Category Archives: Military Affairs

Military Confrontation

Scott Ritter on the Sabotage of North Streams

✔️ Biden said: “It will be done,” and it was done. There is no doubt about that. People will say, “Oh my God! Russia did ,it” Who is saying this? The propaganda services. There is one country that has done it. And that’s the US, which has fulfilled the promise made by the American president.

✔️ It is clear here that this attack was carried out by the US. Just the day before, the streets of German cities were full of protesters who were speaking out against their government’s policy, the policy of strangling Germany. With industry shutting down, energy prices skyrocketing and a long and cold winter ahead. And the citizens of Germany said: “Stop this nonsense! Turn on Nord Stream 2.” 

✔️ These rallies would go on and one of two things would happen. Either the German government would have turned on Nord Stream 2, or it would have been overthrown and replaced by people who would have turned on the pipeline. And from an American point of view, this is very dangerous. Germany is a key ally in exercising American hegemony. The US has chosen to abandon gas pipelines. And whatever the Germans want, it is no longer going to happen. That was the purpose of this operation.

✔️ That doesn’t punish Russia, it wasn’t supplying gas anyway. It just watched the Germans commit voluntary suicide. 

✔️ What happened was the US committed an act of war against its European allies. There is no other way to look at it. This is so stupid! It is destroying Europe. We used to call Tony Blair America’s poodle, now I don’t know what to call Europe. It’s some kind of indecent word! It’s demeaning to Europe! I don’t know what the US will get out of it. Because whatever short-term gain Biden might get, this operation will have long-term consequences.

It is Always the Little Guy Who Dies for the “Financial Speculators”

Russian wounded fighters who came from Liman and are now in Valuiki say that Ukrainian Nazis attacked in a chain near Liman yesterday. “I was furious, a crowd of about 30 people came out of the forest, formed a chain, and came at us, I started working on them with a machine gun and an AGS grenade launcher, and everyone from our position started fucking with them, I saw bullets hitting people, they fell, but like crazy they kept coming. Then when many of them fell, those who stayed started running away. How many we killed, I don’t know, but many of them were killed. An hour later another crowd came out of the same forest, under the cover of BMP, our mortar started working on them and we started shooting at them. They left again. Then we were hit and I was wounded, I thought they were on drugs because they were being mowed down, but they were walking.”

This story indirectly confirms that junkie Zelensky gave the order to take Liman at any cost before signing an agreement on the incorporation of new territories into the Russian Federation.

Yes, Captagon is a hell of a drug. You can cut off the hand of the man with bullets, and he would still go as if nothing happened. Like their German predecessors with Pervitin. But even that didn’t help.

Just so everyone can start to understand the strengths and the frailties of the Ukrainian mob-army:

Wagner PMC has been storming Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) with 1/3 the force of the Ukrainian defenders, and daily they take territory—urban territory—away from the numerically superior defending force: A block here, half a block there, the progress is steady and inevitable.

Ukrainians had been attacking Krasny Liman with a 12-1 numerical advantage (6000 vs. 500 defenders) and could not clinch anything of note until the Russian reinforcements came—all the advances had been concentrated in the sparsely-defended rural areas where the Russian army was forced to withdraw and conduct a maneuverable defense.

The strength of the Ukrainian army is that it’s, in comparison, a mob. It’s weakness is that it still is—despite the training and equipment—still largely a mob. That will change with time, but so will the Russian numbers.

Think on that. (Gleb Bazov)

How the US Blew up a Russian Gas Pipeline in Siberia, 1982.

◾The information from this text was first published in The Guardian

By David E. Hoffman February 27, 2004.

◾In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline, according to a memoir by a Reagan White House official.

Thomas C. Reed, a former Air Force secretary who was serving in the National Security Council at the time, describes the episode in “At the Abyss: An Insider’s History of the Cold War,” published by Ballantine Books. Reed writes that the pipeline explosion was just one example of “cold-eyed economic warfare” against the Soviet Union that the CIA carried out under Director William J. Casey during the final years of the Cold War.

At the time, the United States was attempting to block Western Europe from importing Soviet natural gas. There were also signs that the Soviets were trying to steal a wide variety of Western technology.

