Ukraine Thread Part 3 – Day Eight of the Russian Column Held Hostage (by the usual Russian incompetence) –

Welcome to the third installment of the Russian invasion of Ukraine series.  Since Napoleon stated that the moral is to the physical what ten is to one.  After the situation map (below) we are going to start the post with a look at the moral dimensions of the current fighting. Follow it with my impressions of the current fighting.  Then close with a counterfactual of the Ukraine-Russian fighting based on the works of Trevor Dupuy.

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I have posted on twitter about the Russian Army columns North of Kyiv decaying into immobile blobs due to the Rasputitsa, poorly maintained Chinese truck tires and shear “follow the plan” Russian incompetence.

The head and first dozen or so kilometers of the southernmost column north of Kiev have been stuck there for EIGHT DAYS.  The Russians have since rammed more and more vehicles into this monster traffic jam (idiotically “following the plan” Soviet-style) so the whole thing is now 65-70 kilometers long (almost 40 miles).

And, because the trucks can’t go off-road due to the Rasputitsa mud and tire problems, they’re stuck on the roads and the roads’ shoulders three vehicles wide for the whole @40 miles.   That means fuel and resupply trucks can’t move on or off road to deliver anything to anybody.

So all the columns’ heads are now out of fuel and battery power.  They can’t move north, south or sideways, and everything behind them is stuck because of the mud, and rapidly running out of fuel and vehicle battery charge too (assuming they haven’t already).  Nor can any of those columns defend themselves because they’re too densely packed.  They’re just targets waiting for the Ukrainians to destroy them.

Only the Ukrainians had something better to do.  They opened the floodgates of reservoirs around those columns to flood them and turn the surrounding areas into impassable quagmires for months – probably until July or August.  (See photo below) Probably several thousand Russian vehicles in those columns will be irrecoverable losses.  Hundreds of Russian soldiers might have drowned.

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MilitaryLand.net@Militarylandnet As correctly pointed out by some of you, Ukrainian troops seems to flooded the area north of Kyiv. That’s the reason why the Russian advance is stagnating there. #Ukraine #UkraineRussiaWar #Kyiv https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1499786877448200192

This was not just a debacle, but an EPIC one. About 1/5th of the Russian force in Ukraine is now flooded or trapped, and are definitely out of the war for good.

Now to the moral dimension.  The 1242 Battle of the Neva, where the Teutonic Knights fought Alexander Nevsky, is one of the founding myths of Russia.

See:

The Battle on the Ice, 1242 – Teutonic Knights vs. Alexander Nevsky 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVAFgSNUukg 

President Zelensky’s drowning of Putin’s minions in the Battle of the Kyiv reservoir may be as central to modern Ukraine’s founding national identity going forward, for similar reasons, possibly with Zelensky as modern Ukraine’s Alexander Nevsky.

Reddit and other Meme generating sites are going to have a glorious time redoing Stalin’s Alexander Nevsky movie by putting Zelensky’s face on the actor playing Nevsky.

Next, my current impressions of the war: 

To start with, the Russian Army’s logistics are just hosed. The Ukrainians destroyed or still have possession of (in their cities) all the Russian/Ukrainian railheads, save for Kherson and Berdyansk, since the first day of the war.  So Russian rail logistics are not possible into Ukraine without either/both a major battlefield success and a major rail engineering effort the Russians did not think was necessary.

The Ukrainians have been slamming every fuel truck they can find with every method available to them, which is big trouble for the Russians as they didn’t have many of those to begin with, and brought only the ammunition & food for a three-day operation.

The Russians have ditched their original 3-day “special operation” plan and have definitely shifted to “set-piece” battles requiring significant preparation, as those are better suited to their poorly trained troops.

The weak link is in doing that is the Russians plain lack the force density in the Ukraine to defend their rear areas, and in particular the bridges over the Ukraine’s many rivers and streams.

The Russian inability to suppress Ukrainian’s integrated air defense system stems in part due to the pathetically poor planning of missile launches which have mostly expended their pre-war inventory of Iskander & Kaliber Ground/Sea/Air launched cruise missiles plus the 500km ranged Iskander ballistic missiles for limited results.

It is also due to the (unknowable before combat) collapse of Russian emitter locating systems for hunting SAMs, intensely used by the Soviets, and Support Jamming capability, also heavily used by the Soviets.

And finally, the tenth day of combat has been showing the vast under-performance of radar threat warning receivers, defensive jammers and infrared missile warning systems on the latest Russian jets. All these deficiencies were visible before this campaign (since 2015) but their severity was difficult to assess before combat operations started over Ukraine.

Planning for RuAF suppression of air Ukrainian defense was keyed to human agents with cell phones and visual/radio beacons to locate UAF mobile SAM batteries pre-war for attack.  A few batteries were hit but most seem to have survived.  Ukrainian ground forces know of this trick now and it will not be repeated.

The slowness with which the Russian Air Force (RuAF) are showing in deconflicting their aircraft and their mobile integrated air defense system, after losing by capture several intact (with their codes and IFF) Pantsir-S1 and Tor short range missile complexes means the Russians lack air reconnaissance coverage of their rear areas in the Ukraine west of the Dnieper.

This means the Ukrainians can slip company-sized mobile raiding forces into the Russians’ rear areas and take out the bridges required to supply the Russian set-piece attacks being prepared.  And they are doing so.

This doesn’t stop Russian set-piece attacks, but it increases their preparation time and, in particular, upsets their timing so the set-piece attacks cannot be coordinated for mutual support.  Each will be a one-off.

I.e., the Russian advance has been slowed down in a major way.  This buys the Ukrainians time to do other things to defeat the Russians. The most important thing the Ukrainians need is time.  They have to take it from the Russians with ground operations & airstrikes.

For various reasons, I have the distinct impression that the Russians are now operating on a three-day decision-reaction cycle.  If a major attack being planned is suddenly down to one key bridge connecting its assembly area to supply bases in Russia.  It takes three days for the Russians to send a ground combat battalion to defend that bridge.

That is more than enough time for the Ukrainians to move one of their raiding companies there to destroy the bridge. I.e., the Ukrainians are clearly operating inside the Russians’ Observe, Orient, Decide, Act [OODA loop] a la USAF air strategist John Boyd. [More on this when I get to the counter factuals.]

 

The RuAF simply no longer has, for whatever reason, the air superiority it needed and had to stop Ukrainian mobile forces from counter attacking in the 1st three days of the war.

There seem to be no rear area security forces behind lead Russian columns anywhere save close to Crimea in the south. But even there the lead Russian columns heading for Odessa just got annihilated in a kettle battle.  Mykolaiv was reported cleared of remaining Russian troops, with a large haul of captured Russian equipment trophied at Kubalkino AB near the city.

Elsewhere in the Russian occupied Kherson and Berdyansk cities, we saw major public protests with flags and Ukrainian anthem being sung, ruining Russian planned propaganda spectacles.  The sieges of Mariupol and Volnovakha continue with Russians violating agreed ceasefires by moving ammo in ambulances.

Intensive combat was reported both NE and NW of Kyiv as the forces going around the two Russian armored column “Schwerpunkts” attempt breakthroughs, with engagements reported at Irpen as ongoing, and a defeat of the Russians in Chernihiv to the NE.

An attempted Eastern thrust from occupied Luhansk to envelop Kharkiv was reported to have failed today.

The 2nd Russian strategic echelon and the Belarusian Army cannot come from the north and Russia doesn’t have either rails or the truck park in the west or south to sustain anything trying to reach the out-of-supply forward columns because Ukraine owns the skies west of the Dnieper.

We are in an attrition phase, the outcome is still in doubt, and Russia still has an eight times bigger army.

Examining the Counterfactuals

I am seeing a number of people I formally trusted as military experts go sideways, hard, in Ukraine.

Bluntly, these “Experts” simply cannot get their group mind around the implications of the rotted tires of the Russian army’s truck fleet nor the fact that the Russians only control the ground they are actually standing on.  These facts are utterly decisive for mechanized combat in Ukraine.

The key thing about the Russian truck fleet’s ill-maintained Chinese manufactured tires is they are not on Ukrainian trucks.

Short form counterfactual: Ukrainian logistics have superior mobility during the Raputitsa (Mud Season) because their tires will not disintegrate in the mud!

This is a huge Ukrainian advantage in mechanized combat that stacks quite nicely with the second counterfactual.

When you look up the relevant data about how ground combat power degrades from casualties in places like Trevor N. Dupuy’s books “Numbers, Predictions, and War: Using History to Evaluate Combat Factors and Predict the Outcome of Battles”, you find that the vast majority of mechanized ground forces’ fighting power disappears with the vehicles and not the people.

Vehicles are combat power in mechanized war.

Those who suffer less vehicle force attrition than their enemy win battles, and win wars, despite being smaller.

There are safe rear areas for the Ukrainians in Ukraine while there none for the Russian.

The Ukrainians are only losing vehicles to combat and capture.  Their operational losses are being repaired and returned to them.

Meanwhile all Russian operational losses wind up either permanent losses to Ukrainian Territorial “Road Burning Details” OR AS CAPTURED UKRAINIAN MECHANIZED POWER.

Ukraine is winning the war of mechanized ground vehicle attrition with Russia inside Ukraine.

And who the h–l would have thought that!

-end-

634 thoughts on “Ukraine Thread Part 3 – Day Eight of the Russian Column Held Hostage (by the usual Russian incompetence) –”

  1. You know someone in that crew forgot to check their frunze manuals the germans had some impact in the late winter and early spring of 43, but the soviet advance from belgorod south wasnt till the summer.

  2. I am incredulous that in view of these huge Russian failures NATO doesn’t literally jump at this great opportunity and finish them off. By whatever creative means without using ground forces..and without a stodgy old definition of no fly zone like US F16s dog fighting Russian planes. I am sure they could get creative and help Ukraine finish this Russian attack. Can’t figure out why they are not doing it.. considering it could mean the end of Putin in Russia. BTW Putin’s threat that will be nuclear war is of course not relevant because the probability will only go up if he is not stopped now and because it is nit as simple as that.
    What lobby effort and by whom can get US/NATO to do this? And can you please talk about what that action by NATO would have to entail? God, I hope they will step up

  3. “Hundreds of Russian soldiers might have drowned.”
    Wait, what? Is there any reason to believe this at all? I haven’t seen anything like that mentioned anywhere.

  4. Taking more land only makes a country stronger if that new land provides more resources to the conqueror than they expend taking and holding it. An intact Ukraine willing to integrate into a new Soviet Union might make Russia stronger, though the Ukraine is enough of an economic basket case that it would probably take years and more investment than the Russians can afford. A Ukraine devastated by war and with a continuing, years-long insurgency will be a drain for the foreseeable future.

    To be cold-blooded about it, a war of conquest is an investment. The would-be conqueror invests soldier lives and the cost of the war in hopes that they can extract enough from the victim to more than pay for the investment. In the lead-up to World War II, Hitler’s investments in invasions paid off until Barbarossa. During the same period, Mussolini’s investments in Ethiopia and Spain didn’t pay for themselves and each one left Italy weaker. By 1939, Italy was near bankruptcy, with a military nowhere near competitive with the other European powers.

    Russia is already insanely over-extended, with the largest land area of any country in the world by far (and the longest borders) with an economy about the size of South Korea and a population two-thirds the size of Nigeria’s. And that population is shrinking fast. It won’t be long before it has fewer people than Egypt.

    Russia is surrounded by enemies because with the exception of Norway I can’t think of a single country on the Russian border that Russia hasn’t either forcibly occupied or taken land from. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Russians had a chance to blame that all on Stalin and the Tsars and mend relationships with its neighbors. It actually made progress on that for a while, but after the Georgia war and the Crimea and the Donbas and now the Ukraine, every Russian neighbor has to worry about being next, which means they look for outside allies to protect them, which means the Russians force small, potential countries into alliances with potential enemies. Stupid. It didn’t have to go that way.

  5. It’s possible US intervention has been already occurring in covert fashion. It would help explain the utter mess that Putins invasion became almost immediately. The US defense budget is MASSIVE for lack of better words and as they say “we don’t know what we don’t know”. The cutting edge tech we are allowed to know about has been in use for many decades.

  6. We need to take and hold territory, this has been they have been faced with since 1979 and us since 2001 and we know that turned out.

  7. Yeah, this was irrigation water used as a defense resource. There would be no need to release more than 2cuft/acre of water over the flooded area. There are locks all up and down that river to move grain harvest. With all those locks they can do a very controlled flood for mud operation.

  8. Brian, there are at least 20,000 Russian soldiers trapped there. That many will figure out enough ways to drown (mostly involving alcohol) for Trent’s figure to be realistic. And even if they don’t, their officers will say that many drowned (among many other reasons for absent soldiers) to explain suspicious discrepancies in their units’ pay records.

  9. Small unit warfare, is key, deniable fast versatile how aaron banks designed the green berets to operate, spetznaz succeeded initially in afghanistan same 22 years later in our operations againsr the taliban

  10. Missiles and artillery can still do considerable damage lets not kid ourselves, the west ward path through kharkiv may yet succeed. But this northern offensive was ill considered

  11. I’m having the distinct feeling the Russian effort is falling apart.

    So the Russian Army is 8 times bigger? How much can they concentrate in Ukraine? Without losing control of the rest of Russia?

    It is an occupation Army. Not a fighting Army.

  12. Well the georgian campaign lasted 12 days and it occurred in better conditions they can still do a lot of damage

  13. Ukraine strategy seems excellently planned. Immobilize a column. Attack the resupply. You are then fighting an adversary much easier to defeat. Thanks to mud and Chinese tires. And the initial fighters only need to be stronger than the head of the column. They don’t have to defeat all of it. Very economical.

    It may be why the Russians threw their airborne into the fight piecemeal. They had nothing else.

    I saw a picture labeled “Russians sending civilian trucks to Ukraine”. If true it means they have depleted their reserves. i.e. the Russian condition is deteriorating very rapidly.

  14. M.Simon,

    AFAIK the active Russian army per se was 2.5 times bigger than the Ukraine’s – say 500,000 to 200,000. The other service branches of the Russian armed forces have 500,000 active duty personnel between them, for a total of a million. The Ukraine’s other services have only 45,000 active duty personnel, for a total of 245,000 active duty.

    Each side has reserves. Russia’s are pretty much crap – maybe 50,000 – 100,000 might be effective after a month’s refresher and physical training. Ukrainian reserves are probably better but not that much. OTOH, they are much better motivated and there is a huge militia which is also motivated and somewhat useful for rear area security (of which the Russians have zippo due to inadequate force levels), nabbing abandoned Russia equipment which can be moved while destroying that which can’t be moved, etc.

  15. Tom,

    Thanks.

    Standard military doctrine is that the attacker must be 3 times stronger than the defender for a sure win. Russia’s whole military doesn’t quite meet that standard. That also would mean a Russian commitment beyond its capabilities. i.e. defending the rest of Russia + defeat the Ukrainians.

  16. Can you do a blog on the Royal Australian Air Force Globemaster that landed in an undisclised Ukraine airbase with medical supplies and weapons? Another blunder is that Russia only said it would be a disaster if NATO planes came into Ukraine, but Australia is in the South Pacific ocean, not the North Atlantic, ha ha!

  17. I said I was sure Russia would not invade because they can’t defeat anyone stronger than Georgia or Chechnya and they know that, so this shambolic mess doesn’t surprise me. Perhaps they thought Ukraine was in fact on that same level, which seems like a dumb thing to think, but who knows.
    But you can’t tell me that there are hundreds of Russians drowned in that convoy without showing me a single body. Sorry, that’s just not plausible. I’ve seen plenty of pictures of it for days now, and it is incredibly weird–where are all the people? They can’t just be sitting in their vehicles all day. They can’t all have just left. What the heck is going on?
    Similarly, I’ve seen a few videos of captured Russians. I’ve seen a few captured Russian communications published showing their communications problems. But why aren’t there a ton of videos of captured deserters, or intercepted messages about mass desertions? I’m not asking because I think there’s some sort of massive fraud going on, I just honestly don’t understand how to make sense of all of this.

  18. Looks like a lot of people seeing what they want to see in the fog of war. What is really happening? The truth is we don’t know.

    The other side of this that the armchair warriors need to start thinking about is — What if the Russians do screw up enough that those Ukrainians who are killing their own people start to push them back? Will the Russians go quietly — or will they double down to nuclear weapons? Start thinking ahead!

  19. A clusterf**k this big is something we would expect out of Joe Biden, not the supposedly capable Putin.

  20. I’m pulling what remains of my hair out that very few people are talking seriously about what’s going on:
    https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/russian-banks-rush-switch-chinese-card-system-2022-03-06/
    “Several Russian banks said on Sunday they would soon start issuing cards using the Chinese UnionPay card operator’s system coupled with Russia’s own Mir network, after Visa and MasterCard said they were suspending operations in Russia.”

    You see tons of stories saying, hahaha Visa and Mastercard are cutting off Russians, they’re on the run now!, and only a few side stories showing how obvious it is that we’re seeing a pre-planned move for Russia to withdraw itself from Western institutions and align itself tighter with non-Western institutions.
    Kicking them out of our club isn’t going to change their behavior now–they don’t want to be in the club.
    Does that mean we shouldn’t kick them out? No. But it means we should be honest with ourselves about what’s going on.

  21. I would think the Russians (and Ukrainians) know how to deal with mud. After all the Soviet spring offensive in 1944 was the same time of year and in the same place, more or less. Winter of 43-44 was wet and warmish, not the arctic conditions of the earlier winters. So early mud, like this year. Perhaps they have forgotten how to do it. The Chinese tires may be a bigger problem. During WWII about 30% of the tires were US made. I assume the rest were Soviet. Not sure about the comparison between current Chinese tires and 1940s American tires. I know that our tires are a lot better now than then.

  22. Alfa bank challenged the russian fraud so the sanctions hit them harder than sberbank premier laundry, that podesta lobbied for

  23. So much for Chinese tires. Now, what is the quality of the Russian boots? Just guessing, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find their boots were as bad as those tires.

    Is there a relation between how corrupt a country is and how poorly their military is maintained?

  24. The comment calling for NATO to jump in and finish the Russian forces off, seemed to have omitted any discussion of Russia’s nuclear forces. I think that has to be dealt with upfront with a plan?

  25. Where are the best Russian forces if not in Ukraine? If I were Vlad, I wouldn’t forget their only true security risk. China. Gonna bet the best Russian forces/planes/armor/troops are in the far east. Of all Russia’s neighbors, only China has the means and motive to invade. It isn’t likely, but it has to color Vlad’s thinking.

  26. With the poor maintenance we are apparently seeing regarding the Russian ground and air forces in/around Ukraine, can we draw any conclusions on the likely readiness and reliability of Russia’s strategic forces?

  27. I’m no expert, but I’m getting strong whiffs of Operation Market Garden in this situation.

  28. Wouldn’t, this be the best time for China to try a land grab into western Russia. China is resource poor, and western Russia’s population and lines of communication is so low that it should be considered a power vacuum situation.

  29. Updates:
    1. Negotiations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine will be held tomorrow on the territory of Belarus. Moscow once again made it clear today that if Kyiv does not accept the conditions (without any concessions), then the consequences for Ukrainian statehood will be severe. The United States says that the second phase of the operation could begin on Monday, including operations to establish control over Odessa and Kiev, as well as to encircle the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donbas. In the statements of the Zelensky gang, there are more and more hysterical notes and accusations against the West that it has thrown (there has never been such a thing).

    2. The humanitarian corridors in Mariupol and Volnovakha are still being disrupted by the Nazis from Azov, despite all the agreements. Is anyone surprised? Me not. So far, about 300 people who have settled in Mariupol have been released from the hands of terrorists. A few dozen more were able to escape from Volnovakha. Ukrainian terrorists do not want to get rid of their human shield. Which dooms many people to death when the counter-terrorist operation begins in Mariupol itself and the active cleansing of Volnovakha continues.

    3. Misunderstandings continue with the real location of Zelensky, and Ukrainian and American sources disperse the evil about the impending evacuation of Zelensky to the West. The search for spies and traitors also continues. Kivu was accused of “high treason” and put on the wanted list. Caught, probably killed like Kireev. And there they will already think who he is a “traitor” or a “hero”. Zelensky himself said today that the West wants Ukrainians to be killed (wake up) and that “we are fighting for where the new border will go.” The old border will obviously no longer exist. In any case, the borders will change – the question is, of course, an interesting one, where they will pass.

    4. Anti-war rallies are taking place in the Russian Federation today, with the help of which Zelensky called for stopping the operation in Ukraine. Judging by the number of those gathered, even the arrest of Navalny (who is this, by the way?) And coronavirus restrictions (by the way, where is covid?) worried citizens more. But let’s see, maybe by the evening the number will grow up. In the meantime, everything is rather pathetic, which apparently contributed to the fierce information purge, which has continued today.

    5. Enforcement of the law on fakes about the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation began today. The first lucky man got off with a fine of 60,000 rubles. I had an idea to write about the problems in the offensive operation (of course, they also exist), but for now I’ll wait – I need to see how the law works in practice. Well, or after the end of the operation there will be material when military censorship will not be so fierce.
    With regard to the operation itself, it is worth noting that even in the West there are discrepancies regarding the plans of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, although progress on the map gives some idea of ​​​​what they are striving for. From a subjective point of view, priority number 1 is the destruction of the APU grouping in the Donbas by encircling and defeating this grouping, which will deprive Ukraine of most of the armed forces and heavy equipment.

    You are gonna look pretty silly when the use this force.

  30. No pictures … didn’t happen … lots of wishing and hoping the Russians are ALL incompetent …

  31. Hi Trent,

    I’ve loved your posts here over the years and am very happy to see you getting better-recognized thanks to your very informative and timely comments on Twitter about this conflict. I hope it causes people to go looking and find your more historical analyses.

    I have a few questions about your post here. First, which high-way are the Russian NW forces stacked up on, the P02 or E373? In either case, the other parallels it (well, they both intersect near Kyiv but you take my point) and has numerous connecting roads. My instinct, were I responsible for unsticking the column, would naturally be to make sure I was in control of the other highway and use the numerous connecting roads between them to access the pileup at intervals from the side for resupply. From there, I think I’d prioritize getting the traffic jam unknotted by moving units forwards and off onto the side roads. Do you have any idea why something like this hasn’t been done?

    The information about the flooding is very interesting and I read it from you first. Thanks!

    Do you have any sources for “…collapse of Russian emitter locating systems for hunting SAMs […] and Support Jamming capability…”? It seems plausible but I’d like to know any available details.

    Similarly, do you have any sources for reports of Ukrainian company battlegroups marauding in the Russian rear-areas? That’s the kind of thing I expect from a very well-trained force with a lot of low-level initiative. The Ukrainians seem to have been putting up a very solid, stand-up fight so far but if this is true it would raise my estimation of their prowess even further, and would mark an extraordinary change in their capabilities in only a few years.

  32. Anyone speculating about China attacking Russia is showing yourself to be completely clueless about what’s going on…

  33. Phillips P. OBrien
    @PhillipsPOBrien
    ·
    20h
    Why does this all matter–it reveals that almost certainly that Russian combat strength started significantly below the stated levels, and is dropping fast as damaged but not destroyed equipment still in Russian hands cant be repaired and resupplied.

    ======

    It is becoming obvious. The CF is way too big to unwind. The people in charge in Russia seem to have no idea. They keep feeding the grinder and the parking lots.

    They are too stuck to go forward and too stuck to pull out. That 40 mi convoy will be getting hungry. Eventually discipline breaks down.

  34. Miguel cervantes
    March 6, 2022 at 9:39 am

    Evidently they don’t teach Greenhouse Gas Theory which says water vapor is the most prevalent greenhouse gas and is responsible for up to 3/4s of the warming.

  35. Can someone explain to me the point of giving airplanes to Ukraine instead of an equivalent value of manpads, anti-tank missiles, etc? I guess it gets headlines, but seems not the most effective approach…

  36. manpads would seem the most obvious, but after the mujihadeen and libyan episodes, they are probably a little anxious, about any large consignment of them

  37. Be interested to know how far Uke Air Defense doctrine and equipment has diverged from the Soviet/now Russian equivalent.
    Could the Ukes spoof Russian air activities?

  38. Brian, it’s training and maintenance. It takes months to familiarize a pilot with a new aircraft and its weapons, particularly those of some other country. Ditto for groundcrew. Plus combat aircraft require incredible amounts of spare parts, tools and munitions, all of which have to be transported to the airfields, with supply depots and pipelines kept constantly filled.

    This is why the Ukrainians want the old Mig-29’s of former Warsaw Pact satellites of the ex-Soviet Union which haven’t been modified to meet NATO standards. The Ukrainian air force uses Mig-29s which are pretty much what the Russian air force flys. Most Mig-29’s in NATO hands have been significantly modifed to meet NATO standards in electronics and weapons load, and so are useless for the Ukrainians, at least for the duration of this war.

  39. Tom, I’m saying don’t give them airplanes, focus on other stuff. My guess is that $X million in manpads/tows will cause way more damage to Russian forces than the equivalent value in fighter planes.

  40. Brian,
    Oh, we are, are we? You do realize that statement takes in either side of the argument. Just to be clear, if my graphic skills were up to it, I’d draw a cartoon of Vlad and XI facing each other with Xi holding a big knife behind his back. The caption would be; “I got your back, Vlad.”.

    Anybody newish here would be well served reading Trent’s other posts, little if any of which has been overtaken by events. The comments, including my own, are a mixed bag and you may not have that much time to spare but many of the links are worthwhile as well.

    One aspect of my day job is dealing with various Mil-SPEC’s and testing for compliance with them. They have been built up over many years, I’ve personally purchased Mil-SPEC airplane cloth. It’s not hard to read between the lines that some were written in blood. On a bad day, they seem almost impossibly baroque and fussy. The suite of tests for even fairly simple materials costs thousands of dollars and can take months.

    When you see the possible debacle in Ukraine, some of the method to the madness starts to become apparent. We don’t do tires so I’ve never looked at all the various specs. I’ll speculate that the facilities for doing the tests include large proving grounds, massive testing stands and millions of dollars for each and every design.

    They’re all available on line for free, you need to figure out just which apply to your particular product, there may be several. Here’s one I found from 1988 so may have been superseded and predates the development of Stryker and MRAPS, both of which use unconventional tires.
    http://everyspec.com/MIL-SPECS/MIL-SPECS-MIL-T/download.php?spec=MIL-T-12459E.008870.pdf

    This will give you a taste of what I’m talking about, it’s only 36 pages, I regularly deal with ones hundreds of pages long containing dozens of tests.

    There is also a trend towards moving the specs that were confined to the U.S. Military to bodies like SAE and ASTM which are international standards. This includes making the plans to special testing rigs available to anyone, or they can hire U.S. testing labs to do the work.

    The saying is; “Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics.” The best battle plan using the most perfect weapon will come to nothing if that weapon is sitting immobile with flat tires.

  41. MCS: Russia pulled all its troops from the Far East. Putin and Xi had a summit last month. Accounts are (I know, who knows what to believe…) that China actually asked Russia to delay the invasion for a few days until the Olympics were over. They clearly have an arrangement. China has said they won’t respect sanctions on Russia. They’ve already stepped in and started replacing Western credit cards, etc.
    And you think China’s going to suddenly decide to invade Siberia?
    Huh?
    Never mind that China doesn’t “do” invasions–the PLA is for internal security, and they just take people over with debt–do you not see that there’s a non-Western “alliance” they’ve been laying the groundwork for being unveiled before our eyes, and zero reason to throw that away now. They’re playing for global stakes. They can take over Russia economically at their leisure, their game right now is to smash the West.

  42. Does Taiwan know that the PLA is just for internal security? To think they’ve been worrying for nothing all these years.

  43. they can still be savage, xi could target the semiconductor factories if he was merely spiteful, and that would put us in a world of hurt, but the logic of this operation is baffling, when he chose to launch it,

  44. I see the Russia/China arrangement as being like the Soviet/Nazi arrangement of 1939, with the Chinese being where the Soviets were in 1939–with two enemies fighting one another and the Soviets getting stronger by making the Nazis dependent on them.

    Of course in 1939 that didn’t work out well for the Soviets because the Nazis over-performed militarily and all of a sudden the Soviets were alone on the continent with Axis powers.

    In this case, the Russians appear to be under-performing. If that continues, China won’t have to do anything overt to turn Russia into an economic satellite and displace Russian influence in the ‘stans. Chinese conquest of the border territories the Russians took away under the Tsars can be gradual and doesn’t even have to be overt. Lines on the map don’t have to necessarily change if the ethnic composition changes and the new Chinese majorities in border regions are economically and politically more attuned to China than to Russia.

    I don’t see any scenario going forward where the Russians don’t become, at best, a very junior partner of the Chinese. Is that a bad thing for the Russians? Oh yeah. Is it a bad thing for the west? Equally, oh yeah.

  45. The Dutch used flooding in their defensive wars against Louis XIV.

    Jiang the Nationalist broke levees on the Yellow (?) River in the ’30s to slow down the invaders, and Rommel had fields in Normandy flooded in 1944.

    The drowning Russians story reminds me of the myth of the frozen ponds at Austerlitz, where hundreds or thousands of them supposedly perished while fleeing . . .
    which isn’t to say that the Ukraine flooding itself isn’t real, and having real and foreseeable effects.

    IIRC the famous ratio of Moral/e to Numbers is Three to One.

    As to the Middle Kingdom, Xi and Co have nothing to lose by giving Putin rope.

  46. Whatever the real situation is on the ground, we know that the Ukraine has been winning the Twitter war. Whether that is enough, time will tell.

    In the meantime, here are some of the other stories floating around:

    USA says Poland will deliver MIGs to the Ukraine. Poland says — NO! Not doing it.

    USA says our “leaders” are thinking about getting NATO to cut off oil imports from Russia. Germany says — NO! Not doing it.

    Because of financial sanctions, many Russian bond issues are about to go into default because they are prevented from making interest payments to Western lenders. This does not hurt the Russians, since they have already spent the money. It hurts the Western banks and pension plans which bought those bonds — potentially pushing some of the Western counterparties into bankruptcy. Not part of the narrative.

    A Ukranian negotiator was murdered by the Ukrainian equivalent of the KGB. The narrative ignores it.

    The fog of war is dense. Deliberate misinformation — and merely confused misinformation — is rife. The potential for surprises is high.

  47. I was also amused by stories saying the US is working on Venezuela to further “isolate” Russia. It takes a special kind of stupid to believe that’s gonna happen.

  48. It is the irony of history that when Putin makes a biggest strategic error of his career, gets a large part of his Army and Air Force destroyed, and has his own population starting to speak out against him…
    The US happens to be led by a senile corrupt politico surrounded by a bunch of inept self-centered lite-weights incapable of the strategic thought and rapid decision making to take advantage of the situation and foster the creation of a peaceful and prosperous Russia as a partner on the world stage rather than the belligerent thorn she has become.

  49. KellyJ: “foster the creation of a peaceful and prosperous Russia as a partner on the world stage rather than the belligerent thorn she has become.”

    A question, Kelly. If we asked the people of Serbia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan to name a belligerent thorn, what name do you think would top the list?

  50. With regards to the main subject, the Russians are able to conduct and sustain combat operations (including artillery) at the business end of that long column, so perhaps it isn’t as disfunctional as this post indicates.

  51. Do any of the commenters on here have an over/under on when the Biden administration (actively, yet as covertly as they can achieve) opens up US fossil fuel production back to Trump administration levels – or possibly even more than that ? (Bonus points for predicting what the Biden administration will call the program – the Biden Initiative Energy Rescue plan, perhaps ?)

    The arrival of a few full US LNG cargo ships in Europe starting an ongoing supply chain to Europe would both logistically and stategically give a powerful and peaceful message both to Russia and the rest of the world. And would give the Biden administration much-needed tax revenue, while boosting US employment.

  52. “Capex discipline from the largest shale firms and the supply chain bottlenecks for many producers will cap U.S. oil production growth, according to Pioneer’s Sheffield.

    “Several other producers are having trouble getting frack crews, they’re having trouble getting labor and they’re having trouble getting sand; that’s going to keep anybody from growing,” he told Bloomberg in February.

