Amazing to see voice of Europe saying this.

There have been no victories—not even bloody and debilitating wins like in the Fourth Battle of Karkhov—for nearly a year. Western leaders still profess that their support will continue. Yet the Western Alliance now admits it didn’t give Ukrainians nearly enough good stuff for even modest tactical gains in their ongoing, sacrificial offensive—and knew it going in. And increasingly, Ukrainian unit-level commanders are accusing higher leaders of simply using them as cannon-fodder to satisfy NATO overlords. Not just platoons, but larger units are surrendering to Russian forces. Morale is cratering.

This is attrition coming to fruition. The fallen empires of 1918—Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and the Ottomans—needed four years to reach that point. In a third of that time, Ukraine has lost 2.5 percent of its population. This reckoning amounts to what Soviet historians called “irreplaceable losses”—meaning, all soldiers who would never, ever return to the ranks.

Indeed, the real Ukrainian losses may well be higher.

Vee McMillen diaspora
So they dribbled in just enough 'support' to keep the war going, but not so they could end it. The US needs to get out of NATO, and NATO needs to be ended.

What's so striking about all of this is that the very top of US intelligence should have been aware that there just wasn't much of a chance.

It shows that we are deficient concerning our intelligence on Russian capabilities.

Or, more disturbingly, it shows that the information that we fed to the decision makers did not deter them in any way - they were determined to have this miserable conflict.

BAP On Putin

Bronze Age Pervert bringing the heat:

When I look at the condition of west Europe now after 70 years of American vassalage I don’t see sovereign countries, I see places where the population has by force been replaced to such an extent that a young German is now a minority in his own age group in his own country. The Soviets were chimp brutal oppressors, looted, shot, did many bad things. But look at East Europe now – they didn’t replace the people. The people in west Europe were replaced. And it’s not just about the white race, because the same is happening to South Korea: it is simply the most cruel method of rule by the gang that has overthrown America, where they are using it on their own people–to replace nations in their own lands, to introduce tribalism, racial hatred, in the mistaken belief they will profit off of this. To these methods have been added now another still more cruel, of the transsexual movement which is quickly heading to where the state is able to claim ownership of children and castrate boys without consent of parents, which has already begun to happen in certain few places, but will only accelerate.

These two methods are the most brutal used by the most brutal Oriental despotisms and tyrannies, and they were not and are not being used by the Russians. We know Putler is corrupt and self-interested, but as long as he’s the only one giving resistance to this cabal that has overthrown the western governments, we will support him. In the case of Ukraine, this place is being used as a base of great value to this cabal: they are able to launder money to themselves, intelligence, and use it as a staging ground for operations like the Russia Hoax and the January 6 false flag attack on congress. They must be deprived of this base. Putin seems to have neither the intentions nor the ability to occupy Ukraine: his aims are ours, to deprive the cabal of this base.

Dwayne Parsons reshared this.

Ukraine Calls for More Anti-Air Systems

They obviously need it:

Ukraine cannot protect all of its main cities from Russian missile threats without a significant increase in the provision of air defence systems, according to a key adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Mykhailo Podolyak said the strikes on Odesa over the past week had shown clearly that the Russian strategy was to bombard Ukrainian cities, with the aim of overwhelming air defence systems.

“Russia’s tactics are clear: they use massive drone attacks to overload our anti-aircraft systems and then in parallel they have a window of opportunity to use ballistic missiles to target infrastructure,” he told the Guardian, in an interview at the presidential administration in Kyiv.

Honestly, there is probably not enough that can even be given over to them to make the sort of difference that is required.

This combined with the various other setbacks that the Ukraine faces, it does not make sense to not be actively pursuing a peace deal.

They should have been working on cutting their losses a long time ago, but for whatever reason, Zelenskyy thinks that NATO is fully capable of giving them the instantaneous and infinite supplies necessary to potentially win the war...

All while he runs out of manpower.

It's a mess of a situation and allowing the war to go on like this is a human rights violation.

Truly fascinating

Putin visited the Donbass and even drove himself around

US Officials Say 100k Ukrainian Soldiers Died

Real numbers are starting to come out.

Russia has spent months pummeling the country with missiles, seeking not only to cause destruction but also deplete Ukraine’s air defense stocks. Ukrainian soldiers have described acute shortages of basic ammunition, including mortar rounds and artillery shells. And upwards of 100,000 Ukrainian forces have died in the year-long war, U.S. officials estimate, including the most experienced soldiers.

They're ready to wind this down, I think.
Otto Pureblood reshared this.

Corporations Own Ukraine

These numbers are nuts:

Corporations such as "Cargill", "DuPont" and "Monsanto" (which is formally a German-Australian company, but essentially an American one) are among the most prominent owners of Ukrainian arable land. In addition, corporations like "Vanguard", "Blackrock" and "Blackstone" are among the largest shareholders in the aforementioned agricultural giants, owning trillions in assets. For instance, "Blackrock" is a fund that manages assets worth over $10 trillion, with "Vanguard" controlling at least six and "Blackstone" managing up to $1 trillion. Together, the three massive US multinational corporations ("Cargill", "DuPont" and "Monsanto") own over 17 million hectares of Ukraine's arable land.

