Ukraine War Day #261: What Next For Kherson?

Что ж мы? на зимние квартиры? (Lermontov)

Dear Readers:

The Latest + Greatest: In the course of of only 3 days, the Russian army successfully evacuated (without any losses) 20,000 troops. From one side of the River to the other. And then BLEW UP THE BRIDGE on the way out!! (Talk about “burning one’s bridges”.) And not just the foot/car bridge; but also the railroad bridge. In other words, the Russians were able to do, in a single moment, what the Ukrainians with their HIMARS have been trying doggedly for months now! In his news report (which I just linked above) Kots noticed some hapless civilians who almost made it home. They needed to cross that bridge on foot just one more time, but they got held back, and then BOOM! Oops, now they’re stuck and they can’t get home. Sucks to be them. Or maybe they have strong biceps and they can swim home…

Antonov Bridge goes bye-bye

Readers, I am actually impressed. Pundits were saying it would take weeks to get these troops out. And then only 3 days! And not a single loss! [Putting on my Winston Churchill voice:] Never since the Dunkirk Evacuation have so many men been moved in so short a time without losing a hair on anybody’s head… You gotta hand it to General Suvorikin: He said he would make a tough decision. He made that tough decision. And then he executed it flawlessly and ruthlessly.

Readers, I must remind you that I abhor violence and destruction. That Bridge was a marvelous work, built by genius engineers of the Soviet period. But, as Lermontov pointed out, “The people of those times were giants. Not like the pygmies we see around today…” People of that era were able to build very large works of infrastructure. The apes of our era are only capable of destroying everything they see around them.

But What Happens After Pereprava?

Переправа, переправа!
Берег левый, берег правый!

("The crossing!  The crossing!  The Left Bank, the Right Bank!")
poem Vasily Terkin by Alexander Tvardovsky

Okay, let’s get serious about prognostifications. This piece has 3 authors, Oleg Isaichenko, Darya Volkova, and Evgeny Poznyakov.

The water flow from Nova Kakhovka dam.

In the very first paragraph we learn that peaceful civilians are currently being evacuated from Novaya Kakhovka. Wait a minute! That’s on the Left Bank, I thought they were only evacuating from Right to Left… Well, turns out they are expecting some fireworks in Novaya Kakhovka as well. That’s the one with the dam. That’s the dam the Ukrainians keep bombing, the one that could break and flood the entire region… And that’s the city where the Russian soldiers are going to be taking up defensive positions. Military analyst Yury Podolyaka: “It is precisely this populated town which is located near the Kakhovskaya Hydroelectric Dam. This will become the main target of the operations, from both sides.”

Yury Podolyaka

According to the municipal administration of Novaya Kakhovka: “The evacuation of civilians proceeds in a calm and orderly fashion. All people have to do is sign up, and then leave the next day. Some people are leaving in their own personal transport. We have also organized the evacuation of non-ambulatory people who need [wheel chair] assistance.”

Podolyaka: “As far as I know there are three layers of defenses being constructed on the Left Bank. They have been building these concrete structures for the past month.”

Podolyaka’s colleage Mikhail Onfrienko adds that the lines of defenses will stretch for 12-15 kilometers, from the Left Bank of the Dnieper River almost all the way to the Black Sea. “The Left Bank is somewhat on the low ground. [Without these barriers], it would be quite easy for [the Ukrainians] to shoot at us [from the higher ground]. Besides that, these barriers will protect our positions from flooding in case the Ukrainians should achieve their goal of destroying the hydroelectric plant and dam.”

Mikhail Onufriyenko

Onufrieynko goes on to prognosticate what might happen next: “The Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) will no doubt enter Kherson. A lot of peaceful civilians still remain in the city. Amongst whom there will be quite a few who voted Yes to join the Russian Federation. And we have a pretty good idea what is going to happen to those people, as we saw on the Kharkhov front.”

At the same time, Onufriyenko does not believe the Ukrainians will try to force their way across the river. “More likely than not, they will activate sleeper cells of diversionaries. Our main problem, is that the enemy still enjoys an overwhelming superiority in numbers. And they understand that we will not be able to return our positions for quite some time. Therefore, the Ukrainian army may just leave a skeleton crew of artillery in order to shoot at our positions. And they may also bring in some long-range rocket systems. But the mass of their troops, they will re-divert them over to the Donbass front, where they are currently being forced back.”

