of denizens of that intellectual no-fly zone, Think Tankland.

Yet in fact the Europeans would rather “isolate” Russia – as in 12% of the world’s population “isolating” 88% (of course: their Westoxified “vision” completely ignores the Global South). “Help” to Russia will only come when sanctions are effective (as in never: blowback will be the norm) or – the ultimate wet dream – there’s regime change in Moscow.

The Fall

UkroNazi P.R. agent Ursula von der Lugen presented the sixth sanction package of the Europoodle (Dis)Union.

Top of the bill is to exclude three more Russian banks from SWIFT, including Sberbank. Seven banks are already excluded. This will enforce Russia’s “total isolation”. It’s idle to comment on something that only fools the LugenPresse.

Then there’s the “progressive” embargo on oil imports. No more crude imported to the EU in six months and no more refined products before the end of 2022. As it stands, the IEA shows that 45% of Russia’s oil exports go to the EU (with 22% to China and 10% to the U.S.). His Master’s Voice continues and will continue to import Russian oil.

And of course 58 “personal” sanctions also show up, targeting very dangerous characters such as Patriarch Kirill of the Orthodox Church, and the wife, son and daughter of Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov.

This stunning display of stupidity will have to be approved by all EU members. Internal revolt is guaranteed, especially from Hungary, even as so many remain willing to commit energy suicide and mess up with the lives of their citizens big time to defend a neo-Nazi regime.

Alastair Crooke called my attention to a startling, original interpretation of what’s goin’ on, offered in Russian by a Serbian analyst, Prof. Slobodan Vladusic. His main thesis, in a nutshell: “Megalopolis hates Russia because it is not Megalopolis – it has not entered the sphere of anti-humanism and that is why it remains a civilization alternative. Hence Russophobia.”

Vladusic contends that the intra-Slav war in Ukraine is “a great catastrophe for Orthodox civilization” – mirroring my recent first attempt to open a serious debate on a Clash of Christianities.

Yet the major schism is not on religion but culture: “The key difference between the former West and today’s Megalopolis is that Megalopolis programmatically renounces the humanistic heritage of the West.”

So now “it is possible to erase not only the musical canon, but also the entire European humanistic heritage: the entire literature, fine arts, philosophy” because of a “trivialization of knowledge”. What’s left is an empty space, actually a cultural black hole, “filled by promoting terms such as ‘posthumanism’ and ‘transhumanism’.”

And here Vladusic gets to the heart of the matter: Russia fiercely opposes the Great Reset concocted by the “hackable”, self-described “elites” of Megalopolis.

Sergey Glazyev, now coordinating the draft of a new financial/monetary system by the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) in partnership with the Chinese, adapts Vladusic to the facts on the ground (here in Russian, here in an imperfect English translation).

Glazyev is way more blunt than in his meticulous economic analyses. While noting the Deep State’s aims of destroying the Russian world, Iran and block China, he stresses the U.S. “will not be able to win the global hybrid war”. A key reason is that the collective West has “put all independent countries in front of the need to find new global currency instruments, risk insurance mechanisms, restore the norms of international law and create their own economic security systems.”

So yes, this is Totalen Krieg, Total War – as Glazyev spells it out with no attenuation, and how Russia denounced it this week at the UN: “Russia needs to stand up to the United States and NATO in its confrontation, bringing it to its logical conclusion, so as not to be torn between them and China, which is irrevocably becoming the leader of the world economy.”

History may eventually register, 77 years after the end of WWII, that neocon/neoliberalcon psychos in Washington silos instigating an inter-Slavic war by ordering Kiev to launch a blitzkrieg against Donbass was the spark that led to the Fall of the U.S. Empire.

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 30, 2022

Source

By Nightvision

Firstly, the biggest news at the forefront is that the Mariupol situation appears to be nearing a possible conclusion. We reported last time that one prominent source said Azovstal would be fully resolved by 4/30 (today), while Sladkov said days ago that Azov had about 9 days of food left, which by now would put them at maybe 6 days or less, by those estimations.

We also reported that negotiators had arrived and were settling in to the small villages around Mariupol. Now today there is a large, full blown UN / Red Cross operation under way to evacuate the civilians in the Azovstal factory.

Now as many have seen a family was the first to leave the Azovstal factory yesterday, and now today it’s being reported by Novosti that 25 people have been released, including 6 children. The interesting thing is that the first family released said there were “70+ others” left in the bunkers, though I’m unclear if they meant 70 people or 70 families (presuming it’s total people). This is in stark contrast to Azov’s claim that over ‘1000’ civilians were hiding beneath the factory. It’s clear that Azov likely lied to inflate the numbers for obvious reasons.

With the UN and Redcross involved, it’s unclear what the terms of the current negotiations are. Here’s one report:

“In Bezymenny (Novoazvsky district of the DPR), negotiations are underway regarding the evacuation of civilians from the territory of Azostal. Representatives of the UN and the IWC are participating.
Earlier, the Kremlin has already outlined its position on these negotiations – the evacuation of civilians can be easily carried out, the main obstacles to the evacuation are the Nazis themselves, who do not want to let go of the human shield.
Nobody is going to let the Nazis go, there will be no humanitarian corridors for them.
The only chance for them is to surrender.”

You can see dozens of evacuation buses there: https://twitter.com/uasupport999/status/1520465607422091264

A rough calculation of ~30 buses, with maybe ~30-50 people per bus could be enough for over 1000+ people, so either the original Azov civilian estimates were right OR the UN is really hoping to evacuate their Azov terrorists as well. At the moment Azov is pleading to at least evacuate the wounded and the wives/families of trapped Azov have been rallying now for the release of their militants along with the civilians as well:

Anything could happen but there’s a chance that the entire Azovstal saga could end in the next day or two. The plant appears surrounded as Russian forces have captured everything but the main complex where they’re all hiding, and though the remaining Azov/marine militants are said to be numbered in the 2000 range, upwards of 600+ or more of them are said to be wounded or incapacitated.

Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin believes it will all end very soon. He has stated: ‘“Very soon, I really count on it, the situation with Azovstal in Mariupol will be completed, and we will see a large number of mercenaries there,”– he said on the air of Channel One.’

Pushilin also announced large construction sites in Mariupol will start as soon as Azovstal is done, and DPR spokesman Basurin said that a park in memory of those killed in Mariupol might be laid out on the site of the former Azovstal factory complex.

Though videos still come out showing some Mariupol fighting, we were told that most of them are as much as 10 days old due to the timed release method of information so that the enemy does not see current RF troop movements, so the fighting likely has already ended, though Azov/Arestovich still claim that their fighters conduct “sorties” above ground “when they are able to” – whatever that means.

With that said, one amusing video was released of close quarter fighting which shows Russian marines storming a building while attempting to communicate with some of the foreign mercenaries trapped there in both English and French:

And on the topic of mercenaries, there’s been a deluge of new updates.

Not only was another British merc named Andrew Hill captured and interrogated:

But the first American mercenary death was announced:

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/22-year-old-marine-turned-mercenary-becomes-1st-american-die-fighting-russia-ukraine

While Russia also captured two British NGO workers near Zaporizhzhia:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61268817

And British press is now reporting on the death of Scott Sibley, a mercenary we reported on last time:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61260402

Also, there was one unconfirmed report that said:

1h

#IMPORTANT Russian Spetsnaz unit in #Kherson captured 2 Russian-speaking British #SAS operatives on April 21, after a leak of their position from #Kiev. They were conducting recon for #London (these are not mercenaries). Leak suspected from #Zelensky’s office or #Ukrainian MFA.”

This is not unbelievable as we’ve already reported last time that SAS is openly working in Kiev and elsewhere.

A Georgian mercenary fighting for Azov was not so fortunate.

His before and after:

And a Danish mercenary was reported killed

“When luck refused the “soldier of fortune” , a 25-year-old Danish mercenary died in Ukraine, where he fought as part of a foreign legion. It happened in Nikolaev, the military commander of TV channel TV 2 Rasmus Tantoldt reported.”

Some are in fact saying it’s this guy, but there is no confirmation:

Now to segue to some of the developments from last time regarding the possible upcoming NATO escalations in Ukraine. Russian intel agency head Naryshkin, who issued the statement last time regarding Poland’s planned incursion has also now stated that, “plans to deploy a Polish “peacekeeping contingent” in the western part of Ukraine is not a version, but intelligence information obtained from several reliable sources, the Foreign Intelligence Service explained.”

In short, he’s saying this is not speculation but an accurate report based on many sources.

Also: “Military expert Yuriy Kotenok talks about plans to bring Polish, Romanian and other military contingents to Ukraine under the legend of “exercises”. The decision has already been made. BTG will be covered from the air. Their task is to prevent Russia from completing the operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine.”

Unfortunately this is for Russian speakers only as there’s no subtitles here: https://bastyon.com/index?v=2000ace73f9745dd7511ac5dccdee93a635aafe127381eaf08e5a54d8db2a12a&video=1&ref=PARV591XENALBB5ApkR7WcQPhEZtLHfi2A

And a Ukrainian account has stated: “Our source in the OP said that the General Staff has already prepared a military campaign to neutralize the Russian group in Transnistria.”

While Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Defense, General Zavarzin, “called for missile strikes on headquarters in Kyiv and Lvov.”

And here’s one analyst’s take:

“@milchronicles

A strike force of NATO countries near the borders of Ukraine and Belarus – what is it for? Is it really about an ordinary peacekeeping mission?

In light of the latest information about the aspirations of Poland and other NATO members, several questions arise. Firstly, what contingent is now formed on the eastern borders of the bloc, and secondly, why are all these forces being accumulated?

It is impossible to accurately assess the grouping of NATO countries, drawn to the borders of the Republic of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia, having only information from open sources.

However, from what is known, a total contingent of 50,000 to 100,000 people can be inferred. This includes units deployed by Poland, and the American contingent, and units of various NATO countries deployed in the framework of exercises in the Baltic states. There is also information about a serious Romanian group in the Moldovan direction. Just as we wrote earlier, combat aircraft are also being transferred to Europe. In the shortest possible time, the size of the NATO contingent can be doubled.

NATO’s ultimate strategy on this issue is currently unclear, but several options could be considered. Firstly, this can be done for a banal intimidation of Russia and an attempt to put pressure on the course of a special operation in Ukraine, and secondly, in the West they perfectly understand that Ukraine as a country no longer exists and see its future on the principle of occupation sectors. And the third option is the most terrible, but the least likely: NATO decided to go all the way and, if lend-lease and hybrid warfare do not stop the Russians, then regular units of Western countries will step in. This, of course, is a 100% threat of the use of nuclear weapons. It looks utopian, but in 2022 everything is possible.”

And from Colonel Cassad:

“The main topic that worries many today is the adoption by the US Congress of the lend-lease program for Ukraine. Delivery of large batches of modern weapons is expected soon. The war will reach a new level, because now we will also have to fight with the American military industry. Deliveries of American heavy weapons are expected, including F-16 aircraft. Today we wrote that Ukraine is already preparing pilots for these machines. Here you need to understand once and for all, we are at war with NATO, where Ukraine is just cheap service personnel and cannon fodder.

Also on the Belarusian-Polish border, there is a transfer of a shock group of troops from Poland. The answer to this was the sending of Belarusian units to strengthen the border.”

And John Kirby yesterday: ‘US Defense Press Secretary John Kirby:

“Today I can announce that the United States has begun training the Ukrainian armed forces to use key weapons at US military bases in Germany.”’

On the topic of Lend Lease, it became a curious discovery that on the official U.S. Congress website, the date of the submission of Lend Lease to Congress was seen as 1/19/22.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/3522

https://www.rt.com/news/554747-senate-lend-lease-ukraine-advance/

So how is it that it was proposed a full month before Russia’s invasion on 2/24?

There are more military transfers being rushed to Ukraine: https://twitter.com/AZmilitary1/status/1520170505516503040

And reports like the following:

“Kiev secretly sent Kharkiv cadets to the United States to learn to fly the F-16, which will soon enter service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine under lend-lease Kiev decided in advance to retrain its pilots for the NATO fleet. As it became known to Readovka, the cadets of the Kharkiv Higher Military School were sent to one of the European NATO countries and to the United States in early February for emergency retraining in the management of American F-16s. The cadets were taken directly from the 4th year classes. All of them were transported in complete secrecy. Thus, it is more likely that NATO, together with Kiev, knew about the imminent deployment of a special operation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and tried to work ahead of the curve. The law passed the day before by the US Congress authorizing the lend-lease of heavy weapons to Ukraine apparently involves the supply, among other things, of American F-16 fighters. There is also information that the lend-lease announced by the United States was launched solely to legalize the transfer of F-16 fighters to Ukraine. https://t.me/readovkanews/32369

And:

From a Ukrainian channel: “The Pentagon has begun planning military operations for the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donbas to contain the Russian army. The Ukrainian General Staff permanently hosts several dozen NATO generals in the status of military advisers who participate in the discussion and decision-making on key issues.”

“The General Staff permanently hosts several dozen NATO generals in the status of military advisers who participate in the discussion and decision-making on all key issues.”

So all of this brings me to the following big topic. Which is that there is a lot of conversation revolving around how the Russian SMO is going, with many people unable to reconcile the two opposing sides who both claim they are winning easily. Understandably this creates a strange paradoxical dichotomy where each side says they are smashing the other, and each side posts material that conveniently reflects their stated ‘strategy’ as evidence that everything is in fact going to plan.

i.e. Russia posts its advances and mass destruction of AFU units and says this is clear evidence of ongoing victory. And AFU posts its retreats and says that these are all strategic retreats and that Russia is in fact being both bled and led into a trap from which they will never emerge.

So I wanted to address this with some new material that can shed light and contextualize the U.S./Ukraine’s overall grand strategy.

In short, it is this: it is becoming increasingly clear that the grand strategy is to slowly abandon the Donbas, but in the process, slow down and attrition the Russian forces as much as possible, while simultaneously reconstituting a massively armed new NATO-standard army in the West.

Not only has NATO and U.S. both now released statements that they are readying for a “long war” of up to 10 years in Ukraine, but there are reports like the following:

“Our source in the OP said that the Office of the President (of Ukraine) is ready for a long war that will last 2-3 years. Kiev does not consider a possible defeat on the eastern front to be critical for Ukraine,

the main thing is that the battles for Donbas exhaust the Russian army and last for several months. Using time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will receive modern heavy weapons and will be able to launch a counteroffensive in the South of Ukraine.”

In a recent interview on his youtube channel, chief presidential advisor Arestovich openly confirms the above. In fact he plainly tells host Feigin that with all the new NATO equipment coming in, it will take them about 1 to 2 months max to arm a new army in the west, and that Ukraine will be ready to create mass counter-offensives from the west starting in mid to late June.

So in short, their entire strategy is to stall Russian forces in the east as much as possible by conducting slow, orderly retreats, even if it means eventually giving up the entire Donbas – in fact in the same interview Arestovich says that he fully expects Russia to encircle Kramatorsk/Slavyansk but that it will turn into “another Mariupol”, or so he hopes. And then by late June, even if Donbas is lost, they expect to be able to retake it with massive new Ukrainian offensives utilizing newly reconstituted reserves armed with full NATO arsenals, from German tanks to American F-16’s and everything in between.

On the RF side, some already accuse them of heavy ‘coping’ and excuse making, where the narrative is now shifting from “we’re winning in the Donbas” to “it’s ok if we lose the Donbas, we’ll retake it later.”

In fact Arestovich foresaw all of this, in his famously prescient 2017 interview he not only predicted the Russian war to happen around 2022, but he said there will be at least 2 wars, possibly 3, one following in around 2024, then another 2026+ or later. The reason being is that, he foresaw a stalemate with Russia taking Donbas but being drained and depleted, forcing to compromise in a treaty that leaves western Ukraine. Then Ukraine would get armed to the teeth by NATO and a new war would take place a year or two later, similar to Chechnya 1 and 2 where Russia had to go in to finish the job a second time.

So this brings me to the issue of military hardware and who is winning. The main problem for the Ukrainian side, is they rely entirely on the belief (real or not) that they have endless reserves of manpower. Arestovich and others have said, “our problems are opposite, we have endless manpower but no equipment, and Russia has endless equipment but not enough manpower.”

The chief problem here is the blanket assumption that Ukraine has endless reserves and high remaining morale. But there is increasing evidence that this is not the case. Not only are mass surrenders increasing, but each time they happen the troops complain of the same things, low morale, high desertion rates, resentment towards their commanders. And increasingly the troops are from the far west, old, and haggard which proves that Kiev is already tapping its absolute reserves from the west of the country, rather than local reserves held back at 2nd and 3rd echelon lines like near Pavlograd, Poltava, etc.

Secondly, there is increasing discontent amongst the populace. Today in the far west city of Khust, where these reserves are already being tapped as I just outlined, the wives, mothers, and family of soldiers being sent to the front virtually rebelled and started destroying the local military offices, and this is becoming increasingly common:

They don’t want any more war.

I already reported last time how the ‘grand popular uprising’ that Zelensky promised (read: hoped for) of the molotov-armed partisans was a complete failure. In fact now, more and more we’re seeing secret pro-Russian underground resistance cells forming in all the major cities who have released videos and are promising to help take the city once Russia arrives. Such cells now exist in Kharkov, Nikolayev, Odessa, and elsewhere:

Odessa: 

Kharkov: 

And in Nikolayev, one report said: “According to available information, the elite of Nikolaev, businessmen, politicians, fellow bandits, are negotiating with the Russian side on the bloodless surrender of the city. Nobody wants to repeat the example of Mariupol

They ask for guarantees for the preservation of assets, business and participation in the political life of the city. There is a bargaining going on, while guarantees will not be provided to Kim, a different fate will await him.”

Though this is speculative, we know for a fact this very thing happened several times already, including a Kharkov mayor who was arrested for trying to peacefully hand over the city at the outset of the conflict.

Also, there is the belief that Ukraine maintains the giant pre-war numbers we were all given, but in fact it’s been greatly hidden by the authorities what vast amount of people, particularly military-aged men, have fled the country or gone into hiding, refusing service.

According to the Russian MOD almost 50,000 of AFU’s manpower has already been irrecoverably attritioned whether by KIA, MIA, WIA, POW, etc.

This was posted on a Ukrainian account: “Colleagues, we published that the Kremlin handed over lists of POWs, of which there are more than 4,000 thousand. For the Office of the President, this is a big problem, which they will not be able to keep silent about for a long time, in Kiev they are now looking for a formula on how to submit information to the public. Surrender is becoming a mass phenomenon, because of some brigade commanders who simply throw the guys on the tanks, while they themselves are tens of kilometers away from the fighting. Indicative in this regard is the case of the 93rd brigade, our soldiers got into a tactical encirclement , because of the tyranny of the command, and no one comes to their aid.”

Arestovich spoke on this in his newest interview where he said there has been a problem of mass morale loss of soldiers calling their relatives and saying that everything has gone to hell, but of course he continues to say that these soldiers are playing into the hands of Russian propaganda.

Today’s newest report is that 1000 AFU soldiers are now surrounded and trapped in Oskil, pushed against the bank of the Donetsk river without any vehicles to cross it. This could soon bring another 1000 POWs as well as the 2000 that will soon come from Azovstal.

Ukraine is losing 300-400 men per day to KIA and POW alone.

From RF MOD: “Losses of the Ukrainian side as a result of a special military operation of the RF Armed Forces on April 30, 2022

▪️During the day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine lost 556 people killed, wounded and captured. The total loss of killed, wounded and captured in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, NSU and State Border Service is over 47 thousand people.

