Russia Launches New Electrical Grid/Infrastructure Strikes in Ukraine

I’m putting up this post on the last round of missile and drone strikes in Ukraine as a quasi open thread, since the freshest reporting is unlikely to be in English. The BBC, which is often fast out of the box, does not have a story up yet. Yours truly looks only at a very few Russian and Ukraine sites, so please pipe up in comments if you have additional or better intel.

Russia has sometimes followed up a big barrage with a second day of what may be cleanup, with cruise missiles featuring heavily in the first-day salvo and the second, drones. So far, this day’s bombings seems less intense and wide-ranging than yesterday’s.

Note also that until yesterday, Russia had attacked in the morning, before or during typical commute hours. Yesterday’s pounding took place at 4:00 PM local time, late enough in the day to impede assessment and repair. Today’s appears to have started at around 11:00 AM.

From the Guardian:

Russia has unleashed another wave of rocket, drone and missile strikes across Ukraine in its sixth mass attack since early October…

Strikes on critical infrastructure in Odesa and Dnipro were confirmed by the presidential administration and the respective regional heads on Thursday morning. Three people were reportedly injured in Odesa region its authorities said, while a another 14 people were injured, including a teenager, in the strike on Dnipro city, according to its mayor Borys Filatov. The Dnipro regional administration reported that a total of five people were injured.

Two rockets and an Iranian Shahed drone were shot down over Kyiv, according to the head of Kyiv region, Dmytro Kuleba.

The head of Mykolaiv region reported that Iranian-supplied Shahed drones were at work over his region. He also said that a rocket had been launched in their direction from the Black Sea.

And LeMonde:

Strikes hit Ukraine’s southern Odesa region and the city of Dnipro for the first time in weeks early on Thursday, November 17, and air raid sirens sounded all across the country amid fears that Moscow unleashed another large-scale missile attack.

An infrastructure target was hit on the Odesa region, Governor Maksym Marchenko said on Telegram, warning about the threat of a “massive missile barrage on the entire territory of Ukraine.”

Strana reports hits in Kharkiv:

On November 17, Russian troops launched rocket attacks on the Izyumsky district of the Kharkov region. Fixed hits on critical infrastructure.

Governor Oleg Sinegubov announced this on his telegram channel.

According to him, three workers were injured, they were hospitalized.

He also once again addressed the residents of the Kharkiv region and urged them not to ignore the air raid signals.

Russian troops attacked the Izyum district of Kharkiv region

Recall that in the morning in Ukraine there was a long air raid. Kharkiv region authorities warned residents about possible Russian strikes.

At the same time, in the morning the Russians attacked an infrastructure facility in the Odessa region . The Dnieper also came under attack.

Footage is starting to come out but I cannot confirm its validity (including whether it is the Russian attack or anti-air weapons gone astray). Nevertheless:

So far, it appears the strikes are limited compared to yesterday. Any additions or updates appreciated.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    The increased tempo of these strikes may indicate that the Russians feel that they have an understanding of the Ukrainian power grid and are confident about where and how to strike it for maximum effect. It should be mentioned that these strikes are also having an effect on Moldova as they are still tied into the Ukrainian grid. But as the present government is all in on going against Russia, the Russians are probably just seeing this as gravy atop the meat-

    Meanwhile, and more ominously, the Hindustan Times is reporting snow falling in Kiev for the first time this year and the regional governor warning that temperatures could drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) this winter-

      1. truly

        I added this info late on another thread a few days ago- but something to watch- if they get heavy snow before they get a cold stretch then the ground may stay soft underneath the snow. Mud under snow. If they get a cold stretch first then the ground will set up hard. (smart) Military advisors will wait to see what happens with the weather. Winter does not automatically mean that ground conditions change. Mud under snow will not facilitate off road travel.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Zelensky is probably scouring Zillow now looking for a place in Florida. If he’s quick, the entire family can even visit the Orland Disneyland for Xmas.

        1. Pat

          Gee, the caring and concerned First Lady of Ukraine has of course opened these flats to house poor distressed refugees running from the awful Russian onslaught of their country. Oh, wait…

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, both, and, below, TS.

            Yesterday, Buckinghamshire County Council wrote to residents asking for volunteers to host Ukrainian refugees as many host families are no longer able to for financial reasons or hosts and guests have fallen out. The local authority is still prioritising Ukraine and grandstanding about it.

            The Zelensky beautiful people power couple also own sea front property in Israel and have moved his parents there.

            Willy Wonka Poroshenko also owns a portfolio of tony London properties.