Was There A Deal?

I will end today’s post with a brief discussion of some speculations I was hearing yesterday (all over the Russian blogosphere). People were speculating that some back-door “great deal” was reached between Russia and the U.S. This deal allegedly including guarantees that Russians be allowed to retreat across the river without being HIMAR’ed on their way. In return for? that maybe they agreed to NOT knock out the last remains of Ukraine’s electrical grid.

Well, if it were so, then twas a brilliant deal. Because the Russian forces made it across the pereprava intact; and then I saw this morning that the Russians started bombing the grid again. Is General Surovikin truly that cold-hearted that he will cut the Ukrainians off completely from their electrons? We shall see…

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61 Responses to Ukraine War Day #261: What Next For Kherson?

  1. John Thurloe says:

    Russia has long lost the military initiative. Their entire campaign has lost its forward momentum. Now, they are retreating from a Russian city. Despite their complete air control and excellent land armour, the Russian infantry is clearly being bested by the Ukies who suffer great loss but show more grit than the Russians can muster.

    And the whole world is seeing this debacle. And certainly the Russian population – as reflected in their media comments – is ashamed. Head should roll.

    Like

    • davidt says:

      Whose head do you have in mind? I wouldn’t worry too much about the Russians lack of grit if I were you, nor of the Ukrainians for that matter. I noticed that people say an Azov unit was positioned behind the Ukrainian groupings- indeed it is a very cruel war in many ways.

      Like

  2. Montmorency says:

    I’ll tell you what this signifies: the Special Military Operation is no more; war will start soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Radish Wrangler says:

    I have thought for a while that the Russian strategy has become one of not losing the battle of Ukraine long enough to win the war against the USA+. In that context, swapping land for lives (and time) while attriting the NATO+ resources (economic, political and logistical) makes sense.

    But, this just looks terrible, and puts the supply lines to/from Crimea under HiMARS fire – essentially replicating the Antonovsky bridge problem on a larger scale. Some solution to HiMARS seems imperative. A solution that destroys the launcher, not just the (majority of) missiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • daniel_s says:

      I think so too. Despite the performances of RF air defense, enough of those missiles got through to hit where it hurts.
      Otherwise Antonovski bridge would still be standing today.

      Like

    • yalensis says:

      Great point, and I worry about that too. Russia has to figure out a way to get rid of all of Ukraine’s artillery, and also prevent more from arriving at the front.

      Like

  4. BM says:

    I should be wary of these unscrupulous Yury Podolyaka and Mikhail Onufriyenko characters and their ilk, Yalensis. They are writing click-bait, and making a fortune out of it. And they are NOT “military analysts” – they are amateur bloggers, no more. They make a profit out of magnifying fear and doubt through distortion and misinformation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. BM says:

    That Bridge was a marvelous work, built by genius engineers of the Soviet period. But, as Lermontov pointed out, “The people of those times were giants. Not like the pygmies we see around today…” People of that era were able to build very large works of infrastructure. The apes of our era are only capable of destroying everything they see around them.

    The apes and pygmies are in the West only, not in the East. Look at the great construction works being created even today in both Russia and China.

    And don’t worry about the bridge. I am sure they only destroyed the span. See how quickly they replaced the first span of the Kerch Bridge! That is because it was so brilliantly engineered. Engineered by giants not by pygmies like the deranged pygmies of MI6.

    Like

    • Walrus McNasty - American Retard says:

      Describing human beings, even your perceived enemies, with terms such as “ape” and “pygmy” is something that racist, ultranationalist scumbags such as the supposed “Ukronazis” would do… are you sure you Russians have the narrative of this war the correct way around???

      Wow the Soviets built a bridge. Impressive. Yeah only superhumans could possibly have achieved such a thing. Y’all really are completely enthralled by your own self-glorification and national mythology. But I guess we have the same problem here in the USA.

