Saturday, 28 May 2022 — The Van Says…
Three months of Operation Z have changed Eastern Europe forever. And for the better. Photo©️IntelSlavaZ
It is a little over three months since Russia began its Special Military Operation in the Ukraine and in that time, much has been written concerning both Russia and the Ukraine, but also the affects and effects that are being felt from further afield. Many articles have through necessity covered individual events and the minutiae of the situation, yet after so much has happened, we need to piece things together in order to understand the bigger picture. The sheer number of events and their impact in the overall situation mean that this report is rather longer than normal.
Introduction and Author’s Note
An important issue is that of readers who have only recently realized the truth concerning these events and wish to gain a broad overview without the bias that has become prevalent with western media. It is for that reason that this work will cover the before, during and after in order to appraise events as they actually are. Numerous links to previous posts will be included, yet due to the situation being as dynamic as it is, many of these previous articles are already outdated, in some cases mere weeks after they were published.
The Donbass War is covered in this very long article, but as 2021 came to a close in Eastern Europe, it was apparent that big changes were afoot, the frozen war in the Donbass becoming untenable as was. Against a backdrop of the West requiring Russia to adhere to the Minsk Agreement whilst not a signatory at the same time as Kiev was blatantly ignoring its obligations in spite of it being party to the protocol meant that a very fragile peace was only going to exist for as long as the Russian Bear did not bite back. A plethora of diplomatic efforts from Moscow culminating in its security demands was only met with an absolute absence of diplomacy from Kiev and the West, this leaving hostilities as the only option. The fourth week of February finally saw Russia move, Operation Z finally rolling westwards.
Method behind the Maneuvers
The Russian Federation, unlike western powers does not go to war on a whim, there having to be real reason for it to plan and execute an operation such as this. The core points behind the Kremlin doing what it did are as follows.
Western powers had caused a coup in Kiev during 2014 which had led to a general destabilization of the country, this creating a vassal state on Russia’s borders in order to threaten the national security of both the Russian Federation as well as ethnic Russians in the Donbass Republics.
With the destabilization, nazism was not only being allowed to flourish, but these fascists were being armed and trained in order to attack ethnic Russians and Ukrainians alike, a multitude of human rights abuses being committed yet never punished.
Research was being carried out in the spheres of missile, nuclear and biological weapons, these being a direct threat to not only Russia but the world in general.
The Ukrainian forces with the backing of NATO had escalated hostilities to an unacceptable level, forcing an evacuation of the civil population from both the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, Kiev turning a frozen war turning into a full blooded assault on towns and cities.
A NATO-coordinated operation to attack the Crimean Peninsula was planned for the spring of 2022, this being an imminent rather than existential threat.
The final reason was that the West was (and still is) on a crusade against powers that are not under its control, and this Drang nach Osten would continue until it was checked by force. Whether Russia’s operation happened now or in the future, with western nations having the goals they have, avoiding eventual hostilities was impossible, conflict in the region being inevitable if Russia was to remain a sovereign state.
Just one of thousands of vehicles that took part in Operation Z
In the days prior to the actual intervention of Russian assets, Vladimir Putin officially recognized the Donbass Republics as well as gaining the authority necessary to use his forces outside of Russia’s borders. Two days later, various formations of the Russian military first entered the Donbass Republics and then advanced into Ukrainian territory. This was accompanied by a veritable demonstration of the new generation of Russian missiles, key objectives being struck and causing havoc as they flew largely unopposed over Ukrainian airspace. One of Russia’s first moves was to effectively neutralize the Ukrainian Air Force, there being no chance for Kiev to counter Russian ground forces.
Advances were made from Crimea as well as other regions bordering the Ukraine. As has been observed by the media, different formations used letters to identify themselves, these being discussed later. The prime objectives during the initial phase were the protection of the Donbass Republics as well as securing certain key cities. The overriding priority as far as the Kremlin was concerned in the first days however was that the country was to be kept as intact as possible and that there were to be no abuse of rights concerning civilians and regular military troops with nazis being dealt with separately.
Advancing at a Slow Pace
As days turned to weeks, the cities of Kherson and Kharkov were brought under Russian control, yet Moscow was criticized for the speed of the advances. The first days had seen a flurry of missiles and maneuvers, yet after the first few days, the shock and awe tactics had slowed down, the expected Blitzkrieg turning into a crawl. The western media was awash with talk of the ‘Ghost of Kiev’ having beaten the Russian war machine single handed, yet at this stage, Russia was still attempting to reduce damage and casualties wherever possible. The tactics used by nazi Germany in the 1940s were admittedly much faster, yet the collateral damage caused by this style of warfare was incompatible with the plans laid out in the Kremlin. Everything at this time was within the limits of what could be expected, yet until Moscow became savvy to certain facts, Russia did make a number of costly errors which shall be looked at later.
