Gilbert Doctorow: The Russian Way of War

What I am about to say should be self-evident to anyone following closely the move of Russian forces into Ukraine and having a recollection of what the same Russian general command did in Crimea and then did again in their Syrian campaign.  Regrettably, Western audiences do not find these observations on CNN, the BBC, The Financial Times and The New York Times, not to mention on the still less reputable television channels and print media that provide 99% of the (mis)information which the public receives daily on the Ukrainian conflict and on much else. Their producers and editorial boards, their journalist staff all are looking at one another or just contemplating their belly buttons. They have for some years now been living in a virtual world and paying little heed to the real world.  I can only be surprised that an astute observer of commercial opportunities like Zuckerberg took so long to launch Meta.

I have three points to make today about how the Russians are conducting their military campaign in Ukraine.

The first point is a generalization from the remarks I made yesterday about their humane treatment of the enemy’s servicemen. This approach to the military tasks results from awareness that the military is a handmaiden to diplomacy and to politics, not vice versa, as has been the case in each of the major wars that the United States fought and ultimately lost in the past thirty years. That is why the Russians are not practicing “shock and awe,” which is the American way of war.

The second point closely abuts the first.  The ascent of Russia’s military capability in the past decade was defined not by their celebrated cutting edge hypersonic missile technology or the deep sea nuclear drone Poseidon..  After all, in the final analysis once parity is established in means of nuclear deterrence, the weapons become useless in the garden variety conflicts that we see everywhere and in every age.  Ultimately what counts to project power at the regional level, which is where Russia positions itself, is conventional weapons which can be and are used in attempts to resolve intractable conflicts by force of arms. This is precisely where the Russians amazingly caught up with the United States, bypassing, incidentally, all of the weapons industry of Western Europe in quality and quantity. 

So the Russians have their ‘toys for the boys,’ which they designed, manufactured and implemented in their ground, air and sea forces. They did all this at bargain basement prices. But they use them sparingly and demonstratively rather than as blunt instruments of mass destruction. This is a cardinal difference from the American way of war.

The third point is that there is continuity in Russian military behavior which makes it predictable.  In the takeover of Crimea, the game-changer favoring the Russian PsyOps was their ability to disrupt entirely the military communications of the Ukrainian enemy, so that field units lost touch with their commanders and were exposed on the spot to calls for surrender and desertion, to which the vast demoralized and confused majority acceded at once.  There is evidence that the same technique is being practiced today by Russia in Ukraine

Yesterday anyone watching Euronews on one screen and Russian state television on another would have been perplexed by the totally contradictory coverage of both with respect to the fate of the armed detachment of Ukrainian border guards on one island in the southeast of Ukraine.  Euronews carried the address of President Zelensky awarding posthumous designation as Heroes of Ukraine to the entire detachment, which reportedly resisted the attacking Russian forces and were slaughtered.  Meanwhile Russian news showed those same border guards seated at tables and signing sworn statements that they voluntarily lay down their arms and awaited repatriation to their homes and families.

Was Zelensky engaging in brazen propaganda?  No, he was simply misinformed because the detachment had been wholly cut off from its superior officers in Kiev and they feared for the worst.  This is what the Russians practiced so successfully in their Crimean campaign in 2014.

Finally, I wish to share one more defining pattern of Russian military behavior today that carries over from their operations in their Syrian campaign to destroy the US-backed terrorist groups in that country. In Syria, the Russian army established special units to sort out in field conditions the bad terrorists from the very bad terrorists. The former were allowed to lay down their arms and go home to their families. The latter were fought to the death and “neutralized.”

This slow, painstaking effort to distinguish enemies who can be brought back into civil society from those who cannot is unique to the Russian way of war today, and it deserves much more attention than it receives in our media. It is surely enabled by advanced psychological training of officers in charge. And it is an entirely different mindset from the “counterinsurgency” techniques that David Petraeus popularized and rode to fame and advancement in the Iraq War.

Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book is Does Russia Have a Future? Reprinted with permission from his blog.

© Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

47 thoughts on “Gilbert Doctorow: The Russian Way of War”

  1. It’s probably expensive to use modern weapons too often. Only the US has that much to waste. And others would learn how they work, how to counter them, if any differences exist.

