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SITREP 5/29/23: Kiev Rocked as New Satellite Photos Prove Patriot Destruction
Major things are in motion.
The night before last Russia launched a massive drone attack on all regions of Ukraine. It has been called by at least one source as the single largest drone attack of the entire SMO thus far, causing many people to speculate that Russia must now be producing Geran-2 drones at exponential rates as they have been using them at tremendous volumes of late. Every region has been hit and something very anomalous occurred in the capital city of Kiev.
A huge explosion shook homes in the region, that at least one source says registered as a magnitude 3.4 on the Richter scale, and some experts estimated to be equivalent to at least a 100 ton ammo explosion.
The above map shows the distance of the monitoring station which recorded the magnitude.
Some unnamed ‘Turkish source’ speculates the following:
According to Turkish sources, the recent "earthquake" in Kiev, which Mayor Klitschko spoke about, could be related to the following: Kiev was one of the cities with the most extensive network of underground bunkers and tunnels in the Soviet Union. It is believed that the cause of the ground shaking may be an explosion and the destruction of a large underground arsenal, and due to the carelessness of personnel.
Some believe that a new type of Russian system was used, or simply that Russia penetrated Kiev’s underground bunkers with something like a Kinzhal.
And some contend it was merely Klitschko test firing his new NATO superweapon:
Ukr regions are subjected to the MOST massive drone attack since the start of the SMO
The duration of the conflict depends on NATO activity
Ukr can join NATO even if territorially divided (media reports)
Ukr drones tried to attack targets in the Krasnodar
It's reported the Police-SBU HQ was hit in Kiev
An urgent post from a Ukrainian channel highlights how Ukrainian AD is not able to deal with the drone swarm:
‼️ UAVs fly at extremely low altitudes (changing directions) and not all of them are fixed on the radar.
Therefore, do not ignore alarms where they are announced
And a swarm it is. Another Ukrainian post attested to the swarm-like properties:
‼️🇺🇦 The Russian army controls Shaheeds via satellite, - speaker of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
▪️ "They flew from the south and north. Then they fly in groups, fly in different directions in batches, each drone has its own route, each UAV has GPS navigation, is controlled via satellite, so it can even fly in a circle, and in a certain time inflict blow ," Ignat said.
▪️The Russians are trying to confuse, mislead our air defense, for this they use the terrain to disappear from radar.
Then last night Russia launched another large mixed strike of missiles and drones. Kiev gave its perfunctory bluff about 99% of the objects being intercepted, but in fact there are several videos showing large arrivals blowing what appear to be ammo and fuel depots, like this one in Zhytomyr:
Also, countless reports of Russian strikes now hitting not only AFU staging areas but railroad junctures and train stations where materiel is being offloaded for the war. These are not just speculative rumors but in fact some photos have emerged showing several of these, like this video of a Kharkov strike:
And satellite photos of a railway station strike on Dnipropetrovsk where Ukraine was offloading gear. I believe there are clearer photos out there but this screenshot with the description was more convenient:
In fact, the strikes were so large that Russia even had to utilize additional Tu-95 bombers flying in from northern bases in Murmansk, which made quite the loop:
One thing that the massive strikes on Kiev have exposed is the charade regarding the Patriot system. Ukraine claims the Patriot wasn’t destroyed by the Kinzhal missile last time, but if that’s the case and it’s “back in order” then why were the various missiles and drones able to so easily penetrate Kiev in the strikes of the last few days? Where did the magical Patriot go, which could shoot down hypersonic Kinzhals so easily, but apparently can’t take out slow moving drones? But I’ll get back to the Patriot in a moment.
Besides the huge earthquake as proof of some kind of hits, there are some videos of areas in and around Kiev being hit as well.
There was also a large hit on a “hospital” in Dnipropetrovsk which Ukrainian propagandists immediately tried to whip up a narrative of Russian hospital strikes. But unfortunately, they forgot to mention that some female ‘influencer/blogger’ blew the lid by posting on her social media about how this ‘hospital’ was in fact a staging area overflowing with AFU military:
Many are now blaming her for the destruction of the object, and there are videos of people being pulled from the rubble. But here is one sanitized clip showing just the destruction of the building:
With that said, Zelensky’s regime has implemented the strictest possible punitive measures for anyone publishing videos of arrivals so now it’s very rare for us to see the strikes, particularly in Kiev, though some still slip through once in a while. And photos were released showing several of a total 32 people which have already been arrested and/or summoned to the police after being identified as posting photos/videos of arrivals.
Kiev mayor Klitschko announced several arrivals including the destruction of a warehouse:
#Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced the destruction of a warehouse in the Goloseevsky district of the city after a series of explosions.
But he typically blames it on ‘falling debris’ after a claimed ‘successful interception’. Unfortunately, they showed photos of one such ‘intercepted Russian missile’ and forgot to blur out the small lettering which says “CAUTION” in English on the missile parts, proving it’s a fallen or malfunctioned Western missile rather than a Russian one.
