War in Ukraine: Military SitRep, recent NATO buildup and French campaign

I have analyzed the war in Ukraine from many viewpoints in numerous articles, the latest was talking the obvious trajectory of “the US out & France in”. Russian meat grinder resumes its effective working, the lack of troops, ammo and equipment is getting worse and worse with the AFU.

Now it appears that the complete incompetence and lack of statesmanship of the current EU Commission and other NATO&EU elite are driving Europe in economic and political chaos and the world ever closer to a major war.

Here, a short wrap-up of latest military progress, then an assessment regarding the new build-up of NATO & France’s estimated campaign and finally overview on Moscow terror attack.

Military SitRep, late March 2024

The new head of the Ukrainian army, Oleksandr Syrskyi, is known as “the butcher” by his own troops, and there are fears his aggressive style will lead to even more massive losses for Ukrainians in the east on top of already high casualties.

He is filling in the shoes of the former commander of Ukraine, Valeriy Zalushny, who is still well-loved by the troops and who is said to have placed their safety as one of his top priorities. Zelensky might have other motives for prolonging the conflict, such as polls showing that he would outright lose the presidency to Zalushny, if a fair vote were held. However, March national elections have been canceled, with the excuse that elections cannot be held while the war continues.

The sources in the General Staff reported that dissatisfaction with defense minister Umerov’s unprofessionalism and Syrskyi’s “purges” is growing among generals and mid-level commanders. The replacement of brigade leaders is carried out on the principle of attitude towards Zelensky and not military successes.

Border skirmishes – Buffer/Security zone

The latest border raids of those “Russian volunteers” fighting for the Kiev regime was a complete disaster. They basically run into a well laid ambush, where Russian Forces (RuF) had a very simple but working strategy. Let them come close, retreat the observation points and then wipe them out with massive fire strike. Not a single town or settlement was taken. RuF also observed the routes and lines behind and hammered them during their retreat.

The Russian Ministry of Defense summed up the results of border operations, March 12-20: The AFU losses amounted to more than 3,500 militants, 23 tanks, 34 armoured fighting vehicles (incl. 11 Bradleys) and over 10 artillery and MLRS units have been neutralized. Sporadic border skirmishes have continued to March 21.

The Bloom | Defeat On The Border | Russian Deep Strike On A Chopper Base. Military Summary 2024.3.13 Belgorod Meat Grinder | Significant Progress In Ivanivske | Military Summary And Analysis 2024.03.15

Many military analysts have assessing that the next move of RuF will be to organize a kind of buffer / security zone or de-militarized zone in the north-east region of Ukraine, something like on the map below:

Regarding the border skirmishes, the issue of the transfer of hostilities to the territory of the Russian Federation and targeting civilian population, seems to be the formulation by the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Charlie Brown: “Any Russian killed is a contribution to the overall account of the war. And Russians have to pay more than Ukrainians!” However, the results were depressing, AFU lost many times more than Russian Forces.

In order to really increase Russian losses, it would be necessary to transfer additional Himars MLRS, longer-range projectiles to them, including Atacms and GLSDB guided projectiles. Brown believes that “the lifted ban on their use on Russian territories will allow massive strikes to be launched against military, economic, industrial and administrative facilities and multiply Russian losses.”

Losses of western and Ukrainian troops, destructions of NATO equipment

March 19, Former Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces Rajmund Andrzejczak said in an interview with the Polsat TV channel: “I believe that Ukraine’s actual losses should be counted in the millions, not the hundreds of thousands.” “There are no resources in this country, no one left to fight,” the general added. “The Ukrainians are losing this war,” he said, describing the situation as “very, very dramatic.”

Commenting on the strategic situation on the battlefield, Andrzejczak said that the top brass reshuffle had not changed anything. “General Syrsky is facing the same dilemmas as General Zaluzhny. It turns out that he had to withdraw the troops and tidy up the frontline. All the problems that Zaluzhny had still remain,” he maintained. When asked to comment on reports saying that Ukrainian forces may run out of air defense missiles by the end of March, the general opined that this means “further effective strikes on Ukraine, more victims, and more elements of the Ukrainian state’s infrastructure destroyed.”

