While we are recovering from our traumas of the last couple days and engaging in emotional healing, I have two quick stories for today;
Zelensky Promises Stuff That He Doesn’t Have
This story is reported by Anton Antonov. Apparently the Poles have been getting antsy and demanding that Zelensky fulfill his contractual obligations to them. Exactly what he owes them, I am not sure, but electricity seems to be involved. (Poles are also demanding coal.) Watching a catfight between Poland and Ukraine is like watching a hair-pulling match between an American Karen and the favorite daughter of a mobster. “I demand to talk to your supervisor!” “You and what army, bitch?”
Come this December, Zelensky reassures his western neighbors, Ukraine will begin supplying Poland will oodles of lovely electrons flowing out of the Khmelnitsky Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in the Ukrainian city of Niecieszyn (just to be mean, I used the Polish spelling, haha!) and into the beautiful (and historic) Polish city of Rzeszów. I made this map to show the relationship between the source and the target, the circle shows the appropriate location of the Khmelnitsky NPP, and the arrow shows the route that the Ukrainian electrons must follow, in order to warm Polish cockles this winter:
Problem: This line does not yet exist. At least that is what I am deducing since, according to the reporter, “Zelensky has ordered [his people] to speed up the construction of the electric energy line between the Khmelnitsky NPP and and Polish city of Rzeszów. In his words, the construction will be finished by December 8 and will supply Poland with the necessary amount of electricity.” Well, maybe this is not a big problem. I mean, all you need is trees and wires, just put some linemen on the job, right? Except that..
Other Problem: For some reason which I don’t understand, Zelensky is connecting this project with the precondition that “Ukraine needs to maintain normal control over the Zaporozhie NPP. We are working to secure the necessary international decisions, in order to make this happen.”
I mean, is he saying that there is some kind of technical connection between the Khmelnitsky and the Zaporozhie NPP’s? How could that be, since they are on different sides of the country? Or, is he saying that he might need to tap into the Khmelnitsky electrons himself, instead of selling them to Poland, given that the Zaporozhie NPP is no longer functional?
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that last bit. According to reporter Dmitry Zubarev, the Zaporozhie NPP has been shut down completely. This was done for safety reasons. Apparently the plant kept shelling itself with HIMARS, creating a nuisance of a hazard for THE ENTIRE PLANET!
Now, I don’t know much about nuclear energy myself. I only know that it is scary. But we have our old friend Vladimir Rogov (head of the Zaporozhie Oblast for the Russians; well, at least for now, until the Ukrainians either re-conquer that area or assassinate Rogov — little dark humor there, sorry…) to explain the difference between a “cold stop” and a “hot stop”.
Rogov: Performing a “cold stop” on Block #6 will allow us to reboot it at some point. It is currently not producing electric energy. The problem is that the block itself needs to use some electricity, in order to cool the reactor. Therefore we have reserve diesel generators functioning right now, this is just a temporary solution.
The fate of the world depends on a diesel generator. Got it. Thanks, Vladimir.
Prior to this the other blocks had been shut down in similar manner, and for similar reasons. These are wussy blocks, they couldn’t take a little Ukrainian shelling.
Oh wait! as I read further into the article, Rogov explains that one block is still working, but only to produce electricity required by the station itself. (Like, for the lights and the computers, and coffee machines, and stuff?)
In conclusion: Zelensky needs the Zaporozhie NPP to be working at full steam (for whatever reason) so that he can sell electricity to the Poles out of the Khmelnitsky NPP. But currently he does not have any sort of control over the Zaporozhie NPP. The Russians would not permit him inside, even if he had a magic key. But he is acting like he controls it, and making promises on that basis, even though he is also shelling it with HIMARS and trying to destroy itand blow up half of Europe. It all makes perfect sense.
Kadyrov Rouses and Reassures
For my second story, we have the Head of Chechnya, delivering a rousing “Churchillian” kind of speech to embolden and buck up the Russian people, in the middle of their darkest hour. The reporter, once again, is Dmitry Zubarev.
Kadyrov: “The Minister of Defense has explained to you the situation, why we had to abandon such cities as Izyum, Kupiansk, Balakleya, in the Kharkov Oblast. This was absolutely required by military strategy.
“But I, Ramzan Kadyrov, officially declare to you: All of these cities will be returned. Our guys [i.e., Chechens] are already there, preparing the ground work, and another 10,000 are almost ready to leave [for the front]. And in the very near future we will be moving onto Odessa, and you will see some concrete results.
