GUEST BLOG: Ben Morgan – Putin rolled the dice and lost, what next?


Putin is in trouble; he may be talking tough but the continuing advance of Ukrainian forces and the ongoing collapse of Russian forces in Ukraine cannot be hidden. Further, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in Samarkand this week showed the waning strategic influence of Russia.  Watching India’s Prime Minister castigate Russia and listening to Putin admit that China had concerns about the invasion demonstrated that Russia’s claim to leadership of the nations opposed to the United States is gone. Putin’s gamble has backfired terribly at a strategic level, the Ukrainian invasion demonstrates a level of arrogance and ineptitude that does not bode well for an international power aspiring to lead other nations in collaborative action.  The destruction of Russia’s vaunted army undermined any claim to military leadership.

Putin makes plenty of historical claims, if he read more history, he would know that other powers have been in the same position Russia is in now.  Once powerful empires that through the flowing tides of history have lost their pre-eminent position and must choose to evolve quickly or lose their relevance.  The invasion of Ukraine reminds me of Britain and France’s ill-fated invasion of the Suez Canal in Egypt during 1957.  A last flash of imperial hubris that was quickly deflated by the new realpolitik.  Putin’s lesson is a harder one, he has been able to bluff the world and his people for a long-time that Russia is a force to be reckoned with and that he is a strategic genius.  However, the demolition of his army in Ukraine has thrown the inadequacies of both Putin and modern Russia into stark relief.

Britain was lucky because it’s liberal democratic tradition and commitment to free speech and civil debate quickly changed policy and the nation was able to re-invent itself.  The British shed their imperial pretensions and realised that even if the British Empire no longer existed, they could still be an influential leader in the world. So Britain worked closely with the United States and its NATO partners and continued to engage with and support the countries of the Commonwealth.  Now it has a level of influence on world politics far greater than Russia’s will be for generations.  And, it is a key lesson of history that liberal democracies will always beat the autocrats, dictators and tyrants because they allow debate and rapid evolution of policy. 

Putin is absolutely committed in Ukraine. He can’t reassess his policy. To do so would mean admitting fallibility and when the tyrant and the state merge it is impossible to accept fallibility.  That is why his dialogue is about continuing the war, that Ukraine’s advance is merely a setback, that Kharkov Oblast (region) is not the real focus of the war and that he is really winning (or would be if his generals were more loyal and better).  Unfortunately, this is a common situation we have seen it with every gambling dictator, that after building a state in his own image took one risk too many.  

Tactical operations this week confirm Russia’s strategic objectives because their military effort is directed south, specifically at retaining the ‘Crimean land bridge’ instead of prioritising holding a new defensive line in the north-east. The stated goal of defending Luhansk and Donetsk quickly disappearing as the Ukrainians advance.  Last article, I said that in the north-east a competent commander would ‘dig in’ and hold a new, shorter defensive line possibly along the Zherebets River, P66 Highway and the high ground east of these features. The river and high ground form a natural north-south barrier roughly on the border with Luhansk Oblast (region) creating a new more easily defended frontline.  

Instead, it appears that the Russians are withdrawing from the north-east, sacrificing ground for time and concentrating on the areas that they need to hold to maintain the land bridge.  Meanwhile Ukrainian forces in the north-east are quickly surrounding Lyman, an important city that is another key supply base for Russia’s attacks on Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. This city is a railway hub from which Russia’s northern axis of advance towards Sloviansk was supported.  If the Ukrainians are quick enough, they may capture the city complete with a stockpile of Russian ammunition as happened at Balakliya, Kupiansk and Izyum.  Tens of thousands of rounds of Soviet artillery ammunition was captured in these cities by Ukraine and will be a welcome supplement to their supply chain.  

Further south near Bhakmut, the Russians continue to sacrifice soldiers in futile offensive battles. The Institute for the Study of War reporting that the Russians “… continue to prioritize strategically meaningless offensive operations around Donetsk City and Bakhmut over defending against continued Ukrainian counter-offensive operations in Kharkiv Oblast”. This activity is either because Russia’s command and control is collapsing or is an effort to demonstrate to the public in Russia that progress is being made towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.  It is impossible to say for certain but the effect on Russia’s campaign is the same either way, useful resources being wasted.

The battle of Kherson continues, Ukraine has confirmed that its interdiction campaign continues and that the Russians appear to be trying to develop new crossing points on the Dnipro River.  Ukrainian General Staff sources report that these crossing points are likely to be withdrawal routes, however this is unconfirmed. Good information about the fighting in this area is hard to find but it seems likely that the Ukrainians are maintaining pressure on the Russians and slowly advancing on Kherson.  

