If you were holding out hope that the media and military analysts predicting the imminent collapse of Russia because of the failed invasion of Ukraine would get a grip on reality, think again. I take the New York Times as the leading indicator of the establishment mindset and the Times published a piece that reveals the delusion and confusion about the war in Ukraine that infects the Washington/New York Swamps.
Put simply, the article–Ukraine’s Demands for More Weapons Clash With U.S. Concerns–tacitly concedes Russia is winning but holds out hope for a dramatic Ukrainian come back. Here are the highlights (and lowlights) of the piece tapped out by CIA mouthpiece, Eric Schmitt, and Julian Barnes:
The Ukrainians say they need faster shipments of long-range artillery and other sophisticated weapons to blunt Russia’s steady advance. The United States and the Europeans insist more are on the way but are wary of sending too much equipment before Ukrainian soldiers can be trained. The Pentagon is concerned about potentially depleting its stockpiles in the coming months.
Got that? Russia is advancing steadily. The weapon systems the US and NATO want to send outnumbers the Ukrainians trained to operate them. And the trillion dollar U.S. defense budget is running out of missiles and shells and cannot keep pace with the anemically funded Russians. Hilarious.
Now for the delusional parts of the Schmitt/Barnes article:
U.S. officials say Ukraine could mount a counterattack and claw back some — though not all — of the territory it has lost if it can continue to exact a bloody toll on Russia until new weapons can flow in from the West.
And if a frog had wings it could fly. The reason Ukraine is begging for new tanks, planes, artillery units and multiple launch rocket systems is because Russia has destroyed over 80% of Ukraine’s assets. And in the process of destroying tanks and planes and artillery pieces, Russia also has killed the best of Ukraine’s troops.
But that fact escapes Schmitt and Barnes. They happily peddle the DOD/CIA bullshit that Russia has suffered staggering losses and is scraping the bottom of the barrel to fill ostensibly depleted military units:
The nearly five-month war is at a critical moment, U.S. officials and others familiar with the intelligence assessments say. As many as 100 to 200 Ukrainian soldiers have died every day since Russia shifted its military campaign in the spring to focus on eastern Ukraine. But overall, about 20,000 Russians have been killed. Injuries have taken about 60,000 more off the battlefield. Nearly a third of Russia’s equipment has been destroyed in the war, according to Western officials, including several who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.
To replenish its military, Russia would have to mobilize more of its population, by making a declaration of war — officially the conflict remains a “special military operation” — or by moving troops and equipment from Russia’s Far North or Far East to Ukraine.
Let me do the math for you. Russia started Phase 2–i.e., focusing on Donbass–on 1 April 2022. As of today, that is 104 days. If Ukraine was losing 100 a day that means only 10,400 have died. If the number is 200, that means 20,800. So let me get this straight. Ukraine, which is in a defensive crouch since April 1, has lost the Luhansk Republic and is being methodically pushed out of Donetsk, and has, under the worse case presented by US intelligence, suffered the same number of casualties as Russia?
If the Russian army actually suffered the kinds of losses claimed by Ukraine and the New York Times and anonymous US officials, then how in the hell did those sneaky Russians beat the crap out of the well entrenched Ukrainians? Russia started the “Special Military Operation” with approximately 200,000 troops. Yet the folks talking to Schmitt and Barnes insist that 80,000 Russians are casualties. In other words, 40% of the Russian force has been lost.
So, if that is true, those Russians must be incredible warriors. Ukraine has not taken back and defended a single hectare of territory it once held. This despite having a three to one numerical advantage over Russia. What the hell? Ukraine started the war with 600,000 soldiers against Russia’s paltry 200,000 and it is Russia that is, according to the Times, “steadily advancing.”
The real question that Schmitt and Barnes should have asked, how long can US officials continue to bullshit themselves and pour expensive weapon systems into a rat hole? The speed of Russia’s advance appears to be accelerating. There are reports today that Russian forces are entering the outskirts of Seversk, one of the key strong points of the new Ukrainian defensive line. If true, the Russians are likely to achieve a strategic breakthrough in the Donetsk.
