Hassles, mutinies and tragedies
When failed AFU offensives with gigantic losses, Wagner and other mutinies as well as Russian air strikes on Kramatorsk and other places cause horrible tragedies or better said, endless spiral of tragedies, it is again time to wrap up the situation and make a kind of “highly likely” scenario for the near future.
The West pushed Ukraine into a hopeless counteroffensive based on false assessments and wild expectations. Russian troops were claimed to be weak, low-motivated, untrained and unprepared for a Ukrainian attack. On the other side it was claimed that the freshly mobilized Ukrainian soldiers, which received “western wonder weapons” and training would have the necessary quantity and quality to overcome Russian defenses.
Ukrainian troops, as well as the public, both in Ukraine and in western countries, were told to believe this bullshit. Any rational military assessment, based on realism, showed another picture, in which Russia would always defeat the planned counteroffensive.
AFU summer offensive, since June 4 up to June 30
As stated in my previous article of June 19, regarding Ukraine war, the initial setting was that …
“the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) were “very well prepared,” as the US and its Western allies have been sending significant amounts of weaponry and ammunition to the country as part of their proxy war against Russia” (General Mark Milley). AFU counteroffensive started on June 4-5 and the first week (up to June 10-11) was disclosing the characters and trend of fighting: Massive AFU losses and insignificant achievements.
I predicted then that …
“AFU troop losses, since the start of counteroffensive (4-5.6.2023) have clearly exceeded 10,000 soldiers thus far. Rate of losses is definitely too high for any sustainable military performance and taking into account of troop losses in April and May, the total amount of AFU troop losses is closing the amount of 50,000 troops by the end of June.”
This prediction has proven to be amazingly accurate, as can be seen from the following data (collected and counted from several sources):
AFU troop losses in April 15,000; in May 16,000; in June 21,000; total troop losses April – June up to 52,000 soldiers. This means just in June, 5-6 brigade’s losses and together in three months about 10 brigades. The average manpower losses are up to a battalion per day.
AFU estimated equipment losses in June: tanks 290 (from which Leopards 40); armored fighting vehicles 800 (from which western up to 100); trucks and other vehicles 450; artillery guns and mortars 310; MRLS 45; air defense systems 2; strike fighters 10; helicopters 4; UAVs 270; numerous destroyed ammo, fuel and material depots.
Massive Defeat, Ukraine suffered disastrous losses in a single offensive, according to Forbes report, June 29:
analysts believe that an attempt by the Ukrainian army’s 47th Assault Brigade and 33rd Mechanized Brigade to cross a minefield near the town of Malaya Tokmachka in Russia’s Zaporozhye region on June 8 proved to be “even more disastrous” than previously thought. Despite deploying de-mining vehicles, including several Leopard 2Rs donated by Finland and one German-made Wisent, the Ukrainian battlegroup appears to have failed to clear a path through the minefield. The Wisent and three Leopard 2R struck mines, as did several US-supplied M-2 Bradleys, while the brigade came under fire from Russian artillery and aviation. Experts have estimated that as a result of the failed attempt, which lasted several hours, no fewer than 25 Ukrainian vehicles were destroyed, including 17 M-2s, four Leopard 2A6 tanks, three Leopard 2Rs and one Wisent.
The weekend edition of the German business daily headlines: “This isn’t a counter-offensive. It is a bloody crash test.”
It is now time to acknowledge that the western military assessments and its expectations were completely wrong. “Ukraine’s counteroffensive is failed and Russian forces are showing more competence than western assessments expected”, two western officials and a senior US military official told CNN. The counteroffensive is “not meeting expectations on any front,” one of the officials said.
According to the Western assessments, Russian lines of defense have been proving well-fortified, making it difficult for Ukrainian forces to breach them. In addition, Russian forces have had success bogging down Ukrainian armor with missile attacks and mines and have been deploying air power more effectively. Even the neoconservative Institute for the Study of War was forced to acknowledge the competence of the Russian forces.
Even NATO’s own simulation of the Ukrainian counteroffensive (KORA simulation system) has predicted the failure. The Ukrainian officers, however, came away from their KORA experience confident that they had crafted a winning plan capable of overcoming the Russian defenses.
Last December (2022), the commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Valery Zaluzhny, talked with The Economist. He asked for more weapons ,which would allow him to throw the Russian forces out of Ukraine: 300 tanks, 600-700 IFVs, 500 Howitzers.
