Global Research, July 05, 2022
Make no mistake: this latest development is a major blow to the Zelensky regime, but it will be even more devastating for the geographically-challenged boffins in Washington and London, who are still determined to paint every resounding defeat for Kiev as a ‘strategic pause’.
Over the weekend, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke to President Vladimir Putin, informing the leader that Luhansk region has been “liberated.”
Yes, that means all of Luhansk.
This is true game changer on many fronts. Firstly, it brings Russia one step closer to securing one of its primary strategical objectives: securing the administrative borders of the newly independent Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR). Militarily, the significance of this is self-evident – breaking a protracted stalemate which saw many thousands killed and maimed in an eight-year long civil war between residents and Kiev’s radical nationalist battalions. Western politicos and punditry can invoke ‘international law’ ad nauseam, but the path ahead for Russia and its allies is now clear; the legal and political implications of securing these regions will ballast any future negotiations, especially in regard to any aspirations for statehood, or in holding a referendum to join the Russian Federation.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise to those observers who’ve been actually following the daily bulletins and reports coming out of Moscow, along with a number of Russian bloggers and Telegram channels which have established a near unblemished record in terms of accuracy since this conflict began.
Still, despite all this, spinmeisters in Kiev have not yet confirmed Moscow’s claim of the liberation of Luhansk. In the last 48 hours, the shuddering propaganda shop in Kiev (much of their ‘information operations’ are being micromanaged by Uncle Sam’s Disinfo HQ in Stuttgart and Langley) has been busy throwing up sunbursts claiming that Russia is actually losing in the town of Lysychansk.
It’s almost surreal seeing the stark difference in coverage between the two sides in this conflict. You can almost hear the infighting going on behind the scenes between Kiev’s version of Terry Gilliam’s two super bureaucrats played by Michael Palin and Jonathan Pryce, arguing between the departments of ‘information retrieval’ and ‘information dispersal.’ Lost amid the reams of cables and ‘intel’. So much Intel knocking around at the moment, especially on US cable news.
Relax says the BBC, ‘Do not listen to the Kremlin – we’re winning!’
Putting aside for a moment President Zelensky’s daily celebrity photo-ops, it’s become apparent that Kiev’s information operations have descended into a complete farce. Everyone can see it, except for hopelessly loyal western media operatives who still hang on their every word. Hence, western MSM reporting will remain 48 to 72 hours late on pretty much everything.
So Allied forces of Russia, DPR, and LPR have taken control of the entire Luhansk region, in what is fast becoming former eastern Ukraine (as painful as that may sound, it’s true). This key milestone was declared after capturing the final Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) holdout in the town of Lysychansk.
“After successful military operations, Russian forces and the Luhansk People’s Militia established full control over the city of Lysychansk and a number of nearby settlements,” said Shoigu.
The other reason this is a game changer is that Allied forces can now shift their battlefield focus to the neighbouring Donetsk region, making the encirclement of any remaining entrenched AFU positions a practical fait accompli.
This also means that Kiev’s tenuous hold over Kharkov, Ukraine’s second-largest city, is now in jeopardy. For the most part, this is largely a Russian city, although currently controlled by radical Ukrainian nationalist military units. However, as soon as residents there sense that their city is becoming a focal point of the conflict, you could see a rejection of radical militants’ governing authority in much the same way that the people in Mariupol began rejecting the Nazi Azov battalion occupation of that city, resulting in a pitch battle between Ukrainian militants and a vastly superior Russian-led coalition. It’s just a question of time now – time which the Allied forces fortunately have, but which a flagging regime in Kiev and its NATO controllers unfortunately do not.
