GUEST BLOG: Ben Morgan – Ukraine now dominates the Black Sea but progress is slow on land. Will Kim Jong Un save Putin?


Ukraine’s most significant operations last week were far to the south of Zaporizhia, on the Black Sea. Its operations on the Black Sea demonstrated new Ukrainian capabilities and provided insight into Ukraine’s planning.  Additionally, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence confirmed how dangerous and contested the airspace over the Black Sea is; acknowledging that in 2022 a Russian fighter fired missiles at a British surveillance plane operating in international airspace over the sea. In the land battle, commentary by a retired Australian general may provide an insight into why Ukrainian progress is slower than expected.  Finally, the meeting predicted between Kim Jong Un and Putin took place last week in Vladivostok.    

It was a busy week on the Black Sea.  First, Ukraine confirmed on 12 September that it had retaken the series of offshore oil drilling platforms in the Black Sea known as the Boyko Towers.  Capture of these small platforms was a prelude to a larger Ukrainian operation that is currently unfolding in the Black Sea and Crimea.  The importance of these platforms relates to their location as surveillance and air defence platforms.  A key issue for Russia is that it does not have a sophisticated airborne radar system.  The coverage of radar is limited by the curvature of the earth, a sea-skimming cruise missile, aircraft or small boat only being visible within a range of about 80km (50 miles) from most surface mounted radar systems.  Obviously, the higher a radar system is mounted the further its coverage will be and many nations use powerful radars mounted on aircraft to provide greater coverage.  Russia does have these aircraft but not many, and the ones they have are older and are less sophisticated than they need to be to detect modern stealthy cruise missiles like Storm Shadow.  

By holding Snake Island and the Boyko Towers Russia was able to push their radar surveillance further into the Black Sea providing their air defence in Crimea with more time to react.  See the picture below.  The approximate locations of the Boyak Towers are in red and a couple of roughly 80km (50mile) radius circles are overlaid to show the rough range at which we can estimate they could pick up a sea-skimming missile or plane, demonstrating how useful these offshore oil platforms were are as a Russian radar piquet for Crimea.

Additionally, air defence could be layered by deploying air defence missiles on the platforms forcing Ukrainian attackers to fly through layers of defences long before reaching targets in Crimea.  And; we should not forget about the importance of small boats or sea drones.  A rigid hulled inflatable boat with commandos in it or a Sea Baby drone is very hard to spot from surface-based radar, by occupying these platforms Russia extended its surveillance ‘bubble’ far across the Black Sea.  Now that Ukraine has taken these platforms, Russia will need to risk positioning ships forward in the Black Sea, currently a very dangerous proposition; or make more use of its very limited airborne surveillance planes another rare and expensive asset. 

Essentially, Ukraine has removed Russia’s ‘eyes’ on the Black Sea and made Crimea much more vulnerable to attack by cruise missiles, drones, aircraft and commando raids. Last week’s announcement put recent Ukrainian commando attacks on Russian air defence missiles in Crimea into a new perspective.  Ukraine occupied the Boyak Towers some weeks ago, only announcing their capture recently. However, we can see that their capture has already had an impact on Russia’s ability to stop Ukrainian attacks.   First, in late August Ukrainian commando raids destroyed Russian S 400 missiles. Since then, Russian air defence radars and missile systems in Crimea have been subjected to a persistent campaign of attacks.  Obviously, enabled by the capture of the Boyak Towers. 

Last week, having suppressed Russia’s air defence over Crimea Ukraine struck hard.  A complex multi-directional cruise missile attack using large and powerful Storm Shadow missiles severely damaged a Russian amphibious warfare ship and a submarine. Both vessels were very badly damaged and have little chance of being repaired in time to play any further role in this war.  The Ukrainians have sunk several Russian ships during the war slowly depleting Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and driving the remainder east out of the war.  Further, last week’s attack was a stark demonstration of Sevastopol’s vulnerability.  Historically, this port is Russia’s stronghold from which it dominates the Black Sea and is no longer safe. 

