The Ukraine Conflict — A Primer (Gonzalo Lira)

JANUARY 31, 2023

I like Gonzalo Lira’s videos A LOT, but today I am posting one without seeing it (I don’t have the time), so I cannot say that I approve (or disapprove) of what he says. 

If you disagree with X he says, please don’t blame me 🙂  That being said, I am pretty sure that he will be spot on.  Andrei

The Ukraine loses Soledar and Artemovsk

January 10, 2023

Machine translation of this article: https://m.vz.ru/society/2023/1/9/1194217.html

Having abandoned the Christmas truce, Kiev received painful breakthroughs in the defense line in the Donbass. The Russian Armed Forces have achieved decisive success in Soledar and Artemovsk-important strategic points that the Ukrainian command is trying to hold at any cost, including for political reasons.

As of January 9, fighting is already underway in the center of Soledar and in the area of five-story buildings in the north-east of the city. Two railway stations, a number of salt mines, and residential buildings in the south and southeast along Oktyabrskaya Street have come under the control of the Russian Armed Forces. The village of Bakhmutskoye in the south-west of Soledar has also been cleared. Units advancing from the east, from the village of Yakovlevka, went to the area behind the Transfiguration Church, and assault detachments – to Yurchina Gora, cutting the section of the highway to Blagodatnoye, that is, stopping the supply of the group in the strategically important Seversk.

According to the newspaper VZGLYAD, by midday fierce battles began for the building of the Soledar administration and for the neighboring House of Culture, in other words, for the city center. Satellite images show a large fire near the central square. The defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has become fragmented, it no longer has a single management and is divided into separate groups.

The day before, the withdrawal of the 128th separate mountain Assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine began, which quickly turned into a flight. The 61st Separate Mechanized Brigade also began to leave its positions, despite attempts to urgently strengthen it with reserve battalions. As a result, it abandoned its positions, which led to the flight of the 10th mountain assault brigade, as well as the 17th tank brigade-it was the last operational reserve that was supposed to hold Soledar and plug holes in the defense.

However, ideologically motivated units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including the special forces “Karpaty” and separate units of mountain assault brigades, tried to hold observation posts in five-story buildings on Karpinski Street, so it was premature to talk about the occupation of Soledar. But on Monday, Ukrainian units (or rather, their remnants) retreated to the north-west of the city in the area of “Artemsoli” and the railway station “Sol”.

Theoretically, this can be called the third line of defense, which boils down to an attempt to stay on the outskirts until the reinforcements announced by Zelensky appear (it is assumed that we are talking about newly formed “numbered” brigades from those mobilized in the Chernihiv region, which have been undergoing combat coordination at the Goncharovsky training ground for the last month).

The second task of the AFU remnants in the city is to prevent Russian troops from quickly reaching the north of Soledar and cutting the road to Seversk. In fact, it has already failed, since the intersection of the road to Seversk (the corner of Oktyabrskaya and Pionerskaya streets) has already been put under fire control by the Russian Armed Forces.

The situation also changed dramatically near Artemovsk (in the Ukrainian manner – Bakhmut). By the morning of January 9, units of the Russian Armed Forces had dislodged the combined detachments of the 60th and 17th Separate Mechanized brigade from the village of Podgorodne, which opened up the possibility of encircling Artemovsk from the north. In the south and south-east of the city, the destruction of fortified areas in the villages of Opytne and Kleshcheyevka and the cleaning of the territory around the gypsum factory (KNAUF) on Patrice Lumumba Street took place.

The AFU constantly transferred reinforcements from the reserves of the 60th Separate mechanized brigade, as well as two armored groups of the 28th mechanized brigade, separate special forces companies and teroborona to Artemovsk. Presumably, the nearest reserve of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be the 58th ompbr and 93rd ombr from the same Chernihiv region. A couple of numbered brigades, which are being hastily transferred from the Zaporozhye direction to Bakhmut, will not have time to go there.

The main form of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Soledar and Artemovsk was indiscriminate shelling by the artillery division of the 60th Separate Mechanized brigade and the 17th tank Brigade, which are located outside the contact combat zone. Five Su-25s and two MiG-29s were also connected from the Mirgorod airfield.

The comical fortifications built on the central streets of Soledar in the form of traditional anti-tank shafts made of welded rails turned out to be of no use to anyone.

According to some data, the active transfer of AFU reserves near Soledar and Artemovsk will be able to begin no earlier than January 20. Consequently, they will hold a new line of defense, west of the broken Artemovsk – Soledar – Seversk system.

In the middle of the day on January 9, reports began to arrive that assault detachments began clearing Opytne south of Artemovsk and entered the villages of Krasnaya Gora and Paraskoviyevka. The last two are small, even by local standards, settlements along the railway, but they are tactically important positions, as they close the encirclement of Artemovsk from the north, cutting off the local Ukrainian garrison from Soledar. When this success is consolidated, the entire area between Artemovsk and Soledar will come under the control of the Russian Armed Forces.

The clearing of small villages south and southwest of Artemovsk threatens the supply of the local garrison. The new line of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be built, as in Soledar, along the western outskirts of the city, and then along the settlement of Chasov Yar, which over the past few months has been turned by the Armed Forces of Ukraine into the main stronghold of the entire Ukrainian group, as well as into a distribution point for incoming reserves.

Chasov Yar is a good position, historically located in this town are quarries of refractory clay (the factories themselves have not been working for a long time, but they are a convenient “promka”for defense). In addition, the Seversky Donets – Donbass canal flows right in front of Chasoviy Yar, which even in cold weather (on Monday in the Donbass minus 12-15 Celsius) is a defensive position.

The loss of the entire Artemovsk – Soledar – Seversk defensive line threatens the Ukrainian Armed Forces with far-reaching consequences.

First, the pressure on Kremennaya and Lysychansk will stop, and the entire flank of the Ukrainian front will sag in this direction.

Secondly, the creation of a new line of defense (approximately around Chasova Yar) will require special efforts from Kiev. Already, about six numbered brigades that made up the garrisons of Artemovsk and Soledar have been almost destroyed, and they need to be rotated and re-equipped with new recruits.

In recent weeks, these garrisons have been maintained at the expense of “veteran” units, including mountain assault units, highly motivated “svidomykh” and special forces. The new numbered brigades, made up entirely of ideologized sergeants and veteran officers mobilized with a small participation, show poor effectiveness.

At the moment, the line of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is broken, and the Ukrainian command will not be able to return the situation back. However, it is still too early to talk about the full occupation of Artemovsk – Kiev will hold this locality until the last one for ideological reasons.

Even now, its further defense is meaningless, but there are no signs of withdrawal of the AFU units from the city. Moreover, there is evidence that in the center of Artemovsk, fortified areas are being created on the model of Soledar, and the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to insist on strengthening the grouping in the city, including at the expense of units from the southern direction.

On the other hand, there are reports that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are increasing their presence in Ugledar, which may also mean preparations for a counteroffensive in the southern direction. So far, the pace of the Russian Armed Forces ‘ advance in Soledar and around Artemovsk is quite high, but unpleasant surprises are still possible.

The city of Soledar has been liberated by the Wagner PMC

January 11, 2023

This “news” was weeks in the making, but this time it is official: the city of Soledar has been liberated by the Wagner PMC (with Russian Airborne Forces blocking the city from the North and South).  Why did it take so much time?

First, just as the regular armed forces, the Wagner PMC engages in economy of force tactics, meaning that they try to keep their own casualties to the absolute minimum while trying to degrade the enemy forces.  In this case, the Ukronazis threw battalion after battalion into the Russian meat grinder with the hope of being able to maintain their control over Soledar.  It is quite clear that the Wagner PMC and the Russian military were more than happy to keep that going on.  Some sources claim that NATO lost 14 battalions in a desperate attempt to avoid a Russian liberation.  So even if we take only half of this figure, that is still seven battalions lost on the NATO side (note that the 14 battalions is a Ukie, not Russian, claim!).

Second, the Russians wanted to close a cauldron (the first cauldron of 2023!) without themselves risking envelopment.  So they had to secure the flanks before they would move in.

[Sidebar: I regularly get the same “question” by butt-hurt trolls: “where did all of your “cauldrons” go?”  So for those who might ask this sincerely, I will reply here: they went nowhere :-).  The entire NATO force in the Donbass still sits in an “open operational cauldron” meaning that they are under pressure from the North, East and South and have only one “safe(r)” direction for rotation and supplies: from the West.  That western direction, however, is quite well known to the Russians, who have superb C4ISR capabilities, and so while NATO has been successful at using this direction to support the NATO group in the Donbass, they did that at a huge cost.  This is the official, Russian MoD, figures for Ukrainian losses in 2022:

Now, of course, I hear the voices objecting “but this is Russian propaganda!!!“.  Okay, let’s reduce these figures by 50%, fair enough?  We still get 177 aircraft, 99 helicopters, 1397 UAVs, 199 SAMs, 3683 MBTs and other armored vehicles, 478 MLRS, 1881 artillery pieces and 3938 military vehicles.  As for the KIA/MIA figures, they are in the hundreds of thousands.  Most of that damage was done by artillery strikes, by the way which, in spite of a truly massive NATO effort to win the counter-battery engagements, outcomes have shown that Russian artillery is simply better, in spite of the formidable NATO C3ISR capabilities.  So, coming back to our “semi-open cauldrons” (i.e. open on three sides, with the fourth under Russian fire control), they gave the Russians a great deal of flexibility, in spite of the numerical inferiority of the Russian forces, to massively degrade NATO forces.  Bottom line: the fact that western sources do not report a single word about these cauldrons does not mean they never existed or suddenly vanished]

Third, Soledar, like Mariupol, had formidable defenses made even stronger by eight years of preparations.  Besides over 200km of tunnels and mines, Soledar has a very large “promka” (industrial zone) which made advances very difficult and dangerous (a similar situation to what took place in Mariupol).  The Wagner folks took all their sweet time going in slow and saving their forces.  As always, you cannot spot the degradation of the NATO defenses until they suddenly crumble, which is what happened in the last 24 hours.

According to several reports, the Ukronazi 46th airmobile brigade, one of the most elite Ukronazi unit has been basically wiped out.  This is also significant.

So what does this mean for the “big picture”?

By itself, not that much.  Yes, NATO forces are in a cauldron inside Soledar, but they number only a few hundred soldiers and, just as in Mariupol, their commanders have run away (on the 8th, apparently).  The mopping up of this small cauldron will not take much time or effort.

Here is, just to give you an idea of what is going on these days, a video of Polish soldiers near Artemovsk getting hit by Russian strikes:

Now imagine that happening along the entire frontline, especially in the Donbass.

The Russian liberation of Soledar does threaten the NATO positions in the city of Bakhmut/Artemovsk (the most advanced Russian units are 5km from the downtown center of the city!). I don’t like pseudo-military maps too much, but just to give you an idea of the area we are discussing, this one is adequate:

To understand that map, all you need to know is that Соледар is Soledar and Артемовск (Бахмут) means Artemovsk(Bakhmut).  Though you might also want to look at the city indicated as Краматорск (top left) which is the NATO stronghold of Kramatorsk (famous in 2014-2015).  BTW – can you spot more potential cauldrons on this map?

