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Ukraine Updates: Russia Claims Striking U.S. Weapons Delivery to Ukraine

Ukraine Updates: Russia Claims Striking U.S. Weapons Delivery to Ukraine

Poland holds military drills involving 18,000 soldiers from 20 NATO states.

The invading Russian forces continued their ground offensive in eastern Ukraine and targeted Ukrainian cities in the west with missile strikes.

In an apparent effort to cripple the Ukrainian resistance, the Russia military is trying to stop the flow of weapons supplies headed from the U.S. and Western countries to Ukraine. “Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday it had struck at weapons supplied to Ukraine by the United States and European countries and destroyed a runway at a military airfield near the Ukrainian city of Odesa,” Reuters reported.

With the Russian offensive raging in the east and south of the country, the port city of Odesa has become a significant point of entry for Western military and humanitarian aid to the besieged nation.

In the east, the Ukrainian defenders appear to have slowed down the Russian advance. “On the front line in the east, Russian troops have advanced slowly but steadily in some areas — helped by massive use of artillery — but Ukrainian forces have also recaptured some territory in recent days, particularly around the city of Kharkivm,” the French news agency AFP noted on Sunday.

Moscow to Introduce Ruble in Occupied Ukraine

The Russian military is tightening its control over the occupied territory by setting up puppet administrators and plans to replace the Ukrainian currency hryvnia with the Russian ruble.

The UK TV channel Sky New reported the Russian measures:

The city in southern Ukraine is under Russian control, and the MoD [the British Ministry of Defense] says Moscow has sought to legitimise its control by installing a pro-Russian administration.

This puppet government has declared a return to Ukrainian control “impossible” and “announced a four-month currency transition from the Ukrainian hryvnia to the Russian rouble”.

The MoD adds: “The Russian rouble is due to be used in Kherson from today.

“These statements are likely indicative of Russian intent to exert strong political and economic influence in Kherson over the long term.

Pelosi, Angelina Jolie in Ukraine

In other news, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie toured Ukraine over the weekend. The high-profile visits were largely ignored by the media of the war-ravaged country.

UN, Red Cross Begin Evacuations in Besieged Mariupol

After weeks of Russian shelling, the United Nations has succeeded in providing safe passage to hundreds of civilians stranded in the besieged steel plant in Mariupol, a strategic port city in the east of Ukraine.

Besides Ukrainian soldiers, an unspecified number of civilians are reportedly trapped inside the battered ruins of the Azovstal steel plant. At least 100 civilians have been evacuated, German news reports on Sunday afternoon confirmed.

It is unclear if the Ukrainian combatants will be evacuated as well. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his defense minister to “block” the steel plant “so a fly can’t pass.”

The Associated Press reported the humanitarian operation in Mariupol:

The United Nations has confirmed that an operation to evacuate people from a steel plant in the bombed-out Ukrainian city of Mariupol is underway.

U.N. humanitarian spokesman Saviano Abreu told The Associated Press on Sunday that the effort to bring people out of the sprawling Azovstal steel plant was being done in collaboration with the International Committee for the Red Cross and in coordination with Ukrainian and Russian officials.

He called the situation “very complex” and would not give further details.

Up to 1,000 civilians are believed to be hunkered down with an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters beneath the sprawling Soviet-era steel plant that is the only part of the city not occupied by the Russians.

The control over the city of Mariupol would give Russia direct land access to Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014.

Poland Hosts NATO Drills

With Russia hitting targets in western Ukraine just miles from Poland’s border, Warsaw is hosting a large military drill involving thousands of NATO troops. These defense exercises are expected to continue throughout the month of May and will include eight other European countries apart from Poland, new reports confirm.

German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported the commencement of the NATO drills:

Exercises involving 18,000 soldiers from over 20 NATO countries have begun on the military alliance’s eastern flank, Poland’s armed forces said on Sunday.

The Defender Europe 2022 and Swift Response 2022 exercises are taking place under the shadow of the war in Ukraine and are slated to run from May 1 – 27.

The Polish military stressed that the NATO exercises are a regular occurrence and are not aimed at any country or related to “the current geopolitical situation” in the region.

Polish officials, however, urged the public not to publish pictures or videos of the military vehicles that will be moving through the country over the next few weeks, saying that it could potentially harm the alliance’s security.

Russia Demands Lifting of Sanctions

Russia has spelled out the terms for entering into ‘peace’ talks with Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded an end to international sanctions as a pre-condition for a negotiated peace, the media reports on Sunday said.

The Biden White House as already given Kremlin a written guarantee allowing Russian to use Iran as a hub for sanctions evasion in case his nuclear deal with Tehran goes through, Foreign Minister Lavrov announced on March 15.

UK’s Sky News reported the latest Russian terms:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that lifting sanctions on Russia is a key part of his country’s peace negotiations with Ukraine.

“At present, the Russian and Ukrainian delegations are actually discussing on a daily basis via video-conferencing a draft of a possible treaty,” Lavrov said in comments to China’s official Xinhua news agency on Saturday.

“The talks’ agenda … includes, among other things, the issues of denazification, the recognition of new geopolitical realities, the lifting of sanctions, the status of the Russian language,” Lavrov said, without elaborating.

It is unlikely that Russia will settle for peace or even agree to a cease-fire before achieving its military objectives in Ukraine. Last week, a senior Russian commander declared that Moscow sought full control over southern and eastern Ukraine.

