Apparently the Russian military was trying to separate Prigozhin from his troops and he decided to forestall that by starting his own war!
I would say things are spinning out of control. What this will mean to the larger war can only be imagined. But obviously if the CIA has been hinting about coups occurring in Belarus then possibly this is related.
Putin addresses the Russian nation about the rebellion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the apparent coup attempt by Wagner.
Information on the Ukraine War is both ubiquitous and dubious. Probably the best policy is to wait until information from both Russian and Ukrainian sources intersect. Well, I couldn’t get that yet but at least both sides agree that the Ukrainians are finding the Russian defenses daunting.
Notice this article scoffs at the Russian numbers of Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles destroyed, but agrees that the offensive has been “slower than desired.”
But what were they expecting? Driving tanks across heavily mined fields into flat steppe-land where hand-held anti-tank weapons and aircraft missiles are waiting for them doesn’t sound like a cake walk to me. And that’s before they get within twenty miles of the reinforced entrenchment lines and anti-tank emplacements.
I can’t make up my mind whether the Ukrainians will commit to the full offensive or not. Without air superiority or overwhelming numerical advantage what they are attempting is very likely to cost them tens of thousands of casualties and still come up short of their objective. If they lose forty or fifty thousand men and don’t even reach the coast it will be a disaster of enormous magnitude. That will probably cost them the war.
I suspect they will continue on with the probing attacks for a month or two more and then declare victory somehow or other. Maybe they capture a few towns or smaller cities and wait for the F-16’s to save the day. But I’m not sure.
The Ukrainians have fought very bravely but modern war is very tough on the underdog. The Russians have a big advantage in population size, quantity of artillery and aerial offense and defense. They are waging a war of attrition where they stand back and bombard the Ukrainians from a distance. It’s slow and wasteful of munitions but it conserves lives.
Lately even Washington insiders are starting to talk about the necessity of negotiations with the Russians. And the terms they mention are more or less what the Russians proposed in Turkey. But I don’t think they’re likely to agree to those terms any longer. They’ve been forced to put their country on a war footing and and it’s unlikely they’ll be satisfied until they obtain most of what they currently want. They want the four regions they’ve officially annexed, they probably want further territorial gains that include Odessa and the rest of Black Sea coastline. They may also demand a buffer zone between Russia and Ukraine to avoid guerilla warfare after the war. And they want Ukraine disarmed and neutral.
So this may be a long war because it may be a very slow one. If the Ukrainians hold off on their big offensive then the Russian counter-offensive will be more of what we saw in Bakhmut; a long slow war of attrition that pounds the Ukrainians down inch by slow inch. In other words, hell on earth.
“Russia’s defence ministry released video of what it said showed several Ukrainian armoured vehicles in a field blowing up after being hit.
Russian forces killed 250 Ukrainian troops as well as destroying 16 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles and 21 armoured combat vehicles, the ministry said.”
Currently the Ukrainians have not released any statements with their take on the fighting. From what I read the Ukrainian forces involved included about sixty tanks, 3,000 men, artillery and other armored vehicles.
This is still just a small fraction of the forces available for this offensive but it seems clear this wasn’t a feint. It’s act one. It will be evolving over the next days and weeks and it will be gut-wrenching for all involved.
I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about a horror movie (if that’s the genre) called Nefarious. Apparently it’s a death row prisoner being interviewed by a psychiatrist to see if he’s sane enough to be executed. The twist is that the prisoner claims to be possessed by a demon who wants the execution to proceed so he can escape to a new body from which he can continue his mayhem. It’s still in the theater so they want twenty bucks to stream it at home. Well! I must be getting old. I remember when twenty bucks was actual money. I remember as a kid I once found a twenty dollar bill and I thought I was rich. So anyway I’m stalling until it comes down in price. It looks pretty good in the trailer. The producers aren’t mainstream Hollywood types. They’re on the religious side of things. So that makes it even more interesting to me. Maybe I’ll spring for the twenty bucks. I’ll probably still be able to eat that week. And supporting alternatives to woke corporations like the Hollywood studios is almost a religious obligation. So I guess I’ll fork over the quatloos.
“Kyiv has made a concerted effort in recent months to engage with countries such as China, Brazil and India. Ukraine is ready to talk with all countries and hear their opinions, Yermak said, including representatives of China and Brazil, who visited this month. Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan calls for restoring Ukraine’s control over its territory, returning prisoners of war and prosecuting war crimes. It also proposes addressing nuclear safety, which it says is compromised by Russia’s occupation of a nuclear power plant, and food security, by protecting grain exports that are hampered by Russia’s invasion.”
I kind of doubt China will be coming on board for this farce. I’m not so sure about India either.
This is my favorite line:
“The process is not possible without the whole world, including the leaders of the global south,” said Yermak, who is Zelensky’s top adviser.”
The whole world except the country they’re actually at war with. Delusional and in fact embarrassing.
Now that the Battle of Bakhmut is over everyone is wondering what the next step will be in this war. Currently there have been incursions into Russia proper by Ukrainian forces. It is being claimed by the Ukrainians that the attackers are Russian partisans who want to overthrow Putin’s government. But a number of the attackers were captured and these turned out to be Ukrainians.
