Ukraine War Day #17

Dear Readers:

I can’t find that Danzig map any more, which I usually show. But I do have this link to Podolyaka’s post from yesterday, explaining the sitrep on the front. Summary:

  • Nikolaev Governor Vitaly Kim is leading a counter-offensive against Russian troops in the direction of Guryevka.
  • In Mariupol the situation is becoming clearer. As the graphic above shows, the Defending Blue Team (=Ukrainians) have been separated and split up into 3 main groups. They still control Azov Steel (the bottom group), which looks like it still has access to the Azov Sea; the airport; and the blue oval at the top. Podolyaka believes that it will take a few more days, possibly up to a week, for the DPR/Russian troops to prune down these 3 remaining groupings before finally finishing them off.
  • In the Izyum region: The city was taken by Russian forces a few days ago. But then a ceasefire was called for a few days, to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered. Some Ukrainian forces took advantage of this and were able to push their way back into the city; which is why Podolyaka now shows it with a blue circle around it, although it is still well behind the Russian front wave line. Russian forces are currently in the process of working to extract these forces and kick them out again.
  • Podolyaka had previously reported that the Ukrainian 81st Air Assault Brigade had been wiped out during the first battle of Izyum (a few days back). Turns out, some had managed to survive, so the remnants are participating in this second battle for Izyum. These guys are considered the best of the best of the Ukrainian army, hence fighting against them is no cakewalk for anybody. Eventual Russian victory is not in doubt, but Podolyaka glumly predicts that Izyum, just like Volnovakha, will be turned into a mini-Stalingrad: Just a pile of ruins, in other words.
  • Finally, the vice is closing around Kiev. Residents of Kiev report that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are bringing in everything they have now, to defend the capital: All their remaining tanks and artillery, and anything they can find.
  • Yesterday the Russians stormed and took Gogolev, which is just to the East of Kiev. Now they proceed slowly, but assuredly, “cleaning” each town and suburb as they go, on the march to Kiev. This is a new tactic, Russians are not just rushing ahead any more, but pausing at each town and populated point to “clean” it of Ukrainian soldiers. This is to prevent any kind of “partizanshchina” nonsense from breaking out behind their rears. Another reason for proceeding slowly: It would behoove the Russians for Kiev to be as empty of civilians as possible before the main battle begins. So maybe there is still just a little bit of time for some people to GET THE HELL OUT OF KIEV!

Everybody Dive Into Armageddon!

Next we have a story of tit-for-tat which turns Ukraine into Armageddon. (Remember how Syria was supposed to be Armageddon?) After the Ukraine invited foreign mercenaries to come aboard to fight on its side, Russia decided to do the same. Except they are not to be called mercenaries, Shoigu stresses that they are volunteers and will not receive any payment. Well, I don’t how that will work, are they supposed to pay for their own grub? Especially since they are to be folded into the DPR army (still called the “Peoples Militia”, although it is rapidly evolving into a real army) primarily.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has evoked a lot of support among ordinary Syrians.

People are expecting up to 16,000 such volunteers to flood into the battlefield, mostly from Syria. These guys supported Bashar al-Assad, they support Russia, and they hate the ISIS terrorists who are fighting for the Ukraine. These men consist of Alawites, Sunnis, and Christians, all united in their hatred of the United States and NATO. They are hardened warriors, have worked with Russia before, and understand the tactical plan.

Logistical issues: How to get these guys from Syria into the Donbass? Turkey has closed the Straits to warships, so they can’t go in that way. But nothing can stop them from just breezing through in a cargo ship flying the Panamanian flag, for example. In naval jargon this technique is called bareboat charter.

Legal issues: Russian law does not allow these guys to enter Russian territory without visas. No problem. After Mariupol falls (which it is bound to do, at some point), they can sashay right into Donbass through the Mariupol port.

Once these guys arrive in the Ukraine, they can just go at it against the same ISIS guys they were fighting against in Syria. The ISIS guys are expected to arrive soon as well, but from the West, via Lvov. Once the two sides meet, it will be like Old Home Week again.

Rumor has it that the Hatfield and McCoy families from the American South will also be sending their representatives to continue their feud on Ukrainian soil. Oh wait – breaking news! The Capulets and Montagues are also set to arrive very soon and resume their sword-fighting. Everybody dive into Armageddon – the more the merrier!

