GUEST BLOG: Ben Morgan – Russia dying, slowly impaled on a town called Bakhmut


Russia continues to impale itself on Bakhmut.  Last week, it looked like Ukrainian forces might withdraw having inflicted enough pain on the Russians.  Last Monday, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was making social media videos asking the Ukrainian defenders to surrender, and the city’s defenders looked like they were ready to fallback. Local bridges were demolished adding to the picture that a Ukrainian tactical withdrawal was imminent.  However, in a matter of days the battle has changed significantly; and these changes tell us a lot about what is really going on back in Russia and behind the scenes in Ukraine.

Let’s start with Prigozhin, initially the man of the hour, his troops poised ready to take Bakhmut.  The culmination of seven months of hard fighting, his Wagner Group private army looked like it had achieved something Russia’s conventional forces couldn’t by capturing a town (any town) and demonstrating that there is hope of victory.  Prigozhin, convicted thief and restaurateur pretending to be a soldier stood dressed uncomfortably in combat fatigues, body armour and wearing a helmet appealing to Ukraine’s president to end the suffering and surrender the town.   After months of political feuding with Russia’s Ministry of Defence, and its head Sergei Shoigu he was at the frontline poised for victory. An event that would increase his political power in Russia confirming to Putin that Wagner Group and Prigozhin were worthy of his patronage.  

However, instead of withdrawing on 6 March President Zelensky announced that the defence of Bakhmut would continue and that more troops were being sent to the area.  The President stating that his senior military commanders; Ukrainian Chief of Defence General Valerii Zaluzhnyi and Ukrainian Army commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi both recommending that Bakhmut is defended.  An interesting turn of events that reinforces the assessment that Ukraine currently holds the initiative in this campaign, choosing when and where to fight.  Clearly, Ukraine is making a carefully considered decision to keep defending Bakhmut. 


Tactically, the city is relatively unimportant and capturing it is not going to suddenly give Russia an advantage.  It is a minor road and rail hub, and sits on two main roads one that would provide an axis of advance to Sloviansk and another that would provide an axis of advance to Kramatorsk.  However, advancing on either is difficult because of the undulating nature of the terrain.  Further, the routes are widely separated so advancing on both at the same time is difficult.  Bakhmut also has some interesting features that mean the defence could hold longer than many pundits are predicting. The city is bisected by a river running roughly north/south through its heart; and within the city centre the Russians are still on the east side of the river, so they must either cross it in the city or push slowly south along the river’s west bank from their positions north of the city.  At current Russian rates of advance this could take weeks.  The city also has low hills to the west that provide observation for artillery and missile attacks.  Essentially, Bakhmut’s terrain favours the defence.  

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However, Bakhmut’s value is not tactical, instead it has operational (i.e. within the Ukrainian land battle) or strategic (i.e. within the whole war) level considerations that are influencing Ukraine to keep fighting rather than saving resources and withdrawing from the city. 

Even though Prigozhin’s mercenaries ‘paused’ unable to take the town on 11 March, the battle is costing Ukraine manpower and material resources; and there is a point at which the cost outweighs the benefit.  It seems that the Ukrainians haven’t reached that point yet; and that the benefit of slaughtering Russia’s most effective soldiers outweighs their current losses.  And; herein lies the key point of this battle because this battle is holding not just the best of Wagner Group’s soldiers but also large numbers of the Russian Army’s best soldiers in position around Bakhmut.  Russia’s elite airborne troops are also fighting in the battle, along with a range of other supporting elements like artillery, drones and logistics units.  Currently, these important resources are ‘fixed’ or stuck near the city. The Institute for the Study of War summed the situation up as follows “The Battle of Bakhmut may, in fact, severely degrade the Wagner Group’s best forces, depriving Russia of some of its most effective and most difficult-to-replace shock troops. The Wagner attacks already culminated once, causing the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) to commit some of its elite airborne troops to the fight”.  The attrition inflicted on Russia’s best forces serves a useful operational purpose for Ukraine. 

