Russian MoD Says It Conducted the Largest Diversionary Operation in History

60% of forces devoted to a feint, and if you believe that there's a Brooklyn bridge on sale...

Gaslighting: spokesmen for the military whose mantra is “POSITIVE CORRELATION OF FORCES” are trying to tell you that going against their every manual and massively diluting their concentrations of forces was actually a good call

On February 15 the Russian Ministry of Defense announced it had started withdrawing troops from the Russian-Ukrainian border into the interior.

Then on February 24 Russian troops started pouring across the border into Ukraine quickly reaching Kiev outskirts.

It’s safe to say the staged “withdrawal” was a feint, as AE at the time said it was.

4 weeks into the war the MoD is now saying that its operations against Kiev, Kharkov and Nikolayev were also all feints. Diversionary operations to tie up the Ukrainian military away from the only operation that actually matters to the MoD, the one in the Donbass.

Of the around 100 BTG that Russia assembled for the campaign at least 7 are tied up on the Nikolayev front (in the south beyond the lower Dnieper), some 10 are tied up around Kharkov, 50 are involved in the Kiev operation of which 40 directly and another 10 by protecting its southern flank around Sumy.

This leaves just a little over 30 Russian BTGs fighting in Donbass backed by 20 BTG equivalents by Donetsk and Lugansk.

So the Russian MoD is saying that of the available 120 coalition BTGs just 40% were assigned to the only theater that actually matters to Russia, and nearly 60% of the coalition BTGs were assigned to diversionary feints of secondary importance.

This is of course an absurdity every bit as brazen as the February 15 withdrawal announcement.

Nobody sends out 60% of their force on a mission to do nothing more than tie down enemy forces. The proposition is absurd.

The whole point of diversions is that they should dilute enemy focus much more than your own. But when fully 60% of your force is sent on a “diversion” that is extremely difficult to accomplish. (70% if just Russian forces are counted.)

On the contrary, by advancing into northern and southwestern Ukraine the Russian military has engaged many Ukrainian units that would otherwise not be in the fight, while *massively* diluting its own mass.

Had Russia really been primarily concerned with preventing Ukraine from reinforcing its positions in Donbass then sending out 7 of its 11 armies on a mission to secondary theaters would be the very last thing it ever did. It would have instead used them to encircle the Ukrainian forces in Donbass thus making it *physically impossible* for Ukraine to reinforce them.

Encircling them would have also served to cut their supply (which they continue to receive via civilian cars) and their avenue of retreat. Thus making it possible to capture them in bulk, rather than having to repeatedly fight the same units again as they continuously fall back.

Summary of MoD briefing:

Russia said it was refocusing its month-long military offensive in Ukraine on the country’s eastern Donbas region, in comments that suggested Moscow could scale back attacks in other parts of the country.

Speaking at a defence ministry briefing in Moscow on Friday, Sergei Rudskoy, a high-ranking official in the Russian army, said what the Kremlin has labelled a “special operation” in Ukraine was entering a new phase designed to fully “liberate” Donbas.

He described the targeting of other cities, including the capital Kyiv, as part of a strategy to distract the Ukrainian army.

“The main aims of the first phase of the operation have been fulfilled,” said Rudskoy, head of the Russian army’s main operations directorate of the general staff. “The military capacities of Ukraine’s armed forces have been significantly decreased, which allows efforts to be focused on achieving our main aim: liberating Donbas.”

Russian troops had succeeded in blocking Kyiv, as well as Kharkiv [actually Kiev and Kharkov aren’t blockaded], Chernihiv and Sumy in the north-east, and Mykolayiv in the south-west, he said, as well as taking control of parts of the south. Doing so had distracted the Ukrainian army and limited its ability to respond in Donbas.

Rudskoy said that Moscow’s goal was always to “liberate” Donbas and it chose to target Ukrainian military capacities across the country first.

“We never planned to storm them,” Rudskoy said in reference to Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy and other besieged towns. [No, but the hope was that Kiev would unravel by itself. Failing that the plan was to cut it off from the rest of the country which hasn’t happened.]

Although Russia “does not exclude the possibility” of still targeting these cities, “our forces and resources will be focused on their main aim — the complete liberation of the Donbas”, he added.

It isn’t surprising that the spokesman for the Russian MoD should offer up this cringe. That’s his job.