    “Even if the president wants us to grow, I just don’t think the industry can grow anyway,” said Sheffield.

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/High-Oil-Prices-Arent-Enough-To-Tempt-Shale-Producers.html

  53. Everyone should be very worried that Tom Friedman could write something like this:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/nytopinion/status/1500444333002133504
    ”If China announced that, rather than staying neutral, it was joining the economic boycott of Russia,” writes tomfriedman, “it might shake Vladimir Putin enough to stop this vicious war.”

    He’s a sock puppet for the “elite.” If they’re really this delusional then things are going to go very very badly. Probably nothing can stop that now anyways…

  54. Friedman still thinks the world is flat. Given that this is an existential situation for Russia (they can’t back down) and that the West is trying hard to promote the conflict (i.e. almost active belligerents), the only plausible hope for a brokered peace is if China steps forward and offers to guarantee a deal — which will require a permanent Chinese military presence in what will be left of the Ukraine.

    My guess is that Xi & Putin agreed this in advance of the operation. China is waiting until Russian forces have achieved most of their objectives before stepping in to stop the fighting by offering their services as a mediator.

  55. Yes obviously Xi and Putin have an arrangement. They’re going to inflict massive economic pain on the West. Be prepared.

  56. The Big Question

    Are Russia’s nuclear weapons and delivery systems as crippled and hollowed out by corruption as their conventional weapons and equipment in the Ukraine have proven?

    Inquiring minds around the world want to know.

    “Look, Ma! The Potemkin Village has no clothes!”

    Consider the implications of this question being merely asked.

  57. I would think Schwab and Xi with Putin as the odd man out. I put the question to you, how solid are our launch systems, we have seen operatives in the Special Forces, Dobbins, Chang at the CIA, another operative in the FBI, who had formerly been company, those are just the officials we know of, for 6 years, the airforce denied their iranian born DIA operative, Nurges Witte had defected back to her own country

  58. I’m trying to get my head around the shape of this conflict, so please excuse me if I state the obvious or correct me if I’m wrong. As I understand it, the Russian army (as opposed to the Armed Forces) has around 670,000 men total. Of those, slightly over 400,000 are contract soldiers. The rest are conscripts, officially in the army for one year. Conscripts are brought into the army in two periods, one running from April to July and the other October to December, with around 130,000 men coming in for each period. The fall 2021 batch of conscripts have around three months of training. The spring 2021 conscripts have on the order of nine months, but were, until this mess started, in the last one to three months of their service, probably crossing the days of their remaining enlistment off on the calendar.

    The conscription system creates a large body of men who have some military training, but until lately the Russians haven’t had a system of refresher training to keep up those skills. In the last few years they’ve been trying to establish a system similar to our National Guard, but it is still early stages on that, so they have very little in the way of a reserve they can mobilize and expect to add much combat value in the short term.

    There are limits to how much of their regular army Russia can send to the Ukraine, part of them logistical and part of them due to other commitments–keeping the areas around Chechnyia in check, keeping the Armenia thing from exploding again, general border and base security. I’m not sure what those limitations are, but I suspect that for a shock and awe campaign, which was supposed to be, what they are using is pretty close to what they can use.

    By the way, most of this came from, or was inferred from: https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/explainer-russian-conscription-reserve-and-mobilization

  59. An article worth reading:
    https://doomberg.substack.com/p/on-the-cusp-of-an-economic-singularity?s=r

    There are three conflicts going on simultaneously. First is the Twitter war, which the Ukrainians are clearly winning. Second is the military conflict, where the Russians appear to be making steady progress — albeit more slowly than some expected. Finally, there is the economic war which the West has launched against Russia. The Doomberg article focuses on this last one — and on its potentially irreversible consequences.

  60. Dale C,
    Your numbers look about like others I’ve seen. First, I don’t think the conscripts add much to Russian combat power. I don’t think a kid with a few weeks of training is likely to do much more in a modern fight than get himself and others killed. I think the entire value to the Russian Army is that a few choose to enlist and become contract soldiers. The rest of the army follows through with this by abusing them in every way imaginable including killing a few. It’s not hard to find stories of conscripts that just drop off the edge of the earth. So the real number of effective troops is down to 400,000.

    Obviously, these conscripts are worse than useless when it comes to things like equipment repair and maintenance. So subtract all the mechanics, cooks and so on from that. I don’t know how many civilian contractors the Russians use for support; my impression is that there aren’t many. These tend to cost much more than military pay and most are used for things like cyber, not greasing tanks.

    So, the idea that they had to really scrounge to get 200,000 for the present festivities is not implausible. The proof will be whether they can dig up a substantial number of new troops to extricate them from the hole they’ve dug.

  61. Oh, and it’s Russia. I bet some substantial number of their reported strength are soldiers with no existence beyond a pay roster to allow someone to collect his pay.

  62. The following is all off the top of my head – big project due soon – but I think is sound:
    There are other things Biden and his puppeteers can and should be doing besides finishing the Keystone XL pipeline – which will help psychologically even before it starts helping physically/economically:
    1. Encourage the Israeli-Greek pipeline to Italy, instead of trying to stop it. (I’ve read that he has stopped it, though I’m not sure how the U.S. could do that, unless they were counting on technological or financial help from us.)
    2. Stop shutting down perfectly functional nuclear power plants, and reopen those that have been closed prematurely as soon as possible. If governors of (e.g.) New York and California object, tell them it’s a national-security emergency and they can get stuffed.
    3. Build new ones. I’ve read that there are solid plans for building small safe ones quickly, but the anti-nuke movement has kept them from being built. Ignore them.
    4. Stop paying farmers to grow corn for ethanol, and make them grow corn for food instead. (I don’t know if eating corn and ethanol corn are different breeds, but it’s still early in the year, so surely not too late to switch over, though it might be expensive.) Countries like Egypt that import wheat and corn are already seeing much higher prices for grains. (By the way, the late Charles Hill of Dustbury blog was one of those obsessive calculators of gas prices and mileage, and he concluded that 10 gallons of 10%-ethanol gas got his car no further than 9 gallons of no-ethanol gas. The ethanol in the mixture contributed absolutely zero to his mileage – at least on his cars. So we would lose little or nothing on the gas side while doing huge good on the food supply side.)
    5. As a corollary to #2 and #3, investigate the funding of anti-nuke, anti-pipeline, and other anti-energy-self-sufficiency groups and arrest every one who knowingly took money from Russians or Chinese to fund their campaigns – for treason. That will help with #2 and #3.
    Will Biden or his handlers do any of these things? Maybe if they get enough pressure to.

  63. Dale, just checking Wikidpedia, it gave the Russian armed forces a total of a million men on active duty. Their service structure is not the same as ours. The army has 500,000. Of the other 500,000, 370,000 are in the air force, navy and strategic rocket forces. The other 130,000 look like they should be counted as army. Which gives the Russian total ground forces of 630,000 men.

    Wikipedia also says the Ukraine’s active armed forces totalled 245,000, of which 200,000 were in the army. Both countries have reserves, almost all of which were conscripts, and the Ukrainians also have Territorials which are a form of volunteer militia. The reserves on both sides aren’t much, but the Ukrainians are motivated while the Russian reserves seem to be frantically trying to get out of Russia before they can be called up.

    The Ukrainian Territorials, on the other hand, are doing a reasonable job in the traditional role militia role of rear area security, particularly in the areas they live in which are nominally behind the Russian “lines”. Only there are any “front lines” as in a normal war because both sides lack the force density to form them.

    So there are just “blobs” of Ukrainian territory where one side or the other currently has real ground combat forces, often facing each other in combat. Everywhere else in the Ukraine is controlled by the Ukrainian Territorials. So Ukrainian military vehicles can move around freely in small groups save within a few kilometers of Russian troops. That and the Territorials are how the Ukrainians raid Russian supply lines.

    And Ukrainian military vehicles can move around freely west of the Dniepr River because of the Ukrainian’s intact integrated air defense system there. East of the Dniepr is more dicy.

    Russian vehicles can’t move around safely in small groups, let alone individually, unless within a kilometer or so of Russian ground troops because the Ukrainian Territorials will nail them. Russian non-combat vehicles in general can only move safely, anywhere in the Ukraine, in armed convoys with some ground troops and combat vehicles mixed in with them.

    This disparity gives the Ukrainian army an enormous relative advantage which conventional military commentators are blind too. It’s outside their frame of reference.

    BTW, this is really how the rebels won the American Revolution. The rebel militia pretty much controlled everywhere the British regulars weren’t. There were exceptions in the South and New Jersey. A book titled “Washington’s Partisan War” covers New Jersey.

    https://www.amazon.com/Washingtons-Partisan-1775-1783-Mark-Kwasny-ebook/dp/B00J5O7JCE/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1646621893&sr=1-1

  64. Tom: It sounds as though we’re in the same ballpark in terms of ground forces. Not sure where the 40k difference comes from.

    The Russian pattern seems to be putting a lot of money into high prestige, noticeable items–new fighter jets, hypersonic missiles, etc, while spending too little on training, vehicle maintenance and spare parts.

    It would be interesting to know how much of an ammunition stockpile the Russians have and how much capability they have to make more. I know they had a crap load of stuff left over from the Soviet era, much of it poorly stored and unsafe, but do they have large stockpiles of usable stuff for their modern weapons? Given their pattern of cheaping out on low-visibility stuff, how long can they fight before they run low on artillery ammo or even rifle ammo?

  65. Dale, that’s right. The corrupt Russians grudgingly spend money on visible stuff and steal the money supposed to buy the less visible things that make the visible stuff work. They’ve had lots of practice. The chief effect of ex-Soviet industry was to turn good raw materials into useless crap.

    The performance of the Russian air force over the Ukraine indicates that they don’t have large stockpiles, if any, of precision-guided munitions, EW and ELINT gear, and spare parts.

    Given that their notoriously honest and tight-fisted defense minister was canned in 2012 and replaced by a corrupt bum, I suspect that purchase of modern army, air force and navy munitions pretty much ceased in either 2013 or 2015. Perhaps of any munitions, or at least most of the expensive stuff – just enough produced to meet on-going training needs.

    So Russia’s stocks of artillery munitions (including artillery rockets), vehicle and crew-served weapons ammunition, and small arms have probably been aging for the past 6-7 years. They’re not as bad as North Korea’s, which have been aging for 20-25 years.

    And I saw a story about the old Soviet Strela man-launched anti-aircraft missiles (Soviet version of early Stingers) held by East Germany being given to the Ukraine. Only when the German munitions guys went into that warehouse, they ran out right quick and refused to go back in without full hazmat suits. Because the Strela boxes were dripping with mold.

    That could be the case with old Soviet munitions held by the Russians and the Ukraine.

    God only knows what that kind of corruption means for Russia’s strategic rocket forces and ballistic missile submarines.

  66. @Tom Holsinger

    Re Movement is not Occupation. Unless a Ukrainian area has a high enough density of Rosgvardia to enforce control the Russian dont occupy an area. They basically just control the area covered by the range of an AK round from current troop location. Not far.

    All the really big burned out columns I’m seeing video of are Rosgvardia formations. Dozens of vehicles per column. And the ones that do get through are easy pickings for the local Ukrainian forces. Most of the non logistic unarmored vehicles you see destroyed in built up areas seem to be Rosgvardia.

    This means once the lead formations are mostly destroyed / break down / run out of fuel there is no secure retreat path back to the start line for what remains. It will be a fighting retreat in very hostile environment. (Afghanistan 1842?) The Russians went in with around 115 BTG’s. At this rate maybe 30 might be left as fighting units by the time this is over. Even the VDV 76’th Guards sounds like it has lost effectively the equivalent of 1 of its 3 combat brigades already. With the second one well on its way to destruction. Dark days in Pskov.

    For some Russian units Ukrainian farmers may end up with more of their armored vehicles than the Russian units return to base with.

  67. Chinese truck tires and shear “follow the plan” Russian incompetence.

    Wrong “shear.” “Shear” is about hair. “Sheer” is a synonym for “nothing except” or “powerful.”

    Sorry.

  68. On the bright side, I’ll bet the PLA bought the same tires. There’s a lot more to an effective army than counting noses.

  69. I’ll second a recommendation to read the article that Gavin linked. One of the salient tendencies of the left is the practice of doing anything that they think will confer any sort of advantage, however transient, without considering, really, anything else. If setting aside the 1st Amendment will shut down resistance; great idea!

    The risk isn’t just that the Dollar would lose Reserve status but that no currency would be safe for clearing international transactions. If you think the supply chain is screwed up now, think about having to buy and transport gold or silver to import your next shipment. Your accounts receivable department would need an assay section and tools to drill holes in the gold bars to make sure they weren’t just gold covered tungsten.

    I’m reminded that Vickers was forced to pay patent royalties to Krupp after WWI for fuses fired at Germans. If I remember right, this was in a British court.

  70. Trent, what do you make of this seemingly neutral-produced map? I say neutral because you can see it take into account reports of Russian defeats via the (temporary) removal of their advances. Also, this guy’s big recent project is mapping Chinese detention camps in Xinjiang and doesn’t seem to repeat the Russian regime’s talking points anywhere in his profile.

    Seems to show, despite their issues, the Russians have made recent progress in the NW of Kiev where the convoy terminates (and elsewhere around Kiev). https://twitter.com/Nrg8000/status/1500489717259063296

  71. The Russians are still active and expanding at the end of the “hostage” column, so we can conclude that it’s not dysfunctional and operations west of the Dnieper around the capital are a go.

    I can’t believe the Ukrainians didn’t blow the M-01 / E95 bridge over the Desna River south of Chernihiv. The Russians are using the town bypass to, you know, bypass the town. They’re now rapidly advancing on Kiev down the east side of the Dnieper. It’s probably too late to blow the bridge over the Oster and mount a defence of Kozelets.

    Unless the Ukranians have something up their sleeve, the battle of Kiev starts very soon.

  72. Doomsberg’s stuff is indeed very good. An example of the problem that the MSM is full of idiots who are incapable of doing anything but transcribing what the regime tells them, and so you have to go look to crazies for an alternative view, and it’s hard to tell if they’re insightful or just crazy.
    But you can probably tell I subscribe, based on stuff I’ve been saying the last week…I don’t think people appreciate what’s coming.
    Gas up another $0.20 this morning at the local pump…on top of the $0.55 jump the second half of last week…
    Get prepared.

  73. Thanks for the info, PJ. Do you mind sharing your source for Russian movements via the M-01 / E95 bridge over the Desna River?

  74. Brian: “Gas up another $0.20 this morning at the local pump…on top of the $0.55 jump the second half of last week…”

    There is a news item that English port workers are refusing to unload Russian oil. Is it possible that the Political Class have lost control of their Project Fear?

    When ordinary people, riled up by the Political Class’s incessant propaganda, start going beyond what their rulers want and cutting off supplies that Jolly Olde Englande can’t do without — the English people are really going to suffer! And the impact of interruptions to fertilizers, seeds, planting won’t be felt fully until Fall comes around and there are less grains to harvest.

    Whatever happens in the Twitter war and in the actual combat, we peons in the West are going to be suffering for a long time from our “leaders” economic war.

  75. Updates:

    1. Mariupol. The announced evacuation of civilians again did not take place. Ripped off by the Nazis. The DPR announced that they would soon start cleaning up the city.
    2. Volnovakha. There is also no organized exit. The resumption of active sweeping is expected within a day.
    3. Kharkov. The announced evacuation of civilians again did not take place. Ripped off by the Nazis. Serious work of artillery and MLRS in the Kharkov region was noted. The Armed Forces of Ukraine themselves recaptured Chuguev, which the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation did not even enter. The zone of control around Balakleya is expanding.
    4. Raisins. Serious fighting around the city. According to Ukrainian sources, the RF Armed Forces are solving the task of occupying the city and have already entered it. The capture of Izyum will drastically worsen the situation for the entire grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donbass.
    5. Severodonetsk. Fighting continues on the outskirts of Rubizhne. Severodonetsk itself is not attacked head-on.
    6. Slavyansk-Kramatorsk. In the area of ​​​​the agglomeration, several blows were inflicted on the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The route Izyum – Slavyansk has not yet been cut.
    7.Zaporozhye. The RF Armed Forces have approached Gulyai-Polye and are advancing east of it to the north and north-east, to the rear of the Armed Forces grouping in the Donbass. The enemy continues to bend the front in order to slow down the advance of the RF Armed Forces.
    8. Nikolaev. On the outskirts of the city, sporadic fighting and shelling with the use of MLRS continued. The city itself is not completely blocked. So far, there has been no progress towards the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant in the Voznesensk region.
    9. Kyiv. Fighting continued to the west of the city, plus the RF Armed Forces are gradually consolidating control over Bucha. Irpin under the Armed Forces of Ukraine. There were clashes near Brovary from the east (the RF Armed Forces did not enter the city). Chernigov and Sumy without any changes. The local leadership, under the threat of execution, does not release residents through humanitarian corridors.
    10. Odessa. No major changes. Landing forces were not landed. So they don’t land, rather they scare them with a potential threat.

    Negotiations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine are expected in Belarus today. Russia insists on its main demands – recognition of Crimea, recognition of the LDNR, demilitarization, denazification + non-bloc status. The expected disruption of negotiations by Ukraine will most likely lead to an intensification of hostilities in the next 24 hours, and at night or in the morning we should expect missile strikes on the territory of Ukraine. USA on Saturday that the second phase of the offensive of the RF Armed Forces will begin within 48-72 hours.

    Most of the holdup is the various Nazi commanders refusing to let their human shields leave.

  76. @Jay, nothing special, just https://liveuamap.com

    When I looked on the 5th it just showed the Russians stuck on the approaches to the town.

    Thanks for the link to the pic. I see they also blew the bridge over the Dnieper at the Slavutych border crossing with Belarus in similar fashion.

    https://www.planet.com/gallery/#!/post/kamaryn-slavutych-border-crossing

    At least they tried. Clearly the Russians anticipated and are able to engineer their way past these obstacles. If they can secure the E95 around the north of Chernihiv they’ll have dual carriageway road supply all the way to Kiev.

  77. Here is another view on the likely blowback from the West’s economic war:
    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/03/america-shoots-its-own-dollar-empire-in-economic-attack-on-russia.html

    “Nobody thought that the postwar 1945-2020 world order would give way this fast. A truly new international economic order is emerging, although it is not yet clear just what form it will take. But “prodding the Bear” with the U.S./NATO confrontation with Russia has passed critical-mass level. It no longer is just about Ukraine. That is merely the trigger, a catalyst for driving much of the world away from the US/NATO orbit.”

    It is not just the US facing blowback from the economic war. Euros have done things from which there is no way back. Once the English impound the assets of rich Russians, what wealthy Saudi is ever again going to invest in expensive London real estate? Once Swiss banks seize the assets of rich Russians, what wealthy Brazilian is ever again going to put his money in a Swiss bank?

    The reverberations from the Western economic war may develop into an earthquake!

  78. I don’t think it’s right to refer to “blowback”. That’d be like saying that Russia is facing “blowback” from Ukraine in the actual physical fighting. If it’s right to call it “economic war”, and I think it absolutely is, then both sides get to get their shots in.
    Like I said in the previous thread, there are three fronts:
    – the physical war: Russia seems to have bogged down even more in the past several days. It’s getting even harder to tell what’s going on. There is very little online from the fighting in the southeast, or really from most places that aren’t Kiev.
    – the propaganda war: Ukraine continues to win in a rout, at least in the West. I have no idea how things are playing in Russia, or in the rest of the world. My vague sense is that most of the world doesn’t really care.
    – the economic war: I don’t know that the citizens of the West are prepared for what looks likely to come, in terms of prices for gas, food, etc. And I don’t know that governments in the West are really prepared for what could happen if prices go up and stay up. At my local gas station prices were $3.74 early last week and are $4.39 this morning. If prices go to $5 and stay there for months? Unimaginable. Good luck telling people to wave a Ukrainian flag and accept “the price of freedom” in that case…To say nothing about what’s going to happen in places that don’t grow enough food to feed their own people. Look for Western sanctions to completely collapse due to “humanitarian exemptions”, but then what if Russia decides that it doesn’t really feel like resuming most trade with the West?

  79. Brian, presumably Russia will sell their oil and gas SOMEWHERE, which will net out in supply-demand terms similarly as if they sold it to the west.

    Otherwise, agree that the cost of energy sanctions may be politically unbearable in the US if they look to continue toward November.

  80. “Euros have done things from which there is no way back.”

    Just to be clear, so far it has been asset freezing by the banks, not confiscation. Hopefully this remains the case, not only for the reputation of western governments / banks but tactically against Russia. There’s no point in confiscating the assets of Russian oligarchs since it removes their incentive to get their wealth back. A bit like shooting a hostage rather than sending a ransom demand.

    The problem with a new world financial order outside of the “West” is that it isn’t really going to succeed when it’s all made up of gangsters and tyrants. In fact, I fully encourage the Russians to align their economy with the Chinese and invest in Arab property portfolios. The result will be hilarious.

  81. the economic war: I don’t know that the citizens of the West are prepared for what looks likely to come, in terms of prices for gas, food, etc. And I don’t know that governments in the West are really prepared for what could happen if prices go up and stay up

    I am absolutely certain that the Biden junta is run by people who have no idea how an economy runs or what history should teach us. They are operating on Harvard faculty lounge theories that don’t make sense. Someone said, “There are some ideas so stupid that only an intellectual will believe them.” Those intellectuals are running Biden.

  82. Lots of people believe in pretty pink unicorns, whether those are providing magical energy or financial security.

  83. Biden’s handlers have already alienated Brazil with his inability to do the job–by all accounts he wouldn’t even give Bolsonaro a phone call. And they’ve destroyed our relationship with Saudi Arabia, which may be a bunch of scumbags, but for better or worse we’ve always prioritized keeping them on our side. It’s a continuing mystery why these idiots are so eager for some sort of “deal” with Iran, but it’s a massive disaster right now that KSA and OPEC have zero interest in helping deal with skyrocketing oil prices. The media keeps braying that “the world is united against Russia” but that’s just not true in any meaningful sense, and it’s going to get real old real fast when people can’t afford gas.

  84. if you think of it as enemy action, against our country, and every remaining functioning institution, it makes perfect sense,
    https://t.me/jermwarfare/10531

    I did this, well with the help of my friends,
    *Kolomoisky, hunters paymaster gave up on Zelensky, and the Azovs, so your guess is who is funding the latter now,

  85. Trent says he is too busy to repost here the email updates he’s sent to his friends on the Ukraine war, and has given me permission to repost those instead.

    Here is Trent’s March 4 email update:

    “The logistics of the Russian Army, particularly the column to the Northeast of Kyiv, sucks rocks so badly that only the end of Mud season can fix it. The Russian VDV general commanding 41st CAA sent to the front of that column to unscrew the supplies got killed by a Ukrainian sniper. The Hostomel airport at the front of the column which was key to the columns logistics is back in Ukrainian hands.

    The UAF has de facto air superiority over Ukraine’s cities & West with undefended rural areas in the East & South suffering from RuAF strikes.

    The Russian deaths are 10K with another up to 25K wounded. Key to today’s kill zone for Russian casualties was when the Ukrainians recaptured Kubalkino AB in the south with MRLS fires. Russian troops & vehicles were on the airport runways with no cover due to the Rasputitsa when the Ukrainian MLRS volleys rolled over them leaving a 1,000 KIA.

    Overall, the Russians are running in a range between 6% and 12% casualties of the forces committed.

    NATO stops and uses long range stand-off weapons when they reach 2%

    Headlines summaries are below:

    ________________________________________
    Day 8 and half of Day 9. Daily AFU summaries late yet again.

    Major developments:

    • Consensus that Russia has stalled and much of the invasion force out of gas due to POL interdiction and bad planning;

    • Reports Russia has committed 95% of the forward deployed force inside Ukraine and is rushing second echelon units from elsewhere in Russia to bolster the invasion force – this is evidence of a transition from Blitzkrieg to more conventional attrition slugfest;

    • Russia’s body count approaches 10,000 KIA, suggesting an additional 25,000 WIA given winter conditions, and total casualty count of 35,000 – not yet crossing the magic number for combat ineffectiveness, Ukraine needs to push the overall casualty count up to around twice this number i.e. sustain daily kill numbers for another 9 days, or increase them;

    • Lukashenko says that sending his troops into Ukraine risks their loss, leaving Belarus exposed to a NATO invasion force from Poland and Baltic States;

    • Russia escalates its Syria style campaign of bombardment targeting the civilian population and infrastructure, rural townships suffer most due to absence of air defence;

    • Ukraine holds Hostomel airport (declared by Western media irrevocably lost), and AFU SOF wipe out Russian VDV holding Hostomel township, footage shows An-225 tail and wings survived fire;

    • MGen Andrey Sukhovetsky VDV KIA after Ukrainian sniper shot;

    • AFU hits Russian contingent holding Kubalkino AB with MRLS fires, walking a barrage over 1,000 troops and equipment being staged for advance, AFU troops clear Kubalkino AB ;

    • V-MF expends its deployed magazine loads of Kalibr SLCMs and will have to reload its ships, until that happens VKS will have to fly strike sorties into the Ukrainian IADS and take losses. Ukraine claims another Tu-22M3 BACKFIRE C launch of a supersonic Kh-22/32 KITCHEN against Kyiv, again killed by an S-300P battery;

    • Ukrainian AF IADS has a very nice day and a half with the kill tally now cited at 37 fixed wing kills and 37 rotary wing kills, including another Su-34 FULLBACK and multiple Su-25M FROGFOOTs. The Su-24M, Su-25M and TB2 strike fleet continues its convoy interdiction and close air support campaign, but details have not been disclosed (Bayraktar Song is hilarious);

    • Zelensky pushes West on an NFZ for good reason as the Ukrainian AF has lost aircraft, personnel and SAM batteries, and Russia mainly attacks the least defended or undefended targets;

    • NATO and White House declare a NFZ would cause Russia to escalate and start a major war with Europe and is therefore not going to happen, Kyiv says that negotiation continues over Warpac MiG-29s, Ukraine also seeks MRSAMs and LRSAMs from NATO to replenish lost S-300 and Buk batteries, Germany supplies 2,700 ex-DDR NVA Igla MANPADS to Ukraine, US DOD describes ISR support for AFU to AFM;

    • DEFMIN Reznikov says the number of captured Russian tanks and armoured vehicles in quantity now rival the total numbers supplied by Ukrainian industry since 2014 – we should expect in coming days “Voentorg” jokes. Civilians and territorials have proven especially adept at stealing unattended or abandoned gear;

    • Ukraine is capturing both legacy and advanced air defence equipment, including the latest Pantsyr S2 and Tor M2 SHORADS – a calamity for Muscovy on multiple fronts – a deluge of tweets with photo/video below;

    • In the South Russia continues bombardment of Mariupol and Volnovakha, and reports of civilians in Kherson being brutally abused;

    • Russia bombards the lightly defended Zaporozhiye nuclear plant, starting a fire, control room overrun by Chechen troops, major international fears that Russia will create another Chernobyl to punish or blackmail Ukraine;

    • Herashchenko Blog – Zugzwang or 6 scenarios for Putin is most interesting and explains the increasingly spiteful behaviour of Muscovy;

    • Russia experiencing an internal nosedive as the Rouble and stocks tank, and export income nosedives, remaining independent media close down – USSR / DPRK redux;

    • UN ICC initiates war crimes investigation;

    • Ukraine negotiations with Russia yield no result, more planned. Much complaint from Ukrainian leadership over NFZ and supply of AD batteries and fighters;”

  86. Here is Trent’s March 6 email update:

    “The videos coming out of Ukraine today are showing unsustainable rates of loss for the Russian Army.

    There was a video showing an entire under strength Russian D-30 122mm battalion destroyed by Ukrainian MLRS counterbattery and more RuAF planes downed over Kharviv.

    I am beginning to think the Ukraine Military is low balling Russian losses by a lot, and they are reporting 1,000 Russian dead a day.

    Zelensky lied to Congress on Saturday, apparently saying most of his AF was destroyed on the first night. The USAF said previously it was not true.

    I expect bulk lying from Kyiv on Russian losses for basic political reasons, AKA fear of losing support, which is justified as well.

    That said, I’ve been expecting the full Viking Berserkergang…and seeing it.

    The Russian 247th Guards VDV Air Assault Brigade was pivotal to the Ukrainian loss at Ilovaysk in 2015 and thus likely involved in the Ilovaysk murder of Ukrainian wounded and POWs. The Ukrainian annihilation of that unit was preordained.

    Ukrainian list admin says he sees the phrase “revenge for …” popping up all of the time. Then the Su-27s killed two Russian CANDIDs carrying VDV, it was “revenge for the Luhansk Il-76 ambush”.

    Very Viking – Ukrainians remember and get payback later. I doubt many Russian prisoners are being taken.

    Switching subjects, I’m looking at Trevor Dupuy’s mechanized warfare attrition models and I keep seeing that Ukraine is -flat out- winning.

    Ukraine is repairing their operational losses and the Russian Army’s operational losses as Ukrainian AFV combat power.

    Kyiv is at the bleeding edge of Russia’s 90 road mile power projection from Belarus rail heads. Beyond that, since Zelensky ordered the Kyiv reservoir to flood land north of Kyiv.

    It looks like the Ukrainian game is to replay their VDV General Zabrodskiy’s 2014 deep 400 km Donbas raid to disrupt the Russian Blitzkrieg, but on a nationwide scale. It is working well as small teams of Ukrainians with munition carrying multi-copter drones are turning Russian held areas into complete chaos.

    Notice how the Russians try to set up set piece battles, the Ukrainians pushed back enough to let the Russians get in position, and then turns the rear areas into a charnel house.

    The Russian General Staff has not a clue what is happening to them. It looks like they are running on a 3-day decision cycle where everyone is lying to everyone else. Particularly telling here is no one has cued them to Ukraine’s superior logistical mobility in the mud because Ukraine does not have Russia’s ill maintained Chinese tires on Ukraine’s trucks.

    The Ukrainians SP-Gun & Grad MLSR are running rings around the Russians in their rear areas because their raiding force’s small logistical truck columns have more off-road mobility plus Ukraine Territorial Defense Militia & Ukrainian SF eyes to tell them traversable routes.

    The Ukrainians simply could not do this if Russia’s air forces were not hollowed out by corruption.

    Headline summaries from the Ukraine list are below.

    ________________________________________
    ———————-

    Summaries are running very late again today. Immense volume of footage and stills showing abandoned equipment, including VDV BMDs. Ukraine govt still briefing public that Russia will attempt to envelope or storm Kyiv in coming days. UK Adm Radakin comments on the unravelling of the Russian land campaign and immense losses (BBC below).

    The most important development of the day was a decision by the White House to support the transfer of former Warpac combat aircraft from NATO nations to Ukraine. This followed Zelensky’s lobbying of Congress, and Congressional lobbying of the White House (below). Poland was holding back mostly due to an expectation that the US provide backfill aircraft as quickly as possible. What happens with the Slovakian fleet (not being flown as aircrew in the US converting to F-16), and Bulgarian fleet (grounded mainly as Russia not meeting spare parts contract) is unknown. How long it takes to reflag the Polish jets, check out Ukrainian pilots, and fly the jets into Ukrainian bases remains to be seen.

    Russia launched a cruise missile attack from either a BEAR or BLACKJACK over the Black Sea today. 8 Kh-101s hit the out of use Vinnitsa Airport, usually hosting a light airlift wing, that was having its runway rebuilt and had no aircraft on it. Why waste 8 x expensive ALCMs is a good question. Ukrainian political leadership is ramping up argument over a Russian campaign to cripple the nation’s airfields – easier said that done given most of the military airfields are hardened and many have concrete HAS to parks the jets. Using these airfields as “flak traps” for SAM batteries could result in very high attrition losses for Russia.

    Kills against Russian jets are yet to be tallied, but it appears that one Su-25M FROGFOOT, one Su-30SM FLANKER H and one Su-24M FENCER or Su-34 FULLBACK were killed, the latter hit over Kharkiv by two SAMs, either S-125 or S-300, the footage showed descending wreckage on fire, one crew member punched out and being hunted by Territorials.

