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 What Russia has reached over three months diplomatic and military pressure on West ?

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12 hours ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Russia and Ukraine being separate countries is a lie. Used to be administrative divisions which did nothing much and suddenly, it is all serious? Don't you wish.

US is on the downward arc. Too many lies, too much evil.

Russia has been the enemy of Ukraine since Stalin was in power. That is a long time ago. Several generations now. Dream about the Holodomor tonight. 

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12 hours ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

What does Stalin have to do with anything? He's not exactly venerated.

What is Putinism? The man's got no distinct ideology. I understand that you would object to any half-way competent administration of Russia acting in sovereign interest, rather than yours.

Do you think that Putin has helped Russia's sovereign interests by destroying the physical cities of Ukraine, losing thousands of troops and thousands of pieces of weaponry. Making an enemy of the entire free world that was building businesses in Russia employing Russians. Investing hard money in Russia. Russia is now isolated due to Putin. He has been acting like Stalin without the following and without the excuse of fighting fascists. Now he is the fascist tyrant. No different aside from focusing killing on Jews. If Russia had succeeded in Ukraine, it would be far worse. Now Russia and the Russian people are the losers and the Russian people will be poorer than since WW2. If they cannot see that, they are insane, but I think they can easily see that truth. You, Andre should feel shame for your denial of the evils you defend. 

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21 minutes ago, Ron Wagner said:

Do you think that Putin has helped Russia's sovereign interests by destroying the physical cities of Ukraine, losing thousands of troops and thousands of pieces of weaponry. Making an enemy of the entire free world that was building businesses in Russia employing Russians. Investing hard money in Russia. Russia is now isolated due to Putin. He has been acting like Stalin without the following and without the excuse of fighting fascists. Now he is the fascist tyrant. No different aside from focusing killing on Jews. If Russia had succeeded in Ukraine, it would be far worse. Now Russia and the Russian people are the losers and the Russian people will be poorer than since WW2. If they cannot see that, they are insane, but I think they can easily see that truth. You, Andre should feel shame for your denial of the evils you defend. 

The only notable city being destroyed is Mariupol. Where the Russian army is still largely welcomed as liberators, mind you.

The losses stated in your press are greatly exaggerated.

You are "the entire free world" only in a Newspeak sense of opposite thereof.

Putin has an approval ratio close to 80% now, and he is fighting fascists, after all.

Duh. I am defending the good guys, of course. What did you expect?

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Russia Mobilizes Reinforcements from Syria and Africa to Ukraine

Mar 31, 2022 - Press ISW
ISW%20LOGO%20FINAL%20ACRONYM%20%20%20NAM

Russia began redeploying Russian private military contractors (PMCs) and their Syrian proxies from Africa and Syria to Ukraine in approximately the second week of the war. These forces have not had an observable effect within Ukraine. Their redeployment has created security gaps in the places they have left that Russia is attempting to mitigate at least partially.

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36 minutes ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Before Stalin, there was no Ukraine. He made it. OK, maybe Lenin.

I could use losing some weight. Do you think dreaming of Holodomor helps?

Maybe, try it. 

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36 minutes ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Before Stalin, there was no Ukraine. He made it. OK, maybe Lenin.

Longest serving
Joseph Stalin

3 April 1922 – 16 October 1952

The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомо́р, romanizedHolodomor, IPA: [ɦolodoˈmɔr];[2] derived from морити голодом, moryty holodom, 'to kill by starvation'),[a][3][4][5] also known as the Terror-Famine[6][7][8] or the Great Famine,[9] was a famine in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. The term "Holodomor" emphasises the famine's man-made nature and alleged intentional aspects such as rejection of outside aid, confiscation of all household foodstuffs and restriction of population movement. The Holodomor famine was part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932–1933 which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country. Ukraine was home to one of the largest grain producing states in the USSR and as a result was hit particularly hard by the famine.[10] Millions of inhabitants of Ukraine, the majority of whom were ethnic Ukrainians, died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in Ukrainian history.[11] Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by Ukraine[12] alongside 15 other countries as a genocide against the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet government.[13]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

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56 minutes ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Before Stalin, there was no Ukraine. He made it. OK, maybe Lenin.

I could use losing some weight. Do you think dreaming of Holodomor helps?

Ukraine defined by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918):

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Map_Treaty_Brest-Litovsk.jpg

Ukraine in the Paris Peace Conference to end World War I (1919):

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Map_of_Ukraine_for_Paris_Peace_Conference.jpg 

So how is Ukraine any different than any of the baltic regions (estonia, latvia, or finland)? They were all regions of imperial Russia that Russia lost at the end of World War I, and the new Russian state recognized the independence of. The Soviets just invaded Ukraine much more quickly than Stalin invaded the baltic states or finland later on.

