Military situation on the ground
The Ukies are losing, badly. All the reports from Novorussian sources agree that the Ukie forces are either surrounded or in full retreat. But Ukies sources also confirm this. In Kiev, angry demonstrations by nationalists accuse the military high command of minimizing the real casualty figures, of having abandoned the forces fighting in the Donbass. Even Oleg Liashko has stated that the Ukie forces have been "betrayed". Demonstrations have taken place in from of the Ukie General Staff which many Right Sector protesters which are demanding the creation of a "generals battalion" which would be formed of only generals who would be sent to fight personally (an excellent idea, which I fully approve of!). Others are also demanding the resignation of the Ukie Minister of Defense. Ukrainian woman are regularly stopping military convoys on the roads, often by standing or lying down in front of trucks, to prevent their men from being sent to death. Entire Ukie battalions are deserting from the front and Special Forces are sent to stop them. Apparently, the Ukie police is afraid to arrest the soldiers for desertion because of their large numbers. The city of Mariupol is now surrounded and the local political elites and SBU personnel have fled. Poroshenko cancelled his trip to Turkey and gathered his Security Council. Kolomoiski, who controls the southwestern Ukraine, did the same thing with his own Security Council (yes, since he has his own army, is also has his own security council). Tymoshenko wants the introduction of full martial law. The male population up to 60 is now conscripted (though not called up as far as I know). Iatseniuk and Poroshenko have both demanded that NATO intervene and accept the Ukraine as some special ally. In other words, all the signs are of total complete and utter panic in Kiev.
Russia: Putin met with Poroshenko and the EU leaders and delivered them a very simple yet stark message: "don't talk to us, we are not a party to the conflict - talk to the Novorussians". By the way, the Kremlin now openly speaks of "Novorussian" and "Novorussian forces". Furthermore, the Russians are also officially sending in a second aid convoy and they have announced that this will not be the only one. In the UN Security Council the Russian Representative, Vitalii Churkin, has dared the Ukie Rep to explain where the recording of the conversations between the Kiev ATC and MH17 were hidden and why. With the Fall rapidly arriving, the EU has pushed Kiev to renew gas negotiations which the Russians have declared "deadlocked". By all accounts, the "Voentorg" (a Russian contraction meaning "Military Trade", which was the name for the Soviet era building were military gear could be purchased) between Russia and Novorussia has further increased and the Novorussian are now getting more men, including specialists, and more equipment.
Contrary to the predictions of the Putin bashing crowd, the replacement of Strelkov by Zakharchenko was not followed by any "sellout" of Novorussia. Quite to the contrary, as soon as Zakharchenko took power the Novorussians went on a general offensive. As for Strelkov himself, he is apparently in good health and is supposed to make a public appearance today in Crimea. So all that talk about Putin backstabbing Novorussia, him having some kind of deal with Obama, about Strelkov having been eliminated by Putin's Spetsnaz and all the rest of the doom and gloom propaganda of the Putin haters has now clearly shown to be absolute rubbish. Clearly, some Putin bashers are paid by Russian oligarchs, others are just to dull to understand the sophisticated policy of the Kremlin in the Ukraine. Whatever may be the case, these shrills are now completely discredited by fact and forced to walk away in shame.
Putin's latest move is nothing short of brilliant. Think of it: the mothers and wives of Ukie servicemen are demanding that their men be returned to them, the regime in Kiev ignores them, and Putin steps in to agree with them and asks the Novorussians to open humanitarian corridors to allow them to safely leave and go back home. Thus, he shows more concern for the Ukies than the Ukie regime, he encourages the desertion of Ukie soliders, he minimizes the casualties on all sides, and he deals another death-blow to Ukie morale. Best of all, he achieves all this by a simple statement written in such a way that nobody can possibly condemn him for anything. As for the Novorussians, Zakharchenko has already agreed, but on the condition that the Ukies leave behind all their heavy weapons and the ammo for it. Perfect. Needless to say, the Ukie high command has rejected the offer and ordered the surrounded units to break out guns blazing. Just imagine how that response feels to the relatives of those stuck in the various "cauldrons"!
