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How Russia Loses

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, May 26th, 2022 - 90 comments
Categories: Economy, International, Russia, uncategorized, war - Tags:

Even after just four months it is time count what Russia has lost and will continue to lose.

Yes Russia has effectively captured the east and southern-east of the Ukraine.

Yes Russia has stopped Ukraine sea trade through the Black Sea.

But to the losses.

Russian troops lost the battle for Kiev within the first month. They then lost the entire north.

Russia has lost, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, over 28,000 Russian soldiers and several dozen top military staff. As well as countless armoured vehicles and aircraft. That is on the face of it about 33% of its ground armed forces.

Russia has lost recognition as a competent military power. Since 2013 the US$3.2 billion that Putin’s friend Yevgeny Prigozin was awarded, has provided Russian troops with such meager food supplies that they loot grocery stores. Their convoys have been beset by fuel shortages. Their logistics have drastically slowed their effort. Their tanks are not the once-feared force of the Soviet Bloc.

Russia, its businesses and people, have lost significant access to banking. The G-7 froze the Russian Central Bank’s international currency reserves and removed many Russian banks from SWIFT, the international messaging system for interbank transactions. In a single day Putin wiped out most of the economic gains Russia had made since 1991.

Russia has lost much of its medium-term economic future. Its economy will contract by around 9% in a single year and there is no forecast of major recovery. In August 1998 President Boris Yeltsin had dismissed his entire government for less. Whereas Putin is going to take his tight circle down with him all the way.

Russia has now ceased to publish economic data on banks, oil and debt. This hides the true effect that the economic sanctions are having.

Russia has lost influence in Europe and London. European nations are signing up for their gas elsewhere in Qatar and beyond. Finland and Norway have requested admission to NATO. Most European businesses have withdrawn from Russia and most will not return. Most European oil refineries don’t take Russian oil, though some in Italy and Germany still do.

Russia has lost many key customers, and further narrowed its economy into petroleum and gas exports. Even with over five decades of proven oil reserves left, full Russian decline will occur as reserves decline in the years ahead.

Russia has lost the remainder of Ukraine and its people as a potential ally against Europe and the United States. That is a very different place to 2013.

Russia has lost over 200,000 of its people since the war began. Future flows of emigres are likely to exceed the millions currently streaming out of Ukraine.

What will be lost next? Even if Russian news continues to be censored, the truth will come out. In 10 years of their Afghanistan war 15,000 Soviet soldiers were killed and that failure contributed to the collapse of communist rule. Nearly double that have been killed in the Ukraine to date.

Russia will continue to lose while Putin remains in power. There is no current signal that there is an emerging leadership alternative to Putin. The Presidential Protection Service will shield him well. Russia’s Security Council rarely meets with Putin to guide him on another path. The next Presidential election is March next year.

Russia will face inflation as high as 23% this year, even with its Central Bank going into crisis mode over key rates to stabilise loan rates.

Russian disposable income is dropping extremely fast, even as the Rouble has stabilised.

Russia has lost and is losing far more than it is gaining in this Ukraine invasion.

What Russia is now likely to lose in future years is far worse.

90 comments on “How Russia Loses ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I agree with you Advantage.

    It is true that Russia is making some minimal gains at the moment in their rapidly decreasing objective for this operation which seems to involve concentrating masses of their forces on the very minimal objective of encircling Severodonetsk.

    However, the outlook for Russia is not good over the next six months or so due to a number of factors:

    Firstly, the Ukrainians have done something that the Russians have been reluctant to do. That is actually mobilise their population. This is something they have been doing from the beginning of the conflict, and soon will have another 700000 of trained troops. Some of these are being trained right now on the western equipment to come.

    Secondly, over the next several months, equipment from the west will continue to accumulate. At some point in the near future, the Ukrainians are going to be in a very strong position in terms of both soldiers and heavy equipment to drive the Russians out.

    Thirdly, at the moment, any gains the Russians are making are coming at a very high cost as they bash against Ukrainian defensive positions. At the moment, the Russians haven't got any effective way to replace those losses. And they will be well behind the game if they mobilise, as they will need to go through the same process that the Ukrainians have been doing for around three months now.

    Finally, in a couple of months the full effect of western sanctions will be felt in Russia, and it won't be pretty for the Russian public or the Russian military.

  2. Adrian 2

    Good assessments, I feel this may be Putins Vietnam. We have had two young Russian backpackers work for us pre-Covid, bright, intelligent well educated mid 20s who are really very little different to the locals and good luck trying to conscripting our millennials into invading Australia or some such. We are still in touch albeit in a carefully coded way and they are angry. It is already happening in Russia with thousands chanting “ fuck the war “ at a concert in St Petersburg. The young Russians want what our kids want, that is not to be governed by out of touch 70 year old dinosaurs. As a 72 year old dinosaur I sympathise with the kids entirely. Time for 16 to be the new voting age, after all its their world now, not ours.

  3. In Vino 3

    I for one will be pleased if you are right. You do say. "On the face of it," regarding the figures quoted.

    I suspect that the US propaganda machine is working hard behind our news, and they may have learnt nothing since the early stages of the Vietnam war, when the US military made ridiculously optimistic claims regarding body counts of Viet Cong or North Vietnamese. I remember the anti-war senator Wayne Morse doing a count-up of claimed kills using the figures from the US Military, then casting doubts upon them in the Senate by pointing out that to date the entire North Vietnamese army had been killed off more than two times over. (No wonder the Tet Offensive came as a shock.)