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(edited)

3 hours ago, surrept33 said:

Ukraine defined by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918):

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Map_Treaty_Brest-Litovsk.jpg

Ukraine in the Paris Peace Conference to end World War I (1919):

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Map_of_Ukraine_for_Paris_Peace_Conference.jpg 

So how is Ukraine any different than any of the baltic regions (estonia, latvia, or finland)? They were all regions of imperial Russia that Russia lost at the end of World War I, and the new Russian state recognized the independence of. The Soviets just invaded Ukraine much more quickly than Stalin invaded the baltic states or finland later on.

The treaty of Brest-Litovsk was with the German Empire, and is explicitly void and nil as per Versailles Treaty. A well known result of WWI

The map is bogus / someone's wishful thinking, because it contains the following

1) Galicia around Lviv (than, a Polish town of Lwow, up until 1943 when the Ukronazies genocided all the Polish and USSR consecutively annexed the place)

2) Crimea. Ukrainian by accident by the means of 1954 Khrushov

3) Kuban' (Krasnodar and Stavropol' regions of Russia) Never been any kind of Ukraine. A fairly dubious Ukronazi claim is based on the original Zaporozhie Cossacks being forcefully relocated there and becoming Don Cossacks. Not supported by actual Cossacks at all. They always self-identified as part of the Russian nation.

4) Donbass and the Zaporozhie. Reassigned to Soviet UkrSSR by Lenin later in the 20ties.

4) Rostov? Taganrog? Claimed possibly based on speaking a southern dialect of Russian shared with Eastern Ukraine? No idea, as even do the modern Ukronazis do not go as far as to claim these lands.

5) Belgorod?!? Stariy Oskol?!? No relation to any kind of Ukraine whatsoever. Why stop at Kursk, why not Moscow?

OK, I show you a few more of those

Ukrainian claim to a part of the Russian Far East near Vladivostok

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Ukraine

And Central Asia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Ukraine

You know, you don't have to take every clown claiming to be some kind of special Cossack seriously?

 

 

Edited by Andrei Moutchkine
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/let-ukraine-go-on-offense-against-russia-vladimir-putin-joe-biden-nato-volodymyr-zelensky-11648761217?mod=hp_opin_pos_1

Let Ukraine Go on Offense Against Russia

The U.S. is still not providing all of the weapons it needs to retake territory from Vladimir Putin.    

im-516341?width=860&height=573

As Russia’s war on Ukraine enters its sixth week, the script has flipped. Russia’s advance has stalled, and Ukraine now wants to go on offense to push back Russian forces from the land they’ve taken. But the country needs U.S. and NATO help to do it, and it seems the Biden Administration is reluctant to provide those weapons and intelligence.

 
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In her Wednesday press briefing, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said no fewer than eight times that Vladimir Putin had committed a “strategic blunder” or “mistake” or “error” by invading. That’s the White House line to suggest that the West is winning against the Russians.

But that sure sounds like a premature declaration of victory. His forces are still bombing Ukraine’s cities and they have grabbed more territory. Mr. Putin could still emerge with a strategic advantage in the medium- to long-term if he strikes a truce that leaves Russia in control of a large chunk of Ukraine.

 

The peace terms Russia is demanding in negotiations suggest that such a consolidation in Ukraine’s east and a long-term occupation is now Russia’s goal. He’ll have won the long-sought “land bridge” between the Crimea and the Donbas. Mr. Putin could claim victory, pause for some years while he re-arms, continue trying to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and otherwise make political, cyber and other trouble for a Western-leaning Ukraine government.


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That’s why Mr. Zelensky now wants to go on the offensive. The more territory his forces can win back, the stronger position his country will have at the bargaining table. The experience of Russia’s behavior in Georgia in 2008 and eastern Ukraine in 2014-15 is that Mr. Putin doesn’t give up territory once his troops occupy it. The result is another “frozen conflict,” with the country he has invaded weaker than before and more vulnerable to more Russian mayhem.

The Ukrainians need heavier weapons to go on offense, including tanks and fighter aircraft like the MiG-29s that Poland wants to provide under the political cover of NATO. It also needs intelligence on Russian troop movements and vulnerabilities in the east. Now is the time to help Ukraine take the offensive. Reports of demoralized Russian forces are more frequent, including defectors who have taken equipment with them.