    There have been no significant reports on the state of the Blitzkrieg axes in the South, East, North and Kyiv areas. A major campaign has been launched by Muscovy to conceal combat losses in Ukraine. There are indications that Russia intends a major mobilisation, that suggests that Muscovy believes now it can only win by a sustained long running attrition war, noting that this also may signal that the regime knows it has expended most of its elite and combat ready troops in this campaign.

    Russia’s isolation and self-isolation continues, with the economy in freefall. A major debate over whether Russian oil should also be embargoed.

    Ukrainian domestic politics focused on public morale, sustaining the war effort, and supporting foreign policy.

    Many reports on public cohesion, hardship, and civilian misery.”

  87. “Russia’s body count approaches 10,000 KIA”
    You’ve got to show sources if you’re going to make claims that are that wildly out of range of every other estimate.

    https://twitter.com/LucasFoxNews/status/1500611483759255555
    A new U.S. intelligence assessment says more than 4,500 Russian soldiers have been killed here in Ukraine since the war began. The estimate, however, is made with ‘low confidence,’ officials say

  88. @Brian

    Well if the talk in Pskov is of 200 lost in the 76 Guards alone (this was 4 days ago) and others sources are talking about at least 1200 officers from just the Western Military District (lots of Central MD and Eastern MD in those 115+ BTG’s) then 10K total is starting to look conservative. Remember the Winter War. Nobody initially believed the numbers of Russian dead the Finns published. Whereas in fact it was on the low side.

    With the low survival rate of those inside a vehicle hit by a AT weapon there is a couple thousand just there given how many Russian armored vehicles have been destroyed. If you have seen the footage of the bodies of those able to exit a destroyed Russian vehicle its a terrible way to die. Those still inside..

    At least 10K sounds about right. The fact that video has already appeared of mothers of Russian soldiers berating public officials shows how bad it is. It took years for the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers to make effective demonstrations against the Afghan war in the 1980’s. And it was a large part of forcing through the Russian exit at the time.

  89. Brian: “It’s getting even harder to tell what’s going on. There is very little online from the fighting in the southeast, or really from most places that aren’t Kiev.”

    That is one of the dogs not barking. It makes one begin to wonder — is this part of the standard Russian operating plan of Deception. They make all the armchair warriors (which seems to include most Western governments) focus on Kiev while Russian forces pursue their real objectives elsewhere.

    The armchairs start from their own assumption that Russia’s aim is to occupy the Ukraine. But that is not what Russia has said it intends to do — quite the reverse.

    If we take Russia at their own words, their objectives are to make sure the Ukraine does not join NATO, and to protect the Russian-speaking population of Crimea and the Donbass — which happens to be where the most virulent part of the Ukrainian forces have been waging war for the last 8 years (without, apparently, a whole lot of success). And yet those are the places where the Ukraine’s very successful Twitter war is lacking — perhaps because Russian forces cut communications?

    There are too many things which don’t make sense. Trent tells us that the Ukrainian Air Force is whipping the Russians — yet Zelensky is begging NATO to impose a no-fly zone. Why, if he is winning?

    We are being played! And the reporting is very unreliable.

  90. tfourier: then where are all the bodies? I’ve seen tons of abandoned Russian equipment (Were the crews captured by aliens? Did they just walk back to Russia?). I’ve seen far fewer images of destroyed Russian equipment, and in general they don’t show any bodies at all. So if there are 10K dead Russians in Ukraine, where are all the corpses?
    Note that I’m not some Russian booster. It looks to me like they’ve badly stalled out overall. But I need some evidence when I read claims that are far beyond what even the biggest Ukraine boosters are saying–even Trent himself says that his estimate is way higher than what they are claiming.

  91. KIA rates of 500+ a day are unsustainable for the Russian active army. Its ground combat brigades will be burnt out in 3-4 more weeks and no longer able to sustain any attack, and probably not any counter-attack by the Ukrainians.

    This is where the Russian failure to maintain trained reserves is biting them in the ass. They can’t just throw untrained bodies into combat the way they in World War Two. I expect they will give any called-up reserves at least 30 days of refresher and physical training, which clearly won’t work but that’s what they’ll do.

    And then Putin will try something else which won’t work, and then something else, etc., until he gets a 9mm resignation notice.

  92. “We are being played! And the reporting is very unreliable.”

    Well you can trust my stuff. ;) You might remember that Russia is very skilled at negotiating with terrorists, Idlib, full of em’, is proof of that. This has many similarities to the Syrian situations where they could have just smashed the place like the Americans, but chose not to.

    Aleppo was a negotiated solution, as were many other places the Russians had to deal with. America just wastes the place, Mosul and Raqqa were destroyed to war crime levels. The very large number of civilians killed in America’s wars is perhaps the main reason I hate America.

  93. Tom H: “And then Putin will try something else which won’t work, and then something else, etc.”

    Tom, you are wise enough to know what would follow a serious Russian defeat — it would be a tactical nuke on the victorious Ukrainian forces.

    And if President Putin declined to OK that mission, that is the time he would get a bullet in the back of his head and he would be replaced by a hardliner who might decide to take out Kiev at the same time. And then we would we well down the slippery slope to a nuclear war including an airburst in your locality — mine too.

    I do not understand why “Our Guys” are trying to pump up the conflict instead of trying to help negotiate a settlement. Surely they recognize the huge downside risks they are running?

  94. If the regime thinks Americans are going to tolerate any significant pain for the sake of Slow Joe and the Ukrainians (nice name for a band, huh?), they’re completely delusional (that word keeps coming up when talking about the regime, doesn’t it?)
    https://twitter.com/zerohedge/status/1500929672141582339
    WHITE HOUSE SAYS U.S. NEEDS TO BE PREPARED FOR LONG, DIFFICULT ROAD AHEAD

    Also, Russian officials now openly threatening to shut off gas shipments to Europe, which will surprise all the clueless normies who just replaced their mask and needle icons with Ukrainian flags in their account profiles, who think the sanctions actually were for real and not just kabuki.

  95. @Gavin Longmuir
    “If we take Russia at their own words . . .”

    Why would you do that? They said there wouldn’t be an invasion. You’re now looking at one. The only thing worthy to note of the Russian side is their action.

    The most likely reason for relative success in the south is that the logistics are better by dint of longer established facilities. Also probably less harassment from territorials due to high level of pro-Russian population.

  96. Gavin, you said, “And if President Putin declined to OK that mission, that is the time he would get a bullet in the back of his head and he would be replaced by a hardliner who might decide to take out Kiev at the same time.”

    You don’t think Putin’s inner circle want to live? These guys were raised atheist, remember?

  97. I’m not counting at all on it happening, but if the war continues to go poorly an internal coup would be celebrated by the Russian people. The new leaders would publicize instead of hide the needless military deaths and scapegoat everything on Putin and whoever didn’t go along with the coup, take rightful credit for removing the western sanctions and so highly likely have the good will of a large majority of the population.

    Like I said, I don’t think it’s likely but it sure seems more likely to come from those wanting to end the war rather than escalate it.

  98. Jay wrote: “You don’t think Putin’s inner circle want to live?”

    I think Nancy Pelosi, Hunter Biden, Boris Johnson, and all the rest of the Western Lefties want to live. I don’t think they understand the risks they are taking. Either someone blinks, or there is a serious chance we end up in a nuclear war (in which you and I and everyone else would end up as less-than-willing participants).

    We are getting very one-sided coverage of events in the Ukraine. Maybe it is accurate, maybe it is not. We are also seeing the usual Leftie clamor claiming that Reagan … oops, I mean Bush … sorry Trump … I mean Putin is evil and stupid. Fall for their usual line if you want. We know who would replace Biden if something happened to him — not that it makes us happy. But we have no idea who would replace President Putin. Are you really sure it will be a cuddly transgendered single mother of color who wants to buy the world a Coke?

  99. Gavin, you write as if I’m suggesting the west make efforts toward a coup. I am not. The best thing the west can do now imo is help Ukraine force a compromise that allows Putin to claim some victory back home but doesn’t actually reward him with much he didn’t already have.

    Also, are you really comparing the retaliatory risk of the US supplying weapons to Ukraine with the retaliatory risk to Russia of Putin actually ordering nuclear strikes? Not worth discussing further.

  100. the stink of troll, is quite pungent, its hard to see which of his retainers, might still be interested in the project, Glazyov possibly even Shoigu thought nukes were too much, the wheels are coming off this wagon, in the West, as they keep shooting themselves with a Gatling gun in the feet

  101. Putin is diminished almost whatever happens. He is likely to keep doubling down, looking for something he can call victory, whatever the cost to Russia. That goes very dark places–mass starvation, the Ukraine in ruins, the world economy splintered into smaller, poorer pieces.

    I’ve been trying to figure out a way out. One off-the-wall, unlikely but vaguely possible way out: ByeloRussia’s strongman (or someone with power in ByeloRussia) turns against the war and tries to kick the Russians out. The Russians pulls the bulk of their troops out of Ukraine, pull ByeloRussia back into their orbit and declare victory, blaming the ByeloRussians for keeping them from winning in the Ukraine.

    Yeah, not likely. I believe the Russians are now providing security for the ByeloRussian government after it came close to getting overthrown a while back. ByeloRussia is in many ways the key to the situation though. Not sure how that can be played.

  102. Another Russian general bites the dust.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/christogrozev/status/1500959074653024259
    Jesus, Ukraine just killed Gen. Maj. Vitaly Gerassimov, chief of staff of the 41 Army. At Kharkiv.
    Russia, if you’re listening: delete your army.

    This is not the worst part. In the phone call in which the FSB officer assigned to the 41st Army reports the death to his boss in Tula, he says they’ve lost all secure communications. Thus the phone call using a local sim card. Thus the intercept.

  103. Raymond arroyo points out much like with the crimean war there is a sectarian dimension re the schism btw the moscow patriarch and the ukrainian churches

  104. As the article says; “for better or worse”. Cogent is shutting down internet service in Russia. I assume that the sanctions make this an easy choice, possibly unavoidable. What they really need is more internet and outside information, not less. We should be air dropping Starlink terminals with free service to bypass the official information channels.
    https://mashable.com/article/cogent-communications-isp-russia-ukraine
    Via instapundit.

  105. Have Ukrainian special forces attacked road junctions and marshaling yards inside Russia? If not, why not?

  106. Everyone seems to fear that Russia/Putin will turn to nuclear war if Ukrainian resistance stiffens.

    Will Ukrainian partisans, commandos, long-range operations units attack oil pipelines inside Russia?

    If not, why not? This is war, isn’t it? And not “divine right of kings, let’s exchange a few cities war” but existential war. After the war either a western Ukraine with a higher density of Ukrainian speakers exists, or the whole nation is subjugated by the same people* who brought Ukraine Holodomor.

    * For all the jabber about “Nazis” in Ukraine, Russia is ruled by an actual loyal member of the communist party KGB agent.

  107. My guess is that if the Ukrainians are attacking inside Russia we aren’t going to hear about it. The Ukrainians don’t want to look like aggressors. The Russians don’t want to look weak so unless there’s something the Russians can blow into an atrocity (unlikely in my opinion) neither side will publicize it.

    There’s no reason for Ukrainians to attack inside Russia to get to the pipelines because other than Nord Stream the bulk of the oil and gas pipelines to Europe go through the Ukraine. While the Ukrainians may get to the point of want to sabotage them, I have a feeling right now they want to keep collecting the tariffs on the fuel flow. IIRC Russia has used constriction of flows to pressure the Ukrainians in the past since it cuts into their tariff collections. I also think the Ukrainians don’t want to be seen as the ones disrupting the flow of oil and gas to the people who are shipping weapons to them.

  108. This video gives an alternative view of the “hostage” column:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDKH_FxFdrw

    In summary, yes the Russians are delayed and somewhat harassed but they are succeeding in establishing forward operating bases for the advance on Kiev.

    We should have an answer soon because cloud cover disperses on the 10th and satellite views will be available.

  109. The US media is of course completely worthless, unfortunately, so you have to try to tease out what’s going on as best you can by filtering accounts online, disregarding ones that are too obviously propaganda.

    A couple of interesting threads:
    https://twitter.com/ErrantStrategry/status/1500904280034885635
    I sat through an intel update this afternoon. While I can’t get specific, what I will say is that the view of the war that we are getting from expertly curated UKR IO is giving a lot of folks an impression of not only RUS incompetence but also UKR dominance. 1/6

    https://twitter.com/MENAConflicted/status/1501039589481496578
    There has been a number of intelligent (& a few trash) threads on the importance of logistics, particularly in line with Russia’s logistics failures.
    But one thing that’s really interested me more has been Ukraine’s deliberate strategy of targeting logistics. It’s by no means a…

    I’m still especially curious how people in the know expect things to go if (when?) gas prices go up another dollar (or more) and stay there for months. I see no sign anyone’s actually honestly trying to grapple with that at all.

  110. Brian: “Jesus, Ukraine just killed Gen. Maj. Vitaly Gerassimov, chief of staff of the 41 Army. At Kharkiv.”

    Maybe. We know that the Twitterati War is going very well for the Ukraine, whereas the physical war seems to be going a bit different. We also know that Twitter is the home of a Biblical flood of misinformation – some deliberate, some merely confused. Someday, someone will find out whether the Ukrainians are managing their Twitter campaign themselves — or whether someone else is doing it for them. The history of the End of the West is going to be absolutely fascinating — unfortunately, it is going to be written in Chinese.

    While we are waiting for Armageddon, here is a different source of information — clearly pro-Russian. Whether it is accurate, I have no idea. What is interesting is that the focus is not on Kiev — it is on surrounding Ukrainian forces in the Donbas area.

    https://thesaker.is/major-military-and-political-developments-and-major-risks-next/

  111. Total lunacy. The (Western) world’s gone completely insane.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/vaccine-delivery-canceled-to-country-that-did-not-condemn-russia/ar-AAUKbha
    One country’s decision to abstain from condemning Russia has now cost it a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.
    On Wednesday, the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and demanding immediate withdrawal, with 141 out of the 193 members nations voting in favor of the resolution. Five nations voted against it, including Russia itself, Belarus, North Korea, Syria, and Eritrea. The remaining 35 countries abstained from the vote.
    Among the abstaining members was the South Asian country of Bangladesh. As a result of that decision, Lithuania reversed a previous decision from earlier in the week to send over 440,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh, according to a report from Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT). This was confirmed to LRT by a spokesperson for Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė.

  112. This is my shocked face. Who could have predicted this?
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-08/china-considers-buying-stakes-in-russian-energy-commodity-firms
    China is considering buying or increasing stakes in Russian energy and commodities companies, such as gas giant Gazprom PJSC and aluminum producer United Co. Rusal International PJSC, according to people familiar with the matter.

    What? How could this be? It was so totally awesome that the West was going to impoverish Russia, what do you mean that might not happen!
    We’re governed by crooks and villains and surrounded by brainless sheep.

  113. Lithuania has decided not to donate, i.e. give, vaccines. I see no reason for Lithuania to help a country that is acting against its interests.

    Is this the middle of the segue between Covid hysteria and WW3 hysteria?

  114. A refinement on an earlier prediction that China would end up being the cool head which brokers a settlement in the Ukraine.

    President Xi has reportedly had a virtual meeting with German Chancellor Scholtz and French President Macron about the Ukraine. This at a time when the NATO is structure is creaking badly, with Germany refusing to join Biden*’s plan to stop importing energy from Russia. France already left NATO once in the DeGaulle days, and could do so again.

    Perhaps we will see those three countries jointly broker a settlement in the conflict, ignoring the warmongers in the DC Swamp. Still expecting to see Chinese troops as peacekeepers in the Ukraine — definitely preferable to nuked cities in the US, Europe, and Russia.

  115. China is considering buying or increasing stakes in Russian . . .

    Good, let them tie their money up there instead of here. Get the gangsters and tyrants entwined. Their economies can be Chinese Tyres and Russian maintenance.

  116. You’re absolutely right, pjf, it is totally right and just to make sure charitable donations of medical supplies don’t go to anyone guilty of wrong think. Everyone in Bangladesh should be interrogated to make sure they are properly in support of the new thing before they can get jabbed.

  117. they chose not to cooperate, maybe the Soviet spy ring around DeGaulle had something to do with it, maybe he nursed a gripe over being initially passed over for first Darlan and Giraud,

    so effectively telling the Russian people, not just the oligarchs we regard you as the enemy, that’s not going to blow back, is it?

  118. As I understand it, any Western company with some sort of investment/joint venture in Russia is forced by the sanctions to abandon them for the duration, or more likely forever. I’m surprised that we haven’t heard demands that the governments imposing the sanctions make good. Some of the risk is probably insured but that will just mean the insurance underwriters will be wanting money.

  119. Updates:

    1. Mariupol. The evacuation through the humanitarian corridors never started. Only a few people get out of the city. In some areas of the city, the cleansing continues. There is also no mass evacuation from Volnovakha.

    2. There was also no special evacuation from other cities where the “Day of Silence” was announced today – whoever could, tried to get out by train from Kharkov, the terrorists released only foreign hostages from Sumy. In the direction of the Russian Federation, they are trying not to let anyone out. The total number of hostages in the hands of Ukrainian terrorists, according to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, is more than 4,000,000 people.

    3. Kharkov. Fighting continues around the city. MLRS of the Armed Forces of Ukraine work directly from city blocks. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are also trying to strengthen themselves in the Chuguev area, which they heroically recaptured from themselves 2 ago.

    4. Raisins. The situation is not entirely clear. Locals say the Russian Armed Forces took the city, but this has not yet been officially confirmed. The city center was severely damaged.

    5. Kyiv. The RF Armed Forces are expanding their zone of control to the west of Kyiv, plus they are building up forces on the outskirts of the Brovary area. The Armed Forces of Ukraine claims that there is an accumulation of forces for an early assault.

    6. Nikolaev. The Governor urges to prepare for the imminent street fighting. The RF Armed Forces continue to accumulate forces near Nikolaev. There were clashes to the north of the city.

    7. Odessa. No major changes. The Nazis are preparing for all-round defense in Odessa, realizing that after Nikolaev they will come for them. The recently shot down Romanian MiG-21 appears to have been shot down by a Ukrainian air defense system operating in the Odessa region.

    8. LPR. Fighting continued in the area of ​​Rubezhnoye and Zolotoe. There are also reports of ongoing fighting in Popasna.

    9. DPR. Donetsk-Gorlovskaya agglomeration without significant changes. The enemy continues to shell the settlements of the republic.

    10. Zaporozhye direction. Fighting was reported in the Gulyaipole area. There is no advance to Zaporozhye itself through Kamenskoe yet. On the territory of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, events in the spirit of the CTO in the Caucasus are gradually being promoted – the collection of weapons, the identification of the organizers of speeches, the capture of employees / agents of the SBU / GUR MOU.

    In general, after today’s disruption of humanitarian corridors and the refusal of the Zelensky gang to discuss the recognition of Crimea and the LDNR, the answer to the question of further actions of the RF Armed Forces seems self-evident. Let’s add to this the US ban on Russian energy carriers, which promises new shocks in the market tomorrow. The conflict continues to unwind, as for the United States and for the Russian Federation it is of a fundamental nature. Ukraine is just one of the theaters of the ongoing Cold War. At the moment, the hottest.

  120. As I understand it, any Western company with some sort of investment/joint venture in Russia is forced by the sanctions to abandon them for the duration . . .

    No, private companies are not forced to abandon activities in Russia (see McDonalds and Coca-Cola). Even governments are not fully sanctioning Russia. Companies that use suspended financial systems will have to find alternatives.

    Lots of companies are voluntarily ceasing activity in Russia, perhaps out of solidarity or the expectation of being forced to later (or maybe both).

  121. Trent will be interviewed (on Zoom) this afternoon by the British IT4 network. He’ll post a link to the interview here after it’s aired if they give him permission.

    Here’s a link to the latest review of the fighting by War On The Rocks. It has ritual denunciations of Trent for turf infringement contradicted, of course, by their comment that Russian helicopters are now flying armed reconnaissance over Russian supply convoys.

    https://warontherocks.com/2022/03/11-days-in-russias-invasion-stumbles-forward/

    But more importantly, and I agree, they suspect Putin will ask for a cease-fire in several weeks to rebuild what will be his burnt-out combat units by then. There are all sorts of possibilities in that.

  122. . . . it is totally right and just to make sure charitable donations of medical supplies don’t go to anyone guilty of wrong think.

    If your neighbour was throwing his garbage into your backyard, would clear his front yard of snow?

    Unlike you, Lithuania has lived under the Russian boot; these matters are a bit more fundamental to them.

  123. If your neighbor was throwing garbage into your backyard, would you say that his kids shouldn’t be given any food or medicine if they were poor and couldn’t afford it?

  124. . . . would you say that his kids shouldn’t be given any food or medicine . . .

    I’d be quite happy for you to feed them.

  125. I take it Schwab is a slur meaning Germans in general? Where are you from that uses it? Moscow? Leningrad?

  126. I take it Schwab is a slur meaning Germans in general?

    No, it means Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum. There’s a theory shared by right and left (mostly right) that the WEF is a transnational conspiracy designed to crush us all under one world government of lizard people.

    Of course, nowadays conspiracy theories are just spoiler alerts, so you never know . . .

  127. only the wrong lizards, the fact that macron, freeland, counterparts in this country, including biden’s handler, klain, and covid czar zients who crafted the lockdown protocols, which did little at best and exacerbated the epidemic

  128. PJF: “France did not leave NATO.”

    So amusing! Lefties love to go off on a tangent instead of addressing the core issue — which is that there are obvious great strains within the NATO group, which may have significant ramifications for European support for the Biden* regime.

    Yes, France technically did not leave NATO in 1969 — it withdrew its forces from NATO’s “integrated military command”, i.e. US-led. Since the main function of NATO is military, this was effectively a withdrawal. 40 years later, in 2009, France rejoined.

  129. I am no military expert, but your account of the flooding of the Ukrainian fields reminded me of the early stages of the war of 1859 in Italy. The players were the two largest armies in Europe – Austria’s and France’s – plus a rather smaller one, that of Sardinia. The Austrians intended to knock the Sardinians out of the fight at once, before the French had the time to pour their hosts over the Alps. But they did not reckon that most of the country behind the Ticino – the river that marked the border – was and is rice paddies. The Sardinians flooded the paddies and everything else they could flood, and carried out a fighting retreat, holding up the immensely superior Austrians till the French were able to come – on the railways that the Sardinians had been building over the previous ten years. The Austrians did not quite lose the war, but they certainly ended up on the wrong side.

  130. Brian: “We’re governed by crooks and villains and surrounded by brainless sheep.”

    It is rather worrying!

    Just a stray thought on the economic war which the solons of the West are waging on Russia, including the unprecedented step of denying Russia access to the reserves it has deposited with Western central banks.

    What if Russia went to China, India, Brazil and did a swop — say, sterling in the Bank of England for rupees in the Indian Bank. And then the Indian Bank went to the Bank of England and demanded its money. Fun & Games.

  131. Lefties love to go off on a tangent . . .

    Could be, but I’m pro-Trump, pro-trucker, pro-Brexit, pro-gun, anti-woke, anti-UN, anti-mandates and anti-Biden*.

    But facts are important (and don’t give a sh!t about your feelings). NATO hasn’t been more united since, well – ever. Just because Macron is running around playing statesman doesn’t mean there’s a split – he’s showing off because he has an election coming up (as is Boris because he’s trying to make people forget partygate).

    . . . the unprecedented step of denying Russia access to the reserves it has deposited with Western central banks . . .

    What if Russia . . . did a swop — say, sterling in the Bank of England for . . .

    Wtf? That’s not even facts, just a failure of basic logic.

  132. This is crazy. Absolutely bonkers. I cannot believe this.
    https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/1501307642639228932
    ‘In case of any biological or chemical attack inside of Ukraine…100% It would be the Russians that would be behind it’

    Yes, I know it’s Russia Today, but explain to me this insane line of questioning from Rubio, who I’ve said before I don’t trust at all, he’s in deep with the IC and the completely corrupt Senate intelligence committee, and the completely vile and corrupt Nuland.
    So there’s a bunch of US funded bioweapons labs in Ukraine that we’ve denied ever existed until today, as far as I can tell, and now we’re going to admit they’re there AND for some random reason say if by some crazy chance there is an attack with anything like bioweapons it will totally be due to the Russians.
    Who’s even talking about this except Lil Marco? What sort of crazy line of questioning is this?
    Good grief, the world’s gone mad.

  133. Here is Trent’s March 7 email update:

    ——————
    “This is the latest Ukraine list send out, the usual warnings about summary apply.

    The Russians are at the logistical limits of their truck park and the Ukrainians are raiding the living hell out of them. The Ukrainians have destroyed rail heads at their Northern border.

    However, places like the besieged cities of Mariupol and Kharkiv are in range of their Russian or captured Ukrainian railhead logistics and are getting slammed by heavy artillery rockets fired from literally next to rail lines.

    The decay via corruption of the Russian air forces is a wonder to behold. Russian planes that should have electronic warfare kit, even prototypes available in 2015, have nothing.

    Advanced Russian planes are using only the radar detector seekers in their Homing Anti-Radar Missiles (HARMs) as sensors to identify and locate enemy radars because they don’t have on-board equipment or sensor/EW pods on those aircraft, which are the most modern they have. This is unbelievable.

    The problem with this is the Ukrainians Air Force 2nd in command was in Serbia in 1999. He was there when Serbia utterly out foxed NATO aerial reconnaissance. It looks like his experiences there is Ukrainian air defense doctrine, and it shows.

    There are Ukrainian radar decoys all around their surface to air missile radar emitters, based on what they Ukrainians learned in Serbia.

    Also very apparent is the utter collapse of the Russian Army medical system. There are no trained life savers in their infantry squads. The first aide stations at Battalion and above seen as hollowed out by corruption like much else in the Russian Army. Basically, Russian wounded are put into ambulances and sent to Belarus or Russia with no support and triage happens at hospitals there.

    It appears that Putin has gone the “Full Grozny” with Ukrainians wherever their artillery logistics allow as “punishment” for resisting.

    This war will do nothing but get uglier.

    ===========================================

    While we have not seen significant movement in land force positions, with intensive combat continuing in all four main axes of advance, US and UK assessments are now converging with AFU assessments, the whole Russian force is now inside Ukraine and there is no evidence of major movements in Russia to deploy reinforcements.

    Crunching attrition numbers suggests Russia should be creeping up to the magical number of 1/3 KIA+WIA, and Anton Herashchenko, usually a straight shooter, stated today that “We have crushed a third of the Russian army” that aligns with the published data. Russia of course cares not about body counts being driven by the ideology of “nas mnogo” (we are many), so likely the AFU will have to continue inflicting sustained attrition until all major Russian Schwerpunkts collapse and either egress or surrender. Likely that will require 50% or higher attrition of the whole force. Attrition of many key elite Russian formations like the VDV has been catastrophic, with claims that the 247th Air Assault Regiment implicated in the Ilovaysk massacre in 2014 was reported annihilated.

    The AFU is claiming only 2,000 EPWs, but unknown numbers have deserted and roam the countryside.

    In the meantime, Russia declared the start of a new bombing campaign intended to destroy Ukraine’s industrial base. More VKS assets are claimed to be in transit to Western Russia. Bombardment of major cities, and especially rural townships, continues, mostly using rocket artillery.

    Russia has suffered notable attrition over the last 24 hours. Especially in the South.

    At Chornobaivka AB near Kherson, the Russian helicopter FOB claimed to be hosting almost 50 helos, got hit by Ukrainian Marines with rocket artillery, and the AFU is claiming kills against 30 Russian helicopters on the ground.

    Off the coast at an undisclosed location, Project 22160-class patrol corvette “Vasily Bykov”, famous for bombardment of the Marines at Snake Island, sailed too close to the coastline allegedly to launch a missile. A Marine Corp MLRS battery fired a salvo, hit the corvette with at least one round and set it on fire. Hours later in daylight the ship was still well alight producing a large black smoke plume (below). No comments by Russia so no idea how many of the crew of 80 survived – the Marines used the BM-27 200mm Uragan with 100 kg HE/frag warheads (video below).

    In the evening, Russian attempted an air raid on Kyiv and lost two aircraft, types yet to be disclosed. A PSU fighter also shot down a cruise missile, and the kill was publicly credited to the Ghost of Kyiv.

    Russia launched 5 cruise missiles at the Ozernoe AB, Zhytomyr in Western Ukraine, home of the 39th Tac Air Bde equipped with Su-27P1M/S1M FLANKERs. Damage reports yet to be announced.

    Zvezda TV released a video clip showing Su-35S armed for SEAD with two Kh-31P KRYPTON anti-radiation missiles, R-77 AMRAAM-skis and R-73 ARCHERs. No emitter locating system pods observed so likely using the Kh-31P seekers to acquire the emitters (we do not know if Ukraine is using emitting decoys, Serbia used to modify microwave ovens for this purpose). There are reports Russia is attempting SEAD/DEAD trying to attack SAMs using Su-25 FROGFOOTs loaded with dumb bombs!

    In several occupied cities in the South, residents loudly protested and the Russian NatGuard fired guns in the air to scare them. Amongst lots of AFVs and MBTs, Ukraine also captured another Pantsyr S1 SPAAGM, near Mykolaiv.

    Russian attacks on civilians continue following the Syrian scorched earth pattern.

    Russia’s descent accelerates. Preparations under way to sever Russia from the Internet.

    In the West NATO continues its reinforcement of the Eastern Flank. The argument over the Polish MiG-29s continues, with contradictory claims circulating. SECSTATE Blinken has stated that “… whether it’s a week, whether it’s a month, whether it’s longer, I am utterly convinced that Ukraine will prevail.”

    NYT report on the weapons lift to Ukraine, stating that 17,000 ATGWs were supplied in 6 days. Subsequent claims are that 3,000 MANPADS were supplied.

    Another round of “negotiations” with Russia produced as usually no useful outcome. Much political reporting, focused on getting more aid, NFZ, and more fighters for the PSU.”

  134. “Biological research” is not the same as bioweapons research. Ordinary medical research is “biological”, too. I’m assuming that those 30 labs in Ukraine are doing civilian work – not like the Wuhan Institute – and Nuland is trying to frighten Russia without telling an actual lie under oath.

  135. Brian: “So there’s a bunch of US funded bioweapons labs in Ukraine that we’ve denied ever existed until today, as far as I can tell, and now we’re going to admit they’re there …”

    How many Fauci-labs does a country need?

    There was a strange parallel between the reported locations of those US-funded biolabs in the Ukraine and the sites of the initial Russian missile strikes. Maybe just coincidence?

    Obviously the corruption between the sainted Ukrainians and the DC Swamp Creatures goes far beyond whatever Hunter Biden collected. Is the war that “Our Guys” provoked simply designed to destroy the evidence of illegal US involvement?

  136. “I’m assuming that those 30 labs in Ukraine are doing civilian work – not like the Wuhan Institute”
    Why on earth would you assume that? Did you watch the video. Crazy Vikki spoke veeeeery carefully, and Lil Marco jumped in to cut her off very quickly. Those ain’t “civilian” labs.

    I’ve pointed this out several times, but the fact that the grownups have completely alienated KSA is absolutely amazing:
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-emirati-leaders-decline-calls-with-biden-during-ukraine-crisis-11646779430
    Saudi, Emirati Leaders Decline Calls With Biden During Ukraine Crisis

    So for those keeping track, they’ve managed to completely turn away Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and India, in only 14 months. What a bunch of clowns.
    The next year is going to be harder than any American under 90 or so has ever seen.

  137. I do remember following on sites like the interpreter, after the first few weeks they resolved to a stalemate, along the eastern front, they held kherson, but gave it back at the end of 2014,
    it also resembles elements of the Georgian war, that one was over in 12 days,

    why so insisted on kharkiv and mariupol, things that don’t make any sense even from a strategic viewpoint,

  138. There are 4 million human shields held by the various Ukrainian commands. Its policy now.

    Russia will do their best to kill the Nazis without killing civilians. They will spend lives doing this, but civilians will die.

