Faster and Furiouser: Ukraine’s Forces Take Back Kharkiv Oblast and More

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

It’s been quite a while since the last post about the Russo-Ukrainian War here. It’s difficult to write about a war of attrition as not much big happens, just the grinding count of materiel damaged and seized along with the grueling and gruesome casualty count.

But the narrative in Ukraine has changed in huge way over the last six days. What initially looked like a push into southern Ukraine by its own forces turned into a blazing two-front counteroffensive with the eastern front cutting off Russia’s critical supply route from Belgorod north of the Russian-Ukraine border to the cities of Kupiansk along the Oskil River and Izium. The appearance of a push along a single southern front may have been effective information warfare.

The tweet below includes a GIF showing the ground taken back over the last week:

During the counteroffensive there has been some confusion online about the ground taken, in part because Ukraine’s forces had been asked to take photos and videos and share them to show their progress in an effort to demoralize both Russian troops and Russian media. The lag between the photos and videos and the time necessary to validate the locations along with the rapid dispersion may not only have surprised Ukraine’s supporters but shocked-and-awed Russians.

Russian media analyst Julia Davis shared some reactions which are all over the map. The loss of the Battle of Kharkhiv has punctured their bubble; they’re trying to find a way to spin this.

They were surprised on Friday, rationalizing what they’d seen:

Yesterday they sounded bitter, swinging wildly between demands for full mobilization to defeat “Ukrainian Nazis” or getting out:

But something isn’t quite right in Moscow. The lack of obvious discussion and reaction from Moscow to this counteroffensive combined with calls on September 8 by St. Petersburg’s city council to charge Putin with treason limns a black hole.

One might wonder if Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu is avoiding windows, rooftops, and helicopters.

~ ~ ~

There are numerous reports of Russian troops literally running away heading east to the Russian border, abandoning equipment and clothing in their haste to avoid encirclement which surely must have happened at Izium. Still more reports mention Russian-speakers leaving the Donetsk region heading to Russia but being refused entry in spite of carrying newly-issued Russian passports issued as part of the annexation and integration of eastern Ukraine by Russia.

A major concern is for the welfare of prisoners of war. There may be 20 to 30,000 from this counteroffensive — and now even more with the apparent negotiations of Russian troops surrender east of Mikolaiv in the Kherson oblast north of the Dnieper River — they need to be housed, fed, clothed, and secured. Resources to manage this will come at the expense of personnel needed to continue the drive east and south as well as resources necessary for the Ukrainian people.

Anne Applebaum has an essay in The Atlantic encouraging a shift in thinking:

She’s right that we need to think about a Ukrainian win, but we also need to consider what a Russian loss means. Not only do we have to consider the likely succession in leadership in Russia which is not delineated in publicly available records, but we need to think about control of Russian nuclear weapons.

Applebaum wrote Ukraine’s expectations of a win are “extraordinarily ambitious,” based on Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov statement to an audience in Kyiv this weekend that “victory should now include not only a return to the borders of Ukraine as they were in 1991—including Crimea, as well as Donbas in eastern Ukraine—but also reparations to pay for the damage and war-crimes tribunals to give victims some sense of justice.”

It’s not ambitious but prudent to make this demand; one asks for everything and works out a compromise for less. The first demand sets a ceiling and the response will set the floor. Failing to demand enough would play into Putin’s hands. Reparations are most likely negotiable since Russia’s economy has been badly damaged by this ridiculous genocidal war.

Which brings us to more damage which must be discussed and addressed as soon as possible, once Russia does fold its operations in Ukraine: where are the kidnapped Ukrainians including thousands and thousands of children forcibly taken into Russia? What is needed to return them home, to care for the children if separated permanently from family?

Further, what will Ukraine need from the rest of the world to document the war crimes which will be uncovered as the Russians exit occupied territory? There will be more horrors like Bucha left behind.

How does the world prevent potential unresolved anger from spilling over when Russian troops return home, to find they may not be compensated as promised. Russia has agreed with China to sell China fossil fuels for yuan and rubles, but conversion of the yuan may be hampered by sanctions and rubles have no value in countries where Russian interests are tightly sanctioned. Which means currency of real value will be limited inside Russia. There may be a population easily radicalized and motivated for cash.

Winning, though, is a distance away. There are other immediate problems in addition to regaining southern Ukraine and occupied Crimea, like the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which has been powered down into a safe state after experiencing power cuts to the plant. How this plant will be safely cycled back up once fighting ends may need resources.