But in a private briefing on Capitol Hill this week, Administration officials continued to resist bipartisan pressure to provide heavier weapons. The claim is that they won’t make much difference to the conflict, but the Ukrainians are a better judge of that. It’s much harder to dislodge dug-in tank battalions with infantry armed with hand-held Javelin antitank missiles than it is with tanks or aircraft that can strike from above.

The concern among Ukraine’s supporters on Capitol Hill and the Pentagon is that the Biden Administration doesn’t want Ukraine to go on offense. It wants a negotiated settlement as soon as possible. France and Germany, the doves in the NATO coalition, are in a similar place. They worry that if Russia suffers even greater losses, Mr. Putin might escalate again and perhaps in more dangerous ways that drag NATO directly into the war. In a sense, Mr. Putin with his threats is defining the limits of U.S. assistance to Ukraine.

But the U.S. and at least some NATO countries won’t be able to ignore Ukraine even if there’s a truce or frozen conflict. Mr. Zelensky will have to sell any agreement to the Ukrainian public, who won’t be eager to concede territory after thousands of innocents have been killed. The Ukrainians are going to want security guarantees from the West, lest they be vulnerable to future Russian attacks.

One idea that deserves to be considered is a mutual-defense pact of the kind the U.S. has in the Pacific with Australia and Japan. After all that Ukraine has sacrificed, Mr. Zelensky won’t settle for Mr. Putin’s nonaggression promises, and President Biden shouldn’t lean on him to do so.

Throughout this conflict, the Biden Administration has been slow and reluctant to give Ukraine the weapons and intelligence support it needs. Pressure from the public and Capitol Hill has forced its hand. Now, with Russia on the defensive, is the time to keep the pressure on to truly achieve a strategic victory for Ukraine and NATO.

 

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Appeared in the April 1, 2022, print edition as 'Let Ukraine Go on Offense.'

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https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-business-europe-evacuations-bba63fd33627404f185803d5d92ec054

Live updates | Australia sending armored vehicles to Ukraine

By The Associated Pressan hour ago
 
 
Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armored transporter driving through a Russian position overran by Ukrainian forces outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 31, 2022. Heavy fighting raged on the outskirts of Kyiv and other zones Thursday amid indications the Kremlin is using talk of de-escalation as cover while regrouping and resupplying its forces and redeploying them for a stepped-up offensive in eastern Ukraine.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that his country will be sending armored Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine to help in its war against Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy specifically asked for them during a video appeal to Australian lawmakers for more aid.

Zelenskyy addressed the Australian Parliament on Thursday and asked for the Australian-manufactured four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Morrison told reporters the vehicles will be flown over on Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport planes, but he didn’t specify how many Bushmaster vehicles would be sent or when.

“We’re not just sending our prayers, we are sending our guns, we’re sending our munitions, we’re sending our humanitarian aid, we’re sending all of this, our body armor, all of these things and we’re going to be sending our armored vehicles, our Bushmasters as well,” Morrison said.

___

 
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This is a carbon copy of what we used to hear people say in the early days of the Iraq War: “We’re fighting the terrorists over there so they won’t attack us here”

I have little sympathy for her, but she does not have access to outside information. Most older people get their information through Russian TV, which is state controlled, and they don't speak English either, so there's no incentive or possibility of them seeking out other sources of information.

image.thumb.png.2173a911dfaeebdccebccede76691556.png

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I do worry about that part of the world. They have a history of glorifying war. Any o’l enemy will do. It’s beyond time to join civilized society and clean up their messes, not create more. In the end you will lose the power you lusted for. Global trade is what feeds populations, conditions the air, lets you move around with efficiency and live comfortably. There is plenty of need and opportunity to do everything cheaper and cleaner. Idiots with guns is a waste of progress. 

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5 hours ago, surrept33 said:

This is a carbon copy of what we used to hear people say in the early days of the Iraq War: “We’re fighting the terrorists over there so they won’t attack us here”

I have little sympathy for her, but she does not have access to outside information. Most older people get their information through Russian TV, which is state controlled, and they don't speak English either, so there's no incentive or possibility of them seeking out other sources of information.

image.thumb.png.2173a911dfaeebdccebccede76691556.png

Nobody has sympathy for Julia Ioffe, a truly vile propagandist.

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Meanwhile in Kazakhstan:

 

https://www.euractiv.com/section/central-asia/interview/kazakh-official-we-will-not-risk-being-placed-in-the-same-basket-as-russia/

Does Kazakhstan have a problem calling the war in Ukraine a war? You said “military action” in the beginning…

No, we don’t have problems calling things what they are. Russia chose to introduce legislation to prohibit the word “war”. They are calling it a special military operation. But in Kazakhstan, we call it what it is, unfortunately.