“In order to disrupt the Soviet gas supply, its hard currency earnings from the West, and the internal Russian economy, the pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines, and valves was programmed to go haywire, after a decent interval, to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds,” Reed writes.

“The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space,” he recalls, adding that U.S. satellites picked up the explosion. Reed said in an interview that the blast occurred in the summer of 1982.

Reed said he obtained CIA approval to publish details about the operation. The CIA learned of the full extent of the KGB’s pursuit of Western technology in an intelligence operation known as the Farewell Dossier. Portions of the operation have been disclosed earlier, including in a 1996 paper in Studies in Intelligence, a CIA journal. The paper was written by Gus W. Weiss, an expert on technology and intelligence who was instrumental in devising the plan to send the flawed materials and served with Reed on the National Security Council. Weiss died Nov. 25 at 72.

@youblacksoul

Russian Talk of Going Nuclear: Hot Air or Serious Warning?

By Sergey Poletaev, co-founder and editor of the Vatfor project.

Just the other day, Moscow sharply upped the ante in the stand-off over Ukraine: it gave the go-ahead for referendums in territories formerly controlled by Kiev and announced a partial military mobilization. It also again issued a reminder that its actions are backed by the world’s most powerful weapons. This was immediately dubbed “nuclear blackmail” in the West.

So why are we hearing these hints over and over again? Is Russia really prepared to use such force, or is it just a form of verbal deterrence?

First, since the end of the Cold War there has been an imbalance between Moscow’s nuclear power, its economic capabilities, and its political weight in the world. Secondly, these weapons of mass destruction are perceived by our former adversaries as a relic of the past rather than a relevant factor in international relations, today.

Russia, on the contrary, sees the nuclear arsenal as the basis of its sovereignty and has assumed that as long as we were still a great power in nuclear terms, we could also claim to be important in terms of foreign policy, even as an economic dwarf. It was the presumption of being a great power that determined our actions in Ukraine and throughout the post-Soviet space.

This difference in perception is the fundamental reason for the Ukrainian crisis, and it’s why we and the West cannot find any common ground to at least try to kick-start some sort of agreement.

Russia does not pretend that the West shares its views on Ukraine. If there were such illusions a decade or more ago, they have long since dissipated. The Kremlin now seeks to push Washington and Brussels out of the country, which it considers to be part of its vital interest zone, and if this fails, it hopes to reformat Ukraine as a state and remove its potential as a threat.

In this endeavor, Moscow doesn’t care what others think.

The West is stubborn, and this means Moscow’s years-long attempts to settle the matter with little blood spilled have failed. In the interim, things have only gotten worse, and we are now in the eighth month of a large-scale conflict in Ukraine, with Kiev having lost control over five regions since 2014.

We also have two armies facing each other, one with the largest country on earth at its rear and the other with the most powerful military bloc in history providing huge support.

By raising the stakes and again mentioning nuclear weapons, Russia is telling the West:

  • The harder you push us and the more you drag us into this conventional conflict in Ukraine, the closer the nuclear scenario will be, both tactically (strikes against specific targets in the theatre of operations) and strategically (intercontinental missiles). The more you try to pin us down, the less choice you will leave us.
  • There can be no winners in a nuclear war. So, your military victory in Ukraine is impossible. Thus, you have two options: either continue to help Kiev or withdraw your direct backing. Ukraine will lose either way, and you can lose with it, or you can limit your involvement – and survive.

It could be argued that the Kremlin’s vague hints are not aimed at finding détente, but rather are about promoting increased uncertainty and forcing the opponent to think about exactly where the red lines are drawn.

Firstly, for Russia, the number one military objective is to defeat the Ukrainian army (AFU). The Kremlin seems confident that after partial mobilization we can deal with the AFU and its western rear. But it is not certain that we will be able to handle the Western-supplied systems which have been deployed.

Secondly, it is likely that clear messages are being conveyed through closed channels to Western counterparts about what Moscow considers totally unacceptable. In any case, NATO has been very careful in its expansion of arms deliveries and has so far categorically not allowed its weapons to hit Russia’s core territory and Crimea, while also still not intervening with its air force and air defense.

What’s next? Well, there are three scenarios. Let’s label them by appropriate moods.

