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SITREP 5/7/23: Prigozhin's Masterpiece Amid Powerful New Airstrikes
Let’s start with some updates about previously ongoing developments.
The Prigozhin saga has appeared to have concluded in the expected and predictable manner. Prigozhin now claims all is fine, and that a new deal has been struck with the Russian MOD to deliver all appropriate ammo, plus securing of the Wagner flanks. This was after Chechen leader Kadyrov claimed to have already been sending his men to take over Bakhmut from Wagner.
Prigozhin claims that previous theater commander Surovikin has now been appointed as some sort of special liaison to Wagner in terms of logistics and supply.
I’d go deeper into this entire situation, unpacking what it could mean, and what it was all about, but to be quite frank, I think most of us agree that this entire saga was quite tedious and tiresome, and is ultimately a circular argument of who was to blame, whether it was all just theater, etc. If it’s truly resolved then I think for now we can move on and not need to devote massive page space to this anymore. The only people doing so so are likely just trying to profit from the sensationalist clickbait circumstances surrounding this strange episode. I’ll return to it if it flares up again, but for now it appears not much is left to be said on it other than, as someone recently aptly flourished: “The dogs bark, but the caravan rolls on.”
Only thing I’ll say is that numerous sources from the AFU continue to maintain that the Wagner saga was an illusion, and that no ammunition depletion is recorded. For instance, in a new CNN article, spokesman for AFU’s eastern grouping, Serhii Cherevatyi, said:
"Now they are firing more than 20,000 shells a day. That’s why (Prigozhin's remarks on ammunition starvation) is a complete bluff," he said.
Another report where Ukrainian sources state that new Wagner units with additional equipment and ammo are “constantly arriving” for a final strike on AFU positions, and that this does not match what Wagner has been saying:
And a Ukrainian site claims that Ukrainian intelligence reported Wagner was not withdrawing anywhere, even days before it was magically ‘resolved’.
Ukraine’s GUR representative stated:
"Prigozhin is not going to withdraw Wagner mercenaries from Bakhmut. He made these statements because he cannot fulfill another promise - to capture Bakhmut by May 9. Therefore, he is now trying to make someone guilty of this, because he understands that he can no longer keep his word," explained the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry (GUR MO) Andriy Chernyak in a commentary to the news agency RBC-Ukraine.
Funnily enough, in the same report, Ukrainian GUR appears to confirm some of the theories from the Russian side, which is that Wagner is not ‘low on shells’ per se, but rather that Wagner is greedy for an endless increase of them, which no amount will satiate:
Chernyak stressed that at present the Main Intelligence Directorate does not observe any withdrawals of troops in the Bakhmut area.
However, the Wagner mercenaries do have some problems with the ammunition supply, Chernyak notes.
"But no matter how much ammunition they get, it will not be enough for them. That is, the more they are given, the more they need and the more they want to get," he explained.
Even Strelkov was dubious about the Prigozhin saga and posted a message from one of his close frontline friends, who said Prigozhin’s antics were fakery:
Strelkov: Just in case - the man is well known to me (a '14 volunteer), completely unselfish (and, by the way, quite independent of me), and is now at the front.
I think the "turmoil" in the interwebs about the "scandalous statement" by Cook [ed: they call Prigozhin “cook” disparagingly] should be stopped!
I argue :
1. Repeated display of the corpses of his soldiers can do only a fuckhead who has lost all sense of boundaries!
2. The court fucker can't "just lose his edge"! Because this happens only "by the highest permission", otherwise the fucker would be nullified "once / twice", as once not too long ago, nullified the same "Wagner" commanders of Novorossiya! [ed: What he’s saying here is that there’s no way Prigozhin would be able to do any of what he claims without full permission from the highest echelons of the MOD]
3. "Shells" have absolutely nothing to do with it! Everyone else is given much less shells!
4. The disposal of their personnel in the "Wagner" is more successful than anywhere else at the front, and the shrieks of the exalted public about "the most combat-ready unit" end exactly at the moment when their relative is "put on the meat"!
