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Ukraine April 17, 2022

April 17, 2022

The never ending wars of the USA in all corners of the world undoubtedly have a significant impact on US society, diminishing social cohesion, compassion, tolerance, and kindness. Russian society will not be spared from such harsh repercussions of waging war.

When veterans of the Soviet war in Afghanistan and veterans of the two Russian campaigns in Chechnya returned to their homes, many had a difficult time fitting back into society. Some used the military skills they had acquired to engage in various kinds of crime and many veterans became alcoholics to the point of being a burden on the social services. Both analysts and ordinary Russians fear that when Russian soldiers return from the brutal and merciless war in Ukraine — something that will happen even before the conflict there comes to an end — they will have a serious negative impact on Russian society, which is already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic. These fears are now so profound that many Russian commentators are talking about the current war in Ukraine less in terms of the conflict itself then with regard to these domestic social consequences, which they see as unavoidable.

The cardinal sin

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko once said. “I prefer 10 years of negotiations to one day of war.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is viewed even by staunch anti-imperialists as a terrible mistake, as unnecessary, callous, maybe even counterproductive. And yet, many quietly hope, that USA/NATO one day will pay the price for the millions of victims, the unimaginable destruction, and the pain, which USA/NATO wars have caused.

There would have been alternatives to the invasion of Ukraine. Russia could have fortified the Donbass region and Crimea. It could have targeted with precision strikes all Ukrainian artillery which constantly shelled Donetzk und Luhansk.

As the Ukrainian military massed troops on the line of contact in Donbass, Russia did the same along all of the Russia-Ukraine border. If this would not have deterred an attack on the two Donbass enclaves, Russia would have been in a good position to beat back the attackers and send them back across the line of contact with painful losses.

If the Ukraine would have pressed on with their attack, Russia could have targeted crucial military installations to cripple the Ukrainian forces and make the attack on the Donbass enclaves more and more costly for the enemy.

This would have still not been an invasion and would still not have caused civilian deaths. It would have been only a temporary solution and would not have deterred NATO to send more weapons, especially missiles and anti-aircraft weapons, to Ukraine. One should not forget, that “the empire never retreats or compromises” or, as Alexander Mercouris stated: ”The neocons have no reverse gear.”

Gromyko attitude, to prefer “10 years of negotiations to on day of war,” unfortunately is obsolete now. The US administration and its European allies have begun planning for a different world, in which they (as the Washington Post writes) no longer try to coexist and cooperate with Russia, but actively seek to isolate and weaken it.

For many US strategists Ukraine is good news, because it helps US-America re-discover its proper destiny as world Hegemon.

Benjamin Wittes writes: One of the oddities of the current debate over Russia and Ukraine is the shared certainty of the American Left and Right that confronting Russia inevitably risks World War III. This is bewildering. It’s like we don’t have 70 years of managing nuclear risk with Russia or something.

As time passes, it seems there’s less and less of a chance of negotiating an end to the war in Ukraine in a way that might keeping the problem localized, because that will leave the global “clash” unresolved. Analysts and think-tankers have already moved past Ukraine in their minds, to a future reorganization of Earth.

Anders Östlund writes: Russia’s war against Ukraine will end with the break-up of the Russian Federation. It will be replaced by small, demilitarized and powerless republics with neutrality written into their constitutions.

Despite this bleak assessment, despite the harsh reality of imperial logic, a predominately defensive policy would nevertheless have avoided thousands of deaths on both sides, catastrophic destruction of infrastructure, and the long lasting poisoning of the biosphere.

According to Russia, Ukraine has lost more than 23,000 troops, while Zelensky acknowledges only 3,000 deaths.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in return claims that roughly 20,100 Russian troops have been killed since the start of the invasion. On top of those casualties, the ministry said in a Twitter post 163 Russian aircraft, 762 tanks, eight boats, and 66 anti-aircraft warfare systems have been destroyed.

Propaganda war

Observers suggest that Russia is losing the information war with the West. The Western Big Media machine is working day and night with the backing of Big Tech, while most Russian news outlets have been either censored or completely silenced in all Western countries.

A well coordinated and comprehensive censorship is installed even in nominal neutral countries and it has become increasingly difficult to access neutral or pro-Russian sources.

On most social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) messages and posts with even the slightest hint of pro-Russia leaning are constantly removed.

Twitter “permanently suspended” USMC veteran and ex-UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter for questioning the Ukraine narrative, but was forced to reinstate Ritter’s account after a public outcry. Yet, Ritter is now banned again.