  139. with Bolsonaro, they prefer a leftist stooge, they bent over backwards for imran khan, and against India, which only has how many people, they waged this witchhunt against Prince Salman on behalf of Qatar, they stripped the patriot missile batteries away from key locations like abquaiq, cut the support to the campaign against the Iranian proxies in Yemen,
    they intervened in the domestic relations of the emir of abu dhabi,those are just a few of the examples that come to mind, of how they have alienated allies,

  140. Apparently he refused to ever talk to Bolsonaro on the phone, and now MBS won’t take his calls, it would be funny if it wasn’t so serious, but then I don’t care about the regime, they’re an illegitimate occupation as far as I’m concerned.

  141. Ditto, but pointing that out gets you deplatformed metered disbarred is the latest trick they have up there sleeves

  142. So just why exactly would the US have thirty biolabs in Ukraine, period? If they were civilian, why not have just them in some US state? If they were not civilian, what the fsck is going on?

    No good will come of this war, but it certainly has been revealing. I bet very few Americans would have guessed we were funding bioweapons labs in Ukraine. I further bet nearly all the folks waving Ukrainian flags- at least in the US- figure there aren’t going to be any negative consequences for their virtue signaling.

    This war is about two weeks old. History goes on forever. So far there hasn’t been any political pushback from the people who remember how much bribe money the Ukraine has been spreading around in DC, or from people who remember when gasoline wasn’t $4+ per gallon.

    That won’t last. Reality doesn’t go away because the regime’s pet media refuses to talk about it, or because various politicians don’t want to talk about their children who work for Ukrainian oligarchs. People can see- with their own optical sensors- the raging inflation, including gas prices. That affects people personally in a way that a far off war doesn’t.

    I will repeat my belief from an earlier thread that the regime pushed for this war and deliberately goaded Russia into attacking Ukraine. They did this because they have long desired regime change in Russia and also wanted political cover for the stream of economic catastrophes their policies are inflicting upon the US.

    In other words, they had a clever plan. I suspect it will not work well out for them- or for anyone else, either.

  143. why so insisted on kharkiv and mariupol, things that don’t make any sense even from a strategic viewpoint

    Securing Mariupol gives the invader a solid land route from Russia to Crimea (the only other is a bridge, which could be blown). It also secures the shore of the Azov so more forces can be landed by sea. Once established, a northern push can be made to Dnipro (likely a major war aim) and to cut off Ukrainian forces in the east, linking up with a push from:

    Kharkiv. This is a major road hub. From here, a push southwest to Dnipro can be made, also to cut off Ukranian forces in the east.

    Both cities are important to both sides. Many lives will be lost.

  144. Where is the column? It appears to have not featured in any pics for about 5 days now, maybe longer. Is that the force now encircling Kiev to the west? ;)

  145. I’d love some sort of detailed reporting on this whole Poland airplane thing, because as far as I can tell the US tried to bait Poland into directly getting involved, which could have easily led to NATO-Russia conflict, and Poland decided to announce they were giving planes to the US to act as the go-between to Ukraine, not telling the US about it beforehand, forcing the US to turn it down, since the regime doesn’t want to get directly involved so closely like that. So basically Poland jammed up the US plans to use them provoke WWIII. But that’s just what it looks like from where I sit, I’m sure there’s a far more nuanced take on things, involving the total brilliance of Blinken and Brandon and crew.

  146. Poland’s manuever was hilarious. “If this is such a good idea, you do it. Let’s you and him fight.”

  147. Anyone who has read Stephen Kinzer’s Poisoner in Chief would be unsurprised about U. S. affiliation with the Wuhan Lab or the presence of U.S. operated biolabs in the corrupt Ukraine. The psychopaths at the top have been at this for a good, long time.

  148. We must be in the “farce” part of history that Marx referred to. Russia is attempting to reconstitute an empire that had existed as a unified whole for more than 250 years. We did the same thing in our Civil War, invading the South on many fronts, and yet the current conflict is being portrayed as a straight up act of aggression, as if Russia had just attacked France. It would be a great advantage to us if Russia became unified and powerful again, because she shares a long border with China, our only serious geopolitical threat. China currently outproduces us in what might be called the sinews of war, in some cases by as much as ten to one. Her population is four times greater than ours, and she is capable of arming them. She is an aggressive power, having attacked her neighbors to the south, and claimed the entire South China Sea. She is taking an increasingly aggressive tone towards Taiwan. If 5000 years of human history is any guide, she will eventually turn on Russia. The idea that they will remain best buddies forever is a pipe dream. When that happens, we had best be prepared to support her, or the outcome is likely to be very unfortunate, not only for Russia, but for us and the rest of the world. In spite of that, our legacy “conservatives” have united with our leftist rulers, sparing no effort to involve us in a nuclear war with her, doing everything they can to enrage and provoke her at this desperate time. All this is being done over Ukraine, no less. I’ll retire to bedlam.

  149. A lot of people are casting about, trying to find some rational for letting Putin remake the map of Europe in his own image. This, I admit, is a new one to me. No need to do anything, no need to worry if Putin is really crazy enough to use nucs. Just let Russia be Russia.

    I read many years ago that when confronted with a moral dellema and two choices, The hard one was usually the right one. I won’t claim to be a paragon, lightning, don’t you know, but I can’t fool myself.

    Your example would be apt if the Union and Confederacy had split amicably around 1820, now, not so much. As an exercise, explain how the present situation differs from the appropriations the Hitler made leading up to and during WWII. Most of those counties had not existed prior to the end of WWI. Just Germany being Germany.

  150. I’m sorry, but if you want to discuss the question of how Putin is like or unlike Hitler, you’ll have to take it up with someone else. The question of morality is a different matter. Tell me, where do you derive the authority and legitimacy for your moral choices? Let me answer that question for you. You have none, any more than the leftists who now define the “moral landscape” for the rest of us by virtue of their virtuosity at manipulating moral emotions. Given that they have run circles around the rest of us in that regard and are now leading us around by our moral noses, perhaps it is high time to understand what morality actually is, as an important step towards finally acquiring some self-understanding as a species. In fact, morality exists by virtue of emotions that evolved, for the most part, hundreds of thousands or even millions of years ago. Absent those emotions, nothing recognizable as morality would exist at all. Darwin realized that and spelled it out quite explicitly in Chapter IV of his “The Descent of Man.” Edvard Westermarck spelled out the implications of that realization as long ago as 1906, but nothing came of it thanks to the Blank Slate catastrophe in the behavioral sciences. More recently, E. O. Wilson and Jonathan Haidt have tried to give us some clue about the real nature of morality, with little practical result. Indulging our emotions, moral and otherwise, is just too pleasant, so we continue to stumble along, blindly reacting to them in a world now radically different from the one in which they evolved.

    The ingroup-outgroup aspect of our moral behavior is a good example. It is absolutely ubiquitous, existing in every one of us, causing us to perceive others in terms of “us” or “other,” with positive traits assigned to the former and negative to the latter. Sir Arthur Keith brilliantly described this aspect of our behavior in his “A New Theory of Human Evolution,” but it was published in 1948, in the very heyday of the Blank Slate, and made as little impact as the work of Westermarck. There was no ambiguity in the identity of the outgroup in the stone age. It was always just the tribe in the next territory over. Now we are aware of a myriad different groups and are quite capable of identifying any one of them as the “other,” whether its the Russians, the Nazis, the Jews, the bourgeoisie, or the blues and greens of the circus. The emotion in question has “malfunctioned,” so to speak, because it is no longer guaranteed to enhance the odds of our survival. In the case of the war in Ukraine it is accomplishing precisely the opposite, causing us to poke a stick into a nest full of nuclear hornets.

    This hardly means that “all is permitted,” or that we “ought” or “ought not” to have a morality that is as absolute as you please. Indeed, we are much too stupid as a species to get along without morality in our day-to-day relationships with others. However, moral rules have always been invented by human beings, no matter how powerfully you “feel in your bones” that one thing is “really” morally good and another “really” morally evil. I merely suggest that, in coming up with moral rules, we keep them as simple as possible and in harmony with the reason that morality exists to begin with; to promote our own survival. From that point of view, there can be nothing more immoral than failing to survive. Our current policy in Ukraine is tailor made to accomplish precisely the opposite.

  151. No that state of affairs is just about 30 years old the union never denied the south their culture never starved tend of thousands as an act of policy, and the latter invited france lets say as a foreign power

  152. “trying to find some rational for letting Putin remake the map of Europe in his own image”
    I have no idea what you mean by “letting”? There’s lots of talk about how we shouldn’t “let” him do something, but one’s choices are A or not-A, they’re A or B or C or … so what course of action do you want “us” to do right now?
    I oppose Russia invading Ukraine 100%, have always said so. I support Ukrainian people wanting to defend their homes. I’m 100% opposed to direct US military involvement, beyond supplying equipment to Ukraine. Our regime is deeply corrupt and our “elite” has used Ukraine as their personal plaything and ATM machine, and I don’t trust them at all, but that doesn’t implicate the average Ukrainian, who like I said I support completely, though what that means as far as Great Power strategic actions I have no idea.

  153. “No that state of affairs is just about 30 years old the union never denied the south their culture never starved tend of thousands as an act of policy, and the latter invited france lets say as a foreign power”

    FWIW, I’m personally 100% on Lincoln’s side when it comes to whether or not he “ought” to have invaded the South, but his act was actually less legitimate than Putin’s. At least the secession of the South was the action of men who had at least some pretense of being democratically elected representatives of the people. Not so in the case of the Soviet Union. The country was destroyed and carved up into rump states by a bunch of unelected politicians. The people certainly had no say in the matter. They had learned the hard way that expressing political opinions would get you either a bullet in the back of the head, a one-way trip to the Gulag, or, more recently, “treatment” in a Soviet mental institution. There was no National Convention, no Constituent Assembly, not even a plebiscite, and yet these same people woke up one morning and found out their country had been torn apart, “amicably,” we are told. Now we are to believe that this act, lacking even a semblance of legitimacy, has somehow been sanctified by the passage of years. I imagine that’s Putin’s take on the matter, and it’s mine as well. and I don’t care if we’re the only two on the planet who see it that way. In the end, the idea that a few politicians can “amicably” destroy great countries that have been united for more than 250 years is a potent threat to our own Union as well. We should think carefully about it before we swallow that Kool-Aid.

  154. Can we maybe trust the Israeli media reports to at least be roughly approximate to accurate?
    https://www.jpost.com/international/article-700677
    What is going on in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine?
    Zelensky can fortify Ukraine’s independence but will have to pay a heavy price, the sources said

    It seems to say what most sources are saying, without the sort of histrionics we see in Western media.
    Americans are biased to Total War. I dunno what Zelensky should do. What’s been set in motion can’t be undone now anyway…

  155. We have long suspected that the credentialed Ivy League types who infest the DC Swamp are not as smart as they believe themselves to be. However, we don’t know if the old tennis pro who boasts about his skills really still has what it takes until he goes out onto the court and plays against an opponent.

    In the case of the credentialed fools’ silly plan to feed old MIGs to the Ukrainians, the opponent was Poland. Remember all those Pollack jokes? Yet those supposedly stupid Poles completely routed our Ivy League crowd!

    And in the meantime, former allies like Saudi Arabia & the UAE don’t have time to take a call from the guy who claims he is President of the United States. The only people who will talk to him are genuine nasty dictators in places like Venezuela and Iran.

    Regardless of the outcome in the Ukraine, we in the US have a very serious problem at home.

  156. From the Jerusalem Post article linked by Brian:
    “Assumptions are that he [Zelensky] will be forced to give up the contested Donbas region, officially recognize the pro-Russian dissidents in Ukraine, pledge that Ukraine will not join NATO, shrink his army and declare neutrality.”

    That sounds pretty much the same as what Russia publicly told the US and the EU before the fighting began. But the US and the EU ignored it and encouraged the Ukrainians not to negotiate. So here we are, with people dying.

    There are no White Hats in this situation — and that includes "Our Guys".

  157. Alea iacta est …
    This isn’t about Ukraine, not really, and our “leaders” don’t have a clue. (To be honest, I suspect if Zelensky were to take this “deal” then he’d eat CIA lead very quickly…sounds crazy? I don’t think it does, unfortunately.) I read some idiotic “analysis” this morning claiming that China is upset right now because Russia has caused the US/EU to join together tighter, instead of splintering them…anyone thinking that is “ngmi” as the kids say…
    Hard times ahead…

  158. }}} they can still be savage, xi could target the semiconductor factories if he was merely spiteful, and that would put us in a world of hurt,

    Perhaps less than many would think. There are a LOT of Intel fabs in the USA, now, and more under construction. I am quite certain that the facilities in the USA can match the type of output that Taiwan does, by now, though probably not volume. Within a couple years, it’ll be able to match it in volume, too (There is a BIG unit being built in Ohio, and they already have a serious fab in Phoenix which is being expanded, as well as two separate campuses in the Phoenix area).

  159. consider the Chechen example maskadov who cooperated with the Russians after the first invasion, and Kadyrov senior, were all blown up for their trouble, leading to sunny boy in charge, the beast rabban of that motley crew, so Pravy Sektor, Azov et al, would do the deed without prompting

  160. }}} A question, Kelly. If we asked the people of Serbia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan to name a belligerent thorn, what name do you think would top the list?

    As though we should care? Seriously?

    They all are home to religious fanatics of the worst sort, who would rather destroy themselves than see everyone prosper. They are the lowest kind of pond scum, whose sole purpose in the universe is to drag everyone down into the muck they choose to wallow in.

    The only decent Iraqis are probably all dead or fled, victims of the US Merdia’s desperate — and ultimately successful — desire to replicate Vietnam. Aka, to deliver a war already won to the enemy.

  161. Serbia was a warning flare of what happens at ‘the end of history’ it skips back to 1877, like a record player, Libya was a dogs breath, under Kadaffi, but the Company complicated things by edwin wilson’s involvement, supplying the material that went to ETA IRA et al, but he was a mostly secular figure, the fellow who may prevail now is General Hafter who has been targeted by Turkish drones, Saddam was the fellow, who they pretended who they were dealing with,

  162. back in the 90s, misha glenny, son of the famous Russia translator, wrote a series of pieces pushing for intervention in bosnia, 93-94, I think from what he has written in mcmafia, this was an illconsided opinion, (you have to read between the lines)

  163. re: Doomberg/Substack —

    }}} Even if a ceasefire is announced moments after we publish this piece, shocking damage to the global economic system has undoubtedly already been done and certain genies won’t easily be put back into their bottles.

    This was already clearly underway. It began when the governments of the world decided to collectively use Covid as a carrot to allow them to change all manner of rational expectations regarding the nature of Government and Their People. Changing their Covenants in manners and ways The People did not agree to and had no sway over. Then, as the “pandemic” has wound down, they attempted to continue to force those changes to remain in effect, vis-a-vis the “Jan 6 Insurrection” and the Canadian version of it via the “Trucker Convoy”. France has had its own lesser versions, as have a number of other western nations… but the people of those nations have noted what has happened in the USA and Canada, and you can bet that it would not follow the same paths. The third such serious protest (wherever it occurred) would be far far harder to suppress and much more likely to result in one or more governments being toppled. Hence the fomenting of the Ukrainian Distraction by Western Governments.

    The overall changes are underway. The PostModern Left thinks they can and will wind up in Control after what they have referred to, publicly and openly, as “The Great Reset”. I fear that the Davros crowd thinks similarly, which is why they’ve also encouraged it.

    I do agree. The results of what will happen after all the chips have fallen will be utterly beyond prediction and… interesting.

    In the apocryphal “Chinese curse” kind of “interesting”.

    Keep your powder dry.

  164. On a related note, UAE has come around on increasing oil production. Do they need to convince the Saudis or can they slip some extra onto market and apologize to MBS later? If Biden can somehow get MBS on board while still making an Iran deal, you’d have to admit that would be impressive diplomatically, even if you hate the deal.

    Also looks like the US might be close to a deal with Maduro for Venezuelan oil. Add to that an Iranian deal and we might shatter global production numbers in 2023 or 2024, as US production is predicted to surpass 2019 highs then as well.

    Even so, still gonna hurt like hell in the mean time.

  165. “If Biden can somehow get MBS on board”
    LOL, have you read that Atlantic interview? MBS obviously hates Biden and his whole crew.

  166. Jay! Jay! Jay! Just listen to yourself!

    Biden* thinks Putin is bad. So Biden* is cozying up to really evil dictators like Maduro in Venezuela and the mullahs in Iran, and sweet talking hardliners in the Middle East.

    Those guys will be happy to talk to Biden* and maybe help him out of the situation his own stupidity has created — but they all will want things in exchange. No free gifts.

    Well, maybe it is the Democrat way. The sainted FDR sold his soul (and our country) to the murderous monster Stalin in order to oppose Hitler. Stalin made out very nicely from that deal. History may repeat.

  167. The notion that Maduro is going to jump back into bed with the US is completely hilarious.
    How stupid do these people think we are?
    Want to know why it’ll never happen–look at Assad, friend of Putin, vs whoever the US backed in Afghanistan, sitting who-knows-where now. Who do you think it’s better to be a client of?
    Good grief, why do people pretend like this is hard?

  168. Brian, I expect MBS will come around at some point after an Iranian deal is ratified (if it is) and he sees that we are more helpful to him militarily than China or Russia are. For one thing, our big ticket equipment is better, F-35 debacle notwithstanding. A responsible leader sucks it up and makes nice with people they hate when it’s in their strong interest, as I’m sure you know.

    Gavin, any leaders in the last 100 years you think did a good job with IR in office? My thesis is that it’s always a sausage factory.

  169. If Biden can somehow get MBS on board while still making an Iran deal, you’d have to admit that would be impressive diplomatically, even if you hate the deal.

    More trolling. The “Impressive Diplomacy” is called Surrender.

  170. The notion that Maduro is going to jump back into bed with the US is completely hilarious.

    True, but I’m sure he’ll accept the billions of dollars Xiden’s handlers promised him, if he only pumps out a little more oil until after the midterms.

    Plus, I’m pretty sure it isn’t a coincidence that Maduro released those two prisoners, the actual question is how much the American taxpayers paid for them.

    There’s always infinite money made available to spend on whatever the left thinks it needs to be spent on to maintain power.

    Right now they need to claim the vegetable in the White House is a great leader, so they’re spending our cash to get headlines that they can point to when people complain about the roiling catastrophe the regime has brought us.

    In this case we’re going to hear about the “impressive diplomacy” that freed the prisoners and nothing about the costs.

    That will leak out later, and then the regime will try to deplatform anyone who mentions it.

    And, meanwhile, we’re not talking about how these great diplomats have worked hard to cripple domestic production, to force the bizarre dirt-worshipping pagan religion of the green movement upon everyone, no matter what.

    Jay, the only thing saving your “impressive diplomats” from political obliteration is the studied incompetence of the Geee Ohhh Peeeee- and I don’t think the conservative base is willing to tolerate that anymore.

    We’ll see in a few months.

  171. Wow. So I spend a few minutes writing a comment noting that the regime is spending cash to get headlines- and I post it, to be rewarded with a new comment extolling an awesome headline! Yay!

    Meanwhile, back in reality, the price of oil is still up yugely from the Trump administration, and is up significantly from only a few days ago, before the regime got the war it wanted.

    Jay, I read your article. No mention was made of US production that I noticed and the potential production from the UAE could replace as much as 1/7 of the Russian production being blocked.

    1/7.

    You should hope most people stop reading at the headline.

  172. Xennady, I’m under no illusion re: next federal elections. Highly likely Dems get swept completely so Trumpists can resume hollowing out our democracy to serve their own masters without concern for voters. Apoint enough crooked judges and no need for Jan 6 insurrection, the judges will reverse a loss for them beforehand.

    As I said, hard to see any way to avoid it but at least we’ll try. I’m actually a moderate, voted for our Republican governor over the Dem twice, but whatever.

  173. . . . Jan 6 insurrection . . .

    Oh, FFS, Jay. You had some good points but you just couldn’t resist mentioning the Giant Pumpkin and making yourself look silly.

    Speaking of silly, aren’t we about due an update from Belgorod Bob?

  174. Highly likely Dems get swept completely so Trumpists can resume hollowing out our democracy to serve their own masters without concern for voters.

    Hilarious!

    If the demonrats were dealing with the concerns of the voters they wouldn’t be standing by to get swept completely by the Trumpists, as you put it.

    Instead, they’re busy imposing the viscerally unpopular extremist fantasies of their ignorant supporters upon the country, which makes the Trump presidency look like the good old days and has a good chance of sweeping him back into office. Time will tell.

    And having watched the obvious clumsy vote fraud by the left along with the equally obvious practice by the FBI to ignore crimes committed by democrats, I have a different idea as to who is “hollowing out” American governance.

    It ain’t Trump or his supporters.

  175. I have a very bad feeling about this. I do not like the way the regime is jumping up and down yelling that the Russians are going to do some sort of false flag attack. Do not like it at all, especially since we’ve seen them desperately trying to pressure Poland to escalate things, etc. They’re insane, I don’t trust them at all.

  176. Just one of those random thoughts that occasionally crosses one’s mind:

    There was a war going on in the east of Ukraine for about the last 8 years — tanks, artillery, bombs, bullets. Women & children worst affected. Certainly thousands of human beings killed. And no-one gave a tinker’s damn. Hardly ever even made the news.

    Now that same war continues, albeit with an additional player. And it is the worst thing since Hitler invaded the Ukraine! Western companies are walking away from $Billions assets — hurting their shareholders. Governments like Switzerland are destroying reputations built up over centuries — a profitable reputation they will never recover. Relatively small numbers of human beings are dying. And all the best people think this war is now unacceptable.

    I am struggling with the obvious question — What’s the big difference?

  177. Last time they denied ukraine armaments and sent them rations qnd medical supplies, and simon schuster marveled now the invasion is an excuse for scarcity famine and poverty.

  178. Also the eastern fromt is more remote than kiev and odessa and putin was acting on the qt with wagner and contraktiki mostly

  179. “no-one gave a tinker’s damn.”
    Because it wasn’t being broadcast on every channel and station and newspaper.
    Why it is now is indeed an interesting question.
    Saw a twitter post earlier tonight pointing out that in places like Russia and North Korea people know the regime mouthpieces are full of garbage, but they have to pretend otherwise or they could go to prison or worse, but they learn to deduce the truth from what’s said and not said, etc. In America people actually believe the media regime spokesmen are telling the truth, like naive children, even when the trash they spew is transparently false.
    Sad!

  180. Updates:

    1. Mariupol. The cleanup continues. There is no complete evacuation from the city. Today, an obvious provocation was also arranged with the shelling of the maternity hospital, which had previously been occupied by the Ukrainian military and turned into a stronghold, as evidenced by the local residents themselves.

    2. Volnovakha. The cleansing continues, the city has not yet been completely taken, although there are already DPR flags hanging on some buildings. There is still work to be done.

    3. Dokuchaevsk. The troops of the DPR took Novotroitskoye and created the prerequisites for an early cessation of shelling of the city. The Armed Forces of Ukraine will gradually retreat to the north, narrowing the front line and preparing for defensive battles in the environment.

    4. Donetsk-Gorlovka. On the front, no major changes, although there is a revival in the area of ​​Avdiivka, Maryinka and a number of other points. Perhaps in the coming days, events here will develop more actively.

    5. LPR. The occupation of the remaining uncontrolled villages of the republic will continue. Fighting is going on in the area of ​​Severodonetsk and Rubizhne. Agglomeration is still under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Civilians are also being held hostage.

    6. Raisins. The RF Armed Forces control part of the city. In the southern regions, the enemy’s DRGs roam, the remaining Ukrainian forces are operating south of the city. Attempts at offensive operations in the Balakleya region, as well as the entire “counteroffensive in the Kharkov region” in general, did not bring much success to the enemy. Well, except for Chuguev, who has been recaptured from himself. There is a suspicion that soon the Armed Forces of Ukraine will greatly regret that they spent the remaining reserves on this activity. Meanwhile, the threat of a boiler in the Donbas after the loss of the Izyum APU continues to grow. Ukrainian sources report that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has allegedly already written off the group, which, in fact, only has the task of dragging out resistance as much as possible after the formation of the cauldron.

    7. Kharkov. Fighting continues on the outskirts of the city, inside which a humanitarian catastrophe is growing. Meanwhile, in the region itself, Russian humanitarian aid is being imported more and more actively. It is more or less safe to leave the city except by train. In the evening, the governor of Kharkov announced the capture of Dergachi, who were already under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Chuguev №2.

    8. Sumy. No big changes. The bulk of the people still cannot leave the city, as Kyiv refuses to use the humanitarian corridors offered by Russia. The situation is similar in Chernihiv.

    9. Kyiv. The Russian Armed Forces continue to fortify west of Kyiv, in anticipation of the buildup of Russian Armed Forces in the Brovar area. The Armed Forces of Ukraine still hold Irpin, from where people walk out in the direction of Kyiv. According to the Pentagon, the RF Armed Forces can completely surround Kyiv within 72 hours.

    10. Nikolaev. The city is blocked from three sides, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing for street battles, which means that the struggle for the city’s foreground is lost.

    In general, everyone is waiting for the start of the 2nd phase of the operation, the basis of which should be a full-fledged pocket in the Donbass with a subsequent advance to the Dnieper, the completion of the encirclement of Kharkov (with a possible assault) and the complete encirclement of Kyiv. The development of the operation in the area of ​​Nikolaev and Odessa is also expected. Realizing this, they are trying to use the remnants of the reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to strengthen the defense of Kharkov, Odessa and Kyiv.

    Tomorrow’s talks between Lavrov and Kuleba in Turkey will most likely be Ukraine’s last chance to avoid further consequences of hostilities, but it will certainly not take this chance.

  181. My mind wandered back to all those years we were staring down thousands of Soviet tanks across the Fulda Gap. Funny how this divine right to a neutral buffer state seems to have escaped all those cold warriors. Ain’t modern science great? But I digress; If the commie overlords had ever given the GO! order, I wonder how many of those tanks would have been in condition to fight. How many would have had their fuel drained to sell on the black market? How many of the tubes in their radios would be keeping civilian TV’s and radios functioning?

    Who knew the motto of the Russian Army was; “We pretend to be ready to fight, they pretend to pay us.”? The revelation for some of the collapse of the Iron Curtain was that the commie boogieman was a fantasy that never really existed. That their system that often enough couldn’t feed them was rotten from one end to the other. The new realization is that nothing has changed.

    Ukraine, a product of the same corrupt system, seems to have made incrementally better progress in advancing beyond that, while the Russian economy is even more firmly in the grip of the oligarks. To the point that what should have been a walkover by the Russians turns into something like a fair fight.

  182. “Today, an obvious provocation was also arranged with the shelling of the maternity hospital, which had previously been occupied by the Ukrainian military and turned into a stronghold, as evidenced by the local residents themselves.”

    A few of the legacy media outlets are reporting the Russian assertions that the Ukrainian military had taken over the hospital and set up strongpoints, but all add that these assertions are “without evidence.” Of course, they often say that about other stories that don’t fit the narrative when there is plenty of evidence, but they just choose to ignore it.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-says-mariupol-maternity-hospital-militia-base-no-evidence-2022-3?op=1

    “The revelation for some of the collapse of the Iron Curtain was that the commie boogieman was a fantasy that never really existed. That their system that often enough couldn’t feed them was rotten from one end to the other.”

    David Remnick documented many instances of the rot in his “Lenin’s Tomb.” OTH, Soviet armies tore the guts out of Hitler’s war machine in WWII, outproducing Germany by a wide margin in tanks, artillery, small arms, etc. Go figure.

  183. “We” knew since Ike that the “bomber gap” and other assessments of Soviet strength were completely wrong and totally exaggerated.
    Plus ca change…

  184. OTH, Soviet armies tore the guts out of Hitler’s war machine in WWII, outproducing Germany by a wide margin in tanks, artillery, small arms, etc. Go figure.

    They had to call it the “Great Patriotic Struggle” to get the people behind it, because nationalism is much more motivating than the grim reality of failed but enforced eco-political wankery. Once the war was won is was back to decades of oppressive wankery and stagnation.

    It’s also worth noting that in WWII the West sent enormous quantities of equipment and resources to Russia (very little if anything flowed the other way), whilst spending great blood and treasure to degrade German industry (the Russians had no strategic bombers). A straight fight between Nazi Germany and Communist Russia would not have been so clear cut.

  185. Specially since stalin had purged the corps of his officers who had trained german army under his direction, and the molotov pact made the western offensive possible

  186. The rest of us should take things just as seriously as the “elites” are:
    https://rmx.news/hungary/eu-parliament-votes-to-sanction-hungary-and-poland-in-midst-of-ukraine-war-despite-both-countries-welcoming-1-6-million-refugees-in-a-fortnight/
    The European Parliament voted on Thursday morning in favor of imposing sanctions on Hungary and Poland, its two member states that have received the largest number of Ukrainian refugees following the invasion by Russia on Feb. 24.
    The EU legislative supported the call for the European Commission to place immediate sanctions on the two countries by a vote of 478 to 155, despite the humanitarian crisis from the Russo-Ukrainian conflict spilling over into Hungarian and Polish territory.
    In a press release published shortly after Thursday’s vote, the European Parliament insisted it was “high time” for the European Commission to start taking steps to protect the EU budget from member states who ignore the bloc’s rule of law.
    EU lawmakers insisted that taxpayers’ money must be protected “against those who undermine the EU’s values.”

    I’m not on Russia’s side, but I’m sure as hell not on the EU’s side either.

  187. Gavin, you said “Hardly ever even made the news” in 2014. Not sure what you were up to in 2014, but here you can see it was THE top story in the NYT six times in a span of eight days. I’m sure more than that after as well.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140414020416/http://www.nytimes.com/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140415024139/http://www.nytimes.com/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140417032120/http://www.nytimes.com/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140418040146/http://www.nytimes.com/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140419043636/http://www.nytimes.com/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140421074218/http://www.nytimes.com/

    That said, the scale was obviously much smaller, somewhat limited to mostly Russia-sympathetic areas and Russia was rather successful in making army’s role less obvious. You didn’t know that already?

  188. I’m very confused, Jay, I thought you wanted to come here for Ukraine updates, and got very distracted when people went off that topic? So what’s the point of that link, unless you’re just getting lazy in your trolling? (if you do want us to laugh at orange man bad, could you please post a link to the whole interview?)
    And what, in your oh-so-serious not-at-all-trolling opinion, is more disconnected from reality, the notion that green energy policies are inextricably linked to energy prices, or this:
    https://twitter.com/zerohedge/status/1501942052430352391
    *BIDEN: INFLATION NUMBER SHOWS COSTS OF IMPOSING SANCTIONS

  189. Brilliant insight yesterday . . .

    Despite the abysmal waffling, he’s quite correct Jay. Green wankery is why Biden* is running begging to Venezuala for energy. Venezuala!

    And you know, you really should be careful drawing attention to commanders-in-chief* and brilliant insights.

  190. Actually, I take back the “abysmal waffling”. It’s classic Trump. He’s getting the npcs (who initially just see ooh-windmills-ha-ha) to spread his anti-green message for him. Congrats, losers.

  191. PJ, “Green wankery is why Biden* is running begging to Venezuala [sic] for energy.”

    Assuming you mean oil permits? It’s not the issue. Any additional drilling permits Biden would have given would be far from producing at this point. In addition, there are apparently 6,000 previously given permits that are not being put to use. And also, as I posted before, oil industry analysts say the limits to ramping additional production are not presidential. Here it is again:

    “Capex discipline from the largest shale firms and the supply chain bottlenecks for many producers will cap U.S. oil production growth, according to Pioneer’s Sheffield.

    “Several other producers are having trouble getting frack crews, they’re having trouble getting labor and they’re having trouble getting sand; that’s going to keep anybody from growing,” he told Bloomberg in February.

    “Even if the president wants us to grow, I just don’t think the industry can grow anyway,” said Sheffield.

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/High-Oil-Prices-Arent-Enough-To-Tempt-Shale-Producers.html

    And back to the orange dude’s quote, even if permitting more oil drilling was the answer, it certainly doesn’t mean wind energy is bad for US energy strategy. Please tell me you haven’t bought into that?

