Ben Morgan – Russia’s time just ran out

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1724

The big news this week is that the $ 60 billion US aid package for Ukraine passed Congress. It will be signed into law by President Biden later this week.  After considerable debate the bill was put forward by Republican Speaker Mike Johnson, against strong opposition from right wing members of his own party.  Johnson’s decision means he will face considerable political and personal attacks from members of his own party, and could lose his position.  But his moral courage is an example to politicians everywhere, that sometimes being on the right side of history requires bravery and that fear should not influence their decisions.

This aid package will not win the war, but it will provide Ukraine with breathing space to develop its new strategy. Since the beginning of the year, Russia has been on the offensive. It captured Avdiivka and is demonstrating a range of new tactical capabilities.  Improvements integrated with its strategic operations.  For instance, the air campaign attacking power infrastructure forces Ukraine to keep some of its air defence missiles away from the frontline. Or, Russia’s information operations that spread disinformation. projecting an image of Russian dominance in mainstream and social media to influence political decision-making around the world.

However, in these columns we have argued that Russia’s real test is battlefield success, that the land campaign is the metric by which success is measured. That rather than news reports telling us Ukraine is collapsing, Russia needs to demonstrate its dominance by ‘moving the line.’ But another week has passed without a Russian success.  And now time is running out for Putin’s men.

The land campaign, Ukraine has not collapsed and won’t

Last week, we identified Chasiv Yar was Russia’s main effort.  A prediction that Ukraine’s intelligence services also made later in the week. Ukraine’s confirmation of our assessment reinforces the theory that Chasiv Yar and the Ukrainian salient demarcated by Lyman, Bakhmut and Avdiivka are the key areas to watch. 

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Chasiv Yar sits on an important road junction and the village’s potential to control local road networks makes it useful for an advance east towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, Russia’s most likely summer objective. Currently, the indicator that we are most interested in is a sudden and unexpected movement in this area, for instance a Ukrainian withdrawal from Chasiv Yar.  Experience in Bakhmut and Avdiivka indicates that a battle for this village could take months. So, if Chasiv Yar is captured  sooner it indicates that Russia’s new level of tactical competence is translating into tactical victories. 

But as this article is being written Chasiv Yar remains in Ukrainian hands, although Russian forces are attempting to envelop it from the north and south. 

An indication of the importance of this village to Russia is the deployment of elite airborne units (VDV) into the battle including elements of 331st VDV Regiment and 11th VDV Brigade (the termbrigade’ or a ‘regiment’ describes roughly the same size unit of about 2,000 soldiers and a couple of hundred armoured fighting vehicles, in Russian military nomenclature a ‘brigade’ is an independent unit that can be deployed anywhere while a ‘regiment’ is part of a division and will normally operate within this larger formation). The VDV are Russia’s best infantry soldiers and have spearheaded offensive operations throughout the conflict.  So, their deployment near Chasiv Yar is evidence that this village is developing into Russian main effort.

However, this does not mean Russian forces are not active in other places because they continue to conduct attacks right along the frontline, especially on the Kremina-Svatove Line but are not making significant gains. 

On 19 April, the Institute for the Study of War quoted Kostyantyn Mashovets, a well-respected Ukrainian observer who reported that “elements of the Russian Southern Grouping of Forces are attempting to push Ukrainian forces out of Bilohorivka (south of Kreminna) in order to break through to the area near Zvanivka (southwest of Siversk) and set conditions for future Russian offensive operations towards Siversk.”  Mashovets’s report also claims that elements of three VDV regiments the 51st, 119th, and 137th are operating in this area, their commitment indicating that this is another priority axis for the Russians.  

Mashovets statement and other reporting is consistent with this column’s assessment of Russian planning, that the aim this summer will be to create the conditions for an attack on Sloviansk and Kramatorsk by taking Chaisv Yar and reducing the Ukrainian salient demarcated by Lyman, Bakhmut and Avdiivka. Mashovets and other commentators have reported significant Russian losses of armoured vehicles.  This is likely to be a result of two factors; Russia increasing the size of its attacking formations and that Ukraine retains significant defensive firepower.  

How the land campaign is likely to develop

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Kharkiv is an objective for Russia this summer.  Prior to Lavrov’s statement my assessment was that this summer will develop roughly as follows:

  • Ukraine will continue to hold the current frontline for as long as possible while a stronger defensive line is developed a safe distance behind the frontline.

