Eagles hunting rats

There’s an aspect of the current Russia/Ukraine war that is seldom addressed.

I’ve seen analysts wondering why Ukraine isn’t tactically retreating and regrouping their forces, instead giving them the suicidal orders to stand and fight until they are destroyed or forced to surrender. One argument was that they are buying time for some kind of reinforcement army to arrive from the west and turn the tide of war, but that’s nonsense, because there isn’t any army in the West that will save them. That’s obvious from the fact that all the new weapons and reinforcements are immediately sent to the Donbass front line.

The actual reason is that their positions in Donbass have been heavily fortified over the years, and those fortifications are their greatest assets. The second greatest asset that they have is Putin’s reluctance to hit civilian targets, which they are abusing by hiding in populated areas which greatly limits Russian ability to use heavy weaponry to dig them out. Basically, it’s not really a war of equal parties; it’s a situation similar to a fox or an eagle trying to dig out a small animal that is hiding in a hole in the ground. Of course the small animal is not “tactically retreating”, because the moment it leaves the hole in the ground, it’s dead. The only place the Russians are having a problem with them is a reinforced concrete hole in the ground surrounded by apartment buildings full of innocent people. The only “tactical maneuver” Ukraine has at their disposal is to fire at Russian positions from a civilian building, and if the Russians fire back, they make a video with dead civilians and upload it to the Internet, and they wait for something to change geopolitically with the passage of time, for instance a new front opening in Lithuania or Moldova, NATO entering direct hot war with Russia and so on. Basically, they are a groundhog or a meerkat hiding in the underground tunnels, while an eagle is camping at the exit, ready to eat them if they try to make a run for it, and they are counting on something changing if they wait long enough, because it’s not like they can do much about it in any case. There have been attempts by both Ukraine and America to distract the Russians and try to force them to change the winning strategy – bomb civilians in Donbass, attack that tiny island outpost in the middle of nowhere, cook up trouble in Moldova and Lithuania, and so on; it’s not working, because the Russians actually know how to wage wars, apparently. They are very unlikely to change their pattern of action before they retake the entirety of Donbass, and before they completely destroy all the Ukrainian fortifications and troops there. Only then would I expect them to say that “phase 2” is complete, and it’s anybody’s guess what they would do next. It’s very obvious what they are doing now – they are taking their sweet time digging the groundhog from a hole in the ground, because they have all the time in the world, they don’t want to do risky things that would have them lose men and equipment, they don’t want to endanger the civilians more than absolutely necessary, and the enemy is doomed anyway so they might as well win at the smallest possible cost to themselves. It’s not like they have long supply lines that cost them money; for them, it’s basically home turf, and they have endless supplies of fuel, food and equipment. Basically, the longer this takes, the more troops they get to rotate through the war and have them gather experience, and NATO is seriously bleeding assets on the other side, in a situation where they can’t afford it.


I haven’t been writing much because of several reasons; first, it’s quite obvious that things are proceeding according to the patterns I explained before, and I have nothing new to add, for the most part. Second, I’m actually trying to avoid watching the news all day because it’s toxic; it keeps me at a heightened stress level and I can’t keep this up indefinitely, so I take breaks whenever it’s possible.

As I see things, the situation in Ukraine will soon reach a point where the entire Ukrainian state will completely collapse; its actual functioning army has held for so long because it was utilizing the static fortifications they built over the years in the occupied parts of Donbass, which made it very hard for the Russians to advance unless they were willing to either accept great casualties on their side, or use weapons of mass destruction against the enemy, and they decided against both. However, when those fortifications fall, and the Ukrainians lose the majority of the fighting force because all of their viable army is currently holding those positions, there’s nothing that can really stop Russia’s westward advance. When Kramatorsk falls, it’s game over for Ukraine.

In order to prevent the imminent collapse of Ukraine, America prodded Lithuania, which in this picture resembles that little snarky critter that protrudes from Jabba the Hutt’s slimy arsehole, to blockade Kaliningrad and provoke Russia into opening a new front there in order to protect their assets. The Russians are taking their sweet time formulating a response, which means they understand the situation perfectly, and are designing a response that will improve their strategic position.