5. Unimaginable for Putinia, public behavior like that of the "cook" is only possible, again, only "with the highest permission"! [ed: Once again, he re-iterates that Prigozhin’s statements and decisions can only happen with highest permission]
6. There are no "mobsters caught on the street" in "Wagner"! All of them are volunteers there, and not like they were in Donbass in '14, but exclusively "for money"! And the "compensation" to relatives for the death of their loved one is much less than the "compensation" for this "most effective" military unit!
...Hence, one can draw conclusions "about the poor "cook" and his "disinterestedness" in "historic" assault of a town 10 km in diameter during eight months...!
Anyway, enough of the Kremlin bullshit!)
As can be seen, this Strelkov disciple who is a soldier allegedly at the frontline, firmly believes this was a ‘Kremlin performance’. Interestingly, to those who still believe Prigozhin can act independently, one thing his performance revealed was that he does in fact require permission from the Kremlin, since he ended up posting a letter “requesting permission” from the MOD to pull Wagner out of Bakhmut, prior to finally resolving the issue today.
The below is for curiosity purposes, posted by Prigozhin yesterday, addressed to Shoigu, asking for “permission”: “I ask you to issue a combat order on the transfer of the positions of Wagner…” etc. As you can see, even as fuming mad as he ostensibly was, he still had to request permission from Shoigu to do anything, at least as part of the ‘performance’.
One other key revelation from the episode, however, was Prigozhin’s reiteration that Ukraine is losing 400-600 men in Bakhmut per day, which should silence the doubters who claimed these events mean that Russia is now suffering a lopsided loss ratio against Ukraine.
This was from Prigozhin’s new video which can be seen here: VIDEO LINK.
Another statement from a Ukrainian source:
All Prigozhin's statements about "exiting Bakhmut" are all fakes and lies, and "these will be difficult days of missile attacks, attacks by Shaheds," because "Russia wants to stage a bloody show in Ukraine."
And lastly, for anyone that’s interested, prior to the resolution, Prigozhin had released a pretty exhaustive document which clarified all the issues with a lot of interesting details, which can be read in full here (just run it through an auto-translator): LINK.
The document has some very interesting observations from a tactical standpoint as Prigozhin goes into battle details. He confirms, for instance, that there are 30k Wagnerians against 35k AFU directly in Bakhmut and 80k+ total in general area near Bakhmut. He also states that Wagner consumes on average 6000 shells per day.
Using these numbers, he makes some interesting accounts by way of Soviet artillery theory, such as the following:
- Second: according to the norms defined by the Rules of Shooting and Fire Control, the consumption of ammunition for suppressing the enemy's platoon strongpoint is 180 shells per 1 hectare. The average length of the front of the Wagner PMC, taking into account different periods, is 80 km. This is about 400 enemy strongholds. Their suppression requires 180 x 400, that is, 72 thousand shells per day. And so on every day.
He also states the following:
31. To maintain combat capability during a full-scale war, losses ("200th" and "300th") of 10-12% in 25 days (the duration of a conditional military operation) are considered acceptable.
The arithmetic is very simple:
— If you give 18 thousand shells a day, the loss is 10%;
— If they give 6 thousand shells a day, the loss is 24%;
— If you give 2 thousand shells a day, the loss is 35% or higher.
No one counts 10% of ammunition from the norm. In this case, the unit is doomed to death. Now we get 10%.
Lastly and most interestingly, Prigozhin states something which appears to answer a question I had last time, in that he believes that Russia currently produces enough shells to fully arm everyone as needed, and as such the ‘shell hunger’ induced is ‘artificial’:
38. The Russian military industry has reached the level of projectile production sufficient to fully support about 5 such combat-ready formations as the Wagner PMC, with a front length of 120-150 km and a simultaneous offensive along all sectors of the front.
39. The volume of weapons and ammunition stocks allows us to provide for everyone, including in standard quantities.
This is an interesting admission, seeing as how he states that Wagner fires 6000 shells per day. So if he’s saying that Russia’s current production is already at a level of being able to support five such Wagner groups simultaneously, this appears to imply that, in his opinion, Russia is currently manufacturing upwards of 6k x 5 = 30,000 shells per day, which would be 900,000 per month, and 10.8 million per year. This is a little hard to believe, although my previous estimates given in a past report were that Russia currently produces maybe in the 300-400k per month range at the most, with long term ramp ups ongoing and that they would eventually be able to possibly hit 7+ million per year, which is ~600k per month, and 20k per day.