  192. As I said, hard to see any way to avoid it but at least we’ll try. I’m actually a moderate, voted for our Republican governor over the Dem twice, but whatever.

    Since the Biden agenda is coming from “Democratic Socialists of America,” I hope you will forgive me, Jay, if I laugh.

  193. Jay: Which is more disconnected from reality, the notion that green energy obsessions are related to high energy prices, or that inflation hitting 40+ year highs is because of sanctions, that weren’t even in place yet when this measurement was made?

  194. so the fact there is a freeze, does facilitate Russian armors offensive somewhat, but there is a reason why no there are few offensives that ever occur in the spring in that region,

  195. Jay: “Gavin, you said “Hardly ever even made the news” in 2014.”

    Please sign up for the next remedial reading class. I said the war had been going on for about 8 years, and had hardly ever made the news.

    Sure, there were a few reports when the kleptocrats started firing on innocent people in 2014 — but very little coverage thereafter. But you knew that.

    A free extra tip — referencing the New York Slimes costs you credibility! :)

  196. I put a deposit down yesterday on a Subaru Solterra. My 2019 Subaru BRZ has held its value so well, that I can pay for it, with my car and the available incentives.

    I will go from over $9 a gallon for the nice fuel I feed my BRZ, to around $150 a year to charge the Solterra. We are almost pure hydro in BC, but I could build a small solar array as I have some of the parts, for about $1000 that would take care of charging the car for the foreseeable future.

    Yeah its just gibberish. ;)

  197. Both are laughably false, but only one claim was defended here, and it wasn’t by me.

    “Which is more disconnected from reality, the notion that green energy obsessions are related to high energy prices, or that inflation hitting 40+ year highs is because of sanctions, that weren’t even in place yet when this measurement was made?”

  198. Sorry Gavin, nice try. You can’t plausibly expect comparable coverage between this nary two-week old escalation into the largest war in Europe since WWII versus eight years of mostly stalemated trench warfare of a much smaller scale.

    It’s called the “news” Gavin, not the “olds”. If this one stalemates, coverage will dwindle as well.

  199. Brian, I don’t expect you to read everything here but at least search for it if you’re gonna make claims that something doesn’t exist.

    “Gavin Longmuir
    March 9, 2022 at 9:41 pm
    Just one of those random thoughts that occasionally crosses one’s mind:

    There was a war going on in the east of Ukraine for about the last 8 years — tanks, artillery, bombs, bullets. Women & children worst affected. Certainly thousands of human beings killed. And no-one gave a tinker’s damn. Hardly ever even made the news.

    Now that same war continues, albeit with an additional player. And it is the worst thing since Hitler invaded the Ukraine! Western companies are walking away from $Billions assets — hurting their shareholders. Governments like Switzerland are destroying reputations built up over centuries — a profitable reputation they will never recover. Relatively small numbers of human beings are dying. And all the best people think this war is now unacceptable.

    I am struggling with the obvious question — What’s the big difference?”

  200. I’m talking about your response to me at 1:35, I couldn’t care less about your conversation with Gavin.
    If you’re going to try to be a snarky j@ck@ss, you should try to get your facts right.

  201. Updates:

    1. Mariupol. The cleanup continues. Promotion in the northern and eastern parts of the city. Mangosh is blocked. The purge of Volnovakha continues. Most civilians are held hostage by the Nazis and are consumables for them for various provocations.

    2.Zaporozhye. The RF Armed Forces east of Gulyaipole are advancing towards Novaya Novoselka and Ugledar. From the side of Novotroitskoye, the forces of the DPR are pressing to the north. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have two options here: either turn to Ugledar, or make their way through Velikaya Novoselka to the Donetsk-Kurakhovo-Zaporozhye highway, with a further attack on Krasnoarmeysk.

    3. Raisin-Balakleya. Having repulsed the counterattacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation began to advance in the direction of Chuguev and the eastern outskirts of Kharkov, in order to block the city from the east. It is also worth noting strikes in the Lyubotin area to the west of the city. So far, it is not completely clear where the Izyum grouping will move further in the context of movement along the lines of communication of the Donbass grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

    4. Kiev. Fighting continued to the west and east of Kyiv. Brovary is still under the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but the movement of mechanized columns to the south and south-west is noted – the troops, in fact, flow around the fortified area of ​​the Armed Forces of Ukraine and seek to further envelop Kyiv, with the aim of completely blocking it.

    5. Krivoy Rog – Nikopol. Having set up barriers to the north of Nikolaev, the RF Armed Forces have seriously advanced in the direction of Nikopol over the past 24 hours. Control over it should secure the ZNPP, as well as cut the Zaporozhye-Nikopol-Krivoy Rog highway.

    6. Odessa. No major changes. Russian ships carried out Caliber launches near Odessa, which were mistaken for the shelling of Odessa. “Calibers” were launched at the airfield near Krivoy Rog. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are planning to blow up the remaining bridges with Transnistria in the near future in order to prevent the hypothetical use of Russian troops deployed in the Transnistria.

    7.Severodonetsk-Lysichansk. Fighting continues in the area of ​​the agglomeration, but so far there has been no direct assault on the cities. Rubizhne is also still under the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Fighting is still going on in the Popasnaya area.

    8. Donetsk-Gorlovka. No significant changes. Positional warfare with the active use of artillery continues here at the front. The Armed Forces of Ukraine along the way continue senseless shelling of Donetsk and other cities and towns.

    9. Nikolaev. The city is already quite densely lined. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are waiting for the assault, but the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have so far limited themselves to blocking the city.

    10. Chernigov – Sumy. No significant changes. The fuss with humanitarian corridors continues.

    Negotiations between Lavrov and Kuleba, as expected, did not lead to results. SVO continues. The Zelensky regime is still not ready to accept the required conditions, which determines both the continuation of the operation and the growing “Syrianization or Idlibization of Ukraine.”

  202. Brian, you see how some people are quoting or linking what they’re referencing? Helps make sense of what we’re talking about. You stated,

    “Which is more disconnected from reality, the notion that green energy obsessions are related to high energy prices, or that inflation hitting 40+ year highs is because of sanctions, that weren’t even in place yet when this measurement was made?”

    Which of your two statements there did I defend? I defended green energy as good for US energy policy, but I did not defend your statement, “green energy obsessions are related to high prices”.

    Unless, I suppose you can twist it around posit that they are related in that places with lots of green energy have LOWER energy prices, but that’s pretty convoluted if that’s what you really meant by that.

    Here’s a comparison of costs from BEFORE this massive increase in oil prices. Onshore wind is already cheaper than natural gas. https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-levelized-cost-of-storage-and-levelized-cost-of-hydrogen/

  203. People who weren’t alive at the time shouldn’t act all butt-hurt because the USSR benefitted from the outcome of WW II. It was good for everyone–even the Germans themselves–that an alliance of rich and technologically advanced nations found an ally with millions of men to die while killing millions of Germans.

    It took high tech and bodies. Many many bodies.

  204. One of my favorite MilHist YouTubers on the Russian Lend-Lease question. (BTW, he’s Austrian though he does a lot of sourcing in Germany.)

    Cousin Eddie hits the note that he does at the end. Russia probably would not have lost without Lend-Lease but they recovered quicker from their initial setbacks as the Allies provided equipment while they displaced their factories. The Allies benefited greatly from Russia soaking up huge amounts of Germany manpower and equipment. Remember that Ludendorff came close to winning WWI after the Eastern Front closed in 1917 and released men and material in spring 1918, even with the occupation forces needed there, but Hilter’s similar attempt at the Battle of the Bulge floundered and probably would never have succeeded because he lacked the fuel to continue the drive, even assuming capture of Allied supplies.

  205. Jay laughably wrote: “Onshore wind is already cheaper than natural gas.”

    Jay, old fruit, you have just destroyed what little credibility you had left! Either you are allowing yourself to be misled — which is bad, or you are trying to mislead us — which is worse.

    Something to think about, Jay. A natural gas power station actually delivers the required power 24/7. A windmill does not, whether it is onshore or offshore. A proper cost comparison has to include the very substantial additional costs incurred by wind power to make sure it can keep the lights on 24/7.

    Windpower is an environmental disaster — and, properly costed, it is much more expensive than fossil fuel generated power.

  206. Chris: Nah, the simplest answer is that the State Department tried to blindside Poland into doing it by announcing it was a done deal, which the Poles saw as legitimately risking getting themselves shot at or worse by Russia, then Poland announced they would do it via the US, turning things back around on the US, which the Defense Department put the kibosh on, because we want the Poles to be the ones to provoke WWIII, not us. A complete cluster all around, due to the amateurish disaster that is the regime, and the insane wish that the State Department and elements of the IC have for open conflict with Russia.

  207. The skies have cleared and it can be seen the convoy is no longer bogged down. The Russians have cleared the blockages, dispersed vehicles and are at least some way to setting up the infrastructure needed to proceed. The southern end of the occupied territory will now be the starting off point. Very limited excursions so far indicate they probably aren’t ready yet.

    The Ukrainians don’t seem to have the resources to significantly challenge the occupied zone and are digging in for the onslaught on Kyiv.

    Russian air attacks have increased in tempo, including to the far west, indicating the Ukrainian defenses are degraded.

    New post / thread needed.

  208. Reports of another Russian general killed.
    Reports of some sort of airstrike into Belarus. Ukraine claiming it’s a Russian false flag. It would not make any sense for Ukraine to have done it.
    We need to stay out of this, it’s a mess, and it’s going to get way worse. Keep sending them manpads and guns and ammo and absolutely no way get involved.
    Agree we need a new thread.

  209. Some disturbing activity at the north west border with Belarus. May be an attempt to bring that country more into the war.

  210. Russian state TV criticising the invasion. China now describing it as a war, applied token restriction of aviation parts. Keep the unity and the sanctions going, they’re working.

  211. Brian: “Keep sending them manpads and guns and ammo and absolutely no way get involved.”

    Arming one side in a conflict is very definitely “getting involved”. It may be the right decision or the wrong decision, but it definitely makes the weapons supplier a belligerent.

    Stingers that the US smuggled into Afghanistan when the USSR was trying its occupation there ended up elsewhere in the world. No surprise — valuable, transportable, saleable.

    There are news reports (I know! I know! No more reliable than the US claiming that the Fauci-Labs in the Ukraine were totally, absolutely, wonderfully peaceful — which is why the US Department of Defense was paying for them) that Russia is planning to allow thousands of Muslim fighters from the Middle East to join the operation in the Ukraine. Maybe that is a message to the DC Swamp Creatures about the dangers of funneling weapons into the area? Who knows what those fighters will take home with them?

  212. “Arming one side in a conflict is very definitely “getting involved”.”
    OK, true, but it is accepted and allowed by precedent, by both sides, and does not imply further escalation.

    Talk of chem/bio weapons is still way too high for comfort. Both sides have strong motives for using them, Ukraine probably higher, if one’s being honest, no matter if one thinks they’re less likely to actually do it, because they’re such pure and innocent people (try not to laugh too hard when saying so, please, I don’t appreciate being treated like a complete idiot).

  213. and Libya, we keep forgetting this lesson, thankfully the tows we sold to iran, were used up to quickly to be employed against us, you think the islamic emirate of afghanistan, might want to get involved, through proxies, all of the equipment they acquired from us,

  214. Death: Russian chemical weapons could likely make public opinion force Western countries to get directly involved, which Ukraine has been desperate for.

  215. This seems to be a legit source, most of their content is Russian equipment captured by Ukrainians, so they’re not Russian propaganda.
    https://twitter.com/UAWeapons/status/1502320535186903052
    Ukraine: One of the most serious tank losses by the Ukrainian army since day one – 4 T-64BV and 1 T-72B tanks were captured by the DNR separatists in Volnovakha, Donetsk Oblast.

    Where’s all the images and video of tanks in the field? On the first day of the invasion, most osint twitter accounts said explicitly they were not going to post about Ukrainian positions (many of them are almost certainly Western IC cutouts…), but it makes it very difficult for those of us who want to actually figure out what’s going on.

    Sounds like the lost convoy must have been refueled to a large extent, not mired in the mud and wiped out:
    https://twitter.com/JackDetsch/status/1502080792087961600
    BREAKING: Russia’s 40-mile long military convoy that had stalled northwest of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv has largely “dispersed and redeployed,” per satellite photos.
    Russian armored units have been seen maneuvering in towns near Antonov airport and in treelines nearby.

  216. Yes, this is looking like Libya II, maybe Afghan war II with the Muslim Brotherhood involved again. The murky swamp hides many things.

  217. Updates:

    1. Mariupol. Urban battles with the gradual advance of our forces deep into the city. The enemy stubbornly resists, taking advantage of the fact that our troops are trying to prevent the death of civilians, behind whom the Nazis are hiding. The ring is narrowing, calls for the deblockade of Mariupol are becoming more and more hysterical.

    2. Volnovakha. Today the city was taken. Heavily destroyed. For the inhabitants there is a real humanitarian catastrophe. There are many trophies in the city, including a large number of tanks. The combing of quarters and catching those enemy groups that did not have time to retreat to Ugledar continues.

    3. Ugledar – Great Novoselka. The RF Armed Forces from the southwest and the DPR army from the southeast are gradually approaching Vugledar. A threat has also been created to Velikaya Novoselka, occupying which it is possible to develop an offensive in the direction of Kurakhovo and Krasnoarmeysk. To the west, fighting continued in the Gulyai-Pole area.

    4. Raisins. In the southern districts of the city and around it, there are serious battles. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are trying to prevent the use of Izyum as a springboard for further advancement of the RF Armed Forces to Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, as well as in the direction of the Donetsk-Pavlograd highway.

    5. Kharkov. No big changes. At night, the building of the Kharkov Physical and Technical Institute was blown up in the city, which was listed as an integral part of the program to create a dirty nuclear bomb. Evidence is being cleared. To the east of Kharkov, the troops of the RF Armed Forces are gradually blocking Chuguev, the enemy was forced to blow up the bridge in the south-east of the city.

    6. Kyiv. The battle continues both from the west and from the east of Kyiv. The movement of mechanized columns indicates the persistent attempts of the RF Armed Forces to completely block Kyiv. The enemy indicates a fairly stubborn resistance. Chernigov, as before, is blocked.

    7. Severdonetsk – Lisichansk. Fighting in the agglomeration area, as well as on the outskirts of Rubizhne. The popasnaya has not been taken to the end and there are still fights going on.

    8. Nikolaev. The city, as before, is blocked from three sides, and the grouping of the RF Armed Forces is located south of Krivoy Rog and on the outskirts of Nikopol.

    9. Odessa. No major changes. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is promoting the thesis about the imminent offensive of Russian troops from the PMR and is preparing the remaining bridges for the explosion.

    10. Zaporozhye. The city is being prepared for defense, but the front is now between Vasilyevka and Kamenskoye without much movement. The RF Armed Forces have not yet made attempts to blockade Zaporozhye and are rather focused on advancing north to the Donetsk-Pavlograd highway.

    In general, operations continue to develop despite negotiations and humanitarian corridors in some places. The most promising direction is the south. After the capture of Volnovakha, the DPR Armed Forces can increase pressure on Mariupol, as well as build up forces advancing on Vuhledar.

    The RF Armed Forces in Zaporozhye have a number of offensive options, which also creates additional difficulties for the enemy. It is also worth noting that in the Donbass, the crisis of fuel and lubricants in the Armed Forces of Ukraine is becoming more and more acute. Its signs were clearly shown today in Volnovakha. Locals in Artemovsk report that the Armed Forces of Ukraine already have a decent amount of equipment there that has problems with refueling. In general, the crisis of the APU grouping in Donbass is growing.

  218. “Sounds like the lost convoy must have been refueled to a large extent, not mired in the mud and wiped out”

    Just so dumb. Hi ho.

  219. More and more kabuki/noh theater for the audiences.

    Mearsheimer and McGovern are part of the same cabal of incompetents who got nothing right about the Soviet Union. If I remember rightly, they were predicting eventual Soviet total victory right up until the Berlin Wall came down.

    Whatever is going on that is casting the shadows on our cave walls, we aren’t going to know until it eventuates. Some of the shadows we’re seeing are certainly indicators, but of what? Who knows.

    The Russian general military incompetence on display is stunning, however. That tank column entering Kyiv as though it were taking part in a grand triumphal parade? WTF? Are they nuts? A Major-General in command of the whole thing? Insane.

    There is so much “bizarre” on display that I can’t even process it, any more. The Russians, per propaganda, should have wrapped this up in 72 hours. Now, the head and deputy of the FSB are reportedly under house arrest because they didn’t deliver the information they were supposed to, but the entire system worked against doing just that.

    What we really have on display here is an object lesson in why totalitarian or wannabe-totalitarian systems don’t work–There were truths to be delivered here, to the decision-makers. They weren’t. Decisions were made based on bad information, actions resulting in bad results were taken and not accurately reported on, until it became impossible to hide. I’ll wager good money that Putin was not informed of “problems” until they were undeniable.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s a family budget, a small business, a major corporation, or a nation-state: Bad information results in failures, which when compounded with further bad information results in utter destruction. The Germans didn’t have clue one about actual Soviet military capabilities, and listened to their internal siren call of “It’ll all cave in like a house of straw…”, which turned out to be somewhat inaccurate. They’d have done better had they really known what went down in Manchuria, and used that as their template for likely Soviet war potential, rather than the wishful thinking of what happened in Finland.

    Putin is finding out what goes wrong when you’ve got a bunch of yes-men on staff, and when your entire system is delusional. I wonder who got the kickbacks on all those oh-so-cheap Chinese tires? Shoigu? He who never did a day in the real military? Who might be working for Russian adversaries?

    Don’t even get me started on our own set of idiots. Biden and Harris are doing more damage to long-term American interests than we can appreciate, because who the hell is going to trust a country that can put people like that into high office? We might as well have put Bozo the Clown and Mr. Ed into the Presidency and Vice-Presidency…

    The cabal behind putting BidenCo. into power has a lot to answer for. Not that any of us pedestrian types will ever find out precisely who that cabal consists of.

  220. Thanks, Miguel, for that link to the Conservative Tree House article about Biden* designating Qatar as a “Major Non-NATO Ally”.

    The situation is getting too complex for “Our Guys” to handle. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been at odds with Qatar for years. If Biden* wants to make sure that Saudi Arabia laughs in his face when he begs for more oil, snuggling up to Qatar makes a fine cherry on top of the cake of pulling the Patriot missile batteries out of Saudi.

    It seems like the Biden* crew think that every other player on the board is as worthless & spineless as Congressional Republicans. That is bad for the Biden* set — and even worse for the rest of us.

  221. A decent candidate for eminence grise behind a lot of what we see going on would be one Valerie Jarrett, she of inveterate Iranian advocacy.

    If she’s got a voice in this administration, and the Saudis are aware of it? There’s probably a reason they’re laughing at BidenCo., rather than working with him.

    Electing traitors and their minions has consequences. BidenCo. sold out to foreign interests back in the 1970s, and it’s only been a question of who it was that put the latest dollar in his hat since then.

  222. exactly now qatar has a natural gas pipeline that runs through Syria, I think it ends on the Aegean coast, they are the inheritors to the Wahhabi throne, second cousins to the Sauds, and they are attached at the hip with the Sultan, who is providing the drones,

  223. she was born in Iran, but her father was a very left wing doctor out of Chicago, almost all of the administration are pawns of schwab or the Dragon or both

  224. “qatar has a natural gas pipeline that runs through Syria”

    LOL. No it does not. This is the actual reason for the west’s attempts to get rid of Assad. It is why America will not let go of a bit of Syria, and why the Russians entered on Assad’s side.

    I could go on for hours. ;)

  225. “this piece of real estate, has been cursed”
    Honestly may be something to this if you’re into that sort of thing…
    “Now as regards the mystery of Fatima it still stands…. So Russia is within the plans. Why? Err….that would take me too far afield into papal secrets. Why Russia and Kiev are involved in the final solution of this problem. But they are. They are part-and-parcel and it’s really God’s choice. And it is purely and simply God’s choice.”
    Martin Malachi, 1997

  226. I don’t know who’s trying to push Lil Marco as the wise statesman / voice of the IC, but it makes me very suspicious:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/marcorubio/status/1502661176605487104
    It is time to start preparing for the fact that Putin’s criminal invasion of one of the worlds leading wheat producers is going to result in a massive increase in food prices including here in America & a food insecurity crisis in many parts of the world.

  227. Story yesterday about a mass OD of West Point cadets on spring break has multiple storylines–the decay of the military, the ongoing opioid disaster, etc–that are far more compelling than who rules Ukraine…

  228. I’ve been predicting a mass die-off for a few decades now, and dismissed as a nut.

    I’d rather be wrong about that than right, nut or not.

  229. What he’s saying is right, I’ve been saying that, it’s just been weird to see Lil Marco as the spokesman for the IC these past few weeks…

  230. . . . the decay of the military . . .

    Very concerning. As the Russians have just found out, if you run your country as a gangster kleptocracy it turns out you can’t have an efficient, modern professional military.

    How must it feel to be a US armed service member knowing that your commander in chief is a nasty, corrupt, incompetent deviant whose only redeeming virtue is that he’s senile (and his replacement is a bizarre, thick-as-shit cackling whore).

    I think I might zonk out, too.

  231. Updates:

    1. Mariupol. Storm of the city. Promotion in all directions. The enemy defends stubbornly, but he is pressed. It is already formally possible to travel to Crimea from Donetsk. Although a full-fledged land corridor has not yet been opened. The de-blockade of Mariupol, which Azov and Zelensky are asking for, is practically impossible in the current realities.

    2. Volnovakha. Completely freed and cleaned. The troops are already freely passing through it in the direction of Ugledar, closing the front with the RF Armed Forces, which are also advancing in the direction of Velikaya Novoselka – Ugledar with an emphasis on Ugledar.

    3. Donetsk – Gorlovka. Shelling of the cities of the DPR. Front in the area of ​​Avdiivka, Maryinka, Pesok, etc. noticeably brightened up, but there is no significant progress.

    4. LPR. Fighting in Rubezhnoye and around Severodonetsk. In Popasnaya (which was prematurely declared liberated a couple of days ago), fighting continues – LNR troops control part of the city.

    5. Raisins. Fighting in the city area and on the southern outskirts. The situation in the city itself is incomprehensible, locals confirm the presence of the RF Armed Forces in the city and the fighting going on in the south. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are trying to pin down the Russian troops in Izyum and Balakliya with attacks in order to prevent their advance to the south and in the direction of the Slavic-Kramatorsk agglomeration.

    6. Nikolaev. The city is blockaded, the RF Armed Forces are methodically attacking enemy positions on the outskirts, there is no assault yet. Part of the group left in the direction of Krivoy Rog and Nikopol.

    7. Kherson – Zaporozhye. The power of civil-military administrations is being strengthened in the liberated territories. The communications of the group operating in the Zaporizhia direction are being established. At Gulyaipole – fighting. The front line in the area of ​​Kamensky and Orekhov without major changes.

    8. Kyiv. Fighting to the east and west of the city, with again accentuated by the desire of the RF Armed Forces to move south in order to achieve a complete encirclement of the city.

    9. Chernihiv – no major changes. The city is blocked, in the city itself a hotel where foreign mercenaries were located was destroyed at night.

    10. Sumy – no major changes.

    11. Odessa. They continue to wait for the landing, but it is still not there. However, the city continues to fortify, transferring reinforcements from western Ukraine. There are no signs of an offensive by the RF Armed Forces from the PMR.

    12. Belarus. Despite another wave of fakes that Belarus will attack Ukraine (yesterday at 21.00), the Belarusian Armed Forces do not show a noticeable increase in their presence on the border beyond the increase in the number of BTGs of the Belarusian army on the border with Ukraine from 5 to 10. The very border of Ukraine with Belarus is actually not guarded.

    In general, for the evening of 12.03. One can note significant successes in the development of the offensive of the DPR army, as well as the troops of the RF Armed Forces in the Zaporozhye region.

  232. Consider the Implications

    https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-12

    Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 12 | Institute for the Study of War

    “… The Ukrainian Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) reported on March 12 that Russian commanders authorized their soldiers to loot civilian businesses and households and move to ”self sufficiency” to offset continued supply problems …”

    The publisher of this had been purveying the most conventional of conventional wisdom on this war until yesterday, when they stopped claiming that the Russians doing nothing was mere reorganization and admitted that it was because the Russians were out of energy, altitude and ideas, plus being out of supplies. They also began citing the Ukrainian General Staff and Intelligence Directorate as sources without any caveats.

    The quoted statement, if true, indicates that the Russians are so desperate they have authorized their troops to forage instead of fighting. And, given the Russians, the soldiers’ superiors know very well that their troops will search for vodka above everything else and get as drunk as possible, i.e., render themselves unfit for fighting.

    Plus of course that the Russians can’t even feed their troops.

    Further implications/ideas welcome.

  233. If the Kagans are your cup of tea, then so be it. You should understand they hate Russia more than anyone I can think of, well outside of Zelensky, who they would really like to try. ;)

  234. thats an objective analysis, till now, now an army that has been at war for 27 years, almost continuously, we could go back to the first Abkhazi campaign, but that was small beer, where the societal schism have to be represented among the military,

  235. Guys, this is getting really old. You keep finding stuff on Twitter that tells us how badly the Russian army is performing — and yet the Russian forces keep moving forwards and the Ukrainians keep falling back.

    And you find Twitter propaganda that says since the Russian forces did not reach the far side of Ukraine in 72 hours, the whole campaign is a complete failure — even while the Russian army keeps moving forwards. If the Russian army reaches the western boundary of the Ukraine in another 4 weeks time, they will have equaled the impressive performance of Germany’s WWII blitzkreig of France.

    It is clear that the Ukraine is winning the Twitter war hands down. However, we also need to peer through the fog of war to try to understand what is happening on the ground. People are seeing what they want to see — the famous stalled convoy is a classic example; those gallant Ukranian partisans completely failed to destroy it, and the convoy has now dispersed and closed with Ukrainian forces.

    Now the head of NATO is saying that NATO does not want the Ukraine as a member — which satisfies one of Russia’s key demands. Ukrainians are dying for nothing. It is time for us in the West to stop pumping up the violence and help the Ukraine & Russia to reach a settlement. We all need this war to end before it spirals into nuclear conflagration.

  236. . . . how badly the Russian army is performing — and yet the Russian forces keep moving forwards and the Ukrainians keep falling back.

    Both are true. The Russians are mostly a shambles, but compared to Ukraine their forces are massive – not just in manpower but in effectively endless, if similarly shambolic, supply. It’s what the Germans faced in WWII, you keep knocking them down but they keep coming.

    Apart from some hi-tech weaponry coming in, which is amazing but probably not enough to turn the battle, the Ukrainians pretty much have what they started with and that’s it. There’ll be no more missiles, no more artillery, no more aircraft, no more nada.

    But there is one thing the Ukranians currently have over Russia, and that is the massive impact to the Russian economy, along with a cultural skock, that Western sanctions are increasingly having. As well as underestimating Ukrain, Putin underestimated the West.

    It is time for us in the West to stop pumping up the violence and help the Ukraine & Russia to reach a settlement.

    Just no. A “settlement” gives Putin what he wants in the short term and will be a massive win in the long term. It will totally reward aggression, agression of the most viscious kind. Everyone in the world will see his win, and people will back the strong horse. The West will crumble.

    Russia must lose, and lose badly. We still have to provide the golden bridge for them to retreat over, and that bridge is the removal of Putin (which, in gangsterland, almost certainly means his death). Putin gone, and a remorseful Russia out of Ukraine.

    But my expectation is very much that your view will prevail, Gavin. In eighteen months to two years Putin, his gamble having paid off, will be grinning and shaking hands with our worthless leaders at some conference or other that spells our demise.

  237. If Russia is going to win in Ukraine, Gavin, why would it turn nuclear? The US certainly isn’t going to go nuclear first.

  238. Terrain and time have been the biggest impact so far but were not even in the first quarter, were just passed the coin toss.

  239. And throwing out the rule book on economics and political relation is not a good sell at this time, when the dust clears we’ll be like the black knight.

  240. “the massive impact to the Russian economy, along with a cultural skock, that Western sanctions are increasingly having. As well as underestimating Ukrain, Putin underestimated the West”
    I could be wrong, but I think this is completely incorrect. I think Putin figured we’d respond this way, by kicking Russia out of the club (or at least pretending to–the sanctions have been very careful to avoid banning Russian energy exports), and I think he doesn’t care. I think he thinks he can win an economic war of attrition with the west. Russians can handle hardship, but can Americans handle six months, nine months, etc., of $5-6 gas, $10 bread, etc? I don’t think we can comprehend what that’s going to do to our society, and it worries me far more than the prospect of WMDs being used, which I still think unlikely.

  241. Hes got his deals with india and china (the former was an Soviet ally in the cold war) as pakistan pretended to be ours but it was more tied to china specially aftet 1972

  242. Jay: “If Russia is going to win in Ukraine, Gavin, why would it turn nuclear?”

    As long as bullets are flying, the unexpected can happen and things can go wrong.

    Mark Steyn had an interesting guest on his show a couple of nights ago — a guy who had been involved in war-gaming potential conflicts in Eastern Europe. He was very concerned about the potential for accidents, since this was a frequent occurrence in war games. A missile goes off course, lands in the wrong country — leading to retaliation and nuclear war.

    As it happens, about two days ago, there was a news item about a Ukrainian drone/cruise missile which went off course and crashed near Zagreb in Croatia, fortunately doing no serious damage. What if it had crashed in Germany and done serious damage — or in Russia?

    It is time for the West to get sensible, and do everything we can to stop the fighting before something goes out of control. Nothing that is happening is good for anyone (except the Chinese). Ukraine is going to lose territory and have to agree to becoming neutral. Russia has lost hundreds of soldiers and a painful amount of equipment, and will hurt from the sanctions for a long time. We in the West are going to face inflation, supply disruptions, and recession as blowback from those same sanctions. Human beings in the Third World are going to go hungry because of the impacts of the war & sanctions on global agriculture. It is time for the West to persuade the Ukrainians to get realistic and bring this conflict to a close.

  243. ” It is time for the West to persuade the Ukrainians to get realistic and bring this conflict to a close.”
    Too late. The die is cast. Have to let the game play out now.

  244. We have to admire the Ukrainian strategy — beating their Ukrainian faces into the Russian fist until the Russians get tired and go home.

    Come on! Let’s see brain-engaged analysis and factual reporting, not mindless propaganda.

  245. Russia must lose, and lose badly. We still have to provide the golden bridge for them to retreat over, and that bridge is the removal of Putin (which, in gangsterland, almost certainly means his death). Putin gone, and a remorseful Russia out of Ukraine.

    Sorry but I think this is a wish list that is very unlikely. The sanctions will hurt us as much as the Russians and Biden is perfectly capable of unleashing a nuclear Iran to make things worse. We are living in a throwback to 1914. I fear the future will be black for a while, at least until 2024. This crew are capable of destroying this country.

  246. That Fukuyama piece reads like completely delusional wishful thinking. Bookmark it for comparison in a week, month, etc.
    Recall some guy from bellingcat said last Sunday was the end of Russian supplies and they’d immediately collapse.
    To paraphrase a joke:
    “I’d like to see Russia sustain this sort of damage for any longer!”
    (Russia easily sustains that much damage.)
    “Ah well nevertheless…”
    (No Russophile here, but the notion of Western academics telling me Russians can’t sustain some level of pain and suffering much longer is just risible.)

  247. “That Fukuyama piece reads like completely delusional wishful thinking. Bookmark it for comparison in a week, month, etc.”

    Done. Should be fun. But the guy will still be cited as an “expert” by the talking heads no matter how wrong he is. Apparently becoming a “made man” as an “expert” these days is a permanent appointment, sort of like being President for Life.

  248. I hate these people so much.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/FaceTheNation/status/1503025939030196235
    CBSDavidMartin says that a Pentagon official he talked to this morning said there is no movement of chemical weapons into Ukraine, but the concern is that Russia may move to seize a biomedical research facility, weaponize a pathogen, then blame it on Ukraine & the U.S.

    They’re going to get us all killed, all for relatively small scale corruption in Eastern Europe.

