With each installment of this series on NATO’s proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, so many events transpire before each print that it’s only possible to highlight a few salient points. Yesterday evening, the Crimean Bridge (aka Kerch Strait Bridge) was bombed for a second time since last October and one lane has already reopened tonight. This attack resulted in a partial collapse of the civilian bridge span, the wounding of a 14-year-old girl, and the death of her parents. They were all traveling in the same vehicle across the bridge. The following video shows one passenger that was ejected through the windshield and trapped while still alive.
*RUSSIA PREPARING RESPONSE TO CRIMEA BRIDGE TERROR – PUTIN
“‘In October of 2022, it was decided to launch an assault on the village of Bakhmut to provoke Vladimir Zelensky to throw in as many forces as possible and hold Bakhmut. We grinded the Ukrainian forces, hence the name – Bakhmut meat grinder’… but the West’s G7 is doubling down while public statements indicate politicos are freaking out behind closed doors… The Washington Post reported that Zelensky is plotting bold attacks inside Russia… Despite input from experienced military brass, esteemed analysts, scholars, A.I. computer technology, modern weaponry, and 21st-century war games, all of it underestimated geopolitical uncertainty, humanitarian crises, raw willpower on a battlefield, and the human carnage of combat, all of which combine to steer decision makers into a blind man’s closet… Reality is setting in since sanctions and weapons have only wrought financial hardship and political division in the West but continue to escalate an unwinnable conflict between nuclear superpowers. Prospects for a peace deal remain doubtful because Ukraine and Russia are steadfast in sticking with non-negotiable preconditions.” – TraderStef
Ukraine finally launched a long-publicized counteroffensive during the first week of June after receiving more NATO tanks, armored vehicles, depleted uranium artillery shells, longer-range missiles, illegal cluster munitions at the behest of Lindsey Graham and Joe Biden to compensate NATO’s shortage of artillery ammunition, and Patriot anti-missile systems that were all targeted by precision missile strikes to degrade Ukraine’s ammo and armor depots.
Biden: US running out of artillery ammo to provide Ukraine – News Nation, Jul. 10
Prior to the offensive, Britain announced its approval for attacks within Russia, and the U.S. Pentagon spokesperson tacitly followed suit. Dmitry Medvedev promptly posted Russia’s response:
Thus far, Ukraine’s counteroffensive is an abject failure because all attempts to advance toward Russia’s first line of defense have been futile. It has produced enormous casualties and the loss of innumerable tanks and armored vehicles. Even the New York Times was forced to admit that Ukraine has paused to rethink its strategy after “suffering heavy loses.” The following video is just one example of a continuation of the “meat grinder” beyond Bakhmut:
For Zelensky, his military’s inability to produce a major success on the battlefield following its third replenishment by the collective West seems to be the beginning of “Z’s End.” He expected a specified timeline for NATO membership at the summit but received a heads-up about a watered-down plan. While traveling to NATO’s Vilnius summit last week, he penned a Twitter rant that infuriated politicos in attendance. Following that act of “guilt-based diplomacy,” British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said “whether we like it or not, people want to see a bit of gratitude.” Today’s headline image shows Zelensky being ignored at the summit’s family photo, a clear signal that he made a serious mistake to publicly complain about the hands that feed him and keep what remains of Ukraine fiscally afloat.
