If you are hoping that Ukraine will pull a rabbit out of its hat and vanquish the Russians, this article is not for you. Let us start with one stark fact–Ukraine has not ousted Russian troops from a single piece of territory and held that territory since the start of the war. And no, Ukraine did not force the retreat of the Russian troops in March that surrounded Kiev in March. That was a classic feint and was used successfully to pin Ukraine forces around Kiev so that Russia could concentrate on Mariupol and the Donbas.
But for the sake of argument, let’s agree that Ukraine pushed the Russians out of their “siege” of Kiev. What has Ukraine taken and held since then? Easy answer. NOTHING. By contrast, Russia laid siege to Mariupol in early March and concluded the campaign in late May, with the surrender of more than 2500 Ukrainian Nazis. Russia then shifted its full attention to the Luhansk Republic and ousted Ukraine by the end of June. And now it is making steady progress in recapturing Donetsk with the help of the militias from Donetsk and Luhansk.
These facts notwithstanding, the Ukrainian Government continues to insist that victory is just around the corner. The latest source of optimism stems from the arrival of the U.S. muliple launch rocket systems (i.e., MLRS) known as the HIMARS. Just look at the headlines from the past week:
Russia has ammo shortages from Ukraine’s Himars and MLRS hits on weapons depots
Russians ‘in Panic Mode’ Over Strikes by U.S.-Supplied HIMARS: Ukraine
Ukraine’s new US rockets are causing fresh problems for Russia
Ukraine War Changes Tide Again: HIMARS | The Wentworth Report
Russia suffers ‘wild shell hunger’ as Ukraine hits arms depots with long-range Western rockets
Wow. Russia must be on the ropes. Surely they are retreating in panic in the face of this fierce firestorm. They have run out of shells and rockets and can no longer kill Ukrainian troops. Is that the story? Well, other headlines from today tell a different story:
War in Ukraine: Russia steps up attacks with new missile strikes
Russia steps up attacks across Ukraine’s north, east, south (ABC News)
Russia hits western Ukraine in Kalibr cruise missile strike from submarine in Black Sea killing 20 (Fox News)
Strikes on Civilians Deep in Ukraine Show Russia’s Lethal Reach (NY Times)
Apparently, someone forgot to tell the Russians that they are out of missiles and are losing and are in a panic. Shell shortage? I don’t think so. Check out this video from today’s Russian bombardment of Seversk:
There is some good news. Lockheed Martin gets paid roughly $12 million dollars per HIMARS unit to crank these babies out. At least the shareholders of Lockheed Martin are doing well.
Thank you, Mr Johnson, for debunking, once again, the Ukrainian smoke screen. Your last statement is the essence: more money for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Complex (Eisenhower wanted to have “Congressional” in that summary, but was talked out of using it. It is nonetheless true: members of congress get huge funding from the MI[C]C, as well as ex-Military getting over paid, mouthpiece jobs after they retire (delayed bribery). I saw the same in the Prison-Industrial-State Legislature-Complex where the wardens would go to work for the companies they bought from for cushy jobs. While I sympathize with Brandon’s addiction problems (he is a victim – getting high is an escape, not some pleasure dome), I cannot imagine that Brandon and Biden are not getting a cut of the inflation augmenting largess sent to the Ukrainonazis. Follow the money!
A small note regarding the Russian feint towards Kiev: in addition to pinning “… Ukraine forces around Kiev so that Russia could concentrate on Mariupol and the Donbas” it also allowed the capture of Kherson (taken on 2 March) which established a bridgehead across the Dnepr. This will be vital to any subsequent operations if there is an intention to move further west, say to Odessa. The Ukrainians have made several futile attempts to push the Russians out of this bridgehead, The Germans learned during WW2 that a Russian bridgehead was a serious military problem, as eventually the Russians would attack out of it. Other events overshadowed Kherson’s capture, but I think it will prove decisive later on.
The publicly available info says the Himars has a range of 50 miles. That’s hardly ‘long range’, unless you are talking about artilery and not rockets.
“That was a classic feint …”
It looks like the VDV got shot to pieces in that “feint”. It appears more like it was an actual attempt to take the city, or at least the airfield and other facilities nearby, and they were stopped and bloodied because they did not have enough mass behind the attack. No the Ukrainian AF did not magically appear and shoot up the truck column must discussed here and elsewhere.
