The number one news item on Russian state television on 26 April was the meeting in Rammstein, Germany of defense officials from the United States and 40 allied countries to set policy on providing military assistance to Ukraine, including the provision for monthly such meetings going forward.
The U.S. delegation was headed by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and his remarks were parsed by Russia’s ‘talking heads. They also delivered their considerations on the practical value of the deliveries of heavy weaponry that Germany and other European countries pledged during the gathering.
As is now the rule, the very best discussion of these issues was on the political talk show “The Great Game,” which features the most calm and collected analysis of the day’s hot news items. None of the panelists tries to shout down others, which has been the long tradition of such shows. All are warned by the moderator against presuming to give military advice to the nation’s Commander-in-Chief. And yet even here it was clear that the mood of panelists is for more decisive action against Ukraine right now, meaning the bombing of the ‘decision making institutions’ in Kiev, as the Russian Ministry of Defense proposed to do a week ago in response to Ukrainian missile and artillery attacks across the border with Russia. This was made all the more topical by the statements of the British delegation in Rammstein encouraging the Ukrainians to do precisely that, and by the corresponding offer to ship appropriate missiles to Kiev now. The panelists also want the transportation infrastructure of Ukraine to be destroyed without delay in order to prevent the new heavy weaponry being shipped to Kiev from ever reaching the Ukrainian forces at the front.
Surely the bombing of central Kiev will come, effectively removing the Ukrainian regime. But it will come at the moment of choosing of Vladimir Vladimirovich and will signal the Russian decision to break up Ukraine into several states, as the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev yesterday said might be in the cards if the war drags on due to Western intervention and cheerleading.
With respect to Lloyd Austin’s statement yesterday that the United States’ objective is to greatly weaken Russian armed forces over an extended period of time, the panelists on The Great Game offered an interpretation that is well worth repeating here. The Russians view this as an admission by Washington that the Ukrainians’ position on the battlefield is hopeless. The Americans now seek to redefine their objectives so as to turn a defeat into an apparent victory. Whatever happens on the front lines in the coming days and weeks, Washington will be able to say that it forced Russia to dip deeply into its store of missiles and other high tech gear, that it forced Russia to lose a substantial part of its professional soldiers. The objective is now intentionally vague and stands independently of the possible loss of Ukrainian’s main army forces adjacent to the Donbas in a ‘cauldron’ of confinement where they will be killed like herrings in a barrel.
As regards the newly announced shipment of super tanks from Germany and other high tech gear from other NATO Member States, the Russian panel appeared confident this will be too little, too late and would be mostly destroyed on the ground by Russian missiles and aerial bombing.
The foregoing is all more reassuring about our future survival here in Brussels and in New York than any U.S. declarations yesterday that nuclear war is off the table.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022
12 thoughts on “Russian Media Today, 26 April 2022”
To the commenters who still somehow have not clued into the fact what this war, from the beginning, was about, this meeting should have made it clear: The war is between NATO and Russia.
Russia was thwarted in its attempt to come to a settlement with NATO to prevent its expansion further east, and it matters little if Ukraine was a member of NATO by name or not, for all practical military purposes it has been such since the putsch in 2014.
My question is now: by the UK declaring that it supports Ukraine’s use of weapons to attack on Russian Federation soil, has the UK itself not declared war on Russia and made itself vulnerable to the attack of, i.e., the factory or transportation route for the delivery of such weapons?
By such a move, does Russia not now have a legitimate reason to attack the UK to stop such deliveries, and how likely does this move by the UK to lead to an inevitable expansion of the war to the soil of NATO members?
Does the UK or any NATO member not speaking against those tactics not realize what the UK has done with such a move? Am I wrong here to take this as more serious than it appears at first?
I also refer to this article here: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2022/04/26/us-led-nato-war-against-russia/
It is more apparent than ever that the conflict in the Ukraine was never a localized civil war but rather was always a front line in a bigger geopolitical confrontation between the U.S.-led NATO bloc and Russia, as Bruce Gagnon explained in a recent interview for Strategic Culture Foundation……..
The rationale is now explicitly stated as the U.S. and its allies wanting to defeat Russia and subjugate it.
British armed forces minister James Heappey even went as far as telling the BBC this week that Ukrainian forces should strike Russia’s depth with NATO weaponry.
