First warning: Do not watch the videos if you are squeamish or easily upset. Explanations of the videos, and further warnings, are included further on in this post.
First off, thanks to everyone who makes it worth writing this newsletter. A few days ago, I received a kind word from a top blogger who is well known in freethinking circles, saying my emails are the only news worth reading on the Ukraine war. I am grateful for the support. It’s a topic of great interest to so many. I’m grateful to Putin for ending the pandemic.
Second, a few words on our domestic politics. While condemning Madison Cawthorn for calling the Ukraine corrupt and part of the “woke world empire” (hahah, I’d buy his scriptwriter a beer), Lindsay Graham—our favorite “presumed closet queer perma-single/bachelor playing Global Tough Guy to deflect/distract his conservative voters”—actually said, “Like 90 percent of the country is with Ukrainians and is opposed to Putin.”
“Like”, totally not, dude. This fool does not know where the GOP base is today. Even 90 percent of Ukrainians are not with Ukrainians! But even if it was 90 percent, should the other 10 not have at least one voice among 535 members of Congress? What a putz.
Another clown, Willard Mitt Romney—who has the toxic, “I might bite your head off” intensity of an alcoholic—accused Tulsi Gabbard of “treasonous lies.” I’m having flashbacks. I am old enough to remember some Republicans accusing Democrats of “disloyalty during wartime” back in 2003-04. I don’t want to hear that again. We have to cast these people aside forever.
Ukraine War Update – March 14, 2022
Deliberately or not, Ukraine is “evening out the score.” Today, a Soviet-built, Ukrainian-launched Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile, with ball bearing-laden cluster submunitions, exploded at a low altitude over downtown Donetsk city, after being shot by local air defenses as it was coming in for the hit, too low to neutralize the full impact of the munitions packet. It’s not clear what the Ukrainians were aiming at, but there are a number of government buildings in the immediate vicinity. At least 20 civilians including some children were killed, about an equal number are seriously injured. Attached are videos of two different spots (there are more) where the submunitions sprayed out.
(NOTE: **Do not watch videos below ** if you are squeamish or easily upset**, as the videos include many dead bodies and some blood, including one man missing a lower leg and blood flowing out, otherwise not super “graphic” but nonetheless. “WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK.”
In related news, it is open season on the foreign volunteer geniuses coming to defend Ukrainian freedom and democracy blah blah. To remind them that they are combatants—not just tourists with guns—Russia has been attacking their reception and staging areas. Overnight Saturday-Sunday, some tens of them, including many from South America, were killed while they slept, by Russian cruise missiles launched at an army barracks and training compound near Lvov near the Polish border. (Below video of one building that was hit—this is not nearly everything.)
Reportedly, most of the survivors (the ones who aren’t still in hospital) have crossed the border back into Poland. As I predicted before the war started, foreigners—including, for sure, at some point, Americans—will be killed, and of course, it will add to the “do something!” hysteria, even though they shouldn’t have been there to begin with. War is not a safari.
My wife is on LinkedIn, she was impressed how a lot of Ukrainian professionals on LinkedIn have posted long accounts in perfect English of whatever they are doing with their militias, along the lines of “We’re in the woods, and the Russians have been moving two kilometers to the north” or whatever—but, at great length. She asked me, how can the English be so perfect?
I said, it could be a fake news factory, or it could be they have time to run their posts through Grammarly (founded by Ukrainians) out there in their foxholes, who knows? One way or the other, it’s a social media war for some. The “real” soldiers on both sides, most of them are not posting anything. If you’re at war and just tapping on your phone the whole time, you’re going to get yourself or someone on your side killed.
I can’t overemphasize how important the Fake News Machine is to the Ukraine’s war effort. Their remaining soldiers (the real ones) in the Donbass, and pretty much everywhere else, are isolated, in many cases cut off from any serious reinforcements, with no centralized command and control, and running low on fuel. But at least, the daily news from Kiev about a million dead Russians is still getting around, and it might be enough to keep them going. They probably really think some relief column will come and save them.
