Ukraine War Day #376: Secrets Of The Soledar Salt Mines [concluded]

Dear Readers:

Today concluding this story, we have travelled together on an amazing adventure with Russian reporter Dmitry Steshin. An adventure worthy of a Famous Five children’s novel, only maybe without sinister gypsies or dusky-skinned kidnappers.

After returning from Snake Island, our intrepid heroes take a trip to the famous Soledar Salt Mines!

Where we left off: Dmitry and his dusky-skinned sherpa, “Rus”, need to get back up to the top tout de suite. However, the mine entrance is being shelled at that very moment. There is a risk they will both be entombed in the salt mine forever, if the entrance collapses. Or the ladder.

By the way, I have heard American speakers use the expression, “Back to the salt mines!” when they are returning to work after a break. In this case, our adventurers need to get the eff out of the salt mine, before it’s too late!

Steshin: The shell had landed somewhere near the entrance to the mine shaft. There were actually 3 shells, spaced apart by several minutes. And with each explosion, Rus and I pressed ourselves into the cast iron tubing. I prayed that this 300-meter construction, ravaged by rust, would not break. I prayed that the entrance to the mine would not cave in. Fortunately, I could hear how our artillery guys offered a thick response, and the enemy eventually cut out.

Two hours later, moist as a mouse, choking and coughing out particles of rust, I emerged onto God’s bright earth. Unfortunately, there was very little of God seen on this earth. My guide pointed at the sky and told me firmly:

“We have to go. The clouds are clearing, and soon the Ukrainian little birds will appear.”

Rus and I embraced in farewell. In the Special Military Operation, it only takes a few hours of acquaintance, and you know a person better than you would if you had known them for 10 years.

I had the opportunity to see Soledar, that is the town, itself. I wish I hadn’t seen it. Very little has survived of the actual town. Even less than of Mariupol. And, judging by the artillery explosions, Bakhmut will suffer a similar fate. This is probably the moment when I first intuited the Bandera plan. Ukraine, as an ethno-political construct, had virtually nothing to do with these Russian cities. And, unable to take them for herself, Ukraine was also not willing to give them back to their rightful owners. Therefore she decided to destroy them, without thought, pitilessly, while bloodying her own mobilized troops, captured in the supermarkets and at bus stations. After our victory, it is we who will have to paw through these ruins and come to despise those who did this.

Nothing left but ruins…

Beyond Soledar, the road was littered with rain-soaked villages. And in each one I saw almost the same picture. Giant toy animals sat at each gate and watched through their button-eyes as the cars and tanks slid through the mud. These stuffed animals greeted the soldiers, and then said goodbye as we passed. Somebody had brought these beasts out of the destroyed homes. I wasn’t the only one who smiled at the strange sight, when I saw a giant plush bear, embracing his friend, a blue-white elephant. And we all felt somehow lighter inside.

No matter what happens, people still need salt in their diet.


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18 Responses to Ukraine War Day #376: Secrets Of The Soledar Salt Mines [concluded]

  1. Beluga says:

    Great story. You have to be intrepid just to climb down those spiral ladders, not to mention getting back up under threat of fire.

    You first mentioned the mine in some detail back last Aug 13, Day 178 of the SMO. That prompted me at the time to do a DuckGoGo search on the mine (and salt mines in general — we have a local one) And boy, was there a lot to read! And the many pictures of excavation halls, soccer pitch, orchestral hall, souvenir shops for the tourists, cafes, the many shrines and so on. A real tourist “trap”. The fantastic carved sculptures are also featured in images. Even Wikipedia had a decent post; that entry has changed dramatically since last August, dunning Russia and Wagner. But the image function of DGG still shows various caverns of rather amazingly different sizes of excavation halls and so on.

    The total destruction of the town of Soledar and now Bakhmut one supposes was actually caused by Russian artillery, responding to the Ukrainian resistance. That kind of destruction was what Russia wanted to avoid, but needs must against whack job neonazi Ukraine resistance — I don’t think Ukraine blew Soledar up, or there would be no place to hide and fight door-to-door with Wagnerites, but a ten to one difference in lobbed shells by Russia did the awful trick.

    Reading Big Serge’s latest and how the Russian Army’s every move is seen by US/NATO satellites, AWACS and other various advanced electronic toys in real time, even down to individual houses, shows why big Russian offensives are likely off the table for now. It’ll be the grind, so unfortunately, other Donbass cities are likely to be completely levelled as the Ukrainians are slowly removed by Russian forces. I think everyone should read that Big Serge article, to get a grasp on the constraints Russia faces at the moment. It has been cited by many other pro-Russian commentators, because frankly, they’ve been terrible at predictions and may now understand why.

    What an utter mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrDomingo says:

      I think most of the destruction to major centres could be avoided by creating a cauldron without focusing too much on battles on the outskirts . Once surrounded, the garrisons would have to surrender or be defeated in a fight where Ukrainians cannot be re-supplied and so perhaps not requiring extensive artillery bombardment.


    • yalensis says:

      I had a similar reaction when Steshin accuses the Ukrainians of destroying whole cities: “Er, the Russians lob more shells than the Ukrainians.”

