Observing some of the panicked reactions to Russia’s decision to redeploy its forces from the west bank of the Dnieper–abandoning Kherson City–to the east bank, I finally realized how many people around the world are judging the war in Ukraine like an episode from the hit show, GOT TALENT. GOT TALENT is a global phenomena and has been produced in more than 100 countries, including Ukraine.
Every year, contestants of any age can audition for the televised contest with whatever talent they wish to demonstrate. During auditions, participants seek to impress a panel of judges in order to secure a place in the live rounds of the contest. Once in the live rounds, participants seek to impress the public and judges to secure votes, in order to reach the final and a chance to win a cash prize.
The key to victory in GOT TALENT is impressing or seducing the viewer at home. Performance on the stage is relevant but often not the determining factor. But that is not the case in war. Looking good or playing to win public approval is not the objective. The goal is simple–destroy the ability of the enemy to fight.
So why is the withdrawal from Kherson being touted as a disaster for Russia and glorious victory for Ukraine? Because it looks bad. Got that? It makes it look like Russia is losing or running away from a fight. People offering this type of criticism are like the cretins you knew in middle school who would gather in a circle and shout at two of their compatriots to “FIGHT.” Yet, not one of the hecklers had the stones to step into the ring and throw some punches.
I am not trying to read some deep, hidden meaning in the Russian action. I take Generals Surovikin and Shoigu at their word. Keeping Russian troops on the west bank with their back to the river created a risk that, in the event of Ukraine launching a major attack accompanied by blowing damns up river, the soldiers would be trapped and forced to fight without a reliable line of communication.
While I have some interest in how Russian public opinion will react, I put more stock in the views of the soldiers for hire fighting alongside the Russians. I am referring to Messrs. Ramzan Kadyrov and Yevgeny Prigozhin. Both men have not been shy in the past about openly criticizing some command decisions of the Russian General Staff. If this movement of troops was unjustified, I am certain at least one or both would speak out. Well, the did. Here is what Kadyrov said:
I fully agree with Mr. Prigozhin’s opinion on Surovikin’s decision. Yevgeny Viktorovich very accurately noted that Surovikin saved a thousand soldiers who were in actual encirclement.
After weighing all the pros and cons, General Surovikin made a difficult but right choice between senseless sacrifices for the sake of loud statements and saving the priceless lives of soldiers.
Kherson is a very difficult area without the possibility of a stable regular supply of ammunition and the formation of a strong, reliable rear. Why was this not done from the first days of the special operation? This is another question. But in this difficult situation, the general acted wisely and far-sightedly – he evacuated the civilian population and ordered a regrouping.
So there is no need to talk about the “surrender” of Kherson. “Surrender” together with the fighters. And Surovikin protects the soldier and takes a more advantageous strategic position – convenient, safe.
Everyone knew from the very first days of the special operation that Kherson was a difficult combat territory. The soldiers of my units also reported that it was very difficult to fight in this area. Yes, it can be kept, it is possible to organize at least some supply of ammunition, but the cost will be numerous human lives. And this forecast does not suit us.
Therefore, I believe that Surovikin acted like a real military general, not afraid of criticism.
He is responsible for the people. He sees better.
Thank you, Sergey Vladimirovich, for taking care of the guys! And we will not stop hitting the enemy and we will not get tired.https://t.me/Slavyangrad/19390
Kadyrov is not a sychophant. He does not carry around a tube of Chapstick in order to be able to butter his lips before kissing the asses of politicians and generals. It appears he genuinely respects Survikin and understands the tactical and strategic thinking behind the move.
I realize this frustrates the dickens out of the global audience who are eager to see a major clash. Some are pulling for Kiev and others are rooting for Moscow. General Surovikin understands that the opinions of the “watchers” is irrelevant. He will fight at a place and time of his choosing, if he can. What is noteworthy about the Russian withdrawal from Kherson is that it was not done under fire or attack. It was calm and orderly an apparently was pre-planned. Perhaps this explains the rumors that circulated a few weeks back that Russia was going to leave Kherson city.
Bloggers, Telegrammers and commenters do not get to vote for who is the winner in Ukraine. That will be decided by who can put the most combat effective troops on the field, who can feed and supply those troops with the weapons and ammunition they need to fight, and who can destroy the opposing army, economy and political system.
Given the fact the Russia barely has committed any of its main army and advanced weaponry to the battle front while Ukraine scrambles like a beggar in the world market pleading for more money and more vehicles and more tanks, I believe that Russia has the edge. I am not privy to the military plans of the Russian military high command, but the Russian generals do not strike me as men driven by fear and reacting emotionally to tactical shifts on the ground. They are planners and they keep those plans to themselves. I do not think Russia’s long history of surprising adversaries on the battlefield has come to an end. Anyone want to bet that Russia turned the lights off in Kherson before leaving?
John Merryman says
I would imagine a few booby traps have been left.
The Ukrainians realize this is a trap, but the audience are the backers. They need some scalps to show their increasingly skeptical populations and will likely push the Ukrainians to move in as quick as possible.
Lou Cypher says
Apparently General ‘Armageddon’ does not live up to his moniker.
American General George Patton once said of retreat..” I hate paying twice for the same real estate”.
Surovikin probably doesn’t care about Patton. Time will tell if this was the proper decision.
Again misses the point. Putin: Demilitarize, deNazify, liberate occupied regions. Surovikin is giving these orders because he sees over the “horizon” (and the weather). The western approach to Kherson is a quagmire, so UAF can’t advance, so the threat is flooding from a dam attack and isolation of his troops. Meanwhile, first snows in St.Peterburg, soon the ground around Kherson will harden, then it starts.
Patton was famously wasteful men, just grab some real estate. The Russians say, “We can take land again, but can’t revive dead troops.” Consider.
Ips Prez says
Can’t revive dead troops but yet troops died taking Kherson city, holding Kherson city and now will have to die some more to retake Kherson city. Saying Patton was famously wasteful is simply acknowledging that you don’t agree with Patton’s extremely effective way of winning. Patton lost no more troops per ground taken than any other successful general and many fewer than the hosts of unsuccessful ones.
“and now will have to die some more to retake Kherson city” – perhaps, but that assumes Ukraine is able to take Kherson – which to the west is entirely open fields and easily within Russian artillery range. One also has to calculate potential losses in retaining Kherson, which, in the event of a dam breach preventing re-supply and forcing Russian forces out of dug-in position and into said open fields, could be catastrophic.
There are backseat drivers, Monday morning quarterbacks, and then there are armchair generals.
My guess is Russia will take territory it has no intention of keeping then trade it for Kherson at the inevitable peace talks. Or they’ll just reclaim it when there are not enough Ukrainians left to defend it. I don’t see them trying to retake it by force. Don’t think it will be necessary.
Right on the money.
First they learn to feel their way around in the dark.
Big Balinese Wheel Money says
Patton is vastly overrated as a general. What were actually his great victories? He got pummeled by the depleted German army in North Africa at Kasserine.
patton was not the general in command at kasserine. he was brought in after to clean things up.
What is not generally known is that the troops who defeated the Americans at Kasserine Pass under Rommel’s command were for a sizable part Italians, not German.
I recommend reading Russia Against Napoleon by Dominic Lieven. It tells the story of the Russian 1812-14 campaign against France that ended with Russian troops in Paris. The Russian commanders Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolly constantly abandoned territory. Not just Moscow in 1812. Both were far more accomplished generals than Patton. Fascinatingly too, they both actually tried to conserve their forces and not suffer unnecessary Russian casualties.
I suspect Surovikin takes his inspiration from them and might not even know who Patton is in any great detail, given that in WW2 a whole score of Russian generals commanded more troops than him for far longer, and no less successfully.
Peter VE says
My great great great uncle was one of those in the Grand Armee who thought they were part of great victory as they marched into Moscow. He was fortunate to be one of 10% who made it back across the Neiman.
Bob Visser says
Join the club. The grandfather of my grandfather also took part in Napoleon’s Russia campaign as horseman. He was a descendant from French Huguenots, family name Pasquer, who settled in Friesland in 1685 (Edict of Nantes). He too did come back to tell the tale.
Sebastián Mancuso says
Concordo plenamente. Kutusov, na minha visão, destruiu Napoleão poupando suas tropas…e a única derrota com Napoleão foi qdo o Czar assumiu o comando na batalha antes de entrar em Rusia. Na Turquia ele estava sempre na vanguarda junto com as tropas.
Marcos Santos says
Patton was a Buffon and highly overrated. He cared more about the optics and his fame than about long term real world results.
This phrase is topical of the idiotic sociopath Patton was. A man who never cared much if his subordinates would live or die as long as he got the glory he craved.
The best part of Patton was George C. Scott !!!
Maria José says
Passei a ser fã do Scott após o filme.
martin mkultra7 says
patton was a egomaniacal ass.remmember he was stripped of his command
Larry Johnson says
Also, his performance in the Lorraine Campaign left much to be desired:
Patton’s decisions in taking this city were criticized. German commanders interviewed after the war noted he could have bypassed the city and moved north to Luxembourg where he would have been able to cut off the German Seventh Army. The German commander of Metz, General Hermann Balck, also noted that a more direct attack would have resulted in a more decisive Allied victory in the city. Historian Carlo D’Este later wrote that the Lorraine campaign was one of Patton’s least successful, faulting him for not deploying his divisions more aggressively and decisively. With supplies low and priority given to Montgomery until the port of Antwerp could be opened, Patton remained frustrated at the lack of progress of his forces. From November 8 to December 15, his army advanced no more than 40 miles (64 km).[
Black Cloud says
In case you missed it, the SMO is not about territory. Russia is not playing ‘merican football, which seems to be the only way western idiots can look at things, hoping for a touchdown.
In Kherson, the incoming Ukrainian forces found a note left for them by Russian Tank Spetsnaz:
“Dear Armed Forces of Ukraine,
Do not forget you are on the territory of the Russian Empire, behave properly while the Russian forces are on vacation:
1. Do not crap on the floor
2. Do not chew on furniture
3. Do not bark at night
4. Do not chase the pedestrians
5. Keep doors closed – cold drafts
6. Put a portrait of Tsar Putin in every room
P.S. Kiss the flag of Russia every morning (we’ll come back to verify)
Russian Tank Spetsnaz,
Patton,surely the most over rated General on the Allies side in WW2. Go back to the stated aims of the SMO,not the bullshit nobody said Kiev would fall in 3 days or whatever,the stated aims. 1: protect the people of the Donbas,admittedly a work in progress due to indiscriminate shelling by the VSU. 2: De Nazify Ukraine and 3: the most significant de militarise Ukraine. How to achieve #3 ? Not by gaining territory but by destroying the armed forces. Surely by now people understand that the original forces Ukraine fielded along with weapons has been all but eliminated; once Russia decides no more weapons from NATO to be imported the Ukraine/”volunteer force will collapse.
Kherson is an issue left over from the last commander, Surovikin mentioned it is his first speech, it was obvious then that he was going to withdraw and said he would not flinch from making the tough decisions however painful. He is merely fulfilling his promise. Troops and civilians have been slowly and quietly leaving for 3 weeks now. There is no rush and no panic. Defenses on the banks of the Dnieper have been well constructed and the time to finalise the move is now. Besides once the Ukrainians started shelling the Kharkovskaya Dam it was obvious that staying was risking a massive loss of life, both civilian and military. I don’t see this as a negative development, it is pretty much the solving of the last problem hangover of the earlier phases of the SMO, troops will be redeployed to other more active parts of the front and the Russians can bomb Kherson into the ground if they wish should the Ukrainians move in en masse. The war develops as does the frontline, Russia will be back, Kherson is the path to Mykolyev and Odessa.
“Troops and civilians have been slowly and quietly leaving for 3 weeks now. There is no rush and no panic.”
Whilst those civilians who decided to remain were self-selected – it was their choice.
The redeployment of forces and civilians who wished to be relocated has now been achieved.
Paulo Werneck says
If it was a defeat for Russia, it was a defeat for a fair new order for thd World.
If it was a defeat for Russia, it was a defeat in a battle.
I have no means to know what is the truth, I only read opinions about it, but I am confident that Russia will win US and we will have a better World, thanks againto the russian people, that defeated at high cost the Teutonic knights, the french, the nazi germans and now will defeat the US-EU-UK-NATO evil empire.
k. talaat says
Unless one can invision the theater of operations on a map, visit the front lines, take into account supply lines, deal with political pressures and understand one’s enemy, one should not give in to the temptation of become an irrelevant arm chair general using a dead general’s out of contest quote as a bolster to an ill advised criticism. Ever read Sun Tzu, if yes, read it again.
Patton always chose to fight at a time and place of his own choosing. Thus the Russians have adopted this tactic as well. The Russians will return to Kherson at a time of their choosing because by then there will be few Ukrainians left to fight.
They don’t need to take town en mass and occupy it fully. They just need to get enough people in there to position artillery to hit other side of river and lay ground defences. Let’s see if they can.
Jamie Eakin says
As one of the “Rootin for Putin” folks I was disturbed when I heard about withdrawal from Kherson (as amplified by the MSM). This post reminds me to step back and look for the bigger picture before judgments.
Ukrainian Civil War is a mere sideshow. It’s a global conflict that has (tragically) barely begun. The critical variable now is watching which players will stay neutral or not. My biggest concern is massive escalation in 2023 on a global basis.
honestly, our own time is best spent on planting fruit trees, chopping firewood, and other homesteading skills. Collapse, thankfully, ain‘t coming next month, but it’s coming slow and steady at all of us…
Very true, and good advise, let’s stock up on that firewood, cause a shit storm is coming our way!
Kherson West Bank is more Political than Military. Had it been Military then resources would have been made available to expand the bridgehead to secure the Dneiper crossings. There have been clues to this Political status for some while from mention of ‘difficult decisions’ , the civilian evacuation that I first picked up on when a train load of orphans arrived in Rostov on Don, the Dis-interment of Prince Potemkin and the arrival of large numbers of pillboxes along the East Bank and peninsular. As an aside the peninsular is shared administratively with Nikolaev oblast. It is Kherson East that is the larger territory and the oblast that shares the full border with Crimea, holding this territory is fundamental to the whole Russian position in this operation. Russia still claims Kherson West as its national territory, there has been no public renunciation of their claim. Wars are settled by politics, we have yet to see what, if any, political negotiations are involved in this decision.
All of the strategic arguments for leaving Cherson City make sense. But what I do not understand since the beginning of the SMO ist why the Russians do not destroy the Railways and main roads in Western Ukraine to block or at least to impede the logistics of the AFU i.e. the weapon dileveries of the west? I do hope that the Russians can hold Melitopol. That will be the next move of NATO/UAF. If they lose that Melitoplol or of the UAF can just Resch the black sea the front will be split. Game over.
Jim Christian says
Kadyrov, when only the best will do. General Surovikin didn’t have the proper gear for this one. So they pulled out, and to guard the civilians, he’s pulled them out too in case the Ukies pull some bullshit stunt with the dam. Russia’s been retreating here and there throughout this thing, they put together another package of tactics and when they re-engage, there’s been hell to pay. You can’t have your troops and civilians in the path of a flood, should that happen. The pull back may even remove the incentive to messing with the dam in the end, another benefit. My curiosity runs to why the Ukies didn’t make life difficult with artillery on the way out. But that’s the point, it’s all murky with nothing as it seems, which makes me wonder why they question Russia’s tactics in this. You’d think they’d seen enough Ukie dead in this thing.
Agnieszka g. says
Unfortunately, they did, and a loading dock for the ferry was hit killing civilians during evacuation. It was a guided munition and it killed a journalist and some other people. I do not recall exactly, but I believe that was not an isolated incident. True to form-Ukrainian made sure to add to the misery of evacuating civilians. That said, I believe that those civilians were given real estate certificates to replace their flat with similar size apartment in Russia. Someone should send note to FEMA.
Its not isolated. They’ve been firing HIMARS at this area that’s close to the Antonovsky bridge. Russia has been shooting them down by the dozens, some of them got through and have been splashing down in the water, hitting the bridge and unfortunately one hit one of the gathering areas for evacuation causing the death of the journalist. A key to note is that the area where Russia pulled back to is on high ground that overlooks the city and the areas that they are leaving. perfect for observation and artillery coordination. Also this regrouping brings them even closer to their supply lines which will improve their groupings combat efficiency in this area overall.
Thank you for presenting FACTS to those who seem incapable of thinking about them. I thought the analogy to U.S. type “football” was apt. That game is based on capturing “territory”. At least 10 yards in 4 tries. Kinda sets up a certain viewpoint to conflict not apropos to the Ukraine SMO.
Bob In Portland says
It seems to me that if the Russians keep the power off in Ukraine there won’t be many Ukrainian civilians guarding their farms with pitchforks and shovels come Christmas. The Russians may be waiting until a heavy winter storm sweeps through before they start moving again. The Russians don’t seem to mind taking their time.
Eric Newhill says
is it still off or has it been repaired/re-routed?
Maybe the NATO-UKROS are also planning on attacking when the ground freezes. Frozen ground is neutral. It effects tracks the same regardless of who’s they are.
The NATO-UKROS don’t have enough left to attack because the Russians killed and degraded it all? Ok. Then why don’t the Russians just send a battalion up to the dam to protect it from Ukro sapper terrorist teams and leave everyone in their homes in Kherson and the west bank troops in their positions? I think that “our side” of this issue drinks a fair amount of Kool Aid ourselves; maybe not as much as the neocons, but we definitely whet our whistle too.
Andrew M says
I think because the battalion will be exposed to NATO missiles (HIMARS). The Ukrainian army (which is more or less NATO now) would rather shoot the dam with missiles, instead of sending any saboteur team there immediately. This is reasonable. Russia can shoot down incoming missiles with their own, but at some point those will need to be re-supplied, and this is where it has become complicated because much of the supply routes have been compromised now (by HIMARS and the weather). Sending any reinforcement there is difficult, hence the decision to retreat.
But now that the Russians have left, the dam is safe. No point in blowing it up anymore.
Eric Newhill says
yeah yeah….So we’ve had the Russia is running out of missiles meme, except they’re still firing them months later AND we’ve had, on the pro-Russia side, NATO is running out of missiles, except they also have plenty left to blow up dams, etc.
I was half-joking about a battalion and sappers and all of that. My point is that UKR is still able to exert its will on the battlefield, is well armed, well positioned and dangerous, if an evacuation is necessary b/c Russia doesn’t have the ability and strength to defend its gains. How hard would it be for the Russians, who supposedly have air superiority and so many other goodies in its favor, to shut down the HIMARS or whatever else it is that threatens the dam? Too many excuses for Russian incompetence.
Andrew M says
Russia doesn’t have and IMO will never have aerial superiority in this conflict. The aerial defense system NATO has installed in Ukraine has ensured this. The kind of fighting we have witnessed so far, as well as the weapons chosen for use by both sides, were defined very early in the game and I suspect are exactly the same as what we will see in the coming months.
Thomas Hopkins says
You mean the Soviet air defense systems that Ukraine already had and are still formidable, or the Soviet Systems that we sent from former Warsaw Pact countries. The only NATO air defense they have are Stingers and two NASAM, not exactly formidable.
martin mkultra7 says
even terrorists can exert their will.but for how long?how many orderly retreats have been successfully executed by the ukies?none .an orderly retreat is much more difficult than an offensive move.
The Russians have Air Superiority, not Air Supremacy. Not that they need Air Supremacy.
If blowing the dam would flood Kherson why wouldn’t the Russians wait until mid winter and blow it themselves and taking out all the new Ukrainian positions in the process? I know I would.
Ukraine won’t run out of people and NATO will continue to send in foreign mercenaries and supplying equipment (what it can, anyway). So Ukraine can attack but does not do so successfully when confronting a stable Russian defense.
The concern around pulling out of Kherson is the access it gives Ukraine to Crimea (via missiles and artillery). I wonder how Russia will address this if/when Ukraine moves into the abandoned territory.
This is definitely a strategic withdrawal that shores up the Russian lines and frees troops for deployment elsewhere. How many troops and where will they be deployed? Questions that are not answerable at this time.
The other question is where will the additional troops from the mobilization be deployed once they are ready? Will new fronts be opened? Or will we see an attempt to retake the lost territory and push to the Dneipr all along the front? Will Russia continue a slow, grinding form of attrition warfare or will she strike with overwhelming force in one area, accepting the losses, in an attempt for a quick victory on the battlefield? Russia’s attitude thus far seems to indicate that the slow war of attrition will continue, even if new fronts are opened up by the newly mobilized forces. The hard sell, I think, is how long the war will take, given this attitude. We will likely see how these questions will be answered at some point in December or January.
A long time ago when he was the highest paid war correspondant in the world, Winston Churchill wrote occupying a town is not significant, abandoning it to the enemy is a wholly different matter. It looks bad and is bad for morale even if it may be wise.
Actually this withdrawal creates quite a few problems for the Ukrainian/NATO forces. For a start, in the unlikely event that they can cross the Dnipr it will be them with their backs to a river that could be flooded. If they bring their forces up to the river they become an easy target.
It looks as if all that stuff about Russia moving equipment across the river and reinforcing its troops there, was bluff and in fact it was all going into the new defence lines.
lipstick on a pig Larry, RUSSIAS problems will only increase as they refuse to destroy Targets that are passing on intelligence to Ukraine in real time.
They fight this war with one hand tied behind their back, if they are not prepared to take out NATO assets that are directly responsible for the death of their troops, they are better off suing for peace now and getting the best deal they can.
It does not matter how many casualties Ukraine has weapons&mercenaries will keep pouring in.
my two cents worth
Larry Johnson says
You are not seeing what they are seeing. Either they are incompetent or are executing a plan that the public is not privy to. I think it is the latter.
Anglo Man says
Larry, as you point out, Smart maneuvering by Surovikin. The entire Kherson region is an isolated island in encirclement, without any reliable resupply route. It is indefensible as such. The armor there has no means of withdrawal. Under a major attack by Ukraine, it would become a rout, with a lot of unpreventable deaths. I’m relieved a lot of citizens have relocated…the wrath of the Azovs, Krakens and other Nazi Militia will be severe upon any population left on that bank, including any unfortunate military left there.
Eric Newhill says
Yes, but 2 points that beg to come to the forefront. The Russians are obviously incapable of re-supplying and holding and the Ukronatos are obviously capable of successfully attacking and holding. Neither can advance. Both forces are sucking wind and unable to make any meaningful gains at this time – and probably not in the future without some significant favorable development in the geopolitical and military substratum. The pro-NATO “analysis” is BS and the pro-Russia “analysis” is BS.
That western Kherson bridgehead should have been exploited long ago, but Russia didn’t (and doesn’t) have the resources and stamina to do so.