There were a good number of biological research establishments run by the US right next to Russia.
Three matters that were of concern to Moscow were those of missiles as well as nuclear and biological research. Chernobyl nuclear power plant was taken by Russian forces in the first days of the conflict, yet few reports have been forthcoming from Moscow concerning the weapons research that was being conducted there. The same can be said of missile research, yet it is understood that Ukrainian enterprises were working alongside Turkish companies in developing these weapons. Discoveries concerning biological weapons have proved far more fruitful however, there now being many reports regarding not only the research, but by whom it was carried out.
One of Moscow’s primary concerns regarding the activities in the Ukraine was that of biological weapons research. This has been examined in more detail here, yet from the documents and statements from Moscow that all kinds of investigation was taking place, yet although this was happening in the Ukraine, it appears that in many cases, only American personnel were permitted in key areas. One can suppose that the protocols were similar if not identical to those of the Lugar Center in Georgia. The fact that this work was done in such secrecy speaks volumes, but statements now declare that not only were diseases being developed, but that they had actually been tested on an unwitting public. Other reports indicate that bioweapons were used against the Lugansk People’s Republic in 2018, yet this is pending official confirmation from Moscow.
Cauldrons in a Hot War
As Russia slowly makes its way across what was the Ukraine, sufficient advances have now been made in certain directions to encircle Ukrainian units. This is being done in conjunction with attacks against critical infrastructure meaning that both retreat and resupply are now impossible. As the Ukrainians retreat further, more areas will become vulnerable to this tactic, huge areas and assets being lost to the Russians at every step. Most areas have avoided this fate, yet as the situation becomes more desperate for not only the troops on the ground but also the government in Kiev, extreme measures are now being taken in vain attempts to halt the crumbling frontline. As detailed in this article, xxx unsuitable and largely untrained men are being forced into battle, they either perishing or becoming prisoners in very short order indeed.
Unstructuring the Ukraine
Another hurdle facing Russian forces is the manner in which Ukrainian forces are destroying the infrastructure of their country under the auspices of slowing the Russian advance. It is completely normal for an army to prevent enemy advances through the destruction of logistical points such as bridges and certain roads, yet the enthusiasm with which the Ukrainians have blown elements of their infrastructure to smithereens beggars belief. Even when it was known that Russian units were not advancing, bridges and highways have been destroyed. Whilst certain people in European capitals may be laughing at the cost that this will cause Russia in the long term, it says little of western faith that they already know that their sacrificial lamb is arriving at the slaughterhouse. It must also be noted that once territory has been lost, the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to shell civilian areas in the full knowledge that horrendous casualties may be caused.
Unstructuring the Ukranians
One of the horrors of war is the death toll and this is becoming a pressing issue for Zelenskiy and Kiev. This article published a few days ago covers the matter in greater detail, but with casualties and captured prisoners of war now depleting the ranks to critical levels, a once-large army is now facing critical manpower shortages. With so many now missing and with it the skills they need to pass on to recruits, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are now having to press unsuitable people who are inadequate for the job to the frontline. This in itself is bad, yet there are even more heartless matters in play. It has been reported on innumerable occasions that the Ukrainians are just leaving their dead on the battlefield, Russian forces often entering areas that resemble a morgue. This has been allowed to happen not only because Kiev does not want to go to the trouble of employing troops away from battle, but also because if soldiers are missing rather than dead, the government does not have to pay damages or pensions to those who have lost loved ones. War is inhumane, yet with the beasts that are in power in Kiev today, as this situation moves forward, there will be a tsunami of resentment against both the current Ukrainian establishment as well as those who have allowed this to happen.
Just one of a myriad of weapons sent to the Ukraine from the West.
As previously stated, both the conditions that led to war as well as the conflict itself are nothing less than a proxy war, the West wishing to use a vassal state to weaken another nation that has stood up to Washington and its allies. In the weeks before hostilities began, there was a huge uptick in arms shipments to the country as well as other aid in various forms being given to Kiev. This has accelerated exponentially since February, the US now having given upwards of $40bn in various forms to the Ukrainian cause. A portion of this goes directly into the pockets of American weapons manufacturers, yet a huge chunk has been in the form of older weaponry systems that have, like everything else been sold to the country on crippling terms. In many cases, these are redundant systems and have either been destroyed by the Russians or have been captured by Russian or Donbass forces and then used against their former owners. There is concern in Russia regarding certain artillery systems that can fire munitions that are superior to their Russian counterparts, but equally, many of the missile systems have been close to their expiry dates and proved useless against their intended targets. The US may now be supplying the MLRS system to the Ukrainians, this being an extremely effective setup, yet until there are adequate personnel in-theater, its advantages cannot be exploited. It is also noteworthy that the US administration has instructed Kiev that certain arms are not to be used against targets in the Russian Federation. America may be handing out candy, but it does not want any undesirable consequences crossing back over the Atlantic. With that, we have to look at some of the characters that have turned up in the region over recent months.
