Ben Morgan: Russia takes Avdiivka, what next?



After months of fighting, Ukrainian troops are withdrawing from Avdiivka. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s campaign to engage Russia at sea and in depth continues with more drone attacks on oil infrastructure and another Russian ship sunk. In the US, Senators agreed to pass the Whitehouse’s emergency funding Bill to Congress.  A step towards the US being able to release another US$ 60 billion of military aid to Ukraine. 


For four months Russia has been trying to take Avdiivka, a small town held by the 110th Separate Mechanised Brigade. This unit’s strength is approximately 2-3000 soldiers supported by about 30 tanks and 100 other armoured fighting vehicles. Since October 2023, the brigade has defended the town against relentless Russian attacks and on 13 February 2024 started to withdraw, supported by the elite 3rd Assault Brigade.  This unit conducting spoiling attacks to slow down Russian pursuit letting the 110th Separate Mechanised Brigade ’break contact’ and withdraw. 

This battle is interesting to study because it ‘pokes a pin’ in arguments that capturing ground means Russia is winning the war.  The battle required Russia to keep a force of about 50,000 soldiers in the area. Conventional military wisdom is that an attacker needs at least a 3-1 advantage to be successful attacking defensive positions. In this battle, success required approximately a 20-1 advantage. An extremely high ratio that may demonstrate the impact of new technology; or simply poor Russian training.  The ratio is important because it demonstrates how difficult it will be for Russia to take larger towns like Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, let alone a city like Kharkiv. 

Further, the Centre for European Policy Analysis estimates that approximately 20,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, and 500 tanks destroyed during the battle. Ukrainian casualties are hard to estimate because they are not reported or published in open-source forums. 

Avdiivka was always likely to fall, it is on a salient so can be engaged from three sides and Russia has over-whelming manpower and more artillery ammunition. However, Pyrrhic victories like Bakhmut and Avdiivka slowly attrit these advantages, they also indicate that Putin’s army is currently too small and poorly trained to capture a large Ukrainian city. 

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The wider campaign

Ukraine continues to defend against attacks along the whole front line, and is especially heavily engaged in the north-east near Kupiansk. Russia has a large force concentrated in this area and is aiming to capture the town as a prelude to either pushing west towards Kharkiv, or south towards the two remaining uncaptured cities in the Donbas; Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

Last week, Caesar Kunikov a Russian amphibious ship was sunk by Ukraine near Altup on the southern tip of the Crimean Peninsula. The ship is a large landing ship and exploded immediately killing everybody on board indicating that it was carrying ammunition.  The Russians have been using the Black Sea Fleet’s amphibious warfare ships to resupply their ground units.  Tempting targets for Ukraine’s maritime strike assets.  

Further, Ukraine’s attack on Russian oil infra-structure continues including attacking oil depots in Moscow and Kursk on 15 February 2024. The effect of these attacks is hard to judge but Ukraine’s ability to hit these targets demonstrates the weakness of Russian air defence. 

Ukraine’s military leadership changes – Be ready for surprises

Last week we discussed President Zelenskyy’s removal of General Zaluzhnyi as commander of Ukraine’s armed forces.  The new commander, General Oleksandr Syrskyi was born in Russia in 1965 and served in the Soviet army, fighting in Afghanistan.  After the Soviet Union collapsed, he decided to remain in Ukraine and has served in the nation’s army, including fighting against Russia in 2014. 

General Syrskyi, is often described as the natural successor to General Zaluzhnyi because of his competence and experience. He is renowned for detailed planning and for being a tough task master. News reports circulate that some Ukrainian soldiers describe him as a ‘butcher’ because of his willingness to sacrifice soldiers to achieve tactical objectives.  He masterminded the defence of Bakhmut, that although successful in causing Russian casualties also meant accepting many Ukrainian casualties.  