According to him, the invading Russian forces aim to capture the entire southern coast of Ukraine, cutting off the country’s access to the sea and creating a corridor connecting Russia to Transnistria, a pro-Moscow breakaway region in the eastern European country of Moldova.

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Comments

stevewhitemd | May 1, 2022 at 4:18 pm

I recall that our country launched air strikes routinely on the “Ho Chi Minh trail” through Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The current Russian strikes in western Ukraine will work about as well to interdict the flow of supplies as ours did.

    Turtler in reply to stevewhitemd. | May 1, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    The main issue I see is that the Ho Chi Minh Trail was helped by monumental amounts of diplomatic and bureaucratic idiocy on the part of the West, and helped by its relatively “organic” lack of dependency on infrastructure like rails in favor of the old skool issue of conscripting “volunteers” for slave labor as coolies, workmen, and so on hauling the stuff. Ukraine is unlikely to do that stuff, so a few Russian missiles or bombs at crucial infrastructure points would hurt.

    The Russians strikes support Ukrainians on the ground. They have primary responsibility, with Russians playing a support role.

      Turtler in reply to n.n. | May 1, 2022 at 10:39 pm

      “The Russians strikes support Ukrainians on the ground. They have primary responsibility, with Russians playing a support role.”

      Abject nonsense. There’s a reason why even the leaked Russian sources indicate that Russians from the RF Proper have taken the majority of losses. Couple that with the proven track record the Putin regime has of putting out serving Russian military units as “local separatists” (as Putin now admits officially is what happened in the Kremlin, and as we have been able to establish happened in the Donbas as far back as 2014), there’s plenty of reason to doubt that.

      Doesn’t mean there aren’t significant amounts of “Ukrainians” fighting on behalf of the DNR and LNR, but they’re not enough to drive the ground operations and haven’t since- at the latest- 2015. Particularly after most of the Donbas fell back to Government control in the 2014-2015 counterattacks, seriously crunching their manpower reserves.

It is a war zone and there is no fixed perimeter for such a thing. Russia doesn’t care about casualties. Right about now the CIA and others should be working with anti Belarus government insurgents and the same with anti government forces in Kazakhstan. Spread Moscow’s attention.

Nothing says “Maybe we shouldn’t have invaded” like having a few hundred bits of your already unstable infrastructure blow up nowhere near the front.

This war should have never happened: it’s intentional – on America’s part, as run by Obama, in his third term:

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/04/why_biden_pursues_politically_suicidal_policies.html

    Turtler in reply to TheFineReport.com. | May 1, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    This war should never have happened, but it’s not more intentional on America’s part than it is on Putin’s.

    That’s right, this is the Slavic Spring in the Obama world war Spring series, which started with an American-backed coup to depose a democratically elected (audited by the EU) government in 2014. Ukraine has been at war for eight years, two years under the current regime, denying essential services, and Kiev-military-paramilitary axis attacking Ukrainians in the south and east. Now, Biden wants to arm the insurgents as he did the Taliban in Afghanistan, the terrorists and criminal in Libya to destabilize that nation (a la gun running in Mexico), the Islamic State in Syria, etc.

      Turtler in reply to n.n. | May 1, 2022 at 10:37 pm

      ” That’s right, this is the Slavic Spring in the Obama world war Spring series, which started with an American-backed coup to depose a democratically elected (audited by the EU) government in 2014.”

      Oh God Give me Strength.

      The “democratically elected government” in Ukraine didn’t get deposed in 2014. Indeed, the Democratically Elected Verkovna Rada (their Parliament/Legislature) deposed the Democratically Elected Executive they were elected alongside (in 2010) on grounds of incapacity to carry out his constitutional duties (and assorted violations of Ukrainian laws and rights that he was called to answer for but fled the country instead).

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/ukraines-yanukovych-missing-as-protesters-take-control-of-presidential-residence-in-kiev/2014/02/22/802f7c6c-9bd2-11e3-ad71-e03637a299c0_story.html

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-02-22/ukraine-leader-s-flight-blocked-as-opponents-take-power

      https://www.kyivpost.com/article/content/ukraine-politics/where-is-viktor-yanukovych-337418.html

      “Party of Regions head Oleksandr Yefremov, once a staunch Yanukovych ally, came out against the former president on Feb. 22, saying that “The Party of Regions faction and members of our party, strongly condemn the criminal orders that led to human victims, an empty state treasury, huge debts, shame before the eyes of the Ukrainian people and the entire world.””

      ” Ukraine has been at war for eight years,”

      Hmmm… why is that? Perhaps it has something to do with the provable Russian military invasion?

      ” two years under the current regime,”

      As in another elected government?

      ” denying essential services, ”

      THAT’S KIND OF WHAT HAPPENS IN WAR. You rarely want to be feeding or supplying your enemy’s fighters, and for similar reasons to why the Russian military has tried to crush the electricity supply in and around Mariupol. That’s not a war crime (and I chew people out who claim it is when the Russians do it).

      “and Kiev-military-paramilitary axis attacking Ukrainians in the south and east. ”

      “Ukrainians” with suspiciously Muscovite accents and dog tags, who are fighting them.

      Moreover, Ukraine’s a country where even the violent, legitimately atrocious Neo-Fascists like Azov Battalion have a significant number of native Russophones and ethnic Russians in their ranks.