 

  • Russia’s operational level objective is to establish conditions for attacking Sloviansk and Kramatorsk (circled in red on the map below). Donbas’s last two large cities remaining in Ukrainian control. 

 

  • This summer Russia will concentrate on creating the conditions to achieve the objective later this year, or in 2025. Specifically, capturing the road network required to supply a force large enough to threaten these cities.  

 

  • Initially, main effort will be to take Chasiv Yar. Based on experience in Bakhmut and Avdiivka this operation will require the commitment of a force of about 30-50,000 soldiers for about 3-6 months. Chasiv Yar is vital because it sits within high ground that dominates the H20 highway.  Russia needs to control this highway because the Sviaty Hory National Park blocks an advance on Sloviansk from Kremina or Lyman. Likewise using the E40/M03 motorway from Krasna Hora as a main supply route requires securing two defiles (choke points created by terrain, marked with black crosses on the map below) before it can be used to supply an advance on the objective. If Chasiv Yar is under Russian control using the H20 becomes an option. It is a longer route but may be easier to advance along because of the more open nature of the terrain it crosses. 

 

  • Concurrently, Russia will push south from Kremina toward Siversk (into the cross hatched area on the map below) and possibly east towards Lyman. By advancing toward Siversk and then advancing south along the Bakhmutka River (shown in blue on the map below) Russia can cut the Ukrainian salient north/south and ‘bite off the tip.’   A relatively easy territorial gain but of limited operational value because the terrain between the Bakhmutka River and the objective is rough and has no major roads.  

In summary, even though the current focus is Chaisv Yar and Siversk, Russia has bigger plans.  The question is how far can Russia realistically push in the summer.  At this stage we do not know and our first indication will be how long Ukraine can hold Chasiv Yar, or if there is a sudden Ukrainian collapse elsewhere. To date this seems unlikely, but the situation could change rapidly depending on whether Ukraine’s ammunition shortages are as bad as reported.  


An attack on Kharkiv? 

But Sergei Lavrov’s statement is very interesting, as I have outlined above Russia is developing a sensible and potentially achievable operation that threatens Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.  My assessment is that with current resources, Russia could capture Chasiv Yar and the tip of the salient east of the Bakhmutka River this summer, before European and American aid arrives.  This would bring Kramatorsk in range of tube artillery and Sloviansk in range of rocket artillery allowing Russia to maintain constant artillery harassment of these cities. Russia would then be ready to secure a main supply route to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk along either the E40/M03 or H20 motorways in the Winter and by summer 2025, with two annual conscription cycles complete, Russia could be poised ready with a force large enough to realistically threaten these cities. 

Even with US aid arriving this plan is probably achievable, given Ukraine’s focus on development of its defensive lines and preparation for transition to offensive operations will require it to give ground at times.  But, Lavrov’s statement changes this assessment.  He is an experienced and clever diplomat so is unlikely to have spoken out of turn, meaning that the statement confirms Russian intent to attack towards Kharkiv.

If Russia tries to take Kharkiv this summer, the plan outlined above becomes less sustainable and more likely to fail. A Russian attack on Kharkiv is likely to fail and will impact on operations in the east.  Russia has already failed to take Kharkiv and simply does not have the resources to try again without sacrificing a potentially successful operation in the east.  This decision is probably politically motivated and will only draw resources away from attacking Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.  

Summary

This week’s key takeaway is that Russia’s time to bend the ‘inflexion curve’ in their favour is gone. Russia has not been able to capitalise on the uncertainty created by debate over US aid and deliver a key victory, confirming the messages of its disinformation campaign.  A victory that would potentially influence Western decision-makers to withdraw support. 

Instead, in recent weeks Russia has only been able to achieve ‘positional’ gains along a largely static frontline. Specifically, even in important areas like Chasiv Yar, that has faced glide bombs, elite VDV units and large armoured attacks, Ukraine still holds firm.  Now, with a sensible plan developing in the east Putin has difficulty matching his ambition with his capability and now appears keen to open another axis of attack.  An option, that in my opinion, will only dissipate Russian resources and undermine his opportunity to achieve short-term gains.  

