Simplicius The Thinker

Simplicius The Thinker
20 Apr 2024 | 3:59 am

1. SITREP 4/19/24: A Small Gust for Ukraine's Sails?


Today we have some interesting thematic developments in the context of Ukraine's future sustainment outlook.

The most talked about of course is the headway being made for the Ukrainian aid bill, which is set to be voted on in both the House and Senate this weekend and early next week, owing to Speaker Mike Johnson's eye-opening U-turn. The U-turn was in fact so 'sudden' as to imply sinister developments behind the scenes—perhaps kompromat waving, threats, and the like. From an alleged CIA/NSA whistleblower:

You can see below how drastically his tone has changed into an uncharacteristically histrionic one:

This comes after he suddenly proclaimed himself a "wartime speaker", which was echoed ominously by other congressmen:

In any case, the voting is moving forward, though there is no clear indication yet what will happen; Matt Gaetz has reportedly signaled that unfortunately the vote stands a good chance to pass, though they are still bitterly fighting it. Here's the latest update:

However, while the pro-Ukrainian crowd rejoices, it's not clear what real benefit the aid would bring, should it pass. For instance, days ago the provisions of the alleged bill had leaked which apparently showed the vast majority of the $48B Ukrainian aid going to various American DOD scams:

If there's any accuracy to the above, it appears that when you take away the civil funds to the Ukrainian government, and the DOD's own beak-wetting double-dip, all that's really left for Ukrainian 'weapons' is about $14B or less. And in fact Johnson appears to confirm this when he says that he changed the bill so that 80% of it now represents replenishment of American stocks, rather than new weapons for Ukraine:

Certainly that's still a fairly significant amount of money, all things considered, but it doesn't even begin to address the much bigger issue of there not being any arms left to spend that money on.

For instance, recall the claimed million shells that Czech Republic was said to have found for Ukraine. Now Peter Pavel has confirmed they've only made agreements for an alleged 180k and have possibly found another "120k" shells, though they haven't been purchased yet. That entire number is basically what Russia manufactures per month.

That's not to mention the fact that Western ammo factories continue to mysteriously go up in smoke these past two weeks:

I wonder what it could be?

Some logically suspect that the urgent increase in production schedules has simply overtaxed the aging and stressed infrastructure and workforce at these sites, which understandably results in elevated risks of industrial 'accidents'.

But moving on.

The other significant event which dovetails with the aid bill is that Zelensky has finally signed the mobilization bill, which—most significantly—lowers the mobilization age from 27 to 25. By far the most controversial was the removing of the provision that allowed Ukrainian servicemen who've served 36 months to be demobilized. This has created an uproar with soldiers posting death threats to the Rada, like this one:

In spite of that, the final ratification of the bill means Ukraine could now stand to mobilize a significant amount of new troops, some estimating 200-500k—or at least that's the wishful target.

This new chart purports to show the amount of eligible men in each age group. Each bar below represents a year, so one can see for instance that 25 and 26 are somewhere around the 180k or so:

Since the mobilization opened up those two extra years, together that would open up a bit under 400k newly eligible, if the chart is accurate. But when you factor in all the various forms of attrition that realistically happen, i.e. draft dodging in all its varieties, then the real amount could be less than half of that, or even worse.

And for those wondering why there is such a dip in Ukrainian men in their 20s, the explanation I got was that these were men born precisely in the 'dark ages' period of the post-Soviet collapse, which means the birthrates were falling drastically then, resulting in far less people being born. It shoots up for the age 5-15 group because presumably in the 2000s the birthrate rose a bit in those brief economically hopeful internet bubble years, before collapsing again in the post-Maidan period.

Anyway, this further means that we're set for quite a showdown for sometime this summer. That's because if the aid bill is to pass and the heavy mobilization begins, the influx of new money, weapons, plus large amounts of men could coincide with the long-expected Russian offensive. Of course, it will not change the course of the war, but it could mean a much bloodier meatgrinder that will result in Russia incurring far more losses as it advances. That's because the cheap defensive weapons most effective against advances, like mines, basic RPGs, small arms ammunition, drones, mortars—are things that have never been in short supply, and a flush of new aid cash could bring a new bonanza of replenishment for them.

Another example. Some sources state that a large batch of new ATACMs missiles will be opened up with the aid bill, and these missiles have proved to be relatively effective. Not wunderwaffe by any means, but effective enough to incur losses and potentially—in large enough number—hamper Russia's logistics rear to make advance much more painful. A new ATACMs strike has just successfully been carried out on Dzhankoi airbase in Crimea, destroying what's said to be an entire deployment of S-300s, or what Ukrainians claim were S-400s. The missile parts have now been recovered and identified as ATACMs:

Ukraine released the launch footage, showing around 6 ATACMs being launched from the right bank of the Dnieper, while Russian sources claimed there were up to 12 missiles, with 7+ being shot down:

That said, the Russian MOD has claimed that up to 10 ATACMs were shot down in another direction the very next day—though we have no real evidence.

The point being, given the somewhat questionable shootdown ability against the ATACMs demonstrated thus far, it could pose a bit of a problem if provided in much larger quantity, particularly at a time when Russia will be gearing up for a large offensive, which means huge stores of munitions will be laid up at brigade HQs, as well as large manpower concentrations, etc.

As an aside, for every such occasional blow that Ukraine delivers, Russia gives back at least 4 or 5 big ones. In the past week alone we've had several major successful strikes, such as on the Ukrainian base in Dnipro, with several Mig-29s and S-300 systems destroyed:

For which AFU obituaries already began rolling in:

As well as a big blow on another AFU and mercenary troop concentration in a Chernigov hotel, which Western cretins like McFaul tried to spin as an attack on a civilian complex, but—as I attached below his message—one can see admissions from AFU accounts of the large amount of military casualties at the site:

That includes ex-Aidar dep. cmdr. Mosiychuk angrily admitting to many military deaths:

And as of this writing there's a new attack on a Dnipro complex said to house many AFU troops as well:

So, clearly, whatever minor successes Ukraine has, Russia continues vastly out-attritioning them.

A quick article round up to gauge the mood this week:

The two most pertinent ones are the following:

The above again mentions a potential Kharkov offensive by Russia.

And the new Politico piece likewise echoes fears of a Kharkov assault:

https://www.politico.eu/article/why-ukraine-losing-russia-war/

Today Rezident UA channel reported the following:

#Inside
MI-6 transferred new intelligence to the Office of the President and the General Staff about the plans of the Russian army to introduce new 10 brigades to Ukraine by the end of May. For these purposes, heavy equipment is also accumulated, and assault groups with new weapons are also being prepared.

And another Russian channel reported that some major new training has been launched about a month ago, which is likely the eastern Siberian echelons being prepared about which I reported last time. This could be the 10 new brigades referenced above.

In fact, BILD has now reported on the large scale fortifications Ukraine is building in the Kharkov region in anticipation:

The first line of new fortifications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Kharkov runs 10 km from the Russian border, said BILD deputy editor-in-chief Paul Ronzheimer, who visited the construction.

"It is expected that the Russian Armed Forces may go on the offensive there in the coming weeks or months. The first line of trenches runs just 10 km from the state border. Construction workers are working with shovels, without special equipment. They said that they are under constant Russian fire, including glide bombs", the material says.

At the same time, Carlo Masala, a professor at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, said in a comment to BILD that "a possible offensive will initially go through Kramatorsk."

"If so, then the path of Russian troops to Kharkov would be open. But even if there is no new ground offensive, Putin's goal may be to shell Kharkov in preparation for the assault. Make a new Mariupol out of it and force people to flee," said Masala.

At the end they mention forcing citizens to flee Kharkov, which is another common theme shared amongst several recent tabloids:

So, as you can see, Kharkov is really becoming more and more of a focused worry for them. That being said, I still don't see particularly big signs that Russia will go there directly any time soon, but we're merely keeping track of the movements and sentiments. It makes far more sense that for now, any potential phantom Russian brigades purported to be in the pipeline will be sent to one of the current breakthrough areas in the Donetsk or Bakhmut directions. There Russian forces have been making huge headway in a variety of settlements, from Novomikhailovka, to Pervomaisk, Krasnogorovka, etc. In the Bakhmut direction it's Chasov Yar, as well as continued advances in the Avdeevka direction. So this whole connected front makes more sense for where new forces might be injected to develop breakthroughs and keep pushing in order to not give the retreating AFU here any chance to dig in, which will keep the momentum going like an avalanche.

Let's cover a few disparate but important items.

Russia continues to show its massive industrial output. A new T-90M echelon was sent to the front:

And Shoigu visited Omsktransmash, where Russian T-80BVMs are being manufactured en masse. You can see the sheer scale and vast multitude of tanks being produced:

Scoffing doubters have brought up the fact that these are not brand new T-80s, as Russia still no longer produces them. These are all old hulls being restored and upgraded to T-80BVM status. However, in the video Shoigu notes that phase 1 of the resumption of a full T-80 production line has been completed, which is that Russia is now producing the turbine engines from scratch—which you can see in the video as well. The final phase will be for Russia to start actually manufacturing the hulls themselves, which is planned.

Another extremely significant development is that the tanks are now being rolled out with a native anti-drone EW system some are calling the 'ZIP':

This is a major deal, and is a first for the tanks to be equipped at the factory level, rather than with a field upgrade/attachment later on. That means Russia now has the world's first and only main battle tank with native EW of this kind. That's a big milestone and a testament to Shoigu's hard work in pushing the equally hard-working defense industry to their limits.

CIA director burns openly stated that Ukraine will lose by end of 2024 if aid is not rendered immediately:

Actual speech:

And the topic of speeches by globalist cretins, here's a remarkable soundbite from Boris Johnson who says the quiet part aloud, that the Ukraine war is actually all about preserving Western Atlanticist hegemony:

It's fascinating how "mask-off" these elites go when all the chips are down and the situation is so desperate that there's literally nothing left to lose.

And a final fascinating speech demonstrating their desperation comes from Stoltenberg. Here he openly admits that Europe's stocks are so depleted that they must send Ukraine even their own personal strategic supplies, dangerously dipping below strict NATO reserves requirements for their own armies:

So, in essence, he's now admitting that NATO is being totally demilitarized for Ukraine. Good news.

Another vindication. Many pro-UA trolls mocked me when I said online that Ukraine's laughable attacks on Russian oil refineries were nearly inconsequential as Russia has some of the deepest oil heavy equipment infrastructure in the world and can repair any such damage fairly quickly. Now once again I've been vindicated as Western MSM broke the news that damage caused by Ukraine's attacks was in fact quickly restored:

Not to mention:

That's all for now—now, we must sit and wait to see how the U.S. Congress and Republican spectacle plays out, vis-a-vis the Ukrainian aid. Depending on which way that goes, will have major consequences on the remainder of the war. Not even necessarily so much from the actual aid itself—which I already explained may not end up amounting to much real material gain at the end of the day—but even from the standpoint of support and morale for Ukraine. At this critical juncture, if the aid were to stall or end forever, it could have devastating effects on the Ukrainian army's morale and ability to continue fighting for the rest of this year, particularly as Russia launches its onslaught in a few months. But the shadow cast by the aid, whether it brings any real value or not, could lift the AFU's spirits with the knowledge that 'America still has their back', though even that won't ultimately change much, just prolong the suffering a bit longer.

I'll leave you with a thought-provoking quote I came across from the German philosopher and Russophile Walter Schubart. What do you think, any truth to his generalizations?

"Western European man views life as a slave whose neck he has stepped on... He does not look with devotion at the sky, but, full of lust for power, looks down at the earth with evil, hostile eyes. Russian people are obsessed not with the will to power, but with a feeling of reconciliation and love. He is filled not with anger and hatred, but with the deepest trust in the essence of the world. He sees in man not an enemy, but a brother." An Englishman wants to see the world as a factory, a Frenchman as a salon, a German as a barracks, a Russian as a church. The Englishman wants loot, the Frenchman wants glory, the German wants power, the Russian wants sacrifice. The Englishman wants to profit from his neighbor, the Frenchman wants to impress his neighbor, the German wants to command his neighbor, but the Russian doesn't want anything from him. He does not want to turn his neighbor into his means. This is the brotherhood of the Russian heart and the Russian idea. And this is the Gospel of the future. The Russian all-man is the bearer of a new solidarity. Promethean man is already doomed to death. The era of John's man is coming - a man of love and freedom. This is the future of the Russian people. The West is driven by unbelief, fear and selfishness; The Russian soul is driven by faith, peace and brotherhood. That is why the future belongs to Russia…"

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Simplicius The Thinker
17 Apr 2024 | 4:48 am

2. Inferiority of the 'Western Way of War' Slowly Comes to Light


There has been another series of very revealing transmissions from the Ukrainian side that will undoubtedly fly under the radar. They shed light on certain key thematic aspects of the war, particularly in this case the NATO relationship to the AFU and its doctrinal military philosophy, which gives us a much more informed understanding of how and why the conflict is playing out the way that it is.

The first item is the latest video from popular YouTube channel Red Effect, which many of you are familiar with, that focuses mostly on tank videos throughout the conflict, with a pro-Ukrainian slant:

Initially I was ready to dismiss the video offhand, but ended up being increasingly intrigued by what was being said. It's called "Are Ukrainians using the Abrams tank wrong?" and consists of an interview with an actual active duty U.S. Army Abrams tank commander.

He doesn't reveal his real name, but he does sound knowledgeable, knows the lingo, and his rank of staff sergeant does accord with what the lowest level of tank commander below platoon leader would be. He states he has 10 years experience, 4 deployments, and has served multiple years in each position of the Abrams tank, i.e. gunner, loader, driver, and commander, and so knows the system in and out.

He starts off with fairly generalized and uninteresting answers. However, reading between the lines he lets out quite a few tacit reveals.

The first one of these is around the 4 minute mark, where he states his own unit, which is currently undergoing further training, has only just now begun to 'interject drones' into the equation. The most eye-opening part is the types of drones they're using are ones which drop grenades from above onto the tank. Anyone who's followed the Ukraine war would blink hard at such an amateur oversight by the seemingly clueless U.S. Army.

It's widely understood that grenade-dropping drones are not even remotely the issue in current armored combat. Even the stock footage they play over this segment of the interview emphasizes the point: these types of drones are typically used to 'finish off' tanks which have already long been disabled. That means they are not active combat drones, but rather the clean up that scours a post-battle field of desolation, opportunistically hunting vehicles or wounded to finish off. What possible use would tank commanders have in wasting their time training against that?

FPVs that fly at high speeds with cumulative charges are the problem, not slow grenade-heaving drones. His next words are in many ways even more jarring because his manner of even discussing drones feels so 'green' and, quite frankly, out of touch.

He relays that his command will "supposedly" interject "more of this kind of training"—admitting he's not even certain if they'll go beyond just the superficial and totally pointless affectation of dropping a few grenades from above. He then further admits that "the whole concept of drones is absolutely crazy [to us]", in essence revealing the U.S. Army lags behind drone developments such that they are still in effect just poking at it with a stick, unable to even come to terms with basics in the way that's become second nature for both the Ukrainian and Russian side two years running.

This is supported by his further comments, as everytime he speaks on the drone threat, it feels increasingly like the U.S. Army is really out of touch and is treating drones as a sort of novelty to vaguely acquaint tankers with, as if still counting on the intangible magic of the mythical U.S. "Might" to take care of the threat.

This is actually a typical U.S. military behavior, alluded to by many in the past, like Dr. Phillip Karber in his speech at West Point. Each U.S. military branch quietly expects to pass the buck to 'some other' branch which they feel confident will 'take care of the problem'. For instance, tankers might feel: "I'm not worried, I'm sure our EW units will take care of those pesky drones for us if we ever have to deploy", thinking just a basic familiarity with the problem should be enough to mitigate any potential harm.

But little do they know, there will be no other unit or branch to miraculously save them. The U.S. frontline EW capabilities are not even a fraction as developed as those of Russia—and you can see Russia itself struggling against this persistent drone threat. The fact that the sergeant in the video continues referring to FPVs as dropping 'grenades' seems to imply he does not even truly comprehend the specific threat FPVs pose, which has nothing whatsoever to do with grenades or dropping anything. It's akin to a 'boomer' discussing Gen Z fads—you can just sense they're not quite picking up on the real essence of things.

It also makes me wonder whether the commander is misapprehending the videos he's watching out of Ukraine. This would be telling, and redound onto the U.S. Army itself. He may be viewing grenade drops into open hatches, interpreting the targets to be live still in combat, which is almost never the case.

Next, he admits that "cope cages" are the only real protection possible against drones—a fact that may not be a surprise to us, but could surprise anyone still retaining some kind of idealized vision of the U.S. Army as some superior force that's "above" using such crudely makeshift solutions. Of course we've now seen even the much-touted IDF resort to these cages in Gaza, as would the U.S. be forced to do. The commander even openly states at 5:45 that his units have never even "thought about" heavy camouflage measures, further exposing the U.S. Army's complacency over the years of fighting unarmed bedouins.

When such thinking becomes institutionalized on a mass scale, as it has become in the U.S. Army, it cannot be solved in an expedient manner. One can't simply snap a finger and expect this unwieldy monstrosity comprised of hundreds of disparate units and Byzantine hierarchical structures to be able to fluidly conform to some total overhaul of its most basic operational doctrines and inbuilt organizational 'reflexes'. The U.S. Army would take years to effectively structurally adapt to much of these modern shifts in a large scale composite way.

But the second half of the video is where things get really interesting, and tie into the main thematic arc of this article, which will be supported by the subsequent pieces.

This section is kicked off by Red Effect asking the sergeant about tactics, and whether the AFU is using the Abrams tanks properly. This veers into a direction where the sergeant makes some extremely revealing concessions.

He begins by saying he's discussed the issue with his own officers and it always boils down to the idea of 'doctrine', and what is U.S. doctrine when it comes to tank combat, exactly?

He explains that in essence U.S. armored doctrine revolves around utilizing the armored vehicles in mutually supportive sections or groups, i.e. together, rather than one or two vehicles acting individually as is so often the case in Ukraine. He correctly identifies that the chief consequence of the modern proliferation of drones is the ability to concentrate fire extremely quickly. This means any tank unit comprised of multiple vehicles that's sitting bunched up will be very quickly targeted and taken out in a way that's unprecedented to the training and doctrines of just about every country of the world.

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Simplicius The Thinker
14 Apr 2024 | 10:28 pm

3. Iran Breaches Anglo-Zionist Defenses in Historic Attack: A Breakdown


Iran made history yesterday by launching "Operation True Promise". In our usual style here, let's cut through all the noise currently clogging up social networks and incisively demonstrate the facts as thoroughly as possible, while also pointing out how this was a game-changing and historic event which has brought Iran onto the world stage in a big way.

Firstly, as establishment, Iran's stated goal for the operation was to strike back at the bases from which the Israeli consular attack was launched on April 1:

IRGC has listed its objectives for last nights missile attack: Ramon and Nevatim airbases (where attack on Iran Consulate was conducted from). Israeli Air Force intelligence HQ in Tel Aviv (where attack on Iran Consulate was planned) and degrading of Israeli air defence radars and assets.

The footage is of the Intelligence HQ getting hit. I have yet to see evidence of 99% interception. Ramon has been badly hit. Nevatim was hit by more than 7 missiles. Air Force Intelligence HQ completely leveled. Other strikes on air defence installations obviously not close to population centres and out of view but I'm sure sat intel will show extent of damage.

And another:

Nevatim Airbase in the south of occupied Palestine

Ramon Airbase in the south of occupied Palestine

The Israeli top-secret intelligence-spy base in Jabal al-Sheikh (Mount Hermon) in the north of the occupied Golan

It should be noted that the rest of the explosions or hits in other areas of the occupied territories are related to the confrontation of the Israeli air defense systems with the projectiles in the sky or the falling of the wreckage of the interceptor missiles or the wreckage of Iranian missiles.

Now, let's get down to the nuts and bolts.

This strike was unprecedented for several important reasons. Firstly, it was of course the first Iranian strike on Israeli soil directly from Iranian soil itself, rather than utilizing proxies from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, etc. This alone was a big watershed milestone that has opened up all sorts of potentials for escalation.

Secondly, it was one of the most advanced and longest range peer-to-peer style exchanges in history. Even in Russia, where I have noted we've seen the first ever truly modern near-peer conflict, with unprecedented scenes never before witnessed like when highly advanced NATO Storm Shadow missiles flew to Crimea while literally in the same moments, advanced Russian Kalibrs flew past them in the opposite direction—such an exchange has never been witnessed before, as we've become accustomed to watching NATO pound on weaker, unarmed opponents over the last few decades. But no, last night Iran upped the ante even more. Because even in Russia, such exchanges at least happen directly over the Russian border onto its neighbor, where logistics and ISR is for obvious reasons much simpler.

But Iran did something unprecedented. They conducted the first ever modern, potentially hypersonic, assault on an enemy with SRBMs and MRBMs across a vast multi-domain space covering several countries and timezones, and potentially as much as 1200-2000km.

Additionally, Iran did all this with potentially hypersonic weapons, which peeled back another layer of sophistication that included such things as possible endoatmospheric interception attempts with Israeli Arrow-3 ABM missiles.

But let's step back for a moment to state that Iran's operation in general was modeled after the sophisticated paradigm set by Russia in Ukraine: it began with the launch of various types of drones, which included some Shahed-136s (Geran-2 in Russia) as well as others. We can see that from the Israeli-released footage of some of the drone interceptions:

At the 0:49 mark you can see what looks like a Shahed, though it appears similar to the jet-engine-equipped Shahed-238 variety.

