About Partial Mobilization (Andrei Martyanov)

SEPTEMBER 21, 2022

The Kharkov game-changer

September 14, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decommunization as de-energization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A counter-terrorist operation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

الأطلسي ينتحر في أوكرانيا وطغمة كييف تحاكي مصير هتلر!


‎2022-‎09-‎12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Interview with Yuri Podolyaka

September 08, 2022

Source

by Batko Milacic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Batko Milacic

Tons of thanks, a SMO update and some beautiful week-end music!

August 31, 2022

First, my deepest gratitude to you all!

I want to being today’s report by thanking all those of you who have reached out to help me and the blog.  In spite of the hard economic times, many of you have sent donations, offered to volunteer and, last but not least, said prayers for me.  Of course, your donations will help financially, but it is your moral support which most deeply touched me and which give me the courage and determination to keep on fighting this fight, in spite of the apparent futility of taking on an entire obscenely rich and powerful ruling classes which waging merciless warfare on all of mankind.  I wish I could thank each and every one of you personally, but I simply don’t have the material time to do so, so all I can do is thank you all here for your unwavering and kind support!  You are truly the best community any person can hope to have!

Now let’s turn to the latest news next.

The Ukrainian so-called “counter-offensive” in the south:

The biggest news out of the Ukraine is the failure if the much announced Ukrainian “counter-offensive”.  Here are the latest reports from the Russian MoD: (emphasis added)

The enemy suffered losses and was pushed back from Olginka, Thorn Ponds and Arkhangelsk.
A battalion of the 57th Motorized Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was defeated near the settlement of Sukhoi Stavki. Currently, the destruction of its remains is being completed.
To unblock the AFU units, 12 tanks supplied to the Kiev regime by Poland were transported across the Ingulets River. Some of the tanks were destroyed by the powerful fire action of the Russian troops. Several tanks were blown up in their minefield during a disorderly withdrawal. Only five Ukrainian tanks were able to break back, deep into the territory controlled by the AFU. During two days of unsuccessful attacks on Mykolaiv-Krivoy Rog and other directions, Ukrainian troops lost four combat aircraft: two Su-25, one Su-24 and one MiG-29. Three Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters were shot down in the air. Russian troops also destroyed 63 Ukrainian tanks, 59 infantry fighting vehicles, 48 other armored combat vehicles, 14 pickups with heavy machine guns and more than 1,700 Ukrainian servicemen.

But this does not tell the full story.  1’700 KIAs might not sound like much, but in reality this is a huge deal for the following reasons:

  • These 1’700 soldiers were supported by armor, artillery and even some aviation and the USA/UK had huge hopes that this much announced “counter-offensive” would yield some good PR.  The Brandon administration is absolutely desperate to show at least something vaguely successful, yet this so-called “counter-offensive” resulted in only a few tactical attacks which brought no tangible results whatsoever.
  • The size of this force shows that this operation was mostly about PR (and not a real counter-offensive!).  The Ukrainians never had a chance, not on the tactical level and, even less so, to develop tactical attack into an operational counter-offensive.  Considering that it took them months to prepare this rather modest operation, this shows how much the Ukrainian armed forces have been degraded over the past months.
  • Even worse for the Nazis and their US patrons is the fact that now the entire southern front just lost a lot of its best soldiers and hardware.  Considering that the Russians are reinforcing their southern forces (see below), this is an especially dangerous development for the regime in Kiev.

Also, 1’700 KIA in one single maneuver is the biggest defeat for the Nazis since 2014, even bigger than the Ilovaisk “cauldron”!

I noticed with absolute dismay that, apparently, the Ukrainians tried one more time.  The result? Another  350 personnel, 31 tanks, 22 infantry fighting vehicles, 18 of other types of armored vehicles, eight armed pickup trucks, and 17 of other types of military vehicles destroyed by Russian artillery and airpower.

This is what is left of the Ukrainian “assault barge”

And today (Thursday) there are report that the Ukrainians tried to seize control of the ZNP.  First they fired over 100 artillery shells.  Then 2 diversionary groups totaling 60 soldiers on two crafts landed near the ZNP.  They were detected and destroyed by the Russian aviation.  Two hours later, the Ukrainians used two barges carrying an entire battalion (200-300 soldiers).  They were detected and sunk.

All that while the IAEA inspectors were already at the nuclear power plant!  (I wonder if they will have the courage to report what they must have seen).

Crucially, it showed, yet again, that all that nonsense coming out of Kiev and the other Nazi capitals in the West is just total, utter and terminal nonsense with no connection to the real world.  None whatsoever.  Hence the mass freakout of the western ruling classes.

And then there is this: CNN confirms that the USA helped the Ukrainians prepare this “counter-offensive”!  Oh wow! Who would have thought 😉  But then, what else could we expect from a US military busy with “increasing its lethality” by “embracing, promoting and unleashing the potential of diversity and inclusion“?

Now, just to clarify: did the Ukrainians take a few villages and positions?  Yes.  Absolutely.  Why?  Because the Russians had absolutely NO reason in the world to do what the Nazis do and “stand immobile to their last breath” in a static defensive line.  So they did the following:

  • Where the Ukrainian attack was weak, they used their infantry and armor to beat them back.
  • Where the Ukrainian attack was strong, they simply moved back, let the Ukrainians advance, and then wiped them off in what can only be called a “turkey shoot” (not to mention a useless butchery).

This is nothing new.  The Russians have done that since the beginning of the SMO.  In every case, the villages or positions the Ukrainians took (and triumphantly presented as a huge “peremoгa” or victory) saw the Ukrainian forces destroyed by Russian artillery, follow by a withdrawal (or total annihilation).

So next time when you hear that the Ukrainians took control of village/location X, always make sure to follow what happens in the next 48 hours and see for yourself if this Ukrainian “victory” then developed into anything meaningful.  As soon as you do that, everything becomes quite obvious.

Western weapon deliveries to the Ukraine

This is one of the biggest canards in this war.  Today, I will deal only with one aspect: the planned delivery of ex-Soviet aircraft to the Ukraine.  Basically, this is utter nonsense.  Like with ANY advanced weapons system, combat aircraft need all of the following things to be effective:

  • They need to be fully integrated into a combined arms operation.
  • They need to be operated by a highly trained crews.
  • They need to be used in sufficient numbers to achieve any meaningful effect, which in the case of the Ukraine means real military airfields, not dirt roads, highways or field refueling stations.
  • They need to be maintained/supported by a complex and advanced supply chain and qualified specialists.

Since none of that can happen, the deliveries of MiG-29s (or any other aircraft, really) to the Ukraine will make for semi-decent PR and that’s about it.  There are even rumors that the US is now training Afghan pilots to train them on ex-Soviet fighters…  Let’s see how many pilots the US and NATO actually can convince to fly these one way missions.

In reality, it takes MANY YEARS to form a capable military pilot, and there is no substitute for this.  So no, even if the US finds enough suicidal pilots to try to fly MiG-29s (or other aircraft) against Russian Su-35S, this will achieve exactly nothing other than marginally slowing down the Russians (who will have to deal with this new threat just like they dealt with all the others Wunderwaffen: HIMARS, M777, CAESARs, etc. etc. etc.).  Even the (so far hypothetical) delivery of, say, F-16s, will make very little difference.  There is no Wunderwaffe, least of all old Soviet kit (even when somewhat upgraded with NATO equipment).

Rumors of a major Russian offensive

Okay, as of right now, this is a rumor, but there is strong evidence of two things happening:

  • The Russians appear to have assembled one (some rumors say two) Army Corps composed of volunteers and equipped with modern weapons.
  • These forces seem to be deployed through and near the city of Rostov-on-the-Don.

Whether these forces were deployed as reserve force in case of a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive (however unlikely) or whether these forces will be used to attack the southern front is anyone’s guess.  In fact, it could be that these forces had and still might have both tasks.  And now that the Ukrainian counter-attack was defeated, they might well be used to move towards Nikolaev along the coast (supported by the BSF) which would put immense pressure on the over-extended and weakened Ukrainian forces.

In this context, I was recently sent a pretty interesting document:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/17RsQ2GgAJVrJ0JqCHTeMOZyMCKHHh2iB/preview

This is a letter from the Mayor of the Siberian City of Omsk who announces that at three battalions of volunteers have been formed in this city alone.  It is reasonable to assume that similar things are happening in most other Russian cities.

Speaking of which, there is another canard which I have to debunk:

Will Russia declare a full mobilization?

The short answer is no.  Unless NATO moves forces into the Ukraine, then all bets are off (but even in that case I doubt that a full mobilization would be needed and, not to mention, rather hard to execute) Furthermore, this question is based on a flawed assumption: that Russia’s so-called “slow progress” is due to lack of manpower (about the “slow progress” see here).  That assumption, in turn,  is based on two major mistakes: the first it conflates overall manpower with manpower available at any specific moment in time on a specific sector of the line of contact.  What matters is not overall numerical superiority, but local superiority, superiority on your main axes of attack/defense.  This is how Ze’s MILLION solider army ended up being defeated with only 1700 KIAs: there never was a million soldiers army anywhere near Zaporozhie in the first place.

Second, the Russians have been fighting this entire SMO with less than 10% of the Russian military and with a 3:1 advantage for the Nazi forces almost everywhere.  You could say that the Ukrainians are fighting a positional war while the Russians are fighting a mobile war, counting on their qualitative superiority (in most fields, with a few exceptions – such as counter-battery radars and squad level need for commercial quad-copters similar to the famous DJI Mavic series, see below – and these limited disadvantages are now being quickly addressed).

Yes, I know, there are some LDNR officials who constantly whine about the fact that Russia is not fighting this war the way they would.  But with all due respect, it is one thing to be a deputy commander of an LDNR battalion and quite another a specialist in the Russian General Staff with several academies and years of command experience under your belt.  Furthermore, the LDNR forces, for all their undisputed heroism, courage and skills do not fight the same war as the Russians.  The LDNR forces are fighting to liberate the Donbass, and they have just recently acquired the kind of capabilities needed to even contemplate an operational level offensive.  In sharp contrast, the Russians are fighting a strategic war against NATO and the US, so it is no wonder that their notions of what ought to be done differ.  Here is just one example:

What about the supposed lack of UAV/drones/quadcopter?  Did/will Russia by UAV from Iran?

The problem here is that UAV/drones/quads come in all sort of sizes, from truly tiny one which you can fit in the palm of your hand, to large, strategic ones with advanced electronics/optoelectronics/EW/etc. and even weapons of various types.  So let’s separate the two.

Example one: a reconnaissance unit from the LDNR forces is tasked with finding out what is happening, or not, behind a small forest.  You can use a relatively cheap and simple, off the shelf, DJI Mavic (even a mini model!), which you can send a kilometer or two over the forest and to take a peek what might be hiding inside/behind the trees.  If you do not have that Mavic, you have to sent a reconnaissance patrol.  Going on such a mission is very dangerous, because not only can the Nazis plant all sorts of mines in the forest and under the leaves/grass, they can also set up an ambush (the Ukrainians are pretty good at that).  So if you are the commander of this reconnaissance unit, you are going to be absolutely furious that the lack of Mavics forces you to send you soldiers into a very dangerous situation, day after day after day.  And if you are young and inexperienced, you are going to blame the Russian military’s procurement system for not sending boxes of Mavics to the LDNR.

So to the question “did the LDNR forces have enough Mavic-type quads before the SMO began?” the answer is “no they did not”.  Once the LDNR officials and their supporters raised a big enough stink over that, volunteers from all over Russia began sending quads to the LDNR and things slowly (especially for those who had to risk their lives every day!) began to improve.  But this never was the “fault” or “lack of care” from the Russian armed forces whose job is very different.

Now the Russian military has exactly *zero* need for Mavic-type quads.  Not only that, but Russia has large stores of all sorts of advanced UAVs (see here for details).  As for the Russian military, it is not in the business of supplying LDNR forces with whatever they might need, it is in the business of fighting a war against the consolidated West, this requires a totally different kind of kit and training than the LDNR forces.

Example two: Russia needs long range UAVs to detect Ukrainian columns on the move, force concentrations, assembly position, battle formations, etc.  The good news is that Russia has plenty of those more advanced UAVs.  These advanced UAVs do not fly 1-8km in distance, but for hundreds of kilometers and their flight time is not counted in minutes, but in tens of hours.  In this kind of warfare, Mavics are totally useless.

Is it possible that Russia might buy some Iranian UAV?

I would say that it is not very likely, but quite possible.  Why?  First, Russia and Iran are (informal but strong) allies and the Iranians would probably love to test their gear in real, modern, warfare conditions (Syria, Iraq or Yemen do not qualify).  Second, the Iranians have superb UAVs, not necessarily better than Russian ones (it really depends on the mission and what the rest of the forces are doing), but very good ones indeed.  Since Russia is flush with cash thanks to the western sanctions, Russia could do worse than purchase an X number of Iranian UAV and use them (or even give them to the LDNR).  Again, I don’t think that this will happen because of a simple problem: the more primitive a UAV is, the more you can use commercial, off the shelf, equipment (this is what the (in)famous Bayraktars are – assembled off the shelf commercial hardware).  But the more advanced a UAV is, the more it needs to be able to “talk” to a lot of highly specialized networks and equipment, most of which are secret to begin with.

