Tag Archives: Ukraine-Russia War

Why Bakhmut Is Falling, by Moon of Alabama

The Russians have more of everything and Bakhmut will soon fall. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

Just two days ago I reported that Bakhmut is falling. The Ukrainian soldiers there are outgunned 1 to 10 and die under artillery fire with little chance to shot back. More reports from the front have since come in. They support my dire view.

The German pro-Ukrainian news outlet Bild reported this morning that there were misgivings in the Ukrainian war leadership:

President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi have conflicting views on how the military should handle the situation in Bakhmut, according to unnamed sources within the Ukrainian political leadership cited in a report by Bild. 

Bild writes that Zaluzhnyi was deliberating a tactical withdrawal from Bakhmut weeks ago over concern for the wellbeing of his troops.

The Ukrainian government told Bild that remaining in Bakhmut was the right decision due to the serious damage it inflicted on Russian military personnel and equipment. However, according to other sources cited by the publication, the situation is at risk of becoming untenable.

“The vast majority of soldiers in Bakhmut do not understand why the city is being held,” a Ukrainian military analyst told Bild on condition of anonymity.

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How Could Western Intelligence Have Got It Wrong, Again? They Didn’t. They Had Other Purposes, by Alastair Crooke

The intelligence agencies no longer provide intelligence, they supply “narrative support.” From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

The West now faces the task of de-fusing the landmine of their own electorate’s conviction of a Ukraine ‘win’, and of Russian humiliation.

Larry Johnson, an ex-CIA analyst, writes “I no longer hold clearances and have not had access to the classified intelligence assessments. However, I have heard that the finished intelligence being supplied to U.S. policymakers continues to declare that Russia is on the ropes – and their economy is crumbling. Also, analysts insist that the Ukrainians are beating the Russians”.

Johnson responds that – lacking valid human sources – “western agencies are almost wholly dependent today on ‘liaison reporting’” (i.e., from ‘friendly’ foreign intelligence services), without doing ‘due diligence’ by cross-checking discrepancies with other reporting.

In practice, this largely means western reporting simply replicates Kiev’s PR line. But there does occur a huge problem when marrying Kiev’s output (as Johnson says) to UK reports – for ‘corroboration’.

The reality is UK reporting itself is also based on what Ukraine is saying. This is known as false collateral – i.e., when that which is used for corroboration and validation actually derives from the same single source. It becomes – deliberately – a propaganda multiplier.

In plain words however, all these points are ‘red herrings’. Bluntly, so-called western ‘Intelligence’ is no longer the sincere attempt to understand a complex reality, but rather, it has become the tool to falsify a nuanced reality in order to attempt to manipulate the Russian psyche towards a collective defeatism (in respect not just to the Ukraine, but to the idea that Russia should remain as a sovereign whole).

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Dances With Bears – When Military Strategy Revolutionizes Political Strategy on the Ukrainian Battlefield, Inside the NATO Alliance, by John Helmer

U.S. neocons are counting on Russia’s oligarchs to overthrow Putin. Good luck with that. From John Helmer at johnhelmer.net:

In the history of the wars of the world, it almost never happens that the military strategy of a fighting state directs and revolutionizes the political strategy, and not the other way round —  as  aspiring politicians, military officers and policemen are taught by the venerable Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz to believe.

But it is happening in Europe now, on the Ukrainian battlefield, and in the war of the US and NATO alliance against Russia.

So long, Sun; so long, Carl; so long, Pardner!

For Russia it would never have turned out this way if President Boris Yeltsin had decided to run for a third term, ruling as medically incapable as President Joseph Biden,  but deferring the succession until after Mikhail Khodorkovsky had sold the Yukos oil company to the US, and the other Russian oligarchs created by Yeltsin had followed suit. Heart, brain, and liver disease stopped the Yeltsin part of that. The Vladimir Putin succession plan then failed to deliver what had been intended.

What has remained of the plan of the destruction of Russia from those days is what there is today.

The oligarchs survive but, according to the terms of the US and NATO sanctions war, they cannot have their assets and freedom of movement back unless they overthrow Putin, change the regime in the Kremlin, and destroy the capability of the Russian military to defend the country.

The defensive strategy in response is obvious. Not only must the capacity of Ukrainian forces and their NATO weapons be destroyed at the front, and their remainder driven to a territorial line west of the Dnieper River, between Kiev and Lvov, out of range of Russian Crimea, Zaphorozhye, Kherson, Donetsk and Lugansk. Also, each of the NATO weapons must be defeated and destroyed which the US sends to the battlefield, and the airborne and ground systems for directing them at their Russian targets neutralized. .