After a certain pre-timed span, Iran then released cruise missiles so that they could strike roughly in a similar window as the drones. One video from last night confirmed the low-flying cruise missile presence:

It's not known for certain, but it appears it could be the new Abu Mahdi missile which has the appropriate ~1000km range. Here's some other possibilities:

Then, following the appropriate time interval, Iran launched the coup de grace, its vaunted ballistic missiles. Here's Iran's own released footage of the start of Operation True Promise, which includes the ballistic launches:

As stated, all three layers of the attack were timed to coincide, with the slowest (drones) going first, then next fastest (cruise missiles), followed by the fastest time-to-target, the ballistic missiles.

The U.S. scrambled a large coalition to shoot the threats down, which included the U.S. itself, UK flying from Cyprus, France, and, controversially, Jordan which allowed them all to also use its airspace and even partook in the shoot downs.

Dozens of images proclaimed the "successful" shoot downs of Iranian ballistic missiles, like the following:

The problem is, all of those are the ejected booster stages of two-stage rockets. There is no conclusive proof that any ballistic missiles were shot down, and in fact all the evidence points to the opposite: direct footage of the missiles penetrating the AD net and striking targets. But we'll get to that.

Missile Types

First: what kinds of ballistic missiles did Iran use?

There are speculations and then there's what can be dutifully confirmed.

As for the confirmed, with my own eyes from the actual longer released launch video we can see the following:

Which appears to match what is likely the Shahab-3 below:

Here's another photo from a Shahab-3 test:

In the launch photo, the very top warhead nose cone does appear slightly shorter and may match the Sejjil rocket better. The Sejjil is in fact a much newer evolution of and upgrade to the Shahab that has both a two-stage and three-stage variety for an extremely long range of 2500km+. And some also claim it might be the Ghadr-110, but this is also an evolution and similar 'upgrade' of the Shahab-3 system, which likewise looks almost identical.

There are some other launch videos that appear to show possible Zolfagher or the updated Dezful systems as well.

Then there is the closest shot of the launch video, which gives us the most accurate confirmation of one of the missile types:

On the fuselage you can see what appears to be EMA written, and the same can be seen on this photo from today of a "downed missile" somewhere in Iraq:

This comes closest to confirming that missile to be an Emad from the chart above, which is one of Iran's most advanced and can feature a MaRV (Maneuverable Re-entry Vehicle) warhead. This is where it starts getting interesting, because the hits we saw in Israel appeared to potentially utilize some form of MaRV or hypersonic glide vehicle, which would mean Iran could have made history even beyond what we thought.

So let's get there by first mentioning the other controversial claim that Iran possibly used its most advanced new hypersonic Fattah-2 system:

In none of the launch videos was this visible, but that doesn't necessarily preclude Iran having secretly launched and tested some of the above. An Iranian academic stated the following:

"Iran has not fired its hypersonic missiles. In fact, most of the drones and missiles that were fired were older drones and missiles. They were very inexpensive and were used as decoys. So Iran spent a couple of million dollars to force the Israelis to spend $1.3 billion in anti-missile missiles, which was itself a big achievement by the Iranians. And then a number of other missiles that the Iranians fired...cut through and struck their targets," the academic and geopolitical affairs commentator told Sputnik.

And lastly, there are some experts who believe Iran utilized its elusive hypersonic Kheybar Shekan missile, which also features a highly maneuverable MaRV.

These are two shots from last night's launch video:

And here is a stock photo of the Kheybar nosecone and warhead:

This is where it gets most interesting, and why I've prefaced it so thoroughly.

In short: while Israel and the U.S. claim they shot down 100% of everything, and while it's possible that the drone and cruise missile lures were mostly shot down—though we have no strong evidence one way or the other—we do have evidence that the ballistic missiles largely went unopposed, slicing through what's claimed to be the densest air defense in the world. Not only Israel's itself, comprised of a layered defense of David Slings, Arrow-3s, Patriots, and Iron Dome, but also the aforementioned allied airforces, as well as what's now been reported to be a U.S. Arleigh Burke warship firing upwards of 70+ SM-3 missiles from the Mediterranean shore.

The hits that we saw were spectacular in one profound way: the terminal velocity of the Iranian ballistic missiles appeared stunningly fast. Let's review some of the most exemplary videos.

Here's by far the most revealing one, which totally refutes Israeli claims of 100% shoot downs. Note the massive swarm of air-defense missiles going up at the onset, then at the middle mark, watch as Iranian ballistics crash through the AD net totally unopposed at high speed, slamming into the ground:

As a quick aside, this next video was claimed by many to show Israeli Arrow-3 missiles shooting down Iranian ballistics in the exoatmosphere, i.e. in space:

But in reality, all it shows is the stage separation of the Arrow missiles as they climb toward the exoatmospheric zone. It does not show any actual successful interceptions, nor is there any evidence of a single ballistic missile being shot down.

But here's where we get down to business. The next video is the most eye-opening in terms of the capabilities of these missiles. The two most important things to note are: 1) the terminal velocity right before impact and 2) note how some of the missiles strike very precisely onto the same location in groups.

First video, note the terminal speed here:

Here note the speed but also the grouping accuracy:

In particular at 0:31 above what looks like a runway on the rightside of the screen can be seen, which could indicate this to be the Nevatim airbase in the Negev desert—where Arabic speaking Bedouins live, which explains the Arabic in the video.

Not all the impacts exhibit the high speed of a potentially hypersonic re-entry vehicle. For instance, this video shows perhaps somewhat slower missiles that nevertheless are easily bypassing the joint Israeli-Western AD net:

But getting back to the hypersonic question. Here's a video showing one of Iran's missile tests, which appears to show one of the hypersonic glide vehicle style warheads from the Ghadr missile:

A new video of the moment one of the IRGC's ballistic missiles was hit during last year's solar exercise near Chabahar has been released with 60 frames per second, where you can clearly see the impact of the Ghadr missile warhead for the first time. This warhead also has a very good final speed around Mach 7 and will be very strategic. The three-cone body of this cap is completely and severely melted, and you can also see the burning marks on the small parts of this cap in the first frame of entering the frame.

Photo:

The speed appears to coincide with the videos of the faster strikes, and you can see the vehicle looks like it may be glowing white-hot, which could explain the somewhat odd fact that in all the strike videos, the Iranian missiles appear 'red' as if they are still burning their engines. But we know most ballistic missiles like the Iskander have a burn-out phase after which the engine stops burning. Thus the red-hot nature of the strikes could potentially indicate not a burning engine, but rather the heat of the vehicle's outer skin from hypersonic re-entry.

Further, most ballistics strike on a pretty steep or straight down decline, while many of the Iranian hits are on a shallower trajectory which could indicate a glide-style vehicle, though in the above 'test' it clearly shows it coming down at a 90 degree angle, so it's likely capable of both.

That being said, it may not be an unpowered glide vehicle but one of the thrust-capable re-entry vehicles like so:

Unfortunately, we just don't know the exact details—like construction material for instance—that would allow us to fully confirm its terminal speed. However, based on visual eye-balling, some of the strikes appear to be landing at minimum Mach 3.5-5 if not higher, which according to some, is even higher than Iskander terminal velocity.

That being said, while the Iranian MRBMs feature very complex propulsion systems, given that they are two and even three stage for extra-long range, while Russia and the U.S. lacks these because of their previous adherence to the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Treaty, the guidance aspect of Iranian MRBMs remains a question mark. We don't know how accurate they are, and in the end, how effective the strikes actually were in hitting their targets. That's because beyond the general macro objective of "hitting Nevatim airbase", for instance, we don't know what precisely inside that giant airbase Iran may have targeted.

However, Israel did confirm the base was hit upwards of 7 times, but claims the damage was minor. In fact, they've now released footage showing them repairing one of the hit runways:

And some satellite photos have been released showing what appears to be possible strike damage throughout the base:

And another before and after timelapse, though unclear, shows possible damage to a hangar. Keep in mind this is the base which housed F-35s:

Could Israel be downplaying serious damage by releasing the video of a minor runway hole? For instance, they posted another video of an F-35 landing back at Nevatim base as a demonstration that the base is unharmed, but some have alleged that it is old footage:

That's not to mention the official Israeli account tried to pass off old footage of Russian MLRS launches from Ukraine as Iranian ballistic launches last night:

Thus it's clear that truth is no obstacle for Israel, which means we certainly cannot take their word on anything regarding last night's operation.

Conclusion?

What can we conclude about last night? We don't have any definitive 'final words' on how effective Iran's strikes were because:

  1. We don't know Iran's exact granular targets

  2. We don't know Iran's exact intentions

For the second, what I mean is that many now believe Iran merely strove to provide a 'demonstration en force', as Will Schryver puts it. A show merely as a 'warning' to Israel, and to create deterrence from future Israeli escalations. In fact, Iranian officials have now warned that Iran will respond similarly to all future Israeli attacks:

They call this the New Equation. Anytime Israel attacks them, Iran now intends to strike them 'head on', i.e. directly from its soil as is their newly demonstrated capability.

Beyond this, Iran broke ground in setting new milestones for missile technology and modern warfare, as stated in the outset. Iran demonstrated the capacity to bypass the most powerful and advanced anti-missile systems in the world—ones that have no built-in excuse as is the case in Ukraine. In Ukraine, the excuse is that the Patriots and other systems are manned by under-trained Ukrainians, and are not reinforced and integrated as wholly into layered Western systems as they would be in Western hands.

But last night, Iran penetrated every missile shield manned and operated by NATO itself, with all the trappings and advanced C4ISR and SIGINT capabilities inherent to the entire Western alliance; from THAAD, to Patriot, David's Sling, Arrow-3, SM-3, Iron Dome, and even 'C-Dome' from Israeli corvettes—not to mention the entire complement of the West's most advanced A2A defenses flown from F-35s, Typhoons, Eurofighters, and likely much more.

One must understand that ballistic missiles are precisely the apex predator that these most advanced Western AD systems were created to handle—and last night, they failed spectacularly in the same way the Patriots did in Desert Storm before them:

This sends a signal that Iran is now truly capable of striking any of the most high profile, high value targets of the West's, in the entire sphere of the Middle East, within a radius of 2000-4000km. That is a significant capability that dwarfs even anything Russia or the U.S. itself is capable of in the same efficient way. Sure, Russia can send Avangards (very few, and highly expensive) and far slower long range cruise missiles, but due to the Treaty, no other country can match Iran's cheap and immediate ballistic missile capability. The U.S. would have to send up a load of slow planes and do the traditional long range stand off attacks with slow munitions to hit targets at such distances.

As I said, the only question that remains is still of effectiveness by way of accuracy. It's one thing to develop long range rockets via the luxury of a two-stage allowance, but there's far more technology that goes into making such objects critically accurate—and I suspect here Iran may fall short of Russia and the U.S.' capabilities, given that there's a whole host of special electronics (signal boosting, EW reflecting, etc.) and guidance redundancies that are required for extreme accuracy. This is where Russia's systems shine. Iran's missiles have been shown to be quite accurate during tests in Iran under ideal conditions—but in highly contested EW environments, when the GPS/Beidou/Glonass signals are jammed, it could be a completely different story. Furthermore, the science behind signal retention in hypersonic plasma bubbles is quite extreme and no country has yet even proven the capability to consistently do this—but we won't get into that for now, as I may cover that in an upcoming article focusing on the Russian Zircon.

The optics of seeing Iranian missiles flying over the Israeli Knesset surely sends chills down Israel's spine because it states: we could have easily destroyed your Knesset, and much else, but we chose to be lenient, for now:

Who came out the winner?

There are now two chief competing 'takes' on the situation.

One says that Iran was 'humiliated' as Israel intercepted everything, and more importantly, that Iran has now blown its only advantage of surprise and strategic uncertainty/ambiguity by 'showing its hand' and not achieving much. They argue that Iran's one true advantage over Israel was the threat that it could effect a mass launch of its feared ballistic missiles, wiping out huge swathes of Israel. But now that the perceived 'damage' from the attack was low, Iran has shown itself to be weaker than expected, which could imbue Israel with even more courage and motivation to continue striking and provoking Iran, as they might see they have nothing to fear from Iran's long-touted missiles.

This is certainly a reasonable argument. I'm not saying it's totally wrong—we simply don't know for a fact because of the aforementioned reasons that:

  1. We don't actually know how much damage the strikes caused, due to Israel's obvious lies of "100% interceptions" and disproved fakes.

  2. We don't know whether it was merely Iran's goal to do a 'light' showing in the interest of 'escalation management'. I.e. they may not have wanted to cause too much damage deliberately, simply to send a message but keep from provoking Israel to respond too aggressively.

Iran is said to have thousands of such missiles, so obviously having launched only 70+ or so is likely not indicative of a major attack tasked with actually causing serious destruction to Israeli infrastructure.

Then there's the converse side: Iran came out the big winner by demonstrating all the previously-outlined abilities of bypassing the West's densest AD shields.

Here's why I think in some ways this conclusion to be the more correct in the long term.

Firstly, one of the common counterarguments is that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, which ultimately trumps anything Iran can throw at them. But in reality, now that Iran has proven the ability to penetrate Israel, Iran too can cause nuclear devastation by striking the Israeli Dimona nuclear power plant. Destroyed nuclear plants would produce far more radioactive chaos than the relatively 'clean' modern nuclear weapons. Furthermore, Israel is much smaller than the comparatively gigantic Iran. Iran can take many nuclear hits and survive; but a single mass nuclear event in Israel could irradiate the entire country, making it uninhabitable.

Secondly, recall the main fear of Iraqi Scarabs and Scuds back in the day: that they could contain chemical/biological warheads. Iran too could technically load its missiles with all kinds of nasty goodies of this sort: either chem-bio or even unenriched Uranium—which it has aplenty—to create a 'dirty bomb'. Now that we know it can penetrate Israel easily, Iran could actually wipe the country out with a mass un-enriched nuclear, chemical, or biological attack with these now-proven hyper- or quasi-hypersonic ballistics. That threat alone now presents a psychological Damocles Sword that will act as asymmetrical deterrent or counter to any Israeli Samson Option threat.

Thirdly, this was Iran's very first foray into such a direct strike. It can be argued that they gained critical data and metrics from the entire Western alliance's defensive capabilities as well as Israeli defensive vulnerabilities. This means that there is an implied threat that any future attack of this scale could be far more effective, as Iran may now 'calibrate' said attack to maximize what it saw were any failings or weaknesses on its part last night. Russia has had two years of launching such strikes, and it has only been semi-recently that they've calibrated and finetuned the precise timings of the sophisticated multi-layered drone-ALCM-ballistic triple threat attack. Iran can improve with each iteration as well and maximize/streamline the effectiveness with each attempt.

Fourthly, there is the now-confirmed mass discrepancy of operational costs:

Israel's defense of last night's Iranian missile and drone attack is estimated to have costed over $1.3 billion in jet fuel, surface-to-air missile interceptors, air-to-air missiles, and other military equipment utilized by the Israeli air defense array; with an "Arrow 3" hypersonic anti-ballistic missile alone believed to cost between $5-20 million.

One unconfirmed source claimed Iran's attack cost as little as $30M, while the number floated for the West's interceptions is around $1B to $1.3B.

Given that the average interceptor missile is minimum from about $1M to upwards of $15-20M for the SM-6s, this total price is plausible. Given that Iran was said to have fired a total of ~350+ drones/missiles, and that the standard procedure is to fire 2 interceptors at each threat, one can clearly see the math: 350 x 2 = 700 x $1-15M.

The point is that, just as we're in the midst of the Houthis having proven the West's total inability to sustain defense against mass persistent drone swarms, here too Iran may have just proven an absolutely lethal inability of Israel and the West to sustain against a potential long drawn-out Iranian strike campaign; i.e. one prosecuted over the course of days or weeks, with consistent daily mass-barrages. Such a campaign would likely critically deplete the West's ability to shoot down even the lowest scale Shahed drone threat. Just look at Ukraine—it is going through the same lesson as we speak.

Lastly, what does this mean?

One neglected consequence of this is that Iran now stands to field the ability to totally disrupt Israel's economic way of life. If Iran were to engage in a committed campaign of mass strikes, it could totally paralyze the Israeli economy by making entire areas uninhabitable, causing mass migrations in the same way the Hamas attack led thousands of Israelis to flee.

Unlike Israel's barbaric and savage genocide aimed primarily at civilians, last night's Iranian attack exclusively targeted military sites. But if Iran wanted to, they could launch mass infrastructure attacks in the way Russia has now done to Ukraine's energy grids, further compounding the economic damage. In short: Iran could mire Israel in months' and years' long economic malaise or outright devastation.

Don't forget this attack was still relatively limited to Iran alone. Sure, the Houthis and even Kata'ib Hezbollah reportedly sent a few drones, but it was minor. That means in the future, should Israel choose to escalate, Iran still reserves several levels of its own escalatory advantage. If push came to shove, imagine Hezbollah, Ansar Allah, Hamas, Syria, and Iran all launching full-fledged attacks on Israel in all out war. Maybe that's what Israel wants, some would argue. After all, there are echoes of the various Arab-Israeli wars where Israel 'triumphed' against such large Arab coalitions. But times have changed, the calculus is slightly different now. Short of using nuclear weapons, how would Israel survive a full-scale war against Hezbollah in the north while Iran rains daily barrages of hypersonic missiles, drones, and everything in between on Israel's industries, crippling its economy?

Of course, at that point the question of the U.S. coming to help is brought up, but, clearly desperate for an off-ramp, Biden just stated:

An Important Overlooked Point

The final aspect for consideration is to remember that all of the preceding and ensuing events could very well be part of the Israeli plan. Recall, Israel didn't choose to blow up the Iranian embassy—a huge, unprecedented maneuver—and slaughter Iranian generals just for its health. This appeared part of a clear strategy of escalation aimed at baiting Iran into an escalatory spiral, presumably with the end goal of drawing the U.S. into a large scale war to cut down Iran once and for all.

In light of that, some experts now speculate that Iran foolishly "fell into the trap". However, as stated earlier, Iran can be said to have wisely 'managed' the escalation for precisely this reason: to show its strength while not going too far in a way that would invite a wider American response—or even an Israeli one for that matter.

But I simply mention this to temper any 'celebratory' touts from the resistance sphere. While Iran's strikes may inspire some chest-beating chauvinism, in reality it may very well have played into Israel's hand. However, the U.S.' unwillingness to support Israel into further escalation could very well deflate Netanyahu's goals and simply leave Israel with egg on its face with Iran coming out the winner in the exchange.

We'll have to wait and see where it leads: as of this writing, the story has changed three separate times; the last two being that Israel decided not to respond, with news now claiming that Israel not only has chosen to retaliate, but will even do so as early as tonight, perhaps within minutes or hours of this publication's release. If that turns out to be the case, then we'll have to see if Israel chooses its own 'face-saving' off-ramp 'light touch' attack just for damage control's sake, or whether it truly aims to keep climbing that escalatory ladder in force. Any major action without American backing is risky: not only because it could fail, and Israeli planes could be shot down, but also because Iran could make good on its word and unleash another far more devastating attack.

Final Thoughts

Why now? Why did Israel bait Iran into such an action at this precise moment?

The clue to the answer lies in the news from several days ago that Israel totally withdrew its forces from Khan Younis:

I suspect that Israel—or Netanyahu in particular—is facing failure, after not having accomplished any of the stated objectives, and thus is desperate to create a new distraction as a vector for continuing the war in some way that could keep the world, and Israelis, from reaching the conclusion that the war has been totally lost.

Have you seen the latest bombshell from Haaretz?

https://archive.ph/Fc4nx

We've lost. Truth must be told. The inability to admit it encapsulates everything you need to know about Israel's individual and mass psychology. There's a clear, sharp, predictable reality that we should begin to fathom, to process, to understand and to draw conclusions from for the future. It's no fun to admit that we've lost, so we lie to ourselves.

Some of us maliciously lie. Others innocently. It would be better to find solace in some airy carb with a total-victory crust. But it might just be a bagel. When the solace ends, the hole remains. There's no way around it. The good guys don't always win.

The astonishing article, which jibes with the sentiments of many Israelis, goes on:

After half a year, we could have been in a totally different place, but we're being held hostage by the worst leadership in the country's history – and a decent contender for the title of worst leadership anywhere, ever. Every military undertaking is supposed to have a diplomatic exit – the military action should lead to a better diplomatic reality. Israel has no diplomatic exit.

The article concludes that the calculus has changed, and that Israelis may now never be able to return to the northern border, given the situation with Hezbollah.

Another classic line:

No cabinet minister will restore our sense of personal security. Every Iranian threat will make us tremble. Our international standing was dealt a beating. Our leadership's weakness was revealed to the outside. For years we managed to fool them into thinking we were a strong country, a wise people and a powerful army. In truth, we're a shtetl with an air force, and that's on the condition that its awakened in time.

The author then focuses his condemnation on the upcoming 'Rafah operation':

Rafah is the newest bluff that the mouthpieces are plying to fool us and make us think that victory is just moments away. By the time they enter Rafah, the actual event will have lost its significance. There may be an incursion, perhaps a tiny one, sometime – say in May. After that, they'll peddle the next lie, that all we have to do is ________ (fill in the blank), and victory will be on its way. The reality is that the war's aims will not be achieved. Hamas will not be eradicated. The hostages will not be returned through military pressure. Security will not be reestablished.

