Friday 2 September 2022

Ukraine: counter-offensive begins

 ... and we needn't expect much detailed news on it.  There's a very good essay as to why this should be so, in the opening 4 paragraphs of Wednesday's assessment from the excellent ISW.  Obviously this development has been widely anticipated, and Ukraine's systematic, highly successful interdictions into Russia's lines of communications and supply over the past few weeks have reinforced that expectation.

In strictly observer mode (OK?):  another reason why there won't be much detailed news is that we needn't expect any sweeping arrows on the map, as we were treated to in February when Russian armoured convoys and air-assault operations burst clean through the borders on their way to Kherson, Mariupol, Kharkiv and, errrr, Kyiv.   My assumption would be that Ukraine will prosecute this campaign largely as a foot-infantry operation, kilometre by kilometre.  

Why?  Well, (1) as we periodically remark hereabouts, there's no such thing as strategic surprise, but there can be tactical surprise.  In this case, Ukraine has at least pulled off several of the latter - the supply interdictions mentioned above, particularly in Crimea: but such is the ubiquity on both sides of persistent / loitering aerial reconnaissance these days (drones), a covert build-up of armour is well-nigh impossible.  So a "surprise" lightning armoured thrust, so beloved of 20th C military writers, is highly unlikely, at least at an early stage.

(2) It doesn't seem likely Ukraine has major tank forces left to it (western material aid has mostly been in terms of artillery and lighter weapons); and anti-tank defences for a set-piece action aren't difficult to muster when you've had four months to prepare (i.e. since I wrote my little memo to Putin, saying that defence of Kherson should be his primary strategic goal).

(3) Ukraine's massive advantages are (a) near-perfect intelligence (from western sources, plus the fact that the population of Kherson oblast is very hostile to its occupiers, with a long tradition of partisan warfare) ; and (b) the morale, determination and tactical skills of their infantry - up against what is, on average, the ultimate in non-coherent, unmotivated, rag-bag rabble.  In infantry actions, this matters more than almost anything.  It's a rabble that turns and flees.

Artillery?  Both sides will have made sure they are as well-placed as possible in this dimension.  Russian preponderance is clear: but their supply lines are very ropey into this part of the occupied territory (right bank of the Dnipro), the bridges having been put out of commission and the ammo dumps having been blown up.  Obviously they have effectively limitless reserves, but they are relying on pontoons to get ammo etc forward.  If they stream forward in large numbers on known crossing-points, there will be carnage.

And while artillery is great against (e.g.) armoured build-ups or static targets, that isn't going to be what Russia is faced with.  You can't easily use artillery against 1,000 adroit platoon-sized attacks across a 100 mile front.

Russian response?  We're already seeing it.

  • laughable PR
  • stirring up trouble in Moldova again (and probably Belorussia shortly) to conjure the spectre of new fronts opening up
  • more bombardment of civilian targets deeper in Ukraine (particularly when the main IAEA mission has left)
  • presumably some enhancement of their stunts at Zaporizhzhia in the coming days
  • simultaneous diversion of troops to the south, away from the Donbas front; and increasing fireworks at the latter (this combo achieved by maintaining artillery there)
What else might we get?  Termination of the grain export programme is an obvious one, either by formal revocation and /or merciless pounding of Odesa and the other ports, and grain silos. Non re-opening of Nord Stream 1 (currently shut for "3 days maintenance").   Etc etc: the opportunities for mischief are constrained only by the limits of the imagination.

The biggie will come, if and when Kherson city is recaptured, or even on the brink.  Worst case?  This happens, say, in October, after the Russians have conducted the spurious "referendum" they have long been trying to carry out**, and which presumably records 104.6% of the population of Kherson declaring itself to be now a province of Mother Russia.  Then Putin can declare - see that second link again - that Russia herself is in mortal peril, and ...

Have a great weekend!



** now looks like a colossal mistake by Putin not to have done this already 


Caeser Hēméra said...

There also appears to be a mass removal of 'Z' and 'V' going on, in the online world and, apparently, the real world.

Lots of theories, very little knowledge.

And, in a turn up for the books, a couple of OTs on a Ukraine topic!