  2. I somewhat hate that concept of killing the “very bad” soldiers, because such could be used to target those who are educated, free thinking, intelligent, so forth – as opposed to NPC.

    Bad criminals, sociopaths: those are truly bad.

    1. If you think of who “resists” in the US, it’s really only a very small number of experts. Were they all killed, a great deal would be lost.

      An NPC matters not.

  3. Russians With Attitude
    @RWApodcast
    ·5h

    The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence is CONFIRMING that the garrison of Snake Island is ALIVE and has surrendered to Russian troops

    Quote Tweet
    Russians With Attitude
    @RWApodcast
    · 13h

    What appears to be footage of the Ukrainian garrison of Snake Island surrendering to Russian troops has surfaced; earlier the Ukrainian government had claimed they they refused to surrender and had all died heroically

  4. Pepe Escobar @RealPepeEscobar
    ·8h
    Turkey DENIES closing Dardanelles and Bosphorus to Russian vessels.
    So the Comedian, once again, LIED. In public – Empire of Lies-style.

    Pepe Escobar
    @RealPepeEscobar
    ·8h
    NOT officially confirmed yet by Ankara.
    IF that’s true, the NATO Sultan better have a REALLY good explanation.
    And as it stands, it’s pointless. All the Russian vessels that matter already ARE in the Black Sea.

  5. Pepe Escobar @RealPepeEscobar
    ·11h

    The Comedian has fled the (Kiev) building and is under protection of neo-Nazis in Lviv.

  6. Have no idea if this is true, but if so, is one reason for Chernobyl seizure:

    Russian control of Chernobyl may have been aimed against alleged Ukrainian plan to produce nukeshttps://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/russian-control-of-chernobyl-may-have-been-aimed-against-alleged-ukrainian-plan-to-produce-nukes/articleshow/89836416.cms

    The Russian military reportedly seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant amid apprehensions that Ukraine allegedly backed by foreign powers may have launched the process to build nukes based on Plutonium-239 available in the complex.

    Ukraine was allegedly making plans to produce 8-10 nuclear bombs with the available plutonium with support from certain foreign powers, sources indicated to ET. Plutonium-239 is an isotope of plutonium. Plutonium-239 is the primary fissile isotope used for the production of nuclear weapons.

    Russia considered this alleged plan as a threat close to their borders and one of their goals in Ukraine was to nix the plan, claimed one of the above mentioned sources.

  7. I had to install Telegram, which is a piece of crap – took over an hour on openSUSE Leap 15.3 because the normal app was “obsolete” according to Telegram, then I tried to use the snap package version – that didn’t work – then I had to use the flatpak version – that worked. Telegram is a total piece of crap developed by morons.

    However, if you have Telegram on Windows or your phone, go to the https://t.me/intelslava channel. There are tons of videos on the fighting in Ukraine. Yes, yes, it’s a pro-Russian channel. Screw that. Look at the videos. Of course, like all the videos of the war on the Internet, it’s next to impossible to determine what is really going on in them, but it’s still informative as to the nature of war (albeit most people are quite a distance away from the actual fighting.)

  8. Here are the lunatics in the US calling for war with Russia…

    NATO mobilizes troops as UK MPs, US congressmen call for air war against Russia
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/02/26/ukra-f26.html

    UK Defense Minister James Heappey announced that the UK would send armed forces to Estonia “earlier than planned,” with the Royal Welsh battle group arriving in the country shortly. A further 1,000 UK troops will be on standby “to support Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Poland,” Heappey said.

    But the defense minister warned of the dangers of an open engagement between NATO and Russia, observing that the conflict could quickly become “existential.”

    Both in the UK and the US, significant forces within the political establishment are advocating for just such an “existential” conflict.

    Heappey’s warnings were directed to MPs advocating for an establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, meaning that NATO surface-to-air missiles and aircraft would engage and attempt to shoot down Russian combat planes.

    The imposition of a no-fly zone “would be a significant and real help for the people of Ukraine,” said Tory MP Peter Bone.

    In the United States, Congressman Adam Kinzinger demanded that the United States take this measure. “Declare a #NoFlyZone over Ukraine,” Kinzinger tweeted. “History teaches that taking a stand is inevitable and gets more costly with time. We own the skies, Russia cannot hold a candle to our Air power. Do this. Putin is too dangerous to hope he is satisfied with ‘just Ukraine.’”