In short: this is why Netanyahu needed an escalation. It's to divert attention from the ongoing catastrophe of Israel's potential defeat to Hamas, the catastrophic loss of standing of Israel's image in the world community, the complete turning against Israel by the entire world. Rather than admit defeat and face the end of his career, as well as the coming trials and tribunals that would put Bibi in jail, he chose to take the only remaining option: to continue escalating in the hopes that a wider-scale war could wash away his sins and undo the past mistakes. Unfortunately, just like the ill-fated Zelensky, Netanyahu's doomed plan appears destined to coincide with the U.S.' historic decline, reaching its zenith now in this pivotal year of 2024.

At the critical moment when Israel needed the strongest possible America, they got the weakest America in its history. That is Israel's blunder, which may be its ultimate, calamitous undoing. But Bibi will likely have no choice but to continue escalating, or at least keep a strategy of tension a constant presence in order to survive.

Only last quick postscript note is to say that the ensuing events could affect the Ukrainian aid bill, as there is now talk of ramming through an emergency Israeli aid package, in light of events, which could have Ukrainian aid attached; but we'll have to see what happens, as there is still strong opposition among some Republicans.

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Simplicius The Thinker
11 Apr 2024 | 7:31 pm

4. SITREP 4/11/24: Zelensky in Shock as Kiev's Largest Power Plant Wrecked in Massive Strikes


The day starts with a massive Russian missile strike that has wiped out another chunk of the remaining Ukrainian energy capacity. It's now confirmed that Russia is hitting precisely the turbine rooms causing long-lasting, if not permanent, damage.

Here's Ukraine's own Centernergo energy concern declaring it to be the worst day in their history, as the Trypil Thermal Power Plant in the Kiev region was wiped out:

Here's a before and after:

The regime apologists are in conniptions over this:

The Kharkov plant and several others were struck as well. Full report:

Missile attack on the territory of Ukraine on April 11: details

🔺Tu-95MS missile carriers and Geran-2 loitering ammunition hit many targets, including both military and infrastructure/energy facilities.

What objects were hit?

▪️Tripolye (Kyiv region). Trypilska Thermal Power Plant.

▪️Kharkov, CHPP-3.

▪️Kharkov, plant named after. Malysheva, workshop No. 510 and building No. 400.

▪️Chuguev (Kharkov region). Central warehouse of engineering ammunition of military unit A-2467.

▪️Kharkov, Turboatom plant. Foundry shop and KEMZ building.

▪️Stry (Lviv region), gas collection point No. 2.

▪️Susk (Rivne region). 1448th Central Artillery Weapons Base.

▪️Chervonograd (Lviv region). 72nd separate mechanization battalion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

▪️Chervonograd (Lviv region), substation "Chervonograd-2" 110/35/6 kV.

▪️Odessa, substation 330/110/10 kV "Usatovo".

It is noteworthy that during attacks on electricity generation facilities, eyewitnesses recorded multiple arrivals, as in the case of the recent finishing off of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Station. Indirectly, this indicates that the Russian Aerospace Forces have been tasked with completely destroying or critically damaging ALL large non-nuclear generation facilities on the territory of Ukraine.

Taking into account the fact that the attacks on Ukraine's energy system are systemic in nature (and some facilities, such as CHPP-3 and substations in Odessa, have been hit not for the first time), the cumulative effect of a sharp shortage of electricity generation may appear in the near future.

It's difficult to truly estimate how catastrophic the situation is becoming because every 'expert's' opinion seems to differ, and many were disappointed with last year's energy grid strikes. However, one thing that can be objectively said is Russia has demonstrably been hitting engine rooms, as we've seen in actual video from the Dnipro HES hydroelectric station. In the Centernergo note above, they also admit a 'large fire' in the 'turbine workshop'.

And by the way, for those wondering why Russia didn't begin such a devastating campaign in winter, here's what Putin is alleged to have told Lukashenko at their soiree today:

Russia did not strike Ukrainian energy sector in winter for humanitarian reasons - Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with Lukashenko, said that Russia was forced to respond to the Ukrainian series of attacks on the energy sector. Our country did not carry out such attacks in winter for humanitarian reasons, so as not to leave hospitals and schools without electricity.

If only Netanyahu had 0.01% the compassion.

Now that things are heating up in this way, Ukraine is in a froth over those Patriot systems:

In fact, Bild's Roepcke appears to claim that Ukraine has completely run out of the flagship AD missiles:

Update:

Unfortunately, here's Germany's Annalena Baerbock's response:

https://www.rt.com/news/595655-baerbock-patriots-ukraine-exhausted/

If you want to see how truly desperate the situation has gotten, get a load of this unhinged rant by EU lunatic Guy Verhofstadt:

During all these urgent calls for new Patriots to be sent has anyone bothered to ask where the previously delivered Patriots have gone, by any chance? We were told they were totally unscratched after stopping all those Kinzhals. It seems perhaps that wasn't entirely accurate.

In the meantime, Russian MOD published another video of a new Ukrainian S-300 being taken out by what's likely an Iskander or Tornado-S near Odessa:

But here's where it starts getting interesting. What began as mere improbable rumor weeks ago is slowly starting to spin into a common thread of something going on in the Kharkov direction. My readers know I'm very open and honest about these things—when something feels speculative and merely 'rumor'-based, I readily say so, as I hate clickbait and groundless rumorbait just as much as you do.

But when a certain critical mass of rumors and information is reached, sometimes our ears perk up and we're forced to pay attention. Kharkov is a particularly sore spot in this regard merely because we've heard rumors for so long about all the possible "big arrow" offensives that could come down from the north. However, we must objectively admit that Russia has never gone after the Ukrainian energy infrastructure with as much commitment as is happening now.

So, to dress the table, here's head of the Kharkov administration announcing they've made their decision on evacuating nearly 50 settlements and villages in the north Kharkov region close to the Russian border:

Recall the parallel thread I've been following here with many citizens beginning to slowly flee Kharkov, sensing what may be coming their way. Also recall my own personal on the ground intelligence, which I wrote about several weeks ago, that said Russian villages on the border of Sumy were being quietly evacuated, with residents being offered money by Russian authorities to leave within a two month frame.

Russian ex-general and current Duma member commented on just this:

And Ukrainian pundit Max Feigin even stated on air that Kharkov is in danger of being evacuated, and appears to state that city services are already removing secret documents—if I'm understanding correctly—so they don't fall into Russian hands in the event of Kharkov's fall:

Josep Borrell, too, seemed to signal something big being imminent:

But the most eye-opening piece of new information came in the latest Economist article centered on Kharkov:

https://archive.ph/SELjo

First, might I mention that the article begins with this quite thematic quote which shows the nature of what Russia's up against:

While describing the huge uptick in strikes on Ukraine's "second city", they make the first notable admission—that Russia may be looking to effectively force the city's evacuation, as reportedly opined by 'military sources' in Kiev:

The escalation had military sources in Kyiv suggesting that Russia has resolved to make the city a "grey zone", uninhabitable for civilians.

This is important because all the lead-ups I had mentioned earlier certainly appear to paint the picture of an increasing campaign to shut the city's power down and purge it of civilians in the run-up to a potential large-scale ground assault of some kind.

They appear to further admit that Russia has destroyed Patriot systems guarding Kharkov:

But then comes the big one I've been setting up:

So: according to them Russia is preparing for a 'major summer offensive' and is training a massive two-corps field army of six divisions in 'eastern Siberia', according to a high-ranking Ukrainian official.

That is extremely interesting because it gives us the first potential intel on what some of Shoigu's newly constructed army corps could be doing. But more importantly, and what most will miss about this news, is the following:

The 120k number matches almost precisely with the number of troops Russia has been designating for each given sector or front. For instance, the Kupyansk-Kremennaya theater was said to have about 120-150k men. The Zaporozhye theater was said to have roughly that amount as well; and then the Donetsk also. Most of that information is compiled from various sources such as the Pentagon leaks, which gave Russian troop dispositions. But as an example, here's an older out of date graphic I happened to find in my collection just to give a rough idea:

You can see the Kupyansk theater with ~130k, the center group with 50k + 60k, and Zaporozhye with 50k that later grew to much more, not to mention they don't count the nearby Kherson region's grouping.

My point is that this number roughly corresponds to what Russia has been using for an entire given major front or sector. So if we are to assume, hypothetically, that this potential new 120k man structure is being trained as one cohesive grouping—an assumption based on the fact that they're reportedly training together in the same region—under one command, ergo we can make the logical extension that this grouping is intended for a new theater. And what possible new front or theater could be opened up with such a large grouping? There is no room anywhere else to inject such a group other than into the north.

Admittedly, these are all very preliminary assumptions. No one really knows anything quite yet—the grouping could very well be meant as reserves to replace and rotate men all along the front, or the Economist's "report" could be entirely fake. There were other rumors that Russia intended to inject a huge amount of new men into the Zaporozhye front and push a large new offensive there. But it really does strike me as quite 'coincidental' and my personal suspicions are up about a potential Kharkov direction.

However, one thing I'll say is that even if that were to happen, I'm not necessarily expecting it to be any time soon, or even necessarily this year. We see now Russia moves fairly methodically at its own pace. The coming 'summer offensive' could very well be an increased tempo of actions along the current front, and the phantom 120k man group could be meant to open the Kharkov theater for winter or even spring next year, for example. After all, one thing to remember is that it takes up to a year to properly train a new recruit. It's unknown what training level all those enlistments have, which have been coming in over the past year at a rate of ~30k per month. Many of them could be in training for a long time before being allowed to see any action.

And in case anyone asks: I've been talking for a long time about Shoigu's new 500k man army meant to be a reserve against potential NATO attack. But they've already raised the full 500k, yet have not stopped recruiting. That means this year alone, they've already raised a new 50k—as of last reporting by Medvedev and Shoigu several weeks ago—and so, potentially taking 120k of the reserves for SMO action would not be a major reduction given that, at 30k per month, in only a few more months they can already replenish the total.

Russia appears to know something—here's UN rep Nebenzya's latest statement to the committee:

"Very soon, the only topic for any international meetings on Ukraine will be the unconditional surrender of the Kiev regime, I advise all of you to prepare for this" - Nebenzya

A few other interesting adjacent items:

U.S. Congressmen appeared to admit that the U.S. has thus far spent a mindblowing $300 billion on Ukraine since 2014:

The rest of the exchange is fascinating too, particularly the admission of 12 CIA bases in Ukraine.

And on the note of congressional antics, a big uproar ensued in the Ukrainian commentariat after it was finally revealed definitively by Biden's administration that they apparently do not support Ukraine hitting Russia's oil and gas infrastructure due to the fear of affecting "global energy markets":

This is clearly either not right, or misunderstood. I already explained how hitting Russian refineries doesn't really affect global oil as refineries are working to refine gasoline for Russia's domestic use. The real reason Biden's admin is worried about "global" markets is because of the implicit threat of Russia's retaliation. There are obviously backdoor deals wherein Russia has made clear its escalatory regime should Ukraine be abetted by NATO in striking certain critical 'red line' facilities.

Such escalatory measures could be the threat of Russia striking facilities in NATO countries, for instance, in a tit-for-tat measure, particularly given that British drones are now being reportedly used for some of these incursions. Or there may be more asymmetric means by which Russia has expressed its threats, such as providing various "help" to Iran and its proxies in upping the pressure on the current ongoing Red Sea situation. There is a variety of methods Russia has at its disposal to provide anything from weaponry to intel and satellite targeting data to Iran and the Houthis that could make things extremely painful for the U.S., and would certainly result in a destabilization of "global markets".

This is, as always, the one area the pro-UA punditry simply has no understanding of because it requires a subtle comprehension of the realpolitik shadow dance behind the scenes which is always the true driver of events. I've explained many times that there is a delicate balance of "understandings" in Ukraine between Russia and the West. Each has their red lines, and I've even provided proof via CIA admissions in previous articles that this is the case:

By the way, as a last point, this exchange on the topic was notable in demonstrating how utterly involved the U.S. really is in the 'proxy' conflict. Listen just to the last few seconds where the congressman literally says "we should destroy [Russia's oil & gas infrastructure]":

We, Mr. Congressman? Is it the U.S. at war here, or is that just a slip of the ol' forked tongue?

And speaking of corrupt congresses, the Ukrainian one reportedly finally approved a revamped mobilization bill to much furor and tooth-gnashing:

However, it still needs Zelensky's ratification to fully pass.

There has been such a tumult and controversy that it would take a separate article to enumerate it all. But the biggest sticking point was in regard to the removal of a provision that allowed Ukrainian servicemen to be demobilized after 3 years of fighting. Now, it appears, mobilization is 'permanent'—i.e. until death.

Then there was a video posted by one of the Rada reps who showed that only 40-some odd members even attended, out of the 400+ quorum:

❗️Breaking news from the Crazy House 404🚨

⚡️The Verkhovna Rada adopts the most anti-people, criminal law in the history of Ukraine. Of the required 450 people's deputies, there are about 45 people in the Rada.

⚡️But the most interesting thing is that this does not prevent them from making the necessary amendments to preserve their seats

I don't quite know what to make of it other than to remind you the several reports I've made in the past about how the Rada has been deteriorating, with 'rumors' claiming it has devolved into total chaos with many members attempting to flee the country and no longer even attending the sessions. This appears one of the first visual confirmations of that.

All the while, things get worse:

And no single object has generated greater chatter amplitude than Russia's glide-bombs, which are becoming an utterly insurmountable problem for the AFU:

Just as the Lancet was the star of last year's show, it seems now the glide-bomb has moved into the spotlight. The reason is simple: Ukraine hardly uses armor or vehicles anymore, given that they've bunkered up and gone fully on the defensive. Thus there's not much for Lancets to do at the moment. But glide-bombs are precisely the remedy for Ukraine's defensive, trench-heavy posture, as they shred trenches and cave them in even from non-direct impacts. And given Ukraine's frontline air defense depletion, Russian fighter-bombers are able to operate with full impunity, launching the glide-bombs at any and all times and directions.

I wrote this on X, but I'll say it here again as a final point. Now that Russia is mass-producing heavy glide-bombs, there is almost no possible way for Ukraine to hold ground. Only in places like Avdeevka, with massive fortified underground structures, were they able to withstand the onslaught. But nearly everywhere else that's left, such as Chasov-Yar now, glide-bombs will wreck top-ground fortifications and trenches, crumpling them even from some distance away. Ukrainians have reported that the Fab-500 rips doors off hinges from 1km away. There is simply no way to hold trenches when the Fabs start arriving on top of them. And as of this writing, there's said to be a massive Kab/Fab assault on Chasov Yar ongoing. Here's what it looks like over the city:

A Ukrainian military account is 'shocked' at the speed with which Russian forces are advancing into Chasov Yar, and there's even rumors that Azov Brigade again 'refused' orders to fight there:

And another from the AFU 46th Brigade. Read carefully about what glide-bomb Fabs are doing:

Rezident UA channel corroborates this:

#Inside
Our source in the General Staff said that the Armed Forces cannot build adequate defense against the new Russian attack tactics. In all directions, it happens the same way, first 70-90 KABs are dropped to our positions, and then small assault groups come along with artillery positions, which calmly go to the scorched positions of the Armed Forces. The only chance to keep the front-fill positions with tanks at two or three rashes a day, but this method simply leaks out our forces.

Well, what else can we say?

Last few sundry items:

The Russian UGV ground bots first seen recently operating on assault near Berdychi have finally been shown more closely:

The first footage of the Courier ("Курьер") #UGV tests at the training ground.

These drones have already been tested in real combat operations in the Avdeevka area (versions with AGS-17 and 12.7mm machine guns were used), showing good practical results.

For the first time presented the product's specifications, used a wide range of weapons: AGS-17, AGS-30, RPO, RPG, ATGM, 12.7mm machine guns, anti-tank mines, EW systems. And the matter is not limited to this.

In the foreseeable future, drones of this type will take their place on the battlefield, just as air and sea drones did before our eyes.

The project is supported by Boris Rozhin and Chingis Dambiev.

Further robotisation of warfare seems inevitable.

Not to mention a host of others already being used in the field:

Next:

Micron proudly boasted about some kind of new 'dynamic' surging through Europe that he initiated:

In reality, behind his back, French newspapers report the opposite. From Le Monde:

https://www.lemonde.fr/en/opinion/article/2024/04/10/this-war-economy-coined-by-macron-has-yet-to-see-the-light-of-day_6667985_23.html

This was followed by a British former Lieutenant-Colonel Glen Grant stating that if France sends troops to Ukraine, then so must the UK, lest it become a 'lost nation' (as if it weren't one already):

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1886379/ukraine-war-british-army-macron-russia

Poor Grant must have forgotten this:

Meanwhile:

Lastly, for those interested, here's an illuminating new episode from Uralvagonzavod's famed 130th workshop now mass producing the T-90M 'Proryv' ("Breakthrough") tanks.

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Simplicius The Thinker
9 Apr 2024 | 4:18 am

5. Yellen Dispatched to Beg China for Face-Saving Slowdown


The U.S.' growing urgency in 'containing' China's development was thrown in sharp relief this week as Janet Yellen arrived in Beijing for what turned out to be an execrable beggar's tour. Just days prior to her arrival, she had buzzed the punditry with her historically memorable exclamation that China was now operating at "overcapacity"(!!).

What is overcapacity, you ask? It's a new word for me, too—so let's consult the dictionary together:

overcapacity
noun
o·​ver·​ca·​pac·​i·​ty: ō′vər-kə-ˈpa-sə-tē 
1: When an insolent upstart nation's surging economic activity totally humiliates the reigning hegemon's own faltering economy, causing the many expensive dentures and porcelain veneers of the ruling class gerontocracy to rattle and grate with moral outrage and jealousy.

1b: An undesirable situation causing Janet Yellen and Nancy Pelosi's stock portfolio to droop like a pair of botox-sapped jowls.

Granted…my dictionary might be slightly different to yours, I have a rare edition. That said, are we on the same page? Good.

The above definition may be missing in the new official regime argot pamphlet, but it's safe to say the inept leaders of the U.S. are down to making up creative new euphemisms for describing China's total undressing and upending of the economic order.

But if you were skeptical about the meaning behind Yellen's risible "overcapacity" solecism, her speech from inside of China confirms precisely what's on the regime's mind:

"China is now simply too large for the rest of the world to absorb this enormous capacity. Actions taken by the PRC today can shift world prices…."

And the bombshell:

"When the global market is flooded with cheap Chinese goods, the viability of American firms is put into question."

Well, I'll say.

The important distinction to note in the above statement is that for a long time the 'cheap' moniker used to describe Chinese goods often underhandedly referred to their quality, in the secondary definitional sense. Here, Yellen is referring to cheap as in price: the distinction is significant because it's referential to the fact that Chinese manufacturing processes have simply far exceeded the efficiency in the West, as recently highlighted by videos of the Xiaomi e-car factory with its own native Giga Press that's claimed to be able to pump out a car every 17 seconds.

The fact of the matter is, China is simply leaping ahead of the decrepit, deteriorating U.S. by every measure and the panicked elites have sent Yellen to beg China to "slow down" and not embarrass them on the world stage.

How is China doing this? Let's run through a few of the most poignant ways:

[1]

First and foremost, it's become almost a passe bromide to observe: "The U.S. funds wars, while China funds development." But it really is true. Think about this for a moment:

The above is factual: Esquire reported that a Brown University investigation found the U.S. has spent an ineffable $14T on wars since 9/11:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a37575881/14-trillion-defense-spending-costs-of-war-project/

And yes, the current U.S. debt is a massive $34T. That means quite literally almost half of the entire current U.S. debt was blown on endless, mindless, genocidal wars in the Middle East.

The U.S. has wasted its entire blood and treasure on war. Imagine what the U.S. could have built with $14 trillion dollars? Where the U.S. could have been in relation to China for that amount? As someone else noted, the U.S. could have very well built its own "one belt and road" project for that money, connecting the world and reaping untold benefits.

China hasn't spent a cent on war, and puts everything right back into economic development and wellbeing for its own people.

China is winning lion's share of construction projects in Africa

Chinese companies accounted for 31% of African infrastructure contracts valued at US$50 million or more in 2022, compared with 12% for Western firms, according to a new study.

It is worth to be noted that in the 1990s, about eight out of 10 contracts to build infrastructure in Africa were won by Western companies.

The illustrative statistics for this are endless:

What makes this historic malappropriation of American funds most tragic is that none of it came at the benefit of American people. The entire operation was carried out by an ethnic cabal within the U.S. government with loyalties only to Israel, and no one else. I'm speaking of course of the PNAC clan, who masterminded the entire breadth of the 21st century wars which have engulfed America in wretched shame and misery, irreversibly gutting the country and squandering its global standing. These wars had nothing whatsoever to do with America's national interests or security, and have done naught but make Americans less safe and the entire world more dangerous and unstable.

China doesn't have this problem: there is no inimical 'out' group parasitizing their country's leadership, literally assassinating (JFK) and blackmailing their presidents (Clinton). China is therefore able to focus on the interests of its own people.

And yes, for those wondering, it's now fairly proven that Lewinsky was a Mossad honeytrap used to blackmail Clinton in assenting to various Israeli demands vis-a-vis the Oslo Accords, Wye River Memorandum, etc.

The fact is, Israel is a destructive parasite sucking the lifeblood out of America, causing the host to wage unnecessary wars on its behalf which have utterly removed every advantageous and competitive edge the country might have had over its Chinese 'rival'.