The United States and its NATO allies have willfully ignored Russia’s decades-long concerns about its security and in particular the use of Ukraine as a cat’s paw to destabilize and dissipate Russia. The full-on U.S. imperial war agenda of targeting Russia for defeat is now coming into focus. The crazies are in charge of the asylum. And shouting about it too.”
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Germany is sending Ukraine its best “super tanks” to take our Russian forces, while Russia keeps selling Germany the gas it needs to keep running, at discount prices no less. I don’t know. It’s just humiliating from a Russian perspective. Russia announced that it will target Ukrainian “decision making centers” (ie central government buildings in Kyiv) if Ukraine launched attacks inside Russia. After several such attacks inside Russia, and open British support for more attacks, no reaction from Russia.
Russia built up a reputation as able to actually win a war in the Middle East (unlike the USA), with air power, special forces & intelligence, yet during this Ukraine invasion, Russian troops have not received close air support during combat, allowing Ukrainian artillery to keep killing them, and Ukrainian sabotage groups to pick off their supply lines with unlimited shoulder fired missiles. If this were America fighting, the first sign of Ukrainian artillery strikes would result in American planes being called in, and the enemy positions would be vaporized in short order. Instead, Russia takes thousands of losses, and provides very poor advertising for its military exports.
Putin has made it clear that: he neither attempts to dispossess any foreign companies from unfriendly states o their property as a counter to the illegal and even unconstitutional actions by the US through extra judicial actions.
He also made it clear that Russia despite the more than strained relations conscientiously does not want to place counter-sanctions by breaking existing contracts. Russia tries to keep the name as a reliable supplier, something that was true even throughout the cold war when Germany purchased Russian gas without the US running interference.
The option that he and his advisors have chosen is – to protect the assets – a different modus of payment by placing funds into a preferred bank that are then placed into the company’s account. A system that signals a turning away from the $ as a reserve currency with likely more nations to follow, and likely pegging the ruble to gold as a standard.
“Russian troops have not received close air support during combat, allowing Ukrainian artillery to keep killing them”
I really have no idea where you get your news from. I rely on sources that have military background like this:
“The day before, he told POLITICO his soldiers were being bombarded with Russian howitzers, mortars and multiple-launch rocket systems “at the same time.” Just hours earlier, he said, they had been attacked by two Su-25 warplanes, “and our day became hell.”
Skuratovsky had a message for the United States and other NATO countries: “I would like to tell them that grenade launchers are good, but against airstrikes and heavy artillery we will not be able to hold out for long.”
and there are the pics of the White Swan dropping its load above Azovstal.
But my guess is you rather prefer those:
“The latest in this parade of clowns is Joel D. Rayburn, a retired Colonel and current fellow at the New American Foundation.
I am shocked by his grotesque ignorance of Russia’s air-defense systems and their precision-guided munitions and ballistic missiles. According to Rayburn, “But those all failed.” Really? Someone needs to tell him about the repeated strikes in western Ukraine around LVIV that have destroyed Ukrainian military bases and weapons depots. Just this week, Russia carried out multiple successful strikes in Dnieperpetrovsk, Kremenchug, Druzhkovka, Poltava, Kharkov, and Odessa using sea launched Kaliber’s and KH-101 Missiles from Tu-95MS’s.”
And regarding your expert assessment of Kiev:
“Do you recall the 40 mile column of Russian armor that sat north of Kiev for more than a week prior to withdrawing from the area? It was neither seriously damaged nor destroyed. It was used as a decoy to pin down Ukrainian units. The entire length of that column was accompanied by air defense units that prevented what was left of the Ukrainian Air Force from striking and destroying the stationary column.”
Maybe you should pay more attention to folks like Scott Ritter, Martyanov, Larry Johnson et. al. and of course, the owner of this blog.
I’m familiar with all the writers you mentioned, and do not take seriously US media and think tank claims that Russia has sustained 20,000 KIA, is a spent force, etc. Russia is flying some sorties, but the Russian Air Force lacks large quantities of precision weapons, making precise strikes from very high altitudes impossible, and is afraid to fly low because of the unlimited manpads in Ukraine. There has been very limited close air support for Russian ground forces in Ukraine. That is why Ukrainian artillery units remain active and effective, and why Russia + the Donbas forces did probably suffer 8,000 KIA, which is just a shocking amount in 2 months against the poorest country in Europe. Even the Russian MoD admitted 1,500 KIA now close to 3(?) weeks ago, and according to the MoD a Russian soldier is not dead until his body is in Russian hands. Plus obviously they have an incentive to minimize casualties on their side like everyone else.
