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In perhaps the most impressive Russian feat of arms in the current war, in the first week the Russian Army invading from Crimea got across the mighty Dnieper River and captured the south-central Ukrainian regional capital of Kherson on March 2, 2022,

This is the only important city they have secured west of the Dnieper. Controlling both banks of the lower Dnieper allows Russia to cut off river traffic.

Further, Kherson is about 150 miles by road from the famous Ukrainian port city of Odessa.

Although the Russian push toward Mykolaiv and Odessa, Ukraine’s last main links to the sea, long ago stalled, Russia’s continued possession of a foothold across the Dnieper would allow it to credibly threaten to drive on Odessa in a future war after it has rebuilt its military strength.

So, it’s hard to imagine the Ukrainians agreeing to a ceasefire leaving the Russians on the west bank of the Dnieper without trying to push the Russians back across the river.

Hence, for about a month or so the Ukrainians have been talking up their upcoming offensive to retake Kherson. This hasn’t exactly gone through the formality of taking place yet, but the Ukrainians have lately been punching holes with their new long-distance rockets in the surprisingly few bridges across the lower Dnieper, in the hope of panicking the Russians troops in Kherson into retreating to the east side of the Dnieper. (The Ukrainians don’t want to completely demolish the bridges because they want to use them after retaking Kherson.)

Fighting on the offensive is tougher than on the defensive, especially without air superiority. So far the Ukrainians haven’t shown all that much evidence of what their offensive capabilities might be.

Kherson could serve as a test of strength.

If the Ukrainians can’t take Kherson, they likely can’t retake much of the land held by the Russians.

If they retake Kherson only after a protracted, exhausting fight and don’t have anything left to get across the Dnieper, then a ceasefire might be in the offing.

If the Ukrainians retake Kherson with enough left over to cross the Dnieper in force, the war could go into reverse motion.

Or it could be that the far from secret Kherson offensive is intended as a distraction for something else the Ukrainians have up their sleeve.

But in an age of constant satellite and drone surveillance, can anybody actually pull off feints and occluded offensives anymore? We haven’t seen a lot of brilliant stratagems in this war yet. That may have less to do with the inadequacies of the leadership than with technological evolution of surveillance leading to an era in which battles turn into tests of strength that both sides can see coming a long way off.

 
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  1. You’re suggesting we haven’t seen Ukraines offensive capabilities. Uhhh, yes we have: they’ve had zero successful ounter-offensives precisely because that is their capability.

    • Agree: Wade Hampton
    • LOL: nokangaroos
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @HA
  2. Dumbo says:

    The “Ukrainians” are not conducting this war, it’s the US/NATO. But even so, it is highly unlikely they will “retake Kherson” or anywhere else, unless it’s in the pages of Vogue. It’s such a phony war.

    Nothing personal, but, frankly, if I wanted to read war analysis, I would go somewhere else than Sailer’s blog. Not his expertise.

    • Replies: @Daniel Dravot
    , @meh
    , @Republic
  3. The Russians are about to get their butts kicked.

    That’s what happens when you don’t support democracy LGBTQ+ diversity an People of Color.

    Russia will be carved up soon

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @Sean
  4. Hodag says:

    I cannot comment much about this war since I am purposefully not going down that rabbit hole due to it being a giant time suck.

    What is clear is non-stealthy airpower is doomed on a modern battlefield. And I do not know enough to say if stealthy aircraft could survive. And long range missiles tech is scary and truly is changing our foreign relations and our economy.

    • Agree: slumber_j
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  5. @Hodag

    I agree wholeheartedly on your 1st paragraph, Hodag. Being no military historian or armchair warrior* and having not kept up with military hardware in years, I plead your 1st paragraph on all that.

    I meant to reply to Hypnotoad on this in that other thread: This whole effort by the US Feral Gov’t and Deep State in causing all this trouble over there (including ridiculously-Totalitarian financial “sanctions”) is having the effect of getting the big powers and even small countries to consider getting the hell out of the US Dollar and the whole system.

    (It’s not like the Dollar isn’t heading down the toilet anyway, but we could have had more time.)

    .

    * I don’t say that in any derogatory way.

    • Thanks: Coemgen
    • Replies: @Pixo
    , @mc23
  6. Sean says:

    In perhaps the most impressive Russian feat of arms in the current war, in the first week the Russian Army invading from Crimea got across the mighty Dnieper River and captured the south-central Ukrainian regional capital of Kherson on March 2, 2022,

    Ukraine relied on the rugged terrain to stall the Russians coming from Crimea.

    Hence, for about a month or so the Ukrainians have been talking up their upcoming offensive to retake Kherson. This hasn’t exactly gone through the formality of taking place yet, but the Ukrainians have lately been punching holes with their new long-distance rockets in the surprisingly few bridges across the lower Dnieper, in the hope of panicking the Russians troops in Kherson into retreating to the east side of the Dnieper. (The Ukrainians don’t want to completely demolish the bridges because they want to use them after retaking Kherson.)

    I would point out that there was a river cutting off Stalingrad from resupply. Russia had the will to continue at however great a cost. According to the former head of the Soviet Bioweapon program, Ken Alibek, they used a bioweapon (Tularaemia) to win The Battle of Stalingrad. It might be mentioned that Alibek has been in the news recently for insisting that the Soviets Union was developing monkeypox as a bioweapon

    If they retake Kherson only after a protracted, exhausting fight and don’t have anything left to get across the Dnieper, then a ceasefire might be in the offing

    Not just Putin but most Russians sees the independence of their state at stake, it is very difficult to see them quitting and they are taking monster 60s howitzer out of storage. But even if it wanted to, ending the war without capturing all Donbass, maybe Odessa too, would entail accepting a catastrophic decline in Russia’s self perceived prestige by failing to levy war unto the bitter end. The international perception of Russia having determination and relentlessness would be things of the past and the ramification of that is what is the point of having nuclear weapons. if everyone thinks you’ve shown lack the hard driving implacability to use them in the last resort? That becomes even more important if your military forces have been bested by a medium sized country. No conceivable occupant of the Kremlin would or could see failing to achieve military victory in Ukraine as an option*.

    (Gorby might have, but he was an outlier)

  7. Unit472 says:

    Excellent analysis of the problem. IMO the big caveat in this fight is the staying power of the two armies. Ukraine needs NATO to keep their army well supplied with munitions and weapons and Russia having the industrial wherewithal to supply their army with a numerical advantage of inferior weaponry. Much will depend on Germany. While they have not yet contributed much combat equipment to Ukraine they have promised to provide a lot more…next year. If they don’t fold politically due to their economic vulnerability and actually start delivering Leopard tanks and other combat vehicles to the Ukrainians its hard to see how the Russians can continue their fight using increasingly obsolescent equipment from the Brezhnev era. They seem to be running low on precison guided munitions but OTOH have better anti drone technology than what Ukraine has available to it at this time.

    The other issue is casualties. No matter whose numbers you believe they are running high. The US public support for continuing the war against Japan began to fade as the casualties suffered taking Iwo Jima and Okinawa sunk in and those were victories. Putin can’t hide his own death toll for long. People notice when their sons and husbands don’t call home anymore and to continue the war he is going to need more soldiers. Absent some light at the end of the tunnel will the Russian people give them to him?

    • Replies: @Sean
  8. Wokechoke says:

    The modern battlefield is uninhabitable.

    The three main scenarios are quite good.

    The Ukies get smashed trying to destroy the bridgehead, the Ukies push out the Russian West of the Dneiper at great cost and a settlement occurs, Ukies chase the Russians across the river and onto Sevastapol.

    The Russians might bargain it away for other land though. That’s scenario 4.

    I’ve looked closely at the map of Kherson and the area behind it. The Russians can’t be surrounded. But they can be reduced to food and ammo supply by ferrying and airdrops via Russian PTS and other amphibious craft. However they can pack artillery on the East bank of the river at little to no risk with full supply. The Ukies will have to attack the city frontally as the city is also flanked by rivers on the left and right as well as backstopped by the Dneiper. That front of 5 miles will have satellites, drones, mines, artillery mortars and small arms zeroed in on every bit of dead ground infantry can crouch in. Would not want to be a Ukie assault trooper given what I’ve seen of that terrain.

    The Soviets defended Stalingrad with 50,000 infantry against 170,000 Germans earmarked for taking the city. The Soviets were decimated during the assault but the artillery on the East bank of the Volga killed most of the Germans attacking Stalingrad anyway.

    Fascinating to see the Ukies shell their own prisoners. Long arm of the Battle Police eh? How ruthless an order was that?

  9. Gordo says:

    All the worst people in the West are supporting Ukraine, wiping out our wealth and soon will be starving us while they enrich tnemselves.

    Russia is our enemies enemy.

  10. prosa123 says:

    I want more than anything for Ukraine to be annihilated. At the beginning of the war I actually supported them, being victims of invasion. But then they decreed that men under age 60 could not leave the country in case they were needed for military service.

    WHAT ABOUT WOMEN????? Oh no, they could drag their precious poon tangs to safety in other countries while men had to stay behind. I am god damned sick and tired of women being infantilized while men have to do the dirty work. Here I thought that maybe this was changing, but no.

    Before anyone points out that some women have joined the defense forces, they have dome so because they have chosen to do so. They haven’t been forced to do so,

    • Troll: AKAHorace
    • Replies: @Jay Fink
    , @Jack D
  11. Well, there goes Jack D’s morning. I hope he didn’t have any plans today.

  12. The good news for everyone – especially Jack D’s beleaguered keyboard – is that the outcome to this war may soon be clear.

    The Russians are grinding the bulk of Ukraine’s trained army into dust in the east. It’s a slow process, but brutally effective.

    Ukraine had to change the direction of the war or it would eventually lose its army and international support. Thus, the offensive in the south. (Unfortunately, Ukraine’s army isn’t really built for offensives but playing defense wasn’t working, so what do you do.)

    Over the next six to eight weeks, we’ll know the outcome of the Russian attempt to take the Donbas and Ukraine’s southern offensive. That should give everyone a good idea whether the Ukrainians stand a chance or if they’re just be slaughtered needlessly.

    Of course, even if the Ukrainians lose on both fronts, the neocons will push to continue the war, but I’m not sure the Ukrainians or the rest of the world will play along.

    • Replies: @Haxo Angmark
    , @JimB
  13. Btw, funny side note about the HIMARS. The have proven to be very effective.

    But here’s the issue. The Americans have around 500 HIMARS; however, we can only produce a maximum of 9,000 rockets for them a year. That’s a whopping 18 rockets per HIMAR per year.

    Granted, we have some rockets saved away, but apparently not that many.

    The main reason that we’ve only supplied the Ukrainians with 16 HIMARS is that they’re firing the rockets at such a pace that if we give them anymore, we’d start to drain our supply of rockets to dangerously low levels.

    So, yes, the HIMARS are effective, but 16 of them on a front of hundreds of miles just isn’t going to be a game changer.

  14. Jay Fink says:
    @prosa123

    I don’t have a strong opinion of women in the military or combat but I still enjoyed the passion in your post. Most of the time it’s feminists that favor women in combat but you want it from a men’s rights perspective which I find refreshing.

    What offends me is the part where men up to age 60 could be needed for military service. That seems way too old to me. I’m in my 50s and can’t imagine fighting in a war at my age.

  15. Jack D says:
    @prosa123

    You will pardon my saying so, but this is a stupid reason for wanting the Ukrainians to lose. Most people around here recognize that men and women are different. There is a reason why for the last 10,000 years or so (probably longer), armies consisted mainly of male warriors.

    Yes there are people in the West who are so deluded that they think that the sexes are interchangeable, even to the point where it is possible to change your gender. But Ukraine is struggling for its national existence and cannot afford such delusions. We can afford such idiocy in the West only because we are not under any great stress. I would point out that I don’t see many (any?) women fighting for Russia – as you state, the Ukrainian armed forces does contain some female volunteers.

    • Agree: Abe, mc23
    • Replies: @prosa123
  16. Jay Fink says:

    When I read this I thought of a 1962 recording I discovered online of my great-grandfather talking about immigrating to America and the experiences he had. I believe I once posted the link here. They ask him where he’s from and he says “Russia, near Kiev…not Kiev proper but around 60 miles down the Dnieper, that famous river in Russian history”. He would have been interested in knowing that it’s still making history in 2022.

  17. Joe Biden will call Kamala Harris a dirty cocksucking bitch in the press before Ukraine army takes Kherson.

    Where do you get your news?

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  18. anonymous[376] • Disclaimer says:

    Poll: Is there a 1 in 1,000 chance this year of a nuclear strike on New York?

    Yes or No

  19. anon[297] • Disclaimer says:

    One theory that’s taken a hit this year is the idea that low fertility rates are a sign of general cultural softness and degeneracy, and an indication that people don’t believe in anything enough to make serious personal sacrifices.

    Before the Russians invaded, many pundits predicted that European countries with low TFRs, now being populated by decadent Last Men, would shrink away from serious combat. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, we have two countries with low TFRs fighting a brutal war and large numbers of men willing to risk death. Even if they’re not particularly religious and don’t get married at 22 and have a lot of kids.

    • Replies: @bomag
  20. Jack D says:
    @Sean

    Not just Putin but most Russians sees the independence of their state at stake,

    This is completely backward – what is at stake is Ukrainian independence. The Russians can go home and nothing will happen to their independence. Russia has accepted defeat before, for example in Afghanistan. Now, often in Russia, defeat threatens the continued rule of a particular regime (there are rumors that Putin has a contingency plan to flee to Syria if it all goes tits up for his government) but the national existence of Russia itself is in no way threatened unless you confuse Putin with Russia. Russia is not Putin and Putin is not Russia. If Russians see it the way that you say, it’s only because they have been brainwashed to believe that the Leader and the Nation are one and the same. This often happens in dictatorships but about 5 minutes after the Leader is dead or deposed, people wake up from their illusion and realize that life goes on without them. De Gaulle said that the cemeteries are full of indispensable men.

    I suspect that not even Putin believes your extreme version of reality where Russia must win at all costs or it will be humiliated. If that was true, he would have already called a mobilization or used nukes. Putin understands that his popularity in Russia is a mile wide and an inch deep. His deal with the Russian people is that if we leave you alone, you will leave us alone to govern and pursue foreign adventures. (This is largely the same deal that the US has with its people as a result of the volunteer army). Painting Z’s everywhere and singing WWII songs is cost free – if the Russian people had to pay a real price (their unwilling sons) for this war, support would evaporate in an instant.

    Putin is a realist – a believer in might makes right. If he doesn’t have the might to subdue Ukraine, at some point he is going to cut his losses and make the best deal that he can. Since he controls the narrative in Russia, whatever deal he agrees to will by definition be portrayed as a Russian “victory”. He has already trimmed his goals back from regime change in Ukraine and from control of the Black Sea. How much he trims his goals further depends entirely on the effectiveness of Ukrainian resistance.

  21. prosa123 says:
    @Jack D

    Many (most?) Men of Unz think that infantilizing women will make them more likely to drop their panties for them. It does not work that way.
    It also does not dawn on the Men of Unz, most of whom engage in zero physical activity, that the women of today are stronger and fitter than ever before. You’ll see this in any gym. The percentage of women who can handle any military role is way, way up.

  22. I was ambivalent tending to against U.S. support of the Ukraine and unnecessary antagonism of Russia for a while but Zelensky labeling U.S. critics of his war including Senator Rand Paul and former Representative Tulsi Gabbard as “Pro-Russian Propagandists” was the last straw for me.

    The U.S. should not allow a foreign potentate to divide the U.S. politically for his own gain. That’s a bridge he should not have crossed and there should be consequences for his war effort to send the message that it will not be tolerated.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen, Dnought
    • LOL: Coemgen
    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  23. Well you have filtered out a lot of the worst BS lies of the western media.
    But some truths are missing.

    First the fake attack on Kiev was a brilliant feint by Russia – albeit one that Kiev/Western PR later used knowingly to claim a Russian failure. The early target was always 1. big line of Ukraini9an troops outside Donbas (where they have been digging in defence positions since 2015 and from where Zelensky was threatening last year to invade Donbas – as no one seems to remember any more; and 2. the big Azov base in Mariupol (where they have been camped for 8 years to prevent any pro-Russian groups surfacing).

    Second there is no Ukrainian army anymore. So while the feint on Kiev involved 20-30k troops with probably 100k required to actually take Kiev, the attack on Kherson involves perhaps 3k proper healthy remaining troops and maybe 10k old men taken out of the Territorials where they were promised they could do guard duty and not be sent to the front (for a while they were being sent to the front illegally before Zelensky changed the law).

    All there is really is a few Himars (disappearing quickly) some Nato trainers, and a handful of Azov types. On a daily basis Russia claims 2 or 3 ling range attacks well behind the lines that take out 50-100 Ukrainian forces, trainers and mercenaries, often including a lot of officers. (Generally these get reported out of Kiev as attacks on civilians and usually western media either don’t investigate or more likely don’t report.

    Here is a rare example of PBS explaining that a Kiev claimed civilian attack is actually a huge kill of Ukrainian soldiers.



    Video Link

    So the Kherson attack has always been a PR exercise. From Day 1 Ukraine has been losing. But from months and months ahead the western PR policy has been to explain how Ukraine is winning – they have nothing else they are allowed to say.

    Why is the Ukrainian operation not over yet? Russia needs a neighbour strong enough to stop its own Nazis from shelling civilians and strong enough to stop the US putting missile (planned), Nato command systems, weapons and trainers into Ukraine. Zelensky (despite being elected in contest with Poroshenko on the promise he would do that) is completely unable to negotiate those terms with credibility. In fact probably only the heads of the US military + CIA can. And they want this to go on for ever so that Europe is permanently detached from Russia whatever mayhem that leaves between.

    • Thanks: SOL
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  24. Wokechoke says:
    @Sean

    The Soviets packed massed artillery on the east bank of the Volga and they rained down hell on the 170,000 Germans who dared to storm Stalingrad. The 50,000 Soviet infantry in Stalingrad got their food and ammo from ferry boats and a few parachute drops.

    The Russians can easily keep their artillery supplied on the East bank of the Dnieper and send in food and ammo to the guys in Kherson proper via ferry, helos, UAV and parachute.

    Will they want to do so though?

    Kherson could be a very tough ask for the Ukie infantry earmarked for the assault.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  25. Hence, for about a month or so the Ukrainians have been talking up their upcoming offensive to retake Kherson. This hasn’t exactly gone through the formality of taking place yet

    An army of a million cannot be held back – or ca. so the song goes.
    Doulas Macgregor said this week th Judg enapolitano, that he has the imression, that Volodymyr Selenskij is on drugs on quite some occasions.

  26. Anonymous[135] • Disclaimer says:

    Ukrainians claim that Kherson will be taken by September. It obviously won’t happen. Basically, 100% of what Ukrainian leadership is saying is false.

  27. @Jack D

    Russia might be willing to accept control of the Donbas and the Kherson/Land bridge area. The problem is that Ukraine has vowed to fight on even stating the ludicrous goal of retaking Crimea. So Russia could reach the Dnieper and just say “we’re done”, but Ukraine, on the behest of the US, will continue to bombard Eastern Ukraine and even Russia itself. So Russia will have no choice but continue to press on. It can only end in one of two ways for Ukraine – accept a rump state or be completely defeated.

    • Agree: dimples
    • Replies: @Calvin Hobbes
  28. Interesting theory that the Ukrainians are deliberately damaging-but-not-destroying the bridges to Kherson.

    This war has to have the lowest level of scrutiny relative to American spending of any war in memory. For example, this seems like a pretty big deal, especially after the NYT recently lionized the Azovstal defenders, who were among the POWs at this prison.

  29. Jack D says:

    It’s hard to understand why the Ukrainian authorities are advertising their (supposedly) coming Kherson offensive so heavily. There may be domestic political considerations. They may feel that it’s no secret to the Russians anyway so the domestic (and international) political value of advertising outweighs any element of surprise. It may be that they are trying to either get the Russians to withdraw while the withdrawing is good so that they have a smaller battle to retake Kherson, or alternatively, that they are trying to lure the Russians into concentrating their forces in Kherson so that Ukraine can either smash the gathered eggs or else go on the offensive elsewhere.

    Going on the offensive is much harder than defense and the Russians have had months to harden their positions in Kherson. However, if the Ukrainians can muster the proper level of force and fight in a smart way it does not look for the Russians on the west bank of the Dnieper. You can view it as the battle for Severodonetsk in reverse – there is no natural line of defense for the Russians until they reach the river.

    The Ukrainian strategy will be similar – first pound the Russians with artillery and then move in. The only difference is that the Ukrainians (thanks to NATO) has more precise weapons and rather than leveling the whole city can pound Russian ammo dumps and command centers. Russian weaknesses are in logistics and in command and control – their army is led from the top down and has to bring high officers close to the front where they are very vulnerable. And if these officers are eliminated, even the Russians themselves don’t trust their troops to fight on their own initiative. And in addition to drones and sigint, the Ukrainians have a large number of infiltrators and locals who are reporting the location of Russian forces to them.

    Russian tactics OTOH depend on massive artillery barrages which require massive amount of ammo. If the Ukrainians can cut the bridges and the Russian ammo resupply (they need hundreds of trucks full, every day) the Russians have no other cards.

  30. JEG says:
    @Jack D

    I don’t think the independence of Ukraine is currently at stake. What’s at stake is what territory will be included in an independent Ukraine.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @MGB
  31. Military analyst, Maestro Steve is not. Here’s a couple of howlers to be going on with.

    (The Ukrainians don’t want to completely demolish the bridges because they want to use them after retaking Kherson.)

    If the Russians are forced back over the Dnepr, they will almost certainly destroy all the bridges anyway. Shelling them now is pointless. The shelling may disrupt and diminish traffic over these bridges, but they are very strong structures and closing them permanently would demand very heavy shelling over many days, far more ammunition than Ukraine can spare. All reports indicate that shelling has been intermittent and has only caused superficial damage which has been speedily repaired. Anyway, Russia has completed pontoon bridges and has ferries for resupply, regardless.

    The logical inference is that the limited shelling of these targets is being used as a PR exercise by the Zelensky regime, saying to the West: we’re still resisting, give us more money and arms.

    Fighting on the offensive is tougher than on the defensive, especially without air superiority. So far the Ukrainians haven’t shown all that much evidence of what their offensive capabilities might be.

    Apart from some drones, Ukraine has no aerial presence at all. The Russians have complete aerial superiority. The area north of Crimea and around Kherson is flat cereal farmland. It used to be Steppe. Any Ukrainian formations can be spotted and attacked by Russian artillery and planes with ease and there is very little cover.Therefore, no counterattack on Kherson is ever going to be successful.
    Like the shelling of the bridges, it’s just a PR exercise to get more money and weapons out of the West.

  32. @prosa123

    Tiny, when did you start wearing a skirt ?

  33. Pixo says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    The US dollar is at multi-decade highs against all other major currencies. There’s no alternative. Dollardooming has been going on for decades, but like English, the lack of even semi-plausible alternatives feeds its dominance.

  34. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    The real risk is that the advanced Alzheimer’s case sitting in the Whitehouse, and his prostitute sidekick, escalate this – which, all being said is a purely a local spat between brother Slavs – into a full blown nuclear conflict.
    A lot of damned fools, even on this site, seem to forget that Russia has enough nuclear fire power to destroy the planet several times over.

    Putin is neither a fool or a coward.

    As said of provoked tigers, lions and other big cats, “cats don’t play”.

    • Agree: Russ
  35. @prosa123

    Due to the shortages that are expected in the US and as are already being experienced in Europe, the women in this country will get their chance to rough it. I also think the women’s role in war somewhat resembles working for the Red Cross which is already a reality in Kentucky after massive flooding. So relax, prosa, women are about to become infinitely useful during hard times brought about both by nature and by man. I, for one, can’t believe Europe is being so stubborn in refusing to negotiate with Russia. Even if this doesn’t end up being WWIII, I fail to see the benefit of this course of action. Any victory for the West brought about by denying EE the fuel it still depends upon from Russia will be a pyrrhic one. I just don’t see any result but prolonged suffering that doesn’t help Ukraine win. The end result will be a peace agreement anyway. Why not negotiate now before things get unbearably worse? The bad choices made already guarantee food shortages but we won’t be able to help developing nations if we plunge the West into dire circumstances in order to prevail against Russia. On this trajectory, women will certainly get the chance to demonstrate that they are tough and resourceful albeit for incredibly stupid reasons.

    • Replies: @clifford brown
  36. Ken52 says:

    Russia is grinding their way to victory. The only thing that could stop them is direct U.S. intervention. Welcome WW3. I’d really advise anyone following the war to watch some of the independent military analysts that aren’t CNN propagandists. A good one to start with is The New Atlas.
    https://youtube.com/c/TheNewAtlas

  37. Farenheit says:
    @Jack D

    This is completely backward – what is at stake is Ukrainian independence. The Russians can go home and nothing will happen to their independence

    Wrong! The Russians know balls to bones, the whole American/Nato effort to overthrow the Kiev regime in 2014, build a Ukrainian Army to Nato standards, impose never ending economic sanctions, attempt turn Russia into a international pariah state and most importantly to bring the Ukraine into Nato will result in the Americans doing to the Russians in the 21st century what the British did to the Chinese in the 19th…..usher in a century of looting and humiliation.

  38. @Jack D

    Why are the Ukrainians advertising their offensive?

    Maybe because it’s more of a media campaign than a military campaign.

    We’ll see. Btw, the HIMARS are very effective, but the Ukrainians only have 16 of them, and we can’t supply them with more than about 20 due a limited supply of rockets. (See my other post.)

    At those low numbers, it’s hard to see how the HIMARS are game changers, but, again, we’ll see.

    • Agree: Oscar Peterson
  39. J.Ross says:

    OT Prediction: Per regime media hype, Beijing is making noise but then quietly permitting Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan as a desperate move for the midterms. Look at the Democrats be tough on China. Trump actually was tough on China and you saw what happened. Schumer and Manchin just gave China everything they wanted, and this is after scandal after scandal demonstrating that the Chinese own DC.

  40. Morris39 says:

    The lack of the usual skepticism this blog is known for is interesting. Unanimity in claiming Russia is incompetent in this war despite continuing capture of territory and equipment destruction suggests wishful thinking. Donbass (main battle front) looks likely to be completely lost in another few weeks at which point Russian forces may be deployed to other regions such as Kherson. The topography to the west from Kherson is open steppe, more difficult to defend than fortified towns, suitable for rapid mechanized advance. It looks increasingly worse for Ukraine. Nobody here thinks that?

  41. mc23 says:
    @prosa123

    All aside from strength, endurance and fighting instinct- Women are the future. They have children.
    No children, no Ukraine.

    Men, you and I, are expendable.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  42. J.Ross says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Well I hope he was high for the Vogue shoot. Even the celebrators of death were scratching their heads at that one.

    • Thanks: Russ
  43. Redman says:
    @Jack D

    Almost nothing you say here is based on evidence or reality. Putin never stated that “regime change” was a goal. The Minsk Accords were the initial goal and when those were abrogated, he went to a SMO to protect the breakaway Donbass region. Putin needs Zelensky in power to sign a ceasefire.

    You say if defeat weren’t an option he would have “called for a mobilization (assuming this means conscription) or used nukes.” That’s if he thought Russia was losing, which it isn’t.

    Those options are still, as they say, on the table.

  44. @Jack D

    This is completely backward – what is at stake is Ukrainian independence.

    Ukrain is owned and operated by Imperial Washington.

  45. The mealy-mouthed post above is Steve’s attempt to cover for missing the obvious-to-everyone-but-him fact that Russia is not “getting its ass kicked” in Ukraine, but without actually admitting that he was ever wrong about it. Steve’s typical pattern whenever he’s cornered on a subject is to suddenly pretend that the issue is extremely complicated and nuanced, and that he’s the only one wise enough to consider all the ramifications and weight them properly while he patiently waits for more data (as if there weren’t better informed people who had already explained everything). This is exactly what he did with his Absolute and Relative post after I stuck it to him (twice) when he accused us PCR test skeptics of not having our stories straight. Of course, the skeptics were entirely vindicated by wave after wave of forthcoming studies, but Steve just goes blithely carrying on as if he had a defensible position at the time and has nothing to apologize for.

    Yet, somehow or another, Steve still has an intensely loyal fanbase which continues to defend his (entirely mythical) genius and perspicacity. This is apparently due to the fact that there are very few people anywhere saying anything other than mainstream narratives on the subject of race. A small handful of readers are so desperate for anything that smacks of “race realism” that they will even accept Steve as their prophet, despite the fact that he hasn’t been right about anything else. Indeed, Steve’s proffered explanation for racial realities, HBD, is also incorrect. Race is real but biology is not the right explanation for that fact; so, when you subtract all that out, there is almost nothing that Steve actually gets right.

    Perhaps we have inadvertently discovered a strategy for pundit career longevity here. All you have to do is stake out a narrow position that the mainstream media happens to be wrong about, and the flak you take for that subject alone will somehow inoculate against the consequences of being wrong about everything else.

    But back to Ukraine. The proper way to understand this is to see that the tide is turning, literally. The slow Russian advance is a tidal bore that will eventually wash over all of Europe as the flows of wealth, authority, and legitimacy reverse from West to East.

  46. Yarro1 says:

    These are Putin’s white saviors, for all you alt-right dreamers out there…

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11064149/Pictured-Russian-soldier-accused-castrating-prisoner-Ukraine-vows-hunt-killers.html

    Sometimes, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend, after all.

    Mr. Sailer, please address the shocking loss of moral compass regarding this war on the part of many here. Nothing has astonished me so much in years. Is it the automatic habits of contrarianism, so that if the NYT says that tomorrow is Sunday, that must be wrong? Is it the trauma of suffering under the American regime? Is it American parochialism, the inability to understand the historical and continuing evil of Russia?

  47. Whyvert says:

    “perhaps the most impressive Russian feat of arms in the current war”
    perhaps also one place where the pre-invasion Russian efforts to bribe collaborators worked?

  48. mc23 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    65% of the world countries are not taking part in the sanctions. Most would like an alternative to the dollar as reserve currency. That’s very tough to do but this war is an impetus to that development.

    What I think some of the biggest lessons of this war are-

    1. Sovereign states need nukes & delivery systems. (This was obvious in the conflict with Serbia)
    2. An alternative economic system needs to be in place to survive sanction/economic blockade.

    Both of these were foreseeable potential developments.

    It remains to be seen if Russia feels it needs to resort to tactical atomic weapons. I don’t feel it’s bridge too far . Hopefully I am wrong. Otherwise the Ukraine War will see the normalization of tactical atomic weapons. Just a third incredibly bad development for the US.

    • Replies: @Prester John
  49. @Dave Pinsen

    And of course, as UNZites are prone to do, there’s no fact checking beyond a tweet that confirms their preconceived notions.
    But I’ll enlighten you (and the titanic self-aware intellects like the author of peak intelligence blog) on this incident. Here are a few odd facts:
    The prison is 10-12 kms from the frontline, using 80 km range himars is expensive when they can destroy it with conventional cheap weapons. Let’s remember that according to Russians, himars were at first ineffective (russian versions are of course superior in every way), then “chechen investors” made a deal with corrupt hohols to buy a himars installation, then another deal was apparently made to buy another one (recall you can count the amount of himars on two hands, so it’s not like selling a NATO helmet on the black market), then 2 were destroyed according to a grainy 3 second video from the Russian MOD itself (Americans confirm no such thing happened). So there’s a great deal of Russian coping about the first western big boy weapon on the front.
    The day of the bombing, a politician from the “DNR” literally said “by lucky coincidence no Russian guards were present”. Very lucky indeed, that no one guarded the super dangerous banderanazis at the time of impact. Apparently no one was even in the vicinity.
    Russian media posted himars missile pieces recovered from the scene, but as pure coincidence would have it, the same pictures were used to show a strike on a railroad in a completely different place. They didn’t even bother to move the pieces to another bench for the photo op.
    So here we have all the elements of sloppy (as usual) Russian propaganda. Evil hohols using American himars to kill their own, nazis, brave and principled Russian doctors treating the surviving nazis, emphasizing in the Russian news how “we have to treat everyone regardless of who they are”. And let’s not forget that this happened right after a classically Mongolian (i.e. Russian) warcrime was committed on tape.

    • Agree: Clyde
    • Replies: @dimples
    , @Dave Pinsen
    , @Sean
  50. Jack D says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    This assumes that what the Russians are saying is true, which is a big assumption. Russians consider lying to be a legitimate tactic in war (and not in war also – 2nd to Arabs, Russians are the world’s best liars). From day 1 of the war, every single atrocity has, according to the Russians, been the result of the Ukrainians bombing themselves. Funny that before 2/24, the Ukrainians never bombed themselves but since then, they bomb themselves every day. Russians are like the African-Americans of Europe – they dindu nuffin.

    Most Russians know enough not to believe other Russians (unless it is to their advantage to so believe) but Western useful idiots have been accepting Russian lies (especially, but not only, concerning Ukraine) since at least the 1930s, if not earlier. The only difference now is that instead of Communist useful idiots in the West, now we have right wing useful idiots.

  51. Wokechoke says:
    @Jack D

    It’s not SeveroDonetsk in reverse though. The Russians are efficiently clearing out the catchment area of the Donets river basin.

    Crossing a salty estuary is a whole other issue.

  52. Wokechoke says:
    @Jack D

    Chances are that the Ukies thought it was an ammo dump or command target. The darker side is that they wished to eliminate embarrassing elements of their own military who dared to surrender. Fine way to treat your fanatical vanguard though. If the Russians don’t shell them the Ukies will missile them. To encourage the others.

  53. @Jack D

    This assumes that what the Russians are saying is true, which is a big assumption. Russians consider lying to be a legitimate tactic in war (and not in war also – 2nd to Arabs, Russians are the world’s best liars).

    I think the objection of a lot of pro-Ukes have towards critics is not that the latter assume that what the Russians are saying is true, but rather that they don’t assume that what the Ukrainians are saying is true.

    I do assume, however, that lying is a tactic used liberally by both sides. The problem inheres in the fact that the International and U.S. Press seems to operate under the principle that relaying Ukrainian lies is their patriotic duty, while suppressing any Russian truths is similarly an expression of moral correctness. The Ghost of Keev, Snake Island, Sunflower seeds, etc. is all too much to bear.

    The Eastern Slavs and the Western Slavs are rearranging the boundary that divides them. I don’t see the vital national security interest of the United States here. If anything, Russia has demonstrated that it can’t swallow the Eastern Ukraine – how realistic is the threat of Russian tanks rolling through Paris?

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @aNewBanner
  54. JimDandy says:
    @prosa123

    Men of Unz think that infantilizing women will make them more likely to drop their panties for them. It does not work that way.

    Au contraire. 8 times out of 10, infantilization = depantyfication. Do your homework. And stop creeping on chicks at the gym, ya perv.

    • LOL: Rich
  55. Jack D says:

    This is a response to Dieter’s comment below but somehow became unthreaded:

    Apparently the Russians are quite good at rail transport and do very well anywhere that they can reach by rail. Historically Russia had a better rail system than road system. There are certain cultures (America, Germany) that are “car” cultures and others (Japan, Russia) that are “rail” cultures.

    As you can see by the many hilarious videos online of Russians driving badly, driving on a road, which involves a high degree of personal initiative and responsibility and cooperation (not to mention sobriety), does not come naturally to the Russians.

    The reason that so many videos exist is that almost every Russian vehicle has a dashcam. Because of their tendency to lie thru their teeth, it would be impossible to assess blame in any accident without video evidence so every driver has a camera. Otherwise, the drivers would lie (both of them), the witnesses would be bribed to lie, the police would be bribed to lie, etc. The victory would go to whoever was the better (and better funded) liar.

    • Replies: @ThatsNotAll
  56. 13 posts so far, 4 of them from JackD, 31% of the total as of now…any guesses what the final tally might be?

  57. @Jack D

    If the Ukrainians can cut the bridges and the Russian ammo resupply (they need hundreds of trucks full, every day) the Russians have no other cards.

    Andrei Martyanov explained these days, that he Russian military has a university that specialises in supply chain manegemnt – and he says the Russians are quite capable – in this hindsight too. The first Ukrainian statements about Russian supply chain problems came in early March (Russia about to run out of – – -grenades, mortar shells, rockets… – – – . Yesterday it was reported, that the actual heavy Russian attacks were brought forward by unseen before amounts of all kinds of ammunition…
    The more I look into these things, the more it seems as if Andrei Martyanov knew a thing or two about all that.

    Here’s Anrdei Martyanov reflecting on the rather restricted (= arrogant, self-deceiving) Western perspective on the quite competent Russian military activities

    Here’s Douglas Macgregor speculating that the Russians will finish this soon (“in the next thirty days”)

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    , @Boethiuss
  58. @William Badwhite

    Hey, disagree or not you gotta appreciate the effort and dedication.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  59. @Jack D

    He has already trimmed his goals back from regime change in Ukraine and from control of the Black Sea.

    Where do you think that Putin declared regime change and control of the Black Sea as his goals?

  60. @prosa123

    I would love to live on the planet that you inhabit. Unfortunately it bears no similarity to the planet Earth.

  61. Jack D says:
    @William Badwhite

    What % of posts will be you complaining about how much I am posting?

    Why don’t you complain when Rushists repeat Russian propaganda and post ridiculous lies. The Russians were supposed to finish this soon (“in the next thirty days”) six months ago and every month since. When was the last time we heard about “cauldrons”? All the predictions of the Ukrainian army being trapped in a cauldron have been completely memory holed.

  62. Anon[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    Ukraine doesn’t have rugged terrain. That is why Ukraine is having so much trouble defending itself. It’s basically a steppe that’s as flat as a pancake with almost no trees. It’s an inherently difficult piece of land to defend since there are few natural points of defense. This is not like Vietnam, where a defender could walk 10 paces into the jungle and disappear entirely. Vietnam had a terrain with a million natural points of defense in the jungle, where an attacker could just hide and shoot you by stealth from almost anywhere.

    The best points of defense that Ukraine has, in fact, are the buildings in its cities. This is why the fighting, when it reaches cities, tends to bog down for Russia and take a lot of time. Russian’s been winning in the cities simply by bombing the heck out of every building where the Ukrainians troops are lurking.

    As for the rest of the Ukraine, Russian tanks could roll across it in 2 days all the way to Poland with no opposition and seize the rest of it. That’s how easy it could be. But you don’t win wars by seizing territory alone. You win wars by destroying all enemy troops and seizing territory. Taking territory alone does no good if the enemy army is still left intact to fight.

    • Agree: Rich
    • Replies: @Parbes
  63. AndrewR says:
    @Jack D

    Russians lie, and Ukrainians lie, and Americans lie.

    The US government is run by Jewish supremacists and their shabbos goyim who want to turn goyim, particularly white goyim, into slaves and corpses. They have similar plans for the Russians. However awful the Russians may be, they and my people have a common enemy.

    The only question is: are you, as (presumably) a normal Jew without elite connections, just a useful idiot for your elite cousins?

  64. I don’t see the elensky regime surviving the peace. Regime change in Ukraine is inevitable.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes, Russ
  65. George says:

    “In perhaps the most impressive Russian feat of arms in the current war, in the first week the Russian Army invading from Crimea got across the mighty Dnieper River and captured the south-central Ukrainian regional capital of Kherson on March 2, 2022,”

    The Russians had lots of local help, from the largely Russian speaking local population that resented the Ukrainian language being forced on them and their children. The Black sea coast is in particular a Russian speaking area with surprising populations of Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, Tartar and other populations. The dirty secret of the war is that there are really not that many Ukrainian speakers in Ukraine and the Ukrainian speakers are mostly concentrated in the far west and the government.

    The Ukrainians might be able to complicate things by attacking the bridges of the Dnieper, but that just evens things up in the sense that Ukrainian logistics are already destroyed by Russia.

    • Agree: Paul Mendez
  66. Jim says: • Website

    A Russian victory in Ukraine will inevitably lead to an all-out war between NATO and Russia which could easily lead to a thermonuclear exchange.

    I amazed at how many conservatives now wish for the return of the Evil Empire,

  67. Wokechoke says:
    @Jack D

    It doesn’t require you to think the United maliciously eliminated their own people. It’s highly probable that the Ukies did the bombing though. It’s a camp in separatist territory that’s been subjected to long range Ukie attacks lately.

  68. @Jack D

    Good point, Jack. We really should get to the bottom of this and make sure the Ukrainians didn’t deliberately attack their own citizens with weapons we’ve supplied them again (like they’ve done repeatedly in Donetsk).

    Even the U.S. military isn’t ruling out that it was a Ukrainian strike. Instead, they offered this:

    Here’s the last thing I’d say, if it happened to be a Ukrainian strike, I promise you, number one, they didn’t mean to do that, right? They certainly care about their own people and they care about the civilians and military in uniform of their own army.

    That’s via:

    https://t.co/DeAoRdQe4R

    Also,

    • Replies: @Pixo
  69. pyrrhus says:

    Retaking Kherson is a total fantasy, which is why it hasn’t even been attempted yet…The Ukrainians are drafting women and children now, and sending them out to die without even giving them decent weapons, against Russian artillery which is firing almost continuously…Putin must win, and he will abandon the kid gloves treatment if he has to do so….

    • Agree: Paul Mendez
  70. Pixo says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Hi Dave, notice you enjoy posting about potential Ukraine friendly fire incidents.

    1. What is your ballpark estimate on the number of civilians killed by the Ukrainian side versus Russian side?

    2. Of the many photos of destroyed apartment complexes, what percentage are Russian versus Ukrainian strikes?

    3. How many times have you posted here, or elsewhere, about Russians targeting civilians in Ukraine?

    4. Opinion on the Russian strike on the Kiev shopping mall? https://nypost.com/2022/06/27/russian-missiles-strike-crowned-ukrainian-mall/

    I’m guessing your view is either “false flag” or “neocons force Putin to aim a missile at a shopping mall.” Right?

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    , @Dave Pinsen
  71. @Jack D

    What % of posts will be you complaining about how much I am posting?

    Lower than where you end up, I don’t have that Jewish wordiness. Anyway, now you’re at 6/19 or 31.5% so you’re creeping up. No fair inflating your numbers responding to me. Stay on message: “Putin Bad, Joos good, Ukraine good, Russia bad”.

    Why don’t you complain when Rushists repeat Russian propaganda and post ridiculous lies.

    Because I’m a founding stock loyal, patriotic American, so don’t care what “Rushists” do as it regards Ukraine, nor does Ukraine’s propaganda bother me. What does bother me however is Ukraine’s investment in American politicians (see: Biden, Joe). I also don’t particularly care about the ongoing insurgency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    When was the last time we heard about “cauldrons”?

    Don’t know, don’t care. I have no doubt you’ll post about it though.

  72. Pixo says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    I see she retweets “Coach Red Pill” seduction expert Gonzalo Lira and makes her own unsourced tweets about her “acquaintance of a friend’s friend” who was castrated by Ukrainians.

    You sure can pick totally credible Putinists to respam here Dave! Frankly I am disappointed you aren’t providing us with transcripts from Scott Ritter’s pedo, I mean podcast.

  73. @Jack D

    “Russians consider lying to be a legitimate tactic in war.”

    Russians, huh? Unlike everyone else?

  74. Kherson

    Gesundheit.

  75. @Jack D

    I think that you’re forgetting a third very strong contender for world’s best liars. Thus proving that they belong in the discussion.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @MGB
  76. prosa123 says:

    Of course both sides could solve any manpower shortages by putting women in combat roles. As they should have been doing all along.
    Stop infantilizing women.

    • Replies: @Bel Riose
  77. anon[325] • Disclaimer says:

    The US has won on Twitter. So far. At some distant point, the battlefield needs to catch up to the fantasy.. Meanwhile Ukraine is fighting a relentless Donbas retreat. Russia looks like they will take the final chunk of the Donbas in August.
    If Ukraine doesn’t take Kherson in August, they lose momentum on Twitter. There are no more talking points. It isn’t just the river. Or mostly the river. Ukraine would have to advance across mostly flat, empty fields toward Kherson.
    Russia has 100,000 troops in Ukraine. They are about done in Ukraine. So if/when the Ukrainian offensive fails to succeed, it’s all done except the negotiations.

