Ukraine Expert Not Surprised At All Kyiv Has Initiative on the Battlefield: Dr. Phillip Karber, in an interview recently with our own Defense Editor, Brent Eastwood, predicted before the war that Ukraine would fight valiantly in defense of their country. He also predicted Ukraine would inflict heavy casualties on the Russians. Karber now says that Ukrainian troops are highly motivated and are leading from the front in a “People’s War.”
Karber, who previously visited the front lines in Ukraine 36 times over the last eight years and spent a total of 182 days on the battlefields, is the head of the Potomac Foundation policy institute. 1945s Eastwood interviewed Karber once more for his insights on the current situation in Ukraine.
Are you surprised by how strongly the Ukrainian armed forces have resisted? How much of their success is a result of training by active U.S. forces, NATO, and retired U.S. forces who went to Ukraine to help in the last few years since the Crimea annexation?
NOT surprised at all — and I stressed their commitment and capability in our last interview.
Why have the Ukrainians done so well?
Their commanders have eight years of experience in war, so they have a good appreciation of Russian tactics and operations as well as their own strengths and vulnerabilities.
The war has also weeded out old-style “sit behind the desk” managerial-style officers afraid to take initiative and waiting for top-down guidance. This new generation knows their troops, the terrain, and lead from the front.
The Ukrainians have developed their own version of “mission command.” I have been talking to Ukrainian guys I know: leading the armored brigade fighting at 7 to 1 odds and still holding Chernigov; the recon company seizing the initiative capturing prisoners at Kharkiv; the marines surrounded at Mariupol; the airborne taking on a full division at Mykolaiv; and alpha professionals who slaughtered the Chechen mercenaries in the suburbs of Kyiv. Any one of those would be considered historic heroic stands.
Because they have not had an abundance of long-range fire support from missiles, fighters or helicopters they have not become as dependent on those higher echelon assets as many Western armies. Likewise, operating against an opponent using extensive electronic warfare and massive suppressive fires, they have learned the hard way, to disperse, employ camouflage and deception.
The troops are intensely motivated — Russian perfidy and brutality have left an indelible scar and there is no more talk about them being “big brothers.” Over and over, you hear the phrase “did we ask them to come here?” and the response of the Snake Island defenders has become the national motto: “go f— yourself.”
This is particularly true in the east among the Russian ethic troops who have witnessed first-hand the cruelty of Donbas proxies and indiscriminate attacks on civilians. The entire population is outraged and for the first time in 70 years, a Western nation is waging a “People’s War” on its own territory. This support is contagious, and with ordinary citizens arming themselves to help their men in arms, it creates an energizing synergy seldom seen in modern times.
How much of their success is a result of training by US forces, NATO, and retired US forces who went to Ukraine to help in the last few years since the Crimea annexation?
Well, I believe they appreciated the U.S. effort and found value in it.
But to be honest, it had limitations. First, due to American political constraints, our trainers were restricted to the Yavoriv training area, so Ukrainian units had to rotate to them for several weeks of basic infantry training. Many of our trainers told me “we are learning more from them than they’ve from us” and “they have much more experience fighting Russians than we do”.
Second, because of that approach, we only trained a fraction of the units. And third, a lot of the Ukrainian troops that went thru Yavoriv between 2016-2020 returned to civilian life as reservists — so they were not the active guys fighting in the initial battles. The British approach was to have their trainers go to the Ukrainian units and “train the trainers,” which, I believe, was much more effective and lasting. The Lithuanians focused on junior leader training which also seems to have been very effective.
Bottom line — U.S. training was nice to have, but not decisive, and in no way should we try to take credit for the skill, commitment, and raw courage demonstrated by 90 percent of the troops who are fighting that never had the benefit of our training.
Are there any other weapons we can give to Ukraine that they can use right now that would help?
First, let me address an issue that is the inverse of your first question: “How could the Ukrainian forces have done better?”
Unfortunately, American declarative policy was to: NOT increase weapons deliveries and military aid (other than what was already in the pipeline) until the invasion started.