Getting back to the Patriot: we finally have definitive proof the Patriot was in fact hit on the fateful night of May 16:
Satellite images of the Zhuliany airfield showing arrivals at the position of the MIM-104 Patriot air defense system on the night of May 16.
In the May 18 image, in comparison with the May 15 image, there are distinct arrival points with a radius of several tens of meters along a concrete parking lot next to the dug out position of the air defense system, as well as directly into one of the positions, which, apparently, are the locations of the MIM-104F Patriot PAC-3 .
Recall that on the night of May 15-16, a missile attack was carried out on objects in Kiev, following which we published a video of the missile arriving at the position of Ukrainian air defense. The Russian Ministry of Defense then announced the destruction of the Patriot air defense system, while the American media reported that the air defense system was damaged, but they were allegedly able to be eliminated on the spot.
The satellite photo on the left is from May 15, the night before the attacks, showing Patriot positions in the Kiev airport. The new satellite photo on the right is from May 18, after the strikes, and shows two clear strikes. One of them is exactly pinpoint on the berm-enclosure which would have housed either a launcher or radar system. Another strike is more inconclusive, as it’s near a tarmac and could be the strike which “damaged” one of the systems with shrapnel. But judging by these photos we can confidently say at least one major component of the Patriot was fully vaporized.
☝️ Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems, which were handed over to Ukraine, have become magnets for Russian missiles. These systems are doomed to attack due to lack of mobility. Tyler Rogoway, the author of the American edition of The Drive, spoke about the Patriot vulnerability.
💬 “SAM radars produce a powerful electromagnetic signature that is easy to detect and locate. Even the most "nimble" configuration of the Patriot system is also quite static, and it takes time to move from one place to another, ” the publication writes.
👉 It is noted that “local informants” and satellite imagery can help determine the location of such a large object in almost real time.
As to the natural question of: if Russia can destroy them, why did they spare what appears to be other positions on the airfield? It’s impossible to answer for certain, it can be any number of possibilities from Russia only launching a test, feeler strike to see if it can bypass their AD, to the rest of the seeming positions on the field actually not being important Patriot components but rather something else. Maybe there was only one launcher and radar here, though that would be unlikely, but it’s impossible to know for certain. And of course, as improbable as it is, maybe the other incoming missiles were shot down. All we know is that at least one position was definitely hit and we now have the conclusive proof. And in last night’s new strikes, the same airport was said to be hit again, so the system could very well have been finished off.
And by the way, for those who haven’t kept up, and are wondering how do we know those are Patriot positions at the airport to begin with? There was an earlier sequence of satellite photos I posted which showed that the airport did not have any of those positions previously, and they were only recently built up right after Ukraine’s announcement that they received their first Patriot systems. And since Patriots are typically deployed in airports, as they’re a large enterprise system, it pretty much comes down to high probability common sense that this was where they put the system.
The positions at the airport likely represent one radar position, one command post, and something like 4-5 launchers.
Now, as of last night’s strikes, there are reports of extremely crippling damage being done to critical AFU areas. The most damaging are the reports that Russian missiles obliterated an airport in Khmelnitsky region, where the five Su-24s which were outfitted with British Storm Shadows were housed:
‼️The Russian army hit the air base of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Khmelnytsky region, 5 aircraft were hit, warehouses with bombs and fuel are on fire
▪️"At the moment, work is underway to contain fires in warehouses of fuel and lubricants and storage of combat material assets," the regional military administration said.
▪️"Disabled 5 aircraft.
Restoration work on the runway has begun.
▪️Information about the victims is being specified.
One thing to note about my reports: for important ones, I don’t just repost random “rumors” as some might think but first attempt to get a high confidence triangulation with other info, especially the insider variety. And in this case, we do have some hints of insider info, for instance from several Ukrainian sources and channels which confirm that last night’s hit was a serious setback for the AFU.
Here’s from the Khmelnitsky administration itself:
Some of them are unverifiable rumors, like this one:
My spies from the Ukrainian command reported that 7 important military facilities were hit by Russian missiles in Kyiv, including an imported air defense installation.
While others included the Khmelnitsky governor himself reportedly acknowledging the strike:
⚡️⚔️ On the Air Base Strike in #Khmelnitsky Region ⚡️
📃 Judging by the reports of the #Khmelnitsky Gauleiter, who mentions 5 planes "damaged" at once when hitting the airfield, the real damage after night arrivals turned out to be much greater.
The enemy rarely recognizes such damage and the appearance of such messages rather indicates that there is a process of downplaying much more damage.
It was probably a question of hitting planes that launched British missiles. Probably, stocks of such missiles were destroyed at the airfield.
This even includes Defense Minister Reznikov being blamed by angry Ukrainian channels for inadvertently giving up the secret location of the Storm-Shadow-armed Su-24s when he recently posted a boasting message showing an Su-24 photo with a Storm Shadow attached under its wings. The problem is, the message contained the emblem of the 7th tactical aviation wing stationed at Starokonstantinov in the Khmelnitsky region. So, did he give away the position of the secret British base or did Russia already know its location?