      Like

  6. Steve says:

    I keep wondering why some so-called Russian supporters are freaking out because of an apparently military tactical withdrawal while the West and the Ukies are being cautious to do a victory dance, yet. Even some respected commentators like Pepe Escobar seems to have lost their cool and calling this withdrawal a disaster.

    For me, I think “the optic” as Andrei Martyanov puts it, is bad. That is if one is looking at the whole thing in terms of PR. But other than that, disasters in wars are made of grimmer stuffs. It matters very little whether the hitch-free relocation of the troops and equipments of the RF were achieved by a deal or not, the admirable thing is that the RF remains in control of the operation.

    Like

    • BM says:

      Yes, a “disaster” would be the dam being destroyed, cutting off thousands of Russian troops and leading to their slaughter. Most of the civilians have already been evacuated, and the territory can be recovered at any time. Lives, once lost, cannot be recovered.

      Like

    • zina says:

      We do not see what Russia sees. Either they are incompetent or they are carrying out a plan that is unknown to everyone. But it seems to me that Russia has agreed to the Dnieper being the border, and that is a disaster for Russia, because here Russia must win or die.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        I think the Dnieper is just a temporary border. To get through the winter.

        Like

        • zina says:

          I hope you’re right, but somehow Russia is holding back on its power, it needs to completely destroy the Ukinacist electric current system, right before winter, so they can’t use the winter break to strengthen. Somehow Putin misses Stalin, it seems to me, although I respect Putin for returning the Spirit of Orthodoxy to Russia, the Spirit of the Paraclete-Spirit of the Truth of Christ, who raised the Spirit of Russia, which is precisely the great national Spirit of Russian culture.

          Like

  7. Petya Orlov says:

    This whole notion of optics is clearly a western obsession by and large. The decsion makers entrusted by those who have placed their confidence in people who have wisely steered the nation safely from one western assault after another have long since stated that opinions from those in the worsterners is irrelevant to what matters for the endurance and progress of the nation without the need for “approval or validation” of those bankrupt worsterners – intellectually, morally and spiritually! Optics and “face-saving” tendencies are wrought by the self-righteous but righteous indignation prevail for defenders of its own people and those who stand-by them through thicke and thin despite threats and insults hurled by the wicked. Does the Russian narod really give a hoot afterwards when all left in the wicked worsterner hemisphere is their own self inflicted sh!tholed existence which they once label anyone they deemed “unworthy”. Brave souls do not squirm and scream of “defeat” because they are too busy doing something to ensure self presevation of its kindred. trolls and naysayers can go to hell… reading their worthless opinions is a waste of time which is better spent with those stout in heart!

    Like

  8. zina says:

    Why leave Kahovka, when you can release a wave of water from the hydroelectric plant and flood Kherson. As they started, they will also leave the Crimea.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Kakhovka is on the Right Bank (now controlled by Ukraine).
      Novaya Kakhovka (“New Kakhovka”) is on the Left Bank, controlled by Russia.
      In between the two twin cities lies the hydroelectric power station, dam, and bridge.

      I think the Russians are hoping the Ukrainians will stop trying to blow up the dam/bridge, now that they (=Ukes) own Kherson.
      I don’t think the Russians have a motive to blow up the dam, because they need the downstream water to feed Crimea.
      (I could be wrong.)

      Like

      • zina says:

        You are right there, because I thought that the hydroelectric plant was under Russian control, and the Russian spirit of culture does not allow the dam to be demolished, not because of the power supply to Crimea, because now the Ukrainians are threatening it and they will take advantage of it, because the Russians opened the door to Crimea. And evil will use it as before. Russia in Ukraine must defeat NATO or die. I hope that Russia will change the world and the Spirit of the times, and I hope that this idiotically abused world will not touch Christ, and that the antichrist will win.

        Like

  9. stephentjohnson says:

    Wow, hysteria much in the comments?

    Has a deal been made? I doubt it, but time will tell.
    What will the outcome of the war be? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else, but if I had to bet, it’d be that team China – Russia – Iran will do better than the collective west.

    Like

  10. et Al says:

    Hi Yalensis!

    Long time no write. I see you are attracting your fair share of concern trolls. Success!

    I love it when they risk their souls by coming out of the woodwork when they think it is safe, but that’s intellect for you!