  78. @Sean

    Monkey pox is a Russian bioweapon! God how low has the trolling sunk to pull this one out.

  79. @Jack D

    Russian weaknesses are in logistics and in command and control

    Yes, like that 40 mile long truck convoy the Ukrainians failed to destroy.

  80. @Pixo

    How many times have you posted here, or elsewhere, about Russians targeting civilians in Ukraine?

    Russians are absolutely not “targeting” civilians. Missiles are expensive and the last thing they want is to alienate the populace. They especially don’t want to kill civilians or destroy infrastructure in the Russian areas that they are planning to integrate back into Russia.

    They certainly didn’t target a “crowded shopping mall.” The mall was empty and the Russians got a direct hit on a military target next to it. Flaming pieces of the target set the mall on fire.

    As Jack D correctly noted, lying by Ukraine is an expected and normal part of a country’s war effort. So they lie to our media, which repeats the lies enthusiastically and uncritically.

    • Replies: @SimpleSong
    , @Pixo
  81. @Dave Pinsen

    What do you think of the video that surfaced last week of the showing Russian soldiers castrating a Ukrainian POW? That’s probably just all staged, right, done in a Hollywood sound studio, Ukrainian disinformation. That’s the most likely explanation.

    Maybe somebody can post the video and we can discuss? Can we get a thread going on this?

    Anyway, with regard to your above post; I agree that your explanation is the most likely. HIMARS are amazing: 40 POWs were killed, and yet not a single guard or other Russian at the facility was even injured! The Ukrainians did it this way because it would maximize the disinformation, and might get people thinking that maybe Russians had just decided to kill some POWs, possibly to cover up torture, possibly out of spite, who knows, and then they posted some fragments of a HIMARs that had blown up god-knows-where to ‘prove’ that it had been HIMARs. The weak minded would believe that.

    The strong-minded people like Dave Pinsen (who can dead lift large quantities, and will post a photo online to prove it, in case you doubt him, and is also a super smart top wall street person), they know that all of these instances of Ukrainians civilians and/or POWs getting blown up are all extremely elaborate false flags, Hollywood sound-stage bullshit, just like the moon landing.

    Tell me Dave, are you getting paid, or are you just a moron?

    Oh, anyway, here’s a link to a story on the castration with some still photos, although if you want to find the actual video, god help you, I’ll let you find that on your own.

    https://nypost.com/2022/07/29/ukrainian-pow-castrated-by-russians-in-sickening-video/

    • Replies: @Peter Frost
  82. Anonymous[135] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    he has the imression, that Volodymyr Selenskij is on drugs on quite some occasions.

    This might well be true. The rumors that Zelensky is an avid cocaine user have long been around, well before even his presidential run, where Poroshenko tried to exploit it against him. There is even a video on Youtube where young Zelensky admits it in an interview (although there are claims that the video is a fake).

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  83. What do you think of the video that surfaced last week of the showing Russian soldiers castrating a Ukrainian POW? That’s probably just all staged, right, done in a Hollywood sound studio, Ukrainian disinformation. That’s the most likely explanation.

    Maybe somebody can post the video and we can discuss? Can we get a thread going on this?

    Anyway, with regard to your above post; I agree that your explanation is the most likely. HIMARS are amazing: 40 POWs were killed, and yet not a single guard or other Russian at the facility was killed! The Ukrainians did it this way because it would maximize the disinformation, and might get people thinking that maybe Russians had just decided to kill some POWs, possibly to cover up torture, possibly out of spite, who knows, and then they posted some fragments of a HIMARs that had blown up god-knows-where to ‘prove’ that it had been HIMARs. The weak minded would believe that.

    The strong-minded people like Dave Pinsen (who can dead lift large quantities, and will post a photo online to prove it, in case you doubt him, and is also a super smart top wall street person), they know that all of these instances of Ukrainians civilians and/or POWs getting blown up are all extremely elaborate false flags, Hollywood sound-stage bullshit, just like the moon landing.

    Tell me Dave, are you getting paid, or are you just a moron?

    Oh, anyway, here’s a link to a story on the castration with some still photos, although if you want to find the actual video, god help you, I’ll let you find that on your own.

    https://nypost.com/2022/07/29/ukrainian-pow-castrated-by-russians-in-sickening-video/

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
    , @Dave Pinsen
  84. Morris39 says:

    I posted the comment below 3.2 hrs ago but it is still waiting for moderation. Why? Is there somethin g offensive?
    ” The lack of the usual skepticism this blog is known for is interesting. Unanimity in claiming Russia is incompetent in this war despite continuing capture of territory and equipment destruction suggests wishful thinking. Donbass (main battle front) looks likely to be completely lost in another few weeks at which point Russian forces may be deployed to other regions such as Kherson. The topography to the west from Kherson is open steppe, more difficult to defend than fortified towns, suitable for rapid mechanized advance. It looks increasingly worse for Ukraine. Nobody here thinks that?”

  85. Dumbo says:
    @Jack D

    So their cousin Ukrainians and their corrupt puppet government do not lie?

    The US government and NATO clowns don’t lie?

    And I guess that Jews, those paragons of virtue, so weirldly present in the Ukrainian government, do not lie?

    What are you going to tell us next, that YOU don’t lie?

    LOL.

    C’mon fella. Why you seem so invested in the Ukraine, a “country” no one cared about until last February except for corrupt Western politicians with shady gas deals?

    Will you tell us who you REALLY are?

  86. njguy73 says:
    @prosa123

    Oh, so the NBA and WNBA should merge? No difference whatsoever? 🙄

  87. @prosa123

    “It also does not dawn on the Men of Unz, most of whom engage in zero physical activity, that the women of today are stronger and fitter than ever before. You’ll see this in any gym. The percentage of women who can handle any military role is way, way up.”

    60% of US women are overweight or obese. That’s a fighting force alright.

  88. @prosa123

    Female obesity rates in America are higher than male obesity rates.

  89. Boethiuss says:

    I’ll eat my hat if Russia still controls Kherson six weeks from now.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  90. @Dieter Kief

    The Fog of Lies on this war this unbelievable. It’s peak woke/post-modern government in which those in power just “socially construct” the reality they need.

    At first I thought this was just outward lying. But now I’ve seen too much evidence that right up to the top of decisionmaking they believe their own propaganda. This is the really dangerous part.

    Our military has been shown by this war to have a crippling lack of depth in terms of weapons stock and resupply capability. But they still believe “we are the best because we spend the most.” Everyone else is incompetent and backward cuz we gots da high-tech ‘n stuff. We are ruled by idiots.

    • Replies: @Russ
  91. @Hypnotoad666

    Russia never lies though. Russia always tells the truth.

    Anyway, here’s a nice video of a bunch of muslim mercenaries sent by Putin chanting “Allahu Akbar” over the ruins of an ancient Christian city, (that somewhat ironically was founded in part by Christian refugees fleeing the Ottoman Empire.) Thanks Vladimir! And thanks to the useful idiots in the west.

    • Thanks: Pixo
    • Replies: @Daniel H
  92. The Ruskies had help from the civilian population in taking Kherson –
    it was a stroke of luck; in general it hits the eye the Russians are fighting
    with kid gloves – even the Ukies claim only slightly over 5000 civilian dead
    so far – while the Ukies behave like they are in enemy country and all
    damage to civilian infrastructure and populace is welcome.
    Strategically everything between Kherson and Nikolaev is maneuver country
    i.e. one giant field of fire belonging to whomever has air superiority – there
    is no way in hell the Ukies can retake that; note that their (fizzle) counteroffensive
    is from Krivoj Rog leaning on the Dniepr – good idea but strategically meaningless.
    Even if the Russians decide to cede Odessa to Monsanto/BlackRock
    (fat chance) the Kherson bridgehead secures the water supply of the Crimea –
    they are going nowhere.

    • Replies: @clifford brown
  93. @Sean

    Not just Putin but most Russians sees the independence of their state at stake ….

    LOL. I doubt very many Russians besides Czar wannabe Putin thought “their independence of their state” was at stake.

    Hopefully Russia is still has–as the Soviet Union did–plenty of people of reasonable competence and connection to reality–much more than all the dumbass commentary flowing from randos on the internet.

    Russia is a huge–in population and huger in territory–with a sizeable economy and vast resources and the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. It is not and never was going anywhere. (If it has a problem–and it does–it is long-term demographics not territory.)

    Russia can at any time state “Mission Accomplished”, draw their new border more or less wherever they want–obviously better if they are reasonable and the Ukrainians will defacto accept–and wait around for the world to accept it.

    The single caveat is that they will either suck up a large Ukrainian minority or have to expel them. (Even the most Russian areas–their splinter states–even though majority Russian speaking had Ukrainian ethnic majorities. Only Crimea was majority Russian.) This is a bad idea–minorities are sub-optimal. But then the Russians do not seem to care, as they fought a war and leveled Grozny to keep the Chechens *in* Russia. Talk about an own goal! (I’d fight a war to get away from some of our assholes here.) So basically … anywhere the Russians want to put it.

  94. Anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:
    @William Badwhite

    Yep.

    All from a man who, until a year ago, *HATED* Ukrainians.

  95. Although the Russian push toward Mykolaiv and Odessa, Ukraine’s last main links to the sea, long ago stalled

    And once again Steve is privy to Putin’s ambitions as conveyed to Steve by the neo-cons despite them never having been mentioned by Putin.

    Meanwhile, God has seemingly chosen sides,
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FX72WqJX0AAgU6d?format=jpg&name=900×900

    God favoring the Russians can be the only reason why Biden seems determined to open a second front War with the Pelosi Lushes visit to Taiwan.

    • Replies: @Berry Goode
  96. Pixo says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Sure…

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/research/2022/06/anyone-can-die-at-any-time-kharkiv/

    Nobody in America not already marginalized by following RT or the incelsphere believes your 4th tier trolling.

    You Putintards are so utterly estranged from functional and successful Americans you think we don’t notice your lies are both obvious and rapidly cycle.

    Jan 2022: Don’t believe the CIA, Russian won’t invade
    Feb 2022: We’ll take Kiev in a week.
    March 2022: Soon Belarus and Hungry will join the operation and annex parts of Ukraine, leaving a small rump state with a denazified pro-Russian government.
    April 2022: The retreat from Kiev and Sumy is to surround the main force in a massive cauldron.
    May 2022: On May 9 we proclaim victory!

    • LOL: Jack D
    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  97. Maciano says:

    I hope Russia loses and I hope the country never recovers from this war.

    Russia must learn it has to be subservient to Europe, not the other way around.

  98. @Pixo

    “Friendly fire” incidents are when you accidentally hit your own people. The Ukrainians aren’t even claiming that (they’re claiming the Russians shelled their own ally’s prison, and then collected HIMARS fragments from elsewhere to frame the Ukrainians).

    The Ukrainians have deliberately targeted civilians in the Donbass republics. I haven’t seen any evidence that Russians have deliberately targeted Ukrainian civilians. Obviously, when Ukrainians station their troops and armaments in civilian areas (a war crime, incidentally), the Russians have fired at them.

    Re the Kiev shopping mall: the Russian MoD claims the mall was closed and the fire was caused by Western-supplied ammo stored at the factory next door, which was the target of the Russian strike.

    Internet sleuths noted that Google Maps had marked the mall as being permanently closed prior to the strike, and suggested the Ukrainian military may have closed it to use it as additional storage because of its proximity to the factory.

    Now, do I know that Russia didn’t deliberately strike a closed shopping mall to terrorize Ukrainian civilians? No. But what seems more plausible, what I shared above, or the idea that Russia would suddenly start terror attacks on civilian targets, despite U.S. intelligence analysts acknowledging early on that the Russian military appeared to be avoiding that?

    • Replies: @Pixo
  99. Daniel H says:
    @SimpleSong

    Franco used Moroccan troops to good effect, and the French in WW2 unleashed Moroccans onto the Italian population to evil effect.

    • Replies: @Alden
  100. Wokechoke says:
    @SimpleSong

    Badly behaved sadist soldiers can be held accountable in a court marshal! The interesting thing about blowing up that jail is why Ukraine is massacring it’s own most loyal heroes. Wtf was the targeting decision about?

  101. So, it’s hard to imagine the Ukrainians agreeing to a ceasefire leaving the Russians on the west bank of the Dnieper without trying to push the Russians back across the river.

    Hence, for about a month or so the Ukrainians have been talking up their upcoming offensive to retake Kherson.

    Instead of an offensive to retake Kherson–killing more Ukranian and Russian boys and seems unlikely to succeed if Putin is set against it–now seems like a good time to negotiate.

    The Ukrainian performance in the war so far pretty much debunked Putin’s thoughts that they would roll over/collapse and his blathering about the good old days of the Russian Empire group hug … blah, blah, blah. It’s clear Ukrainians have a decent sense of Ukranian identity and national feeling and a lot of them will fight.

    Now Putin knows he either tedious slogs on through to Moldova–which will be costly and have all the popularity with the Russian people that Afghanistan did–or picks a border that either the Ukrainians accept or will grudgingly come to accept as fait accompli.

    So instead of an offensive, now seems ripe for finding out if Putin has figured out his “plan B” and whether it is reasonable or can be made reasonable through negotiation. Obvious things on the table.
    — Crimea settlement–obviously Russian
    — Donbass statelets (going to have to give those up)
    — Fair compensation to all the Ukrainians who had to flee. And to Ukrainian farmers currently in Donbass who do not want to be in Russia.
    — Population exchanges. (I’ve often thought since hearing about the nonsense in Northern Ireland, that a repartition–just getting people squared away would have been a win. Now, of course, i think about that in the USA. What if the joggers, the yard signers, the monkeypox crew just had their own nation?)
    — Russian agreement for Ukraine entrance into the EU.
    — Ukraine agreement not to join NATO
    — Russian non-interference in Ukrainian affairs/politics.
    — US-Russia treaty of US not stationing troops in Ukraine.

    I’m not either party involved. Or even related to either party involved–not my people! But this stuff really isn’t that hard to figure out. It’s just annoying on the ground–as diversity always is. Now made much, much worse by Putin’s shitty little war.

    I wish the US had better leadership to encourage this along. As with 1914-1918, we should have been working hard–and fairly–to bring European imperial pissing matches to an end.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Russ
  102. This is America’s fault.

    If we hadn’t attempted to expand NATO into Ukraine, Russia wouldn’t have needed to invade.

    Imagine if Russia was planning on installing a military force onto the US-Mexico border. Would we tolerate that?

    https://www.reuters.com/world/kremlin-says-nato-expansion-ukraine-crosses-red-line-putin-2021-09-27/

    MOSCOW, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The Kremlin warned on Monday that any expansion of NATO military infrastructure in Ukraine would cross one of President Vladimir Putin’s “red lines”, and Belarus said it had agreed to take action with Moscow to counter growing NATO activity.

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close Moscow ally, accused the United States of setting up training centres in Ukraine which he said amounted to military bases. He said he had discussed the issue with Putin.

    https://www.npr.org/2022/01/29/1076193616/ukraine-russia-nato-explainer

    How NATO’s expansion helped drive Putin to invade Ukraine

    You promised us in the 1990s that [NATO] would not move an inch to the East. You cheated us shamelessly,” Putin said at a news conference in December.

    The U.S. says a ban on expansion was never on the table. But Russia insists it was — and now, Putin is demanding a permanent ban on Ukraine from joining the pact.

    In 1997, Russian President Boris Yeltsin tried to secure a guarantee from President Bill Clinton that NATO would not add any former Soviet republics. Clinton refused.

    Over the course of the 1990s and early 2000s, NATO expanded three times: first to add the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland; then seven more countries even farther east, including the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; and finally with Albania and Croatia in 2009.

    “Obviously, the more it did to stabilize the situation in central and Eastern Europe and bring them into the West, the more it antagonized the Russians,” he said.

    During the early 2000s, President George W. Bush pushed for Ukraine to become a NATO member. France and Germany opposed it, fearing escalation with Russia.

    The result was a “worst of all worlds” compromise in 2008, Goldgeier said: a promise that Ukraine would eventually join NATO, but without any concrete timeline or pathway to do so.

    “Putin has constructed in his head and in his heart, perhaps, the idea that NATO is encircling him, that that has always been the intention,” said Rice, speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations panel on Friday.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    , @Jack D
  103. @SimpleSong

    What do you think of the video that surfaced last week of the showing Russian soldiers castrating a Ukrainian POW?

    Russian sources say it was done by Ukrainians, and offer this as evidence:

    Current facts on castration video:

    – The guy (who performed castration) wears Ukrainian shoes (with Ukrainian flag theme)
    – The guy wears Ukrainian military clothing
    – The guy wears a slightly different hat than the Russian ‘suspect’
    – The guy wears no watch unlike the Russian ‘suspect’
    – The Russian ‘suspect’ weirs different clothing and different shoes
    – Fake ‘Z’ put on a auto car in the video shot (very apparent)
    – Filmer makes sure the ‘Z’ gets in perspective in relation to the castration guy
    – Castration guy uses Ukrainian first aid gloves
    – In conclusion the only thing that could link the castration with the Russian ‘suspect’ is the hat, but the hat comes from aliexpress and is available to everyone (but then again the Russian ‘suspect’ wears a different hat.

    Again, I don’t claim to know what happened for sure.

    However, consider that:

    1) Ukrainians are the ones who talked about castrating POWs: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ukrainian-doctors-told-castrate-captured-26523466

    2) All the video of POWs being tortured in this war, AFAIK, has been of Ukrainians torturing Russians.

  104. Boethiuss says:
    @Jack D

    It’s hard to understand why the Ukrainian authorities are advertising their (supposedly) coming Kherson offensive so heavily. There may be domestic political considerations. They may feel that it’s no secret to the Russians anyway so the domestic (and international) political value of advertising outweighs any element of surprise.

    There is no surprise at the theater level, the Ukrainians are going after Kherson. They are not going to try to move the Russians out of Donetsk and Luhansk, they are not going to try to protect civilians there. The Russian advance has stopped that’s all the Ukrainians can do.

    Every strategic consideration of the war says Ukraine has to retake Kherson. But Ukraine isn’t telegraphing how they’re going to do it. It’s very likely they don’t even know themselves. That will be determined by the contingencies on the field.

    The Ukrainian strategy will be similar – first pound the Russians with artillery and then move in. The only difference is that the Ukrainians (thanks to NATO) has more precise weapons and rather than leveling the whole city can pound Russian ammo dumps and command centers. Russian weaknesses are in logistics and in command and control – their army is led from the top down and has to bring high officers close to the front where they are very vulnerable.

    Artillery will definitely be involved but it won’t be like the Russians. Like you said, they won’t be targeting hardened defensive positions (or god forbid their own civilians). No, they are going to logistics, resupply, command and control for Russia. Russian forward elements will choose between countermaneuvering (and getting shot or bombed) or sitting where they are (and starving). Either way, the Russian positions aren’t holding.

    • Thanks: Jack D
    • Replies: @peterike
  105. Who cares? Ukraine is a phony country led by the clown. If Putin takes the whole enchilada, they’ll be better off and no more LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ propaganda.

  106. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    “over the next 6 to 8 weeks….”

    for laughing out loud,

    that’s what Tsar Putin’s apologists have been saying about his fake and gay little war since February.

  107. @Pixo

    Pixo, you’re a fool.
    Before the incursion, 1 USD bought you 81 Rubles. Now it’s 1 USD to 62 Rubles.
    The alternative is very plausible.

  108. @Dieter Kief

    This whole blog post is embarrassing.

    Russia will obliterate the AFU in short order. NATO’s proxy army has lost every round. Not even close. And NATO picked the fight, the time, and the venue. 70k+ of Ukraine’s best troops are now dead.

    Time now to move on to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. NATO whacking its SOF and CIA-trained Azov Nazi proxy warriors in Elenovka is evidence of game over.

    Meanwhile U.S. and NATO commanders are left bitching about why Russia has not introduced their major equipment in this conflict (ECM, EW, GPS jamming, et al.). The nerve of the Russkies! 😡

  109. prosa123 says:
    @mc23

    You need a good through beating. Get out of my life forever, loser.

    • Replies: @mc23
  110. @Bill Jones

    Russian troops haven’t even been involved combat operations in Donbass in the past few weeks. It’s been largely LDPR forces. AFRF (🇷🇺) has been on R & R and are now just returning to the fight.

  111. Bill B. says:

    Perhaps this is a good time to be reminded the Institute of Study of War, which provides the running war maps that most people use, is a neocon vipers nest.

    It’s founder is married the brother-in-law of the notorious Victoria Nuland.

    A lot of pro-Ukrainian coverage can be traced back here.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
  112. Anon[335] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Biden has Covid AGAIN. It looks an awful lot like the Dem party managers are doing their best to off the guy before mid-terms while trying to make it look like they’re innocent.

    Seriously, getting Covid the first time should have given Biden natural immunity, at least short-term. Getting it again so soon after a first infection is really bizarre. It looks like he was intentionally infected with a 2nd dose that was so large it was enough to overwhelm his immune system. The Dem elites are frantic to be rid of him and all his baggage. They can’t stand his inflation, his inept handling of the war, and his mess with his son Hunter. If the Dems were okay with stealing an election, they’d kill a guy if they thought the stakes were important enough. They learned their lesson when Ruth Bader Ginsberg was too arrogant to retire at a strategically important time, and they want Biden gone NOW. At the very least, having Biden unconscious and huffing away on a respirator for a month while Kamala runs things would please them a lot more.

    Or they could break down and give the old buzzard invermectin, but they’d have to admit they were wrong, first.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/jackposobiec/status/1553454375464566784

    • Replies: @James B. Shearer
  113. @Anonymous

    The rumors that Zelensky is an avid cocaine user have long been around, well before even his presidential run, where Poroshenko tried to exploit it against him.

    So – this then would be a Nazi – echo too: Fast drugs to keep the war afloat: Pervitin (Christal Meth) – and cocaine, which were cheap in the roaring twenties in Germany – 25 cent (50 Pf.)/ 10 gram was the price for cocaine , – produced by Bayer – available at your drugstore around the corner.
    So now it is cocaine again? – – – Peruvian Marching Powder

  114. @JohnnyWalker123

    Imagine if Russia was planning on installing a military force onto the US-Mexico border. Would we tolerate that?

    This “plan” is a fiction. Ukraine was not joining NATO and joining NATO would not mean US troops on the Ukraine-Russian border.

    However, just to clarify, if Russia did manage to get Mexico to allow a Russian base on the US border, would you support a US invasion of Mexico?

    Furthermore, would you still be cheerleading such an invasion 6 months later even while the US had so far yet to take Tijuana?

    I’m sure your arguments sound clever in your head, but you sound very stupid to everyone else.

    • Disagree: Russ, Paul Mendez
    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    , @Wokechoke
  115. JimB says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    The Russians are grinding the bulk of Ukraine’s trained army into dust in the east. It’s a slow process, but brutally effective.

    Soon, only American and Brit special forces sneaking around in the forests will be left.

  116. @Verymuchalive

    Operation Market Garden Redux. GloboHomo icon/Vogue model/tight olive green shirt wearer Zelensky in the “Monty” role. This time Field Marshall Monty brings not liberation but totalitarianism.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  117. Russ says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Our military has been shown by this war to have a crippling lack of depth in terms of weapons stock and resupply capability. But they still believe “we are the best because we spend the most.” Everyone else is incompetent and backward cuz we gots da high-tech ‘n stuff. We are ruled by idiots.

    The U.S. Navy recently had an F/A-18 slide off a carrier deck into the ocean. Perhaps a pronoun debate had been raging during the time that someone should’ve noticed how the airplane was not secured. This same outfit toots and clucks about how THEY would mop up the Russians in the Ukraine, were only they there.

  118. anon[237] • Disclaimer says:

    @Jack D #10

    “But Ukraine is struggling for its national existence and cannot afford such delusions.”

    Yes, but the Russians in Donbas are fighting for their *physical* existence. And, in fact, the original published Russian terms for the continuing existence of Ukraine were to give up the Russian Crimea and the Russian Donbas. The Ukies seem to hate the Russians anyway so why keep any of them in your country? To continue to fight for Ukrainian national existence on these terms is to ensure it will cease to exist. Poland is already licking its lips at this prospect. But really, what do Zelensky, Poroshenko, Kolomoisky and the other “Ukrainian” dual citizenship holders care about Russians or Ukies. They’re just in it for the loot.

  119. @Pixo

    The US dollar is at multi-decade highs against all other major currencies.

    Yes, and they are half-way down the commode themselves, as can be seen by what one can buy with them these days.

    There’s no alternative.

    Alternatives? That depends on what you mean by one. Does there have to be a solid sovereign government reserve currency backed by gold or silver, as in the past? (I’m asking, really.) Why?

    I know Lionel Shriver’s great prepper novel The Mandibles* has been brought up many times here. It had the Europeans and Latin Americans (AIR) developing the “Bancor” backed by something. You do need to have something solid to back up something that can be thought of us real money vs. just a currency.

    The US Dollar has been supported since it being off the gold standard by its being the Reserve Currency – business around the world needed dollars to do business. Do you not see that changing in front of your eyes?

    .

    * With a 6-part review on my site. You all know how it’s done ..

  120. @Triteleia Laxa

    “Ukraine was not joining NATO and joining NATO would not mean US troops on the Ukraine-Russian border.”

    Ukraine not being a NATO member didn’t prevent the Zionist oligarchs who own Ukraine from green-lighting NATO bio-weapons labs on Ukrainian soil.

    Ukraine is valuable territory for malignant elites who desire to control food supply around the world; for the traffickers of narcotics, weapons including biologics, and humans, including children. And what is left will turn into a showcase for the new synthetic human so favored by the gods of Davos.

    “you sound very stupid to everyone else.”

    I know. It doesn’t make me happy.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  121. Daniel H says:

    What do y’all think about Nancy’s foolish and reckless plan to run off to Taiwan? Here are my thoughts: If I were the emperor up in Bejing, the minute Nancy’s plane touched down I would launch an immediate invasion of…….Quemoy. That’s right Quemoy . Y’all remember Quemoy? Big thing about her status back in the 50s. Nixon and Kennedy jockeyed with one another about who would have the better response to a Chinese invasion.

    Invading Quemoy has so many advantages: 1) It’s a kinetic action, so it does indicate seriousness of purpose – that China is not to be ‘effed with, and yes Taiwan is on the table if matters go south – yet it will not provoke a kinetic response from either Taiwan or the USA, or it shouldn’t. 2) an invasion of Quemoy will be easy to pull off. The islands are located 10 miles off the South China coast. The entire invasion can be accomplished with a few launches and cutters sailing into the harbor, making a declaration that the new overlord is in Beijing, and that’s it, just carry on, nothing else will really change.

    Such an invasion will of course drive the neo-cons and their left bourgeois fair-weather allies into a frenzy, but what can they do? Fight China over this? And any escalation on America’s part will paint the USA as the aggressor and play right into China’s hands.

    That’s what I would do If I were the emperor up in Bejing.

  122. Anonymous[388] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    The clowns who set the so-called “doomsday nuclear clock” repeatedly set it closer to midnight in response to Trump, but of course haven’t touched it since.

  123. @Wokechoke

    There are as few as 50,000 Russian troops who might actually be spread along a 400-mile “front line” in Ukraine or within five miles of it.

    That line is as long as the Western Front in 1917, which was held by I think a million men on each side.

    Breaking through is not an issue. What is almost impossible is concentrating enough assault infantry on a wide enough front to make a breakthrough sustainable. Anything larger than a platoon or even a squad it seems is going to get observed and eliminated.

    You can only shelter in basements and bunkers and prepared positions if you are not planning on moving.

    • Agree: Sean
  124. Jack D says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    This is America’s fault.

    Isn’t everything?

    Imagine if Russia was planning on installing a military force onto the US-Mexico border. Would we tolerate that?

    We don’t have to imagine. The Russians had a military base in Cuba, 90 miles from Florida, for 40 years and we tolerated it just fine.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lourdes_SIGINT_station

    NATO neither had nor was contemplating anything comparable in Ukraine. However, now that Finland is joining NATO, there will be more NATO troops closer to Russia’s borders than ever before.

    So the invasion has completely backfired on Putin. He wanted to make Russia stronger and now it is weaker. Weaker militarily, weaker economically, weaker in terms of international prestige. Weaker, weaker, weaker like the shaky old man that Putin himself is becoming, surrounded by his increasingly geriatric buddies from the KGB mafia.

  125. Jack D says:
    @AnotherDad

    While I disagree with some elements of your proposal, it’s irrelevant because Putin is still not interested in making a fair deal. Fairness is a meaningless concept to Putin. Dictators generally don’t make deals unless their back is against the wall and sometimes not even then. You are imagining what you would do if you were Putin. You are not Putin. His thought processes are completely alien to your way of thinking. It’s not that he is insane, it’s just that he has different priorities.

    Russia is damaged but not yet defeated. Putin has nothing to lose by keeping on doing what he is doing. The sanctions can’t get any worse. The fact that Russians (and Buryats, Chechens, etc.) are dying is no skin off his back. Russia still makes advances here and there – the cost doesn’t mean anything to Putin, not in lives and not in treasure (his treasure is safe in various places). So why make a deal now?

  126. Mr. Anon says:

    Win? Lose? Who cares? The deep-state and globalist forces who stoked up this war have gotten what they want. To paraphrase Orwell, the purpose of war IS war. The MIC gets paid, the US Government and NATO get to bleed Russia (Zbigniew Brzezinski must be smiling), the would-be feudal overlords of the WEF-Set get another pretext for imposing the austerity policies they wish to make permanent. I don’t know what Putin gets out of it – perhaps to feed his ego and his vanity (he’s already stolen enough for a lifetime). Not quite sure if Putin is a Schlemiel or a Schlimazel in this whole thing.

    The price is paid in the blood of ordinary Russians and Ukrainians and nobody really cares much about them – especially the idiots flying those blue-and-yellow flags in front of their house.

  127. @Yarro1

    Mr. Sailer, please address the shocking loss of moral compass regarding this war on the part of many here.

    No need for that.

    As one man in Palestine said 2000 years ago: For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

  128. Pixo says:

    Putinists defend his mass killing and maiming of a conservative white Christian population with his Muslim-Mongloloid army by pretending it is “necessary” because otherwise Russia will have to accept Western leftist decadence.

    In fact, Orban’s Hungary disproves this. It has better natalist policies than Russia, is far less corrupt, and explicitly rejects Islamist and third world migration. All this while maintaining excellent relations with all its neighbors. Sure, the German left especially tut-tuts Orban’s “racism.” But they never go beyond this. Hungary is member in good standing of NATO, the EU, and other European organizations, and leads a central european block that joins with national conservatives in Western Europe.

    Too bad for Russia and the whole world that Putin more resembles George W Bush, blundering into a costly war with no plausible benefit, than the Peter the Great he could have been.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @Clyde
  129. Boethiuss says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Andrei Martyanov explained these days, that he Russian military has a university that specialises in supply chain manegemnt – and he says the Russians are quite capable – in this hindsight too. The first Ukrainian statements about Russian supply chain problems came in early March (Russia about to run out of – – -grenades, mortar shells, rockets… – – – . Yesterday it was reported, that the actual heavy Russian attacks were brought forward by unseen before amounts of all kinds of ammunition…

    Everything Martyanov has ever said about the capacity of the Russian army is bullshtt, usually an exaggeration by an order of magnitude at least.

    This, especially, is no exception. Russian logistics systems have been shown to be horrendous in this war. And whatever systems they do have, whoever is working in them is stealing everything they can carry.

    Just the other day, Ukrainian commanders were, I think publically commenting that Russian artillery has fallen by like ten times since the Ukrainians bombed the Russian ammo stores.

  130. BB753 says:
    @anonymous

    No, it’s not a military target. Unlike Washington. Just sayin’!

    • Replies: @anonymous
  131. Russ says:
    @AnotherDad

    The Ukrainian performance in the war so far pretty much debunked Putin’s thoughts that they would roll over/collapse

    Still awaiting the contemporaneous report from February 2022 of what Putin thought and when Putin thought it. As if “Shock And Awe” were how every nation fights everywhere …

    • Agree: Paul Mendez
  132. @Morris39

    It’s just Steve and the neocons such as Jack D. I get why the Jew crew want Russia to lose. Steve is more interesting.

    Steve seems to believe that the current world borders are sacred for some reason, that they were created by benevolent angels instead of hard men who did hard things to capture their territory.

    Steve doesn’t seem to like disruption.

  133. @Boethiuss

    Which is why Russia had to halt its offensive in the east and hasn’t been able to rain tens of thousands of shells down onto Ukrainian positions.

    And why tha Ukrainians have been able to beat back the Russians in the Donbas.

    Oh wait, nevermind.

  134. @Jack D

    Most Russians know enough not to believe other Russians (unless it is to their advantage to so believe)

    Bismarck knew that:

  135. Boethiuss says:
    @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    The U.S. should not allow a foreign potentate to divide the U.S. politically for his own gain. That’s a bridge he should not have crossed and there should be consequences for his war effort to send the message that it will not be tolerated.

    Oh fkkk off already. Zelensky is loyal to Ukraine, not the United States, and in the current he’s obviously preoccupied with other fish to fry than defending the reputations of Rand Paul or Tulsi Gabbard.

    You know who does have a duty of loyalty to the United States? Unz commenters, most of whom are Americans. It’s just amazing how many “patriotic” Americans there are here who seem to completely at liberty to cheerlead for Putin, Solemaini, Assad, Xi Jinping, any other foul warlord loser who talks a big game about how America is spent force.

    It’s just a cheap gratification of course, nobody really believes it. But somehow if you really do, go turn in your passport already and get your Medicare from Bolivia or somewhere else.

  136. peterike says:
    @Boethiuss

    They are not going to try to move the Russians out of Donetsk and Luhansk, they are not going to try to protect civilians there.

    Protect them from what? Russians are helping civilians everywhere they take control.

    Artillery will definitely be involved but it won’t be like the Russians. Like you said, they won’t be targeting hardened defensive positions (or god forbid their own civilians).

    Ukrainians have been targeting their own civilians for the entirety of this war, as well as using them as human shields.

    Where the hell do you people get your information?

    • Replies: @Parbes
  137. @anonymous

    ==QUOTE== Poll: Is there a 1 in 1,000 chance this year of a nuclear strike on New York?
    Yes or No ==UNQUOTE==

    How could you ever determine the answer to this question? If on January 1, 2023 New York has not undergone a nuclear strike (or even if it has), you still know nothing about the whether during the period from August 1 to December 31, 2022 there was a 1 in 1,000 probability of a nuclear strike on New York.

  138. @Jack D

    It’s amusing how you don’t understand Russia’s motivation. You think that it’s about territory or economic gain.

    Russia wants to be free from Western rule. The Russians remember what the US (well, not so much the US but a certain subgroup of Americas) did to them in the 1990s, how the West stole their economic assets from them, how the West wanted Russia to be broken state, weak and powerless, so it be could be looted at will.

    This war is only tangentially about the Ukraine. It’s really about getting out from under the US’s military, financial and cultural thumb.

    Just as I would gladly give up a large portion of my wealth and income to permanently shut the border tomorrow, the Russians will gladly give material wealth to gain their freedom from the West and the West’s true rulers.

    I don’t think that you fully grasp how much the world hate our rulers.

    • Agree: Gordo, Mr Mox
    • Replies: @Jack D
  139. Sean says:
    @Jack D

    Russia has accepted defeat before, for example in Afghanistan.

    If you can compare that withdrawal and continued support of their Afghans in the capital for many years as a defeat. And that was under Gorby, who later suffered a coup against him. Before being elected leader, to a great extent because he was relatively young, Gorbachev struggled with the repeated failures of Soviet agriculture and need to import grain, which had given the US much leverage. In 1982 Israel’s US supplied planes shot down 88 Migs during a single coperation leaving the Soviets leadership aghast, Two years later, the chief of the USSR’s armed forces was sacked for saying that Soviet system was to blame for the county’s worsening military backwardness. Gorbachev announced that class war (the raison d’etre of the Soviet Union) was to be replaced with global utility (wellbeing of all humankind) as the objective.

    In 1986 there was a catastrophic collapse in the oil price and the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine. Beset by crises, Gorbachev told the Soviet military that there was not going to be any war, and there were other priorities than preparing for it and keeping an expensive army in Eastern Europe. and Afghanistan. After an unsuccessful coup by traditional Communists on the Central Committee, against Gorbachev’s leadership of the Soviet Union, the President of Russia, Yeltsin, banned the Communist party in Russia and then took over the Kremlin. The Russian Federation under Yeltsin acquiring the administrative authority of the Soviet Union instantly led Ukraine to make a bolt for the door; Ukrainian declarations of independence came within weeks.

    Russia did not really try and stop Ukraine leaving become an independent country which it did five months later. But absolutely nobody then dreamt that Ukraine might try and join a military alliance that Russia was excluded from, and so was a clearly anti Russian alliance. In his early years as president Putin publicly suggested that Russia join Nato, which was a cautious continuation of Yeltsin’s policy. Putin was annoyed about Eastern Europe. Over the next few years it became obvious that Ukraine wanted to join the West, and to defend itself from Russia Ukraine had the brilliant idea of deterring Russia by applying to join NATO. There was an official NATO 2008 announcement (reiterated in June 2021) that Ukraine would become a full member at some point in the future. A few months later they began using Javelins and drones in combat in Donbass. January 2022: deterrence upgrade complete!

    Now, often in Russia, defeat threatens the continued rule of a particular regime (there are rumors that Putin has a contingency plan to flee to Syria if it all goes tits up for his government) but the national existence of Russia itself is in no way threatened unless you confuse Putin with Russia.

    If Russia could accept such a piece as you think it might, it would instantly be seen by everyone as a clear defeat of the country by America. Mearsheimer explained why a state will never give up its advantages in his The Tragedy of Great Power Politics:-

    Given the difficulty of determining how much power is enough for today and tomorrow, great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power. Only a misguided state would pass up an opportunity to be the hegemon in the system because it thought it already had sufficient power to survive.

    • Thanks: ic1000
    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  140. @Hapalong Cassidy

    “It can only end in one of two ways for Ukraine – accept a rump state or be completely defeated.”

    I’m thinking that the way it ends for Zelensky and his pals is with a whole lot of money squirreled away outside Ukraine.

    So whether Ukraine ends up as a rump state or completely defeated, the outcome will be good for Zelensky and his pals, and the longer the war lasts, the better for them.

  141. anon[216] • Disclaimer says:

    Here is a population cartogram of Ukraine. It readily shows how different the Donbass is from basically the entire rest of the country. The Donbass is more conurbation, the rest of the country is hub-in-rural. So of course it’s a grind in the Donbass, but the Ukrainians know that if Russia can mop up the Donetsk pocket, their tanks will arrive at a broad front on the left bank of the Dnieper in a time measured by hours: note the very narrow strip between Donbass and the Dnieper on the cartogram. If the history of the Donetsk front so far is anything to go by, the Donbass grind is much closer to the end than the beginning. Of course Ukraine has to at least appear to have an option in Kherson.

    • Thanks: Russ
  142. @prosa123

    “The percentage of women who can handle any military role is way, way up.”
    Yeah, it’s more than doubled – from 0.1% to 0.25%.

  143. Although the technology changes, the nature of war does not. Clausewitz observed that victory in war is achieved by ascertaining and overthrowing the enemy’s center of gravity. Although I have no particular insights as to the objectives of the Russian special military operation or the means to attain them, it might well be that the Ukrainian armed forces are Ukrainen’s center of gravity. So taking and holding territory may be a secondary objective to operations designed to destroy the Ukrainian military. As I write this, I note that the Ukrainians have ordered an evacuation of the Donbass, something I doubt that would do unless their military forces have been significantly degraded. Once the Ukrainian armed forces are destroyed, occupying territory may be relatively easy. The Russians need only decide how much and where they will occupy.

  144. @Boethiuss

    Ukrainian commanders were, I think publically commenting that Russian artillery has fallen by like ten times since the Ukrainians bombed the Russian ammo stores

    We get that this is what the Ukrainians say.

    They said that the heroes of the Asov-steal-works were invincible – until day one after their total surrender…

    As Al Mercouris/ The Duran dryly remarked: Ok, the Russian offensive is fake throughout. Lets assume that. But what about the former Urkrainian teritories, now under Russian control? ( – That’s the thought Steve Sailer refers to above too.)

    Also: Al Mercouris, Douglas Macgregor, Scott Ritter and Andrei Martyanov seem to agree a lot with regard to their analyses. Result: Russia might win this one.

    Harsh (=important) point for them all: Ukraine has not regained a single spot so far from the Russians.
    Ok – we know too: The million-soldier-army (Volodymyr Selenskij) is coming these days. – We’ll soon see that happen, he declared. – If that is true, the fog of war will disappear any day now and we all will see clearly now– all of a sudden…

  145. @Jack D

    I completely agree that an American should never expect a Russian to have the same priorities as an American leader. However, I do occasionally wonder about the shape of things to come in Russia. Putin and his cronies grew up in the USSR which was very different from Russia in it’s current incarnation. My observation is that younger Russians already think much like their European counterparts. Despite the fact that Putin killed off several of the 50-somethings who might have taken a turn at running Russia, Time insists that 70- somethings don’t have long to rule. If, as in the US, the elder generation won’t yield power until the bitter end, the next generation to take over may well be the age of their grandchildren. Wouldn’t this likely lead to a drastic transformation within a decade?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  146. It’s a good thing we have an armchair general here writing the blog and colonels in the comment section to strategize a war half a world away that our country should not have anything to do with. It’s a shame they’re not over there to help their chosen teams, because they seem able not only to see with perfect clarity exactly what is going on, but also to predict with absolute certainty what will happen next.

  147. @Jack D

    Putin’s argument was that NATO would install missiles in Ukraine & they could reach Russia in 8 minutes.

    Now, he got that missiles could possibly be installed in Finland & could reach Russia in 50 seconds.

  148. @Pixo

    Pixo wrote:

    Still looking forward to an answer here:

    “ Of the many photos of destroyed apartment complexes, what percentage are Russian versus Ukrainian strikes?”

    Perhaps noted Russian specialist Gilbert Doctorow can shed some light on this subject. Included below is an excerpt from an article on his blog titled “Just a Half Functioning Brain Will Suffice to See Through the Propaganda.”

    “First, to anyone with half a brain and a bit of mental concentration, the contradictions in Kiev-Collective West news (read propaganda) are glaring and self-defeating without [even] an adversary in the ring.

    I noted more than a month ago such contradictions in a BBC report from Kharkov on supposedly savage Russian artillery fire against residential buildings A well-coiffed and dressed female reporter in the foreground pointed to a partially burned out high rise building a hundred meters or so behind her, saying: ‘just imagine, four people died here under Russian artillery fire!’ [Only] four people died in the destruction of a multistory apartment building? A better interpretation is that the building was empty except for Ukrainian military supplies or sheltered heavy weapons, as the Russians said at the time.

    Over this past weekend, a similar bit of nonsense was reported by Euronews and other Western media with respect to a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in downtown Kiev. Four of the nine stories were destroyed, but only one or two casualties were reported by the Ukrainians. Was this not a building from which the civilian residents had been chased out and a weapons production line had been installed, as the Russians claimed?

    Now today’s featured headline report on the morning edition of Euronews speaks of a Russian air launched rocket attack on a shopping center in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, Poltava oblast. The smoldering remains, the twisted iron frame are shown on our screens. Zelensky claims that more than a thousand civilians had been sheltering there. Yet the reported deaths were a dozen or so. Does this make any sense if you put your mind to it? The simple answer is ‘no.’ That is to say, you see through the propaganda without even hearing the Russian explanation of what happened: namely that just 90 meters away was a factory renovating Ukrainian tanks and other military vehicles that was also being used to store newly arrived Western armaments; it was the primary target of the Russian bombs. Secondary explosions there set off fires in what was an abandoned shopping mall.”