Prigozhin appears to believe they’re way ahead of schedule with that, at least insofar as I understand his implications.
Anyway, onto the next.
As the caravan rolls on through Bakhmut, several more blocks were captured today with the newly renewed Wagner forces marching on.
One brief remark on Bakhmut and why it’s taking so long to capture it compared to other cities. Compared to Mariupol, the contrast is easy to see: Mariupol was locked against the sea, which meant that it was easy to surround on three sides, giving no possibility for reinforcement and supplies. Ironically, the crafty and resourceful AFU still managed to resupply the final Azovstal bastion to an extent, for a while at least, by flying helicopters low over the sea—but the point remains.
As for Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, the other big urban battles: the AFU chose to slip away there and after some bitter fighting, the order from command was simply to preserve their forces and retreat.
Bakhmut was actually supposed to go the same way, showing that the high command’s style did not change. But the order to retreat in this case was simply annulled and reversed by Zelensky himself. We actually have proof of that now as the order itself was apparently leaked recently:
This is the auto-translated copy from, apparently, 2/27/23. You can see here it is signed by supreme commander Zaluzhny and cites the threat of encirclement and destruction of the AFU grouping. He advises to strengthen the defense of Chasov Yar, which is the natural next bulwark for retreating AFU from Bakhmut, and then by March 4 to start immediate withdrawal of troops from Bakhmut itself. Zelensky was said to reject this request.
So, clearly Zaluzhny had planned to conduct operations in the same fashion as Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, preserving the AFU forces. However, Zelensky decided to grind them down in Bakhmut in his absolute fanatical, Hitler-like fervor of saving face and not allowing the army to look weak. Only time will tell who was proven right in the end; maybe Zelensky’s plan will have worked better, we shall see. But according to Prigozhin, upwards of 50k Ukrainian troops died in Bakhmut alone because of this decision.
Zelensky ordered to continue pumping the city full of reinforcements. This is why the battle is taking so long compared to the other two major urban engagements thus far.
But the big question is why did Zelensky do this? As I’ve covered before—apart from wanting to delay Russian forces up until the time of Ukraine’s counter-offensive—the main reason is because, unlike Mariupol and Severodonetsk, Bakhmut is the final frontier before the all-important Kramatorsk-Slavyansk agglomerate which represents, in effect, the AFU’s “last stand” in Donbass. So of course when the defender pours all their resources into holding a city and refuses to retreat, and it’s a city which does not have natural obstructions like water, then it’s going to take much longer. Not to mention that Bakhmut is a very naturally defensible city due to the height advantages for the defender right on its outskirts:
You can see here that the areas all west of Bakhmut are on very tall heights, while only one area in southeast gives Russian forces a height. This means that the AFU can have a major advantage in terms of spotting and firing artillery down from those heights onto Russian positions in the lowlands. And as Russian forces slowly advance through the city, those western heights allow the AFU to watch them at all times, correct fire onto them, even without the use of drones, etc.
An example of that is the following from google maps:
This is a medium height just west of Bakhmut at an AFU position, which can look down into the city.
And a last note: specifically on why the final quarter of Bakhmut is proving more intractable than the others, and is taking the longest. Note that this region circled in red has a small ‘fortress’ of tall apartment blocs, which is similar to those of Ugledar, and are responsible for Ugledar being so difficult to capture. In fact the area is even nicknamed the ‘citadel’.
The areas outside of that mini-fortress are all low lying single-story homes, which are easy to push through. But this quadrant of tall buildings allows the AFU to use it as a fortress, taking cover, and also creating tall machine-gun and ATGM nests in the upper floors, as well as using them for spotting from a tall height, etc. It also allows them to hide from artillery behind the buildings, which they can’t do in the other quarters.
