Ukraine War Day #212: Did NATO Shoot Its Wad?

Dear Readers:

I personally hope this isn’t just wishful thinking, but Russian diplomat Vladimir Chizhov believes that Europe is running out of weapons. This being an unexpected (and perhaps halfway bitter) silver lining to this ghastly Ukrainian war. Chizhov possesses a full head of thick white hair, and serves as Russia’s representative to the EU. This is what he had to say:

Vladimir Chizhov

“Sooner or later the money will run out. And their stores of shootable weapons are also close to exhaustion. The Americans also vaulted quite a lot of weapons into the Ukraine, and now it is time for them to replenish their own arsenals,”

One must remind, in this context, that Zelensky keeps throwing tantrums and kicking his little feet on the floor, because the Germans won’t give him tanks. He thinks maybe they have some PTSD about the past [insert images of German tanks rolling across the Ukraine] and believes that it is time for them to get over these old hang-ups.

Nadezhda The Pensioner

Meanwhile, let us leave Chizhov and Zelensky behind, and scoot over to Donetsk where the reporter from the Donetsk News Agency interviews a very nice lady called Nadezhda. This pensioner was one of the first people in line to vote in today’s referendum. Well, it was easy for her, because she lives in an apartment block whose courtyard was one of the voting places. She says that she also voted in the 2014 plebiscite and was full of hopes, back then, that Donbass would join Russia. “But I can’t believe this day has finally come. I am an ethnic Russian myself (русская), all my relatives live in Russia, therefore my choice is quite clear to everybody. I have been waiting for this since 2014.”

What To Bring For The Trip

Nadezhda’s freedom and continuing use of her life, may depend on the young men now lining up for conscription within Russia proper (=”the big land”).

In this piece, reporter Andrei Rezchikov tries to dispel some of the confusion out there among the masses. According to some reports, as many as 10,000 young people already reported to the recruiting stations within the first 24 hours after partial conscription was announced.

Alexander Perendzhiev: “Bring some warm socks.”

Military expert Alexander Perendzhiev advises the young people: “At the assembly point, all of your personal belongings will be examined. For example, you don’t need to bring a thermometer with you! But woolen socks and a flashlight, might be okay. You should dress on the warm side, because of the season.

“You should bring things that are needed in everyday life: a sewing kit, handkerchiefs, a comb, nail clippers, objects of personal hygiene, even toilet paper. You may also need a clothes brush and shoe polish. Furthermore, you will need to orientate yourselves as to army life. You should pack a change of underwear, be sure to pack undershorts and warm socks. Even though they will provide you with a uniform, you still need to pack your own underwear.”

Perendzhiev knows what he is talking about, and the young soldiers should listen to his advice, because he is a member of an expert council called “Officers of Russia”.

He goes on to advise: Bring your own little first aid kit, with tape, gauze, band-aids, Q-tips, and iodine. A simple ruled notepad and pencil would not be out of place, you may have to suddenly write down something important. Perendzhiev says that this is the sort of personal kit he always carried with him in the Soviet army; and not much has really changed since then, when it comes to army life.

For those young men who are starting to get scared, kindly Defense Minister Shoigu reassures that the new conscripts will not be sent directly to the “hot spots” in the Ukraine war. First they will receive some training, and then they will be given their assignments.

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18 Responses to Ukraine War Day #212: Did NATO Shoot Its Wad?

  1. Montmorency says:

    “Russian diplomat Vladimir Chizhov believes that Europe is running out of weapons”

    I agree with him and this is no surprise. Outsourcing and offshoring were applied to the military-industrial complex too; not on the same scale as civilian manufacturing but massively nonetheless.
    Just take the F-35 and check the number of countries, in different continents, where it is produced.
    And then there’s raw materials, rare earth minerals, oh and there’s an electricity shortage.


    • BM says:

      Like titanium, aluminium, … and then ther’s all those parts in US weapons systems that are inconveniently manufactured in China!


  2. S Brennan says:

    Industrial war requires…wait for it…industrial capacity…the denizens of DC/London have decimated their hosts industrial capacity and are, through this war, cutting the legs out from under the Germans/Northern al.

    When time yields enough perspective, this so very tragic war will be viewed as a comedy of errors on the part of the parasitic class of DC & London; so very well credentialed and yet, so poorly prepared for life…and so it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. stephentjohnson says:

    Well, now, I think most of those mobilized will start in rear areas, as the newly formed units go through the shaking-out process, though doubtless some will be mobilized as replacements directly into combat units.
    The russosphere seems to include a fair amount of chatter with unkind descriptions of the competence / honesty / etc.military enlistment bureaucracy, not sure how valid they are, though the bureaucracy seems t have significant ability to complicate anything.
    It seems like the desire for combat veterans will be hard to satisfy, especially in enlisted men – the age cap of 35 years means only veterans of the Georgian and Syrian conflicts would qualify, and even for officers we only add in the Chechen wars.
    Well, time will tell. Inclusion of the DPR/LPR militia is also going to be a headache.


    • BM says:

      It seems like the desire for combat veterans will be hard to satisfy, especially in enlisted men – the age cap of 35 years means only veterans of the Georgian and Syrian conflicts would qualify, and even for officers we only add in the Chechen wars.