      ” Now, Biden wants to arm the insurgents as he did the Taliban in Afghanistan,”

      Which is the issue.

      ” the terrorists and criminal in Libya to destabilize that nation (a la gun running in Mexico), the Islamic State in Syria, etc.”

      The difference being that Syria in particular was a declared enemy of ours and close ally with the apocalyptic mullahs in Iran, while Libya was already destabilized by the Civil War.

JohnSmith100 | May 1, 2022 at 6:34 pm

“Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded an end to international sanctions as a pre-condition for a negotiated peace”

This should be met with a demand that Putin turn himself in to stand trial for war crimes 🙂

    Milwaukee in reply to JohnSmith100. | May 1, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    Are you going to be in as great a hurry for the Ukrainians who are guilty of war crimes? Or are you ready to pass judgement now?

      Turtler in reply to Milwaukee. | May 1, 2022 at 7:55 pm

      “Are you going to be in as great a hurry for the Ukrainians who are guilty of war crimes?”

      I can’t speak for JohnSmith100, but I can speak for myself, AND THE ANSWER IS NO.

      And for what should be VERY OBVIOUS REASONS, for the same reason why if you asked the generation of WWII or so on if they were just as in a great hurry to have the Rapist or Murderer in the Battalion over charged as they were to have Hitler, Mussolini, or Tojo on trial, you’d probably get your teeth kicked in.

      The reason I place persecuting Putin as more important than this or that Ukrainian war criminal (and I do not deny they exist) is because Vladimir Putin is guilty of a completely meritless war of aggression, as well as state terrorism. Moreover, as “constitutional” and defacto Commander in Chief of the Russian Military he has command responsibility for a lot of this. As such it’s a lot easier to parse his responsibility for many events than it is the likes of the Baby Rapist.

      Speaking of which, it’s also notable that Putin has played a leading role in covering up or minimizing even Russian atrocities he did not personally order, such as the Baby Rapist who was mysteriously captured by Russian forces and who the government has flatly denied existed rather than Court Martialing them (officially) or extraditing them.

      All of this means that his guilt and responsibility for the war is paramount, and no other actor even comes close to it.

      Or, if there is, I encourage people to provide evidence to warrant such a charge, and if true I will fully support THEM being given the fast track to charging.

      Again, this DOES NOT ]and ideally SHOULD NOT come at the expense of never, ever charging any Ukrainian War Criminals or more minor Russian/Separatist ones. Just because trials often started with the Biggest Fish in the vat didn’t mean they stopped with them, and even the globalist $hit show in the Hague managed to get this right by persecuting Serbian, Bosniak, and Croat War Criminals alike, not just Milosevic.

      ” Or are you ready to pass judgement now?””

      I’m not, but it’s easy enough to conclude a few things based on the evidence and Putin’s acknowledged actions.

        Valerie in reply to Turtler. | May 1, 2022 at 8:11 pm

        “…completely meritless war of aggression, as well as state terrorism.”

        Mmmmkay, so you assume the US does not have dirty hands in this matter. You have eight years of history you should have caught up on, before writing your “answer.”

          pkreter in reply to Valerie. | May 1, 2022 at 8:56 pm

          Also, Turtler has regaled us with at least 10,000 words in the most recent posts on this topic, describing history of various (irrevelant?) conflicts in which he has never once (AFAIK) detailed the Minsk Agreements and their importance to the issue at hand.

          Turtler in reply to Valerie. | May 1, 2022 at 10:21 pm

          “Mmmmkay, so you assume the US does not have dirty hands in this matter.”

          Au contraire. I know of many cases where the US has dirty hands in this matter, and I assume there is more.

          Indeed, I could probably give a lecture on some of the nasty shit Foggy Bottom has done in this.

          ” You have eight years of history you should have caught up on, before writing your “answer.””

          Brass and arrogant of you to think I haven’t been studying those eight years of history.

          Question: Do you know what removed Yanukovych from the office of Ukrainian President at Euromaidan?

          Answer: A Vote of the Verkovna Rada that was Duly and Democratically elected alongside him (in 2010) and indeed largely dominated by his own party. A vote that happened after Yanukovych responded to legal demands that he and his cabinet appear for questioning on things such as attempts to order the military to throw out its ROE in favor of force and illegal actions by Berkut by fleeing the country.

          I can also talk a great deal about the misdeeds of people like the Bidens, Nuland, and McCain (rot in hell) in this case. It’s just not particularly relevant in this compared to the invasion.

          Turtler in reply to Valerie. | May 1, 2022 at 10:29 pm

          @pkreter

          “Also, Turtler has regaled us with at least 10,000 words in the most recent posts on this topic, describing history of various (irrevelant?) conflicts in which he has never once (AFAIK) detailed the Minsk Agreements and their importance to the issue at hand.”

          Firstly: If you want to make the accusation that they are “various irrelevant conflicts” (which is ironic since the main conflicts I’ve talked about were the Russian invasions of Crimea and the Donbas in 2014, ie the Things that the Minsk Accords were supposed to detail), you’d better prove it.

          Secondly: I haven’t talked much about the Minsk Accords because they’re the right mixture of complicated and frankly irrelevant. They were stillborn upon arrival, with neither side trusting the other to do more than token initial pull backs that were generally quickly replaced, or otherwise weren’t due to a desire to keep the cost of the war low rather than any sincere hunger for peace.