This is the embattled quarter seen in this new video:
Also, there is this video of AFU driving through the rubble of the final district:
Which has been geolocated to here:
That is to give you an idea how it looks from the inside of this ‘citadel’ and how the AFU is protected by the surrounding buildings.
The other biggest news continues to be ongoing rumors towards the Ukrainian offensive. Here’s a few of them from the past day or two.
Rybar reports concentration of troops on Dnieper’s right bank near Kherson (west side). There is also news from ‘Two Majors’ (one of the top channels) that in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporozhye, there has been a city-wide call for the collection of all blood types in all city media and public channels:
An emergency collection of all blood types has been announced in the city. Now we need any. It was Friday. On Saturday and Sunday in all city publics and media. They ask everyone from the factories who is not involved to come and hand over. 05/08/23, starting from 09.00 until the "last client". At the same time, there were no particularly massive influxes of the wounded over the last days.
Also, people in the city appear to have spotted new groups of either mercenaries or nationalist type of militants, like Azov battalion.
Reports claim that one of the key objectives of the new offensive will be for the AFU to capture the Energodar nuclear plant. I believe this is one of those objectives with a great cost to benefit ratio for the AFU, as technically it’s not very difficult to capture it, as it’s right on the water and doesn’t require liberating many tens of kilometers of territory. And it is a prominent enough big ticket item that by capturing it, you can nearly declare a ‘victory’ to the entire offensive just from that alone. It would certainly be, at the least, a major psychological victory and would allow Ukraine to have a lot of new blackmail leverage over Russia, including that of potential nuclear falseflags, etc.
The operation is being developed by British intelligence and the SBU so that the details remain classified until the last moment. The main task is to take the nuclear power plant and gain a foothold there, which will help create a foothold on the left bank of the Dnieper.
Another rumor from top frontline Russian Telegram channel Romanov_Lite:
Phones are taken away from the military of the enemy - they are given walkie-talkies. Announce readiness to move in two days.
But the above channel has also previously given false start information on the launch of Russian offensives, so this is not definitive by any means, though he does have connections to frontline Russian military operators.
There is also this rumor, to the contrary:
Our source in the OP said that at the headquarters, Syrsky again postponed the counteroffensive, the weather changed dramatically and rains are again promised near Bakhmut. The commander of the ground forces is confident that Russian climate weapons are behind the sharp change in weather and an abnormally rainy spring in eastern Ukraine.
And, there’s been a new slew of headlines from Western MSM and political figures calling the offensive into question, or pleading for a lowering of expectations.
Czech President Petr Pavel urged Ukraine “not to rush” into a counter-offensive in order to avoid the inevitable heavy losses. Crucially, he said that Ukraine will only get one chance at this:
Czech President Petr Pavel urged Ukraine not to rush into a counteroffensive in order to avoid terrible losses, and to understand that if they lose, there will be no second chance this year. These thoughts he voiced in an interview with The Guardian.
Pavel said that he warned the Ukrainian authorities against hasty steps at a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal last week. According to the Czech leader, some forces may want to push Kyiv to demonstrate some results.
He added that regardless of the strength of its armed forces, Ukraine will inevitably suffer "terrible losses", in connection with which Kyiv cannot afford the failure of the counteroffensive. "Because the counter-offensive requires a lot of resources in terms of manning, ammunition logistics, fuel financing. There will be only one attempt this year, so it must be successful," Pavel said.
He also expressed the opinion that the European Union should negotiate the purchase of shells, including with countries with which the EU has developed difficult relations. At the same time, Pavel urged the West to prepare for the fact that Ukraine will not be able to achieve all the declared goals in the conflict with Russia.
"I think that we should do everything in our power to inspire the Ukrainians and help them succeed. But internally, we must also be prepared for other unforeseen circumstances," the Czech president said.
Washington Post similarly released a cautioning note from Ukrainian defense minister Reznikov, who said that most people are awaiting something “huge” and shouldn’t overwork their expectations:
"Most people are waiting for something big, which can lead to emotional disappointment. My Western partners have told me that now they need the next example of success, because we need to show it to our peoples… But I can't tell you what the scale of that success will be. Ten kilometers, 30 kilometers, 100 kilometers, 200 kilometers? Ideally, the offensive should cut the rear chains of the Russian troops and reduce their offensive capabilities."