    We have been fed stories of Russian corruption, low morale, and heavy losses.

    I wonder what the truth of it all is. Are the Ukranians as bold and valiant as we are told? Or could they also suffer from corruption, low morale, and heavy losses?

    I hope the figures used are reliable, but I feel rather cynical.. The end of all this could be still far away.

    • Francesca 3.1

      Ukrainian soldiers may not be as enthusiastic as we are led to believe.

      Verkhovna Rada member from President Zelensky’s party “Servant of the People” Maryana Bezuglaya has developed a legislative initiative that could allow Ukrainian officials in a conflict situation to kill soldiers who refuse to comply with commands or leave their deployment area without permission


      • GreenBus 3.1.1

        Anybody still think Ukraine is winning??
        The “West” are bravely hanging on to the narrative, but even with near total media control
        there is no denying what’s happening on the ground. And has always been happening.
        Russia is easily winning. Ukraine is bravely defending, but suicidal courage and low moral
        ain’t gonna win this.
        They are being systematically destroyed.
        All the hype in the world will not change the result.

        Domestically, Russia gives Poots about 80% support for the limited war.
        Inflation is falling!
        Supermarket shelves are loaded with food.
        The Ruble is UP and the US Dollar is in free fall (as is there whole stinking country)
        Russian Gas income of 1 Billion per day is covering the costs in Ukraine.
        Overall, Poots and his Military are in total control, despite the “West”efforts.

        USA hegemony is going out the window and about bloody time.

        China with Russia and possibly India will be the new system.

        So now Ukraine is fucked the yanks turn to a war with China. WTF?
        Good luck with that.

        • Kevin Warburton

          So you hate US so much you'd rather have the world dominated by Totalitarian-Authoritarian Fascist Regimes? India will never be on same team as China lol. If you love Russia and China so much go live there.

  4. aj 4

    I think it's too early to judge Russia's losses beyond the immediate costs in personnel and military equipment. And right now should we hold much weight to assessments by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense? Hardly an objective party.

    Aside from that, it will be a number of years before it becomes obvious the degree of 'loss' – to either Russia, the UE, or the world at large.

    The imposition of sanctions is clearly having mixed results, look at the fractures within EU countries. And the global south has not participated.

    • BRICS group (Brazil, India, China, South Africa). 41% of the world population.
    • The countries of OSC (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan).
    • Azerbaijan and Moldova have abandoned anti-Russian restrictions. But the most surprising position is Georgia.
    • Latin America (Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Peru).
    • ASIAN countries minus Singapore
    • The Middle East (Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran …..surprisingly also US allies U.A.E and Saudi Arabia,
      (and Pakistan)
    • The Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina).

    We cannot know yet the full impact of the 'Special Partnership' between China and Russia, as discussed here. If anyone doesn't think Putin gave Xi Jinping a heads up before it all kicked off, I've got a bridge to sell you.


    The total effect of sanctions is far from clear, not even considering the immediate effects on inflation, which is being blamed on the war but which was already simmering away before it started.

    Is America the Real Victim of Anti-Russia Sanctions?


    Along with your post there are a number of counterpoints in that article to consider. It's fair to say that this year, the cards have been thrown up in the air and we don't know how they are going to fall. I'd suggest that both sides have probably miscalculated the outcomes. (Despite what some people think there are two sides, it should be very clear by now)

    Let all just hope these miscalculations don't lead us to a nuclear confrontation.

    • SPC 4.1

      Singapore + Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      That is all well and good. These countries have all given clear signal they have no moral objection to neo-colonialist invasion and destruction And that every pro-Putin monkey here has also signaled their open support for the same.

      And that as the world de-globalises this choice will turn out to have consequences.

    • Kevin Warburton 4.3

      Well there has to be war to settle the question as two opposed systems/philosophies can't co-exist indefinitely. Either a Free Democratic World or a Fascist Totalitarian one. USA is shit but it's the lesser evil by far. I'd rather be a colony of EU/USA than of Russia, China or even India.

  5. SPC 5

    The current military situation, and the wider geo-political strategic environment.


    An emerging issue is food exports out of Ukraine – Russia is saying it will allow them only if sanctions on Russia end.

    Ukraine can be supplied with missiles to take out Russian navy vessels imposing a blockade, but this would not prevent Russian subs (or their missiles) sinking ships carrying the grain out.

  6. UncookedSelachimorpha 6

    It is easy to conflate the interests of Russia (dead soldiers, economy, international standing etc) with the interests of Putin and his gang of thieves and tyrants. People seem to assume that Russia losing is the same thing as Putin losing. But it seems to me that these things have only limited connection.

    Putin and co couldn't care less about dead Russians, impoverished Russia etc – all they need to do is hold on to power and keep ruling. They may be quite capable of continuing to do this, while Russia and Russians (and neighbours!) go to hell in a hand basket.

    • Anne 6.1

      Totally agree. This war is being fought by what I term the Putin Politburo. It is NOT being fought by the Russian people. Sure, there will be many Russians who support the invasion but I suspect there are many more Russians who are vehemently opposed to it. Unlike their parents and grandparents, younger Russians have been able to do what young people in the West have been doing for many decades. They have visited other countries… worked in them… and made friends. They don't want to be cut off from the rest of the world ever again.