The head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Reznikov was accused of guiding Russian missiles
Reznikov published a postcard with a front-line aircraft. On the Su-24MR aircraft, the British Storm Shadow cruise missile is visible, which has a characteristic head.
On the postcard is the emblem of the 7th tactical aviation brigade in Starokonstantinov (Khmelnytsky region).
As a result: a powerful arrival, minus 5 aircraft and destroyed British missiles.
It is curious that this is one of the first facts of public recognition of losses by the Ukrainian side.
Some more information:
Later, the authorities of the Khmelnitsky region reported that one of the objects was struck, as a result of which five aircraft were disabled. Their type and degree of damage is not called. We are talking about the Starokonstantinov airfield, five kilometers from the city of the same name in the Khmelnytsky region.
Surviving Ukrainian MiG-29 fighters and Su-24 front-line bombers are based at this facility. In September 2021, the airfield was certified according to NATO standards. Assistance in the modernization and reconstruction was provided by the United States. As part of the work, the airfield was re-equipped, navigation equipment was installed, and the runway was repaired.
Starokonstantinov was already subjected to rocket attacks in March 2022. However, in order to guarantee the destruction of the airfield, a tactical nuclear weapon is needed. It is much more efficient to destroy aircraft in parking lots, because over time they will present more and more problems. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have already proven that even old Soviet aircraft can be a serious threat if armed with modern Western missiles.
Other prominent Ukrainian figures are acknowledging that major setbacks were incurred by the new Russian strikes. For instance, Illia Ponomarenko, the loudmouth whose Nazi-apologist article I had just covered in the last report, wrote the following:
And in fact, last night there were unconfirmed reports from local residents that new objects in Kiev’s Zhuliany airport were hit:
Local residents report hitting some targets near Zhuliany airport. It is possible that Western air defense systems were again being tested. Messages about arrivals vary - from 6 to 12. We are waiting for details from the RF Ministry of Defense.
It is reported that a Western air defense installation was hit in Zhuliany.
Local residents report hitting some targets near Zhuliany airport. It is possible that Western air defense systems were again being tested. Messages about arrivals vary - from 6 to 12
Patriot did so well it didn't even see the missiles.
This unverified ‘Turkish report’ claims another Patriot was destroyed last night:
Another Patriot battery was destroyed as a result of missile attacks on Kiev. 3 x Patriot batteries were sent to Ukraine, two of which were destroyed within a few weeks.
Russia detects a Patriot battery and launches standard cruise missiles with electronic and satellite reconnaissance. Then a hypersonic missile is launched towards the battery.
When the battery commander sees that the rocket is more advanced than they can destroy, he begins to randomly launch all 32 missiles of the battery, and immediately after that the battery is destroyed.
Thus, probably, today there was a loss of at least 2 billion dollars, and the previous losses amounted to 5 billion dollars.
That’s admittedly a low confidence report, and a battery of missiles is up to 8 launchers, which I doubt that many were hit—but it does seem like at least an additional one was hit last night, possibly this time by drones. This means that Russia may have finished the job and erased a few more of the Patriot launchers. And by the way, here are the U.S.’s annual production figures of the Patriot missiles:
Ukraine is said to have already fired off, in only a month or two of time, upwards of 40% of U.S.’s annual production. Think that’s sustainable?
In just two raids on Kiev (May 15 and 29), the Ukrainian air defense system fired at least 20% of the annual production of MIM-104 anti-aircraft guided missiles, and taking into account training and other less large-scale strikes, as well as losses in warehouses and during transportation, apparently about 40%.
In light of the irreparable destruction of the past few days, GUR head Budanov even uncharacteristically released a video threatening retaliation, which indirectly confirms what must have happened:
Rybar’s map of all the strikes last night is as follows:
We must be fair though and cover the fact that Ukraine too has been busy in increasing the intensity of their strikes. The AFU has vastly escalated strikes all over the front and rear lines, which is a clear signal toward the possible imminent offensive which we’ll talk about a little later. Not only have heightened artillery attacks thundered across the frontlines, but UA has apparently been liberally using their new British Storm Shadows against Russian rear objects, which could explain Russia’s decision to finally concentrate on putting an end to them.
The results are questionable: Russian MOD’s daily reports claim multiple Storm Shadows shot down each day while Ukraine claims they have hit critical objects, including a likely fake post with zero corroboration that “over 250 Russian troops” were killed in one of the arrivals.
The main Storm Shadow arrivals have occurred in Mariupol and Berdiansk. In the latter, Russian MOD in fact announced that the explosion seen was the result of sappers detonating a Storm Shadow which fell inert, presumably being jammed by EW or shot down without the warhead going off. Ukraine naturally called the explosion a ‘direct hit’ on some such Russian compound. It all comes down to who you’d rather believe, and though the Russian MOD could feasibly have incentives for not telling the truth about certain strikes of that sort, it’s Zelensky’s regime that has the history of unbridled levels of pathological lying. So of course, when faced with an uncertain scenario, I’d rather give the Russian MOD the benefit of the doubt.
