Ukraine War Day #158: Elenovka Whodunnit?

Dear Readers:

I shall continue with the Africa story tomorrow, but had to fit in this breaking news that everybody is talking about. Around 2:00 AM (middle of the night) on Friday July 29, the detainment center in the town of Elenovka (Donetsk Peoples Republic) was blasted by HIMARS. The facility housed 193 Ukrainian POWs, these were some really important prisoners from the Azov Battalion, those who had surrendered from AzovSteel, Mariupol. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD), the latest tally of casualties is 52 dead, 73 seriously wounded, Should we mourn these guys? To be sure, these were Nazis who had done some very unpleasant things in the past. But they were POWs. When one surrenders to the enemy, one’s status changes instantaneously, one is now a helpless kitten who must be cherished and taken care of, by his captors. Most human societies consider it beyond the pale to harm, especially kill, soldiers who have already surrendered. Some people are saying that a war crime of this magnitude has never been seen before, in human history. I don’t know if that is true or not, but the second it happened, the internet erupted with the usual screams and finger-pointing.

SPOILER: Moby Dick Swallows the Boat, Only Ishmael Survives

yalensis: I cropped the photo to cut out the charred bodies on the bunk beds, sorry, too squeamish!

“Ye gods,” one thought, “are we going to be debating and litigating this for the next 10 years, like every other horrible event that ever happened in the Ukraine?” With the usual keyboard warriors à la Bellingcat, those 16-year-old armchair soldiers who are instant experts in explosives: “Judging by the photo of the hole in the ceiling, the explosion came from within…” I even saw some pro-Ukraine internet jockey opining that “Eye witnesses claim they did not hear the whistle of the approaching rocket, which they would have heard if this had been a HIMARS…” What?! What eye witnesses, you idiot?

SPOILERS: Long story short, and I know that my readers are busy people who don’t have time to read lengthy detective novels or dig through all the clues of various conspiracy theories, so I shall give away the ending right now, and then we shall circle back and start over again. So, the Americans (for all intents and purposes — you’ll see, below) already admitted that they dunnit. And yes, it was a HIMARS, not a bomb placed within the floorboards. Hence, the keyboard warriors can lay down their fingers, for now.

Fact: The HIMARS are known for their precision. American military brass are very proud of this weapon, and rightfully so. It is said that, with the assistance of satellite and GPS guiding, they can land a rocket on a dime. Which is why the strike destroyed just the one barracks that held the sleeping prisoners; and spared the barracks of the guards, although it is said that a few guards were injured as well. And, by the way, this is not really relevant, but I couldn’t help noticing from the photos of the prisoners barracks, it does not look at all as nice as those initial photos we saw, when the Russians were trying to lure the Azovites out of the Steel Factory; those photos where the little Nazi soldiers had been tucked into cozy beds with pillowcases and duvets. This more like, they were piled on top of each other, on metal frames and thin mattresses. Oh well, in the final analysis, these were still human beings, and life is still worth living. It is said that some of the prisoners were adapting well, making friends, I had seen photos on the internet of prisoners tending little gardens and even walking dogs. Enjoying whatever moments they could from their now more diminished lives… and then BOOM! and it’s over.

He Said, She Said, They Said…

Igor Konashenkov announced the casualties.

The official Russian announcement by MOD spokersperson Igor Konashenkov: “As a result of a deliberate rocket attack on 29 July, using the American HIMARS system, on the isolation facility in the region of Elenovka, the Kiev regime has killed and wounded the larger part of the 193 Ukrainian POW’s who were located there.”

As the blogosphere lit up in rage, pro-Ukrainian internet warriors responded immediately with their own theory, which can be summarized as: “Interrogators had been torturing the living sh*t out of the prisoners and decided to get rid of the evidence. By destroying the prisoners with a fake HIMARS attack.” Most pro-Ukrainians felt they had to deny that any HIMARS was involved, because only the Ukrainians have HIMARS, right? [A subversive part of my brain thought of a loophole for them: They could claim that this was the very HIMARS that the Russians had bought/stolen, right?] And Pro-Russians responded with their own debating points…

And then this bombshell from the Pentagon [sorry for poor choice of words], which put an end (or should have put an end) to all the speculation:



The actual Pentagon wording was quite odd:

The US Department of Defense today recognized that the Armed Forces of Ukraine attacked the pre-trial detention center in Yelenovka, where the fighters of the neo-Nazi Azov regiment were kept. “If it was a blow from the Ukrainian side, I assure you they didn’t want to do it“, the Pentagon said.



