It looks like Ukrainian officials are not blowing smoke on this. During the past 24 hours Russian military operations in the Donbas and in Western Ukraine have increased markedly.
I want to share with you some videos from the Intel Slava Z channel on Telegram. While there always is the possibility these are staged propaganda pieces, they appear legitimate.
First up is the shootdown of a Ukrainian combat jet. Thermal footage shows Ukrainian Su-25 attack jet firing flares, in vain, trying to escape an incoming Russian missile. The jet was shot down on 15th of April by Russian Air Defense units.
The second video shows a Chechen in Mariupol inside one of the buildings at Ilyich plant where elements of the Azov battalion hid. This is probably from Saturday, 16 April. It did not turn out well for the Azov thugs:
The Russians are busy on several fronts. Let’s start on the southern coast of Ukraine:
- Mariupol is under the control of Russia, only a small element of the AZOV battalion is holed up in the Avostol steel plant with their backs to the sea.
- The Russians have secured Berdyansk, which is 60 miles west of Mariupol.
- There are explosions in Kherson, which is 220 miles west of Berdyansk.
- The night sky over Nikolaev (aka Mykolaiv) is on fire with a barrage of airborne explosives. From Nikolaev it is only 80 miles to Odesa.
At present, Russia is controlling the southern coast of Ukraine with a combination of naval and ground forces. Once Odesa falls (and it will fall), Russia will have completely cut off Ukraine from its southern ports. (There is no commercial activity now because it is a war zone.)
Then there is the action in the west along the border with Poland. Russia is destroying the military equipment that the United States and NATO are sending to Ukraine. Here is a remarkable video showing three weapon collection sites being hit in Lviv (I do not think this is from a video game because even Fox News reported the strikes). According to Intel Slava Z:
Aviation strikes with high-precision missiles at the 124th Joint Logistics Support Center of the Logistics Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Lviv, – Defense Ministry
The logistics center and the large consignments of foreign weapons that were delivered to Ukraine over the past 6 days from the United States and European countries were destroyed.
But center stage for Russian military operations is to the east in Donbas. Popasnaya sits halfway between Luhansk and Kramatorsk (the site of the missile that killed civilians at the train station a week ago). Russian tanks reportedly are bombarding Ukrainian positions:
If the Ukrainian Army still had intact artillery it would be firing counter-battery rounds at the Russian tanks. That is not happening. When you are fighting a comparable force, doctrine dictates that the tanks fire and then move. (Counter battery fire means that the unit being shelled can fire back and hit the position where the shell originated.) I add the caveat that this video could be an elaborate propaganda production, but comments from Zelensky and his toadies indicate the offensive is underway.
There also are press reports that Russian artillery is firing on Ukrainian units around Kharkov (which is a 160 miles northwest of Popasnaya). The limited ability of the Ukrainian forces to respond in kind means the units are hunkered down and taking a brutal beating. If they poke their heads out of their bunkers they are likely to lose their noggin.
Besides physically killing the Ukrainian soldiers, the Russian sustained bombardments are also killing the will to fight among some of the units. Significant numbers are surrendering to Russian units. The first video shows more than 80 Ukrainians who are now under Russian control:
Here is another group of more than 300 Ukrainian soldiers who gave up:
If Ukraine was succeeding on the ground I am sure we would be seeing daily briefings from the Ukrainian generals touting their latest triumph over Russian forces. The absence of such reports is not the product of some clever Ukrainian plot to deceive the Russians into complacency. The inability to maintain robust lines of communication with the front line units and ensure they are fully supplied with ammunition, weapons and food is a death spiral for any military organization.
Recent new reports in the west state that there are limitations on what the United States and NATO can supply. Here is Bloombergs “rosy” picture:
America is following an “arsenal of democracy” strategy in Ukraine: It has avoided direct intervention against the Russian invaders, while working with allies and partners to provide the Kyiv government with money and guns. . . .
Yet as the war reaches a critical stage, with the Russians preparing to consolidate their grip on eastern Ukraine, the arsenal of democracy is being depleted. . . .
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress that the West has delivered 60,000 antitank weapons and 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons to Kyiv. The Pentagon is now laying plans to rush additional artillery, coastal defense drones and other materiel to Ukraine. The White House on Wednesday announced a new $800 million package including helicopters and armored personnel carriers. . . .
Pentagon officials say that Kyiv is blowing through a week’s worth of deliveries of antitank munitions every day. It is also running short of usable aircraft as Russian airstrikes and combat losses take their toll. Ammunition has become scarce in Mariupol and other areas.