      The Georgian and Chechen wars are irrelevant, because it is limited specifically to recent combat experience. But godzillions of soldiers have been rotated into Syria, especially officers. Virtually all pilots in the Russian armed forces have combat experience in Syria, and a large proportion of officers. That was done deliberately. There’s also a few who would have had recent combat experience in Africa, but probably not many. Maybe a few who were even volunteers in the Donbass! Furthermore Russia has a 25 million pool of reserves, to this is just 1.2%! They have massive massive choice to pick from.

      Martyanov thinks the vast majority of those called up will be officers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jrkrideau says:

    conscription ?
    Is this an accurate translation? I was under the impression that this was a partial mobilization of existing reserves, not a new wave of conscription. If so, these men would already have had military training but would need to update skills, etc., before seeing active service.

    I thought that Defense Minister Shoigu was still saying that conscripts would not be sent to Ukraine though that may be a bit weasel-worded if the Donbass Republics and the two oblasts are accepted into the Russian Federation.


    • BM says:

      I am pretty sure that word conscript has been used pretty widely, including by Martyanov, and – in English translation – Putin and Shoigu. There does seem to be a potential contradiction here though – perhaps there are two different corresponding words in Russian?

      My reading is that yes, they are “conscripts” because they are called up from a register not volunteered, but yes they are qualitatively different from ab initio conscripts. Putin, if I recall, specifically specified that though conscripts they will get all the perks of contract soldiers.


      • jrkrideau says:

        This may be a language difference by country. To me, in Canada, a conscript is what you are terming an “ab initio conscript”. Reserves, militia, and what the USA calls the National Guard are not conscripts, more or less by definition as they are already enlisted in the military in some way. They are mobilized. My uncle who was in a militia unit was mobilized. My father who was working on the family farm and had no connection with the military was conscripted.


        • yalensis says:

          Thanks for explaining those distinctions. Maybe I should have used the English word “mobilization” to translate, instead of “conscription”. In the Russian piece, it’s actually the same word, “mobilizatsia” (для мобилизованного).

          I just wasn’t sure what the semantic difference is, but these comments have helped.


  5. the pair says:

    the west “running out of weapons” has always been a feature and not a bug. the US economy is basically war and financial voodoo; for all the (mostly correct) talk of its “diminished industrial capacity”, we’re talking about missiles, not oldsmobiles. lockheed and bae systems and northrop grumman will all be fine and they’ll keep cranking out profitable death tech. the SMO has been a glorified yard sale where the west has sold off its old trinkets from the attic so it can buy that new hypersonic appliance from japan.

    as for the conscripts, there might not be much of an SMO left to join by the time they’re ready but who knows what winter will bring. the ukies seems to have settled on “wall of bodies kamikaze onslaught” as their tactic of choice with the occasional petulant terrorist attack (to boost morale among people who enjoy killing civilians). not sustainable and who knows if this very climate changey weather will continue for long. we’ll see who has the Most Warm Socks.


    • BM says:

      Both Shoigu and Putin emphasised that they will get top-up training before being sent to the front, but I think that extra training won’t necessarily last very long – maybe varying from a week in some cases to a month in others. Also I read that the call-up itself will be staggered over a long period, they are not all being called up immediately.

      It is often stated that the US MIC will make a killing – but we’ll see! I reckon that might depend on how rapidly things escalate and what the outcome is.

      1) Rate of actual manufacture in the West (contrary to Russia) will be at a snails pace, because they have eliminated almost all of their production capabilities;

      2) Many essential parts and materials may be unavailable – rare earths, titanium, aluminium, etc;

      3) What if the dollar collapses before the MIC have produced much, US goes into hyper-inflation, printing endless dollars no longer an option, no money available;

      4) What if MIC manufacturing facilities are destroyed by Russia;

      5) Much of those sales are supposed to be to Europe – since the EU economy is in freefall how on earth are they going to pay for them at overprised US rip-off prices if they cannot even afford domestic heating? [Maybe they will buy used obsolete equipment from Russia instead – much better value for money and probably far better than the latest crap from the US – or maybe they’ll buy back the massive stocks of NATO weapons captured by Russia!];

      6) Since the SMO has shown all US equipment to be useless junk, purchases from the other 85% of the world are likely to plummet. The more top level equipment sent to Ukraine, the more the reputation of the US MIC for good equipment evaporates.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. raccoonburbleca says:

    Puzzling that new recruits to Russian army are being told to bring things like underwear and warm socks. How well will Russia be able to keep these troops supplied and equipped. People I know who joined the Canadian army said that absolutely everything they brought with them to boot camp was taken away and stored. Absolutely everything, underwear to tooth brushes, was issued to them.  They could not have wrist watches or even keep a notebook.

    In recent times, they are not allowed cell phones.

    And Canadian army is said to be chronically under equipped and poorly supported. But of course Canadian soldiers are real super tough.


  7. k says:

    Oh it’s better than that. It is German tanks crewed by N@zis rolling through Ukraine to fight the Russians in the Donbas.

    Liked by 1 person

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