Posted by Curt on 9 March, 2023 at 10:11 am. 99 comments already!


by Simplicius The Thinker

Let’s start off today with one important thing that’s been in need of clearing up. A lot of Western press still mindlessly parrots the trope about Russia’s so-called ‘frozen funds’ and how ‘devastating’ this is supposed to be for Russia’s economy. At this point, they’re grasping at straws because they have very little ammunition left in the barrel for pushing the false narrative that Russia has been gravely affected by the ‘war.’
In a previous article, I’ve already covered that the notorious ‘300b’ of frozen Russian funds was a desperate canard, and in fact Dmitry Medvedev himself glibly revealed that Russia has equally seized 300b of Western assets as well. We won’t get into the exact details, as you can read them here in this report, though I’ll repost the quote once again:

However, at the time of that writing, perhaps some readers were understandably dubious—after all, we’ve been so inured by MSM to take their anti-Russian reportage at face-value and always doubt the extent and potency of Russia’s own repartees.
But now, a recent rash of corroborating reports has hit the wires that confirm the validity of Medvedev’s statement. Bloomberg published (and quickly retracted, most likely due to internal blowback) a piece grudgingly bemoaning that they in fact can’t find these so-called ‘seized Russian funds.’


Now, the West continues to lament how well Russia is recovering economically from the minimal constraints incurred from the various ‘sanctions’.
Yesterday’s DailyMail article whinged about how British citizens are forced to ration their food amid unprecedentedly empty supermarket shelves, while equivalent Russian cities are ‘groaning beneath the weight’ of their bountiful food surpluses.
This emblematic snapshot highlights the startling disparity.

What’s more, the scenes are a reversal of 40 years ago, when many of us watched pitiful TV footage of Russians under the Communist regime queuing for staples such as bread and eggs.

Cue the irony and schadenfreude.
The article is full of guffaw-inducing snippets, as the psychosis of Western Russophobia is slowly eroded by the harsh truth.

Residents of Perm, and elsewhere in Russia, have plenty of cheap food. Low-cost energy in the gas-rich nation means vegetables can be grown in hot houses throughout the bitter winter. Russia is also able to import large quantities of fruit from sympathetic countries, such as Iran, enjoying warmer climates.
Nor is there anxiety over heating homes, while filling cars with plentiful cheap petrol or diesel is a breeze.

Well, hey—remember when Biden mocked the potential for Russian/Chinese/Iranian rapprochement and partnership? Now the hens are coming home to roost, after years of the West’s self-inflictedly lunacy.

All this, of course, makes you wonder who is winning the economic war. From Perm, John told us: ‘I have seen with my own eyes that sanctions are not hurting Russia. People on the street hardly notice anything. The shops are full of everything they want or need.

Can their tears get any more delicious than that?
Now onto more pressing matters:
It continues to appear that Wagner’s Prigozhin is the ultimate troll. The pattern many are starting to notice is that, as soon as he complains, feigning some sort of massive problems, Wagner in fact subsequently spurs into a string of large gains.
And once again it has happened. Only days after some new ‘controversy’ surrounding Prigozhin, followed by more complaints and ‘rumors’ of everything from Wagner needing to ‘pull out’ or retreat, to ammunition shortages, to fears of being ‘flanked’ by a new AFU counter-attack, suddenly Wagner has in fact surged forward with such ferocity that even Stoltenberg appears to have finally caved in, gasping that Bakhmut may now fall ‘within days’:

Bakhmut, after all, may fall in the next few days, – NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg
According to him, if this happens, it will not necessarily reflect a turning point in the war. “This only underlines that we should not underestimate Russia,” the Secretary General added.

And this is mere days after MSM propagated the laughable story that Russian troops are ‘fighting with shovels’.

Bakhmut appears to be rapidly collapsing, with Wagner incursions being reported deep into the southern part and now even cross-river in the north.

The above map shows where fighting is being reported, which is already on the ‘western’ portion of the city across the Bakhmutovka River. For now there were rumors it is merely Russian ‘DRG’ (forward sabotage/spotters), but it hasn’t been fully confirmed yet.
Here’s a wider view, showing where fighting has been reported past the river’s median line. And everything east of the river has reportedly now fallen for definite. Large southern incursions can also be seen:


Granular look at the southern advance into Sobachevka District.
An AFU soldier reportedly told AFP the following:

“Bakhmut will fall,” a Ukrainian tank operator told AFP in the town of Chasov Yar, about 10 km (six miles) west of Artyomovsk. “We are almost encircled. The units are progressively retreating in small groups.”

Some people have complained that the battle of Bakhmut is taking a ‘long time’. If one has ever actually followed military conflicts before, one would know that city sieges are never quick work—lest you count the fraudulent ‘Iraq War’, where US feigned glory after paying off all the Iraqi generals to surrender.
The Siege of Sarajevo infamously lasted four years:

“It was three times longer than the Battle of Stalingrad, more than a year longer than the siege of Leningrad, and was the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare.[5]

The Battle of Aleppo in Syria likewise spanned four plus years. In the current SMO, major city battles thus far average about two to three months each. Mariupol began in earnest in about early March and ran to mid May, although everything but Azovstal was cinched up by late April or so.
With the now redirected Mariupol forces sent to help the Severodonetsk-Lisichansk agglomerate, that large battle took from about early May to early July. Izyum took about one month, although admittedly it’s a much smaller town.
And while Wagner was nipping at the feet of Bakhmut since late last year, they were only marginally engaged at the very northeastern peripheries, in the famous Patrice Lumumba District, while the rest of the forces to the north and south were still wrangling with Soledar, etc., in order to first bring the contact line up to the Bakhmut city limits themselves. That didn’t actually happen until mid-January or so of this year. So Bakhmut does appear to be falling fairly well into the two-ish month timeline for larger city sieges, if you count the battle’s opening from the point when all the forces actually engaged its limits on all sides, rather than when Wagner was merely locally skirmishing on one small road in the northeast.
Also, one should view these videos to truly appreciate what it means to have full ‘fire-control’ over every road in and out of Bakhmut. The scale of the absolute carnage currently being inflicted on the AFU logistics in and out of the city is breathtaking to behold:
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
Video 5
There are reports of mass abandonment of AFU heavy equipment because only the dirt backroads are now usable, and they’re already very muddy. Everything is being abandoned, and what isn’t—is being summarily destroyed by artillery.

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