          As I mentioned before, the fact that Russian Fed military forces were operating in the Donbas since 2014 and continued long after Minsk was one of the worst kept secrets in international politics this side of Israel having nukes, Tibet not being “autonomous”, and Pakistan not being a US ally.

          https://informnapalm.org/en/database-russian-weaponry-donbas/

          I don’t talk much about Minsk because frankly there’s not much reason to, especially for myself with a background in military affairs. At most it’s a crude and somewhat helpful benchmark in terms of an unsuccessful attempt to end the open war and as a diplomatic effort, and I think that’s giving it entirely too much credit.

          In hindsight it will appear to be the kind of footnote that the Taggu Truce was, especially since unlike somewhat similar ceasefires in Georgia and Moldova (where fighting either stopped all together or continued but on a much smaller scale) the war went on with little dialing down.

          But please, do tell how I- who have been watching this situation develop since the 2004 Ukrainian Election- have been missing the “true importance” of Minsk I and II.

          Turtler in reply to Valerie. | May 1, 2022 at 10:42 pm

          @pkreter Part 2: Regardless, if you want me to discuss Minsk (in spite of my- I think rather well founded- stated reasons for why I do not pay so much attention to it), by all means. What would you wish me to cover? The process of negotiation? The way it was “agreed” to? How far it went into effect? The violations of it by both sides and lack of credibility? I’ll be happy to tlak.

          pkreter in reply to Valerie. | May 2, 2022 at 10:46 am

          Turtler:
          “…the fact that Russian Fed military forces were operating in the Donbas since 2014 and continued long after Minsk was one of the worst kept secrets in international politics…”

          Your reference talks about Russian equipment in the Donbas, not fighting troops. Please refer to
          https://www.thepostil.com/the-military-situation-in-the-ukraine/
          Which (I believe) indicates the presence of less than 100 Russian troops. Russian equipment apparently came from/with defecting Ukrainian forces. The author was apparently there. If so, his information should be credible.

          BTW, thank you for your responses to my earlier posts. Your tone adds greatly to your credibility.

          Turtler in reply to Valerie. | May 2, 2022 at 2:07 pm

          @Pketer Part 3

          “Your reference talks about Russian equipment in the Donbas, not fighting troops.”

          The problem with this rebuttal is that Russian equipment in the Donbas by and large WILL mean fighting troops. Especially when it comes to AFVs.

          It’s relatively simple to teach some actual Donbas Separatist conscript how to shoot a Kalash or use shoulder-portable weapons like AT or AA launchers (so Putin’s snap about how “anyone” could by the equipment that took over Crimea in a MilSurp shop wasn’t THAT far out; most of the reason we know Crimea was mostly taken over by Russ Fed Spetznaz- well, besides Putin’s later admission- was not from their kit but from their methodology).

          Likewise, it’ll ALSO be relatively simple to teach them how to manage loading and firing an artillery piece (albeit probably not so much in terms of using it EFFECTIVELY, which requires more math than I generally have as well as forward observers).

          But armored vehicles are another thing, especially when it comes to higher end systems that were never exported to the Ukrainians (and thus cannot possibly be explained by “defections” or “captures”, both of which happened in the early days of the war).. Those require a lot of love and training to use with anything close to efficiency and it seems like the Russ Fed Ground Force Regulars suffer badly enough doing it themselves. The chances of all of the Russian-specific AFVs being crewed by Separatists is vanishingly small, especially if you’re looking at the first couple campaign seasons of ’14-’15, during a time when you’d just be able to train a couple of green “classes” of Donbas Tankers.

          “Please refer to
          https://www.thepostil.com/the-military-situation-in-the-ukraine/
          Which (I believe) indicates the presence of less than 100 Russian troops.”

          There’s no polite way for me to put this, but from a cursory look at things, it seems your source is full of shit.

          Indeed, I’ve previously addressed “Jacques Baud” and his writings before, on Neo-Neocon in the comments, though I did so (albeit only partially, because that was all it took for me to start running into terminally bad problems with the “analysis” that led me to conclude it was dishonestly regurgitating Kremlin propaganda).

          You can see the analysis here, but I will reiterate a few points.

          https://www.thenewneo.com/2022/04/19/on-ukraine-being-wrong-over-and-over-doesnt-seem-to-stop-colonel-macgregor/#comment-2619742

          Firstly: It introduces the situation in a decidedly dishonest way that mangles Ukrainian gov’t continuity and basic knowledge of parliamentary systems.

          “For the first legislative act of the new government resulting from the overthrow of President Yanukovych, was the abolition, on February 23, 2014, of the Kivalov-Kolesnichenko law of 2012 that made Russian an official language. A bit like if putschists decided that French and Italian would no longer be official languages in Switzerland.”

          The problem- as I mentioned before- was that there was no “Putsch” re: Yanukovych. Indeed, it strains the bounds of credibility to call the transitional cabinet a “New Government” because the Legislature- that is the Verkovna Rada- remained the same body that was democratically elected alongside Yanukovych back in 2010.

          Indeed, it was this Rada that actually passed the Kivalov-Kolesnichenko law of 2012, as even a cursory look at the timelines would show. So from almost the start, we’re looking at the legislature that first passed the law, repealing it. That puts a decidedly different spin on things than “if Putschists decided… languages in Switzerland”, doesn’t it?