~ ~ ~

All of which is to say the US, NATO, and the rest of the world need to switch gears to keep up with Ukraine.

Faster and furiouser, people. Slava Ukraini, heroiam slava!

60 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    My mind is absolutely blown by the likely surrender in Kherson. As some observers put it, it was face Ukraine’s army or swim the Dnieper while running out of supplies as the Russians made their decision.

    The next challenge will be Ukraine’s troops fording that same river to tackle the rest of Kherson oblast and Zaporizhia oblast next to the east.

    • Rayne says:

      Oh my. This is still moving so fast. There’s still so little feedback from Moscow.

    • Rayne says:

      I missed this while I was writing the post above, but this from 4 hours ago is the first I’ve seen regarding a reaction by Putin.

      Still surprised Shoigu isn’t spread like peanut butter on pavement somewhere.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      I just saw on the Estonian Soldier YouTube channel that as Russia struggles in Ukraine, members of its Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) are fighting each other. Tajikistan is fighting Kyrgyzstan and Armenia is fighting Azerbaijan (though they are no longer in CSTO). Apparently, Moscow is the guarantor of peace and they are not able to do anything, so more fighting is expected.

  2. fubar jack says:

    Wow! Just Wow… too much to process at once. Making these gains in the fall is great news. A winter counter/counter offensive seems unlikely. I hope that this is the end of Putin’s project and his ‘political’ career. I also hope that if the shit hits the fan within Russia that the transition will be bloodless. Again wow!

  3. gmoke says:

    I knew this war was going to end badly for Russia from the very first day when Putin said that Ukraine was not a real country. Nice to have that insight confirmed by Russian TV in the clip above.

    Putin has been very stupid by telling the Ukrainians this is an existential war and by trying the same tactic on Sweden and Finland, pushing them into the arms of NATO. I am astonished that such a basic tactical and strategic mistake was made by someone who has been so adept at power plays as Putin. This is a basic blunder whether you follow von Clausewitz or Sun Tzu, who both, if I’m not mistaken, warn against it. Hell, it’s proverbial: a rat when cornered is at its most dangerous.

  4. bbleh says:

    “Not only do we have to consider the likely succession in leadership in Russia which is not delineated in publicly available records, but we need to think about control of Russian nuclear weapons.”

    Certainly the first will be an issue. There’s been a lot written about this being perceived in Russia as well as elsewhere as “Putin’s war,” and a humiliating loss for Russia — and I think even something short of throwing Russians out of the entire Donbas and/or Crimea would still be seen as a humiliating loss — seems likely to blow back on him individually and hence on his leadership status. And anything that affects Russian leadership by definition affects control of Russian nuclear weapons.

    But other than indirectly via leadership issue, has there been anything that suggests that the Ukraine war would have any effect on control of Russian nukes? I haven’t, for example seen anything about forward deployment of tactical nukes, and I can’t imagine strategic nukes would be anywhere near the conflict. And as I understand it, Russian doctrine places tighter restrictions on use of nukes than does American C2. Even if Putin were to have an unfortunate encounter with a window (which I think very unlikely), I don’t know that it would cause more alarm re nukes than any change of leadership, again unless I’ve missed something here …

    • Rayne says:

      Putin’s grip on power is paired tightly with his ability to muster military power. If through the Russo-Ukrainian war the military has been proven both hollow and neutered, so is Putin. Which means his control over government assets may be weak and contested, including nuclear resources.

      • bbleh says:

        TBPH, I’d say the danger is greater while he still has pretty firm control and he might actually be able to do something in the name of Mother Russia with at least one eye on maintaining his position in the bargain. I think that, if/as his power starts to slip, the danger of reckless use of nukes will diminish. And similarly, because of doctrine, I think use for the sake of mere drama or out of frustration is actually less likely than for a US President in a similar situation. (Again, unless I’ve missed something, but Respectable Opinion seems so far to agree consistently.)

        • Ken Muldrew says:

          If he starts feeling exposed domestically he is far more likely to blow up a few apartment buildings in Moscow (and blame it on Ukrainians) than to use nuclear weapons. He has the tv stations and he has the FSB and he knows just how effective synthetic terrorism is with the Russian people.

        • ScorpioJones, III says:

          bbleh…I get the impression a lot of people are concerned about Putin’s reaction both internally and in Ukraine as the Vohzd’s power-grip slips into unknown areas. I hope you are right about the reckless use of nukes, but “hope is the quintessential human delusion” some say.