To make a long story short, the cities of Soledar and Artemovsk are locating smack in the middle of the NATO defense lines.  Their liberation means that NATO forces will have to fallback to what we can call their third or even fourth lines of defense.

The main headache for NATO now is that it is impossible to predict what the Russians will do next.  In the next few days, they will have to mop-up the small NATO force in the city center, then rotate troops and give them some rest.  But after that, it is impossible to predict where the Russians will push next.  Here are three main options:

  • The Russians will seek the develop their success locally
  • The Russians will launch their much announced “Big Offensive”
  • The Russians will continue to hold and grind more KIA/MIA into the ground

I do not have access to Russian plans, but I do not believe that the liberation of Soledar by itself will have a major impact for the planned “Big Offensive” the Russian forces are ready to execute.  Yes, time is of the essence in warfare, but that means that, like in chess, sometimes that critical feature of time means that waiting is the correct use of that time.  That being said, the liberation of Soledar will have a major effect on NATO supply lines, both on roads and railways.

Again, the idea here is to transform the once unified NATO forces into smaller “chunks” unable to help each other.  By all signs, this has been an extremely effective Russian tactic.

Another location which NATO tried really hard to exploit is Kherson, yet all the NATO attacks failed and have now petered down to almost nothing (mostly UAV recon flight and regular artillery strikes).  Ditto for the Kharkov oblast were Ukie attacks mostly stopped.

Finally, here is another important marker: the size of the NATO offensives.  Remember how in the first months of the war the Ukrainian counter-attacks typically involved several brigades?  Then much of what we saw were battalion-size attacks.  Now most of what we see are very small, company-level, engagements.  Such, engagements are futile by definition: why bother with a company-level attack which, even if fully successful you won’t be able to develop even tactically, nevermind operationally?

The ONLY reason for such attacks are optics and PSYOPs.  Period.

The Russians won’t fight that way, because that way implies sending wave after wave after wave of bodies through into the Russian meat grinder for the sole purpose of taking a photo, making a video or claim another absolutely huge “peremoga” (all the NATO victories are huge, didn’t you know?).  Right now the KIA/MIA ratio between NATO and Russia is roughly about 10:1 and that is exactly how the Russians like it, even if they now have several hundred of thousand of soldiers in the South, East and North.

Simply put, NATO wants to fight Russia down the the last Ukrainian while Russia does not want to fight NATO down to the last Russian.  This is why NATO fights with bodies and Russia with (mostly) artillery shells.

Conclusion: let’s not start acting like NATO and Ukie airmchair generals and declare that the liberation of Soledar is a “huge” victory.  It is, however, very good news as it strongly suggests that the NATO first and second line of defense have been breached forcing NATO to regroup.  Could that be the “first crack” in the NATO defenses?  Maybe, maybe not, we need to see how NATO will respond before coming to conclusions.

Andrei

PS: interesting news today, seems that Putin has appointed the current chief of General Staff, General Gerasimov, as the head of all the Russian forces in the SMO, with Surovikin has his deputy.  This is one more indicator that the “Big Offensive” will be launched sooner rather than later.  Here is how the Russian MoD explained this appointment:

The increase in the level of leadership of a Special Military Operation is associated with the expansion of the scale of tasks solved during its implementation, the need to organize closer interaction between the types and branches of the Armed Forces, as well as improving the quality of all types of support and the effectiveness of the management of groups of troops (forces).

PPS: amazingly, even CNN is smelling the coffee this morning:

Here is the text posted under this headline:

A Ukrainian soldier fighting in the eastern town of Soledar told CNN that the situation is “critical” and the death toll is now so high that “no one counts the dead”. 

The soldier is from the 46th air mobile brigade, which is leading Ukraine’s fight to hold onto Soledar in the face of a massive assault from Russian troops and Wagner mercenaries.

CNN is not identifying him for security reasons.  “The situation is critical. Difficult. We are holding on to the last,” said the soldier said.”

He described a dynamic battlefield where buildings change hands daily and units can’t keep track of the escalating death toll. “No one will tell you how many dead and wounded there are. Because no one knows for sure. Not a single person,” he said. “Not at the headquarters. Not anywhere. Positions are being taken and re-taken constantly. What was our house today, becomes Wagner’s the next day.”

“In Soledar, no one counts the dead,” he added.

The soldier said it was unclear as of Tuesday night how much of the town was held by the Russians: “No one can definitely say who moved where and who holds what, because no one knows for sure. There is a huge grey area in the city that everyone claims to control, [but] it’s just any empty hype.”

The Ukrainians have lost many troops in Soledar but the ranks are being replenished as the fight for the mining town continues, he said: “The personnel of our units have been renewed by almost half, more or less. We do not even have time to memorize each other’s call signs [when new personnel arrive].”

The soldier said that he believed Ukraine’s military leaders would eventually abandon the fight for Soledar and questioned why they hadn’t done this yet. “Everyone understands that the city will be abandoned. Everyone understands this,” he said. “I just want to understand what the point [in fighting house to house] is. Why die, if we are going to leave it anyway today or tomorrow?”

The 46th air mobile brigade said on its Telegram channel on Tuesday that the situation in Soledar was “very difficult, but manageable.” 

In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the soldiers of the brigade “for their bravery and steadfastness in defending Soledar.”

Medical horror in Ukraine

DECEMBER 21, 2022

Source

by Batko Milacic

In December of this year, another material appeared in the Russian media telling about the plight of the wounded Ukrainian military. In particular, the Russians point out that some of the representatives of the Ukrainian army who ended up in Western hospitals turn into experimental subjects for testing new medicines. The fate of the seriously wounded can be even worse; at the front, several hundred dollars can be paid for a seriously or mortally wounded person in a field hospital who is ready for organ harvesting. Naturally, Kyiv partially ignored this topic, and partially declared it to be Russian propaganda, but everything is not so simple.

Firstly, it turned out that the Russian media machinery was not up to par during this conflict. Because in the Russian media, the crimes of the Ukrainian army against Russian soldiers that were condemned by the West, the Russian media did not give too much importance. And they always individualized the crimes against Russian soldiers, while even the Western media said that pressure must be put on the Ukrainian General Staff on this matter.

Secondly, regarding this topic, some indirect evidence was unwittingly provided by the Ukrainians themselves. Finally, thirdly, these topics are not new, even Washington admitted that it conducted experiments on the inhabitants of Ukraine in its laboratories, although it declared that he took care of their safety.

Shortly before the war, on December 16, 2021, the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada passed a law allowing the removal of organs from the dead without notarial consent from them or their official representatives. Moreover, the term “official representative” turns out to be as vague as possible; it may also be the person who undertakes the funeral. In military conditions, it turns out to be the unit commander. One gets the impression that Ukraine was really preparing for war. After all, in fact, an operation to remove the kidneys from an experienced surgeon takes no more than 15 minutes, and it can well be implemented in the field conditions of a front-line medical center. And such organs as the kidneys are extremely popular goods in the medical market of the USA and Europe. However, in case of actions within the framework of this legal act, transplantologists at least remain in the Ukrainian legal field. Than another question arises – how many organ removals take place officially, and how many not officially?

After all, exactly one year after the adoption of the new procedure for the removal of organs, on December 14, Russian hackers from the Anarchist Kombatant group hacked into the website of the Ukrainian military command and gained access to the lists of 35,382 military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who are listed as “missing”. At the same time, the data is quite verifiable – on 2000 sheets, with ranks and personal numbers of the missing. The question involuntarily arises, are the numbers too high for an army whose command assures the whole world that it is confidently holding the front? What lies behind the losses many times higher than the official ones? Unwillingness to recognize a large number of prisoners? Alas, if Moscow sets itself such a goal, it will be able to confirm the number of captured Ukrainian troops through the Red Cross. Perhaps Kyiv wants to hide the losses? However, those who went missing during the hostilities are “irretrievable losses”, in fact, they can be safely added to those killed.

It remains to be assumed that more than 35,000 people were buried, cremated, abandoned on the battlefields without any record. Namely, this approach to losses creates the ground for the work of black transplantologists, who, according to a number of Russian human rights activists, are ready to remove organs from still living soldiers with the help of their own command. Anyway, 35,000 donor kidneys for the modern Western world, where their transplantation has long become a routine operation, is a rather small figure that cannot even satisfy the current demand of people who have been standing in line for transplantation for years.

However, let’s be honest, any big war generates significant breakthroughs in medicine. The First World War gave us new methods of treating poisoning and plastic surgery. The second – led to the massive use of antibiotics. Of course, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine also leads not only to a stormy surge of “gray” and “black” transpontology. Hundreds of Ukrainian prisoners who ended up in hospitals in the EU and, first of all, in Germany, receive experimental treatment that allows them to survive, and European doctors to develop new medicines. At the same time, medicine in Europe is very expensive, the treatment of one wounded person can cost 10 or even 100 thousand Euros.

Is it ethical to test experimental drugs, procedures, and treatment algorithms on them? Also the Ukrainian military directly, in numerous programs and publications, stated that they are given “completely new”, “experimental” drugs. That is, they test on them not certified and, in principle, drugs that are not approved for use. On the other hand, perhaps Europe, which has suffered enormous economic losses due to the sanctions war with Russia and assistance to Ukraine, should receive some real bonuses from supporting Ukraine? And if that’s means the possibility of partial transfer of testing of new drugs and vaccines from the notorious American biolaboratories in Ukraine to Germany, European medicine will certainly receive a significant impetus for its development. Organs taken from the dead will save the lives of several thousand Europeans and Americans. But isn’t it immoral to use war for the development of medical science and health care? Every European must answer this question himself, remembering first the names of Mengele, Eichmann and other “doctors” of the Third Reich.

Ukraine is proud of its war crimes

November 26, 2022

Source

by Batko Milacic

Ukraine and the United States were the only two countries in the world that did not vote in the UN for the Resolution on the fight against the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism, xenophobia and intolerance. In addition, Ukraine has included pro-Nazi military formations in the regular army, and all this lead to the creation of collective psychopathology.

Therefore, the video of the execution of Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian troops, which circulated in the media and social networks, is far from the only video recording of war crimes by Ukrainian army.(1) Since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, videos of beaten and stripped prisoners of war and civilians suspected of collaborating with the Russians have appeared on the network. Records of torture also circulated widely.

However, what shocks the public is that official Kyiv promotes the violation of the Geneva Convention and does not care about the promotion of war crimes. What are the reasons for such “public violence”, which greatly compromise both the Ukrainian military and Ukrainian president Zelensky himself?

It is certain that the Russian army in Ukraine also committed some crimes, bearing in mind that it is an armed formation of over 200,000 people. However, the Russian military police has an iron discipline in this matter, and such things are severely punished. And such an order comes from the Kremlin, because President Putin has repeatedly emphasized publicly that Russians and Ukrainians are one nation. And that the Russian army must take into account not only Ukrainian civilians but also captured soldiers.

The above can be confirmed by the fact that since the beginning of the conflict, a large number of independent journalists have been accompanying the Russian army and reporting from the front. It must be emphasized here that the majority of journalists are not from Russia but from the West. This is evidenced by the fact that more than once, due to journalists filming and revealing the positions of the Russian army, there have been losses of equipment in the Russian army.

