Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black. I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands. Instead, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

The Ukraine War: Another week, little change

The Ukraine War as of March 17, 2022
The Ukraine War as of March 17, 2022. Click for full map.

The Ukraine War as of March 24, 2022
The Ukraine War as of March 24, 2022. Click for full map.

Since my last post on the state of the Ukraine war one week ago, on March 17, very little has changed, with tiny gains and losses in territory by both sides.

The two maps to the right, the top from last week, the bottom from today, both created by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and simplified, annotated, reduced by me to post here, illustrate the somewhat static situation. The three green arrows in the bottom map point to the regions where the most significant changes have occurred. The red areas of regions under Russian control. The light red regions are areas the Russian claim control, but have not been confirmed. The blue dots and areas indicate Ukrainian advances or resistance.

For the Russians, the biggest territorial gains took place in the northeast, solidly linking two different fronts. The Russians also made minor gains near Chernihiv, northwest of Kiev, and near Donetsk.

Meanwhile, the Russians have still not taken the besieged city of Mariupol, though their forces have finally made some inroads into the city’s center.

For the Ukrainians, a Russian push beyond Mykolaiv in the south was completely defeated and forced to retreat. More importantly, Ukrainian forces have pushed the Russians back on the western outskirts of Kiev.

The primary question remains: Is this situation indicating that Russia is bogged down and facing a long protracted quagmire? Or does it more resemble the American situation shortly after D-Day, when Allied forces were stymied somewhat close to the beaches for almost two months before suddenly breaking out and overrunning much of France in the next two months.

Based on numerous other reports, it appears the former is more likely. Unlike the Allied attack in 1944, the Russians do not have gigantic additional resources that it can continue to pour into the situation. Instead, Russia actually appears to have reached its capacity. Furthermore, during those first two months after D-Day the Allies refused to accept the frontlines, pushing continually to force a break-out. The Russians today however appear to be digging in in many places. This quote from today’s ISW update, while coming from the Ukraine government, is likely true based on the events of the past week:

The Ukrainian government and military directly stated for the first time on March 24 that the Kremlin believes its invasion of Ukraine has entered a second, “protracted” phase. The head of Zelensky’s office, Myhailo Podolyak, stated that Russia seeks to turn the war into a partially “protracted phase” due to high losses in personnel and equipment and the lack of significant progress in any direction. Podolyak stated the Kremlin is changing its tactics and going on the defensive to reduce Russian casualties “to an acceptable (from a propaganda point of view) level.”

The Ukrainian General Staff similarly stated that the Russian military leadership is “beginning to realize that the available forces and means are not enough to maintain the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and are conducting defensive operations.” ISW previously assessed on March 19 that Ukrainian forces have defeated the initial Russian campaign of the war and that Russian forces would likely go over to the defense.

While these claims by the Ukraine government must be treated with some skepticism, they fit with ISW’s assessment, and appear to match the events of the past week.

So what should the United States and the other European nations do, faced with a protracted conflict? It seems from my perspective that the last thing they should do is join the war. First, the war is essentially a local conflict. Second, Russia has revealed itself to be a somewhat weak military force that doesn’t really have the ability to fight and win a conventional war. It certainly doesn’t have the capability to invade eastern Europe. Why poke that weak snake, especially since that snake (weak as it is militarily) still has nuclear weapons and the ability to hit any spot on Earth with them?

At the same time, the West should not merely stand by, neutral. Russia committed an unprovoked act of aggression against a peaceful neighbor. Such an action must not be condoned. Russia must pay for it.

Thus, the actions of the West so far make sense, and have achieved this goal without poking the snake. The sanctions have isolated Russia economically, while the aid sent to the Ukraine has helped it stymie the Russian invasion. It would be foolish for the West to do more and risk expanding the war. Give the situation some time. With luck it will solve itself. There is even a chance that Russia will lose, and be forced back by the Ukrainians.

Only time will tell.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Jeff Wright

    Casualties up there with the Second Battle of Bull Run or greater for the Russians.

  • Cotour

    Putins reality:

    7 days Vlad.

  • sippin_bourbon

    It is turning into a low level slugfest.
    Since neither side has air superiority this will slow things down.

    Russians are still showing to be hesitant to commit to taking the urban terrain.
    Either they want to build more mass, or hoping to starve them out, and keep up pressure.

    Putin used hypersonics. But those have to be massively expensive. They are one off select uses. I would estimate he does not have many of them, and wants to be selective, and maybe even keep a few in reserve in case the conflict does expand.

    Biden mumble something about NATO be more united that ever. I do not buy it. They are united it looking at the 100,000 US troops we have there, and are wondering when more are coming. I think only a few European leaders get it. Most of them are former Soviet Bloc countries that have no interest in going back.

    Short of a very unlikely coup in the Kremlin, I do not see a quick end to this. Unless there is some other massive change that no one sees coming.

  • Steve Richter

    The danger for Ukraine is they will win the war and lose their country. That is, Russia will be forced to give up on taking Kiev and will retreat back and hold onto as much territory in Ukraine as it can hold onto. Those borders then become permanent as long as Putin holds power. Meaning Ukraine runs the risk of being permanently divided.

    The danger for Russia is they are driven back, the country is ridiculed and humiliated, leading to instability across the country. Russia simply does not have a large enough population and national wealth to govern and defend its vast territory. I fear the world is in for some very unstable and bad times ahead.

  • Concerned

    Bob’s reference to Russia as a snake instead of the traditional Russian Bear is apropos given their apparent weakness, as he points out. Instead of a big, brooding and dangerous grizzly, they really are more like the slithering agitated rattlesnake. Small and somewhat slow, makes a pretty loud noise, but still deadly if sufficiently approached and provoked.

  • John

    The average Russian probably doesn’t want to be there. The average Ukrainian is fighting for their home and loved ones. That may be the difference. If you’re willing to suffer and sacrifice, you can defeat a stronger opponent.

  • Questioner

    Mr. Z.:

    It would be better if, instead of being ignorant, you also use the information that I have presented and linked here in abundance, then you could present better and more realistic information about the state of war. Your article here doesn’t actually say anything, is false in what it says (eg that the Ukrainians eventually won something back) and doesn’t reflect reality. You are unable to draw a real overall picture of the situation, e.g. where the main battles are taking place, which troops are deployed where, etc. So they don’t realize that Kyiv is not a major war zone. They also have no idea what strategy the Russians are pursuing here (e.g. defeating the Ukrainian army first, which has practically already happened and not just occupying the cities), all of which have so far achieved their goals, although the Russians are clearly outnumbered, which is very unusual for attackers.

    You also don’t have the current status of the situation (tonight): Mariupol is free! Or from the other point of view: it fell.

  • Sayomara

    My wonder does time work for or against Russia here? As spring gets further on the countryside in Ukraine gets let swampy. IE easier to use tanks and other armored vehicles. It is also getting close to planting time. I have heard it stated Russia seem to be trying to stay out of agricultural areas as much as they can thus big occupied area in eastern Ukraine. The need to get crops planted might push both sides to settlement. Russian for not wanting to inflict from harm and create greater bad will. Ukraine because they need to be able to feed there people.

    That said the longer this convict goes on more it costs Russia in Blood and Treasure. And no country and do that forever.

  • wayne


    “After the first battle of Bull Run. Piedmont’s farewell ball on the eve of the departure of its quota of troops for the front.”

    Neil Young & Crazy Horse
    Jesus’ Chariot (She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain)

  • pzatchok

    This is what Russia will get if it does take the Ukraine and try to hold it. Except the Ukrainians will be free to roam Russia and reap destruction.

    And no this was not a ballistic missile. It was a short range attack. Line of sight.

  • Questioner

    Use English subtitles.

    Artillery duel in Kharkov and the capture of Izyum. Summary for 03/24/2022

  • pzatchok

    Comparing this stall of Russians to the stall During WWII is a little off.

    The allies had the channel to cross and needed the extra time to bring in sufficient troops to take and hold a larger area than the just beach.

    Russia should have had no supply line issues since it had months upon months to pre-stage supplies all across the fronts they planned to have.

    The ship hit could have been an armed drone strike. And if so any Russian ship coming into any port better make sure their insurance is paid up.

  • pzatchok: Your points about my comparing Normandy with the Ukraine war are absolutely on target. The Allies had to get their troops and supplies across the English Channel. Russia simply has to transport it across land.