I wrote last time how I believed they will be redrawing the goalposts so that they can ‘declare victory’ by simply striking a few kilometers south, perhaps putting Melitopol within artillery range, or even less.
More and more, western leaders are now positioning themselves towards the inevitable peace talks. Even Henry Kissinger just stated in a new interview that China will be used to rein Russia into peace talks “by the end of this year”.
This is something I’ve long predicted and have written about as recently as last night in the previous article’s comment section. The U.S.’s plan is to use a number of economic leverage options against all of Russia’s key allies in order to bring Russia to the negotiation table. They will do the same with Ukraine by offering Ukraine a face-saving way out by promising to massively re-arm them, dangling the NATO carrot over their nose, and secretly promising them they’ll be allowed to re-start hostilities later down the line, particularly after the 2024 elections are wrapped up.
The U.S. is in a desperate position now as all of their key military officials are predicting the kick off of the Taiwan war in the next two years or less, and they need to prepare themselves by massively re-arming the depleted American stockpiles which are all being sucked up into the black hole that is Ukraine. The U.S. MIC can’t take this conflict for much longer.
On the other hand, Russia is only just ramping up, economically. Not only has the Ruble once more risen against the dollar this week, back to around 76:
But it was announced today that Russia has officially returned to the top 10 global economies as per nominal GDP.
Of course, we know the Russian economy is even much higher than that, as per my previous article:
However, this is simply confirmation of Russia’s recovering economic status.
Now, as of this writing, there is a massive aerial attack on Ukraine ongoing. Some sources claim it could be one of Russia’s largest ever, which was also said about the strike days ago. But this just goes to show, the past week has been filled with almost daily strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and positions. The current strikes are reportedly utilizing everything from sea-fired Kalibrs to Geran drones to Tu-22m and Tu-95 launched missiles.
Many areas were hit, including these warehouses in Odessa:
And this Kiev highrise damaged by Ukrainian AD:
And Wagner has reportedly launched a major attack concurrently with these strikes:
▪️ "While you have shaheds attacking you there, the Russians went to storm us," Ukrainian soldier writes.
▪️"They are hammering non-stop, nn May 8, I think we are in for a hell of a day," writes another.
One report says that the same railway depot where Leopards were just seen days ago (a photo of which I posted in a recent report) was destroyed by missiles. Likewise, Zatoka bridge, which connects Romania to Odessa, was reportedly hit, though there is no confirmation as of yet. The targeting of a key infrastructure bridge would be a big step up and could mean this week’s latest spate of strikes could be portending some big movements.
Zelensky appeared to confirm as much in a new video statement seen here, where he states that there will be big ‘new events’ in May and June.
These strikes are particularly significant in light of recent developments we’ve followed here vis a vis Ukraine’s AD missile drought. Recall that they are said to be very low, to the extent that experts have begun to openly encourage them to begin “letting some missiles through”.
This was, of course, first confirmed in the Pentagon leaks, where one of the analyses from the CIA was that not only would Ukraine run out of almost all AD missiles by end of May or June, but that they would have to start operating very reservedly and at some point even stop engaging everything “other than TACAIR” objects. This means: let all cruise missiles, drones, etc., through, and only use precious AD missiles against Russian tactical air assets like fighter jets and fighter bombers.
On this account, for the past two days some on the AFU side have been bragging that an American Patriot missile has shot down a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile. But the problem is, even Twitter’s community notes proceeded to comically ‘fact check’ this fraud, given that Ukrainian Air Force’s own spokesman, Yuriy Ignat, confirmed there was no such missile shot down.
And only a fool could possibly think the wreckage they showed was a Kinzhal anyway; does this sewer pipe look like a Kinzhal to you?
Yes that bottom photo is what they tried to pass off as a ‘shot down’ Kinzhal. Do you think a missile traveling Mach 10 would make such a hole in the ground?