OT #1: The 'Enough is Enough' movement seems to developing a bit of oomph - Manchester Cathedral was overflowing - and it's something Starmer might want to watch his back over. Burnham looks to be using it as a vehicle for his own aspirations, as inflation bites and the economy wobbles, worth watching out for.

OT #2: Post-midterms, looks like the US is in for some Interesting Times. Trump has dug quite a hole for himself, and doesn't seem inclined to stop digging. Anyone other than an ex-POTUS would be in a very deep cell by now, and whilst there is still a lot of rumour over facts, what there is available looks rather grim for his future.

Anonymous said...

I don't see among your list of possible Russian reactions any possible action taken against the Ukrainian offensive?

It's indeed a PR war, so I have no idea if the ambulance convoys or the queues for blood donation in Odessa and Mykolaiv are real or fake. Likewise I have no idea whether the reported failed Ukrainian coup-de-main against the nuclear plant yesterday morning was real or fake.

We shall just have to see. But Ukrainian defence has been pretty impressive, no doubt about it. The Bakhmut camera has been restored, and all is calm at the Palace Of Culture in the (near-empty, a vehicle is a rarity) centre of town.

Anonymous said...

OT again, I hope the BoE raises interest rates ASAP, as that's the only way my two youngest will ever get a house of their own.

Some people were talking about a rise to 4.25% next year - yes please!

Anonymous said...

Witness to the PR war, the same twitter video of some poor bloody infantry being bracketed by shells/rockets in a field is being posted both as "denazification continues" by one side and as "orcs meet Ukrainian justice" by the other.

Sad! In every sense. Those are some mother's sons.

andrew said...

A commentator on youtube (so it must be true :) noted that the russians do not have an inexhaustible supply of shells and shells have a 'use by' of about 25y so they may be starting on old stock that can be unstable. Thus some of the mystery ammo dump explosions

Wildgoose said...

Sorry ND, but you've just lost a lot of credibility by describing the Institute For War as "excellent".

War-mongering neo-cons would be more accurate. Probably funded by the Military Industrial Complex to help continue the oh-so-profitable permanent war footing.

Headed by Kimberley Kagan. Take a look at her bio on Wikipedia:

She was one of the civilian analysts whose "assessment that US forces should attack the Haqqani network was communicated directly to field commanders in the east, creating some confusion since Petraeus did not issue this command himself.". Yup, a civilian waltzing up and starting issuing military orders to military personnel.

"Excellent" you say?

Not one of the words I would choose.

Jeremy Poynton said...

Medical experts?

"Putin's legs twitch manically as the Covid-paranoid Russian leader brainwashes schoolchildren about Ukraine after forcing them to quarantine for two weeks"

Bill Quango MP said...

Here’s one for the below the line.

Just before the Invasion of the Special Military Disaster, two schools of thought.

In the red camp, myself. Who expected the Ukrainians to hold on too long in the Donbas. While being outflanked everywhere else as the front gave way. Then, those seeing the encircling ring coming, would flee and Ukraine would be either occupied, or partitioned, on whatever limited terms Putin wanted to grant.

In the blue camp, General Drew. Who said this wasn’t going to be Iraq 2014 Isis revenge. Or the more recent Afghanistan army collapse and subsequent embarrassing gift of billions of dollars or weapons and equipment to the Taliban
Or even Crimea 2014. Collapse under the shock.
Or South Vietnam 75, flee the country the commies are coming and our government is just as bad anyway.. Or even, worst case, BEF 1940. Retreat to a safe haven without any light or heavy equipment.

This was going to be different.

And it certainly was.

So why didn’t the Ukrainian military and civil administration disintegrate without serious resistance, as it had before?

Anonymous said...

wildgoose - Kimberley Kagan is married to Frederick Kagan, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Fred's brother Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and guess who his wife is? Victoria "f*** the EU" Nuland of the US State Department.

Nice little family business, promoting wars then reporting them.

Anonymous said...

"why didn’t the Ukrainian military and civil administration disintegrate without serious resistance, as it had before?"

7 years of NATO training plus real time NATO intelligence? That would be my guess.