What the gullible reporters and the morons who staff the CIA and DIA fail to comprehend is that Russia’s tactic of systematically destroying the air, armor and artillery assets over the past three months appears to have achieved Clausewitz’s culminating point–i.e., the point at which a military force is no longer able to perform its operations.
Ukraine, notwithstanding it numerical advantage in personnel, has yet to mount a significant offensive that has pushed the Russians back and kept them at bay. That is reality. The reality for Ukrainian troops is a nightmare. Here is a video of Russia attacking three columns of Ukrainian troops trying to launch an attack on Kherson in southern Ukraine:
At some point, the American public will awaken to this reality and realize they have supported a program of unilateral disarmament. We sent many of our best weapons to Ukraine and the Russians are blowing them to hell.
Harry Hobbes says
Such a two-dimensional combination “linear and area target” array fire mission would’ve taken about an hour or two to call as multiple mission segments three decades ago. Oh the joys of PCs and fire support software: [what appears to be] a single, multi-faceted array of both linear and area fire missions, all while the smoke still hangs in the air.
This ol’ grunt sure is glad not to be in that danger area…
Larry Johnson says
Yeah, when I saw that my jaw dropped. Stunning. That is what Ukraine DID NOT do to the 40 mile long column of tanks parked north of Kiev in early March.
Looks like 10 m or better targetting on perhaps 90% the strikes if one assumes dirt agricultural roads are around 5 m wide
The powers that be in the US keep shoveling the slop and most Americans are to lazy to take the “Red Pill” Ignorance is Bliss!
Chris Chuba says
The ‘NATO estimates Russian losses at 30%’ was trotted out as early as April, yet that number remains mysteriously frozen. It sounds more like someone wanted to put out a number as large as possible without being called out on it.
Here is one reference from the CSIS on 3/31.
Here they were putting RuA losses at 30,000 (including wounded) and calling it 25% of their total force. That was 1 mo into their operation, 3 1/2 mo’s later that number has doubled and remained fixed. And this was after the much touted Ukrainian offensives out of Kharkiv and the arrival of U.S. super weapons.
I’ll stick w/my view that someone is trotting out the largest number they can to win the info war. Our MSM is less than useless, they are state media masquerading as free media
I’m guessing those multiple Columns of smoke is what NATO will look like if they ever try an offensive against Russia.
Lots of write ups in the U.K. that our army is training “up to 10,000” Ukrainians here. All the expected staged interviews with drill sergeants saying how much progress the guys make. I do not bother with the detail of it but as far as I can tell they are being trained to operate as classic NATO style light infantry. Sounds great for colonial anti insurgency campaigns where air power will then obliterate anyone who makes contact. Not sure how it will work against the Russian method of fighting where the whole idea seems to be never to come within rifle range.
I wonder how many will (sensibly) go AWOL in the U.K., how that is being prevented, and if it happens how it will be addressed; or, more likely, covered up.
Little or no armor. No air cover and very little artillery….no more than dead men.
The “British Training” propaganda is made for local European consumption. When was the last time the British military won a war? So far NATO put up their best equipment, men and strategists and they ended up annihilated, while the Russians are saying “you ain’t seen nothing yet”!
What weakens Russia is the influence of its liberal class. Imagine they continue to supply Russia’s NATO enemies with energy, It is unprecedented that a country at war helps its enemies keep killing its own troops. Russia’s self-defeating policy encourages more Western provocations. Furthermore, their Liberal Spokesman Says BRICS is Not a Substitute for G20! The CIA knows that Russia’s soft belly is its liberal class; the Kremlin cannot escape its deluded belief in “dialogue with the West”, thus limiting Russia’s military might and the probability of losing its military gains! Let’s hope it does not go nuclear.