Black: In response to our actions, NATO raises the stakes again and intensifies its level of engagement to defeat Russia on the battlefield. This is the route to nuclear action, although there are still many more bridges to cross first.

Grey: Freezing the conflict in its current state with the perpetual non-recognition of Russia’s new borders. This leaves Ukraine torn apart and left to prepare for more fighting down the road, with ties between Russia and the West severed for many years.

Sunshine: For this to happen, awareness of the reality of the nuclear threat must become clear to the Western leadership. Then, and only then, will they lose interest in Ukraine. When it comes to Russia, on the other hand, it will make sense to restore relations, now in the full knowledge of what lines can’t be crossed in the future.

Then and only then can we finally move on.

Are We Sleepwalking into Nuclear War?

Dmitry Trenin is a Research Professor at the Higher School of Economics and a Lead Research Fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. He is also a member of the Russian International Affairs Council.

This October marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, which drew Moscow and Washington into a nuclear showdown that threatened the immediate annihilation of the world.

Luckily, the leaders of the time – Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy – had the wisdom to step back from the brink, and then engage with each other on first steps toward jointly managing adversity in the nuclear era. Given the current conflict in Ukraine, which is steadily escalating toward a direct military collision between Russia and the United States, there is a hope that the lessons of the past can also help to end the present confrontation on a peaceful note.

However, we should also be mindful of the major differences between the two crises.

On the surface the root cause of both confrontations has been acute feelings of insecurity created by the expansion of the rival power’s political influence and military presence right to the doorstep of one’s own country: Cuba then, Ukraine now.

This similarity, however, is almost as far as it goes. The salient feature of the Ukraine crisis is the vast asymmetry not only between the relevant capabilities of Russia and the United States, but even more importantly between the stakes involved. To the Kremlin, the issue is literally existential.

Essentially, it is not only the future of Ukraine, but that of Russia itself that is on the table. To the White House, the issue is definitely important, but far less critical. What is in question is clearly US global leadership (which will not collapse within the Western world, whatever happens in Ukraine), its credibility (which can be dented but hardly destroyed), and the administration’s standing with the American people (for whom Ukraine is hardly a top concern).

The 1962 Cuban missile crisis broke out in the atmosphere of a pervasive fear of World War III, which rose to its highest pitch during the 13 days in October. The 2022 Ukraine crisis is unfolding virtually in the absence of such fear. Russia’s actions over the past seven months have been taken in the West more as evidence of its weakness and indecision than its strength.

Moreover, the war in Ukraine is seen as an historic opportunity to defeat Russia, weakening it to a point when it can no longer pose a threat even to its smallest neighbors. A temptation emerges to finally solve the ‘Russian Question’, permanently neutering the country by seizing its nuclear arsenal, and possibly breaking it into many pieces that would likely bicker and war among themselves. Among other things, this would rob China of a major ally and resource base, and create favorable conditions for Washington to prevail in its conflict with Beijing, thus sealing its global dominance for many more decades.

The Western public is being prepared for the eventuality of nuclear weapons being used in the Ukraine crisis. Russian warnings to NATO countries, with reference to Moscow’s nuclear status, to stay away from direct involvement in the war, which are meant as deterrence rather than an intention to widen the conflict, are dismissed as blackmail. Indeed, a number of Western experts actually expect Russia to use its tactical nukes if its forces face a rout in Ukraine.

Rather than seeing this as a catastrophe to be absolutely averted, they seem to view this as an opportunity to hit Russia very hard, make it an international outlaw, and press the Kremlin to surrender unconditionally. At a practical level, the US nuclear posture and its modernization programs focus on lowering the atomic threshold and deploying small-yield weapons for use on the battlefield.

This does not suggest that the administration of US President Joe Biden wants a nuclear war with Russia. The problem is that its highly pro-active policy on Ukraine is based on a flawed premise that Russia can indeed accept being ‘strategically defeated’ and, should nuclear weapons be used, their use would be limited to Ukraine or, at worst, to Europe. Americans have a long tradition of ascribing their own strategic logic to their Russian opponents, but this can be fatally misleading. Ukraine, parts of Russia and Europe being hit by nuclear strikes – while the US emerges from the conflict unscathed – might be considered a tolerable outcome in Washington, but hardly in Moscow.