Prior to the conflict there were an immense number of persons from overseas armies and governments in the Ukraine performing a wide variety of roles. Since the war started, a rag-tag army of misfits and military wannabes have turned up, some from nations whose administrations actually encouraged them to take part. A good number of the wackier ones are now MIA or KIA, but it is certain that in both Kiev and elsewhere there are numerous experts serving in western armies that are assisting the Kiev government in its war efforts. These are doubtlessly working for and with western governments, attempting to not only stop Russian forces, but also to stymie them wherever possible. With both them and mercenaries being there in an unofficial capacity and their countries not being officially at war with Russia, international conventions regarding combatants and prisoners of war do not apply, these being treated completely differently to regular Ukrainian personnel.
As astounding as it may seem, the West has attempted to portray fascists as freedom fighters.
Apart from mercenaries and military personnel from western nations, the importance of fascist elements in the Ukrainian Armed Forces cannot be underestimated. These have been covered in a previous article, yet with them not only following such terrible ideology, the callous way that they have conducted themselves over the years means that they are treated completely separately from normal soldiers. They have been the beasts that have wrought havoc over the country and its people alike since Maidan and there are tens of thousands of reports collected by the Russians documenting the abuses they have committed against their own people as Moscow’s forces have advanced across the country. Many have now been killed or been captured, the survivors’ fates now depending on the tribunals that will be held over coming months by Russian and Donbass forces.
No article including the exploits of the Azov and Aidar Battalions would be complete without making mention of Azovstal. The flight of the fascists in the face of Russian forces eventually led to nearly two thousand soldiers, many of whom were extremists, being holed up in a former steel plant in Mariupol. Once Russian forces had eventually cleansed the area of fascists, many eventually fled to this industrial area, taking with them a large number of civilians as a human shield. After the civilians had finally been released, a siege ensued, the nazis eventually surrendering through lack of food. These are now being held prisoner pending trial, yet when Moscow’s forces along with those from the Donetsk People’s Republic were eventually able to enter safely, over two hundred bodies were found in a makeshift morgue as well as there being a huge hoard of weapons and ordnance.
This was hailed as a ‘last stand against Russian aggression’ by the western media, and whilst not the beginning of the end of hostilities, was most certainly a body blow for both Kiev and those who still believed that the Ukrainian side can win.
Trial of Fire
Whilst some extremists are being held in Russia, very many are also held in the Donbass Republics. This is noteworthy not only for the fact that it was the Donbass that was the victim of their aggression on so many occasions, but also because the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have the death penalty whereas Russia does not. Regarding the crimes that will be judged at these hearings, one can rightly suppose that these will be very similar indeed to the Nuremberg trials held after the Second World War. The West will as ever go into histrionics over the whole affair, yet these crimes were committed by individuals who were armed and trained by that very same West in the full knowledge of who these people were.
Judged by the People
Not only will many criminals face the justice that they deserve, but Kiev itself is being judged ever more harshly by the people that it formerly governed. After eight years of repression and a steady decline in standards across the board, many Ukrainians are quietly pleased that they can now turn their backs on their erstwhile oppressors. In innumerable towns as well as cities, there are now Russian governors, elections being held in the near future to determine in which direction regions will turn in the future. Some may wish to be independent and others be part of the Russian Federation, yet an alarmingly low number of people wish to return to the former status quo. This is obviously good news for Moscow, yet the rest of the world is being kept blinkered to the fact that the very people who the West is allegedly attempting to help want the West and its lackeys out of the door.
Operations in the Ukraine have generally gone to plan, yet there have however been a number of shortfalls that have to be examined in depth if we are to understand the situation accurately.