▪️According to the internal report of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 6 tanks, 39 armored vehicles, 21 field artillery and mortars, 7 MLRS, 25 vehicles and special equipment and 23 UAVs were lost.”

Just look at today’s newest graphic losses (18+++):

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian side continues to rely heavily on the belief that Russia is simply being attritioned faster, and this is what will lead to victory. Bellingcat reports that Russia has used up 70% of all its missiles. However, commentators were quickly to point out the following inconvenient fact:

The 2nd in command of Bellingcat said Russia would “collapse” by the coming Sunday, on March 4th.

The fact of the matter is, 50k of the AFU are gone, another 50k are trapped in Donbass and are slowly being grinded down. Millions have fled the country (Russia has taken 1+ million refugees alone, and much more went west, to europe and elsewhere) so we can expect that the vast majority of the fighting age males have left or gone underground.

Based on what we’re seeing on the frontlines, the most distant reserves already being used and depleted, the riots of family members in western Ukraine proving their last reserves are already being tapped, one can only conclude that Ukraine will not have anywhere near the numbers of fighters left to arm with all the incoming ‘NATO toys’.

On that note, read this illuminating new frontline report from a highly respected source, the famous Serb fighter in the Donbas, Dejan Beric (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dejan_Berić)

In short, the public is now being conditioned to move the goalposts such that losing Donbas no longer means a loss in the war, but is just a momentary strategic retreat until the mighty NATO wunderwaffens from the West allow the AFU to strike back with a vengeance.

Last time I reported the bridge being blown in Slavyansk, pictured with the purple circle on the left:

Now they’ve blown the bridge even further east (red circle) in preparation for the coming reality.

And strangely, U.S. officials are now claiming Russia is only “days” behind schedule in Donbas, when previously it was weeks if not months.

And finally, reports now indicate that the British expect Putin to formally declare war on Ukraine on May 9th and begin mass mobilization.

“The British Ministry of Defense has reportedly seen indications that Russian President Putin is preparing a Statement for May 9th during the Victory Parade in Moscow, which its expected a General Mobilization and a Declaration of War against Ukraine will be declared.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10766541/Ben-Wallace-predicts-Russia-use-parade-9-announce-mass-mobilisation-population.html

Of course this could be complete nonsense and propaganda on their behalf, or it could be another case of predictive programming, self-fulfilling fantasy. Just like when they ‘predicted’ Russia would invade in february but in actuality pushed Ukraine to bring a massive army to the Donbas contact line, start shelling Donbas and Russian territory in order to force Russia to invade, here may be the same situation. This could be a sign that they plan to massively escalate by invading Transnistria (and perhaps western Ukraine) and forcing Putin to mobilize so they can again claim it was Russia’s plan to do it on the heroic May 9th all along.

In fact MSM is already conditioning the public with what a response might look like to Russian nuclear use:

To conclude, we see that Ukraine’s strategy is try to bleed Russia in Donbas as much as possible before the eventual collapse and pull out, then ‘hope’ for huge amounts of reserves in the far west of the country to remain so they can be armed with NATO wunderwaffen for a big summer blockbuster Barbarossa offensive to unironically start by June 22.

By NATO’s own admission that they are ready to supply and stand with Ukraine for a war lasting “3 to 10 years”, we can infer that they understand Russia is in fact not running out of anything (be it manpower or supplies) any time soon, and that the war will in fact be long – the rest is just propaganda for public consumption.

There’s no more room for now to cover the likelihood or probability of any of these plans to work, perhaps next time. But for now I’ll leave you with one last stomach-turning story. In Hostomel, near Kiev, a Ukrainian video influencer decided to go out to one of the wrecked tanks, and found himself some remains of a ‘dead Russian soldier’, which he decided to cook and eat to great internet acclaim in his country.

(18+) for anyone with the stomach to watch:

https://sputniknews.com/20220427/hitting-a-new-low-ukrainian-man-posts-video-boasting-of-eating-russian-soldiers-meat-1095108054.html

Now whether this is a staged ‘stunt’ or not, the fact of the matter is on social media he was said to have gotten greatly positive feedback from many Ukrainians who urged others to go out and cannibalize dead Russian soldiers. This is just an insightful look into Ukrainian society and their inculcated, absolute inhuman hatred of Russians.

And of course there’s the unfortunate fact that experts have determined without a shadow of a doubt that the tank from which he foraged his unholy delicacy was in fact a Ukrainian T-64 (and not a Russian T-72), a tank Russia does not use (nor was DPR/LPR anywhere near Hostomel at any time).

You can draw the conclusions to what this means for the poor, attention-seeking, self-avowed cannibal.

Empire of Lies Eager to Receive Mr. Sarmat’s Business Card

April 29, 2022

Source

The only antidote to propaganda dementia is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed.

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

Especially since the onset of GWOT (Global War on Terror) at the start of the millennium, no one ever lost money betting against the toxic combo of hubris, arrogance and ignorance serially deployed by the Empire of Chaos and Lies.

What passes for “analysis” in the vast intellectual no-fly zone known as U.S. Think Tankland includes wishful thinking babble such as Beijing “believing” that Moscow would play a supporting role in the Chinese century just to see Russia, now, in the geopolitical driver’s seat.

This is a fitting example not only of outright Russophobic/Sinophobic paranoia about the emergence of peer competitors in Eurasia – the primeval Anglo-American nightmare – but also crass ignorance about the finer points of the complex Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

As Operation Z methodically hits Phase 2, the Americans – with a vengeance – have also embarked on their symmetrical Phase 2, which de facto translates as an outright escalation towards Totalen Krieg, from shades of hybrid to incandescent, everything of course by proxy. Notorious Raytheon weapons peddler reconverted into Pentagon head, Lloyd Austin, gave away the game in Kiev:

“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”

So this is it: the Empire wants to annihilate Russia. Cue to War Inc.’s frenzy of limitless weapon cargos descending on Ukraine, the overwhelming majority on the road to be duly eviscerated by Russian precision strikes. The Americans are sharing intel 24/7 with Kiev not only on Donbass and Crimea but also Russian territory. Totalen Krieg proceeds in parallel to the engineered controlled demolition of the EU’s economy, with the European Commission merrily acting as a sort of P.R. arm of NATO.

Amidst the propaganda dementia cum acute cognitive dissonance overdrive across the whole NATOstan sphere, the only antidote is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed. The West ignores them at their own collective peril.

Patrushev goes Triple-X unplugged

Let’s start with President Putin’s speech to the Council of Legislators in St. Petersburg celebrating the Day of Russian Parliamentarism.

Putin demonstrated how a hardly new “geopolitical weapon” relying on “Russophobia and neo-Nazis”, coupled with efforts of “economic strangulation”, not only failed to smother Russia, but impregnated in the collective unconscious the feeling this an existential conflict: a “Second Great Patriotic War”.

With off the charts hysteria across the spectrum, a message for an Empire that still refuses to listen, and doesn’t even understand the meaning of “indivisibility of security”, had to be inevitable:

“I would like to emphasize once again that if someone intends to interfere in the events taking place from the outside and creates threats of a strategic nature unacceptable to Russia, they should know that our retaliatory strikes will be lightning fast. We have all the tools for this. Such as no one can boast of now. And we won’t brag. We will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know about it – we have made all the decisions on this matter.”

Translation: non-stop provocations may lead Mr. Kinzhal, Mr. Zircon and Mr. Sarmat to be forced to present their business cards in select Western latitudes, even without an official invitation.

Arguably for the first time since the start of Operation Z, Putin made a distinction between military operations in Donbass and the rest of Ukraine. This directly relates to the integration in progress of Kherson, Zaporozhye and Kharkov, and implies the Russian Armed Forces will keep going and going, establishing sovereignty not only in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics but also over Kherson, Zaporozhye, and further on down the road from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea, all the way to establishing full control of Nikolaev and Odessa.

The formula is crystal clear: “Russia cannot allow the creation of anti-Russian territories around the country.”

Now let’s move to an extremely detailed interview by Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, where Patrushev sort of went triple-X unplugged.

The key take away may be here: “The collapse of the American-centric world is a reality in which one must live and build an optimal line of behavior.” Russia’s “optimal line of behavior” – much to the wrath of the universalist and unilateralist hegemon – features “sovereignty, cultural and spiritual identity and historical memory.”

Patrushev shows how “tragic scenarios of world crises, both in past years and today, are imposed by Washington in its desire to consolidate its hegemony, resisting the collapse of the unipolar world.” The U.S. goes no holds barred “to ensure that other centers of the multipolar world do not even dare to raise their heads, and our country not only dared, but publicly declared that it would not play by the imposed rules.”

Patrushev could not but stress how War Inc. is literally making a killing in Ukraine: “The American and European military-industrial complex is jubilant, because thanks to the crisis in Ukraine, it has no respite from order. It is not surprising that, unlike Russia, which is interested in the speedy completion of a special military operation and minimizing losses on all sides, the West is determined to delay it at least to the last Ukrainian.”

And that mirrors the psyche of American elites: “You are talking about a country whose elite is not able to appreciate other people’s lives. Americans are used to walking on scorched earth. Since World War II, entire cities have been razed to the ground by bombing, including nuclear bombing. They flooded the Vietnamese jungle with poison, bombed the Serbs with radioactive munitions, burned Iraqis alive with white phosphorus, helped terrorists poison Syrians with chlorine (…) As history shows, NATO has also never been a defensive alliance, only an offensive one.”

Previously, in an interview with the delightfully named The Great Game show on Russian TV, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had once again detailed how the Americans “no longer insist on the implementation of international law, but on respect for the ‘rules-based world order’. These ‘rules’ are not deciphered in any way. They say that now there are few rules. For us, they don’t exist at all. There is international law. We respect it, as does the UN Charter. The key provision, the main principle is the sovereign equality of states. The U.S. flagrantly violates its obligations under the UN Charter when it promotes its ‘rules’”.

Lavrov had to stress, once again, that the current incandescent situation may be compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis: “In those years, there was a channel of communication that both leaders trusted. Now there is no such channel. No one is trying to create it.”

The Empire of Lies, in its current state, does not do diplomacy.

The pace of the game in the new chessboard

In a subtle reference to the work of Sergei Glazyev, as the Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasia Economic Union explained in our recent interview, Patrushev hit the heart of the current geoeconomic game, with Russia now actively moving towards a gold standard: “Experts are working on a project proposed by the scientific community to create a two-circuit monetary and financial system. In particular, it is proposed to determine the value of the ruble, which should be secured by both gold and a group of goods that are currency values, to put the ruble exchange rate in line with real purchasing power parity.”

That was inevitable after the outright theft of over $300 billion in Russian foreign reserves. It may have taken a few days for Moscow to be fully certified it was facing Totalen Krieg. The corollary is that the collective West has lost any power to influence Russian decisions. The pace of the game in the new chessboard is being set by Russia.

Earlier in the week, in his meeting with the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, Putin went as far as stating that he’d be more than willing to negotiate – with only a few conditions: Ukrainian neutrality and autonomy status for Donbass. Yet now everyone knows it’s too late. For a Washington in Totalen Krieg mode negotiation is anathema – and that has been the case since the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine meeting in Istanbul in late March.

So far, on Operation Z, the Russian Armed forces have used only 12% of its soldiers,10% of its fighter jets, 7% of its tanks, 5% of its missiles, and 4% of its artillery. The pain dial is set to go substantially up – and with the total liberation of Mariupol and the resolution one way or another of the Donbass cauldron there is nothing the hysteria/propaganda/weaponizing combo deployed by the collective West can do to alter facts on the ground.

That includes desperate gambits such as the one uncovered by SVR – Russian foreign intel, which very rarely makes mistakes. SVR found out that the Empire of Lies/War Inc. axis is pushing not only for a de facto Polish invasion to annex Western Ukraine, under the banner of “historical reunification”, but also for a joint Romanian/Ukrainian invasion of Moldova/Transnistria, with Romanian “peacekeepers” already piling up near the Moldova border.

Washington, as the SVR maintains, has been plotting the Polish gambit for over a month now. It would “lead from behind” (remember Libya?), “encouraging” a “group of countries” to occupy Western Ukraine.

So partition is already on the cards. Were that ever to materialize, it will be fascinating to bet on which locations Mr. Sarmat would be inclined to distribute his business card.

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 28, 2022

Source

By Nightvision

Large amount of significant updates today.

Let’s start with the most pressing – it looks like our reporting on the Transnistria RUMINT last time were accurate, the escalations there are now getting worse. More and more info pours out from every direction that suggests an increasingly grave situation.

Poland and Ukraine both have now announced military ‘exercises’ that will conveniently move equipment towards the east of the country:

⚡️The Ministry of Defense of Poland announced that in connection with the “military exercises” from May 1 until the end of the month there will be heavy movement of columns with equipment in the north, east of the country

“Ukrainian media are reporting that a military exercise has been announced in Kotovsk (AKA Podilsk) from today to the 30th, ~20km from the Transnistrian border.”

While Transnistria reportedly announced mobilization: https://balkaninsight.com/2022/04/28/moldovas-breakaway-transnistria-orders-general-mobilisation/

And Bulgaria has warned its citizens to leave the country:

“Given the deteriorating situation in the Republic of Moldova and around it, we call on our compatriots to refrain from any trips to the country. We invite Bulgarian citizens who are on the territory of the Republic of Moldova to take measures to leave the country on currently available vehicles .”

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry asks its citizens to leave the country. The appeal is posted on the official website of the department.”

And many citizens in Transnistria were said to be fleeing already as snarled traffic was seen at border checkpoints.

A video of the likely Ukrainian terror attack on Tiraspol’s Ministry building was released, showing several masked gunmen armed with RPG’s shooting the building:

Arestovich has outright called for Moldova to take Transnistria which they “officially” declined, for now: https://www.rt.com/russia/554640-moldova-transnistria-kiev-offer/

Meanwhile the MI6 claims it is Russia that is preparing a mass assault there:

“🔥 Mi-6 sent intelligence to the Office of the President of Ukraine and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that Russia is preparing a landing in Transnistria if an escalation begins, and is also activated on the southern front. Additional forces of the Russian army are being transferred to Crimea, and the Black Sea Fleet is preparing an operation in Bessarabia. British intelligence again recommended Zelensky to refrain from plans to attack the PMR until the Armed Forces of Ukraine are strengthened with new weapons.”

And ex-Prime Minister of Moldova issued the following statement:

“If the Russians manage to get to Tiraspol, it will be the end of Moldova,” ex-Prime Minister of Moldova Iurie Leanca.

“If Bucharest and Chisinau do not implement certain scenarios. Our only scenario is unire (the name of the movement for the unification of Romania and Moldova). When Romania takes this step together with Chisinau, we immediately fall under the security umbrella of NATO and the European Union.”

In the meantime, Washington continues to escalate its involvement, offering even more intelligence assets to Kiev: https://www.rt.com/news/554643-us-intelligence-sharing-ukraine-russia/

And Biden now seeks a gargantuan $33 billion for Ukraine: https://www.rt.com/russia/554685-biden-ukraine-aid/

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/part-bidens-mammoth-33bn-spending-package-will-support-ukraines-information-warfare

Keep in mind, this is 5 times larger than Ukraine’s entire annual military budget of $6 billion.

WarGonzo reports that Moldova is holding secret consultations with NATO on a combined action to retake Transnistria:

https://zen.yandex.ru/media/wargonzoya/specoperaciia-nato-pod-nazvaniem-krovavaia-maiia-626abccc35423263458fed48 (you can autotranslate the article)

Excerpt:

“So, our high-ranking insiders in Chisinau, who are really concerned about the security of ordinary people, report that the head of Moldova, Maia Sandu, is holding closed meetings with parliamentarians in order to convince them to publicly advocate for Moldova’s participation in hostilities against the PMR and the Russian military contingent deployed there. .

Naturally, Sandu does this not out of a personal militaristic nature, but on the orders of his immediate supervisors – German citizen Hans Martin Sieg and American political strategist Jason Smart, who act on instructions and direct instructions from NATO generals who cut up the corresponding tasks.

In the scenarios proposed by the curators, the Moldovan military themselves will allegedly participate nominally, direct participation in hostilities and their deployment, as well as further military planning, will fall on the shoulders of the Romanian Armed Forces. Thus, the NATO bloc is working out another scheme based on the “proxy” principle – the Romanians are fighting, but under the flag of Moldova. In general, according to the classics.

The reconnaissance has already been carried out, heavy weapons and manpower are being pulled together, but there is a problem – Sandu’s loyal associates, realizing the possible targeted consequences for their own persons, do not want to share with her the title of “bloody Maya” and the fate of the comedian Zelensky’s team, which, as we all understand, long ago decided.”

Large Romanian military convoys spotted heading towards the eastern border:

And now, the Russian head of SVR intelligence agency has stated:

Sputnik/RT both reporting it:

https://www.rt.com/russia/554671-poland-ukraine-spy-split/

https://sputniknews.com/20220428/washington-warsaw-discuss-reunification-of-poland–western-ukraine-russian-foreign-intel-chief-1095121664.html

And at the same time, it’s being reported that:

“Washington has set up an intelligence center in Lvov where the Americans work with General Staff officers to get quick information from reconnaissance planes, UAVs and satellites that collect data around and over #Ukraine in space. The staff is about 50 people only from the USA. It is located in one of the communication buildings in Lviv.”

Washington has set up an intelligence center in Lvov where the Americans work with General Staff officers to get quick information from reconnaissance planes, UAVs and satellites that collect data around and over Ukraine in space.

Keep in mind, none of this should come as a surprise as it was weeks ago already that Poland was openly requesting a NATO mission to Ukraine: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/poland-propose-ukraine-peacekeeping-mission-nato-summit-says-pm-2022-03-18/

But now it seems things are escalating and they may take matters into their own hands. Personally, I don’t see much problem with it, why shouldn’t they take the Western part of Ukraine? Russia certainly doesn’t want it and it could be a good ‘compromise’ if something is worked out on the back end. Russia only wants Odessa and in fact would prefer not to have to expend massive manpower and lives lost to conquer the western pale of Ukraine. Of course this is an oversimplification and we don’t know what disaster could turn out from these moves, or what Poland/NATO’s ultimate aims might actually be.

On that note Britain has announced the first official British mercenary killed in Ukraine

“London confirms the death of at least one British subject in Ukraine. Another one went missing. It is known that the killed militant’s name was Scott Sibley. According to rumors, he was a retired British military man who, either out of boredom or under a contract, decided to go on a “Russian safari”. Safari didn’t work.”

Photos: https://twitter.com/DanielBerns5/status/1519726107129528323

While another group of British mercenaries seen somewhere in Ukraine:

Two American mercenaries were also badly wounded in Orekhovo, one seemingly blinded for life by Russian artillery. You can read the description in the video below for more details:

Now the most important thing to understand is that all of these escalations are happening for one reason only, and that is: Russia is completely annihilating the Ukrainian armed forces in the Donbass. It is going even more horrifically for the AFU than many imagined. Here are some new videos just from the past day or two alone showing not only possibly hundreds of losses in KIA but new mass surrenders as well:

Today’s mass surrender:

Huge losses (18+): https://www.bitchute.com/video/RFkLPDeIXdfp/

These are unsustainable losses – the AFU is getting crushed and obliterated and the long awaited heavier Russian offensive has not even started yet. It’s getting so bad that even the most infamous pro-western sources are becoming extremely worried:

Jihad Julian is chief amongst them:

Here’s the vile Anders Aslund: https://twitter.com/anders_aslund/status/1519678415456149506

“The War: Ukraine has experienced setback in the past few days. A senior Ukrainian official announced yesterday that Russian troops had taken part of the Kharkiv region. Yesterday, Russia announced that it has captured the entire Kherson region. No Ukrainian advances. Not good.”