The impact of Ukraine’s attack on the Black Sea Fleet’s most important and until now secure harbour is significant; first because it drives the fleet further east forcing them to relocate to the relative safety of Novorossisyk, compromising their ability to exert control over the western Black Sea. However, this attack is important in another way because is an example of Ukraine targeting Russian amphibious ships, specifically:

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  • Saratov, an Alligator class landing ship able to carry about 400 soldiers and their supporting vehicles was destroyed in March 2022. 
  • Sister ships Caesar Kunikov and Novocherkassk were damaged in 2022 and are still out of action unable to be repaired probably due to sanctions on Russia. Both vessels could carry about 300 soldiers and their supporting vehicles. 
  • Minsk and Olenegorsky Gornyak both damaged and out of action after attacks in August 2023.  Both vessels carry about 350 soldiers and their supporting vehicles.

Is Ukraine targeting Russian amphibious ships because they are worried about Russian amphibious attacks?  No, they are not.  Instead, Ukraine’s activity points to a wider strategic plan.  The map below shows Ukraine’s ‘vice’ closing on Crimea, cutting the peninsular off from Russia’s supply lines. The peninsula’s logistics options are limited, the first option is to use the Crimean Land Bridge marked ‘A’ on the map below. This route has both heavy rail and road freight options and is relatively hard to interdict, unless Ukraine can fight its way to within artillery range of the route. Unlike Russia’s next option is using the Kerch Bridge, marked ‘B.’ Although this route has both road and rail options it is single point of failure. Russia’s third option is to use the sea. 

Ukraine’s advance on the Orikhiv Axis (shown as a blue arrow) may be slow but it is inexorable. So far, the Russians have not been able to stop the advance and if Ukraine gets within about 20km of Melitopol or any other point along the Crimean Land Bridge then that supply route can be interdicted using artillery. If both the Kerch Bridge is destroyed and the Crimean Land Bridge is subjected to regular artillery fire then the peninsular has no rail or road access and would need to rely on air or sea resupply.  Supporting the defence of Crimea by air lift is unfeasible, ammunition and armoured vehicle parts will be needed and are too heavy to ship in large amounts by air.  This leaves sea lift.  Therefore, strategically Ukraine has good reason to interested in reducing the number of Russia’s amphibious warfare ships.  

This discussion provides an insight into how the Ukrainian thinking and helps confirm that Ukraine’s intent is to isolate and starve Crimea of logistics support.  Crimea is Putin’s most important victory to date, returning it to Russian control in 2014 is his crowning achievement to-date.  If Crimea becomes untenable Putin’s political position is significantly weakened, instead of being a strong and victorious leader he looks weak; and a weak dictator is a vulnerable dictator. 

However, the land battle remains the key to the campaign, because until the Crimean Land Bridge is compromised Putin has a reliable supply route to Crimea. Ukraine continues to attack on three axes shown as blue arrows, on the map below:

  1. An axis that started at Orikhiv and that is pushing south towards Tokmak and Melitopol.
  2. An operation flattening the Velyka Novosilka salient.
  3. Advancing on Bakhmut.

Last week, Ukraine continued to make slow progress on the Orikhiv axis and is currently ‘knocking on the door’ of both Novopropivka and Verbove.  Both villages are important tactically, Novopropivka because it is enroute to Tokmak; and Verbove because holding in secures Ukraine’s left flank.   In the east, near Bakhmut Ukraine is also making progress and reports indicate that the Russians may soon withdraw from the tactically important villages of Andrivka and Klishchivka opening opportunities to advance north and east towards Bakhmut.  

Listening to retired Australian general Mick Ryan on Times Radio last week provided interesting insight into the difficulties facing Ukraine.  General Ryan observed that Ukraine is the first war in which there is complete integration of civil and military information; or in simple terms that the widespread use of the internet means that both sides have access to enormous amounts of information, much of it gathered by ordinary people.  Further, this information is available in real time so can be used to target enemy forces using artillery, rockets and drones.    An interesting observation that likely impacts significantly on tactical logistics. 

