The promised mailbag is here. To new subscribers: the mailbag is my occasional perk for the paid pledgers, where they get to ask a question that I customarily answer in a much more thought-out and long-form manner than the typical comments reply allows. It helps us pass the time in the lulls, while also branching out into interesting new avenues that perhaps the usual articles don’t quite cover.
Ok, here is my question, which bothers me for a long time. So, to have a properly functional, integrated army, you need a long time to train not only soldiers but also a cooperations between units, etc. This is what is argued as the problem for the Ukrainian arm forces. But when I am thinking about the Soviet Army, during the WW II, surely there was not this luxury of time. I am missing something, somewhere. And I do appreciate that soldiers also learn via combat. Can you, please, explain? Maybe this is a non-question, but I would like to know why it would be a non-question. I do hope I make sense here. Thank you!
The consensus seems to put the number of severely wounded Ukrainians both civilian and military at around 60 000. If that's the case who looks after rehabilitation of these people as well as providing ongoing care and support. Is it left up to individual families and communities on a local level & is it dealt with differently in Russia.
Simplicius, could you please address how much support you think there is for Russia in the non-occupied oblasts, particularly the ones most people think could be likeliest to absorbed into Russia at some point in the future, and how important this could be or how linked it is to Russia's decisions to (or not to) launch a major offensive?
I'd like to imagine that support for Russia is high in Kharkiv, Nikolaev, Odessa, Sumy Regions, etc.., or in the cities of Zaporizhia and Kherson, but that could just be wishful thinking on my part. People in those regions may have brainwashed over the years by the Ukro-nazi propaganda and may have become more culturally attuned to the national ideology coming from Galicia/Volynhia. Seems to me that if there really were high support for Russia in non-occupied Oblasts, and if Russia wanted to occupy that territory eventually, they would create shadow governments and launch insurgencies in eastern Ukraine, but that hasn't happened. It could be that Russia hasn't done that because Russia wants to preserve undamaged the areas they want to occupy later, want to avoid a major escalation that could draw in Nato, or maybe because Russia really doesn't have broad territorial ambitions. But the lack of a Russian offensive could be just because Russia doesn't think they're supported outside the areas they occupy now, so they don't want to launch offensives in territory where the population is hostile.
Do we know if Ukraine's indigenous arms sector is producing vehicles, artillery pieces, tanks, etc? I understand there were lots of missile strikes, but if I recall Ukraine left the USSR with a fairly large defense plant, including factories for jet engines. I saw an article about them making 152mm shells but do we know if it has all been crippled?
Was curious about Cypress being a landholder in Ukraine. Assume it’s bank holding firms, what are the most likely money interest ?
Thanks for your work -
My question is about red lines. There are always talks about red lines for Russia that Ukraine and the western sponsors cross and do not care about. Are there real red lines for the West that once crossed by Ukraine would cause western sponsors to get really afraid, disown Ukraine and force Zelensky to ask for peace talks? Something like attacks against Moscow with mass casualties? Perhaps a desperate Ukraine might start a bombing campaign against civilian infrastructure in large pre-war russian cities just for the propaganda.
With the new round of escalations with the U.S. providing the long range missile to Ukraine which, of course will hit Kerch bridge again or Moscow, do you think that Russia will hit the targets on the U.S. soil to wake the Americans up to the danger of what's going on?
My question: I read that Finland sign a treaty where they got land from Russia but they need to stay a neutral country, can you comment on this? Implications? Is it true?
Here is quick (to ask) question.
With Russia and Russian society more and more on the war footing, with their MIC ramping up, and with the West essentially demonising them and shutting them off, how do you see the whole thing winding down, if at all?
And as a follow up, if it does not wind down, where do you see this going in 5 to 10 years?
At this point in time, I see only escalation options, and this is without even mentioning the Chinese question. It is very easy to start a fire, but sometimes near impossible to put it out.
What is the US's end game here with the constant drawing of their own red lines and then constantly stepping right over them. First it was cluster munitions, then DU, and now it's ATACMS....even going back to the Obama and Trump administrations first it was "no lethal aid" and then Stingers, and then after the SMO began it was no HIMARS and then they gave them HIMARS ...so what's next? F-16s w/ nuclear armaments?
They must know that these are increasingly just escalatory tactics, and that Ukraine is running out of cannon fodder to throw into the meat grinder. So there must be some sort of goal other than getting rid of old(ish) weapons so the MIC can sell more. Do they think that with every passing day/week/month that Putin is more likely to face a coup or total collapse in Russian public opinion? Or is the goal more US domestic politics related whereby they want to keep the war raging, with occasional (often delusional) headlines until after the November elections in 2024? Or is it one or both of those AND a suicidal (for the Earth's people) attempt to goad Russia into a major retaliatory action should a ATACMS be used across the border into Donbass or Crimea or even Russia's pre-war mainland so as to "justify" some even more insane action up to and including "tactical" or even real nukes? If there is one country and its leaders in the history of post-atomic humankind who has not only used nukes, but openly expressed the will to do it again and again, it's the USA.
Any interest in investigating the money trail on building and individual death insurance payouts for 9/11?
What keeps the Ukrainian soldiers attacking when they're always suffering such high casualties, and is this behavior unprecedented in terms of the casualty rates?
Following up on the “Russian propaganda” issue please point out as specifically as you are able to do it, what are in your considered opinion the major Russian state (hidden/subrosa)propaganda efforts viz the war?
Surely you have had to vet and consider virtually everything out there. Just as surely the Russian state cannot ignore the fact that effective persuasion is an essential arrow required to be in a quiver for modern warfare. We know that real Russian propaganda is out there beyond just RT and standard “our point of view” stuff. What is less obvious? Where is it? What should be avoided. What do you toss out? How effective do you think such efforts are?
Given the horrible casualty rate in the AFU, what are the Ukrainians waiting for to revolt against their government, pardon, dictatorship? Why do not conscripts turn their weapons against their commanders and all the way up to Zelensky? Have they been completely brainwashed and lobotomized by NATO propaganda?
(There are 3 question marks, but the first two questions are really the same and the third is a corollary question).
I mean: if I was a Ukrainian forced to go to the frontline, I would risk my life killing my commander(s) to try to set free my country rather than dying at the front, serving a drug addict and American interests.
Thanks for your time and keep up the good work!
I recall in the first year (or so) of the SMO there were quite a few prisoner exchanges and it was always lopsided: two or three hohols for one Russian because clearly the Russians have, and continue, to capture far more Ukes than the other way around. It seems that the number of prisoner exchanges have dropped of considerably and the hohols are demanding exhorbatent exchange ratios like 10 or more Ukes (often of fairly high rank) for even a single Russian private. That interview you posted recently with that Russian prisoner is evidence of this. Russia clearly just wants to get their guys back and protect them from torture and mistreatment, but what is the Ukrainian game here? Do they just want to basically halt the exchanges to make is slightly less obvious that more and more of their guys are surrendering? Are they desperate and think that maybe the Russians are so concerned to get their guys back that they might really make these lopsided deals? Or am I off base and the exchanges are just still going on and I am not hearing about them?