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
  149. @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    I wholeheartedly endorse your final paragraph. This adventure has tarnished the myth of Russia as a superpower. Their tanks are not driving through Paris, let alone Warsaw, and probably not Kiev anytime soon. They failed in their initial assault on Kiev and have been advancing at a slow crawl when the world expects a blitzkrieg from a superpower. Superpowers should be able to eliminate the militaries of lesser powers in short order. (It took about three weeks for USG to seize Baghdad (and to incite an insurgency).) We are approaching the six month mark of this war, and while wars can turn quickly, I would be shocked to see the Russian military race across the Ukrainian steppe. Russia is farther from Kiev in July than in February. That said, I do believe the Russians can continue to push forward against the Ukrainian army indefinitely. It will just take a while before Russian troops are raiding Zelensky’s bunker.

    A likely scenario is that Putin tries to cement his winnings by annexing the Eastern Ukrainian provinces. While it’s just a line on a map, adding Kherson into Russia would significantly elevate counterattacks. Right now, USG seems to be limiting Ukrainian activities to Ukrainian territory after 2014 by various means. Crimea is untouchable, for example, even though it may be within the range of Ukrainian weaponry. The risk of escalating a regional war into a major conflict remains too high for Ukraine to attack Russia the way Russia attacked Ukraine.

    However, what does Zelensky do when yesterday this land is Ukraine (in Russian hands), and today it’s Russia proper? What does Russia do if Ukraine just ignores their annexation? What does USG do if Ukraine goes rogue and blows up the Black Sea fleet since, in for penny, in for a pound?

    We need peace before we find out.

  150. @Pixo

    In fact, Orban’s Hungary disproves this. It has better natalist policies than Russia, is far less corrupt, and explicitly rejects Islamist and third world migration. All this while maintaining excellent relations with all its neighbors. Sure, the German left especially tut-tuts Orban’s “racism.” But they never go beyond this. Hungary is member in good standing of NATO, the EU, and other European organizations, and leads a central european block that joins with national conservatives in Western Europe.

    Too bad for Russia and the whole world that Putin more resembles George W Bush, blundering into a costly war with no plausible benefit, than the Peter the Great he could have been.

    Spot on Pixo.

    Orban is actually doing nationalism. Explicitly working for the benefit of Hungarians and the future of their nation. (Obviously he’s a politician and is working to for his own power, status, reputation as well. But generally doing a good job–especially given the shit from the EU goons.)

    Putin is an imperialist. Just a different kind of imperialist than the globohomo imperialists. (The blundering 19th century kind that dragged Europe into the Great War.)

    Nothing could be more obvious. (Putin doesn’t even try and hide it–he blabs about it.) If it escapes a bunch of people here, it is because they do not want to see it because of some fantasy.

    • Agree: Pixo
  151. Corvinus says:
    @Gordo

    “All the worst people in the West are supporting Ukraine, wiping out our wealth and soon will be starving us while they enrich tnemselves.”

    Who exactly these “worst people in the West”? What measures are they taking to make U.S. poor?

    “Russia is our enemies enemy.”

    Putin is an autocrat and oligarch.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  152. @Pixo

    You should give up your day job as a fed and become a journalist, you have a real affinity for lying and changing the subject to irrelevant nonsense. You and Jack D are like the Laurel & Hardy comedy team of propaganda.

  153. @Buzz Mohawk

    I have no idea which side will win or how. But I do know that Western media has been saying laughably false things for months, and Steve hasn’t challenged them.

    Thankfully, as I wrote elsewhere, we should know in a month or two the general direction of where this is going.

    I will say this: unless the Ukrainians find an answer to the Russian artillery advantage, it’s tough to see how they can stop the Russians from taking the Donbas and maybe more parts of heavily Russian Ukraine. But that’s just a very uneducated guess.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Buzz Mohawk
  154. Corvinus says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    You mean like there will be a nuclear war between Russia and the U.S.?

    You mean like how Putin is ridding the world of literally hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Nazis (who, by the way, support your agenda of anti-globo homo, anti-feminism, and anti-immigrant)?

    You mean like how Russia is the beacon of whiteness that true whites ought to imitate?

  155. Peter Frost says: • Website
    @SimpleSong

    HIMARS are amazing: 40 POWs were killed, and yet not a single guard or other Russian at the facility was even injured!

    You are misinformed.

    The Kremlin’s defence ministry said this morning that eight employees at the detention centre were also injured.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11061549/Russia-says-40-POWs-killed-Ukrainian-shelling-prison-amid-false-flag-claims.html

    I guess for you that’s even further proof that the attack was a “false flag.”

    • Replies: @Jack D
  156. Ukrainian counter-offensive … lulz.

    By the time the Russians and certain NATO states are done, Ukraine might be a city-state centred around Kiev.

  157. @AnotherDad

    Putin is a flawed character, similar to Trump. But he has pushed back against the neocons in a way that has hurt them and could really hurt them in the future.

    Is he “our” guy? No.

    Is he helping our cause? Hell yeah. And more than Orban, whom I really like, far more than Putin.

    • Agree: Gordo
  158. anonymous[100] • Disclaimer says:

    Totally OT – I never really knew what an empty suit Teddy Kennedy was, but I just saw this 1979 interview with Roger Mudd, in which, at an age much younger than Biden is now, he tries to explain why he wants to be President. Starts at 29:28.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?204450-2/qa-roger-mudd-part-2

  159. MGB says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    I think that you’re forgetting a third very strong contender for world’s best liars. Thus proving that they belong in the discussion.

    Please, Citizen, don’t distract him. Jack is busy translating his Baba’s Israeli hummus recipe from the Ukrainian to Hebrew.

  160. MGB says:
    @JEG

    Ukraine will be a name on the map, not an independent country. The Poles already have plans for western Ukraine.

  161. @Boethiuss

    Oh fkkk off already. Zelensky is loyal to Ukraine, not the United States, and in the current he’s obviously preoccupied with other fish to fry than defending the reputations of Rand Paul or Tulsi Gabbard.

    Zelensky is bought. He ought to remember who owns him and act like it.

    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  162. @MGB

    Hasbara isn’t sending their best these days.

  163. @Boethiuss

    Oh fkkk off already. Zelensky is loyal to Ukraine, not the United States, and in the current he’s obviously preoccupied with other fish to fry than defending the reputations of Rand Paul or Tulsi Gabbard.

    No one’s asking him to defend an American senator and army officer/former presidential candidate, but he ought to show some modicum of respect for America and its public servants, particularly when he’s begging for endless billions of dollars from us.

    Zelensky has banned Ukrainian opposition parties and arrested their leaders; maybe he expects Biden to do the same, but we’re not quite there yet. Zelensky is embarrassing Ukraine supporters by showing that their poster boy for “democracy” doesn’t understand that democracy allows for dissent.

    • Agree: Rich
    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  164. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    If you haven’t been following events, the last several weeks the Ukrainians have notably diminished the Russian artillery advantage by blowing up Russian ammo dumps well behind the lines with HIMARS. I presume the Russians will respond by decentralizing shell storage, but I suspect they aren’t the best logistics improvisers on the fly.

  165. @nokangaroos

    Your last sentence addresses the critical reason for the Russian advance in the South. Crimea and maintaining a viable Russian Crimea are more important to Russia than securing the Donbass. The Ukrainian assaults on the Russian communities in the Donbass were the triggering motivation for the war, but securing Crimea was likely the primary war objective. Thus, Russia now has a land bridge to the geopolitically critical location, but also the Russians seized control of the lower portion of the Dnieper River in order to supply Crimea with fresh water.

    After Russia reclaimed Crimea in 2014, the Ukrainians cut off the peninsula’s water supply which has been devastating for the region. The Russian forces seized the source of the North Crimean Canal on day one of the conflict. The Ukrainian blockage was blown up and water flowed in the canal within three days of the start of the invasion.

    The Russians may not have to hold Kherson but they will never give up access to the Dnieper River in the south and the land bridge to Crimea.

    • Agree: Gordo, nokangaroos
  166. @SunBakedSuburb

    Putin is such a master strategist that he’s managed to de-Finlandize Finland, thus booting away one of the main successes of Soviet and even post-Soviet foreign policy.

  167. @Verymuchalive

    The Russians have complete aerial superiority.

    Not “complete.” From what I can see, the Russians still have a healthy respect for Ukrainian air defenses. They don’t seem to be flying very far from their own territory.

  168. Jack D says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    I don’t think that you fully grasp how much the world hate our ruler

    No, that’s just you. You are confusing the rest of the world with yourself.

  169. @michael droy

    “First the fake attack on Kiev was a brilliant feint by Russia”

    The problem with brilliant feints these days when you can’t fool anybody about where your equipment is at the moment is that to make the feint work, you have to get ass kicked for real, as the Russians got themselves beat outside Kiev and Kharkiv.

    In Napoleonic war, you could just sent a few guys to light a whole bunch of campfires over there while your main army hides behind a hill over here. But these days of complete surveillance, if you want your enemy to think you are sending huge armored columns toward Kiev and Kharkiv, you have to actually send huge armored columns toward Kiev and Kharkiv, with unfortunate events ensuing for the huge armored columns.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
    , @Dave Pinsen
  170. @Jack D

    All the predictions of the Ukrainian army being trapped in a cauldron have been completely memory holed.

    What are you talking about?

    Ukrainians have been getting trapped in “cauldrons” in the East nonstop. The Russians have been methodically pinching off pockets of Ukrainians and roto-tilling them into the ground since the fighting began.

    Zelensky’s cynical no-retreat strategy, designed to keep NATO money flowing, has needlessly killed tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers in “cauldrons” they could have escaped from.

    • Agree: Russ
  171. @Whereismyhandle

    The Ukrainians pushed the Russians back from Kharkov out of artillery range.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
    , @Wade Hampton
  172. Jack D says:
    @Peter Frost

    No Ruzzians killed? Must be a special kind of Himars that only kills Ukrainians. Or just luck I guess.

    • Replies: @Peter Frost
  173. @Sean

    Problem with Monkeypox as a bio-weapon it is only effective on gays having promiscuous anal sex. If your enemy fits that description, then it could be effective.

    Keep in mind, that Russia developed a so called deadly nerve agent (Novichok), that to date has not killed anyone supposedly targeted by the toxic agent. 0-2 record.

    Another supposed bio-weapon was Covid-19, a bio-weapon that has the same morbidity and symptoms as common cold and seasonal flu. Bio-labs may be a big money transfer scam, like nuclear weapons.

  174. @Buzz Mohawk

    It’s a good thing we have an armchair general here writing the blog and colonels in the comment section to strategize a war half a world away

    It’s sad, they’re a bunch of NYT-reading out-of-touch old boomers who believe they have something insightful or clever to say.

    As Fr. Baltasar Gracian, S.J., advises, “Don’t hang around to be a setting sun… abandon all things before they abandon you… avoid being seen in decline.”

  175. @Steve Sailer

    As I wrote earlier, this tedious back and forth is getting, well, tedious. We’ll know soon enough if your or my very uniformed view is correct.

    But how about a bet to make things interesting?

    If the Russians take the Donbas and stop the Ukrainian “offensive” in the the south, you publicly proclaim that the Beach Boys suck and that you were wrong about the war.

    If neither of those happen, I’ll proclaim that the Replacements were laughably over-rated and I was wrong about the war.

    If it splits, we’ll call it a draw.

    My point is no more shoving mistakes (cough, Covid) down the memory hole.

  176. @Unintended Consequence

    I, for one, can’t believe Europe is being so stubborn in refusing to negotiate with Russia.

    NATO nations are vassal states of the American Empire. Washington calls the shots. I agree with you that there should be a negotiated settlement, preferably last January.

  177. @Steve Sailer

    No, Russians retreated from Kharkov after phase 1 of the Special Military Operation was over.

    Phase 1 was a reconnaissance in strength to see if the Zelensky regime would collapse and/or a multi-pronged effort to fix the Ukrainian armed forces in place while the Russians broke out of Crimea and began liberating the Donbas. Take your pick.

    • Agree: Rich
  178. @Steve Sailer

    You’re an old chemo-brain addled fool who’s worked only one real job in your life, in marketing in Chicago for some lower-tier firm. But yeah, I’m sure your insights into war are just as accurate as your insights into Covid. “Covid is caused by skiers!”

    • Troll: AKAHorace
    • Replies: @Wj
  179. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    This mess is personally concerning to my wife and me because it is close to loved ones and threatens to move closer:

    I don’t have a side in it.

    What bothers me is that some here are blaming a forest fire for burning down a house instead of the jackasses who lit the forest on fire. The sheer hubris is annoying, especially in light of the fact that it concerns real people with real lives in places so far away that the armchair generals here will never meet them.

    Putin is no friend of mine, and I don’t like Russians.

    To my wife, who grew up next door to them all, they are all Russians, whether they come from Moscow or Kiev. (Oh, excuse me, “Keeeeeeve.”) She may be technically wrong, but that is the sentiment.

    That is an old neighborhood with dry tinder, and the bastards in control of American foreign policy lit it on fire. That fire threatens to burn right up to our doorstep in Romania — and just possibly even set the whole world ablaze.

    • Agree: Abe, Russ
  180. Peter Frost says: • Website
    @Jack D

    No Ruzzians killed? Must be a special kind of Himars that only kills Ukrainians. Or just luck I guess.

    Eight were wounded. I don’t think they were “lucky.”

    Do I have to walk you through the probabilities? Prison staff are much fewer in number than prisoners, and most of the staff are located in a section that is peripheral to the prison itself.

    I once had an offer to work at a prison, but I turned it down (this was a high-security prison that had “the worst of the worst”). Their HR department phoned me back, saying I didn’t have to worry. I would be working in a bunker-like section that couldn’t be broken into. I imagine the same was true for most of the staff at the Olenivka prison.

    The prisoners were starting to “talk,” and the Ukrainian army wanted to send them a message. It’s really that simple.

    • Agree: Dieter Kief
  181. Morris39 says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    I think you are entirely too hard on Steve. I believe he is objective in general all things considered on most issues and he is an amusing read. I agree however that he seems to be ‘me too’ with many Americans who accept the government spin on the war. But he is not alone. Dems and Reps agree that US should weaken Russia, so this seems like an issue Americans support for their own reasons.As a citizen of neighbouring country with experience (work, residence) in the US this is not surprising to me. But Steve’s view does surprise me.

  182. dimples says:
    @Professional Slav

    “The day of the bombing, a politician from the “DNR” literally said “by lucky coincidence no Russian guards were present”. ”

    Well lucky coincidences DO happen. For example Larry Silverstein was at the dentist on the morning of 911 and not at his usual spot having breakfast meetings at the top of WTC North Tower.

  183. Hunsdon says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Hear him, hear him!

    Very early on in this kerfluffle, I realized two things. First, it had become an intensely partisan, intensely polarizing issue, and it wasn’t simply a matter of differing sympathies, but differing perceptions of what was happening. Second, we don’t really know what’s going on . . . or what will go on. I decided to bide my time. We will see what develops.

    Broadly speaking, my sympathies are with the Russians. Also, broadly speaking, my interpretation is that things are going well for the Russians. I am reminded of the old saw that the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly, but they also grind exceedingly fine.

    I’ll admit, sometimes its funny to watch the two sides punch and counterpunch at each other. I’m talking about the partisan squads here at Unz—-there’s nothing funny about watching, yeah, an actual shooting war in Europe, again.

    • Thanks: Buzz Mohawk, AKAHorace
  184. Jack D says:
    @Unintended Consequence

    Yeah like the new leadership in Iran was better than the Shah.

    There was a Polish historian who wrote a book about the Iranian Revolution. He said that if you have someone salting the fields for decades then the crops don’t grow well after they are gone.

    Before the American Revolution the British had built up a democratic society for over a century. Putin has spent the last 20 years teaching ordinary Russians to avoid politics like the plague.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  185. @Steve Sailer

    I’d argue the advances on Kiev and Kharkov were not “feints” but “reconnaissances in strength.”

    Perhaps the Zelensky regime would have folded like a cheap lawn chair. After all, if you were asked on February 23rd to list the top 5 world leaders most willing to pick up a rifle and defend their capitols, would Zelensky have been on your list?

    Putin couldn’t know unless he tried.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
    • Replies: @Pixo
    , @Steve Sailer
  186. @Jack D

    During the Cold War, 70s and 80s in particular, liberal politicians, media types, etc. were always saying:

    “We can negotiate with the Russians. They are just like us. We can reason with them.”

  187. @Steve Sailer

    I wonder why the Russians haven’t tried to disable our spy satellites in geostationary orbit over the Ukraine. They have an advantage in being able to put men in low earth orbit. They could even disable them without permanently damaging them if they wanted to be diplomatic about it, maybe throw a sack over them.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
    , @The Alarmist
  188. @Steve Sailer

    Putin “lost” Finland, but has gained the support of whole world outside of American occupied Europe. Russia’s alliance with China and the new monetary system developing for the rest of the world are the real world changing results of this war. A monetary system independent of Washington will change the world more than land gains in the Donbass. We are witnessing the first legitimate challenge to the post-Cold War World Order, maybe even the post-WWII World Order. Increasingly it is looking to the rest of the world not under American military and cultural occupation (ie Europe) that the United States may not be up to the task as global hegemon. The US Navy is still the top dog, but the tectonic plates of geopolitics are shifting in ways that were inconceivable even ten years ago.

    We are living in the Chinese curse of interesting times and one thing that is clear to anyone paying attention is that senile Joe Biden and his administration are not up to the task. American society no longer has the ability to openly discuss its problems as across the board censorship has become the norm. There may be no way to right the ship if the multiple crises cannot even be discussed. The rest of the world has watched the United States tragically commit national cultural hari-kari in the last few years and are seeking a more reliable and sane global system. This will likely be China with Russia as a lesser partner.

    And no one really cares about the Finns.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Art Deco
  189. Alden says:
    @Daniel H

    The Moroccans in the French army were perfect gentlemen compared to the blacks in the American Army. And the Moroccans either went home or migrated to France. While the American army navy and Air Force and its thug blacks still Occupy most of Western Europe 77 years later.

    And it’s really really unfortunate that General Franco’s heroic Morrocans didn’t burn alive every single Russian advisor agitator soldier, every single other communist soldier observer and do gooder journalist and especially the entire American communist immigrant Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

    7 years after the heroic wonderful greatest man of the 20th century, General and President Francisco Franco chased the hard core communist unspeakable scum out of Spain into SW France.

    Another General, the French de Gaulle had to fight those same Spanish communists in the summer of 1944. De Gaulle and the civilian Catholic militia managed to slaughter about 10,000 native French and Spanish refugee communists that glorious summer. While fighting the German occupation army in S France too. The coalition of native French and Spanish refugee communists was carefully plotted in Moscow all during WW2.

    This was Moscow’s plan for Europe during and after WW2

    1 Use existing communist and liberal networks to set up both openly communist and communist front resistance black market type organizations And infiltrate and take over non communist resistance black market organization..

    2 And learn who the leadership people were who would form the new governments after the Russians and Americans got rid of the Germans

    3 During the chaos of fighting kill off all anti and non communist leaders that could be found. Either killed by the Russian army or by the native communist resistance. The non and or anti communist future leadership were marked for death. Their addresses were known.

    The plans worked in Eastern Europe. By the time the Germans retreated and the Russians arrived the non communists were dead And the native communists, backed by Russian army seized E and Central Europe. All according to plan.

    Worked in E and Central Europe. Didn’t work in France because General de Gaulle’s spies in France spied on the native and Spanish communists as much as they spied in the Germans. And so were prepared for the communists.

    General Francisco Franco was the greatest man of the 20th century. Spain was the only country in the world that both thwarted a takeover by native communists and resisted and defeated an invasion by Russian and foreign communists.

    Indonesia managed to defeat a communist revolution. Finland managed to defeat an invasion by soviet Russia.

    But only the greatest hero of the 20 th century, the heroic General Franco and the Spanish Catholics managed to defeat a communist revolution and an invasion.

    Every other country from big and powerful China to tiny Cuba just rolled over to communists Only Spain defeated them and sent them scrambling home wherever home was. From Moscow to Brooklyn and the Bronx.

    OT hey Steve and other residents of Los Angeles. It is now against the law to repair bikes anywhere but on private property. Apparently some guys have been making extra money by repairing bikes on sidewalks verges and parks. And homeless guys who have no Private property repair their bikes wherever they can
    That’s now illegal, a misdemeanor ordinance.

    Rioting looting murder robbery smashing windows of stores and apartment houses all these crimes and the city outlaws bike repair except on private property. City, not county.

    As per usual in California , the poster advising about the new ordinance lists 3 non profit organizations that can defend anyone accused of Repairing bikes on public property. . One seems to be homeless advocacy.,I can see the point. Homeless need bikes to get around. And don’t have private property.

    Scientific American is now concerned about the protein in human urging getting into mother earth’s water supply. Not concerned about the urine itself. But about proteins in urine. Even the proteins in lentils and other beans. So it’s just not evil animal protein the satanic powers that be are worried about.

  190. AP says:
    @Gordo

    All the worst people in the West are supporting Ukraine

    Poland, the last truly conservative European country of some importance, strongly supports Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    , @Gordo
  191. anonymous[214] • Disclaimer says:

    Never relax

    • Replies: @BB753
  192. anonymous[214] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Putin is such a master strategist that he’s managed to de-Finlandize Finland, thus booting away one of the main successes of Soviet and even post-Soviet foreign policy.

    Putin is a better strategist than any American leader of the past 110 years. Those idiots have given their country away to mass invasion.

    • Agree: Bill Jones
    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  193. @Jack D

    Yeah like the new leadership in Iran was better than the Shah.

    Yeah, like how the US and UK overthrew democratically-elected Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953 and set the whole Iranian mess in motion.

    Shades of the Ukraine in 2014.

    You picked a perfect example.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Jack D
  194. @Steve Sailer

    IEA estimates Finland derives 68% of its natural gas supply from Russia. Like most of northern Europe the elfin, sauna-crazed Finns will have to ration energy this winter. I know what Scandinavian winters are like: dark and cold as a witch’s teat. But still, a small price to pay for protecting Ukraine’s borders — according to Zelensky.

    • Agree: Paul Mendez
  195. HA says:
    @Whereismyhandle

    “Uhhh, yes we have: they’ve had zero successful ounter-offensives precisely because that is their capability.”

    No, we haven’t. The key word is “had”. What they had before is not what they have now. The HIMARS finally started arriving a few weeks ago, and that was only the first batch. When they were losing land in Donbass throughout June, the artillery differential was “several times” and things were looking grim indeed. But already the Ukrainians claim their average death toll has dropped from 100-200/day to more like 30/day, and they claim the artillery differential (while still very much in Russia’s favor) is likewise a fraction of what it was. On the Russian comment threads, you occasionally run across the fringe conspiracy theory that Putin has been a bought-and-paid-for Western agent for years and that’s why he is allowing these weapons to come in. I don’t buy it, but as time goes on, more and more Russian loons will start to wonder. Putin fed those loons for years in order to set himself up as the sensible middle, but that may backfire bigtime.

    Will the HIMARS and other promised trinkets be enough? Maybe not — the Ukrainians say they will need “scores” of such weapons to retake Donbass and they won’t get that many, at least not yet. They’ve also got promises from Germany and elsewhere for more higher-tech toys, but it’s all very slow in coming, so I’m going to wait and see.

    But the point remains: the Ukrainian artillery capability is definitely on the upswing and Russia has done a surprisingly poor job of stopping that. Yes, Moscow still has lots of its arsenal to burn through, and they could (and well might) toss a dirty nuke or two on Kyiv, but that will likely bring NATO even closer to their frontlines. Milosevic was only able to bomb the Kosovo Albanians for so long — at some point NATO decided enough was enough, and nuking a civilian target seems right up there with whatever Milosevic did that broke the camel’s back. And if anything like that happens this time around, I suspect it will more than even out the artillery differential. The Putinoids will continue to thump their chests and claim that NATO wouldn’t ever dare, but I’m not sure Putin believes that or that he’s willing to take the risk.

    That being the case, Russia’s moves into torture/castration snuff films and ineptly bombing Ukrainian POW’s comes off as a tad desperate.

  196. mc23 says:
    @prosa123

    It certainly is immature and foolish to wish a nation fighting for survival to lose because they haven’t mobilized women to your satisfaction.
    I am quite sure that most fighting men of Ukraine would agree with me and are happy that their wives and children are in safer positions behind the lines and that women in direct combat are held to a minimum. If you are a man most men would despise you.
    In any event in a nation the size of Ukraine there’s a great need for non-combatants to perform vital and dangerous work behind the lines.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  197. HA says:
    @clifford brown

    “Putin ‘lost’ Finland[/Sweden], but has gained the support of whole world outside of American occupied Europe.”

    And I’ll tell you what I told Dave Pinsen, who also likes to pretend that this “whole world outside of America/Europe” who love Putin is some kind of gotcha on the West, as if the alt-right has suddenly accepted the notion that, really, all countries on this big blue marble are pretty much the same after all. Are they really?

    If not, then maybe you need to adjust that “whole world” comparison by also comparing the relative number of people in those Putin-loving countries who are desperately banging on the doors of American-occupied-Europe, vs. the number of people in America/Europe who are eager to change places with them and go in the reverse direction.

    Don’t look at Dave Pinsen to provide you with an example of that reverse flow — he has already admitted that as wonderfully “safe” as Moscow “seems” to be from the comfort of his armchair, he’s gonna have to stay put. Bummer. I’m guessing the same goes for you, too, and that as much as you evidently admire the viewpoints and opinions of the “whole world”, you’re gonna stick it out in that tiny little portion of it that Putin lost which is, oddly enough, the very same tiny portion that a billion people or more from the Putin-loving “whole world” would dearly love to cram into if they could. Weird how that works.

    That little inconsistency tells me a far different story than the one you’re spinning, it’s therefore one I’m actually willing to believe.

    • Replies: @clifford brown
  198. @Anon

    “…Getting it again so soon after a first infection is really bizarre. ..”

    Actually it is fairly common. It’s known as a relapse.

  199. @Dave Pinsen

    I wonder why the Russians haven’t tried to disable our spy satellites in geostationary orbit over the Ukraine

    IMHO, Putin is fighting the SMO with one hand tied behind his back. He has shown remarkable restraint, not just in the Ukraine, but worldwide for years.

    Most of the boots on the ground in the Ukraine are Putin’s B-Team (National Guard, LPR and DPR militia, Wagners, and assorted foreign fighters.) He’s not brought out his A-Team or his full cyber/EW capabilities. Nor has he waged unconditional economic warfare on Europe.

    Good thing for mankind I’m not Putin. After America gloated over helping Zelensky sink the Moscow and kill Russian generals, I’d have not only taken out our satellites but splashed a couple of AWACS and targeted any Pentagon and CIA personnel in Ukraine. Plus, I’d unleash every criminal hacker in Russia, China, North Korea and Iran on the West. And, I’d make Israel pay for bombing that airport in Syria.

    When Turkey shot down a Russian fighter in Syria a few years ago, I thought Putin was a pussy for not taking revenge. Today, Turkey is a valuable friend in the Ukrainian SMO. Putin plays chess. I play poker, badly.

  200. @Steve Sailer

    Yes: even Stalin made peace with the Finns in order to keep Axis troops away from the Kola Peninsula and Murmansk during WW2. Putin has managed to undo this long-standing Soviet/Russian strategic imperative.

  201. @SunBakedSuburb

    You’re onto something there, SBS. I’m sure some enterprising “filmmaker” is already working on the script of A Steppe Too Far. Tom Cruise is ( probably) too old to play the Zelensky role. Any suggestions ?

  202. @HA

    We are reaching levels of non sequiturs that should not even be possible.

    1. The “alt right” does not exist.
    2. You don’t have to “love Putin” to objectively analyze a conflict through realpolitik. It is what it is.
    3. Stating that most of the world is not on board with with America’s insane Zelensky crusade takes no position on the relative value of respective nations. This is simply a statement of objective literal fact, as determined by relative population and number of nations.
    4. The fact that people in the third world want to emigrate to the West is irrelevant as to determining whether supporting Ukraine is the appropriate foreign policy for the US. It is a non sequitur to the discussion. I opposed the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by the US military in the early 2000’s, does that mean I should have moved to Kabul or Baghdad because I thought those foreign policy adventures would not be in the best interest of the United States?

    Work on better arguments because this is all rather embarrassing.

    • Agree: Verymuchalive
    • Replies: @HA
  203. Ed says:
    @prosa123

    Have you bothered asking the women themselves if they want to go to the front lines? Can’t imagine it’s more than 1-2% of Ukrainian women of child bearing age.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  204. anonymous[222] • Disclaimer says:
    @BB753

    There is the federal reserve bank of New York. People can make up a pretext if they need to to justify their actions.

  205. Dnought says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Does that seem like a good idea to you?

    Sounds like a good way to destroy the world to me.

    • Agree: EddieSpaghetti
  206. @Professional Slav

    Good news: the Russians have invited the UN and the International Red Cross to investigate the strike on the prison. So if you’re right, they are about to be hoisted by their own MLRS.

    https://t.me/MFARussia/13172

    Alternatively, Russia has invited them to investigate because they’re confident an honest investigation would implicate the Ukrainians.

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
  207. After 50 years of being duped by war propaganda and uncertainty, at the beginning of this war I swore not to believe anything from either side, and not to waste my time trying to penetrate the fog of war. I do think that as a matter of fact one side is smarter than the other, and that one side is less evil than the other. But at the moment I have no idea which is which.
    .
    I did ask a friend immersed in military history who is winning. He said both sides are exhausted, each in a different way, and that the outcome is presently unpredictable.

    Another friend happens to be one of a few Americans deeply familiar with recent Ukrainian politics. He said it’s likely that Kherson will be the pivot. Whoever ends up with Kherson will dictate terms.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri, ic1000, ic1000
  208. @Dumbo

    Indeed.
    It’s strange that the two old californian boomers – Sailer and Victor Davis Hanson – both write well about everything except Ukraine.

  209. @anonymous

    Poll: Is there a 1 in 1,000 chance this year of a nuclear strike on New York?

    No, the odds are 1.43 in 1,000.

    I’m joking, but seriously, any answer to the question can be no more than a guess (or maybe a wish).

    There are too many variables, including “black swans,” for a meaningful calculation.

    But there is a chance, and whatever the odds are, I don’t like them. Irresponsibly boxing with Russia or China doesn’t improve the odds. Let’s cultivate our garden.

    • Agree: EddieSpaghetti
  210. Incidentally, the one Ukrainian fighter on Saturday’s UFC card had a rough night.

    The two Russians on the card (a Dagestani and an ethnic Russian both won). Here’s the Russian Russian,

    His opponent, Derrick Lewis, is (or was) a top heavyweight. He has the record for the most KO victories in the division. This is his third KO loss in a year though: in HBD fashion, he lost the first to a Frenchman of half Afro-Caribbean ancestry, and the second to an Australian of half-aborigine, half-Samoan ancestry. That good-humored Australian fighter, Tai Tuavasa, hosts a podcast called The Halfcast.

    • Replies: @Unit472
  211. @Paul Mendez

    I suspect Putin is wary of doing anything between now and November that might bail Biden’s party out at the ballot box by triggering vestigial jingoistic instincts of Republicans to rally around the commander-in-chief.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @Pixo
  212. Mr Mox says:
    @Paul Mendez

    When Turkey shot down a Russian fighter in Syria a few years ago, I thought Putin was a pussy for not taking revenge. Today, Turkey is a valuable friend in the Ukrainian SMO. Putin plays chess. I play poker, badly.

    Well putt!

    The ability to think ahead more than a couple of weeks is sorely lacking among our sanction-loving politicians. That is, if they actually think at all and are not just following the piper. The apparently unanimous decision among the US and the EU countries to rush ahead with the sanctions had me go hmm… Normally, in the EU, we will quarrel and bicker over each and every little decision, but not this time. Before you knew it, we all “stood with Ukraine” – the poster child of democracy.

    As a Danish politician once put it: “You have a standpoint till you take a new…”

  213. Anon[382] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    a half dozen Ammo dumps destroyed is hardly anything in the Strategic picture. Counter battery fire seems to have already wacked the HIMARS launchers, their US operators, and supply depots. A half dozen HIMARS is nothing but a PR exercise.

    Regarding Kiev‘s military;

    Kiev started out with 25 full on NATO trained, commanded, and integrated first line combat brigades. Maybe 8-12 of these brigades remain capable of defensive action. The others are either empty shells or gone from Kiev‘s OOB.

    NATO command kept these elite units in continuous combat for 100+ days. That’s a prescription for widespread breakdown, which is what we observed in Early July.

    The next level of Kiev‘s Ground forces are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level of reserve brigades. The first level are decent units but increasingly one notes these units are also only capable of fighting defensively. The 2nd and 3rd level reserves are mostly cannon fodder.

    The final level of Kiev‘s OOB are the Territorial Brigades – they are identified by their 3 digit designation (ie the 124th brigade). These are trained to perform simple rear echelon tasks. They are the grandpas one sees in Photos and videos. NATO has deployed these Volksturm into front line critical positions. There are Volksturm brigades deployed in every single critical area of the Theater. Check out any communique from the last couple of weeks – you’ll see many Volksturm units listed on the front lines.

    That’s a tell of a military in collapse.

    NATO likely has many thousands of ground forces involved in the fighting, but the non-Ukrainian NATO ground forces are also getting destroyed.

    On the other side – the DPR and LPR threadbare militias, despite being outnumbered 3:1 have beaten a full on NATO Army. The RF has had a modest role in fighting heretofore. Phase 3 is being set up now, rest and refit plus training for a few weeks, and then jump off. It’s anyone‘s guess as to the operational goals of phase 3.

    The war will run on past 2024 and escalate far beyond the little conflict in Ukraine.

  214. Daniel H says:
    @AP

    Poland, the last truly conservative European country of some importance, strongly supports Ukraine.

    Ha, ha. That’s your grandma’s Poland. Read Rod Dreher, from his sources and reports Poland is sliding down the slope of GloboHomo faster than Ireland was 10 years ago. In a few short years Poland will compete with Ireland as to the most woke country in Europe.

    • Replies: @BB753
    , @Art Deco
    , @cliff arroyo
  215. @HA

    HA wrote:

    [T]he Ukrainians… claim the artillery differential (while still very much in Russia’s favor) is likewise a fraction of what it was.

    Hey, lttle buddy! How you doin’?

    The Ukrainian regime has been lying from the get-go: the Ghost of Kiev, the martyrs, of Snake Island, etc.

    If they are willing to admit the artillery differential is “still very much in Russia’s favor,” that is an admission that Kiev knows it is in a lot of trouble.

    As you know I have argued from the beginning that Putin would have settled for an independent Donbass and Ukraine barred from NATO membership.

    I fear that may now be off the table: Moscow may want Odessa and feel that Russia has sacrificed enough to deserve it.

    HA also wrote:

    Yes, Moscow still has lots of its arsenal to burn through, and they could (and well might) toss a dirty nuke or two on Kyiv…

    No, Moscow needs someone in Kiev to sign the surrender papers.

    HA also wrote:

    On the Russian comment threads…

    Do you read Russian, HA? Are you one of those Russian expats who is hostile to your homeland?

    Honest questions — just wonderin’.

    • Replies: @HA
  216. @Bardon Kaldian

    Our old Russian hater Bardon Kaldian wrote:

    Putin’s argument was that NATO would install missiles in Ukraine & they could reach Russia in 8 minutes.

    Now, he got that missiles could possibly be installed in Finland & could reach Russia in 50 seconds.

    Putin’s not really worried about missiles hitting Moscow.

    A serious missile attack on Moscow means bye-bye Berlin, London, NYC, etc. in the next hour.

    And everyone knows it.

    Ukraine is a launching pad for a land invasion of Russia. Moscow cannot tolerate that.

    Finland, not so much. Kinda cold up there.

    Still… the Finns joining NATO is kinda a dangerous game to play: the Finns used to be smarter than that.

  217. Gordo says:
    @AP

    Poland, the last truly conservative European country of some importance, strongly supports Ukraine.

    Absolutely, every Pole I have met over many years has hated Russians, far more than they hated Germans.

  218. Unit472 says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Thanks for letting me know what you enjoy watching on TV. It kind of puts your opinions in perspective.

  219. Sean says:
    @Professional Slav

    The Ukrainians know what targets they have hit with HIMARS and so would know it was not their HIMARS strike that killed the POWs, and so the main value of the deaths for Russia (inhibiting the HIMARS strikes of high value Russian targets as too politically dangerous for Zelensky in case one resulted in the deaths of a hundred Ukrainian patriots) would be lost. I think the Russians tricked the Ukrainians into doing it, and so does CVR. My bet is there are Ukrainian POWs dispersed in many apparent Russian supply and command and control hubs now, and that will be a fast and dirty solution for the Russian’s HIMARS problem.

    suspect the Russians were infuriated by Zolkin Volodymyr hundreds of interviews with Russian prisoners in Ukraine, and Russia tricked Ukraine into killing their own men. On the other hand Ukraine is fibbing, and US surveillance capabilities would make moving that many POWs undetected into a warzone very difficult. Then again. this is gong to make the HIMARS strikes a risky option for Ukraine. Kind of subtle for Russians though. They have to do something smart eventually I suppose

    But for a bit more trouble than you say they went to, the Russians could trick Ukrainian intel into thinking there was a high value target inside the building , and thus draw a HIMARS strike on it. This would have an inestimable benefit for the entire Russian army of greatly reducing the HIMARS strikes in future, because of Ukrainian fear of making the same mistake/being tricked again. You think the Russians, who have been wracking their brains to find a counter to the HIMARS strikes are not capable of coming up with such a stratagem? It would have been militarily much better for Zelensky if Azov had fought to the bitter end in the steel plant tying up powerful Russian forces, but the political damage that can be inflicted on Zelensky by protest by the wives, girlfriends and mothers of the Azov POWs is immense. Zelensky won’t dare launch HIMARs strikes on a building that appears to be a high value Russian army target now in case it is another Russian set up to get Ukraine killing its own celebrated hero POWs in Russian captivity. Why would the Russians not prefer a deception operation to lure Ukraine into hitting the building as a stratagem to get get an end to the HIMARS strikes?. It was a deliberate strike on that building by Ukraine using HIMARS. Of course the Russians are going to break the rules to trick Ukraine in order to stop them blasting Russian command and supply hubs non stop.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
    , @Wokechoke
    , @Jack D
  220. @Corvinus

    Corvinus wrote to Gordo:

    [Gordo] “All the worst people in the West are supporting Ukraine, wiping out our wealth and soon will be starving us while they enrich tnemselves.”

    [Corvy] Who exactly these “worst people in the West”? What measures are they taking to make U.S. poor?

    People like you, Corvy. People who get money and power by using words to control and manipulate their fellow human beings. People who lack the inclination or the ability to produce goods or services that their fellow human beings will voluntarily pay for out of their own pockets.

    Verbal parasites.

    Corvy also wrote:

    Putin is an autocrat and oligarch.

    You mean, like Joe Biden, who was “elected” in violation of Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution?

    At least Putin is not obviously senile!

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  221. @Jack D

    I think Russian cars need better snow tires

  222. Sean says:
    @Unit472

    Much will depend on Germany. While they have not yet contributed much combat equipment to Ukraine they have promised to provide a lot more…next year.

    If Bush had listened to Merkle in 2008 none of this would have happened.

    • Replies: @Unit472
  223. @Intelligent Dasein

    Agree. Steve’s still gibbering about Russia’s failed attack on Kiev where Russia had 50 plus kilometer’s of armor parked on the road that were magically immune to attack from Ukrainian planes.
    That Putin believed ha could capture a city of 2 million people with about 50,000 troops beggars belief among the sane but not the consumers of US Media.

  224. @HA

    It’s hard to take anyone seriously who sincerely believes the Russians bombed a POW prison in their own territory, especially Azovstal Nazi holdouts whom have not yet testified about their crimes in the Donbas or about the regime itself.

    • Replies: @HA
  225. @Steve Sailer

    Imagine if Steve Sailer was on the side of his own people as much as he is for winning a spot for himself at the Establishment’s table.

    But sadly, Steve will throw his nation under the bus in hopes of getting a mention in the New York Times.

    Steve shows real passion for attacking Russia and for the stupid, destructive Covid Lockdowns. Yet destruction of his people is just another fact pattern.

  226. BB753 says:
    @anonymous

    If I had to guess that was two pimps beating up their ho’s. But I could be wrong. It’s getting harder to distinguish between ordinary women and prostitutes these days in dress and behavior.

  227. Art Deco says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Yeah, like how the US and UK overthrew democratically-elected Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953 and set the whole Iranian mess in motion.

    There is no such thing as an elected prime minister. There are elected legislators in parliamentary systems, but Mossadeq had prorogued the Iranian legislature and had no constitutional claim to the office. The head of state in Iran, as is common in parliamentary systems, did have the authority to dismiss the prime minister, which authority he exercised at the time.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  228. prosa123 says:
    @mc23

    Children, yes, but women are different. They are fully capable of fighting in combat.

  229. Did Steve Sailer fall for the Ghost of Kiev? And the Snake River con job? Steve hasn’t dared challenge all the lies coming out of our “intelligence” agencies and media about Ukraine, all of which is obvious war propaganda.

    Steve was playing dumb (to get donations?), but if he plays dumb long enough, he just becomes dumb. You can’t keep being wrong on every major issue, and maintain the mantle of a truth-teller, when the only truth you tell is obvious stuff about crime that everyone already knows.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  230. prosa123 says:
    @Ed

    Men don’t have a choice. Women shouldn’t either.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  231. Wokechoke says:
    @Sean

    The safest place for a Ukie at the moment is a Gulag in Siberia or Aldershot, Wiltshire Oblast in the UK. Ukie authorities don’t want their grunts to surrender and find safety. The Yid’s of Kiev want them rotating through British training camps instead. before the Russians kill the conscripts at the front.

  232. Art Deco says:
    @clifford brown

    but has gained the support of whole world outside of American occupied Europe.

    There are about 60,000 American troops in Europe. There are about 35,000 in Germany, about 12,000 in Italy, around 8,000 in Britain, about 3,000 in Spain, about 850 in Belgium, and about 700 in Roumania. That’s about enough to subdue the Ruhr metroplex, greater Turin, greater Leeds, Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, and a couple of small cities. If the troops were actually deployed that way in those places.

    • Replies: @BB753
  233. Wokechoke says:
    @Sean

    nah, Ukie’s who surrendered were safe. Now they are not so safe. This enables the Jew of Kiev and Boris Angliskyy (Johnson) to plan their offensive knowing that Ukies will be less inclined to surrender peacefully in tactical situations.

  234. Wokechoke says:
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Ukraine was a Private Military Contractor for NATO. That much is clear.

  235. bomag says:
    @anon

    Some argue that this war stems from general cultural softness and degeneracy.

  236. Corvinus says:
    @Paul Mendez

    “Good thing for mankind I’m not Putin. After America gloated over helping Zelensky sink the Moscow and kill Russian generals, I’d have not only taken out our satellites but splashed a couple of AWACS and targeted any Pentagon and CIA personnel in Ukraine. Plus, I’d unleash every criminal hacker in Russia, China, North Korea and Iran on the West. And, I’d make Israel pay for bombing that airport in Syria.”

    It’s one thing to play Internet cowboy. It another thing to be a leader of a country and actually make those types of decisions. But keep playing pretend do”if I was Putin” if it floats your boat.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
  237. Corvinus says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Putin has already done enough to warrant disdain from his own people and from the outside world and may already have tipped the scales anyways.

  238. BB753 says:
    @Art Deco

    60,000 combat troops? Or just military personnel?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  239. @Art Deco

    Mosaddegh was elected in 1951 by the Iranian majlis, their equivalent of a parliament.

