You got to give the New York Times and the Washington Post reporters credit for one thing–they are tenacious in the art of self-delusion. They report the news without understanding the implications and contradictions in their reporting.
First up, the clueless the New York Times:
Russians, Risking Isolation in the South, Build Up for Ukrainian Attack—
The Ukrainians have been setting the stage for a broad counteroffensive in the southern Kherson region for weeks, and recent long-range rocket strikes have left thousands of Russian soldiers stationed west of the Dnipro River, in and around the port city of Kherson, in a precarious position, largely cut off from Russian strongholds to the east.
But Russia is now moving “the maximum number” of forces to the southern front in the Kherson region, the head of Ukraine’s National Security Council told Ukrainian television late Wednesday. The official, Oleksiy Danilov, described “a very powerful movement of their troops” to the front in Kherson.
While Western weapons have poured into the country, Ukraine said more arms were still needed and ammunition remained limited. Some Ukrainian officials have grown increasingly frustrated with what they believe is the slow pace of weapons deliveries from Western allies. Donor nations are training Ukrainian soldiers to use the new equipment, but that, too, remains a work in progress.
“Just give them weapons and let them work,” said Natalya Gumenyuk, the spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern military command, which is responsible for the Kherson offensive.
Note the source for the “news” that Russian soldiers are stranded and in a “precarious” position–it is all from official Ukrainian spokes-models. If the Ukrainian military really had the Russian army on the ropes, why is Ukraine pleading for more arms and ammunition? Seriously, the United States has supplied Ukraine with more weapons in the last four months then it provided to the once invincible Afghan army and Ukraine has exhausted those supplies?
The Ukrainian military no longer has a fixed-wing jet fighter/bomber capability. Ukraine does not have an intact tank regiment. What is it going to do? An old school, over the top a la World War I mass charge by Ukrainian troops? Launching HIMARS at one bridge is not a game changer.
The real interesting tidbit in the NY Times report is the claim, again sourced to Ukrainian officials, that Russia is moving the maximum number of troops to Kherson. How can Russia do that if it is struggling to attract new recruits to fill its devastated ranks? And where are those troops coming from? Not the Donbas.
According to the Washington Post, President Zelensky wants all civilians still living in the part of the Donetsk Republic still controlled by Ukraine to get the hell out:
Zelensky issued a mandatory evacuation order for civilians still living in the war-torn eastern region of Donetsk, saying many were refusing to leave. “There are hundreds of thousands of people, tens of thousands of children … many people refuse to leave … but it really needs to be done,” he said in his nightly address. Russian forces have seized large areas of Donetsk but observers say its offensive has slowed.
If Ukraine was prevailing and pushing the Russians back, why must the inhabitants of Donetsk flee to the western part of Ukraine? In fact, according to the Post reporters, Russia has “seized large areas of Donetsk”. What Zelensky knows is that the folks who still live in the Donbas are Russian speakers and welcome the Russian troops as liberators. If you feared the Russians and were living in Donetsk and the Russians were approaching your town, would Zelensky have to order you to get out? No. It is ridiculous.
One more indicator of desperation on the part of Zelensky. Why ask people who allegedly support you to abandon territory if you, i.e. Zelensky, have a legitimate chance of reversing the Russian offensive? You don’t. You call on them to take up arms and fight the Russians. That is not happening.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, US military analysts are briefing the chain of command that Ukraine is coming apart at the seams. The boys and girls at the Defense Intelligence Agency can no longer hide the fact that Ukraine is not winning and has no path forward to victory. This growing acknowledgement of Ukraine’s dire situation is likely to generate push back from Austin and Milley to stop recklessly pouring more US weapons and equipment into the rapidly growing black hole that is Ukraine. Even those two political sychophants are acquainted with Kenny Roger’s ballad, The Gambler.
Problem is, these idiots *don’t* know when to fold ’em. Anyone who plays poker has seen this, there are people who simply cannot let go of their losing hands and always keep calling every bet to the river.
Eric Newhill says
They can afford to be unwise. It’s not their money that they play with. There is no accountability to the people who’s money they are gambling away.
