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Bakhmut: A Modern Day Stalingrad That Decides the Ukraine War?

Ukraine Chernihiv
Russian MLRS firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Like Stalingrad 80 Years Ago, the Battle of Bakhmut Could Ultimately Determine the War’s Winner I remember when I visited the site of the battle of Stalingrad (today known as Volgograd) in 2008 I was struck by the enormity of the resources and the massive number of troops poured into the battle by both sides, especially given the city had only marginal strategic significance. Hitler’s and Stalin’s obsession with capturing or defending the city defied military utility.

But the result of that fight may have sealed Germany’s defeat. Something similar could be playing out right now in the city of Bakhmut for the Russia-Ukraine war, with equal significance.

Towards the end of last week it appeared the end-game had been reached and Ukraine would withdraw its remaining troops from Bakhmut.  But on Monday, Zelensky, along with his top two generals, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny and Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, announced that instead of abandoning Bakhmut, they will reinforce it and seek to drive Russia out of the city. 

Meanwhile, the feud that has been unfolding between the leader of PMC Wagner and the Russian Ministry of Defense has added another twist, as Yevgeny Prigozhin declared that unless Moscow supported him with reinforcements and ammunition, Zelensky’s counterattack might succeed. The fighting for the city has escalated into the most brutal, cruel fighting of the entire war, being described by both Ukrainian and Russian supporters as a “meat grinder.” 

The city by itself does not represent anything more or less important than other cities that have been captured or lost during the war, such as Lysychansk, Severodonetsk, Mariupol, Kherson, or more recently Soledar. Yet for reasons known fully only to themselves, both Zelensky and Putin have placed outsized importance on Bakhmut

As a result, Russia has been willing to endure enormous casualties to capture the city, and Ukraine has continued pouring a steady stream of reinforcements – most of whom have been chewed up in the battle – to defend it. Though the scale of the conflicts aren’t the same, the concepts behind today’s 2022-23 Bakhmut battle and the 1942-43 battle for Stalingrad have some remarkable similarities – and some key differences.  It is possible that just as the victor in Stalingrad signaled the winner of World War II, the victor in this battle may also have similar ramifications for today’s winner. 


The city of 400,000 was of moderate importance to the Nazis, as it was an industrial hub in that part of Russia and also served as a shipping route on the Volga River.  But Hitler made it more personal, as the city was the namesake for his hated Soviet rival, and Hitler wanted to add insult to Stalin above merely taking the city. The Soviet leader, conversely, felt it important to hold the city bearing his name, not wanting to see Hitler gloat over its capture. 

By August 1942, the German Wehrmacht had been fighting in the Soviet Union more than a year and had destroyed entire battalions of the Red Army, and appeared poised to capture Stalingrad. Any urban center is going to require massive amounts of artillery, air power, and infantrymen to both capture and defend. The Soviets and Germans poured enormous amounts of men into the fight for Stalingrad. Some researchers claim the battle of Stalingrad included a total, on all sides, of nearly 4 million troops.

At first the Germans made methodical progress in the city, with the objective of breaking through the Red Army’s defenses in the city to reach the Volga River and destroy the USSR’s ability to supply their defenders. In mid-October, Nazi troops momentarily broke through the last Russian line and held ground on the river bank. A Soviet counterattack, however, pushed the Germans back to their previous lines. It was as close as the Wehrmacht troops would ever get.

It was at this point that the enormous casualties suffered by the Germans became apparent. From this point forward, they no longer had the capacity to launch massive human waves of infantrymen against the Russians, having to use “reconnaissance in force” tactics, which included many fewer troops. The Russians were able to prevent any further breakthroughs.  

The Germans, however, were still strong enough to generally hold their positions, and the Russians were unable to dislodge them to force them out of the city. After three months of fighting, the Red Army launched a surprise counterattack in November made up of more than half a million men, striking the German army’s rear support areas. 

German commander Gen. Friedrich Paulus requested permission from Hitler to withdraw from the attack to more defensible terrain. Hitler refused. In fact, the Nazi leader put in place a “no withdrawal” policy that forbade any repositioning backward for his forces, regardless of military necessity. One month before the battle of Stalingrad had begun, Stalin had issued his infamous “not one step back” order to his forces that denied any withdrawal by his troops. The two leaders’ intransigence set the stage for perhaps the largest battle of attrition in modern history: neither was willing to give an inch.

But something had to give.