      • Rayne says:

        If you mean Lukashenko is waiting to be removed by the legitimate government he deposed with Putin’s help, yes, Lukashenko is waiting in the wings.

        I hope he’s developing an escape route, I mean, exit strategy.

        • earthworm says:

          no, i actually meant to imply Lukashenko may be waiting to step into a russian power vaccuum if putin falls.
          (as has been mentioned, there is now no agreed upon mechanism for appointing a new russian leader, with putin’s having rearranged term limits and appointed himself virtually president for life.)

          • Rayne says:

            Lukashenko being Belarusian won’t be able to step into Putin’s place. He’d also have far too much competition across the spectrum from Navalny-type quasi-liberals to kleptocrats.

      • 808HL says:

        Lukashenko is Russia’s stooge, without Ru backing he will be out of power. That may happen soon enough, there are Belarussian units fighting alongside of Ukraine and they may be interested in leadership change when they get home. Putin’s war has weakened Ru conciderably.

  5. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    The one real fear I have here is that if Putin thinks he’s losing here, which he appears to be, he will lash out and set off a small nuke somewhere in Ukraine as a parting gesture, as his troops hightail it for Mother Russia…

    Or perhaps deliberately sabotage the reactors at Zaporizhzhia as a final, monumental F. U. to the rest of the world…

    Putin has accomplished a couple of worthwhile goals here… he’s made NATO more relevant than it’s been in decades… and proven just how hollowed out and inept the Russian military is.

    And I do believe Biden, on his part, has played this well…

  6. L. Eslinger says:

    In July, a press statement from Antony Blinken included the statement “Estimates from a variety of sources, including the Russian government, indicate that Russian authorities have interrogated, detained, and forcibly deported between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens, including 260,000 children, from their homes to Russia – often to isolated regions in the Far East.”

    How many have been abducted since then, and how many children have been “adopted” into Russia?


    Thoughts regarding the current and future situation of these people, and how Russia may use them, are among the many things that worry me – thoughts that make up the background noise in my head. While being an engineer who is peppered with OCD and ADHD can sometimes be a good thing (at least in terms of output and quality of work), it also means being unable to turn away from problems that one cannot solve.

    • posaune says:

      It would be tactically and economically advantageous if UA switches to EU rail gauge as soon as possible — especially if they maintain control of the numerous transportation junctions they have just secured.

  7. Bruce Stewart says:

    The Foreign Minister of Lithuania tweeted his views of what the West must do next. The list begins with accepting nothing less than unconditional surrender by Russia (aspirational?), and goes on to investigation of war crimes and rebuilding Ukraine. He missed your excellent point about repatriation of kidnapped Ukrainians; seems likely that the deportations affected a much larger number of Ukrainians than the war crimes in theater. (See preceding post.)
    The other thing that comes to mind, in view of the power plant attack in Kharkiv, is that Ukraine needs world-class missile defenses immediately. I don’t know much about this, except that Israel’s Iron Dome is protecting Israel from missile attacks that are probably childish compared to what Russia could muster against Ukraine.

  8. Tom-1812 says:

    I keep thinking of the fact that these are the same fields, forests, towns and villages over which the grandparents and great-grandparents of the soldiers of the present day opposing armies fought together against the Germans in the Great Patriotic War. At times over the past six months the Ukrainian and Russian troops must have occupied the same strongpoints and tactical positions that their elders did eighty years ago. At one point, I thought the frontline fighting might reach Poltava, where Peter the Great defeated Charles XII of Sweden in July 1709 during the Great Northern War. The breadbasket of Europe is certainly well fertilized ground.

  9. mospeck says:

    CNN –
    Sunday Telegram Zelensky asked: “Do you still think that we are ‘one nation?’ Do you still think that you can scare us, break us, make us make concessions my lips: Without gas or without you? Without you. Without light or without you? Without you. Without water or without you? Without you. Without food or without you? Without you.”
    Meanwhile, Strelkov, son of Pasha Strelnikov in Doctor Zhivago, and former head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, but now critic of Russian military, noted poor training of units and exceptional caution of Russian aviation, and front-line units were hung out to dry without sufficient air support. Telegram channel of Pyotr ‘kill them all’ Lundstrem said NO thermal imagers, NO bulletproof vests, NO reconnaissance equipment, NO secure communications, NOT enough copters, NO first aid kits in the army. But then also noted commemorations for Day of Moscow, city’s birthday celebrating a billionth holiday, and asked what’s wrong? vlad, we know from peskov that all is AOK and your military and court system gotta kinder gentler machine gun hand. All the while you were busy helping them 200,000 brand new russian refugee Ukrainian kids to go to school and inaugurating a ferris wheel in Moscow.
    A little ditty back from wall fall 89, but don’t know if this Canadian joe puts enough heart into it

  10. BobCon says:

    I wish — but am pessimistic about the odds — that we would see a major shake up in the US foreign policy pundit world as a result of this.