    • Ad 6.2

      It's a sweet thought but so untrue as to be something out of Jane Austen.

      President Putin has been elected and re-elected 6 times (either President or PM). With comfortable majorities.

      He is still wildly popular with his people.

      Putin has the mandate of the Russian people and he is fully in accord with a very strong majority of them.

      • Anne 6.2.1

        " He is still wildly popular with his people."

        Many are too afraid to stand up and openly oppose him perhaps?

        • Nic the NZer

          Russian politics still carries the memory of 90s economic reforms in it. Putin was a significant part of ending the excesses of western neo-liberal economic reforms shifting more Russian nationalist. This is a big part of his popularity.

  7. Entirely agree – except for

    Finland and Norway have requested admission to NATO.

    Finland and Sweden. Norway has been a NATO member for yonks.

  8. Joe90 8

    Nearly double that have been killed in the Ukraine to date.

    Thread on who's doing the dying and their efforts to avoid doing the dying.


    What does the story of the DPR army unrest teach us? Well, first of all that many in the DPR army are unwilling to fight any further. They were forcibly mobilised and now their discontent reached the point when they dared to show an open disobedience. Fighting is too risky

    In fact, fighting may b way riskier for the DPR troops than for the Russian regulars. Russian government is way more comfortable with using them as the cannon fodder than with using the Russian citizens. After all, DPR and LPR casualties are not even counted as "Russian" ones

    Since DPR casualties are not counted as "Russian" , you'll mobilise in Donetsk everyone you can catch and then send them to attack the massive Ukrainian fortifications. You run out of the Donetsk males of course, but on the bright side you keep official Russian casualties low

    It sucks being an DPR recruit sent to assault the Azovstal with only an ancient Mosinka rifle. And yet, those recruits absolutely can try to avoid being used as the cannon fodder if they understand the nature of the Russian regime. Which is – procedural. Like very procedural


    • joe90 8.1

      More noise about the treatment of DNR and LNR servicemen press-ganged by Russia.

      (Girkin/Strelkovin claims to be responsible for the war in Eastern Ukraine)

      Some pro-Russian milbloggers on Telegram continued to criticize the Kremlin for appalling treatment of forcefully mobilized Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR) servicemen–contradicting Russian information campaigns about progress of the Russian special military operation. Former Russian Federal Security Service officer Igor Girkin (also known by the alias Igor Strelkov) amplified a critique to his 360,000 followers from a smaller milblogger discussing a video wherein a DNR battalion appealed to DNR Head Denis Pushilin about maltreatment of forcefully mobilized forces.[1] The milblogger blamed Russian leadership, not Pushilin, for beginning the invasion with insufficient reserves and unprepared, forcefully mobilized forces. The milblogger added that Russia did not provide the soldiers of its proxy republics with new weapons, despite claiming that Ukrainian forces prepared to attack occupied Donbas areas for a year prior to Russian invasion. The milblogger also claimed that the Kremlin failed to mobilize and adequately prepare the next batch of reserves, while Ukrainian forces are successfully preparing their troops for counteroffensives. Girkin also criticized the Kremlin for failing to pay the DNR battalion for three months. Some milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces staged the video, but the video still gathered attention of pro-Russian Telegram users.[2]

      The incident highlights a continuing shift in the Russian-language milblogger information space regardless of the video’s authenticity. Milbloggers would likely have either attacked or dismissed such a video loudly and in near-unison earlier in the war, when they all generally focused on presenting optimistic pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian narratives. The response to this video in the Russian-language milblogger space demonstrates the strong resonance anti-Kremlin narratives can now have. It is impossible to know what effect this change in this information space might have on general perceptions of the war in Russia, but it is one of the most visible and noteworthy inflections in the attitudes of previously strongly pro-Kremlin ostensibly independent Russian voices speaking to Russians that we have yet seen.


  9. joe90 9

    Short on cannon fodder?

    Off ya go, dad.

    May 25 (Reuters) – Russia's parliament approved a law on Wednesday in double-quick time removing the upper age limit for contractual service in the military, amid heavy casualties in Ukraine.


    • tsmithfield 9.1

      Yep. It won't be long before the Russians are kitting out their APCs to carry mobility scooters and walking frames.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    Putin has the mandate of the Russian people and he is fully in accord with a very strong majority of them.

    As is the case with most despotic regimes, it's very hard to tell. He's not flavour of the month in St Petersburg, but until he loses coercive power most Russians are as helpless to resist him as New Zealanders were to resist the egregious asset thefts of Roger Douglas.

    The casualties are high, probably significantly higher than most estimates, and supposedly elite forces have not fared much better. But Russia has a history of horrific casualties, and of whipping ethnic populations into battle. The Belarussians got it from both directions in WWII, and the same kinds of demands for forlorn hope counterattacks are coming from Putin as once came from Stalin. It's reasonable to expect that it will take higher losses to curb Putin than it might have to curb a US invasion.

    The economics will take a while to create meaningful pressure on the decision makers. Most countries pay little attention to their poor. In kleptocracies it's even worse.