[2]

As a corollary of the above, beyond just the simple kinetic nature of the profligately wasteful wars, America wastes an exorbitant amount of money just on maintenance and upkeep of its global hegemony. The reason is, it costs a lot of 'enforcement' money to strongarm vassals who hate you into compliance.

China doesn't form vassals, it forms partners. That means it spends comparatively far less spreading its influence because that influence has compounding abilities owing to the fair bilateral nature of China's arrangements. The U.S. has to spend comparatively inordinate amounts of blood and treasure to maintain the same level of 'influence' because that 'influence' is totally artificial, confected out of a poisonous mixture of fear, strong-arming tactics, economic terrorism that leads to blowback which hurts the U.S. economy, etc. In short, it is mafia tactics versus real business partnerships.

One big difference between China and the U.S. is that China is open to sharing the earth, willing to co-prosper with the U.S. Conversely, the U.S. is unwilling to abdicate its global domination:

The above was highlighted by Graham Allison, coiner of the Thucydides Trap idiom in relation to U.S./China. The Thucydides Trap, as some may know, describes a situation where an emerging power begins to displace the incumbent global power, and how historically this almost always leads to major war. To popularize the theory apropos U.S./China, Graham Allison used the historical example of the Peloponnesian war, where a cagey Sparta was forced to take on the rising power of Athens.

Allison was recently invited by President Xi to a forum for U.S. business leaders where Xi told him directly:

Contrast President Xi's magnanimous statements with those of the seething, guilt-wracked, bloodthirstily conniving Western 'executives'. In fact, Xi called for more exchanges between China and the U.S. in order to entwine the two countries in mutual understanding, to avoid the Thucydides Trap:

This is the enduring image of what global leadership truly looks like, and the principles it embodies.

Meanwhile, when one thinks of America's progressive decline, the one enduring image that comes to mind is of a bitterly frightened but dangerous, beady-eyed cornered rodent, conspiring on how to inflict damage and suffering onto the world in order to mask its own downfall.

[3]

The U.S. government does a grave disservice to its own development by cooking all of its economic books. Every country does it at times to some degree—and going by U.S.' notoriously frequent accusations of China in this regard, one would think China to be the most flagrant violator—but in fact, no one does this more than the current U.S. regime.

The recent "jobs" report touted as a major victory by the Biden administration was a disgraceful travesty. The admin touted major jobs figures:

But it turned out every job was either part time, a federal job, or went to illegals:

In reality, the U.S. economy is in atrocious shape with sky-high inflation.

Here's Jesse Watters revealing that:

"The Fed chair just confessed that #Bidenomics is just a migrant job fair. There is actually a million less American citizens working today than there were in 2020."

Biden created 5 million migrant jobs! So don't be fooled by his propaganda that's spewed by the liberal machine. YOU DONT MATTER!

The data is cooked even more when comparing to China's economic situation. As the following Tweeter explains:

While Chinese INCOMES are below American INCOMES, Chinese have much higher NET WORTH than Americans. How? They own apartments at a much higher rate and with a lot more equity than Americans. The MEAN and MEDIAN insight is even more beautiful. This graphic here is pretty much the only thing you need to understand about the difference between the economies of China and United States. But you really need to understand it and you need to have a deep understanding of what it means.

U.S. home ownership is on a precipitous decline toward the low ~60s%, while China now has over 90% home ownership rate:

[4.]

The above naturally springs the question of how China is able to do these things while the U.S. cannot. One of the answers comes by way of this fascinating explainer which shows that, contrary to the West's depiction of China as some kind of rigidly authoritarian system, forward-looking President Xi is actually utilizing very cutting edge economic experimentation models to keep the Chinese economy as innovative, limber, and supple as possible.

In short, a deep study of thousands of official documents shows a huge upswing in language promoting economic experimentation in the directives issued under Xi's government.

This is further compounded by the most important point of all: that under President Xi, China has embarked on a meticulous plan of curbing financialization and speculation of the 'Western model' in its economy. This is where it starts getting important so buckle up.

A good breakdown of that is given here by Chinese academic Thomas Hon Wing Polin, who pulls from this recent article:

https://www.rt.com/business/594432-financialization-death-empires/

The article gives a brief history of financialization, from the Genoese bankers to modern times, observing the historical cycles that have precipitated America's current deterioration:

Observers of the current American hegemony will recognize the transformation of the global system to suit American interests. The maintenance of an ideologically charged 'rules-based' order – ostensibly for the benefit of everyone – fits neatly into the category of conflation of national and international interests. Meanwhile, the previous hegemon, the British, had their own version that incorporated both free-trade policies and a matching ideology that emphasized the wealth of nations over national sovereignty.

In describing the cycle of financialization and its connection to the death of empires, the article notes about Britain:

For example, the incumbent hegemon at the time, Great Britain, was the country hardest hit by the so-called Long Depression of 1873-1896, a prolonged period of malaise that saw Britain's industrial growth decelerate and its economic standing diminished. Arrighi identifies this as the 'signal crisis' – the point in the cycle where productive vigor is lost and financialization sets in.

And yet, as Arrighi quotes David Landes' 1969 book 'The Unbound Prometheus,' "as if by magic, the wheel turned." In the last years of the century, business suddenly improved and profits rose. "Confidence returned—not the spotty, evanescent confidence of the brief booms that had punctuated the gloom of the preceding decades, but a general euphoria such as had not prevailed since…the early 1870s….In all of western Europe, these years live on in memory as the good old days—the Edwardian era, la belle époque." Everything seemed right again.

However, there is nothing magical about the sudden restoration of profits, Arrighi explains. What happened is that "as its industrial supremacy waned, its finance triumphed and its services as shipper, trader, insurance broker and intermediary in the world's system of payments became more indispensable than ever."

In short: as an empire dies, loses its industrial and manufacturing capacity, finance takes over, pumping up huge bubbles of phony speculative money that gives the brief appearance of economic prosperity—for a time. This is what's currently happening in the U.S., as it drowns in its self-created agony of debt, misery, corruption, and global destabilization.

One thing to note—if you'll allow me this not-so-brief aside—is that the entire Western system is based on the actual institutionalized economic sabotage and subversion of the developing world. Books like the following go into some of it:

The rise of the underground economy: The book reveals how the United States' underground economy evolved parallel to its legitimate economy, exploiting loopholes and leveraging secrecy jurisdictions to facilitate illegal activities such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and money laundering.

The "dark" side of globalization: Mills challenges the prevailing narrative of globalization as a force for progress, highlighting how it has facilitated the expansion of illicit networks across borders and allowed criminal enterprises to flourish.

The complicity of financial institutions: The author examines the role played by major financial institutions in enabling money laundering and illicit transactions. He underlines the need for stronger regulations and accountability to prevent banks from becoming facilitators of underground activities.

I challenge you to read notes on the National Memorandum 200, if you haven't heard of it before:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Study_Memorandum_200

Incidentally, John Michael Greer just penned a new column (thanks to whoever shouted out this blog in the comments!) about the neologism he coined: Lenocracy, which derives from the Latin "leno" for pimp; i.e. a government run by pimps, or pimpocracy.

His definition of pimps in this case is that of middlemen who are the classic rent-seeking leaches—or rentier class—which extract economic rent without adding any value to the economy—all Michael Hudson territory, for those in the know.

Bear with me, I promise this will all tie together into an overall picture of China.

JMG characterizes the 'pimps' as basically all the unelected, bureaucratic, red-tape-weaving, blood-sucking monetary vultures killing growth and livelihoods by each taking their nibbles in turn from the carcass of the working class, exacting some small transactional charge at every step of routine business in Western nations, particularly the U.S. This has served to suffocate the average small business or entrepreneurship in general, not counting the big ticket venture capitalists who are mostly offshoots of global financial and investment firms. This is part and parcel to the lethal 'financialization' of the country that has spelled doom for its future.

Now, getting back to Thomas Hon Wing Polin's precis, and how it relates to this. He notes:

It is noteworthy that the CPC leadership recently launched a major drive to build China into a "financial great power," with a financial system "based on the real economy." That would be the antithesis to Anglo-American-style economic financialization.

He pulls from the following article:

https://archive.is/316HN

Read that last part: "…set pure profit-making aside."

Pay attention to this big kicker:

Beijing is powering ahead with the epic project.

"China's 461-trillion-yuan (US$63.7 trillion) financial industry and its regulatory regime will be heavily prioritised in a broad economic reshuffle engendered by the country's top leadership, with the sector remoulded to serve national objectives like sustainable growth and advancement in the global tech race.

Are you beginning to get it yet? If not, here's the crowning finial:

Specifically, it vowed to rein in Wall Street-style practices seen as unsustainable and crisis-prone, and move toward functionality as an overriding value for the financial system rather than profitability.

It also mandated that Chinese financial institutions have "higher efficiency" than their peers in the capitalist world and provide inclusive, accessible services in the pursuit of common prosperity.

"Like it or not, banks and other institutions on the supply side should expect top-down directives and overhauls cued by the CFC," said Zhu Tian, a professor with the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).

And there it is. In essence: China is creating a revolution, striking out a new path of finance which steers away from the wild excesses of the West into a bold new direction. Finance to benefit the real economy, the common man, the people. This is what the fig leaf of Rothschild-pushed 'stakeholder capitalism' is meant to be, or better yet: pretends to be.

It's hard not to wax poetic on these developments, because they are truly groundbreaking. China is paving a new path forward for the entire world. The Chinese banking industry is now by far the largest on earth and President Xi has wisely put his foot down with a bold edict: we will not follow the path of destruction chosen by the West, but rather will set our own new path.

This is an iconoclastic, paradigm-breaking revolution which ends six centuries of Old Nobility world finance dominion, traced from the Spanish-Crown-allied Genoese bankers, to the Dutch then English banking system which now continues to enslave the world, and is referred to by a variety of names in the dissident sphere: from Hydra, to Leviathan, to Cthulu, to simply: the Cabal.

All those 600 years are going up in smoke with China's repudiation of the 'old standards', which privilege predatory, deceptive, extractive terms and practices meant to benefit only the Old Nobility elite class. China's system is true stakeholder finance: the government will forcibly bend the bankers to its will, making sure that finance serves the common good and the people first, rather than speculation, financialization, capitalization, and all the other wicked inventions of the Western Old Nobility class.

It begins like so:

"…bringing greed is good era to an end."

The big one:

"Government has called for banks to abandon a Western-style ethos and adopt an outlook in line with broader economic priorities."

It's a revolution in the making.

But if you're thinking my dramatic flights above verge a touch on hyperbole or idealism, you could be right. I, of course, still proceed with caution; we can't be sure that China will succeed in its grand demolishment of the age-old paradigm. But all signals point to early success thus far, and more importantly, it's clear that China has a leader that fundamentally understands these things at the most rooted level. Western leaders not only are incapable of even grasping the complexities involved of reining in capital, they are unable to do so for the mere fact that they're totally bought and paid for by the representatives of that very capital class. The cabal of Capital is so deeply and institutionally entrenched in Western governmental systems that it's simply impossible to imagine them being able to see 'the forest for the trees' from within the forest itself.

By the way, in light of the above, here's the West's truly desperate, pathetically envious, face-saving attempt to tarnish and mischaracterize China's new direction:

As well as:

https://www.rt.com/business/595434-us-eu-china-economies/

The above is particularly astounding in its admissions. Read carefully:

Market-based US and European economies are struggling to survive against China's "very effective" alternative economic model, a top US trade representative has warned, according to Euractiv.

Katherine Tai told a briefing in Brussels on Thursday that Beijing's "non-market" policies will cause severe economic and political damage, unless they are tackled through appropriate "countermeasures." Tai's remarks came as the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) kicked off in Leuven, Belgium.

"I think what we see in terms of the challenge that we have from China is… the ability for our firms to be able to survive in competition with a very effective economic system," Tai said in response to a question from Euractiv.

In short: China isn't playing fair—they're actually privileging their people and economy over financial speculation, and this is causing their firms to outcompete ours!

But what she's really talking about gets to the essence of the difference in the two systems:

The trade official described China as a system "that we've articulated as being not market-based, as being fundamentally nurtured differently, against which a market-based system like ours is going to have trouble competing against and surviving."

These are code words: what she means by "market based" is free market capitalism, while China uses more of a centrally-planned directive system, as outlined earlier. Recall just recently I posted complaints from Western officials that their companies are not able to compete with Russian defense manufacturers due to their 'unfairly' efficient 'central planning' style.

Here too, what they mean is that the Chinese government creates directives that spurn 'market logics' and are aimed at direct improvements to the lives of ordinary citizens. In the West there's no such thing: all market decisions are based merely on the totally detached financial firms' speculations and are exclusively at the behest of a tiny claque of finance and banking elite at the top of the pyramid.

You see, the U.S. is threatened because it knows it can never compete with China fairly, by squelching or containing its own gluttonous financial elite—so that leaves only one avenue for keeping up: sabotage and war.

This is the real reason the U.S. is desperate to stoke a Chinese invasion of Taiwan by various provocations, including weapons shipments. Just like the U.S. used Ukraine as the battering ram to bleed and weaken Russia economically, disconnecting it from Europe, U.S. hopes to use Taiwan as the Ukraine against China. It would love to foment a bloody war that would leave China battered and economically set back to give the failing and greed-suffocated U.S. economy some breathing room.

But it's unlikely to work—China is too sagacious to take the bait and fall for the trap. It will patiently wait things out, allowing the U.S. to drown in its own endless poison and treachery.

No, there will be no Thucydides Trap—it's already too late for that. The Trap worked for Sparta because it was still at its peak and able to thwart Athens. The U.S. is in terminal decline and would lose a war against China, which is why they hope to stage a proxy war instead, cowardly using Taiwan as the battering ram. But China can read these desperate motives with the clarity of finely glazed porcelain.

As a final small announcement, I have been made aware that this our humble blog has risen to a stunning #7 in the leaderboard for the 'world politics' category on all of Substack:

https://substack.com/leaderboard/world-politics/paid

Yes, you've read that right: we are #7 on all of Substack, wedged between such heavyweights as Chris Hedges and Konstantin Kisin and many others:

I'm particularly pleased given that #2 and #3 above me, Snyder and Freedman, are both staunchly pro-Ukrainian voices, so it's good to have another balancing force at the top of the heap.

To be honest, I think I've reported on this leaderboard once before, but completely forgot about its existence, and can't remember where we were last time—though for some reason I vaguely recall something like the #15th - #17th spot. So this represents a big upward surge, which is a testament to all of our dedication to the truth, particularly given recent events that have opened my eyes to just how insular and partisan even our own info-space can often be.

I've learned over the past few months that my click-through, paid conversion, retention, etc., and other metrics are much higher than the average, which is a further testament to the quality and dedication to the raw facts found here, as people who have become paid members would certainly cancel their memberships if they had discovered afterwards that the content wasn't up to snuff. But we are continually retaining and growing which to me is evidence of high satisfaction amongst the readership.

And so let this 7th seed be a dedication to you all, who have been instrumental in that growth. I see the blog and articles get posted in all sorts of nooks and corners of the internet—for instance, the comments section of the earlier John Michael Greer article. This means it is you who are spreading the gospel far and wide, to the hills and barrows, so I thank you.

Now let's take down Chris Hedges. I'm kidding: I'm a fan of his and would prefer looking 'up' rather than 'down' at him, but as for the other two beneath him, climb ye old legs.

Continue to help us up the ladder by Subscribing now—you won't regret it.

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Simplicius The Thinker
7 Apr 2024 | 3:58 am

6. Edward Luttwak: Time to Send NATO Troops


The weekend's standout story comes by way of Edward Luttwak, one of the so-called 'premier military theorists' in the West, openly calling for NATO intervention in Ukraine, lest the West suffer a "catastrophic defeat":

https://unherd.com/2024/04/its-time-to-send-nato-troops-to-ukraine/

Luttwak has been an advisor for U.S. presidents and the U.S. military, as well as other world militaries. He's also served in the IDF, which could explain his brazen machismo and lack of concern for morality or global safety. Many in the 'beltway' consider him a sort of modern Clausewitz, though it seems more like he's just the military version of constitutional law's Alan Dershowitz—i.e. a mediocrity elevated to god-like status for racial reasons owing to his valence to Zionist supremacy.

But despite what I may think of him, his noteworthy call for NATO troops in Ukraine must be given the tribune of analysis if only for his influence in the very policy centers and control mechanisms in Washington that could make such a move happen. An earlier Spectator piece writes: "When Edward Luttwak speaks, world leaders listen — and now they must consider heeding his advice on Ukraine." And so we must listen too.

But more notable than the eye-catching quote that's got everyone talking is Luttwak's claim that NATO countries are already in the early stages of planning various types of contingents to be sent to Ukraine:

This arithmetic of this is inescapable: Nato countries will soon have to send soldiers to Ukraine, or else accept catastrophic defeat. The British and French, along with the Nordic countries, are already quietly preparing to send troops — both small elite units and logistics and support personnel — who can remain far from the front. The latter could play an essential role by releasing their Ukrainians counterparts for retraining in combat roles. Nato units could also relieve Ukrainians currently tied up in the recovery and repair of damaged equipment, and could take over the technical parts of existing training programmes for new recruits. These Nato soldiers might never see combat — but they don't have to in order to help Ukraine make the most of its own scarce manpower.

Interestingly, he frames everything around the urgency of an imminent Chinese attack on Taiwan, which further adduces his poor analytical abilities. This snippet from a previous article on Luttwak tells you everything you need to know about him:

Either way, in light of his statements on NATO members preparing contingents for Ukraine, we have the following from Stephen Bryen:

https://asiatimes.com/2024/04/us-troops-in-moldova-in-emerging-plan-b-for-ukraine/

He writes that U.S. and Romanian troops are presently in Moldova for Joint Command Exchange Training and extrapolates that into the theory that Moldova is being prepped as a staging area to potentially take Odessa in the future. This comes after another drone attack on a radar installation in Pridnestrovie yesterday.

Not to mention this rumor:

I had mentioned in the comments the other day that there are rumors Russia is preparing a campaign for this summer of utilizing Su-34s for the first time to launch mass UMPK glide-bomb attacks on the Odessa and Ochakov regions from the Black Sea. It's an interesting rumor in light of these developments as it brings to question whether it's Russia upping the ante after latest signals of NATO's increasing salivation over Odessa—or vice versa, NATO is getting nervous for the very reason that they realize Russia is set to increase the pressure on Odessa.

Two days ago Poland's foreign minister Sikorski stated that NATO would establish an official "mission" in Ukraine:

https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/20448969

Which he claims does not mean they intend to send troops, necessarily, but rather that they can begin to officially coordinate amongst each other as an alliance in helping Ukraine—or so he says.

Just days before the Luttwak piece, Unherd published this other gem:

https://unherd.com/2024/03/is-it-time-for-a-no-fly-zone-in-ukraine/

The article sneakily disguises a call for NATO to assume control of everything West of the Dnieper River by couching it as merely providing air cover. The author thinks NATO should defend all Ukrainian cities west of the Dnieper with actual NATO troops and air defense systems. He argues this isn't much of a threat to Russia as they would only be shooting down Russian missiles and unmanned systems and not killing Russian pilots, who do not stray beyond the Dnieper.

In many ways, all such recent calls appear to be disguised attempts—in one form or another—of floating the trial balloon of Ukrainian partition. Why are they going about it this way? Because to outright say the word partition would be a devastatingly demoralizing blow to Ukraine, and would be rejected straightaway by Zelensky and co. But to first slip the idea in subtly and diplomatically, they've dressed it up as some heroic act of loyalty and allegiance, when in reality you can hear the burbles of talks growing louder recently about the inevitability of partition being the only realistic solution.

Recall I had already reported that once again, a new NATO summit this summer aims to dangle membership in front of Zelensky—just as they did last summer—and this time there's rumors increasingly heavier 'hints' will be imparted about parting out Ukraine in exchange for such promises. We wrote when Macron first floated French deployment that part of the reasoning could be to merely secure the Dnieper to force a Korean style DMZ partition onto a recalcitrant Putin. In some ways it would be a perfect crowning 'victory' for NATO, which would allow them to sell it as their having stopped Putin in his tracks without firing a shot.

This common thread plays into what I wrote last time about the rumored 'October Surprise', where Ukraine could declare its new borders without Donbass. It seems a lot of movements appear to be heading toward this NATO-backed attempt to strongarm Russia into a DMZ. When would it happen? Precisely when Russian forces begin "breaking through" Ukrainian lines in force, presumably if and when Russia launches the much heavier offensives everyone expects in a few months.

But what's important to note, is that no one country wants to be left to take the brunt of the Bear's retaliation alone; nor even two or three of them together. That means such an action would likely only occur if a coalition of scaredy-cats was formed, and the chances of that are not great.

On that note, Luttwak ends his own earlier article with the following watery admission:

So, U.S. could provide a max 40k troops—recall most of the 101st stationed in Romania had already been redeployed to Jordan last year. Luttwak agrees that it would take most of the main NATO stalwarts for this plan to work, and they have already signaled a no-go. All combined, those countries could provide maybe 150-250k troops maximum, and that's on the optimistic end. Meanwhile, Russia already has an entire fresh 500k man army raised by Shoigu waiting for them, which was created precisely to counter-act the new NATO threats, as I reported long ago. That's not to mention hundreds of thousands of more reserves troops, including the conscript forces and national guard, that Russia could bring to bear if worse came to worse.