And another: “Russia is increasing the pace of offensive in Ukraine in all directions, – Speaker of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Oleksandr Motuzyanyk. Apparently, even the Armed Forces of Ukraine are tired of the lulling lies of Arestovich.”

Not only have Russian advances been smashing Ukrainian defenses, but Russian strikes have continued their upswing on many objects of infrastructure:

“According to reliable information received in the south-west of Kharkov, the headquarters of the TRO/Azov was destroyed. There are dead and wounded.”

There are photos from the destroyed HQ, it looks like there could be a lot of dead.

More critical railway junctures west of Kiev were hit.

Ukraine of course continues its escalations into the asymmetric / terror warfare, hitting various sites on Russian territory. There’s still no certainty of how they’re doing it apart from clues like the fact that several ‘saboteurs’ were arrested in Russia by the FSB yesterday, who were working for Ukrainian SBU. One was in Crimea, had explosives and was planning on bombing a shopping mall in Simferopol.

Many in Russia understandably are feeling fed up, and some believe Russia may eventually designate Ukraine as a terrorist state, which could open pathways for eventual formal declaration of war and mobilization, if need be.

@SamRamani2

· 49m

Russia is likely to formally recognize Ukraine as a terrorist state The assassination attempts on Russian state media figures, which the FSB links to Ukraine’s SBU, and the attacks in Moldova’s breakaway Transnistria region are the pretexts for this move.

Margarita Semonyan, head of RT/Sputnik, added her voice to the mix. Western critics and some pro-Russian ‘maximalists’ believe she’s slowly softening the Russian public for the eventual acceptance of nuclear use:

“Explosions and air defense sirens in Belgorod. The Anglo-Saxons publicly offer Ukraine to transfer hostilities to the territory of Russia. And supply it with the means to implement this plan. What choice are you giving us, idiots? Complete destruction of the remaining Ukraine? Nuclear strike?”

And other prominent Russian media figures:

Meanwhile, from the MI6 in UK:

“🇬🇧🇺🇦🔥 Mi-6 have passed intelligence to the Office of the President of Ukraine and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that Russia is preparing strikes against decision-making centers in Ukraine. It is recommended not to use the command posts of the Ministry of Defense, the coordinates of which are known to the Russian special services.”

As of this writing, missiles have hit Kiev but so far it appears to have targeted the Artyom military factory and airfields in the vicinity, not decision centers, but we’ll see. The leadership is likely not worried anyway, there are reports that:

“Zelensky’s wife and children have already received British citizenship. Come on, he himself received it, although this should be contrary to the constitution of Ukraine. But the bloody clown’s parents refused allegiance. Well, at least someone in this family has a conscience.
Also, by the decision of the British government, citizenship was granted to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and his family members, as well as Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podolyak and his family members. A number of employees of the General Staff of Ukraine and the SBU are in the process of receiving.
The Ukrainian elites have prepared an alternate airfield for themselves, but the majority of Ukrainians will be left with a nose.”

The implication is that all the top Ukrainian elite are already receiving British citizenships and are ready to work from abroad in their new home soon.

One of the new Polish Warmate suicide drones has already been shot down by Russia

Large amounts of Western weapons shipments destroyed:

https://www.zerohedge.com/military/russia-says-it-destroyed-large-batch-western-weapons-ship-launched-missiles

And numerous new TB2’s from Turkey’s fresh batch have already been shot down:

More photos: 

(another 3rd one)

There’s photos of at least 3 separate Bayraktar TB2’s shot down since yesterday online. Two of them I believe were on or near the Russian border towards Kursk.

Now as for the offensives that are generating these massive casualties posted above. Russian troops are said to be storming Lyman on the northern front while having captured several small towns NW of there, like Kymky and Oleksandrivka. There are even some reports that advance scout units have already reached the outskirts of Slavyansk through the forest, although that likely wouldn’t mean much as they are not quite ready to start assaulting yet. However residents of Slavyansk already hear heavy bombardments and blasts in the distance as the Russian advance approaches.

On the Izyum axis Russia was said to have fully cleared Zavody and is now assaulting the actual stronghold town of Velyka Komyshuvakha, while on the southern end they are still said to be pushing on Pashkove, past Kurul’ka.

Here’s a decent map: https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1519611022813720576

The AFU is already making plans for retreat in Slavyansk as there is footage of the bridge here being heavily mined and ready to blow.

Here’s the video of heavily mined bridge: https://twitter.com/Farnakyboy/status/1519762715119599616

One report: “🔥 Many residents of Slavyansk confirm the information that the Armed Forces of Ukraine mined Kupechesky Bridge in the city. Ukrainian “defenders” are preparing to surrender Slavyansk according to the scenario of Mariupol.”

As can be seen it leads to the city from the eastern end and appears to anticipate falling back and abandoning the eastern entrance.

There’s progress in Popasna and elsewhere as well but will save it for next time.

For now will turn to the final and other most important sector of Mariupol as there’ve been some big updates.

Firstly, both 2nd in Command of Azov Kalina, and 36th Brigade commander Volyna have released new videos absolutely pleading for western help.

Kalina’s message 

Volyna: https://twitter.com/ChristopherJM/status/1519309276568866817 with translation of his message:

In short, he begs for a massive WW2 Dunkirk style airlift to save Azov. Unfortunately Russia has reportedly continued bombing them https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1519645150603055104

and things have gotten really desperate.

The entire northern part (cement factory, etc) appears to be under Russian control now:

Last time we noted how various forces were working to pinpoint the secret Azov lairs and hideouts. Now they’ve managed to finally do it.

“We made a complete diagram of the Azovstal bunkers, and their connections to each other. Above is the number of the defensive structure, below are the exact coordinates.

Green – transitions between protective structures (laying from 18 to 45 meters) The main headquarters of Azov is located in protective structure No. 18182, a bomb shelter for the central chemical laboratory of the plant, for 300 people. The civilians are partly located in object No. 18207 and 18170.”

This report claims negotiators have arrived:

#AZOVSTAL#Ukraine|ian (!) negotiators have arrived in #Bezymennoye settlement near #Mariupol in an effort to convince #Azov (#Ukrainian #NationalGuard regiment) to release civilians being held by them at Azovstal. Looks like Azov is getting on everyone’s nerves now. #UkraineWar

It was reported last time how there’s friction between Azov and Kiev leadership. They requested to be sent to a ‘third country’ of preferably Turkey, and I mentioned how in the past Kiev has even bombed the Azov regiment about a month ago.

https://tass.com/world/1416593

Alexander Sladkov said 2 days ago that Azov only had 9 days of food left. In his new report it was said, “The militants used the building of the sanitary and epidemiological station. 3rd floor completed.

DEFENSE FEATURES OF “AZOVSTAL”. THEY HAVE A LOT OF WATER, INSTEAD OF STOVES THEY USE BARREL WITH ANTISEPTIC, THEY DO NOT GIVE SMOKE.

Ours, moving forward, found a huge warehouse of water at the plant. The militants did not even begin to evacuate him – they have a sea of \u200b\u200bwater. They say there is 9 days of food left.”

And according to Maxim Fomkin aka Vladlen Tatarsky, a prominent DPR soldier/blogger, the Azovstal will be taken by 4/30.

Here’s Sladkov’s report showing entire northern section of Azovstal being cleared: https://twitter.com/200_zoka/status/1519631657799725056

In short, they appear to be only a few buildings away from where the Azov leadership are holed up so things are set to come to a head in some manner soon.

Russia in the meantime continues to move troops out as one western report stated:

“NEW: Russia is moving “significant” numbers of troops out of Ukraine’s besieged city of Mariupol to the north and northwest: senior U.S. defense official Russia is still hitting Mariupol with airstrikes. had about a dozen battalion tactical groups in the city.”

Lastly, here’s one of the many advanced things aiding Russian forces in the final capture of Azovstal:

A Russian Fara-VR tactical battlefield radar system that detects both troops and vehicles, through walls at distance, and can relay that information to tankers and troop units for immediate focus fire destruction of the enemies. It’s a very impressive piece of kit that was used by Spetsnaz in Syria but hasn’t gotten such closeup attention until now.

https://roe.ru/eng/catalog/land-forces/ground-surveillance-radars/fara-vr/

The Moskva Riddle

April 25, 2022

by Pepe Escobar

Neither NATO nor Russia is telling us what really happened with the Moskva, the legendary admiral ship of the Black Sea fleet.

NATO because in theory, they know. Moscow, for its part, made it clear they are not saying anything until they can be sure what happened.

Moskva Sinking | Know Your Meme

One thing is certain. If the Russian Ministry of Defense finds out that NATO did it, they will let loose all the dogs from Hell on NATO, as in “asymmetrical, lethal and fast”.

On Moskva’s location: it was positioned near one of 3 drilling rigs, used for monitoring a whole sector of the Black Sea with hydrophones and NEVA-BS radar, the most westward one, BK-2 Odessa, approximately 66 km northeast from Snake Island. The whole thing was integrated in the regional monitoring systems. As in everything, literally, was monitored: ships, low flying targets, smaller echoes, even the bobbing head of an unsuspecting swimmer.

So there was a quite slim chance that anything – not to mention subsonic Neptune missiles and Bayraktar drones – could have slipped through this aerial net.

So what could have possibly happened?

It could have been some kind of underwater drone, released either from some sneaky sub, or by a SBS team, coming from the western coast, with a stopover at Snake Island. Then that drone somehow managed to drill itself through the Moskva’s hull from below – and exploded its payload inside.

What follows comes from a top source in Brussels: serious, trustworthy, proven record spanning nearly two decades. Yet he may be just spreading disinformation. Or bragging. Or that may be rock solid intel.

Before we start, we should point out it’s hard to believe the Neptune/Bayraktar fairytale angle. After all, as we’ve seen, the Russian fleet had established a multidimensional surveillance/defense layer in the direction of Odessa.

The Moskva was near Odessa, closer to Romania. A year ago, the source maintains, a new phased array locator was installed on it: the illumination range is 500 km. According to the standard Ukrainian narrative, first the Moskva was hit by a drone, and the locators and antennas were smashed. The Moskva was half blind.

Then – according to the Ukrainian narrative – they launched two Neptune cruise missiles from the shore. Guidance was carried out by NATO’s Orion, which was hanging over Romania. The missiles zoomed in on the ship with the homing heads turned off, so that the radiation beam would not be detected.

So we have guidance by NATO’s Orion, transmitting the exact coordinates, leading to two hits, and subsequent detonation of ammunition (that’s the part acknowledged by the Russian Ministry of Defense).

A strategic hit

The Moskva was on combat duty 100-120 km away from Odessa – controlling the airspace within a radius of 250-300 km. So in fact it was ensuring the overlap of the southern half of Moldova, the space from Izmail to Odessa and part of Romania (including the port of Constanta).

Its positioning could not be more strategic. Moskva was interfering with NATO’s covert transfer of military aircraft (helicopters and fighter jets) from Romania to Ukraine. It was being watched 24/7. NATO air reconnaissance was totally on it.

As the Moskva “killer”, NATO may have not chosen the Neptune, as spread by Ukrainian propaganda; the source points to the fifth-generation NSM PKR (Naval Strike Missile, with a range of 185 km, developed by Norway and the Americans.)

He describes the NSM as “able to reach the target along a programmed route thanks to the GPS-adjusted INS, independently find the target by flying up to it at an altitude of 3-5 meters. When reaching the target, the NSM maneuvers and deploys electronic interference. A highly sensitive thermal imager is used as a homing system, which independently determines the most vulnerable places of the target ship.”

As a direct consequence of hitting the Moskva, NATO managed to reopen an air corridor for the transfer of aircraft to the airfields of Chernivtsi, Transcarpathian and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

In parallel, after the destruction of the Moskva, the Black Sea Fleet, according to the source, “no longer seems to have a ship equipped with a long-range anti-aircraft missile system”. Of course a three-band radar Sky-M system remains in play in Crimea, capable of tracking all air targets at a range of up to 600 km. One wonders whether this is enough for all Russian purposes.

So what do we really have here? Fantasy or reality? There was only one way to know.

I ran the info past the inestimable Andrei Martyanov, who knew the Moskva “as Slava in 1981 when she was afloat in the Northern Bay of Sevastopol and my class which was at first summer practice on board of old cruiser Dzerzhinsky was given an extensive introduction to her. So, she was an old lady and it is too bad that she had to finish her long life this way and at this time.”

Martyanov, once again, was the consummate professional, stressing no one, at this stage, really knows what happened. But he made some crucial points: “Per NSM (if we accept this version), even with its Low Observability and GPS guidance under normal (that is sea up to state 5-6) and normal radio-permeability, even the Moskva’s old frigate radar would have seen those missiles in distances of tens of kilometers, somewhere between 15-20 for sure. NSM, as any NATO anti-shipping missile, are subsonic, with their velocity roughly 300 meters per second. That leaves, even in a 15 kilometer range, 45 seconds to detect track and develop a firing solution for whatever ‘on duty’ AD complex. More than enough reaction time.”

Martyanov also stresses, “it is impossible to hide the external impact of the anti-shipping missile – one will immediately know what hit the ship. Moreover, to hit and sink such a target as the Moskva one has to launch a salvo and not only two missiles, likely 3-4 at least. In this case, Russia would know who attacked Moskva. Does NATO know? I am positive this event has NATO written all over it, if it is not an internal sabotage which absolutely cannot be excluded at this stage. I am sure if Nebo was operational it would have seen the salvo.”

Which brings us to the inevitable clincher: “If NATO was involved, I am sure we will see some retaliation, after all, as I am on record all the time, US bases in Middle East and elsewhere are nothing more than fat prestigious targets.”

So get ready: something lethally “asymmetrical” may be about to pop up.

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 18, 2022

Source

By Nightvision

I didn’t plan on covering the Moskva anymore, as I like many want to move on past that topic. But since the unexpected release of the only known images of the stricken cruiser, there are a few things that must be stated for the record, simply because I see no one else in the resistance sphere stating them, and certainly they will be covered up on the other side, as everything the other side sees merely adds to their own delusions and selective biases, reaffirming their already-held (false) and propagandized beliefs. I will try to make it as concise/short as possible. First the main photo of the cruiser:

This image was taken and leaked from aboard the Turkish ship that answered the SOS call and helped rescue some of the sailors:

Upon cursory glance, this seems like a typical/likely missile strike. Center midships hit, portside list of ship, burn/explosion marks, etc, etc. However there’s a few major problems that few are discussing. Now keep in mind, I’m no naval expert but know enough to talk with some authority on certain things.

Firstly, the burn marks you see along the portside hull are clearly smoke/fume exhalation points along the ports which dot the hull. The larger burn marks which are slightly lower on the hull are actually where the ship has larger ports for torpedo tubes (special kind of torpedo that slides out and drops into the water). This can clearly be seen in a reference photo of the ship.

Click this link to zoom in on the high quality image: https://i.postimg.cc/s2nLj8kf/FQl-Tx-XOXMAMc3a-Xb.jpg

You see the red circles? Those are the lower / larger torpedo tube ports. They would have a larger amount of black fumes due to the presumable much more intense fire coming out of them if the torpedoes inside exploded or were on fire, etc.

So the first thing to get out of the way is, none of those black marks on the ship appear to be from any missile hits, they are merely the ports and torpedo slots emitting fire from the inside of the ship and burning/blackening the hull around them. You can see the red circles line up from both before and after images of the ship.

In the photo of the damaged ship, the large red circle clearly implies the area where a missile might have hit, as there is a lot of blackened areas there. But there is no clear sign of destruction, the blackened area appears to be roughly similar to the torpedo tube hole on the far right in the smaller red circle. In that center area there are ammunition departments plus power plant, so clearly an explosion from inside could have happened.

Here’s when the Sheffield was hit in the Falklands War 

https://youtu.be/hUsY_PznmTg?t=111

You can see the damage on the side.

And here’s some images of the USS Stark when it was hit by an Iraqi plane with an Exocet missile. Keep in mind both HMS Sheffield and Stark were hit by Exocets, and this missile is similar in size to the Neptune that Ukraine alleged to have used.

The difference is quite clear that there is massive damage seen, with an eruption outward of the metal after the explosion. No such damage is seen on the Moskva, only intense burn marks that are also visible from every porthole along the hull going aft.

Now one could argue that a large hole is perhaps hidden by the water as the ship is clearly listed heavily to the port side. But I think we would still see the top of the hole much more clearly because these sea-skimming missiles do skim the sea at about 50ft then drop a little lower at terminal phase, BUT they don’t drop THAT low where they’re literally on the water line. As you can see from the Sheffield and Stark hits, they still hit the hull at roughly 15-20ft up above water, not at mere inches above the water. They can’t be programmed to go TOO low on account of waves, otherwise they might strike a wave in stormy seas and be a wasted missile.

But these things are debatable so far. Here are some even more interesting things.

1. Firstly it has been noted by experts that in the Moskva photos, ALL life boats are missing which means they were deployed, which means already the Ukrainian side is caught in one lie because it means the sailors were in fact saved. The crane can even be seen in a sideward, non diametric position which means it was used to lower lifeboats to the water.

2. Now here’s some very interesting things. The last known satellite photos of the Moskva show it oriented with bow facing south/southeast, and its portside facing east.

This photo is from 2300 hours of April 12, the Moskva was hit some hours later the next day. The Moskva was supposedly stationary like many of the Russian frigates in this region. It would be impossible for Ukrainian missiles coming from the direction of Odessa NW to hit the portside which is here facing east.

Here’s another source of the last known photos of the ship.

Note the direction of Odessa and where the missiles would come from, then note the orientation of the ship and its later-to-be-damaged portside.

3. Now here’s where it gets even more interesting. The green circle on the original photo I posted shows the fire-control radar of the ship

This radar has been noted by naval experts to be in the ‘standby’ or neutral rearward facing position. You can check hundreds of photos/videos of the Moskva in transit on the internet, and the radar always faces rearward. But when it engages a target, it pivots and orients towards the target. So this suggests that during the hit of the Moskva, the fire control radar was not engaging any targets. Of course western ‘analysts’ say this means the Moskva was struck blind by their wunderwaffen stealth missiles and never saw them coming.

Butthere’s a major problem with that theory:

4. Their own story is in fact that the Moskva was “distracted” by multiple TB2 drones used as decoys, which the Moskva was targeting as it failed to notice the magical Neptune missiles broadside it. Here’s a graphic from their own tall tale:

You notice something I circled in red on their own graphic? They themselves are showing the fire-control radar pointing in the direction of the phantom TB2’s in this hypothetical mockup. That means according to their own theory, in order to have successfully ‘distracted’ the Moskva as they claim, the fire-control radar dome MUST have been kept busy by the TB2’s, yet clearly it remained in the standby peacetime position.

Using logic, no matter how you explain it, the Ukrainian side must be lying in at least one part of their statement. Either no TB2s were used and in fact a “stealthy” Neptune just happened to hit the Moskva with zero warning or they were used to distract and the radar should have been tracking them. But then why would you believe the second part of their statement about the Neptunes being used when they clearly lied about the TB2 decoy usage as proven by the radar’s stock position?

