Russian forces take half of Krasnyi Liman, hundreds of prisoners reported; Soledar-Lisichansk road into the north Lugansk bulge is under Russian fire; Ukraine army has withdrawn from Svetlodarsk & environs—the heavily-fortified Svetlodarsk bulge is no more.
The edifice is shaking, pieces of stucco are falling off.
No, the war isn’t over, but MSM & “retired generals serving as TV network experts” just **MIGHT** have to change their tune soon.
Late-breaking news. Check back for more updates. Brandon, send more Javelins!!!
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Brandon, send more javv-uh-leenz!!!
Time to watch for organised dissent in Kyiv. That will be the US off ramp.
The US has no off ramp because all the weapons and money being sent are there to enrich the Oligarchs and the bureaucrats who fund them. ask Hunter how it all works.
One of the reasons all the weapons being sent haven’t made a difference is that the vast majority of the weapons never make in in theater.
Corruption, decadence and depravity. It is NO longer a winning combination.
Regardless of the chosen “off ramp,” this will be seen as a betrayal by some, if not all of the Ukrainian NAZI supporters.
Will not be surprised if some will use their US subsidized training and weaponry to inflict payback for this betrayal on US soil.
Exactly. They are collecting in warehouses at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo ready for the next war.
How to comment this:
British warships could be sent in to protect freighters carrying crucial Ukrainian grain and break Putin’s blockade of Black Sea ports that is threatening to cause a world food crisis
Is that possible regarding to Turkish position?
Wrong way around, mario. Ukraine has mined the black sea. Mines are drifting towards Turkey!
Russia Navy is providing a safe corridor thru mines for shipping.
Yes, this is what I have been hearing from inside Russia. One of the stories I just read this morning is that the Mariupol port has been fully demined. During the operation over 12,000 mines were found and deactivated. I have also read stories about Russia providing safe shipping corridors through the mined waters. So the whole “Putin wants to starve the world” meme is a load of rubbish.
As has been well documented, the Ukranian side is blocking shipping transport (or at least administratively interfering) and they have reportedly mined the sea off their coasts. Moon of Alabama has reported on the Western MSM misinformation campaign on this topic.The MSM propaganda of Russian merchant vessel blockade may just be a pre-attempt to blame any lost “escorting” NATO vessels sunk on the Russians. I wonder if one possible outcome of a Western escort plan would be cover for a false flag sinking of a NATO escort warship and blame falsely the Russian military for the event.
BTW: Thank you for your excellent and insightful reporting on this website.
Von der Lügen at WEF yesterday:
“Today, Russian artillery is bombarding grain warehouses across Ukraine – deliberately. And Russian warships in the Black Sea are blockading Ukrainian ships full of wheat and sunflower seeds. The consequences of these shameful acts are there for everyone to see. Global wheat prices are skyrocketing. And it is the fragile countries and vulnerable populations that suffer most. Bread prices in Lebanon have increased by 70%, and food shipments from Odessa could not reach Somalia. And on top of this, Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail – holding back supplies to increase global prices, or trading wheat in exchange for political support. This is: using hunger and grain to wield power…”
Special Address by President von der Leyen at the World Economic Forum
I mean, who could doubt what she says?
I believe the ‘world food crisis’ was aparent many months before the Ukraine conflict, which is perhaps of only minor significance in the crisis anyway?
Classic UK media hysteria. So far, Turkey has been scrupulous I thought on closing the straits to overseas warships during this conflict. Maybe Liz Truss fancies a rerun of Gallipoli while she is at it.
I also thought Ukraine had laid the mines (why would Russia want to given their ships are sailing around) and that safe passage corridors were put in place.
This might be a masked attempt to prevent Russia reaching Odessa, I guess. However, the Royal Navy has so few ships these days that it is hard to see what they would do even if Turkey did let them enter the Black Sea. And why tell everyone about it if it is planned. The Russians seem to just get on with fighting the real war rather than the Twitter one. It seems to be an approach that has merit.
Sounds like a nautical version of “Send the Javelins”. Maybe I am missing something.
Oh yes, and I am sure Russia has not forgotten The Crimean War. The Royal Navy was provoking her with Black Sea cruises last year I seem to recall. Just like in Afghanistan when we thought we might be seen as liberators but how on earth could we be given our history there. It is shocking.
there is no Russian blockade. they have safe passage corridors. Big problem are the uke mines broke loose from their anchors floating around the port lanes of approach
On a cultural note, the popular music group “Leningrad” is doing an effective job of supporting the Russian national spirit.
I’ve listened to three months of “The west has won the information war” when all that really mattered were the results on the ground. You can’t babble your way into having a victory but you can certainly talk about the aftermath provided you survive and know what you’re doing. What Uncle Scam and his satraps have done once again is show just how full of garbage they are.
The Russians have an old joke about this:
A huge column of Russian tanks stops on the French coast of the Channel. Two tank brigade commanders have long been looking towards Britain, but one looks bold and funny and the other thoughtful.
The Jolly Commander: – What’s on your mind, bro?