On that topic, let’s briefly turn to HIMARs. As some will know, I’ve been one of the few people that has claimed since the beginning that Russian EW is capable of jamming HIMARs missiles. In fact, I’ve claimed this as far back as over a year ago in my Saker article days, when I repeatedly posted Dr. Philip Karber’s talks at West Point where he outlined, from his first hand experience on the actual Donbass contact line, how Russian EW can even kill artillery shells’ electronic fuses, turning them into duds long before they even hit the ground.
But critics and self-avowed ‘experts’ disagreed with me, saying that HIMARs M31 missiles have advanced INS (Inertial Navigation System) which can store up the GPS coordinates such that even if you jam the GPS, the INS will get the missile to its destination. That’s possible, but unfortunately INS is less accurate the further out that the missile is jammed. And now, I’ve been vindicated as a major new CNN article has revealed exactly what I’ve been saying for over a year:
The article goes on to admit:
The medium-range rocket systems were hailed as a game changer in the conflict…
But in recent months, the systems have been rendered increasingly less effective by the Russians’ intensive blocking, five US, British and Ukrainian sources tell CNN, forcing US and Ukrainian officials to find ways to tweak the HIMARS’ software to counter the evolving Russian jamming efforts.
So as you can see, even British and U.S. sources have confirmed that Russian EW jamming has effectively made the HIMARs useless.
“It is a constant cat-and-mouse game” of finding a countermeasure to the jamming, a Pentagon official said, only to then have the Russians counteract that countermeasure. And it is not clear how sustainable that game is in the long term.
Further in the article, they confirm Dr. Philip Karber’s words (which some have previously laughed at):
GPS jamming can affect other “smart” US munitions like the precision-guided Excalibur artillery shells fired from Howitzers and air-dropped bombs called JDAMs. The leaked Pentagon document described the JDAMS as being particularly susceptible to the disruption.
They then admit that there’s no real workaround other than to try and destroy Russian jammers—good luck:
A US official confirmed that the US has been advising the Ukrainians on how to identify and destroy Russian jammers since there are a limited number of ways to modify HIMARS and their rockets.
Ukraine’s own frontline troops describe the dwindling usability of the HIMARs:
But even when they do function, the HIMARS have increasingly been missing targets, said one Ukrainian source briefed by drone operators on the frontlines.
One drone pilot on the Eastern front described the jamming of the mobile HIMARS as “significant,” according to the source, something he hadn’t seen in his area before last November, several months after the HIMARS first arrived in Ukraine at the beginning of the summer.
Another drone operator in the southern Kherson region claimed to the source that the effectiveness of HIMARS was down dramatically while cautioning that they’re still very necessary and relied on but no longer as dominant as they once were.
Of course, the HIMARs have always been oversold, buried in the fat of another MSM article comes this little-seen revelation:
By the way, I can explain quite simply why HIMARs is so easily jammed in contradiction to what ‘experts’ claim should be impossible due to its advanced INS. The INS stores coordinates and ‘builds them up’ progressively as the missile gets closer and closer to the target. So yes, if you jam the GPS of the missile not far away from the target, then the INS will have built up enough precision where it can navigate the rest of the way while still maintaining an acceptable CEP.
However, the problem with HIMARs is that they are used solely to strike very distant “rear objects”, not frontline targets. What does that mean? That means the HIMARs missile has to fly upwards of 50-80km over Russian territory to hit something in the rear, and during that entire duration it can be jammed by anti-GPS systems positioned there which means the INS will never even come close to building up an accurate guidance profile yet.
It would be different if the HIMARs was used to strike frontline targets. That means Russian jammers would only be affecting the missile as it already is closing in on the target, which means the INS would have already long built up a profile during the course of its flight. But since they are used to hit rear targets, the missile has to “over fly” Russian jamming territory for many, many tens of kilometers, during which time it flies “in the blind” and cannot build up a proper INS profile, since INS loses accuracy the longer it has to fly without “correction” from the GPS unit.
I kept telling everyone from the beginning, almost every single so-called inferiority or lack of the Russian army since the start of the conflict has merely been the result of the absolute short-handedness that Russian troops have been operating under. They have utilized far less forces than anyone has imagined, 80-110k or so, rather than the 200k (prior to mobilization) that everyone believed. This obviously extends to everything including EW operators, etc., which means that large swaths of the frontline were not protected.
