Russians Are Routed, Maybe

It appears the Russian army was routed out of some key areas in eastern Ukraine. There was a huge loss of Russian equipment, reports say, as the Russians appear to have just abandoned everything to run for their lives. Not all news sources are using the word “rout,” but it does sound like a rout.

The Russians are saying it’s just a redeployment.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday confirmed that it had pulled forces out of Balakliya and Izyum, after a decision to “regroup” and transfer them toward the regional capital of Donetsk in the south “in order to achieve the goals of the special military operation.”

Here’s the warning label:

The stunning rout of Russian forces by Ukraine’s flash counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region does not, on its own, signal a decisive shift in the war to Ukraine’s advantage.

Radio Free Europe is reporting that Moscow Municipal Lawmakers Demand Putin’s Resignation. They’ve got more courage than the Russian army.

And something funky is going on in Moscow.

And that’s all I know about Russia and Ukraine.

9 thoughts on “Russians Are Routed, Maybe

  1. I fear Putin is waiting for winter to hit Western Europe, to break their resolve, given their need for energy. Have read this is already leading Europeans to cut down old growth forests for wood pellets. It will be interesting to see the new British PM, Liz Truss, a conservative deal with this and already high energy costs in the UK. Will she do the usual retarded thing conservatives always do, tax cuts, that will be of the least help to those who need it? I fear a long winter for the old country.

  2. "Routed?"

    I don't know.  Maybe.

    But damaged?  Yes, definitely.  Hopefully badly.

    My Ukrainian half is happy…  Make that happier.

    My Russian half is pissed at Putin, squandering young Russians by the thousands in a needless, stupid, and losing d*ck-waving exhibition.

    I knew the invasion of the rest of Ukraine was inevitable, after Putin grabbed Crimea eight years ago.

    What surprised me, was not the ferocity of the Ukrainians defenders. What got my attention early, was how effective the Ukrainians defense was.  They apparently used the intervening years picking America's military brain.  And American equipment and training.

    Another shocker to me was how bad the Russian military was/is.  The equipment was antique and/or in bad shape, and the troops, not just disorganized, but unmotivated.

    Hopefully, the rumblings we hear about the people's dissatisfaction – and apparently, some politician's – are true.

    Putin, in his effort to unify Russia and recreate the old USSR, may have created his own Waterloo.

    How's Elba doing nowadays?  Still a lonely outpost?

    Or will Putin get a more deserving end?

    I opt for Putin to get the Mussolini treatment.

  3. I'm pleased with the Ukrainian offensive. This is a force worthy of our support. Such has frequently not been the case from the debacle in S. Vietnam to the collapse in Afghanistan. Both happened after the US invested in training and supplying "armies" with no will to fight. Ukraine has the will and deserves our support.

    I don't believe everything I read but Russia is admitting they've suffered losses and are "regrouping."  So it's real. If Ukraine can keep the pressure on, that's gonna turn politics in Moscow into a pressure cooker. If/when the perception in Russia is that after six months and tens of thousands of casualties, Russia is losing ground and being forced back, Putin's power and perhaps his life will be at risk 

    There's a bridge to Crimea from Russia of huge strategic and political importance.  If Ukraine can knock those bridges out, supplies to support the Russian war effort will be curtailed, but more importantly, it will make Putin look weak.

    • Be careful what you wish for.  So far, Russia has been surprisingly careful about avoiding attacks on "dual-use" (mil/civ) infrastructure in Ukraine.  Ukraine's transportation system depends on hundreds – maybe thousands? – of road & rail bridges spanning rivers in Ukraine, and Russia has generally *not* targeted them.  Russia would view any attack on the Kerch Bridge as strategic warfare against its homeland and would likely trigger a massive response.

      OTOH, the recent Ukrainian success around Kharkov – and specifically the Russian retreat from Izium – may lead Russia to attack some of the bridges which were used to haul troops and (NATO) weapons across the Dnipro (& other rivers) to the front lines in the East.

      Also note: blowing the Kerch Bridge would harden Russia's resolve to hold the entire coastline of the Sea of Azov to ensure a land-link to Crimea, which they consider to be part of Russia.

      • I can't buy into the "let's not offend Russia by kicking their butts because that will harden their resolve." That's bull. 

        A friend of mine does humanitarian work in Ukraine – has been for the last decade, mostly importing used medical equipment from the US to rural Ukrainian hospitals. Many of the places he's been to have been plastered by the Russians – including children's hospitals. I don't believe everything on CNN, but someone who has been in Ukraine often, before and after the invasion is a reliable source. The only "care" in protecting infrastructure is not blowing bridges that Russia saw as valuable in the invasion. 

        "which they consider to be part of Russia." The borders of Ukraine were defined and agreed to as being sovereign territory in writing in the Budapest Memorandum in 1994. Look it up.

        Blowing the Kerch Bridge is a loud and clear rejection of a link between Ukraine and Russia. It tells Russian soldiers and Russian tourists to get out – the lives and safety of Russian tourists on beaches that belong to Ukraine are as secure as the lives and property of Ukrainians whose security has been shattered by the invasion.  

        • Doug, I agree with the sentiment expressed in your opening paragraph. I think Putin bite off more than he could chew, and now he's trying to save face. I expect at some point the Ukrainians will attack the Kerch bridge not only for strategic reasons, but to let it be known that Zelensky means what he says when he says every inch of Ukrainian territory will recovered. Putin can't and won't win.

          The Moscow municipal lawmakers have articulated exactly what Putin and the Russian people are facing by continuing on the path that Putin has chosen and noted that it's not worth the price just to serve Putin's vanity. They're telling him to bail out for the future of Russia.

  4. I have been following the Ukraine war mostly on Daily Kos.  They have consistently differentiated what is known to be real from probable/possible from speculation/propaganda.  They have consistently been accurate.

    Does anyone have other sources they have found reliable with some depth to the reporting?

    • "Moon of Alabama" often has very useful detailed analysis of what's going on in Ukraine, but one has to filter out the pro-Russian bias (which has gotten worse since the invasion).  The site appears to be run by an old-school EuroSocialist in Germany, who may have had some experience in Spook work (for East or West Germany?).  Often includes maps of the front lines, which I've had trouble finding elsewhere.  Most useful as a counter-balance to US/Western MSM coverage which is blatantly biased against Russia & for NATO involvement.

      For Pro-Ukrainian perspective, I still read "Turcopolier", or at least the posts by "TTG".  The owner of the site, Col Pat Lang, succumbed to Obama Derangement Syndrome a decade ago, so I rarely read his posts these days.  Lang & TTG were both professional Soldier/Spooks, and smart ones, so the site often has valuable military perspective missing in MSM reports.

      Note: most of the Commenters on both sites are raving nuts – from opposite political perspectives!  This is kinda sad – a good crew of Commenters can really add value to a site – but OTOH, reading comments can eat up a lot of time.


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