So many of Russia’s so-called red lines being breached without consequence from the start of the Ukraine war have created an impression that Moscow is bluffing, so that when President Vladimir Putin recently issued another warning to Washington, saying that “it is not a bluff,” some people concluded that it was precisely that. Yet, as recent experience demonstrates, Putin’s words deserve to be taken more seriously. In a 2018 interview he said, “Why do we need a world in which there is no Russia?”

The problem is that Moscow’s strategic defeat, which the US is aiming for in Ukraine, would probably ultimately result in “a world without Russia.” This probably suggests that if – God forbid! – the Kremlin will face what the Russian military doctrine calls “a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation,” its nuclear weapons will not point to some location on the European continent, but more likely across the Atlantic.

This is a chilling thought, but it may be salutary. Any use of nuclear weapons must be prevented, not just the use of strategic ones. It is cruel but true that peace between adversaries is based not on solemn pledges and pious wishes, but, in the final count, on mutual fear. We came to call this deterrence and “mutually assured destruction.” That fear should not paralyze our will, but it should ensure that neither side loses its senses. On the contrary, the erosion of deterrence and its dismissal as bluff would leave us sleepwalking into big trouble.

Unfortunately, this is precisely where we are heading now. It is telling that the constant shelling, over many weeks, of Europe’s largest nuclear power station is tolerated by Western – including, incredibly, European – public opinion, because it is Ukrainian forces seeking to dislodge the Russians who have occupied the station.

If there are lessons to be learned from the Cuban missile crisis, these are basically two. One is that testing nuclear deterrence is fraught with fatal consequences for all of humanity. The second is that the resolution of a crisis between major nuclear powers can only be based on understanding, and not either side’s victory.

There is still time and room for that, even if the former is running out and the latter is getting narrower. Right now, it is still too early even to discuss a potential settlement in Ukraine, but those Russians and Americans who like me spent the last three decades in a failed effort to help create a partnership between their two countries need to come together now to think about how to avert a fatal clash. In 1962, after all, it was informal human contact that saved the world.

via RT

The US Army’s Modus Operandi – Top Secret

One thing that seems to be missed by some commentators, is that the US military is extremely good at killing people, on or off the battlefield.  They suck at nation building, or more likely, use peacekeeping and nation building as a low intensity way to prop up the MIC.  Just a note, as some equate the failure in Afghanistan and Iraq to lack of lethality.

Why is War Not Declared?

Why is war not declared?

From the point of view of international law, in “official war” the UN launches automatic “war prevention” procedures in accordance with General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of December 14, 1974.

▪️In accordance with Article 41 of the UN Charter, the severance of diplomatic and economic relations (including any transport, telecommunications and other means of communication with a strange aggressor) among UN member countries, including among countries neutral to Russia;

▪️Legitimization of military assistance for the country – the victim of aggression (in this case, for Ukraine);

▪️Legitimization of a peacekeeping operation, if UN members deem it necessary in accordance with Articles 39-51 of the UN Charter;

▪️Settlement of the conflict without the participation of Russia;

▪️Blocking the right of veto for Russia;

▪️Possibility of exclusion of Russia from the UN.

Theoretically, the UN can do this even now, but in an “official war” there are more maneuvers and powers for this. Everything is not limited to the UN and it is not an organization with an unconditional guide to action, however, it has weight and significance.

The actions of the UN extend to other international organizations and structures. Bypassing sanctions can be difficult and have legal implications for neutral countries such as China, India, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which may now covertly support Russia, but which will be difficult under total international restrictions.

In international law, who is the aggressor and who is the victim is of great importance, so countries avoid declaring “war”. This also applies to the United States, which did not use and/or avoid the word “war” in relation to Iraq, Syria and Libya, but referred to it as “peace enforcement”, “struggle for democracy” or “counter-terrorist operations”. That is why SMO is SMO, because war has legal consequences.

You should not compare 2022 with the period of the Second World War, when alliances of countries were formed. The UN emerged from the post-war reorganization of the world order in October 1945 and had one of the main goals – the prevention of wars. This gives the UN quite extensive powers of “peace enforcement”.

A logical and completely fair question, where was the UN when the US unleashed dozens of armed conflicts over 70 years? Good question, but whoever controls the world economy and global financial capital controls the world – that’s the answer. What is allowed by the US does not apply to others.