The good news is that in the last week we are tripling our lethal aid and many other NATO countries are suddenly sending lethal aid as well — thousands of antitank weapons and hundreds of man-portable air defense systems. If Ukraine survives, it will have one of the best-armed infantry forces in Europe.
But the bad news is that it takes time to get the aid into country — complicated when ports are blockaded and airfields under attack; time to distribute systems within the country — complicated when lines of communication are under interdiction and units are deployed in front-line positions or surrounded; time to train crews on new weapons that are complicated by their being in under fire.
Tragically, many deserving units may be destroyed before they see any Western weaponry.
What about small arms like M16s?
The Ukrainian regular troops are generally equipped with AK-74 modern rifles with the 5.45×39mm cartridge (similar in performance to M-16s). But the AK-47 chambered in 7.62x39mm is still popular. It is the primary weapon of territorial and militia units, who not only like its easy operation and robust performance but prefer it for close quarter urban combat.
They like the Dragunov Sniper Rifle (7.62x54mm) that has similar characteristics to the NATO 7.62 standard — not just for sniping but for penetration at longer range engagement. They are even bringing out the 100 year-old Maxim M-1910 (7.62x54mm) machine guns mounted on a wheeled carriage with a gun shield — it may look like an antique. but its mobility is really handy and the gun shield is popular with gunners.
The one U.S. small arm that the Ukrainians love and can’t get enough of is the .50 caliber Barrett rifles (all models) along with tons of ammo. The more Barretts they get, the more miserable the Russians will be.
Does this mean retired M1 Abrams tanks could be sent to Ukraine?
Unfortunately, it is way too late to talk of armor reinforcement or heavy equipment in terms of the current campaign.
If Ukraine survives this stage of the war, the smart play would be an approach called “Roll-over.” General Wesley Clark and I introduced it in testimony before Congress in July 2014 and it is finally catching on. The basic idea is to take American weaponry in storage (already paid for by the taxpayer, and for which the U.S. neither has the force structure to man nor requirement as war reserve stock) and equip our East European allies who need modernization to NATO standards. We have literally thousands of still combat-worthy M-1 tanks, M-2 infantry fighting vehicles, HUMVEEs, and hundreds of M-109 howitzers, which would be a major upgrade for a country like Poland, which has T-72 tanks, BMP, and self-propelled 122mm guns and 152mm howitzers. All of those immediately proximate to Ukraine and familiar to their troops.
There are two American weapons that would be real game-changers. First, getting 1,000 of our excess Bradley M-2/3 with the TOW-2 tandem warhead anti-tank guided missile. TOW-2 has shown to be very effective against even the T-90. Over eight years of war, and now in the middle of an invasion, Ukrainians have taken massive losses in their BTR wheeled armored personnel carriers and BMP infantry fighting vehicles. The M-2 Bradley would be the perfect replacement and upgrade.
Ukraine was in the process of setting up 28 Territorial Defense brigades to be manned by reservists when this invasion started. They have the manpower, but no mobility or anti-tank / air defense capability. On average, each of those Territorial sized areas is the size of Maryland or Massachusetts in square miles of territory. Equipping each brigade with our excess HUMVEES, some of which carrying Javelin and Stinger crews would be an order of magnitude increase in their Territorial capability.
Of course — all of that is dependent on Ukraine surviving.
Putin seems as if he is in a bind and his conquest of Ukraine will not be an easy victory.
Clearly, the Russian invasion has not gone as smooth as they had anticipated:
— The initial “shock and awe” campaign hit a number of Ukrainian targets but clearly did not take out all of the S-300 air defense missiles or fighter aircraft such as MiG-29s;
— The penetrations of a number of independent Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) did not have enough weight or staying power to achieve their aggressive objectives. The Russian approach of combining a variety of BTG into ad hoc formations has meant that their command and control, fire support, and, critically important, coordination of sustainable logistics resupply were not optimized.