          And that’s before- of course- we talk about how German, French, and Italian have co-existed as official languages of the Cantons for hundreds of years in Switzerland (and indeed most forms of German, French, and Italian ARE NOT granted official status or protection; so a new immigrant has to learn their particular regional dialect). The K-K Law only was around for two years.

          Why do I belabor this point so much? Well because it says something very important about “Jacques Baud.” He’s not merely writing with an acute bias (that’s ok, I am too), but he’s doing it to the point of being aggressively dishonest with easily-proven facts and is in fact regurgitating Kremlin rhetoric that the deposition of Yanukovych by his democratically-elected Rada was an “overthrow” and that the ensuing government was “new” (rather than a cobbled-together provisional placeholder until the snap general election of May 25, 2014).

          This is important for a few important reasons. Firstly: it’s a matter of knowing parliamentary politics (as Ukraine has a variant of them) and terminology. Not knowing what makes up a “new government” in Parliamentary politics is a big oopsie for a supposed NATO ally. Secondly: it’s important because it underlines that during this crucial period, the Ukrainian government was partially paralyzed. That’s not surprising since it was in the process of preparing to hold elections to dismantle itself. This means that while it didn’t completely STOP governing, it would be ill-positioned to do stuff like…oh…. engage in a massive campaign of ethic/linguistic persecution as Baud alleges.

          (An accusation that’s already laughable if you get into its merits, but I’ll get there later).

          It’s particularly notable because any new Cabinet would have been preoccupied doing a lot of flushing internal flushing, since Yanukovych and almost all of his cabinet were ousted and the “not-so-new” Ukrainian government had to dismantle Berkut and look closely at what elements of its internal security and other bureaucracy it could trust.

          Secondly: Its positioned introduction to the situation is intentionally butchered and chronologically mashed up. For reasons I must assume are intentional.

          “This decision caused a storm in the Russian-speaking population. The result was a fierce repression against the Russian-speaking regions (Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk and Donetsk) which was carried out beginning in February 2014 and led to a militarization of the situation and some massacres (in Odessa and Marioupol, for the most notable). At the end of summer 2014, only the self-proclaimed Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk remained.”

          If you carefully parse this paragraph, you’ll realize how ludicrous it is.

          But first and foremost comes from what Baud “conveniently” leaves out in spite of it being clearly admitted by all sides: the illegal, unauthorized deployment of Russian Military Forces under False Flag (in this case probably Spetznaz) to the areas outside the lease areas no later than Feb 27th, 2014, and the subsequent violent (if minimally so) takeover of the peninsula by them.

          YA THINK this MIGHT, just MIGHT have played a role in “a militarization of the situation”? Because I sure as hell do. Especially since most of the events that Baud is blathering about as far as massacres went happened after that date, and indeed after the war in the Donbas had already started.

          Secondly: Baud follows a familiar writing trick of mashing a bunch of events together in a text bloc to make it seem like they all happened close together when in reality they might’ve happened weeks or months apart (which is kind of important now when time goes fast). The reality is that Russian forces invaded Crimea no later than Feb. 27th, armed separatists (and yes Baud, it’s not dishonest to call them that) almost-certainly-accompanied-by if not largely comprised of deniable Rus Fed military forces were mobilizing in the Donbas throughout March, and open war started no later than April 12th.

          In contrast, a lot of the events he’s alluding to here like the “Odessa Massacre” happened later, in May 5th. That doesn’t mean I’m here to preach about how it’s totally right to set fires on civilian buildings and burn people alive so long as it’s “My Side” doing it, but to add context. Baud structures this paragraph to try and make you believe that

          A: The Armed separatism (which he doesn’t want to admit is separatist) started in reaction to Ukrainian government policy (….by a paralyzed caretaker administration made up of Yanukovych’s own Rada and a Provisional Cabinet).

          B: That it had no or almost no involvement of Russian Federation Military or Special Operations elements.

          I think pointing to a chronology helps put some holes in his framing and show how the “militarization of the situation” was driven to a large degree by the presence of Russian Federation troops on Ukrainian soil in both the Donbas and Crimea, especially since not even the Russian government is denying their presence in the latter during this time frame.

          That helps us understand how this went down for people living it at the time and the sort of stream of information that’d be making their way to them and decision makers.

          But it doesn’t help Baud’s claims.

          I wonder why that is?

          “At this stage, too rigid and engrossed in a doctrinaire approach to the art of operations, the Ukrainian general staff subdued the enemy without managing to prevail.”

          I’d say even this is too generous, since the Ukrainian Government never managed to retake full control of the Donbas even prior to the outbreak of open hostilities.

          “The examination of the course of the fighting in 2014-2016 in the Donbass shows that the Ukrainian general staff systematically and mechanically applied the same operative schemes. However, the war waged by the autonomists was very similar to what we observed in the Sahel: highly mobile operations conducted with light means. With a more flexible and less doctrinaire approach, the rebels were able to exploit the inertia of Ukrainian forces to repeatedly “trap” them.”

          As someone who observed this conflict from the start and who has also wargamed it and assorted conflicts in the Sahel, I can scarcely scream “bullshit” loud enough. Whatever conflict Baud was looking at, it really wasn’t the one I was.