In comparison, the whole of Italy has 16.7 million hectares of agricultural land. In short, the three American corporations own more usable agricultural land in Ukraine than what the whole country of Italy has. The entire area of Ukraine is approximately 600,000 square km. Out of that land area, 170,000 square km have been acquired by foreign corporations, the vast majority Western, particularly those based in or financed by the US. Since the new law on the sale of agricultural land passed by the Kiev regime entered into full force approximately one year ago, to this day, the three large multinational consortia financed with US capital have acquired well over a quarter of Ukrainian arable land. A report by the Australian National Review states that the three US corporations managed to acquire 17 out of the 62 million hectares of agricultural land in less than a year. This made it possible for them to control 28% of the total arable land in Ukraine.

Now you know why they fight.

Pirghozin & Ammunition Again

Actually rather surprised to see this:

The Russian front lines could collapse, warned Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin on his Telegram channel on Sunday, accusing the Russian Defense Ministry of cutting off his penal brigades from resupply. "For now, we are trying to figure out the reason: is it just ordinary bureaucracy or a betrayal," said Prigozhin.

That is certainly concerning when Pirghozin talks about the potential for the entire frontline to collapse.

But we do see some dubious analysis coming later on:

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian defenders “are continuing to inflict high casualties against the advancing mixed Russian forces,” according to the latest analysis from the Institute for the Study of War, which added that the Ukrainians are “likely setting robust conditions for a future Ukrainian counteroffensive.”

“The Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut remains strategically sound as it continues to consume Russian manpower and equipment as long as Ukrainian forces do not suffer excessive casualties,” the ISW said. “Ukrainian forces are unlikely to withdraw from Bakhmut all at once and may pursue a gradual fighting withdrawal to exhaust Russian forces through continued urban warfare.”

... Again, imagine thinking that you are really able to keep up with the Russians as Ukraine in a game of attrition when it is already clear that senior brass have wanted you to wihdraw.

The Institute for the Study of War shows itself again as not a very serious study group, but a mouthpiece for the US State Department.

Ukrainians in Their Own Words on Bakhmut

It's bad in the Ukraine:

During their brief visits to the nearby town of Kostiantynivka, Ukrainian infantrymen told the Kyiv Independent of unprepared, poorly-trained battalions being thrown into the front line meat grinder to survive as best they could with little support from armored vehicles, mortars, artillery, drones and tactical information. 

“We don’t get any support,” says a soldier named Serhiy, who has been fighting on the front lines in Bakhmut.

They say that Russian artillery, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers are often allowed to strike Ukrainian positions for hours or days without being shut down by Ukrainian heavy weapons. Some complained of poor coordination and situational awareness, allowing this to happen or making it even worse. 

Mortarmen spoke of extreme ammunition scarcity and having to use weapons dating back to World War II. Drones that are supposed to provide critical reconnaissance information are also scarce and are being lost at very high rates in some parts of the battlefield.

All this leads to terrifying casualties of both dead and wounded. "The battalion came in in the middle of December… between all the different platoons, there were 500 of us," says Borys, a combat medic from Odesa Oblast fighting around Bakhmut. "A month ago, there were literally 150 of us."

“When you go out to the position, it’s not even a 50/50 chance that you’ll come out of there (alive),” says the older Serhiy. “It’s more like 30/70.”

Some more analysis of the battlefield:

Multiple soldiers say that they are under massive assault from both Wagner Group mercenaries and regular Russian forces.

“There’s Wagner and there’s two brigades of airborne assault,” says Oleksandr, an infantryman from Sumy, who is part of a Ukrainian assault battalion in Bakhmut. “It’s rough. Constant waves, nonstop.”

Some have characterized the Russian attacks as huge waves of cannon fodder, while others say that the invaders’ tactics have evolved to keep up with the battlefield.

The older Serhiy says that the enemy likes to send a team of three or four expendable foot soldiers to attack and make the Ukrainians expose themselves by shooting at them. At that point, the more elite forces zero in on the defenders’ position.

Once they begin exchanging fire, the Ukrainians are struck with heavier weapons like Russian mortars and rockets from Grad multiple launch rocket systems or BMP infantry fighting vehicles and BTR armored personnel carriers with machine guns.

“They get the positions where we are, establish the coordinates, then they hit us from seven to nine kilometers out with mortars,” as well as from closer by with grenade launchers, says the older Serhiy. “They wait for the house to fall so we have to jump out. The building catches fire and then they try to finish us off.”

“Their birds come out and they chase us with fire,” adds the younger Serhiy, referring to Russian UAVs, like quadcopters and Orlan-10 fixed wing drones that spot distant heavy weapons. “They hit accurately.”

As Russians destroy more and more buildings, Ukrainians keep losing more places where they can reliably take cover. Borys the medic says people have been lost when their entrenched positions collapsed from heavy Russian fire, suffocating them.

“I’ll put it like this, we should get our people out because if we don’t take off, then in the next few weeks, it’s going to be bad,” says Oleksandr. A mortarman named Illia agrees that Bakhmut is “practically encircled.”

