I just now made a comment on the Willie OAM site. I had noted that during his presentation and unlike the Military Summary Channel’s moring report, that Willie had taken information about Russian advances in the Robotnye are ‘with a grain of salt.’ My comment was, in relevant part, “Makes sense, given so many months of back-and-forth followed by more of nothing from that direction. Still, it’s a place we should now watch with extra care. The Russians have a deception master plan plenty good enough to keep me confused. More consequentially, there is little reason for confidence that the Russians can’t keep Western intel agencies confused.  We might want to put the lull in Robotnye activity alongside the withdrawal of the Russian Navy.  Wasn’t there recently a burst in the use of Kalibre missiles?  Might be a tell, and so might  taking the little town of Robotnye. Maybe the Russians feel they have successfully addressed the fleet’s vulnerabilities. Maybe maybe the big play is to take Odessa, or maybe the big play is to make a big play for Odessa, thus leaving Kharkiv abandoned. In any case, his Macroness did noting to scare the Russians away from the jewel — which reasonably, historically, logically, strategically, is Catherine’s port. No?” Keep in mind, Willie OAM is almost always correct. So there is that. (29) Surrounded On 3 Sides, More Towns & Positions Fall – Ukraine War Map Analysis & News Update – YouTube ; (29) The Russians Broke Through The Defense In The Zaporizhzhia Direction. Military Summary For 2024.4.30 – YouTube

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3 Responses to Odessa?

  1. Jeffrey Lebowski says:

    I’m not a expert on intra Ukrainian affairs, or even a greater Russian expert.

    However, I think the last Economist article on the Ukrainian draft evasion problem, set in Odessa, was telling. Notably, it described the city of Odessa as one that “wore its Ukrainian identity lightly” or words to that effect.

    I will say as an analyst of military operations, its nearly impossible to do enough analysis, as issues of what the Russians really want are often hidden behind poor translation, to layers of meaning and allusions, literary and historical that often are lost but all but the most die hard and competent students of that culture.

    That said, I’ve been interested in what the ground truth is of One Ukraine, Slava Ukraini narrative the Ukrainians have been masterfully delivering to western audiences.

    For example, if you gave the average 25 year old male in Odessa a Russian or Ukrainian passport and told him “pick one” which would he choose? If the Ukrainian one came with EU right to work, now what is the choice? OK, that’s one level of analysis.

    Now, if you told that same guy, “Here is a Russian, EU or Ukrainian flag, which one will you die under” that’s a totally different, if related question, that might drive towards a different answer. For example, the average Russophone in Estonia knows his quality of life is better than St. Petersburg, and so will chose a passport accordingly, but likely won’t kill or die for that passport, regardless of how awesome EU membership can be economically.

    All to say, we’ve reached one of the questions American diplomats and military people should have been asking 2 years, 10 years, and 30 years ago, namely what does the End of the Wars of Soviet Succession look like, what is the American equities, and how do we draw, or can we really even think we know enough, to draw those borders.

    • Holmes Oliver says:

      Yes, very. You are on to something. Not a small something. Only beef I have with your comment is all that about questions “American diplomats and military people should have been asking 2 years, 10 years, and 30 years ago.” Nah, that buries the lede. Our diplomacy has wanted no part of that kind of question. Our policies in Ukraine were not ‘ours’ anyhow. Those policies did not seriously weigh our national security, but only use the notion in a cynical, marketability sense. Ukraine has been a place to play with, or rather to play in. The ‘with’ has been with other commercial, political and criminal organizations. “Fighting for Ukrainian Sovereignty?” OH, PAHLEESE… Just because some PoliSci sophomore at Oberlin buys it, doesn’t mean we should consider her concerns seriously for even a millisecond. Our Army already invented the correct categorical term for it.

      • George L. Humphries says:

        “Big” poses good questions. What I am responding to is your passing comment, “Our policies in Ukraine were not ‘ours’ anyhow.” My observation is that the owners of US policy are not Americans, but hyphenated Americans, some of the über-rich, and cabals of über-rich that are Europeans. And London; since 2016 I have noted that the shape that the Mother Country has on the American Q-ball is both significant and invisible. And there is also another player in this, unmentionable, but obvious.

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