Any aspiring history Ph.D. candidate out there looking for an intriguing dissertation topic? I think this could be a hell of a book. The media world of the Second World War was still radio, newspapers, magazines and film footage shot by brave camera men on the front lines. The news media at that time could be used to spread propaganda and misinformation. In the category of misinformation, for example, there was the ghost Army of General Patton. Public news about his “Army” was backed up by a large volume of supposedly classified messages and radio traffic that the Germans were intercepting. The goal of that particular misinformation was to persuade the Germans that the Allies intended to attack at Pas de Calais. I don’t think swaying public opinion was a priority.
I think the critical issue is whether or not a government and its military leaders place high value on what social media and popular media are saying. I think it is pretty clear that the United States and the United Kingdom and NATO are depending heavily on social media to work some magic and help defeat Russia. I also think that Putin and his military leaders do not give two shits about social media. They have been very poor at countering the Western media campaign. Maybe they are just inept. That is one possibility. Alternatively, they simply may not care because they are focused on carrying out this war, not just in Ukraine, but against the West in order to secure Russia’s future.
If you have not studied the history of the American Civil War or the Soviet Union’s war with Nazi Germany, I would encourage you to read two authors–Shelby Foote’s three volume masterpiece, The Civil War: A Narrative, and When Titan’s Clashed: How The Red Army Stopped Hitler, by David Glantz and Jonathan House. Foote’s compelling account of the Civil War takes you back in time and puts you in the thicket of the bloody battles and political intrigue. When you read the account of the last year and a half of the Civil War, with General Ulysses S. Grant suffering defeat and stalemate and still continuing to press his troops forward in a grinding war of attrition that sapped the will and ability of the South to continue the war, I want you to imagine the kind of pressure that Grant might have felt if Twitter and Facebook existed.
The tactical reality on the ground — not just with Grant’s troops in Northern Virginia surrounding Richmond, but with Sherman’s Army pillaging the South through Atlanta then on to Savannah and then turning north — is clear in retrospect that the South was defeated. It just took them several months to realize that reality.
Similar lessons can be drawn from the Soviet’s initial failure to hold back the Nazi hordes. The Battle of Stalingrad, in my view, was the ultimate turning point in the war against Germany. While two years of battle lay ahead, the die was cast and the myth of the invincible Wehrmacht was destroyed. It took two more major battles — Kursk and Bagration — to make the inevitable clear.
As I noted earlier, the West is heavily invested in the belief that winning the information war will translate into battlefield success for Ukraine. Yet, we have seen how the “success” of the U.S. information wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have turned out. Money pits that have swallowed trillions of U.S. tax payer dollars with no actual success on the ground, where it counts.
Both of these cataclysmic wars — the Civil War and World War II — are relevant to the carnage unfolding in Ukraine. The facts are very simple:
- Fact one — Ukraine’s economy is in tatters and there is no viable path to restore what it was on February 24, 2022.
- Fact two — Ukraine is totally dependent on Western aid to keep it army in the field.
- Fact three — Ukraine does not have a viable air force and cannot provide close air support to its front line troops. This means any Ukrainian advance on the ground is dependent on the limited armor and artillery units still intact.
- Fact four — Ukraine’s ability to produce electricity and power is being steadily degraded and there is no short-term solution to keep the lights on.
- Fact five — Russia has not committed its front line forces and high tech weaponry to the fight.
- Fact six — Russia’s economy is strong despite Western efforts to sunder it.
- Fact seven — Russia is economically self-sufficient. It does not need foreign exports to sustain its industrial base but the world does need critical products and minerals that only Russia produces.
- Fact eight — Russian factories are operating 24/7, producing essential military equipment and technology to keep its forces in the fight.
- Fact nine — Russia can mobilize and train new troops on its own territory without fear of attack from Ukraine. Ukraine cannot.
The United States and NATO are deluded. They are wielding power like the mean girls in high school, i.e. they are shunning Putin and won’t let him sit at their lunch table. They remain convinced that will crush him. What they did not count on is that Putin is building his own cafeteria and will eat the food he wants and a table he controls. In fact, many of the countries in Europe need essential resources that Russia supplies. It is just a matter of time before those girls try to get a seat at Putin’s table.
It is true that Russia relinquished, at least for now, the portion of Kherson that sits to the west of the Dnieper River. But it controls the rest of Kherson to the east of the river. If Ukraine wants Crimea it will have to cross the Dnieper and fight its way to Crimea. Ukraine does not have the military resources to do that; even with the help of the United States and NATO.
Okay. Enough from me. What do you think? The floor is yours.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
Yes, the USSR would have won in WWII with or without social media for the simple reason that the USSR was fighting to win. The USSR was not molly coddling the nazi lines of communications: partisans were making the German supply routes difficult from 1941 onwards, apart from intelligence gathering and targeted assassinations of nazi officials. Stalin was fighting for the USSR. He was not fighting for his oligarch cronies’ business interests in the enemy nation. It is as simple as that.
” He was not fighting for his oligarch cronies’ business interests in the enemy nation.
Are you implying that the Russians haven’t smashed up the two major highways out of Poland that are being used by Nato to resupply their proxies, because Russian oligarchs need those same roads to make titanium shipments the West, and Nato?
It was Pepe Escobar reported that one I think, and I know it must have hurt him deeply to do so. Honor and strength, Pepe, honor and strength.
I will admit, “the optics are bad” as Andrei Martyanov so aptly put it in regards to the Russian retreat from a bridgehead they had 8 months to reinforce, expand, and make unassailable, especially considering reports are indicating they asked for permission first from their mortal enemy, before proceeding to make their lightening withdrawl.
Vladimir Putin was a neo-liberal globalist, we know this because in dozens of interviews over the years he endlessly drove this point home to a somewhat skeptical international media. In fact, his frustration with the media over the years, was not so much for their inability to grasp that Russia could not allow itself to be surrounded by nuclear first strike weapon systems, but that his tireless contribution to the greater globalist cause was not being properly recognized.
All this said, I believe Vladimir Putin has had, his Saul of Tarsus moment, and coming out the other end of it, he his no longer a treasonous neo-liberal sell-out, but has been transformed into a wise and enlightened leader of a nation and its people.
When the ground freezes in the Ukraine, he will launch his Winter Offensives. Where they will be headed, and to what larger geo-political purpose, who can say, but at minimum Vladimir Putin, a man of the law knows, he must make every martial effort to capture the entirety of his new Oblasts, three of the four of which are very much not his at the moment, or die trying, as to do otherwise, would mark him as not only a coward and scoundrel, but would be an illegal act of an illegimate President.
Note: I will also admit, my geo-political spider senses have begun to tingle. Why have the attacks on Ukraine’s grid suddenly stopped? If the optics are bad concerning the Kherson retreat, what are we to make of this?
Is the Russian Federation out of missiles already? Or is something else afoot.
I’m curious — where do you get the information that Russian drone and rocket attacks on the Ukrainian grid and other infrastructure have stopped? Far as I can see, these continue, as the “grinding” process goes on.
I do hope the Russians are right about the actual weakness and non-sustainability of the Combined West in this, the real Great War. And that the neocon-neoliberal cretins that have infested the tottering US hierarchy will not decide, if it’s clear the Fair World will escape the hegemon, to just stroll to the bunkers and launch the nukes — “If I can’t grab all the marbles and dictate the rules of the game, I’ll make damn sure that nobody else is going to be left to either…” as if the wider world is driven by the same insatiable greed that sickens the West Elite.
101 concerned troll rhetoric, ignore him.
Well, the EU is going down economicall, alreday a lot of energy-heawy industry is going out and its not even the major energy-bill leagues ! It will hit hard only on the next September/October and 2024 will still be a good 6-8x higher eletricity bill season. No matte if its going from the wallets of the people directly, or state budgets. The falling economy and the sky-highj national debts are all one needs to see where this road goes, no matter if they decide to push the narrative and money-wells for the next year or two. Its still a certain economic suicide. … now US openly says EU needs to get at least the same ammount of support, if not taking it completely out of theyr wallets … so they are just putting on a dead horse still making the final stepps before falling.
You know, I apoligize, I assumed this was the case, which makes me a proverbial “ass,” I have should have instead, framed it as a question, “are the Russians still attacking the Ukraine grid?”
I just Googled that very same question, went 8 pages deep, and found no evidence that they are, in fact the last attacks reported were from 6 days ago. This not does mean they’re aren’t continuing of course, so my bad.
The truth is I don’t really know, despite spending 2 or 3 hours looking for information on matters precisely like this one. So if anyone has sources as to what the hell is going on regarding Russia’s grid attacks – are they ongoing, have they stopped ? – please link.
We all at the mercy of our sources, and my sources, which I would assume 😉 are the same as everyone else’s, stopped talking about this subject well, roughly 6 days ago
Which is puzzling, as this subject, in my opinion, is the crucial one. The Russians can come close to damn near ending this war just by knocking out the Ukraine grid.
And if war is politics by other means, and the politics of this one are existential, then Russians better win this war, or they can kiss their Federation good-bye.
They are. Ukraine has just gotten better at not reporting it. You have to hang out in Ukrainian and Russian telegram channels to see the information. Just an hour or so ago, there was a strike in Cherkassy region.
Unless you think all those air raids every night is just Ukrainians colouring the map for fun
Muralidhar Rao says
Sir this is a long war. Remember what happened to Saddam or Qaddaffy when they wanted to be free of Dollar monopoly? Who supported them against the combined west? Now look at Putin he is playing the long game. Most of the global south is not supporting the combined west. I think his game is to bankrupt the west and at the same time keep the Global South neutral if not supportive of his efforts. You can see that with Saudi’s and even Qataris who told the EU that they can’t fill the Russian gas supply.
Larry Fink says
Google is a rigged search engine, so are many corporate search engines, as are corporate the corporate Mockingbird news media. It’s like searching the ADL sIte on the pedo murderer Leo Frank and expecting an honest response.
“Their mortal enemy” – and that’s the cardinal mistake in your reasoning. Nearly all Ukrainian families have blood ties with Russia and vice versa. As a Ukrainian, I couldn’t even believe it when my brother, who fought for Ukraine from 2014 to 2016, told me that Ukraine demolished the WWII heroes’ monuments and erected monuments to honor Stepan Bandera and the Nazi SS Commander. I knew he told the truth, but I just couldn’t grasp it. Many of us who grew up in the USSR can’t still wrap our heads around how low Urkaine fell, and what it was turned into. I think there is always some kind of barrier each of us imposes on Ukraine, thinking it won’t stoop that low or it won’t do something so evil. I can easily imagine how unimaginable it was for Putin to bomb Kyiv. Have you ever seen it? When a train from Kharkiv to Kyiv makes a wide turn approaching the city, the breathtaking panorama of the Dnepr River, and Kyiv’s skyline with the gold cupolas of its churches drowning in the river banks’ greenery, opens up. Who has the heart to raise a hand to such a beauty?
Said this, there are new generations who fights on the front. One was raised that everything Russian is bad, the other that everything on the west is good.
The war is difficult for Russian people, especially they were not prepared mentally, not given the explanation and the fact that Russia crossed the border first doesn’t seat well in the Russian society.
Talking to many people in StPetersburg I can tell you, there was very little support for the war in the summer, less after mobilisation and can not imagine how it is now. Many people asking what are we supposed to fight for? Many people can not imagine not able to be part of Europe. That is a historical reality.
With defeats like Kherson, where people were dying in offensive just a day before the retrieval in Snegirevka, reasonable questions arise : will it repeat itself somewhere else. It was betrayal of the command.
Moral is low at the moment back in Russia and government needs to work hard to restore it to early summer level and so is Surovikin… clearly there are big problems on the ground for Russia and hope that the West will run into economical problems is weak cart to play… for some reason from September the table turned and Russia seems to be weaker and weaker. There is no smog without a fire we say.
Talks that now nothing will happen for weeks also not good for Russian moral… so we shall see what was going on behind the closed doors soon…I am not optimistic.
Cato the Uncensored says
News flash for those Europe-looking Russians: Even before the SMO, a majority of your average Western European did not feel that Russia was or even could be a part of Europe.
The Russian’s mortal enemy is the Americans, that’s they one the cut the retreat deal with, at least as reported by our “usual” sources. As for the Ukrianians, they might as well be hounds in the kennels at this point, for all the agency they have.
In this weird, weird war, perhaps the weirdest aspect of it, is the Russians seem to hold a kind of reverrence for the Ukraine, for its land and its people and its history, the Ukrainians could only dream of.
Outside of the two bombing sorties sent against the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, to my knowledge, the Russians have not bombed anything yet. At least in the traditional sense of the word, vertically, and from 30,000 feet and above.
As a man who hails from the Land of the B-52, I can only say, ain’t that something? The Russian Federation will not bomb or indiscrimately shell Kiev, or in any way reduce it to rubble. That seems certain. They might however, surround it, siege it, and starve it into submission.
That would be my plan, if I was a General with a nickname of Armageddon. Launching multiple offensives in the Age of the Satellite, in the dead of winter, I don’t know, seems like you might courting disaster with that idea.
Especially now that you no longer have a bridgehead. 😉
Some very good points. Putin was indeed a neo-liberal globalist. But he is a learner. He studies. He thinks. And most of all, he is a man of principle. The attacks on Ukraine’s grid have not stopped. They have paused largely because the main targets have been destroyed. Russia is not trying to obliterate Ukrainian infrastructure — just degrade it. In addition, it has a new generation of drone weaponry coming in. Keep in mind that this is a war of attrition. Not about territory but rather destruction of military capability, both Western Ukraine’s and the US and NATO’s. Read here:
https://julianmacfarlane.substack.com/p/kherson-the-defeat-that-wasnt This article relies largely on Larry’s ideas.
It is about territory now, Julian. For instance, this bridgehead the Russians just gave up, must be retaken. By law.
Roughly half of Donetzk, one third of Zaporzhzhia, one quarter of Kherson, and some smallish parts of Luhansk, must be captured and secured, by law.
Now how you go about completely folding these Oblasks into the motherland is another matter. You could sit behind your lines and degrade your enemy’s military assets until he can no longer resist, and quits, which could take decades, you could march into each and fight for them, or you could siege the enemy’s capitol, and force the entrapped enemy government to agree to a surrender on your terms, the minimum requirement being, the four Oblasts in question must be turned over at once.
And maybe politely ask that Odessa be handed over too, if you’re feeling spunky, due to the fact that your in theater dominance is such that you hold all the keys of life and death.
Such is the nature of war.
It is clear to me now my country is not only willing to fight this to last Ukrainian, they are willing to fight this to the last Pole, the last Romanian, the last German, and so on down the Western European line.
Whatever it takes.
And that means, Russia can’t win this economically,* they have to actually win the war part of this geo-political struggle, which they are failing at most spectacularly at the moment.
*Again, speaking of this weird, weird war, the idea that Russia all along had a master plan of winning the War of the Economies is comical. What have they done proactively, to crush the West economically? Well, they got their asses sanctioned, is what they did.
They also offered to fix at their expense the pipeline the US blew up, all so the Germans, who have spit on them again and again, wouldn’t suffer come winter.
” … most of all, … Vladimir Putin … is a man of principle.”
I sometimes think he’s a practicing Buddhist. Which is by no means an insult. It is in fact, the highest praise I can give to a fellow human.
But in a time of existential war, I’m not convinced it is a good idea to be led by one.
Are completely blind? The sanctions themselves are destroying our (western) economies, whatever is left of them.
Stalin got aid from big Jewish money in America and the U.K. to supply him which greatly helped him beat Hitler..He sure fooled the jews making them think that he liked them when in fact he despised them as much as Hitler and of course most of the rest of the world….I always wondered what is it that the Jews did to get so many people to hate them……………???????????????
The Battle of Twitter is hotting up. If the forces of evil can be overcome there, it’s but a matter of time until the fall of facebook leads to the collapse of the metaverse into a blue screen of death. Eventually google the great shalt be smite with brimstone and buggy software.
Troops occupying ground? What’s that got to do with winning the Total Information War?
Our people shall believe what they’re told to believe. Reality is defined by the images and bleatings of the talking heads on the TV news. Oh! And the economies never been better. The chocolate ration has been increased from 50g to 40g.
I suspect Stalin may have pondered, how many divisions do facebook and twitter have?
Good job, ONEANGRYAUSSIE!
Oh, come on! It’s not that bad. I was just over at Asiatimes and some bloke writing articles there informed me that Russia may have helped Iran to develop a hypersonic weapon Iran doesn’t actually have. 😛
Bill Roope says
Nice post I enjoyed reading it.
I think the Russians are diabolically clever. They have given the Ukrainians a poisoned chalice. The Ukrainians have to move into Kherson.
Ukraine is fighting a media war. So, they have move in to Kherson City to look heroic and be methodically destroyed. I think the Russian government realizes that it cannot fight western media and the Internet swarm on its own terms, so it uses that media and Internet swarm against itself.
The Internet swarm screaming Russia bad, Russia bad got Europe to overreact and create sanctions against Russia that are economic suicide for Europe.
It amazes me that most people don’t realize that Russia is doing exactly what it said it would do, destroy the Ukraine military and disarm NATO at a cost of roughly 40 billion a year. Or about the price of a big aid package for Ukraine.
Fábio de Oliveira Ribeiro says
During the Paraguayan War, a curious fact occurred. The Brazilian press in Rio de Janeiro daily published articles saying that the fortress of Humaitá was impregnable and that if it tried to attack it or sail in the region, the Brazilian naval fleet would inevitably be destroyed. The fleet commander received the newspapers published in Rio de Janeiro along with the correspondence and did absolutely nothing because he believed in journalists. Ignoring the fact that the rains had increased the width of the river and the depth of its banks, he ordered the warship captains not to make any incursions near the fortress. So, it was necessary for the captain of a ship to disobey the fleet’s command and sail to the opposite bank of the river at the point where the fortress of Humaitá was to prove that the cannons used by the Paraguayans were not accurate or capable of destroying Brazilian vessels. The Paraguayans fired their cannons uselessly. The Brazilian vessel returned unharmed to rejoin the fleet. Soon after the overtaking of the fortress was made, the army landed on the opposite side of the cannon niches and conquered the fortress. The war would end some time later with the occupation of the capital of Paraguay and the death of Solano López during his flight.
The news that seems true is sometimes false.
“I think the Russian government realizes that it cannot fight western media and the Internet swarm on its own terms, so it uses that media and Internet swarm against itself.”