    The best hope for a rapid end to the war is a Ukrainian breakthrough. Fatigued, ill-supplied, demoralized Russian conscripts struggle to hold their lines. Let them be outflanked and they won't stick around.

    The Kerch Strait bridge, that should have been cut the day hostilities commenced, is still in place. The Black Sea is temporarily a Russian lake. Turkey has some explaining to do – but will likely resile from tacit support of Russia as the consequences become more obvious.

  11. weston 11

    Just more Russia bashing seems to me ad wake me up when you,ve done a piece on the lunatics in the EU and the US who seem hell bent to drag us all to the brink !!

    The link to the month old fragment referring to Russian disposable income was interesting though since i hadn,t looked at the Moscow Times before and a quick scim looked like any other MSM even a bit cheeky to Putin reading between the lines .Links from there to the Russian twitter feed made me think golly these people are just like us ,who'd have thought ?

  12. RedLogix 12

    It does not really matter what happens on the ground in Ukraine in the short term, other than of course a great deal of loss and grief to account for. Russia will be hated in Europe and much of the rest of the world for many generations. Over time their isolation will grow more intense as governments, institutions, corporations and individuals find more ways to shun the Russians.

    As a massively armed nuclear nation no-one ever proposed being a direct threat to Russia and those who suggest otherwise are fooling themselves. There will be no NATO troops crossing over the Russian border – even if that would bring a political resolution. Instead we must settle for containment and a long grinding conflict of wills.

  13. adam 13

    Ad you may want to look at some independent media, rather than just the media you seem to rely on.

    The Russian military are actually doing OK, and Air Superiority is a hell of an advantage.

    The cream of the youth is leaving, it has been that way for a long time now. Feels a lot like NZ in that way.

    All that is happening economically is a what always happens, a transfer of wealth up.

    Sanctions are a joke, like bombing of civilian targets in WW2 it having the opposite effect. People are blaming the west and digging in. Also the so called targeted sanctions are a complete and utter failure. As most of the hoods who run the place have their money hidden in off shore trust funds. Imagine if Donkey had had his way, those war pigs would be stashing their money here.

    Russians are adept at suffering, what some more, shrug, oh well.

    Elections, do you think Russia is anything apart from a totalitarian state? Putin is a dictator pure and simple.

    • lprent 13.1

      The Russian military are actually doing OK, and Air Superiority is a hell of an advantage.

      Only local air superiority over their current battlefields in the east in the Donbas theatre as far as I am aware from military and intelligence sites. Everywhere else they're taking casualties – mostly from missile defences. The number of airstrikes outside the Donbas theatre has dropped markedly over time.

      They're using their limited supply of long and medium range missiles to target mostly civilian and the occasional military targets in the last month instead.

      The reason that they have gained a local air superiority appears to be because their ground forces have been effective at taking out local anti-air missiles in the Donbas theatre. Their replacements are coming in slower than the attrition.

      But Russia haven't been doing a lot of close quarter air attacks because there are a lot of short anti-air range missiles in the theatre. So few helicopters or ground attack that would actually support ground advances. Which means your comment reads as being pretty silly.

      That means they're limited to bombing missions from altitude – which are generally pretty useless against entrenched ground troops. I'd suspect that most of their bombing missions have been against civilian targets or transport. Great for levelling cities and killing civilians. Not particularly militarily useful.

      You should really learn a bit more about modern warfare rather than how it was during WW2 before commenting on it. It just sounds kind of dumb

      • Adrian Thornton 13.1.1

        "They're using their limited supply of long and medium range missiles to target mostly civilian and the occasional military targets in the last month instead."

        Could you provide us a link as to who exactly is asserting that piece of highly suspect bit of information….It just sounds kind of dumb.

        • Jenny how to get there

          The the thing about destroyed cities Adrian is that they are hard to deny, or dismiss.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Like I said..serious links please…"They're using their limited supply of long and medium range missiles to target mostly civilian….targets"

            • Jenny how to get there

              Adrian Thornton

              28 May 2022 at 8:20 am

              Like I said..serious links please…

              There are so many You-tube videos of burnt out apartment buildings and housing complexes destroyed by Russian rockets and artillery it would be hard to pick one.

              And don't you dare tell me some disgusting lie that Ukraine did this to themselves to discredit the Russian invader.

              Adrian you can deny and obfuscate and use misdirection and every possible colour of dirty lie you like. But the facts are undeniable. Russian shelling has reduced Mariupol to rubble.
              The Ukraine cities like Kiev and Kharkiv and Odessa that the Russian Federation artillery can no longer reach after being driven back by the defenders, the Russian forces have resorted to firing medium and long range rockets to smash into these civilian centres.

              You have asked for links.
              I really don't know why I bother.
              You know you will ignore them.
              Believe whatever you want. Here they are anyway.

              'Kharkiv now out of Russian artillery range': Military analyst


              Russia-Teenage Boy Killed In Russian Missile Strike On Ukraine's Odessa

              Ukraine War: "As a result of a missile strike in Odessa, a residential building which had five people in it at the time of the attack, was damaged. A 15-year-old boy died," Odessa city council said.

              WorldAgence France-Presse Updated: May 03, 2022 7:08 am


        • lprent

          This is from early in the Russian invasion – hard to see that they were aiming at anything apart from a apartment building.