Next week, President Biden will sign off $60 billion of aid. The European Community is providing aid, 4.5 billion euros in March, searching the world for air defence missiles and ammunition and is re-opening ammunition factories.  Aid will not arrive immediately and we should expect to see Russia attack aggressively in the next few weeks. It is also likely there will be more nuclear rhetoric and statements about how the US and Europe are fighting an existential war against Russia. Longer-term, it seems likely that Putin’s reticence about mass conscription will disappear because his biggest advantage is numbers.  

It seems likely that Ukraine will hold on, finish its new defensive lines and slowly rebuild an army capable of taking back territory.  Meanwhile Putin seems to believe his own propaganda. His disinformation campaigns have had some big wins in recent years and he was probably banking on the US aid bill failing in Congress. But courage and reason prevailed and America continues to support both Ukraine and more importantly the international rules-based order.  

 

 

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

64 COMMENTS

  1. “This aid package will not win the war,”, I see you are starting to get it.

    “Ukraine will continue to hold the current frontline for as long as possible while a stronger defensive line is developed a safe distance behind the frontline.”, hmmm, retreating to advance, sounds legit.

    “It seems likely that Ukraine will hold on, finish its new defensive lines and slowly rebuild an army capable of taking back territory.”. So far Ukraine has lost half a million men, are you suggesting that Ukraine holds a defensive line for the next twenty years, until the next generation of soldiers can take up arms?

    This is a war of attrition, modern warfare with speed of action and intensity of violence which is great for brushfire war and insurgence warfare is been proven to be unworkable against large numbers of foe and long battle lines. Russia doesn’t need to take a lot of ground, they just need to kill more men with artillery until there is no one left to shoot back. And unfortunately for Ukraine, this is exactly what is happening.

  2. Love how your writing style has now changed Ben, I notice a lot our
    “we” and “our assessment” in your article.
    The puppet masters are pleased.
    Please point me towards the “International rules based order” specifically how many countries democratically voted for it and where the rule book is.
    Asking for a friend. (The Global South)

    • Or as Putin said “What are these rules? has anybody seen them?”
      I did a few law courses at uni and the concept of “The Rule of Law” was examined in detail. One key part of it is that the laws are written and are explicit.
      This “International Rules Based Order” is a slogan not a real thing, it’s a phrase people insert to demonstrate their allegiance to the American hegemony.
      Here’s another good one I heard a while back, if you want to watch a western pundit’s head spin, ask him to explain the difference between “The American led global order” and “American global domination”.

  3. “But courage and reason prevailed and America continues to support both Ukraine and more importantly the international rules-based order.” Ben Morgan

    LOL

    • When I hear or read the last for words in this statement I always have an automatic gag reflex .

  4. “Russia has not been able to capitalise on the uncertainty created by debate over US aid and deliver a key victory, confirming the messages of its disinformation campaign.” Ben Morgan

    More than the uncertainty over US military aid for Ukraine, it is US lawbreaking in the Middle East that is, ‘confirming the messages of its [Russia’s] disinformation campaign’.

    The US supported genocide in Gaza would shock the conscience of any nation.
    Nations and soldiers do not fight just because their politicians and officers ordered them to, but because they believe their cause is just.
    If anything could convince the Russian people and soldiers that the West is a dangerous foe that must be defeated in Ukraine, it is the genocide in Gaza.
    While Ben Morgan (and other pro-Western media pundits) edit out the horror of Gaza,

    • What about the role of Hamas in all this Pat? I have empathy for the Jews who lost whole generations in the Holocaust. The Hamas massacre was the largest loss of life for Israelis since the Holocaust. What did you expect Israel to do? I would prefer Benny Gantz to Netanyahu any day and the Palestinians in Gaza are the victims of Ottoman then British rule not to forget the Arab governments of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. Egypt used to administer Gaza – and they don’t want it back? Why? For Arab governments particularly Jordan and Egypt, Palestinian Arabs are a troublesome people causing instability. Theoretically Jordan should absorb them as Jordan still administers the Temple Mount and has a sizeable proportion of Palestinians already.

      • What the f’k do Palestinians have to do with the holocaust?? Furthermore how many Palestinians have been incarcerated/ killed prior to October?

      • During World War 2 the majority of Palestinian Arabs supported Nazi Germany and were enthusiastic supporters of the holocaust and its memory today.