Russia does have a president who is an actual Judo Master….
Diabolically clever? Does that include the ones being shoved into a meat grinder? There’s nothing clever about sending so many of your own citizens to die.
Henry Rech says
“If Ukraine wants Crimea it will have to cross the Dnieper and fight its way to Crimea.”
Does Ukraine have to cross the Dneiper?
Cannot the Ukrainian forces drive along the left bank of the Dneiper from the north east?
Are there any physical (mountains, rivers) impediments to limit this kind of push?
Won’t this be the new offensive front?
A push from the NE shouldn’t have supply problems – can integrate with Luhansk/Donetsk offensive.
The Ukrainians can continue to degrade Russian supply lines from the east.
Supply lines from Crimea are probably severely curtailed because of the attack on the Kerch bridge.
The Ukrainians only need to maintain a minimal defensive force on the right bank of the Dneiper to hold the Russians, the river will do the rest. (I wonder if the river freezes sufficiently to support equipment movements? Could pose opportunities and risks for both sides.)
Why have the Russians deployed scarce missile resources to causing problems for the Ukraine people rather than deploying these resources to the battlefield? I would suggest they know they are losing on the battlefield and are pushing the Ukrainians to the negotiating table.
I do not mean any offense here, but I was wondering if you look at the maps before writing those statements.
As far as we know the Ukrainian troops should be heavily depleted by now … and the (open) terrain around Kherson was deemed unsafe by the Russian high command … unless were are being manipulated by both MSM and non-MSM alike …
Deploying missiles “to causing problems for the Ukraine people” would make sense in the context of a war of attrition one of which goals would be to deprive the enemy from the means to maintain fight -energy supplies, infrastructure, etc. The destruction of the army would be another one; the latter has been sadly happening over the last months.
From what I remember at the beginning of March it was the Russians who were open to negotiations -at the Ukrainians too, at least apparently … then something happened …
… but perhaps it is me who is misled. If Ukraine can hold the Russians with “minimal defensive force(s)” before sending the Russians back home that explains why in July, two months after the fall of Mariupol and about one month after the fall of Severodonetsk, both Mr Zelensky and his wife appeared so relaxed at their photo sessions:
Thanks for reading. Take care!
Jack Gordon says
Nice reply, Eva. One might also note that Russia IS degrading the Ukie power system with cheap drones principally, not with expensive missiles.
Yes, it seems that the Russians have so far been more effective at implementing “economies of war” than their adversaries of the Collective West…
Henry Rech says
Perhaps you should spend more time looking at strategic maps rather than Vogue.
The Russians lost the battle for Kyiv.
They lost the battle for Kharkiv.
They have now lost the battle for Kherson. The Kherson line is effectively stalemated. And the Ukrainians don’t have to cross the Dneiper at Kherson, all they have to do is hold the line along the river on the right bank.
The Russian retreat to the left bank of the Dneiper will free resources now from both sides to feed the new front, the battle for Zaporizhia and the Zaporizhia nuclear power station.
If the Russians thought they were winning the battlefield there would be no need for them to go after the Ukrainian people.
Aria Yves Poetry says
Henry Rech, interesting that you believe the Russians “know they are losing on the battlefield”. Pro-western and Ukrainian maps clearly show that the Russians have taken/liberated/won territory. This in turn means Ukraine has lost territory. Their economy is not self-suffient but has become reliant on EU and west handouts. The Kiev government has lost its integrity and moral compass.
Experts outside of the “mind control” narrative agree that there was NO battle of Kiev. The Russians did not deploy sufficient forces to take the city. It served two purposes. 1) a fixing operation, 2) a scare tactic in hopes of reaching an agreement with Kiev. It is a known fact that Zelensky said he would only negotiations if Russia pulled it’s troops back from Kiev. In good faith, Moscow agreed. True to form, the media and Zelensky pushed the narrative that best suited them. Typical of people who have no NO HONOR!
It’s very important to choose honest words when describing events. There was NO BATTLE for Kherson. A portion of Kherson was evacuated. The Russians still control 60% of Kherson. True to form, Western media and the Ukrainians have claimed it as a Russian defeat. There is no honor in that.
Kharkov was easy pickings for the Ukrainians because there were not enough DPR soldiers defending the area. They capitalised on this “weakness”.
A point to remember is that there were a very small percentage of Russian troops in the Donbas prior to the the Kharkov and Izyum retreats. Up until the end of October there were predominantly DPR militia, LPR Militia, Wagner Group, chechen fighter, volunteer/mercenary fighters. The Russians comprised a small portion of combat troops. Their main contribution was air / fire support intelligence, communications and weapons. They were initially asked to provide assistance to the Donbas before Feb 24.
Henry Rech says
“Pro-western and Ukrainian maps clearly show that the Russians have taken/liberated/won territory.”
Sure, but that happened eight months ago.
What’s happened since?
Sure Henry, the Ukrainians just need to relax, take a nap and a good photo session for Vogue …
Henry Rech says
I am sure the Ukrainians have better things to do.
However, the Russians don’t appear to be immune from the odd bit of bizarre theatre.
The Shoigu/Surovikin dog and pony show explaining the withdrawal from Kherson is classic theatre of the absurd.
I would say they have missed their callings as circus clowns.
A failure to communicate says
You fail to understand the meaning of a war of attrition.
You fail to understand that Ukraine is losing that war.
Engaging in further dialogue is pointless.
Bob Jackson says
That’s the whole point, isn’t it? If NATO wants peace, Russia needs them to be well-informed. If NATO wants war, Russia needs them to be badly informed.
Every hustler lets you win the first game. If you say it’s beginner’s luck and let him win it back, he’ll go elsewhere. But if you raise the stakes, he’ll take you for every penny you’ve got.
Russians are not just good at chess. They’re street-smart, too.
@Henry It strikes me that Russia’s ability to cut nearly 60% of Ukraine’s electrical power with seemingly minimal effort on their own part tells us which side is sitting comfortably on top. Cutting 100% would severely (and probably fatally) hobble Ukraine and NATO’s ability to carry on the fight, yet Russia has refrained from doing so.
My own speculation is that Russia is holding back in anticipation of the possible entry of the US and various European nations into the fray with their own troops and weapons. Poland is already a de facto party to the fighting.
Even Russia admitted initial strategy was wrong, the leader of it fired, so why are so many people pretending that’s not the case?
There is nothing wrong with making mistakes you learn from provided you have time. Taking out rail, road, weapons, weapon production units and bases and planes and airports, degrading enemy supply lines far more valuable then shutting of electricity which is going to affect civilians and hospital patients will die and sick kids will die, so why do it when there are far more important targets that are more strategic?
To create terror or achieve a strategic aim? Which is what? Trains cab be blown up without cutting electricity off. What strategic aim did Russia achieve by attacking electricity instead of supply lines?
Well articulated. There were more key supply lines to.attack than power in cities and that approach towards Crimea is not going to stop. Ukies smell blood. Not sure Russia will react fast enough to counter a combined west attack on that front.
Muralidhar Rao says
Sir Western arms supply for Ukranian troops are transported? With the shortage of diesel fuel even in the west do you really think that Ukrainian is awash with diesel to transport those weapons coming from the west? For your kind information the weapons are transported by electrical locamotives. Russia is systematically destroying the Electrical infrastructure built by Soviet Union (which was designed with plentry of redundency) So as the Russians methodically destroy this infrastructure which is already down to at least 50% it wouldn’t be long before the transportation system comes to a streetching halt. Then we will find out who will win this awful war.
It is a true pity that you do not appreciate the historical importance of that interview with all its glamour -I am pretty sure historians will quote both Donadio (Vogue, July 2022) and Amanpour (CNN, November 2022) when books on this conflict will be written in the future. We should also include Piers Morgan along with Ukrainska Pravda and all the “authorized” news outlets…
Perhaps you can make a tiny effort to read more pro-Ukrainian MSM in these days of phony euphoria:
“In internal discussions at the White House, General Milley has been a strong voice for diplomacy but does not want to give the impression of undercutting the Ukrainians, officials said. He has pointed to satellite imagery showing that the Russians are digging trenches and establishing firm lines through much of the occupied territory in preparation for winter, when the fronts presumably will stabilize. The pullback from Kherson appeared to be aimed at setting up a more defensible position.”
The battle will continue …
Henry Rech says
I do not have access to the NYT.
In any event, I am not sure what you are driving at.
Are you being ironic or what?
Henry Rech says
The Russians in retreating to the left bank and blowing all crossings over the Dneiper have almost entrapped themselves.
The only directions the Russians can advance is eastwards (no point doing this unless they decide all is lost) and north eastwards towards Zaporizhia.
The Russians have shot themselves in the foot and effectively closed their opportunities for advancing westwards. Given they have destroyed all river crossings (I think, even at the Kakhovka dam), you would have to think they will never get to Odessa. They have relieved the Ukrainians of having to deploy huge resources to defend south western Ukraine.
Playing the “concern troll” role so well. Do they pay you per post or per word?
Henry Rech says
I’d just be happy with a statue dedicated to me, opposite the Bandera monument in Kropyvnytskyi square, Lviv.
Needn’t be very big – a couple of metres high.
Keep the pigeons happy.
Throttle back your troll control! Bots such as yourself can not process more than two bits at a time. Go into suspense mode. (You are acting stupid) blows your cover as a paid troll.
Henry Rech says
Troll control nailed to floor.
Eric Newhill says
There are always amphibious landings and airborne troops. That works for both sides.
The Russians could attack south from Belarus, capture some land on the west bank of the river and construct a crossing. Lots of possibilities if you have the strength and will. Strength and will appear in short supply among the Russia and strong with the Ukronatos. Time will tell if the Russians have what it takes (more of that social media acceleration of perception).
Henry Rech says
If maritime and airborne assaults were possible would you not think the Russians would have had them underway by now?
Now that they themselves have destroyed their land access to western Kherson it is even less likely.
Eric Newhill says
Another possibility is that the US made a deal w/ Russia that Russia can keep everything to the East of the river w/ the river serving as a natural boundary between Russia and NATOstan. That idea is predicated on analysis of supply to Ukraine becoming a trickle – and about to be cut off – being correct. Also, the threat of the 300K new Russian troops, armor, etc poised to attack would be a factor.
Though I find it very difficult to accept that the US would give up. But maybe, just maybe. If a deal was made, we’d be the last to know of it. I think there’d have to be some amazing martial pageantry and God only knows what other BS played out in the media for westerners – or at least Americans – to present the terms of the deal to the public. It would have to make sense to the people. It couldn’t look like capitulation. Don’t know about how Russians would receive it. Maybe they’d be satisfied with annexing most of the referenda territories and protecting Crimea and both sides could call it day. Again, I find that to be an incredible scenario, but it would explain recent events rather well, which doesn’t mean it’s correct. The Russians just sucking at war also explains recent events very well.
Although it didn’t work for the Russians last time and they lost the battle for Kyiv
Mondo Cane says
Obviously, he does not or does and concocts a clueless rebuttal. The Kerch bridge comments alone are enough to banish him to the dunce corner.
Rail line fully intact. Sections of one of two traffic lanes destroyed and half rebuilt as of today.
But this is what the world has to suffer and then left to deal with its consequences – the derivatives of disinformation, conscious or unconscious in form – then go through another round of endless ‘I’m rubber and you’re glue’ games. It’s monotonous, tiring, brain-draining and will finally end in an apocalypse if left to run its course.
What the Kerch bridge has exposed is the extent to which, along with Nord Stream 1&2, is the extent to which the US/UK axis are willing to go.
The bridge is being quickly rebuilt and Nord Stream has exposed the axis’ intent to the German and broader EU (and British) public.
All in all, the current score: Russia 1, Axis -1. It was an own-goal.
Henry Rech says
Yep. The Russians will continue to attempt to gain purchase over the Germans. And the US will counter every attempt.
The Ukrainian army needs the ammunition, weapons, food, clothing and vehicles, all of which are supplied by NATO. These all have to cross the bulk of Ukraine from the west; none come from the north, south or east. All must cross the Dneiper River if they are to be used on the left bank. There are only three rail (maybe two?) bridges left on the Dneiper that are suitable for military transportation. Kiev?, Dneiper City and Zaporozhye.
Worse, the latest shipment of 155 mm ammunition had be purchased from South Korea; that means that NATO itself has run out of ammunition for the main barrel artillery.
It’s not a pretty picture for Ukraine.
Eric Newhill says
Well, Russia must believe that UKR/NATO supply must still be good and supply lines working. Otherwise, I don’t think they would have been scared out of Kherson.
I keep hearing that Russia is running out of men and ordnance. That started back in April from the pro-Ukraine side.
The pro-Russia side keeps saying that the Ukraine military has been degraded and NATO’s ability to supply is drying up. That’s been the message for a few months.
Yet events keep proving both sides’ messages (or analysis if you prefer) to be wrong. Maybe it’s some of that social media instant gratification culture at work on me. That said, it feels to me like both sides repeat their messages like they’re some kind of holy catechism. I begin to see it as echo chambers and group think amplified by social media.
Eric Newhill says
One more curious catechism is that the Russians will attack en masse once the ground freezes. Yet the Ukros were able to attack Kherson with sufficient force to spook the Russians into retreating. How come Ukros don’t have to wait for frozen ground?
Not trolling, just questioning accepted beliefs on both sides and deciding that we are like the blind men and the elephant and that the accepted beliefs are not making sense.
Henry Rech says
The problem is, you don’t want to accept the obvious.
Kherson is probably a bit of a special case. IMO, the operative decision on the Russian side is resupply and especially in the event that Ukraine destroyed the Kakhova dam. That would also empty the Crimea canal. Realistically, that bridgehead isn’t great for advancing on Odessa. (It’s not how the red army went to Odessa. It’s full of water crossings with a flank on the water and one exposed.)
Attrition takes a long time. At this point it is clear that Ukraine is fully dependent on western aid. Maybe that’s indefinite, maybe not. It does create pressure on both Ukraine and western sponsors.
Henry Rech says
It seems all sides have had to go shopping out of town.
Shame NATO’s 200 000 strong well trained army and biggest tank force in Europe couldn’t hold heavily fortified “defensive” lines against some militia forces and rag tag bunch of paramilitary units. I imagine that force could have done all that you’ve painstakingly outlined. Bummer, huh?
Eric Newhill says
I don’t know what is obvious, other than, obviously, I am totally open to the idea that Russia is losing b/c they have no will to fight, are poor strategists, have been attrited, are corrupt, etc. More open than ever to that possibility. Have said so.
On the other hand, Russia has shown that it has some capabilities that it is deploying sparingly, if at all, but could unleash at any time. The destruction of Ukro infrastructure is one such example. Ukro air defenses were impotent against the recent attacks on the electrical grid. If Russia can inflict that kind of precision damage on the grid, then it can inflict that kind of damage on Ukronato troop formations – and the grid and NATO rat lines. Also, the 300K troops are real. How, when, where they are introduced (if ever) in theater can make a huge difference. Where are the Russian bombers, Hyperbaric ordnance, the best armor brigades, commos jamming tech, etc? They definitely have those assets. That’s not a fantasy. The possibility of Russia gearing up a major offensive is real and cannot be dismissed with a hand wave and a chuckle. I wouldn’t be so cock sure if I were you.
We’re all trying to make sense of what we receive on social media and I can assure you that we are not getting anything close to a complete and accurate picture. One thing I know from my personal experience is that the media gets it wrong 100% of the time. I don’t mean the opinion/narrative (although usually that too). I mean material facts. They tell these neatly packaged little stories that leave out critical details. There’s a whole universe of activities and realities underlying the story that are not included. Always. That’s any story. It’s much worse when the event being reported is of a political nature.
The thing about social media is that everyone has an opinion that they state w/ certainty. Everyone becomes an expert on everything. There’s a virus on the loose? Suddenly everyone morphs into geneticists, epidemiologists and statisticians. Tweet tweet tweet…..There’s a war? The same people become Eisenhower, Clausewitz, Alexander the Great, R.E. Lee and Ho Chi Min all rolled into one. They all become climatologists when the weather is being discussed. So on and so forth.
Why does anyone attend college and go for advanced degrees? Apparently all one needs to do is a quick Google search and have a “sense” of things and, voila! Expert! that needs to be listened to. Why do employers ask about experience? Who needs it, when there’s google and twitter?
So are you basing your comments on relevant experience? If not, where do your ideas come from? Not having experience, but thinking rationally and asking questions and listening to answers seems fine to me. I do it all of the time on a number of topics. But reading a tweet or two or watching a youtube and then regurgitating it as final knowledge is not ok. It’s even less OK when there is a political motive to what is regurgitated.
The best armour brigades have already been shattered.
Henry Rech says
If the Russians have all these wondrous weapons why have they not deployed them on the battlefield? This is the herd of elephants in the room. They either do not exist in any quantity if at all or they are precluded from use by other strategic considerations. And I am not cock sure about anything. A newly mobilized Russian force has to be reckoned with.
I take it also that you are not quarantined from the caveats enumerated by you?
Hi Larry. I think the Russians are less interested in social media than the West because they’re not trying to reach an audience in the West or convince the West’s leaders of anything. To them it’s just white noise and an indication on the other hand of how much weight we in the West give to what is really nothing but a torrent of crap with a blue tick.
I don’t have any social media accounts and I don’t think I’m missing anything because the sites I go to for my information are written by people who know what they’re talking about, not armchair generals offering their best guess or another pithy comment to attract a bit of attention.
If the Russians have a target audience it’s in the Global South, and I suspect that the population there is much more savvy about the mind-numbing effects of social media as opposed to facts on the ground. Certainly their political elites are, if the way that Saudi Arabia and Iran, just to name two players, have moved in response to real events and not media noise. I don’t see MbS throwing a tantrum because he’s banned on Twitter.
So Putin spends four hours at Valdai explaining in depth Russia’s position, not just re the war in Ukraine but the way the world is changing and the forces at work that are propelling it that way and that cuts through in a way that a million tweets never will. Just a thought.
PS: One thing that no one seems to have mentioned is that when the withdrawal from Kerson was announced everyone whose opinion really matters – Ramzan Kadyrov, Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, Margarita Simonyan to name just three – were all singing off the same song sheet. This was a first as far as I’m aware, and I think it shows that everyone is now in alignment with the plans as laid out by General Surovikin and it’s going to stay that way.