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Social media reports of Russian units seeking to surrender are increasing and an interesting operation conducted by the Russians indicates the level of concern they have in the south.  On 15 September, Russian rockets damaged the Karachunov Reservoir Dam, a dam that controls the flow of the Inhulets River that the Ukrainians have built pontoon bridges on to support their operations.  By attacking the dam the Russian’s were hoping to flood the Inhulets and wash away the Ukrainian bridges.  This operation is interesting not because of its objectives but rather because of its execution.  A dam is a large easy to locate target, a pontoon bridge is harder to hit.  Further, a by-product of a flooded river system is that the ground will be hard to cross. This operation may demonstrate that Russia’s precision strike capability is deteriorating and more importantly that there is no immediate plan to counter attack past the Inhulets River.  

At this stage, the plans for Russia’s new 3rd Army are unknown, although its is safe to say that it will not be used for strategically important offensive operations. Instead its units will be drawn into the fight piecemeal with limited effect on the campaign.

In summary the key problem is that the Russians are now facing a ‘perfect storm’, this war has seriously depleted their resources and they are fighting a modern network enabled and Manoeuverist army. An army able to disperse, deceive then suddenly concentrate at the decisive point of the battle.  The Ukrainians are fighting very, very smart; and with modern NATO weapons are decades ahead of the Russians.  It is telling that the list of towns captured by the Ukrainians are rail hubs.  The Russians are logistically tied to railway lines relying on a nineteenth century technology!  Their soldiers lack training and motivation and are simply not equipped to fight a modern war. Don’t listen to the commentators that telling you that Russia has countless reserves and storehouses of equipment because storehouses of useless equipment manned by poor quality soldiers are meaningless on the modern battlefield.  

This week retired United States general David Petraeus summarised the situation very well. Petraeus said that Russia is on the path to a ‘terrible defeat’ and pointed out that even if Russia declared mobilisation today, it could not build its forces to reverse the fundamental reality that Ukraine is now fighting smarter and its soldiers are both better trained and better equipped.  Petraeus also discussed the need for NATO to continue to support Ukraine because the war will take time to win. This statement echoed Professor Michael Clarke’s grim observation this week that the Ukrainian war was a return to war at an industrial scale.  Or that, both sides were now relying on the ability of their supporting economies to re-equip and continue the conflict.

Russia’s economy is only slightly larger than Australia’s and Ukraine have the support of a vastly economically powerful network of countries, as long as those countries continue to support Ukraine – Russia will lose.  NATO’s resolve is slowly limiting Putin’s options and the biggest risk now is Putin ‘escalating to de-escalate’ or using tactical nuclear weapons to scare off NATO support.  This is unlikely however, he is not stupid or crazy and using tactical nuclear weapons would push Russia further into the realm of pariah state, even China would step back from an act like that.  Further, NATO is demonstrating resolve and rather than being scared off is more likely to escalate its support for Ukraine.  Also if Putin does not have the political support to declare war and mobilise is he going to have the support to use nuclear weapons? 

A more likely option is that over the next few weeks Putin will be hard at work trying to mobilise every soldier he can secretly. He will continue rocket attacks on Ukrainian cities mostly out of spite and work hard to defend the land bridge to Crimea.  It is likely that when the 3rd Army is deployed it will be in the south-east to stabilise this area.  The north-east is either being sacrificed or is collapsing, either way it seems likely that the Ukrainians will continue to take ground in that theatre while in the south they grind towards Kherson. 

This week retired United States general, Ben Hodges spoke about the need to start planning for the collapse of the Russian Federation.  It seems that he could be right, and the vacuum left by the Russian Federation is going to produce a much more complicated geo-strategic situation.  It is important that around the world we start looking at how this situation can be managed. 


Ben Morgan is a tired Gen X interested in international politics. He is TDB’s Military analyst.


  1. Come on Ben – tell me the other side of the story…

    – Russia is still moving towards Odessa, therefore cutting off Ukraine Naval supply chain
    – European leaders are telling their citizens to conserve energy due to power bill shocks due to the crisis (no Russian heating oil, and gas will do that)
    – Daily protests against the Ukraine Government are happening in Ukraine, and spreading to Poland

    • Ben has been surprisingly accurate in his articles so why would we now decide that the other side is more important?
      -Ben has mentioned that Ukraine’s backers have a substantially larger economic base so any disruption to a naval supply chain can be replaced.
      -We all know about the European energy shortage although they are taking action to mitigate this.
      -Try having a protest in Russia against the Russian government & see how long you last.

    • European leaders telling their people to conserve energy is kind of the point. They seem prepared to go the distance. Well at least for this winter.

      I have no idea what the outcome will be but I think there were a whole lot of people that predicted Russia would be in a much stronger position by now, or even negotiating the terms of settlement a while back.