    To me it still looks like early days and I read trepidation mostly from the Uke-Banderite side (like an Elvis song.)* I confidently predict big surprises to come, but I won’t share! 😉

    Regards!

    * …We’re caught in a trap,
    I can’t walk out,
    Because I love you too much baby!…

    https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/2717676/Elvis+Presley/Suspicious+Minds

    Like

    • Walrus McNasty - American Retard says:

      LOL looks like all the Putin stans are taking an extra big dose of Copium today.

      If Russian missile defenses were so amazingly effective, and Russia able to so efficiently defend the river crossings, troop concentrations and supply dumps, there would not have been supply issues on the west bank in the first place, and hence no need for any “tactical withdrawal”.

      If the Russian troops did take losses during the retreat, why on earth would Russia be honest about that? Both sides will obviously downplay any losses they take to prevent the collapse of morale. Russia still insists they’ve only lost seven dudes who were wounded when they stubbed their toes charging over Ukrainian corpses.

      Yalensis: How the hell does one retreat “ruthlessly”??? Not sure how a retreat can be ruthless unless you heartlessly leave behind a bunch of your own soldiers, or kill all the civilians on the way out. But the great honorable Russian military would never do anything like that, would they?

      This blog is the same three State propagandists regurgitating a little day-old “news” into each others mouths (usually taking the same or similar line as the official position of the Russian military/government) along with a lot of pseudo-intellectual bullcrap and weird references to history and literature which somehow relate to the topic at hand. They switch between fantasies of the imminent collapse of the Western world, stories of supposed triumph over the Ukrainian “Nazis”, and yearning for the complete subjugation and/or extermination of the Ukrainians, thus demonstrating who the real Nazis are. Pathetic.

      Looks like Surovikin is the first adult to be in charge of this misguided debacle, and the only one willing to tell Putin the truth, rather than whatever he wanted to hear. Will that be enough to turn things around for Russia? We’ll see how much longer for them to capture Bakhmut… they’ve been crowing about their super-impressive “progress” for months now! XD

      Like

    • yalensis says:

      Haha! Nice to see you again too, Al!
      “I confidently predict big surprises to come, but I won’t share!”

      C’mon, Al, if you know something, then dish it!

      Like

      • et Al says:

        I can’t, I’d have to shoot myself! No, nothing to dish I’m afraid. I’m just your standard proletarian of no consequence.

        If I have a point (!), it is that anyone can claim to read the tea leaves. So why shouldn’t I? It’s also fun!

        My only comment of substance (!) is that when the military and the politicians aren’t on the same page, divide and rule by the west. Not to draw too much of a parallel but that’s what happend to the Serbs three decades ago. In Bosnia Karadzic fell for every bit of flattery, promise/whatever and would order cease-fires or trade something away (Mt. Igman/airport etc.). Serbia proper was hammered with sanctions to limit support too. General Mladic’s strategy was all ‘smash ’em up and then we’ll talk’ but that was sabotaged from without and within. Even then (sic providing ‘we’re not real neo-nazis’ Croatzia with mothballed NATO equipment from the 1960s and 1970s), Bosnia ended up with something very similar at the end as was proposed before the fighting kicked off, except with devastation and a little over 100,000 dead. What was the point? For the west to exercise its power and show that it still counts.

        Russia has moved as one, divide and rule has failed. Mistakes, obviously but there’s that famous phrase, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. Adapt and survive which Russia has successfully shown how to do, whether militarily, economically or politically. It’s my guess that Russia licensed i-Ranian drones as this is by far the most simple solution to filling the gap. What’s wrong with that? Massive gaps have been exposed in the western politico-economic system very publicly. The rest of the world has gone ‘Nah, not interested in taking sides or imposing sanctions.’ Patient diplomacy by Russia protected its flanks and its traditional allies despite the PR claims of splits or loss of support by cherry picked quotes.

