The Ukrainian counter-offensive against in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions appears to have stalled, with heavy casualties. As I pointed out at the start truth is the first casualty of war. The Ukrainians have been less than honest and the Russians have played their cards close to their chests. However on the whole Russian statements have been borne out by the facts, even if they were a bit slow to acknowledge that the Moskva had indeed been sunk by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles, albeit with NATO assistance.

Moskva

Western reports of heavy Russian casualties are probably cut and pasted from Ukrainian defence ministry statements. Put another way, they’re junk. Very few Western journalists are actually embedded with the Ukrainian forces. Most of what you see and read in the MSM is coming from Kiev, not the front line.

Whilst published estimates of Russian casualties are way over the top it’s clear that Russian forces, sadly, have suffered severe casualties. Whilst the Ukrainians would have collapsed without massive NATO military assistance, Russian tactics at times have been hard to fathom, frankly. The Moskva, for example, apparently had critical radar systems offline.

Russia has clearly decided on a war of attrition, holding back most of her air power until Ukrainian stocks of SAMS have run down. Since NATO’s own stocks are running low the strategy makes some kind of sense, although it’s coming at a cost.

As all ya’ll know, I’m well-disposed towards Russia and am not a Cold War Warrior. I recognise that modern Russia is a democracy – it’s difficult to imagine President Putin lighting up the Kremlin in red lights, surrounding himself with the military and making a speech as scary as Joe Biden’s in Philadelphia. However I’m not a Kremlin mouthpiece.

It was a clear mistake not to declare war and commit all of Russia’s resources from the beginning. Declaring war, on the basis of a just casus bellum, not only has effect in the international plane, but in the domestic plane as well. If a country is clearly at war, with just cause and identified war aims, its population is more likely to rally around its leadership and armed forces.

In fairness the West made the same mistake in the Korean War. Not satisfied with failing to defeat North Korea and China in that war we went on to mess up the Suez and Vietnam Wars. We also decided to make a mess of the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Russians are continuing to play their cards close to their chests over Ukraine’s illegal bioweapons program and Kiev’s plan to attack the Donbas Republics. The result is that ‘illegal Russian aggression’ is the only narrative Western publics are hearing.

How willing consumers in the UK and the EU will be to pay for the war through massively increased energy costs is an open question. The closure of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is piling additional pressure upon Germany, for example.

Lenin

The yawning gulf between Russia and the West is growing, and getting more dangerous. No Western politician is even making an attempt at understanding the Russian viewpoint. Russia sees the conflict as essentially internal and regards the Ukraine as part of Russia, as indeed she was. The idea of splitting Ukraine off from Russia came from German intelligence after World War I. Their man Lenin was the first to pursue it.

President Putin is highly intelligent – he’s much brighter than any Western leader, for example. Unlike any leader in the West he also has access to good intelligence advice. In Britain for example all intelligence product is politicised by the Cabinet Office. Any intelligence favorable to Russia is simply suppressed. President Putin will know, for example, that Lenin was a German asset. Western leaders still labor under the delusional belief that he was a communist.

Moscow does not regard Ukraine as a legitimate, sovereign state. They are well aware in Moscow that the Maidan revolution was sponsored by Germany, whereas Western leaders still think that it was some sort of authentic expression of Ukrainian nationalism.

The war will grind on until at least the spring, in my view. I still think that Russia will win, but the cost will be high. The Ukrainian military collapse could accelerate quite quickly however as the flow of Western weapons dries up. Once the Russian Air Force is able to control the skies it will be all over.

The West ought to be talking to Moscow, but neither Britain nor America has a suitable backchannel available. In the Cuban Missile Crisis President Kennedy has General Vernon Walters, who was very smart, and Harold Macmillan had that charming man Sir Frank Roberts, who had been British Ambassador to the USSR. Both later became friends of mine. At the moment matters are being allowed to drift.

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 – 2022)

Mikhail Gorbachev

Poor old Mikhail Gorbachev sadly passed on Tuesday. He had been struggling with poor health for several years. Somewhat hypocritically the MSM have accused President Putin of being disrespectful by not attending the funeral on Saturday, although the only Western leader who put in an appearance was Hungary’s Viktor Orbán.

President Putin did in fact show his respects and the last leader of the Soviet Union was accorded the privilege of lying in state. I still think however, with every respect, that he should have been given a state funeral.

Mikhail Gorbachev lying in State

I also think that Western leaders should have attended, as a mark of respect. Mikhail Gorbachev was a substantial figure. It wasn’t entirely his doing, but the fact remains that the Cold War ended without bloodshed and he played a major part in that.

Vladimir Putin laying flowers

He was a warm human being, who got on well with my old friend Margaret Thatcher and President Reagan. We never met, but we had several mutual friends. He didn’t set out to bring down the Soviet Union, indeed he was trying to save it. It couldn’t be saved however, as communism didn’t work, which is why the Germans invented and promoted it. (Karl Marx was never a Marxist – he wasn’t that stupid.)