    However, even with their transport issues, the Allies also expected to break out from the Normandy beaches sooner than they did. If Russia has decided to pause in order to resupply before making another push, then this pause will make sense. However, in reading the reporting from many sources, plus what I know of the corrupt Russian management culture, I have my doubts. More and more it looks like the Russians have shot their load and can now only dig in.

    Time will answer however. Right now no one really knows.

  • Deplorable David Parsons

    Nobody expected Russia to invade. But they did, with a tiny force, too small to occupy much territory. So, like Putin said, they don’t want territory.
    So what are their plans? Probably just to destroy the Ukraine military units that’ve been killing ethnic-Russians in the Donbas the last 8 years (task 30% complete). And to destroy the Azov Nazi units around Mariupol (task 90% complete). Then Putin could say he’s finished and leave.
    But that still leaves the pro-Nato Nazi-supporting (Nazi-intimidated?) government intact in Kiev.
    So he’ll probably flatten Kiev with the artillery already in place and leave it a smoking hole. Call it “the Donbas treatment”. And then he’ll repeat his suggestion Kiev form a new government that doesn’t support Nazis.
    I know I’m wrong, but it’s just an idea.

  • Deplorable David Parsons: Your acceptance of the Russian propaganda about the Ukraine being a new home of the Nazi party is a very bad mistake. This invasion had nothing to do with cleaning out a Nazi nest. The Ukraine might have some Nazis, but they have no more or less than Russia.

    This lie is the kind of thing Hitler did routinely to justify aggression against his neighbors. Putin is doing the same. Putin is not a Nazi, but he is a dictator, and is certainly willing to use these kinds of propaganda tactics.

  • Deplorable David Parsons

    Any of us sitting in comfort on the other side of the planet can be fooled by propaganda. I will have to accept the Russian & Ukraine peoples’ explanations for their behavior.
    My personal interest and knowledge is in America’s despicable behavior since 2014 – using Ukraine as a weapon against Russia. Willing or not, Ukraine has been D.C.’s puppet and Biden’s personal foreign money laundry, and they’re paying the price for that now.
    May the entire world learn from this – don’t become bought by D.C. – you will regret it.

  • Jeff Wright

    Getting back to tactics, Ukraine might get planes from other countries…I doubt they could get one from China-but those are fuel fat.

  • Mr. Parsons … 2013-2016 called and they want their friends-with-the-Big-Guy Ukraine back.

    That was then. This is now, Zelenskyy is not acting like your typical corrupt tyrant that takes the money and runs in the face of a confrontation … not like Idi Amin, Mobutu Sese Seko … and one Viktor Yanukovych, currently in exile in Russia, from the time when Ukraine really was a hotbed of corruption.

    Putin has no right to oppose liberty-respecting nations on the border of his authoritarian kleptocracy.

    They are a threat to him only if he seeks to expand his kleptocracy beyond his borders.

    OTOH, he perhaps illegitimately sees them as a threat because they are legitimate competitors and gatekeepers of European energy, and like the cinematic Hans Gruber is using political turmoil as cover to pursue simple economic robbery.

  • Cotour

    “Nobody expected Russia to invade”

    You do not watch over several weeks as an aggressive operator in the form of a Putin who has clearly stated that he has an alleged existential problem and justification, staging 180,000 men on the border of a neighboring country that is allegedly harboring that existential problem at a time of the year where he is apparently waiting for the ground to freeze with all of the hundreds and thousands of necessary offensive pieces of equipment and supplies to invade that country. PLUS, he sets up operational field hospitals to deal with the wounded and think nothing is going to happen.

    That operational hospital move for me when I heard it was the tell that Putin was going to go for what he could get. No threats, no negotiating necessary. And why did he go for what he could get?

    Very simple: Joe Biden and the dopey un and anti American Liberal now Leftist Democrat party machine along with the feckless, weak and rudderless RINO’s. (Who wouldn’t with such ridiculous and weak leadership?)

    But it turns out that Putin has bitten off more than he can chew and he is about to choke on it. His only way to possibly survive is to call it a victory for Russia and back off to what ever new border lines he can get away with and call it a day. But like big think things like invading another country, there are no guarantees.

    Trump had to go one way or another, and this Ukraine situation is but one of the consequences the world will now suffer because of it. You want more America?

    I didn’t think so. Everything in our system in time will be revealed in order that the people can take action. This is our system, this is our process.

    And PS: What is dopey Biden now proposing in order to control Russia? Developing LNG systems for the EU in order to not be dependent on Russia because they will use it as leverage against everyone concerned. Lets see, where have I heard that before? Hmmmm.

    Well no one is laughing now, are they? Trump like any competent leader was willing to say what needed to be said based on everyday common sense and NOT politically correct things that they thought people wanted to hear.

    No, no one is laughing now. And this is but one issue that Trump has and will further be demonstrated as being prescient on. And its all based in common sense.

    Common sense, something that big think Liberals and Leftists and RINO’s who strive to “Reimagine” Capitalism, America and the Constitution in the Soros Schwab Globalist model are not at all connected to because they are sooo far superior and intelligent than all others. In their elite minds anyway. (Pure self delusional willful BS: Bovine swill)

  • sippin_bourbon

    “No one expected Russia to invade”.
    That was true in 2014.
    After that, most people thought it was a matter of time. They never stopped occupying the Donbas. That is where Ukraine’s industrial centers are.

    Putin played the waiting game.

    He was perfectly happy being the scapegoat for American Domestic politics because the more the US is wrapped up in domestic squabbles, the less they were paying attention to him.

    Are there neo-nazi’s in Ukraine. Sure. A very small minority. How can they be allowed? Same reason they are allowed here. Ukraine’s constitution allows free speech, just like ours. That notion is far too “western” for the Russians.

    Russian propaganda would have you believe that Ukraine is over run with neo-nazi’s. This is not true. How can I say that with confidence?
    Election results.

    How many of the Svoboda party in parliament? One. They hit their peak in 2012, (10.5% of popular vote, 37 seats won of a 450 total seats), and have fallen heavily with every election. (next election in 2014 only 6 seats, less that 5% of the vote) . In 2019, they got just over 2% and the one seat. The candidate for President got less than 2 % (their presidential candidates have never gotten over 1.6% of the vote). This is clear evidence of rejection by the rest of Ukraine. And yet, it is after this fall that Putin declares this a problem to be eradicated? It was already being eradicated by democratic action.

    To me, this one line of logic shoots holes through Putin’s entire casus belli.
    Ukraine is not teeming with nazis.

    On a separate note, I also reject the charge that because US foreign policy is not perfect, that we have no right to denounce and condemn Putin’s invasion. The Ukraine people do not want to be part of Russia, and they have every right to resist it.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Q are you going to tell us that boat did not sink, too?

    Or are we to ignorant to see it still floating?

  • sippin_bourbon

    “Mariupol is free!”

    The theatre in the center of town is clearly had the work CHILDREN written in large letters in the parking lot. It stood away from other structures and the picture show no military presence around the building. No “human shield” claims are valid here.

    It was hit with a massive warhead anyway.


    The kind of cheering that you are engaging is shows exactly what you are willing to swallow from Russian propaganda.

  • sippin_bourbon: Americans it appears have become incredibly credulous in the past decade. They instantly bought — hook, line, and sinker — the ridiculous claim that “we need only two weeks to flatten the curve”. And even now too many still buy into government propaganda, from Russia and American government sources.

  • Andrew_W

    Questioner: “You also don’t have the current status of the situation (tonight): Mariupol is free! Or from the other point of view: it fell.”

    No, it’s just been destroyed by Russian artillery, though I notice that Russians are being told that Ukraine Nationalists did it.

    “the capture of Izyum.”

    It’s a small city of less tan 50,000 the Russian artillery attack on the city started over 3 weeks ago, so it’s taken Russia a long time to destroy and occupy it.

    Deplorable Dave Parsons

    “But that still leaves the pro-Nato Nazi-supporting (Nazi-intimidated?) government intact in Kiev.”

    This is I think a good assessment of Nazi influence in Ukraine:
    The truth about Neo-Nazis in Ukraine (Unherd)

    The far right parties only managed to gain 2.15% of the vote in the 2014 elections, winning no seats in Parliament.

    “My personal interest and knowledge is in America’s despicable behavior since 2014 – using Ukraine as a weapon against Russia. Willing or not, Ukraine has been D.C.’s puppet and Biden’s personal foreign money laundry, and they’re paying the price for that now.
    May the entire world learn from this – don’t become bought by D.C. – you will regret it.”