          One thing Baud “conveniently” forgets to mention is that in a lot of-maybe even most- of the set piece engagements the “rebels” (probably largely Rus Fed Military’s under false flag with local aux forces) had an advantage in heavy systems and firepower. And as it turns out for good reason, because it proved difficult enough to use that hand to grind down entrenched Ukrainian Loyalist positions in places like Donetsk Airport and Debaltseve. A “Sahel-Like” “highly-mobile” force would be laughably out of place in the kind of predominantly heavy urban fighting we saw, much as the Lichte/Light Division in Paulus’s Army Group B was at Stalingrad.

          If I’m generous, maybe Baud is referring to the way militias and light infantry formations fought away from the major siege zones, ambushing loyalist convoys or such. But for various reasons I’m not inclined to be generous to Baud, reasons I hope are becoming clear.

          “In 2014, when I was at NATO, I was responsible for the fight against the proliferation of small arms, and we were trying to detect Russian arms deliveries to the rebels, to see if Moscow was involved. The information we received then came almost entirely from Polish intelligence services and did not “fit” with the information coming from the OSCE—despite rather crude allegations, there were no deliveries of weapons and military equipment from Russia.”

          This paragraph alone should be more than enough to indict, convict, and execute Monsieur Baud’s credibility, especially since even myself using Open-Source Intelligence could detect such deliveries of weapons and military equipment.

          It also doesn’t fit. The Poles remained one of the most stalwart opponents of the invasions of Crimea and the Donbas and were early to the game in accusing Putin and the Russian Federation, so I’d guess this is Baud’s attempt to get some kind of credibility from saying “even the Poles didn’t believe it!” In spite of how they publicly said otherwise.

          To be fair it isn’t ENTIRELY Out of the realm of possibility that the Poles would publicly accuse Russia of doing one thing while privately admitting another. But in this case I think it is really unlikely.

          And as a subsidiary note: Baud is claiming he heard of no Russian supply of weapons to the “Separatists”/”Autonomists” during this period, in spite of the area being near the freaking SEA OF AZOV. Now to understand why I find this outright FUNNY, you have to realize that the Sea of Azov has historically been one of the most active smuggling zones (especially for maritime smuggling) for at least a century, and being in the center of a fraught international zone between Ukraine, the Caucasus, Russia, and Turkey/Europe arms smuggling has been one of the most endemic of these.

          And you can indeed find many actual documents on arms proliferation about this.

          https://flemishpeaceinstitute.eu/safte/files/project_safte_eu_neighbourhood_ukraine.pdf

          So you’d EXPECT a sizable amount of traffic from Russia to “the Separatists” in this region even IF it was just being done by “intendent contractors” unaffiliated with the Russian state or any other.

          This is the rough equivalent of Baud claiming to be an expert in human trafficking and claiming to not detect in freaking Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

          It’s bad, and it should help illustrate why neither I nor most people were inclined to take what he said seriously.

          “The rebels were armed thanks to the defection of Russian-speaking Ukrainian units that went over to the rebel side. As Ukrainian failures continued, tank, artillery and anti-aircraft battalions swelled the ranks of the autonomists.”

          Again, Bullshit.

          Defections and surrenders DID happen in the early months, but nowhere near as many as you’d think (or even I’d thought, and certainly fewer than Putin or his brain trust expected).

          Moreover, it’s missing the point. NO defecting Ukrainian speaking Russophone or ethnic Russian in the military is going to be able to bring with them a T-90A or TIGR, weapons that were evident from the start in Donbas (as my source pointed out).

          This is prima facie proof of Russian government and military involvement in at the very least arming and equipping the separatists from the very onset of the conflict (rather than later as it evolved), and… let’s just say “Very Very Very Strong Circumstantial Evidence” that a sizable chunk of said “Separatists” or “autonomists” were in fact Russ Fed Military Personnel. And I frankly do not believe that NATO intelligence was so inept it could not notice this kind of heavy equipment transfer to the Separatists, especially since the Kremlin really didn’t keep it that secret.

          This gets more jarring when you start trying to identify individual “separatists” as well as graphing the placement of artillery fire.

          https://uacrisis.org/en/56592-traceless-regiment-russian-military-losses-donbas

          https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2015/11/13/136-brigade-in-donbass/

          https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2016/07/04/russias-200th-motorized-infantry-brigade-donbass-tell-tale-tanks/

          https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2015/05/26/mamai-geolocation/

          ” This is what pushed the Ukrainians to commit to the Minsk Agreements.”

          Saying that either side “committed” to the Minsk Agreements is- for various reasons- but that’s for another time.

          “Which (I believe) indicates the presence of less than 100 Russian troops. Russian ”

          I frankly don’t think we have ever seen a single day with less than 100 Russian troops in the Donbas since the war went “loud” in April 12th, 2014.

          And I think a close scrutiny of the evidence and dead bears that out.

          Baud is overly reliant upon official declarations made for official reasons, which is precarious to anyone who has studied these kinds of conflicts (Or even the Spanish Civil War) precisely because of the demand for “official lies.” That Russia is not sending Regular Soldiers to fight in the Donbas (please ignore the mobile crematories and identification), that Ukraine is not really fighting Russia (please ignore the weapons systems), and thus things like Minsk I and II can work.

          “equipment apparently came from/with defecting Ukrainian forces.”