On that note, there's one brief topic I wanted to cover and clear up. When Macron launched into his cringeworthy performance, the reasoning he used behind the bravado of sending troops against Russia was that "France is a nuclear power" and thus has nothing to worry about from Russia. This was followed by many French cheerleading responses on social media that highlighted France's impressive 4th rank in world nuclear powers, after Russia, U.S., and China. France has ~300 nuclear weapons which, they say, is enough to "destroy Russia" though not the whole world.

There is a big misconception that laymen have about nuclear weapons. 300 sounds like a lot of missiles, because most people assume it to mean 300 actual individual missiles. In fact, France's nuclear armament is not as impressive as it sounds.

You see, in the 70s and 80s, France totally scrapped the ground component of its nuclear triad—i.e. siloed ICBMs. It now has only the ballistic submarine and limited air component, the latter of which is not even worth talking about as it is a small amount of ASMP-A nuclear cruise missiles, with limited range (~300km), launched by Dassault Rafale jets. There is very little chance such a jet could even get close to Russian air defenses, much less hit any important Russian cities or sites with such a short-ranged missile, so this poses very little threat beyond the frontline-tactical, and can be discounted for the sake of this discussion.

The only moderate threat France has is therefore in its ballistic missile subs. It has a grand total of 4 of them, and only 1 is usually even active at any given time. These subs each have 16 x M51 nuclear missiles, similar to the U.S. Tridents. Each of these missiles can carry up to 10 MIRV'd warheads, though the normal load is said to be 6. That's the entire French nuclear capability right there: 4 subs which have 16 missiles each = 64 total missiles. And each of those missiles with around 6 independent nuclear warheads, for 290 total listed naval warheads (which means some of the boats have less missiles/warheads).

Ergo: the only nuclear threat that France can possibly pose to Russia lies entirely in 4 aging missile boats, each of which can launch 16 missiles. In a nuclear war scenario, or such a scenario where Russia suspects that France is going to attack, we must take into account some non-zero chance possibility that Russia is tracking French subs with its own hunter-killer attack submarines and can take them out even before they launch their missiles. Of course, ballistic missile subs are designed around the philosophy of stealth, and evading their predators, but 1) Russia's underwater capabilities cannot be underestimated and 2) Russia has ~35 attack subs to France's 4 boomers—the odds are heavily against those 4.

What I'm saying is: there is a chance that in such a scenario, Macron would not even be able to launch a single missile, or perhaps only 25-75% of his missiles, as his subs would be taken out before they're even ready to go.

But let's assume for the sake of argument, the subs are able to launch most of their missiles. Both Russia and the U.S. have what's called midcourse interceptors. These are interceptor missiles meant to take out ballistic missiles in the boost or midcourse phase, even before they potentially unload their MIRV'd warheads, which typically happens in the late midcourse or terminal phase.

From the Almaz Antey family, Russia has one contingent of the new S-500 Prometheus as well as the S-300VM and -P families and S-400 variants meant for ballistic missiles; Russia claims the S-500 in particular can take out ICBMs even at the earlier boost to midcourse phase.

But the real final buck-stopper is Russia's true strategic missile defense system: the A-135, and A-235—also called Nudol. The A-135 is specifically designed to take out nuclear ICBMs, rather than being a jack-of-all-trades like the S-400/500 systems. But it is a final stopgap system as the A-135 missiles, which are called 53T6, themselves are nuclear. But they are neutron bombs instead of regular fission atomic bombs. They shoot up at a mind boggling acceleration of 0 to Mach ~10 (some sources, like Wiki, have it Mach 17, but I believe 10 is more realistic, as per Russian domestic sources) in only 3-4 seconds, pulling 200gs. Once they reach the altitude of over 80km where the incoming nuclear ICBM or MIRV'd warheads are approaching, the neutron bomb detonates which essentially causes the enemy's nuclear RVs (re-entry vehicles) to go inert, by chemically defusing them:

For anyone interested in more information on how the AA-84 "neutron bomb" warhead works, you can see more information here.

How does the overall system work? The A-135 gets tracking information from Russia's most powerful and widespread early warning missile system radars, which are positioned all over the country—and in space, as satellites—and are networked with the A-135, as well as S-500/400 interceptors:

This includes huge arrays like these, which can detect missile launches from thousands of kilometers away:

The A-135 missiles themselves have 5 main launch sites, each with about 12-16 silos of missiles, for 68 total missiles:

There are at least 68 active launchers of short-range 53T6 endoatmospheric interceptor nuclear armed missiles, 12 or 16 missiles each, deployed at five launch sites. These are tested roughly annually at the Sary Shagan test site. In addition, 16 retired launchers of long-range 51T6 exoatmospheric interceptor nuclear armed missiles, 8 missiles each, are located at two launch sites.

By the way, Russia used to have far more, about 21 total sites instead of 5 but the longer range 51T6 missile component of the A-135 system was dismantled in the 2000s. However in the future they will again likely expand it with the new systems in the pipeline—though even the current amount is still much more than U.S. has in equivalent, which is a total of 44 interceptors.

So, Russia has 68 nuclear-armed (neutron bomb) strategic interceptors, each of which can take out not only one ICBM, but dozens of MIRV'd warheads, if they have already been released. Without going into too much detail, as there are differences between MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles) and MRV (Multiple Reentry Vehicles), but the short of it is that the 53T6 missiles from A-135 system obviously have a wide range when their nuclear warhead explodes. Depending on whether the enemy missile is MIRV or MRV, and when the MIRVs were released, it's possible that a single 53T6 can zap multiple if not all of the independent re-entry vehicles, given that the neutron effect explosion of the 53T6 will 'irradiate' a wide area in the endoatmospheric zone. MIRVs don't separate as widely as people think—here's one timelapse photo from a U.S. Peacemaker MIRV test to illustrate several of them coming down kilometers apart:

That means a single Russian 53T6 can potentially take out all the 6-10 MIRVs on a French M51 SLBM missile.

If all 4 of France's ballistic subs launch their SLBMs, we will have 4 x 16 = 64 total missiles. The Russian A-135 has 68 interceptors, each of which can potentially take out multiple objects, if they are not far from each other. This of course is backed by many other Russian systems like the S-500 which will be picking up the loose ends. If Russia gets an early detection on the launches, the hyper-accelerating A-135 system can potentially take out all the French SLBMs before they've even dispersed their MIRVs in the final descent phase.

If some MIRVs are released, then there's good chance the neutron effect will deaden them if they are relatively close together, which there's a good chance of at the early stage, before they disperse to wider individual targets. Some could get through, but that's if: 1.) the Russian A-135s didn't take out the missiles in midcourse phase before they even opened up the MIRVs and 2) if Russian attack subs didn't take out at least one or two of the French subs, vastly limiting the attack saturation.

In conclusion: given the fact that the entire French nuclear arsenal resides in just a measly 4 ballistic subs, and given that those subs can fire 64 total missiles, which hold virtually the entire usable French nuclear arsenal; and further given that Russia's A-135 system alone has 68 missiles, backed by hundreds more from secondary redundancies like the S-500 and special ABM variants of S-300/400, as well as possibly some extant versions of the A-235 Nudol—meant to eventually replace the A-135 system; all of these ultimately give a fairly high chance that Russia could in large part stop or blunt a French nuclear first strike attack.

Certainly, France would not be able to "destroy all of Russia"—not even close. Even if the A-135s neutralized 75% of the MIRVs, with a few getting through—the S-500 cleaning up a few of the remainders—but even if a few French TN-75 MIRVs made it through, each one is 100 kilotons; and while that would do a decent amount of damage, it's not enough to even take out entire large cities let alone the whole country. France, of course, would cease to exist, while Russia would suffer relatively minor damage. Of course, no nuclear damage is "minor" in the classic sense, but compared to the opponent literally ceasing to exist as a civilization, it would be comparatively inconsequential.

Let's not forget that some of France's M51 SLBM missile tests have failed in the past, and NATO in general is greatly backsliding in this regard: recall the recent German frigate missile fail debacle from just last month. So even if Russian attack subs didn't find the French boomers first, there's no guarantee the SLBMs would even make it out of their decrepit tubes.

That is all to say that Macron's bluster is without much substance to back it up. France is precisely the size of nuclear power that Russia could fairly confidently deal with in a nuclear exchange scenario. It's the ability of the U.S. mass saturation that would be mostly unstoppable—but France's 4 measly submarines, the readiness rate of which is highly questionable, with only one of them active at any given time? That's not threat enough to justify Macron's boots-on-ground wager.

Either way, recall that none of these countries have the armaments sustenance capacity for a high intensity, long duration conflict:

To move on, a couple new articles I'll post without much commentary only for those interested, as they mostly rehash the same ongoing concerns, but the headlines at least will give a continued gauge of the current mood:

https://archive.is/GFDcx
https://archive.is/Xh6Y0

There's one interesting observation about the above, second article, from which I posted the artillery shell graphic. It notes how the West is unable to ignite the manufacturing prowess necessary to compete with Russia.

One thing it made me realize is that most people seem to take Ukraine's 155mm shell sustenance as a kind of "given" even if the much-hyped U.S. funding doesn't materialize. The article mentions how the U.S. currently produces 28,000 shells per month even at full capacity, 24-hour operation of its factories. However, there are plans to allegedly open another factory—a General Dynamics Ordnance plant in Garland, Texas—which, last I heard—is 'stuck' in development with a pending 'environmental review', which is likely a legalese way for someone in the Biden admin. to block its opening.

But even if it were to open and U.S. got its planned boost to 80k or even 100k shells per month sometime next year. The current going shell price seems to be around $3000:

The $8489 number I believe is what Rheinmetall is paying in Germany.

So, even the current 28,000 monthly production x $3000 is costing $84 million a month, or $1 billion per year. 100,000 shells per month at that rate—and the price may even go up in the future—would cost a whopping $300,000,000 per month, and nearly $4B per year. Without a major ongoing aid package, there is simply no way that the U.S. will continue stealthily pumping $4B just for Ukraine's 155mm shells—that's not counting the countless other armaments they need on a daily basis. This is one aspect I have a feeling no one has looked at: they simply "expect" that no matter what happens, Ukraine will continue getting its basic artillery shells, at the minimum; but who said that was a given? There is simply no mechanism for upwards of $4B yearly to be doled out for free without special congressional accommodation—after all, the presidential PDA (drawdown authority) is mostly gone.

This could explain some of the reasons behind all the recent panic and talks of NATO deployment.

The funding situation continues to look hopeless, anyway:

As a last topic:

Another point of urgency—recall all the talk about Kharkov heating up. Now even Zelensky's gray eminence, Yermak, is admitting to the possibility of Russian forces moving on Kharkov soon:

https://kyivindependent.com/yermak-russian-counteroffensive-could-start-in-may-or-june-kharkiv-likely-to-be-targeted/

What's interesting is that they quickly rolled back the statement with a 'correction', claiming that Yermak's spokesperson said his words were misinterpreted and that he didn't mean Russia would launch a ground assault on Kharkov, but rather air attacks. However, I'm skeptical because in the original statements Yermak also mentioned a new Russian "mobilization" which would be in line with the ground assault angle. I suspect he may have realized after the fact that his words would create too much 'panic', and decided to downgrade them, even though the downgrade doesn't make sense considering Russia has already been unleashing mass strikes on Kharkov, including cruise missile attacks on its power infrastructure.

This is reinforced by a continued stream of videos out of Kharkov showing citizens fleeing:

Last few sundry items:

Check the dates on this quite poignant before and after:

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2024/04/03/russian-military-almost-completely-reconstituted-us-official-says/

Here's the video of Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell making the statement that spurred the headline above:

"We have assessed over the course of the last couple of months that Russia has almost completely reconstituted militarily," said Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell at an event hosted by the Center for a New American Security.

You see, in reality, they just make up whatever assessment fits the current model of narrative or agenda it's convenient for them to push. When the agenda called for valorizing Ukraine, they called Russia weak and 'destroyed'. But now that they see the only way to stop Russia is to get a unified Europe involved, they characterize Russia as not only totally 'rebuilt', but even—as per the second half of his statement—having "newfound capabilities" which now—surprise, surprise!—happen to pose a threat to Europe too!

More Bradleys and other NATO kit arrive in Moscow—soon Russia may have more Bradleys, Abrams, and Leopards than Ukraine itself:

Lastly, I've written a lot in the past in regard to debunking the common Western misconception that Russia has a 'Soviet-style top-down centralized' command system which is caricaturized as worker-bee drone soldiers merely mindlessly following commands from central HQ. I've said time and time again how Russia not only has an NCO system, but the soldiers themselves are taught initiative and leadership abilities, just like the West claims to teach their 'superior' troops.

Here's a recent example of this, a Russian soldier named Rodimir Maximov, introduced as a 'Private', was just awarded with state honors during an assault in the Novomikhailovka area. His commander was wounded at the very start of the assault, and Maximov immediately took over, issuing commands to the squad with total autonomy. Even more telling was that once he radioed HQ, they basically told him to hold down the fort and gave him leeway to act as he saw fit, even as the enemy launched multiple counter-attacks—there was no 'Soviet-style' one way marching orders as the dimwit Western military 'experts' would have you believe. The command gave him full autonomy for two full days, according to the story, as they coordinated reinforcements to come relieve the assault group which had taken the AFU fort.

After his interview below, you can see the deputy commander of the group and then footage of Maximov's heroism during the opening of the assault. During the footage, you can clearly see the mere 'private' displaying clear signs of well-schooled leadership abilities, with no signs of any "drone-like" behavior:

The feat of Private Maximov:

A soldier of the army corps of the Vostok group of forces, private Rodimir Maksimov, destroyed 27 Ukrainian militants during the capture and retention of a Ukrainian Armed Forces stronghold in the Novomikhailovka area. Acting as part of an assault unit during the capture of a Ukrainian Armed Forces stronghold in the area of the settlement. Novomikhailovka in the Maryinsky direction, private Rodimir Maksimov managed to outflank the enemy and inflict fire damage on him, personally killing three Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemen, which allowed the assault group to enter the enemy positions.

Despite the injuries received during the battle, the serviceman continued to perform the combat mission. When the enemy, in an armored vehicle with forces up to the squad, attempted a counterattack on the line occupied by our assault group, he, allowing the enemy to reach the distance of guaranteed fire destruction, destroyed the attacking group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in its entirety with fire from a Kalashnikov machine gun .

Over the course of two days, Rodimir Maksimov, destroying the suitable infantry of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, with heavy fire from the PKM thwarted three more attempts by the enemy with superior forces using tanks and armored combat vehicles to recapture the positions held by our assault group and prevented the loss of the defended strong point.

In one of the episodes of the battle, Rodimir, overcoming the pain from his injuries, personally destroyed a group of Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemen dismounted from an American-made MaxPro armored personnel carrier with machine gun fire . The Max Pro crew began to maneuver to retreat and fell into the kill zone of our ATGM crew, as a result of which they were destroyed.

Until the arrival of reinforcements and subsequent evacuation, the fighter continued to staunchly defend and hold the occupied stronghold, personally destroying up to 27 enemy troops. For the heroism and courage shown during combat missions, private Rodimir Maksimov was presented by the command with a high state award.

Compare that with the below, and you decide which side has the better soldiers:

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Simplicius The Thinker
4 Apr 2024 | 4:14 am

7. SITREP 4/3/24: Zelensky Steps Closer to Mobilization Plunge Amid Dire Warnings


Things continue to feel like a calm before the approaching storm. There is not too much overt activity in the battle space, but various rumblings of a large looming escalation continue to trickle through the grape vine.

In a recent article I had mentioned how the Western press and elite commentariat for the first time began using the taboo 'C' word, i.e. "Collapse", for Ukraine. Now this has opened up the floodgates, causing more and more worried publications to begin turning off their previous holding-the-line narrative filter and actually start describing the Ukrainian situation with truthful urgency.

E.g.:

https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-great-risk-front-line-collapse-war-russia/

With grating teeth, the article opens by admitting that Musk may be onto something when he recently said that Ukraine would eventually lose everything east of the Dnieper River and even Odessa too, if it continued to fight.

But here's one of the key points of the article to enlarge on:

Obviously, Zelenskyy's warnings are part of a broad diplomatic effort to free up the military aid his forces so desperately need and have been short of for months — everything from 155-millimeter artillery shells to Patriot air-defense systems and drones. But the sad truth is that even if the package is approved by the U.S. Congress, a massive resupply may not be enough to prevent a major battlefield upset.

This is a central issue that the pro-UA pundits deliberately paper over. They keen and rage about the off-and-on funding attempts, mesmerically focusing on the big $60B number as if to throw us off any inconvenient questions. But what, exactly, is that $60B supposed to buy for Ukraine?

The U.S. has already emptied almost its entire store of usable surplus mainline weaponry for Ukraine, i.e. tanks, artillery, light armor—not counting things like ammo. As proof, even Ukraine's most ardent American supporters have admitted this in the past few days:

What he's saying is that, even if the $60B were to pass, U.S. has little of actual value to send to Ukraine beyond small arms munitions and things of that nature. There are no more surplus Bradleys left, and none can be built as the factory closed down decades ago.

Yet Ukraine hinges their entire future on this mythologized support as if it's some kind of instant videogame-like upgrade, a "power-up" that will immediately re-energize and supercharge the AFU—this is simply not the case.

It appears, instead, that Zelensky merely wants this aid package as a morale boost to continue buying more time for himself and his army, staving off collapse. The aid would obviously signal U.S. support being back on the table, rather than totally sloughing off as has been the case, optically.

The Politico piece goes on:

And according to high-ranking Ukrainian military officers who served under General Valery Zaluzhny — the commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces until he was replaced in February — the military picture is grim.

The officers said there's a great risk of the front lines collapsing wherever Russian generals decide to focus their offensive. Moreover, thanks to a much greater weight in numbers and the guided aerial bombs that have been smashing Ukrainian positions for weeks now, Russia will likely be able to "penetrate the front line and to crash it in some parts," they said.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely.

"There's nothing that can help Ukraine now because there are no serious technologies able to compensate Ukraine for the large mass of troops Russia is likely to hurl at us. We don't have those technologies, and the West doesn't have them as well in sufficient numbers," one of the top-ranking military sources told POLITICO.

Read the highlighted parts very carefully, particularly the last paragraph. High-ranking military officers secretly told Politico under anonymity that: "There's nothing that can help Ukraine…the West doesn't have the technologies in sufficient numbers."

This comes back precisely to my point above about the big glamorized $60B "salvation" fund.

Read my lips, it's quite simple: Ukraine has literally no chance whatsoever to do anything militarily in this war anymore. Ukraine and Zelensky's only shot at survival is to push Russia into a confrontation with NATO. They are desperately attempting to do this each day by launching mass terror attacks all over Russia.

The latest occurred yesterday on Yelabuga, where Ukraine literally crashed a giant Cessna-like plane into a dormitory full of students that they claimed was a drone factory:

The problem is, not only is it obvious from the videos and photos that this is a dormitory:

But it was in fact a dormitory for exchange students, one of which can even be seen speaking out on the incident here:

Does this look like a drone factory?

While Russia is crushing the Ukrainian Armed Forces' combat potential on the actual battlefield, desperate Zelensky is hiring "ISIS" to massacre Russian civilians, attacking Belgorod highrises with drones and artillery, and is literally loading up Cessnas with bombs and flying them into buildings with African exchange students—that's the stage his putrid terrorist regime is now at.

Here's a recent overt and clearly deliberate hit on a Belgorod apartment complex:

As I said before, he knows he can't even put a dent in Russia's military so he has to go "all in" on hybrid terror warfare in order to cause Russia to lose its footing, over-react in some uncharacteristic way that can draw NATO into the conflict. This is why it's best for Russia to continue ignoring these attacks while methodically prosecuting the battlefield operation. And by the way, in his new address, Shoigu stated that since the Crocus Mall massacre, 16,000 new Russian recruits signed up the very next day to enlist in the army. That's on top of the normal 30k now enlisting monthly, making a total of over 100k so far for 2024.

As a side note, remember when that 30k monthly figure was widely sneered at and jeered by the West? Now they openly admit it, as per usual:

Russian MOD even released a video showing the recruits lining up in offices across the country. In fact, an American was amongst them:

"We must support Russia": an American signed a military service contract at the Patriot Center in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The man with call sign "Will" served in the US Armed Forces, but, having realized what was really going on in Ukraine, he came to the special military operation as a volunteer several months ago. Together with Russian guys, shoulder to shoulder, he participated in the liberation of Avdeevka.

Will's comrades - military personnel from Pyt-Yakh (Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region) and a volunteer from Serbia, who also went to the special military operation through Yugra - convinced the man that it was better to sign a contract for service in the RF Armed Forces in Khanty-Mansiysk by their own personal examples.

Their logic was as follows: a payment of 745k rubles on the spot and of 150k rubles bimonthly, full equipment provided on the spot, and a supply of everything necessary while in service.

In this video, Will the American signs a contract at the Center of Russian Patriots in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region.

Ukraine is doing everything in its power to destabilize Russia by stirring discontent within it—even Western rags now admit to the recent rash of ethnic tension being provoked by Ukrainian services:

But back to the Politico article, it has one last meaningful observation:

"Zaluzhny used to call it 'the War of One Chance,'" one of the officers said. "By that, he meant weapons systems become redundant very quickly because they're quickly countered by the Russians. For example, we used Storm Shadow and SCALP cruise missiles [supplied by Britain and France] successfully — but just for a short time. The Russians are always studying. They don't give us a second chance. And they're successful in this."

