Ukraine War Day #129: Retreat From Snake Island [continued and concluded]

Dear Readers:

“Nobody bought my BS about the grain embargo!”

So, the Russophile blogosphere continues to digest the latest twists and turns (and slithery-ditheries) of the Snake Island saga. Within this subculture I believe a kind of consensus is being reached , according to which (a) yes, the Island WAS of strategic importance, so don’t pretend otherwise; (b) however, was also physically indefensible for the time being, so garrison needed to leave pronto; and (c) Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) engaged in rather poor “messaging” of this necessary withdrawal. To the point where, as Alex Christoforou pointed out in his podcast, the Russian spokespersons almost made it sound like, yeah, the presence of the Russian garrison was the cause of world starvation. And now they have kindly removed that impediment. Face-palm! That particular twist had never actually occurred to me, because I took that whole “grain” thing as just a bit of sarcastic trolling on the part of the Russians. But not everybody has such a subtle mind. So yeah, it may have sounded like a confession, to those of smaller brains. Smart people know, of course, that it is the Ukrainians who are blocking the export of grain, with their damned floating mines that make of the entire Black Sea, a horrible safety risk. The tiny Russian garrison at Snake Island never had anything to do with the grain situation, period.

Anyhow, I saw in the blogosphere yesterday that the MOD has taken the notes. Stung somewhat by the constructive criticism, it started to change its story a bit. Reassuring the enraged plebs that Russia is still in control of the tiny island. So Ukies can stop pretending this was some big huge peremoha for their team. Here is iEarlGrey for example, suavely and sarcastically reporting on the latest narrative:

Meanwhile, I shall return to my original source material. From June 30. Whose headline asserts that the evacuation of the Russian garrison was just a big old mousetrap set for the Ukrainians. (Which could be, literally, if they left behind mines and stuff….) This story now seems so old… I think I shall skip over the comments of Russian Senator Sergei Tsekov and pundit Alexander Bartosh. Who are still playing the “grain” card, as in “The UN accused us of blocking the export of grain from the Ukraine, so this was our response… blah blah…” That is just so 2 days ago. When we were at war with Eurasia. Today we are at war with Oceania, so try to keep up please.

Vladimir Kornilov

Let’s just get to the part where Snake Island still remains under the fire control of the Russian armed forces. Ukrainian paratroopers will not be allowed to land there; and the island will remain in the grey zone, for the time being. Final word goes to Russo-Ukrainian pundit Vladimir Kornilov, who raises some conspiratorial issues from the higher plane of geo-politics; like maybe there were some back-room deals taking place at the UN, for example. Kornilov: “One may assume that the Russian forces were removed from Snake Island in return for the de-blockading of Kaliningrad… but that’s just a theory…” Various other geopolitical theories involve not just Kaliningrad but also quid pro quos involving Norwegian islands, Baltic shipping, and world lithium supplies; for example, this comment by Syd Marsh on Military Summary and Analysis:

They simply exchanged snake island for norway allowing shipping to Russian islands in Norway territory and kalingrad part of agreement with European Union that lithium is was stopping. Give and take and both sides. Islands in Norway were a far greater priority than snake islands significance to Russia Side note: it means more to Romania since it’s technically part of Romanian territory. Which can’t make ukraine feel exactly warm inside.

But now back to Kornilov for the final soundbite, as he concludes with his fake Austrian accent and best imitation of the Terminator’s famous I’ll be back meme: “In time we may return to the island as needed — around the same time as when we liberate Odessa. Russia will be cruising around all of these Suvorov places, and then we shall secure this entire region.”

Suvorov nods from his coffin, while the ghost of Achilles clutches his mystical spear and waits for the shell-shocked snakes to crawl back to their posts, at the entrance to his hidden tomb…

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11 Responses to Ukraine War Day #129: Retreat From Snake Island [continued and concluded]

  1. S Brennan says:

    I…and I think most who have followed the Russ’s campaign to negate DC’s attempts at a southern encirclement in the former Ukraine are very interested to see if/how the western expansion through the ethnically/culturally Russian area along the Black sea to eastern Moldavia is accomplished.

    As I see it, from my admittedly low rung on the social ladder, through DC’s insistent military canards, the Russ are compelled to protect all of their vulnerable southern/Black Sea underside. Also, the Russ have an obligation, under the “R2P” policy, to ensure the safety of the ethnic/culturally Russian population from the ethnic cleansing of DC’s-3LA Ukrainian-minions have been carrying out. And yes, the ironic use of the term “R2P” is intentional, which of course means it’s not truly ironic…and yeah, I really do think.

    Anyhow, that part of the campaign, should the Russian command undertake that arduous task, will be interesting to observe…from a safe distance. Because, if successful, it will be the most humiliating defeat of the neocon nutjobs that now dominate the entire DC/London power structure since 1975.