What is more surprising is that there are people whose identity is so tied up in the Russians as infallible 5D gods that they will convince themselves this transparent goalpost moving is actually true.

Far more Russian BTGs were tied up in the Kiev operation than in the Donbass operation because it is on the success of the former that the Russian Plan A hinged. It was hoped Zelensky would flee leading to EuroKiev’s swift collapse (perhaps aided by Russian sleeper agents in the city). Failing that it was hoped Kiev could at least be swiftly quarantined from the rest of the country. Neither happened.

Let’s not allow revisionism to creep in. The campaign was launched as a regime-change operation. Donbass is a means to an end, not the prize

So of course the Russian MoD is now eager to draw attention to Donbass where things have gone reasonably well, claiming this had always been the central theater for Russia. It plainly wasn’t, albeit it should have been as AE repeatedly stated. Moreover had it actually been treated as the primary theater from the start the victory there could have been much swifter and dramatic.

It is good (for Russia) that MoD finally admitted it is Ukraine’s military center of gravity in the Donbass that should be the primary objective and henceforth will be. The lie lies in the assertion it had been such all along.

Defeating the enemy military in the field and *only then* racing off for the enemy capital is military 101. It is how the Germans won in the Franco-Prussian War 1870-71 and the Battle of France 1940. The reverse is attempted only when the enemy military is declining a decisive battle as was the case in Napoleon’s 1812 march on Moscow and only to force such a battle.

The Russians instead explored the possibility they could have a victory without defeating the Ukrainian military first. Primarily in order to minimize Ukrainian dead since the whole purpose of the war for the Russians is to set the stage for the re-assimilation of Ukraine which every drop of blood that is shed makes less likely to succeed. However, having tried this and failed the Russians are left maldeployed and spread thin without the correlation of forces in the Donbass necessary for a swift and dramatic WW2-style encirclement victory.

15 days ago AE wrote that “Russia Is Trying to Advance Along Too Many Axes at Once and It’s Showing”. Now the Russian MoD by saying that henceforth the two Donbass axes will be prioritized far ahead of others has also said as much. In hindsight trying to advance everywhere at once was a bad call.

We amateurs can be excused for needing the benefit of hindsight to see that a campaign along 6 axes would be suboptimal, but can the Russian military planners — who are after all professionals with decades in the field and with access to far more information than us — also be excused?

What caused them to commit this mistake? Own overconfidence, or pressure from the political leadership above them?

Seeing that Russia was going to attempt a campaign along such an extended front — as if trying to swallow Ukraine all at once — caused raised eyebrows on my part. However, I assumed there was an explanation for that and that Russian military planners knew something I didn’t. I speculated that perhaps the guided munitions revolution had made the dilution of forces across half a dozen axes that would have been such a glaring blunder in WW2 a no-brainer in 2022. It turned out that wasn’t the case and that such an overambitious and non-phased plan wasn’t based on military-technical assumptions at all but on political ones. Namely that Ukraine was such a hollow state (“404” as it is disparagingly referred to) that racing straight for the capital was worth a try and made every sense. It didn’t.

The MoD actually hugely downplayed the extent of the territory it has captured in NE Ukraine, in the Kiev operation. Is it so it can more credibly claim that was never its focus?

The MoD has also updated its losses tally to 1,351 dead and 3,825 wounded. This does not include Rosgvardia and losses by Donetsk and Lugansk. Nor does the MoD have an incentive to release the most current figure as opposed to a somewhat outdated one.

  1. Peter says

    Gosh!!! What is your problem?!

    1. Wayne Gabler says

      Move to a brothel in Nevada, if you work weekends you will make even more.

  2. guest says

    The real reason could be more sinister than mere military miscalculation. Putin and Crew were suckered into this war, and they only realized(were willing to believe) it at the end of the first week.

    Day 33. Harkov(Brest, the fortress) and Mariupol(the Alamo) are still standing.

    >>>”Russia doesn’t recognize a government that conducts a genocide of the population, &c, etc.”
    Now that is rich. Lavrov learned a thing or two from NATO diplomats.
    National Socialist China does exactly that, on a much larger scale than Burisma Nazis in Ukraine could ever imagine. Brother Putin has no objection whatsoever to the Nazis and nazi-ism in China, he only wants to kill the Nazis in Ukraine who have no chance of implementing National Socialist policies in Ukraine. Why the Russian Army of Liberation hasn’t (at least) attacked the offices of the chief-nazi Burisma corporation ?