“We value our allies. We value our shared security. And we always appreciate an open conversation. Ukraine will be represented at the NATO summit in Vilnius. Because it is about respect. But Ukraine also deserves respect. Now, on the way to Vilnius, we received signals that certain wording is being discussed without Ukraine. And I would like to emphasize that this wording is about the invitation to become NATO member, not about Ukraine’s membership. It’s unprecedented and absurd when time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership. While at the same time vague wording about ‘conditions’ is added even for inviting Ukraine. It seems there is no readiness neither to invite Ukraine to NATO nor to make it a member of the Alliance. This means that a window of opportunity is being left to bargain Ukraine’s membership in NATO in negotiations with Russia. And for Russia, this means motivation to continue its terror. Uncertainty is weakness. And I will openly discuss this at the summit.” – Zelensky, Jul. 11
A Fun Day… “As Joe Biden returns from Europe to a White House haunted by a cocaine-snorting ghost, is to send three-thousand fresh reserve troops to Europe and promise a bunch of F-16 fighter planes. Said planes, which were introduced in the early 1970s, will come out of our country’s “high-mileage” inventory. These F-16s will require a suite of highly technical ground support infrastructure. They will not come with the latest avionics upgrades and will be no match for Russian air defenses. Good luck with that, President Z!” – Howard Kunstler’s Clusterfuck Nation, Jul. 14
What Happened at the NATO Summit in Vilnius and Who Benefits?… “I think the Vilnius NATO summit will be remembered as a predictable, if ridiculous, effort to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The summit’s near-term goal seems to have been to squirm out of a NATO Article 5 commitment to Ukraine. But its long-term goal seems to have been to rationalize a continuation of NATO’s US-driven, neocon fantasy to weaken and perhaps dismember Russia by enmeshing Russia and Ukraine in a deepening, unending Russo-NATO proxy war of attrition — i.e., attrition to the last Ukrainian.” – CounterPunch, Jul. 17
What Zelensky did receive was a framework from the G7 countries for Ukraine’s long-term security and help to boost its defenses against Russia. NATO membership is off the table while the war continues, but an attack by a NATO member is possible if Russia is provoked into a response. Article 5 stipulates that an attack on one member is an attack on all. That’s instant escalation into full blown WW3. The director of U.S. military operations, Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims, stated at a presser last week that the delivery of F-16 fighter jets for use over Ukraine is also off the table.
“But the conditions right now for the employment of the F-16s are probably not — they’re probably not ideal. I mean, the Russians still possess some air defense capability. They have air capability. And the number of F-16s that would be provided may not be perfect for what’s going on right now. As the future changes, that certainly will dictate how that is employed.”
Lavrov: Russia will treat F-16s in Ukraine as nuclear threat… “The plans to supply F-16s to Kiev is yet another example of an escalatory move by the West and in itself is ‘an extremely dangerous development,’ he stated. ‘We have informed the nuclear powers – the US, UK and France – that Russia can’t ignore the ability of these aircraft to carry nuclear weapons. No assurances [by the West] will help here,’ he warned. In the midst of fighting, the Russian military isn’t going to investigate whether any specific jet is equipped to deliver nuclear weapons or not, he added. ‘The very fact of the appearance of such systems within the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be considered by us as a threat from the West in the nuclear domain.’” RT, Jul. 13
The bottom line appears to be that weapons will continue to flow when possible. NATO’s ideal outcome is that Ukraine concedes a loss, relinquishes territory, and provides the collective West with an out while Zelensky takes a humble seat to negotiate an end to the war. If not, some type of nuclear weapon exchange seems inevitable.
Unfortunately, two more situations are brewing that could spark a military exchange between NATO and Russia at any time. One includes the Baltic Sea and the Suwalki Corridor that connects Belarus to Kaliningrad, which is between Lithuania and Poland. The West is suddenly pounding war drums about it through legacy media outlets in the U.K. The second is a naval blockade of Odessa in the Black Sea following Ukraine’s attack on the Crimean Bridge last evening.
Russia closed the Black Sea: It imposed a naval blockade on Odessa! – Russian Official: “It’s time to take the city”… “There is intense concern at NATO Headquarters about the situation in the Black Sea after the Ukrainian attack on the Kerch bridge. Russia withdrew guarantees for the safety of navigation in the Black Sea along with the cancellation of the grain agreement. At the same time, he closed the northwestern part of the Black Sea to civilian ships. Western analysts and NATO Officials express fears of a Russian operation in Odessa. Moscow is already implementing a naval blockade of the city.” – WarNews 24/7, Jul. 17
Meanwhile, seasoned foreign mercenaries are packing up and exiting Ukraine in a hurry. Buckle up because the news cycle is not going to quiet down anytime soon. I recommend that you keep your home pantry stocked and your financial house in order.
Ukraine Front Line is “Horror. Genocide. Slaughter” Says Irish “Rambo” Who Is Leaving after 17 Months – SkyNews, Jul. 11
Reality smacks NATO in Vilnius. Zelensky trapped and isolated – The Duran, Jul. 13
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Headline Collage Art by TraderStef