            1. Tempestteacup

              Do you have any idea how much it costs to deep clean the stench of the common people out of plush carpets, velvet drapes and tapestried ottomans? They’re leading the fight for democracy against the forces of darkness, not running some kind of benevolent society!

      1. Tom Stone

        Zelensky has owned a $34MM beachfront shack in Miami Beach for some time to go along with the Tuscan Villa and the London flats.

        1. Karl

          If Mussollini had fled Italy a few days earlier, he would have made it to Germany.

          When heading for the exits, timing is everything.

          But will the U.S. let him leave? Can the U.S. prevent him from leaving? I can imagine this conversation:

          Zelensky: Hi Vicky! The kids want to go to Disney World in Orlando this Christmas!
          Nuland: Vlad, so glad to get your call! No can do. This is not a good time. de Santis doesn’t want you there. He’s not cooperating with our operation “Ukraine Refugee Airlift.”
          Zelensky: Well, what about Disnelyland Paris?
          Nuland: I’ll say it again, Vlad, F**k Macron and F**k the EU…. Besides, do you remember when Ghani left Afghanistan just before we pulled out? Everything went to sh*t. You can’t leave now.
          Zelensky: Well….
          Nuland: And anyway? We’ve reserved every aircraft and train to get U.S and NATO personnel out. Jake promised Joe there absolutely wouldn’t be another pullout fiasco. We really did our planning this time…

  2. LawnDart

    Strikes of Retribution 2.0-summary as of 11: 00 Moscow Time on November 17

    Russian Aerospace Forces continue to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure

    After yesterday’s whirlwind accusation of Russia in the Polish incident, the Russian Aerospace Forces still continued to deliver “retaliatory strikes”, not being afraid of ridiculous slander. So far, the intensity of the strikes, as it was on November 15, can not be said, but there are several important critical infrastructure facilities affected.

    Currently, we know about flights to:

    In Kiev;
    Odessa region;
    Lviv region;
    Poltava region;
    Cherkasy region.
    Confirmed hits on infrastructure objects in:

    The blackout occurred in:

    Dnipropetrovsk region (DTEK emergency shutdowns).
    Earlier, Readovka wrote that at least four explosions were heard in the Dnipropetrovsk region.

    Author: Sergey Storozhev
    Source: Readovka [dot] news

    1. LawnDart

      Larry Johnson’s take on the other day’s events:


      I believe the evidence is overwhelming that Ukraine tried and failed to manufacture a “Russian” attack on Poland that would have justified NATO coming to Poland’s defense under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty and solved Kiev’s dilemma over how to replace the massive number of Ukrainian soldiers that were killed or wounded in combat during the past two months…

      1. mrsyk

        I read Mr Johnson and I get much of what he writes, but couldn’t this particular event be nothing more than a miss with a s300?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Please look at the map. Johnson explained his theory:

          It is highly unlikely — hell, impossible — that this was an “errant” missile that Ukraine fired in a moment of desperation trying to take down an in bound Russian missile. Why? The Russian missiles are flying from the south to the north or from the east to the west. That means if Ukraine is firing an anti-missile defense system at those inbound missiles the Ukrainian missile would travel from west to east.

          The Russian strike nearest the Polish landing was Lvov. Any other target would have been too far for an S300. The S300 would have had to have gone straight north.

          1. Pat

            After the numerous lies Ukraine has told and the West has seemingly swallowed hook line and sinker I bet they are gobsmacked that this was just too unbelievable for Biden and the US.

            And I have to wonder if this says everyone in positions of power gets the logistics are not in NATOs favor for direct confrontation and so will only “help” in a manner that continues a war of attrition no matter how desperate the stupid and greedy little pawn nation gets.

          2. mrsyk

            Thank you. MoA reporting on this has a map indicating the missile was fired in a northerly direction from just west of Lviv and seems to express the opinion that it was an errant shot.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              He does not appear to have considered the issue Johnson raised, that the missiles were coming from an entirely different direction and it would make no sense to shoot straight north to intercept them. He merely looked at the distance and said, yeah, at the far end of S300 range from Lvov.

          3. Polar Socialist

            While S-300 is used as a synonym for the missile, and there’s nothing really wrong with that, I just can’t resist to point out that S-300 is actually the designation of the system, nicknamed Triufm in Russia, SA-10 Grumble in NATO.

            A normal S-300 system consists of 2 units of 40V6M lifting radar tower vehicles (the radar model on top varies), 4 to 8 units of 5P85S or 5P85D launcher vehicles, one 5N63S targeting and guidance radar vehicle and one 5N83S command center vehicle.