That last sentence sounds queer to my ears, when I first saw it I thought it must be something google-translated back from Russian into English. Americans would not say, “They didn’t want to do it.” They would say: “They didn’t intend to do it.”

But no, this is the original statement, in English. What does it mean? I read it as a joke, a play on words: The Ukrainians literally didn’t want to do this, to kill their own heroes. But it’s the Americans who control and operate the HIMARS, so this was their decision. That is how I read this. But why would the Americans admit to this, instead of just blaming the Russians, like they usually do? Ah, that is the $64 question! My theory: This was a hasty and imperfect crime, and the Americans knew they couldn’t get away with it cleanly (somebody would find the HIMARS fragments, obviously), but felt like they just had to do it anyhow, and then joke it away. I’ll explain my theory further, below.

No, no! The Russians Dunnit!

I’m not sure if Alexei Arestovich saw the Pentagon “admission” before he voiced his own version of the events. Alexei is paid to lie, of course. About Bucha. About Snake Island. About everything. That’s his job. And he had his ducks in a row on this one as well: On his nightly propaganda show that he does with Feigin, he put forth his own conspiracy theory, namely that the Russians had been planning this attack for the past 2 months, ever since they captured the Azovites, you can click on this video to watch this talented actor do his shtick with his “controlled righteous anger” face put on:

Alexei’s “proof” consists of a screenshot allegedly showing how he (=Arestovich) had received Intel to this effect a couple of months ago; that is, that the Russians believed that the Ukrainians might use the HIMARS to attack the Elenovka camp; and somehow this proves that the Russians actually did it themselves. [I confess, I don’t follow his logic fully.]

Alexei gets skewered in the comments section of his own youtube video. One pro-Russian commenter named Zhanna Tikhanova, even accuses Arestovich himself of masterminding the murder of the Ukrainian POWs:

Арестович, когда вы узнали, что Азовцы стали тебя сливать, что ты отдавал приказ фотографировать казни русских пленных еще в начале войны, (вы несколько потом выложили в сеть, и которые видел весь мир), Зеленский и отдал приказ уничтожить их. Мы уже опубликовали снаряд от хаймерса в казарме.

TRANSLATION: Arestovich, once you learned that the Azovites were started to give you up, they were starting to divulge how you (yourself) had given the order to film the torture of Russian prisoners at the beginning of the war (those videos were uploaded to the internet, where the whole world could see them), and then Zelensky gave the order to destroy those videos.

Lusya Dunnit!

HIMARS fragments?

This is a serious accusation against Arestovich, and one that, if proved, would expose him as a horrendous criminal. Not just a liar, not just the amusing Baghdad Bob of the Ukraine War, but somebody who actually ordered torturers to perform their evil craft.

Personally, I don’t believe it. I don’t believe that Arestovich has that kind of power within Zelensky’s inner circle. However, one person who subscribes to that theory, as laid out in this piece, is legendary Russian reporter Alexander Kots. Kots went to Elenovka where he saw with his own eyes the charred remains of the Azovites.

Kots: The Azovites were giving a lot of interviews and starting to talk a lot. About their crimes against the civilian population. About their extra-judicial executions, torture… And they were starting to point the finger at the highest level of the Ukrainian government, those who had ordered them to conduct such terror tactics.

For example, Military Correspondent Andrei Rudenko had published an interview with the imprisoned neo-Nazi Dmitry Kozatsky, who had served as the Press Secretary for the Regiment. Those under his command would drive around Mariupol and film atrocities committed by his own brothers-in-arms, the shellings and the killings of innocent civilians; later they would pass these images off as Russian crimes.

It was Kozatsky who received orders from the Office of the President to film some of the cruelest tortures committed upon Russian prisoners, including their murder; the goal was to [use these videos to] scare Russians into not wanting to join the army. Kozatsky even divulged the name of the man who devised this plan: Alexei Arestovich. No, no! Say it ain’t so, Shoeless Joe!