Brooding commander: – I can’t forgive myself for losing the information war!
Dmitry Medvedev wrote an interesting reply to Italian’s settlement proposal, posted on Telegram, where he basically said that translates : Ukraine to stay neutral, no EU due to NATO/ EU integration, Crimea is and will remain part of Russia, and for the autonomy LDR & DNR, too many people died & Minsks got nowhere. Finally, they are welcome to fight until victory. ( in vain). So, war is now negotiated via social media. Also, iit reminded everyone that “great powers do not give stuff back” unless they choose so, so Ukraine will fight as long as West will ship the guns.
Thanks for excellent analysis! One thing to improve would be your understanding of ruble exchange rate dynamics. Here is my take:
Before Gas-For-Rubles (GFR) policy was introduced, there was a similar polity tool which Russian government used in the past to support ruble. It was called something to the effect of mandatory sale of foreign currency by exporters. It was a regime which forced all exporters to immediately sell all inbound FX payments for rubles.This tool was used many times and it has fine tuning mechanism of % of revenue which has to be sold immediately. The strongest option is 100%.
It was proven to be a potent tool in case of loss of confidence in Russian currency in the past and it was invoked in concert with CBR rate hike to 20%. Normally, in the event of poor economic conditions (let’s say commodities prices collapse or some other issues) that would help correcting FX supply and demand imbalance and allow anyone who wants to buy euros or dollars.
So then there was an announcement of GFR policy and it had it’s psychological effect supporting RUB, but in essence it’s not much different from 100% mandatory FX sales explained above, but it got many people confused. I think it’s basically more of a legal step cementing the push to have no FX balances kept by largest Russian exporters.
In normal times that would be a powerful economic measure, but CBR and government of Russia got some unexpected help from EU and US. What did they do?
What happened this year was very unusual and the people who are now looking surprised why RUB is so strong are looking at GFR and many of them can’t figure out how the policy is so powerful.
1. Stole CBR FX balances in EUR and USD. But these reserves were stockpiled uselessly anyway, because it’s not the stock what matters, but the flow. This led to CBR stopping buying any excess FX from exporters to prevent RUB from uncontrolled strengthening and the initial RUB plunge. In fact all the actions below combined made CBR completely unnecessary to sell any FX to support ruble!
2. Forced or convinced many of their exporters to stop selling stuff to Russia, so Russian importers would go to FX markets to buy USD/EUR, but in much reduced volumes.
3. Closed airspace to flights from Russia, forcing otherwise interested tourists from spending abroad
4. Started campaign of seizure of assets from wealthy Russian citizens (which made many more less famous ones rushing out of Europe and never thinking again about moving any money to Europe / US)
5. Started going to other higher priced commodities suppliers who can’t provide volume and bidding up commodities in a gesture to stick it to Putin. So the market went way up allowing Russia income increase when selling to others who were out bid by EU/US even after discount.
These actions led to absolute plunge in demand for FX in Russia and EUR/USD in particular. At the same time higher commodity prices increased supply dramatically. So what happens? Well we know what.
What will happen in future is more interesting, because supply/demand imbalance is still there.
Right now Russia is trying to ease up all the restrictions so anyone who has any use for EUR/USD will be accommodated as best as they can.
In my opinion Russia doesn’t want EUR/RUB to trade too low, otherwise they will be getting too few rubles for the exports, but costs are more or less fixed and can’t be slashed. So either West will find ways to unblock trade and convince Russians to buy their goods (but it will be difficult since Russians now know that reliance on import might be used as a weapon). Or, alternatively, Russia will start restricting exports to ‘unfriendly nations’ to fix trade surplus with them, which must be corrected or they begin selling there at a loss.
I think the best policy would be for Russia to facilitate imports of capital goods, machines and everything which could be bought from abroad in USD/EUR and still restrict consumer goods from abroad with tariffs. To an extent when no more capital goods can be purchased the exports towards unfriendly nations would be capped so trade balance clears at 0, which allows no more FX build up (can’t seize anything) and doesn’t doesn’t push ruble too high so exports are still competitive and getting more competitive by improving productivity at home with all the capital goods coming in
Given how sharply the ruble is strengthening, there isn’t a lot of time left for these trade imbalances to resolve. In good old days the CBR would be scooping all excess FX from the market, but it can’t transact in EUR/USD, so it’s not happening. My bet would be that commodities shipments to EU will soon start to decline causing potentially a negative feedback loop of EU looking to buy elsewhere, bidding up the price where supply is less available, causing remaining Russian exports bringing more FX still, forcing Russian government to tighten exports to Europe even more…
Europe is looking at a giant mess and soon should RUB strengthen significantly from here.
Excellent explanation Alexey. Thank you.
Several commentators believe that the confiscation of Russia’s FX by US/NATO will lead to commodity based exchange mechanism. Isn’t strength of ruble a perfect example of this, where commodity exporters rule, and those trying to trade debt based currencies for commodities have continuous depreciation?
Dear Jacob, thanks again for you thoughtful and honest analysis of the military aspects of the situation.