As it turned out, the German side started having more and more difficulty getting supplies to the front owing to the massively extended lines of logistics, the growing casualty count of their infantrymen, and the increased pressure of the USSR’s massive counterattack. Gen. Paulus requested one last time in January 1943 from Hitler for permission to withdraw before his forces were completely surrounded by the Soviet troops. Hitler refused. The next month the Soviets closed the ring around the Germans, capturing or destroying the entire German battle force.

The Germans and their allies suffered a staggering one million casualties throughout the five month battle, while the USSR suffered over a million military and civilian casualties of their own. As of early 1943, the battle might have appeared a draw. But the USSR had considerably more males in their population from which to draw more troops than the Germans, and along with help from allies, their military-industrial capacity began to crank out armaments and ammunition to levels the Germans could no longer match.  Though the war would rage another two full years, the balance had been irretrievably tilted in Moscow’s favor as a result of their victory in Stalingrad.

Stalingrad Meets Bakhmut

There are a number of similarities between what happened in 1943 in Stalingrad and what is happening in early 2023 in Bakhmut. Both sides have placed enormous emotional value on either holding or taking the city, and both have sacrificed enormous casualties in the pursuit of victory. If the Ukrainians spend too many troops in a vain attempt to hold Bakhmut or if Russia loses too many men in a vain attempt to capture the city, the side that fails could end up losing the war as well. The next edition of this short series will examine the factors involved on each side.

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Author Expertise and Military Experience 

A 1945 Contributing Editor, Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis.

Written By

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.



  1. Biff McLaurine

    March 8, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    You think Ukraine still has a chance ? IMHO Russia is like a cat playing with a field mouse (Ukraine) for amusement.

  2. Jim

    March 8, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    From Davis’s last column, on what was thought by many, including myself, the eve of the fall of Bakhmut…

    I was wrong, Bakhmut still stands.

    It still stands because both sides think it’s important, Davis is right.

    It does seem like Stalingrad & Bakhmut are similar… but on a smaller scale in men & material.

    But in terms of importance to the overall war there is a similarity.

    Is it important? So says President Zelensky.

    So says the Russian defense chief Sergei Shoigu calling Bakhmut an important defensive hub for Ukrainian forces, taking it would allow Russian troops to drive “deep into Ukraine’s defensive lines.”

    Who has the power of attrition in this fight?

    Who has more men.

    Who has more material.

    Everybody knows the answer.

  3. HAT451

    March 8, 2023 at 4:16 pm

    Bakhmut is the current “meat grinder” of this war. According Russian and some other unofficial sources casualties so far are as follows: KIA 259k, WIA 246k, MIA 83k and POW 20k. Given the intensity of kinetic military operations along a the entire front, I find those numbers a lot more realistic then official number of Ukrainian losses which has not changed over several months. Currently there are about 36 million Ukrainians in Ukraine, with battlefield losses of over 600 thousand equates to about 1.67% of the population. Given our current population in the USA, how would we fare in a war, were we to loose about 1.67% of our population i.e. about 5 million service men in a war in one year?

    The meat grinder in Ukraine presents several problems, first off, is the bereavement payment to the families for the KIA. This would be the entire yearly budget of Ukraine. The second effect of the meat grinder are all the WIA soldiers, how much of fiscal strain is that on the government, and how many are needed to provide care for those soldiers. Continuing, what is the cost of sustaining military operations? I currently estimate that almost another full year’s total budge of Ukraine is needed to just feed the troops. Add to that the graft and corruption that exists, for example documented on, 6 July 2022, by NPR, “Corruption concerns involving Ukraine are reviewed as the War with Russia drags on”. There are many more media examples, as well as hundreds of anecdotes abouts about the corruption. Corruption may be a reason why especially the KIA numbers are so underreported, with bereavement payments being pocketed by corrupt politicians at worst, or not acknowledged deaths so that bereavement payments do not have to be made.

    The effect, of such a large number of battlefield losses, just over 600 thousand, of which significant number is from Bakhmut. As the government says one thing, that does not match the experience of the populace, faith in the countries leadership erodes. One example documented via videos from Ukraine, of that is how the Ukrainian army is filling it’s ranks. First it forms conscription gangs to kidnap men off the streets for deployment to the meat grinder with in effect no training, some of them under 18 or over 60. Motivation for the conscription gangs, meet your “recruitment” quota or be sent to the front.

    What I have written about are two of the effects of the meat grinder on Ukraine, one is fiscal, and the second is trust their government.

  4. Gary Jacobs

    March 8, 2023 at 4:30 pm


    LoL. ‘everyone knows the answer’, except you.

    By the latest NATO estimate Russia is losing 5x more men than Ukraine in Bakhmut.