James Owen says
It’s not their lives, either. Or the lives of their families and friends.
James K says
That and NATO virtually has almost “all the funding in the world” anyway — so, as you mentioned, yes they can afford to be unwise. But, Russia is also probably very grateful for whatever “breathing room” their “lack of wisdom” is giving to Russia as well!
For those claiming Russia is taking things too “slowly” in Ukraine, well, so is NATO (it takes *two* to fight slowly, after all, anyway!). It is a pretty desperate time for Russia (pacing around the world looking for anyone / any country willing to join BRICS and/or support its military and/or economic ambitions) anyway, trying to buy up whatever time it can. And I’m not just throwing the term “desperate” just willy-nilly like that — even Putin had to openly accept Finland’s NATO ambitions as “It’s ok, Finland — go join NATO! It’s not like it represents a security threat for us or anything!”
Anyway, rather fortunate for Russia that NATO is in no rush to send in its own brigades, armies, air forces, etc… to quickly turn Ukraine into a firestorm / crater just to set up some NATO bases, instead desiring to just keep it around (according to the Pentagon — for years!) as a long-term money laundry and source of “manufactured crises” (conveniently blamed on Russia, of course) for their member governments to expand (eventually dictatorial) power and control over their respective countries.
Larry’s earlier article about “Don’t Interrupt!” was pretty spot-on about why the Russians are also taking things “slowly” — but a little *underestimating* perhaps, about how grateful Russia ultimately is for all that corruption and “inefficiency” of the West!
Just yesterday the Ukrainians were saying that bridge, and a single rail line, are logistics choke points they can cut easily. Yet, given those ‘facts’, they say that the strategic geniuses of the Russian Federation are “… moving the maximum number of troops to Kherson…” Where presumably they will run out of supplies. Which begs the question of how the people living there fed themselves for all these months.
Eric Newhill says
I’ve been messaged today about a “million man” Ukrainian force going on the offensive. Clown world. You don’t like reality? You can change it by honking the magical big bicycle horn and then tweeting out something happier. HOnk! HOnk! See? It’s all better now.
IMO, the Ukrainians are just teeing up a request for more money.
PT Barnum, the perfect source of wisdom for Clown World, told us that a sucker is born every minute.
Vogue want a picture of Zelensky lying on a HIMARS surrounded by Beyoncé and the Kardashian’s. Send the HIMARS let’s make this happen.
I heard a strange report on ABC that US troops are gathered in Romania and are just a short time away from the front. I don’t know why they said it. However, the Ukrainians are close to collapse in the area of Donetsk. Supposedly the Russians will have no mercy on those troops who have been shelling Donetsk. But it is payback for their brutal mining of civilian areas. As for Kherson, Russian air power and artillery will slaughter the Ukrainians.
My guess at most extreme is Zelensky will give Odessa to Poland before Russia arrives there. This would be unlikely but it would be interesting.
That a major fashion magazine was used to build up Zelenskyy’s image may presage his forthcoming downfall and not necessarily by fair means.
To be blamed on the all pervasively influential Russian President!
Something of Western Mainstream Media manipulation of the US-NATO-UK Ukrainian Proxy War on Russia – totality of failure – is discussed here . . .
The question that remains – as all the mainstream narratives come to be seen as outright, constructed lying, what will The Western Leadership Class do to maintain themselves, other than applying an iron fist crackdown?
Thanks very much for the newsletter.
Crackdown and double down is their probable answer.
Great clues of bad faith nonsense that you are picking out of the media maelstrom.
It is always disconcerting to read what the MSM can get away with.
–Assad is winning, so he uses chemical agents just to invite US bombing ?!
–The Russians have bombed the bridges over the Severodonetsk river, even though advancing armies try to preserve bridges (? ‘A Bridge too far’) and retreating armies blow them up ?!
–Putin is using gas as a weapon, even though the Yamal pipeline is pumping in reverse from Germany to Poland, Germany refuses to use NS2, and Siemens refuses to perform on maintenance contacts, and Russia is meeting contracts with all paying customers insofar as not technically blocked ?!