Even a small company-sized attack, with about 100 soldiers and a dozen vehicles has an administrative and logistics burden.  After a successful attack the company need to re-organise(re-org) and prepare for its next task. Expended ammunition, batteries for night vision equipment and communications equipment and replacement equipment all needs to be moved forward. Wounded and prisoners need to be backloaded. Damaged equipment repaired.  In previous wars, re-orging’ after an attack was comparatively safe, when the position is secure these supplies are brought forwards while wounded and prisoners are moved back. Generally, if the re-orging force maintains its security and is out of range of direct fire; or in defilade the administration can take place relatively easily. 

However, on Ukraine’s battlefields this is not the case, the forward edge of battle is under constant video surveillance not only by soldiers but by drones, people live-streaming from ‘Go Pros,’ civilians posting information on line and a range of other sources.  And; because this information is often circulating in real time (or close to real time) it can be useful for targeting purposes.  This means that local civilians (as well as military observers) can post accurate, ‘time recorded’ pictures or film of a unit that allows targeting of that unit with artillery or by loitering drones almost immediately.

An impact of this situation is that tactical administration is evolving and probably slowing down.  Instead of the company’s ‘echelon’ (its first line of re-supply and repair) being close by, just outside enemy direct fire range (a couple of kilometres) it now needs to be further back, out of artillery range (a couple of dozen kilometres) and wait for an opportunity to move forwards under cover either of darkness at night or in some other manner that is well-protected from observation.  This creates significant difficulties resupplying soldiers especially for a force on the offensive.  Soldiers in defence, on the other hand are not as constrained because they can cache supplies and dig communications trenches that allow supplies to be brought forwards under cover.  

Napoleon, once said that ‘administration was one of the most important but also the most neglected principle of war.’ The ability to manage re-supply, repair and removal of prisoners and wounded in a timely and efficient way is tactically very important; and it seems that this war will produce some important lessons about how to manage this activity on the modern battlefield.

Overall, the campaign is still very much 50/50. On land, Ukraine is pressing forwards slowly on the Orikhiv axis and even though Russia is rushing its best units to this area it has not yet been able to stop; or drive back the Ukrainians.  Every step south on this axis exposes the flanks of more Russian units on either side of the salient; and if Russian counter attacks are unsuccessful increases the odds that defending units will break and run rather than risk being surrounded.  If this happens Ukraine’s odds of cutting the Crimean Land Bridge increase significantly.  At sea and in the air, Ukraine has created a ‘window of opportunity’ over Crimea, creating a hole in Russia’s air defences and we can expect to see lots of activity over the peninsular next week.  

On 15 September, the Institute for the Study of War reported that; “Russian State Duma Defense Committee Chairman Andrei Kartapolov explicitly stated that mobilized personnel will only demobilize at the end of Russia’s ‘special military operation.’” Confirmation that Putin is concerned about manpower because the Kremlin is stopping previously mobilised soldiers returning home as this autumn’s conscripts join the war, stealthily increasing the size of Russia’s army without a full mobilisation.  Many commentators are speculating about what Putin’s meeting with Kim Jong Un will produce.  Will Russia get ammunition? Equipment?  Perhaps manpower?  My assessment is that Putin needs help but that North Korea’s support will be very limited; perhaps just ammunition. Anything else seems unlikely partly because of Kim Jong Un’s paranoia.  He is unlikely to allow significant amounts of soldiers or equipment to be sent to Russia, in case he needs them! Further, it seems likely that China will support North Korea throwing Putin a lifeline because like most nations it sees little margin in prolonging the war. 