—While approximately half of the 120 BTGs that were committed consisted of elite troops or at least fully manned with contract (professional) personnel, the other half had a mixture of conscripts or young, short term contractors who were neither trained nor psychologically prepared for the aggressive tasks expected of them. Many were told they were on a peacetime training exercise and were surprised when they entered Ukraine and found that the population that they were supposed to liberate see them as aggressors.
On the other hand, on several large invasion axes where the force consisted of an integrated divisional sized command, Russian success was more significant. As illustrated in the attached map: the armored thrust passed Chernigov towards Kyiv; the successful penetration at Konotop by the 1st Guards Tank Army’s 4th Guards Tank Division; and the breakthrough from Crimea with dual deep thrusts seizing Kherson and threatening Mykolaiv to the west and overrunning Melitopol and heading to surround Mariupol.
Overall, the slowed momentum of the invasion and disjointed penetrations to date must demonstrate to Putin that this is not going to be an easy or fast campaign. On the other hand, with key urban areas on the point of being surrounded such as Mariupol, Kharkiv, and Chernigov there remains the serious potential of eastern Ukraine eventually being overrun as far as the Dnipro river line.
If the southern drive continues to the west, Odessa likewise, is threatened and the Russians may achieve a link up with Transnistria.
To the northwest, there is a large offensive force assembled in Belarus that has yet to be committed. This includes BTGs from the Far Eastern 5th, 29th, 35th Armies as well as Belarussian elite air assault and special forces. They pose a serious threat of eventually cutting off Ukraine from the West.
How far do you think [Putin] will go to achieve his objectives?
If one looks at where the Russian main effort is directed, Putin’s strategic objectives appear to be three-fold: Seizing the capital Kyiv and forcing a regime change — which has clearly stalled and may be at the point of failing;
—Seizing Eastern Ukraine up to the Dnipro river line —a slowly developing offensive but one which could accelerate if key cities are surrounded and defensive positions become in danger of envelopment along the Donbas front; and,
—Occupying and controlling southern Ukraine, including the entire coastline — an area between Rostov and Transnistria and as far north as Kryvyi Rih and Dnipropetrovsk — which is the most successful effort so far.
Bottom line, for Ukraine the situation remains extremely grave. For the Russians, they face the prospect of a campaign continuing for weeks (as opposed to days) to achieve those objectives with much higher losses.
In Syria, for example, [Russia] bombed schools and hospitals and waged war on civilians. Putin seems to be doing more of this now. How far will he go knowing the world is watching his every move?
Putin seems oblivious to world opinion or even the long-term effects on Russia.
It is interesting that, originally, he described this campaign as a “Special Military Operation” focused on demilitarizing Ukraine. Several days ago, in his new directive to Minister of Defense Shoigu it was changed to “Military Offensive.” The subtle nuance being the gloves are coming off and this is now a campaign treating all Ukrainians (not just the military) as enemies. The US intelligence community has warned that this means the use of massive firepower to destroy major urban centers of resistance irrespective of civilian casualties. I agree with that assessment.
Some are calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine?
The Ukrainians are begging for western help to get Russian air off of their back, however, there are both military and political impediments to doing that.
Where they need that the most are over Kyiv, in the east and south of the country, which is a very long reach for the limited number of U.S. and NATO aircraft available particularly in trying to police around the clock a no-fly zone. Politically, President Biden has declared that U.S. forces are not to engage the Russians, and his “no boots on the ground” prohibition presumably includes “seats in cockpits” over Ukraine without the U.S., any air action by NATO is militarily infeasible.
Is a no-fly zone really possible?
Despite what I already said I believe we have yet to face the real decision point. Several years ago, I participated in a NATO analysis that included a Russian invasion of eastern and southern Ukraine which estimated up to 10 million refugees fleeing to the west. At the time the sheer scale of that seemed unimaginable however in the last three days alone, the rate of refugee flight is actually faster and larger than those previous estimates.
