by SIMPLICIUS THE THINKER
Last night Russia struck Odessa and virtually every other port involved in the grain deal (there are others like Yuzhne, Ochekov, Nikolayev, etc.), as well as other cities in west Ukraine. Odessa’s mayor called it the worst strikes of the entire war thus far:
Incidentally, it was said that the man who filmed the wild video of Odessa arrivals above has already been captured by SBU and ‘mobilized’:
CNN disingenuously ratcheted up the sensationalism, claiming they’ve “never seen anything like it”—I guess the reporter wasn’t around in Baghdad in March, 2003:
By the way, it’s interesting that Western media and officials are making such a big deal about Russia’s “barbaric attacks”, not only from a hypocrisy standpoint—after all, Kiev literally just attacked the Crimean Bridge the other day, killing civilians on camera and now they’re complaining that Russia has hit ‘civilian infrastructure’ in Odessa. But also, the fact that the U.S. has done the same thing many times to no great outrage.
Case in point: here’s an LA Times article from 1990 showing the U.S. utilizing the same tactics during the Gulf War:
Seized Iranian oil just happens to be ‘stuck’ off the coast of Texas, phrased in that immortal passive-voice Newspeak style MSM loves to employ when they need to hide the culprit of the crime. You know, like when they report on Israeli missiles hitting Syria as “Damascus is hit by missiles”, leaving their dimwitted readers to wonder whose missiles they were. If you click on the actual article above, only later on do they mention that this is seized oil, nor do they mention illegally seized.
Now, MSM has the gall to repeatedly cry that Russia’s utilization of the same tactics is somehow more ‘barbaric’.
Getting back to the strikes, here’s another large compilation of strike videos from last night:
This move was clearly to finish off Ukraine’s grain deal infrastructure so that they cannot continue carrying out the deal without Russia, given that Zelensky had already attempted to woo Turkey and others into continuing the deal as if nothing had happened.
Screenshots from a Ukrainian air defense unit were reportedly leaked showing a swarm of missiles and drones:
Screen shots from the ACS “Virage-Tablet” of Ukrainian air defense operators near Odessa speaks for itself.
Dozens of targets representing Caliber, Onyx and Kh-22 missiles, as well as Geran-2 kamikaze drones.
The mayor of Odessa said “that we do not remember such a scale of attack since the beginning of the war”❗️
This ACS (Automated Control System) Virage system is said to be another analog of Ukraine-Western ‘Nettle’ and Delta systems, which is a data aggregator from a variety of sources, which can be air defense radars, manually inputted from spotters, NATO AWACs, etc. The Fighterbomber channel once explained it as such:
“Virage – Tablet” is a Ukrainian program that displays online data on the air situation to the user on any laptop. A kind of flyradar.
Data is entered into the system from anything. From combat radars of air defense systems, RTV locators, dispatch locators, and I suspect that data from NATO Avaks and RTR aircraft can also be thrown onto it.
For data transmission, the simplest radio modems are used and the Internet, with which, thanks to Elon Musk and his Starlink, crests have no problems at all. (“Starlink”, unequivocally, the third imba among crests).
Thanks to this system, the type of target, the course and flight altitude of our strike groups are promptly issued to air defense calculations and crews, and air defense systems with MANPADS calculations are deployed to the desired azimuth and wait for targets to enter their affected area without turning on radiation, that is, remaining invisible to missile launchers and electronic warfare systems of aircraft and helicopters almost until the moment of launch.
Due to its compactness and mobility, this system can provide any calculation of air defense forces and, of course, infantry.
One interesting thing I’d point out is that it’s very difficult to believe that air defense radar systems from Odessa can track cruise missile and drone-sized targets at those distances from Crimea. You’ll note there are contacts even off the coast of Sevastopol, which is 320km+ away from Odessa. It seems more likely that NATO AWACS on the coast of Romania (also about ~320km) were tracking and digitally linking the info to Ukraine.
However, with that said, many of the contacts appear to point to indigent Ukrainian radar systems. For instance, on the screens, you can see many designations of 35D6M, which is a Ukrainian radar station manufactured by ex-Soviet Zaporozhye-based Iskra systems. Also, you can see 79K6 which appears to designate another homegrown Pelikan radar.
The radar’s own stats show it can track a target at 300km+ only if it’s flying at an altitude of 10-30km. If it’s flying 100m off the ground, it can only be tracked at 40km maximum.
So how is it that they’re tracking presumably low-flying cruise missiles at such ranges? The designations also point to several types of Russian missiles, for instance there appears to be one contact written in as P-700, which would presumably be a Russian P-700 Granit missile. Another designation shows “Malakhit”, which could be a Russian P-120 Malakhit.