    In 1944 Stalin’s Red Horde liberated Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Konigsberg from the Nazis, from their own governments and from the burden of having to decide under what form of government should they live. How did they enjoy liberty and freedom ?
    Cultural Mother Russians of the Rus tribe migrated (like carpet beggers) to these Baltic States and instead of assimilating, blending in, they had the attitude that it is now their country, merely because they blessed the land with their presence. Just like the Scotts who migrated to Northern Irish land and declared that it was now part of Mother England(some god’s gift to mankind). Cultural Mother Russian immigrants in Luhansk and Donetsk have similar conqueror/occupier attitude.

    In 1990 and 1991, when Mother Russia could no longer uphold the liberty and freedom of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Rumania, the people of these countries were very happy and eager to give up their liberty, this gift from Mother Russia, and try something different. Today the people of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Rumania thank their lucky stars for ending up in NATO —whatever the bad reason for joining may have been. The actions of Russia in March is clear proof to them that their fears were justified.

    In 1992-3-4-5 what other parts of Mother Russia would have voted for independence from the Moscow government if they had been given a chance to vote ? (The Chechens tried, and they got two wars)

    1. Ultrafart the Brave says

      Today the people of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Rumania thank their lucky stars for ending up in NATO —whatever the bad reason for joining may have been.

      They may not be so tickled when the Globalists unfold their Great Reset across the land, after which they “will all own nothing, and they will be happy”.

      1. Helga Weber says

        Besides they will find out that their country will only get plundered and 99% of its people will stay poor.

      2. guest says

        In February Anti-Nazi Putin and National Socialist Xi signed this statement:

        “The Russian side confirms its readiness to continue working on the China-proposed Global Development Initiative, including participation in the activities of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative under the UN auspices. In order to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the sides call on the international community to take practical steps in key areas of cooperation such as poverty reduction, food security, vaccines and epidemics control, financing for development, climate change, sustainable development, including green development, industrialization, digital economy, and infrastructure connectivity.”

        “The Russian side reaffirms its support for the One-China principle, confirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and opposes any forms of independence of Taiwan.”

        What does it mean ? Is it a mis-translation ?

        1. Ultrafart the Brave says

          “In order to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development…”

          What does it mean ? Is it a mis-translation?

          Thanks for this find – I’d like to understand what this means too.

          FWIW Putin has been pretty scathing in addressing the World Economic Forum, telling them that their “Great Reset” is dead (or words to that effect).

          Perhaps the Russian and Chinese interpretation of the 2030 Agenda differs to that of f*cking psycopaths like Klaus Schwab?

          So much of what comes out of the World Economic Forum is doublespeak – they frame everything as being for our “benefit”, when the reality is the exact opposite.

    2. Kolokol says

      You are aware that the Estonian Nazis had their own death camps and that, at least in my view, they were the mirror image of Azov. So, good on Stalin but a pity about the occupation. When they arrested my father for the crime of listening to the BBC
      (It was once alt media) and after he was crushed between two coal cars they threw him out into the street to die. After being brought to health by a Russian Estonian the Estonian Nazis tried to recapture him, it was a German Nazi that put a stop to that commenting that the Estonian Nazis were worse than us.

  3. SteveK9 says

    The goal I would say is to destroy the Ukrainian Army and its military equipment. The cities don’t really matter in the military sense, although they do if you care about human beings. As long as you keep engaging the enemy military and you can kill (a lot) more of them than they kill of your military, and you destroy their equipment and supplies … well, you win.

  4. Ultrafart the Brave says

    The Russians instead explored the possibility they could have a victory without defeating the Ukrainian military first. Primarily in order to minimize Ukrainian dead since the whole purpose of the war for the Russians is to set the stage for the re-assimilation of Ukraine which every drop of blood that is shed makes less likely to succeed.

    Sounds like a worthy ambition. Sort of like the diametric opposite of the Empire’s approach to bringing “freedom and democracy” by killing everyone and destroying everything.

    With hindsight trying to advance everywhere at once was a bad call.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing to have. Given the stakes and family connections, it was probably worth a shot.

    Now on to Plan B.