And by the way, there is some chance one can possibly believe that a sea-skimming missile might bypass radar, but there is no chance a high flying TB2 (and multiple of them at that) will go undetected, and anyway they admitted they were detected because they were “distracting the Moskva” radar operators according to the official story.

Now consider the following:

  • If Ukraine really had the capability of using some Neptune missile to hit the Moskva, why would it only use 2 and allow the Moskva to still stay afloat for almost a whole day afterwards, being towed to base? Even in the photo the Moskva is cleared of crew and unprotected, why couldn’t Ukraine continue firing to finish it off in that moment of uncertainty?
  • And further, why couldn’t the magical TB2’s also rain down their own missiles on the now crippled and de-crewed cruiser to finish it off?
  • If TB2’s were in the air, where’s the footage? Ukraine loves posting any possible footage of their use, so how come there’s no glorious high-def footage of Neptune missiles slamming into the ship from the perspective of the TB2’s magnificent Canadian-manufactured cameras/optics?

It all boils down to this fact: that if Ukraine lied about even one part of the story, such as the TB2’s which clearly is the most debunked part of the tale, then why would any other part be believable? And the photo also proves they lied about the 450 dead sailors because we know every single lifeboat was deployed as not even one is visible on the ship, which clearly suggests the vast majority, if not all, of the sailors survived. (the sailors reappeared in footage yesterday, anyway) This strongly suggests that the entire ‘Neptune missile’ hoax is just that.

The damage does not quite look like massive Exocet-sized missile strikes which would have gutted the hull, it looks like intense fire burn marks pouring out of every port and torpedo slot due to some internal detonation that gutted the inside of the ship right at that midway point beneath the smokestacks where the engine room lies. And big surprise – this was exactly the Russian MOD’s original explanation.

So if it wasn’t a missile, what caused it then? I don’t want to speculate as that’s a whole other topic for another time or another person. All I will say is that Andrei Martynov had some good suggestions in his recent video, particularly the sabotage part. Considering the ship was stationed in Sevastopol with sailors who might have clear connections via family to the Ukrainian side of the conflict vis a vis Crimea, etc., there could have been a vindictive sailor apt to pay back Russia for Ukraine. And as Martynov said, setting something on fire and blowing it up in the internals of the ship would be extremely easy for someone in the know. After all, as I’ve posted before, it’s happened many times in other navies including recently for the U.S. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/14/sailor-charged-over-fire-that-destroyed-us-warship-disgruntled-prosecutors-say when a disgruntled sailor completely destroyed the Bonhomme Richard with over $3 billion of damage.

Anyway, it’s still possible the Moskva was hit with missiles – I don’t discount anything. But look at the facts presented above and make up your own judgments.

Now onto the actual piece I intended to present today:

I wanted to do a quick ‘deep-dive’ on one of the current central topics in western circles around Ukraine, which is that the AFU is running out of ammo, particularly of the heavy variety – artillery shells and the like, which is by far the most important kind in a war; small arms fire won’t get you far as artillery continues to rule the battlefield, as it always has.

This CNN article states the U.S. is shipping 40,000 artillery rounds. Of course it can be assumed at least some of this load will be destroyed by Russian strikes, if not all of it.

The article says, “During some of the heavy earlier fighting, Ukrainian forces fired up to thousands of artillery rounds in a given day.”

This is easy to verify. The typical firing rate of various artillery systems can be anywhere from 3-10 rounds per minute (rpm). That means a single unit can fire anywhere between 180 to 600 shells in an hour.

Ukraine likely still has at least several hundred of various artillery systems if you count even the old towed-style soviet systems like D-30’s and such. So let’s just say (for quick argument’s sake) 200 units x 200 shells an hour = 40,000. This is already 40,000 shells in a single hour of firing (realistically this “hour of firing” can be spread out throughout the course of a day in let’s say 10 minute firing bursts, etc)

So clearly this demonstrates how rapidly such ammo stocks dwindle. These 40k shells sent by U.S. could be mere hours worth, or perhaps a few days at most if my hypothetical calculations overestimate the AFU shelling rates.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-04-14/russia-ukraine-war-u-s-is-running-out-of-weapons-aiding-kyiv

But it goes deeper than that. There are now questions about the fact that the massive arming campaign for Ukraine is depleting the stocks of all participating NATO countries.

“But President Joe Biden never planned for a war like this. The assumption was that Russia would quickly conquer much of the country, so the U.S. would be supporting a simmering, low-intensity Ukrainian insurgency. Instead, Ukraine’s successful resistance has led to an ongoing, high-intensity conventional fight, with prodigious consumption of munitions and intense attrition of key military assets.”

Funny how the logic here is reversed. We were told it was Russia that didn’t plan for a war like this, and it was Russia that would run out of ammo and supplies. But now they’re admitting that it was in fact the U.S. themselves who miscalculated and are running out…whoops! Add to that the way the article blithely treats Biden as the head of the Ukrainian state / war effort as if he’s the AFU Commander in Chief – totally normal. “But President Biden never planned for a war like this.” Who’s running this war anyway?

“Pentagon officials say that Kyiv is blowing through a week’s worth of deliveries of antitank munitions every day. It is also running short of usable aircraft as Russian airstrikes and combat losses take their toll. Ammunition has become scarce in Mariupol and other areas.”

“For the same reason, the war in Ukraine is a sobering preview of the problems the U.S. itself would face in a conflict against Russia or China. If forced to go to war in Eastern Europe or the Western Pacific, Washington would spend down its stockpiles of missiles, precision-guided munitions and other critical capabilities in days or weeks. It would probably suffer severe losses of tanks, planes, ships and other assets that are sophisticated, costly and hard to replace.”

Interesting! So it was actually the U.S. all along that had no stocks for war, not Russia.

In fact the Pentagon and MSM lied all along. Russia is by far the largest producer of armaments, shells, ammunition on earth, more than all NATO countries combined. The lie we were fed about Russia running out of fuel, ammo, food, etc., was laughable and seen through by any analyst with a brain from the beginning.

But more shocking revelations abound:

“In the world wars of the last century, America’s unmatched manufacturing base ultimately powered it to victory. But today, replenishing the free world’s arsenal might not be so easy.

American economic leadership is no longer based primarily on manufacturing. Shortages of machine tools, skilled labor and spare production capacity could slow a wartime rearmament effort. The U.S. can’t quickly scale up production of Stinger missiles for Ukraine, for example, because the workforce needed to do so no longer exists.”

And this bombshell: “American stockpiles of key weapons are smaller than one might imagine, partly because of production constraints and partly because most of the Pentagon’s roughly $750 billion budget goes to manpower, health care and things other than bullets and bombs.”

I’ve wrote multiple times now in previous SitReps the small inconvenient fact most people don’t know, that a huge portion of U.S.’s entire vaunted military budget goes just to the upkeep and maintenance of its system of 900+ global bases. That number of bases costs gargantuan, unprecedented amounts of funds to maintain and run.

Of course this is why the Pentagon has convened all the top arms makers for emergency meetings, presumably to discuss the issues of trying to ramp up production to fill dwindling draw down supplies.

https://www.reuters.com/world/pentagon-asks-top-8-us-arms-makers-meet-ukraine-sources-2022-04-12/

But there are other sources that have echoed the sentiment that right now the U.S. lacks even the manufacturing capacity to reproduce many of these armaments in great quantities, like the stingers mentioned in the article. One third of all U.S. Javelin stockpiles have already been sent to Ukraine and have paid no dividends, and mostly fallen into the hands of RF forces.

And on top of that the arms producers are actually facing “supply chain issue” of critical components (like microchips etc), like the rest of the world, which is hampering their ability to ramp up production on any of these key units.

“The latest batch of U.S. military equipment has begun arriving in Ukraine, including: – 18 155mm howitzers – 11 Mi-17 helicopters – 200 armored personnel carriers – 300 Switchblade drones – 500 Javelin missiles – 10 counter-artillery radars.”

“For perspective: 500 Javelins will cover three to five days of fighting. 18 howitzers will account for maybe 3% of deployed field artillery. That many or more get lost in a week. The rate of assistance is a fraction of the rate of depletion.”

And on that note, we segue perfectly into today, where the major update is that Russia has ramped up its strikes drastically. Sources in Kiev state they are using 50% more aviation and large amounts of depots were struck overnight including in Lyvov near the Polish border.

“Fmr deputy of Verkhovna Rada, Ilya Kiva, citing his sources, reports that as a result of a missile strike on a facilty in #Lvov, a whole arsenal of foreign weapons and ammo was destroyed this morning. It was delivered from EU and was intended to be sent to the Kharkov direction.”

“Novorosinform REPORTED:Military Aid From #Europe is Destroyed, The Former Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada announced that an arsenal of Weapons and ammunition Delivered By the West to #Ukraine was destroyed by #Russian Missile strikes last night at the #Lviv Railstation.”

“1/2 The Russian Aerospace Forces launched a strike with high-precision missiles at the 124th Joint Logistics Support Center of the Logistics Forces Command of the Ukrainian troops in the Lviv region, the Russian Defense Ministry reports. 2/2 The logistics center and the large consignments of foreign weapons that were delivered to Ukraine from the United States and European countries over the past 6 days were destroyed.”

Footage of some of the Lyvov strikes: https://twitter.com/RWApodcast/status/1516085727058178052

So for all those people asking for days if/when/how/why about Russia destroying western shipments, there’s your answer, it just blew away a huge week’s worth of accumulated equipment on the Polish border, including many dead from the AFU which are even reported on Ukr channels.

And so this brings us to the last point: there are many indications that Phase 2 Offensive may have begun today. There is a huge uptick in fighting all along every frontline along with these new strikes. There are huge gains being reported hourly around Izyum direction and on the southern front, west of Donetsk. It’s too early to say definitively if it’s begun or just the early preparatory work but so far it’s right on time with what many have been saying, which is that Phase 2 would begin early this week.

I’ll leave the specific updates for the next report, so as to let them accumulate as it’s still early. But I’ll mention a few general things.

There are huge smoke plumes coming off of Azovstal and Wargonzo reports RF elements are storming from the north and have already captured the northern part of the Azovstal industrial complex

https://twitter.com/Levi_godman/status/1516085674046377990 https://twitter.com/PelmeniPusha/status/1516086393549824007

In the now intense battles in the north (near Izyum), our side reports that the AFU is throwing everything they have into the battle, not only multiple new planes shot down which means they’re desperately using the last of their aviation, but entire units have been completely wiped out and captured. And from the new captures it’s discovered many of them are from cities in the far West which means these are already the mobilized reserves sent to stop the Russian advances.

Also reports state many of the newly captured are of extremely low morale as they are no longer putting up much resistance. One report said when previously they would attempt to fight out of encirclement, now they are laying down their arms immediately at the first sign of encirclement and not even bothering to fight. There are so many new surrenders I can barely even keep track anymore and post all the videos, and this includes many new graphic ones of destroyed units.

Good map of one of the advances in the north (there’s at least 7+ more village captured apart from this one) 

Meanwhile Chechens and others continue to do clean up on the Illych factory: (18+ video) https://www.bitchute.com/video/qpciZxPBLTZD/

Tons more prisoners are caught and processed:

And eliminated (18+) https://www.bitchute.com/video/u1leHRIalcsy/

https://www.bitchute.com/video/B1XasHkRffdP/

The two British merc prisoners have now begged Boris Johnson to be exchanged:

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 12, 2022

A lot of very big scoops and important updates today.

The biggest news of this cycle is that yesterday was one of the single worst days of the conflict so far for the UAF: in a single day, the UAF lost over 1,100 people total as killed, wounded, or captured.

This is in large part due to massive strikes on various transportation/reinforcement hubs such as Dnipro and Nikolayev, which have taken out an estimated 200-300. As mentioned before due to strict new laws, Ukrainians are not allowed to film or report accurately on this, but on social media channels many “remembrances” from the families of the troops lost have appeared, verifying the damage.

Dnipro has become the major logistics/resupply/reinforcement hub from western Ukraine. Everything going to the cauldron has to pass through there. And Russian reports indicate a lot of the new weaponry and mercenary troops were hit in major Dnipro strikes.

On top of this another estimated 200-300 have surrendered in Mariupol and many more are due to surrender soon. This happened in several phases. Firstly a huge ‘breakout’ was orchestrated by the trapped Marines of the UAF where they took 30-50 civilian vehicles plus some remaining light armor and put ‘Z’ signs on them to try and trick Russian troops, then tried to storm out of Mariupol towards the north as high command in Kiev promised them support if they can just make it towards Zaporizhzhia oblast. But RF had intercepted every part of their plan and captured/killed all of them.

Here Wargonzo shows the destroyed vehicles they used and the aftermath of the escape battle:

https://ok.ru/video/3389452585600

Then, separate from that group, another large group of Marines surrendered. Videos here:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/bE655cISW7CE/?feature=oembed#?secret=7RJrj3jmud

Not to mention several groups surrendered on the Lugansk axis: https://www.bitchute.com/video/V5CZputaCLJJ/

And dozens of troops were liquidated in battles along the Rubizhnoe / Lugansk axis (graphic 18+)

And Chechens captured/killed a bunch in Mariupol as well:

Meanwhile some of the remaining Marines trapped in the Illych Plant have made videos

https://ok.ru/video/3390640818816

https://ok.ru/video/3390640687744

And here’s a Russian soldier giving more details on the foreign mercenaries

https://mobile.twitter.com/_TheRepublic_/status/1513289253609955335

The most interesting bit of info though, is that we have the first confirmation of foreign mercenaries captured amongst the surrendered in Mariupol. ‘Famous’ British mercenary Cossackgundi, real name Aiden Aslin, who fought for the YPG for years in Syria, had his phone call intercepted where he cried about the likelihood of being ‘used for propaganda’ once he’s captured.

Phone call: https://twitter.com/MapsUkraine/status/1513754839121018887

His relatives running his social media account broke the bad news to his tens of thousands of followers:

COSSACKGUNDI

@cossackgundi

We’ve gotten word from Johnny. “It’s been 48 days, we tried our best to defend Mariupol but we have no choice but to surrender to Russian forces. We have no food and no ammunition. It’s been a pleasure everyone, I hope this war ends soon.””

At the same time, a video featuring an Afghani mercenary has also appeared: 

“With the following information: “#MARIUPOL #NEW 37 Afghan special forces from the Afghanistan Ghani government are embedded with Azov and stuck in Azovstal. After American withdrawal from Afghanistan they were send to Ukraine by the Americans as PMC.

@wargonzoo

reports that the Afghani special forces have requested a safe corridor with the DPR units in Mariupol City, however the Azov militants are withholding the Afghanis from leaving.”

By the way here’s what Wargonzo himself reports on the big breakthrough/escape that the Ukr marines attempted:

“On a breakthrough from Mariupol. There are many rumors and discrepancies. Here’s what the @wargonzo project knows, I’m breaking it down into numbers and numbers.

At the time of the breakthrough, there were about 1,500 neo-Nazis (Azov militants and AFU fighters) at the Ilyich plant.

Of these, about 800 were going to go for a breakthrough in the first column, the rest had to go out along the corridor cut by them.

The column consisted of about 120 pieces of equipment, including automobiles. At the head was a tank, 2 Gvozdika self-propelled guns and up to 10 infantry fighting vehicles, as well as MTLBs, armored cars and trucks.

More than 100 Ukrainian marines surrendered. Including the political officer of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

More than half of those who were going to break through retreated back to the plant. Several dozen were destroyed by artillery strikes of the NM DPR. Up to 10 groups of 3-4 people were scattered and tried to seep through the environment. The search and elimination operation continues.

Hence the data on the second smaller breakthrough. We are talking about these wandering groups, which the special forces and fighters at posts enter into battle with if they are detected. Hence, a more thorough check of the car on the Volnovakha-Mariupol highway.

So no panic.”

He also reports about 2 retired American “officers” trapped there. Could this be the general everyone is talking about?

“⚡️”Azov” can eliminate 2 US officers in Mariupol⚡️

According to the @wargonzo project from sources on the Donbas frontline, based on an analysis of radio intercepts of enemy communications, there are at least two high-ranking retired American officers in the air raid shelters at Azov-Stal.

According to our sources, they entered Mariupol together with PMC “Academy” and most likely are not active employees of the Pentagon. However, at the same time they are extremely important persons for Washington.

“These officers are aware of many covert US operations in third countries and are the bearer of information that is extremely sensitive to Washington,” a source familiar with the analysis of radio intercepts told the @wargonzo project.

It is also noted that in order to conceal this “sensitive information”, the American intelligence services are ready to order the Azov militants to eliminate these two officers. Whether they are alive at the moment is not yet known for sure.”

With all this news, the end really seems in sight for Mariupol. Troops continue advancing, having fully captured the port and now in the Primorski district in southwest Mariupol. Pretty much all that is left is the Azovstal factory, the Illych factory north of it in the Kalmiuski district, and this last stretch of city in the SW by the port. It’s likely they will wait until the capture of this final piece before focusing fully on the two factory positions and deciding on how to deal with it or whether it should be smoked out in some way.

Meanwhile Basurin has denied the usage of chem weapons but has stated the DPR forces are instead using ‘flamethrowers’ to burn out the trapped Azovs. Although it appears he’s referring to the RPO-Shmel thermobaric launcher, and not the classic flamethrower most people imagine.

Also this information is unconfirmed but this is the rumor going around:

“The Nazi drowning operation is said to begin today in Mariupol..

At least ten fire engines to be either on the road or already at the factory to start pumping water from the river or sea and pumping water to above-ground ventilation shafts that carry fresh air to the cavernous network of tunnels below the Azovstal metallurgical complex..

If Azov close the ventilation shafts, they will drown within a few days. If they do not close the ventilation shafts, they will drown in a few days. In any case, the siege of the factory will be terminated in such a way that the factory itself can remain intact..”

In other news Russian MOD has announced the destruction of the S-300 system supplied by Slovakia

https://www.rt.com/russia/553662-s300-missiles-ukraine-slovakia/

There are some conflicting reports because they said it was destroyed south of Dnipro, but there are videos of a new S-300 system also destroyed around Kiev that claim a Russian special forces unit destroyed it on the ground: https://www.bitchute.com/video/N0mxvnYVX15z/

Could be part of the same system, or something else, hard to tell for now.

Russian MOD has also announced another use of the Kinzhal hypersonic missile to destroy a very fortified underground command center of the AFU south of Kramatorsk. There have been many debates here whether a hypersonic missile can be used as a bunker buster, but clearly Russia is using it as such successfully.

Kadyrov has also stated that all Ukraine including Kiev will be taken. https://news.yahoo.com/chechen-chief-kadyrov-says-russian-003543233.html

Whether one wants to regard that as simple braggadocio or truth, we must understand that not only is that a distinct possibility but is also likely. Too many people have now been propagandized by the west to believe Russia somehow “failed” and is incapable of taking the western part of the country, but that is not even close to reality. Russia is not capable of taking it all at the same time from 5 different fronts. There’s a huge difference and distinction there. But once Donbass and everything east of the Dnieper is cleared, Russia can and likely will take the rest with concentrated forces. There will likely then be only 2 fronts, one coming up from the south that will cut off Odessa and take Nikolayev and one that returns from the north into Kiev. But we’ll save that for another time as either way that’s far off in the future.