    That’s one reason why Russia’s own Wagner warlord Prigozhin is warning that Russia risks losing in Bakhmut. That and they have an ammo shortage, along with extremely bizzare Russian on Russian intrigue between Wagner and Shoigu at the MoD.

    In Vuhledar, an area of far greater strategic importance the ratio of Russian losses is far higher than 5-1. It’s an outright shooting gallery.

    Speaking of which, all one has to do is look at a topographical map, Google Maps 3d will do just fine, to notice that the area to the west of Bakhmut is higher ground with a tactical advantage. When/if Ukraine decides to reposition to those defensive lines, Russian troops in Bakhmut will be in another shooting gallery for Ukraine to grind them down.

    Clearly the Ukrainians see the potential for the Russian offensive culminating without even bothering to reposition out of Bakhmut.

    Only time will tell if that is the right call… but you continue to fool yourself into false hope for Russia if you believe that taking Bakhmut will lead to some immediate advantage for Russia.

    Not. Even. Close.

  5. Gary Jacobs

    March 8, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    Davis should revisit his own article from November 2022 titled

    “Putin’s Looming Winter Offensive Poses Real Danger to Ukraine”

    His conclusions were wrong yet again. He predicted Russia would go for the high risk high reward strategy, which they did not. There has been no offensive along the western border of Ukraine from Belarus.

    They are basically going for a combination of his #1 & #2.

    “Putin would likely reject both options 1 and 2 for the same ultimate reason: even a successful tactical operation would come at great cost in blood and treasure yet prove to be a short-term and temporary victory.”

    Except that they have had near zero success. For the 200,000 extra troops Russia conscripted, they have taken Soledar, and a sliver of Bakhmut…and that’s about it. And even that has come at an extremely high death toll for Russia.

    Davis has repeatedly overestimated Russia’s military ability and equipment, and overestimated Putin’s ability as a strategist.

    As well, in that article Davis mentioned the terror bombing of Ukraine’s electrical grid. That strategy has been an utter failure for Russia as Ukraine has had %100 electricity for quite some time. And Russia has spent Billion$$ on missile strikes for precisely Zero strategic benefit. In fact it has backfired and made Ukrainians more determined than ever to resist Russian imperialism.

    Ukraine has also bought pretty much every gasoline tanker truck they can get their hands on to make sure that Russia cannot target static storage facilities which makes both their military and civilian ability to refuel almost completely immune to Russia’s terror tactics.

  6. 404NotFound

    March 8, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    Bakhmut is not so much a stalingrad of today but rather the tarnopol of this conflict.

    In march and april 1944, tarnopol (a city in poland then but now an integral part of ukraine) was the big target of zhukov’s massive steamroller army.

    The german commander at tarnopol called for immediate evacuation but hitler then the german zelenskiyy surprisingly issued fuhrer order 11 that declared tarnopol a festung platz or fortress which must be held at all costs.

    Red army units of zhukov’s steamroller unleashed massive artillery non-stop on tarnopol interspersed with probing attacks by tanks and rifle units.

    Around april 15, thr german commander was killed by shrapel and his replacement decided to flee with or without hitler zelenskiyy’s permission.

    He divided tarnopol’s surviving defenders into two groups for the secret breakout from the smashed city.

    One small group headed west and another larger group headed south-west.

    Initially they were able to sneak out with success but were soon discovered. Red army fire opened up using all caliber types and only 55 lucky men were able to reach german lines three days later.

    Today, in march 2023, it looks like zelensliyy is correctly repeating the history of tarnopol in bakhmut. To please his master joe biden of america.

  7. YS

    March 8, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    “Gen. Paulus requested one last time in January 1943 from Hitler for permission to withdraw before his forces were completely surrounded by the Soviet troops. Hitler refused.” is apt for comparison…

    Surround and starve it will work the same way as it did for Mariupol. Same picture, military in apartment buildings, remaining civilians are hiding in basements waiting for Russian forces to free them (don’t take my word for it – listen to interviews). The city will be leveled and rebuilt anew, as was in case of Mariupol.

    “assume nothing question everything”

  8. Jim

    March 8, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    Gary, you’re a moth to the flame.

    It’s set up… the great cage match!

    It’s agreed… the winner of Bakhmut…

    Rules… the loser hurts!