All international institutions are under the US and dominated by the US, so there is no need to look for justice where there is none.

As for the domestic economy. There may be a legal conflict…

Without going into legislation, in practice this can lead to the following:

▪️Rupture of commercial contracts (refusal to fulfill obligations) primarily in connection with business-to-business and, to a lesser extent, business-state (which is logical under martial law), as the launch of a force majeure procedure.

▪️Activation of insurance scenarios and cases related and associated with force majeure, and war in 99% of cases is prescribed in all contracts as force majeure. That is why in 2020 no one officially declared the epidemic an epidemic, but there was just “like voluntary self-isolation”.

Also, the status of the SMO according to organizational procedures differs from the war, which is enshrined in Art. 18 of the Federal Law “On Defense”.

Therefore, the authorities avoid legal consequences where it can be avoided without losing the effectiveness of the operation.

@spydell_finance

https://t.me/ukraina_ru/101490

Shocking Document: How the US Planned the War and Energy Crisis in Europe

by Markus Andersson, Isac Boman via Nyadagbladet.se

  • In what appears to be an exceptional internal leak from the think tank RAND Corporation, known among other things to have been behind the American strategy for foreign and defence policies during the Cold War, a detailed account is given of how the energy crisis in Europe has been planned by the United States.
  • The document, which dates from January, acknowledges that the aggressive foreign policy that was being pursued by Ukraine before the conflict would push Russia into having to take military action against the country. Its actual purpose, it contends, was to pressure Europe into adopting a wide range of sanctions against Russia, sanctions which had already been prepared.
  • The European Union’s economy, it states, “will inevitably collapse” as a result of this, and its authors rejoice in the fact that, among other things, resources of up to $9 billion will flow back to the United States, and well-educated young people in Europe will be forced to emigrate.
  • The key objective described in the document is to divide Europe – especially Germany and Russia – and destroy the European economy by placing useful idiots in political positions in order to stop Russian energy supplies from reaching the continent.

Germany’s minister for foreign affairs Annalena Baerbock, in a meeting in May with Nato and U.S. officials.

As the first outlet in Europe, Nya Dagbladet can publish what appears to be classified US plans to crush the European economy by means of a war in Ukraine and an induced energy crisis.

RAND Corporation’s think tank, which has a huge work force of 1,850 employees and a budget of $350 million, has the official aim of “improving policies and decision-making through research and analysis”. It is primarily connected to the United States Department of Defence and is infamous for having been influential in the development of military and other strategies during the Cold War.

A document signed RAND, under the opening heading of “Weakening Germany, strengthening the U.S.”, suggests that there is an “urgent need” for an influx of resources from outside to maintain the overall American economy, but “especially the banking system”.

Only European countries bound by EU and NATO commitments can provide us with these without significant military and political costs for us.”

According to RAND, the main obstacle to this ambition is the growing independence of Germany. Among other things, it points out that Brexit has given Germany greater independence and made it more difficult for the United States to influence the decisions of European governments.

A key objective that permeates this cynical strategy is, in particular, to destroy the cooperation between Germany and Russia, as well as France, which is seen as the greatest economic and political threat to the United States.

If implemented, this scenario will eventually turn Europe into not only an economic, but also a political competitor to the United States.”, it declares.

The only way: “Draw both sides into war with Ukraine”

In order to crush this political threat, a strategic plan, primarily focused on destroying the German economy, is presented.

Stopping Russian deliveries could create a systematic crisis that would be devastating for the German economy and indirectly for the European Union as a whole”, it states, and believes that the key is to draw the European countries into war.

The only possible way to ensure that Germany rejects Russian energy supplies is to draw both sides into the military conflict in Ukraine. Our continued actions in this country will inevitably lead to a military response from Russia. Russia is clearly not going to leave to the massive Ukrainian army’s pressure on the Donetsk People’s Republic without a military response. This would make it possible to portray Russia as the aggressive party and then implement the entire package of sanctions, which has already been drawn up”.

Green parties will force Germany to “fall into the trap”

The green parties in Europe are described as being particularly easy to manipulate into running the errands of American imperialism.

