One week into the Russian special operation in the Ukraine – update
by Andrei Raevsky (a.k.a. The Saker)
The Vinyard of the Saker (March 7, 2022)
So we are a week in and I think it is time to take short pause and see what happened over the last 7 days.
• The Russian attack began, as predicted, mostly by strikes with standoff weapons. 24 hour hours later the Ukie air force and navy ceased to exist. In this initial phase, few Ukrainian units were directly engaged.
•The bulk of the Nazi forces is in Donbass and it took the LDNR forces several days to break through the Nazi defenses, but eventually they did it in two directions. At the same time, while the heavy combats between the Nazi forces in the Donbass and the LDNR forces were taking place, the Russian launched a two pronged offensive from the north and south to envelop the Nazi force concentrations. Interestingly, in spite of the fact that the two Russian forces have not reached each other and in spite of the existing no man’s land between them, the Ukronazis are not making any serious efforts to break through since they must realize that the entire area between the two Russian forces is a big “free fire zone” for Russian artillery, CAS aircraft and attack helicopters. For all practical purposes the entire Nazi concentration of course in the Donbass is now locked into an operational cauldron.
• The same is true for the Nazi forces in Mariupol. For them, it’s curtain down, show over.
• There is a large Nazi force left in only one location: Odessa. It appears that the Russians want to encircle it and then take a final decision on how to deal with this city.
• Kiev is a total mess, the Russians did not even try to enter the city yet, but the crazy rumors combined with terrified Ukronazis will make this one a particularly difficult situation to resolve. I personally hope that the Russians stay as they are, block the city on all sides, open a humanitarian corridor and wait until the time is right.
• On the informational war, the West gave Russia a thorough thrashing: RT and Sputnik are banned everywhere, absolutely insane rumors are circulating (see example below), I know for fact that some US colleges have banned their computers from accessing any .ru or .su websites – yes entire domain names are being shut down – Russian diplomats get assaulted (in one of the 3Bs statelets if I remember correctly).
• The western PSYOP onslaught is so powerful that even some people in Russia are fearful and sincerely worry “what will happen to us next?!”.
• Western IT companies are disconnecting, throttling, while “private” western crackers are unleashing DDoS attack on pretty much all the main Russian websites, not only informational ones, but also those who are used to run the civilian infrastructure of Russia. I am not impressed by how much (or little) Russian PR people did to prepare for this which was easy to see coming. Here, again, the West so far is winning, by a huge margin.
• The western society is displaying its hatred of all things Russian in every way it can: hundereds and maybe thousands of students are summarily expelled from western colleges (which used to be bastions of freedom). In a Swiss city the child of a friend of mine was beat up in school for being an “evil Russian”. Artists are expelled, others pressured to condemn their own country and president, western presstitutes and politicians unceasingly vomit at Russia, Russians and everything Russian!
Which tells me how truly impotent and frustrated they are :-) [emphasis added]
That being said, here is the good news: Today, one of our favorite trolls managed to bypass moderation and post this (see comment).
What is important here is to realize that whether this guy does it for money in a NATO troll farm or with utter sincerity, he is about to get a really big, probably huge, mental shock.
Right now, the entire western narrative hangs on this kind of nonsense: Russia is about to be totally defeated, the Ukie army and people have won on all fronts, and Ze, backed by NATO, the EU, the US and the entire planet is about to deliver his conditions for a Russian capitulation.
The local reports?
All fakes too.
So far, that has worked pretty well. But here are the stone cold fact about the Ukie military:
• Air Force: gone
• Navy: gone
• Long range, standoff capabilities: gone
• Air defenses: gone
• Regular ground forces: no less than 65% (some say up to 80%) of the Ukie military is surrounded and condemned
• Assorted Nazi units: I don’t have the figures, but A LOT of them are now either in the Donbass cauldron or in Mariupol. They will mostly not be taken prisoner, except for the leaders who will be tried and sentenced for their innumerable crimes.