But Russians are not characterized by cruelty. The main difference between Ukrainian nationalists and Russian fighters is different cultural traditions. In the 80th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, formed in Lviv from the natives of Western Ukraine, the personnel were brought up in the spirit of the traditions of the Ukrainian underground during the Second World War. Recall that then the supporters of Stepan Bandera shot back pro-Soviet and pro-Polish activists, including doctors and teachers sent to western Ukraine, and also massacred entire Jewish and Polish villages.

In the Russian mentality, mockery and mistreatment of prisoners is unacceptable. You can kill the enemy, but not torture. Russians in their ideology have always opposed themselves to the German Nazis with their concentration camps and gas chambers. So, if someone posted a video of the torture and murder of captured soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russian audience would explode with indignation, recognizing the perpetrators of such acts as war criminals.

However, the true reason for the appearance of Ukrainian torture videos lies not even in the different mentality of Ukrainian nationalists and Russians. In fact, Kiev propagandists deliberately give the green light to such videos. This is primarily done to scare Russian soldiers and reservists. And official Kiev does not pay much attention to these crimes.

Take for example the recent Ukrainian war crime in Makiivka. The Ukrainian army immediately began to claim that the video was staged and fake. However, it was the Western experts who confirmed the authenticity of the video and the Western media exerted pressure to launch an investigation.

However, such video propaganda of cruelty actually has a much more serious purpose. Its main task is to form a stable feeling of hatred between Russians and residents of Ukraine. EU residents have little idea of ​​the mentality of the average Russian. The fact is that many in Russia sincerely consider the current war to be a civil one. Almost all Russians treat Ukrainians either as a very close people or as southwestern Russians. Half of the inhabitants of Ukraine have Russian surnames, relatives in Russia and use Russian as their main language. However, each such video should, according to the plan of Kiev radical propagandists, change the mentality of Russians more and more. They must hate all the inhabitants of Ukraine, stop treating them as “their own” and recognize that reconciliation with Ukraine and a new reunification with it is impossible. Peace will come sooner or later, but a steel wave of hatred will fall between the future Ukraine and Russia. At the same time, Russia’s desire to punish the killers of defenseless prisoners of war and civilians will also prevent the settlement of relations between Moscow and Kyiv for many decades.

The line of military contact between Russia and Ukraine is lengthening, fresh troops and new weapons are coming to the front from both sides. Obviously, the execution in Makiivka will not be the last video demonstrating the complete disregard of Kyiv, for “democratic values”, the Geneva Convention and human rights.

However, what appalls observers of the conflict in Ukraine even more is the fact that the Ukrainian army tortures and kills its own citizens. We could see this during the Ukrainian seizure of Izyum and Kherson. After which hundreds of Ukrainian citizens simply disappeared, that is, they were liquidated by the SBU and the Ukrainian army.

The question involuntarily begs itself, does a united Europe need such a Ukraine, proud of the massacres?

Electric War

November 24, 2022

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

Current Russian tactics are the absolute opposite of the military theory of concentrated force developed by Napoleon, Pepe Escobar writes.

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.

T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton

Spare a thought to the Polish farmer snapping pics of a missile wreckage – later indicated to belong to a Ukrainian S-300. So a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII – unleashed via a tawdry plot concocted by Anglo-American “intelligence”.

Such tawdriness was compounded by a ridiculous cover-up: the Ukrainians were firing on Russian missiles from a direction that they could not possibly be coming from. That is: Poland. And then the U.S. Secretary of Defense, weapons peddler Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin, sentenced Russia was to blame anyway, because his Kiev vassals were shooting at Russian missiles that should not have been in the air (and they were not).

Call it the Pentagon elevating bald lying into a rather shabby art.

The Anglo-American purpose of this racket was to generate a “world crisis” against Russia. It’s been exposed – this time. That does not mean the usual suspects won’t try it again. Soon.

The main reason is panic. Collective West intel sees how Moscow is finally mobilizing their army – ready to hit the ground next month – while knocking out Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure as a form of Chinese torture.

Those February days of sending only 100,000 troops – and having the DPR and LPR militias plus Wagner commandos and Kadyrov’s Chechens do most of the heavy lifting – are long gone. Overall, Russians and Russophones were facing hordes of Ukrainian military – perhaps as many as 1 million. The “miracle” of it all is that Russians did quite well.

Every military analyst knows the basic rule: an invasion force should number three times the defending force. The Russian Army at the start of the SMO was at a small fraction of that rule. The Russian Armed Forces arguably have a standing army of 1.3 million troops. Surely they could have spared a few tens of thousands more than the initial 100,000. But they did not. It was a political decision.

But now SMO is over: this is CTO (Counter-Terrorist Operation) territory. A sequence of terrorist attacks – targeting the Nord Streams, the Crimea Bridge, the Black Sea Fleet – finally demonstrated the inevitability of going beyond a mere “military operation”.

And that brings us to Electric War.

Paving the way to a DMZ

The Electric War is being handled essentially as a tactic – leading to the eventual imposition of Russia’s terms in a possible armistice (which neither Anglo-American intel and vassal NATO want).

Even if there was an armistice – widely touted for a few weeks now – that would not end the war. Because the deeper, tacit Russian terms – end of NATO expansion and “indivisibility of security” – were fully spelled out to both Washington and Brussels last December, and subsequently dismissed.

As nothing – conceptually – has changed since then, coupled with the Western weaponization of Ukraine reaching a frenzy, the Putin-era Stavka could not but expand the initial SMO mandate, which remains denazification and demilitarization. Yet now the mandate will have to encompass Kiev and Lviv.

And that starts with the current de-electrification campaign – which goes way beyond the east of the Dnieper and along the Black Sea coast towards Odessa.

That brings us to the key issue of reach and depth of Electric War, in terms of setting up what would be a DMZ – complete with no man’s land – west of the Dnieper to protect Russian areas from NATO artillery, HIMARS and missile attacks.

How deep? 100 km? Not enough. Rather 300 km – as Kiev has already requested artillery with that kind of range.

What’s crucial is that way back in July this was already being extensively discussed in Moscow at the highest Stavka levels.

In an extensive July interview, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov let the cat – diplomatically – out of the bag:

“This process continues, consistently and persistently. It will continue as long as the West, in its impotent rage, desperate to aggravate the situation as much as possible, continues to flood Ukraine with more and more long-range weapons. Take the HIMARS. Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition. This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.”

The implications are clear.

As much as Washington and NATO are even more “desperate to aggravate the situation as much as possible” (and that’s Plan A: there’s no Plan B), geoeconomically the Americans are intensifying the New Great Game: desperation here applies to trying to control energy corridors and setting their price.

Russia remains unfazed – as it continues to invest in Pipelineistan (towards Asia); solidify the multimodal International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), with key partners India and Iran; and is setting the price of energy via OPEC+.

A paradise for oligarchic looters

The Straussians/neo-cons and neoliberal-cons permeating the Anglo-American intel/security apparatus – de facto weaponized viruses – won’t relent. They simply cannot afford losing yet another NATO war – and on top of it against “existential threat” Russia.

As the news from the Ukraine battlefields promise to be even grimmer under General Winter, solace at least may be found in the cultural sphere. The Green transition racket, seasoned in a toxic mixed salad with the eugenist Silicon Valley ethos, continues to be a side dish offered with the main course: the Davos “Great Narrative”, former Great Reset, which reared its ugly head, once again, at the G20 in Bali.

That translates as everything going swell as far as the Destruction of Europe project is concerned. De-industrialize and be happy; rainbow-dance to every woke tune on the market; and freeze and burn wood while blessing “renewables” in the altar of European values.

A quick flashback to contextualize where we are is always helpful.

Ukraine was part of Russia for nearly four centuries. The very idea of its independence was invented in Austria during WWI for the purpose of undermining the Russian Army – and that certainly happened. The present “independence” was set up so local Trotskyite oligarchs could loot the nation as a Russia-aligned government was about to move against those oligarchs.

The 2014 Kiev coup was essentially set up by Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski to draw Russia into a new partisan war – as in Afghanistan – and was followed by orders to the Gulf oil haciendas to crash the oil price. Moscow had to protect Russophones in Crimea and Donbass – and that led to more Western sanctions. All of it was a setup.

For 8 years, Moscow refused to send its armies even to Donbass east of the Dnieper (historically part of Mother Russia). The reason: not to be bogged down in another partisan war. The rest of Ukraine, meanwhile, was being looted by oligarchs supported by the West, and plunged into a financial black hole.

The collective West deliberately chose not to finance the black hole. Most of the IMF injections were simply stolen by the oligarchs, and the loot transferred out of the country. These oligarchic looters were of course “protected” by the usual suspects.

It’s always crucial to remember that between 1991 and 1999 the equivalent of the present entire household wealth of Russia was stolen and transferred overseas, mostly to London. Now the same usual suspects are trying to ruin Russia with sanctions, as “new Hitler” Putin stopped the looting.

The difference is that the plan of using Ukraine as just a pawn in their game is not working.

On the ground, what has been going on so far are mostly skirmishes, and a few real battles. But with Moscow massing fresh troops for a winter offensive, the Ukrainian Army may end up completely routed.

Russia didn’t look so bad – considering the effectiveness of its mincing machine artillery strikes against Ukrainian fortified positions, and recent planned retreats or positional warfare, keeping casualties down while smashing Ukrainian withering firepower.

The collective West believes it holds the Ukraine proxy war card. Russia bets on reality, where economic cards are food, energy, resources, resource security and a stable economy.

Meanwhile, as if the energy-suicide EU did not have to face a pyramid of ordeals, they can surely expect to have knocking on their door at least 15 million desperate Ukrainians escaping from villages and cities with zero electrical power.

The railway station in – temporarily occupied – Kherson is a graphic example: people show up constantly to warm up and charge their smartphones. The city has no electricity, no heat, and no water.

Current Russian tactics are the absolute opposite of the military theory of concentrated force developed by Napoleon. That’s why Russia is accumulating serious advantages while “disturbing the dust in a bowl of rose-leaves”.

And of course, “we haven’t even started yet.”

The Kherson question

November 15, 2022

Source

Notes and reflections by Nora Hoppe

To retreat or not to retreat…

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Preface:
I have no idea about war… I have never experienced one. I understand nothing of military campaigns, strategies, manoeuvres, weapons, etc. I’ve only seen several war films, read novels featuring war and followed the news on various wars…

* * *

I have heard that each war is different, and that comparisons are only useful for “certain aspects”.

I follow the news regularly on Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. And I have recently read and heard many varying and divisionary views on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson, a city that is now lawfully part of Russia.

Dispensing with the views of the pro-NATO side, which are of no interest, I am observing the division of thought amongst analysts, journalists and commenters in forums siding with the Russians: There are those who are outraged and see the withdrawal from Kherson as “a disgrace”, “a sign of weakness”, “an embarrassment”, “a poor strategy”, “unattractive optics”, etc. Others see it as the outcome of a difficult but wise decision – that was primarily made to save the lives of Russian soldiers, who would have been cut off by a massive flood if NATO were to blow up the Kakhovka Dam. (There may well be additional tactical reasons for the withdrawal, but they are not (yet) known to the public.)