He appears to be a product of the Soviet military system, willing to accept casualties and focussed on the operational level of war.  Sources describe his ability to mass artillery and use surprise to achieve fire supremacy. Likewise, the Kharkiv offensive demonstrated a Soviet style use of operational level surprise (i.e. drawing attention towards Kherson before attacking by surprise from Kharkiv) and tactics like envelopment. Accepting casualties is also a feature of the Soviet way of war. 

General Syrskyi has stated that he intends to transition into defence on land, aiming to ‘exhaust’ the Russians.  Many commentators interpret this statement and his appointment as evidence that Ukraine is settling into a defensive posture awaiting the outcome of the US election.  However, if I was a Russian staff officer, I would be concerned about offensive action sooner because General Syrskyi has brought through a hand-picked team of young, battle-tested field commanders with him. Specifically, the following:


  • Brigadier General Andriy Hnatov, former commander of 36th Marine Brigade, a unit that distinguished itself at the battles of Mariupol and Bakhmut.  If is also the unit that led establishment of the Ukrainian bridgehead on the east side of the Dnipro River.  


  • Brigadier General Myhailo Drapaty, Joint Forces commander of the Kherson Sector. He distinguished himself by leading the initial defence of Kherson and Mykolaiv and then Kherson city’s eventual recapture.  It is likely that he has a close relationship with Hnatov because they were both deeply involved in crossing the Dnipro in 2023. 


  • Brigadier General Ihor Skibyuk, Commander of the 80th Air Assault Brigade, an elite unit that traces its lineage to a Soviet-era unit. He fought against the Russians in 2014 and the 80th Air Assault Brigade was one of the units that stopped Russia’s 5th Guards Tank Army near the Siviersky-Donetsk River, inflicting heavy casualties 2022.  The 80th then led the successful Kharkiv Offensive in September 2022. 


  • Colonel Vadym Sukharevsky, famous for taking command of the 59th Motorised Brigade, near Kherson in March 2022 and rebuilding the unit’s morale and combat capabilities. Earlier he served in Skibyuk’s 80th Air Assault Brigade. Sukharevsky’s 59th Motorised Brigade pioneered the use of strike drones especially in the counter battery role. 


  • Colonel Pavlo ‘Hunter’ Palisa, in America at Staff College in 2022, he returned to Ukraine and fought in the Donbas. Initially serving in the 5th Kyiv Assault Regiment before transferring to the 93rd Mechanized Brigade. During his tenure the 93rd Mechanised Brigade spent months defending Bakhmut.  

Studying the careers of these officers, it is apparent that they are likely to have known each other and all played pivotal leadership roles in the land campaign.  Further, we see innovation for instance the 5th Kyiv Assault Brigade’s use of innovative infantry assault tactics, drones being used to hunt and kill Russian artillery by 59th Motorised Brigade or the crossing of the Dnipro River by 36th Marine Brigade.  Additionally, Ukraine’s military is sometimes weakened by corruption and General Syrskyi and his young commanders are reported to have high integrity. It is also interesting that the commanders publicly reported are all from the army, the service that has currently suffered a significant setback.  It may indicate that the performance of air and maritime commanders is seen as producing good results, meaning there is no need for leadership changes.

However, a group of young, battle-tested and innovative leaders, promoted and brought together under a new leader should be exciting interest on Russian staff planning teams.  Being trained in the Soviet-era, General Syrskyi will understand maskirovka, the Russian term for strategic deception. So, we need to treat statements about committing to defence cautiously, especially when he is building such a capable group of young leaders around him.  General Syrskyi may have bigger plans on land than many people appreciate. 


Ring trading, how the White House continues to support Ukraine

Ukraine’s emergency aid is still stuck in the US political system, the Senate approving the emergency aid bill for congressional debate last week.  Congress is currently on its two-week winter recess and when it returns, must immediately debate stopgap budget legislation to make sure that a shutdown of federal government is avoided.  The politicking is dangerously up-productive as partisan political chauvinism trumps common sense.  Many commentators are concerned that the emergency aid bill will die in Congress.  I still optimistic but think the politicking will continue for a few months yet. 