The EU: the EU is totally stuck. Apparently, the chaos in Banderastan combined with the Russian sanctions and the gas crisis is gradually having an effect in the dull brains of the Eurobureaucrats who are coming to realize that they have been at least as stupid as the Ukies and that the US has used them for their own imperial goals. "Fuck the EU" indeed. Badly. The best these hapless bureaucrats could do is to go to Minsk and agree to negotiate with Russia the terms under which the Ukraine would ratify the Agreement with the EU. Exactly that which Russia had been demanding from Day 1 and which the EU had always been contemptuously rejecting with the arrogant "none of your business" reply. Now Ashton and a few others had to eat humble pie and kindly ask the Russian to come and talk to them.
The US: Poor Uncle Sam is really looking pathetic, foolish and confused. The very best the USA can do is to accuse Russia of invading the Ukraine and only threaten more sanctions as Obama has already admitted that the US has no military option in the Ukraine. To measure the degree of disarray amongst the US Neocons I will just quote from an article written recently by Herbert E. Meyer, former Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council during the Reagan Administration, for American Thinker and modestly entitled "How to Solve the Putin Problem". Here is what this genius came up with:
Since subtlety doesn’t work with Russians, the president and his European counterparts should also make absolutely clear that we have no interest whatever in how these people (the Russian oligarchs) solve their Putin problem. If they can talk good old Vladimir into leaving the Kremlin with full military honors and a 21-gun salute -- that would be fine with us. If Putin is too too stubborn to acknowledge that his career is over, and the only way to get him out of the Kremlin is feet-first, with a bullet hole in the back of his head -- that would also be okay with us.I don't know if Mr. Meyer thinks that Mrs Nuland delivering cookies on the Maidan was the subtlety the Russian did not appreciate or understand, or if his own article is an expression of US subtlety, but he clearly has "Pat Robertson moment" (the latter wanted the US to kill Hugo Chavez) which just proves that the AngloZionists don't have a diplomacy as such and that magical thinking is a key coping mechanism when that lack of diplomacy becomes obvious.
Nor would we object to a bit of poetic justice.... For instance, if the next time Putin’s flying back to Moscow from yet another visit with his good friends in Cuba, or Venezuela, or Iran, his airplane gets blasted out of the sky by some murky para-military group that somehow, inexplicably, got its hands on a surface-to-air missile
Where do we go from here?
It' hard to tell. I think that Oleg Tsarev is right when he says that as soon as the Ukie regime begins collapsing the West will suddenly ask for negotiations. Zakharchenko in his crucial press conference has clearly indicated that options such as federalization or decentralization are off the table and that nothing short of full independence will do. Maybe. Maybe not. There are plenty of historical examples which show that separatist movements eventually settled for less, often wisely so. But in this case, we are dealing with several intertwined problems:
a) Geographical: the Ukraine is an artificial country
b) Political: internally the regime in Kiev is Nazi
c) Geo-strategic: externally the regime in Kiev is a russophobic US puppet
d) Economic: the Ukraine is economically dead
All these factors clearly point to the same conclusion: the Ukraine needs to be broken-up. This might happen catastrophically - the East going to Novorussia, the South to Kolomoiski, the Center to Poroshenko and the West breaking off completely. There are some signs that this is already gradually happening. Furthermore, this is all made worse by the undeniable fact that the Ukraine is already a failed state and that a seizable minority of the Ukrainian population if formed of truly rabid nationalists. So right now things don't look too good for any negotiated solution. Novorussia probably has the potential to rebuild and to become a more or less livable, stable place: most of its industry is in ruins, but it's "human capital", it's people, are very bright and hard working and its political leaders clearly capable people. But short of some kind of miracle, the rest of the Ukraine is probably going to slouch to towards the kind of mess the USA is so good at leaving behind in places like Libya or Iraq. Maybe not, maybe the Europeans will finally grow a spine and tell the US to stay out and then try to solve this ugly mess with Russia. I am not holding my breath, not as long as the current AngloZionist nomenklatura is in power in the EU.
