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The Ukraine’s big victory this past week was no accident

The Ukraine War as of August 30, 2022
The Ukraine War as of August 30, 2022. Click for full map.

The Ukraine War as of September 11, 2022
The Ukraine War as of September 11, 2022. Click for full map.

In the past week the Ukraine has scored a major victory in its effort to drive Russia from its territory, pushing the Russians back across a wide swath in the areas north and east of the city of Kharkiv. The two maps to the right, created by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and simplified, reduced, and annotated to post here, show these gains, with the top map from their August 30, 2022 analysis and the bottom from their September 11, 2022 update. Red or pink areas are regions controlled by the Russians. Blue areas are regions retaken by the Ukraine. Red-striped areas are regions captured by Russian in its 2014 invasion. Blue-striped areas are regions inside Russian-occupied territories that have seen strong partisan resistance.

The green lines on both maps mark rivers that act as important military barriers. The blue arrows on the lower map east of Kharkiv show the Ukrainian military push this past week, first to the east to the river Oskil. From there the forces moved north and south. To the south the Ukrainians used the Oskil river to their left as a wall protecting them from Russian forces. That same river acted to pin the Russians down in the south, forcing them in the past day to quickly retreat to the east across the one remaining bridge under their control, but in the process abandoning large amounts of armaments that the Ukrainians can now use.

In the south, the Dnipro River also acts as a barrier for the Russian occupying forces north of Kherson.
The Ukrainians have spent the last month or so aggressively attacking the handful of bridges that cross this river, thus restricting Russian transport to and from its northern forces. As the Ukrainians made these attacks, they were remarkably public about their plans to follow up with a major campaign in the south to retake Kherson and all territory north of the Dnipro.

In that public campaign lies the key to this whole counter-offensive. As ISW noted in its update of September 11, 2022:

The Ukrainian success resulted from skillful campaign design and execution that included efforts to maximize the impact of Western weapons systems such as HIMARS. Kyiv’s long discussion and then an announcement of a counter-offensive operation aimed at Kherson Oblast drew substantial Russian troops away from the sectors on which Ukrainian forces have conducted decisive attacks in the past several days. Ukraine’s armed forces employed HIMARS and other Western systems to attack Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) in Kharkiv and Kherson Oblasts, setting conditions for the success of this operation. Ukrainian leaders discussed the strikes in the south much more ostentatiously, however, successfully confusing the Russians about their intentions in Kharkiv Oblast. Western weapons systems were necessary but not sufficient to secure success for Ukraine. The Ukrainian employment of those systems in a well-designed and well-executed campaign has generated the remarkable success of the counter-offensive operations in Kharkiv Oblast. [emphasis mine]

The Ukrainians used their better intelligence and equipment provided by the west to attack important Russian supply links prior to the counter-offensive. They also took advantage of their better understanding of the geography, since this is their country, recognizing the military importance not only of the Dnipro River in the south, but the Oskil River in the north. While the Russians have been struggling in the past two months to keep their supply lines across the Dnipro open, it appears the Russians missed the importance of the Oskil entirely.

This last error by the Russians also illustrates another major factor in this war: The Russian’s military leadership from day one has generally done a very poor job. It has not planned its attacks realistically, first by vastly overestimating its ability to capture the Ukraine, thus forcing a major retreat in April, and then overestimating the ability of its remaining forces to hold the territory it still possessed. To keep Kherson that leadership stripped Kharkiv, leaving it exposed.

The Ukrainians strategy anticipated this possibility, planned on it, and when the Russians foolishly obliged immediately took full advantage.

The counter-offensive is not over. In the north the Ukrainians are now pushing east. There is a good chance in the next week they can sweep up additional the Russian holdings, especially along the southern parts of this front. The ISW analysis also notes that for the Russians to hold back the Ukrainians it needs to pull back to better lines of defense, something that Russian leadership seems loath to do. And if they do not, they will find themselves overrun again.

In the south the Ukrainians have not let up their attacks on Russia’s forces north of the Dnipro, all of which are very exposed because the river at their back prevents their easy escape while limiting any resupply to them. Though nothing is guaranteed, it would not be a surprise if those Russian forces soon pull back across the river, giving up Kherson. Based on the battle situation, it likely would be the prudent and wise thing to do.