    1. Russell Merritt says

      We, the US learned our foreign invasion tactics from the Spanish conquistadors. We bring the Muslims to Christ at the point of B-52 bomber. Our motto is kill them all and let God sort them out, the problem with that is that we don’t believe in God.

    2. Brent says

      My take is that the Ukrainian military is largely defeated to the point where the Russians can focus their efforts on the primary mission. The Donbass region. They were under attack from the Ukraine army don’t you know. Part of the non information that the media doesn’t mention.
      Western media lies…
      Russian owns the battlefield. They have the air covered and their isn’t a damn thing that NATO or Ukraine can do about it.

  5. Dale says

    AE spot-on on Covid hysteria. But tying itself in knots on Ukraine.

  6. ken says

    So when does AE expect the Ukrainian forces to be dictating terms in Moscow for Russia’s surrender? Asking for a friend…

    The problem the Western media have is the lack of Shock and Awe like the Americans did in all their invasions. We got live news from Iraq when American pilots were bombing the folks in Baghdad. Americans were oooing and ahhing and strutting with their chests out watching the killing of people in a nation with very little defense capabilities. We had one recently passed away official that said it was all worth it.

    Personally I could care less what happens in Ukraine. I really don’t care if the nukes fly. After watching Americans and the West in general grovel at the feet of medical and government tyranny a humanity reset is in order. I only sympathize for the children the parents are lining up for the kill shots or enlistments or incineration where death and suffering will be the result of all three.

    When parents allow governments to dictate death to their innocent children then it’s time to begin a new civilization of people with backbones.

    1. 123abc says

      COULDN’T care less, not COULD care less, FFS!

  7. Kolokol says

    Rutskoy is saying the same thing Putin has said. And at least as far as Kiev is concerned more than one credible analyst says that Kiev is a diversion.

  8. Kolokol says

    So when did the Russians become aware of the plans to invade the Donbass, the plans offered up by Basurin, the plans with an invasion date of the 28th? Did the Russians analyze and believe them? Did it happen between the 15th and the 24th?

  9. XSFRGR says

    Once again Russia will employ half measures, and allow this to drag out until it destroys Russia. Ukraine isn’t Syria, and allowing the Ukies to retain even a semblance of military, and political order will result in the eventual defeat of Russia.
    Putin needs to understand that he is dealing with the Children of Satan (John 8:44), and this battle is for the soul of the last great White nation on earth, Russia. If Putin isn’t up to the task of concluding this engagement with a final victory then Putin should surrender now, and save many lives, and much treasure.

    America’s god is Satan, and Satan never rests; never sleeps. So what will be the fate of half measures in this battle?

    New King James Version
    But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.

    Exodus 34:15
    Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you, and you will eat their sacrifices.

    Exodus 34:16
    And when you take some of their daughters as brides for your sons, their daughters will prostitute themselves to their gods and cause your sons to do the same.

  10. JSS says

    If whatever anti Empire is calling out in this article is the biggest example of the Russians lying that AE can come up with than actually we can say that the Russians are way more honest than Kiev or the US. Now that AE has totally owned the Russians by showing that maybe Moscow really did want to take Kiev early on I breathlessly await AEs debunking of all the crap coming from the Ukrainians about the ghost of Kiev, snake island, the hoax about the Russians trying to cause a nuclear meltdown, the 70,000 Russian casualties etc.

    For real though is AEs borderline pro Ukrainian take on the war just because Marko really doesn’t like Saker and Bernard from MoA or what? I mean I agree that the Russian MoD is capable of exaggerating or lying but even if every word of this article is true it’s still almost nothing compared to the lies from the Ukrainians and their handlers.

  11. peterinanz says

    Very good article.
    Getting harder and harder to see some objectivity in all this propaganda around.
    Compliments, and good luck.

  12. Kolokol says

    Alexander’s take, bonus: he reads out the Rutskoy text since it’s so hard to find online.

    Russian General Staff Claims Ukraine Army in Donbass Cut off and Being Destroyed

  13. edwardi says

    I am content not to 2nd guess Putin or his generals, and hope for the best. If I had a worry it would be about the Polish border and the US concocting something for that. Perhaps though that recent evaporation of a NATO base gave them a good heads up, hope they paid attention. The table is turning, as it very much needs to.