The main objectives of Ukraine and US/NATO propaganda are:

a. To prolong the conflict long enough that an accumulation of “atrocities” (by way of false flags) can mount political consensus against Russia more and more towards an eventual NATO intervention.

b. To psychologically affect Russia’s political class (the ones that lean westward, Atlanticists, 5th columnists, etc.) into putting increasing pressure on Russia’s leadership, thereby creating tension, disagreement, and open disobedience, with the eventual “ideal” goal of the complete rebellion of a significant faction of Russia’s political class against Putin.

c. To affect Russia’s citizenry by demoralizing them to such a way that they would revolt against Russian leadership. However this goal by far is the least realistic as the West has greatly over-calculated in how much they can influence the Russian “narod”.

The increasing confirmed atrocities from the Ukraine side, which now even openly target Russian civilians, is something that continues only to galvanize Russian solidarity for their troops and leadership. In fact the only anger Russian citizens are currently reporting is that Putin and the leadership are going too soft on Ukraine.

d. To slowly affect Russia’s allies into viewing Russia as weak, militarily incapable, incompetent, corrupt, and demoralizing the allies (particularly the ones closer to being “on the fence”) into decreasing their support for Russia’s offensive and becoming gradually more critical on the world stage (via supporting UN resolutions against Russia). Also combined with the first point – the hope that the prolongation of conflict can allow the accrual of enough tragedies (false flags) for Russian allies to start reconsidering their support.

e. To keep afloat the morale of Ukrainian troops under the illusion that Ukraine is winning, by amplifying militarily insignificant achievements into a status of relevancy.

Threats, speculations, false flags, lies

As the conflict progresses and NATO mulls an eventual entry by trying to enforce a no-fly zone, the frequency and intensity/seriousness of false flags atrocities to shape Western public opinion will only increase.

Col.Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia’s National Defence Management Centre, has issued a warning that Ukrainian government, with the help of several Western countries, is preparing to mass murder civilians in order to blame these atrocities on the Russian military and the forces of the Lugansk People’s Republic.

In particular, Mizintsev said, foreign media reporters have already arrived at a local hospital in the city of Kremennaya in Severodonetsk District, in order to film a provocation prepared by Ukrainian troops that would involve ambulances coming under fire from forces presented as Russian troops.

He also said that in Belogorovka in the Popasnaynskiy District, “neo-Nazis have booby-trapped chlorine tanks at a local water treatment plant with the intent to blow them up when LPR People’s Militia forces approach the town”.

US bio-labs in Ukraine and the Lugar Centre bio-lab in Georgia were uncovered through the work of Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva.

On February 23 two Turkish A-400 airplanes flights brought Turkish TB-2 drones fitted with devices necessary to perform the aerial dispersion of pathogens to Lviv.

Germany has for years been conducting military biological experiments in Ukraine, and possibly continues to do so, Russia claims.

Artillery shelling of civilian areas will always be attributed to Russia. If it evidently came from Ukrainian troops it will be ignored. The OSCE observers in Donbass did that routinely for 8 years.

900 civilians have been allegedly killed by occupying and then retreating Russian forces around Kiev.

The USA is collecting evidence of possible war crimes by Russia and is also investigating possible human rights abuses and violations of international law during its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, a NSC (National Security Council) spokesperson said.

We are appalled by Russia’s brutal tactics and the rising number of innocent civilians who have been killed in Russian strikes, which have reportedly hit schools, hospitals, kindergartens, an orphanage, residential buildings and those fleeing through humanitarian corridors,” the NSC spokesperson said.

A New York Times journalist was shown by the mayor of Irpin a family of two adults and two young children allegedly killed by Russian artillery, images of which were widely circulated around the world.

It worked in Syria, so the same method and the same process is used in Ukraine.

NATO arms and trains Ukraine

The status of Ukraine’s army has drastically changed. The command structure was thoroughly reformed, the old equipment underwent deep modernization efforts, which were largely successful, while the “questionable loyalty” issue of much of the old Soviet officer cadre was solved by replacing the old stuff with US-trained and US-friendly officers. In terms of new equipment, there were few strategic assets added to the Ukrainian military. Apart from Turkish-built drones, such as the much-touted “Bayraktar”, the bulk of the military equipment remained Soviet, albeit significantly modernized. New fire control systems for the formerly near-obsolete Ukrainian tanks, new explosive reactive armor, compatibility with NATO-standard munitions, new communications equipment.

All of this changed the status of the Ukrainian military from one in disrepair to a deadly force which wouldn’t get defeated as easily as it was in Debaltsevo during 2014-2015 when NATO’s insistence on the Minsk II agreement effectively saved the Ukrainian military from an even more humiliating defeat.