“The fact that we retreated and gave up several cities — there is actually a plus side to this. I am not about to reproach anybody, because I don’t know, in depth, what kind of strategy was worked out. But I know one thing: Russia will win. These NATO shaitany and the Western European secret services, their weapons will be destroyed, destroyed by the fighting spirit of our warriors.”
That’s the end of Zubarev’s story, but on Intel Slava I saw more paragraphs from Kadyrov’s speech, already translated into English. Their translation isn’t as good as mine, but here it is, and I like the fact that Kadyrov admits, “Mistakes were made.” It makes him more credible, in my eyes, than if he went, “Oh, it was all just part of a cunning plan…”
– I’m not a strategist, as in the Ministry of Defense. But mistakes were made. I think they will draw conclusions. When you tell the truth to your face, you may not like it. But I love to tell the truth. We talked with the commanders at the fronts;
It’s a shame that nothing was said for several days. It is clear that people were not prepared for this. We always talk about our work;
– If today or tomorrow changes are not made to the conduct of a special military operation, I will be forced to contact the country’s leadership in order to explain to them the situation on earth.
– In the near future we will meet with the military commanders, we will explain to them what patriotism is. Patriots should not be offended if someone did something wrong. We must unite people around ourselves.
Sending electricity to Poland sounds like a major investment to me, if the line does not already exist. Where is Zelensky getting the money from (he’s certainly not going to use his own trillions in the Virgin Islands bank accounts)? And you can’t hang high voltage lines from trees! You need very large pylons, plus transformers etc.
Mr 10% will find a way (well 5% Ze, 5% Bi)
and then the arrow will point the other way as Poland starts sending electrons the other way.
Incidentally I am getting very tired of western media making all announcements on ZNPP as if Energodar was actively managing it, and as if it was really credible to report both sides accuse each other of shelling the plant.
And they have to do it all by December! Which is … let’s see… about 2 months away… Better get Kraken!
[best pun ever! pat self on back]
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Yeah, minus ZNPP Banderastan has a significant electrical power deficit, so, unless Elensy shuts off the juice elsewhere in country, he’ll be unable to supply his Polish overlords with the electrons.
On the second item, I get this weird vision of Kadyrov leading the charge himself. Why is he the only politico (with the possible exception of the new model Dimitry Medvedev) who’s any good at propaganda? I don’t get it.
Why is K so good at propaganda? Because he has what my mom calls personality !
” a rousing “Churchillian” kind of speech to embolden and buck up the Russian people,”
I recall the UK media explaining how Zelensky’s speech at the UK parliament was like “the fight them on the beaches” Churchill speech. In fact it was about as far from it as possible.
That speech was on the last day of the Dunkirk withdrawal. It marked a line (the beaches) but it was a line well behind where all the fighting has been to that point (in France and Belgium). It was essentially a recognition of defeat with a determination not to lose more.
Zelensky’s speech (and Kadyrov’s) are all about going straight back and taking what had been lost. Boastful and bragging but none of the realism of Churchill.
Maybe I should have called it a Henry V type of speech instead of Churchillian?
As in, “We band of brothers… yada yada…”
Either way, better that, than Richard III’s “my kingdom for a horse!” which is probably what those Russian Generals were shouting as they fled from Kupiansk.
The horse that lacked a shoe, that lacked a single nail… oi!
Kadyrov is a character, I’m quite fond of him.
It seems to me that Kadyrov has an emphatic vein but a comical one as well, if I got it right sometimes ago he produced some sketches about Zelensky and even if I obviously missed a lot of meaning even with the translator, nevertheless I found them very funny.
Yeah, I saw some of those skits, pretty funny stuff. He somehow found an actor who is a dead ringer for Zelensky.
remember that star trek where they enter an alternate universe with evil versions of themselves and the main difference is the baddies have silly beards? i can’t help but think of that when i see kadyrov and zelensky but with the role of beard reversed to show a certain kind of class instead of malevolence. it’s also funny that as soon as the recent (temporarily) bad news started i immediately thought “i wonder what the chechens are up to right now?” mistakes were made but it’s not like massive troops movements are an overnight thing so i’d assume there is some planning involved; especially given the porous nature of ukie “intel” and russia’s drone capabilities.
as for the great karen/mob daughter analogy, this came to mind:
One of my good friends look like he and Kadyrov could be long lost twins, or maybe Kadyrov would be his older brother (I wish I could share pictures side by side of them but I don’t think my friend would appreciate it!). Because of this it’s hard for me to ever consider Kadyrov critically. I’m very glad for what he said, thank you for sharing it!
