Gentlemen, Bakhmut has fallen. As of yesterday, it is now Artyomovsk again. We now have official confirmation of this, straight from the horse’s mouth – so to speak. Sometime around 8pm local time yesterday, Evgeniy Prigozhin, the titular head of the Wagner PMC, made the announcement that all of Russia has been waiting for. He uploaded a 6-minute-long video congratulating his men – and strongly criticising the military leadership of Russia.
The Russian Ministry of Defence, notwithstanding Prigozhin’s rather trenchant criticisms of them, agreed with the Ork Warboss and congratulated the Wagner boys for completing the liberation of Artyomovsk – the original Soviet-era name of the city of Bakhmut. Putin himself congratulated them as well, shortly after midnight local time.
Unusually, and very surprisingly, even Bellendsky seemed to take a pause from his epic Slava Cocaini binges and constant whiny begging in European and foreign capitals, to admit that, indeed, the Russians had taken Artyomovsk. Given the Ukrainians took nearly 6 weeks to admit the loss of Soledar, and spent that time furiously spinning a ridiculous narrative that it had little strategic value, this is almost forthright honesty from a man known for lying constantly while enriching himself at the expense of Western citizens.
No matter how you feel about the war, whether you are pro-Russian, pro-Ukrainian (in which case, seriously, what the HELL are you doing here?!?!?), or neutral, there is simply no getting past the fact that this is a huge (or, should we say, YUUUUGE) victory for the Russians.
HIT ‘EM HARD, HIT ‘EM LOW, GIVE ‘EM PLENTY OF DAKKA!!!
Above, you can see the full statement from Prigozhin, alongside the map of the current front line in northern Donbass. Prigozhin’s statement is, in all honesty, a bit of theatre – carefully calibrated to appeal directly to the Russian people. They really eat this stuff up with a SPOON. They LOVE these colourful, larger-than-life battlefield commanders, because something about the Russian soul rather likes drama.
This is perfectly normal for Russians, actually. It is not good, from a military standpoint, of course, to have a “field commander” – which Prigozhin absolutely is not, and I’ll get to that shortly – to stand up and rip the military leadership a new one on live television (so to speak), but the fact is, the Russians have a long tradition of such people, and they love them. Go lookup what Kutuzov had to say at times about the Imperial leadership during the Franco-Russian War, and you’ll see what I mean.
The achievement of the Wagner group in and around Artyomovsk cannot be overstated. They have destroyed, by some credible counts I have seen, no less than THIRTY THOUSAND Ukrainians – the true number of dead and wounded on the khokhol side is probably somewhere around 60K. That is FOUR DIVISIONS taken off the board, and those constituted the best of what remained of Ukraine’s regular army, plus a heaping helping of their conscripts.
The Wagnerites suffered too, though. Make no mistake about this. They killed the Ukies at a rate of anywhere between 8 and 15 to one, but that still means they lost somewhere around 5,000 men dead. For an organisation whose ranks swelled to around 40,000 by December of last year, that is a sobering loss ratio, and a difficult one for them to swallow.
But, the fact is, they have DONE IT. They have broken the back of the Ukrainian army in the single most heavily fortified location they had in the Donbass.
Who Be Da Orks?!?!
There is considerable mystery surrounding the actual origins of the Wagner ORKestra. (This whole business of referring to Russian soldiers in general, and Chechen and Wagner assault troops in particular, as “Orks”, started out as an insult by the Ukies – which the Russians gleefully embraced, because the Orks are the only race in the entire grimdark WH40K universe that actually seem to be having an absolute blast.)
It is important to understand that they are NOT some private mercenary outfit – they ARE NOT the Russian equivalent of Blackwater (or Akademi, or whatever the hell they call themselves now). Prigozhin IS NOT Erik Prince – the man has never served in the military, to my knowledge.
He is, in fact, a chef by background, and he met Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg – known back then as Leningrad – and became one of the “St. Petersburg crowd”, the siloviki (men of strength) whom Putin trusts implicitly. But he is not a combat specialist of any kind.