      • Did they ask their citizens first? Or, is that not important? How would you feel if your Power Bill jumped up 600% — which is happening in Italy/UK/Germany — they (those countries citizens) are protesting — but, the media does not cover those protests.

        • That’s irrelevant. I am just pointing out the European rulers don’t appear to be blinking. Is that fair? No idea. I am sure Putin didn’t ask his people if he should invade Ukraine.

          • So, the so called European leaders acting directly AGAINST their citizens well-being is okay, as long as they kick Russia…that is very weak argument against Russia

            • Nathan, I have no idea how European citizens feel or at what point their solidarity (i think it is fair to say there is some) with the Ukrainians vanishes due to higher energy costs. It’s pointing out the current reality that, for now, the threat of turning off the gas is not having a visible impact. It’s not an argument against Russia at all.

    • Sorry Nathan, you’re flogging a dead horse and it would appear the Katyn method is still deeply ingrained in the Russian forces.

  2. Thanks for the commentary, Ben. Always good. We now await the arrival of the Russian bots to assure us all is going well with Russia LOL.

    A tactical nuclear response from Russia would likely be ineffective as well as stupid. As you point out, the Ukraine army can disperse and maneuver as it wishes, so a nuclear strike is unlikely actually take out many Ukraine soldiers.

    Signs Putin is desperate:
    a) Trying to recruit from their prisons
    b) Buying artillery shells from Pakistan (munitions discovered when Ukraine overran their positions recently)

  3. “I guess NATO shills have given up on Putin being couped any day now. ”

    No not all all

    Do you know the adage about idiots? If not here it is

    “Never, ever argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and they always win by prior experience ”

    This can be applied to some of the contributors here who appear to be so pro west they are blinded by their own stupidity

    The supposed shills amongst us just like to read and want a more balanced perspective.

  4. The armchair generals blather on, “my Youtube clip vs your Youtube clip”, US intelligence insider feeds…we wants them…nice NATO…

    The fact remains this is a proxy war between Imperialist powers.

    As a lifetime peace activist, my view is a firepower war in 2022 is appalling in any circumstances.

    Neither Washington, Moscow or Beijing. Workers of the world unite!

    • Actually Tiger Mountain it is a civil war which you obviously know nothing about. So if you were in Ukraine, you would roll over and get beaten or worse by Putin’s thugs? Or would you collaborate?

      • The internal factions, political divisions and regional issues, are the next layer of the situation.

        Glad not to be in Ukraine, so save the hypothetical.

      • Yes, when the US-led coup of the Ukrainian government took place in 2014, replacing a Russian friendly govt with a Russian hating govt, the Donbass region of Ukraine, with its largely Russian populated/speaking population broke away leading to a civil war, so to speak. 14,000 have perished in this War from the Donbass side up to the start of this larger war, bearing in mind that one of the reasons for this larger war is that Ukraine amassed over 100,000 troops near the Donbass at the beginning of this year, goading the Russians to respond in to what we see today….

        • You forget that after the fall of the Soviet Union there was a referendum held on the question of independence and the result was in the high 90’s % in favour of independence. Even in the Donbass and other eastern regions the result was over 80% in favour.
          So, one wonders: Was the Donbass willingly become a satellite of Russia or was it imposed by the Russian military?
          Oh, and let’s also not forget the Kremlin trying to poison the Ukraine President, Viktor Yushchenko with dioxin. Lots of Putin’s expatriate foes seem to go this way.

          • The events of 2014 have led to today, not the events that you care to remember. Otherwise, Putin/Russia allegedly doing this, that and the other is really interesting for one point especially, the lack of proof behind these never ending allegations.

        • Maidan was not led by the US. It was caused by the corrupt criminal behaviour of Viktor Yanukovych and the people had had enough. Don’t malign the Ukrainian people.

        • I think you are the idiot Stephen. I doubt whether you could fit what you know about Russia and Ukraine on a postage stamp. Apart from Bandera that is. I have blood ties to both countries and my father was born in Russia.

          • A civil war is when citizens of that country start fighting each other which did happen but it also was flamed by outside actors like NATO countries involving itself before the Maidan riots in 2014.

        • NATO is not directly involved in this civil war Stephen. You’re the idiot Stephen. Putin wants NATO to be involved going by his nuclear threats. If Putin uses nukes his regime will be toppled. NATO will strike the Kremlin with conventional cruise missiles. Putin won’t know what’s hit him.