Polnischer General sagt brutale Wahrheit: „Die Ukrainer verlieren diesen Krieg!“

March 21, 2024 Vermietertagebuch – Alexander Raue

I have been talking about this for months, nearly 600,000 KIA plus 1.5 million WIA and MIA. If the West continues to use Ukrainians as cannon fodder in the war against Russia, they will all die except for those who can surrender to the Russians. Zelensky has closed all borders, forced mobilization continues, no one will run away from his death camp. The demographic structure of Ukrainian society will make Ukraine a non-viable country.

Foreign mercenaries, operators, instructors, private contractors and official foreign servicemen have died, according to RMOD, in following way:

According to open sources, the Russian Forces have destroyed foreign equipment supplied by NATO countries, over the past two years: up to 35-37 American HIMARS MLRS, air defense batteries: Patriot 5 batteries, NASAMS and IRIS-T up to 10 batteries, artillery pieces over 500, foreign made MBT & IFV & APC over thousand units.

Ukraine’s demographics again dictate to end the crisis. The graphic below, presumes that Ukraine had a population of some 40 million by the end of 2021 but the real population number in the areas under control of the Ukrainian government is by now only about 20 million, half of which are people of retirement age. With this demographic structure, Ukraine is not a viable state any more.

American MQ-9 Reaper crash

On the evening of March 18, the MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance UAV of the US Air Force, which operated almost on a daily basis near the Russian Kaliningrad region, lost contact and control from the ground in Polish airspace. As a result, the aircraft crashed. According to the Brigadier General Nowak, inspector in the Polish Air Force, the UAV crashed during a training flight. The UAV took off from a military base in Romania and was supposed to land at the Polish Miroslavets airfield. He added that the investigation of the incident is handled by the United States with the help of Polish specialists.

In the afternoon of March 18th, there were two MQ-9 Reaper drones operating in the airspace of Poland, WILEY22 and WILEY33. They both took off from a military airfield in Romania. During the day, both UAVs faced technical malfunctions. According to the official claims, the crashed drone was WILEY22. There is still no information about the fate of the second MQ-9 with the call sign WILEY33. Early in the morning on March 19, the Poles closed the airfield from flights and the Polish military department has also suspended MQ-9 flights.

Western media blamed the Russian military for the incident but the Polish Ministry of Defense denied speculation in the media about the involvement of Russian electronic warfare systems in the incident.

Expert assessments of NATO’s posture in the Ukrainian war

I have collected here some articles and videos of a group of internationally respected experts.

Russia Has Defeated NATO by Crushing Ukraine’s Army – Nuland & Netanyahu | Larry C. Johnson

Dialogue Works , video interviewed by Nima R. Alkhorshid March 10, 2024

John Mearsheimer: Ukraine has already lost. March 10, 2024, twitter

Why Russia is Defeating NATO as well as Ukraine

10 March, 2024, article By Larry Johnson

Russian Military Objectives and Capacity in Ukraine Through 2024

RUSI, article by Dr Jack Watling and Nick Reynolds, 13 February

The Attritional Art of War: Lessons from the Russian War on Ukraine

RUSI, article by Alex Vershinin, 18 March 2024

NATO in the Process of Dying | Larry C. Johnson

Dialogue Works , video interviewed by Nima R. Alkhorshid, March 17, 2024

A Russia-NATO conflict is just one step from WW3, Putin warns the West

ArabNews, March 18, 2024, article

To sum up of various assessments, NATO’s performance and posture appear to be of low-class in many respects. Expectations regarding new build-up and campaign look dangerous and even fateful.

NATO’s new buildup, a French campaign

The EU elite is preparing for war, at least in words but how seriously in deeds, remains to be seen.

There are already much open talking about the deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine. French television is discussing exactly, where French troops can be deployed in Ukraine.

“Our duty is to prepare for any scenarios. It would be a mistake not to do that. What kind of operations can the French carry out? This is exactly what we will consider now”, said French Colonel Arbarutye, using maps. One direction the French troops intend to be based is along the Dnieper, another is Odessa region.

French media is wargaming an incursion into Ukraine. The problem with Macron’s “strategic ambiguity” plan is that the ambiguity will inevitably morph into a reality. France is drifting towards direct conflict with Russia.

French mercenaries have been spotted in Bulgaria on their way to Ukraine, March 19. Locals claim to have seen convoys of French mercenaries and equipment near the town of Sliven, flying to Sofia and then travelling by truck to Ukraine. The day before, the US Navy cargo ship Leroy A. Mendonica delivered to the port of Alexandroupolis in northern Greece a shipment of military equipment to be deployed in Europe as part of the “reinforcement of NATO forces on the continent”.

