Saturday, January 7, 2023

Ukraine - The View from Poland, January Update

An emergency worker walks in front of a damaged hotel following a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022.
(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
While I was celebrating my daughter's birthday down in Maryland, the Russians were being, well, Russians. Ukraine isn't in the news much in the U.S. (that I've noticed) but the fighting continues. Here's a new report from our Polish correspondent.

Ewok Report part???

"All quiet on the Eastern front"

It has been some time since I had anything new to report on the  Russo-Ukrainian War. It was not due to laziness of my part, but due to Groundhog day - like repeating events.

1. Weekly Kyiv Fireworks

Russia didn't miss the opportunity to "celebrate" New Years Eve 2023 with some fireworks aimed at Ukrainian infrastructure.

Another Russian Missile Wave 

While damaging, the strikes seem to have had, predictably, no effect on the Ukrainian will to fight. So much for Douhet¹ via missiles. Note that the kamikaze drones from Iran have very small warheads, like 30kg of explosives, so any damage they do is relatively easy to repair - plus they are much less accurate than cruise missiles.

2. Bakhmut - Ghost of Christmas past - WW1

My take:

Putin: Alexa, play Attero Dominatus ...

Alexa: Cannot find Attero Dominatus, playing Fields of Verdun instead.

Editor's Note: Putin expects a triumph, gets a blood bath instead.

3. Long term prospects:

In the end it seems the result of war might hinge on who is left with last million artillery shells - 

My take: not gonna pretend I am omniscient, and anyone short of the Almighty himself will have troubles estimating the result on that one. That is, the 1915 shell shortage, revisited. Again, WW1 says hi ...

Might definitely deter offensive actions, though.

4. The Big "IF?"

I will leave it with big question mark, since only one side mentions it, but this has potential to bring much change to all equations:

Russia Planning New  Wave of Mobilizations

Ukrainians predict Russia declaring another wave of mobilization coming any day now. This would be akin to declaring first wave was mostly killed off/incapacitated  and unable to bring any progress. If that happens, I expect even more martial law system in Russia - border closing for, example, to avoid next wave of fleeing citizens, and brutal crackdown on any related protests. On the other hand there is only so much crackdown you can do when people realize they are being fed to the meat grinder, and they have better odds of surviving even in prisons ...
5. Energy front:

Europe has been spared big cold spells so far this winter, and in fact has enjoyed one of warmest New Year Eves ever, with temperatures of plus 18 degree Celsius recorded here in Poland. All this means prospects of Putin breaking Europe's will to support Ukraine are remote to say the least. Meanwhile, Russia has become so toxic that even the likes of Mrs Meloni of Italy, once thought to try and initiate some sort of about face in policy, declare support for Ukraine. 
Alrighty, thanks for reading and, I am amazed, this war is almost a year old ...

Paweł aka Ewok

¹ Giulo Douhet, an early advocate of strategic bombing.


  1. Couple of good vids there Pawel, will finish them later on while resting from the fifteen inches dumped here Tuesday through Thursday, let's hear it for two-stage snow throwers.

  2. Pawel: Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

  3. Thank you . Good info, and very little in the U.S. media these days.
    Do you have any feel for how the supposedly massively corrupt nature of the Ukraine government relates to the huge amount of aid being sent there, both military supplies and money? It appears that the citizens' will to fight is real, and they are using what has been sent. But, are a bunch of politicians getting rich off of it, and skimming enough off what is sent that the war effort is hurt?

    Corrupt and politician are two words that are frequently used together, regardless of country.

    My worry is that like Afghanistan, are we setting up corrupt politicians to be in the business of providing military support for our future enemies when the current war settles down? I have no doubt that the Taliban will see that "made in USA" weapons reach their allies world wide, probably for a fee, but possibly strictly from solidarity with their goals.
    John Blackshoe

  4. Nothing is longer than a 'Short, Victorious War.'

    To top it off, Japan, being still kinda peeved at losing the northern islands to Russia (Kyril Islands according to the Russians) and not having ever ended the war with Russia (really, seriously, the IJN capitulated to the US and Great Britain, but not to the USSR nor the Russian state that followed,) is starting to press said Russians over said islands.

    Between Ukraine, Finland and Norway arming up like crazy badgers on speed, Poland doing the same, the Red Chinese being weird as usual, and now Japan, Russia is surrounded by not-so-friendly countries that all seem to want to either get some or hand over a little payback if possible.

    Very weird times. And it does seem like we're descending into WWI.

    And the Arsenal of Democracy can't produce the artillery shells or missiles to replace the stuff we've sent Over There. Just in time for Red China to start bully-boying the Republic of China in Taiwan.

    Fun times, not.

    1. I half-joked with a friend that the conflict has become proxy war between the two Koreas, with North supplying ammo to Russia, and South supplying tanks, IFV and artillery to Poland to fill the gaps made by donations of old Soviet era items to Ukraine...
      Strange times indeed... Even if not that fun.
      There was another joke back in the Soviet times: what is one country in the world totally encircled by hostile communist states?
      Answer was, Soviet Union. While after WW2 they have managed to make puppet states all around their borders, simmering historical resentment was always present, even in the communist parties that were delegated to rule protectorates of the Soviet Empire...
      And one of the Tsars in 19th century quipped that Russia has only 2 allies beyond its borders: Russian Army and Russian Navy.
      So much for "How to win friends and influence people".

  5. Thanks Ewok! I appreciate you writing style. Please stay safe!


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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