I was thinking further about all this and wondered, yalensis do you have any impressions of how much of people’s frustration is because they feel like higher-ups aren’t being straight forward/honest about the situation?
I feel like a lot of anger I’ve seen from various people online has been at least partly directed at people who are claiming/analyzing that this is all part of the plan. I was also listening to one person living in the Zaporozhye area who was very troubled thinking a lot of what’s happened recently seems to point to there being some kind of conspiracy that decision makers in Russia are in on along with Ukraine.
I’m not trying to assert an opinion either way, but just wondering your thoughts (or other people’s thoughts too) about whether or not more transparency would be reassuring to people (of course more transparency can have its own risks).
Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head. I think people are frustrated because of the lack of transparency, and this starts to breed conspiracy theories about zrada, etc. I know I hate it when people are not straight with me. Nobody likes to be treated like a child. When there is a defeat, just come out and say it, don’t try to sugar-coat.
I distinguish between that and honest opinions, different interpretations, etc.
You also have to allow for the fog of war effect.
Electrons do not flow anywhere in an AC power system. They vibrate around a point in the conductor. The average person hasn’t the first clue about AC power, and nothing written here changes that, but you’re all excused because Edison couldn’t grasp the concept either. A battery, a bit of wire and a lamp told him all he needed to know, and 130 years later, that’s how Mr and Mrs Joe Q Public still think our electrical system works. Nope, not even close. Good thing there are universities training electrical engineers to actually understand AC power and thus make the Alternating Current system work for us all.
Anyway, a bit unlikely that Poland will get its slice of power generated from Ukraine now. Basically, Russia said phuck you Ze and the lights are out all across Ukraine. Must be more than half a dozen regular power plants demolished by Kalibr tonight, and the power and thus water is out, the train system is out, et cet er ah. Now the big bombers are coming.
Yass, she be a bit of a mess, there, Banderista. Try running the country on no electricity. It don’t work. Erecting a new transmission line to whinging Poland is likely not the first thing on a Ukrainian lineman’s mind at the moment. Having a nice dump with running water to flush away the result to a sewage treatment plant is now a luxury to dream of in many Ukrainian cities.
Of course, my Canadian TV news an hour ago did not mention this somewhat inconvenient state of affairs, but preferred to show Ukie soldiers raising flags in small captured villages and claiming Ukraine had won the war. Right. And that was second to video of the funeral procession of Good Queen Liz.
We’ll no doubt get a clearer picture of what’s transpired tomorrow when the sun comes up and Ze’s people can see that they had been living in la la land. Not any more. It takes YEARS to build power plants from scratch. Welcome to the dark ages.
“Basically, Russia said phuck you Ze and the lights are out all across Ukraine. Must be more than half a dozen regular power plants demolished by Kalibr tonight, and the power and thus water is out, the train system is out, et cet er ah.”
Is this something that actually happened, Beluga, or your projection of what MIGHT happen if Russia decides to really put the boot in? I have appreciated your comments on Y’s blog because you add depth to the discussion. If Russia has gone to the U.S.-style “destroy the infrastructure” tactic in response to the Kharkov counteroffensive, that would be a dramatic escalation. I checked the websites of my local paper, the New York Times and the Saker’s blog. Not a word on any massive Kalibr attack on power plants in the corporate media — it was all “rah-rah the Ukrainians are kicking some ass!” Since the corporate media ignored the suicidal mission against the Zaporizhia nuke plant while the inspectors were there, it’s not unprecedented that they would be deliberately blind to something else. And the Saker isn’t a breaking news wire, so if that happened, he and his crew will get to it later. Ditto for other Russosphere sites such as Martyanov and MoA. But craaaaaaap! — how bad is the information environment when I’m grasping at straws for what might be a big fuggin’ deal based on a comment at the bottom of a thread on a somewhat obscure blog? (But one that’s getting more notice all the time!)
Bukko, Beluga is right, this actually happened, the Russians bombed the crap out of Ukrainian infrastructure and reverted half their country to the 19th century! In just the course of 3 hours.
It happened last night. (Isn’t that the name of a movie?)
I’ll talk about this in my upcoming post (please stay stuned!)
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Jeez! Truthful news is relayed faster in blog comments than it is in actual “news” sources. I checked on comments in Larry Johnson’s blog, down the comment line in MoA (which I mostly avoid because it’s got a high “signal to noise” ratio there — i.e. “too much bullshit”) and in the commentary on the Naked Capitalism site’s “Links” post from yesterday. People on those three all made note of the attacks. And all of those websites had more extensive analysis of the power plant attack ramifications today. I noticed N.C. had to link to an online story in a Zimbabwean newspaper to provide professionally-sourced words. I’m not sure where faster hands like Beluga got their info. I don’t scan the Russian coconut telegraph, so I’m out of the loop.