Don Lamb says
Spot on! Global south led by adults grounded in reality. Globohomos are delusional. Maybe they believe they can hack a victory like they do Americans elections.
The so-called “information war” is propaganda directed to western citizens by western institutions so that western citizens do not challenge western elites. There is no reason for the Russians to participate in what is essentially the internal affairs of the west, as they are not part of that system and were they to be involved would be minor players with no appreciable impact on these propaganda efforts.
The removal from Kherson should concern everyone, because it indicates something sinister: a Russian invitation to NATO to set up shop near Russian borders. This suggests the Russians want a larger conflict with NATO and are creating the environment for it to occur on terms most favorable to Russia.
Very good summary, Larry.
Basically the only people being fooled by the Western media are the Western politicians, strategist and other decision makers. In this version of the Odyssey, the Cyclops has blinded itself.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
So when is that great pincer offensive in Kharkov due to take place? The exact same copium was rolled out when Putin abandoned Izyum and Kupyansk of you remember.
” In this version of the Odyssey, the Cyclops has blinded itself.”
Embarquing on odysseys unprepared was/is always unwise.
Perhaps you failed to load Mr. Donne’s observation that :
“”‘No man is an island, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine”
why Cyclops don’t blind themselves, but get by with a little help from their “friends”, and in odysseys of attempted golden fleece discovery such as :
an excellent analysis and witty too.
The US and NATO as mean girls 🙂
Glanz is good but are you familiar with Adam Tooze’s The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy?
he concentrates on the economics and argues that the Wehrmacht was failing from 22nd June onwards .
Ordered the Tooze book, looks interesting.
“he concentrates on the economics and argues that the Wehrmacht was failing from 22nd June onwards .”
Not in a rigorous manner as a function of his framing and methods, otherwise he would have given more focus to the interactions of General Plan Ost and Operation Barbarossa precluding both General Plan Ost and Operation Barbarossa from conception, rendered more visible but not adequately perceived, by iterative attempts at implementations, as a function of framing and methods not informed by the observations of Mr. John Donne that :
“‘No man is an island, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine”
Mr. Tooze and others reflect Mr. Marx’s observation that “here to fore philosophers have merely described the world (by way of their interpretations), the problem however is to change it.” which describes much of “Western thinking and doing.”
it’s always good to hear informed criticism , especially of books one enjoyed reading.
Anyone who can quote Donne and Marx in one post must be respected .
Fin che la dura realtà crea i fatti tutta la comunicazione può fare teatro fin che vuole ma non determina i fatti reali. Grazie per il chiaro riepilogo
William John Wrigley (WildBill) says
Another thought provoking and interesting article. I am an aging englishman of a left wing (definitely not liberal) persuasion and I have been very much enjoying your website Larry. Surprisingly perhaps because I am anti gun, anti racist and anti empire -by which I mean the US MIC.
I am heartened by the fact that the dangerous Ukraine anti Russian adventure sponsored by the West has opponents from across the whole political spectrum and across so many countries, languages and cultures.
In particular it is very reassuring that within America there is a website like yours that questions the aggressive global US policy and tries to re-establish your own serious national concerns. The US is a great nation being led dangerously astray by its own international arrogance and hubris.
I could go on… However in response to your thoughts about the role of social media I found an article called “Cognitive Warfare” by Francois du Cluzel. To be sure it is merely an extension of Berniere’s ideas into the modern military canon but interesting none the less. I tried to include a link but couldn’t so you will have to google it, sorry.
Meanwhile, carry on the good work Larry, you have my best wishes from across the pond. Have a drink on me!
It’s going to be a very long Global War of Attrition. We aren’t even in the top half of the first inning yet. A couple of thoughts on the respective Grand Strategies;
NATOland needs to achieve military victory in the Ukrainan Civil War before a) their populations become unruly and b) de-dollarization takes hold. This suggests a massive NATOland Army attack to push back the RF forces in the Ukrainian theater – maybe in Summer 2023 or maybe Spring 2024.
The RF (and PRC) need to accelerate de-dollarization and NATOland collapse-from-within. The RF also needs to keep the 87% of the world on the de-dollarization express train – that requires “perceived“ success on the battlefield. The 87% want to be on the winning team.
I have no idea if the defense ir offense is favored these days in a RF versus NATOland full blown military clash.
Nato is going to launch a land attack? With which country’s army? Germany? Poland? The UK (They actually have a defense treaty with Ukraine). Good luck with that fantasy.
NATOland already is full blown involved in the Ukrainian Civil War. There are thousands ( tens of thousands ?) of NATOland forces in country as we speak. It’s no secret.
just saying says
Those are nowhere near as important as full NATO C2ISTAR (command, control, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, reconnaissance).
just saying says
When WWI and WWII started most people were not aware of it. It will take a while for everyone to figure out that we are in WWIII.
Graham Bates says
NATO Land is about face a very unforgiving Marshal Winter.
The Canadian Steppe has just had a visit from General November.
GEN November’s next visit will be to the US — he has already visited Utah and North Dakota, but forecasts are for much of the US to experience blizzards — from 11 Nov until 23 Nov.
Readers should know that global warming lies have been carefully crafted by institutions such as the NOAA — US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — as exposed by one of their former top scientists, Dr John Bates.
Expectations are that these coming visits by GEN November, December et al, will finally wake up the TV viewers that nothing the Mainstream Media tells them has any basis in Fact.
Meanwhile in NATO Land — the entire Electrical Grid will probably fail when Marshal Winter comes knocking.
“The core baseload of the European grid is in trouble, and there is no back up. If the rest of Europe had enough coal or nuclear power, this wouldn’t be so bad, but they were all too worried about heatwaves in 2100 they forgot…
“Half of France’s nuclear power fleet were already out of action and EDF was hoping to bring “all of them” back online for winter. But they’ve just announced that at least four plants they planned to restart will suffer a major delay. France’s electricity prices have hit €1,000 per MWh for January delivery.
“To make matters worse, a week ago, a pipe ruptured during a safety test at the Civaux plant. This is the same plant where corroded welds were discovered in August last year, but this is “absolutely not a weld that gave way” this time, which sounds ominous.
When they shut Civaux down last year, they also shut down another 12 reactors built to the same design — which paradoxically are the newest reactors in the nuclear fleet and only about 20 years old.
Such is the urgency, that currently 500 specialist welders are working on these plants, about 100 of those have come from the US and Canada.”
We can now add more Facts to Larry’s List.
10. Never follow corrupt computer modelling forecasts about global weather.
11. Be ever vigilant about weather realities.
I don’t know where electroverse is coming from but I happen to live in Alberta and we are not having record breaking cold. In fact we had a very mild and long fall. It is getting colder now but that is par for the course. If you scroll to the bottom it shows the averages compared with this year:
Detlef Romatzki says
I am sorry to say but you are making the same mistake that everybody else is making regarding the withdrawal from Kherson…
Kherson has to be liberated by the Russians again because it is now Russian Territory. Unless the Russian Command employs totally different tactics or other major events happen, such as a peace deal, Russian troops have to do the following and the situation will be much worse than it is now.
1) Russian troops must cross the river and establish a beachhead on the other side, an incredible difficult thing to do and probably resulting in significant losses.
2) Then they have to hold that beachhead with their back against the river, same as now but under much more worse conditions and being much more difficult.
3) The supply lines will be exposed and come under fire, much worse than now.
4) Kherson city will have been fortified and will result in a street to street battle, same as Mauriopol. Mauriopol saw significant destruction and so will Kherson. This will again result in significant losses from street fighting.
5) The chances that the Ukrainians will blow up of the Reservoir is then much higher, because the Ukrainian had access to place explosives and by retreating, they might blow it up and flood the advancing Russian Soldiers. This is a much more likely scenario than the current thread.
Russian withdrew from Kherson under thread of annihilation … not of actual annihilation. They should have threatened back and make the price that Kiev would pay, enormous if thew blew up the dam, e.g. carpet bomb Kiev and destroy it or something like that.
I am sorry to say this was a bad military decision, Tactical, Strategic and Operational, which will have significant consequences and will lead to more death and destruction than now is prevented. They should have found a different solutions.
Just remember Liman, Isium, and recently Pavlovka, what you have said then and what has happened ……. You can sugarcoat it as much as possible but facts are facts and everybody is avoiding reality …..
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
It was an idiotic military move, so imbecilic that it is utterly incomprehensible that it was not done under Putin’s political orders. No general can possibly be that incompetent. It puts to shade the Italian popinjays of WWII.
martin mkultra7 says
what army have you ever commanded?sitting in your heated apartment you claim to know what to do with a 5oo,ooo man army.do you have colonels leutenants,majors,captains to carry out your self important orders?
The moment the Ukrainians started hitting the dam, there should have been an ultimatum:
“For every hit on it, one governmental building in the center of Kiev goes; We start with the Rada, then we move down the list; if you persists, after a certain number hits, Zelensky will be incinerated by a missile strike, and then we go down the list of high command”.
Instead they tucked their tail between their legs and withdrew, which now ensures much more suffering further down the line unless some fantastical big arrow movement is accomplished at some point.
P.S. NATO’s bluff should have been called too. The recon drones should have been shot down as a minimum, and if not after NS, after the Kerch bridge, and certainly after Sevastopol, and ultimatum should have been issued there too — “One more attack, and such and such piece of critical infrastructure in the UK goes”.
Of course we don’t have the same information that the Kremlin has, but the optics are indeed extremely bad. All that early talk about hitting first when you know a fight is inevitable, etc., looks laughable now.
And you are not going to win a war if you don’t have the people behind you, and right now the people are wondering how exactly they will be sold out at some point…
Both in Russia and in Ukraine.
It’s round 3 of that now, and the worst of them all — the atrocities around Kiev, the disaster around Kharkov, and now this.
Who in their right mind in Ukraine will collaborate with the Russians now? The task becomes much more difficult with each such “tactical retreat” (which makes it a strategic defeat), and also the more time passes, which gives the regime in Kiev more opportunity to brainwash the population.
Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Settle down children. Why does Kherson “need” to be retaking militarily? Whatever is left of the failed 404 state on life support may have to hand it back over in a surren….opps, peace agreement.
Deplorable Dave says
Russians pay attention to reality, not virtual reality. That’s a big advantage against us – people high on self-esteem and low on gas.
Minor quibble: fact seven should probably read “imports” rather than “exports.” Otherwise, thanks for a concise and convincing overview. If only the western “leaders” and mass media consider it. Elial’s comment above encapsulates this wish perfectly.
Until the beginning of September, that is, more than six months into the war, the Ukrainians did not have any military success, they did not even manage to capture the chicken coop. Despite this, the MSM liars convinced us that the Ukrainians were winning, that the Russians were falling apart, that their weapons were garbage.
And the Russians, with their limited forces, only wanted to ensure the security of the republics of LNR and DNR, I even think that in other regions they occupied more than they expected.
I wondered then how these same liars will report when there really is some limited success of the Ukrainians. The capture of the sparsely populated area around Kharkiv, which was defended by 2,000 reservists from Luhansk, turned into the Russian Waterloo.
Before and after that, the Ukrainians attacked Kherson without any success, although they significantly limited the Russian supply lines, and the defense of the region was extremely complicated. Now the Russians have decided to withdraw the army, which can be better used on another part of the front, and we are witnessing a new wave of media hysteria. I am afraid that the price of that hysteria will be paid by the Ukrainians.
Fighting such a machinery of the empire of lies is a futile business. Putin decided it was more important to send messages to the Russian people. At the same time, the empire of lies stumbles in its lies, people who know how to think for themselves follow alternative media and discover the truth.
It causes MSM liars to panic. After banning all Russian media, isolating everyone who is not on the MSM line, they are panicking about “malign Russian influence”, “Russian disinformation channels”, etc.
Krzysztof Mróź says
Bzdury, liczą się konkretne wyniki ukraińskie czyli przegonienie Rosjan spod Kijowa,Charkowszczyzny, Chersonia
They did win the battle for Kyiv. Quite a significant success.
Unbalancing Western Powers. The ultimate target of. And it works. Very well.
Josè De San Martin says
I think that the germans lost the war i 1941, when the whermacht was beaten back from Moscow in the winter of 1941.
Yes, I think they would win anyway, and the reason is because they were mostly not holding back on anything, resources, men, and Germany was also peer and existential threat.
With help of social media USSR would be a witness of all the atrocities committed (like RU are now able to), however Axis atrocities were several order of magnitude bigger which would only stiffen their resolve to fight to the last man.
The main problem in this conflict is that UKR doesn’t feel as big of an existential threat as Axis was (even tho in reality it is real existential threat for them), and that is the main reason why RU leadership and people in general are not as willing to go all in, especially casualty-wise. For example, if Stalin was leading the effort, Kherson would be defended even if casualty ratio would be 1:1, because after all he did say, that by casualties rate of 1:1, they would defeat Germans since they are many more of them.
the blame-e says
Most people don’t like anti-social media any more than they like Nazis; it’s just that their response to the two are different. Who knows? Maybe the Nazis represent simpler times and a simpler evil, maybe people like the Nazis just fine.
I mean, “Come on, Man!” Look at those sexy uniforms, all that black leather, and all those Nazi U-boats, and all those Nazi Secret Weapons, and all those secret Nazi tunnels, and all that Nazi Gold.” Add the elements of apathy, normalcy-bias, “Who the fuck cares?” and “Why the fuck are you bothering me with this shit now?” And you may just be looking for trouble, trouble that will never appear on anybody’s nightly news.
I seriously know people who don’t find anything wrong with mainstream media and our current “fabulously free press” as it is being currently practiced. They know it’s all bullshit and they don’t care. You mess with them, and you will be the next Alex Jones looking to hand over $1-billion dollars to the “Good People” of Newtown.
Besides, the Russians didn’t beat the Germans in World War 2. Everybody knows that. The Nazis just ran out of gas. It happened to the Nazis on both the Eastern and Western fronts. It happened to Romel in Africa. The Battle of the Bulge was all about the Nazi offensive running out of gas. NATO better be paying attention as it makes its plans to “come to the aid of our poor Ukrainian Martyrs.”
Besides, Hitler had Parkinson’s and syphilis. Look what our guy has. And that boy of his.
History is written by the victors. Victory is not written by propaganda.
Your facts are okay. All but for number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine . . . . It may be all well and good that the Russian has an army, but what if they have an army that won’t fight?
Fulano de Tal says
” The Nazis just ran out of gas.”
In Kursk, in Stalingrad (also when they had to release the blockade of Leningrad) … they lost just because they ran out of gas?
“Everybody knows that.”
You mean, this is so obvious, that whoever who disagrees with you, he must be a complete idiot?
“Besides, Hitler had Parkinson’s and syphilis.”
The definitive argument, I see.
“History is written by the victors. ”
I once saw a graph (probably not a completely reliable source, I admit it), comparing how many people in France believed in the 60s that they had been saved by the russian soviets, against how many people think now they were saved by the USA …
In the period in between there are a lot a lot of american propaganda and holliwood bs.
Anna Zimmerman says
So the Russians didn’t beat the Germans, who just happened to run out of gas? Trouble is, they also ran out of men..and tanks…and ammunition…and food….and adequate clothing…and time….and rationality..and ingenuity.
By this logic, one may as well claim that no-one is ever defeated by anyone.
the blame-e says
You’re the only one who is saying “no-one is ever defeated by anyone.”
Michael Colbert says
quote “they simply may not care because they are focused on carrying out this war, not just in Ukraine, but against the West in order to secure Russia’s future.”
opinion only of course; but… what does social media and its inhabitants mean when your family has been killed and you are fighting for your life? What does social media signify when it doesn’t even have an equivalent to the Rodina? Social media is nothing but a minor aspect of the introduction of certain types of technology to a part (small) of the world – an uneducated part at that. It is also a tool of the contemporary ‘robber barons’. History does repeat itself, it just wears different rainment. ;). It’s no wonder that it is placed appropriately in the overall scheme of things by the Russians.
Gideon Anthony says
Well, I think that an argument can indeed be made that focussing on optics is important. The war in Ukraine ,from my perspective, is geared up to slow Russia’s development. However the social media is being used to foment dissent within Russia. Clearly the demonisation of Putin is the major component of that. The Russians don’t own the western billboards but that doesnt mean that all the billboards are western. Putin’s speeches are clear. To him the west which is psychopathic and ending its racial darwinism strikes me as his fundamental message. This gains traction in the 3rd world and will continue to gain traction, even in the west. Kherson: Assault troops were withdrawn. This allows Russia to focus its offensive efforts on well, an offensive. Think 1812 trading space for soldiers, live Russian soldiers and dead Western proxy soldiers.
At each stage the Russians hold the peace option ready.
In the absence of substantive negotiations, I expect an offensive of a scope not seen since world war 2 which will encircle cities and obliterate troops. That offensive, if I see it correctly, will enlarge the scope of interfering with western proxy logistics.
In summary the Russians have been keeping their powder dry.
The proxies will when their narrative falls apart, claim victory on the spurious basis of land and either make some kind of peace or escalate. The key point will be then. The optics campaign will paint the Putin as a nuclear maniac. My fear is that, in their escalating information war for regime change that they will constrict a narrative that says that Putin has used a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, like in Syria. All of the post war institutions (UN etc) have been degraded and their ‘Sayonara’ could be to create artifacts that impeach Russia for using these weapons.
Thats why these institutions and in fact the world order needs to be radically changed. That is precisely what Russia is trying to achieve.
Because of Geography Russia is bothe the shield and the spear. Amandlha!
Down with 500 years of racial darwinism (the european ‘entitlement’) and its offspring, european exceptionalist nationalism.
Krzysztof Mróź says
Rosja jest zacofana technologicznie, militarnie i logistycznie i media społecznościowe tylko to pokazuja. 300 tys.zmobilizowanych to zbyt mało żeby powstrzymać Ukraincow szkolonych po natowska. Przestańcie być tak bezkrytycznie prorosyjscy. Rosja to bajzel. Przeciez już przestali atakowac ukraińska energetykę. Jak zwykle wszystko Ruskie robia polowicznie
Mr. Nobody says
Dlaczego Polacy piją ciepłe piwo? Bo stracili przepis na lód
Fulano de Tal says
Sí, sí!! Lo que tú digas maestro!
There are many open ended PhD thesis that could be asked/written.