At strategic level, defending Bakhmut is inflicting damage on Russia because it is demonstrating the disunity and cracks in Russia’s political system.  When Bakhmut did not surrender, Prigozhin’s next social media outburst on 7 March was to blame Sergei Shoigu’s army for not supporting Wagner Group enough.   Russia’s political dirty laundry being washed in public, demonstrating not only Prigozhin’s lack of character but also the dangerous divisions within Russia’s political elite.  If you were a sensible Chinese diplomat or general, could you look at these divisions and petty squabbles and realistically advise your political masters that Russia was a great power, worth investing political capital in supporting?  Probably not, and back in Russia the constant lack of success must have political impacts.  Finally, the Ukrainians benefit because resources will continue to be wasted fighting for personal, political objectives rather than creating a unified plan while this fighting carries on inside Russia’s political elite. 

In summary, Ukraine is suffering at the tactical level because it is losing soldiers in a fight for a piece of ground that has limited intrinsic value. However, at the operational and strategic level there are significant benefits for Ukraine in fighting hard to hold Bakhmut.  Operationally, the battle ‘fixes’ some of Russia’s most important resources in the area and is inflicting heavy damage on them. Strategically, the battle further diminishes Russia’s international standing and wears down Putin’s political power in Russia. 

The Battle of Bakhmut will end in one of two ways:

  • A Pyrrhic victory for Russia as the Ukrainians withdraw and their soldiers enter a battered, bombed out city.  Then there will be weeks or months of reconstitution and reorganisation as the Russians prepare for a ‘slogging match’ over 40-50km of undulating ground to get to either Sloviansk or Kramatorsk; or
  • Ukraine will transition to offensive operations elsewhere on the frontline.  

The second option is the most likely, and we have consistently stated that the key factor influencing when the Ukrainian offensive starts is the weather, not NATO tanks.  Russia has fallen into the trap that we predicted expending its new forces too soon and too widely.  By attacking in small numbers along the whole frontline and in winter, they have wasted their resources and appear to have culminated.   

Mainstream media continues to portray the Russian Army as a powerful beast savaging Bakhmut and attacking everywhere, but the reality is different. Although, there is a high tempo and lots of attacks most are very small about 100 men and a dozen vehicles.  Russia’s gains are miniscule with little or no movement anywhere on the frontline.  Even at Bakhmut, Russia’s schwerpunkt, (the German tactical term used in military circles to describe the ‘point of main effort’) each attack is either repulsed; or if successful the ground captured can be measured in metres rather than kilometres.   This is not a powerful army on the offensive, it is an exhausted one ready to be decisively engaged.

The only questions are when and where? The first, question’s answer is that the Ukrainian offensive will probably be sooner that most people expect, its timing coinciding with Ukraine’s ground drying out after the snow melt and spring rain.  Tactically, the Russian Army’s is spread thin, exhausted and may be running out of ammunition.  Ukraine on the other hand has spent the winter training, captured huge amounts of material and ammunition last year and has new NATO equipment arriving every day. Although fighting defensively is easier than attacking, Russia’s forces are weak and ready for exploitation.  The wild card is Russia’s aviation.  We know that Russia has massed aircraft near the border; and I interpreted this information as tactical airpower ready to be used to stop a Ukrainian armoured offensive rather than for bombing Ukrainian cities or power infra-structure.  It may also be why Ukraine is working hard to get air superiority fighters like F 16s, so they can protect an armoured offensive.  We don’t know yet; Ukraine’s anti-aircraft capability may be strong enough to protect its armour during an offensive. 