Larry Johnson says
There is no evidence to support your claim that the got “shot to pieces”. No video. Seriously, if the Ukrainians did such a thing they would have plastered it all over the internet.
Pretty sure the story of trying to take the airfield has been outed as a work of fiction along side Snake Island, the ghost of Kiev, etc.
😀 LOL!!! You are a funny guy. Try harder, man. Much harder. This is pathetic.
Bf 109 says
You think the Russians would try to take a city of millions of people, defended by an army larger than the attacking force, with the only resupply route being a narrow, unsecured corridor across Ukraine controlled terretory?
My theory is it was either a feint, or that they tried to make a fast push to cut the war short by scaring Kiev into a surrender.
Recent US defense budget over 850 billions.
That money should be spent on something else. Where are the colonies on the moon or Mars. Human species is disgusting and deserves extinction. I pray for nuclear war.
Got all those civilian pen pushers, desk-bound brass, boondoggle projects and static targets, I mean bases, to pay for.
Eric Newhill says
Well, let’s see – some sources say the US sent four of these HIMARS and some sources say six. The Russians have apparently already destroyed two. They made that claim on the July 6th and no one has disputed it. So the HIMARS have been reduced by 50% (or maybe 33%) in short order.
It would seem HIMARS produce a signature that can be used to target them. The Russians have plenty of stuff that can hit them from more than 50 miles away (which isn’t far for anything except old school arty). I’m also thinking that Russia would have plenty of HUMINT operating in the areas it plans to attack next and/or areas where HIMARS and such might be positioned. A guy with a cell phone and GPS is as good a forward observer as there ever was. Heck, some Ukrainian might even rat out the HIMARS location for the hopes of a little reward from the Russians. But probably special operations guys sneaking around way out front + satellites + special aircraft + drones + SIGINT. Anyhow, there’s no way the remaining two (or four) HIMARS are going to last to even make a dent in the steady Russian advance, IMO. The US and west are embarrassing themselves. I kind of resent it, personally.
Maybe the US is just using UKR as a test/proving grounds for the system.
Eric Newhill says
Correction – Now that I actually read up on it, it seems there have been a dozen HIMARS in UKR for over a month and the US is sending four more units. Who knows? It would seem the dozen HIMARS haven’t stopped the Russian’s geographical gains, despite fun stories of what the HIMARS have destroyed over the last month or so. I admit to being confused. HIMARS should be old news by now. Why the hype all of the sudden. Desperation? Feh. I give up on trying to obtain facts to work from and will defer to others for the immediate future.
Psychology, The US/NATO armies have already been proven to be paper tigers. These HIMARS are operated by Americans, (I don’t think the Nazi’s are trained in their usage) and if you want a good sales sheet, you need to ratchet up their alleged precision and value……they’re certainly useful for murdering civilians, maybe the ultimate aim?
More likely to be a Ukrainian that is an ethnic Russian operating as eyes and ears.
“The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism…
“No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses. No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon.”
Funding gap of two and a half trilllion for Infrastructure going forward which will likely grow as they cut programs to maintain the military, security services, etc.
“WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”
What note can one add to this…
I think that’s right @Eric Newhill, HIMARS are being put in the shop window. They are also an effective weapon particularly if used in numbers by skilled personnel and while they won’t stop the Russian advance they will kill and punish and slow down the advance in areas.
The US never believed Russia would lose. The objective is to hurt the advance, slow it,prolong the war, generate good PR and placate the Ukies, try to keep them in the fight while US figures out what to do next.
The HIMARS are an impressive weapon. Particularly for small countries much smaller than the US or Russia the range is good and they don’t have great defences and long range weapons in most of the world.
I expect sales of this weapons to shoot up.
Note also the US is now actively fighting on at least 3 fronts:-
– Syria – large use of proxies but increasing US presence
– Ukraine – special ops, field commanders, weapons supply, intel
– East Africa – BIden regime is preparing for. HUGE amount of civil unrest in mineral, gold, gas and Oil rich East Africa. Countries they are currently targeting, Ethiopia destabilisation and proxy war, Somalia, successfully overthrow last president who kept peace, was hugely popular and was rebuilding the country, US base back in there, increasing troop presence in Kenya, Uganda found gold, over 1trillion worth, they want that too.