For example, how complicated was it for the Soviets to spy on their own people – back in the day you would think that if someone needed to be spied on, you would need to commit people and physical resources to following them, bugging their apartment, having people “close” reporting on them etc. Today all you need is Facebook, credit cards, cell phones etc. Most people cannot even get paid anymore without having to own a bank account, their cars have tracking devices like OnStar etc.
So, who lives in a total-control totalitarian society – USA or USSR?
But back on the topic of your question:
There is something we don’t know about what Russia is preparing. They gave up Kherson way too easily for all this to be over. There are also some interesting details in their reports of the withdrawal (which I noticed and which Alex Merciouris also seems to have noticed) – for example, they said that they shot down ALL of the HiMARS missiles coming after them during the withdrawal. That’s interesting, given that HiMARS missiles were the reason cited for losing the lines of supply to the west bank of the Dnieper. They also seem to have withdrawn a sizable force over one of the two bridges – the same bridge that was apparently inoperable as a supply line. They also used electronic means to down missiles aimed at the retreating force – they do not specify if these were HiMARS or loitering munitions but the implication is HiMARS and that would be significant. This all at least implies some kind of a trick up their sleeve. Perhaps they will be the ones to blow up the Nova Kakhovka dam, now that they are on the east side of the river? They don’t have to do this now, they can do it when they need to come back to the other side….
As for the optics – it’s not that the Russians are bad at optics – they just don’t care. It is a different society/culture. I mean, consider Twitter – apparently only 20% of Americans have a Twitter account – I am venturing to guess half of those have one but rarely look at it anyway. So, the MSM and Internet is abuzz with discussions of what Elon Musk will do to the “global town hall” that effectively has 10% of America using it and it only has 200 million users GLOBALLY (out of almost 8 million people on the planet). So is Twitter really a global town hall or a neo-liberal echo chamber where rich software engineers, “influencers”, corporate PR people and select politicians come to make each other feel like they are important? Assuming the latter, should Russia really give two flying f*cks about Twitter?
Consider CNN, NBC, CBS and the rest of American and European media – they are in a similar echo chamber in the West. So is Facebook (has become largely irrelevant, bleeding money and losing employees), so is Youtube to a lesser extent (there are plenty of pro-Russian channels on YT). So, what should Russia care about? If you look at media that matters – Chinese, India etc. – they are all covering this story properly.
Western Europe is a spent empire. They have been living off ex-colonial glory and positions while being protected by the might of USA as part of NATO, without spending a dime on military. Their new generations of men are weak and disinterested in fighting for their countries or being governed properly – so long as you can enjoy life from a material point, that’s all that matters. This is why EU accepted all the former eastern block countries, counting on the famously thick Poles, for example, to fight their fights. However, the rest of them – Bulgarians, Romanians etc. – have never really been known for their propensity and skill in fighting – both of the above mentioned sided with the Germans in WW2 because it was the easy way out.
Anyway, long way to say that RF could give two s*its about West’s state/corporate (same thing) controlled echo chambers called “social media”. Besides, even “the Atlantic” is now writing articles how social media is dead (facebook bleeding money, twitter is suddenly not interesting anymore if it is owned by someone who doesn’t want to censor…).
Raven 6 says
I believe it’s going to be a very interesting winter in Ukraine. 300,000 fresh troops to enter the battlefield soon. Add that to the already 200,000 there in Ukraine and you have a army of a half a million men. Sprinkle in another 100,000 volunteers, Wagner, etc.
There is more ways to cross the Dnieper river then just Kherson. I’d look for a major push up to Zaporizhzhia and swinging west trapping all the Ukrainians in the south west. Then a move towards Odessa. Possibly even a major strike south out of Belarus cutting the supply lines coming out of Poland.
Winter is going to be interesting.
martin mkultra7 says
i am loathe to arm chair quarterback this war buti had the exact same thoughts as you when looking at the map.the river on their left would protect their southern flank.not a pincer a spearhead attack.
James Cook says
Agree…..I see this possibility too. The tactical failure of not reinforcing/enlarging the Kherson bridgehead earlier is that it wasted resources, time and political capital that cannot be replaced – it lengthened the conflict.
Now let us consider the variable of ‘time’. Larry says, “Yet, we have seen how the “success” of the U.S. information wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have turned out. Money pits that have swallowed trillions of U.S. tax payer dollars with no actual success on the ground, where it counts.”………………………………Larry makes the assumption that the US ‘wanted’ to win/capture/control in the traditional sense………and likely do it in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
Is this a KNOWN FACT? Is this a solid assumption?
Perhaps not, because what does one do with all the people if you win/capture/control the territory outright? You become responsible for them and media/social media will blame you for problems – like starvation and civil wars.
I would postulate that the US design is for capture/control of strategic assets, but minimal or no control over stuff that does not matter – in fact chaos in these areas is OK because they can just say, “what can we do with these backward natives?”
Tacticus: “Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace.” https://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperialism/readings/agricola.html
The US dominates by subjugation and chaos. No one can challenge their economic stranglehold if they are divided and in chaos.
Who benefits from the creation of a “solitude or desert”?
“Time” is the real question when it comes to what Russia should do in the Ukraine. Is time on the Russian or US side? Winter is here: It is Russia who can better maneuver in winter. From the US perspective winter would be better if it was peaceful for resupply and creating chaos within the enemy ranks.
I am not certain who is controlling or using the ‘time’ element of warfare in the Ukraine ……….and perhaps ‘winning’ means different things from the “US” and the “Russian” POV.
I do not believe one should assume that the US does not just want to create a ‘solitude’, leave the locals to fight over the scraps creating sufficient chaos for the US to capture and control the Strategic assets of the countries targeted.
But, hey! What do I know? My coffee is cool and it snowed, so I think I will take the GSP down to the grassy riparian meadows to search out some quail when the sun comes up.
On the other hand, Russia can’t supply the forces it already has. Three hundred thousand troops who don’t get supplied are pretty soon three hundred thousand deserters looking for food.
John Thurloe says
Everything you write is true. But what characterized General Grant was his grit, his ‘total war’ innovation of fighting. Russia, contrarywise, is timid, hesitant, not ‘all in’. Would Grant fail to deploy the First Guard Tank Army?
Henry Neild says
It’s not just social media being in on the global elites agenda, it is the whole G7 Main Stream Media that is so unified across all outlets, left and right leaning newspapers and broadcasters. Look at the BBC. That is what has shocked me. And this is the same in every G7 country. Blanket coverage. Russia bad Ukrainian Nasties good. It’s mad. So, I wondered who owns these newspapers and TV Channels that are so totally invested in Ukraine. It is when you discover that answer, then this whole Nato, US/UK led war in these lands against Russia becomes clear and makes sense. Ask yourself, ‘who really wants this land?’ The Russians know exactly who they are, and certainly don’t want them as neighbours. Follow the money men for the answer.
n the 1950’s a book called the medium is the message was written.
in this war russia and the west are operating in 2 different incompatible medium as they prosecute this war which is in part why the wests efforts to hamstring the russian economy has utterly failed and will continue to fail.
the west now lives largely in a virtual…financial world having off shored far to much of its 3d real economy to other places it views as dirty and more primitive. russia has retained that 3d real economy and made it infinitely stronger.
where the west has failed and will continue to fail is in not grasping humans live and work in the old 3d world not the world of twitter and facebook.
the social media world is best understood by the 18th century aphorism……….if wishes were horses beggars would ride
russia prefers building a stable to pretending it has one.
It’s obvious what the plan is … Ukraine can’t move forward over the river also the East Bank is higher so easier for Russian artillery to get them from there. The whole of of Kherson and the surrounds have been sighted for artillery and the like… Ukies having to play for the optics have to take Kherson extending themselves even further Russia push down from the North in Belarus and up from the South cutting off and surrounding (cauldroning them), and annihilating them .. game set match
Michael Droy says
Of course the real big secret that the US and UK need to hide is nothing about Ukraine.
It is that China is becoming the UniPolar power and that the US missed its chance to make it a multo-polar world. Bush and Obama FFfed it up.
That is why the US is still pretending it counts in this world.
Europe has chosen to believe in the Emperor’s clothes rather than face up to the reality that they face a period of conflict where they need to breakaway from US and become adults.
The USSR defeated the Nazis because they had an ally in Roosevelt and the USA.
A book I really liked was Roosevelt and Stalin by Susan Butler.
martin mkultra7 says
seriously?America defeated the Nazis in the west and the east.nonsense!
Scarfell UK says
Those who study the ‘What Next’ section of:
will conclude that if Putin over time wins the economic war against Europe then he is home and dry.
Garland Nixon on yesterday’s Duran channel made quite clear what Germany needs to do. This might cause the rest of Europe to recalibrate their attitudes to both Russia and USA.
With civil unrest and strike action mounting across Europe leading to inflationary wage demands it seems certain that western governments will QE more money to satisfy demands [q.v. Germany 1923]. Boy, are we in for trouble ahead.
Mr Sunak yesterday promises Zelensky the earth then today puts the dampers on UK defence spending which must confirm Zelensky’s worst fears on western back-sliding. We may be off-loading the reserve locker of munitions without spending a penny to replenish stocks; that tells Putin that if or when NATO is forced to make a stand somewhere it will present an empty threat.
The longer Putin can spin this out, the better for him.
Larry, with social media even a fraction of what it is today Walter Duranty wouldn’t have been able to cover up for Stalin in the 30s and there would have been little support for the USSR long before Hitler became Chancelor of Germany.
Dalton Greenlee says
I agree with everything you have said. The only thing I would say is a that in relation to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, the purpose of those wars was not to win in the first place. As Julian Assange has talked about and Smedley Butler before him, those wars are about making money. Just like Vietnam and Korea. We were never supposed to win. Just keep them going for as long as possible so that the Military Industrial Complex can can get as rich as it can. Your thoughts?
I’m MORE than sure that even if the Russians are chased out from Donbass, and maybe even Crimea, the Author will conclude that that’s not really a big deal, and RUSSIA has actually won the war, because Ukraine has been completely „demilitarized and denazified”, or similar nonsense. And many will believe Him. Instead of honestly admitting that the Author has been consistently wrong so far, He prefers to lash out at the legitimate critics (like Igor Girkin) as cretins uncapable of understanding the „profoundness” of His thought.
You’re right Larry, and those are the facts. But it seems to me that in Zaprozh these days the Ukrainian army suffered great casualties. And if you look at it, if they lost the essence of soldiers capable of fighting, it is an irreparable loss. With the abandoned part of Kherson, which is unpleasant for Russia, now Russia has decided hard to bring the war to an end in Ukraine. And now America cannot lose Ukraine like a gun pointed at Russia’s head, and I think it will enter Ukraine militarily with the Poles and Romanians in a conflict with the Russians. On the other hand, America is losing economically to China, and that is inevitable. By entering into a conflict with the Russians in Ukraine, it can only slightly delay the defeat of Ukraine, because Russia must conquer Ukraine in order to destroy the American gun pointed at Russia at the very doorstep of its head. And frankly, for Russia to change the world and to end this bullying of the West-America
Curt Nichols says
Ukraine is the sideshow. The war is the economic destruction of Europe. If Russia just sat where they were, and waited? Europe would be in tatters in 6 months. Hit some more infrastructure. Send 3 million UkroNazi’s from Kiev flooding into Europe. Where they will collide with the next wave of starving Sub Saharans from the food sanctions. Russia is doing what they said they would. They are De-militarizing Ukraine. And fantasies about a million-man Ukrainian Army aside? There are only so many men that will fight. Ukraine is a festering, infected herpes sore on the face of the EU and US. And a VERY expensive one. And the US is getting ready to face reality. Pedo Joe diddled the economic numbers, drained the SPR, and now the bill comes due.
Spot on. It’s the Russians who can drag this out. Not the west. This is the last roll of the dice before the US empire collapses in a pile of debt. Trump gave Russia 4 more years to prepare which was the nail in the coffin. Hypersonics now rule and the US is defenceless. The navy is sitting ducks. The $15 tn waste fighting Israel’s wars was a great strategic mistake and every neocon should be jailed as traitors. The Israelis spent $0.
Mr. Magoo says
I really want some of that stuff you guys are smoking if you believe more than 20% of this thread.
The war in Ukraine, for the US, is not about Ukraine. Its not really even about Putin. Its a war against Europe, in particularly Germany. The US goal is to de-industrialize the EU and bring that industry to the US in order to help rebuild the US industrial base. Nothing else makes sense or can explain why the EU leaders are so hell bent on shooting themselves in the head by destroying their countries. And the Nordstream attack. That was clearly an act of war against both Germany and Russia. But, no one says a word about who was responsible.
I think it’s the other way around. The Russians were already at the Elbe by the time we got to Europe and did what was clean up. Russians get irritated, rightfully so, when the US takes the prime credit for defeating Nazi Germany. They had effectively defeated the Germans so we could do our part.
bob sykes says
A better analogy is the Vietnamese War. A major superpower, the US, attacked a backwards country that had no industry or military industrial complex to speak of. Yet the NVA/VC refused to quit, and after 8 years or so the superpower withdrew, defeated.
The US had absolute air and naval supremacy, over 550,000 of its own troops and 1,500,000 ARVN, unlimited supplies, and freedom of movement almost everywhere. Yet we lost.
On that model, Russia will be defeated.
Curt Nichols says
Do not compare the NVA with the coddled UkroNazis. One brigade of NVA sappers would be buggering Zelensky over his desk by now.
Not sure of the point of “what if?…” Russia either “lost” or “negotiated” away Khearson. My bets the latter. They simple don’t have enough manpower & equipment to hold the line. Very poor planning, if you know your walking into a NATO/US/UK conflict ( which they themselves pointed out prior to SMO) then for fs have men at least ready. Yes, they may win the “attrition” war in the end, but it never needed to be an attrition war in the first place. Russia did that. Should have pulverized the whole of Kiev and Lviv from day one. The West & EU are hardly losing sleep over the printing presses running wild again & the MIC being restored to its former COV glory…well played West…
Well one thing is for sure. If Joe Stalin’s enamored admirer FDR hadn’t provided massive food, material and equipment aid the the Soviets, they would have lost. Most Americans don’t know the Soviets did the majority of fighting and bleeding in WW2. But, they also don’t know the extent the US aid the Soviets with lend lease.
martin mkultra7 says
John Hrynyk says
this article about media would also fit trump vs desantis. insert trump-maga in place of russia and desantis-gope-never trumpers-national media.
i am 74 djt was is best pres EVER in my lifetime. also most attund to the common person. pisses me off when people say what he should or should not say or do. desantis was very average until djt saved him.
trumps plans were not finished but are known. desantis has not been told his plan yet. yall are stuck with him like we are with abbott. abbott is not potus material either
Kenan Meyer says
Fact 10: western politicians never heard about game theory, thus they are not even able to choose competent advisers
Canis Ursa says
Larry I agree with you; the Russians don’t give two shits or a rat’s ass about social media. As for as I am concerned social media is just a pipeline for bullshit. I guess the geeks and the nerds take it so seriously they probably think that you can Twitter the destruction of a brigade or Google away a tank column. Anyway you look at it, it’s just noise. When I was a child my mother would tell “sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me”. So go on yea arm chair geek generals
and give another good laugh.
The U.S. is looking like wrestling promos from the 1980’s. The Iron Sheik and Nikoli Volkov come to mind. All the twitter smack talk is just that. Unless you have ever been in a bar fight or at least been beat up once in your life you cannot relate. Keep yapping G7. Eventually the fans will quit filling up the stadium.
It is obvious that the XX military minds managing Ukraine’s strategies and tactics don’t care what damage and death they cause in Ukraine. So they shoot artillery and rockets at Ukraine’s largest nuclear reactor site and at Ukraine’s largest dam. The destruction of the undersea pipelines, shows there is no limit to XX’s violence. As long as Kherson city is defended by Russian forces, XX has motive to destroy that up-river dam. That dam also creates the lake that provides cooling to the nuclear reactors and that provides water to Crimea. It was a correct decision to let the Ukrainian army occupy Kherson city in order to prevent the destruction of that dam. If Kherson is returned to Russian control, that can only happen by Ukraine’s and NATO’s negotiated final peace agreement.
Art Thomas says
In addition to the books Larry recommended, I would include the epic novel, “Life and Fate”, by Vasily Grossman that is centered around the Battle of Stalingrad where Grossman was a war correspondent. Epic like “War and Peace”.
After the painfully slow but continuing destruction of the Ukrainian defences the front line moving west in the early months of the invasion, there has come a time when some new component or components of the fighting reversed the gradual success of the Russians and the failures of the Ukrainians, hard to say what it was, it may have been a combination of the Musk’s Starling communication set-up and the HIMARS, or something else, but a game changer there was, and the Russians didn’t have an instant answer to it, whether they have it now or will have it soon, one can only speculate, but it would be nice to now what it was, what has changed the course of the fighting.
The main thing is manpower.
Ukraine had a 3:1 advantage at the start, and then mobilized.
Meanwhile in July-August the Russians actually lost a lot of people as contracts expired and e.g. the Chechens were rotated out.
So it became 10:1 in favor of the Ukrainians.
Then mobilization was done, buy by that point the damage had been done and the momentum shifted.
There has still been no outright military defeat of the Russians at any moment. Even Lyman was held with a force known to be insufficient and only to buy time.
The problem is that if you keep retreating and avoiding battle, you will keep retreating all the way to Omsk…
just saying says
1. Mass mobilization
2. NATO C2ISTAR (command, control, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, reconnaissance)
3. HIMARS rendering bridges in Kherson unusabe
Russian answer is mobilization, and those are far from instant (Ukranian one took half a year to show results).
US and EU, the mean girls will come to eat at Putin’s table. Winter is coming and those EU girls want to stay warm.
I love your mean girls analogy!
A Boyles says
Larry it is exactly as you have pointed out. Social media is a creation of then last 25 years and despite many people being addicted to it as if it had some real meaning, it’s just not reality and it’s not important for anything but entertainment. On every aspect of what critical enablers are necessary to win a war, Russia is in the superior position. From having the war in their own backyard to air supremacy, industrial capacity, economic capacity, technological superiority, and the will of the people in the fight (as Andrey Martyanov has so brilliantly pointed out many times the Russians’ centuries worth of experience of defensive operations to protect the motherland) Russia is superior. Even their culture is superior – we have degenerated into the LGBTQX and other idiotic tribal internacene conflict internally within Western society and the rest of the world watched in dismay as we destroy ourselves from within. It’s a no brainer as you have articulated. Best wishes from Halifax Canada 🇨🇦
Best WW2 novel by Vasily Grossman, Red Star reporter, is Life and Fate. He spent months in Stalingrad during the fighting and lived and traveled with the Red Army. He first reported on Treblinka. Amazing book which also details a fight for freedom under Stalin while fighting for survival of their existence as a State. The companion book is Stalingrad but I’d go with L&F first.
