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Why Ukraine’s counter-offensive is working The Kremlin is being fed fake news from the front

"It's music to my ears, man" (Alex Chan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

"It's music to my ears, man" (Alex Chan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


September 12, 2022   8 mins

“You better stay out of our country. The more Russians you send to Ukraine, the more of them we will kill, and the more death you will bring back to your homes.” Nataliya Zubar, native of Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, and documenter of Russian war crimes, is giving me her message to Moscow, which over the last 48 hours has seen the Ukrainian army smash through much of the territory it conquered in the north-eastern Kharkiv Oblast

She continues: “We didn’t just liberate one village at a time, but in one big sweep. It was brilliantly done by our army. We are collecting lots of Russian equipment from the field. It’s amazing what we are finding — it’s all so outdated: Seventies-era electronic equipment built when I was toddler. We even found a notebook that contained the medical records of a Russian regiment, and it was like my primary school notebook from 1972.”

She pauses, lost in thought for just a second. “It was through this notebook that I finally understood how the Russians lost so badly. The regiment has hundreds of soldiers, and there was not a single complaint or registered ailment. Not one. That’s impossible. The soldiers were clearly told to feed bullshit to the doctors, which created an internal line of bullshit. That bullshit was then reported to their superiors, who fed that bullshit up to central command. So they got a totally fake view of the front.”

So Russian forces on the northeastern front were brought down by a combination of Ukrainian skill and Russian bullshit?

“Exactly.”

***

Yesterday marked the 200th day of the war, and if last week saw intense fighting around the country’s second city of Kharkiv in the northeast, just 40km from the Russian border, the weekend saw it turn into something more like a mass Russian retreat.

Ukraine has now retaken the logistics base of Izyum — the biggest defeat for Moscow since it failed to take Kyiv. Zelenskyy claims Ukraine has retaken 30 settlements and 2,000 square kilometres since the counteroffensive began. The Institute of War suggests this could be as high as 2500 square kilometres.

Nataliya was right. It’s a clear victory for Ukrainian strategy. Around two weeks ago, Kyiv stepped up its shelling of the Russian-controlled Kherson region in the country’s south. This, commentators agreed, was the arrival of the long-expected Ukrainian counter offensive. Kyiv kept striking the south and then suddenly, three days ago, they attacked the Kharkiv region in the northeast, catching the Russians off guard.

And they are clearly still in shock. Watching Russia’s channels over the last 24 hours reveals two trends. The first is that talk of “Ukrainian Nazis” has decreased — instead it’s now about “shared past and history” of two nations. Second, they simply cannot accept they’re losing to Ukrainians; instead, they talk about fighting a huge force of British and American soldiers, or as they often call them: “Anglo-Saxons”.

If that is typical of their information operations online, in the field they are also behaving as expected. Taking a hammering in the field, its forces are retaliating like they always do: targeting civilians. Pro-Ukraine TV channels yesterday morning were filled with images of Russian strikes on homes in Dnipro and Mykolaiv. So the war evolves, but also remains the same. Ukrainians continue to have to dig in. As Zubar told me: “I absolutely do not tolerate hot weather. I’m glad summer is over. On we go.”

***

“It’s fucking chaos.” The voice is muffled but alert; and pregnant with humour, as it always is. “But then again it’s been chaos since 24 February.” There’s a pause. Then a short, staccato laugh, or maybe it’s interference. The mobile signal comes and goes, which is disconcerting: whenever my friend – let’s call him Ivan – who is in a village in the southern Kherson region, goes silent, I worry that he’s been bombed or shelled.

“At least it’s good chaos this time,” Ivan continues. In and around what are officially called the temporarily controlled territories (TCTs), they have taken note of recent events. Kyiv fastidiously avoids the term “Occupation” because it carries legal responsibilities, and assumes a degree of permanence — as with, say, Turkey’s occupation of northern Cyprus. The Ukrainians (and indeed the Brits and Americans) will not afford Moscow the same recognition. Ivan, though, doesn’t care what his former home is called, as long as the army takes it back soon.

When the Russians rolled in during the first days of the war, he knew it was time to make himself scarce. He was too loud, too outspoken, too irretrievably pro-Ukrainian. “Oh, they’d have executed me straight away,” he told me back then with a laugh.

Now he’s bullish. “I’ve been watching what is happening in Kharkiv nonstop for the last 24 hours, man — I haven’t slept. And it’s good here, too. Every day I hear our artillery and guns. It’s like music to my ears, man.  Every time I hear a rocket, I imagine it landing on these Russian fucks. I’ve got nothing else to do these days but wait — and dream.”

Amid the euphoria over Ukraine’s success in Kharkiv, it is the south that remains vital to the war. It is here that you find what is left of Ukraine’s coastline and access to Crimea.  Kherson was the first major Ukrainian city captured by the Russians during their southern Ukraine offensive in the first days of the war. Since early March, the Oblast has been under de facto Moscow control. It is here that the outcome of the war will be decided.

Oleksiy Arestovych, a Senior Presidential Advisor, says Ukrainian forces have already “liberated several settlements on the western bank of the Dnieper” in the south-east. Over the past few days, Ukraine has also targeted the Antonovsky bridge near Kherson city, while Ukraine southern command claims it hit an ammunition depot and a Russian army control centre near the city.

In truth, these strikes followed weeks of sustained Ukrainian action in the area as Kyiv targeted infrastructure, supply lines and depots, ammunition storage sites, bridges and convoys. It’s called shaping the battlefield and artillery is the key to it. The goal is to discombobulate the enemy, making them “lose their initiative, coherence and force them to fight a disorganised battle”. All of this speaks to a broader truth. The Ukrainians are facing a far larger enemy, with far more men and cash and resources. On paper they should have folded after just a few days, as Putin’s flunkies told him they would.

But in this war Ukraine has two advantages. The first is Western support. Last week, I heard from “Petya”, a soldier fighting in the Kherson region. He was clear, as Ukrainians are always clear on this point: the offensive was going well, but for it to succeed it needs continuing and increasing Western assistance. “The help of our Western allies is vital,” Petya said. “We lacked artillery shells and armaments. But [thanks to the West] we now have new shells, new armaments. These help us to level the playing field with the Russians.”