You can see that in the video above. If you observe Prigozhin’s body language carefully, you can see how he shifts from foot to foot, never quite comfortable at parade rest. The men behind him, by contrast, are all utterly and absolutely professional. They stand ramrod-straight even when at relative ease. They do not move or twitch unnecessarily.
Yet, when Prigozhin turns to them at the end and shakes their hands, you also see in their body language an attitude of utmost respect. Prigozhin is the “titular” head of the Wagner group, and he certainly seems to relish that role. The men of ЧВК Вагнер certainly seem to accept him as one of their own.
But he is not actually in charge.
Why? Because, as I said above, Wagner is NOT in fact a PMC. It is actually very much an extension of the Russian military.
The Wagner PMC’s origins go back quite a ways, apparently, to a group of ex-FSB, GRU, and Russian Army officers who understood the need for a paramilitary organisation that could go places and do things the regular Russian military could not, by the law of the Russian Constitution.
(Incidentally, anyone who thinks Russia is some sort of lawless wasteland, where the political elites do whatever the hell they want, and use the Army to enforce their will, is flat-out DELUSIONAL. At this point, Russian adherence to Constitutional law and oversight is greater and stronger, BY FAR, than America’s, or any other Western nation, for that matter.)
This meant creating a military organisation that essentially functions as a sort of “foreign legion” for the Russian military, with a face in front of it that would give credence to the polite fiction that the Russian military did not, in fact, support it. That is where Prigozhin comes in. He provides that face to help maintain this cover story.
But, in reality, behind the scenes, the Russian military pulls the strings. And they have in the process created by far the world’s most capable light infantry urban assault force. No one else comes close, in terms of experience and skill. Even the US Marines, who gained valuable experience in urban combat in Fallujah, do not have the ability of the Wagner boys to assault and capture urban strongholds, against equivalently equipped and skilled enemy forces. Nobody does.
That is how and why the Wagner boys came to be. And that is why the Russians used Wagner to assault Ukraine’s fortress in Donbass – because sending in the regular Russian Army would have caused horrendous casualties among their recently mobilised troops, and among their most valuable corps of experienced volunteers.
The Wagner ORKestra boys, by contrast, were for the most part already experienced combat veterans, and all of them were volunteers. They knew what they were getting into, and they went anyway. Many of them died for their Motherland, fighting bravely and honourably. But they accomplished their mission, and now Russia has a real way forward in Donbass.
Wot Da Orks Dun Krumped
That picture you see above is likely to become as famous in Russia as that legendary shot of the US Marines lifting the American Flag on Iwo Jima is in America. The reason why is plain to see. The Wagner Stormboyz essentially destroyed – or, to use Ork parlance, “krumped” – the single largest concentration of Ukrainian forces of the war, and most of Ukraine’s remaining trained manpower.
They did NOT do it alone, contrary to what Prigozhin might like us to believe, though. Russian paratroopers from the VDV (Воздушно-Десантные Войска – basically, crazy people who jump out of perfectly serviceable aeroplanes on purpose) held the flanks and maintained the front. Russian artillery from the regular Army poured huge volumes of fire into Artyomovsk itself, softening up points of resistance and fortified buildings, while Russian Army tanks provided on-the-ground fire support.
But the Wagner boys did most of the really hard and heavy fighting.
The Ukrainian losses from all of this were absolutely staggering. I have seen estimates ranging from 30K to 60K dead. Simplicius the Thinker posted up an analysis of the colossal number of troops the Ukrainians committed to holding this supposedly “strategically marginal” city, and it makes for horrifying reading.
By his count, the Ukrainians committed 25 brigades, 2 SpecOps regiments, 6 WASP legions (i.e. foreign mercenary units), 7 separate battalions, and 9 battalions of the 8th Regiment of the UDAR UAVs.
Depending on how you count up the numbers, that is anywhere between 100,000 and 140,000 men.