Darker And Deeper

I admit that all of this is getting way too dark for the likes of me. But wait, it gets even darker. Exactly one day before the Elenovka attack, the internet was shocked by a grisly video depicting a horrific war crime allegedly committed by a Russian soldier against a Ukrainian soldier. I didn’t see the video, I only know the description of it from watching Anatoly Shariy’s take on it, you can click on this video to listen to Shariy:

According to Shariy, the video (which he could not watch either, being too squeamish) depicts a Russian soldier (or a man wearing a Russian uniform) torturing a Ukrainian soldier. He cuts off the latter’s genitalia, holds it up to show him, then shoots him in the head, then cuts off the guy’s head and hands. Pro-Ukrainians say: The video is authentic, it depicts an actual war crime, this probably took place in the Elenovka camp, and after it was published, seeing the unexpected outrage of the world public, the Russians decided they had better just blow up the whole place, in order to conceal their crimes. [as opposed to calmly just poisoning everyone by putting a drug in their borsht?]

Pro-Russians say: The video is possibly fake. Or it could be real, but has nothing to do with the war, with the Ukrainian uniform being photoshopped in, pixel by pixel. They say that the perp calls the vic a “pederast”, and some say it depicts an extra-judicial punishment against a man who allegedly raped a 5-year-old girl. Then was uploaded to the internet. Whereupon Arestovich and the people in his Hollywood-quality production studio doctored it and brought it into the mix to (1) prove Russians were torturing people at Elenovka; and (2) realizing the gig was up with their torture, the Russians decided to blow up the prison camp to destroy the evidence; and (3) this comes at a convenient time when the U.S. Congress is debating whether or not to deem Russia as a “state which sponsors terrorism.”

Lusya tweets: “This crime against humanity should give the American leadership the decisiveness to label Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.”

Reiterating that most of this dark matter is moot when it comes to the Elenova event, given that the Pentagon practically raised their hands and said, “It was me!” Which also gets Lusya off the hook as a potential suspect, in the Elenovka crime at least. We won’t know for sure exactly what he did or didn’t do until/unless the Russians eventually catch him and put him on trial, along with Zelensky.

Lusya/Feigin Sidebar

In the podcast in which Arestovich was laying out his theory of the Castration Video, one eagle-eyed commenter noticed an interesting moment. Something that confirms my long-held suspicion that Arestovich cannot stand Feigin and only pretends to be his friend. Alexei was chattering on about war crimes, and then, out of the blue, brought up the topic of Yugoslavia, how the raping of women was used as a form of genocide. The commenter noticed that Feigin started to sweat and look very uncomfortable, and reminded us that Feigin himself fought as a volunteer soldier in that conflict.

Mark Feigin

Feigin’s English-language wiki does not mention that chapter in his biography; but I checked his Russian wiki, and sure enough “По данным интернет-газеты Lenta.ru, вместе с друзьями из НТС ездил участвовать в Боснийской войне в составе Армии боснийских сербов под командованием Ратко Младича.” [According to the internet newspaper Lenta.ru, alongside his friends from the Peoples Labor Party of Russian Solidarity, he went to participate in the Bosnian War, on the side of the Army of Bosnian Serbs under the command of Ratko Mladić.]

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather! Given Feigin’s political views, his hatred of Russia, and his unending support for NATO, I would never have guessed that was pro-Serbian. If I had to bet money, I would have put him with the Kosovans. But just goes to show, you think you got someone figured out, a Jew who is also a Banderite, fine, whatever, but pro-Serbian?? That does not compute…

Anyhow, the “funny” thing here (if you can use such a word when discussing such a dark topic), as he is talking about sexual crimes committed in Yugoslavia (presumably by the Serbs, since this is Arestovich talking), Alexei points his finger directly at Feigin. (It’s a split screen, they are on Zoom, but it still looks like he is pointing right at Feigin.) And Feigin looks like he wants to be someplace else. Another one of Alexei’s manipulative little tricks? That Lusya the Candy-Girl is a trickster for sure. But is she a torturer and a murderer?

My Theory

In conclusion: here is my theory, what seems most plausible to me:

“The Whale needs to die!”

Recall back in April, when the Azov guys were still holed up in the Steel Plant: There were mucho, mucho kamikaze attempts (on the part of the Ukrainians, sacrificing helicopter after helicopter) to extract some very important person or persons. Let’s say it’s mainly one guy, and we shall call him “The Whale“. These extraction attempts failed. Eventually the Azovs surrendered to the Russians. Including The Whale, maybe in disguise, pretending to be somebody else. (Russian MOD said 52 guys died, but they only published 50 names, that’s suspicious!)