  9. Walker

    March 8, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    For weeks now, I too expected a tactical withdrawal from Bakhmut to avoid a complete collapse and large loses for Ukraine. The Ukraine side had prepared for that and stated clearly that they would withdraw instead of allow themselves to be surrounded. So what has changed? I don’t know myself, but all the time the troops on the ground said they wouldn’t retreat. I was worried they were not being strategic and listening only to emotions similar to what happened in Melitopol. But they seem to have been able to convince the top that they can hold the city. Perhaps something on the ground has changed. Perhaps they can see that Russia is running out of steam. I wont put too much into guessing. I will accept that they know what they are doing and wish them success.

    Now for Davis article. This is another one of his three part money grabs. His first is always the most reasonable. The second starts to show the direction he is going and alarms start getting triggered. Then his third is a full on three alarm fire of idiocy. So far he is up to the same equation. Watching to see where he goes with this. But since his whole purpose in this war is to make excuses why US should take a complete isolationist perspective, he must show that providing aid to Ukraine is a waste of money because they can’t win. Right as rain, this first article shows that Davis isn’t a complete idiot and that he doesn’t have some understanding of what is going on. But it’s not going to be until the next article that we start to see him cherry pick the data to give us an idea of the misdirection he is headed. But we can start to make some predicitions.

    First he will start to overinflate the numbers of Ukrainian losses and under report Russian losses. Of course he won’t use any numbers as that would show his hand and the inaccuracies that he is headed towards. No, he will use words that make it sound like Ukraine is wasting troops it can’t afford and Russia is losing a lot but they can absorb it. He will make it clear that Russia will definitely win. Then he will say something that can give himself an out when he is wrong by using suppositional statements and words like maybe and probably. Then when he is wrong, he will say he got the fundamentals right so he was really right or he will never mention it again.

    So people, let’s sit back and watch him spin a yarn and watch all the Russian trolls pile on with how Russia is winning and there will be nuclear war and everyone in the world dies because of Western hubris and Russia wins. The fun is all in watching Davis make a fool of himself and making fun of the idiot Russians. So let’s play.

    Jim and his band of Russian fools are already here making their outrageous comments. If it weren’t for the Ukrainians trapped in this situation fighting for their lives and the lives of their citizens it would be all fun seeing the Russians get slaughtered. But it will be worth it seeing Putin’s prediction of the complete collapse of Russia after losing this war come true.

  10. Gary Jacobs

    March 8, 2023 at 7:20 pm


    LoL…the “winner” of Bakhmut gets a pile of rubble because Russia has Zero ability to do sophisticated combined arms maneuvers, so Russia resorts to scorched earth tactics… and war crimes.

    Neither side really “wins” Bakhmut.

    And as stated above, Russia may eventually take Bakhmut… and then they will be in a shooting gallery as Ukrainians reposition to the high ground immediately west of Bakhmut. I’ll bet you still havent bothered to look at a map.

    Your faux notion that the winner of Bakhmut has gained some major advantage is false on its face. But that is par for your course.

    Even if Ukraine holds Bakhmut, that isnt a major win for them either. It’s a matter of how many Russians they can kill in the process as they prepare for the summer counter offensive[s]. IF they can keep it to 5 Russians dead [or more] for every Ukrainian… Russia is in real trouble.

    Especially since the Russians are doing so badly everywhere else.

    BTW, I also recommend you look up Journalist Julia Davis and the service she provides translating Russian media.

    On Russian State TV, on one of their most famous shows…hosted by Olga Skabeyeva [60 minut] even Russian propagandists say, “time is now on Ukrainian side” and “we need to end this conflict as soon as possible.”

    It sure sounds like Putin approved TV is now setting the Russian information space for more losing to come.

    YOU should start to wrap your head around that reality also.

  11. Brett

    March 8, 2023 at 7:55 pm

    At Walker: Agreed that Davis will be wrong in the most ridiculous way. And I think you’re right about the below – except maybe not FIRST.

    “First he will start to overinflate the numbers of Ukrainian losses and under report Russian losses. Of course he won’t use any numbers as that would show his hand and the inaccuracies that he is headed towards. No, he will use words that make it sound like Ukraine is wasting troops it can’t afford and Russia is losing a lot but they can absorb it. He will make it clear that Russia will definitely win. Then he will say something that can give himself an out when he is wrong by using suppositional statements and words like maybe and probably. Then when he is wrong, he will say he got the fundamentals right so he was really right or he will never mention it again.”

    I think Davis has showed his hand – he intends to imply that Russia will enter a war-footing and their industrial base will begin producing arms and munitions at a rate that is impossible for Ukraine to maintain. He’ll probably also hint that China may contribute as well.