In logistical news, Poland has reportedly begun its shipment of (supposedly) 100 T-72 tanks and Bmp-1s to Ukraine. While Australia ships Bushmasters 

In other interesting news which shows that Turkey’s “closing of the Bosphorous” straits was not what it seemed, and was in fact a more than subtle blow against NATO, Turkish defense minister has confirmed that Turkey is strictly prohibiting any NATO ships from passing the straits as well.

“Turkey will not let NATO warships into the Black Sea,” said Minister of Defense of this country Hulusi Akar. At the same time, he referred to the Montreux Convention and said that the passage would be closed to warships of countries that do not have access to the Black Sea, A Haber TV channel reports.

Akar also admitted that the presence of mines in the sea could be deliberate: they could have been fired as part of a plan to pressure Ankara to let NATO minesweepers into the Black Sea, which is contrary to the Montreux Convention.

“We have a suspicion that the mines were deliberately introduced. Perhaps they were fired as part of some plan to put pressure on us in order to let NATO minesweepers [through the straits] into the Black Sea. But we are committed to the rules of the Montreux [Convention] and do not Let warships enter the Black Sea,” the minister said.

https://www.rt.com/news/553636-turkey-bars-nato-warships-from-black-sea/

So much for NATO solidarity.

Also, the first formal appeal for the following: “In the State Duma of Russia, Crimean deputy Mikhail Sheremet today proposed to unite the Republic of Crimea with the Zaporizhia and Kherson regions into the Tauride province within the Russian Federation. “Residents of the regions do not seem to mind – they raise Russian flags everywhere and complain about the attitude of the Ukrainian authorities.”

This comes on the heels of new revelations of how deeply embedded U.S. and NATO command structures (and troops) are in Ukraine. A French journalist here describes what he saw in his time in Ukraine: https://www.bitchute.com/video/aVZeyycQgXBk/ (video with translations)

In short, he says he was shocked to see American generals running the entire show on the ground, and he says the names of them will be revealed in his new exposé in the French Figaro newspaper this week.

This is further proof that this conflict is truly NATO vs. Russia, and NATO is losing badly.

Another report states: “the United States is moving its advanced headquarters units to the western borders of Ukraine. In particular, the 5th Corps is being relocated. This suggests that it is not the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that controls military operations, but NATO officers. And we are at war not with some puppet regime in Kiev, but with the collective West.”

Of course as things progress towards a potential showdown, we continue to hear how badly unprepared NATO really is: 

But a new 8 mile convoy of Russian reinforcements is heading towards the northern front:

And other videos pour in of the long lines of Russian reinforcements in preparation for Phase 2

By the way, we were told to believe that these same Russian troops were “out of ammo, fuel, food” etc. Only further proof of the utter laughable propaganda from the west and Ukraine.

And to speak a little more on Phase 2, as continuation of the last report. Here is some further corroboration of things I’ve been saying:

“⚡️⚡️⚡️#Inside

Mi-6 warned the Office of the President and the General Staff that Russia is changing the tactics of warfare, now there will be no deep breakthroughs into the interior of Ukraine, but a methodical sweep of squares with phased campaigns. The new commander of the Russian troops will use the experience of the war in Syria, transforming it under Ukraine, in order to achieve success in specific military operations.”

There is a video that is a must-watch as companion piece to the last SitRep where we discussed the Fort Benning internal U.S. Army report about the superiorities that Russian BTGs have over American equivalent BCTs.

This video is a must watch from about the 27 minute mark to the end 

This army specialist gives a talk to West Point, detailing his discoveries and insights into Russian operations in Ukraine. He basically confirms every single point of the Fort Benning report but in greater detail and with explanatory visual aids, etc.

Some of the highlights of his presentation:

  • Russia has the most advanced and dense, data-linked air defense on earthenware
  • In a war against Russia, U.S. army cannot expect much air assistance for at least the first several weeks. Even stealth aircraft will not be of much use for various reasons he explains
  • Russian EW (electronic warfare) is much more advanced and more ‘combat-ized’ than in the U.S. RF utilizes it in combat squads whereas U.S. barely has any and only at the divisional level
  • Russian EW shuts down all communications in huge areas along the front, no cellphones, military radios etc. They break GPS links with drones, making them useless and can even fry the fuses on artillery shells midflight.
  • U.S. army produces 10x the frequency emissions of a Ukrainian brigade, which would make it extremely visible to all sorts of Russian EW, drones, advanced weapons
  • Russia has far more artillery than U.S. and far greater variety of munition types

And there’s much more.

And here’s another corroboration of what I wrote previously, about how artillery is the only real effective force Ukraine has left, and is how Ukraine has created the vast majority of its kills against Russian forces. Pretty much all the western supplied weapons have been proven near worthless and the legacy soviet artillery systems continue to be the workhorses creating results.  https://voenhronika.ru/publ/vojna_na_ukraine/artillerija_glavnaja_opora_vsu_zachem_na_ukraine_gotovjat_tysjachi_minometnykh_raschetov_dlja_letnikh_bojov_2022/60-1-0-11858

As for NATO and the U.S., many people don’t seem to know that the U.S. is really not as trained or powerful as they’d like you to believe. I’ve previously highlighted how in the past month alone the U.S. has almost suffered more aircraft losses than Russia, and U.S. is not even in a war. Multiple F-22, F-35, F-18s, Awacs, and Ospreys all lost in the last month. Another good example is, the U.S. has held tank competitions in Europe for the past decade called the Strong Europe Tank Challenge

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_Europe_Tank_Challenge

You can check the results yourself. The highest that the U.S. team ever scored was 3rd place. Other years they were 6th and 7th place, damn-near last place – bottom of the barrel.

Meanwhile, in Russia’s own Tank Biathlon hosted as part of its International Army Games (over 30 countries), here are Russia’s results for the last few years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_biathlon

Gold in every single year.

And as many of you have probably seen several years ago India, operating the Russian Su-30’s, badly humiliated and dominated the British RAF piloting NATO’s most advanced ‘Typhoon’ jets.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/indian-air-forces-top-guns-score-wins-in-the-uk-1204336

You can see many articles on this https://www.rediff.com/news/report/defence-news-iaf-sukhoi-vs-raf-typhoon-controversy-in-the-skies/20150811.htm

The most shocking part about the humiliation is the fact that there were different rounds, first 1v1, then 2v2, and then 2v1 of each variety. Not only did India win with a 12-0 perfect score, but even when 1 Indian Su-30mki faced off against 2 simultaneous Eurofighter Typhoons, it beat them both 2 on 1.

But the western public is so propagandized they can’t even imagine that their equipment might be inferior, or worse – that their actual personnel may be inferior to those of other ‘lesser’ countries.

What most people don’t know, and wouldn’t know unless they followed the Ukraine events intimately since the 2014 days, is that when U.S. instructors first started pouring in, in the subsequent years, they were often viewed as laughing stocks by the Ukrainian veterans of the Donbass war. They felt they had nothing to learn from the “elite” U.S. instructors and in fact knew more about combat/warfare than they did.

The fact of the matter is, many Ukrainian troops are much more experienced and trained than even U.S. equivalent troops, AND the Ukrainian troops are better armed. This fact is corroborated by the video posted above in the West Point presentation, where he explains that most U.S. units don’t even have anti-aircraft systems and even Manpads in the modern U.S. army are in fact not widespread. There are videos like this one: https://www.bitchute.com/video/UUidj4zPmDAV/

Which show a Georgian legion in Ukraine, and they are FAR better armed than any U.S. equivalent army combat unit. They have every of the latest weapons, bristling with firepower. There are other photos showing 4 soldiers, each one of them armed with a manpad of a different type. The fact is, Ukraine is so flush with advanced ‘western’ weaponry that many of their teams are simply armed better than any standard western counterpart.

So this goes back to the concept that Russia is truly fighting not only a NATO equivalent force here, but arguably a force stronger than most NATO countries. The only thing Ukraine is missing is the U.S. airforce, which is at the end of the day by far the most powerful and important weapon the U.S. has. In every other category U.S. stands no chance against Russia.

I’ll leave with this map of the Donbass cauldron that can give a good idea of the force dispositions there. The circled red is where the Kinzhal was said to have struck a command bunker by the MOD. If you consider each one of those blue crosses as a company of about 300 men, it would roughly give a disposition of 40-50k in the cauldron. If you believe the higher figures as Basurin himself has stated over 90-100k for the cauldron, then count each blue stroke as a battalion.

The white lines represent breakthroughs, like the one south of Niu York (north of Donetsk city) and near Svitlodark towards Bakhmut by LPR forces. At the NW end where you see Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, Russian forces are pushing in towards Krestyshche. But for the most part not much progress is expected until Phase 2 begins in full. With all the things happening in Mariupol now, that finally seems to be closing in.

Neo-lend-lease, or how to enslave a country

April 07, 2022

Source

By Batko Milacic

Until June 1944, the United States, the most powerful industrial power of the Second World War, had made the main contribution to the battle against Nazism in Europe through the courage of its pilots and Lend-Lease. Lend-lease was a special program authorized by the White House to supply military and civilian aid to America’s foreign allies, which assumed that whatever of those deliveries survived by the time the war was over, would either be returned or paid for by the recipients. Britain received $31 billion worth of military goods (around $400 billion in today’s prices), while the Soviet Union received similar assistance to the tune of $11 billion (140 billion). This assistance was vitally important for the British, who were losing the Battle of the Atlantic, and also for the USSR in the first year of the war, when this country suffered significant losses. However, shortly after the war, the issue of payment arose for the US-supplied military equipment that had not been destroyed in battle, and which had saved the lives of many US soldiers who had avoided direct participation in the war. The exact sum was negotiated for several years, and was repaid only during the 2000s. However, being a great power, which had made the main contribution to the allied victory over Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union could afford not to agree with the conditions put forward by the United States.

Unfortunately for Ukraine, however, it is not even a regional power, looked down on by its Polish and Hungarian neighbors, let alone Washington. Therefore, the modern-day lend-lease program invented for Kiev is provided on different conditions. The Zelensky government is getting more and more “military gifts” from the West, forgetting that it will have to pay for every Javelin rocket, every box of cartridges and every howitzer shell. Unless, of course, there will be someone left to pay after the Russian army, which is slowly but surely advancing in Donbass, has destroyed what has remained of the combat-ready Ukrainian forces, and starts storming the big cities.

That said, someone will still have to pay for the work being done on a round-the-clock basis by Bulgarian arms factories, which are the only ones capable of supplying Soviet-style weapons to Ukraine. Add to this the paycheck for the work of Belgian, US and British gunsmiths, highly paid instructors from NATO countries, for the supply of medicines and food, most of which is not provided on a pro bono basis. Therefore, in the event of an “honorable peace with Russia,” Ukraine will face multimillion-dollar debts. After all, it lacks the status that the Soviet Union enjoyed in 1945, so the Kiev regime will accept any conditions that would allow the current Ukrainian elite to stay in power.

This means that the current lend-lease system for Ukraine is fundamentally different from the one we had during World War II. The United States and Britain are ready to support both radical Islamic groups and Ukrainian neo-Nazis both of whom are complicit in war crimes. Their shared goal is to weaken Russia and make it more compliant. At the same time, unlike the semi-terrorist groups active in the Middle East, Kiev is potentially able to pay for the supplied weapons. The main goal is to save the territories and then start making people pay the bill by freezing their bank deposits for “restoration” purposes, confiscating their foreign currency assets, selling off forests and subsoil – something that was actively done already before the war. If the people of a country impoverished by war are no longer able to pay jacked up direct taxes, no problem – they will have to pay indirectly via excise taxes. As a result, many European and American businessmen will receive a multi-year annuity to be paid for by ordinary Ukrainians.

Moreover, millions of Ukrainian refugees will be brought back home and start earning their living instead of just spending Ukrainian money. As a result, the average Ukrainian citizen, convinced by propaganda that despite the loss of Mariupol, Nikolayev, Odessa, Kherson, and possibly Kharkov and Chernigov, he has won the war, will have to pay, along with his children and grandchildren, the multibillion-dollar “war debt,” while occasionally wondering why he has to cough up so much for utilities and electricity.

The Ukrainian authorities now have to make the people believe that there is still free cheese in the mousetrap. At the same time, they keep offering the NATO countries to sell rather than donate weapons to Ukraine, even though the government was unable to fully meet its defense spending targets even before the war actually broke out. However, ordinary Ukrainians, both in the rear or at the frontlines, sincerely believe that their country is getting everything, from the latest anti-aircraft systems to body armor, just for free. This is not so, of course, but they will never be allowed to see numerous agreements on military supply payments, which are so easy to keep under wraps as “confidential.”

Once the war is over, there will be numerous conferences held on payment “restructuring” issues, which will leave many ordinary people wondering how come they are going to pay for decades for this “selfless help.” Well, their compatriots, who will end up on the territories that Russia will occupy, will also face hard times having to build new roads, rebuild cities and get high-speed trains rolling again. And the average citizen, who “saved” Ukraine will be told by the media day in and day out that the main cause of his troubles are the Russians, who have snapped up the country’s most fertile lands and money-making factories. Meanwhile, it is the neo-lend-lease that is going to be the true cause of all his troubles…

Day 36 of the Russian SMO in the Ukraine – a look at Ukrainian military

April 01, 2022

Today, I want to comment on a topic I did not address yet: the quality of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Over night, two Ukrainian helicopters flying at very low altitude and high speed flew across the Russian Ukrainian border, and in only six minutes of flight time found themselves next to a fuel storage facility near the Russian city of Belgorod.  They both fired, one missed, but the second one hit perfectly and the entire fuel storage facility ignited.  Not a big deal, the fire has been contained, but very embarrassing nonetheless 😦

Another case: the night before yesterday a group of 5 Ukrainian helicopters took off from Nikolaev, flew 7 meters above the waves and landed in Mariupol.  Their mission  was to evacuate the leadership of the Azov force still hiding inside the Azovstal industrial facility. After they took off, two helicopters were shot down, but another three flew away, with a possible 3 helicopter ditching in the waters off the coast (unclear at this time).

Why do I consider these two events very telling?

Because it shows that the Ukrainian soldiers have A LOT of VERY REAL courage.  Not only that, in both of these operations, a great deal of careful planning went into the preparations of these missions.  So they are not only courageous, they are SMART.

Yes, the Ukie Volkssturm is a joke, but not the entire Ukrainian military and most definitely not the Nazis of the Azov “battalion” (it is not really a battalion, but rather a regiment or a small brigade, but spread out in key sectors of the Ukrainian defenses).  Why is that so important to realize?

Because a HUGE battle is preparing in the Donbass.

Quick reminder:

While nobody knows the true size of the Ukrainian force surrounded in the Donbass, most observers place that force at about 60-80 thousand men.  They are VERY well armed, courtesy of 7 years of mass delivery of weapons by the Empire of Lies.  Their defenses are very solid, since they have been preparing them also for seven years.  Furthermore, the Ukrainians are reportedly trying to bring in another major force from the central Ukraine to either reinforce their forces in the Donbass, or to help it to escape from their cauldron.

On the other side, nobody really knows how many Russian/LDNR forces are being concentrated around the Donbass either.  There are reports of “immense” columns of Russian forces moving towards the Donbass, including some the Russian forces which were deployed near Kiev to pin down Ukrainian forces away from the Donbass.

The same feint was used by the Black Sea Fleet off the coast of Odessa.

There are two ways to control a road: you can stand on the road, place a roadblock, maybe lay mines and generally by physically on top of that road.  Or you can do that remotely, without stepping on the road but by being able to fire (small arms, RPG, artillery, CAS) at any vehicle driving on that road.  The Russian “encirclement” of the Ukrainian force in the Donbass into 2 small cauldrons which themselves are locked in a bigger cauldron are a mix of these two techniques.  In other words, the Ukrainians still have retained *some* ability to move on the ground.  But only at VERY high risk.  Keep in mind that the Donbass is pretty flat terrain and that the Russians have air supremacy.  But, with enough luck, immense courage and determination, some APC or cars could try to move out, or reinforcements move in.  Let’s look at these two options:

Moving out: for a FEW vehicles, and with a lot of luck, that could still be doable.  But for the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian force on the Donbass, this not an option.  Not only do they lack fuel, any big force would attract the attention of the Russians (which a 4 passenger car going at full speed in the dark might not) resulting in immediate strikes.

Moving in: here the Ukrainian would still have fuel (or they would not even try, which they apparently  are), but the problem is that it is impossible to hide any significant force from the Russians which could then use their long range artillery and close air support to destroy that force.  I am personally very dubious as to the chances of any Ukrainian subunit to make it to the Donbass.

And yet.

The Ukrainian propaganda is beyond ridiculous, but we should NOT assume that if Ukie propagandists are clowns, so are the Ukrainian soldiers.  The fact is that the Ukrainians never had the initiative, and they still don’t, and all their counter-attacks, including the airstrike on Belgorod, only had a limited and local effect.  But that does not mean that they would not fight very hard for their lives, even when surrounded, even without air cover, with no ability to rotate forces and not enough fuel to engage in maneuver warfare.

Here is what the map of the area of operations looks like today:

  • The yellow circle is roughly the area where the outcome of this battle will be decided.
  • The small black arrow represents the likely Ukrainian effort to send in reinforcements
  • The big black arrow represents the move away from Kiev and towards the Donbass by Russian forces

Speaking about maps: while they do, more or less, show the military reality on the ground, they do not show the political realities the same way.  The truth is that there are plenty of towns and cities which are blocked/surrounded by Russian forces, but which are still run by the “old”, Nazi, authorities.  Yes, the Russians could go in and denazify these town and cities manu militari, but that would take time, results in casualties on both sides and ruin the civilian infrastructure.  And the Russians sure don’t want, say, Kharkov to become a 2nd Mariupol.

[Sidebar: some of you must have heard that canard about the Russians “running out of ammo”, right?  Well, local residents near the Ukrainian positions in the Donbass report that for three days the Russian artillery has been shelling the Ukrainian positions nonstop.  In reality, anybody who has studied the Soviet and, later, Russian military knows that with the exception of some very modern systems which have just been deployed, Russia has huge stores of ammunition.  In fact, when the Russians prepare a military offensive the expenditures in ammo, POL, and any other form of logistics required are carefully calculated.  If not, then the order to attack will not be given.  And, with a few exceptions, the kind of hardware and supplies the Russians are using in the Ukraine is both modern and plentiful.  By the way, there are signs that the Ukrainian forces are running out of ammo, most of their shelling is directed at LDNR cities and result in scores of death and injured civilians on a daily basis]

One possible option would be to warn the Nazi authorities that while the Russian military won’t invade their city, the Russian can use special forces and means to target “just” these Nazi authorities.  Yes, the Nazi will set up traps, like, say, placing the cellphone of a Nazi leader right on top of a Kindergarten, so the Russian intelligence services will have to do a lot of careful preparations and planning, or just make the threat and then wait for the Nazis to freak out and wonder where the promised missile will be aimed at.

All this means the following:

  • The Russians need to take the Ukrainians much more seriously and if that means having early warning aircraft and interceptors on combat air patrol 24/7 – then that is what the Russians should do.  A pair of MiG-31BM on constant high altitude CAP over the central Ukraine would be a good start.
  • While the outcome is not in doubt, the Russians need to be very careful and assume that the Ukrainians will fight with skills and courage.
  • I don’t like making predictions, even less so, time-related ones, but I think that we need to prepare ourselves for a major battle lasting several weeks, possibly even a month.
  • Have have to assume that the PSYOPs of the Empire of Lies will go in full attack mode, and since it will be very hard to make sense of what will be going on, we have to ready for a major attack on our minds.
  • Once that Ukrainian force in the Donbass is defeated this will basically mean the end of the 2nd phase of this Special Military Operation (SMO) and the very best and combat capable Ukrainian will have disappeared and a 3rd phase will begin, probably by an attack on the Nikolaev and Odessa regions.