With no realistic way to rescue The Whale, he needed to be liquidated before he could spill the beans about all the American crimes, especially in Mariupol. Everybody knew that the Azovites had been taken to the town of Elenovka, in the DPR. It had to be DPR, because Russia itself doesn’t have the death penalty any more. (In response to those internet sleuths who keep on yammering: “Why did they keep them so close to the front line?” Because in Donetsk, everything is close to the front line, dummies.)

As Shariy points out in his podcast, the Ukrainians kept shelling Elenovka over and over again in the next couple of months, he documents every single attempt. But Ukrainian artillery was never accurate enough to do what needed to be done. And then the Americans brought in their HIMARS. And the job got done. The Whale was silenced once and for all. Everybody else on those bunk beds was just collateral damage.

[THE END]

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35 Responses to Ukraine War Day #158: Elenovka Whodunnit?

  1. michaeldroy says:

    I always expected that numerous nameless bodies would be found deep at the Azov Steel plant.
    If I were Nato special forces I would expect Azov to get commands to kill me.

    Like

    • moon says:

      If I were Nato special forces I would expect Azov to get commands to kill me.
      explain, will you? Are you referring to an earlier take by Yalensis, don’t have much time lately.

      Like

  2. Sacha says:

    I apologize for not sharing the proper link but after the “Bucha” episode, maybe on day two, the pentagon said to Reuters that they couldn’t confirm independently the allegations of the Ukrainians but that they didn’t see any reason to oppose their allegations. In other word, their claim cannot be confirmed but we have no interest in confronting them (hence the blockade of any russian request to launch an independent inquiry). We have a similar process here: like you pointed out, if the Ukrainians didn’t want to target the detention center but this précision missile cannot miss its target, it does mean that the strike was intended, planned and carried out to eliminate guys who could spill the beans.

    Either it’s a way to avoid any public trial, to frighten any guy tempted to surrender (since they can’t be safe under Russian guard) or to get rid of high value target, I think it raised an issue. As you mention almost any detention center inside DNR is within the range of Ukrainian attacks, then why not exfiltrate these high level figures to Russia. I think the argument that it’s because DNR still has death penalty is a little weak, especially since Azovites were sent to Rostov and had to walk in the streets two or three days after their surrender, so on Russian side.

    I always think Russians as chess players who anticipate their adversary. Do you think that high value pows would be sent to Yelenovka with the risk of being killed? Maybe I reverse the conspiracy theory but it’s so highly unprofessional and so unlikely to happen that Russians would let their assets be killed so easily.

    We already saw how the Russian side was able to spread disinformation among western intelligence (MI6 expert says that Russia runs out of ammunition by mid April 2022.. Shoigu has been killed twice, Putin has three cancers at the same time according to sources from putin close circle lmao) . So my hypothesis would be that they kept second rank azovites at Yelenovka while spreading infos on secret channels that western sigint would intercept that this whale would be guarded there – hence the decision to strike it. Then, Russians mention 52 casualties and give 50 names so as to make believe that there are two casualties that they don’t want to admit they lost. Allegedly. With the effect that Americans and their puppet keep speculating while losing the communication battle -they target their own “heroes”-

    As always Russians never boast about their victories especially in the field of intelligence and operations. That’s how you see a president who is a highly refined Intel officer, and a president who is a clown with a brain the size of a nut. Isn’t it Lavrov too who reminded Blinken to work as professionals and not try to win fake communication battles?

    It’s my personal assumption. Push Americans to the fault, target their men, show indirectly that they fear these testimonies incriminating their puppets, show that Ukrainian leadership don’t give a sh about its so called defenders… while not gaining any strategic advantage since there has been several hundred Azovites who surrendered and were surely interrogated safely in the Russian federation. The problem with my hypothesis is that neither Putin nor Lavrov nor Shoigu won’t call me to say if I’m right or not lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • yalensis says:

      I like the way you think – you have a devious mind! 🙂
      Would certainly have the makings of a spy-thriller novel.

