SITREP 11/25/23: Major Avdeevka Breakthroughs as NATO Plans Forever War
A picture is beginning to emerge of the general direction that the elites want to push Europe into for the coming decade. One must think of geopolitical phases in the same fashion as tactical defense structures. There’s a first echelon defense line, then a second behind it, which is already undergoing preparation even as indications of the first line’s collapse begin appearing.
Similarly, the U.S. establishment elites see the writing on the wall of the Ukrainian war, and are already initiating the planning stages of the second phase of the wider conflict to perpetually weaken Russia—or as they call it in their Newspeak, “contain it.”
The bellwether was the latest announcement that NATO wants to create a military Schengen zone in Europe, which would allow all European armies to freely move between countries, relocating large swaths of troops in record time without the paperwork and waiting:
NATO’s European logistics chief, Lieutenant-General Alexander Sollfrank, called on European nations to ease national-level regulations to allow the rapid movement of troops, equipment, and ammunition in the event of a war with Russia.
Russia was forced to respond, with Peskov issuing a boilerplate statement about this leading to escalations.
But the dynamic was captured best by this post from analyst Starshe Edda. Read this first before moving on, as I wholly agree with the direction of this analysis:
Even the admission of Ukraine to NATO cannot change anything. If NATO wanted to directly fight Russia in Ukraine, it would have already fought. The war will continue until Russia wins. At the same time, I think the intensity of the war will increase. Russia will not be able to stop this war without achieving its goals.
If we talk about Europe’s understanding of the war, here we see two main trends. NATO is openly relying on the “sanitary barrier” as cannon fodder - given the build-up of Eastern European armies, Polish primarily, and in fact leaves the role of reserve and support forces to Western European armies. The reason is simple: the buildup of armed forces by the countries of Western Europe in their current economic state will turn out to be brilliant and will require a huge amount of time. It turns out to be easier to support the growth of Poland, Romania, Finland, and other smaller players in these conditions.
The idea of “military Schengen”, that is, a plan to simplify military transport in Europe, must be viewed through the same prism. In order for the barrier to fulfill its task, it will need support - and here NATO needs to have a working mechanism for this support, not dependent on the notorious fifth article, within the framework of which it is still unclear how anyone will behave in the conditions of a possible direct conflict with Russia.
Logically, the rebuilt system should look like this: the armies of Poland and other Eastern Europeans, deployed beyond the limits imaginable for their economies, receiving cargo and support from limited contingents from the West, transferred within the framework of “military Schengen.” And all this is controlled by an American general.
Where in this design is the EU and the idea of the Euroarmy? Nowhere, the EU is not needed, including by the Americans and their proteges in NATO.
The Ukrainian army is no longer advancing, it has gone on the defensive, and along the entire front, - ex-Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine
In short, this is the slow conversion of Europe’s eastern Russophobic front into a sort of cannonfodder vanguard to be perpetually smashed against Russia in sequential fashion, after Ukraine falls.
What the Ukrainian conflict has taught the NATO controllers and their U.S. masters is that countries with a decent pool of human resources can be converted into a Janissary fodder army by endlessly equipping and financing them from the wellspring of Europe’s ‘inexhaustible’ central bank and fiat money spigot. The strategy combines the best of both worlds: third world human capital with European printable-on-demand finance to produce an expendable army which can be armed with fairly modern and sophisticated arms, to bleed Russia indefinitely.
But there are two sides to this. First you may balk that this is unrealistic, as Europe appears next to bankrupt at this point. But on the other hand, one must recall that this is a longer term plan. Over the next few years, they can surely scrounge up enough cash to continue arming the ‘next-in-line’ vassals, like Poland, the Baltics, Finland, etc.
For the U.S. it’s a win-win not only as it keeps division between Russia and its closest neighbors and natural allies as a constant, but it keeps Europe poor and the U.S. on top of the ‘Western world’ heap. Not only because Europe is forced to spend increasingly prohibitive amounts of money on this project, but that its own forced tensions against Russia cause Europe to make economically disastrous decisions, like cutting off cheap energy, barring trade, etc.
One must understand that the U.S.’s claim to primacy is its economic pole position in the West. It can’t order around its vassals if it can no longer throw around its economic weight. So at a time when the U.S. itself is cratering economically, the only way to keep its placement is by making sure Europe craters even faster.