Just playing devils advocate here but imagine a scenario where the oil and gas sold to the enemy was enough to finance the war and then some. Gazprom, Transneft and Lukoil among others are majority owned by the Russian government. Not only is the Russian government profiting from selling gas to the enemy but the Ukrainians get transit fees that help finance their war as well. If Russia cut off all oil and gas sales to Europe both sides suffer financially. Russia will find other markets for their oil and gas however these pipelines to Europe are like a broken slot machine that spews infinite quarters. Maybe the Russian answer to the USA’s magic printing press?
No distinction between Russian and DLR forces and losses. Sloppy (or ignorant). Obviously inflation has lessened the value/quality of our taxpayer-funded propaganda.
Bert Huber says
In german media, they are talking much about the Himars, saying that this could be the “gamechanger”….
Himars have one thing that is a challenge which is the long range rockets which are difficult to defend against if fired at civilian targets. Other than that they are multi barrel rocket launchers and the Russians have lots of them.
Russian army buys specimens of advanced Western armament
VOLTAIRE NETWORK | 3 JULY 2022
DEUTSCH ESPAÑOL FRANÇAIS ITALIANO NEDERLANDS NORSK PORTUGUÊS
The purchase by the Russian Army of two French CAESAR self-propelled guns from the Ukrainian Armed Forces for the modest sum of 120,000 dollars has brought to light the existence of a negotiation channel between Ukrainian officials and Moscow.
The Russian secret services are only interested in advanced armament, having already procured and vetted the most common materials. They have thus set their sights on obtaining samples of the U.S.-made M142 HIMARS multiple rocket launchers. Negotiations are carried out directly with the Ukrainian SBU.
Once acquired, these weapons are dismantled and studied by Russian military engineers.
They pulled a sneaky on you. The number of Russian troops don’t count the Donbass militias but the casualty figures _do_ include them. My understanding is the two republics are supplying 50k -100k men each.
That is indeed surgical!
I am not worried when the Russians spend on their military 10% of what the US spends. Anything less than ten times what the Russians spend and I would worry about the US.
US spent so much of its budget propping needless foreign bases (overt and covert bases) to maintain US control of the world..
Also major part of the budget is personel cost , serving or retired.
indian military budget also collapsed under the weight of useless pensioners , so they enforce a new system where recruits now enter 4 years of service with no pension
Then you have all boondoggle projects that feed the Defence contractors. The thinned out US industrial no doubt pushes up defence costs.
The amount of money spent on military is not a guarantee of superiority!!
Is there any better target area for artillery, flat open land with roadways and property boundaries offering limited concealed movement.
Not going to be another Afghanistan re deluded Western thinking as there is no place to hide.
I have no doubt that the people who follow this blog know that media censorship has been a key factor in the destruction of this country. I don’t know how much influence the CIA really had via Mockingbird, but two other things come to mind. First is the boiling frogs approach to the endless erosion of free speech since the onset of political correctness and identity politics decades ago. The other is the centralization of the media into oligarch hands as has been the case with other industries curtesy of the uniparty.
I believe that if there is going to be a real breakthrough in the media censorship, it will not come via Russia/Ukraine. It will be due to covid lawsuits from people like Reiner Fuellmich and David Martin proving FRAUD by pharma and the health agencies regarding the gain of function research and bioweapon covid shots. Assuming there are still honest judges left in this world who would rule on the evidence, the fraud will not be able to be suppressed from an increasingly outraged public who have taken the shots. Among other things, pharma would go bankrupt as their government protections would vanish. The media conglomerates and others covering up the fraud would also be liable and up to their eyeballs in lawsuits.
Hopefully mainstream media could then be decentralized, deoligarched and allow real professionals like Larry to reach a much larger portion of the public on many subjects.
At least that’s my wishful thinking du jour.
There is a more credibile estimate of russian losses:
The Chief of the General Staff General Sir Patrick Sanders’ speech at the RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2022. Delivered on 28 June 2022 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
“The scale of the war in Ukraine is unprecedented. 103 Battalion Tactical Groups committed. Up to 33,000 Russians dead, wounded, missing or captured.”