However, there was one series of satellite photos showing an alleged Storm Shadow hit on some underground bunker near Berdiansk:
Russian sources contend that area was deserted long ago, and it does look abandoned in the photo, but it’s hard to tell for certain.
The other claimed strike was strangely on the Azovstal area of Mariupol. I can’t make heads or tails about why the AFU could possibly want to waste their fancy and limited British cruise missiles on hitting a defunct, condemned industrial zone with no one occupying it. The only thing I can think of was that the missile was shot down and happened to fall near the Azovstal area.
Either way, the Storm Shadow proved more dangerous than previous wunderwaffen like the JDAM simply because it can be fired without necessarily exposing the carrying platform to Russian AD. I wrote entire pieces about how the JDAM would be near useless because for it to get its vaunted max-range, the carrying aircraft would have to ascend to something like 30-40k feet, which would put it on the screens of every Russian AD in a radius of hundreds of kilometers.
But the Storm Shadow is a cruise missile with its own propulsion system, so while it could theoretically benefit from being launched at altitude—for greater range for instance—it should still be fully usable when launched even from relatively low altitudes, keeping the actual aircraft safe from AD. But this may all be moot as, after last night’s strikes, it’s uncertain how much of the Storm Shadow we’ll see again.
All this brings us to the topic of the “coming offensive”. I use air-quotes because I’m personally still skeptical that Ukraine can even launch the fabled offensive, let alone achieve anything with it, owing to the fact that Russia has devastated all their staging areas, set their ammunition and logistics back by months. Of course, it’s always impossible to know with 100% certainty, and there may well be more reserves than I give them credit for.
But the fact is, everything that’s transpired in the past few weeks following the fall of Bakhmut is going exactly according to the outlined, predictable gameplan I and many others have written about. All the ‘pre-offensive’ bullet points are being checked off in bold fashion:
Large increase in hybrid/asymmetrical attacks on civilians, government leadership in Donbass, infrastructure, etc.
Multiple large attempted incursions into Russia proper as a final disorienting feint to ‘shape the field’ and throw Russia off-balance
Huge uptick in Ukrainian artillery, drone, and missile strikes all across the front, into Russian territory (large strikes into Shebekino, Belgorod region, for instance), and rear areas. This implies that AFU was given the command to begin increasing their daily shell allotments from previous conservational levels during stockpile period
Pronounced increase in pysops of all kinds, fakes, and attempts to disorient and distort the information field
Russia’s own huge uptick in strikes, which we always said would come as precursor to any offensive, as Russia would begin hitting final staging areas
Actual unambiguous announcements from numerous Ukrainian and Western figures that the offensive is nigh. This includes yesterday’s visit of ground forces commander General Syrsky to the frontlines, to give a ‘pre-offensive speech’
From one of the bullet points above, the key and most dangerous psychological direction in the past few days has revolved around the Zaporozhye nuclear plant (ZNPP):
It’s clear that when Ukraine propounds such information, they are projecting what they themselves intend to do. So, once more, we see the flaring danger of the ZNPP situation and more implications that the coming ‘offensive’ attempt may revolve around capturing this key plant by way of some sophisticated falseflag/psyop event.
And a new concerted report from Euromaidan press came immediately after:
Which absurdly claims that Russia is planning on destroying the Zaporozhye plant and blaming it on Ukrainian shelling in order to suspend or somehow hamper the imminent Ukrainian offensive in that southerly direction.
The report goes on to ridiculously claim that Russia is going to do a mass joint nuclear-chemical attack on the entire frontline.
The only frightening part of the report is that if they’re telegraphing to us that ‘Russia’ intends to destroy the plant and spread radiation, then it can only mean it’s what they themselves intend to do to blame Russia.
However, for all those worried, we have the following report which shows that Russian forces are not simply ignoring this threat:
MI6 transmitted intelligence to the President's Office and the General Staff that the Russian General Staff continues to strengthen the defense of the nuclear power plant/Energodar and surrounding villages. According to British intelligence, the nuclear power plant is protected by about 5,000 military personnel, of which 700-900 people are constantly at the plant. At the same time, there is a group of 20 thousand people in reserve, in neighboring villages and military units that have heavy equipment/helicopters. The entire coast is mined and turned into a single complex of defensive structures, in order to prevent an amphibious operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Not to mention, in light of the Ukrainian pre-falseflag field-sowing above, Russian federal security forces have in fact detained several saboteurs who were planning a terrorist attack on the plant:
Saboteurs who were preparing terrorist attacks on the NPP were detained in Energodar. They had with them maps and schematics of the nuclear power plant with marks for strikes that could lead to a nuclear catastrophe.
The suspects are involved in collecting and transmitting information about the facilities of the Zaporozhye NPP on the instructions of the Ukrainian authorities. To communicate with the curators, they used foreign satellite systems, as well as foreign weapons for strikes and equipment for conducting reconnaissance and sabotage activities.