 

 

I thought the -stans were supposed to be in Putin's "sphere of influence"? 

The Kazakh president plans to limit his power and introduce parliamentary competition... Like... What is happening?

 

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https://docs.google.com/document/d/17mqP16qchaFQusxLExpY1EtKpkEMe6gkM-Vjv-Q636c/edit

Central Asia, The Stans

Lots of information here. Russia has proven that it cannot even occupy Ukraine, but it can destroy cities from afar if there are no armaments capable of defending against them. The Stans are a far larger area and are a potential Muslim empire to deal with. The Chinese are not making many reliable allies among the Muslims. The Ukrainians have shown the people of all the Stans that they can oppose Russian domination, or Chinese if they are willing to protect their lands. 

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https://www.dw.com/en/chechen-and-tatar-muslims-take-up-arms-to-fight-for-ukraine/a-61174375?maca=en-AS-content-outbrain

Chechen and Tatar Muslims take up arms to fight for Ukraine

Chechen warlord and Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov boasted of his soldiers' part in Russia's war in Ukraine. But many Chechen and Tatar Muslims are defending Ukraine and settling scores with the rulers of their homelands.

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A lot of alleged summary executions from the towns Russia left near Kyiv.

The chief of UK's secret intelligence service (MI6) said:

We knew Putin’s invasion plans included summary executions by his military and intelligence services. The reports of execution-style killings of civilians emerging from liberated areas are horrifying and chilling.

https://twitter.com/ChiefMI6/status/1510629183365517326

 

Not entirely surprising given Russia's behavior in Chechnya. But of a country they were attempting to puppet? Certainly a bad way to win hearts and minds. 

Either way, it will take generations before Ukrainians enmity towards Russians is lessened. On the other hand, Putin has been the biggest driver of modern Ukrainian nationalism since 2014. 

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11 hours ago, surrept33 said:

A lot of alleged summary executions from the towns Russia left near Kyiv.

The chief of UK's secret intelligence service (MI6) said:

We knew Putin’s invasion plans included summary executions by his military and intelligence services. The reports of execution-style killings of civilians emerging from liberated areas are horrifying and chilling.

https://twitter.com/ChiefMI6/status/1510629183365517326

 

Not entirely surprising given Russia's behavior in Chechnya. But of a country they were attempting to puppet? Certainly a bad way to win hearts and minds. 

Either way, it will take generations before Ukrainians enmity towards Russians is lessened. On the other hand, Putin has been the biggest driver of modern Ukrainian nationalism since 2014. 

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/03/russia-ukraine-live-updates.html

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https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/03/russia-ukraine-live-updates.html

Ukraine claims 410 bodies found in recaptured towns; Zelenskyy accuses Russia of genocide. Follow our live updates

This is CNBC’s live blog tracking Sunday’s developments on the war in Ukraine. See below for the latest updates.

Ukraine’s top prosecutor said 410 bodies were found in towns recaptured from retreating Russian forces near Kyiv as part of an investigation into possible war crimes, according to reporting by Reuters. Some alleged witnesses, however, are so traumatized by their ordeal that they cannot yet speak, said Iryna Venedyktova, Ukraine’s prosecutor general.

The mayor in Bucha, a town 23 miles northwest of Kyiv that has been liberated by Ukrainian forces, told Reuters that 300 residents had been killed while fighters from Chechnya controlled the area. Continued.....

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30 minutes ago, surrept33 said:

Meanwhile in Kazakhstan:

 

https://www.euractiv.com/section/central-asia/interview/kazakh-official-we-will-not-risk-being-placed-in-the-same-basket-as-russia/

Does Kazakhstan have a problem calling the war in Ukraine a war? You said “military action” in the beginning…

No, we don’t have problems calling things what they are. Russia chose to introduce legislation to prohibit the word “war”. They are calling it a special military operation. But in Kazakhstan, we call it what it is, unfortunately.

 

 

I thought the -stans were supposed to be in Putin's "sphere of influence"? 

The Kazakh president plans to limit his power and introduce parliamentary competition... Like... What is happening?

 

Effectively, it is, because all the Kazakh exports go through Russia. Or China. So, it is also in Chinese sphere of influence. Geography is a bitch.

Before the recently unsuccessful color revolution attempt, did the Kazakh president have no real power. The old president / "father of the nation" Mr. Nazarbaev did. The current president, who kept his position by an accident, is making stuff up as he goes along. He needs to, as the old "power vertical" is pretty much gone.