Incidentally, I think I found out why Russia's not just shut every railway into Ukraine - their air superiority isn't very super. Read a (I think Russian) article that says the SIGINT NATO have is so good that Ukraine know pretty much every time a Russian aircraft takes off - and they get targeting info in real time, which I might have thought was a causus belli in itself.

The old laws on whose airspace is whose didn't reckon with sideways scanning radars and overhead satellites.

So when I happily watched Ukrainian Mig-29s at Fairford, little did I know their systems were being integrated into NATOs, just as their electricity grid was being integrated into the EUs.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, that Kagan name - anyone old enough to remember Lord Gannex?,_Baron_Kagan

Nick Drew said...

Wildgoose - excellent is as excellent does. Ad hominem attacks - as in yours on Kagan - are sometimes interesting but often irrelevant. I judge here only on the quality of the output and the analysis behind it.

OK, it's not perfect, as the record will show - they honourably leave their past stuff up for all to see, and snipe at from the comfort of hindsight. But 'excellent' was never the same as 'perfect'

and I can't help it if the US Army chain of command under Petraeus was so flawed that operational actions were taken in the absence of proper orders. FFS! Neither can she, BTW.

Fog of war. Stranger things have happened. UK went to war in Iraq based on the Dodgy Dossier - which the MoD disavowed at the time, knowing it to be crap. Didn't stop Blair, though.

Anonymous said...

WaPo on Bakhmut

"Bakhmut sits at the center of a web of army medic stations tucked into bunkers, abandoned buildings and trenches around the region. When the command centers get a radio call about casualties — officials refuse to discuss specific numbers but acknowledged that crews are responding to “hundreds” of evacuation calls a day — these medics go to the battlefield, pick up the wounded and race to Bakhmut."

Good think Ukraine started with a large manpower advantage (as long as Ru don't mobilise)

Nick Drew said...

BQ, anon - "why didn’t the Ukrainian military and civil administration disintegrate without serious resistance, as it had before?"

as you perhaps recall, Finland 1939 was the parallel that I had concluded was best suited to the facts on the ground: in order of importance

- highly motivated defenders with a coherent rationale (they know the Russians truly hate 'independent Ukraine'; and they know exactly what the Russians had already done to the 'Russian-supporting'(!) populace of the Donbas - reduced them to warlord-infected anarchy)

- sufficient materiel, intelligence, prior warning & tactical competence, with (in all probability) more on the way - as events have proved. (As anon notes)

- an invader that, based on Ukraine's own post-2014 experience, was likely to be less than wholly adroit (though nobody that I've heard from guessed just how utterly, utterly incompetent they swiftly proved to be, see this blog ad nauseam)

Of course, as I said at the time, to a first approximation, "Finland lost". And I always thought that was a possible outcome, too.

The motivation point is head-and-shoulders #1. (“in war, the moral is to the physical as three is to one” ...) Was completely missing in, e.g. ARVN or Afghanistan. (France 1940 is the interesting one, in my view)

I'm not the person to opine on Ukraine's civil administration. But, by Heaven , they all have a great figurehead, n'est-ce pas

Nick Drew said...

Anon - "Incidentally, I think I found out why Russia's not just shut every railway into Ukraine"

More fundamental than no air superiority, anon: it's that since WW1 the Russian army has always relied on rail transport: huge distances, dodgy roads, vast loads. Not uniquely so - see Germany's WW1 plans, depending entirely upon the train timetables; and the battle for Normandy, won in large part by the destruction of the French rail network in advance of D-Day (by RAF + USAAF), causing critical delays to German reserves moving up into the line

And there's a LOAD of rail links between Russia & eastern Ukr (for industrial traffic) - check the maps. It's why they are OK for replen into Donbas, but will struggle badly to replen the right bank of the Dnipro, i.e. the NW sector of Kherson oblast

Advantages of rail? see above: and diesel-engined locos are pretty efficient as regards fuel

Disadvantages? Fixed infrastructure of known geo-coordinates; fatal choke-points; great difficulty in rebuilding bridges (though not re-laying track). All in all, = splendid artillery target. Trucks, if available in sufficient numbers (with sufficient fuel), are much more flexible against route-blocking, & less susceptible to being taken out in detail

Sobers said...