          Again, this is Literally Impossible for many pieces of equipment as my source pointed out. They had to be supplied from Russia in one way or another, whether by “independent” smugglers (yah, right, unlikely in this case) or by the Russian state.

          It’s one thing for Dimitry Dimtrovich to move a bunch of AK-74s from Kursk to the Donbas for Krokodil money. It’s another thing entirely for him to have filched what are supposedly top of the line Russian AFVs and heavy artillery and pushed them there with literally nobody catching on…

          …AND for these to either be in place at the outbreak of the war or to move there in the early stages of it, purely by coincidence.

          ” The author was apparently there. If so, his information should be credible.”

          Again, this is an author who is intentionally misleading and mis-parsing events in order to confuse chronology, is ignoring realities of things like Parliamentary Politics, and is claiming that he could not detect any arms smuggling *ON THE SEA OF AZOV.*

          Oh yah and who apparently thinks conflicts in the Sahel were largely dominated by nasty, semi-static urban or siege warfare like what we saw at Donetsk.

          I have never entirely fisked this entire article, though I might at some point, but I frankly don’t think it is that necessary. The opening points of what he wrote are enough to identify him as a liar and a Kremlin propagandist, and a *rather inept one at that.*

          That doesn’t mean everything he writes is false (and indeed he’s not wrong talking about bloodshed in places like Odessa during the Spring of 2014, though he does put his fingers on the scale to act as if it were the Ukrainian Government massacring Russophones/Ethnic Russians/Pro-Russian elements, which doesn’t really fit). But it’s sufficiently false and rather disgracefully so for me to conclude one can get marginal benefit out of it.

          “BTW, thank you for your responses to my earlier posts. Your tone adds greatly to your credibility.”

          Thanks, and I try in any case.

Mauiobserver | May 1, 2022 at 6:41 pm

Yep I think team Obama is running the show and they are well on their way to repeating their great success in destroying Libya and Syria (came close to installing the muslim brotherhood in Egypt) as well as allowing ISIS to conquer and devastate large parts of Iraq.

The truly frightening part is that the current regime and corporate media seem determined to get us into a war with Russia. As bad as that is with no means for us to fight a ground war in Eastern Europe (which brings at least tactical nukes into play) the real threat is Russian ally China entering the fray creating at best havoc in Asia and at worst WWIII.

There should be a diplomatic solution to the conflict but I get the sense that our leadership wants to prolong the horror to diminish Russia and perhaps help their domestic political situation. I would like to be wrong but these people have given me no reason to trust them to do anything but use all means to enhance and keep their power.

    Turtler in reply to Mauiobserver. | May 1, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    “Yep I think team Obama is running the show”

    I think they’re at least some of the puppetmasters in the Biden Junta, and that seems to be borne out by so many of their pet policies like Iranian Appeasement.

    “and they are well on their way to repeating their great success in destroying Libya and Syria”

    Honestly I hate Obama but they don’t deserve that “credit.” Gaddafi and Assad destroyed Libya and Syria quite happily in the opening months of the Arab Spring by their brutality and unwillingness to compromise, much as Assad’s Father plunged Syria into a multi year sectarian war against the Muslim Brotherhood and the Kurds that got Hama razed the first time. And frankly to the extent that the US and other outside powers poured gas on the fire it was little less than paying Gaddafi and Assad back in their own coin, especially given the latter’s role in screwing us around during the Iraq War.

    I opposed the intervention in Libya on legal and practical reasons, namely the Obama junta never got a proper authorization for force from We the People or what are supposed to be our representatives, and crushing even a roach like Gaddafish after he gave up WMD would send a terrible message we’ll pay for. But I give no such defense to Assad given his actions in Iraq and Lebanon as well as his partnership with the Mullahcracy.

    “(came close to installing the muslim brotherhood in Egypt) as well as allowing ISIS to conquer and devastate large parts of Iraq.”

    Both of those are true and absolutely sickening. I’m glad the Egyptian people and their military had the maturity to spit out that particular $hit sandwich.

    “The truly frightening part is that the current regime and corporate media seem determined to get us into a war with Russia. ”

    Agreed. Which is why even as something of an anti-Putin Hardliner I an fiercely opposed to any entry by the US or its allies into the war directly. The risks are catastrophic, and moreover they’re also not very useful and counter-productive. Fighting NATO would give Putin more standing and justification for his boondoggle and possibly rally support; fighting a dirty and unproductive war right on the border against a “Little Brother” nation that Muscovites have looked down on for centuries is not likely to help his credibility.

    “As bad as that is with no means for us to fight a ground war in Eastern Europe (which brings at least tactical nukes into play) ”

    We have the means to fight a ground war in Eastern Europe, but how well it would go under current leadership is a question. I doubt our forces are quite this dysfunctional that they can’t better the Russian military’s performance conventionally, but I don’t want to know.

    “the real threat is Russian ally China entering the fray creating at best havoc in Asia and at worst WWIII.”

    Agreed.

    “There should be a diplomatic solution to the conflict but I get the sense that our leadership wants to prolong the horror to diminish Russia and perhaps help their domestic political situation.”

    That and bluntly neither Kyiv nor Moscow has much reason to trust or want a Diplomatic Solution. They tried that at Minsk but neither side respected or abided by it, especially after the Russian Military started lobbing heavy artillery from other the border. Which is the problem. I really don’t see this ending without some kind of fairly decisive resolution, and that makes me scared.