Realistically we are facing the prospect of 10 million refugees with 75 percent of them concentrated in border areas on Ukrainian territory, waiting for processing and in dire need of food, shelter, medical supplies, and security. We can’t blame the NATO countries for insisting on orderly and methodical processing for what could be a deluge of displaced persons running amuck. But we need to come to the realization that the world may be witnessing millions of people suffering, even dying women and children. Already it has been pointed out that it is similar to watching another Holocaust and doing nothing.
Given that Russian forces are not in western Ukraine or near the border areas at this time, it would be prudent to insert large-scale humanitarian assistance into those areas protected by multinational peacekeeping forces and protected by an allied “aerial secure” zone above. If we don’t recognize that need and respond in time our Commander in Chief and the reputation of the American people will be branded in history for cowardliness.
Lastly, if the Russian economy were to collapse and Putin’s back is against the wall would he dare strike NATO?
I believe that both we and Putin have misunderstood the role and power of economic sanctions. On our side, we assumed they would have a deterrent effect and clearly, that was a mistaken assumption. Putin appeared to believe, based on past history, that the sanctions would be small and affect the Russian economy marginally. It may take months. but the combined impact of the announced sanctions threatens to put Russia’s economic condition back a quarter-century to where it was in the mid-1990s.
If Putin fails in Ukraine, he will not be in a position to seriously threaten NATO with conventional invasion. If he succeeds with defeating Ukraine’s military and occupying the country with draconian police state suppression, within a year or two NATO may see Russian Tank Armies forward-deployed not only in Belarus but in Ukraine aimed like a dagger toward Poland and the Baltics.
Would Putin in any situation try to negotiate his way of this?
It seems that Putin has three fundamental options (with a host of variance in between):
— Option 1, stay on the current path with a methodical, extended war against Ukraine.
— Option 2, escalate with the use of a low-yield battlefield tactical nuclear weapons and chemical attacks on urban resistance.
— Option 3, at some point offer a seize fire with the following conditions; regime change in Ukraine to include a friendly coalition government, demilitarization of Ukraine or at least two thirds of it and cessation of sanctions in return for returning his forces to Russian territory.
Only “the Devil” knows which option he will pick.
Dr. Phillip A. Karber is President of the Potomac Foundation. Dr. Karber is an internationally recognized authority on defense and national security matters; an accomplished business executive; and a university professor. He has prepared studies and recommendations on defense strategy for the highest levels of the U.S. government; advised many NATO governments on defense issues; headed BDM Corporation’s International Division; served as JFK International Air Terminal’s Chairman of the Board; and teaches courses in national security and military affairs at Georgetown University.
March 4, 2022 at 12:32 pm
Please keep these interviews coming! Dr. K is the best explainer about this around.
from Russia with love
March 4, 2022 at 3:09 pm
face the truth. the only places where it is possible to detain the Russian army are the settlements where the Ukrainian Nazis hide artillery and firing points in residential areas using the civilian population as human shields.
the author of the article described option 3 at the end of the article, but where did the first 2 come from? is the car stupid or deaf? Putin clearly announced the goals of the operation – the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, but not part, but the whole of Ukraine.
A penny tossed to the wind
March 4, 2022 at 4:37 pm
Without doubt one of the biggest mistakes national leadership makes is in underestimating the average person for whom they deem themselves publicly to serve.
People are not stupid.
As Russian leadership is prosecuting war externally it is also prosecuting war internally.
Taking ever stronger steps to shut down the Russian public conversation, making ever stronger remarks about its — Russian leadership’s — successes, and the increased intensity of descriptors all in the attempt to persuade the Russian people also sends an uncontrollable message, and the Russian people, like any other, ever moreso won’t buy it.
Further, making promises for payments to the nation’s soldiers and their families also sends a message in subtext, which Russian people surely will read as this: “If Putin has to make promises of money to fight his war then there can be no better reason he has for that war.”
Putin did not bring his people along with him.
He did not prepare the Russian public (let alone the soldiers doing his bidding).
He has not effectively sold them a valid reason for the catastrophic dimensions of the war he has swept through the nation.
