Friday, February 25, 2022

Ukrainian War Morning Update

 Wondering About War,

  It's hard to get good information about the war in Ukraine this morning ("fog of war"), but some themes come to the top.
Russia's cruise missile strikes for the first hour yesterday morning took out air force, anti-aircraft, military shipping and command communications.
Ukrainian central command had been located in the Donetsk/Luhansk region with 60,000-100,000 Ukrainian troops, for an assault. 
Artillery shelling had massively increased for 10 days, which is why Biden could be sure of a "Russian invasion". 
Shelling from Donetsk forces reportedly took out that command center.
Russia hit all of the US bioweapon sites in Ukraine, it seems, as primary targets. 
Russians took Chernobyl and are using the exclusion zone as a military transit route.
Crimean forces moved rapidly up from the peninsula, without Ukrainian military resistance, retaking Dnieper river water supply, which had been cut off since 2014.
Russia controls the air and military communications, but civilian communications and the electric grid have not been taken down.
Ukrainian troops are making civilians targets by giving assault rifles to all takers in cities, and setting up sniper positions in apartment buildings.
Ukrainian and Russian governments are supposedly starting negotiations. That is the best route, of course, negotiated surrender to save civilians.

South Front (yesterday)
​  ​What is currently unfolding now are the direct result of the developments that occurred over the preceding 48 hours following Russia’s formal recognition of the two breakaway republics of the DPR and LPR as sovereign, independent nations.
​  ​When it became apparent that Western sanctions that followed failed to meet the promised level; of “Sanctions from Hell” as promised, the UAF began bombarding the territories east of the LOC in increasing intensity. This military escalation intensified against the backdrop of contradictory statements by Russian Foreign Ministry officials which began at approximately noon on February 22. Russian President Vladimir Putin later delivered a statement unequivocally clarifying the official Russian position regarding the sovereign borders of the two republics and the nature of the new treaties.
​  ​The tempo of bombardment on the part of the UAF then intensified up until the late evening and early morning hours of February 23. By the afternoon of that same day, units of the UAF attempted to breakthrough the front in several locations with the assistance of preparatory artillery bombardment with some success. This occurred prior to Russian military units being able to advance to defensive positions. By the early evening, the Ukrainian forces that has attempted to entrench themselves were dislodged and forced to retreat, apparently with the assistance of advanced Russian military units. Following these events, Ukrainian president Zelensky addressed the nation and enacted the closure of a number of airports as described.

​Moon of Alabama (yesterday): 
​  ​Like me and many other analysts Mearsheimer did not expect that a Russian move into the Ukraine would happen. Why the Russian government finally decided to take that step is not clear to me. I believe that Zelensky's lose talk about acquiring nuclear weapons for the Ukraine was one of the decisive factors. Who told Zelensky to come up with that?
​  ​The Russian operation started with a volley of cruise missiles that destroyed air defense radars and missiles, military airports, ammunition depots and some military harbor. The followed ground attacks by armored forces from Belarus southward, from Russia westward and from Crimea northward. These progressed well though some tanks got destroyed by anti-tank missile fire. The ground moves have air cover and heavy artillery moving up behind them.
​  ​The plan seems to be to a. take Kiev, b. encircle the 60,000 strong Ukrainian force that was preparing to attack Donbas c. take the coast.
​  ​A large fleet of helicopter with Russian parachuter took the Antonov / Hostomel airport some 20 miles from Kiev...
​  T​he nuclear reactors at Chernobyl have been secured by Russian troops...
​  ​The Ukrainian air-defenses, airforce, navy, most large command and control elements and depots have ceased to exist. The moral of its ground troops will be generally low though some of the Nazi battalions may still be willing to fight.
​  ​It is not know yet how far the attack from the north has reached towards Kiev. The attack from Russian mainland is currently fighting around Kharkiv, the Ukraine's second biggest city. The most successful attack was from Crimea as it has progressed significantly. The canal which provides water to Crimea and had since 2014 been blocked by the Ukraine has been liberated. Dnieper water is again flowing to the island.