      Like

      • Sacha says:

        In my freetime which means nor so often I am writing a novel series haha you couldn’t get closer to the target 😅 it talks about an investigative journalist who inquires about hot stuffs and involves corrupt politicians, Intel and mafia haha

        Like

  3. the pair says:

    i would call them “pitbulls in need of rehab” as opposed to “kittens” but that’s just me being a pedantic cat person.

    as for your “whale” theory, it passes the occam test as so simple it makes more sense than anything else. it also fits within the tendency of the kiev regime to consider anyone caught or deserting as “better off dead”. on the video, there have been so many fake “cry wolf” videos from the ukies at this point i have to doubt it. the “pederast” thing makes it even odder and in civil wars scores get settled that have nothing to do with the war itself. see also: iraq.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      That’s a great point about people taking advantage of wartime to settle personal scores. That’s probably what the “castration video” is all about.
      It doesn’t really make any sense as part of the Elenovka story, but somebody decided to just throw it in there. The story was nasty enough, even without that.

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      • Aelfsige says:

        About the video, someone pointed out that the “castrator” was wearing a pair of limited edition Nikes donated to the Ukrainian army with a subtle blue and yellow theme.

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        • yalensis says:

          Interesting. So, the “castrator” was supposedly a Russian army guy wearing Ukrainian sneakers.
          I read as many comments as I could about the video, until I got too nauseated to go on. I was trying to see if I could get a handle on it, if this was something truly relevant to my post.
          People had lots of theories. One commenter said the actual act of castration looked fake, because it was too easy, knife just sliced through the meat without encountering any resistance. Like, in the real world, you’d have to really work at it. (How would this guy even know???)
          Everybody is a forensic expert, on the internet.

          Like

          • Sacha says:

            He must have watched sons of anarchy lol in one episode they cut balls off a pedophile…and indeed it seems to require some “skills” lol

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              Sounds like they would need a professional butcher’s skills, yechhh.
              Unless it was a supremely sharp knife, like one of those Ginza Blades that they advertise on American TV.

              On the other hand, I recall the very strange story of an American woman named Lorena Bobbitt (her actual name) who cut off her husband’s penis. That was a penis though, not testicles, so maybe easier to slice through.
              Ye gods, how did we get onto this topic? Let’s shift the conversation to something more wholesome. Like cannibalism, for example…

              Like

  4. Bukko Boomeranger says:

    Everything is a double-reverse super-secret false-flag conspiracy these days. I am fond of saying that we live in a “post-truth world.” Anything can be true; anything can be false. People choose their own realities. Which is the mindset of the delusional schizophrenics I deal with at work on the hospital psychiatric wards. It’s not a good way to run a society. The only thing that is definitively real is The End. One thing I occasionally say to patients who persist in self-destructive beliefs such as “smoking meth won’t hurt me” (if they can handle it and it won’t be too “confronting” as they say in Oz) is: “You can’t argue with Mr. Death.” No argument about those poor sods who got shredded in their beds…

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Dying instantaneously while asleep in the middle of the night, is actually not the worst way to go. I’d pick it over several other alternatives. The other advantage is, you don’t leave a messy corpse (well, charred remains, but that’s not as bad as a rotting stinking corpse, and easier for others to clean up, I think). I’m sure I would prefer such a quick death to being injured in the blast, what with the burns and possibly severed limbs, yechh.

      Like

  5. buratino says:

    To me it appears as the first real public admittion of them being worried about the realities after the end of the festivities.

    I do not know, if there was only one missile sent. It seems two or more might have solved most of their headaches.

    A whale amongst the population? He would have been discovered and separated by now. Don’t buy it.

    They could’ve been kept in Russia proper and sent to the place of trial (and execution)in small groups, but let us be honest, we did not foresee such cinicism. As such, I suggest we work on growing a pair – otherwise we shall be surprised again and again.

    Yes, I understand the logistics.

    Time to wake up – this is gonna get ugly and personal for all of us.
    The genocide or ukranians is the genocide of Russians – a genocide nonetheless.

    What I see gooling on is the depopulation of the land, dismantling of it’s soviet era infrastructure in order ro prepare it for new(old) inhabitants.

    Like

  6. moon says:

    Curious, even before reading the article, I posted this question somewhere else. “Precision munition based on precision intelligence?” But yes, curious.There’s quite a bit of pride of all the superior intelligence the US contributes in the war over there. The good America once again against the Russian evil.

