Synchronize Your Dogmas

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The Victory in Bakhmut

(Strategy Page) h/t Claudio – Russian efforts to declare the ten-month battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut a victory was disputed by revelations about Russian losses and continued advances by Ukrainian forces. When Russia declared victory in Bakhmut, Ukrainian forces were still holding western portions of the city. As Russia began moving most of its troops from the city after the victory announcement, Ukrainian forces advanced and reoccupied the territory Russians had recently captured. The Russian victory was further tarnished when Wagner Group officials complained that they lost 20,000 troops killed and many more wounded during the long battle for the city.

Wagner accused the Defense Ministry of not supplying the mercenaries with sufficient ammunition and supplies to speed up the fighting and reduce Russian (especially Wagner) losses. Ukraine does not release casualty data but it was obvious from satellite photos and reports from eyewitnesses that Ukrainian casualties were much lower because the Russians were doing most of the attacking without using many armored vehicles or tanks. Ukrainian forces largely fought from inside buildings or well-protected bunkers and had several safe (from enemy fire) displacement routes prepared so that the Ukrainian troops could safely abandon a position and move to another. These protected routes were also used to bring in supplies or evacuate casualties. The Internet chatter about losses in Bakhmut confirmed the heavier Russian losses.

Some Ukrainians criticized the defense of the city because of the Ukrainian losses. In the end, the Battle for Bakhmut absorbed all the offensive forces available to the Russians and lost most of those troops, taking a city where a proclaimed victory was an embarrassing defeat. Russia is rebuilding an offensive force in Russia but this process won’t be complete for another year. Meanwhile, the reluctant conscripts and mobilized reservists in Ukraine have little training, few weapons, and poor leadership. Russia is also training more junior combat officers to replace the heavy losses suffered in early 2022.

Most of the Russian losses at Bakhmut were not Russian soldiers but Russian mercenaries working for the Wagner Group, a private military contractor organization formed in 2014 on the order of Vladimir Putin. He asked Yevgeny Prigozhin, one of the wealthy Russian businessmen who backed Putin, to organize it and that included finding an experienced special operations officer to run day-to-day operations. This turned out to be retired spetsnaz Lt. Col. Dmitry Utkin, whose code name was “Wagner.” Utkin understood that Wagner Group was created for carrying out illegal military operations outside Russia. The first of these was the 2014 seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.

Wagner Group has been in Ukraine ever since and increased its personnel there to over 50,000 by 2022. A smaller number of Wagner Group personnel work worldwide as highly paid mercenaries working for foreign governments, especially in Africa. Wagner Group requires large payments from the Russian government to keep its operations going and expanding. These payments are illegal, if only because private military contractors are illegal in Russia. Recently additional military contractor organizations have been created by influential Russian businessmen. To many Russians, this proliferation of private armies seems to be the prelude to another Russian Civil War…more.


The Propaganda War

There are a lot of them these days, but the push and pull over the Russian invasion of Ukraine is fierce. One look at the map shows that while much of the gains Russia made early were retaken, the lines are now static with neither party having the capacity to launch a theater-wide or even regional offensive of any consequence.


Bullet Points:

** Last week Germany announced that, after the government statistics agency revised its recent GDP figures, it was clear that the country was in recession. In recent history, it has tended to hold up well as the global economy softened relative to some of Europe’s weaker economies. But this time it seems that Germany is leading the pack into recession.

This is because the recession that is currently looming over Europe is fundamentally different from previous iterations. The coming recession is no simple turning of the business cycle. Instead, it could be the beginning of the deindustrialization of the European economy, which no longer has access to cheap Russian energy.





I guess that the bridge won’t hold 50 tons after all.



22 thoughts on “Synchronize Your Dogmas

  1. I’d like to see the total amount of Germany’s social welffare burden, which, like ours, has been increasing rapidly with the influx of people without marketable skills (refugees) being welcomed/invading from third world nations.

    1. Military-age males from savage lands are welcomed and commit 90% of the crime while on public assistance. It’s not politically correct to mention that.