And the Ukrainians have repeatedly suffered 70-80% casualty rates for almost EVERY formation they have deployed into Artyomovsk.
That is 80,000 dead and wounded, MINIMUM. And the true total is almost certainly far, FAR worse. The number of dead, alone, probably IS in fact around 50K on the Ukrainian side, in this one single battle.
Several sober-minded analysts have argued this was Ukraine’s version of Stalingrad. I find that a rather odd analogy, given that, in the actual battle of Stalingrad, the USSR drew in and ground the Nazi attackers to bloody meat and bone, and then counterattacked, encircled, and destroyed the Nazi 6th Army.
Artyomovsk is not an analogous situation. There is virtually no possibility of encirclement of the Russian forces, who have now taken the entire city. The Ukrainians are pulling back to the west, toward Chasov Yar, Konstantinovka, and Slavyansk-Kramatorsk. Their attacks on the Russian flanks to the north and south have stalled utterly – they lost around 1,700 dead in ONE DAY during one of those attacks, using the reconstituted Azov Brigade, now renamed the 3rd Storm Brigade or some such nonsense.
Whatever the actual casualty counts or battlefield analogies, the truth of the matter is simple:
Ukraine expended truly VAST resources trying to retain every square centimetre of the city, and in the process slaughtered most of its own best fighters and units.
This is not the sign of a military that has any clue what it is doing. It is the sign of a military run by neoclowns and fools from abroad, with less than zero understanding of military reality. The only way to justify losses on this scale, is if they resulted in a Pyrrhic Victory for the enemy – which is definitively NOT the case. The Wagner boys lost a lot of men, to be sure – around 5-6K dead, from what I can tell, out of an original force size late last year of around 40K. But, the Russians were killing Ukrainians at a rate of between 8:1 and 15:1 – NOT the other way around.
And what was it all for? The khokhols, after all, have repeatedly used their Western whorenalist mouthpieces to claim Artyomovsk has limited to zero strategic value.
A glance at a map will tell you this is simply not true. Artyomovsk lies at the junction of several major arterial road and rail lines that traverse all of Donbass. Capturing it allows the Russians to use rail to move troops, ammo, and supplies quickly to the front and reinforce their own groupings. Losing Artyomovsk robs the Ukrainians of their most heavily fortified strongpoint in the region. That is the truth of things.
The State of the Wider War
That picture shows the progress of the Russian forces over the past year. Exactly a year to the day after the Chechens captured Mariupol’ and cleansed it entirely of neo-Nazi Azov filth, the Wagner Stormboyz captured Artyomovsk. Note, also, that Bellendsky took up the office of President of Banderastan on May 20, 2019.
I suspect the Russians will probably make May 20th a regional holiday in Novorossiya, if not a national one, after this war is done.
Looking beyond the operational situation in Artyomovsk to the wider war, we can immediately observe a few things.
First, the Ukrainians are in no position at present to launch any sort of major counteroffensive. They have been promising to do this for weeks now – they were supposed to launch it about 2 weeks ago, and they still have not. The Banderites have been complaining for weeks that they still do not have sufficient equipment and manpower to launch their much-ballyhooed offensive in the Zaporozh’ye and Kherson directions.
The other problem is, quite simply, the weather. It has been an unusually cold, yet wet, spring in Ukraine. The ground is still, as of mid-May, very muddy and boggy. It will take a couple of weeks yet to dry all of that out, to the point where Ukrainian and Russian tanks can actually move and manoeuvre on that ground.
Second, another complicating factor is the Russian bombing campaign of Ukrainian logistics and supply lines. Based on what I have seen, this has proven highly effective – the explosions have been SPECTACULAR, particularly in places like Khmelnitskiy, deep in Ukraine’s western regions. The Russians have also been highly effective at degrading and destroying the few remaining Ukrainian air defence systems – that debacle a few days ago involving a PATRIOT PAC-3 battery that got ploinked, HARD, was fun to watch, not gonna lie.