People, as people do, smell a rat. People sense desperation in their leadership.
Looking on, hurting, we are drawn to conversations and information about military weaponry, yet the element of national public sentiment is the more powerful.
No national leader can isolate himself from their own people and remain leader indefinitely.
It takes time. But the will of the Russian national public, especially in this modern age, is the stronger and the ultimate determining element in this war.
So the question arises: What is the will of the Russian people?
Does the Russian citizen believe, and believe as strongly, in Putin’s vision for the nation?
Is the nation divided? Are there sufficient numbers in opposition, internally, as to provoke a civil war?
Or is the will of the national Russian public mostly of one mind, one sentiment? For or against this war?
And how strongly?
As discussion and information is provided about military capabilities and weaponry, it is to the Russian people I feel we can also give attention.
So far we are getting fairly scant information about Russian public sentiment, and yet it is early days. (Especially, again, as public will takes time to develop and coalesce.)
Some time from now, perhaps sooner than we expect, we may well look back to Putin’s attempts to persuade his public — in these early days — and find him having consummately failed, with his efforts of prosecution of war failed because of it.
It would be foolhardy, I think, to sell them short.
March 4, 2022 at 5:05 pm
With sanctions, nato buildup of military forces all around Russia with Russia wasting money on defense against it, and even if the defeat Ukraine conventionally the Ukrainian partisan attacks that will go on and on Russia will be bled dry and collapse. The long term implementation of this “Reagan” era strategy is similar to Afghanistan bleeding Russia dry, Reagan buildup of troops and weapons all around Russia and limited trade will occur again has already happened once and the old communist Putin has committed the same mistake and committed to the same path.
March 4, 2022 at 6:01 pm
In war, truth is the first casualty, and ukraine war (again) proves this is true.
According to ukraine authorities, civilian fatalities range from over 200 to over 2,000 depending of course on who or which authority is providing the figures.
Yet ukraine and western media are claiming and shouting ‘genocide’ at every opportunity.
The two sides are also engaged in talks despite the war being still ongoing and have agreed on setting up humanitarian corridors to allow non-combatants to leave contested areas. The US has never done this when invading other countries using shock and awe warfighting techniques.
Ukraine is definitely fighting a highly effective people’s war, a parade of lies and deliberate misinformation war that is. And in this regard, ukraine is very ably aided by western media and western-managed social media.
There are mythical stories of super human ukraine air force MiG-29 jet pilots that have shot down a drove of Russian aircraft including latest su-35s, but one su-27 that fell out of the sky and demolished a building as it crashed turned out to be an aircraft that belonged to ukraine.
Eventually, despite the very amazing war successes reported by ukraine and western media, Russia will control eastern ukraine and will be able to establish a land corridor connecting the Russian border from Belgorod to Crimea proper. Of course this will be regarded as a failure on the part of Russia since the corridor will be used by ukraine and foreigners to conduct people’s war or sabotage inside Russian territory and western media will have instant access to ‘pictures’ and ‘videos’ provided by ukraine information bureau and the brave heroes of modern information warfare.
March 4, 2022 at 6:37 pm
Ukraine holds the initiative on the battlefield, yes, it is true, at least by western media accounts.
But reports coming out of ukraine also say that this town has fallen, and that town has fallen, and Russian units are fighting inside this city and have surrounded that city and the biggest nuclear power facility is under Russian control and the reactor is ‘operating normally’.
The fog of war, carefully choreographed by media experts and embroidered by professional embroiders.
March 4, 2022 at 7:05 pm
Putin says that Russian forces pushed into ukraine to denazify and de-militarize it and end the genocide in eastern ukraine.
But western media outlets have bristled at Putin’s statement and assert it is false. They say that ukraine is not nazist despite zelenskiyy being very eager to join NATO and fight Russia and the very unmistakable stain of russophobia that permeates not only ukraine, but also other eastern European states today, very greatly helped by constant US State Dept and radio free liberty goebbellian news reports and assertions.