      It’s also not politically correct to note that 75% of all black children are born without a father in the home. Or that the high murder rates in inner cities are largely black-on-black crimes.

  2. That was a waste of a lot of good Bailey parts. Armor guys probably got over excited about having a bridge.

    1. Privileged to play the part of Pvt. Manual Labor in the construction of several Bailey Bridges. Witnessed a few that needed some minor refinement in early stages of use, never saw one fail in this manner.
      Cletus Valvecore

  3. “I guess that the bridge won’t hold 50 tons after all”.

    Most likely the tanker ran into the bridge supports. The Bailey system isn’t designed for lateral forces. Another possibility is forgotten safety pins on the connectors as seen in the lower right. It has been nearly sixty years but I think that Bailey setup is NATO rated as a Class 60 and most M-60’s were Class 50. A tank retriever was heavier at Class 58.

    The cynic in me thinks a 2nd LT is involved.

    1. He was possibly on his way PCS to Fort Greely (Alaska) the next morning…….

  4. I’m no expert but I’m inclined to agree with WSF.

    In the meanwhile, some 300k Russkie recruits/draftees have been trained and formed into 280(?) new units/2 Armies. Where are they and where will they go? Good question. That in mind, where’s the UKR Spring Offensive? Maybe waiting in the wings, but I know nothing apart from the fact that Vindman is a Shaitan.

    1. The Russians are trying to pull it together. The Vindman twins need to be stood up against a wall with a blindfold and a last smoke.

        1. So can the Covid Shot, and if you were dying and need of a kidney they demanded you get the shot beforehand…in case you might die from Covid.

          1. It was strongly suggested to me that I should not continue to receive chemotherapy unless I got the mRNA shots.

            I pointed out that cancer already makes a person hypercoagulable (prone to blood clots), and that the shots strongly seemed to be associated with excess vascular clots. And that they were killing nearly all my white cells every three weeks. So no possible mechanism of benefit even if the shots worked as advertised, but definite increase in risk. The oncologist stopped, looked concerned and asked, “Hey, are you taking aspirin?”
            “No, I’m not.
            “Why don’t you start taking 81mg daily.”
            The oncologist is a great oncologist. Really good. But she, as with well over half the MDs at Major Academic Medical Center (prolly 80+%), fully bought into The Narrative.

    1. x2
      so much fertilizer is building up – I think we need to muck out the stalls

      1. The Military Industrial Complex has a close interest in the war continuing.

  5. I would have to say that someone at Strategy page ought to give some consideration to the desired end-state of this little tiff. I don’t believe for a moment that Russia wants anymore of Ukraine than it currently controls and is happy to continue fighting until the last Ukrainian. There are a lot fewer Ukrainians. The Russian economy is surging as the West’s declines into the slime. Nobody in NATO is seriously even trying to make up the materials already lost to Ukraine and there is no sign that the AT missiles or 155mm shells are ever going to be replaced and in the meantime our Army simply disappears from view as the Army fails to meet its recruiting goals.
    Can’t you see it now? The JCS brings back IA tours and has the Navy and Air Force filling in for the “missing soldiers” just like we did in Afghanistan and Iraq for 20 years. That worked out so well for us.

    1. Russia wanted ALL of Ukraine but I agree. At present, they’d like to draw the lines where they are. Russia has the population to feed the military machine with fresh meat and Ukraine can’t match them.

      1. Gotten past anything more than folly by the oligarchs, sending men to war for pure ego and the maniac mentality of we want what you have. Yet this destructive mess (for the little people of course) will not end until 2024, assuming an R can overcome the ‘Built In Election Fraud’…because the money-laundering to prop up half our Congress must continue for as long as possible. The way past their sell-by date 80 year olds running America off the cliff simply must have more graft to pad the next round of Criminals In Charge.

        1. You could be calling Big Mike Obama your Commander-in-Chief (with AOC as Veep) and looking back fondly to the good old days when we had demented old Pedo Joe and the whore calling the shots.

          1. That’s when I go full Luddite, with daily hipster Chakra Realigning saunas and cold plunges in the horse tank…leave the reprobates to their foolishness.

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