–Russia is targeting schools and hospitals, but also randomly shelling civilians because they cannot aim; they are trying to commit genocide on Ukrainians, but everyone in Kiev still has internet, public transit, telephone, electricity, hot and cold running water ?!
–Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire, which is why he didn’t recognize the DPR & LNR when they voted to secede and petitioned the Russian Federation to join it but instead waited 8 years ?!
The media is full of such narratives which test your incredulity when you just stop 2 seconds to think about why anyone would behave like that: ‘They hate us for our freedom.’
Outstanding observations, Doldrom – the way you highlight such inane contradictions reminds me of Patrick Armstrong. I know the Canuck Gestapo bullied him into silence, but I wish he’d start posting again.
That silly slogan, ‘They hate us for our freedom,’ made me uncomfortable even back in the early 2000s, when I still blindly supported American wars … I guess because even then I knew ‘they’ [whoever] had lots of other reasons for hating us.
Some wit on the ‘Liberty Memes’ Facebook page, last fall after the Taliban victory, slapped that slogan on a picture of heavily armed Taliban cavorting on the pleasure boats at Band-i-Ameer. Hilarious.
James Owen says
I stopped believing their nonsense in 1980, when I was twelve. I don’t pay the MSM any mind, whatsoever.
If the news says; “Plane crashes on takeoff from xyz airport,” I assume that everything that comes after the headline, is pure D BS.
M Droy says
Know NOT to fold ’em.
This is about creating carnage. About a complete de-coupling of Europe and the One Belt One Road Chinese trading system which Russia inevitably is part of.
The only issue (and the purpose of the PR war) is to hide that fact that Biden and deep state are 100% responsible for all these unnecessary deaths by pretending Ukraine still (5 months too late) has a credible fighting chance.
You got to give the New York Times and the Washington Post reporters credit for one thing–they are tenacious in the art of self-delusion
larry, these qualities are a JOB ””’requirement””’ for being hired in the same way you need to be tall to play basketball.
Jack Shitlord says
Larry, you were right. Ukraine was pretty much finished by late April. All the MSM is doing right now is lying about the situation, which is nothing new. More than likely, they really to know the score. My guess is they are now preparing on how to handle the coming surrender & ultimate defeat. No doubt, they’ll spin it to make Russia, as always, the bad guy. On top of that, we’ll hear excuse, the an ifs & so forth.
George Chamberlain says
Zelensky is becoming more valuable as eliminated “by the Russians”.
Wait for it.
They did talk about western allies? We are offical allies now?
Interesting tactic to evacuate all civilians from the DNR territory. They won’t be renting any apartments in Kiev, but will be living in a tent city until a barracks can be devised. Are the children an asset for Ukraine’s future? Are you kidding? They are the future “terrorists”, and now they are hostages.
Of course without the human shield the strategy is to withdraw immediately. The withdrawal method will be to destroy everything that’s standing, to blow up all chemical plants to poison the territory for decades to come, including as much of the agricultural fields that it is possible to poison, destroy all factories, water, electric and sewer infrastructure, all bridges, all municipal buildings, and pour diesel fuel into all of the wells.
We aren’t going to let Russia have anything but wasteland.
The only way to stop it is to make a grand “pincer movement”. The whole of the Ukrainian army must be captured in a giant cauldron. Then as things are destroyed, so to will the army be completely destroyed (killed). Or if things are left standing, there will be one limited way out, to flee.
Land without people, no problem, there are 2 million Ukrainian refugees in Russia. Surplus People are plentiful.
Watching the Russian advance in Ukraine is like watching lava, slowly but continually flow down the side of the volcano. And watching Zelensky is like King Canute, yelling at the waves of lava to stop.
We all know the same number of Pentagon and assorted swamp creatures will be punished/lose their job as a result of this upcoming debacle as we saw with Afghanistan, i.e. zero.
No accountability assures foreign policy disaster after disaster while our international influence and reputation continues to shrink. Life in a declining great power is great (if you’re a DC insider)!
larry the west is more closely aligned with the 1974 james caan version of the gambler than the kenny rogers one!