Then again, that Russian leadership has not shown itself to be either prudent or wise during this entire war, from Putin on down to his generals.

In my last update on August 30, 2022 I called the war “a brutal stale-mate, with Russia so far showing the only real gains, though all those gains have been small, difficult, and costly.” That stale-mate has now been broken, but not by Russia. The Ukraine has now proven Russia’s attempt to conquer it is an utter failure.

None of this means the war will end soon. As long as Putin is in power, Russia is not likely to retreat or give up what it holds in the Ukraine, without a fight. Nor can the Ukraine quickly or easily push Russia out. As Russia’s holdings shrink, it will have an easier time retaining control. It will have smaller interior lines of defense, making an offensive against it more difficult.

Nonetheless, Russia’s failure in this war has now clearly demonstrated it is no longer a strong military threat to Europe, or to the west. Its nuclear weapon capabilities are certainly a concern, but no one need fear its ability to invade and conquer any of its neighbors. In fact, its only practical and realistic option is to stop trying to conquer its neighbors but instead to live with them, as neighbors. This is actually what the Ukraine — and the west — has always wanted. And Russia would only benefit by accepting that option.

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49 comments

  • pzatchok

    This must be that left hook I spoke about when this all started months ago.

    Now if the Ukraine can just keep the rail lines and roads along the boarder cut so Russia can not move troops back north easy.
    And yes they MUST attack into Russia to win this. Its up to Russia if they are willing to take the same damage back as they gave to the Ukraine. My guess is they are not and will cry like children about it.

  • Col Beausabre

    “for the Russians to hold back the Ukrainians it needs to pull back to better lines of defense, something that Russian leadership seems loath to do.” I recall someone else had that problem – Adolf Hitler

  • I think if Ukraine wasn’t bombing and shelling it’s eastern sections for the last eight years and actually honored the Minsk agreement that they signed in 2015, maybe all of this could have been avoided.

  • Andrew_W

    “I think if Ukraine wasn’t bombing and shelling it’s eastern sections for the last eight years and actually honored the Minsk agreement that they signed in 2015, maybe all of this could have been avoided.”

    I guess that means you buy into the Russian fiction that there’s been a lot of bombing and shelling in recent years and that the relatively small amount of bombing and shelling that has actually occurred hasn’t been going in both directions.

  • pzatchok

    Hitler sorry Putin is only doing this to protect ethnic Germans sorry again Russians.

    If Russia had upheld its original agreements when they broke up, non of this would be happening now.

    Excuses Excuses Excuses.

    This will now not stop until the whole of the sea is free of any Russian forces in it, on it, or even next to it. Any Russians in the area who do not become Ukrainian will be moved out.

    Considering Russia as a nation started in the Ukraine then the Ukraine can make the excuse that taking the whole of Russia is just protecting historically Ukrainian peoples.

    Excuses, Excuses, Excuses.

    Like butts everyone has one.

    And the whining starts.

  • John

    The way Ukraine prepared the Kherson area, advertised that offensive, emphasized operational security, and drew in reinforcements while destroying the bridges to isolate them is a solid piece of military strategy. They also kept operational surprise for the main effort in Kharkiv, which means Russian ISR is ineffective. I hope a good historian writes a book on this one day, this is military history in the making.

    It will be interesting to see where the war goes from here. Russia has annexed Crimea, so any attempt to retake that would be considered an invasion on Russian soil. They have threatened to use nukes, and have their infamous “escalate to de-escalate’ doctrine. Putin does not have a clear way out of this mess, and an attempt to declare war and fully mobilize may be extraordinarily unpopular. I wonder if Putin can withstand further humiliation if there is another successful counteroffensive.

    The cease-fire violations in the east leading up to this, were two-way, not just Ukrainian. I’d argue the Russian separatists proxies were goading Ukraine into provoking a reason for the Russian invasion.

  • P.Mo

    Russia keeps talking about using nuclear weapons, but can they realistically? I’d like the site owner to chime in on this one, because my knowledge of rocketry is pretty basic.