    What he will fail to do is consider the industrial capacity of Europe and the United States or recognize that if he applied his reasoning to verifiable facts he would necessarily reach the opposite conclusion.

    There have been a lot of indications that Russia is losing between 5-7 soldiers for every Ukrainian. Some people (including Davis) are trying to pretend that those Russians are all disposable convicts and every Ukrainian loss is their most highly trained special forces soldiers because that would HAVE to be true for there to be any silver lining for Russia, but it doesn’t APPEAR to be true, either. Ukraine has mobilized a lot of reservists and they’re serving admirably on the front line.

    Personally, I have little doubt that Ukraine is setting up a counteroffensive – maybe they haven’t abandoned Bakhmut because they think that it will be an advantageous point to attack from after the Russian offensive culminates, but I think it is more likely that they attack South. But honestly, I think they probably have the resources to launch two offensives.

    Or Russia could get wise and withdraw all of their troops from Ukrainian territory including Crimea. Putin may need those soldiers to prevent a coup.

  12. Webej

    March 9, 2023 at 2:37 am

    Big mistake in thinking that Bakhmut, like Stalingrad, is of little strategic and mere symbolic significance. The Germans needed Stalingrad to sweep south into the Caucus and grab resources such as oil in Baku. Turkey was biding its time hoping that with German success, they could annex eastern Armenia, but this was frustrated b/c the Soviet Caucasus did not collapse. Obviously Ukraine & Russia think Bakhmut is important, for reasons their General Staff discuss, and not for petty personal vainglorious errors in reasoning. I am not privy to the operational constraints which guide their General Staffs, but it is dumb to think the arm chair generals here have more skin in the game than they do. The notion that there is some idiotic symbolic significance erroneously guiding all the decisions is, well, simply idiotic.

  13. Neil Ross

    March 9, 2023 at 5:12 am

    More like US Treasury secretary asked Zelensky to delay the UAR withdrawal decision by a few weeks so they could leak their counter story on the Nord Stream attack.

  14. Whodunnit

    March 9, 2023 at 8:45 am

    Stalingrad did in fact hold some strategic importance as it was situated on the only major road to the Caucasus oilfields which were Stalin’s only oil source.

  15. David Chang

    March 9, 2023 at 8:46 am

    God bless people in the world.

    It’s not important about the fall of Bakhmut,
    because of it’s a trap, just like Taiwan Strait of one-China.

    Socialism parties make we deploy more and more military to this area which is called very important strategic area for democracy by them, another popular noun is A2/AD.

    The U.S. Navy’s military plan for this trap is distributed maritime operations, but Ukraine President seems to reject this combat theory.

    Even if we have a powerful tactical weapon, whether it’s the system of systems or the quantum computer, we should be humbly for God, not for democracy.

    God bless America.

  16. Gary Jacobs

    March 9, 2023 at 10:15 am

    Clearly the Ukrainians were onto something about their chances of holding Bakhmut. Or at least dragging out the Russian take over a bit longer.

    Video appeared late yesterday by OSINTdefender
    on Twitter showing Ukrainian Forces utilizing the O0506 Highway to the Northwest of Bakhmut.

    This Road was said to have been under Russian Control as of a few days ago. Now it appears that at least the section near the city is passable again.

    Other videos appeared on line of other areas that Ukraine has retaken which were thought to be under Russian control just days ago. Therefore, Ukraine looks has better access to their supply lines now than it has held at any time in the last week or more.

    Russia appears to have completely occupied the area inside Bakhmut east of the river. However Ukrainian forces appear to be holding at this point and reportedly made some other advances on the north side of the city, in addition to advances around the south end a few days ago which caused the Russians to pause and regroup.

    For days the idea of Bakhmut being taken or Ukraine withdrawing has seemed imminent, but in the last couple of days it has seemed less likely to happen at any moment, that could change if Russia sends another huge human wave of zerg attacks, or musters up some massive armored advance. But Russia has never been good at river crossings, and I’m told the river in the eastern part of Bakhmut isnt good for a bridgelayer. It would need a pontoon bridge. And that’s a whole other process.

    The Ukrainian military command in the area seems to be betting that Russian attempts to advance are near culmination, leaving Ukraine an opportunity.

    Let’s hope they’re right. And if not…they need to be good at judging when’s the right time to pull back to the highground west of the city and be content with the shooting gallery of Russians that creates in the valley below.

  17. David Chang

    March 9, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    God bless people in the world.

    Some people are wrong.

    Socialism parties teach people to worship creation, for example, to worship a certain city, calling it a strategy location or a holy city of democracy. But it’s sin in the sight of God.