The Russian Armed Forces dealt with the Ukrainian Air Force admirably during the first few days, it did not adequately deal with the threat presented by the Turkish Bayraktar drones that were operated by Kiev. The Ukraine was enthusiastic about their use, and these UAVs caused a large number of deaths and casualties as they attacked the long logistics convoys that followed the Russian advances. Moreover, in spite of Russia having vastly superior drone forces itself, these inexplicably were not employed in the opening phase of the conflict. Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Minister of Defense and Valeriy Gerasimov, the Russian Chief of General Staff were summoned to the Kremlin to explain not only what had happened, but how they were going to solve this issue. Needless to say, the next few days saw the Ukrainian fleet of drones decimated and with it, the number of Russian casualties fell sharply. In spite of Moscow claiming that all of Kiev’s drones had been eliminated, they did continue to appear and it was not until a few weeks later that it became known that more had been supplied to the Ukraine from Turkey and transported through Romania. The last few weeks have seen little or no aerial activity on the part of the Ukraine, it effectively being a no-fly zone for Kiev.
Many have accused Russian forces of complacency in the first few days, there being needless casualties due to arrogance or ignorance on the part of both soldiers and their commanders. Whilst no army is perfect, the attrition suffered by Moscow’s men is more a result of underestimating the support that Kiev had from abroad rather than deficiencies on the part of Moscow. What we know now but the Russians at the time did not was that every tank, truck or plane was being watched by the US from satellites, along with Russian radio communications being intercepted. Western agents, both in and out of the Ukraine were coordinating ground operations on a minute-by-minute basis, this being another strong sign that this is a proxy war. Once the Russians became wise to how they were being surveilled, they were able to adapt their tactics to better protect themselves.
As the Russian Army made advances, there was not as much support for Russia in some areas as had been expected, this leaving Moscow scratching its head. In 2014, the war subsequent to the Maidan coup had shown that their was very strong Russian sentiment in certain areas that appeared to have dissipated in the eight years that Kiev had been run from Washington. The truth was that there were as many pro-Russian Ukrainians as ever, but as the slow decline under Poroshenko and then Zelenskiy slowly bit the country, literally millions of Ukrainians had upped sticks to live in Russia, they now being absent from the regions that gradually came under Moscow’s control.
Another failing was the way in which Russian forces misunderstood how their Ukrainian counterparts would treat both country and community. When approaching towns or cities, Russian commanders expected to be met with military resistance be it fair or foul. What they did not expect was for the Ukrainian Armed Forces as well as the nazi nutjobs to treat their own people as badly as they did. As various settlements have come under Russian control, it has become increasingly apparent that there exists a common doctrine in the armed services whereby civilians are just locked in cellars and basements with no provisions whatsoever whilst the military occupy and pillage apartments. The widespread inhumanity shown by Ukrainian forces has been completely blanked in the West, but until the Russians had learnt of these tactics, immeasurable suffering was dealt to the civil population by those who claimed to be protecting them.
The final mistake made by Russia was not really an error at all, yet was made to look that way by media outlets looking for a scoop. Russian forces first occupied and then left the town of Bucha, yet a number of days after having left, a whole raft of arcane stories were plastered on every front page in the West. These pertained to the alleged mass killing of civilians, there apparently being dead bodies strewn all over the place. The fact that these tall tales only surfaced a number of days after the Russians had left was ignored, and video footage was provided showing corpses by the side of the road. In one of these clips, after the car had passed, one could see in the mirror one of the ‘dead’ getting to their feet. Admittedly this was around Easter time, yet one would hardly expect the dead to be rising in the middle of a war zone.
New Times, New Rulers.
Russia is not just limiting itself to parking tanks in the territories that the Ukraine has lost, an entire overhaul of certain systems now being under way. In Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, the telephone system is now being connected to its Russian counterpart, the national dialing code changing to the Russian +7 instead of the Ukrainian +38. Currencies are also being transferred onto the Russian model as well. Beginning the start of May, rubles and hrvinya are in parallel circulation, the ruble taking over completely by the end of September. Pensions have already begun to be paid in rubles and the budgeting of certain cities is already de facto conducted outside of the hrvinya. There will naturally be very many further changes seen as the situation stabilizes, yet with Moscow pushing and oblasts (administrative regions) accepting new measures, it is clear that these areas have been lost by Kiev forever.
The Global Impact.
The most important factor most of the global community are the higher prices that they are now paying for energy. The blame for this has been put right at the Kremlin’s door, yet what nobody has explained is why the West has spent so long antagonizing the one nation on which it relies so heavily. With the East now having the upper hand over the West, Moscow is demanding payment in rubles rather than dollars, much to the chagrin of many European nations. There were initially serious protestations made regarding this new method of payment, yet it makes no sense Europe trading in a currency that is neither European nor Russian. The Germans have been most vehement about this, some saying that the country should revert to coal-fired power plants, yet with Green Party advocate Annalina Baerbock wielding the power she does, this would be a serious loss of face for both herself, her party and for Berlin. There is the question of food supplies, most notably grain, yet there are other factors in play that need to be reviewed.