          This is one of the more recent "War Crimes Watch: Targeting schools, Russia bombs the future" looking at some quite deliberate targeting of schools, which are also often used as civilian shelters – "60 believed killed after school attack by Russia in east Ukraine".

          Perhaps you could off up your justification for this targeting profile? I would be delighted to hear whatever nonsense you sprout? I will have fun tearing it apart.

          I have a a list of instances, that I where I can point out reporting of specific instances of precision munitions targeting schools.

          Targeting cultural centres like this notorious instance "Russia attacks theatre sheltering civilians, Ukraine says". Predictably the Russian government tried to lie about it. Despite the remains of bomb remnants being pretty obvious to news screws. It appears that putting the word "children" next to a public shelter was just a targeting instruction.

          There is also a study that got published a few days ago looking at the bombardment strategy as evidenced by where long-range missiles, bombing, and long-range artillery were landing. About a third was landing on resupply, infrastructure, and defence industries. The majority was landing on civilians. I'll look that up after I finish working.

      • adam 13.1.2

        "Only local air superiority over their current battlefields in the east in the Donbas theatre"

        Yeah and that's were the Russians are winning the fight at the moment.

        I'll leave it there, as you seem to know everything. Good luck with that.

        • lprent

          It means that at present they are able to advance a few kilometres a week very slowly. At this rate it will take the Russians most of the year to grab the Donetsk, leaving it as a wasteland devoid of people behind them, and at a high casualty rate.

          I'm not sure that could be described as 'winning'. Just as WW1 never had a military victory and no-one 'won'. Just a series of exhausted states dropping out of the war as their populations rose against their idiotic leadership – starting with Russia I think.

          I’ll leave it there, as you seem to know everything.

          Nope. Just a lot more than you, and I have a retentive long-term memory.

          It appears that I think about what I learn more than you can be bothered doing. Except for silly slogans – you definitely beat me with those.

  14. Another Russian loss is its ability to subvert elections and buy politicians around the world. Russian spycraft and straight out bribes will be hamstrung. Its termite like infestation of British politics is slowly being dragged out in public.

    The present regime does enjoy widespread support among the people but that will change in the face of a doubled cost of living, and no more fancy goods from the developed world. According to youtuber "Inside Russia" (and others) perhaps 25% of the people are against the Ukraine "special operation". Probably the educated middle classes who have a wider view than Putin’s (Duginist) bigoted nationalism

  15. Lindsay A 15

    Its Ukraine that is losing, even if Ukraine win, Ukraine loses. Despite being in a civil war for 8 years, notions of join NATO they made little effort to meet basic critera to join, instead imported weapons and trainers.

    Russia is not losing, that are gaining ground each and everyday and if those chose to use nuclear weapons, they would have taken Kyiv in days. They even retreated from Kyiv under lies of peace treaties.

    Russia was not defeated in those areas, they pulled out and while i would admit their military command is suffering, you have to consider what they are up against and the limitations put upon them to fight this war.

    I think in the grand scheme of things, USA has lost crediability as a military power, running out of Afghanistan, failing in Iraq against ISIS, piggy backing off the YPG in Syria. America doesn't have the ability to fight a war, to fight ANY WAR because the moment those body bags start to come home their entire war effort gets undermined.

    You have to consider who Russia is killing, young woke Russians influenced by western ideologies. I think you will see the birth of a stronger Russia in the aftermath not a weaker one and more importantly ongoing failures coming from Western block, who not only can't fight a war with their own people, but is terming more socilist communist by the day with appointments of extreme minoirties to poistions of power.

    I do hope Russia wins, because i see no future for Ukraine. Not when your letting war criminals out of jail to fight the Russias, giving out AKs willingly to anyone that wants one. Ukraine will be a hotbed of crime, of black market arms sales and ultimately of rival gangs and armed conflict for years. Look at Libya, i bet you can purchase a Ukrainian slave already.

    • lprent 15.1

      Your whole comment just reads like stupid propaganda bullshit to me. Probably why you didn't manage to add a single link, give a source, or even a coherent argument. For instance…

      You have to consider who Russia is killing, young woke Russians influenced by western ideologies. I think you will see the birth of a stronger Russia in the aftermath not a weaker one…

      For instance causing a flood of skilled younger demographics offshore to avoid conscription or killing the young on battlefields is that it really doesn't work well in a situation of falling birth rates. Russia was facing a falling population before this dumb-arse invasion. I'd hate to see what it is looking like now with the exodus of their best and brightest, and the deaths of a generation of soldiers.

      So I guess your 'stronger' nation will be one increasingly made up of old farts with limited skills and limited abilities to gain them.

      Basically your ideas are more a case of pious wishing than anything rational. I'd have to say that you win the the award of the most stupid comment on this post (so far).

      • lprent 15.2.1

        It is more that they aren't winning. Almost all of their gains were in the first week or two. Then they had to pull back and drop most of those gains because they were unable to hold them..

        They're finally having some wins on the ground now that they have concentrated their forces, especially the artillery, and have sufficient local superiority to push back the defenders.

        But from a military perspective it looks like a defence mincer grinding up the attackers

        • RedLogix

          For the past few weeks it looks like Russia is slowly conquering empty fields or small towns and villages – and taking heavy losses to do so. That is not winning.

          As many people have pointed out this looks like Ukraine swapping low value terrain for high value time.