    What I can say is this: In the first stage of the war, near Kiev, I repeatedly saw Russian BTRs abandoned along the sides of the main roads with flat tires. It was pretty clear the source of this failure: The vehicles had been parked a long time and never moved. As a result of the long term parking the tires softened somewhat, and because all of the weight of the vehicle rested on the one spot on the tires, the sidewalls failed and the tires when flat when they were on the move. In this US this would never happen, because every motor pool has that one anal MSgt who makes sure the PFCs take the vehicles for a short drive once a month or so, and then repark the vehicles to prevent exactly this sort of failure.

    But tires are remarkably simple systems requiring really basic maintenance. Rockets are much more complex systems and much more sensitive. These strategic missile systems need to be kept in a state of constant readiness, which involves fueling with incredibly toxic, volatile and caustic fuels. I cannot imagine it would be advisible to permanently keep them in that state. I suspect that at any given time a relatively small number of these missiles would need to be drained of fuel, inspected, repaired and then refueled. I cannot see a military which is incapable of maintaining tires maintaining such a complex system adequately enough to be reliable. How many of them would blow up in the silos? How many would fail shortly after launch and detonate in their own localities. We’ve seen it with Russian S-300s and other missiles in this war already, but these are much more difficult systems to maintain, and many of them remain older soviet era systems.

  • BLSinSC

    Yes, the Russians can’t evoke fear of an INVASION to conquer Europe, but the simple turning of a GAS VALVE seems to be a very effective weapon they possess! I watched the Germans as they LAUGHED at PRESIDENT TRUMP when he warned them about being DEPENDENT on Russian gas – who’s LAUGHING now??? It’s amazing – to his enemies – just how OFTEN he has been proven CORRECT in his assessments! I had a simple philosophy while I was a Controller of a manufacturing plant. I told my staff that we needed to be RIGHT in everything we did! We needed to make SURE we had researched issues so we could present the CORRECT FACTS to other Management groups! We needed to be RIGHT with our assumptions and recommendations! I do believe that PRESIDENT TRUMP never issued these statements without the KNOWLEDGE that HE was RIGHT!! It shows!

  • pzatchok

    All Russia needs is one nuclear weapon to be a terrorist nation. A few more and they are a nuclear power.
    They should have a few that work.
    I can understand the rest of Europe being afraid of them.

    As for their rockets. Most were on mobile solid fuel rockets for shorter distances and better long term reliability. But I have heard stories that most of those launchers had fake warheads on them just to confuse any possible interceptors so…..
    Does any nation really need 3000 nuclear warheads? No, but 3000 launch vehicles is quite possible and for the most part economical.

    I would expect Russia’s ICBM’s to be half as reliable as their Soyuz and Proton style rocket just because of maintenance and part problems.

  • Star Bird

    Russia had big trouble with Finland during WW II

  • Edward

    P.Mo asked: “Russia keeps talking about using nuclear weapons, but can they realistically?

    Not all nuclear weapons are delivered by rocket. Some are fired by large artillery and others are delivered by aircraft. The reason everyone is so concerned is that all it takes is one nuclear weapon to forever change the world.

  • “The reason everyone is so concerned is that all it takes is one nuclear weapon to forever change the world.”

    Or, two.

  • Star Bird observed: “Russia had big trouble with Finland during WW II”

    I worked with a gentleman of Finnish heritage, and we were talking about Finland and the Soviets during WW II. He commented “Twenty to one.”

    “What”

    “That’s how many Russians died for every Finn.”

    Don’t know if it’s true, but wouldn’t want to test it.

  • Cotour

    When this Ukraine situation began, I proposed that it was Russia that had the mass and could outlast the Ukraine over time.

    And while that is true it appears that if mass does not take care of business in a timely manner and is forced to sustain massive losses their mass in the end may not be the determining factor? (Still remains to be seen)

    And that is fully recognizing that if the Ukraine was not being resupplied by a good chunk of the civilized world with implements of death, destruction and defense that is not happy with Putin’s actions the timeline and those losses would have less of an effect on the evolving results.

    Putin or whomever is next in line to run the thugocracy that is Russia will always be a threat to Ukraine and those other country’s that border Russia. The lesson? If you have nukes in place, never surrender them.