Bert Huber says
Germany had delivered a couple of PZH 2000 Howitzers, which seem to be a quite powerful weapon (when used properly).
this week ,there was information that Ukrainians have problems, the howitzers are not working properly and are damaged, and why ? They had done far to many shots in a short time in permanent fire, which they are not made for.
They are made for precise strikes from long distance, and can be driven away quickly.
PS: I. m not a military, so this is just what I have read about this.
And of course, since our little puppets are losing in Ukraine? Let’s start a war with China!! We’ll show those commies. The ole Ronnie Reagan will sail up, and they will just hide under their rice bowls. This could it be kids. Joe Biden is starting a World War. And we will lose.
In 1944, the Germans held the line for weeks around the Normandy beachhead, until they couldn’t and fled to the German border. This war could end in a couple of months if Ukraine lacks the manpower or ammo to keep up that long defensive line. The Russians would conduct yet another attack, and find nothing more that sniper fire and mass surrendering Ukrainians. Every bit of equipment we send to Ukraine will soon be destroyed or captured.
Bf 109 says
Those civilians are probably the ethnically Russian UA citizens, being forcefully dragged back towards Kiev and other parts of western Ukraine. I suspect they will either use them as a bargaining chip in the negotiations, or do a scorched earth strategy, leaving a barren wasteland for the Russians to capture.
This sort of seems like the last days of the third Reich to me. Losing the war, launching senseless counteroffensives, focusing resources on deporting innocent civilians, instead of other, more useful things. We’ve seen all this before, and it didn’t end up being pretty.
this just pathetic “shaping the narrative landscape” nonsense from the western media. while real life VISIBLE deterioration of US and european economy cannot be hidden anymore , the media propagandist still trying to peddle their lies everywhere.
the world even the western world already tired of ukraine and its crude corrupt petulant leaders who constantly demanding everything and giving none. As the universal law , any seed sown will be reaped 10 fold. and ukrop leaders are going to reap massively..
Chris Chuba says
‘Zelensky orders civilians to evacuate eastern Ukraine, many are refusing to leave’
How the MSM reports it … ‘Russia is disappearing Ukrainians civilians’
Apropos the question of which side is favored by those living in Eastern Ukraine, the current numbers from the UN Refugee Agency (or UNHCR), show that more refugees have fled to… drumroll please…. Russia! than any other country! You can find the numbers here:
Some key numbers:
# refugees in Russia: 1,968,127
# refugees in Poland: 1,256,568 (Poland has the 2nd highest number)
total # refugees all countries: 6,307,137
In other words, 31% of all refugees from Ukraine fled to Russia. I guess the Ukrainian people aren’t reading the Western propaganda.
Re – ” … the New York Times and the Washington Post … are tenacious in the art of self-delusion”. Indeed they are but are they not in the realm of Professionalized Lying?
Not understanding the “implications and contradictions” is understandable.
It’s complicated, really complicated when you try to run out any consistency over months and years as new facts emerge.
Quite impossible unless you rely on audiences having short memories, or any memory at all of any detail of past reports of last fortnight, let alone the last half year.
As for this source – Ukrainian National Security Council head, Oleksiy Danilov, we have a graduate lawyer, former vet and history teacher, notably no military, battlefield nor intelligence agency experience directing national security matters.
Western mainstream media qualifying their sources as from the Kyiv Government gives them an easy out when the inevitable crisis moment of Kyiv Government collapse, along with everyone’s mountain of lies, arrives. Arrive it will.
But let’s be realistic. It’s hard enough to run a country. It’s even harder to run a country at war. And when you have everyone who’s important, domestic and foreign, is mired in corruption, it becomes too complicated. No one can do it!
Of course, this US-NATO-UK Proxy War was all about China. Destroy Russia’s capacity to service China’s industrial needs and both go down. Good outcome – for them.
The exact opposite has occurred and the US-NATO-UK Ukrainian Proxy War has accelerated the Great Eurasian Union, accelerated a retreat from US dollar arrangements, has hastened the decline of Western States and added to their long trail of dead people a large number of Ukrainians.
Forget not – in the pursuit of “freedom, democracy and human rights”, as we so often hear.