Reuters news agency has even said there was no genocide in eastern ukraine. Zero, zilch, none, no nothing of the sort.
Yet in 2014, when Kyiv vowed to regain control of all ukraine, ukraine was using indiscriminate massive heavy firepower against the inhabitants of ukraine, including constant air attacks that also unfortunately resulted in the downing of flight mh17.
The ukraine battalions were only stopped in their tracks when they met their Waterloo or their Stalingrad moment at the battle of Ilovaisk Aug-sept 2014 when they were bottled up after entering Ilovaisk.
The ukraine army managed to negotiate a withdrawal and the militia said ok, no problemo. But after a short progress, they opened up on the retreating Ukrainians with all kinds of weapons and wiped most of them out. This very action bought the survival of eastern ukraine.
Since then, ukraine has been taking potshots at them at the frontline causing casualties and thus prosecuting attrition warfare.
Reuters said that’s not genocide, and anyway the fighting has degenerated into ww1-style trench warfare, so again no genocide, conveniently forgetting that while soldiers can live and work in trenches, civilians in eastern ukraine can’t and they put their lives at risk everyday each time they leave their homes. No genocide,says the global news distributor !
March 4, 2022 at 9:21 pm
This so-called people’s war is actually a war hatched by Biden and stamped with NATO’s approval in Brussels. People’s war, my buttocks says so, yes.
Biden is an 80-year old man with early stage dementia, and possibly bits of early beginnings of Alzheimer’s, too. With mRNA shots in his body, which some researchers allege can bring slight risk of causing misfolding brain cells and mimosa-like brain neurons, Biden is in no position to mess with geopolitical politics in the world, never mind ukraine.
Biden is also worried sick by the many misdemeanors done by his son, from cooking drugs to women to acting as foreign agent.
But there he is, right in center of the storm, hurling threats every hour and whipping up visions of death by isolation, complete economic doomsday and total financial ruin for a country that actually possesses a huge nuke arsenal, and sending troops, bombers, fighters, stealth jets and missile ammo to its borders.
Thus people’s war is actually Biden’s war, but the media outlets ain’t reporting it as such. A huge disservice to the ukraine people, and an enormous affront to the whole of civilized humanity.
Jimmy John Doe
March 4, 2022 at 9:44 pm
In July 2015, (then) ukraine president petro poroshenko threatened the separatists in eastern ukraine with a ‘nasty surprise’s if they didn’t surrender. The date was July 8 2014, ukraine date. (July 7 2014 north American date).
Few days later, mh17 was shot down, allegedly by su-25 jets. The media and poroshenko blamed the rebels and Russia, complete with phone calls, pictures, names, satellite photos and graphics but NATO-linked investigators couldn’t explain the rows of straight lined shellsholes or bullet holes on the front fuselage of the aircraft near the cockpit area. Dead men tell no tales, indeed, only the living do so.
And the media and NATO agencies and choreographers have been totally having a ‘field day’ since.
People’s war, war by the people, for the people and from the people. But whose people, the truly innocent people or really it’s just the goebbellian people.
March 4, 2022 at 9:59 pm
Biden says no direct military involvement in ukraine, also no NFZ in ukraine, but he’s sending more troops to Europe, another 12,000 or so plus more fighters including f-16s with new radars optimised for fighter engagement.
Biden is same as Obama who repeatedly said “no military boots in Syria” when US special forces were already operating in north eastern Syria with Kurdish militia.
Later, US special forces copters were used to evacuate jigadist fighters from Raqqa in northern Syria, presumably to turkey, where they could be be rerouted to fight syrian government soldiers elsewhere.
The routine untruths told by presidents are accepted by the media and then regurgitated and served as the true gospel to the unsuspecting masses.
March 4, 2022 at 10:20 pm
The ‘Devil’ is the one that inspires US and Biden and congress and NATO and von der Leyen, the one that long time ago said loudly in heaven “It’s time to practice democracy here, I have the numbers, so please may you step aside and let me take over”.