    Your disingenuous reply does not negate the well-established fact that the US and UK removed Mosaddegh and overthrew the legitimate government of Iran in 1953 in reaction to the planned nationalization of Iranian oil — which the Iranian parliament had voted for almost unanimously.

    The head of state in Iran, as is common in parliamentary systems, did have the authority to dismiss the prime minister, which authority he exercised at the time.

    LOL. That’s a good one. And just who do you think arranged for him to do that? You know damn well who and you know what happened.

    • Thanks: Greta Handel
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Anonymous
  240. @mc23

    Though I wouldn’t put money on it, I don’t think that Russia would use battlefield nukes. Tho’ by definition smaller than their strategic cousins, TNWs can still do a whole lotta damage. And then there’s the inevitable result of radiation fallout, which would no doubt be widespread—and lethal.

    TNWs are still too dangerous and Russia wouldn’t want to take the chance of creating a mini-Chernobyl scenario. Then again, I wouldn’t bet on it.

  241. @Sean

    According to the former head of the Soviet Bioweapon program, Ken Alibek, they used a bioweapon (Tularaemia) to win The Battle of Stalingrad. It might be mentioned that Alibek has been in the news recently for insisting that the Soviets Union was developing monkeypox as a bioweapon

    It’s questionable whether Ken Alibek is much more than a huckster and opportunist. The Kazakh-born Alibek who “defected” to the US in 1992 (after the Soviet Union had already been dissolved) and has done well for himself as biodefense consultant/entrepreneur/etc. with some wacky entrepreneurial sidelines like promoting smallpox vaccines to increase resistance to HIV and marketing “Dr. Ken Alibek’s Immune System Support Formula,” a dietary supplement sold online.

    Reference Tularemia at Stalingrad, I think Alibek’s claim has been pretty convincingly refuted by, among others, Erhard Geissler:

    http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/spru/hsp/documents/Geissler.pdf

    • Replies: @Sean
  242. Jack D says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    You are getting pretty far afield here but in the tense Cold War atmosphere of the time, there was fear that Mosaddegh was going to take Iran Communist. Having even more of the world’s oil in Russian hands would not have been a good thing. Mosaddegh had aligned himself with the Communist Tudeh Party (who had tried to assassinate the Shah) and was trying to nationalize the oil industry.

    Mosaddegh was also doing all sorts of undemocratic things himself, so he didn’t have clean hands either. In places like Iran it’s really too much to expect that a democratic tradition will spring up overnight. The best you can hope for is to install a Western friendly right wing dictatorship and after some decades of stability and free market economics the country will grow richer and more educated and the dictatorship will transition to democracy. This has happened in many places – Spain, S. Korea, Taiwan, Chile, etc.

    I think that if the Shah had been able to rule for a few more years, it might have even worked in Iran. Tehran already had a modern, educated Western oriented middle class. In Iran’s case the problem was that the oil economy did not really fully develop the Iranian private sector to the point where the peasant masses could join the middle class so they remained rooted in ignorance and religious fanaticism. The fact that the rural baby boom that resulted from the introduction of things like basic sanitation and public health (smallpox vaccination, etc.) overwhelmed the urban middle class which had already made the demographic transition was a big factor.

    If you have a Left wing or Communist dictatorship or another type of theocracy (Communism is a type of religion where the Leader is worshipped as a god), there is almost no hope of a peaceful transition to democracy until that government falls – religious doctrine is such that the Church is supposed to reign forever.

    • Disagree: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Wokechoke
  243. Anonymous[135] • Disclaimer says:

    HIMARS, HIMARS, HIMARS… Jesus, folks! Don’t be suckered so much by propaganda. Ukraine has only 16 of them (15 if one believes Russians) over the frontline that is longer than 1000 km. And they have limited, and most definitely finite supply of rockets for them. However good and effective these systems are, they can’t possibly be a game changer in this war.

  244. @Jack D

    I was not defending the idea that post-soviet Russia might somehow transition from Putinism to republican democracy, which apparently the other commenter was positing.

    No. My idea is to leave well enough alone and stay out of other people’s business while we take care of ourselves here. I have no confidence or care that Russians or Iranians might somehow stumble into democracy.

    The people make a country what it is, just as they make a neighborhood what it is, and different people bring about different ways of running countries. We here know all this.

    The Ukraine is a mess that we don’t belong in any more than our forefathers belonged in Iran in 1953.

    Just as you say Mosaddegh aligned himself with communism, you could say the Ukrainian government was aligned with Putin until we overthrew it. Thus the two cases are analogous, which was my original reason for responding to you.

    As for the cold war being the reason for the coup d’état in Iran in 1953, that does not justify it any more than our cold war with Putin justifies what we did in the Ukraine. My opinion at least is that we mess things up in the long run when we interfere. It is not our place to do so, but hey, I understand that is how the real world works, so all of these words are pointless.

    Regarding modern, western-type people from Iran, I have known a few. Yes, even went out a few times with one and got to know her family. I asked her out because she was beautiful, and I had no idea where she was from. Fine people, professionals well integrated into American society.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
    • Thanks: Greta Handel
  245. Pixo says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Grain exporter killed by shelling in his home.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-invites-un-red-cross-experts-probe-ukraine-jail-deaths-2022-07-31/

    What’s your Putintard theory this was really Ukrainian fire? Are you going to tweet this?

  246. Unz Putin defenders before the war: It’s just a training exercise. You guys are obviously buying into Western propaganda if you think he will actually invade.

    Unz Putin defenders after the war started: He will take Kiev within weeks. You guys are obviously buying into Western propaganda if you think they have any chance against the Russian military.

    Unz Putin defenders now: A counter-offensive isn’t possible because…….

    But keep defending this pint sized dictator who doesn’t support free speech or an open internet. Quite ironic that so many posters at a free speech bastion would cheer a dictator who would ban this website. I guess Russians don’t deserve an open internet. Only Putin defenders outside the country can have that freedom. If Pelosi were to suggest censoring this website there would be outrage but if Putin does it to a Russian free speech website then that’s ok. Makes sense.

    Well the White man’s internet isn’t going anywhere and small penis dictators like Putin will just have to deal with it.

  247. Pixo says:
    @Paul Mendez

    “ Putin couldn’t know unless he tried.”

    Yes, he inseee tried, and the result was a humiliating failure that permanently crippled the military of a browning and depopulating Russia.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
  248. Jack D says:
    @Sean

    Your story at least makes some modicum of sense (if you don’t worry about the details – see below) but of course using POWs as human shields violated the Geneva Conventions. It’s funny that when you try to portray the Russians in the best light, they are STILL war criminals.

    Here is another version circulating that would at least not make the Russian government war criminals (and which would be in keeping with Russian standards of morality). According to this version, Wagner Group orchestrated the explosion to conceal the embezzlement of funds allocated for the maintenance of Ukrainian POWs before an official inspection on September 1. The Russians have been participating in prisoner exchanges so the Ukrainian prisoners had some value to them (but not to Wagner). I doubt that it is true either, but it makes some sense given how things work in Russia (and even more in the “republics” where crime is the normal way of doing business).

    The details are that Olenivka is well within conventional artillery range for Ukraine so they wouldn’t have used valuable Himars which they are trying to conserve for targets out of reach of their conventional artillery.

    2nd the building that was destroyed was right in the middle of a prison complex. The Russians are not in the habit of holding military staff meetings in prison barracks. Even if the Russians planted disinformation that Putin was going to meet with Shoigu there, the Ukrainians would have been skeptical about shelling a building right in the middle of a prison/POW camp. If the Pentagon leaked information that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were going to meet on Riker’s Island, would you believe it?

    As for Russia inviting the Red Cross, they say that they have but in reality they are foot dragging and haven’t actually let them in yet. Presumably they are working furiously to clean up the evidence and plant other evidence that points to Ukraine. Either that or they are going to give the ICRC access to the surviving prisoners but not to the blast site.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
    , @Sean
  249. @Steve Sailer

    Btw, the real problems and decisions for the Russians begins after they take the Dobas, which they will.

    They don’t want another Afghanistan. A never-ending insurgency in Ukraine would be a disaster. They know that.

    But leaving an extremely hostile Ukraine in tact, a country that will be trained and supplied by NATO, isn’t great either.

    The hard part for the Russians is yet to come.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  250. Wokechoke says:
    @John Johnson

    The British MOD published a ludicriuos map that showed the Russians sweeping through to Lwow/Lemberg/Lvov/Lviv and on to Berlin!

    I never thought the Russians capable of that. Look at the trouble clearing the Donbass has become. The MOD in Britain was drawing those big RED Arrows.

    https://nypost.com/2022/02/17/uk-outlines-putins-possible-axis-of-invasion-of-ukraine/

    I though the number of forces quoted 150,000 or 100 BTG would struggle to occupy the open country Ukraine East of the Dneiper. Expected no more than a Thunder Run in the north if that.

  251. Wokechoke says:
    @Jack D

    It’s a Prison camp though.

    The Ukies targeted the building knowing it was in a prison camp.

    Such are the costs of using HIMARS. It’s not going to be warehouses full of Ammo or Russian general officers every time you hit a building.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  252. Wokechoke says:
    @Jack D

    Or Shell Oil and British Petroleum just wanted him gone.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
  253. @Steve Sailer

    Losing Finland gives NATO a greater probability of direct land warfare with Russia. NATO is fooling itself if they think they stand a chance in land warfare with a peer military force. NATO could only destabilise Libya, and in Affy all they could do was send armoured convoys for a daylight drive around its neighbourhoods before retreating to their fortified camps.

    The only advantage NATO and the West have is roughly a five to one ratio of total population; considering the shape of its Millenials and Z’s, the West might only have parity in fighting-aged population, and even fewer who might actually be up to actual fighting. Can you picture the average safe-space seeking youth of the West under hours of continuous bombardment? We don’t have enough support animals in the whole of the West to get our forces through to Moscow.

    I joked in these pages several times that the first point of order for an EU Army, composed largely of the Germans and France, would be to declare war on Russia and surrender not long after. I didn’t realise at the time that the US and UK would join the party.

    As for Finland and much of the rest of the EU, they can’t even control their imported migrant population… it will be interesting to see how that works out. I suspect a lot of Western arms that disappeared in Ukraine will show up in Finland and Sweden and other parts of Western Europe in the hands of the denizens of their no-go zones growing increasingly pissed off at sitting in cold dark slums with little food. They came for the welfare, they stay for the pillage. It’s what happens when you invite the barbarians inside the gates.

    I’m sure Vlad has the popcorn popped and is ready to sit back and watch his adversaries melt down on their own without a single Khinzal having to go beyond Lyviv.

  254. @PhysicistDave

    PhysicistDave wrote:

    Still… the Finns joining NATO is kinda a dangerous game to play: the Finns used to be smarter than that.

    It is truly incredible that the Finns would intentionally put themselves on Russia’s list of nuclear targets. And if the Finns want to join NATO, why do it now? The world is currently at the highest risk for a disastrous nuclear exchange since 1962. So why target yourself at the very time that targets are most likely to be hit? If you really want to join NATO, why not wait until after, hopefully, the Ukraine crisis has been rectified without a disastrous nuclear war.

  255. I haven’t read the thread yet, I guessed that a search for “Jack D says” would get at least six hits guaranteed and more likely 10.

    Not bad, 12 comments out of 204.

    Life is too short to worry about the mention count for “fanboys”, “HIMARS” and “Putin”.

    Fair play to Steve, he talks about “Russia” – at some point well before this war – perhaps when he first started defenestrating oligarchs? – it was decided at a high level to personalise “Russia” into “Putin”.

    If you think about it, the same applies in politics. No one is willing to say they hate white American voters, “they” just hate anyone who embodies the possibility of mobilising them in their own interests as white Americans.

    Now I can read the thread.

  256. We haven’t seen a lot of brilliant stratagems in this war yet. That may have less to do with the inadequacies of the leadership than with technological evolution of surveillance leading to an era in which battles turn into tests of strength that both sides can see coming a long way off.

    I don’t believe that at all. Neither Putin nor Zelensky are military strategists. After WW1 it was believed that European wars would always lead to trench stalemates. Military strategists have to be creative and think outside of existing technologies and assumptions.

    Putin started this war like it is 1939 and NLAWs don’t exist. He also made a huge mistake in assuming the Ukrainian military would stand down.

    Zelensky has played a safe defensive war which just leads to a war of attrition. He has also made some mistakes like letting his best fighters get encircled in that steel plant.

    Ukraine is using the HIMARs effectively but they need to take the offensive. The Tet offensive had a major psychological effect on US leadership. The battle numbers actually favored the US but the fact that the Vietcong were able to launch an offensive was used as propaganda for both North Vietnam and anti-war activists. It undermines the confidence of the enemy to make him feel that he is not in control of the war.

    Most people aren’t numbers based and readily buy into any attack as significant. We saw this in Afghanistan where US casualties were actually extremely low in the last years but any goat herder led attack was depicted in US television as evidence we were losing. Afghanistan was actually safer for our troops than Chicago.

  257. @Dave Pinsen

    I wonder why the Russians haven’t tried to disable our spy satellites in geostationary orbit over the Ukraine.

    Because there aren’t any.

  258. Unit472 says:
    @Sean

    No way to really know. 2008 was a long time ago and Merkle was not much of a sage.

    The balance of power has shifted away from Europe to the Pacific littoral since then. Whomever prevails in Ukraine will not matter there. What has been exposed is Russia’s fundamental weakness. Germany overran Western Europe in less time than Putin has failed to push the Ukrainian army out of the Donbass.

  259. @PiltdownMan

    Meanwhile in Germany there’s no hot water available in any public buildings (I assume hospitals get a pass), and famous landmarks are no longer floodlit.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/28/german-cities-impose-cold-showers-and-turn-off-fountains-in-face-of-russian-gas-crisis

    In Berlin, the German capital, about 200 historic monuments and municipal buildings were shrouded in darkness on Wednesday night as the city switched off spotlights to save electricity. Monuments previously lit up at night include the Victory Column in Tiergarten park, the Memorial Church on Breitscheidplatz and the Jewish Museum.

    “In the face of the war against Ukraine and Russia’s energy threats it is vital that we handle our energy as carefully as possible,” said Berlin’s senator for the environment, Bettina Jarasch.

  260. HA says:
    @clifford brown

    “Stating that most of the world is not on board with with America’s insane Zelensky crusade takes no position on the relative value of respective nations.”

    Sure it doesn’t. It’s just a total random coincidence that Putin-hating countries just happen to be the exact same countries that those in Putin-loving countries want to emigrate to. You could get Stevie Wonder to throw darts onto a spinning globe and you’d wind up with pretty much the exact same distribution.

    Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.

    “You don’t have to “love Putin” to objectively analyze a conflict through realpolitik.”

    Oh, but in your case, loving Putin obviously helps. And if your politik was better at matching up with the real world, it wouldn’t be plagued by glaring inconsistencies like the kind I just noted. It’s weird how all these self professed real-politik aficionados keep having so much trouble in this conflict getting both sides of the hyphen to align. They likewise keep keep yammering about NATO enlargement without bothering to note that were it not for Putin swiping chunks of Ukraine no one in Finland, Sweden or Ukraine would even be trying to get in.

    • Replies: @Sean
  261. Sean says:
    @Jack D

    Your story at least makes some modicum of sense (if you don’t worry about the details – see below) but of course using POWs as human shields violated the Geneva Conventions. It’s funny that when you try to portray the Russians in the best light, they are STILL war criminals.

    Maybe my comment was too convoluted. I do not think the Russians were using the Ukrainian POWs as human shields, I think they deliberately made the Ukrainian and US intel think that the building housing POWs was some kind of command and control or supply hub. The Ukrainians will be loath to risk a repeat so the Russians rear area buildings will be smuch safer.

    Prisoners are hard to come by and extremely valuable in a military and political sense. It beggars belief that in such a procedural and hidebound organisation as the Russian army would mount such a complex time consuming operation to liquidate their valuable bargaining chips for exchanged obtained at huge cost in Russian lives. Ukrainian soldiers in Russian custody could also make genuine confessions of rape and murder of ethnic Russians noncombatants. If you watch and listen officialdom in the West is not expressing an opinion as to who did it,this is tacitly accepting that Ukraine committed this attack I am just suggesting they were tricked into it . But Ukraine is fibbing about this, everyone knows.

    I would not be so quick to assume any confessions those POWs were making would have been ‘false’. There are hundreds of thousands of ethnic Russian Ukrainian refugees in Russia since 2015, and if you had went there talked to them in person you would discover that they all have horror stories, many about Azov. Anyone who joined a outfit like Azov knew they were not enlising in any boy scout group, or were attracted to it by the prospect of a long and happy retirement with veteran’s benefits. Azov did not get advanced American weapons, because of their unsavory reputation, which partly explains how they came to be captured. Anyway, what the Ukrainians are saying is that the Russians actually fired the missile, and the Ukrainians are fibbing about that. I like true crime ECT, and from having got into several extremely complex cases obsessive detail I think I have pretty good instincts about the way things go down in real life. Anyway CVR is more or less saying it was the Ukrainians, so I am not alone. I think it was a Russian ploy that tricked the Ukrainians into the HIMARS strike on their own people in Russian captivity, but Ukraine telling porkies about not having hit the building so they are playing into the Russian’s hands

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  262. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “If they are willing to admit the artillery differential is ‘still very much in Russia’s favor,’ that is an admission that Kiev knows it is in a lot of trouble.”

    Ya think? You honestly thought that when Zelensky was screaming all these months about how his country needed weapons yesterday that he always followed it up with “but actually, it’s cool either way because we’re not in any trouble whatsoever, really, we’re doing fine.” Your analytical skills are weak, PhysicistDave, just like your pathetic inability to learn a new language and how to enroll your daughter in a Chinese university, those two insurmountable obstacles that you told us were the only thing preventing you from leaving this hellhole you call the West and skipping off to Beijing with all the other hordes and hordes of Americans who no doubt are dying to do the same.

    The fact that the Ukrainians are honest enough to admit that they’re taking huge hits puts them a sight above the Putin trolls. With regard to the latter, you have to use a little “dog that didn’t bark” analysis to realize those weapons coming in are a matter of some concern, as is Putin’s puzzling inability or unwillingness to do anything about them. And now the Ukrainians are going so far as to announce their offensive on Kherson. It’s almost as if they have a man or two on the inside, and the fix is in, though as Putin has learned, believing that the spies and traitors that have been bribed to do your bidding will actually follow through can backfire, as it did for him. But either way, there’s no question they’re in trouble. That’s why those weapons need to keep rolling, and Putin needs to keep not doing anything about them.

    “No, Moscow needs someone in Kiev to sign the surrender papers.”

    Let’s remember that the next time some useful idiot, be it PhysicistDave or some other coward who whines about the West while spinning one lame excuse after another about how he can’t quit it just yet: when they tell us us the “killing must stop” by way of a “negotiation”, this is really what they’re talking about. There is no negotiation and never was. It was always ultimatums and hey, when are you people going to sign these surrender papers?

  263. @prosa123

    “Men don’t have a choice. Women shouldn’t either.”

    Draft childless women over 30 and watch fertility increase!

    The ancient deal was that the men would fight to protect their women and children at home. If there aren’t any children, the deal is off.

  264. Sean says:
    @HA

    And if your politik was better at matching the real world, it wouldn’t be plagues by those glaring inconsistencies I just noted. It’s weird how all these self professed real-politik aficionados keep having so much trouble getting both sides of that hyphen to align. It’s like when you keep keep yammering about NATO enlargement

    Enlarging into a country that happened to be the one where Russia would be most likely to go war to prevent the enlarging, and would have all sorts of short lines of communication advantages in the fighting, and would be loath to quit before exhausting its gigantic stocks of artillery ammunition and mothballed howitzers.

    NATO enlargement without bothering to note that were it not for Putin swiping chunks of Ukraine no one in Finland, Sweden or Ukraine would even be trying to get in.

    Yes, Ukraine applied to join Nato (put it in Ukraine’s constitution that it would) as a way of deterring a Russian invasion.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @HA
  265. @PhysicistDave

    Yep. People keep yapping about Finland. NATO would never launch a conventional attack via Finland. Ukraine sits dead in the middle of the European Plain. That’s the traditional invasion route into Russia.

    Now, we could argue that NATO doesn’t want to invade Russia at this time, but that’s not the point. The threat is enough. (Btw, if people think that Russian is paranoid, what about the United States? We have oceans on either side of us and friendly countries throughout the Western Hemisphere.)

    In just a few months, the Finns and the Swiss have destroyed the trust that their ancestors took hundreds of years to build. Sadly, this is all too common for modern whites.

  266. @Bardon Kaldian

    Bardon Kaldian wrote:

    Putin’s argument was that NATO would install missiles in Ukraine & they could reach Russia in 8 minutes.

    Now, he got that missiles could possibly be installed in Finland & could reach Russia in 50 seconds.

    This is not a joke. Indeed, this is deadly serious. The fact of the matter is that the biggest threat to this world is not some intentional nuclear sneak attack igniting a WWIII nuclear armageddon. Instead, the world’s biggest threat is that WWIII starts because nuclear weapons are launched by “accident.”

    The “accident” could be the result of many things. In particular, the accident could be due to some electronic equipment failure that results in a false indication of a nuclear attack on a radar screen in Russia, America or China. In fact, we know that this has already happened in Russia and America. Fortunately, in each case the Russians and Americans had enough time to conclude that the indications of an attack were false. As I recall, in Russia’s case, the Russian most involved said that he thought that the indications of attack were false because his radar screen showed only a few missiles, and who would start a nuclear attack with only a few missiles? Apparently, many of us owe our lives to that Russian soldier’s logic.

    Given that the most likely cause of a nuclear armageddon is an accident, our policy of heightening tensions and reducing viable response times by surrounding our adversaries with nuclear capable missile batteries is INSANE. Our goal should be to reduce tensions. Indeed, our ultimate goal should be to reduce tensions to such a degree that Russia, America and China would all be able to reduce the threat of accidental nuclear war by taking all of their nuclear weapons off of hair-trigger alert. Perhaps that is not even possible, but our foreign policy should view that as the main objective. In any case, America’s foreign policy should not be what it is.

  267. Wokechoke says:
    @Sean

    The main difference between confirmed HIMARS strikes in Afghanistan and the Bridge or indeed this prison building is the Warhead.

    The M270A1 IAC is fitted with two pods of six tube launchers while the M142 HIMARS has one single pod with six launcher tubes. In this configuration, both vehicles are able to fire different types of rockets including the M26 / M26A2Er Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM), M30 GMLRS DPICM, M31 / M31A1 / m31A2 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U), M30A1 / M30A2 GMLRS Alternative Warhead (GMLRS AW), XM404 /XM403 ER GMLRS RS Unitary and the M28A1 / M28A2 Low Cost Reduced Range Practice Rocket (LCRRPR).

    The M270A1 IAC and the M142 HIMARS are also able to fire missiles, in this configuration, the M270 can carry two missiles while the M142 only one. Both are able to fire ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) including a full family of surface-to-surface missiles as the MGM-140A Block 1 previously M39 that contains 950 M74 anti-personnel/anti-materiel (APAM) sub-munitions (4.275 kg) with a range of 80 130 km.

    Both Damage reports fit. HIMARS clean up inconvenient radicals as well as anything else.

    • Replies: @Sean
  268. @John Johnson

    Once again, you scrape up a composite straw man to refute — unconvincingly, except perhaps to yourself and those already rooting/shilling for Uncle Sam. The adolescent disparagement (“small penis dictators like Putin”) of his currently targeted boogeyman isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, either.

    Pick out an actual comment and argue like an adult if you have a point to make. And don’t be scared — the copium denmother will Whim anybody that’s too tough on you.

    {#240}

  269. @HA

    Why do you care about either side in this war?

    The Russian are no threat to the United States – either militarily or economically. The Ukrainians don’t matter to us either.

    Why are you so emotionally involved? I’m guessing that it’s an ethnic grudge, because, otherwise, there’s no reason.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @prosa123
    , @HA
    , @Boethiuss
    , @Jack D
  270. ic1000 says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Anyone who relies on a social commentary/HBD/science blog for big picture insight into the Ukraine-Russia war is an idiot.

    It’s work even to glean a few small insights.

    Whatever happens, German households and industry are in for a rough winter, made much worse by US policy (evil or stupid?) and German leadership (evil or stupid?).

  271. prosa123 says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Normally I wouldn’t care less, but I hate Ukraine solely because they let women avoid combat while men (as always) have to do the dirty work. THE INFANTILZATION OF WOMEN MUST END!
    And all of you “Men” of Unz who disagree, get out of my life forever, losers.

  272. HA says:

    “It beggars belief that in such a procedural and hidebound organisation as the Russian army would mount such a complex time consuming operation to liquidate their valuable bargaining chips for exchanged obtained at huge cost in Russian lives.”

    Huge cost in Russian lives, you say? Even Peter Frost said that the casualty toll on the Russian side amounted to eight injuries. You think old Mr. Meatgrinder Putin is unwilling to lose eight prison wardens? If so, I have a 1999-era Moscow apartment building I might be able to sell you. The cost of that in Russian lives was considerable, and far more than 8 coffins, but as long as it helped get Putin elected, it was worth it.

    And as of a few weeks ago, Russia claimed they had six thousand POW’s I think the Ukrainian figure was considerably less than half that, though it fluctuates. You think that murdering those Azov POW’s is going to put a serious dent in that differential?

    Talk about beggared belief. That’s a good summary of what you’ve got going.

    • Replies: @Sean
  273. Sean says:
    @Wokechoke

    America and Ukraine refuse to say how many MLRS are in or on their way to Ukraine. Ditto how much ammunition for them. It is prolly more than thought; Russia desperately needed to do something.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  274. Jack D says:
    @Wokechoke

    The Ukies targeted the building knowing it was in a prison camp.

    You know this how?

  275. BB753 says:
    @Daniel H

    What’s the current definition of a conservative culture? Sadly, merely not totally woke, full-on SJW, progressive dystopian, LGBTQ- obsessed. Forget traditional, forget Christian, forget no divorce or no abortion.
    By that definition, Hungary comes close. But joining the EU means near total destruction of any society by globo-homo in less than 20 years. Even faster than allowing the UN and NGO’s to dictate your policies.

  276. Fun de-mining!

    Apparently the “PFM-1 anti personnel mine.”

    https://www.forgottenhistory.me/new-blog/soviet-child-mines

  277. Jack D says:
    @Sean

    Sure, killing a bunch of prisoners is surely going to stop HIMARs. Of course they didn’t say how many. Should they also post the coordinates on Facebook?

    The pretzel logic of the Putinists knows no bounds. The Occam’s Razor explanation is that these men died in Russian custody (but miraculously no Russians) and therefore Russia is responsible until absolutely proven otherwise. DNR is just another name for Russia. DNR does not take a piss without Putin’s permission.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  278. anon[308] • Disclaimer says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Finland gets a US nuclear umbrella for free. Which I suppose seems like a deal. For now.

    Finland was already a NATO “Partner” and they think they can dial their participation up or down as warranted.

    As long as Finland and Sweden don’t start arming up, they are in roughly the same position.

  279. Boethiuss says:
    @AnotherDad

    Orban is actually doing nationalism. Explicitly working for the benefit of Hungarians and the future of their nation. (Obviously he’s a politician and is working to for his own power, status, reputation as well. But generally doing a good job–especially given the shit from the EU goons.)

    Putin is an imperialist. Just a different kind of imperialist than the globohomo imperialists. (The blundering 19th century kind that dragged Europe into the Great War.)

    Yes, exactly. This is an excellent point.

    And especially topical for the alt-Right dupes in the unz comment section, it’s the imperialism that counts. Putin has at times, before and since the invasion, made tactical propaganda noises about mass European migrations, transgenderism, globohomo, whatever. But he has never taken any meaningful actions about any of them, that was never the point. He’s just trying to keep some unz commenter useful idiots onside.

    What counts is the Russian imperialism, always.

  280. @Paul Mendez

    “BTG has instructions for new way of ‘encirclement’ – complete circle on 3 sides, leaving path for retreat. Has benefit of reducing loss of life. This is truth of how Russian units crush Ukrainians and take Popasna”

    Clown on bro – it’s not transparent, not at all

  281. Boethiuss says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    No one’s asking him to defend an American senator and army officer/former presidential candidate, but he ought to show some modicum of respect for America and its public servants, particularly when he’s begging for endless billions of dollars from us.

    Yeah, in an ideal world he probably should. But we’re not in an ideal world, and in this world he’s got other fish to fry, like I said.

    And he probably also knows, that whatever billions he gets from America, he’s not getting from Rand Paul and Tulsi Gabbard.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  282. @Sean

    Yes, Ukraine applied to join Nato (put it in Ukraine’s constitution that it would) as a way of deterring a Russian invasion.

    Ukraine never applied for NATO nor did they qualify. NATO in fact stated they weren’t invited and don’t have the support from France or Germany:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17767225/ukraine-nato-explained/

    Try to read outside the Unz Putin Defense squad.

    Putin doesn’t even use the NATO excuse anymore. He now claims Donbass was the reason for the war which contradicts his first speech. Outside Russia we have something called a free internet which keeps a record of his bulls–t.

    He is just a bitter old man playing wargames. That is why his explanations for the war keep changing.

    The fake White nationalists here think he is on their side when he sends in Muslims to kill Whites. But the fake White nationalists and incels hate the establishment so much that they will cheer a mass murdering dictator who wear height enhancing shoes. They are fake because anyone that supports Whites to any degree would not be cheering as White women and children are killed from Putin’s air strikes.

    Putin is a loser and was never a KGB agent. He worked in a cubicle for the KGB.

    • Replies: @Sean
  283. HA says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Why are you so emotionally involved? I’m guessing that it’s an ethnic grudge, because, otherwise, there’s no reason.

    Why are you so concerned about my so-called emotional involvement? What’s it to you? And if you’re too lazy or inept to just click that ignore button, why on earth would you expect me or anyone else to care?

    And I’ve been saying since Crimea that if Moscow had been able to secure a Lukashenko kind of arrangement with Ukraine, they could have taken it all, from Kharkiv to Lvov. It could have all been theirs, and I would have had to admit they stole it fair and square. If you look through my comment history you’ll eventually find a comment where I ask Karlin exactly that — hey, why Putin doesn’t just keep trying to subvert the entire country (since he came so close with Yanukovych and since Ukrainians keep going through a color revolution with just about every election cycle), and Karlin was conspicuously unwilling to answer me. So if I were Ukrainian or Polish or someone with a bitter ethnic grudge, as you suspect, that would likely not be my position. People like that have some vested interest in keeping Ukraine independent and free whereas all I care about is that they find a way to live with the Russians (be it together or apart) that doesn’t involve tanks or bombs. In other words, go find a better theory — ethnic grudge doesn’t quite cut it.

    As for other reasons why I’m invested, there’s also 1) I’m not a backstabbing sellout to Putin; 2) if Putin is allowed to keep going then, as happened with WWI and WWII, this will inevitably turn into a situation that puts American kids on some other Normandy beach; 3) I actually visited Ukraine and saw some of these places that are now headlines, and I tend to get really annoyed when places in which I spent a reasonably pleasant time start getting bombed to smithereens. I’m just weird that way. Or else, come to think of it, maybe it’s the people here who have no problem with Russians blowing things to smithereens who are the real weirdoes. Right now, I’m leaning towards that latter alternative, but either way, there’s some additional grist to add to whatever conspiracy theory you want to cook up to replace the one regarding my so-called emotional involvement which really doesn’t hold that much water.

    Oh yeah, and then there’s the part where Ukraine actually gave up its nukes, which helped the world breathe a little easier during what must have been a very precarious time. As I see it, they did the world a solid, and the world now needs to step up and repay that debt by compensating for what they gave up. The fact that the US co-signed on that agreement whereby Ukraine lost its nukes but instead got assurances of territorial integrity means we specifically have a debt we owe in this situation. If the Chinese or the Russians bail on their word, well, that’s no them. Again, and I know this is going to sound bizarre to many of you realpolitik psychopaths, agreements are, to me, more than just “scraps of paper”, despite what people like von Bethmann-Hollweg will tell you, and violating them is really where fascism starts. That’s way more of an answer than you deserve. If you don’t like it, there’s always that ignore button assuming you’re not too lazy or entitled to click it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  284. Sean says:
    @HA

    The Russian army is extremely procedural, as when they kept sending, again and again and again valuable assets such as attack helicopters and even electronics warfare HQ complete with the army’s top EW general to an airfield which the Ukrainians were zeroed in on and repeatedly hit, destroying the aforementioned assets with monotonous regularity. The Russians follow orders, not matter how stupid and that cannot be underestimated. There is no way that any Russian POW installation would would dare kill POWs they were entrusted with keeping alive. even if prisoners were not a priceless hard won asset for putting pressure on Zelensky and many other purposes including propaganda.

    You mentioned Peter Frost.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/on-frosts-russia-article/

    I wasn’t surprised to see Ukrainian refugees in a big city like Voronezh, but it was surprising to see so many in remote farming villages. And each refugee family had a horror story to tell. It’s one thing to hear these stories from professional journalists; it’s another to hear them from ordinary people who aren’t being paid to say what they say.

    I dare say many of those horror stories were about Azov, which would be excellent propaganda for show trials. The prisoners are valuable to Russia if it puts on an act of treating them well, and counterpose the ordinary folk of the area terrorized by Azov being shown expressing outrage

    This is PR gold for Putin, who would commend the propaganda being on Russian TV which is super important to him. However the HIMARS and perhaps even more the MLRS systems have been more and more knocking seven bells out of Russian military infrastructure in Ukraine. A deception/ human shield operation would largely nullify the Ukrainians’ targeting of building thought to be command and control. Only such a big pay off would justify using prisoners. I would point out that the POW incident is extremely timely for the Russians because the HIMARS strikes on them are reaching a crescendo with every sign of increasing in future. However the POW operation would not work if it was a false flag because he Ukrainians would know they were not responsible. Hard to believe that Russian military intelligence could dupe the surveillance capabilities of Ukraine and the US, but that is what seems to have happened.

    • Replies: @HA
  285. Art Deco says:
    @Daniel H

    Why would anyone take Dreher seriously?

    • Agree: Russ
    • Replies: @vinteuil
  286. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Yes, Ukraine applied to join Nato (put it in Ukraine’s constitution that it would) as a way of deterring a Russian invasion.”

    Well, yeah. Just like Finland and Sweden are now doing. To the extent it’s not working out for them (though at this point, it’s better than being in Putin’s grubby fingers, according to the Ukrainian polls) it’s because they didn’t apply early enough. Alas, that push to join NATO all happened post-Crimea. Before then, if you track through footnotes 13-19 in the following article you’ll see for yourself the truth of how “According to polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public support of NATO membership remained low.” We’re talking “yes-to-NATO” polling at 20% or below, and always being outmatched by the “no-to-NATO” vote.

    It was Putin that turned all that around, not Nuland or Stoltenberg. You say Putin doesn’t like Ukraine in NATO? Fine. Get some Russian babushka to bake up an extra tasty batch of pastries, better than the ones that Nuland passed around. To the extent he met with an obstacle, he could have tried, and tried, and tried again, just like she did (specifically, she had to sit out 4 whole years during Trump’s presidency). And whatever she did to help Soros bankroll his rainbow drag-queen agenda, or whatever that was, then do that, too — it’s nothing like the money that Putin’s buddies were willing to shell out to support their guy. In other words, Putin had opportunity after opportunity to outdo Nuland at her own game, without a single shot getting fired. He had more time, he had more money, more spies, he had access to better pastries. He could have had ALL of Ukraine with no sanctions, and no bloodshed. Instead, despite the Budapest Memorandum that Russia agreed to, he decided tanks were the way to go. So spare me the pretense that NATO aggression was behind this or that Putin had no other option.

  287. Art Deco says:
    @BB753

    Uniformed personnel in sum.

  288. Art Deco says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Your disingenuous reply does not negate the well-established fact

    Again, he had no claim to the office and his dismissal was perfectly regular. The notion that the CIA ever had the talent to pull off what’s been dubbed ‘operation ajax’ is difficult to swallow.

    You shnooks don’t have to side with the enemy in every conflict. Have some critical distance.

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
    , @vinteuil
  289. Anonymous[189] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    No, the nationalization happened earlier, in 1951.

    Like many people in the spring of 1951, Mossadegh though the British and Americans were heading for defeat in Korea, and that there would be no consequences for cutting off their oil.

  290. HA says:
    @Sean

    I wasn’t surprised to see Ukrainian refugees in a big city like Voronezh, but it was surprising to see so many in remote farming villages. And each refugee family had a horror story to tell. It’s one thing to hear these stories from professional journalists; it’s another to hear them from ordinary people who aren’t being paid to say what they say.

    It’s another to have an actual breakdown of how their refugee horror stories match up with all the ones who fled Donbass over those years, who somehow didn’t make it onto the list of people that Frost spoke to. And we have Peter Frost’s assurances that these were “ordinary people who aren’t being paid to say what they say.” What an odd thing to say by someone who is so obvious a Russian troll. And I’m not saying that Peter Frost is getting paid outright. Maybe it’s more about the kompromat he racked up while he lived in Russia, either by doing the kind of thing that other Russia trolls like Mark Ames and Scott Ritter are notorious for, or maybe he has some other kind of proclivity whose digital record is kept in a Kremlin database. Maybe it’s just veiled threats about what will happen to people he might still care about if he doesn’t play along. Who knows? But spare me the pretenses of impartiality at this point or genuine concern over “horror”.

    Indeed, according to the OSCE, a months-long analysis indicated that about 90% or more of the Minsk-accords violations were coming from non-government-controlled areas. Specifically, from the mafia-esque thugs that Putin installed who run Donbass. That tells me there are a far larger slew of horror stories of another kind that Peter Frost, being the Russian tool that he is, overlooked.

    I have no problem believing that there are plenty of genuine horror stories from Russians roughed up or worse by some Ukrainian paramilitary. There are ways to deal with that. As to why those paramilitary organizations came to be in the first place, and how outmatched they ultimately were in comparison to the Russian goons they fought against, Peter Frost’s anodyne analysis curiously skips over that. It doesn’t fool me.

    • Replies: @Sean
  291. Sean says:
    @John Johnson

    The Russian Federation under Yeltsin acquiring the administrative authority of the Soviet Union instantly led Ukraine to make a bolt for the door; Ukrainian declarations of independence came within weeks. Russia did not really try and stop Ukraine leaving become an independent country which it did five months later, even though Crimea was really quite Russian. But absolutely nobody then dreamt that Ukraine might try and join a military alliance that Russia was excluded from, and so was a clearly anti Russian alliance. In his early years as president Putin publicly suggested that Russia join Nato, which was a cautious continuation of Yeltsin’s policy. Putin was annoyed about Eastern Europe. Before 2003, Russia was accepting things that no one during the Cold War dreamt the USSR would not fight to prevent; I speak of the accession to the Washington Treaty (AKA Nato) by countries in Eastern Europe including those abutting the Russian Federation. The location where Poland’s membership was concluded in Independence, Missouri! This was in 1999 , which was also the year that Nato attacked Serbia over Kosovo. Despite the Russian advice being ignored and its UN being bypassed, Russia remained quiescent.

    A key event in the shift in Russians attitude to NATO as targeting Russia, was when agreement was reached for the Transnistria issue, but the US pressured Moldavia to reject it. The next year Ukraine (for a decade and a half subsidized with cheap gas against the World trade Organization’s pressing advice to begin charging Ukraine market prices), had the Orange revolution occurred, n approval of American diplomats. The famous Munich security conference speech by Putin was in 2007; he said Washington had sought geopolitical advantage at Russia’s expense. In Feb 2008 Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence, and in April of that year Georgia (and Ukraine) were announced to be future members of Nato Apr 2008.

    In August, 2008, Russia invaded Georgia, in the first European war of the century. That is why there was no pregress on Ukraine joining Nato: no one wanted to provake and invasion of Ukraine. In November 2009 Putin gave a compromise deal to Ukraine on gas price after negotiations by Yulia Tymoshenko (co leader of the Orange revolution). The next year Putin’s supposed puppet Viktor Yushchenko was elected president of Ukraine and to Putin’s fury jailed Tymoshenko for corruption in the negotiations. In 2014 Yushchenko was overthrown by street demos and the Donbass rebellion started in response.

    In 2019 when Zelensky was elected on a platform of peace with Russia, he agreed to begin enacting Minsk.A t thids time the Russians / rebels occupied a part of Donbass amounting to a total seven percent of Ukraine’s territory (subtracting Crimea it was a mere two and a half percent). The so called Normandy Process in which Germany and France brokered a deal to begin enactment of Minsk stalled in 2015 because Poroshenko had signed it with no intention of honoring it. Post 2014 millions of ethnic Russian voters had been eliminated from Ukrainian elections, yet Zelensky still won the presidency by promising peace, which could only mean accepting a deal based on Minsk.

    Germany, France and perhaps even Americans (not counting McCain & company) thought the deal was the way forward for Ukraine. In 2019 Normandy format negotiation were restated by Zelensky, France and Germany participated along with Russian and Ukrainian diplomats. American diplomats were happy enough when Zelensky agreed to the ‘Steinmeier formula’, which stipulated elections to be held in the separatist region would would be recognized as legitimate by Kiev, the rebels would get autonomy and a say in the country’s foreign policy so no Nato EC links.

    Later in 2019 nationalist demos of the type that had brought down Ukrainian presidents twice had shaken Zelensky’, and news of his offshore holdings revealed by the Panama papers had greatly weakened his PR image, and his pals that he has appointed to the high offices of state were privately briefing foreign journalists that America would subtly pressuring Ukraine to fulfill the Minsk accords deal that Germany and within Ukraine. Poroshenko had agreed to in 2015. Biden came in with Blinken who had wanted to arm Ukraine 2015 but been overruled by Obama. Putin was also hated by the Dems for supposedly getting Trump elected

    The official NATO announcement of 2008 that Ukraine would join at some point in the future had been kicked into the long grass, but was reiterated in June 2021. Putin seems to have issued orders to train for a possible invasion of Ukraine almost immediately as there were suddenly exercises for swift long distance movement of Russian army formations. A very menacing Russian build up began on the border with Ukraine A few months later a British navy ship sailed through sensitive Ukraine waters. there was a second even mire menacing build up. In late 2021 Ukraine began using Javelins and drones in combat in Donbass for the first time.

    • Thanks: clifford brown
    • Replies: @John Johnson
  292. Daniel H says:
    @John Johnson

    But keep defending this pint sized dictator who doesn’t support free speech or an open internet.

    Yeah, thank heavens that we in the west have those strong defenders of the first amendment such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, not to mention the entire Democrat establishment (“The first amendment doesn’t apply to private corporations…….”

  293. Matra says:

    All the reports I’ve seen indicate more survivors than fatalities. If the Russians wanted to kill the POWs why would they leave so many survivors/witnesses?

    • Thanks: Sean
    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
    , @HA
  294. @Corvinus

    I see my self-deprecating tone was too subtle for you.

    And I thought this blog attracted a high IQ readership.

  295. Sean says:
    @HA

    You are going off on a defamatory tangent about someone who post under his own name and I would be very surprised to hear supports the invasion. The point I was trying to make in what I wrote is that Azov prisoners are much too valuable to Putin and his generals for gratuitous killing of them. But, the number one priority of Russia just now is finding a way to greatly reduce the effect of the HIMARS strikes on logistics and command hubs. The timing fits. The US likely know what the HIMARS are being launched at , and has massive surveillance assets concentrated on of the Donbass warzone and the Donetsk People’s Republic building where the POWs died could not be hit without the US knowing, if it was the Russians the US would just say it was the Russians. Yet the US and West generally are being coy about who may have been responsible.