The G7 made another fantastically stupid move by blocking Russia’s gold exports. The idea is to reduce Russia’s ability to liquidate their gold holdings when they need cash. What the G7 idiots don’t understand is that Russia doesn’t need liquidity; they are functioning at a large surplus for the last decade or something, and using this surplus to buy more gold, so access to an international credit line or ability to sell assets for cash don’t actually mean anything to them; if anything, they have a surplus of foreign currency already, and their foreign trade is increasingly migrating towards non-Western directions, and the clearing is performed in non-Western currencies. This means that the Russian state/central bank will be able to buy more gold at subsidised prices, because that’s where the surplus will go, and the gold producers will be unable to sell gold to G7 countries, and/or for G7 currencies. As a result, Russia will have even greater gold reserves, and introducing a gold-standard for the Ruble will start looking like a really good idea. Also, this will reduce the amount of physical gold available on the G7 markets, putting increasing strain on the paper market, and making it very tempting for someone with lots of resources to attempt a short squeeze against it. I would read this as “China” and “US bonds”. All kinds of shit will hit the fan if events start following this course, because flooding the market with US bonds and draining all the physical gold from the Western markets is absolutely the last thing America and Britain would want.

Crypto currencies are doing what is expected of balloons in a cactus field, but that’s expected by all but the most hardened cryptins (from “crypto” and “cretin”, if it’s not obvious enough). Psychologically, the collapse of all those unbacked “assets” and derivatives is necessary for re-establishing the economy of sound assets, which means that shares of companies that make money and pay dividends are worth more, and things that are actually more important for survival are worth more. Crazy, right? The problem is, once things start going that way, the G7 economies will start figuring out that “G” stands not for “great” but for “gowno”, pardon my Polish.

Also, the governments had a splendid idea of trying to avoid inflation by refusing to raise salaries. That’s an incredibly stupid idea because this will produce an instant public revolt when people who can’t afford food simply dispense with the entire political class, by hanging them all at the lamp posts, and, likely, at all those surveillance cameras they installed lately.


Why is Russia so strong?

I find it funny every time people find it surprising that Russia, “a country with the GDP the size of Italy” turned out to be able to hold the entire world economy hostage, sanctioning it proved deadly for the ones doing the sanctioning, and its currency actually appreciated significantly once it was removed from the forex markets.

The explanation is very straightforward, but not simple, and points to something vital, so I’m going to get into the weeds, so to speak.

The first aspect is that Russian economy behaves in patterns typical for 3rd world colonies of great powers. This means that it exports mostly cheap raw materials and imports expensive industrial products. This doesn’t look like an accident, but any amount of reduction in exports and utilization of those raw materials for domestic production increases their profits significantly, which explains why Russia thrives under sanctions.

Also, the reason why Russian currency recovered is because America can’t use its financial trickery to print money out of thin air and then suck their resources dry, and export their overpriced goods back. Furthermore, due to restrictions on use of USD and EUR for international payments, RUB suddenly became highly necessary.

The GDP question is trickier to answer, because there are several layers to the issue. The first is that the GDP was synthetically and deliberately underestimated, compared to the GDP of Western countries; for instance, Russia has a huge gray economy which is completely ignored, and if you do, it becomes hard to explain the actual purchasing power of the Russian people, which is much greater than one would guess. Also, the prices of domestically produced goods and services are quite low. Also, the credit rating agencies are an instrument of American foreign politics and are inherently fraudulent; they basically serve the purpose of making credit cheap for countries that are subservient to America, and expensive for those America wants to compete with. Russia is an especially interesting case because it had very low debt, it serviced it reliably, and its credit rating was bordering on junk. This made credit very expensive for both Russian state and Russian corporations and citizens. In an average Western country, debt is cheap and is widely used to grow businesses and finance spending. All of this increases the GDP numbers. In Russia, since debt was expensive, they had to finance growth from exports of raw materials, which is another factor that led to the smaller nominal GDP, but with the benefit of an almost nonexistent sensitivity to debt-related pressures such as the devaluation of the credit rating, which would be lethal for any Western country. Basically, by making things hard for Russia during the past decades, America in fact made Russia resilient, independent and insensitive to foreign pressure.