            The missiles used by Ukrainians are likely semi-active 5V55R, from 1984, with range of 75 km. As far as I know, they don’t have the self-destruction function of the later models, and being semi-active tend to become silly and go their own way when not guided by the 5N63S radar.

            The Soviet/Russian doctrine is to launch two missiles per target to maximize the kill probability, so if Ukrainians still use the same doctrine, it is within the realm of possibility that this was actually an accidental second missile going wild. But the way Mr. Zelesnky is behaving gives more credence to an alternative explanation.

          4. Raymond Sim

            It is highly unlikely — hell, impossible — that this was an “errant” missile that Ukraine fired in a moment of desperation trying to take down an in bound Russian missile.

            Maybe, unless it totally failed to guide, in which case I suspect it could well have headed off anywhere. But why assume it to have been fired at a missile inbound on Lviv? Isn’t it just as plausible that, for example, it was fired at some long-range target and failed so spectacularly due to Russian countermeasures?

              1. Raymond Sim

                Not a long-range ground target, a long-range aerial target.

                Low-flying cruise missiles and drones are unlikely to be the only Russian objects in Ukrainian skies.

        2. Old Sovietologist

          I think Johnson is right. This was a deliberate escalation by the Ukrainian’s. They are desperate to get NATO involved.

          Zelensky has blundered badly and he looks ridiculous . Poland isn’t happy and Biden’s comments suggest Zelensky has had a telling off from the Americans.

          On the electricity front 70% of Odessa has been without electricity for 3 days. Everyday the Russian’s are turning the screw. If there is a severe winter in the region, Kiev is expecting heavy snow tomorrow, we’re likely to see millions more Ukrainian’s heading towards the EU.

          1. schmoe

            They are of course trying to draw NATO in, but I cannot see them executing a false flag that will be debunked within 24 hours after it is revealed that the missile’s range prohibits any Russian direct involvement in the missile launch.

          2. Tom Bradford

            I’m inclined to the accident/air-defence missile going astray.

            Had this been a deliberate false-flag operation it would have been aimed at a school/hospital/crowded commuter railway station nearby a ‘legitimate’ military target in order to give the press lots of gruesome photos to inflame the Western public opinion and increase pressure on their Governments/NATO to respond, rather than an insignificant farm in the middle of nowhere and in the hope there would be someone in the vicinity to be killed.

            In fact if this was a stray missile it was surely the most outrageous bad luck that it did hit a building and kill two, as the odds of that rather than the thing falling in open country which this part of the world mostly is, must be up there with lottery-winning chances.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I think they assumed they would not be questioned….as the Nord Stream attacks were not questioned. They could not use a HIMARS, only foreign operators can aim and shoot them. It had to be Soviet equipment to be dimly plausible.

              It was at the far end of the S300 range and barely got into Poland. The entire potential target area looks rural.

              Plus I doubt S300s are designed to aim for ground targets.

              1. Olivier

                According to to Cory Doctorow S-300s can be operated in either ground-to-air (anti-missile) or ground-to-ground mode.

                1. Polar Socialist

                  Yes, the older missiles don’t have the self-destruction functionality, so they can be used as very crude ground attack weapons but due to the nature of the beast (semi-active radar homing) they are inaccurate as, well, any blind ballistic missile without even inertial guidance.

                  Same of course goes for the newer ones, if you disconnect the self-destruction. The missiles meant for S-300 system have shelf life of 10 years, so the older ones should not be usable anymore.

                  Ukrainians were claiming that Russians have installed GPS guidance modules in S-300 missiles to hit ground targets, but my guess is that that mostly to booster the narrative that Russia is running out of missiles and that Ukrainians are not hitting their own buildings with their air-defense missiles.

                  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it would be against the Soviet/Russian philosophy that a weapon is optimized for one purpose and kept as simple as possible. And also against the trend of the last 7 years (since intervention in Syria) in Russian artillery and rocket forces of going for more accurate fire.

      2. Carolinian

        Just as a sidebar yesterday I tried getting DDG/Bing to give me a link to sonar21 and it wouldn’t do it–and I scrolled way down. There were plenty of other Johnson links but not to his blog. Ironically Google did link to his blog.

        So while I will continue to use DDG for many of my searches because you can get direct links, it looks like the recent bashing here at NC is somewhat justified.

        1. Ed Miller

          Contrary to this I tested DDG just now – typed in “sonar21” and DDG provided the link as the Top Hit. I wonder about this. Are there regional discrepancies or other factors? I am in PNW (Oregon).