Naturally, as soon as the Ukrainian military consolidated its defensive position in the line of contact, the government decided to impose a “selective compliance” with the Minsk II agreement. In other words, almost a decade of near-constant shelling of Donbass ensued, while the Ukrainian side complained every time the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic responded to the shelling. Despite NATO providing assistance which would’ve made the Ukrainian artillery target only the military of the two Donbass republics, the Ukrainian shelling was indiscriminate and hit mostly residential areas of no military value, resulting in the death of around 12,000 civilians, including hundreds of children, with many of them wounded or maimed for life.

Why should a NATO trained army act more humanly than US troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria?

Forget the moral high ground (or low ground), what matters are weapons (and profits of the Military Industrial Complex). Ukrainian officials are calling for Western alliances to step up weapons supplies.

The United States has committed more than 3.2 billion US$ in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration (2.5 billion US$ since the start of the invasion.

The Pentagon is sending 11 Mi-17 helicopters and over 200 Vietnam War-era M113 APCs (armored personnel carriers) as part of an 800 million US$ “military aid” package (ironically, the Mi-17 is a Russian-made helicopter which was previously acquired by the US to equip the now-defunct Afghan Air Force). The US “military aid” package also includes 18 howitzers, 300 “Switchblade” kamikaze UAVs, 200 armored personnel carriers, 10 counter-artillery radars, two surveillance radars, 1,400 shoulder-fired Stinger, an additional batch of 500 “Javelin” ATGMS, and 40,000 artillery rounds. A total of 50 million rounds of ammunition are delivered.

MGM-140 ballistic missile systems will be transferred in the near future. The range of these complexes reaches 300 km, which makes it possible to strike deep into the territory of Russia.

Czechia is sending an unspecified number of old T-72M tanks and BVP-2 APCs. Poland is sending 100 T-72M1R (budget modification of T-72) units, as well as 170 BWP-1 units (Polish modification of the Soviet BMP-1), M109 howitzers, and M113 armored personnel carriers.

Australia is sending at least 20 Bushmaster armored personnel carriers. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was sending a military transport plane and a support team of 50 men to Europe to carry much-needed equipment and supplies to key distribution centers.

Britain has already handed over a batch of NSM (Naval Strike Missile) PKR, which with its 180 km range pose a serious threat to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet. Britain will further send 120 armored vehicles and RGM-84D2 Harpoon anti ship missiles with a ground based platform (though they require training to be used effectively). British Starstreak MANPADS are on the way.

Germany is sending 50 1960s era “Leopard 1” tanks and 60 BMP “Marder” units. Berlin will allocate 2 billion euros for military aid to “other countries,” a representative of the German government has confirmed. Most of the funds will go to help Ukraine. German defense concern Rheinmetall is ready to send Ukraine up to 50 decommissioned Leopard 1 main battle tanks and up to 60 Marder infantry fighting vehicles.

Slovakia may transfer 16 Zuzana self-propelled guns to Ukraine (Zuzana is the probably final heavy weapon to be produced by the remnants of the Slovak military-industrial complex and its combat effectiveness leaves much to be desired.

High-precision ammunition is also being transferred to Ukraine, including the M982 Excalibur with GPS guidance and anti-tank SMArt 155 munitions.

Russia tries to intercept weapons transports and Russian air defense units have reportedly brought down a military transport plane carrying Western arms outside Odessa.

Until now the Russian military has destroyed 132 aircraft, 105 helicopters, 456 drones, 245 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,213 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 249 multiple launch rocket systems, 966 artillery and mortars, and 2,110 military vehicles.

Weapons need soldiers too.

Mercenaries and military personnel of NATO countries are deployed along with the AFU in Ukraine under the guise of foreign volunteers. The foreign fighters in Ukraine are led by US officers. It has become obvious that the whole command of the AFU is concentrated mainly in the hands of the USA.

2,000 foreign mercenaries, including fighters from Turkey and Azerbaijan, arrived on the territory of the Zaporozhye region. Most likely, foreigners will be deployed on the Avdiivka front lines, since the Russian forces have already begun assault and offensive operations in this area.

Among the Russian POWs (prisoners of war) in Ukraine there are military personnel of NATO countries, said Klimov, deputy head of the United Russia commission. “We already have prisoners among the military personnel of NATO countries, we will show all this when we conduct trials, and the whole world will see what really happened.”

Elite special forces from the UK (SAS) and the US (Delta) have been present in Ukraine since the beginning of hostilities with Russia in late February, a source in the French intelligence community told a Le Figaro reporter.