Was the Ukrainian plot already foiled, then? It’s hard to say, but obviously it’s best to stay vigilant no matter what.
Here’s another video, though not translated, but shows some of the devices used:
Ukrovskie soldiers attempted to attack the nuclear power plant with a shock UAV, the device was planted and neutralized 500 m from the station, a representative of the law enforcement agency said.
Back to the offensive itself. Ukraine’s national security secretary Danilov has stated that the offensive may start “any day now”:
Here we go again.
In an interview with the BBC, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, said that a counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine "could begin tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or next week,"
According to the Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has already started and has been going on for several days.
And Rybar reports that indications are the AFU have finished basic staging for the offensive in the southern direction:
Rybar is reporting that Ukraine is nearly done staging for their offensive against the land-bridge and that they may begin the operation before the end of the month. We’ll have to see if artillery preparation picks up in the next few days.
The above map shows the staging areas along the Orekhov, Pologi, and Gulyai-Pole axis. As well as one group called ‘Marun’, which Rybar identifies as a special raid group composed of elite Ukrainian paratroopers (Maroon berets?) which will act as a breakthrough force whose job is to bypass major population centers and break through to the rears of Russian defenses.
Zaporozhye direction. Judging by the characteristic signs, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have completed basic preparations for the offensive. The enemy group is practically formed to attack in three areas: Orekhovsky, Pologovsky and Gulyai-Pole.
In addition, in the south-east of the Dnipropetrovsk region, a tactical group "Marun" was created, which included the forces of 46 oaembr, 82 odshbr and 132 reconnaissance battalion of the DSHV, as well as 71 ebrs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Previously, 132 orb in Zaporozhye was not noted. Also in Gavrilovka appeared units transferred from the Kharkiv region, presumably, the assault brigade "Spartan". And in Chaplino, members of the 3rd battalion of the 33rd Separate Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were stationed.
As I said previously, all we can really do now is wait. The AFU is running out of time as the huge increase in Russian strikes is devastating their reserves and Russia’s own industrial capacities in guided weapons are growing exponentially to such a rate that in the future, Ukraine may find it impossible to even receive much Western arms at all, as Russia could destroy everything from afar.
I agree with the following assessment:
The woman with the scythe: The" counter-offensive " of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is delayed due to massive missile and UAV strikes by the Russians. Many rear ammunition depots have been lost, and there is also a shortage of BC for air defense.The Armed Forces of Ukraine also have internal problems due to the corruption of the Ministry of Defense, and there is a shortage of spare parts for military equipment. Everyone is sure that Ze wanted to coincide the offensive with the July NATO summit, but there is less and less time left."
And this is the total number of munitions launched in just the past few weeks:
Ukrainian monitoring groups estimate that during the month of Russian attacks (the new wave began on April 28), Russia launched about 160 missiles (cruise + ballistic), as well as 340+ kamikaze drones "Shahed".
Part of this increased performance comes from Russia’s continual improvement of its ISR and particularly space-recon capabilities. Two days ago, a new Russian Kondor-FKA opto-electrical spy-satellite was successfully launched:
This adds to the list of half a dozen new satellites launched in the past few months that I covered in depth previously. In fact, this could now tie U.S.’s number of opto-electrical Keyhole satellites, as Russia’s previous such launch was said to put it at around five total to the U.S.’s six. Note, this is only in reference to the premier flagship opto-electrical sats, as U.S. has many other different sensor type satellites, not to mention this isn’t counting commercial sats like Planet Labs, Maxar, ICEYE, etc., which all provide services to U.S./NATO/Ukraine.
So, if Ukraine waits too long, Russia can hunt down all their reserves and new weapons (if it hasn’t already) and destroy them in their static storage locations. Compound this with us already soon entering summer, and Ukraine’s offensive is getting long in the tooth and in need of immediate launching if they want to stand a chance. Just look, for example, how they already waited so long that their Storm Shadow platforms are being annihilated, now they could have one less important tool to use during the offensive. Which tool will be next to go extinct?
In fact, in light of this, there are now reports that Russia is creating a new type of specialized air group composed of elite pilots, called ‘Storm’ (Shturm). Its mission will be to specifically hunt high value ground targets, and perhaps SEAD/DEAD.
This is straight from the UK defense ministry’s official Twitter account:
The mix of aircraft types suggests the group will have a primary role of ground attack missions.
(3/4) Credible Russian media reports suggest that the Russian MoD aims to attract highly skilled and motivated pilots by offering large pay incentives and opening recruitment to retired aviators.
(4/4) The creation of the group highlights how Russian assesses its regular air force squadrons have severely underperformed in their core function of conducting airstrikes on Ukrainian lines.
Of course, they couldn’t resist the obligatory dig at the end, farcical as it is. But that’s expected of sore losers who are being humiliated in their proxy war, so we don’t think much of it.
Meanwhile, the German foreign minister said the upcoming offensive will be ‘the largest land battle in Europe since the 1940s’:
The AFU offensive will be the largest land battle in Europe since the 1940s, the former German Foreign Minister said.