        How this all shakes out is anyone’s guess but I don’t see mine as being any less likely than the claim of others, so I’m not making any! No-one is fully in control of events, their consequences and global ripples (sic top u-Ropean importers of Russian LNG are France, the Netherlands and Belgium). Was this part of the cunning plan? Certainly not. Then there’s the fertilizer story of immense auto-f*ckery here in u-Rope. Farmers are not happy at all. And plenty more. That’s just a bit of the surface stuff. The old world that we know is over and it’s never coming back. Most of us haven’t realized it yet. That’s me being optimistic! To mis-quote the children’s song, The wheels of the bus are falling off, falling off, falling off…

        Like

  11. Reg says:

    About Novaya Kakhovka.
    Could it be the evacuation there due to a near future Kakhovka Dam blowup by the Russians?
    I know it sounds far fetched, but at the same time it would make any crossing more complicated for the Ukrainians and it would be a new layer of protection for Crimea. Depends on which bank the flooding would be more important. I’m trying to find that animation about it made a few weeks ago but I can’t find it.

    Like

    • Sacha says:

      The dam keeps the level of the river high enough for thr nuclear power plant of energodar so even if it’s currently stopped, I don’t see the interest of destroying the dam right now unless the russian strategists plan an operation like Moses’ in the red ses…

      Like

  12. Walrus McNasty - American Retard says:

    LOL looks like all the Putin stans are taking an extra big dose of Copium today.

    If Russian missile defenses were so amazingly effective, and Russia able to so efficiently defend the river crossings, troop concentrations and supply dumps, there would not have been supply issues on the west bank in the first place, and hence no need for any “tactical withdrawal”.

    If the Russian troops did take losses during the retreat, why on earth would Russia be honest about that? Both sides will obviously downplay any losses they take to prevent the collapse of morale. Russia still insists they’ve only lost seven dudes who were wounded when they stubbed their toes charging over Ukrainian corpses.

    Yalensis: How the hell does one retreat “ruthlessly”??? Not sure how a retreat can be ruthless unless you heartlessly leave behind a bunch of your own soldiers, or kill all the civilians on the way out. But the great honorable Russian military would never do anything like that, would they?

    This blog is the same three State propagandists regurgitating a little day-old “news” into each others mouths (usually taking the same or similar line as the official position of the Russian military/government) along with a lot of pseudo-intellectual bullcrap and weird references to history and literature which somehow relate to the topic at hand. They switch between fantasies of the imminent collapse of the Western world, stories of supposed triumph over the Ukrainian “Nazis”, and yearning for the complete subjugation and/or extermination of the Ukrainians, thus demonstrating who the real Nazis are. Pathetic.

    Looks like Surovikin is the first adult to be in charge of this misguided debacle, and the only one willing to tell Putin the truth, rather than whatever he wanted to hear. Will that be enough to turn things around for Russia? We’ll see how much longer for them to capture Bakhmut… they’ve been crowing about their super-impressive “progress” for months now! XD

    Like

  13. Beluga says:

    To show how little I knew, despite reading multiple sources daily, I had been under the impression that all the bridges had already been blown near Kherson City. I mean, there were people evacuating on ferries and the pontoon bridges when the Antonovsky Bridge was available for a quick canter to safety until yesterday. Why evacuate the hard way? Beats me. Another clear as mud moment.

    Demolishing a bridge span with RF army sappers available would be a cakewalk compared to lobbing miniature rockets at it as apparently the Ukrops were doing this last while. Hardly an amazing demolition feat. No medals need be issued.

    Back up river at this Novaya Kakhovka town next to the dam, not much chance of the Ukies getting across that edifice in any numbers. Maybe their propensity for imitating sitting ducks means they might try. If they do, then Quack! Quack! Quack it is, and a flurry of feathers.

    Because there is no chance that Russia will quit the objectives of the SMO, I think all the moaning minnies are out-thinking themselves if they believe the end is nigh and that the RF forces will retreat much further, if at all. Other than as battlefield reality dictates will give them an overall advantage, of course. The game is afoot, and still as clear as mud to outsiders including all the hands clasped over knees Russian fair-weather-friend blogger ninnies. It’s not a video game.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Beluga, I believe I know the answer to that Antonov Bridge riddle, because I was following this saga pretty closely.
      So, day after day the Ukrainians were lobbing HIMARS at this bridge. Russian anti-air would shoot down most of the rockets, but some would get through, causing big potholes and other damage. Crews would be out soon enough trying to patch the pot-holes, etc., but in time they just couldn’t keep up, and the damage was significant enough that they couldn’t risk trucks or tanks driving over the damaged plates. So, it was basically just light cars and pedestrians.