The prerequisite for Germany to fall into this trap is the dominant role of green parties and European ideologies. The German environmental movement is a highly dogmatic, if not fanatical, movement, which makes it quite easy to get them to ignore economic arguments”, it writes, citing the current foreign minister of Germany, Annalena Baerbock, and the climate minister, Robert Habeck, as examples of this type of politician.

Personal characteristics and lack of professionalism make it possible to assume that it is impossible for them to recognise their own mistakes in time. It will therefore be sufficient to rapidly form a media image of Putin’s aggressive war – and make the Greens into ardent and tough supporters of sanctions – a ‘war party’. This will make it possible to impose the sanctions without any obstacles”.

Baerbock is, i.a., well known for declaring that she will continue the suspension of Russian gas even during the winter – regardless of what her constituents think about the matter and the consequences for the German population.

– We will stand with Ukraine, and this means that the sanctions will stay, also in winter time – even if it gets really tough for politicians, she said at a conference in Prague recently.

Green Party politicians Annalena Baerbock (left) and Robert Habeck (right) are described by the United Sates as being grateful for being manipulated into running errands for the United States – in particular the goal of destroying the German economy. (Photo: Vorderstraße/WEF/CC BY 2.0)

“Ideally – a complete halt of supplies”

The authors express a hope that the damage between Germany and Russia will be so great that it will make it impossible for the countries to re-establish normal relations later on.

A reduction in Russian energy supplies – ideally, a complete halt of such supplies– would lead to disastrous outcomes for German industry. The need to divert significant amounts of Russian gas for winter heating will further exacerbate the shortages. Lockdowns in industrial enterprises would cause shortages of components and spare parts for manufacturing, a breakdown of logistics chains and, eventually, a domino effect”.

Ultimately, a total collapse of the economy in Europe is seen as both probable and desirable.

Not only will it deliver a devastating blow to the German economy, the entire economy of the entire EU economy will inevitably collapse.

It further points out that the benefits of US-based companies having less competition on the world market, logistical advantages and the outflow of capital from Europe, would mean that they would be able to contribute to the economy of the United States by an estimated 7-9 trillion dollars. In addition, it also emphasises the important effect of many well-educated and young Europeans being be forced to immigrate to the USA.

RAND denies originating the report

RAND Corporation issued a press release on Wednesday denying that the report originates from them. No comments are made regarding what parts of the report are false or what is accurate, apart from simply writing that the content is “bizarre” and that the document is “fake””.

More Evidence of the Fake Wars

There is more evidence supporting the conclusion of our post of a few days ago: The Fake War.

Algeria has admitted that it can no longer supply gas to Europe

The country has not invested significantly in the development of gas production in recent years and against the background of growing domestic consumption, therefore, it has no special opportunities to increase gas exports, said Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Algeria to Russia Smail Benamara.

Algeria has significant reserves of gas on the shelf and would like to start producing it, but this requires technology. “This possibility will be considered sooner or later,” the Ambassador stressed.

He noted that Algeria plans to develop gasification of the country’s regions, “we don’t have many opportunities to increase gas exports, so Russian companies can come to us to explore – we have invested little recently,” the ambassador said.

The Ambassador repeated that Russia invests little in Algeria, as if taking a wait-and-see attitude.


The European Parliament urged the EU not to buy gas from Azerbaijan

Many MEPs called on EU Commison President Ursula von der Leyen not to buy gas from Azerbaijan, which, according to them, “attacks the sovereign territory of Armenia”, but to take measures to stop hostilities.

In July this year, the EU signed an agreement with Baku on doubling gas supplies from Azerbaijan in the next few years as part of Brussels’ desire to reduce dependence on Russian gas.

“We cannot allow Germany not to close nuclear power plants, but at the same time import gas from Azerbaijan and depend on another criminal regime. I hope that we will all oppose Aliyev’s aggression against Armenia,”- words of French MP Francois-Xavier Bellamy.

Similar speeches were made by other French deputies, as well as representatives of Bulgaria.

*****************

Hard defence of Kherson and a crumple zone in Kharkov. It seems the Russians are happy to have the conflict in Ukraine as a point of friction justifying/enabling the strategic economic war against the West. I don’t think they are actually looking for a quick military victory. Bit cynical though.