    ” I would like to be wrong but these people have given me no reason to trust them to do anything but use all means to enhance and keep their power.’

    Very well said indeed, and I think that’s the worst part of it. Trump I would trust to handle this quite well. But these fools?

    Weakness is provocative. I doubt Putin would’ve accelerated this war without gauging how weak our regime really was. And now that he’s seeing his own forces getting bled just as the Biden Junta is showing its unpopularity so acutely it can’t be hidden by the court press eunichs, I worry what both might try.

    Gaddafi had given up his nuclear ambitions, compensated parties for the victims of terrorism from Libyan soil, provided intelligence in our war on terror, and was in the process of ordering social development through profits from national oil sales, when he was forcefully deposed during the Arab Spring in the Obama Spring series (and probable gun running operation to arm terrorists in other national Springs a la Mexican gun running program in and across our border), which included American collateral damage.

      Turtler in reply to n.n. | May 1, 2022 at 10:47 pm

      “Gaddafi had given up his nuclear ambitions,”

      Indeed, which is the main reason why I opposed the intervention assuming Teh One (TM) and co could get legal sanction for it (which- being the Obama Criminal Syndicate- they of course never did).

      ” compensated parties for the victims of terrorism from Libyan soil, ”

      In a way that was intentionally scanty, while continuing to harbor and reward terrorists. But I blame that more on the cheap consciousness of the West than on Gaddafish specifically. So fair.

      “provided intelligence in our war on terror, ”

      True.

      ” and was in the process of ordering social development through profits from national oil sales,”

      It’s telling when you try and paint massive, totalitarian social engineering in a positive light.

      Moreover, he wasn’t really. In particular he royally screwed and persecuted people from the “Wrong Tribes” and in particular pursued a vendetta against Cyrenacians, which helped exacerbate the situation.

      Then when confronted by protests and minor armed rebellions (which may or may not have had the West’s hands involved) he failed to learn the lessons of Tunisia and Morocco just earlier and doubled down, using violence to try and retain total power.

      He chose unwisely, and in the process tore the fragile fault lines holding there.

      ” when he was forcefully deposed during the Arab Spring in the Obama Spring series”

      Which is true. And while I opposed Obama’s intervention and that, I’d be hard pressed to shed many tears over the man himself. He worked hard to warrant his fate, though not as hard as Assad (who retained power and if anything has grown more powerful).

      One does not need to whitewash Obama to think that.

      ” (and probable gun running operation to arm terrorists in other national Springs a la Mexican gun running program in and across our border), which included American collateral damage.”

      All true, and all largely besides the point. In particular I don’t see you making similar complaints about the Russian government doing similar.

Sure looks like a proxy war going on from my perspective.

Libya? Afghanistan? Ukraine… The Slavic Spring in the catastrophic Spring series with “benefits”.

“After weeks of Russian shelling, the United Nations has succeeded in providing safe passage to hundreds of civilians stranded in the besieged steel plant in Mariupol, a strategic port city in the east of Ukraine…”

So are you saying that the UN held a gun to the Russians’ heads and said that they were going to unilaterally take action to evacuate the civilians????? Idiocy.

Last week, Antonio Guterres visited Putin and I would wager that they discussed a humanitarian effort to force the bad-actors in Azovstal to release the civilians who were held hostage in the steel plant tunnels. Putin agreed to allow that effort, and if you look at the UN/Red Cross videos, you see that their vans are being escorted by Russian vehicles. Get it straight: Russia readily agreed to let the UN/Red Cross make best efforts to negotiate release of the civilians being held in the Azovstal plant.

So far, it appears to me that all you are doing is copying-and-pasting the MSM narrative regarding the Ukraine events. It’s really quite pathetic.

    Turtler in reply to pkreter. | May 1, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    “So are you saying that the UN held a gun to the Russians’ heads and said that they were going to unilaterally take action to evacuate the civilians????? Idiocy.”

    Agreed.

    ” Last week, Antonio Guterres visited Putin and I would wager that they discussed a humanitarian effort to force the bad-actors in Azovstal to release the civilians who were held hostage in the steel plant tunnels. Putin agreed to allow that effort, and if you look at the UN/Red Cross videos, you see that their vans are being escorted by Russian vehicles. Get it straight: Russia readily agreed to let the UN/Red Cross make best efforts to negotiate release of the civilians being held in the Azovstal plant.”

    Agreed, though I do think that is softening it a BIT too much. We know that a bunch of the previous humanitarian corridor efforts collapsed as a result of someone booby trapping them with mines. While it’s hard to verify at this stage of the war and- knowing what I know of Ukrainian Neo-Fascist sects like Azov Battalion-I can’t rule out Azov, my gut feeling is that the most likely suspects were Russian military (since a lot of the mined areas had been outside of “Loyalist”/”Ukrainian” Control for days).

    But in any case, sending Russian military escorts for the evacuation as a guarantee served two purposes. The military vehicles help prevent Azov from blowing up the corridors due to the ceasefire (and the knowledge it would probably be them), and prevent the Russians from blowing their own troops up. It’d also reassure both the pro-Russian and neutral civilians that they will be safe and the Ukrainian hardliner ones that this has some kind of official sanction and guarentee.

    So a smooth conclusion, on the whole. And credit is due where it’s due to the Russian government and military, as well as the UN.

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