The extent of robbery, destruction and rape of resources by the US with complete discregard for human life is staggering in it raw brutality. The word savages barely cuts it.
Kenyan give held an emergency session on what to do about US threat, lastest arm twisting by Blinken and IMF plus US legislation passed weeks ago to punish African countries dealing in anyway with Russia, especially in mineral extraction. Expect this to extend to China in time.
Asked what Kenya would do o about US neo-colonoalism, a representative replied, “what can we do? We can’t fight a superpower”.
What is interesting about the US is how the establishment has convinced most Americans they are a ‘good country’. America is not a good country. That shop sailed with Kennedy. Since WWII America is the greatest threat to humanity and the rest of the world.
Biden is the leader of the free world, the rest is the slave world.
Funny how US has replicated slavery just of slave nations in the South and free rulers in the North.
As always. The leader of the free can only enslave others while their own population are willingly or unwillingly complicit
American state-slavery can only be stopped in two ways, internally by Americans (unlikely as they can’t access information and can’t believe their country is a bad guy) or by a third party state violence and massive global resistance.
The first has failed. The second has just started.
Eric Newhill says
FYI…I am an unashamed capitalist of the Henry Ford variety. Pay the workers/wogs enough to buy their own model-T. It will make for a much better world that socialism/communism or naked barbarism, which is what you get from the unenlightened who will inevitably come knocking on your door.
That said, agree that the US is overextended.
The Chinese are all over Africa. Looks to me like they darf US influence and presence at this point. Don’t know for sure as I am not there.
Capitalism is a great motivator and wealth creator. I’m all for it and it’s served me well. But it’s vulnerable to state capture and oligarchy which means destruction of meritocracy and opportunity that built economies.
Has this fantasy printing of Mon existent money not taken over and the US continued Kennedy’s idea of backing wealth and creativity for growth the US would be doing great. Other capitalist countries have a decent balance. The Swiss are maybe over controlling but they manage it well, ditto HK Singapore etc
To be fair Trump also believed in backing small business to create jobs and wealth. Manuchin deserves more credit than he ever gets.
US radically changed its economic model, particularly monopoly legislation, over the years and the 2008 bailout of the banks sowed seeds for a huge future collapse.
I have friends in the US working 2 jobs can’t cut a break.
Lack of enforcement of monolopistic legislation kills business and opportunitt. If Amazon and Starbucks are everywhere, breaking into that sector becomes a higher and higher threshold.
Like big pharma they buy up all the little guys, shelf great patents that threaten profit and rule the roost. So competition becomes unfair and that kills innovation, opportunity and capitalism turns to oligarchy. Rot started under Bush W and by Trump is was too late to do much and they had the guy in a headlock on day 1.
Sorry Larry, I digress.
Eric Newhill says
Agree. Capitalism is good. Crony capitalism is bad.
When the socialist bloc existed, even the hardest capitalists had to provide better conditions for their slaves. Now you see the true capitalism (oligarchy).
US retains alot of clout in Africa. Though it is decreasing they are now using what they have rigorously.
China has economic influence but no one fears China as a military threat in Africa. They see it as a helper/ straightforward/ exploiter / western counterweight/ potential future threat. But it’s largely business.
US they fear. Because they’ve seem what’s happened and they think the CIA will chop their heads off 9 ways to Sunday.
Eric Newhill says
thx for the clarification US V China in Africa
They Chinese are also in South America and it looks like they will do deals to gain access to an estimated four trillion Dollars in minerals in Afghanistan. While the US was bombing and droning in that country China was building oil and gas production.
BRICS is getting involved in africa to put a halt to these color revolutions we shall see who can walk and chew gum
Russia Killing Nazis good. Ukrainians killing the manufacturer of famine, GUALAGs, support of terrorists, Iranian Mullahs and a government that supports killing of Israelis good. Sadly, you are correct Ukraine as it is being guided by the US (Biden, Milley, Austin) has no chance. But killing of Russians has no sympathy from me.
Killing of Russian civilians or military? Or you just want them all dead?
Just curious why killing of Russians is good? Did you have bad experiences with the people when you lived there? Not judging just curious.
Yes, yes, Israhell is good! Good terrorists.