When people speak of the “optics not looking good“… a film set immediately comes to my mind (I have worked in the film world for many years). And that immediately tells me how some people view this operation – as spectators: it has to have a good catchy script, suspense, uninterrupted action and – heaven forbid – no lulls! It has to ultimately supply a dopamine release. It has to have a “Dirty Harry Catharsis”.

This reminds me of similar reactions to the prisoner exchange in mid-September, where some saw it as a sign of weakness to even think of releasing Azov prisoners… or when the Chinese government did not deliver a dramatic retort when Pelosi went to do her skit in Taiwan.

What is at the base of these kinds of reactions? Why such impatience? Why such concern with “appearances”? Why such a need to satiate one’s own personal sense of justice and retribution? Does it have something to do with consuming? Especially in the western world one has become an addicted consumer of not only things but “experiences” that can be lived indirectly.

Today we witness events of other peoples’ wars and battles on computer screens from the comfort of our homes or on our tiny phones from chic cafés… these events can accessed at any moment – just press a key… and they appear – like a scene in a film, a game, a contest, a sports match. Even the dead bodies that lie mangled, bloodied or in gory stumps strewn over the mud become the pieces of a broken puppets on a stage. “Hell, one gets used to it…” The sacredness of Life is gone.

We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.

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In his philosophical work and critique of contemporary consumer culture, “The Society of the Spectacle”, Guy Debord describes modern society as one in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: “All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.” He argues that the history of social life can be understood as “the decline of being into having… and having into merely appearing.” This condition is the “historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonisation of social life.”

I don’t want to veer off into the film world or into a philosophical discourse here… but I just want to ask the question: When are we going to wake up to the real, authentic world?

When are we going to stop fussing about “cool appearances”, “sensational manoeuvres” and “snappy rebuttals”… and start remembering what this operation is all about in the first place?

Isn’t it essentially about LIVES? Not only about the lives of those who have been suffering injustices and atrocities in Donetsk and Lugansk (and elsewhere) since 2014 (at least)… but also the lives of those fighting for the salvation and survival of those other lives… and – by extension – the lives of sovereign human beings on the planet who yearn to live in a better, multipolar world?

President Vladimir V. Putin had tried to avoid a military response in Ukraine for many long years until the Russian people and Russia began to be faced with its devastation from outside, especially with the burgeoning NATO menace and the enhanced cultivation of the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine. It is not an easy decision to take risky military measures to confront an inevitable clash. In his speech on National Unity Day before the historians and representatives of Russia’s traditional religions on 4th November he visibly expressed his horror and personal pain over the profound tragedy of this clash and over what was befalling the Ukrainian people: “The situation in Ukraine has been driven by its so-called ‘friends’ to the stage where it has become deadly for Russia and suicidal for the Ukrainian people themselves. And we see this even in the nature of the hostilities, what is happening there is simply shocking. It’s just as if the Ukrainian people do not exist. They are thrown into the furnace and that’s it.”

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Perhaps the “transient” retreat from Kherson is not a setback and can be even seen as a victory, another kind of victory – a moral victory.

In his powerful masterpiece, “War and Peace”, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy depicts the Battle of Borodino as the greatest example of Russian patriotism… The collective engagement of all those involved in the Battle of Borodino is what ultimately attained the end result: despite all their losses and the sacrificial need to evacuate Moscow and burn its resources – in order to save the army and Russia, the Russians, achieved a moral victory in this battle… which ultimately led to the comprehensive victory of the Russian army and the entire campaign.

“Several tens of thousands of the slain lay in diverse postures and various uniforms on the fields and meadows belonging to the Davýdov family and to the crown serfs—those fields and meadows where for hundreds of years the peasants of Borodinó, Górki, Shevárdino, and Semënovsk had reaped their harvests and pastured their cattle. At the dressing stations the grass and earth were soaked with blood for a space of some three acres around. Crowds of men of various arms, wounded and unwounded, with frightened faces, dragged themselves back to Mozháysk from the one army and back to Valúevo from the other. Other crowds, exhausted and hungry, went forward led by their officers. Others held their ground and continued to fire.” [“War and Peace” – book 10; chapter 39]

General-in-chief Mikhail I. Kutuzov’s motto of “patience and time” allowed the Russian army to be victorious when he was able to embrace, as opposed to trying to know, the contingencies of war and prepare his soldiers as best he could for such battle. He knew that, by fighting the pitched battle and adopting the strategy of attrition warfare, he could now retreat with the Russian army still intact, lead its recovery, and force the weakened French forces to move even further from their bases of supply.

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“By long years of military experience he knew, and with the wisdom of age understood, that it is impossible for one man to direct hundreds of thousands of others struggling with death, and he knew that the result of a battle is decided not by the orders of a commander in chief, nor the place where the troops are stationed, nor by the number of cannons or of slaughtered men, but by the intangible force called the spirit of the army, and he watched this force and guided it in as far as that was in his power.” [“War and Peace” – book 10; chapter 35… bold script mine]

According to Tolstoy: “In military affairs the strength of an army is the product of its mass and some unknown x. … That unknown quantity is the spirit of the army, that is to say, the greater or lesser readiness to fight and face danger felt by all the men composing an army, quite independently of whether they are, or are not, fighting under the command of a genius, in two—or three-line formation, with cudgels or with rifles that repeat thirty times a minute. Men who want to fight will always put themselves in the most advantageous conditions for fighting. … The spirit of an army is the factor, which multiplied by the mass gives the resulting force. To define and express the significance of this unknown factor – the spirit of an army – is a problem for science.” [“War and Peace” – book 14; chapter 2]

This Russian approach to war opened up an entirely new option: for “the destiny of nations” to depend “not in conquerors, not even in armies and battles, but in something else.” That “something else” Tolstoy explains, was in fact the spirit of the people and of the army, that made them burn their land rather than give it to the French.

The highest qualities of a human being, according to Tolstoy, are: simplicity, kindness and truth. Morality, according to the writer, is the ability to feel one’s “I” as a part of the universal “we”. And Tolstoy’s heroes are simple and natural, kind and warm-hearted, honest before people and before their conscience.

Tolstoy notes that, whatever the faith may be, it “gives to the finite existence of man an infinite meaning, a meaning not destroyed by sufferings, deprivations, or death”. … “I understood that faith is a knowledge of the meaning of human life in consequence of which man does not destroy himself but lives. Faith is the strength of life. If a man lives he believes in something. If he did not believe that one must live for something, he would not live. If he does not see and recognize the illusory nature of the finite, he believes in the finite; if he understands the illusory nature of the finite, he must believe in the infinite. Without faith he cannot live… For man to be able to live he must either not see the infinite, or have such an explanation of the meaning of life as will connect the finite with the infinite.”

“I understood that if I wish to understand life and its meaning, I must not live the life of a parasite, but must live a real life, and – taking the meaning given to live by real humanity and merging myself in that life – verify it.”

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For us to attain a true victory – for a better world… we may need to recalibrate our thinking and values. This is indeed a spiritual struggle… not one just being fought in Donetsk, Lugansk and Ukraine. It is a struggle now within our own selves – whatever one’s beliefs are… What has meaning for us? Perhaps it is necessary for each of us to first define what we hold “sacred” in our own lives.

* * *

some references:

http://kremlin.ru/catalog/keywords/78/events/69781

https://www.marxists.org/archive/tolstoy/1869/war-and-peace/index.html

https://thestrip.ru/en/smoky-eyes/kakim-bylo-otnoshenie-tolstogo-k-voine-prichiny-obyasneniya-voiny-po/

https://hum11c.omeka.fas.harvard.edu/exhibits/show/reading-history/differing-perspecitives-on–re

No pain, no grain: Putin’s Black Sea comeback

After the western military attack on Sevastopol briefly halted Russian grain transports, Moscow is back in business with a stronger hand and more favorable terms.

November 02 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

So, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan picks up the phone and calls his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin: let’s talk about the “grain deal.” Putin, cool, calm and collected, explains the facts to the Sultan:

First, the reason why Russia withdrew from the export grain deal.

Second, how Moscow seeks a serious investigation into the – terrorist – attack on the Black Sea fleet, which for all practical purposes seems to have violated the deal.

And third, how Kiev must guarantee it will uphold the deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN.

Only then would Russia consider coming back to the table.

And then – today, 2 November – the coup de theatre: Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) announces the country is back to the Black Sea grain deal, after receiving the necessary written guarantees from Kiev.

The MoD, quite diplomatically, praised the “efforts” of both Turkey and the UN: Kiev is committed not to use the “Maritime Humanitarian Corridor” for combat operations, and only in accordance with the provisions of the Black Sea Initiative.

Moscow said the guarantees are sufficient “for the time being.” Implying that can always change.

All rise to the Sultan’s persuasion

Erdogan must have been extremely persuasive with Kiev. Before the phone call to Putin, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) had already explained that the attack on the Black Sea Fleet was conducted by 9 aerial drones and 7 naval drones, plus an American RQ-4B Global Hawk observation drone lurking in the sky over neutral waters.

The attack happened under the cover of civilian ships and targeted Russian vessels that escorted the grain corridor in the perimeter of their responsibility, as well as the infrastructure of the Russian base in Sevastopol.

The MoD explicitly designated British experts deployed in the Ochakov base in the Nikolaev region as the designers of this military operation.

At the UN Security Council, Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzya declared himself “surprised” that the UN leadership “failed not only to condemn, but even to express concern over the terrorist attacks.”

After stating that the Brit-organized Kiev operation on the Black Sea Fleet “put an end to the humanitarian dimension of the Istanbul agreements,” Nebenzya also clarified:

“It is our understanding that the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine agreed on under UN supervision on 22 July, must not be implemented without Russia, and so we do not view the decisions that were made without our involvement as binding.”

This means, in practice, that Moscow “cannot allow for unimpeded passage of vessels without our inspection.” The crucial question is how and where these inspections will be carried out – as Russia has warned the UN that it will definitely inspect dry cargo ships in the Black Sea.

The UN, for its part, tried at best to put on a brave face, believing Russia’s suspension is “temporary” and looking forward to welcoming “its highly professional team” back to the Joint Coordination Center.

According to humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths, the UN also proclaims to be “ready to address concerns.” And that has to be soon, because the deal reaches its 120-day extension point on November 19.

Well, “addressing concerns” is not exactly the case. Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia Dmitry Polyansky said that at the UN Security Council meeting western nations simply could not deny their involvement in the Sevastopol attack; instead, they simply blamed Russia.

All the way to Odessa

Prior to the phone call with Erdogan, Putin had already pointed out that “34 percent of the grain exported under the deal goes to Turkey, 35 percent to EU countries and only 3-4 percent to the poorest countries. Is this what we did everything for?”

That’s correct. For instance, 1.8 million tons of grain went to Spain; 1.3 million tons to Turkey; and 0.86 million tons to Italy. By contrast, only 0,067 tons went to “starving” Yemen and 0,04 tons to “starving” Afghanistan.

Putin made it very clear that Moscow was not withdrawing from the grain deal but had only suspended its participation.

And as a further gesture of good will, Moscow announced it would willingly ship 500,000 tons of grain to poorer nations for free, in an effort to replace the integral amount that Ukraine should have been able to export.

All this time, Erdogan skillfully maneuvered to convey the impression he was occupying the higher ground: even if Russia behaves in an “indecisive” manner, as he defined it, we will continue to pursue the grain deal.