"Don't believe the hype about them just throwing troops into the meat grinder to be slaughtered," he added. "They do that too, of course — maximizing even more the impact of their superior numbers — but they also learn and refine."

How's that for a hell of an admission?

On that note, the extreme urgency continues to be dialed up in the West. It truly feels like they 'know' something we don't about Ukraine's real condition: everyone seems to expect Ukraine to collapse at the slightest next Russian push:

The above article starts off with an even grimmer portrait:

There is a growing understanding across the Western allies that Ukraine is losing the ground war against Russia, and by summer could face defeat.

Russia is pounding front lines with artillery, rocket and drone fire — and at over five times the rate the Ukrainian army can reply. Volodymyr Zelensky's troops are exhausted — after sustaining in some sectors a heavier concentration of incoming artillery than at the Somme in 1916, or the Normandy Bocage after D-Day in 1944.

It goes on to sketch the dire situation of the West's own armaments:

The Western response has been patchy to the prospect of a Russian breakthrough within weeks. Artillery stocks, even for their own arsenals in the cases of Britain, Germany and the US, will not be replenished fully for another two years. Germany has increased defence spending but refuses to send game-changing weapons like the Taurus missile.

Interestingly, ignoring their laughably fake Russian numbers, they appear to make quite an admission on Ukraine's losses:

Already he (Putin) has lost 405,000 in two years of combat, and with 1.3 million committed to the war — with the prospect of calling up a further 1.5 million by 2027. Ukraine has lost about 385,000.

It ends on a fatalistic note:

If that wasn't enough doom-and-gloom for you, and if you're still thinking: "Well, those are flukes, maybe the rest of the commentariat isn't quite so pessimistic…" I present you the veritable magnum opus of this week's panicked squalls:

https://archive.is/uVjQr

"A nightmare scenario is edging into view." Interesting!

The article begins with a dress rehearsal for what the author envisions happening:

It is July and the Russian army is at the gates of Kyiv. President Zelensky delivers an emergency broadcast to repeat his defiant words, first uttered in February 2022, that he does not need a ride out of Ukraine. No, he needs ammunition to stay and fight the Russians.

If only the West had listened and done more when the brave Ukrainians were pleading for help, that might have made the difference. While the allies squabbled and the United States eventually provided another $60 billion in aid, as spring turned to summer, Putin's troops broke through the lines in the south and east. Retreating Ukrainian forces were able only to slow the advance. When the Russians closed in on the capital, a new wave of refugees fled Ukraine seeking safety from incessant bombardment.

My, my, how times have changed. We went from "Russia is doomed" to "It's a stalemate" to …this, in only a matter of months.

But this isn't some far-flung crisis vision of the author's, no he claims this is what serious Western policymakers are now discussing:

This is the nightmare scenario now being contemplated by western policymakers. Events are forcing military and civilian leaders in London, Washington, Paris and Brussels to map out the catastrophic collapse of Ukrainian forces denied the weapons and munitions they need.

Woah.

Macron's desperate bid to jumpstart NATO members out of their stupor into cautioning Putin from advancing now makes much more sense, in light of these new revelations of what the West is secretly discussing behind closed doors vis-a-vis Ukraine's chances.

The author even echoes my words, writing that 'contrary to the predominant view that this is a perpetual frozen conflict' Ukraine, in actuality, faces a real risk of being driven back. He goes on to absurdly mention there could still be a slight glimmer of hope, that perhaps Putin might be 'overthrown' by a coup. Do these midwits even follow Russian news or know anything of Russian society? Both Russia's elite, political class, and citizenry have never before been as united as they are now. There is zero chance of any hoped-for "coup"—this is children's talk.

Zelensky corroborates all of the above:

https://archive.is/2mrea

In the above WaPo piece, he admits that Russian forces could soon break through to "the big cities":

Zelensky offers this curious gem in describing Putin:

Zelensky offered a chilling characterization of his adversary. "Putin is cunning, but he's not smart," he said. "When you fight with a smart person, it's a fight with rules. But when you fight with a cunning person, it's always dangerous."

So what is it, in particular, that's got them so terrified lately? Mostly it seems twofold: Russia's increasingly heavy hand in attacking Ukraine's power grid, as well as the rumors of a mass spring-summer assault:

https://archive.is/XWOzX

I remember in the early days of this blog, one of the most common and constant questions was: "Do you think time is on Russia or the West's side?" The sentiment from many of the doubters, doomers, or concern-trolls was that time was against Russia, as NATO would only grow stronger, produce more, Ukraine would gather far more men because these commenters didn't believe Russia's claims of Ukrainian casualties.

I ask you: What do you think now? Still believe time is on NATO and Ukraine's side?

It sure doesn't seem like it these days. I say this as preface to the fact that Russia is slowly taking its time, continuing to build its armaments and potential, and very gradually closing the constrictor squeeze on Ukraine from all sides. Recent rumblings indicate that Ukraine is unable to determine where Russia could choose to strike a more major line-breaking assault due to the nature of Russia's air strikes not being limited to one particular theater, but destroying Ukraine's infrastructure in a widespread fashion.

Rezident UA:

MI6 transmitted information to the Presidential Office and the General Staff that the Russian Army had accumulated a large number of Missiles/Lancets/Shaheds and Aerial Bombs for the summer counteroffensive. British intelligence assumes that the Kremlin wants to organize a demonstrative mass attack on several sectors of the front in order to destroy as many Ukrainian military personnel as possible. The main goal of such an attack will be a psychological factor in order to demonstrate the full potential of the Russian army and break the comparison with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

This plays into new rumors of the Russian Svatovo-Kremennaya front being re-activated to other rumors about Chasov Yar being next for major assault. My point is to highlight the fact that Russia is playing with Ukraine's sense of uncertainty, and can choose to strike either in Kupyansk or Bakhmut or Zaporozhye, and Ukraine will not be prepared.

We've outlined in previous reports how Russia uses its far superior logistical mobility means to constantly hit Ukraine on different axes via the 'death by a thousand cuts' strategy, and Ukraine is unable to shift its defenses and reserves fast enough. New reports underline this, for instance:

Ukraine's "mechanized" brigades are literally being downgraded to foot soldier meat hordes due to lack of vehicles.

Russia made recent progress in the areas west of Bakhmut and are now preparing to launch the assault on Chasov Yar.

From a Russian army affiliated channel:

Russian forces ready to begin seminal Chasov Yar assault: "Our maps for Chasov Yar have already been drawn, roles have been assigned, executors have been appointed. Everything is ready, as soon as the bridgehead on the Canal is ready - we will start."

Sputnik covers why this town is critical:

https://sputnikglobe.com/20240402/why-chasov-yars-liberation-is-critical-to-oust-ukrainian-military-from-donbass-1117702808.html

In short, they explain that Chasov Yar is a key railway hub and sits on a hill overlooking the entire AFU defense agglomeration of the region, which previously included Bakhmut, but now is centered on Kramatorsk-Slavyansk-Konstantinovka.

In the meantime, there are increasing 'whispers' of the eventual total evacuation of Kharkov city. Not only due to the electricity problems after Russia's hits on the region's power plant, but in anticipation of a new potential front being opened from the north.

Road leaving Kharkov:

Exodus of the population from Kharkov. After statements by the local administration that the entire infrastructure in the city was destroyed, constant problems with electricity the exodus of the population began from the city. The regular bombings by the Russian Air Force and rumors that fighting is about to begin here certainly added to the situation.

And here top Ukrainian accounts mention the unthinkable, with city officials claiming there's no need to evacuate….yet:

And even as of this writing, there is a large ongoing attack on Kharkov, with videos pouring out of strikes landing in the already de-powered city.

With the situation as dire as it looks, there are reports that Zelensky has finally swallowed the bitter pill and pulled the trigger on the first main step of the long-feared mobilization bill to lower the age from 27 to 25:

CNN confirms:

https://edition.cnn.com/2024/04/02/europe/zelensky-signs-conscription-law-intl/index.html

CNN — 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a law that will lower the country's minimum conscription age from 27 to 25, potentially boosting the number of men available to fight Russia's invasion.

However, it's not quite what it seems just yet:

The law signed by Zelensky on Tuesday lowers the age they can be drafted to 25, but leaves the mobilization age at 27, However, the Ukrainian Parliament is also considering a bill that would reduce the mobilization age to 25.

You see, this allows them to be drafted at 25, but not yet mobilized onto the actual frontline. The Rada will supposedly vote in April to lower the full mobilization age to 25 as well. Hence, this still means nothing quite yet.

It's unclear what if anything this will accomplish. Recall I had just posted a video of a top Ukrainian official stating that a reduction to 25 will do nothing, such is the depletion of Ukraine's forces; he said it needs to be lowered straight down to 19.

Zelensky himself refuses to divulge how many will be mobilized, blaming Russia for the need on the fake claim that Russia itself intends a huge new call-up in June:

Top Russian senators Kartapolov and Gurulev's responses to the above? "Cocaine's a helluva drug."

In one of the earlier articles, Zelensky said that he intends to mobilize more men in order to prepare another offensive for later this year. His reason was revealing: that if Ukraine doesn't attack first, Russia will do so.

His explanation gives away Ukraine's strategy. In 2023 Russia sat back and defended against Ukraine's large 'offensive', so here Zelensky appears to believe that if Ukraine can launch some semblance of another attack, it will delay or negate Russia's own mass offensive which everyone seems to be expecting for this year. This would be Ukraine's ploy to continue buying time for themselves: launch another futile, fruitless meat attack with massive losses, exchanging tens of thousands of lives for a few more borrowed months for Zelensky's illegitimate regime from going to the gallows.

One interesting take from 'American Spectator' is that Ukraine is planning for a big October surprise:

https://spectator.org/new-an-october-surprise-from-ukraine-is-possible/

Their entire thesis is as follows:

How does the Ukraine-Russia war end? In an October surprise. Ukraine, which became independent on 24 August 1991, will be dissolved and a New Ukraine will come into being by virtue of a unilateral declaration by the present Government of Ukraine, with the support of the military high command. The de jure boundaries of New Ukraine will reflect and be co-terminus with the territory currently under the de facto administrative control of the present Government of Ukraine.  New Ukraine will be compact; cohesive and well-integrated politically, economically, and socially (i.e., ethnically, linguistically, and culturally); and will have demonstrably defensible borders.  Accordingly, New Ukraine will have the strategic autonomy to decouple from Russia's sphere of influence without joining economic and military blocs such as the EU and NATO.

It's certainly an interesting direction, supported by some evidence, like recent Western statements that point to Ukraine not being able to retake previous territories, and even the beginnings of discussions justifying or selling the idea that Donbass is really not Ukrainian after all.

Such a thing could be a last-ditch desperate offer from the West to Ukraine: give up all Russian-held territories, declare a new unified Ukraine, and we will dangle that NATO/EU carrot over you closer than ever.

Meanwhile, France's Le Figaro supports our own reporting here with Russia's ongoing death by a thousand cuts strategy:

https://russian.rt.com/inotv/2024-03-17/Le-Figaro-Rossiya-istoshhaet-Ukrainu

The Russian army has adopted a "bite" or "prick"strategy: it makes small attacks on several segments at once. Ukraine cannot hold on to the entire length of the front line, so such attacks exhaust it and bring Russia, albeit small, but results, writes Le Figaro.

Further elaboration:

"The Russians have regained the initiative. They are able to "torment" the opponent on the field. This is the technique of a thousand notches. The goal is to bleed the Ukrainians dry in order to weaken their reserves," the French military expert explains in an interview with a journalist. According to him, the Ukrainians can fight off breakout attempts in several places, but they will not be able to stay on a dozen fronts. At the same time, Russia is accumulating potential in order to take advantage of the opportunities that have opened up.

They further admit what we've said all along, Ukraine's actions on the border are meant as nothing more than distractions:

Ukraine does not have enough people and ammunition. Therefore, Kiev has to switch to "elastic defense". As a result, he makes symbolic actions, for example, invading Russian territory in the Kursk and Belgorod regions or launching Western-supplied missiles, but is unable to get a real strategic effect from this.

And finally, their conclusion brings us full circle:

The next few months still promise to be critical, the author of the article writes. "We cannot rule out a Russian offensive in the spring to force the Ukrainians to negotiate in a difficult position," warns expert Jerome Pellistrandi. According to him, the Russians have learned their lessons, become more maneuverable and intensively use electronic warfare. Therefore, some of the equipment delivered last year from the West is now being neutralized by electronic interference.

A couple last items:

Here's a quick before and after look at the Ladyzhenskaya thermal power plant control room, to give an idea the type of damage Russian attacks have done:

The first photo may be a stock one for illustrative purposes, but you get the idea; I don't think that's being repaired any time soon.

As a last topic, I've been made aware that Andrei Martyanov has written an entire piece presumably 'debunking' my recent report which featured Colonel Falichev writing for the official Russian Army Digest. Martyanov's main gripe appears to revolve around the fact that he cannot locate any major credentials for Falichev, as Martyanov is a big stickler for proper military pedigree, as many of you know.

While I certainly don't begrudge him such thoroughness and demanding standards, I will simply note that nothing Falichev said was debunked but rather his military standing was merely called into question. This is not a response directly to Martyanov, of whom I am a fan though he appears to be less so one of me, but rather an answer to the few requests of my own audience I've gotten to make a response on the matter. I like for people to have their own minds and agency in making determinations, so the only things I'll say is that firstly, Falichev's piece was obviously published in the official Russian Army journal, hosted on their own official site:

And its editorial board is filled with a lot of top brass, which includes commander-in-chiefs of the entire Russian Ground Forces:

I would find it extremely puzzling that such a storied magazine edited by the literal current ground forces commander of the entire Russian Army would be so unprofessional as to host the rantings of some totally incompetent or uninformed person. One would think that would reflect quite badly on them if that was the case, no?

Secondly, though I don't hold Martyanov accountable for not seeing this as I doubt he's a paying subscriber here, but the previous issue of my own paywalled series included a breakdown of a different Russian thinktank, wherein General Baluyevsky echoed much of the same concerns as Falichev, in his preface called Algorithms of Fire and Steel.

I don't think anyone can question Baluyevsky's credentials considering he was the literal Chief of the General Staff of the entire Russian armed forces, you know, the position Gerasimov currently holds:

In that second report of mine, I highlighted Baluyevsky's revelations of some critical deficiencies in the Russian forces, for instance:

Some people seem to believe the Russian Army is infallible and cannot possibly have weaknesses. But I doubt anyone can gainsay the Chief of General Staff himself, who has had a storied career and has attended every notable command school.

Baluyevsky goes on to make many more indictments, including one that directly clashes with Martyanov's claims of Russian omniscient ISR capabilities:

"Must be built into a complex of a single control system…"—this clearly implies Russia does not yet have such a system despite this being precisely what Martyanov champions as Russia's strongest suit, in his article. No offense to Martyanov, whom I do respect, but I think I'll take the Russian Chief of General Staff's word for it on this matter.

I just wanted to make that brief defense not only to honor requests of curious followers, but also to make sure my own research did not suffer any tarnish. I know Martyanov was not bashing me, but given his large following, sometimes critiques like those can paint an incomplete or even damaging picture. In this case, for instance, the takedown of Falichev could imply that I don't use good sources in my research—but you can clearly see the contrary is the case. Not only is the Russian Army journal I used a top source, its own Editor-in-Chief has an unassailably storied career, having graduated from three different top command schools:

And even was an executive on the editorial board of another of Russia's most famous military journals, Military Thought.

Lastly, the episode did open my eyes to one important fact: that I truly have the best possible audience here. Perusing the 'comments section' of Martyanov's article I was amused to find that many of my detractors fault me for being critical of Russia, or at best "neutral". That tells me one important thing: that many in this field unfortunately cultivate quite an echo-chamber in refusing to find any fault, limitations, or weaknesses in the Russian Army or its approach to war.

It made me quite pleased to realize that I've cultivated a large following of open-minded people who want the real truth 'with all its warts', and are not simply here to be coddled or massaged with feel-good bias confirmations. It merely reinforced my belief that this blog is truly the best place where you can get the real lowdown without skewed blindspots, wishful thinking, and the like.

So, I thank my audience for being what they are because it seems I had slightly taken that for granted in my assumption that other parallel audiences were similarly discerning of truth and accurate information rather than merely seeking belief reinforcement.

That being said, if you appreciate the impartially incisive work here, don't forget to become a paid subscriber or throw a few coins into my Tip Jar as it has been woefully neglected of late—though I heartily thank those who have been donating there, you know who you are.

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Simplicius The Thinker
1 Apr 2024 | 4:17 am

8. Jacques Baud and the Russian Way of War


I wanted to do a relatively brief post mostly devoted to this extraordinary new talk by Jacques Baud with the Duran folks, Mercouris and Christoforou:

If you haven't seen this yet, watch at least the first half hour, or a little more, which is the most profoundly meaningful stretch. Incidentally, according to his wiki, today just happens to be Mr. Baud's birthday as well, so happy birthday to him.

Jacques Baud worked in military intelligence, studying the Soviet way of fighting in the Cold War, and recounts his most poignant observations in the differences between how Russia and the West conduct warfare. The reason I found it particularly enjoyable is because it accords so well with my own theories, particularly in articles like this one:

And thus feels like a bit of vindication, in that sometimes I've felt the lone reed bending in the wind, and it's often discouraging or at least exhausting to realize that the vast majority of the commentariat simply doesn't comprehend the clashing philosophies, which inevitably undermines their analyses.

Mr. Baud eloquently corroborates the Russian holistic approach to war, noting that it has not changed much since Soviet times. In his estimations, it is a very methodical and analytical approach, but also one—almost contradictorily—treated and studied as an art form, thus the moniker 'Operational Art'.

His most paradigm-breaking assessments revolve around how Russia approaches the planning of wars around a strategic and operational framework, whereas the West sort of rudderlessly flounders "in the moment", and has exhibited little conception of military operations beyond the tactical. Elucidating points include Baud's explanation of the West's actions in various African and MidEast theaters as just guys going around shooting guns, with little strategic depth or focus on end goals beyond that.

Of course, he may or may not miss the fact that this is to some extents by design, in the spirit of the famous quips about America's MidEast wars not being fought to be won, but rather to make money for defense contractors. But whatever the actual originating reason is, it doesn't dismiss the fact that the West's strategic and operational sense for the battlefield has likely well atrophied as a result. Whether you're doing something 'intentionally' or not, if you do it long enough, you will degrade your institutional ability to operate otherwise.

The only thing to the contrary I'll say, in the effort of tempering any wild flights of exaggeration to one extreme or the other, is that things are not as clear cut and uniform as simply: "Russia is the best, West is totally clueless."

We know there are gradations of each on both sides. There are some Russian generals that make even modern Western generals look like Napoleon, and the war has revealed some incredibly deep corrosion within segments of the Russian Armed Forces. We've seen endless blunders and miscalculations from Russian forces at every tier of command, and there are many gaps and blind spots in the Russian approach to war. No one has the one-size-fits-all perfect system—if they did, that country would likely rule the world unchallenged.

But it's in the cumulative sense of the armed forces as a whole, living, breathing organism, we can say without too much exaggeration that in the current historical frame, Russia appears to much better grasp the most fundamental and important precepts of winning real wars compared to the West. We see this categorically demonstrated, for example, in the Russian vision of warfare consistently winning out and being proven superior over the approach of the West in the SMO.

For instance, the West's philosophy of concentrating on prestige, precision systems for 'surgical' victories has now undoubtedly been trumped by Russia's revival of the conventional 'mass production war'.

In the clash of philosophies in armor, Russia's approach to its tanks has likewise seemingly proven its superiority as Western tanks are now roundly deemed inadequate for modern peer combat. Same goes for many other advanced and expensive weapons systems.

In the clash of organizational philosophies it may be less clear, but the long-celebrated Western approach to NCO-heavy "small unit leadership" has clearly not shown advantage over Russia's putatively more 'centralized' force structure.

Clearest of all, of course, has been the question of strategic and operational approach. I've written before how the Western-led Ukrainian forces have not once been able to envelop Russians in a single cauldron. Meanwhile, Russian generals somehow continually manage to entrap the NATO proxy force in cauldrons in virtually every major battle, leading to incalculably disproportionate losses.

So that is all to say that, while the differences aren't as clear cut as Mr. Baud's passionate appeal may suggest, it's safe to say that the general cut of his comparisons is overall quite accurate. And truth be told, it will likely only get more accurate as time progresses. That's because the Russian forces are learning and only improving their storied knowledge and strategic culture, while in the West the pillars of this knowledge are being torn down on a daily basis, replaced with DEI indoctrination and other distractingly degrading modern contrivances.

E.g.:

And further look at the cast of clowns and freaks that the West continues to appoint to its highest leadership positions. Even in spite of all its weaknesses and intransigent corruptions, there's no way Russia will have the worst of it when it comes to the West's precipitous degradation of military culture.

The easily demonstrable veracity of this is being witnessed on a daily basis. Each new day brings some new shocking news: yesterday it was another US Navy vessel catching fire, today it was the 4th Apache chopper crash in just the past 2 months alone; that's not to even mention the general state of things—Baltimore bridge, anyone?

And so, to cap this little digest, I want to present this exceptional new article making the rounds, which perfectly dovetails with the overarching thrust of Jacques Baud's thesis:

https://asiatimes.com/2024/03/america-has-no-ukraine-plan-b-except-more-war/

The author, David P. Goldman, recounts his attendance last weekend of some kind of Bilderberg-esque meeting on Ukraine—with an indirect reference to Chatham House rules—between various former cabinet members, senior military officials, academics, etc.