Changing plans and strategies

Ukraine’s problem in 2014 was mass desertion and no will to fight, when Russia captured Crimea without resistance from Ukrainian soldiers, some of whom just changed their affiliation and went on to serve in the Russian army.

NATO massively trained and expanded the Ukrainian army after 2014, especially addressing the morale problem. NATO helped promote and integrate right-wing anti-Russian ideology in the security apparatus as a tool to increase morale. The right-wing indoctrination expanded to teaching children at school anti-Russian history and Ukrainian language to raise a new generation that would be cut off from the Russian part of Ukraine. That was the longterm goal of the USA and the Bandera admirers.

Russia realized that the military build up, the stealth NATO integration, and the anti-Russian reeducation would become a huge challenge in the near future, so it decided to strike first, when it had the chance to succeeded with relatively low casualties and reverse the anti-Russian policies that the USA implemented in Ukraine.

Maybe Russia should have waited for Ukraine to invade the Donbas first, which was a given to happen any day. There is a strong case, that waiting for Zelensky to strike first would have made no difference for the West’s propaganda campaign but could have cost the lives of many more Donbass residents.

The Russian battle plan partly rested on the experience from Crimea back 2014 and the gamble that it would be enough, when the Russian army approached Ukrainian cities like Kiev, Chernigov, Sumy, and Kharkiv. Russian planners assumed that the Ukrainian army would disintegrate and that this would enable a negotiated solution.

Russia missed the chance to bomb and disable the main command-decision centers in Kiev, Kharkiv, and Lviv at the start of the operation, but as the real command centers are at NATO headquarters in Ukraines neighboring countries, it would not have led to a collapse of the Ukrainian army anyway.

As the Russian tank columns started to encircle Kiev, the Ukraine only had to make sure that no unit would flee or lay down arms voluntarily. The US-advisers realized and convinced Zelensky that he simply had to hold the north, because according to US data, Russia never assembled enough troops to achieve a conquest of the major northern cities by force.

So Zelensky knew, he just had to hold the line with the help of the West. It was a major Russian mistake to assume Ukraine would lay down arms, when Ukraine knew Russia had insufficient troops to actually achieve the operational goals by force.

Ukraine succeeded in the north, when the Russian army moved to the cities and then in vain waited for the disintegration to happen. Ukraine failed in the south, where the Ukrainian army quickly disintegrated and Russia could easily move up to Kherson, Melitopol, and Mariupol.

Since Russia’s gamble on disintegration failed in the north, the troops there were useless. Russia then changed for the current plan that doesn’t rest on a political solution, but on a military one: Cutting Ukraine in half, occupy east and south, which then makes rump Ukraine with only half the population an insignificant threat.

Zelensky, while succeeding in the north, will be forcing Ukraine into disintegration, if Russia is able to defeat the major part of the Ukrainian army sitting in Donbass. If this army is gone, Ukraine’s ability to resist is gone as well.

Russia until now refrains from targeting vital infrastructure and focuses on military installations, weapons, fuel depots, and air-defense missile systems.

Russian missiles struck the airport in Dnipro, Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, air-launched missiles hit S-300 air-defense missile systems in the southern Mykolaiv region and at an air base in Chuhuiv, a city not far from Kharkiv.

Sea-launched Russian cruise missiles destroyed a military headquarter in the Dnipro region, and an ammonium nitrate warehouse in Nikolaev was blown up by an Iskander missile. A S-300 air defense system, donated to Ukraine by Slovakia, was entirely destroyed in Starobogodanovka near Nikolaev and at the Chuvoli military airport.

A related report says that on April 10, high-precision sea-based Kalibr missiles destroyed equipment from a S-300 anti-aircraft missile division on the southern outskirts of Dnipropetrovsk, (Dnepro) supplied to Kiev by an European country (Slovakia) and hidden in a hangar. 4 S-300 launchers were hit. Official also reported destroying a S-300 targeting radar in a separate overnight precision airstrike near Uspenovka.

Command and communication hubs, logistics depots, arms factories, repair facilities, and military equipment concentration are also targeted.

Russian media are criticizing Putin’s presumed “soft approach” in the operation, and calls for more forceful actions become louder, so there could be a ramping up of attacks on crucial infrastructure and strategic targets in the future.

A new plan and a new leader

Russia has appointed Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, one of its most seasoned military chiefs, to oversee the invasion. Until now, Russia had no central war commander on the ground.