So, it seems like Moscow was being tested – by the UN and by Ankara, which happens to be the main beneficiary of the grain deal and is clearly profiting from this economic corridor. Ships continue to depart from Odessa to Turkish ports – mainly Istanbul – without Moscow’s agreement. It was expected they would be “filtered” by Russia when coming back to Odessa.

The immediate Russian means of pressure was unleashed in no time: preventing Odessa from becoming a terrorist infrastructure node. This means constant visits by cruise missiles.

Well, the Russians have already “visited” the Ochakov base occupied by Kiev and the British experts. Ochakov – between Nikolaev and Odessa – was built way back in 2017, with key American input.

The British units that were involved in the sabotage of the Nord Streams – according to Moscow – are the same ones that planned the Sevastopol operation. Ochakov is constantly spied upon and sometimes hit out of positions that the Russians have cleared last month only 8 km to the south, on the extremity of the Kinburn peninsula. And yet the base has not been totally destroyed.

To reinforce the “message,” the real response to the attack on Sevastopol has been this week’s relentless “visits” of Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure; if maintained, virtually the whole of Ukraine will soon be plunged into darkness.

Closing down the Black Sea

The attack on Sevastopol may have been the catalyst leading to a Russian move to close down the Black Sea – with Odessa converted into an absolutely priority for the Russian Army. There are serious rumblings across Russia on why Russophone Odessa had not been the object of pinpointed targeting before.

Top infrastructure for Ukrainian Special Forces and British advisers is based in Odessa and Nikolaev. Now there’s no question these will be destroyed.

Even with the grain deal in theory back on track, it is hopeless to expect Kiev to abide by any agreements. After all, every major decision is taken either by Washington or by the Brits at NATO. Just like bombing the Crimea Bridge, and then the Nord Streams, attacking the Black Sea Fleet was designed as a serious provocation.

The brilliant designers though seem to have IQs lower than refrigerator temperatures: every Russian response always plunges Ukraine deeper down an inescapable – and now literally black – hole.

The grain deal seemed to be a sort of win-win. Kiev would not contaminate Black Sea ports again after they were demined. Turkey turned into a grain transport hub for the poorest nations (actually that’s not what happened: the main beneficiary was the EU). And sanctions on Russia were eased on the export of agricultural products and fertilizers.

This was, in principle, a boost for Russian exports. In the end, it did not work out because many players were worried about possible secondary sanctions.

It is important to remember that the Black Sea grain deal is actually two deals: Kiev signed a deal with Turkey and the UN, and Russia signed a separate deal with Turkey.

The corridor for the grain carriers is only 2 km wide. Minesweepers move in parallel along the corridor. Ships are inspected by Ankara. So the Kiev-Ankara-UN deal remains in place. It has nothing to do with Russia – which in this case does not escort and/or inspect the cargoes.

What changes with Russia “suspending” its own deal with Ankara and the UN, is that from now on, Moscow can proceed anyway it deems fit to neutralize terrorist threats and even invade and take over Ukrainian ports: that will not represent a violation of the deal with Ankara and the UN.

So in this respect, it is a game-changer.

Seems like Erdogan fully understood the stakes, and told Kiev in no uncertain terms to behave. There’s no guarantee, though, that western powers won’t come up with another Black Sea provocation. Which means that sooner or later – perhaps by the Spring of 2023 – General Armageddon will have to come up with the goods. That translates as advancing all the way to Odessa.

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

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روسيا – أوكرانيا: المسيّرات الإيرانية تُغيّر وجْه الحرب

 السبت 22 تشرين الأول 2022

لا تُخفي إسرائيل قلقها من التعاون العسكري الإيراني – الروسي في مجال المسيّرات (أ ف ب)

يحيى دبوق

استفاقت إسرائيل، في السنوات القليلة الماضية، إلى تهديد الطائرات المسيّرة الإيرانية، بعد أن تعاملت معها بوصْفها تهديداً ثانوياً في مشهد التهديدات الكلّية التي تُواجهها في المنطقة، خصوصاً قياساً إلى حجم الأسطول الإيراني من الصواريخ الباليستيّة، سواءً تلك الموجودة في إيران نفسها أو لدى حلفائها في المنطقة. إلّا أن هذه الاستفاقة جاءت متأخّرة نسبياً، وفقط بعدما تلمّست تل أبيب ارتفاع مستوى ذلك التهديد، الذي لم تأتِ الحرب الروسية – الأوكرانية، بدورها، إلّا لتُضاعف القلق الإسرائيلي والغربي عموماً منه، لا سيما إثر استخدام الجيش الروسي المسيّرات الإيرانية التي تسبّبت بخسائر بشرية ومادّية كبيرة للجانب الأوكراني. وكان هذا القلق بدأ فعلياً بالظهور في أيلول 2019، في أعقاب الهجوم المسيَّر والصاروخي على منشأتَين لـ«أرامكو» في السعودية، والذي ألحق أضراراً بالغة بالمنشأتَين، وعطّل صادرات النفط السعودية لعدّة أشهر. آنذاك، وفق الإعلام العبري (هآرتس، 16/07/2021)، «أذهل سلاح الجو في الحرس الثوري الإيراني الخبراء العسكريين في إسرائيل، بعد أن أثبت قدرته على شنّ هجوم مسيّر ومُوجَّه من مسافة تزيد عن ألف كيلومتر»، وهو ما لم يكن ملحوظاً في إسرائيل إلّا من ناحية نظرية. وبحسب الجيش الإسرائيلي (هآرتس أيضاً)، فإن «اختيار إيران تطوير الطائرات من دون طيّار، يرتبط بالروح الإيرانية القديمة، التي تَجمع التقدّم العلمي والتكنولوجي والقدرة الإنتاجية المستقلّة والاعتماد على الذات»، في ترجمة، كما يقدّر جيش العدو، لِمَا يصفه المرشد الإيراني، علي خامنئي، بـ«الاقتصاد المقاوم».

منذ عام 2004، كما يَرِد في الإعلام العبري، بدأ الإيرانيون نقل الطائرات من دون طيّار، بعد نجاحهم في إنتاج أنواع مختلفة منها، إلى شركائهم في الشرق الأوسط، وتحديداً في اتّجاهات أربعة: لبنان والعراق واليمن وقطاع غزة. وتنقسم هذه الطائرات، وفقاً لمهامها، إلى ثلاثة أقسام: جمْع المعلومات الاستخبارية؛ شنّ هجمات صاروخية؛ وكذلك شنّ هجمات انتحارية؛ في حين أن مدياتها تُرواح بحسب مهامها أيضاً، بين 15 كيلومتراً و1400 كيلومتر. ويتركّز القلق الإسرائيلي، بشكل خاص، على حقيقة أن الإيرانيين أكملوا سلسلة الإنتاج بأنفسهم، وباتت كلّ مكوّنات «الدرونز» لديهم إيرانيّة المنشأ والصُنع: من جسم الطائرة والمحرّك، إلى أنظمة الملاحة والقدرة على تضليل الرادارات عبر بصمة تحليق منخفضة جدّاً، وصولاً إلى القدرة على المناورة بين مدى الطيران ووزن الشحنة المنقولة على متن المسيّرة، من معدّات ومواد تفجيرية أو صواريخ. ومن هذا المنطلق، لم يَعُد ممكناً النظر إلى الطائرات من دون طيّار الإيرانية على أنها أنظمة أسلحة ثانوية يمكنها فقط «المضايقة وجمع المعلومات الاستخباراتية والردع»، بل باتت سلاحاً رئيساً يمكن أن يغيّر قواعد اللعبة، وإنْ «أحسن الإيرانيون ووكلاؤهم استخدامها، يمكنها أن تقلِب الميزان العسكري في المنطقة»، وهذه واحدة من أهمّ النتائج التي خلص إليها «معهد القدس للاستراتيجيا والأمن»، في بحث مستفيض (25-01-2022) تحت عنوان «المسيّرات الإيرانية تقلب ميزان القوى في الشرق الأوسط».

بحسب تقارير منشورة في الدول الغربية، وكذلك في إسرائيل، يَستخدم الجيش الروسي في الحرب على أوكرانيا، أنواعاً متعدّدة من المسيّرات الإيرانية، من بينها (موقع “كالكاليست” العبري، 30-09-2022) مثلاً، «مهاجر 6»، وهي طائرة مسيَّرة كبيرة يبلغ طول جناحَيها حوالى 10 أمتار، وتحلّق على علوّ خمسة كيلومترات. وهي مخصَّصة لمهام المراقبة واستهداف بطّاريات المدفعية، خاصة بعد أن جرى تطويرها بإمكانات هجومية. يمكنها التحليق مدّة 12 ساعة، وقادرة على تتبّع تحرّكات العدو ليل نهار. تحمل قنابل انزلاقية لضرْب الأهداف المتحرّكة، إضافة إلى صواريخ مُوجَّهة هي نسخة عن صاروخ «غيل» الإسرائيلي، الذي اغتنمه «حزب الله» من الجيش الإسرائيلي عام 2006. ونَقل الإيرانيون، أخيراً، بعضاً من هذه الطائرات إلى الحكومة الإثيوبية، التي نجحت عبر استخدامها في وقْف هجوم المتمرّدين في منطقة تيغراي، وربّما أيضاً (وفقاً للتقرير العبري نفسه) أنقذت العاصمة أديس أبابا من السقوط. وبواسطة «مهاجر 6»، أيضاً، تمكّن القادة الروس من حلّ مشكلة كانت مستعصية لديهم، وهي إمكانية شنّ هجمات قصيرة، إذ إن هذه الطائرات تُمكّن القادة من الحصول على صور تضاريس حديثة قريبة، وهو ما يتيح لهم لاحقاً اختيار خطّة تتناسب مع الواقع الميداني، عند اتّخاذ قرار الهجوم.

السؤال الذي يفرض نفسه في تل أبيب، يتعلّق بالثمن الذي ستْدفعه موسكو لطهران


الطائرة الثانية المستخدَمة في أوكرانيا هي «شاهد 191»، وهي نسخة إيرانية من طائرات الاستطلاع والمراقبة الأميركية «آر كيو 170»، التي أقلعت إحداها من أفغانستان وتحكّمت بها إيران وأنْزلتها في أحد مطاراتها، ومن ثمّ عمل مهندسوها على استنساخها. تَمنح هذه الطائرة الجيش الروسي القدرة على المراقبة الاستراتيجية في عمق أوكرانيا، وتحديد الأهداف وتدميرها في المناطق الخلفية، وإنتاج مواد استخباراتية تكتيكية مفصّلة، تجعل من الممكن مهاجمة المنشآت وأنظمة الأسلحة في ساحة المعركة نفسها. أمّا الطائرة الثالثة فهي المسيّرة الانتحارية «شاهد 136»، التي يبلغ طول جناحَيها ما يقرب من مترَين. وهي قادرة على حمل 40 كيلوغراماً من المواد المتفجّرة، ومصمَّمة لتدمير أهداف نُقطوية مِن مِثل البنية التحتية والرادارات وأنظمة المدفعية والمقرّات الرئيسة. يتمّ توجيهها إلى هدفها بمساعدة الأقمار الصناعية، وهي فعّالة جدّاً ضدّ الأهداف الثابتة، علماً أن ثمّة تقديرات عن نموذج آخر من هذه الطائرة برأس حربي موجَّه، يسمح بضرب أهداف متحرّكة.