  5. Ben – That shameful gift of $60 Billion in weapons to Ukraine, means Trump will have more support in the up coming elections, simply because Americans are struggling with the cost of living, and do not want this.

    • It’s going to be nothing like $60B of weapons to Ukraine. A lot of it is straight up budgetary support for Kiev to stop its economy from crashing and another large part of it is for the Department of Defense to refill its own stockpiles.

    • The majority of that money is going straight to boeing-lockheed, raytheon, general dynamics etc, because it is good for the American economy as one republican congessman said (the quiet bit out loud).

    • Paying for Death while buying Defeat …
      “We think the price is worth it” is the bedrock of evil that every Usa administration has ruled by ever since Madeline Albright justified the Usa killing 500,000 children with her ‘the price is right’ excuse.

      the uni-polar war party which both Dems and Republicans are enthusiastic united members of voted to magic up $95 Billion funding for the two wars which could not have taken place in the first place and can only continue if they keep paying for them.

      This magic money created as debt will be paid for along with its interest costs by Usa citizens who are already on the hook for $ 34 Trillion dollars (and growing) in a financial house of cards future.

      “It works like magic. With a few key strokes on a computer, the Federal Reserve can create dollars out of nothing, virtually “printing” money and injecting it into the commercial banking system, much like an electronic deposit. ”

      “As of 2020, a total of $2.02 trillion had been borrowed and spent by the U.S. government on the post-9/11 wars. Americans have by now paid roughly an additional $1 trillion in interest alone.

      To date, 99% of US assistance to Ukraine has been funded by supplemental emergency funds ”

      The $63 Billion for Ukraine will buy Zelensky and his corrupt cohorts more luxury real estate ( well out of Ukraine of course ) and a lot of the money will to go into their looted slush funds and funneled through tax havens into hidden bank accounts ,,, it’s no secret Ukraine has been consistently rated the most corrupt country in Europe for years upon years .

      It’s a statement of fact that Israel is far more important to Usa politicians than their Ukraine sacrificial sucker proxies ,,, the yanks are supplying huge amounts of weapons to the zionist rouge nation ,,,. Israel has Big war plans alongside with their gaza Genocide/final soloution …. Untold amounts of weapons and more are all required for their ‘greater Israel’ vision/delusion ,,,. They are wanting (and largely getting) everything the Usa can give them ,,, especially air defense missiles,,,

      In this instance of the Usa feeding two wars it’s a bit like their having a choice between giving adequate help to their golden boy and favored son who can do no wrong ( despite being a long time murderous psychopath) ,,, or helping out the relatively new thieving bastard step child,,, who can fight well for his size. There simply is not enough weapons/help from war daddy usa for both of them to do what they want to…. How awkward and sad for Ukraine.

      Germany is also a BIG weapons supplier to the racist Zionist genocidal state and it’s criminal agenda ,,, , “Israel imported some 30 percent of its arms between 2019 and 2023 from German manufacturers.” ….. with German military sales and support increasing tenfold since the Gaza Ghetto liquidation started ,,… Presently “99 percent of Israel’s arms come from the United States and Germany” ,,,

      …. In the Ukraine/Europe theater German tanks and weapons killing Russians undoubtedly warms their leaders Kraut hearts, with it honoring and being a deep tribute to their goose stepping grand-parents .,,, .

      However if it’s a choice between supporting the Ukraine/European fascists versus helping the Zionist ones,,, for the Germans it will always be ” Israel Uber alles ” ,,,. Literally Israel is above all and above everything to them,,,, and that includes above being constrained by Nuremberg laws, the Geneva convention or any other International laws that Israel breaks and flouts with impunity ,, as everyone who is honest can see.

      Back to Ukraine…. John Mearshimer was 100% correct in seeing and calling out the West’s/Nato provoking the Ukraine war ,,, …. he lays out the indisputable recent history here … https://youtu.be/emD1cN2xEz4

      The talk of Ukraine resistance after Russia cleans out their NATO made proxy army from Eastern Ukraine is largely bullshit ,,, they are not fighting for their homes and land ,,, from 2014 on-wards these were outsiders from other regions attacking the people who lived in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea,,, invaders fighting to subjugate, persecute, destroy the culture and expel those there who resisted their spawned again evil of Bandera ‘ ethno-nationalisim and international fascists,,, here in AoNz Brenton Tarrent was a big fan.