    As one of war principles is to avoid siege or urban warfare. Siege or urban warfare is zero-sum, such as the socialism warfare made by Lebanon socialism party.

    So conditions of war in mine factory and city are different.

    In “Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907.”

    Regulations: Art. 25
    The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.

    Regulations: Art. 26
    The officer in command of an attacking force must, before commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault, do all in his power to warn the authorities.

    Regulations: Art. 27
    In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes.

    It is the duty of the besieged to indicate the presence of such buildings or places by distinctive and visible signs, which shall be notified to the enemy beforehand.

    In “Joint Publication 3-0”:
    j. Restraint
    (1) The purpose of restraint is to limit collateral damage and prevent the unnecessary use of force.

    l. Legitimacy
    (1) The purpose of legitimacy is to maintain legal and moral authority in the conduct of operations.

    God bless America.

  18. David Chang

    March 9, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    God bless people in the world.

    The principle of war in 5th century BC:

    “Thus the optimal form of generalship is to baulk the enemy’s plans;
    the next is to prevent the junction of the enemy’s forces;
    the normal in order is to attack the enemy’s army in the field;
    and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.

    The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided.

    The preparation of mantlets, movable shelters, and various implements of war, will take up three whole months; and the piling up of mounds over against the walls will take three months more.

    The general, unable to control his irritation, with the result that one- third of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege.”

    God bless America.

  19. Jim

    March 9, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Gary, I’ve read journalist Julia Davis’s tweet thread.

    Is there uncertainty, concern, disagreement on Russian TV & internet media?


    Gee, that comes off as a full discussion… encouraging!

    I’m all for that… and thank you for the heads up!

    A far cry from what is happening in Ukraine, today.

  20. Gary Jacobs

    March 9, 2023 at 4:52 pm


    LoL, Davis has extensive coverage of of Russian media, including repeated threats to wipe out Ukrainians, encouraging the destruction of all sources of heat so all Ukrainians freeze to death, encouraging the use of Nukes because Russia’s military is incapable of fulfilling Putin’s imperialist fantasies. And on and on and on…

    IF you bother to do a deep dive into it, and that’s still your takeaway from what is happening in Russian media at this point, you would take the cake as the single biggest Putinista cherry picker in human history.

    but then again considering your silly attempts to blame Victoria Nuland for a coup that never happened, and your pretending that past Ukrainian collaboration with Nazis has any significant relevance to what is happening right now… you were already well on your way to being the biggest cherry picker of all time.

    This would just put you so far out in front that no one would stand a chance to top you for a decade or so.

  21. Johnny Ray

    March 9, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    Because Stalingrad, Russia wins, again, in Bakhmut.(?)

    That’s an implausible stretch of imagination. But, Davis told his story well…congrats.

    I have said Bakhmut will be over this week, which depending how you count it, is in the next few days. I might be right. Prigozhin’s (un-soldier-like) public whining is signaling he’s really, really pissed off the Russian military command. And, they are showing it by cutting off his ammo. Seems Prigozhin can not take Bakhmut. Indeed, he can’t keep fighting at all.

    OK, maybe they will be still fighting on Monday, but with how much intensity and for how much longer?

    Win or lose, the Battle for Bakhmut will not end the war. That will be decided in Crimea. Now that will be a tough nut to crack for certain.

  22. Jim

    March 9, 2023 at 8:09 pm

    Well, echoes of many comment boards, here… regarding the fate of Russia.

    And there are Ukrainians with similar sentiments towards Russia, I’m sure.

    The same tenor of comments came out from the Munich Security Conference… supposedly responsible people… leaders.

    Snarling & seething all around… disappointing, yes… surprising? No. Man being true to history… with regret.

    You know, I see pictures of Ukrainian soldiers… good men in tough, often impossible situations, trying to do their duty… as they see it. It gives me no pleasure to know many will die.

    A peace proposal, acknowledging facts on the ground would be good for everybody… hard to swallow for many… room for negotiation by all parties… the sooner, the more room for negotiation in good faith… without crushing or unrealistic preconditions.

    A meaningful peace conference has the chance to save countess Ukrainian lives & Ukraine’s cities & economic livelihood.

    This war was provoked by the U. S. (with Europe dragged along… in Stockholm syndrome) from the beginning… because they weren’t willing to negotiate in good faith… the sooner it ends the better.

    The less damage there will be.

    How many lives need to be sacrificed to the Gods of War?

    There are so many better things to be done with the life blood of a country.