إسرائيل: تهديدات… وفرص؟
لا تُخفي إسرائيل قلقها من التعاون العسكري الإيراني – الروسي في مجال المسيّرات، وكذلك في مجال الصواريخ الدقيقة القصيرة والمتوسّطة المدى، والتي بدأت التقارير تفيد بأنها في مرحلة الإعداد لتزويد الجيش الروسي بها. بالنسبة إلى تل أبيب، الفرص محدودة، وهي تتعلّق بتعزيز الموقف الإسرائيلي المُعادي لإيران، عبر استحداث مادّة تحريض جديدة ضدّ الأخيرة، بما يفيد في تصعيد مستوى العداء الغربي لها. أمّا المراقب العسكري الإسرائيلي، فسيكون له أن يعايِن فاعلية السلاح الإيراني وتأثيره، كي يستعدّ لمواجهته في «لحظة الحقيقة». إلّا أن للتهديدات مستويات واتّجاهات متعدّدة، يمكن تلخيصها بالآتي:

أوّلاً: في مقدّمة التهديدات، مراكمة الجانب الإيراني، التصنيعي والتشغيلي، تجربة معتدّاً بها جرّاء استخدام الجيش الروسي المسيّرات الإيرانية. إذ سيصبح لدى الإيرانيين حقل تجارب عملي وواقعي، محسوس ومادّي، يتيح لهم معاينة قدرات المسيّرات على اختلافها، واستكشاف ما فيها من ثغرات، حتى يَجري العمل على تلافيها في إنتاج ما سيلي من نسخات أكثر تطوّراً من النوع نفسه، فيما ما يُثبت نجاعته يُصار إلى تعزيزه وتطويره إلى مستويات أعلى. والتجربة هنا لا تقتصر الإفادة منها على مجال الإنتاج، بل تمتدّ أيضاً إلى تحسين الأداء التشغيلي لـ«الدرونز»، سواءً لدى الجانب الإيراني، أو لدى حلفائه، حيث الاحتكاك المباشر مع إسرائيل.
ثانياً: يَختصر استخدام السلاح الإيراني في أوكرانيا، سنوات طويلة من الجهد والبحث والتجارب والتطوير من الجانب الإيراني، وهذا وحده يُعدّ مصدر إقلاق لإسرائيل، خاصة أن ما لدى إيران من خبرة يجري نقله أيضاً إلى حلفائها في المنطقة، المتاخمين مباشرة للكيان الإسرائيلي.
ثالثاً: تخشى إسرائيل أن ترتبط المصلحة القومية الروسية، وفقاً لمسار التعاون الحالي وما يُقدَّر أن يليه لاحقاً، بالمصلحة الإيرانية، الأمر الذي من شأنه أن يبعد روسيا عن الحيادية تجاه ما يضرّ بإيران، سواءً في ما يتعلّق باستقرارها الداخلي أو نفوذها في الخارج، وأن ينأى بموسكو أيضاً عن أسلوب «البيع والشراء» إزاء مصالح طهران، بالمستويات التي كانت تُراهن عليها تل أبيب والعواصم الغربية. وعلى ذلك، تتغيّر المعادلات والموازين المعمول بها ووفقها، في المنطقة وخارجها.

رابعاً: تعاملت إسرائيل مع روسيا طويلاً، بوصْفها «رئة» لإيران، فراهنت عليها كثيراً في أن تضغط على الجانب الإيراني، عبر معادلات وأخذ وردّ ومصالح متبادلة، لتحقيق ما لا يمكن لها أن تُحقّقه هي، وراعيتها أميركا، بصورة مباشرة. إلّا أن المتغيّر الجديد، وما قد يَعقبه، من شأنه أن يقلب المعادلة، لتتحوّل إيران نفسها إلى «رئة» روسية، ما يعني بالضرورة والتبعية ضرراً استراتيجياً واسع النطاق لإسرائيل.
ثالثاً: السؤال الذي يفرض نفسه في تل أبيب، يتعلّق بالثمن الذي ستدفعه موسكو لطهران، جرّاء مساعدة الأخيرة، الأولى، في الحرب الأوكرانية. هنا، تتعدّد الفرضيّات، وجميعها – بالمناسبة – سيّئة لإسرائيل، إلّا أن أبرزها اثنتان: أولاهما، تزويد روسيا، إيران، بتقنيات عسكرية متطوّرة، ليس من شأنها إقلاق إسرائيل فحسب، بل وأيضاً شركاءها الإقليميين الجدد والقدامى الذين سيعيدون التفكير في مقاربتهم العدائية لطهران؛ وثانيتهما – وهي قد تكون ملازمة للأولى أو منفصلة عنها – فتتعلّق بنوع من الخدمات الإقليمية، عبر فرْض الإرادة الروسية «الردعية» لمجاراة المصلحة الإيرانية، كما هو الحال في سوريا؟ وفقاً لدراسة بحثية عبرية (معهد القدس للاستراتيجيا والأمن)، «يُفترض أن الإيرانيين طلبوا من الروس، إطلاق يد إيران لتثبّت نفسها في سوريا، عبر إنهاء الموافقة الروسية الصامتة على هجمات إسرائيل»، فهل في الإجابة المفترَضة إسرائيلياً على هذا الطلب، تفسير لامتناع الكيان عن شنّ غارات في سوريا، لأكثر من ثلاثين يوماً متواصلة؟ الإجابة تكمن في اختبار الزمن.

من ملف : أوكرانيا: مسيّرات إيران تُغيّر وجه الحرب

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

    A footnote

    13 Sep 2022 16:32

    Source: Al Mayadeen English

    Bouthaina Shaaban 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Interview with Yuri Podolyaka

    September 08, 2022

    Source

    by Batko Milacic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Author: Batko Milacic

    انطلاق المقاومة ضد الاحتلال الأميركيّ في سورية

     الخميس 28 تموز 2022

    ناصر قنديل

    -عام 2014 كان مفصلياً في حياة سورية عندما ظهر الطريق المسدود أمام مشروع إسقاط الدولة ورئيسها، وفشل الرهان على عشرات آلاف الإرهابيين الذين تم جلبهم من كل أنحاء الدنيا، وتكفل بهم الجيش السوري بدعم قوى المقاومة بإلحاق الهزيمة بهم، فجاء الجواب مركباً، تم تصنيع تنظيم داعش بقرار أميركي كشفه الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب مشيراً بإصبع الاتهام إلى هيلاري كلينتون، ثم تمّ اتخاذ ظهور داعش وتمدده ذريعة للتمركز الأميركي على الأراضي السورية وعودتها الى الأراضي العراقية، وبالتوازي قام الجيش التركي الذي قدّم الملاذ لتكوين داعش وتنظيم صفوفه، كما فعل مع التشكيلات الإرهابية التي سبقته، بالتوغل داخل الأراضي السورية محكماً السيطرة على محافظة إدلب وأجزاء من محافظة حلب، وكما اتخذت أميركا من صنيعتها داعش ذريعة لاحتلال محافظتي الحسكة والرقة، وقامت بتشجيع نشوء كانتون كردي مسلح فيهما، اتخذ الرئيس التركي من ظهور الكانتون التركي ذريعة احتلال قواته للأراضي السورية، وتهديده الدائم بتوسيع عمله العسكري إلى المزيد من الأراضي.

    نهاية عام 2015 بدأ التحول المعاكس مع تموضع القوات الروسية في سورية، وتناغم الأداء الروسي السوري الإيراني بمشاركة المقاومة لخوض حرب إنهاء داعش في سورية، بينما كان الحشد الشعبي مع المقاومة و الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية يعيدون تكوين الجيش العراقي بالتوازي مع خوض معركة تحرير العراق، وتحقق ستاتيكو استراتيجي في البلدين، حيث الاحتلال الأميركي والاحتلال التركي يسيطران على الأراضي السورية في عدة محافظات تعادل ثلث مساحة سورية، وبعض الأراضي العراقية، لكن مشروع اسقاط العراق وسورية بات من الماضي، حتى جاءت قمة طهران وفتحت طريق كسر معادلة هذا الستاتيكو، حيث تموضعت روسيا الى جانب ايران وراء الدولة السورية، سواء بقرار رعاية مقاومة سورية وطنية وشعبية بوجه الاحتلال الأميركي، أو بقرار الجيش السوري مواجهة أي عمل عسكري تركي نحو الأراضي السورية، والمعادلة واضحة، إنهاء الاحتلال الأميركي ينهي الكانتون الكردي ويسقط الذريعة التركية، فيفتح الباب لوضع مستقبل الاحتلال التركي على الطاولة، بينما يتولى الحشد الشعبي في العراق تذكير الأتراك بجدية القرار، بحتمية وقف العمليات وانسحاب الاحتلال.

    خلال السنوات التي مضت نضج وعي شرائح واسعة من أبناء سورية في مناطق الجزيرة، شرق الفرات حيث الاحتلال الأميركي، لصالح مشروع المقاومة، وبذلت الدولة السورية ومؤسساتها العسكرية والأمنية جهوداً جدية ودؤوبة على تنظيم صفوف قوى المقاومة السورية، وكانت قوى المقاومة في المنطقة المساندة للدولة السورية تنقل خبراتها لهذه المقاومة الصاعدة، وكانت إيران لا تبخل بما ينبغي لتكوين قوة المقاومة الواعدة، وخرجت تظاهرات عديدة بوجه الاحتلال الأميركي، ووقعت مصادمات شعبية مع وحدات الاحتلال، ونفذت عمليات محدودة متباعدة ضد مواقع الاحتلال، لكن قبل أيام قليلة بدا أن قرار بدء العمل المقاوم المتواصل حتى طرد الاحتلال الأميركي قد اتخذ، فكان كلام وزير الخارجية السورية فيصل المقداد عن حتمية انسحاب قوات الاحتلال الأميركي، والا فسيلقى مقاومة شعبية تجبره على الخروج، إشارة واضحة بهذا الاتجاه.

    . لم يبق للاحتلال من ذريعة بعد حرمان داعش من أي ملاذ آمن، غير المناطق التي يسيطر عليها الاحتلال الأميركي نفسه، وفضائح قيامه بنقل بعض قيادات داعش الى أفغانستان قبل انسحابه منها ضجت بها وسائل إعلام غربية، وكلام ترامب العلني عن تبرير الاحتلال بسرقة النفط بحد ذاته فضيحة، وطرد الاحتلال سيعني حكماً تحرير ثروات سورية من النفط والغاز، وما يترتب على ذلك من عودة فورية للكهرباء الى كل المناطق السورية، وحل أزمات المحروقات التي يعاني منها كل السوريين، والأميركي معني بأن يفهم بأن قصف معسكراته هذه المرة بالصواريخ ليس إلا بداية لعمل سيتواصل، ويفرض عليه الانسحاب، وعليه أن يختار سحب قواته عمودياً، أي وهم أحياء، قبل أن يبدأ بسحبهم أفقياً، أي في التوابيت.