" Trump has dug quite a hole for himself, and doesn't seem inclined to stop digging. Anyone other than an ex-POTUS would be in a very deep cell by now"


Don Cox said...

"So why didn’t the Ukrainian military and civil administration disintegrate without serious resistance, as it had before?"

Zelensky seems to be a very strong leader.


Anonymous said...

Sorry ND, I meant the railways in at the West end of Ukr, used to move weapons from Reszsow or whatever that airport's called. They've done a few missile hits early on, including a strike on the rail tunnel under the Carpathians from Slovakia via the delightfully named Chop, but not the kind of clinical isolation I'd have expected.

My impression is that Russian planes do not have anything like free rein over West Ukraine/Galicia - far from it. This is presumably 100% a NATO artefact, as there's pretty much 24/7 patrolling of the Polish/Slovak/Romanian borders plus Black Sea. Indeed on more than one occasion AN2s have slipped in and out of Uzhhorod airport, near the Polish border.

E-K said...

So are we to agree that Putin didn't intend to rampage through Europe ?

E-K said...

"Us next" is the reason we're about to lose all our pubs, hospitality, manufacturing... and the lives of grannies to hypothermia we sacrificed the economy to save from Covid.

Personally I believe Putin is the West's proximate stooge for the economic implosion that has been coming our way since the Credit Crunch and the low productivity and high living that preceded it.

Net Zero + Build Back Better + The Great Reset + Bogeyman Putin = The Great Reckoning.

"For your own good and not our fault" say the grossly incompetent leaders who caused it.

Anonymous said...

"Zelensky seems to be a very strong leader"

LOL. If he was strong he'd never have got Ukraine into this mess. But he'll be alright after the war, in some mansion in the US or Israel. He's a paid servant of the US rather than Ukraine. Just the poor bloody Ukrainians who suffer.

Anonymous said...

"Russian forces have only three further days of fuel, food and ammunition left to conduct the war after a breakdown in their supply chains, Ukrainian military commanders have alleged. The claims of major shortages were described as “plausible” by western officials although they said they were unable to corroborate the analysis. The report from the Ukrainian armed forces general command was said to be consistent with evidence that the Russian advance had stalled, and that they had reverted to using “indiscriminate and attritional” artillery attacks on civilians. “We do think that the Russian forces have used a lot of material including particular categories of weapons and we have seen isolated reports of particular units that have lacked supplies of one sort or another,” the official said. “It is consistent with an advance which has ground to a halt. Failures in the logistic chain has been one of the reasons they have not been as effective as they hoped.” A Pentagon official added there were continuing morale issues among Russian troops, with food and fuel shortages, as well as frostbite due to a lack of adequate clothing. “They’re struggling on many fronts,” the US official said."

Nick Drew said...

anon, in March the whole world was trying to come up with reasons for the strikingly, astoundingly inept Russian performance

so, someone floated the idea it was shortage of stuff? well, it had to be something, right?

OK, so with the benefit of hindsight, what vastly more palatable explanation do you favour?

come one - how do you explain their performance?

Please don't say "because it was all a feint, a tactical masterstroke by Putin - they always meant to sacrifice their crack airborne units in the first two weeks, and get the hell blown out of their static columns at crossroads all across the north of Kyiv: it allowed them slyly to take Mariupol in, oooh, just a couple of, errrr, months, with hardly any casualties at all"

Anonymous said...

Don't know, ND - I don't even know if it WAS strikingly inept, despite a good deal of military history. But given how well the militias fought, it does seem that an extra 200k troops should have madee a bigger difference.

ATM I'm more interested in NS1, and THE CAP and how it's going to work - will US ships stop Russian tankers heading to India or China?

Or is this the US/NATO unloading the biggest gun of all - the FIRE sector? Will they refuse to insure ships carrying Russian oil? Russia and China will insure, maybe India too. What then, mysterious submarine sinkings as in the Spanish Civil War?

