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Tom Cooper
March 18 at 6:15 AM ·
To clarify few things that came up ‘in reaction’ to my reporting from yesterday and today:
1.) Condition/Status of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine (RFA)…
– The withdrawal of the 58th CAA from Mykolaiv to Kherson means no ‘defeat of Rusisa’, ‘end of war’ or similar nonsense -, but a withdrawal of the 58th CAA to Kherson. Nothing more and nothing less. Please, be so kind, and don’t put words in my mouth, especially not such statements like ‘Tom says Russia is defeated’: I’m allergic to such behaviour, and I’ll instantly block anybody displaying it.
– On the contrary, I can only repeat: while I remain on the standpoint that Russia can’t win this war, I also insist that it’s far from being defeated. Inability to win a war is not the same like defeat. It simply means: Russia cannot defeat Ukraine in a conventional war any more.
– Foremost, mind that the West OSK and the South OSK are currently scratching all the troops they can get and rushing them to the frontline. Be sure; they’ll be back as soon as they only can – if for nothing else but something like ‘Plan D’: conquer Ukraine east of the Dnepr River. In this regards, a withdrawal of the 58th CAA to Kherson is making perfect sense.
– Keep in mind that Putin’s ‘(three days) special operation’ remains popular – at least in Moscow and St Petersburg, where more than 50% of those asked about it continue to support Putin’s decision. Whoever wants to say ‘but these are only two cities, Russia is giant’: these two cities are the only ones that matter in Russia. Everybody else – no matter in Kaliningrad or Vladivostok – has to accept what those in control of these two cities want and do. And that with Western sanctions… sigh… have explained it already weeks ago: that came much too late. Putin is an ex-KGB/FSB – and as such little else but a mafia-boss and extortionist: he came to power thanks to blackmails, he maintains himself in power for 22 years by blackmailing, and he’s going to continue blackmailing everybody and everything as long as he only can.
– Moreover, keep in mind that this aggression remains highly popular within circles of the mid- and high-ranking Russian military officers. Yes, it exposed an endless list of shortcomings, failures, incompetence, corruption (they all can’t stop bitching about ‘corrupt Shoygu’, in particular), and outright ‘Potyomkin villages’-level of PR-nonsense about super-turbo-Wunderwaffen and ultra-modern Russian weaponry. However, nothing of that matters to the officers in question (even to those who are, actually, ‘something like anti-Putin’). They’re priding themselves with the performance of their officers and troops in Ukraine. At most, they’re discussing such details like ‘is Mi-28 better than Ka-52’ and/or where to go next, once they’ve defeated Ukraine… Losses do not matter to them: troops and machines are ‘easy to replace’, and whether we think this is really the case or not – is irrelevant to them.
– Bottom line: do not fall for any kind of illusions – especially not for one that I’m trying to create any kind of illusions. I’m reporting about events I can cross-check, that’s about all.
2.) Talking about illusions….
Some people are making themselves illusions in regards of what I’ve reported about the ‘exchange’ of Egyptian S-300Vs for F-15s, too. Well, if you think that the White House and the Pentagon really ‘negotiated that deal already weeks ago’, that’s your own illusion. Not mine, and I never said anything of that kind (besides, Washington and Cairo actually hammered that one in the course of few hours).
– Is that ‘illogical’, or ‘absurd’? Well, tell me, please, how is Russia supposed to remain capable of helping keep Egyptian S-300s operational (through supply of spares), if it a) has to replace own losses, and b) is going to experience massive problems while trying to do that because it can’t even manufacture chips necessary for its own computers….?
Thus, and while I know that remaining sober is hard for the mass of Egyptians when it’s about their armed forces, please, try to get your feet back to the ground. At least stop jumping to entirely absurd conclusions about what do I report.
3.) Ukraine – whether its government or its supporters abroad – continues demanding deliveries of combat aircraft by the West, and is de-facto blackmailing all the responsible politicians, in style of, ‘you’re having the blood of our kids on your hands’.
Whoever supports such ideas, please keep in mind the following:
– Yes, plenty of Western politicians (and the entire oligarchy bribing them, which, all combined, is several hundred of people) has bloods of Ukrainian kids on their hands. But, this is so because they wasted the last 20 years appeasing Putin and succumbing to his blackmails, and NOT because they are now refusing to deliver any kind of combat aircraft to Ukraine.
– Please, realise, finally, that countries like Bulgaria and/or Slovakia can’t simply hand over their MiG-29s. They’ve got no other supersonic interceptors in service, right now (yes, sure, both air forces are in the process of acquiring F-16s, but that’s going to take at least a year longer to complete). By all the NATO, at times like these it’s ‘every man for himself’ – and thus they’re unlikely to hand over any MiG-29s before having a suitable replacement, especially not before it’s about 1,794,837% sure, they’ll not need them to fight Putin.
– As the experiences of the Ukrainian Air Force over the last three weeks have clearly demonstrated – and I’m saying this in full respect for the courage and determination of Ukrainian pilots – its MiGs and Sukhois are almost entirely useless. In a war as massive as this one, no pilot bravado, and no 15 legends about the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ can make anything better.
Thus, instead of demanding these old MiGs without an end, see to get yourself more UCAVs/drones like Bayraktars, and such loitering guided missiles like Switchblade: they’re ‘only’ about 172% more useful than any obsolete MiGs and/or Sukhois.
4.) Finally, a few words about the ‘no-fly zone’, the Ukrainian government and parts of the public demand from the NATO:
– As first, this would be equal to a NATO’s declaration of war with Russia – and thus play straight into Putin’s hands. Why? Because he’s all the time feeding a steady diet of fake news about ‘NATO aggression’ to his public at home. So much so, the mass of Russians is convinced that NATO simply can’t wait to invade Russia.
– As second, in order to establish and maintain a no-fly zone over Ukraine, NATO would first have to destroy Russian long-range surface-to-air missiles deployed in Belarus and south-western Russia. I.e. NATO would really have to fight Russians on the Russian proper. And that would be entirely pointless to do, especially considering the VKS is hardly ever flying further south-west than Lviv, i.e. more than 50-100km behind the frontline: the mass of strikes on targets further west and south is run by ballistic- and cruise missiles. I.e. even if, a ‘no-fly zone’ would change absolutely nothing in the skies over most of Ukraine.
– What the NATO can do – at least in reasonable fashion – it is already doing: it’s supplying Ukraine with such surface-to-air systems like S-300, which are capable of intercepting ballistic- and cruise missiles. Sure, the gov in Kyiv is not boasting with that, but, whenever they’re capable of such action (i.e. there is no threat for them), Ukrainian S-300s are regularly intercepting incoming Russian missiles.
Bottom line: sorry, but there’s absolutely no point in getting hysteric and exercising any kind of further pressure over these two issues (my points 3 and 4). There are far better means of supporting Ukraine: those certain not to provoke a Third World War including a pulverisation of the northern hemisphere by several thousands of nuclear weapons. Keep in mind: that would be not only an end of Russia, but of Ukraine, too.

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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