Third, the Russians are currently doing the same thing in Avdeevka and Maryinka, to the south of Artyomovsk – they are about 75% done encircling the first, and have cleared out most of the second. Both towns have been utterly devastated by the fighting, but the Russians are in absolutely no hurry to take over whatever is left – because the Ukrainians are making THE EXACT SAME MISTAKE in both areas, as they made in Artyomovsk. Namely, they are constantly feeding valuable men and supplies into the meat-grinders the Russians have setup there, so they can stew those men in ever-hotter cauldrons.
Combine this with the increasingly desperate and shrill tones of the Ukrainian leadership, and the increasingly delusional statements coming out of their representatives about taking back every last bit of Ukrainian land, including Crimea, and you have a picture of coming collapse.
How We Got Here
Now, granted, people like me have been predicting a Ukrainian collapse for a year now. I have been consistently wrong about timings, and I freely admit as much. The fact is that Western arms and money injected into Ukraine has prolonged the war far beyond its natural stopping point, just as Maj. Scott Ritter predicted when he said the US$40B aid package passed by Congress last year was a “game-changer”. He was right. It changed the nature of the war.
Up until that point, and actually all the way through to the autumn last year, the Russians fought using an economy-of-force mission. Their original intention was to force a negotiated peace by surrounding Queef and pointing Bellendsky and the Ukrainian leadership to a treaty that would result in autonomy for Donbass, recognition of Crimea as Russian territory, and permanent neutrality vis-a-vis NATO.
That process came achingly close to success – until the Americans sent former PommieBastardLande Prime Minister Bozo BoJo to Queef on an urgent mission. The Bozo told the Bellend that if the latter signed a peace deal with Russia, then Western funding and help would evaporate – leaving Bellendsky to the tender mercies of the Azov neo-Nazis.
Being a coward and a liar primarily interested in enriching himself, rather than in the welfare of his own people, Bellendsky readily agreed. The Ukrainians subsequently tore up their draft treaty with Russia, backtracked on ALL of their promises, and insisted they would fight to the bitter end.
Which is now fast approaching.
Boiling the West Alive in a Cauldron
It is very important to understand that wars are not won or lost on the basis of individual battles alone, no matter how big they are. Winning wars is a matter of strategic skill and operational excellence. And if you look at the actual geopolitical, strategic, and economic situation of the Western world, it is catastrophic.
The US is in the grips of a severe banking crisis. Just because you do not see this in the headlines, does not mean it is not happening. The rapid rise of interest rates has cratered the value of US Treasury bills, notes, and bonds on the balance sheets of American (and global) banks, essentially destroying the value of their cash-equivalent collateral and assets. This renders a number of banks technically insolvent, because banking operates on leverage – the banks issue more loans than they have deposits to back them up, so they use Treasuries to provide collateral in the event people want their money back.
On top of this, inflation is running at 20% or more in most European nations, while those same nations have willingly cut themselves off from cheap energy and commodities from the east. The West seems hell-bent on antagonising ANYONE who does not agree with the “rules-based international order”, which as far as I or anyone else can tell, involves blind acceptance of publicly endorsed buttsecks, gay “marriage”, child pornography, kiddie-fiddling, groomer-clowns, and GloboHomoPaedoPharisatanry of any and all degenerate kinds.
The rest of the world does not think this way. Most of the world considers “Western values” to be weird at best, and absolutely abhorrent at worst. We are only a couple of weeks away from watching every single big virtue-signalling corporation in the Western world adopt that stupid rainbow rag on every Twatter, Faceborg, Instaham, and LinkedIn avatar – yet none of them will dare to try any of that nonsense in an actual Izzlamic country, or anywhere in Africa. People in most of those countries regard such nonsense as absolutely disgusting, and rightly so.
Moreover, in a couple of weeks, Russia will host the latest edition of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (Петербургский Международный Экономический Форум – ПМЭФ). The Russians expect representatives from a full EIGHTY COUNTRIES to attend, with the specific aim and intention of negotiating a way toward a future BRICS global trading standard currency.