Still, we need to remember that all wars are political in nature and that while the military “pain dial” is turned up quite high for the Ukrainians, the US PSYOPs are still telling the Ukrainians that they are winning and soon the first Ukie tanks will enter Moscow.  The de facto fall of Mariupol (as evidenced by the desperate attempts to evacuate the Azov leaders by helicopter) is already a major blow for the Ukrainian narrative.  But this blow pales in comparison to what will happen when the best forces the Ukraine has will simply disappear from the maps of the Donbass.  At that point, no amount of hot air, grand statements or other lies will make a difference – such a defeat is impossible to conceal, it will make the news.

Furthermore, we need to keep another thing always present in our minds: while in actual combat the Russians are facing Ukrainians, in the war itself Russia is not fighting the Nazis in Kiev, but the US/NATO/EU and their vassal states.  It is also certain that the “Biden” administration does not want peace but, instead, they want that war to last as long as possible and to destroy as much of the Ukrainian population and civilian infrastructure as possible. And, of course, the Russians are not negotiating with the Nazis, they are negotiating with Uncle Shmuel via the Nazis.  Big difference.  Right now, some Ukrainians might be willing to look at reality and surrender just to save lives and the Ukrainian infrastructure.  But they know that the Nazis will kill them or kidnap their family members (as has happened to one Ukrainian mayor).  And these Nazis are taking orders only from many western “advisors” in Kiev who tell them “fight down to the last solider, then we will evacuate you“.

You could say that the hardcore Ukronazis act like political commissars did during the Russian civil war.

The Russians fought phase one of the SMO with a force which was deliberately kept smaller than the opposing Ukrainian force.  But against an elite Ukrainian force deeply dug in in the heavily fortified defenses Russia will have to to do some combination of two things: more man and more firepower.  And, by all accounts, that seems to be exactly what they are gearing up for.

As many others have already pointed out, the chances of a false flag are extremely high, most likely some chemical attack, possibly in Kiev or Kharkov.  Such an attack, while fake, will result in the usual hysterics of the Empire of Lies, so we all need to prepare ourselves for this too.

The Empire of lies is so desperate now, that US PSYOPs claim that the Russian generals are afraid of telling Putin the “horrible truth” and that Shoigu is preparing a coup against Putin.  Right now, the Ukronazis say that the Russians are on the run, but even the US Pentagon admits that the forces moved away from Kiev are only regrouping.

Remember, in maneuver warfare you do not “hold terrain” anymore than you do in naval warfare, and that is what the first phase of the SMO was all about.  But in the Donbass, holding terrain will become much more important and since both sides are very skilled and courageous, do NOT expect big movements on the map.  Instead, expect several weeks of very severe “grinding down” of Ukrainian defenses followed by slow and deliberate movements, mostly short distance – from a few hundred meters to a few clicks.

I hope that the above will be helpful once the 2nd phase is fully launched.

One more thing: western military aid to the Ukraine.  Most of it is in Poland.  True, there is A LOT of western kit found in Mariupol or the Donbass, but that stuff was brought in long ago.  Just look at the map, look at where the Polish-Ukrainian border is and then look at where the yellow circle is.  In order to make a difference, western weapon systems need to get across the entire Ukraine and enter into a highly contested and dangerous area.  How can such a delivery be made?  Three options:

  • Road
  • Train
  • Air

In all three cases, if the force is tiny, say a few cars fill with MANPADs, there is a chance to make it, albeit a small one and such a “delivery” would be fantastically dangerous.  But the Ukrainians have now PROVEN that they can be very tough and very smart.  But such tiny reinforcements won’t make any difference.  Now a bigger force might, but it would be instantly detected and attacked by Russians standoff weapons, close air support and long range artillery.  So all this stuff about sending weapons to the Ukrainians really is a load of crap.  It’s just irrelevant fake news.

So far the Russians did not consider such a possibility as significant, hence the fact that they did not blow up any bridges, remotely mined any roads or destroyed any train tracks (that I am aware of).  But if the risk of a significant reinforcements from the western Ukraine become a real threat, you can rest assured that the Russians will do all of the above, especially since there are very few towns and civilians in some parts of this track to the East.

So far the Russian policy was to let the (covert) NATO forces to gather in an assembly area and only then hit them really hard.  This is a very effective strategy which the NATO forces have found no way to counter (if only because NATO air defenses are a joke, even against trans-sonic and subsonic missiles and drone).

Finally, the Ukrainians don’t have any air force left, and no navy, but they have proven that they still can use helicopters flying very low and fast, especially at night when local air defense operators might mistake them for a Russian helicopter (friendly fire is always a major risk in warfare).  BTW – a helicopter is a hard target, not only do they fly very low, they can fly both fast (say to avoid a MANPAD) or very slow, to hide for fighters and interceptors. A slowly moving and low flying helicopter is a difficult target for fighter aircraft’s radar and infrared search and track system.  A hilly or mountainous terrain makes detection even harder.

Russian attack helicopters all have air to air capabilities, both gun and missile, and so they can be very effectively used against Ukrainian helicopters (which are a full generation behind modern Russian helicopters) but you need to have them ready and you need to have them fly under air cover.  So that is doable, it just takes time.

Conclusion:

Phase one, pure maneuver warfare is over and it was a military success.

Politically, it was pretty close to a failure, not only did the PSYOPS of the Empire of Lies totally crush the rather clumsy and primitive Russian counter-propaganda efforts, the Russians also failed to realize that they could not count on the local civilians authorities to simply do their job under a new flag.

Which means that Russia failed to properly denazify even the towns and cities which were deep in the Russian rear.  Now that miscalculation will have to be fixed the hard way: with more men and more firepower.

Phase two of this war will be the liquidation of the Donbass cauldron and it will decide the outcome of this war (not that this outcome was ever in doubt).

On a personal note, I will only add that the past month has convinced me that Russia should NOT permanently occupy more of the Ukraine than the “full” LDNR plus the entire Ukrainian Black Sea coast.  But neither can Russia leave a the Ukraine like a Petri dish for Nazi toxins, so it seems to me that the optimal solution would be a breakup of the country into several successor states: neutral, with only police forces and light arms and with a clear understanding that Russia has the means to militarily intervene at any minute should the successor states attempt to violate their neutral, unarmed and denazified status.

Will that happen?

I don’t know, Putin has already surprised me twice with very risky operations which I would have recommended against (Syria and that “big” SMO in lieu of a “small” liberation of “just” the LDNR).  Considering that Russia has used only a small fraction of her armed forces, it is impossible for me to predict what Putin and the Russian General Staff will decide after the second phase of this SMO is over.

Finally, I am going to take the next two days off, barring some major developments, of course.

So until Monday, then, God willing.

Andrei

Andrei Martyanov: Not A Fool’s Day in the New World

March 31, 2022

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

Sitrep: Operation Z

March 31, 2022

Source

By Nightvision

Let’s start with the largest and most impactful news today:

-Another emergency helicopter evacuation in Mariupol has been shotdown, ironically as claimed by DPR – with a requisitioned American Stinger missile. Remember I said those missiles are junk against Russian craft outfitted with advanced DIRCM (Vitebsk L-370 and Rychag AVM) but Ukr craft are not so fortunate.

There is various rumor out there and it’s too early for much of it to be confirmed but here’s some tidbits I can report:

-There was 3 helicopters previously shotdown in the past days, apparently whoever they were trying to evacuate is of extreme importance as they’re desperately sacrificing many choppers and crews for this.

-Today there are reports there were not one but 2 shot down, and 2 actually got away. Some say there were 4 total choppers that came for the evac at night flying extremely low to evade radars coming in over Berdyansk and then onto the Azov Sea. Maybe those Stingers in DPR hands weren’t so effective.

-Now this is very speculative rumor but Gleb Bazov reports the following claims:

“Sources indicate that, at #Azovstal, a group totaling 20—of #US (#American) & #UK (#British) military advisors of #Azov defenders, as well as several UK #SBU (#Ukraine|ian secrete police) advisors—is holed up, together with Azov fighters. They were too late to evacuate.

Sources indicate that, at #Azovstal, a group totaling 20—of #US (#American) & #UK (#British) military advisors of #Azov defenders, as well as several UK #SBU (#Ukraine|ian secrete police) advisors—is holed up, together with Azov fighters. They were too late to evacuate.”

-Take this with a large grain of salt BUT, if true then it would clearly explain the extremely disproportionate and desperate efforts to evacuate these surrounded VIP targets in Azovstal factory. Why else would Ukr command risk the downing of so many helis and crews which were lost in their attempt to exfiltrate these high value personnel?

There were at least 13 dead that we know of so far and at least 2 survivors. One of them is already being interviewed and giving up information, in fact he appears to be the source of the info about the other escaped choppers and how many there were total, etc. Here’s one of the survivors being interviewed: 

https://www.bitchute.com/video/htJxqyUZynZR/

Another of the survivors is said to be a high value Ukrainian GUR Military Intel officer pictured here: 

https://i.postimg.cc/mDt65GqJ/5343993649547033149.jpg

Here is a video of the aftermath, warning – many gruesome scenes are shown at the crash site.

I’m sure in the coming hours there will be a lot of important information extracted from them. But ultimately, these desperate last ditch operations are an obvious sign that Azov in Mariupol has collapsed and the rats are fleeing the sinking ship.

-In other news, South Ossetia has now joined DPR / LPR in announcing they will hold a referendum to join the Russian Federation proper. Ossetians immediately took to the streets in celebration:

1. The referendum will be held separately from the presidential elections, which are scheduled for April 10.
2. Consultations are already underway on legal and practical issues of organizing a referendum on joining Russia.
3. The State Duma declares that the dates for the referendum are May-June. Legislation allows South Ossetia to become part of Russia, if it expresses such a desire.
4. After the reunification of South Ossetia with Russia, South Ossetia wants to unite with North Ossetia so that all Ossetians can live in one subject of the Russian Federation.

It appears Russia is really consolidating its territories. We’ve already announced that LPR / DPR will be holding referendums once the hostilities are ended, in order to join the RF. Now earlier today Ukrainian Intelligence released a statement that Russia is “planning to hold an independence referendum in Kherson”. This could be propaganda from their side, but if not then it can be an inkling into Russia’s plans, and a confirmation of theories that Russia may intend to take not just LPR / DPR but the large swath of land stretching towards Odessa as well. Kherson is one of the regions where Russia is already setting up administrative infrastructure including Russian broadcasting, Ruble payments, etc.

This brings me to another important topic: Operation Z has clearly ruptured the world order and has precipitated tectonic shifts which are happening both as direct and indirect result of Russia’s actions. The unipolar globalist world order is now finally and truly crumbling and in its place, ushering in what China/Russia has now called the ‘Fair World Order’.

1. Syria’s Assad recently visited and was welcomed in the UAE, which was his first visit to an Arab country since the onset of the Syrian war in 2011. The rapprochement ended with the Crown Prince of UAE calling for all foreign powers illegally occupying Syria to leave and many bilateral trade/economic deals were discussed.

2. Saudi Arabia has just cried uncle and finally “sued for peace” to end the Yemen war after the Houthis bombed the Aramco terminal in Jeddah and humiliated the KSA on the eve of their large F1 race spectacle. https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/03/23/Full-text-of-Saudi-Arabia-s-new-peace-initiative-to-end-Yemen-war

3. India and China, the world’s 1st and 3rd most powerful economies by GDP PPP (a particularly relevant metric in light of what we’re talking about) are exploring increasingly major avenues of settlement mechanisms in native currencies. https://www.rt.com/business/552993-russia-india-swift-alternative-trade/

A tectonic reorganization of the world order is happening before our very eyes, and experts increasingly signal the coming death of not only the dollar, but the western financial system.

Now onto some developments on the ground. There aren’t a lot to speak of due to the fact that Russia is currently conducting its major reorganization and repositioning of troops in preparation for the beginning of Phase 2, as we all now know. Phase 2 will likely begin with the capture of Mariupol which now appears more eminent than ever, given today’s news of desperate, last ditch helicopter escape attempts.

In general, around Kiev and Kherson, Russia has dug in defensively. In Izyum and the north Mariupol/Donbass line, Russia continues to fight. The largest gains in the past 24 hours have been Russia seizing towns such as Zolota Nyva just east of Velyka Novosilka, which is an important Ukrainian command center in that region. It will likely be the first and biggest target to liberate once Phase 2 begins. For now it seems RF forces will continue surrounding it.

-A few comments on the operation in general. Many people continue to question the efficacy of Russia’s planning and general strategy. Here are a few reminders. From the horse’s mouth itself:

The advisor to Zelensky, Arestovych today has released a statement saying that, “Russia has practically destroyed our entire defense industry, and are now finishing it off.”

https://www.rt.com/russia/553061-ukraine-defense-industry-russia/

Here’s General Macgregor’s statement from earlier:

“Retired US Army Colonel McGregor:
✔️ I think in a few weeks people will know that the losses of the Ukrainian forces are very high, much more than anyone admits. I think there will be a different view on Russian operations.”

Here is one Russian analyst from Telegram whose view I mostly agree with. His description of the Operation Z so far:

“Let go of panic.
1. There is virtually no offensive near Kiev, Chernigov and Sumy. They hoped that they would take it with a light cavalry attack, as in 2014. But it didn’t work out.
2. The grouping needs to be rotated and increased. These are additional reserves.
3. The 2014 plan didn’t work. At the first stage, those territories that managed to occupy were lucky. Now just fight by all the rules. And this means combined arms combat and leveled with the ground, otherwise nothing. Attacking in all directions is unrealistic.
4. The first step is to finish off the grouping in the Donbass. Under it, it is realistic to collect another 15-20 thousand reserves and things will go more fun. Then Zaporozhye, Nikolaev and Odessa. It will not be possible to increase the grouping in all directions.
5. You can’t get through to Nikolaev from the south. There is the Southern Bug River Delta, there is no room for maneuver. You need to approach from Zaporozhye and Kryvyi Rih. Otherwise, the distances there are such that the enemy keeps under fire control a narrow supply line from Kherson itself.
6. Near Nikolaev and Odessa, a powerful enemy grouping is sitting, the second largest after the Donbass. Plus, units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the territorial defense from Kherson departed there. As a result, the light units of the landing force brush aside the second largest grouping there. And they successfully brush aside, no one can poke their nose at Kherson.
7. The grouping near Nikolaev is aggressive, it is impossible to leave it in the rear. There are no resources to simultaneously finish off the grouping in the Donbass and in Nikolaev, and even go to Kyiv. Therefore, we focus on the south direction.

This is not a drain, this is a revision of doctrine. Nobody is going anywhere.”

-So, the important takeaways. What he says is, Russia HOPED that they could accomplish another takeover like the 2014 Crimea scenario ‘without firing a shot’ by doing what he calls a ‘light cavalry attack’ on the major capital cities like Kiev and Kharkov. This is in reference to the Russian light VDV & Spetnaz assault which moved swiftly on those cities in the opening, with mostly BMD and Tigr vehicles and without much heavy support.

In short, this was a calculated gambit by Russia, but it in no way invalidates the greater overall plan, which still would have required those multiple fronts to be established for the reasons we’re now all familiar with (which I spoke about in the last update) of maneuver warfare and pinning strategies.

Think about it, if you have a chance to possibly end the entire war in a day or two in a fast lightning attack to symbolically capture key cities and possibly the country’s leadership, wouldn’t you take it? But as Andrei Martynov explained once, how military planning works is you never bank on just one strategy. There are many “envelopes” as he described in his video, and you take the first plan, if it doesn’t work, you open up the next envelope for the 2nd contingency, etc. So, of course naturally Russia would take the chance to see if it can quickly bring an end without much bloodshed, why wouldn’t it? But don’t think in a million years, Russia would ever have completely banked on such a low probability success, and in fact had full ‘main’ and much more reliable battle plans to fall back on if the gambit didn’t work out.

Now here are the reasons for why Russia would have had to open all those multiple fronts anyway, and why attacking in many directions at once was not just some foolhardy plan that “didn’t work”. In fact it succeeded in most of its important operational objectives as I will outline below.

Russia absolutely had to secure some of the key targets of potential false flags by the Kiev regime. This meant securing places like the Chernobyl plant, Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, possibly the Kharkov nuclear institute, various important dams and infrastructural objects which, if detonated, could create mass civilian casualty false flags that would be blamed on the Russians, and of course the infamous Biolabs.

-Chernobyl was a must, because its name alone brings a haunted specter to most of Europe and the world, and Ukraine script writers would have loved (and attempted to) use it for a big false flag scenario. So this absolutely required Russian forces to enter from the northern axis to secure this.

-Zaporizhzhia. What most don’t know is this plant is not  only the #1 largest Nuclear plant in all of Europe, but in top 10 in the world, with only some Asian plants ahead of it.

So clearly such a high value target had to be secured as it had the potential for an unprecedented false flag (and we almost came to that if you recall) and various nuclear blackmail attempts from the Kiev regime. So this provides full validation for Russia’s axis from the south towards Zaporizhzhia.

In the same region as you know, Russia had to unblock the dam stifling all water to Crimea. And of course then there are the biolabs, which Russia had to capture in a timely manner not only to prevent them being used to stage false flags, but to prevent the U.S. intel exfiltration of important and incriminating documents which Russia luckily got in time from some of them. Seeing as how there are many biolabs in multiple directions, this alone justified Russian advances towards certain disparate fronts in the opening in order to capture these very significant targets.

So in short, there are extremely clear reasons for why Russia didn’t follow a simple-minded strategy some people seemed to think would have been ‘more conducive to winning the conflict quickly’ such as the idea of sending all troops only to the Donbass and clearing the cauldron first, while leaving the rest of the country to finish later. This idea is very shortsighted for the above reasons as there was a whole array of critical objectives Russia had to achieve simultaneously.

People not well versed in military matters tend to think in a very binary fashion, where something is either black or white. That’s not how things work. Operational objectives are conceived in a fashion where one action can achieve as many collateral objectives as possible for the sake of efficiency; in short: killing multiple birds with one stone. So as I’ve outlined, as an example, when Russia had to establish an offensive from the north to secure Chernobyl, and then to also pin down forces in Kiev nearby so that they could not relieve the groupings in the East, the other multifaceted objective would have also called to ‘attempt’ to seize Kiev with a quick lightning strike just to see if it was possible to end the war early with as little bloodshed as possible. Unfortunately, Ukrainians and 5th/6th columnist seemed to have misread this chancy gambit as some sort of major ‘Russian failure’ as if Russia’s sole and only objective was to take Kiev and now it has failed. No, as I have outlined above, it was a minor tertiary sub-objective as part of a much broader and more important operational battle plan which was fully successfully achieved.

Lastly, I wanted to repeat some of my calculations I’ve made in thread comments.

The other part of the collective west’s failure in correctly estimating Russia’s successes thus far has stemmed from what appears to be an incorrect calculation of Russia’s force disposition in Ukraine. You see, early on in the operation, the Pentagon made some statements about Russia utilizing 150-200k troops and “100% of all its allocated troops” and everyone, including most of us in the resistance sphere, just ran with those numbers and assumed them as base standards. But in reality, those numbers are highly questionable and there is no proof whatsoever that Russia has committed that many forces, nor has Russian MOD ever officially declared any amounts.

