Khakovka dam [Source:]

Predictions of imminent collapse of Russian army are fanciful

The Western media have widely celebrated the retreat of Russian forces from the city of Kherson, presenting the Ukrainians as liberators of the city and the Russian retreat as an example of the weakness of the Russian army and its impending collapse.

However, the same media have a track record of biased and misleading coverage of the Ukraine war that leads one to question its veracity in all aspects of its reporting.

With regards to Kherson, the media has failed to acknowledge that the Russian retreat was a calculated one designed in part to save the Nova Kakhovka dam, which the Ukrainians had threatened to blow up in an act of state terrorism.

The Kakhovka dam with the immense amount of water, the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, May 2022. [Source: Photo Courtesy of Sonja Van den Ende]

The Kakhovka dam has an associated lock and power station with an installed capacity of 357 megawatts. The water from its reservoir cools the 5.7 gigawatt Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and flows through the North Crimean Canal to irrigate large areas of southern Ukraine and northern Crimea.

If the Ukrainians had attacked the Kakhovka dam, it would mean that Crimea would run out of water and it could lead to a nuclear fallout, which Russia had warned about for weeks.

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant [Source:]
Kherson Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant May 2022. [Source: Photo Courtesy of Sonja Van Den Ende]

Though a public relations disaster, military experts believe that the Russian retreat from Kherson will have no discernible impact on the outcome of the war.

Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former senior adviser to the Secretary of Defense under Donald Trump, said that Russia’s repositioning of troops was part of a new strategy under General Sergei Surovikin, the former commander of Russian forces in Syria, in which Russia plans to shuffle troops around in preparation for winter offensive operations designed to annihilate the enemy across southern Ukraine.

Sergei Surovikin with Vladimir Putin in 2017. [Source:]

Macgregor said that he regarded the Kherson withdrawal as “an operational decision with short-term benefit in support of the long-term strategy of building this enormous striking power.”

Colonel Douglas Macgregor [Source:]

These comments suggest that Volodymyr Zelensky’s hailing the Russian retreat from Kherson as “the beginning of the end of the war” is completely at odds with reality. One recalls the euphoric claims of Generals during the Korea and Vietnam Wars that U.S. troops would be home by Christmas, which will likely be regarded in the same vein.

Stage Set For U.S. Combat Troops?

According to Macregor, secret communications between national security advisor Jake Sullivan and the former Russian ambassador to Washington, Yuri Yushakov, and the former head of the FSB, Nikolai Patrushev, suggest that Sullivan warned his Russian counterparts that the U.S. would not allow Russia to settle the conflict on its own terms, but would take whatever steps were needed to prevent a decisive Russian victory.

Jake Sullivan [Source:]

Macgregor told an interviewer that “if Russia escalated, presumably—on the scale that we think the Russians will escalate—that we (the U.S.) might be prepared to jump in. And we would jump in with 40,000 US troops, 30,000 Polish troops and 20,000 Romanian troops….. Sullivan made it clear that we are in a position to intervene.” 

World War III No Longer Seems Far Away

That the western dogs of war were on the loose was apparent last month when a UN official accused Russia of providing its troops with viagra so they could carry out mass rapes; a propaganda claim that had been recycled from the Libyan War when Muammar Qaddafi was accused by U.S. ambassador Susan Rice of giving his troops viagra on the eve of the U.S.-NATO invasion in 2011.

A potential pretext for U.S. military intervention in Ukraine was an incident on November 15 when Ukraine accused Russia of launching a missile barrage across the border of Poland, though President Biden defused the situation by acknowledging that it was a Ukrainian air defense missile. But the start of World War III no longer seemed far away.

Polish security officers cordon off blast site on November 15. [Source:]

The Referendum

In a referendum, held in Donbass from September 23 to 26, 96% of the population voted to become part of Russia. Kherson had also voted to be part of Russia prior to the Ukrainian reoccupation of the city. The Russians consequently consider Kherson to be part of Russia, and will eventually seek to retake it as a matter of its legal duty.