The Donbass advance
Liberation (if you’re a local, I mean it’s all relative) of the Donbass continues. I am attaching a video of Ukrainian equipment destroyed or abandoned in just one village in the Lugansk region. Again, this is just the result of one little engagement. This is happening every day in various places throughout the Donbass.
NOTE: **Do not open** below video if you are squeamish or easily upset**, as the video includes close-up of a dead body, not super “graphic” but nonetheless.
On Sunday morning, Russia finally commenced its much-anticipated, preparatory air bombardment of Ukrainian forces in the Slaviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration, northwest of Donetsk city.
Slaviansk and Kramatorsk were the birthplaces of the Donetsk revolt in 2014, since occupied/garrisoned by the Ukrainian army and various quasi-Nazi militias, which we’re not supposed to talk about. Up until now, this area had received minimal or no Russian attention. It is clear that big things are planned soon for this sector. Also, Lugansk forces have approached Severodonetsk (an important city) and blocked several roads to it.
Although it has lost much of its road access, the Ukraine’s Donbass army group is not yet truly surrounded (it will be), but it is being systematically taken apart, and there will never in our lifetimes be another Ukrainian army remotely on par with this one.
It doesn’t matter if Uncle Sam invests another eight or 10 years and $30 billion or more, it just won’t happen, because the thing is a unique, authentic, relatively efficient and low-cost, Soviet-NATO hybrid, and it’s not reproducible. Once it goes, there will be nothing to start building from. It’s like trying to rebuild the “Iraqi army” after 2003—you might put one or two good brigades together, but it won’t be an army, the army will be gone. And I’m not even getting into the Ukraine’s destroyed air force or air defense (or navy), which would take another $20-plus billion just to replace (with expensive American stuff) the gear that’s been lost, let alone to train anyone to use or maintain it (fat chance), or rebuild the airfields and hangars to house it.
This is why what Russia is doing, like it or hate it, is so important to Russia—it is removing a threat for a generation or more. The sanctions will ease because Europe needs cheap gas etc., but the military threat will be gone. Everything that Putin is doing is securing the Crimea, Russia’s other southern borders, and control of Black Sea shipping lanes (carrying all of Russia’s wheat exports and at least one-third of its crude oil) for 25 or 35 years into the future.
What has Brandon done lately?
As tends to happen in war, as the Ukrainians lose ground to Russia and its Donetsk and Lugansk allies/proxies, some civilians will be hit by accident, or because they “allowed” tanks or cannon to park next to their homes, but the Ukrainians could avoid that by just surrendering—or parlaying an organized withdrawal with no heavy weaponry—instead of using the population as cover, Hamas-style.
I know it seems like slow going, but the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donbass was/is one big Maginot Line, much of which has now been relocated to inside the region’s cities. Once the Donbass is cleared out, the stage will be set for the front in southeast Ukraine to be evened out with the Dniepr river—as predicted by my neighbor Greg, who owns a home inspection business and is smarter than Lindsay Graham or any MSM jack@$$. (To be clear, Greg takes no position, is not on my mailing list, and does not like or dislike me—he just happens to be smarter than almost anyone on TV.)
When that happens, the Ukraine will be as far up the creek as possible.
Based on the number of tanks the Ukrainians left behind in Volnovakha, their Donbass headquarters which was taken (in a highly wrecked state) by Donetsk forces a few days ago, it is clear the Ukrainian army is almost out of diesel. This is now felt most strongly in the Donbass, but it will be a fact all over the country by the end of this week, for sure. They simply won’t be able to move around, except by (civilian) gasoline cars, or on foot.
Progress in Mariupol is as expected. As mentioned, the Ukrainian garrison and municipal administration never agreed to let people out (towards Russia) in any organized fashion, ahead of the assault. A few hundred got out at risk of being shot by one or another side; hundreds of thousands are trapped in the city.