By now, it would be hard not to underscore what an epic failure the western propaganda effort has been. It’s becoming embarrassing to watch, and it comes with some very real consequences. While it’s understandable why a US-UK dominated NATO would want to brainwash its own populations about how ‘the war’ is going (that’s what governments normally do anyway, especially with proxy wars), the real problem arises when western politicians, ministers and military experts – all start to repeat and believe the fanciful propaganda that’s being churned out by their own official sources. History shows that this is a surefire recipe for defeat. We’ve entered that warped phase in the conflict now, where western policy vis-à-vis Ukraine is being based upon overly optimistic and completely false reporting, both of which is further contorting the West’s military, economic and political positions, not to mention Ukraine’s own increasingly precarious predicament.
For instance, the following script line has been dutifully inserted in nearly every single western news release on the Ukraine war; you can always locate it halfway down any article, something along the lines of, “Russia was driven back from the Ukrainian capital Kiev following its Feb. 24 invasion…”, by now a mandatory caveat for every Ukraine report, specifically designed to hammer home the impression that Russia was somehow caught by surprise and beaten back by a “brave Ukrainian resistance,” and thus finds itself in a state of perpetual retreat. Victory for Zelensky must be right around the corner then. Goebbels always said, “Repeat, repeat, repeat,” although today it’s more like “copy, paste, copy, paste, copy, paste.”
That’s what our mainstream press and government do incessantly. The reality is something completely different: Russia’s initial feint of encircling Kiev early on effectively tied most of Ukraine’s primary military forces which were moved to fortify the capital while Russian and DPR forces swiftly took control of key strategic nodes around the country, including the port city of Mariupol, and begun the encirclement of AFU divisions in Donbass. After pulling back from Kiev, the Allied forces have systematically routed NATO-backed AFU regiments in what looks like one of the most decisive military movements of the modern era. You can see the results of this by looking at any of the up-to-date battle maps. That’s the reality of the situation, and no amount of creative wordsmithing by the battery of professional propagandists embedded in western media outlets can change that.
One has to wonder though: do western journalists and the legion of TV ‘military experts’ even read the daily Russian battle maps? Judging by the lack of quality and accuracy in western reportage and punditry, it doesn’t seem like they do. But who really knows. Perhaps they’re afraid of succumbing to the nefarious influence of “dangerous Russian disinformation,” or worse yet – maybe they are being blocked by their own government censors, who decided to ban the likes of RT International, Sputnik, and Southfront from their airwaves and ISPs. We’re told this is because we need to protect vulnerable western minds from undue influence abroad.
Indeed, any student of history will tell you that at various junctures in history, depending on which side of the iron curtain you find yourself on, facts can be very dangerous.
When it comes to geopolitical commentary, this shouldn’t be a question of favoring one side or the other. It’s about calling balls and strikes. If the Braves are beating the Astros 8-1 in the bottom of the eight, it shouldn’t be a faux pas to report that you’re watching an epic blow-out in the making.
Our media and government officials refuse to call it as it is, but they do so at everyone’s peril. Not least of all the poor Ukrainians who are presently losing circa 300 soldiers per day, and with many more injured. Hardly Slava Ukraini! (Glory to Ukraine!), but more likely they’re needlessly dying for the sake of this latest NATO vanity project. It’s hard to see the glory in that, something the people of Libya can certainly attest to.
How many more of its young men, and how much more territory will Ukraine have to lose before NATO’s brain trust finally says ‘enough’?
That’s to say nothing about the western economy, battered by western sanctions that were supposed to cripple Russia. We’re still trying to work that one out.
None of it makes sense anymore, unless you’re in the defense industry. Then it all makes perfect sense.
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This article was originally published on 21st Century Wire.
Author Patrick Henningsen is an American writer and global affairs analyst and founder of independent news and analysis site 21st Century Wire, and is host of the SUNDAY WIRE weekly radio show broadcast globally over the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR). He has written for a number of international publications and has done extensive on-the-ground reporting in the Middle East including work in Syria and Iraq. See his archive here.
Featured image: Russian President Putin meets with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. (Source: 21st CW)
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Patrick Henningsen, Global Research, 2022