It is easy to forget how huge Russia is and the importance of preparing to, as retired USMC Gen Neller once said “ we will have to fight to get to the fight”. Having to trek 100’s of K’s to get to the fight is a fight in lousy weather. The NAZI’s may have run out of gas but that was because of poor planning re: distances, sources, and supply lines. Horses and donkeys were widely used back then to transport materials and that meant they had to be fueled too (see Blood and Ruins by Richard Overy). Even with millions of Nazi troops there were too many places they had to be.
And then there was this from US Army Pub 2026, 1955
“ The average [Soviet] citizen’s innate readiness to defend Mother Russia against any invader was stronger than his assumed aversion to the Communist dictatorship. As to the Soviet armed forces, their unwavering determination, their unwillingness to admit defeat, and their capability to improvise astounded the Germans. Time and again these qualities compensated for the ineptitude of the Russian intermediate command… The Russian soldier was naturally gifted in using favorable terrain features, skillfully digging-in and constructing fortifications, and camouflaging himself. His willingness to hold out to the bitter end seemed to be a natural trait.”
Lastly, here is Grossman writing on the dangers of Exceptionalism:
“What led Hitler and his followers to construct Majdanek, Sobidor, Auschwitz and Treblinka is the imperialist idea of exceptionalism—of racial, national and every other kind of exceptionalism.”
Vasily Grossman, The Road, excerpted from an essay in the book titled The Hell of Treblinka
Larry, thanks another concise presentation of facts! Since most are in agreement that RF will launch their offensive when ground gets solid, I checked the global forecast site Ventusky:
One can scroll calendar forward and see first below freezing day is 11/17. This continues for several days before slight warming. Precipitation info is also available.
My experience with the descent to winter (Colorado high country, off grid) is that it takes a week or more to get my road solidified enough to drive on (F250 not a tank!).
So it would seem we might expect 2-3 weeks of continued/progressive Ukie attrition ahead of large RF offensive.
Yeah Mean Girls is perfect and ultimately they are put in their place by their main target.
Larry I’ve seen most of your video appearances. Have you had discussions with McGregor?? How about you, McGregor, Berlitic on a round table??
BTW might be good idea to have links here on SONAR21…?
The mud problem in that part of the world is far worse than anything we would encounter in the US. The problem is that the soil absorbs the heavy autumn rain like a sponge. You can scarcely walk in the stuff. The only “cure” for it is below freezing weather .. which hardens the mud, basically
Check out photos of Wehrmacht soldiers trying to cope with this “rasputitsa” (your Google search word) They’re unbelievable
At the end of “Saving Private Ryan” you see Reiben riding a motorcycle with tank like treads. Those were manufactured to cope with the rasputitsa
If Twitter existed, and Stalin allowed it, Russian could not have fought WWII in the manner that they did. Every battle battle brought them mass casualties and they persisted in mass infantry attacks from 1939 to 1945, even when they had advantages in tanks and aircraft. IMO this scarring influences their battlefield conduct today. They are casualty averse and they are fighting a war of movement, though slow at this point, more similar to what you had pre-WWI and WWII. In the West, everyone seems to be disappointed this is not shock-and-awe on a poor country or that we aren’t seeing the mass million-man battles or WWII. It’s “boring” is what one of my coworkers told me. And he lives in Romania!
Bottom line to me is that aside from what you mention as Ukrainian issues, Russia has time and space, a history of maneuver warfare in that region, plenty of gas, ammo, artillery, air power and now enough troops to conduct a war of rapid movement against an enemy that will struggle to hold a lengthy front line with few quality troops.
While the West sabotages itself, the rest of the world is finding common ground against it. This is how World War III is being fought right now. Russia bleeding the Western War machine and war making capacities. China, BRICS and the rest preparing to wage war on the Banking/Finance/USDollar backbone.
The US is literally stumbling into a real shooting war where it will be viewed as the enemy of mankind.
I read a biography of Sam Houston a few years ago, fascinating man, and I remember being vividly aware there’s no way he could have won the Battle of San jacinto in a time of rapid communication and public opinion polls. Social media has the profound ability to tie the hands of Great Men
At the end of the day – I think the common Russian citizen could care less if Ukraine joined EU or NATO. Because of that, I am starting to think that this was NEVER an existential fight for Russia. It was a game of flexing muscle and expecting the opponent to fold like Georgia did. When the west dug its heels in – only then did alarm bells go off. However, an EXISTENTIAL fight is when your country is being invaded – this is something that is happening to Ukraine.
Here is where it gets confusing – all the pro-Russian apologists a-la screeching Martyanov, always claim that Russia plays 5D chess and there is always a plan behind a plan behind a plan, don’t you worry.
Well, what kind of a plan is this when you start an SMO by driving into a heavily armed country? Pro-Russia crowd tells us (when it’s convenient) that Ukr had 8 years to dig trenches and prepare and arm – by the way – so this was known from the start, yes? Then you realize that “oops, they are not going to fold”, retreat hastily (retreat #1), abandon equipment and lose scores of people in embarrassing ways – all broadcast on TV.
So, short answer to your question – in the West most governments would have been exposed to insane levels of media criticism for such a stupid opening to a military operation, that produced NOTHING but losses and embarrassment. In the USSR most people would not be allowed to say anything about this, so, moot point.
Then at the same time you march into Kherson literally at the beginning of the SMO and do nothing there for 8 months. Ukr even announced and signaled for months their intent for an offensive in Kherson yet the Russians started preparing (for retreat, it looks like now) just a month ago. Kharkiv retreat (retreat #2) – no comment, leaving 2,000 soldiers to guard a whole front line.
All this time pro-Russia people have been saying how there is not enough manpower (while at the same time apologizing for lack of progress because the trenches and 8 years of Ukr prep). Well, what kind of a stupid 5D chess is this when nobody thought of mobilizing until after the fact? If you indeed are so infinitely smart to predict everything a year in advance, how come you are not infinitely smart to see that you don’t have enough men (basics of military strategy)?
To me, this doesn’t sound like 5D chess, it sounds more and more like lack of prep and basic incompetence/arrogance. You know, sometimes there is no plan behind a plan – Soviets folded in Afganistan just like the Americans did and they fought no wars of significance since 1945 so no real combat experience in a large scale confrontation (Chechnia was a counter terrorism operation, not a fight against an entrenched country).
Remember when people like Mercouris and Berletic were saying that HiMARS was no game changer and that they are either going to get shot down or the launchers all destroyed? Well, they did make a difference in Kherson, apparently – according to the Russians themselves – the supply lines etc. were subject to daily attacks that incapacitated both bridges and made supply untenable.
Guys like Mercouris also talked every day in August about the impossibility of a Ukr advance in Kherson, he listed all sorts of reason why – it is flat, it is a steppe, it is wide open, Ukr doesn’t have aviation, it is a suicide, blah blah. Well, existential fight often means fighting a suicide fight – that’s why it is EXISTENTIAL. Now you watch Mercouris talk about Kherson being taken and he has not once gone back to admit he was WRONG.
“Let them come and try” – remember those words? Well, they came, they tried and they took Kharkiv and Kherson – I mean Americans did with Ukr bodies paving the way – and no special weapons were used that would start World War 3. “Let them come and try” in an existential fight means striking supply lines in the rear of Ukraine (coming from Poland etc.) and destroying rail systems etc. So, it was a bluff, I guess and it got called.
What I think happened was that RF thought they will drive into Ukr, the population would greet them as liberators and the Ukr will fold and sign the dotted line (this is what Col MacGregor thinks as well). They didn’t. Then RF decided to liberate Donbass simply because not doing so would expose Putin as a leader who doesn’t care about Russians outside of Russia being killed daily. Initial successes made it all go more or less smooth until sanctions and NATO got involved and people like BoJo realized that Russia is unprepared, resulting in forcing Zelensky to abandon negotiations and fight. The rest is what we have now – dwindling Russian commitment and constant “strategic retreats” in a game of 5D chess that apparently will take 50 years because it involves the rest of the world order plus Venus, Mars and Pluto and we know it takes 300 years to reach all of those……
Finally, look at Kherson – I never understood why they forced a referendum there – it was obvious from the start that the population (at least on the west side of Dnieper) is pro Ukrainian. Donbass, yes – Russian .Crimea – yes, Russian. But now RF codified Kherson status as Russian and will have to effectively conquer it, not liberate it.
Anyway, just a different view to this whole thing.
Ive been a dabbler in the gigantic war between Nazi Germany and the USSR, so I can weigh in a little
In the course of a single month in 1941, USSR lost 1.2 million soldiers killed or captured in the Kiev envelopment (660k)
and the battles of annihilation at Vyazma and Briansk (300k both places), which were the approaches to Moscow. Every expert in the West was certain that Moscow would fall, and why wouldnt they. This was Kherson × 100 at a minimum
But then the heavens opened up and the autumn rains fell and the terrain became impassable. When the ground froze up the Germans ran into an entirely different enemy, one that had been given time to digest what had been done to them and learn lessons. And of course, there was the inhuman cold. And the Russians prevailed because they saw an existential threat to their Motherland
You should mention Kharkov III in your list of important battles, because if Manstein hadnt bluffed the Red Army into stopping it SECOND Stalingradesque counterblow, the Red Army might have pulled off a sort of Super Stalingrad envelopment which would have trapped the 17th and the 4th and 1st Panzer. The entire German Army in the South might have been destroyed
Think of the consequences of that. At the very least, the Red Army would have taken all of Germany, and perhaps rolled all the way to the Atlantic. So, I think this a more important battle than Kursk. After all, even if the Wehrmacht had succeed in pinching this 2000 sqmi terrain pimple, so what? Red Army reserves to the East would have busted thru this envelopment with ease
Russia could not have won a social media and propaganda war with the West because it has simply been locked out of participating. No matter how brilliant such a campaign might have been, the Western social and news media have simply blocked anything coming from Russian sources. Russia can try as much as it likes to “counter the Western media campaign” but almost no one in the West is going to be allowed to see it. The only people who would have seen any of it are the tiny minority of people like ourselves who visit alternative new and opinion sites.
Jorge Nunes says
What a great question you have made. If this type of social media existed at the time, it would be much difficult for the Soviet Union to complete its mission as they did. In any case, the Nazis were already trying to do a type of propaganda similar to what Ukrainians do on a daily basis. However, people were convinced not to accept the swastika, while today they are forced to accept all causes of the Ukrainian flag, not realizing what it means in terms of security and freedom for the Ukrainians themselves.
I think the probability that Kherson is a prep for a winter offensive is high.
James T. says
It is hard to tell but you make a great argument about the right now effects of social media. I was super upset that they pulled out of Kherson City and thought initially it made Russia look weak but after further analysis I was wrong. I think the hard thing for us Westerners to understand is the long run strategy because as Americans it has to happen now and fast. We do not understand the long-term thinking of the Russians and Chinese. They have a longer history and a better understanding of patience and taking your time to make sound decisions for the future. I do doubt that that the American public of today could not handle this type of war with social media and possibly could have made it much harder for Russia during WWII.
I have an odd feeling that Russia sees an opportunity to demilitarize not only Ukraine but all of Europe and the USA with all the weapons they are wasting in this war. If that is the plan slow and steady and let them think they have a chance to draw in more weapons and further deplete their resources. In the end when the Ukraine army is battered for another 6 months taking back that bridgehead will be easy.
We shall see but they are definitely playing long game and history shows the American public cannot handle it.
Thank you as always for your amazing perspectives and taking the time to keep us informed.
In May 1940 France wanted Britain to rush the rest of its army and RAF to the continent to slow the German advance. To bitter criticism Churchill declined. Had he acquiesced it would have delayed the German victory, perhaps by a few weeks, but at the price of leaving Britain totally defenseless and Churchill probably would have been replaced by the Peace faction. Lend-lease would have been too late. In disarming itself in behalf of Eastern Ukraine NATO is making the big mistake
Well, there is a German saying that prediction is difficult, especially when it is about the future.
Some people may think that they don’t predict the future, but by talking about how the future should be, really get that future. So, words should do magic. NLP, neuro linguistic programming.
Of course, an engineer like I am considers this to be a disfunctal brain activity. A brain that cannot stand reality.
So, Twitter is the futile attempt to work on magic. To make a wish come true by a spell. To deny the fact that comes in an American song, guess Doris Day.
The future is not ours to see. Che sera, sera.
Ukraine’s backer of last resort is the US.
The US is largely deindustrialised, and seeks to reindustrialise by way of “reshoring.” There is a historical repetition here—after WWII, the US shipped whole German factories to the US. This left Germany deindustrialised. Germany reindustrialised by creating new factories and developing new technologies and new variations on old technologies. While the US did (and continues to) create new technologies etc., this was not very often the basis for large scale new industry after WWII.
Most young people either seek non-technical employment, or upon obtaining technical employment seek or are sriven into management—technical work is largely devalued, and ends up being done by trades people (who have more limited opportunities to enter management) rather than engineers et alia. Where technical development tends to happen is where the management has been professionalised (with its own resultant pathologies) in research universities thus keeping the engineers out of management, and in some sectors of industry where engineering technologists are lower on the totem pole than engineers, and thus have limited opportunities to get sucked into management.
The idea of having engineers in management is to avoid having a bad (especially unsafe) technical decision being forced by management that doesn’t understand the technical aspect and is driven by financial considerations, but the effect is to devalue technical work, which gets off-loaded on consulting engineering shops, that are internally subject to the same dynamic, leading to lower-on-the-totem-pole engineers being tasked to use the cookie cutter approach of taking a previous design and tweeking the understood parameters to create the design for a new facility, with fecal show commisioning processes, the substance of which is generally not announced. Some multi-billion dollar projects are in great trouble mere years after “successful commisioning.”
This tendency then leads to ill-considered “more stringent” (more hoops to jump, with limited success in achieving their stated purposes) regulatory processes. The regulatory bodies also employ engineers, with largely the same dynamic.
Another dynamic that adds to the institutional viscosity of technical development is the “experience reporting”/”scope of practice” system, which requires engineers and other technical personnel to jump employers repeatedly to “obtain necessary experience”/”remain technically proficient with new [usually marketing variation of old] technologies”/tick the boxes in their experience reports.
One of the few places where substantive technical development happens in private industry is in companies set up by engineering academics. These companies tend to focus on industrial research, and will tell clients who start babbling about project management to fly a kite. When the founding academics retire, large consulting engineering shops by up these academic founded companies, and use the reputation of these companies for marketing while turning them into project management shops.
Project management is the industrial equivalent of whole word reading, new math, and outcomes based education, in the educational field. It is telling that in order to retain accreditation, engineering schools now have to apply outcomes based education (sic).
It is not just Ukraine, but Ukraine’s principal backers, that are largely deindustrialised and will remain so for the foreseeable future duration of
Eric Newhill says
I’m sure I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but here goes……
First – There were 30,000 Russian troops in Kherson. I believe the attacking Ukro force was of similar size. Had the Russians fallen back into Kherson city and taken up positions there, they could have decimated the attacking Ukros. The attacking force would have to have been much larger to be a serious threat. So there is no apparent military reason for the Russians to run across the river without engaging. That probably messages to NATO that the Russians aren’t willing to stand and have a big fight even when they have a decisive advantage. Would the Russians really make a stand if NATO pushed to Crimea? A neocon calling the shots just might be encouraged that they would not.
Second – It seems reasonable to question, at this point, if the Ukros really have lost so many troops that they can’t go on the offense. How did they manage to assemble 30K troops or so to attack Kherson while fighting battles all the way up to the North East of the country? and pretty much holding their own in doing so? Why haven’t the Russians totally crushed the Ukros and consolidated their hold on the referenda territories if the Ukros are so degraded? Is it possible that the Russians are at least as degraded as the Ukros? That would be one explanation for the above and it has to be deeply considered.
Third – Given the first and second points, maybe the Ukros + US + Poland + other do have enough to form up for a successful attack to Crimea and maybe the Russians would cut and run when they see the formations. I’m not saying that is the case, just that it should not be totally dismissed either.
Fourth – If Russia is too scared and/or too weak to fight a big fight anymore, then what would they really do about US and Polish combat boots on the ground in Ukro? They gave away Kherson – Russian land now – when they could have won a fight there. What are they really going to do if NATO troops go on the attack? I begin to wonder myself. A neocon must be itching to find out at this point. Logistics issues? Doesn’t seem to be a problem right now if the Russians are quick to run tail between legs when push comes to shove. Ukro HIMARS were cited by Russia as a threat in Kherson. Somehow supply is still working for Ukraine.
WW2, Pacific theater, Tarawa – the US Navy made a horrible miscalculation of the tides and water depth, causing Marine landing craft to hang up on the coral reefs. Marines were slaughtered as the waded ashore for hundreds of yards in waste and chest deep water. They took the island anyhow (b/c they’re not modern day Russians). However, reports came back to the US (+ photos of dead Marines) and the US public was outraged. There was a true national outcry. The USMC was brutally honest about what had happened. No attempts to deny or deflect – and islands continued to be invaded, some with heavy casualties among the assault waves. The Navy and USMC did study Tarawa (in fact it was still being studied at least as recently as the mid-1980s) to see what lessons could be learned (it was one of the events that led to the formation of Navy underwater demolition teams, which morphed into SEAL teams), but the public outcry at the time didn’t stop island hopping. Everyone read the news papers back then and there were two additions every day. There was also radio, which people listened to all the time. It’s not like people were uninformed or there weren’t opportunities for info wars.
Finally, I think WW2 and today are not comparable. I think people were different in those days in that they were a lot tougher minded and a lot more accepting of brutality and loss in life. People used to have many children b/c some were expected to die. Mothers died regularly delivering the children. There were harsh economic cycles (like the Great Depression). There were disease outbreaks that killed a lot of people, openly. People still worked farms and other hard labor. Modern industrial society, of which Russia is a member, have bred increasingly softer, war adverse/casualty adverse generations. That’s a good thing, until some nation(s) want to take your country.