However, what we can glean is the following:

Russia is listed as having ~280k official troops in its ground army. However this is counting both kontraktniki and conscripts. The ratio I could find in RF armed forces is about 62% to 38% so that would leave about 173k of those as contract regulars which can be used in Ukraine (remember, Putin has prohibited conscript use)

There are an additional 45k VDV and ~15k Spetnaz and also Naval Infantry (Marines) of about 12k. The conscript percentages are much lower in them, so let’s just say there’s roughly 50k+ total usable troops from this group. Then there’s National Guard (Rosgvardia) which appears to have a massive 350k+.

My thought has been that Russia has so far not used anywhere near the ‘claimed’ 150-200k. It could be as little as 80-100k or less. But let’s just say even if they have used 150-180k, then according to my estimates, Russia could still have at the least (173k + 50k = 223k subtracted from the current estimates of troops in theater) 50-70k troops available still to inject, and much more if my own hunch is correct that Russia is using no where near the amounts the Pentagon claims (of course it conveniently fits Pentagon’s narrative to pretend Russia has exhausted all of its forces, etc). And this is not counting the National Guard simply because I’m not certain of the parameters of its use, though clearly we’ve seen many Rosgvardia troops in Ukraine. But this could add another huge amount.

So in short, I believe once Mariupol is fully captured, we could see the additional injection of tens of thousands of troops at the minimum, to finish off the Donbass cauldron. And recent reports from the frontline, written by a soldier in Izyum state that the “feeling in the air” is that a major Donbass battle / operation will begin soon, and it will go much faster than before. If Russia does inject these huge reserves and goes all out for Donbass, then we could see the cauldron collapse very quickly.

As for Mariupol, clearly it’s close to the end. Satellite photos today indicate rapid advances towards the absolute southern ends near the water.

And by the way, Putin’s approval rating in Russia continues to skyrocket. I reported a while back that prior to the operation it was in the 60% range (still much higher than any western leader like Biden (sub 40%), Macron and Johnson (both in the 20-30%). As the operation started, Putin’s rating went to 70, then to 80. Now the newest Levada center polls show a massive 83%, the highest approval rating of any world leader.

And as for the Ruble, it has regained 100% of all its losses: https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/ruble-regains-100-its-loss-after-russia-invaded-ukraine-why

And in fact on many index it is now LOWER than before the conflict. Some index had it at 83 to 1 dollar on February 22, and it is now showing as 79-81 on many indexes to the great chagrin of the west.

In fact in the biggest face slapping irony, the Ruble is now being hailed in financial circles as the greatest performing currency in the world for the month of March.

Lastly, the RF forces continue taking lots of Ukr prisoners all over:

While the Chechens and RF / DPR forces continue pounding the Azov Nazis all over:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/f4lzCW7z15Ie/?feature=oembed#?secret=fZZFPrQzZ0

Kiev, meanwhile, can only mine roads and kill civilians as usual:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/mE3VCWXRGiTK/?feature=oembed#?secret=6dwMe5govg

One month into the Russian special operation in the Ukraine

March 25, 2022

The Beast woke up in pitch darkness
And the price was named to God.
Everybody has caved in – even our brothers in Christ,
Everything has caved in – but not my country.
(translated lyrics from the song “Donbass is with us”)

First, the official version

First, here is a machine translated summary of events following one month of combat operations as posted by Boris Rozhin (aka Col. Cassad):

1. The offensive of the Russian troops disrupted the plans of the AFU offensive on the DPR and LPR using artillery, missile systems and aviation.

2. On January 22, Russian intelligence intercepted the order of General Balan on the need to complete preparations for offensive actions before February 28, so that the AFU could go on the offensive in March.

3. The operation is progressing according to plan. The main tasks of the first stage of the operation have already been completed.

4. The main priority remains the preservation of civilian lives. Hence the tactics of precision strikes on the military infrastructure and the armed forces of the enemy.

5. The blocking of large cities ensures the shackling of the AFU forces and does not allow the Ukrainian command to transfer reinforcements to the Donbass. The main operation at the moment is in the Donbas. 276 settlements have already been liberated in the DPR and LPR. 93% of the territory of the LPR and 54% of the territory of the DPR have been liberated. The group currently defending in Mariupol has more than 7,000 people.

6. Air supremacy was won by the Russian Aerospace Forces in the first two days of the operation. The organized air defense system, the Ukrainian Air Force and the Ukrainian Navy have virtually ceased to exist.

7. Up to 70% of all military stocks of Ukraine were destroyed as a result of systematic attacks on warehouses. 30 key facilities of the military-industrial complex of Ukraine were destroyed. 68% of enterprises where military equipment was repaired have already been destroyed. At the same time, since the beginning of the Special Military Operation, the Ukrainian army has already destroyed 127 bridges.

8. All the organized reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already been put into operation, there are no new ones. Hence the bet on the mobilization of the untrained contingent. According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, 6595 foreign mercenaries are fighting in Ukraine.

9. Total losses of the AFU during the month of operation. About 14,000 killed and about 16,000 wounded (the total losses of the AFU group in the Donbas account for 26% of the personnel). Of the 2,416 combat-ready tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles on February 24, 1,587 were destroyed in a month. 112 out of 152 military aircraft were destroyed, 75 out of 149 helicopters, 35 out of 36 Bayraktar TB2 drones were destroyed. Out of 180 S-300 and Buk M1 – 148, out of 300 radars for various purposes – 117.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation will promptly respond to any attempts to close the airspace of Ukraine for the Russian Aerospace Forces.

10. According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, at least 10 Ukrainian sea mines are now drifting uncontrollably in the Black Sea, posing a threat to navigation.

11. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation handed over captured weapons to the DPR and LPR. Among other things, 113 tanks and 138 ATGM “Javelin” were transferred.
More than 23,000 applications have been received from citizens of 37 states wishing to fight for the DPR and LPR. There are also a lot of such applications from Russian citizens.

12. Official losses since the beginning of ITS. Killed – 1351. Wounded – 3825.

This above is very much the official version according to the Kremlin, so we might as well add the official Kremlin map while we are at it:

This very official map shows the parts of the Ukraine which Russia/LDNR officially control.  Not only that, but it does not show which parts of the Ukrainian territory are not under real Russian/LDNR control, but which are under Russian/LDNR fire control.  For both of these reasons this map very much UNDER-states the reality on the ground.

For a detailed report, see these two briefings: http://thesaker.is/speech-of-the-head-of-the-main-operational-directorate-of-the-general-staff-of-the-armed-forces-of-the-russian-federation-colonel-general-sergei-rudskoy/

Here is another map which shows some of what the Kremlin does not want to confirm:

But what does all this really mean?

I find these maps moderately useful, they show us a general tendency, but they don’t really tell the full story.  As for the briefings by the Russian military, they are not very helpful since they list numbers which are not really meaningful for most people and, worse, the same event X in location A would have a totally different meaning in location B.

Of course, Russia has her own official narrative: “ours is a counterforce operation, as a rule we bypass Nazi held cities, block them, open humanitarian corridors when possible and offer the civilians to evacuate and the Ukrainian soldiers a chance to lay down arms and avoid needless casualties“.  And its all true, but there is a lot this narrative does not tell.

So let’s try to try to make some sense of all this

First, the good.  It took the Russians just a few hours to breakup the united Ukrainian armed forces into many smaller chunks.  This was achieved by basically taking out Ukie command and control capabilities.

Then, rather quickly, the Russian invaded from several directions, quickly bypassed the fortified Ukrainian defenses, blocked the units which refused to surrender and when further.  As a result, cities such as Kharkov or Sumy found themselves deep inside the Russian rear, unable to be resupplied and no hope to evacuate.  In a few special cases the order was given to gradually tighten the noose around Nazi concentrations while liberating the civilians neighborhoods, this is what is going in Mariupol.

Check out this fresh map from a correspondent, Konstantin Pegov, inside Mariupol

Sorry about the ugly “War Gonzo” watermark, this is Pegov’s way to get the credit.

Okay, so, the red zone is under Russian/LDNR control.  The blue zone is considered lost to the Nazis, but not cleared yet, meaning that a slow building by building, apartment by apartment, mopping up operation has to be conducted before this zone becomes red too.  Finally, the yellow zone is under the control of the notorious “Azov” Nazi battalion.  Before I continue, a need to clarify one thing.

There were three locations in which the Nazis decided to place their very best forces before the Russian attack:

  • Facing the LOC in the LDNR, about 60-80-100(?) thousand best trained men, ready for a Blitzkrieg-style attack on the LDNR.  This is the fighting core of the Ukrainian armed forces.  They are composed of a number of brigades, and in each brigade there is a Nazi battalion (roughly) ready to execute any unit or commander willing to surrender, retreat or even negotiate.
  • Mariupol: a thoroughly pro-Russian city which was therefore handed by the Kiev regime to the tender care of the main Nazi force in the Ukraine: the Azov battalion.  Please note that officially, all the Nazi battalions are part of the Ukrainian armed forces, but the locals always know who is who, as do the Russians.  Mariupol is not only a strategic city but also a “sacred symbol of the heroic Ukrainian resistance”.  More or less what the Donetsk airport was in the previous war.  And, just to make things harder, the Nazis are based inside a huge and very strong industrial complex called “Azovstal”.  There is a deluge of testimonies that the Nazis are using civilians as human shields.  This is a true Nazi hellhole that had to be taken the hard way.
  • Kiev.  Another special case, not only is it a large, multi-million inhabitants city, it is also the official center of power and capital of the Nazi regime.  Kiev is very heavily fortified, the bridges over water have been blown up, and to liberate the city would require a major effort, especially if the Russians try to minimize the civilian casualties and to avoid destroying the civilian infrastructure.

Maps don’t really tell that story, hence they often appear not to make sense.  In fact, they do, but to distinguish their real meaning, one needs to look deep into the micro-level and understand how all the different points on the map interact with each other (or not anymore!) or influence the outcomes elsewhere.

So what happens today around Mariupol is HUGELY important, but what happens in, say, Kharkov totally pales in comparison (unless you are in Kharkov, in which case the opposite is true).

I would like to add one more clarification here about the Chechen special forces.

In reality, there are no “Chechen special forces”, but a rather diverse lot of various Chechen forces which all come under the command of the Russian National Guard.  This is important, because while these Chechen forces can, and have, participated in regular combat operations, the really crucial task is the mopping-up of urban areas, like the blue area in the Mariupol map above.  Not only are the Chechens not sufficiently armed to conduct artillery duels or tank battles, but they are also trained in anti-terrorist and police operations, as is the entire Russian National Guard.  These Chechen urban assault groups obviously interface with the Russian forces blocking the town or city the National Guard is tasked with securing and policing.  Once that is done, humanitarian aid can come in while those who want can get evacuated.

That has worked pretty well.

But what has not worked at all, at least so far, is the next step: the installation of civilian authorities to restore more or less halfway decent civilian life.  And here the Russians really failed to act (until today! see later).

Look at it from the point of view of a civilian in, say, Kharkov.  You know that the Russians have bypassed and encircled the city.  Maybe Russian forces even passed through your part of town and told you that from now on you were free.  But then they all left!!!  They went further to push the front even further west or south, which is their only real mission.  And a few hours later, the Nazi gangs are right back where you live, and they wonder about you and how you felt about it all.  And if the Russians shared some rations with you, you better hide them well, or eat them quickly and deny it all lest you be shot on the spot for “collaboration with the aggressor”.

So what went wrong here?

I will tell you what: in a “normal” war, the frontline units are always followed by 2nd line units whose task is to clear and secure the liberated areas.  And I am not talking about a single cop car on patrol, I am talking about entire BRIGADES and DIVISIONS tasked with security in the rear.  The truth is that the Russian special operation is NOT a “regular” combined arms offensive and that the force ratios are typically about 1:1 if not worse in favor of the Ukies.  Why?

Because, except for a few very embarrassing screw-ups, Russia did not use conscripts.  Russia’s war plan was to fight with small numbers of highly trained soldiers and to compensate for this numerical inferiority by having full air supremacy and using advanced standoff weapons.

Yes, even the Chechens who are now fighting in Mariupol (and some near Kiev) are all volunteers, not conscripts.

By the way, there was an initial wave of volunteers in Russia too, the MoD thanked them very much but declined to use them.

Contrast that with the Ukronazis who now only have their regular armed forces (armed to the teeth and trained by the Empire of Lies for 7 years!), they also have the real, pure, Nazi units like the “Azov” in Mariupol, they even have their own Volkssturm, about 200’000 clueless civilians, but all armed with small arms, maybe some machine guns and a few PRGs.

The simple truth is that to disarm such a large number of folks is going to take a long time, be dangerous, and deeply frustrating, even if the actual military threat posed by such armed clowns is zero – they can only threaten unarmed civilians.

By the way – look at the type of weapons the Empire of Lies is pumping into the Ukraine: small arms and ammo, but also short-range anti-tank weapons, explosives, mines, etc – this is all stuff that has almost no utility on the macro-level of this war but with is ideal when you want to create and arm a stay-behind insurgency type of force.  I need to explain this a tad further.

NATO stay-behind forces

During the Cold War it was the conventional wisdom that NATO would not have the means to stop the advancing Soviet forces.  So NATO came up with two options: one is called FOFA and implies attacks not on the FEBA, but one on the Soviet supply lines.  The second concept was the so-called “stay behind forces”.  What happened is this: in many/most European countries the US used their close ties with the local intelligence services to create totally illegal armies.  Of course, not “real” armies, but a secret network for agents and hardware dumps to become the core of a future resistance against the future Soviet invasion.  It was initially all very pious, of course.  But when the agents of these secret mini-armies began engaging in false flag attacks (like the Bologna massacre in Italy), and when the local security services got wind of these weird activities, the scandal was hard to hide, and even though the Empire of Lies presstitutes did the all they could NOT to find out who created these terrorist organizations (the US),  the scandal still came out.  And, of course, the illegal creation of such stay behind sabotage units also involved some very creative accounting, so folks were jailed for corruption, illegal storage of military weapons, etc. etc. etc.

As somebody who was an analyst for the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service (SND) I can tell you three things about this phenomenon:

  • Only fall-guys were punished, the real key figures all got promoted
  • There was a direct link between these illegal mini-armies and European Neo-Nazis
  • It was all run by the USA

Since these faraway days, this has all been buried, forgotten, forgiven, denied, obfuscated, declared a “thing of the past”, etc. etc. etc.  Truly, nothing whitewashes darkness like the short attention span of the serfs living in Zone A.

But, back to the Ukraine now.  See my three points above?  I will repeat: the key figures never got punished, there was a clear neo-Nazi ideology in those secret units and the USA ran it all.

Forward to modern-day Ukraine with a simple question: can you guess what NATO is planning for the future Ukraine?

Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior, is that not true?

Have the Russians made at least one major miscalculation?

In short – yes.  Only one, but it was a bad mistake…

I believe that their major mistake was not to bring in new administrations to run the liberated towns and to secure law and order.  Clearly, the Russians knew that only a minority (albeit a big one) of Ukrainians was truly brainwashed by the Nazis.  But what the Russians failed to realize, is that people who live under 7 or 8 years of Nazi terror need PROTECTION above all.  In most blocked towns, the Nazis are still in control, and since the Russians do not attack the civilian infrastructure, the Nazis are the ones in charge of food, electricity, security, etc.

And since the said Nazis know that the locals hate them, this means that the only people being protected, fed, heated or treated are the Nazis themselves, the rest of the population hides in basements and hope that they have enough water and heat to survive until the promised “liberation” applies to them too.

Finally, TODAY, the Kremlin has announced the start of a major program to bring in entire administrations with repair equipment, humanitarian aid and, let’s not kid ourselves, more security forces.  Good!  Now let’s hope that the Russian civilians, their EMERCOM and the Russian National Guard will finally either get the not-all-too-Nazi authorities to rebrand themselves and behave (unless they personally have committed war crimes, at which point all they will get is an interrogation, possibly a trial, or a bullet on the spot).

This is yet another reason why Mariupol is so important: there are major Russian National Guard forces involved in the mopping up of the last Nazi pockets of resistance there.  But as soon as the blue and yellow zones turn red (this could take a while, several days, possibly a week) those National Guard forces will become available to denazify other cities, smaller ones, less well-fortified ones, and with a much smaller Nazi/normal person ratios.

Does the strategy chosen by the Russians make sense?

Only time will show, but I would argue that yes.

I would argue that the first phase of that war lasted about a day or so.  That was the phase that turned unitary Ukrainian armed forces into many isolated groups unable to coordinate their actions or support each other in combat.

The second phase of the war lasted about 3 weeks.  During that phase, the fronts did advance, the Russians had some successes, but that was not the point.  During this phase of the war, the Russians secured air supremacy and then proceeded to methodically do two things:

  • Very precise counterforce attacks including strikes on defensive positions, moving columns, missile strikes on major force concentrations, etc. etc. etc.
  • A much less noticed but possibly even more important counter-logistics campaign

So first the Ukies were held incommunicado.  Then they were isolated into many smaller groups.  Then they were blocked and/or encircled.  And now the Russians are basically waiting for the Ukrainians to either 1) surrender or 2) die.  And this is important: while there have been numerous Ukrainian attacks and counter-attacks, none of them have had any tactical impact, not even locally.  And in the few cases where the Ukrainians did advance, they were mostly destroyed with a combo of artillery and close air support.

Horrible as this may be, but the outcome of this phase depends on the following: which will run out first, the supplies of the Ukrainian forces or the water/heat for the trapped civilians?

If the Ukrainian supplies run out first, we will see a total collapse of the operational cauldron in the Donbass.  In this case, it will require a major, huge, Russian humanitarian operation to save all those who are still alive.

If civilians begin to die en masse, the Russians will have no choice but to use their heavy weapons to kill as many Nazis as quickly as possible and then send in relief convoys.

That is the dilemma the Russian General Staff must tackle.  I don’t envy them.

Mariupol is a done deal, really.

And since most of the residential areas have been freed, people are being treated and evacuated, there is no time pressure to clear the Nazis out, especially since the Nazis are now basically in one specific industrial area.  However, the building by building, apartment by apartment mopping up operation must continue until the Russians are fairly sure that most civilians have been removed from the blue zone.  After that, a few well-placed missiles into the Azovstal complex ought to finish off the last remaining Nazis.

So what could the next phase of the war look like?

Take a look at this Readovka map (as of yesterday):

I chose this map because it shows the current “fronts” (the colored squares).

What I added are the following three black areas:

Areas one: central Ukraine including major cities like Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie, Poltava or Cherkassy.  Even Kiev is still connected to that zone (albeit barely).

Area two: Odessa cauldron.

Area three: mini-Banderastan?

Here is the deal, at least as I see it: the Russians cannot deal with these three black zones before they *truly* liberate the red parts of the map.  And by “truly” I mean that these regions, towns and cities have to be very substantially (albeit not totally) denazified, a new administration must take over and a semblance of civilization and law and order must be restored.

I also added a red line from roughly Kiev going south and another one, roughly from the south end of the Odessa cauldron in the general direction of Kiev.  I made them meet about in the middle. This is purely conceptual.  While I am sure that Russian reconnaissance units and Aerospace Forces are present in that area and that the Ukrainians must be trying to hide as best can be, this is NOT land Russia controls or even blocks (too big for that anyway).