  23. Dan Wesson

    March 9, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    America is paying for Ukrainian pensions while preparing to cut social security for our own people. Vote Donald trump in 2024. Make America great again.

  24. Dan Wesson

    March 9, 2023 at 8:29 pm

    Our government wants to spend $824 BILLION on defense on 2024 while Americans struggle to feed their kids. A dozen eggs costs ten dollars.

    I am going with dt again in 2024. This country is a crime scene.

  25. monkfelonious

    March 10, 2023 at 1:07 am

    lotta katsaps in the comments here. To the author, IMO you spend too much time on similarity and not enough on difference of which the latter is enormous. The principal of which is that UKR has substantial layered defenses past Bakhmut. So there is one after the other of the same involvement for the RF forces that is obviously degraded. Breakthrough to what? UKR has had seven! months to strengthen what which was ALREADY fortified.

  26. exordis

    March 10, 2023 at 1:13 am

    Maybe Mr. Davis didn’t want to go into the reasons and details behind the Stalingrad battle, but Stalingrad did have a strategic significance to the Germans besides it’s name.

    In the spring of 1942 the Germans did not have the resources to take the offensive along the entire front, so they had to pick a sector to attack. The reason they chose the southern USSR attacking through Ukraine and into southern Russia was that Hitler wanted to seize the Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus, modern day Chechnya. German chemists and chemical engineers had not yet perfected making gasoline, diesel fuel, lubricants, and explosives from coal, and Hitler was concerned about his only other source of petroleum: Romanian oil fields and refineries. He knew that the Romanian petrochemical industry was within range of US Army Air Force B-24 bombers operating from British bases in Egypt and Libya.

    The German attack plan involved creating a long, exposed flank along the Don River with a gap between the major bend in the Don River near Kalach and the Volga River at Stalingrad. Since a Russian counterattack was to be expected and the Germans were forced by manpower shortages to rely on Romanian and Italian troops to guard their flank along the Don River, the Germans needed a place to station a Panzer formation to nip in the bud any Russian counterattack. The chosen location was Stalingrad at the gap between the 2 rivers, and the armored unit assigned was the 4th Panzer Army under Gen. Hermann Hoth. Unfortunately for the Germans, the Russian counterattack did not hit at that gap where they expected, but further west where the Don was guarded by Germany’s weak allies. Most of the 4th Panzer Army was also caught in the Stalingrad encirclement along with Paulus’ 6th Army, but that is not widely remembered because the 4th Panzer Army’s HQ was outside the encirclement and thus escaped.

    Don’t be surprised if the Russian effort at Bakhmut doesn’t have an ulterior motive similar to that at Stalingrad: keeping their enemy occupied while they are preparing a major attack somewhere else. Say, a major attack on Western Ukraine from southwestern Belarus to seal off Ukraine from is border with NATO countries, thus cutting off the flow of western weapons.

  27. dave

    March 10, 2023 at 3:06 am

    Over 600,000 casualties reported in Ukrainian military. You don`t need any other info to figuring out how this ends.

  28. toyho

    March 10, 2023 at 6:30 am

    Not Stalingrad. Verdun.

  29. Gary Jacobs

    March 10, 2023 at 10:40 am


    LoL, your ability to contort yourself to make excuses for Russian atrocities and blame everyone but Russia for Russia’s naked aggression would be hysterical if it wasnt for how many lives are lost to the reality behind your fallacy.

    Your faux notion of smarts never stands up to the slightest bit of basic research, and this outlandish blame the victim BS is no different. Pretending that NATO provoked Russia into invading Ukraine has got to be the phoniest of Putin’s talking points I have heard so far.

    Earlier in this thread you said I was ‘like a moth to the flame’….that has a bit of truth to it…but usually those flames are coming from the turrets of Russian tanks exploding from Javelin ATGMs which caused those turrets to do a full Jack in the box routine as they launch off the tank because of the shoddy Russian design which did not keep their ammo in a sealed compartment. And so many of those Javelin missile strikes come from the incredibly bad Russian tactics that keep letting their tanks get exposed to missile strikes.

    Btw, as of yesterday more evidence appeared that Ukraine has shelved any plans it may have had for withdrawing forces from Bakhmut.

    Not only have Ukrainian forces regained control over the “road of life,” they’ve repaired the bridge at Khromove, making it much easier to move in and out of the city. There are also reports that Ukraine has regained the use of the T0504 highway, which runs southwest from Bakhmut to the city of Kostyantynivka. A previously downed bridge along that highway may also have been repaired.