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Bakhmut, Strategic Or Not, Is Falling, by Moon of Alabama

Bakhmut is at the conjunction of three major train lines and four major roads. Although official propaganda downgrades its importance now that Ukraine is about to lose it, the city has obvious strategic value. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

‘Western’ media can not decide if Bakhmut is a strategic city or has little strategic value. They claim both is the case.

Bakhmut is of course of strategic value. It is covering the crossing of three major train lines and four major roads (M-03, M-32, T-13-02, T-05-13). As such it is the linchpin of the whole Donbas region. Besides that it also has some valuable mineral mines.


That is why the Ukrainian government has send ten thousands of its troops to fight and die for that city.

People who claim otherwise are simply coping.

Some examples:

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A Massive Global Restructuring is Underway… Here’s What it Means for Europe, by Chris MacIntosh

How long before Hungary leaves the EU and NATO? Will any other nation follow? From Chris MacIntosh at internationalman.com:

Massive Global Restructuring

Several shifts in alliances and bifurcations are happening right now which are going under the radar.

Hungary out of the EU?

We’ve long said that Hungary was going to leave the EU. It is just a question of time.

The daily news announced that “hundreds of high-ranking military officers sacked in Hungary”. From the article:

Multiple Hungarian media outlets reported that Hungary’s defense minister sacked hundreds of high-ranking military officers. The people concerned have two months to leave and will get 70 percent of their current salaries as a pension-like allowance even if they continue to work. The minister says the move served the rejuvenation and modernisation of the army. The opposition believes the government fired pro-NATO officers.

To be clear, I don’t know if this is true. But as with most things, you piece together multiple bits of information and a picture forms providing probabilities. It is with these probabilities that we begin to price outcomes and assets accordingly. Where most probable outcomes coincide with cheap or expensive asset classes is where we find asymmetry.

So what we do know is that Hungary has been against the Ukraine war from the get go.

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NBC Reporter Goes to Crimea, Shocks Viewers by Telling The Truth, by Tyler Durden

Imagine a reporter reporting the news the old-fashioned way: from where it actually happens. From Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge via lewrockwell.com

Mainstream media correspondents for major US networks rarely, if ever, report from inside Crimea and certainly are nowhere near Russian-held territory in eastern Ukraine. However, this week NBC News chief international correspondent Keir Simmons went to Sevastopol, surrounded by a significant Russian military presence given it is home to the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, and in a live segment admitted that it’s not at all realistic Zelensky and Ukrainian forces can ever hope to take Crimea.

This is especially as the “the people there… view themselves as Russian.” Simmons noted that “This is the closest that any US news crew has got to the Russian Black Sea Fleet in many many years.” He explained that “Vladimir Putin will be determined to defend that port – to not have it take it away from him – he may well do pretty much anything to try to achieve that.”

“It is a very, very dangerous standoff.. it’s hard to see how you reach a negotiation over that. There’s military absolutely everywhere, it is a military town,” he continued, before saying…

“When for example Victoria Nuland talks about that at the very least we [the US] want Crimea to be demilitarized, I find myself standing there and wondering, how on earth does that happen?

Ukrainian officials and pro-Kyiv media pundits are said to be outraged at the segment, given it repeatedly and bluntly referenced that Crimeans see themselves as Russians. Even a separate write-up filed days earlier from inside Crimea and posted to NBC’s website included the following:

This is not Russia, according to Kyiv, its Western allies and the United Nations. It was annexed by the Kremlin in 2014, with the U.N. calling on Russia to return to its “internationally recognized borders.” And following Moscow’s broader invasion launched a year ago, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed Ukraine will take Crimea back.

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Ukraine: The Tunnel at the End of the Light, by Robert Freeman

You almost have to post this one just for the title, but the article itself is excellent as well. From Robert Freeman at consortiumnews.com:

The U.S. abused its providential anointment as the exceptional nation, writes Robert Freeman. That abuse has been recognized, called out and is now being acted against by most of the other nations of the world.  

Jan. 16, 2017: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden traveling to Kiev. (U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Flickr)

“Light at the end of the tunnel” was an iconic phrase used by the warmongers who kept the U.S. in Vietnam long after the War had been lost.

The implication was that insiders could see through the fog of war and know that things were getting better. It was a lie.