    The claim that the United States “own(s) the skies” in Eastern Europe is false. Russia operates what is arguably the world’s most advanced Anti-Access and Area Denial (A2/AD) system, which would inflict significant losses on NATO aircraft that sought to engage Russian air forces. If Moscow’s aircraft were to come under attack from sites within NATO territory, Russia could respond with cruise missile strikes on the batteries, triggering NATO Article 5 and starting a world war.

    This insane demand won support on both sides of the aisle, with Democratic Party operative Jon Cooper demanding, “The U.S. must declare a no-fly zone in Ukraine—NOW!!”

    In an exchange on BBC’s Radio 4 Today, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that the imposition of a no-fly zone would be an act of war against Russia.

    “To do a no-fly zone I would have to put British fighter jets against Russian; NATO would have to declare war on Russia.” This would “trigger a European war,” he said.

    Any such war threatens the use of nuclear weapons. As CNN military analyst James “Spider” Marks said on live television Thursday, “I would hate to think that [Vladimir Putin] might think that he can get away with a tactical nuke, and that there wouldn’t be a concomitant response. That then begins the cascading effect of the end of times.”

  9. Update from The Saker on the overall situation:

    Day 3 of the Russian operation in the Ukraine – OPEN THREAD
    https://thesaker.is/day-3-of-the-russian-operation-in-the-ukraine-open-thread/

    But first, this: it appears that yesterday Putin had ordered a temporary stop to the Russian offensive while talking with “Ze” but when the latter stop talking, Putin gave a “full ahead” order…

    Starting at the top left and going clockwise here is what is important:

    Kiev will soon be encircled
    The Ukie forces in the Donbass are fleeing hoping to avoid being surrounded, or “cauldroned” if you wish, (look how long and narrow the red lines are around the Ukies!)
    Mariupol is almost surrounded
    Nikolaev is under attack…

    So, what does all that mean?

    It means that we are coming to some kind of informational climax here. So far, in the West, that information is suppressed (even Sputnik and RT are under regular DDoS attack). I won’t even bother on the 500 foot high wave of disinformation produced by western PSYOPs in the social media. The bottom line is this, pretty soon I expect:

    The operational cauldron in the Donbass to lock in the Ukie forces which did not have time to evacuate
    The entire coast from roughly Nikolaev to Mariupol will be liberated
    Kiev will be if not physically surrounded, then at least “surrounded by fire”, which means that main axes of evacuation will come under steady Russian fire control

    Notice something else. In the 2nd map, some cities in the Russian rear are circled in blue: Chernigov, Konotop, Sumy, Kharkov and Kherson. I would add Mariupol to that list. These are all cities which were cut of from the rest of the Ukie forces, but which still have pockets of resistance inside, that is especially true of Mariupol where a large Nazi contingent appears to be ready to take its last stand.

    All this is to say that the mopping up operations inside bigger cities might take a while. That is normal and won’t affect any outcome.

    So right now the western PYSOPs can still throw out as many claims as it wants, but pretty soon the entire narrative will collapse, at which point the Russia-hating-and-bashing hysteria will reach a new feverish pitch. Be mentally prepared for that.

  10. By the way, ignore any massive number of Russian casualties that the MSM is reporting. The Daily Mail reportedly said over 2,500 Russian casualties. To speak simply, that is bovine evacuation.

    Also, Chechnya is sending around 10,000 Chechen Special Forces in support of the Russian operation. According to what I’m reading, these guys are no joke. Some are already in Ukraine supposedly.

  11. Exclusive: Satellite images of major airports, port, air force base display some changes
    https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202202/1253260.shtml

    The Global Times on Saturday obtained satellite images from spacety, a satellite data service provider, on some hot spots of the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine, including the two major airports in Kiev and Kharkiv, Ukraine air force base in Melitopol, and Odessa port.

    Comparison of images taken before and after the crossfire between Russia and Ukraine which broke out on Thursday showed more than 10 armored vehicles on the runways of Kiev international airport as well as a large aircraft. The airport cannot provide take-off and landing services, as the runways and taxiways were occupied by the military vehicles.