    • This is a war between one imperial power only, the USA, using one of its vassal states, Ukraine, to spearhead a war against Russia. This is a prime example of what happens when government (Ukraine) serves its masters (USA) over the interests of its people. The head of said government is a very wealthy man now to boot. Still, the Ukrainian people are being used as cannon fodder here. The fact that one of the usual consequences of war, the call for – peace – has been conspicuously absent all throughout this war further highlights that this war is about destroying Russia rather than protecting Ukraine. This piece, further alludes to this with ‘retired United States general, Ben Hodges speaking about the need to start planning for the collapse of the Russian Federation’. What about the Ukraine, I say, as if they care, as if they care!

  5. 3rd Army was drawn up North to stop their entire flank from collapsing according to a Russel Bentley who has been fighting with the DPR for some years now. His comments on the Russian high command have been rather … unkind.

  6. I would have to agree that Russian forces in Izyum and surrounding areas were taken by surprise by the NATO lead (Sheep dipped) forces that lead to the outnumbered Russian forces to flee for their lives to fight another day. I have to concede a Ukrainian victory with the help of NATO forces as video’s released by these same forces show American accent speaking soldiers barking orders clearly under their command.

    The depiction from this writer assuming that Putin is ova and Russia is ready to collapse because certain International players and commentators say so is wishful thinking. I find it Ironic that this writer mentions ‘NATO’ on several occasions in his blogs on the Ukrainian war as a stabilizing force but put into to real term context can be further from the truth.

    He mentions Ex-General Petraeus in a glowing light as a genesis to be taken seriously but fails to mention that he is a compromised source and is lucky to not be charged with espionage the crime only afforded to real journalist like ‘Julian Assange’ who leaked information on the Iraq war that Petraeus was apart of.

    And NATO has been the problem from the beginning since WW2 when it origins was fuel by Communism and Russia was always in its sights. The “stay behind organisations” erected in many NATO countries was organised to combat ‘Communist Russia’ and Russia in general. The codename used generally was ‘Operation Gladio’ that trained ex-Nazi soldiers and recruited far-right elements in NATO countries because they believed that these types were the more committed (fanatic) to dying and fighting Russia and Russians.

    This is also an economic war but the Ruble is stronger than before and is likely to remain strong as MBS Saudi Arabia looks set to depart from traditional allies the US and has sided more with Putin a close friend and strategic ally in undermining the ‘petrol dolar’ one of the pillars of their relationship and US hegemony. Time will tell but if we are to cleen on this writer’s assessment? His opinions is more western oriented driven IMO by USA exceptionalism and MIC narratives which is waning before our very own eyes.

  7. “… the fundamental reality that Ukraine is now fighting smarter and its soldiers are both better trained and better equipped.”

    You omitted to say “better motivated”. (On reflection you have mentioned this in previous posts).

    Overall, your articles tend to be right on the money. This is supported by the histrionic reactions of the Soviet Union Delegates at TDB, as well as simply observing what is actually going on in the real world. So no complaints there. Well done.
    The role of motivation or morale is often either overlooked or disparaged as a component to war. Yet historically time and again the motivated soldiers and nations proved victorious even in the face of overwhelming odds. That’s how the Taliban were able to shaft the British, the Soviets and finally the Americans. That’s how the Soviets were able to defeat Hitler. That’s why Britain and America caused Italy to surrender in 1943. That’s why the Germans defeated France in 1940 (and therein lies a big tale of top down poor morale).
    The Ukrainians have the morale gold card in this conflict. The Russians have no answer for this. Apart from their dire situation with equipment, logistics, and military “style”, the Russian soldier has no big compelling reason to fight. This leaves the Russian generals trying to flog dead horses. This causes demoralised troops to run away and abandon all their gear and equipment. This was in fact the very reaction the invading Russians expected from the overwhelmed Ukrainians, remember? Sky high morale is the main component of Ukraine’s stunning success in the North East and near total “lack of moral fibre” why the Russians are rapidly falling apart and becoming a spent force.
    When you are convinced you are right you become a formidable opponent, however large or small you are. Attitude is everything.

    Cheers Ben. Enjoy your contributions.

    • The Taliban actually overthrow the Afghanistan Army, not the US military. By 2021 the Afghanistan Army was getting very little assistance from US Forces, other than heaps of equipment. Which proves your point about motivation. The Taliban were vastly more motivated than the Afghanistan Army.
      Even though the Afghanistan Army and the Afghanistan government knew the Taliban would be a much more repressive government, they nevertheless lacked the will to defend themselves. Perhaps, in part because a large number of them knew they could escape to the west, and perhaps because they simply had no real belief in their own cause. Too much corruption and too little belief.
      I know there is a view here by some commentators that the West simply destroyed Afghanistan. But in terms of life expectancy, health, education and civil and social infrastructure, Afghanistan was hugely better than it was when the Taliban was last in power prior to 2001. But that was not enough. Not when the government was seen as corrupt and remote.

  8. How long can Putin maintain upward pressure on oil prices, and how far can he drop the Euro/drive up the USD, and keep it at that level?