What is your opinion or your intuition regarding what Russia is going to do when the whole Donbas region is under its control? Is it going to advance towards Kyiv (or try to surround it quickly?). Or is Charkiv is next? What do you think Russia is going to do militarily after Donbas is totally captured?
Many thanks in advance
Never wanted to conquer Kiev. It was just a show of force for the Ukr. military brass to take over the gov. and negotiate. Russian intelligence was wrong: the nazis are just too strong even for the brass.
Odessa is the main prize.
Keiv and Z himself need to be intact. So he can sign the surrender!
Otherwise he may not exist me thinks.
What I find both sad and darkly amusing is how shocked utterly stunned so very many will be when the inevitable collapse of the Ukrainian army occurs. This is because it will reveal how easily and comprehensively the public can be convinced of a lie.
Well Josep Borell is getting a ‘Result on the battlefield’. What worries me is that he was so ill-informed and stupid as to think the Nazis would win. How did this man, and the rest of the crazies end up in leading positions?
LOL, yes he’s certainly getting his result. Somewhat like his illustrious grandfather.
Be a sport – spill the beans! Who / what was Borell’s grandfather?
A Waffen SS officer, I think at the rank of general when he was killed in 1944. This must be the paternal grandfather, as his last name was the same.
No, not that one. Josep Borrell is a Spaniard, whose grandfather was a baker in a small village in Spain after returning from Argentina where he also was a baker.
The UK is becoming more and more desperate to continue and to broaden the conflict. Along with their old buddies the Poles, who for some reason think the brits are great, the two countries are hell bent on destroying the EU at any cost as both countries are economically and culturally doomed.
It says a lot about how insane the interference of the west in Ukraine has been when (deep breath…..) Henry Kissinger (…..long exhale) is suddenly the voice of reason.
From Southfront: According to unconfirmed reports, 2 battalions of Polish infantry moved out of Kiev the day before and have reached Pavlograd to support the AFU. The Polish infantry is reportedly preparing for transfer to the Avdiivka area. Each battalion is reportedly equipped with 4 Rapier anti-tank guns, armored personnel carriers and US-made armored vehicles.
Two thirds of the weapons from the US are already in the Balkans, Kosovo where else, oh Albania as well awaiting there next mission. I happen to think it will be in the Horn of Africa to coincide with Africom moving from Germany to,,,Somaliland.
Any thoughts on the Ukrainian’s attempt to blow the dam at Svetlodarsk? Potentially flooding the residential swathe to the south east, and obviously the Russian forces assaulting Mironovski at the time, which was their likely primary oojective?
While video shows it was a seriously half-arsed effort, its the scorched earth throughout the conflict that gets me, and especially evil is how they view and treat civilians as if they want to intentionally put them in harm’s way. Elsewhere someone (I think it was that nice chap in St Petersburg) related a story about Ukrainian artillery setting up station at grain silo elevators, the objective being to draw counter-battery fire to their locations. So they can run with the “Look! The Russians are cutting off our food” baloney, when the grain supply is halted.
I know vile things happen in all wars on both sides but, my God, the frequency with which it appears to be happening in this one is thoroughly disgusting. Maybe its the microscope of the social media addictive age we are living in, where everyone wants to be the next Spielberg? Or are these people more ruthless, and capable of much worse, than the norm?
I saw your recent video, titled ‘The Snowball Effect’ and you mentioned preparations to ward off the Russians by the Ukrainian authorities in Dnipro. Along with Zaporizhzhia, there is a nearby hydroelectric dam which is located to the west, in Kamianske. Downstream of this dam is a former uranium production facility, the Pridnieprovsky Chemical Plant, which has fifteen times more radioactive waste than Chernobyl.
The EU has provided only enough funding to facilitate the minimum of preventive maintenance to make sure the radioactive waste and irradiated structures don’t contaminate the nearby Dnieper River. Given the close proximity to both Dnipro and the Middle Dnieper Hydroelectric Dam, and the increased likelihood of military action contaminating the river all the way to Zaporizhzhia and the Black Sea, do you really think the Russians would want to capture Dnipro?
And if the Russians did capture the area, they may have to shoulder the added responsibility and cost of maintaining and cleaning up the chemical plant and its grounds. If only the city and not Kamianske and the dam is captured, I am thinking that the Ukrainians may be loopy enough to open the sluice gates and flood everything downstream with possible radioactive consequences for the Russians.
It leads me to another question regarding the VDV. As far as you know, are the VDV as decimated as Russophobes and other western observers and warmongers would like to think is the case?
starvation, economic collapse, manufactured self destruction …. order out of chaos…build back communist totalitarianism from rubble of ‘democracy’ ….. yep, we voted for all this …they told us their plan and we still voted for it
and every tax $ we permit to be spent on bloodletting and slaughter of 3rd party innocents has our fingerprints …get that jab guys …..
Things Fall Apart is a good one. A novel about our people (ethnic Igbos of Eastern Nigeria) written by a distant relative, Chinua Achebe