You could think of it as a “hotly contested no-man’s land” with fortified areas scattered across it.

For these reasons, I do not currently see the Russians committing major forces towards this move, but as soon as Odessa is not only blocked but fully encircled and the Donbass cauldron collapses, a new major cauldron will form, this time including all the cities I listed above.

Conclusion: time and manpower

Question: why should the Russians choose to go fast?  To save the civilians in blocked/encircled towns and cities?  Yes, I would agree with that.  Except that the Russian armed forces are not in the Ukraine to repair power stations.  Which means that a substantial increase in manpower, including many civilians, is the only situation in which speed might be desirable.  Like in Mariupol today.  Or Kharkov.

But once the red zone is finally truly liberated and the basic signs of civilization return, should the Russians go fast elsewhere?  Let’s look at our three black circles again:

Area one, central Ukraine: the Russians have total air superiority, the Nazis have no mobility, tenuous supply routes, and their stores have been depleted by weeks of bombing.   I do not see any need for the Russian to hurry into this one, lest it becomes the problems the Russians ALREADY have experienced in their zones of putative “liberation”, scores of dead civilians, and substantial losses.  Because no matter how large and populated that zone is, it has no future, it will be surrounded like all the other parts of the Ukraine during phase one of the operation.  This also means that a political solution would be INFINITELY preferable to a hard storming of cities like in the first Chechen war.

Area two, Odessa: same deal, Odessa is almost totally blocked and sooner or later the city will be surrounded.  It is, alas, quite possible that the city will have to be taken like Mariupol, because of the very same “ingredients”: a generally pro-Russian city run by Nazi thugs whose reign of terror gets worse with every day.  I hope and pray that the city surrenders, but I am not holding my breath and IF it has to be taken like Mariupol then, again, by all means, the Russians should go as slow as possible.

Area three, mini-Banderastan:  does Russia even need it?  Some say that the only way to go is to get the Russian tanks nicely aligned along the Polish border.  Other say to forget it, let the local Nazis create their Russenrein Banderastan and have fun.  Such a mini Banderastan would be supervised by a Nazi Gauleiter (Polish or Ukie – same difference) on behalf of the USA Heimat and its Eurocolonies.  This is really no big deal, because the entire EU has now been turned into a Nazi Reichsgau administrated by the Anglos, and that is the real danger for Russia.

Will the Empire of Lies intervene in the mini-Banderastan?

Yes, absolutely.  The question is HOW.  The options range from a Polish invasion of the Lvov region (which, after all, is historically Polish!) to the use of this mini-Banderastan the way the US used Pakistan during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.  In theory, there could be even a deal made between the US and Russia: the USA take the mini-Banderastan, the central Ukraine is not invaded, but is verifiably disarmed and denazifed, it becomes neutral and gets on probation: “behave or Iskander”.  The Odessa region joins the (now much expanded) LDNR, the entire Black Sea coast is liberated (*truly* liberated) and the LDNR then decides of its future by means of referendum.

[Sidebar: to those who say that you cannot verifiably disarm anybody I would reply that this is hogwash: there are many verification and confidence-building measuresa, including remote ones and intrusive, local ones.  If that central Ukraine with or without the mini-Banderastan becomes disarmed, it will not be a challenge for the Russians to know what is going on or not.  As I mentioned, one option would be to build a special military base to prevent the mini-Banderastan from infecting the rest of the Ukraine.  Something like what the 201st Russian base in Tajikistan is currently doing]

But I have to admit that when I hear the verbiage from Zone A, I am not holding my breath.  For the Poles, this is a historic opportunity to show their unbelievable military prowess, get some land, a cheap labor force, and the chance to pretend to be a “European leader”.  And how different is the rest of Europe?  Meh…  As we say in Russian, “these folks have all been anointed with the same (Nazi) oil”.  So it ain’t the stupid and, frankly, ridiculous Poles the Russians need to “convince”, it is all the NATO and the USA.

I hope that I am wrong, but I do not see any argument which Russia could use to “convince” our wonderful European neighbors than either an Iskander inside a NATO member state (I vote for Poland!) and/or a total disconnection from any Russian energy supplies.

Putin already did the second thing, but elegantly: by forcing payments in Rubles he forces each country in Europe to make its own choice.  And those who will pay in Rubles, thereby bypassing THEIR OWN sanctions, won’t volunteer to attack Russia or the Ukraine.

Which leaves those who won’t.  They are the ones who are so totally batshit crazy that they rather have their own population and economy suffer from cataclysmic consequences than negotiate *anything* at all with Putin’s Mordor.  They are the ones who might need a “little extra argument” possibly in the form of a hypersonic missile.

I am not suggesting bombing Mons or London, not even Warsaw or even a major Polish military base.  But something of real value to the Poles and with a minimal amount of victims.   Ideally, a location “well-protected” by US air defenses (like the Saudi refineries, if you recall).  Just ONE Iskander in the right location, and our western neighbors will tone down their verbiage, by a lot.

[Sidebar: did you know that after the Russian strike on the NATO “volunteers” and “peacekeepers” in eastern Ukraine there is now an OUTFLOW of mercenaries.  Gee-whiz – it sure looks to me that the Zone A mercenaries did get a clear message from Russia, now they are running for their lives.  Good!]

And here is the key point: the “convincing argument” will not be the landing of a Russian missile in Poland, no.

The real “argument” which might bring them back to reality is the NATO reaction AFTER that strike: a lot of hot air, threats, protests and various troop movements (like that hilarious EU rapid reaction force of 5’000 soldiers) and much more, but not a single Anglo or EU soldier taking the war to Russia!  Why?

Because NATO has only two options:

  • Lose a war against Russia
  • Not fight that war

Which do you think “Biden”, Johnson or Macron will pick?

Small reminder: “Biden” already deals with major crises with the PRC, with Iran, with the KSA, not to mention the humongous economic crisis looming over the entire planet!

Do you see these leaders of the “indispensable civilization” take the war to the Russians?  IF they do, Mons will be next, and they know that.

Which leaves us with the real, true, bona fide, certified demonic agents who are willing to do anything, including 9/11 or MH-17, to try to “cancel Russia”.  Right now, that demonic choir is all singing the same tune: Russia is about to commit a chemical attack against innocent Ukrainian civilians.

Will that fly?

You betcha it will!

After Gouta, Skripal, MH-17 and Navalnyi, we know for a fact that most of people in Zone A are what is called shit-eaters (comemierdas) in Spanish: folks who, like baby-chicks in a nest, just can’t wait for mommy and poppy to feed them by puking up some “food” into the wide open mouths.  And nevermind that, unlike the USA, Russia has verifiably destroyed all her chemical weapons (as had Syria!), and nevermind that such a terminally stupid atrocity would serve NO Russian interests whatsoever (but then, neither did the self-evident idiocy of the MH-17 narrative prevent the shiteaters to eat it all, and even ask for seconds!).

Right now the Empire of Lies is making noises about IF Russia uses chemical munitions, THEN we will do something totally terrible to Russia, like sending in the Polaks into Lvov under NATO aircover to “save the few remaining survivors” or something equally asinine.

Unless you have been living under a rock, or can only use one synapse at a time, you must at least know that the following are all true:

  • There is no limit to how evil, depraved and demonic the rulers of the Empire of Lies are.
  • There is no limit on who ignorant, stupid, gullible, and racist a very substantial portion of the population of Zone A is.

Then there is the bigger picture, the one which really matters:

  • The Empire of Lies feels that this is the very last chance to survive, they know that if the Russians, the Chinese the Iran and and, really, most of the planet prevails they are finished forever.  This assumption is correct.
  • The goal of the Empire of Lies is to cancel Russia.  Completely.  This is a truly genocidal plan made stronger by the conviction by the leaders of this Empire that this is the only and last chance to finally find a “Final Solution” to the “Russian problem”.
  • The reaction of the West (total, terminal, genocidal “cancellation”) of everything Russian stunned most Russians who did know that there was no love lost between Russia and the West, but who were stunned to be singled out for total annihilation is something which 1) all Russians are intimately familiar with and 2) are now fully aware of.

That is why I wrote yesterday that Russia is in FULL WORLD WAR TWO MODE.

This is the kind of music video which now is very popular on the Russian social media:

Bravo leaders of the West, you have FINALLY convinced a majority of Russians that your hatred for us is total, that no matter how ugly, petty and useless, your actions are, you are so overwhelmed with hatred for us that even your serfs VOLUNTARILY engage in numerous acts of anti-Russian racism, discrimination and other expressions of hate.

This anti-Russian hate is so prevalent, that now expressing hatred for Russia and Russians has now become of virtue signaling!  Even for musicians, athletes, students and even grade school kids (I personally know cases).

And, guess what? We heard and understood.  Millions and millions of us.

Our biggest failure has always been our inability to imagine our enemy’s level of hatred.

Oh, we knew that the 3B+PU base their entire identity and (imagined) history on the hatred of everything and anything Russian.  Of course, we knew that the 3B+PU were all artificial creations of the West, but we sort of assumed that their hateful insanity was limited to a few, small, freak countries, but that most “normal” Europeans were not AT ALL like that. Oh no!  Eurolemmings are civilized and hate Nazis, right?  RIGHT?

And that was stupid on our part: how could the West be any different from the 3B+PU when that same West is the one who created the 3B+PU in the first place!

Then, for 300 years or so we were ruled by a massively westernized class.  And after 1917, one massively westernized class replaced another one.  WWII opened our eyes to some degree, but by the time Khrushchev and his gang came to power, the West was gradually crushing the CPSU ideologically and, especially, the Soviet Nomenklatura who, I would argue, sold out to the West, as an entire class, between 1980 and 1991, then that self-same Nomenklatura rebranded itself and the nightmare of the 1990s began.

And in the “democratic” 90s, most Russian youth only wanted jeans and hamburgers.  But even that exsanguinated, impoverished, and confused Russia was a threat.  So the US ordered the Russian Parliament to be shelled by tanks and thousands murdered in the following days.  Then came the Chechen war, and the satanic attack on the Serbian nation.  And most of us still were dozing off, hoping for a good salary in dollars and many holidays in Antalia.

Crusader or Nazi – same difference

And then came Putin, who not only did a lot of things, he talked to the Russian people, often for hours in a row, convincing, convincing and convincing.

But even Putin, the Eurasian Sovereignists and the 6th columnists together could not achieve what the Empire of Lies finally did: truly and profoundly rekindle the memory of WWII, even amongst the Russian youth.  Now instead of jeans, they want to go to the front!

I would call that a “Hezbollah moment”.

And now, we shall never surrender, least of all to a sorry gang of Nazi pigs and Crusaders!

So it is not the Ukraine that we plan to denazify.  It’s the planet.

The Empire of Lies gave Russia absolutely no choice.

For eight terrible years Russia had to retreat on all fronts because we needed to develop the military and industrial “toolkit” to take you on frontally.

Now we have.

And, unlike you, we are fully prepared to die, if needed, in defense of our civilizational values, our faiths and our country.

Are you ready to die for your wokeness, diversity and Satan?

I guess that we will soon find out.

Andrei

PS: tomorrow and Sunday I will be on the road, attending my faraway parish, so while my team will run the blog, I don’t expect to have the time to post analyses or even comment until Monday, maybe Tuesday.  The text above (over 5’700 words) is, I hope, controversial and relevant enough to keep the blog going until my return.

Day 26 of “Operation Z” in the Ukraine

March 22, 2022

Dear friends,

First, a small announcement:  I am working with a few friends to try to get a daily “Operation Z SITREP” posted in our SITREP section.  This would contain the latest news and the maps that so many like so much.  This is still a work in the planning stages, but I hope to get the ball rolling reasonably soon.

Next, according to Chechen sources, Chechen special operations have entered the Azovstal factory in Mariupol.  This is too important a claim to be accepted yet, but there are many indirect reports which seem to confirm the veracity of this claim.  If so, then that means that most of the residential areas of Mariupol have now been liberated from the Nazi terrorists of the Azov battalion.  If the combat operation inside or near the Azovstal buildings are still going on, well that means that very soon Mariupol will be denazified which, considering that the Nazi forces inside the city were just about the most evil and yet quite combat capable units available to the Ukronazi regime, the final liberation of Mariupol will mean a huge difference for the entire operation.

Check this video by Gonzalo Lira to get a full picture of why Mariupol is so crucial.

This is a photo of the head of the Chechen special forces of the Russian national guard, Adam Delimkhanov, coordinating combat activities this afternoon in Mariupol (look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Delimkhanov and here https://web.archive.org/web/20090501060723/http://www.interpol.int/public/data/wanted/notices/data/2009/68/2009_11968.asp) to see how much the West hates this man!)

Speaking of Gonzalo Lira, I am extremely worried about him, he has said that he would post a YT report ever 12 hours, and by now it has been sixteen (16!).  And, considering this, I am frankly anxiously waiting for him to give a sign of life.  Gonzalo, if you read these words (who knows?) I recommend that you try to get out towards the Russian lines if at all possible.  If somebody has his email, please send it to me, I would like to contact him.

If you have any news from/about him, please let me know.

Now turning to Zone A:

This is the kind of stuff one can see in the London subway, I was told.

True or false?  Who knows, but the point is that it pretty much encompasses the traditional British view of the Russian people.  Again, these type of “coming outs” are fantastically important for the future of Russia, so I encourage them.

Which brings me to the official narrative.

I think that it is finally cracking.  Here and there in the official corporate media there are articles about some Ukrainian fakes, other articles question the wisdom to go to war with Russia over what is a dead, corrupt, Nazi country 404.

The reports about the Russians loosing a million tanks, soldiers, missiles and men are gradually being replaced with more sober assessments and the maps produced by western outlets are gradually starting to look more or less similar to the maps produced by the various “Putin propaganda outlets”.

I see two things coming next:

  • The much announced “Russian atrocity” false flag (several have failed over the past few days, including one chemical ones which was thwarted when the wind blew in the “wrong” direction – that is away from the targeted town.
  • Poland will try to convince the USA to allow it to hide behind Uncle Shmuel’s back and conduct a “peacekeeping operation” to create a mini-Banderastan in western Ukraine.

Now there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the USA want three things:

  1. A war lasting as long as possible
  2. As many civilian victims as possible
  3. To flood the Ukraine with weapons to then direct a “stay behind” insurgency

I am not at all convinced that the USA will go along with the Polish plan.  Why?  Because I believe that a Russian Iskander strike INSIDE POLAND (similar to the ones we saw in Iavorovo, the ammo dump in Kiev and in Novaia Liubomirka) is a quasi-certitude (remember: Russia IS ready to fight both NATO and the US together!).  BTW – the one in Iavorovo blew up a huge ammo dump which was buried under 60 meters of rock.  I have no explanation for how that was achieved.  Does anybody?

Bottom line is that if the Polaks organize another little “peacekeeping training camp” and think that the Russians won’t dare to strike a NATO country they are quite wrong.  They are probably too dumb/delusional to realize that, but the folks at the US DoD probably do and don’t need this.  Why, well precisely because NATO member or not, Article 5 or not, nobody will come to aid the Polaks against the wrath of the entire Russian military, the manpower and resources needed a not there anyway…

Unless the Russians and the US American agree to a partition of the Ukraine.  Not likely, but always possible.  It is going to almost certainly happen anyway, the only way to prevent that is Russian tanks at the Polish border, and not just for a quick visit, but to create something like the 201 base in Tajikistan.

Anyway, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, this is all still in the future.

Want a good laugh?

No, this is not an early April’s First joke!

Here is how low CNN has sunk, check out this truly priceless headline: twice poisoned and still very much alive, amazing!  Russian “biowarfare killers” really need more training if they can’t even kill a guy but kill his pets (Skripal), then can’t poison a Russian citizen inside Russia (Navalnyi) and fail to kill that guy (his name is Vladimir Kara-Murza, he is a common criminal) TWICE!

KGB killers are not what they used to be…

What about the events on the front line?

I won’t into details here but I will offer a few bullet points

  • Very heavy combats near Avdeevka and Mariupol.
  • Combat pretty much everywhere the line of contact, which result in slow positional warfare with artillery exchanges and  very careful mopping up building buy building and even room by room.
  • On average Russian forces advance between 5 and 20 kilometers per day, which is rather fast against a defense in depth prepared for years.
  • The key cities of Kiev and Odessa are almost completely blocked, but not fully surrounded yet.
  • The Black Sea fleet basically controls the entire Ukie coast and all of the Black Sea itself.
  • The Black Sea fleet also prevents any resupply of Odessa from Romania.
  • Russia has full air superiority over the entire Ukie airspace
  • The Ukies are STILL firing both Tochka-U and Grad/Smrech missiles in the general direction of liberated cities just to create as many casualties as possible, but the Russians have become very stilled at not only shooting down these missiles (the destruction ratio has gone up very sharply) but also a destroying the key Ukrainian ammo dumps were they hide those missiles (this is what happened with the big building in downtown Kiev which the Russians totally vaporized with one perfectly aimed Iskander missile.  If you have not seen this amazing video, you can quickly re-watch it here:

And here is a video of what the Ukies were hiding under this commercial building (photo from a local resident since disappeared by the Ukie SBU:

And, finally, I want to share something very important with you: the Ukronazi forces cannot resupply or rotate themselves.  Why?

  • Because moving around when the air is full of Mi-24/35s, Mi-28Ns and Ka-52s in “free hunting” mode requires a type of courage very few people have.
  • Because most road as carefully monitored by multi-sensor Russian reconnaissance/intelligence capabilities
  • Because more big roads (you cannot use small dirt roads to resupply or rotate effectively) are either already physically controlled by the Russians or are “shot through”, which in Russian indicate that while Russian soldiers have to reached each other and hugged they can shoot at any location from these road from any side.

So it does not matter how motivated the Ukrainians are.  Even with we assume 100% of the Ukrainians are well trained, well armed and would rather die than to retreat or surrender, they still need many TONS of stuff (food, ammo, water, MRE, medicine, batteries, petroleum, diesel, lubricants, oil and many more things!) EVERY DAY.  Just to give you an idea, read this pretty decent discussion of some aspects of logistics by the US military.

So once the Ukies are blocked by Russians, it is essentially over for them.  Anybody with a basic understanding of modern warfare can confirm that to you.

Add to this in the very first day Russian destroyed all the Ukie communication center and capabilities in the first few hours of the operation, and you will see that while the Ukrainian side this has “brigades” and “battalions” these are all under manned and, crucially, cannot cooperate with each other.  In other words, they cannot jointly maneuver to support each other.

To put it in the simplest terms, the Ukrainians are not able to conduct any operations, and that is why all their so-called “counter-attacks” always fail and mostly never even materialized.  At best, they can destroy a Russian checkpoint, blow up a truck or even shoot down a helicopter, but none of that solves their real problem which is that they are now mostly reduced to WWI type of warfare against a 21st century ultra-modern military which has the total control of the situation.

That’s it for today.  I really have to stop because I have a roaring repetitive stress injury (RSI) in my right hand because I spend waaaaaaaaaay to much time on my keyboard.  I already use a brace to protect my thumb, but even that does not help.  So I will sign off for the day and be back tomorrow, God willing.

Kind regards

Andrei

PS: found a very decent map of the situation on Telegram (the place to go for good info!)

Scott Ritter: Military Intelligence Expert on Ukraine Conflict

March 20, 2022

Russians are grinding up the Ukrainians.

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