I was at a party last night. The attendees were intelligent educated people, bankers, two doctors, a lawyer and a college professor. All acquaintances of me. I eavesdropping a corner conversation the topic being how “Putin screwed the pooch ” and how they are getting massacred in Ukraine. It was serious and I tried not to laugh. Instead of getting in the middle of it, I changed the subject to the Netherlands and the farmer blockade. It only elicited blank stares. I pivoted to Italy, what do you guys think of Draghi and the lack of natural gas going into the winter. Blank stares only.
I mentioned that Germany is running PSA’s instructing people how to split wood to burn for heat.
The reaction was ” where do you get your news”?
My was “you all need to turn off the TV”
I experience that here in Australia with lots of people. It’s a form of group think created by the media. A few get really nasty when their ignorance is challenged.
it’s a good thing for the mic, the washington politicans and the pentagon that america is an oligarchy and NOT a democracy contrary to popular myth of the voters would understand that washington has hoodwinked them, the pentagon has promised a victory in ukraine they CAN NOT achieve, the MIC designs and manufactures cutting edge weapons as opposed to the second rate junk they actually produce and deliver.
like i said it’s a good thing for all these pigs at the trough the usa is not a democracy or there might actually be consequences for all the bad decisions they have made thus far and all the military crap procured at astounding prices cheating the taxpayers.
I still cannot believe, that the west drove an initially west-friendly Russia (especially to Germany) now into the arms of the more and more violent and totalitarian acting chinese communist system which aims to annihilate individualism and freedom. When I listen again and again to the 1h speech Mr.Putin delivered in the german Bundestag (in german !)about the cooperation offers he gave and how the reaction of the then green minister of foreign affairs Joschka Fischer (then already best friend with the evil sorceress Albright) was, I could cry. That was a huge opportunity. Mr. Fischer then was already under the spell of Albright, By which means a once streetfighter opposition man could be pressed under empire control, we will probably never now. Perhaps some blackmail about his past, or just threatening his life by demonstrating what they are able to do to anyone. And later in 2015 I listened with open mouth to Mr. George Friedman, head of a well known think tank openly speaking about the greatest fear the american empire wants to avoid at all cost: The conjunction of german engineering and russian raw materials and resources. Then I really started to fully understand why this disgusting games are being played since the last 90 years or so. A tragedy. America will pay. Europe will pay. Our democracies are shattered. Probably an even worse nightmare tha the former mentioned conjunction will shatter the American Empire now. The conjunction of chinese engineering and technology and Russias military power and resources. And: The rest of the world also seems to be feed up of slavery.
what makes you so fearful of the Chinese? your sinophobia practically dripping with every word.
“violent and totalitarian acting chinese communist system which aims to annihilate individualism and freedom”
the only nation that cause so much violence and instill world wide totalitarian hegemony / empire is USA. The same USA that hoodwinked it’s own citizen into thinking they lived in the most democratic and great nation in the world.. No wonder the average US citizens so stupid and ignorant , it is precisely due to endless kool aid ingestion..
I’m not fearful of the Chinese people, its rather the system which governs them and the example it gives for our partially criminal politicians. So a lockdown of a 20 million inh. city is not totalitarian? The extensive use of face recognition as identification and tracking, the nationwide planned introduction of a social credit system with total control of your movement, of your basic needs with the ability to deny everything if you are disobedient is not totalitarian? Its not, that we don’t have enough of these people in political power dreaming about this instruments of control in the so called “free west”, they basically intend the same for us. The “Virus” made their dreams come closer. The west is in the hands of a nearly completely corrupted main stream media press (at least in Germany), which produces an enormous wave of disinformation by telling only half of the truth, willingly. News are lying, the truth dripples out at nighttime, when nobody can follow it because he has to get up for work. But its good for the statistic of “balanced reporting” and thus justifying before incompetent controlling organs the enormous money they get to produce crap. I have some first hand experience with those people since a long time. Some are really malintentioned some are just dumb but willing (which qualifies nowadays) and some in between.
One can admire the way China got out of a post colonial time, being completely empovered after getting rid of the chains of colonial slavery. A totalitarian system disguised as communism made it possible to prevent capitalist vultures. to drain the land of its resources although at a high cost, as they did in Russia before Putin came to power. The main problem is always and in every country: Education. Education in free science. Education to cooperation with others (because humans are herd mammals). Education to become a happy person, because the world looks different then.