The breaking news (and I will cover this in more depth in tomorrow’s post) is another major Russian attack against Ukrainian infrastructure. Yesterday the Russians went medieval on the hydro-technological infrastructure of Krivoy Rog. Like, blowing up a big huge dam (Karachunovskaya) on the reservoir to raise the level of the Ingulet River; which caused massive flooding downstream. From what I read, parts of downtown Krivoy Rog were flooded, ironically people were left without drinking water and had to dash to the supermarkets to buy bottled water.
The name Krivoy Rog, by the way (Ukrainian spelling is Kryvyi Rih), means “twisted horn” or “crooked horn”, you know, like those animals whose horns grow out and curl backwards. I don’t know how or why the city got such a strange name, but I’ll research it properly in time for tomorrow’s post.
Anyhow, the Russians, being the philanthropists that they are [sarc], did not do this just to be mean. They claim this was an absolutely necessary step to deflect that big Ukrainian Zaporozhie counter-offensive, that everybody has been talking about. We’ll discuss the ethical considerations in tomorrow’s post, and whether or not this should be deemed as a war crime (since it is directed at civilian infrastructure). Realistically, this act has caused a significant advantage for the Russian military operation, as it caused several of the Ukrainian pontoon bridges to float away. Recall that, as we discussed, the Ukrainians had so many possible places of attack, as to keep the Russians on edge as to which location they try to raid first. What I am trying to say, is that this was a military-tactical decision from the Russian side. And successful, from the looks of it, although one should always heed the words of Sun Tzu when he advised: “Never under-estimate your enemy.”
Ukrainians Continue To Plan Their Counter-Offensive
I have this piece from reporter Elizaveta Bulkina. As we know the Ukrainian army got a boost when America started giving it HIMARS system. Even if they are not exactly the “game-changer” that some predicted, they certainly helped (the Ukrainians) become even more destructive than they were before.
Now we are learning that the Ukrainians are beefing up their Zaporozhie line with more HIMARS, presumably as a prelude to the planned counter-offensive. In addition to HIMARS the Ukrainians are bringing in “Radio-Electronic” complexes called Bukovel. This information was reported by Vladimir Rogov, from the Zaporozhie administration.
Rogov: We have counted at least 3 Bukovel systems. The Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) are organizing storm groupings for “intel via combat”, in other words to probe for weaknesses in our line. So far all of their probes have met with a harsh response. The UAF are actively using drones. We have strengthened our defensive lines. We still don’t know where they are planning the brunt of their counter-offensive.
Bulkina reports on Ukrainian activity on a slightly different part of the front: near the borders of Luhansk Oblast. There too they are relying heavily on their American HIMARS.
Andrei Marochko is an officer of the Peoples Militia of the LPR. He reports that Ukrainian troops are probing the area around the LPR border, maybe even within 10 kilometers. Moreover, they are shelling the heck out of LPR territory, using their HIMARS. For example, they heavily shelled the town of Stakhanov.
No Money For Collaborators
In this other piece by reporter Anton Nikitin, we learn that refugees from the Kharkov District who fled to Russian territory, had their bank accounts frozen by the Ukrainian government. This was reported by Tatyana Moskalkova, who is the Human Rights Ombudsman for the Russian Federation.
Moskalkova: Many of these refugees spent years saving up their hryvnas, this money comes from their pensions, their salaries, their savings. And now they come to find that their ATM cards don’t work any more, they are unable to take their own money out of their accounts. The Kiev regime has frozen their accounts.
The article goes on to say that the total number of refugees from Ukraine to Russia, since February 24 of this year, has exceeded 4 million people.
“and whether or not this should be deemed as a war crime (since it is directed at civilian infrastructure).”
That is the question: is t strictly civilian or dual use, and dam busting of course is nothing new, is it? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Chastise
Considering that nothing that Ukraine did or does in Donbas, from attacking and destroying civilian infrastructure like hospitals, residences, schools etc, and spreading butterfly mines that are meant to harm civilians raises the ire of the West or is even reported (actually, the only reports that I found are the ones concerning Russia -https://www.dw.com/en/fact-check-is-russia-using-butterfly-mines-in-ukraine/a-61120270 – spreading those along the contact zones), I say who gives a flying fuck, let them taste their own medicine.
I believe the BBC has been going on about the dam attack and non-military target etc. I never watch the BBC and now I cannot, even should I wish to do so: Roskomnadzor put the blocks on that odious British propaganda organ a while back.
The British, however, are very proud of their WWII dam buster raid.