      When Ukraine is abandoned as a lost cause (the Biden administration were desperate to avoid defeat before the Usa elections, which was also the Republicans motivation for not advancing the money) but when the sacrificial proxies are a lost cause and taken of the chess board, the ‘resistance’ will fuck off back to Western Ukraine or Europe where they belong ,,, more than a few of them will go and be mercenary’s for Israel.

      Take a look at one of the peoples militias/local defense force from back in the early days of the Ukraine violence,, violence that was brought to them,,,, deadly violence brought to their homes towns and lands ,,, https://www.bitchute.com/video/pBirmHxcqUOi/ it is cynical hypocrisy to not recognize their resistance against the worst fascists in Ukraine and from around the world,,, that NATO/the Usa armed, supported and set on them ….

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

      US Secretary of State Antony Blinken –“if you’re not at the table in the international system, you’re going to be on the menu.” ….

      Time to Eat — Place your ‘Rules Based’ Order

          • Ovods probably hated professor Mearsheimer since his co-written book detailed how the Israel lobby has undue influence and a detrimental effect on the Usa….

            It’s hard to tell if he’s more in love with zionism or NATO ..

            Two wrongs makes the Ovod 🙂 …

                • Neanderthals had females.
                  Females incapable of “that much hate”?..

                  Anyway, hate is not a word I associate with her posts. Rather Ovod usually asserts stuff she believes is true and is arrogantly contemptuous and dismissive of any contrary arguments/evidence.

                  Also (and this applies to other anti Russia commenters) Ovod will be in some kind of state of doubt because their expectations have not been realised since
                  Feb ’23 Special Military Operation started and Ovod is compensating with stridency.

                  • Seer – I am not anti-Russian. I am anti-Putin, anti-siloviki, anti-KGB/FSB. I am not a self hating Russian. I have many Russian (and Ukrainian) friends.
                    You have a weird mind set Seer.

                    • “..You have a weird mind set Seer.”

                      I’ll take that as a compliment, Ovod!
                      (I resisted the temptation of writing complement)

                • Excuse me FG you were supporting the death penalty to be reinstated in Russia. I think you have the mortgage on hate.
                  The one hatred I have is against ignorance.

          • Mearsheimer is an outlier among American academics. He is not respected and is reviled by the majority. The guy is senile anyway. I would love to debate him. Snyder and Applebaum would smash him.

  6. No political situation or shooting war exists merely in its own specific time period. The materialist flow of history must be followed–to investigate the facts is to be well on the way to understanding the problem.

    And there is voluminous history with Russia of course. What is certain now though with bonus billions being doled out by US Imperialism–whose local ruling class have not raised the 2009 set minimum wage from $7.25 to this day!–is the confirmation of this being a proxy war.

    It is an inter imperialist struggle. The true internationalist says…“neither Washington, Moscow or Beijing”.
    The mistake so many commenters here make is choosing the NZ ruling class favoured imperial power which is down to 5 Eyes entanglements. WWI–a European Imperialist war–saw thousands of dead New Zealanders for following the Colonial direction of Britain.

    • If you imagine NZ’s ‘ruling class’ influences public opinion with their lazy and ill-informed babble, you’re dreaming – they couldn’t get the public to follow them to the pub by offering free beer.

      Imagining that Putin and the US and China are equal, or that the interests of Ukraine are nullified by their antagonist being some kind of second-tier superpower, militates against your argument. If Ukraine is obliged to knuckle under to Russia, why would NZ not be obliged to do the same to the US? And since we are not, why should they – Russia offers no enviable lifestyle – corrupt and ineffectual leadership to eclipse even Shane Jones, and economic prospects even worse than NZ’s under the current troika – and that’s saying something.

      The Ukraine conflict is only partly a proxy war – it’s very real for Ukraine. And as Russia churns through the remnants of its prison population and provincial manpower, it is becoming increasingly personal for them too. While the true internationalist may be loth to embrace Washington, it takes prodigies of self-delusion to embrace Putin.

      • I don’t know that you and I necessarily agree on all of our politics (and I’m grateful to live in a country where that’s OK), but I could not have expressed what you have just said any better.

