I try to monitor Western media as one measure of how Russia’s war with the West is progressing. It is again a case of the dog that did not bark. The breathless, wall-to-wall reports that dominated cable news during the first two weeks of Russia’s “Special Military Operation” are gone. Instead, the media is only giving spot updates wrapped in continued hysteria about the bad and evil the Russians. But it is not producing popular support in America for getting involved in another foreign war.
Here are some of the latest headlines:
- Explosions hit Kyiv in north, Lviv in west
- Ukraine says situation in Mariupol ‘very difficult’
- Russia offers to spare lives of Mariupol defenders who lay down arms
- Advisor to the Mariupol city mayor warned Saturday that Russian troops are preparing to shut down the city by April 18 and will “filter” all men for forced service, labor or “isolation.”
- “Occupiers report that on Monday they will not only finally close all entries and exits to the city for everyone, but will institute a ban on movement across all neighborhoods for a week. During this time, 100% of the city’s remaining male population will be “filtered’,” Petro Andriushchenko said in a Telegram post translated by Ukrainian news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda.
- Russia has demanded Ukrainian forces still fighting to defend the besieged city of Mariupol lay down their weapons. The apparent ultimatum comes as Russia continues its relentless and devastating attack on the southeastern city.
- Russian state media Ria reported that “without exception” all “Ukrainian armed units and foreign mercenaries” must exit from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Moscow time (same as local time) “without any weapons and ammunition,” citing the Russian Defense Ministry.
Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence (a true oxymoron) continues to demonstrate pure incompetence and stupidity. Consider this “headline” from CNN–US assesses Putin may increase efforts to interfere with US elections. Here is the analytical bottom-line:
A US official made clear the assessments were not based on direct intelligence.
“We do not have any direct intelligence that Russia is looking to target state, local, or election systems more directly than before, but we are certainly anticipating the possibility. We will continue to actively share any intelligence about increased threats with state and local officials as we receive it,” the official told CNN.
Got that? All they have is an opinion not based on one damn fact or piece of intelligence. The pathetic U.S. Intelligence Community does not understand Vladimir Putin but that does not stop them from offering up banalities like this:
The intelligence community has made understanding Putin’s mindset a priority since early in the invasion, sources familiar with internal deliberations told CNN. Raw assessments have pointed to his increasingly unpredictable behavior, and US officials believe Putin is more willing to consider taking risks due to his anger over Russia’s failures in Ukraine – something his advisers, who officials say have not been telling him the full truth, did not prepare him for.
What truth is being held from Putin? The success in Mariupol? The successful missile strikes peppering key military and fuel sites across the breadth of Ukraine?
Despite U.S. and NATO stubbornly insisting that the Russian military is a clown show incapable of fighting competently, you only need to note that Russian military units, missiles and aircraft are moving freely around Ukraine. Take a look at the following video that shows a Russian field kitchen and laundry. Maybe this is just a sophisticated piece of propaganda, but if it is legit then it shows a capability not widely available in the U.S. Army. We have become accustomed to setting up static bases, mess halls and laundromats overseas that hire 3rd world folk to cook our food and wash our dirty underwear. Take note of what the Russian soldiers do when they enter the mess trailer (they remove their cover and hang it on a wall). This is not a picture of untrained conscripts grudgingly being thrown into battle.
Russian media sites are now filled with videos of thousands of Ukrainian military personnel surrendering and leaving behind large caches of NATO supplied weapons. There also are photos of the passports of two U.S. citizens who were part of Ukrainian units fighting the Russians. It is not clear if these men are captured or dead. The Russians claim they have captured a large number of Western mercenaries in Mariupol and their fate is not sunny. Because the Russians do not consider them legitimate combatants they will not be treated according to the Geneva Convention. (Sounds like the Russians are going to treat them like the despicable U.S. Department of Justice has treated the so-called January 6th insurrectionists.)
Unlike Ukraine, Russia does not seem to have a problem sending more vehicles to the fight:
Here is video of Russian truck and tank columns moving around Kharkov. Where are the videos of the Ukrainian forces attacking and destroying these columns? Do you doubt for a minute that Ukraine would be sharing such material widely if it existed? That is the dog that is not barking. Russia is surrounding and ready to destroy the fragmented Ukrainian Army. Unlike Mariupol, most of these battles will be in open country where the Ukrainians will have little protection from drones, bombers and artillery. Tanks and troops will do the clean up once strong points are eliminated.
Finally, take a look at the British assessment of the situation on the ground in Ukraine.
Pay attention to the gold and black shaded areas. These are the locations where the Ukrainian Army in the east is located and where Russia will attempt to encircle and destroy. Unless Ukraine is able to send columns of tanks and trucks to the east to resupply the beleaguered forces, the Ukrainian Army may be eliminated by the end of May.