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    The Judgement of the Nations

    July 12, 2022

    Source

    By Batiushka

    A frequent topic among both contributors and commentators on this site is the discussion as to whether the Special Military Operation in the Ukraine will take a few months or a few years. It is a common question and there are different opinions. Let me say now that I am not qualified even to speculate on this, let alone have an opinion. I do not know the answer and I suspect that many highly-placed people in the military and among politicians do not know the answer either.

    In any case why is an answer to this question so important? Originally, this was not a war, but a limited Operation, still involving a small proportion of the Russian Armed Forces. Had Russia wanted to occupy the Ukraine with massive military violence, in German, with a ‘Blitzkrieg’, in American, with ‘shock and awe’, with hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of victims, all could have been done in a couple of weeks. However, this is not Hollywood. That was not the aim.

    The clear aim was to free the Russian part of the Ukraine and to demilitarise and denazify the rest, so it would no longer present a threat to the Russian World. Obviously, doing this meant not just winning the genodical war which the backers of the Kiev regime had begun in 2014, but also doing it, causing the smallest number of victims among the Russian and Allied military and Ukrainian civilians as possible, and at the same time doing the least amount of damage to civilian infrastructure as possible.

    Pictures showing huge damage to civilian infrastructure, especially in Mariupol and Donetsk, show above all the enormous amount of damage done by NATO-backed Kiev regime bombardments over the last eight years. It was clear to Russian military and political planners that the Operation would take at least months, perhaps years, as the whole of the Kiev Armed Forces had been digging in here for eight years. Russia knew that in order to win a war, you have to win the peace afterwards.

    It was no good doing like the Americans did in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, destroying infrastructure, making the people hate you and then, once you realise that you have lost, running away, leaving chaos and misery. The Russian authorities also knew that since NATO had already de facto declared war on Russia in 2014, the Operation to liberate the Ukraine through denazification and demilitarisation would further activate their war effort and provoke many more ‘sanctions’. Now that the Operation has become a NATO war against Russia, much as expected, it is all the more difficult to forecast the future.

    Many missed the point. The Special Military Operation is not where it is at. The Ukraine is only the location, the battlefield, and the Kiev junta are only the actors on the stage, puppets. This is not primarily a battle of the military and their technologies, although they are very important, this is above all a battle of world views and ensuing realities. This battle is political and economic, spiritual and moral. Why else did the Johnson regime ban the Russian Orthodox Patriarch from visiting the UK?

    Here we understand President Putin’s words of 7 July 2022 before Russian parliamentarians that Russia ‘has not even started anything in earnest in the Ukraine yet’, that the military operation in the Ukraine signifies ‘a cardinal break with the US world order, the beginning of the transition from the liberal globalism of US egocentricity to the reality of a multipolar world….the march of history is unstoppable and the attempts of the West to foist its New World Order on the world are doomed to failure’.

    Whatever happens militarily in the Ukraine over the coming months, and much will happen, there are other stories, which are ultimately far more important. There was tiny Lithuania’s attempt to blockade the Russian Kaliningrad enclave, which has already failed. There was the toppling of the bankrupt UK’s Prime Minister, who wanted to wage a war without money, there was the assassination of the former Japanese Prime Minister by forces unknown, there was the occupation of the Presidential Palace in Colombo in Sri Lanka by a hungry crowd facing huge inflation and national bankruptcy.

    Then there is the incipient collapse of the euro, already reaching parity with the dollar, as Europe grinds to a halt without Russian energy. There is the possible coming collapse of the dollar as the world dedollarises, under Russian impetus. There is mighty Germany’s attempt to survive without Russian oil and gas, which is already failing. There is much more that is being hidden from the populations of the Western world by worried elites – strikes, protests and the breakdown of social cohesion.

    It is now July. In eight weeks’ time the weather cools. In sixteen weeks’ time winter begins. Wait until the panic begins and the palaces of leaders of the Western world also fall to hungry crowds facing huge inflation and national bankruptcy in European and North American Capitals. There may not be just a few deaths, as when the Washington Presidential Palace fell on 6 January 2021, but mass violence and fire. Wait until Chinese troops liberate Taiwan, as they will do at the right moment when the US is off guard, too busy with its own immense problems. Then shall begin the Judgement of the Nations.

    Western Europe appears to go through a cycle of Judgement every 500 years or so. Round about the Year 500 (pedants mention the Year 476), Western Rome fell to the Barbarians, followed by great disruption and bloodshed. Round about the Year 1000 (pedants mention the Year 1054), there began Roman Catholicism, followed by its imperialist invasions, crusades and inquisitions. Round about 1500 (pedants mention 1517) there began Protestantism, followed by persecution of women (‘witches’) and ‘wars of religion’, both in Continental Europe and in Britain and Ireland under Cromwell. And now, round about the Year 2000 (will pedants mention the Year 2022?), there begins another Judgement.

    For us, where we are, closely linked to the Ukraine, the war began already in early 2021. But that will be a story to tell another time.

    Europe’s Third Attempt at Suicide and Generation Z+

    June 27, 2022

    Source

    By Batiushka

    ‘The next war in Europe will be between Russia and Fascism, except that Fascism will be called Democracy.’

    Fidel Castro, c. 1992

    Introduction

    Europe is a serial suicide. The first attempt began in Sarajevo in 1914 and finished in Versailles in 1919. The second began a generation later in Warsaw in 1939 and ended in Berlin in 1945. Having very nearly succeeded at the second attempt (it missed atomic bombs by mere months), Europe sobered up and slowed down, waiting till the centenary of 1914 before it tried for the third time. This attempt began in Kiev, again in Eastern Europe, in 2014 and is continuing in the Special Military Operation (SMO). At every attempt Europe has lost. The first time it lost three empires (the Russian, the Austro-Hungarian and the German), the second time two Empires, the fatally weakened British and French, so ensuring the supremacy of the American Empire in Europe, as in the rest of the world.

    What will Europe lose this time? It will lose the only Empire remaining – the EU. When? Only some time after the conclusion of the SMO. Now, it would be foolish to predict with exactitude when that, which is the culmination of Europe’s third attempted suicide, will be. It could all be over in early July. Alternatively it could drag on for years. However, both those outcomes are extreme possibilities and there are other possibilities inbetween. Nevertheless, some tendencies are clear. It is only the extent and speed at which they will progress that is uncertain. In any case, whatever happens in the Ukraine, Europe will be reformatted. It will never be the same again. The seed sown by the Western elite in Kiev in 2014 is being reaped today in the harvest of division, discontent and poverty in Europe.

    If we look at the three aims of the Special Military Operation, we can see that the first and second aims, the liberation of the Donbass and demilitarisation, are both 75% done, despite new arrivals of Western arms to prolong the agony. However, the reality is also that the operation has had to be much extended from the Donbass to the east and south of the Ukraine and there we are not even 50% done. However, the third aim, the denazification of the Ukraine, has not even begun and cannot begin until the murderous Zelensky regime has been replaced with a government which actually cherishes the independence and cultural traditions of the Ukraine. Then it will no longer be a servile chimpanzee of the LGBT West and its Nulands who, very politely speaking, have no time for Europe.

    Military

    Some have criticised the Allied Special Operation in the Ukraine. After four months, they say, not even the whole of the Donbass has yet been liberated. Such critics should get out of their armchairs and go and fight against NATO. We would soon see how fast they would go. Why has progress been ‘slow’? Firstly, because though the Allied Forces are small in size, they are fighting against the vast bulk of the Kiev Army, which has been trained, retrained, supplied and resupplied and dug into its fortified positions by NATO over eight years. Secondly, because the Allies are trying to avoid civilian casualties and of course casualties to themselves. That is not easy when Kiev is using civilians as human shields and shelling from residential areas. The Allies will not carpet-bomb like the West. There is no hurry.

    However, with the very recent events in Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, the gateway to the whole of Central and Western Ukraine is being opened. Thus, we read the report on 25 June: ‘The Office of the President ordered the transfer of all reserves from the Mykolaiv/Odessa/Kharkiv direction for a counterattack in the Severodonetsk direction’. In other words, Kiev has only reserves left and it wants to transfer all of them. This sounds like desperation – the end is near. Judging by the quality of Kiev’s reserves so far, this will be a walkover. And that firstly presumes that the reserves will be willing to be massacred. And that secondly presumes that they can be transferred when all around the roads are occupied by Allied troops, or are controlled by Russian radar, artillery, drones and aircraft.

    Most significantly of all, this means that Mykolaiv/Odessa/Kharkiv will be left more or less defenceless, without even reserves. According to serious Western data, Ukrainian military losses are about 200,000 killed with nearly three quarters of military equipment and ammunition destroyed. In just four months. This is catastrophic. If even Western spies from MI6, the BRD and Poland say this, then there is little future or hope for the US puppets in Kiev. We can only expect military collapse and the formation of a new government, authentically pro-Ukrainian (that is anti-American) and therefore pro-Russian. What happens after the liberation of the Ukraine? The liberation of Moldova? Of the Baltics? We do not know. But if aggressive NATO/EU sabre-rattling continues, all is possible.

    Economic, Political and Ideological

    As we know, the Western anti-Russian sanctions, have been a self-imposed economic disaster, an own goal. Blowback has been nasty. Dedollarisation is happening. Pay in roubles, please. Now. Food, fertiliser, oil, gas, all are rocketing in price, and it is not winter. Popular discontent and street demonstrations in Western Europe are mounting. In France the Rothschild candidate Macron has lost control of the French Parliament to the left and to the right. In the UK the ‘delusional’ (the word of members of his own Party) Johnson (a man condemned by his own as ‘an opportunistic journalist who has at his heart a moral vacuum’) is seen as a liability, who will lead the Tory Party to annihilation in any election. We will not speak here of other nonentities like Scholz, Draghi, Trudeau and Biden.

    Then there is the formation of alternatives to the Western bloc. A new G8/BRICS+? Russia has seen plenty of discreet and not so discreet support from China, India, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Iran, Indonesia, Africa (from Egypt to South Africa), Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Argentina, Hungary…. That is, from the aptly-named ‘emerging’ world on all five Continents, from those who have raw materials and manufacturing infrastructure. They want to emerge from the ruins of colonialism and neo-colonialism. The isolated West, the US, Canada, UK, EU, Australia, has few friends outside its inward-looking little world. There are just a few occupied vassals in Asia, like Israel, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, who are forced to buy Western arms in order to stop themselves being liberated from themselves, and that is it.

    Even the mercenaries of the State-controlled Western media are beginning to go back on their State-paid lies. They are used to turning everything on its head, to inverting it all. Thus, the Russian Army was composed of ‘demoralised and untrained raw conscripts’, who had suffered ‘massive losses’ and ‘lacked fuel and ammunition’, ‘raped children and murdered’, were ‘in full retreat’ and bombed and shelled ‘residential areas and civilians’. Just change the word ‘Russian’ to ‘Kiev’ and we are a lot nearer the truth. Does anybody believe these media lies any more? Surely only the living dead? It must be embarrassing for these hacks who have been telling, or rather were ordered to tell, the opposite of the truth. They used to report their dreams as reality. Now they have to report reality – their worst nightmares.