          • lprent

            They might win a couple of larger towns as well as Izym (pop 2021 of 45,844) that they finally captured on the 1st April and Rubihne (pop 2021 of 56,066) that they captured about month ago.

            Sievierodonetsk (pop 2021 of 101,135) and across the river Lysychansk (pop 2021 of 95,031) are the current Russian targets that they seem to be concentrating on. It looks like they're trying to create a pocket.

            The Russians have been shelling Sievierodonetsk since 28th Feb. Have been repelled a couple of times. The current battle started about May 6th, they've been slowly grinding their way to try to encircle the city.

            Of course the population has largely left. It sounds like the main reason for a Ukrainian orderly withdrawal to prepared positions will be to put the river in as a defensive position – they're heavily outgunned.

            The population numbers come from wikipedia entries on the cities. What is noticeable is thet these aren't large centres.

            In NZ Rotorua has a 2021 estimated population of 58,400. Dunedin has 105,000. That may seem largish in a population of ~5 million, and to me they have always seemed like towns – I have lived in both – but grew up in Auckland.

            Ukraine had a population of about 45 million. In other words 9x our population. It isn't just that they're capturing fields. They're also flattening the small urban centres as they go creating low value terrain in the process. And running the Russian forces through a defensive grinder of assaults on well defended defenders.

            It is very weird military behaviour.

            BBC is doing accessible map

            • RedLogix

              Fair point – by small towns I had in mind anything other than the larger cities. I was a bit imprecise in my language.

              Still given the Russians are expending a great deal of national blood and treasure to finish up capturing is a wasteland that few can live in and will never be regarded as legitimately part of Russia by the wider world – it is very hard to call it winning.

              For what it is worth I have found this Ukrainian ex-pilot presents a reasonably fair analysis on a daily basis:


    • SPC 15.3

      Despite being in a civil war for 8 years, notions of join NATO they made little effort to meet basic critera to join

      There was little chance of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO.

      The idea of Russia not using nuclear weapons, as restraint, is nonsense. The Duginites regard Ukraine as part of its homeland.

      And they retreated from Kiev and Kharkiv because they faced counter-attack.

  16. Adrian Thornton 16

    Russia will get exactly what it wants from this war…the longer it goes on, the more land Ukraine will lose to Russia.

    Unfortunately for the Ukraine and Ukrainians their leader has chosen to side with the World’s most brutal and sadistic mafia superpower..the USA..which in turn has chosen to finally fight it's long coming proxy war with Russia with the blood of Ukrainians…what many people don’t seem to understand is that the USA doesn’t give even one fuck about the Ukraine or it’s people..for the war hawks in the USA (now containing as many Liberals as Conservatives, maybe more) the Ukraine is the least important component in this conflict.

    Want to see what is one of the main drivers of this conflict….why negotiations and peace are never discussed and have never been an option entertained by the West or on MSM news….Watch this compilation of clips for US MSM to get a feel of where the foreign policy of the USA originates…

    • RedLogix 16.1

      And all the Russian weapons are made by altruistic Leninist Marxist pixies who work very hard in secret caverns under the Antarctic Ice Sheet – for free.

      • Populuxe1 16.1.1

        How dare you! The Kalashnikov is as American as Mom and home made apple pie!

    • SPC 16.2

      the Ukraine, you mean Ukraine, a member nation state of the UN.

      The term is supposed to diminish the area of the nation state into a frontier region of Russia.

  17. Garry Kasparov explains why the 'peace' proposed by Kissinger (and surrender.monkeys in this thread) is a despicable position to take

    • Nic the NZer 17.1

      Kissinger finally says something worthy of his Nobel peace prize and this is the response?

      • Populuxe1 17.1.1

        You mean the evil old reptile says something that appears to support your position and all is forgiven.

        • Nic the NZer

          Hardly, but Kissinger does have a point. Putting more weapons into Ukraine makes as much sense as a conflict resolution initiative as putting more firearms in the US makes as a gun reform measure.

          • Populuxe1

            I'm not entirely sure how you can compare a sovereign country defending itself from an unprovoked military invasion by a superpower with the United States' civilian issues with the second amendment and the NRA, but fill your boots I guess.

  18. aj 18

    You mean the evil old reptile says something that appears to support your position and all is forgiven.

    He is an evil old reptile. No, it means other individuals have different positions than yours and only one of them is likely to bring an end to this madness.

    Meanwhile, in an act of state censorship that you no doubt approve of, to keep the narrative 'correct', another article of truth is erased. But it will still be all over Rumble.
    This is the one from 2014 where Nuland selects the new PM for Ukraine and says fuck the EU.

    • Populuxe1 18.1

      It amuses me that you can't even comprehend why or what Ukraine is fighting for.

      I can only assume that you don't know many people from former Warsaw Pact countries that have always been forced into one empire or another and any time they get independence or try to they are invaded or punished in horrific ways.

      You simply can't get your head around what resistance means and why they don't want to compromise on a conditional peace. You can't imagine it because the privilege of living in a peaceful country at the end of the world no one else is particularly interested in means you have absolutely no skin in the game. It's just an abstraction to you.

      You don't get it. You can't get it. Ukraine has already been there, done that, got the t-shirt multiple times in their history. You do not understand the stakes because you don't understand Ukraine.