The conclave left him unsettled:

I can say that I haven't been so scared since the fall of 1983, when I was a junior contract researcher doing odd jobs for then Special Assistant to the President Norman A Bailey at the National Security Council. That was the peak of the Cold War and the too-realistic Able Archer 83 exercise nearly set off a nuclear war.

He goes on to relay the blanket of hysterical delusion swaddling the meeting:

"The Russians are taking massive losses of 25,000 to 30,000 a month," the former official added. "They can't sustain the will to fight on the battlefield. The Russians are close to a breaking point. Can they sustain their national will? Not if the rigged election [of Vladimir Putin this month] was any indication. Their economy has real vulnerability. We need to redouble sanctions and financial interdiction of supplies getting to Russia. The Russians have a Potemkin portrayal of strength."

The author refutes the screeching proclamations above:

All the above is demonstrably false and known to be false by the rapporteur in question. The notion that Russia is taking 25,000 to 30,000 casualties a month is ludicrous. Artillery accounts for about 70% of casualties on both sides and by every estimate Russia is firing five or ten times as many shells as Ukraine. Russia has carefully avoided frontal assaults to preserve manpower. 

He ends on this final emblematic point—which comes full circle to reinforce Jacques Baud's entire thesis:

No one disputed the data I presented. And no one believed that Russia is taking 25,000 casualties a month. Facts weren't the issue: The assembled dignitaries, a representative sampling of the foreign policy establishment's intellectual and executive leadership, simply couldn't imagine a world in which America no longer gave the orders. 

They are accustomed to running things and they will gamble the world away to keep their position. 

In short, there is no Plan B, nor real strategic plan to defeat Russia at all. It's merely a bricolaged scramble to make sure the West stays in power by any assortment of haphazard, and at times mutually antithetical, means.

Just as Jacques Baud described the extent of the West's strategic planning in Africa and the MidEast as merely guys aiming and shooting their guns, here too it seems the West has run out of ideas and is desperately trying to fish a victory out of the toilet with a plan designed "by committee"—the only problem is, the committee is comprised of apparatchik headless chickens with no sense of real cohesion or even uniform loyalties; they're merely united by the vaguely resonant fear of losing their primacy in a world where the rising East increasingly overshadows them. Against a resurgent Russia, united by an existential threat to the homeland, that simply isn't enough.

A couple random update items.

For those who've read my last paywalled report, you'll know I broke the story of the first ever mechanized ground robot assault. Now, as promised, the story has been updated:

The first drone assault attack in history!

In Berdychi, which is now being taken by Russian troops, field testing of a new promising Russian robotic platform took place.

As part of the combat mission, a group of assault drones took part in supporting the assault operations, ensuring the suppression of Ukrainian positions in the village using the installed AGS-17 grenade launcher modules, firing several hundred grenades. During combat use, drones showed good results. The drones were able to continue operating even in conditions where losses of personnel and expensive equipment from enemy fire would have been inevitable.

The experience gained in combat use will be taken into account for further production and development of the assault robotic platforms. The combat use of such drones in Berdychi is actually similar to the first tank attack during the First World War.

A successful tracked base has great potential for developing a robotic platform for assault with installation of various combat modules and support operations like transportation and installation of mines, evacuation of wounded, transportation of cargo and equipment.

In the future, such platforms will take their place on the battlefield. Despite the fact that there are similar developments in the USA, Britain and China, it was Russia that was the first to use a group of assault drones in a real war.

The future has already arrived.

It turns out the Russian project is producing much more of them than I thought:

We can officially state that the age of ground robot combat has now begun, with Russia inaugurating it with this historic first foray. Unfortunately, it's clear to see the type of madness the near future will hold, as Ukrainian FPVs were able to waylay the robotic UGVs just as readily as they do sluggish foot soldiers:

While the results remain inconclusive, it's clear that ground combat will steadily transition to UGV augmented assaults either way. The big concern, as always, is that things will devolve into another set of WWI-like positional stalemates, just this time with robots.

And lastly, ever strengthening its capabilities as I wrote in the last article, today Russia successfully launched another new earth-sensing recon satellite, the Resurs-P, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan:

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Simplicius The Thinker
30 Mar 2024 | 5:23 am

9. Future of the SMO: Russian Army Think-Tank Breakdown + UGVs Enter the Fray


This is technically part 3 of the Future of the SMO paid series I've been doing, with Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. However, I'm no longer going to number them as they are not a continuation, but rather independent articles on new topics which will operate under the same series name as that will be the designated paid subscriber only series. So if you're not paid yet, don't fear jumping in now as the current article is stand-alone and only loosely follows the general series theme of analyzing the SMO from a military-technological standpoint and extrapolating that onto future trends and developments.

This article is about 6700+ words and this time I've decided to leave free to the public, the first 2500+ of them, so a full nearly 40% of the article, so as to allow free subscribers to read at least up to the most important 'bomb shell' revelation. However, paid subs will see the new report further down of the first ever Russian mobile ground robot platoon taking part in real live hostilities, ushering in a devastating new age of warfare.

In the previous installment, we covered Russian military theorist General Baluyevsky's think-tank paper Algorithms of Fire and Steel. This time we have another fascinating release from the official Russian military journal of the MOD, called АРМЕЙСКИЙ СБОРНИК, or 'Army Digest'. It deals with assessing the opening state of the SMO and how it's changed, with what adaptations the Russian MOD has been making to shore up weaknesses exposed in the course of the conflict.

What's particularly eye-opening is how forthright it is in dealing with Russia's limitations, particularly at the start of the SMO, allowing us a better understanding of the current state of things and how the war might evolve going forward.

Link.

It's hosted on the official Russian mil site and apparently blocks Western addresses from accessing it, but you can still do so via VPN.

For the sake of authenticity, it is the March issue #3 of 2024, written by retired Colonel and veteran of military operations Oleg Falichev, and is called:

Exclude the Human Factor

It begins by recounting how Putin recently gave an assessment of the SMO at the end of 2023, and frankly asserted a few key problem areas where the Russian Armed Forces need work; namely: seriously restructure communication systems, increase the satellite ISR grouping, improve the work of air defense, increase the production and supply of high precision projectiles like Krasnopol and many others, etc.

"It is good that, two years later, we have finally begun to speak openly about the problems identified during the special operation. But what exactly did the Supreme Commander have in mind?"

The author first goes on to describe what the U.S. possesses in terms of a unified battlefield network-centric control system, which happens to be at the disposal of Ukraine. I want to paste the whole thing because it's a very important consolidating primer on the subject, and makes for a sharp contrast with how he describes Russian capability afterwards:

So, over the past 30 years, several automated control systems (ACS) for ground forces combat operations have been created in the United States. All of them are integrated into a single contour, which provides real-time acquisition of processed situation data necessary for combat impact on the enemy by all, including promising, means of destruction.

The US global control system as a whole consists of: an
aviation contour, including unmanned reconnaissance vehicles, reconnaissance aircraft, including combat control and target designation aircraft of the AWACS type;
a space contour, consisting of optoelectronic reconnaissance spacecraft, as well as radar and radio-technical reconnaissance, and missile warning system satellites-secure
global space communications consisting of communication and relay satellites, weather satellites, and other spacecraft.

The US wartime reconnaissance satellite constellation can consist of up to 500 spacecraft, of which up to 200 spacecraft can be located over the territory of Ukraine today. All this group works for the armed forces of Ukraine, transmitting data about our troops. It allows you to get high-resolution video and photo information that is sufficient to determine the number of our aircraft at airfields and the movement of large groups of troops. All the monitored situation is summarized and collected in the NATO Information Processing Center, from where the data is sent to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This includes using the Starlink system, which is used for communication and fire control in the "company (battery) — battalion (division) — regiment"link.

Combining the means of reconnaissance and fire destruction of the enemy into a single system was called the network-centric concept of warfare in the general theory of war. It involves the creation of a single information space for control and fire destruction in the Theater of Operations area.

A note on that:

Firstly, here's a recent diagram of total active satellites in space compared to Starlink, which is starting to single-handedly take over all earth's orbit:

SpaceX Starlink satellites now make up almost 60% of the entire operational space constellation.

At this rate, Starlink will soon become the major dominant force in space.

On top of the above Russian assessment, a recent announcement revealed Elon Musk has signed a secret contract with the U.S. government to basically convert, as one report suggested, around 500 Starlink satellites into military versions with special cryptographic properties:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13104389/elon-musk-spacex-government-contract-starshield-pentagon.html

Unfortunately for Russia, this puts the U.S. and its allies—like Ukraine—several years, and potentially a decade or two, ahead of Russian capabilities in this area. As Colonel Falichev indicates in the next part, this is one area where Russia has severely lagged since the fall of the Soviet Union, simply ignoring the problem as its ramifications were never quite palpably felt by the aging military upper crust.

They are now rushing out a Starlink analog, but a basic operable fleet won't be ready until at least 2027-2030. In order to even the odds in the meantime, Russia has reportedly been smuggling in a large amount of bootleg Starlinks, which they claim to use at the front despite Musk's protests that Starlink service does not operate "over Russia". Of course, the battlefield contact line is quite a hazy 'gray zone' and likely allows Russian forces to get service.

Though as a quick aside, Russia's communications issues aren't ever as bad as claimed. Just yesterday a Ukrainian comms expert angrily reported the increasingly widespread use of a new Russian "Wave Network" of radios, which he described as follows:

The Wave Network packet communication solution is based on MESH technology. Within the framework of this technology, each walkie-talkie is not just a walkie-talkie, but also a repeater. That is, all signals scatter to all the nearest neighboring stations and there are no limits to this. This is very useful for the military. For example, when a convoy of equipment stretches for 10 kilometers travels, all radios transmit information along the chain. Or all the soldiers along the front communicate without repeaters.

Not to mention it is AES128 encrypted.

But while Russia scrambles to catch up to U.S. communications capabilities, the U.S. is attempting to leap even further into the future with the announcement of the world's first ever space-based tactical close "air" support:

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/466114/1st-space-brigades-tactical-close-space-support-move

The above article summarizes it as follows:

"Larger space capabilities cannot effectively integrate with more expeditionary units, such as SOF (Special Operations Forces)," said Capt. Noah Siegel, Triad Experimentation Team platoon leader, 18th Space Company. "Shrinking our equipment and focusing on mobility allows our Soldiers to provide space support to units of all types at or beyond the tactical edge. For warfighters on the ground, this tactical space support enables the synchronization and convergence of joint and multidomain effects to enhance lethality."

In short, it's the ability to have a smaller imprint mobile satellite liaison unit that can give network-centric and signals data to frontline units on the fly without the traditional worries of communication links disruptions due to jamming or distance from unit HQs, or having to setup bulky stationary satellite relays. I.e. space support at the tactical level. It may sound simple, but it's something that nations without massive satellite infrastructure would struggle to do.

But the above was just a test run with a small unit, and is in no way being rolled out en masse in the U.S. Army any time soon, as the article itself admits.

Getting back, Colonel Falichev asks: What do we have by comparison?

What do we have?

Looking ahead, I will say that we are quite successfully fighting the enemy's intelligence system using various electronic warfare tools. But for a long time we were not able to bring our effective fire control system, as they say, to mind. It is enough to recall the similar Constellation system created since the times of the USSR, which left much to be desired. Only recently have they developed and launched a series of their own automated artillery fire control system, in particular, "Tablet-A" (Planshet-A system). And the special operation in Ukraine has accelerated this process.

JSC "Russian Corporation of Rocket and Space Instrumentation and Information Systems" ("Russian Space Systems") has developed the first domestic analog of the Starlink system. For this purpose, the Sphere communications satellite was launched into orbit. The system is already being tested in the military. Let us explain that JSC Russian Space Systems specializes in the development, manufacture and operation of space information systems, in particular, in the development and targeted use of the global navigation satellite system GLONASS, the space search and rescue system, hydrometeorological and radio engineering support for scientific research in outer space, and remote sensing of the Earth. Today, the development of such technologies in Russia has been given the closest attention, which was required by the experience of conducting free economic education.

In addition, the President of the Russian Federation has considered the Concept of Technological Development of Russia until 2030. Among its sections are promising space systems and services.

The Planshet-A system is one I've been reporting on for a long time, which is a battlefield management system Russia has slowly been rolling out since the start of the conflict. One recent example of a new analogous Russian system on the front was just posted this week—though I believe this is a more DIY ad hoc one. You can see the realtime geolocation of ongoing tactical fights, with the information and coordinates able to be transmitted to other relevant units:

Exclusive . We finally have the latest program for command and control.

Designed for interaction, coordination, control between different departments. An analogue of the Ukrainian "Nettle", its extended version.

I would like to draw your attention: "Nettle" was with the Ukrainian Armed Forces until the age of 2022. That is, they were preparing for a certain type of war, unlike us. They knew that they would attack and they knew with what type of weapons.

From a reliable source.

Incidentally a new video of another such Ukrainian system has also come to light, showing the Ukrainians are arguably still a step ahead in implementation:

Pay attention to how they can insert tactical symbols onto a map, which gets instantly distributed to all units operating one of these networked tablets.

Falichev goes on to underline what I already prefaced above—why Russia began to lag after the fall of the USSR, including the infamously resented Serdyukov reforms of 2008, of which I also previously wrote a lot on:

LESSONS AND CONCLUSIONS

Of course, the question arises: why did this happen? After the collapse of the USSR, we paid very little attention to this segment of our defense, as, indeed, to the development of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation as a whole. Recall that in 2010, the Armed Forces underwent major structural changes. Motorized rifle and tank divisions were transformed into brigades. According to Colonel-General, Doctor of Military Sciences, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences Vladimir Zaritsky, the army and front-line sets of Rocket troops and artillery were abolished. Thus, we lost about half of the firepower of artillery units and formations, and almost half of the firepower of Ground Forces.

But he says Gerasimov and Shoigu's arrival has ushered in a restoration of all previously lost power:

But with the arrival of the new leadership of the Ministry of Defense, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, the restoration of the system that was practically lost, in particular, the divisional structure, and in the Missile Forces and artillery of the Ground Forces — the restoration of combat power.

He states that in particular, special attention was paid to such electronic intelligence systems, which further ushered in the development of new much-needed battlefield recon and counter-battery systems like the 'Arkus' and 'Penicillin.'

But here's where he makes the biggest bombshell of the report, which is truly a world exclusive in divulging this information for the first time ever:

With the beginning of the SVO, we had only about 10 Zoo-1M complexes in the army. This led to the fact that at first we lost the confrontation in the counter-battery fight. The lack of necessary specialists also affected the situation.

We've heard complaints from the front for a long time that Russia needed more counter-battery capability. There were speculations of all kinds as to numbers, but no one knew precise amounts. Here for the first time he reveals that the entire Russian army had a miniscule 10 Zoopark counterbattery units at the start of the SMO.

Granted, in the very beginning, artillery counterfights had not yet gained the type of significance they have now, as the conflict had more a mobile expeditionary-style character than the static classical artillery war we see today. Russia did begin increasing production of everything right away—but it's still extremely telling how little of the workhorse counterbattery units they had at the onset.

Keep in mind, there are other types of counterbattery—so Zoopark isn't the sole one relied on. Not only were there the mentioned Penicillins—though potentially even less of those prestige systems—but also things like the Yastreb-AV, Snar-10, and many other smaller portable tactical units like the Aistyonok, Sobolyatnik, and even the Fara-PV. So while the situation wasn't quite as dire as it sounds, it was far from ideal.

Now, however, things have changed. Just last month Shoigu visited the NPO Splav and NPO Strela enterprises, where he was shown a full production line of the latest Zoopark-1Ms under construction:

One can see the workshop could have as many as a dozen simultaneous systems being built. So while we don't know the exact production number, here's what NPO Strela stated:

NPO Strela claims it fully completed its 2023 obligations for delivery of Yastreb-AV, Zoopark-1M (pictured), and Aistyonok counter-batter radar systems and will increase production by 2x in 2024 and 4x in 2025 thanks to new equipment and the transition to a 12-hour-shift, 6-days-per-week schedule.

So, Zooparks have already increased production, but will increase 2x in 2024, and 4x in 2025. Meanwhile, even Oryx's list only lists 16 total 'proven' Zooparks destroyed. That means if Russia is even building 50-100 of them per year—which is possible given the near dozen simultaneously constructed in the workshop—it vastly over-compensates for any losses.

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Simplicius The Thinker
27 Mar 2024 | 4:04 am

10. West Desperately Deflects as Ukraine's ISIS Gambit Backfires


Since the Krokus attacks occurred, the West has been in utter overdrive to pin the blame on ISIS while absolving Ukraine from any responsibility. The heavy-handed desperation with which they've gone to lengths in doing this reveals the game and tells us everything we need to know about the nature of the attacks.

Listen to Grant Shapps at the end of the video above, whose mask slips when he openly reveals: "We must resist Putin's effort to link ISIS to Ukraine."

But before we go on, let's remember how almost every previous terrorist attack that was denied by Ukraine ended up being quietly admitted later.

Same goes for Nord Stream and many others. So why this pearl clutching by the Western commentariat that Ukraine would never resort to killing civilians?

After all, just yesterday Ukraine's head of the SBU Vasyl Malyuk went on a long confession spree, "unofficially" admitting Ukraine's responsibility for killing Ilia Kiva, Vladlen Tatarsky, and others.

And who can forget Ukraine's usage of an unwitting civilian 'suicide bomber' in their terror attack on the Kerch Bridge? By the way, the same Malyuk above also just admitted that the Kerch Bridge is no longer even used for military purposes:

https://english.nv.ua/nation/russia-not-using-damaged-crimean-bridge-to-transport-weapons-sbu-50404271.html

Ukraine could "potentially" destroy Russia's illegally constructed Crimean Bridge in Kerch, although it's not currently used to bring weapons and ammunition into occupied Crimea, head of Ukraine's SBU security service Lt. Gen. Vasyl Malyuk said in an interview with Ukrainian broadcaster ICTV on March 25.

That alone exposes so much about Ukraine and its perverted strategy to somehow win the war by 'cornering' Russia with the destruction of the bridge. They now admit the bridge plays no military role for Russian forces, so why would destroying it have any effect whatsoever on Russia's ability to hold Crimea? It's clear that the bridge as sacred target is only there for the typical PR purposes, not real victory.

But getting back.

The U.S. and friends really, really, really want you to know it wasn't Ukraine who did the Moscow attacks, it was "ISIS". Anyone who has even a functionally adult understanding of how the world works will innately comprehend that Ukraine is behind the attack. Of course, it's possible it was one of its sponsors, the CIA or MI6—but the fact that the CIA claimed to have warned Russia of an impending terror action seems to imply to me that Ukraine had gone rogue, and even the U.S. was not standing with their gravely overreaching gambits.

It was just made known that the U.S. 'warned' Ukraine to stop provoking Russia by striking its energy facilities, remember? The U.S. has clearly diverged with its little pitbull on how to proceed further, as Biden's admin is becoming averse to the increasing risks of poking the nuclear Bear.

Thus, it becomes quite plausible that the CIA attempted to warn Russia as a potentially indirect way of putting Ukraine off from the plan at the final hour. But desperate, bloodthirsty Zelensky will stop at nothing to appease his more occult masters, who operate through the unseen folds of the greater 'U.S.' apparatus.

Here's one indepth theory as to how it likely really happened:

According to the "subjective data" available to me, terrorists from among the citizens of Tajikistan fell under religious lessons conducted on the Internet (watch the video), which were the ideological instructions of the "Islamic State of Valayat Khorosan (IGVC)".

Also, as I know, at least one of them was in a chat room called "Rahnamo ba Khuroson" (Rohnamo ba Khuroson).

A citizen of Tajikistan, Salmon Khurosoni, was (and is) curating religious processing groups. It was Salmon Khurosoni who made the primary recruitment approach to Islamic terrorists.

There is also information in certain circles that Khurosoni is an intermediate link between the Islamic State of Khorosan Wilayat (IGVC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States.

Despite the fact that the terrorists of the Islamic State do not promise financial rewards for their terrorist attacks, but promise eternal Paradise ... nevertheless, with the assistance of Salmon Khorosani, an amount of 500,000 rubles was approved, which was supposed to cover the costs of the attack.

After that, the tasks and instructions in Turkey were already set by an emissary-mediator, who, presumably, is a staff member of a foreign special service (resident). And they, in turn, sent bayats (the oath of ISIS) to the same Salmon Khurosoni.

Also, Ukraine was not the last link in their withdrawal plan. Another unidentified emissary of foreign intelligence, who is in Ukraine, was supposed to send them directly to Turkey, and then to Afghanistan.

It is in Afghanistan that the alleged ideological (namely ideological, I'm not talking about the customer) leader of the terrorist attack in Moscow, Salmon Khurosoni, is located.

In fact, we see the apotheosis of the development of hybrid terrorism, namely brand franchising – one side aiming to strike at the other, resorts to the help of a third. Including on the basis when the performer is recruited under the third flag, that is, he thinks that he is fulfilling one will, when in reality there is another behind it.

Read the final bolded part again.

This is how modern hybrid warfare works. Each attack is different: there are some where Ukraine wants to have its footprint or responsibility publicly known as a direct message to Russia, as well as morale-boosting effort for its own audience. But there is another class of attack whose purpose is to destabilize Russia from the inside without acknowledging Ukraine's fingerprints on the action.