It may not exactly be the place he envisaged, but Mikhail Gorbachev’s place in history is secure. It’s easy to see why wily old Yuri Andropov, Chairman of the KGB from 1967 until 1982, sponsored him. There’s no point writing in and saying that Yuri Andropov made extensive use of political psychiatry – so does the Crown Prosecution Service!

Tory leadership contest

Liz Truss

It’s clear at the time of writing (before the announcement of the results) that Liz Truss has won – the issue is by how much. My prediction is that she’s beaten Rishi Sunak by a landslide.

She will inherit a whole host of problems from Boris Johnson, who will be flying to Balmoral Castle to tender his resignation to the Queen on Tuesday morning. Since the Tory Party decided to hold its leadership election in the middle of Her Majesty’s annual break in Scotland it is only fitting that both the outgoing and incoming Prime Ministers will have to fly to Her, not the other way round. Whether Liz Truss will be offering Boris a lift back to London is unclear.

I’m assuming that Boris and Liz will be flying in and out of Dyce (Aberdeen), the nearest airport to Balmoral. I’m not sure what RAF station they’ll be using down south. RAF Northolt’s runway (07/25) is a bit marginal for the RAF’s A330 Voyager, but they have a smaller Airbus they can use. Since Dyce’s runway is also a bit short maybe that’s just as well! I’m assuming that someone in Conservative Party HQ is applying their minds to the problem of getting Liz Truss to Balmoral.

Sadly it looks as though Simon Case will be staying on as Cabinet Secretary, at least for the time being. That in turns means that GO2 and the listening post run in London by a German electronics company (S) won’t be shut down. That in turn means that all MPs and senior judges’ telephones and email will continue to be tapped.

Whilst Liz Truss has many interesting ideas, including sensible policies on tax, it’s unlikely that she will be allowed to implement them. Informed leaks suggest that her Cabinet, sadly, like the outgoing Cabinet, will be short of intellectual firepower.

The Cabinet Office of course is deeply committed to taking Britain back into the clammy embrace of the EU, in two stages – single market first, then full membership. That in turn means that the Cabinet Office want to see Liz Truss replaced at the next election by Rejoiner Sir Keir Starmer. That’s why they brokered talks between Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP, with a view to a Lib/Lab coalition, supported by the SNP in a confidence and supply deal, in exchange for a second referendum on breaking up the UK.

Inevitably this will mean massive tension between the new PM and the Cabinet Secretary. The PM will be desperate to succeed. The Cabinet Secretary will be desperate to see her fail.

The leaks suggest that the Right is likely to miss out, big time, although there will be some token right wing appointments. My prediction is that right wing support will have started to drift away from the new government by Christmas. Liz Truss has some big decisions to make. Does she want to be a successful and game-changing leader like Margaret Thatcher, or a failure like Theresa May, no offense intended? (I couldn’t actually name a single success for Theresa May’s government.)

All the signs are that the new government will decide to stay with the absurd commitment to Net Zero, in other words will continue to propagate the global warming hoax. This in turn means deepening the energy crisis. The only way out of the mess is either to have some intelligent people in the Cabinet, which would mean bringing in peers, since there are no highly intelligent MPs, sadly, or to appoint an intelligent Chief Scientific Adviser.

I have actually been sounded out over who the new Chief Scientific Adviser might be, and recommended a sensible chap, but Liz Truss is likely to stick with the current idiot, no offense intended. The problem with having idiot advisors of course is that you end up with idiot policies.

This week’s movie review: The Revenant (2015, dir. Alexander Iñárritu)

The Revenant

I’ve been meaning to review this movie for some time, but there have been a lot of exciting new releases this summer! The Revenant is a serious Western, set in the 1820s. A blockbuster, starring Leonard DiCaprio, who won an Oscar, it grossed over half a billion dollars on release.

The movie fully deserves its critical acclaim, including three Oscars. DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, who leads a hunting party in the Dakotas. There’s a cracking plot and the winter scenery is wonderful, some of it shot in Argentina.

The scene where Glass is attacked by a grizzly bear is very well done. It’s also instructive for an Englishman. We have a soft spot for bears and tend to view them as cuddly. Cuddling a grizzly however is a bad idea.

A good friend owns a log cabin in the Rockies. She was most put out when in response to her complaint over the telephone that a bear had taken up residence on her porch all I could say was ‘how lovely’! Had I been staying I would probably have taken out a jar of honey! (There’s a story about that log cabin – the first time I stayed there the boys had to check it out and in so doing discovered a bunch of wild guys with guns the next mountain over that the Fibbies and state police didn’t know about!)

If you haven’t seen it, stream the video!

SOURCEMichael Shrimpton

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13 COMMENTS

  1. HMQ died today, sadly. She had sound views about many things dear to me. God save the King, although I feel sorry for Him. Not a spring chicken. He has good knowledge in many areas, but is lacking or wrong in others, having had bad advice in those. I hope the advisors are quick to tell the truth!

  2. Thanks Jack, JS and Adair for the kind comments! I suspect Liz Truss will be Theresa May +, she’s not started off particularly well with respect but has made some important policy changes, including scrapping green levies.