"We are probably on the eve of the worst land battle since the Second World War. After the terrible images and events that have already taken place in Ukraine, we will see an even worse picture. And I'm afraid it will take a long time. It's going to be a huge battle: 30-40 thousand people from the Ukrainian side and at least the same number from the Russian side, " said Sigmar Gabirel in an interview with ZDF TV channel.
And Joseph Borrell is no longer ‘optimistic’ about the oncoming summer:
Additionally, the common consensus is now that Ukraine will need at the minimum four total squadrons of F-16s, or nearly 50 total planes to succeed in any way:
For the complete liberation of the territory from Russian troops, 48 American aircraft are needed, - the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. "4 F16 squadrons (48 aircraft) are exactly what is needed to liberate our country from the aggressor," the report says.
Earlier, the head of the US General Staff, Mark Milley, said that a small number of aircraft would not change the picture, since " the Russians have thousands of 4th and 5th generation fighters." He also estimated the transfer and support of 10 F-16 aircraft at $ 2 billion. That is, the amount requested by Ukraine can cost the United States almost 10 billion.
But on that account, a new Bloomberg article takes the wind out of the AFU’s sails a little bit:
The F-16 jets that the Ukrainian military is touting as a potential gamechanger in its conflict with Russia will either be restricted to defense or deployed in very high-risk operations, according to people who’ve flown the planes in combat.
The General Dynamics Corp fighter-bombers will be a significant upgrade on the Soviet-era planes that Ukrainian pilots have been flying so far. But the F-16s that are likely to be sent to Ukraine will still have inferior radar and shorter range missiles that the most modern Russian jets and air defenses.
Woah, woah, woah. Wait a second there. So first they drop the bombshell that the F-16s may just be used for defense, that is, they will be sent up during Russian cruise missile attacks to plug the holes in Ukraine’s attrited AD network by trying to shoot down the cruise missiles with A2A missiles.
Then they drop an even bigger bombshell: that the much vaunted American AN/APG-68/83 full AESA radars, which were always touted as so astronomically superior to any Russian equivalent are in fact…..inferior, like we knew all along?
This is where Western propagandists fail. AESA vs. PESA is not just a black or white battle. AESA clearly has some advantages for certain niche abilities like being more resistant to jamming due to their ability to electronically channel-hop. But it’s a simple fact of life that Russian IRBIS-E and Zaslon-M radars on the Su-35s and Mig-31s for instance, are more powerful and have higher detection and tracking ranges.
Suddenly, after all that bluster, the F-16s in fact will only offer an “incremental ability” for Ukraine.
In the eye-opening piece, American F-16 pilots even give this admission:
Were they to fly at Russian lines to take out artillery, air defenses, or jets, Ukraine’s F-16 pilots would likely get an alert to signal detection by enemy radar long before getting close enough to shoot, according to John Venable, a former F-16 pilot in the US Air Force.
“All you can do is dive for the dirt and hope you can put a hill between you and the missile’s guidance systems,” said Venable, now a senior research fellow for defense policy at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington think tank. Without that cover “your chances of survival are not great,” he said.
Well, color me shocked.
The American pilot even confirms all my previous reporting about Ukraine’s desperate method of lofting munitions from below Russian radar coverage:
“You aren’t going to be hitting anything.”
This is just the latest in the long line of Western ‘wunderwaffe’ built up as invincible and later discarded and memory-holed like they never existed.
On that note, this article from 2018 is an old gem uncovered recently, from Foreign Policy:
Noting the contents of the article, it’s absolutely crazy that the Patriot system could possibly be ‘sold’ to us these days as a potential “game changer” in Ukraine.
The author is irate and sick of the dangerous propaganda of the Patriot being a good system, because he says this puts all American allies in danger, having to rely on such an obvious, proven ‘lemon’.
Read the article if you want a good laugh as the author highlights the history of abject failure of the Patriot missile system:
On March 25, Houthi forces in Yemen fired seven missiles at Riyadh. Saudi Arabia confirmed the launches and asserted that it successfully intercepted all seven.
This wasn’t true. It’s not just that falling debris in Riyadh killed at least one person and sent two more to the hospital. There’s no evidence that Saudi Arabia intercepted any missiles at all. And that raises uncomfortable questions not just about the Saudis, but about the United States, which seems to have sold them — and its own public — a lemon of a missile defense system.
Social media images do appear to show that Saudi Patriot batteries firing interceptors. But what these videos show are not successes. One interceptor explodes catastrophically just after launch, while another makes a U-turn in midair and then comes screaming back at Riyadh, where it explodes on the ground.
In fact, what’s interesting is he does a detailed post-op on two of the strikes, and the results are horrifyingly comical:
In both cases, we found that it is very unlikely the missiles were shot down, despite officials’ statements to the contrary. Our approach was simple: We mapped where the debris, including the missile airframe and warhead, fell and where the interceptors were located. In both cases, a clear pattern emerged. The missile itself falls in Riyadh, while the warhead separates and flies over the defense and lands near its target. One warhead fell within a few hundred meters of Terminal 5 at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport. The second warhead, fired a few weeks later, nearly demolished a Honda dealership. In both cases, it was clear to us that, despite official Saudi claims, neither missile was shot down. I am not even sure that Saudi Arabia even tried to intercept the first missile in November.