    The neocon-nutjobs [NNJs] that dominate the entire DC/London will lose…and in a very brief time frame, a war of choice, a war of aggression. The fact that the 3LA mouthpieces in media will try to obscure the loss…will only add to the humiliation as nobody will be fooled by this blatant artifice, the 3LAs have made the US citizenry far too cynical through their record of abject failure. Not that I expect any introspection DC, should the Russ pull it off, sociopaths are, after all, incapable of introspection. Yeah, the 3LAs and their sociopathic neocon nutjobs of BOTH political parties having been starting/losing wars for approximately 65 years and still…they manage to cling to power but this, this unmitigated disaster, might offer, for a brief time, a chance at reformation.

    And yes, I am mindful, that such a moment came in 2008 and Obama was put forth as a fictional character and he succeeded in putting down the incipient reform in a most effective manner. As his mother was a CIA agent/asset/”swallow”, so too Obama did not fall far from the tree.


    • yalensis says:

      Great comment.
      I am pretty sure the main project of the DC wingnuts was to secure Crimea/Sebastopol and turn the Black Sea into an American lake. (Well, a project within a project, the larger project being world hegemony.) Everything else flowed from that goal: the 2014 Maidan, the genocide against ethnic Russians, etc. Russia partially thwarted by rescuing Crimea from their clutches. DC responded with an 8-year low-level war, then what we see now, which is essentially WWIII. For the Americans, it was a war of choice, technically America could live very nicely on its own resources and people, it doesn’t need Eurasia or Europe. Doesn’t need, but wants.
      For Russia, this was not a war of choice, Lavrov was literally correct (in his interview with that BBC flak) when he said that Russia literally had no choice. The only sliver of maneuverability left to Russia was the decision to pre-empt. In essence deciding to fight WWIII on Ukrainian territory, instead of on Russian territory. That’s more or less how I see this thing, in my over-simplified view.


  2. the pair says:

    just my thoughts from the peanut gallery:

    1. the island might not have russian boots on it, but anything bigger than a seagull trying to land on it will get obliterated. there’s also the issue of the ukies holding the same cards thanks to newish western weapons with better range. once those folks are pushed back/wiped out in the taking of odessa i’d bet the island will have russians hanging out again. i also have a (baseless gut) feeling odessa will be the next big focus after the impending cauldron disinfection in the donbass.

    2. i’ve seen the grain narratives for weeks now and from what i’ve gathered the grain was sitting there forever waiting to be shipped because “war stuff”; especially the ukrainian mines. i’ve seen reports of those being cleared (by the ukies and/or turks) but none of us will ever know the back room dealings that led to it. not concerned because starving people. russia has also announced it will probably have a great year for grain so i’m not sure if the ukie supply was going to end up mattering at all (to anyone besides sanction slaves).

    3. the russians didn’t really have to do any wheeling and dealing over kalininininingrad. that was an issue of “laws” and “treaties” and lithuania doing dumb CIA or DoD ideas for daddy. an “illegal” stunt, basically. that said, moscow has shown excruciating patience before and made concessions that they didn’t have to because diplomacy. look at the crap they let israel get away with. again, it’s best to be agnostic when it comes to behind the scenes haggling and bullshitting.

    just my take. keep up the good work.


    • yalensis says:

      That was nice, pair, thank you for being a loyal reader, and thanks for your comment!

      From what I have read, most of the Ukrainian grain has already rotted and gotten moldy by now. Which is too bad, nobody likes to see wheat go to waste. Except maybe people with celiacs. But hopefully the rest of the human race will survive this glutenous crisis.

      London bookies are probably taking bets on where Russia will go next, after liberating the entire Donbass. I think I agree with you, so I would bet on Odessa. But ssshhhh don’t tell anyone, it’s a military secret! It makes sense, though, just keep sliding around the southern perimeter, do a land encirclement and maybe a pincer from Transnistria, according to my Armchair General skills. Because smart people are saying that an amphibious assault would not be wise, it might turn out like that D-Day landing scene in “Saving Private Ryan”.

      Re. Kaliningrad, I am not as worried as I used to be, I think Russia has that situation under control. Thank goodness Belorussia has Russia’s back; and vice versa. Another case of West scoring “own goal” when they tried to overthrow Batka!


    • Tony Kaku says:

      Ever since April, the usual suspects have reported that Russia was stealing grain from the Ukraine. Japan’s NHK repeated that yesterday, July 2nd.


  3. Fern says:

    Please excuse the geographical ignorance but how far are Russia’s grain farmlands from Ukraine? I ask because I was reading a long list of the latest weapons being shovelled into Ukraine by the Biden administration which included missiles (probably not the correct technical term) capable of being fired deep into Russia proper. Using such weapons to try and destroy Russia’s harvests and food supplies seems like the sort of tactic exponents of the ‘rules based order’ would revel in doing. Ukrainian helicopters have been spotted trying to set alight grain fields in southern & eastern Ukraine – doubtless cheered on by their western backers.


  4. Stephen T Johnson says:

    I have to say the Russian messaging is consistently ham-fisted and ill conceived (except, somehow, for the stuff our boy Ramzan K puts out). However, winning the shooting and economic wars ought to do, unless we end up with Minsk III.
    But, hey, Happy Independence Day to the Lugansk People’s Republic


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