Australian news, and some related international items

Endgame is going on in Ukraine crisis

When studying today’s daily AFU troop losses and considering Ukraine’s recent presidential order, according to which even underage children at 16-17 aged can be called for armed service, the overall military situation of Ukraine appears to be catastrophic. Anyway, the situation is totally opposite to the picture the western MSM is propagating “Ukraine is winning … Ukraine is winning”.  No doubt, Ukraine has already lost the war and by the same token, the NATO as well.

The US ending its financial, humanitarian and particularly military support promptly would cause Ukraine to completely collapse and RAND cites several reasons, why doing so would be sensible, not least because a Ukrainian victory is regarded as both “improbable” and “unlikely,” due to Russian “resolve,” and its military mobilization having “rectified the manpower deficit that enabled Ukraine’s success in the Kharkiv counteroffensive.”

Great Power Relations, February 7, 2023 | Seppo Niemi

Basically, great power competition and the fight for hegemonic control between America on the one side and Russia and China on the other, is being fought on two fronts.

The one is Ukraine war with enlarging NATO engagement, the other front is financial with America facing a coordinated attack by Russia and China on its dollar hegemony. The Russians are planning a replacement trade settlement currency, which could unleash a flood of foreign-owned dollars onto the foreign exchange markets. In fact, the second front encases also the third front, the formation of global alliances. Ultimately, there is a competition of new world order and fight for global power (world hegemon).

All these topics have been analysed in various articles on this website and will be analysed also in the future but this article focuses again on military side of this subject, because there is, as the title indicates, endgame currently going.  Some fundamental factors are now emerging for further analysis.

Frontline news

The Biden administration as well as Pentagon know that Ukraine’s army is not able to hold the current defense line in its east part. The big fear is that the Ukrainian army will totally collapse and run away, when the frontline is breached in Ugledar, Bakhmut, Seversk and Krasny-Liman.

Russia’s winter offensive is going in full speed but in another way than western “experts” assumed. No “Big Arrows” so far but slowly accelerating pressure along the whole frontline and when break-points emerge, they will be utilized immediately throwing more reserves in those places from back-areas. Due to autumn mobilizations and very low KIA-rate, Russia has plenty of trained reserves available.

The reason for this kind of warfare is the fact that western spy satellites follow the ground situation 24/7 covering the whole theatre of operations. Russia fully knows and understands that and therefore hide their military operations to the latest possible point, thus holding a surprise moment. However, 1-2 massive, “Big Arrow” Russian offensives are probable during February-April period.

A new wave of activity is expected for the Russian side during February. The recent changes in the command of the operation appear to have been carefully planned in order to elevate the combat to a new level and several of Moscow’s strategic objectives may soon be achieved, radically changing the course of the conflict. Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, was promoted to the position of Commander of the Joint Forces of the Russian Federation in the Special Military Operation Zone. Gerasimov’s arrival to power seems to have been a move towards the final stage of the special military operation.

Obviously, a major offensive (Big Arrow) is being prepared for February with the probable aims: 1) Reaching the borders of the regions recently reintegrated into the Russian Federation, pacifying the new oblasts. 2) capturing Nikolaev, Odessa, as well as the entire Black Sea coast, reaching Transnistria. 3) seizing/blocking Kiev, forcing a political capitulation of the Zelensky regime until early March.

The territory of Belarus will become the main springboard for the upcoming strike. In parallel to Belarus, Zaporozhye and Lugansk are also key zones for the Russian strategy. It is expected that massive attacks will come from these regions during the offensive, destroying enemy units in a short period of time which will allow a rapid Russian advance on the battlefield, reaching the zones listed in the above-mentioned objectives. For the offensive to be successful, Russian forces will focus on blocking all enemy’s supply lines. The main route of arrival of supplies to Ukraine is the border with Poland, where there is the transit of NATO’s ammunition and military equipment.

Some days ago, Washington announced preparing a new package of military aid worth $2.2 billion that is expected to include longer-range rockets for the first time. Soon thereafter, in a televised interview, Sergei Lavrov said an important principle of policy“We’re now seeking to push back Ukrainian army artillery to a distance that will not pose a threat to our territories. The greater the range of the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime, the more we will have to push them back from territories which are part of our country.”

Latest statistics of losses

A Turkish newspaper, Hurseda Haber, published January 25, 2023, an article of military losses by parties in Ukraine war with the data, allegedly produced by the Israeli Secret Service Mossad. Here is this highly interesting statistical comparison: [graph on original]….

Russian Ministry of Defense (RMOD) statistics since February 24, 2022 up to December 31, 2022. Ukrainian losses: 355 aircraft, 199 helicopters, 2779 UAV, 7350 tanks and armoured vehicles, 4713 artillery & MLRS systems (as well as 7859 units of special military equipment)………….