​Pepe Escobar, via Saker blog (yesterday)
​  ​The (nuclear) straw that (nearly) broke the Bear’s back – and forced its paws to pounce – was Zelensky the Comedian, back from the Russophobia-drenched Munich Security Conference where he was hailed like a Messiah, saying that the 1994 Budapest memorandum should be revised and Ukraine should be nuclear-rearmed​.​
That would be the equivalent of a nuclear Mexico south of the Hegemon.
​  ​Putin immediately turned Responsibility to Protect (R2P) upside down: an American concept invented to launch wars in MENA (remember Libya?) was retrofitted to stop a slow-motion genocide in Donbass.
​  ​First came the recognition of the Baby Twins – Putin’s most important foreign policy decision since going to Syria in 2015. That was the preamble for the next game-changer: a “special military operation (…) aimed at demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine”, as Putin defined it.
​  ​Up to the last minute, the Kremlin was trying to rely on diplomacy, explaining to Kiev the necessary imperatives to prevent heavy metal thunder: recognition of Crimea as Russian; abandon any plans to join NATO; negotiate directly with the Baby Twins – an anathema for the Americans since 2015; finally, demilitarize and declare Ukraine as neutral.
​   ​Kiev’s handlers, predictably, would never accept the package – as they didn’t accept the Master Package that really matters: the Russian demand for “indivisible security”.
​  ​The sequence, then, became inevitable. In a flash, all Ukrainian forces between the so-called line of contact and the original borders of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts were boxed in as the occupying force of territories of two Russian allies that Moscow had just sworn to protect.
​  ​So it was Get Out – Or Else. “Or else” came as rolling thunder: the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense were not bluffing. Timed to the end of Putin’s speech announcing the operation, the Russians decapitated with precision missiles everything that mattered in terms of the Ukrainian military in just one hour: Air Force, Navy, airfields, bridges, command and control centers, the whole Turkish Bayraktar drone fleet.
​  ​And it was not only Russian raw power. It was the artillery of one of the Baby Twins, the DPR, that hit the HQ of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donbass, which actually housed the entire Ukrainian military command. This means that the Ukrainian General Staff instantly lost control of all its troops.

​Also from the Saker: The best detailed update I found last night, and not yet updated today.
The collapse of Banderastan: tomorrow will be a crucial day

South Front is the best news source I find this morning, not just this, but other features on their home page:

From South Front: Mariupol is where the large Ukrainian military contingent (including Azov battalion) is bottled-up by Russian forces, unable to break out.
​  ​Ukrainian servicemen are suffering casualties and are asking for humanitarian corridors to be opened for withdrawal. According to Eduard Baturin, the official representative of the DPR People’s Militia, the Command has fled.
​  ​DPR units and Russian troops also suffer losses. There are captives on both sides.
​  ​The Ukrainian army is preparing to defend Mariupol. AFU(armed forces Ukraine)​ military set up firing positions inside the city blocks.  
Ukrainian army shells hail from residential areas of the city.

​From yesterday morning:
​  Ukrainian military seems to be holding up somewhat in the east, but its southern front seems not to have put up much resistance.
The Russian military was able to break out from the Crimean isthmus and then march to the Dnieper river at Nova Kakhovka in only half a day.

​US bioweapons labs in over 25 countries, including Ukraine. There are 16 reported US biolab sites in Ukraine on a map from a deleted link. 
Most correspond to early missile strikes from Russia.
Stories like this are being scrubbed from the net when Ukraine-specific. This probably won't last, either.​

Communications Monitor


  1. Just so's ye know, I find that your blog gives me, in short form, the vital portion of the kind of info I used to go to TAE for. If anyone thinks that I've come back 3 weeks or months from now, they're wrong. My social experiment there is done. It was valuable but often at a painful price.

    Keep up the good work, doc. Don't hesitate to contact me if somehow I can be useful to you, if only in the form of encouragement.

    Robin Morrison known at TAE as boscohorowitz.

    1. Thanks Robin,
      The new Substack version of the blog won't be subject to the whims of Google, but I'll keep both going while Google permits.
      The Substack is more user friendly. Easy to subscribe.
      I intend to keep my work free to the public.

    2. I noticed, Mr. Postmaster (sp)