He makes a shocking statement: that there’s no evidence the Patriot has ever even shot down anything. Followed by an even more shocking question: does the system even work at all?
The point is there is no evidence that Saudi Arabia has intercepted any Houthi missiles during the Yemen conflict. And that raises a disquieting thought: Is there any reason to think the Patriot system even works?
And a new Business Insider article yesterday highlighted how the Bayraktar drones were hailed as ‘saviors’ and quickly disappeared, never to be heard from again:
Last year, the admission below would have gotten you labeled as a Putin propagandist and deplatformed, now it’s just old hat:
Remember when Oryx and his fake list claimed only a small handful were “confirmed shot down”, and anyone claiming that the entire fleet of Ukraine’s 70-90+ TB2 drones were shot down would be called crazy? How times have changed…
Of course, this also completely invalidates Oryx’s numbers which still show a tiny, symbolic fraction of “confirmed Bayraktars destroyed” when in reality, every official Western source now blithely acknowledges that the entire fleet has been annihilated.
And if that wasn’t painful enough, there’s even news that Turkey has completely cut off Ukraine from any new deliveries:
"Turkey has stopped deliveries of Bayraktar TB2 to Ukraine, there has been no information about deliveries for 8 months, and no one will build the promised plant in Ukraine. At the front, information about the use of Turkish UAVs has almost disappeared, and all information about the termination of cooperation is kept secret."
I wonder why!
Remember these cringe-inducing antics which were meant to showcase the adamantine morale of the AFU amid their elevation of Bayraktars to holy objects?
Well, it was a catchy tune at least, wasn’t it?
The article goes on:
However, a little over a year later, the once-prized drones have almost entirely been shot down, and those that remain reduced to reconnaissance duties, according to an expert.
"The general assessment of drones like TB2 is that they work well without sophisticated air and electronic warfare defenses arrayed against them," Samuel Bendett, an analyst and expert in unmanned and robotic military systems at the Center for Naval Analyses, told Insider.
Ukraine said last year it had received 50 TB2 drones since the Russian invasion began, but by the end of 2022, it had largely disappeared from the battlefield.
The commander of the Russian air defense force, Lieutenant-General Andrey Demin, claimed that Russian forces had destroyed more than 100 of the drones in April.
Meanwhile, Prigozhin believes Russia should launch a mass-scale offensive of their own now:
“After the capture of Bakhmut, the operational space is open, and the Russian army has every opportunity to launch a colossal offensive in the near future with the capture of Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, Druzhkovka, Konstantinovka, Chasov Yar, that is, the “Donbas ring”.
Next, it will be necessary to clarify whether the throw will be an offensive, lightning-fast, decisive throw towards the Dnieper in order to put our units on the left bank of the Dnieper.
And speaking of Prigozhin, while Wagner has officially vacated Bakhmut and handed it over to the nominal Russian forces, they have released some interesting new audit reports. This includes the final tally of Ukrainian forces and equipment destroyed which Wagner meticulously totted up for each monthly period, and it’s a doozy:
PMC "Wagner" published a report on the liquidated fighters and equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
In total, since March 2022, "Musicians" have destroyed 72,000 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
PMC "Wagner" presented a report on its combat path during the NWO.
Musicians in numbers:
During the fighting, the Orchestra destroyed over 72 thousand Ukrainian soldiers, captured a little more than five hundred.
Tanks - 309
BMP - 566
BTR - 131
Armored vehicles - 1134
Cars - 2075
Mortars and guns - 3155
ATGM / LNG - 300
SAU - 124
MLRS - 83
Air defense systems - 45
UAV - 282
Aircraft - 5
Helicopters - 4
EW / radar systems - 149
The losses visualized below:
And Prigozhin explained one of the reasons he was so angry with the Russian MOD. He recounted a touching story that goes as follows:
Prigozhin recalls how a guy Yevgeny Istomin approached him in the zone. He decided to redeem himself, to return to his family, to return his daughter, who had fallen into another family. He was jailed under Article 228.
Went to Wagner, trained, Prigozhin saw him more than once. He fought. Then Prigozhin saw him in a pile of corpses, torn apart by a shell-just at the time when the Ministry of Defense, laughing (really for them a joke is like this, give - not give), cut off the supply of ammunition.
Istomin's 13-year-old daughter jumped from the 12th floor and died. Shoigu's son-in-law at this time was "twisting rolls" in Dubai and telling what fools all are in the SMO.