  12. What happens if Russia decides to shoot down the US drones around Ukraine? Interesting question…

    Ukraine’s boats attack ships evacuating Ukrainian troops who surrendered on Snake Island
    Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov added that the boats could have been directed by US drones
    https://tass.com/russia/1412053

    At least 16 Ukrainian naval boats attempted to attack the Black Sea Fleet ships that were evacuating the Ukrainian troops who had laid down their arms and surrendered on Snake Island, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said at a briefing on Saturday.

    He added that the boats could have been directed by US drones.

    “On the evening of February 25, during the evacuation of 82 Ukrainian troops who had voluntarily laid down their arms on Snake Island, 16 boats belonging to the Ukrainian Navy tried to attack the ships of the Black Sea Fleet by using swarming tactics, ” Konashenkov said adding that some of the boats used civilian vessels as shields.

    According to the spokesman, the Ukrainian boats attacked to take revenge on those who had surrendered and to shift the blame for the prisoners’ deaths on Russia.

    “As a result of the naval battles, 16 boats of the Ukrainian Navy were destroyed. None of the 82 Ukrainian troops from Snake Island were injured,” he added.

    Konashenkov pointed out that the Ukrainian naval boats could have been guided by US drones.

    “I would like to focus your attention that during the attack of Ukrainian boats, US strategic unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) Global Hawk and MQ-9A Reaper were hovering over the area of provocation. It is highly likely that the American UAVs were directing the Ukrainian boats against the ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet,” Konashenkov said.

  13. Russia may nationalize property of US, EU citizens in response to sanctions – Medvedev
    https://tass.com/politics/1411915

    MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev speculated that Russia may nationalize property of people registered in the US, the EU and other unfriendly jurisdictions amid new anti-Russian sanctions.

    He noted that Russia is being threatened with arrests of assets of Russian citizens and companies abroad – “just like that, without any sanctions,” “in a carpet fashion,” “out of spite.” According to the politician, “this must be responded to in a quite symmetric manner.”

    “With arrest of assets of foreigners and foreign companies in Russia based on country principle. And maybe, with nationalization of property of people registered in unfriendly jurisdictions. Like the EU, EU member states and a number of singing-along states of the Anglo-Saxon world that will take part in this,” he said on his VK page Saturday.

    “Thankfully, we have vast experience and we have a law on this issue. A harsh one,” Medvedev added ironically. “So the most interesting stuff only begins…”

  14. Germany says it’s sending anti-tank weapons, stinger missiles to Ukraine
    https://thehill.com/policy/international/russia/595981-germany-to-send-400-grenade-launchers-to-ukraine-in-major-policy

    “The Russian invasion marks a turning point. It is our duty to support Ukraine to the best of our ability in defending against Putin’s invading army. That is why we are delivering 1000 anti-tank weapons and 500 #Stinger missiles to our friends in #Ukraine,” Scholz tweeted.

    Let me tell you how this will work out. Russian intelligence in Germany will identify the locations of these weapons, where they are being sent from, the means of transport, their destination in Poland or wherever. Then Russian intelligence in Poland will identify the transport across the border into Ukraine either by satellite, aerial surveillance or on the ground eyes at the border.

    Then inside Ukraine – assuming they get that far – Russian intelligence and surveillance will find out where they are being delivered.

    That location will cease to exist.

    All this stuff is for show – to show that the US and NATO are “doing something.” In reality, the US and NATO are doing absolutely nothing of significance.

  15. Another post from Night Vision over at The Saker. He’s right. Tass has reported a bunch of tit-for-tat airspace closures.

    Nightvision on February 26, 2022 · at 2:54 pm EST/EDTAnother small but important update: a chorus of countries now banning Russian flights across their territory. Here’s the newest announcement:
    https://twitter.com/IngridaSimonyte/status/1497633099064045568Here’s a map of the countries which have purportedly so far announced closure of their airspace: https://twitter.com/nexta_tv/status/1497647124363755527 and I’m sure more will be added soon, no doubt.Route Russia would have to now take to get to Kaliningrad: https://twitter.com/typowskizastep/status/1497649469655072770/photo/1Couple this with the news that France has reportedly seized a Russian merchant ship carrying cars due to “sanction violation”, all of this amounts to a growing blockade of Russia. (which as far as I’m concerned is an act of war)I’ll let Saker hypothesize what all this means but certainly it is a grim development.