          1. Carolinian

            Well my search was for “Larry C. Johnson.” I doubt that readers unfamiliar with Johnson would know to search “sonar21” since after all that is why they are searching. If your system gives different results for my search then I stand corrected.

            1. cfraenkel

              Search engines are giant collections of competing black boxes these days. There is no such thing as a single ‘result’ for a search – the results (and the order they are presented in) change all the time, due to many competing factors, including what you have searched for in the past, and which previous results you have clicked on in the past. (Yes they are watching you – and that’s not in an evil way, necessarily – that’s how Google results were so good for a while. Then things changed, but that’s another story…. )

              There may be censorship going on, it would be extremely difficult to prove in most cases without firsthand knowledge. You would need 100s of examples of the exact same query from many users from both before and after the supposed censorship regime. There have been a few cases where that evidence bubbled up, but not many.

              Remember – the engines are evaluating links with a heavy emphasis on CTR (Click Through Rate). They will favor sites that the crowd has previously clicked on. In a propagandized environment, where one view is repeated over and over on the MSM, links that support the narrative will naturally percolate upwards all on their own, just because they are the ones that most of the crowd is clicking on.

              IMHO, the strongest evidence for censorship is that so many people close to the levers of power are calling for it to be used in this way as opposed to that way. That they think it’s worth advocating for suggests they think there’s actually something there that can be changed.

              1. Carolinian

                Fair enough. Maybe his blog doesn’t get much traffic except from those of us around here and fellow like minded. But I scrolled down a lot and did not have that problem with my Google search.

                And my comment was meant FWIW. As I said I still use DDG not to mention Wikipedia and will continue to do so even if censorship proven. It’s always been my view that we have to put in some effort to make the web a truth machine. You can’t only depend on DDG or Wikipedia or whoever as sole source.

        2. junkelly

          I just checked DDG for “sonar21” and there were links about the site, but no link to the site in the top 20. Many other sites like MoA, smoothiex12, the saker, show up. Sonar21 does not show up on bing but does show up on google.

      3. JustTheFacts

        Something which seems to me to give more credence to the false flag operation hypothesis is the fact that it appears that some people in the administration would like to see a settlement now, yet others (neo-cons) want to see an escalation. And oddly whenever this configuration of stars happens, all of a sudden, something unexpected occurs which clearly precludes peace. I remember noticing this pattern in other recent conflicts involving the US, but cannot recall the details at the moment. The fact that the media seemed primed to hype this “aggression” of which we are “victims” further suggests a planned provocation. We are fortunate that this didn’t degenerate into an invocation of Article 5 despite various politicians’ best efforts.

  3. Polar Socialist

    The video in the russiaisterroriststate tweet is of the strike on Yushmash factory in Dnipro, that allegedly was building/repairing missiles and missile engines. Which also might explain the size of the blast.

    Ukranian Naftogas is reporting that three of it’s subsidiary’s gas-extraction and purification facilities have been hit. One in Kharkov region, one in Dnipropetrovsk region and one in Kiev region.

    Emergency blackouts in Odessa region reported by Ukraine.

  4. John R Moffett

    Rather than shock and awe, which seems like the Hollywood version of war, Russia is using the drip-drip approach in slowly taking out the electric grid. This gives Ukraine time to consider their options before all the lights go out for the winter. It will force them to the negotiating table eventually, probably before Kiev goes dark. We will see, but my guess is that this approach is working, and Ukraine is getting a bit desperate with their attempts to get the West even more involved.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Reader Lex speculated yesterday that this slow approach is to produce shutdowns rather than a catastrophic collapse:

      According to the IAEA, several reactors in Ukraine had to be shut down today because of grid issues. Going to diesel for emergency cooling during the shutdown procedure. That’s a very big deal on top of all the other transmission issues the energy attacks are creating.

      It’s not easy to stop and start a coal unit. Startup of a coal unit is super dangerous too (blow back of the fuel into supply lines is just a thing that happens and turns them into bombs). If a turbine is shut down and isn’t kept spinning at least a little, it can take anywhere from hours to weeks to get back to generating rpm’s because the shaft deflects and tolerances in a turbine are super tight. But coal startups are child’s play compared to restarting a nuclear reactor and you still have all the other equipment issues like turbine shaft deflection.

      Also, Lvov has said it may take a year to get their electrical system back to 100%. I’m guessing that we’re close to seeing the full collapse of Ukraine’s energy system. I’m also guessing that part of the punctuated attacks is so that it fails in a somewhat controlled manner rather than catastrophically. That is, the Ukrainian engineers are forced to shut it down rather than have it collapse.