In summary, the situation remains tense and neither side is looking like being able to achieve a decision before the land campaign is shut down by autumnal rain. And; that tension is dangerous.  Last week, the United Kingdom confirmed that one of their surveillance aircraft was shot at by Russian fighters last year.  This incident demonstrates two points, first that the United Kingdom’s anti-missile systems were able to defeat the Russian missile. Second, how easily one rogue pilot can change the war.  If the Russians were more competent and had shot down a British aircraft with a couple of dozen people on board it would have been a significant international incident.  An event that could easily have escalated the war. It demonstrates the need for cool heads and clear thinking on both sides. 


Ben Morgan is a bored Gen Xer and TDBs military blogger


  1. Seem to recall Ben in prior columns waxing lyrical that Ukraine was going to break through to the Sea of Azov. And?

    As for control of the Black Sea there is Russian shipping moving grain to Turkey. There is no Ukainian grain moving. Dream on Ben.

  2. Ukrainian Pinpricks attacks that have achieved NOTHING Ben, this is a dangerous escalation by the English who planned & did this attack using Storm shadow missiles & drones & at some stage the Poms will be punished for this attack on Russia? Attacks on Crimea are a Media spectacle to convince the waning interest of the West to stay invested in this losing conflict, its a diversion from the utter failure of Ukraine’s Counteroffensive from Hell that has cost them 60k dead Ukrainians, they are losing 500-1000 men a Day & are signing up Senior Citizens, the disabled & schoolboys to fight, it’s like Downfall the Movie! And all thanks to the cowardly Neocon Americans who are responsible for this entire conflict, it’s despicable & Biden, Nuland, Sullivan, Kirby, Blinken, Boris Johnson & the rest of this motley bunch of Western Leaders have the deaths of 500k Ukrainians on their hands due to their Proxy War attempts to Regime change Russia & murder Putin like they did to Gaddafi & Saddam Hussein by bringing NATO to Russia’s borders with the long term goal of destroying Russia to steal its Resources! But what’s happening is the Western Countries have destroyed themselves especially the US with the emergence of BRICs & the Multipolar World & a rejection of the West with the abandonment of the US dollar which the US uses to weaponise too enable its Sanctions warfare? The schemed to destroy Russia but its boomeranged back & is destroying the West & its Economies instead!

    • What a load of rubbish! You live in an alternative universe mate! You give Ukrainians no credit to think for themselves. They don’t want to be part of Putin’s Russia. Uncle Sam is the big bogey man to you conspiracists. That overrules anything that Ukrainians think and feel. You are wrong!
      The vast majority of Ukrainians, even those in the Donbas, want to be in the EU and NATO. Who are you to deny them their right to self determination?
      You Putin supporting conspiracy theorists are all nutters!

  3. Ben, Russia just sign a deal with Turkey also huge amounts of grain has been shipped to Africa for free! I’m assuming that Russia needs the Black Sea to move their goods?

  4. Quoting the Institute for the Study of War a neocon run outfit isn’t impartial reporting! Victoria Newman inlaws the Kagan family are the financer’s of this institution.

    The British fingerprints are all ova these pinpricks in the Black sea. On July 16, 2023 a predawn assault on the Kerch Bridge connecting Crimea with mainland Russia left two civilians dead and a 14-year-old injured. Another attack recently happen in August 2023. As advisors to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hinted at Ukraine’s culpability, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed his finger at Kiev and vowed revenge.

    The attack was the second attempt at destroying the Kerch Bridge in less than a year. On October 8th 2022, a suicide attacker remotely detonated a truck bomb on the bridge, killing three and inflicting such severe damage the vehicular crossing remained closed until February this year, while railroad traffic resumed in May.

    Two days after the bombing, a cabal of British military-intelligence freelancers had drafted detailed plans for destroying Kerch Bridge months earlier. The blueprints were drawn up at the behest of Chris Donnelly, a senior intelligence operative and former high ranking NATO advisor. His transnational nexus manages London’s contribution to the proxy war at arm’s length, in conjunction with the Security Service of Ukraine’s (SBU) Odessa branch.

