The Ukraine war – how close to the endgame are we?

We’ve had nearly three months of propaganda about how sanctions by the West is destroying the Russian economy and the Ukraine is winning the war. Neither was ever true but the Ukrainian regime aided by the Biden administration have used the MSM massively to promote both ideas. A glance at the strength of the ruble against the dollar and recent military setbacks in Mariupol illustrate the economic and military realities. At some point, all the lies and deceit expose themselves because the true situation simply becomes impossible to hide.

What’s left of the Azov regiment which was surrounded and hiding in the Azovstal Steel Mill in Mariupol, have started to come out and surrender. That’s what any military force inevitably does when they’re surrounded, starving and haven’t been resupplied in months. It’s being spun by the western propaganda machine as an evacuation but when soldiers walk out of a defended position waving white flags and being disarmed and then transported to POW cages, that’s a surrender whichever way you want to present it.

This doesn’t appear to have been an orchestrated surrender, but just isolated units one after another deciding they’ve had enough. As the day went on, word obviously got around and what was just a few soldiers became a flood. It’s now approaching 2,000 according to RT. What is significant about the manner of this capitulation is that it shows the troops have stopped believing Kiev’s repeated promises of a relief force on its way – the truth is, it never was. What it also demonstrates is that the Russian tactic of simply surrounding the Mill and starving them out worked without the human cost of launching a massed assault on the facility.

As an aside, it looks like the captured men are being split into two groups. One is regular army probably destined for prisoner exchanges whenever the current war is over but the other is Azov regiment men who’re real Nazis. They’re being identified by the Nazi symbols tattooed all over their bodies. The Russians are already preparing to prosecute them for war crimes not only committed in the current conflict, but for their activities stretching back to 2014. As I remarked previously, the Russians have long memories and have never scored high in the forgive and forget league tables.

There are other elements going into the POW bag. Rumours abound about foreign advisors and mercenaries. The latter’s status under the Geneva Convention is grey to say the least but I’d remind you that a consensus estimate is that only 10% of Wehrmacht prisoners ever got home and that was anything up to ten years after the war. Being a merc fighting in a losing war against the Russians is a bad idea. If you’re not supposed to be there in the first place and them getting their hands on you, the odds are slim you’ll ever be heard from again.

Further north in the Donbass region, Russia has essentially done the same. Surrounded the whole area and cut off it from any resupply. Having done that, they’re advancing piecemeal nibbling away various cities and villages but refusing to engage in any expensive large-scale pitched battles. They don’t have to. The pattern is to simply dig in around them and then drench the opposing strong point with an absolute deluge of artillery. I heard a report that on a daily basis, the Russians are supplying their artillery with between 400,000 and 600,000 shells. That amount of fire raining down on you each day on a 24/7 basis is biblical.

One thing is for sure, the Russians will make sure the poor bastards getting hammered in the Donbass pockets by unceasing artillery and ground attack aircraft learn all about the Mariupol mass surrenders. I imagine they’ve been tenderised enough by this point to start thinking about waving some white flags. Don’t be surprised if that starts to happen but if it does, it’ll be a cascading event. Once one goes, they’ll all quickly follow. How Kiev and the western propaganda machine try and spin that particular catastrophe will be interesting.

In my opinion, Mariupol folding is the first of many dominoes we’re about to see falling in the coming months, if not weeks. After that, the question arises will Russia just consolidate the territory gained by the Special Military Operation or just formally declare war on the Ukraine and proceed westwards because after the Donbass disaster, there’ll be no real military opposition left to stop them.


Related articles by Pointman:

Remind me again, which country’s economy was sanctions going to devastate?

The Ukraine war – the military realities.

All articles about the Ukraine situation

Click for a list of other articles.

10 Responses to “The Ukraine war – how close to the endgame are we?”
  1. manicbeancounter says:

    The Russians are slowly advancing, but have had major setbacks. Recent one was attempting to cross the Donets River on May 11. Or the retreat from Kyiv.
    They body count by now likely exceeds that of ten years in Afghanistan, though now the bodies are not transported back to the Motherland.
    But the cost is being felt by the oligarchs with their confiscated super yachts and frozen accounts & by the middle class with their lack of Zara shops and McDonald’s. Maybe they will just hate the West more, like the Germans experiencing the 1000 bomber raids.


    • Erny72 says:

      I’d like to hear how you define a ‘major setback’. Being shelled while throwing a bridge across a wet gap in contested territory is to be expected (ask the British sappers who bridged the Rhine under fire in 1944 for example) and in the grand scheme of things is more a delay to tactical operations (since the bridgehead was finally established) than a major setback. As for the pictures you saw all over the fake news, some look suspiciously like the ones circulating on Telegram two days previously when the Ukrops attempted to bridge the same river but further upstream in order to counter attack in direction of Izyum and were stopped when the nearly complete pontoon bridge was destroyed. For what ever set backs have been suffered, morale does not appear an issue; there is a report published two days ago of three officers and seven other ranks finding themselves on the axis of advance of a Ukrop counter attack consisting of around 300 infantry with tank support. Although quickly surrounded, they stood their ground for a day and inflicted ‘unacceptable losses on the enemy’, until being relieved in situ. Without loss to themselves. Standing by for the award ceremony that’s been announced and hoping for further details in due course.

