colonel cassad

“Friend Recep” won
Colonel Cassad, May 28 2023 22:14

Presidential elections are over in Turkey. The second round was won by “friend Recep” with an approximate layout of 52 by 48%. So to speak, on the thin. Putin has already congratulated “friend Recep” on his victory and noted the high quality of voting through the State Services. The opposition gradually admits defeat. In addition to Putin, Erdogan has already been congratulated by the Emir of Qatar and a number of Arab leaders. The West is still silent. Erdogan took his supporters to the streets in advance to avoid scenarios related to the seizure of power and non-recognition of the election results. If there are no mass protests, we can say that Erdogan was able to confidently retain power with not the best cards. This does not cancel the economic crisis in Turkey and all the costs associated with sitting on all chairs at once. For Russia, Erdogan’s victory means that the era of muddy agreements with our Turkish “friend” will continue. Erdogan will sell weapons to Ukraine with one hand and help the Russian Federation bypass Western sanctions with the other hand, earning both here and there to support the remains of the Turkish economy. The formula “It’s nothing personal, just business” most accurately characterizes the essence of relations between the Russian Federation and Turkey. There should be no illusions here. Therefore, Erdogan was both a “friend” in quotes, so he will remain so. But in any case, it is a more understandable and acceptable option for the Russian Federation than Kılıçdaroğlu, who wanted to drift to the West. In terms of expectations:

  1. We are waiting for negotiations between Putin, Erdogan and Assad.
  2. We are waiting for the revision of the grain deal.
  3. We are waiting for new economic projects and corridors with the participation of the Russian Federation and Turkey.
  4. We also closely monitor our rear, so as not to get a yatagan in the back. “Friend Recep” needs an eye and an eye (глаз да глаз).

south front

Overview Of Russian Strikes In Ukraine
South Front, May 29 2023

On the night of May 29, wave of Russian UAV and missile strikes hit Ukrainian military facilities throughout the country. Explosions thundered in almost regions of Ukraine, mainly in the west and south of the country, as well as in the capital. In the morning, Russian strikes continued. Air alert is now sounding in several regions. The Ukrainian military again provided amazing data on the results of work of their Air defence forces last night. The Ukrainian military reportedly destroyed 37 cruise missiles, 29 strike UAVs and 1 reconnaissance drone. According to Ukrainian military officials, in total, Russian forces fired up to 40 /KH-101 or Kh-555cruise missiles from nine Tu-95MS aircraft from the Caspian Sea area. From the northern and southern directions the Russian military strikes with Iranian Shahed-131 or Shahed-136 UAVs. There were 35 UAVs in total.

Thus, the Ukrainian military finally acknowledged that at least 6 Russian UAVs and 3 missiles reached their targets. However, according to the reports from various regions of Ukraine, the Ukrainian military suffered heavy damage and the numbers provided by their officials do not correspond to reality. It is still not clear how the Ukrainian military is intercepting dozens of Russian cruise missiles on a daily basis? If they are shot down by air defence means of NATO countries, how can they pay for so many expensive foreign air defence missiles and pays for them? On the other hand, as Kiev has stated for many months of hostilities, Russia should have run out of all missiles.

While Ukrainian military commanders are inventing how many missiles they shot down this time, Kiev’s officials are assessing damage. At night, explosions thundered in the Kiev, Lviv, Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Vinnytsia, Kirovograd, Cherkasy, Poltava regions. Zelensky declared that on May 28, Ukraine was targeted by the largest drone attack since the beginning of the Russian military operations. According to him, in total, 54 UAVs were launched. On May 29, the strikes on the capital continued. This was the 15th attack of Russian forces on Kiev in May. Air defense was active in the city, but explosions thundered in several districts of the capital. The head of the city’s military administration said that the air attack on the capital was “combined, and was launched from different directions,” there was no official data on casualties or damage.

In the morning, Russian strikes in the capital resumed. The mayor of Kyiv confirmed explosions in the city center and urged civilians to stay in their shelters. Later, the locals reported that smoke was seen in the area of the Zhulyani airport located in the south-western part of the city. According to preliminary reports, the Patriot air defense system was struck near the airport. In total, sever targets were reportedly hit. Successful daytime strikes on Kiev became possible after the city’s air defense has exhausted its capabilities during the attack at night. This is the first time that the Russian Airspace Forces have used such tactics. They launched waves of night strikes, including with fake targets, to deplete Ukrainian air defense means and after that another wave of strikes targeted strategically important targets in the strategic depth of the defense of the AFU.

Wreckage of anti-aircraft missiles are falling on the streets:

At the moment, Russian strikes continue. The reports are coming from other Ukrainian regions. Ukrainian media report on the explosions in the Dnepropetrovsk region. Among the other targets that were hit during the night attack, there is a large military facility of the AFU in the Khmelnitsky region. The local authorities acknowledged damage to five aircraft and the runway in the region. There is also a fire in the local fuel warehouses and the storage of military materiel. It may be supposed that the target was the military airfield in Starokonstantinov, where the 7th Tactical Aviation Brigade of the AFU is based. The pilots of this unit use Su-24M and Su-24MR bombers adapted for launching British Storm Shadow cruise missiles. According to preliminary reports, strikes in the Mykolaiv region hit military facilities of the AFU in the village of Snigirevka. The Ukrainian military is accumulating forces in the area, preparing for the offensive in the Kherson region. The night was sleepless for residents of the Odessa region. The local authorities reported that a drone was shot down over the city, the wreckage of which fell in the port. As a result, a fire broke out, it was extinguished, the scale of damage is being specified. However, local sources reported that a large explosion thundered in the city and Ukrainian air defences failed to intercept the UAV which hit a military facility in the port. Ukrainian media reported that the Russian military used a new tactic during the night strikes.

Together with strike UAVs, they launched numerous false targets, including cheap hand-made plywood planes with a motor running according to the coordinates. This time, the planes were equipped with reflectors made of foil and plastic tied on a long fishing line. They reflect the radar signal. As a result, air defence systems detected the reflector better than the false target itself. In particular, in Odessa, air defence systems were firing nonstop with indiscriminate fire which led to no results.