Western aid is the lifeblood of the Ukrainian war effort. Kyiv needs to ensure it keeps coming, which means that it must be creative, not just on the battlefield but also online. In an age where the public sphere is dominated by large social media platforms, no properly run military campaign — especially one relying on foreign support — can do without a social media strategy. And as the counteroffensive has expanded, so has the number of videos emerging from the battlefields of Ukraine.

Russia has its own online narrative, of course: mainly about the offensive being a failure and the Ukrainians losing lots of men. Its military bloggers are relentless. The latest “reports” are that 20 Russian soldiers recently killed 400 Ukrainians, but nonetheless may have to “step back”. Meanwhile, Ukrainians are bringing in 100,000 new troops, all under the “influence of narcotics”. It’s laughable but it has a constituency — it is them, not us, whom this nonsense is aimed at.

If Western support is one advantage enjoyed by Ukraine, the second is something more intangible, but also something that no successful national defence can do without: morale. The Russian army consists largely of conscripts who don’t want to be there (and in many cases weren’t even told they were marching off to war). Ukrainians, conversely, are fighting for their land. And after the atrocities the Russians have committed in conquered towns like Bucha, the hatred and revulsion for Moscow across Ukraine is now near universal.

But as well as fighting for their homeland, the Ukrainians are fighting for something much deeper: the essence of their nation. Russia doesn’t just want their land; it wants their identity. Moscow claims there is no such thing as Ukraine. The very idea is a category error, a mistake of both logic and history that it seeks to correct through genocide.

Back in May I travelled to the Western city of Lviv. Close to the Polish border, far, far from Russkiy mir, both geographically and culturally, Lviv was and is the heartland of Ukrainian national feeling; it is from here that most of its modern independence movements have sprung. There I met the Ukrainian thinker and writer, Yevhen Hlibovytsky.

Sitting in a cafĂ©, he outlined his view of the situation. “Ukraine was conceived in 1991, but it wasn’t born in 1991,” he told me, referring to its official independence from the Soviet Union. “91% of Ukrainians voted yes [to independence]. But they did not actually vote for a clear vision of what Ukraine would be. What they voted for was a system that rejected totalitarianism.” He is not the only one who believes this. Across the country, people told me the same thing and it drives their resistance, often under the most dangerous of circumstances. Understand this fact and understand how the counteroffensive — and indeed the war — might be won.

From pro-Ukrainian graffiti to posters targeting collaborators, including bombing them, resistance inside the TCTs has been fierce and consistent. Things are getting harder. As conditions worsen, more people leave, and the pool of potential recruits shrinks. But Petya is in no doubt: right now, resistance activities are integral to the counteroffensive. “A lot of things depend on intelligence,” he says. “This means not only using some techniques for reconnaissance but also working with people in the occupied territories who give us necessary information to help with our shelling, targeting fire — or simply destroying [our] enemies.”

Ukrainians in the TCT are busy undermining Russian forces by any means possible. They reportedly stab Russian soldiers; give their coordinates to the Ukrainian army, and have begun to fly drones into Kherson to spot enemy targets for their military.

It reminds me of something else Hlibovytsky told me back in Lviv. “It was obvious that Ukraine will not fold,” he said. “The Western view is overly institutional. What they’re trying to assess is the quality of our institutions. Infrastructure-wise we’re around 50. Human capital wise, we’re around 150. That’s the point. You have to look at cultural issues, you have to look at people.”

Will they succeed? The war is not going to end any time soon. On the first day of the counteroffensive, Zelenskyy told Russian soldiers to “run for their lives”. But beyond the rhetoric — and the dazzling successes in Kharkiv — Kyiv has warned that the battle to retake the Kherson Oblast will be slow. And Russia is determined, too. For Ukraine, this struggle is about nationhood; for Russia, it’s about something equally fundamental: the promulgation of empire. Putin recently approved a 31-page foreign policy doctrine with broad aims to “protect and advance the values and interests of the Russian World”, specifically to “preserve its cultural and civilisational diversity”. Putin may act like a 19th-century Tsar, but to justify his actions he knows he needs to talk like a 21st-century HR manager.

Then there is the broader political context to all this — not least EU dependence on Russian energy. Soon, winter will be here. Everyone was content to pin the blue and yellow flag to their profiles and drool over Zelenskyy in spring and summer. It all looks very different now.

This is, of course, what Moscow is banking on. The West’s enemies have long seen our toddler-like attention span as one of our most exploitable weaknesses. Just hold out, goes the thinking in the Kremlin. Just hold out for the gas bills to do their work. Just hold out for German industry to start lobbying Berlin for Russian sanctions relief. Just hold out — and watch the money start flowing again.

These facts are not lost on Ukrainians. Recently, Kyiv’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska pointed out that while many in Europe are “counting pennies, we count our casualties.” Prices in Ukraine, she added, “are going up as well
 in addition [to] our people getting killed”. On the ground, the truth of all this is inescapable to Petya. “Is it possible for Ukraine to push back Russia?” he says. “I think it is, but it needs two things. First, strengthening sanctions against Russia to undermine their own power, especially targeting their oil and gas industries. Second, aid for the Ukraine military — aid with reparations, armament, and new types of arms, especially attack arms. This means tanks, planes, and plenty of aircraft and artillery. Especially artillery.”

From deep inside Kherson, Ivan remains hopeful. “Eventually we will chuck these fucks out of our land. It’s just a question of how long it will take — and how many have to die before that happens.”