  16. From a post at The Saker… How long before the US does this, too, First Amendment be damned? The US has been heading this way for some time.

    Soloview on February 26, 2022 · at 3:53 pm EST/EDT
    In other news: Czech Republic is clamping down on social media. The State Prosecutor’s office has issued a “warning” that it considers “approving of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” a crime. A spokesman for the State Prosecutor’s Office Igor Stříž threatens to indict people supporting RFs military action on social media under a paragraph of the Criminal Code that prohibits “justifying, supporting, or denying facts of, a genocide”, which is how the Office views Russia’s conduct of war in Ukraine. (My own account at iDnes has been suspended today for 1 year without explanation, evidently because of my contributions to discussion threads. I went over the threads and noted the absence of all the well-known “pro-Russia” sh*t disturbers. All purged! ) The first casualty of war is Truth, they say.
    https://www.parlamentnilisty.cz/arena/monitor/Schvalujete-rusky-vpad-na-Ukrajinu-Statni-zastupci-vam-posilaji-varovani-694116

  17. The Saker on the bullcrap one reads in the Western MSM…

    Day 3 – Western PSYOPs in full overdrive
    https://thesaker.is/day-3-western-psyops-in-full-overdrive/?inmoderation

    But what do *I* do now???

    I have two options:

    Debunk all of this until I drop dead from exhaustion
    Ask you to wait another 24-26 hours and revisit it all

    As you can guess, I pick option #2.

    So, please don’t bother asking me whether it is true or not that 3 courageous Ukie grannies stopped and destroyed an entire column of Russian tanks. If you ask the question, you disqualify yourself from getting an reply from me.

    I love that bit about the 3 grannies! Note: He also has some info on the situation in this post, and what the Russian should do about the situation of civilians in the cities.

  18. There is now video confirmation of Azov Battalion Nazis shooting people trying to flee the city of Mariupol. One particularly graphic video shows them pulling people out of cars and shooting them. You can find these videos on the Twitter feed of the “Russians With Attitude”.

    Russians With Attitude @RWApodcast
    ·2h
    There’s now video proof of this. I won’t link it because I promised not to post footage of the dead but it’s easy to find and people have been posting it in our replies. Gruesome.

    Quote Tweet
    Russians With Attitude
    @RWApodcast
    · Feb 23
    Defense Spokesman of the Donetsk People’s Republic Eduard Basurin is claiming that the Azov bataillon and other units of the Ukrainian National Guard are blocking local civilians from leaving Mariupol

    https://twitter.com/RWApodcast/status/1496748133606432773

  19. Post from “House Doc” over at Moon of Alabama quoting Michael Brenner. Brenner makes the point I’ve made before: Putin is not a dictator and Russia is in general agreement with this operation.

    This, by Prof. Michael J. Brenner, is what I posted yesterday that librul thinks valuble — as do I of course. That’s why I posted it and why I am reposting it.
    ***********
    “When a prediction proves erroneous, a decent respect for your colleagues requires at least an explanation.” Prof. Michael Brenner
    [excerpt of his self-description – full version https://sites.pitt.edu/~mbren/Background.htm ]

    Consultant to United States Departments of Defense and State, Foreign Service Institute and Mellon Bank on multilateral diplomacy, peace keeping by multinational organizations, and political risk assessment.

    Prof. Brenner writes:

    Friends & Colleagues
    When a prediction proves erroneous, a decent respect for your colleagues requires at least an explanation.
    cheers
    Michael Brenner
    mbren@pitt.edu

    SOMETHING HAPPENED

    My muse knocked at dawn. Exhausted after catching the redeye from Moscow and then diverted over Finland. He insisted on a full breakfast before whispering in my ear. A week pulling up the grass roots from the permafrost in Gorky Park while subsisting on borscht and boiled cabbage had drained him.. Reanimated, the Truth began to flow – in short, staccato sentences with none of the usual refinements and subtle similes.

    Context and background are everything in understanding the Russian attack. Look at the process of decision as dynamic over time rather than sharply focused in the immediate.

    Putin is not a dictator. He cannot simply choose a course of action and give commands a la Stalin. Never has been. He has great authority; yet, at the same time, he represents the underlying convictions, thoughts and interests of powerful people in and around the government. Most of them were seated in that semicircle at St. Catherine’s Hall for the televised meeting of the Russian Security Council.