    Like every other country in Eastern Europe formerly under Russian control the vast majority of Ukrainian’s really want to escape from being Russia’s puppet, so they voted (92% of them) for independence from Russia, Russia’s efforts to subvert Ukrainian politics and regain control has not stopped though, first they rigged the first election in 2004 to get their man in power, so the Ukraine supreme court ordered another election, Russia’s preferred candidate lost in the honest election. Then they had their man (Yanukovych) try to move Ukraine away from the EU and back under Russian control, such an unpopular move that there was a populist revolution with him forced to flee the country. That revolution saved Ukraine from being turned into a puppet authoritarian state like Belarus.

    So now Putin has tried to use military force to reacquire Ukraine. He will fail, that failure is likely to cost him his office, though I fear there’re other tricks he’ll try to pull.

    As long as the West continues to pump in the munitions Russia will not prevail, people keep overlooking the fact that Ukraine now has north of a million men underarms, the Russian active duty ground forces number (wait for it) 280,000. To rope in reserves and conscripts means involving the entire Russian population in a war that isn’t a war, Putin’s lies will be revealed, Putin has already burned through a substantial proportion of his frontline men and equipment. I expect the small local gains made in recent days by Ukraine forces to grow. Putin is increasingly relying on bombardment with artillery and missiles, nations, even Russia, don’t keep huge stocks of guided missiles, and soon he’s going to find the Ukrainians getting the munitions and surveillance to take out his artillery.

    The West must limit its involvement though because if the West gets directly involved Putin will use it as propaganda to the Russian people, claiming the country needs defending, that Russia needs to go to war in its own defense. Better to leave Putin hanging on his own lie that it’s not a war, a minor military operation on behalf of people in Ukraine, that way all of Russia will not commit to the conflict. For now Russia fights with Putin having tied one of its arms behind its back.

    It’s going to get difficult for Putin to get out without further escalation, I fear he might escalate things by launching a false flag chemical attack against a Southern Russian city (after all, he’s told Russians that Ukraine has chemical weapons), that would then be used to justify a full Russian mobilization.

  • Andrew_W

    Elena Volochine sees Putin as I do, to understand him you have to abandon the usual Western way of thinking, how our (classical) liberal societies have placed high values on the lives of those in our communities. We live in bottom-up democratic societies, Putin is top-down. It is his right to manipulate his population with lies, it is his right to let any of them perish, or to end their lives if it serves his greater goals. Don’t expect him to worry too much about having to face a future day of reckoning.

  • Questioner

    According to its own statements, Russia has so far suffered around 1,400 deaths and around 3,800 injuries. The real situation is as follows: After the annihilation and expulsion of around 14,000 Ukrainian militants in Mariupol is practically complete, the next step for the Russian army is the annihilation of around 60,000 to 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers trapped in the Donetsk region . Also see the linked video below. In this region (as well as in Lugansk) the main battles of the whole war have been taking place for four weeks, not in Kyiv. In the Donetsk region, the Ukrainians have built massively fortified positions over the last 8 years, which now have to be conquered slowly and piece by piece by the Russians. Successful as the video shows.

    Intel Slava: “The army of the DPR breaks through into Maryinka with battles: the corpses of mercenaries and the Armed Forces of Ukraine are in positions. Troops of the DPR are successfully advancing and bringing closer the liberation of Marinka near Donetsk. Foreign weapons, abandoned and mutilated bodies of mercenaries and military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine lie on the abandoned and destroyed positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

  • Andrew_W

    “According to its own statements, Russia has so far suffered around 1,400 deaths and around 3,800 injuries.”
    And I have this bridge, see, it’s across the entrance to San Francisco Bay . . . .

  • Biglar

    It seems clear that Russia is making good progress on achieving its war objectives, despite what the US media would have you believe. The truth is that Kiev is not important in this war, except as a way to pin down a large proportion of the Ukrainian military. The real action in the war from the Russian point of view was always going to be in the south and east as Russia worked to defeat the opposing forces near Donetsk and Luhansk. If Russia is about to destroy the Azov battalion and related formations in Mariupol and the east, it probably will have achieved almost all of its on-the-ground objectives for the war. The only thing remaining will be any additional actions required to force Ukraine to cede Donetsk and Luhansk and formally recognize the facts on the ground. I don’t think there’s likely to be any forthcoming major Ukrainian offensive. If anything, after the fall of Mariupol and the other defeats of its battle-hardened troops in the east, it seems more likely that the Ukrainian army starts to collapse.

    Oh, and I’m not defending anyone involved in this conflict. Everyone: Russia, Ukraine, NATO, and the US individually, has been appallingly stupid and/or cynically amoral during this crisis.

  • Cotour

    Russian colonel dies after being run over by own troops, officials say

    NATO estimates that 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the fighting to date.

    (7K killed X 3= 21,000 15K killed X 3= 45,000 estimated wounded? And its been just one month?)

    I guess at some point we will know what is what.

  • Andrew_W

    “If Russia is about to destroy the Azov battalion and related formations in Mariupol and the east, it probably will have achieved almost all of its on-the-ground objectives for the war.”

    Fascinating strategy, sacrificing several divisions worth of men and equipment to destroy a battalion.

  • Andrew_W

    The Ukrainian troops are fighting for their families, friends, communities and country. The Russian troops are fighting for their ruler against people who are just like their families, friends and communities – people even Putin claims are as close as family. For the Russian soldier in contact with Ukraine citizens it’s “what the **** are we doing here?!”

    This is where that arrogant Putin mindset fails, soldiers are actually real people, able to think and make moral judgements about the merits of their own actions. Russian artillery has been effective at destroying people, but artillerymen, like Putin, are far from the death and damage they cause.

  • Biglar

    Ridiculous, disproportionate sacrifice in pursuit of victory has always been the Russian way of war.

  • Andrew_W

    “Ridiculous, disproportionate sacrifice in pursuit of victory has always been the Russian way of war.”

    True, under Stalin, under various Czars, under Putin. But Putin has made it clear that to him Ukraine is part of Russia. The strategy employed is one of conquest rather than one of achieving far more limited objectives.

  • Cotour

    Something I sent to a friend who was confused about Putin, Communism, winning and what that was in politics today

    The problem with authoritarian and Communist / Socialist models of governance V Democracy.


    What is winning for them?

    More and more oppression and insertion into people’s lives?

    That is the reason that they can never really win.

    The ONLY way they can truly win is to free their people.

    And they will NEVER do that, they can never do that.

    Because that is 180 degrees from their bedrock philosophy.

    And that is what makes US, better than THEM.

  • Questioner


    Your numbers are pure fantasy and madness. It’s always amazing how one falls prey to the fabricated war lies of the West! Why actually?

    I believe that the Russian figures are not too far from reality. In extreme cases, they can be twice as high as stated. Ukrainian losses appear to be an order of magnitude higher than Russian ones.

    Check out yourself Intel Slava Z (telegram) if you like to engage reality.

    Captured Azov militants from Mariupol

  • Questioner

    Patrick Lancaster: Church & School Targeted By Militants in Russia – Ukraine War

  • Andrew_W

    “Patrick Lancaster: Church & School Targeted By Militants in Russia – Ukraine War”

    I’m puzzled as to why you should think that worth posting here, it’s not like it proves anything other than in war shells get fired, and normal people suffer. If I were to post similar footage from similar people throughout the contested areas of Ukraine, showing that they were also suffering, other than the obvious, what point would I be making?
    Incidentally, the second person interviewed, the one that looked like a soldier, in an area controlled by the DPR military, was probably a DPR soldier.

  • Mike Borgelt

    Democracy. Why, after the last two years does anyone in any western country (Ok maybe not Sweden, Denmark and a very others) believe we live in a democracy?
    It is clear western leaders are utterly weak, inept and congenital liars who have simply seized powers using the excuse of “a state of emergency” and have no real interest in the welfare of their citizens, er subjects.
    Just one lie and inappropriate extremely damaging action after another.

  • pzatchok

    Russia no longer has the economy to replace what it has used and lost in the war. Add in any rebuilding they will need to do and it could be 20 years before Russia even gets back to what it was before this test.

    I can no longer call this a war on Russias part. They do not have the balls to engage in a real war with a real opponent.
    And they are now proven inept when they attack an opponent they viewed as a push over.