David Patrikarakos is UnHerd‘s foreign correspondent. His latest book is War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the 21st century. (Hachette)

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martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

It’s interesting that there is actually a real “logic” in a psychotic leader’s descent into madness.
Ivan the Dread, Hitler, and now Vova, all began to distrust their own militaries when their wars began to go badly. In his disastrous Livonian War, Ivan recruited vast numbers of worthless militia. He ended up almost losing his own city of Pskov. Adolf sidelined his professional army and began strengthening the SS. We know the results. Now Vova claims his own military is worthless, and only the Donbas militia wins battles. We’ve seen the outcome in the last few days.
Ivan didn’t have the “reach” to destroy civilians in Poland or Livonia. But Adolf certainly did devote enormous resources in attacking civilian targets, both in Britian and in liberated areas of the continent. He also ordered his forces to conduct a scorched earth policy as his armies retreated, even in Germany itself.
Now that Vova realizes he will never get Kharkiv, and is losing Donbas, he seems to be following the same “logic.” The attacks on civilian infrastructure are only the latest examples. The munitions involved would logically be better used against a Ukrainian military taking new ground each hour from the Russian army.
But since 24 Feb, Vova has freed himself from the tyranny of logic.
And sanity…

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Judy Englander
Judy Englander
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I’m also reminded of the rail infrastructure and other resources diverted to Adolf’s extermination programme right up to the tail end of the war.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

your post wins the History Hyperbole prize, here have five stars *****

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Since Russia’s Western Group of Forces–the unit specifically tasked with fighting NATO–has been obliterated by this offensive, Ukraine seems to have made “hyperbole” just quotidian reality.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I have always read that the Russians are so inept that they are unable to accurately hit military targets and civilian losses are the result.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

The third paragraph sounds eerily similar to what’s happening in the NHS. Nothing to see here, just keep going, the chosen grand narrative must trump the facts on the ground and the lived experiences of doctors, nurses, and patients 
 until it doesn’t. And then, the deluge. It ain’t gonna be pretty.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Russia and war and winter……..the two have a very long relationship. Now add in EU and UK business closing in millions and millions of out of work Westerners sitting in freezing homes on some dole being printed off National Debt in the inflation death spiral…..

winter is going to be one to watch…. A Neo-Cons Christmas extravaganza…..

Peter Wilson Close
Peter Wilson Close
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James
William Foster
William Foster
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Nothing to see here, just keep going, the chosen grand narrative must trump the facts on the ground

Bingo. Let’s just ignore the pesky circumstances of the 2014 coup. The corruption at the highest levels of Ukraine and their sponsors. The fact that other than those fighting and their loved ones, those suffering most are the poorest and most vulnerable in western nations. “Elites” must be laughing their backsides off as they keep raising prices and those who can afford to just keep handing over whatever is asked. Because they need it. Because they’re worth it. Because Slava Ukraini. Because worse than Hitler. Because it’ll be alright. Allegory of the cave, anyone?

Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  William Foster

Da Tavarisch!

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

What they voted for was a system that rejected totalitarianism.” – I’ve been making this point for a while now: the Ukrainian people want freedom more than the Russian people want Ukraine. There’s a good chance that in the end this will make the difference.
I hope the Ukrainians don’t get over-giddy about this good news. Russia is powerful, and there is a long way to go.
But, this is a good step; as Churchill said, the end of the beginning.

Alex More
Alex More
1 year ago

Terrific article David but – para 12 – the Turks are occupying Northern (not Southern) Cyprus I believe
?

Tony North
Tony North
1 year ago

Not a historian but it appears to me that , yes, overwhelming force can ” take” territory; but…and it is a big but….if the local population refuse to accept the invaders, ultimately, they will be sent back where they came from? Vietnam was the classic example. All Empires have expanded then shrunk, sometimes to nothingness like the Greek/Roman/ Spanish and British. The Commonwealth is perhaps a bigger achievement than it is given credit for by many as a post Empire/Colonial past. My bet is that Ukraine will survive long after Putin’s demise and his special place in history will be, not as a reviver of Russian power and influence but as a murderous thug who ,quite possibly, will have instigated a further diminishment of Russia as the rumours of breakaways begin.

Valerie Taplin
Valerie Taplin
1 year ago

Propaganda is inevitable, but how to explain the harsh reality of the growing number of bodies and wounded soldiers coming home? How to explain why so many western products and services are no longer available?
Calling it a “special operation “ does at least provide a face-saving possibility of a “negotiated resolution “ as opposed to an increasingly bloody outright win/loss outcome.
If Putin suspects he is about to lose, his ego may require him to rain down nuclear havoc and annihilation
.surely the worst of all possible worlds.
Had Hitler had nuclear weapons, we can only guess if he would have pressed the button when he pressed the trigger?

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago
Reply to  Valerie Taplin

The Russian people know what is happening but are too afraid to speak up. I know this from first hand knowledge. As far as freedom of speech, not much has changed from the Soviet era. How many dissidents has Putin murdered?

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Layman

And who in the UK would feel safe in the work place to say that they don’t stand with Ukraine?

James 0
James 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

you are correct sir.
this article is the usual drivel from this author.
If any one thinks the Russians are finished, I suggest a visit to the area.
the Russians do not want ukraine, only the parts inhabited by those who consider themselves Russian.
I am astounded by the lack of knowledge exhibited by many here.
many of you will be very rudely awakened in the coming months.

Robin P Clarke
Robin P Clarke
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

If any one thinks the Russians are finished, I suggest a visit to the area.

Actually all this article needs is words such as not, can’t, and don’t added to each sentence and then it would be a highly accurate account of the reality.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

There’s a big difference between people in the west not speaking up in favour of Russia because their colleagues wouldn’t like them for it, and people in Russia not speaking up in favour of Ukraine for fear of being disappeared by a totalitarian regime

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
1 year ago
Reply to  Valerie Taplin

You seem to have forgotten that it was the touchy feely West who used nuclear weapons to kill millions of civilians…..we are of course still cleaner than clean.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
1 year ago

Like many others I am glad to hear of the Ukrainian success. But realistically, does anyone imagine a scenario where Ukraine gets all it’s land back (including Crimea) and Putin stays in power as if the special operation never happened?
It seems more likely to me that he does something radical like tactical nukes – he is already guilty of war crimes so what does he have to lose? Hope I’m wrong of course – it would be great to get the insider story from Russia on the likelihood that Putin is removed one way or another.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

If he uses nukes, his and Russia’s credibility is gone – no love lost from the West, but China and all other countries will regard it as a pariah. Russians even will turn against Putin. I’m not sure the military would even obey such an order. Putin is said to fear a full mobilisation of the Army, for this he would have to declare a war, that he’d been lying to his people, and that Ukrainians are the enemy.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
1 year ago

What are the chances that you will get the insider story from Russia? I don’t think Russia is past redemption, but don’t like the change in the direction of travel.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago

I very much appreciate articles like this that provide fine grained information that the MSM tend to miss. Especially when the big picture is ever-changing and open to interpretation.
But this one has attracted some wacky comments. Video games? Vampire movies? Dwight Eisenhower? Wow!