      I mean, Māori compromised and look how well it turned out for them.

  19. aj 19

    You can't imagine it because the privilege of living in a peaceful country at the end of the world no one else is particularly interested in means you have absolutely no skin in the game. It's just an abstraction to you.

    This must just be an abstraction to you then. I have skin in the game, my kids and grand-kids have skin in the game, every living creature on this planet has skin in the game.

    The impact of a nuclear war

    The possibility of nuclear war is the greatest for many decades, and the effects outlined above must be avoided at all cost.

    As the crisis in Ukraine escalates, and the risk of nuclear war comes ever closer, the need for diplomacy is more urgent than ever. Political leaders must actually understand what the use of just a single nuclear weapon would mean. The catastrophic human and environmental destruction, the incineration of cities and populations, and the appalling deaths from radiation poisoning, should be remembered at all times. A nuclear exchange would be catastrophic, and nuclear war between NATO and Russia would present an existential threat with the possibility of the destruction of humanity. Only dialogue will make a difference.



    • SPC 19.1

      Oh come on, the idea of Russia uses nukes within Duginite Eastern Europe is absurd.

    • Populuxe1 19.2

      If Russia uses nuclear weapons it won't be from any commensurate Ukraine action. If Putin is that crazy he'll do it anyway, which he is very unlikely to do. He would gain nothing from it. So calm down, stop your catastrophising and have a cup of tea.

  20. aj 20

    I'm just worried about the Russians! it can't be an absurd prospect people who advocate the use of battlefield nukes. The word absurd has no meaning to a madman, or the people who may commit a series of moves that lead to nukes being used by accident or miscalculation.

    • SPC 20.1

      It's only mentioned as a deterrent to NATO intervention – and they have not considered getting involved.

      As things are going Russia will get the Donbass (and annex it) and also hold an area there besides Kharkiv in the north and probably create some south north and east west expansion so Ukraine is occupied in the effort of retaking back this area over the summer. Short version lesser nova russia annexed and greater nova russia fought for over the summer.

      Whether Ukraine can prevent greater nova russia being held by Russia is not yet known.

    • SPC 20.2

      Russian diplomat offers reassurance, no use of tactical nukes is likely in Ukraine conflict.


  21. Adrian Thornton 21

    Ad, I do appreciate the time that you obviously put into writing articles for TS, however by starting a piece on the Ukraine War like this “Russia has lost, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence”, the validity of any message or theme you wished to get across in your piece immediately becomes suspect which is a shame.

    After all this isn’t The Washington Post or RNZ or some other MSM Liberal outlet (or twitter), some people who read TS are still critical thinkers thank goodness, so need more evidence than readers of those sources seem to demand.

    You really need to be citing serious sources on such a serious subject to be taken seriously.

    [Authors of TS write opinion pieces for robust debate – TS is indeed not “The Washington Post or RNZ or some other MSM Liberal outlet (or twitter)” and it is completely free of advertising and revenue gathering and completely free for people to comment and join the debates. They don’t have to write balanced pieces like university essays ‘citing serious sources’, whatever they are – I assume sources that you approve of.

    I counted 7 links in Ad’s Post and you complain that more evidence is needed!?

    You have not provided a single counter-argument and made not a single political point that we could debate. As usual, all you do is snipe, criticise and moan. And you have the gall to tell an Author how he should write his Posts.

    You are yet again breaking the rules of this site: https://thestandard.org.nz/about/#who_are_you, https://thestandard.org.nz/about/#you_must, and https://thestandard.org.nz/policy/.

    • Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity, and should be added as a category to the Darwin Awards.

    Looks like you needed yet another warning about this recidivist behaviour of yours. How many more do you want? – Incognito]

    • GreenBus 21.1

      Just watch the Ukraine army fall apart. It is already starting to happen.

      Ukraine troops are near mutiny.

      Some are rightly refusing to fight with no chance at all.

      Defence positions are being given up without a fight.

      I actually feel sorry for Ukraine army, they are being destroyed.

      Zelinski needs to stop the slaughter of his country, but I think

      that being the utter rat he is, will run away with all the money.

      • SPC 21.1.1

        No more falling apart (or leaving without a fight) than the Russian army leaving Kiev after counter-attacks began. The Ukrainians are losing the Donbass region and will have to withdraw (however reluctant Kiev maybe to do so, this makes little difference as to reality on the ground and this is first appreciated by those there).

        However what that means for the summer is not yet known, the Russians won't want to over-egg an advance that they cannot sustain.

        Zelinski has survived assassinations attempts, I doubt fleeing the scene with money is his ambition in life.

      • Adrian Thornton 21.1.2

        I think Zelinski is now in a no win situation, if he does the right thing and pursue a diplomatic end to the war with Moscow, he will now have to lose territories within the Ukraine, he will then be regarded as a traitor by the extremist Nationalists (and probably by many nutters on this site) and would probably be lucky to survive..however if he keeps Ukraine fighting..Ukraine lose even more territory along with the pointless death and destruction that goes along with that action.

        His only way out that I can see is if the West (ie; the USA) came on board with negotiations with Moscow and stopped supplying weapons…but of course we all know that this will never happen, the USA are happy to bleed the Ukraine dry, as has been said out in the open by crazed warmongering nutters like this top shelf maniac…

        "United States Aids Ukraine And Her People So That We Can Fight Russia Over There And We Don't Have To Fight Russia Here" – Adam Schiff

        • joe90

          as has been said out in the open by crazed warmongering nutters like this top shelf maniac…

          Why do you make shit up?