Just for the gits ‘n shiggles, today I squizzed the headlines in the “Russia-Ukraine War” sections of the leftish Melbourne paper, the Washington Post and the New York Times. NOT A FREAKING WORD! about what strikes me as a significant news event, the escalation of this war into a more totalenkrieg direction. The lamestream meeja (unsettles me to use a right-wing phrase, but it fits) all had several stories about “Ukraine takes lots of Russian prisoners! Russians flee and leave their weapons behind! They stole bicycles and dressed like women to get away!” Staggeringly blind, intentionally misleading people who depend on them for news about the true nature of reality.
I remember the self-criticism that Amerikan news media did after Gulf War II. They, especially the NYT, all admitted “we relied too much on government sources who hoaxed us about Saddam having weapons of mass destruction. We’re so sorry! We won’t do it again.” And here it is, 20 years later — they’re doing it even harder. As a former newspaper reporter, I used to be sad about the destruction of the news industry. The last paper I wrote for, a big one based in Tampa, went under a few years ago, completely defeated by the St. Petersburg Times. Now my attitude is “screw all those bastards in the fishwrap business. They are getting what they truly deserve.”
Yeah, for sure, it’s a sad day when obscure bloggers and commenters scoop the lamestream media on a very important story. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen would be horrified. Can you imagine: the towers are falling down, and Perry White is barking at them: “I want you to cover that stolen bicycle story!”
Yup, we shall be talking about that “dark ages” thing in my next post (coming up shortly, but you beat me to the punch!)
Also, thanks very much for the education in electrical engineering. I sort of vaguely knew that electrons do not literally move along an arrow from Point A to Point B. But as to how they actually behave, you are right, I don’t have a clue!
P.S. you’re also right about the Poles will not getting their precious “electrons” now, that post is so-o-o-o-o 24 hours ago!
For a long time I have appreciated the difference in your reporting from the standard mainstream blogs in the west, they call out MSM there’s MSB as well, I’m not talking about the propoganda outlets but the so called independent and anti NATO alternative multipolars, etc etc
You give an insight into the actual Russia or Ukraine, real life – the only other I have come across is Gilbert Doctorow – mostly others are warporn speculations
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You’re very welcome, Gerrard! That was a nice thing to say, and I really appreciate it.
A couple of revealing videos on the situation in Kharkov:
Kharkov battle SITREP by Evgenii Poddubnyi (subtitled by Saker)
Not only did the Russians decide to withdraw from Balakleya, Kupyansk and Izium before the Ukraine Kharkov offensive even started, but even US intelligence people were saying before the offensive started that the Russians were planning to withdraw from the region. That’s why the Ukrainians were able to advance so quickly – because many of the Russians had already gone.
The withdrawal was properly organised, all civilians who wanted to leave were safely evacuated. So there were no civilians left for reprisals, the only ones remaining were the vehemently anti-Russian ones.
Ukraine has lost over 30,000 killed and wounded in these hare-brained escapades.
Another crucial bit of news:
Exposed: The vast pro-Ukrainian ‘bot army’ designed to influence Western policy makers
Full research paper here
which shows that out of 5 million tweets in the first two weeks of the SMO, 60 to 80% were from fake accounts, and 90% of them were pro-Ukrainian. They found overwhelming pro-Ukraine bot activity, and that this bot activity had strongly significant effects. [As to some of the more detailed conclusions, I’m not convinced of the quality of the research! Nevertheless the general statistics regarding pro-Ukraine bot activity are probably robust.]
I can definitely believe that about the bots. Every channel that I regularly visit is swarming with pro-Ukrainian bots.
You can tell the difference between somebody who is pro-Ukrainian and just posting comments and opinions; vs a bot. The former will respond in real time to other peoples comments and attempt to debate. The bots just keep posting the same B.S. talking points no matter what the topic. Clearly, this is just an automated process. Oh, there might be an actual human being behind the email, but they are not really participating in real-time, clearly they just type up some B.S. talking point and then schedule it to run on everybody’s blog or channel at random intervals.
For example, last night on DPA, everybody in the chat was talking about the Russian cruise missile strikes, except for this pro-Uke bot who kept posting the same sentence every 5 minutes or so, in which “he” kept inquiring if the host knew about the big Ukrainian offensive in Kherson. (Which was old news, anyhow.)