    Commander of Ukrainian ground forces Oleksandr Syrskyi insisted that Ukraine intends to hold Bakhmut as preparation for future counter offensives, and to exhaust the resources of the Russian army. Syrskyi was in the city again on Wednesday, working with local commanders. Though Russia appears to still hold a good portion of the city east of the river.

    Unfortunately Russia just conducted another missile terror attack with 70+ missiles directed at precisely Zero military targets.

    For much of the summer and fall of 2022, Russia was conducting attacks nearly as large on a weekly basis, sometimes even more frequently, but this was the first large multicity attack since Feb. 16.

    The Mach 6 Iskander ballistic missile that was a major part of many past waves was totally missing on Wednesday, likely because Russia is nursing a shrinking supply they have largely depleted.

    They did use several other high speed missiles to evade Ukraine’s air defenses and knock out power in a few areas. This attack likely cost them well over $1Billion, and power will likely be restored within 5 days maximum in all areas.

    In the last two weeks, there had been numerous reports that the power grid was coming back online after previous rounds of Russian attacks. Most areas were seeing Zero outages, and some cities such as Kharkiv, which had suffered widespread blackouts for months, finally saw the even the city lights back on. With improving air defenses, power generation, and warming weather… conditions all around Ukraine were definitely improving.

    It was likely exactly these reports that spurred Russia into another round of attacks…because Russia is a terrorist state bent on punishing the Ukrainian population at large simply for the crime of trying to exist as a people.

    And here you are carrying water for Putin’s regime pretending it’s all NATO’s fault. Your faux notion of smarts is no sale here, and I will continue to call you out for it.

  30. 5am

    March 10, 2023 at 11:35 am

    the length of these comments are absurd
    great stuff but let’s tighten it up people!????
    gotta love 1945!

  31. Yrral

    March 10, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    This week mark the 20 anniversary of American lost cause in Iraq,and what was accomplished, thousands of dead and injured American and thousands of American soldiers who killed themselves unable cope with the horrors of war

  32. Neil Ross

    March 10, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    Does everyone forget that Ukraine leased the Sevastopol navy base to Russia until 2047? Why would you expect Russia to be content with Ukraine joining NATO and having the West’s prying eyes so close to its navy. All the major powers have reacted similarly to Russia in the past. Not saying it’s right or wrong just that it seems to he the way things have historically worked in the world.

  33. Gary Jacobs

    March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm


    Btw, while I was speaking to a marine I know about how absurd your blame NATO game is, and we both remembered at about the same time how much of Russia’s forces have been pulled out of Kaliningrad and their other borders with the Baltic states/NATO and sent to Ukraine.

    Clearly they know there is precisely Zero threat from NATO, and they simply make up excuses for their naked aggression, while lackeys like you repeat.

    from ‘Foreign Policy’
    By Robbie Gramer and Jack Detsch – Sep 28, 2022 — “Russia’s Stripped Its Western Borders to Feed the Fight in Ukraine”…
    ‘Of an original estimated 30,000 Russian troops that once faced the Baltic countries and southern Finland, as many as 80 percent of them have been diverted to Ukraine, according to three senior European defense officials’

    form ‘Forbes’
    David Axe – Oct 27, 2022- ‘12,000 Russian Troops Were Supposed To Defend Kaliningrad. Then They Went To Ukraine To Die.’
    ‘This year, when the war in Ukraine began to go badly for Russia, the Kremlin yanked the 11th Army Corps from Kaliningrad and sent it into Ukraine. Where the Ukrainian army quickly destroyed it.’

    Jim, Once again proving that your faux notion of smarts does not stand up to the most basic research or common sense.

  34. Jim

    March 10, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Gary, I know you’re losing by the length of your comments… you’re so blatant… you protest too much.

    Your comments have no bearing on the war… that’s beyond your fervent wishes.

    A growing number of Ukrainians would like to see Kiev launch peace talks with Moscow, the head of the National Security and Defense Council, Aleksey Danilov, admitted on Thursday. The top security official claimed the development was a “very dangerous tendency.”

    “Bear in mind that those [people advocating talks with Russia] are growing in numbers. It is a very dangerous tendency when even people in western Ukraine are starting to talk about such things,” Danilov said during a live appearance on the Ukrainian talk show ‘Greater Lviv speaks’.

    Gary, you might be left hanging out to dry… given the cold shoulder by the very people you want to carry out your old, musty personal vendetta against Russia, they are tiring of being a doormat for people like you.

  35. Roger Bacon

    March 10, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    What was the point of this article other than a jr. high history lesson on the battle of Stalingrad?

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