The US is especially annoyed by commander General Dvornikov because he’s the man who was instrumental in denying Syria to the USA.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on TV, that never mind about the general, Russia has already lost. Sullivan said: “No appointment of any general can erase the fact that Russia has already faced a strategic failure in Ukraine […] This general will just be another author of crimes and brutality against Ukrainian civilians.”

Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine resulted, by mid-March, in the capture of Ukraine’s entire Kherson province, a considerable part of the Zaporyzhzhia province, and the littoral portion of the Donetsk province. Russia has decided to separate this latter portion from Ukraine and attach it to the pseudo-independent “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR).

Those territories and the Crimean peninsula cumulatively form a compact area of Russian occupation along Ukraine’s Azov Sea and Black Sea coasts that extends deep inland. These conquests go a long way toward fulfilling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vision of seizing Ukraine’s “Prichernomorie” (“Black Sea Coastal Lands”) for Russia in one form or another, as a new iteration of a “Novorossiya” (“New Russia”) project. The Novorossiya/Prichernomorie vision also encompasses Ukraine’s Mykolayiv and Odessa provinces (Odessa forms historically its epicenter), but they remain currently under Ukrainian control.

The war in Ukraine has elevated Transnistria’s importance in several ways. The Russian-friendly region between Moldova and Ukraine may be another staging ground of troops in Moscow’s operation. It is being considered as a potential base for a Russian attack on Odessa. The territory could see its future as a partially recognized statelet on the model of the Donetsk and Luhansk “peoples republics” (DPR, LPR) or just another province of Russia.

Tyulpan 240mm self-propelled mortars and Pion 203mm self-propelled artillery, two of the biggest artillery pieces in the world, are allegedly being brought in to Ukraine. The Tyulpan is designed to destroy bunkers and large buildings. It would have been perfect for the Azovstahl steel plant, but is not needed there, because the remaining Ukrainian commandos in Azovstahl are no threat anymore.

The TOS-1 thermobaric rocket artillery will now be transferred from Mariupol to Donbass and used together with Tyulpan and Pionto to break the dug in fortifications of Ukrainian forces.

Right now Russia is concentrating its efforts on seizing the cities of Rubizhne and Popasna and Russian units seem to close in on Kramatorsk and Slavyansk.

Russian troops will try to encircle Ukrainians arrayed along the border between Donbas and western Ukraine in the coming offensive — a military move called a double envelopment. The Russian military until now relied heavily on long-range fire (cruise missiles, long-range artillery, airstrikes) in the early weeks of its operation, but the main weapons of the coming offensive will likely be artillery and short-range missiles.

Wile Russian troops are well supplied, the Ukraine is rapidly running out of artillery ammunition. The Ukrainian military has been extremely wasteful in the use of artillery shells, sometimes just wildly shooting around for no good reason.

The Biden administration announced it was sending 40,000 artillery rounds and 18 155mm howitzers to Ukraine. But with the Ukrainian military shooting thousands of shells per day, that 40,000 will only last a little over one week.

The Pentagon instructed the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to withdraw all the remaining artillery to the cities on the eastern front (Kharkov, Sloviansk, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye), where they can fire behind civilians. Restraining the offensive of the Russian troops is prescribed by small mobile groups armed with mortars and anti-tank systems, moving across the steppe in civilian vehicles. There is nothing surprising in the fact that the US officers suggests terrorist tactics to their military pupils, tactics in which the civilian population is taken hostage.

The sinking of Moskva 

The sinking of the Slava-class missile cruiser Moskva was a serious defeat for the Russian Navy and a humiliation for Russia, because Moskva served a key role as command vessel and air defense node.

The attack on the flagship by the Ukrainian Navy will provide an additional boost to both the morale of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the rise of nationalist sentiment. This event reveals significant miscalculations, lack of foresight, and plain incompetence.

Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, was damaged by exploding ammunition and sunk in “stormy seas” while being towed to port. Kyiv says its missiles hit the warship. Moscow has not reported any attack. It says the vessel sank after a fire. The Moskva was in a 5-ship formation, and the crew was reportedly safely evacuated to the other ships

Preliminary casualty figures on the Moscow are 3 KIA 30 MIA. Moskva’s captain Anton Kuprin is alleged to have died in the explosions. Returning sailors in Sevastopol essentially confirmed that there was a missile strike and that they had even managed to collect the remains of the missiles. The anti-ship missile attack was accompanied by distracting actions of attack UAVs and was controlled by reconnaissance UAVs of NATO countries.

The most likely culprit are not the Neptunes, but the Norwegian anit-ship missiles NSM, which were bought two weeks ago from either Norway or Poland by UK and brought to Odessa. They link with all NATO satellite intel, reconnaissance-aircraft, networks, etc. The whole operation was executed by the UK.

The Moskva strike was well planned and considered: it was launched in stormy conditions, in order to complicate the ship’s damage control and crew evacuation, and it was located far away from other ships of the Black Sea Fleet.

The operation was conducted in full cooperation between the Ukrainian Navy and NATO forces. According to air monitoring data of April 12, a British reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 was actively working in the Black Sea area and UAV RQ-4 Global Hawk flights were recorded at different times. On that day, alliance reconnaissance confirmed the presence of the Moskva, checked signatures, and received comprehensive data on the location of other Russian Black Sea Fleet ships.”

The flight data of the US RC-135 and RQ-4 planes became unavailable. The reason was that the aerial reconnaissance aircraft flew with their transponders turned off, and civilian airspace monitoring equipment could not detect them, which is more than a clear sign of a military reconnaissance mission.

After the missile strike a fire broke out and the blaze caused the explosion of the warship’s ammunition, Russia says, adding again that the entire crew was evacuated to nearby Russian vessels in the Black Sea.

The guided missile cruiser was previously deployed in the Syria conflict where it supplied Russian forces in the country with naval protection. It reportedly carried 16 Vulkan anti-ship missiles and an array of anti-submarine and mine-torpedo weapons.

If the Ukrainian attack is confirmed, the 12,490-tonne Moskva would be the biggest warship to be sunk by enemy action since World War II. It is the second major vessel Russia has lost since the start of its invasion. On March 24, the Alligator-class landing ship Saratov was damaged by a Ukrainian attack in the harbor of Berdyansk, a Sea of Azov Ukrainian port seized by Russia.

This loss will reduce the firepower projection capabilities of the Black Sea fleet by as much as 10 to 15 percent, if not more. it does weaken Russia against future/potential NATO interventions and makes Russia’s deterrence in the Black/Mediterranean Sea areas much less effective.

The unpreparedness of the Russian fleet against active actions of the AFU is a result of weak intelligence and analytical capabilities of the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet and the Navy of Russia. The cruiser had no cover and acted alone, which is already quite a dangerous situation.

The naval blockade of Ukrainian ports is under threat. The Black Sea Fleet, due to its small size, cannot continue to lose surface ships. Attacks on the Black Sea Fleet will continue, primarily by systems of the NSM PKR, whose range (up to 200 km) allows hitting ships of the Black Sea Fleet almost throughout the Black Sea, including the coast of Crimea.

A Russian agent in the Ukrainian military said that NATO’s secret monitoring service began to work in Odessa and tracks Russian Navy ships. This was reported by RIA Novosti with reference to a source in the Russian law enforcement agencies, citing their Ukrainian informant.

According to the interlocutor of the agency, the NATO surveillance group operates in one of the suburbs of Odessa. Service workers are equipped with instrument that allow determining the exact coordinates of any ship in the Black Sea within a radius of 200 kilometers. The main specialists are employees of the Romanian group PMC Nordstarsupport.

The interlocutor also noted that the group’s tasks are to prevent the landing of Russian troops in the Odessa region and to issue the location of Russian ships for targeting by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet will become a priority target in the new phase of the military operations in Ukraine. This was clear from the military point of view. The fact of active operations of the Black Sea Fleet west of the Crimea is a constant threat of sea landing, more effective fire support of ground forces by reducing the flight time of subsonic cruise missiles, as well as the threat for sea cargo through Odessa, which is disastrous for both the Ukrainian and Western economy (the lack of neon, stuck in the port of Odessa, threatens the global microelectronics industry).

Curiously at the moment Ukrainian authorities are preventing 76 foreign ships from 18 countries from leaving Ukrainian ports.

Mariupol

When 1,350 Ukrainian Marines from the 36 Marine Brigade surrendered it was clear that the epic battle for Mariupol was coming to an end.

On April 15, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that the Ilyich Metallurgical Plant in Mariupol was completely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists. The mass surrender of the remaining AFU servicemen at the port and the plant helped to avoid the complete destruction of the facilities. At least 1,600 Ukrainian servicemen, including 176 officers, have surrendered as part of large groups.

There were various rescue attempts to evacuate or break out of the Azovstal industrial zone.

A group of retreating Ukrainian fighters from the Azov Battalion boarded two foreign ships, the Lady Augusta and the Tsarevna. The Ukrainian’s fired mortars, grenade launchers, and small arms from the vessels while holding the crews hostage. The 47 sailors of the ship crews lately could be rescued, it is not known what became of the Ukrainian soldiers.

After earlier actions to airlift the leaders of Azov and other high ranking individuals out by helicopters failed, in the night of April 8 the Ukraine made a new attempt to evacuate them by sea from Mariupol. At least two helicopters were shot down. One passenger survived and could be interrogated.

The Ukrainian cargo ship Apache under the Maltese flag sailed at night in a caravan of ships from Taganrog Bay to the Kerch Strait. At 22:38 Moscow time, 30 kilometers off Mariupol, it abruptly changed course and attempted to break into the seaport of Mariupol, which is blockaded by the Black Sea Fleet. The cargo ship continued to move without responding to demands by Russian border guards to make contact through the international channel.

Warning artillery shots, fired by two border patrol boats along the vessel’s course, did not cause a change of course or a slowdown in the cargo ship’s speed. As it was heading into port, the ship was conducting a radio exchange, transmitting messages: “I’m a maniac, I’m coming to you.”

To block the movement of the vessel, the ship of the Black Sea Fleet and border patrol ships opened artillery fire on the cargo ship. As a result of a direct hit on the vessel, a fire broke out in the stern of the vessel. The cargo ship then diverted and the crew contacted the border guards, asking them to cease fire and stating that they were ready to comply with the requirements.

There were no injuries among the ship’s crew members and the ship’s crew extinguished the fire on their own. After an inspection, the Ukrainian cargo ship Apache with the crew was escorted to the port of Yeysk.

Under the Azovstal industrial zone, owned by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, there are 24 km of tunnels at a depth of up to 30 meters.

There were repeated appeals by the deputy commander of the Nazi regiment “Azov” “Kalina”,  trapped in the Azovstal plant. He said that: “We are betrayed by politicians who talk about support, but do not answer the phone and do not communicate for more than two weeks; we are betrayed by friends, they hide their eyes, they are afraid to come to the rescue.”

There is a secret NATO facility PIT-404, and a secret NATO biological laboratory with biological weapons. At the PIT-404 facility, NATO officers are trapped. The tunnels are equipped with a bunker system with armor protection. The biolab under the Azovstal plant was built and operated by Metabiota, a company associated with Hunter Biden, Rinat Akhmetov, and President Vladimir Zelensky.

There are reports of about 240 foreigners inside, including officers of NATO and the French Foreign Legion, as well as biolaboratory staff. Their security force, funded by Akhmetov, initially included up to 3,000 people.

It is rumored that in the laboratories of this facility, tests were conducted to create bioweapons. Thousands of Mariupol residents were abused as “guinea pigs” in terrible trials. Mostly Western specialists took part in these experiments.

French intelligence and special operations officers were unable to take their colleagues out of Mariupol, causing French President Emmanuel Macron to call the Kremlin and ask for an evacuation under French and Greek supervision.

So it seems, that officers from the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Sweden, Poland, and Greece were blocked in the tunnels of Azovstal and no one knows what was their fate. Maybe it will never be known.

There are (vehemently denied) rumors that US Lieutenant General Roger Clothier was captured by the People’s Militia of the DPR from a downed helicopter.

Russian Tu-22M long range bombers used bunker busting bombs to bring the siege to an end. Firemen are ready to flood the remaining tunnels.

Russia says it has cleared all urban areas of Mariupol from the presence of Ukrainian troops.

Ukrainian forces in the besieged port city are said to have lost more than 4,000 soldiers, and only a few fighters remain on the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant,.

Zelenskiy warns, that the “extermination” of city’s defenders will jeopardize peace talks.

A few links:

https://www.indianpunchline.com/russias-ukraine-operation-has-no-deadline/
https://awfulavalanche.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/ukraine-war-day-51-cruiser-pows/
http://thesaker.is/sitrep-operation-z-8/
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/04/03/biden-on-the-long-fight-ahead-this-battle-will-not-be-won-in-days-or-months/
https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/finland-seizes-46-million-worth-031322744.html
Plain thievery.
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2022/04/06/nyt-verifies-video-showing-ukrainian-troops-killing-russian-pows-near-bucha/
https://www.thepostil.com/the-military-situation-in-the-ukraine/
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2022/04/each-of-us-is-striving-to-process-the-truth-of-the-disaster-in-ukraine/
Russian corruption cripples military. Putin’s strategic mistakes. A detailed and disillusioning analysis.
https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/2022/04/07/counterpunch-no-right-arises-from-a-wrong/
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/04/07/eye-witness-report-from-donbass-how-the-war-looks-from-the-russian-side/
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/04/08/ukra-a08.html
USA/NATO is gearing up for total war against Russia (and China).
https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/2022/04/08/counterpunch-suspending-russia-a-precedent-that-undermines-the-credibility-of-the-human-rights-council/
https://www.resumen-english.org/2022/04/argentina-conflict-russia-ukraine-a-wrong-vote-in-the-un/
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2022/04/08/they-saw-and-heard-the-truth-then-lied-about-it-media-on-donbass-delegation-omitted-mention-of-ukraines-8-year-war-on-the-republics/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/04/08/dutch-journo-we-are-here-in-donbass-to-awaken-westerners-deluded-by-msm-propaganda/
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/04/08/u-s-leaders-claim-to-care-about-ukrainians-but-will-they-step-up-and-make-the-compromises-necessary-to-end-the-war/
https://www.globalresearch.ca/democratization-and-anti-semitism-in-ukraine-neo-nazi-symbols-become-the-new-normal/5371919
https://mronline.org/2022/04/09/the-u-s-proxy-war-in-ukraine/
https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/09/former-nato-military-analyst-blows-the-whistle-on-wests-ukraine-invasion-narrative/
The computer translation from French to English makes the text a bit laborious to read, but the analysis and insight are helpful.
https://english.radio.cz/czechia-may-have-sent-ukraine-t-72-tanks-and-armoured-personnel-carriers-8746855
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/LIVE-Russia-Opens-Criminal-Investigation-on-Kramatorsk-Attack-20220409-0004.html
https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2022/04/09/read-all-about-it-final-days-of-the-battle-for-mariupol/
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/us-armys-green-berets-have-lasting-impact-on-fight-in-ukraine
https://warontherocks.com/2022/04/of-roadside-bombs-and-drones-putins-looming-insurgency-problem/
https://awfulavalanche.wordpress.com/2022/04/10/ukraine-war-day-46-the-face-of-the-new-russian-spring/
https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-training-small-number-ukrainians-switchblade-drones-defense-official-2022-04-06/
https://dailyexpose.uk/2022/04/03/cia-trained-azov-chooses-ukraine-birthplace-nazi-terror-threat/
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/04/11/pers-a11.html
US-NATO arming Ukraine for military offensive against Russia.
https://mronline.org/2022/04/11/dutch-journalist-we-are-here-in-donbass-to-awaken-westerners-deluded-by-propaganda/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/04/11/us-and-uk-conducting-secret-war-in-ukraine-le-figaro/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/04/11/the-united-states-and-ukraine-started-the-war-not-russia/
https://mronline.org/2022/04/13/nato-admits-it-wants-ukrainians-to-keep-dying-to-bleed-russia-not-peace
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/russian-ukraine-invasion-mariupol-marines-surrender-2623611
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/04/13/ned-finances-key-ukrainian-propaganda-organ-the-kyiv-independent/
https://awfulavalanche.wordpress.com/2022/04/13/ukraine-war-day-49-medvedchuk-arrest/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/04/13/ukraine-bucha-false-flag-falling-apart-international-community-calling-icc-chief-prosecutor-karim-khan-no-response/
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/04/13/biden-answers-zelenskyys-plea-arm-ukraine-now-800-million-weapons
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2022/04/defense-industry-ex-military-officials-pundits-corporate-news-ukraine
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/04/16/lead-a16.html

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/New-Evidence-Links-Hunter-Biden-to-Ukrainian-Bio-Laboratories-20220401-0001.html
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/russia-accuses-germany-of-developing-biomilitary-labs/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/04/17/plague-and-typhus-what-have-american-scientists-been-up-to-in-ukraines-biolabs/
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/04/14/ukraine-war-reveals-possible-u-s-preparations-for-biological-warfare/

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/04/17/680497/Ukraine-Russia-Shmyhal-Mariupol-Putin-Brovary-NATO-US
https://www.levernews.com/the-defense-industrys-ukraine-pundits/
https://rairfoundation.com/mep-shocks-parliament-doubts-ukraines-version-of-bucha-massacre-calls-for-investigation-video/
https://thewallwillfall.org/2022/04/17/assassinated-for-telling-the-truth-about-ukraine/ 

https://abrahamstein.substack.com/p/american-sniper-loses-life-in-mariupol
https://youtu.be/vrMJoRDfRFI

The latest numbers of destroyed Ukrainian military equipment: 136 aircraft, 471 drones, 249 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,308 tanks and other armored fighting vehicles, 254 multiple launch rocket systems,, 998 units of field artillery and mortars, and 2,171 special military vehicles.

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  1. […] Ukraine April 17, 20… on Plague and Typhus: What Have A… […]

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