[Sidbar: I happen to personally fly both cinematic quads – a DJI Mavic mini – and first-person-view (FPV) acrobatic/freestyle quads and, as a result, even a private civilian like myself can have equipment which could used in a reconnaissance situation like the one I describe above.  This is not different than LDNR forces using family and consumer radios (FRS and GMRS) to communicate, or the purchase of commercial laser rangefinders, GPS/GLONASS/GNSS navigation equipment and the like.  Nowadays recreational and commercial microelectronics are so capable, that you can buy most of what a reconnaissance unit might need online and for relatively cheap.  And if your pockets are deep enough, you even purchase get all sorts of very good thermal imaging systems.  So what the LDNR forces needed the most, is simply money to get all that good stuff.  Some of this is already being built in Russia but, if needed, Russia can get it all from China directly or through Kazakhstan.  For the LDNR the issue was always money, and this is why the Mayor of Omsk is asking for donations at the end of this open letter above]

In sharp contrast to the LDNR forces, the Russian military has plenty of money and capabilities which the LDNR can only dream about, including a high tech military industrial base which dwarfs anything Iran might have.

Conclusion:

Initially, the Russians got absolutely destroyed in the propaganda war, at least that was true during the early months of the SMO.  Now this entire narrative is tanking (as evidenced, for example, this interview of Jeffrey Sachs on Democracy Now! or this video by Tucker Carlson).  Of course, the Neocons and the “extreme center” of the Uniparty (call them Republicrats or Demolicans – same difference) are still in deep denial and they are going through all the usual stages of grief (how is that headline: “German minister vows to back Ukraine ‘no matter what voters think’”?).  My biggest fear is that this hate-saturated narcissistic imbeciles will do something really dumb and trigger a much larger conflict.  The Kremlin is acutely aware of this riks, and this is why the Russians are only using about 10% of their current capabilities (that is before even a mobilization).

Most of the nonsense we now hear about the Ukraine (all the plain silly theories) is now quickly falling apart.  All the hysterics of the Russian 6th columnists (à la Girkin-Strelkov & Co.) have failed to force the Russian General Staff to fight the war like the 6th column would have preferred.  Instead of listening to these “allislosters”, Putin decided to listen to his generals.  What a surprise!

Furthermore, as Putin and others have repeated innumerable times, the SMO is going pretty much according to plan (besides the undeniable mistakes made in specific locations, like moving Russian forces in columns towards the Gostomel airfield without first suppressing the Ukrainian artillery and diversionary forces along the road; but the Kiev faint itself, however, was a total success and it achieved all its goals).  All the recent developments further show that Russia will methodically achieve all of her objectives in the coming months (though the denazification of Europe will, of course, take longer, not to mention the need to denazify the USA itself).

***

Finally, since this will be a long week-end, I leave you again with some beautiful music I love.

First, I want to introduce you to an Argentinian singer and guitarist whom I consider to be the most brilliant musician of traditional Argentinian (gaucho) music: Eduardo Falu.  Listen to this track, the song, entitled “Zamba de la Candelaria“, is absolutely beautiful (as are the lyrics for those who understand Spanish) and his guitar playing is nothing short of stellar (the other two songs in this video are also quite beautiful, I think)

Next, I want to introduce you to one of my absolutely favorite US Jazz/Improvised music group, named Oregon.  In this tune, entitled “Hand in Hand“, you will hear one of their most beautiful, yet understated, compositions.  The way the harmony “moves” here is so poignantly beautiful!  Also, listen to Ralph Towner‘s guitar solo and try to sing the melody over his improvisations, and you will discover a very beautiful “improvised contrapunctus”.   I had the privilege to once see Oregon at the Blues Alley in Washington DC and it was for sure one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen.

Next, a beautiful composition by Larry Coryell which he interprets here with the (always brilliant) Joe Beck and Joe Scofield entitled “Thurman Munson“.  This is also a very understated composition, but it gives ample opportunities for some truly beautiful and poignant improvisations (including some beautifully weaved through polytonalities).

Next, I want to introduce you to a French guitarist named Pierre Bensusan.  The guy is an absolute genius both as a composer and as in interpreter.  Today I want to share one of my favorite compositions by Bensusan entitled simply “4am“.  I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Lastly, I want to introduce you to a ridiculously talented group from, I think, New York: they are called the “Nation of Five“.  Here they play one of my favorite tunes, called “The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers” aka “Poem For No. 15.” composed by the Jazz pianist Steve Kuhn.  It is a most interesting Jazz waltz built around distinct keys (this is modal music at its best!) and which includes a very original use of something called a “hemiola“, that is “the articulation of two bars in triple time as if they were three bars in duple time” or, to quote Wikipedia’s fuller definition “a hemiola is the ratio 3:2. In pitch, hemiola refers to the interval of a perfect fifth. In rhythm, hemiola refers to three beats of equal value in the time normally occupied by two beats.  This makes the improvisation over this melody both very interesting and somewhat challenging.  I just love to explore all the possibilities this 1972 composition offers for improvisation and this is a fantastic performance by all these musicians!

MTV and and so-called “conservatories” have tried their best to stamp out real, improvised, music, and they failed.  What a joy for the rest of us, no?

Enjoy and have a wonderful week-end!

Russian MoD updates the losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces after the failure of their counter-offensive

August 29, 2022

Source (machine translation, emphasis added)

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the APU lost more than 1,200 people in an attempt to attack

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), while trying to conduct an offensive in Mykolaiv-Krivoy Rog and other directions, suffered heavy losses, more than 1,200 soldiers were destroyed. This was reported to journalists by the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

According to the ministry, Russian troops destroyed 48 tanks, 46 infantry fighting vehicles, 37 other armored combat vehicles, 8 pickups with heavy machine guns.

In addition, while repelling the enemy’s offensive, the Russian military defeated the units of the 128th separate mountain assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which was transferred to participate in a special operation from western Ukraine. Five soldiers of the brigade laid down their arms and surrendered, the Defense Ministry added.

Earlier it became known that the Aerospace Forces of Russia (VKS) over the past day destroyed the production workshops of the Intervzryvprom plant, where explosives and other products for Ukrainian troops were produced, in the city of Krivoy Rog, Dnipropetrovsk region.

***

Also make sure to check Bernard’s analysis on Moon of Alabamahttps://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/08/ukraine-a-counteroffensive-that-was-destined-to-fail.html

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

 August 30, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Agencies

Ukraine SITREP: the promised “major Ukrainian counter-attack” ends in disaster

August 29, 2022

source 

(machine translation)

The Defense Ministry called the losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during the failed offensive of Ukraine near Kherson

Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, as a result, the AFU units suffered heavy losses, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters.

“Today, during the day, on the direct instructions of Zelensky, Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions in three directions. As a result of the active defense of the grouping of Russian troops, the AFU units suffered heavy losses,” TASS reports.

The ministry added that “the enemy’s losses in manpower amounted to more than 560 servicemen, another attempt at offensive actions of the enemy failed miserably.”

According to the Defense Ministry, the Russian Armed Forces destroyed 26 Ukrainian tanks, 23 infantry fighting vehicles, nine other armored combat vehicles, shot down two Su-25 attack aircraft.

Earlier on Monday, Deputy head of the administration of the Kherson region Kirill Stremousov said: the AFU has been shelling several settlements of the Kherson region since Sunday evening. Schools, social infrastructure were destroyed, residential buildings were damaged, the official confirmed. But there is no question of any APU offensive on Kherson, statements in the Ukrainian media – “this is some kind of illusion, a movie,” Stremousov pointed out.

As the head of the Kakhovsky district, Vladimir Leontiev, in turn, reported, the AFU inflicted more than 10 missile strikes on Novaya Kakhovka, including residential buildings and schools. Some strikes were carried out from HIMARS, residential buildings and a school were damaged, the head of the district said.

Aviation, missile troops and artillery hit nine control points of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the day, including on the territory of the Mykolaiv region, the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, said on Monday.

Addendum 1: here is how CNN reported about this latest disaster “Ukrainian troops took back 4 villages in the south from Russian occupation, military source tells CNN“.  No, this is no joke, click on the link above and see for yourself.

Addendum2: map of the current situation

Western ruling elites have Dariia Dugina’s blood on their hands

August 23, 2022

The murder of Dariia Dugina triggered the now quite predictable reaction from the collective West: total indifference.  This is hardly something new.  The West not only put a Nazi regime in power in Kiev, it supported it by all means possible while that regime did all of the following:

  1. Used its armed forces in an internal civil war, which is (was?) banned under the Ukrainian constitution which resulted in about 14’000 dead over eight years.
  2. “Ze” has crushed any and all internal opposition, not only putatively “pro-Russian” parties and politicians (many of them members of the Ukrainian Rada), but also clearly pro-Ukrainian parties (say the “Party of Sharii”).
  3. “Ze” also banned any alternative/free media inside the Ukraine.  Western journos did not notice or object.
  4. The Ukrainian armed forces have now shelled/bombed the civilian infrastructure of the LDNR for years (and tried to cut off water from the Crimean Peninsula).  Latest example here.
  5. The Ukronazis have repeatedly tried attack nuclear and chemical plants.
  6. The Kiev regime has also repeatedly attacked the civilian power grid.
  7. Nazi special forces have conducted numerous assassinations in the LDNR and they even tried to do so in Crimea and Russia (as the case of Dugina proves).
  8. Thousands of people in the Ukraine have been disappeared in CIA-style torture centers.
  9. Torture is now a regular practice of the Ukronazi military and security services.
  10. Most Russian POW have been systematically tortured and murdered.
  11. Russian military personnel has been the object of chemical attacks (see here and here)
  12. The Ukronazis have also killed hundreds (if not more) Ukrainian soldiers who refused to be used as cannon fodder and fight the Russians in hopeless, suicidal, attacks.
  13. The Ukrainian forces systematically hid behind civilians in schools, shopping malls, hospitals and even kindergartens.
  14. Ukrainian politicians have repeatedly referred to the Russian people as “subhumans” “pigdogs” “biomaterial” and they have openly called for the killing of as many Russians (including non combatants) as possible (latest example here).
  15. The Nazis have made massive use of forbidden cluster munition, including cluster munition containing illegal anti-personnel mines which have maimed scores of civilians.

And I could go on and on.  But I think the image is rather clear.  It shows that:

  1. The West will support absolutely any atrocity committed by its Ukronazi proxies.
  2. The West hates Russia deeply and viscerally: against the accursed and hated russkies anything, absolutely anything goes.
  3. The West will not only speak up against Ukronazi atrocities, it will conduct an open and quite unapologetic campaigns to silence any disagreeing voices (latest example here).  Amnesty International now apologized for its report about human rights violations in the Ukraine.
  4. In fact, and in one of the most hypocritical statements in world history, the US Senate declared that Russia was a sponsor of terrorism which is rather ironic considering that the US is, by far, the main sponsor of terrorism worldwide and domestically!
  5. Western state actors have also organized and financed PSYOP/Cyberwarfare centers which have attacked even personal blogs (like the Saker blog) to try to shut down any dissenting voice.
  6. The West is doubling down over and over again and giving even MORE support to the Ukraine after each Nazi atrocity (the US just added another 3 BILLION dollars of “aid” for all of the actions described above)

I submit that two things are really essential here: the pattern described above has been unchanging since at least the Crusades and this pattern is unanimously shared by all western governments today.  This is no fluke, no mistake, but the core of a worldview shared by all the western ruling elites, especially northern Europeans (the reality of southern Europe and the Mediterranean cultural real to which southern Europe used to belong is more nuanced and complex).

Dariia Dugina was murdered by a single Ukronazi terrorist, directed by the SBU which, in turn, is just a proxy for the CIA/MI6.  But Dariia Dugina’s innocent blood, like the blood of MILLIONS of other innocent people throughout the history is on the hands of the ruling class which pretends to see nothing while being directly involved in it all.  As for the people of the West, they have to decide whether they will continue meekly accept to be ruled my murderous, racist, thugs or whether they will resit them (or, at least, not support them and, at the very least, have the decency to decide to never knowingly support any lie)

So far, I have to sadly admit that I am not very impressed.  I see a post-truth society in which the very concept of truth has lost any meaning.  That utter and total indifference to the very notion of truth is the only true “western value” left.

Andrei

Putin To Macron: Ukraine’s Shelling Near Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant Poses Danger of Large-scale Disaster

August 21, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have had their first phone call in almost three months to discuss the Ukraine conflict and nuclear security in the area of Zaporozhye, the Kremlin announced on Friday.

The call was initiated by the French side and saw the two leaders discuss “various aspects of the situation around Ukraine,” according to the Kremlin’s readout.

Putin emphasized that “the systematic shelling of the territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant by the Ukrainian military poses a danger of a large-scale disaster that could lead to radiation spillover onto a large territory,” Moscow said.

The two leaders agreed that a mission under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] should be dispatched to the NPP “as soon as possible” in order to assess the situation on site.

“The Russian side confirmed it’s ready to provide the Agency’s inspectors with all the necessary assistance,” the Kremlin said.

