Bending, not Breaking

I feel I have to write a few words today about the situation in Ukraine. This is a watershed moment by several measures. First it is a critical and most likely a decisive moment in the battle for Ukraine. And, make no mistake, that is exactly what it is. At least one other has said “This is the last battle, the battle for Ukraine,” and I agree. After this, if it ends the way I believe it will, Ukraine will no longer have a cohesive army. But that will be the least of that nation’s problems. Its hospitals, already overflowing with many thousands of wounded soldiers who will never again be capable of taking up arms against anyone, will flounder under the weight of broken bodies flooding through their doors. And the rout in the east and to the south of the country, regions now forever lost to it, which brought about that disaster, will deter any other nation from taking on the might of Russia themselves.

Ukraine is a broken state. It already was that of course even before Russia took a hand in this conflict in defence of its children abused in a once brotherly but now foreign land. It, or what remains of it, as I said, now represents an east-west watershed.

To the west of Ukraine lie many other nations also in a varied state of brokenness. And far across the ocean in that direction, the chief instigator of all the current mayhem and human pain, itself already disintegrating before our eyes, sits sullenly, contemplating its next move. All of these western states having brokered their own demise, socially, economically, industrially, financially and militarily, will be incapable of intervening on their own or anyone else’s behalf – having already and largely denuded themselves militarily in defence of Ukraine. They will, in any case, be fully occupied by internal strife over the non-trivial issues of personal survival through a hostile winter of discontent and broken food chains. And Russia I’m sure will be magnanimous in victory, providing what it can – not least being a sense of security they have not known for a long time – to the innocent, but will with vigour and determination pursue those who demonstrated baser intents, and bring them to proper justice.

To the east of Ukraine a different picture emerges. The few nations broken by the ‘tender treatments’ of the western nations will be, and are being, assisted back to a state of normality, and everywhere there is a sense of hope, a form of prosperity, and a climate of peaceful relations among themselves. Their cultures and food chains having already largely been secured by long-term plans and forethought.

I will leave that image of hope there, because we have to get back to the present reality of today.

Today, and it is what? September 9, 2022. Getting close to 200 days since Russia moved to save the world from western slavery, by defeating the west in Ukraine in order to secure its own sovereign future and thereby ensuring the lasting achievement of the larger, more global, goal.

Having largely achieved their initial goal of securing the territory of Donbass and other Russian speaking southern regions, all of which, by referendum, will soon no doubt officially become Russian territory – just like the Crimea – and Russia will be able to deploy its own official military across that whole area. Bear that in mind. All the fighting so far has been carried out by volunteer units operating outside the Russian Army, ably assisted by militia units from the liberated territories (and without the support of the best of Russia’s modern armaments on the ground).

So, what is happening today? We are now into the third day (second reporting day) of a fresh counter-offensive by the Ukraine forces at points on the line to the south of Kharkov and roughly mid-way between that city and Donetsk. The original so-called ‘counter attack’ in the Kherson region to the north of the city of that name (which has been under Russian control since the start of the hostilities) has largely petered out following huge manpower losses to the Ukraine forces and some of what remains of that force are now being transferred to the new offensive. The few small gains of land made during that offensive are being reclaimed by Russian forces – who judiciously left towns (mostly small villages) for safer and more defensible spots to save lives (which are infinitely more important than ground). Ukraine paid dearly for that venture, as hospitals full of wounded throughout the southern parts of Ukraine can attest – not to mention the burned out hulls of a great many destroyed military vehicles.

The latest Ukraine attack is led by a large number of tanks and other armoured vehicles. How did they do that? From where did these armoured units suddenly come? Well, they have nominally been represented on conflict maps of the line south of Kharkov (I use that as a marker simply because none of the closer place names are at all well known – none of them being larger than small towns) for some time now since the infantry units previously located in that area have been reduced by Russian fire and rendered incapable of any further military role. Perhaps some of those decimated infantry brigades have, in the meantime, now been rebuilt for this new venture – but with what grade of troops, and how well-trained and equipped?

In passing I will note that Ukraine, now mostly bereft of available soldier material, has recently passed a law requiring all women (including the pregnant and those with young children) to be registered on the army list as from October 1 this year. This really is the end of the line when a nation sees a need to require such a last ditch effort as that. It cannot end well.

But, since this conflict may mercifully not last long enough to see units of female soldiers holding their swollen bellies and pushing prams, let’s get back to the mystery tanks and the presence of a number of tank brigades and other heavy units said to be holding the front line where this counter attack is now being enacted. Perhaps these brigades were just holding forces – a battalion perhaps, from each brigade, the rest being hidden somewhere. It is in fact known that over preceding weeks a large number of tanks and other vehicles have been hidden under Kharkov in the large sheltered areas of the city’s metro lines – the only bomb-safe areas capable of being used that way. Over the last few days those tanks etc., could have emerged (whether there are more reserves still held under there is not known) and were formed up to begin the attack on the thinly held Russian lines just this week. That would fully explain the why and the where of the mystery. Most or all of Ukraine’s original tank force (and artillery) must have been destroyed by now and we know that the west has been scouring the world for old Soviet gear to buy up as replenishment forces. These are (I have seen it said) the only types of military hardware the Ukraine forces are trained to use. Modern tanks and guns are of limited value since it takes long months or years to learn to use them proficiently. Hence why much of the donated western gear (actually sold to become Ukraine debt) that actually reaches Ukraine frontline units, get dumped or sold off to anyone willing to pay (or picked up by the Russians – for analysis – as they liberate fresh territory).

It has to be said that this, what must be a fairly fresh force – though of dubious quality – has made some inroads into Russian held territory, recapturing by its sheer weight a number of small towns and forcing Russian units to move back in order to not become isolated. The Russians sensibly prefer to yield ground in that way to holding stubbornly in places where they would eventually be swept away. I call it ‘Bending, not Breaking’. And all Russian withdrawals that I have heard about have been carried out in this way, in an orderly, fighting fashion. The Russians always act professionally. There are no unruly routs or the leaving of posts voluntarily. Russia has a sensible officer corps and higher command, which realises the value of every soldier. They often tend to lead the troops rather than directing from behind.

I am not going to name places. If you are interested in this latest development, you may want to look at recent daily reports on the Military Summary channel with its mainly unbiased and quite sensible and knowledgeable commentary.

I agree with the prognosis given by the presenter at the MS channel, where he has indicated today that there is opportunity (and whether this is incorporated in Russian plans to deal with the situation is not known) of a once and for all total reduction of the remaining Ukraine forces in a sizable cauldron within this area. I am not going to give any details of that here although there are hints in today’s video report.

The Russians are indeed clever enough to have already thought of ways to effectively and at minimum cost, overcome this latest Ukraine attack – as they have done with all its predecessors. The casualty lists for both sides, when they become known, will be testimony to that.

This is not a time to panic. This is not a time to waver towards disbelief in the outcome. This is a time to know that the forces of evil are themselves wavering and panicking as they see an end looming to their days in the sun, and a dark night encroaching on their already dismal futures.

May it be so.

And may the innocents be protected.

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