Diary Blog, 31 March 2022, with latest thoughts on Ukraine, and some personal reminiscence about a road trip to Turkey

Morning music

[Odessa Airport, in immediately post-Soviet times; there is now a new international terminal; the terminal shown is now the VIP terminal]

On this day a year ago

Still clapping?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10670001/SARAH-VINE-heart-maternity-care-tragedy-extreme-ideology.html.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10670345/STEPHEN-GLOVER-admit-theres-rotten-heart-NHS-scandals-wont-stop.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10667779/Devastated-parents-given-bittersweet-victory-damning-report-lays-bare-NHS-maternity-scandal.html.

Memories of the Strait of Gallipoli

I remember well driving down the deserted Gallipoli Peninsula in April 2001, eventually reaching the ferry across from the collection of small buildings on that side, to what is now called Canakkale, the town on the other side of the water. Darkness was about to fall as we drove, with only a handful of other cars, motorbikes, and small trucks, onto the deck of the ferry.

[the Canakkale ferry]

I see from the Daily Mail report that the —I presume— now-superseded ferry crossing took 90 minutes. In my memory, the crossing took only about 30 minutes, which shows how faulty memory can be, I suppose.

[the very recently opened Canakkale Bridge, Turkey]

The return journey, three months later, in July of 2001, and in a very hot daytime, was considerably busier; the small ferry was full of cars, though mostly Turkish. As mentioned, I had driven in April from the UK to Turkey (eventually to Mediterranean Turkey), but only a very few foreigners from Western Europe then did that (and maybe few do even in 2022).

I spent about 3 days in Canakkale in April 2001; a large town, though not busy at that time of year (it was rather cold, with even a dusting of snow on the ground one day, and drizzly another day).

Canakkale, Turkey, in a more recent year]

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dardanelles

I suppose that most if not all traffic will now use that impressive bridge.

21 years ago. It seems almost like a different life…

Ukraine

I read that, for the first time, a Ukrainian missile has destroyed an arms storage area in Russia itself, at Belgorod, some 50 miles inside Russian territory. That certainly plays into the hands of Putin, who makes the point, at least impliedly, that Moscow is only 300 miles from Ukraine at the nearest point.

We read in the Western msm that Russian troops are pulling back from some areas near Kiev (or, as BBC, Sky etc have decided to call it, “Keeev“).

Kiev is essential to the outcome of this invasion which has become a war. Failing to secure Kiev means, pretty much, losing the war, especially for Putin and Russia.

If the Russian plan was (as I think, and suggested, was the case) to take over at least both Ukraine east of the river Dnieper, and the littoral areas of Ukraine on and near the Black Sea and Sea of Azov coasts, i.e. about a third to a half of the entire country, then Kiev had and has to be taken, because a. it is the accepted capital of Ukraine; b. it is the largest city (3 million inhabitants, pre-invasion); c. it sits on the river Dnieper between the east and west of Ukraine.

If Putin really does stick just with the two regions of the southeast centred on Donetsk and Lukhansk, or even those regions and also the eastern cities (the largest by far being Kharkov), then Russia has, despite any gained territory, lost this war.

Putin and Russia can only succeed if Kiev is taken and held, if all eastern Ukraine is taken (and held), and if all coastal areas (including the city of Odessa) are taken and held.

What should have been and could have been a swift operation lasting maybe a week, and resulting in both an easy victory and in little loss of life, with the Jewish regime of Zelensky eliminated, and a new government installed, has become a bloody, painful, and horrible mess because the Russian General Staff failed, because the GRU failed, because the SVR failed, and because the organization of Russia’s vast army has been shown to be sluggish, shambolic, and unfit for duty. The same seems to be true of many of the Russian soldiers.

Stalin would have shot a hundred senior military and intelligence officers by now.

This brings into question the whole nature of the “Putinist” regime in Russia. The old Soviet Union was dying in the 1980s (“the Soviet knight dying inside his rusting armour“, so to speak), but even so still functioned.

Yeltsin’s chaotic regime, which I myself saw at first hand in the Moscow of 1993, permitted the (mainly) Jew oligarchs to exploit the bejesus out of Russia. Putin came in as national leader in 1999, and since then has in many respects improved life in Russia from what it was under Yeltsin, and also upgraded the armed forces. What Putin has not been able to do is to formulate an ideology that goes beyond Great-Russian nationalism.

The “Putinist” facade of ideology, following on from Soviet Marxism-Leninism, and also following the crazed and chaotic crony-capitalism under Yeltsin, is a mere pastiche: some Great-Russian nationalism, a bit of Russian Orthodox traditional religion, a more statist form of crony-capitalism, a bit of Western consumerism; a bit of this, a bit of that.

When push came to shove, the ideological emptiness at the core of Putinism was unable to withstand any pressure. Look at the stories coming out of Ukraine: soldiers deserting, with their weapons (including a tank!), and for money and a passport out; soldiers having to loot grocery stores because they are not fed; ill-discipline generally.

Even if some of the stories are Kiev-regime propaganda, not all are. Morale in the invading army is obviously at rock-bottom, and the lack of any proper ideology is central to what must be seen as near-failure to complete the mission in Ukraine.