Regarding where Ukraine’s offensive will fall my assessment has not changed.  I believe that it is most likely to be in the south.  An offensive to cut the Crimean land bridge, probably from near a town called Vuhledar. Evidence for this theory includes:

    • The importance of the ‘Crimean Land Bridge’; or the Russian occupied strip of coast that links Donetsk to the River Dnipro is this campaign’s ‘vital ground’.  Crimea is of vast strategic importance because if Russia holds the peninsular Ukraine will never be safe, its position dominates the Back Sea and provides a safe base for future invasions.  On the other hand, Crimea has long been a strategic objective for Putin; and in 2014 he invaded the area. Putin’s invasion is the latest in a long history of holding Crimea; and dominating the Black Sea being a key objective of Russian foreign policy.   Holding Crimea requires access and the only ways to access it are via the Kerch Bridge or overland via the Crimean Land Bridge.  Therefore, neither Russia nor Ukraine can ‘win’ this war without holding the Crimean Land Bridge; its possession is vital to victory for both sides. 
    • Ukraine’s early occupation of Vuhledar in the middle of last year.  Vuhledar is a small town about 80km north of Mariupol.  Securing this town could provide a firm eastern ‘shoulder’ for an offensive pushing south to the sea.  In July 2022, just after Vuhledar was recaptured Major General Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s intelligence chief discussed Ukraine’s wider war plans including the following statement “Starting August, certain events will take place that will demonstrate to the whole world that a turning point is beginning. Ukraine will return to the borders of 1991 and we are not considering any other scenarios”. In September Ukraine launched a major offensive in the north, and later took Kherson. It seems fair to speculate that there is planning for a multi-phased operation that includes a push south; and that taking Vuhledar may fit into this planning. 
    • Ukraine is working hard to hold Vuhledar, and the largest Russian operations in recent weeks are targeting this area.  Battalion sized groups; or about 500 soldiers and a couple of dozen vehicles rather than the smaller company sized attacks that we are seeing elsewhere are being used suggesting that Russia is interested in this area. Russia’s attacks on Vuhledar have been very quickly defeated demonstrating that Ukraine has combat power in the area. 
    • Mainstream media is discussing everywhere but the south.   We know that Ukraine is very good at managing the information domain; or making sure that the rest of the world sees what they want us too.  So if an operation is developing it is likely that it will not be discussed in mainstream media. 
  • However, this week the Institute for the Study of War reported that Russian military bloggers are warning that Ukrainian troops are preparing for an offensive near Vuhledar


In conclusion, it seems increasingly likely that as the weather gets warmer and drier letting the ground dry out after the winter snowmelt and spring rains, Ukraine will move.  My pick is in the south, but I could be wrong and only time will tell exactly when and where the next blow will fall. 

However, I can say with certainty that this offensive’s tactics will be very different to what we are seeing from Russia. Ukraine tested fighting in modern, Manoeuvrist style last September and has had four months to assimilate the lessons they have learned. 

So, expect a surprise, probably starting with precision targeted deep strikes and followed by light forces swarming ahead of more powerful armoured forces.   The light forces will move quickly spreading alarm and uncertainty; isolating Russian units.  Urban areas will be bypassed and isolated.  The aim to encircle Russian units forcing them to surrender rather than fight pitched battles.  Almost, the opposite of how Russia is fighting.  

Then the question is how will Russia respond to another large defeat?  


Ben Morgan is a bored Gen Xer and TDBs military blogger 


  1. RT is fantasizing about the capture of Kiev and the Government of Ukraine fleeing their capital in a mad scramble, much as American occupation forces fled from Kabul and Saigon.

    No doubt in the same vein all the little anonymous micro-goebbels will soon be infesting this site claiming an imminent Ukrainian collapse and Russian victory.

    “….. how will Russia respond to another large defeat?”


    When reality clashes with fantasy

    Probably with total collapse

    • I forgot to supply the link to RT publication of Vladimir Putin’s wet dream imagining the Ukraine government desperately fleeing Kiev, like the US fled Kabul before the triumphant Taliban.

      Here it is:

      What Ukraine could learn from a new report about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan

      “The American exit from Kabul might be taste of the future for officials in Kiev” RT

      • Pat+O’Dea, supporting the Banderites isn’t an option only in the deluded world of Pat. And calling a great academia like John Meisenheimer a kremlin puppet is the low level IQ debating skills of the mongrel mob.