    And what has Putin accomplished so far? He has successfully gotten killed tens of thousands of young men and many more than that injured, and he has grown NATO. Not to mention the now many “Mysterious” deaths of those who have spoken out against Putin. They are dropping like flies, blown up, shot up, “Suicides”, “Accidental” drownings.

    (Pure Game Of Thrones fodder, its always the same, its the nature of the beast related to the retention of and the acquisition of power.)

    Well done, Vlad, I will miss you, you have lasted much longer than I thought you would, but your time is ticking.

  • P.Mo.

    Cotour, there is no doubt that Putin’s invasion has been a massive strategic level failure, as well as a massive tactical failure.

    His army is destroyed. I wouldn’t be surprised if some other countries with a long history of Russian beef start taking the opportunity to square things up while Russia has no army available to intervene. Like Khazakstan, Georgia and Belarussians. The Azeri’s already appear to be taking the opportunity to square things up with Russia’s client state in Armenia.

  • Andrew_W

    Cotour, Putin broke my first law of warfare: don’t start a war unless your country is prepared to commit absolutely everything to win it.

  • Andrew_W

    Incidentally my second and third law are:
    1. Even if the people in the country you invade are in a virtual war against each other with a little time your actual war will unite them.
    2. Calling it a special military operation won’t make it not an actual war.
    ;-)

  • Andrew_W

    Cotour: “And what has Putin accomplished so far?”
    Also his plan to”demilitarize Ukraine” looks like it’s not working out too well.

  • Cotour

    ??? Putin’s Car Attacked in Attempted Assassination Plot – Weeks After Putin Ally’s Daughter Was Killed in Car Bombing! ???

    Tick, tick, tick, tick.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Cotour

    “nd while that is true it appears that if mass does not take care of business in a timely manner and is forced to sustain massive losses their mass in the end may not be the determining factor? (Still remains to be seen)”

    You are referring to tactical momentum here. It is important to have momentum to sustain your offensive actions.

    They also appear to have struggled with logistics. This surprised me, being that the two countries share a border.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Andrew W.

    Wrong, all wrong.

    The first one is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia”

  • Cotour

    sippin_bourbon

    I really am talking primarily just about size comparing Russia with Ukraine.

    Time favors mass in that it can outlast another who is smaller.

    And that would have probably been proven out a while ago if the Ukraine was not resupplied and supported by the West.

  • Andrew_W

    sippin_bourbon, those are my three laws, if you want to reference someone else’s three laws that’s fine, but the one you offer probably applies to some countries but not others, mine apply to everyone. No one should start a war without having a 100% commitment to winning it, you attack another country expect your attack to unite it, and if it’s a war call it that, don’t use weasel words, you’ll just be demonstrating to your own people that they can’t trust you.

  • Cotour

    AW:

    “and if it’s a war call it that, don’t use weasel words, you’ll just be demonstrating to your own people that they can’t trust you.”

    You have an exclusive Pedestrian Realm view of what politics is and is not.

    From S.O.M.:

    CONCLUSION: “The public lives and operates under a subjective moral code or within a “Pedestrian Realm” perspective which they assume their leadership which exists within the “Political Realm” is constrained by. This is a subjective false perspective conclusion on the part of the public. Leadership at its existential core is not about morality, truth and honesty. Leadership is about the fundamental exercise of power and “its” survival.”

    For example, there are many ways and names to call and execute warfare and many times wars are fought with the use of proxies or less offensive politically correct and convenient nomenclature, but it is war all the same.

    And those who are empowered by the people in the Political Realm are in most instances ever telling the truth, are not honest, are not interested in justice and are paid to lie because they are concerned primarily with the retention of and the acquisition of political power.

    So, the Pedestrian Realm perspective and the Political Realm perspective are two very different things and when you are unable to see and understand the two and can only see the one perspective you can never truly understand what is underway and what its all about.

    And that is why most in the Pedestrian Realm stay confused and manipulatable.

    ———- Strategy Over Morality is a lens by which to see through the smoke and mirrors of politics ——-

    How civilizations, governments, wars and their leadership throughout history are founded, fought and at their existential human core operate.