      1. XXYY

        Lvov has said it may take a year to get their electrical system back to 100%

        This seems extremely optimistic. Even in the west, lead times for individual parts like power transformers can be more than a year and routinely is. And this is in an environment where the transportation and power systems are intact. Most of Ukraine’s power system is built using Soviet / Russian equipment and standards, and will not be readily obtainable anywhere else. Someone made the point in a discussion yesterday that the very heavy rolling stock needed to deliver large pieces of equipment by rail may not even exist in the Ukraine at this point, and since Ukraine standardized on the Russian rail gauge, this equipment too would need to come from Russia.

        Another issue is obviously whether the workforce any longer exists to restore the damaged systems. And we can imagine that much of the working age male population of Ukraine has either been drafted into the military, or fled the country. I assume designing and repairing electrical grids is skilled work that requires years or decades to become proficient in.

        Weirdly, probably the best hope for restoring Ukraine’s power grid is peace with Russia, and a willingness by Russia to to provide workers and equipment to rebuild what they have destroyed.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I think I’ve found at least two companies in Russia that make big transformers. Also one in Belarus and one in Kazakhstan – all countries using the same Soviet grid it’s not a surprise.

          No idea of the lead times, naturally. But I guess at least Russian and Belarusian factories could do double or triple shifts when told to. Or maybe even start a subsidiary right there in Donbass. One of the first things Russians build in Mariupol was a new cement factory.

          1. Greg

            Interesting. Kazakhstan might even churn out some transformers for NATO, given how they’ve been playing both sides.

        2. rosemerry

          Commonsense in action, XXYY! Why did Ukraine’s government not even consider allowing the two Russophone republics DPR and LPR to have special status inside Ukraine, as asked for by Russia (and the UN/ Minsk plans) and save all this conflict??

      2. Raymond Sim

        Reader Lex speculated yesterday that this slow approach is to produce shutdowns rather than a catastrophic collapse: …

        I would argue that it would also be the most effective way to acheive total collapse, or the capacity to quickly induce total collapse over wide areas more or less at will. In other words, what we’re seeing appears consistent with goals equivalent to those of a NATO-style deep interdiction campaign.

    2. timbers

      Which suggests Z may be clueless regarding US intent to fight to the last Ukrainian – including him if events break that way.

    3. Polar Socialist

      Allegedly 78% of Kiev is without electricity at the moment. DTEK company stated that in the areas where there are no critical infrastructure, the electricity will be restored within a week.

      Same company also said they are moving from planned outages to planned electrification – customers can expect 2-3 hours of electricity per day.

      There are also unverified reports that Ukraine has trouble in moving troops from Kherson area to east of Dniepr due to lack of electricity.

      1. Greg

        I’ve also seen reports of outages of mobile internet and cellular telephony, consequent to the power outages in Kyiv/Kiev.

        1. Greg

          Sorry – context. Mobile outages are interesting because this has previously been one of the last things to go when the grid is flickering and being taken down in sections. At least from what I’ve observed in reports, so could be incorrect.

  5. Brian Beijer

    The video in the russiaisterroriststate tweet is of the strike on Yushmash factory in Dnipro, that allegedly was building/repairing missiles and missile engines. Which also might explain the size of the blast.

    After watching the video and reading your explanation, it made me wonder what tweets the Germans in Munich would have posted if they had the internet in 1945. Would it read: Americans attack a peaceful city #Dachau Many civilian casualties :( #americaisateroriststate #USAIsATerroristState #USAWarCrimes #ThirdReich

    The Ukrainian army shelled the civilian population in the Donbass every day for eight years and no one said a word.

    1. marcel

      No need to use past tense, the shelling is still ongoing. The only thing that changed is that they are now also targeting Russian communities in Kursk or Belgorod Oblasts.

      1. Polar Socialist

        According to the Donetsk national militia this morning, during the last 24 hours there has been 134 strikes from Ukrainian side – HIMARS and Grad rockets, 155 and 152 mm shells and 120 mm mortars – targeting nine settlements. Three civilians were wounded and 21 houses and 6 civilian infrastructure facilities were damaged or destroyed.

      2. Daniel James

        Inter Slava Z had a great repost of a post from a Polish city council member ripping the Polish President for the mealy mouth excuse that the missile strike was accidental. The council member is demanding that Poland grows a spine and does let Zelenski lead them by their noses into WWIII.

        That council guy has more common sense that the entire Washington and EU top brass.