However, Ukraine, will not collapse in that time.  It still has ammunition, expending approximately 2000 rounds a day in a rationed programme to conserve ammunition.  And, the White House is furiously using the President’s ‘excess defence articles authority’ to procure military supplies for Ukraine. This piece of legislation authorises the President to ‘write off’ surplus military equipment. The equipment can then be traded to a 3rd party, in exchange for that country providing equipment to Ukraine.  For instance, Ecuador recently agreed to supply Ukraine with military equipment in exchange for replacement with more modern US equipment.  A process called ‘ring trading.’  

‘Ring trading’ started with Germany trading modern equipment to Greece, Czech Republic and Slovenia in exchange for them giving old equipment to Ukraine. The US will be able to provide enormous support using this system, a point reinforced by Vladimir Putin’s furious reaction to the Ecuador deal. 

‘Ring trading’ cannot provide the large-scale industrial support the US$ 60 billion aid package plans to but it does ensure that Ukraine is able to maintain its campaign in the short-to-medium term. 


The war is entering its third year this month and although Avdiivka’s fall is a victory for Putin, it is a Pyrrhic victory that confirms the combat power Russia will require to take any larger city.  If it takes 50,000 soldiers (roughly 10% of the 470,000 soldiers Russia has in Ukraine) and four months to capture a small town defended by a couple of thousand Ukrainian soldiers, then Putin has little hope of pushing deeper into Ukraine with his current force structure. Russia has 1200km of border to secure and Russian advances face fortresses like Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, twenty times larger than Avdiivka. 

Essentially, Putin’s current force structure has culminated. It can maintain small local offensives but it is unlikely that Russia can take any larger towns or cities in the short to medium-term.  Instead, it seems likely that Putin will focus on winning the election to create conditions for a larger scale mobilisation that puts more force on the ground around the US election. The Russian defence industry is mobilised, 40% of GDP is committed and now he just needs the manpower.  So post-election, expect to see increased conscription and mobilisation of manpower in Russia.

Meanwhile Ukraine is hurting Russia, the drone attacks on its oil industry are incessant. The naval campaign is successfully driving the Russian’s out of the western Black Sea and allowing Ukraine to maintain trade revenue. On land there is a shake-up of land forces and promotion for a new generation of leaders.  Ukraine still maintains a bridgehead across the Dnipro River, is successfully degrading Russian air superiority over Crimea and Kherson and new F 16s will start arriving from mid-year.  

It may be optimistic but it seems that Ukraine may be creating the conditions for a transition to offensive operations on land sooner than many people expect.  In fact, Ukraine may be forced to act aggressively because of the uncertainty created by the US election.  


Ben Morgan is a bored Gen Xer, a former Officer in NZDF and TDBs Military Blogger – his work is on substack


  1. Spin from Ben to cover up a catastrophic defeat. This will keep happening, rinse repeat. Does Ben want this to carry on to the last Ukrainian?

    • Ben has been writing about the withdrawal from Avdiivka for months so you need to look up the definition of “catastrophic” since using it where it is clearly not applicable does not reflect well on you.

        • So this is the start of the victory March for the Russians. Heil Putin!!

          Far too many are suffering as a result of Putin’s military operation and so many Russians suffered HELL in Avdivka.

        • One only needs to go to YouTube to see where Ben gets his wisdom. It is all there if one cares to find out who got this right and for whom this was a fiasco.

          A truely glorious victory for mother Russia. Now mother Russia can build a new Avdivka because no stone was left unturned. Glory to Putin. I hope this glorious victory will allow him to edge his way to victory in the awkwardly poised Russian presidential.

    • Yes, just like Zelensky does. There’s no doubt that Putin cares a lot more about preserving Ukrainian lives than these evil scum do.

      Interesting that that the Azov motorized unit was used to cover the retreat. It seems quite plausible that Zelensky is trying to get as many nationalists killed as possible to reduce the chance that they overthrow/kill him after he surrenders.