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago

The article is well written and a summary of the situation. Russia is about “fake news” and always has been been, before the phrase was coined.
Also remember that the Ukrainian leaders were very corrupt and Russian stooges. Russia perceived the West as weak. As a result, Putin invaded. Success will depend on whether Europe has the fortitude to perserve in the face of rising energy prices, the West continues to provide munitions, and the Ukraine continues to provide human capital.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Layman

It is true that Ukraine inherited corrupt ways from Russia, but it was genuinely trying to drop such ways and drop the less corrupt ways of the West. I know this from conversations with Ukrainians from long before this year.
And I get a feeling that modern Ukrainians are now much closer to the rest of Europe than it is to Russia, and than Russia is to us.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

Seriously, it’s a mistake reading UnHerd past midnight, while pop is playing full blast in my earphones. I’m reading this article, as ‘My Favourite Game’ by The Cardigans comes on, and tiredness and sleepiness catching up, suddenly I’m in a half hallucination, half dream where Putin, in Nina Persson style leather pants and a mike in his hand, is stomping around a deserted Kremlin, as he belts out the song karaoke style, singing:

I only know what I’ve been working for

Another you so I could love you more

I really thought that I could take you there

But my experiment is not getting us anywhere

I had a vision I could turn you right

A stupid mission in a lethal fight

I should have seen it when my hope was new

My heart is black and my body is blue

I’m losing my baby

You’re losing a savior and a saint

https://youtu.be/u9WgtlgGAgs

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

And I’m watching a vampire movie, Let Me In, as I read the article – quite apt, considering the nature of Putin.

Lets hope the Ukrainians can consolidate their gains before the Russian vampire seeks revenge.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago

To be thought-provoking, an article requires balance. That is sadly missing here. Of course, both sides in a war peddle propaganda – to capture the hearts and minds of their citizens – but the UK is not at war, and we have a right to be given a realistic assessment of the situation. That is particularly relevant today when households are suffering the consequences of this war and our economy is being put in peril.
One of my concerns is this… we were told on Worldservice yesterday that journalists had been “banned” from the front line. That makes me fear for the population there which is largely Russian speaking. As men between 16 and 60 were required to join up, tortuous and deadly reprisals could be taking place there, as may have happened in Bucha. (I highlight this because the Russian request for an independent enquiry in the aftermath of their departure from that city was refused. Why was that not granted if there was nothing to hide)
We were also told yesterday that the Russians had bombed the local power and water plants but is that true? The large nuclear power plant in the area must have been supplying power to homes and businesses there but it was closed because the Ukranian attempt to recapture it made it unsafe.
These are questions that I have had over this last weekend but, sadly, are unlikely to be answered.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

We – in the UK – have no “right” to anything here. What makes you believe you have a right to real time information from a war zone ? Or that such information would be timely, reliable and accurate if you had it ? Your expectations are quite unrealistic.
Our economy is not being put in peril. We can and will easily survive this.
Your comment itself shows no balance. You seem more concerned for the Russian side here and have nothing to say about the suffering of the Ukrainians. If you don’t want to come across like Jeremy Corbyn (e.g. his position on Palestine/Israel) a bit more balance in your comment would remove that (perhaps inadvertent) impression.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I would still maintain that as the UK is not at war, we should expect a balanced analysis of the situation in Ukraine, and I believe everyone should be concerned when journalists are banned from verifying the situation on the ground.
I am afraid our economy is being put at peril by this war. Helping everyone with their fuel bills at a cost to the exchequer of ÂŁ120bn increases our national debt, with interest on it added to the enormous debt which we are already servicing.
I was not a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, but he had a valid political point of view and was always a gentleman when Theresa May was trying to humiliate him in parliament. That made him likable.

Last edited 1 year ago by Iris C
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Show me where journalists have a right to be present on the front line of a war. Is this something the Russians are allowing and the Ukrainians are not ?
I offered you the opportunity to put some balance into your own comments here. The fact that you declined tells me everything I need to know.
If Corbyn was humiliated by Theresa May (!), that says it all. But he didn’t need any help there – he humiliated himself. Though lacking the self-awareness to realise it.
The major damage to the UK economy came from the wartime measures taken during the Covid lockdowns. You are taking a far too short and narrow view on this. The Ukraine stuff is second order in comparison. And far less than the problems built up living beyond our means for over 25 years – which we must now start to repay. It is a fantasy that the Ukraine war is the major cause of any of this. In any case, we shall survive and endure regardless.
Indeed we are not directly at war here. But it appears the Russians believe they are at war with us. Wake up. The current Russian government are not our friends – and never were.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

It is the Ukrainians that are refusing journalists access to the frontline, according to the News, and I must ask why, when it was not the case before,
The handouts during the Covid crisis have had a detrimental effect on our economy but the government pay-out to offset increased energy bills will cost the exchequer more than that paid-out during the pandemic, according to More or Less this morning.
I would suggest that providing arms to Ukraine to kill Russian soldiers is an act of war against Russia.
When you say that “the current Russian government are not our friends – and never were” I must assume that you are American. Europe and the UK had friendly relations with Russia up until this conflict.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

The UK did not have friendly relations. Not sisnce the various poisonings were carried out on British soil by Putin thugs.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago

We traded with them, played competitive sport against them and had cultural exchanges which we all enjoyed
As far as the poisoning cases are concerned, I would suggest that it suited our government to blame the Russian government, but the Skirpal case was very peculiar. For example, the Russians would have known that Skirpal’s daughter was staying there at the time and putting a poison on the front doorknob was hardly an efficient and assured way of killing him and not anyone else….
Spies pursue a deadly trade and thus will create deadly enemies. But who knows!