    We didn’t get it in 1990 following the collapse of the Soviet order, nor did we get it in 2009 after the Neocon fiasco in Iraq. But we desperately need to get the simplistic, binary thinkers out of our system.

    The Kissinger, Wolfowitz, Kyl, Bolton types and their apprentices are still entrenched and churning out Cold War takes, and they get easy access to the press, academia and think tanks.

    In the middle and lower levels of analysts and scholars there are tons of experts who have a much better grasp on what Poland might do, or the implications of Nordic nations joining Western alliances. There are energy analysts who can talk intelligently about what disruptions of Russian gas might mean this winter and long term.

    But instead we are stuck with Tom Friedman or Megan McCardle sucking up the oxygen about things they can’t begin to understand. I can’t imagine David Shipley at the Washington Post will salvage Fred Hiatt’s wreckage, or that Kathleen Kingsbury and Patrick Healy at the Times have any clue how to even find a qualified voice on what’s happening.

    But maybe this time will be different?

    • TXphysicist says:

      I hate to say this, but Twitter is where it’s at. Dr. Wheeler is an excellent example.

      The Twitter-sphere doesn’t always get it right, and the taint of a company biasing information towards profit isn’t gone, but it’s at least along a different axis. You’ll definitely need a nose for speculation and disinfo. Like leftist twitter, the other day, was taking as gospel that Trump claimed he was privately knighted by the queen on Truth Social, all because one person tweeted a fake image of it. I get it, it seems plausible, but that’s why I also have a Truth Social account. He never said it.

      Even e.g. Sam Seder, David Pakman, and Vaush, on YouTube, I want to find a reason to hate them, but I think I’m just so sick of what MSM has become; An inauthentic, profit-driven, both-sides’ing “pRoFeSSiOnALiSm” nightmare. LOL Haberman’s got a book coming out soon, revealing that Trump told her sometime after losing the 2020 election that he would refuse to leave office. I guess she weighed the urgency against personal financial gain, and made her choice. Perfect example of hypercapitalist garbage “journalism”.

      Thanks again to Rayne, bmaz, Peterr, Dr. Wheeler, and all the commenters. This place is a bastion of good information.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s different by generational shift alone — the old guard is not adept at the speed necessary to stay abreast like digital natives.

      The problem is old school media clinging to them like life rafts instead of setting them off on an ice floe to their fates. The internet and social media in particular makes it so much easier to find many better voices — more educated, more specialized, and more diverse — so that we no longer have to limit ourselves to what old school media offers.

      In the case of Ukraine I’ll point to the examples of Terrell Jermaine Starr, Jasmin Mujanović, Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, and Nika Melkozerova who I might not otherwise have known about except for internet and social media.

      Change is coming. It’s inevitable. It’s just slower than we’d like or need.

      • OuthouseCounsel says:

        Thank you Rayne for the excellent post. I’m old and I have newspapers thrown on my doorstep every morning and magazines delivered every week/month. Following this war has brought me to twitter where I find focused, real time, excellent sources that I check constantly in this critical battle of craven authoritarian corruption against humanist principles. I still love my daily weekly and monthly printed paper but twitter/social media pressures the writers to produce relevant thoughtful commentary and analysis in their respective timeframes. If the daily newspaper just repeats what I already know from shorter timeframe sources I am disappointed. Writers/analysts now need to choose their timeframe and deliver excellent thinking within that frame or they will be disregarded as irrelevant. I hope to still be reading my papers and magazines long into retirement but they have to rise to the challenge that real time media presents.

        • OuthouseCounse says:

          I should say that emptywheel is a perfect example of the best of digital media with preciously rare balance of excellent insights informed by hard earned expertise and judgement on a surprisingly short timeframe. The contributors here are setting the standard for excellent public discourse as media evolves with technology. Thanks for all that you do.