      • ‘There’s no doubt that Putin cares a lot more about preserving Ukrainian lives’ – One of the most deluded comments that I have ever come across.

    • Avdeevka is the beginning of the end of the US Neocon Project in Ukraine, another deathnell debacle for the US & NATO? But Nick it’s Ukraine’s job to fight & die, that’s what they signed up for, to be the US & NATO’s Proxy Army, their sole purpose was to fight a undeclared US War to overthrow the Russian Govt & dispose Putin in order to steal their resources & remove them from the Geopolitical chessboard, first go after Russia then China because the US Empire can’t have rivals inly vassals? So Ukraine is fighting on behalf of the cowardly Americans against a Nuclear Superpower because the Yanks are to scared to fight the Russians themselves so like the cowards they are, they hire the Ukrainians to do the fighting & dying on their behalf because they don’t have the courage to fight Russia so they get the poor stupid Ukrainians to do the fighting & dying for their perverted & dying US Empire? All under the heartless gaze of the vile & evil Biden Regime with psychopathic Neocon scumbags like its Dementia addled 82 yr old POTUS, Genocide Joe Biden & his motley, Satanic & murderous crew consisting of Anthony bastard Blinken, Victoria cookies Nuland, John killer Kirby, Jake jackass Sullivan & that idiot General Lloyd Austin, all liars & morons! Project Ukraine just like Projects Vietnam Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya & the rest have been catastrophic failures, these dumb American fuckers never learn their lessons & keep repeating the same idiotic mistakes again & again, stupid is what stupid does?

    • NJ – you are just spinning hackneyed phrases. What is it that drives you to your misanthropic views? Why do human rights have no place in your vocabulary? And Putin’s latest atrocity will be explained with the constant whataboutism which you trot out ad infinitum.

  2. Avdiivka, the last Ukrainian stronghold that for almost ten years, was regularly bombing its, formerly, own people in the Donbass – especially the Auckland sized Donetsk city. The locals can finally breathe a lot easier.

      • From 2014 to 2022, this area was a local battle between the Ukrainian puppet govt and the locals fighting against said puppet govt. Nonetheless, you are right, it took almost two years for the Russians and locals, combined, to overthrow the puppet govt’s bombing regime of this now, former district of Ukraine.

        • “….the puppet govt’s bombing regime” AO

          We are all still waiting for evidence of the alleged bombing campaign carried out by Ukraine against the Donbas.

          Just like the Kremlin lawyers who whinged and bitched for more than eight hours, arguing in the World Court that Russia shouldn’t have to provide any evidence to back up the Kremlin’s allegations made against Ukraine to justify this war.

          You probably don’t think you have to provide any evidence either.

          In that you and the other pro-war trolls who infest this site, are no different to the Kremlin’s lawyers, you are the same in refusing to back up your pro-war allegations against Ukraine.
          At least the Kremlin’s lawyers managed to retain some dignity, who when challenged in court disowned the Kremlin’s so called evidence against Ukraine contained in their notorious “White Book”. Unlike these lawyers, when you are caught out, you act like frightened children caught lying, and invent even more bullshit.

          Like that other pro-war idiot Francesca. When I challenged Francesca for proof of this alleged bombing campaign by Ukraine in the Donbas, Francesca linked to video of a bombed building she claimed was bombed by Ukraine. Quite clearly lying in the rubble of the bombed building was the Ukrainian flag.
          When I asked Francesca about this, Francesca claimed that the Ukrainian flag was taken there and covered in rubble by local people after the bombing to show their hatred for Ukraine.
          People are waking up to this shit.
          You are just like the Zionists. People aren’t buying the Zionists bullshit anymore, and they aren’t buying yours either.

          • Well, the evidence was so overwhelming and freely available that it seemed pointless to categorize it. But hey, I often forget about bury-their-head-in-sand types. So, a few starters for ten.