You are not considering the possibility that with the civilian population evacuated, the Russians will be able to level that city and and eliminate any opposition force occupying it, if that is what must be done to prevail. If the idea is to kill the enemy and destroy its means of fighting, it can be more easily accomplished with less risk now after the evacuation and withdrawal.
As for Russian ‘incompetence’, if that’s what the US and NATO, believe, then the advantage is to Russia.
martin mkultra7 says
we have not yet seen a good old carpet bombing since Vietnam.does russia have bombs and bombers?
James Cook says
You may be completely correct – we do not ……and should not be able to see/know exactly what the situation is. War is not a reality TV show and there is likely way too much info available on positions, battles and outcomes.
Here is my ‘however’ to this withdrawl – (1)recrossing the river against dug in, re-provisioned troops will be difficult and costly. (2) Why did this have to happen? With complete control of the sky, why were sufficient defenses not put in place before?
Russia is giving up territory that is now legally recognized as part of Russia. How many tactical retreats will make a strategic victory?
Poor advanced planning has lead to this.
Eric Newhill says
Exactly. No 4D chess. Just more bungling government employees (includes military). Apparently Russian politicians and bureaucrats are just like American ones. Only we have more money. So we (I’m American) probably win the conflict. I don’t even care any longer. As long as it ends without a nuclear exchange, it’s all good w/ me. The boss is insane wherever you are.
The main battle is in Saudi Arabia. If Putin snatches the Saudis away from the petro-dollar, there will be nothing left of the American economy, the only one left alive in the west. Don’t keep green cash, as it might become worthless sooner rather than later.
Big Balinese Wheel Money says
“Only we have more money.”
No, “we” don’t. Do you pay no attention to financial news? The easy credit era is well and truly dead, and since the US doesn’t actually produce anything anymore, that means the economy itself is dead, and that’s not even to mention the DC Bubble People’s so far successful war on the American energy sector.
By the way sumthin, all that really has to happen is for China to say “So solly, Meiguoren, no more stuff for you!” and this place is cannibal holocaust in a week.
My Worry is that the plan the public is not privy do was created and is being implemented by Anal Schwab and his minions… things still don’t add up… even more now.
Aria Yves Poetry says
DaSexyFcuk, Public opinion will either drive support for the war, or end it. Putin knows this. He’s playing the political war very successfully when you consider that he has support from the “other” two thirds of the global community. This support equates to economic / financial support (which finances the war) and keeps the Russian economy from collapsing.
Does Putin really want to target NATO assets and have NATO 100% engaged in the war, i.e, invite NATO boots on the ground? I personally think he’s trying to avoid that. He knows his military limitations (more so in soldiers) if pitted up against a fully engaged involvement of NATO forces.
You say “IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY CASUALTIES, Ukraine has weapons, and mercenaries will keep pouring in”.
Mercenaries are clearly trickling in, but they are not lining up eagerly to fight. If they were — Ukraine would have it’s million man army! Granted they cannot deploy them all at once to the theatre of battle because you have to clothe, arm and feed them and logistics would be a nightmare. however, even for a psychological win, I’ve seen no photos or videos to suggest this, just rhetoric.
KIA estimates for the Ukrainians (Not sure if it includes foreign mercenaries) has been cited to be over 110 000. This figure will be higher now because it was cited approx a month ago. Wounded in action needs to be considered too. How long are wives, girlfriends, parents, family members and friends going to keep quiet when the body bags stack up? Surely potential foreign volunteers will start asking themselves why more and more troops (and weapons) are being deployed to Ukraine — yet, no decisive territorial gains are made, yet alone a victory. Any territory the Ukrainians regain is not actually because they “fought for it”.
just my two cents worth 🙂
Robert Garnett says
Theyn haven’t won very much a a consequence of a fight.
Hiro Masamune says
Unfortunately bodies can pile up for quite the time. Have you ever seen the number of and the size of military graveyards in Europe ? Tomorrow will be a day-off , WWI memorial day, in lot of Europeans country.
Those guys know very well real wars are not paid in dollars , it’s priced in blood. They mourn their dead quick… and goes back fighting : enemy is at the gates.
For the Slavs in particular , the choice was often very binary, killing or being killed or worse…
It’s like the song says ; “What you gonna do when they come for you ?”
Eric Newhill says
||No, “we” don’t. Do you pay no attention to financial news? The easy credit era is well and truly dead, and since the US doesn’t actually produce anything anymore, that means the economy itself is dead, and that’s not even to mention the DC Bubble People’s so far successful war on the American energy sector.||
That chicken can run around without a head a lot longer than think it can.
All these folks with zero notion of big picture military tactics will be shocked how quickly this war is over after Russia begins the winter offensive for which they clearly appear to be gearing up. It’s almost as if they have never read any Russian military history or philosophy & can only view Russian maneuvers & tactics through the lens of more familiar US/NATO notions of warfare.
Of course, if nothing ensues once the ground is frozen, we can then start speculating about Putin’s true relationship with the WEF, the Great Reset & The World Island (Brendan O’Connell has some interesting takes well worth pondering, even if, like me, one is skeptical). But all currently available evidence would indicate that Russia is indeed readying for the kind of major engagement that Western experts on Russian military forces had initially expected back in February, in which Russia was expected to end things quickly & decisively. Instead the Russians wanted to give their fellow Slavs a chance to negotiate. That’s what the Kiev column was all about, & it almost worked, too- until Boris Johnson showed up in Kiev to instruct puppet Zelenskyy that his Westen Masters would not be allow him to do so.
” Ukraine has weapons&mercenaries will keep pouring in.
my two cents worth”
Two cents is a reasonable amount for a contribution to de-militarisation and de-nazification.
irina kostina says
Wise observation .
Peter S. says
I am no military strategist but I absolutely love how Putin’s generals are conducting their offensive right now. “Appear weak when you are strong”..
From distilling all the info out there, including your fine analyses, they are building up troop strength, supply lines, fortifications, monitoring the enemy while creating targeting and logistical plans, drawing the enemy in and allowing the Western media to puff it’s chest – all while preparing to blitzkrieg to Odessa and beyond if necessary – AT THE TIME OF THEIR CHOOSING!
All the while – the collective West becomes colder, more ostracized, more in debt and more beholden to their fantasy narrative. Russia is going to change the world and the zeitgeist, let’s hope the spoiled, idiotic bully doesn’t blow us all up when it happens..
martin mkultra7 says
well said.the troops in Kherson were in Death ground.SUN TSU said that was only a last resort,not a battle tactic.
Bingo. Sun-Tsu is in the building, lol!
Russia is behind in drone tech, semi conductors will not come easy.
Their high end helicopters have been far to vulnerable to man pads their command and control is shockingly bad.
I have seen plenty of videos the regular solider doing his duty, it is a shame the command failed to do theirs.
They Have really put some hurt on the Ukrainians, however in the end casualties are a stat nothing more.
This a major retreat, and it is doubtful if they can ever cross the Dnieper again.
Agnieszka g says
Helicopters are fine. It is rare for them to be shot down nowadays. Lots of sorties were delegated to the drones.
Kherson, with the dam that had its lock blown up 3 days ago and is gushing water is not a position one would pick as ideal.
Everyone knows that Russia needs to clear the east side of the Dniepre first before it moves towards Odessa, so holding vulnerable position with crazy Ukrainians who dream of causing epic flood is unwise. But for the dam I think they would probably stay but generals do not want to spend their elite troops. Russia values people more than land. History tells us that when Russians fall back it only to come back with the steamroller.
It’s almost like they never heard of Kutuzov’s trap of abandoning of Moscow to the French….
Top Gum says
Russia destroyed and defeated Ukraine military long time ago. They are fighting mostly nato forces now. People here like to criticize easily. They are not the ones involved. They probably play battlefield or whatever and assume they know enough to make bold statements from their cushy deskchair. But whatever …
Agree, far too many “combat typists” around, noticeable that few time served vets are so gung ho/stupid.
The usual hasbara-Langley paid trolls who come out in droves when even the slightest appearance of an enemy setback takes place. All done to enforce the lie that Ukraine is winning. You are absolutely correct regarding that Russia destroyed the Ukranian military ages ago. Why else would that coke-snorting clown beggar of a Ukranian president constantly berate and haggle with political leaders all over the world for more arms and financial aid to his criminal consortium of a country. What is essentially left now of the Ukranian armed forces are thousands of regular NATO troops, mostly Poles and Romanians, wearing Ukranian uniforms fighting against Russia. The Russian MOD has been saying it for weeks.
On the opposite side, however, Russia and her many allies all over the world are doing everything possible to further isolate the US and her remaining vassal states. Look at Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, and even the recent elections in Brazil which all confirm that US influence in its own backyard is waning and waning fast. With the usual suspects running the show in the US, the country is doomed. Whoever, praises or elevates them to lofty positions in their country will be divinely cursed! So it is written!
martin mkultra7 says
Nonsense! you ignore the obvious realities.that casualty stat you dismiss is all that matters.the russians know this.
James, whether you like Russians or anything Russian or not, fact is that they produce fine aircraft -and also fine pilots. If you have the opportunity to go to an International air show you can see for yourself …
Russia is everything but “behind in drone tech” as Ukraine has sadly experienced in the past weeks. If Russia does not produce those “cheap but devastating” drones, its (many) allies can do the job.
Semi conductors do not win wars … Good commanders and soldiers do. A major retreat? Of course, along with a huge evacuation of civilians.
Jack Gordon says
Since Russia seems to have previously evacuated civilians who might suffer reprisals from the Ukrainazis who enter the area, this military decision appears to be quite sound. I do wonder, though, how Moscow will square things from a legal point of view since Kherson voted overwhelmingly to be a part of Russia. In my view, that means Russia must retake the entire area and throw the Ukies back. Is Surovikin thinking this will be more easily accomplished after the ground freezes? Is he also perhaps waiting till all the recently mobilized troopers are in place and ready for battle? I’ve heard rumors of some kind of deal having been cut with Jake the Snake Sullivan, but I find it hard to credit. Sullivan doesn’t bring to my mind the picture of a savvy negotiator, but rather that of a sleazy bordello desk manager.
Old Toad says
‘Sleazy bordello desk manager’ Sullivan says it so well, thanks for that one.
Kherson is pretty important no doubt, Russia is looking out for it’s real assets, citizens and soldiers. Something hard to consider that from the US Culture of Death perspective.
Step back and look at the bigger picture, Odessa and beyond, chess not checkers, reality not tv.
Jack – agree – how can one make a deal with an agreement-incapable opponent? Except unconditional surrender. Me thinks most AMericans feel the same about the US Gov’t.
” In my view, that means Russia must retake the entire area and throw the Ukies back. Is Surovikin thinking this will be more easily accomplished after the ground freezes?”. No I don’t think so. I believe he is thinking it will be much easier retaking the whole Kherson region when he has the regular Russian Army attacking all along the present front line from Kherson all the way up to Kharkiv. Kherson will fall into line along with the whole east of the country.
Henry Rech says
How many tactical retreats equal strategic defeat?
James K says
Well, that obviously depends on the what the primary goals of your “strategy” are anyway.
Regarding the SMO — well, Russia’s primary goal is to prevent it from becoming a NATO foothold. So far, it maintains air superiority and can apparently pretty much knock down any immobile non-Russian military establishment (such as NATO bases) it finds on Ukrainian territory (e.g., the base in Yavoriv). Currently, this goal does not appear to be affected by any tactical “retreats” from whatever cities so far.
A secondary goal is capturing the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts / regions. So far, it seems Russia is holding onto its claims in that area quite sturdily.
Another secondary objective supposedly is the demilitarization of Ukraine. But, due to the recent buildups and advances of the UAF, it appears Russia might not be meeting this goal that successfully.
Russia is not holding the Donbass, LPR is now partially re-taken by Ukraine and DPR large percentage not taken by Russia.
The Ukrainians are effectively pushing forward right now and to go back on offense will not be easy. Both sides can fight well in winter.
As it stands Ukraine looks to have stopped the advantage and pushed Russia back. HIMARS also exceed Russian artillery range where they are operating. Pulling back here was a sensible decision but it sets Russia back and makes Putins comment on defending Russian territory ring somewhat hollow.
Pros in Russia favor:-
– the bombing of power, transport and West Ukraine will take a toll on U frontline forces supply and logistics
– Western donor fatigue, how much appetite to keep the rate of supply up,
– saving and redeploying soldiers is sensible plus removing civilians , saves lives
– when long touted Russian reinforcements finally get there maybe they can get back on front foot
– Russians have been trying to get Ukraine to advance to Kherson for a while to fight them therr, that TV moment with Shoigu looks wierd and fake, could well be a trap, but U don’t need to advance into the hole, it’s been evacuated so they just need artillery range and eyes 👀 over it
– despite losses of bridges Russia can advance elsewhere up river and circle back but this does make it harder to control black sea where West is targeting it’s ships and Crimea
– bridges are blown across an 800m wide river, how will Russia even reinforced take Kherson back, build a bridge, nah, dig a tunnel, how? Ukraine has a large number of military boats to hand, US supplied though that’s not easy to advance across Kherson with
– Crimea now in artillery range and vulnerable to dams up river being blown
– why was the leader of Kherson killed just before Russia withdrew, technically an accident
– ground freezing will also allow Ukrainian advances faster it favours both sides, this is not WW2 where Ukraine cannot fight in winter and DPlR and LPR troops have not got full uniforms and boots as a million uniforms went missing somewhere in Russia, the shedding of leaves and hardening of ground won’t necessarily favor only one side, there is definitely a level of incompetence and corruption in Russian military that Kadyrov etc have stated is there, this is a weakness China may not have by contrast but Russia has insiders working against it in sufficient numbers to affect a military operation,
– reinforcements are not making much difference on front line yet if there at all,
– there seems to be no end to Ukrainian manpower supply, they are not running out of men or manpower or artillery despite heavy losses and all predictions that they would have so far been wrong. Looked at with any objectivity, against a stronger army on paper the Ukranians are holding their own right now and showing alot of fight.
– does the west intend to put boots down, who knows, but if NATO they think they can take R then the touted multinational force will be in there. NATO has alot of forces, ready to go, it can rotate in and out, one of the surprises of this conflict has been the limited military resources and manpower at Russia’s disposal to deploy quickly versus what people thought was good to go, the mobilisation has not had much impact so far imagine of this was a full on NATO Russia war, who would be mobilised faster?
Proof of the pudding is in the eating. Ukraine is holding Russia right now and advancing in key areas, strategically, the dam threat and longer weapon range is helping them, the terror attacks means Russia has to be on high alert everywhere and Ukrainian supplies lines don’t seem affected at all.
What Surovikin is doing now to disrupt supply lines should have been done much earlier and I think the west was prepared for that, polish electricity supply to Ukraine was set up a few months ago so West is being given lots of time to prepare and other than the initial attack there are zero surprises for the West other than they now consider Russia weaker and less capable than they thought
– the Americans are training Ukranian fighter pilots in Italy, alot of Brits being hired to train them as well, not enough attention is given to the massive Ukrainian training operation that is running very well and expanding in Europe under US command, they are being given alot of time to train guys and there is I can asdure you no shortage of people to train, in fact the only worry of some of the Brits paid well to train these guys for the Americans is that one side or other will end war before they get their full dollar
Not game over by a long way yet.
Eric Newhill says
The US is beginning to play a better game of chess than Russia. Agree, not game over, but the Russian incursion into UKR is in jeopardy. The trend suggests they will continue to screw up.
I can imagine some pro-Russian people, maybe a year from now, offering that, “Sure the Russians made a strategic withdrawal to the Urals and yes, NATO is firmly ensconced in Moscow, but you have to understand the Russian mindset. They don’t care about cities. This is 4D chess combined with kung fu judo philosophy. It’s beyond your comprehension, stupid American”. Then a year after that, “Sure NATO moved over the Urals and the Russians are being pushed into the Berring Sea, but you have to understand, living on land was never a priority for the Russians. Unlike stupid useless Americans, Russians have superior genetics research and have a DNA shot that allows Russians to grow fully functional gills in a matter of days. Russians can live under water. They’ll be eating the freshest free sushi everyday while idiotic Americans will still be buying meat and having to cook it with energy fueled ovens, both a financial drag, until the economy goes down the toilet. Then The Russians will re-emerge from their aquatic wonder world and take over the land. They will control both land and sea across the planet. It will be the dawn of a new era with a dominant apex predator new amphibious species – Homorossiya. There is no place in the new world order for mere outdated homosapiens.”
It turns out the Russians have feet of clay, as far as I can see. It’s going to get them in big trouble one of these days.
James K says
Perhaps there is an argument in Putin’s favor along the lines of “creating a long-lasting proxy war quagmire” to see if they could eventually drain the NATO forces, more so than Russia, in the long run via a couple occasional “tactical” moves happening here and there?
I recall Andrew M highlighting that Russia is not just fighting Ukraine but actually all of NATO. So, could it just be then that Russians are simply positioning themselves for a long drawn-out war of attrition (spanning years maybe decades) against NATO wherein which these little tactical “moves” we’re focusing on at this point may only be of little consequence “in the long run” ?
Granted, such a long drawn-out strategy may be very “demoralizing” for the Russian troops, especially for those who may wish to see their efforts rewarded by a rather quick and victorious end to the SMO. But, alas — it could be that this long drawn-out approach (with lots of said bad “optics” and appearances currently and possibly even more yet to come) might unfortunately be the only way for Russia to really ultimately resist/fight off something as big as NATO, for good…
well said, you’ve totally summarized what I’ve been thinking… what a load of crap this whole thing has become.
Wow, you’re REALLY earning that paymaster fiat, you should definitely demand a bonus! Maybe it’ll even still be worth something after this ridiculous clownshow finally ends with a giant cane yanking them right offstage.
Biggus Dickus says
//Russia is not holding the Donbass, LPR is now partially re-taken by Ukraine and DPR large percentage not taken by Russia.
The Ukrainians are effectively pushing forward right now and to go back on offense will not be easy. Both sides can fight well in winter.//
Lots of speculations here. How do you say that Ukraine’s pushed Russia back when Russians are advancing in Artemovsk direction? They’ve even captured some territory back in Kupiyansk.
“Russia is not holding the Donbass …”
But that is not what military maps show … (!?)
Lots of untruths here.
Ukrainians are not advancing in key areas other than Kherson, they have not even been advancing in Kherson after they took the Northern part prior to the Russians pulling out. This pull-out has nothing to do with any special Ukrainian/NATO fighting prowess but is only due to the geographical circumstances.
Only a small part of Lukhansk has been taken back by Ukraine.
Human wave tactics have ceded to be applied, hence Ukrainians are clearly running out of human wave manpower, their only gambit so far that has worked apart from exploiting the geographical vulnerability of the Kherson salient. Human waves worked only because the Russians were stretched to thin, of course, a weakness that is rapidly being rectified.
If NATO can rotate troops in and out, then why is that not happening to any large degree? Truth is, NATO cannot rotate troops in and out because NATO “troops” are sissys aka transgendered, BLM’ed and generally wokified. A large proportion of US troops are also obese. Apart from a few thousand western mercenaries, NATO has to rely on as yet not quite as sissified and BLM’ed eastern Europeans. There aren’t enough of them either and they are not willing to be used up as human wave cannon fodder like the Ukrainians.
In the aftermath of the 2014 putsch, NATO has had 8 long years to train Ukrainians to its likings. These Ukrainians have been largely wiped out by now by the Russians at far fewer losses to the Russians. If anything, this shows how crappy NATO training must be. What has replaced them are NATO forces proper, which must have gone through the same training, or what NATO calls training, and newly minted Ukrainian fighters who can only have received far less than 8 years of this fantastic training.
NATO is clearly unwilling to supply high-profile weapon systems to Ukraine for fear of the reputational damage that loosing such systems would incur. This weakness will remain regardless of how much training the Ukrainians receive.
“NATO is clearly unwilling to supply high-profile weapon systems to Ukraine for fear of the reputational damage that loosing such systems would incur.”
Some of the opponents are pondering “What are the United States of America and how are they facilitated” whilst remembering Mr. Shakespeare’s observation that “All the world is a stage”.
Krzysztof Mróź says
Compare this to Vietnam where Westmoreland used infantry as bait to hopefully use artillery fires to kill one sniper. I am in awe at the military acumen of these Generals. Simply because civilians want a Stalingrad should not play well with combat veterans. That kind of CQB is grueling and costly in soldiers lives.
If the neocons want this they should buy an M4 and some kevlar and take their scrawny behinds over to Ukraine for some “action”.
Come on Boy Giddy up. Looking at you Jake Sullivan.
Jack Gordon says
The Neocon Empress Vickie Nuland doesn’t have a scrawny backside nor a scrawny much of anything else. If double chins were coin of the realm, in fact, Nuland could have outbid Musk for Twitter.
Paulo Guerra says
Last time they criticized a military decision. This time the unanimity is due to the decision having come from the Kremlin and it was enough to listen to Maria Zakharova immediately afterwards. Perhaps as an act of good faith that could reopen negotiations. Even if I agree that militarily the bridgehead west of the Dnieper made no sense today. But for those who defended it for so many months, it doesn’t seem to me that the Ukrainian forces are stronger today and the Russian forces are weaker. Hence do not believe in the military decision! But I won’t develop either.
Especially after the referendums which makes Russia cede a Russian city. And whether as a trap or to resume later, only the future will tell. Diversion maneuvers, advances and retreats are the most normal in any military conflict for several reasons. And as Larry says with so many video gamers with Russian goals in their heads that Russia itself never announced… Like the Novorrusiya or Odessa fetishes for which the beachhead would serve. And nothing that RUS can’t get at a negotiating table too!
The most serious thing is that many will never realize that the conflict in Ukraine is just a small battle in a much bigger war for an NWO that Russia leads today as the great pivot. Of 85% of the world’s population. Furthermore, I continue to believe that Russia will succeed in removing the entire existential threat that it sees in Ukraine today. And who knows how to implode NATO and the EU in the process!
Russia doesn’t lead anything. If anyone in Asia leads anything it’s China.
martin mkultra7 says
sis boom bah! go team go!USA USA USA!!
Eric Newhill says
Point taken and agree that, militarily, at this point, it is best to pull back the troops on the far side of the river to avoid the impact of the damn being busted, assuming that is not a face saving excuse for simply being outgunned.
That said, appearance does matter, IMO, in that it encourages the west to double down and send more money, ordnance and, perhaps, even troops. You might respond that Russia will simply blow up the gear and kill the troops and the money will be wasted and merely serve to further degrade the economies of the west. And that may be true.
What also might be true is that, one day, if that “strategy” is allowed to continue, it might backfire on the Russians. There is a point of diminishing returns where the Russian’s passive aggressive approach to this mission becomes undeniable goofing around and their enemy will actually become stronger and more prepared for any offensive after the ground freezes – meaning better prepared to repel a Russian attack or to effectively go on the attack against the Russians themselves.