Lest it be forgot: as a result of that raid, an estimated 1,600 civilians – about 600 Germans and 1,000 forced labourers, mainly Soviet – were killed by the flooding.
If i rightly recall, a very large number of those “forced labourers” — better said: “slaves” —were Ukrainian women, enslaved citizens of the UkSSR, who toiled away for the “Master Race” whilst the Galitsian SS was fighting for the Führer.
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Here is a more detailed analysis:
So, it does seem that it’s “No more Mister Nice Guy” time on the SMO. I don’t know how to react to that, since a kinder gentler war would be a good thing, but maybe it’s just not possible, particularly against such a willfully cruel enemy. Looks like Generals Power and Water are getting called up, while Generals Mud and Winter wait in the wings.
Thanks for the clarification on the significance of Krivoy Rog’s name, I’d always sort of wondered.
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According to wiki, the name comes from the shape of the landmass formed by the confluence of the river Saksahan with the Inhulets. That sounds plausible.
as alluded to by other comments, the ukies have attacked their own dams to slow the russians so this isn’t without precedent. for me it depends on whether civilians were actually drowned or washed away. when it comes to evacuations and lack of drinking water, those have been quite common problems throughout this “SMO”.
as for the HIMARS, they have to be stored and moved like anything else and the russians have had zero trouble targeting them in the past. unless they can hit an su-35 there’s no “game” they can change. same with the forces gathering for a new attack; it won’t really be surprising when it happens and “let’s all gather in a few places out in the open” might not be a great strategy when faced with expert surveillance.
just a guess, but i’m assuming any further “offensives” will be met with a Hand of God level of ordinance.
Have all the fun you want discussing the professor of ethic’s theories, but the definition of war crime, like history, is written by the victor (the one who prosecutes), and is always “whatever they did that we didn’t also do”.
The dam that the Orcs stonked in Banderastan:
Karachun dam — a legacy of the “occupiers” from the USSR
Decommunization, as it turns out, has not reached every corner of the former USSR. As with the oil refineries and thermal power plants, all the dams in the Ukraine are also a legacy of the “damned communists”. Nothing of this kind has been built in the Ukraine since 1991 and is not likely to be built. Constructed at the beginning of the 1960s by the efforts of Soviet workers, including students of the Komsomol organization, it is hardly dear to the children of Bandera. And at the end of the day it would have been decommunized.
Note: the dam is 60 years old, and unless it was built to withstand an atomic war, restoration is problematic.
A number of things are apparent.
First, Ukraine tried to repair that Krivoy Rog dam, and reports are it was hit again, just for good luck, and another dam at Iskrovka was bombed as well for good measure. If all the original dam bombing accomplished was to wash away some UAF pontoon bridges when they could have just been bombed, well then it could be said the dam bombing was excessive. However, the UAF has been shelling and missile attacking dams themselves, plus shelling the NPP. So, tough titty, Ze. This is what it feels like when you get a taste of your own medecine. Ukraine now gets to reap what it sowed, so to speak, and there are a lot of wet Ukrainian feet.
Second, the UAF route is in full flight if anyone looks at things clearly. The RF is using today a lot of thermobaric weapons, TOS-1A, plus T-bombs from aircraft on Ukrainian positions. Very nasty weapons but they work. If the Ukrainians want to ass around and brag like fools about vacuuming up farmland, well they’re now being kicked squarely in the chops for being complete idiots.
Third, Wagner PMC is at work in Bakhmut and supposedly doing well.
Fourth, Russia has advised the US that if it supplies longer range missiles to Ukraine, it will be regarded as a direct combatant in the operation. I fully expect the US to be deaf to this warning, so watch out. The nuclear fuse is lit.
I guess the gloves are indeed coming off, as Doctorow said the other day. Would love to read NEET’s analysis on the topics of my points. I’m an amateur trying to connect dots, and could well be off beam. I don’t think so, though. Russia seems a lot more serious now than a couple of weeks ago. Got to impress their TV pundits I guess, and election results seem to be 80% in the current leadership’s favour.
There are other issues. Georgia, Khazakstan and Azerbaijan all are trying to start fronts to spread Russia’s military attention. Nothing like a spot of colour revolution paid for by the Yankee dollah. Armenia has called on its CSTO partners to protect it from Azerbaijan. Now the question is what crazy man Erdogan is thinking and maybe doing. He’s got a fat US base on his territory to consider. Time to sh!t or get off the pot, Recep. What’s it going to be, lad?