Up To 70% Of US-Made Stryker APCs Supplied To Ukraine Are Out Of Service – Report
South Front, May 29 2023

One of the US-made M1126 Stryker armored personnel carriers that entered service with the 42nd separate motorized brigade of the AFU. Previously, only armament of the 82nd brigade with these vehicles was confirmed. The Ukrainian frontlines are still waiting for the promised counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). After months of military supplies from the West, training in NATO countries, the AFU grouping in the main direction of the offensive will consist of the professional units armed with Western military equipment. At the beginning of May, the 82nd Airborne Assault Brigade of the AFU completed combat coordination and it was equipped with additional Western vehicles. This combat unit received German Marder infantry fighting vehicles, American Stryker armored vehicles and British Challenger main battle tanks. At the same time, columns of Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, which are intended for the 47th Brigade of the AFU, were spotted moving to the Ukrainian front. The 47th Brigade was formed a year ago and is considered the elite of the Ukrainian army. These military units, trained and armed by NATO countries, are expected to join the main strike group of Ukrainian troops in the upcoming offensive. Back in late April, a convoy of US-made Stryker armored fighting vehicles was spotted in Romania near the border with Ukraine:

New Ukrainian units and Western equipment were put to the front weeks ago but any large-scale offensive operations of the AFU are yet to take place. On the one hand, just at the time when Ukrainian attacks were expected, Russian forces began a prolonged wave of massive drone and missile strikes in all regions controlled by Kiev. As a result, many warehouses and military facilities located on the routes of Western equipment on the territory of Ukraine, as well as in close proximity to the front, where the Ukrainian military is accumulating forces, were destroyed. In its turn, the Kiev regime is asking for more and more weapons, which are allegedly still insufficient for offensive actions. Probably, one of the problems lies in Western weapons, but not in their quantity, but in their quality. In March of this year, it was revealed that Ukrainian troops will be armed with American Stryker armored personnel carriers. Strykers should strengthen the counter-offensive potential of the AFU. However, it turned out that the vehicles sent to Ukraine had numerous malfunctions. According to unofficial sources from the front, 76% of Strykers in one of the units of the airborne assault troops of Ukraine cannot fully participate in combat operations. Of the 68 vehicles, 52 reportedly are in a faulty condition. In particular, Stryker has a large number of malfunctions in electronics and chassis. Ukrainian servicemen complain about non-functioning fuel pumps, communication systems, nitrogen supply, etc. In addition to technical malfunctions, Ukrainian forces are not able to fully service American vehicles. Time will tell whether Russian forces managed to delay the Ukrainian offensive or completely disrupt Kiev’s plans. At the same time, numerous foreign armored vehicles, including the US-made Stryker, have yet to prove their effectiveness in combat operations on the Ukrainian battlefields.

military summary

Military Summary And Analysis
Military Summary, May 29 2023

Massive Missile & Drone Strikes | Iranian-Afghan Border Conflict.


Pentagon sending troops to train Peruvian coup regime’s killers
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, May 29 2023

Peru’s National Police special forces unit has played a major role in the repression.

US SOUTHCOM, the Pentagon’s overseer for Latin America and the Caribbean, will be sending hundreds of Marines and special forces troops to Peru beginning as early as this week, to train military and Peruvian National Police special forces units. These same forces have carried out massacres and extra-judicial executions to suppress the mass protests against the coup regime of Dina Boluarte. Peru’s Congress, dominated by the ultra-right Fuerza Popular party and its allies, approved the US deployment by a two-to-one margin earlier this month. Congress has joined with the Boluarte regime and the judiciary in consolidating an authoritarian state to suppress Peru’s restive working class and oppressed masses. The repression of the mass upheavals that began last December in response to the ouster and arrest of President Pedro Castillo has resulted in an official death toll of nearly 70, many of the victims killed by live fire from the police and the military. Many hundreds more have been grievously wounded.

The dispatch of US troops to Peru, while largely blacked out by both the Peruvian and US media, constitutes an unmistakable demonstration of support on the part of the Biden administration and the Pentagon for this bloody repression. It is also a bid to exploit the crisis gripping the country to further American imperialist dominance in the region, using military means. Peru’s top prosecutor has summoned Boluarte to testify next week in an inquiry opened at the start of this year into her alleged role in the deaths of protesters killed in clashes with security forces after Castillo’s ouster. She, along with top government ministers, are supposedly being investigated over alleged crimes of “genocide, aggravated homicide and serious injury.” A report issued last week by Amnesty International, however, strongly suggests that this probe is a sham. It states that Peru’s Attorney General’s office has yet to question a single member of the Peruvian security forces involved in the mass killings, while a “lack of resources, experts and prosecutors allocated to these cases, plus a series of institutional measures taken by the Attorney General, have undermined investigation and the collection of key evidence.”

The Amnesty report states that the use of live ammunition against unarmed protesters across four separate regions of Peru suggested the “responsibility of the most senior commanders, at least, of the Peruvian Nationalist Party and the Peruvian Army” in a “deliberate and coordinated state response” to drown the social protests in blood. It further charged that Boluarte and her ministers worked to “stigmatize” those being killed. They made “baseless statements that branded protesters as terrorists and praised the actions of the Peruvian security forces.” In reviewing the casualties in the conflict zones of Andahuaylas, Chincheros, Ayacucho and Juliaca, Amnesty identified a number of those killed as 15 and 16-year-old youth. Hilaria Aime Gutiérrez, mother of Christopher Ramos, killed by the military in Ayacucho, told the human rights group:

How can a 15-year-old child be a terrorist? How can a child who saved money every day to get ahead be a terrorist? You cannot treat an adolescent like this! He was my little one, my beloved child!

Amnesty International warned that, as a result of recent laws and amendments passed by the right-wing Congress, Peru’s security forces enjoy a level of impunity that allows those “responsible for serious violations of human rights to escape justice.” This impunity has only been widened with a recent ruling by Peru’s supreme court that there effectively exists no right to protest under Peru’s constitution, which was imposed by the dictatorial regime of Alberto Fujimori in 1993. The ruling was handed down in rejecting an appeal of four people convicted for participation in blocking trucks at the Las Bambas mining project, a common form of protest by peasant communities against the ravaging of their lands by the transnational mining corporations. The high court found that any protest that “could” infringe upon anyone’s rights or upon the workings of Peru’s capitalist economic system—even if peaceful—constitutes criminal activity.