Last edited 1 year ago by Iris C
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Why does the UK have a right to know about military operations in Ukraine? Why should Ukraine risk sensitive information becoming publicly available and potentially risking the lives of its citizens simply to appease your being rather nosey?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

As far as the plants go, the Russian supporters of the war are PROUD that Vova is destroying civilian infrastructure, and just hope more is obliterated.
Sorry, the rest of the world is in no way like the UK.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

I agree with Peter, your expectation of a “balanced” view of the war is unrealistic. Any intelligent person recognizes that the Ukraine also uses “propaganda” to further their cause. This is a necessary component in all wars. To put things in context, remember who started the murder of civilians and the invasion of a sovereign nation.

James 0
James 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

I suggest you look outside the MSM for news.
The level of propaganda is horrendous.
the country is being lied to,and fed rubbish like this article.
we voted for non of it,but we’re financing it,and your money is keeping it going.
Ukraine good Russia bad its bollocks.
people need to wake up.

Robin P Clarke
Robin P Clarke
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

James, It’s going to be awesome seeing how the “free world” media is going to report the liberation of Odessa and the collapse of Keeeev’s Banderist hate-regime.

Paul Monk
Paul Monk
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Don’t come to the Unherd comments section for insights on Ukraine. Not from this bunch of blustering old farts. They’re a laugh.

pessimist extremus
pessimist extremus
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

“…journalists had been “banned” from the front line. That makes me fear for the population there which is largely Russian speaking.” If they hadn’t been (banned), wouldn’t it make you fear for the journalists? After all, it’s not some cool computer game. Whether you fear or not for the population, Russian speaking or not (btw, language became an issue there only when Russian soldiers started murdering civilians), means nothing, zilch, nada. Russki mir brings death, and always has. Ask the nations who have seen it.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

I suspect Vova will not last the week.
This is looking more and more like the end of the 1991 failed coup.
The only real question is whether Vova makes it out alive from Russia.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
1 year ago

For years true conservatives have been pointing out that “freedom equality diversity” have been taken to extreme and maniacal lengths in Western society. The war in Ukraine shopwindows the divide between “liberal” totalitarianism and Eastern style authoritarian regimes.
Survival is the desired end product in this war and now we have the discomforting example of Fascist militias fighting a proxy war using Western weapons and subjecting Western citizens to serious privations to maintain an illegal Ukrainian regime in power as a buffer against the inevitable rise of the East, which will come about through the well- planned development of Africa and India.
We are about 20 years behind the curve on these issues, we squandered billions on “Freedom equality and Diversity legislation which only weakened our economy and destroyed our sane society, while China and Russia invested in underdeveloped areas like Africa and India. If we don’t come to terms with the East pretty damned quick, Western Europe will become a poverty- stricken backwater.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Tickell
Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

I think it is hard for any of us to have any idea of what is actually happening over there – or why it is happening. Progressives and our mainstream press have decided to be enthusiastic about this war – which means that everything we hear is being run through an ideological filter.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Might we just use our eyes and a map?
A lot less Ukrainian territory is under Russian control than last week. A lot more Russians have been taken prisoner.
Those are facts.

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
1 year ago

Ukraine will run out of young men before Russia does.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Dale

The big difference is that Ukraines young men are happy to fight in this conflict. I doubt the same can be said for young Russian conscripts from the metropolitan cities

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

“TCT’s” ?

Maybe it’s obvious, but still !
I would have been extremely wary of saying ANYTHING that might justify the targeting of civilians by Russian forces, in Russian held territory even in throw away articles like this.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Obviously I could have expressed myself better, but
, what an earth are ‘TCT’s’, or am I just being a bit thick ?
So, as of writing, I’ve received at least 4 down votes, which doesn’t overly bother me, I think my point is perfectly valid, but, unfortunately, nobody has deemed it appropriate to say why !
Nobody, presumably tucked up safe in their homes or cafĂ©s, has said ‘Why’ they think it is perfectly reasonable to allude to local civilians, in Russian occupied territory, providing targeting information on Russian positions. Some people, no doubt watching “Slava Ukraine” videos, on YouTube, seem to think this is all nothing more than some big video game. Desperate people do desperate things, and if the Russian soldiers (with guns) think that civilians are trying to kill them, then they will kill civilians, and the more desperate the situation, the more indiscriminate the killing will become. And maybe, in the near future, as Russian prisoners are brought to trial, for war crimes, they will point and say, maybe with some justification because of articles like this, “There were NO civilians”. And who proves what, except that lots of innocent people are dead, because ‘WE’ gave them the veneer of an excuse.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Lewis
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

This really takes the biscuit.
You are seriously trying to suggest that words on here would cause or justify war crimes in Ukraine ? Even if the Russian soldiers were reading UnHerd and understood enough English (the first is certainly unlikely), this is utterly ridiculous.
The excuses of the Putin apologists get more absurd every day.
I can assure you I do not regard what Russia has done – and continues to do – in Ukraine as a “game”. No comment I have read on here does.

