This just keeps getting worse and worse. I have covered this war extensively for you, and I have tried above all things to always be honest, not political or romantic. From where I’m sitting, the war in Ukraine is already over, all everybody is waiting for is for that dumbass Putin to finally admit it. Which ain’t coming any time soon.

Today there was news that the Ukrainians had managed to completely stall a Russian armored advance in the Donbas region. Yesterday, the Pentagon announced that as best as they could determine, Russia was already 3-5 days behind schedule in their Donbas initiative. This cannot happen. If you spend a month refitting, re-equipping, and resupplying a major armored army, come up with a master plan and turn them loose, and in less than a week, you’re at a standstill, you’re in deep shit.

There are many reasons for the current Russian debacle we’re witnessing, but two stand out. The first one is this. Thanks to Putin’s bluff and bluster, the rest of the world vastly overestimated the actual quality of both the Russian military fighting equipment, as well as the fighting spirit and tactical skills of their ground troops. Despite Putin’s alleged $7 Billion military upgrade, their equipment is for shit. And if you lie to your troops about where they’re going, don’t be surprised if they don’t have any stomach for the fight.

The second, possibly even more fuck up is the Russian misuse of politics and their command structure. For starters, the Russian command structure uses post WWII strategy, the same they’ve used all along in every confrontation. Use brute force against innocent civilians to make your opponent bow to your will. They tried it in Afghanistan, they did it in Georgia, they did it in Syria, and they did it in Crimea. But it isn’t working in Ukraine, These people have more spine for breakfast than Putin’s military has all day. And it shows.

The second case of military malpractice, bordering on stupidity, was allowing political considerations to take precedence over military necessity. I have already written repeatedly about how Putin’s 15 day delay in his initial invasion, so as to not steal Xi’s international media thunder with his Olympics, led to the eventual rout of the first invasion and attempt to take Kyiv. I won’t belabor it here.

But they’re doing it again, and this time it’s personal for Putin. Have you seen any on ground or drone video of the city of Mariupol lately? They look like an outtake from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The city is nothing but bombed out skeletons of buildings, and piles of rubble. There are less than 1000 Ukrainian fighters entrenched in a steel factory complex, and yet they’re still tying up two Russian armored divisions because Putin wants to see the Russian flag flying from Mariupol.

Here’s the thing. Those two divisions aren’t supposed to be there! They were supposed to leave behind a screening force, and then swing back to take part in an envelopment motion to trap the Ukrainian army in the Donbas region. They were supposed to help the main Russian army trap and extinguish the Ukraine army. But Putin wants that Russian flag over Ukraine.

Let’s be honest. Putin and his army are toast. They are pulling equipment out of Soviet era mothballs to fill holes in the line. That stuff was in mothballs for a reason, it’s shit, and absolutely useless. Forget about the $33 billion bill before congress, with the assistance Ukraine has already received from the US and NATO, they are already on an equal footing with the Russians. Once the new stuff gets there, fuggedaboudit!

At this point, the real tragedy of Ukraine is that it will continue, because one selfish, delusional old man can’t let go of a fantasy. And all that means is more grieving Ukrainian families, more grieving Russian families, and more destruction that will take decades to rebuild. Welcome to your legacy President Putin.


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  1. I’m on the lookout for more reporting on this but I saw something earlier today that made my jaw drop – an article saying Putin has taken personal control over his “special operation.” This is shades of Hitler in WWII, firing (or executing) top commanders and then looking over the shoulder’s of those left. The difference is that Hitler, even with his purges (and sometimes rehiring – putting Von Rundstedt back in charge of the western front in Sept. 44 being an example albeit still looking over the shoulder of even this most gifted of commanders) top commanders that actually knew shit. That had been devastatingly effective before Hitler decided HE knew more than they did. “That Bohemian Corporal” was a term some of them used among trusted associates and they sure as hell didn’t mean it as a compliment.