The Amnesty report follows another issued last month by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), of which Peru is a member. It likewise found the Peruvian police and army guilty of “excessive, indiscriminate and lethal use of force” in suppressing protests across the south of the country in December and January, following the ouster of Castillo. It also condemned the Boluarte regime for “the stigmatization” of peasants and indigenous peoples with the false accusations that they were “terrorists,” thereby justifying the massacres. A similar conclusion was reached by Nyaletsossi Voule, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association in a statement at the end of a recent 10-day official visit to Peru:

Excessive and disproportionate use of force led to the killing and injury of protestors and bystanders during the protests that began in Dec 2022. (The international community must ensure that) those responsible for human rights violations during the protests are effectively held to account.

Nothing of the kind, of course, has taken place. This, then, is the pariah regime and its security forces to which the US military and the Biden administration is preparing to provide “support and assistance.” US troops are to be deployed to some of the same regions where streets were awash with blood and where new strikes and protests are being organized and prepared. They are being sent to help prop up a regime that is overwhelmingly hated by the Peruvian masses. The highest approval rating Boluarte has received in recent polls is 16%, while that of Congress is even lower. Even as troops are being prepared for deployment to Peru, US SOUTHCOM on May 23 announced the appointment of a Peruvian general, Brig-Gen Marco Marín, as the deputy commanding general for interoperability with US Army South, ensuring the closest collaboration between the Pentagon and Peru’s repressive security forces.

There is no question of mistaken identity involved here. The Boluarte regime was brought to power with the direct connivance of Washington. The US ambassador to Peru, Lisa Kenna, a CIA veteran and former top aide to Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on the very eve of the parliamentary coup that brought down Castillo, organized a meeting with Peruvian Defense Minister Gustavo Bobbias to ensure that the military would cast its deciding vote in favor of overthrowing the Peruvian president. US SOUTHCOM’s Peruvian expedition exposes the rank hypocrisy of Washington’s incessant invocation of “human rights” as a cover for the pursuit of its imperialist interests, from Ukraine, to the Pacific and Latin America itself.

In Peru, these interests are obvious. The country is the world’s second-largest producer of copper, expected to mine 2.8 million tons this year. Exploration has begun in the southern region of Puno near the border with Bolivia for lithium deposits. Both metals are of strategic importance in the race for developing electric vehicles and “clean” energy. Peru is also an important producer of gold, zinc, silver and natural gas. China has eclipsed the US as Peru’s main trading partner, while it has extensive investments in mining as well as in the development of infrastructure, including the only Chinese-run port in Latin America. Beijing and Lima have a free-trade agreement, and Peru has become part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. According to China’s embassy in Peru, trade between the two countries topped $37b in 2021, more than double the amount between Peru and the US. For Latin America as a whole, trade with China has soared from $12b in 2000 to $495b in 2022.

The support for the coup regime and the deployment of troops in Peru is part of Washington’s strategy in the hemisphere. It is based upon a reliance on militarism and support of the region’s counter-revolutionary oligarchies to offset the dramatic erosion of US economic hegemony, all the while mouthing phrases about “human rights” and “democracy.” In Peru, where six presidents have been ousted in five years and virtually every major political figure is implicated in corruption scandals, Washington is seeking to build up the military as an instrument for dominating the state and carrying out counter-revolutionary repression, while serving as a US-aligned counterbalance to China’s economic influence.

US imperialism’s determination to turn Latin America into a battlefield in the drive toward a third world war poses immense dangers to the masses of working people in the region. The US is reviving its well-worn methods of militarism, coups and dictatorship in its attempt to reassert hegemony in a region it long viewed contemptuously as its “own backyard.” Bitter experience has proven that these threats cannot be countered by reliance on supposedly “left” bourgeois politicians and parties. From Castillo in Peru, to the PT in Brazil, the Boric government in Chile and elsewhere in the region, the so-called “pink tide” governments have only paved the way to the rise of the most right-wing forces and intensified attacks upon the working class. The greatest danger facing the Latin American working class is the absence of a revolutionary leadership based on an internationalist and socialist program. This must be answered through the building of sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Australian Labor government rolls out red carpet for fascistic Indian PM Modi
Oscar Grenfell, WSWS, May 29 2023

Narendra Modi with Anthony Albanese at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, May 23 2023.

A state visit to Australia last week by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi provided a graphic display of imperialist hypocrisy. The Australian Labor government, which together with US administrations frequently denounces China as “autocratic,” fawned over the Indian leader, whose rule is based on far-right Hindu communalism and conducts increasingly authoritarian attacks on basic democratic rights. Modi was to participate in a meeting of the Quad in Sydney last Wednesday. That gathering was cancelled after Biden declared that he could not attend, purportedly due to US debt ceiling negotiations. Modi nevertheless proceeded with his trip and the Labor government spared no expense. The visit served to deepen a series of bilateral relationships between members of the Quad. As part of its commitment to this US-led war drive, the Labor government has intensified military and political ties with other Quad members. Late last year, it struck the furthest-reaching defence agreement Australia has ever had with Japan. The deal provides for a substantial increase in military collaboration, with the stated aim of “interoperability” between the armed forces of the two countries. While in India last March, Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese proclaimed that India was now a “top tier strategic partner” of Australia. Modi and Albanese announced that Malabar naval exercises, which initially involved only India and the US, will be held in Australia later this year. Japan will also participate.

India is considered particularly crucial to the US offensive against China, which is viewed as the chief threat to American imperialist hegemony. India has overtaken China as the most populous country in the world. It has historic disputes along its 3,500-km border with China, which have been inflamed as potential flashpoints of war. Amid a developing trade war, the substantial Indian economy is also viewed by the Australian capitalist class as a potential offset to any loss of exports to China, its largest market. Modi is overseeing an industrial build-up, based on the intensified exploitation of Indian workers. At the same time, the tightening of ties with India is viewed as critical, under conditions where the country has substantial economic relations with Russia. India has largely avoided direct comment on the war in Ukraine. The US-NATO proxy war against Russia is one prong of a global strategy of American imperialism, the other being confrontation with China. Albanese and his Labor government are going to great lengths to align India more directly with Washington’s plans. That was the general context and purpose of Modi’s visit. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the trip was that Modi and his Australian hosts did not seek to conceal the Indian leader’s autocratic character. Instead, they sought to reproduce, in Australia, the authoritarian cult of personality that has come to characterise Modi’s rule. The centrepiece of Modi’s visit was a stadium event in Sydney last week. Albanese flattered Modi, declaring:

The last time I saw someone on this stage was Bruce Springsteen and he did not get the welcome that Prime Minister Modi has got. Prime Minister Modi is the boss.