In January 1966, long before the military height of the war, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told President Lyndon Johnson that the U.S. had a one-out-of-three chance of winning on the battlefield.

But Johnson, like Eisenhower and Kennedy before him, and Nixon after him, didn’t want to be the first American president to lose a war. So, he ginned up a simplistic lie and “soldiered on.” 

The lie was blown by the Tet Offensive in January 1968. More than 100 U.S. military installations were attacked in a simultaneous nationwide assault that stunned the U.S.

The broadcaster, Walter Cronkite, then “the most trusted man in America,” bellowed on national television, “I thought we were supposed to be winning this damned thing.” It was the beginning of the end of the U.S.’ murderous and failed occupation. 

We’re now facing another light-and-tunnel event, this time in Ukraine. Only now, it’s not the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the tunnel at the end of the light. What do we mean by that? 

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The Phone Call, by William Gudal

It would take about 30 seconds to make the world a lot better place than it is now. From SLL contributor William Gudal:

Somewhere in the Ukraine the phone rings:

“Hello, Volodymyr here”

“Hi Mr. President, Joe Biden speaking”

“So good to hear from you. It’s been days”

“It’s over”

“We have a poor connection”

“Volo, so you do not misunderstand, no more money, nor more armaments. We stand ready to help you with the transition to neutrality.”

“But . . . “

“It will all work out, Bye”

One phone call lasting less than one minute changes the world for the next 25 years. The carnage stops. The world economy abruptly changes. NATO goes home and resumes its customary barracks role, training for phantom aggression that will never come. Russia rightfully retains its warm water port on the Black Sea. The US is forced to deal with an economic competitor on a more level playing field. The danger of nuclear catastrophe lessens. Sino- Russian dialogue adjusts to a diminished likelihood of US invasion. Inexpensive energy returns to Europe. The madness of the US neocon/neo liberal dream of dismantling Russia is deferred to another day. The altar boys of Europe gain some self-respect. Money is reallocated to a frighteningly long list of US domestic needs. Germany avoids being suckered once again into a war not of its making.

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Public vs. Private: Managing Perceptions of the War in Ukraine, by Ted Snider

They say something different in private than they do in public. They must be politicians. From Ted Snider at libertarianinstitute.org:

“I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine,” French President Emmanuel Macron publicly told the media. But it’s not what he privately told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He also said that now is not the right time for dialogue with Moscow and that France is ready to sustain “a longer conflict.” That’s not what he told Zelensky either.

“America…will stand with you as long as it takes,” President Biden publicly promised Ukraine in his State of the Union Address. But it’s not what his administration privately told Zelensky.

“The war I know about is not the war you are reading about,” investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said recently.

Managing public perception about the war to control the narrative and maintain support seems to have required a divorce between what NATO officials are telling Ukraine privately and what they are telling the public they are telling Ukraine.Biden’s public mantra has been “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine” and “will stand with you as long as it takes.” Privately, neither seems to be true.

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America Goes to War, by Philip Giraldi

It would be a consolation, perhaps, for the senseless idiocy, if America actually won the wars it went to, but it doesn’t. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

Constantly without regard for any real national interest

At last week’s Rage Against the War Machine peace rally in Washington there was no shortage of speakers who denounced the Biden Administration’s hypocritical foreign policy, which essentially judges any violent action undertaken by the United States and its friends as good by definition while anything done by rivals or competitors, sometimes conveniently referred to as “enemies,” as “evil.” In the current context of Ukraine versus Russia, where the US is engaged in proxy warfare, speakers were able to cite and compare the formidable list of America’s armed interventions worldwide since World War Two ended. Neither Russia nor any other nation comes anywhere near the United States in terms of constant bellicosity, conflicts which hardly ever reflect any real vital national interest or imminent foreign threat. Throw into the hopper the 800-plus US military bases scattered around the world and a growing defense budget larger than those of the next nine nations combined, including China and Russia, and the reader will obtain some idea of the real problem: the United States has become a nation that is best described as a warfare state. That is where the tax money goes to disproportionately and the corruption it feeds produces a willingness to engage in “one more war” on the part of the coddled, protected and richly remunerated political class which in turn supports the carnage by overwhelming majorities.

Several speakers last week also cited as the real problem the media, which once upon a time sought to expose lies and subterfuges by government but now has become a partner with the White House in shaping and promoting a preferred narrative. It should also be pointed out that that media is overwhelmingly Democratic in terms of its ownership and sympathies, so much so that it collaborated in efforts to label Donald Trump and his staff as “Russian agents.”

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