According to the Elysee Palace, Putin agreed that the IAEA mission to Zaporozhye NPP would be dispatched on the terms already arranged by Ukraine and the United Nations. This would mean that the IAEA delegation might travel via the territory currently controlled by Kiev’s forces. Previously, Moscow insisted that such a mission could arrive only via Russian-controlled territory.

The two sides will address this issue again in the coming days, after technical teams discuss the matter in detail, the Elysee said.

According to the Kremlin, Putin once again invited international experts to visit a detention facility in Yelenovka, in the Donetsk People’s Republic. An artillery attack on the prison, which Moscow says was carried out by Kiev’s forces, killed 50 Ukrainian POWs and injured dozens more last month.

Putin also informed Macron on the implementation of the deal for Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea. This agreement, which was brokered by the UN and Turkey, is also supposed to allow Russia to deliver fertilizers and food products to the global markets. However, the Kremlin noted, “obstacles for the Russian grain [export] persist,” which continues to have an adverse effect on global food security.

The most recent call between the two leaders took place on May 28 and also involved German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. During that conversation, Putin blamed Ukraine for the stalled peace talks, assuring his counterparts that Moscow remained ready to negotiate an end to the ongoing conflict and condemning the West for supplying Kiev with weapons.

Liberation of Peski. Where to go next?

August 15, 2022

Освобождение Пески. Куда дальше? // Liberation of Peski. Where to go?

Welcoming speech of the Russian Minister of Defence at the opening of 10th Moscow Conference on International Security

August 17, 2022

The opening of the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security took place at Avangard Centre for Military and Patriotic Education of Youth within the framework of ARMY 2022 IMTF. The Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, addressed the participants of the event:

Ladies and gentlemen!

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security.

This conference comes at a time of radical change in global and regional security. The unconditional dominance of the US and its allies is a thing of the past. On February 24, 2022, the start of the special military operation in Ukraine marked the end of the unipolar world.

Multipolarity has become a reality. The poles of this world are clearly defined. The main difference between them is that some respect the interests of sovereign states and take into account the cultural and historical particularities of countries and peoples, while others disregard them. There have been numerous discussions on this topic during previous sessions of the Moscow conference.

In Europe, the security situation is worse than at the peak of the Cold War. The alliance’s military activities have become as aggressive and anti-Russian as possible. Significant US forces have been redeployed to the continent, and the number of coalition troops in Eastern and Central Europe has increased manifold.

It is important to note that the deployment of additional NATO Joint Force formations on the bloc’s “eastern flank” had already started before the start of the special military operation in Ukraine.

NATO has dropped its masks. The aggressive nature of the bloc was no longer concealed by the wording of the coalition’s purely defensive orientation. Today, the alliance’s strategic planning documents enshrine claims to global dominance. Alliance’s interests include Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

In the West’s view, the established system of international relations should be replaced by a so-called rules-based world order. The logic here is simple and ultimatumatic. Either the alliance’s “democratic partner” candidate loses sovereignty and becomes supposedly on the “right side of history”. Or it is relegated to the category of so-called authoritarian regimes, against which all kinds of measures, up to and including coercive pressure, can be used.

Given that the Conference is attended by heads of defence agencies and security experts from different regions of the world, I would like to highlight some aspects of the special military operation in Ukraine.

In Ukraine, the Russian military is being confronted by combined Western forces that run the leadership of that country in a hybrid war against Russia.

The supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine is being stepped up, and training of the Ukrainian army is being carried out. Huge financial resources are transferred to maintain the viability of the nationalist regime.

The actions of Ukraine’s armed forces are planned and coordinated by foreign military advisers. Reconnaissance data is supplied from all available NATO sources. The use of armaments is supervised by Western specialists.

NATO’s efforts are aimed at prolonging the agony of the Kiev regime. However, we know for a fact that no one in NATO has any doubt that the goals of the Russian leadership’s special military operation will be achieved, and that plans to strategically and economically weaken Russia are failing. The dollar has not reached the ceiling of 200 roubles, as predicted by the US president, the Russian economy has stood firm.

The special military operation has dispelled the myth of “super-weapons” supplied to Ukraine by the West, which are capable of fundamentally changing the situation on the front. Initially, they were talking about deliveries of Javelin anti-tank systems, some kind of “unique” drones. Lately, the Westerners have been promoting the role of super-weapons with HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and long-range howitzers. However, these weapons also grind to a halt in battle. They did not make a significant impact. The Russian weapons, for their part, have proved their best qualities in combat.

We are taking a close look at trophy weapons from the West. The features and their specific qualities are taken into account in order to improve the way combat operations are conducted and the effectiveness of Russian armaments.

The supply of NATO weapons to Kiev means that Western countries are responsible for their inhumane use and for the deaths of civilians in Donbass and in the liberated territories. Ukrainian armed forces operations are planned in Washington and London. Not only are the coordinates of the targets to be attacked provided by Western intelligence, but the input of this data into weapons systems is conducted under the full control of Western specialists.

Kiev’s role in the West’s combat approach has been reduced to supplying manpower, which is seen as expendable. This explains the huge loss of personnel in Ukraine’s armed forces and territorial defence formations.

So far, the real figures of dead soldiers and mobilised so-called territorial defence forces have been concealed by the Kiev leadership.

In time, however, this information will become public. The testimonies of POWs of AFU allow us to form a realistic picture of what is happening on the other side of the front. The dismissive attitude towards the loss of foreign soldiers reinforces the thesis that NATO has purely selfish interests in Ukraine. Clearly, Britain’s colonial experience as the main sponsor of the Kiev regime has come in very handy for London in dealing with the current leadership in Kiev.

Against this background, speculation is spreading in the media about the alleged use of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in the special military operation or the readiness to use chemical weapons. All of these information gibberish are lies.

From a military point of view, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve its goals. The main purpose of Russian nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack. Its use is limited to extraordinary circumstances as defined in the Russian guideline documents, which are open to public inspection.

The allegations about the possible use of chemical weapons in Ukraine are also absurd. Let me remind you that, unlike the US, such weapons were completely destroyed in our country back in 2017 as part of our international obligations. Meanwhile, poisoning provocations have become the hallmark of Western-sponsored so-called civil society organisations such as the White Helmets in Syria.

The information provocations are aimed at distracting attention from the facts discovered in Ukraine that US experts have conducted banned military and biological research.

Currently, a significant amount of data has been accumulated and is regularly made available to the general public. Work will continue in this direction.

US military-biological activities in Ukraine are not exceptional. Pentagon-controlled laboratories have been established and operate in many post-Soviet, Asian, African and Latin American countries. Local authorities generally have no control over research carried out on their premises that poses a lethal threat to the local population. The consequences of epidemics, I believe, were felt by all during the period of the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

I would like to focus separately on the humanitarian aspects of the special military operation. Compliance with the Geneva Conventions on the rules of war has always been and remains the focus of commanders at all levels. Since the beginning of the operation, orders have been issued stipulating the procedures to be followed by soldiers in dealing with civilians and enemy prisoners of war.

In the territories liberated from nationalists, the troops are actively involved in the delivery of humanitarian aid, the restoration of infrastructure and the maintenance of law and order. This was the case in Syria, in Nagorno-Karabakh, and it is also the case in Donbass.

On humanitarian issues, there has been fruitful cooperation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. We are grateful for the constructive, depoliticised cooperation of the leaders and staff of these organisations who interact with us. In particular, under the auspices of the UN and with Turkey’s active role, the difficult problem of grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports was resolved. The Red Cross specialists carry out an important mediation mission in relation to captured soldiers.

NATO has recently initiated a new phase of alliance enlargement, with Sweden and Finland joining the military bloc. The claim that the reason for this was the Russian special operation is untrue.

The practical rapprochement between these countries and the alliance has been ongoing for many years. In fact, the regional association NORDEFCO (Committee for Nordic Defence Cooperation) is a northern affiliate of NATO and serves as a cover for these countries’ participation in joint military training activities.

Of course, the official involvement of Helsinki and Stockholm in NATO’s strategic planning and the possible allocation of territory to these states for deployment of strike weapons will change the security environment in the Baltic region and the Arctic and will require a reconsideration of approaches to defence of Russian territory.

Certain conclusions have already been reached and are enshrined in the updated Maritime Doctrine approved by the President of the Russian Federation on July 31. Work will continue in this area.

The reinforcement of the NATO military grouping on the “eastern flank” completes the degradation of the trust and arms control mechanisms that emerged in Europe during the Cold War. A few years ago, experts proposed that the European experience should be used to build confidence-building measures, in particular in the Pacific Rim. Now, of all the “baggage” of the Euro-dialogue, only the idea of bloc confrontation is exported to Asia, which has not brought anything positive to security in Europe.

Today, no one remembers the US destruction of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Limitation Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty. Although previously these agreements were crucial for disarmament and confidence-building.

Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was conceived as a platform for dialogue and consideration of different views, has become a generator of anti-Russian narratives.

Vienna Document 2011 remains formally in force, but there are no prospects for practical implementation. In the absence of trust between the parties, the verification mechanism effectively becomes a source of intelligence, which is not in the spirit of this agreement.

The situation with regard to the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty is also complicated. The agreement remains in force until 2026. On the Russian side the commitments are fulfilled, the declared levels of carriers and warheads are maintained within the established limits.

U.S. claims that Russia must earn the right to continue dialogue with the U.S. do not resist criticism. Arms control is a two-way street.

The result is only achievable if the interests and commitment of all participants are balanced. I believe that the Russian experience of interaction with the West in the field of disarmament shows that the so-called rules-based peace it promotes does not involve the implementation of treaty obligations in the traditional sense. This fact needs to be taken into account when entering into agreements, especially in the field of security and arms control.

Western opposition to the consolidation of a multipolar world, along with Europe, is most active in the Asia-Pacific region, where the US has begun to dismantle the existing ASEAN-based system of regional cooperation. This started with the announcement of the AUKUS initiative by the US, Australia and the UK. Plans to expand this partnership to include new regional partners have not been concealed. AUKUS is merging with NATO, which in turn claimed a dominant role in the Asia-Pacific region at the June summit. This is despite the fact that all NATO countries are thousands of miles away from the region.

On 2 August, the Russian Federation marked the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s entry into the war with Japan, the occasion for which was Tokyo’s militarist policy. The defeat of Japanese forces in the Far East effectively sealed the end of World War II and provided the start for the liberation of the peoples of Asia from colonial oppression. The assistance of the USSR was of key importance. We remember and are proud of the legacy of our ancestors, including those who laid the foundation for military cooperation between Russia and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

Another dangerous regional trend is the AUKUS focus on developing a nuclear submarine fleet in Australia. The implementation of this plan would have a complex negative impact on global and regional security, creating the conditions for undermining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The US claims that nuclear-powered submarines are needed in Australia ostensibly to offset China’s growing naval capabilities. This logic in fact replicates the actions of the US in justifying its exit from the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missile Treaty. The collapse of this agreement was also motivated by the need to offset Russian and Chinese efforts to develop missiles with a range allegedly prohibited by the treaty.

In the global context, the appearance of a nuclear-powered fleet in Australia will provide an excuse for other states to begin developing similar armaments. Pandora’s box will be opened, the global nuclear arms race will resume.

AUKUS has the potential to develop into a politico-military alliance. It cannot be excluded that NATO’s experience with joint nuclear planning and joint “allied” nuclear exercises will also be transferred to the region. The technical basis for this is already being laid by the active promotion of US-made aircraft. The participation of nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states in joint exercises on the use of nuclear weapons is contrary to obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Transferring nuclear training from Europe will blow up the region.

Although it can be assumed that this is precisely the purpose of the US. The provocative landing in Taiwan of a third person of the US bureaucratic hierarchy is another move to destabilise the situation.

Block-less, equal interaction in the region is an achievement that should not be lost due to externally imposed phobias and attempts to counter a multipolar world.

Mechanisms for interaction and dialogue with extra-regional partners are created and are proving their relevance and effectiveness. First and foremost is the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ and Partners’ Meeting, the so-called “ADMM-Plus” format. Its diverse activities focus on security issues of relevance to the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition, there is positive experience of cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, of implementing mutually beneficial projects on a bilateral basis.

As before, we are ready to share our experience of combat training, in particular during the Vostok-2022 strategic exercise to be held in the near future.

Despite significant successes in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East, the threat of international terrorist groups taking over the initiative remains. The Syrian military, in cooperation with allies and partners and with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces, continues to suppress spikes in terrorist activity. We see a particular danger in using the Kurdish factor to unsettle the situation in Syria.

The engagement of the guarantor countries in the Astana format remains virtually the only legal and effective mechanism to address security concerns in Syria. We welcome the increased engagement between the Syrian leadership and the Arab world. Overcoming contradictions created by outside forces is possible and necessary.

The role of the military in building trust between countries is an important element in the search for political solutions. We expect that the Moscow conference will be one of the rallying points for the stabilisation of the situation in the Near East.

After the rapid withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan, the situation in the Central Asian region remains extremely tense. Afghanistan’s new leadership faces serious military and economic challenges. The legacy of two decades of alliance troop presence is a disappointing one. As a result, there remains a high level of terrorist danger in the region.