We do know from reports like this one, that Russian subs were firing P-700s as early as last year in exercises. So, given the scale of last night’s attack, it’s conceivable that almost everything was launched.
For instance, we know that Kh-59Mk2s were used, as photos of one that was shot down appeared online. We further know that Onyx missiles fired by Bastion coastal units in Crimea were used, as videos of that emerged:
Now that Tu-22M3s specifically were up in the air, which typically launch Kh-22s, rather than the Kh-101s the Tu-95 Bears launch. So, all in all, last night was a smorgasbord of missiles which probably included: Kh-59s, Kh-22s, Kh-101s, Kalibrs, Onyx/P-800s, sub-launched P-120s and P-700s, and possibly even others like Kh-35s or Iskander-M or K (R-500) variant, as well as a mass of drones led by Gerans/Shaheds.
In short: it appears Russia has finished off Ukraine’s port and grain future. Western apparatchiks are already rushing in to salvage what they can:
Meanwhile, Whitehouse spokesman Karen Jean-Pierre has stated that the U.S. has not decided on any action as of yet, and Turkish officials have likewise hinted that they will not be pursuing any ‘bruteforce’ actions to militarily intervene or attempt to use their warships to escort grain cargo.
Moscow has firmly stated that as of July 20, any and all ships heading toward Ukrainian ports will be treated as adversarial targets:
Russian MoD re: ships sailing to Ukrainian ports: In connection with the cessation of the functioning of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the сlosing of the maritime humanitarian corridor, from 00.00 Moscow time on 20 July 2023, all vessels sailing in the waters of the Black Sea to Ukrainian ports will be regarded as potential carriers of military cargo. Accordingly, the countries of such vessels will be considered to be involved in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of the Kiev regime.
In addition, a number of sea areas in the north-western and south-eastern parts of the international waters of the Black Sea have been declared temporarily dangerous for navigation. Corresponding information warnings on the withdrawal of safety guarantees to mariners have been issued in accordance with the established procedure.
BBC reports that upwards of 60,000 tons of grain was destroyed in the strikes, quoting Ukraine’s agriculture minister:
Russian missile attacks on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast have destroyed 60,000 tonnes of grain and damaged storage infrastructure, officials say.
Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi said a “considerable amount” of export infrastructure was out of operation.
A cursory search seems to give me that a typical large grain ship carries about that much grain, so this would appear to be the equivalent of one full grain ship destroyed—if the reports are even true. Also, it’s claimed that it would take up to a year to restore the damaged terminals.
Recall that at the time of the strikes, Ukraine’s typical fake reports were claiming that “all missiles and drones” were being shot down by their valiant air defense teams. But now that the damage was too severe to hide, they’re forced to change the story, and now reports like the following abound:
⚡️⚡️⚡️Even the Ukrainian TG channel ” Woman with a Scythe” reports that Odessa has almost no air defense ammunition left that could shoot down missiles.
“There is only ammunition left for the Cheetahs. Ammunition is being urgently transferred from western Ukraine, preparing for a second attack on Odessa’s ports and infrastructure⚡️⚡️⚡️
And in fact, as of this writing, a large new series of strikes is happening on Odessa for the second night in a row. This is typical as Russia will wait a day for the smoke to clear and do satellite BDAs (Battle Damage Assessment), then launch a new strike to finish off the objects which weren’t satisfactorily hit the first time around.
Putin made a number of statements on the situation:
Here is a summary of most salient points:
🇷🇺 President Putin on the grain deal:
— The grain deal was concluded exactly a year ago, on July 22, 2022. We extended this deal again and again, showed miracles of endurance and patience;
– Nobody [in the West] was going to fulfill the agreements, they just constantly demanded something from Russia. Just outright arrogance;
– The authority was undermined, among other things, by the leadership of the UN secretariat, which acted as a guarantor of the grain deal. I believe that the UN staff sincerely sought to fulfill all the promises made by the West, but they could not achieve anything, they did practically nothing to ensure the normal operation of the deal;
– The West did everything to derail the grain deal, spared no effort;
— The withdrawal from the sanctions of Russian exports of grain and fertilizers to world markets has not been completed. Moreover, Russia is being hindered even from donating Russian fertilizers to the poorest countries;
– Russia will replace Ukrainian grain in the food market both commercially and free of charge;
— The continuation of the grain deal in its current form has lost all meaning. Starting from July 18, its implementation was completed;
– Russia will consider the possibility of returning to the grain deal only if all the principles of Russia’s participation in this deal, without exception, are fully taken into account and implemented.