    Conclusion: The Age of Empires Is Over

    After the Western defeats, or rather routs, in Iraq and Afghanistan, NATO has no military or political future. In fact, it should have been abolished after the fall of the USSR. The Ukraine (or whatever it will be called in whatever borders it will have when its liberation is complete) is Russian. Just forget it, NATO. You have already lost. The expansion of NATO into Asia? What a joke. Taiwan is Chinese, as will be all the Western Pacific. Just forget it, NATO. You have already lost. The American Century which began in February/March 1917 with the palace revolt by corrupt aristocrats and generals in the Russian Empire, carefully orchestrated from London and New York, is over. Europe no longer needs to attempt suicide, let alone succeed. You are free to restore the sovereignty of your nation states.

    The fact is that the Age of Empires is over. 1917 signalled the beginning of this. In 1991 the Red Star (USSR) Empire collapsed. Today the White Star (USSA) Empire, with its Twelve-Star EU (USSE) vassal Empire in tow, is collapsing, and for exactly the same reason: because nobody believes in their ideologies any more. Both Communism and Capitalism have failed. Now is the Age of Free Alliances of Sovereign Nations. What is the future of Europe after its third failed attempt at suicide? It is in reintegrating the Sovereignty of Eurasia, protected by the Russian resource umbrella. The Atlantic never united Europe, it divided Europe. If those who live across the Atlantic want to rediscover from us how to start living normal lives again, they can. But it will be on our terms, those of our Sovereignty, not on theirs.

    We have spoken of the Special Military Operation as the culmination of Europe’s third attempted suicide. We have said that Europe will never be the same again after it. This is because, unless Europe is really serious this time about suicide (and it has managed to avoid it twice before), this Operation Z is going to split up the tyrannical Western world, EU and UK Europe, from the USA. It is Operation Z+. And who are we, those who will survive? We are Generation Z+. We are those who will come ‘out of great tribulation’ and survive. We are those who are going to live in the real Global world, not in the Western bubble Globalist world. We are the real Europeans of ancient and new European history, who refused to commit suicide, the Sovereign Europeans. Reality is dawning at last.

    Sitrep Operation Z: Open Thread

    June 26, 2022

    Source

    by the Saker Staff

    Wow, too much information out there in addition to the world happenings.  Today and tomorrow we have the G7 in Germany and NATO on June 29-30 in Madrid.  Various threats will surface from these two meetings as well as childish foot-stomping and brave statements on steriods.  Mr Lavrov’s short statement has relevance: ‘We have few illusions that EU’s Russophobic policies will change’ – FM Lavrov

    We leave you with one image

    And on the battlefront, the news is coming in so fast that it is almost impossible to keep track of.  Of main importance on the front line and from the Russian MoD report:

    • On June 25, the cities of Severodonetsk and Borovskoye, the settlements of Voronovo and Sirotino passed under control of the Lugansk People’s Republic. The localities liberated from the Kiev regime are inhabited by about 108,000 people. Total area of the liberated territory is about 145 square kilometres.
    • Success of the Russian army and the units of people militia of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics considerably diminish moral and psychological condition of the Ukrainian army personnel.
    • In 30th Mechanised Brigade deployed near Artyomovsk, there are mass cases of alcohol abuse, drug use and unauthorised abandonment of combat positions.

    If you take a look at that MoD Report it is becoming so clear that the attrition rate now is counted in brigades.

    Attacks have resulted in neutralising 65th, 66th mechanised brigades and 46th Airmobile Brigade from AFU strategic reserves that were finishing their preparation at those training grounds.

    Take a look at Larry Johnson’s latest: “Some die hard neo-cons continue to manifest their ignorance of military affairs by pointing to Russia’s slow progress in taking Severodonetsk as evidence of Russia’s incompetent, weak army. What they fail to understand is that Russia was trying to avoid killing the civilians still inside Severodonetsk, who were being used as human shields by the Ukrainians. Putin and the Russian commanders are placing a higher value on saving civilians rather than unleashing their full military might in order to show the world what they can really do. This is a remarkably mature military strategy.”  https://sonar21.com/even-the-uks-sky-news-is-reporting-on-the-ukrainian-debacle-in-the-donbas/

    • Also of note is the strikes on Kiev from the Caspian Sea & from the airspace of Belarus. The Russian Federation used Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers. They launched X-101 missiles, which can fly up to 5500 km. At the same time, Russian warships fired up to 50 missiles at targets all over Ukraine — targeting Ukrop bases, manufacturing sites of air to air missiles in Kiev disguised as “residential buildings” & other military targets

    We leave this for you as an open thread for reporting updates.

    Map:  The Readovka Map is up to date.  If you go to this page and click on the map itself, there is a bigger and better quality version.

    Gonzalo Lira: IMPORTANT—A Message for Americans

    June 18, 2022

    Top Syrian and Russian Army Commanders in Syria attend SAA Special Forces Drill

     ARABI SOURI

    The Syrian Minister of Defense Ali Mahmoud Abbas and the commander of the Russian forces in Syria along with top commanders of both the Syrian and Russian armies attended a live drill carried out by a Syrian army special forces unit.

    Syrian Army’s 25th Division Special Forces carried out a drill with live ammunition at its undisclosed training site, the drill included all specialists conducted by this unit

    The video is available on BitChuteRumble, and Odysee.

    Still pictures of the military drill:

    Syrian Arab Army Special Forces Drill تدريب بالذخيرة الحية للجيش العربي السوري قوات خاصة
    Syrian Arab Army Special Forces Drill
    Syrian Arab Army Special Forces Drill
    Syrian Arab Army Special Forces Drill
    Syrian Arab Army Special Forces Drill
    Syrian Arab Army Special Forces Drill
    Syrian Arab Army Special Forces Drill تدريب بالذخيرة الحية للجيش العربي السوري قوات خاصة
    Syrian Arab Army Special Forces Drill
    Syrian Arab Army Special Forces Drill

    The visiting top army officials were briefed about the drill and then attended various shooting sessions, combat sessions in mountains and cities, close combat, paratroopers airdrop landing behind presumed enemy lines, and carrying out specific high precision tasks, and an air raid by helicopters against the presumed enemy.

    Military vehicles used by the special forces unit were also paraded before the visiting military commanders.

    Part of the training of this Syrian Army special forces unit was conducted by Russian special forces officers in close coordination with Syrian Army officers including the highly decorated SAA field commander Brigadier General Suhail Hasan nicknamed Al-Nimr ‘the Tiger’, a recipient of a top Russian Army medal of honor for his outstanding bravery and military achievements combating terrorism in multiple battlefronts in Syria.

    Syrian Arab Army field commander Brigadier General Suhail Hasan العميد سهيل الحسن الجيش العربي السوري
    SAA field commander Brigadier General Suhail Hasan
    Syrian Arab Army field commander Brigadier General Suhail Hasan
    Syrian Arab Army field commander Brigadier General Suhail Hasan

    The Minister of Defense and his accompanying top commanders praised the efforts made by the fighters and the professionalism and skills and readiness they showed.


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    Andrei Martyanov: US Ambassador to Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, US-Russian relations, Soviet “Coast Guard”

    June 07, 2022

    Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
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    Sitrep Operation Z: We’re going down

    May 28, 2022

    Source

    by Saker Staff

    From Military Summary.  He discusses:

    • Russian T62 tanks (old models being brought in and why?)
    • As a result of joint action by People’s Militia of Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian Armed Forces, Krasnyi Liman has been completely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists.
    • Consolidating success and a granular look at the various areas, fronts and cauldrons, retreats and routs, areas under fire control
    • Operational actions and patterns – future front line (if there is one!)

    An exatract from the early Russian MoD report.  https://t.me/mod_russia_en/1900

    As a result of joint action by People’s Militia of Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian Armed Forces, Krasnyi Liman has been completely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists.

    And we can see from that very same report:

    Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit 6 command posts, 1 communications centre, 4 ammunition depots, 2 Grad MLRS batteries, as well as 50 areas of manpower and Ukrainian military equipment concentration.

    ▫️The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 260 nationalists.

    ▫️In addition, fighter aircraft have shot down 2 Su-25s of the Ukrainian Air Force over Zagradovka, Kherson Region, and Barvenkoe, Kharkov Region.

    This is then only the Operational-tactical and army aviation operations.  Take a look at the report to begin to understand the massive carnage over the past day.

    When can we say that this is now a rout and the Ukrainian forces are being fed into a meatball machine by their own commanders?

    From Intel Slava, we have this:

    Ukrainian guys do not want to become officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Kyiv completely failed the recruitment campaign for cadets in higher military educational institutions.  By the end of May, military universities received a document from only 5% of previously selected candidates.

    The Ukrainian domestic political situation is deteriorating fast.  Gonzalo Lira in two videos, comments on that and the possibilities.  Much ‘eating their own’ will become apparent as we’ve just seen from Poroshenko’s arrest/detainment? on the Polish border. https://t.me/EurasianChoice/14279 

    The geopolitical situation is a cartoon as the message is now clear that the Ukraine is falling.  The Eurocrats are also falling, over their own feet, and some sector of the Biden Administration emits a stream of announcements on how many weapons they are sending to the Ukraine, only to be overruled by another sector minutes later.  In addition, reports are beginning to become a stream that the Ukrainians that fled to Europe are not welcome and in more and more cases service to them is being refused.

    https://t.me/russianhead/3420

    https://t.me/vicktop55/4167

    Starlink?  Satellite systems have ground stations.  The Russians are taking trophies of these ground stations, or just kicking them around a bit, so, how long will that network last?

    New information is out on the biolabs with an accusation that the US colonized developing countries to place their biolabs.  Here is a separate report.

    The news cycle is extremely busy with mostly hot air out of the west.  With the recognition that they’ve lost slowly sinking in, the sailing term is ‘in irons’, i.e., they’ve sailed too close to the wind and cannot maneuver.  The chess term is ‘zugzwang’.  The ‘Icarus’ term is that their wings are melting.

    In the meanwhile, the Russians are providing the real fire and testing new weapons.  There is a stream of this and Intel Slava comments.  Go to that channel and scroll through to see the extent.  The Russian Armed Forces have used a new version of the Solntsepek heavy flamethrower system, TOS-2, during an offensive in the Kharkiv direction. It is based on TOS-1A, but has significant advantages. The platform truck has an increased cross-country capability, increased engagement range and fully automated firing process. The complex is protected by an electronic jamming system.

    The day before, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry published a hysterical post on its official Twitter account saying that the Russian Armed Forces were using “the world’s most powerful non-nuclear weapons” on Ukrainian territory and posted a video of the TOS-1A in action in Donbass. This simply breaks the psyche of Ukrainian servicemen.

    We’ve had some new Iskander action as well: The launch of the R-500 cruise missile by the Iskander complex against targets in Ukraine. https://t.me/intelslava/30164

    This then summarizes the main ebbs and flows of the past 48 hours.  That is it for today.   Enjoy your discussion and careful with the Ukie propaganda. It is still everywhere but slowly changing to ludicrousness with overtones of sheer panic.  Do take a mental note of the discussion on Military Summary at the start – the explanation of Ukrainian methods which can always result in another false flag.  There are reports/rumors that the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba says he has been told to negotiate.  We have to wait for Russian confirmation of this.

    Virtual Russia, virtual Russian Armed Forces, bad information, bad planning, bad outcomes.

    May 15, 2022

    Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
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