Monday 13 November 2023

Something afoot on the Kherson / Crimea front

Here's an interesting development.

Background: the Ukrainians have had a small beachhead on the east bank of the Dnipr opposite Kherson, for so long now it almost amounts to a lodgement.  Russian milbloggers have been hyperventilating about this for weeks as being a(nother) threat to Crimea, even as they crow over the obvious relative failure of Ukraine's summer offensive, which has failed to reach Tokmak (never mind Melitopol).  There have been strange goings-on in the Russian force opposing this bridgehead which has completely failed to push it back into the river, precarious though it looks, amidst rumours of the original Russian commander there being an ineffectual martinet and lately dismissed, and his highly regarded successor being recently wounded badly in one of many precision strikes by Ukraine on Russian HQs while top-level meetings are in progress.

Now we have this, from the official Russian news agency:

The original post had been up for one hour 22 mins.  I'm sure you don't need me to interpret for you the euphemism "regroup to more advantageous positions".  The Russians did a lot of that Sept-Nov last year.

Well, of course, they have an answer to the TASS debacle:

Yeah, right: annulled as issued by mistake, errr, no, wait a minute, allegedly on behalf of ../.. a provocation.   So which is it guys?  A mistake - or Ukraine having hacked TASS ... twice!  Not sure which is more awkward, really.



Caeser Hēméra said...

I was expecting this a few months back, hence my erroneous prediction some while back.

The Russians keep sending their troops to the front, draining the rear, gambling that they can stop much advancement, with the downside of there not being much left if they fail.

The amount of Russian manpower and armour lost has been staggering. Once all this is done, a man with an appetite for risk could get rich from scrap metal.

Anonymous said...

Once all this is done, a man with an appetite for risk could get rich from scrap metal.

There's a guy in Wales with a new "green" smelter that needs scrap for feed. Given India's ambivalent attitude to the "special military operation", perhaps they should send a guy over there so the Russians can say Tata to the problem.

Wildgoose said...

I think the fact that Ukraine now even has pregnant women on their frontlines shows who is truly desperate.

As part of the "Fight for Democracy", Zelenskyy has banned at least 11 opposition parties, (including gaoling their leaders & MPs), and has recently been mulling over cancelling next year's elections.

It is foolish to make predictions about the future. Even so, I wouldn't be surprised if Zelenskyy is ousted/killed in a coup next year. Somebody will want to do a deal with Russia before Ukraine collapses completely.

It would also have to be an explicitly Ukrainian deal, because as Russia has long made clear, "the West is not agreement capable".

Anonymous said...


"Sunak would have more chance of saving the Tories from defeat at the next election if he'd appointed Sam Allardyce."

I think maybe Neil Warnock would have been a better choice.

Re Ukraine, it's amazing what's newsworthy and what ain't, the Ukraine commander's aide being blown up by a birthday gift didn't get much coverage.

Interesting if true coverage of last years's peace deal as buggered by Boris.

Summary - deal was - Donbass-Luhansk to Ukraine with Minsk II actually implemented, Crimea stays Russian, Ukraine joins EU but not NATO, no foreign forces on Ukraine territory incl maritime.

"Proof of initial Western politicians’ support for the negotiations emerges from the sequence of telephone calls and meetings during the period from early March to at least mid-March. On March 4, Scholz and Putin spoke on the phone; on March 5, Bennett met Putin in Moscow; on March 6, Bennett and Scholz met in Berlin; on March 7, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany discussed the issue in a videoconference; on March 8, Macron and Scholz spoke on the phone; on March 10, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov met in Ankara; on March 12, Scholz and Zelensky and Scholz and Macron spoke on the phone; and on March 14, Scholz and Erdogan met in Ankara."

Boris has lots of blood on his hands, Cameron has lots of blood on his, including those elderly Brits slaughtered in Tunisia, Blair has blood up to his waist...

Thud said...

wildgoose...pregnant? the most pathetic attempt at ruSSian propaganda film actually worked on you? amazing.

Diogenes said...

Have the Ukrainians hacked the Conservative Party? Seems like it as surely no PM in their right mind would have Cameron back.

And what other hacks have they accomplished in the UK? That letter of 'No Confidence' from Andrea Jenkins to Sir Graham looks odd. Who would lambast someone in no uncertain terms, praise Boris (Dorries 2.0), rant about a socialist cabal then sign off 'Kind Regards'

Only a Ukrainian would make that sort of mistake.

Wildgoose said...

@Thud Are you seriously suggesting that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are spreading Russian Propaganda?

Because it was Ukraine themselves who boasted about their pregnant sniper on the frontline.

Openly boasting of her "Bandera baby", Stepan Bandera of course being the Ukrainian Nazi leader in the Second World War.

So, given that Ukraine have openly admitted to having pregnant women on the frontline I am inclined to believe that, yes, Russia may indeed have captured at least one pregnant Ukrainian solder on the frontline.

Anonymous said...

If David Cameron is the answer, then what was the question?

"Cameron was initially a great supporter of the Syrian democratic revolution, even if he would admit in private that the Free Syrian Army was neither free, Syrian nor an army. His support for the revolution pitted him against Putin permanently. Yet when he needed MPs’ support in 2013 to punish Assad and, by extension, Putin, for the use of chemical weapons, he was abandoned. The legacy of Iraq hung over Britain and the public’s willingness to intervene militarily, he concluded."

He really WAS the heir to Blair, only he wanted to trash two countries rather than one!

My fear is that he's here to add "bottom" to an upcoming US/Israeli attack on both Syria and Iran, which will also involve the Azeris separating Armenia from Iran and doing some major damage to projected Russian and Chinese trade routes. Hope I'm wrong, but it does seem more and more likely that the neocons running Diaper Joe think they can take on Russia, Iran and China at the same time.

NS - re steel production, you CAN make your rocket and missile walls, aircraft landing gear, helicopter undercarriages etc from arc melting scrap "maraging steel" - if you want to be reliant on third parties who may want it themselves in wartime. Otherwise you HAVE to have blast furnaces and ore.

Our steel industry is AFAIK wholly owned by China and India, who want to make it totally electric i.e. scrap-reliant.

What's amazing is what a huge proportion of our national income is spent by the government (IIRC on a late-1940s level), despite the government no longer drilling and transporting gas, digging and moving coal, running and building railways, making steel and armaments, building houses, delivering parcels and letters.

Clive said...

@ Wildgoose

Ukrainian women who enlist can fight on the front line. If they are pregnant then they are relieved of combat duties. Some, though, do hide their pregnancy as far as possible until they can’t. And some want to continue to perform combat duties and are requesting kit to do so. Their choice, surely?

Or are you saying every female solider in the Ukrainian army or any pregnant female soldier is fighting against their will? It doesn’t really pass the plausibility test, does it?

Anonymous said...

Clive - I'm pretty sure Ukrainian women from Donbass and Luhansk won't be fighting on the front line, pregnant or no, unless in very specialised roles. Russia's not in extremis as in WW2 so doesn't need extra snipers or Night Witches. I don't think medics count as "fighters", pretty sure they're not supposed to be armed.

You should remember this was a Ukrainian Civil War before Russia got involved.

Anonymous said...

On the much less fascinating subject of British survival, I had no idea that most of the carbon for anodes in Chinese car batteries came from a Humberside oil refinery. (Contains sad references to the late BritishVolt).