      In respect to the withdrawal from the Kiev salient, we were all given notice that was coming to show ‘good will’ during negotiations. More accurately, the advance and partial encirclement of Kiev clearly failed in its objective; which was to apply political pressure on the ‘Elenskyy* government so that they might agree to abide by the MInsk agreements. That was worth a try since it would have avoid wrecking eastern Novorussia, but in hindsight the application of political pressure that might have brought about an armistice early on in proceedings was never going to be effective unless it was Washington DC that was encircled. Hardly a major setback though, unless you believe the fairytales of western ex-spurts that the Russian army’s primary objective was to invest Kiev in a week.
      * Apparently the letter ‘Z’ is banned these days, so I gather the comedian-in-chief’s name is becoming problematic in woke circles? ON a lighter note, I saw a happy snap yesterday showing a Muscovite’s car displaying a bumper sticker saying ‘PiZdyets Zelensky’ in cyrillic text but with the ‘Z’ written with a roman letter; never let it be said that Russians don’t have a healthy sense of humour 🙂
      …’pizdyets’ is Russian for ‘twat’, or more accurately the harsher word, favoured by Derek and Clive:

      On the vulgarity of gloating over body counts, well I don’t see any credible evidence that Russian kontraktniy are being killed in huge numbers, so I assume this is also based on the figures being claimed by the Ukrainian ministry of truth, when they’re not busy cooking up Ghost of Kiev myths or blaming their massacre of ‘collaborators’ on Russian soldiers a week after they’ve left a town. On the other hand, every day brings more photographic and video evidence of the mounting losses to the Ukrops on any number of Telegram channels – none of which anything to cheer for, as Pointy has stated, the waste of humanity is a crime. And who are these poor buggers dying for? The clown of Kiev, Igor Kolomoisky, Janet Yelland, Hunter Biden or dizzy Lizzie Truss perhaps?

      As for the middle class feeling the cost of not having Maccas and Zara, again, I’m unsure where you’re getting your information, but no one in Russia seems to be complaining too much about such ‘losses’ and the holes in the market are being filled by enterprising locals, which eventually drives their economy toward even greater self-reliance. As for oligarchs, no one is too upset on their behalf; would you be upset if, say Mark Zuckerberg, had a yacht confiscated?

      Liked by 1 person

    • another ian says:

      Was that the one you could call “painting a scene”?

      Like that advertisement for “bomb proof Ukrainian glass and stucco in amongst the bombed cars” of a while back.

      And IIRC Hungry Jacks is still there to help with hamburger hunger


  2. John W. Garrett says:

    What’s the endgame? A permanent Europe-Russia/Belarus schism? Cold War II??


  3. Richard Ilfeld says:

    Lets assume that the US, in a few months, has a middle-of the road congress that can put the Biden Greenflaguration of both the economy and our foreign relations in stasis, and in two years an administration committed to, first, rebuilding the economy, and second, understanding that the world will arrange itself very much on a Sino-US axis. The Ukraine mess will hinge to a degree on whether or not the rump state retains access to the sea; if so it will still be viable exporting grain & energy in a decades long rebuild as a timorous neutral. If not shipment by land to and through Europe will be less profitble, and its importance will shrink.Russian grain and fuel and critical minerals will find ready markets, including in a cynical west, albeit in a more cold war attitude; the money will flow, the McDonalds, Levis, and exchange students not so much for a while. There will be some introspection, as the Russian military will need some work; Ukraine was tough suggesting
    a more capable, technological, better supplied, and fully prepared Western state not susceptable to WWI tactics is no longer a target; a wary NATO would now seem superior. The Putin regime under he or a successor might be preoccupied holding to power in the face of the now decremented Russian position in the world; they have the same strength, but it is certainly less well thought of.
    NATO may be plausible again for a decade or so as its primary mission seems real.

    So my guess is that Ukraine gets a cease-fire but not a settlement; if the dynamics of the US and Europe are still brain-dead green after the next election Russia will have the economic strength in the world to slowly absorb the majority of the fossil assets in the Ukraine east amoeba like and make the country a vassel state; the west will lose interest. If the US energy market is set free we are the marginal producer, Russia’s coffers, due to relatively high lift & infrastructure cost, shrink a lot, influence wains, Europe presses, and the price for Russian re-engagement with the world to full economic status is probably a more or less restored Ukraine with modest reparations.

    The Social damage is harder to quantify. If being “Russian” is like being “German” in the years after WWII for those in the intelligensia, there may be a serious brain drain, as expats leave, claim to have been against Putin and all he stood for, and try to rejoin the world culture as individuals. This may end up being the highest price Russia pays.


  4. philjourdan says:

    You can always find the truth if you know how to look in the fake news media. In this case, it is what they are NOT saying. While that does not paint a picture so anyone can connect the dots, it does portend that Zelenskyy is FOS, as is Biteme and most Western leaders.

    They paint a very rosy picture of Ukraine and how brave their soldiers are, yadda, yadda, yadda. Yet any “victories” that are written/reported about, within days turn out to be more hoaxes. So we know they are lying, but that does not mean they are saying the opposite of what is happening, because that would be too easy to expose.

    So it is what they are not talking about that is the truth. There are 2 types of lies, Commission, and Omission. This is a war of lies of Omission by the fake news media.


  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    I’ve seen suggestions – I can put them no higher – that the Chief of Staff of the USA army has suggested a ceasefire to the Russians.


  6. Shoshin says:

    I have a tough time seeing how this ends well for Ukraine. Russian supply lines are measured in inches and they really don’t care about death/loss/destruction/collateral damage.

    The only way out for Ukraine that I see is if Putin is somehow replaced by a Gorbachev-type leader, but I put the odds on that at virtually nil. And that is well beyond the control of either Ukraine or the West.

    As a layman, Russia’s plan looks pretty simple. Cut off Ukraine from the Black Sea and watch it wither on the vine. Stalin used a similar withering strategy in the 1930’s with the Holodomor, which starved millions of Ukrainians.

    Russia’s tactics are nothing subtle or fine; merely a blunt instrument used to bludgeon victims into submission.

    Mariupol is done. Donbass is in progress. After that comes Odessa. Not sure if anyone other that the Brandon administration and Justin Trudeau will be surprised when it happens.


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