I do not think that the stans are ready for any kind of parliamentary democracy. It would produce a fallback to the traditional governance setup, tribalism. See the daughter?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dariga_Nazarbayeva

I revert my opinion on her being  a corrupt person. See, in opposition to the daddy. Nepotism, where? I did not know her hubby got whacked in Austrian jail. Will investigate further. All within the later day tradition of the Roman Empire, where the senior Imperator, Augustus adopts the junior (Caesar) or is he is son-in-law. Why would he criticize? Not being the heir apparent anymore?

I can see a clear trend to downgrade Kazakhstan to some kind of Afghanistan or Somali? It is not. More USSR than anything historically significant. In Kazakh, and in general, UK should be better called Uzbekistan. Old Phil, who just crocked is an Admiral of the Flees, down through tampon Chuck and youth molesting Andrew, there is princess Ann., who is still a full admiral, despite her only interest in life being horse manure. And only then, her hubby, the vice admiral general Aladdin. who reached the position where commoner normally do - officer cadet. Some nepotism conceivably apparent in that? The old Liz noticed it look sod, and sent her grandson to an actual military academy, where they taught him how to fly a chopper while shooting Taliban. So, the boy now earns his upkeep personally driving giddy Russian oligarchs to charitable events, a win-win!

Next revelation - Dariga and Ze are on it together!

https://www.occrp.org/en/the-pandora-papers/pandora-papers-reveal-offshore-holdings-of-ukrainian-president-and-his-inner-circle

Unless, they are simply Soviet people who think alike. What kind of nifty "totally random address which leads directly into trash can would they come up with, when filling up the paperwork for murky offshore?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/221B_Baker_Street

Who would've thought that old Sherlock mailbox might still work? Good to know. Maybe well get my liaison communicating with them. They are at

85 Albert embankment. Name is Kinyaeff Foma.

What do they need more parliamentarism for? In a tribal concept, everybody always promotes their relatives and cronies from back home. Here, for Kazakhstan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuz

senior got whatever historical layers there are, and Uzbekistan, potentially harboring Islamic jihadis and the largest city, Alma-Aty. About 100 dead, a few houses already caved in. Within a couple of development. Possibly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Wolves_(organization)

So, some Brito-Turkish alliance. Did you know Boris himself is some kind of Turk on his dad's side? Litvininko was the circuses for the masses. The bread was the oligarch Bereszovly and a few other people who came as packaged deal with Berezovsky. Co-author of Litvinenko, some stale "Sovietologist alive and has been repurposed for doormat . The book about the explosions in Volgodonsk being self-inflicted, as in "the government did it to themselves!" failed peer review.

Middle zhus is where the LPG/propane is actually extracted and where the protests started, but fizzled soon peacefully. Youngest is where Russian protection racketeering and the capitol city, previously called Astana and now Nursultan. So, the Astana Financial Center that is under the British "law" is no longer there? Ha-ha. Shouldn't be, that stuff is broken. Kazach officials yaps, caravan goes - collective bargaining.

I presume the use of "special military operation for liberation of Donbas"  is a part of development of conceptual Newspeak?

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Are you still hiding in your Austrian basement Andrei? Slagging off all things Western while still living in the West lol

Your country needs you!

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On 3/31/2022 at 5:47 PM, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Otherwise, is famine a natural disaster that used to happen every dozen years or so. This one was the last one. Bolsheviks were the ones who finally put an end to it.

Holy crap. You're a true believer aren't you? This is baffling. To not understand that the famine was engineered... 

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https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-april-4

A  lot of detailed information on the next few days of the war. They will tell us a lot.

 

RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, APRIL 4

Apr 4, 2022 - Press ISW
ISW%20LOGO%20FINAL%20ACRONYM%20%20%20NAM

 

Mason Clark, George Barros, and Karolina Hird

April 4, 5:30 pm ET

Russian forces continue to make little to no progress in frontal assaults to capture Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, their current main effort of the war. Russian units in Donbas face growing morale and supply issues. Additionally, the Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol have outperformed ISW’s previous estimates and continue to hold the city. Russian efforts to generate replacements from reservists and feed damaged units from northeastern Ukraine into frontal assaults in eastern Ukraine are unlikely to increase their chances of success.

However, Russian forces advancing from the Kharkiv axis are setting conditions to resume offensive operations through the city of Slovyansk to link up with other Russian forces in Donbas and encircle Ukrainian defenders. Russian forces captured Izyum (southeast of Kharkiv) on April 1 and have conducted active preparations to resume offensive operations for the past three days—stockpiling supplies, refitting damaged units, repairing the damaged bridge in Izyum, and conducting reconnaissance in force missions toward the southeast. Russian forces will likely begin offensive operations towards Slovyansk, 50km southeast of Izyum, in the coming days.