  3. Love your war analysis though you lose me on British politics.🤣 This Liz Truss looks like another Teresa May but hell…what do I know? About “Dark Brandon” and his stage set from hell. I’d like to recommend a link *https://*politicalagenda.us/interesting-army-vet-explains-the-law-why-donald-trump-is-still-your-president*/

  4. Great analysis Mr. Shrimpton, although I agree with little of it and am more in line JS and Edwards comments you are a literate man, unusual in our day and always a fun read, thank you for being entertaining.

    • I agree totally with JS. The longer the war. The more pain is inflicted on Europe and the more stress is placed on NATO. Also Putin’s strategy will probably be taught in War Colleges in the future since he’s taken the 3 to 1 tactical advantage required by most Generals for a successful offensive and turned it on its head.

  5. “…he should have been given a state funeral….” Yes, but in the Westminster Abbey or Vauxhall Cross because he was a british asset. About the advantage with having idiot advisors is that you don’t end up looking yourself more idiot than them 🙂

  6. > ‘The result is that ‘illegal Russian aggression’ is the only narrative Western publics are hearing.’

    .. why does it matter what the Western publics believe? The US Empire is an composed of Authoritarian Democracies. The publics will be herded into the desired beliefs regardless of alternative beliefs that may exist.

  7. I don’t think Russia has made a mistake at all. They want it to grind slowly and fearfully, like a Hitchcock movie. The drip, drip of announcements on Nord Stream I make that obvious, and it’s now closed indefinitely. Yes, they know all about Germany, but I believe Russia is focused on the near future. The fact is that the world is entering a Grand Solar Minimum shortly, where we will stay for years on end (check out sunspot and solar flux predictions!) Net Zero carbon policy is not just stupid; it’s criminally insane policy, which must be reversed rapidly before the GSM destroys world food stocks. Russia knew they had to go into the Donbas years ago, so why not get extra mileage out of the crisis? Russia knows that “fossil” fuels are renewable. They also know that the rest of the world must be made to reverse current insane energy policies that will harm ALL of us if allowed to go on much longer. I submit that Russia is (in addition to regaining the Donbas) trying to turn the world back from the brink.

    • I just read Jonas Alexis’ new article, Putin’s Christian Vision, which reinforces my thinking on Russia’s strategy. Jonas says: “A key element of Putin’s worldview is not just his commitment to the Russian Orthodox Church as an institution, but also his admiration for three 19th and 20th century Russian Christian philosophers—Nikolai Berdyaev, Vladimir Solovyov and Ivan Ilyin, all of whom he often quotes in his speeches…The key message of these philosophers is of Russia’s messianic role in world history” Jonas goes on to quote Berdyaev: ” “The Russian messianic conception,” said Berdyaev, “always exalted Russia as a country that would help to solve the problems of humanity.”

  8. Dear Mr. Shrimpton,

    as usual you write total nonsense. The Ukrainian conflict is a proxy war. The so called West, the cowboys & their bootlickers, wanted to make this war expensive for Russia. War is always expensive. But Russia is following the same strategy. In a few months Russia will send General Winter to invade Europe. This is the deal between Putin and the Russian people. The war will not impact the majority of Russians. Europeans can always rely on the cowboys. The US will replace russian gas delivieries, at a 4 -7 times higher prices. Paradise for US energy-stockholders. Europe, including you beloved ape-island, will suffer. Europe is losing again the III. War, as it lost the I and the II. war. The US, Russia & China are the winners.

    • EL ! probably will not B many countries for the EU-USA to invade after this blow bak.. as 2 proxy wars.. when was the last time U saw a battle line w trenches and howies blastin thru the nite.. the reds played hell getting gudariuan out of the way in WWII.. looks like they are having about the same problems w them nato nazi’s and that swamp over in Uki w the rivers.. Dpnier !

      a couple russian war films from that battle zone – had zukov and vautin sacraficing entire battle groups to the last man – soo they could cross 50 mles in the other direction..

      as 2 general winter ! the russians hav shut down 4 of the 6 reactors @ NPP; these reactors will hav to cool 3 years B4 a restart w fuel swap..

      the gas fields for Gazprom ? details here are sketchy and lips sealed tire-tite… apparently the russians are sealing some of these wells w capa at the source; they hav no plans to restart GP2 and will re-develope the wells when the new lines going into china are installed…

      otw – shrimps gabb is cool.. –>> proxy war’s in mine fields ?? don’t paint Ur blinders ! this is a cluster fukk of the first order and the reds are going to take all of it and lizzy borden w 3 whacks is simply another worthless british hak

  9. I read and marvel.
    I do not doubt that what he says is true. If others have time they may, perhaps, question it. But I don’t because I recognize the punctiliousness of his English narrative.
    But the historical narrative has had two shocks. The first with Thucydides who set aside the gods and emphasized the economic role in the war. The second with Marc Bloch, who set aside kings, ministers and courtiers, and since then serious history has followed this strand, and studied social life, which, as today, is the people, and not the 1% elites (whether kings and courtiers or globalists).
    I disagree, absolutely, with this kind of narrative. I urge the surely perceptive author to take it into account (if he ever reads this commentary).