But here’s the other big hitch. The argument against this latest announcement is that, once again, it represents an old shtick that NATO has already been trying at for years, without success. Recall how a while back, when there was a big fuss about Stoltenberg’s announcement for a 300k rapid reaction force on Russia’s borders, I had revealed that this same “300k force” was a long-shelved plan talked about from the mid-2010’s onward, and rolled out of its grave at the start of the SMO, seemingly again without effect.
In this case, it’s the same thing. In fact we can see that this very same “military Schengen” was talked about from 2017 onward. And there are many new and coming obstacles that could throw a wrench into this whole plan. For instance, from the above wiki we see the initial plan revolved around the Netherlands as key central node, and lo and behold the recent news of Geert Wilders’ “stunning victory” has upset the apple cart:
The point is to highlight that the trend in European politics does appear to be slowly veering away from many deepstate/establishment positions and initiatives, so while this is a rough generalization, it would appear likely that many of these NATO dreams will face increasing friction and opposition in the future, with their likelihood of coming to fruition going down each passing year.
Of course they’re also taking preventative action to staunch the loss of their political power. For instance, there have been recent calls and pushes for the abolishment of veto power in the EU, and the same goes for things like the UNSC:
They’re clearly preparing for a future where increasing opposition completely deadlocks the ruling class’s ability to push their geopolitical agendas. They want to preempt this by robbing unruly members from being able to spoil their plans. For instance, they’d love to take away leaders like Viktor Orban and Slovakia’s Robert Fico’s ability to veto EU and NATO accession for Ukraine.
Thus, there’s a sort of power creep happening—as “nationalist” or anti-establishment figures slowly take control of European countries, the fascist EU nomenklatura seeks to abolish those countries’ abilities to have a real voice or say in anything. This is why, initiatives like the NATO ‘military Schengen’ plans are up in the air as it will all depend on which side gains the lead in this escalatory power game.
Ultimately my pet theory for the U.S.’s long term plans is to simply bide some time for itself. You see, Russia and China were developing too quickly and had to be curtailed. In China’s case, all of “globalism” was shattered just to stop it. In Russia’s case, Europe and Russia were fractured apart, which was also a major nail in the coffin of ‘globalism’. But this won’t stop them forever. So Russia was forced into a war to cripple it, but that too won’t last.
The ultimate plan is likely for the U.S. to use the coming AI revolution to gain another historic, epochal economic advantage over the rest of the world. They hope to parlay AI developments into somehow continuing the capital extraction and debt serfdom of the rest of the world, i.e. vassal states. Personally, I think it’s too big of a coincidence that the AI black swan just happened to explode in uncontainable fashion during the Covid “Great Reset” years. The powers that be likely lifted the lid and ‘released’ something, to accelerate development and stave off the collapse.
The U.S. elites hope that the AI boon can give it another major boost equal to what U.S. received in the aftermath of WW1 and WW2, pushing it ahead of the developing world while drowning everyone else in war and misery. The AI revolution has the potential to do the same by 2030-ish, give or take, so I believe the establishment is hoping to merely slow Russia and China’s development just enough to reach that singularity stage where the true overpowering benefits of AI development can begin to be reaped in as unequal and dominant a fashion as possible.
Now let’s bring the view a little closer to developments in Ukraine.
It may sound counterintuitive for the U.S. to now want to freeze the Ukrainian conflict, given what we discussed above, but freezing it is precisely what can allow its continuation. That’s because in their eyes, freezing it is a temporary hiatus allowing the rearming and recharging of Ukraine for another prolonged round 2, then 3, and 4, etc. Not freezing it would allow Russia to win a major ‘decisive’ victory, that would end the conflict once and for all, with Russia totally controlling Ukraine’s territory.
Sure at that point they could fall back to the second echelon, as we discussed, activating Poland as the next combatant. But it’s also never a 100% reliable option; why blow your next, more uncertain trump card if you can continue milking the first one?