Gruzia starting something too? I hadn’t heard that. In fact, I was reading the opposite, that the Gruzians told the Ukes to go fly a kite, and now there is bad blood between these 2 nations. Unless you are thinking of Saakashvili provocations(?)
Well, you got me there, Jack, er, yalensis! Haven’t a clue who Gruzians or the Saakashvilli are. Not in the loop on that terminology. I was merely perusing ASB military and repeating info — they seem to get most things correct. If Gruzians are Georgians, then you likely know better from your other sources about general internecine squabbles. I just wanted to point out, things are getting more complicated by the day.
Here, have a gander at the preview:
Thanks, Beluga. Sorry, not everybody digs my jive. Gruzia = Georgia (in the Russian terminology). A long time ago I adopted the “editorial policy” of calling it Gruzia and Gruzians. Not out of any disrespect to the Gruzian people, mind you. It’s not a derogatory. It’s just that, when I called it Georgia, some of my more geographically-challenged American readers got confused and thought I was talking about the state of Georgia. So their hair would turn white if, for example, I posted, “Russia invades Georgia!” – LOL!
Anyhow, I’m not completely up to date what is going on, but a couple of days ago the Russian MSM was gloating that the Gruzian government told the Ukrainians to go fly a kite, basically, when the latter DEMANDED of the former, that they open a second front.
The Gruzian government is cautiously neutral and doesn’t want to get involved. However, there is a radical pro-Ukrainian Opposition, led by former Prez Saakashvili.
Georgia / Gruzia / Sakhartvelo is, apparently, going to have a referundum “Do we want to take part in this war?”, Apparently the Saakashvili crowd are sponsoring it.
After 2008, my guess would be an overwhelming no, but then no EU candidacy for them.
I may or may not have a post on this tomorrow (no promises). The referendum gag is a bit of a joke, so not sure if we should take that seriously.
I think the Gruzian government was just trolling Ukraine: “sure we’ll open a second front for you, but only if our citizens agree…” Knowing that they won’t.
Oddly enough, our takes are +/- identical. I think the guys at Georgian dream were prepared to bet that their countrymen were not, in fact, ready to commit mass suicide.
The German /EU government may be prepared to immolate their nations, but I don’t think that would have passed a referendum so easily at all. Plus, of course, memory of the 2008 war is still current, I expect. But who knows, apparently 98% of Ukrainians believe they’ll win, which blows my little mind
I didn’t dig your jive when I first read the word “Gruzia” in your blog either, Y, but I twigged after pondering it a bit. I don’t even think I had to Oogle it. I think it’s cool to know an alternate name for that nation, which I had not seen before, and I read a bit about the 2008 war at the time. Is Gruzia what the residents of that country call it amongst themselves? Because “Georgia” sounds like an Anglo word, even without the “King George” historical background. Even with the religious history of St. George — not sure how he fits into the sectarian basis of whatever the dominant denomination is in Gruzia — that possibly mythological figure would probably be pronounced differently in the local lingo.
Gruzia is the Russian name for the country. It’s a legitimate country name, not a derogatory. The Gruzians themselves call their country Sakartvelo. From what I understand, it was patched together from different tribes. Including the Kartvelians, the Mingrelians, and lots of others. Stalin’s henchperson Beria was from the Mingrelian tribe. Curiously enough, the English word “mongrel” derives from Mingrelian, if I am not mistaken.
The Russian word “Gruzia”, I am not 100% pure of the history, it’s what Pushkin called it in his time, which is good enough for me. Pushkin travelled there as a secret agent of the Russian government, and wrote about the people and culture. He said the Gruzian young women and girls were the most beautiful in the world, whereas the older women among the ugliest.
(He was not very chivalrous in his descriptions.)
Obviously the name has to do with the name George, and Saint George, and all that jazz. I think St. George killed the dragon in those parts. It was also around those parts that Jason and the Argonauts found the Golden Fleece, and Jason took Medea as his bride. When she was still young and beautiful.
I have travelled to Gruzia myself, as a tourist. The people are super-nice and hospitable, the food is great, and the gods gifted these tribes with a fantastic geography.
On the Azerbaijan-Armenia issues, I was reading a claim that it was by an “unknown third party” allegedly imported jihadis shooting at Armenia from Azerbaijan territory, allegedly (and I’d say reasonably plausibly) unknown to Azerbaijan, nor Armenia. Timed with US visit to Armenia, of course, to help rouse the Armenians to point the finger at Azerbaijan. Can’t give a link I’m afraid, I forgot where I saw it.