Andrie M. can scream and wag his finger about Russian excellence and American idiocy and stomp his fat white Ruskie feet until his vodka flies out of his tin cup and onto his belly all he wants, but I think the Russians blew it. They should have called up reserves a year ago, trained the living daylights out of them, and they should have blitzed Ukraine US style = Shock and awe and overwhelming force sweeping the desired territory 100% clean of Ukros and inflicting great damage on the Kiev regime infrastructure and economy from which it could never recover while building impenetrable defenses around the newly acquired land.
I know the excuses for why they didn’t. Well, I say the Russians simply miscalculated and fell short of their alleged reputation as superior chess players. Superior chess players would have known that the US and NATO reaction would be exactly what it is. I think most of us here would have figured correctly if the question was posed to us prior to 2/24/22. Now the Russians face the real possibility of US, Polish and some other NATO types actually putting boots on the ground to block Russian progress should the freeze offense actually materialize (one never knows). So Russian sluggishness has led to what I would assess as unacceptable risks, i.e. either WW3 and/or thwarted Russian plans. AND they have to inflict shock and awe on the Kiev regime anyhow at the end of the day.
Worse, the Russians are demonstrating that they cannot be trusted in that they cannot protect the homes and businesses of the people that voted to join them. Yes, they evacuated the people. So they’re safe, but being evacuated is not a good time, especially if you return to rubble where your home or business once stood. This to me is actually as bad, maybe worse, on another level than the military risks Russia has created for itself. They really fell flat on their face re; their promise to the referenda oblasts. That has a huge cost if Russia wants to assert itself as a global power.
Kherson should have never come to a withdrawal situation. Russian incompetence led to it. Sorry. I like the Russians, but they have put themselves at great risk of blowing it big time.
Anglo Man says
Eric Newhill… all you say might well be correct and valid. Posit however, that Putin, Lavrov, Medvedev have always been scrupulous about observing International Law. Until the oblasts they recognized, and which then informed the NATO required R2P, they could not send Russian troops in until those Oblasts had seceded from Ukraine and independently voted to be incorporated into Russia. So yes.. in a way, Russia has very much been fighting with one arm tied behind their backs…. but no more, and they don’t have the sufficient manpower in the field to march from Kherson all the way to Odessa.
You can observe international law while preparing competently for missions, even Russia admits it got it wrong pre Surovikin.
The biggest civilians casualties have come in areas Russia took then withdrew leaving defenceless supporters to be tortured and slaughtered. That’s not great human rights. Why get people to vote when you can’t defend them?
I think Eric is right, Russia did not prepare well for this conflict or run it well earlier when there was fear of Russia, and they are trying to recover now with a battle in full swing.
Ofcourse it depends what Russia objective is and that has changed over time but Kherson voted and is now part of Russia.
Let’s see what happens. There is no 5D chess going on from.what i see. This is now a long tactical war where Russian air superiority is not making much difference on front lines at the moment, Ukraine is taking everything Russia is throwing at them and fighting how Russia fought in WW2, giving it everything and taking huge losses but coming for more. You have to wonder how much of Russias heart is in this war that Putin never wanted to get involved in earlier.
martin mkultra7 says
SERIOUSLY?so the russians commited a genocide when they retreated allowing the Nazis to move in and execute the civilians?Pathetic Nazi propaganda for the weak mind.
Eric Newhill says
No excuse for going in so lite in the first place. Once that river is crossed, it will be hell to get back to the western side. I no longer buy that UKR/NATO forces have been as degraded as some pro-Russian analysts assert. If that were so, there’d be no withdrawal to the eastern side of the Dnieper. There wouldn’t be Ukros running around shooting up the referenda territories. So the river crossings will be heavily defended.
Reserves could have been activated, outfitted and trained up a long time ago. Why don’t the Russians have sufficient troop strength to march from Kherson to Odessa? They’re just making it up as they go? So much for jiu jitsu 4D chess.
Sorry, Schwartzkopf and Powell had it right in Desert Storm. Go in massively, fast, ruthlessly and decisively – or stay home. I was proud of those guys at that time. It’s kind of a no brainer if you think about it. The only reason not to do it that way is that you’re broke dick, weak and can’t. Screw that sparing the civilian pain and legal mumbo jumbo. Prolonging war always means prolong pain. The only law in war, is to win and win ASAP.
Eric, the capture of Kherson was a low hanging fruit in the SMO, too good to pass up. Besides, the future course of the operation was not clear at that time so any kind of planning would have been based on unsupported assumptions.
IMHO, the key part of Larry’s article is this “Keeping Russian troops on the west bank with their back to the river created a risk that, in the event of Ukraine launching a major attack accompanied by blowing damns up river, the soldiers would be trapped and forced to fight without a reliable line of communication”
That risk exists only until the river freezes solid in the winter. After that, the threat to the dam becomes meaningless: there would be no flooding.
Also, the risk of having their back to the river gets transformed into having a HUUUGE land bridge over the frozen river. The risk in fact becomes an asset. The supply lines are then not confined to the Antonovsky bridge. They can come continuously everywhere along the river
Now that the Kherson city and its inhabitants are Russian citizens, the evacuation would be total. Not a single civilian would be left behind to be massacred as an enemy alien. To do so would be reflected in a huge public outcry against the army and Putin himself. So essentially, a vacant ghost town is being left behind. That takes away the whole point about causing massive floods by blowing up the dam. That would cause discomfort to nobody.
What would be the point of the Ukrainian army taking over a ghost town, where there is nobody to operate any of the utilities: electricity, water, sewerage? It would divert manpower, already scarce, to these civilian tasks. Sure, they could move civilians from the neighboring pro-Ze provinces. Wish them best of luck!
At the most, they can look upon the captured city as a huge booby trap to bog down the winter offensive of the Russian army. But …
Any army formation can now approach Kherson only via good roads – any other approaches are just mud. That would be very easily defended sitting on the east bank of Dnieper using artillery, missiles and drones. The empty city would just be cheese in a mousetrap.
So, the actual risk of the takeover of Kherson by Ukrainian forces looks minimal and manageable.
Come December, the Good General will come rushing back in to secure the city once more just in time for celebrating New Year’s Eve and Christmas with all the original inhabitants.
I think, it is a very sophisticated move.
So they lost the low hanging fruit. It’s bananas.
martin mkultra7 says
when you argue with a fool he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
Eric Newhill says
Kherson is a gateway to Crimea. That is why the Ukrainians would take a ghost town. I continue to believe that the US demands Crimea be taken from Russia at all costs. The US has wanted that for years and now is the golden opportunity (or at least gold plated).
Also, I should have added that Russian troops retreating across the river to the eastern shore will be sitting ducks for UKR artillery and missiles. I’m having a hard time understanding how Russia thinks it can bring them over safely. So much so that, while I have been very critical of Russian performance over the past few months, I can’t believe that they are actually going to move those troops. I don’t believe that the troops have withdrawn yet (please correct me if I’m wrong). It is possible that they will not be withdrawn, especially if the Russians really are going to jump off a major offensive when the ground freezes. Maybe the Russian troops will stay hunkered down in defensive positions in Kherson City waiting for the Russian offensive to begin. In the meanwhile, that number of troops could inflict a lot of damage on the enemy in an urban environment. Urban warfare sucks for the attacking force. The Kiev regime seems to indicate that they smell a trap of that very nature. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that is what Russia is really up to. It makes much more sense to me.
Someone here suggested that the Russian troops would withdraw and then when the big offensive begins, Russia would re-cross the river somewhere else and retake Kherson City. The Russians are proving to not be as smart and capable as their loudest cheerleaders think they are. However, I don’t think they are totally stupid either (though they may prove me wrong). River crossings under fire are usually military nightmares. The Russians are going to attempted at least twice? I would think that the Russians understand that and seek to avoid it if possible. Maintaining the Kherson bridgehead becomes more critical for that reason. Also, the river is fairly wide elsewhere, much wider than at Kherson, which multiplies the challenge of crossing elsewhere.
Time will tell.
Hi Larry. Another very interesting take on events. “Stand and fight! Stand and fight!” That’s the sort of order Zelensky gives, and thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have died needlessly as a result. It was also the same with Hitler, who demanded that his generals hold thousands of square kilometres of useless territory and denied them the opportunity to engage in the manoeuvre warfare that was the Wehrmacht’s strength.
Bear in mind that in 1812 the Russians retreated from Moscow after setting it on fire to allow Napoleon a similar hollow victory as the Ukrainians will celebrate in taking Kherson. And just as it was in 1812, as it is now, dare I say it: “Winter is coming.” I’ll continue to enjoy reading your commentary but I’ll leave the conduct of the war to General Surovikin.
Larry, I have been reading some of the cretin comments about this on MoA. One commenter wrote the same quote you just did. It’s a good comment. I bet the lights are still on in Kherson.
I like what Kadyrov said about Surovikin taking care of “The Guys”.
Cretin comment is just name calling, to deter criticism, not an argument and assumes any analysis that puts R in negative light is bad, by cowards, trolls etc. Yet a large number of us have been in military, in war zones and have no lack of courage.
No one here ofcourse understands fully what is going on on the ground or in minds of leaders and soldiers fighting, but the point of blogs that discuss for those of us interested in the war not to stay on a party line.otherwise just call it once it’s over.
This is an odd little war, combining so many factors, economic, military, nuclear, biological, space, geopolitics, and involving so many strong countries that my bet is even key players can’t tell how all moving pieces will land.
Russia in all probability has a bigger more important job sorting out economic front and political alliances, plus Syria, plus reinforcing military in general, plus Stan fronts, than taking what is left of Ukraine they wish to take. Ukraine has no other job and is all in on this one job. The rest of Ukraine is no longer an existential threat to Russia in large as I see it so dramatic sacrifices are not needed but morale and deterring your enemy are important.
“Russia in all probability has a bigger more important job sorting out economic front …”
GDP: -4.1 (Q2)
Inflation: 13.7 (Netherlands 14.5, Belgium 11.3, UK 10.1, Germany 10.0, Poland 17.2, Czech Republic 18.0, …)
Unemployment: 3.8 (Germany 3.0, Netherlands 3.8, UK 3.5, Poland 4.8, Canada 5.2, Belgium 5.8, France 7.3, Sweden 6.6, …) …
It does not look that bad, does it?
Source: The Economist, October 22nd 2022
️A Perovich says
Thinking long term on the battlefield is a must. Certain places can and will be reclaimed but more important arrangements must be made so to not cause additional complications. Very true, few know what the high brass do. Since we are not in the center, we can theorize only and wait certainly.
This is not a deal breaker for Russia in the long run but, a few things:
It turns out HiMARS were a big deal because they did allow Ukr to disrupt communication/logistics lines. We heard many people claim also that RF PVO was successful in shooting them down, they learned quickly how to tweak the algorithms, Pantzir was it, many of the launchers were destroyed, blah blah. As much as we have a competing narrative to explain the need to withdraw (drones that would destroy a dam and flood Kherson city), it is equally possible that this was just an excuse invented by the Russians to justify their inability to properly deal with the aerial threat to logistical lines and pontoons.
Which brings us to the next point – lack or air superiority deeper into Ukr territory, 9 months into the SMO. Yes, rockets and drones fly but jets and bombers and helicopters? Not so much. Surovikin is the air force man, let’s see if he does something more on this front.
Losing the only bridgehead west of the Dnieper will cost in lives and equipment down the road (to regain it and go to Odessa). As many lives as it would have cost to defend Kherson now? More? Less? We don’t know, apparently Surovikin thinks not as many – and he has all the info we do not.
This is definitely a loss of face, 2nd in a row in a few months (although I still firmly believe Kharkiv retreat was a peace offer to USA from Putin – that time he sacrificed territory he did not need so it was easy). Remember the excuse for leaving <2,000 soldiers to defend the whole front line? As much as people say optics do not count, they do sometimes – in as much as troop morale and appetite for war at home, as well as confidence in command structures – something which people need to have. Everyone talks about the Red Army – well, Red Army performed at its best under mortal pressure and almost in "lost cause" battles and came out on top – partially because they did not count losses. That instilled respect and fear, both at home (among potential pacifists/5th column) and among the enemy.
Of course, we still have no idea what is happening in Kherson – for all we know, this is a trap. Even some of the most fervent Ukr online trolls are saying that there is no visible movement by RFA from Kherson as of yet…
Andrew M says
I think that Russia realized that NATO has supplied Ukraine with sophisticated air defense system, so sending planes and helicopters would probably result in Russia losing many aircrafts. Plus, the concept of SMO itself precludes the US-style war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. That is why Russia has not gained aerial superiority till now. They just never decided to fight the war that way, rightly or wrongly.
What Russia has gained though, in a matter of months, is millions of new citizens, whose love and allegiance are with Moscow, and not Kiev. Twenty years of US occupation of Afghanistan failed to produce this phenomenon, as we saw in August 2021.
The Russians have it over the battle area.
But Russian Air Force has never been tasked with deep strike in rear areas since WW2.
Russia has never been smitten by the “air power alone can win the war” bug like the USAF and RAF. And that is why they have never attempted to achieve air supremacy over the entirety of Ukraine. According to their war fighting doctrine and strategy, they don’t need to.
But , that is why they developed so many types and so many short range ballistic missiles. So they can attack deep targets reliably without aircraft losses.
There is a difference between not following the “air superiority alone can win a war” and not being able to fly out 10 km outside of the zone of control. It turns out that the western air defense systems (as simple as shoulder launched missiles) seem to be enough of a deterrent for that. Why have aircraft if all you are going to do is parade them inside your zone of control? Obviously, artillery alone is not enough, if it was, the Ukr forces would have been effectively prevented from doing anything. Ok, never mind air supremacy, whatever happened to the famous 1st tank army, the most lethal tank force in the world? Russian (Soviet) doctrine that largely won 2nd world war was the doctrine of “YPPPPPPAAAAAAAA” (wave after wave of Soviet soldiers). Take that out of the equation (want to preserve lives of your soldiers), take the tanks out, don’t need aircraft, what’s left against a determined enemy fighting for every inch of their country?
Guillaume P. says
Oddo say: _”not being able to fly out 10 km outside of the zone of control”_
Why having plane over the enemy territory if they cost much more than a missile or a drone that can do the same job with less risk ?
Why killing millions of Russian in “YPAAA” to invade a territory that you can’t hold and that have no politic or economic interest ?
They have the Russian population of “Ukraine” back, the most productive and rich part of the territory, they destroy more enemy and all this with a minimum of efforts.
You are right, after Stalin’s pie-in-the-face moments in the early parts of the war, he instituted a new policy to turn things around. It was called “Ни шагу назад,” which means “Not one step back.” NKVD troops enforced this to the rear of the front lines.
That lasted all of three months (because it doesn’t work), and was formally dropped 2 years later.
martin mkultra7 says
oddo,i have a question,whenwas the red army not under pressure after 1941?
Excellent analysis. One question: this ukie ‘victory’ is not going to get them more weapons and ammunition from theirs sponsors who now are gonna think that the war is going well?
Joe Katzman says
It doesn’t just look bad. It gives Ukraine a very real physical barrier to future Russian advancement. The river isn’t an insuperable barrier. But it’s a significant one.
Russia is giving up much more than just optics, at a point where its fire superiority from artillery and aerial options is very strong.
Against this, a general must trade expectations and operational-level planning around the ability of his bridgehead to stand up to expected attacks, and what that will cost, all within the focus of his planned campaign. How does that move affect its objectives, what is necessary for that campaign’s success, and what is this move expected to cost later in the campaign?
All of which involves serious math and military planning. The key underlying information isn’t available to us. So…
We know Russia has just given up something real. Denying that is stupid, so we shouldn’t. Nobody, literally nobody, knows if that sacrifice will yet be redeemed in the course of war. So it’s a step backward, if not yet a loss. Mind you, I’ve done enough Systema martial arts to be wary of steps backward that invite someone in. There’s often a hard short-distance punch or a balance destroying move behind it.
Sometimes you just have to wait and see.
The mud season looks likely to end in January. Meanwhile, with 2 more major stolen elections under their belt, the foreign masters of Our Democracy (TM, all of your rights reserved) push their own plans forward.
Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. General Winter is saddling up – and not just in Ukraine.
“I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.”
— G.K. Chesterton, “The Ballad of the White Horse”
” I’ve done enough Systema martial arts to be wary of steps backward that invite someone in.”
Systema was normally the choice of hooliganski looking for employment as nightclub doormen.
Although opinion is divided, some contend that Wu-Shu is more holistic, thereby minimising “to be wary of steps backward that invite someone in” minimising unneccesary angst whilst facilitating opportunities of greater lateral response in approximation of the Tao of Tsun Tsu.
Ron S says
The retreat from Kherson is definitely a huge defeat for Putin and the Russians. Just like the failure of their attack on Kyiv and the collapse of their forces in Kharkiv and the loss of Izyum & Lyman. Russia has in fact committed the bulk of their combat forces and their most modern weapons to this conflict and they are taking massive casualties. The Moskva is at the bottom of the Black Sea along with several other Russian ships and their air force has also suffered huge losses and has been totally ineffective which is why after 8 months they still don’t have air superiority over Ukraine. Additionally, the whole reason they called up 300,000 reserves is because tens of thousands of their soldiers have been killed and wounded. They’ve lost so many T-80 & T-90 tanks that they are now being forced to send old T-62 tanks to the front. They are begging for drones from Iran, artillery shells from N. Korea and mercenaries from Syria. Additionally, not a single member of the CIS has offered to help Russia fight their losing war in Ukraine. Not even Belarus will send troops into that meat grinder. Russia is losing this war and being humiliated in front of the entire world. Prior to the invasion, Russia was feared; now they’ve been exposed as just a paper tiger. Putin made a huge mistake by invading Ukraine, and I’m not sure how this war ends well for him.
I am very pro Russian and have been a Donbass supporter since 2014. I still think it was a huge mistake for Putin not to take all he could back then when it was easy. He was a total fool to be suckered into Minsk, I was bashed for saying that back then but I was right. People now say “he wasn’t prepared to fight NATO back then”..well is he now?! Back then he wouldn’t have had to! Now I think the whole SMO has been a humiliation and disaster. Russia would have been better off to stay on the border and keep their fear factor and mystique alive. Now they have nothing.
Larry Johnson says
I think you are wrong. How has it been a “humiliation?” Please explain.
Ron S says
Look no further than the fact that Putin is not going to the G20 Summit. The Russian invasion reached its highpoint in March and they have done nothing but retreat since then which has weakened Russia’s ability to project power. Putin realizes this fact and doesn’t want to be embarrassed at the summit, so he’s sending Lavrov instead.
No he doesn’t want his jetliner to have an “accident” on the way to the summit. Putin is indispensable.
Oser abandonner KHERSON devant le public occidental nourri aux jeux video et aux séries américaines, quelle audace! Les médias font des gorges chaudes! Mais la Russie sait qu’elle affrontera l’OTAN cet hiver. Leurs forces arrivent en masse en Pologne et en Roumanie, assoiffés de victoires et de gloire rapides, défendant la démocratie et la liberté comme nos poilus la fleur au fusils en 14. Leur seule chance est d’épuiser l’OTAN matériellement et humainement. Car L’OTAN en Ukraine aura des pieds d’argile. Et les populations ne soutiendront pas longtemps l’Ukraine quand la situation économique se dégradera avec l’hiver. Il y a 6 mois, personne ne savait où était l’Ukraine et tout allait bien.. pour nous européens. Mettre l’OTAN à genoux est la seule façon d’éteindre le brasier qu’ils ont créé et qu’ils continueront à attiser, car c’est leur mode de survie. Et l’Europe pourra passer à la coopération sans craindre l’armée de l’OTAN et les sanctions.
Ron S says
I totally agree.
Wow, Annie, I just love how “everybody fancies herself a hero, watching the battle from the sidewalks.” How about Putin being a lawyer and a civilized person who hoped that Ukraine would come to its senses? I’m an American from Ukraine, and my brother fought for Ukraine from 2014 to 2016, and still, I (like many other Ukrainians), can’t wrap my head around how Ukraine was turned into this monstrosity in these years. Do you have skin in this game? You seem awfully cavalier about who and how it all should have been 8 years ago.
Its funny how you managed to get nothing correct in your post! By far the dumbest one i’ve read on here. The propaganda is strong in this one, beware.
The S stands for Stupid
All the NATO Troll talking points… Nice try fool… Go back and read about Stalingrad.
Jack Gordon says
I know. I stopped reading it after the mention of the “failure to take Kiev” nonsense. As you said, NATO troll.
is the economic fate of the West already sealed or, are the Russians encouraging just a little more inflation by filling Ukraine with false hope ?
I believe Russia “hoped for” the EU/US Security Agreements, all the way through to the SMO. However, I think they have always considered Plan B, an all out NATO/US war, & are prepared.
Regardless of this “negotiation” nonsense, Russia will have the SMO goals met, and if EU wants “Peace”, they’ll have to sign the agreement they should have signed in Dec 2021.
This Khearson move is preservation and a good call. This will be a long, long proxy war, a never ending stream of NATO mercenaries in Ukraine uniforms. Or NATO expands war . Last I heard 70-90k (?) troops hanging back in Belarus. Even Kadyov is getting the picture now. Ukraine is just the beginning. And Khearson… a drip in the pan.
martin mkultra7 says
finally some rational thoughts.from the start of the russian call up IMHO it was for the possible direct involvement of NATO.i hear that the call up is still going on.the russians have shown over and over they can see the future.
Jim & Bob seem correct.
On top of that, it could be argued that the current front line must be hardened against any desperate attempts for breakthrough — just in case the main thrust of the upcoming offensive would go from Belorussia through the “supply-lines from the west” (Pol, Slo & Rom) and toward Odessa to meet the Black Sea borne marines…
That would also prevent any attempts of all those thousands of “volunteers” to just “go home” 😉 Well, they may bring enough “compensation” to replace all those burned-out transformers and such.
Lawrence Magnuson says
Apparently you are in this for the long haul, unlike the whole rest of the world (minus the Neo-Nazis).
I’ve heard more rationalizations this day than ever before in this war. I prefer a coherent plan, sticking to it. then making it happen and taking credit for a fully fought victory.
” I finally realized how many people around the world are judging the war in Ukraine like an episode from the hit show”
This facilities the lateral transcendence of quantity by quality, and a reason for some posing questions such as “https://sonar21.com/can-the-united-states-fight-a-two-front-war/” which are ultra vires from conception – known to some practitioners as the here we go round the mulberry bush dance on cold and frosty mornings.