Latest local news tell (March 20-21) that first NATO ground troops have already come to, Cherkassy, Ukraine. There is information about the arrival of a huge number of foreign military personnel in the city: Poles, Germans, French. They are settled on the ground floors of schools and kindergartens. It appears that foreign troops are hiding behind children.

French President Emmanuel Macron is following the same script as his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, who has led Ukraine into a deadlock and poverty. Zelensky didn’t just play with populism, he got involved in a war and destroyed the country. Today, Macron is doing the same. Not only for France, but also for the EU. While Zelensky, abandoning the Minsk agreements, pushed Ukraine into war, then Macron is pushing Europe into war using the same scheme.

Thus, the French leader has become another political clown who, following an overseas US script, does not want to see reality. As seen from the Ukrainian example, such clowns are very dangerous, primarily for their own citizens.

France Entering War Against Russia

South Front March 20, 2024

“NATO is ready for a possible conflict with Russia, but does not intend to send troops to Ukraine. Are we ready? The answer is yes! This is our main task – to be ready,” said the Head of the NATO Military Committee General Rob Bauer in an interview with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense resource ArmyInform, March 22. The general arrived in Kyiv and made it clear that NATO does not plan to send troops to Ukraine. And France should first consult with its Alliance partners before talking about sending troops. He stated that if this caused France to have a conflict with Russia, then the other allies would have to help it, and therefore Paris should consult with the rest of NATO members.

Ukrainian blackhole shaking European economies

Risk of ‘lost decade’ as EU countries face economic cliff edge

Politico, March 19, 2024, article By Gregorio Sorgi

Tighter rules and a halt in EU funding will leave capitals looking for cash. The year 2026 could be a defining moment for the European economy. The double blow of the introduction of reformed EU spending rules and the European Commission turning off the money taps may leave a black hole in the budgets of highly indebted countries, notably France and Italy — potentially just months before both countries face crucial elections. “There is a risk that if we don’t invest enough then we are back in the lost decade of the 2010s,” said Nils Redeker from the Jacques Delors Institute think tank.

Europe’s soldiers quitting

Newspaper Politico published an articleassessing a growing problem in current professional armies in Europe.

Europe’s soldiers keep quitting, just when NATO needs them

Politico, March 18, 2024, By Laura Kayali and Joshua Posaner

It’s no longer so much about recruiting new soldiers as it is about persuading existing troops not to quit. This week, French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu presented a talent retention plan to incentivize military personnel to remain in uniform. That comes a few days after an annual report submitted to the German parliament showed that in 2023, some 1,537 soldiers left the Bundeswehr, reducing it to 181,514 personnel. Western allies weigh up conscription or national service. “Those conversations now exist in all capitals, in all democracies that have professional armies without conscription,” Lecornu said on Monday, mentioning the United Kingdom and the United States.

NATO is building its largest military base on Black Sea coast in Romania

Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, NATO is building new military base in Romania. The facility is supposed to become the largest NATO military base in Europe.

The new military base should be based on the old 57th Air Base of the Romanian Air Force “Mikhail Kogalniceanu” near port city of Constanta. The construction of the new large military facility on the Black Sea coast is a clear signal to Moscow.The new military base has an area of 2.8 thousand hectares. It should host 10,000 NATO soldiers and their family members on a permanent basis.

The construction of the bases reportedly costs about 2.5 billion euros. The project includes new runways, military depots, hangars for aircraft, as well as civilian infrastructure like schools, kindergartens, shops and a hospital. According to the announced area of the facility, the new base will be almost three times larger than the 99th Deveselu military base in Romania, where the US Aegis Ashore missile defense systems are located. The new base should be larger than the base of the US Air Force in Ramstein (Germany).

Base commander Nicolae Cresu said the base would be fully operational in 2040. Today, there are about 3,000 military men stationed at the base. US troops have been using the Mihail Kogalniceanu base since 1999. The first stage of expansion works is to be completed in five years. The construction of another runway will begin soon; the airport infrastructure of the base will be developed as well. Hangars for military aircraft, as well as schools, kindergartens, shops and a hospital will be built on the territory of the base in the future.