  6. Lex

    As others have eloquently explained, percentages of energy destruction aren’t linear. Kiev presents them as 30% or whatever for effect, but there just isn’t a large amount of slack built into these systems. At this point we must be approaching the point of no, realistic return. Adding gas sites is interesting because these are almost always built at station/terminal locations along a pipeline. Attacking them runs the risk of bringing down a pipeline or pipeline network. I wonder if that’s to eliminate the possibility for emergency generation. Since a very large gas generator is relatively easy to bring online.

  7. nippersdad

    I saw in Politico this morning the very first mention that the Russian missile barrage is anything more than a war crime against civilians. It almost looked like journalism.

    “An unreliable energy sector could have deadly consequences, Ukrainian officials say. In recent conversations, they’ve added that it could halt food production and transport operations — critical services needed to support military operations.”

  8. LawnDart

    3,500 Russians Soldiers Have Already Requested To Surrender To Ukraine Army: Report

    On Sept. 18, the Ukrainian military launched the “I Want To Live” project, giving Russian soldiers who wanted to surrender a special hotline to call. Since launching the initiative, Ukraine has received thousands of surrender requests, the project’s spokesman Vitaliy Matvienko told The Kyiv Post in an interview. It is unclear how many Russian soldiers have successfully taken part in the initiative.

    In other reports, from his death-bed, an addled and withered Putin clasps to the last vestiges of his dictatorship, abandoned by all but a handful of hardcore loyalists, as a Russian public clamors for an immediate unconditional surrender to NATO. Pro-Western Russian politicians have already agreed to partition the Russian empire and to abandon imperialism, to privatize its gas and oil industry in order to pay reparations for its terrible and unprecedented aggression and rule-breaking, and to abide by the directives of the IMF, World Bank, and neoliberal world order. Further, Russia will surrender Kalingrad to Poland, Crimea and all territories around the Sea of Azov to Ukraine, and negotiate for the return of its 3.5 million servicemen captured by Ukraine since Russia’s sneak-attack on the peaceful and progressive democratic country.

      1. CNBayLion

        True. Sad thing is the MSM might take this story and some gullible people might actually believe it.

  9. Hayek's Heelbiter

    Does anybody living in the Ukraine ever post on this site? Or does anybody have a large tranche of Ukrainian friends? Just curious.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Have a Ukrainian neighbor 4 doors down. I don’t about the war unless it is talked about first.

      One of the kid’s friends (who is in kindergarten) had a Ukraine flag pinned to her scooter in the spring. And all the local mainline protestant churches still have their Ukraine flags flying.

      an area Polish community too…when we chit-chat at the playground, none of the native-born Poles are talking about the war.

      Not even going to try to trot out the “the first casualty in war is the truth” line.

  10. LawnDart

    Why does Russia hit the energy infrastructure in Ukraine, because ordinary people suffer, and not Zelensky-you can often hear this question

    Let’s get this straight.

    1. There is a war going on. Humane methods do not mean that people’s lives become less comfortable, but that these people remain alive.

    Killing people and blowing up substations are different things from the point of view of humanity, you will agree… …So is there some humanity in missile strikes on the energy infrastructure, or not?

    2. You can also provide a minimum level of comfort with mobile life support systems. And how many generators and heaters did the West transfer to Ukraine? How many humanitarian convoys have you sent to help Ukraine pass the winter comfortably? Zero? Only weapons are sent?

    So why is the hatred directed at Russia, and not at the West, which openly speaks to Ukraine: we [the West] don’t care about your comfort, we need you as meat in the war with Russia. Is it cold at home? Everything goes to the front: you will warm up in tanks, or on marches.

    3. And most importantly. For eight years I lived among those who did not care about the war in the Donbass. For them, this war was only in the news reports: like somewhere in Syria, or in faraway Africa, and not at home, where our compatriots are dying every day. They continued to live as if there was no war.

    And so they didn’t care about the war for eight years, it didn’t affect their personal lives. And now they are deprived of all this: Putin has deprived them of the cinema, vinishka and the beach. And so they are not against the war, just so that this war does not interfere with their life.

    If you’re cold, you’re alive. And this is the main thing in a country where there is a war. Not vinishko, kinishko and restaurants, but life. Even if not comfortable, but life…

    …And do not regret the way it was: there is no way to return neither the borders of 1991, nor the past world, nor the past comfort. And is it worth it? Saving lives is more important now: there will be a better world, and then comfort.

    Source: Alexander Skubchenko, News-Front

  11. NotThisAgain

    Two rockets and an Iranian Shahed drone were shot down over Kyiv, according to the head of Kyiv region, Dmytro Kuleba.

    This is a bit surprising–if memory serves, Ukraine normally claims that they have shot down over 50% of incoming rockets.

    I wonder if somebody has told them that they should be more credible, or if the drop in morale has led them to make up more believable numbers.