  249. Some abused children crave power and control. It is why politics is the way it is.

    Anyone who wants to be President isn’t qualified to be President.

  250. “but compared to Ukraine their forces are massive – not just in manpower but in effectively endless”
    Wrong on both counts. They have committed all of their reliable forces, those that are left will be rear echelon types and essentially untrained conscripts with equipment that has been in storage for god alone knows how long. I wouldn’t want to bet my life that 30 year old Soviet tires are better than new Chinese. Why haven’t they committed their air power in an effective way? As I said, if they could they would, since they don’t, they can’t.

    What Putin is shortest of is time. Russians may think they’re winning and and it’s worth it, given enough time, they might win. How long will the sentiment that it’s been worth it prevail as the fact that they have suffered tens of thousands of deaths so far starts to filter out? As it will, even if they do remove themselves from the internet. Putin’s real power base is the oligarchs. I doubt that they will be happy to be confined to Russia, that’s not where they intended to spend the money they’ve stolen. A desperate Putin is very dangerous, the question is whether there is anything to limit his more insane and vindictive impulses.

  251. Russia must lose, and lose badly. We still have to provide the golden bridge for them to retreat over, and that bridge is the removal of Putin (which, in gangsterland, almost certainly means his death). Putin gone, and a remorseful Russia out of Ukraine.

    So in other words, our goal in this war between two foreign countries is regime change in the one that hasn’t been bribing a swarm of American politicians and employing their children in lucrative make-work jobs. Noted.

    I’m sure those bribes haven’t had anything to do with the massive turn-key propaganda operation that began in the West immediately after Russia invaded, right? Meanwhile, the Chinese genocide against the Yoo-gers continues with little notice and few complaints.

    But I’m sure there would be similar sanctions against China if they invaded Taiwan, right? I know Apple would immediately stop selling products in China, for exam…oh, never mind. But of course the US government would immediately stop allowing Chinese products such as medicines and other things no longer made in America into the country…um…

    Anyway, forgive me if I think the plaints against the Russian invasion are mostly bovine excrement. Worse, I also remember being told face-to-face, circa 2006, that the US government was ignoring genocide against Christians in Iraq, by someone who had family being targeted. I was shocked, because I had thought of course the US would stop that sort of thing. I feel silly remembering that now. That help sour me on the whole concept of American intervention in foreign countries I don’t care about.

    Subsequently, armed with my newly developed cynicism, I noted that the war against the Christians in South Sudan was ignored while the attacks on the black Muslims of Darfur by Arab Muslims was somehow the great moral question of our age, etc. Enough rambling, so I’ll spare everyone my thoughts about the Deep State’s relentless efforts to repeat the Iraq experience in Syria.

    In eighteen months to two years Putin, his gamble having paid off, will be grinning and shaking hands with our worthless leaders at some conference or other that spells our demise.

    How, exactly, can the ruler of a feeble petrostate with a puerile military cause our demise? And who is the “us,” mentioned here, anyway? I note that the US withstood decades of hostility from the Soviet Empire when it was a superpower. If the ruined remnants of that empire can cause our demise, I think the actual blame belongs elsewhere.

  252. “Putin’s real power base is the oligarchs.”
    I don’t think this is accurate, not based on anything I’ve read in years. My understanding is Putin let some of them keep most of their money, but give up most of the businesses they were given in the 90s, as long as they stayed far away from politics, and the fan who have violated that have been imprisoned or exiled. It’s not really an oligarchy, I don’t think.
    I don’t see a way back to the pre-invasion status quo. Putin wants to decouple Russia from the West, and there’s nothing in a thousand years of Russian history that indicates they’re going to come crawling back to the West if “we” continue to revel in how we’re ruining them economically and they’re nothing without “us”. (Not that “we” shouldn’t be doing it, that’s what an economic superpower has at its disposal, I just think the game has changed and it’s unlikely to work, we’re in the middle of a fundamental upheaval in the system, I think, and who knows exactly how it will all shake out. Unfortunately for we poor slobs, the West is led by feckless morons without a clue…)

  253. of course China through Talisman Oil financed the Janjaweed militia, Wagner Corps does operate in the South, as they were found wanting in Syria and have not done well against Turkish Drones in support of General Hafter, who had to clean up the mess that Hillary left enabling the Qatari proxies like Ansar Al Sharia,

  254. https://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/tdpq71/uncanny_predictions_of_ukraines_war_from_april/

    Nevzorov makes a lot of prescient points from back in April of 2021. I can’t help but think they should have kept his ass in the Duma, instead of literally letting him out to pasture. Seems like a very astute and forthright commentator.

    He’s probably on a death list, somewhere, the poor bastard. No worse person to be in a totalitarian state than an accurate Cassandra.

  255. For all the idiots dumping out their Russian vodka:
    https://twitter.com/JavierBlas/status/1503342139014529030
    We’re seeing the **strongest** flows of Russian gas into the European Union since the invasion of Ukraine started, with Mallnow registering 3 consecutive days of non-stop flows, plus steady high inflows at Velke and NS1. At current prices, that’s quite a bounty for the Kremlin

  256. For the deluded folks who Trump was a Russian asset:

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2022/03/10/how_ukraine_conspired_with_dems_against_trump_to_prevent_the_kind_of_war_happening_now_under_biden_820873.html

    A few highlights:

    Working with both the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign, Ukrainian government officials intervened in the 2016 race to help Clinton and hurt Donald Trump in a sweeping and systematic foreign influence operation

    The improper, if not illegal, operation was run chiefly out of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, where officials worked hand-in-glove with a Ukrainian-American activist and Clinton campaign operative to attack the Trump campaign. The Obama White House was also deeply involved in an effort to groom their own favored leader in Ukraine and then work with his government to dig up dirt on – and even investigate — their political rival.

    Ukrainian and Democratic operatives also huddled with American journalists to spread damaging information on Trump and his advisers – including allegations of illicit Russian-tied payments that, though later proved false, forced the resignation of his campaign manager Paul Manafort.

    The Obama administration’s enforcement agencies leaned on their Ukrainian counterparts to investigate Manafort, shifting resources from an investigation of a corrupt Ukrainian energy oligarch who paid Biden’s son hundreds of thousands of dollars through his gas company, Burisma. “Obama’s NSC hosted Ukrainian officials and told them to stop investigating Hunter Biden and start investigating Paul Manafort,” said a former senior NSC official who has seen notes and emails generated from the meetings and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Much more at the link. The Ukrainians bet big on the democrats, concocted false allegations against Donald Trump with them, and now they’ve been rewarded with the Russian invasion they thought they were going to prevent.

    This does not demonstrate competence, in my opinion.

  257. “The Ukrainians bet big on the democrats, concocted false allegations against Donald Trump with them, and now they’ve been rewarded with the Russian invasion they thought they were going to prevent.”
    The Ukraine story needs to be told, but it will be years before it can be, if ever, because both parties are deeply implicated in using that country as an ATM for plugged-in swampers. I think that Ukraine was more anti-Trump than pro-Democrat, because he wasn’t bought off or compromised. I’m sure that the rich Ukrainians involved will profit nicely from the war, as will the same sort of American family and cronies of powerful DC figures that enriched themselves before. It’s not an accident, after all, that the scumbag Clintons just restarted their slush fund…

  258. Gosh, what a shock, I am so shocked, this is my shocked face.
    https://www.reuters.com/world/india/india-considers-buying-discounted-russian-oil-commodities-officials-say-2022-03-14/
    As West shuns Moscow, officials say India eyes more cheap Russian oil
    India may take up a Russian offer to buy crude oil and other commodities at a discount, two Indian officials said, in a sign that Delhi wants to keep its key trading partner on board despite Western attempts to isolate Moscow through sanctions.
    Reuters has reported that Indian officials are trying to set up a rupee-rouble mechanism with Russia to continue bilateral trade

  259. The Ukrainians bet big on the democrats, concocted false allegations against Donald Trump with them, and now they’ve been rewarded with the Russian invasion they thought they were going to prevent.

    This is what the Manafort accusations were about. The Podesta brothers had exactly the same relationships but were not touched. They are lucky Trump did not find out until now. He was the only one who sent them weapons. Obama sent blankets.

  260. Saying “Ukrainian” and blaming them as a nation for what happened is entirely the wrong story–It would be a hell of a lot more accurate, and far less polarizing to say that “Ukrainian factions, mostly the corrupt oligarchs, worked hand-in-glove with American oligarchs to put Trump out of office…”.

    Because, there were Ukrainians who were trying to tell the real story, but who were blocked from even coming into the US via Democrat-sympathetic personnel in the government.

    I love how people seem to forget that other countries are no more monolithic than our own. Blaming some mythical “Ukraine”-construct for the actions of some of their own much-hated corruptocrats is a mistake, on the level of banning Russian literature in colleges because… Reasons.

    There’s more to the story than just the Ukrainians who were working with the Democrats. This is more a story of their oligarchs working with our oligarchs in order to subvert good governance and further their own interests.

    I remember hearing, back around 2018-19 time frame that there were Ukrainian prosecutors trying to give evidence to the US about Hunter Biden and others, but due to the fact that both “parties” (actually, the Uniparty…) had family members taking advantage of things in Ukraine, well… That didn’t get very far.

    It ain’t some mythical “Ukraine” that did this crap–It’s their corrupt and venal types, just like the ones we’ve done so little about. Nancy Pelosi ring any bells, for you?

    I’d love to be able to do a forensic audit on all these assholes, including their families. You’d find all sorts of interesting things, things that would explain the whole of the last few decades in terms of political and economic decisions.

    Give you an example… I keep railing about that EPA “situation” a few years back that killed a good chunk of the Colorado river. I was talking to a guy who’s a fairly knowledgeable ecologist/activist, and he connected some dots on that deal I hadn’t known to look for. Apparently, the EPA officials responsible for that whole thing, and the contractors, are all “connected” to several congressmen and a senator, either via marriage or close pre-existing relationships like “college roommates for four years”.

    Corruption. It’s what’s for breakfast…

  261. The Ukraine story needs to be told, but it will be years before it can be, if ever, because both parties are deeply implicated in using that country as an ATM for plugged-in swampers.

    I can’t disagree, alas. But I’d argue this will remain true only as long as the present feeble regime manages to keep control, which I suspect won’t be for much longer.

    The Podesta brothers had exactly the same relationships but were not touched.

    True, but it’s worse. They were tipped off prior to the Manafort indictment and wrapped up their lobbying firm lickety split before anyone could ask them any questions. In light of subsequent events, I think they shouldn’t have bothered.

    Saying “Ukrainian” and blaming them as a nation for what happened is entirely the wrong story…

    Completely true, as is the rest of what you wrote. I think the Ukrainians are every bit as much the victims of their oligarchs as we are of ours, but at least we have so far not been exposed to an armed invasion through the incompetence of our cabal.

    This war is a ghastly human tragedy that never should have happened.

    I was going to ramble on some more but I think that sums it up well enough for now.

  262. I love how people seem to forget that other countries are no more monolithic than our own. Blaming some mythical “Ukraine”-construct for the actions of some of their own much-hated corruptocrats is a mistake, on the level of banning Russian literature in colleges because… Reasons.

    I don’t disagree with you but those were the people running that country at the time. The CIA had a big hand in who was running the country, that one and this one. The 2014 coup was engineered by whoever was running Obama at the time. The USA is being run by an oligarchy as corrupt as the one in Ukraine. It may have begun with GHW Bush or Clinton. It seems things changed about then.

  263. The Uniparty oligarchy has been running things since at least LBJ, maybe even earlier. Under FDR, the Republicans were ineffectual opposition to all the stuff he was doing. After about Eisenhower, they just quit being opposition and joined in the looting. The Uniparty was in full sway when they removed Nixon–And, remember, the reason Nixon thought he needed to do that crap in the first place was what LBJ had done to Goldwater, placing actual FBI agents in his campaign headquarters. Nixon thought “that’s what presidents do, now…”, and didn’t cotton on to the “Only the approved ones…” addendum. Nixon’s “crimes” were things that JFK and LBJ had actually done, including the weaponization of the IRS and other government agencies.

    I’d love to be able to blame just the Democrats, but you’ll note an unfortunate fact: The Republicans never fought back. That’s the “dog that doesn’t bark”, just like all that ‘effed up gerrymandering going on back East. Look at Missouri–The local Republican party is basically handing the state over to the Democrats with the redistricting plan. You’d almost think that the responsible individuals were actually Democrats, themselves…

    The whole construct is essentially and utterly corrupt. I’m not too sure what we do from here, but it is pretty plain that getting these ass-clowns out of power is going to be a long, hard fight. They’re not going to give up just because some silly voters out here in the hinterlands are outraged at their policies and the outcomes thereof…

  264. Update:

    On Sunday, March 13, as part of a special operation to force the Kiev regime to peace, a high-precision weapon was struck at the Yavorovsky training ground, which is located 25 kilometers from Lviv. Administrative buildings and barracks were destroyed, in which at the time of the strike there were a large number of foreign mercenaries who had arrived in Ukraine to participate in hostilities against the Russian army.

    Although exact figures on the number of foreign fighters killed at the test site are not given, according to preliminary estimates, at least 180 fighters of the so-called “foreign legion”, which the Kiev authorities planned to mobilize as a military reserve, were killed as a result of the missile attack.

  265. Certainly economic disaster began with LBJ although Nixon contributed. The FBI took down Nixon and that means they had been spying on presidents for years.

    The press, at the time, covered for FDR, his disability and his affair with Missy LeHand. They also hated Coolidge and Hoover. Coolidge predicted the 1929 panic but thought the responsibility to rein in the market was that of the Governor, FDR himself. Had Coolidge done a second term, we might never have had the Great Depression. He and Harding ended the 1920 version quickly.

    What we have seen as economic disaster is nothing to what is coming, courtesy of the Democratic Socialists who run Biden.

  266. yes podesta was lobbying for the Dems, Weber for the Republicans, (vitter took over his account at Mercury Partners, the firm cofounded by Steve Schmidt, ‘dr evil’ ) Manafort was holding the money, they represented oligarchs in the east mostly, kolomoisky and pinchuk* central and western ukraine, greg craig, long time democratic fixer, apprentice at Ted Kennedy’s knee, helped the Mevs family of Haiti, evade oil sanction, then arranged to fix a case against Timochenko, the blonde with the silvery bun, Mueller went after the son in law of one of those oligarchs, who Steele had libeled, who worked for Craig’s firm, Skadden Arps,

  267. the other angle is turkey, which is run by the Sultan Erdogan, who provided the drones to Ukraine, of course he wouldn’t have been able to take over without his enabler and now bete noire, whose clerical network helped topple the secular standard bearers through a ‘Deep State plot’ called Ergonokon, using the scapegoats of the Grey Wolves, eventually the scorpion turned on him, and his followers were purged, settled himself in Pennsylvania, he is flacked mostly by democrats, the fairy tale that General Flynn would orchestrate a kidnapping was ludicrous to most, but convenient to the narrative

  268. LOL, looks like Maduro told Brandon to get rekt:
    https://twitter.com/zerohedge/status/1503458715109933056
    *IMPORTING VENEZUELA OIL NOT AN ACTIVE CONVERSATION NOW: PSAKI

    No one’s telling people to prepare for what’s coming. Instead the media is parroting insane propaganda about how the noble West is trouncing the evil Russians, and liberal democracy is about to have its finest hour. Things are going to get real bad real fast.

  269. well maduro doesn’t wipe himself, if cabello, drug lord of the sun cartel, doesn’t tell him so, but yes it was a quixotic exercise,

  270. Erdogan is only in power because the US under Bush II was too morally pure to green-light the Turkish Army back when that was still possible, in their coup efforts.

    Bush was a geopolitical disaster for the US, and the world. We’re gonna rue the day he made the decisions he did, trying to be Mr. Nice Guy. We should have smoked Pakistan and Saudi Arabia back in 2001, after appropriate attempts at neutering the radicals were made. I doubt that the Saudis would have given up the princes that had to have been involved in 9/11, giving the various hijackers all-new passports and then the OK for visas to the idiotic State Department.

    Clearing the ISI out of Pakistan should have been the other axis, but I suppose that would have been too hard. We’re all going to live to regret the weakening of the Westphalian regime, but nobody seems to give a shit. Idiots. Consequences will flow, and the US should have made a stand for accountability. We didn’t, and that is just not going to end well.

  271. and this is why they hate prince salman, he has brought to ground many of the Wahhabist players, in the Kingdom and outside, he’s an outsider to the Sauds, on his mothers side his tribal chief was beheaded twice, it’s a Michael vs Don Vito thing,

  272. I’ve kind of wondered if Prince Salman was cleaning house after a US-issued ultimatum, likely by Trump. Either that, or they finally decided they were playing with fire and have chosen to stop.

    I’ve seen things and heard things that make me suspect that Saudi/Pakistani money was behind the Carter Administration’s decision to oust the Shah, ‘cos the Saudis were thinking then that he was getting too strong, and decided to “reduce the Persian threat”. Seeing how well that’s worked out, and realizing that the US was probably about a gnat’s hair away from throwing Bush II out of office if the facts about 9/11 ever came out, followed by swift doses of canned sunshine above Riyadh…? I bet Prince Salman’s efforts indicate that someone has had some second thoughts about playing with international politics the way they have.

  273. “someone has had some second thoughts about playing with international politics the way they have.”
    Is it crazy conspiracy thinking to say that the Deep State’s worked for generations to ensure the Middle East is mired in conflict? They’ve always wanted someone to counterbalance Israel, which for the longest time was the Arab states, but in recent years means Iran, which is the only thing I’ve ever been able to figure out for why they’re so desperate for a “deal” with the mullahs. In the old days I think the motivation was probably ideological, but in recent decades it’s just a healthy bit of good old fashioned corruption, as the military-industrial and NGO complexes have become more and more brazen in their roles as money-laundering agencies. Can you imagine previous generations of politicians being so overt in feeding at the trough as Brandon and his family? And of course, as with so much, we have the Clintons to blame for shattering all pretense to decency, that Obama with his Chicago machine ties followed, but wasn’t able to put in place a competent successor…

  274. the history of us policy in the middle east is an ‘enigma wrapped inside a riddle’ as opposition to the Soviets and Nasser and Nehru, they empowered the Sauds and the ISI, the Turks who served as bulwarks against the Soviets, they mostly cast aside, of course Nasser was largely put in power by the Company, who then turned to the Soviets,

  275. Kirk, a while ago I read on DiploMad’s blog – a suggestion from one of Diplomad’s fellow former State denizens – that Carter had this absolutely insane, inexplicable animus against the Shah (then one of our strongest allies in the middle east), and it was Carter’s doing that the Shah got cut off from American support – possibly at the urging of the Saudi’s in whose pocket Carter seems to have been ever since. The commenter was a relatively low-level State minion (IRRC) who was stunned that suddenly the Shah was essentially persona no grata, and wondered why, to his superiors. “Comes from the highest level” was the response.
    That made sense to me, since reading that comment. Carter threw the Shah to the wolves, at the bidding of the Sauds … and so much of the mid-east devilment since might be laid at Carter’s door. Maybe the “History’s Greatest Monster” is not so inapt a title, after all; considering all the devilment which ensued from that bit of treachery.

  276. @Sgt. Mom,

    The first I heard of that theory vis-a-vis Carter being a cat’s paw for the Saudis was from a “friend-of-a-friend” of our family. Primary contact was through a young Iranian guy my stepdad knew, and through him we met his “uncle”, whose actual relationship with our contact was decidedly… Murky. He’d made it out of Iran just ahead of an assassination team that was looking for him, by name. He’d been a fairly senior person in the Shah’s SAVAK secret service, and between him and another former member of the Iranian Air Force that he’d help escape, it was an enlightening series of encounters. Both of the two of them were puzzled, because they couldn’t figure out what the hell had happened–Before Carter, the Shah was a reasonably decent Middle-Eastern ruler, and as soon as Carter came in, the Shah was suddenly the earthly incarnation of Satan. The two of them described conversations that they’d had with their American counterparts who told them they had no idea what was going on, but that they could not help them in any way. The military guy was never going to do anything counterrevolutionary, but he had conversations with some of the Iranian Army officers he’d trained with and who he was related to, and they swore up and down that they’d been told that if they tried to suppress the Revolution, they’d be cut off from US aid. The Iranian government was so confused as to what was going on and what the US really wanted that they were paralyzed–Some of them thought that the Revolution was a scam, a front to depose the Shah and put in an even more American-friendly regime.

    Talking to those two, and stuff I heard later on…? Oh, yeah; our sanctimonious putz of a former President was probably up to it in his ears. Follow the money–Who paid for his library? Who bailed out his family farm? Who financed his campaigns?

    I think a lot of things started to go south under Carter. The man was an utter dolt if he wasn’t actually in the pay of someone else, and I don’t know which is worse–That he might have done all he did simply through malign stupidity, or that he did it for cold, hard cash.

    Either way, I’ve always loathed the smarmy little prick. I can see why his Annapolis classmates had little good to say about him–One of whom I met and talked to. Hooooo-boy, did he have a lot of very negative things to say…

  277. Putin has decided that Russian airlines can keep flying their leased aircraft domestically. If they fly internationally, they’ll be seized by the owners. All of these planes will be cut off from spares and major maintenance facilities. Aeroflot is a heavy user of German maintainers. These planes will become all but unsalable because of incomplete maintenance records, repairs done by unauthorized facilities with untraceable parts, etc. Then there’s the problem that these airlines will have in the future, cut off from the leasing companies. As the article says, there are 500 planes and about $10 billion.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/14/putin-allows-russian-airlines-to-fly-10-billion-worth-of-foreign-owned-planes.html

    This is a little bit short of nationalization but not much. The drop dead date is March 28, when all the planes are supposed to be turned back to the owners outside of Russia.

    I don’t think Russians realize what they have gained from Western investment and what they’ll lose now that it looks like Russian investment has become the equivalent of financial suicide. Planes that don’t crash on a regular basis is only one thing.

    Assuming there is an after, it will be interesting to see what the carryover will be. How long will our “allies” keep up sanctions? We’ve already seen what outstanding support we can expect from Germany and France when it looks like there’s a buck to be made.

  278. Ya go to a war zone, you’re gonna get warred on.

    The thing I wonder is how the targeting was that accurate. And, why the hell weren’t these guys dispersed?

    There are a lot of questions to be answered, here…

  279. I guess I’m confused about why I should be outraged that Russia is taking part in economic warfare? Like I said, I’m 100% against the invasion, I don’t think it defensible or legitimate, but if the West is going to seize Russian business assets in the West, why is it outrageous for Russia to seize Western assets in Russia? Do we think this is a game that the opponent doesn’t get a turn? The average citizen in the West is in for a rude awakening very soon–it’s never been the case that sanctions caused massive hardships in the West, only in the small distant countries on which “we” impose them. It will be very interesting to see what public reaction is when there’s significant and long-lasting pain in Western economies for the rest of the year and beyond…

  280. The thing that the various oligarchs need to worry about with all this is that they’re losing their safe foreign bolt-holes; if things go badly in Russia, where will they run…?

    It’s going to look a lot like all those former members of the Russian nobility who were reduced to poverty across the world after the Communists came in, having to prostitute their daughters out and all the rest.

    I knew a guy whose mom might have been the prototype for one of those military novels, a White Russian daughter of some Tsarist general that washed up in pre-WWII Shanghai and somehow managed to hook up with an eligible American officer who managed to survive and thrive through WWII. It was fascinating talking to him about it all, because getting him a freakin’ security clearance…? LOL… You have no idea; his aunts were married to about every nationality that had ever been in Shanghai, except the Japanese. Not done, you see… Family member died at Tsushima.

    It’s going to be ugly, for a lot of them. I’m really not seeing Russia hanging around for much longer as a going concern. Too many gaping holes showing up in their armies and air forces. The navy, we already know about.

    My guess is that the strategic stuff ain’t in much better shape–Likely, worse, as nobody ever thought it would be used. That was the attitude that a lot of the inspectors that went in after the wall came down ran into–The former Soviets officers and civilian managers they were inspecting all had this attitude that the weapons were really never going to be used, so why worry…? They could steal to their heart’s content, and nobody would ever know. And, when something happened needing a nuclear response? The evidence of their malfeasance would be hidden forever by the counterstrikes… No way they could lose.

    I hope I’m still here to laugh my ass off, if the geriatric idiots we have running the show ever do decide to “push the button”. I suspect we’re all in for one hell of a surprise when the little flag saying “POP” shoots out the metaphoric muzzle of their guns.

    Gravity bombs and bombers? Those’ll probably work. Maybe. The rockets? LOL… Don’t make me laugh. The US has trouble pulling that off with stage-managed stuff that’s been essentially rebuilt before the “test launch”, and even then…? 20% failure rate. What they’re going to get when they launch the stuff that’s actually out in the missile fields on both sides? Who knows? I doubt that the majority of the weapons will function per design. More than likely, most won’t make it out of the atmosphere, and then hitting the targets and working? Again, laughable.

  281. A very insightful history of the shah fall of heaven indicated until december 78, the revolution could have been reversed now pahlavi had been subject to black legend circulated by mossadeq partisans like bani sadr the soviets played their part as well as the tudeh also head grudges against him

    Had the iranian officers done what the egyptians would do 30 years later?

  282. “The thing that the various oligarchs need to worry about with all this is that they’re losing their safe foreign bolt-holes; if things go badly in Russia, where will they run…?”
    https://twitter.com/NewsPolitics/status/1503389059900661765
    At least 14 private jets from Russia landed in Israel in the past 10 days amid the latest round of oligarch sanctions

    This ain’t 1990 anymore, or 2003, or…Our elite have frittered away our strength completely, our entire economy, our entire society, is painted rust, I don’t think we’re capable of taking a punch and holding together…

  283. “I guess I’m confused about why I should be outraged that Russia is taking part in economic warfare?”
    Not outraged, maybe not surprised at this point, so much as pointing out that they’re eating the seed corn after only the second week. Like the collapse of foreign oil and gas ventures, this will have ramifications for years. Probably much more pervasive than the 98 default and longer lasting.

    The attack that killed those Brits used up a significant portion of their remaining cruise missiles. Those 100 odd people and buildings were the best target they had at this point in a war that’s going badly? When those missiles are gone, there won’t be any more for a long time.

    The idea of stiffening the Ukrainians with Western anti-air will run up against the fact that there aren’t any Ukrainians that can operate them unless we’re talking about old Soviet systems that probably won’t be much help. Running them takes a lot of training and maintaining them, even more.

    The Russians will run up against the same problem if they do get Chinese equipment.

  284. “Like the collapse of foreign oil and gas ventures, this will have ramifications for years”
    Yeah, the ramification is that Chinese oil and gas companies are going to snap up the shares of Russian companies for pennies on the dollar. Europe still hasn’t done anything to shut off Russian oil imports, the pipelines are totally full. OPEC is continuing to hit its targets, not ramping up at all. Shell, BP, etc, will be back soon, you can bet on that, but as contractors instead of owners. How is that a win? Literally the only people suffering are us poor slobs who are going to be paying $5-6 a gallon (and who knows what in Europe) for the rest of the year.

  285. We’re all supposed to hate Mearsheimer for saying that Russia would resort to military action if it felt that Ukraine was potentially going to join NATO. This is all very strange–he was right!
    Now, I’ve said over and over and over that I don’t think Russia was justified in the invasion, and still don’t think that. I said pre-invasion I thought it would never happen, that Russia was bluffing and would at most move troops into the disputed regions, dropping the pretense that they weren’t involved, but wouldn’t go further because militarily they aren’t capable of occupying Ukraine even if they are able to defeat it, and they know it.
    But here’s the thing–Mearsheimer and a few people are the ones who got it “right” in assessing how Russia might react. My amateur assessment, and the entire foreign policy establishment’s assessments, were completely wrong. It doesn’t matter if you think Russia is “right” to have reacted like this, that’s irrelevant. Maybe you can argue that the “realists” were right for the wrong reasons, i.e., they were lucky and not actually prescient, but the problem is that people who argued for a decade or more that Russia would never actually invade really have no basis to be looked to as authorities on what actually motivates them, or how we should act. They were wrong about how Russia would react to NATO interactions with Ukraine, and I think they’re completely wrong about how Russia will react to the economic warfare going on now.

  286. Haha, those pathetic Russians can’t buy iPhones or watch Netflix, we’re crushing it, America is back baby!
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-arabia-considers-accepting-yuan-instead-of-dollars-for-chinese-oil-sales-11647351541
    “Saudi Arabia is in active talks with Beijing to price its some of its oil sales to China in yuan, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would dent the U.S. dollar’s dominance of the global petroleum market and mark another shift by the world’s top crude exporter toward Asia.”

    Oh and thank goodness the grownups are back in charge
    “The Saudis are angry over the U.S.’s lack of support for their intervention in the Yemen civil war, and over the Biden administration’s attempt to strike a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. Saudi officials have said they were shocked by the precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.”

  287. I thought he would hold dombass and thereby have a stranglehold on the mineral resources, my bad, when brennan and co, were crying wolf, I doubted them, again it doesn’t really make any strategic sense to have launched this offensive now, as they stripped forces as far as siberia to carry it out, that seems foolish,

    now playing nuclear chicken, with provocations in the bloodlands that is foolish as well,

  288. “it doesn’t really make any strategic sense to have launched this offensive now”
    Depends on his strategy. I think the goal is that being more self-sufficient means being more secure, i.e., not being in a situation where twitter/facebook controls the discourse or where Western companies can cut them off at any time, etc. I don’t think he’s worried much about Russia being poorer, in the short term.
    Does anyone spend a moment to think what it looks like to most people around the world for the regime to be gloating that we’ve crushed the Russian economy?

  289. have you ever read deborchgraves spike, it’s about what happens in a world, where America is undermined by elites within, and forces without, briefly, it is told through the story of a reporter, robert hockney, who has a career arc like david horowitz, from berkeley activist to muckraker of that movement, the latter part is set in a post carter era, where another bumpkin has surrendered most of Americas advantages, a thinly disguised institute for policy studies, seems to staff the major bureaucracy, like all the schwabites and China drones in this one,
    my inflexion is in the novel, the protagonist discovers the Sauds were undermined by a Soviet strategem sourced out of Yemen, which led to their downfall

  290. what is the dog that isn’t barking, the chinese show putin, that the Americans foolishly showed their hand , ok then, so what, nato might be considering UN membership for Ukraine, yes conditions resemble the precursor to the Georgian war,

  291. China seems to be significantly underperforming in the omnipotence department. Every week or so, another big city locked down trying to put the covid genie back in its lamp while the rest of the world mostly goes on. This has to have devastating effects on their economy.

    Everything I’ve read makes me believe that the PLA is at least as corrupt as the Russian Army, probably even more in terms of organized looting and diversion of resources to their many civilian sidelines. Remember when counterfeiting CD’s and DVD’s was a big thing that it was in the plants run by the PLA that most of it was going on. Who’s in a better position than the plant that was producing the real thing during the day?

    We’re seeing just how well such armies do under fire.

  292. because ‘zero covid’ is an illusion, shutting down shenzhen is a powerful canary in the coal mine moment, just like the negotiation over the yuan are we paying attention, I don’t think sufficently, but the fish come from the river, as mao might have said, self interest isn’t enough of a cohesive ideology, this is why Xi has unthawed out, Maoism, with a new cover band,

  293. “We’re seeing just how well such armies do under fire.”
    Right, and China doesn’t even have the benefit of some recent warmup wars, er…special operations, to learn who and what works well for them.

    They can’t have enjoyed yesterday’s market crater either.

  294. Updates:

    1. Mariupol. The assault on the city continues. In a number of areas, ours had an advance, but the enemy is still resisting stubbornly and in an organized manner, realizing that there are no longer any chances for a deblockade, and they will not be particularly taken prisoner.

    2. Carbon. Fighting in the area of ​​Ugledar and in the direction of Marinka-Kurakhovo. The enemy is slowly retreating, but it is too early to say that his resistance is disorganized. The command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in this direction is trying to gain some time before retreating to the next line of defense.

    3. Donetsk. Fighting continued in the area of ​​Avdiivka and Marinka, but there is no serious progress yet. The enemy, as usual, continued to shell the settlements of the DPR.