        It’s a hell of a lot more eloquent then what I would have written especially this: “it’s very real for Ukraine”

      • THe Ukrainians are suffering under their own putsch regime’s mistkaes. They made the choice to trod along with the CIA’s plans and $$ as if American promises to their puppets have ever paid off anywhere.

        Remember the last legitimately elected government in Ukraine was positive towards Moscow. The ones who brought violence and radicalisation into this was the US and Ukrainian extremists. US efforts to control the world to its liking always end in bloodshed they like to blame on others.

      • Russia has never insisted Ukraine knuckle under to it. After the CIA’s neo-nationalist coup, they grabbed Crimea back as a security measure, which is a concern that has been ignored all century as outside the Wests acceptable Rules and orders. Then after almost 10 years of state massacres that earned Yugoslavia a merciless bombing campaign when they did it, Russia were forced to act again, because Minsk failed because the West have no interest in anyone’s interests except their own. Which was to try again to bleed and carve up Russia as they intended.

        I fail to understand how people can keep defending these vampiric western elites. Gaza shows what they are. We are all just Palestinians to them. It’s just that there’s a few billion ahead of us on their list; but the “problatunity” of collapsing unipolarity means the times are changing. The globalised power structure all stems from a world fashioned by centuries of white colonial monsters, who have only ever profited. Trying to make us imagine a new iron curtain between them and us is just their main gambit of trying to keep us under control.

        Stop tying to control and shape the world. Clean your own nest. If everyone abides by their moral compass, the monsters lose our compliance, and their power.

          • Indeed. Paul is a fantasist a useful idiot.He has been completely captured by the most extreme Kremlin propaganda. It is not certain that Yanukovych was elected legimately. He employed the dodgy Paul Manafort to manipulate the electorate. He bribed the voters of Donbas and the rest of eastern Ukraine. He swiftly imprisoned his presidential opponent Yulia Tymoshenko and oversaw the Maidan massacre in Kyiv. It was no surprise when enraged Ukrainians from across the political spectrum forced Yanukovych out of office.

    • Tiger, from the beginning of this conflict it has been obvious that this is not about Ukraine. It is about the end of unipolarity and the emergence of multipolarity. Empires don’t die quietly, allied vassals have a habit of following blindly until too late. This is the scenario you correctly identify.

  7. The $60 billion will make it virtually impossible for Russia to succeed. Ukraine will get huge numbers of 155mm shells which will balance up the artillery battle. Ukraine will get much more air defence and longer range missiles. They get F16’s within the next month or so.
    Ukraine may not be able to break through Russian defences, but neither will Russia be able to break through Ukrainian defences.
    In terms of the deep strike battle (airfields, power plants, etc) Ukraine will be able to do much more than at present and may drastically weaken Russian air power.
    In short the war goes to a stalemate. The current Russian advantage disappears. Supporting their troops at the front will become more challenging. Therefore Russia is forced into a defensive war, just as Ukraine has been over the last 6 months.
    Time to negotiate to end it.

    • Wayne, I respect that you were close to the political action as a minister. I don’t respect that you refuse to see what is in front of your eyes. The military hardware you talk about isn’t available, it can’t be built quickly by the West. The idiot policies of off shoring industry to China and other unfriendly resentful non Western countries is now coming home to roost. Forget GDP, it means nothing if you can’t manufacture, that all you are measuring is finance, insurance, health are, property and non industrial services. Or that European industry without Russian gas, oil and minerals is incapable. As a war of logistics this is going only one way.

      • Excuse me NJ, Wayne has a doctorate and you don’t.
        I know you don’t respect academics but perhaps you should.

        • Actually PhuD I do respect academic achievement. Let’s get broader, I respect achievement per sec. And remember, in the real world you are only as good as your last achievement, it’s hero to zero, no doctorate to hide behind.

    • Agreed Wayne although must at least take back Mariupol and resist Russia‘s offensive against Kharkiv to negotiate from a comfortable position. I favour Crimea as a demilitarised zone and a plebiscite held when there is no military present.

      • That PhuD is demonstrative of fantasy levels unbounded. And who prey is going to provide the bodies, the munitions etc?

  8. “…America continues to support both Ukraine and more importantly the international rules-based order.” Ben Morgan.