            Overview of events leading into 2022.

            “Stuff You Should Know About Ukraine: Setting the Record Straight”, VT Foreign Policy –

            “Setting the Record Straight; Stuff You Should Know About Ukraine”, VT Foreign Policy –

            “Civilians Fled Ukraine’s Shelling of Popasnaya For Safety in Stakhanov, but Ukraine Bombs There too”, Internationalist 360° –

            “Ukrainian Army Shelling of Donbass: A Day in Hell Without End”, Internationalist 360° –

            Puppet government.

            “How the US Helped Set ‘Ukraine on Fire'”, The Real News Network –

            • There are none so blind as will not see.No matter how many times O’dea is given info , he sticks to his guns.He has made his line in the sand and is not big enough to concede he may be wrong .It’s all Russian propaganda!
              God give me strength in the face of these zealots .They lie like Israelis
              We’re all paid up trolls …apparently Puti has the cash to send …how?… to lil old nzers, so influential in the world!
              Septuagenerian housewives, no matter , Putin will pay

            • One does not typically have to respond to nothing, unless that nothing really isn’t nothing at all. Otherwise, trying to convince anyone is a fools game, but presenting one’s side, or the other side of any given issue, is always worth a go. And if you come armed with evidence/links also, well, that’s often a step up from opinion only.

          • Nasty old Pat at it again
            No matter how many times you get sent links from the OSCE, or even BBC, you run crying to your safety blanket

            • More idiotic bullshit from Francesca

              “No matter how many times you get sent links from the OSCE” Francesca

              Well once would be good.

              I opened the links to the “overwhelming evidence” supplied by AO above. in which is mentioned an OSCE report about Ukraine shelling civilians in the Donbas prior to Russia’s full scale invasion. Weirdly there is no link to this alleged OSCE report on Ukraine’s shelling of Donbas civilians the week before the Russian invasion.

              Maybe AO could provide it?

              Maybe you could?

              Where is this OSCE report that AO bases his claims on?

              Like all the other unsubstantiated bullshit evidence that I have challenged you on that you have failed to provide.

              Like all you faceless pro-war trolls you continually and repeatedly make unsubstantiated statements, that according to you we just have to accept on your anonymous word.

              Like children caught in a lie you keep piling on more and more lies to a point it becomes comically ridiculous, and almost funny, if it wasn’t to cover up a vile crime of imperialist aggression, and mass murder.

            • Hey Francesca, do you actually read the links you supply as your evidence?

              I would recommend everyone click on the link supplied by Francesca, which is a report and video by BBC’ reporter Olga Ivshina standing outside a hospital that had just been shelled. Olga Ivshina doesn’t say who shelled the hospital she is standing in front of. And nowhere in the written report does it say which side shelled the hospital. The BBC report carried a denial by the Ukrainians that Ukrainian forces that had shelled the hospital. There is no statement by the Russians that it wasn’t their forces which had shelled the Ukrainian hospital.
              I will repeat again that there is no evidence at all in this linked article by Francesca that Ukraine shelled this hospital. No witness statements, nothing.
              Francesca might claim that the report was by the BBC and the BBC is biased in favour of Ukraine and so the BBC is unlikely to lay the blame for the shelling of this hospital at the feet of the Ukrainians.
              Possibly. But if this is Francesca’s only evidence that Ukraine has been shelling civilians in the Donbas, it is incredibly weak.
              What evidence is not weak, is the evidence that Russia deliberately targets civilian infrastructure,. Also what is not weak is the evidence that Russia bombs hospitals and deliberately fires missiles into residential apartment buildings.


              That BBC reporter Olga Ivshina is reporting from this hospital sort of indicates that the hospital was in Ukrainian hands, Ukraine is unlikely to have shelled a hospital under their control


              • It says right at the top:
                “Three people were killed and many more wounded when a shell hit a hospital in the rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.”