I must say history is rattling along at the moment, like the clattering train poem that Churchill quoted. Our rulers are absolute imbeciles. Looks like G7 vs The Rest Of The World.

"the pace is hot, and the points are near, and sleep hath deadened the driver’s ear. And the signals flash through the night in vain, for Death is in charge of the clattering train"

"there are years when nothing happens and there are days when years happen"

Jeremy Poynton said...

Sobers said...
" Trump has dug quite a hole for himself, and doesn't seem inclined to stop digging. Anyone other than an ex-POTUS would be in a very deep cell by now"


5:36 pm

Quite. Having elected a moronic POTUS with senile dementia and a filthy, bent and corrupt son (like father eh, who loves to fondle little girls and sniff their hair {never mind the daughter and the shower), the Dems are intent on ensuring Trump will not stand again - he would crush Biden. Tho' those voting machines...

Nick Drew said...

I'm with you on NS1. Germany is whistling loudly in the dark on this, as though it's been priced in already. Psychologically it has: but economically? I think not.

The oil price cap is a real misnomer. Hey, oil's a truly global product, liquid / fungible market. You're an importer and you want oil? You pay the price, or go without.

The thing about Russian oil thus far, is that although "the west" is trying not to buy Russian product, it gets into the market anyway via whatever laundering route. So the situation has become a bit less efficient, but does not represent an absolute reduction in supply. Gas is completely different, of course: the 'extra' they can sell to China is tiny, relative to the truncated Eu-bound volumes. (They are having to flare the surplus: did ya hear that, Greta?)

So: "putting a limit on the price of cargos we're willing to insure" ... nope, that ain't a price cap as any ordinary listener would understand it

Jeremy Poynton said...

EU Russian gas price cap the policy of idiots.

Nothing to beat poking an angry bear with a sharp stick, eh? Even better when you have to be aware (no?) that such an action will further impact the population.

FUBAR doesn't even begin to describe what Europe has inflicted on itself, with Johnson leading the way.

Jeremy Poynton said...

Meanwhile, what are you all doing to handle this?

We've come up with - small torches for moving around the house at night. Bought a top range two hob camping gas cooker (must get the bottles). Bought an air fryer. The burgers (a core part of our Carnivore diet) take 8 minutes in that as opposed to 20 on the hob. Also, we very rarely use the oven - Lils, having it seems beaten her cancer by going Carnivore (I joined her, and feel a million dollars. Can't remember when last I felt so well - feel 50 not 71) is eating just beef with a bit of lamb, stakes and burgers, me the same plus pork and my beloved Black Pudding. So we rarely use the oven and have an induction hob, which is very efficient.

Will also be buying more bags of charcoal for the BBQ, and we have already ordered a double load of logs, to add to the 1.5 or so cubic metres we have left over from last year. May get more as well.

And if we can't afford the lecky (no gas, we're oil with a pretty full tank), we won't pay. Already cancelled the DD, so they can't raid us at the drop of a hat.

What an UNUTTERABLE mess our leaders have got is into.

Sobers said...

"Meanwhile, what are you all doing to handle this?"

I've got a big log burner, and a massive pile of wood to burn, and I'm about to buy a big generator, and have a few thousand litres of diesel ready to run it on when the power drops out. I'm not sitting freezing in the dark this winter.

Anonymous said...

On an energy comparison chart. Types of devices and energy cost per hour to run.

Induction hob was the most expensive of all. More than a tumble dryer. ( that was second.)

Matt said...

@ Sobers

Think we'll have power outages long enough to justify the diesel genny?

I've got a couple of portable solar generators (largish batteries with built in inverter) which would provide a couple of hours run time for the heating and computers/network (I work from home).
Backup to that is a Honda petrol generator to recharge the batteries and/or run other parts of the house.

Did consider a diesel generator and/or something like the Tesla Powerwall but the costs are pretty prohibitive if you assume it won't get used very much.

But that's the $million question - are we so screwed we might have days of blackouts?

andrew said...

There could be immense issues if we have _minutes_ of brownouts.
I liken the internet as a tall ladder - it only takes one broken run to have a fall.

@matt - your computers/ network may work but what then?