      Now, as to the pontoon: To get the really heavy stuff over (tanks and trucks), the Russians built a pontoon directly underneath the actual bridge. With the spans of the actual bridge providing some cover against the incessant HIMARS rockets.

      So, I believe that was the state of affairs right up until early this morning. After moving everybody out, the Russians then applied some TNT to blow the bridge for sure. You are correct that this was not an “amazing demolition feat” nor deserving of any medals. Just the sappers doing this job. I may have been somewhat hyperbolic in my post, or maybe just trying to be ironic, by pointing out that the Russians were able to blow it up rather quickly, whereas the Ukes had been trying for months. But you are right of course that it’s a lot easier to make it go boom-boom when you have TNT and you can get up close and personal!

      Like

      • Sacha says:

        It’s also symbolic telling uk that they won’t go any further. The key was Surovikin word on Oct 8 talking about hard decisions. Militarily he considered it was pointless to hold on to the ground right now but sent new forces including Axmat forces which suffered losses, to help outnumbered units wait till midterm. As a way to prevent Biden from using this pr victory for his election.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          I hadn’t even thought of that angle. Gosh, I hope they didn’t delay anything because of the American midterms. I get so frustrated when I still see Russians or pro-Russians “hoping” for some change in Washington. Because such hopes are always sheer fantasy. Russians should just do whatever they do, without ever taking a second glance at American politics.

          Like

  14. S Brennan says:

    All sites that pear outside of the DC/London blinders are being “plagued” by the legions of 3LA/3LA-wanna-bees.

    Over at Mr. Doctorow’s site the 3LA/3LA-wanna-bees [see an example above] are taking other peoples names to gain a false gravitas for their pathetic words, had they the integrity to use their real names, their utter lack of personal achievement would undermine any semblance of credibility.

    What a display of misplaced self-esteem…how low on the social scale do you have descend to in order to find fulfillment in mouthing state sponsored propaganda?

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      I mean, some people accuse ME of mouthing Russian state propaganda. The difference is, I only mouth ideas that I actually believe in. (Well, at a given time; because I change my mind and my ideas sometimes.)
      If my ideas, on a particular day, happen to coincide with, say, the talking points of a Soloviev or a Shoigu, or whatever, then it’s probably just a coincidence! I don’t seek to be a conformist, nor do I seek to be a contrarian. It’s just whatever I am thinking at the time, and I try to be honest and self-introspective as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • S Brennan says:

        When I was growing up holding views that were contrary to the majority was considered normal and healthy. In my mid-century, great lakes upbringing, independent minded souls were respected and often admired.

        When I was a 9 yo [circa 1965-6], I remember one Saturday afternoon riding a CTA bus* in downtown Chicago. Out my window I saw well behaved, well dressed…wait for it…Viet Nam War protesters. The men were dressed in ties and suits, the woman wore respectable dresses, the placards were neatly lettered with language that was rational and clear. All the protesters were dressed well enough for Sunday mass. The cops who were present did not look upon the crowd with disdain, on the contrary, the only correction I saw the cops make was if somebody was forced onto the street by the crowd, then they were sharply reminded of parade permit rules. Nobody showed disrespect to authority and as far as I could tell, no onlookers thought the protesters out of bounds..just normal Americans who disagreed with foreign policy.

        In the decades since, policies enacted without the peoples knowledge or consent have rendered whole cloth into tatters.

        This is what the 3LA’s wrought through their nefarious and extra-constitutional governance…to get their way, which they could not achieve through open debate, they have shredded the social fabric of my country. Now, we can’t even talk civilly to one another, we can not argue the facts the case, no, argumentation is now brutish that makes martial sports adherence to rules appear effete. And while we are the subject of sport and the 3LA’s has any sports team even had the sustained losing streak of our national security agencies and still remained intact…the answer is no.