  2. Meanwhile, on planet earth:

    – Data from the European Commission, quoted by El Pais, says that Russia has a 10:1 advantage in artillery:

    According to data from the European Commission to which EL PAÍS has had access, Russia fires between 40,000 and 50,000 artillery shells per day, compared to 5,000-6,000 Ukrainian forces expend. The Estonian government, which has been one of largest contributors to Kyiv’s war effort, puts the average use of artillery at between 20,000 and 60,000 Russian shells per day, and 2,000 to 7,000 Ukrainian rounds, according to a document sent to EU Member States by Tallinn, to which this newspaper has had access.

    The Russian forces fire ten times the number of shells the Ukrainians can fire. In a modern war artillery fire causes 65+% of all casualties. It is thus impossible that Ukraine is losing less soldiers than the Russians.

    The total ratio may well be 7 to 1 but it will certainly be to the advantage of the Russian forces side. –

    • No, it is not impossible that Russia is losing more men than Ukraine.
      First point, the Russians are on the offence, therefore they are in the open or in AFV’s. Horribly exposed to Ukrainian fire.
      Second point, the Ukrainians are fighting defensively from dug in positions. A direct hit on the trench is required to kill soldiers, which is hard to do with artillery.
      Third point, the Ukrainians have a lot more smart munitions for their guns, now increasingly 155 mm western guns. That means far fewer shells are required to achieve the desired effect. In contrast the Russians are using “dumb” shells, just as in WW2. Basically these are area weapons, not precise weapons.
      Fourth point, just about everyone, including Russian Bloggers, state that the Russians are not fighting in a tactically smart way, in large part due to Russian military doctrine and training. In contrast the Ukrainians are fighting in a more flexible way, having had lots of NATO training, from militaries with deep battlefield knowledge.
      Fifth point, the Ukrainians will have superior battle field intelligence due to the supply of NATO intelligence from satellites and SIGINT. The US satellites are exceptionally powerful, with Hubble sized cameras. Even at 160km up they will be able to photograph individual soldiers.

      • All those references to NATO.
        Isn’t NATO a defensive alliance?
        Ukraine is not a member of NATO.
        Why is NATO involved?

        • I know your comments are essentially rhetorical but I thought I would provide an answer anyway.

          Why is NATO involved?

          Because Ukraine asked for their help. As you well know, no NATO forces are actually in Ukraine. Though I do accept that all the intelligence support from NATO makes them a bit more engaged than simply supplying arms. However, the intelligence is all done outside of Ukraine through satellites and NATO Signet stations in Poland.

          From the perspective of the West/NATO the invasion was a Russian overreach right on the NATO border. It is one thing for Russia to invade the nations of the Caucasus, it is quite another to do it to a nation that quite clearly was coming within the western orbit, as part of contemporary eastern Europe.

          Ukraine has preferred the attractions of the EU far more than those of Russia. Russia thought otherwise and that a quick in and out intervention would solve all their problems. Which proved to be a gross miscalculation on Russia’s part.

          • Wayne, the impetus to this conflict didn’t start in 2021 with Russia invasion its origins are from 2014 overthrow of the democratically elected govt of Ukraine and their President Viktor Yanukovych no thanks in part to NATO US interference into a sovereign nation who was an ally of Russia

            “It is one thing for Russia to invade the nations of the Caucasus, it is quite another to do it to a nation that quite clearly was coming within the western orbit, as part of contemporary eastern Europe”

            Bill Burns, now the CIA director of the Central Intelligence was the Ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008. Even he admitted that Ukraine joining NATO is the brightest of redlines for the Russians and they will respond.

            In April 2008 the collective west gathered in Bucharest Summit of the 20th NATO Summit. In that summit they agreed to bringing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. At this period the US NATO were in Iraq from the 2003 invasion on the false pretence of WMD. Russia opposes Georgian and Ukrainian membership of NATO, saying the alliance’s expansion up to its borders threatens its security. The 2008 NATO summit even invited Putin to attend so they could rub it in his face remembering his 2007 Munich speech to NATO encroaching on Russia borders. In August 2008 Russia invaded Georgia. The Georgian president at the time ‘Mikheil Saakashvili’ a US puppet was a babbling fool and he paid the price.

            The picture that you’ve mapped out is a western propaganda discourse that all ova the net and I’m not surprised how easily you believe that Russia is the aggressor when adding all the correlating information definitely puts NATO as the warmongering imperialist not Russia.