  14. ken says

    The Moron in charge of the US just called Putin a Butcher. That is truly rich coming from America the invader/bomber of seven or more nations. two million civilians in Viet Nam alone. One can only guess of the lives lost in Americas war on terror for the 9-11 destruction derby. America invaded or bombed everyone except the nation where most the alleged terrorist were from. Invaded Afghanistan to get OBL and then lied about his death. OBL died of renal failure not from the clownish US Seals.

    The US is egging Russia on by insulting their leader. Notice Putin has not mentioned Biden’s mental or physical condition. He has trouble controlling his bowel movements both the anus and the pie hole.

    If a hyper-sonic missile hits the beltway,,, no tears of loss from me. Biden and Lindsey Graham and the rest of the neo nazi cons need removed from office. Not only are they f-in jerks,,, they are a direct threat to the people of the US.

    1. Ultrafart the Brave says

      You forgot to mention North Korea.

      Butchers par excellence.

  15. les online says

    Must be a piss-off when generals dont conduct their Wars the way you think they should. No War is a re-run of the others. They dont come pre-packaged like the ones shown at the movies.

  16. Eric the Red says

    Encircling them would have also served to cut their supply (which they continue to receive via civilian cars) and their avenue of retreat.”

    That’s a great line, probably the money quote that proves everything else you say is, mmmm, shall we say wishful thinking. Any army needs tons of materiel delivered to it on a day-by-day basis, including food, ammo, medical supplies, and especially fuel. The amounts required cannot even begin to be carried by random cars floating up the highway past ostensibly clueless Russian troops. And the last one, fuel, cannot be carried at all.

    Your assumptions here are meant to be a joke, right? It rivals the one I heard on another social media platform, that insisted Russian vehicles were bogged down in mud, the assumption being that despite their long history of warfare, Russia somehow suddenly forgot how to transport their own army through their own territory of 100’s of muddy miles.

    Now that you’ve given me a great laugh for today, I’ll think I’ll go celebrate the Russians successfully beating the NWO and their Empire of Lies. BTW, at this point, Russia has already won, since the Ukrainian military is out of material and encircled, otherwise very dead.

  17. P.S. says

    Good article. I AM disappointed with the Russian performance. Heads should roll.

  18. Godfree Roberts says

    A colonel friend observed that 200,000 Russian troops, without air cover, defeated 600,000 NATO-trained, armed, equipped, and directed Ukrainian troops in two weeks.

    He claims that claims that this campaign will be studied for a century for its innovative boldness and lack of civilian casualties.

    1. TZVI says

      “Defeated” is a big word. The war has not been won yet. I am not impressed with the overall operational plan.

      If Russia had used its missiles IN THE BEGINNING /air force to take out all air force bases/ civilian runways, take out command and control, Fuel Depots, etc. then the “operation” (WAR) would have been easier for Russia.

      Internal polling in Ukraine said only 10% would enlist to go to the front lines, but still that is many millions of people ( up to 4.3 million) that -may or may not- fight in some form or another, 200K troops is woefully understaffed for such a large undertaking.

      Now Russia says it will concentrate on the Donbass, I suppose this means funneling more troops for that area, while trying to keep pressure on Kiev. If they do fully take the Donbass, in addition to Mariupol ( almost taken) and their land bridge to Crimea that is significant development. But without a political of military end to the “operation” ( WAR) this can go on for quite some time.

      Despite Marko’s Previous chiding and insults at people who said Russia wont go beyond the DPR/ LPR, I said then ( before the invasion) they would, and could expect up to 25% losses, that was presuming a “quick operation” ( WAR) lasting a month or two. Now it appears it may extend for quite some time, neither the military nor political objectives have been met (yet), and we in the middle of month 2.

      Keeping in mind, the U.S.A. victories in the first Iraqi war ( 90-91) took months of preparation and a skillful areal campaign ( about 5 weeks) before troops moved in. It was also a much larger coalition of troops. Here the situation is different, where ( at least in the beginning) Russia moved in with ground forces and conducted air attacks ( limited at first to the actual Ukrainian air force and air defense systems), while attempting to minimize civillian loses.

      The public declarations of focusing on the DPR/ LPR ( aside from Southern Ukraine) may be a ruse ( or “maskirova”), however I doubt that. It seems the Russians are attempting to seize areas with higher concentrations of Russian speakers, and hold that territory. By now the leadership of Russia must realize the hardened attitudes and NATO assistance to the Ukraine make taking all or most of Ukraine very difficult, especaily when Russia has a need to keep the bulk of their forces on front where NATO is constantly adding personnel and equipment.