This is presenting Western countries with a stark choice between pouring more supplies into Ukraine or husbanding finite capabilities they may need for their own defense.
What the Bloomberg reporter forgot to mention is that Russia is blowing up many of those munitions in western Ukraine even before they can be sent to the front.
In writing this hard truth I am frequently accused of simply passing on Russian propaganda. Not true. If you have the videos of the Ukrainians wreaking havoc on the Russians please let me know. I have not seen it. And as I noted above, I do not doubt for a minute that U.S. news media would be showing these videos if they existed. This may be a decisive week for the continued existence of organized Ukrainian military operations. The Russian military appears to be following Putin’s directive–demilitarize Ukraine.
Larry I admire you for your honest reporting of the news. Actually I often come to your site to learn about the war in Ukraine. Unfortunate as it is, Zelensky had the opportunity to avoid this war had he agreed to implement Minsk agreements saving thousands of lives, utter destruction of his country. Eventually he may end up with a rump state with no future. Thanks for your analysis.
The US is sending tons of arms and munitions for the Z force to use as target practice.
Bloomberg also points out that the industrial capabilities of the US has been degraded by years of offshoring industrial production, not to mention the lack of raw materials a lot of which ironically used to come from Russia; aluminum, cobalt, titanium, other rare earth metals.
That and the US spends a huge portion of it gargantuan “defense ” budget just on the upkeep of its thousand or so foreign bases, health care, pensions, diversity training, maternity BDUs, and other non productive nonsense. The rest is blown on overpriced weapons systems that require more maintenance hours than they provide in operational hours.
The costs seem more intended to enhance Raytheon’s et al executive stock options than provide for maintaining usable weapons systems for the defense of the US.
The only bright spot is that there are people in the Pentagon who know the truth and are pushing back on involvement if only to avoid the embarrassment of another humiliating loss.
The simple truth is that the US and NATO would get their asses handed to them trying to take on Russia over Ukraine.
The State dept and the Administration seems desperate to stop the Russians from finding out what has been going on in Ukraine as a money laundering operation, child sex trafficking, bio weapons and good old fashioned grift and God knows what else. Nothing good for sure.
Russia has the biolabs, the papers and the workers. I suspect they will be anxious to testify when this is all over.
This operation should have been over weeks ago, but every life lost after March 30 is 100% on the hands of the US and Nato for delaying the inevitable.
Shame on them. I pray for justice.
Excellent reporting Larry. You are a beacon of truth in the Empire of Lies.
Larry Johnson says
Thanks. I really appreciate the feedback.
Skeptical Canuck says
Yes, +1 to Skorpion’s post
Thanks Larry, for your posts and your honesty and integrity in your journalism
Hmm, I notice the majority of those Ukro Nazi Prisoners are wearing civilian clothing, I bet they were all Cooks and Drivers. 😉
Thanks for this. Your site is unsurpassed as a source of unbiased and informed commentary on what is really going on.
The mainstream view that Ukraine can (and ought to) win this conflict has clearly cost lives on both sides and will cost more by prolonging it unnecessarily. We really do seem to have a “strategy” of fighting to the last Ukrainian, which is not exactly a moral one either. This is particularly when viewed against the backdrop of the hysterical anti Russian propaganda and our own rather unsavoury track record of making aggressive overseas war.
I am English and the commentary from various retired British Generals here echoes that of the US ones. The British Army itself though has not exactly performed fantastically in recent wars against very inferior enemies. This is despite the popular myth here that it is awesome, based primarily on the Falklands experience of several generations ago.
I do wonder what they are thinking and why they see themselves as qualified to opine on the Russian military.
Are they are consciously propagandizing or just have no clue how a modern combined arms war against a peer opponent plays out? They have not fought one since arguably circa 1944. Even so, part of me thinks they really cannot be that clueless though; part of me wonders how if they are not, how can they lie so brazenly? It’s a real conundrum.
Going forward, I have no idea either how western political “elites” will cope with the defeat of the Ukrainian military, given the way they have ratcheted up the political stakes. That is where things could get dangerous: we have the neo cons in the White House and a group of European politicians who are possibly the least capable that we have ever had. Maybe time to move to a far away island!
Larry Johnson says
I share your concern. We are ruled by people that fall shy of mediocrity.
Reports that Canada, Greece and other countries are stoping weapons to UKri as they have low supply.
That leaves US and UK as major suppliers.
With weapons running low in West China may be biding their time. The West’s capacity to fight a war on two major fronts is non existent. The population is likely not going to take a war with China as well as Russia well.