My advice: buy a new record.
Already the first title has considerable gaps … I mean there is something like a bigger dam there … and that is also shot at … by the Ukrainian armed forces.
But these are of course only insignificant trivialities.
And in general I mean: “The grand strategy” means “defense” and “bleeding to death”, with the lowest possible own losses, maximum possible protection of country and people.
by the way – like the doctor with a complex symptomatology – we start with the least invasive method and see what happens …
(But of course this is also just layman’s babble …)
Eric Newhill says
IMO, you're in denial. By your own words, you don't give up an opportunity to kill the enemy in great number, which is what Kherson represented 1) by hitting the advancing enemy force with arty and 2) drawing them into urban warfare in Kherson City.
If that opportunity represented too many potential casualties to the Russians, then I can't imagine under what circumstances the Russians would fight.
I can’t imagine a lot either.
For example, I cannot imagine, still being able to act, under fire by means of modern “Stalin organs”. But well, this is of course a question of “habit”, we can’t know exactly how we behave under conditions which differ considerably from the usual ones …
The Russians will fight if they consider it necessary, and then with everything they have – especially their own lives.
I am not worried about that, and it would be better for all of us if nobody had any illusions about that.
By the way, they probably want to avoid urban wars, because cities usually don’t look very good afterwards – Mariupol was an exception, because it was necessary.
You are not sounding like a broken record, I am wondering about the same things. People keep saying this is an existential fight for RF but RF sure are not acting like it. Today there are stories that due to the configuration of the Dnieper river around the area near Nikolaev – they will be forced to vacate the area on the east side of the river, across from the Ochakiv base. So, more retreats….
My feeling is that this is starting to look like a classic Russia cock-up. It could be as simple as fat generals thinking they will march in and everyone will greet them with white flags – but they found out that it is a real war, something they were not ready for. It certainly would explain all the nonsensical retreats, late mobilization etc.
Eric Newhill says
That is what is beginning to creep deeper into my mind as well.
I’m starting to doubt that the big frozen ground offensive will happen. IMO, it may have been another ploy by the fat corrupt Russian generals to bluff their way into a negotiation. NATO has called the bluff and smells blood in the water. How come Ukraine could advance to Kherson and threaten it so badly that Russia had to run, but Russia needs to wait for their big attack?
At this point a Russian victory is starting to look like more of an article of faith that sound analysis. But we will see.
Yup. Remember the famous 3rd core that nobody found out where it went? What was the impact of it? Where are the tens of thousands of Chechen volunteers? What happened with all the videos of equipment on trains being driven around? Threaten, threaten but never deliver? I agree, we shall see.
One thing is for sure – no analysts who mocked the Ukrainians for the last 6 months will admit to their bad calls. Mercouris questioned the sanity of the Ukrainian Kherson offensive for months prior to it unfolding and here we are – it unfolded – successfully. He and Berletic of the New Atlas talked about the joke HiMARS was – yet it apparently created enough pressure on supply lines to make holding Kherson city impossible. Scott Ritten talked about the fiercest tank force in the world – the famous 1st tank army – yet it was 10 km from Izium and never fired a bullet and we never heard of any involvement of its tanks anywhere.
There are two theories I have going on in my head: 1) NATO/Ukr smell blood and they are right to do so – RFA is weak and unwilling to fight or 2) NATO/Ukr smell blood and this is because RFA is goading them into committing so it can destroy them in a massive set of battles to be fought in the next few months.
Eric Newhill says
I am exactly where you are re; your theories.
Also, agree that it is disappointing that the pro-Russian pundits can’t even begin to even entertain the notion that Russia blew it and that they are not only going to lose in UKR, but will also lose Crimea and then the Russian Federation. I did not think that possible myself this past summer, but, not being faith or emotion based and not allowing my ego to get in the way, I have to say I very well might have been as wrong as wrong can be. We’ll know before too long.
“What happened with all the videos of equipment on trains being driven around?”
They dried up more than a week ago, which would mean it would seem: 1) Everything that has been sent has arrived at the front, and is in place and ready go or 2) None of it was real, it was just some old footage of military echelons trains dug up for propaganda purposes, to fool Russian supporters, Putin Puppets, and other sympaticos, that some unstoppable Russian Federation Winter Offensives (!) are about to commence.
Once the ground freezes, of course.
“There are two theories I have going on in my head: 1) NATO/Ukr smell blood and they are right to do so – RFA is weak and unwilling to fight or 2) NATO/Ukr smell blood and this is because RFA is goading them into committing so it can destroy them in a massive set of battles to be fought in the next few months.”
Yup, thinking the same.
Note: Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a inquisitive media of any kind, on any side, pro, con, completely neutral and objective, that might find it useful to delve into such basic questions as, were these trains were real or not? At minimum, 7,000 pieces of Russian military hardware rolled by my little ole eyes on YouTube, theoretically headed for the front.
I asked on the first day I saw my first train, why is YouTube (YouTube!!!) suddenly allowing this to be shown, since they banned all such videos by no later than 4 days into the war?
I did not receive an answer then, have not received an answer since, and have become convinced I will never receive an answer to this very simple question, because what we experiencing may not be due to the Fog of War, but to Total Kabuki Theater.
If the Russians were building up for a massive offensive, or two or three, the evidence would be there, somewhere, and everyone who is “reporting” on this war should be looking for it.
But they’re not, in fact they don’t seem to be all that interested. Why?
Also, grandparents, who existed before the benefits of modern medicine, lived with their grandchildren, so children saw the degradations and suffering of old age close up. This meant dying young or in middle age seemed far less tragic, as it spared you the awfulness of old age
Mondo Cane says
“The news media at that time could be used to spread propaganda and misinformation.”
Indeed it could. Witness the latest US sponsored candidate to head NATO, Chrystia Freeland, Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and granddaughter of a receiver of a Nazi confiscated newspaper and enthusistic Nazi propagandist Michael Chomiak. Is the US so consistently and irrevocably hell-bent on marching into oblivion? I no longer wonder.
Create a crisis, then use that crisis as an excuse to widen the crisis – the American Way. It no longer deserves a question mark.
Juan Valdez says
The Germans were doomed by their unpreparedness for the Russian winter, since, like NATO, they believed that Russia was so weak that all they needed to do was kick the door down and it would collapse. “Who needs winter clothing? We’ll be finished in a couple weeks.”
There was also the ability of the USSR to suffer massive losses yet have an endless supply of replacement troops that were also better able to fight in winter. The Russians were also fighting, as now, for what they perceived to be national survival.
Goebbels had total control of the German propaganda machine, but it made no difference in the outcome, except to perhaps hasten it since, like now with NATO, they started drinking their own Kool-Aid.
I don’t think the Russians today have any concern for the web of lies spun out by the west and amplified in social media. They seem concerned with making sure what they are doing is adhering to international law, a concept the west embraces only when it applies to others.
They are planning much longer term that we are.
We’ve been heavily propagandized for decades when it comes to our military adventures. None of it has changed the grim outcomes. Vietnam, like Iraq, was started on a massive lie. It took years and tens of thousands of U.S. deaths (and millions of southeast Asians killed) before we got a true picture. Years after, murderous (SEE: Central America) criminals like Reagan tried to re-spin the lie of Vietnam into a “noble effort”.
We are swimming in a sea of propaganda in the west. It isn’t intended to defeat the Russians, because it can’t. No, It’s intended to manipulate our citizenry, which is the real enemy of the state.
We are ruled by mass murderers and monumental thieves. That is our reality. The only way they can maintain power is by making the people think that the exact opposite of that reality is true. The average citizen is led to believe we’re always the good guys, fighting evil everywhere against the latest version of Hitler, when the reality is we’re plundering the world in an orgy of killing for the benefit of the rich.
As Noam Chomsky wrote: “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”
Kherson gain right now is like proclaiming victory over a desert island in the middle of nowhere, that’s why I see videos of few ukranian troops on Kherson.
On the other hand, has anyone noticed the huge drop of the dollar this week? Just saying …
just saying says
You see very few Ukrop troops becase they are afraid that it’s a trap, and have not entered in large numbers.
The island thing already happened some time ago on Snake Island. It was so important that everyone forgot about it. Losing a bridghead over a big river is a different kettle of fish, and a big strategic disadvantage. Odessa is now farther than ever.
Dollar will be fine for a while because euro and pound will take the hit. EU will go down to keep USA great, at least for a while.
I seem to remember many older Germans (distant relatives in my family) that if you spoke to them in the 80s (confirmed by Alexander Mercouri’s) which is when I started travelling there saying that they believed the Germany was winning up until the Soviet Union arrived in Berlin. Not terribly different from today.
I used to run the Navy analytical side of joint exercises, experiments, and other “events”. (This was after doing country stuff for an un-named command.) Anyway, around 2002 or so, we were directed to start including and playing NGOs. At the time, I was thinking “WTF is an NGO?” and “Why are we including non-military into these events and how is analysis and assessment supposed to evaluate outcomes?” Little did I know how nefarious it really was.
In the context of your article and related to the above, around 2005 or so, the next big thing was Information Operations (IO). Many friends and colleagues went enthusiastically onboard. Not me. I asked a similar question “How is analysis and assessment supposed to evaluate military outcomes via IO, when IO is non-military? Clearly, IO was (and is) an extension of propaganda and deceipt. If an adversary is oblivious to IO, then the only thing gained becomes temporary self-delusion. That’s where we are today. The world is now inside a massive IO Op. UKR/RUS is only a tiny part.
“Note: I will also admit, my geo-political spider senses have begun to tingle. Why have the attacks on Ukraine’s grid suddenly stopped? If the optics are bad concerning the Kherson retreat, what are we to make of this? Is the Russian Federation out of missiles already? Or is something else afoot.”
Likewise here. A sea change occurred. Much talk about sunk flag ship, pipeline blow up, bridge bomb, and journalist taken out. Nothing much about blown munitions plant inside Russia. No one is connecting FTX and Ukraine. Nothing much about UK sub fire or rumored fire at UK airplane. Not much about RUS launch of satellite.
Each war brings new technology, often decisive. This time, it is information war which is developed far beyond Tokoyo Rose, dropping leaflets, and Nazi propaganda. Socials are hive mind spun from DARPA. Low signal to noise ratio for participants, high ratio for controllers. Info war and psy-ops are not new but now faster, in cyber space, with AI in the mix.
Your question Larry:
The soviets could defeat the nazis if socials existed then, because good Generals, motivated armies will use what is at hand to maximum advantage in achieving their goals. They will appropriate the latest tech.
It’s fundamental, like the fox chasing the rabbit. Who wins? The fox, (mean girls in high heels), is running for his dinner and the rabbit is running for his life.
Larry, if we step back a bit and remember that this war is being fought on the ground and economically we may come up with alternate theses. The economic war is front and center in the media, at least the effects are. Everywhere is abuzz with horror stories about inflation and fears of the lights and heat going out this winter. Whole industries in Europe are being shut down. Whether or not Russia withdrew from Kherson pales in relative significance.
Because, as you state, Russia is self-sufficient, a drawn out war, as long as they manage their losses effectively, is to their benefit. The longer it goes, the greater economic damage to the west. Europe runs the risk of deindustrialization, and the US is running out of arms, and has limited capacity to make more in any reasonable time frame. Meanwhile, Xi must be biding his time until NATO/US are softened up enough for a move on Taiwan. I suspect it’s getting close to that now.
Smart fighters are careful about picking their battles. NATO was not very smart here, and is quickly being exposed as an empty bluff. It remains to be seen whether the hegemony will find a way to withdraw from this mess, or whether they go scorched earth. As Galbraith said, those used to power never let it go without a fight. Right now, the real battle is the economy, and the media, social and otherwise are effectively spreading the horror stories about the economic damage, effecting a propaganda win for Russia with no effort on their part. The question is at what point the economic pain in the west becomes so great supporting Ukraine becomes impossible. This winter will tell, I think.
T. Martin says
Just started, interesting read (intro below). . If the US proposed an aggressive war and Russia assumed a defense role . I would imagine Russian social media would probably state something similar. As usual, for the US; What’s the objective? And what’s it going to cost? And will the taxpayer pay in a divided country? US media customarily goes silent until the final tally.
THIS BOOK (Alexander Surovov) ON THE POINT OF GOING TO PRESS WHEN THE WAR WITH GERMANY began.
The 22nd June, 1941, the day on which the Nazi hordes invaded the U.S.S.R., will be written in letters of flame in the book of human history as the day on which the Soviet people began their great patriotic struggle for their native land, their honour, their freedom and their independence. The outcome of this war WWIl be the inevitable destruction of Nazi Germany.
This is not the first time that the Russian people have come into conflict with German aggression. Seven hundred years ago Russian warriors crushed the famous iron wedge of the German knigh ts on the ice of Lake Peipus; in the seventeenth century Ukrainian Cossacks defeated the German mercenaries at Korsunia and Pilyavtzy ; in the eighteenth century the Russian army inflicted more than one defeat on Frederick II; in the nineteenth century the Prussians invaded Russia with the multinational army of Napoleon and shared in its shameful flight. Within our own memory the German jackboot again trampled on Russian and Ukrainian soil in 1915 and 1918; but on each occasion the savage attack of the Germans ended in a miserable failure. Let it suffice to state the plain fact: however well prepared the German attacks may have been, they never succeeded in retaining an inch of Russian territory.
The struggle with the Russian people always ended with a complete defeat • for the Germans.
In these days when the hordes of German barbarians are again assailing our free Soviet country, our memory and imagination resurrect again the images of the men who in olden days defended our native land. Among the great military commanders bom of the Russian people there is one name which catches the imagination more than others. Suvorov— these three syllables are an apo- theosis of Russian military art, a shout of victory and an eternal reminder of the unshaken power of Russian arms.
28th June, 1941.
just saying says
Russian attacks on the grid are not meant to completly destroy it, yet.
Concur. As part of the targeting algorithms and optimizations I assisted with, one of my ideas was to include “reconstitution time”. IOW, one of the determining factors in target selection was how long do you want it down? Electrical “links” can be rapidly repaired, even 440V+ lines. Stepdown transformer “nodes” take longer. Electrical “driving units” take longer, and electrical “driven units” take the longest. All generally speaking. Russia is being very selective, clearly intentional.
Fact 10 – Russia is fighting united combined West not just Ukraine so looking at Ukrainie alone is inaccurate.
The EU has sufficient resources to rebuild Ukrainie and the US has sufficient resources to arm Ukraine and the Combined West has sufficient resources to train troops and sustain this conflict.
just saying says
Of course Russia is fighting combined West. Otherwise this thing would already be over.
“The EU has sufficient resources” is the biggest joke I have heard in a while. Let me guess, you are not from Europe, right?
Interesting, one nitpick — Russia is not destroying Ukraine’s generating capacity, but its ability to transmit electrical power… Much easier to repair, if you have the parts, and the transformer stations aren’t blown up over, and over, and over again. ;>)
The West is attempting to implement its ban on purchasing Russian crude above an arbitrary price set by the West itself… This means, necessarily, Western sanctions against any nation which purchases Russian oil above their cap price, in addition to attempting to control the international trade in oil by using western shippers and insurers to enforce the price cap.
And Russia refuses to sell oil to any nation which subscribes to the Western oil price cap scheme.
Hmmm. Wonder what the flaw in this plan might be…? Could it be a straw which breaks the West’s financial back?
just saying says
You don’t want to destroy power plant if you want to take it eventually. If the power plant is nuclear you don’t want to destroy it at all, unless you are Zelenski. I’m sure Russian factories can supply all the replacement parts, after the hostilities end.
The oil stuff will just move trade to less legal channels (there is already some shady stuff going on with non-Russian oil blends). ISIS had no problem exporting oil from Syria, until Russians “joined the chat”.
The Russian move out of Kherson appears to be a purely tactical maneuver. The social media optics, most especially in the West, are of relatively little concern. What the West plans to do militarily about the Russian winter offensive (i.e. any implied threat by Sullivan), is hollow conventionally (90k vs ~400k) and can only be achieved by resort to tactical nuclear weapons — nuclear blackmail.
For the Russians, the Hobson’s Choice the US-NATO is trying to create is either divide Ukraine, or face an under-equipped and out-numbered US “coalition” in central and western Ukraine and the heightened risk of battlefield nuclear weapons being employed in its “defense”…
Both sides know this is a ploy to save what is left of the Ukrainian Army — and face for the Biden Administration — which will declare victory, then rearm and remain a contentious and increasingly dangerous thorn in Russia’s border.
Does that sound acceptable to Russia?
Michael Creighton says
Ona related topic. You may not be familiar with the Rakovsky interview that happened in Moscow January 26, 1938 which triggered WW2.
Hiro Masamune says
WWII was triggered the day the WWI peace agreements were signed. “A 20 year Armistice” as Foch said … WWII is the end of WWI cause Versailles, Sevres, the Trianon, Saint Germain were all shitty peace deals. The root causes of WWI were still a thing… and are still not fully settled to this day IMHO.
Stefan Richter says
IMHO the russian decision to leave Kherson is sound from a military standpoint.
It is useless and costly to defend an area when the supply routes to this area are prone to be severed easily by the enemy.
On the other hand Ukraine has to occupy the area investing manpower and scarce materials in doing so and defending it. Don´t forget , the area is flat and open , so every movement is detected and can be fighted with countermeasures , be it artillery or aircraft.
One shoukd not forget that Russia fights against NATO and the game is to deplete all NATO-stocks until NATO can only throw stones and sticks at the Russian soldier. A fast Russian victory woukd not achieve this goal.
It’s said that the lesson the US took from Vietnam was to control the media narrative. It has succeeded and for so long that it’s the norm. Remembered Iraq 2003 when all the embedded journalists were pulled because things weren’t going so well? The Brit’s couldn’t take Basra, etc.
The problem for the US is that it has become dependent on winning via media narrative. Ukraine may win this conflict. But because the US and Ukraine are so focused and dependent on media narrative (now social media narrative), they are somewhat restrained in action because they can’t take media losses and they must play for media victories. Does Kherson actually help Ukraine? In the media narrative yes; tactically or operationally maybe. But there are costs to occupying it too.
The big problem with media narrative as the primary focus is that if the narrative fails or is exposed the results can be catastrophic.
Jim Giles says
Since you raised the War of Northern Aggression:
Nathan Bedford Forrest
Quetzalcoatl was the feathered serpent god of the Aztecs, author of their culture. In his human form he was said to have ruled over a golden age and departed across the eastern sea, promising to return.