The two warmly embraced. The event was effectively a political campaign rally for Modi and his far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While there are almost 800k people of Indian descent in Australia, the event was attended by 20k. They were clearly supporters of the BJP, together with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a fascistic paramilitary organisation with which Modi is associated. The RSS has historically glorified the racialism of the Nazi regime. Its adherents murdered Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi because of his limited criticisms of Hindu communal violence. The Sydney event mirrored Albanese’s visit to India in March. There he had closely identified himself with Modi, including riding around a cricket stadium in a car decked out as a Hindu chariot. In such engagements, India is invariably described as “the world’s largest democracy,” a country with which Australia and the US have “shared values.” These “values” are counterposed to the “authoritarianism” of China. But what is Modi’s record?

  • As chief minister of the state of Gujarat, Modi stands accused of encouraging Hindu communal riots in 2012 that resulted in the killing of at least 790 Muslim citizens.
  • This February, Modi ordered a raid on the Indian office of the BBC over a documentary outlining his role in the Gujarat massacre.
  • In 2019, as prime minister, Modi carried out an effective constitutional coup, unilaterally revoking the semi-autonomous status of the Muslim-majority provinces of Jammu and Kashmir. Modi instituted a reign of terror in Kashmir, with a massive police deployment, roundups of opponents and, at one point, a complete shutdown of electronic communications.
  • Modi presides over attacks on workers’ leaders, such as the 13 Maruti Suzuki workers sentenced to life in prison, on frame-up charges, for launching a struggle against workplace exploitation.

The list could go on. In 2021, the Sweden-based V-Dem Institute downgraded its assessment of India under Modi from a democracy to an “electoral autocracy.” The report said the “diminishing of freedom of expression, the media, and civil society have gone the furthest” of any Indian administration. The response of the US and its allies, including Australia, is a shrug of the shoulders. While they routinely invoke the plight of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjang Province, they ignore the far more widely documented persecution of Muslims in Kashmir. Albanese said:

I won’t comment on some of the internal politics in India which, as a democracy, has a range of views.

Matthew Knott, of the SMH, is among the most hawkish anti-China voices in the Australian media. In March, he co-authored the “Red Alert” series calling for Australia to prepare for war with China within three years, including by stationing US nuclear weapons and introducing conscription. He invariably presents this militarist program as a defence of “democracy.” While ostensibly concerned with democratic rights in China, Knott is not troubled about civil liberties in India. In a comment dripping with cynicism, Knott wrote:
While foreign policy requires a delicate balancing of principle and pragmatism, Albanese’s primary job is to advance Australia’s national interests, not to ‘call out’ his fellow world leaders for their failings. It’s in Australia’s interest for Albanese to have a good relationship with Modi given the latter leads the world’s most populous country, a rising economic powerhouse that serves as an important counterweight to China’s rapid rise.

During the visit, Albanese signed a trade and migration deal with Modi, further increasing the collaboration between the two countries. But the most significant aspect of the trip was the close alignment between the two leaders, which can be understood only in the context of the advanced preparations for a US-led war against China. Albanese’s identification with Modi is a warning to the working class. If the Australian ruling elite is happy with autocracy in India, to further its geostrategic interests, it will support authoritarian rule at home to suppress workers’ struggles as living conditions continue to deteriorate and a catastrophic war looms.

military summary

Military Summary And Analysis
Military Summary, May 28 2023

Donbass Zugzwang | The Russians Advance … Everywhere.

Military Summary And Analysis
Military Summary, May 28 2023

THE BEST US INVESTMENT | Massive Drone Attack. Frontline Updates.

colonel cassad

On the Iran-Afghan border
Colonel Cassad, May 28 2023 12:15

Regarding the next border clashes on the border between Iran and Afghanistan. A few important things to understand. Border incidents have occurred periodically since the occupation of Afghanistan by the Americans, which did not prevent the Iranians from supplying weapons to the Taliban to kill Americans. In particular, it was from the territory under Taliban control that an Iranian missile that struck the CIA air command post in 2020 was launched. In the current iteration, the conflict is formally related to unresolved disputes over water supply in the border areas. Control (including tacit) over border checkpoints is important. The annual turnover of such checkpoints can be more than $1b/yr. So in conflicts around checkpoints there are, in addition to state, also commercial and criminal interests on both sides. Taliban factions in the province of Guilmand seek to increase their autonomy from the government in Kabul. As previously mentioned more than once, the Taliban inside are very heterogeneous. This is not a monolithic structure, it has many large and small fractions, from moderate to stubborn.

Hilmend is one of the leading provinces in the cultivation of raw materials for heroin production. In the first half of the 2010s, Hilmend produced just under half of all opium poppy in the world. There are many interested players who would like to destroy the course of international legitimization of the government in Kabul and the decline in heroin production in Afghanistan. The prolonging of the conflict on the border with Iran will make it difficult for the Taliban to achieve their strategic goals in relations with China and Russia. Therefore, the most likely scenario is that after a period of aggravation, the central government in Kabul will put pressure on the brakes. Kabul has not declared any war yet, a representative of one of the factions is still simply routinely threatening jihad, if it is started at all – he himself does not have the opportunity to declare jihad. Objectively, neither the Taliban nor Iran will be able to benefit from this conflict. Such a conflict benefits the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and heroin producers in the province of Hilmand.

Election of the President of Turkey. Second round
Colonel Cassad, May 28 2023 09:56

The second round of presidential elections has started in Turkey today. For Turkey, they are decisive, as the vector of the country’s development can change significantly. If there are no force majeure, “friend Recep” must win, despite the political, economic and media pressure from the US. Election scenarios + most sociology in his favor and even Kılychdaroglu’s attempts to dress up as a nationalist radical do not look like a way that will change the final result. Compared to the first round, Erdogan’s position has strengthened, including by maintaining control over the parliament, where the opposition has already lost. The main intrigue here is rather whether the opposition will go from the West’s instigation to the street scenario to punish Erdogan for his “multi-vector.”