    Good America with a little help from an younger poodle lured evil Russia into this? Or is there still the possibility of a rather mundane explanation: The training of the Ukrainian soldiers on the weapon systems wasn’t satisfying?

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      According to Brian Berletic, a military analyst on the “New Atlas” youtube channel, it takes several months to fully train HIMARS operators. Can’t be done in a couple of weeks.
      The logical assumption is that the Americans are operating the HIMARS, have full control of those systems, and probably even picking the targets.
      I repeat again what the Pentagon guy said in that tweet: “The Ukrainians didn’t want to do it.”

      As for the issue of why the POWs were not moved farther away, into Russia proper..
      Yeah, I agree with several of the commenters here, that should have been done for their safety. Everything in Donetsk is within range of Ukrainian artillery. Therefore, all POWs should be moved farther away. That they were not before, I personally don’t see anything cynical there, I think it was just carelessless, and also, yeah, Who would have thought the Ukrainians would sink that low to kill their own heroes?

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s Gravatar’s swastika not mine says:

        I don’t know where I read it and can’t find it back, sorry, but a day or two ago I read that the Ukrainians themselves suggested (or requested?) using that particular prison for the Azov prisoners. I can’t imagine why DPR would agree to such a request, but it seems they did, so the Ukrainians (or Americans, as the case may be) knew the exact coordinates of the exact room the prisoners were in. I sure hope the survivors have been relocated some unadvertised places. And I would want to be a doctor or patient in the hospital the wounded are being treated in. Perhaps someone else who saw the same article I did can find it back.

        Like

        • That’s Gravatar’s swastika not mine says:

          WOULDN’T want to be a doctor or patient there…

          Like

        • yalensis says:

          I never heard that theory, but would be amazing if somebody could find a link.

          Like

          • That’s Gravatar’s swastika not mine says:

            Got it: it was on RT.com. Now, I’m not going to stick my neck out and vouch for the truth of RT.com, but in the past I’ve found their other claims backed up by people who cite sources and argue logically, so I need a lot less salt with their articles than other much-more-dubious sources. Use your own judgement.

            https://www.rt.com/russia/559863-kiev-knew-prison-shelled

            “I would like to note that Ukraine itself determined the place of detention of prisoners of war, so they knew exactly where they were kept and in what place,” Basurin told journalists without elaborating.

            The DPR’s ombudswoman, Darya Morozova, explained that Ukrainian authorities had previously insisted Yelenovka’s facility be a detention center for Ukrainian prisoners of war.

            “It was discussed, it was their proposal. That is, they knew perfectly well where the prisoners were being held, at their own request. That’s how cynically they took the lives of 50 of their own officers and soldiers,” she told Izvestia newspaper.

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              Wow! I had not read that before. Thanks for the link, that’s awesome. I think RT is reliable. I mean, I’m sure those quotes are real, from Basurin and Morozova. The RT reporters are real journalists, they are not going to make up quotes.
              Next one has to judge whether Basurin/Morozova are telling the truth. According to them, they had made some kind of deal with the Ukrainians, to put the POWs in Yelenovka. As opposed to moving them further away, into Russia proper? The plot thickens…

              Like

  7. Susan Welsh says:

    Your link to the Pentagon statement on Yelonovka goes to the story on RIA Novosti, which is where all the hits I found on Google also go. Do you have any other source?

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Hi, Susan, no that was my only source. It refers to tweets, but I can’t access twitter. If you could go onto twitter, maybe you can find some of those tweets that they show.
      I take it that you have doubts whether the Pentagon said any such thing? I dunno, does Pentagon do tweets?

      Like

      • Susan Welsh says:

        Yes I was skeptical that they could be that stupid. But it turns out they are.https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript/Article/3110921/senior-defense-official-and-senior-military-official-hold-a-background-briefing/
        Except the official did say “mean”, not “want.”

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Thanks, Susan, this is awesome research, I award you the Awful Avalanche Sleuth Medal for the week.

          Here’s the last thing I’d say, if it happened to be a Ukrainian strike, I promise you, number one, they didn’t mean to do that, right? They certainly care about their own people and they care about the civilians and military in uniform of their own army.

          “They didn’t mean to” makes so much more sense in English than “They didn’t want to…”
          So I reckon I have to retract that part of my post which posited they were making an evil little pun with that verb “want”. I thought that didn’t sound right, but I had no reason to think it wasn’t from the original quote. (In my own defense.)