Late January 2023, the well-informed American Col.(ret.) Doug Macgregor put the numbers of dead on the Ukrainian side (video) at 122,000 killed plus 35,000 missed in action (presumed dead). The number of dead Russians (including Wagner forces and Donbas militia) is at 16,000 to 25,000 with 20 to 40,000 additionally wounded. The numbers are in good consistency with those figures of Mossad.

When studying today’s daily AFU troop losses and considering Ukraine’s recent presidential order, according to which even underage children at 16-17 aged can be called for armed service, the overall military situation of Ukraine appears to be catastrophic. Anyway, the situation is totally opposite to the picture the western MSM is propagating “Ukraine is winning … Ukraine is winning”.  No doubt, Ukraine has already lost the war and by the same token, the NATO as well.

Statistics of January 2023 [graph on original]

Please, note that just in January 2023, Russia has destroyed more than 300 AFU tanks and armoured vehicles, nearly three times more than what the West has promised to deliver to Ukraine over next half of year and all those western tanks are old models with old technology.

NATO tank deliveries – Leopard hunting begins

Promises of tank deliveries by models and countries: Leopard 2 totalling about 50 (Germany, Poland, others), Abrams M1 up to 31 (the US) and Challenger 2 up to 14 (the UK); totalling approx. 100 tanks. None of those models, now in delivery plan, are in production or are produced in last 15-20 years.

Germany has issued a permit to export Leopard 1 main battle tanks to Ukraine, on February 3. Berlin had approved German arms-maker Rheinmetall’s plans to sell 88 of the older Leopards to Kyiv, once these are repaired, for a total cost of more than €100 million. The Leopard 1, which first entered service in the 1960s, is the forerunner of the more advanced Leopard 2. The tank is armed with a 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7A3 L/52 rifled gun.

The big problem is and will be, how to obtain the required 105 mm ammunition for the Leopard 1 tanks. The tank features moderate armor, only effective against low caliber autocannons and heavy machine guns. This makes it vulnerable to most, if not all second and third generation anti-tank weapons.

These decisions regarding western tank deliveries to Ukraine disclose that all possible old scrapping equipment has been dug up now.

Modern tank warfare

Technological innovations have made main battle tanks (MBT) more survivable but anti-tank weapons have become even more effective outstripping MBT’s protective capabilities…………………………………………..

Western optics, media hype

Western MSM debated in “hothead” mood about the deliveries of tanks to Ukraine, suddenly dozens of “tank experts” came to public and demanded vociferously “express delivery of Leopards”.

When considering the matter in light of the analytical background, stated above, it appears once again how “mass hysteria” or “herd stupidity” is a rapidly contagious disease. In addition, it easily causes an anti-action, which is already happened on the frontlines. Leopard hunting begins.

Russia’s state tech corporation Rostec has already warned that existing Russian anti-tank missiles and shells are more than capable of destroying Western-made tanks, specifically the German Leopard 2. Pro-Russian military Telegram channels are already sharing posters pointing out the weak points of Challenger 2, Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks………………….

Report of RAND Corporation

RAND Report: Avoiding a Long WarU.S. Policy and the Trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict; January 2023.

The RAND Corporation, a highly influential American security think tank funded directly by the Pentagon, has published a landmark report stating that prolonging the proxy war is actively harming the US and its allies and warning Washington that it should avoid “a protracted conflict” in Ukraine. The war, Report saysrepresents “the most significant interstate conflict in decades, and its evolution will have major consequences” for Washington, which includes US “interests” being actively harmed“The costs and risks of a long war in Ukraine are significant and outweigh the possible benefits of such a trajectory for the United States.”

The US ending its financial, humanitarian and particularly military support promptly would cause Ukraine to completely collapse and RAND cites several reasons, why doing so would be sensible, not least because a Ukrainian victory is regarded as both “improbable” and “unlikely,” due to Russian “resolve,” and its military mobilization having “rectified the manpower deficit that enabled Ukraine’s success in the Kharkiv counteroffensive.”

It is so funny that the top Pentagon thinkers just say publicly these facts, while the entire US mainstream media, which also represents the US government, is out there saying the precise opposite. They are still literally saying that Russia is losing and Ukraine winning as their colleagues in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. The US media is just not even mentioning this RAND report at all.

What makes the RAND Report on Ukraine so significant, is not the quality of the analysis but the fact that the US’s most prestigious national security think-tank has taken an opposite position on the war than the Washington political elite and their globalist alliesThis is a very big deal.

Keep in mind, wars end when a critical split emerges between ruling elites that eventually leads to a change in policy. RAND report represents just such a split. It indicates that powerful elites have broken, one part thinks the current policy is hurting the United States. This shift is going to gain momentum until it triggers a more-assertive demand for negotiations. Thus, the RAND report is the first step towards ending the war.