    EXPLANATION: Strategy Over Morality describes a two-tiered “conversation” between a Public and their Empowered Leadership where the Public believes there is only a single, no tiered conversation occurring, and that single conversation is assumed by the Public to relate to the Public’s morality and truth model perspective.

    A model in which leadership or their empowered subordinates within government can subjectively justify to choose to formulate an interpretation of their core fiduciary responsibilities which becomes paramount over and above the public’s truth and morality model. Where plausible deniability can be claimed when “immoral” acts or modified “truth” strategies (lies) are employed or executed by leadership, their subordinates or by arm’s length leadership proxies.

    In this “conversation”, leadership in the empowered “Political Realm” or their empowered subordinate’s step “down” to the public’s level, the “Pedestrian Realm”, and presents information, agenda, policy or strategy in a tailored, palatable package the public can believe and comfortably accept. Leadership then steps back to their “higher” level, formulates and executes “necessary”, by their subjective standards, agenda, policy and strategy where the public’s interpretation of morality or truth is not relevant or becomes optional.

    CONCLUSION: The public lives and operates under a subjective moral code or within a “Pedestrian Realm” perspective which they assume their leadership which exists within the “Political Realm” is constrained by. This is a subjective false perspective conclusion on the part of the public. Leadership at its existential core is not about morality, truth and honesty. Leadership is about the fundamental exercise of power and “its” survival.

  • Cotour

    Related:

    These are some of the headlines in politics today:

    * Xi, Putin meet in Uzbekistan as Ukraine war dominates

    President Xi of China and President Putin meet to make plans about the demise of the West, I.E. America and its dominance in the world. I understand that, makes sense for them. And the truth is IMO they are both close to economic collapse.

    * Biden approval rises sharply ahead of midterms: AP-NORC poll

    Then we have a poll that indicates that President Biden has regained some measure of popularity ahead of the midterm elections. I will have to see it to believe it, he and his vice president are hollow facades, place holders, tools of the radical Left. And that being said Biden is without doubt working in the interests of China and the Globalist / “Great Reset” / “Build Back Better” / “Green New Deal” / “Climate Change” / un and anti-American agenda.

    * GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham introduces 15-week abortion ban in the Senate

    Then we have, Lyndsey Graham (R), big government Mitch McConnel status quo supporting Senator, possibly strategically attempting to keep controlled the more Conservative MAGA Right wing of the Republican party? And they are coming on strong. Is he throwing a monkey wrench into the midterms attempting to ensure the Democrats retain control of the Senate? Or is he attempting to offer a reasonable compromise on abortion with the more rational Democrats?

    I do not trust him, always playing both sides of the fence and seems to always have McConnel’s back and McConnel is desperate to retain his power. McConnel has got to go. Like I said, I don’t trust him. (IMO? The Republicans are set to crush the opposition in most political markets no matter what controls those in politics may or may not be attempting to strategically implement)

    https://api.time.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/gettyimages-501525564.jpg

  • pzatchok

    Andrew_W

    You sort of missed it .
    He was referencing the movie ‘The Princes Bride’.

  • Cotour

    Its all related:

    GASLIGHTING (D)

    What does the Democrat party machine and their political mouth pieces and radical Leftist Liberal media flunkies have?

    Stewart Varney: https://youtu.be/onuw0tDisQ0 1:28

    Gaslighting yesterday, gaslighting today and gaslighting tomorrow.

    The Democrats are in the process of just pushing their unreality reality and hope that the American people are stupid enough and scared enough of the pro American Conservative Right to believe it.

    Bull (X) by any other name would smell as sweet.

    Gaslighting: Manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity:
    Have no doubt Gaslighting by the Democrat party machine and their allies in media is what is underway at a never-before-seen level. And that is buttressed by massive abuses of power by the current Federal government (D) and the law enforcement agencies that they control.

    Anything, up to and including murder in order to acquire or retain political power. It is the nature of the beast.

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1536/4861/files/Gaslighters_quote_FB_2_1.jpg?v=1621292573

  • Andrew_W

    pzatchok, ahh, thank you, I knew I’d heard that phrase but couldn’t place it.

  • Andrew_W

    Yes Cotour, Democrats bad, Trump good.
    Of course, why didn’t I see it.