    Some analysts are predicting the end of fiat currencies because of Putin. If his side merely has the endurance, maybe he will achieve his goal of a new global reserve currency and world order. It’s been said that Russia and China have unofficially stockpiled much more gold than the US has

  9. So, the so called European leaders acting directly AGAINST their citizens well-being is okay, as long as they kick Russia…that is very weak argument against Russia

    • I don’t think it makes sense for the US to abandon Ukraine/the EU to an expansionist Russia. It would allow the USD to strengthen far too much, leading to sky high interest rates everywhere, and the global financial collapse that some analysts are predicting

    • More pertinent would be how long before Russia abandon Afghanikraine! It is now clear that the USA/NATO are going to continue to back Ukraine and that Ukraine has the will and ability to continue to fight. Russia has attempted to bite more than it can chew and is in the process of choking. Kharkov was a humiliation for them. If Russia keep targeting civilian targets USA will beef up Himars numbers and provide Atacms missiles in the guise of protecting civilians and to speed up Ukraine’s winning of the war. Russia are in a terrible predicament at the moment with poorly motivated soldiers and inferior weaponry that has limited ammunition. Both the Russian army and industrial complex have been shown up to be inferior to what the Western experts thought prior to the invasion.

  10. I look forward to the time I can visit a Putin-less Russia and continue my research in Moscow and Kyiv. Slava Ukraine!

  11. Putin’s a great man. After the surrender of Gorbachov and alcoholic Yeltin’s completed disintegration. President Putin has restored Russia’s self respect. The fact is the West are the criminals eternal shame and ignominy on them. The Russians are the principled combatants. No amount of evil BS propaganda will change that simple fact.

    • Putin is the criminal and will be on trial at The Hague. AND if you believe Alexander Litvinenko, who was in a position to know, that Putin is hiding some very very dark secrets in his private life.

      • President ,NIXON, FORD, CARTER, RAEGAN, BUSH,CLINTON, BUSH, OBAMA, TRUMP, BIDEN these are people that attacked countries with fake news Iraq, Libya, Vietnam, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Kosova etc…

    • Jay11 – Putin is a cowardly leader of a super-power attacking a small sovereign country just like Hitler did to Poland in WWII. He is killing Ukraine’s citizens or forcing them to flee so he can set up a sham referendum and annex the country. Russia has old weapons and lacks technology. NATO knows where every Russian sub and missile launching sites are known and are all earmarked for missile targets in time of war. Putin may be crazy but others who jointly control the red button will over-ride him.

  12. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
    Ukraine’s much telegraphed counter offensive by all metrics is a abject failure. attacking lightly defended Russian lines only resulted in a severe bloodied nose for the Ukrainians with estimates of 4,000 dead, for what? retake Ukrainian territory that Russia tactically withdrew from.
    Ukraine is only receiving 1.5 Billion per month in foreign aid of the 7 billion required to pay their troops
    (Or bury them) Sarcasm.

    Their latest ‘War crimes” charade is just another misguided attempt to draw NATO into the conflict in another act of desperation. “Mass grave (yard)” well at least that was partially correct, even most MSM is calling bullshit on that one.
    Only Zelensky can claim marked graves with crosses buried by Russian soldiers because Ukraine blatantly refused to collect or bury their dead a crime, what Chutzpah.
    What can never be unseen is watching video of pigs feasting on Ukrainian war dead, because they are too inept or uncaring to bury or collect them. Can’t even organize a piss up at a funeral, remind me again why they will win?

    Russia as already clearly stated is in no hurry to end the SMO, better to take a slow walk to victory with minimal losses and have the added bonus up ratcheting up the pain dial on Europe up to 10.
    Winter is coming.

        • There will be NATO boots on the ground before long. The Russian forces will be sent packing. Any tactical nukes will be responded to with massive conventional strikes on Putin. He will be decapitated.

    • That of course would explain why so much gear was left behind. The Russian Army has so many tanks and ammunition, they don’t really care whether they gift it to the Ukrainians. It is not as if they would know how to use it anyway.

    • Finngrin you really do suck up all this pro-Putin propaganda and you falsely represent the positions of western media. You can believe what you want to. History will prove otherwise.

  13. Lost his mind. Now a Marshall plan for Russia, which we should have done in the nineties.

    The Eighties brilliance of the free-market designoid picking of good and bad, like evolution, is over. I’ve always thought the Russians are worthy of the rule of the people. We weren’t there for them in the terror time of the rich know best.

  14. tl;dr – putin is a puppet of the oligarchs – it was all to appease his masters – he will stay there as long as they want him too.

    • Correction bilid, the siloviki are in control. They are all FSB or GRU men. Putin is one of them. They dominate the Duma and have opinions as extreme or more extreme than Putin himself. There is no opposition.