Pity The Poor Fool

Last, but not least, I have this youtube video showing American Congressman Darrell Issa dropping a truth bomb about Zelensky. Although the title to the video announces that “Russia will crumble”, what Issa is actually saying, unless I am mistaken (I listened to it 3 times), is that Zelensky is the one who is going to crumble. Zel just doesn’t realize it yet, because the Americans keep bucking him up and telling him he is winning. “Fortunately, Zelensky doesn’t go to our classified briefings… he has no chance… he will not survive…” the poor schmuck…

Semantically parsing, I think what Issa is doing is coming at Biden from the right, and saying, Zel can’t survive because Biden is a pussy who won’t send him enough planes. I could be wrong…

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16 Responses to Ukraine War Day #17

  1. colliemum says:

    Thanks again for this much-needed SitRep, yalensis. There’s so much chatter going on everywhere that I’m rapidly losing both the plot and my sanity.
    I’m not too sure about allowing in those Syrian fighters, excellent as they may be, not even if it turns out to be a tit-for-tat meant to fight the ISIS mercenaries. This ain’t Syria, after all.
    Meanwhile ‘we the little people’ are already sacrificing, as our ‘leaders’ told us to: prices for what we call petrol in the UK and what you call ‘gas’ over there are rising fast. Well, it’s one of the ‘little sacrifices’ our several ‘leaders’ told us we must happily bear, for Ukraine.
    I wonder when all those warmongering, virtue-signalling people will grasp the consequences for their own lives, not just for the global economy.
    Here’s a delicate little footnote: the Bank of England predicts inflation to be around 19% by December. That’s three times the amount by which the Chancellor of the exchequer has seen fit to increase the state pension for the elderly. Ah well, we oldies at least know how to survive in unheated homes …
    Afterwards, crocodile tears will flow and everybody will say that nobody could have foreseen that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yalensis says:

      Stiff upper lip. colliemum.
      If you must sacrifice your health and welfare for the greater good, then it’s a price your Lords and Masters are willing to pay!
      Do it for the Queen and for the Church of England. I dare you to watch this and not leap up and salute:


      • yalensis says:

        P.S. – great video, but they ruin it right at the end. I don’t mind watching Nigel belt it out, but Jesus, why show that clown Boris? He spoiled the whole thing for me – grrrr!


      • colliemum says:

        Excellent performance – and excellent video, although that clown Johnson ought to be removed from it. And the painting of the unsurpassed 1st Duke of Wellington was shown far too briefly for my taste – but then, I would say that, being a card-carrying fangirl of said 1st Duke.

        Meanwhile I’ll tighten my belt and check out the woollen blankets and candles (and matches) I’ve got … t’will be alright as long as I have dog food for my collie!


  2. The ‘voluteers’ will be difficult to integrate into the UA. I watched a video of an English guy going to volunteer in Ukraine. He reported that all of them had to sign a contract to stay until the end of the war and that they were not allowed to carry arms. People like that will be washing pots and pans or cleaning latrines. They only speak English, how can they be integrated into a command structure that uses another language. You need a liason and your own command structures. Unless MI6 are running the show and forming English military groups it will be the potatoe peeling brigade and let’s face it, carrying a weapon would only get in the way when you’re washing dishes!


    • yalensis says:

      In a similar vein, I saw this fragment from one of Shariy’s podcasts, Shariy is a very famous Ukrainian blogger who was forced into exile during the Poroshenko regime:

      Summary: Shariy shows on his smartphone a photo of an English/British volunteer, name of Jason Hague (?) – not sure of spelling of guy’s last name, Shariy stutters over the pronunciation: “Hey hey hey hey…”
      This Jason fellow arrived in Ukraine to fight against Russia. He is quoted as saying: “I heard that they [the Ukrainians] fight like lions, and I want to join them in the fight against Putin.”
      This guy must have been issued weapons and not just told to peel potatoes. See, he actually got to participate in a huge and important battle, namely the Battle for Hostomel (airport). He freaked out when he saw “all hell opening up before us”, in the form of the Russian escadrille of planes bombing the living shit out of them: “tra-ta-ta tra-ta-ta!”

      “I never experienced this sort of thing in my life… Iraq and Afghanistan were nothing like this…”
      But wait! The story gets even better.
      Jason and an American friend of his returned to Kiev, where they were promptly arrested by a very suspicious SBU, on the prowl for traitors and diversionaries.
      Jason was interrogated for 3 hours. The interrogation consisted of the Ukrainians beating him over the head for a solid 3 hours.
      In the end they let him go. Jason immediately left Ukraine, fleeing to Poland, and thither back home to Great Britain. His final conclusion: “I did not go there to die.”

      I believe him. He went there to kill Russians, not to die at the hands of Russians; nor to be beaten over the head by Ukrainian secret police goons!