  • Mike Borgelt

    “What is winning for them?

    More and more oppression and insertion into people’s lives?”

    cotour, sounds like the west for the last three decades to me.

  • Cotour

    Its the nature of government to do exactly that, become more an more intrusive and to confiscate more and more of your freedoms and your wealth. Why? In order to further empower them and ensure their remaining empowered. Very simple.

    The only solution? The Constitution which structures political warfare and which over time forces all concerned with revealing themselves to the people. And its the people who in the end have to do what is necessary.

    And still it continues Left and confiscating more freedom and wealth. Government cant have enough of it.

    But this is our system, this is our process. Its certainly not perfect but its the best, as messy, chaotic and counter intuitive it in effect is.

    Remember there are no rules in warfare and political warfare is no different, but the Constitution attempts to do just that.

    There is massive change in politics coming, it is now without doubt in the air. It just cant come fast enough, and there are no guarantees.

  • Questioner

    “The battle for Ukraine, with ex-UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter”

    The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate talk live with ex-UN weapons inspector and military expert Scott Ritter about the Russia-Ukraine war. Ritter provides a detailed analysis of the battlefield that stands in stark contrast to the rose-colored perspective of most Western analysts, and offers his perspective on the political follies that drove the conflict.

  • Andrew_W

    “The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate”

    “The Grayzone is a left-wing[2] to far-left[9] news website and blog[13] founded and edited by American journalist Max Blumenthal.[10] The website, initially founded as The Grayzone Project,[14] was affiliated with AlterNet before becoming independent in early 2018.[3] The website’s news content is generally considered to be fringe[3][15][16][17] and it is known for its sympathetic coverage of authoritarian regimes[3][11][18] and its denial of the Uyghur genocide.[22]”

    Why on Earth would you link to a site with such unashamed bias? Do you expect anyone to take it seriously?
    And then there’s Scott Ritter with his baggage. . . .

  • Andrew_W

    Despite my misgivings I did watch a few minutes of it.
    Ritter made the claim that Russia only invaded to “denazify” Ukraine and to demilitarize the country, that the obvious lack of manpower was evidence that it was never intended as an attempt to take the whole country.
    But how on Earth was that supposed to happen? How was taking 10% or 20% of the country supposed to lead to everyone else in the Ukraine military throwing down their arms? Does it look like that’s going to happen? Now? Ever?
    I’ll stick with the theory that Putin was so over confident in his own BS propaganda that most Ukrainians were at the mercy of a few neonazis, that he believed most of the Ukraine military would welcome the Russians into help them overthrow their Nazi masters.

    Then Ritter went on to claim that Zelenskyy must have thought that because Ukraine troops had had training by American troops that he would have believed that that meant that the US would throw its army into Ukraine if it were invaded because, well, having the personnel from the two forces working together meant that they were like brothers and, you know, you always come to the aid of your brother.

    Does Ritter think Zelenskyy has a mental age of about 12? It’s very likely that though Zelenskyy might have hoped for the US to put some troops in, he was actually well aware that Ukraine was not part of NATO and so wasn’t protected by article 5.

  • Questioner

    “Russian MOD reports casualty numbers. EU vows to not use rubles for Russian gas. Update 3”

  • Questioner

    Seen in this short video: Large number of captured Ukrainian soldiers. Kyiv region.

  • Andrew_W

    I’m finding the comments in your links interesting, it’s evident that those commenting somehow think Russia is bringing peace to Ukraine, like their soldiers, they think Ukraine needed to be freed from a Nazi regime.

  • Andrew_W

    “Large number of captured Ukrainian soldiers.”

  • Questioner

    Briefing by I. E. Konashenkov on March 26, 2022.

    The main thing from the new statement of the Ministry of Defense on the course of the special operation:

    – Russian troops are fighting for the liberation of Novomikhailovka and Novobakhmutovka, striking strongholds and reservists;

    – the day before, Kalibr missiles in the Zhytomyr region hit the military warehouse of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the Onyx cruise missile destroyed the fuel base in the Nikolaev region;

    – 117 military facilities of Ukraine were hit in a day, including command posts, one S-300 air defense system and three installations of multiple launch rocket systems;

    – over Vishnevo, Russian air defense shot down two Ukrainian Su-25s and one Su-24, as well as 6 drones;

    – above n.p. Vasilievka was destroyed by a tactical missile of the Tochka-U complex.

  • Questioner

    CCTV Video News Agency: Russia Announces Completion of 1st Stage of Military Operation in Ukraine

    “The main tasks of the first stage of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine have been completed in general and the combat potential of the Ukrainian armed forces has been significantly reduced, the Russian Ministry of Defense said Friday.”

    1:25 min

  • Questioner

    Epic footage of the defeat of the Ukrainian BUK air defense system, presumably in the Danilovka area near Vasilkov.

  • Questioner

    Intel Slava: The most powerful fire in Lviv after the strike on the oil depot: the city is shrouded in black smoke

  • Questioner

    Intel Slava: The base of the Nazis “Azov” in the settlement. Mangush near Mariupol came under the control of the NM DPR.

  • Concerned

    Bugler: excellent historical insight—“Ridiculous, disproportionate sacrifice in pursuit of victory has always been the Russian way of war.”

    Recall they lost 20 million people in WWII— and something like 50% of their military aged males.

    The populace, no matter how historically oppressed, has supported the strongest strongman that manages to seize control. Putin will find it increasingly difficult to hold power if he is domestically perceived as becoming weak.

  • Questioner

    Situation in Mariupol (DRP special forces):

    “DPR special forces are working on the perimeter of Azov-Stal.

    Today, the @wargonzo project managed to almost come close to the territory of the Azovstal enterprise, where militants from the Azov battalion settled down. Neo-Nazis still hold a few adjoining high-rise buildings, but in general, the perimeter of the plant has already been taken under the control of the People’s Militia of the DPR and the Russian Armed Forces.

    Our special forces have only a few buildings left to clear, which the Nazis have made their outpost. Soon there will be an exclusive report from Mariupol with all the details of how the operation to liberate the city is going. ”

  • Questioner

    Intel Slava:

    “The Russian army is storming the well-fortified defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Novoselovka and Novobakhmutovka.
    Up to 50 soldiers of the 25th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed here. 7 long-term firing points and 5 armored objects in protected shelters were suppressed. Fights are underway to capture the settlement of Novomikhailovka, more than 30 soldiers of the 54th Specialized Rifle Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 6 armored vehicles and an artillery battery of the 46th assault battalion were destroyed in daytime battles. More details in the report of the Ministry of Defense”

    New explosions in Lviv and Dnepropetrovsk!

    “Grandfather finished his speech on Ukraine. In Poland. Summary: “we are with you, hold on, we need to strengthen democracy”

  • Andrew_W

    I’ll concede to you Questioner, you win the spamming war.

  • Questioner

    Andrew: Congratulations, you won the lie award.

    For the others: This video from yesterday very impressively shows the extreme destruction of Mariupol. Nevertheless, life goes on. A civilian victim of a sniper is also shown (the sniper was probably a man from Azov). From many videos I saw from Mariupol, I got the impression that the residents welcome the DRP and the Russians and curse the Ukrainian armed forces. It is a fact that Ukrainian militants are taking the civilian population hostage. It’s a shame the Western lying media doesn’t cover it.

  • Andrew_W: Since I increasingly believe Questioner is a paid agent of Russia, living in Germany, it is no wonder he has all the time in the world to post comments.

  • Cotour

    What do they say: A lie goes around the world before the truth even thinks about getting out of bed.

    Or something like that.

    The fog of war will clear and time will pass and some measure of the truth will be known.

  • Andrew_W

    “The fog of war will clear and time will pass and some measure of the truth will be known.”
    But not in Russia.

  • pzatchok

    If you think about it the claim that the Russians have reduced the size of the Ukrainian army is ridiculous.

    As soon as the Russians invaded the Ukrainian Army started to get larger.
    First off experienced solders went back in.
    Second off those who didn’t want but were of age then went in and by now are through a simple basic training. Maybe even seeing limited combat.

    If 10% of their population decided to fight that would be over 4 million new solders.

    One more month and they all could be combat experienced.

    At that point does Ukraine let Russia keep the Donbas region? Could they take back Crimea?
    Is Russia willing to go all in and start a full fledged war?