  15. It is amusing to think Russia only has an economy about the size of Oz.

    You speak the truth, Ben, and so many here on a social democrat site have so lost their way they can’t see that or on whose side they should be. But then again only Sanders remembered in America, after 40 years of free market rule.

    • Sum, use Dr Google on GDP, Australia not bigger than Russian economy. More important in a world that needs 100% of the oil and gas and grain produced there is no surplus, and guess what, Russia produces 10% plus of each. We are now in a world where commodity exports have more clout as Europe are discovering with gas supply.

  16. Our media has presented as true,,, every piece of Propaganda, from snake Islands heroic defenders who (didn’t) fight to their deaths ,,, to horrendous Russian rape fables ,,, to Russia bombing the Babi yar holocaust memorial etc etc etc ….. Mostly bullshit, all repeated as ‘News’.

    Our print media leaves out the Important fact that the Brits Repeatedly blocked Russian requests for independent UN investigations ,,, into the somewhat walked back Russian Bucha killings/Ukraine safari of collaborators.

    … ,,, the Guardian still has to lie in it’s mass executions non-retraction …. “Dozens of Bucha civilians were killed by metal darts from Russian artillery”,,, because ‘good Nato/Ukraine’ does not have them,,, ,,, apparently.

    “Fléchettes are rarely used in modern warfare, other than periodically by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), which deployed them in military operations in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, killing and wounding civilians.”

    “In March 2008, a Palestinian journalist and videographer with Reuters, Fadel Shana, was killed by fléchettes from a shell fired by an Israeli tank. .”

    There is video evidence from much earlier in this Ukraine war ,,,, Of Ukraine,,, which presently uses ‘butterfly mines’ indiscriminately ,,, blowing the feet off bad (ethnic Russian) Civilians and children.
    ” Ukraine turns Donetsk into a minefield using banned ‘butterfly’ mines”

    but earlier in this war ,,, posted on Nov 18, 2014 ,,,, Shrapnel needles from Ukraine Mortars & ammo left at a Ua base that held 5000 Ua soldiers s’,

    Ukraine’s coup govt,,, on April 15, 2014 launched the ‘anti-terrorist operation’ (ATO),,,,,, and declared ‘free fire zones ‘over the Donbass region….. In only 10 months the results were more than 6000 people dead, and more than 1 million internally displaced refugees.

    The point being Israel and Ukraine use the same ‘terrorist’ justification ,,, to kill Civilians,,, anything goes ,,,, and then blame it on the enemy.

    Because our media is so biased ,,,towards both Israel and Ukraine ,,,, a lot of average people are tricked into supporting the indefensible.,,,

    This war like every other is built on lies and corruption ,,, with a old, repeated cynical script . Compare…..

    … Ukraine 2017

    Afghanistan 1979, “Your cause is right and God is on your side!” (plus usa weapons and money) ,,,


    Usa Military aid only, and to Ukraine only ,,, is over $160 Million per day, according to The Wall Street Journal ,,
    ,, then add the billions per month to prop up their Govt ,,
    ,, and then there’s everyone else’s ‘military aid’ and donations ,,
    ,,Plus what Russia is spending ,,

    ,, and all the hundreds of Billions govts are spending to stop sanction induced bankruptcies ,,, subsidizing both consumers and companys in the European energy sectors,,
    ,, plus the extra amounts paid for expensive energy, and the resulting inflation … etc etc

    … My conservative estimate for the Ukraine war costs ,, is $1000,000,0000 per every TWO days,,, and that is probably a large under-estimate…

    ,,,,and Never mind that Wall St can destroy hundreds of Billions/Trillions in eye watering time ,,, and they are as solid as a house of cards ,,, with not much required to spook their bluff. ….

    But Basically the money to end World wide starvation ,,,, to fix the usa’s(and our) homeless problem ,,,, to wipe student debts, etc etc ,,,, Its all there and available , but only for war.

    That’s the real cost of whats going down in Ukraine ….

    Countryboy is right ,,,, this is far more natural, normal and good behavior for humans and humanity , German Music being sung and danced to in Moscow,,,

    Than working class strangers killing each other for the corruption and lies behind every war ,,, killing for the cowards and deceivers,,,, on all sides.

    ,Engineering the conditions for war is multi faceted and continual,,,, Jeremy Corbyn on the establishment campaign to stop him becoming Prime Minister

    • The biggest laugh I got about Western cognitive dissonance as a result of continuous Ukie propaganda was the media buying hook line and sinker the story that the Russians were shelling a nuclear power plant that was occupied by Russians. Really, Russians shelling Russians!!!!! The shelling continues yet the media don’t stop to ask, why are the Ukies shelling a nuclear power plant?????????

