Today on the Eastern and Southern Fronts

Worth watching. The Russian “military” may be about to implode.

Also, this is what retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said on Face the Nation on Sunday.

LT. GENERAL H.R. MCMASTER: Hey, good morning, Margaret. It’s great to be with you. Well, this is a tremendous victory for – for the Ukrainians. And it’s a victory that I think that they could turn into a cascading series of defeats of Russian forces. This is the – the encirclement of Lyman and the- and the Russian forces pulling back, but also, in the last two days, the Ukrainians also simultaneously defeated a Russian- a Russian counterattack and also made progress further in the south near the strategically important city of Kherson. And I think, Margaret, what we might be at here is really at the precipice of- of really the collapse of the Russian army in Ukraine, a moral collapse. And- and I think they must really be at a breaking point. If you look at just the numbers of casualties, the vast area that they’re trying to defend, and now, of course, Russia is trying to mobilize conscripts and send them to- to the front untrained. And I think it’s very important to- to also understand that these forces that are in full retreat now out of Lyman were really the first round of mobilization. Remember when Putin was trying to recruit more and more people with paying about three-times the- the average wages to get so-called volunteers to go forward. Those forces were hastily trained, thrown into that front, and these are the forces that are collapsing just right right now.

Today’s big headline at the Washington Post is Ukraine hammers Russian forces into retreat on east and south fronts. Ukrainian troops are pushing further into the areas Russia allegedly “annexed.”

Meanwhile, Tucker “Axis Sally” Carlson is a big hit on Russian television for blaming  everything on Joe Biden, saying that if there is nuclear war it will be entirely Biden’s fault.  At least CPAC recognized it had gone too far —

I haven’t seen any recent polling on U.S. public opinion on the Ukraine War, but I have a real hard time believing that anyone not plugged into Fox News half the time has much sympathy for Russia in this, or blames President Biden.

This is going to drag on for a while, but in the long run I don’t see any way this is going to end that doesn’t involve some variation of bye bye, Vlad.

6 thoughts on “Today on the Eastern and Southern Fronts

  1. I think "Vlad the Invader" believed in the BS he's been spreading for decades about Russia's superior military power.

    IMO, Putin's big mistake after seizing Crimea, was waiting for 8 years to expand his invasion into the rest of Ukraine.

    That gave time for the Ukrainians to convince the US to help arm and train them for a future proxy war.

    And with his recent disastrous attempt as beefing-up his troops, on top of his bungled invasion, Putin has painted himself into a really tough corner.

    If I was him, I'd stay away from open windows – lest some younger wannabe Russian dictator copies Vlad's "Opponent Disposal System:"  AKA: "The Sixth-floor Open-window Heave-hoski."

  2. There's a temptation to compare war to an athletic competition. In a football game, yes, there is 'momentum.' and one play can energize one team and demoralize the other. But in football, players on both teams want to win, chose to be there, and all the players will go home to their families. 

    Ukrainians are fighting for their survival and their identity If Russia wins, the reprisals will be cruel. Reports are that of the new mass graves being dug up, many were obviously tortured, some castrated. To put it mildly, the Ukrainian army is motivated – every individual in the Ukrainian army has considered what defeat might cost. Flip side, if you are a Russian soldier, what's your 'prize' for winning? 

    As I see it, the 'average' Ukrainian soldier wants to drive every Russian out of Ukraine, killing as many of them as possible if they have not crossed the border to Russia.  The 'average' Russian soldier wants to survive and go home.

    The book on"Conventional" land warfare has been rewritten. Russia had the 'superior' army – more tanks, more planes, more battle helicopters. We (The US and NATO) wound up in a strange laboratory experiment because we didn't send in our troops or supply Ukraine with our jets, helicopters or tanks. We didn't want to directly confront Putin. Ukraine was supplied with high-tech missile weapons – shoulder-fired smart weapons that enabled a small mobile crew to kill a tank, plane or helo. This isn't like the guerilla warfare of Iraq or Afghanistan, IEDs, and ambushes that wore us down. This IS a battle for territory, with lines of advance (or retreat.) The smaller, less equipped army is kicking ass on the larger invader. 

    This new warfare would not work if soldiers weren't willing to put themselves at risk to strike valuable Russian assets. In some video I've seen, it looked like Russian air assets were suckered into engaging where Ukrainians with ground-to-air missiles were ready. This is a double-whammy – not only do you deprive Russia of valuable and expensive platforms, you do it in view of the Russian ground troops, demonstrating their impotence. 

    Putin needs to slow down the rate things are falling apart on the battlefield and at home. Winter may force Europe to negotiate for heating supplies, Putin hopes. The US midterm elections may supply Putin with enough influence to stop US aid to Ukraine. (Bad politically because most US citizens are rooting for Ukraine, the underdog who is kicking the stuffing out of their antagonist.) But between winter in Europe and the GOP siding with Putin's invasion, Putin hopes to drag this out into 2023. If Russian soldiers, underequipped in Ukraine, wind up with Valley Forge conditions AND it gets out in Russia (social media) how young men are freezing to death in Putin's war, domestic support could erode dangerously.

  3. Off-Topic –  Trump filed an brief with the USSC asking for a reversal of the 11th Circuit who granted the DOJ request to free the 100 classified documents for the criminal investigation. A lot said about the argument by Trump's Keystone Cops but get a load of this – the "brief" is 296 pages.

    The decision by the 11th Circuit was 29 pages.

    The brief by the DOJ requesting intervention by the 11th Circuit was 27 pages.

    In my case, submissions to the judge of over 20 pages were rare – nothing exceeded 30 pages.

    I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV. But a hint in the legal term is the legal term – it’s called a "brief." It's supposed to reflect the tight, structured argument which includes the relevant facts and precedents, but it's not supposed to be a book.

    I expect the USSC will decline and I hope they will take the opportunity to chastize Team Trump for throwing all the "stuff" against the wall they could think of in the hope something would stick. The Supreme Court will (I think) not be amused.

    • Gosh, for the sake of snark, I am having deja-vu all over again! Seems like I saw something similar written about the first judge from the federalist society clown-college following legal guidelines.

      My bet is that the blackmail goes much deeper. Clarance T, the self-professed "porn expert", has a lot darker secrets, I am sure.

    • The "game" may be more obvious if you think a "Tweet" on Trump's platform yesterday gives it away. Trump said, "I want my documents back."

      The 'argument', if you can call it that, to the USSC says the 11th Circuit did not have the jurisdiction to reverse Cannon, the judge Trump has in his pocket. He's asking for the review of classified documents to be put back in the hands of the Special Master. Cannon has been micromanaging Judge Dearie, so the effect would be to put the process of excluding documents back in Cannon's control, which  puts it in Trump's control. And Trump wants the documents back and excluded as evidence. 


  4. Even the Pope had to weigh in on this Ukrainian conflict last week in his sermon I hear.  For once it is good to have him with an agreeable position on opposition to the escalation of hostilities.  This is much needed in a time where our local theocracy lovers want to side with CPAC and Tucker.  

    It is so hard to even believe we have a blatant land grab by force in this century.  It is a true pity that the Ukrainians had go to mat with the Russians.  They seem to value the freedom of democracy while we struggle with those who seem to lack an appreciation of what the Ukrainians are willing to fight and die for.  Winning a war is one thing, winning a tolerable peace is quite the bigger and more noble task.  This truth is often lost on the Babies, Bibles, and Bullets crowd.  

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