City center of Kherson May 2022. [Source: Photo courtesy of Sonja Van den Ende]

I was an international observer during the referendum for the Netherlands. Normally, this is the job of parliamentarians or organizations like the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) but the Western countries say they are in “war with Russia.” So that’s how I became a delegate to the referendum as a journalist.

Western countries consider the referendums to be “shams.” However, they overlook the historical attachment of the regions of Eastern Ukraine to Russia and sentiments of the people who consider the Russians as protectors from Ukrainian army terror.

In my capacity as an international observer in Lugansk city and Oblast, I visited about 30 polling stations where everything was carried out in accord with democratic values from what I could see.

Voting in Lugansk city, 26 September 2022. [Source: Photo courtesy of Sonja van den Ende]

The Escalation

I think we’re going to see an escalation in the coming months. The American empire along with NATO will do everything in their power to defeat Russia and they want to implement a regime change, as they have attempted to do since the end of World War II.

Russia has now mobilized 300,000 troops that will soon take up the fight at the front against the American Empire and its vassal NATO states, which are waging an effective proxy war.

More troops will probably be mobilized if necessary. The factories in Russia are running at high speed to produce tanks and other equipment for the front.

Russian factory of BTR-82A 8×8 armored vehicle personnel carrier [Source: Photo courtesy of Vitaly Kuzmin]

Ukraine has slammed all doors to negotiations. Perhaps as many suggest, “secret” negotiations are taking place with the American Empire, though knowing the track record, I would doubt it.

*This article was written with the assistance of Jeremy Kuzmarov

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  1. Key points are that Russians forces there were not under attack, and Ukraine didn’t have the forces to conquer a city such as Kherson where urban combat heavily favors defenders. It was widely reported that Ukrainian leaders were so surprised they thought it a trap! Russia will defeat Ukraine soon and must clean up whatever mess remains, so leaving an important dam intact is important.

  2. I don’t know if either of these governments deserves trust or support. If after the next Republican primary, Trumpers and Santisistas start accusing each other of rigging the election and draw their AR15s on each other, do we have an opinion on which should win??? Neo-Nazi or Neo-Tsarist: which is more racist, antisemitic, queerphobic, mysogynist? Is it all Western propaganda that says that Russian men of fighting age are fleeing or fighting conscription and mothers are attempting to hide their sons from fighting in Ukraine? Seems very close to the descriptions of 105 years ago from a Western establishment who you’d think not to want that situation to repeat itself! But what else is the left to do in that region but endeavor to work for an alternative to either the governments currently to the west OR to the east of them?

  3. This dam has been a very important source of income for Ukraine. As of 2019, the dam was profitable bringing 6.1 million UAH to local government budgets and 44.6 million UAH to the national income. Thus, it does not make any sense that Ukraine would want to destroy something that is very important for the country.

  4. From the very beginning of the Ukraine War, BOTH sides AND their supporters have been lying about what has actually been going on. While having no respect or trust in the reporting of the war by the US press, the quality of its coverage, compared to this latest CAM article, is yet still at a higher level than any I have found on the subject in Covert Action, a magazine for which I once had the greatest respect. Sadly, it has apparently become nothing more than an instrument of Russian propaganda.

  5. The Russians have withdrawn not just from Kherson City but from Nova Kakhovka. T

    he Ukrainians immediately claimed that the Russians had damaged the dam, as an attempt to cause a catastrophe!

    However, this is clear justification for the Russian withdrawal.

    With the Ukrainians now in control of the dam, it is harder for them to shell it and cause damage and then blame the Russians.

    Why the Russians would want to damage a dam whose water they need is one of those questions that the Media will not pose.

    As for NATO intervention, that’s an empty threat — they simply don’t have the resources. And besides that could lead to a nuclear exchange.

    In any case, these events show the weakness of the West. The ground is still muddy. In few weeks, it should freeze. By Xmas, the Russians should be ready for a major New Year’s offensive.

    Russian strategy is pretty clear, as I write here:

    The weakness of the West here;

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