Hezbullah of the future
Colonel Cassad, May 27 2023 21:04

Hezbullah antidrone operator during the last major exercises. About 15-20 years ago, the frame in the photo would have come down on the cover of some fantastic action movie.

south front

“The Best Money We’ve Ever Spent”: Genocide Is The True Goal Of US Investments To Ukrainian War
South Front, May 28 2023

Another video of President Zelensky and his friends from the US got viral. During the meeting with the Ukrainian leader, an ardent Russophobe, US Senator Lindsey Graham declared proudly grinning:

The Russians are dying. It’s the best money we’ve ever spent!

Likely speaking about the effective support to the Kiev regime from Washington, Graham once again did not bother to veil the true goals of the American puppeteers, who have already sent hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to their deaths but could proudly declare today that Russians are dying too. Such claims could not be assessed as a slip of the tongue. The video was published by Zelensky’s press service, thus it was accepted as the state’s official position. Publishing the video, Kiev probably intended to ease the pain of millions of Ukrainians who lost their loved ones in hostilities.

According to Zelensky’s website, the talks took place in Kiev on May 26. Since the beginning of the military conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Graham has come to Ukraine for the third time. In his turn, Zelensky asked for long-range weapons, likely inspired by Graham’s desire to kill more Russians. the Ukrainian press service reported:

He informed the American senator in detail about the situation on the frontline and assessed its development in the near future. He emphasized separately that the time has come for partners, in particular the US, to provide Ukraine with long—range weapons and other types of weapons.

The Nazi statement was not ignored by Moscow. Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova recalled that Washington already has illustrative examples in history with which its policy can be compared, in particular, the US investment to the tragedy of the Holocaust. she wrote on Telegram:

Senator Graham has something to compare with. One of their investments led to WW2 and the Holocaust.

Zakharova responded by recalling the support of American corporations to Nazi Germany. In particular, she cited the words of Hjalmar Schacht, who held the post of Reich Minister of Economy of Germany in the 1930s, that “the sponsorship of the Third Reich also came from abroad.” She noted the role of Ford, General Motors, Kodak, Coca Cola, Standard Oil and others in sponsoring the Nazi regime in Germany. Zakharova concluded speaking about the “billions of US dollars” that are being sent to military assistance to Ukraine:

In this regard, I would like to remind senators and all American beneficiaries how the previous adventure ended.

Graham is constantly making odious claims calling for escalation between Washington and Moscow. In March last year, shortly after the Russian troops crossed the Ukrainian border, the senator called for the assassination of President Vladimir Putin. Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov called this statement outrageous and called on the American authorities to condemn the senator’s behavior. In the Kremlin, Graham’s words were considered “hysterical indecent escalation of a Russophobic fit.” In Mar 2023, after the incident with the MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Black Sea, Graham proposed shooting down Russian planes in international space when approaching US facilities. Antonov compared this statement to a declaration of war. Even before the start of full-scale military operations in Ukraine, Graham criticized the Russian authorities and called for tougher sanctions against Moscow. In 2018, he became one of the authors of an initiative to tighten sanctions against Russia called “sanctions bill from hell.”

Most Massive Drone Attack On Ukraine’s Capital Since Start Of Russia’s SMO
South Front, May 28 2023

Since the evening of May 27, information began to come in about the first wave of kamikaze drones that were headed toward the rear military facilities of the AFU. Throughout the night of May 28, there were several such waves. Ukrainian sources report that the Russian Air Force used nontraditional routes to bypass air defenses in southern Ukraine and fly to Kiev. The air-raid alert in the Ukrainian capital lasted more than five hours.

Official Kiev has confirmed that the Ukrainian capital was subjected to the most massive air attack since the beginning of the new phase of the war in Ukraine. Traditionally, the AFU air defense forces shot down “all Russian strike drones and missiles.” Ukrainian officials stated that numerous explosions in the outskirts and inside the city were the result of falling fragments of Russian drones. Yet, by some miracle, the ” fragments of just one drone” caused a fire at an industrial facility in the Goloseevsky district of Kiev on an area of over 1k sq m. The type of damage inside residential neighborhoods testifies to another unsuccessful launch of anti-aircraft missiles in Kiev. This is also confirmed by the videos that have been circulating on Ukrainian blogs.

On the morning of May 28, the Russian Air Force also carried out a successful strike on a large Ukrainian military infrastructure facility in Zhytomyr.

Local eyewitnesses also reported numerous explosions in Sumy and Cherkasy regions of Ukraine. No footage is available. Recently, the repressive apparatus of the Kiev regime has focused on persecuting all citizens who film Russian strikes or their results. Any eyewitness who made a video recording and posted it on the Internet is subject to criminal prosecution accompanying mockery and torture.

(((stephen bryen)))

What Happened to Ukraine’s General Valerii Zaluzhny?
Stephen Bryen, Weapons and Strategy (Blog), May 27 2023

General Valerii Zaluzhny is Ukraine’s Chief of the Armed Forces, appointed to that position in July. 2021. He is also a member of Ukraine’s National Security Council. Zaluzhny has been missing for some weeks, leading to numerous rumors. Now, apparently, he has reappeared, if you believe the brief video released by the Ukrainian government. There were many rumors about Zaluzhny. The earliest one was that he was killed, along with a number of other senior Ukrainian officers, in a meeting at a command post somewhere in eastern Ukraine. That rumor was soon followed by another, that in fact he was badly wounded at the same command center which was hit by a Russian Iskander missile. Some elaborating rumors followed: that Zaluzhny had survived the blast but required multiple operations and while he would recover, he would never again be available to command Ukraine’s army.