The security problems of Central Asia can only be solved by coordinated action by all the countries and international organisations concerned. For our part, we will continue to support our Collective Security Treaty Organisation allies in enhancing the capabilities of national armed forces.

It is important to keep the topic of Afghanistan on the agenda of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation discussions. Russia, China, India, Iran and Pakistan together could make a significant contribution not only to stabilising the region, but also to preventing the threat from spreading beyond its borders.

The security of each region, despite the general trends of a multipolar world, has its own peculiarities.

For Africa, the specificity lies in the desire of the countries of the collective West to return to the order and rules of engagement typical of the colonial period. Neo-colonialism is imposed through military pressure on governments of sovereign countries and support for separatist and terrorist movements. A case in point is Libya, where statehood has still not been restored after the NATO invasion. Another example is the situation in West Africa, where European troops have been deployed on the pretext of combating terrorism. For decades, these EU missions had been fighting terrorists, training national security forces, until they recognised the utter failure of their own efforts.

I would like to point out that African governments and leaders are holding their own, as they call it, in the context of a multipolar world, to pursue their own agenda of independence, sovereignty, economic development and defence capabilities.

The Russian Ministry of Defence is seeking to expand cooperation with African countries in the field of military and military-technical cooperation. Interest in the participation of national teams and delegations from Africa in the Army International Games and the “ARMY 2022” IMTF has increased significantly. It is very encouraging that prominent military commanders from our friendly states – Burundi, Cameroon, Guinea, Mali, Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Ethiopia and the Republic of South Africa – are present in this hall today. We appreciate your support and intend to increase cooperation on mutually beneficial projects.

Latin America today faces serious security challenges because of the American desire to maintain influence in the region under the provisions of the so-called Monroe Doctrine. Liberal values, whose adherence is seen by the US as agreeing to live in a world based on their rules, in fact mask the true objective – to build up a military presence by blocking the possibility of sovereign development of states.

U.S. policy focuses on deterring engagement by countries in the region with any other pole of power outside Washington’s control. The purpose of this policy is to involve the region in a confrontation with Russia and the PRC, to destroy traditional ties and to block new forms of cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres.

Anti-Russian information campaigns are launched in Latin America, hiding the truth about the causes and course of the special military operation in Ukraine. Analogies can be drawn to the British actions during the conflict in the Falkland Islands. What is happening in the Western media today with the coverage of the Russian special military operation was also happening when the media was chorally broadcasting only one point of view – that of London.

The question arises: are such policies in the fundamental interest of the countries of the region? The answer is clear – no. We hope that during the discussions at the conference we will hear assessments of the situation in Latin America from our partners from Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The Tenth Moscow Conference on International Security has a special importance for the Russian Ministry of Defence as organiser of the forum for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the conference is taking place during the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. Despite attempts of the US and NATO to isolate Russia once again, your participation in the forum is a visible confirmation that these plans have collapsed. We appreciate your support.

Secondly, a multipolar world is the reality of today. The transition from dominance by a single global leader to several centres of gravity is not an easy one. However, this creates real conditions for the development of sovereign states.

Thirdly, the role of military agencies is changing in the new realities. The military not only guarantees a secure environment for economic development, but through military cooperation it builds predictability and trust between countries.

Finally, this is the tenth anniversary conference, which allows for a kind of review of what has been achieved over the years. It is important to observe how the priorities of the discussions have changed, and which conclusions and recommendations from the forum have been put into practice over the years. A short historical overview, prepared by Russian experts, can be viewed on the monitors between plenary sessions.

I wish you all good health and interesting contacts and discussions during your stay in Moscow.

Thank you for your attention.

source: https://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12433677@egNews (which is blocked by western freedom loving democracies, so you need a VPN to access it!)

Why is Amnesty apologising for telling the truth about Ukrainian war crimes?

16 August 2022

JONATHAN COOK

Allowing only one side to be criticised for its crimes – reinforcing the loaded western political narrative of good guys versus bad guys – is likely to fuel war rather than resolve it

Middle East Eye – 16 August 2022

Should a human rights organisation apologise for publishing important evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses?

If it does apologise, what does that suggest about its commitment to dispassionately uncovering the truth about the actions of both parties to war? And equally, what message does it send to those who claim to be “distressed” by the publication of such evidence?

Those are questions Amnesty International should have pondered far more carefully than it obviously did before issuing an apology last week over its latest report on the war in Ukraine.

In that report, Amnesty accused Ukrainian forces of committing war crimes by stationing troops and artillery in or near schools, hospitals and residential buildings, thereby using civilians effectively as human shields. Such practices by Ukrainian soldiers were identified in 19 different towns and villages.

These incidents did not just theoretically endanger civilians. There is evidence, according to Amnesty, that return fire by Russian troops on these Ukrainian positions led to non-combatants being killed.

The Israeli army regularly accuses Palestinian factions like Hamas of hiding among civilians in Gaza, while obscuring its own, long-documented practice of using Palestinians as human shields.

But whatever the truth of Israel’s claims, unlike the tiny and massively overcrowded Gaza, which offers few or no hiding places outside of built-up areas for Palestinian fighters to resist Israeli aggression, Amnesty concluded of the situation in Ukraine: “Viable alternatives were available that would not endanger civilians – such as military bases or densely wooded areas nearby, or other structures further away from residential areas.”

In other words, it was a choice made by the Ukrainian army to put its own civilians in harm’s way.

Mounting pressure

Notably, this is the first time a major western human rights organisation has publicly scrutinised the behaviour of Ukraine’s soldiers. Until now, these watchdog bodies have focused exclusively on reports of crimes committed by Russian forces – a position entirely in line with the priorities of their own governments. By its own admission, Amnesty has published dozens of reports condemning Russia.

The pushback against the latest report was relentless, coming even from Amnesty’s own Ukrainian team. Oksana Pokalchuk, its head, quit, explaining that her team “did everything they could to prevent this material from being published”.

Under mounting pressure, Amnesty made a statement last week in which it said it “deeply regrets the distress and anger” caused by its report, while at the same time stating: “We fully stand by our findings.”

The idea that only one side has been committing war crimes in Ukraine was always implausible. In wars, all sides commit crimes. It is in the nature of wars.

Faulty lines of communication mean orders are misunderstood or only partially relayed to those on the front lines. Inevitably, soldiers prioritise their own lives over those of the enemy, including civilians. Terrorising the other side – through human rights violations – can be an effective way to avoid combat, by sending a warning to enemy soldiers to desert their posts and civilians to flee. Sadists and psychopaths, meanwhile, find themselves with plenty of opportunities to exploit during the fighting.

But conversely, parties to wars invariably struggle to acknowledge their own abuses. They prefer simple-minded, self-serving narratives of good and evil: our soldiers are heroes, morally spotless, while their soldiers are barbarians, indifferent to the value of human life.

Western governments and establishment media outlets have readily peddled this foolish line in Ukraine, too, even though neither Europe nor the United States are supposed to be directly involved in the war. They have reflexively amplified Ukrainian claims of Russian war crimes, even when the evidence is lacking or the picture murky, and they have resolutely ignored any evidence of Ukrainian crimes, such as evidence that Russian prisoners of war have been executed or that Ukraine has been using petal cluster bombs in civilian areas.

More self-censorship

In such circumstances, only the human rights community is in a position to provide a more faithful picture of how events are unfolding, and hold to account both sides for their crimes. But until Amnesty stepped out of line, western human rights groups had moved in lockstep with western governments, the same governments that appear to want endless war in Ukraine, to “weaken Russia”, rather than a quick resolution.

Even the author of Amnesty’s new report, Donatella Rovera, has conceded: “I think the level of self-censorship on this issue [Ukrainian war crimes] has been pretty extraordinary.”

Amnesty should not be apologising for providing a rare window on such crimes. It should be emphasising the importance of monitoring both sides for serious breaches of international law. And for very good reason.

Amnesty’s apology sends a message to those partisans trying to shut down scrutiny of Ukrainian crimes of just how easy it is to put the human rights community on the defensive. Efforts to deter reporting of a similar nature in the future will intensify.

Ukraine’s foreign affairs minister, Dmytro Kuleba, was among those who lost no time vilifying Amnesty by characterising its report as “Russian disinformation”.

Amnesty’s apology suggests such pressure campaigns have an effect and will lead to increased self-censorship – in a situation where the evidence already indicates that there is a great deal of self-censorship, as Rovera pointed out.

The apology betrays the civilians who have been, and will be, used as human shields – putting them in lethal danger – over the coming months and potentially years of fighting. It means Ukrainian forces will feel even less pressure to rein in behaviour that amounts to a war crime. 

Amnesty would never apologise to Russian partisans offended by a report on Russian war crimes. Its current apology indicates to the victims of Ukrainian human rights abuses that they are less worthy than the victims of Russian abuses.

Flooding the battlefield

Turning a blind eye to Ukrainian crimes also lifts the pressure on western governments. They have been recklessly channelling arms worth many billions of dollars to Ukraine, even though they have little idea where most end up. (In a further worrying sign of self-censorship in the west, CBS recently postponed the broadcast of an investigation suggesting as little as a third of western weapons reach their intended destination in Ukraine.)

That is all the more dangerous because, even before Russia’s invasion in late February, Ukrainian forces – including the neo-Nazi elements now glossed over in western narratives – were engaged in a vicious civil war with ethnic Russian communities in Ukraine’s east. That region, the Donbas, is where Moscow has been focusing its military advances.

Human rights violations by Ukrainians against other Ukrainians were regularly committed during the eight-year civil war, as western monitors documented at the time. Such crimes are almost certainly continuing under cover of the war against Russia, but with the aid now of western arms shipments.

Ignoring abuses by Ukrainian forces gives them a free hand to commit crimes not only against Russian soldiers but also against the large number of Ukrainians who are not seen as loyal to Kyiv.

A failure to closely scrutinise how and where western artillery is being used is almost certain to result in more, not less, of the kind of Ukrainian crimes Amnesty has just highlighted.

Western governments, and publics, need to be confronted with the likely consequences of flooding the battlefield with weapons before they prefer such a policy over pursuing diplomatic solutions.

Ultimately, allowing one side only to be criticised for its crimes – reinforcing the simple-minded narrative of good guys versus bad guys – is likely to fuel the war rather than resolve it.

War-mongering

Amnesty’s conduct over this latest report is not exceptional. It is part of a pattern of behaviour by a western human rights community vulnerable to political and financial pressures that detract from its ostensible mission. 

As the near-exclusive focus on Russian crimes in Ukraine illustrates, international humanitarian law is all too often interpreted through the prism of western political priorities.

There has long been a revolving door between the staff of prominent human rights groups and the US government. And pressure from elite donors – who are invested in these dominant narratives – doubtless plays a part, too.

Anyone departing from the narrow political consensus imposed by western political and media elites is defamed as spreading Russian “disinformation”, or for being apologists for dictators like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad or Libya’s late ruler Muammar Gaddafi. Criticisms of Israel, meanwhile, are demonised as proof of antisemitism. 

Certainly, Russian, Syrian and Libyan leaders have committed war crimes. But the focus on their crimes is all too often an excuse to avoid addressing western war crimes, and thereby enable agendas that advance the interests of the West’s war industries.

I experienced this first hand during the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer of 2006. Israel accused Hezbollah of using its own population as “human shields” – framed by the Norwegian politician and United Nations official Jan Egeland as “cowardly blending” – an allegation lapped up by the western media.

Whatever the truth of that claim, it presented a very one-sided picture of what took place during that summer’s fighting. Though no one was allowed to mention it at the time because of Israel’s strict military censorship laws, it was common knowledge among Israel’s minority of Palestinian citizens that many of their own communities in northern Israel were being used as locations for Israeli tanks and artillery to fire into Lebanon.

The Israeli army had forcibly recruited these third-class citizens as human shields, just as the Ukrainian army is now accused by Amnesty of doing to civilians.

I saw for myself a number of the locations where Israel had installed batteries in or next to the minority’s communities. There were later Israeli court cases that confirmed this widespread practice; Palestinian politicians in Israel raised the matter in the Israeli parliament; and a local human rights group later issued a report documenting examples of these war crimes.

But these revelations never gained any traction with either the western media or human rights groups. Western publics were left with an entirely false impression: that Hezbollah alone had endangered its own civilians, even though Israel had undoubtedly done the same or worse.

The reality could not be acknowledged because it conflicted with western political priorities that treat Israel as a valued ally with a moral army and Hezbollah as a depraved, bloodthirsty terrorist organisation.

Saints and sinners

Human rights groups reporting on the 2006 Lebanon war actively echoed these self-serving western narratives that unfairly differentiated between Hezbollah and Israel, as I highlighted at the time.

I found myself in a very public row with Human Rights Watch over comments made by one of its researchers to the New York Times claiming that Hezbollah had intentionally targeted Israeli civilians whereas Israel had avoided targeting Lebanese civilians.

First, it completely failed to fit the known facts of the war. Israel’s strikes on Lebanon had caused a disproportionately large number of civilian deaths, despite the use of precision weapons. Hezbollah, using far more primitive rockets, meanwhile, had killed mostly soldiers, not civilians. 