  • Col Beausabre

    Russia has beaten the US in Ukraine! According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, with all the abandoned equipment left behind the Russian rout, Russia has surpassed the US as the largest supplier of weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian Army

  • Cotour

    Andrew W:

    Its no longer about Trump, this is much, much bigger than he. Although he alone represents the biggest threat to the Democrat party machine and the Globalist agenda that they are very much behind.

    The Democrat party machine is very, very dangerous to America and the world and the very concept of freedom right now. YOUR FREEDOM.

    You may be being sarcastic, but I am not being sarcastic.

  • Shallow Minded Reader

    So now we all know that the Russians re-deployed over several days and pulled back for strategic reasons. Ukies walked in as directed by their US/Nato Masters. Russians started shelling and KIA/Wounded estimated on AFU side about 10 thousand.

    Anybody want to revise their comments? Bob, hello Bob, you out there?

    PS if you haven’t heard the news, better change your new source. The same talking heads that told you safe and effective………

  • Andrew_W

    “Shallow Minded Reader”
    Is that a reference to being no more than someone’s bot?

  • Shallow Minded Reader

    Andrew, Bob once called those who were interested in the Face on Mars “Shallow minded readers”.

  • Andrew_W

    Thanks for that explanation.
    So you think there’s some significance in the “face” on Mars and you think the recent Russian defeat was their cunning plan, do you also thing the Whitehouse orchestrated the 9/11 attack?

  • Cotour

    Andrew W:

    “EXPLANATION: Strategy Over Morality describes a two-tiered “conversation” between a Public and their Empowered Leadership where the Public believes there is only a single, no tiered conversation occurring, and that single conversation is assumed by the Public to relate to the Public’s morality and truth model perspective.

    A model in which leadership or their empowered subordinates within government can subjectively justify to choose to formulate an interpretation of their core fiduciary responsibilities which becomes paramount over and above the public’s truth and morality model. Where plausible deniability can be claimed when “immoral” acts or modified “truth” strategies (lies) are employed or executed by leadership, their subordinates or by arm’s length leadership proxies.

    In this “conversation”, leadership in the empowered “Political Realm” or their empowered subordinate’s step “down” to the public’s level, the “Pedestrian Realm”, and presents information, agenda, policy or strategy in a tailored, palatable package the public can believe and comfortably accept. Leadership then steps back to their “higher” level, formulates and executes “necessary”, by their subjective standards, agenda, policy and strategy where the public’s interpretation of morality or truth is not relevant or becomes optional.

    CONCLUSION: The public lives and operates under a subjective moral code or within a “Pedestrian Realm” perspective which they assume their leadership which exists within the “Political Realm” is constrained by. This is a subjective false perspective conclusion on the part of the public. Leadership at its existential core is not about morality, truth and honesty. Leadership is about the fundamental exercise of power and “its” survival.”

  • Andrew_W

    Cotour, you’ve been pushing SOM at me on this site for years, I do get it.
    There are three levels
    1. What you call the pedestrian realm
    2. Your political realm
    3. Evolutionary psychology

    Evolutionary psychology recognizes that humans are ultimately only controlled by the limits of their instinctive behavior, that’s what constrains and governs the actors in your political realm.

    You’re understanding is at level 2, I try to see it from level 3.

  • pzatchok

    Well the Russians can’t be shelling back very hard.

    There are hundreds civilians running around the now free areas looking into war crimes. They do not even have body armor on.

    All the Russian solders who ran away are more than likely being collected and shipped to Siberia for their lack of patriotism.

  • wayne

    Jordan Peterson –
    “Why do you curse when your computer crashes?”
    https://youtu.be/A33S2N348WU
    12:43

  • Cotour

    AW:

    I am trying to keep it as simple and understandable as possible so people can actually see through what they need to see through.

    Level 3? I am not a level 3 kind of guy.

    Just want to see through the smoke and the BS by understanding what really motivates human beings as it relates to power, politics and the abuse thereof.

    —————–

    Knock, knock.

    Who’s there?

    Politician.

    Why are you lying and gaslighting me?

    Because it is my job to lie and gaslight you in order that I retain or further acquire political power.

    Oh, but I thought you were working for me and in my interests.