Now, after four weeks of fighting, AFU has “liberated” some 50 square km of open land and a few small settlements. All this came at massive costs, as stated above. In total, Ukraine lost in one month more than Zaluzhny requested back in last December and more than it has received during the time since. No wonder, in the Washington Post, General Valery Zaluzhny is back again and begging for more weapons.
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Mark Milley said on Friday, June 30, he does not find it surprising that the Ukrainian counteroffensive is going slower than predicted as he personally said before that it will be very long and difficult. “That the counteroffensive is going slower than people had predicted, doesn’t surprise me at all,” Milley said. “What I had said was this is going to take six, eight, ten weeks. It’s going to be very difficult, it’s going to be very long, it’s going to be very, very bloody and no one should have any illusions about it.”
Russian air strikes
Russia has resumed its long-range, high-precision air strikes also in the last week of June, around Ukraine. June 19, Russian Forces launched a long-range sea-based strike against foreign-manufactured military hardware storage sites, all the assigned targets have been neutralized. June 22, targeted AFU foreign-made hardware and weapons depot were destroyed, June 23 targeted AFU missile storages were eliminated. In addition, on 23 June, a storage of Storm Shadow cruise missiles has been destroyed at a Ukrainian airbase close to Starokonstantinov (Khmelnitsky region).
June 24, Russian Forces launched a long-range precision-guided group attack on radio engineering reconnaissance centres and aviation equipment close to Kanatovo airfield (Kirovograd region) and Dnepr airfield. All the assigned targets have been neutralized. June 26, a long-range maritime and airborne high-precision strike targeted at foreign-made ammunition depots were neutralized. June 28, high-precision strikes on oil refinery and fuel storage facilities that support the AFU troops in Donbas were eliminated.
June 27, there was a Russian missile strike on a hotel complex in Kramatorsk, where missiles hit the crowded Ria Lounge restaurant at dinnertime on Tuesday, setting off a large blaze that burned for more than two hours. By Wednesday afternoon, the Ukrainian authorities said that 10 people had been confirmed dead and 61 others were wounded. Videos from the scene taken immediately after the event show English speaking men with the one helping wounded comrades. This seems to confirm that the hotel complex and its restaurant were not exclusively used for civilian purposes but housed and catered to foreign soldiers. In those videos can be seen a man with a tattoo of the 3rd Ranger Battalion of the US Army and another man with a patch of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army. There was another foreign fighter with an US flag patch on his helmet.
The June 29, 2023 report by the Russian Defense Ministry on the daily operation in Ukraine says: According to updated information, as a result of a high-precision strike (Iskander missiles) on June 27 in the city of Kramatorsk, Donetsk People’s Republic, at the point of temporary deployment of the 56th separate motorized infantry brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, two generals participating in the headquarters meeting, up to 50 officers of the armed forces of Ukraine, as well as up to 20 foreign mercenaries and military personnel were destroyed. During the same day, June 27, on the front lines of Donetsk and Zaporozhye, over 700 Ukrainian servicemen were killed.
The Ukrainian security service, SBU, said it had arrested a local resident, whom it suspects of leaking intelligence to Russia before the alleged strike. The agency alleged that the man had sent photos of cars parked near the eatery and suggested that the goal of the strike was to kill civilians. This info, as such, is a practical proof that something “valuable” has been targeted, because SBU is not investigating mere civilian cases.
June 29, Russianfighter jets (Su-25, Su-34) delivered rocket strikes on eight areas, where Ukrainian manpower and artillery were concentrated. Apart from that, crews of Su-34 warplanes delivered strikes on two enemy centers of temporary deployment, one stronghold, and a communications point.
July 1, The Russian Armed Forces have carried out a high-precision sea- and ground-launched attack against the command-and-control posts of the Donetsk task force. All the assigned targets have been engaged. The goal of the strike has been achieved.
Russia’s previous, most effective strikes on AFU concentrations and mercenaries
Russian Aerospace Forces conducted a strike on the Yavorovsky training ground in the Lviv region in March 2022. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, up to 180 foreign mercenaries and a large consignment of foreign weapons were obliterated.
Russia’s air strike (March 9, 2023) in Ukraine, where Russian Forces (RF) carried out a massive retaliatory strike using high-precision, air-, sea- and land-based weapons, including the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system. A particular feature in this strike was a significant use of hypersonic Kinzal missiles (6 pieces). Some Kinzal missile (or missiles) have hit NATO Command Center in the vicinity of Lviv (in western Ukraine) and caused a disaster to NATO forces in Ukraine. Tens even up to 200 of NATO (= US and UK) officers have been killed and irreversible damage has been made to NATO operations in Ukraine. The bunker was 80 meters deep control and planning center and was protected by Iris-R and NASAMS air defense systems, which all became destroyed by the strike.