        *[back then it was normal for kids to take the bus by themselves from about 6 yo onward]

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          That’s a wonderful story, S Brennan! And a nostalgic look back at times when parents were not total snowflakes, when kids were able to become independent at an earlier age. Like, take the bus, ride their bikes, and so on. I think that’s the way it should be. Parents are not really protecting their children by turning them into prisoners under house-arrest. You have to let your kids get out there and explore! For sure, there is a risk. But there is always a risk. A kid could be stuck at home and still get injured or harmed.

          Fortunately, there are still some pockets… For example, every winter I get out there and ski my brains out whenever I can, because I love to ski. And I see the little ones out there on the mountain being totally independent, riding the lifts, often without their parents’ supervision; then zooming down the slopes; and these little imps certainly know what they are doing!

          Let kids be kids, that’s all I’m saying…

          Like

        • KMD says:

          I was also a free range kid in Chicago at the same time as you. Our parents would be in jail nowadays for what was considered normal upbringing. Sad to witness what has happened to childhood in the US.

          Like

  15. mtnforge says:

    I think the Russian’s performed superbly. Retrograde movements are the most difficult of all combat actions. They totally left every prediction and rumor to the contrary in the dust.
    Besides that it is apparent preserving and saving lives both civvies and soldiers is primary overall objective number one with the Russian high command. This they have done. In more ways than one, one of which is if they remained on the right bank eventually some form of battle or massive arty-rocket warfare was a probability, so imagine what the ukronazi’s would do like they do everywhere, how they wreck and destroy everything out of hand. They leave nothing intact.
    In a way General Surovikin and his boss actually saved a quite nice city on the river from destruction and all those who live there from terrible things.
    So if anything the Russian Alliance should be recognized as doing the moral and just plain right thing.
    They have never fought for territory specifically, it has always been about saving things and de-militarizing and denazification of Ukraine. I believe the Russian’s want very much to not kill anyone. Everything to be said for that. So leaving the right bank makes total sense. Think of all the souls who have more or less peace now, long as the unkronazis don’t do their “collaborator” liquidation witch hunts and SOP terror and reprisal operations. And that ain’t Russia’s doing.
    General Armageddon specifically stated while back they would always make the hard choices in order to save lives of everyone. And they certainly did both.
    Kudos, my hats off to them. They did a splendid job of it. Even dragged their damaged weapons and armor to the left bank. Out foxed everyone to boot.
    Wooh Hoo! Way to go!

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      That’s a very good point: Namely, that a successful retreat is actually harder to pull off sometimes than a successful offensive! I think I read that somewhere, and people often say that about the British evacuation of Dunkirk.

      (I just realized I called this famous evacuation “Normandy” in my blogpost, my mind must have blanked out, I should have said Dunkirk!)

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. I am going to go back into my post and make the correction.

        Like

      • BM says:

        Yalensis, in your readings have you come across any concrete information about how many civilians refused to be evacuated?

        About 115,000 were evacuated, and I believe the population before the start of the SMO was 280,000; but Martyanov claims the vast majority – Ukie supporters – left to West Ukraine soon after the start of the SMO, leaving it as a ghost town even well before the referendum. Have you seen any confirmation of that? Interesting that the vote for re-unification with Russia was very restrained compared to the Donbass – only something like a dismal 65% if I remember rightly, so there were clearly still plenty of Ukie supporters. Come to that – what was the turnout (in absolute numbers) at the referendum, and combined with that what was the % turnout, that will give the population at the time of the referendum (hmm, except that’s only people of voting age, we also need to know the proportion of minors, but maybe some figures on average age of the population will give us a ball-park figure for that). May also have been some pro-Ukies leaving westwards after the referendum result, before the evacuation started.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Hi, BM,
          I have not seen any specific numbers, but your question inspired me to decide on today’s post (look for it in about an hour or two). It’s a piece about the Kherson “watchers”, those who decided to remain in Kherson and greet their Ukrainian “liberators”.

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          • Sacha says:

            Actually the ones who were let to leave by russian forces were ukr administration and top brass people too much connected to thr whole Kiev corrupted system. Since kherson was conquered swiftly, most didn’t leave do the majority of pro Ukrainian remained but obviously didn’t vote. One video of Patrick Lancaster in kherson showed this Dom the ground with a split opinion.