    1. Polar Socialist

      This was day-time attack and so most of the strikes were caught on camera and posted on the internet. Until several officials banned it. Yet, people were out and about seeing the strikes but not seeing the interceptions. Makes it harder to come up with fantasy numbers.

      Also, Ukrainian MoD complained today that more and more Ukrainians are following Russian Telegram channels, even when have been told, by name, the channels that they should not follow. Some may think it’s a sign that Ukrainians are getting tired of their all-propaganda all-the-time media.

      1. Greg

        I find it hilarious that giving a list of “definitely don’t look at these sites” made the sites traffic go up. It’s like the masterful social media winners of Ukrainian propaganda central have never heard of the Streisand Effect.

  12. ddt

    I keep reading that Ukraine power generation in say, Kiev is at X% and it will take Y time to fix. Why do they think they’ll be able to fix it? Why wouldn’t the Russians just hit it again and again? There is no way. That’s why the polish border rocket incident reeks of desperation.

  13. Bart Hansen

    This morning Brian Berletic made an interesting comment regarding how the U.S. is treating Ukraine.

    Paraphrasing, he said that we have been “cruel”. We first engineer a coup, install a compliant government that hates Russia, and then encourage them to engage in a proxy war that will be ruinous.

    Additionally, I will add that we flooded the country with armaments that are being dribbled into the country in such a way to prolong it as long as possible. And, also to make sure that the war goes on and on, we trained the Ukraine army for years ahead of time so that it may have a chance against the Russians.

    1. tegnost

      paraphrasing, once the country is reduced to rubble, we will have successfully created peace, and just think of the opportunity presented to western corps to rebuild in a more profitable framework…
      After all, who doesn’t like sara lee, subway sandwiches, ATT, Starlink, amazon, uber, and whatever enron calls itself these days?

    2. eg

      I think this is what Mearscheimer means when he says Ukraine has been “led down the primrose path” …

      1. CNBayLion

        The Professor was right all those years ago. Too bad the Ukrainians didn’t get the memo or didn’t read it.

    3. Lex

      It’s disgusting but totally in character. And while the details of the endings vary, the US always betrays its proxies and abandons its proxy nations to the fate we engineered. It’s not a question of if we abandon the Ukrainians but when, and I have to wonder if Zelensky and company are aware enough to realize that they’re being used before being discarded.

      Though in my opinion our mistreatment of Ukraine goes back to 1991 rather than 2014. Or, Ukraine by 2014 was what we had envisioned for Russia except Putin ruined that because the post-soviet trajectory of the two nations was fairly similar for the first 9-10 years. We never tried to build a working political or economic or social structure for the independent Ukrainian state. Politics was always oligarch wars, with Zelensky being the first president who wasn’t actually an oligarch (just an oligarch employee). The Euro Maidan was real and it was anger at living in a failed state for 23 years. That justifiable anger was then manipulated to get what we’ve seen since 2014.

      1. Bart Hansen

        And you will notice that all the unhappy places like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen are only mentioned in the media when a car bomb goes off in a market, the object being to keep the terrorists in the recesses of our minds.

        “Judy” on the PBS Newshour has this down pat.

    4. David in Santa Cruz

      The U.S. didn’t simply install a proxy government that hates Russia — they installed a government that hates Russians, a group who happen to make up a substantial portion of the population of the pre-1991 Ukrainian SSR.

      The cockamamie idea started in Bosnia and Kosovo that an American-controlled NATO could play policeman for the UN outside of NATO territory against Serbian nationalism. The result wound up enabling a decade of ethnic cleansing, punctuated by torture, rape, genocidal mass-murder, and the collapse of civil law. This model has been replayed in Somalia, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Honduras, Libya, Syria, etc. with similar results — the destruction of civilian infrastructure and the creation of masses of refugees. It will be far worse in “Ukraine” because it isn’t Bosnia and the Russian Federation isn’t Serbia.

      Team America: World Police We will fight to the last Ukrainian!

      1. JTMcPhee

        Team USA as world cop: the paradigm expanded upon the way the city police operate in Chicago, Los Angeles, NYC, Philadelphia etc. All crime, all the time…

        Will the apparent imbroglio of FTX in money laundering via Ukraine and maybe involving certain leading US families have any legs, or get spiked by the editorial screeners in the captivated US and related media?

  14. Karl

    RE: Reading the attacks for clues about Russian objectives

    Yesterday, Mercouris wondered why Russia hasn’t taken out more of the Dnieper bridges since they clearly have that capability. Doing this would definitely hamper Ukrainian supply of troops in the East.