  • Andrew_W

    “At that point does Ukraine let Russia keep the Donbas region? Could they take back Crimea?
    Is Russia willing to go all in and start a full fledged war?”

    I expect that dinky bridge between Crimea and Russia to disappear before long, then Ukraine will push into Crimea, which will be easier than punching through Donbas.

    If they can cut off the 70,000 Russians to the North, especially those that entered from Belarus, Ukraine would be in a strong position in negotiations.

  • Cotour

    The Russians ARE winning!

    5 days Vlad.

  • Cotour: As much as I think there might be truth in this video, it is so typical of media journalism as to be utterly worthless. All we have is the blather from one so-called Washington military intelligence expert, retired and thus no longer in the chain of command. He has no direct knowledge, he is merely there to give the anchor a person to talk to.

    And do you remember the 17 intelligence officers who immediately claimed Hunter Biden’s laptop was a fraud, and merely Russian disinformation? They all came from the same community as the anchor and expert in this video. And they were lying.

    Also, stories like this are focusing on the trees instead of the forest. As I wrote in one of my Ukraine updates, this is a territorial war with real front lines. Good journalism should be focusing on the loss and gain of territory, not anecdotal stories that simply could be propaganda from one side or another. This is why I have relied so much on those ISW reports, they give the bigger picture, and so far they have been very accurate.

    You might want to look at today’s (see: The changes from my last update are most interesting. The evidence suggests that the Ukraine is beginning offensive operations to push the Russians back, with some minor success.

  • Cotour

    All good points about retired experts and experts in general. Time will tell the tale. I thought that Questioner would find that opinion especially interesting, get his blood pressure up.

    You know speaking about experts and such things, I also remember the 81 Nobel laureates that endorsed Biden for president.

    * The endorsees include winners of the Nobel Prizes in chemistry, medicine and physics. Experts all in proper presidential selections it turns out.

    And I remember the 13 Nobel laureates in economics, experts all that also endorsed Biden.

    * The endorsement, signed by the 13 Nobel Prize winners, touted Biden’s economic agenda as leading to “economic growth that is faster, more robust, and more equitable.”

    They must be so pleased at where we find our economy today as a result of their endorsement getting into power so he could deploy their brilliant strategies.

    Those experts and Nobel laureates, I assume they are mostly retired also, are the way to go when you need to make the really big decisions in life especially when it comes to politics which apparently by the results of their efforts is something that they know absolutely nothing about.

    But they are really, really smart. Isn’t Paul Krugman also a Nobel laureate? He is really smart too.

    Thanks for the ISW suggestion I will review it.

    5 days Vlad.

  • Andrew_W

    Mariupol Town Ukraine – The Ukrainian City With Russian Heritage | Documentary Clip
    What a crime courtesy Putin.

  • Andrew_W

    I thank Questioner for his link to the Mariupol story, I’ve weighed in in the comments, trying to get the Russians there to see the inconsistences in their governments propaganda.

  • Questioner

    A final word to the Americans. It doesn’t affect every one of you, but many:

    It is not your lack of intelligence that prevents you from understanding what is happening in Ukraine, but your arrogance, hubris and lack of understanding for foreign cultures and peoples (that is also the reason why you are looking out should withdraw from the world). All of these factors contribute to America’s downfall.

    Take Putin’s statements literally and believe him. So, Putin does not see Ukraine as any other foreign people. Are his brother people. He doesn’t want to completely destroy Ukraine and he doesn’t want to kill as many Ukrainians as possible. He doesn’t want to destroy and occupy as many cities as possible. Since he doesn’t want that, he has accepted higher losses of his own, which are nevertheless still within limits. He encircles the cities to pressure Ukraine and tie down Ukrainian troops.

    If he had used all the means at his disposal, e.g. thermobaric bombs, the war would have ended long ago. Also in the Donbass.

    No, he stated his main goals from the beginning: 1. Denazification of Ukraine 2. Demilitarization of Ukraine. 3. Liberation of Eastern Ukraine (Donbass etc.)

    Goal 1 is practically achieved with the annihilation of the 14,000 Azov men in Mariupol. He will later ensure the dismantling of the political Nazi structures in the Ukraine through the peace negotiations.

    Goal 2 will soon be reached. 85% of Ukraine’s military potential (including infrastructure, supply and communication routes) has been destroyed.

    The difficult goal 3 is currently being worked on intensively. The main war is taking place in Donbass, not in Kyiv. Since there are 60,000 Ukrainians in heavily fortified positions in the Donbass, without the use of specific weapons, which Russia has shied away from so far, progress is relatively slow and involves a lot of “minor work”. But here, too, Russia and the DRP are making headway.


  • Questioner

    This Asian man sums up everything important.

    DrJLT Economics: “The Belligerent Imbeciles: Fools Drag the West Down the Path of Poverty and War”

    “This podcast is about the belligerent yet incompetent “leaders” in the west. I discuss 1. what their M.O. are, 2. how to counter them, and 3. what the foreseeable escalations are.”

    a. Postmodernist discourse (lying against facts)
    b. Moral pitch
    c. Thinly-veiled threats
    d. Un-cunning deceits / schemes
    e. Financial corruption
    f. Lack of commitment and courage

    a. Stick to facts
    b. Call their bluffs
    c. Cut them off financially
    d. Prepared to fight for peace

    a. Proxy war in EE
    b. Sanctions against CN
    c. Open 3rd front in ME
    d. TW independence

  • Andrew_W

    “A final word to the Americans.”
    Are you ignoring me then?

    “All of these factors contribute to America’s downfall.”
    Yep, Americans don’t understand the rest of the world as well as many other nationalities do, and other nationalities have a pretty good understanding of America due to America swamping the airways – but with regard to the Russian invasion of Ukraine it isn’t America vs the World, it’s more Russia vs the World.

    [Ukrainians] Are his [Putin’s] brother people.
    Wow, I’m glad I’m not one of Putin’s brother people – but if that’s how he treats his brothers, what the heck would he do to his enemies??

    “. . he has accepted higher losses of his own,”
    Ever watch Shrek? Lord Farquad mentions that the deaths of a load of knights to rescue the Princess is “a sacrifice I am willing to make”. It’s humorous, Farquad is demonstrating how little their lives mean to him, what an arrogant selfish man he is. I guess he and Putin both have the little mans disease.

    “If he had used all the means at his disposal, e.g. thermobaric bombs,”
    There have been claims that he has used thermobaric and cluster bombs, either way, he’s used all effective weapons short of NBC.

    “Goal 1 is practically achieved with the annihilation of the 14,000 Azov men in Mariupol.”
    That’s just silly, (1) If there are a load of Nazis in Ukraine the vast majority are not going to even be in the military (2) It’s the Azov Battalion, not the Azov Division, the 14,000 figure you got from that Greek git Alex in your video, Alex was wrong 14,000 should have been 1,400.

    “Goal 2 will soon be reached. 85% of Ukraine’s military potential (including infrastructure, supply and communication routes) has been destroyed.”
    Now you’re just being silly, Ukraine actually has more tanks now than when Russia invaded, due to being able to collect about 100 of them abandoned by their crews. The number of Ukraine men with recent military training is about 10 times what it was a month ago and the country is awash with attack drones, MANPADS and ATGW’s, Elon has given them Star Link and if justice prevails most of Russia’s frozen assets will be handed to Ukraine in compensation.

    Ukraine will get what’s left of Mariupol back, I’m betting there will be a final settlement along the old line of control, with Russia eventually getting Crimea back.

  • Questioner

    Gonzalo Lira:

    This is reputedly footage of the leader of the Azov battalion being captured.

    Someone who reads Greek, please confirm that this is correct.

    Someone who speaks Russian, please confirm what is said.

  • Questioner

    George Galloway: “America intends to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian!”

    “Biden in Poland, tells US troops to prepare for Ukraine, calls for regime change in Russia. Update 1”

  • sippin_bourbon

    “A final word to the Americans.”

    You got my hopes up.

  • Questioner

    Global Conversation

    Noam Chomsky: US is world’s biggest terrorist

  • Questioner

    Patrick Lancaster: Woman Found Tortured in School Basement “Military Base” in Mariupol

  • Andrew_W

    Denys Prokopenko is listed as the current commander of Azov, that guy doesn’t look like him.
    Maybe they’re celebrating because that’s the first Azov soldier they’ve managed to catch.

  • Cotour

    Can one be a terrorist if you are the Hegemon AND you make the laws?

