Lambert here: Musical interlude:
By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears.
On the battlefield the Ukraine has pioneered the Mosquito Tactic – that’s sending units of dozens of soldiers running towards Russian defence fortifications in several swarms at the same time, across a half-dozen salients up and down the line of contact. In parallel, in the air and on the sea President Vladimir Zelensky and his general staff have devised the Bloody Pinprick Tactic – that’s drones exploding on Russian targets like the Crimean Bridge or the Kremlin Senate Dome.
The purpose of both, mosquitoes and pinpricks, is warmaking as public relations, Zelensky is advertising the illusion that the Ukrainian army can win its offensive against Russia, no matter how great the loss in Ukrainian men and materiel; notwithstanding how little the impact on Russian forces.
The real target of this bloody PR isn’t the Russians. It is Zelensky’s NATO allies and paymasters who secretly warned him during the July 11-12 NATO summit meeting that the cashflow and the enthusiasm are already running down, and may be cut by Christmas. The tactic of bloody PR means making daily defeat look like imminent victory, with conditions: NATO fighter-bombers pretending to be Ukrainian; Polish troops around Lvov pretending to be the revival of the Polish-Lithuanian union of 1386; and grain carriers as warships on the Black Sea, pretending to feed the hungriest populations of the world.
Listen to the interview with Basil Valentine, TNT Radio, starting at Minute 34:10:
In its statement on the Crimean Bridge attack twelve hours later, the Russian Foreign Ministry said “if the investigation finds that the surface drones that attacked the bridge are of Western origin, and that Western countries played a role in planning, sponsoring and conducting this operation, it will confirm their complicity in the Kiev regime’s terrorist activity.”
Asked to comment, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “this is a situation we are monitoring. Ah, and I don’t really have anything in particular to offer on that, err, just, ahh, I can say that as a general proposition, of course Ukraine has to decide how it conducts this war in defence of its umm territory, its people, ahhh its freedom.”
Source: https://www.youtube.com/ Min 14:22.
The next day the Russian Defense Ministry reported: “Tonight, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation inflicted a group strike of retaliation [for the Crimean Bridge attack] with high-precision sea-based weapons on objects where terrorist acts against the Russian Federation were being prepared with the use of unmanned boats, as well as the place of their manufacture at a ship repair plant near the city of Odessa. In addition, in the area of the cities of Nikolaev and Odessa, fuel storage facilities with a total volume of about 70 thousand tonnes were destroyed, from which fuel was provided to military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. All targets planned for the strike are hit.” The ministry bulletin also recorded the count of killed in action for the day in the mosquito attacks came to 715.
Fuel oil storage terminal at Ilyechevsk port, Odessa, hit by up to seven Russian missiles on July 18.
For background on the July 2022 Black Sea Grain Initiative and the role played by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths, read this.