Biden administration has told repeatedly that the US will support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” The United States should not undermine its own interests to pursue the unachievable dream of expelling Russia from Ukraine. The US plan to reshape Europe and the global balance of power by degrading Russia is turning out to fail badly and backfiring worse. Rational members of the foreign policy establishment should evaluate Ukraine’s prospects for success and weigh them against the growing likelihood that the conflict could unexpectedly spiral out-of-control.

The RAND report seems to represent the views of the Pentagon and the US Military establishment, who believe the United States is racing headlong towards a direct conflagration with Russia. In other words, the report may be the first ideological broadsides against the neocons, who run the State Department and the White House. It appears now this split between “War Department” and “State Department” will become more visible in the days ahead.

RAND report is just the first in a long line of falling dominoes. As Ukraine’s battlefield losses mount, the flaws in Washington’s strategy will become more apparent and will be more sharply criticized. American people will question the wisdom of economic sanctions that hurt US closest allies while helping Russia. Why the United States is following a policy that has precipitated a strong move away from the dollar and US debt? Why the US deliberately sabotaged a peace deal in March 2022, when the probability of a Ukrainian victory is near zero. The Rand report seems to anticipate all these questions as well as the “shift in mood” they will generate. This is why the authors are pushing for negotiations and a swift end to the conflict.

Peace talks … or not

There have been some peace talks between the US and Russia in last couple of months. William Burns, the CIA’s director was to meet his opposite Russian intelligence chief Naryshkin in Ankara in November 2022. This back-channel meeting was to explore compromises before America finds itself to sacrifice the Ukrainian population in a proxy war……………………………….

Militarily, the consensus of western expert opinion within the US and allied countries has changed from Russia’s losing the war in 2022 (Russian forces pulled back from Kharkiv and Kherson), to the Ukrainian forces losing the war, while NATO runs out of weapons and ammunition to send there and yet Russia unrelentingly continues to supply new weaponry and ammunition and slowly to take new ground in Ukraine. This war of attrition is going very badly now against the West (the US and its foreign allies, especially the ones in Europe: EU and NATO).

Economically, expert opinion in the west is increasingly saying their sanctions that were meant to strangle Russia’s economy have been by now a massive failure, which has probably been doing more damage to America’s European allies than to Russia. If this turns out to be true also in the mid-term (highly likely), then the entire belief-system that has been standing behind the West’s anti-Russia sanctions is going to collapse.

In addition, being deeply disappointed with all agreements with the West, Russia’s distrust on any deal with the west is huge. Thus, it is highly likely that the war will go to the bitter end, to the unconditional surrender of Ukraine.

EU – Ukraine summit in conjunction with EU – NATO declaration

European public attention was on Ukraine as the EU’s top officials visit Kyiv for a historic summit, February 2-3, the first to be held in an active war zone. Kyiv wants to join the bloc within two years but Ukraine got cold shoulder on rapid EU entry……………………..

By this summit, once again, the EU publicly and officially engaged closely and tightly with the destiny of Ukraine. Similar engagement was made with the NATO by “Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation, 10 January 2023”.

From this on, the destinies of the EU, the NATO and Ukraine have been combined and tied so closely that one part collapsing will make a domino effect to the rest.

Final look over the situation

As to the NATO, it is a good reason to take a look at the real and practical track record: military operations in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, which all ended in total defeat, debacle and turmoil.

Afghanistan and Ukraine are almost the same size in terms of land mass and the US/NATO failed to defeat a bunch of Afghani goat herders, who had no air power or artillery. The US and NATO poured billions of dollars into Afghanistan and failed to vanquish the Taliban, who easily took control of Kabul in August 2021, causing NATO troops to escape in total disarray.

In Ukraine, NATO is continuing its disarmament mission, more and more heavy weapons and other military material are poured in the black hole of Ukraine; Russia destroys them and NATO’s warehouse alert limits show red. Military material is simply finished in Europe and there is no military-industrial capacity to produce required quantities in next few years.

War fighting is a messy, complicated, resource intensive activity. “War is dirty business” as a British General said in Falkland operation. The conflict in Ukraine is exposing NATO as an impotent anachronism. If/when Russia wins militarily in Ukraine, the “raison d’etre” for NATO will be in question, in fact it disappears. Why any country is interested in applying the membership in such impotent alliance with such a failure track record?

If the reader can set aside emotion and consider the current situation unfolding in Ukraine, the evidence shows that Kiev’s army (AFU) is moving backwards on all frontlines. Without support from the United States and NATO, Ukraine does not have the manpower, munitions, tanks, artillery, air craft, financial resources and industrial capability to stop Russia. Even with more Western support flowing in, Ukraine will still lack the manpower to block the Russian advance.

Western analysts and MSM are downplaying the Russian offense in the Donbass along the Ukrainian defensive line that stretches from Bakhmut to Seversk in the north and to Ugledar in the south as some sort of sideshow with no strategic importance. That is nonsense. As said above, Russian winter offensive is underway on multiple fronts and Ukraine is paying a heavy toll.


February 9, 2023 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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