  11. Badger Robert says:

    The policy of Ukraine is restore the pre invasion territory and population of Ukraine.
    The strategy is to inflict a decisive military defeat on Russian forces, mainly by disrupting the Russian logistics. The haste in which Russian supplies were left behind and not even demolished.suggests the strategy is working.
    However, we don’t know if Ukraine has enough operational power to supply the advancing troops and expand their salients laterally,. The wheel is still in spin.
    Tactically, they have adapted to high tech warfare with zeal. The Ukrainian successes are reminiscent of the Japanese deploying naval tech including wireless telegraphy in 1905 to wipe out a Russian fleet at Tsushima Strait.
    So the next step is demonstrating operational art. That means adapting during the campaign. For Ukraine it might mean using their interior lines to shift back to the south.

  12. Badger Robert says:

    By the way, the post is great. Thanks.
    I fail to see the wisdom of importing a dissident population from enemy territory as part of a losing war. Since the casualties will be concentrated among the non-Russian minorities, Russia has already built a dissent.
    I am skeptical that there is real dissent making into the public conversation in Moscow. Ms. Davis says its happening. She may be right.

  13. Baltimark says:

    I may have commented on this several months ago, but for those interested in following daily tactical ebbs and flows as best they can be followed without camping out on Twitter or Telegram, a small recommendation:

    Whatever your opinions on the Daily Kos website as a whole (and mine are mixed), founder Kos and Mark Sumner — both vets — have provided and continue to provide deep and prescient Ukraine Update summary posts that nicely stake out space between WaPo/NYT/etc. general news outlets and hardcore milwonk analysis. The tone is openily partisan but the analysis is quite good.

  14. Grung_e_Gene says:

    Michael Tracey and Glenn Greenwald have to be soooooooooooooo mad at “The West” right now for making their boss Vlad Putin look so bad! If only Ukraine had surrendered immediately like they wanted and stupid Joe Biden hadn’t been right and hadn’t interfered their reputations wouldn’t be tattered right now!!!

    • Rayne says:

      If I were certain Substack-type personalities, I’d be worried about future subscriber payment volume.

      Time to reevaluate one’s career path, so to say.

  15. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne.
    Putin’s lust for power, greed and corruption erodes a country, its people and its military. Hatred runs deep. Bully power is old energy which works against the people, the economy and morale. Ukraine and other countries are no longer tolerating bully power. Ukraine is united. There is great power in unity.

    • Rayne says:

      Firewalled. Let me assume the Heritage Foundation has figured out a little late that the Russo-Ukrainian war was about Ukraine’s democracy and sovereign autonomy and they don’t want Americans to get any ideas we should likewise support democracy aggressively here at home.

        • Rayne says:

          LOL Heritage is spreading it around, I see, though it looks like they’re also shifting their focus.

          Good luck with taking on a country three times the size of the US population, one which limited its exposure to COVID and won’t face a couple decades of declining workforce due to increasing rates of disability, one which managed to steal all of our technology as corporations outsourced manufacturing in the late 1990s/early 2000s. We’re against foreign intervention at home but we’re fine with regime change abroad.

          ~eye roll~ Heritage is so much of what is wrong with the U.S. — narrowminded and shortsighted.

          • Chase Bear says:

            You mean, a country of a billion people with immune systems completely naive to SARS-CoV-2?

            The PRC has made a pretty big bet on being able to lockdown its way out of trouble, which made a little sense in the days of R0 ≈ 1.5, but seems more an article of faith at Omicron’s R0 ≈ 10. Intelligence agencies all over the world have probably asked themselves, “How hard would it be for an actor to encourage an outbreak that evades surveillance until it’s multiregion? And how can the Chinese go to a war footing when small case counts of SARS-CoV-2 infection can turn off a whole metro area?” The PRC is vulnerable until they can backfill effective vaccines. Maybe they are just waiting for the multivalent ones.

            But by now, it’s possible the all-lockdown policy has become personally associated with particular members of the CCP leadership. (In the era before vaccines, “all-lockdown, damn the costs” seems the best choice to protect older rich people — but look who runs the CCP!) The policies associated with Party leaders are usually much harder to criticize, even when the underlying circumstances change.

            • Rayne says:

              Yes, a majority of PRC’s population has had immune systems naïve to SARS-C0V-2 — just like the rest of the world. They also shared a considerable amount of early information with the world which aided rapid development of effective vaccines.