      1. Dale says

        What is the “overall operational plan” to suggest that the plan isn’t going to plan, per Russia ?

        1. TZVI says

          Operational Plan: chaos. 🙂 There, are you happy? ( Just kidding).

          The ONLY thing they told us was they were going to De-Nazify and dis-Arm Ukraine and liberate the Donbass…one sunk Amphibious Landing craft, 7 Generals, thousands of casualties, Some Helicopters and Planes lost as well as many older tanks ( mostly T-72’s) Tiger Transports etc. THIS IS WAR MAN GET USED TO IT, NO MATTER WHAT SIDE YOU CHOSE to support THEY WILL FUDGE UP at least occasionally…that is the usual way of these things.

          You tell me they are not on “plan B” because plan A ( take OR Surround Kiev) is most likely not a head fake…in fact they are still advancing in some areas outside of of Kiev, Just not in most areas…Donbass Still not fully taken….though I have a feeling we are talking a few weeks more for that…

          I make no claim Russia is losing, so far they still have momentum, so please take your silly down votes and eat them with Tabasco, I don’t care. 🙂

          Here, if it makes you feel better have some nice Russian Dressing with your News:

          Me, I prefer to pick and choose my news, trust no one, and verify if possible.

  19. Wayne Gabler says

    Donbass was to save the civilians from being killed by Kyiv’s military.
    The air bases in the western part of the country will become more important when the topic is NATO moving back to pre-1997 borders while leaving Russia and the recent escapees without any sanctions as well, or Russia will be at war until their flag is flying from Moscow to Iceland.
    When the entity that inspires all the sanction is no longer a player on the world stage, the endless war in Europe since 1300AD will finally have a clear winner. It won’t be the Jewish Banking Cartel that was exiled from England in 1291AD over excessive usury.

  20. John R Guy says

    “Russia had never intended to capture Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities, the generals said – these are not setbacks in other words, it’s all part of the plan. And the plan was to distract Ukrainian forces while Russia/ Donetsk/ Luhansk made territorial gains in the east.”

    This is correct, why……………

    The Russian uses a cauldron strategy, they will turn up the temperature. Up until now they have left the power, water, internet etc. operating. The Russians took control of the power grid. They will just turn off the power at the plants.

    Russian advance forces, including air, mobile and reconnaissance troops, have been engaged with Ukrainian troops outside of Kyiv since the start of the war, for the main reason of pinning down Ukrainian troops from moving Eastwards towards the Donbas region to reinforce and resupply.

    The Russians learned during WW2 to not take a city by fighting building to building. 

    The Russians use the Caldron War methods.

    The Russians Operational Cauldrons method of warfare:

    Russian military doctrine: 

    Russian military doctrine distinguishes several sizes of encirclement:

    Cauldron or kettle (Russian: котёл, romanized: kotyol or kotyel): a very large, strategic-level concentration of trapped enemy forces.

    Sack (Russian: мешок, romanized: meshok): an operational-level trapped enemy force.

    Nest (Russian: гнездо, romanized: gnezdo): a tactical-level trapped enemy force.

    The significance of these terms are reflected by the conception of what can be expected in combat in encirclement operations. A cauldron is expected to be “boiling” with combat activity, the large enemy forces still quite able to offer “hot” resistance in the initial stages of encirclement, and so are to be contained, but not engaged directly.

  21. Russell Merritt says

    This is a special military operation, invasion, for the ages. A smaller group of Invaders by 3 to 1 margin are grinding the standing army to dust. There is not a single front that Ukraine is winning on, except for the American media. I will concede that absolute and complete air cover is a big plus, plus the incredible missile systems that Russia is using. As the vineyard of the saker wrote, the only war option NATO has is to lose the war to Russia, or to not fight it.

  22. xyz234 says

    The best the Russians can hope for in the long term is to hold the Donbas region and keep a land bridge to Crimea. That is where the population is mainly Russian ethnicity and supports them. Attacks further west can only serve to tenderize the Ukies and deplete their forces so they are not in a shape to immediately launch an offensive to get that land back, and buy time for Russia to consolidate its hold on the territory.

  23. Role says

    Are you on the ground and see everything happening there?

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