And speaking of statistics, I’ve written for a long time how much of the equipment supplied to the AFU is out of order, expired old stock, etc. There are countless examples, like the video released today (though likely from a few months ago) showing some well-tuned mortars supplied to the AFU:
But a new damning leak reportedly shows that an unprecedented amount of the much-vaunted Stryker units supplied by the U.S. are defunct. You can see the auto-translated leaked charts below:
Zrada from the main ally: the Stryker armored personnel carriers delivered by the USA turned out to be faulty.
In March of this year, it became known that the Ukrainian troops would be replenished with American Stryker armored personnel carriers. It was assumed that Stryker should strengthen the counter-offensive potential.
According to our information, the cars sent to Ukraine have malfunctions. The source provided data on the vehicles that entered the service in one of the units of the Airborne Assault Forces.
As can be seen from the document, in only one part, 76% of Strykers cannot fully participate in combat operations. Of the 68 machines in disrepair, 52. Strykers have a large number of malfunctions in electronics and chassis. Soldiers complain about non-working fuel pumps, communication systems, nitrogen supply, etc.
So, 52 out of 68 Strykers don’t work, a whopping, hard-to-believe 76%. I’d probably find it much harder to believe if it weren’t for the recent spate of NATO revelations that demonstrated to us just how badly off and in ill-repair NATO forces are. Do you recall the story, for instance, of the German Pumas a few months ago?
All 18 out of 18 Pumas broke down during exercises in one way or another. To be honest, as others have speculated in the past, such a mind-boggling decrepitude can only possibly be explained by intentional sabotage. Just like some have hypothesized about the Pentagon leaks, one can only wonder if some anti-imperialist patriot went to town on those Strykers. But given the fact that their problems appear all over the place, rather than from something that can disable them uniformly and en masse, like an adulterated oil/fuel supply, it does seem to point to a simple, unprecedented quality issue.
In other news, a video dated from 11/27/22 emerged of Ukraine’s presidential advisor Podolyak promising to be in ‘liberated’ Crimea in exactly six months. That’s right, he expected to greet the beaming hosts from a beach in Yalta on May 27, 2023, after the peninsula has been gloriously liberated by the heroic AFU.
🇺🇦 November 27, 2022. Podolyak promised to expel the last Russian from Crimea till May 27 and personally come to Yalta: “In six months, I will specially go to the embankment in Yalta. I have a favorite place there. And I will definitely turn on the phone there, and we will talk about what Crimea will be like. And at this time, there will be no Russians there."
This now joins the wall of shame next to many other of Ukraine’s risible prognostications.
UK MOD complained that advanced Russian EW jamming has spoofed ship traffic data in the Black Sea, creating a giant Z symbol on the global open source tracking map:
A few last bits of housekeeping.
Firstly, as most have seen by now, Zaluzhny did in fact reappear with a new video days ago, which had a verbal timestamp and so it seems we’ve all been had and the Zaluzhny disappearance was in fact a joke, psyop, or something else. With that said, some persist in theories that the video still may be fake, or that not all is as it seems. For instance, Zaluzhny was known to have blue eyes and some note that in the new ‘reappearance’ video he clearly appears to have brown eyes.
Personally, I don’t put too much stock in that because eye color is known to be highly elusive in different lighting and photographic conditions. For instance, it’s well known that a person’s eye color often resembles the shirt they’re wearing because the reflected light gets picked up by the eyes. Note on the left photo the ‘brown’ eyes are in fact a sort of hazel similar to his shirt. And in the older photo, his blue eyes again are the same color as the shirt.
Without wasting more time on this psyop, all I’ll say is that it’s possible he did suffer some undisclosed injury which took him out of action for a while (after all, he did seem slumped/slouched and more haggard and drained looking than usual), but the ‘telephone game’ of propaganda greatly distorted the type of injury. Maybe we’ll find the truth eventually, but for now it’s not really worth wasting more time on.
As a last news item, events in Serbia-Kosovo are kicking off just in time for NATO’s historic presence in Romania during the coming exercises in June billed ‘the largest ever’, and Ukraine’s escalating provocations. One can only assume these events are tied together, and that the U.S. is igniting the region to further imbalance Russia on the eve of the most pivotal point of the war.
As of now, however, Serbian civilians have taken to the streets and mopped the floor with NATO KFOR forces:
This will be something to keep an eye on as it develops because of the way it dovetails with the Ukrainian conflict.
As a final note, Poroshenko once gave a notoriously bombastic political speech where he threatened the children and civilians of Donbass with the promise that Ukrainian children will go to school, while those from Donbass will be sitting in basements and shelters:
"We will have a job - they don't. We will have pensions - they don't. We will have the support of people - children and pensioners - but they don't. Our children will go to schools and kindergartens, and they will sit in their basements. Because they don't know how to do anything! That's how, that's how we will win this war," Poroshenko said about the residents of Donbass in 2014.
Now, it seems that boomerang of fate and karma has come around full circle for poor Porky. Last night, he found himself sitting in one of those very bomb shelters he promised for Donbass children.
As well as the rest of Kiev:
And as of this writing, there’s a new ongoing very large attack happening both on Kiev and the rest of Ukraine, so we’ll check back on Porky and the situation next time.
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