A big hello to all the alt-propagandists (including Russia’s Ministry of Defense) who’ve been strangely quiet or obfuscatory the last few days. As for me here at the No Propaganda Zone, I only post about once a week nowadays, otherwise would’ve gotten to this sooner.
As I wrote in my last post, the Ukraine war will be decided by off-battlefield factors (the list of what those might be is increasingly long and scary.)
Putin’s “political” strategy of waging a big war without sufficient manpower (as I briefly covered in a recent post), not bothering the general population with a mass call-up of trained reserves, has shown its first big slide towards disaster.
A large and growing Ukrainian force—guided in its battle plan (judging by the tactics used) by U.S. and/or UK special operations officers, U.S. and UK trained since May, and equipped entirely with U.S. and other NATO country-donated hardware…..
…..including tanks from Poland; light armored vehicles from the U.S., Netherlands, and Australia; U.S. MLRS vehicles; and German self-propelled cannon—attacked a broad, largely undefended sector of the “front line” in Kharkov region…..
…..where the Russian side had ZERO regular army personnel, no proper defensive positions, and minimal (if any) antitank weapons on hand.
(This, despite at least one major Russian Telegram (social media) channel having warned on August 29th— about eight days before the start of the offensive—of an obvious, alarming concentration of Ukrainian forces in this specific (Balakleya) sector.
Although Russian losses have so far been surprisingly light, the Ukrainian offensive has more-or-less taken the road east to Kupiansk and thus cut off the entire Russian army group in Izium to the south…..
…..which, barring some “miracle” or the use of tactical nuclear weapons will have to (if not surrender, then) withdraw by unpaved roads to Lugansk to the east, first destroying or otherwise leaving most or all of its heavy gear, including at least 20 batteries of artillery…..
…..leaving the Slaviansk offensive permanently stalled, and Donetsk city with:
(1) no hope of restoring its water supply, rendering this city of (formerly) a million, “permanently” unlivable, and…..
(2) little hope of emerging from under shelling by U.S.-supplied 155mm cannon, which have become increasingly “sloppy” due to their greater distance from the city, leaving daily scenes such as this one:
Predictably (we’re talking about the Ukraine, after all), the Ukrainians are already going around this heavily pro-Russian area (referring again to eastern Kharkov) with blacklists…..
…..and arresting “collaborators”, including local officials and even businessmen who provided any services to Russian forces. (One Russian border checkpoint now has a line of cars stretching for kilometers.)
(We can now forget about any “referendum” (to join Russia) in Zaporozhie or Kherson regions—no one will come out to vote, no one will even dare to participate in organizing a vote.)
Russia has brought in large reserves, but these are, IMHO (I’d LOVE to be wrong, as it would reduce the risk of nuclear war), not fully organized or positioned or instructed, and probably not-yet fully supplied, to quickly launch any kind of meaningful counteroffensive to counteract the smooth U.S./UK/Ukrainian battle plan.
At best (barring a “miracle”, or the use of tactical nuclear weapons), Russia can hope to hold on to a reduced slice of Kharkov region, with Kupiansk as a frontline city and no longer the capital of a Russian Kharkov administration.
Now, regarding the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons in the Ukraine, which from the American side was only ever publicly mentioned by the commentator David T. Pyne…..
…..whom I mocked when he predicted it was a decision that Putin would take (or a threat he would make) in April or early May specifically, as it was clearly NOT warranted at the time…..
(This dude seems jumpy—he also said China will make its big move against Taiwan this year—but hey, everyone says “don’t read the Revelation of St. John literally”, i.e. if you turn out to be a prophet, everyone cuts you some slack on the details. Also just FYI, aspiring prophets should not set very tight deadlines.)
What’s really interesting is that some Russian official (I forgot who), had, evidently in anticipation of any potential Ukrainian counteroffensive being too successful, warned a few weeks ago—really, out of the blue—that Russia would only use nuclear weapons if the existence of the nation was at stake.
Well, look here….
We’ve got a large Ukrainian force armed with weapons systems donated by about 25 different countries—literally almost all of their armor and artillery, most of their munitions, all their gear, radios, helmets, body armor, uniforms, MRE’s, maybe everything but their AK-47s is donated…..
…..they’ve been trained for months by U.S. and UK specialists….. they receive guidance for their rocket artillery from U.S./UK satellites….
…..and very likely, they are led or at least guided at “arms-length” by U.S. and British generals (clearly this offensive was based on U.S./British special forces and motorized light infantry tactics from Iraq and Syria, it’s not something the Ukrainians came up with on their own)…..
…..so the Ukrainian force is basically the U.S. Army, or a NATO army, just speaking a different language…..
…..AND, it’s some tens of kilometers or whatever from the Russian border, and if the Russian force around Izium is surrounded and has to evacuate without its gear…..
…..there will be POTENTIALLY nothing left to stop the USA (also known as the Ukraine) from crossing the border into Russia if they wanted to…..
…..and then you have that “threat to the existence of the nation” scenario.
(Not to mention, such a huge military setback would be a threat to the existence of Putin, which he might perceive as “same as the above.”)
As one smart reader pointed out recently, the main restraint on Russia using nuclear weapons in the Ukraine, is concern over opinion in the “Global South”. Obviously, relations with the USA and Europe are so badly burned—much worse than during the Cold War—that it doesn’t even matter what “the West” thinks anymore (what are they going to do, steal some more Russian yachts? LOL.)
However, the USA has so thoroughly disgusted and alienated everyone in China, India, Saudi and just about everyone else not inside the U.S. hegemonic bloc (and even there, opinion is mixed)…..
…..that as it stands now, Russia could perhaps get away with using nine or ten, half-kiloton or one-kiloton devices, carried via precision cruise missiles launched from aircraft remaining in Russian airspace…..
…..and perhaps say hey we don’t know anything, maybe it was a MOAB, maybe it was a bunch of arms dumps that caught fire….. and it’s in a rural area and almost all of the civilians have evacuated already (as far as anyone knows)…..
…..and it’s possible everyone outside of the American camp will believe it, or act like they believe it, because that’s what Uncle Sam has done to the world.
(Or if they don’t, it doesn’t matter. If we avoid a nuclear war, then we will all have big problems next year anyway (besides Variant X, in November 2021, I called 2023 as the global Famine Year, and I stand by that.)
And that would be the end of the Ukrainian advance, and really of the Ukrainian army as a coherent force with any offensive capability at all.
And then incidentally, the precedent would be set for the Chinese, if they’re still standing after Variant X, to use tactical nukes to take back Taiwan.
So, as I said back in February or March, if the USA keeps escalating—and that’s a conscious choice, not just something that just happens—then the Ukraine will be destroyed. And I stand by that. Hopefully, it will be only the Ukraine, but who knows?
The question is (for Americans and Brits etc. who are reading this), how far are YOU prepared for your government to go?