On his deathbed in late 1877 Nathan Bedford Forrest was visited by an old comrade Minor Merriwether and his son whom Forrest had instructed in horsemanship a few months past. When Forrest reached out his hand the boy drew back frightened by his ghostly appearance. Merriwether told him “Lee, the man you saw dying there will always live in the memory of men who love patriotism, and admire genius and daring”. The final words, “patriotism, genius and admire daring” sum up the qualities of Nathan Bedford Forrest which must infuse our present efforts to restore Southern credibility and authority in American life. Regrettably for the Aztecs Quetzalcoatl never returned and they got Cortes and the conquistadors instead. The daring, uncompromising spirit of Forrest must return and inspire our efforts to restore constitutional self-government to states and localities. We must love patriotism and admire genius and daring to deserve to win.
Forrest was the greatest American cavalryman of all time. His tactics presaged the German blitzkrieg of 1940 and subsequent allied airborne assaults. His genius for tactics was unconventional, unpredictable, as when he ordered the artillery to charge at Brice’s Crossroads without either infantry or cavalry support. He was never content to hold ground. His restless activity, untiring energy and ability to perceive and exploit favorable features of the terrain and improvise tactics on the spot baffled the enemy, often paralyzing his movements. His contempt for personal danger was matched by his continued good fortune in escaping death at the head of his charging troops. He and others broke out of surrounded Fort Donelson prior to its surrender and in the process his overcoat was pierced by fifteen bullet holes, but he escaped serious injury.
Forrest carried the art of deceiving the enemy about the size of his forces to new heights. His confident division of his limited forces into groups to charge from different directions at the same time often confused and demoralized his opponents. Parading dismounted cavalry as infantry, or parading the same troops in view of an observer more than once, building many more camp fires than necessary, using enemy prisoners as shields, the beating of kettle drums and other ostentatious displays are tricks as old as warfare. But the cool audacity with which he delivered his typical “surrender or die” ultimatum to enemy commanders in person brought unprecedented results, the surrender of forces three times his own on occasions. He understood well that war is a contest of wills as well as of forces. On a recruiting drive behind enemy lines in Tennessee his 60–man escort attacked and drove off a force of 600 by deploying in very wide, loose formation and crashing noisily into the Union formation through a field of dried corn stalks, shouting commands over their shoulders to non-existent brigades.
Enlisting as a private at the age of 40, together with his son and brother, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant General on the strength of tactical genius and charismatic ability to rally support, recruit troops and gather supplies in Union-occupied areas of Tennessee and Kentucky. His combative nature led to conflicts with superiors and subordinates, and in one case he was shot in a dispute with a fellow Confederate. Unlettered but blessed with superior natural intelligence, his mind was not narrowed by military apothegms learned by rote. Unfortunately for the Confederacy his independent commands were located outside the vital theaters of war and his role in the major battles was to pick up the pieces after disastrous blunders by his superiors, after spurning sound advice from Forrest in the first place. His troops were so effective in protecting retreating columns and laying ambushes for pursuers that the fact that his forces were so engaged discouraged pursuit, even in Forrest’s absence.
In one of the major miscalculations of the war Jefferson Davis refused to assign Forrest to harass Sherman’s supply line in the crucial Atlanta campaign, the success of which sealed the Confederacy’s fate by assuring Lincoln’s reelection in 1864 and the continuation of the war. Davis disliked Forrest’s vanity and penchant for self-promotion and occasional pettiness in dealing with subordinates. Of course, Forrest’s notable lack of false modesty and his reputation for never having lost a battle were prime assets in enlisting recruits from sympathizers behind enemy lines. Sherman, on the other hand, sensed that Forrest’s savage cunning was the only real threat to his plans to split the southeastern Confederacy, and arranged a series of thrusts from Memphis to keep Forrest occupied guarding the grain-rich prairie sections of Mississippi and Alabama.
Following humiliating failures by Samuel Sturgis and Abel Streight, A.J. Smith moved from Memphis into Mississippi in August 1864 with an overwhelming force to distract Forrest from Sherman’s supply line. Lacking a reasonably adequate force to oppose him Forrest decided upon a raid into Memphis with a small party. Bill Forrest, the general’s brother rode into the lobby of the Gayoso Hotel where the Federal commander was living and captured his clothes but missed the general who was elsewhere at the time. The brief raid had little military significance except for the morale factor, but A.J. Smith retreated to Memphis soon thereafter.
The war ended as all things must and in the way dictated by mathematics. It turned out that one Southerner could not whip five Yankees as originally assumed. The mighty Forrest was brought to heel in the fortified town of Selma, Alabama and cut his way out but suffered the humiliation of leaving most of his force behind as prisoners. He soon surrendered and issued a conciliatory speech to the troops urging all to obey the laws. But returning to Tennessee hoping to rebuild the fortune dissipated by war, he found the law to be whatever the Union League, armed groups of blacks and radical Republican whites who had dissented from the Confederacy during the war, said it was. Being excluded from politics he resorted as independent spirits have from time immemorial, to underground resistance. He became a leader of the Ku Klux Klan to meet violence with violence, soon to be out of control on both sides. But in 1868 the radical Republican governor William G. Brownlow was elevated to the U.S. Senate and replaced by moderate Republican Speaker of the House DeWitt Clinton Senter who faced an early reelection challenge. Anticipating the reelection of Senter would cause an early restoration of the ballot to ex-Confederates the Klan supported him and upon his election the need for the Klan, in Tennessee, at least, was over. Of course, the idea can never be eradicated completely and Klan violence persists as a stain on American civilization today, but Forrest called for disbandment of the Klans in 1869. He had become the president of a proposed railroad from Memphis to Selma and involved in bond issue elections in various cities and counties along the way and in efforts to raise money on Wall Street by selling bonds. Of course, Klan associations were a huge handicap and his politics became moderate. He even advocated allowing blacks to vote once control of Tennessee politics was back in Democratic hands.
A second blot which critics allege on Forrest’s character is the “Fort Pillow Massacre” in which most of the Federal defenders, black and white, were killed by his forces in capturing the fort. Forrest contended the action continued because the flag had not been lowered while numerous witnesses at a congressional investigation contended the victims were shot while attempting to surrender. The investigation itself was staged as a part of the Republican reelection campaign of 1864, and there were no non-partisan participants, either as witnesses or interrogators. Logically, therefore one’s view of the truth must depend upon either one’s prejudices or the toss of a coin. Tragically, there were atrocities on both sides but only Ft. Pillow was investigated by Congress. The outcome was that Forrest was portrayed world-wide as the Fort Pillow Butcher. Forrest himself had said at a ceremonial decoration of the graves of Federal dead in Memphis that wartime animosity should not be carried beyond the grave, but the New York Times felt no such restraint, stating in Forrest’s obituary “While Lee had been an example of the gallant soldier and dignified gentleman of refined Virginia, Forrest typified the reckless ruffianism and cutthroat daring of the southwest’s rude border country”. While Forrest was of the yeoman South, wholly apart from the chivalric ideal, the product of an unending struggle for existence on a rude frontier, the Times could have found examples of lack of refinement among its own partisans. The Cincinnati Commercial, in a contemporary report of the mutilation of the body of Confederate General Zollicoffer stated in part “even the hair of their head cut off and pulled out by an unsympathetic soldiery of a conquering army, battling for the right”.
Forrest was and is a towering figure fit for an epic. He dominated the limited theater of war he was allowed to operate in, and his love of patriotism, genius and daring overflowed it.
Jim, concur and good timing.
Forrest’s tactics are completely relevant today. My recent ground warfare analysis shows results that an attacker needs to concentrate lethality on one general location from dispersed locations. This applies across the board, and is especially due to the speed of destruction and counter-battery. Missiles, suicide drones, and guided artillery via sensors… all contribute to this new theory I’ve been developing.
Secondly, you mention Zollicoffer. It’s called the Battle of Mill Springs but actually happened across the Cumberland River in present day Nancy (north side). It’s nearby my current abode, and so I analyzed it and concluded that Zollicoffer was operationally ignorant. He chose to position his forces inside a 180 degree bend of the Cumberland, affording what he thought to be an outstanding defensive position. It was not. When the Union attacked, the Confederates had nowhere to go and got bottled up taking superior firepower. They got lucky by retreating via ferries. The timing of your comment is related to my assessment of Russia abandoning Kherson. It’s the right move given the terrain, waterways, and ultimate required defense of strategic Crimea. I was thinking of the Battle of Mill Springs when I earlier commented on Russia abandoning Kherson.
Jim Giles says
Thank you. The article was written by my grandfather who was very smart and well read like you.
What do you think of Oddo’s comments which contradict you and Larry? Perhaps my view that Oddo thinks Russia is weak, wrong and will lose is an exaggeration but that is my rough impression. While I view your view and Larry’s view of Russia as strong, right and the absolute ultimate winner which my instincts tell me is the accurate assessment of the situation.
IMHO, Oddo is either narrow-minded and/or misinformed. The biggest mistake in National Strategy is to try and put your adversary’s mind into yours. You have to do the opposite. Oddo’s mind seems to be how US/NATO thinks, with instant gratification being in high demand. Russia is patient, plodding, and calculating. They always have been. Defense of Crimea is most certainly one of their top 5 strategic objectives. It’s their warm water Navy port. If they’re confident of defense of the Kherson line, then they can maneuver other forces to the north and west.
Jim Giles says
Excellent response especially because someone like me with an average at best intellect and not very informed can understand it.
Larry has many commenters but your comments jumped out at me because like Rogue you write with clarity. It’s challenging for me to ask you an objective question because I do not respect our government. I fear it. All the endless wars that killed so many people render it nothing less than the Devil incarnate. And here we are at Russia’s border spending so much of our money which could be and should be better spent at home.
Why are you right and why is Rogue wrong?
Larry nailed it when he said the US thinks that war is a talent show. America’s Got Talent. Sing along — or you’re wrong! Propaganda is a political tool. Russia is winning in the Ukraine because it doesn’t care about propaganda, which Russians understand only too well and because the military can make decisions relatively uninfluenced by either propaganda or politics. The “defeat” in Kherson, which enabled victories all along a now strengthened front line is a good example. As I writ here, quoting Larry. Thank you Larry.
Eric Newhill says
I agreed with that this past summer, but no longer.
Victories all along a strengthened front? Really? What victories? Name one in the past few months.
And I’m no longer buying the steadily killing all of the Ukrainians and destroying all the NATO supplied stuff. Obviously that has not happened since the Ukrainians are pressing the offense all up and down the line, deploying HIMARS, etc. Somehow they sent some 30K troops into Kherson – despite the ground not being frozen – while they hold, or even attack, elsewhere along the front with some success.
The Ukrainians aren’t killed off and their NATO goodies aren’t all destroyed. If either were true, Kherson would not have been deemed too costly to defend, per Russians own words. This is really simple. The Russians have told you themselves that Ukrainian forces can inflict too much damage on a 30K strong Russian force. So the force had to be withdrawn. What about that can’t you understand? If I was merely the victim of an IO, I’d be squawking away stupidly and the Russians would still be in Kherson and the Ukrainians would be totally gone from the referenda territory. Ok? Again, really simple stuff.
This has nothing to do with social media and info ops. The US says Russia is on the ropes. The Ukrainians are saying it AND the Russians themselves are de facto saying it by admitting they can’t handle a Ukrainian force advancing on Kherson and their HIMARS. Where have the Russians advanced successfully in the past few months? They haven’t consolidated their hold on the new territories. The Ukrainians are attacking all up and down the front. The Russians admit that too.
The only people coming up with happy alternate theories are die hard Russia fans that aren’t in Ukraine. Sorry.
Paulo Guerra says
There are already conditions accepted by both sides to go to the negotiating table. Kherson’s withdrawal has already been part of it, as Maria Zakharova herself soon came to understand. Or General Mark Milley himself. No army takes out more than 50,000 men and their hardware since the staged meeting between Suvorikin and Shoigu.
Europe itself was already putting a lot of pressure on the US to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia. Which also interests the US, which has long since realized that it is not going to win the war or replace Putin.
And the biggest “farce” of the deal was Russia saying that it left the West Bank afraid that the ukrop would blow up the dam and withdrew to the eastbank with much less altitude. As the topographic map shows:
Any Western European army that bases it’s doctrines and standards based in Western European time and space will fail when confronted with the reality of Russian geographic vastness….those massive spaces give rise to native tactics that are also not understood. Germany lost the war when it went up against the land…climate and people of Russia. If social media was around I’m guessing the quality of the young fighting men would be severely degraded on account of all the tide pod eating and clinical sociopathic narcissistic selfy taking shitheads. On a side note as I hear Kherson collapse Russian weakness ad nauseam….on the 18th of October Russian general staff released a statement saying NATO was going to destroy the hydroelectric dam upstream from Kherson City and as such due diligence compelled the evacuation. I’ve seen a computer simulation of those low lying areas and civilian infrastructure destruction resultant from 18 cubic kilometers of water. Just saying
The Western-supported Ukraine and the Russians are essentially fighting 2 different facets of this conflict. Their objectives are different. The Russian stated objective is to de-militarise and de-Nazify Ukraine. Now that so many western countries have committed to supply Ukraine, the unstated objective becomes to remove the ability of these Western countries to supply Ukraine. This objective requires the destruction of the western-supported Ukrainians’ ability to fight, which means destroying the ability of the west to supply monies and arms to Ukraine. Which will take a long time, in fact crushing the Ukrainian military too early while the West’s ability to resupply Ukraine still exists, will only result in protracted insurgency and terrorist attacks. Therefore the head of the snake is the west’s ability to supply Ukraine. The Russians doesn’t seem to care about how they look during the period they set out to accomplish this.
The Ukrainians’ stated objective is to defend their land but I don’t believe this is their true objective. I believe the true objective (for some of them) is to get as much money as possible from the West before everything goes to hell. If they really want to defend their land, why sell away so much weapons that were given to them? Also, the Ukrainians are now unable to produce enough weapons to supply themselves to keep up. So now that Ukraine is entirely dependent on Western largesse, Ukraine will need to pander to how the Western media reports on them, in order to manipulate the West to give them as much arms and money as possible.
Therefore the style of warfare for Ukraine and Russia is different.
As Ukrainians are more concerned about optics, about how they look on Western media, this makes it easy to for Russia to get Ukraine to behave in the way Russia wants, to get Ukraine to move their military into an area that is under threat if the dam breaks. (“Hey the Russians are withdrawing from Kherson! It is a tremendous opportunity for a propaganda win to show on Western media!”)
The Russian military on the other hand, totally ignores the optics or how bad they look, so… draw the Ukrainians into Kherson where it is easy to destroy them if Russia wants.
While everyone may argue about which way is better or not, the fact is that many people on both sides are achieving their objectives. Some Ukrainians are getting very rich because of this conflict. And I suspect some Western leaders too, are getting very thick brown envelopes from American MIC. The victims are accordingly: some number of Russian soldiers, I believe a greater number of Ukrainian soldiers, and tens or hundreds of millions of Western people who will struggle to pay their bills.
I also believe there will be an attempt for peace talks in winter, when all those Western countries will find it politically suicidal to continue to supply Ukraine while their domestic population are struggling to pay for their heating. At that point Zelensky will be isolated and if he is still stubborn, destroy his bargaining chips one by one such as blowing up the dam and flooding Kherson, blowing up the few remaining power plants etc.
In the medium term, if those countries in Europe don’t stop submitting to US diktats, EU will no longer be able to be one of the significant members of the new multipolar world, and will become like Africa in the 19th and early 20th century. I believe they have no choice but to eventually be independent from USA.
Just my 2 cents.
What happens to these (a)social media, if they, for example, have no more electric power …
… Let’s assume that Nordstream 1 and 2 would be in full operation – let’s say for 3-5 years – and after that they would be blown up … and what about these “transatlantic cables” …
I think you have to “interpolate” the “dimensions” of WW2 … the so called “social media” will probably be one of the less relevant problem …
The funny thing about some of these American disaster movies is: Nothing works anymore, except the cell phone …
One historical note, it was not the Battle of Stalingrad that was the turning point of the war for the Axis that Hitler and his leadership thought it was.
It was the Battle of Tunis, which led to more Germans being captured and equipment lost than what was lost as Stalingrad. We know from captured German documents that Hitler said the loss of the Armies at Tunis was the real turning point.
This has been largely lost to most historians who ignore the importance of that campaign for the rush to the Italian invasion.
Which reminds me I still need to write that article.
Aaron T says
A few months ago when Russia was still seen as winning, a Russian analyst published a prescient article listing the military deficiencies and failures of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine and correctly predicted the current abysmal situation (I forgot the analyst’s name, I’d be happy if someone could find and link to the article). Martyanov, the smug blowhard that you frequently quote, in his typical crude manner, dismissed him as “uneducated”, “stupid”, “incompetent” etc, as he does to anyone who disagrees in the slightest that Russia has anything less than the perfect fighting force, with military supremacy over the entire West.
Now Martyanov calls the Kherson fiasco “bad optics” and a sound military decision, even though only a few weeks ago he explained how attacking Kherson would be suicidal for Ukraine. A withdrawal may not be a military defeat, but is usually done to avoid a military defeat. If defending Kherson city is too costly, then it will be even costlier to take it back, which tells me that Russia is not going to take it back, nor is it going to take back Kharkov (even though Martyanov at the time indicated that Russia might be setting a trap..). Nikolayev and Odessa are off the table for the foreseeable future.
What alerted most Russian supporters is not the specific retreat from Kherson, which may make sense militarily, but it added to the bigger picture of Russia getting bogged down, losing the initiative, moving to the defensive and even ceding territory that was very recently formally declared Russian territory. Every day that passes and with every setback it is becoming increasingly hard to see a clear path to victory for Russia and a big question mark hangs over its resolve to win the war. And given the recent developments, it is not unreasonable to expect that none of the objectives set at the start of the “SMO” by Vladimir “we haven’t started anything serious yet” Putin are going to be achieved.
In Vietnam, N Vietnam had no military industrial complex to speak of, were by far militarily inferior in terms of material and equipment, were completely dependent on the Soviet Union and suffered 10:1 casualties and higher. Yet its resolve won it the war. If Russia at the minimum does not completely liberate and consolidate the 4 new annexed territories, it will rightfully be seen as a defeat, attributed to hubris of a technocrat who thought he could leisurely fight a “half war” against Ukraine, even when it became clear that not only all of Ukraine is mobilizing, but also the entirety of NATO was behind it.