              But they made a bet on their own vaccines which hasn’t paid off as expected, not unlike a number of other countries with sophisticated pharma industry. What PRC screwed up, IMO: not ALL of its population is naïve. Somewhere near the caves on the western side of the country there are people who have antibodies to coronaviruses because of repeated exposures to multiple forms. I don’t know why they didn’t establish a program to search for those individuals. This says something about the problem-solving capabilities in PRC. They’re great at reverse engineering someone else’s solution, but still not cultivating a culture of innovation within.

              That might be too risky to the CCP, encouraging innovative thought.

          • ScorpioJones, III says:

            Heritage update…fyi nothing new but the fine print.

            https: //www. heritage. org/europe/report/how-the-us-should-help-defend-ukraine

            Heritage management forced the author to delete the post…lol

            [FYI, link “broken” with blank spaces to prevent accidental click through by community members. I’d really rather Heritage didn’t come back here and make a pest of themselves having experienced that nuisance before. They can be annoying time sucks. /~Rayne]

  16. 808HL says:

    This is an excellent post Rayne, Mahalo

    I have been consuming several of the DKos Ua war posts daily. Front page by Kos, Mark Sumner and Annieli on the Rec list then I look over the twitter links. I have been doing this since the invasion started. I have to wonder if the threat to our own Democracy has heightened my interest in the Ua war as a non war supporting liberal.

    • Rayne says:

      Aloha e komo mai! Yes, I think some of us on the left who have generally been antiwar needed to examine the limits of our ideology.

      Democracy is government by consent of the people — consent at scale. Is a democratic nation’s fighting back against forced trespass by another nation any different than fighting back as individuals when attacked by others? I can’t advocate for any individual who’s violently attacked to simply take the beating/rape/murder; I can’t advocate that for a nation, either. It’s immoral and unethical for me to expect any nation especially a smaller one pitted against a larger one to simply accept the larger aggressor’s openly genocidal intent.

      But war as a means to force regime change on another nation without its consent, let alone the consent of the nation seeking regime change? No. Hell no. This is exactly what was wrong with the U.S.’s military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. The people were lied to and could not make an informed decision about the real aims of military action.

      • mospeck says:

        hot off the presses from CNN –
        Bezpalko called for “limited mobilization” in Russia. “Of course, this is a tactical defeat,” he said Monday.. “How is a special military operation different from a war? You can stop the military operation at any time. You cannot stop the war. It ends either in victory or defeat. I’m leading you to the idea that there is a war going on,” said Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Russian Communist party, during a session Tuesday. Some context: On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there was “no discussion of this for now” on a general mobilization. When asked about criticism about the operation in Ukraine, he said it illustrated “pluralism,” adding that Russians support President Vladimir Putin and his decisions but warned there was a limit to critical opinions^. As for other, critical points of view, as long as they remain within the framework of the law, this is pluralism. But there is a fine line, and one must be very careful here,” Peskov said.
        ^5th story windows

        • Rayne says:

          It would be nice if you’d included a link or links to the source(s) you’re citing here. This is rather important considering how much disinformation is being pushed on either side of the Russo-Urkrainian war.

          It’d also be nice not to assume American community members know of Bogdan Bezpalko of Russia’s Council for Interethnic Relations and what his relationship is to the Kremlin.

          I think this says a lot about the internal conflict within Russia about the approach to this “special operation”; if Putin saw this as a war, he wouldn’t rely on his favorite PMC to obtain personnel, he’d order a mass mobilization.

          • 808HL says:

            With the fog of war one link to a tweet is not reliable enough to consider the truth, several sources saying the same thing then it could be true.

            When everyone on both sides says it is true it is probably true but the conversation has moved on.

      • 808HL says:

        I agree with everything you said above and was very much against Iraq, Afghanistan and you can add Vietnam to that they all were lies.

        Thank Joe Biden for the Afghan pullout ending the war, I assume FPOTUS had ulterior motives for setting it in motion. The fact of the Afghan forces running was less predictable than the Ru forces collapse in Karkiv Oblast.

  17. Greg T says:

    Thing have moved on:
    See here:
    Look at the map in that links – everything west of the Kupiansk- Izyum line & river is now in Ukrainian hands – & now we & they are finding more reminders of Katyn Forest, in Izyum, same as in Bucha, earlier.

    As others have said – once the Kiyiv “offensive” failed, then Putin had lost – per. Sun Tzu.
    The only question, now, is: How long?

Comments are closed.