So what’s coming into focus now is that U.S. elites appear to be of the mind that if they can’t freeze the conflict, then at least let Europe fund and prolong it at their own expense, which achieves two important objectives:
Allows the U.S. ruling administration to get Ukraine “off the books” in terms of its increasingly poisoned optics and political anathema, for now—at least up until elections are over
Allows a somewhat acceptable scenario where Europe continues to bankrupt themselves—which makes them more pliant and dependent—while simultaneously bleeding Russia—a fairly feasible tradeoff as a compromise option
The problem is, the ruling elite of Ukraine have no choice but to double down because if the conflict is frozen, then much of their dirty laundry will come to light, including—most catastrophically for them—the scale of losses and destruction to Ukrainian society, something they’ll never live down. They’ll be torn to shreds, which includes Zelensky, and likely imprisoned if not worse. So they’re forced to take their bets with going ‘all the way’.
A ceasefire for Russia likewise has many dangers. For instance:
Elena Panina, director of the Institute for International Strategic Studies: “The decision will be made overnight”: in Kyiv, the forecast for Ukraine’s accession to NATO has been clarified.
The decision on Ukraine's membership in NATO will be made overnight - and by this time Kyiv will already be ready to join the alliance, said Olga Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.
This statement should be taken extremely seriously.
The fact is that US President Biden made a similar statement during the NATO summit in Vilnius on July 11-12, 2023. When asked by a journalist how long it would take the West to admit Ukraine into the alliance, he answered: “One hour and twenty minutes.”
The North Atlantic Alliance is simply waiting for the right moment. He is ready to use any freezing of the conflict with Russia or suspension of hostilities for Ukraine’s official entry into NATO. Accordingly, Russia must fully take this factor into account during the SVO. There can be no pauses - otherwise, later we will formally find ourselves in conflict with a NATO member country."
As outlined above, one danger is that Ukraine can be brought into NATO during a cessation of hostilities, which will immediately change the calculus and potentially checkmate Russia, though of course it would be a massive escalatory risk for the West as well.
Interestingly, Foreign Affairs released another article yesterday which even floats the idea that a ceasefire would be a “triumph” for some of those very reasons:
And a negotiated settlement would still be—relative to the West’s initial expectations—a Ukrainian triumph. As the political scientist Samuel Charap wrote in Foreign Affairs in July, a divided Ukraine that is “prosperous and democratic with a strong Western commitment to its security would represent a genuine strategic victory.”
I assume the line of thinking to that is, before the war began, the West didn’t have enough justification for the type of overt involvement they would have liked. But now that Putin “opened the can of worms” by invading, some in the West would be fine with a ceasefire because it would no longer look like the status quo of before. The West would now be able to fully overrun Ukraine with Western military assets, taking control entirely of their armed forces like never before, justifying it as acceptable due to Putin having already invaded.
In essence it would give them a sort of casus belli to turn Ukraine into a NATO outpost, fortress, and experimental weapons lab like never before.
But as we said before, Zelensky can’t stop now—he risks being pilloried and lynched in public for the devastation he wrought to no end. So now, Zelensky has made it official that this coming week he will finally address the elephant in the room and clarify the new mobilization procedures, which everyone has been awaiting.
There are all sorts of rumors as to what this could entail, from major new age expansions like the 17 to 70 year old recruitment some have talked about, to the announcement of stricter female mobilization, to other more plausible things like expansion of TCC commissar powers, which will give commissars more legal sanction to mobilize people forcefully.
I’m not sure how true this is exactly, but what I’ve read suggests that, despite much of the highly coercive recruitment methods we’ve seen in videos on the net, Ukrainian commissars are not actually legally allowed to utilize some of the extrajudicial methods currently utilized. And allegedly, in some cases actual police can be called to ‘shoo’ the coercive commissars away. In short, they appear to operate in a sort of legal ‘gray zone’ which is often merely suffered through by unwitting citizens. This extends to powers of police like forcibly stopping citizens’ cars on the road and detaining them, or barging into certain premises, especially private households. These are all areas commissars—as per this understanding—are not legally justified in violating, yet they have been doing so simply out of desperation to get their quotas, and it’s often been societally permitted just on account of no one wanting to rock the boat and be accused of sabotaging the war effort.
👆👉We urgently need meat to the front: Zelensky promises to accelerate mobilization, military commissars will be allowed to grab people on the street, check documents and serve summonses. Now only the police have this right.