    These files show Prevail Partners as the cutout enlisted to train a secret Ukrainian partisan army to target Russian territory with terror attacks. Prevail pledged to provide the SBU with extensive targeting expertise and technology for operations targeting Crimea – particularly, the Kerch Bridge. They also raise grave questions about whether the Ukrainian Security Service is being assisted in its criminal war on collaborators by Donnelly’s shadowy clique.

    The recent attack in August by air and underwater drones again failed to bring down the Kerch bridge. This time, the SBU appears to have used unmanned submarines to target Kerch Bridge with explosives. A review of leaked files previously revealed a solid basis for again blaming Donnelly’s cabal.

    After an initial burst of Ukrainian public and governmental celebration in the wake of the first Kerch bombing, officials in Kiev quickly backtracked, claiming it was in fact a Russian false flag. In May this year, SBU chief Vasyl Maliuk finally admitted his agency undertook “certain measures” to carry out the attack, coercing an innocent truck driver into unwittingly and unwillingly serving as a suicide bomber.

    • Criminal war Stephen? And the Russians are lily white? Give me a break! Such selective judgement! The Russians started the criminal war Stephen!

  5. In response to the report of a near “shoot down” the UK MoD issued another statement which added more fog than clarity.

    The MoD claimed a ” significant portion of these reports (from the documents) is untrue, manipulated or both”

    Very FIRST internet search, source BBC.

        • Put your cards on the table In Vino! You seem to be a passive supporter of the the Putinists. Come out and say it instead of sniping from the corner!

        • How would you like to see your grandparents’ countries destroyed by a megalomaniac? And to encounter a host of useful idiots in New Zealand spouting forth Kremlin propaganda which they believe to be true!
          They have no idea about Russian history – for example some idiot who calls himself ‘finngrin’ thought that Kyiv/Kiev was the capital of Russia! Kievan Rus’ was not Russia. Muscovy became Russia many hundreds of years later! And that is just the tip of the iceberg!

  6. U.S. and British military industrial complex are losing a proxy war that they are too cowardly and actually incapable of fighting (77% of U.S. fighting age males unfit for military service). Russia handily demilitarising Ukraine and carefully avoiding falling for reckless provocations. Western wonder-weapons exposed as ultra-expensive, high maintenance and ineffective. That’s how I see it, anyway.

  7. NATO/the Usa/Britian want to control the Black sea …. Britain in particular has had a bee in their bonnet and been spiteful ever since they FAILED to take Crimea off Russia over 170 years ago …. in the Crimean War ,,, they initially took (back) control of Crimea in 1783 when they defeated and booted the Otterman empire

    Russia has had and colonised Crimea ever since ,,, except for a brief couple of years when WWII Nazis with people like their Bandera fascist/nationalist brethren over-ran the place with bitter fighting and hundreds of thousands of casualties ,,, a lot of Russian blood was lost defeating Nazis in Crimea in WW2 ,,, A German military cemetery near Sevastopol in 1944 ,,,

    ,,now the (pure blood/blood and soil) nationalist Bandera grandchildren are having another doomed attempt to take and cleanse Crimea/Eastern Ukraine ,,,, with Britians/NATO’s full and ESSENTIAL approval and involvement.

    “Zelensky was elected president on the promise of ending the Donbass war. About seven months into his term he traveled to the front line in Donbass to tell Ukrainian troops, where Azov is well-represented, to lay down their arms. Instead he was sent packing. The Kyiv Post (green check) reported:” … “It was a demonstration of the power of the military, including the ( nazi )Azov Regiment, over the civilian president.

    Finally NATO/Britain/the Usa do not dominate the Black through their ‘throw-away’ Ukraine proxies ,,,, If they did we would see petrol at $5 per liter in AoNz,,, and we would be able to thank neocons and the Western military industrial complex for this achievement.….

    Ukrainian Sea Drones Attack Russian Oil Tanker in Black Sea. The attack could open a new phase in the war

    • My post should have read,,,,, Russia took control of Crimea in 1783 and booted out the Otterman empire ,,,, and – NATO/Britain/the Usa do not dominate the Black sea

        • If the Ukraine war was to be won by bleating about typo’s/spelling ,,,, and the use of exclamation marks!!! 😉 ,,, then Ovod and his multitude of other user names, would have achieved victory for them.

