The major embarrassment is that Ukraine has lost the war. From Nikolai Storozhenko at thesaker.is:
There was no surrender by Azov National Battalion militants, Kiev assures us. There was only an “evacuation” (not clear to where), and this bit of demagoguery was happily picked up by both Ukrainian and world mass media. The effort to conceal the embarrassing truth about the situation on the frontlines is consistent with how Kiev explains the catastrophic state of the economy.
“If I had the Pravda newspaper, the world would have never learned of Waterloo!”, Napoleon Bonaparte said in a famous Soviet anecdote. Pravda is no more, but the anecdote’s punchline holds true, since narratives need not depend on events.
Today the role of the collective Pravda is played by the talking heads on Ukrainian TV (president Zelensky, press secretaries of SBU, Ministry of Defense, political scientists, it doesn’t matter who).
This time Waterloo is the Azov Steel Works with the Azov Regiment militants who have been trapped there (for the most part). Together with soldiers from several AFU brigades, border guards and, as has been persistently claimed by the media, an uncertain number of either mercenaries or instructors. Who was and was not there, we’ll find out soon enough.
Wars usually begin with propaganda all around and end with surrender. The Azov surrender goes down hard in the West because its propaganda had led people to believe Ukraine was winning. It’s not. From Batko Milacic at thesaker.is:
On the night of May 17, after brief negotiations, Ukrainian army units, blocked by Russian troops at Azovstal in Mariupol, began to surrender. Initially, it was announced that the Ukrainian military wanted to hand over to Russia their wounded whose condition in the cellars of a huge factory was hopeless. However, it soon became clear that the entire “Mariupol garrison” as the remnants of the nationalist volunteer regiment “Azov” and the units of the Ukrainian army that had joined it were called by the Kiev-controlled media, were laying down their arms. So, on the morning of May 17, 90 wounded soldiers were pulled out of the basements and were joined by more than 250 healthy, albeit exhausted and filthy fighters. In a few days, that number reached 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers. That’s why we wonder, what fate awaits them and other members of the Ukrainian army who surrender to Russian troops?
For President Zelensky and his team, Azovstal was a kind of a sacred symbol of Mariupol’s resistance. Many hopes were pinned on the Azov Regiment, considered a terrorist organization in Russia. First of all, those in Kiev believed that the nationalists would hold out to the end and die as heroes, especially since in Russia they face a trial. And they will be lucky if it is in Russia, because in the DPR, unlike in the Russian Federation, they have the death penalty. And still, the Azov fighters began to surrender. In the morning, Russian social networks exploded with indignation after it became known that the militants leaving Azovstal had negotiated a bunch of conditions. No prosecution, priority exchange, no video footage and respectful treatment. The fuming Russian patriots soon calmed down though.