But with Russia’s mobilization, they were able to finally bring forces up to par with the AFU, which likewise meant far more adequate numbers of troops in electronic warfare brigades, which necessarily means creating far denser coverage where now the most advanced American weapons are unable to penetrate. This must have the U.S. terrified because in any war between the two super powers, there is now direct proof that much of U.S.’s most vaunted weaponry would be made useless. The last remaining ‘icon’ to fall would be their overhyped ‘stealth’ weapons.
It seems that the longer time goes on, the more we end up learning how awful U.S. weapons actually were all along, and how over-hyped all their early ‘claimed successes’ really were. For instance, recall how devastating the Javelin was billed to be in the early part of the war, yet after damn near a year and a half of fighting, there isn’t a single clear piece of footage showing even one successful Javelin hit.
And of course, as I’ve already exposed before, even in the U.S. Army’s own internal tests they found the Javelin to only have a 19% success rate:
A few last, disparate things. I reported last time on the big Pavlograd compound that was destroyed by Russian strikes. A few closer satellite images have become available of the strikes, which show more detail of the impacts and consequences:
Recall that this crater is said to be 30 meters (100ft) deep. And you can now see that many other facilities, quonsets, hangars, etc., were devastated. Not only was some important chemical producing facility destroyed, but it was confirmed that a ballistic missile workshop also bit the bullet, which was used to covertly manufacture Ukraine’s homemade Grom-2 missiles.
An interesting chart of Russia’s Lancet hits thus far:
An image turned up of a mockup for Russia’s version of JDAM from several years ago at a military trade show. This is not necessarily the exact copy they’re now using, but it gives an interesting look to what Russia was developing in this regard and what the full UMPC (Universal Planning and Correction Module) currently in use could possibly look like:
An interesting compilation of all confirmed eliminated foreign mercenaries in Ukraine: https://lostarmour.info/mercenaries
You’ll have to autotranslate that page, but it shows ~200 mercs confirmed by way of obituaries to have died, even breaking them down by country (Georgia leads). However, there’s also this ‘unconfirmed’ list which shows massively more:
And here’s a chart from the same site as the first merc list, purpoting to show total AFU officers liquidated in the SMO:
What’s interesting is how this list corroborates official MOD casualty figures for Ukraine. If you assume that the lowest grunt soldier’s losses are commensurate with the same ‘rate’ as the losses of the officers, we can do some napkin math in the following way. Let’s say a colonel leads a brigade with 3000-5000 men, lt. colonel a battalion of 800, a captain leads a company of 200.
358 lost captains x 200 = 71,600
141 lost lt. colonels x 800 = 112,800
69 lost colonels x 3000 (AFU brigades are understaffed) = 207,000
Could this give us a range of rough AFU losses? What do you think?
Also, I had mentioned last time about how many PMC groups there were in Ukraine operating for the Russian side, here’s a helpful graphic I found which shows some of them and who they’re tied to:
Yahoo ran a piece with the following headline, without any qualms:
Head of GUR, Budanov, proudly avows his naked terrorism:
U.S. intelligence has attributed Dugina’s killing to the Ukrainian government, although not specifically to the HUR. Asked about this allegation, Budanov said, “Don’t continue with that topic. All I will comment on is that we’ve been killing Russians and we will keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine.”
CEO of Russia’s largest arms concern, Rostec, in this video states that Russia produced ~150 total helicopters last year, i.e. Ka-52s, Mi-28s, etc., and this year so far they are already at ~300. That should give you an idea of how much Russian production has ramped up. He also states that Kinzhal hypersonic missiles have also been similarly expanded in production.
Meanwhile, Turkish minister Cavusoglu in this video states how the U.S. secretly begged Turkey to hand over the Russian S-400 so the U.S. could study and reverse engineer it, to which Turkey politely declined.