A missile attack on the territory of a shipyard in Nikolaev on the night of April 27 destroyed about 20 senior Ukrainian and foreign officers as they were holding a meeting there.
At the end of May, the Russian forces struck the office of the Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. In early June, Russia struck the headquarters of the Kraken battalion* in Kharkiv, where Polish mercenaries were staying.
Wagner mutiny – “Mother of all Maskirovkas”
The whole episode broke outas suddenly as it ended. The context of the event is multidimensional and complex, including both internal and foreign political viewpoints. The aftermath of the event will be washed many more times, both inside Russia and abroad.
Prigozhin launched his hopeless mutiny after the Defense Ministry had demanded that all his men sign contacts with the Russian army, which would have taken away the autonomy of his Wagner outlet and with it a large chunk of his profits. The run of his troops towards Moscow was a desperate attempt to get Putin’s attention and to make him reverse the ministry’s plans. No doubt, one key feature in this hassle was the money, big money. Two days later, Russian FSB seized big sums of cash money from the Wagner offices in St. Petersburg and elsewhere.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced on Saturday, June 24, that he had arranged a deal whereby Wagner Group leader Evgeny Prigozhin will abandon his mutiny in exchange for “security guarantees” for his fighters. Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Saturday he had ordered his fighters, who had been advancing on Moscow, to turn around and return to their bases in order to avoid bloodshed. Lukashenko’s office said that the talks were held in coordination with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Prigozhin has been accused by the government of staging an armed insurrection. The charges were brought late Friday night after Prigozhin accused Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov, the chair of the Russian general staff, of serious crimes. Prigozhin claimed to have ordered troops loyal to him to move towards Rostov-on-Don, a major city in southern Russia. Security measures were also reportedly beefed up in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered an address to the nation amid a coup attempt by the private military company Wagner. He described the mutineers’ actions as “backstabbing” and called for unity. “This battle, when the fate of our people is being decided,” calls for national unity and consolidation, Putin said in his address. The head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, called the insurrection by Wagner’s chief a “hideous betrayal” adding that it should be quelled in order to protect the nation’s unity amid the conflict in Ukraine.
At the end of the day, a big question was left, was there a deal involved, for Shoigu and/or Gerasimov? Peskov stated that “no personnel changes” for the RMOD were discussed in the negotiations, so the official Kremlin line is “no”. However, there remains a chance that the real deals will be kept quiet and perhaps Shoigu et al will be placed in different administrative positions to be announced much later on when things have settled down.
Besides, more practical evidence and statements by prominent foreign analysts, like Scott Ritter and Larry Johnson, are emerging that Prigozhin was functioning as the West’s “useful idiot” by attempting his coup over the weekend.
So, what are we left with?
Wagner officially ceases to exist in Ukraine and moved to Belarus but for what purpose? Western media and analysts have made various conclusions without knowing all the facts or details but a general conclusion is that Russia has weakened and Putin’s position has become even more fragile.
I believe western media and analysts are “quite totally at sea”. So, let’s take a closer look at this issue.
Prigozin’s alleged coup/mutiny never had any realistic chance of succeeding after the Russian people and the power elite (incl. Chechens and Kadyrov) rallied around President Putin. Great majority of Russia’s governors, high-ranking military and power administrations soon assured Putin publicly of their loyalty. As far as is known none of Wagner’s military commanders and only about two thousand of its 25,000 troops had joined Prigozhin in his desperate run. No one in Russia changed sides or supported him.
Putin’s offer of amnesty and Wagner’s exile to Belarus were not a sign of weakness like western MSM claimed but a concrete proof that Russia’s President was in full control of the situation and powerful enough to end the episode without the bloodshed that the West was waiting for. All the western speculations that “this is the beginning of the end of Vladimir Putin” are complete rubbish. Putin won on all accounts!
Mr. Alexander Babakov, deputy chair of the State Duma and a parliamentarian from the United Russia party, summed it up aptly:
“The armed mutiny failed because it was rejected by the regular Army, by the Russian government at all levels and by the people as a whole. In this way, Russia demonstrated to the world its unity in time of war, its readiness to stand up to the Collective West. The lesson for the West was precisely the strength of the country and of its Commander in Chief.”