    4. Gorlovka. In the area of ​​Verkhnetoretsky, the DPR troops managed to move forward with the support of artillery and aviation, creating a direct threat to the road leading to Avdeevka, as well as certain prerequisites for advancing to Dzerzhinsk, where the enemy is preparing for a stubborn defense. It is, of course, too early to talk about a breakthrough of the front here.

    5. LPR. LPR troops continued fighting in the western part of Popasnaya, and also occupied at least half of Rubizhne. Fighting continued there, as well as on the outskirts of Severodonetsk. Also, the troops of the republic are fixed on the administrative border of the former Kharkiv and Luhansk regions.

    6. Kharkov. Fighting continued throughout the night around the city. The city itself, due to the terrorist tactics of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, continues to be gradually destroyed.

    7. Kyiv. Fighting on the Gostomel-Vyshgorod line and in the Bucha-Irpin area. To the east of the city, the fighting went to the northeast and east of Brovar. Chernihiv and Sumy are still without major changes.

    8. Nikolaev. Fighting continued to the north of the city, which is preparing to repel an assault that is still not happening. The RF Armed Forces have so far limited themselves to advancing towards Krivoy Rog and Nikopol, and also occupied the remaining settlements of the Kherson region and declared full control over it.

    9. Odessa. The enemy turned on the anti-landing hysteria again, to which were added fears that the RF Armed Forces were preparing a strike on Odessa north of Nikolaev. Therefore, a significant part of the forces remaining here at the Armed Forces of Ukraine sits precisely in the Odessa region, although in theory they could alleviate the situation of the blockaded Nikolaev.

    10. Raisin. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are clearly pushing the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the direction of Slavyansk. In view of this, there is an active undermining of bridges to the southeast of Izyum. The Slavyansko-Kramatorsk agglomeration itself is under attack, which portends a rather early start of battles for the city. The situation with the offensive in the Barvenkovo ​​area is not completely clear.

  295. Here’s the sort of nonsense the regime is resorting to:
    https://twitter.com/CurtisHouck/status/1503805318912004101
    Jen Psaki on if India accepts Russian oil at a reduced costs: “[T]hink about where you want to stand when the history books are written in this moment in time, and support for the Russian leadership is support for an invasion that obviously is having a devastating impact.”

    Pitiful.

    What’s a Chinese word we can use instead of kabuki? That’s what covid “lockdowns” there clearly have to be viewed as at this time. Whatever is going on in Shenzhen certainly can’t be taken at face value, any more than those ridiculous “falling man” videos from 26 months ago…

  296. it’s largely a replay from the last eight years, putin extended himself north into kyev and west against odessa, which was the former port of garabay, that suvorov wrested away from the Ottomans,

  297. MCS: “Every week or so, another big [Chinese] city locked down trying to put the covid genie back in its lamp while the rest of the world mostly goes on. This has to have devastating effects on their (China’s] economy.”

    China has lots of dollars which “Our Guys” have effectively told them they need to get out of the US before we steal them. So China can pull out some of that money and pay for their shut downs.

    Meanwhile, China’s “Covid” action also cuts down on essential exports to the West, at the same time as the US is threatening China with “sanctions” if they don’t get with the “Hate Russia” program. It must make President Xi smile!

    My guess is that hardly anyone in Shenzen is sick — and the Chinese workers are enjoying a few weeks off in spring weather. The way to make sense of what is happening in the world right now is to start with the demonstrated reality that the dumbest people on Planet Earth today are all concentrated in the DC Swamp.

  298. “My guess is that hardly anyone in Shenzen is sick — and the Chinese workers are enjoying a few weeks off in spring weather.”
    Not how it’s worked other places. Everybody confined to their apartment/dormitory supposedly 23 hour out of 24 assuming they show up to open the doors. We saw the quality of Chinese catering for the Olympics for what were supposed to be honored guests, do you think they’ll be less likely to steal from powerless Chinese than those athletes under the media spot light. A sure way to solve obesity. Some have been “enjoying” the spring weather since New Years. Of course unburdened by any pay. Then there are all the former Evergrand workers and others that will soon be enjoying the summer unencumbered by employment as well.

    How many of the little factories that had trouble making payroll on a good day will still be there? A very common scene in the good times would be a group of workers milling around outside the closed doors of where they had worked the day before. This is how they learned they no longer had a job. Oh, and the pay they were owed? Not going to happen.

  299. “The 2014 coup was engineered by whoever was running Obama at the time.”

    It still was a popular coup. The President was pro Russian. The Legislature was pro EU. He has since been tried in absentia for treason.

  300. Kirk
    March 14, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    Because of the Drug War effort he made, Nixon was also a CIA asset. That effort created the Libertarian Party and copious complaints from one of the original Chicago Boyz, Milton Friedman.

  301. So… Nixon was a CIA asset? Well, that would explain all the cover they provided for him during Watergate. Also, how do you explain all the contradictions with that premise, if you acknowledge that the CIA was running drugs into the US to finance their nefarious overseas operations…?

    I don’t think Nixon was anyone’s “asset”, and I suspect that the War on Drugs was a PR thing from the beginning–Don’t forget all the deputations of “black community leaders” who were going to the gummint in Washington, hats in hand, begging them to “do something…”. Well, they got what they asked for. Good and hard.

    There are so many contradictions in it all that you would be forgiven for thinking it was conceived of in the mind of a schizophrenic crazy person–And, on some days, I strongly suspect it was.

  302. Brian
    March 14, 2022 at 4:15 pm

    Putin could have gotten away with it if he had just gone after the breakaway regions. They more or less met the conditions set for the invasion.

  303. How could it be otherwise? He made them a lot of money. He had to be clued in or he wouldn’t have been allowed to open his mouth. Lest he make a mistake. The Drug War more or less turned America into a police state. (Against the undesirables – supposedly). And the people cheered. Police loved it. No more 4th Amendment.

    Now it may very well be that some segments of the organization didn’t like him, but for the most part he was one of the most fascist and fascist enabling Presidents in a long time. St. Reagan did nothing to oppose what Nixon had created.

    We still haven’t recovered.

    On top of that we have learned that addiction is a symptom of PTSD. We are making war on traumatized people. And the trauma in America? Mostly childhood sexual abuse.

    PS. I lost my mind decades ago. It helps to be able to hold two contradictory thoughts at the same time.

  304. Well the early dea involved operatives like lou conein to take out some of the traffickers see agency of fear, lou did captain the diem coup which did lead to the war read victory forsaken

  305. Nixon helped end the war, although he settled for terms anna chennault told thieu to deny it took us nearly 20 years to get in there from the time the oss aided ho,

  306. Leonov fidel and ches kgb handler said he found putin to be an unexceptional agent if it wasnt him it would have been primakov probably since good czars are very rare (was yeltsin a good czar on balance(

  307. Its surprising putin settled for half a loaf the last time specially after the malaysian airliners shootdown

  308. One starts to come around to the view what was the point in vietnam afghanistan any of it if it was inevitably going to end in tears and worse with the bastion gate.

  309. And this makes them different from every other war in the last 6,000 years exactly how? Every war ends in tears for at least one side. Pyrrhic victory goes back about 3,000 and wasn’t new then, not a lesson we seem able to learn.

    Winning a war costs millions (old reference), losing one costs everything.

  310. We lost in Vietnam, and while it was costly, it hardly cost us “everything”. In war as in life, sometimes the thing to do is recognize your mistake and cut your losses.

  311. Those who foughr were painted as baby killers those who served the enemy became heroes to a new generation,

  312. As to the drug connection product still flowed. From thailand later afghanistan opened up a new front mexico somewhere in the middle

  313. It feels like the realization has sunk in that things like wars in a country the size of Texas don’t move at the speed of twitter…still very hard to tell what’s going on. Seems like Russia had no serious Plan B for if they didn’t do a lightning grab of the Kiev airport–and it’s not even clear to me what they thought they would do with it anyway. Also, to be honest, one starts to become very suspicious about the US evacuating the embassy, and apparently urging Zelensky to flee as well…

  314. Think of BidenCo. and Putin Inc. as two competing firms colluding to take over a third, called Ukraine. They have their scripts, their plans, but Zelensky and his fellow Ukrainians flipped the script on both of the takeover narratives.

    BidenCo. simply cannot comprehend someone like Zelensky, who is an utter outsider to politics. Likewise, Putin Inc. frames the Ukrainians as the hapless pawns that they were under the Tsar and the Commissar. Both sets of projections are utterly wrong.

    Zelensky is an outsider, an amateur at politics. These men are dangerous because they don’t know the game that the other politicians play–They believe the things that others merely mouth. This is why they loath Trump; he’s not cynically playing the “game”, because he doesn’t perceive it as a game. Similarly, Putin Inc. expected Zelensky to take that “golden highway” offered by their partner in collusion, BidenCo.. Being as Zelensky is actually, oddly enough, apparently an actual Ukrainian patriot…? He didn’t take it. Any other idiot that got put in that position would have been in the first thing smoking, along with the wife and kids, out of Kyiv. Zelensky and family stayed, and if something happens to any of them? Martyrs. God help the Russians held as POWs, then–I don’t think the present forbearance would hold. It’s also damn unlikely that a lot more prisoners would even be taken.

    Evaluating all of this is hard, because as someone once commented about swordfighting, it’s not the experts you worry about; they know the game, and you know what to expect. The amateurs? LOL… Ain’t no telling what they’re going to do. It’s the same in general warfare and politics, where the ossified class of unwritten and unacknowledged rules and customs are all well-known to the usual players. Let someone unfamiliar with those rules and customs sit down to play, however…? Whole thing spins out of control.

    It’s a large part of why Hitler was so goddamn successful at the beginning. Nobody really knew what the hell he was going to do, next. He left all of the people running things perpetually on their back foot, unable to respond effectively. Once they figured out the new rules, he quit being so effective.

  315. “Zelensky is an outsider, an amateur at politics”
    No one with your cynicism should say things like this, Kirk.

    There ain’t no “amateurs” in Ukrainian politics. Doesn’t make them “wrong” in this current situation, not at all, but let’s not delude ourselves.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/10/09/russia-ukraine-jordan-lebanon-pandora-papers/
    The Pandora Papers named 38 Ukrainian politicians — the most out of any country — but President Volodymyr Zelensky, who campaigned as an anti-corruption candidate, has yet to respond to the investigation.
    The leaks disclosed that Zelensky, a former comedian, and his partners in show business owned multiple offshore companies, including at least one that was involved in the purchase of several properties in central London.
    Just before his election, Zelensky transferred his stake in one of the companies registered in the British Virgin Islands to an associate who later became the president’s top aide.
    An adviser to Zelensky’s chief of staff said Monday that the Ukrainian leader established the offshore network in 2012 to “protect” the income generated by him and his associates in the entertainment industry under the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych.

  316. A Statement:

    The operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine is developing successfully, strictly in accordance with the plans.

    The tactics of the Russian Ministry of Defense in Ukraine have fully justified themselves, everything is being done to avoid losses among the civilian population. Before the start of the operation, Moscow offered Kiev to withdraw troops from the Donbass, but they refused. All tasks set will certainly be solved.

    If Russian troops stopped at the borders of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, this would not be the final decision, would not remove the threat to Russia

    . Russia is not going to occupy Ukraine.

    There was no task to storm large cities.

    The attack on Donetsk on March 14 is a bloody act of terrorism.

    Russia will not allow Ukraine to remain a springboard for anti-Russian actions.

    The whole planet has to pay for the ambitions of the West, the myth of the “golden billion” is crumbling.

    The West is trying to convince its citizens that their difficulties are the result of Russia’s actions, but this is a lie.

    Sanctions against the Russian Federation hit the Europeans and Americans themselves, “do not shift from a sore head to a healthy one.”

    The US and the EU actually defaulted on their obligations to Russia, freezing its reserves – now everyone knows that the state’s reserves can simply be stolen.

    Russia – unlike Western countries – will respect the right to property.

    Arrests of foreign assets of the Russian Federation and business are a lesson for Russian entrepreneurs, there is nothing more reliable than investments at home.

    We now know who cowardly betrayed their partners and did not fulfill their obligations to employees.

    In an attempt to “cancel” Russia, the West tore off all the masks of decency.

    I am sure that after blocking the accounts of the Russian Federation in the West, many countries will convert their reserves into goods, which will increase the deficit.

    It is obvious that the current events are drawing a line under the global dominance of Western countries both in politics and in the economy.

    Moreover, they themselves question the economic model that has been imposed on developing countries in recent decades. Yes, all over the world.

    Let me emphasize that the sanctions obsession of the United States and its supporters is not shared by countries where more than half of the world’s population lives. It is these states that represent the fastest growing, most promising part of the global economy, including Russia.

    The “empire of lies” of the West is powerless against truth and justice, Russia will continue to bring its position to the whole world

    And so on. Based on the statements, the operation will be completed one way or another.
    The economy is waiting for structural changes. Money will not be printed, but inflation will increase. An increase in unemployment has also been announced.
    In general, the official position of the Russian Federation has not undergone significant changes since February 24.
    The Cold War with the “Empire of Lies” is for a long time

  317. So, someone acting pragmatically to protect the assets they’ve earned through hard work is an “insider”? Hmmm… Gotta remember that, the next time I dare talk to the accountant about minimizing my tax returns.

    Zelensky is an amateur in that the way he came up did not include the traditional path through the ranks of the nomenklatura of former Communist party hacks and sudden Conversos to capitalist oligarchy. He’s not “one of them”. His mom and dad were not “former Communist” apparatchiks; his father was a computer scientist and professor, while his mother was an engineer. They weren’t exactly “connected” inside the old regime; they weren’t participants in the post-Communist looting, either.

    Zelensky is an outsider, period. Unknown if he has sponsorship, or what his undocumented connections might be, but he’s definitely not one of the usual sort. Hell, he’s ethnically Jewish–Which makes the whole “Ukrainian Nazi” thing a little hard to swallow, really. I’m not remembering too many Jews elected to run Nazi or Nazi-affiliated countries…

  318. LMAO, so the guy in arguably the most corrupt country in the world diverting money to offshore accounts, then juggling them among his “friends” is just “acting pragmatically to protect the assets”?
    I suppose you also believe Tony Rezko just happened to buy property next to his good buddy Barry Obama, who is the one and only pure and uncorrupt Chicago politician ever…
    It’s ok, you’re allowed to hate Putin and support Ukraine without embarrassing yourself like this, Kirk…

  319. Again and again, you beclown yourself. I don’t even know why I bother responding to your random senselessness. You’ve got your received world-view, and will not be shifted from it whatsoever, by any rational discussion, nor will you acknowledge facts not in accordance with your delusions.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter what you think; the facts on the ground are fairly obvious: Zelensky isn’t dancing the dance that the pipers called, and that’s what is throwing the monkey wrench into everything. I’m relatively sure that there was collusion between Putin Inc. and BidenCo., with the intent of Ukraine going back under the yoke. That is apparently not going to happen as cleanly as they imagined, and it’s not happening because Zelensky isn’t doing what they templated for him to do. He should have taken that “golden highway” westwards into exile, leaving Ukraine collapsed under the weight of Russian dominance yet again. What he’s actually doing is fscking up everyone’s calculations–Even now, the Chinese are looking at the Russian military and going “Hmmm…”, considering whether or not this is the time to stab the sick man of Eurasia in the back. Also, they’re looking at what’s happening in Ukraine, and wondering if they’re not also facing that sort of madness in Taiwan, whose factories could be churning out pesty little drones by the hundreds of thousands in fairly short order.

    Ukraine is confounding an awful lot of expectations, not the least of which were that they’d quietly go under the yoke again. Turns out, not so much… Where that ends, ain’t nobody knows–To include all of our dear leaders. Whatever the “plan” was, that which was templated out by all observing parties, nobody expected the last three weeks. It’s as if Czechoslovakia chose to fight the annexation of the Sudetenland, and actually held off the Germans. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go, at all…

  320. the logic of this campaign, (its an extention of the first round in ’14,) doesn’t make sense, there was no urgency to launch it now, just because it had been done earlier, they certainly didn’t provision enough men, see prague ’68, as an example,

  321. I agree that Putin and Biden could have had an understanding. A wink and a nod. “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?” Zelensky was elected in 2019 and maybe he was not in on the Biden connection. Certainly Ukraine is corrupt but what if he was a “Trump?” An outsider without the connections? Whatever the truth, I do not want to see us in a nuclear war, even one limited to Ukraine. I see lots of chickenhawks these days.

    The 1938 Czechs were possibly able to defeat the Germans but there were no nukes in those days as trumps. Reagan scared the Soviets with his supposed joke about “bombing will begin in 5 minutes” plus his firing of the air traffic controllers to show he meant business. That may have avoided worse.

    We now have an incompetent regime running this country. I see no limit to the trouble they could get us into.

  322. The Russians have said they launched this when they did, as the Nazis surrounding the Donbass region, the Azov brigade, were about to launch a serious attack on Donetsk.

  323. there was no urgency to launch it now, just because it had been done earlier,

    I wonder how much the timing had to do with the election? 2020 and 2022?

    “Strike when the iron is hot.”

  324. yes the chocolate king, (that is his day job) poroshenko, who brought along three ministers of swoboda, into the government, that was the real threat, why bomb Donetsk and Mariupol, Russian strongholds,
    in dr zhivago, there is a footnote about Galicia, that was one of the campaigns early in the Great War, that involved nearly 400,000 Austrians and nearly as many Russians, thats what serious mobilization looks like

  325. poroshenko made a deal to have kolomoisky’s manager, return to ukraine to avoid charges re privat bank, now the local paper the kyev post basically memory holed this, and the fellow who revealed the back stage communications, was sanctioned, right before they went after Steve Bannon,

  326. Hey, I feel sorry for Zelensky. He comes into office in an insanely corrupt country, like Trump who knows who he has to surround himself with, probably a bunch of people with their own agendas, who knows, he gets a perfectly normal phone call from Trump that makes the insanely corrupt DC Deep State go to DEFCON-1 in order to protect themselves, so now he’s got a corrupt Ukraine establishment, a corrupt DC establishment, plus the Russian bear, all out for his head…there’s no way to expect anyone to “succeed” in that situation, I think he’s doing a fine job…though he’s out for Ukraine, and I don’t think what he wants and needs necessarily matches well with what America does, and we’re so hopelessly divided now domestically anyway…

  327. I still have to keep reminding myself that some sort of Ukrainian victory has to be counted a very long shot though if I had money on Russia, I’d be pretty nervous by now.

    I would have been willing to bet that if there had ever been a Ukrainian George Washington, he was either long in a grave or running a tea room in New Jersey. If Zelensky was some sort of cat’s paw with all his money in foreign banks, he’d be long gone, setting up a government in exile at the fanciest hotel he could find. Considering the outstanding reputation banks in Ukraine have, he’d be a fool not to have foreign accounts.

    Every day the Russian Army spends stumbling around the hinterlands of Ukraine like a bunch of drunken stooges has to count as a battle won. Only time will tell if that will add up to a war won as well.

  328. historically, it’s not a great career move, bandera was assasinated in Munich, in the allied zone in 1957, Petlura in Paris in 1926, both by NKVD agents, the last by what would be called the real Smersh, you can go back a few hundred years, to the Hetman Cossacks as well,

  329. We’re seeing the creation of a completely changed global financial and trade system and the dollar weakened/removed as the global reserve currency. Now whether Russia can view that, which I think was a part of their goal here, as a strategic “win” if they don’t even get to put in their own Ukrainian client regime for a short while is a separate question…

  330. “Every day the Russian Army spends stumbling around the hinterlands of Ukraine like a bunch of drunken stooges has to count as a battle won. Only time will tell if that will add up to a war won as well.”

    They are not there to occupy territory. They are not there to do cool maneuvers. They are there to destroy the Ukrainian Armed Forces. That is a work in progress. Its gonna take a while as they are being supplied and reinforced by the west, and routinely hold human shields, to protect their army.

  331. We’re seeing the creation of a completely changed global financial and trade system and the dollar weakened/removed as the global reserve currency.

    Are we? Or are we just seeing lots of online chatter about it?

  332. Updates:

    1. Mariupol. Stubborn battles continue in the city, but signs of an imminent collapse of the defense appear more and more often. The fighting has already approached “Azovstal”, from the west the troops have advanced deep into the city blocks. There is a desire to cut the boiler into 2 parts, which will facilitate its further liquidation. The enemy understands this and seeks to slow down our advance and inflict as many losses as possible. Along the way, more and more hysterical calls for salvation are being aired. The deblockade of Mariupol is no longer possible.

    2. Carbon. The enemy continues to try to cling to the south of the Maryinka-Kurakhovo highway and puts up stubborn resistance. Progress in this direction has slowed down.

    3. Maryinka-Avdeevka. The DPR army was able, after serious artillery preparation, to advance 2 km in the area of ​​​​the village. Apparently, a direct assault on Maryinka will begin in the near future. Positional battles near Avdiivka.

    4. Gorlovka. There was no breakthrough in the Verkhnetoretsky area, the enemy is trying to prevent further advance to the ring road and to Dzerzhinsk.

    5. Severodonetsk-Lysichansk. Fights are going on in Severodonetsk and Rubizhne. The enemy is slowly pressed, but he defends himself in a fairly organized manner. There are no direct attacks on Lisichansk yet. Fighting continues in the Popasna area.

    6. Kharkov. No major changes. Arrivals in the city, fighting to the north and east of Kharkov.

    7. Raisin-Balakleya. Fighting on the southern bank of the Donets and the southern regions of Izyum. The city was seriously damaged. The enemy, having blown up part of the bridges, is preparing to withdraw to the Slavic-Kramatorsk agglomeration, where he is planning a more or less long-term resistance. There is an accumulation of forces in the Pavlograd region for a possible counterattack, like an unsuccessful attempt to attack the RF Armed Forces near Balakleya.

    8. Zaporozhye. The front is at Kamensky. Gulyaipole is still holding out, and it has not yet been possible to push through the barrier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine here. Fighting continues east of Gulyaipole.

    9. Kyiv. The counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Gostamel and Bucha turned out to be virtual. Already this afternoon, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were forced to admit that Gostomel is being held by the RF Armed Forces. Due to ongoing fighting and shelling, Gostomel, Bucha and Irpin continue to collapse.

    10. Nikolaev. Fighting north of the city. An attempt to attack in the direction of the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station was repulsed. In Nikolaev itself, the enemy has serious losses – mainly due to the strikes of the Russian Aerospace Forces and MLRS. As a result of a recent shelling of an airfield in the Kherson region, 3 Russian helicopters and several trucks were destroyed/damaged.

    PS. in the evening there were reports that the enemy was withdrawing from Ugledar, and Novotoretskoye had been cleared of the enemy.

  333. “Or are we just seeing lots of online chatter about it?”
    Really? I don’t see it discussed anywhere except by a few crazies in the corners? Lots of articles about stuff like Saudis connecting closer to China, and Brazil and India closer to Russia, and trading in other currencies, and very very very little discussion of the implications in the “mainstream” media.

  334. The Russians have said they launched this when they did, as the Nazis surrounding the Donbass region, the Azov brigade . . .

    Before the Russian invasion Azov had a strength of approximately 900. That’s about enough to surround a large shopping mall, so long as you don’t mind a few people escaping out the back of Burger King.

    The Russians say lots of absurd things (give us back Alaska!) in their semi-third-world propaganda for their semi-third-world population. There’re always some western deficients who take it seriously; sad in a way but it adds to the all essential comic relief.

  335. thats because the ‘mainstream media’ are just blank pages, we can put two and two together,
    but it adds to five, in the journolist/rizzotto group*
    *maggie haberman’s admitted hillary coven, because they all dined at podestas,

  336. “Before the Russian invasion Azov had a strength of approximately 900. ”

    As they control the entire eastern front from Lugansk to Mariupol I very much doubt this assertion. They are being hunted in Mariupol right now and I very much doubt there will be many prisoners. The Russians would like to liquidate the lot, and are trying to do just that.

  337. Zelensky was an actor before he became president, for Pete’s sake. He’s doing a fine job of acting like a leader while his country is getting blasted into smithereens. That’s not success.

    The Ukrainian regime is the Deep State’s puppet kingdom, source of laundered money, bribes, and all manner of graft and corruption. My guess is these fine folks deliberately set it up with Zelensky to arrange a Russian invasion, because they’ve wanted regime in Russia forever and wrongly concluded Russia would fail and collapse in a week.

    If Zelensky cared that much about Ukraine, my take is that he would have told the Deep State to fsck off, and made a deal with Russia to avoid the war entirely. But no, here he is today, addressing congress, begging the US to start WWIII for him.

    This whole thing looks like a setup to me, and I have to wonder when Russia is going to bomb the baby milk factory causing all the usual suspects in the US to start directly and openly demanding war with Russia.

    Mitt Romney is already there, demanding we send Migs to Ukraine while remaining silent when asked how many of his five sons served in the military. Zero, that is.

    I’ve had enough of this. We need a US government that actually worries about the actual United States, and stops scheming to spend trillions of dollars upon endless foreign aid adventures and wars of choice that everyone knows by now will end in clumsy betrayal of our putative supporters.

    Again, Zelensky should cut a deal with Russia now and end the war.

  338. Lots of articles about stuff like Saudis connecting closer to China, and Brazil and India closer to Russia . . .

    As I said, online chatter. China and Russia? Sure, there are lots of smaller countries exploiting this situation for short-term political and economic gain. But they all know which side their long-term bread is buttered and will be very cautious investing their futures in a paper tiger and a basket case.

  339. “If Zelensky cared that much about Ukraine, my take is that he would have told the Deep State to fsck off”
    Poor guy, if he would even thought about revealing the truth about Burisma and the Bidens, he’d have been in a ditch somewhere back in late 2019 and some other schmuck would be having to deal with this…

  340. they are smashing not only the global financial system to bits, but putting the entire food production system in jeopardy, and that’s not including if Europes breadbasket were irradiated,

  341. Are we? Or are we just seeing lots of online chatter about it?

    Hilarious! I bet every single country that isn’t directly under the thumb of Davos is re-thinking every single economic tie roping them to the West.

    Let’s list a few.

    Everyday citizens of Russia suddenly found out their Western-brand credit cards didn’t work. I bet they are less than pleased, and won’t be looking for a repeat experience.

    The various oligarchs suddenly found their property in Western nations was seized or in at least one case occupied by squatters. I bet they won’t want to invest their money in such third-world nations. Property rights? Not in the West.

    Nation-states like Brazil, China, India, many others have surely noticed that the connection to the SWIFT system can be used to do serious damage to their economy. At the very least they’ll be looking for an alternative, and perhaps a permanent exit.

    Th morons ruling the West have thrown away with both hands what made it a success, and they’re too stupid to even notice. Maybe Vox can write them an explainer using third-grade level words and they’ll understand. But I doubt it.

  342. As they control the entire eastern front from Lugansk to Mariupol I very much doubt this assertion.

    They don’t, you just think they do because you believe Russian propaganda.

  343. “Th morons ruling the West have thrown away with both hands what made it a success, and they’re too stupid to even notice.”
    We’re ruled by morons who think everyone wants to be in their club, that the worst thing in the world is to be excluded from their club, so that’s all they can think to do. Ben Rhodes was completely and totally right, the only thing is he should have included himself and all his colleagues in the swamp in the list of people who know nothing about anything. Good grief, there’s not a single cabinet member right now who would be worth being an office clerk in any previous administration. Where’s the secretary of state? He got his face kicked in by the Chinese back last year, they don’t let him out anymore. The secretary of defense is a fat nobody. The vice president can’t read a script without cackling maniacally, and the president can’t even stay awake past mid afternoon.

  344. Our resident Russian troll – more and more obviously a paid Russian troll – seems quite enthusiastic in his 3:40pm about the Russians not taking prisoners. What kind of asshole openly supports war crimes?

  345. The various oligarchs suddenly found their property in Western nations was seized or in at least one case occupied by squatters. I bet they won’t want to invest their money in such third-world nations. Property rights? Not in the West.

    Assets are frozen, not seized. In the case of the squatters, a massive police operation removed them immediately. A private UK citizen suffering squatters would receive (eventually) an email from the police telling them it’s a civil matter.

  346. Our resident Russian troll – more and more obviously a paid Russian troll –

    Oh, I doubt it. There are people who gleefully do this voluntarily.

    In the case of PenGun, he is a slightly useful idiot in that he relays the Russian point of view verbatim (Raisins!) and we can see what they say. And they say pretty much the same thing as the Ukrainians – the Russians have been stuck for over a week.

  347. “What kind of asshole openly supports war crimes?”

    I spent far too much time in 2014 watching the Nazis attack the Donbass and murder people I had established an emotional connection to. Pretty well all the people who fought them are dead now, and I would be quite happy to see some pay back. These are real Nazis with SS shrines and swastikas all over the place. They are proud of their Banderite heritage and if they all were killed, the world would be a much better place.

    The Russians hate Nazis more than anyone else on earth, and they have 25 million fairly recent reasons for this attitude.

  348. it starts to sound like nassers glorious victory over israel in the ’67 war, don’t it,

  349. serious the bulk of 150,000 troops, and you’re reduced to blowing up apartment buildings and hospitals, is that your final answer?

  350. ROTFLMFAO! You are an ignorant lot.

    Because the CIA controls the Nazis who run Ukraine, Putin has decided its time to remove this threat before it became any bigger. The reason for the actual timing is that the Nazis on the Donbass front, were planning a serious full on attack on it.

    He is very tired of losing people with Russian passports to fucking Nazis.

    He is a humane person, unlike the American command, and is doing his best to kill Nazis and destroy Ukraine’s armed forces without killing too many innocent people. This is gonna take a while and he will spend lives doing this.

    I will remind you again, that in Iraq America and its coalition of 300,000 troops killed 100,000 innocent Iraqis during the 3 weeks they took to conquer the country.

  351. Good news / Bad news.

    The Bad News first: a poll says that one out of three US respondents said they were prepared to risk nuclear war over the Ukraine. Who knows? The way things are going, they may just get their wish.

    The Good News: since so many people in the US are so comfortable with being thoroughly irradiated in the nuclear war for which they are calling, can we maybe possibly start thinking about perhaps building some more of those ultra-safe non-irradiating nuclear power plants?

  352. only 1/3 after three weeks of 24/7 bombardment, would that the political class had cared so much 61 years ago, thereabouts,

  353. The number of Iraqi dead given by PenGun for the three weeks of the invasion of 2003 are simply wrong. Or, let’s say, do not jibe with the results of serious studies.

    Prove me wrong.

  354. Because the CIA controls the Nazis who run Ukraine . . .

    Dumb American capitalist running dogs putting Jew in charge of Nazis, ha ha.

    I will remind you again, that in Iraq America and its coalition of 300,000 troops killed 100,000 innocent Iraqis during the 3 weeks they took to conquer the country.

    Careful, comrade, western lackies might notice that other left-wing outlets say that 15,000 Iraqis, including combatants, were killed during one month invasion:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/oct/29/iraq.suzannegoldenberg
    Lackies might think you idiot conflating figures for whole occupation.

    Be skillful with message, otherwise look like fuckstick.

  355. Prove me wrong.

    The Lancet:
    The first survey[1] published on 29 October 2004, estimated 98,000 excess Iraqi deaths (with a range of 8,000 to 194,000, using a 95% confidence interval (CI)) from the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq to that time,

    Iraq Family Health:
    The number of violent deaths derived from the household survey, plus the adjustments for missing clusters and reporting bias, was estimated to be 151,000 (95% uncertainty range, 104,000 to 223,000) from March 2003 through June 2006. This estimate suggests that violence was a leading cause of death for Iraqi adults and was the main cause of death in men between the ages of 15 and 59 during the reporting period.

  356. @PenGun
    So even the most egregious studies that you quote fail to back up your claim of 100,000 deaths in three weeks. You are, indeed, conflating claimed figures from the occupation.

  357. Even if you accept the 100,000 number for Iraq, the numbers pale in comparison to the lives saved via getting rid of the regime and all the people dying due to the sanctions…

    Which cracks me up, because the same set of credulous assholes who spouted off all the numbers of Iraqis who were apparently dying in job lots due to the sanctions were the same ones waily-waily-woeing the ones who were supposedly killed during the regime elimination. In both cases, the numbers were purely imaginary–Saddam and his supporters killed more people randomly in a year than the US did in a directed manner towards the “insurgents”.