    • Replies: @HA
  296. @Yarro1

    * sees highly unpleasant video which may be kosher or may be black propaganda *

    “Mr. Sailer, please address the shocking loss of moral compass regarding this war on the part of many here. Nothing has astonished me so much in years. “

    What an absolute pile of nagombi. And that’s assuming (a big if) the video is kosher. The loss in moral compass is from people who will be deeply affected by what’s on the TV news and Twitter (both highly compromised/propagandised) but if it’s not on TV it didn’t happen. The people emoting about Syrian civilians seven or eight years back now emote about Ukrainian ones (though only on Ukraine’s side of the front line).And they never cry about 10,000 Yemeni kids because they never see them on TV or twitter.

    https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/shameful-milestone-yemen-10000-children-killed-or-maimed-fighting-began

    War has quite often involved unpleasant people (who exist on all sides) getting close up and unpleasant with their captives. Sometimes to extract information, sometimes for pleasure. I would however suggest that some ethnic groups are more likely than others to use such tactics – maybe the various Caucasian tribes, certainly the Pathans. The Chinese at one stage had a fearsome reputation. I’m not sure the Ukrainians have clean hands, either.

    “The next day we found all the (captured German) personnel shot, that is murdered, and atrociously mutilated. Eyes had been put out, genitals cut off and other cruelties inflicted. This was our first such experience, but not the last. On the evening after the first two days (June 22-23 1941) I said to my general – “Sir, this will be a very different war from the one in Poland and France“.

    – Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg, quoted in Glantz, Barbarossa.

    Yet the US and UK supported Russia, moral compass and all. And they helped win the war by killing hundreds and thousands of women and children in their “area bombing” campaigns.

    There’s another moral compass, that shies from emasculating prisoners but not from destroying vast numbers of civilians and children from a distance. What was this elderly German woman thinking as she gazed upon the bodies of her city’s children?

    • Thanks: EddieSpaghetti
  297. Whiskey says: • Website

    Most of the commentary here seems as stupid as mine in 2004. Then, I was all about “Merica! F-Yeah! Saddam bad bad bad” like a NPC. As the great President Bush the Lesser noted, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, won’t get fooled again!”

    Iraq was a giant waste of lives, money, time, effort, for what? Turning over the country to Iran, basically. Who runs it now. It was the sort of thing that the Clown Show that runs the West does. We were promised a Thunder Run and Iraqis clamoring for Freedom. We got an ugly occupation and insurgency costing thousands of American lives who cannot be replaced. A tragedy for the declining birth rate West. I should have KNOWN BETTER. Bush was a clown, a bad xerox of the failed Presidency of his father, with a bad copy of his father’s military service (which was at least honorable and brave as Bush’s was evasive and soused). I should have known BETTER. And shame on me for thinking with my emotions instead of my brain.

    And that goes for most of the commentors here, who assume the Clown Show running the West will get a result in Ukraine DIFFERENT than Iraq, or Afghanistan (where a bunch of illiterate goat herders on motorbike ran us off in a panic). Or Syria. Or Libya. Or Vietnam for that matter. We have arguable WORSE leadership in all levels, political, military, industrial, social, economic, and cultural, now than we did even in Iraq or Vietnam. Why oh God Why would anyone expect any different result up against Russia under Putin?

    What Putin and Russia have done is fight an Industrial War for the Demographic Age that is very different from the Western model, and shows signs of a comprehensive win. Not only in Ukraine but across Eurasia with agreements with Turkey, Iran, India, China, etc. for a massive and non-oceanic trade immune to Western Naval power, and coupled with a new financial system immune to Western Sanctions and an alternative to the inflated and inflationary dollar. Making Europe a pointless and soon to be de-industrialized semi-starved fantasy park for African and Muslim immivaders. As Germany finds itself soon to starve, freeze, and de-industrialize with millions of high paying jobs lost to China forever with sanctions on Russia oil and gas. [Europe’s industry is based on cheap Russian gas. Thus the Green Goal of turning the place into a theme park for Africans and Muslims to basically live in cities where the natives have to support them is well on its way. You can’t have an effective military and be green. Never seen a solar powered jet fighter or tank, though the Pentagon is buying electric humvees and having Drag Queen events on military bases. So we have the green / tranny angle covered.]

    Putin switched from the Western model of Shock and Awe, Thunder Run, etc. which failed spectacularly like Operation Market Garden which it resembled, not enough men focused to punch through, forces dispersed around the massive front, to a different way of fighting.

    He focused most of his forces in the Donbass. He used MASSIVE artillery barrages still continuing to basically feed Ukraine’s best and most forces into a meatgrinder. Making sure they will not only not fight now but not later, as they are dead or so badly wounded as to be unable to fight. Meanwhile he keeps his troops mostly behind the artillery, those infantry advancing are ethnic groups (Chechens and the like), plus volunteers from the Donbass republics. This keeps casualties low. Most of his casualties seem to have come in the Operation Market Garden offensive around Kiev which failed when irreplaceable airborne troops were shot out of the transports by likely US 82nd Airborne forces per Biden’s gaffe in Poland. AS the Royal United Services Institute wrote in a White Paper, Russia fires in the Donbass per day about 6500 shells. This amounts to the total US production in a quarter. Russia is able to do this as they have a massive manufacturing capacity for shells and missiles which the US focused on “boutique manufacturing” cannot. Sure the US shells are better, higher tech, etc. But we cannot manufacture them. Take HIMARS.

    They are not the game changer. The Ukranians only have a few of them and already sold one to the Russians (supposedly). In massive volleys they CAN get through the Russian air defenses, and cause damage to bridges in Kherson. The Russians built pontoon bridges and ferries to replace them. Meanwhile we cannot send more missiles and systems as we ran out of our own stockpile, and our boutique manufacturing takes just too long and depends on …. wait for it … components from CHINA. Meanwhile the Russians can fire and replace their long range missiles at will also. They are not the latest generation, but are very effective and they have them in quantity. The Ukraine forces seem out of HIMARS missiles at least to the point where they can fire massive volleys. And those missile at any rate cannot be manufactured AT SCALE to make a difference.

    This was the fundamental failure of analysis — contempt for Russians as a bunch of stupid drunks not capable of figuring out since 2014 how to fight the West proxy attempt in Ukraine. The plan B was to simply kill the Ukrainians in massive amounts while avoiding casualties. The CIA Director said last week the Russians suffered about 16,000 dead. The British Intelligence service quotes 75,000, while other US Intel sources say 55,000. Both higher numbers are a joke — the Russian military would have collapsed by now being incapable of even defensive operations. The BBC using open source methods estimates 6,000 dead. I think this is too low, and am more inclined to believe non-Aligned sources from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore who estimate between 8-12K. These are no question SERIOUS LOSSES and often of the best, most highly trained men. I do not think Russia will ever fight this way again. But it seems quite clear that Ukraine is losing most of its military age men who have not fled to escape the draft, and those men cannot be replaced.

    Meanwhile Ukrainian losses seem catastrophic. They are drafting men up to 60, now women and the disabled. This is collapse of the Nazi Regime stop-gaps in 1945. There simply won’t be enough Ukrainian men to fight any more, very soon. Which has been the ruthless Russian strategy. The Ukrainian will to fight is likely to be gone by October I think. Which is going to lead to a very rapid collapse in their lines. The decision to stay and fight in Donbass was stupid and aimed at continuing Western support not military necessity.

    Which leave the West (the US really) with only two choices: A. go shock and awe which means hitting Russian air bases, air defense systems etc deep inside Russia with a decapitation strike sure to trigger WWIII, or B. draft every White man they can find and send them to die in Ukraine in a WWI meat grinder battle.

    Our leaders are stupid, senile, and corrupt. Putin may be nasty, but he’s rational. And has command of the facts, reality and his limitations. Who among Pelosi, Biden, Dr. Jill, Ron Klain, Kamala, MccConnell, Graham, Romney, Hillary, Admiral “Rachel” Levine, and Sam Brinton gives you confidence in their ability to choose the best course of action? Biden has to be drugged up just to get through a press conference. He poops his pants meeting with leaders. Policy seems to run on who bribed Hunter the most with the biggest bribes, hookers and crack most recently. Most of the policy makers seem literally insane and depraved weirdos. Who have for now a total stranglehold on power. We cannot get rid of them. The managerial elite who run the GAE will not for a second contemplate reality, the requirement to disengage (for now) in active military conflict with Russia (and China) and retrench, reform and achieve SCALE of our own to match our adversaries. Which will take decades, so for now we must have as little conflict with them as possible. There is no military leader capable of grasping reality, just pushing more Woke/Gay/Tranny stuff to the point where the manpower pool the US has always depended on — flyover White males, have bailed out.

    Note: I do think that both Russia and China are systematic threats to the US. I favor however, just so there is no lack of clarity, disengaging with them to the maximum, even allowing Taiwan and Ukraine to fall entirely into their hands, while we rebuild at home for military necessity. That means ending Woke (as bad for military enrollment and White skilled manpower motivation), reshoring everything as quickly as possible and the raising gradually of protective tariffs for everything. Building a massive wall and deporting everyone who did not have family here in 1965. Ending birthright citizenship and ending the Green Fantasies.

    The US is simply too weak, too woke, too green, too non-White and too non-industrialized to face off against China and / or Russia now. We just are. And it will take decades to fix this, otherwise we will be just another Austro-Hungarian Empire with even more depravity and decadence and degradation, and our collapse will be nastier and harder than theirs. In any sustained conflict the decadent woke joke that is the GAE will simply collapse into Yugoslavia / Rwanda violence. And you could argue that America no longer really exists anymore, just hostile woke tribes who all hate White people mutually. And that there is no possibility of reform, as there are not enough core White people to re-constitute America any more. That the best possible outcome would be accomodation to the rising powers as the Gay Pride Parade that is new nation can’t organize anything more complex than a gay sex rave at Disney World.

    • Agree: BB753, Daniel H, Mr Mox, SOL
    • Disagree: Corvinus
  298. @Pixo

    “Permanently crippled”?

    The Russians are winning. Handily. Says something about NATO that a “cripple” can still kick the stuffing out of their biggest, best-trained, best-equipped army.

    • Replies: @Pixo
  299. @Matra

    If Putin wanted to kill the POWs, he would have used the time-tested, traditional Russian method:

    1) Dig big hole

    2) Put POWs into trucks and drive them to the big hole

    3) Shoot POWs

    4) Fill in big hole

  300. @Art Deco

    Your Exceptional! patriotism

    You shnooks don’t have to side with the enemy in every conflict.

    is duly noted.

    Just how many enemies does Uncle Sam have this afternoon? Could you provide the “shnooks” with a current list?

    If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. ~ James Madison

    {#298}

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
  301. @anonymous

    Putin is a better strategist than any American leader of the past 110 years. Those idiots have given their country away to mass invasion.

    60 years. And this is not a high bar.

  302. Wokechoke says:
    @Jack D

    HIMARS is literally designed to kill a single building. Rifle…damage report.

  303. Sean says:
    @Oscar Peterson

    Reagan’s ambassador to the USSR Jack Matlock Jr. mentioned Ken Albiek as the guy who was sent over from the USSR’s biowarfare program to visit the US biowarfare facilities. The Soviet biowarfare generals were told by Gorby to stop research on offensive use of pathogens but they had continued; breaking the agreement for no offensive bioweapons program because they thought it certain that the US was doing the same. Matlock overcame objections and got Alniek who was deputy head scientist of the Soviet program invited to tour US labs to verify (easy for an expert to tell) they were set up for purely defensive research.

    Some Russians immune to monkeypox thanks to smallpox vaccination — health minister
    The Health Minister Mikhail Murashko pointed out that monkeypox is similar to respiratory infections in terms of transmission and symptoms
    BELGOROD, May 21. /TASS/. Some Russians are immune to monkeypox thanks to the mandatory smallpox vaccination carried out in the Soviet Union until 1980, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko told reporters on Saturday.

    Hmmm.

  304. Boethiuss says:
    @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    Zelensky is bought. He ought to remember who owns him and act like it.

    Obviously not. If he was bought (and it doesn’t make that much difference who bought him) it would be much easier to surrender Ukraine to Russia than to resist. Can’t your memory go back at least a few months?

    No. For good or ill, Zelensky represents the Ukrainian national interest in this conflict. And the Ukrainians want to fight.

  305. Anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Hey, disagree or not you gotta appreciate the effort and dedication.

    Jack D’s posts are useful because they show how it is possible for ideology to crowd out facts if one is not careful. Apparently even bright people can become so attached to something they fervently want to believe that they cannot let go and it ends up working to their own detriment.

    I haven’t been following this tragedy very closely (it’s too sickening), but even I have been aware for a while that things are not going well for Ukraine and the possibility of them turning things around will only decrease with time. The one thing I remain curious about at this point is what would it take to get Jack to finally admit the Ukrainians are losing this war.

  306. Bel Riose says:
    @prosa123

    Mud wrestling matches between the Russian gals and the Ukrainian gals!

    That counts as a combat role, right?

  307. @PhysicistDave

    Putin’s not really worried about missiles hitting Moscow.

    A serious missile attack on Moscow means bye-bye Berlin, London, NYC, etc. in the next hour.

    And everyone knows it.

    Agreed. The whole “existential threat” thing is stupid. Mutually assured destruction did not magically vanish in 1991. Russia, the US can both pretty much level every major city in the world.
    China, France, to a lesser extent the UK and Israel can deal out a whole lot of destruction. And India and Pakistan have enough nuclear weapons to make life very unpleasant for their enemies–each other.

    Ukraine is a launching pad for a land invasion of Russia. Moscow cannot tolerate that.

    But believe it or not nukes deter land invasion as well as missile attacks. If Ukraine had nukes Putin would not have attacked. They go down, you go down–lose/lose.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  308. @Sean

    Sean you were caught making a 100% false statement to support Putin. Here it is in case you forgot:

    Ukraine applied to join Nato (put it in Ukraine’s constitution that it would) as a way of deterring a Russian invasion.

    Instead of admitting you were wrong you went with the wall of text strategy to make it sound like you either know what you are talking about or hope we don’t notice your total bullshit.

    This isn’t Anglin’s blog where angry incels make up facts in their heads to believe a fantasy of Putin being some new White nationalist even though he values his Muslim fighters over White women and children. They also want to believe he is somehow sticking it to the Jews even though they depend on him for oil and Putin makes trips to kiss the wall.

    This also isn’t Russia where the little dictator can just make anything up and the press has to go along with it or risk prison time for asking questions. You do realize they can get 15 years for calling it a war, right?

    The official NATO announcement of 2008 that Ukraine would join at some point in the future had been kicked into the long grass, but was reiterated in June 2021.

    Ok then source that announcement in June 2021. Source both of them actually there mr. expert.

    What happened in 2008 is the US stated that they wanted Ukraine to be in NATO. That is not a NATO announcement and didn’t account for a myriad of reasons why Ukraine does not qualify. A chief requirement being you can’t be involved in a proxy war. Their weapon systems are also Russian which would have to be converted *if* they had the votes to join NATO which they don’t and never did. They NEVER had the votes of France and Germany. Admit that and run back to Anglin’s blog and leave the adults alone.

    Not only can I source all my statements but I can even give you a Russian source:
    Germany has no plans to allow Ukraine join NATO – Scholz
    https://www.rt.com/russia/549955-germany-ukraine-nato-agenda/

    I don’t get on my knees for a loser small penis dictator that is terrified of debate and open internet. As such don’t have to tie myself in knots trying to defend his pathetic bullshit.

    • Replies: @Matra
  309. Pixo says:
    @Paul Mendez

    “ The Russians are winning. Handily.”

    Does Russia control more Ukrainian territory now or on March 30?

    And yes, permanently crippled: demographically, economically, and militarily. Ukraine has it even worse, but there’s no rule that both sides can’t lose. That’s what happened with the Iraq War.

    Putin is Russia’s George W Bush, blundering into a retarded unwinnable war.

    • Agree: AKAHorace
    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
  310. @Daniel H

    I live in Poland and it’s neither truly conservative or enthusiastically sliding down the GloboHomo track. There are some conservative sectors (though pretty permissive by US standards) and some global leaning sectors (esp educated young people). But it’s mostly its own thing and doesn’t fit neatly in other people’s narratives.

    It is _very_ divided on almost every issue (except for supporting Ukraine that’s the only really non-partisan issue in the country).

  311. Anonymous[545] • Disclaimer says:
    @HA

    Americans will never do the Normandy beach thing again. We’re too street smart now.

    The crowd that wants to use Americans as canon fodder in foreign wars has the most contempt for actual Americans, by the way.

    The usual suspects have lied to us too many times, plus the greater “diversity“ of America means we’ve reached an inflection point in public altruism.

    That well has dried up.

    • Thanks: Mark G.
  312. Boethiuss says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    The Russian are no threat to the United States – either militarily or economically. The Ukrainians don’t matter to us either.

    Oh absolutely Russia is a real threat to us, I think that’s at least some part of the misunderstanding.

    Russia is a useless country that no one would ever care about except to purchase oil, gas, and other raw materials from. Except that as a first resort international relations, Russia tries to throw its weight around with threats of bombs, invasions, assassinations, etc.

    Based on its current mentality, informed by its history, Russia will never be content with its status in the world. It will always feel as though it is being disdained and disrespected. That is because it is right, it is always disdained and disrespected. That is a consequence of the reality that for other nations, Russia is always a problem, never a benefit. And similar to people, nations who only exist to other nations as a problem are typically disdained and disrespected.

    That’s why this current conflict can’t be swept under the rug, like Chechnya or the Skripals or whatever. It’s not so much that Ukraine is on Russia’s doorstep, is that Ukraine is on Europe’s doorstep, and Europe is strong enough to fight back.

    • Disagree: Rich, RadicalCenter
  313. @Emil Nikola Richard

    I rather suspect the source of his “news” is that condign bastion of Neocons, the Institute for the Study of War. In their world, the Ukrainians are simply ruining the Russians by injuring the Russians fists as they pound the Ukrainians in the head.

    ISW is a cozy little family business run by the Kagan clan. All of that unpleasantness of calling Steve “reprellant” a while back seems to have been put to bed. Now they’re all just BFFs.

  314. Jack D says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Putting aside whether the Russians are or are not a threat (I’d say a country with thousands of nuclear weapons IS a threat, even if they didn’t have an imperialist dictator at the helm), why is it that only the motives or the emotional involvement of the pro-Ukraine side is questioned?

    Is it just taken for granted that Putinists (or even the allegedly neutral) are pure of heart? I don’t keep asking you what your motives are. I really don’t care. It’s perfectly clear anyway so I don’t have to even ask. You all are so anxious to see the globo-homo- Joos destroyed that you are willing to take America down with them like Samson bringing the temple of the Philistines down on his own head. But in any case, if you are siding with someone who is trying (not even concealing) to hurt America, it really makes no difference what your motives are. In treason or any other crime, what counts are your actions, not your motives. The law doesn’t care WHY you blew up the kindergarten, just that you did.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  315. Corvinus says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “People like you, Corvy.”

    Wild generalization.

    “People who get money and power by using words to control and manipulate their fellow human beings. People who lack the inclination or the ability to produce goods or services that their fellow human beings will voluntarily pay for out of their own pockets.”

    You just described Trump and Putin.

    “You mean, like Joe Biden, who was “elected” in violation of Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution?“

    According to Who/Whom?

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  316. @Boethiuss

    Russia is a useless country that no one would ever care about except to purchase oil, gas, and other raw materials from. Except that as a first resort international relations, Russia tries to throw its weight around with threats of bombs, invasions, assassinations, etc.

    In what sense is Russia a “useless country”? Its use is being the homeland for Russians.

    Russia’s relations with the non-European world are based mainly on mutually beneficial trade. Russia doesn’t export LGBTQ activism, or any other destabilizing ideology; we do. Russia doesn’t have military bases in 160 different countries; we do. Russia doesn’t drone Pakistanis or Somalis; we do. Outside of Syria, where unlike the U.S., Russian troops are there at the invitation of the government, or the Ukraine, which is a quasi-civil war on Russia’s border, Russia doesn’t engage in nearly as many military interventions as us.

    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  317. @Paul Mendez

    Good thing for mankind I’m not Putin. After America gloated over helping Zelensky sink the Moscow and kill Russian generals, I’d have not only taken out our satellites but splashed a couple of AWACS and targeted any Pentagon and CIA personnel in Ukraine.

    Fortunately, the world’s leaders–even Putin–are not so reckless.

    There was a pretty well worked out protocol during the Cold War–you supply, advise and help out “your side”, but avoid direct US-Russia armed conflict which could escalate. (Russia did fly MIGs for the Norks in Korea and lost some pilots. But low scale effort.)

    Any US advisors on the ground with Ukrainian units are of course fair game. Some advisors on the ground always get killed. But escalating toward random US intelligence gathering assets would be foolish. What happens when the US does the same?

    ~~

    The other thing …

    While I’m not paying much attention to Putin’s shitty little war (only the displaced and families of the dead will care in 20/30 years) even from afar some aspects are clear: Despite this weird try-hard chatter here, one of the lessons of this war–beyond the obvious “get nukes!”–is that the Russians really “aren’t all that”. The Russians have basically been winning with “more stuff”. (Blasting away with artillery until the Ukrainian position is destroyed/untenable.) Their technological abilities–and command and control–aren’t wowing anyone. The US/Western technological/electronic edge during the Cold War seems, if anything, to be wider.

    If Russia expanded to a “go ahead and shoot” war with the West over Ukraine, looks–to me–like they’d lose badly. Then they’d be in an unenviable position of having to threaten to use nukes to avoid an embarrassing retreat.

    Whereas right now Putin can either keep blasting away–roll on the Moldova if he’s willing to pour in the money and men and the Russian people don’t rebel–or go to the negotiating table and declare whatever settlement a victory that “saved Russia” or something.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  318. @Jack D

    But in any case, if you are siding with someone who is trying (not even concealing) to hurt America

    In 2000, Putin asked if Russia could join NATO and was rebuffed by Clinton. In 2001, despite that and the U.S. helping to cause an economic calamity worse than the Great Depression in Russia in the ‘90s, Putin offered the Bush administration assistance after 9/11, including military bases in former Soviet states to supply our invasion of Afghanistan. Putin had no antipathy toward the U.S. and consistently sought to work with us. We could have had Russia in NATO, had Exxon drilling in Russia’s Arctic, and had \$2 gas.

    Instead, we have \$4.50 gas, 40-year high inflation, and a proxy war with Russia in the Ukraine. We’ve been the aggressors since the fall of the USSR.

    The people trying to hurt America are the ones running America.

  319. @AnotherDad

    one of the lessons of this war–beyond the obvious “get nukes!”–is that the Russians really “aren’t all that”. The Russians have basically been winning with “more stuff”. (Blasting away with artillery until the Ukrainian position is destroyed/untenable.) Their technological abilities–and command and control–aren’t wowing anyone.

    I think this is the wrong lesson. You are just not used to seeing a war between near-peer adversaries. Next to Russia, the Ukraine had the largest army in Europe, and has been armed and trained by NATO for years, often fighting out of extensive trench systems built over the last eight years. The dollar value of aid the Ukraine is receiving from the West now is greater than Russia’s entire defense budget. They are smart and tough Slavs, with fighter jets, tanks, and artillery, not goatherds with just AKs and RPGs. And Russia is still grinding them down, despite invading with a force smaller than we used to invade the much smaller and weaker Iraq, and despite being a lot more judicious in their air and missile strikes than us (e.g., not destroying all the power plants in the country like we would have done).

    Russia’s artillery, air defense, and missiles appear to be superior to ours. Look at these attitude-adjusting thrusters, for example.

    But there are no wunderwaffen against a near-peer backed by NATO arms and intel. It’s going to be a grind until the Ukraine runs out of Ukrainians able and willing to fight, or we let them negotiate a peace deal with Russia.

  320. @Boethiuss

    The Ukraine may be post-democratic.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  321. Parbes says:
    @Anon

    “This is why the fighting, when it reaches cities, tends to bog down for Russia and take a lot of time. Russian’s been winning in the cities simply by bombing the heck out of every building where the Ukrainians troops are lurking.”

    WRONG. The fighting in the cities has been bogging down and taking a lot of time precisely because Russia has NOT been “bombing the heck out of every building where the Ukrainians troops are lurking”. The Ukrainian regime troops are, in most inhabited areas, hiding behind civilians and firing from civilian buildings and houses, as well as places that are normally used by civilians such as schools, hospitals, shopping malls etc. And the Russians have been going to great lengths to try to minimize civilian casualties; both because the civilians in these areas are mostly Russian-speaking and sympathetic to Russia, and also in order to deflect unfair “international” – i.e., in reality Western MSM – propaganda criticism that they are “deliberately targeting civilians” (which is actually a weakness on their part, in my opinion).

    If the Russians had really been “”bombing the heck out of every building where the Ukrainians troops are lurking”, then all the cities and towns would have been captured looong ago.

  322. anonymous[100] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    We could have had Russia in NATO, had Exxon drilling in Russia’s Arctic, and had \$2 gas.

    Serious question – could you develop this? Why wouldn’t Clinton have done something like this to lessen the leverage of the Arabs? Was it just that the environmental Left would have been pissed to see so many Americans happily taking long trips in their RV’s and SUV’s?

  323. meh says:
    @Dumbo

    Nothing personal, but, frankly, if I wanted to read war analysis, I would go somewhere else than Sailer’s blog. Not his expertise.

    The Cold War permanently broke the brains of a lot of Boomers. They are still living in it, mentally, and cannot reevaluate the world situation as Buchanan did after the Berlin Wall came down. Thus on foreign policy they are always vulnerable to being coopted by (((neocons and neolibs))).

    A good starting point for Ukraine war analysis by a conservative, but actually well informed, point of view, is The Duran channel (on YouTube and elsewhere) and the two host’s channels, Alexander Mercouris and Alex Christoforou. They have contacts all over Western and Eastern Europe and Russia, they speak multiple languages, etc. You’ll get far better information on the situation then anything you’ll see from Steve.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter, Republic
    • Replies: @Daniel H
  324. Corvinus says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    “They don’t want another Afghanistan. A never-ending insurgency in Ukraine would be a disaster. They know that.“

    And that’s what Putin will get. So will his successor have the guts to continue with the meat grinder?

  325. Matra says:
    @John Johnson

    I don’t get on my knees for a loser small penis dictator that is terrified of debate and open internet.

    Did you watch today’s F1 race? It began with a thinly disguised promotion by the Westerners who run F1 for censoring the internet under the guise of preventing online abuse. There are bills before the UK & Canadian parliaments and probably other Western countries that would crack down on internet freedom. I hope you are as upset about those as you are about far away Russia’s lack of an open internet.

  326. @Dave Pinsen

    You’re completely delusional. The Russian military is many, many decades behind the American one.

    Furthermore, Russia has basically achieved nothing this war. They had an initial surprise entry that secured them more ground than they’ve been able to hold onto, and that’s pretty much it.

    After all, we’re almost 6 months in and they’re just 30kms past Popasna, which is where they started.

    It is like the US invaded Mexico and hadn’t yet taken Tijuana.

    But worse, as the Russians claim they have taken friendly territory!

    As for the Ukrainian military, they were barely supplied prior to the war. They also didn’t really have a military before 2014 due to Russian subversion. They weren’t meant to be a near peer at all. Anatoly Karlin actually did a statistical analysis of what was meant to be the relative fighting power of the forces and it was this that caused him to predict it all being over in a month at most, with the total defeat of Ukraine.

    The Russian military, apart from the completely pointless “hypersonics”, looks to be barely more effective than the Iraqi one was. They obviously have no hope of conquering Ukraine, supposedly a “part of Russia”, located on their border. Indeed, no one sane even thinks they could take Kharkhiv!

    And I doubt they’ll be able to hold onto Kherson for even just the rest of this year.

    After that, they might as well pack up and go home, because they’ll lose the rest, even Crimea, unless they can get some very kind negotiated solution with Ukraine.

    The US is now stepping up support again. Last time it was HIMARS, next time it will be ATACMS. Maybe then F-16s etc etc etc.

    This points to one element of truth in your comment. Russia began the war many, many times stronger on paper than Ukraine. But now, Ukraine is much Improved, as it receives more technology and training. Russia is already going backwards, even though it now only occupies marginal pieces of Ukraine. The momentum is building and there’s nothing Russia can do. What a nightmare for them.

    It is clear. Russian permanent power interests, or whatever, barely even reach into Ukraine. They have no ability to hold territory there and therefore are not any sort of “pole”. They’re more like Israel in their reach. They can only threaten with missiles and other strikes all but the puniest countries on their borders. They’re done.

    As a new Russian friend said to me the other day, “how did Putin trick us that we actually had a powerful military and that we actually were a serious power?”

    No doubt, most Russians are asking themselves this question. They’re just waiting for the war to end so they can then root out the corrupt bunglers who conned them for decades. And there’s nothing your pathetic propoganda routine can do. It’ll happen this year or next.

    It is sad that it will also sink much of the online American RW, which insanely decided to cheerlead for the catastrophe, but so many of you have been so deranged, bitter and depressing that perhaps it is a good thing. It’ll burn away all of you deadwood.

    Let’s just hope that this time Russia actually makes a serious, not just a false so they could play the dindu nuffin victim, effort to integrate with Europe. It could help with the redirecting of European insutitions to a nationalist and continental direction. With G Meloni coming into power in Italy, Eastern Europe being generally solid, France constantly teetering on the edge of going nationalist and other promising movements elsewhere, it could be pretty good.

    Perhaps Putin will be remembered as the last imperialist in Europe. He’s certainly taught everyone the old lesson that imbeciles like him will gladly drive their core nation into the ground just to feel important on the world stage. Him, and all of his clowns, like Kadyrov and Solovyov, they can be dealt with by the resurgent Russian people.

    • Agree: Clyde
    • Disagree: RadicalCenter, Paul Mendez
    • Thanks: Jack D
    • LOL: Dnought
  327. Corvinus says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    No, the people of Ukraine of their own free will chose to remove a leader who sought to be Putin’s puppet.

    Just how many Ukrainians are actual Nazis by your count that necessitated Putin to order the invasion? How are you certain?

    • Replies: @Bel Riose
    , @Paul Mendez
  328. Parbes says:
    @peterike

    “Where the hell do you people get your information?”

    These neocon propagandist hacks aren’t “getting their information” – they’re deliberately creating MISINFORMATION.

  329. Anonymous[135] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Well said. Animalistic hatred of Russia and Russians by our elites is what is ultimately responsible for this.

    • Thanks: Dave Pinsen
  330. HA says:
    @Sean

    “You are going off on a defamatory tangent about someone who post under his own name and I would be very surprised to hear supports the invasion.”

    He piped up on this very thread to claim, apropos of any links or evidence that

    The prisoners were starting to “talk,” and the Ukrainian army wanted to send them a message. It’s really that simple.

    Ergo, pointing him out on a comment that discusses Russian-troll claims like yours about who killed these prisoners is neither tangential nor particularly defamatory (at least not in comparison with how he chose to defame his own self). Therefore, your implicit claim that he has anything objective to say with regard to anything that happens in Donbass is just one howler-spewing Russian troll citing another.

    • Replies: @Sean
  331. HA says:
    @Matra

    “All the reports I’ve seen indicate more survivors than fatalities. If the Russians wanted to kill the POWs why would they leave so many survivors/witnesses?”

    You’re assuming they intended to leave survivors. A lot of what Russians intended to do in this conflict has similarly failed to pan out; e.g. those dinner reservations in Kyiv they scheduled in the days after the invasion in order to celebrate their imminent victory.

    And if someone wants to thrown a bomb into a group of people simply to impress upon them that their lives mean nothing, then whether or not survivors are left behind is more or less irrelevant. The Wagnerites who are suspected of this could have also, in the words of Johnny Cash, taken out and shot a random bunch of them just to watch them die, and it would have sent a similar message, but I’m guessing a big explosion shortly after the torture video was going viral was regarded as a better way to deflect attention into something that they could then try to pin on the Ukrainians themselves. To that end, the so-called “witnesses” are at no particular advantage in determining who set off the bomb. Did the people rushing to climb down the WTC on 9/11 have any added insight as to who it was piloting those planes? I doubt it. So much for your so-called witnesses.

  332. Jack D says:
    @Parbes

    Yeah, the Russians are super humanitarian. The Russians are famous for fighting in a way that avoids civilian casualties as much as possible. In Syria, in Chechnya, etc.

    How can anyone actually believe this? Have you been living under a rock for the last 30 year? Have access only to RT.com?

    • Replies: @Parbes
  333. Clyde says:
    @Pixo

    Putinists defend his mass killing and maiming of a conservative white Christian population with his Muslim-Mongloloid army by pretending it is “necessary” because otherwise Russia will have to accept Western leftist decadence.

    Russian city boys are too soft to fight and good for them. Putin offers large sign up bonuses to Mongolian Buryats, Dagestani Muslims and other outlier ethnics of the great Rus empire. Kadyrov runs his own show as far as sending Putin’s pet Muslims, the Chechnyans to the Ukraine war. His own show as far as Putin paying him off anyways, sending billions of dollars every year to Chechnya, as a bribe not to rebel against Moscow.

    • Replies: @HA
  334. @Whiskey

    Bush was a clown, a bad xerox of the failed Presidency of his father, with a bad copy of his father’s military service (which was at least honorable and brave as Bush’s was evasive and soused).

    Didn’t Bush consign his bomber crew to certain death by bailing out instead of trying to land on the water, Sully-style? IIRC, in the ‘90s he accidentally said the date he bailed out of that plane instead of December 6th as “a date that will live in infamy”.

  335. @anonymous

    Serious question – could you develop this? Why wouldn’t Clinton have done something like this to lessen the leverage of the Arabs?

    We did have a period of détente with Russia after 9/11, when we welcomed their energy for that reason.

    But the U.S. national security state requires an adversary to justify its enormous budget. I think that’s the reason we didn’t shut down NATO or let Russia join. So we meddled in the Ukraine, then sanctioned Russia for steps it took in response, and those sanctions locked Exxon out of Russia. The former Exxon CEO, Rex Tillerson, was once awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship.

  336. Daniel H says:
    @Whiskey

    The Ukraine forces seem out of HIMARS missiles at least to the point where they can fire massive volleys. And those missile at any rate cannot be manufactured AT SCALE to make a difference.

    In Guy Sajer’s account near Stalingrad (I know, some y’all will say that it is bogus, but others not so, so there). He reports that after operation Uranus German defensive artillery formations on the south eastern front were down to firing one or two shells per day. That is all that could be supplied. Well, Germans being Germans, I’m sure that they made VERY effective use of that allotment, spending the entire day creeping up and measuring the precise distance to the target, but Ukrainians aren’t Germans. So with these HIMARs, the Ukrainians may have a very capable toy, with little pop.

  337. @Whiskey

    Congrats Whiskey, you got Dave Pinsen to actually read this. (Or at least part of it.)

    BTW–to generate more debate–while the Bushes are both terrible, I’d have to rate Bush Sr. even worse because of the 1990 immigration act. Baby Bush tried–but failed–to be that treasonous.

  338. Daniel H says:
    @Boethiuss

    Russia is a useless country that no one would ever care about except to purchase oil, gas, and other raw materials from….(blah) (blah) (blah)

    Russia is awe-inspiring, sublime.

  339. @Paul Mendez

    “Putin couldn’t know unless he tried.”

    Putin spent a fortune on his spy masters who claimed to be bribing pro-Russian Ukrainians.

    Putin thought he knew what would happen, but he’d been defrauded, either by his own minions or by his minions’ minions.

    • Agree: HA
  340. @Triteleia Laxa

    You’re completely delusional. The Russian military is many, many decades behind the American one.

    Can you be more specific? Which of Russia’s latest military equipment is “many, many decades behind” ours? Their tube artillery? MLRS systems? Anti-aircraft batteries like the S-400? Their helicopters? Their Kalibr missiles?

    Furthermore, Russia has basically achieved nothing this war.

    They’ve liberated most of the Donbas, taken Mariupol and the Azov coast, and restored the flow of fresh water to Crimea. They’ve also made considerable progress toward their goal of demilitarizing the Ukraine. Per Russia’s MoD, they’ve destroyed

    261 Ukrainian airplanes and 145 helicopters, 1,649 unmanned aerial vehicles, 361 anti-aircraft missile systems, 4,195 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 773 multiple launch rocket systems, 3,220 field artillery and mortars, as well as 4,619 units of special military vehicles

    So far. I can’t vouch for those exact numbers, obviously, but it’s consistent with American officials’ reports that Ukrainians are going through equipment as fast as we send it. They’ve also killed or captured thousands (tens of thousands?) of the Ukraine’s most zealous fighters. IIRC, they hold 10x as many POWs as the Ukrainians.

    One thing to bear in mind is that the rest of the Ukraine doesn’t have the intensity of fortifications the Donbas does, so once Russia finishes in the Donbas, if it decides to move further West, it will likely face less resistance.

    The limiting factor for the Ukraine is Ukrainians willing and able to fight: the one thing the West can’t supply them with is more Ukrainians. Per one of Zelensky’s advisors last month, they are losing 1,000 troops per day (200-500 KIA, the rest wounded).

    Time will tell how this plays out, but it looks like time is on Russia’s side. The West doesn’t have inexhaustible supplies of armaments to give the Ukrainians, and we don’t have the manufacturing capacity to change that any time soon. Plus, winter is coming and NATO countries dependent on Russian energy may be begin to rethink the limits of their support for the Ukraine.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    , @Triteleia Laxa
  341. prosa123 says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    The limiting factor for the Ukraine is Ukrainians willing and able to fight: the one thing the West can’t supply them with is more Ukrainians

    There are plenty of Ukrainian women who can fight. Of course, the “Men” of Unz would be horrified.

  342. Daniel H says:
    @meh

    The Cold War permanently broke the brains of a lot of Boomers. They are still living in it, mentally, and cannot reevaluate the world situation as Buchanan did after the Berlin Wall came down.

    It’s not the Cold War that broke the minds of a subset of the Boomers. Many of the most pro-war Boomers today were somewhat sympatico to Soviet/Communist ideology culture back in the day (polticos, academics, scribblers, celebretards…). What has changed is Russia. Russia has turned defiantly against Boomer culture. They are reembracing Christianity, have zero use for immigration or multiculturalism (at the same time, they have always been respectful of their Muslim and other asian minorities) and more than being defiant to GloboHomo they think it (correctly) absurd, an indication of some mass psychosis. Evidence of a deeply sick soul. They will just not tolerate the silliness. This has infuriated the Boomers (and the younger cohorts trailing in their wake), pitched them into a frenzy of war lust. Russia now stands as a true counterculture to American/Europe boomer perversion and death. This has thrown Boomers into paroxysms of incoherent rage. So, Boomers haven’t changed, they are still the worthless, tantrum-throwing wastrels that most have of them have ever been, finally getting their comeuppance.

  343. HA says:
    @Bridgeport_IPA

    “It’s hard to take anyone seriously who sincerely believes the Russians bombed a POW prison in their own territory, especially Azovstal Nazi holdouts whom have not yet testified about their crimes in the Donbas or about the regime itself.”

    It’s hard to believe that Russians would want to throw a bomb at a bunch of Azov recruits? Seriously?

    “The fighters of Azov deserve to be executed, not by firing squad, but by hanging, because they aren’t real soldiers. They deserve a humiliating death,” the Russian Embassy said in its tweet.

    And “the Russians”, in this case, is a generic catch-all, since it’s unclear as to who exactly on the Russian side ordered the hit. According to Russian propaganda — see the above quote — every Azovian is some sub-human or super-human villain and no doubt they’re being blamed, rightly or wrongly, for the deaths of many friends and relatives of a number of Russians who had access to the prison (or the explosives needed to bomb it). I’ve read claims it was the Wagnerites who engineered this, without asking Putin’s permission, but at this point, that remains to be determined.

    The loons who insist the “Ukrainians” did this don’t have a problem with not knowing who specifically ordered the hit, either, but evidently, not knowing things like that is only regarded as a problem when the Russians are to blame.

  344. HA says:
    @Clyde

    “Russian city boys are too soft to fight and good for them. Putin offers large sign up bonuses to Mongolian Buryats, Dagestani Muslims and other outlier ethnics of the great Rus empire.”

    Related map showing how Russian war deaths per capita have been distributed.

    Note how conspicuously blue (i.e. low in death toll) this war has been for those in and around Moscow. There’s also this analysis of the predominance of down-and-out minorities among Putin’s troops. According to the tweet, they’re apparently regarded by other Russians with the same supercilious gaze that civic slackers in the US adopt when they read about a bunch of people selected for jury duty and wonder how stupid someone has to be in order to be incapable of coming up with some excuse to weasel their way out of all that. The map omits the large number of Donbass residents who have been conscripted into the hot zones, presumably in gratitude for Putin’s efforts to liberate them. Their death is also seen as no great loss, since Putin can then replace with “real Russians” like he tried (so far without much success) to do in Kherson.

    The Russia trolls will of course claim this is evidence that Putin is keeping his A-team in reserve, omitting the part about how this war will get a lot nastier for him if Muscovite boys started dying in the same proportions as poor Dagestani and Buryats, and Putin knows that. It’s presumably one of the reasons he has resisted a general mobilization, and the more weapons the Ukrainians get, the more unwilling any Russian with a brain will be to sign up to fight for him. Admittedly, that is an age-old problem that extends way beyond Russia — cue the opening guitar riff from that John Fogerty song about the senator’s son.

    • Replies: @Clyde
    , @Clyde
    , @Anonymous
  345. Bel Riose says:
    @Corvinus

    “No, the people of Ukraine of their own free will chose to remove a leader who sought to be Putin’s puppet.”

    According to Who/Whom?

    And how can you be certain your assertion is correct?

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  346. @Dave Pinsen

    Dave, it’s a good point about the Slavs. The Ukrainians aren’t Arabs, and they aren’t Central Asian tribals.

    But this doesn’t square up the deck. (Note: I’m not super-duper interested in this like some folks here. ‘m interested in our border which is a much bigger disaster for my kids.) But still just “intelligent layman” very from afar, obvious points:

    — “near peer” is a stretch; Russia is 4x Ukraine with a bigger economy. Same with the military manpower. Pre-war budget wise it was almost an order of magnitude. (And then the constant claim is 1/4 or something of Ukraine really wants to be in Russia and hence the war. That would make it even more of mismatch, even beyond the morale issue.)

    — Ukraine was seemed actually closer to “near peer” battling the Russian Donbas statelets. Ukrainians were winning but not rolling over them, so pretending they are awesome powerhouse “near peer” of Russia that everyone should have expected to be a tough nut, doesn’t make much sense.

    — the whole “NATO armed for ten years” thing is also oversold. With what? Their warplanes, tanks–at least those pretty big items–were Soviet\Russian issue. There’s been a big rush now to get them stuff, coupled with controversy–should they be allowed to get X, to get Y. But that very fact negates the whole fantasy that pre-war Ukraine==”NATO-armed-nation” that just happens not to be in NATO.

    –if

    Russia’s artillery, air defense, and missiles appear to be superior to ours. Look at these attitude-adjusting thrusters, for example.

    this is true, then the rest of your argument is really stretched thin. The Ukrainians did not/do not have US planes and tanks, and you’re saying that Russia is superior in the other critical stuff. So Ukrainians getting a whole bunch of–by you own argument–inferior NATO missiles and artillery isn’t going to be a big deal. And the US/Western stuff is quite expensive in $ terms, so comparing against the Russian defense budget isn’t apples to apples.

    — Russia had time to prepare and logistically, it simply does not get any easier–Ukraine is right on its border. Smallest possible supply chain and easiest marshalling of forces ever. Heck, Russia and its ally are half of Ukraine’s total exterior border land and sea.

    — Ukraine is one of the easiest places to invade terrain wise. It’s open agricultural land. This isn’t mountainous Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, or Hindu Kush. (It’s more like Iraq.)

    Break it all down and if you really believe that Russia’s technology is up to par–superior in “artillery, air defense and missiles”–then all you have is “is smart tough Slavs”. I definitely think that’s critical. Russia is fighting some motivated, competent white people who are fighting for their nation’s survival.