▪️Zelensky has also already announced changes in the course of mobilization towards tightening the conscription.
▪️Secretary of the Rada Committee on National Security Roman Kostenko said:
“Now there are a lot of questions from the TCC (commissars) and from those citizens whom they are trying to mobilize. In fact, the TCC does not have any rights to stop a person, give him a summons, demand documents from him. The police sometimes distance themselves from this so as not to be at the center of a scandal, so as not to attract a person,” Kostenko said on Radio NV.
▪️According to him, such an innovation will appear in the bill, which will be developed by the end of the year. Previously, it was announced by the head of the Servant of the People faction, David Arakhamia.
▪️Also, military registration and enlistment office employees will be able to make audio and video recordings of their communications with people.
Hence rumor has it Zelensky’s next decree will actually legally expand those powers for commissars to be able to have full-on police powers in detaining people on the street, asking for paperwork and ID and various things of that nature.
"Our source in the OP said that the Office of the President is going to level the problem of shortage of weapons with mass mobilization. The Ukrainian Armed Forces spent too many resources on the Azov operation and now we need to strengthen mobilization so that in 2024 there will be reserves for a new counter-offensive."
Another rumor from Rezident_UA channel states that Zelensky plans to get his fill of fodder from a new mobilization and then throw Zaluzhny under the bus by blaming it all on him, in effect killing ‘two birds with one stone’—which would get rid of the albatross of Zaluzhny while washing Zelensky’s own hands of the blood and sin.
The Ukrainian TG channel "Resident" writes:
“Our source in the OP said that the President's Office wants to use the hatred of Ukrainians for the TCC against Zaluzhny, who personifies the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which means that all excesses in mobilization are his responsibility. Bankova is preparing a number of information campaigns that are supposed to discredit the commander-in-chief and then remove him "
They say that if you keep throwing people's anger at each other, one day it will catch up with everyone together. So eat each other up, be more active⚡️⚡️⚡️
In general, all the theses we’ve read about Ukraine going into a defensive posture recently appear to be proving true. Zelensky’s strategy seems to be “preservation mode” for now, with only some choice, token offensive action in areas where opportunity may present itself.
This has been borne out by reports from the frontline that confirm Ukraine’s usage of artillery, drones, etc., has dropped precipitously. Correspondents on the Russian frontline have outright said it looks like Ukraine is conserving ammo heavily right now. A video from two days ago shows a Russian soldier on the Avdeevka front confirming this:
However, like I said before, I think Ukraine still has a lot of materiel for another push in the future but no real offensive potential. There’s almost no danger of breakthrough on any front any longer.
The entire Kherson front, for instance, is a hoax on the Ukrainian side. There is zero chance for substantive breakthroughs or real “bridgeheads” there as logistics are simply not feasible. UA supporters continue to use a variety of outright hoaxes and psyops to try to scare or demoralize Russian troops, like the publication of an alert two weeks ago which had claimed Russian forces are getting ready to do a major withdrawal. The Russian MOD quickly dismissed it as a provocation; the news was actually on the exact one year anniversary of the Kherson pullback of 2022, and it appeared someone had hacked the Russian outlets to release the boilerplate writeup for that pullback—either that or some internal provocation.
But simply put, the AFU is doing nothing more than dying en masse in Khrynki. That’s not to say Russian forces aren’t having some deep issues with various coordination and occasional flubs leading to spikes in troop deaths, but the situation is fully under control and Ukraine lacks the ability to even get light armor across, apart from the one BMP and Humvee they managed to float across which were quickly destroyed a week or two ago. Rumor has it the average AFU lifespan is under two days on the left bank “bridgehead”.
In fact, that theater has become a major case of ‘sunk cost fallacy’ of the military variety for Ukraine. They’ve now hyped it up as such an illusion that to admit defeat and simply withdraw would be a major blow to their prestige and morale. So at this point, despite suffering catastrophic losses, they are forced to ‘keep up appearances’ by feeding an endless train of meat into the grinder, as victims of their own overspun propaganda.
Now let’s briefly cover the most significant theater of Avdeevka.
As of today Russia has again made major significant advancements and breakthroughs here, one of which being unconfirmed for now, the other fully confirmed.