            Like

  16. KMD says:

    I discovered your blog about 6 months ago and am glad you created and maintain it. It’s a wonderful resource for those of us who seek info outside the mainstream dreck and propaganda. Keep up the good work! Please!

    Like

  17. John Thurloe says:

    Pepe Escobar, Mike Whitney, Larry Johnson and vitually every otherwise pro-Russia observer have condemned the Russian military command for the current mess. For bad planning, for losing the ground initiative, for a timid military campaign. What this lot have delivered is Not what Russia is capable of. This is bad leadership. It is a humiliation. This extends to the loss of confidence in Putin himself now being widely expressed in the Russian media. Things can be repaired. Let blunt things be stated. “Pour encouragers les autres”.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      I agree. A lot of top Russian officials seem to have forgotten that old maxim, “The buck stops here.”

      If this were a just world, then Gerasimov would have been replaced a long time ago; ditto (although I hate to say it) Shoigu. And Putin… well, let me put it this way, I think either Batka or Kadyrov could have done a better job as Supreme Commander in Chief of this war! Although I have to give Putin some credit for his diplomatic skills (creating important alliances with China, Belorussia, etc).

      Like

      • daniel_s says:

        Also this French gentleman, living in the Donbass, in his reporting (in French) from his location, has been warning about the “too little, too late” since March also.
        http://alawata-rebellion.blogspot.com/
        And one wonders- did the Russian High Command not see, or did it not want to see? I don’t know which is worse.

        That said, I join other commentators in the praise of blog Yalensis, because
        1) I see it as a thoroughly honest attempt to grasp reality, without any pretense to hold the truth, with a clearly stated personal position of yours
        2) I really enjoy any of your digressions/references to history, literature and music
        Thanks for sharing!

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Thanks, Daniel! I appreciate that, and I am glad you enjoy my blog.

          In my view though, these “digressions” are not really digressions, because I see human culture (and Russian history in part) as sort of a unified tapestry, which includes history, literature, music, art, and everything else.
          Plus, these nicer things help us cope with the more horrible things, like war.

          Like

          • daniel_s says:

            Agree, digression was not the best term to describe how you are enriching a given topic. But I did not find a better one in my (limited) vocabulary
            Hopefully you will soon have more enjoyable topics to share with us !

            Like

      • John Thurloe says:

        Today, Larry Johnson writes, “Russia has not committed its front line forces”. This addresses my oft query ‘Where is the First Guards Tank Army’ which heretofore all parties have reveallingly failed to answer. Well, this and the other permanent Russian forces Do Exist. As Larry points out. And they are doing nothing. Gone to Yoga classes maybe. But, not deployed. Must seriously piss them off. Actually, quite insulting to the Russian A Team to park them on the bench.

        And this is the main failure of command. This almost childish sortta war, going nowhere when it should all be over by now. ‘Mobilizing’ when Russia already had the power to win.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          When a coach holds his best players on the bench and sends in his second tier, who keep getting creamed, what does this mean? Like, maybe, Coach is worried that the other team has some even bigger play in store??

          Like

          • gepay says:

            I agree that Russia has had to consider that the US could at any time decide to send in NATO (more than the tens of thousands told to be deniable mercenaries). I disagree that the second tier keeps getting creamed. With the holding back by minimizing civilian casualties (which I applaud) and damage to infrastructure I think in the first 4 mos the Russians did exceptionally well. Especially when you add in the fact they were attacking with at most, one to one ratios. Since then they have only been retreating exceptionally well with minimal losses and inflicting heavy casualties and material loss on the Ukrainians except for the Donetsk- Bakmuht area. There they have been advancing as I have mentioned at a snails pace. What US intelligence with its satellite network has been telling the Ukrainian military seems to be excellent as opposed to the drivel they tell the Western public. I agree that Russian intelligence appears to have had important failures. Where are the Zhukovs?Nobody like Guderian or Rommel or Patton on the Russian side. Until the recent destruction of the electrical grid where was the Russian Air Force. Until NATO became the radical jihadis air force Ghadaffi was able to hold his own. This is the first time I have read of successful offensives when the opposition had air superiority.

            Like

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