I think it was feasible to expect the Russians to see what this mid term elections would do for potential policy changes…. Kherson City is sitting on a massive estuary….either side of the Dnieper near the river Delta is swamp and lowlands….the Kakhovka dam upstream holds about 18 cubic kilometers of water which would destroy alot of the city and surrounding areas if dam breached…I think it’s reasonable to think holding on to the East bank would be more defendable in case of flooding or NATO army pouring out of Romania….I think soon there will be multiple Russian spearheads in a Western direction making it to the Dnieper before halting. The Ukrainian army is destroyed twice over and this last round of mobilization will be swept aside…..I suspect NATO will stream into Western Ukraine to try save whatever it can of it’s very expensive proxy vassal State
My Comment says
The problem I see with withdrawing is it boosts the Empire’s morale and reinforces the crazy idea that Ukraine is winning. The mirage of winning gets Ukraine more US and NATO money, soldiers, advisors and equipment. It also may encourage NATO to get involved to assure a victory that won’t come but could lead to a lot of death on both sides.
I just wish that Putin was willing to be more brutal with Ukraine and destroy their power so the country pretty much empties out. That would help bring this to a close sooner rather than later and ultimately would save a lot of Ukrainian and Russian lives.
Ever heard of Russian chess Grandmasters ?
My Comment says
Let’s cut to the chase.
In the eyes of Russian public opinion, this is a major DEFEAT.
Russia is losing RUSSIAN territories.
The ones responsible are among the ones who planned the SMO.
And now the MFA wants…negotiations!
When Russia is in a weakened position.
Everything may start to change in December – of course. Armageddon is no slouch.
But as it stands, Russia seems to be hobbled by political and military IMPOTENCE.
Because since the beginning, back in February, the Russian Armed Forces have NOT been presented with the necessary means to fulfill their mission.
This is as serious as it gets.
A link would be nice – I do not see anything from Pepe on the cradle.co since Nov 2.
“A link would be nice. I do not see anything from Pepe on the cradle.co since Nov 2.”
Perhaps because My Comment says 9 November 2022 at 22:05 is complete invention.
Good that you validate like others who emulate the Shangri-La’s and ponder – Is she really going out with him? – but unlike My Comment 9 November 2022 at 22:05 The Sangri La’s did seek validation by:
– Betty is that Jimmy’s ring you’re wearing ?,
Betty responding by – Aha –
to which the Shangri-La’s, being of a doubting disposition, tested by -Where’d you meet him?
Betty responding by – I met him at the candy store, he turned around and smiled at me, you get the picture ?
– The Shangrila’s responding by Yes we see
Betty probably in hope curtailing future interrogations attempted to bring the interaction to a conclusion by responding –
Yes that’s when I fell for the Leader of the pack.
Strange that My Comment says 9 November 2022 at 22:05 apparently has less facilitites than the Shangri-La’s, but then the Shangri-La’s did have a hit record or two, but even for them it didn’t end well since – the Leader of the pack; now he’s gone.
“Might intimidate smaller adversaries, but they are less than worthless against Russia and China. ”
The prevalence of “smaller adversaries” is lessening as they are coalescing on the basis of from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs, in processes of transcendence of “The United States of America” thereby increasing the modes of war, the locations of war, and the practitioners of war, which is becoming more apparent to some in “The United States of America” and forms the basis of much of the present reactions of “The United States of America”
Some others in “The United States of America” attempt to assuage/bridge their doubt by belief in attempts to minimise/obfuscate the challenges they face, and in attempted facilitation of this pose/frame questions such as “Can The United States Fight A Two Front War ?”, which lateral processes have already rendered ultra vires (beside the point), illustrating that some “Generals” always want to fight the last war and that “The United States of America” are constrained/contained in strategy.
Andrew M says
This order to retreat from Kherson is sold in we Western media as Russian loss, despite the clear fact that there is no fight preceding this “loss” (remember Mariupol? That’s what loss looks like). Russian leadership has learned from history that holding ground at all costs is not only silly, but detrimental to the whole mission (von Paulus would have been glad to receive this order in 1942). The Russian leadership simply chose the lesser evil option, which I think is wise.
That said, this is still a setback, and looks bad for the Russian army. This is one of those things which can reinforce the myth that Ukraine is winning this war, and prolong the shipment of weapons from the West.
I do not believe this is a trap. It is a bona fide setback. Kherson city does lie on the west of the Dnieper river, so that makes it difficult to defend. The Russian army certainly did not want this to happen, but they were not able to prevent it, given the lack of manpower, sustained attacks by Ukraine + NATO, and complications with logistics & supply lines (HIMARS is changing the game here, too many holes have been poked on the bridge connecting Kherson oblast east of Dnieper to Kherson city).
Still, any crisis is an opportunity. Now that the city is devoid of Russian army and Russian-speaking civilians, maybe it’s time for Surovikin to start sending drones and missiles there. We’ll see how Russia can regain Kherson. I do not for a second believe Russia will abandon it for good, given the importance of the Kherson-Nikolaev-Odessa arc is to the SMO.
“This order to retreat from Kherson is sold in we Western media as Russian loss, despite the clear fact that there is no fight preceding this “loss” (remember Mariupol? ”
“I finally realized how many people around the world are judging the war in Ukraine like an episode from the hit show”
” General Surovikin understands that the opinions of the “watchers” is irrelevant. ”
So who are the people around the world judging the war in Ukraine like an episode from the hit show ?
Possibly the hoi polloi sitting on their laurels in the colliseum consuming bread and circuses whilst barking at the gladiators ?
Eric Newhill says
It’s not just some random land or a random city that Russia is retreating from, it’s part of Russia now. All the pro-Russia kool aid drinkers want to keep ignoring that fact.
So now we know that Russia will not defend its border to the death. Now we know they can be pushed out of Crimea (or anywhere else) if we make it too rough for them there. Make no mistake, the US has been wanting Russia out of Crimea for years and are actively looking for a way to achieve that with this UKR conflict being the staging ground. It’s been a smoldering angry desire. The US isn’t going home until it has Crimea. The Russians are now encouraging the US in that regard.
Again, the Russians keep fiddling around, and NATO/US gets more confident. The UKR military was about finished in June, but Russia fiddled around and couldn’t finalize the operation. So the NATO/US reconstituted the UKR forces. Now Russia is getting pushed around in key places like Kherson.
Again, the Russians clearly are not the master class chess players they were said to be. They are, rather, mundane, bungling fools much like NATO, EU, US, etc. Only they don’t have the resources that the US does. So Russian bungling is more immediately harmful to the mission than US bungling. The US can bungle for years and keep doubling down. Russia, not so much.
Guillaume P. says
Crimea is a Russian population that was mistreated by Kiev during years and that voted to become Russian in a referendum in 2014. The “invasion” of Crimea by Russia is a big lie.
The whole Ukraine is a fake country that was badly born during the fall of soviet union.
Also only a mediocre chess player would hold a weak position just for holding it.
Truth is that they have the Russian population and most rich part of the territory back and that they fight now against the “golden billion” (the whole west) with only 143 millions population and a minimal effort and minimal loss.
It’s not a capture the flag video game, but a geostrategic and long term war.
Russians know Kiev is under heavy pressure to take Kherson, for months. Russia moves in reinforcements and constructs a defense in depth in the region. Kiev launches many probing attacks which are turned away with heavy losses. Then Russia evacuates all the civilians from Kherson, even cultural artifacts. Now they -announce- a withdrawal of troops.
Didn’t they just create a free fire zone and kill box Ukranian forces will almost have to enter for geopolitical and PR reasons?
martin mkultra7 says
that makes sense.unless the Russians run out of munitions.
Jim Giles says
The 2022 midterms were an unmitigated disaster for the GOP.
Chris captures the situation better than anyone.
America is becoming more and more a shit hole. And I once thought our weapons were the best in the world. Larry Johnson has clarified that misunderstanding on my part. Wow. The world looks different to me now.
Those of you who remain devoted Republicans, why not give it up and go for it before it’s too late? (I note your numbers are tiny here but I will post this at Larry’s website.)
We need a new political party, the White Hate Party, led by genuine leaders rather than shit politicians, whores one and all.
Applicant for job as Host at RT
The greatest country in history let the ninth ward in New Orleans flood, which is now a no mans land, not being rebuilt. It sits a few feet below sea level.
Every American, especially government officials, and anyone else, including media and military apostles posing as US Generals: who questions a rational, premeditated decision, that was essentially announced last month by General Armageddon, during his one TV appearance — anyone wanting to question this wisdom, must, first, demand answers on why America’s greatest and most culturally diverse city was left unprotected, and, now, lies in ruin; otherwise, y’all talking out of your arse.
I’ll point out that unlike Kherson, there were no Ukraine troops, NATO troops and various mercenaries at the gates of the ninth ward, when Katrina hit. There were, however, residents stranded on rooftops begging to be rescued.
There was, however Ray Nagin, George “you’re doin’ a hell of a job Brownie” Bush, Cheney, etc. in charge.
It was known for years the levees were shot to hell. . . . and on top of all this, the municipal prison, welp, authorities locked it up and high tailed it out of there. . . and many prisoners were flooded in their cells and drown.
Police commandeered private automobiles of residents, then broke into new car dealerships, and helped themselves to items at liquor stores, guns stores, drug stores, etc. And not just police.
Then Obama got elected and people thought he would see to it ninth ward got rebuilt.
Obama instead chose to oversee the overthrow of the sovereign and democratically elected president of Ukraine in 2014; prior to that he said that Assad in Syria must go; this gangster, directly responsible for destruction of the most developed African nation, in terms of housing, health and education, that being Libya; Obama, who prided himself on being the president without any scandals — saw: to it that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, an actual patriot, was destroyed. This sort of stuff was more important to Obama than a flooded city, in need of repairs.
A long time friend who still lives in New Orleans, who is a true blue dyed in the wool Democrat, told me earlier this year she voted for a Republican for the first time.
Last week she told me that crime in the Big Easy is so out of control that no one feels safe; and so guns are everywhere. She said practically everyone owns dogs and that stray dogs seem to be everywhere.
Back during Katrina, she told me that anyone trying to leave the city boundaries, and enter Gretna, which is adjacent to NO, was met with a cavalry and posse of armed men who promised to shoot on sight anyone trying to enter Gretna. None were able to enter Gretna.
There was martial law.
Once we start to care about NO and decide whether it is worthwhile to repair the many many homes in ninth ward, and all the other myriad problems in many US cities —- then, and only then, is their any morality to any focus on what happens in Kherson. In other words: we have enough problems to deal with, that are not being dealt with.
Put another way, the Russian president has told others to mind their own business, and worry about their own domestic problems.
Why is this advice always being ignored?
Charity begins at home.
Amen Brother! Obama, in retrospect, indicated that he regretted his decision on Lybia.
martin mkultra7 says
GOOD ON YOU!iwould add that Flint Mi. after six years still does not have safe drinking water!
On another subject, I think an MK-Ultra-type event occurred in some of the renowned school shootings that have taken place, especially the one in Uvalde Texas. It seems the shooter interfaced with an ex-military-type guy before the act. Besides, where did this asswipe get the Ducats to buy an expensive AR, as opposed to a cheap one?
Mr. Johnson; i hope you are correct and that my very negative assesment i posted about leaving kherson on the last article yu posted is wrong. In this case i do not want to be right. I assume they have a plan to get it all back.
KELLY`s heros is one of my fav movies. This is my favourite scene shown in the 2 short vids below ( 5 min total) where don rickles tells telly savalas to make a deal and maybe the german tank commander is a republican. They then go out to talk to the tank crew.
Kelly’s Heroes (1970) – Crapgame Wants to Make a Deal
Kelly’s Heroes | “Showdown with a Tiger”
brian of the new atlas just posted a short video on this and has the same opinion as yourself.
Guillaume P. says
Remember that 143 millions Russian fight against 1 billion west people.
Fighting with a minimal loss is mandatory for them, this is why holding at all cost a weak point is not an option.
What we see yet is probably Russian building a strong “wall” on best position to destroy everything that the west will send to them with a minimum of effort and loss.
Douglas Worthington says
Remember the overarching objectives of the special military operation: demilitarization of the Ukrainian state, denazification of the Western-imposed powers running the Ukraine and the nationalist gangs terrorizing the Ukrainian people, and protecting the ethnically Russian eastern Ukrainian oblasts. Nothing more, nothing less. Reminders of this are often given by Russian government officials. Moving out of a dangerous territory for tactical reasons has absolutely nothing to do with the aforementioned objectives, which are both operational and strategic in nature.
Pumo calogero says
Well imagine you have only 2 choise : live in ukraine or live in russia what your chouse ?
That show you who are vinning
What good are weapons or command and control when there’s no qualified personnel or combat ready troops to use them effectively? When NATO neocons dream of “bleeding Russia white”, it’s not the weaponry first they dream of…it’s the troops drawn into Ukraine (and the ethnic civilians still there).
Ukraine forces who might occupy Kherson face the same limitations and challenges to a long term defensive presence that Surovikin wisely choose to circumvent. Once embedded, how to protect your flanks? The potential for a devastating encirclement is real.
It is the job of a commander to loose face if it means saving his forces to win another day or sue for peace. That is why Ukraine under the thumb of NATO neocons will not win. Their forces and people mean nothing to them if their puppet masters might loose face.
Usually, when dams are considered a threat, the gates are open little, so the water is evacuated. Over time, the water level decreases and the dam is not a threat anymore, even if it is blown off. This is well known in every country. USA has FEMA for Dam Safety, and so on
This begs the question:
Why haven’t anyone do that? It has been a lot of months since the SMO started and the area have been ruled by one side ever since.
Peter Williams says
They have been reducing the water level in the dam, but it takes time, and there are further dams upstream which can release huge volumes of water and counter the water reduction that the Russians are doing.
Eric Newhill says
Q:why don’t the Russians control the other dams upstream?
A:They went in weak and fiddled around for many months.
Controlling the dams is not even 4D chess. Any mere 03 with a lick sense could have figured that out. The Russian’s lack of vision is astounding. My eyes are open now.
I suspect this confirms that when the attack comes it will be from the North. Cutting them off from the supply from Poland. No need to do a forced river crossing when you can just go around it.
BabaClay Hathor says
That’s exactly what I was thinking. Straight down from Kiev to Odessa.
It is Russian Army’s turn to have the option to blow up Nova Kakhovka Dam now.
Wonder why Ukrainian troops are hesitant to move into Kherson municipal region?
This is complete cope.
Why is Russia biding for time?
Why are they not deploying their full strength?
Seriously what the hell are they waiting for?
They have been retreating constantly.
Sometimes a spade is a spade…
Guillaume P. says
Ak say: _”Why are they not deploying their full strength?”_
Because it’s not a capture the flag video game with a timer but a very long term geostrategical war.
Yet, they Russian have the Russian and most rich part of the country back (Ukraine was a fake country born during the fall of soviet union).
The 143 millions Russian fight now against the 1 billion west so the goal is to fortify strong position and destroy everything that the west will send them with a minimal involvement and loss.
Why does no one here discuss the issue of “TIME”!
The longer this situation drags on the worse the situation degrades politically and economically for the west. Why does Russia need to rush? . . . . “PATIENCE” is a virtue. This isn’t a quick gunfight in a saloon.
Exactly. The conflict with Ukraine is just one front of the larger war, which is fundamentally with the international corporatists who own and have weaponized against Russia the fake democracies that we call ‘The West’. If the Russians destroyed the Ukrainian army tomorrow, they would have won only one campaign in the larger war.
Retreats and shortening lines, even if only by operational necessity, creates a counterpoint for what I think will be the gloves-off shock and awe of the winter offensive. If the Russians are forced to smash the Ukrainians anyway because they refuse to be de-nazified (this also means de-WEF/Davos-ized), then they might as well do it at a time and in such a way as to further delegitimize the credibility of European puppet governments in the eyes of the people they administer and degrade the strength of transnational corporate control over said governments. Maybe some of them will even remember that they used to have sovereignty.
Matt Miller says
Well, I see two sides to this. “TIME”, also gives the US and NATO time to observe Russian tactics and adapt their own thinking/planning/tactics, slowly gear up their military manufacturing, and slowly turn the pain dial up on their own citizens, which they can then blame on the Russians and turn into public support for open war. (Sure, many people will not buy the propaganda, but I fear even in a best case scenario they will still be the minority.) Victories like Izyum and Kherson (even if they are empty ones) help feed support for full on war. If Russia is weak and on the defensive, why not jump in and help finish them off?
Kherson was taken on Day 6. Captured on the march it was. Ain’t that something to think back on?
8 months to secure a capitol city, and a bridgehead, and make them unassailable. Oh well. No use crying about spilled water over the dam … so to speak.
So, it looks like the Russians are going to adopt my plan (! ;-). They are going to go on the defensive everywhere except up Kiev way, where they will roll down from the north like some marauding raiders of old and surround the city and besieg it.
There lot of pros and cons regarding the sieging of enemy capitols, as sometime it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the enemy simply abandons the city and sets up shop somewhere else. In a war, a capitol can be after all, just another place name on a map.
But something tells me Kiev is extra special, and should it fall, everything east of the Dnieper falls with it.
The trick is to make it fall, and for that you will have to be ruthless in your execution, because everybody and their brother is going to know when and where and how you are coming, and once you arrive there, the besieger can and often does become the force that is being besieged.
Dual lined fortifications will be built, Casaer at Alessia style, that’s my prediction. With a major twist of course. Caesar and his Gallic legions didn’t have to worry about their every movement and battlefield building project being analyzed from space.
And then once you are secure in your fortifications, you will have to go about the process of starving the city into submission, I suspect, because the Americans are not going to give up the place easy. In fact, they will be happy to fight for Kiev, until the last of the city’s defenders has died from hunger, privation, artilley fires, or something else.
Do the Russian for stomach for this? Does Vladimir Putin? Well, one would think not, based on what we’ve seen so far, but what other choice do they have? The era of blitzkrieg warfare and Deep Battle and rapid mobile offensive by other names are over, looks like. In the Age of the Satellite, such martial concepts seem to be a thing of the past.
So it’s back to the siege warfare of our ancestors. Surround the King’s castle, and make him submit.
Note: The other theory that’s floating around out there, is the Russians are doing precisely this already, besieging almost the entirety of the country from their positions behind the contact line, without any unnecessary ground movements of any kind.
If this SMO is about speed, which I very much believe it should be, who’s to say which siege tecnique would prove faster, the one up close, or the one from afar?
Hey, if you have the missiles and drones in the quantities required, my surrounding of KIev idea looks kinda foolish, to be honest.
Because I am not privy to the secrets of the Moscow government, I ask myself questions. Then I think about these questions.
1. Did Russian intelligence not know about Western intelligence activities in Ukraine before 2014? It knew.
2. did the Russian government know about the goals of the USA and its vassals? It knew.
3. was Russia strong enough in 2014 to emerge victorious from a war against the USA and its vassals? Let’s note that it is not only a military war, but first of all an economic war. Answer no. In parallel, it is logical to me that Russia needs allies. For many years, intensive work was done to develop alternative structures with the allies to resist the economic attacks of the USA.
4. Is Russia anxious to do everything possible to avoid nuclear escalation? Yes.
5. Why all the clamor in the U.S. about nuclear war? Because China and Russia cannot be defeated conventionally.
6. Why are most of the Russian forces with the best equipment not involved in this war in Nazi Ukraine? Because they have the task to become active in case the USNATO becomes active against Russian territory.
Why doesn’t Russia destroy and burn Ukraine to the ground? The spook would be over within a very short time. Because Russians are not mass murderers and genocides. That is the job of the West. Besides, I have seen for many years that Russia always tries to stay on the side of the law. This is an important reason why the majority of humanity sympathizes with Russia.
8. I see tactical retreats and embarrassing looking operations of the Russian side. Why is that? Possible reasons below. Of course, mistakes are possible from the company commander to the general staff. The important thing is whether lessons are learned from them. But do we observe mistakes, or do we just not understand the strategy due to ignorance. The Ukraine war is taking place in causality with the global war. Militarily, as well as economically and diplomatically. Russia cannot do propaganda. Russians can do it only inside Russia. But abroad the USA is the monopolist in propaganda. On the contrary, I am convinced by the factual, calm and professional actions of the Russians.
9. What seems to be guaranteed for the next years? The USA and its vassals will fall into chaos economically, socially and societally. Even more so the Nazi Ukraine. I have the feeling that time is working for Russia and China. The propagandistic hysteria in the Western media proves to me the weakness of the West. Why lose lives and material when the enemy will soon be down anyway? The only danger is that the USA will therefore resort to nuclear weapons.
Agreed. The Beast is on the ropes and will kill itself. No need to waste men and materiel in order to satisfy civilian scum. The West has forsaken God, and will go the way of other empires that were supported by Evil.
Carthage delenda est
Jack Hudson says
Exactly. This war aside, in the US we are clearly an empire in decline. The young people and those of us still alive in the not too distant future will be living in a nation that will be far from what we grew up in, and what the young people will grow up in.
Not good writing there but you get my point.
“Russia cannot do propaganda. Russians can do it only inside Russia.”
The Russian Federation chooses not to do propaganda, since propagandising is an emulation of subject/object practices of coercive social relations since in co-operation with others The Russian Federation is engaged in practices of transcendence of coercive social relations.
” But abroad the USA is the monopolist in propaganda.”
That is partly why “The United States of America” was chosen to act as agents of The Russian Federation since “The United States of America” do almost everything badly including “propaganda”; another consideration being “All the world is a stage”.
Your other points have modica of validity but not omniscience.
“The only danger is that the USA will therefore resort to nuclear weapons.”
That has been understood since 1969 and conditioned since 1969, including by increasing the probable outcome of such petulance being complete destruction of the planet with a subsequent understanding that the star wars component of “The American Dream” was an old man’s indulgence, and why two notices of intent based upon usage of conventional weapons delivered in December 2021 were “misinterpreted” as ultimata, MirrorGazers says 11 November 2022 at 11:17 below refers.
Neither avoiding blowback or achieving perfection are options, but mininimising blowback is an option for those of facility as you illistrate in your contribution.
Enjoy your journey.
I personally believe that the Russian military is staging a very refined and elaborate ruse to bait the currently entrenched and dug in troops of the ukronazis who are the last remaining fighting force to give chase as they have done several times in the past and then annihilate them and the remaining NATO materials and weaponry – Post which Russia will unleash its winter campaign to punch back and advance straight to Odessa – That would mean the war is effectively over because what’s left is just useless land without any intrinsic value
i just watched the latest vid from alex of the duran. Since everyone is very busy the very interesting part is from the 22 minute to the 27 minute mark.
Alex mentioned a possible peace deal rumor but thinks that is unlikely.
i think his main concern is the same as mine; that nato will use this withdrawl to move into the west ukraine perhaps these all my thoughts on the invitation of zelensky for humanitarian reasons. If NATO moves down into the south and establishes itself as a buffer in the kherson region playing a game of chicken with the russians to do something about it; then things will get interesting. To the neocons losing is not an option and they unlike russia do not care about how many millions of men and women worldwide get sacrificed. If russia does nothing; then you have the same know going on 7 year syria gridlock all over again right next to crimea which would suit NATO just fine. The neocons are like the terminator in that sci-fi movie series that does not stop until it is destroyed.