                No one actually denies Ukraine was killing its own people since2014. Like with the Zionist ethnic cleansing, the Western media just choose not to cover it, or dilute and drown it with “Good Guy” propaganda.

                • More idiocy from the pro-war trolls

                  “No one actually denies Ukraine was killing its own people since2014.”

                  Unlike the Zionists who admit to their killing of civilians. Ukraine strongly denies it. So strongly in fact that Ukraine have taken a case to the ICJ demanding that Russia present their evidence of Ukraine killing civilians to the court and to the world.

                  As we all know Russia failed to provide it.

                  So they have to rely on idiots like you.
                  Your evidence is so weak. Again no one in the video clip says who fired he shell that hit the hsopital. But we know very well who fired on the Marioupol Maternity hospital

                  How about some real evidence”
                  How about some testimony to camera by witnesses.

                  It is notable in the link supplied by Francesca that Ukraine denies shelling the hospital. But Russia is not quoted as denying that their forces shelled the hsopita. How about digging up another account of this incident to back up your cliaims? Something from a Russian source perhaps? You won’t because you can’. It just doesn’t exist. So you have to rely on this very flimsy evidence of nothing.

  3. It’s astonishing really, how many people of low morals and low intelligence are duped by Putin’s disinformation. The kindest description of the man is a despot – no-one that pretends to enlightened values can support him.

    The war has been allowed to drag on, and Putin has bet the house on a Trump victory. I hope someone in Europe is doing the math – it’s always cheaper to defeat your enemy before he crosses your borders.

    • I’m not at all keen on Putin
      But I still believe Russia was threatened by increasing Nato encroachment and attempts to break Russia open for western plunder

      • I expect that Western and Russian plundering are arguments that need to be balanced by many of the small neighbouring countries. The process is different, and the Russian one leans toward more authoritarian local politics. Georgia, for example, showed some interest in joining the EU and presumably NATO, at least prior to the Citrus War. They presently have a Russia leaning leader, but he is encountering significant unrest over his position.

        With Finland’s entry to NATO, they may look to reclaim Karelia as Russia falls apart, and, to be sure there will likely be a rush of investors (disaster capitalists) that have not read their William Gerhardie, poised to descend on post-Putin Russia.

        There is little doubt the current Russian administration is threatened by NATO. So too was Hitler as Allied forces closed on the German heartlands. In that case however, Germany came out of it rather well.

        • Everyone interprets history according to their own world view.
          I admire a man who can adjust his world view without his own sense of self collapsing
          Here’s Craig Murray, who’s come to view the SMO differently

          Not entirely approving of Russia’s actions , he shows a willingness to concede that action may have been justified in some respects
          Less black and white than most of the zealots on view here

          • Craig Murray is a despicable running dog Putin apologist, with neither the sense to formulate decent analysis nor the moral capacity to understand that repeating the factually incorrect propaganda of a genocidal dictator is in itself a wrong.

            You seem to suffer from the same vice.

            • Oh god Stuart /.You are like some kind of caricature with that language .Like something out of the Soviet Union, written badly on old newsprint
              Craig is anything but.You will be saying Assange is a running dog traitor who needs to be strung up from the nearest lamp post next

              • Yes, Crag is antything but a reliable source – a poorly informed supine consumer of Kremlin dysinformatsia with no credibility whatsoever.

                Oh the old fall back putting your prejudices in my mouth – a more promising strategy to be sure than trying to argue your indefensible support for Putin on his merits, but still ultimately unenlightened, and doomed – just like your authoritarian hero.

          • No. Historians do not interpret the world through their own world view. Historians rely on primary source documents which are the most reliable sources available. Oral sources are far less reliable.
            The Putin supporters do not understand proper historical method. They could not identify a reputable historian if they tried. Very few academics take the pro Putin line. There are some such as Richard Sakwa and the late Stephen Cohen who do but they can’t hold a candle to the powerful intellects of Timothy Snyder, Anne Applebaum or Mark Galeotti.