The local sainsburys pretty much closes when card payments stop working.
The alarm system and HVAC is linked to the internet. (or was Christmas day 2020 when the alarms went off at 7am as the HVAC was incorrectly set and triggered the alarm).
restock orders are passed over the internet.

Large datacentres will probably have diesel backups but all the links need to be in place from client to datacentre to bank to datacentre to supplier ...
The network is intended to be resilient to failure but the question is - how resilient.

If you fall ill, can the hospital access those electronic records your GP has.


The last time we had issues like this in the 70s, (I imagine) you just let the mainframe shut down using UPS and got the bus home.

Sobers said...

"Think we'll have power outages long enough to justify the diesel genny?"

I have no idea, but I need power for my business too so it makes sense for me to have a decent sized generator to be able to work if there are power cuts. I doubt I'll lose money on the genny if I need to sell it.

But you have to think that there has got to be a significant risk of a serious grid failure this winter, on the basis we will be running on a knife edge, and if something unexpected happens at exactly the wrong point then a serious grid failure could be the result, one that could take some time to resolve. After all we are virtually at war with Uncle Vlad, what better time would there be for him to unleash some sort of cyber attack on the power grid than at the point of maximum strain this winter?

jim said...

Mmm what would I do now if I were Putin. Sorry about the feint idea - thinking in chess terms.

Suppose the initial idea was a quick takeover, Zelensky runs away, West sits back. Afterwards business as usual. Why the mess-up. Hearts not in it, thought it would be easy - poor intelligence. Johnson comes along and plays at Churchill - now we are a bit stuck in. Anyway the takeover idea is now rather difficult.

The West has now been suitably admonished but not sufficiently cowed into leaving Zelensky out to dry - yet. This does not suit the US. If pushing and poking Russia was a global power game it has gone a bit TUBB - embarrassing. Therefore a bit of repair work and credibility restoration. But slow and expensive and delicate. Worse, Ukraine is not the best forum - the US has other more important fish to fry.

If I were Putin I would want to hold on to what I have and grab a bit more. But Zelensky is not playing nice so Putin might want to weaken Zelenskiy's support base and discourage the West (but for the US). One route might be to defend and consolidate such that Zelensky wastes effort trying to win back land. Then play for time and let the EU et al stew for a while then put the frighteners on the EU by threatening some border region. The objective - time to talk or you stay cold and the bear will chew at your weaker members some more. The EU and the interfering UK can be bottled up for a while.

Into the mix comes the US elections and some tough guy talk from that place. Forget the UK election - haven't got 2 pennies to scratch their arses. If this is still going on by then we can all settle in for several miserable winters. Meanwhile China and surrounding nations will be building up their tech expertise and playing off the US v China axis while we sit and shiver and chew on old ham bones and watch our economy wither - which may even suit the US and China.

The key problem is how to beat Putin with one hand tied behind and without pushing the game too far.

Don Cox said...

" If this is still going on by then we can all settle in for several miserable winters."

I think that's inevitable anyway. I've set my central heating thermostat to 15 degrees, and arranged to have the skylights modernised.

But having survived a childhood in a house with single glazing, no central heating, and no damp course (slugs indoors), I reckon I'll survive this. And there is a definite trend toward milder winters -- we may be lucky.


Anonymous said...

Don Cox said...
. And there is a definite trend toward milder winters -- we may be lucky.

6:13 pm

Nope. We are in what may be the most significant Grand Solar Minimum since the LIA. Real scientists think we may be in for 3 or 4 decades of cooling. What fun another 1963 would be eh?

Tried posting as Elby. Nope. Tried with my name. Nope. So lets try Anon and see if that get's through. Anyone else finding posts just do not appear?

dearieme said...

The German rationing rules apparently include "in public buildings, instantaneous water heaters or hot water tanks should be switched off if they are mainly used for washing hands."

Only a couple of years ago Boris was teaching us how to wash our hands umpteen times a day while singing a happy tune.

Bill Quango MP said...


The lunacy went very very far. Not just Boris.

The Scottish Government’s plans to improve ventilation in school classrooms to stop the spread of Covid includes spending £300,000 to cut the bottoms off thousands of doors.