    Terrorist: “a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”

    Noam Chomski: An elite self-hating moralist, hates that he is white and hates that he is an American, does not understand the nature of power and how and why it is exercised. Should read Strategy Over Morality, The Two Conversations.

  • Andrew_W

    The high casualty rates claimed of the Russian forces at face value appear an exaggeration, but I think there’s a reason for them to be realistic.
    Russia has invaded over a front that’s 1500km long with less than 200,000 men. Compare that to Operation Barbarossa where Germany attacked Russia across a slightly narrower front with 3,000,000 men, 20 times as many in each km. This difference means that the Russian front is very pourous. Not so much a front as a line up of narrow attacks along the roads, each of which has unprotected flanks.

  • pzatchok

    I guess with the Russian attitude that might makes right they should be happy with Europe and NATO being their economic and military overlords.

    Russia is now the small fish in the big pond. It better hope China helps it enough to keep its big boy pride..

  • Questioner

    Patrick Lancaster: Mariupol Human shields (Special Report) Russia – Ukraine War

    Witnesses Claim Ukraine Using Human shields In Mariupol.

  • Questioner

    Russian marines and DPR troops storm the base of the Azov National Battalion in Mariupol

  • Andrew_W

    “Witnesses Claim”
    In the middle of a war most witnesses are going to be on one side or the other and are happy to role out stories that support their side.

    Something I noticed that I think is a little more reliable than hand picked “witnesses” is the 581 soldiers killed, 2,801 wounded that the DPR acknowledges out of their 20,000 strength. These look like realistic figures, and, given that the DPR forces have more experience at staying alive under fire, higher casualty rates in Russian forces would be expected. That would put Russian loses in the range that NATO estimates.

  • Cotour

    3 days left Vlad.

  • Questioner

    Patrick Lancaster: (Ukrainian) Artillery Strike Hits Center Donetsk.

  • Questioner

    Ukraine: On patrol with the far-right National Militia – BBC Newsnight (2018)

    “Ukraine’s National Militia says it “polices” the streets. So why does it also fight the police themselves? BBC Kiev correspondent Jonah Fisher reports on the increasing visibility of far-right groups in Ukraine.”

    Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news

    ca. 10 min

  • Questioner

    Gonzalo Lira:

    Ignore Kiev, ignore Kharkov (where I am), ignore the rest of Ukraine — THIS is the important bit, this is where THE battle is taking place: The eastern Ukraine cauldron, around Kramatorsk.

    60,000 fighters are caught here. They have no chance of resupply or reinforcements, and they have run out of gasoline. Once they have been neutralized (one way or the other), everything else in Ukraine will fall, and the war will end.”

    Other thing:

    Azov shoot from a residential house in Mariupol (which they say they don’t do). The Russian T-72 tank is able to withstand the British-Swedish made NLAW anti-tank weapon.

  • Andrew_W

    Questioner, I’m a bit puzzled by Patrick Lancaster claims, the thing is that tiny hole they’re getting all excited about could only have been caused by an artillery round if it failed to detonate, more likely it was made by a small mortar, or an AA round returning to earth. I double though that Ukrainian forces were close enough to central Donetsk for it to have been a small mortar, which only have a range of about 4km.

  • Cotour

    3/29/22, only 2 days left Vlad.

  • Questioner

    Scott Ritter
    “For all those scratching their heads in confusion, or dusting off their dress uniforms for the Ukrainian victory parade in Kiev, over the news about Russia’s “strategic shift”, you might want to re-familiarize yourself with basic military concepts.”

  • Questioner

    Here is a lecture from Scott Ritter for Mr. Z:

    Source: Scott Ritter @RealScottRitter (Twitter):

    1/ Big Arrow War—a primer. For all those scratching their heads in confusion, or dusting off their dress uniforms for the Ukrainian victory parade in Kiev, over the news about Russia’s “strategic shift”, you might want to re-familiarize yourself with basic military concepts.

    2/ Maneuver warfare is a good place to start. Understand Russia started its “special military operation” with a severe manpower deficit—200,000 attackers to some 600,000 defenders (or more). Classic attritional conflict was never an option. Russian victory required maneuver.

    3/ Maneuver war is more psychological than physical and focuses more on the operational than on the tactical level. Maneuver is relational movement—how you deploy and move your forces in relation to your opponent. Russian maneuver in the first phase of its operation support this.

    4/ The Russians needed to shape the battlefield to their advantage. In order to do this, they needed to control how Ukraine employed it’s numerically superior forces, while distributing their own smaller combat power to best accomplish this objective.

    5/ Strategically, to facilitate the ability to maneuver between the southern, central, and northern fronts, Russia needed to secure a land bridge between Crimea and Russia. The seizure of the coastal city of Mariupol was critical to this effort. Russia has accomplished this task.

    6/ While this complex operation unfolded, Russia needed to keep Ukraine from maneuvering its numerically superior forces in a manner that disrupted the Mariupol operation. This entailed the use of several strategic supporting operations—feints, fixing operations, and deep attack.

    7/ The concept of a feint is simple—a military force either is seen as preparing to attack a given location, or actually conducts an attack, for the purpose of deceiving an opponent into committing resources in response to the perceived or actual actions.

    8/ The use of the feint played a major role in Desert Storm, where Marine Amphibious forces threatened the Kuwaiti coast, forcing Iraq to defend against an attack that never came, and where the 1st Cavalry Division actually attacked Wadi Al Batin to pin down the Republican Guard.

    9/ The Russians made extensive use of the feint in Ukraine, with Amphibious forces off Odessa freezing Ukrainian forces there, and a major feint attack toward Kiev compelling Ukraine to reinforce their forces there. Ukraine was never able to reinforce their forces in the east.

    10/ Fixing operations were also critical. Ukraine had assembled some 60,000-100,000 troops in the east, opposite Donbas. Russia carried out a broad fixing attack designed to keep these forces fully engaged and unable to maneuver in respect to other Russian operations.

    11/ During Desert Storm, two Marine Divisions were ordered to carry out similar fixing attacks against Iraqi forces deployed along the Kuwaiti-Saudi border, tying down significant numbers of men and material that could not be used to counter the main US attack out west.

    12/ The Russian fixing attack pinned the main Ukrainian concentration of forces in the east, and drove them away from Mariupol, which was invested and reduced. Supporting operations out of Crimea against Kherson expanded the Russian land bridge. This phase is now complete.

    13/ Russia also engaged in a campaign of strategic deep attack designed to disrupt and destroy Ukrainian logistics, command & control, and air power and long-range fire support. Ukraine is running out of fuel and ammo, cannot coordinate maneuver, and has no meaningful Air Force.

    14/ Russia is redeploying some of its premier units from where they had been engaged in feint operations in northern Kiev to where they can support the next phase of the operation, namely the liberation of the Donbas and the destruction of the main Ukrainian force in the east.

    15/ This is classic maneuver warfare. Russia will now hold Ukraine in the north and south while its main forces, reinforced by the northern units, Marines, and forces freed up by the capture of Mariupol, seek to envelope and destroy 60,000 Ukrainian forces in the east.

    16/ This is Big Arrow War at its finest, something Americans used to know but forgot in the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan and Iraq. It also explains how 200,000 Russians have been able to defeat 600,000 Ukrainians. Thus ends the primer on maneuver warfare, Russian style.

  • Andrew_W

    “Here is a lecture from Scott Ritter for Mr. Z:”

    If Putin’s goal was to take the whole of the Donbas he would have done so by now, the Russian military would have concentrated on destroying bridges and roads between the Donbas and the rest of Ukraine and launched their attack through and close to the territory they intended to take from Ukraine, once they’d achieved that goal they would have dug in and been in a strong defensive position. That’s what they did in Crimea and it was effective.

    If their goal was to take most or all of Ukraine they simply didn’t employ enough troops to do it unless most of Ukraine wanted to be taken.
    Putin was deceived by his own egotism into thinking Russian troops would be better and more motivated than Ukrainian troops, the reverse has been proven to be true.

    Ritter rose to the rank of major, was an expert in information gathering, not in large scale military strategy. So I’ll stick with the opinions of the generals, the people with real experience and training in such things.