Efforts by Russian forces advancing from Izyum to capture Slovyansk will likely prove to be the next pivotal battle of the war in Ukraine. Russian forces likely intend to cut off Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine and will need to take Slovyansk as their minimum step to do so. If Russian forces take Slovyansk, they will then have the option to advance directly east to link up with Russian forces fighting in Rubizhne—a shorter drive that will not isolate many Ukrainian forces—or advance toward Horlivka and Donetsk to attempt a wider encirclement of Ukrainian forces. Both options could enable at least limited Russian breakthroughs in Luhansk Oblast. If Russian forces are unable to take Slovyansk at all, Russian frontal assaults in Donbas are unlikely to independently breakthrough Ukrainian defenses and Russia’s campaign to capture the entirety of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts will likely fail.

Degraded Russian forces in northeastern Ukraine continued to withdraw to Russia and are unlikely to be effective elsewhere, despite ongoing Russian efforts to redeploy them to eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces are conducting operations to clear Russians left behind in the withdrawal, and Russian forces are unlikely to hold any cohesive defensive positions. The Ukrainian military reported that elements of Russian VDV (Airborne) units withdrawn from northern Kyiv flew to Belgorod, Russia, on April 4. These units are understrength, missing equipment, and likely highly demoralized. Russian servicemen from the Kyiv axis ordered to renter combat operations may desert or refuse orders, which has occurred in several Russian units throughout the war—including several units that had not yet entered combat.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces in Izyum are setting conditions to begin offensive operations southeast toward Slovyansk in the coming days to link up with other Russian forces in Donbas and encircle Ukrainian defenders.
  • Russian forces in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts continue to make little to no progress and face mounting casualties and declining morale. Replacements and reinforcements from northeastern Ukraine are highly unlikely to meaningfully change the balance of forces.
  • Efforts by Russian forces advancing from Izyum to capture Slovyansk and threaten Ukrainian forces in Donbas with encirclement will likely prove to be the next pivotal battle of the war in Ukraine. If Russian forces are unable to take Slovyansk, Russia’s campaign to capture the entirety of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts will likely fail.
  • The defenders of Mariupol have outperformed ISW’s previous estimates, and Russian forces are likely taking heavy casualties in ongoing efforts to capture the city.
  • Ukrainian forces likely conducted successful counterattacks in Kherson Oblast in the last 24 hours.
  • Russian forces have almost completely withdrawn from Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts and will likely completely vacate these regions in the coming days.
  • Russian forces withdrawn from the Kyiv axis are highly unlikely to be effectively deployed elsewhere in Ukraine and are likely a spent force.
DraftUkraineCoTApril4%2C2022.png

Russian forces already deployed to the Kremlin’s main effort in eastern Ukraine are highly demoralized and do not have a cohesive command structure. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on April 4 that Russian forces are attempting to create an operational group and expand control structures to “prepare for an offensive operation in eastern Ukraine” and are continuing to deploy additional forces to eastern Ukraine.[1] Russian officers will struggle to develop a new command structure from highly damaged units while simultaneously attempting to continue offensive operations. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on April 4 that losses of the 33rd, 255th, and 294th Motor Rifle Regiments of the 20th Motor Rifle Division (part of the 8th Combined Arms Army and likely active in fighting in Donbas or Mariupol) amounted to up to 40% of equipment and personnel, and surviving servicemen are attempting to leave the military.[2] Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) separately reported that it acquired a document signed by Deputy Southern Military District commander Pyotr Gibert indicating that Russian officers are compensating their troops with the promise of additional leave days due to the inability to pay promised monthly salaries in cash.[3]

Russian efforts to generate reserves and replace officer casualties continue to face serious challenges. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that the Russian military is deploying students and educators at higher military educational institutions directly to Ukraine to replace mounting officer casualties.[4] The deployment of untrained officers—and more crucially educational staff—to the war in Ukraine will impede the Russian military’s ability to develop its next generation of officers for years to come. The General Staff additionally reported on April 4 that the Kremlin began “hidden mobilization” measures to send approximately 60,000 personnel to Ukraine.[5] The General Staff stated the Kremlin is prioritizing reservists of all ranks who already have combat experience, particularly in Krasnodar Krai, Perm Oblast, the Dagestan Republic, Ingushetia, and Kalmykia.