    US domination of the oil rich Middle East relies heavily on Israel to keep the US neo-colonial Arab dictatorships and autocracies in the region under the US thumb.
    US support for Israel will always be prioritised over US support for Ukraine. Especially by the Republican Party, the most jingoistic and chauvinistic of the two main US imperialist political parties. The Democratic Party was only able to get their funding bill for Ukraine, by getting the House Speaker, Republican Mike Johnson to agree to put it ahead of the funding bill for Israel. Meaning of course that the Republican Party’s support for further funding of Israel’s genocide in Gaza could not passed until the funding bill for Ukraine’s defence was passed. For prioritising Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression over funding Israel’s aggression against Gaza, the MAGA Republican imperialists went nuts and have called for the Speaker to be replaced.

    • US foreign policy is complex and often frankly scatterbrained – reflecting the different authors of different long term pieces of policy. It has sometimes been appropriate and balanced, it has often fallen short when interventions were needed, and it has suffered scoundrels and charlatans like Kissinger and Rumsfeld whose policies in respect of Israel and Iraq respectively cost it credibility and respectability to this day. Biden seems to have no taste for hawkish excesses, and is embarrassed by Israel, but not bold enough to keep them in check. His performance on Ukraine is better. But Trump is a major issue for the US, and if he evades prison, possibly the world. Thankfully he won’t live too much longer.

  9. An old friend has a step-grandson in the NZ army who has returned to NZ after training Ukrainian conscripts in the UK. There are Ukrainians being trained there who are our age, I am 65 and my friend is 66.
    The entire western media refuses to report this reality.
    The estimated survival/casualty rate, according to his step-grandson, on the front line is 3 months and 3 days.
    The US repeatedly broadcasted that, “they would fight the Russians to the last Ukrainian” and they appear to be succeeding.
    If only the Ukraine/West could have honoured the Minsk 1 or 2 accords but of course that was never the plan.

  10. The US government should have given a few hundred dollars to every American instead of wasting 100 billion on weapons to kill children in the Donbass. It would have been a great injection into the American economy instead it is laundered through arms traders and corrupt foreign officials. I’m with Marjorie Taylor Greene, if you vote for weapons aid to Ukraine then you should be required to go and fight in the front lines, and jerk off to your hearts content over the big cock rockets flying around you.

    • The fact that funding for Israel is tied to funding for Ukraine represents the ideological coming together of the MAGA hard Right with the pro imperialist wing of the Democratic Party.
      The US bipartisan imperialist establishment moving closer to far right MAGA chauvinist racist and militant America First triumphalism should be or concern to everybody.
      IF Trump wins the election, will New Zealand militarists like Ben Morgan follow the US down a path of hyper MAGA US imperialism?
      A Trump electoral victory, represents a fork in the road road for our military community. Hopefully if Ben Morgan keeps up his contributions to this blog we will be able to witness as recorded in these pages, whether our military community will follow Trump in full throated USA First chauvinism to become a threat to our independent foreign policy and even possibly, our democracy.
      In my opinion for giving us a peephole into our MIC and how they are thinking Ben Morgan is providing a useful service.

    • It wasn’t. The bill aid was split into separate packages that were voted on independently. That’s how Johnson got it through the house.

      • The original military funding bill, was deliberately split into two parts.
        The Ukraine funding bill was up first.
        The Israel and Pacific theatre military funding bill was put up second.
        Meaning the Israel and Pacific funding bill could not be passed until the Ukraine funding bill was passed,
        This was the mechanism that the Democrats used to overcome Republican opposition to aiding Ukraine.
        The Republicans, especially the MAGA Republicans are the most mercenary and chauvinist section of US imperialism. The MAGA Republicans do not see Ukraine and Europe as central to US interests as much as US domination of the Middle East as the Pacific, The Republicans if they could would give Putin a free hand in Ukraine if they could get a Russian Federation guarantee to stand on the sidelines in a war with China

  11. Raijin April 22, 2024 at 10:48 pm
    I just wish the Ukraine aid wasn’t coupled with “aid” to Israel…

    Two cheeks of the same arse with a hole that cries out for more.

  12. Gaza and Ukraine are the same thing to me, just not to many others. To the anti-Ukrainians, was anyone going to invade Russia? Or is the war just the same old dictator shit? To the anti-Palestinian folk, are you pro-Ukraine talkers Browder, Kasparov, also most other Jews and christian zionists?

    My unity is international law and ethics. The post WW ll order. Pick holes in that all you want, as you can, but it was better than the previous era for the West.