In fact, to know Ukraine did it in this case would be to defeat the whole point: the entire purpose of this attack was to engineer the narrative that "Putin's regime" is generating such global discontent that it's starting to boomerang on its own people, with the aim being to mobilize discord within society against the Kremlin. Were people to know Ukraine was behind it, it would totally reverse the effect, making Ukraine the lightning rod for the devastating terror attack and galvanizing Russians even more against their enemy.

In this case, it was absolutely paramount that Ukraine had to utilize the services of a third party—so they hired some patsies through an intermediary with a convenient 'ISIS' link. But the timing is too ludicrous to believe—it's akin to the CIA's 'best hits', like the farfetched gas attack Assad carried out just when he had broken the enemy's back and was winning the war. It's utterly unbelievable that just as Russia had dealt some unprecedented blows to Ukraine, including a massively crippling air attack, and just as MSM outlets were sputtering out reams of devastating headlines about Ukraine's impending collapse, ISIS just happens to decide to make a totally uncharacteristic attack in Moscow? You have to be infantilely credulous to believe such improbable coincidences.

There are a few simple facts:

1. First and the most important, these mercenaries did not declare ISIS goals and its ideology in any way during the action. They did not make any demands. They did not voice any statements.

2. They followed a well-planned timing that allowed them to leave the scene of the crime before the Special Forces arrived. Then they tried to run away to Ukraine. Any ideological self-sacrifice was out of the question.

3. They received money for the attack. Half of the amount was given to them before the terrorist attack, the other half is to be received after the evacuation.

4. They did not commit suicide while being detained. They did not even try to do it. They just ran like rats. They did not even try to fight. They were all captured alive.

And another expert opinion.

That's not even to mention that the attackers were obviously caught heading to Ukraine, a fact now established with precise geolocation from on the ground videos:

You'll note that at Bryansk there's a fork where you can go several ways: they specifically chose the southern route into Ukraine's Sumy region.

And an important clarification: right now there's Ukrainian propaganda going around that today Lukashenko "disproved the Kremlin narrative" by pointing out that the terrorists first attempted to go into Belarus, but Belarusian forces blocked them, forcing them to choose Ukraine as a second option.

This is a total lie.

I've now studied Lukashenko's exact statement, and he is in fact responding to a reporter who asked: "Is it possible they could have gone into Belarus?"

What he says is basically, no because we put up forces and either way they would be forced to go elsewhere. In short, he's responding to a hypothetical, that even if they had wanted to come into Belarus, they would not be able to—but he by no means stated they definitively were coming to Belarus. This is a deliberate mischaracterization by Ukrainian propagandists.

In fact, during wartime you can imagine the border is impossible to cross without very special accommodations, which the terrorists clearly had from their Ukrainian friends. That's not to mention that "ISIS" is incapable of supplying a stash of weapons into Russia for the patsies to have used—only Ukrainian SBU leads would have provided that weaponry from Ukraine deep inside Russia.

Most of the above is in line with what Russian FSB head Bortnikov believes happened, as per his statements today:

What he says:

  • He believes Ukraine, U.S., and UK are behind the attacks

  • He has some preliminary evidence to suggest this link, while investigations are ongoing

  • His preliminary findings are that the terrorists were in fact "expected" on the Ukrainian border by their handlers

  • He implies Budanov will be eliminated for his actions

And of course Patrushev adds his two cents as well:

"Of course it was Ukraine."

Putin also made some new statements on the ongoing investigation, corroborating the link to Ukraine:

Some analysts have even speculated that Putin's choice of ambiguous language is a hidden signal to the West: he knows precisely who did it and can reveal it at any moment, but—he's giving the West a chance to make favorable concessions and gestures of reconciliation, to some extent.

Pay attention:

Putin's performance yesterday demonstrates that there is a behind-the-scenes auction. Pay attention to ambiguous language:

- We know that the attack was committed by the hands of radical Islamists, we are interested in the customer;

- We need to get answers to a number of questions, did the radical Islamists really decide to strike at Russia;

- It is absolutely clear that the terrible crime in « Crocus » — is an action of intimidation, the question arises to whom it is beneficial.

Add here today's statement by Peskov that Russia is open for dialogue with the United States, but all problems must be discussed in a comprehensive manner, the Kremlin said.

Peskov is clearly hinting at a return to strategic dialogue.

That is, there is still a chance that the problem of jihadists can become a common denominator for the start of negotiations. This opens up opportunities for a return to discuss Erdogan's proposals for strategic stability.

If this does not happen with a high degree of probability, blows to bridges across the Dnieper (including in Kiev) and new attempts to achieve blackout as now will be added to strikes on energy and gas storage in Kharkov.

In short: "We're willing to pretend this was ISIS if you sit back at the table and make some amends while working toward common goals. But if you want to play hard ball, we'll "find" blame for Ukraine and then up the temperature severely on them, by way of massive infrastructure strikes and military escalations."

Another possibility:

#hearings
Judging by the analysis of the events of the last three weeks, someone specifically provokes an increase in temperature in the Ukrainian crisis.

From this follows:
1. Events will peak for two weeks and return to normal again.
2. The Ukrainian crisis is waiting for maximum intensity, tragedies will be massive, and constant.

Be careful. The denouement is very close…

The source explains that the Ukrainian crisis has reached a dead end, where directors need a new increase for two things.
1. Knock out money to further finance the crisis.
2. Reset the Ukrainian crisis until the Taiwanese case begins.

We are watching…

Some even believe Putin could issue an ultimatum to Ukraine: leave all Donbass territories or hell will be unleashed on all the previously off-limits targets—depending on what the 'answer' from the West on the backdoor Krokus parley will be:

One source from the Russian President's entourage reported information that Vladimir Putin is considering a harsh ultimatum to Ukraine. The people demand victory and the President is ready for tough decisions.

In order to complete the Northern Military District and save as many lives of our soldiers as possible, and also to avoid a new mobilization, Vladimir Putin is considering the option of a harsh ultimatum to Ukraine. Putin will demand the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Russian territory (new regions) and the voluntary surrender of Kharkov, Nikolaev and Odessa. In case of refusal, Moscow will declare real war on Kyiv within 24 hours. After which, within 72 hours, Kyiv, Lviv, Dnieper, Poltava, Ternopil and Vinnitsa will be destroyed. The rest of Ukraine will be subject to massive missile and bomb attacks. Tu-22M3 bombers using FAB-5000 bombs will destroy all bridges across the Dnieper, civilian airports, and all railway infrastructure. The center of Kyiv, all administrative buildings and bunkers will be destroyed by "Daggers". All power station substations will be destroyed by a single missile and bomb attack from Tu-95ms bombers.

The special forces of the Russian Armed Forces in Kyiv will detain the entire top leadership of Ukraine, and if impossible, liquidate them on the spot.

And this is just the beginning! In 48 hours the climax will begin.

Take the above with a Ropucha-class cargo of salt, but such things are at least remotely possible given the scope of the catastrophe that occurred, which I believe now ranks third in post-Soviet tragedies—in terms of number of victims—after the Beslan attack and Moscow apartment bombings of '99, even surpassing the Moscow Theater attack of 2002 casualties.

So, while the Ukrainians hid their trail well—for now—it's clear to anyone with a brain unclouded by dogmatic faith that Ukraine is who alone benefits from this. Of course, it's also interesting that the attack happened merely hours before the start of Purim—a holiday celebrating the Jewish people's destruction of their arch nemesis. I say this in light of the infamous 'threats' made by one of the leaders of the Likud party, Amir Weitmann, that Russia will pay a heavy price for its support of Palestine.

Just a symbolic coincidence, most likely.

That being said, many in Ukraine and the West did celebrate the attacks, like this French station below:

On French news channel LCI, well-known French journalist Anne Nivat speaks with admiration about the terror attack in Moscow: "If the Ukrainians are behind it, it is an absolute masterpiece, phenomenal work."

Or this Australian mercenary:

To wrap up, it's needless to say that Ukraine's links to ISIS were innumerable and well known:

Of course, the West has been threatening ordinary Russians since the start of the war:

What does that all foretell for the war?

Clearly, the conflict is entering a new phase—though I won't be as dramatic as some in exaggerating that this will bring some immediate epochal shifts. Ukraine is merely being forced to resort to increasingly desperate and dangerous maneuvers to dislodge Russia's unity, and Russian elite are increasingly consolidating under one form of ideological solidarity when it comes to the war's end-game objectives. Those who may have toed the line previously, now recognize that only maximalist goals will achieve national security for Russia.

Not only did Peskov promote the conflict to a 'war' but now Russia's security services are openly talking about designating Ukraine as a terrorist state, eliminating the leadership, etc. And the recent strikes prove some of this escalatory rhetoric is not mere lip service. Russia not only struck what it claims to be some leadership positions with hypersonic missiles in Kiev yesterday, but has also dealt devastating blows to the electric grid, this time targeting actual irreparable engine and turbine rooms.

Russia is striking leadership positions more and more; just today a Polish general was mysteriously announced as having died of sudden and unexpected 'natural causes' just after Russia laid waste to a mercenary stronghold in Chasov Yar. Coincidence?

Obviously this is joined in by NATO and the EU's own escalations, with a new report claiming that NATO is now "considering" shooting down Russian missiles on the Polish border after one allegedly briefly veered into Polish airspace in the recent strikes on Lvov region.

In fact what's interesting is how 'out in the open' NATO's agenda has been forced, in light of recent exigencies. Here, Borrell openly admits—no longer even bothering to cling to the facade—that the Ukraine war is all about Europe's interests and has nothing to do with caring for the Ukrainian people:

The secret to decoding his already clear language is to understand that Borrell—like the rest of the Euro-technocrat mafia—is unelected by real citizens, but rather appointed by some faceless high commission.

Thus, when he says "we cannot afford for Russia to win this war" because it would be damaging to "our" interests, who might he possibly be referring to? The we is certainly not the people whom he doesn't politically represent. It's of course the rest of the comprador elite who control the upper layer of the world government apparatus, i.e. the financiers and banking elite. He's speaking on their behalf.

Thus, he's saying that the world banking cabal cannot afford Russia winning the war, because it would initiate a cascade of untold consequences for the monetary hegemonic web they've tentacularly enwreathed the entire globe in.

These second echelon compradors now scramble to fashion together some last minute "containment" strategy for Russia—which is where Macron recently took the lead.

Their idea of Cold War-era containment revolves around more of the same—militarizing society by spending record amounts on armament, as well as bolstering Russia's other "next-in-line" neighbors like the Baltics and Moldova to prepare them as the next battlefield to bleed Russia out on.

This Economist article starts off with quite a doozy first paragraph:

https://archive.is/6tIAe

It revolves around the same concept prescribed in the Moscow terror attacks: alienate Putin from the narod—the people; make them hate him for the fear and danger he's brought into the heart of Russian society. The problem is, Russian citizens are very keen to what's going on because they've developed a reflexive instinct for sniffing out the West's provocations, after years of suffering them through the '90s and onward. So they know precisely where the attacks originated from, and who created ISIS itself, as they created Al-Qaeda to kill Soviets in Afghanistan in the '80s, as well as the Chechen jihadists in the '90s.

Now the top EU puppet leaders climb over each other to stand out in the new pageant of war the ongoing events have germinated:

Amid the scuffle and bustle, everyone sees opportunity to gain more power—after all, crisis is the absolute most ideal time to distinguish oneself from the pack and gain inordinate advantage.

But ultimately, the reason these attacks had to happen, as I said in the beginning, was to mask the ongoing degradation of the Ukrainian armed forces:

https://archive.is/ceSMj

The above article details the Ukrainian Rada's tumultuous struggle to lower the conscription age:

"We're struggling to lower the age to 25—it's an unpopular decision," said Fedir Venislavskyi, a member of the Rada in President Volodymyr Zelensky's ruling party, who has been one of the law's leading backers. "We need to increase the number of people who can be mobilized."

One interesting facet is this was in fact the first article finally confirming for us something we've been talking about here for a long time, namely the precise breakdown of Ukraine's combat vs. noncombat forces:

Ukraine's military has nearly 600,000 personnel, according to estimates from Zelensky. Most are in support roles away from combat at the front. Zelensky said in December that the military has requested 500,000 more troops, although commanders said it didn't need all of them immediately.

This confirms that the majority of their estimated 600k total personnel are noncombat support roles, which further confirms the number I had long maintained was their direct frontline combat troop amount: around 200-250k at most. This itself was corroborated by the Pentagon leaks, which listed each individual front number totalling a mere 200-250k or less.

The most dire problem Ukraine faces is not necessarily total "troops"—if you can call them that—but capable assault troops in particular. Rezident UA channel reports:

TCK is not able to fulfill the mobilization plan on minimum terms, and the General Staff urgently needs 200 thousand Ukrainians to restore reserves and another 200-300 thousand to be able to conduct counterattacks.

And now there's even talk that lowering the age to 25 will not do much to staunch the losses, and they are now talking about lowering it straight down to 19, as outlined this week by chairman of the Rada, Dmytro Razumkov:

Recall that Razumkov is arguably the second or third most powerful person in Ukraine and was 'rumored' to be in line to take the presidency when Zelensky should fall. So his words above carry weight.

Beneath the gimmicks, terror diversions, and misdirecting but pointless missile attacks on Crimea, Ukraine continues to retreat as Russia steamrolls forward, breaking through the AFU's lines:

We should technically be entering Rasputitsa now until May or early June, but time is now ticking until Russia could be ready to launch its finishing blow offensive on the AFU. Once that happens and Ukraine starts taking inordinately heavy losses again, Zelensky may be faced with no choice but to initiate the heaviest of mobilizations, which could finally set off the powder keg of society against him. Then the real fireworks could begin this summer.

As a final item, for those interested in more indepth information about the 'ISIS' connections and the possible British MI6 hand in the Moscow attacks, here's a highly informed writeup from Russian frontline correspondent and journalist Marat Khairulin:

Terrorist attack in Moscow:

Tajik trail leads to the British London took out the old skeletons from the closet By Marat Khairulin

The monstrous tragedy at Crocus City Hall has very deep roots and far-reaching consequences. We will return to them more than once. But today, let's talk about where the attack came from this time. And let's try to trace its genesis at least approximately and understand what the main enemy is throwing against us, if not the last forces, then certainly playing the cards that it held until the last moment.

Two days after the bloody attack, there was such a general opinion in the Russian political and intelligence community that the United Kingdom, or rather Mi6, was behind the terrorist attack. It's a very similar handwriting for this organization. It is an indisputable fact that all the major terrorist attacks in Russia of the post-Soviet period from Beslan to Dubrovka had a British trace in one way or another. The terrorist leaders who directed the militants were recruited by Mi6. And in some cases (like Basayev and Khattab) they openly collaborated with Mi6.

In contrast to this opinion, Britain has thrown out an obvious blank in its top media: a certain organization Vilayat Khorosan (a branch of the Islamic State operating in Afghanistan) is behind the terrorist attack. For experts, this approach clearly speaks in favor of the version that in this particular case it has the english trace too. Here we must immediately say that the story is not easy, and it is very difficult to understand it, so today we will outline only some of the features. In its heyday, ISIS was a collection of tribal gangs united primarily on the basis of funding from the United Kingdom. Both the bandit ash-Shishani (a native of Georgia, Batirashvili) and his replacement, Tajik Khalimov, were direct Mi6 mercenaries.

The scope of ISIS's activities, as a proxy for the British, eventually became so serious that it began to interfere with US influence in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the UK had to partially scale back its operations in order not to anger the hegemon. And for a while, all these terrorists in the service of Mi6 went into the shadows, some were even declared dead.

They have started to surface again since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. That's when the ISIS from Khorosan appeared on the scene. But in fact, a number of Pashtun tribal leaders who were supported by the British. They are the only ones who agreed to fight the Taliban. This is the key point. Here we are entering the difficult geopolitics of Central Asia.

Most countries in the region support the Taliban's efforts to pacify Afghanistan, hoping to ensure their security in this way. All except Tajikistan. Who cannot find a common language with the Taliban due to the fact that a number of organizations operate under their wing, which are considered terrorist in Tajikistan. It was on this split that Britain played all these years after the Americans left the region, trying with all its might to prevent the establishment of peace in Asia.

To do this, immediately after the US withdrawal, the recruitment of ethnic Afghan Tajiks began in the Vilayat Khorosan gangs. That is, President Rahmon, who is very sensitive to this issue and considers the Tajiks to be one of the largest divided nations in the world, began to show that ISIS Khorosan is like its own. And by joining the support of the Taliban, he is betraying the interests of the Tajiks. In other words, by pointing a finger at ISIS Khorosan, which, I emphasize, at the moment practically does not exist as an organization (there is only a certain community of tribal gangs), Britain is trying to openly drag us into Asia. This is another attempt by the British to impose problems on us in the rear after Kazakhstan. But this is only part of the game. The second one is no less interesting and more explicit. The political support of the very leader of ISIS, Tajik Khalimov, has always been the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan. It has been declared a terrorist organization in its homeland, and since the early 2000s, guess where its headquarters are located? You guessed it - in London.

The scope of ISIS's activities, as a proxy for the British, eventually became so serious that it began to interfere with US influence in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the UK had to partially scale back its operations in order not to anger the hegemon. And for a while, all these terrorists in the service of Mi6 went into the shadows, some were even declared dead. They have started to surface again since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. That's when the ISIS from Khorosan appeared on the scene. But in fact, a number of Pashtun tribal leaders who were supported by the British. They are the only ones who agreed to fight the Taliban. This is the key point. Here we are entering the difficult geopolitics of Central Asia. Most countries in the region support the Taliban's efforts to pacify Afghanistan, hoping to ensure their security in this way. All except Tajikistan. Who cannot find a common language with the Taliban due to the fact that a number of organizations operate under their wing, which are considered terrorist in Tajikistan. It was on this split that Britain played all these years after the Americans left the region, trying with all its might to prevent the establishment of peace in Asia.

On the eve of the Americans running away from Afghanistan, the British fussed over the Tajiks and in 2018 created the National Alliance of Tajikistan in Warsaw on the basis of this party, where they tried to cram the remnants of all Tajik thugs who survived after the defeat of ISIS. The alliance was headed by such a figure Kabirov, who walked beside with Khalimov all his life. The point of creating a new organization was simple: The West was losing the war in Syria, and it was necessary to establish the traffic of militants from Tajikistan.

NAT served as a single window where Britain contributed money, and Kabirov and Halimov were engaged in the export of Tajik "meat". It must be said here that Khalimov has been nominally considered dead since 2017, but there is also a second opinion that he was simply "removed" into the shadows after the Americans turned on ISIS. However, what does all this have to do with the events at Crocus City Hall? Patience, dear readers. We're almost to the point.

In 2022, with the beginning of the SMO, the so-called Jabhat Al-Shamiya brigade appeared as part of the mercenary corps in Ukraine. Or rather, one of her detachments operating in the Aleppo area. This detachment is led by a field commander (Tajik by nationality), Khalimov's right-hand man. All that is known about him is that his nickname is Shusha, and he is a history teacher by education. There is a version that this is one of the many relatives and cousins of Khalimov. I will not talk about the combat path of these Tajik Basmachi in Ukraine now, there is also something to talk about there.

Jabhat Al-Shamiya was one of the main recipients of British money allocated through the National Alliance of Tajikistan. And here (attention!) a month after the failure of the AFU counteroffensive (perhaps a little later at the turn of October and November), Ilya Ponomarev, the political leader of the new "Vlasovites"(Russian Volunteer Corps), and the political leader of the Tajik terrorists Kabirov met in London. After that, a number of other meetings were recorded in Warsaw. Already at the level of functionaries. There are some interesting details of these meetings, in particular, who supervised them. But more on that next time.

And now we see a coordinated attack in Belgorod by new "Vlasovites"(Russian Volunteer Corps), and in Moscow by Tajik militants. I think the affiliation of the arrested terrorists to the National Alliance of Tajikistan will be confirmed one way or another soon. Why go to NAT? It is known for certain that recruitment (on the terms of payment for roads and lifting) in Russia is carried out by the National Union of Migrants of Tajikistan, a member of the alliance, which is also considered an extremist organization at home and in Russia. This very Alliance ensures the existence of a network of sleeper agents from Tajikistan in Russia. Agents are primarily in the hands of Mi6, because needless to say, this Alliance was created in the 2000s under the direct leadership of the British. In other words, the UK began to put together a united terrorist front against Russia as soon as it became clear that the counteroffensive had failed, and Ukraine was doomed. And, moreover, in its traditional manner, the UK tried to frame or incarcerate the hegemon.

Obviously, the hegemon did not like this, and he tried to warn Moscow. At the same time, trying not to give up your closest ally. Although, to be honest, even from this story it is clear that with such allies, the United States does not need any enemies. But that's not all. There is also an opinion in our political and intelligence community, which is not widely spoken about, but it is there: the British showed blatant amateur activity, and now everyone is frozen in anticipation of a showdown between the allies. And Russia's first serious reaction to the terrorist attack has already followed (although perhaps this is a coincidence): Our representative at the UN, Nebenzia, said that Russia would not recognize Zelensky as legitimate after the expiration of his term of office. And since you are nobody in our eyes, it is possible that immediately after that day, Hitler Zelensky will be demonstratively denationalized. Unless, of course, he is taken out by his british friends before that. In anticipation of this glorious event, let's hope that Budanov (a direct Mi6 agent) and Ponomarev (an even more direct agent) will soon go to the judgment of God. It's time, it's time, the devil is clearly waiting for them in hell.

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