      • Yes I was familiar with that story but this Tik-Tok video was pretty convincing. It is not beyond the realms of imagination that with the situation being fluid that they would formulate a more coordinated system. One thing is for sure though, the language would be a real problem and even a liability. I recall that when one joins the French Foreign Legion that first step is to learn French. You won’t be moving on until you do that.


        • yalensis says:

          For sure. I recall that when Beau Geste and his brothers joined the French Foreign Legion, they were forced to translate all of their witticisms into French, as the first homework assignment in French Foreign Legion School.

          Beau: Je suis franc avec vous, messieurs. J’ai l’Eau Bleue Diamand. J’ai l’intention de le vendre pour 30 000 livres à l’avenir et de vivre une vie de facilité à Paris entouré de whisky, de dames et de rires.

          Digby: Eh bien, c’est drôle. Je vais le vendre et aller à Paris aussi. Seulement je ne veux pas rire.

          John: Si cela ne vous dérange pas que je le dise, le grand saphir est en ma possession. Et dès que je peux m’arranger pour le vendre, je vais dans les mers du Sud, j’achète une plantation et je commence à faire du coprah.

          Their increasing fluency in French served them well, while holding down the Fort Zinderneuf against those crazy Arabs:

          Beau: Schwartz, il y aura un drapeau qui flottera là-bas le matin que j’ai juré de respecter. Des armées d’hommes de bien sont mortes pour cela, volontiers. C’est un drapeau de bataille et c’est un drapeau de victoire. Je suis plutôt fier d’être sous elle. Et je ne voudrais pas sortir le matin comme vous et savoir que j’allais être un traître.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. olivegreen says:

    No, of course they are not going to pay for their own grub. As I understand, by Russian law, mercenaries are those who fight in better financial conditions than a Russian soldier. If you offer someone $1000 a day or whatever it is the Ukrainian side seems to be offering, then that someone is a mercenary. Those volunteers who were folded into the DPR/LPR militia back when it was first formed on the same conditions as the locals did not become mercenaries. If they had been paid extra on top of what the locals were getting, their status would have been more iffy. Russian military advisers were a different case since they never became part of the local military and hence were paid by Russia, and they at any rate were not meant to personally take up arms. And of course there are plenty of NATO military advisers in Ukraine who are also not considered mercenaries.


  4. olivegreen says:

    As for “why don’t they call on Russian volunteers instead”, the military highly dislikes genuine volunteers other than as a measure of last resort. There is only a point in sending whole military units, which I strongly suspect the Syrian volunteers would be, not a motley crew of well-wishers who’ve never fought together before and have their own ideas on issues like military discipline. After the amount of herding cats that had to be done in the early days of the Donbass militia nobody is very keen on repeating it.


    • yalensis says:

      Very sensible. I read that Putin has very firmly stated, several times, that citizens of the Russian Federation will not be allowed onto the battlefield as “volunteers”, at least of that type. Any Russian citizens fighting there would have to be part of the regular military.

      If I am not mistaken, Russia has a mostly professional contract-type army now, like the U.S. (?) In other words, they are not drafting or conscripting (?) I am guessing Russian citizens could still enlist, if they felt very strongly about it, but would have to go through regular training and belong to a regular unit (?)


  5. Marios says:

    Thanks again for the update!

    Where you say that the Ukrainian army will have ISIS militants, is that a matter of speech, or they actually will bring these “people”?


    • yalensis says:

      Hi, Marios,
      Admittedly I can’t verify if any actual real-life ISIS guys are fighting or preparing to fight, in the Ukraine. I inferred that from the statements of Ramzan Kadyrov and others who are preparing to meet their old enemies on the battlefield.

      I will follow the situation more carefully and see if I can find more factual data on who exactly the pro-Ukrainian mercs are, and from which countries they hail. (If such info is available.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • yalensis says:

      Hello again, Marios.
      I saw this piece today in RIA. It doesn’t specifically say that (Russia claims) some pro-Ukrainian mercs are ISIS; but one can probably read between the lines, that some of these guys have fought against Russia before, including the Syria campaign. And those Syrian guys were definitely al-Nusra, al-Sham, and the like.

      Summary of the piece: This morning (March 13), as a result of a targeted air strike against a Ukrainian military training facility, Russia claims to have wiped out 180 foreign mercenaries. This news was conveyed by Russian military spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, in his daily briefing. The strike happened in the town of Starichi. In addition to killing the mercs, the airstrike also eliminated a lot of their heavy equipment, which had been donated by Western countries.

      Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba brags that they have received almost 20,000 applications, applying for the job of mercenary. “We are talking about seasoned veterans and volunteers from 52 different countries.”

      According to Vladimir Putin, these foreign volunteers include men from the Middle East.

      Liked by 1 person

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