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By John Helmer, Moscow

There’s an old Russian adage about swallowing too much and trying to talk at the same time – if  you don’t want to die of gastroenteritis, keep your mouth shut.  This isn’t an option for  understanding the  past week of the war, and preparing for the next.

Bear in mind that, in the middle of the Ukrainian ground offensive and hours before the start of the largest NATO air operation since the alliance was created in April 1949,  the war in the Ukraine is having almost no impact on President Biden’s (lead image) job approval polls and thus on his re-election chances in November 2024.

By contrast, President Putin, who goes to election between January and March of 2024, has declared his new approach to what will happen between now and then.

Despite the steady drift upwards of disapproval of the US president’s performance, and the widening gap between negative and positive voters since the start of the Special Military Operation, Biden’s conduct of the war has been the only policy which he and his election staff can calculate to have been a winner; that’s relatively speaking, when contrasted with Biden’s performance on the domestic economy, inflation, crime, immigration, and the direction of the country.


Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

A look back at the history of this single Ukraine war measure reveals that the negative margin for Biden has been contracting, not enlarging, as the war has gone from bad to worse for the Ukrainians.   


 Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com

Since no significant anti-war policy has emerged in the Democratic Party, the only declared candidate opposing Biden for the nomination, Robert Kennedy Jr. has yet to declare what he thinks he would do that Biden hasn’t. “I don’t want Wall Street running the country. I don’t want the neocons running our foreign policy. I don’t like censorship. I think I’m skeptical about war,” Kennedy declared at the start of his campaign in April.  That last line says nothing at all about the war against Russia.

On the Republican Party side, the bellwether for the candidate hopefuls – Andrew Napolitano, who is running for a seat on the Supreme Court, and Douglas MacGregor, the National Security Adviser’s job  – are making the case that Biden’s conduct of the war is exposing US weapons and military strategy to defeat, not only on the Ukrainian battlefield, but in Germany and throughout the NATO alliance in Europe. To date, the front-running Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are avoiding this point; the also-runners have no incentive to raise it.  

So long as the partisan US media are reversing the meaning of the battlefield news, so that Ukrainian losses are recorded as Russian losses, and there is no direct and catastrophic defeat of US forces on the ground, at sea, or in the air, the Ukraine war can continue to be fought without damage to either the Democrats or the Republicans in Washington. At least, that is how they are reading the polls.

The contrast with Moscow is a sharp one, although it has yet to be noticed outside Russia.  

On May 30 Putin signaled that in the outcome of the war, the Ukraine will cease to exist.  “Basically, the territory that is called Ukraine”, Putin said, using the geographic term instead of the political and legal one, “was virtually controlled from the very beginning by people who, being led by the West, took the path of not just confronting Russia, but creating an “anti-Russia” on that territory… We are striking at the territory of Ukraine, but with long-range precision weapons, at military infrastructure facilities only, either at ammunition or fuel and lubricants warehouses used for combat operations. We have talked about the possibility of striking at decision-making centres. Of course, the headquarters of Ukrainian military intelligence is one of them, and a strike at this target was carried out two or three days ago. In response, the Kiev regime has chosen a different path – attempts to intimidate Russian citizens with strikes at residential buildings. This is an obvious terrorist approach.”  In short, the Russian campaign is not against a state but on a  territory run by terrorists.

The terrorist operations, it was implied, include the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines on September 26, 2022; the Crimean Bridge bombing of October 8, 2022; the drone attacks on Russian targets, including the Kremlin, last month; and the subsequent operations against the Kakhovskaya dam and the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline on June 5-6.

Putin’s May 30 statement was followed by a second , also apparently impromptu comment on the evening of June 9.  The novel elements in what follows are the references to Ukrainian “strategic reserves” and to the Russian General Staff.

“First, we can safely state that the offensive has begun. We know this from the fact that the Ukrainian army tapped its strategic reserves. This is my first point. Second, the Ukrainian troops failed to achieve their goals in all combat sectors, which is clear as day…I cannot say that the offensive has got bogged down. All I can say is that the counteroffensive attempts that have been made so far failed. But the offensive potential of the Kiev’s regime is still there. I believe Russia’s military leadership is realistic in its assessments of the situation and will proceed from these realities as it continues to plan up our actions in the short term.”

Source: http://en.kremlin.ru/

Since the commander-in-chief is doing the talking, he’s saying that he is letting “Russia’s military leadership” do all the running now, and it will be the military “realities” which will dictate the politics of the outcome. This also means that the “realities” of the territory of the Ukraine will be decided by military operations which, on the Russian side, have yet to get fully under way until the Ukrainian “strategic reserves” have been fully committed and defeated on the battlefield.

Putin’s reference to “strategic reserves” includes the US and NATO weapons which have been committed so far, and destroyed —  and those still to come from stocks in Poland, Romania, Germany, and in the western territory around Lvov.  Against them, Putin noted “the high effectiveness of Russian weapons, especially the latest weapons. Indeed, we still do not have enough of the latest weapons, but the arms industry, the country’s defence industry is making strides, and I am sure that the defence industry will, without a doubt, fulfil its goals. The production of modern types of weapons is going at a fast pace.”  

What does this mean? In the first place, demilitarization will be run by the Russian General Staff until there are no strategic reserves left on the territory – not east of the Dnieper River, nor west. If the NATO summit scheduled for July 11-12 in Vilnius is planning to place the rump of the Ukraine under NATO protection – “a certain order of accession”, according to Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Gavrilov (right)  —  then Putin is warning that there will be a Russian military solution to ensure that this cannot happen.