The number of NATO soldiers at the base increased in 2022. More than 1,800 troops, hundreds of vehicles and other military equipment were transferred to the base in eastern Romania near the Black Sea. There are 1,900 US soldiers, about 500 French and about 300 Belgian military personnel stationed at the base.

NATO acknowledged that the new military is being built in a “new geopolitical context” and after completion of construction it will become the most important permanent NATO military base in the immediate vicinity of the Russian Federation. All NATO decisions confirm that the Western states are preparing to the long-lasting military confrontation with Russia. The new base will pose a great threat to Russian facilities in Crimea and new regions of the Russian Federation.

Russian and Chinese reactions

Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s election victory speech and Q&A with the press was full of familiar themes, but he used the occasion after capturing a record 87% of the vote to warn the US and Europe that a “full-scale World War III” is “possible” should any Western troops enter Ukraine. The remarks came in response to a journalist’s question on President Macron’s recent statements saying he thinks sending troops to Ukraine should be a realistic possibility. Putin responded on Sunday: “I think anything is possible in today’s world and it’s clear to everyone that this would be one step from a full-scale World War III.”

A representative of China’s Ministry of Defense reportedly stated on March 17, that Beijing is “ready to intervene”, if the United States or North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) decides to attack Russia. The development takes place against the backdrop of Sweden’s official entry into NATO, marking a turning point for both the hitherto neutral nation and the intergovernmental military alliance. Xi and Putin will meet again in May.

According to Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, France preparing contingent of 2,000 troops to be sent to Ukraine butthe French military “fears that such a large military unit cannot be transferred and stationed in Ukraine unnoticed”. “The current leadership of the country does not care about the deaths of ordinary French people or about the concerns of the generals and a contingent to be sent to Ukraine is already being prepared”, he said. “It will thus become a legitimate priority target for attacks by the Russian armed forces. This means that it will suffer the fate of all the French who have ever come to the Russian world with a sword,” Naryshkin stressed.

Some high-ranking Russian officials and military analysts are discussing a NATO intervention in Ukraine. They are not speculating on a potential intervention but are certain of its occurrence and merely wondering when it will happen. The might of the Ukrainian army has been merely sufficient to delay Russian advances without achieving a significant victory. Even major weapon deliveries from Western countries are unlikely to alter the outcome.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Paris in early May, marking his first trip to Europe since the pandemic. The Chinese leader’s outreach coincides with the 60th anniversary of Paris-Beijing diplomatic relations, as China is keen to rebuild bruised relations with Europe over Xi’s “no limit partnership” with Russian President Vladimir Putin despite the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Manila on March 18, following his brief trip to South Korea. He is expected to meet Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on March 19, according local media reports. The visit is believed to pave the way for the upcoming trilateral summit between the Philippines, the US and Japan. Chinese experts warn that Washington’s use of Manila as a proxy to disrupt the South China Sea situation could bring regional strategic confrontation to an unprecedented level. 

Terror strike in Moscow

Circumstances of the incident, late March 22:  More than 100 people were killed and about 145 wounded in a terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall music venue in the city of Krasnogorsk in the Moscow Region. A group of unidentified gunmen armed with assault rifles went on a shooting spree in the lobby and then inside the concert hall just before a concert by the rock band Picnic, eyewitnesses told. According to them, there are dead and injured people. An explosion occurred in the building starting a fire. The Emergencies Ministry’s department for the Moscow Region said that about one third of the Crocus City Hall building was engulfed in fire, with thick black smoke rising.

Afternoon March 23, the head of the FSB reported to Putin about the arrest of 11 people, including all four terrorists who were directly involved in the terrorist attack on Crocus Hall. These were not fanatics, but professional terrorists; they did not intend to commit suicide. They knew the route, where to go, where to run, where to hide and where they were supposed to be met.

Who Is Behind The Bloody Terrorist Attack In Moscow? Military Summary And Analysis For 2024.03.23

Dima/Military Summary asks “Who is behind the bloody terrorist attack in Moscow? For sure, we now know definitely it was not ISIS but all the evidence indicates that it was practically carried out by the proxies organized by Ukrainian Secret Service GUR, headed by Kirill Budanov and planned & financed & conducted by western secret services (obviously MI6 & CIA).

Putin’s speech, March 23 PM

Putin’s preliminary statement, March 23, PM. Please, note his warning: “I repeat, we will identify and punish everyone who stands behind the terrorists, who prepared this atrocity”.