            • Yanukovych was corrupt, unlikeable, he spoke like the criminal he was with lots of swearing and basically bribed his way to power. Like Orban in Hungary.
              Yanukovych promptly locked up Yulia Tymoshenko on trumped up charges. Under Yanukovych’s control Ukraine’s military police, the Berkut, shot over 100 unarmed civilians causing the Maidan revolution.
              These are facts, Stephen. Will you deny them?

              • The Maidan Massacre in Ukraine: Revelations from Trials and Investigation

                Ivan Katchanovski
                University of Ottawa

                Download full text PDF here:


                Among those fervently supporting Katchanovski’s appeal was renowned US academic Jeffrey Sachs. “You have written a very important, rigorous, and substantial article. It is thoroughly documented. It is on a topic of great significance,” Sachs wrote to the scholar. “Your paper should be published for reasons of its excellence…The journal will only benefit from publishing such a work of importance and excellence, which will further the scholarly understanding and debate regarding a very important moment of modern history.” [Grayzone]

                • This is a conspiracy theory. What motive would Maidan supporters have to shoot protesters on their own side?
                  Absolutely ridiculous. I think the academic in question is seriously compromised.

                  • Escalation. Entrenching the demonization of Yanukovych’s government and enabling more rescources to fight it.

                    • I am not convinced. Katchanovski whose English is rather poor, has started with implied assumptions: that far right groups shot the demonstrators predominantly rather than the Berkut. I believe this is unlikely and the paper does not even acknowledge the presence of FSB snipers from Russia with high powered rifles from Russia and the fact that Yanokovych was in the pocket of Putin’s friend Medvedchuk. Anyway I think Katchanovsky is a poor academic and his papers have been rejected by his peers quite frequently.

        • Apparently NATO is an offensive alliance just ask the Syrians, Libyans, Somalians, Iraqis, Yugoslavia, Afghanistanis…etc all bombed by NATO because they weren’t compliant to US european imperialism.

        • Because the NATO aligned countries in eastern Europe and the Baltic states know if Ukraine falls those small Baltic states will be next even Finland and Sweden that has been occupied by Russia in the past know what Putin wants the recreation of the Russian empire..

        • That’s just it Blazer, NATO is at war with Russia.
          Wayne is incorrect about what is happening on the battlefield, except for the bit about battlefield intelligence where the NATO space based systems provide a massive advantage. Even to that there are work arounds, for example if this went to a full on NATO v Russia or China the satellite systems would be taken down leaving both sides blind.
          Wayne, sift through the rest of simplicius to find out what is actually going on.

              • The answer Nick J is you have no credentials and can’t recognise when people more expert than you, such as Ben and Wayne, have a better grip on Ukraine than you do. When you are out manoeuvred you resort to abuse.

                  • Yes Lord Haw Haw. More abuse. I think you have a senility problem and critical thinking is not possible with you. You are not able to assess Ben, Wayne or my contributions in a balanced way at all. I would suggest you read Bill Browder’s two books and also Serhii Plokhy’s take on the Ukrainian war. Perhaps you can prove that you are not ruled by confirmation bias and conspiracy theories!

        • Nato isn’t involved – get that out of your head.

          Countries that are a part of NATO are involved only in a matter of supplying weapons and financial aid.

          The weapons they give are NATO weapons because they’re used by NATO countries.
          They’re not NATO weapons because they are not owned by NATO.

          If NATO would get involved the Russians would all be gone from Ukraine allready.

          Nato is an organization with which you cannot be in war with.

          You can be in war with a country, a defensive alliance’s members. Not the organization itself.

          The reason nato aligned countries support Ukraine is because they see Russia as a threat to their own sovereignty, their own economy, they don’t condone an aggressive invasion of a neighboring country and because Russia took down a civilian plane with largest part of people on it were from my country.

          I cannot fathom that you guys in NZ have so many pro Russian shills, I always thought NZ a well thinking liberal and friendly country, only so short ago uproared by a shocking and terribly violent attack by one lunatic with a gun that so many of you would condone a large scale attack like that on entirety of Ukraine is BAFFLING to me and you should be ashamed!

          • That “one lunatic with a gun” featured the Azov ‘Black Sun” symbol on the cover of his manifesto ,,,, he admired their ideology, and they his.

            If we released him from Nz prison to go fight in Ukraine ,,, he would be aligning with and joining the Zelensky/Nato side.

            What a disgrace alright,,,and we should be ashamed of this.

        • The fundamental problem that Russia has is that it is a country of 140 million still very much with soviet era industry and all that implies. It is reflected in the arms they are bringing to bear. Yes, Russia has very large stockpiles from the soviet era, but those stockpile are now 35 years old and more. Hence the difficulty in refurbishing tanks from the 1970’s and 1980’s.
          Russia is now up against a much larger western industrial infrastructure. That is a battle Russia will lose.
          Russia needed to win within the first few months. The longer the war goes on, the more parlous will the Russian military become.
          However, Putin could boost conscription. Perhaps instead of 300,000 recruits up to 1 million, but would the Russian people put up with that? In addition a Russian Army of the scale would be woefully equiped. Would there just be more massacres of Russian soldiers sent in as human waves?

          • No, they have been modernising and building a trim modern military since at least 2006.

            Whereas the US military complex has been making money.

            Everything we are told about the capabilities, not to mention the objectives, are wrong. As you’ll see.

            • Day one proved the effectiveness of Western anti-tank missiles, day two it was man portable surface to air missiles. After that procession fires. It’s pretty basic stuff. 5eyes wizardry is just showing off at this point.

    • When the Vietnam war was going on, I can remember watching TV. Jet after jet was leaving a gigantic American aircraft carrier to bomb Vietnam, and thinking to myself, ‘How on Earth can the Vietnamese people ever possibly beat such overwhelming military force?’

      The flailing about of a gigantic monster

      Paul March 13, 2023 at 6:27 am

      Meanwhile, on planet earth:

      Data from the European Commission, quoted by El Pais, says that Russia has a 10:1 advantage in artillery….

      ….Russia fires between 40,000 and 50,000 artillery shells per day, compared to 5,000-6,000 Ukrainian forces expend.

      …..The Russian forces fire ten times the number of shells the Ukrainians can fire….

      ….. It is thus impossible that Ukraine is losing less soldiers than the Russians….

      In the Vietnam war 65 thousand US troops were killed, to an estimated 1 million NVA soldiers and 2 million Vietnamese civilians.

      The American were so sure that their huge advantage in killing power would win them this war, that they notoriously published a regular body count of Vietcong killed.

      Realising that they were in a losing war against an insurgent population the Americans resorted to mass aerial bombardment of Vietnamese civilian infrastructure, with the stated aim of breaking the Vietnamese people’s will to fight.

      Sound familiar?

      The result in Vietnam as it has been in Ukraine is the same. It has hardened the people’s will to fight back against the invader.

      I don’t know what planet you are on Paul, but it is not planet Earth.

      • Pat, the Russians are the Viet Cong in this scenario. The Ukrainians are the SVA. Just radicalised with soviet era hate and US money.

        Even if you don’t agree I suggest you read all events with this model in mind to balance your prejudice.

        • Paul March 13, 2023 at 10:04 pm

          Pat, the Russians are the Viet Cong in this scenario.

          How the Russians are so not the Viet Cong:

          Let me count some of the ways

          #1 The Russians invaded Ukraine.
          The Vietcong did not invade America.

          #2 The Russians have conducted an aerial bombardment of Ukraine civilian infrastructure.
          The Vietcong didn’t conduct an aerial bombardment of US civilian infrastructure

          #3 The Russians are not fighting on their land.
          The Vietcong were fighting on their land

          #4 The Russians use mercenaries (The Wagner Group)
          The Vietcong didn’t use mercenaries

          #5 The Russians fire missiles into Ukrainian apartment buildings.
          The Vietcong didn’t fire missiles into American apartment buildings.