At first glance, the situation on the chessboard seems like this:
- Prighozin gets a golden parachute in Belarus
- His troops, now in Belarus, may keep doing business in Africa and elsewhere… but a great surprise may lie in this detail!!!
- Majority of Wagner “musicians” will be incorporated as a regular Russian Army Corps
- Shoigu and Gerasimov are still on their places as well as Surovikin
- a great amount of CIA money may have changed hands (please note, FSB seizures)
- facts on the ground prove Putin is the undisputed champion of this episode
This brings us to the still fascinating possibility, if this was the “Mother of All Maskirovkas”: On Saturday, Wagner was 200 km away from Moscow. Yet on Sunday, Wagner was 100 km away from Kiev. Can this be interpreted as the highest level of Sun Tzu’s Art of War?
The secret of a perfect “psyop” is that no one really understands it, by accomplishing two tasks: it renders the enemy stunned and confused while achieving a set of very important real goals, behind the scenes.
Finally, this case reminds me of the cryptic words of Donald Rumsfeld.
“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
– Donald Rumsfeld
On practical theater
On the frontlines, second wave of AFU counteroffensive appears starting on July 7 or so. AFU’s aim is to get even a tiny success before NATO summit next week, without counting losses. Obviously, Russia will repel majority of those offensives but likely does not start any own strong offensive before the summit, hoping that NATO’s willingness to support Ukraine will decrease.
However, thereafter the situation will change – highly likely dramatically.
On the other hand, AFU is planning and preparing a false flag operation regarding Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
On political theater
Discussions on the expansion of military and financial aid to Ukraine topped the agenda of a recent meeting of EU member states’ foreign affairs ministers held on June 26 in Luxembourg. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, summarized the results of the gathering by saying, “the conclusion of our debate is clear and I want to stress it: to continue supporting Ukraine, more than ever. To continue increasing support – all kinds of support and, in particular, the military one.”
The US recently also expressed its readiness to announce a new $500 million military package to Ukraine, which is expected to include combat vehicles, armored personnel carriers, field artillery and ammo.
The whole logic of the West is to push/pull Russia into a series of conflicts and to inflict as much damage to Russia as they can, through Ukraine and other possible crisis.
It appears to be important to remind the EU elite that be aware of “you get what you pay for”. The EU is paying – even literally so – a lot for Ukraine war. Now that the next NATO top summit is approaching (next week), it seems that you (EU) are going to get a really hot summer war.
Next “cannon fodder candidates” have come forward, Poland and Baltic states are preparing to enter on the battlefield, already deployed, trained and equipped assault troops are waiting the fixed moment in east Poland to intrude into western Ukraine, with the necessary support of NATO.
The further question may come up, after Poland and Baltics, who is the next candidate? The answer may be found looking at NATO’s recent processes and President Biden’s coming Europe tour.
Poland’s paradox is that it occupies a place disproportionate to its financial and economic potential in the European Union. Despite its economic weaknesses and almost 18% inflation (2022), Poland’s military budget doubled in 2023 compared to the previous year and amounted to almost forty billion euros.
Where do such funds for the war come from? The answer lies in US policy. In order to correctly understand what is happening in Europe, it is necessary to return to Ukraine. Financial, economic and political turmoil in Europe began in 2014, when a military coup took place in Ukraine. The United States and its allies began to systematically seize the territory and economy of Ukraine. They were especially successful in this during the presidency of V. Zelensky, who welcomed the international investment company BlackRock officially to entered there.
In January 2023, Zelensky boasted that BlackRock, as well as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, have already become part of our Ukrainian path. Apparently, these three (and many more) US companies are not only part of the “Ukrainian path”, but simply form and manage the whole “Ukrainian path”.
The war in Ukraine, organized and maintained by the collective West, became the starting point for making super profits. The history of wars shows that the Big Money does not wait for the war to start in order to profit from it, it starts wars itself. The Maidan episode and subsequent events were only a prelude to the main part of the business plan – the war with Russia.
Looking at how the structures and logistics were prepared in advance for the supply of weapons to the army of Ukraine (fighting for the interests of Big Money), it becomes absolutely clear that the main goal of this war is not to protect an imaginary democracy or “western values” but to increase the wealth and power of this “Cabal”. Therefore, “useful idiots”, “cannon fodders” and other such servants and vassals are always needed.
I like to close this article by citing Albert Einstein:
“The only element in the universe more common than hydrogen is stupidity.”