    But you’re still left then with the question, why isn’t Russia’s 4x manpower advantage telling if their technology and equipment up are top notch? (Or “superior” in these critical areas, like artillery and missiles.) What we’ve actually seen was a fairly fast Russian dash on seemingly an unprepared Ukraine … and then pretty slow going as either
    a) the Ukrainians got their act together (i.e. they were unprepared originally)
    or
    b) the Ukrainians got their act together and got Western gear (i.e. Western gear is better)

    Again, non-expert and not ravenously devouring the news but simply for “intelligent layman”–hard to come up with scenario where:
    — Ukrainians have been armed-to-the-teeth by NATO for years (are basically “NATO-lite”)
    and
    — Russian equipment is technologically a match
    are both true that matches the play out that we’ve seen.

    • Agree: Pixo
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    , @Jack D
  347. @Dave Pinsen

    Can you be more specific? Which of Russia’s latest military equipment is “many, many decades behind” ours? Their tube artillery? MLRS systems? Anti-aircraft batteries like the S-400? Their helicopters? Their Kalibr missiles?

    I’m going to assume that you’re merely hopelessly ignorant, rather than discussing in bad faith.

    Anyone with any serious knowledge in this area would not talk like you, in terms of headline equipment, but in terms of capabilities.

    Things France can do that Russia cannot:

    1. Conduct combined arms operations at nights and with only black light.

    2. Run close air support.

    3. Conduct combined arms operations in large formations in built-up areas.

    4. Sustain high-tempo operations away from train lines.

    5. Exploit success to rapidly advance beyond enemy withdrawals.

    And many, many more.

    The reasons for this tremendous gap between the two nations’ military proficiencies are complicated. The equipment you listed is oversold and unreliable, but Russia’s problems are actually much deeper. For example:

    1. They don’t have adequate mechanisation of the logistical chain. Everything comes in huge wooden crates when it should need no packaging and take up half of the space.

    2. The troops lack training or decent TTPs. They don’t even respond aggressively when their APCs come under fire.

    3. Russian comms equipment appears to be WW2 quality.

    Etc etc etc.

    It seems to me like their military is run like you’d expect from a Potemkin state with bungling authoritarian leaders. They throw a lot of money at headline equipment that functions poorly, but don’t invest in the really important stuff of making the little things work properly. It is like someone started a new restaurant and rather than getting a sink for washing dishes, plates, cutlery, temperature control, knives, pots and pans etc, they simply spent everything on an unreliable but flashy oven, and then expect the restaurant to function well. Its kindergarten stuff. I don’t even think decades can fix it. The whole culture of that part of their government needs to do a 180.

    They’ve also made considerable progress toward their goal of demilitarizing the Ukraine. Per Russia’s MoD, they’ve destroyed

    Hahahahaha. Ukraine has never been more militarised than it is today. And tomorrow it will set new records for militarisation. And the day after it will set records again and again and again and again. Your statement could not be more idiotic and who on earth believes the Russian MOD? See above!

    They’ve liberated most of the Donbas, taken Mariupol and the Azov coast, and restored the flow of fresh water to Crimea.

    In 6 months, they’ve advanced 30kms in the Donbas, and “liberated” those marginal areas by destroying them and cleansing it of 90% of their population.

    They also managed to eventually take Mariupol against 2000 troops, who Russia only defeated because they got completely isolated in the surprise of the 1st week’s advance. An advance that Russia had clearly been bribing and preparing for during the last 8 years.

    Oh, and yes, they turned on some water.

    6 months!

    The limiting factor for the Ukraine is Ukrainians willing and able to fight: the one thing the West can’t supply them with is more Ukrainians. Per one of Zelensky’s advisors last month, they are losing 1,000 troops per day (200-500 KIA, the rest wounded).

    Russia and Ukraine have lost about the same number of troops, but Ukraine has many, many more volunteers, and long waiting lists, and its casualties decrease daily, while Russia’s are rising.

    Sending a “professional” army into a war of attrition against a nation is cretinous. Putin must hate his people. Ukraine need only wait until Russia goes home, but it looks like they will throw them out instead.

    The truth is that both places have had about 75,000 casualties (which includes wounded), but Ukraine is now having new troops trained by NATO in NATO countries, and Russia is too scared to rotate their troops out because they’ll go off and hide so they can’t get deployed again.

    The West doesn’t have inexhaustible supplies of armaments to give the Ukrainians

    The US supplied much more to Afghanistan and Iraq and used their own too and didn’t even flinch. You have no idea what you are talking about. Perhaps you’re one of these people who fall for US military-industrial releases calling for more funding?

    Plus, winter is coming and NATO countries dependent on Russian energy may be begin to rethink the limits of their support for the Ukraine.

    Eastern Europe, the US, Scandinavia, the UK, Japan and South Korea are all either immune to such threats or don’t care. And by themselves they can easily provide many times what is already being provided. The US is spending a rounding error on this war and Russia has got 30km in 6 months. In fact, the US is probably profiting handsomely on this war, given what it has done to oil prices.

    Germany will suffer. That’s awful, but they should have not made themselves so reliant on Russian gas. RT campaigned to kill German fracking before it started. The nuclear shutdown was crazy. But the Germans will find another way. And anyway, their arms support is irrelevant, and their humanitarian support is not something they’ll drop.

    And now that you know how deluded you were about Russia’s military, I wonder if you’re starting to realise how deluded you were on Russia’s economy. You’re going to see quite something on that front in the next few months.

    I know you’re more of a headline armchair sort of ignorant observer, who probably thinks the Rouble being strong is good for Russia and an important sign of something good hahahaha, but here’s a study done by people who actually understand the details:

    https://euobserver.com/world/155666

    It is extremely grim for Russia. Not like the inconvenience and chaffing that Germany will have, but something as bad as the worst years of the 90s, and obviously combined with total military humiliation. You’ll see.

    And you can also see in my history that I’ve been right about this war from day 3. While I can see you’ve basically just been wrong and yet wrong again.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  348. @anonymous

    Why wouldn’t Clinton have done something like this to lessen the leverage of the Arabs?

    Clinton Foundation Donor List

    \$10,000,001 to \$25,000,000
    Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    \$1,000,001 to \$5,000,000
    Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi
    Nasser Al-Rashid
    Dubai Foundation
    Friends of Saudi Arabia
    …et cetera

    • Thanks: kaganovitch
  349. @Pixo

    Does Russia control more Ukrainian territory now or on March 30?

    Irrelevant.

    This is not a game of Risk.

    Putin spelled out Russia’s goals at the start of the SMO. They were basically liberating the Donbas, eliminating the Nazi influence in the Ukraine, and eliminating the Ukraine’s military power. He’s accomplishing these goals in spades.

    Nobody with an ounce of intelligence would think Putin would want to occupy the Ukraine. Liberate the Donbas, secure a land bridge from Crimea to Russia, slaughter the Neo-Nazis and crush the Ukrainian armed forces. The majority of the Ukraine can remain as an independent but impoverished, neutered and depopulated rump state.

  350. If “the most impressive Russian feat of arms in the current war” was the capture of Kherson by Russian forces based in Crimea, the least impressive has been the performance of Russian combat aviation. For decades we have been hearing how the Russians have been deploying “peer-competitive” aerospace technology such as “fifth-generation” aircraft and the like: where is this stuff? Why are the Ukrainians in a position to mount any resistance at all? Every Ukrainian heavy asset should by smouldering metal by now, smote by Russian tactical support aircraft like the Su-25, and by the end of March or April at the latest their armoured columns should have rolled up to the Polish border.

    Should the West show a bit of fortitude and announce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as was mooted at the outset of this thing, Russian military ambitions would collapse the moment the RAF and USAF show up, such is the superiority of British and American combat aviation. This is shaping up to be another “Bekaa Valley Turkey Shoot” moment for the Russians.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  351. @Steve Sailer

    Putin thought he knew what would happen, but he’d been defrauded, either by his own minions or by his minions’ minions.

    And, of course, US intelligence always got it right about what would happen in Pearl Harbor, Korea, Viet Nam, Lebanon, Kosovo, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia…

  352. Wj says:
    @Sieve of Eratosthenes

    No need for the hate. He and many others have been weirdly obsessed with the conflict and they have been wrong. The russians have air superiority and tanks, neither of which the ukes have.

    Perhaps not having militaty experience he only knows of such operations through our msm and by witness of US actions against 4th rate militaries. Real war is slower and sloppier

  353. @Corvinus

    You’re completely delusional. The Russian military is many, many decades behind the American one.

    You are 100% correct!

    They are many, many decades away from being able to successfully integrate feminism, homosexuality, transgenderism, Critical Race Theory, anti-colonialism and Green environmental goals into their strategic doctrine.

    What losers!

  354. Parbes says:
    @Jack D

    My sources of information are certainly a million times more reliable than yours, the collection of overpaid liars, truth-benders and U.S. regime stenographers known as the “Western MSM”, you stupid neocon blabbermouth. What’s your problem with RT anyway – that it doesn’t regurgitate disingenuous U.S. government narratives as much as you would like it to? Why SHOULD it, blockhead? Eh?

    The autistic screechings of an obvious maniacally-obsessed Russophobic troll like you do not change the clearly observed and documented fact that so far Russians have been trying their best to avoid civilian casualties in this war, fighting with one hand tied behind their back, for the reasons I stated. And yes, even in the Syrian and Chechen wars, the Russians (again under the leadership of liberal Putin, with his “humanistic war” pretensions) tried to avoid causing enemy civilian casualties whenever they could. That’s why it took so much longer than it otherwise would have to beat down the Chechen Islamist insurgency; and that’s part of the reason why the Syrian War is still not over and won today by the Russian-Syrian side, they sparing not only jihadi civilians, but, idiotically, even surrounded jihadi fighters, letting them get bussed to safety in Idlib instead of slaughtering them on the spot or taking them prisoner.

    But all this is beside the point. The real point is this: Why should ONLY RUSSIANS be obliged to be super-humanistic and angelic in a fighting a war, when NONE OF THEIR ENEMIES AND ADVERSARIES ARE? Is the NATO-puppet Ukronazi Zelensky regime humanistic in fighting? It massacred 14,000 of what were supposedly its own citizens in the Donbass, loosing neo-Nazi Azov death squads and army firepower on Russian-speaking civilians; and it is still shelling purely civilian areas in Donetsk EVERY DAY, deliberately, with artillery, cluster bombs and mines. Were the Syrian ISIS and Al Qaida jihadis fighting humanistically? Did the Chechen Islamist terrorist-insurgents? Does the U.S. fight any war in a “super-humanist” way? The U.S. STARTS OFF every war – virtually ALWAYS aggressive wars – by bombing the adversary’s civilian infrastructure facilities to rubble in order to “break their population’s will to fight”. How did the USAF behave in capturing Fallujah and Mosul in Iraq from opposing dug-in Islamist militias? Both cities razed to the ground, bombed mercilessly, tens of thousands of civilians killed. What about Israel, which responds to Palestinian attacks that kill a couple of people at the border by massive directed bombardments killing thousands of civilians in Gaza? What about Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc. etc., all the rest of the U.S.-ally dictatorships and pseudo-“democracies” around the world? Which one of them fights any serious conflict, whether within its borders or outside, “super-humanistically”?

    The overarching point is this: A U.S- Israel jingoist cretin like you has absolutely ZERO moral standing to criticize ANYONE for supposedly “not fighting a humanistic war”.

    Now go and KILL YOURSELF, you two-bit, shameless, hypocritical Anglo-Zionist Jew bastard.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Jack D
  355. SOL says:

    Thanks to Mr. Unz for the “Ignore Commentator” function.

  356. @Steve Sailer

    Various commenters have referred to the march on Kiev as either a “feint” or a “pin.” While I understand what they are getting at with these descriptors, they don’t quite capture exactly what that maneuver was all about. To be precise, it was really more of a “jab.”

    A jab in boxing has several different functions, all of which are applicable to the analogy here. First of all, it is defensive inasmuch as it keeps your opponent at a distance, and it helps to keep him from power-punching because he has to keep his own defenses up. Secondly, it is a probe and a rangefinder that you can use to set your opponent up for your own power blow. Thirdly, you might get lucky and wobble your opponent with nasty jab. If that happens, so much the better; but it’s not necessary for the overall logic of the fight.

    The Russians jabbed at Kiev for all of these reasons. Then they withdrew their fist once they were done. It wasn’t even a retreat, much less a whupping. You always draw your arm back after jabbing; you don’t just leave it hanging out there.

    It was a brilliant maneuver. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if someday we find out that the Russians, with their wicked sense of humor, had codenamed the whole thing “Operation Klitschko.”

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  357. Anonymous[581] • Disclaimer says:
    @Triteleia Laxa

    You’re completely delusional. The Russian military is many, many decades behind the American one.

    Wow. Talk about being delusional! “Many, many decades”? That’s just crazy. They are structurally different and each has its own advantages. The overall balance of it, though, is that they are pretty comparable.

    Do remember that the US hasn’t faced a reasonable peer in a long time, that Ukrainian army is reasonably modern by world’s standards, and that the Russians are fighting Ukraine while holding most of its first tier weaponry back.

    • Agree: Paul Mendez
  358. @Bel Riose

    According to Who/Whom?

    According to Ukrainians. The 2014 story was really pretty simple. Back in 2014 most Ukrainians still felt close cultural ties to Russia. But Yanukovich was a disaster, especially for the younger entrepreneurial class in Kiev. Yanukovich had taken corruption to Azerbaijan like levels. Nothing could get done, Yanukovich was demanding a cut on every deal/transaction. He was hated by every one who had a stake in a productive economy. So the “people” (i.e. the educated middle class) threw him out.

    Problem was that Putin could not tolerate anyone throwing out “his” guy, even though he should have been smart enough to see that Yanukovich was a grasping incompetent and a liability. Putin’s support for Yanukovich turned a lot of Ukrainian oligarchs away from Russia- and these were people with cozy business connections to Russia. Critical mistake by Putin.

    Then Putin had a temper tantrum and annexed Crimea and provoked a separatist war in Donetsk and Lugansk. Net effect of this move was to alienate millions of Russian speaking Ukrainians in Eastern Ukraine, who now saw Russia as an enemy (and further alienate Poles, Slovaks, and Balts) and unify Ukraine in a desire to join the EU.

    Ukrainian nationalism as we know it today was created by Putin’s stubbornness, lack of understanding of how to use Russia’s soft power and, to some extent, catering to bis home audience with no regard to the long term strategic consequences. All of this could have been avoided in 2014. I’ve been saying since 2014 that Putin’s alienation of Ukraine will go down in history as one of the greatest strategic blunders ever committed by a Russian leader, but I never thought he would double down on the stupidity the way he did this year.

    • Thanks: HA
  359. @Paul Mendez

    They are many, many decades away from being able to successfully integrate feminism, homosexuality, transgenderism, Critical Race Theory, anti-colonialism and Green environmental goals into their strategic doctrine.

    You do realize that in the real world no one cares about any of that? That is fodder for people who spend too much time on the internet or watching the “news”, but most of us just get on with life – raising children, making stuff, building things. You will be a happier and more productive person when you recognise that both right and left wing politicians and media have a vested interest in keeping you outraged about bullshit. None of the nonsense you are referring to is relevant to the Russian/Ukrainian war, which is really a fairly straightforward fight about self determination and liberty.

  360. @AnotherDad

    — “near peer” is a stretch; Russia is 4x Ukraine with a bigger economy. Same with the military manpower.

    I don’t think the economic stats are that relevant in the case of the Ukraine. They inherited lots of armaments and armaments factories from the Soviet Union days. So they had lots of Soviet equipment prior to this year, and now they have lots of Western equipment too, and they didn’t pay for any of it. As for manpower, the Russians are outnumbered in The Ukraine.

    So Ukrainians getting a whole bunch of–by you own argument–inferior NATO missiles and artillery isn’t going to be a big deal.

    I don’t think it’s all inferior. A shell from any U.S. artillery piece is going to destroy any Russian armored vehicle, and vice-versa. Artillery is the king of battle; it’s a very big deal. Particularly, when you have the intelligence to fire it accurately.

    But you’re still left then with the question, why isn’t Russia’s 4x manpower advantage telling if their technology and equipment up are top notch?

    They don’t have a 4x manpower advantage in the Ukraine. In fact, it’s closer to the reverse. Russia invaded with about 200k troops, IIRC. The Ukraine had about a million men under arms (active and reserve) when Russia invaded.

    — Ukraine is one of the easiest places to invade terrain wise.

    The Donbas is full of trench systems that have been built over 8 years. There’s plenty of footage of this, if you want to look it up. And the Ukrainians are armed with artillery as well as antitank weapons and anti-aircraft missiles. So you can’t just blitzkrieg through this, especially if you are operating with limited manpower and want to limit your own casualties (recall that Putin rejected the Russian military’s plans to storm Azovstal with infantry, ordering them to besiege it instead; that was a clear indication he wasn’t willing to spend Russian lives Stalin-style). So it’s been a slow process of recon in force to draw the Ukrainians’ fire, then call in artillery strikes on them, while the Ukrainians are firing back, etc.

    Again, I think the conceptual problem here is that you’re used to American wars where we take out the other side’s air defenses on day one and bomb the hell out of everything. If our positions were reversed–if the U.S. were invading the Ukraine and Russia were arming them–we would not be able to do that. The air defenses against us would be too strong. Russia has an additional handicap in that it wouldn’t bomb the hell out of everything even if it could: the Ukrainians are their cousins and neighbors, and they can’t just turn the place into rubble and leave. The parts of the Ukraine Russia intends to keep, like Mariupol, it is already rebuilding.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  361. @Peter Akuleyev

    You do realize that in the real world no one cares about any of that?

    People in the real world care plenty about it, as well the should. And it’s relevant to military strength. The U.S. military is struggling to meet recruiting goals despite the current recession. You don’t think wokeness and gayness have anything to do with this?

    Check out this Army recruiting ad that the Army had to shut down the comments on:

    Raised by two loving and inspiring mothers, Emma excelled in school. But as a college student, she realized the challenge she truly sought required a surprising new direction. See how our Soldiers’ lives could inspire your own

  362. Slowly slowly catchee monkey the English would tell Orientals. Read somewhere that the most common types of Russian field artillery uses Soviet designed ammunition and they are sitting on top of years of mothballed ammuntion dating from the cold war. I bet a slow grinding operation that will frustrate all forms of media with gradual results.

  363. @Triteleia Laxa

    Russia and Ukraine have lost about the same number of troops, but Ukraine has many, many more volunteers, and long waiting lists, and its casualties decrease daily, while Russia’s are rising.

    Can you provide some support for these evidence-free assertions?

    Eastern Europe, the US, Scandinavia, the UK, Japan and South Korea are all either immune to such threats or don’t care.

    Can you provide some support for this evidence-free assertion too?

    Germany will suffer. That’s awful, but they should have not made themselves so reliant on Russian gas.

    Germany’s bigger mistake was being subservient to us. They could just make peace with Russia and have plentiful, cheap energy. In fact, seven German mayors recently asked their federal government to essentially do just that: https://focuswashington.com/2022/07/28/german-mayors-berlin-to-rethink-russia-policy-open-nord-stream-2/

    I wonder if you’re starting to realise how deluded you were on Russia’s economy. You’re going to see quite something on that front in the next few months.

    Be specific so you can take a victory lap if you’re right.

    here’s a study done by people who actually understand the details

    That’s an article about the study, not the study. This may be helpful for you to understand why Russia’s economy is often misunderstood in the West:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2022-04-11/economic-war-against-real-economy

    Russia’s central bank has already lowered its key rate to below where it was before the invasion, noting that inflation has cooled down in Russia, and it has also lowered its estimate for the depth of Russia’s recession this year, predicting a return to growth in 2024.

    And you can also see in my history that I’ve been right about this war from day 3. While I can see you’ve basically just been wrong and yet wrong again.

    You’re going to have to link to specific comments that you got right and I got wrong if you want to take this claim seriously. But at least you’ve made a couple of predictions in this comment we can hold you to:

    1) Russia will suffer a military humiliation in the Ukraine.

    2) Its economy will suffer a depression on par with that of the ’90s.

    I think you’re wrong on both counts, but we’ll see.

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
  364. Boethiuss says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    In what sense is Russia a “useless country”?

    Just the way I said before. Russia is always a problem for the rest of the world, never the solution to anything. Russia threatens this or that, the rest of the world reacts to the threats.

    Its use is being the homeland for Russians.

    That doesn’t really say anything. Russia would still be the homeland for Russians even if it were a Finnish or Swedish colony. If it were, everybody would probably be happier.

    Russia’s relations with the non-European world are based mainly on mutually beneficial trade.

    That certainly wasn’t true during the Soviet era, the only reason that ended was because the government ran out of money. It might not be true now if the government had enough money to restart that sort of thing.

    The point being, the reason Russia is invading Ukraine is the same reason cranky right-wing unz commenters are defending the invasion: ego. The rest of the world thinks Russia is deplorable, Hillary Clinton called us deplorable. But in Russia’s case it least, Putin just does what he wants anyway.

    But that’s bad, especially for us. It’s easier for a lot of us to cheerlead an evil man than to take care of our own business in goodwill and solidarity. Because in solidarity that puts us in a place where we actually have to be accountable to each other, as equal citizens. We want to believe that we, as individuals, are an unconquerable force of nature when that plainly isn’t so.

    It’s tragic in this situation because we actually can achieve what we need legitimately. We don’t have to rob banks or invade Ukraine. It’s not a lay-in, but still, it’s worth the effort nonetheless.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  365. @Peter Akuleyev

    It matters to any young White person joining the military. White males die at something like twice the rate of other groups because they volunteer for dangerous combat duty.

    As they realize the leadership of this country and the military hates them, they’ve quit volunteering so much. And since they will never get promoted even if they survive, what’s the point.

  366. @Corvinus

    Corvinus wrote to me:

    [Dave] “People like you, Corvy.”

    [Corvy] Wild generalization.

    Wild but true, Corvy. Patently and obviously true.

    And also obviously true: the most useful true generalizations are those which are the broadest.

    Corvy wrote to me:

    You just described Trump and Putin.

    Nope: Putin does not just use words. He uses tanks. And artillery. And missiles.

    Kinda different.

    You know Pareto’s distinction between lions and foxes?

    Putin is not a fox.

    Corvy also wrote:

    [Dave] “You mean, like Joe Biden, who was “elected” in violation of Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution?“

    [Corvy] According to Who/Whom?

    Oh, c’mon, Corvy! You’re kidding, right?

    This has been discussed again and again and again and again. No one has actually disputed the facts on this.

    Just try reading Article II, Section 1.

    If you can read… (I have some doubts.)

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  367. @Boethiuss

    Boethiuss wrote:

    Just the way I said before. Russia is always a problem for the rest of the world, never the solution to anything.

    Yeah, I mean, what have the Russians ever added to human culture?

    I mean, aside from Tchaikovsky? And Rimsky-Korsakov? And Borodin? And Shostakovich?

    Oh, and I forgot Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky and Pasternak.

    And of course Russia has never contributed anything to science. I mean aside from Mendeleev . And Lev Landau.

    And then there’s math: I mean what has Russia contributed to math? I mean aside from Lobachevsky, Grigori Perelman, Markov…

    And the Russians certainly did nothing to stop Hitler! I mean aside from the siege of Stalingrad and a few other minor battles.

    Obviously, a people who have contributed nothing.

    Do you know the word “parochial”?

    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  368. @Peter Akuleyev

    Peter Akuleyev wrote to Paul Mendez:

    [Paul, writing sardonically] [The Russians] are many, many decades away from being able to successfully integrate feminism, homosexuality, transgenderism, Critical Race Theory, anti-colonialism and Green environmental goals into their strategic doctrine.

    [Lil’ Peter] You do realize that in the real world no one cares about any of that? That is fodder for people who spend too much time on the internet or watching the “news”, but most of us just get on with life – raising children…

    If that is your attitude, Peter, I hope you are not raising children yourself!

    Because I have known quite a few young people (overwhelmingly female) whose lives have been ruined by the homosexual/transgender/LGBTQ+ agenda.

    Here in America, the elite is aggressively pushing for the chemical (or physical) castration of adolescents who are confused about their sex, without their parents’ consent.

    A society which engages in such activity does not deserve to survive.

    No, this may not quite be up there with Aztec cannibalism or the Nazi Holocaust, but what the American elite is doing to young people is a real crime against humanity.

    Decent human beings gag when they look at the ruling American elite.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    , @nebulafox
  369. Mr Mox says:
    @Triteleia Laxa

    After all, we’re almost 6 months in and they’re just 30kms past Popasna, which is where they started.

    Didn’t you predict, at the start of the war, that Ukraine would cross Russia’s border in a counteroffensive within a month or so?

  370. @Greta Handel

    In the event that both eventually emerge, please Notice that my comment with “{#298}” at the bottom has now been Whimmed for more than 12 hours.

    Why?

    {#372}

  371. @AnotherDad

    AnotherDad wrote to me:

    [Dave] Ukraine is a launching pad for a land invasion of Russia. Moscow cannot tolerate that.

    [AD] But believe it or not nukes deter land invasion as well as missile attacks. If Ukraine had nukes Putin would not have attacked. They go down, you go down–lose/lose.

    India and Pakistan both have nukes — doesn’t seem to keep them from killing each other now and then.

    The actual strategic logic seems to be: if one side has nukes and the other does not, the non-nuke side better be pretty careful about attacking the nuke side. Unless of course the non-nuke side has a backer who has nukes.

    But if both sides have nukes, they can go at via conventional forces, and neither side will use nukes because they know the other side will respond in kind.

    At least that is how it seems to have worked in fact.

    Most importantly, Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense have to assume that is how it might work.

    Therefore, they cannot accept NATO forces in Ukraine.

    As far as I can tell, most countries reason pretty much the same way.

  372. @HA

    My little buddy HA wrote to me:

    You honestly thought that when Zelensky was screaming all these months about how his country needed weapons yesterday that he always followed it up with “but actually, it’s cool either way because we’re not in any trouble whatsoever, really, we’re doing fine.”

    Nope, I have said consistently that I think Ukraine is doomed.

    It’s you and your fellow Penis-Piano-Player worshipers who have insisted the Nazis in Kiev might win.

    Hint: they won’t.

    HA also wrote to me:

    Your analytical skills are weak, PhysicistDave, just like your pathetic inability to learn a new language and how to enroll your daughter in a Chinese university, those two insurmountable obstacles that you told us were the only thing preventing you from leaving this hellhole you call the West and skipping off to Beijing with all the other hordes and hordes of Americans who no doubt are dying to do the same.

    Oh, little buddy, there you go lying again! I didn’t say these were “the only thing preventing [me] from leaving this hellhole.” I said there were several things and then gave a couple of examples.

    I did not even suggest those were the “only” reasons.

    Besides, I am looking forward to watching the collapse of this evil society up close and personal.

    As I said in the comment to which you kindly linked:

    The only reasons I would not urge any young person to flee the United States as it now exists is that other countries tend to eventually acquire our disabilities, and the US has innate strengths that may allow us to turn things around.

    But right now the USA is an extremely corrupt, dysfunctional, and inhuman shithole country.

    A country that causes its young people to be ashamed of who they are is a country that should not and certainly will not survive — unless of course it can make a radical change of direction.

    The ruling elite in the USA is aggressively pushing for the chemical (or physical) castration of adolescents who are confused about their sex, without their parents’ consent.

    A society which engages in such activity does not deserve to survive.

    And it won’t.

    And I’m willing to say so, regardless of the consequences.

    Somehow, HA, I strongly suspect that you yourself are not choosing to live in the USA. Am I right, little buddy?

  373. Anonymous[319] • Disclaimer says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    These are quintessential “rich country problems”. Nobody cares about this stuff in places where it’s a struggle to obtain the basic necessities of life. Regardless of who wins this war, neither Ukraine nor Russia are going to have to worry about “globohomo” for a long time to come.

    • Agree: Peter Akuleyev
    • Replies: @Farenheit
  374. @Dave Pinsen

    Dave Pinsen wrote:

    Again, I think the conceptual problem here is that you’re used to American wars where we take out the other side’s air defenses on day one and bomb the hell out of everything…. Russia has an additional handicap in that it wouldn’t bomb the hell out of everything even if it could: the Ukrainians are their cousins and neighbors, and they can’t just turn the place into rubble and leave.

    In short, the leaders of the USA in recent decades have typically been psychopathic monsters.

    Putin is no saint, but he has some sense of the old-fashioned laws of war: you try not to attack civilians.

    Of course, the American overclass cannot face up to the fact that they themselves are insane sociopaths but that not everyone else is.

    Putin is not as sociopathic as they are, so he must be losing.

    This really is an evil society.

    • Agree: Dnought
    • Disagree: Corvinus
  375. Hunsdon says:
    @Whiskey

    Who ever thought the day would come when I would read a post by Whiskey and think, “There’s not much here I disagree with”?

  376. Dan Eggum says:

    The HBD case for Ukraine winning is quite strong. Contract soldiers, in particular those fresh volunteers in the Russian armed forces tend to be the dredges of society. Ethnic minorities from backwater villages, and their backstory is always “couldn’t find another job” or “either this or prison”. Ukraininan soldiers more closely resemble a cross section of the country, including the smart people. Frequently come across backstories like “quit law school in 2014 to fight in Donbass, then joined the territorial defence part time while running an IT-company” or similar. Given their motivation and with time and experience, the latter should turn out to be vastly superior soldiers.

    • Thanks: HA
  377. @Parbes

    “Why should ONLY RUSSIANS be obliged to be super-humanistic and angelic in a fighting a war, when NONE OF THEIR ENEMIES AND ADVERSARIES ARE?”

    Because, as Basil Fawlty would say, “You started it, you invaded Ukraine”?

  378. @HunInTheSun

    The Russians’ fifth generation fighters look more impressive in “Top Gun: Maverick” than in the Ukraine War.

  379. @Steve Sailer

    Steve Sailer wrote to Parbes:

    [Parbes] “Why should ONLY RUSSIANS be obliged to be super-humanistic and angelic in a fighting a war, when NONE OF THEIR ENEMIES AND ADVERSARIES ARE?”

    [Sailer] Because, as Basil Fawlty would say, “You started it, you invaded Ukraine”?

    Except the US plotted the coup in 2014 to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine that was friendly to Moscow (we have the recording of evil Vicky Nuland plotting the coup!) in order to install an anti-Russian puppet regime.

    Moscow reasonably views this as a matter of “You Americans started this war by overthrowing the government of Ukraine, and then arming the puppet regime to enable it to conquer the region that rejected the illegal coup.”

    Facts matter.

    And Great Powers react badly, very, very badly, when other Great Powers erect puppet regimes on their borders.

    Sort of a law of history, eh?

    • Disagree: Corvinus
    • Replies: @HA
  380. Parbes says:
    @Steve Sailer

    First of all – this is a nonsensical, non-sequitur type of answer that, just by itself, shows you to be intellectually highly dishonest. Who “invaded” or not, has got NOTHING to do with “fighting humanistically” or not (much less doing so UNILATERALLY) – they are unrelated issues. “The side in the ‘invading’ position is obliged to fight with the utmost humanism and observe Marquis of Queensberry rules to the max, while the ‘invaded’ side can engage in any savagery they want” – there is no such rule, law, or logic of warfare. In fact this is a logical absurdity that any half-intelligent pre-teen would laugh at.

    Secondly, there were several VERY GOOD reasons why Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, which I’m sure you are very well aware of, and which I’m not going to waste my time and energy here explaining all over again, as if to somebody living under a freaking rock for the past decade. Russia had EVERY RIGHT to invade Ukraine in February 2022; in fact, given the huge multiple, imminent threats that the U.S.-puppet Ukrofascist regime posed to the Russians of Donbass AND to Russia proper itself, any Russian leader who DIDN’T invade at least what was Southern and Eastern Ukraine in February 2022 would have been betraying his own nation, basically. The fact that you coyly pretend this was some kind of an unprovoked arbitrary invasion out of the blue, as if you totally forgot or never knew about the situation and all the stuff that transpired prior to Feb 2022, again demonstrates you to be just another U.S.-patriotard, empire-lovin’, pro-NATO pro-Ukie shill.

    And a dishonest intellectual. But we already knew that.

    And by the way – FUCK ‘Basil Fawlty’ and the whole ‘Fawlty Towers’ thing. I mean, really. One of the silliest TV shows ever, no relevance other than fleeting entertainment (though admittedly, well acted).

  381. Clyde says:
    @HA

    You said it all much better than me. Great maps. Now of course many Russian boys have been killed in Ukraine along with their Russian generals and colonels that the Ukraine forces posted photos of. These Russian boys sent off to Ukraine were not from the cities.
    These Russian troops were from the poor countryside, where they have more belief in Putin’s Great Tsarist Empire line of BS. ……/ And Putin as a faithful Russian Orthodox. The old babushkas lap this one up.
    You are right why Putin avoids mobilization. Putin cut off gas flow to Latvia yesterday. I despise Russian imperialism. And all imperialisms.

    We see Putin’s scam. Get Muslims and other Rus minorities to kill the Christian Slavs of Ukraine. Putin’s war is to grab the oil and gas in the Black Sea and, if/when he can manage, the fertile wheat growing lands of Ukraine. Get rid of the Ukrainian farmers and farm these lands corporate style, the way we do in the Mid West with the largest tractors and farm equipment on the market. John Deere tractors worth one million dollars. 10,000 acres at a time.

  382. @PhysicistDave

    Because I have known quite a few young people (overwhelmingly female) whose lives have been ruined by the homosexual/transgender/LGBTQ+ agenda.

    In that case maybe you are the one who should be avoiding young people? You certainly seem to be spending your time in a sick social scene, no wonder you are disturbed. Most of the world is still not like that. Most of the young people I know are curious, conscientious and good athletes and seem to be on their way to good careers. I am very impressed by the 20 somethings who work in our firm. They don’t whine and blame society for their own failings.

  383. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “Moscow reasonably views this as a matter of ‘You Americans started this war by overthrowing the government of Ukraine, and then arming the puppet regime to enable it to conquer the region that rejected the illegal coup’….Facts matter.”

    There’s nothing remotely factual or reasonable in that first sentence. Again, whatever Nuland and “You Americans” did, it didn’t involve a single tank or swiping a single hectare of Ukrainian land. Passing out pastries and Soros money may well be provocative; it still doesn’t begin to compare with what Putin did, not just in installing Yanukovych, but in what has happened since. Conquering a region, you say? You mean the puppet regime that was armed by the Russians? No, that region that the Ukrainians attempted to “conquer” is solidly within Ukraine’s borders and therefore already legally theirs. If the Russians have a problem with that, then they need to explain Grozny a little better to the rest of us.

    So much for facts mattering.

    “I didn’t say these were ‘the only thing preventing [me] from leaving this hellhole.’ I said there were several things and then gave a couple of examples.”

    If those “couple of examples” were not representative of the rest of those “several things” that keep you trapped in this hellhole civilization that you deem unworthy of survival, or if there were far more important ones that you omitted, then that’s on you — list some more noteworthy and representative examples next time. Whereas if the rest of those things that keep you trapped are as pathetically picayune as the ones you actually enumerated, then my point stands. Lack of language ability doesn’t seem to be stopping those hordes of immigrants who throng to the Putin-hating countries you deem so undeserving of survival. I daresay the same goes for their inability to master the intricacies of college enrollment for their children. That only seems to be an insurmountable obstacle for sad pathetic Putin fanboys like you and that other Pinsen Dave who insist that the future belongs to the Putin-loving countries of the world they curiously choose to avoid. Weird how that works.

    That being the case, the evidence — i.e. the facts that matter so much to you — demonstrate that you are, alas, a pathetic blowhard who fulminates about which civilizations deserve to survive despite the fact that your own actions and geographical location show you up as a blatant hypocrite. If this is the best defense you could scrounge up for yourself, then you really are slipping.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @map
    , @PhysicistDave
  384. @Steve Sailer

    Have they used any 5th generation fighters in the Ukraine? It’s not listed in the SU-57’s operational history on Wikipedia ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-57 ), or among aircraft losses tracked there, and I don’t recall it mentioned in any daily Russian MoD reports (though I only started reading those about a month ago).

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  385. Jack D says:
    @Gordo

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is not sound logic. He might be your enemy too.

    Sometimes I get the feeling here that people are afraid to be seen as being on the same side of any question as the dreaded Joos. If the Joos are fer it, they are agin it, whatever “it” is. It’s not really wise to base your opinions on this method. You should really come to your own conclusions and if they happen to be the same conclusions as someone else, so be it.

    But people tend to take a team approach – they have to go along with the whole package of their team’s POV. This is equally true on the left and the right. Try thinking for a change instead.

  386. Jack D says:
    @Parbes

    Don’t hold back. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

    Sheesh, and people accuse me of being over involved emotionally.

    • Replies: @Parbes
  387. Jack D says:
    @AnotherDad

    You seem to have a fair take on this and appear to be truly neutral (as distinguished from a lot of folks around here who pretend to be neutral but are (not so) secretly rooting for Putin to win and cut globo-homomerica down a notch.

    Russia obviously went into this war with greater resources. Russia is a much bigger country with a much bigger economy and a larger population and a giant pipeline of money coming in just like their pipelines full of oil and gas go out. Putin has been spending a lot of \$ modernizing the Russian forces for years now and according to Russian sources, Russia had the #2 army in the world, 2nd only to the US.

    Why then has the Russian army underperformed expectations, not least their own? Putin started this war because he thought it would be a cake walk, similar to the way that the US Army rolled into Baghdad. We know that, putting aside all the copium spouted by the Putinists, that it hasn’t been anything like that. The decapitation strike on Kyiv was a failure and the lines in the Donbas have moved very little in relation to the resources and blood that the Russians have spent.

    1st of all, because the hardware modernization was a sham. Most of the money must have ended up in London real estate because it didn’t really end up in the hardware. A lot of the Russian stuff was old, leftover Cold War stuff. Trucks rolled with rotten old tires or low quality Chinese replacements. Instead of precision munitions, they have old fashioned artillery so you need tons and tons of this stuff where one precision munition would do the same job (and with a lot less destruction of stuff that doesn’t need to be destroyed – even if Russian “wins” as in Mariupol they have “won” a bunch of wreckage that they will have to pay to fix.)

    Even the newer stuff is no match for current generation Western weapons like Javelins. There is not one single model of Russian tank that is not vulnerable to current anti-tank weapons. Their S-300 anti-aircraft systems are vulnerable to Himars . The Russia airforce is afraid to fly over Ukraine and has not contributed much to the battlefield – instead they launch missiles from long distances that take out Ukrainian civilian targets in an attempt to terrorize the population – this never works. It only pisses people off more. When they open up captured Russian stuff like drones, they are full of Western electronics, some of it consumer grade though the Russian army has been paying dearly for this stuff. Post-Soviet Russia never developed a modern chip industry even though they have very talented programmers. Russian propaganda loves to show off some of their supposedly high-tech stuff which looks really impressive (Russians have always been good at rocketry) but somehow it doesn’t appear on the battlefield.

    2nd, they did not reform the structure of their military. Russians do not trust their troops. They do not trust their NCOs. A lot of the troops are not Russian to begin with – they are various ethnic minorities, many of whom are there for the \$ only. Russian army pay is not good in relation to wages in Moscow but compared to what you can make in Buryatia, it seems pretty good. They are not going to take initiative – they move only according to orders. So Russian generals and colonels have to lead from the front and they have gotten a lot of them killed, which makes further progress more difficult.

    On the other side, Ukrainians are fighting for their homes and have been able, as the war has progressed, to rustle up a lot of Western equipment. They are not a bunch of Arabs, they are white Europeans with the resourcefulness and initiative that white European people (used to be) famous for. They have come up with all sorts of clever hacks like rigging hobbyist grade drones to drop grenades onto Russian armor. They take captured Russian equipment and reuse it. Etc.

    So what should have been a severe mismatch on paper has turned out to be much more of an even contest.

  388. Parbes says:
    @Jack D

    Yeah, whatever. Keep blabbering lies and bullcrap, bongo. That’s all you’re really good for.

  389. Corvinus says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Can you provide some support for these evidence-free assertions?

  390. Sean says:
    @HA

    Ergo, pointing him out on a comment that discusses Russian-troll claims like yours about who killed these prisoners

    My name’s Sean. My hypothesis is that they were deliberately killed by the Russians, but that killing them was a side effect of a deception operation mounted to inhibit the HIMARS strikes on Russian military infrastructure in Ukraine by drawing Ukraine into a catastrophic friendly fire incident.

    The prisoners were starting to “talk,” and the Ukrainian army wanted to send them a message. It’s really that simple.

    That is not Peter at his best but it is difficult to make reasoned arguments in internet comments when you are a busy man. I have read and commented on Peter’s posts a lot over many years, and I have noticed when he occasionally touched on warfare that he has a very low opinion of military people in general. He is actually quite left wing in where he comes from. Anyway. I think Peter is wrong about the Ukrainians doing it deliberately and in the knowledge they were hitting Azov. Whether those Azov POWs could tell of murders and rapes i don’t know because I have been told that a lot of the POWs were not in the fighting of several years ago, and are far more front line soldiers that the old school Azov. Be he even so right or wrong about what happened. Peter is posting under his own name and is no kind of troll in my book. Nothing he said entails support for the invasion and it is improper of you to imply he is a supporter of it or Putin, just because he does not particularly trust the Ukrainian military to tell the truth ; why would they or the Russians for that matter be under any obligation to do that in a war?

    Maybe I am wrong about the Russians, in order to stop the HIMARS strikes, having tricked Ukraine into killing their own men. But armies have special units for fake the radio traffic to mislead the enemy; for example Ukrainian of US signals intel could have been deceived into thinking they had proof an HQ or important supplies were located in the building that was hit. It would be well within Russia’s capabilities to do something like that, and inhibiting the HIMARS attacks would be a godsend for Russia right now.

    Anyway, America surveillance capabilities are vast and focused on Russian occupied Donbass, so America knows who did it, and surely would be more or less saying it was Russia if it had been Russia. The content and tone of the US reaction weighs against it having not been been a Ukrainian HIMARS strike, although I think the Russians duped Ukraine into targeting

    It would have been militarily much better for Zelensky if Azov had fought to the bitter end in the steel plant tying up powerful Russian forces, but the political damage that can be inflicted on Zelensky by protest by the wives, girlfriends and mothers of the Azov POWs is immense and the Azov troop on the plant thought they had done their bit. It was good PR for Russia to get the Ukraine’s toughest troops surrendering en mass. The war is still on and the notorious in Russia Azov who surrendered being alive and able to return to their families is saving Russian lives by being an incentive to Ukrainian troops from to surrender instead of waiting to get killed or receive life changing injuries.

    I agree it was a Russian war crime, but I just don’t think it was as mindless a war crime are you make out. The Russians would want something militarily advantageous out of it. They’d be better off killing their own men after they were exchanged to show that surrendering is not an option. In a nutshell the POWs alive and safe are much too valuable to Putin and his generals for such a complex, involved and gratuitous total waste of time killing of a few dozen of them while their value as encouragement to Ukrainian to give up is appreciating, and they eventually will be key wedge for the final deal. Putin is too cold a fish for that, his style is to more something like organise a prisoner exchange and give the POWs a farewell meal of a slow acting poison. (Saddam actually did that).

    • Replies: @Jack D
  391. Jack D says:
    @Sean

    This building was right in the middle of a prison camp. No matter how elaborate a scheme the Russians organized to create fake information, the Ukrainians are not going to believe that the Russians are putting their staff HQ in the middle of a prison. Especially now when the Ukrainians know that (just as they are) the other side is holding POWs inside of civilian prisons. No one is going to fall for that, especially not the Ukrainians who are intimately familiar with these places which were part of their territory until a few years ago.

    As I mentioned before, it’s possible that this was some sort of rogue Russian operation that did not emanate directly from Putin or high up in the Russian military, who have reasons to want the prisoners alive so that they can be exchanged. However, at the prison level, there could be Wagner people or DNR folks who wanted these prisoners dead for their own reasons. People (both admirers and detractors) tend to think of Russia as a monolith but the reality is that there are a lot of actors who are pursuing their own selfish interests.