The Donetsk forces and Russian air and artillery support are not messing around. If there is an enemy firing position (e.g., a sniper or an antitank rocket launcher crew) on the roof of an apartment block, they will “laze” it and seal its fate. If blowing up the roof poses a risk of taking down half the building, they won’t hesitate to do it, same as Uncle Sam did against ISIS.
When you’re “at the gates”, you do what you can to give the civilians a way out, and then you go through those gates and either you fight to win, or… or nothing, there’s no other course of action, other than to keep demanding that the enemy surrenders. (See below video for a commercial FM radio message, in Russian, demanding surrender of the Mariupol garrison—it sounds pretty cool even if you don’t know the language.)
Yes, it’s their own Russian people hiding in the cellars, but with no heat, no water, no nothing in the city, MANY more will freeze or starve to death if they let the enemy drag it out.
Hannity and Greg Kelly etc. will shed some tears, and then shift to other talking points, because once those civilians come under the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic and then Russia, they become “officially” Russian = enemy = Look! A funny-shaped cloud! We’re moving on to other topics.
As I’ve said before, it’s not pretty, it’s a very nasty thing, but for the commanders on the ground, there are bad options and there are worse options.
Once the Ukraine loses Mariupol, it will lose several billion dollars a year in industrial exports (mostly, steel and coke), and, Donetsk will have access to a seaport for its own production. (As of now, everything has to go exclusively by rail, to or through Russia.) Also, a safe land corridor from “mainland” Russia to the Crimea will be close to guaranteed. In short, Mariupol is a huge prize. Based on my own research, it seems the city and its environs are responsible for close to one percent of all steel production on the planet.
Also, after Mariupol, sufficient Russian and Donetsk forces will be freed up to take Nikolaev further to the west, which is now largely surrounded but not in a full state of siege at this time. After that, Krivoi Rog and then there’s not much left.
I am amused by the “planes for Ukraine” gimmick. Of course, the Ukraine no longer has any jet fuel, nor anywhere for manned, fixed-wing aircraft to land or take off, so the whole thing about “Polish MIGs” is a big joke, and I’m glad that 10 Republican senators saw through that and didn’t sign on to the Senate GOP letter to Brandon, asking for those MIGs for the Ukraine. It’s just stupid “virtue signaling” of the imperial variety.
Fun fact: The Ukraine has still not declared war on Russia, just as Russia has not declared war on the Ukraine. Why has the Ukraine not declared war on Russia? Because many Ukrainian senior military and security officers and other government officials, and/or their wives or other family members, have real estate and other assets in Russia, and if there’s a state of war, then Russia can legitimately expropriate that. So, the two countries remain officially at peace.
(A few Russian oligarchs have considerable business interests in the Ukraine—at the start of the war, there was talk about taking that away, but I’ve heard nothing since; clearly, someone doesn’t want a tit-for-tat. Also, the Ukraine continues to take delivery of Russian and/or Belarussian gasoline and electricity, which I was sure would’ve been cut off at the start of the war. Brandon and Europe have sanctioned Russia and Belarus more than the Ukraine has!)
I was surfing through some top Democrat blogs recently, where corona no longer exists and neither does inflation. Now, they are all about, “Oh my God, I saw a picture of a Ukrainian baby, it was crying and this is just so horrible, I hate Putin so much.” Yeah, a month ago these dummies wanted to fire the unvaccinated, even round them up and put them in camps. I’m glad they forgot about the corona and found another toy to play with.
You know, my number two life goal (number one is raising my kids) is not to be an NPC. In that context, my lovely wife told me she will give money to some Ukraine cause, although (to my knowledge, and we’ve been married for a long time) she’s never given one dollar to any American cause,
so you can see the YouTube ads and everything else are having an effect on the impressionable.
She’s not “political”, but she always gets in line with the Agenda. I showed her a little meme comic with an NPC head getting its “COVID” module removed and a “Defend Ukraine” module inserted—she didn’t understand it. She still goes out in a mask, even though she had corona at least twice already. I should mention, she first came to this country on a Soros scholarship.