That currency will likely have an element of gold backing of some sort, and will probably involve a basket of currencies, weighted perhaps by overall GDP in PPP terms. This, by definition, means the renminbi, the ruble, and the Indian rupee will be primary constituents of it.
It will probably start out as a wholesale currency in digital form, designed for international settlements between banks and trading entities, rather like the private bank-built cryptocurrency, Ripple. It may then become increasingly widely adopted as a freely convertible retail currency in many of those countries.
Do Westerners understand what is coming? It is de-dollarisation, on a GLOBAL scale. While the dollar will not go away anytime soon as a global trading standard, its power and standing will be greatly diminished. And the power and influence of the USSA and EUSSR, and by definition their ability to bully and intimidate other countries with MUH SANKSHUNS!!!, will disappear.
It is not the West that is encircling and destroying Russia. It is precisely the other way around.
Conclusion – Straight Off the Banderastan Bluffs
We do not yet know what the Russians will do next. At the moment, the plan seems to be for the Wagner boys to hold Artyomovsk until May 25th, to allow regular Russian forces to move in and secure the city, at which point most of Wagner will fall back to the rear for some very badly needed rest, refitting, reorganisation, and rearmament. After that, I have no doubt the Russians will deploy them again into urban combat, probably in the autumn when assaulting Slavyansk-Kramatorsk.
In the meantime, the Russians are keen to secure the flanks around Artyomovsk, pushing on to Ivanovskoye, Konstantinovka, Grigorievka, and eventually Chasov Yar. None of these areas is particularly well fortified, though I am given to understand that Ivanovskoye, specifically, has a large forest area which will make life quite difficult for the Russians. That being said, the Ukrainians are desperately scraping the bottom of the barrel for yet more meat to throw at the grinder, while they prepare their “counteroffensive”.
That counteroffensive will almost certainly FAIL. No serious commentator expects the Ukrainians to succeed, given the well-observed and thoroughly documented disparities in artillery, air power, and armour between the Russians (who have LOTS AND LOTS of all of that good stuff) and the Ukrainians (who have very little). The Ukrainians plan to throw anywhere between 40K and 75K men into that offensive.
Most of them will DIE. Let’s just be honest about that.
The result will be a fatally weakened Ukraine – but Russia will also suffer casualties. They have already lost somewhere between 20K and 30K dead in this war – while inflicting well over 10 times that number of losses on the Ukrainians. All you have to do is look at the footage of the cemeteries across Ukraine, which are overflowing with dead, with the khokhols digging more fresh graves every single day. The only groups of Ukrainians doing well from this war, other than the military and the politicians, are surely the gravediggers and flower-sellers.
Yet the Banderites continue on this suicidal course. Their most odious public spokesmen, Mikhail Podolyak and Kirill Budanov, insist they will “cleanse” all of Ukraine from all Russian influence – which means, essentially, exterminating millions of ethnic Russians from what is now Novorossiya and Crimea. They are foaming at the mouth to attack Crimea, in particular, with Western F-16s and ATACMS munitions using HIMARS launchers and British/French Storm Shadow missiles.
All of this will provoke a very severe Russian response. They will not tolerate such attacks on their most important naval base, or on their population. Given the destruction and appalling attrition the Ukrainian military has inflicted upon itself, there is only one way forward for the West now:
Direct NATO intervention.
And that means WWIII. Which, in turn, WILL escalate to the nuclear threshold extremely quickly, because the Russians already have the full measure of everything the West can throw at them. They have already defeated and destroyed three NATO-trained Ukrainian armies, and will readily destroy the fourth.
Are Americans, British, French, German, Polish, Spanish, Italian, Greek, and other readers willing to see their brothers, fathers, husbands, sons, sent to war to fight and die, possibly in nuclear fire, for GloboHomo? For Clown World?
Your leaders do not care what you think. They will do as they damned well please – until and unless you depose them. That is literally the ONLY way forward – for the entire West to collapse, and for these treasonous scum to be put on trial and hanged for what they have done.