N T
N T
1 year ago

I keep having this fantasy of Ukraine routing, and then raging over the border, racing for Moscow, joined by Poles and Swedes and Turks.
It’s only a pipe dream, but, please, let me dream.
If this thing grinds to a halt, I fear The Bagman will eventually prevail, using the same “win at any price” mindset that he seems to be committed to.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

Dreams are dangerous things. Russia has tactical and strategic nuclear weapons that are designed to protects itself from the type of existential threat of which you fantasise. Tread gingerly.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

No need to cross the border. The Russians will do that for the Ukrainians.
The pro-War Russians will eventually hang Vova–or do something far worse.
The memory of defeats in 1855, 1905, 1917 and 1989 are a difficult burden to bear, and having a scapegoat for this latest debacle is very satisfying.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

And this is precisely what Ukraine and the US have been doing. Gradually ramping up the presssure. As each new step was reached, Putin and co mouthed off about what they were going to do – and nothing happened. Finland and Sweden couldn’t join NATO … but they will. Gradual ramping up off the types of weapons supplied. Putin will never be given the excuse for nuclear escalation.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

What an utterly ridiculous proposition. Mind, it’s just more of the kind of ahistorical and puerile reasoning that got the world here in the first place.
Sorry, but the author…and many readers (as usual) … seem unable or unwilling to grasp that the Russian SMO is:
a) A limited operation currently engaging no more than 10%-15% of the country’s total forces. All (reputable) military analysts are in agreement on this. And, no, it’s economy is not bleeding to death – yet, though that is of course the USNATO’s aim (read: hope).
b) Russia, keeping an eye on the coming winter and the prospect of political and social disruption across Europe – and mindful of risking popular support for the SMO at home (not to mention historically established tactics) – withdrew its forces to limit unnecessary human losses, knowing full well that Ukrainian logistics could not sustain a strategically significant counter-offensive.
c) More specifically, it has become clear that the Western and Eurasian worlds are now splitting apart: politically, socially, commercially and monetarily. Against this backdrop, the proposition that a limited (and long overdue) Ukrainian tactical push might affect the strategic picture and/or the objectives of the SMO is, well, yet more naive, magical thinking.
No one wanted this war …except the USA and its venal EU elite stooges. A miscalculation that may yet cost us all everything that we have. But the underlying logic is actually quite simple: the only thing that offers a nuclear-armed world some degree of safety is the principle of M.A.D. Given what the US and NATO have perpetrated across the world over the past 70 years, does any sane person expect Russia to allow a 30-sec flight time for US nuclear warheads while its response would take 30minutes?
Come on man. Think!

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Pitiful. If anything exemplifies “ahistorical and puerile thinking” this does.
Keep denying reality if you must. The world will move on without you.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You assert that but offer nothing concrete to any point in rebuttal. Let’s limit it to the last point. Is it your position then that the world is safer under the threat of US hypersonic nuclear missiles (once they perfect them) on Russia’s borders when there is no strategic balance? Reframed: the country that unilaterally exited the strategic nuclear treaty in 2002/3, the INF treaty in 2019, and then the open skies treaty (let alone all the others including the JPCOA) should be trusted on the borders of a country it has openly declared a strategic enemy with the intention to “balkanize”? Your membership of the one-eyed “US/NATO might makes right” now confirmed. Thank you.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

There is no point replying to your question since you have already made your assumptions about who I am and what I believe (in your last sentence) without any evidence.

pessimist extremus
pessimist extremus
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

And the ‘strategic balance’ would be? A string of countries doomed to be Russia’s buffer? If Russia were really that worried about being attacked, it wouldn’t have ‘regrouped’ most of its forces to Ukraine. Being vulnerable elsewhere to the point of several ‘armed unrest’ in areas of its traditional dominance (Central Asia).

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

“Russia…withdrew its forces to limit unnecessary human losses, knowing full well that Ukrainian logistics could not sustain a strategically significant counter-offensive.”
Perhaps you need to tell that to the Ukrainian Army. They’ve just captured 100s of armoured vehicles and 1000s of Russian soldiers around Kharkiv.
Or is Vova even more generous to the Ukrainians than we ever suspected?

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Nobody forced Putin to invade Ukraine. Not this year, nor 2014. If he had accepted democracy and freedom in both Ukraine and Russia, both countries could have lived as slavic brothers (like Sweden and Norway).

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

Why is USA so deep into this war? Why is USA fighting a Proxy war costing a hundred Billion $ before we even get to the Trillion rebuilding, and why are EU and UK in it too?

Is this really about hallowed Principals of freedom? I do not think so.

Vietnam war was stated to be fought to stop Communism from spreading throughout the globe like an ink stain on wet blotting paper. Did anyone think Russia was going to do this after Ukraine? I cannot think so.

We began the Afghani/USSR war to bankrupt USSR. Remember arming and funding the Mujahideen resistance in Afghanistan? We had a deal with KSA, Dollar for Dollar, they matched what USA spent, only they did it hearts and minds and on the ground spending, we gave the money for the weapons – we tried hearts and minds but using the Pakistani ISI as intermediaries, and our Western Liberalism, and that was not optimal. Saudi created all the Madressas, a kind of Salifist/Deobandi/Pashtunwli school system in the Western Frontier that created the Taliban, and that is something else – and then when we won decided another 20 years would be good, for the NGO’s and the Military Industrial Complex, and even to distract voters.,…… Anyway Afghanistan got 40 years of war of a sort, and we left it none the better.
Does this venture remind one of that? It does in the distracting voters if nothing else…. but there is else……

Iraq? I could talk on and on about that – why did we do it? We kicked Saddam out of Kuwait, good action, what else was it….? Syria? Libya dalliance…

Anyway, the country is in shambles, millions of citizens refugees, and not all of them will return, and they are needed at home after; with the bad demographics there, the German metal smelters closing, Euro went below the $ in value, they talk of $ and ÂŁ parity, inflation said to get 19% in 2023 in UK, I heard Ukraine says $700,000,000,000 needed to rebuild….the leaders there are as corrupt as any anywhere in the world…

So… glad to hear this good news, that by not going to the table at the beginning and stopping all this by diplomacy the Ukrainians are winning. I think the word will be Pyrrhic victory at best, and I can think of no real reason this all went to this state – and it is not done yet. The harms as far as Siri Lanka and Orkney and Barcelona will take a long wile to recover from….

Remember President Eisenhower, the Supreme leader in WWII, then USA President, when leaving office, his warning?