Other than the scholarship, this is not unique and it’s clearly not about my wife—it’s about a huge segment of the electorate, and about how public opinion is managed by the Panic and Hate Machine.
Moving on, there’s a really dumb thing going around (mostly on the Democrat-web) about Russian soldiers eating expired “MRE’s.” It seems the Ukrainians took a couple of Russian soldiers prisoner, and shot a video of their expired ration. This is now being used as proof that the Russian army can’t fight because it’s so corrupt (that is, someone stole the money to buy new MRE’s.)
Well, in 1996, I deployed to Kuwait during one of Clinton’s periodic “bomb Saddam” episodes, and one time we were given cases of MRE’s that were so old, the M&M packs had the 1988 Olympic Games logo on them. The main courses were denatured mush—even a hungry stray dog at our base camp wouldn’t eat them. The crackers and some of the desserts were still (barely) edible, though. As with everything else in the U.S. Army, these MRE’s had likely been stored in an army garage in some southern state with high temperatures, no real winters. (MRE’s do better in cool temps.) I’m sure the expired Russian stuff is mostly edible, if nasty.
My point is, everyone’s a doggone military expert. People who don’t know what they’re talking about, need to shut up and stop muddying the waters for everyone else. This includes most talking heads on TV.
There’s a dumb trend in this country to take any photo of any dead person anywhere in the Ukraine, and shout, look, Russia did this! In truth, while it’s “statistically probable”, we just don’t know. Ukrainian artillery has been operating within city limits in Kharkov, Nikolayev, and Mariupol for certain—and that stuff can land anywhere and kill anyone. There are videos of distraught Ukrainian citizens complaining about Ukrainian artillery parking too close to their homes, or even hitting and damaging or destroying their homes. In fact, Ukrainian artillery killed two kids in Donetsk-controlled Mangush (near Mariupol) on Sunday, but no one cares because it’s the wrong side and anyway, it’s a given that it’s all Putin’s fault.
Hey, at least my readers know that Ukraine has artillery. Most Americans think they’re just fighting with slingshots and gasoline bottles, the propaganda is that strong.
The massive volume of portable antitank weapons being delivered by Europe to the Ukraine, overland across the Polish border, is coming in on civilian vehicles, so as to avoid Russian airstrikes, although that’s still no guarantee. Please see the photo “collage” showing some of this activity in the following linked PDF.
I should mention, these weapons are being picked up mostly by the ad-hoc, not entirely organized, “territorial defense” militia, so there is no tracking and no accountability; this stuff will be used to settle disputes in the Ukraine for years to come.
Of course, if Russia targets one of these cars, and blows it up along with some family crossing the street in front of the car, it’s genocide!, and we need a no-fly-zone!, and so forth. We’ve seen all this with Israel and the Palestinians, it’s the same show. Only the actors are different.
One last thing I will say about the Ukraine. Of all the many videos I’ve seen, that have been posted by Ukrainian militiamen, or civilians living in Ukraine-controlled areas (however they may feel about the situation), all but a few have included repeated use of the Russian/Ukrainian words for “f@gg*t”, “whore”, and “b*tches”, at a minimum (“whore” also means something like “f***ing hell” in Russian/Ukrainian), among other bad words, some of them so bad, I can’t go into them here.
In my opinion, the country needs to be banned from TickTock and have its mouth washed out with soap. I’ve not heard such filthy language from the other side, which is also under great stress (but is either keeping its cool, or not doing amateur videos at all.) It’s hard to find one video where someone isn’t ranting about, “Accursed Russian f@gg*ts, f@gg*t whore, f****ing f@gg*t b*tches, we’re going to f*** these f@gg*t whores.”
It just goes to show how the morals and the educational system went to hell after the 2014 “Maidan” coup—the country was run into the filth. Not to mention, there must be a lot of repressed gayness looking for an outlet in that intolerant society. As they say in Russian, “One talks about what one thinks about.”