      • Are you sleep walking through history, Francesca.
        Many American businesses disinvested from Russia and then taken over by glorious Russian imitations, from Big Mac to Apple……….
        There was no threat to Russia from the West …. now, however, with EU nations nervous about Russian imperialism it is another story. And you can thank Putin for this.

        • Sorry, mate there’s only one imperialist here, the USA, as they disrupt the entire world on three fronts, via three of their proxies (1) Ukraine (2) Taiwan (3) Israel. Otherwise the only threat to Russia in Europe is NATO. If there was ever nervousness here, it came from the USA as they could see that a stronger Europe, fueled by cheap Russian energy, threatened the hold that the USA had ever them, which in turn, threatened the hold that the USA currently enjoys, over the rest of the world. We are in the last throes of the only imperialist nation on earth, as they look to take down any and all perceived threats to them, while they still think they can. Unfortunately for the entire world, turmoil will follow the downfall of this empire.

          • I prefer American Imperialism to Russian or Chinese Imperialism, every day of the week.

            The EU tolerate American Imperialism but reject Russian Imperialism.

            Russians tolerate Russian Imperialism but reject American, Chinese or European Imperialism.

            What makes Russian society a strong Nation is their rejection of American, Chinese and European Imperialism. Russian society will be even better once they reject Kremlin Imperialism.

            • Understandable. Most Kiwis spring from imperialist Great Britain after all, hence we both accept this behavior and believe that everyone else is either like this or will soon be like this too. Thankfully, this is wrong. There’s only one imperialist and they will drag whomever they can down, and this includes allies, in order to stay atop of the world. Goof times ahead, and perfectly acceptable to many, unfortunately.

            • You better accept fast that you are in a minority .
              In the west we live in a bubble that we are the finest , the most just , the most humanitarian people in the world
              Newsflash, we’re not , and the rest of the world has finally clocked

            • JKT, you prefer American imperialism, goodo. But do the Europeans? There is an argument that the US has waged the Ukraine effort to destroy German industrial competition which was based upon cheap Russian resources. Intentional or not, that’s the result.

            • Nope, that’s business following orders from their imperialist leader. Note, how the Russian economy didn’t tank, why, because, thankfully, imperialism does not control all business affairs with China, especially, ramping up its trade with Russia. Unfortunately for Germany and many other European countries, their economies are all taking a hit – that’s one of the sweet by-products of this US orchestrated conflict.

    • THe ones of low morals and intelligence are the ones that support the side that is happy with killing.
      Russia didn’t want dead Ukrainians and Russians. The US did.
      Expert commentators were calling out the Nato ploy and inevitable Russian response a decade ago.

    • Well said Stuart! They are of low morals and low intelligence! They obviously hanker for a strongman leader and I would wager that all of them would be for capital punishment. And they would be the first victims in a Stalinist state.

  4. More pointless propaganda… When are the, so called “experts” in the west going to grow a pair, and report the truth..
    Avdiivka is/was the most heavily fortified. and defended spot in that region, and as a consequence, the Russians have taken a methodical, and less damaging approach…
    What I find rather disquieting, is the portrayal of what is a tactic designed to minimize casualties, on both sides, and that will be, and always was going to be, successful…
    I grow weary of the delusional fairy tales we are being fed by our “experts”… So right now, my impression is of just another shill making the “correct” noises, and even after the war is lost, will continue to misrepresent what that actually means…
    So I will tell you.. PEACE!!!! And when/if the Americans can shed the cloak of murderous psychopathy, the rest of the world will have a chance to resume a rational, evolutionary development…
    Any bets on the yanks waking up before they are pushed aside, and consigned to the dustbin of history? That would be a sucker bet, as the yanks are every bit as bloody minded as the Pomgolians were/are, and therefore destined to do the stupid thing every time, and leave untold damage in their wake…

  5. Meanwhile, here’s a report from someone who knows what he is talking about –

    “The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation managed to carry out the operation to capture Avdeyevka with minimal losses, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said.