”In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

I suppose there are a lot of good reasons for us doing this, being in this war – I wish Unherd had some experts give us some of them, because I cannot think of any. The negociating table was always better than this disaster for the world, coming on top of our self inflicted covid disaster.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Agreed!
Why did Ukraine invade Russia? Why did they do it?
It’s seems so senseless. We need to find the NATO people who are pulling the strings–who are in turn simply minions of WORLD CAPITAL (i.e. the mil-industrial complex).
Why look for complex causes when it’s already laid out in full by Marx?

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I upvoted your comment on the basis that it’s satire. It IS satire, isn’t it? It’s so hard to tell these days.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

I completely disagree with you on this Aaron. I didn’t think the Ukrainians could mount an effective counter attack but supported the sacrifice of their country for the benefit of the west generally, before the confrontation with that far greater foe, China. The scale of this counter attack by the Ukrainians is tremendous news – showing the sheer weakness and ineptitude of the Russian forces and leadership – and maybe giving the Chinese pause for thought before they embark on empire building by force.

There’s a few good reasons – and then Ukrainian right to self govern too, but that’s just a side benefit for the west.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Totally disagree – this is not a “disaster for the world”. It is necessary. Necessary also for Russia to eventually rid itself of its mafia regime, perverted view of history, top to bottom corruption and completely censored press. Best case, it will do for Russia what the Falklands fiasco did for Argentina – bring more democracy and freedom and kick out the crooks. Not that optimistic, but it might.
I don’t believe we/the USA started the Afghan/USSR war either ! Didn’t the USSR/Russia kick that off with an invasion too ? Again, because they wanted a tame puppet regime in a neighbouring, but independent state.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I see all the geese on here swallowed the agenda corn without exception. Neo-Con’s gotta Neo-Con I guess.

But actually the King of Afghanistan was pushed out by a Marxist government in 1973. The people began rebelling against them eventually – for a lot of reasons, but they were the elected government. In 1979 it looked like civil war was going to unseat them so they Invited the Soviets in.

So the thing of just invading is not really the case – puppets maybe, but not so simple.

Life is so easy when you get your truth from the MSM I guess…all neatly packaged and predigested for all the good little sheep….

lockdowns anyone? Covid boosters? masks? Get in the war at every chance, F-the Real costs…remember, it if is for the great reset it is good for you.

Baaaaa

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Instead of answering the points made in replies, you choosing to resort to childish insults tends to suggest you don’t have as much faith in your arguments as you proclaim.

Robin P Clarke
Robin P Clarke
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Aaron, the answer to WHY is the same always – MONEY.
Cov!d – gigantic donations to V..-peddlers.
“Ukraine” – gigantic donations to the Arms Trade peddlers WHO WIN ALL WARS.
Hence Saint Boris rushed over to Istanbul to ensure the profitable war did not end too soon.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Realpolitik is a phrase I heard bandied around a lot at the start of this invasion, usually by those who believed Ukraine and the west should let Putin should do as he pleases because Russia is a powerful country.
Well to me the Americans and Europeans arming Ukraine is an example of realpolitik, albeit one from the opposing side.
Without risking a single soldier, and for a lot less money than an open conflict would entail, simply by heavily arming the Ukrainians those western nations have a chance to significantly weaken a hostile rival regime and bring Ukraine much more closely into its orbit, providing another ally and line of defence against any potential future Russian aggression.
The alternative is to allow Russia to expand right up to the borders of those former Soviet republics in Eastern Europe, which then require long term investment from NATO to keep them heavily fortified.
If the conflict also leads to an end of Europes dependency (Germany especially) on Russian gas and oil then that’s clearly an extra bonus

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

AND might send a clear message to China – which is a hell of a good investment !

pessimist extremus
pessimist extremus
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Ach, the proxy war again. Do you really and truly believe that it is possible to somehow make a nation of millions fight when they do not want to? The incentive being, then…? The Russians declared a deadly motivating one: Ukraine is a fiction, no real nation, with no real history. Therefore, fight or die.

Angela Paris
Angela Paris
1 year ago

Historically, how has Russian been invaded in the past? Ukraine. While everyone is cheerfully penning the “Ukraine is winning” news pieces, Russia is turning the lights off, a tactic they’ve been holding off on. Meanwhile, the US makes bank selling arms.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  Angela Paris

If you’re looking at history, time and again over recent centuries, Russia has invaded its Western neighbours. When Finland gained independence during the Russian Revolution (1918 or so), it had previously been a Russian possession; similarly for Poland, which had been in Russia off and on for centuries; then the Baltics in 1940; Eastern Europe (doubly victimized) at the end of WWII – the list goes on and on. And here we go again, in Ukraine.
The US isn’t making money out of this war – the exact opposite, actually – something that is exercising many US conservatives.

Angela Paris
Angela Paris
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

I am not defending Russia, just stating that Ukraine joining NATO was Russia’s Red Line, as historically Russia was invaded via Ukraine. We used to honor this request, and now, with no known diplomacy happening, we’ll see continued war. Regarding the U.S. making money off the sale of arms, where there is war, there is grift. The world’s five largest arms companies are all American: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. Surrounding nations (including China) are purchasing more arms than they usually do (as a result of the conflict) from the US.

pessimist extremus
pessimist extremus
1 year ago
Reply to  Angela Paris

No, it wasn’t. Reuters: Vladimir Putin’s chief envoy on Ukraine told the Russian leader as the war began that he had struck a provisional deal with Kyiv that would satisfy Russia’s demand that Ukraine stay out of NATO, but Putin rejected it and pressed ahead with his military campaign, according to three people close to the Russian leadership.” His press-person denies that, of course. Like they denied their men invading Crimea etc, killing civilians, shooting the MH17 (I even watched their ‘press conference’ with ‘evidence’ of things causing horse laugh in specialist aviator forums… youknow, some laws of physics can’t be terminated by Russia even). Etc.

