Have you ever played poker with a novice? I am talking about the person who does not understand the concept of a poker face. The rookie is dealt a hand of five card stud and breaks into a wide grin accompanied by a face flushed red as he or she gazes on at a full house. Only one teeny problem — the poker master on the other side of the table is holding four aces.
That is what happened today as Ukraine and the West reacted to news, confirmed by Russia’s own Ministry of Defense, that a U.S. Himars hit an improvised barracks of Russian soldiers and killed at least 63. Why the big deal? We have been told repeatedly over the last 8 months that Russia is suffering catastrophic casualties. What makes this so special and deserving of so much attention?
The answer is simple — this is the first time since the war started in February 2022 that Russia has suffered more than 50 casualties in one engagement in one day. How do I know? Because the Russian telegram channels lit up immediately when this happened. This is the first time I have seen that kind of reaction from the Russian side in the last 10 months.
The reaction to this missile attack highlights the stark contrast between Russia and Ukraine. The spokesman for the Russian MOD freely and frankly admitted to the “success” of the Ukrainian strike while the Ukrainian military — which is losing at least 200 men every day — covers up their losses and insists they are beating the hell out of Russia. The Ukrainians have told so many lies over the course of the last 10 months — e.g. the Ghost of Kiev, capturing a Russian border outpost, shooting down all Russian cruise missiles, driving the Russians out of Kherson, etc. — that this successful missile strike finally gave them something real they could celebrate.
But this attack is a lie. It was not carried out by highly trained Ukrainian troops sitting on an ample supply of Himars. This was done with Western supplied intelligence that identified the troop concentration and provided the coordinates for launching a precision strike. Moreover, it is highly likely that NATO troops were helping operate the Himar system. This attack actually is a sign of Ukrainian and Western desperation. It changes nothing in terms of the strategic picture.
The Saker beat me to it in making the correct observation that there is more to this Himars attack than the destruction of a company of Russian troops:
Still, NATO does not act just to show that it can act. There is a real, military, purpose behind these strikes. And it is not “just” to provoke Russia into some kind of response (not with tens and even hundreds of Russian missile strikes every day already taking place). . . .
Why would NATO want the Russian offensive sooner rather than later? In all its other actions, the AngloZionists have tried to draw out this war for as long as possible, so why would they want to make the Russians attack sooner rather than later?
Because the Russian General Staff is waiting for all the “ducks to be lined” up before attacking. Thus by trying to force the Russians into a premature attack date, NATO is, very logically, trying to prevent all the said “ducks” to be “lined up”. In other words, NATO is trying to force the hand of the Russian General Staff by increasing the pressure on the Kremlin to “finally take action”.
I make a point of watching how the media played this story today. I watched Sky News, Fox News and Al-Jazeera. All portrayed this as another major setback for the Russians and one more piece of evidence that the Ukrainian counter-offensive is achieving great success. It is mass delusion.
That said, it looks like the Brits are having a tougher time hanging on to that delusion. The top story on Sky News during the day was the escalating crisis of the U.K.’s National Health Service. Strikes by ambulance drivers and nurses are killing people and the grieving relatives are furious. Their focus is on the failure of the Tory Government to keep their loved ones alive. I did not see Brits clamoring to send more aid to Ukraine.
I think that January will be a turning point in the war in terms of Western support for Ukraine if there is harsh winter weather and worsening economic conditions, which will increase domestic political pressure on the NATO countries to take care of business at home. What do you think?