    • Fringe propagandists try to make us doubt facts and make us biased toward their interests/biased against our information sources

    • You’re welcome to believe all that stuff Awakesky but it’s pure conjecture and conspiracy theory with about 1-2% truth if you are lucky.

  17. There is a difference between 1979 and 2022.

    Afghanistan involved a government receiving Russian military support and subsequently the USA provided arms to the Mujahadeen. Ukraine involved a member nation state of the UN being invaded – and while its right to collective security was blocked by a UNSC veto (Russia), nations provided arms and sanctioned Russi instead.

    • The similarity is pawns being cynically sacrificed in the games King usa plays.

      We supply the weapons, money and training ,,,, you provide the corpses.

      Backing extremists ,,,,, blow-back ? ,

      ,, so many similarities I’d say.

      Anyway I’m surprised no one has pulled Wayne up ,,,, for his typical ‘dirty politics’ abuse of statistics, up-thread.

      He is claiming personal and Nato improvements to Afghanistan ,,,, from a base-line of utter destruction, wrought by daddy Usa’s ‘bear trap’ successful moves.

      Fuck it unacknowledged ,,,then fix it a little, and claim credit ,,,is how Waynes shonKey statistics work.

      This is the true standards of concern, care , and fixing ,,,, that our ‘Club has for Afghanistan ,,, “The U.S. Is Stealing Afghanistan’s Money and Starving Its People”

      “1.1 million children under the age of 5 were in danger of dying from severe acute malnutrition. Another 3.2 million children, were at risk of the malnutrition.”

      “The United States and other foreign donors (including us)halted their financial assistance to Afghanistan when the Taliban seized power. Washington also froze some $9 billion in Afghan central bank reserves held in the United States over concerns that the militants could use the money to fund terrorism.”

      “To be surprised at Biden’s decision to steal Afghan money is to have been invested in the image America has sold to the world: that it is a force for humanitarian good, despite the decades of destruction, the reign of terror it operated with impunity, the torture, renditions, raids, drones, extrajudicial assassinations, and now the mass starvation of an entire nation.

      How about our western values in Yemen ,,, Air Nz trading deals with the Saudis ,,, no war crimes there ,,, we’re in the clear.

      way back in 2016,,,when the dead were far less ,,”Britain has blocked European Union efforts to establish an independent international inquiery into the war in Yemen, prompting dismay among human rights groups”

      “Human rights groups say UK is putting arms sales to Saudi Arabia before investigations into civilian deaths from coalition bombings”

      Technically it should be 1000 times easier to stop Our war crimes and violence ,,,, rather than trying to fight nuclear armed russia to bring them into line.

      We should get out of the illegal sanctions/ willful starvation club for a start.

      Low hanging fruit first surely ,,,. and otherwise our hypocrisy is like a Baboons arse …. Impossible to ignore.

      • Neither the mujahadeen or the Ukrainians saw/see it that way. They wanted the chance to fight the foreign military in their country.

        Whether the USA should have sought to depose a government in Afghanistan and enable the oppression of women there was another matter.

        Wayne says he was comparing the situation under the Taleban pre the 2001 regime change (they had been in power some years by them after replacing the mujahadeen regime) and that realised by 2021.

        Choosing to provide, or withhold financial aid, is a nations prerogative . Yeah denying a nation access to their financial assets/property based on what they might do with it is an act our government should criticise. It’s not theft however, the money is still in the account, the reason is “not recognising the Taleban government”. The US government has said it would release half of the money for humanitarian relief (the latest is that this will be via the Bank for International Settlements) and half to pay compensation to US victims (9/11).

        Of course, without the capital funds (nor foreign aid) the banking system in Afghanistan is now unable to function, exacerbating the famine with an economic collapse.

        Of course there is no reason why there cannot be organised an international aid programme to manage the famine and provide health care. That involves the West/Japan Korea/Gulf states/the BRICS etc. It would be limited in capacity though without some sort of guarantee of security. And Kabul is still a place where al Qaeda leaders are located yet remnants of Islamic State (Khorasan province) are engaged in terrorist acts.

  18. This is how it ends.

    Putin is reaching for his end game. Unfortunately for him, it will be a reach too far.

    The Draft is what powered up the anti-Vietnam movement in the US.
    The same will happen in Russia.

    The antiwar movement in the US didn’t become a movement to be reckoned with until it was joined and supported by Vietnam draftees, able to inform the American public of the true nature of the war that they had been unwillingly sent to.

    Putin verbatim:

    “When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. This is not a bluff,”.

    “Russian citizens can be sure that the territorial integrity of our motherland, our freedom and defences shall be secured, I shall stress by all means available to us,”

    “And those trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know the tables can turn on them.