In the last few weeks there has been a significant increase in missile and drone attacks by both sides. Drone attacks on Moscow and missile attacks in Kiev have become a common occurrence. Today the word is the Russians hit the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence headquarters to take out the Ukrainian and Western brains behind the drone attacks on Moscow. Now whether they succeeded in destroying the headquarters or decapitating the military intelligence organization is completely unknown. What is clear is that this is all moving toward an escalated war where more than just the front-line troops are impacted.
The Russians have been concentrating on disrupting the anticipated “spring” offensive. The most notable effort has been a string of missile attacks on large ammunition depots, some apparently so enormous that seismic readings as high as 3.5 on the Richter Scale have been detected. But they’ve also been attacking large troop emplacements.
In the last few weeks, the western press has been hinting that the spring offensive may not provide a significant change in the status quo and that maybe it’s time for a negotiated settlement. But there’s no indication by either side that negotiations are even possible.
So, it looks like sooner or later we’re going to hear about full-scale military operations with the battle tanks and other equipment that the West has donated and with the troops they trained over the last six months. One thing that can be said is that this will be the decisive series of battles of the war. The Ukrainians will be expending the last reserves of their prime manpower. If they are to deal a decisive defeat to the Russians it will have to be now. Otherwise, they will be without the troops and even without the artillery ammunition they would need to continue the war against the larger and better equipped Russian forces.
I expect that the Russians will be hunkering down behind their defensive works and will make the Ukrainians pay very dearly for a frontal assault on these positions. But without a doubt if the Ukrainians go all out to break through these lines the casualties on both sides will be enormous. So, what we will see is a reenactment of the kinds of battles they fought in World War I; massive artillery bombardment and frontal assaults on heavily reinforced positions. But added to this will be massive tank attacks by the Ukrainians and modern missile and drone attacks by both sides.
So, either way this goes the Slavic peoples are about to experience a tragic blood-letting. And essentially the US State Department and the CIA are the authors of this tragedy. It will be interesting what the fruits of this decision will be for us. We handed the Ukrainians tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry. I wonder which of our enemies will be provided with Russian weapons to pay us back. I hate to think of the Mexican drug cartels with several billion dollars’ worth of drones and missiles loose inside of our non-existent southern border. But that’s a distinct possibility. And who will we have to blame but our own government.
Possibly this will be a result that may hasten the end of this war. But we’ll have to see. The West is now talking about a stalemate because they don’t see a victory for Ukraine. They predict a standoff like in Korea. It’s not clear to me that the Russians feel the same way about their chances of winning.
The Russians have pushed the Ukrainian troops out of the last of the high rise buildings in the west of Bakhmut. Currently the Ukrainians are contesting areas north and south of the city. There are estimates that the Ukrainian forces west of Bakhmut number between 10,000 and 30,000. There is speculation that instead of the Ukrainian counter-offensive occurring in the south it might instead occur around Bakhmut.
The video footage I’ve seen of the city as it currently exists is shocking. If Bakhmut had received a one megaton nuclear detonation at the center of the city it would not look any more devastated than it currently does. Except for the skeletons of a few high rise buildings at the western edge, it’s been reduced to pulverized rubble.
What’s going on there is madness. This is civil war.
As can be seen in the satellite photo below, the Russians (in red) have almost completed the painfully slow process of ejecting the Ukrainians from Bakhmut by reducing the city to rubble via artillery bombardment. The Ukrainians are probably down to a few thousand soldiers with the bulk having already retreated out of Bakhmut to the nearby towns of Chasiv Yar and Ivanivske.
But supposedly the final stronghold is structurally reinforced and may even be hiding a tunnel system out of the city. Previously it was believed that this stronghold of tall apartment buildings was being held by some of the most battle-hardened professionals in the Ukraine forces. Whether that is still the case is unknown. But the fighting at this point may even be harder and bloodier than what came before in this already grueling battle.
The Ukrainians are attempting to hold onto the town until after May 9th which is the anniversary (in Russia) of the end of WWII in Europe. They want to deny Russia the propaganda boost that the date represents in the Russian mind. Looks like it could go either way.
After the end of the Bakhmut conflict it is widely believed that the Ukrainian counterattack will commence. Well, that is if the ground dries out sufficiently for heavy vehicles to move easily through the mud. Apparently the rain for the last couple of weeks has rendered the fields impassable. Hell of a war they’ve (or we’ve) got going there.
The mapping sites following the Ukraine war now show the encirclement of Bakhmut by the Russians reaching a critical stage where the two remaining paved roads that allow re-supply of men and materiel and retreat of vehicles, are under fire control by the Russian positions.
The descriptions I’ve listened to by Ukrainian soldiers of the situation on the ground are horrific. The combat situation consists of small groups of Ukrainians hunkered down in sheltered positions and Russians sending small patrols to draw their fire followed by artillery and mortar fire being used to dislodge or destroy those Ukrainian positions. They say morale is rock bottom. They describe what seems like endless barrages of artillery forcing them to retreat to new positions day in and day out.
“Standard Russian tactics. Little change from WWII other than the range of missiles and artillery. Putin and his commanders care little about casualties. They just bombard everything, including civilians and hospitals and children, then throw masses of infantry and tanks at the target. That wouldn’t work against NATO but Russia carefully picks less capable targets. NATO would hand them their heinies, especially in air supremacy. But Zelinski is short on air power. Russia is corrupt and incompetent but they have a crapload of artillery and conscripts, and numbers can be a power of their own. I would love to be the US commander of a division if Russia tried to invade Poland, but as a Ukranian, not so much.”