US did succeed in one regime change. Imran khan in Pakistan is no longer PM after US threats to remove him and withdraw Pakistani military funding. This lead to biggest ever protest in favour of khan.
And guess what, new PM following a o confidence vote, reversed khan policy and allowed us strikes from Pakistan into Afghanistan. So US us back bombing Afghanistan. Also bombed Somalia start of month.
Israeli expansion into Palestinian territories is not even reported, huge escalation last few days.
The position West has taken on this war means it is gambling everything on a country most westerners can’t find on a map.
Islamic terrorism remains the no
1 threat to most of the West and world. A whole army could have walked over US Souther border and no one would have noticed.
Psychologically West cannot accept, America can not accept total spectrum domination is over. We are now in a multipolar world. If West lives on the past it will be finished.
Adjust to new reality and try to use the positives in it to make life better at home, time to focus on the ordinary people.
One thing that made me laugh, you know what Russians call the West? LGBTs…!
The Wests war on women has not gone unnoticed and made it a laughing stock, but also a dangerous cultural threat.
Imagine. New generations around the world would define US values not as free speech, individual rights and freedoms but as women haters who massively censor free speech including that of a former US president.
What American values are the governent talking about? American values of today are not those that made America a beacon of freedom.
America is divided, lost and without real values. Yet it thinks this war in Ukraine it provoked and likely won’t win is the most important thing.
Bloomberg says “Pentagon officials say that Kyiv is blowing through a week’s worth of deliveries of antitank munitions every day.” My issue with that is there is no way Ukrainians are firing that much artillery! No doubt a substantial portion of that is not being routed to Ukraine, but being sold in the black markets globally!
I have a friend who is in the Paris Police. He told me they have already found van loads of MANPADS, M4’s and explosives, that made their way west from Ukraine.
They know there are more not getting intercepted and clamping a lid on it to prevent panic.
Eric Newhill says
Within the last 24 hours, Mariupol has fallen except, maybe, for one tiny and militarily inconsequential pocket of resistance AND the Russians have jumped off an attack on a broad front hundreds of miles long. As expected, they are directly assaulting smaller strategic UKR strongholds in the Donbas and enveloping the larger UKR forces, which will be completely cut off from what little resupply, if any, they’ve had in the past 30 days. Shipments of weapons from the US and other NATO countries are being targeted and destroyed, pointing to Russia having both excellent intelligence and targeting.
The situation looks grim for the UKR. I do not see how they can continue as an organized military force for more than 30 days. Actually, there is a chance it may be over sooner than that if Russia can communicate reasonable terms of surrender to UKR troops (excluding the nazis). UKR regular army and non-nazi volunteers may put their hands up when the situation becomes obviously hopeless within their particular salient. Good treatment of POWs and positive political messaging could then be leveraged to encourage more mass surrenders.
The new attack though is pretty amazing for drunken, demoralized Russians, so stupid and poorly led that they forgot to bring maps and fuel to the Ukraine and who have suffered something like 50% casualties and who were said to be unable to continue fighting for another 14 days, 20 days ago 😉 – that said, I have noted a subtle, but increasingly obvious change of tone in the western media; some kind of preparation (and CYA) that maybe UKR isn’t going to win and maybe Russia really is a formidable force; albeit very very evil, of course.
There are reports of Nazis shooting regular UAF troops for trying to surrender. They sound credible.
Bill Wade says
According to TTG at Col Lang’s site, those drunken Russians have been supplemented with 10 year old Cub Scouts who’s patriotic fervor may be suspect.
Eric Newhill says
I believe I am now in Turcopolier exile with you. I let TTG know that in my opinion his posts are increasingly becoming what would be good copy for ‘The Onion’ or ‘Babylon Bee’. No one needs to read TTG if they have held their nose and watched 10 minutes of CNN or any Biden admin. mouthpiece. It’s the exact same BS talking points.
Among my many concerns about the UKR and wider situations is that IMO the fools in DC begin to believe their own BS after a while of repeating it. That could lead the fools to rush in where angels fear to tread.
Hi from the Czech Republic, Larry, thanks for your comments. There are many people in Europe who condemn what NATO and the US and EU governments are doing in Ukraine. It is said here that America will fight to the last Ukrainian in this war. The pity of every human life. If our governments were not so arrogant and did not want to get the huge mineral resources that Russia has.
Larry Johnson says
Thank Milos. I’m old enough to remember when the Czechs and Slovaks were one country. It is time for NATO to be terminated.
Oh oh, the war is over, Russia needs to retreat now that Nance is on the job.
Was he wearing a skirt?