But more problematic still, HRW had ascribed intentions to each side – good and bad – when it could not possibly know what those intentions were. As I wrote at the time of its researcher’s comments:

Was he or another HRW researcher sitting in one of the military bunkers in northern Israel when army planners pressed the button to unleash the missiles from their spy drones? Was he sitting alongside the air force pilots as they circled over Lebanon dropping their US-made bombs or tens of thousands of ‘cluster munitions’, tiny land mines that are now sprinkled over a vast area of south Lebanon? Did he have intimate conversations with the Israeli chiefs of staff about their war strategy? Of course not. He has no more idea than you or I what Israel’s military planners and its politicians decided was necessary to achieve their war goals.

HRW’s comments made sense only in a political context: that the group faced enormous pressure from US politicians and funders to focus on Hezbollah’s crimes. It also faced a damaging vilification campaign led by Israel lobbyists who wished to shield Israel from scrutiny. They accused the group’s senior staff of antisemitism and spreading a blood libel.

It looked very much like HRW caved into that pressure, just as Amnesty is now effectively doing in apologising for upsetting Ukrainian partisans and those emotionally invested in the one-sided narrative they hear constantly from their politicians and media.

Neither Amnesty nor Human Rights Watch responded to a request for comment. 

The reality is that western publics need more, not less, scrutiny of the crimes committed in wars, if only to tear the facade off narratives designed to paint a picture of saints and sinners – narratives that dehumanise official enemies and fuel more war.

The minimum needed to achieve that is an independent, fearless, vigorous human rights community, not an apologetic one. 

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Why have I stopped posting maps of the situation in the Ukraine and a few other questions

August 10, 2022

A reader recently asked me why I have not posted any maps of the military situation in the Ukraine, and that is a fair question which I will answer below.

There are a few reasons for this, but the main and most obvious one is this: unlike the first month or two of the SMO, there are very few changes worth showing on a map.  That is NOT to say that there are no changes on the frontlines, there are, plenty, but they just don’t translate into nice looking maps.

recent post on Moon of Alabama quoted what appears to be a leak from the Ukrainian command and which I will repost here:

Ukrainian channels are discussing what might be a leaked data from AFU General Staff:

 The AFU are only at 43-48% strength
– medical workers at their limit
– small arms and armor are not enough
 191 thousand soldiers were killed and wounded (only AFU, not including others)
– there is not enough hydraulics and liquid nitrogen for M777 howitzers
– no one cares about the missing – there are no statistics
– the equipment transferred by the West is running out
– western weapons are operated by amateurs, since there are no qualified specialists
– no way to repair weapons on the spot due to the lack of spares and specialists – everything is sent to Poland

BTW, even with this dire report, I would caution against predicting a decisive break in morale. As with Peski, the walking wounded are sent straight back into the trenches

I would just add here that Peski has been taken.

But the key factoids here are “The AFU are only at 43-48% strength” and “191 thousand soldiers were killed and wounded (only AFU, not including others)“.

Figures might change from country to country, and it all depends on the type of warfare which is being conducted, but the rule of thumb I was taught is that any unit which loses over 30% of its strength is not capable of fulfilling its theoretical combat missions.  Now, in history, there are plenty of examples of units with 30% or even more losses, but such units can only hold their ground, not operate an orderly withdrawal nevermind a counterattack.  The eventual outcome is always the same, eventually such units collapse and disappear (dead, prisoner or escape).

Put otherwise, at this current stage of the war, statistics such as the one above tell the story, maps don’t.

That being said,

The truth is that the Ukrainian forces in the Donbass have been in a de-facto operational cauldron since the first week of the SMO.  That is not the result of any special Russian military move, but a factor of geography.  Simply put, the eastern Ukraine is a gigantic cauldron.  True, it as not a locked cauldron, meaning that the Ukrainian side still could move forces into and out of the cauldron, but it was already “locked by fire” meaning that Russian forces could, and did, attack the forces moving in and out with devastating effectiveness.

Quick reminder: the Ukrainians, supported by billions of dollars from the combined West did have eight years to prepare very strong fortifications along the towns and cities they controlled before the SMO.  Maybe somebody expected the Russians to move in frontally, carpet bomb the Ukie-controlled Donbass (as the USA would do) and then frontally attack taking huge casualties in the process.  The Russians, wisely, did not oblige.  Instead, they chose to slowly grind down the Ukrainian defenses.

These tactics did, by the way, result in quite a few towns and villages being liberated by Russia (Izum, Peski and others), and quite a few tactical “cauldrons” which eventually were absorbed.  But, again, the maps did not reflect the nature of what was taking place.

One question I get a lot is: how come the Russian can’t even stop the shelling of Donetsk from, say, Avdeevka?  They have a much stronger and larger artillery force and they have very good counter-battery capabilities, so what is the problem here?

Simple, the Ukrainians position their artillery right next to buildings occupied by civilians.  So when a Ukrainian mortar, howitzer or MLRS fires at Donetsk or Makeevka, the Russians DO see where it fired from, but they cannot simply reply with a volley of their own, because that would be killing tens if not hundreds of innocent civilians.  That would also give the West the “Russian massacre” they so badly wanted in Bucha.  So, instead of firing back, the Russians then refine their firing data, which not only takes time, but also allows the Ukrainians to move, not necessarily by much, just a few tens or hundreds of meters, sometimes just on the other side of a building.

So the Russians decided that moving in slow makes much more sense than to frontally storm the Ukrainian fortifications.  This is better for both the LDNR and Russian forces and it is much better for the civilians.

Look, why do you think that the entire civilian infrastructure of, say, Kiev or Kharkov is fully functioning?  If you really sincerely believe that the Russians could not destroy it on day 1 of the SMO, you might as well stop reading and never revisit this blog again.  For the rest, here is the truism which really explains it all

==>>The Russians do not fight wars the way the USA does<<==

What do I mean by that?

Here is the basic US war plan:

  1. Attack a basically defenseless country
  2. Achieve air supremacy (in the absence of any modern air defenses)
  3. Fire a large amount of cruise missiles, followed by massive air strikes
  4. If that is not enough, deliberately target and destroy the entire civilian infrastructure
  5. Then send in ground forces whose basic tactic is this: advance and shoot defenseless people, and when meeting any resistance, call in an airstrike.  Then continue.
  6. Declare victory and leave (ideally while leaving a comprador puppet regime in control)

The result is well over a million dead in Iraq, the total devastation of Libya, the massive bombing of Serbian civilians in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, etc. etc. etc.

The Russians simply reject that “logic” on moral and pragmatic grounds.  Remember the #6 above!  That is *not* a viable option for Russians.

Historically, genocide has ALWAYS been the western way of war, this is especially true of the British and the US Americans.  You don’t have to believe me, simply read this book: The First Way of War: American War Making on the Frontier, 1607–1814 by John Grenier, who retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2009 after a twenty year career in which he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel and served two tours as a professor at the Air Force Academy. He currently serves as the senior professor in American military history for Norwich University’s on-line Masters of Art in Military History (MMH) program.  Really, I mean it, get his book, read it, and lose any naive illusions you might have about “western democracy” and how “liberals” wage war on others.

Another question I get is this: why do the Russian not bypass the Ukronazi towns and villages in the Donbass and push on deeper inside the Ukraine?  The answer is simple:  because that would place Russian forces in between the still existing Ukrainian positions which the Russians are slowly grinding down now and the Ukrainian forces in the Central Ukraine.  It is hardly surprising that the Russians do not want to have their forces fighting on two fronts, one to the West and one to the East.  So what about the famous “deep armor operations” or the use of battalion tactical group as a tactical-operational maneuver group? These are all parts of a regular, full-scale, combined arms operation, yes, but the SMO is NOT, repeat, NOT a regular combined arms operation.  One example, when the Russians initiated their SMO the Ukrainians had a pretty substantial numerical superiority over the Russians, combined with specific military technological elements (such as advanced secured communications) which the LDNR forces did not have at all, and which the Russian military did have, but not down to the same subunit levels as the Ukrainians.  What do we see today?  The numerical superiority is gone, and the advanced technologies given to the Ukronazis by the West have only made things more difficult for the Russians, but failed to affect the outcome.

And, of course, the “favorite” one: you (and others) have said many times that Russia could and would defeat the Ukraine in days, a few week max.  So now do you admit that you were totally wrong?

First, let’s begin with the assumption of that question, that is to say that Russia did not defeat the Ukraine in days or weeks.  Is that even true?

I would argue that is is not.  The Russians *DID* successfully basically disable the Ukrainian armed forces in the first few days and weeks of the war: almost the entire Ukrainian air force was destroyed and so were much of the Ukrainian air defenses.  As for the ground forces, they have failed to execute a single effective counter-attacks, at most they claimed that every Russian retreat was a result of their counter-attacks, but let me ask a simple question here: if those counter-attacks were successful, where is the result???  Nothing, well, other that the utterly fictitious fairy tales coming out of Kiev, of course.  And since Kiev has been wall-to-wall lying about everything from Day 1 of the SMO, how can anybody take their grandiose statements seriously?

So what really happened?

Number of foreign mercenaries in the Ukraine

What happened is that the untied West decided to throw its full military might behind the Nazi regime in Kiev.  Not only have BILLIONS of dollars worth of equipment been made available to the Ukrainian forces, there were also THOUSANDS of “volunteers” sent to the Ukraine to support the Ukronazi forces (see chart of the right, click here for higher resolution. Quick translation of the main terms: Страна: country; Прибыло: arrived; Уничтожено: destroyed; Убыло: departed; Всего: total).

Last, but most certainly not least, the US and NATO are making use of all their C4ISR capabilities in support of the Ukronazi forces.  In fact, it would be accurate to say that the US+NATO have now taken full control of all the military operations in the Ukraine (they have also presided over the total crackdown on any and all forms of internal Ukrainian opposition!).

Once this is understood, let me ask you three simple questions:

  • Have I or anybody else declared that Russia would militarily defeat the combined forces of the US+NATO in days or weeks?
  • How long would YOU estimate it would take the Russians to achieve such a goal?
  • Do you really not see that IN SPITE of that massive and total support of the West, Russia is well on her way to do just that, to defeat not only the best and biggest proxy force in US history, but also all the efforts of the combined West to defeat Russia militarily and economically?

If you did not see this, say, even one month or two ago, I could understand.  But if you STILL don’t smell the coffee, then I declare you hopeless, encourage you to stop reading this article and stay away from this blog 🙂

Seriously, if the combined West had left the Ukronazi regime in Kiev to its own devices “Ze” would have had to capitulate about 10 days into the SMO, if only to spare the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.

Did the Russians expect such a massive reaction from the West?  The term “expect” is very misleading.  That is not how these things work.  Operational and strategic plans are not based on a single scenario which you “hope” will materialize.  Here are also two things which we should always remember:

  • It is the job of the intelligence agencies and the operations planning departments to prepare and model for as many possible scenarios (or scenarii?) as reasonably imaginable.
  • Operational and strategic plans do not deal with tactical issues and they CONSTANTLY change depending on a feedback and decision making loop.

One example: Putin admitted during a TV interview that when the Russians moved into Crimea he had placed Russian nuclear forces on maximal alert.  Does that meant that anybody in the Kremlin or the General Staff “expected” the US to nuke Russia?  Of course not!  But they DID consider that possibility and took the needed action to try to prevent it.

Same here.  I am very confident that the Russians were fully prepared for the West’s insane and, frankly, suicidal reaction to the SMO.  In fact, that “maximal” response was one of the MANY contingencies which the Russians must have prepared for.  As a former intelligence analyst, I can tell you that military analysis does look at as many options as possible and then the operational planning folks make their own preparations for any contingency.

It is now abundantly clear that the West is determined to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian.  Hence the truly idiotic order given to the best and most capable Ukrainian forces to not engage in a mobile defense but to hold their ground in the Donbass until they are totally destroyed.

Furthermore, it is also abundantly clear that the western countries are willing to destroy not only its own economies, but the entire international financial system to try to hurt Russia (and China) as much as possible.

In other words, Russia is not engaged in a war against the Ukraine, but against the entire united and consolidated West.

==>>Have I not been saying just that since at least 2013?<<==

How long will this war last?

I cannot answer that because the answer depends entirely on: how suicidally stupid the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire are?

The Ukrainian forces in the eastern Ukraine have no hopes for an orderly retreat anymore, so they will be destroyed.  How soon?  I don’t know, that depends on the folks in the trenches and how strong a grip the Nazis have over that force.

Will there be a Ukrainian counter-attack towards Kherson?  I sure hope not.

Why? Because currently the Ukrainian forces are dug in inside the city of Nikolaev, and if they decide to attack, they will not only have to get into their pre-battle order formation outside the protective confines of the city, but then they will also have then cross a mostly empty plain.  In other words, it will be a massacre.

Might they still try?  Sure!  ALL the orders given to the Ukrainian forces by the USA+NATO are de facto suicidal and make no military sense.  No Neocon will ever give a damn about more massacred Ukrainians.

What else could the Ukrainians do?