There’s also the question of Russian military, which is greatly underestimated in the West based on the numerical indicators. Those are even more deceptive, because Russian weapons manufacturing is designed to be incredibly cost-effective, and the weapons themselves are highly resilient and good in actual combat. Also, there’s the mistaken belief that Western weapons are technologically superior. This is not the case; if anything, it’s the other way around. The idea that Western weapons would magically change the situation in Ukraine is a complete illusion. Technologically, Russia has everything from spy satellites, rockets and aviation to drones and, for all intents and purposes, killer robots. The only thing they don’t have are the aircraft carriers, and that’s because they never had an use for them in their strategic planning. They are used for projecting power to weaker remote countries, and Russia never had any interest in that, so they made a few aircraft carriers just as a token and for experimentation, but they never invested much resources in them because they are of marginal use. It is my estimate that in any military conflict between NATO and Russia, NATO would be beaten so decisively, they would have to resort to the use of nuclear weapons. Ukraine is de facto the strongest NATO military at this point, and they are basically destroyed by Russia’s little pinky finger. America would not fare any better, because for each escalation in weapons strength and sophistication, Russia has an equal or stronger response. Each attack on Russian mainland would be matched by an attack of equal or greater magnitude on American mainland. America is neither safe nor protected from Russian retaliatory strikes, because Russia is neither Vietnam nor Iraq. America never fought an enemy that can strike their mainland at any time with whatever power they choose. That experiment would end very badly, and quickly.

There’s another important issue, perhaps the most important of all – the West is used to setting the market terms in ways that price their imports very low, and their exports very high; basically, what you produce is cheap and worthless, and what we make and export is precious and wonderful. This created an illusion of Western supremacy which ended as soon as they actually started believing their own propaganda, and sanctioned those “cheap and worthless” products, which turned out to be essential things nobody can live without in a modern society, and the stuff they make and export turned out to be trinkets with inflated brand value that nobody really needs, and are rather in the domain of “wants”. Nobody really needs an iPhone, a Mac or some fancy brand of ice cream. I’m writing this on a late-2017 Asus Zenbook, running Linux and LibreOffice, and it’s fine; it’s more than fine in fact; it would be considered alien tech in the 1990s. My new Macbook is better, but it’s not that much better that I would trip over myself and die if I had to use less advanced tech without American IP. More likely, I would shrug it off and do perfectly fine, realizing that I need America and their stuff much less than everybody thinks they do. I actually test such ideas occasionally, checking how much stuff I actually need to function in a modern society, and how much of what I have is merely “want the new shiny gadgety thingy”, and I concluded that I could do with a Raspberry Pi in a pinch, but not without electricity, diesel and gas, let alone food. Apparently, Russia produces the stuff we actually need, and the West produces the “intellectual property” in the stuff that we want; not even the actual stuff, mind you. So, the question is, could everybody survive with Chinese smartphones and laptops, but without Russian minerals and hydrocarbons? Yeah. It turns out that something is cheap when it’s abundant and you just assume it’s there, like air, but when air suddenly isn’t there for you to breathe, it becomes precious quite suddenly.

When you turn out to need someone for basic survival, and they don’t need you very much at all, it means that, for all intents and purposes, they are more powerful and important.


I’ve seen all those people in the West saying it’s so bad the Russians have an artillery advantage over Ukraine, let’s send Ukraine more artillery to give them more of a chance.

At this, I raise my eyes to heaven and think, God, kill me now, please, I can’t listen to those idiots any more, I need a vacation.

But let’s do it slowly so that even the average person in the West, who’s been living on a diet of celebrity gossip and CNN, can understand it.

Why do people use artillery in a war? The answer is, it’s the most cost-effective way of sending bombs across to the enemy. You basically spend the cost of ammunition, and the gun is cheap and re-used, with low maintennance. In comparison, aviation is a very expensive way of doing it; you have the cost of training a pilot throughout his career and the risk of his death or capture, you have an aircraft that goes through fuel like crazy, and needs maintennance, meaning parts and support crew. The rockets are even worse, because the airplane at least is re-used unless it’s shot down, and a rocket is a sophisticated device that is destroyed after a single use.