Did the supreme sovereign step aside just because the upstart had so many minions under his wing?
No, the supreme sovereign battled him and his vast army of minions and cast them down to earth where they have been sowing havoc since.
Havoc, chaos, war, confrontation suffering and death.
Biden’s war in ukraine, supposedly designed to collapse Russia, will result in chaos, suffering and death, besides war.
Russia’s (together with those in ukraine and Belarus) farmers supply a significant amount of world’s wheat, oats, barley and corn. Biden has clearly not thought of world’s food supply.
Hungry Africans will head for europe, but starved Haitians will make a beeline for US, and this time, Biden can’t stop them with whips and lashes.
The guardian and great protector of human civil rights will have to order border patrol and NG to use live fire and pyrotech grenades to stop the Haitians.No more whipping from horseback. Just bullets and grenades.Biden greatly inspired by ‘Devil’ will surely succeed in protecting the border.
March 4, 2022 at 11:28 pm
People’s war, yes it’s a people’s war, not a multimedia-conglomerate-banderitite-mic-genghis war.
Everyone is talking about battlefield successes, heroic struggles, brilliant feints, ambushes,supply of latest western weapons, highly anticipated western participation, but nobody is keen to stop the fighting or arrange a ceasefire or an armistice like in Korea.
Everybody only issues demands, you get out, withdraw, you go back, crawl home, walk home, fly home,..etc…etc.
The urgent or appropriate step now is to get zelenskiyyy and his banderite clique to quit kyiv and leave the city to Russian forces to co-manage it with local non-banderite officials and individuals.
Ukraine should then be partitioned into two states, western ukraine and eastern ukraine. Western ukraine is the land on the right bank of the Dnieper. Due to historical quirks, western ukraine is located on the so-called ‘right bank’ and eastern ukraine is in ‘left bank.
Division of ukraine will create buffer state for the eastern population since the Dnieper is a large river, much bigger than the oder which now serves as the boundary between Germany and poland.
Tanks and vehicles cannot easily cross the Dnieper which often sees winter storms, and this will be a plus for peace.
March 5, 2022 at 12:27 am
Biden’s objectives in ukraine are failing, and it is inevitable that US forces will soon get involved.
Thus Russia MUST QUICKLY prepare for this escalation.
One way is to now issue an urgent warning to the west, to zelensky and to the UN sec-gen Antonio gutarres that Russia will employ nuclear rockets once Russia detects presence of US forces in ukraine.
Another way is to follow US & NATO method of warfare used against Yugoslavia, Libya and Iraq, panama and other places – start destroying power stations, granaries, water treatment plants, airports and other non-military targets vital for a functioning society.
In 1999, US & NATO forces bombed Yugoslavia round the clock, keeping the entire populace on edge and allowing no respite and rest.
After enduring three merciless months of relentless bombing, Yugoslavia agreed to meet all US & NATO demands.
March 5, 2022 at 4:34 am
The map is outdated. There is more territory under Russian control.
March 5, 2022 at 10:54 am
Well, time to break out the Old Crystal Ball and divine the future. Anyone who predicts how this is going to go is either overestimating their powers of deduction, is lying, is crazy, or stupid. Who would have predicted the Soviets and America being driven out of Afghanistan ? Who would have predicted America losing in Vietnam ? Who would have predicted the Russians would crush the Chechens after their first defeat in Grozny ? Who predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union ? So excuse me if I’m a bit skeptical. Eventually enough people will make enough predictions about this that someone will turn out being correct…the Law of Large Numbers.
March 5, 2022 at 12:04 pm
The shape of Russia’s (ok, Putin’s) strategy is now becoming clearer:
1. Conquer and secure the broad crescent of territory from the Donbass through Odessa, and then eventually rehabilitate and Russify it into “Novorossiya”.
2. Pound the major cities into ruins, and surround and seal them off. Grozny, writ large and in multiples. Yes, there may well be insurgents continuing to operate within the ruins, but merely surrounding a ruined city rather than attempting to occupy a functioning one will be a lower-risk operation.