Ukraine is planning a major offensive to be launched “soon.” Victoria Nuland says that the US collaborated with Ukraine on the plans and operations for the coming offensive, putting additional pressure on Zelensky to carry it out. He has been hesitating, even though 12 brigades have been organized, nine of them equipped with American and European weapons, including Leopard tanks. Many analysts think that the Russians significantly outnumber of Ukrainian forces and have good equipment and many advantages. The most optimistic assessment is that the Ukrainians may make some modest gains, but at heavy cost. These assessments help explain Zelensky’s nervousness. There are other rumors that there is an ongoing struggle in Ukraine between the military and civilian leaders. That struggle emerged from the heavy losses recently experienced by Ukraine’s army, the almost complete depletion of Ukraine’s air force and the degradation of Ukraine’s air defenses. If an offensive is launched, Ukraine will have to go mostly without air cover for any advance and will face a heavily electronically jammed battlefield where Western smart weapons may not work as advertised.

Perhaps most divisive of all is what happened in Bakhmut. Despite all the self-serving propaganda, Bakhmut was a major defeat for Ukraine because they poured so many soldiers into the battle and suffered huge casualties. Ukraine’s military was against trying to hold Bakhmut, the place both sides called a “meat grinder.” Zelensky was the main proponent for the Bakhmut battle and even visited Chasiv Yar, a small town close to Bakhmut that was used as a staging and supply area, and for rotation of troops in and out of the city. Reports say that Ukraine rotated its troops six or seven times, and units sent there took heavy casualties. Many of the Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut wore green armbands (sometimes on their helmets too), indicating they were new recruits, many of them poorly trained. The 12 brigades that will be used in the upcoming offensive also has a lot of green armband guys, not a good way to launch a big operation. Ukraine is low on trained manpower.

This brings us to Zaluzhny. He is regarded as a first-rate commander who is admired by his troops and extremely smart and capable. But where is he? The Military Summary Channel (found on YouTube) is a generally reliable and objective source for war news. The Channel reviewed the new Zaluzhny video and found a major discrepancy, questioning its authenticity.

The Ukrainian-released video clip, which is only a few seconds long, shows Zaluzhny sitting at his desk. The video shows him waving to the cameraman and chatting. The waving motion also is rather strange. It is hard to recall a military or civilian leader waving at a cameraman. As you can see, the above photo is a screenshot from the video with two insets: on the right is an inset of a known photo of Zaluzhny. On the left is an inset taken from the screen shot. In the authentic photo Zaluzhny has blue eyes. In the latest video, he has brown eyes. There also are some facial differences if you look carefully, especially the nose. Is the video Zaluzhny a double? We live in a time of deep fakes where AI tech can emulate almost any video image. With questions arising like those proposed by the Military Summary Channel, we will have to wait for convincing evidence about the general.

The same sort of problem has arisen about the fate of the Ivan Khurs, the Russian spy ship that was attacked by three Ukrainian sea drones stuffed with explosives. The Ukrainians have produced a video that alleges that the Ivan Khurs was hit by one of the drones and sunk. The Russians have produced a video showing the Ivan Khurs arriving back into Sevastopol harbor, without any evidence of damage. Which is true? My own point of view is that if a Russian ship was attacked at sea, the Russians would send rescue crews and aircraft immediately. None have been seen. I also wonder how the Russians got the video if the ship was sunk. Not possible. So I think that the Ukrainian version of the Ivan Khurs story is fake. So is the Zaluzhny video.

PS: On a second video his eyes are blue again:

dances with bears

Zaluzhny Kaput – Who Goes Next In The Ukrainian Collapse
John Helmer, Dances with Bears, May 28 2023

The man introduced in the video above is General Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. There are no insignia on his jacket, zipped tight to his chin. His torso and legs are concealed beneath the desk, which also accommodates a computer screen without keyboard or mouse; and a pen held between the general’s right thumb and index finger, upside down and useless. Patriotic slogans have been pasted to the wall. A wall socket accommodates a thick communications cable routed along the base of the wall, but not visibly connected to the two telephones. There are ten unopened water bottles on display, six plastic cups. A single piece of paper on the desk reveals no date. The general is able to say a dozen scripted words and raise his left hand. He is not dead from the Russian missile attack which had caused his disappearance until this video clip was published on Thursday evening to dispel what the Ukrainian introducer called the mystery and the Russian propaganda of Zaluzhny’s death. The clip proves the opposite of this intention. The general is visibly unwell and is no longer capable of commanding the Ukrainian forces. The Ukrainian production of the Zaluzhny cameo was published on the Telegram account of the Russian war news aggregator, Rybar; the 35-second video was originally displayed at 21:59 on May 25. The Rybar team commented:

Such strange behaviour of the responsible persons cannot but suggest that the rumours about the injury of Zaluzhny really do have grounds. This explains his almost month-long absence from the media field: apparently, in order to appear in public, he needed to heal at least some of his injuries. There is no special point in speculating about the current capabilities of the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces to manage troops now: in the end, there is no objective information yet about Zaluzhny’s state of health. But we can say one thing: in the event of failures of the enemy’s armed forces, there will definitely be talk that the reason for the failures was an incapacitated general. Who, even after a serious injury, was left in office solely for political and media reasons.

Twenty-two hours earlier, on the evening of May 24, Rybar picked up a Ukrainian attempt to make Zaluzhny appear much healthier. In that picture, an adviser to the command staff, Alyona Shevtsova, is shown with the general. However, investigation of the details of the photograph reveals it was taken at an official press opportunity on May 2, just before Zaluzhny disappeared. The watch on Zaluzhny’s right wrist appears to be missing from his appearance in the video of May 25.

The significance of Zaluzhny’s month-long disappearance, and of this week’s Ukrainian efforts to restore his visibility is that if the commander-in-chief can be targeted by accurate Russian intelligence, followed by missile or drone attack, then no Ukrainian soldier, from private to general, is safe at any location in the country. The incident also raises the question of why the US and NATO are protecting the Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky outside the Ukraine more effectively than they are capable of doing for Zaluzhny and his staff inside. In the past week, for example, Zelensky has been photographed disembarking in Japan from a French presidential jet. Domestically in the Ukraine, the disparity of sacrifice is all too obvious, as is the steady collapse of security for the regime in the west of the country no less than on the front in east. This collapse is the subject of a dramatic new statement by Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and currently deputy head of the Security Council. This was published at 21:36 on May 25. For the first time a senior Russian official declared that the strategic objective of the war has now become the elimination of the Ukraine as a sovereign state, and its replacement by Russia in the east, Poland and Hungary in the west, with the possibility of a demilitarized zone in between the two. Medvedev announced:

I recently wrote why Ukraine will disappear. Now it’s time to say how Ukraine will disappear, and also what will then be the risk of a resumption of the war in Europe and in the rest of the world. This will depend on which path the process of disintegration of this dying state will take as a result of the lost military conflict. There are two of them. One is the path of relatively slow erosion of Ukrainian statehood with the gradual loss of the remaining elements of state sovereignty. Alternatively, there is the path of its swift collapse with simultaneous annihilation of all signs of statehood. In any case, after such a collapse, three possible scenarios are likely:

  1. The western regions of Ukraine would come under the control of a number of EU states with a subsequent ‘anschluss’ (annexation) of these lands by the receiving states. At the same time, a certain ‘no-man’s-land’ would remain Ukrainian territory, squeezed between Russia and the territories which have passed under the sovereignty of a number of European countries. This remaining ownerless territory would declare its secession from the former Ukraine with its own international legal personality and with its intention to return the lost lands by all means. Naturally, this refers only to those lands which have become part of Russia. At the same time, this ‘new’ Ukraine would immediately declare its desire to join the EU and NATO, which could happen in the medium term. The armed conflict would resume after a short time, turning into a permanent war and with the threat of its rapid escalation into a full-fledged third World War.
  2. Ukraine disappears after it has completely dissolved in the process of its division between Russia and a number of the EU states. A government of Ukraine would then be formed in exile in one of the European countries. The war would end with reasonable guarantees of its non-renewal in the near future, but with thepreservation of the terrorist activity of the Ukrainian Nazis; they will be dispersed over the territory of the EU states which  have received Western Ukrainian lands. In this case, the risk of the resumption of a full-fledged conflict or its escalation into a world war can be considered moderate.
  3. The same thing happens as in the first case but taking the opposite direction. The western lands of Ukraine are joining a number of EU countries. The people of the central and some other ownerless regions of Ukraine, within the framework of Article 1 of the UN Charter, immediately declare their self-determination by joining the Russian Federation. This request is granted, and the war would end with sufficient guarantees of its non-renewal in the long term. There are simply no other options. And this is already clear to everyone, even if it is unpleasant for someone out there in the West to admit it. We may be temporarily satisfied with the second option, but we need the third one.

Several hours after Medvedev published his statement, he participated in the weekly session of the Security Council chaired by President Putin. According to the Kremlin communiqué, the only agenda item discused was “additional social guarantees for participants in the special military operation and their family members.”

+972 magazine

These Israeli youth are burning their draft orders, and no longer feeling alone
Oren Ziv, +972 Magazine, May 24 2023

Young protesters burn their draft orders during a protest in Tel Aviv, Apr 1 2023.

On Apr 1, in the midst of one of the weekly mass demonstrations in Tel Aviv against the Israeli government’s judicial overhaul plans, a group of around 10 teenagers gathered to burn their military draft orders, after announcing that they would refuse to serve in the army in protest of the occupation and apartheid. This symbolic act gained a great deal of attention, perhaps buoyed by the recent wave of refusal threats by hundreds of reservist soldiers as part of the protest movement against the government. From conversations with several of these high school students and young people, it is clear that the protests against the judicial overhaul and the political awareness that it has brought about has accelerated the process of radicalization. Moreover, they feel that other young people are becoming more willing to hear about the occupation, while the issue of army refusal in various forms is growing much more widespread. Sofi Or, a 17-year-old from the northern town of Pardes Hanna, and an activist with Mesarvot, a network that guides young people through the process of conscientious objection, says:

People are getting more into politics because there is no choice. Before the protests, most young people did not think much about politics. Now, young people who were not in the political scene are open to hearing about politics, and not only ideas from the mainstream. Even within the protests themselves it is easy to start conversations.

Tal, a 17-year-old from Tel Aviv, explains:

If young people learn about the committee for the appointment of judges maybe they will also learn about apartheid in the occupied territories.

Ayelet Kobo, another 17-year-old from Tel Aviv, is also active in Mesarvot. They say:

People around me have really changed. At the beginning of the protests, I organized students to come to the anti-occupation bloc. I met people who in the past might have spoken about politics, but were not active. Now they are joining many protests and coming every week.

May Day, Jaffa, May 1 2023.

Kobo says the change is due to the fact that the demonstrations are accessible to everyone. They explain:

It is expected that young people will be more radical. The problem is that you hear about terrible things but then don’t know about left-wing organizations and how to join them. The protests are so big that you do not need to get to the other side of Israel to see them. You can just leave the house on Saturday and find people who will speak to you. This knowledge gave people the courage to join in.

Many of the high schoolers who spoke to +972 are not sufficing just with the weekly anti-government demonstrations in Tel Aviv, but are also participating in civil disobedience and direct action. Some are joining Palestinian-led protests in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, against the eviction of Palestinian families by settlers and the state. Iddo Elam, a 16-year-old from Tel Aviv and a member of Banki, the youth wing of the Israeli Communist Party, says that he has been politically active since the age of 14. He says:

Suddenly, I see friends who never cared about such matters making throw-away comments like ‘It’s so terrible what the government is doing.’ Many come to the demonstrations every week and are open to hearing about issues such as occupation and apartheid. Many friends come to the radical bloc and wave the Palestinian flag for the first time, when a year or two ago they would ask me why I’m waving it.

Elam claims that it was the power of the protest that brought about this change. He explains:

You can’t ignore them. What’s more, other young protesters who are not part of the anti-occupation bloc pass by it on their way to the main demonstration, they see what we’re talking about, they ask their parents, and they watch the news. The need to fight against more fascist people like Ben Gvir and Smotrich makes it illogical to ignore the occupation.

Tel Aviv, Feb 11 2023.

In February, Uri Lass, the principal of Tel Aviv’s Ironi Dalet High School, was reprimanded by the Education Ministry for calling on his students to join a youth demonstration against the government’s judicial overhaul. The day before the demonstration, Lass sent a message demanding that students refrain from waving Palestinian flags; some of his students defied him, forming their own anti-occupation bloc within the youth march. At the demonstration, one of the administrators asked a student to stop waving the Palestinian flag. When the latter refused, the administrator asked the police officer supervising the demonstration to forbid the anti-occupation bloc from entering the main square with the rest of the protesters, where the speeches took place. Kobo views that demonstration as a great success. They say:

We appealed to young people we know, and the response was amazing. I didn’t think there were more than five or six left-wing kids in my year. But I started talking and sharing things in the WhatsApp group and realized that we have a presence in the school, that we have a voice. A few months ago, they didn’t know how to organize, and now they send me selfies from Sheikh Jarrah. It’s really impressive.