  • Questioner

    Great analysis by Gleb Bazov @gbazov (source twitter):

    Most important statements of #Russia|n military campaign were made on the battlefield and will continue to be made there, not by the diplomats, like #Medinsky, or even hawks, like #Kadyrov. They will continue to be made by the military. 1/27

    If we consider military realities of the conflict, from its outset, without distractions in form of political statements or personal wishes, the following emerges: #Russia entered into this conflict with—at the most optimistic count—a military grouping of no more than 190k. 2/27

    This was considerably less than the combined armed forces of #Ukraine, which outnumbered the #RF forces by as much as 100k at the outset of the conflict. To date, as a result of the campaign, #Ukraine|ian forces outside of #Donbass have been reduced to an infantry force. 3/27

    Gone is the vast bulk of #Ukraine’s armoured vehicle arsenal. As of March 27, 529 tanks and 1177 armoured vehicles (IFVs and APCs) had been destroyed. Gone are #UA’s airforce and navy. The personnel losses of UA forces are estimated at over 16k KIA and 14k WIA. 4/27

    Ukraine’s air defence apparatus has equally been turned to rubble. Over 160 command & communications/radar installations have been destroyed. Over 160 long range and over 40 short range air defence vehicles have been eliminated. #Russia|n airforce flies sorties unimpeded. 5/27

    #Ukraine continues to possess a sizeable MLRS and artillery force, which is protected by the human shield of the cities’ residential areas, where its elimination is problematic in view of #Russia’s announced (and strictly adhered to) policy of minimizing civilian casualties. 6/27

    Severe shortage of operational armoured vehicles is indirectly indicated by #Zelensky’s appeal to #NATO countries to donate 1% of their tanks to #Ukraine’s war effort and visible in failed raids from #Nikolayev to #Kherson to shell civilians under guise of fighting #Russia. 7/27

    There is not a single indication of significant armoured assaults or counterattacks and #Ukraine’s failed raids from #Nikolayev were characterized by the presence of unprotected MLRS and artillery units contrasted against glaring absence of adequate armoured vehicle support. 8/27

    Overall, #Ukraine’s army has been almost completely immobilized—in the east, in #Donbass, due to fear and inability to abandon reinforced positions in the face of #Russia|n air dominance and surging offensives to the north and to the south, as the cauldron is closing shut. 9/27

    In the south, due to the overwhelming success of #Russia|n offensive that pushed #Ukraine|ian resistance into interior, away from border with #Crimea. In the north, due to #RF forces threatening each of the major cities, blockading them, and shutting #Ukraine|ian forces in. 10/27

    It is becoming clear that, from the beginning, two possible scenarios were foreseen by #Russia|n military command: The success of the initial surprise blitzkrieg and the drawn-out methodical elimination of the #Ukraine|ian military capabilities. Both scenarios materialized. 11/27

    In the south, in #Kherson and parts of #Zaporozhye regions, the rapid surge of #Russia|n forces from #Crimea (admittedly, the best equipped and prepared) succeeded almost entirely, until #Ukraine|ian resistance was localized north of #Kherson, in #Nikolayev and #Zaporozhye. 11/27

    In the north, as stated earlier, #Russia|n forces flowed around major cities, effectively cutting off #Sumy, #Akhtyrka, & #Chernigov and shutting defending #Ukraine|ian forces in them. Near #Kiev, #Russia identified its presence and presented a real threat of encircling it. 12/27

    Clear & present threat of complete encirclement and blockade of #Ukraine|ian capital was created with insufficient (according to military doctrine) forces to surround a city of 4 million, where, even now, over 2 million civilians remain. And yet, #Ukraine could do nothing. 13/27

    Near #Kharkov, once again, a group of units clearly insufficient to completely encircle the city, was able to take it into a horseshoe formation, bind and pin the defenders of the city, preventing any adventurism from them in terms of assisting the #Donbass #UA forces. 14/27

    #Russia|n army flowed around #Kharkov, cutting it off from #Ukraine’s #Donbass group by taking #Izyum, and proceeded into a difficult offensive south, to cut off the #Slavyansk/#Kramatorsk group’s supply and communications with #UA’s interior and to complete the cauldron. 15/27

    What succeeded in the south, in #Kherson and parts of #Zaporozhye regions was rapid blitzkrieg. What materialized in the north was the binding & pinning of #Ukraine’s army & creating constant threats that made it impossible for #UA to redirect forces to assist in #Donbass. 16/27

    What is taking place in #Mariupol, #Maryinka, #Avdeevka, and south of #Izyum, as well as #Rubezhnoye/#Severodonetsk/#Lisichansk—and what took place earlier in #Volnovakha—is the methodical grinding down & elimination of #Ukraine’s best equipped and battle-hardened forces. 17/27

    Completion of #Donbass cauldron is now near at hand, and fighting is becoming increasingly more fierce and brutal. Even originally #Russia|n forces were severely outnumbered in #Ukraine, and it has become clear now that a decision has been made to limit their numbers. 18/27

    As indicated by the majority of military analysts covering the conflict, operations in the north & the south were part of 1st phase of the campaign intended to create operational freedom for #Russia|n forces to complete the #Donbass cauldron (after #Mariupol’s liberation) 19/27

    With this task now closer to completion, and #UA resistance increasing exponentially as the cauldron is closing shut, 2nd phase of campaign no longer requires (nor can afford, in view of the lack of numerical advantage) such extensive operations in the north and the south. 20/27

    #Russia has created reinforced positions near #Kiev, #Chernigov, Sumy, and #Kharkov in the north, which can now be defended with fewer forces and still present clear and present danger pinning the defenders in these cities. The south (#Kherson) is even better defended. 21/27

    #Mariupol’s liberation is close to completion. These forces, with invaluable experience fighting some of #Ukraine’s best in possibly most difficult conditions since #Stalingrad, will be freed up to focus on #Donbass cauldron where #Ukraine’s biggest group will be trapped. 22/27

    Similarly, troops no longer necessary in the north & the south, where fewer units will be sufficient for maintaining the status quo during the 2nd phase of the operation, will be transferred to the #Donbass theatre. Finally, reserves have been built up in #RF for rotation. 23/27

    The reserves in #RF (larger than all #Russia|n troops currently in #UA) have been remarked on by #Ukraine|ian & Western sources & are entirely counter to any idea that operation in #Ukraine is being limited, let alone coming to an end. Simply, 2nd phase is about to start. 24/27

    #Russia was unwilling to commit overwhelming forces to operation in #Ukraine from the beginning. This is an exceedingly lean, and, its leanness, exceedingly successful operation. The 2nd phase will involve the elimination of the #Donbass cauldron of #Ukraine|ian forces. 25/27

    The clear hope of #RF command is that success on this front will spell the final collapse of the #Ukraine|ian military machine, with cascades effects on the rest of UA defenders, just as the economy of the country continues to crumble from the overwhelming pressure on it. 26/27

    In war, there is no guarantee, except one: Do not watch the ball of negotiations being passed back & forth, watch military operations on the ground. Even #Medinsky said today that de-escalation near #Kiev does not mean the termination of the operations. Quite the contrary. 27/27

    What happens in the 3rd phase of the operation is really only up to the #Russia|n military and political command and to #Ukraine|ian regime’s resolve to continue fighting to the last Ukrainian. Let’s hope it does not come to that. But I see no chance of #Russia pulling back now.

  • pzatchok

    Tas news services confirms the hit happened.

    One rumor I heard is that Russia is having troubles with trains getting derailed bringing supplies to the front. Just a rumor though.

    The other rumor was that Ukrainian snipers were targeting officers and radio men. Once those two go down the Russian troops are thrown into disarray and become easy targets.
    The Russian army does not have any NCOs like the rest of the world does. So once the officer goes down the conscripts are lost.

  • Cotour

    One day left Vlad, then what?

  • Cotour

    I can agree with the Russians here:

    “Now Russian TV host calls for ‘regime change’ in US after Biden demanded Putin be removed from power – and clamors for ‘partner’ Donald Trump to be reinstated as president”

    Although I would not characterize the relationship as a true “partnership”, more like mutual respect based on an understanding of actual resolve and strength on the part of a Trump administration and ensured devastating destruction for Putin and Russia.

    Its a kind of partnership.

  • Questioner

    “Russian Military expert Andrei Martyanov (who lives and works in US) on Russia’s denazification operation in the Ukraine” 17.03.2022

    On March 15, I spoke with author and Russian military expert, Andrei Martyanov. His commentary and analysis are based on a deep understanding of Russian military and geopolitical issues.