    BTW, the Red Cross has still not been given access to the site or the surviving prisoners despite Russian propaganda that they are willing to do so. If this was a Ukrainian hit they would presumably be glad to have the Red Cross visit ASAP and show them the Himars fragments, etc.

    • Agree: HA
    • Replies: @Sean
  392. Sean says:
    @HA

    Putin … in installing Yanukovych,

    Yushchenko and Yanukovych were about even in the first round of the 2004 presidential election, this hardly suggests that Yanukovich and his backers were obviously rigging things. Yanukovich may have benefited from some fraud in the final round, but he had had strong support even in the legitimate rerun which he barely lost. Tellingly, Yanukovich was soon back as Prime Minister.

    In 2008 President Yushchenko dissolved parliament and cancelled new parliamentary elections. Hence Yanukovich’s actions of a few years later had a precedent.Despite everyone being told Yanukovich was a tool of corrupt oligarchs, and had stolen an election in 2004 and him running against the heroes of the Orange revolution (Yushchenko and Tymoshenko), Yanukovich won. Soon afterwards it was the Constitutional Court that overturned the 2006 measure boosting the powers of the prime minister; it was a silly idea to have two constantly dueling leaders in the highest positions of government. In mid-2010 the lease of Sevastopol was renewed and Russia paid with a one fifth reduction of the price Ukraine would be charged for natural gas.. The Ukrainian government renounced the aspiration of joining NATO , and 2012 Yanukovych’s Party of Regions did well in parliamentary elections, but the Ukrainian ultranationalists improved substantially on all their previous performances.

    Yanukovich was trying to have good relations with Russia and also the EU, but when the EU made clear that it was either/or, and Russia insisted of the relationship remaining as it had been, massive demos began against Yanukovich. It was at this point that Russia offered a good deal to stay with them: a further cut in the price of natural gas and \$15 billion financial bail out of Ukraine’s bonds.

    Gershman had actually said in the 2013 WP op-ed that removing Ukraine from the orbit of Russia would lead to Putin’s overthrow. Brzezinski said it would result in Russians ceasing to exert influence over Europe, being relegated to being an Asian annoyance. Russian was not allowed to be an official language anywhere in the country–including in regions where the population were mainly Russian. After some byzantine skullduggery with Lutsenko and Zelensky’s minions pushing investigation into Poroshenko and how his government came to put Biden’s son into lucrative gas company directorship, many Americans thought that Trump had starved Ukraine of weapons to defend itself, but in fact Trump was persuaded against his better judgement to initiate America’s flow of arms to Ukraine. Anyway, Biden met with Zelensky and massively increased the arms flow to Ukraine. The Russian attempts to get the Minsk accords acted on were rebuffed by Zelensky. Putin seems to have agreed with both Gershman and Brzezinski’s analysis.

    The people of Ukraine elected Viktor Yanukovych twice. The first time he was not allowed to take office because of massive streets demonstrations orchestrated by Yanukovich’s election agent the self made billionaire Poroshenko; the second time after a couple of years in office h was overthrown. by a another mass street demo campaign orchestrated by Poroshenko, who then became President himself. After losing Crimea to Russian annexation, and much of Donbass to indigenous ethnic Russian rebellion, Poroshenko introduced a culture of civil militarism and pushed the rebels back . Formed up Russian army units crossed the border, and Poroshenko signed the Minsk accords granting autonomy to the Donbass though nominally still within Ukraine.

    In February 2014, In the aftermath of Maidan, and Ukraine’s turn to a Western orientation, Vice President Joseph Biden was given responsibility for Ukraine. In May 2014 R. Hunter Biden, the son of then U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, is appointed to Burisma’s board. Paid a million a year. On April 17, 2015 Hunter introduced his dad to the no 3 executive of that company. On December 2015 eight months after the gas company exec thanked Hunter Biden for the introduction to his VP father, Joe told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin remaining in his position might jeopardize a \$1 billion US loan guarantee. .

    Biden boasted his intervention was because Shokin was not pursuing Zlochevsky , and the West wanted to pursue him and other minions of Yanukovich who had supposedly aided their master to steal all Ukraine wealth. All anyone can find of these fabled untold billion in secret accounts is 23 million of Zlochevsky’s in a London Bank and British prosecutors eventually drop the case.

    Then, even though the main Russian speaking areas were not voting, Ukraine rejected Poroshenko and elected Zelensky to make peace, yet Poroshenko aided by relatively small but intimidating nationalist rallies and demos made President Zelensky do a U turn; by 2021 Ukraine was being ran by Zelensky with Poroshenko’s policies. That resulted in Russia begining to enacting the policies of Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

    What happened to all the aid that Ukraine was given between the seizure of Crimea and the invasion this year. Tooze noted that Ukraine has been a black hole for truly VAST amounts of Western aid since 2014. It was all stolen by politicians and their hangers on. Zelensky’s turn to confrontation with Russia was motivated by his inability to clean up Ukraine because absolutely everyone even his own picked people were corrupt and caught doing being so. The corruption in Ukraine was big part of why Putin thought his regieme change would work. Anyone protesting about anything now gets thrown into the army and sent off to die. Zelensky is currently using state prosecutors and state controlled TV in trying to jail Poroshenko for treason. All these things show Ukraine is not of the West.

    It was counter productive for Ukraine to align itself with the West and no good for the West either. Merkle knew this which is why she objected to the official Nato 2008 announcement that Ukraine would join Mato eventually (reiterated in 2021).. The election of Zelensky, a man who had risen so far so fast that he would not have been human had it not gone the his head, caused a series of tone deaf interactions with Russia over the Minsk accords. Mere weeks before the Russian were on the outskirts of Kiev, Zelensky publicly told Biden to shut up with the warnings that the Russian were not bluffing and Ukraine was going to be invaded.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Jack D
  393. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Yushchenko and Yanukovych were about even in the first round of the 2004 presidential election, this hardly suggests that Yanukovich and his backers were obviously rigging things.”

    That’s your evidence? Sometimes the men and women who sell out to Putin do well in the first round, and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t mean they aren’t bought and paid for, and the fact that anyone would still question that Yanukovych is Putin’s stooge, given what has happened since, is mystifying. Or would be if anyone other than a Putin troll like yourself tried to claim it.

    And next time, try to read what I actually wrote. I don’t particularly have a problem with Putin bribing or spying on politicians in neighboring countries given that just about everyone does that. That’s not the problem. If he didn’t like the fact that the so-called coup that Nuland allegedly instigated took out his stooge, he could have upped his pastry game to match hers. Coup vs. counter-coup. Clearly, he wasn’t up to the task, and so he had to resort to tanks and bombs. THAT is the problem. I mean, talk about epic fails — he could have had all of Ukraine without a single shot if he had only had the patience and persistence.

    As for the rest of your usual drivel, if you want anyone to read it, let alone answer it, find a better way to distill it, instead of just pouncing on it as yet another opportunity to yet again cut-and-paste your flakking-for-Yanukovych schtick, which was already tiresome enough the first time you typed it out.

    • Replies: @Sean
  394. nebulafox says:

    “Having myself known exile in Kherson, I declare that my grandfather was truly a hard man.”

    Turtledove’s Justinian II.

    (His grandfather, Constans II, had exiled the Pope to Kherson. This was when the Byzantines still controlled Rome and patches of Italy outside the south, albeit barely in the face of the new Muslim onslaught threatening an impoverished, exhausted Anatolia.)

  395. nebulafox says:
    @PhysicistDave

    It’s bizarre how the US media never bothers to simply take Vladimir Putin (or Xi Jinping) at their word. They don’t hide what they believe about the world or what they want in their domestic speeches. Neither of them are nice people who wish us well, but it’s just not true that either wants WWIII with the USA or for the US to implode. FWIW, the main threat to the American people comes from their own elites. Other powers take advantage of that. Getting angry about this is like getting angry at a dog for going after a steak.

    This trans for kids stuff is going to be viewed how we view the Tuskegee syphilis experiment 100 years from now, at least I hope. In terms of historical comparison, it gets even grimmer. I won’t make excuses for the latter, but it’s worth noting that this took place in a time period where other states (most infamously Nazi Germany, but also the Soviet Union under Stalin and Imperial Japan-the stories are not for the squeamish) regularly used prisoners and camp inmates for human experimentation. I don’t see the Chinese or the Russians mutilating children for the hell of it these days. I don’t see the Saudis manipulating gullible autistic Seattle teenagers away from their parents and pressure cooking them into exploring the idea of transition. Who else does this? There’s a word for this: evil. They will ask someday why we tolerated it.

    (My geopolitical strategy of choice is based not least on the fact that the Chinese, for multiple reasons, are far more tied in with them and profit from them than the Russians ever can. Many of our elites would happily retreat across the Pacific in exchange for worthless paper promises on climate, and Beijing knows it. Can you imagine Soviet citizens with ties to the KGB being leased land near sensitive military institutions in the US in 1972? I certainly can’t. That doesn’t mean I think China is the USSR reborn, though. If anything, the whole fracas over Taiwan is especially ironic because modern China is more or less what Chiang Kai Shek wanted in the 1930s.)

  396. @Intelligent Dasein

    I don’t think so. Occam’s razor and the last 5 months of this “operation” indicate it was intended as a decapitation strike to end things quickly.

    People can mansplain its failure any way they want but there is virtually no disagreement that the Russians lost at least 15,000 dead in that first month.

    That’s a lot in modern warfare. And more than the Soviets lost in 10 years in Afghanistan.

    • Agree: AKAHorace
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  397. Sean says:
    @Jack D

    No matter how elaborate a scheme the Russians organized to create fake information, the Ukrainians are not going to believe that the Russians are putting their staff HQ in the middle of a prison.

    So I am wrong about it being a Russian war crime ! The HIMARS systen is pinpoint accurate and if they had enough experience of it always being so and and and if the target was tempting enough, it is possible that Ukraine attacked a nearby target and something went wrong.I honestly don’t see Russia as all that bothered by its external image or about fake information to alter that image in the West any more. The Russians are not at all hybrid, they are now all about high explosives. Crucially, Russia could not kid Ukraine that Ukraine had did it. If you look at the passenger plane shootdown that was an accident by the Russians, but this could not be accidental and what would the motive for doing it deliberately be? In any case the net effect is going to be Ukrainian soldiers being reluctant to surrender to the Russians in future.

    I suspect there have been an awful lot of HIMARS launched and those compiling the list of targets may have simply been overworking and made a mistake. But the idea that the US would react as it has if this was a Russian false flag (and if it was the US knows for sure) is very, very dubious in my opinion.

    BTW, the Red Cross has still not been given access to the site or the surviving prisoners despite Russian propaganda that they are willing to do so. If this was a Ukrainian hit they would presumably be glad to have the Red Cross visit ASAP and show them the Himars fragments, etc.

    Russia is paranoid and bureaucratic about any access to their military matters. It is only recently with some Chechens posting them firing the big gun that unofficial unvetted photos of the inside of a T62 have been publicly available

    As I said I don’t subscribe to the idea that this was a deliberate attempt by Ukraine to silence the Azov POWs, however the location hit was described as “a pre-trial detention center”. Maybe for those who agreed to confess in public show trials on the promise of booze, whores and drugs? I can conceive of a country at war hitting what they see are traitors with a HIMARS. For Ukraine their image is everything because thet are totally dependent on being seen as victims by the West.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  398. Republic says:
    @Dumbo

    Moon of Alabama and The Duran are excellent sites

  399. Boethiuss says:
    @PhysicistDave

    I mean, aside from Tchaikovsky? And Rimsky-Korsakov? And Borodin? And Shostakovich?…………..

    I would have chosen Kolmogorov as a mathematician over Perelman but whatever.

    But of course, not of that is relevant. Those people are or were Russians, but they are not Russia. This is Russia:

    theatlantic.com/photo/2018/08/photos-of-abandoned-russia/566984/

    And that is the Russia nobody wants any part of. Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine, the UK, the US, etc, etc. For some of these, they just want to give Russia their Euros and get Russian oil, gas, and nickel at whatever the market rate is. For the rest, they don’t even need that.

    Russia understands and internalizes this and is horribly embarrassed, and that’s why we have the invasion. Russia’s “security” problems are a joke, but the butthurt is real. As more than one person has pointed out, Russia’s border security right now is as weak as it’s ever been for at least fifty years. You may not be interested in Russia, but Russia is interested in you.

  400. nebulafox says:
    @nebulafox

    PS:

    One thing that has to be remembered is that the primary Chinese interest in Taiwan isn’t strategic. Although mainland Chinese semiconductor quality isn’t quite on Taiwanese or South Korean standards, it is with Japan and Singapore on the immediate next tier down these days, which is more than enough for them. And it doesn’t change us being in Yokusuka or Singapore in terms of projecting power: or the fact that if we ever leave, Seoul and Tokyo will develop nukes overnight.

    It’s ideological. The CCP and its legitimacy revolves around being the sole representative of the Chinese people. A KMT government in Taipei being recognized in any official way is something they can’t tolerate. This is the legacy of the Chinese Civil War. Not quite as visible as the DMZ in Korea, but every bit as present since the Communists weren’t able to seal the deal like they did in Vietnam. This is all the more important now that China is a 1st World country, and one that derives state legitimacy from nationalism. Although I don’t like to comment on the problems other countries have (the truth is, as an America, I feel no right to that given our country’s current state), Xi’s doubling down on COVIDianism and passing the buck to regional leaders, and that’s the sort of situation where a focus on Taiwan might prove politically valuable in keeping things together in the face of the eventual costs of these policies. The CCP has never been hyper centralized in the way the CPSU was, after all. A lot of Xi’s political history revolves around combating that.

    TLDR, Put bluntly: Xi *cannot* not want Taiwan back. It’s not a problem that can be solved in any way other than upholding the status quo or China absorbing Taiwan. Hong Kong 2.0 ain’t happening. That’s not true for Putin, and my hunch is that even the Saudi/Iranian Cold War is more… “massagable” than the legacy of the Chinese Civil Wae, if you catch my drift. All the more reason for the US to focus on Asia, not Europe or the Middle East. It’s about where solutions can politically exist without Americans on the ground, behind our own interests, of course. The world isn’t a sitcom. Sometimes nice solutions don’t exist, only conditions that one can manage. Or conditions that aren’t worth your time and effort to manage.

  401. TWS says:
    @prosa123

    You have got to be the weirdest cat here. You’ve been spouting this nonsense as long as I have been paying attention to you (not long). You want women in the military simply so more women (and men) will die. It is an odd obsession you back with solid evidence like your observations at a gym and platitudes about women claiming to be as capable as men.

    Of course opposing your well reasoned and researched observations are reality, experience, and measurable performance. Why is this so important to you? The real reason not the crap you’ve been putting on the page so far. Why do you advocate for something so utterly ridiculous you get more laughs than Tiny Duck? What is driving your farcical crusade to see more women killed?

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  402. @nebulafox

    Everything you think about The Tuskegee Experiment is a lie.

  403. Sean says:
    @HA

    Sometimes the men and women who sell out to Putin do well in the first round, and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t mean they aren’t bought and paid for, and the fact that anyone would still question that Yanukovych is Putin’s stooge, given what has happened since, is mystifying. Or would be if anyone other than a Putin troll like yourself tried to claim it.

    Yanukovych represented Russian speaking Ukrainians that did not make him Putin’s man., just someone who was from a minority Post Orange revolution (Yanukoviych being prevented fro taking office by demos) .and with Ukraine now a darling of the West, Ukraine sufferered extremely cold weather amid a gas pricing row with Russia and supply chaos. A 2009 gas deal with Russia was brokered by Tymoshenko the Ukrainian prime minister with her Russian counterpart a certain V. Putin.

    How on earth can you explain how in 2010 after five year of everyone– everyone –being told Yanukovich had stolen an election in 2004, and destite him running against the heroes of the Orange revolution that stopped him taking office (Yushchenko and Tymoshenko), Yanukovich won the presidency of Ukraine fair and square, eh?

    And it is barely credibly that Yanukovych once in power was a puppet of Putin because in 2011 as winner of an election acknowledged to be fair, President Yanukovych had Tymoshenko put on trial for corruption over the the gas deal, which infuriated Putin who she negotiated it with. West Ukraine did not think the east and the ethnic Russians who lived there were entitled to have a say in the direction of the country, the end result will be a country will only consisting of the western part.

    If he didn’t like the fact that the so-called coup that Nuland allegedly instigated took out his stooge, he could have upped his pastry game to match hers.

    Nuland was irrelevant. I have never mentioned her. Poroshenko was the éminence grise of the Orange revolution, and a decade later instead of making someone else President he did it for himself and in 2019 Poroshenko yet again (third time) organised demonstration of nationalist in the same old square in Kiev to intimidate President Zelensky from carrying out his pledge to bring peace and stability to the country. But Zelensky is one of those Russian speakers, and he was elected with votes from Russian speaker. Obviously that is undemocratic. Well rump Ukraine, population about 20 million in a few years, won’t have to worry about those pesky ‘Putin sympathizing’ folk any more because although they will be living in the same place it’ll be another country.

    • Replies: @HA
  404. vinteuil says:
    @Art Deco

    Why would anyone take Dreher seriously?

    Because he writes well, & with passion, & gets a lot of stuff right which TPTB are getting wrong. E.g., all things transgender.

  405. @Steve Sailer

    Steve Sailer:

    “The Russians’ fifth generation fighters look more impressive in “Top Gun: Maverick” than in the Ukraine War.”

    Uh, what? When have Russians used their 5th generation fighter jets in this war? Putin made the decision to not use any of the many super-fancy stuff that they have because they don’t want NATO to see what they have in case of a MAJOR war.

    Are you denying that Russians have 5th generation jet fighters? Are you this stupid?

  406. @Steve Sailer

    Of course most thoughtful analysts understand that the Kharkov moves in the early stages of the SMO were feints by the Russians to keep the AFU pinned up North while the Russian Army dismembered the Azov Battalion down South in Mariupol. Which of course the Russians did. We don’t hear much about the Azov Battalion anymore, do we? Perhaps they are reduced to an Azov Platoon.

    Now that the Russians have liberated the Luhansk Oblast, the Ukrainian Army is withdrawing from Donetsk and are concentrating their forces west of Kherson for a final putsch.

    I consider it very sporting of the Ukrainian Army to concentrate their forces in this way, because it makes it much more convenient and cost-efficient for the Russians to bomb them into oblivion like they have with the rest of the Ukrainian military. The more concentrated the Ukrainian forces are, the fewer the artillery shells will be required to send them all to Valhalla, or wherever it is that Nazis go after receipt of a high explosive shell.

    And by the end of August, that will be that. Russia will take the rest of the Black Sea coast, Mikolaiev and Odesa. Then who knows what will happen with the rump Ukraine. And frankly since the Ukrainian military will no longer exist, who cares?

    And then some of us can go back to obsessing about the latest coof variant. Not me of course, but some people.

    • Replies: @Veteran Aryan
  407. Jack D says:
    @Sean

    You forgot the part where Yanukovich took billions in bribes (enough to build himself a golden \$100 million palace – not as big as Putin’s palace, mind you, but impressive for a guy who was supposed to be making like \$80k/yr. on his official salary).

    You also forgot the part where Yanukovich hopped on the nearest helicopter to Russia at the first sign of trouble. Putin was livid. It’s one thing to BUY a corrupt politician. The hard part is getting them to STAY bought.

    Yes, Ukraine was a work in progress when it comes to democracy and lack of corruption. It was far from perfect (but getting better). If Putin had kept on playing the game and tried to get HIS corrupt officials elected instead of American ones, that would have been fair game. A military invasion was not, and no amount of rehashing ancient or recent history can change that. Putin was like the spoiled child who is losing at chess so he throws the board off the table. The adults in the room tend to look down on such conduct.

  408. Jack D says:
    @Sean

    You keep assuming that this was a Himars hit which is a fact that is not in evidence (at least not in any reliable way – any “evidence” that the Russians have produced is totally not be trusted unless it can be verified by an unbiased source).

    • Replies: @Sean
  409. vinteuil says:
    @nebulafox

    This trans for kids stuff is going to be viewed how we view the Tuskegee syphilis experiment 100 years from now, at least I hope.

    This “trans for kids stuff” is a hundred times more foolish and wicked then the Tuskegee syphilis study.

  410. @TWS

    Reminds me of the “Vote Hillary to draft your daughter” stuff from 2016, the great days of Ricky Vaughn.

    BTW the chief grain magnate of Ukraine Vadaturskyi, an interesting oligarch who actually (mostly) made his money honestly, or as honestly as one can in Ukraine, was killed in a missile strike on his home, no word on targeting but he did raise money for Ukr military.

  411. map says:
    @HA

    Amazing how you believe in schoolmarmish finger-pointing. Do you not live in Woke America? Do you not understand that truth, facts, right and wrong don’t matter?

    What matters is narrative. The Russians have a narrative about what went on in Ukraine. Is that narrative durable? The answer is yes. Do the Russians have the means and the will to act on that narrative? The answer is also yes.

    Is the US narrative durable? No. Does the US have the means and the will to execute its narrative? No.

    You can claim all you want that Putin is a hypocrite or a liar, but it doesn’t change anything. The Russians believe that Ukraine is a CIA black site set up to antagonize and destroy them because they won’t bow to globohomo. What evidence do you have to persuade them otherwise?

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  412. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Yanukovych represented Russian speaking Ukrainians…”

    Yeah, yeah, sure he did. Good of you to use the past tense, given that whatever support Yanukovych once enjoyed has long since been drastically “de-Russified” by Putin’s ham-fisted bungling.

    Moreover, this is why I know the “why are you so emotionally invested?” crowd is so full of it. Sean has been spewing his they-done-Yanukovych-wrong spiel for months, cutting-and-pasting (blatantly incorrect propaganda) almost a decade old. I don’t recall ever seeing any of the “why so invested?” crowd taking him to task for his on-the-spectrum wailing about some Russian stooge that everyone who isn’t also a Russian stooge recognizes as… wait for it… a Russian stooge. His rant is about as relevant at this stage as arguing over how the South technically did win the Civil War, but it gets really no pushback.

    No, it’s always the minority faction that dares to disturb the RT propaganda reverberating through the echo chamber in these parts that is greeted with puzzled disapproval over why they’re not the same backstabbing weasels that they themselves are. So much for emotional investment.

    • Replies: @Sean
  413. vinteuil says:
    @Art Deco

    You shnooks

    OK, so that’s where you’re coming from.

    …don’t have to side with the enemy in every conflict…

    yeah, everybody who questions the wisdom of the latest neocon adventure is siding with the enemy.

  414. It is difficult for me to know what to believe; there is so much propaganda and ill-informed opinion.

    But modern war comes down to who has more stuff. Himars are great, but ammo is limited. OTOH, the Russkies won WW2 by lining up thousands of artillery pieces and blowing the crap out of the Germans. They still took at least 90k casualties in every operation.

    I think the Russkies have more ammo.

  415. Anonymous[150] • Disclaimer says:

    The vulnerability of tanks to modern ATGMs, and of aircraft to modern AA systems, means that ‘modern’ warfare increasingly resembles WWI, with its forts, trenches and massed artillery bombardments.

    That’s not encouraging for people who want this war to end, because WWI front lines were notorious for remaining static for years and years on end.

  416. @Dave Pinsen

    That’s an article about the study, not the study.

    The link to the actual study is in the article. I guess you didn’t open it up.

    This may be helpful for you to understand why Russia’s economy is often misunderstood in the West:

    I gave you the most in-depth study available conducted by economists at Yale University, who used genuine data, and you gave me some some blowhard claptrap from “Portfolio Armour” at ‘Zerohedge” about Russia being “a real economy.”

    And this “real economy” narrative is just so completely idiotic. It is just bitter old anachronisms, mostly men, making actual economies an avatar for their unexamined feelings of being old and past it, but compensating by pretending that everything after them will collapse, (it won’t), and that everything they don’t understand is not real. It is too sad and pathetic to laugh at, most of the time.

    And if there was any truth in this “real economy” narrative then Nigeria would be stable, while somewhere like Holland would have constant huge swings. In reality, a recession in Holland is like a 1% downturn, while in Nigeria is is more like a 15% one.

    Can you provide some support for this evidence-free assertion too?

    They all, bar Eastern Europe, have no need of Russian gas. And Eastern Europeans know and hate the current Russian Imperial set-up. How can you not know this?

    Can you provide some support for these evidence-free assertions

    Russia had advanced just 30kms in 6 months over what they say is friendly territory without inflicting one serious defeat on the Ukrainians in the field. 75,000 casualties may well be too kind to them.

    Be specific so you can take a victory lap if you’re right.

    I’ve been right about everything I have written about the military progress of the war so far. And you’ve been wrong. For almost 6 months. I also was specific on economics. Russia’s downturn will be like it was in the 90s.

    But at least you’ve made a couple of predictions in this comment we can hold you to:

    1) Russia will suffer a military humiliation in the Ukraine.

    Russia already has. Everyone can see this. Especially Russians. Some people just don’t want to admit it yet in the forlorn hope that somehow things will get less humiliating for them. They won’t.

    The specific problems that I identified in my previous post as to their 1970’s military capabilities aren’t going to be fixed in decades. You should thank me for educating you on that, by the way. Rather than just ignoring it and going all “source akshually”. But you won’t.

    Bitter old Western supporters of Russia:

    “I don’t feel appreciated in my Western culture and my feelings are hurt by the words used by journalists, but I won’t acknowledge that my feelings getting hurt can cause me so much pain, so instead I will create, or glom onto, a fantasy narrative about Western collapse, as punishment for hurting my feelings, and laud Putin in Russia, as a fantasy of a place that would massage my ego, which then I’ll reward in my imagination for, even if only in my imagination, unhumiliating me.”

    Like a little child.

    And of course, rather counter-productive. It is a neurosis that only makes the problem worse and precludes practical action. Just holding that fantasy belief set is humiliating and it stops you from addressing the real causes of your distress.

    Yes, all of your geopolitical and economic beliefs are just a giant maladaptive cope to protect you from having to realise how vulnerable you are to having your feelings hurt by progressive narratives about old white men.

  417. AKAHorace says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It’s a good thing we have an armchair general here writing the blog and colonels in the comment section to strategize a war half a world away that our country should not have anything to do with. It’s a shame they’re not over there to help their chosen teams, because they seem able not only to see with perfect clarity exactly what is going on, but also to predict with absolute certainty what will happen next.

    Almost none of the posters here can consider the possibility that the good guys can loose. The Ukrainians/Russians are always right and winning. Their opponents are always evil and incompetent. Russian/Ukrainian victory is inevitable and anyone who doubts this is both ignorant and motivated by venal reasons.

  418. So, no links to your past comments that you claim you got right, or to my past comments that you claim I got wrong, and no specific predictions about the future except for Russia being about to suffer a ‘90s style depression because Nike and other Western brands left.

    The specific problems that I identified in my previous post as to their 1970’s military capabilities aren’t going to be fixed in decades. You should thank me for educating you on that, by the way.

    Ah, yes: that was where you claimed Russia was incapable of conducting close air support, despite them doing so with SU-25s and other aircraft throughout this campaign. And here you refer to “1970’s military capabilities” as if close air support didn’t exist then. Thanks for exposing yourself as blowhard whose claims to military expertise can be safely ignored.

    I confess only skimmed your attempt at psychoanalysis, but I’m sure I didn’t miss anything insightful.

  419. Jack D says:
    @Triteleia Laxa

    I’m not as good at psychoanalyzing the Putinists as you are. I really don’t know what makes them tick. An admiration for the Strong Horse that they imagined Putin to be, maybe. We have no more heroes in the West. Biden is pathetic it goes without saying but Trump was (is) also a flawed character in many ways. Putin (at least the Putin of Russian propaganda) is a man’s man, without weaknesses, a sort of real life Russian James Bond, cool under fire.

    Once you have picked your hero, you tend to stick with him, longer than you should. It took a while for the American Stalinists to get over Stalin. One universal characteristic of the Putinists is that the copium is strong in them. There is no Russian defeat or setback that cannot be spun as a victory (or a feint or a jab or they meant to do that, ’tis but a scratch, etc.). If reality is not to your liking, rearrange it or ignore all evidence that you don’t like. Accentuate the positive! I suppose this is true on the losing side of any war – I think that some Germans thought that Hitler was going to turn it around down to the very last minute when the Russian tanks were already bombarding Berlin (Russian tactics have changed very little since 1945 – I guess if it’s not broke you don’t fix it.)

    I look forward to the day when these guys are forcibly awakened from their dream. What happens next is they will say, “I never liked that Putin anyway.” Rationalization is an amazingly powerful force. People will deny what they literally see before their own eyes in order not to have to deal with reality.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Boethiuss
    , @PhysicistDave
  420. @Sean

    It was 1981 when the Israelis shot down all those Migs.

  421. @Triteleia Laxa

    So, no links to your past comments that you claim you got right, or to my past comments that you claim I got wrong, and no specific predictions about the future except for Russia being about to suffer a ‘90s style depression because Nike and other Western brands left.

    The specific problems that I identified in my previous post as to their 1970’s military capabilities aren’t going to be fixed in decades. You should thank me for educating you on that, by the way.

    Ah, yes: that was where you claimed Russia was incapable of conducting close air support, despite them doing so with SU-25s throughout this campaign. And here you refer to “1970’s military capabilities” as if close air support didn’t exist then. Thanks for exposing yourself as blowhard whose claims to military expertise can be safely ignored.

    I confess only skimmed your attempt at psychoanalysis, but I’m sure I didn’t miss anything insightful.

    • Replies: @Pixo
  422. Boethiuss says:
    @Jack D

    I’m not as good at psychoanalyzing the Putinists as you are. I really don’t know what makes them tick. An admiration for the Strong Horse that they imagined Putin to be, maybe.

    For the ones here at least, I think it’s more a radical rejection of solidarity. Hillary Clinton calls us deplorable for opposing transgenderism and liberalized immigration policy. Angela Merkel and that sort of Eurocrat think of or call Putin deplorable for lots of things.

    But instead of worrying about those people, Putin simply invades Ukraine. Which is what the crankier unz commenters want to do here, but can’t or won’t. I mean, not about Ukraine, but immigration policy or affirmative action or crime or other grievances.

    But, engaging our fellow Americans in solidarity and actually changing immigration policy, that’s way too much work. It’s much easier just to sit at home and cheerlead for this other deplorable who simply invades Ukraine because he feels like it.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  423. @Johnny Rico

    What happened to you? You used to be sensible.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  424. @HA

    My little buddy HA wrote to me:

    If those “couple of examples” were not representative of the rest of those “several things” that keep you trapped in this hellhole civilization that you deem unworthy of survival, or if there were far more important ones that you omitted, then that’s on you

    Nope, that’s on you, little buddy.

    It is not my job to tell you exactly the info you think I should tell you.

    But it is your job to stop lying.

    HA also wrote:

    There’s nothing remotely factual or reasonable in that first sentence.

    Except it actually is factually true — we have the recording of Nuland. And you have not challenged the fact that it is factually true. Instead, you just huff and puff like a pompous fool.

    Because for some bizarre reason you refuse to disclose, you want to see the killing continue in Ukraine.

    The killing must stop.

    • Troll: Pixo
    • Replies: @HA
  425. @map

    map wrote to HA:

    You can claim all you want that Putin is a hypocrite or a liar, but it doesn’t change anything. The Russians believe that Ukraine is a CIA black site set up to antagonize and destroy them because they won’t bow to globohomo.

    Yeah. Putin is a politicians; therefore, he probably is a hypocrite and a liar.

    But, as you say, that does not change a thing. The US intentionally poked the Russian bear and now people are dying.

    And people will only stop dying when there is a negotiated peace that Moscow is willing to accept.

  426. @Boethiuss

    Boethius wrote to Jack D:

    [Jack] I’m not as good at psychoanalyzing the Putinists as you are. I really don’t know what makes them tick. An admiration for the Strong Horse that they imagined Putin to be, maybe.

    [Boethius] For the ones here at least, I think it’s more a radical rejection of solidarity. Hillary Clinton calls us deplorable for opposing transgenderism and liberalized immigration policy.

    You are on Hillary’s side.

    You are on the side of the neo-libs/neo-cons who started this conflict in Ukraine and who are continuing to fuel it and cheer it on.

    You and the other Zelensky worshipers are, objectively speaking, Clintonistas.

    Those of who are opposed to the neo-liberals and neo-cons are the ones who want a negotiated peace in Ukraine so that people will no longer be dying.

    You are a neo-lib/neo-con, at least in terms of your position on foreign policy.

    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  427. Boethiuss says:
    @PhysicistDave

    You are on Hillary’s side.

    You are on the side of the neo-libs/neo-cons who started this conflict in Ukraine and who are continuing to fuel it and cheer it on.

    You and the other Zelensky worshipers are, objectively speaking, Clintonistas.

    Well, yeah. Except for the part about who started the conflict because that was obviously Putin.

    But if Hillary is backing the Ukraine side in this war (and I’m sure she is), then yes for this purpose I’m with her.

    But the problem here is still you. You’re the one getting wrapped around the axle of irrelevant enemy-of-my-enemy bullshtt, instead of just objectively looking at what is in substance an absurdly simple situation. Then you’re throwing around these feelgood labels like “neolib” and “Zelensky worshipers” which are similarly irrelevant for the same reasons.

    Putin is a person, who is doing meaningful things for his reasons, which are are very bad. He’s not a character in a book or video game, who’s protagonist-ically “representing” us so we can cheer for no matter what he does. I mean, commenters here like to think of Putin that way, but it wasn’t a video game character who invaded Ukraine.

    And thinking of things this way isn’t just factually wrong, it also devalues our particular national interest in the outcome of the war.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  428. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “Except it actually is factually true — we have the recording of Nuland.”

    The one where she drops an f-bomb at the EU? The one where she says her preference would be Yatsenyuk? To the extent Putin has a problem with Nuland expressing a preference for one candidate or another, or having to drop a few bills in the swear jar, he shouldn’t have preceded all that with getting his own puppet installed. If he can try to subvert people in Ukraine (and even the US), he’s hardly one to point fingers at Nuland when all she does is state her preferences. To the extent the stooge he propped up was so inept he sparked an uprising, that, again, is only an indication that Putin needs to stop scraping from the bottom of the barrel when selecting his puppets and useful idiots. But then, he wouldn’t have the likes of you carrying his water, would he?

    “It is not my job to tell you exactly the info you think I should tell you.”

    Again, if you’re too spineless to tell us the real reasons why you’re too spineless to head on out to Beijing and thereby sync up your deeds with your empty delusions, that’s on you. I helpfully provided a link of you specifically citing college enrollment issues as the kind of thing by which cruel fate has trapped you stateside. I.e., I wasn’t exaggerating — you really are that preposterous, and the evidence is there in black and white. Now you want to try and squirm out of that hole by pretending the real reason why you can’t quit the West is actually something not nearly so ridiculous, though for some reason known only to you, you had to keep it to yourself? Good luck with that. I’m not falling for it.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  429. Farenheit says:
    @Anonymous

    Regardless of who wins this war, neither Ukraine nor Russia are going to have to worry about “globohomo” for a long time to come.

    Ukraine in Nato Monday, Globohomo Parades on Tuesday.
    Russian routed fron Ukraine on Monday, GloboHomo humiliating Russia Tuesday..

    Even Vikto Oban has figured this out.

  430. @Boethiuss

    The neo-con Boethius wrote to me:

    Well, yeah. Except for the part about who started the conflict because that was obviously Putin.

    Putin did not start this — and you know that.

    The US apparatchik Vicky Nuland plotted the overthrow of the legitimate government of Ukraine in 2014. When the Donbass refused to bend the knee to the illegal puppet regime that the US installed in Kiev, the US armed the puppet regime to suppress the legitimate government in the Donbass.

    Not Putin but Obama and his neo-con/neo-lib underlings started this war.

    Facts are terrible things, but those are the facts. Again, we have the recording of Nuland plotting the coup.

    Usually the war-mongering activities of the illegal US Empire are shrouded in darkness.

    But not this time. We have the recording.

    We have the recording because Nuland is such a doofus that she did not have enough sense to use an encrypted channel!

    The US Empire is scraping the bottom of the barrel for its apparatchiks, nowadays. It is collapsing. It will not last long.

    The neo-con also wrote to me:

    You’re the one getting wrapped around the axle of irrelevant enemy-of-my-enemy bullshtt, instead of just objectively looking at what is in substance an absurdly simple situation.

    Yes, it is simple: the US plotted the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine and then armed the puppet regime to kill those who rejected the putsch.

    I make no argument about “the enemy of my enemy.” I have said again and again that I do not think Putin is a particularly good person and that I do not think it was in the interest of the Russian people for Putin to involve Russia in the civil war that the US engineered in Ukraine.

    I have said again and again that all I want is peace, an end to the killing.

    The neo-con also wrote:

    And thinking of things this way isn’t just factually wrong, it also devalues our particular national interest in the outcome of the war.

    “National interest” is the neo-con euphemism for mass murder.

    The legitimate interest of the people of the United States is to stay away from entangling alliances abroad. Our interest is peace.

    But that is anathema to neo-cons like you.

    You neo-cons and neo-libs worship death. As you admit, you are on the side of the monster Hillary.

    The killing must stop.

    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  431. @HA

    My little buddy HA wrote to me:

    Again, if you’re too spineless to tell us the real reasons why you’re too spineless to head on out to Beijing and thereby sync up your deeds with your empty delusions, that’s on you…

    HA, my dear old pal, I do not know how to break this to you, but other people are not obliged to write exactly what you happen to want them to write.

    And when they don’t, you are not entitled to lie.

    Which you did.

    Take care, little buddy!

    • Replies: @HA
  432. Sean says:
    @Jack D

    I tend to get over emphatic in argument, but I trust my instincts from reading between the lines from previous incidents f when the Russians really killed non combatant s with a missile and then denied it. A certain reaction to such a blunder and cover up by Russia would be expected from America and this was lacking I really think the tepid response from the US is a dead giveaway American diplomats know it was the Ukrainians.

  433. @Jack D

    Jack D wrote to Triteleia Laxa:

    I’m not as good at psychoanalyzing the Putinists as you are. I really don’t know what makes them tick.

    Let me help you, Jack: you would not have trouble understanding those of us you falsely and maliciously label as “Putinists” if you could just get over your psychotic delusion that we are on Putin’s side or on any side other than that of truth and peace.

    It is you Penis-Piano-Player worshipers who insist on arming one side in this conflict, spending billions of dollars of US taxpayer money to prop up the puppet regime in Kiev.

    Those of us you falsely call “Putinists” are not demanding that US taxpayers be forced to subsidize the Russian war effort or the legitimate governments in the Donbass. We are not even sending our own money for that purpose. We just want to stay out of this conflict.

    We just want the killing to stop.

    You are so obsessed with propping up the Nazis in Kiev that you reflect your own obsession onto us, thinking we are your mirror image.

    The Big Lie: just like the German Nazis who insisted that anyone who did not hate the Jews was a secret tool of the Jews.

    We are just not neo-cons like you, Jack. We just do not have a sociopathic urge to draw the US into every conflict half-way around the world.

    The killing must stop.

  434. Boethiuss says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Putin did not start this — and you know that.

    Why would I “know” that the US started this war when it’s plainly obvious that it didn’t. The war started in Feb of 2022 and it was instigated by Vladimir Putin as President of Russia.

    There was political and diplomatic conflict in Ukraine prior to 2022 but that was not war.

    There’s no way that I accept your tendentious interpretations of Victoria Nuland but even if I did it wouldn’t change anything. Whatever Victoria Nuland did in Ukraine, it was not a war.

    My guess is, you are implicitly trying to argue that where there is political and diplomatic conflict, that war necessarily follows. But that is obviously not true, as hundreds of counterexamples would illustrate.

    It is not true particularly in this case, among other reasons it was widely believed in Ukraine that Putin would not attempt a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. Obviously the Ukrainians were wrong on that point.

    As far as national interest goes, we have interests in freedom, secure borders among nations, self-determination, and peace. And especially peace, in that to a substantial extent the value of those others lies in helping to secure the peace.

    And in this case especially it is Vladimir Putin who has broken the peace, so it is in our interest to oppose him.

    • Agree: Clyde
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  435. Pixo says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    You want specific Dave Pinsen Ukraine idiocy?

    OK, remember back in the glory days of early March when your mancrush seemed to be winning? You posted this tweet here

    Those were the days, comade!

    You also, my Putintardy beefcake, predicted Ukraine would cede to Russia ”most of the country east of the Dnieper.” How’s that going? Do you reaffirm it?

    You also DollarDoomed into the biggest dollar bull in 22 years, braying about “reduced confidence in the dollar, by freezing/confiscating Russia’s dollar reserves.”

    • Thanks: HA
    • LOL: Clyde
  436. @Triteleia Laxa

    Triteleia Laxa wrote in support of his contention that Russia is losing the economic war:

    I gave you the most in-depth study available conducted by economists at Yale University, who used genuine data, and you gave me some some blowhard claptrap from “Portfolio Armour” at ‘Zerohedge” about Russia being “a real economy.”

    Of course, biased sources are the life blood of many of the diehard Ukrainian supporters on this site. And the study cited by Triteleia Laxa, which attempts to conceal its bias under a veneer of academic respectability, is little different. Consider these excerpts from that study, which is titled “Business Retreats and Sanctions are Crippling the Russian Economy” by Sonnenfeld, et al.:

    “No doubt, certain European energy companies, such as TotalEnergies, can and must do more to [s]ever all ties to Russia.”

    “Gazprom itself is not a regular energy giant which plays by the rules – rather, it has been a device of the Kremlin’s political influence and has shown a willingness to ignore contractual obligations with European countries already, with pipeline repairs serving as a smokescreen – maskirovka – for lowering gas volumes in pipelines. Gazprom has also openly cut gas supplies to countries such as Lithuania and Poland in retaliation for refusing to pay for gas in rubles, destroying its credibility as a trade partner and its rule-of-law contractual agreements.”

    “The Kyiv School of Economics and McFaul-Yermak Working Group have led the way in
    proposing additional sanctions …”

    “Defeatist headlines arguing that Russia’s economy has bounced back are simply not factual – the facts are that, by any metric and on any level, the Russian economy is reeling, and now is not the time to step on the brakes.”

    In terms of bias, this isn’t obvious Ghost of Kiev stuff. But, as someone whose read a few papers from STEM journals, where objectivity is expected, it’s actually quite shocking to me that the authors of this paper express such obvious biases. Indeed, invoking Michael McFaul, whose hatred for Russia virtually oozes from his pores, is rich. As are the complaints about Gazprom cutting back gas shipments when they are being sanctioned (as if fighting back is not allowed), and, especially, the complaint that Gazprom is not following the rule-of-law, while at the same time the US is seizing the assets of private citizens.

    Due to it’s high academic credentials, the study cited above does have a veneer of respectability. But due to its author’s biases, it is not a reliable source. With so much propaganda out there, the credibility of sources should be a high priority to people making arguments. Unfortunately, some zealous supporters of Ukraine are constantly citing reports from highly biased sources that claim that the Russians are being routed in this war. They treat these biased reports as gospel, when at best they are conjecture and quite often outright lies. Perhaps, questionable cases require questionable sources.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
  437. @Pixo

    Pixo wrote to Dave Pinsen:

    You want specific Dave Pinsen Ukraine idiocy?

    OK, remember back in the glory days of early March when your mancrush seemed to be winning? You posted this tweet here

    and then Pixo quoted a tweet from Clint Ehrlich (I assume Pinsen re-tweeted this?) saying:

    The Russian military is still in a strategic position to win the war.

    They’ve already surrounded Azov Battalion at Mariupol, and they’re on their way to encircling Ukraine’s forces in the Donbas.

    But that was all true, wasn’t it?

    They did have the Azov Battalion surrounded. And since then the Azov Battalion has surrendered and the Russians have occupied Mariupol. And taken various other towns in the Donbass.

    Kinda weird for you to “refute” Pinsen by posting something that is obviously true, eh?