Mostly, what they have been doing so far, including:

  • Massacring as many civilians in the liberated areas as possible, including with the use of banned weapons (anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions).
  • Organize effective terrorist attacks not only in the liberated areas of the Donbass, but also inside Russia (that the Ukrainians have proven pretty good at)
  • They might conduct further attacks against Russia, Crimea and the Crimean bridge.  None of them will make any military difference or even have much of an impact, but it will be good PR, especially with the full support of the AngloZionist propaganda machine aka “the free press”.
  • They are trying hard to bomb the nuclear power station in Zaporozhie.  The power plant at Chernobyl might become a target again.  Finally, the Ukronazis still have access to plenty of spent nuclear waste which they could use as a “dirty bomb” against their own population and blame Russia (think of it as a “nuclear Bucha”).
  • The steady flow of fixed and rotary wing aircraft from Poland, Romania and other countries will continue, giving the Ukronazi propaganda the illusion that Russia does not have air superiority over the entire Ukraine.

There is also a very real possibility that Poland and Hungary might move into the western Ukraine to “protect” their nationals.  They have, so far, refrained from doing so, at least openly, probably because US/NATO commanders do not want to risk a Russian strike on NATO forces (even these idiots Biden and Stoltenberg have publicly said that!).  However, if done intelligently, Poland and Hungary might well obtain by entirely non-official channels, a Russian promise to “look away” and not take any action.  Why?  Because Russia has no need whatsoever for these territories and because Russia will be more than happy to let the Poles and Hungarians deal with the Ukronazi nutcases of the western Ukraine.

I hope that the above answers at least some questions you might have had.

I will mention one last thing: while the collapse of the international financial system is already well underway, its effects have, so far, not been fully felt, most definitely not in the USA and not even fully in the EU.  Once the magnitude of this self-inflicted disaster become absolutely undeniable, not even by the Neocon-run “free press” things in the West will began to change politically.  So now is the time to wait and see, not speculate.

Andrei

An unpleasant truth for Ukrainians is coming to light

August 07, 2022

Source

By Batko Milacic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Directed shooting from populated areas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Military bases in hospitals

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

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

Military bases in schools

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

More

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov : Member countries of the African Union

July 29, 2022

Editorial Comment: Mr Lavrov’s visits to Arab states, the Arab League, and African states can only be described as a stunning victory and a complete triumph for diplomacy. A short overview is included in the second part of this Operation Z situation report: http://thesaker.is/sitrep-operation-z-collapses-and-progress/
All of the various transcripts can be read at the MFA site: https://www.mid.ru/en/
Short comments and summaries can be found on the MFA Telegram Channel: https://t.me/MFARussia



Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to the questions during a meeting with permanent representatives of the member countries of the African Union and the diplomatic corps, Addis Ababa, July 27, 2022

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Representatives of the media,

Thank you very much for coming here at our invitation. I believed that being in Addis Ababa, it is absolutely important to meet with the African Union members, like I did during all my previous visits. We could not do this at the headquarters for, as far as I understand, scheduling reasons. And I’m glad that you’ve accepted our invitation to come here to the Russian Embassy to discuss issues which are on the top of international agenda.

Many of our Western colleagues try to send the message that the key, if not the only, problem in international relations is the situation around Ukraine. I tend to disagree with such an assertion and during my visit here and  in my previous encounters with my foreign colleagues, I sense a broad understanding that the issue is much more complex and complicated.

What we witness now, especially as the West launches an unprecedented campaign of sanctions, accusations, threats, vis-à-vis Russia and anybody who dares to support Russia or even not to condemn Russia. This campaign indicates that we are living through a very important historical period, a period where we will all be deciding what kind of universe we are going to have and to leave for our children and grandchildren. The universe which is based on the United Nations Charter, which says that the United Nations is founded on the principle of sovereign equality of states, or we will have the world where the right of force, the right of the strongest dominates.

Actually, what it is all about can be described on the following example. Is it our choice to have the world where we have the so-called collective West, totally subordinated to the United States and feeling free, feeling that it has the right to decide when and how to promote its own interests without following the international law, without any respect to the sovereign equality of states?

When our American colleagues felt in the past that there was a threat to their interests, tens of thousands kilometers from the American coast, be it Yugoslavia in 1999, be it Iraq in 2003, be it Libya in 2011, and many other occasions, without any hesitation, without explaining anything to anybody, very often on false pretexts, they just started military operations levelling cities, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, like it happened in Iraq in the city of Mosul which was literally levelled. The same happened to Raqqa in Syria, where dozens and hundreds of corpses have been lying for weeks unattended and I don’t recall the progressive civilized community raising any big noise about that situation.

When the Russian Federation, not just overnight, but for the last ten long years has been drawing the attention of the United States and its allies to the unacceptable policy which they have been promoting on Ukraine, building Ukraine as a stronghold to contain Russia, pumping more and more modern arms in Ukraine, planning to build naval and military bases in that country and encouraging in all possible ways Russophobic policies of its leaders; when in 2014 we categorically protested to the West that in spite of its guarantees, the opposition in Ukraine staged a bloody coup and when they came to power, the first thing they did was to demand to cancel the status of the Russian language which has been the historical language of Ukraine from the very beginning. They also demanded the Russians to get out of Crimea. They sent armed groups to storm the Parliament of Crimea and then the eastern part of Ukraine protested against the coup.

The putchists called them separatists, terrorists and started a full-fledged military operation against them. And the West as I’ve said, which had guaranteed only a few days before that – guaranteed a peace deal between the former president and the opposition, the deal which provided for creation of a government of national unity and early elections, – this deal was disrupted overnight and the opposition bragged that they created the government of the winners.

See the difference: the government of national unity and the government of the winners. This was an invitation for the civil war because the opposition called part of its own citizens “losers” while the opposition became “winners”.

So when this all started we managed, together with some other countries, to stop it in February 2015 – Minsk Agreements were signed – keeping Ukraine one-piece.

The eastern territories of Ukraine that originally after the coup declared independence were persuaded not to insist on independence and to agree to stay inside Ukraine by these Minsk Agreements, provided they are given a special status. First of all, the right to use the Russian language.

This was endorsed by the Security Council and this was systemically and totally ignored and sabotaged by the Kiev regime with the encouragement of the West.

There was no direct dialogue between Kiev and those territories in spite of the fact that this was directly demanded from the Ukrainian regime by the Security Council.

And few weeks ago the former President of Ukraine P.Poroshenko who signed the Minsk Agreements, proudly stated to the media that “When I was signing it, I never intended to implement it. We just needed more time to get more weapons from the West in order to enable us to resolve the problem of Ukrainian East by the use of force.” Very honestly.

But this is totally neglected by the West. So we have been knocking on the door of our Western colleagues at least since 2013, telling them that this is absolutely a red line when you create a direct threat to the Russian Federation just on our borders. When you create a Russophobic state, which during all these years, managed to pass series of laws, prohibiting – physically, literally, – the use of Russian language in education, in culture, in media, and even in day-to-day life.

And at the same time, legislation was passed to legalize neo-Nazi theories and practices. Neo-Nazi battalions with swastikas and insignias of Waffen-SS, have been mushrooming in Ukraine and becoming the cornerstone of the Ukrainian Army.

It’s a very radicalized country. They glorify the collaborators of Hitler condemned by the Nuremberg Tribunal and all this is being done with silent encouragement by the United States and the European Union. And the process which I’ve described was accompanied by the Western attempts, not attempts – policy – to pull Ukraine into NATO.

Dozens of military exercises of NATO with Ukraine were held on Ukrainian territory with an obvious anti-Russian dimension. The efforts of Russia during all these years – it was not just, you know, we say today that this is a threat and excuse us, but we need to remove this threat. It has been happening for at least ten years.

When we’ve told our Western colleagues, “Guys, why are you pulling Ukraine to NATO? You know that this is a hostile organization vis-a-vis Russia, they were telling us, ‘Don’t worry, it will not be detrimental to your security.’”

Russia, as any other self-respectful country has the right to determine itself what is good for its security and what is not. In that case, NATO members led by the United States, opted to decide for us what is good for the Russian Federation.

We reminded them that many years ago in 2010, they all signed up a declaration saying that the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe will be based on the principle of equal and indivisible security, which means that any country can choose alliances, but no country has the right in choosing alliances to increase its security at the expense of the security of other countries. And that no single organization in Europe can pretend to dominate the security space.

NATO is doing exactly this. And NATO, of course, is strengthening the security of its own at the expense of the security of the Russian Federation, because the borders of NATO have been moved just to the borders of Russia.

So we told them, “Guys, political commitments to which your presidents and prime ministers put the signatures don’t work. Let’s make this principle that the security is indivisible and must be equal for all, let’s make it legally binding.”

And we suggested to them respective treaties several times. First, back in 2009 and the last attempt was in December of 2021. And they told us, “Look gentlemen, first there would be no legally binding security guarantees except for NATO members. And second, as regards Ukraine, the relations between NATO and Ukraine are none of your business.” And that was the end of it.

And parallel with this absolute rejection of constructive efforts we have been undertaking for many, many years, parallel to this the Ukrainians, in violation of the Minsk Agreements, started to accumulate huge military force on the line of contact with the eastern part of the country where the two republics have been under siege, basically. They intensified radically the shelling and bombing of those territories.

When we understood that there would be no agreement on security guarantees in Europe which would be equal, when we understood that there would be no implementation of the Minsk Agreements because the Ukrainian leadership publicly renounced this, and when we understood that the only way to save the people in the east of Ukraine was to recognize these two republics, we did so.

We signed the Treaty on Mutual Assistance with them and at their request, we are now exercising a special military operation aimed at saving lives of the citizens of the Donbass and removing any possibility for Ukrainian territory to be used to threaten the security of the Russian Federation.

I am sure that you have been following the events. I know that the Western media presents the situation in a totally distorted manner. If only to mention the so-called food crisis, as if nothing was of concern before February this year.

If you read the reports of the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization, you will refresh your memory and establish the fact that the problems in the world food market started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when in an attempt to fight this virus and the pandemic consequences the US, the EU and Japan have made an emission for eight trillion dollars’ worth without any economic substantiation, and they use this empty money to buy food and all other goods which they believe would be necessary in case pandemic takes long and there will be closure of countries.

Then there were, of course, increases, long ago, of the price of fertilizers because of the reckless policy of the Western countries on the so-called Green Transition, because the energy supplies, the classical energy resources were more or less discriminated and all this has brought the price of fertilizers high, which of course affected the price of food, and so on and so forth. And then there were not very conducive climate conditions for a couple of years.

And yes, the situation in Ukraine did affect, additionally, negatively affected food markets. But not because of the Russian special operation, rather due to the absolutely inadequate reaction of the West, which announced sanctions, undermining the availability of the food on the markets.

When we explain this to them, they say, “Food and fertilizers are not covered by sanctions”. Yes, but you know, half-truth is worse than a lie. And the truth is that the list of sanctions does not contain an item saying “food”, but what it does contain is prohibition for the Russian ships to call to the ports in the Mediterranean, prohibition for the foreign ships to call on the Russian ports, to pick up food and other cargo, prohibition to insure the Russian ships, because of which insurance prices quadrupled overnight. And of course, prohibition for the main Russian bank, Russian Agricultural Bank, which has always served the payments for Russian food exports – it was listed in the European Union sanctions.

So the latest attempt by our Turkish friends and the Secretary General of the United Nations resulted in a deal between Russia and the United Nations, whereby Secretary General Guterres committed himself to press the Western countries to lift those restrictions, which I just quoted. We’ll see whether he can succeed.

And the same deal as you know, provided for Ukraine an obligation to demine its coastal line for the ships which have been locked there, I think 70 ships from 16 countries since February, to allow them out of the Ukrainian territorial waters, after which Turkish and Russian fleet will ensure their safe travel to the straits and then to the Mediterranean.

So those were the agreements, which could have been announced long, long ago, if not for the Western stubbornness in insisting that they are always right, and all those who don’t agree with them, of course, are always wrong.

A similar situation is taking place with the energy markets. Many years ago, before February this year, the West started discriminating Russian energy projects. First, the project called Nord Stream 1 was limited by 50% of its capacity for no good reason at all. Europe deprived itself of 50% of Russian cheap, accessible gas.

Then Nord Stream 2 was blocked by absolutely illegal action when the legal committee of the European Union ruled that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was built and financed and invested, fully aligned with the existing European norms.

But after that, the European Commission changed the rules retrospectively and applied the new rules to the investment which took place legally several years ago.

So Nord Stream 2 is also not available. Poland, several months ago, stopped taking gas from a direct pipeline from Russia. Ukraine stopped one of the two transit lines through its territory from Russia. And there was some hassle with that turbine which went for maintenance to Canada, then Canada didn’t want to bring it back.

I listed five or six factors which immediately negatively affected gas supplies to Europe volume-wise. And, of course, the less you buy from Russia through a pipeline, which is a price established for long-term, the more expensive prices on the spot.

It reached yesterday, I think, $2,200 for a thousand cubic meters. So the attempts to blame us for everything which goes wrong is an attempt with not very clean purposes and intentions.

What is my point? My point is that it’s a period of history where we will have to choose either to go down the current, which the West tries to move, saying that the world must be run not by international law, but by the rules.