          Slava Ovod

          … and seeing as Ovod likes to go on about history ,,,, here’s some on Ukraine.

          ” the U.S. simply flipped the enemy by supporting Nazi insurgent organizations fighting the Soviet Union, the country that had just saved Europe from the scourge of Hitler’s Third Reich.”

          Ukraine: The CIA’s 75-year-old Proxy

          • What’s more important is your woeful ignorance of Russian history BA. Your struggles with orthography and grammar are symptoms of a deeper problem – bad comprehension skills. How else could you arrive at the ridiculous conclusions that you promote. I don’t need your help with Russian history – my family was part of it and you do not have the slightest idea about it! Russia doesn’t need the help of crazy conspiracists like you!

    • What’s more Awakesky’ you neglect to mention the deportation of the Crimean Tatars who were shockingly treated by Stalin and are still persecuted to this day!

  8. A point to note. Russia can’t/won’t help Armenia an alliance partner in Ngagorno-Karabakh. The Russian “peacekeepers” fled at the first sign of trouble. The abandoned Russian camp has been destroyed. This failure to support an alliance member with “Peace Keepers” who were on the spot or other military from Russia says a lot. Russia is so weakened by the war in Ukraine that they can’t cope with other skirmishes in what was once their sphere of influence. It appears that the Russian military has been degraded adjacent Nato and other borders just to shore up losses in Ukraine leaving them with little capability elsewhere. A Finnish spokesman said Russia only have 20% of the troops on their border than was the case in the recent past. Japan are saying troops and air defence systems have been removed from the mutually disputed disputed islands north of Japan. Russian Arctic troops and equipment have also been shifted away. China, the Turks, some Caucasus republics and other neighbours will be smiling to see quickly Russia has been weakened.

  9. The President of Ukraine addressed the UN Security Council today. As part of his address the President of Ukraine has announced that he will be presenting his country’s peace plan to the Security Council this coming Wednesday.

    Russia’s previous terms for peace

    In March last year, using the Kremlin’s loaded term for regime change. The Kremlin called for the ‘denazification’ of Ukraine. President Zelensky said at the time he had no idea what this meant.
    Despite this ludicrous couching of regime change as denazification, Russia has not backed away from their demand for regime change in Ukraine.

    Russia’s other demand was that Ukraine agree never to join NATO.

    As a democracy, President Zelensky said this second demand would have to be put to the Ukraine people in a referendum, for them to decide. The Russian negotiators rejected this democratic condition.

    Ukraine’s previous terms for peace.

    In March last year President Zelensky presented his country’s demands for peace to the Russian negotiators. In essence in return for peace, Ukraine would agree to allowing the Russian forces to return to the pre-February 24, 2022 territory held by Russian forces prior to their Full Scale Invasion. And for negotiations to continue between Russia and Ukraine toward finding a final settlement to these disputed territories.

    The Russian negotiators rejected Ukraine’s peace terms. The Russian negotiators refused to even consider a ceasefire for the period of the peace talks, choosing instead to continue with their military advance and missile attacks on Ukraine’s cities and infrastructure during the negotiations.

    This coming Wednesday, will the President of Ukraine present to the UN Security Council the same generous peace offer that he put to the Russian Federation negotiators in March last year?

    Or will it be something less?

    Will Russia reject Ukraine’s peace terms again?

    What will the Security Council decide?

    Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council with right of veto over the Security Council.

    In the background the US President has announced that he is seeking a reform of the Security Council. What reforms the US President want to see, have not yet been officially disclosed.
    Several conjectures have been floated as to the reforms the US President might be after.
    It has been muted that the US President is seeking, not to remove the right of veto from Permanent Security Council members, but to somehow limit or restrict the use of the veto.