Now, Russian grain is shooting up in the markets:
And presidential advisor Podolyak explains that it’s not the carriers but the insurers who won’t take up the risk on insuring ships crossing the contested warzone waters:
Not a single cargo ship will call at the ports of Ukraine on the Black Sea after the termination of the grain deal, Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, admitted on the air of the Rada TV channel.
“No country will dare to send its ships [to the ports of Ukraine]. And this is not a question of ships, this is a question of insurance companies,” Podolyak said.
However, Ukraine is now begging companies to continue shipping with the promise that they’ll provide some sort of quasi-insured ‘damage guarantee’ to them:
⚡️⚡️⚡️Ukraine said in a letter to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which is a United Nations agency, that it has created a mechanism to provide “damage guarantees” to companies and ships visiting ports Ukrainians after the completion of the grain deal, Reuters reports, citing the letter.
Kiev says the mechanism will work for ships that are in Ukrainian territorial waters or heading to or from Ukrainian ports.
Yes, because the big shipowners are gullible enough to believe that the Kiev regime has the money to reimburse the cost of huge ships and insure their crews. As soon as, so immediately, yes⚡️⚡️⚡️
There were reports that Russia is not yet finished, which appeared to prove true as a new series of attacks is ongoing as of this writing. British intel claims the following:
“MI-6 has transmitted new intelligence to the Office of the President and the General Staff, indicating that Russian military forces are preparing a series of strikes on maritime infrastructure using deep-sea and naval drones. By employing this method, the Kremlin aims to demonstrate Russia’s possession of new types of weaponry that have not yet been utilized in Ukraine. British intelligence believes that the attacks on seaports are intended to prevent Ukraine from reopening the grain corridor in a unilateral format.”
🐻 As always, take what Rezidents says with a grain of salt.💥💥
Another such report states that Ukraine plans to create a provocation with the intention of drawing Western powers into the conflict:
🇷🇺⚔️🇺🇦🇬🇧 From Rezident_UA’s Telegram Channel:
💬 “Our source within the Presidential Office has revealed that with the support of British intelligence, a plan is being developed for cargo ships to pass through the ports of the Odessa region. Currently, negotiations are underway with private companies to acquire several ships that will symbolically sail to Odessa and provoke Russia into an attack. If the cargo ships pass through peacefully, Ukraine will declare the grain corridor safe. However, if an attack on these peaceful ships occurs, Ukraine aims to launch an international campaign against Russia.”
Of course, this is all par for the course. The entire dog and pony show that Zelensky is currently doing by begging companies to continue shipping under the guise of some ersatz insurance ‘damage guarantee’ is all done under the intention of either creating a falseflag by blowing up these ships and blaming it on Russia, or simply by hoping Russia accidentally hits the ships anyway. As usual, the desperate ploy here is to create the appearance of Russia striking or harming the West in some way, shape, or form in order to finagle them into a clash with Russia. It’s the same tired old trick being used over and over in every instance. However, most Western companies are likely hip to it and know they would be ‘sacrificial lambs’ used to incite a larger war and would rather not take the chance of having their ships and crews destroyed in a falseflag.
For now, Kiev is considering a new route for transporting the grain through Bulgaria and Romania and one can see that as of now all the ships are lined up by the Romanian coast, according to some heading to Ukraine’s port Izmail on the Danube:
In the meantime, things are looking worse and worse for Ukraine and the West. Judging by Putin’s statements, he’s becoming increasingly hardened and jaded to their games and repeated double-crosses which can only mean good news. Lavrov, too, issued a statement cementing Russian resolve by stating that Russia will never back down from the goals of the SMO.
The West is simply running out of options as the grain deal was one of their last big trump cards and leverage points in Ukraine. Ayden has a good take on this in his thread:
First we have the grain silos and elevator in the Odessa port. Ukraine still had ambitions to force the grain deal without the attendance of Russia following the collapse of the grain deal. By destroying the functionality of the port Putin has removed leverage that Ukraine had over the EU and Turkey, as well as reducing the Ukrainian economy as one does in a war. I won’t even get into the rumors of weapons smuggling through the port but that’s also a factor here.
He correctly points out that NASA’s FIRMS heat-sensing satellite showed major strikes on Odessa’s Shkolny airfield as well:
One full list of the attacks was as follows:
Heavy attacks were made on:
– Odessa commercial seaport
– Black Sea Commercial Sea Port
– Bridge across the Dniester estuary (bridge in Zatoka)
– Bridge across the Dniester in Mayaki
– Odessa airport
– Shkolny airfield
– fuel storage facilities
– uncertainty atm about the ports of Yuzhny, Reni, Izmail and Kiliya
Urgent calls for blood donations in the Odessa region were made:
And there are some reports that large troop concentrations were also struck.