Why do people not use artillery in a war? First, it has limited range by definition. In the first world war they tried to make longer range guns, but it proved to be a bad idea because the barrels of those guns wore out so quickly that they had to have bigger calliber rounds for each firing. They were also stationary or tied to the railroads, and so on. Basically, the bigger the gun, the less cost/effective it is, and it creates more problems than it solves, which is why people made airplanes and rockets for solving the artillery range issues. The second problem with the artillery is that it’s a good target if the enemy has active airforce and/or long range rocket systems. Basically, in a modern war, you don’t ever hope to really use the artillery because you have to count on the fact that your enemy is going to see it as soon as it’s in a firing position, and then they’re going to pulverize it.

So, why is Russia using artillery? They are using it because they destroyed the enemy’s airforce within the first few hours of the war. Then they pulverized it more for good measure. If Ukraine had any long-range weapons that could be used against Russian artillery or airforce, it was destroyed very quickly because it was a threat that limited deployment of Russia’s cheaper and cost-effective systems. The only thing Russia couldn’t take out were the intelligence/recon systems because Ukraine outsourced those to America, and one would need to take out the American satellite network in order to prevent Ukraine from precisely targetting Russian weapons and command points. It’s doable, but they decided against it at this point because it would escallate things beyond the point that was deemed cost/effective in the current situation. So, basically, Russia is using the artillery because it’s the most cost/effective way of sending bombs to the enemy, and the enemy has no effective counter-measures.

Why can’t Ukraine use the artillery? Because unlike Ukraine, Russia can use long-range missiles and airforce, because it has total control over the sky of Ukraine, meaning that anything other than their own stuff flies there, it gets shot down instantly. NATO can’t change this situation because their stuff would get shot down as easily and quickly as the Ukrainian stuff, and that would escallate the situation past the point they deem acceptable at the moment. Essentially, if Ukraine deploys its own artillery to counter Russian artillery, Russian airforce destroys it as soon as it is deployed, unless there’s excessive risk to the civillian population. If the position has air defences that make it hard for the airforce, the Russians use Kalibr missiles to pulverize the air defences first, and then send the airforce to pulverize the artillery. Since only the Russians can do that, whatever artillery NATO sends to reinforce the Ukrainians will simply be destroyed following the same principle.

Basically, the reason why Russia can use the WW1 equipment is because they stripped down their enemy so much, that it makes no sense to use the expensive ways of delivering bombs when cheapest ones will do; they are basically optimizing warfare for cost-effectiveness. No, they didn’t run out of the sophisticated missiles, but you won’t use your iPad to swat flies if you have a slipper handy, either. They use the expensive stuff when nothing cheaper will do, but once they moved in with the artillery, you know the war is basically over, because in modern warfare the artillery is so easy to take out, you never get to use it unless you already reduced your enemy to the point of late 19th century.

To conclude, the idea that Ukraine needs more artillery to counter Russian artillery supremacy is incredibly stupid and people saying this are idiots.

Misc issues

There are several issues I want to bring up.

Scott Ritter suddenly changed his narrative from “Ukraine is losing the war and no amount of help from the West can change that” to “Ukraine needs to hold on until the NATO trains their replacement army which is in the process right now, they just need to hold on until help arrives”. This honestly sounds like Hitler’s propaganda in 1945 – we need to hold on until the miracle weapons arrive and then we’ll revert all our losses and achieve final victory. Yeah right. Basically, I agree with Gonzalo Lira that the guy sounds as if someone gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse and he traded his reputation for mainstream acceptance. Someone from the CIA probably approached him and gave him a “are you with us or against us” offer. Basically, I would treat him as an outright CIA asset at this point.

As for the argument itself, it exists only within the Western disinformation thoughtspace; the idea that the purpose of Ukrainians is to keep dying, spending old Western weapons and laundering American freshly printed money in order to strategically weaken Russia is American idea and nobody with an independent thought in their head thinks that is a good plan, especially since the time-curve is that Russia is getting stronger and everybody else is about to have a crashing economy, mass starvation, fuel shortages and popular uprisings. Basically, it’s the Russians who have to keep the fire going and the West is going to end up in the post-Soviet 1990s. The most viable part of the Ukrainian army is being mopped up as we speak and there won’t be any of it left in the following weeks. After that, the Russians will deal with Kharkov and Odessa, probably offering them terms for surrender, because it would be either that or repeat Mariupol. What I actually expect to happen is an American intervention that would attempt to broaden the conflict significantly in order to complicate things for the Russians.