Ukrainians Execute One of Their Own

Found at Gab.

I did not watch the video because I try to avoid seeing these things whenever I can.

Nonetheless, it's a sad thing to see.

I do understand the occasional necessity of meting out the ultimate punishment on the front lines of war, but there certainly is something sad about giving a man his final smoke and then recording yourself gunning him down.


Not entirely positive as to why Zelenskyy felt bold enough to lie about the consensus of his continued commitment to Bakhmut:

"The command unanimously supported this position. There were no other positions. I told the commander in chief to find the appropriate forces to help our guys in Bakhmut."

The comments followed a report by the German newspaper Bild quoting Ukrainian government sources that armed forces commander Valery Zaluzhny had disagreed with Mr Zelensky about the operation several weeks ago, recommending a retreat from the city.

Most defenders shared Gen Zaluzhny's view, the paper added.

Anyone following this closely understands that they are paying a steep price defending this place and that, in the long-term, they do not have any advantage in a war of attrition.

It seems less like the Russians are desperate for a victory and more like the Ukrainians are desperate to avoid the appearance of defeat.

DeSantis & Ukraine

I've been more skeptical of DeSantis since I've heard him essentially aim to limit the scope of criticism of Israel in Florida, and you can just see more now how he is probably a politician riding on the coattail's of Trump's populism to some degree.

This isn't completely bad... In fact, the more opportunists trying to capitalize off of Trump through imitation, the better. But why choose someone who is willing to abandon these principles when it is inconvenient when you can go with the originator?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis once strongly supported arming Ukraine to fight Russia, urging then-President Barack Obama to do so as a deterrent to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe – a position at odds with his statements this week questioning the United States’ involvement in the conflict.

As a conservative congressman, DeSantis, now a potential presidential hopeful, urged sending “defensive and offensive” weapons to Ukraine in 2014 and 2015 and even voted to refuse to fund a new missile defense treaty with Russia until they withdrew from Ukraine, according to a review of DeSantis’ past comments by CNN’s KFile.

Once an advocate of a hardline, hawkish approach to Russia by supporting Ukraine, the Florida governor shifted course this week in anticipation of a potential presidential run in a changed, more isolationist Republican party, questioning whether it was in the United States’ interest to be involved in what he called, “things like the borderlands or over Crimea.” He added that Russia was not “the same threat to our country, even though they’re hostile” and downplayed the threats that Russia could invade NATO countries.

This was all very much in line with what you would have expected from regular Republican geopolitics back in the day.

I prefer the alternative.

Emma Orabelle friendica
It's understandable to be skeptical of politicians who change their positions on important issues for political expediency. It's concerning when politicians prioritize their own political ambitions over their principles. tunnel rush

Back in my day, artillery was referred to as the king of n battle... It's the category of weapon that has killed the most people since its inception, and to dominate in terms of artillery is to have control over the battlefield.

Everywhere the Ukrainians gather, they are ultimately under a sort of siege. They become targets that have no choice but to move quickly or break ranks. They can't actually sit in positions and hold them for the long term without taking immense casualties.

It's foolish to fight in these conditions. It's a waste of lives.

Get to the negotiating table and stop making poor Ukrainians go die pointless deaths.
Lol yeah but I think it's just an M777 Howitzer.

These are American made and part of the aid supplied to the Ukraine.

BTW I think I'll start following some of the people you're following to get more engaged with the universe.
Nanook friendica
@J. Løvstuhagen Ah the straight behind profile is misleading. It looked to me like it was pointed straight up, but now I can see that is just the funky angle they chose to photograph it from.
Russia fires between 40,000 and 50,000 artillery shells per day, compared to 5,000-6,000 Ukrainian forces expend.

That's keeping busy...

Trump on the War

What struck me was the claim that Trump actually said that when Russia initially put troops on the border, they were looking to negotiate.

That doesn't seem irrational at all. They would have likely looked for a deal that would liberate the DPR and LPR, maybe even just calling for an election.

That opportunity for us to assent to that and avoid a war passed when the bungling Biden administration took control.

Chemical Weapons on the Horizon

"On 22 February, an influential U.S. non-governmental organisation held a conference on the events in Ukraine. Within the event, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan made the statement, ‘...Russian troops plan to use chemical weapons in the special military operation area...’.

"Russia regards this information as the intention of the United States itself and its accomplices to carry out a provocation in Ukraine using toxic chemicals."\

You heard it here first.
Nanook friendica
We did so in East Palestine, Ohio, so yea I can believe this.

It just seems like some slow pitched battle to us but it's an absolute grind:

>"It's been pretty bad on the ground. A lot of casualties. The life expectancy is around four hours on the front line," Troy Offenbecker, formerly of the United States Marine Corps, told ABC News.

“President Biden was right to make his trip to Ukraine. And we recognize the hundreds of American officials who worked long and hard to make this a secure visit,” Issa said. “But while today was a logistical success, it was a strategic failure. Rather than an inspiring mission from a commander in chief, this resembled a VIP drop-by from a global celebrity.”
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