    Or maybe you secretly have a “mancrush” on Pinsen and you are expressing your admiration for him by pretending to refute him and thereby actually promoting him?

  438. Sean says:
    @HA

    If Yanukovychdid did not particularly represent Russian speaking Ukrainians, then why is it that after he was overthrown by riotous demonstrations in Kiev mainly, there was a mirror image protest in the east by the Russian speakers? I have seen video of the first real fighting when the Ukrainians recaptured Donetsk airport and rebels tried to assaults it; they were locals; men stripped to the waist going to certain death against Ukrainian helicopter gunships. Putin had to offered a greatly increased bribe to Ukraine under Yanukovych to keep Ukraine on side; Russia could not get what it had to to offer more than just a continuation of decades of cheap gas. The bribe to keep Ukraine from an economic ties to the EC was Russia buy 15 billion of Ukrainian bonds and give a further reduction in the gas price for Ukrainians. Yanukovych got a good deal for his country, but they were not interested. Now Ukraine has gone West in every sense.

    Poroshenko is far more impressive than Yanukovych . But a good leader knows his country’s limitations and makes it a priority to keep it together. My rant is about as relevant at this stage as arguing over how the South technically did win the Civil War? A strange argument for you to make for Ukraine, because the South never had a chance of winning that war against a much larger and more self sufficient country right next to it. And the South could not understand that whether they considered the treatment of the minority none of the North’s business was beside the point the fact was the North were making it their business.

    No, it’s always the minority faction that dares to disturb the RT propaganda reverberating through the echo chamber in these parts that is greeted with puzzled disapproval over why they’re not the same backstabbing weasels that they themselves are. So much for emotional investment

    Far from worrying about Western opinion and trying to influence it, the invasion of Ukraine is surely an indication that Russia has given up trying to get on the West’s good side and is spurning it. Putin is the anti-Peter the Great, taking Russia East, which is a remarkable turnaround from what he was saying originally. It is going to cost Russia dearly but they think it is worth it.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  439. In the latest Ukraine war crime news:

    Incidentally, a western media trend is to claim Ukrainian attacks against civilians in the separatist republics in the Donbas were actually committed by Russia. Here’s a blue check from BBC doing so.

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
  440. Clyde says:
    @HA

    I did thank you but it is lost in the iSteve approval machine.

    • Thanks: HA
  441. @Boethiuss

    Boethius wrote to me:

    There was political and diplomatic conflict in Ukraine prior to 2022 but that was not war.

    Tell that to all the people who died in the Donbass prior to 2022!

    Funny how you neo-cons and Clintonistas redefine words: a month ago, two quarters of falling GDP were a “recession.” But now they are what? A transitory adjustment?

    And eight years of shooting and bombing and killing in the Donbass before Putin invaded in February of 2022 are now what? Not a war but “political and diplomatic conflict”?

    And you honestly do not think you are being dishonest in playing this macabre game, now do you?

    You honestly do not see why ordinary people throughout the world have had more than enough of people like who play games with words at the expense of innocent human lives, do you?

    The human race has no place for people like you!

    The Clintonista also wrote to me:

    My guess is, you are implicitly trying to argue that where there is political and diplomatic conflict, that war necessarily follows.

    No, you are the one playing word games like that.

    I am arguing quite explicitly that eight years of organized mass killing in the Donbass by the US puppet regime in Kiev, armed and encouraged by the US, was war.

    Not “political and diplomatic conflict .” War. War, as in mass murder. A war in which, after eight long years, Putin finally openly intervened in February 2022.

    Was Putin wise to do that? I don’t think he was. But the war had been going on for eight years: Putin intervened in an ongoing war.

    Not a “political and diplomatic conflict”!

    And I am pretty sure you know that happened. It has been in the news for the last eight years!

    You just cannot be quite that stupid as to be ignorant of this.

    Typical neo-con: playing word games and then accusing those who tell the truth of doing what you are actually doing.

    Freudian projection.

    The killing must stop.

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
    , @Boethiuss
  442. Clyde says:
    @Sean

    You left out the part where Yanukovych, via proclamation, handed over Crimea to Vlad. The famed since Catherine the Great, warm water port for a funky, non-existent navy. With a sunk Moskva joke.

    • Replies: @Sean
  443. @Sean

    Sean wrote:

    Putin is the anti-Peter the Great, taking Russia East, which is a remarkable turnaround from what he was saying originally. It is going to cost Russia dearly but they think it is worth it.

    Honest question: why do you think it will “cost Russia dearly”?

    The ruling elite in the West are pushing for chemical (or physical) castration of children who are confused about their sexuality. It seems to me that cutting ties with the West is, prima facie, rather wise.

    And purely economically, the West gets its pharmaceuticals, key minerals, and a lot of other stuff from China. We may get our semiconductor chips from Taiwan, but the PRC can take Taiwan any day they decide to do so.

    If I were sitting in Moscow, I would think that the West is the past and Asia is the future.

    I have said many times that I do not think Putin’s decision to openly intervene in the Ukrainian civil war that was created by the US elite was in the best interest of the Russian people.

    But as far as I can see, Moscow’s turning away from the West and towards the East really is in the best interest of the Russian people, any way you slice it.

  444. @Pixo

    Your gotcha is that I shared a tweet by an expert that turned out to be about half incorrect (Kiev didn’t get leveled, and Donbas wasn’t about to get encircled, but he was right about Mariupol and that you’d want to be Russia rather than the Ukraine in the war)? Okay.

    If you’re interested, Ehrlich acknowledged his prediction of a quick Russian victory was wrong and discussed why with the RWApodcast guys in this dialogue. I’ll share a couple of excerpts from it below, with a few comments of my own.

    Clint Ehrlich: When Russia invaded, I notoriously predicted a “Sputnik moment”. I was confident that Russia’s modernized military would win a Gulf War-style victory against Ukraine. I’ve caught a lot of deserved flak for that, but my belief was mirrored by the U.S. intelligence community, which projected that Kiev could fall within the first 72 hours of a Russian invasion, as the Ukrainian military surrendered en masse.

    Do you believe that the Kremlin itself was caught off guard by the tenacity of Ukrainian resistance? Or was that an error more characteristic of Western analysts like myself, who arguably overlooked that military courage against invaders is a shared trait among the Ukrainian and Russian people?

    [MORE]

    RWA: The idea that Ukraine would fall within a week was based on two misconceptions. The first one is mistaking the Armed Forces of Ukraine of 2022 for those of 2014. In 2014, Ukrainian forces in Crimea either changed sides or laid down their arms with no resistance, and even before the (extremely limited) Russian intervention the Donbass militias, who at that point were made up mostly of middle-aged veterans and volunteers, managed to rout vastly superior Ukrainian army units. The Ukrainian government admitted that at that point they had no more than ~5000 combat-ready soldiers in the standing army. The AFU of 2022, however, are a huge force (the largest in Europe, aside from Russia) in a militarized society, juiced up on eight years of NATO supplies and training, and, of course, their own efforts.

    I have made similar points here, including in this thread.

    The regular army is supported by a vast network of paramilitary structures in every city in the east of the country, including the formal integration of highly motivated ideological formations made up of political extremists. The reasons why people would assume that the Ukrainian army hasn’t changed are either ignorance or general slavophobia, assuming they can’t build a formidable army. A lot of people in the West believed this, and, to a smaller degree, in Russia, too.

    The second reason why so many people seemed to expect a swift Russian victory is that they judged the possible Russian performance based on the experiences of the last Western-led wars.

    I’ve said similar here.

    I still maintain that if Russia had unleashed a hellish Shock & Awe campaign in Ukraine, the AFU would have disintegrated on impact, which is also exactly what it looked like in the first 12 hours of the war. Later we learned that the Armed Forces of Russia executed fewer missile and airstrikes in a month than the US did in a few days in Iraq.

    I don’t know if that would have happened.

    In living memory, no Western nation has fought a war “on its own soil”, or at least in a location where the lives of the local population mattered to them. They do not understand why Russia wouldn’t just flatten every city in Eastern Ukraine. The official (and unofficial) Russian position is that the Russian-Ukrainian population of these territories is held hostage by an irrational nationalist regime in Kiev. Of course, within such a paradigm it doesn’t make much sense to reduce population centers to rubble.

    I’ve made similar points in this thread.

    I do, however, believe that there were also mistakes in the Russian General Staff regarding the expectation of mass surrenders. Either these were based on the outdated Crimean experience, or on bad intelligence. I tend to think it was the latter, as Russian intelligence seems to have suffered several huge failures, certainly more than the military.

    This is consistent with Steve’s point about the failures of Russian intelligence/bribery efforts, and with similar comments by Edward Luttwak, but it’s not consistent with Zelensky recently firing his domestic spy chief. Something doesn’t quite add up here. Maybe both the Russian and Ukrainian spies bought houses in Los Angeles with the money.

    In Russian culture, Ukrainians, or Malorussians, are traditionally viewed as extremely stubborn. This is a known quantity, so to speak. You know, back in 2015 there was a joke about the war: Donbass Militiaman Ivan shouts at Ukrainian soldier Taras, “Give up, you’re surrounded!”, and Taras answers “Russians don’t surrender!”. Fighting Slavs is hard.

    As I’ve said repeatedly, the Ukrainians are smart and tough, and close to a peer adversary of the Russians. It’s not so much that Russian capabilities were overrated as the Ukrainian capabilities were underrated.

    That said, I’ve thought since early May that the Russians were clearly winning, and I still believe that to be the case.

    • Replies: @AKAHorace
  445. Clyde says:
    @Triteleia Laxa

    I like your psycho analysis of “Bitter old Western supporters of Russia”. This is not the only factor, but a large factor, from what I see on the conservative, right-wing internet. When I see Ukraine and Putin/Russia supporters tearing into each other. There was a crude poll at Free Republic, Russia supporters were 5x more numerous than Ukraine supporters. I favor Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  446. @Sean

    Putin is the anti-Peter the Great, taking Russia East, which is a remarkable turnaround from what he was saying originally. It is going to cost Russia dearly but they think it is worth it.

    As I said up thread, at the turn of the century, Putin tried embracing the West, but was rebuffed on his desire to join NATO, and we rewarded him for his help after 9/11 by working to turn the Ukraine (starting in 2004, IIRC) into an anti-Russian, Western outpost on his border.

    So, partly for that reason, (and our unprecedented sanctions on Russia) it makes sense for Russia to turn East, but it also makes sense because of a few other trends Putin groks:

    – The economic center of the world is moving East.
    – The world is moving away from U.S. hegemony to multipolarity.
    – America is the last remaining ideological empire. Any country in its orbit (with the possible exception of the Saudis) gets pressured to kowtow it on the latest LGBTQ+ stuff. Russia can trade profitably with countries like India and China without them trying to impose alien ideologies on each other.

    • Thanks: nokangaroos
  447. @Steve Sailer

    Victoria Nuland started it along with our corrupt globalist CIA.

    Steve Sailer repeats idiot Establishment talking points.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  448. AKAHorace says:

    An assessment of how the war is going from Unherd.

    https://unherd.com/2022/07/is-russia-winning-the-war/?=refinnar

    • Thanks: EddieSpaghetti
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  449. @PhysicistDave

    Thanks again for your efforts here. I (and I suspect several others) with complementary views would post more if our comments weren’t so often held in moderation while those of, e.g., Jack D didn’t keep piling up.

    You seem, though, to have an Auto-Pass.

    1. Are your comments ever Whimmed?

    2. Do you send money to Mr. Sailer?

    (For apparent reasons, I wanted to send you this in another author’s thread. But this blog seems to be the only place where you have participated lately.)

    {#450}

  450. @Greta Handel

    * while those of, e.g., Jack D keep piling up.

    That (correctly) said, the soft censoring seems to have been suspended here this morning.

    But I would still like to hear from PhysicistDave (or Mr. Sailer) about his Whimming experience and free \$peech.

    {#458}

  451. @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    “Steve Sailer repeats idiot Establishment talking points.”

    What’s the phenomenon called where someone reads something in the MSM on a subject they know about (say crime in the US) and realises it’s a pile of propagandist crap, then reads something else in the same MSM about something they DON’T know about (say what’s been happening in the Donbass since 2014) and they swallow it whole?

    (This applies to a LOT more people than Steve, including half the commenters here, apart from those who hate Russia for reasons of ethnic payback)

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @Dave Pinsen
  452. @Greta Handel

    Greta,

    I am limited to three comments per hour on any given thread: I think that limit is true for everyone.

    My comments are almost never held up for more than a few minutes.

    A year or so ago, however, I noticed that my comments were getting held up for an hour or more: I finally realized that I had mistyped my email and my browser kept putting in that wrong email, and so the system did not recognize who I was and someone therefore had to approve my comments manually. When I fixed the email address, the problem went away.

    There does seem to be a significant delay for the first few comments on a thread to post for some reason.

    Without going into details, I am pretty certain that my comments are not going through because of any monetary contributions to Steve or Ron!

    My guess — but only a guess — is that after a person has posted a large enough number of comments without getting into serious trouble, then their comments start going through automatically. It is clearly very important, as I found out a year ago, to be consistent in the (real or fictitious) email address you type in.

    And I do tend to comment mainly on Sailer’s blog, mainly because I find him interesting and comparatively sane: i.e., even when I think Steve is wrong, I do not think he is crazy.

    Hope that answers your questions as best I can.

    And thanks for your kind words.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
  453. @EddieSpaghetti

    People with preferences must always be wrong and you are just an objective observer?

    Give me a break!

    You’re certainly smarter than “Dave Pinsent” who offers “observations” on the military situation that immediately give himself away as a total ignoramus to anyone not similarly uninformed.

    Not that the catastrophe of the last 6 months should have left people like him with any credibility on this issue anyway.

    But the fact, to address your entire argument, is that getting your knickers in a twist over someone revealing their preferences in a paper doesn’t actually dismiss their hard data and findings. No matter how much you wish it did!

    Nor does them revealing their preferences make then less reliable. It actually makes them much more reliable. They have the honesty and self-awareness to know their biases.

    Do any of you embittered “dissidents” know your own emotional biases? Or do any of you have any idea how they colour your “observations” and twist your judgement? Half of you use the word “projection” but don’t even know what it means!

    And this internal opacity would all be mostly harmless if it hadn’t led you to cheerlead the invasion of Ukraine and the pointless murder of her people, which in turn made the invasion and its continuation more likely. This is a genuine blood debt which you have and that guilt will follow you, whether you consciously acknowledge it or not.

    I know, I know, you’re about to give me the “I am just a realist/objective observer” routine.

    No, you’re not.

    Hopefully, for your sake, you’re just a liar, because if you’re sincere, and you really believe your delusion, you have the psychological maturity of an eight year old.

    Just look at all of the effort you made to discredit the Yale Study through ignoring the data and attacking their emotional honesty, while ignoring the imbecilic clickbait for coots from “Portfolio Armour” at “Zerohedge.”

    And anyway, even Rossstat, which is part of the governing apparatus that has basically lied about everything to make Russia seem better, says their economy will shrink by 7.8% this year.

    So even their fantasy optimism, leads them to compare unfavourably with half of the years in the 90s for Russia, the US in the financial crisis (shrunk ~0.5%) and the US even in most of the Great Depression. And this is something Russia planned for and the sanctioners did not, so you can well-expect it to get worse each year as places like Germany find a way out of dependence on the only thing of value in the Russian economy (hydrocarbons.)

    Which will happen, the production price of all of those shale outfits, for example, is far lower than the current price of oil, so something will give.

    What’s darkly funny about all of this, and especially you imbeciles, is that the whole war is a perfect tragedy. Putin obviously sincerely believed that Ukraine was fake and gay and that there’d be no resistance, because he obviously believed his own propaganda.

    Anyone can see it in the military strategy used. He was utterly sincere!

    And quite obviously he would never have launched the war if he knew it would turn out like it has.

    Indeed, had reality been like you imbeciles, and Putin, thought, the war would not even been considered as a war or as a moral calumny. By almost anyone.

    This means that your ideological worldview, masquerading, perhaps even to yourselves, as hard-headed realism, is really no more than the most mush-brained emotionally driven hubris. It is like your political thoughts are possessed and controlled by a bunch of hysterical old dears who twist their knickers and faint at anything they struggle to understand, before getting up and screaming delinquently.

    But even that level of self-delusion would be fine if any of you had the strength of mind to admit you were wrong! Putin, for example, could have seen that there was serious resistance and claimed the whole thing was punitive, kept what he had before the war, had it ratified and moved on, but instead he doubled down, which is the moment his corruption became complete.

    And as with all farces which succeed true tragedies, his clownshow of cheerleaders doubled down too. That’s you, various comically stupid talking heads like Ritter and commenters like “Dave Pinsent” et al.

    And the corrupting cost for you all is not superficial. Now half of you are ranting about US biological warfare with birds from Ukraine! A crack addiction and a couple of strokes would have left you less brain damaged.

    But what’s really pitch-black darkly amusing is that whatever the individual personal issues which you had that left you vulnerable to this, in the details of your actual lives, will only get worse as you force yourselves to be even more ignorant of the dynamics behind them and your contribution.

    Dostoyevsky understood how guilt works, but somehow there are generations who came later who think that, if they just keep it in their unconscious, it won’t haunt them, even though that is precisely where things haunt you from.

    • Replies: @EddieSpaghetti
  454. @AKAHorace

    Horace,

    Thanks for the link: I strongly urge everyone to read it.

    The author, in a very measured and balanced way, makes the points a lot of us here have been trying to make, resulting in us being vilified as tools of Putin (let me make clear that the author of the piece you link to is clearly on the side of Kiev):

    1) The Kievan forces have shown much greater courage in fighting Russia than almost anyone anticipated.

    2) Nonetheless, given the immense imbalance in manpower and resources, it is almost impossible for Ukraine to militarily defeat the Russian Federation on its own.

    3) There is a bare chance that Ukraine can wear Russia down to the point that the Russians will decide the fight is not worth the candle, but the Ukrainians will bear a horrific cost in the process, and even this is only possible with a level of support and sacrifice from the West that seems politically unlikely.

    I hasten to add that others will think that the author’s key points are rather different, but there is no doubt that he is pessimistic about the odds of Kiev prevailing.

    On one major point I differ with him:

    The ascendant wing of the Republican party is more or less openly supportive of Putin, projecting its distaste for its domestic enemies onto Ukraine, and prominent foreign policy realists in the American defence establishment urge a winnowing of American support for Europe to focus on the greater strategic threat posed by China in the Pacific.

    The GOP Establishment hates Putin just as much as American liberals do. It’s the GOP insurgents that think maybe peace is better than this horrific war, but very few of them (or, shall I say, us) actually support Putin. We just want to keep the US out of this tragedy, and we would like to see the killing and suffering end.

    Some of the grand old men of the conservative foreign-policy establishment — most prominently Mearsheimer but to some degree also Kissinger — have tried to inject a note of realism. But I think it is fair to say that they are not exactly admirers of Putin.

    Thanks again.

    Dave

    • Replies: @jill
    , @Triteleia Laxa
  455. @PhysicistDave

    Thanks. I have a few points for our host and his readership.

    1. Other commenters have asserted that a favored few aren’t subject to the three-per-hour-per-thread limit. I’ve not looked into this to inform any opinion. (But we all know whose archives would enable the analysis — they’re not the “Putin fanboys.”)

    2. I’m scrupulous about using the same email address, too. Based on mine and the observed experience of others, Whimming correlates strongly to substantive disagreement with Mr. Sailer (see also, COVID), irrespective of intemperate language or tone. I can’t recall posting any comment that doesn’t get through … eventually.

    3. It sounds like you do send money to Mr. Sailer. That’s fine, but this should have no effect on the limitation or moderation of comments.

    4. Mr. Sailer can easily clear these things up. And he should.

    {#462)

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  456. jill says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Will we see a “Diem” coup now? How will they exit the coming debacle?

    Biden before Zelensky?

    https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/fb7c7bd8-097d-4e2f-8f12-3442d151b57d/downloads/2021%20Open%20Letter%20from%20Retired%20Generals%20and%20Adm.pdf?ver=1620740665549

    NATO is looking to start the BIG ONE:

    German, Hungarian and Italian fighter aircraft will take up air patrols over the Baltic region as part of NATO’s air policing mission starting on Monday (1 August 2022).

  457. @PhysicistDave

    I call your take on Russia, as regards Ukraine and the West: “The doormat’s unexamined, childish revenge fantasy.”

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  458. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “I do not know how to break this to you, but other people are not obliged to write exactly what you happen to want them to write.

    No, they’re not obliged to reveal how spineless and embarrassingly lazy and lacking in initiative they are. Burt sometimes they stupidly do, like you did. Now you need to deal with it, little first-world-problems Fauntleroy with your college-enrollment-issues, or move to a site that doesn’t retain comment histories.

    I have no problem believing you have other equally ridiculous and perhaps even more embarrassing reasons for staying trapped in the West (indeed, the most Western edge of it) from which you choose to yammer on about its impending doom, and that even a TMI-case like you realizes that they should remain confidential. Maybe you can’t give up the Starbucks frappuccinos just yet. Maybe only Whole Foods has the gluten-free muffins that keep your irritable bowel syndrome and the consequent explosive diarrhea in check. Maybe, despite being the Beijing/Putin stooge that you are, even you understand that the testosterone supplements you rely on to assuage your erectile dysfunction are more efficacious than the tiger penis and bear bladder that Beijing “medical experts” will offer instead. None of that would surprise me at this point, but who knows and who cares? Go ahead and keep them to yourself. The very fact that you would even for a moment — presumably with a straight face — decide that college enrollment confusion was serious enough an obstacle to your departure to mention it tells us quite enough about you. Talk about stepping in it.

  459. @HA

    This survived moderation? Or does HA have an Auto-Pass?

    {#465}

    • Replies: @HA
    , @PhysicistDave
  460. Sean says:
    @Clyde

    There were Nato members holding military exercises in (on) Crimea two decades ago. Locals held demonstrations to protest (as they did in some other parts of Ukraine). Russia did nothing.

    https://www.unz.com/pfrost/the-other-slave-trade/

    Crimean Tatars who lived under Ottoman protection in the Black Sea region. Beginning in the mid-15th century, they would fan out each year on raids into what is now Ukraine and southern Russia. These raids served no military purpose, being driven by the profits to be made in the slave trade: […] most of these raids do not appear to have had any military purpose and, moreover, had little or no relationship to Ottoman policy. They were an integral part of the Crimean economy, a “harvesting of the steppe” as the Tatars explained it. (Fisher, 1973) {…] The white slave trade was different in a second way. Most black slaves were destined for physical labor on plantations. There was thus a stronger preference for men over women. In contrast, white slaves were used more for domestic service, particularly concubinage and marriage. There was thus a stronger preference for women, as reflected in the sex ratio of the slave population: black slaves were predominantly male, and white slaves predominantly female. Furthermore, while blacks of both sexes sold for the same price, Russian and Circassian women fetched 50% more than men of the same nationality. (Verlinden, 1977, pp. 211, 224, 306, 315, 330-331, 460, 517; see also Frost, 1990). This price differential continued until the end of white slavery. A mid-19th century report from Turkey states that a “trained, strong, black slave” would cost 4,000 to 5,000 piasters, whereas “white slave girls of special beauty” were worth 50,000 piasters or more (Lewis, 1990, p. 13). […] Ukraine is considered to be part of ‘Old Europe’ yet the plains north of the Black Sea were finally opened for settlement at about the same time as the plains of the United States and Canada.

    Ukraine got apportioned the territory of which you speak not as a sovereign nation state but as an internal matter of the USSR, then when the Russian federation began to assume the mantle of the former Soviet authority, Ukraine instantly left with these territories, which included prized naval bases which Crimea charged Russia rent for. The borders between Russia and Ukraine were never made thinking they would be anything but internal regional ones rather than international between two separate countries, Ukraine did not enter the USSR with Crimea, so it whether it ought to have the right to leave with it (and the formerly Polish territories) was not so obvious. Because the independent Ukraine’s territorial status quo had not come about by force it was unstable; especially for a country dubbed the ‘Heartland’ key to world domination by the best known geopolitical theory of them all: Mackinder’s. Carl Gershman (former ambassador and president of the National Endowment for Democracy since its founding in 1984 until 2021) had actually said in an 2013 WP op-ed that removing Ukraine from the orbit of Russia would lead to Putin’s overthrow. Brzezinski said it would result in Russians ceasing to exert influence over Europe, being relegated to being an “Asian annoyance”.

    If Russia was still operating according to Gorby’s latter Soviet principle of the common good of mankind rather than geopolitics from Russian self perceived interests, then the full on attack with the aim of conquering Ukraine would have been a huge surprise to everyone. But Russia was not operating with a maximization of global utility as it prime directive, and everyone knew it because Putin had announced he thought Russia was being taken advantage of. The only thing to do was accept some loss of control in part of the Donbass (and forget about Crimea) so Ukraine could move on. The Ukrainian electorate voted Zelensky in to do just those things whileminus the most pro Russian parts of Donbass and Crimea voted Zelensky in to end the war. He agreed to do so but backed out in the face of Azov fronted demonstrations and Poroshenko accusing him of selling out. In June 2021 NATO reaffirmed the 2008 Bucharest Summit decision that Ukraine would become a member of the Alliance, and according to Russian POWs the middle of last year was when they began to train for an occupation of Ukraine. In November- December 2021 Ukraine used the Javelin and the Turkish drones for the first time in combat. Was Ukraine to blame? Not at all, they happen to be in a geopolitical quandary. However, the Zelensky government might have might have tried harder with diplomacy and compromise, which is what the electorate actually voted for.

    The best deal Ukraine could have got was already offered to them in 2019, and Zenensky was forced to rescind agreement to it in the face of Azov veterans in the forefront of 10,000 demonstrators protesting outside his office about “capitulation” to Putin.It is dubious that American diplomats / Deep State were was happy about Zelensky’s turn to a more confrontational approach because when all was said and done Ukraine was not a member of Nato, and had no real protection from attack through Charter Five. According to POW interviews, it was in mid 2021 that the Russian started training for a Crimea style rapid occupation, so by then Putin started to think such an operation was going to be necessary. Use of advanced US weapons in Donbas during late 2021 made up his mind. Obama had denied Ukraine weapon and Trump ought to have as well.

    It has been Poroshenko all along, he was important in the Orange revolution and instrumental in the events of 2014 which provoked Putin to use force, hired Biden’s son, got Trump to agree to supply weapons, and finally he prevented an agreement in 2019. Too focused on outmaneuvering Poroshenko in domestic politics, Zelensky did not see the danger in trying to face down Putin without full Nato membership. What public cast iron guarantees of an army coming to Ukraine’s aid in the event of hostilities did Zelensky have?; nobody is going to sign up to directly fight Russia.

    When Muscovy aligned militarily with Sweden, Poland’s King Zygmunt III invaded. There is an analogy there somewhere. As Enoch Powell once said, a politician can never read too much history

    • Replies: @Jack D
  461. HA says:
    @Sean

    “If Yanukovychdid did not particularly represent Russian speaking Ukrainians, then why is it that after he was overthrown by riotous demonstrations in Kiev mainly, there was a mirror image protest in the east by the Russian speakers?”

    There’s no question the Eastern regions of Ukraine (areas that were populated with Russian-speakers after the devastating famines of the Holodomor and other Soviet bungling devastated the local population) were more partial to Yanukovych, and that Russia had an easier time spewing their propaganda and conspiracy theories there. The pro-Russia fervor was high in places like Odessa as well — I can attest to that first-hand. But the fact that Yanukovych was more popular in the East doesn’t change the fact that he broke law after law to ham-fistedly cram his agenda down the throats of far too many people, and eventually they got fed up. Yes, more so in the West than in the East, but big deal. The fact that Dillinger and Capone had lots of supporters in their respective neighborhoods and that they both made genuine efforts to spread the wealth around in those areas doesn’t change the fact that they were law-breaking thugs.

    And instead of wisely building on that base of Eastern support, Putin chose to turn those areas into Camorra-level basket cases of dysfunction and corruption. The descent is well detailed in the tweet I’ve already linked to:

    • Replies: @Jack D
  462. Mark Sleboda retweeted this remarkable comment from someone with the moniker of “Pelham”:

    In 2014 Ukraine borrowed 17 Billion from the World Bank (IMF). In return they had to lift the ban on private sector land ownership in the country. Since then Monsanto, BlackRock and Vanguard have purchased over 20 million hectares or 70% of all Ukraine farmland

    Does anybody know if this is true? I mean, are we really this bad?

    • Replies: @Clyde
  463. Jack D says:
    @HA

    Highly recommend Galeev’s stuff in general. He has a native’s understanding of the Russian system but, because he is a Tatar, an outsider’s perspective as well. It’s no secret that he doesn’t love Putin’s Mafia system and would like to see the end of Russian imperialism (thus he’s not wild about Navalny either), but that doesn’t mean that his critique is wrong.

    • Replies: @HA
  464. Sean says:

    The Donetsk rebellion was by local people, it is not overwhelmingly Russian speaking in the way Criea is and the reason Putin took Crimea without a figh is Ukrainians were not fighting for Crimea .

    There’s no question the Eastern regions of Ukraine (areas that were populated with Russian-speakers after the devastating famines of the Holodomor and other Soviet bungling devastated the local population) were more partial to Yanukovych, and that Russia had an easier time spewing their propaganda and conspiracy theories there

    Ukraine left the USSR as soon as it morphed into the RF., and no one tried to stop them even though Ukraine took Crimea with it (and charged Russia rent for its own naval and other bases in which Russian armed forces already were in Crimea). Ukraine also left in possession of territories the USSR had taken from Poland, hundreds of thousands of Poles had been murdered during WW2in those territories; by Russio-Nazis?

    No, by their Ukrainian neighbours. Crimea was and is basically Russian.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Jack D
  465. @Wade Hampton

    We don’t hear much about the Azov Battalion anymore, do we?

    They’ve been all over the news: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-bombs-russian-forces-drive-retake-south-2022-07-28/
    All of the P.O.W.s were from the Azov Battalion. Ukraine now refers to them as “The Mariupol Heroes.” Others continue to refer to them as the Nazis.

  466. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Ukraine left the USSR as soon as it morphed into the RF., and no one tried to stop them even though Ukraine took Crimea with it…”

    They didn’t just sneak out the back door with it, as you are implying. They first agreed to give up their nukes. To be explicit, they first sat down and engaged in genuine back-and-forth quid-pro-quo negotiation to have their borders respected in exchange for giving up nukes. Russia willingly signed on to that agreement as well.

    Nowadays, the only “negotiated peace that Moscow is willing to accept” consists only of finding “someone in Kiev to sign the surrender papers.” Both those quotes come by way of your boy PhysicistDave — you kicked off this thread with your pathetic white-knight attempt to defend his pathetically hypocritical ranting about how the West is a doomed hellhole he’d be glad to leave if he could only get the college enrollment thing worked out (and let’s stipulate, lest we trigger another bout of his petulant whining, that there are no doubt other equally dire life-and-death issues like how to enroll his daughter in college — but which he cannot bring himself to reveal — that also keep him trapped). That’s what “negotiated peace” means to the likes of you, and that’s the problem.

    Crimea being in Ukraine wasn’t a problem when it came to keeping Ukraine out of NATO — it was part of the solution. Keeping it in Ukraine was one of the reasons why polls in Ukraine showed such anemic support for joining NATO, as I already pointed out to you upthread. But after those regions were effectively swiped away by Putin, enraging the rest of Ukraine, and removing all the pro-Russian plebiscite from those polls, THAT is when Crimea and the push to join NATO became a problem, and Putin has no one but himself to blame for that. So you and the likes of Mearshimer can whine about Yanukovych and “NATO encroachment” all you want. They became a problem for Putin precisely by his own design.

  467. HA says:
    @Jack D

    “Highly recommend Galeev’s stuff in general.”

    Yeah, his thread about minorities in the Russian army is already several months old, but the more recent map I linked to indicates he was right on the money about that.

  468. Thirdtwin says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    “…whenever he’s cornered on a subject is to suddenly pretend that the issue is extremely complicated and nuanced, and that he’s the only one wise enough to consider all the ramifications and weight them properly while he patiently waits for more data…”

    Sort of like Scott Adams and masks.

  469. @Triteleia Laxa

    The reason that I called into question the veracity of your source is not because I consider it to be an inappropriate source. In fact, if I was trying to make your case, I would have cited it myself. The problem I had was that you advertised your source as if it was infallible, describing it as “the most in-depth study available”, “conducted by economists”, from “Yale University”, “using real data.” When in fact, due to the biases of its authors, the study you cited, was not necessarily more credible than the opinion piece cited by Dave Pinsen that you disparaged.

    When I wrote my comment I did say that “But due to its authors’ biases, it is not a reliable source.” That is a strong statement, that I believe to be true in this case, but certainly not true in general (yes, of course, biased sources can be credible sources, I just don’t think that that is the case here). In fact, after I sent the article, I thought that I should have phrased it differently, say something like, “But due to the authors’ biases, the article that you cite is no more credible than the article cited by Pinsen that you disparaged.”

    Still, I believe that the source you cited is not a reliable. Can I prove it? No. But since speculation is still allowed here, let me explain why I believe your source is not reliable. First, the paper you cite is, in my opinion, much worse than I originally let on. Indeed, it appears to me to be an economic analysis grafted onto a political commentary.

    But most importantly, why now for this paper? Much has been said about Russia’s plan A for this war. But what about America’s plan A for this war? I think that a vital part of America’s plan A for this war is well described in a quote cited by London School of Economics professor Robert H. Wade in an article titled “Why the US and NATO have Long Wanted Russia to Attack Ukraine.” Specifically, Wade wrote:

    “French Foreign Minister Le Drian explained that the aim is “asphyxiating Russia’s economy”, even if the West is damaged in the process. Damage to the West is a price worth paying for regime change in Moscow with new leaders respectful of US primacy.”

    In short, plan A was regime change and puppet installation within Russia brought about by an economic attack. But, so far, this attack has failed. Putin enjoys huge popularity in Russia.

    According to most observers, including many economists, America’s plan A is failing. So what is the remedy prescribed by America’s policy elite? Don’t believe your lying eyes, because economists from that cornucopia of knowledge known as Yale University have said “stay the course.”

    It’s funny how this works. Uncle Sam’s policy is failing and miraculously information appears telling you that, no, Uncle Sam’s policy is working. Now, I am not accusing these authors of being paid shills for the CIA. But, it doesn’t take a conspiracy, it only takes a culture.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
  470. Jack D says:
    @Sean

    Settling boundary disputes by reference to historical claims is impossible. Doubly impossible on the plains of E. Europe where the borders shifted back and forth constantly in the pre-modern era.

    Setting boundary disputes by military invasion in the modern era is wrong. It’s called waging aggressive war and it’s a war crime. This is not 1700 where you just invade to seize territory if you have the stronger army. You can’t get away with that anymore. The civilized world is going to show its disgust as it already has.

    Was Russia dealt a lousy hand when the USSR broke up and Crimea and the Russian speaking cities ended up inside Ukraine? Maybe, arguably, but the solution is not military invasion, not in the 21st century.

    Even if you agree that Russia got a raw deal, rolling the tanks was not the correct remedy. Let’s say that I buy a car and it turns out to be a ripoff . The clock was rolled back, there is hidden accident damage. Can I break into the dealership office and steal back the overcharge? Hold the manager at gunpoint? What Putin is doing in Ukraine is the equivalent of armed robbery.

    For every sq. kilometer of land that Russia lost in Ukraine due to a lousy hand being dealt in the breakup, it is sitting on 100 sq. kilometers of other people’s land that it stole somewhere along the line and which they have no intention of giving back, so they are in no position to kvetch about this. Putin wasn’t even been willing to give back the little Japanese islands that Stalin grabbed at the end of WWII and which Russia has done nothing to develop even though it would have smoothed Russia’s current trade relations with Japan because every square meter of Russian territory is holy and can never be surrendered.

    My mother used to joke that the Russian Communist slogan was, “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine in mine.” Putin still has the same mentality.

  471. Boethiuss says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Funny how you neo-cons and Clintonistas redefine words: a month ago, two quarters of falling GDP were a “recession.” But now they are what? A transitory adjustment?

    Oh jeez. Anyone can read what I’ve written here on Steve’s blog and would know that I’m not a Clintonista, and the same for anyone who knows me in real life for that matter.

    It’s much closer to home to say that you are a Bidenite. You’re cranky, you’ve lost control of a substantial part of your faculties, and you have difficulty maintaining a coherent train of thought for any length of time.

    You and I have corresponded before. Not a lot, but a little bit. And for whatever you and I may have disagreed about, you could always at least make a coherent argument for your position. Now, your comments are just a combination of labels, fraudulent imputations and word salad.

    Cut the crap already. If you want to argue your inflammatory bullshtt about Victoria Nuland, then argue your case. Don’t try to invoke your tendentious conclusions as to Victoria Nuland when you are more or less the only the only who believes them.

    Father Time ends up getting the beating of all of us. But just like President Biden is finding out, just because your faculties are increasingly limited, doesn’t mean the rest of the world operates in your limited frame of reference.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  472. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @HA

    Lots of casualties in the territories neighboring Chechnya, which is interesting. I’m guessing the people there are super-friendly to Russians and want Russia to be as big and strong as possible.

    • Replies: @HA
  473. Corvinus says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    It’s called confirmation bias. You’re quite prone to it as well.

    • Troll: PhysicistDave
  474. HA says:
    @Anonymous

    “Lots of casualties in the territories neighboring Chechnya, which is interesting. I’m guessing the people there are super-friendly to Russians and want Russia to be as big and strong as possible.”

    You may be right about that, but the Galeev tweet I linked to gives a lot more insight into the social dynamics of who is just too stupid to tell the conscription offices to stuff it. I think it’s also the case that certain regions have a centuries-long tradition of sending boys into the military, since only the first-born will be able to inherit the farm (or maybe the last-born, since he’ll likely get stuck with caring for the elderly parents) and there’s not that many other places where barely literate farm boys can go. Even if they die, at least their family gets a paycheck — or maybe at least a spanking new Lada. “Yeah, we’re sad that Abdul Junior died, but look!…New hubcaps and everything!…We’ll be able to drive out in style to check out his gravestone. Ka-ching! (#LivingTheDream)”

    And lots of Irish boys fought in England’s wars, not because they liked England, but there just wasn’t a whole lot in the way of employment alternatives. Some Native American communities likewise have high levels of military enrollment, even though they have no particular fondness for big-white-father-who-lives-in-white-house and his forked tongue.

  475. HA says:
    @Greta Handel

    “This survived moderation?”

    At the risk of further embarrassing the fanboys, let me just say that we’ve already had one of them pipe up on iSteve just a short while ago to sing the praises of testosterone “enhancement”, but I’ll avoid divulging the link. If that can sail through moderation, I don’t see anything else in my comment that’s any more TMI.

    And let’s be honest enough to admit that you’d clutch your pearls a little less tightly if I were a Putin stooge like you. During the Crimea swipe, I recall one such stooge, with the usual I’m-so-tough swagger, would repeatedly spice up his putdowns of Putin-haters with child-porn imagery. I’m dead serious, but again, I’ll forego including a link. He apparently just couldn’t help himself, even after I kept calling him out on it.

    In any case, as was the case with Stalin, it’s always “who? whom?” and oh-so selective outrage when it comes to breaches of decorum, or else, being quizzed about being too emotionally involved. Weird how that works.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  476. @Zero Philosopher

    The two articles that you quoted indicate that they were used successfully, so nice to shoot yourself in the proverbial foot.

    • Replies: @HA
  477. Sean says:
    @Jack D

    Settling a boundary disputes by reference to historical claims is impossible

    There were Nato member counties holding military exercises in Ukraine and even in Crimea two decades ago. Locals held demonstrations to protest (as they did in some other parts of Ukraine). Russia did nothing.

    Setting boundary disputes by military invasion in the modern era is wrong.

    This was not what happened; Ukraine was militarily invaded for aligning itself with the Washington Treaty organisation known as NATO which is a a harmless Esperanto group interested in spreading mutual understanding between nations? No it is a military alliance historically and currently over-against Russia, and in Ukraine had been seen encroaching into vital strategic space dubbed the ‘Heartland’ key to world domination by the best known geopolitical theory of them all. Carl Gershman (former ambassador and president of the National Endowment for Democracy since its founding in 1984 until 2021) said in an 2013 WP op-ed that removing Ukraine from the orbit of Russia would lead to Putin’s overthrow. Brzezinski said it would result in Russians ceasing to exert influence over Europe, being relegated to being an “Asian annoyance”.

    Was Russia dealt a lousy hand when the USSR broke up and Crimea and the Russian speaking cities ended up inside Ukraine? Maybe, arguably, but the solution is not military invasion, not in the 21st century.

    It is not a solution if Russia main priority was to avoid being seen by America and Europe as a fascist power without restraint in the use of force. America got what it wanted: Russia is finished with the West.

    Can I break into the dealership office and steal back the overcharge? Hold the manager at gunpoint?

    Yes, if your sense of self is tied up with being a person of consequence who others assail at their peril you probably will because as song goes “But I ain’t never crossed a man that didn’t deserve it Me be treated like a punk, you know that’s unheard of”. Georgia had a Rose Revolution and was announced to be joining Nato only weeks before Putin invaded it.

    https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_185000.htm
    Brussels Summit Communiqué
    Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels 14 June 2021

    We reiterate the decision made at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance

    According to the Russian prisoners, they began training for a full scale invasion of Ukraine mid 2021; so righ after the reiterated announcement that Ukraine would at some point be joining NATO.

    What Putin is doing in Ukraine is the equivalent of armed robbery.

    An armed robbery where the cops are too scared to do anything. Ukraine thought there was a international 911 to call? It had cast iron guarantees of a NATO army coming to Ukraine’s aid in the event of hostilities?“

    What’s yours is mine and what’s mine in mine.” Putin still has the same mentality.

    Ukraine was given Crimea and territories won from Poland. Russia paid Ukraine rent for the naval nases on Crimea. As an independent country Ukraine got Russian gas at a special lower than market price and payments for Russian use of the pipelines west. In 2014 Ukraine was offered a nice deal on bond purchases and even cheaper gas to stay out of the clutches of the EU. Ukraine told Putin to stick it. In 2021, it was re announced (by NATO) that Ukraine would at some point be joining NATO, perhaps forgetting that Putin had one final option left that he would have to use before Ukraine joined NATO. After sis months of warnings and military build up pressure were ignored by Ukraine and Putin’s requirements to stand down his arrayed forces were said to be unacceptable, so Putin decided an actual war was necessary.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  478. @HA

    I like satire.
    Come back soon.

    • LOL: PhysicistDave
  479. @AKAHorace

    Yeah, we were talking about this up thread. Very democratic.

  480. @YetAnotherAnon

    What’s the phenomenon called where someone reads something in the MSM on a subject they know about (say crime in the US) and realises it’s a pile of propagandist crap, then reads something else in the same MSM about something they DON’T know about (say what’s been happening in the Donbass since 2014) and they swallow it whole?

    Gell-Mann Amnesia.

    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
  481. @Boethiuss

    Boethius wrote to me:

    You’re cranky, you’ve lost control of a substantial part of your faculties, and you have difficulty maintaining a coherent train of thought for any length of time.

    Aw, I think I’ve heard little Boethius’ feelings!

    You previously wrote:

    There was political and diplomatic conflict in Ukraine prior to 2022 but that was not war.

    That is just bizarre nonsense, and I pointed this out: a civil war in the Donbass has been going on for eight years, a war caused by the putsch the US engineered eight years ago and a war fueled by US material support for puppet regime in Kiev during those eight years.

    For better or worse, Putin intervened to stop that war that had been going on since 2014 (as I keep saying, I think Putin was probably unwise to do so); the war did not start in 2022.

    You are just lying about that and anyone with access to Google (or with any normal memory of the last eight years) knows you are lying about that.

    A typical Clintonista.

    I’d ask why you are lying, but we already know — that is what Clintonistas do.

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