    Among many important things discussed were:

    -that Ukraine has used prohibited weapons against the people of the Donbass, repeatedly, including White Phosphorous
    -Ukraine’s use of Ukrainian civilians as human shields, a war crime, preventing them from leaving areas of conflict (much as terrorists did Syrian civilians)
    -why Russia is conducting the denazification operation
    -that the hatred of Russians and calls for their murder amongst Ukrainian nationalists is not a new thing, but decades old
    -that there will be a Ukrainian war crimes tribunal to hold accountable the criminals who have perpetrated untold and horrific war crimes
    -Ukraine’s biological weapons
    -the blatant propaganda and lies in the media war against Russia, much like the manifold lies we saw around Syria

  • Cotour


    This is how you initiate aggressive actions or warfare in the 21st century on planet earth in the 21sy century and remain credible and a remember of the civilized world.

    1. You go to the U.N. and establish the existential threat and get some degree of agreement among the members that establishes a legal argument.

    2. If you cannot accomplish that then you must develop and execute a credible false flag operation that establishes the existential threat.

    3. You cite the need for women and children to be protected from an aggressor.

    4. If you cannot successfully execute one or several of these legally seen modalities in demonstrating the need to become violent, then you will be considered an immoral aggressor, a murderer and or a war criminal. (See: Vladimir Putin)

    Mr. Putin and your hero Russian conscripted aggressors would be solidly relegated to the #4 model and have demonstrated a myopic subjective view of their operation.

    If you want to get there you can but you must play by the established “Civilized” “legal” rules. (I know it all sounds counter intuitive corrupt and perverted but those are the rules)

    That is how things operate today in the civilized first world.

    1 day left Vlad.

  • Andrew_W

    >Years of grappling with Mr. Putin have taught Mr. Browder that the Russian president has a “prison-yard psychology. He absolutely cannot allow anyone to disrespect him.” Someone who does, has to be attacked, “not just a little bit, but eviscerated.” In a broad way, Mr. Browder says, Ukraine disrespected Mr. Putin. “He wanted Ukraine to be a subservient country to Russia and they didn’t want to do that.” They wanted to be part of the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “They wanted to be a democracy, not a part of Russia. And so the only answer to that is just absolute annihilation in his mind.”

    “-that Ukraine has used prohibited weapons against the people of the Donbass, repeatedly, including White Phosphorous”
    I don’t know whether or not Ukraine has used white phosphorous but it is used by most armies and is not a prohibited weapon.

    “-Ukraine’s use of Ukrainian civilians as human shields, a war crime, preventing them from leaving areas of conflict (much as terrorists did Syrian civilians)”
    Urban combat is as old as warfare and the only thing illegal is the targeting of civilians, as Russian troops have done.

    “-why Russia is conducting the denazification operation”
    Due to Russian government propaganda most Russians believe that Ukraine is controlled by Nazi’s, that’s understandable given the Russian states monopoly on the MSM, people not living in Russia aren’t victims of that media monopoly and the only excuse for those people to believe K|remlin lies is their extreme partisanship.

    “-that the hatred of Russians and calls for their murder amongst Ukrainian nationalists is not a new thing, but decades old”
    There’s plenty of hatred for Russia due to it’s invasion of their country, outside of the Donbas with its Russian supported separatist movement ethnic Ukrainians and Russian Ukrainians get along fine, something Ukraine haters refuse to see.

    “-that there will be a Ukrainian war crimes tribunal to hold accountable the criminals who have perpetrated untold and horrific war crimes”
    No, I’m confident that Ukraine authorities will be happy to see Russian’s accused of war crime prosecuted in The Hague.

    “-Ukraine’s biological weapons”
    Don’t exist, but we’ve seen plenty of evidence that Russian nerve agents do exist.

    “-the blatant propaganda and lies in the media war against Russia, much like the manifold lies we saw around Syria”
    Propaganda in war is normal, but given the Russian states lies to it’s own people, the level of bias in your accusation is just a bit sick.

  • Questioner

    Interview with US military expert Scott Ritter about the Ukrainian-Russian war. It’s worth listening to, even by truth-deniers. A great learning opportunity.

    William Scott Ritter Jr. (born July 15, 1961) is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served with the United Nations implementing arms control treaties, with General Norman Schwarzkopf in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq, overseeing the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), as a United Nations weapons inspector, from 1991 to 1998.

  • Questioner

    A sample from Intel Slava Z :

    “The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are concerned about the prospect of creating the Kherson People’s Republic
    In a recent report, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that Russia has stepped up efforts to create authorities in the liberated territories and is preparing a referendum on the proclamation of the Kherson People’s Republic”

    Ramazan Kadyrov: “Mariupol is already 90-95 percent liberated from Bandera scumbags. Life is gradually returning to the free territory of the city.” The last bandits are hiding at the large metallurgical plant “Azovstal”

    “The Russian army took full control of the settlement of Zolotaya Niva, the troops crossed the Kashlagach River and entrenched themselves on a favorable line. The Russian Armed Forces hit large fuel bases in Dnepropetrovsk with cruise missiles.”

    “Basurin reports that two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down, with which they tried to evacuate the Azov leadership from Mariupol”

    “Chechen forces storming the building in Rubizhne of the Luhansk People’s Republic, in which the Nazis have settled. The building is surrounded, and the bandits cannot escape, as they used to do.”

    “From 10:00 March 31, the RF Armed Forces announce a “Cease fire” and open an additional humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of civilians and foreign citizens from Mariupol to Zaporozhye (with an intermediate point in Berdyansk) Ministry of Defense of Russia”

    “missile attacks on the oil depot in the Dnieper, fuel trucks were destroyed”

    “The head of the Kalmiussky regional police department of Mariupol, Colonel V. Popov, went over to the side of the DPR and helps our security forces to identify Nazis”

    “The Russian Defense Ministry has published footage of objective monitoring of the destruction of the Buk-M1 air defense system of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by a high-precision missile strike.”

    “The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, developing the offensive, broke through the enemy’s well-fortified defenses, crossed the Shaitanka River and are fighting with units of the 53rd mechanized brigade on the outskirts of the Velikaya Novoselka settlement – RF Ministry of Defense”

    The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the preliminary results of the special operation:

    ▫️ at the first stage of the special operation, it was planned to force the enemy to concentrate forces to hold large points in the Kiev and Chernihiv directions, including Kyiv, tie them up on the battlefield and, without storming cities (to avoid civilian losses), inflict a defeat that would not allow them to use forces on the main direction of Russian actions is in the Donbass

    ▫️ all these goals were met

    ▫️ at the same time, the Russian army was solving another problem – in the absence of an influx of fresh enemy forces from the west and from the center of Ukraine, to create conditions for the final stage of the operation to liberate the republics of Donbass

    ▫️ for this purpose, constant targeted fire destruction of the fortifications created by the Kiev regime over 8 years has been carried out and continues, the main lines of communications and supply have been taken under full control, air defense systems of Ukraine, airfield infrastructure, the largest military depots, training and concentration centers for mercenaries have been destroyed

    ▫️ thus, all the main tasks of the Russian forces in the Kiev and Chernihiv directions have been completed, the goal of the regrouping of Russian troops is to intensify actions in priority areas and, above all, complete the operation to completely liberate Donbass

    “The Russian army destroyed many tanks, self-propelled guns and other armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the territory of the Military Institute of Tank Forces in Kharkov”

  • Questioner

    A final sample from Intel Slava Z :

    “Our source in the OP said that the General Staff confirmed the information to the Office of the President of Ukraine about the downed helicopter near Mariupol, in which the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Azov were evacuated from the city, but on the way back the helicopter was shot down.”

    “Judging by the information from Mariupol, the enemy is practically finished off and now the remaining ones are being destroyed. Basurin said that foreign mercenaries will not have the status of a prisoner of war and, accordingly, will simply be disposed of, which is an absolutely correct decision.”

    “Chinese TV channel CGTN-Russian reporter Dmitry Maslak visited the crash site of the downed Mi-8 helicopter of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Mariupol. There were reportedly 17 people on board. Operational measures are being taken with the two survivors.”

  • Cotour

    Today is your last day Vlad.

    What will you do?

    I will miss you.

  • Questioner

    That was still missing as a farewell gift!


  • Cotour


    What you refuse to grasp is that it no longer matters for Putin if he is to some degree successful, it does not matter.

    Putin IMO has shot himself in his buttocks.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *