A Tale of Three Cities

London, Kyiv, and Dresden.

Frasier Nelson makes an interesting observation.

Putin’s going after Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is an attempt to use winter as a weapon against the civilian population. He will undoubtedly be successful in inflicting a lot of hardship, but as Nelson notes in his column, shared hardship strengthens the will to resist and survive.

For all the terror it caused, the Luftwaffe did not have the resources to bomb London back to the Stone Age. OTOH, the RAF did have the wherewithal to pound German cities into dust, helping to crush that country’s will to resist. This is what Dresden looked like in 1945.

It’s ironic that much of the Third World is armed with Russian equipment, because Russia has now become a Third World power armed with nukes. Unless Putin resorts to nukes, he doesn’t have the resources to completely destroy Kyiv.

I’m betting on the Ukrainians.

Those Gas Leaks

Gas is leaking into the Baltic Sea from two of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines. Several sources, including officials in Denmark, Sweden, and Poland, have suggested (so far without citing any evidence) that the damage to the pipelines was deliberate.

It may be sabotage. Or it may be Russian incompetence. Given the country’s culture of corruption, were the welds in the pipeline all properly inspected? Were all the joints properly treated with anti-corrosion material?

Were they pipelines built with explosive charges to be used to cut them in time of war? If so, did they go off accidentally? Or on purpose?

And is the timing purely coincidental?

I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don’t trust coincidences.

—Elim Garak

‘Tis a puzzlement.

When North Korea Is Embarrassed To Be Your Ally …

The AP reports

North Korea says it hasn’t exported any weapons to Russia during the war in Ukraine and has no plans to do so, and said U.S. intelligence reports of weapons transfers were an attempt to tarnish North Korea’s image.

Really? Do the NORKS think being associated with Russia in the war with Ukraine would lower their standing in the world?

North Korea and Syria are the only countries other than Russia to recognize the independence of the occupied oblast Donetsk and Luhansk, and the NORKS have expressed interest in sending workers to help rebuild those “pro-Russia” regions.

But selling arms to Russia is a problem for them?

Hmmmm.

How Did the Greens Heat Their Houses Before Wood Stoves?

Citing “maintenance problems” with equipment, the Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom announced  it has “indefinitely” suspended all natural gas deliveries via its Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the key link between Russia and the European Union..

The announcement appears to confirm suspicions that Russia intends to cut off gas to the EU during the winter, a possibility that has led Western countries to attempt to build up supplies and develop alternate energy sources ahead of winter.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

One of Brett Kimberlin’s corporate entities is called Protect Our Elections/EMPR Inc. It’s 501(c)(4) not-for-profit status was revoked by the IRS several years ago. Protect Our Elections, which is also registered as a trade name of Kimberlin’s Justice Through Music Project entity, has been involved in election-related activities, the exact nature of which are a bit unclear. Kimberlin has claimed under oath that he and his operation were involved with election security work with the Department of Justice during the 2016 election.

EMPR appears to stand of EuroMaidan PR, an English-language Ukrainian propaganda website. While the Mueller investigation was ongoing, Kimberlin ran a website promoting the Russian Dossier Hoax. Like so many of his web domains, it’s now long gone.

Protect Our Elections?

Our who?

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Yesterday, I reported that the jtmp dot org website is back in operation and being kept more or less up to date. The same is true of the protectourelections dot org site.

Of course, the most important page supporting the grift is the DONATE page. It provides a link via Authorize dot Net to an EMPR account.Several years ago, Brett Kimberlin changed the corporate name of Velvet Revolution US to Protect Our Elections/EMPR Inc. One of the websites that entity operates is empr dot media, an English-language Ukrainian news/propaganda site. At best, POE donations going to EMPR would indicate that funds for “protecting” American election integrity are being commingled with funds supporting Ukrainian propaganda.

At worst … well, consider this information found at the top of the site’s ABOUT page—The second sentence is not true. Protect Our Elections has never been considered an 501(c)(3) entity by the IRS. At one time, it was registered under 501(c)(4), but that classification was revoked by the IRS.

I can understand why someone might believe something less than honest is a foot in an operation run by a convicted perjurer.

The Usefulness of Ammunition Control

The Kyiv Independent reports that Ukrainian forces are working to offset Russia’s advantage in artillery by targeting Russian command posts and ammunition supplies.

Now that Ukraine has acquired advanced Western artillery and rocket systems, it has gradually begun a campaign to take out Russia’s key military infrastructure. Over the last four weeks, nearly 20 Russian ammunition depots in Russian-occupied Donbas and Ukraine’s south, including some of the largest, have been hit or completely destroyed.

As Russia continues with its slow but steady advance in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas, Ukraine’s military is working to undermine Russia’s overwhelming artillery power and disrupt its logistics deep in occupied territories.

Devastating strikes upon Russian command posts have become increasingly frequent since mid-June when Ukraine began using the first of four M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, provided by the U.S., nearly a week before their arrival in Ukraine was publicly announced.

On June 15, a massive explosion occurred near the city of Khrustalniy (formerly Krasniy Luch) in occupied Luhansk Oblast.

Explosions continued for days. According to satellite images, the blasts created a destruction zone spanning some 500 meters around the epicenter. The site was one of Russia’s largest ammunition depots, built after Russian forces occupied the area in 2014. In the Azotniy neighborhood in the northeastern part of Donetsk where Russia established ammunition depots through the city, successful attacks have continued on an almost daily basis.

While it still isn’t clear that the Russians have bitten off more than they can chew, if they do manage to swallow all or part of Ukraine, the resulting indigestion will last for a long, long time.

 

Changing Geopolitics

The Russian Army has lost substantial amounts of irreplaceable (on any short term) equipment and a large number of irreplaceable professional soldiers during Putin’s adventure in Ukraine. As the war continues, the Russians will have to move more of their remaining cadre of professionals from around the country to the active war zone, and that will require staffing other garrisons with inexperienced, poorly trained conscripts.

If I were a senior commander in the Peoples’ Liberation Army, the view to the North across the Amur River might become more tempting than the view to the East across the Taiwan Strait.

Warfare: 20th Century v. 21st Century

My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up about the Russian casualty figures that were “leaked” yesterday. If true, they indicated that the Russians are taking around 1,000 casualties (400 killed) per day. I’m skeptical. That the figure seems high, but, considering the Russians’ general incompetence, their losses could be that bad.

While the Russians have improved the technology of their weapons since the Second World War, they made few significant changes in the structure of their army. It is in many ways the same force Zhukov led almost 80 years ago, mostly a bunch of poorly trained conscripts led by corrupt NCOs and inept officers. The equipment may be more technologically advanced, but that makes it more susceptible to poor maintenance. However, today’s Russian army is very different from the Zhukov’s force—it is not repelling an invader; it is not fighting a Great Patriotic War. For now, the Russians are losing senior officers to snipers and drone strikes. How long will it be until the fragging begins? If it hasn’t already.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is fielding a highly motivated force armed with some of the be best weapons of the 21st century. The best Western technology backed by the West’s manufacturing capacity isn’t being sent as aid to Russia but to Ukraine. The Javelin and other anti-tank weapons are doing to Russian armor what the machine gun did to Infantry in the First World War. And Western intelligence service are clearly providing real time information.

The Russians may still win through brute force and sheer numbers, but the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. Sometimes the victory belongs to the smart and the brave. That’s beginning to look more like the Ukrainians than the Russians.

Keeping Warm and Fed

One of the reasons the Russian advance had gone more slowly than Putin expected is that the Russians are having trouble getting food, fuel, and other support to their troops.They clearly lack the assets to maintain a reliable supply train. Poorly maintained trucks running on cheap, unreliable Chinese tires may be the undoing of their campaign. While the Russians may not be able to keep their soldiers fed, the Ukrainians are helping them stay warm by the fires of vehicles set alight by Javelins and Molotov cocktails.

Of course, the Russians may still pull off a costly win via overwhelming numbers, but the war in Ukraine shows the truth of the principle that amateurs study tactics and professionals study logistics.

A Low Budget Remake Flops?

Justin Trudeau’s attempt to use police violence in Ottawa for a low budget remake of the Odessa Steps has flopped. He’s announced he is pulling the plug on the Emergencies Act.

The original Odessa Steps sequence is part of Serge Eisenstein’s propaganda masterpiece Battleship Potemkin. In the end, it appears that Trudeau’s propaganda efforts did more to expose the true nature of his Potemkin village government than anything else.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

Justin Trudeau has announced the following in response to Russian activity in Ukraine:

Canada and our allies will defend democracy. We are taking these actions today in a stand against authoritarianism.

The actions he is taking against authoritarianism include sending 460 soldiers, a frigate, and a patrol aircraft to Europe. Apparently, horse units will be retained at home for domestic authoritarian operations.

And In Canada …

… The House of Commons has voted 185 to 151 to confirm the Prime Minister’s use of the Emergencies Act.

There’s no word yet on whether the Mounties will be swapping their red serge tunics for proper Chekist leather coats.

UPDATE—The matter is still before the Canadian Senate which has a vote scheduled for Friday.