3. Advance all the way to the western borders, and then seal them off to eliminate the supply of weapons and ammo still coming from NATO.
4. Attempt to pacify and secure the farmland as much as possible, and to preserve or restore its productivity. This is the one important economic asset that Russia would really like to have. This means that the Russian forces will have to treat the Ukrainian farmers much better than they do the city dwellers.
As someone whose sympathies and support are entirely with the Ukrainians, it gives me no pleasure to write any of the above. Unfortunately, geography has dealt them a very bad hand, and no amount of wishful thinking or cheerleading can change that.
March 5, 2022 at 12:39 pm
So far, Dementia Joe has avoided sending US forces to directly confront the Russians, so he must still have a few marbles left in his mush-filled skull. I wonder what will happen after Kamala Harris becomes President or Acting President. Although she isn’t senile like Joey, she doesn’t seem to have much in the way of good political sense either. Would she take risks that escalate the war to a nuclear exchange?
March 6, 2022 at 1:07 am
Love seeing the commie Russian trolls attempt to spew bile and bullsh*t and pass it off as legitimate. DeNaZiFyInG! LiBeRaTiNg! F*ing state-sponsored trash clowns. The cognitive dissonance and panic is laughably tangible. Hint: Ukraine doesn’t fear you clowns anymore! In fact – they’re slaughtering your little boys in the streets! Good riddance to bad rubbish. Russia – Go F*ck Yourselves!
March 6, 2022 at 7:48 am
Interesting to read the comment section; an indulgence I rarely satisfy. Clearly, these “commenting comrades” share the Russian state propaganda narrative, and I do not intend to sway anyone from their deeply-held convictions in this regard.
Simply put, many of the counter-narratives mentioned can be referred to Brandolini’s Law: “The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it.”
That said, I think the most instructive perspective here is Russia’s repeated use of “de-nazification” of the Ukrainian state as a war aim. The preponderance of evidence that Ukraine is neither Nazified, or that Russia itself is free from Nazi/far right inclinations instructs that this is a failed pretense. However (and let’s be honest here), the better term would be “anti-Russification.” This puts the Ukrainian people’s fervor in a much clearer lens, and helps explain how, in spite of the “blank check” given to Ukraine by the West, these people will do anything in their power to resist overt Russian aggression that challenges their nation’s sovereignty.
So long as Russia is diluting what is true, amplifying what is false, and willing to oppose the entire 21st century of progress made toward bolstering Western values, they will find themselves in a period of isolation not seen since the Middle Ages.
The world can accept a Russia free from autocratic rule, open to the world of progress. Can the Russian people accept this as well?
March 6, 2022 at 10:28 am
It seems pretty obvious now that Putin expected to overthrow the government of Ukraine quickly and easily. He would then install the puppet of his choice, incorporate the Black Sea coast into Russia proper, send the troops back home and bask in his own glory.
Now it isn’t clear what he can actually accomplish. Can the Russian military eventually capture all of Ukraine? Sure. That is probably inevitable in time. But then what?
Putin will install his puppet but it will require huge numbers of Russian troops remaining in Ukraine indefinitely to prevent that puppet being immediately killed. Dead Russian soldiers will continue coming back home for years as it should be obvious even to Putin that there will be no peace in Ukraine while he occupies it. There is no shortage of neighboring NATO nations with plenty of incentive to fund and arm any Ukrainian resistance.
The whole idiocy of “de-Nazification” of Ukraine is just stupid; especially when it’s President is Jewish!
What Putin actually seems to mean is preventing increasing Ukrainian nationalism and the country choosing a non-Russian future. To him choosing anything he doesn’t like is apparently being a Nazi. Kind of like disagreeing with a liberal about anything in the United States.
March 6, 2022 at 12:09 pm
It must be admitted that the West will not protect Ukraine, which it considers a third world country and which was needed as a way to piss off Russia. Ukraine has fallen and it should be recognized.