          Moreover, as one witness put it during our impeachment inquiry: “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that they can fight Russia over there, and we don’t have to fight Russia here.”


          • Adrian Thornton

            Make shit..mate you have been regurgitating conspiracies, propaganda and straight out lies on this site since forever..the only thing I can't fault you on is your consistency.

            • joe90

              Well, put up or shut up.

            • RedLogix

              joe90 and I have not always seen eye to eye on many things – but the one thing he is absolutely consistent on is referencing what he is talking about. Making shit up is just not his thing.

            • Incognito

              You have been caught out again and keep waving your typical banner around “Whoever I disagree with is a nutter!”.

        • RedLogix

          And if the Ukranian's had rolled over and surrendered to the invasion as you so obviously wish they had – Poots would now control the whole of the country and complaining that NATO was still right on his border.

          • Adrian Thornton

            "And if the Ukranian's had rolled over and surrendered to the invasion as you so obviously wish they had"…no you are quite wrong, I have always said, and have been since 2014, that Ukraine should be neutral, along with the majority of the population of Ukraine who voted Zelinsk into power to implement just that policy…unfortunately he either never intended to carrying through that election promise, or he was railroaded into not doing so by the USA and/or the extremist Nationalists within the Ukraine..who (though I know you don't/won't believe it) carry far more political power than their numbers might suggest.

            That Zelinsk let is country be used as a pawn by either or both of those two fractions is unfathomable.

            • RedLogix

              Utter bullshit – Poots repeatedly said that there was no such country as Ukraine and rolled his army in to fully retake and recolonise it as part of a Russian empire.

              There was never going to be an independent neutral Ukraine.

      • Cantabrian 21.1.3

        GreenBus, you are seriously deluded. It is the Russian Army that are refusing to fight particularly the conscripts who are not supposed to be in Ukraine at all.

    • Incognito 21.2

      Mod note

  22. aj 22

    When the NY Times leads out with this, it's clear that a little careful and rational thought is taking place. They are placing themselves with the realists.

    On May 19, the editorial board, the full Magisterium of the Times, moved from hints to a clarion call for a change in direction, declaring that “total victory” over Russia is not possible and that Ukraine will have to negotiate a peace in a way that reflects a “realistic assessment” and the “limits” of U.S. commitment.

    The Times serves as one the main shapers of public opinion for the elite and so its pronouncements are not to be taken lightly.


    No more falling apart (or leaving without a fight) than the Russian army leaving Kiev after counter-attacks began.

    Accepted by many to be a decoy move.

    • joe90 22.1

      There's nothing careful or rational about appeasing or surrendering to genocidal imperialism.


      A veiled manifesto of appeasement from a newspaper known for its stellar coverage of Russia’s horrific invasion has disappointed many.

      In the editorial, the New York Times editorial board argues that it’s too dangerous to assume that Ukraine can win the war. It says “Russia is too strong,” that Ukraine should make a “painful compromise” and give up some territories to Russia. The U.S. must understand the futility and stop “taunting” Russia, the editorial says. Meaning: Ukraine will lose anyway, stop helping it so it’s over faster.

      In short, the editorial attempts to pass off appeasement and betrayal of the free world’s values as pragmatic reasoning.


      Appeasement isn’t the voice of reason. It’s fear and short-sightedness that will only make things worse, something we’ve all seen too many times in the past.

      Allowing Russia to annex Crimea emboldened Russia to try to swallow the Donbas. When it invaded in 2014, carving up a sovereign state and killing civilians, the other world leaders’ tepid response made Russia’s bloody dictator feel empowered to do more.

      It’s obvious that he’s been planning the full-scale invasion of Ukraine ever since. It’s often been said by world leaders and analysts that one of Vladimir Putin’s main miscalculations was assuming that the West would let him take Ukraine easily. It didn’t.

      Now the New York Times is calling for the West to do what Putin expected and give up.


      After seeing the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Borodyanka, Bucha and Mariupol, the Ukrainian people see very clearly that this is a war for survival against a fascist regime that denies Ukrainians the right to exist. Concessions would be a swift death sentence for thousands of Ukrainians. This fact apparently escapes the New York Times editorial board.


      • RedLogix 22.1.1

        And turn the entire country into a vast gulag.

        With more than a few fuckers here getting on planes volunteering to be the guards.

      • SPC 22.1.2


        1. Sudetenland and leaving Czechoslovakia open to take over.

        2. Crimea and half the Donbass taster for Russia, but Ukraine is resisting because it had time to arm and train.

        We all know what comes next if Ukraine falls – a land bridge into Kaliningrad to cut off the Baltic states

        Turkey in blocking Sweden and Finland entering NATO is directing traffic north against its own NATO partners to shore up its own interests to the south (elimination of Kurds as a regional group in Turkey Syria and Iraq).

        Poland would want NATO action, but there would be the threat of battlefield nukes against any NATO force that gathered in Poland and it would probably involve synchronisation with a threat by Jinping in the east.

  23. Jon Liddle 23

    What a load of unsubstantiated, drivel.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago