Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Dogs of War

The savagery of Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians is heart wrenching and that is not a strong enough word. Their military is being beaten back rapidly or continuously blocked in the one area they continue to attack. So they take revenge on the civilian population in the occupied communities, by shelling villages all along the front or by rocket and bomb attacks on cities. 

You may have seen pictures on the news of atrocities committed in Bucha which was occupied just a short time early in the war, or from Izium which was liberated not long ago and now there will be more from Lyman which was liberated yesterday. And every other liberated community. Torture rooms in every one of them.

Or pictures of a little girl pushing her doll carriage and another 30 minutes later of her broken body lying dead after a rocket attack on a medical centre in western Ukraine. Or of a little boy putting a can of beans on his grandmother's grave after she starved to death. Or of parents mourning their dead children or children mourning their dead parents from artillery, bomb and rocket attacks. 

Tanya says she can hear the overhead activity every night as Krivii Rih comes under constant attack. And Dnipro City day or night. No one knows when or where the next rocket will hit. There are more dead and wounded every day. 

All of that I have been able to take, grief without tears. But I broke down and wept for the dogs who have lost their loved ones and mourn for them, not understanding why their people have been taken from them. The dog in Izium who found his master's grave and lay on it crying. The dog whose master was killed in a bomb attack and lay with his head on the man's feet not knowing what to do. But mostly the old dog, blinded and deafened by the bomb attack which killed his entire family, grandmother, mother and two children, who sat on the rubble and cried all night. They brought the war close to me as nothing else could.

I can fill the blog with pictures of death and devastation. War is a terrible thing. As Hawkeye said in M.A.S.H, "War is not hell, hell is hell, war is war". People in hell deserve to be there. People who suffer in war are by and large innocent.

A convoy of 6 cars riddled with bullet holes and burned to a crisp.
25 to 30 killed, half of them children

Crater from a rocket attack in Dnipro City. Just missed the bus depot

Weeping over the dead

People huddled in bomb shelters, sometimes for months

So what is the end game? For Ukraine, at a minimum it is driving every Russian out of Ukrainian territory followed by the removal of Putin and ideally the demilitarization and denazification of Russia. Russia must lose the same way Germany lost and be forced to face their past which they have never done. Otherwise a stab in the back mentality will arise and we know how that ends. Russia will continue to attack Ukraine with bombs and rockets from inside the Russian border and will eventually launch a full scale war against Ukraine in 10 years.

What is Biden's end game? Simple replacement of Putin appears to be Biden's objective not based on what he says but what he does. After the first Iraqi war, USA wanted a replacement for Hussain and encouraged a revolt BUT they only wanted him replaced internally with an easier to manage dictator from the Baath Party. When the Shia and Kurds rose up, they were abandoned and suffered greatly for it. America had no end game whatsoever after the second Iraqi war and the world is going to pay for that for a long time yet. 

Russia was and remains an empire with all power concentrated in Muscovy which includes St Petersburg. All other parts are treated as colonies with their wealth flowing to Moscow. When Putin is removed, one possibility is a struggle for power between the elites of the military, the FSB/GRU, the oligarchy, and the siloviki. That will end, either in making Russia a true federation or more likely with each territory becoming independent and then forming their own links with each other. 


  1. You are so very right that the primary sufferers from war are the innocents. And of course I include the animals in that. And ache and despair.

    1. Thank you for that

    2. For centuries, including WWII, horses were an integral part of the military. Pierced by spears and lances, torn up by cannon balls, starved, beaten. I hurt just thinking about them. Most of them, I suspect were loved by someone. The saddest picture was a WWI soldier cradling the head of his dying horse in his lap.

  2. \\a struggle for power between the elites of the military, the FSB/GRU, the oligarchy, and the siloviki.

    ALL THAT are "siloviki".
    It is usual for any country to have lots of different military and para-military structures.
    But in realities of USSR and now RFia... they all have degrees of freedom not seen in other countries... to play as an actors in a politics.
    But same time, and that is another odd pecularity.
    They still do not do that on their own. As in other countries.
    So, revolt against central power where Military, or FSB, or some para-militaries like "kadirovcy" would take the prime power... hardly it'll be that way.

    Such a big country need Ideology to unite around.
    And that is biggest problem for Putin's regime, as he have none, and even anti-ideological in its core. And now franticly trying to dress itself into some patchwork made from previous ideologies.
    But, sooner or later, people will see that that is nothing but "Emperor's New Clothes", means -- that King is Naked. :-))))))

    1. My vocabulary for the different factions that may be pitted against each other is lacking. But I disagree that they will not compete for power if Putin goes down. Nature abhors a vacuum.
      Yes, You are correct. The lack of a defining and uniting ideology has been pointed out many times as a failure of Putin's government. Becoming a great power does not cut it when things get really rough. Hence the need to hold RF together by fear and force.

  3. War is and always has been one long atrocity.

    1. Sadly so. The rich and powerful make war and the poor and powerless fight and die. Love is unnatural as a binding force but fear and hatred are more powerful. Sad isn't it.

  4. It all so sad.
    Coffee on and stay safe

  5. I have no words. I feel ill just thinking about it, and the photos are heart-wrenching.

  6. I am reading Fiona Hill's Mr Putin. She covers some of his history and formative years and the ways Russia has fallen apart and the ideas that try to hold it together, and the way Putin has used them to run the country currently. It is hard reading for me since the ideas are foreign as are the names and terms being translated from Russian. I continue on with it though because it gives insight into the way Putin and many Russians view their government and the world.
    I watch a YouTube channel called 1420. The young men survey people on many topics including the war and their government. The answers are interesting and at times puzzling from my perspective but Ms. Hill's book gives me some understanding of the relationship between the citizens and their government.
    As to war, particularly in this century, it seems more senseless than ever. The terror ripples around the world touching almost everyone in some way. I think that 99.9% of us just want to quietly live our lives. I just keep hoping it doesn't slog on for years.

    1. That should be a good book. I will put it on my wish list. Thank you. How long the war will last depends on when Russia runs out of missiles. Putin is not interested in territory. He simply wants to destroy Ukraine and Ukrainians.

  7. Naah.
    He wants territory. Up to the border. To have border with MOST vulnerable countires of NATO.
    For the sake of memory of Russian Empire Good Old Past.
    When Russian Tzars was "jandarmes of Europe".

    About people he do not care... as he see, on example of his slaves-russians, he can have whatever number he wants and whatever he wants with them.
    There even too many of em... pensioners especially.


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