    If they don’t get the way in Ukraine, it is the Russian Federation that has been openly using nuclear blackmail.

    This is another over reach by Putin. The use of nuclear weapons by Putin will be the end of the Putin regime at the hand of the Russian people.

    • It appears that upcoming referendums in the Donbass to become a part of Russia may be the reason for this mobilization move. A move designed to help protect the new territorial integrity of Russia.

      As for nukes, Russia has barely played its hypersonic missiles card yet, let alone venturing towards nukes or hypersonic nukes at that. Russia will meet like with like is what I take from what is being said here. Now, given the calibre of Russia’s political opposition, the talk of nukes is a very, very, very scary proposition indeed.

    • Vietnam was a long way from the leafy middle class suburbs of Washington, not exactly an existential threat to the US.
      By contrast Ukraine is on the road east to Moscow that constantly gets taken by Western armies.
      If you have been taking notice of public opinion in Russia it is highly critical of Putin for NOT applying enough FORCE. If Putin doesn’t escalate the people will revolt. Very different to those draft dodging college boys and hippies years back.

      • “If you have been taking notice of public opinion in Russia it is highly critical of Putin for NOT applying enough FORCE.”

        Nick J

        Hi Nick, by ‘public opinion’ you are obviously referring to Russia’s slavishly pro-war main stream media.

        Despite threatened 15 year prison sentences, protests against the mobilisation have erupted across Russia, over 1,000 protesters have been reportedly arrested in Moscow.

        Despite the massive repression being meted out, anti-war protest will grow until the war ends and Putin is removed from office.

        This is how it ends:

        …Avtozak, a Russian group that monitors protests, reported demonstrations by dozens of people in cities, including Ulan-Ude and Tomsk in Siberia, and Khabarovsk in the Far East, with some arrests.

        As protest calls circulated online, the Moscow prosecutor’s office warned that organizing or participating in such actions could lead to up to 15 years in prison. Authorities issued similar warnings ahead of other protests recently. The state communication watchdog Roskomnadzor also warned media that access to their websites would be blocked for transmitting “false information” about the mobilization. It was unclear exactly what that meant.

        • Pat, try looking up what the Levada Centre says. Yes they are Russian but the London School of Economics says this, “The most reputable public opinion data available in Russia are from the Levada Center, a non-governmental research organisation conducting regular surveys since 1988”.
          You will notice if you research that Levada are not friends with the Kremlin.

          Also Pat, Googling for favourable results got you to Greeley Colorados local paper, rerunning an Associated Press article. AP are of course a mouth piece of the US establishment. To quote Sir Humphrey, “Well they would say that wouldn’t they”.

      • He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata.

        What is the most important thing in the world?
        (here’s a clue, it’s not nuclear weapons)

        Vietnam was a long way from the leafy middle class suburbs of Washington…

        That was until they started receiving phone calls from their sons in Canada. Or receiving them home in flag draped coffins.

        Ben asks; Putin rolled the dice and lost, what next?

        This is what’s next;

        …People took to the streets in Moscow chanting: ‘Send Putin to the trenches!’

        Protests have broken out across several cities in Russia, including the capital Moscow, after Vladimir Putin announced he was mobilising troops for the war in Ukraine.

        Demonstrators shouting “No war!” and “send Putin to the trenches!” took to the streets in the capital and there were reports of protests in other places, including the Siberian cities of Ulan-Ude and Tomsk, as well as Khabarovsk close to the Chinese border, according to Avtozak, a Russian group that monitors protests….

    • You are typically playing another Western sleight of hand there Pat. Putin alluded to a few days ago a Ukrainian attack on a NPP inside Russia, He also clearly stated in his translated speech the open calls of some Western Politicians for the use of Nukes against Russia.
      The clear difference is Russia will only use Nukes if the State is threatened VS open talk about using Nukes by the West.
      Heck even Ben in his article referenced Ben Hodges talking about the planned breakup of Russia. WTF did we expect?

      • Putin alluded…

        Some politicians…

        open talk about using Nukes by the West…


        Names?, times?, dates?, not important?

  19. Just watched Putin’s speech and it is clear Russia is now on a war footing, 300,000K reservists called up.
    The Russian bear is now awake.

  20. Cantabrian (PhD (weetbix packet)), you better be careful speaking a Slav language. An ignorant hohol might assualt you with the result you claim to police the assailant is a Russian.
    “He turned out to be a 33-year-old man who had arrived in France seven months ago after having previously served in the Ukrainian military”. “Brave” hohol would seem to have got out of Ukraine as soon as the SMO started. He will be much safer in a french prison –
    “Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu … puts Ukrainian losses at some 62,000 killed and some 50,000 wounded.”

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