    They, along with most all of Russia’s political cum economic class, have felt deeply humiliated by what they see as the shabby, patronizing treatment they have received from the West – led by a crass America – since 1991. The insults in word and action have hit them nonstop since 2014, reaching a crescendo from March 2021 onward. They have known full well that the aim is to denature Russia as a political cum diplomatic power in Europe – and beyond. The West want it neutralized and marginalized so that the U.S. can remain master of Europe as it prepares for a titanic struggle with China for global supremacy. Unfettered access to Russia’s wealth of natural resources is a bonus.

    Concrete security concern have sharpened progressively as Washington has broken a series of major arms control agreements, expanded NATO, connived to replace friendly governments with American proxies via the notorious “color revolutions,” sought to undercut energy ties with European states, and deployed advanced weapons systems (above all, the anti-missile systems in Poland and Rumania able to be converted into offensive missile launchers), and via its ‘rules-based international order’ sloganeering and democracy vs autocracy campaign make explicit its intention to do everything possible to rig the game of world politics in its favor.

    Ukraine, they believe, became the occasion (not the cause) to pin down a Russia whose growing strength discomforted and annoyed the Americans. It represented a conscious decision of the Biden administration under the sway of reborn Cold Warriors in State, the NSC, the CIA and the Pentagon. The triumph of their will in a government bereft of contrary voices and led by a weak, manipulable President was a sure thing. The Ukraine anti-Russia operation began in March with the Washington encouraged build-up of Ukrainian military forces along the Donbass Line, delivery of large quantities of arms including Javelin anti-armor weapons, renewed talk of heavy economic sanctions, and a chorus of shrill rhetoric from all quarters in Washington and Brussels.

    The American objective of putting Russia back in its subordinate place was taken as an obvious given by the Kremlin. Uncertainty existed on the question of what initiatives on the ground to expect: a major assault on the Donbass or provocative acts to force a Russian reaction that could be used as a pretext for imposing sanctions (above all, the cancelling of NORDSTROM II).

    It is likely that senior policymakers in Washington themselves had not made a definitive judgment on the issue. Divisions among individual players and a wavering President could very well left have important matters unresolved within a soft, cloudy consensus. There was visible evidence of this in the repeated juxtaposition, and alternation, of bellicose rhetoric and Biden’s mollifying words in public and the “let’s not go to war” telephone conversations he initiated to Putin and reaffirmed at their Geneva Summit.

    In Moscow, too, there likely were differences of opinion – or, more accurately, of emphasis. They surely led to some divergences over what actions Russia should take. It is essential to bear in mind that Putin himself seems to have been closer to the dovish end of the continuum among Security Council members on the overarching issue of how to deal with the U.S., with the West, and particularly Ukraine. One could imagine a gradual hardening of thinking among all individuals as tensions mounted and frustrations grew in the Kremlin. A Putin, who might have been trying to fashion an approach that reconciled his own wariness about military confrontation with genuine worry about the threats to Russian security presented by Washington’s hardline, might have found himself in a quandary. I suspect that American official have very little understanding of this reality or appreciate its implications.

    That could explain the promulgation of that strange position paper/demarche wherein he laid out in detail a list of demands for a drastic revision of Europe’s security configuration punctuated by an emphasis on time urgency. That is to say, a Hail Mary to stay the hand of a growing consensus that the time had come for Russia to hit back at the West in the Ukraine. Two things perhaps tipped Putin’s thinking into accepting the necessity of doing what he did. One was the West’s unbending and unaccommodating response. The other, was the Ukrainians’ launching an unprecedented artillery and mortar barrage against the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. Who forced that fateful step? Elements of the Ukraine Army and/or security services? The AZOV brigade and associated parties? Zelensky? With how much encouragement from the CIA and/or the White House?

    Michael Brenner

    Posted by: Housedoc | Feb 26 2022 18:47 utc | 15

    Link to Post:
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/02/disarming-ukraine-day-3.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef0282e146441d200b#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef0282e146441d200b

  20. I believe this should be considered an act of war – seizing ships. Not that the US hasn’t been doing it to Iranian ships for a while now.