Surovikin to Shoigu, pull out of Kherson right bank. Athens protests. $15K Twitter blue check. U/2
Terminator will not stop …. Ever
it will be interesting to see what alex`s sidekick alexander has to say about this tomorrow. these are his channels. His daily vid is usually posted by 1 pm E.S.T. It would be great if Mr. Johnson and Brian from new atlas could appear with either the duran or gonzalo lira again in the near future since they have some influence in the alt media.
with alex and or guests
gonzalo liras channels
this is a short 2 minute video posted by gonzalo today about the midterms
2022.11.09 They Did It Again
this is the latest from Colonel Macgregor
Even haters like Putin – Douglas Macgregor
this is the latest from scott ritter- latest vid posted 9 hrs ago
Mid-Terms 2022 | Ukraine fears election impact | Surovikin’s Kherson plan | Scott Ritter Show
this is the latest from paul craig roberts
on the ukraine
i hope this catches up everyone with the latest news and opinions nonmainstream i could find
Robert Garnett says
Thanks for that Ralph, it’s a very handy list.
The explanation for this tactical retreat can be well understood by the layman, according to Johnson’s posting.
What is not answered is the strategic conduct of the war. Martyanov argues that the defence of Russian Ukraine is Russia’s motivation and goal, which precludes an intention to occupy the whole country, thus the limitation of forces. But such limitation has proven well insufficient to carry out the original task, let alone complete the objective of pushing the nazi regime far away enough to impide its permanent state of warfare against Russian Ukraine; demilitarisation and denazification are being extended to the point of inviting external nazi forces to prevent such outcome for Russia. Isn’t that a serious strategic blunder?
Where are the necessary reinforcements? The 300.000? The western criminal cabal are salivating at the prospect of engaging Russia directly at the front. A 400/500.000-strong liberation army in February would have fulfilled February’s goals by now, it is safe to conclude. Instead, advance and retreat, while the international situation becomes more and more ominous for Russia.
Yes, the economic and military situation in the west is not promising for them, but a caged and enraged demon becomes utterly unpredictable and completely engaged in causing death and destruction to the utmost of his power… and his power is still terrifying.
Russia is doing the right thing preserving its troops and Equipment, US, UK Poland are itching to get in and are stupid enough to give it a go, Then Russia has to get serious and kill thousands of NATO troops and the real war begins, this is just the appetiser for the main course
I look at this retreat to a more secure strategic position in two ways.
1) It is like the fist being withdrawn to gather strength for the final blow.
2) It is like the moments before a massive tidal wave when the sea retreats from the shore gathering its strength, followed by great destruction.
People should understand when it is time to surrender before disaster overtakes them.
Robert Garnett says
Us Russian apologists have been accused as having our heads up our arses.
What will the Russian People think? Was in asked of us apologists.
I replied to this with the following even though I’m a professional coward rather than a military expert.
“I have extracted my head from my arse, but while it was up there I did a bit of thinking. Now that I’ve cleaned myself up this is what I thought:
If the Russian people were running the war by now Ukraine would have been wiped off the face of the earth by Russian nuclear missiles, with the Russian people likewise wiped out by the resulting nuclear counter attack of the US and NATO. Luckily the war is being run by professional military people, not ordinary Russians, and the professionals realise that in all cases calibration of force applied, restraint, tactics, and patience will produce a better outcome. Sometimes the “violence of action” is called for in war at other times it is not. Another critical issue for the planners is making sure they maintain escalation dominance. Miscalculation that causes the war to spread to other countries must be avoided wherever possible. If other countries local to Ukraine become formally involved dominance is a lot harder to maintain. The higher the number of enemies the higher the risks, the greater the resources requiring mobilization.
The preservation of their human military resources must also be high on their agenda and must be balanced against the probability of success of any military actions and the benefits of those actions to the overall objectives. The military planners do not try to preserve their soldiers out of altruism, they do it because they need those people for as long as the war continues. Only offensive actions that have a very high probability of success and for which the benefits are great call for high levels of probable expected loss. Very few military actions with a peer enemy fall into this category.
No doubt the reaction of the Russian people to such withdrawals enters, at the periphery, into the calculus of the military planners, but it is the politicians who must manage the emotions and expectations of the population not the military whose job it is to win the war, not just one particular battle, and particularly not the propaganda war.
Ukraine has run the war on the basis of propaganda and it has not gone well for them. It seems that they still believe that they can win the propaganda war, but they certainly won’t win the military one. This loss of this war by Russia is an existential threat, that is why Russia has mobilised 300,000 people, looks to me like they are pretty serious about prevailing in this conflict.
When I heard about the withdrawal this morning, my heart sank, it wasn’t what anyone wanted to hear, but after reading the comments and thinking about it, I am a bit happier now. I just hope the fuck I’m right, otherwise I’m going to have to stick my head up my-you-know-what probably for the rest of my days.”
Krzysztof Mróź says
Nie znasz, się na wojskowości ani polityce. Rosjanie przegrywaja bo są,slabi.
“No doubt the reaction of the Russian people to such withdrawals enters, at the periphery, into the calculus of the military planners, but it is the politicians who must manage the emotions and expectations of the population not the military whose job it is to win the war, not just one particular battle, and particularly not the propaganda war.”
Your assumptions are based on a particular division of labour and designated responsibilities therein, which you seek to project onto others to bridge doubt by belief to attain comfort, thereby frustrating your purpose of “I just hope the fuck I’m right, otherwise I’m going to have to stick my head up my-you-know-what probably for the rest of my days.”
Perhaps I could suggest that you would be better informed by an observation of Mr. W.C. Fields namely “There comes a time in the affairs of men when we need to grab the bull by the tail and face the situation” given that neither omniscience nor perfection are options, and consequently without doubt is not a viable option even “at the periphery”.
When the life of soldiers is no problem, because every family has five sons, you can behave like in WW2.
Today, the situation is different. So, the Russian move makes sense, but it doesn’t tell anything about the future. More retreats? What will happen in the next two weeks?
There is no reliable information about the state of the Russian army. Sorry for this.
George Washington fought 17 battles.
-He won six of them
-He lost seven of them
-Four were a draw
Brad Patton says
What if they have mined the dam and will wait until Ukraine has massed a huge number in Kherson and blow the dam at the same time they start their offensive? Maybe other boobie traps as well — set explosives to collapse buildings. Spike water supplies.
It affects water supply to Crimea which was one of the reasons for the war.
Krzysztof Mróź says
Larry belkoczesz i usprawiedliwiasz klęskę Rosjan. Będziesz tak robił przy Melitopolu,Mariupolu i Krymie gdy będą te tereny odbijali Rosjanie?
Larry, you ruffle and justify the defeat of the Russians. Will you do this in Melitopol, Mariupol and Crimea when the Russians will reflect these areas?
Larry Johnson says
You are drinking too much Polish vodka. Shrinking your brain cells. Let me get this straight, Urkaine could not take control of Donetsk and Luhansk after eight years of war and now, after more than 200,000 casualties and massive loss of armor and air power, they are now going to capture territory that they previously failed to do so? You belong in a hospital for people with mental disorders.
Pijesz za dużo polskiej wódki. Zmniejszenie komórek mózgowych. Powiem wprost, Urkaine nie mógł przejąć kontroli nad Donieck i Ługańsk po ośmiu latach wojny, a teraz, po ponad 200 000 ofiar i ogromnej utracie opancerzenia i siły powietrznej, zamierzają zająć terytorium, którego wcześniej nie udało im się zrobić więc? Należysz do szpitala dla osób z zaburzeniami psychicznymi.
One thing you forgot to mention(hate to have to point the obvious out but you´re nearing Gospodin Martyanov’s level of Copium abuse now), if the so-touted super-duper-mega-excelsior Russian Airdefence can´t protect the critically important bridges even after 9 months then how will they ever move past Kherson(after retaking it, leaving it in ruin)? The dependence on the bridges won´t go away, ever.
While I really want to believe in your sweet, sweet Copium I just have got one reality to live in and the failure to protect those bridges speaks volumes. I won´t even do more than point out that the territory of “New-Jerusalem” seems to be turned into ruins, very fortunate for those that put forward that project that they don´t have a “Westbank situation” there when it´s time to commence, those pesky Natives cluttering up their new Promised Land would be tiresome after all.
Al Nevsky says
Cope stares back at you from the mirror.
“I just have got one reality to live in..”
Perhaps you are mistaken?
Anger always undermines perception through conflating a moment in a lateral process with the ongoing lateral process – Mr. Rove’s observation that “We are an Empire, We create our own reality, To which others respond” refers.
That was/is a component in the facilitation of divide and rule in Lebanon and Western Asia, and many of the “strategies” of “The United States of America”.
Strategically the angrier you are, the weaker you become, the calmer you are, the stronger you become which some don’t believe as a function of their anger.
“The agreement is not a step toward normalization “
It likely is since normal has been deceptive and hence it is unlikely that maybe this time you’ll be lucky facilitating:
Anger undermines perception through conflating a moment in a lateral process with the ongoing lateral process – Mr. Rove’s observation that “We are an Empire, We create our own reality, To which others respond” refers.
However you are not alone in being susceptable to the stings and arrows of outrageous fortune not restricted to “elections” of “the elected” or here we go round the mulberry bush dancers on a cold and frosty morning.
Yes, I may be wrong and that would be a good thing but I fear not. The capability of Westerners disillusioned by their Owners/Masters do have a tendency to run to their next ersatz-daddy and then blindly swallow any tripe and avert their gazes from ugly truths though.
The fact that the “best air-defense in the world” can´t secure critical infrastructure(or Military valuable assets like the Moskva) do, or should give any sane non-Copium addict pause though.
I will pray that you´re right and at the same time ask that I never be so emotionally invested that it affects my analysis as you *seem* to be.
“I will pray that you´re right and at the same time ask that I never be so emotionally invested that it affects my analysis as you *seem* to be.”
Propensity to emotional investment including but not limited to fear, circumvents your possibility of becoming an analyst.
However all datastreams have utility even if restricted to affecting the noise/signal ratio, although those who seek to censor/moderate in various forms tend not to agree.
“The fact that the “best air-defense in the world” can´t secure critical infrastructure(or Military valuable assets like the Moskva) do, or should give any sane non-Copium addict pause though.”
The above is another reason which circumvents your possibility of becoming an analyst since the above quotation is predicated upon non-acceptance of doubt, the belief that perfection is achievable, the existence of omniscience, and the attempt to use “or should give any sane non-Copium addict pause though” in hope as a conditioner, which is likely to increase your possibility of becoming an analyst.
However all of the above would tend to make you an acceptable candidate in some “intelligence services” who tend to concentrate on creating narratives in hope of catalysing emoting in various forms, instead of engaging in analysis.
According to me, there are two possible answers for the reason for the Russian withdrawal from Kherson.
1) Preparation for negotiations. For some time there has been a lot of talk about the dividing line along the Dnieper River. NATO would save their reputation with an equalizer in the last minute of the game. The biggest problem with this theory is the naivety of the Russians, to believe anything in the West, after being deceived in all the deals.
2) A logical military move, but not as most often mentioned, due to the possible encirclement of Russian troops and problems with logistics due to destroyed bridges. The Russians have shown that they can supply troops and fight effectively as they hold the line in the Kherson region and have been inflicting terrible losses on the Ukrainians since the end of August. However, for a small piece of land on the other side of the Dnieper, they have to engage too many forces, which could be used more effectively on another front. Yes, now the Russians are tying up huge Ukrainian forces on Kherson, but the number of manpower is still on the side of the Ukrainians and the Russians must be rational with the engaged manpower.
Roth Walter says
Well, Mr Johnson.
I was in the army… the Swiss Citizens’ Army.
Let’s not rate this too highly….
Russia has known for weeks that something is brewing and the mobilization has certainly brought some troops to the front lines.
A war …… in which one forces something against the will of the opponent.
But for 2 months the tactic has been defensive and that strengthens Selensky’s will….. not that of the Russians.
But defense cannot be bridged with the air force, in the end you have to win on the ground.
Ukraine won’t win……… Russia has far more resources for everything, Cherson doesn’t change that.
But Cherson should only have been held for defiance’s sake.
Not for reason, but for the will to win.
Roth Walter says
Here’s what comes to mind for their optimism.
I was about 12-14 years old when a neighbor who was very pretty but single took in a man as a sublet.
After getting to know him for a few weeks, we invited him to our house.
A very well-groomed handsome clean smart man …… as a man should be. My father had been a sergeant in the cavalry….. he was supposed to become a lieutenant there, but he didn’t want to because that cost a lot of Tuesdays and a lot of money.
Later that evening the man pulled out his wallet, but it wasn’t the money one, it was a big leather “wallet” like they used to have and where older men carried their photos with them.
I was a little shocked… because the man was Hauptsurmfuhrer of the Waffen-SS. That didn’t mean anything to me at the time, I just knew that my parents only ever spoke of the SS as…criminals. Only years later did I have a book in which I could read what a Hauptsurmfuhrer was.
Well, I got over the shock as a child, the man was there, he was nice, he listened to me as a child and he showed photos that I otherwise only knew from television. That was exciting.
He was a wearer of the close combat clasp in gold, the German cross in gold, 5 tank destruction badges…. and a lot of other badges.
Things that you rarely got as a Hauptsturmfuhrer because you were a leader and not a foot soldier.
But I didn’t know all that until years later.
For the man, these years were his golden youth….. young, active, healthy, a fighter, highly honored.
But as a child I asked the man….. why did they fight for so long when you could see that the war could not be won, as my parents always told me.
His answer has stuck with me over the years.
He explained to me…… that as fighters on the front lines, although they always saw losses and went along with endless retreats, they still achieved many victories. Retreating and winning… that seemed paradoxical to me.
They beat the Americans and Russians hard, always winning many fights, seeing that the others had many more losses.
They withdrew, but they believed from their experience that the others would eventually run out of men and material.
The man told me about the Battle of Bautzen… before Berlin.
10 days before the end they still won fights there, which inflicted tremendous losses on the Poles / Russians.
10 days before the end they had one more win.
As long as that was the case, they still had some hope.
Russia will win the war, I have no doubts about that.
But Cherson will boost Ukrainian morale and prolong the matter.
Krzysztof Mróź says
Jesteś tumanem i nie znasz historii. Pod Budziszynem przegrali Niemcy. Niemcy wszędzie przegrywaki i się cofali. Ucz się baranie
“10 days before the end they had one more win.”
The conditional surrender of the SS represented by Mr. Karl Wolff and Mr. Allen Dulles allegedly representing no-one in particular, on or about 4th May 1945 in the Bolzano region was/is also deemed to be a win facilitating the present policies in Ukraine and others world-wide since 1945.
“10 days before the end they still won fights there, which inflicted tremendous losses on the Poles / Russians.”
The win/lose dialectic is linear facilitating iterations within “paradigms” which are always linear constructs as illustrated above, and hence why some practitions’ purpose is not winning but transcending.
The Poles/Russians who lost were partly functions of Mr. Stalin’s “Socialist competition” strategies in the Berlin campaign of 1945, whilst others lost as a consequence of the over-extensions of the Moscow campaign from December 1941 until February 1942.
There is a epic untold story there how that Stuembandführer made it safely to Switzerland. The vast majority of SS were starved to death in POW camps after the capitulation.
Saul Goode says
Whey are the trolls always not baying for Ukraine to give up and Zelensky and his generals crawl away in shame as its cities are evacuated and its soldiers destroyed month after month after month???
Michael Droy says
8 and a half months of killing between 3 and 10 Ukrainians for every Russian.
If defending Kherson means that rate goes down to 2 to 1 or evens it is right to pull out and fight somewhere else.
If Ukraine has any further strength (I doubt this) they will hype themselves up to attack stupidly somewhere else.
More likely it is close to being over. Ukraine has no strength left, Nato no further willingness (or weapons). Russia will just demand referenda everywhere.
President Putin lets the military do its job, quite the opposite of LBJ in Vietnam.
He has also evacuated civilians by sending a message to his people. He is applying Clausewitz’s thinking from the beginning.
I believe that he is a statesman of the best
I really appreciate your writings, because with only a few lines you are
always making your point.
I know some people who left Moscow at the start of the SMO but I also know some who voluntarily took part to “defend the Motherland”. And it is this second group, where optics matter and matter a lot.
Did the shelling of Donbass stop? No, not even after 8 months.
One quite astonishing detail you find in the Russian MoD on 4th November:
High-precision armament of Russian Aerospace Forces has neutralised the workshops designed for producing rocket motors in Pavlograd (Dnepropetrovsk region), as well as 3 workshops at ‘Kommunar’ plant in Kharkov that was the venue for producing projectiles
for multiple-launch systems.
So the enemy could produce ammunition killing my soldiers and it takes 8 months to stop that?
Ukraine is shelling the NPP in Zaporizhzhia, but this same NPP is providing energy to the Ukraine?
Roughly 1 month after the referendum and annexation of Kherson you leave?
Why did you annex it in the first place?
Ukraine is shelling the NPP in Zaporizhzhia, but this same NPP is providing energy to the Ukraine?
The Russian Military is able to support their troops as far as 1000km away in Syria, but a river crossing is an unsolvable problem – in my own neighborhood?
Sorry, I do not buy that. I call it incompetence, corruption and outright treason.
If you start gambling with the lives of other people, regime change can happen faster than some think.
Jame VanWinkle says
Russian people have every reason to trust Generals Surovikin and that is what counts in the PR ‘war’ that matters.
Strategically, EU is in a death march to an economic disaster, cheap energy is the air an economy breathes & the ‘Green’ strangulation is complete now that the last cheap energy straw, Russian oil & gas, has been shut off. (& Ukraine electric power export to the EU was switched off with cheap drones to throw salt on an open wound).
Moreover, Ukraine is about to overwhelm EU with a second wave of people needing warmth, food, housing, for winter.
While Russia waits for hard winter, EU leaders knees begin to knock, pitchforks are passed around, & the most popular president in US history is celebrating the most honest midterm election.
It will likely go unnoticed that the raz-ma-taz fake currency of all fake currencies, crypto, is a bubble that when it goes ‘poof’ nothing is left. Ponzi everywhere.
So, the wait on the safe side of the river is fine where there is warmth & food. Meanwhile, EU cannot eat ‘PR’, & inked rag paper may need wheelbarrows before this is over.
I wonder if Russia’s real strategy is now just economic? Let the WEF geniuses enjoy their virtual Ponzi universe.
Krzysztof Mróź says
Bzdury Zachod teraz suknie pieniędzmi widzac przegrywających Ruskich
John Thurloe says
This withdrawal is disgraceful. For months the mighty Russian military has allowed itself to lose the initiative and be driven onto its back foot. Complete air supremacy, hundreds of thousands of infantry and now this shameful retreat. The whining excuses don’t cut it. This is plain lack of guts and incompetent commanders. The damage to Russia’s reputation is beyond measure. It reaches contempt and deeply encourages the west.
At least the Ukies have grit. Something Russia evidently lacks. After all this time the whole enterprise has yielded embarassing poor results.
” General Surovikin understands that the opinions of the “watchers” is irrelevant. ”
“”I finally realized how many people around the world are judging the war in Ukraine like an episode from the hit show”.
Reliance on absolutes such as irrelevant, is a process encouraging myopia.
The activities of General Surovikin and associates, the producers of the hit show, and the “watchers” all have relevance, whilst the deliniation and purposes of all as to their relevances are not based on common denominators, but different cultures.
The watchers tend to the view that their relevance is confirmed since the producers of the hit show went to the trouble of producing the hit show to make money, such deliniation obfuscating other possible purposes of the producers of the hit show.
The producers of the hit show tend to the view that their relevance is confirmed since the producers of the hit show kept the watchers engaged in watching and hence out of trouble, in emulation of spectator sports.
General Surovikin and associates tend to the view that their relevance includes responsibility for keeping others including watchers out of trouble as far as possible, since blowback can never be avoided but only minimised.
The perceptions and the respective roles of the watchers and the producers, are functions of coercive social relations’ subset of “perception management”.
The perceptions and the respective roles of General Surovikin are tending towards co-operative social relations for mutual benefit – unlike Mr. Patton and Mr. Clark who craved sole attribution in history.
The notices of intent of The People’s Republic of China and The Russian Federation of December 2021 as expected were interpreted by some as ultimata, therefore not based on common denominators but different cultures.
Instant gratification. No patience. Limited to no attention span. No critical thinking. Treating the conflict like a 60 minute NFL Football game. Have I covered the bases yet?
“Have I covered the bases yet?”
No, just made a contribution, “our” interaction being an example of co-operation without coercion on the basis of from each according to her/his abilities, to each according to her/his needs, since all datastreams have utility to those with facility.
Krzysztof Mróź says
Larry, nie masz doświadczenia wojskowego ani nie rozumiesz geopolityki. Rosja przegrywa I nie gledz broniąc klęsk Rosji. Ukraińcy teraz pojda na Melitopol, Mariupol i Krym. Oraz zaczna odbijać Donbas
Larry, you don’t have military background, and you don’t understand geopolitics. Russia is losing and I do not glance defending Russia’s defeats. The Ukrainians will now go to Melitopol, Mariupol and the Crimea. And it will start to recapture Donbass
Larry Johnson says
Your ignorance is now on display for the world to behold. In the United States we call it, “talking out of your ass.” You are just another delusional Pole. Hope you’ve signed up to fight on the frontlines in Ukraine.
Twoja ignorancja jest teraz widoczna dla świata. W Stanach Zjednoczonych nazywamy to „gadaniem z dupy”. Jesteś tylko kolejnym urojonym Polakiem. Mam nadzieję, że zapisałeś się do walki na frontach Ukrainy.
“Your ignorance is now on display for the world to behold.”
Quite so illustrating that the anger of opponents have enhanced utility when opponents believe you wouldn’t dare to make them angry.
As has often been the case Polish romanticism facilitates non-desired outcomes whilst Mr. Dombrowski continues to march.
Oblomovka daydream says
The area Russian troops are retreating from is perfectly flat & without trees. Probably the experience with the daily drone raids over the whole of the Ukraine also had influence on Surovikin’s (& Shoigu’s) decision. The damage inflicted by these raids is huge while the cost of kamikaze drones is minimal in comparison. The same kamikaze drones that are taking out Ukraine’s power grid are now directed towards the UAF. The UAF will have to come out into the open, when they want to occupy the no man’s land in the Kherson area. This is the trap that the RF has set up. The Americans want the UAF to occupy Kherson, they are pushing what is left of the UAF forward into area that offers no natural protection at all, so the result will be a turkey shoot for the RF. The turkey shoot will be carried out by Russian artillery and Russian drone battalions, not by direct confrontation of Russian infantry with the enemy. Get used to it: this is the new scenery of how a modern war is being fought.