They coined an expression “rules-based world order”. And if you analyze the behavior of our Western colleagues in the international arena, you will understand that these rules differ from case to case. There is no single criteria. There is no single principle, except one. If I want something, you have to obey. If you don’t obey, you would be punished.

This is the picture for the future offered to us by the rules-based world order promoted by the West. Basically, this is the unipolar world where the United States, which subordinated to its own will everybody else in the European Union and allies in Asia… This is the offer. Not even an offer, it is an ultimatum actually.

The alternative to this, and I’m sure that the overwhelming majority of the world countries do not want to live as if the colonial times came back, that the vast majority of the states want to be independent, want to rely on their own tradition, to rely on their own history, to rely on their old friends, don’t want to betray their old friends.

And this is basically evident from the fact that except two or three developing countries, no one else in Africa, Asia or Latin America joined the illegal American and European sanctions.

And back to the United Nations Charter. I believe, when we speak about more just, more democratic world order, we don’t need to invent anything. Once again, I quote the Charter which says that the United Nations is based on the principle of sovereign equality of states.

And to recognize that each state is independent, each state has the right to determine how it wants to live, what kind of economic, social, political system it wants to choose on the basis of the will of its people. And I have no slightest doubt that any normal state wants to be like this. Nobody wants to have enemies. This is also an absolute truth. Neither Russia nor any other country present in this hall – I have no doubt.

But if countries, like we witness now the behavior of the West, if they do want to have enemies, as they publicly declared in their doctrines, in the decisions of the latest NATO summit in Madrid – they do want enemies, they appoint enemies, they appoint the order in which they handle these enemies. Now Russia is the first, China is earmarked as the existential challenge for the long term. And all this manifests in renewed thinking about how the world economy and the world system operates.

If the US and the European Union – under the demand of the US – decided to freeze the Russian reserves – and now they seriously start a legal process to prepare the basis to confiscate the Russian money – who knows… If they become irritated by somebody else tomorrow or the day after, they might do the same.

In other words, the reliance on dollar as the instrument supporting the world economy is not very promising, frankly speaking. And it is not by incident that more and more countries are shifting to using alternative currencies, shifting to use national currencies more and more, and this process will be gaining momentum.

This is not to say that we are suggesting some kind of revolution against the dollar, against the United States – this is to state the obvious: the West created a system which was based on certain principles – free market, fair competition, sanctity of private property, presumption of innocence, and something else. All these principles have been thrown down the drain when they needed to do what they believe is to punish Russia.

And I don’t have the slightest doubt that, if need be, they will not hesitate to do the same in relation to any other country which would irritate them one way or another.

I mentioned China as the next target. It’s a very interesting example of how the Americans consider fair competition in practice. Actually, China developed into the number one world economy – everybody recognizes this – and China did so, China achieved those results, working and acting on the basis of the rules established by the West. The IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the rules to settle disputes, competition and the stuff. China accepted those rules in developing its own economy and China defeated the West, economically and trade-wise, investment-wise, on its own turf, on the basis of the rules invented by the West.

And what happened next? Already a couple of years ago, the Secretary of Treasury of the United States and some other officials started saying, “We need to reform the Bretton Woods Institutions, we need to reform the WTO and we need to organize this reform between the US and Europe not to allow anybody else to participate in developing new rules.”

Guys, it is absolutely obvious, how they want this world to be operated. And I believe, as long as it is not too late, we would be ready to talk to our Western friends when they come back to their senses about how they think they should live together with all of us in the future. But this conversation can only be made on full equality, with full respect to the legitimate interests of all of us.

If I took too long of your time, I apologize. And I understand there might be a couple of questions, right?

Question: Your Excellency, Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation,

On behalf of the people of South Sudan, the Government and on my own behalf, I wish to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ethiopia for inviting me and my delegation here.

We are grateful that our two countries, the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Sudan enjoy cordial bilateral relations, dating back to the day of our declaration of independence, where the Russian people and their Government were among those who recognized our statehood on July 9, 2011. Since then Your Excellency, the people and the governments of two countries have stood with the people and the Government of South Sudan in many ways.

The people of South Sudan wish to express their gratitude for your immense support in the UNSC, the Human Rights Council in Geneva and other activities where you supported us. First of all, as you explained, Your Excellency, you outlined your view on sanctions. Now we know what’s really going on.

On the current political situation in my country I would like to inform Your Excellency the Minister that the signed revitalized peace agreement of 2018 is holding despite the challenges that you have mentioned. These include numerous sanctions by Western countries and their allies, and an arms embargo. Other factors of concern are natural disasters, such as heavy rains…

Sergey Lavrov: I apologize, can you pass on this text? Because it would be useful and more polite to the others. Ok? Please, pass it. Thank you!

Just one remark. We are against those sanctions which are intended to punish people. And don’t forget that the initiators of these sanctions against you are exactly the same countries who wanted to create South Sudan out of Sudan.

Question: Thank you very much for giving a very detailed and covering all important aspects in your briefing. A short question: How the hegemony of dollar can be controlled by international community because right now the countries like Pakistan and many developing countries are suffering from huge debt that continues to grow. The problem is getting worse. I would like you to clarify the situation.

Sergey Lavrov: I am not an expert in monetary affairs. What I said was it’s an obvious feeling by many countries that the dollar is not reliable, because the capricious behavior could be aimed at anyone in the future.

I know that you can feel this on yourself, if you compare the situation of 20-30 years ago and now. So, it’s life. It’s life. And nobody wants to go to war because of the dollar and I believe this is crazy.  But people want to have some insurance as regards the reliability of their economic and trade relations with their partners. And there are examples, including the use of national currencies, including barter, including clearing mechanisms. Some might say this is going back to the past instruments of conducting trade. But there would be digital currencies, I don’t have the slightest doubt, which are already being developed in China, for example, in Venezuela, in Iran.

We are thinking about this as well. It’s the beginning of a process. Now we have accumulated the elements of the problem and we know that it must be addressed.

Question: With an approach of winter during which gas importations increase. How does Russia going to export its gas and circumvent the sanctions imposed? 15 African countries import more than 50% of their grain from Russia. The situation also affected the exports from African countries to Russia. How does Russia intend to manage trade relations with Africa?

Sergey Lavrov: I think I addressed both issues in my remarks. I hope you listened to me. Antonio Guterres personally promised to make sure that the US and EU remove any obstacles to the export of Russian grain. If you add your noble voice to his efforts, I think it would be useful.

And on gas prices – I also explained how Europe systemically, during the last almost ten years, was creating barriers on the way of bringing to European countries cheap and accessible Russian gas.

I listed five or six specific decisions which were cutting more and more of Russian exports, vacating the room in Europe for much more expensive LNG from the United States, just like, you know, the US insists that Europe sends all its weapons to Ukraine, vacating the arms market in Europe for the import of American weapons. It’s “nothing personal, it’s business.”

As regards your country (Algeria), the Europeans are now thinking of alternative sources of supply. They have suffocated themselves with their own hands the pipeline routes from Russia. Now they are  looking for alternatives. And I know that the Mediterranean, including Algeria, is one of those sources.

They would be asking you to help, and it’s up to your companies to decide, it’s up to your government to decide.

In our case, according to our experiences that when we had long-term contracts with Europe, these long-term contracts protected our interests. But, a few years ago, Europe started cutting long-term contracts saying, “Let’s shift to the spot market”. And the spot market does not guarantee that you will have a long-term investment justified.

So, what we see now is not a scientific, not a responsible approach to the energy markets – it’s a hectic search for something which can save you this winter, with the green agenda shelved for the time being.

The coal is coming back, polluting the atmosphere – it’s a mess, if you take a look at the energy and environment policy that Europe is promoting. I am sorry to say this. We are not getting any happiness or joy from what Europe is experiencing, but they have been doing this to themselves for quite some time already.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have to apologize because the minister – my colleague from Ethiopia – is   waiting for me for the next event. Once again I want to thank you whole-heartedly for accepting our invitation. I hope it was not a waste of time. I tried to be as frank as I can, and we would be ready to promote dialogue with the African Union.

Unfortunately, we could not meet at the headquarters. And we would be ready for a dialogue on all these and any other issues of interest and of importance with you bilaterally. With all of you we have good relations and channels of communication.

I wish you all the best and keep healthy. Thank you very much.

Logistical nightmares for the Ukrainian army

July 24, 2022

Source

By Batko Milacic

In early July, right after Lisichansk was won by the Russian forces, the Russian military and its allies from DNR and LNR, put on display there a large number of captured Ukrainian military equipment. Rows of tanks, rocket launchers and armored vehicles stretched for hundreds of meters. All this was seized by the Russians in just one sector of the front alone. Let’s be honest, most of the Western military assistance to Ukraine is quickly destroyed or falls into the hands of the Russian military, without having any significant impact on the course of the war, and successful exceptions like the US-supplied M142 HIMARS only confirm the rule. Why is this happening?

The whole thing might be pretty simple: while receiving Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Javelin anti-tank systems and French Ceasar self-propelled guns, the Ukrainian army must quickly switch to a single NATO standard, strengthen its combat capability in the wish to stop Russian army. On closer examination, however, it turns out that everything is way more complicated. The unified NATO standard is mainly associated with the calibers of ammunition, and not with the unification of equipment. It is impossible to switch from the German “Leopard” to the French “Leclerc” without a long and serious preparation. A good MRLS operator, used to the Soviet-designed Grad, will not be able to handle America’s famous HIMARS. Each weapon system handed over to Kyiv also requires special retraining of Ukrainian military specialists. And this is just the tip of the iceberg though.

The delivery of one or two self-propelled guns with perfectly trained crews may look good in propaganda videos, but it turns into a logistical nightmare for the Ukrainian military suppliers. Full-fledged confrontation with the enemy requires units trained and equipped with unified weapons, not a battery recruited from different European and Soviet models using five different types of shells. All of them need different parts and accessories. Moreover, gun and tank crews will most likely be unable to replace each other. They are trained to fight with different models of high-tech weapons systems.

This is actually why the Eastern European countries are delivering to Ukraine what is left of their old Warsaw Pact-era stockpiles, not the latest European models. After all, mass-scale training of specialists takes months and calls for multiple instructors. The Kyiv authorities are having problems even with specialists trained in the use of Soviet-era technology. For example, on July 20, numerous telegram channels posted a video with an elderly Ukrainian tank captain, a reservist, who, after being taken prisoner by the Russians, said that all the junior officers of his brigade were over 45 years old, most of whom had received military training in Soviet universities (in the USSR, reserve officers were trained in civilian universities).

Thus, during the five months of the war in Ukraine, units fully equipped with unified weapons and trained personnel never appeared. All technologically advanced weapons are being spread across the frontline complicating the work of the Ukrainian military headquarters and turning the units receiving them into prime targets for Russian troops. The M142 HIMARS has been no exception. Due to their high efficiency and range, they have been able to inflict losses to the Russian army, damaging a strategically important bridge and destroying several military depots. However, these units immediately became hunted ones, and before very long the Russian military command provided evidence of the destruction of some such systems. In fact, the Western-trained crews of these multiple rocket launchers are now like kamikazes, whose mission is to inflict as much damage as possible before they die. But is the Ukrainian military really willing to play this role?

Right now, the correct use of Western assistance should be the topmost priority for the Ukrainian command. That is the formation of units equipped with single-standard weapons and thorough training of their personnel. Only then will the latest Western weaponry be able to stop the unhurried but consistent Russian advance.

This, however, is hardly possible amid continuous Russian missile strikes. Besides, training hundreds of military specialists fast is almost mission impossible. Guided by political considerations, President Zelensky is forcing his military to move the advanced Western-supplied weapons to the frontlines as quickly as possible with no regard for the supply of ammunition and components for these systems. As a result, instead of bringing victory to Kyiv, these weapons either burn down in Donetsk woodlands or end up as exhibits at Russian displays of captured Ukrainian weapons. Meanwhile, middle-aged Ukrainian soldiers – the last Soviet generation – are fighting on old Polish T-72, which they learned to drive 35 years ago. We see the results of such a policy in Ukraine, Kiev has less and less army and more and more losses on the front every day.

Hard times are coming for HIMARS

In war, there are major battles and minor battles. Main and secondary, crucial and those that are not. There are also skirmishes that are sometimes as significant as some battles. One two-day “event“ will certainly affect the further course of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. Ever since they received the American HIMARS multi-barrel rocket launchers, the Ukrainian generals have become emboldened. On July 20, their subordinates fired two platoons of six rockets at the Antonovsky bridge across the Dnieper in the Kherson region. There are 11 holes left on the bridge.

http://fakti.org/sites/default/files/2752782_0.jpg
Some of the holes in the bridge

This happened amid announcements from Kiev that a Ukrainian “counter-offensive in the south” would follow. Exactly to the Kherson region. With the aim of regaining control over it and defeating and destroying the Russian army on the right bank of the Dnieper. However, what followed was what neither the military leadership in Kiev nor the numerous American, British, German and Polish officers who were fighting invisibly on the Ukrainian side had expected.