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
1 year ago

There is nothing thought-provoking about this Rah! Rah! Ukraine article. Why we are supporting a brutal mafia state is beyond me. Why we provoked Russia by tearing up agreements is beyond me. How this misinformation article talks about Russian fake news is not beyond me. It is what I expect these days.
This article does not even talk about the real predicament the Ukrainians are now in. Critically short of artillery ammunition because the West is critically short. Much of their equipment is now out of position as the Russians are now encircling Bahkmut, a critically strategic town for the Ukrainians and the most powerful position of Kherson, which is a launch pad to take Odesa has been retained with a kill ratio of 5:1 in the Russian’s favour.
It seems to me that the Russians are conducting this war within strict parameters and attempting to avoid escalation. So I agree with the article that stasis on the front line is a good thing for Russia, so long as this war drags on into the winter and into next year, Russia will achieve a victory. All Russia needs to do is sandbag and continue to erode Ukraine’s ability to fight and the West’s willingness to support Ukraine.
I did think that Russia had already won, but the Karkhov thing made me think twice. Now I see what Russia managed to achieve on the back of that withdrawal, then I am minded to think, in practical terms, this is their war to lose.
However, I can’t fault the Ukrainian PR department, they even had me on occasion until I checked for myself.

Robin P Clarke
Robin P Clarke
1 year ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

Antony, the liberation by the RF IS going to win. The lies of the “free world” are coming home to roost. The lies have never been more gross than those currently about Kharkiv area.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

It is Russia which ‘tore up’ an agreement; the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. What agreement did ‘we’ tear up? Putin puts forward a statement that NATO would not expand eastwards, eagerly quoted by his lackeys, but there are three things about that; it was an informal statement by one person, which didn’t even involve most western countries, it is taken out of context, as confirmed by Gorbachev, and it supposes that NATO is aggressive, when it has a single purpose; mutual defence against potential aggression by Russia.
It kind of lost its purpose in 1991, following which, although not disbanded, most members disastrously relied on expected peaceful relations to reduce defence expenditure. In contrast, Putin used the wealth flowing into Russia to modernise and re-equip his armed forces, and then use them in Chechnya, Georgia, South Ossetia, Ukraine, Crimea, and then Ukraine again (not to mention a number of nasty assassinations).
It took that much bad faith to finally make the West realise that NATO was indeed a necessity. Well done, Putin. Is that really what you wanted?

Last edited 1 year ago by Colin Elliott
Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Don’t you know that “Freedom, equality and diversity” which have been fraudulently proposed by the West, have now become “Weapons of war”?

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Putin used the wealth flowing into Russia to modernise and re-equip his armed forces, and then use them in Chechnya, Georgia, South Ossetia, Ukraine, Crimea, and then Ukraine again (not to mention a number of nasty assassinations).”
How very Western of him!

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
1 year ago

This so called successful counter attack brings us closer to a tactical nuke being used by the Russian.
Failure is not an option for Putin and when he does use his nuke the west will release its bowels. It’s one thing to jump around in a tv studio and another to deal with a mad man. Ukrainian will be dumped faster that it takes to spell nuke.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruno Lucy

I disagree, but the point you make will be made by many – our feeble minded partners in this war will start to cry out that we can’t take on a wounded bear – that Putin can’t be allowed to be defeated for fear of the consequences.
Then we will start to withdraw some of the vital support we are providing – and ultimately there will be a long slow stalemate where we let Russia have a bit of the Donbas and Crimea as a reward for their troubles.
To use the Hitler parallel the author uses – maybe we should have let the Germans have Austria as a consolation prize for the second word war.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Wise
Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

(: not surprised to be down voted

and I am not saying we should dump Ukraine. Unfortunately, Europe doesn’t have England resolve during the Blitz when articles in papers warn us how cold we will be this coming winter and good gracious me !!! We might be out of mustard.
No one has the faintest idea of what a tactical nuke would do. To the Ukrainians
.yes, sure thing, but to climate, radio active clouds 
..etc and to us.
This counter attack doesn’t impress me one bit knowing the Russians have already conquered 22 % of Ukrainian territory

how much is this counter attack worth in terms of territory???
As long as Putin calls the shots, it will have no end and if he was to get toppled
..I fear it would by even a crazier group

like it or not.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bruno Lucy
martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruno Lucy

Ukraine has also trapped 20,000 soldiers on the wrong side of the Dnipro. They can neither be re-supplied nor withdrawn.
In Kherson, Vova has replicated Stalingrad–on his own army.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruno Lucy

A tactical nuke will do to world climate what the ‘tactical nukes’ (they weren’t; but their yield was about that of today’s tactical nukes) at Hiroshima and Nagasaki did – nothing.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

Or, rather, maybe Russia should have allowed US nuclear weapons on its borders? Sure! If there’s one sane, peaceful country in the world, that doesn’t have 650+ military bases surrounding its enemies (read: competitors) it’s them. Right?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Sorry.
Even if by some miracle Vova wins this war, wherever he draws the border, NATO will always be just on the other side of Russia.
And able to deliver hypersonic missiles in an instant.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

I can understand Russia being unhappy about NATO expansion, but the Russians need to admit that time and again over recent centuries, Russia has invaded its Western neighbours. If those countries now want to join a defensive alliance, the purpose of which was to keep Russia out, you can’t blame them, or be surprised.
If the Russians are unhappy about the expansion of NATO, they only have to look in the mirror to see the fundamental cause.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

Please provide citations for historical Russian aggression towards the West? Not Soviet. Russian. Please also juxtapose against Western aggression across the globe: military, economic, political, monetary.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

You do realise that Russia has had US nuclear weapons on its border with Alaska since the early 1950s.
Also, they’ve had a direct border with Norway (NATO) for well over 40 years.
Those don’t seem to have been a problem.
Please come up with more sensible arguments. This one is nonsense.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

No, we are talking about a fundamental shift in the post-Cuban missile crisis detente. The counter argument to this shift is that this NEW detente should be acceptable to Russia or not. The Russians said no. After unilaterally ending ABM, INF and Open Skies, the US/NATO said – quite literally “there’s nothing to negotiate or talk about. Suck it up”. Russia said “Nyet”. QED

David George
David George
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes Peter. This claimed Russian obsession about “nukes on the border” border seems absurd given the range of nuclear armed missiles. What real difference does it make if the missiles are fifty or a few hundred miles away?