“Get used to it: this is the new scenery of how a modern war is being fought.”
Not possible since lateral change is a constant whose variables include, but are not limited to, trajectory and velocity, whilst others continue to get used to not it, facilititating their continued complicity in the continuance of being used.
Mr Johnson – looks are what drives the west though. Don’t you think Putin’s slow roll and retreats gets more Western money, weapons, arms and mercs into Ukraine and prolongs/escalates war? I’m a don’t give enemy vote type guy. Whether a street fight or war because when you do you increase chance of loss. Guy could pull a knife, USA could give long range missiles etc – making conflict precarious. I like sure things thats why I worked for the .gov 30 years for sure pension instead of playing part time stock broker playing with a 401k in my old age. Anyway think Putin making mistakes since day 1 going in light and constantly including today allowing West to smell blood.
I am curious as to why this was publicly announced.
This isn’t just pulling a couple battalions back a thousand meters. This is a major operational maneuver. It involves a significant portion of the currently deployed Russian forces in an area of military and political significance. A reasonable person would think that such information would be held back until the withdrawal had taken place.
If I am the NATO general, I would move heaven and earth to turn this withdrawal into a rout. If I can turn ‘bad optics’, into a catastrophe for the Russians, I would do it.
So I am left pondering several possibilities:
1. The Kremlin and/or the Russian General Staff are morons – Highly Unlikely.
2. The Russian Federation is preparing to effectively ‘Sue for Peace’ – Unlikely.
3. The NATO forces are incapable of interfering with the withdrawal – Possible.
4. The withdrawal isn’t actually going to happen – Possible.
In the case of item ‘4’, the Russians may be baiting a trap. I see two possibilities in this regard:
1. The Russians want to provoke a NATO offensive in Kherson, allowing Russian forces to ‘fix’ the deployed NATO units in place for destruction. This would be followed by a Russian offensive possibly with the intention of occupying Nikolaev.
2. The Russians want to distract NATO forces towards Kherson, while the expected Russian ‘Winter Offensive’, is executed further north. Possibly with the intention of capturing Kharkov.
We will possibly know more in a few weeks.
Ned Stouder says
Very shrewd analysis. Number three is the most likely. There will be no winter offensive, except by nature.
West and NATO had a deal. Sullivan been talking to Russians and Ukrainians last couple weeks. Deal was made. Russia get it’s 4 + Crimea if they don’t do offensive for that can withdrawl from Kherson without Ukraine heat.
Krzysztof Mróź says
Odpowiedź prosta. Rosjanie mają slaba armie i zwyczajnie uciekaja
Claudio Amadeus says
The move out of Kherson city is or could be an intelligent move.
1. The battle cannot be carryout since there is no contender.
2. There is no need to destroy the dam. It would only affect the forces that moved in Kherson now if they do. Therefore, the dam is safe.
3. Those evacuated are most probably friendly to Russia or are Russian citizens. That limits friendly casualties.
4. After so many weeks of construction and preparation by Russian forces in the city of Kherson, I would worry about what they left behind.
If this withdrawal has been planned then the only conclusion is that Kherson city is a Trojan Horse.
5. This move will concentrate more enemy forces in the region together with western assets and military equipment. A more condensed force also makes it an easier target for heavy weapons.
This is part of Russia. You don’t just abandon part of your country because it’s a bit hard to hold it.
martin mkultra7 says
i suggest reading Sun Tsu.those troops were in what he called “Death Ground”.
Eric Newhill says
No. They could make a stand in the city. They would inflict a lot of damage on the Ukros by doing so.
The more I think about it from an esprit point of view as opposed to all of this intellectualizing, if Kherson was being defended by US Marines, they would take up positions in the city and make the Ukros bleed. The US Army 101st AB did that at Bastogne. The US Marines at Khe San in Vietnam. There are many such instances in US military history. The Russians have no esprit and, in fact, might just be totally incompetent pussies.
Unless, of course, my suspicion that they are not actually leaving Kherson is correct and that they will, indeed, prepare for urban warfare in Kherson City while waiting for the big frozen ground offensive. If either event – holing up in the city and the big offensive – fails to occur, then Russia sucks, will lose and deserves to. They would prove that they have no place in a leadership role in a multipolar world – and that they are shitty chess players.
Coin flip, IMO, as to which it will be.
Eric Newhill says
So they have indeed left. 30,000 Russian troops were afraid to fight for their borders. How many attacking Ukros did they face? 90,000? I doubt it. That would be a low estimate of how many attacking troops would be needed for a successful assault on the city. The Russians are contemptible cowards and screw ups. No 4D chess. They’re making this up as they go.
For those who argue that the mission is to merely kill Ukros, well and urban fight in Kherson City would have been a perfect opportunity to do that.
The excuse about the dam makes no sense. Ukraine is going to flood what it recognizes as its own city and kill the civilians still there? That would be an atrocity that couldn’t be blamed on Russians if Russians were still in the city as well.
Too many people here – and too many pundits – are apparently challenged to call a spade a spade. I would not bet on some big Russian offensive when the ground freezes. More likely the Russians are just going to hunker down on the east side of the Dneiper and try to not get invaded by the Ukronato forces, who clearly are not as degraded as we thought they were, even allowing for Russian cowardice and lack of will. IMO, the 300K troop build up is probably just another lame attempt by Russia to scare NATO into a peace negotiating. The Russians are revealing that they are incapable of learning things – like NATO won’t negotiate. In attempting to negotiate they further demonstrate their cowardice and lack of will to fight, which, in turn encourages NATO.
This is going to drag out for a long time w/ Russia slowly but steadily losing ground until they are back in Russia proper. Then NATO will attack Russia. Maybe the Russians will be so degraded by that point that they cannot stop NATO and the neocons win. This concept of degrading forces works both ways, you know. Russia seems to be hyper-aware of that fact. So much so that they sacrifice the initiative on the battlefield. IMO, Russia is the side that is done, as in lost the existential war. They – and Russia fans, of which I was one – just don’t know it yet. At any rate, this will drag on…and on. There will be no decisive Russian victory that fans hope for.
The economic issues facing the west are bad, but not immediate threats. That too will drag on for a couple years before true crisis or resolution. It won’ be a factor. The west is willing to sacrifice to win. Russia is not.
Krzysztof Mróź says
Nie bądź durniem. To niech Rosjanie wycofają się z Krymu ,Donbasu,Mariupola I Melitopola to też nie będzie żadnej walki a Ukraina odzyska teren. Prorosyjskiej trolle są durne
There were 2 parts to retreat sentence:
1. Too difficult to supply across river
2. We will redeploy freed up to else where
2nd is the problem. None of the freed up Kharkiv troops did anything. Or the 3rd corp .
If they don’t achieve any territory gain with 300K troops it will be giant financial sinkhole for no gain.
Russia thinks it has economic heft to wage attritional conflict for years. It doesn’t know its partners are getting antsy. No one like losing horse or one that appears to be a loser. In entire 9 months Russia has not seemed like a winner other than about 3 months. From Mariupol to Lysichansk.
Putin is insufferable sucker for peace treaty with collective best while goading everyone else to revolt. He has only winter to prove his case. Yes sure he can fight for years if he like but his allies need to move on while we keep chasing mental victories in hard core blogosphere.
@Ash “The biggest civilians casualties have come in areas Russia took then withdrew leaving defenceless supporters to be tortured and slaughtered”
This is a mantra that anti Russians spit all the time. So our side is the one that torture and slaughter. The one we support. But Russia is guilty of letting us do it?
Cannot think about a more contrived propaganda.
Bruce M says
The problem seems to be the identified imminent threat of the destruction of the dam by Ukraine and danger created to Russia’s troops while they’re in Kherson.
Here’s a plan:
1) Retreat to safe positions. Evacuate all civilians. Check.
2) Lure Ukraine troops in.
3) Destroy the dam.
4) Destroy Ukraine troops.
Tony Bobilinski says
Here is the forecast for Kiev from the Weather Channel:
Mon 14 46°/31°
Tue 15 42°/30°
Wed 16 36°/25° Rain/Snow
Thu 17 33°/23°AM Snow Showers
Fri 18 34°/23°AM Snow Showers
Sat 19 35°/23°
Sun 20 36°/26°
Mon 21 37°/26°
Tue 22 37°/28°
Wed 23 37°/28° AM Snow Showers
Thu 24 36°/27°
Sorry Larry, but I disagree with you on this one. It’s not that I am against trading space for time on the battlefield, which the Russians have done to great effect so far. When the Russians pulled back in Kharkiv and practically everyone was apoplectic and wringing their hands about what a defeat this was, including The Duran and even Scott Ritter, I said from day one that it was no big deal. Just grid squares on a map. Trading some grid squares to kill thousands of UAF was a good move. It’s what I would have done.
But that was a different place and time. Kherson is now Russia. If Surovikin is not willing to risk a thousand Russian soldiers to defend Russian Kherson, then he is not willing to risk 10s or 100s of thousands of Russian soldiers for Western Ukraine. If I were making the decision, I would have immediately put US combat troops into Western Ukraine. Surovikin has signaled that he is not prepared to wage all-out war, and that was not a good thing to signal.
Plus, he has surrendered his bridgehead over the Dnieper in the South. Up until now I have been of the opinion that Russia was marshalling forces to launch an offensive to decisively end the conflict East of the Dnieper. It looked to me like they were planning 3 pincers: 1 from the North out of Belarus, 1 from the South out of Kherson, and 1 from the middle out of Bakhmut. But if Surovikin has really pulled his troops out of Kherson West of the Dnieper (and I have read some things which question whether the Russians have really done so) then the UAF can make it difficult for them to regain that bridgehead, drawing into question whether Russia is prepared to wage the kind of offensive that can bring this to a conclusion.
What this comes down to is something no one talks about, but which my buds in Army SF would call: Balance of Power vs. Balance of Interest. Balance of power is about what you have; balance of interest is about what you’re willing to lose. I’ve seen this play many times before. We (the US) almost always have the balance of power, but we pick fights with enemies that are willing to lose everything. So, when we’ve lost our threshold, we pull out. Of course, as you’ve recently pointed out, the US doesn’t really lose wars. We don’t lose them because our objective is not to win, but to transfer wealth from the taxpayers into the pockets of elites. So, from that perspective, the US always achieves its objective.
Anyway, Surovikin appears to have just communicated something about his Balance of Interest.
Eric Newhill says
Well said, ex18E.
Yes. If I were making decisions for the US military, I would now enter UKR with the 90K +/- US, Polish and other troops and push to Crimea (which the US wants “back” desperately). As you astutely note, Russia has signaled that their interest is low, they are extremely casualty adverse, after all the bluster and blah, they will not defend Russian borders and they are, generally, weak in force and will and they will turn tail and run when faced with a threat (call it a tactical withdrawal if you makes you feel better). Russia is looking like a paper bear. How much more paper-ish when the risk includes war with the US/NATO? It’s a good gamble that they would just fold. At least they are inviting that sort of assessment and action and I really don’t think they want to do that. Maybe it’s even too late. Maybe the US has already come to the above conclusion based on Russian behavior on the battlefield.
That said, I also appreciate your reservation that maybe the Russians haven’t actually pulled their military forces out of Kherson. I don’t think they have, yet. Maybe they won’t. Maybe the public announced was a ruse of some kind, though I can’t imagine how that is supposed to work – I mean the Ukros and US can clearly monitor Russian troop movements in various ways. No one s going to blindly stumble into a Russian trap.
Yep. Let’s say it cost you 10,000 soldiers to hold Kherson “as is”. Now you saved them – how many soldiers will it cost you to cross the river in six months? 1,000? 10,000? 50,000?
Also, HiMARS – apparently as insignificant as it was (according to Duran boys, Brian Berletic etc.) – well, it did disrupt logistics and supply and the famed air defense doctrine did jack s*it to protect the lines.
Finally, how do we know Ukr was looking to breach the dam? Is it equally possible that Russians came up with that excuse because they could not solve the HiMARS conundrum?
Larry Johnson says
What is the source of your information? Because much of what you state is inaccurate. The only thing the HIMARS is doing is killing civilians. And even there the supply of HIMARS is drying up.
There are only a few ways supplies got to the west bank of the Dnieper – the railway over the Nova Kahovka dam, the Antonovski bridge and pontoon bridges. There are only two tools the VSU has at its disposal to strike at these – HiMARS and M-777. There are numerous reports of HiMARS missiles getting through the PVO defenses and hitting all of these. To the RFA’s own admission – logistics/supply lines became untenable over time, meaning that HiMARS did the damage it was intended to do. I think it is a fabrication that HiMARS is used ONLY to strike civilian targets – it is used for everything, military, civilian…
Great comment 👍
I think the short term focus is about
a) Preserving lives on both UKR, RUS and EU sides. There’s no need for victory if both sides want peace.
b) Securing the Donbass; the SMO objective
c) Securing access to the Black Sea; big bonus!
Denazification and Demilitarization are very long term objectives by nature.
Going in “shock and awe” might look like a victory, but it simply generates too much hate in the neighborhood right beside RUS. It is more like an Afghan 2.0 in the front porch.
What’s more, assuming that RUS goes all the way to Lvov- NATO and RUS would be eye-to-eye and the whole world is on tenterhooks of a nuclear war. For what? Creating another cold bloc? What RUS wants is peaceful borders, not tension. With peaceful borders, Russian speaking Ukrainians can migrate to Russia, vice versa. No need to destroy territory.
Right now, securing the areas East of the Dniepr in the South and the Donbass is already an excellent win- access to Black Sea, agriculture regions + industrial zones the size of Britain and the loyalty of more Russians.
However, there’s no need to invite a retaliation / anger by celebrating too much. Better to rebuild the areas and secure the citizens’ lives. This will drastically reduce the cost in terms of less terrorist acts. That’s what really matters the most- lands can be reclaimed, but not lives lost.
Is there a need to go all the way to Odessa? They probably can, but at what cost to reach there and sustain operations? It’s a tall order in itself… and what’s the point? to meet the US 101st Airborne who are training in Romania? To landlock Ukraine and make them suffer?
I think what happened in Kherson was that right from the beginning, an amphibious assault was stalled because UKR mined the seas. Some breakthrough in negotiations in March 2022 probably broke the momentum of RUS forces too. Therefore, RUS faced difficulties in getting to Nikolaev.
However, given the number of men and materiel that the West poured in- I really doubt that RUS could have held Nikolaev even if they wanted too. Besides, the line was just too long.
Having the river behind your back and a dam upstream makes it really difficult to defend and supply the troops. I believe that both sides are attriting each other… if it were that easy as the media on both sides suggest, this SMO would have been already over.
Nevertheless, they held the area through the referendum and made the difficult decision to abandon the area after evacuating the citizens.
This creates a physical opportunity for diplomacy – now there’s a wide open space that can be used as a buffer/demilitarized zone. If Ukrainians enter the space that Russia vacates, it’s pretty certain that Russia is going to shell the crap out of them.
I really hope parties negotiate and come to a settlement. This SMO was so bloody unnecessary in terms of human lives.
of course, there’s still winter on the way this year… a major offensive is still possible if the West goes loony.
Interestingly, this coincides with the US mid-term elections and a crumbling global economy… it should also be as clear as day that the rest of the world views the US and EU as unreliable. A multi-polar world is emerging… why bother antagonizing unreliable people?
interesting statements from Milley about “no 100% military victory on either side” too.
Lives and people matter. Peace is real, lasts and good for everyone. The fervour from a victory is good for PR and propaganda. I hope common sense prevails!
Nick F. says
One of the most sane comments I’ve read on this blog.
Though peace won’t come quickly. It will take generations to overcome the hate sparked so far.
Let’s hope it will come to peace.
Oblomovka daydream says
“UKRAINE’S GOT TALENT” – The Czech prime minister Petr Fiala is heavily being criticized because of his obsessive involvement in Ukrainian political affairs (instead of being involved in Czech political affairs). Now it has been revealed that this prime minister Petr Fiala has got a nephew, Tomáš Fiala, who is a banker & media oligarch (who knows, he owns the rights of the Ukrainian version of ‘Got Talent’) operating inside Ukraine. Recently this nephew has purchased the internet news channel ‘Ukrainian Pravda’, which has become the most influential media of Ukraine with formidable political power to steer the course of Ukraine’s political future. In the past this Tomáš Fiala has even dared to criticize the precursor of Zelensky Petr Porochenko and his prime minister. But anyway, the commitment of the Czech prime minister to Ukrainian affairs is very much intertwined with the affairs of his own family. Too much, according to many Czech citizens.
My 2 cents. I doubt any body here can reliably speak about the views of the Russian public. That said, it seems to me the Russian public would accept the view of a trimming of the lines in Kherson for reasons stated. I doubt that the Ukrainians will do more then send in token forces into the city. They will do something for optics and that’s probably about it. Russian withdrawal probably saves the dams from being blown too.
I believe that the Russian public is prepared to wait for the winter freeze before turning on Putin. If they don’t know who Generals Mud and Winter are, who does??
A winter offensive should prove interesting. If Col. Macgregor is right, that the Russians are still quietly calling up beyond the original 300K, then something really is afoot.
Right now, it appears that both sides are basically sniping at each other with artillery, missiles and such. Who’s winning may be arguable, though I think it’s the Russians.
Next up is the temperature. Just how cold will it get this winter?? The Dnieper freezes over although how far south I do not know. I believe parts of the Black sea freeze. A frozen Dnieper could easily provide a bridge for the Russians to cross where ever they think the Ukrainians are weakest.
Here’s an interesting story from WW 2:
just saying says
Ukraine has always been a cheap knock-off of Nazi Germany. Germans went all the way to Moscow before losing the war.
This withdrawal makes a Russian winter offensive and a dramatic escalation in the war much more likely. That’s why Zelensky called it a trap and the Russians announced it. This is the last chance for any sane leader to step in and stop the complete destruction of Ukraine’s army.
Up until now, it looked like Russia would just hold the line and wait for winter and infrastructure attacks to bring Ukraine (actually its paymaster, the US and brain, the UK) to the negotiating table to solve this thing at minimum cost.
With this decision, Russia is getting ready to end this through a massive escalation and giving the West one last chance to stop this war. Seriously, it’s like a guy at a bar walking away from a fist fight to go get his gun. He is not retreating from you tough guy and this is not a good sign for your future health.
How will Russia do this? There were four avenues of attack (Kherson, Zaparozhia, Donbas and Kharkiv), now there are three which mutually support each other. i.e. Kherson had to be abandoned because it doesn’t support the other areas of attack so leaving it makes a large-scale attack much more likely.
Russia will start probing in each area soon and follow up with a full-scale attack around December.
Merry Christmas America. Great job in destroying yet another country with your “help”.
martin mkultra7 says
Jim Giles says
Another brilliant analysis from Larry that you will not get anywhere else or if you can I am not aware of it.
A question for Larry from an ignorant American:
Those fighting for Ukraine, i.e., actual Ukrainian soldiers on the ground, why are they fighting against Russia when Russia means them no harm?
Applicant for job as Host at RT
P.S. I’ve updated the party name to replace the GOP as the Evil White Heterosexual Racist Hate Party.
Russia didn’t commit enough troops and are now paying the price for this. Their lines are too thin and they have little reserve to hold ground against large advance by AFU, hence the need to retreat.
The 300k troops coming in to theatre will help resolve this issue, but its getting late in the day for them to turn up, they should of been committed as soon as the peace talks failed.
Russia have lost momentum on parts of the battlefield and it will cost men & material to regain this.
Question is will Russia have the extra troops in place time and have the will to fight and win?
Will the west/NATO run out of patience, time, money and political will before a the Job can be completed?
My guess when the ground freezes, we’ll see massive Russian offensive operations
Just a couple of a quick toughs:
1. For Ukraine this is precisely “I got talent” situation. Without Western financial and material aid Ukraine is finish and bankrupt in a matter of days.
2. It may very well be a best tactical decision but WHY it is a best tactical decision? If Russian are unable to defend capitol of the oblast that was just recently incorporated to Russia then that not exactly spell confidence in Russian armed forces does it?
3. Long term and resource/potential wise Russia v Ukraine is not even a fight – Russia win that hands down. But Russia v Whole West + Ukraine as a proxy is not such clear cut now is it? Now maybe Russia can still win that maybe is even favoured but that will not be so easy and not without some loses. While West does not care about Ukrainian loses at all they already write them off so in this sense West is ahead. Ukraine of course will be an absolute loser here but that is also a point. West will get debt entrapped Ukraine and it’s cheap labour force as a bonus on top of causing some loses to Russia.
Robert Dutton-Jones says
I keep hearing on this site and elsewhere that Russia holds air, artillery, missile, and mechanized superiority. Yet somehow they’ve allowed a large enough Ukrainian force to amass to threaten the Russian forces. All I’ve heard of is how effective the withering combined effect that air, artillery and missile strikes have on destroying Ukraine’s ability to mount attacks yet none of this is showing up in Kherson. Add in the question of why did the Russians bother seizing Kherson in the first place given the reasons they’re now giving for retreating. How about the simple adage, Don’t take what you can’t defend. A lesson the US still hasn’t learned from Vietnam and Afghanistan.
just saying says
They were able to defend it against original Ukraininan army, but not against new and improved NATO-Ukrainian army. One could say that the main cause of this is destruction of bridges, which makes all those HIMARS rockets effective in the end.
Krzysztof Mróź says
A czy to bo trudne do zrozumienia, że Nato poprzez Ukrainę? Czyli Risja rządzą durnie jexeli tego nie wiedzieli
What people will stay behind in that city? Will the Nazis ship in Russian leaning civilians to then hide behind? Bringing on a flood with a tactical nuke seems both doable and deniable.
I would think anyone going in there should be mindful that any incoming ammo will be well placed.
The general pattern was set in Syria. Slow, with occasional rapid movement. Letting the inevitable play out, Western collapse.
As an enlisted man I can well appreciate leaders who seem to want their troops alive, if only for selfish reasons, as opposed to those who willy nilly toss lives away like a cigarette butt.
Syria is a different prospect. It’s not on Russias borders and there are proxies on all sides. It’s also all year round terrain.
The West is also now escalating in Syria, Israel blew up a bunch of stuff, hitting Jerusalem, US more active so long way from over and US is sucking oil out in the north for free and stealing all the grain in the fertile region.
Could the counter of Israel and the US have been more decisive. Possibly but again the Russians don’t seem.ti want to engage them directly so the war drags on and Syria remains in limbo. But fair play, it’s not really Russia’s war there. But the US is not bothered by Russia presence that much they got what they wanted. Oil. Grain. Base. Proxies.