    Yes (Silly Pedestrian), see how well I am doing my job. As long as you continue to believe that it’s all good, everything is normal.

    It’s when you see through my lies and understand the difference between the two conversation that we are having, that is when we have problems.

    Yes, I am beginning to see that now.

    I cannot wait for November 8th; I have a surprise for you.

    Strategy Over Morality, where all potentials exist.

  • Col Beausabre

    I had an epiphany tonight (a bottle of really smooth, aged Scots Whisky helps). – Putin is far from being today’s Hitler. He’s today’s Mussolini – precariously sitting on a dangerously swaying military establishment.
    ” “Mussolini spoke often of the “eight million bayonets” prepared to fight, the eight million (soldiers that could be mobilized in a matter of hours – all equipped with modern weaponry. At one point the number even sky-rocketed to twelve million, but in actuality the figure was much closer to less than a million. Moreover, the Duce’s claim of possessing superior tanks proved elusive; none were heavier than an armored car.. While Mussolini’s boasting intended to deter enemies and impress Italians, foreigners, including Italy’s German allies, did not believe it. The real damage done was virtually invisible: the Italian people were force-fed unrealistic expectations that made war likely and defeat even more so.

    It is almost certain, however, that in deceiving others, Mussolini was also deciding himself. When the Duce spoke of mobilizing ten million men in a single day, of raising a black army of two million soldiers to dominate Africa, or of possessing armored divisions that were somehow self-sufficient in aviation fuel, he must have believed such statements. Furthermore, in cutting of all forms of press censure and in choosing to be surrounded by second-rate functionaries who made their lives selling Mussolini’s nonsense merely to keep their own posts, let alone their lives, the Duce could never have been reproached for his actions. And not until later would the public know how seeped in quicksand they were.”

    Sound familiar?

  • Cotour

    Many of Putins friends are apparently meeting an untimely “Accidental” death.

    https://www.the-sun.com/news/6269942/former-putin-ally-dies-falling-down-stairs-russia-ukraine/

    Who’s next?

    Might his name begin with a “V”?

    I think the more losses in Ukraine and the accelerated level of nuclear threats against the West might bring an untimely end to Vlad himself? This will resolve itself one way or the other very soon I suspect.

  • Andrew_W

    Russians are proving themselves to be the most sheepled people in the world, even many Iranians will tell their government when they’ve had enough.

    Putin himself is like a compulsive gambler he always increases the stakes, up’s the ante expecting the other side to fold. He knows no other course of action.

  • Cotour

    It won’t be too long now, Vlad:

    https://youtu.be/A7pjDevU2Eg

  • Cotour

    Wow!

    Forget about Vlad, president Xi seems to be having an issue in one of the “Freest” countries, as Nancy Pelosi has stated, in the world.

    “Gordon Chang reports from the ground, with video, rumors that a military coup is underway right now in China and that communist leader Xi Jinping is currently under house arrest:”

    Now what?

    If true, and Gordon Chage is pretty plugged in on such matters, this changes the political atmosphere in the world. But for the better or the worse?

  • Trent Telenko points out that, as a result of the Ukrainians’ victories north and east of Kharkiv — where they’ve recaptured thousands of square miles of territory (whence the panicking Russian troops, supposedly some of the best-quality Russian forces, abandoned a division’s worth of armor, and a brigade’s [half or a third of a division’s] artillery tubes — plus immense quantities of artillery and other ammunition, which the Ukrainians can also use in their existing stock of many hundreds of artillery tubes that were largely incapacitated early on in this war due to lack of ammunition) — as a result Ukraine no longer really needs the West’s aid in pursuing the war as far as they want to take it. For the first time they can match the Russians tube for tube. This means that the West’s leverage on Ukraine to compel the latter’s acquiescence into a course that the former wants has largely evaporated.

  • Cotour

    Who did it? Putin? Biden?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11264547/Who-DID-blow-Nord-Stream-gas-pipelines-Russia-America.html

    How are such things Strategically justified by whom ever did the deed on either side?

    Morality? That is another Pedestrian Realm conversation, the pipeline exists at this point in time in the Political Realm where all potentials exist, and Morality is optional.

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