    Russian ship seized by French authorities
    The cargo vessel is suspected of being linked to “Russian interests” hit by Western sanctions
    https://www.rt.com/russia/550707-russia-ship-detained-france/

    The Russian ‘Baltic Leader’ cargo ship at the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer in Northern France, February 26, 2022 © AFP / Francois Lo Presti

    A Russian cargo ship has been intercepted in the English Channel by French authorities on suspicion of violating EU sanctions imposed following Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine.

    The vessel, which departed from Rouen, was transporting cars to St. Petersburg when it was redirected to the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France in the early hours of Saturday morning.

    The press office for the Maritime Prefecture of the Channel confirmed to the media that the ship was “strongly suspected of being linked to Russian interests targeted by the sanctions.”

    According to the statement, during a routine patrol of the channel, police “came across the Russian boat, an inspection aboard was made and the boat was ordered to return to the French port” for further investigations.

  21. Have no idea if this is true, but if so, is one reason for Chernobyl seizure:

    Russian control of Chernobyl may have been aimed against alleged Ukrainian plan to produce nukeshttps://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/russian-control-of-chernobyl-may-have-been-aimed-against-alleged-ukrainian-plan-to-produce-nukes/articleshow/89836416.cms

    The Russian military reportedly seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant amid apprehensions that Ukraine allegedly backed by foreign powers may have launched the process to build nukes based on Plutonium-239 available in the complex.

    Ukraine was allegedly making plans to produce 8-10 nuclear bombs with the available plutonium with support from certain foreign powers, sources indicated to ET. Plutonium-239 is an isotope of plutonium. Plutonium-239 is the primary fissile isotope used for the production of nuclear weapons.

    Russia considered this alleged plan as a threat close to their borders and one of their goals in Ukraine was to nix the plan, claimed one of the above mentioned sources.

    1. The taking of Chernobyl makes more sense now. Now who could the “certain foreign powers” be???

  22. Ukrainians attacking oil depots. Sounds like the end of the movie “Battle of the Bulge” – trying to prevent Robert Shaw from capturing an oil depot to refuel the German tanks. I doubt that applies to this case, however – more likely just vengefully destroying LDPR resources.

    Oil Depots Burning All Over Ukraine (Videos)
    https://southfront.org/oil-depots-burning-all-over-ukraine-videos/

    On the night of February 27, the Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the village of Rovenki with rockets. Despite destroying civilian settlements, Ukrainian forces launched a missile attack on an oil depot located in the town in the LPR. A large fire broke out.

    According to the footage, the Tochka-U missile was used to destroy the oil depot. According to the LPR People’s Militia, eight fuel tanks with a volume of about 5 thousand liters were damaged. No injuries were reported.

  23. Sounds like Russia gearing up to get serious, now that Zelensky has refused to negotiate.

    Day 4 Of War In Ukraine Started: Russian Troops Are In Kharkov City. Cruise Missiles Pound Regime Forces (Video)
    https://southfront.org/day-4-of-war-in-ukraine-started-russian-troops-are-in-kharkov-city-cruise-missiles-pound-regime-forces-video/

    In the morning of February 27, Russian forces launched an operation to take control of Kharkov city. During the first days of the operation, Kiev regime forces showed notable resistance in the area and were able to to destroy some reconnaissance units of the Russians there. Additionally, initial reports about the blocking of the city were not confirmed.

    Nonetheless, now it seems that the Russian military is set to really take control of Kharkov and destroy the crucial military logistical infrastructure of the Kiev regime there. This city and its surroundings are among the key defense points of the regime in the northeast of Ukraine.

    Actions of Russian troops on the ground also show the readiness to employ direct force against resisting units of formations of radical nationalists that are the core of the pro-Kiev force.

  24. Another indication that things are going to heat up since negotiations are off the table (at least for now.)

    Battle For Kharkov: Street Fighting Began (Video)
    https://southfront.org/battle-for-kharkiv-street-fighting-began-video/

    Fighting in the Karkov outskirts lasted for almost the whole night. The head of the Kharkov Regional State Administration confirmed that Russian troops broke through the defense of the city. Kharkov police officials confirmed that numerous Russian groups have broken into the city.

    On February 27, the Ministry of Defense Ministry reported that the 302nd anti-aircraft missile Regiment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, equipped with Buk M-1 air defense systems, voluntarily laid down their weapons and surrendered in the Kharkov region. 471 Ukrainian servicemen were detained.