    It has been suggested that one of the reforms the US President is seeking is that the number of Permanent members be increased.

    Could the reforms the US President is seeking in the Security Council, see UN Peace Keeping Forces being sent to Ukraine?

    Not without much more radical reform of the UN than has been suggested.

  10. Denazification:
    The process of removing known Neo Nazis deliberately embedded in the armed forces of Ukraine by the Ukrainian Government and sent to the Donbas in an “Anti terrorist operation” to commit War crimes documented by the Western media itself.
    There fixed it for Ya!

  11. Armoured vehicles have now crossed the Surovikin Line in two areas on the Robotyne front where it was breached by infantry some time back. Demining has taken some time but the armour is being brought forward in preparation for attacks on Verbove and Novoprokopivka. Will all the Russian “Special Forces” shipped in to bolster the defences be able to hold out against these pushes? The Russian “telegram bloggers” are increasingly pessimistic and are moaning about lack of counter battery fire, lack of ammunition, deaths from friendly fire/blocking troops, very high casualty rates, no rotation, cancelled leave etc. News of the heavy losses near Bakmut and the successful missile and drone strikes in Crimea won’t be helping Russian morale in Zaporhizhia either.

      • Nick the Jerk! Stop using racist language against Ukrainians! Fascist troll!
        And there has been verified video footage of Ukrainian motorised brigades with IFW and German AA breaking through third line Russian defences near Robotyne.

      • Thanks for the link Nick J. In the comments section there is this really good one –

        September 21, 2023 at 10:43
        Excellent as always. Israel, as an example, has enshrined it’s supposed victimization at the hands of the world with the cry that “they deny our right to exist!” In reality, and like the US, it is Israel that denies the rights of others (Palestinians) to exist. And as Mr. Brenner has correctly pointed out, it is the US that is the world’s denier of other’s, China, Russia, etc., right to exist. Why? Simply because a bully mentality lives in perpetual fear and if your boot is not on their neck, panic!

        Psychological projection is a real thing. In Ukraine, every accusation of barbaric Russian actions is in fact a description of what the monstrous Kiev regime has itself been doing, often to its own people. It’s almost scary how iron clad this rule of projection is. Of course, everyone is an enemy in the eyes of the US because the US has become the enemy of everyone else with no good intentions toward anyone, even its vassals (aka fools).

        I think Ukraine is going to greatly end all that. Until now, the US has been able to hide its intentions behind a multi-generation marketing veneer of “moral authority.” That illusion was well on the way out but Ukraine has indeed pushed it over the edge. Certainly from this point on, the US, also dragging along its vassal states (goodbye EU), any remaining shred of that delusion in the world has been swept away.

        Moral authority is another iron clad rule. It’s seems invisible and hard to pin down. Naturally so because it reflects the totality of one’s character and actions. It seems weak and ineffectual compared to military or financial might but that is a shallow view. Moral authority, much like the oil in an engine, is ubiquitous. It simply makes everything else work. Without it, every action grinds and wears. Ukraine, I believe, has cracked the US crankcase and the oil of moral authority has leaked out. It took generations to develop it and now it is gone for good. I guess it had to be Biden and his, as Ray McGovern says, “sophomores,” the pinnacle of mediocrity, to bring this home. From now on, US efforts for anything in the world will be much like a an engine trying to run without oil.

        The US with its military and financial might could not be defeated in a frontal attack. Rather, what Russia and China were forced to do was to let the US reveal itself and its intentions (empire) for what they really are for all to see. I believe the judo word for this kind of technique is “kazushi,” meaning putting one’s opponent off-balance. In a judo technique, one first leads his or her opponent into a position of “off-balance,” and then applies a technique to easily throw them to the mat. Putin is an 8th degree black belt in judo, quite rare, “tenth dan” is the top.

        Judo is also known as the “gentle art” and in fact Putin has taken a very “gentle,” relatively speaking, approach. If you don’t know judo, you may not quite grasp the eloquence with which Putin has led the US and the West to undermine itself of its own accord.