33.000 total losses (KIA/WIA/MIA) is a much more realistic estimate (and the source is somewhat “autoritative”, one can guess that the Chief of the British Army General Staff will try to avoid); if “dombassians” are not included, then the total russian losses can reach 50.000, which is still credibile out of a force of 300.000 or more (DPR and LPR have mobilized part of their population).
On the other side, ukranian losses are probably well above 100.000, considering a number of factors (size of mobilized forces, increasing desperate mobilization, acknowledged rate of losses in equipment, anedoctical evidence of losses in some front units, constant operational failure, effects of attrition warfare).
Reality is the opposite of the fictional narrative promoted by Kiev and Washington.
what kind of moron would think that anything coming from UK is credible source ? either you are a troll or you are an IO operator spreading nonsense
like a certain old senile ex DIA ex Green beret colonel who arrogantly said his analysis is true because he used telegraph.co.uk as prime source
UK is now a military pigmy along with France, Germany, Italy, etc. The British Army would struggle to fill a small UK soccer stadium. Any commentary coming out of the UK is idiotic.
The puffs of smoke from the Artillery makes me wonder if their rounds are fused for impact ? I would think that firing against troops in open country, the fusing would be set for air burst. the goal would be to scatter metal around as broadly as possible. Is such proximity fusing not used ? More expensive or are ground impacts/detonation the more effective or is it simply that it’s hard to tell the difference between the 2 as they both look the same from afar.
If there are any artillery hands out there it would be great to get in education on the performance of artillery in situations like this.
I keep hoping that the people of Ukraine will put a stop to this and demand surrender. I guess it just speaks to the power of propaganda and the power of modern police states to keep the population in line.
i dont know if you are just naive or idealistic person. there is no “people of ukraine” , only their western puppet leader and his henchmen who will keep dissent people shut up.
there is no propaganda to control ordinady people in ukraine , only iron fisted state apparatus and their criminal lackeys
Eric Newhill says
I agree with the analysis presented on the posts on this forum. I think Moon of Alabama is usually on target, as is Andrei. UKR is losing and isn’t going to reverse that reality no matter what the US/NATO invests in the effort.
That said, I am little confounded that UKR resistance in the East hasn’t totally collapsed. I stuck my neck out and predicted there would be mass surrenders of surviving UKR units by early June. I still expect to see that sometime this Summer, but I’m not as certain as I was. What gives? What keeps the Ukrainians fighting despite heavy losses, no victories and constant bombardment? Stubborn Slavic mentality?
Michael Doliner says
The NY Times is not a newspaper. It is a playbook for lesser blabbermouths to repeat. Any sensible person reads it to find out what they want us to think. But why do they want us to think it? What good does it do them that the stupefied American public swallows bullshit?
Sorry about your mother Larry. I don’t check in every day.
Eric Newhill says
I’m assuming different motives for publishing BS for different situations. Re, UKR, I suspect the motive is so we don’t complain as tens of $billions of our hard-earned money is turned over to UKR Oligarchs (and some back to internal oligarchs). Because, you know, we can’t give up now with victory just around the corner, light at the end of the tunnel, etc. – stories that have been repeated, deliberately falsely, since the early 1960s. Generations of Americans are raised on such nonsense. Seems to work, for the most part; at least long enough to keep the money rolling in for the debacle du jour, which morphs into a new one as soon as the former goes down in flames.
Eric Newhill says
On second thought, maybe it’s mostly psychological; a pathological need to feel in control by creating a reality – even if false – that is more palatable.
As an introvert I’ve never really understood extroverts. I see what they do, but don’t quite get it unless I really think about the psychological drives. It’s probably a lot more fun for these shapers of social opinions to have something fun and exciting and positive to discuss amongst themselves than to deal with unpleasant realities. I actually think that need drives a lot of what we see as goofiness in the opinion and policy arena. The face of the government and media are all highly driven extroverts. By definition, they are not deep thinkers on average. On the other hand, the deep thinkers tend to shy away from the public arena.