A total of £4.3m will have to be spent improving the air flow in around 2,000 “problematic” classrooms across the country which have “persistently high CO2 levels”.

Anonymous said...

Interesting links on the comments at the top...


Anonymous said...

And on the trolling stakes, you'd have to say Putin is leaving Trump trailing along way back.

Get this


Anonymous said...

Czechs have had enough

May be a waste of time, but we all need to write to our MPs and tell them that we are on the brink of a disaster, that NetZero will achieve nothing bar sealing the economic destruction of the country (maybe that's the whole idea?) and more to the point, your vote has gone.


Don Cox said...

Net zero is pointless because nuclear fusion is imminent.


Anonymous said...

Over to the experts


Anonymous said...

"There's a very good essay as to why this should be so, in the opening 4 paragraphs of Wednesday's assessment from the excellent ISW"

It shouldn't be necessary to inform readers, but the Institute for the Study of War is nothing but a neo con cespool.

Anyone who cites the ISW uncritically should, imho, ought immediately to be marked down as a neo con schill.

Anon @ 1059 "It's indeed a PR war,"

Of course it is a internicine ware where Slav is pitted agains Slav, for the amusement of the CIA and ISW ghouls.

In short, a tradegy.

Anonymous said...

“Of course it is a internicine ware where Slav is pitted agains Slav, for the amusement of the CIA and ISW ghouls.”

Wow. So the ISW didn’t just get hold of the US army in Iraq and start giving orders. They got hold of the entire Russian Military and instructed them to attack Ukraine as well.

You’d think these militaries would be more robust with their chains of command.

Don Cox said...

It is certainly a tragedy, but I doubt if anyone is amused. I think you vastly overrate the influence of the CIA on Putin.

That jumped-up secret police rat has ideas and ambitions of his own, without needing any help from Americans or Europeans.

Erdogan is going the same way, corrupted by power. Likewise Modi.


Sobers said...

"Net zero is pointless because nuclear fusion is imminent."

They were saying that when I were a lad at school in the 1980s. They'll still be saying it when I'm six feet under. Nuclear fusion is a make work scheme for unemployed scientists.

Anonymous said...

Small local Thorium reactors, not fusion, the way forward.

And to reinforce my suggestion that Putin is out-trolling the Donald, have a look at the oil leak that has ended gas to Europe


Anonymous said...

Sobers said...
"Net zero is pointless because nuclear fusion is imminent."

Nuclear fusion is a make work scheme for unemployed scientists.

3:33 pm

Bit like "Climate science" then... (which in reality is any number of disciplines from palaeontology to space weather to dendrochronology).

When I heard the phrase "climate expert", I reach for my pistol...

E-K said...

O/T My wife and lad were at the Foo Fighters concert last night. That was really something. Wow.

Paul McCartney turned up too. I had to lift my wife up so she could see him with her own eyes.

The size of an ant from where we were stood.

Don Cox said...

Climate is just the average weather over a ten or fifteen year period. This average does vary.

I see no reason why the variation shouldn't be studied and its causes investigated. When looking for evidence of recent past variation, evidence from tree rings is obviously useful.


Don Cox said...

"Incidentally, that Kagan name - anyone old enough to remember Lord Gannex?"

Yes, I remember it well. I don't think Harold Wilson was the only PM to reward his friends, but a peerage did seem a bit too much.


Anonymous said...

i do wonder how much information is bcc'd realtime back to the china mothership, check up on their loanshark business.

Dji drones used by evyone, all internet connected, all with video. No sign of them being hard to get hold of, i wonder why.

China has form here, just look at any cheapo webcam, they all try to connect back to some anon ip address even if you ask them not to.

Caeser Hēméra said...

@Sobers, etc.

I'm not sure Trump putting on his best Tony Hancock face and asking if Ben Ghazi died for nothing is going to help him.

Caeser Hēméra said...

There are reports that Russian rail is hitting issues with running out of bearings.

If - *IF* - true, that's going to make the next few months interesting, Moscow is going to have decide between the economy or the war.

China might backchannel some, but then it'd be Chinese steel.