The War That Isn't a War So Far
There are a lot of new developments that have come out of the last couple of weeks that will have an effect on the course of this war. Some of these developments are minor details though, really. Or rather, the developments we have are details shedding light on the larger picture.
Speaking of larger pictures, Israel Shamir had a very good overview of the war situation so far. Despite Shamir being an ethnic neocon, he appears to be a rebel more in the mold of Bobby Fischer or Gilad Atzmon than a George Soros or Max Boot.
Reading his summary of the events around this war and his contextualization of it all reminds me of my own writings. He comes to the exact same conclusions and frames the war in the same way. A 5D dunce he is not. I recommend you read his analysis just to see all of my main talking points corroborated by a third party who comes at this with his own worldview and who probably doesn’t read my blog, but came to the same conclusions on his own.
Some key points are worth highlighting.
Incompetence of Russian Intelligence Services:
The war was predominantly dull; with little movement. Trench warfare as in WWI. The big mistake was at the beginning when Russia tried to take a country of 40m with a few soldiers. The Head of Russian Intelligence Mr Naryshkin recently admitted that Russia had no reliable intelligence on Ukraine. For many years, since 1991, Russian intelligence service did not follow developments in the Ukraine. So Russia went to war, hoping the Ukrainians would greet their soldiers with flowers. It ended with a big retreat of the Russian troops. Putin thought he could make an agreement with Kiev, but it turns out the Ukraine signs agreements one day and reneges on them the next day. So it went on, until half a year later the Russian army began mobilization of its reserves.
Popular much-needed escalation:
And at this moment Putin called General Surovikin to take charge of the war in Ukraine. Surovikin is a popular general who commanded the Syrian operation and he has been nicknamed “General Armageddon” for obvious reasons. And Gen. Armageddon did what the people wanted: he launched dozens of cruise missiles on Ukrainian cities. Kiev has been attacked for the first time; electricity was knocked out in many places, including Kharkov. Until now Putin took care of the Ukraine infrastructure as if it were his own. Now this has changed. One thing remained: the Russians try to preserve civilians, as opposed to the Ukrainian military who do not mind killing civilians.
Kremlin’s unpopular prisoner swap:
Some two thousand fighters went into captivity. The people of the Donbas wanted to send them to a tribunal together with foreign mercenaries. But Moscow overruled them and they were exchanged for Russian POWs, and, annoyingly, for an opposition politician. Some Azov POWs were killed by the Kiev shelling of the POW camp: they apparently had begun to reveal harmful truths about their actions. The exchanged Azov fighters were carried by an oligarch, the Russian Jew Roman Abramovitch, in his private jet to the UAE. This also annoyed the people, who would have preferred them to stand trial.
Internal Patriotic Dissent:
The patriotic Russians were quite upset by the way war was conducted. They felt that the Russian commanders were too soft on the Ukraine while the Ukrainians continued shelling the Donbas. Russian writers and artists often supported the Ukraine. In Moscow, money was gathered for the Ukraine, not for the Russian army. Now, General Armageddon’s blitz has changed this feeling, but still the Ukraine has many supporters in Russia in pro-Western circles. That is not likely to change soon: 30 years of pro-Western politics can’t be undone in a moment. Frustration was high, because the Donbas was shelled but Kiev was unharmed.
Mobilization to Plug the Gaps:
Mobilisation has come to correct this deficiency. For the first time in 80 years Russians are mobilising, and it went poorly. Volunteers were refused, while the sick and elderly were drafted. A lot of relatively young pro-Western people escaped to Georgia and Israel, where there is no need for visas. But still, the necessary amount of folk were drafted. In two months, the Russian army will have enough soldiers to keep the frontline.
And there you have it. If you read nothing else, you’d know far more about this conflict than MSM consumers or the 5D dunce audience.
Now for the details.
The regions are providing most of the manpower for this war in Russia.
Mobilization hit the regions unevenly. The highest figure is in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. As follows from the conversation between the military commissar and the mobilized, 28 thousand people were supposed to be sent to war from there - almost 5.5% of the reserve. If so many were called up throughout Russia, the total number of those mobilized would exceed 1.3 million people.
Such mass recruitment has already hit the labor force in the region. The heads of agricultural enterprises of the region complain that because of the mobilization there is no one to work there, tractor drivers and combine operators, who were "piece laborers", are taken to the war at the height of the harvesting season. CIT experts do not exclude that the number may be too high: they do not see signs that the mobilization there is so different from the situation in similar regions.
In Sevastopol, up to 4% of those who are in reserve will be called up, said the city governor Mikhail Razvozhaev. According to local residents, the townspeople who received the summons received a phone call from the military registration and enlistment office and were threatened with criminal liability if the person did not appear at the military registration and enlistment office. And the head of the city himself stated that during the mobilization, a medical examination is not even carried out.
There are also many conscripts in Buryatia (3.7%), Dagestan (2.6%) and Kalmykia (2.2%). “One of the assumptions is that in the national republics they want to be better accountable [to senior management],” CIT analysts say.
Why are the regions being chosen? Well, there are some theories:
According to economists Maxim Mironov and Oleg Itskhoki, the authorities do not want to touch more prosperous regions for fear of rallies. “In poor and remote regions, they will call for more, in rich cities - less, in order to avoid protests,” experts say. They note that it is in poor regions that there is a significant likelihood of being called to people outside the target category.
This is doubtless true. The big cities are Liberal opposition strongholds. Liberals make the most money because they occupy the best positions in the Russian economy and because of their positions in the government. They repay this favoritism with blatant treachery and hatred for the masses that they lord over. But this is the same in any country. Big cities are dysgenic and breed Liberalism.
Another point worth considering is that being paid 2.5k thousand dollars a month is decent money. Moscow skews the average wage in Russia up, but it hovers around 600-700 dollars for most people. In central Moscow, you need double that to make ends meet. Joining Wagner, which pays much more, is a ticket into the middle class. So, assuming that these men are not mistreated by their commanders, what we are witnessing is a redistribution of wealth of sorts to military people.
I am fine with that myself.
Meanwhile, the evacuation of Kherson looms on the horizon. The governor made an appeal to Putin to begin moving people out.
“It was decided to organize the possibility of departure of Kherson families to other regions of the Russian Federation for recreation and study. First of all - for the inhabitants of the right bank. But at the same time, we suggested that all residents of the Kherson region, if there is such a desire, to protect themselves from the consequences of missile strikes, also go to other regions,” Saldo said in an address to the Russian leadership.
The deputy clarified:
He also noted that there is no talk of evacuation, the authorities are talking about "the departure of residents of the Kherson region for temporary stay and rest in other regions of the Russian Federation." “We urge the residents of the Kherson region to remain calm and not succumb to panic. Nobody is going to withdraw Russian troops from the Kherson region,” Stremousov stressed.
It appears that things are not going Russia’s way in Kherson. A good red flag is that the dunce-bloggers are once again talking about the high attrition rate of the Ukrainian army. When they do that, they are trying to draw attention away from the fact that things are not going Russia’s way on the operational or strategic level, so they have to focus on how many Ukrainian regulars are dying in these attacks. But, as we understand (hopefully) these casualties are being incurred to gain territory and an advantage over the Russian defenders. High Ukrainian casualties are to be expected. They fight like the Soviets - trading their soldiers lives to gain crucial objectives. Also, both the USSR and Ukraine are run by a hostile foreign elite, which is no doubt why so many similarities can be drawn to their conduct on the home front and on the battlefield.
Right down to the terror being inflicted on the hapless peasants and proles at home:
Back in Donbass, the militas continue to be under-equipped and mistreated by … whoever is making these decisions. Now, at least, they’re being given WWII era equipment.
This is an improvement because, before this, they were given WWI era equipment and forced to engage in a similar kind of trench warfare.
Patriots in Russia do their best to fundraise for these groups. Hopefully, now that East Ukraine has become West Russia and border controls lessened, the FSB won’t be able to steal and harass the flow of equipment and volunteers.
On September 26, Russian State Duma deputy Anton Guetta said that after the recognition of the results of the referendum on joining the DPR to Russia, the customs regime would be abolished, but checkpoints would remain to prevent the transport of weapons.
Otherwise, we are getting word of a planned increase in the campaign of terror (or sabotage, if you prefer) within Russia by Ukrainian operatives. It appears that the Ukrainian and Western intelligence services, ultimately, have spent the last 8 years thoroughly penetrating Russia and setting up their people all over the country. How this was all allowed to happen in the first place can only be explained with one word: bardak.
Or treachery, actually. But, so far, the patriotic community in Russia leans towards the “incompetence” and “too nice” explanation. “Treachery in the government” as a narrative has not yet gained critical mass even within the patriotic community. But, a few more mishaps and it might. What it means for Russia is that the Kremlin will have to turn more and more away from a distrustful people right at a time when they need the people’s support the most.
One thing is for sure: the Kremlin needs some good PR domestically.
General Surovikin’s strikes have raised morale somewhat, but, with no follow-up, it will have no real effect on the war effort. Furthermore, Russians will start believing that it was yet more performative PR action on the part of the government. There have been some subsequent strikes, but no sustained campaign of striking. It would largely be pointless anyways. Knocking out the electricity in Lvov does nothing to stop the Ukrainian advance in Kherson.
Although it is funny, admittedly.
All in all, we are sitting and waiting for the mobilization to make its effects felt.
Ukraine still has a month, at least, to make gains with the numerical advantage that they enjoy. That means that Russia has another month, at least, of losing ahead of it before their fortunes might be improved.
Will the Ukrainians continue the push for Kherson, or, maybe, go for Lysychansk?
I guess we will find out soon enough.