We do not report in detail on the deliberate Russian targeting of civilian infrastructure and attacks on unarmed civilians, which are war crimes, because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.

ISW has updated its assessment of the four primary efforts Russian forces are engaged in at this time:

  • Main effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of two subordinate supporting efforts);
  • Supporting effort 1—Kharkiv and Izyum;
  • Supporting effort 2—Southern axis;
  • Supporting effort 3—Sumy and northeastern Ukraine.

Main effort—Eastern Ukraine

Subordinate main effort—Mariupol (Russian objective: Capture Mariupol and reduce the Ukrainian defenders)

The defenders of Mariupol have outperformed ISW’s previous estimates, and Russian forces are likely taking heavy casualties in ongoing efforts to capture the city. The Ukrainian General Staff reported Russian forces continued efforts to take Mariupol with heavy air and artillery support on April 2.[6] The information environment in Mariupol remains poor and ISW cannot independently verify any territorial changes in the last 24 hours.

Click here to expand the map below.

Mariupol%20Battle%20Map%20Draft%20April%204%2C2022.png

Subordinate main effort—Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)

Ukrainian forces continued to repel Russian assaults in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts on April 3. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled seven Russian attacks in the past 24 hours.[7] Russian operations in Luhansk Oblast remain concentrated on Popasna and Rubizhne.[8] Local Ukrainian authorities and Russian forces shared footage confirming ongoing urban fighting in Rubizhne, which the LNR previously falsely claimed to have captured on April 3.[9] Russian forces likely intend to capture Rubizhne before driving west to link up with planned Russian advances southeast from Izyum, discussed below.

Click here to expand the map below.

Luhansk%20Battle%20Map%20Draft%20April%204%2C2022.png

Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv and Izyum: (Russian objective: Advance southeast to support Russian operations in Luhansk Oblast; and fix Ukrainian forces around Kharkiv in place)

Russian forces around Kharkiv continued to shell the city and attempt to fix Ukrainian forces in place.[10] The Ukrainian General Staff stated on April 4 Russian forces additionally prioritized strengthening air defenses around Belgorod, Russia—the main Russian logistics base for the Kharkiv/Izyum axis.[11] Russian forces withdrawn from the Sumy axis are currently reconstituting in Belgorod prior to redeployment to the Izyum or Donbas axes. Russian forces will likely fully withdraw from Sumy Oblast in the coming days, exposing the western flank of Russian positions around Kharkiv. Ukrainian forces will likely increasingly conduct counterattacks in the Kharkiv area, forcing Russian forces to switch their objective from fixing Ukrainian forces in place to defending their lines of communication in the area. 

Russian forces in Izyum continued to set conditions on April 4 to resume major offensive operations southeast toward Slovyansk, 50km southeast of Izyum. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces in Izyum, including the Russian 237th Tank Regiment and 752nd Motor Rifle Regiment (of the 3rd Motor Rifle Division) are restoring combat capabilities and repairing the bridge across the Siverskyi Donets River, which runs through the center of Izyum.[12] The Ukrainian General Staff reported a Russian tank company conducted a reconnaissance in force in Brazhivka (south of Izyum) on April 4.[13] Social media users additionally observed a column of Russian equipment redeploying from Kupyansk to Izyum on April 4.[14]

Russian forces likely intend to cut off Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine and will need to take Slovyansk as their minimum step to do so. Local Slovyansk and Donetsk authorities called on Slovyansk residents to leave the region on April 4 and stated Russian forces will likely approach the city from Izyum.[15] If Russian forces take Slovyansk, they will then have the option to advance directly east to link up with Russian forces fighting in Rubizhne—a shorter drive that will not isolate many Ukrainian forces—or advance toward Horlivka and Donetsk to attempt a wider encirclement of Ukrainian forces.

Supporting Effort #2—Southern axis: (Objective: Defend Kherson against Ukrainian counterattacks)

The Ukrainian General Staff claimed Ukrainian forces conducted successful counterattacks and retook territory in Kherson Oblast on April 4, though ISW cannot independently verify these attacks or their possible gains.[16] The Ukrainian General Staff previously reported at midnight local time on April 3 that Russian forces prioritized strengthening defensive positions around Kherson and sought to resume offensive operations to capture the entire oblast.[17] Russian attacks in Kherson Oblast in late March and early April were likely intended to regain favorable defensive terrain around Kherson, rather than being attempts to restart major offensive operations toward Mykolayiv.[18] Russian forces in northern Kherson Oblast shelled Ukrainian positions in Novovorontsovka and Maryanske on April 4 but did not conduct any offensive operations towards Kryvyi Rih.[19]