So, in terms of the Russian goals, here is how I would score this:
• Ukrainian disarmament: mostly already done, the Ukraine has nothing to threaten Russia with
• Ukrainian denazification: only at the early start, but conditions are excellent and I am confident that most of the hardcore Nazis will soon be dead
One more thing I forgot to mention about the “no man’s land” west of the Donbass operational cauldron. It is shown in the map below where the black and yellow lines touch (and add about 5-10km on each side)
It’s not only that only small groups, maybe civilian cars at high speed can get out, it also means that the entire Nazi force in the Donbass is not getting resupplied. Not by air, not by sea and not by road.
Right now, amazingly, the Ukronazis are STILL shelling the LDNR, today 5 civilians were murdered by Ukie selling near Donetsk. So they are not even trying to break out, I suppose they know the score and with their supplies running out (many destroyed by heavy bombs) their lifespan is now counted in days.
Please keep in mind that while this force is surrounded, it did have SEVEN YEARS to dig in deep and place tons of concrete over their bunkers. But like the Ligne Maginot, while the LDNR were pinning down the Ukies, the Russian enveloped them from behind.
So one of two things will now happen.
1. Either the Russians will convince the Ukie commanders to surrender and evacuate safely or
2. Russia will start using her really heavy guns(MLRS, TOS-1, heavy artillery like the 240mm self-propelled gun-mortar 2S4 Tyulpan or the 203mm self-propelled howitzer 2S7M Malka) and even fuel-air explosives like this one: (I know, it’s from CNN, but in this case, it is helpful)
In other words, the real magnitude of the Ukrainian defeat will become impossible to conceal in just a few days. Then the narrative will shift from the “invincible Ukie Volkssturn” to “Russian atrocities”.
That narrative will also probably stick since the western free press makes the original Nazi press look outright diverse and objective. But idiots such as the troll above will be very, very butthurt. I expect their “oy veh!!!!” to reach high heavens and heroic Ukies will be replaced by no less heroic celebrities sobbing over Ukie babies.
On a strategic level, the Empire of Lies did successfully force Russia to openly intervene. That is a fact and that is a defeat with the Russians will have to ponder over for many years. I will repeat, here are two, alas very real, western victories:
• Forcing Russia to openly intervene
• Very effectively controlling the narrative
But don’t get too upset too soon. For one thing, the authorities in Russia have FINALLY declared both Dozhd and Meduza as foreign agents and it seems these two zioliberal sewers are finally being shut down. Seeing how Medvedev is trying to repaint himself as a patriot, I think that the Atlantic Integrationists are now realizing that they were stupid to listen to the western propaganda. I have not followed the Russian 6th column at all, so I don’t know if they are still hoping that “Putin” (for them it is all about him, personally) will “lose” or whether they will chose to wrap themselves into the “too little, too late, I could have done better” flag. Frankly, I don’t really care.
Next, they will start seeing Russian 5th columnists and assorted “liberal” their signatures away from their “open letters” or, better, emigrating to the EU or Israel. I sincerely wish them a happy flight and I hope that upon leaving Putin’s Mordor and arriving in the Free West they will all burn their Russian passports (on camera if they want).
So, what’s my “final intermediate conclusion” after week 1?
The West gave Russia a bloody nose by forcing her intervention, thereby crushing any chance for the EU to get decolonized in the next decade or more.
The West gave Russia an even bloodier nose by very effectively controlling the narrative.
But what’s next?
Russia will/has disarm(ed) and will soon denazify the Ukraine, that is a given.
But what after that? Please remember that this is NOT about the Ukraine, this is about the entire future security architecture of Europe.
I will just say this: while, no, Russia won’t invade the EU or even Poland, the Russian war to push back NATO has only begun, it will last MANY MONTHS so be prepared for this. MONTHS.
Please ready yourself for a long and difficult struggle.