Lastly, I had mentioned Strelkov earlier. I wanted to add something: in light of certain 2D Bloggers using Strelkov as their most authoritative source to ‘prove’ that Russia is losing, I thought it would be enlightening to remind people how utterly laughable Strelkov’s prediction accuracy has been. Here’s a few of his ‘greatest hits’:
1. In 2016-2017, he stated that Russia would definitely lose in Syria. Russian airforce, he said, proved useless and was unable to create any initiative at all (despite the fact that it single handedly destroyed all of the ISIS Caliphate).
2. After losing in Syria, he said that Putin would be overthrown and Russia would entirely collapse.
3. Months ago, he stated that Bakhmut could never be taken by Russia and in fact, after Winter it would fall back into AFU’s hands as there was no way for Russian forces to hold it after the frosts thawed.
From the March 2023 article:
Russian military blogger Igor Girkin has played down the significance of reports that Russian troops have encircled Bakhmut and expressed doubt that the Donetsk city can be held by Moscow.
4. In an interview here, he said some incredible things. That ‘the majority of Syria’s population is not loyal to Assad’, and the biggest of all: that Assad will definitely fall, there is no possible way for Russia to save him. Woops… talk about blunders.
This is the galaxy brain that some people are using as their authoritative source on the SMO? Really?
The above page even says, that after a long time has passed and Strelkov’s prediction of Assad’s fall and Russia’s collapse did not come to pass, they wanted to see if he had any excuses for his failed analysis. And, not surprisingly, his face-saving maneuver was that he was actually right all along. You see, he simply considers Russia’s operation in Syria to be a ‘failure’, and so this preserves his ‘correct analysis’. Wow! What a way to move goalposts.
But, unfortunately, we again see the sofa analyst Girkin, who considers the results of the operation a “defeat” and sees the reason for leaving “the ultimatum of the West to Putin”. That is, before us, either catastrophic ignorance of simple facts, or brazen manipulation.
That post, dated from 2016, leaves with the following ending statement on Strelkov:
Even a brief analysis of Strelkov-Girkin’s statements confirms that everyone has their own level of competence. And when someone tries to act, going beyond it, something very unsolid can turn out. Igor Strelkov, who, judging by the awards, was an excellent officer in the North Caucasus and an effective commander in Slavyansk, who had learned well to understand the military-political situation in Ukraine, turned into a sofa analyst Igor Girkin, who prophesied defeat to his country with the appearance of an oracle. This transformation, if not degradation, clearly demonstrates that everyone needs to do their own business and talk about what they personally really understand. This will be better for public peace and for the personal authority of an individual expert.
In short, he was already long outed and proven a horrible failure of an analyst as far back as the events of Syria in 2016. Now, he plays the same game, predicting “collapse” of Russia at every turn, and only the young and puerile, who were not following events back then, could possibly take him seriously anymore. Yet there persist to be people calling themselves ‘analysts’ who use his ‘analysis’ as the basis of their current calculations for the SMO. Well, I for one predicted Russia would embarrass the U.S. in Syria and win handily, giving Assad a major resurgence in the region: and I was right, so here I am. I’ll put up my predictions against those of Girkin on the SMO any day of the week.
And my prediction is that the AFU offensive will be a stillborn catastrophe, and that U.S. and NATO will be running to China to beg for a peace offer by this fall.
In actuality, I believe that the AFU may never even launch an offensive, that’s why they’re trying to downplay it now, and are slowly conditioning us to downscale it. There’s good chance they will simply continue their little hide and seek, whack a mole games, foreplay style. Recon-by-fire used as a disguise to ‘sell’ momentum and initiative when in reality they have nothing left, particularly as we’ve learned that all the major Western nations have already greatly curtailed their afforded usage of the high-value premiere Western tanks, with secret backdoor deals restricting AFU to using the Challengers/Leopards/etc. only in safe ‘defensive’ roles, so that the precious Western junk can’t be captured.
Well, time is nigh. I guess we’ll find out soon what they really have left, and whether they have the moxie to launch a big one on May 9th as they’ve been threatening for so long to do.
In the meantime, this is what U.S. defense and intel forces are up to, and how they’re preparing for a conflict-rife future:
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