In short, no political solution for the Ukraine short of elimination of US and NATO strategic reserves. This is the prospect of Russian military defeat of the US and NATO on the European battlefield for the first time. It appeared last month in the Pentagon Papers leaks attributed to Jack Teixeira, and subsequently suppressed by the White House, State Department, and the New York Times.   

Earlier on Friday last, according to the sequence of the Kremlin communiqués, Putin also made an unusual announcement of the operational deployment of nuclear weapons at the Polish and Ukrainian frontier by July 8. Speaking at a welcome for Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, Putin said: “As for security, we will talk about it behind closed doors, one on one. Overall, the situation is stable, and I would even say good. We are collaborating confidently in this area.We are proceeding on schedule with regard to the most sensitive issues, which we have coordinated. As you know, the preparation of the relevant facilities will be finished on July 7–8, after which we will immediately start the process of deploying the corresponding types of weapons in your territory. So, everything is going to plan consistently.”  For “sensitive”, “relevant”, and “corresponding types”, read nuclear arms to “correspond” with the US Aegis missile complex at Redzikowo, Poland, and warheads stored in Germany.   

Listen to the discussion with George Eliason on Saturday’s War of the Worlds TNT Radio broadcast.   The battlefield evidence referred to comes from Russian reports in all media.  They should be interpreted with a salutary warning from Colonel Vladimir Trukhan (below, right).  

Source: https://tntradiolive.podbean.com/
Right: Colonel Vladimir Trukhan,now retired from a senior staff post at the Russian Ministry of Defense:   “Demilitarization means the complete elimination of the military threat to Russia from the territory of Ukraine. Denazification means the end of the functioning of an ideology based on national superiority and disregard for other peoples on the territory of Ukraine. We can judge the achievement of these goals based on the results of the SVR, and not in the course of it. What is not clear here? The bonus was the addition of new regions to the Russian Federation. Judging by the actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Kiev, I would venture to assume that this is not the last increase. This is Putin's stratagem — each new proposal is worse than the previous one…The Supreme Commander-in-Chief said to the military: ‘You have military science and military logic, you fight.’ He specifically said: ‘I am, of course, the Supreme Command, but I did not finish the General Staff Academy, so I trust the military.’ This is also a strong point of Russia -- the lack of political pressure… I repeat, the work is being carried out systematically. It will be difficult for us, because Zelensky will go to the NATO summit, where he will be told the following: ‘We gave you everything, where is the result?’ But these questions will not be asked to us.” English translation can be read here.  

In the discussion of the June 6 attack on the Kakhovka Hydro-Electric Station (HES), the dam-busting precedents of the Soviet, German, British, and US military operations from 1941 to 1952 were mentioned. For more of the British history, read this and for the US destruction of the Sui-Ho Dam, click.   

The history of Ukrainian attacks on the Kakhovskaya dam from July 8, 2022, to June 6, 2023, can be read in the Telegram reporting of Boris Rozhin (“Colonel Cassad”).   For detailed analysis of method, motive, and consequences, including the Ukrainian testing of partial destruction last December, and the dam leaks before the June 6 operation, read this.  


Source: https://iz.ru/1524459/
Izvestia published these two pictures on June 6. The photographs are taken from a 60-second video clip, also from Izvestia, which appeared following an earlier attack on November 6, 2022. Interfax reported that strike had involved 6 HIMARS missiles at about 10 am on the Sunday morning; five of the missiles were reportedly intercepted, one struck a dam sluice gate or lock ( шлюз) --  see https://www.interfax.ru/.  These Russian sources were then republished with differing interpretation on November 12, 2022, in this London press outlet.

Source: https://topwar.ru/

For the background story of the Ukraine-Russia grain and fertilizer agreements and the significance of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline, read this.   The Russian Foreign Ministry response to the attack identified the Kiev regime as the perpetrator of terrorism: “Let me remind you,” said Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, “that this was the case with all terrorist and extremist organizations. At first, the West fed them with a ‘spoon’, nurtured them, and then ‘fattened them up’, thinking that they were for the ‘slaughter’…At some point, these monsters began to devour their creators. If anyone among the public, experts, political scientists, OR people responsible for security, has at least some doubts that the Kiev regime will not then turn its terrorist insides against its creators, then they are cruelly mistaken. Unfortunately, then,  it will be too late.”  

As you read this, the NATO air forces will be taking off to fly at Russia in the first wave of operations called Air Defender 23. Read more here.  

“By the time that we (and the Ukrainians),” comments a NATO operations veteran, “figure out that they have expended their combat power, Air Defender will be kicking off. At the current burn rate, and the Russian tempo of drone and missile strikes on rear areas, I’m betting they [Ukrainians] will be running low on ammunition, armoured vehicles and morale by then. This is where things will get very worrisome for them.  If Air Defender isn’t covering a Ukrainian attack, it will be covering their retreat. Once the NATO trained and equipped Ukrainian reserves are used up, what stands between the Russians and the General Staff’s charge westward to the limit they will decide for their military reasons?”

Part of a column of German Leopard-2A6 tanks and US Bradley M2A2 infantry fighting vehicles destroyed on their move at Russian defence lines in the Zaporozhye area before they could open fire on June 7-8.   Source: Russian Defense Ministry

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