          Best guess: somebody translated this quote from English into Russian, and then somebody else translated it back from Russian into English. And that’s what happens when you don’t have the original utterance.

          Like

          • That’s Gravatar’s swastika not mine says:

            I would expect a two-way translation to result in more than one word different. Another possibility is that the original source edited their statement in the meantime, changing “want” to “mean” after it was quoted.

            By the way, “didn’t want to do that” in english is often used to imply a mistake or blunder as opposed to an accident. Imagine two chess players and two spectators. One player moves his queen out on his third move, and one spectator says to the other, “He didn’t want to do that.” Meaning, wow, he really screwed up that time, not that he accidentally moved the queen.

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              That’s a good point about the semantics of “want”. As in, “He didn’t want to do that” for a bad chess move.
              To my ears that sounds slightly British-English. I think an American would say “He didn’t mean to do that,” or “He didn’t intend to do that.”
              In any case, I now do believe that the quote was a backward translation (English to Russian back to English), which invalidates my theory about the Pentagon official making a cynical joke about Ukrainians not wanting to do it, but forced to do it (which you see people speculating in the Russophile blogosphere). Hence, I am going to post an Erratum to that effect; look for my new post in a couple of hours!

              Like

  8. S Brennan says:

    Pardon me for being the dufus who asks the obvious question but, who is the whale?

    Like

    • moon says:

      A V.I.P. person? A V.I.s.i.P. A very, important since informed person?

      How about this: The whale is a very, very, very important, since informed commander of the Azov battalion. Informed about the crimes on the Ukrainian side, that is. Yalensis is limiting the significance of the diverse Ukrainian rescue attempts of Azov fighters in the Mariupol steel factory. This may have happened since a very, very important person was caught there, he tells us. He seems to ignore the soldier’s code of honor, whatever one may think of it, to rescue their own.

      The V.I.P person, this guy? Hero of the Ukraine:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denys_Prokopenko

      Hmmm? Finnic Karelian ancestors?

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Dubious that Denys is the whale. I think it must be somebody from a Westie NATO country. A high-ranking officer, but young enough to pass for a young buck from Azov. Maybe fluent in Russian or even Ukrainian. Holed up in the Steel Factory for months. Had to surrender eventually, but exchanged clothes and ID with a corpse. But then the Americans got wind that he was still alive, and his cover blown. Maybe they heard that he was about to start singing like a canary. So they decide to burn him (literally), and they wheel out the HIMARS…

        All just blatant speculation, of course. I read too many spy novels!

        Like

        • moon says:

          ok, ok. I changed American crimes to Ukrainian ones, which on both sides don’t exist. of course ?!?

          A high profile special forces man, who trained the Azov brigade? Yes, that’s what they seem to be eager to do. Helping whatever “freedom fighters” against whatever “terrorists” from the US point of view.

          Something I recognized in the Denys article was the argument: Wars train soldiers. 😉 According to wiki seems to have happened concerning these Azov guys.

          Your theory has the additional beauty, that those things are never, and will never become public. Officially the mystery man was/is a volunteer?

          Like

          • yalensis says:

            The mystery man accepted that if he was captured, his own government would not help him. Like the Intelligence Director says in Mission Impossible:
            “My secretary will disavow all knowledge of your existence.”

            Like

            • moon says:

              Michael Brenner, who once upon a time was banned from a blog, like I was later for not kowtowing enough

              And by the way, it is now becoming evident that we might well—probable that we have physically, in the Ukraine now, American special forces, including British special forces and some French special forces. Not only people who have engaged in training missions, but are actually providing some direction, intelligence, et cetera. We’ll see if this ever comes out. And that’s why [unclear] Macron, et cetera, are so desperate about getting the brigades and other special elements trapped in Mariupol out of the city, which they’re not ceding it.

              interview transcript:
              https://www.algora.com/Algora_blog/2022/04/29/michael-brenner-american-dissent-on-ukraine-is-dying-in-darkness

              Like

    • yalensis says:

      Hi, S. It’s not a dufus question, but I don’t have an answer. I mean, the “whale” would be the big guy, the most important guy. The one whom the CIA must take out, at any cost…

      (Maybe I have been watching too many spy movies?)

      Like

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