A battery of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems arrived from Crimea in the Kherson region – with the task of defending the Antonovsky Bridge. On July 21, the Ukrainians tried two new platoons. Again with long-range rockets that American satellites and Avax guide to the target. But the S-400 intercepted and shot down all 12 missiles launched.

http://fakti.org/sites/default/files/2752717_0.jpg
The Antonovsky bridge is strategically important for both sides

Thus, the S-400 reduced to zero the American myth that the missiles of their multi-barrel rocket launchers are uncatchable (undefeatable). This is a hint that more and more new S-400 systems will arrive in Ukraine in the coming days. To close the sky over strategic objects under Russian control and over ongoing operations. At the same time, the Russian army began serious preparations for the complete destruction of HIMARS.

Operation ZOV: quagmire and fog

July 22, 2022

Source

By Saker Staff

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

▫️The enemy is suffering considerable losses of armament delivered by Western countries.

▫️From July 5 to 20, 4 launching ramps and 1 reloading vehicle for the U.S.-manufactured HIMARS MRLS delivered to Ukraine were eliminated by high-precision ground- and air-based armament.

▫️Among them, 2 launching ramps were destroyed near Malotaranovka, 1 HIMARS and 1 reloading vehicle was destroyed near Krasnoarmeysk, as well as 4th launching ramp at the eastern suburb of Konstantinovka (Donetsk People’s Republic).

Battery and counter-battery is the order of the day, with the Ukrops holding out for a unicorn promise of more weapons at some date in the future.

💥 Attacks by high-precision ground-based armament have resulted in the elimination of a provisional base of Black Hundred nationalist group deployed in the school №23 in Kramatorsk (Donetsk People’s Republic). Up to 300 nationalists and over 40 units of special equipment have been eliminated.

💥 Attacks launched by high-precision armament of Russian Aerospace Forces have resulted in the elimination of a missile and artillery armament depot of 59th Mechanised Infantry Brigade of the AFU deployed at an industrial area in the eastern part of Nikolayev. The enemy has lost up to 30 servicemen, 6 armoured and motor vehicles, over 2,000 projectiles for Grad MRLS, about 1,000 projectiles for Akatsiya self-propelled howitzers.

✈️💥 Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops and artillery continue launching attacks at the military facilities in Ukraine.
The list of neutralised targets includes: 6 command posts, including one of 92nd Mechanised Brigade near Rogan (Kharkov region), 1 command and observation post of 72nd Mechanised Brigade of the AFU near Serebryanka (Donetsk People’s Republic), as well as 5 missile and artillery armament and munitions depots near Zaytsevo (Donetsk People’s Republic), Vishevoye and Uspenovka (Zaporozhye region).

You can pick up the rest of this morning’s report here: https://t.me/mod_russia_en/2871

From Military Summary, the understanding is the same.  We will have to wait to see how the front changes after these heavy artillery battles.   It is worth taking a look at this one, as he has the imaging of a town (difficult to catch the name) fully within entrenchment.  It would be interesting to hear from the armchair generals how they could attack that town, without a major civilian death toll.

Although we are unable to put our arms around LOC or front-line changes, there are no reports of shelling the Donbass in the last number of hours.  The reason probably is this quite comical statement from https://t.me/levigodman/4224 

The Russian Ministry of Defense reports that from July 5 to July 20, 4 HIMARS launchers and one transport-loading vehicle were destroyed in Ukraine.  The Pentagon denies this 🌝  Lockheed Martin stock is back to pre 24th February levels so I‘d be denying it too. 😄

Progress is reported in terms of neutralizing terrorist activity.

The activities of the special services in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions are in fact similar to what they did in the North Caucasus during and after the 2nd Chechen war, catching and shooting cells of local and international terrorists. The work is complex and lengthy, the success of which is systematic and methodical.  Partisanen kaput! https://t.me/russianhead/5452

Douglas McGregor stated that Russia is preparing for a massive offensive to end this war once and for all, they will do it in the next 30 days – military observer, retired US Army Colonel Douglas McGregor.

And President Putin will be holding a meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation today.

Regarding the wider scope of this war, there is a lot of news.  This one defies imagination.   US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley said at a joint press conference that sending Iranian-made drones to Russia for use in Ukraine would prolong this conflict.  So, they may do it, but if Iran does it (bear in mind this is mainly western reporting), it will prolong the conflict.  One rule for thee, and another for me.

Important is that reportedly Ukraine agreed to partially clear its ports in the Black Sea (which is demining of course), according to export the little bit of Ukrainian grain.  Today is the day that we will hear if the agreement is a go or a no-go.  Sergey Shoigu has arrived in Istanbul to sign the grain agreement as the issue is weapons movement really, and not the paltry amount of grain.

Mercosur, the trading bloc of South America declined a request by Zelensky to address its upcoming summit.

Gas has begun to flow to Germany again via NS1 after the completion of maintenance work. It is unclear what the flow rate is and its long-term stability.

Everyone is trying to stagger backward from their own sanctions.  The EU has blocked a proposal to impose sanctions against the Russian company VSMPO-Avisma which is the world’s largest titanium producer.  (We hate you, but please sell us your titanium!).  The Russian government has expanded the list of “unfriendly” foreign states to include Greece, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia, and Slovakia.

And from China, it is so far a China win.  The US announced the 5th tranche of weapons to Taiwan since Joe Biden took office.  Pelosi also announced a visit to Taiwan in August.  China exploded and made strong demarch to cancel the sale and keep Pelosi home.  Pelosi will not be going as China threatened both diplomatic as well as possible military action.

There also is movement in Syria.  https://t.me/IntelRepublic/2149

Finally, the US is not paying its UN dues and their UN Ambassador is crying about it!

US Losing Influence at UN – Envoy

The US being billions of dollars behind on its UN commitments is hurting Washington’s ability to influence the world organization, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.

While the American delegation has resisted attempts at shaming over the issue, it has created an opening for China, she told lawmakers.

“That is really the crux of the challenge that I face in New York every single day, as we are put in a position of having to compete with our adversaries on being able to influence the UN actions,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

“Every gap that we leave is an opening for the Chinese. They flow into every open space that we leave,” she added.

Kick ’em out!  As they also do not follow international law agreed upon and documented at the UN.

Sitrep Operation Z0V: Shifting sands and changing rhetoric


July 18, 2022

Source

By Saker Staff

The question went out .. what are the most important actions over the last week, and how do we present those?

Mr Shoigu was number one, and this is how we present that by a machine translation from cont.ws:

ON ANY HIMARS THERE IS A POSEIDON. THE US QUICKLY UNDERSTOOD SHOIGU’S STATEMENT

The tactical pause that the Russian military took a little over a week ago is coming to an end, according to the American Institute for the Study of War. And here they were not mistaken: the head of the Russian Defense Ministry, Sergei Shoigu, ordered to step up efforts in all sectors of the front.

The key task is to prevent the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Ukrainian neo-Nazis from continuing to launch rockets and conduct massive attacks on residential areas and peaceful infrastructure of the People’s Republics of Donbass and other regions.

And then the question arises about the use by the Ukrainian side of the” intimidating ” American multiple launch rocket system HIMARS. Who manages these MLRS?

The Ukrainian military is only engaged in the protection of HIMARS. And they are controlled and attacked, including by objects in the liberated territories of Ukraine, by US and British military personnel. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced this officially. Captain of the first rank of the reserve Vladimir Yeranosyan also has no doubts about this. Most likely, the Russians in Ukraine are opposed by the Marine corps, which in Iraq received good shooting skills with HIMARS, the captain claims.

America uses HIMARS to kill civilians

For some reason, we don’t focus on this publicly. However, Russia responded very simply to the supply of American HIMARS-we launched the Belgorod submarine with Poseidon unmanned torpedoes. By the way, she has already taken up combat duty, said Sergey Lipovoy, chairman of the presidium of the public organization “Officers of Russia”, in an interview with Tsargrad. This news was not advertised on all world channels, but those who need it already understand everything.

And after that, the rhetoric of Europe, Canada and America began to change. We were allowed to transport cargo to Kaliningrad, and Sweden lifted the ban on entering the ports of our ships that deliver fuel and food to Svalbard. They said, ” Guys, we’re overreacting. And this is only because our submarine, equipped with weapons that have no analogues in the world, has gone into the depths and no one knows where it is now,

– said Sergey Lipovoy. If we talk about MLRS, then HIMARS can be launched by the APU calculations, but under the supervision of American instructors. In this situation, we just need to find an “antidote”, the expert stressed.

It’s no secret that HIMARS have increased range and increased accuracy, ” Lipovoy continued. – The American assurances that HIMARS will be used exclusively for military purposes, and not for civilian objects, do not stand up to any criticism. We can see that in fact these MLRS are used specifically for the civilian population and for civilian objects. That is, America kills civilians and does everything to ensure that there is as much destruction as possible. And the death of civilians is at the hands and on the conscience of American politicians – first of all, President Joe Biden.

Of course, history will charge them for every civilian death. Because this is a war crime, a genocide against the peaceful Russian-speaking population. America is no longer even shy and actually says that it is waging war not with a mythical enemy, but with Russia. But this is done by the hands of NATO.

And here Ukraine turned out to be a bargaining chip, a pawn that was allowed to be slaughtered as soon as a special military operation began,

– Linden is convinced.

The Americans and NATO have stated that they will not participate in this matter in any way, but will do everything to ensure that the war continues as long as possible, so that there is as much destruction as possible. So that the war goes “for the happiness of the Ukrainian people to the last Ukrainian”.

PHOTO: CPL. COLTON GARRETT/GLOBALLOOKPRESS.

Americans are trying to control the fate of their weapons

Military expert Alexey Leonkov also commented on the information about the presence of foreigners in Ukraine at the HIMARS consoles in an interview with Tsargrad. According to him, there is indeed such operational information that along with HIMARS, American officers appeared in Ukraine, who manage MLRS.

In addition, there is also evidence that a certain number of US military personnel are engaged in escorting M777 howitzers and counter-battery stations.

That is, America, first of all, by handing over such equipment and weapons, is trying to control its fate in order to avoid the sad fate of some types of weapons that fall to us as trophies. And secondly, such officers can control the shooting. When receiving certain data, the Americans most likely do not share it with the Ukrainians, so as not to leak it,

– the expert believes. It turns out that the Americans secretly manage all these processes.

British officers can also be present there, but only if British air defense systems appear in Ukraine, because no matter how much the Ukrainian press screams that they are easier to control than a game console, this is not true.

It remains only to add that our opponents, represented by the collective West, perfectly heard the warning of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about increasing efforts on all sectors of the front. The United States has already issued an urgent statement to all Americans on the territory of Ukraine: they say, leave, do not push your luck. Diplomats are also ordered to leave Odessa and Kiev. The stakes are rising, and Russia will not be deterred.

……………

Regulars will immediately see the increase in impact from the Russian MoD and other reporters.   Here is a summary from the Russian MoD

🔹 Russian precision strikes destroyed base of Ukrainian Kostyantynivka (DPR territory), eliminating around 250 foreign mercenaries, 7 armor units, 12 special vehicles;
🔹 Around 60 Nazi troops eliminated in Vitove (Cherkassy Oblast), 2 MLRS, 4 artillery pieces;
🔹 More than 10 Grad launchers destroyed in Udachne railway station;
🔹 2 Uragan MLRS and 17 Grad MRLS, Hyacinth-B and D-30 howitzers destroyed in artillery duels;
🔹 2 Mi-8 helicopters destroyed and 2 more damaged in airfield in Novy Donbas (DPR territory);
🔹 Army air force, missile forces and artillery landed strikes on 286 personnel and armor groupings and 14 operation rooms;
🔹 Buk-M1 SAM launcher destroyed in Kramatorsk (DPR territory), 3 weapons depots and fuel depot destroyed in Novooleksandrivka (Dniepr Oblast);
🔹 Air Defense shot down 6 UAVs and 2 Uragan missiles.

……………

The second place was taken by this piece by Andrey Martyanov and we take a quote from there but do read the full piece.

“Now, in a more important news, after the meeting with State Duma leaders on July 7, which officially was primarily about upcoming elections, Putin reiterated now well known position:

Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. Well, what can I say? Let them try. We have already heard a lot about the West wanting to fight us ”to the last Ukrainian.“ This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but that seems to be where it is going. But everyone should know that, by and large, we have not started anything in earnest yet. At the same time, we are not rejecting peace talks, but those who are rejecting them should know that the longer it goes on, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.

It is more than position, it is Russia’s MO for the last 15 years and it is the one in which every next offer from Russia will always be much worse for those who didn’t accept the previous one.”

Andrei, (The Saker) calls this phenomenon The Pain Dial.  On the front, the Russian forces are double-timing it.  Take a look at the report – https://t.me/mod_russia_en/2803.

……………

Rybar created a special report on Avdiivka which you can see here:   https://t.me/militarysummary/698

Then, we looked at many various commentators, and we still stand by Military Summary, flaws and all.

Enjoy your discussion and as always commentators are welcome to add fine detail.

With cities and villages falling, here is a good rule of thumb to follow.  You can only take it seriously when you a) see the flag go up, i.e., pictures, and b) the MoD or reliable local authorities report.

Drips of information from Iran is coming through but let’s wait until there is some formal information.  Already fascinating is a comment from Peskov this morning:  Russia, Iran to shift away from estimating trade volume in dollars, says Kremlin

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