One thing could possibly change this downward spiral: a regime change in Kiev. I don't mean one replacing Poroshenko by Liashko or Iarosh, but an anti-Nazi insurrection or coup. I will be honest with you, with kind of terror the SBU and the oligarchs are capable of meting out to the general public, this is not very likely. But who knows what might happen on a wave of popular discontent? If the current freaks could be kicked out by halfway sane people and a process of denazification initiated, then maybe something could still be salvaged? Again, I am not very hopeful. But let's stick to current events.
I would say that things look better right now than ever before. This is far, far from over, and many things could go wrong but at least at this moment in time things look pretty good. Short of a sudden reversal, the cities of Lugansk and Donetsk are probably going to be freed from most of the shelling within 10-14 days. Currently, the Novorussians control the entire border between Russia and Novorussia, which makes the Voentorg much easier. Zakharchenko and his men seem to be making an excellent job and rumor has it that Strelkov will be back soon in some special capacity. The Novorussian leadership and the Kremlin are clearly on the same wavelength and there is no reason to suspect an over Russian military intervention. I am confident that the Black Sea Fleet will do what is needed to keep the Novorussian coast safe so as long as the Ukies are not able to mount a surprise attack from the North, Mariupol will probably fall very soon. There are increasing reports of partisan movements in Zaporozhie and that, if true, is something very interesting which might begin to affect other areas and cities such as Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk. I still don't see Novorussian tanks headed for Kiev, but an operational success seems to be in the making right at this moment in time.
I am by character, education and trade a rather cautious person, but today I am cautiously optimistic, at least for Novorussia.
Post Scriptum: this just in from a good friend:
- Volnovakha taken by Novorossiya Armed Forces (NAF); South-Western Cauldron closed off.
- Yalta (near Mariupol) taken, NAF is now 12 km away from Mariupol.
- Mariupol - Zaporozhye (Berdyansk) road closed off by NAF. Virtually all settlements around Mariupol appear to be taken by NAF. Mariupol Cauldron closed off.
- Fighting has crossed the border into Zaporozhye. Saboteur-Reconnaissance Groups (SRG) and guerrillas active inside Zaporozhye’s borders.
- Ukrainian punitive forces surrendering in the many cauldrons, the rate of surrenders is picking up pace.
- NAF is pushing outward toward Yasinovataya, Maryinka, Karlovka, Krasnogorovka (west of Donetsk)
AND, the BIGGEST (albeit not fully confirmed) NEWS: Donetsk Airport taken by NAF today.
- Lutugino partially controlled by the Militia, very heavy urban combat there, although Rodakovo was lost (plans to retake it shortly).
- Lyashko appears to be still trapped in Severodonetsk, which is besieged by Mozgovoi’s Brigade (I have no further information since a couple of days ago).
- LPR has encircled Shchastye and Metallist and is advancing on the Ukrainian positions there, as well as in the north-eastern direction (Stanitsa Luganskaya, which still remains contested).
- NAF continues to advance on Deblatsevo, taking checkpoints on the outskirts of the city.
- LPR is planning some major advances in the next few days, hopefully to clean up most of the remaining cauldrons.
PPS: and this from Russia Today:
Poland has refused overflight rights to the plane of Russia’s defense minister, Sergey Shoigu, who was on his way from Slovakia, RIA Novosti’s correspondent reported. The plane has landed in Bratislava.
The minister was returning from the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Slovakian national uprising that took place in the town of Banská Bystrica.
However, Poland banned entrance into its airspace for the Tu-154 plane, according to a RIA Novosti correspondent who was on board, citing one of the crewmembers.
The plane had to take a U-turn and landed in Bratislava an hour later.
Negotiations are being held on the matter at the moment. All the passengers are now on board the plane.
Comment: rather petty and infantile behavior in my opinion. This really begs the question of what the Poles think that they will achieve with this other than the dubious honor of "servicing" Uncle Sam once more (those who follow Polish politics will know what I mean).