    Offensive operations after the liberation of the city continue to the west, 72 square kilometers have been liberated, the minister emphasized.

    The operation of the liberation of the city will be included in the textbooks of the Ministry of Defense, Shoigu noted.”

  6. From Martyn (Bradbury) today – looks like Antforce & friends should go fuck themselves:

    “I am Socialist Left as fuck and despise the American Military Industrial Complex, but I have never understood the spineless devotion of Putin apologists!
    Putin is a fucking authoritarian thug whose unspeakable brutal violence marks him as a brutal dictator. His needless war with Ukraine is an abomination and he has assassinated anyone he likes.
    Fuck Putin and fuck anyone defending him.
    I don’t give a shit about the Donbas provocations, that doesn’t justify a war where he is minced up 370 000 of his own fucking men for a totally preventable war!”

    • A totally preventable war…you got that right.But apparently a neutral Ukraine and semi autonomy for Majority Russian areas like Donetsk and Luhansk (while remaining in Ukrainian borders )was such an abominable notion that 100s of thousands of young men had to lose their lives.
      Apparently the likes of you are happy to sacrifice that many sons ,fathers and husbands

  7. All I’m hearing is the moaning from a cotery of losers who have believed the bullshit Western supremacist propaganda for the last two years. Reality hurts. Throw some more invective.

  8. Bravo Lord Cameron – Putin’s Russia is where the Nazis are. Not Ukraine. Would the Quislings on this site keep supporting Putin if World War 3 starts? Would they risk incarceration?

  9. Two of the best Russian commentators on YouTube are: Vlad Vexler in UK and Konstantin Samoilov in Tashkent. I ally myself with them and my cousin in California feels the same. We are virulently anti-Putin, pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia. After all our fathers were born in Russia. The Putinists on this site don’t know Russia. They think they do but they are sadly deluded.

    • PhuD if your forefathers were slung out by the ghastly (and I mean ghastly) Soviets I’d suggest both parties were done a favour. WTF makes you think that they would want you back?

    • Welcome to Ovods echo chamber. There’s the issue right there confirmation bias from a “Russian expert. You have a profound ability to ignore Putin because of hatred without looking past the person and listening to the message with an open mind Kudos to Putin for warning the West for decades of their encroachment towards Russian borders breaking agreements to the contrary. PHD in Russian studies, yeah right. You fail degrees 101.

  10. For all those Putin apologists, here’s Paul Street on Putin;
    “I have nothing but contempt for the authoritarianism and corruption of Russia’s fascistic strongman Putin, a hero and agent of the fascist right across the world. (He just granted an interview to the leading United States neofascist propagandist Tucker Carlson.)
    He’s a blood-soaked war criminal responsible for mass slaughter in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, and Africa, and for brutal repression in his heavily policed home country.
    He’s a loathsome tyrant running a crooked and revanchist oligarchy atop a savagely oppressive classist, racist and patriarchal sociopolitical order that ought to be overthrown in a new Russian socialist revolution.
    The Russian coffins that have come back from Ukraine have been disproportionately filled by oppressed ethnic minorities, especially Mongol Buryats (from southeastern Siberia) and Tuvans (Turkic ethnic group indigenous to Siberia ) and soldiers from economically disadvantaged regions in Siberia and the Russian Far East. Soldiers from favored Moscow and St. Petersburg have been largely spared the role of cannon fodder in Putin’s invasion.
    All of which is quite terrible.
    Geopolitical “leftists” who think that there’s something radical and noble about post-Soviet Russia are despicable buffoons.”
    Even though in this article he puts the blame for the Ukraine mess squarely on NATO’s expansion and the West’s co-opting of the Zelensky government, there is still a serious argument to be made, and one that is made by a number of contemporary historians, that without Putin’s distorted view of history and his hubris over restoring the ‘great Russian Empire’, this war would not have happened.


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