Occasionally I post a series of headlines showing the souring morale as judged by the lens through which the MSM reports the conflict. Now, it’s getting worse than ever with headlines like the following:
Note the change in tone from stunned hosts, for instance, in this report:
The press lackey calls for U.S. to get into a ‘wartime footing’ in order to compete with Russia. In fact, more and more the realization is hitting Western leadership that they simply can’t compete. For instance, one European minister even called for the creation of a federated ‘United States of Europe’ as it’s beginning to dawn on them that Europe simply can’t compete with the modern world unless fully united under one central government. Interestingly, he named the U.S., China, Russia, and India as the main powers that a united Europe must compete against, which the individual European countries can’t do. We hear so much about Russia being a weak ‘gas station’ it’s revealing to see how these technocrats really regard it.
Admitting that this position is “not at all popular,” the minister proposed that the European Union should be turned into “a European Federation or a United States of Europe,” which he claimed would put it in a position where it could be “a truly equal partner in the game between China, America, or Russia and India.”
Another stroke in this direction is this report that the leadership of five Nordic countries want to subordinate their armed forces to NATO entirely:
🇳🇴🇩🇰🇫🇮🇮🇸🇸🇪 Last week, Norwegian Defense Minister Eirik Kristoffersen said (https://klassekampen.no/artikkel/2023-07-13/jobber-for-ny-nato-kommando) that the leaderships of the five Nordic countries have expressed a desire to subordinate their national armed forces to NATO Atlantic Command in Norfolk, one of the alliance’s three Joint Armed Forces Commands.
The CEPA analytical center notes that at the moment the command in Norfolk does not have sufficient operational capacity to implement such an idea, however, they do not exclude the possibility of reforms in the NATO defense structure.
🔻According to our American colleagues @CIG_telegram, the unification of the armed forces of five countries into a certain structure is necessary (https://t.me/CIG_telegram/33259) in order to focus efforts on the Arctic direction, which in recent years has become increasingly relevant for the NATO leadership as a potential area of conflict between the interests of the alliance, Russia and China.
It is noteworthy that for the head of the Norwegian defense department, Sweden’s entry into NATO is already a fait accompli. The path to the alliance is not so thorny if they really want to see someone there.
This is all just part of the slow consolidation of Europe into an increasingly centralized command structure as they are economically gutted out by the global-geopolitical realities stoked by the U.S. The weaker each individual state gets the more servile they will become, scrambling to give up more and more of their sovereignty as the world slowly drifts towards a much wider future European war.
Seeing that Ukraine is now doomed and stands no chance, with options running out, the U.S. intelligence state will push to accelerate the above developments so that they can unify Europe under one rule and then preferably use them as the next fodder with which to attempt to dismantle Russia.
In fact, in his new article, MK Bhadrakumar notes that “CDU’s leading foreign and defence expert Roderich Kiesewetter (an ex-colonel who headed the Association of Reservists of the Bundeswehr from 2011 to 2016) suggested that if conditions warrant in the Ukraine situation, the Nato should consider to “cut off Kaliningrad from the Russian supply lines. We see how Putin reacts when he is under pressure.”
The point being that, slowly, the powers are converging to continue their war on Russia in any way possible once Ukraine is used up and discarded like a wet rag. Unfortunately for them, Russia at that point will be by far the most experienced, powerful, and technologically advanced military nation in the world, having sharpened its teeth on NATO’s latest and best thrown into the cauldron of the Ukrainian war.
We’ve seen them testing the waters before, with Lithuania attempting to blockade Kaliningrad last year by banning Russian trains, as well as the Baltic Sea nations, like Estonia and Finland, threatening to blockade the passage of Russian ships, which I wrote about extensively long ago. They have several means to do this, by extending their maritime economic zone borders and playing other such geographic ‘technicality’ tricks.
Now, Poland (as well as all of NATO in general) is setting up more and more troops near the Belarus and Kaliningrad border, and the Russian Duma Defense Committee chair already let the cat out the bag, as I mentioned here, about Wagner being positioned in Belarus for the purpose of defending the Suwalki corridor.
My prediction is the following: there are huge tectonic shifts currently underway for which the Ukrainian war serves only as a surface level symbolic playing field. The true play happening beneath the surface are the major moves that BRICS are making. Now that a lot of the long awaited summits and other milestones of the past few months have passed, the next big milestone to look forward to is the BRICS summit on August 24th in South Africa.