Kobo was offended that the teachers denounced the bloc, but was ultimately unsurprised. They say:

In the end, the teachers’ job is to preserve the establishment. They teach us history and civics with the aim of making us think that Israel is the most moral country in the world and that we need to enlist in the army.

While Kobo and Elam were active in left-wing groups before this wave of protests began, Tal became active only recently. He says:

I was raised on values of respect for other people, but I never went out to protest. At the first demonstration, I went with my mom and listened to the speeches. The speech by Ayman Odeh was amazing.

Hadash head Ayman Odeh, Tel Aviv, Jan 7 2023.

At the next mass demonstration a week later in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square, Tal was already looking for Palestinian flags. He recalls:

When I arrived, someone asked me if I wanted to hold a flag. After I took one and started waving it, I experienced verbal and physical violence, but that only strengthened my opinions. Going to protests means experiencing radicalization every time afresh. Police violence, tours in Hebron, every time I go out to protest it strengthens my opinions.

The anti-occupation bloc, which has grown to around 1k people each week, has become a meeting point for left-wing youngsters. A significant number of them are members of the youth wing of Banki, coming to demonstrations after meeting earlier at the Left Bank, the organization’s headquarters in the city center. 18-year-old Einav Zipori, secretary of Banki’s Tel Aviv branch, says:

A lot of young people are joining. There is a lot of interest. The protests helped young people who might have been aware of these issues to enter and do things.

Zipori says that at the beginning there were arguments among the leftist youth about whether to join the big demonstrations at all. She says:

In the first weeks it was problematic, but little by little connections were made with other organizations and new people, the bloc was formed, and people joined other activities as well.

Tel Aviv, Jan 21 2023.

And whereas members of the bloc initially faced a lot of aggression from other protesters, the level of violence toward them decreased as the weeks went on. Zipori continues:

Many people who come to fight are also ready to listen. People are getting used to our presence. More people are reaching out to us, and there is more awareness that Banki exists.

Or says:

The message we are conveying is that there is no democracy if it is not for all. The current protests, which are supposedly about democracy, are really a struggle to preserve the status quo, returning to what we had before, where democracy was granted to Jews only. We want to remind this protest movement of the occupation, the oppression that Palestinians are experiencing, and their flag.

Kobo says:

We oppose the reform, but we don’t only want to settle for that. The mainstream protests demand a return to the values of the Declaration of Independence. But we know that there has never been a democracy here. Not only because of the occupation; before that there was the Nakba, when people were deliberately expelled to create a Jewish state. The protests say that if the laws are passed, Israel will not be a democracy. We say that if the laws are passed, they will serve Israel’s anti-democratic essence since 1948. The weakest people will be harmed: Palestinians in the West Bank, Mizrahim, Ethiopians, and immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Kobo is conscious, however, that while the anti-occupation bloc has managed to assert itself as a legitimate voice in the protests, change doesn’t only take place at demonstrations. They say:

Protests are not the place to change people’s opinions. That happens in more intimate forums, such as tours or ceremonies. The idea of a joint ceremony appeals even to non-radical youth.

“We’ll die before we enlist,” Tel Aviv, Apr 29 2023.

Tal’s experience shows that the anti-occupation bloc is sparking conversations with other young people in the crowd. He recalls:

There have been countless discussions. People are surprised by what we think. At first they approach us aggressively. When we explain that we just want everybody to live in equality, we don’t want to throw the Jews into the sea, and that there is no reason for one people to rule over another people, they will say: ‘That’s not so bad.’

But despite the optimism, Or is aware that most young people do not accept these positions. She says:

The majority of young people in Israel are right-wing. It has to do with the society we grow up in, a society filled with militaristic, nationalist and inflammatory messages, which we are fed from a young age. There is still so much work to be done before the message ‘democracy for all’ is seen as normal.

One of the issues preoccupying the radical youth in these protests is conscientious objection. Some are preparing to go to military prison as a result of their refusal, while others hope to get exemptions for health reasons. The protests in Tel Aviv have seen future conscientious objectors addressing the crowd in the anti-occupation bloc. And according to those who spoke to +972, the fact that army reservists are now openly talking about refusing has made it easier for them to speak to other young people about refusing to be enlisted altogether. The first conscientious objector to be sent to military prison since these protests began was Yuval Dag, 20, who is now serving his third term behind bars. I met Dag twice, once right after the elections in Nov 2022, and a second time after the protests started.

Four Israeli conscientious objectors, Evyatar Moshe Rubin, Einat Gerlitz, Nave Shabtay Levin, Shahar Schwartz,
outside the Tel Hashomer induction base before their refusal to enlist in the Israeli army, Sep 4 2022.

During our second meeting, he explained how the reactions to his decision to refuse had shifted over the past half year. Dag attributes this change to the extremism of the current government. He said:

I feel that there is more support. You see many more people who go to the main demonstration with Israeli flags, and then encounter the anti-occupation bloc and say, ‘Well done, we are with you.’ This has given me more strength. It has become clear to everyone that there is a deeper connection between Israel and the occupation. There is a tangible example of what the government allows, what it lends a hand to, and what it consists of. Suddenly people are talking about Palestinians in the middle of Tel Aviv.

Elam, who plans to refuse, says that the issue came up at school. He explains:

We are now having a discussion in civics class about conscientious objection, and many friends who may still want to enlist now understand why people refuse to do so. They also see conscientious objection by reservists and understand that the army and militarism are not some supreme value, but something that should be doubted to a certain extent and even rejected.

Or, who graduated high school this year, will likely be sent to prison in the coming months upon declaring her refusal to enlist. She says:

I am not refusing as part of the protest movement, like the reservists. I am refusing because of the occupation and apartheid. But the general discussion about conscientious objection has allowed us to reach the mainstream. People are far more willing to hear it, despite the fact that there is still a lot of hatred.

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