Scott Ritter is claiming that the Russian campaign around Kyiv was a feint, to keep Ukrainian troops tied down. That was a funny feint, accounting for around half of Russian maneuver forces in the field in the first phase of the operation. Also, once Russian forces withdrew, pro-Russia writers were claiming that having Russians stationed on the border in Belarus would be enough to keep Ukrainian troops still tied down around Kyiv. Well which is it?
Martyanov has proved spectacularly wrong about everything since this invasion started. He is not a serious military analyst, but I will admit he writes very fun alt-history fan fiction. He just doubles down on Russian perfection in the field, this campaign will be studied in the history books, yes the huge losses to take Hostomel, the brave Russian special forces who died taking it, and it’s complete abandonment a few weeks later, along with the entire Russian position around Kyiv.
Biden said clearly before the war started that the us goal was to start a war and bleed the Russians over a long time by supplying an insurgency. Clearly the us didn’t expect to win in a conventional sense, so there isn’t really a let-down there if Ukraine gov’t falls. The insurgency was the goal, not conventional victory.
What’s so amazing to me is that Biden basically telegraphed this whole plan.
The weird thing – or mistake? – is that they built up Zelensky so much that his downfall would be a major loss of face. If the Ukraine had been left as an anonymous exotic country in the minds of the public, like Afghanistan in the 80s, it’d be no loss of face to allow the gov’t to fall and ramp up an insurgency. But now the gov’t falling is a big deal.
But of course Ukraine had to be built up as the good guys to make Russia the bad guys to get Europeans to accept severing their economies from Russia and potential major war, and to get the us public to accept higher costs. Seems like a glitch in their supply-an-insurgency plan: nato looks so invested in Ukraine it’s a major loss of face to get to the supply-the-insurgency phase which could conceivably not go nuclear.
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Apparently, those “super tanks”, called “Gepard (Cheetah)”, are anti-aircraft systems on a tank chassis.
See today’s post at Moon of Alabama.
The author, B, has personal experience with this equipment. TI;DR – They will be useless to the Ukrainians due to training issues, and Switzerland is refusing to supply ammunition for them.
I second that, great article from MOA
…and the tank type has been retired from active service in the German Army quite some time ago, so it’s not exactly the most modern equipment.
So far Russian Army has used for the SMO
12% of its soldiers
10% of its fighter jets
7% of its tanks
5% of its missiles
4% of its artillery
The US is going to be waiting a long, long time for Russia to run out of resources – or for them to ‘bleed.’ The Ukie army will collapse if it continues to lose materiel and soldiers at the rate it currently is. I’m not obsessively counting but just this week Ukies have lost almost 2000 KIA and lord knows how many injured, deserted and captured and it’s only Wednesday. Quite simply this cannot last.
Russia is capturing or overtaking abandoned equipment and vehicles at a much higher rate than previously, most of the western ‘gifts’ don’t make it to the front and weapons depots are hunted out and destroyed. Today in Zaporozhya a Kalbr hit a neo Nazi training center of 1500 on the grounds of the aluminum plant there. The Britsh (60 mercenaries and some SAS also) were training Ukrainians at this facility. Russians hacked the healthcare servers in the region to establish casualties. So far 523 killed and 347 wounded. Perhaps a reply to the British who encourage Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil?
Re: the German aid to Ukraine, they admitted today that very few of the tanks are in serviceable order.
This is becoming ever more humiliating for NATO and particularly the US every day. We can see for sure now the absolute blanket western propaganda on their own people for what it is, a cover up for a massive NATO/US/UK defeat and very expensive at that. It will be interesting to see what happens in the Transnistrian direction next.
I think we can all expect some more ‘Russian atrocities’ from the Ukrainian Hollywood Regiment tutored by MI6, after all, if you can’t win the real war win the imaginary one.
Just noting a funny typo, the airbase is spelled “Ramstein”, with a single “m”, “Rammstein” is the name of a German metal band.
Regarding the firewall between Russian and Western media, it is interesting to note that it is not completely impenetrable. See below article arguably summarising Lavrov’s intervention in The Great Game, which the author of this blog often quotes. It would be interesting to see if Lavrov’s points have been adequately reported.
P.S. There may be a paywall for this article as i have a subscription. Happy to share credentials to access if anyone is interested. And obviously you will have to paste it into Google Translate
P.S. The article also links the Russian media in case somebody bothers to read Russian
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