Another fact that has largely flown under the radar is that western powers have been making every effort possible to ship as much food as possible out of the Ukraine over recent weeks. This has been done to apparently alleviate the price spikes seen in western markets, yet as this article mentions, there may be terrible consequences for the Ukrainian people. Many may be familiar with the Holodomor of the 1930s, yet a move such as this may repeat history, another famine being created to not only aid western food supplies but also to implicate Russia. Whether this will actually happen is yet unknown, but with the situation in the region being as critical as it is, adding starvation to the equation will only serve the needs of a select few who will remain unaffected by this move.
There are other letters in use, but it has been Z that has been the symbol of this operation.
The letters seen painted on Russian vehicles have caused everything from confusion to revulsion to pride depending on the the viewers’ opinions. They have however become symbolic of this conflict, an explanation of their meanings listed below.
Vehicles bearing the letter Z belong to the Eastern Military District of the Russian Army.
If a vehicle bears a Z inside a square, this is from Crimea.
The letter O is a Russian Army vehicle operated from Belarus.
The vehicles which carry the letter V belong to the Naval Infantry of Russia.
This has to be a photoshop, but if the West wants to ban letters that Russia is using, this could create a hilarious situation!
The aforementioned letters are now a symbol not only of Russia, but also of the struggle against the tyranny which has been wielded from Kiev for close to a decade. The West has attempted to counter the importance and spirit that they have come to represent in a number of ways. Bavaria and Saxony have banned the display of the letter Z, authorities threatening to jail anyone who shows it in a Russian context. This has been mirrored by similar legislation in Lithuania and Poland with the Ukraine encouraging the world to ban the letter Z. This is not just limited to governments however with Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak receiving a one year ban from competition by the International Gymnastics Federation for displaying the Z on his outfit whilst in Qatar in March.
Zurich Insurance has also jumped in the bandwagon, removing the Z logo from its media postings.
The summary of an everyday article covering a specific event usually constitutes two or three paragraphs, yet with so many details making up such a large picture, the matter needs to be reviewed at length. Moreover, with the situation being as dynamic as it is, there are a myriad of possibilities regarding where things may finally end up, a local war becoming very much a global affair.
The Donbass War that was lasted nearly a decade and during that time, every effort was made by Russia to solve the issues that had been created by western malfeasance in Western Europe. The core issue was that these issues had not only been created from afar, yet European leaders supported this interference in every way that they could. With no other option on the table, if Russia was to safeguard both its borders and many ethnic Russians in neighboring states, it had to do what it did.
Whilst having an inkling rather than concrete evidence, Russian forces moved into certain Ukrainian areas that were suspected of harboring chemical, nuclear and missile weapons technologies, and the subsequent discoveries more than justified the Kremlin’s actions. As time has passed, those actions have moved further into the country, and with that, not only are many pleased to see Moscow’s men, they are elated that they are no longer under the yoke of Ukrainian rule.
The damage to the country as a whole is immeasurable, with Zelenskiy in Kiev claiming that $600bn would be required to put things right. With Russia having taken the lands that it has, the sum for the Ukraine will be much smaller, yet it cannot be forgotten that much of the damage, to both people and property has been caused by the Ukrainian Armed Forces themselves, wanton destruction by a few causing hardship for the many.
The letters seen in Russian vehicles have come to symbolize a new era in Russian history, yet if the US and Ukraine had read their letters from Moscow earlier this year, this war may never have happened. Whilst Zelenskiy has been snorting the Colombian marching powder, thousands of his compatriots have marched to their deaths, but for as long as he is the angel of the western world, he will be given the divine touch around the globe.
For how long both he, his country and the extremists that play such an important role in its politics will remain on center stage is another matter. For all the gifts he has received, the Ukraine has failed to live up to its promises versus Russia, and western powers will eventually tire of both his antics and the failures that his country is amassing.
Outroduction and Author’s Opinion.
The Iraq War was launched by the US in 2003, Washington claiming that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs when this was known to be untrue. This was lauded by the West as an act of liberation, its leaders lauded to this day. In contrast, Russia’s Special Operation in the Ukraine was launched against a country that was harboring real WMDs, yet for all the justification of Moscow’s actions, the western world just cannot play by its own rules.
For nearly a decade, the West treated the Ukraine like a condom, screwing the nation senseless in the interests of western recreation at the same time as nobody really had any interest in its wellbeing. As the fun is now ending and things start to look increasingly messy, we only have to wait until it is thrown aside, another western operation that nobody will admit to and hopes that everyone else will have forgotten about it before the West attempts another similar conquest elsewhere, Taiwan being a prime candidate…