  12. No doubt all the Putinist conspiracists will jump in with Seymour Hersch’s latest pronouncement.
    Hersch is a cynical conspiracist who is making money from all the gullible idiots who will buy his nonsense. Rather like Russell Brand whip is even more of a douche bag!

      • I do fear Ovod is seriously losing the plot, more like a trapped animal in the corner actually. Lashing out.
        Quite sad really as with his claimed “PHD” he actually could have made a difference, what a waste.

        • finn, PhuD wants to write a book about how naughty Vlad is, bound to be very grammatically correct. To paraphrase the Bard “a tale full of sound and fury, told by a fool, signifying nothing”. So many write books for so few to read. Soothes their egos I’m told.

          • My thesis was not on Putin and my book is not on Putin. That field is over subscribed anyway.
            My specialty is cultural politics and relations between Russia and Ukraine are an important part of this. Culture is much more important in Russia/Ukraine than in New Zealand. My book will be unique.

  13. Jeez Nick J. ! The internet is flooded with satellite geo-located images proving that the Ukrainian armour has crossed the Surovikin line. Don’t know what game you are playing but Russian telegram accounts also confirm this. Just like when you said UA infantry hadn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t cross the Surovkin line you are wrong. Your propaganda lines in the face of huge amounts of proof to the contrary remind me of “Comical Ali’s” outpourings.

    • Western propaganda outfits like Bell-end cat, their one eyed Oryx kitten, and from Ukraine itself,,,, that although much more slick can get ‘comical ali’ farcical,,,, with the stuff they fabricate/ make up …..

      ie ,,, check out the comical editing of Zelensky speaking at the UN ,,, while simultaneously being in the audience ,,,, black comedy gold. Edited to ensure Ukraine gets the weapons, money and support,,,,, to keep them “fighting until the last Ukrainian” ,,,, as some important Usa neocon Ukraine ‘supporter’ previously gloated.

      Non fighting Ukraine supporters are certainly not “casualty averse” for them…..

      Pity the 70% of Ukrainians who voted for ‘peace deal’ Zelensky ,,,, in one of the deadliest broken electioneering promises ever.

    • Bullshit Trev, to get through the Surovikin line into open country requires forcing three lines, well separated. The UAF are butting up against the first. Read the maps which clearly show the lines and current locations. So far the armour is littered burning across the grey zone approaching the first line. You might note that reports came today of a Leopard destroyed with a German crew. Who would have thought to see German tankers fighting in Russia again?

  14. Western propaganda like Bellingcat, their Oryx kitten, and from Ukraine itself, although much more slick can get ‘comical ali’ farcical with the stuff they fabricate and make up …..

    ie ,,, check out the comical editing of Zelensky speaking at the UN ,,, while simultaneously being in the audience ,,,, black comedy gold. Edited to ensure Ukraine gets the weapons, money and support,,,,, to them “keep fighting until the last Ukrainian” ,,,, as some neocon Ukraine ‘supporter’ previously gloated.

    Non fighting Ukraine supporters are certainly not “casualty averse” for them.

  15. The latest “Comical Ali” laugh is in Crimea where the Russian spokesman said all missiles were shot down. Now the internet is awash with footage of damage and even missiles hitting the Black Sea fleet HQ. The lies may have worked before satellite coverage and the internet but not now. It exposes the Russian propaganda and makes them look stupid in the face of real time evidence!

    • Trev get your head around it. Both sides lie. Continuously.
      The most hilarious are Ukies claiming to have shot down all the Russkie missiles then claiming that the bad Russkies hit civilians or similar. Laughable.
      With regard to Ukraine hitting a navy building in Crimea you’d have to be stupid to deny it, the missile got through. You’d have to be even sillier to think that there were any major staff there (they like their Ukrainian opposites would be comfortable in a cosy bunker elsewhere).
      The other question is how the missile got through? Think about NATO aeroplane surveillance. How long will Russian tolerance last?


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