    • The same here. How they can scream about what is happening in Gaza and at the same time praise Russia is beyond me. It seems to be more about opposing whoever they see the USA “supporting”.

      Gaza isn’t perfect and nor is Ukraine. Netenyahu is a still a murderous prick and so is Putin.

  13. “…..America continues to support both Ukraine and more importantly the international rules-based order.” Ben Morgan

    Let’s be generous to Ben and assume that Ben is completely unaware of America’s history of international law breaking and global thuggery across four continents.

    From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli;

    Imperialism is first and foremost an economic system, We all know, or should know, about ‘Operation Ajax’ America’s violent and illegal overthrow of the democratically elected Mossadegh government of Iran to install a US friendly puppet ruler to get control of Iran’s oil fields for “U.S. international oil interests…..”[47]: 35

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat#

    Less well known is “Operation Success” same thing different continent. When the US violently and illegally overthrew Guatamala’s democraticaly elected Arbenz government to install their puppet dictator to get control of Guatamala’s rich agricultural land and tropical fruit export industry for the United Fruit Company of America.

    https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/tdih/jacobo-arbenz-guzman-deposed/#:~:text=On%20June%2027%2C%201954%2C%20democratically,committed%20widespread%20torture%20and%20genocide.

    I could go on, the US illegal invasion and conquest of the Phlippines, the failed US attempts to dominate and subjugate Vietnam and Cambodia that blew up in their faces, the successful US overthrow of the Congo’s democratically elected government of Patrice Lumumba with his assassination by the CIA and his replacement with a US friendly puppet.

    From Wikipedia
    The free encyclopedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_activities_in_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo#

    ….In August 1960, the U.S. Government launched a covert political program in the Congo lasting almost 7 years, initially aimed at eliminating Lumumba from power and replacing him with a more moderate, pro-western leader.[5]

    The list goes on…

  14. Despite harsh repression, for the first time in their lives as they begin to feel their power, the university students will not quit. At Princeton University it has been reported that professors have joined the protests and are holding classes
    When faced with an insurgent section of the population that refuse to submit, society has two choices, negotiate or resort to massacre.
    In 1968 at Kent State University even massacre did not work.
    If the university students don’t back down, I am certain that the students will get the universities to allow their protests, which will make them even bigger. Then not only will the university governors have to listen to their students’ demands to divest from the industries that support the genocide – faced with an open revolt in the universities the Biden administration will have to change course.
    The only other course for the US to continue with supporting the war in Gaza, is to resort to open fascism, probably a step too far a Biden administration, but probably not a step too far for a Trump administration.

    If Trump is elected on an openly fascist program it will be interesting to watch whether Ben Morgan and the New Zealand military establishment will fall straight in behind, as they have done for so many other US administrations.

  15. Despite harsh repression, for the first time in their lives as they begin to feel their power, the university students will not quit. At Princeton University it has been reported that professors have joined the protests and are holding classes
    When faced with an insurgent section of the population that refuse to submit, society has two choices, negotiate or resort to massacre.
    In 1968 at Kent State University even massacre did not work.
    If the university students don’t back down, I am certain that the students will get the universities to allow their protests, which will make them even bigger. Then not only will the university governors have to listen to their students’ demands to divest from the industries that support the genocide – faced with an open revolt in the universities the Biden administration will have to change course.
    The only other course for the US to continue with supporting the war in Gaza, is to resort to open fascism, probably a step too far a Biden administration, but probably not a step too far for a Trump administration.

    If Trump is elected on an openly fascist program it will be interesting to watch whether Ben Morgan and the New Zealand military establishment will fall straight in behind, as they have done for so many other US administrations.

  16. Never again, means never again for anybody.

    “…..America continues to support both Ukraine and more importantly the international rules-based order.” Ben Morgan

    Genocide is legal under the international rules-based order?

    Really?

    The International rules-based order that allows us to aid and abet genocide if it is in the West’s global interests?

    Does Ben think that one terrorist attack really justifies demolishing cities to rubble and ploughing the inhabitants into the ground with bulldozers as an acceptable retribution?

    If he does then count me out.

    If Ben thinks New Zealanders will all blindly fall into line and allow this country to march off to war in support of an international rules-base order that allows such horrors then he has got another think coming.

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