    I do know for an absolute fact that any stats coming out of the Iraqi situation are almost entirely fictitious, fever-induced fever dreams of people who have no earthly idea at all what the hell they’re talking about. There were no “accurate” numbers available–It was all lies. The tribes and towns all lied to Baghdad, Baghdad lied to everyone, and “ground truth” was about as easy to establish as the virginity of your average Korean bar girl, back in the day. You could believe the locals when they told you that the last convoy through had fired up the place and killed dozens, no, hundreds of innocents–Or, you could look at the actual blood trails and bodies, and then do the math to determine that some uncertain number of dipshits had fired up a passing convoy and gotten themselves whacked in return. The locals would still insist on demanding payments for damage done, even though they’d actively aided the “insurgents” and helped them; the numbers they reported to the central authorities were entirely bogus–There was one little wide spot in the road with a dozen houses that supposedly had suffered hundreds upon hundreds of dead, if you counted cumulatively. Reality? You couldn’t tell the difference between pre-war satellite imagery and the stuff seen on the ground; there weren’t acres and acres of new cemeteries built to entomb the vast numbers of dead, nor were there signs of any major destruction having gone on. It was all theater, all the time.

    Arabs lie. It’s an accurate cultural stereotype–They lie even when they don’t need to, and when it is actively against their interests. They lie to outsiders, they lie to themselves, and they lie to their bosses. The truth, anywhere in the Middle East outside of maybe Israel, is a chimeric thing–You really don’t know it, ever, unless you go out and count things for yourself, and even then? The evidence you see may or may not be a put-up job. The words “forthright” and “honest” should be abandoned whenever dealing with an Arab, or your average Arab-influenced Muslim. Truth is just not wired into them–Reality is whatever they fantasize, regardless. That’s how they can keep convincing themselves that they’ve won their wars, and that they don’t have major cultural issues that ensure their continual failure in the context of the modern world.

    Russia has similar engrained patterns of dissimulation and “inaccurate” reporting. When you’ve got generation after generation of the the messengers being shot, of competency being seen as a threat to the regime and rewarded with a bullet…?

    You get Finland, 1939. And, the rest of WWII’s charnel house of Russo-Soviet incompetence–Any other country would have cashiered Stalin for sheer uselessness as a leader, yet the Russians worship his totalitarian stupidities to this day. Just like Putin.

    I hesitate to make the analogy, but a lot of Russians I’ve talked to seem to me to be in essentially a co-dependent relationship with their authoritarian leadership. They can’t imagine not being told what to do, being run by some “strong man” type, and the more abuse those characters slather on the Russian people, the happier they are. Ivan the Terrible? Revered. Alexander II, the man who freed the serfs? Forgotten, and assassinated by the same sort of nutter that preceded the ones that killed Nicholas II. You get down to it, the problem isn’t necessarily with Russia’s leadership, but with the people who demand the sort they get. Every time you get someone in that isn’t an absolute asshole, they keep looking for that abusive bastard they really want. Kerensky wasn’t hard enough, so they went for Lenin. Lenin’s successors weren’t all assholes, but man… That boy, Stalin? He’s hot; he’s got what it takes to get us into a great big war and kill millions of us even in peacetime.

    Stalin wouldn’t have lasted a fscking day without the willing acquiescence of the Russian people. They offered it up, like so many celebrity-worshipping little fangirls hurling their wet panties onto the stage, never once calling him on his bullshit or holding him accountable for his misadventures that got millions of them killed. Absent Stalin’s meddling aid to Hitler, WWII would have been a far different conflict than it was. The oil and mineral wealth that enabled the Wehrmacht to conquer France came from Stalin, almost as a gift. Soviet miners died in job lots for Hitler’s munitions, Stakhanovites supporting their future murderer. Yet, not a single Russian anywhere will acknowledge this incontrovertible fact, behaving as though the Germans attacking them came out of nowhere–After they’d joined in on the partition of Poland.

    None of these people or their heirs have even a passing relationship with Dame Truth. You can take their numbers credulously, but you show your own ignorance and demonstrate your obvious support for their positions whenever you do.

    End of the day, the only accurate casualty figures that will come out of Ukraine will be in the hearts of the mother’s whose sons never return, and whose arms will never again hold their little boy tightly. That’s the thing, however, that will never be held against Putin, as he lives out his “Russia Stronk” fantasies. He’ll never face accountability for all those dead conscripts, not with the Russian people.

    You know who will actually care more about those dead children, led all unprepared off to the House of War? The men who have to kill them, who will never forget or forgive.

    Like I said, to be Russian is to be a feckless, mentally-deficient co-dependent with tyranny. They just don’t respond to anything else. It’s a national stereotype that is unfortunately playing out observably, as we watch. If Putin is taken out, it’ll be by a medical issue the way Stalin was, because the Russian people don’t have the balls or the mental fortitude to sever themselves from tyranny.

  358. “I love how people seem to forget that other countries are no more monolithic than our own. ”
    Kirk, two days ago

    (super long rant about how universally evil Russians are)
    Kirk, today

  359. “The Russians hate Nazis more than anyone else on earth, and they have 25 million fairly recent reasons for this attitude.”

    This is true, but they only hate Nazis by name. As you say, it’s personal.

    But in fact, the Russian state is quickly becoming fascist itself.

    “In a 2003 article, political scientist Laurence Britt lists 14 attributes of fascism: extreme nationalism, disdain for human rights, scapegoating enemies as a unifying cause, sexism and homophobia, tightly controlled media, obsessive security in a surveillance state, using religion to bolster political power, pampering economic and corporate elites at the expense of have-nots, suppressing organised labour, limiting intellectual and artistic expression to a narrow orthodoxy, excessive police powers and jailing as political tool, rampant cronyism and corruption, and fraudulent elections.

    Russia today under Putin checks all 14 boxes.”

    https://mg.co.za/top-six/2022-03-07-russia-has-a-fascism-problem-and-its-not-ukraine/

  360. Lying Putin toadie can’t bring himself to admit that taking no prisoners is in fact a war crime, and a Hell of a lot worse a war-crime than showing prisoners on T.V. The U.S. took hundreds of thousands of Nazis prisoner in World War II and only hanged their leaders after fair trials with evidence.

    Nor does Putin toadie seem to have any problem with his supposed anti-Nazi buddies bombing hospitals and theaters full of civilians, running over occupied cars with tanks, shooting civilians dead as they try to flee, and generally behaving more like Nazis than any of the cosplay wannabe Nazis who form a very small percentage of Ukrainian forces.

    As for the “25 million fairly recent reasons” why Russians hate Nazis, at least half of the Russian dead in World War II died because of Stalin, not Hitler. Arming and fueling Hitler’s war machine right up the day Barbarossa started, helping destroy the large Polish army that was providing a useful buffer, killing most of his generals before the war, and, not least, murdering millions of Ukrainians and others by intentional starvation just before the war, including a million or two military-age males who would have been very useful when the actual war began. Russian Communists killed a larger percentage of Ukrainians than the Nazis killed of Russians: if some Ukrainians then and now go too far to the extreme, hating Communists so much they identify with Nazis, it’s the genocidal Communists’ own fault for how they treated Ukraine. Only a lying piece of shit or an utter moron could claim that Putin is the ‘good guy’ in this war. Or someone who’s a bit of both.

  361. Brian yet again demonstrates an inability to read for comprehension. On the one hand, I point out that there isn’t a monolithic “thing” to any country, and on the other, I’m describing actual, y’know… History. Not every Russian supports Putin, but the sad fact is, he’s in charge. Just like not every Russian supported Stalin, Lenin, or the Tsar. Yet, those are the guys who they threw up as leaders… While mostly either killing off or making fun of the actual sane types like Alexander II.

    I can’t blame every Russian for what those leaders do, but I can damn sure point out that the Russian nation has habitually thrown that sort of “leader” up, and followed them to their doom. That’s a collective psychosis if I’ve ever seen one, and entirely of a piece with some of the otherwise sane and relatively decent women I know who knowingly married monsters, had their children, and then stayed with them through every instance of abuse. You can acknowledge someone’s essential foolishness while not holding them responsible for the actions of their husbands, which is a closer analogy to what I’m saying in the two posts cited by our resident sharpshooting critic than what he’s conflated them into. There’s no contradiction in absolving the actually innocent, while decrying their codependency on their abusers. Many Russians wouldn’t be burning down Ukraine were it their decision, but they have made the error of putting the power to do so into the hands of someone who will–And, will pay the eventual price, whatever that is.

    Yet again, we have a case where Brian is adding apples and oranges to get bananas, then ascribing those bananas to someone else–When in fact, the only place where there are bananas would be in that vacuole between his ears.

  362. I do know for an absolute fact that any stats coming out of the Iraqi situation are almost entirely fictitious, fever-induced fever dreams of people who have no earthly idea at all what the hell they’re talking about.

    Yes. “The Lancet” was among the most dishonest. Their “survey” of Iraqi deaths was to go to Sunni households and ask how many they knew had died. “The Lancet” which had been a prestigious medical journal for over a hundred years (published Lister’s article on antisepsis in 1867) went on to publish the hoax article about immunizations and autism. It was finally retracted but the journal has never recovered any trust.

  363. And they lied about hcq to the present day. The peoples will killed alexander 2nd the social revolutionaries killed many ministers (one of their top men azev was a okrana agent)

  364. Jay: “Laurence Britt lists 14 attributes of fascism: extreme nationalism, disdain for human rights, scapegoating enemies as a unifying cause, sexism and homophobia, tightly controlled media, obsessive security in a surveillance state, using religion to bolster political power, pampering economic and corporate elites at the expense of have-nots, suppressing organised labour, limiting intellectual and artistic expression to a narrow orthodoxy, excessive police powers and jailing as political tool, rampant cronyism and corruption, and fraudulent elections.”

    It would seem that — absent the homophobia — most of those apply to the West. That is quite a credible charge: Western “democracies” have converged towards Fascism. And what are we in the West doing about it? Berating Russia about their problems does absolutely nothing to cure our own problems — whether it is political prisoners from the Jan 6 protest or Canadian grandmothers having their bank accounts frozen. And that is before we get to “fraudulent elections!!

  365. PenGun wrote: “They are not there to occupy territory. They are not there to do cool maneuvers. They are there to destroy the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”

    If that’s the case, the Russian government is batcrap crazy. The Ukrainians have the entire Western world re-supplying their military, and the West can build Javelins a whole lot faster than the Russians can build tanks.

    Seriously, the Russians have already launched a sizable fraction of their cruise missile inventory into Ukraine (probably about a quarter of their inventory), and just today I read that they’ve already deployed close to 75% of their deployable ground forces in theater.

    The Russians couldn’t build working weapon systems all that fast before the sanctions. Now with the sanctions? They are going to be running into supply chain problems and work stoppages everywhere.

    Which means the Russians have to occupy the whole country. With Europe more united now than at any time since the Roman Empire, there’s a good chance that whatever part of Ukraine they don’t occupy will end up in NATO with a full-up NATO-style military supplied with the latest NATO gear free-of-charge from the West.

    Russia can still win, but if they don’t play their cards exactly right, this could go down as one of the greatest strategic blunders in history. Not quite up there with Pearl Harbor and Barbarossa, but close. That’s what happens when you have a third-world economy and decide to go head-to-head with not the one but the two largest economies in the world.

    Like I said, batcrap crazy.

  366. Assets are frozen, not seized. In the case of the squatters, a massive police operation removed them immediately. A private UK citizen suffering squatters would receive (eventually) an email from the police telling them it’s a civil matter.

    So the assets are frozen, as if they were a Canadian protester’s truck.

    Perhaps after a years-long legal battle they’ll both get their property “unfrozen” and returned to them.

    Maybe, but why would they want to take the risk? My guess is that there a whole lot of rich folks who used to sleep easy with their money in Western banks and their capital invested in Westerns nations but have now received a nasty shock and are looking for the exits.

    I’m sure the NY Times and its horde of ignorant SJW reporters haven’t noticed all this but the people with the bank accounts surely have.

  367. Good grief, there’s not a single cabinet member right now who would be worth being an office clerk in any previous administration. Where’s the secretary of state? He got his face kicked in by the Chinese back last year, they don’t let him out anymore. The secretary of defense is a fat nobody. The vice president can’t read a script without cackling maniacally, and the president can’t even stay awake past mid afternoon.

    You’re being very charitable towards these people.

    Whenever I hear about them I wonder if it’s incompetence or malice- and then I recall that paraphrase of an Arthur C. Clarke phrase: Any sufficiently thorough incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

    This does not make me feel better.

  368. Lying Putin toadie can’t bring himself to admit that taking no prisoners is in fact a war crime, and a Hell of a lot worse a war-crime than showing prisoners on T.V.

    Is it also a war crime when the Ukrainians boast that they don’t take Chechen prisoners either, and leave dead Chechens to rot where they fell?

    Free bonus commentary. Way back when I was sailing around the sea as member of Uncle Sugar’s Canoe Club, standing by to be turned into chutney by a Soviet anti-ship missile, Ukraine and Russia were part of the same hostile country.

    My take was the whole eight time zones wanted me dead.

    I’m much older now, obviously. I still remember how it all ended. I recall feeling like a great weight had been lifted off me when I realized that we had won the Cold War, and I would likely survive to see my 21st birthday.

    I’m not Ukrainian or Russian and I haven’t even had any Ukrainian or Russian friends. I have not been involved with the military of either nation. I can only presume my feelings about this conflict would be different if any of the above were different, perhaps extremely so.

    But it is what it is. This is not our fight, and the US should be out of it.

  369. “My guess is that there a whole lot of rich folks who used to sleep easy with their money in Western banks and their capital invested in Westerns nations but have now received a nasty shock and are looking for the exits.”
    Good point, but no more true now than it’s ever been. In the U.S. the DOJ has been using rubber stamp judges to do it for decades in the name of “WAR ON DRUGS”. To the point that there are many tons of missing $100 bills that are piled somewhere if they haven’t been eaten by rats. The problem is an alternative. Gold is heavy and bulky past a few million dollars.

    You sort of have to wonder what the point is, spending even a billion dollars is a full time job for a life time and as the saying goes, you can’t take it with you.

  370. Gavin, I agree with you that the US is moving closer and closer to fascism, I just disagree with you and most here on who is doing the moving.

  371. The side that gets people it disagrees with banned from twitter, facebook, etc., and gets companies it disagrees with banned from app stores, from using basic company building tools, etc., and cheered on stuff like Canada stealing people’s money for political protests. That’s the side moving us towards fascism. That side. Not the side getting banned and shut down.

  372. The side that got a newspaper’s social media accounts banned because it printed a story they didn’t like about their preferred candidate’s filthy corrupt son. A true story. That side. That’s the fascist side.

  373. Why are we still on a post about a “Russian Column Held Hostage” — when it is now clear that that media claim was factually untrue? The only thing that claim showed us is that Western corporate media are all-in on the side of the Ukrainian kleptocrats, pumping propaganda which now (according to the polls) has one third of the US population ready to risk nuclear war (!).

    Bad information leads to bad decisions. Your city being nuked, even though it is thousands of miles from the Ukraine, would be an unacceptably bad consequence of very bad decisions.

    The Ukrainian kleptocrats had the choice of becoming a happy prosperous neutral country like Finland or Sweden — or becoming a war zone. They made a very bad choice. It is time for us to start getting good information and start making good choices.

  374. “The Ukrainian kleptocrats had the choice of becoming a happy prosperous neutral country like Finland or Sweden — or becoming a war zone. They made a very bad choice. It is time for us to start getting good information and start making good choices.”

    Hmmm. Sounds a lot like “The rape victim had a choice–She could either wear something that wasn’t provocative or never leave the house. It’s her own fault for being raped, walking around dressed like that…”.

    What you have utterly failed to establish here, Gavin, is precisely why the Russians are uniquely due all this deference in terms of what their neighbors can and cannot do. Who gives a fsck for “Russia’s right to security”, when it requires that they utterly dominate their neighbors and tell them what to do? Do you really think that a Russian oligarch is going to be any different towards Ukrainians than their own home-grown variety? Is Russia this virtuous nation that should be running Ukraine, rather than Ukrainians?

    Your position is indefensible on the face of it, and you’re parroting Russian/Soviet propaganda lines that date back to the Tsars. If you’re making the same justifications as they were, you might want to re-think your positions and assertions.

    Russia is sadly a pathologically destructive nation. They ran their client states into the ground and colonized them with ethnic Russians in an essentially and deeply Imperial manner. The fact that those colonists are now being used as excuses to do what the Nazis did to other countries during their reign of terror does not seem to strike you as being in any way equivalent–The ethnic Germans used to justify what Germany did to the Sudetenland were ethnically cleansed from Czechia for exactly the reasons that the ethnic Russians in the various Baltic states and Ukraine need to go the fsck home to Mother Russia, along with the Imperial ambitions they represent.

    Russia created a monster with the abuse they heaped on Ukraine for literal centuries. Now that they’ve brought an actual separate Ukrainian identity into being, they’re paying the price. I feel no pity for the irredentists, whatsoever–They own this, and they own it precisely because of things like the Holodomor and all the Soviet deportations and abuses. The Nazis that they say they’re attacking to get rid of? They’re actually strengthening them, giving them the opportunity to ennoble themselves, and ensuring that they wind up in positions of respect and power after all this is over. As usual, a typical Russian own-goal…

    I really do not get this Russian deference. Why do they deserve this uniquely self-indulgent right to run their neighbor’s affairs for “security reasons”? Where does that end? After all, it’s not like possessing Ukraine is going to leave them without new borders on other nations, is it? Will they then have the “right” you give them to interfere in those neighbor’s internal affairs, for similar “security concerns”?

    The hypocrisy wafts off your posts like the stink of corpses in another one of those mass graves the Russians delight so in filling. Where does it end, for you? At the Portuguese beaches on the Atlantic?

    Russia’s got the right to Russia, and that’s it. If they don’t want “security concerns” with their neighbors, maybe they ought to consider leaving those neighbors alone? I do not find any credible security threat to Russian territory from Ukraine, ever–Just the Ukrainian “demand” that people living in Ukraine behave as though they were, oddly enough, Ukrainian citizens. As opposed to Russian ones.

  375. Both sides are acting stupidly, (general honore has gone in for two scoops) Finland or Sweden didn’t lose four million people to famine, had their language banned from being spoken, but they are part of the Soviet system, since Symon Petlura was driving into exile,
    after the Holomodor, Bandera raged against Polish and Soviet officials, chose poorly with the Nazis, killed scores of jews in the Vohyjina province, was adopted by the company and the firm, one feature of the Soviet System, was the formation of the new class, the nomenklatura, they were a victim of Sachs and Summers special recipes that created the oligarchs like Kolomoisky and Pinchuk, the former collapsed the Privat bank to the tune of 6 billion dollars, the latter is an Atlantic Council special donor, and keeps Bolton in bowties, (the latter fled the country) those in the East are more Pro Russian, than those in the West, and Center of the Country,

  376. why do I know this faraggo of names, because stephen mcintyre, who takes an entirely non interventionist course, has the program, others have chronicled what was done to Russia, and why Putin might hold a grudge (even though he profited it from it)

  377. most of the Russian players are labeled by hollingsworth or belton or others, that rely on unreliable sources, like litvinenko, who was a major source for politskayava, shading her reports about Chechnya,

  378. Comrade Pen, your Kremlin propaganda update yesterday stated only three helicopters destroyed at the Kherson base. That’s likely because the only images released at that point showed just three destroyed that you could see, so they had to admit that much.

    Well, we now have satellite imagery of a larger area that shows about 10 were destroyed plus another three likely damaged enough to be inoperable. https://twitter.com/Nrg8000/status/1504442492510703620?s=20&t=t8wl8y1UUUuivJ4N2J3z_A

    And that’s just from the most recent bombardment, it seems. There’s confirmed satellite photos March 7 of previous damage as well, bringing the total out of commission there to around 22.

    https://twitter.com/Nrg8000/status/1504442492510703620?s=20&t=1PPA4jsQQEN1cUJhB84unQ

    And incidentally, Ukrainian forces have apparently counter-attacked south of Mikolaev towards Kherson liberating Posad-Pokrovske, halfway to Kherson.

    https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1504495681238704136?s=20&t=FYtgo_lF6XvucF2IOvltFA

  379. Russia’s got the right to Russia, and that’s it. If they don’t want “security concerns” with their neighbors, maybe they ought to consider leaving those neighbors alone?

    I guess it comes down to who is going to make them leave neighbors alone. I feel no urge to fight someone else’s battle while our own corrupt administration is destroying our own country.

    I once told a friend, a retired British Army doc, that we should have stayed out of WWI. He was shocked but I added that they should have, too. World War I ended the British Empire and impoverished the British ever since. They have never recovered.

    We are close to destroying this country as it has been since 1865. The regime running this country has no concern about anything but their own bank accounts,.

  380. I was persuaded by niall ferguson’s pity of war on the subject, about the First World War, he is a lower case Imperialist, on the matter, he was actually trying to make the point on Fox, about the negotiating terms,

  381. Kirk: “I really do not get this Russian deference. Why do they deserve this uniquely self-indulgent right to run their neighbor’s affairs for “security reasons”? Where does that end?”

    It must really have upset you, Kirk, when you were sent thousands of miles away to cause death & destruction in Iraq because the US rulers decided that war against Saddam Hussein’s regime was justified for “security reasons”. Were you used by our rulers to enforce their “uniquely self-indulgent right” to bomb & shell people who were not even their neighbors?

    As it happens, I understand the reasons why our rulers decided it was preferable to fight a war in Iraq than to leave the Iraqis to their own devices. I also understand why the rulers of Russia decide it is preferable to fight a war in Ukraine than to stand by while Ukraine enlists the aggressive NATO alliance to support the ongoing Ukrainian rulers’ war against people who have utilized their basic human right of self-determination to say they don’t want to be ruled by those kleptocrats.

    Engage brain, Kirk! There are no White Hats in this world. Our objective as human beings ought to be to see the fighting in the Ukraine brought to an end as soon as possible. We certainly don’t want to see that fighting expand to a nuclear war which wipes out the State of Washington.

  382. }}} Prove me wrong.

    The Lancet:
    The first survey[1] published on 29 October 2004, estimated 98,000 excess Iraqi deaths (with a range of 8,000 to 194,000, using a 95% confidence interval (CI)) from the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq to that time

    You’re quoting The Lancet.

    99.9999% chance, you’re wrong.

    The Lancet is such a bunch of morons even YOU should be able to spot the problems with any number they ever produce.

    At one point they were claiming something like 3 MILLION uncounted Iraqi deaths.

    SMH.

  383. Another example of who the fascists are:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/youtube-flags-tulsi-gabbards-criticism-war-machine-offensive-content
    YouTube Flags Tulsi Gabbard’s Criticism Of “War Machine” As “Offensive” Content

    You can like or dislike Gabbard, you can like or dislike Fox News, you can like or dislike her positions, but when you have government officials urging on and cheering on this sort of speech suppression, we’re not “moving closer and closer to fascism”, we’re already there, and the people responsible are the so-called “liberals”, period. There is zero symmetry here. Conservatives need to stop wringing our hands about this and only support politicians who pledge to rip google, facebook, twitter, etc., to pieces.

  384. I get 500. Hurrah for me.

    I don’t do twitter jay, I’ll leave it to you. An American PMC, Forward Observation Group was dumb enough to enter the fight. They got special treatment, and have now withdrawn their forces. ;)

  385. So “100k in 3 weeks” = “some real but indeterminate number over 18 months.”

    I’ll keep that in mind when evaluating PenGun’s claims.

    I’m old enough to remember the left-liberal press such as The Nation back in the Cold War days.

    In particular I recall their coverage of national-ethnic-religious issues in Europe, and their wonderfully naive take on Tito’s Yugoslavia. Tito was OF COURSE a bad guy, but he was useful to us (that much was true) and by golly he and his buds had essentially solved all the old hatreds, animosities, and resentments.

    It was a model for the world, a genuine socialist democracy! Better than stodgy old Russia or racist-sexist-homophobic Amurka.

    That mindset lives.

    Anyway, after two generations or more of socialist construction, the guys who emerge on top often turn out to be Nazis or near-Nazis in their own little fiefdoms.

  386. Updates:

    1. Mariupol. The cleansing of the city continues successfully. The advanced units reach the central regions, the enemy is gradually pushed back to Azovstal. The exit of civilians continues from the city. The military on the ground are talking about the timeframe for the liberation of Mariupol – 4-7 days.

    2. Carbon. The settlement has not yet been officially taken, but to the north of it the troops are already advancing towards Bogoyavlenka, with a subsequent movement towards Kurakhovo. Prechistovka was taken from the west of Ugledar, which creates the prerequisites both for moving north and for a turn to Velikaya Novoselka.

    3. Maryinka-Avdeevka. There are no major advances yet. It is impossible to overcome the powerful fortified areas of the enemy from a swoop. Aviation and artillery are trying to make the task easier, but so far the cumulative effect of multi-day strikes has not yet been achieved.

    4. Gorlovka. Novotoretskoye remained with the DPR. Counterattacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the aim of returning the village were repulsed. Tomorrow, perhaps, advancement will begin either towards Novoselka-2, or in the direction of New York.

    5. LPR. They took Rubizhne, the enemy withdrew to Severodonetsk, where stubborn street fighting continues. Lisichansk is not yet actively stormed. The liberation of these cities is a matter of time. Fighting continues in the western part of Popasna, the city is not yet completely controlled by the LPR, the enemy stubbornly clings to it.

    6. Kharkov. Active fighting east of the city. There is no information confirming the occupation of even part of Chuguev by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In Izyum, the enemy continues to defend in the southern part of the city and is trying to unblock the road in the Kamenka area, where fighting is taking place near the Izyum-Slavyansk highway. The front from the north is gradually shifting towards Slavyansk.

    7. Kyiv. Attempts by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to be active on the Vyshgorod-Gostomel-Bucha line ended in serious losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in people and equipment. There was no serious counteroffensive. It is noted that the western grouping of the RF Armed Forces continues to methodically put pressure on the south, trying to get out and gain a foothold in the Vasilkov area. In the east, Ukrainian sources report that the RF Armed Forces have occupied several villages on the outskirts of Brovary. From our side, there is no confirmation of this yet.

    8. Sumy and Chernigov. No major changes.

    9. Nikolaev. Fighting north of the city. The city itself is blocked from three sides, but there is no assault. The transfer of reinforcements for the RF Armed Forces through Kherson is noted. The Armed Forces of Ukraine expect the activation of operations of the RF Armed Forces in this area in the coming days.

    10. Odessa. Ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation work on targets on the coast, complementing the work of aviation. Landing events are not carried out, but the enemy is forced to keep serious forces here, fearing to miss the moment of the exhibition. The Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, having won complete dominance at sea, is now playing a fettering role, forcing the enemy to keep troops near Odessa that would be useful in the area of ​​Nikolaev or Krivoy Rog.

  387. . . . or in the direction of New York.

    “Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.”

  388. So is it too crazy sounding to speculate that the Hunter laptop story is back in the news because somebody wants to remind Brandon’s handlers about it?
    Like someone in DC or Ukraine wants to get more out of him than they’re currently getting, say?

  389. The NYT is signaling the end of the Biden crime family’s usefulness to the Uniparty–the only question is who the new fave figurehead will be.

  390. MCS, we are inundated with propaganda and I am unable to believe what I read. The Russian army, like the Soviet army, is made up of one year conscripts with poor NCO training so that may well be true. Seeing Kevin McCarthy, minority leader in the House, going on about no fly zones, etc. I would like to send him to Ukraine. He and Romney.

  391. Correction. All comments on threads I follow. I don’t follow all of them, necessarily.

    Plus, I sometimes leave a thread after a comment of my own– call it a passive from of Lastwordism. Usually historical discussions that seem to be politically important to my interlocutors in a way they aren’t for me.

  392. I agree that reading most comments are worthwhile. Ann Althouse’s blog has better comments than her posts. In fact, when she cut off all comments last year, a group of commenters started their own blog and it continues. Now, she has resumed comments, perhaps realizing that the comments made the blog interesting. Neo also has a blog with good comments. I rarely read the comments at Ace or CTH but read the blog posts. PenGun has been a pest here for years. Feel free to read his link-free comments.

  393. Mike K,
    I don’t either believe or disbelieve but I wouldn’t have posted if it didn’t conform, more or less, to the picture building in my head. Going back to WWII, we had some of the same problems, so it’s not even indicative of the overall Russian position. It would seem to be a sign of hard fighting, whichever side is winning. And hard fighting doesn’t seem to be what the Russians expected.

    I’ll just have to see how it all turns out, assuming I live that long. The trend in wars seems to be all in the direction of longer and less decisive. I doubt Russia has the wherewithal to keep this up much longer.

  394. From the NY Post article: “The Russian troops are reportedly demoralized in the invasion, according to the latest estimate from the Ukrainian government.”
    Um, OK, I guess we have to take their word for it…

    (Note: Heck, it’s probably true, but let’s not act like the Ukrainian government or the US media has any interest in communicating the truth, if it deviates from The Message.)

  395. An interesting read, matches what I’ve been saying, based on other reading. One could argue he has motive to say some of this stuff, but it does seem to match reliable accounts.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-03-17/broke-russian-oligarch-fridman-says-sanctioned-billionaires-can-t-sway-putin
    “I’ve never been in any state company or state position,” Fridman says. “If the people who are in charge in the EU believe that because of sanctions, I could approach Mr. Putin and tell him to stop the war, and it will work, then I’m afraid we’re all in big trouble. That means those who are making this decision understand nothing about how Russia works. And that’s dangerous for the future.”

  396. PenGun posting the Russian updates is actually useful. Regular sources such as LiveMap and ISW are based on Ukrainian output; nothing wrong with that but we know we’re getting a biased view. It’s handy to compare against the Russian biased view. Plus bonus translation blunders. God knows where the New York line came from.

  397. “I’ve never been in any state company or state position,” Fridman says.

    This may be technically true, but if you’re a billionaire Russian businessman you have a Putin connection, even if it’s one you’d rather not have. But you’ll have other connections too, and a palace coup is the most likely route to the demise of Putin.

  398. fridman might have had influence with yeltsin, blat as they call it, but Putin effectively ran against him, launching an invasion on the cheap, in not propitous weather, was not smart,
    when the numbers are against you, you use asymmetrical tactics, this is the lesson they should have learned with Afghanistan, at least by 1984, yet they repeated the error in 1994, and 1996, and 1999, just in the case of Grozny,

    maybe if there was a bronco chase, the attention would be elsewhere,

  399. If PenGun is providing that side’s public POV, great. As others have commented, it at least tells you what they want you to believe. (Applies all around of course.)

    My gut feeling at the start–based on a lot of study of European history–was that Putin had isolated himself from wise counsel in the tradition of too many Russian leaders, and failed to become larger than a secret police apparatchik with a lot of grudges. I see now that I gave him too much credit for cool-headed cynicism; the Ukraine invasion struck me as rash, at best, and very much a passion project for him.

    You know the Soviet translation of “collateral damage”? Winning.

    In the Ukraine we may see the limits of that approach.

  400. Well, it sounds like an opportunity for some ambitious consultant to sell Putin and his government some lessons in collaboration and consensus building. Somehow, I don’t think any of Putin’s teachers ever checked the “works well with others” box.

  401. in aaron lathams dark comedy ‘flowers for mother, the angleton character, noticed that the egyptian and syria and jordanians had all been meeting in the period before the October ’73, war, the clincher was the fact that the Egyptians had bought high pressure water hoses that could breach the berm walls in the sinai,

    was putin meeting with or otherwise communicating with china or india, in the months prior the invasion, did any body notice or care

  402. Well, remember the Putin-Xi summit the day the Olympics opened…
    Boris was in KSA the other day. Notice almost no press about it. No pics with the orb even…And now we hear Blinken’s canceled a planned trip there. Presumably either Boris or the Saudis told him not to bother, MBS is in no mood to deign to host a clerk. Good thing the grownups are back in charge, huh?