Given Russian territory including inside Russia proper has been attacked now one would expect a stronger response. If one lesson is learnt from Syria it’s that the West will not stop unless severe force is used and you are prepared for it to get really ugly.
i did some research on the dnieper river and found this; since allot of the kherson withdrawl seems to be associated with it.
it does not look to me like the Dnieper river freezes up to the point where you can put reliable heavy equipment on the ice to move across. Perhaps someone who knows can comment on this. My knowledge on crossing the river ice is limited to the old tv reality show ice road truckers lol.
In winter the Dnipro freezes over, usually after a 20-day spell of subzero temperature. The average freezing and thawing dates for Kyiv are 17 December and 24 March; for Cherkasy, 23 December and 22 March; for Zaporizhia, 5 January and 9 March; for Kherson, 3 January and 3 March. The ice regime is not stable: sometimes the Dnipro freezes for short intervals, and sometimes it does not freeze at all. Ice jams and floods resulting from them are rare because the freezing moves southward and the thawing northward.
These are the 2 major battles involving crossing the Dnieper river during ww2. Note they both happened in fall and not in winter .
This was the germans crossing the Dnieper and capturing kiev. There is a good picture of the pontoon boats they used to cross the river the germans must have had total air and artillery superiority to build this bridge in 24 hrs.
this I just found out about. They blew up the biggest dam in the world at that time. After the war it was rebuilt. Nowadays part of Ukraine, the dam remains the largest hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper River, placed in Zaporizhia. I hope it is not destoryed again . It is interesting how this all ties into the events at Kherson.
this was the massive battle in fall of 1943 when the Russians crossed the Dnieper river in force driving the germans out of allot of the Ukraine. The russian initial attack was on a 300 km front.
this is the final soviet offensive in the east with major river crossings which began on jan 12 1945 and ended up in berlin. If there is a big winter offensive by the russians wonder if it would start in jan 12, 2023. This would be like the june 22 , 1944 Operation Bagration offensive to destroy army group centre in belarus which happened 3 yrs to the day germany launched operation barbarossa.
Fred Crooks says
I believe General Sam Houston led Santa Anna around Texas until it was his choice to do battle with a divided Mexican force.
Russia will take its time and path in this conflict.
As Alexander Mercouris of the Duran often says, “time will tell”.
Mercouris has been plenty wrong. He is a former lawyer and is careful to preface everything with “I am not an expert, do not have the information”. I remember him saying multiple times that HiMARS would make no difference. It obviously did in Kherson. I remember him for the whole month of August asking where the Ukr Kherson offensive was and making claims that Ukr did not have enough manpower and equipment to launch one. Well, here we are, 3 short months later with the RFA on the other side of the Dnieper… Like everyone else operating in “no info” space – Alex is making guesses.
Couple of things….. Kherson oblast or the province is mostly on the East bank of the Dnieper… the areas being temporarily evacuated are relatively small….in fact some of it is still occupied by Ukrainian forces. The other thing…. this age of lightning fast data transfer and information Creates a need for instant self gratification and a lack of Patience…
It was extremely foolish of the Russian generals and Putin to invade and try to occupy the Kherson region. As Kadyrov correctly pointed out, “Kherson is a very difficult area without a stable regular supply of ammunition and the formation of a strong, reliable rear. Why was this not done from the first days of the special military operation?” He then adds that “This is another question,” but doesn’t offer an explanation. The answer seems obvious: hubris on Putin’s and the top Russian generals’ part. They thought that Ukraine would quickly collapse once Russia invaded. Kadyrov can’t say this reason out loud directly, but his “This is another question” statement implies it.
Ernesto González says
Good afternoon, Mr. Johnson. If it is true that I always have your reflexions in the greatest regard, I do no consider fair -or even polite- to like us all we genuinely worry about this situation in Kherson to teen cretins. I repeat it is not fair. People can see this and worry for a los of reasons, utter some criticism, even, but that doesn’t signal that we are all brawlers who just Desire to see Russia to pick up the glove. Perhaps we are not so longsight like you pundits are, perhaps we are only a bit uneasy to see so much sacrifice to amount to a “retreat and reagroup” action. Having say that the objetive reality is that Mr. Armageddon, Surovikin was bring about to solve problems no to waste the Blood which have been spilled for keep the city of Kherson until now. First was Snake Island, then the Kharkiv Oblast jointly with Izyum, after that Krasny Liman and now is Kherson. In each and every one of those instances we were told the tactical, strategical, logistic and human reasons of those retreats and/or reagroupings: that Ukronazis were launching wave after wave of canon fodder against the Russian thresher, that they were launching volley after volley HIMARS, howitzer shells against civil targets, that were about to blow the Novaya Kakhovka reservorio dam in an atempt of some sort of Belgian defense…and indeed they were and still are. But…by this logic the only thing the Ukronazis must do is to show the greatest disregard for the human, civilian and military, enemy and friendly, lifes for Russia to retreat. What will happen if they decide to apply the same tactics to Donetsk? Will Russia retreat from there too? I think all these are legitimate concerns and given that even you pundits have not the true knowledge of how things are to develop in the near or most distant future, to like us to teen cretins is not offensive but demerits the good work you have been doing until now. Best regards and thanks for everything.
Hmm, evacuate the civilians first then the military second?
Wow, what a – cough cough Afghanistan – concept!
I just looked at a map of Kherson and the surrounding terrain. Defending Kherson is very risky. It’s on the opposite (west) side of Dnipro River. The east side of the river is lowland, wet, and probably swampy. Nowhere to go. Logistics and support LOCs will have to cross that river, and Russian defensive movement is severely limited by additional waterways west and to the northeast. They would be bottled up. Let UKR take it, then hit it hard later by crossing the Dnipro and Inhulets Rivers north of Kherson, and perhaps do a maritime landing southwest of Kherson. Bottom line though, defense of Crimea is far more important than defense of Kherson. Repositioning east of Dnipro is far more defendable.
Robert A. Dekker LL.M. says
Latest assessment and source updates:
First, a tactical withdrawal is now at Kherson and Nikolaev and Odessa is still the target. It is also reported, that a bilateral agreement cannot be made with the US, as the US is an unreliable party to make agreements.
We all know as well that war throws all plans upside down and they have to be adjusted daily. What I know is that the Ukrainians do not dare move towards Kherson. Even the French reported a trap. Furthermore, first, the Donbass will be swept completely clean and the buffer above the nuclear power plant. Too many fronts now.
Furthermore, Kherson is among the 4 Russian recognised referendums. And don’t forget, Odessa is Russian and the Russians also want to impede Black Sea Ukrainian access. In addition, the line to Transnistria they want to accomplish.
Secondly, nobody has access to the plans except a select club of Russians within the military and intelligence services.
Thirdly, that said, the US wants to have a war with Iran asap and because all weapons of NATO in Europe are in Ukraine they can not supply both wars with weapons. All NATO/EU munition from EU/NATO was spent in Ukraine and on Tuesday there was only enough for one more day of fighting.
It’s a chess game.
Carlton Meyer says
The Russians have tripled troop levels and are waiting for the ground to freeze to roll forth. A corps will drop down from Belarus to cut supply lines to Poland. Another corps will surge northward from Kherson to link up and cut off Odessa and that supply route from Greece.
But the Ukes are dug in well near Kherson. The Russians are pulling back hoping the Ukes come out into the open in pursuit, but the Ukes have openly said they think it’s a trap. The endgame starts soon, which is why the Biden people now talk about making a deal. Too late!
Pepe Escobar reporting a deal was done between US and Russia re Kherson. Sullivan involved.
No clear details yet. Some kind of minks 3 proposed…
And if Rússia plans to destroy the dam?
Josef Schweik says
Erwan Casel is a quy from Brittany and ex Légion étrangère. He has been fighting in the Donbas trenches for some years. Hence he is a real fighting soldier – no US-based armchair great strategist such as duo Martyanov and Saker , with their echo chamber, are. I think his article on the epic defeat and moral disater in Kherson is worth of reading. But do not expect that Erwan is going to share with you his music or movie tastes, no Nirvana videos etc., definitely non.
Oblomovka daydream says
Alexander Mercouris in his latest video links the retreat of the Russian forces to the east bank of the Dnieper river in Kherson region to the attack that soon will take place on all the bridges that cross the Dnieper river north of Kherson. As soon as this major supply route over the Dnieper river to the Ukrainian army east of the Dnieper has been cut off, the Russian army will de facto have encircled the UAF east of the Dnieper. The decision to withdraw RF to the east bank of the Dnieper in the Kherson oblast was made in order to prevent a tit for tat response of the UAF, who would respond with a large-scale destruction the dam in the Dnieper near Kherson. Now the RF is repositioned east of the Dnieper, the next move that will happen is the large scale destruction of all the bridges over the Dnieper, therewith catching the UAF like rats in a trap on the east side of the Dnieper. Indeed, general Surovikin operates according to a grand strategy that will first demilitarize the whole east side from the Dnieper river.
Larry Johnson says
Yes, that makes sense. The mega cauldron.
Alexander Mercouris is not good when it comes to the technical side of things. The Russians do not have the missile capacity to render the Dnepr bridges unusable. The Ukrainians/NATO had to expend hundreds of relatively cheap HIMARS missiles to put holes into the Antonovsky bridge, and its structurally still intact. Russians would have to use much more expensive and scarce long-range missiles to attack the Dnepr bridges, of which there are many. It won’t happen for this reason alone. Another, equally important reason is that, firing hundreds of missiles at predictable targets would provide Ukrainian/NATO air defences with ample opportunity to hone in on and get used to them. That’s not something the Russians would want to risk with a view on perhaps having to use these missiles against the NATO rear in case the war escalates.
Carlton Meyer says
That’s possible, but there are lots of reports to include videos of trainloads of Russian equipment in Belarus. I’d think a knockout blow by cutting all of Ukraine off from the west makes sense.
If the Russians wanted to withdraw from Kherson, they would do so quietly and leave a few recon troops behind that can easily flee. They would not draw attention and criticism by openly announcing this to the world, unless as the Ukes suspect, they want them to come out of their trenches and into the open to be slaughtered, as happened in the North a few weeks earlier.
“Look, here is a kilometer of open farmland and then a city you can easily seize. Come and get it!”
Meanwhile, 50,000 Russian soldiers are waiting inside and warm hidden in Kherson waiting to counterattack. But I think this ruse will fail and they’ll have to storm the trenches.
Let me guess – Mercouris prefaced this by saying he is no military expert? 😉
It is all possible and we are all just guessing. Let’s see what Surovikin has up his sleeve.
James T. says
I love all your articles and normally agree with you. I had hoped someone would stand up to the US even though I am a citizen because I think what we do to others is horrible. Unfortunately, I have lost faith in Russia. All NATO and the US need is to put 1000 troops in Western Ukraine and Russia will retreat to the outskirts of Moscow to be safe. I expect a peace deal very soon with a resounding victory for the US and NATO. Even if I am wrong the entire world now sees Russia as weak and their military as cream puffs. Maybe things will change but right now it looks very bleak for Russia.
Hal Duell says
Definitely a pearl-clutching moment, but before allowing it to become a wrist-slitting moment do please visit The Duran for Alexander Mercouris’s latest video.
Can’t say I know what the Russian strategy is, but this is interesting…
Also on Wednesday, Russia announced that it was pulling out of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. US and Western officials told NBC that if Ukraine retakes Kherson, it could put the government of Volodymyr Zelensky in a “better position to negotiate.”
The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported this week that the US and NATO might think peace talks are possible if Ukraine retakes Kherson. The paper said the Western powers are considering diplomacy due to the threat of tactical nuclear weapons being used and the fact that if Russia is defeated in Ukraine, it may become closer to China. — Dave DeCamp, antiwar.com, via ZeroHedge
Some US Officials See Winter As Opportunity For Diplomacy In Ukraine
Lately on Telegram, Intel Slava Z has been publishing lists of dead and wounded foreign “mercenaries” fighting for Ukraine in the Donbass — Americans, British, French, Poles, Japanese, South Koreans, Kiwis, Aussies… and more. This implies that nether regular Ukrainian troops nor recent conscripts are able to fill those positions. There have been several mentions of contact with a Polish unit of approximately 5000 men, as well as other non-Ukrainian combat units of varying sizes.
If these reports are accurate, it could point to a number of different outcomes. But, in all honesty, it comes down to what Putin and his generals decide…
Will they allow the US and NATO to save face by declaring “victory” and create a dividing line along the Dnieper?
Or will they continue rope-a-doping until all their newly mobilized troops, equipment and supplies arrive at the front and the ground freezes?
From his statements, Putin doesn’t appear to want to take all of Ukraine. Considering that the US – NATO plan for Ukraine is a debilitating, long-term war of attrition against Russia, and that the Russians know this… why would you?
On the other hand, there may be an opportunity to defeat NATO in Ukraine, and deter future European aggression (at least in the short-term), altho with a heightened risk of nuclear war.
Decisions, decisions… Yes, the Russians will negotiate, but they also will not forget what Zelensky or Biden’s word is worth…
Patruschev in Tehran… Iran announces it has hypersonic Missiles… Russia had “Iranian” drones … hmmm
https://t.me/TrackAMerc .. hmmm
i see, you read Andrei`s comment section…;)
that Burning Bridges- song i just posted on there the other day…lol
I just cannot for the life of me, dam or no dam understand how Russia could throw Kherson under the bus, it will never make sense, and shows that Russia is false opposition. They should be bombing the crap out of Ukraine, there is no love lost in war. It just looks so staged now.
Here’s some long term thinking for you… Russia gets thrown out of Ukraine by design, and as the Russian border gets over-run Russian nuclear policy takes hold and triggers the release of nuclear weapons, maybe that was the plan all along, especially if Putin is a closet WEF boy…
interesting…but given your name you obviously don`t have slavic roots- hence you can`t understand russia`s approach…
which would be:
NOT carpet bombing the shit out of a more than brotherly nation- there are actual familiar BONDS between those two `countries`, if you even want to call it that…centuries old!
What you see in the Ukraine is the same phenomenon as witnessed in the west with 20-30 years of MSM brainwashing…hint `global warming`…(in the 70`s TPTB thought a `global cooling`would be feasble, but they swapped sides in their ideology-driven brainwash-fuckfest, just because…
the folks swallowed it regardless, and now you have kids glueing themselves to streets and ukrainians thinking of their VERY KIN as subhumans…
POWER OF THE PEN.
back to topic:
chill, and keep your uninformed opinion to yourself.
‘but given your name you obviously don`t have slavic roots- hence you can`t understand Russia’s approach…”
My family name on my mother’s side is Wonswick, ie victims of the Holdomore. My grandmother and great grandmother were the only ones of my family to make it out alive.
“THere are actual familiar BONDS between those two `countries`, if you even want to call it that…centuries old!”
Bullshit baffles brains….
“chill, and keep your uninformed opinion to yourself.”
Thank you comrade, you’re intellectual capacity makes me want to start a GoFundMe campaign to raise enough money to help you finish Kindergarten.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
The whole Putin approach to this conflict can only be understood in the context of Putin getting his best to preserve his oligarch buddies’ business links, including the links on Ukranazistan.
What is all this about the Russian army not having any success? And now it is “retreating”? And the Ukrainians are on a roll? And Putin and is generals should have done this SMO differently? Blah, blah, blah.
Just to remind those who have not remembered just what has happened: On February 24 Russia attacked Ukraine with a semi-hemi-demi “shock and awe” attack which destroyed the Ukrainian air force, such as it was, which gave Russia and its Allies protection from aerial attacks while they went about their business.
Then the ground war began in the two “break-away” regions of Lugansk and Donestk where the fighing was done primarily by militias of those two regions. In other words guys fighting for their own people and land. There were some mercenaries like the Wagner Group as well as hell-on-wheels Chechins. Very few regular Russian army troops. With this force they kicked the butts of the whole Ukrainian Army of 500,000 men and took control of most of the two regions.
So far so good. So why didn’t they commit more regular army troops at the outset? I don’t know. Maybe the powers-that-be in the Motherland wanted to shore up support from the public. Then when things looked about as good as it was going to get, the decision was made to do a first mobilization. And while that was happening “shock and awe” bombardment of civic infrastructure (a first).
Now with the situation in balance and copacetic the regular Russian army comes in and kicks butts even more than before. Like exponentially more. I think that Putin and Co. intend on ending this SMO with a complete destruction of all Ukrainian military assets, period. Capture Kiev and the Ukrainian government, making NATO face a fait accompli before they can get into the fray.
Meanwhile back in ‘Gotham City’, the Europeans are paying the price of their rulers support for Zelensky and his gang. You think they might finally make their rules stop all this crap and start doing something about all the stupid sanctions? Maybe they are looking at Hungary and Turkey and going, like, “Huh?”. We could have that?
Jim Giles says
If RT hires me, will you give me an interview incognito?
Let’s take inventory:
Conducting a mobilization that if we were talking about combat units would amount to more than 10 divisions? Check.
Shortening up the lines? Check.
Taking out the power that makes cross country comms possible? Check.
Evacuating civilians from a sector where future operations are expected? Check.
I’d almost think the attrition phase of this war is coming to a close and the maneuver phase is about to start.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
Let me predict that when Russia abandons Melitopol and Mariupol – only a matter of time at this rate – your attempt to explain it away will be about the same.
Michael Creighton says
A lot of good reasons and commentary for Russia pulling back… However I have to agree to with Patton about paying for territory twice. Aren’t we told the Russians are going on a massive offensive when the ground freezes? Now it won’t just be new territory but retaking what they already controlled. Now not just pushing forward on multiple fronts but only over bridges over the river.
Eric Newhill says
If the Russians actually do withdraw from Kherson, then I’d say there will be no impending big offensive because, as you say, it doesn’t make sense to withdraw when a big offensive is soon coming; one that would fix and distract Ukro forces up and down the Dneipre.
As I’ve suggested elsewhere on this thread, the right thing to do – if the Russians have any fighting spirit to speak of – is to take up positions in Kherson City and bleed the Ukros badly while waiting for the offensive to jump off in a couple weeks or so. Any motivated force can defend a city for a couple of weeks. Everything else is just fantasy and excuse making for Russian failure.
“However I have to agree to with Patton about paying for territory twice. …..Now it won’t just be new territory but retaking what they already controlled..”
It’s not about territory, this has been stated numerous times but people just don’t ‘get it’. RF are not about taking and holding for the sake of it, it’s all about maneuvering (maneuver warfare remember) to satisfy the completion of the three publicly stated objectives (and no doubt more but unstated ones).
1. Denazify the state.
2.Demilitarise the NAZI state.
3. Ensure the Donbass is protected.
Eric Newhill says
Nope. Just plain wrong. Reads like desperate denial.
Back when it was just a SMO your excuse could be made. The Russians were just running around like a roving Apache war party taking scalps; which appears a retarded way to fight a war, but seemed interesting enough, in an out of the box kind of way, to warrant some respect.
Once the referenda happened and those oblasts became part of Russia, then it became about territory.
Folks are notpaying attention.
The Kherson salient is virtually useless to Russia and tough to defend. The Russians have clearly decided that those troops and the new recruits would be better used defendinf the Crimea and the Empire to the east. There is gas, oil, and coal in them thar hills and in the sea around the Crimea. The Kherson salient was a decent jumping off point for an attack to the west toward Odessa/Bess-Arabia/Romania, but now the Ukrainians/NATO are stronger and the US is backing Romania, so that seems unlikely and/or bloody. I suspect that the US/NATO got wind of a Russian naval landing near Odessa. Hence the troops in Romania, the carrier in the Adriatic. The dam on the Dnipr River is toast. It maintains the River level to feed the water supply canal to the Crimea. It has to be blown and it will be. One way or another.
Then it is a blood match between Russia and the Ukraine/NATO. I am convinced that the gas, oil, and coal are the Russian target. Those reserves could bork the Russian almost monopoly on European fuels. I am sure that the “ethnic Russians” in the border regions were an excuse for invasion.
What is coming is a trench and artillery war. The Ukrainians have pretty much honored the Russian border to the east. But, sink some barges/ships in the rivers and trash the railroads and Russia will have a difficult time with battle logistics and Crimean support. The base at Sevastopol and the Khers Strait bridge have been shown to be vulnerable. I expect some explosions back in Rodina. Going nuclear would be suicide for Russia. Then there is China that would, I am sure, love to take over the resources of Siberia. What’s left is a brutal land war. 1917 all over again. Europe may fold or may get vengeful. Eastern Europr has played house with the Russians before Nd they didn’t like it.
I am glad that I am not there.
larry… excellent post… you get it.. thanks..
Military Summary Channel reporting US – Russia talks were an agreement not to use HIMARS while Russians retreat. As the weapons are US operated So I guess HiMARS are game changers after all if Russians are begging not to be hit by them.
So basically If true US let them retreat without firing on them, an orderly retreat.
They are now very close to Crimea, this. Kherson area was the buffer of Crimea and bridgehead south to Odessa. All gone.
Crimea routes are now in range of US weapons as are key Russian bases.
Earlier Larry was saying show me one Russian retreat or loss of a City. That’s happened multiple times now. Unfortunately Larry is simply citing Andrei Martyanov at this stage with no pro and con analysis that he used to do.
i noticed some posts about patton so will comment on this and give final thoughts on the kherson withdrawl. allot of this will go against the narrtive but i think it is important to get out different opinions as it is important for people to think for themselves. .I am not a cheerleader for what other people have to say and do my own analysis and post it. I hope the webmaster Mr. Johnson agrees with this approach.
My opinion on patton is a little different than most. Patton and rommel are my favourite ww2 generals. they were the masters of manouver warfare and could win their battles without close air support. They also tried to win their battles for the most part while minimizing casulties on both sides as much as possible. this is especially true of rommel. During the battle of france his nicknamed ghost panzer division itself took 97,000 prisoners.
Montgomery and de Gaulle are my least. If yu look at de gaulle during the battle of france in the 2 battles he was in ;he had the superior force and got his butt kicked both times. Montgomery was the master plodder; just kept going slowly forward always with overwhelming numerical superiority and losing allot more men in the process than needed to be.
If patton would have been given the necessary fuel instead of it being given to the overated general montgomery for the disastrous operation market garden he could have taken the 3rd army right into germany. THE Market garden failure enabled the germans to reestablish their defense line and prolong the war for another 5 months. For the most part fortune favors the bold.
After the Falaise pocket disaster there was nothing in the way all the way up to the german border and no organized defenses at the border.
the eastern front was a mess and there were no reinforcements possible except to hastily recruit a home army of old men and boys.
The war could have ended by the end of 1944 and the millions who died in 1945 could have had their lives spared. this is all just my opinion of course.
this is a very interesting book that i have that i think anybody that wants to learn more about ww2 history should get for their library.