The death, hurt, and destruction now being inflicted on civilians and their companion animals (and their homes) is quite sickening, and need never have happened.

Having said all that, Russia can still at least complete the outline of this invasion. It must now either take or destroy the cities of the east and south now being besieged. With extra armies brought from reserves, it must be possible to take most of those cities almost intact; how much more fuel, food, and ammunition can the defenders have?

Once Russia has secured the major cities and rural sections of the east and south, it can move on blockaded Odessa (the third-largest city after Kiev and Kharkov) and then, with the entire east and south secured, on Kiev itself.

Everything would be easier for Russia if Zelensky himself could be located and either captured or eliminated. Why was that, in the pre-invasion period, not prioritized and carried out by the GRU or SVR?

Even if Russia prevails, it will now be a bitter victory, and a bitter harvest, but the alternative is for Russia to lose, and that will be followed at some point by the fall of Putin, and by a Russia in chaos again, bearing in mind the Western sanctions.

Russia needs to find a new ideology in which it can believe.

Russia in Ukraine needs to make some game-changing moves. Soon.

Tweets seen

What a shock. Not.

What sign shows most clearly how screwed the UK is, and is becoming?

The fact that part-Jew chancer and liar “Boris”-idiot was ever made MP, Cabinet minister, and now Prime Minister?

The fact that the sheep-population accepted, most of them, the “Covid” police state, facemask nonsense etc?

The fact that the sheep-population will not do anything serious to protest against, stlll less stop, the black/brown migration invasion (even to the extent of voting for anti-immigration candidates)?

The fact that many, perhaps most, Brits seem to think that Ukraine is somehow allied to the UK, and that the corrupt Jewish regime there is somehow worth supporting, or even going to war on behalf of?

The fact that there is, really, no Parliamentary Opposition now?

How about the fact that, by maybe as early as 2040, the UK will probably be majority non-white?

You choose…

Of course Blair still wants it. He’s evil, and a creature of Evil.

I raised the question about Kiev-regime treatment of Russian prisoners days if not weeks ago, and about how Western journalists seemed not even to be asking “where are you keeping your prisoners?“.

Jamie Wallis

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10667135/Tory-MP-comes-trans-Bridgend-MP-Jamie-Wallis-says-raped.html

A very unsuitable person to be an MP, or in any position of responsibility. Now being treated as some kind of “hero” (or should that be “heroine”?) because of his adherence to the “trans” stuff, but look at his record of dishonesty! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Wallis#Career_before_politics.

The House of Commons is now a kind of Augean Stable…

I doubt that I am the only British citizen downright angry at the collection of idiots, corrupt criminals, mediocrities, foreign agents, moneygrubbers —and simple fuck-ups— now sitting on the benches of both houses of Parliament.

More tweets seen

Some of the women of those days also certainly had style.

Ha ha!

Late tweets

Import the blacks and browns, import their behaviours and ethics…

When a country’s “elite” are like that ridiculous creature, can it last long?

Late music

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veselin_Stoyanov]
[Bled Castle, Slovenia]

8 thoughts on “Diary Blog, 31 March 2022, with latest thoughts on Ukraine, and some personal reminiscence about a road trip to Turkey”

  1. I think the modernization of the Russian military is quite exaggerated. There is new equipment, but the majority of it is still old stuff manufactured in the Soviet days. A lot of their airforce was built in the 70s and 80s (some even the 60s), and they still mostly use “dumb munitions”, i.e. unguided bombs and rockets. Most of their tanks are antiques as well. I watched a documentary from around 2013/14 about the Spetsnaz, a serving Spetsnaz soldier (his identity hidden) said that all most regular Russian troops are good at is drinking.

    Like

    1. SaxonEngland:
      You must be right. Perhaps I over-estimated the supposed upgrading of the Russian Army.

      I myself knew ex-Soviet soldiers, all Russian, mostly when I lived in Almaty, Kazakhstan in the mid-1990s. They were very solid people. I spent quite a bit of time with a few of them, but they were former elite soldiers, mostly ex-VDV (Air Descent Contingent) parachute soldiers or officers, who did “deltaplan” —paragliding— and skiing.

      My “landlord” for about six months (I was in Almaty for a year altogether) was also ex-Soviet Army (and in 1996-97 Kazakhstan Army), a colonel, but in the Signals part of the army, and very pleasant. I was very friendly with him, his wife, and their children (an 8-y-o, I think, with very good English —the others spoke only Russian, except the wife, who spoke some Kazakh and Uzbek—, the other boy being about 20, and a cadet at the naval academy —Russian Navy, of course— in St. Petersburg). The colonel’s wife told me that, had the Soviet Union continued, her husband would have been promoted to general officer rank, but the Kazakhstan Army was only promoting Kazakhs to that level.

      I knew that much of the old Soviet Army was rubbish, but thought that Putin had had the Russian Army upgraded to an extent that is now seen to have been not the case. Disastrous.

      Still, the pushing of the Bear with sharp sticks, as the West is now doing, may be even more disastrous.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read that last year, the UK military budget was $71bn, and Russia’s was $62bn. So they have a smaller budget than us. Although i bet most of our budget was spent on those useless aircraft carriers, and the equally useless F35 jets they’ll be carrying.

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