The confirmed is a major, total overrun of AFU positions in the Vinograd and Industrial sectors of southeast Avdeevka:
Some of the exact details are yet to be fully ironed out, like which specific areas are gray zone versus total RF consolidation. However, we have video confirmations of Ukrainian troops retreating up Yasynovsky Lane. This is being hailed as a particular triumph for the troops on the ground because, for the ones who’ve been there since the beginning, the industrial sector was considered one of the most heavily fortified areas that have withstood their assaults for going on a decade.
▪️“The fact that our guys broke through the Vdyevka hole is a feat. I think I’m sure that this was the strongest part of the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ defense along the entire front line. The proximity of our positions to the enemy’s positions played an important role for us. However, this closeness was difficult for us. This has been an open wound since 2016, it has been going on. But we held out! And we went forward, broke through this important boundary! The opponent must understand the misfortune of his situation. Glory to the Russian soldier!” - Alexander Sladkov wrote earlier.
The Battle for Avdievka: Historic Liberation of the Yasinovataya-2 Industrial Zone (Situation at the end of November 25, 2023) A few hours ago, Russian fighters successfully cleared the last building in the Yasinovataya-2 industrial zone in the southern part of the Avdeevsky fortified area after several days of intense and bloody fighting.
Since 2014, the industrial zone had been under the control of Ukrainian forces. However, despite the fortifications and reinforcements, it is now completely under the control of the Russian Army.
This line holds not only symbolic significance but also has strategic importance as it is situated on a hill overlooking the southern outskirts of Avdeevka. The southern neighborhoods will be within range of fire from this line, further worsening the situation for the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine).
That’s right, here’s some maps of Avdeevka from the 2017 battle. Note the industrial area circled in purple below, and the blue markings showing AFU positions:
This same exact position was held from 2017 til now:
So the boys on the front find it almost surreal that they’ve finally broken through and sent the Ukrainians running from positions they’ve burrowed in for so long.
Russian tank sending the AFU fleeing from the last edge of the industrial zone:
One take on what happens next, insofar as Russian objectives.
Famed mapper Suriyak:
After the capture of the Promka industrial zone the next objective for #RussianArmy would be the capture of the Vinogradniki quarries and farms from where they can monitor the Ukrainian movements in the forest zone, precisely the penetration into the urban zone will continue to be reduced by taking new parts of the Yasynovatskyi avenue from where to establish fire control over the lower part that divides the city. Simultaneously the Russian troops will seize the forest zone reaching the rear of the Ukrainian defenses along the H-20 in order to achieve the solid control over the Donetsk filtration station. However, as previously stated, the Russian advance will be difficult due to the large number of defenses in this forest zone and a collapse of forces is not expected as long as the northern front does not make progress.
One analyst said that Avdeevka will likely fall the same way as Bakhmut, i.e. not from the full closure of its cauldron but rather step by step, building by building, urban city fighting.
This may strike some as counterintuitive or outright perplexing, and it’s something I’ve treated long ago during the Bakhmut battles. But the fact is that assault troops usually find it much easier to fight in urban environments than the type of wide open fields necessary to ‘close the cauldron’. In those fields, just like in the open steppe between Klescheyevka and Ivanovske near Bakhmut, where Wagner had a lot of trouble and countless deaths, soldiers are extremely susceptible to drone surveillance and coming under various targeted fires.
In an urban setting you have the ability to advance behind a lot of cover, safely leapfrogging from one cover to the next; in a field, you don’t have that luxury. You’re forced to do the old armor congo line, which inevitably runs into mines and gets artilleried to hell.
That’s why there is a good chance that Avdeevka will fall by way of a double pincer squeeze not from Severne and Stepove, but rather from the southern industrial zone troops working their way up to connect with the troops who are entering the Coke Plant.
I foresee Avdeevka looking like this at its terminal phase:
AFU will occupy just the center portion as the sides collapse in on it.
So with that said, there’s now reports that Russian forces have in fact begun entering and lodging themselves into the Coke Plant. This is the one not fully corroborated yet, but some have it looking like this:
Only thing I can say is that it was already nearly a week ago that 100% video confirmation showed Russian troops lodged right at the gate at that northeastern tip. So it is believable that they’ve finally managed to breach into the gates and establish themselves perhaps in the first few buildings in that quarter.