    Putin on the other hand didn’t even serve as some minor enlisted puke. He was a typical run of the mill KGB officer serving in East Germany during much of the war in Afghanistan and didn’t know dick about all that or any of the now dead commanders who ran that fiasco. So, if this is true and he really has taken personal control and is trying to dictate actual operations as bad as this has gone for Russia it’s going to get worse. For both Russia and Ukraine. If there’s any good news he will fuck things up so much (hopefully quickly) that his own people will finally take him out and try to salvage something out of the ruins he’s made of his own country’s place in the world so they can have at least a chance of a future.

    Enlisteds are already killing officers or letting them (including Generals) get killed and even some of the politically acceptable (to Putin) fuckwads now forward in the combat zone or realizing that’s where they are headed might (again, hopefully soon) will take a hard look at that and realize their odds are better with staging a coup in Russia and getting rid of Putin.

    • That’s what happens when you think running a special op in Chechnya twenty plus years ago makes you the greatest military genius since Sun Tzu. The only thing that’d make this sweeter is if he made a little visit to the front lines himself. I’m certain a number of Ukranian snipers and arty gunners could arrange a warm welcome.

      • Chechnya in our lifetimes became one fucked up excuse of a country. When the USSR broke up they declared independence and formed an elected govt. which Russia didn’t like hence the first Chechnyan war which lasted a couple of years as I recall. Yeltsin said fuckit and signed a peace deal that removed most Russian troops. Sadly, warlords took control of most of the money shelled out to rebuild the country and it turned into something even worse than it had been. The second Chechnyan war lasted ten years and was particularly brutal. Hardly a model for success for Russia when you consider just how SMALL the place is and that it is surrounded on three sides by what are basically Russian territories and the Black Sea (largely controlled by Russia) on the fourth! If memory serves we are talking about roughly seven thousand square kilometers. Tiny indeed compared to the vast size of Ukraine. Or Afghanistan for that matter. If things kind of calmed down there after ten years of (the second) war it was largely due to Russia moving in a large population of ethnic Russians into the place as so many Chechnyans had been killed or fled. That ain’t been happening with Ukraine. Ukraine has been fighting since 2014 to keep Russia from expanding beyond those “seperatist” regions in large part because it employed a similar strategy – devastate the area and then send in a lot of actual Russian people to live and rebuild.

        Given what’s happening now, one has to wonder how many of those Russian settlers will want to remain in those disputed regions when the guns in the current war fall silent. It’s being reduced to rubble and those families of Russians who have been living there (many since long before the problems that began in2014) are going to find a lot more Ukrainians than they were used to seeing – and probably international observers and peacekeepers making sure no more shit gets started. I have a hunch many will decide to move back to Russia and take their chances there. Yes, Russia won’t be a very desirable country to live in for a long time but at least they will be among a mostly friendly population. Basically, by getting not only greedy (for some “crowning” achievement later in life) but stupid Putin might have wound up being most responsible for DE-“Russifying” a fair amount of territory he’d spent a lot of time and money “Russifying!” If that’s one of the end results it would be funny if it weren’t for the tragedy that made it so.

  2. What people miss about the actual military reforms undergone by the Russians from 2008 to 2012? Current (?) Defense Minister Shoygu stepped immediately after and undid them. It’s, in fact, why he was slotted into that role. As the only Russian official to serve in every Russian government since the start of the Federation in 1991, he did it by appeasing the powerful. In this case, that just happened to be connected grafters who wanted to keep stealing.

    As to all the dead bodies in Ukraine, past, present and future, this Agatha Christie quote seems painfully apt: “One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.”

    • Shoygu didn’t dare t nentuob that Ruaaian military industry corruption had drained sojewhere around 13 off the money Putin thought he was spending on upgrading his army…

      • To paraphrase Peter O’Toole in The Lion In Winter, true but academic, Murf. Shoygu is a courtier, whose principal function is to soothe the hurt feelings of those with too much already. Thus Putin put him in charge to calm the restless contractors who had been losing their ill-gotten gains to keep peace. It just never occurred to Putin that they would be stealing THIS much.

  3. There is literally nothing left of Mariupol. The city is nothing but bombed buildings. There are very few people still there. It will take trillions of dollars to rebuild it when this war is over. Possibly even more than that. The humanitarian aid will need to be coordinated by a coalition of organizations such as the Red Cross, etc. It will take years and years for it to come back.


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