Russian Martial Law: Kherson and diplomatic evacuations

Wednesday, 19 October 2022 — The Saker IS


President Putin announces Martial Law will come into force in Russia’s new regions

The decision will allow Russia’s special operation to better control threats in the four new regions of the RF during an increased offensive by Ukraine in Kherson and other areas.  This is just out and much more cannot yet be said.

The evacuation from Kherson is high on the agenda. This, believe me, is a good thing. Following at the end is a pragmatic description of this evacuation from Gleb Bazov from @Slavyangrad, detailing the issues, but also considering the political drivers.

Brian Berletic prepared a pragmatic description of this specific issue. Please bear in mind that this is an evacuation and not abandonment. Russian forces are taking seriously the threats of blowing up the Kahovskaya Dam and flooding the area with subsequent tremendous loss of life and infrastructure. Berletic considers this latest Kherson move as an ultimate Ukraine killer in a desperate attempt to force some kind of political solution on Russia. This will then be the ultimate and final orgasm of Ukrainian efforts and they will be a spent force after this, even with European and US/NATO assistance.

The ‘evacuation’ that I want to shine a light on, is the diplomatic one. Russia may pull back on its diplomatic efforts in the West, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told new ministry recruits on Tuesday, citing the increasingly open hostility faced by Russian diplomats and the need to focus on building and expanding relationships in the rest of the world.

“People work in conditions that can hardly be called human,” Lavrov said, referring to the “constant problems, constant threats.” He added that there is “no point” in maintaining the same level of diplomatic presence. “Countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, on the contrary, need additional attention,” Lavrov continued, promising that countries which are “ready to work on equal terms” will be rewarded with “promising joint projects.”

The US and many European nations have made life difficult, even dangerous, for Russian diplomats. Foreign Ministry properties in New York and Sofia, Bulgaria have recently been vandalized, the latter by a local politician. In March, a man rammed a truck through the gates of the Russian Embassy in Dublin, Ireland.

I applaud this move. Do it! Lavrov. Put your money where your mouth is and do not allow good diplomats to waste their time, efforts and skills where it is not wanted. Place these precious people where their work will have value.  This will have a secondary effect in that each time the combined west needs to talk to Russia (and believe me, they do need to talk to Russia), they can ask for a moment of Russia’s attention. We have a new world to build. Let’s get the percentages correct here – roughly 85% of the world vs 15% or so of the world, should represent your diplomatic efforts.   This will have a secondary effect in that each time the combined west needs to talk to Russia (and believe me, they do need to talk to Russia), they can ask for a moment of Russia’s attention.

In addition, there is a new process of what is called slicing the salami starting in Estonia.  The Estonian Parliament has just recognized Russia as a sponsor of terrorism and we will see salami slicing here with others following.  Removing the diplomatic function completely takes away the salami and makes it much less effective to slice and slice.

Evacuation from the collective west would in my view now be the right step, with strengthening those parts of the world that are developing and growing.

The War Theatre is a Theatre After All – Gleb Bazov from @Slavyangrad.

My words are addressed exclusively to those people who apparently possess neither logic nor common sense. I will try to explain why the anticipated “jump” of the AFU towards Kherson (just as an intent, they are unlikely to take the city because we are not going to withdraw from there) is purely a media operation.

What would an adequate military command do if the enemy is expected to bring new reserves to the front in a fortnight? Let me remind you that Russia has just mobilized 300 thousand new soldiers—the number that it took Ukraine six months to muster.

For Zelensky, mobilizing more people would be very difficult (as an aside, Russians are able easily to call up even more, because the mobilization resource is that much larger). At first glance it seems that it is absolutely necessary for Ukraine to go forward as quickly as possible, conquering as much territory as possible. In this case, it seems logical to set up as the goal of reaching the Dnieper river, if possible even capturing Kherson itself. Everything seems reasonable on paper.

But let’s take a closer look at this decision, placing it into the real context: AFU will have to overcome significant distances from the line of contact to Kherson—about 20, 40, and 100 km respectively from each of Pravdino, Snigiryovka, and Dudchany.

Let’s assume that it would take the Ukrainians a week or two to make such a spurt. But in what condition will they reach the city? I assure you that the Russians will not give up the territory as they did in the Kharkov region: both the grouping in the south is different, and reinforcements are being brought in every day, and artillery and aviation act impeccably. Just the other day the AFU already tried to make such a jump from Dudchany and Novaya Kamenka, and the Russian Army turned them back and made them pay the price of not less than an entire regiment.

So, the Ukrainian jump to Kherson—if it materializes in earnest—has every chance of being remembered as “bloody hell” for the Ukrainian Army itself. Having lost several regiments and up to a division in the watermelon fields under artillery and aviation fire, the battered Ukrainian army would emerge to be met by a fresh Russian defensive grouping, reinforced by several waves of reservists, in the urban area of Kherson. The question “what will happen next?” is rather unnecessary.

Thus, the decision to go to Kherson on the eve of the dramatic strengthening of the Russian grouping in the south, under current conditions (coordinated artillery/aircraft work), appears to be an exceptionally disastrous choice for the AFU. From the military point of view, it makes no practical sense.

But such a decision can be taken, and it would be a political one. Another “victory” of the AFU in the form of reclaiming significant territory would show the American electorate that Joe Biden was not wrong and his military assistance helped, and that it would therefore help in the future as well. Meanwhile, the emergence of a direct threat to Kherson and the incursion into its suburbs would then start hitting Vladimir Putin’s rating very hard. What will happen next, within the current electoral cycle, no one is interested in. That will be a story for another time.

In my opinion, this is a purely political performance, as well as designed to impress the media. And as for the brainwashed Ukrainians and their support group, let them revel in another media success. It will not matter in the end, whatever they decide to do.


One thought on “Russian Martial Law: Kherson and diplomatic evacuations

  1. WillD says:

    Brian Berletic of The New Atlas is an excellent analyst, going to considerable lengths to explain exactly how things work, and provides a military perspective to put events into context.

    Liked by 1 person

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