          #6 The Russians are taking Ukrainian children to Russia.
          The Vietcong never took American children to Vietnam.

      • Also, my point was about the flipped ratios of Ukrainian v Russian dead in the Western propaganda narrative. Your parable is irrelevant.

        • Backtracking much. You wrote that the Russian imperialists are the Vietcong in this scenario. A claim so ludicrous that it displays a total disconnect from reality.

          “Pat, the Russians are the Viet Cong in this scenario.”

          Talking of flipped ratios;

          #7 Russia is a much bigger country than Ukraine.
          America is a much bigger country than Vietnam.

          Everything that makes Russia not like the Vietcong, makes Ukraine like the Vietcong.
          Which is why Russia will be defeated and expelled from all Ukrainian territory.

    • The amount of artillery each side possesses has become less relevant than the amount of shells each side can produce to actually use. It’s clear from the arguments between Wagner and the Russian MOD that the number of guns Russia has cannot be utilised for a lack of ammunition for them, which is why artillery intensity from the start of the war has dropped 75%.

  3. “Then the question is how will Russia respond to another large defeat?”

    And this is the whole point of this propaganda angle from the Western cabal. To make a false flag seem like the “only” way Russia wins, which it will; or potential “outrageous” Russian nuclear strike being the reason, instead of merely being the telegraphed response to the Nato mafia crossing the clear redlines of Russian security over and over again.

    • It seems the line never changes no matter how many defeats Russia receives. Kyiv offensive failed, good will gesture, any idea this means Russia is struggling in the conflict is propaganda. Kharkiv is liberated, doesn’t matter Russia will win in the end. Lyman is liberated, don’t worry western propaganda won’t stop the swarm of Russia’s mobilisation. Kherson is liberated, don’t worry Wagner is about to win the war by taking the town of Bakhmut, somehow. Now the Bakhmut offensive is culminating and whether Wagner take the town or not, Russia’s strategic capabilities are at this stage too eroded to ever hope to take Donbas. I’ve seen propagandists call this “Russia winning too slowly”. The delusion never ends.

      What is the next cope? Steiner’s counter attack will break the encirclement of Mariupol?

  4. When both sides say they are winning you know the truth will not be easy to find

    Let’s face it only time will tell

    meanwhile The rooster will keep demanding more men and weapons

  5. Soon your much vaunted Spring Offensive will be passed over to the Summer and i will be left wondering if the NZ Herald is more accurate with their predictions.

  6. Surely any day now Russia is gonna lay down their weapons, bend the knee and start sucking Z’s and B’s dick. Not.

    • Surely any day now Russia is going to finish their special 3 day military operation to capture Kyiv. It starts with getting thousands killed in Bakhmut bro pls trust me bro.

  7. Thanks for the update Ben.

    A key advantage in Bakhmut you didn’t mention is that the Ukraine’s side of the river is mostly concrete apartment blocks and offices whereas the Russian side is mostly residential single storey buildings. This gives the Ukraine soldiers better protection against incoming fire and elevated positions for observation and sniping.

    A British intelligence official estimated the kill ratio 7:1 in favour of the Ukraine, and the situation is even worse for the Russian because they often are seen leaving their wounded to die.

    • Andrew, believing the British Intelligences is like believing that there is an old white guy with a white beard in the sky whom is all mighty and powerful? Its fiction at best

      • As opposed to believing Putin had no choice but to invade and is liberating Ukrainians from Nazi’s? Not disputing the disturbing views of, let’s be honest, a lot of Eastern Europeans but Putin is not so believable either.

  8. — ” for the US the kinetic ‘war on the ground’ in Ukraine is actually of the least possible importance. By far the most important objectives of this entire situation are the following:

    1. Destroy Russia-German relations
    2. Unplug Europe from Russian energy
    3. Make Europe, conversely, dependent on US energy
    4. Bankrupt and de-industrialize Europe to keep it submissive to US hegemonic power

    And guess what? On pretty much all of these counts the US has succeeded with flying colors. A grand, unparalleled victory. And the longer they can keep juicing the situation, the more positive geopolitical consequences they can reap from the situation in this regard. As for who gets what land in Ukraine, they could hardly care less.” ,,, to which I’ll add, Who blew up Nord-stream ??


    Wayne on Ukraine has previously stated “it is not really an economic problem for the US. Which is why their economy is going well. High employment. declining inflation.

    Even if all $100 billion US weapons are delivered to Ukraine, which will take most of 2023 and beyond, that is only 12% of the US defence budget.”

    Apparently $20 Billion could solve the bulk of hopelessness in the usa ,,,, where the amount of people living on the street, under bridges, in tent citys, in cars etc ,,,, is at levels not seen since ‘the great depression’ .

    It is obvious that if the usa economy itself is not sick,,,, then their governance of it certainly is. …. what’s more their Govt’s foreign policy’s and international conduct is even worse ,,,,

    Martin Luther King, Jr — “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death,”

    According to the Financial Times, “US oil producers reap $200bn windfall from Ukraine war price surge”,,,, just lucky I guess. ,,,.

    • Agreed but now that US banks have started collapsing partly as a result of this war there will be more opposition from their financial sector, who apparently weren’t too keen to begin with.

  9. Meanwhile the President of Georgia is safely tucked away safely in the US calling on the protesters to continue demands for the Government to resign, YEP, you read that right! the elected President calling for her own government to fall, color Revolution US style, time to open up that 2nd front against Russia. Unconfirmed reports are coming out the “Ukrainian Legionnaires” are stirring up conflict in Georgia.

    Over 1 Million took to the streets in France over the weekend protesting pension reforms with widespread rioting, 370,000 hard core protesters showed up the next day to be greeted with police brutality, tear gas and water canons, not a Western parrot squawked about their “Freedom to protest” I’m guessing “freedom and democracy” doesn’t apply to Western country’s now. So far LNG terminals are at a standstill, rail is barely running and oil refineries are on strike throw in the estimated 4,500 tons of garbage uncollected on the streets of Paris due to strikes and residents are fearful of the famous Parisian rats coming to the surface which is estimated to number 2/1. Meanwhile Marcon is busy in Africa pleading with them to not reject their Colonialism and allow them to rename their Military bases as “Schools” all the while flooding social media of himself partying up on Champagne drunk. The Guillotines are being readied and freshly oiled.

    The Netherlands will have to be followed closely as an estimated 100,000 farmers are expected to pour onto the streets as well as with an estimated 5,000 tractors, their masters are demanding a complete ban on nitrates for the agriculture industry, the Government of course has pledged the Military to “Keep the people safe”

    Victor Orban of Hungary is officially making the early call we are on the precipice of WW3 and are at tipping point and the lemmings suck up graffiti from bored generation x “bloggers”

    The Pope has been sent to the naughty corner by Nicaragua for comparing President Ortega’s government to a “Communist or Nazi dictatorship”
    It’s a strange, strange world.

    The new alliance between Iraq and Saudi Arabia bears good and rotten fruit. Expect the war in Yemen to wind down with the Houthis no longer attacking Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries. Israel unfortunately gets the rotten fruit depending on your political leanings, regional stability has been grossly undermined and the political sharks are circling in the water. Look for another Israeli Government to collapse, of concern is if Israel decides to mow the lawn again.

    So far 3 major US banks have collapsed so far, one the 3rd biggest in US history Two out of three Americans live week to week and American poverty is escalating. A tinderbox waiting for the match.

    As i said its a strange, strange world. I do know enough to confidently believe we are indeed on the precipice and War is coming I have believed that since COVID and here’s the reason Why. During times of Worldwide unrest, poverty and inequality we always reach the same conclusion, war is the answer. War is the culling of Homo Sapiens enabled by the ones we vote for and War is for profit, simply put War is Mans greatest weakness, and greatest challenge.

    • I wouldn’t believe anything that Viktor Orban said!
      Putin started the war and he would have to be deposed before peace is guaranteed between Russia and Ukraine.

  10. If you want to respond to Stephan’s critique re the 2008 meeting, Ben, it would blast these people away.

    These Left n0t for democracy and international borders.

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