Also, to the east—in that zone directly south of the Slag Heap—they have expanded and captured more territory southward.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one area is fluid and the troops get kicked back out temporarily, as AFU is likely to try and mount a desperate counterattack to make sure no foothold is gained on factory grounds.
As evidence of some of the urgency we had a couple videos showing M2A2 Bradleys operating virtually on the AKHZ Coke Plant grounds:
Geolocated on the northwest side of AKHZ:
Lastly, to keep things fair and balanced, recall I’ve previously posted MediaZona’s low casualty count for Russian forces in October as evidence of loss exaggeration in Avdeevka:
However, Mediazona has now ‘updated’ and revised the count—perhaps having found new casualties for last month they hadn’t seen before:
You can see there’s a sharp spike in mid-October now where some of the heaviest fighting took place when the 114th came out of Krasnogorovka toward the Slag Heap and railway tracks.
In particular, the daily breakdown shows one of the higher KIA counts for the proximal months:
That being said, though I now can’t rightly call it “the absolute lowest casualty period” for Russia of the entire SMO, it still falls into the bottom of the casualty barrel. Further, it also disproves pro-UA contentions that MediaZona wasn’t counting DPR deaths. In fact, they just have a delay in their revised lists as they continue combing obituaries and following their alleged methodologies.
So the point is, while the casualties aren’t quite as low as it seemed before, they still are no where near Bakhmut levels as seen earlier this year. In fact, I feel better that they revised it because they were so low in the previous list, it did made me question the validity of it. Now, it feels correct and further validates that losses are relatively low on the RF side.
On the Ukrainian side on the other hand, they are reportedly getting to catastrophic levels owing to the introduction of heavy usage of Russia’s cluster munitions. Shocking videos like this and this began to make the rounds soon after videos of Russian cluster attacks appeared. The AFU seems to compare Russia’s new clusters quite favorably to the American ones they got:
In fact word has it now that Zelensky is scrambling 5+ broken and not-yet-reconstituted brigades to Avdeevka, from other hot zones to plug the gaps. Videos of Ukrainian troops complaining or outright mutinying have begun to appear as it begins to get increasingly difficult to resupply the garrison inside the city.
For those who haven’t seen it, I’ll leave the topic with this extended view of the infamous “elite” 47th brigade, of which I wrote about recently. This was one of their escapades in Avdeevka where they came under fire from Russian tanks and had to evacuate in their Bradleys. Most notable is the presence of a female fighter(s) directly in the trench on the frontlines, which is becoming a more and more common sight:
(Long extended length version can be seen here)
In fact, even the cemeteries are starting to see the uptick:
But worry not, her replacements are coming:
Just a few small sundry items:
Russian Ministry of Defense has raised another important military satellite to the cosmos from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, ever increasing their space ISR capabilities:
A video showcasing the type of mental perversity currently gripping Ukrainians. Exhibit A is Ukrainian singer Olya Polyakova:
I’ll repost my Twitter commentary on the matter:
This type of bizarre magical thinking, delusions, and mental deterioration appears endemic to failing societies/civilizations. Wishful thinking synthesized with a mishmash of normalcy bias, folk superstitions, and stockholm syndrome to create pathological distortions which only accelerate your country’s plunge into some form of terminal hysteria and madness, as now seen in Ukraine.
We have seen a spate of recent videos of this type; Ukrainian astrologers, mystics, psychics and mediums, etc., all sharing their mass psychosis.
The SBU released a special on their Crimean Bridge attacks showing how they piloted the drone, and gloating about the terrorist actions which killed several civilians, including orphaning a 14 year old girl, who herself was put into a coma. They threaten to continue doing it:
I leave you with these soulful tones of the lovely Palestinian-Jordanian singer ‘Zeyne’ doing a rendition of ‘Palestinian Rajawi’—the lyrics are on the video, and are self-explanatory:
If you enjoyed the read, I would greatly appreciate if you subscribed to a monthly/yearly pledge to support my work, so that I may continue providing you with detailed, incisive reports like this one.
Alternatively, you can tip here: Tip Jar