    First footage from the city showed small groups of Russian soldiers on Tiger armored vehicles moving on the streets of the city. These were reconnaissance groups who were tasked to discover the locations of Ukrainian military equipment which had been deployed in the residential areas in advance. Russian infantry was already spotted on the outskirts of the city.

    The UAF use civilian buildings as a human shield…

    This is an interesting point: the suggestion is Zelenskey is delaying negotiation until the neo-Nazi battalions are taken out, reducing the threat to his own administration. I suggest this is speculative at best, but definitely a possibililty.

    The UAF are luring Russian forces into the various cities in Ukraine, including Kharkov, Sumy, Kherson, Mariupol etc. They have been preparing for fighting on the streets for at least three days, since the Russian military operation began. Civilians were kept in hostage. They were not evacuated, but even prohibited to leave the cities.

    While the blood thread begins in the Ukrainian cities, Zelenskiy refuses to launch negotiations. The more victims there are during the Russian operation, the harder the response from the West and the blow to the Russian economy will be. Zelenskiy is also waiting until the uncontrolled nationalist units of the Ukrainian paramilitary groups suffer more losses, as they pose the main threat to the current Kiev’s regime, and this threat will significantly grow after the military escalation decrease.

    1. They just want Russians to be angry at their government. So, they wouldn’t be put in camps but deported.

  25. Ukraine isn’t Syria, and in Syria Russia led with a massive air campaign to destroy IS resources on the ground, then followed up with friendly popular militia units.

    No such air campaign was waged, and outside Donetsk and Lugansk, pro-Russian PMUs don’t exist in Ukraine.

    Moscow is going to be hard pressed to keep the war from dragging on as a result. The longer this goes on, the less able Russia can keep up the precision war facade

    Crimea, like Donbass, is majority Russian. The rest of Ukraine is not so Russian.

    The actual Russian way of war is to throw bodies into the meat grinder till the other side gives up or is destroyed.

  26. This is a must-watch video with smartest analysts of the Ukraine situation.

    WATCH: CN Live! — ‘Russia Hits Back
    https://consortiumnews.com/2022/02/25/watch-cn-live-russia-hits-back/

    To discuss the unfolding developments and their historical backgrounds we are joined from Moscow by political analyst Mark Sleboda; also from Moscow by Tony Kevin, a former Australian ambassador to Poland and Cambodia, who was posted to the embassy in Moscow in the last days of the Soviet Union; from London by political analyst and Duran editor, Alexander Mercouris; and from upstate New York by military analyst, former counterintelligence officer and U.N. weapons inspector, Scott Ritter.

    1. One of the few good things I can say about Trump is there were no wars by Russia during his presidency unlike Biden, Obama and Bush.
      If the Nazis took over Ukraine and became powerful, they’d create death camps all over Europe.

  27. Just when you think the Kiev regime couldn’t get any more insane… This is why when Scott Ritter says that Russia is through playing with these guys and they’re all going to end up screaming in an ally, I believe him. This is why Russia is sending the Chechens in.

    Another Threat To Ukrainians: Kiev Releases Criminals To Fight Russia (Video 18+)
    https://southfront.org/another-threat-to-ukrainians-kiev-releases-criminals-to-fight-russia/

    The office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine claimed that former military personnel who are ready to participate in fighting against Russian forces are being released from prison. This was reported by Hromadske TV with reference to the prosecutor Andriy Sinyuk.

    Thus, prisoners, former military personnel who committed crimes during their service, including war crimes, are being released from prisons, pre-trial detention centers all over Ukraine.

    The formal criterias for their release was their “combat experience, services to the state and sincere repentance” are taken into account.

    For example, Sergei Torbin, who was convicted of organizing an attack on the Kherson activist Ekaterina Gandzyuk, was already sent on a “combat missions” with a unit of “about a dozen more people whom he chose among the currently convicted.”

    The former commanders of the Tornado and Donbass battalions, Ruslan Onishchenko and Semyon Semenchenko, are also among those who may be released soon.

    1. Its not crazy to utilize all military-trained personnel including criminal prisoners.

      As long as they halfways follow orders and fight, they’re as expendable as everyone else.

      1. “As long as they halfways follow orders”…

        To quote Han Solo, “Well, that’s the real trick, isn’t it?”

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