    A few days ago, Brian Berletic talked about Ukraine’s huge logistical difficulties getting supplies East (and equipment repairs, which must go West to Poland and then back East). He then speculated as to why the bridges haven’t been attacked: the Russians will need them intact to carry troops advancing toward Kiev (and maybe Kherson/Odessa) if/when Eastern front collapses. Or at least they are keeping that option open.

    I have another perspective: this will play out in two phases. Phase I is to let its highly dispersed missile strikes and General Winter prep the land (battlefield) and the psyche (the US/EU will to continue). Phase II is the coup de grace.

    In the current Phase I, Russia is keeping Ukraine’s military position just viable enough to keep them/US/NATO in this war longer (at least a few months longer). As many have stated, this is no longer a Russia-Ukraine war, but a Russia-US/NATO war; and a longer war may be necessary to shatter, finally, US/NATO deeply ingrained hubris and illusions. Cognitive breakthroughs sometimes require a painful drawn-out crash with reality.

    Phase II: well, you know how that will go. The Bahkmut-Seviersk line collapses, and Russian troops go the way Berletic suggests, and fairly quickly.

    Curious to hear any comments from the NC commentariat on this!

    1. Karl

      Keeping the bridges intact long enough to let Russian troops advance over them will require a “Market Garden” type advance behind enemy lines (e.g. up the Dnieper?), e.g. to prevent the demolition of the bridges. Market Garden — an bold operation to try to capture bridges over the Rhine — didn’t end well for the allies in WW II. (Read “A Bridge Too Far”, it’s a great story.) Can Russia pull this off?

    2. Polar Socialist

      Bridges are notoriously hard to destroy unless you can actually set the explosives in the right places. But yes, it can be done. i believe the railroad bridge in Cherkasy was hit months ago and is still inoperative.

      Although I’m more often wrong than correct in trying to predict what the Russian commanders plan, I’d venture a guess they want to keep Ukrainians bringing men and machines to where they can be destroyed without risking air force too much.

      If and when the mobilized force is ready, and the Ukrainians have crossed to the left bank, they can push north from Melitopol along the Dniepr all the way to Samara confluence bypassing the big cities (Zaporozhye and Dniepro). Thus their right flank would be protected by Dniepr, the front line to east wouldn’t be much longer than it was before, so not much thinning the line.

      Yet the majority of Ukrainian ground forces would find themselves at the end of very, very long and exposed logistical line while the whole Ukrainian position in Donbass would be threatened from behind. For some reason the Ukrainian road network seems to be very sparse between Pavlograd (on Samara river) and Izyum.

      1. Lex

        We’ve all been more often wrong than correct in predicting Russian command. I’m with you on all this. I also think that Russia’s leaving a way out for the civilian population. Whether Kiev will let them leave is another matter, as is which direction the civilian population wants to go. I suppose that if we’re going to see that, we’ll see it fairly soon with the onset of winter combined with energy infrastructure destruction. Now would be the time people are most likely to leave the center-east portion of the country.

  15. The Rev Kev

    Was just watching a brief Gonzalo Lira video where he made a damn fine point. We could be in the middle of a major escalation right now between NATO and the Russian Federation. You are talking about troop movements, shouting at the UN Security Council, calls for no-fly zones, etc. But we aren’t. And why? Because some random Polish person wandered out to where that missile hit, took two images and posted them online. And those two image proved conclusively that it was a Ukrainian missile that hit and killed those two guys. But without those images posted online, would we have ever heard that they were not Russian? Or would it have been kept secret like the Baltic Sea investigations allowing the collective west to escalate the conflict no end by claiming that they were? Damn, that was a close call that- (5:24 mins)

    1. JustTheFacts

      Indeed, thank you Polish person who put the images online. Shoigu’s making Russia’s concerns about a “dirty bomb false flag” public also further increases the credibility of the false-flag hypothesis.

    2. Polar Socialist

      I don’t think it was a random Polish person. I may be wrong, but I think it was a journalist from the local newspaper, first of his trade on the scene. If I recall correctly how the story developed that night, the local media and officials already suspected it was an Ukrainian air-defense missile gone astray when reporting.
      It just got “sexed up” somewhat when the news traversed trough the desks of the usual suspects. Maybe someday that journalist will write a book of the events, who knows.

        1. ambrit

          I’m guessing that he’ll end up like the Russian Navy officer who averted WW-3 one afternoon cruising in the Caribbean back in 1962. He simply refused to launch a nuclear torpedo at American ships that were dropping depth charges in their area in an attempt to make the submarine surface.

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