      On the other hand, I think Steshin probably has in mind, that the Ukrainians could have avoided this wholesale destruction if only they had been reasonable and agreed to negotiations. Or avoided the war altogether if they had not started the Donbass war in the first place (in 2014).
      In any case, it is what it is, and there is no going back now. This thing has to be played out to the bitter end, unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ortensio says:

    Entiendo que el cierre de El Saker ( El Faker ) obedece a una aproximacion de guerra total entre OTAN – RUSIA .

    Porque tambien una aqui muy conocida siberiana, Liu Sivaya , quien tiene influencia de la Embajada y que llevaba ocho años casi sin interrupcion en Madrid, voló a su nacimiento en Krasnoyarsk y ya está alli desde casi seis meses ……

    ¡ Dios nos pille confesados !


  3. Liborio Guaso says:

    Today they published an article in ZEROHEDGE saying that the Ucronazi used chemical weapons in Soledar.


    • yalensis says:

      I don’t doubt it. If Ukes had nukes, they’d use the nukes.


      • I expect that’s the next thing that the Nazis’ Westie cheering squad will start proposing. Look at the things that used to be off the table, but now they’ve been put on the menu and are supposedly being cooked up in the kitchen. The most advanced models of main battle tanks. Longer and longer-range guided missiles such as the HIMARS. F-16 jet fighters. (The first pilots are purportedly being trained in the U.S., so can pledges of planes be far behind?) What’s left for the Westie war pimps to trial-balloon except nukes? (Hopefully not actual balloons, because those things are so terrifying that they can make a country as aggressive as the United States shit itself for a week!

        The way it starts is some armchair warrior who’s got an outlet in some large mediaganda organ, or a war-lusting minor politician, makes a suggestion: Defensive nuclear weapons! Because it’s an existential crisis for Ukraine. The Russians will kill every child, woman and soldier in the country if they win! The Free World must help the innocent Ukrainians prevent this impending holocaust of millions. If you could have dropped atomic bombs on Hitler and prevented the deaths of 6 millions Jews, wouldn’t YOU have done it, Mr. and Mrs. Goodthinkingcitizen?

        They’ll only be “tactical” nuclear weapons, “low-yield”! We Westies won’t give our peaceful democratic friends in Ukraine any delivery system that could attack Russia itself. The nukes will have geo-fencing software that deactivates them if they cross into Russian airspace! Since the atomic weapons can only be exploded on Ukrainian territory (cough — Crimea, the Donbas — cough) the Ukrainians will CERTAINLY be responsible with when and how they blow them up. These things are just a deterrent, anyway, not something that would ever be used, because knowing that they’re there would scare the Russians so much that they’d retreat immediately.

        Of course that’s bullshit. But it’s the next step in the madness. One of the things I look for in the comments section of pro-Ukie websites I read is to see if and when some faceless screechers in the peanut gallery come up with this suggestion. Because that’s how it starts (am I guilty of doing it here?) and the more “respectable” voices take it from there.


        • yalensis says:

          Oh trust me, Bukko, the pro-Uke sites have already raised this issue of Nukes. Sometimes they speak in code, look for the words “Budapest Memorandum”…


  4. It’s the same Götterdämmerüng mentality as the original German nazis: destroy everything rather than let the enemy have them, and by “enemy”I mean the people whose cities you’re destroying. And of course the American Empire did the same in Korea and Vietnam.


  5. S Brennan says:

    Set piece warfare destroys everything in it’s path and the winning side has to rebuild. That is why every tactical retreat has been costly to the eventual winners/re-builders.

    As Andrei points out correctly, the Russian Command certainly knows more than I about war but, I can’t help but notice that the slow slog employed is destroying the very thing Russia came to save? I know the days of Inchon landings has passed but, surely Russian flag officers can come up with something better than the total destruction of what will be western Russia when Biden/[Clinton/Cheney/Obama]’s people finally cut and run [see Afghanistan for details]. By all accounts the ratlines are already sagging under the weight of rodents abandoning the ship.


  6. Liborio Guaso says:

    Ahora montaron un drama, el buenazo de Zelenski desea abandonar Artiomovsk se supone que para salvar vidas y el jefe del ejercito, un tipo malo no quiere. Asi convertiran un desastre en una demostracion de buena voluntad.


  7. whocanibenow says:

    Hey man,

    Thanks for this.


  8. BTW, like most Indian kids in the 1970s, I grew up reading Enid Blyton. The Famous Five was her worst series.


    • yalensis says:

      A few years back I got hooked on an English radio show with skits done by a group of comics, and I can’t even remember now their names; but anyhow they used to make fun of the Famous Five novels, and it was hilarious. I would listen to the tapes while driving in my car and laugh my ass off.
      Apparently the Five were always being kidnapped by gypsies or dark-skinned smugglers, and the comedians were making fun of the latent racism. Then they would riff on the fact that the youngest girl, Annie, was a screaming girly girl who grew up to become a lesbian; and the other girl, Georgina, whom everybody assumed to be a lesbian, grew up to be a married mother of 10. Or something like that. Made me want to read the whole series so I could understand the jokes; but I never got the time.


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