Another complication for the Russians is the fact that it might actually be immoral for them to perform tactical withdrawals from the territory they hold, because the Ukrops have shown a propensity for “cleaning up the traitors” at such areas, as shown in Bucha; basically, they execute all the civilians who in any way “collaborated with the enemy”.

Anything the Russians hold, they must hold perpetually in order to protect the populace from the Ukrainian fascists. This is not easily reconcilable with the requirement of having the least possible number of troops deployed. Also, they might soon have tens of thousands of prisoners of war, and those will be the real hardened Nazis like the ones from Mariupol, not the common soldiers whom they might interrogate and let go. It’s a serious logistical problem since they are unlikely to kill them outright, and they can’t really let them go either.

That insane thing about the American abortion law, and the instant pro-abortion protests everywhere looks very much like a psy-op, and a very weird one, because it looks as if some AI running simulations recommended introducing additional intra-societal conflict in order to keep the populace in a certain psychological state it deems desirable. The entire thing is very weird and looks very much as if someone were tweaking variables. Also, the story about the next virus out there, the monkey pox, looks actually counterproductive. I’m having a weirdness overload from some of the things I’m finding in Western press, and it goes further than just common war propaganda; it looks artificial, synthetic, like something that uses principles devised by human psychologists but turned into society-control widgets tweaked by computers. Basically, it looks like the smart humans created a complex AI system and filled it with data, the system is saying what needs to be tweaked, and then the orders are given to the moronic humans who work in the politics, NGOs and the press to create artificial issues or aggravate existing but unsolved ones. This might actually be very close to the root of the problem.

The financial system is in a state of flux preceding a major crash and is conforming to the predictions postulated by the “Dollar milkshake theory“. The cryptocurrencies showed that they are only an extension of the stock market’s high-volatility, high-risk asset pool and not a new financial system, they are as restrictive as the fiat currencies and have by all standards failed. The precious metals are behaving more-less according to expectations for the rising-dollar phase of the crash, and according to my feeling for these things, the last train for getting out of the financial bubble was the end of 2021; now it’s already late in the game because if you were in the stocks and crypto, you already suffered huge losses, and if you were in fiat currency, the metals are now more expensive but still a good idea to get in while they are still available in retail, which might not last long; also, in the later phases of the Dollar collapse when everybody attempts to get into gold, the prices will skyrocket in the Bitcoin-like manner, and availability will be severely curtailed, because the governments will suck up all the 400oz bars in attempts to shore up their currencies, which will make it hard for retail product manufacturers to make coins and smaller bars. If you have confidence in “cloud gold”, basically “gold in someone else’s safe”, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening to those who held gold “in the cloud”. America and the UK will outright confiscate other countries’ gold, and countries will outright confiscate private citizens’ gold with some lame excuse.

So, the US Dollar will be the last of the Western currencies to go down the drain, but I would recommend against going into the Dollar to save yourself, despite the fact that it might look very profitable in the short term, because it might be hard/impossible to get out of it, and you’ll end up with lots of numbers on the screen, unless you’re incredibly lucky and play it exceedingly well, and ride the wave of the “Dollar milkshake” by first going from other fiat currencies to the Dollar, exploit the growth of Dollar, and then manage to get out of it and into physical assets while they are relatively undervalued. However, I think it might not introduce benefits compared to what you would obtain by going straight into physical assets immediately, but it does contain significant additional risks, such as timing the things wrongly and being unable to get out, or only being able to purchase gold at exorbitant prices and incurring huge losses. I stand by my old recommendation of keeping only as much fiat currency as you need for monthly liquidity, and putting everything else into precious metals, and staging it in both physical and “cloud” storage so that you retain the flexibility of remotely allocated gold/silver for liquidity purposes.