I believe that Andrei Martyanov whom most of you probably also follow ( https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/ ) does not have a high opinion of patton and considering that after the war patton wanted to drive the russians back to the dnieper river that is quite understandable. If i was a proud ethnic russian ; would feel exactly the same way.
as for the kherson withdrawl these are my final thoughts on this. i listened to alexander (Duran) & andrei and brian on the gonzalo roundtable
i thought they did a pretty good job of putting lipstick on a pig in talking about the withdrawl . It does not matter what anybody says. it is a strategic defeat that should have been avoided by expanding the perimeter and taking Nikolaev and odessa months ago. this would probably only have taken another 30 k men to have been put into the conflict. IF NATO says our time is know and moves into this area as peacekeepers like they so called did in yugoslavia ; all gloves are off . A vacuum of PERCEIVED weakness is always filled. As they say; hindsight is 20-20.
the moon of alabama did a pretty good job on summing this up.
The Pullout From Kherson
The Russian command decided to remove its troops in the Kherson region from the right bank of the Dnieper.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu did not look happy when he gave the order. He knows that another such setback will cost him his job.
i do not believe you can be a good analyst unless you are willing to put yourself into the minds of the combatants to see how they think. nobody in my opinion has done a really PROPER job on the ukraine ; so i will try to do so. THIS is all of course my opinion, IF the ukraine falls by spring i was wrong. Everybody thinks that all they do is about PR; but there is much more to it than that.
For the ukraine to try to stalemate russia; they cannot afford to worry about casulties. Like the vietnamese ( https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0277434/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_32) supported by Russian arms the blood of their men and women is the commodity they have still in abundance to acheive their goals. As long as the ethnic ukrainian men and the western mercs continue to show up for the fight this will continue. The Russian pullout of Kherson will just embolden them. The ethnic hatreds and wounds going back to the holomor are still deep and embedded in the ukrainian people. I live around allot of people of ethnic ukrainian desent and they do not like russia at all and hate putin with a passion. They are not interested in the truth about zelensky.
Putting myself in the ukaine point of view; the strategic victory in the south has been acheived. Ukraine know still has access to the black sea and is not landlocked because odessa is still in their hands. The grain deal bringing currency into the ukraine still continues. the ukrainians are know in a position to launch further attacks on crimea with their missles and sea drones and keep on hassling the russians In that area. the SACRIFICE of all their men during the kherson offensives from september on are know worthwhile as without them they would not have acheived this win . For russia to know counter attack they have to cross the river with the ukrainian forces dug in on the other side in a defense line they will probably begin to build after the withdrawl.
Many have compared the Kherson offensives to the failed Ardennes offensive launched by Germany in 1944. Both offensives had the same goals which were to buy time. The goal of Germany was to take the port of Antwerp and cut off the allied supply lines to forestall the coming allied offensive. This was to enable the advanced german weapon systems they had developed to be able to come into action in great numbers which included guided AA rockets, advanced submarines , 1st working assault rifle etc. The Ukrainian offensives at Kherson bought time as they forstalled the Russian inititive to advance further and eventually put the Russians in a position to have to call the referendums and the partial mobilization which took allot of time to complete. I would therefore call the September Kherson offensives in hindsight a success as the ceremony in russia of the 4 republics joining up looks like a joke to the eyes of the collective west and the ukrainians .
If i was a russian would look at an amphibious inchon type operation after the spring thaw coupled with airborne troops delivered by helicopter to get behind their defenses in the area west of odessa. Russia is probably too cautious to do this.
Ukraine always knew that the donbass area will be eventually lost . their offensive in the kharkov area was to slow things down farther south and buy more time. their whole objective in this area is to buy more time and hope that russian morale back home begins to fade and the people get sick and tired of the war or a UN-NATO peacekeeping intervention. They will and are making the russians pay for every metre of ground they take back in this area.
Russia will continue to wipe out ukraine infrastructure from the air but as we all know from the ww2 air offensive against germany which did not win the war in the end you still need boots on the ground to take a country. The ukrainian people who still believe in the war which are many will just get more hardened and determined even as their infrastructure crumbles. The russians have shown that they will do whatever it takes to minimize their casulties to 0 if possible and ukraine ( learning from the Vietnamese )whom do not care about casulties regard this fact as russias Achilles heel. russia will therefore not make any bold moves which could cause them major losses and at the rate things are going we will still be discussing this CONFLICT at this time next year.
If russia wants to end this war they will at some point in time crap and get off the pot. Everyone says that it is Russia with the time on their side but that is also true for the other side also unless Ukrainian determination fades away. Russia right know looks like it is fighting not to lose where Ukraine is fighting to win by whatever means necessary. As all football fans know; the 2 minute prevent defense at the end of the 4th quarter in a close game often ends up in defeat. A recent example is when tom brady took the buccaneers down the field in 40 seconds at end of the game without timeouts against the rams who played a prevent defense giving up the sidelines and lost a game they should have won.
the other thing i find concerning is that the russians seemed to be afraid of the himar rockets taking out the dam locks and causing flooding. this is given to us as one of the major reasons of the pullout from kherson. If this is true then the himar rocket system was a GAME CHANGER as it helped lead to strategic victory at kherson. This makes me wonder if the vaunted russia aa systems are as effective against the himar rockets as the russians claim them to be. Have not heard anybody discuss this.
Also have not heard about russian attack planes directly attacking the ukrainian forces on the ground except by using standoff missles. Am wondering if the ukrainian air defenses are still quite effective against fixed wing aircraft and helicopters . You would think in the wide open steppes around the kherson area russian attack aircraft and helicopters would have had the ukrainian troops on the ground in a shooting gallery if they attacked in mass. This has not been discussed in awhile.
Have no proof of this and want to be wrong ; but perhaps the real situation on the ground and in the air is not as rosy as we have been told by all the pro Russian channels ; as we were all led down the garden path by many of the same channels about the republican tsunami that also never happened. To clarify this website was NOT one of those .
if any of you are old hardcore science fiction fans; in some ways this is like the narns against the centari during the BABYLON 5 series. The narns had the will and the centari the firepower.
Could there be an agreement between US and Russia to simply freeze the conflict with an armistice as in Cyprus and Korea? Dnieper becomes the de-facto border and everyone can claim partial victory while pretending it is just a temporary solution, even UN/EU could try to get in on the spoils by pretending to be a peace-keeping force. The scar is left in Ukraine and everyone else moves on in life – just like Cyprus. The Banderite cult in west Ukraine becomes EUs problem. NATO and US can pretend they weren’t completely outclassed. Russia liberated the main pro-Russian areas, and demilitarized all of Europe. Odessa is included in the UN peace-keeping zone but remains part of Ukraine.
these are the links to the military summary channel discussed by other posters . it would be nice if duma is correct and there is a deal to freeze the conflict in place with both sides claiming a partial victory. this almost has the feel of something else going on in the background that we have not been told about.
Am wondering if fixing northstream and lifting sanctions would figure into any of the negotitations. would imagine that would come later.
in my last post i did not factor this in. would think that know the us is setting its eyes back to the middle east especially with bibi back in power if a deal is signed. there always has to be a war going on somewhere for the us to be involved in. perhaps regime change in saudi arabia .
Ukraine. Military Summary And Analysis 10.11.2022
Krzysztof Mróź says
Ukraincy szkoleni przez Nato walczą twardo. Ruskie szkolenia przez swoich nieudacznikow szybko się poddaja. To proste.
HMS Terror says
The first few weeks of the SMO saw what looked like 3 different strategies executed simultaneously on 3 fronts in north, east, and south UA. It all looked quite brilliant for a while, but as NATO upped its activities and flooded the zone with weapons and cannon fodder the SMO eventually showed itself for what it really was. Namely, the barely/un- coordinated activity of 3 different commands, who’s initial successes were soon reduced to slaughtering Ukrainian conscripts in positional fighting. Had the casualty ratio between the 2 sides been roughly even, the Russian leadership would be in a world of hurt.
As it is, the 8(?):1 ratio will serve Surovikin well. He’ll be fighting a Frankenstein army made up of reluctant, under-trained conscripts, artificially stiffened by a backbone of foreign adventurers and Nazi fanatics, utterly dependent on foreign weaponry, reconnaissance, and C’nC.
It is said that great strategists fight backwards. That is, they develop their strategies based on what they want the last battle of the campaign to look like. Where it will occur, what forces they will need for that last battle and what they want their opponent’s forces to be when he enters that battle. From that vantage point, the campaign is planned and spent shaping their and the opponent’s forces and the battlefield(s) in preparation for that last battle.
What we know is that Surovikin didn’t like the strategic situation he was inheriting at the time of his appointment. When he said publicly that some difficult decisions will have to be made he was telling us that (by his lights) the wrong forces were fighting the wrong battles in the wrong places, and that continuing on the same path would inevitably lead to going into the final battle without enjoying the advantages that could otherwise be gained by fighting strategically starting now. He’s already got an opponent he can beat. Now it’s a matter of getting him to go where Surovikin wants him.
Like the FRAM man said, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later”. Better to leave Kherson now and start developing the war according to a winning strategy than to hold on to it and fight a war you don’t want to fight to a conclusion that could have been so much more advantageous had you “paid now”.
Surovikin has sold his vision to the General Staff, the National Security Council and almost as importantly to Kadyrov and Prigozhin, so he’s got the support of the entire security structure from the tip of the political pyramid to the boots on the ground. They’ll now own the result collectively and I’m not at all sure that that was the case when the SMO started.
Surovikin’s a man with a plan. Let’s see what he’s gonna do.
“Surovikin’s a man with a plan.”
Without a counterfeit dollar in his hand though.
Not Mistra KnowItAll though, according to Mr. Wonder’s innervisions that was Richard Millhouse Nixon – how did that turnout?
“A link would be nice. I do not see anything from Pepe on the cradle.co since Nov 2.”
Perhaps because My Comment says 9 November 2022 at 22:05 is complete invention.
Good that you validate like others who emulate the Shangri-La’s and ponder – Is she really going out with him? – but unlike My Comment 9 November 2022 at 22:05 The Shangri La’s did seek validation by:
– Betty is that Jimmy’s ring you’re wearing ?,
Betty responding by – Aha –
to which the Shangri-La’s, being of a doubting disposition, tested by -Where’d you meet him?
Betty responding by – I met him at the candy store, he turned around and smiled at me, you get the picture ?
– The Shangrila’s responding by Yes we see
Betty probably in hope of curtailing future interrogations attempted to bring the interaction to a conclusion by responding –
Yes that’s when I fell for the Leader of the pack.
Strange that My Comment says 9 November 2022 at 22:05 apparently has less facilitites than the Shangri-La’s, but then the Shangri-La’s did have a hit record or two, but even for them it didn’t end well since – the Leader of the pack; now he’s gone.
I’m starting to wonder at this point whether the whole thing was just a gigantic bluff. Russia thought they could bluff their way through – just go in, slap them around a bit and they would fold, sign a peace agreement giving up Crimea and Donbass (maybe not even all of that) and that would be that. At one point it did look like that might happen (the Minsk/Istanbul negotiations). Unfortunately for Russia, the West wasn’t satisfied with that outcome and they made Zelensky call the bluff. Now they are left with the choice of “all in or fold”. At this point folding would involve such a monstrous loss of face that it’s hard to see how they would ever be taken seriously again. On the other hand “all in” could easily end in nuclear war (or defeat for Russia if they didn’t press the button, which I wouldn’t discount as a possibility).
I just hope Russia has another plan – a more coherent one this time.
“or defeat for Russia if they didn’t press the button, which I wouldn’t discount as a possibility).”
The nuclear doctrine of the Russian Federation is outlined in Presidential decree 355 of 3/6/22.
No button will be pressed if required since the system is dead handed.
The opponents are well aware of this and have been since 2/6/20, which was a component part of the reasons they chose to misinterpret notices of intent based upon conventional weaponry not limited to things that go bang,which were delivered in December 2021 as ultimata as expected
This continues to inform the opponents ensuing behaviours including the nuclear weapons charades, informed by Mr. Rove’s observation that “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you should concentrate on” since “The United States of America” does not have the necessary talent and hence does not want to appear in the show to sing:
When we had our charade
We were like children posing
Yes, the Russians were trying to bluff someone, not so much the Ukrainians but the rest of the world. They were giving the Ukrainians a chance to do what could have been sold as backing down before the mighty Russian war machine. It would have been an extended version of the Minsk agreement, an agreement that Ukraine already had signed up to long before. The bluff almost worked when the Istanbul peace agreement came close to fruition. The West, with Biden and Johnson as executors, indeed called it. Everybody could have walked away with a face-saving deal in place yet the West would not have it. Untold suffering later, which is soleley the responsibility of the West, there seems to be no end in sight. Russia can and will not back down in the face of the monstrous Nazi regime the West has created and continues to underwrite in Ukraine.
If Napoleon had had the same commentariat as NATO has today, then they would have written that the blundering Russian dictator Czar Alexander was in dire straights after his generals had blundered themselves into loosing the battle of Borodino and blunderingly lost Moscow to boot, and that it had all been nothing but one big Russian blunder to be so recalcitrant by resisting Napoleon, the great leader with his gigantic economy, mighty war machine and progressive values.
What appears to be Russian blundering today has been the unfolding of a multipronged strategy that is equally political and military. It’s not difficult to understand what the determinants and components of this strategy have been and still are. The Russian government could not enter Ukraine with any bigger force because Russian society was not ready for it. That’s because Putin is not the dictator that he is made out to be. But the invasion had to take place because Zelensky had been speaking of wanting to acquire nuclear weapons without any western leader objecting. Zelensky’s statement put the Russian leadership in a position of strategic surprise. Everything else followed from that. Zelensky is not trying to acquire any nuclear weapons at least for the time being. The small force was also sufficient to establish the land bridge to Crimea. Hence, two major strategic goals have been achieved. Politically, it was seen as the Russians exercising restraint, an approach that has worked fantastically so far, with the global South, i.e. a large majority of the world population as represented by their governments, taking the side of the Russians actively or passively. It’s the West that is isolated, not the Russians. Heck, even the Japanese, considered part and parcel of the West, are not going along with the energy sanctions.
New atlas discussing Ukraine, Bandera, etc.
It seems to me that the strategy for the Russians is now to hold Kherson on the east bank and concentrate on the other offenses thereby bringing the line of contact into parody. This will allow the Russians to divert offensive forces into areas that are more tactically viable utilizing terrain and the frozen ground. Holding a position like the west side of the river is a headache due to the dam, the exposure, and terrain. Withdrawing to the east also gives the Ukrainian/ NATO propaganda military and decision: Take Kherson proper and win a propaganda victory while at the same time losing more troops and equipment or hold back and save their strength? My bet is the clowns will load up the clown cars and get them blown up because it is apparent to me that the only victory for the UKR piano player is siphoning off more money for him and his cronies. Just my 2 cents.
Well you said Larry, the Russians see what we don’t, Either they are incompetent or they are executing a plan. Be that as it may, this is a heavy blow, and it is undeniable, both for those who held the referendum and for the loss of the capital of that referendum, a heavy loss for both the Kremlin and Putin, the people of Russia resent it. But this seems to me as if Russia has agreed to the Dnieper being the border of division, under pressure from NATO, and that is the breakdown of Russia, because here Russia must win or die.
Larry, Always a pleasure to read you. Note to those who might not know: LOC (lines of communication) has very little to do with actual communication and everything to do with logistics, supplies and reenforcement. In 2000 I spent a week studying the LOCs office of 8th Army, G4. Five retired ROKA (Rep of Korea Army) officers who spent hours each day in contact with ROK officials) tracking the open/close status of every highway, road, canal, airport capable of moving troops and supplies throughout South Korea and even miles into North Korea. It was enlightening.
Shana Charles says
What I’m seeing today is all sorts of videos of people who live in the Kherson region and who supposedly voted to become part of Russia now waving Ukrainian flags, hugging and kissing Ukrainian soldiers, and shouting “Glory to Ukraine!” Are these people just pretending to be happy, or was it that they voted to become part of Russia because they were coerced by Russian soldiers to do so? What is your take, Larry, on what appears to be genuine joy on the part of these Kherson region residents to the appearance of Ukrainian soldiers in their town or neighborhood? Whatever the reason for these persons’ apparent happiness and joy, it’s extremely doubtful that they ever will witness Russian soldiers entering their community again.
i found this article interesting so will post it.
Russians are perplexed at the news that troops will retreat from the right bank of the Dnieper River. Considering all the recent setbacks, this has made even the most stalwart patriots in Moscow feel testy. Just as anticipation of a significant Russian offensive is on the horizon, Russian forces take the exit stage left yet again. And at precisely the moment when General Sergei “Armageddon” Surovikin had Kyiv ready to beg for mercy and electricity, it seems like somebody pulled the ripcord. The whole world is squirming. Russian back channels are a flurry of complaints. And nobody seems to know anything. This is strange since the answer is as plain as the proverbial nose on anybody’s face. The elites have put the brakes on.
HMS Terror says
There’s far more moving parts to this war than we’re aware of. We’re looking at shadows on the wall of those few actors that get hit by some light, but there’s many actors operating in total darkness who throw no shadows.
The following was found via Texas Bentley’s Telegram channel…
The above is a machine translation. The original is here (in Russian): https://t.me/s/vdv_union/6220
Surovikin may never get to fight the war he wants to fight. The war’s boundary conditions are set by persons unknown to us, with a complex of agendas we’ve no idea of. Surovikin is obliged to fight within those limits.
2 latest videos for your audience. duma of military summary is speculating a deal has been made between russia and usa to freeze the conflict and that zelensky is the wildcard.
Alex is saying he has no idea of what is really going on. he is speculating . Alex says a UN humanitarian mission is prepping for kherson and that putin is an expert of freezing conflicts and that is what he is probably doing here. alex says it reminds him of the buffer zone between north and korea and know is the time for nato troops to move in and the russians will probably not do anything. interesting that cnn is over in kiev and the strikes on the grid has quit. he reiterates that these are just his thoughts and he is just speculating.
Taras 77 says
Thought this might be of interest; serious close quarter combat. (Adds a flavor and dimension to the reports of bloodshed on both sides).
Whatever the pundits say about the Russian trooper and indeed the Ukrainian trooper (except the nazi azovs), their bravery and focus has to be admired and respected. The absolute tragedy continues!
How many soldiers of the world are prepared to exchange grenades and close in ak and mg fire in house to house fighting? (the short video clips of the house to house is in the middle of the post, scroll down)
this is a pretty show from the colonel; especially what he says about china. did not know that allot of taiwan considers themselves to be a part of china ,
could be the steal is in progress; perhaps another corrupt sherriff
»Mr. »Johnson- this is interesting podcast from mr. dankof.
due to the content of some of the material i would advise reading the synopsis and listening to it 1st before approving or disapproving it for the forum . there are allot of different articles in here.
Surovikin’s, Kadyrovvs claims make me think the army wanted to leave Kherson for weeks and perhaps for months, but was not allowed to do it untik US election. As soon as the elections were done, the army was unpegged.
This means when hasty PR-centered referendum was held in Kherson month ago – dozens of thousands of citizens there were cynically thrown under bus for the same of Russia’s PR
They made themselves refugees and beggars by believing Russia and going to that referendum and to work with Russian government there. And this all was not for some Victory or anything worth but just for a month of PR of Russia’s fatcats. I believe, every other Ukrainian took the notice, when they would be asked else where to sacrifice everything their families were accumulated for decades for the same of Russian TV having month-long celebrarion – they would probably refuse.
And then Masherov-like death of the second in chain Kherson ru-gov’t official, so smooth, pre-planned and no-haste it was.
Kherson is not a military debacle, armies go forth and back, as the war dictates them.
But its civic politics consequences are big.
A Boyles says
Western society is used to instant feedback based on the hand held computers in our pockets. It’s a psychology weakness that humans crave dopamine “hits” on a regular basis. In terms of the war, removing emotion and focusing on analysis of available troops, weaponry, industrial capacity, natural resources capacity, a united political and civilian population, a troop loss ratio significantly superior to the Ukrianian forces and the historical reality of having the patience to fight on its terms, the Russians have the overwhelming advantage in this conflict. They will win. Short term “setbacks” are of no importance when it’s obvious that as soon as the ground freezes a massive offensive campaign will be ready to be launched. The war may not be officially over but the odds are so low of NATO EU winning it’s unrealistic to discuss that possibility. Short of the use of nuclear weapons the West will lose the conflict next year. How much will Putin be satisfied with? We already said he might be willing to give up Odessa for a fair compromise. But I don’t think it’s in the cards as I think NATO troops will be put on the battlefield against Russia and will lose spectacularly. I’m praying we back down and leave Ukriane and decide it was all a big mistake.
Marc Freeman says
The Russians also evacuated 116,000 civilians who were in danger of not only the Ukies but the possible collapse of the upstream dam. Also, don’t forget that Kherson City would have been reduced to rubble in a fight to the death. Judging by the number of Ukie deaths and wounded during their attempts to attack Kherson City and few Russian or civilian deaths it seems this planned tactical withdrawal was the real winner.
Josef Schweik says
Re Kherson – elephant-sized detail: the people who lived there, mostly ethnic Russians, who were just given the opportunity two months ago to vote to join Russia, get Ru passports, and given hope that they might soon have a normal life again, and now have ,by U-turn, treacherously lost everything. And those that couldn’t or didn’t evacuate are being brutally executed. This is a betrayal against the people of Kherson of epic proportions, and directly contradicts the primary stated reason why Russia went into Ukraine. And it shows a cynical nature of Russian establishment. The regime made with them nasty and quick dirty trick , in-land refugees for ever. Such an establisehment is trustworty? Who will be next, people in Marinupol, in Crimea, just for vierchuschka not to follow Mussolini and his mistress when FUBARed everything? Btw. Again Ru army was not able to protect civilians agains brutal murders. Oh, I am stupid, had just soft degree, dunno understand strategz thingy and all the military porno with magnificent u-boots.
The lack of analysis in this comment is astounding. Why do you think they made all these people Russian citizens and gave them Russian passports in the first place? It was to get them the hell out of there.
Roger Furer says
Kherson is NOT Motel 6. No light left on.
It would be a great irony, having spent weeks plastering the damns, for the Ukrainians to occupy Kherson, only to have Russia blow up the damn.
Mr. Napoleon like many was a joker.
One of his punch lines was “Every soldier carries a Marshall’s baton in his rucksack” to encourage his soldiers being motivated by hope rather than caution.
Alan Coovert says
I was in staging battalion at Camp Pendleton in the summer of 1970 getting ready to head over to RVN when Kelly’s Hero’s came out. I was on liberty in San Diego so I went to the movies and saw it. It was the last movie I was in the states before I went overseas. Seems a
like 1000 years ago.