Paulo Guerra says
How does one explain these completely false statements by a former Russian official commentator about the Dnieper’s eastbank being higher?
Military expert Yuri Knutov on the correctness of our tactics:
“In any case, the enemy will be able to repeat the offensive operation. Now we have retreated to the higher left bank. Our troops will be able to hold the defense with smaller forces. We will shell the territory occupied by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the right bank. Our military will continue to process them with aircraft and artillery. With smaller forces, we will hold the line of the Dnieper and inflict even greater losses on the enemy.!
And attached the topographic map and a video. The only justification is the ongoing negotiations for which many people on both sides with a lot of hatred are still not prepared. In fact, Russia has already destroyed an army from Ukraine and the mobilization of over 300K men and especially the hardware apparatus transported to Ukraine worked. And the US pressured by countries like France and Germany called for negotiations. Everything indicates that we will have peace at Christmas.
https://web.telegram.org/k/stream/%7B%22dcId%22%3A4%2C%22location%22%3A%7B%22_%22%3A%22inputDocumentFileLocation%22%2C%22id%22%3A %226019303498913418428%22%2C%22access_hash%22%3A%22-1271150260582133654%22%2C%22file_reference%22%3A%5B2%2C86%2C237%2C90%2C183%2C0%2C3%2C747%2C29 %2C142%2C155%2C169%2C115%2C101%2C99%2C137%2C33%2C138%2C58%2C45%2C41%2C48%2C253%2C237%2C97%2C47%5D%7D%2C%22size%22%3A257662mime%2C%2 %22%3A%22video%2Fmp4%22%7D
Many have already forgotten that Russia triggered UN art-51 to enter Ukraine! After recognizing the Donbass Republics. To help the two republics on the verge of a fatal threat. As OSCE reports confirm. After the Minsk agreements failed. Neither Russia nor its geostrategic allies support turf wars in the 21st century. Russia could never legally justify invading Nicolaev or Odessa!
And by now it has already annexed most of the Donbass and consolidated Crimea with a land bridge to Russia and water supply in Kherson oblast. Beyond the sea of azov and the ZNPP in Zaporizhzhia oblast. I,e, almost 20% of the territory of Ukraine, more than 50% of GDP and MM of Russians! And couch bullies around the world try another video game.
Eric Newhill says
Here is what I think is a plausible scenario that leaves Russia looking less incompetent. My best and final pro-Russian look at this topic
1. To date, Russia has been attempting to arrive at a peace settlement with the west. Thus, they have threatened, bluffed and provided hints of their capabilities (like hitting the electrical infrastructure, satellite/commos jamming and probably several things that we don’t even know about, but that the US military is aware of).
2. Given the failure to arrive at a settlement w/ the west, Russia really is going to jump off a major “frozen ground” attack in which they will not hold back on the destruction of critical infrastructure and that they are sure will decimate Ukrainian forces.
3. The Russians have reason to believe that the response to that overwhelming offensive will be for the US/Poland/Others to immediately introduce 90K+ boots on the ground into the fight + additional boots and other assets over time – this would probably be justified by Biden et al by the western media blasting “blitzkrieg” images everywhere w/ accompanying stories of atrocities. Among the atrocities would be freezing/starving Ukrainian grandmas and children (b/c the Russians took out infrastructure)
4. Given that scenario, it really was militarily correct to abandon Kherson and to use the river as a natural line of defense against attacks from the west. Yes, that would have been a difficult decision, as the Russians said, but necessary. While, IMO, it would have been more correct to hold Kherson against the Ukro forces alone, much less so if western forces join the fight. That would be too much to fight in Kherson given the realities of its situation.
Time will tell.
Why Russia still looks incompetent in that scenario is that they failed to assess, until now, that the west is non-negotiable and wants not only Russia out of UKR, but also the Crimea, and will not stop until either they have achieved that objective, or are destroyed in the process of pursuing it. That failure hasn’t cost Russia too much, so far, other than in the info war space. That said, because of the optics and info ops, Putin’s job is at stake if the above scenario doesn’t materialize soon. On that note, Russia is going to have to up its info warring if it is going to get its population on board with a fight against the US and Poland. It will be an info war of historic portions that gets the US population to go along US boots in the fight, especially when a lot of those troops start coming home in boxes.
If my scenario is correct, then this thing (including social media impact) hasn’t even started yet. It will be insane.
Henry Rech says
” To date, Russia has been attempting to arrive at a peace settlement with the west. ”
So what happened to decapitation of the Ukrainian regime, denazification, demilitarization? The push to Odessa?
They have failed tactically and strategically on the battlefield and see no other way out. Pure and simple.
They cannot admit defeat so they are waiting for NATO to come to them and sue for peace.
If the Ukrainians are not with the bargain (they want total Russian withdrawal), what will NATO do? Abandon Ukraine? If NATO abandons Ukraine will Ukraine go solo?
Eric Newhill says
God you’re an insufferable ass.
Who said there was an objective of decapitation? That’s straight out of your own head; put there no doubt by some neocon propaganda (of which you may well be an operative).
What did I write? Russia not done all they could and they’ve only hinted at capabilities to try to bring everyone to the table.
I would not call capturing 20% – the good 20% – of UKR with a force smaller than the defenders a “tactical and strategic failure”. I wrote that their main failure, under my scenario, is that they failed to assess that the west is non-negotiable and have been wasting time figuring that out. I also wrote than, other thn the info space, the wasted time has not cost them too much. Even that might not even be a true failure; just a hope beyond hope b/c they know what the results of the failure might become, which is an open/hot WW3.
Since you have popped up w/ nonsense to “refute” what I wrote, I begin to be more confident that there might be some reality to it.
Ex capitis, decapitare.
These glowies are easy to spot aren’t they? Doesn’t matter which online forum it is, the discourse with them is all the same. They straw-man constantly in a pathetic effort to sow FUD. Except it’s not really working.
Eric Newhill says
Yeah, no kidding. All the same. Their tradecraft is that poor.
I’m trying to understand whether or not I need to identify a cave somewhere out in the mountains and start stockpiling bullets and beans and looking at the situation from all angles to see what people think, how we can distil down to reality, and along comes some igit from deep state troll farm telling me the same crap I could get if I could stomach CNN for 5 minutes.
Henry Rech says
Perhaps you and Randolorian can hold hands and sing Kumbaya – for mutual succour and comfort.
Henry Rech says
I should have known I was dealing with a military genius.
One thing I can say for sure I know I am not one.
However, I still say you are not willing to consider the bleeding obvious.
It is clear that Odessa was a major strategic Russian goal.
In retreating to the left bank and literally burning all their bridges as they retreated, this strategic goal is now effectively out of reach.
So the Russians are either strategic incompetents or they do not have the military wherewithal to prosecute their strategy. I don’t believe the former.
They have failed.
They have been defeated by a force which all the Russian propaganda shills have told us is inferior.
The Russians are now reduced to forcing a negotiated end, not because this is what they want but because the reality is they have so far been defeated on the battlefield.
“…they failed to assess that the west is non-negotiable and have been wasting time figuring that out.”
This was never an issue. The Russians believed in a blitzkrieg-like victory. Failed.
Capturing Odessa. Failed. And now, more than likely, strategically impossible.
The Russians have mobilized a formidable force. It remains to be seen whether they will be adequately trained and supplied. Perhaps the Russians are building for a decisive all fronts assault. No idea. We’ll have to wait and see.
Paulo Guerra says
Russia with less than 200 thousand men wanted to conquer Ukraine from Kiev to Odessa? Henry’s problem is not that not a military expert, but that doesn’t have the slightest clue about what a military operation is. With 200,000 mens you can’t conquer a city like Kiev, let alone the entire east of the largest country in Europe.
Kherson city has never been more than a beachhead for trapping and destroying Ukrainian forces. Without anyone being able to say that Russia ever tried to conquer Odessa. For a very simple reason. Russia is very likely the most legalistic nation on earth. Hence having waited 8 years to be able to invoke UN art.51 to enter Ukraine to defend the two Donbas republics from an imminent attack. As the OSCE reports prove. Neither Russia nor its allies – very importantly – in the global south appreciate turf wars in the 21st century. And Russia has no legal reason to date to enter Odessa! Much less responsibility for the wet dreams of imbeciles or nostalgia for Novorossiya.
In terms of territory, Russia entered Ukraine as announced to resolve the Donbass issue and consolidate Crimea to the south. With water supply, the land bridge to Russia and the Sea of Azov in Kherson. And the ZNPP in Zaporizhzhia. Ukraine’s 1st Army and the top neo-Nazi leaders he annihilated in Mariupol were a bonus. And the departure from the city of Kherson is already part of ongoing ceasefire negotiations. A justification for Selensky to go back to negotiating with his population.
And those who still haven’t noticed the change in speech of all the protagonists don’t understand anything about negotiations between nations either! Biden, in addition to starting to be hard pressed by Europe for a ceasefire, since Sholz’s trip to China, has no ammunition to send to Ukraine. And General Winter hasn’t arrived yet.
Henry Rech says
That’s it – keep listening to Ritter, the Durans and Berletic and anything is believable.
Paulo Guerra says
I usually don’t hear any. Regularly. The Durans are Russian propagandists and Ritter has a lot to settle with Washington. He is rash but has more military head than Henry. I think Berletic has a very good military and geostrategic head. And he knows US foreign policy very well! But he’s not as much fun as Henry. When you say that Russia has recruited an overwhelming force and wants to negotiate. Who is asking to negotiate is the US. Desperately! I already wrote it here last week. Kherson’s withdrawal is already part of the negotiations. And most likely the kinburn peninsula.
Henry Rech says
I am out of Ritter’s league but he clearly has his prejudices and predilections which take him to places that are rife with hyperbole.
Berletic and the Durans are, I think, on someone’s payroll – purveyors of incessant post rationalization of operational Russian failure.
It seem the US wants to negotiate but the Russians are even keener. They know they have lost the battlefield (so far) and are attempting to bludgeon the Ukrainians to the negotiating table.
They have failed, having come close, to divide NATO and the gas and economic situation in Europe is exaggerated by the likes of the Durans.
There is only one viable strategy left for the Russians.
Paulo Guerra says
Ukraine does not trade at all! Ukraine only served to provoke this conflict in Donbass. And the objective of the US was only one! With the wear and tear of war and above all with economic sanctions, breaking Russia and provoking a regime change in Moscow!!! To regain control of Russia’s natural resources. And disconnect the EU and especially China from these resources! But Henry, as he must be seeing some Navalny in the Kremlin, thinks that Russia failed?!?!? With all due respect, Henry is hilarious.
Russia did not go bankrupt and today it has less economic problems than the US. That in matters of military supplies to Ukraine has come to an end! Hence the ceasefire imperative that the Pentagon has already conveyed to the White House. Already Russia with less than 200k men has the westbank of the Dnieper from the Donbass to the south consolidated. 20% of Ukraine with more than 50% of GDP and millions of Russians. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia and Crimea consolidated with sea of azov and water supply and land bridge in Kherson to mainland! And Henry thinks Russia failed?!
The US wants to negotiate now because in addition to not having any more supplies to send to Ukraine, it knows very well how Russian reinforcements can really further unbalance the balance of operations at this stage! With a Ukraine completely worn out and without energy! And as I already told Henry, Russia has no interest in crossing the Dnieper. Russia’s interest beyond the Donbass problem and the consolidation of Crimea in Ukraine, both resolved, is in the US withdrawing the missile ramps from Poland and Romania! Like the missiles in Turkey in the Cuban Missile Crisis!
Paulo Guerra says
p.s. Ukraine only risks losing Nicolaev and Odessa if they do not quickly reach an agreement that provides security for the Russian naval fleet in the Black Sea. And I’ll tell Henry right away that Ukraine today has no chance of defending Nicolaev and Odessa. Which turns the conflict into a territorial conflict that Russia will do everything to avoid.
In the same way that he did everything to avoid the armed conflict that continues to this day. Russia’s idea even after entering Ukraine was always to negotiate. Unfortunately, the West did not allow it and today it is as it is. Both the EU and the US. In addition to the economic situation with the use of two terrorist attacks. Needless to say more about the desperate situation where the US is in Europe.
Paulo Guerra says
Errata: Already Russia with less than 200k men has the EASTBANK of the Dniepre from the Donbass to the south consolidated.
Henry Rech says
It is embarrassing.
You are spending too much time defending (mindlessly repeating nonsense) your point of view against that of a troll.
It will not go down well with your confreres.
Paulo Guerra says
Is the troll Henry?
Henry Rech says
“Is the troll Henry?”
comrade simba says
I keep hearing this shit about a Massive 30,000 strong Ukie army bearing down like dogs on the poor trapped ruski forces in Kherson.
No sources, just repetition.
I got no dog in this fight. I’m in the PNW of the US where neither air-conditioning or home heating is essential, so however the “war” goes I’m all set to hoe turnips and milk goats since collapse is the only thing on the dinner menu. It’s all about entertainment value, and watching the rise of eurasia is so much more satisfying than clutching onto western hegemony.
Think historical photos. Churchill at Potsdam. The Japanese surrender on the Missouri. I wanna see Putin High-Fiving General Armageddon. 😀
Hiro Masamune says
Remember the Iran-Iraq war ? 8 years and a stand still that leaded Iraq into a Desert Storm and much worse later.
Proxy wars aren’t good wars.
I’m remembering the Ogaden War now … cm’on : that was THE good old CIA time Boyz !!! :þ
mr. johnson; i believe that the soviet union would have won the war even with social media of today. Stalin would have made sure it was tightly controlled just like our last 2020 election when twitter and spybook did not allow the information on hunter biden to be released.
if you want to understand the global homo agenda we are living under today that russia is fighting please give this a listen too. Do think that most people out there do not understand this information below.
The Realnessss says
The Germans had the V-2 rockets, which were guided mini ICBMS. The tech was decades ahead of everyone else. The Germans also had developed jet airplanes which was also fracases ahead of everyone else. The sole reason they chose not to mass manufacture them was do to their inability to have access to high quality oil. Had they had oil like Russia or the USA they Allie’s would have been fighting jets in their spitfires. This is undeniable fact.
With that said, if social media was around, the tech Germans would very likely have acquired would have been far better than anyone else. The SOLE reason Russians acquired nuclear technology was do yo US government scientist who provided Russia with the technology g level the playing field because the scientists didn’t want one nation to have the possession of such a horrid fly evil weapon that never should have been created.
Lastly, what never made sense to me is the fact Hitler chose to never use chemical weapons or gas etc that the V-2s could have easily carried with them to London which would have had England surrendering in months! Because they had nothing to stop them. And, they had nothing equivalent to attack the Germans. Hitler refused to use chemical and gas weapons against the Allies because of the horror he saw during WW1 where he fought and was gassed and saw others die and suffer, so he refused to use them in the war. But, we are supposed to believe he would use it to gas Jews? When the second founding member of the SS was part Jewish, Emil Maurice (https://en.wikipedia.org//wiki/Emil_Maurice ). He also slept with Hitlers niece and did Hitler kill him? Kick him out of the SS? No. Over 100,000 Jews fought for the Germans ( https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/2014-07-05/ty-article/.premium/when-hitler-honored-jewish-soldiers/0000017f-dbc1-d3ff-a7ff-fbe146980000 ). They had over 22 generals etc that were Jewish. ( https://www.irishtimes.com/news/historian-claims-hitler-personally-approved-officers-of-jewish-descent-to-fight-for-nazis-1.58495 ). I can go on and on, but clearly, Hitler didn’t hate all Jews. Just the ones that were communists and saw themselves as superior, as it wasn’t even Hitler who created the idea of Aryan versus semite. It was Moses Hess as far as I can date back, who wrote this in 1860, and mind you, this was taken from a pro-Israeli Rabbi “ Moses Hess wrote Rome and Jerusalem in 1860, a book in which he described the world as consisting of two types of people: Aryans and Semites. While Aryans attempted to make the world beautiful, Semites attempted to make it moral. Because their worldview and goals were incompatible, Hess offered that these two peoples should not live together, but rather separate and apart from one another. Most consider Hess’ Rome and Jerusalem to be the first published expression of the need for a Jewish homeland. Indeed, there were Jews at this time in the Land of Israel, poor and struggling to survive. They were support by Baron Edmund de Rothschild, who funded a score of agricultural undertakings.”
Israel was created by Hitler according to the New York Times best selling author Edwin Black in the transfer agreement, which his parents disowned him until they read the book and saw for themselves the facts. Here a news report on the book and it’s findings from the 80s/90s
But to think Germany would somehow behind Russia technologically is absurd from my stand point.
What I also find absurd, and it needs to be said. There are 0.2% Jewish people in the world ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population_by_country#By_country ) but yet they make up 30 of the richest 100 billionaires and 140 of the richest 400 billionaires, which is 35% of the richest 400 billionaires are Jewish ( https://www.jta.org/2009/10/05/united-states/at-least-139-of-the-forbes-400-are-jewish )
I know this likely won’t get approved because facts have become hate speech. Nothing I have written is untrue when it comes to the facts I provided which is why I provided sources, credible sources, sources I could easily use in academia, I know and I know you do too. I’m not saying anything. The facts speak for themselves, so Mr. Johnson, are you for the truth? Or are you for censoring facts that make you uncomfortable? One day we will all meet our creator, and creator of truth, and explain why we’re for the absolute truth, or the censoring of it. I know what I’ll be able to say because the truth doesn’t care if it makes us uncomfortable, isn’t on our side, or makes us upset. Jesus said he was the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. If that doesn’t mean to live a life of untainted and uncensored truth no matter what then I don’t like what does.
It seems obvious that the Russian withdrawal from Kherson on the east side of the Dnieper River is nothing but another “fixing” operation on the part of the Russians … similar to Russia threatening Kiev and Kharkov in the opening phase of the Russian Special Military Operation.
20,000 Ukrainian and mercenary soldiers are now “fixed” in the defense of Kherson until the end of the war. They will be hapless onlookers when the upcoming Russian war of maneuver rages around them. At some point in the not-too-distant future, the Russians will accept their unconditional surrender.
What a clever way for the Russians to remove 20,000 Ukrainian forces from the upcoming battle royal without firing a shot.