Supporting Effort #3—Sumy and Northeastern Ukraine: (Russian objective: Withdraw combat power in good order for redeployment to eastern Ukraine)

The disorderly withdrawal of Russian forces from northeastern Ukraine makes precise assessments of the situation in Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy oblasts difficult. There are likely no organized Russian defensive positions in those oblasts, and Ukrainian forces are conducting operations to clear Russians left behind in the withdrawal. We will not attempt to map those clearing operations or track their precise locations. Ukrainian forces may already have regained control of more of Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts than we depict, but we do not yet have sufficient evidence to adjust our assessed areas of advance beyond those shown in the accompanying maps. The situation will likely clarify over the next few days, and we will adjust our maps and written assessments accordingly.

Russian forces withdrawn from the Kyiv axis are highly unlikely to be effectively deployed elsewhere in Ukraine and are likely a spent force. Ukrainian forces control the entirety of Kyiv and Zhytomyr oblasts as of April 4, though the Ukrainian General Staff warned that Russian aircraft based in Belarus will likely continue to strike targets around Kyiv.[20] The Ukrainian General Staff reported at midnight local time on April 3 that Russian forces are regrouping in Belarus, and several VDV units, likely from the 76th Airborne Division, are deploying to Belgorod via transport aircraft.[21] These units are understrength, missing equipment, and likely highly demoralized. Russian servicemen from the Kyiv axis ordered to renter combat operations may desert or refuse orders, which has occurred in several Russian units throughout the war—including several units that had not yet entered combat. Russian efforts to use this spent force in combat operations will likely fail.

Russian forces have almost completely withdrawn from Chernihiv and Sumy Oblasts and will likely completely vacate these regions in the coming days. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on April 4 that Russian units from the Central Military District continued to withdraw from Chernihiv city, and Ukrainian forces recaptured several towns in Chernihiv Oblast.[22] The head of Sumy’s regional administration stated on April 4 that there are “almost no [Russian] troops in the Sumy region” and Ukrainian forces are clearing the region of ”single units [and] small groups of Russian forces,” but ISW cannot independently confirm full Ukrainian control of these oblasts to the Russian border.[23]

Click here to expand the map below.

Kyiv%20Battle%20Map%20Draft%20April%204%2C%202022.png

Immediate items to watch

  • Russian forces will likely complete their withdrawal from Kyiv along the Sumy axis in the coming days and will probably abandon their remaining positions around Konotop and Sumy thereafter.
  • Russian troops around Kharkiv will likely continue to focus on supporting the shift of the main effort via Izyum toward the southeast and may pull back from the immediate environs of the city.
  • Russian and proxy forces will attempt to increase the scope and scale of offensive operations to complete the linkup between the Kharkiv-Izyum axis and occupied Luhansk.
  • Russian forces will likely secure Mariupol in coming days, and may attempt to launch renewed offensive operations northwest from the city in an effort to seize Donetsk Oblast.

 


[1] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287562393556846.

[2] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287740683539017.

[3] https://gur.gov dot ua/content/vykhidni-zamist-hroshei-ta-zaborona-skarzhytys-otrymano-cherhovi-pidtverdzhennia-problem-v-armii-okupanta.html.

[4] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287740683539017.

[5] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287368616909557.

[6] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287562393556846.

[7] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287368616909557.

[8] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287562393556846.

[9] https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1510724346901409796; https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1510709350595272712; https://t dot me/luhanskaVTSA/1136.

[10] Facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287562393556846; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287216026924816.

[11] facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287562393556846.

[12] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287740683539017; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287216026924816.

[13] facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287562393556846; https://twitter.com/MarQs__/status/1510949518052839429.

[14] https://t dot me/stranaua/34726.

[15] https://t dot me/stranaua/34714.

[16] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287740683539017; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287562393556846.

[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287216026924816.

[18] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign....

[19] https://t.me/stranaua/34694.

[20] https://t.me/zhytomyrskaODA/653; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287562393556846.

[21] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287216026924816.

[22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287740683539017; facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/287562393556846; https://www.facebook.com/kommander.nord/posts/2113526232161497; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1510673672587067393; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1510673916834062339, https://www.pravda dot com.ua/news/2022/04/4/7337046/.

[23] https://24tv dot ua/govoriti-shho-sumshhinu-zvilnili-povnistyu-shhe-rano-zhivitskiy_n1936664; https://www.segodnya dot ua/ua/strana/podrobnosti/v-sumskoy-oblasti-idet-zachistka-ot-okkupantov-glava-ova-1612770.html.

 

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