May 9th Draws Nigh

 

That’s the glorious Victory Day in Russia, celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany. The very great and completely correct architect of the special military operation would like to have the pelt of a pacified, defeated, “deNazified” Ukraine to wave from the viewing stands, but there are problems.  I’m sure he’ll come up with something to satisfy the Z-ombies, but there have been troublesome developments at home. Lots of explodey moments in the last few days:

Bryansk, on Sunday:

Large fires have been reported at an oil depot in the Russian city of Bryansk, which is approximately the halfway point between Moscow and Kyiv. Multiple explosions were reportedly heard, but there’s no evidence of an attack from Ukraine into Russian territory.

The smoking lamp was off, Ivan. C’mon. 

Kineshma, last week: 

Huge plumes of smoke can be seen rising above the Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant in the city of Kineshma, which is around 250 miles east of Moscow. According to the company’s website, the plant is the “largest producer of butyl acetate and industrial solvents in Russia and Eastern Europe”.

It’s the biggest plant in Russia. They need that stuff. 

Tver, last week:

Seven people have been killed after a huge fire broke out at a key Russian defence research institute in Tver, north-west of Moscow, according to reports.

The fire erupted in an administrative building of the aerospace defence forces’ central research institute, which operates under the Russian defence ministry. It quickly engulfed the building’s upper three floors, forcing those inside to jump from windows and causing the roof to cave in.

Photographs of the main building showed it completely gutted by fire.

This doesn’t include the explosion at the fuel depot supplying the invasion force, attributed to Uke action. Of course, it’s a big country, and things explode every day. These things wouldn’t have been big news before, because who cares if systemic corruption and laxity crimps their paint thinner availability. But it matters now, in the teeth of a war, because it raises the specter of devious Uke Ninja saboteurs, or domestic wreckers (unlikely), or an opportunity for Mr. Sour to blame lousy safety and fire-suppression on the perfidious alliance devoted to humiliating Russia. Some shout “False Flag!” But that’s nonsense. Why would Putin take out a strategic asset when he can blow up an apartment building in Moscow and get the same outrage?

Meanwhile, in other completely coincidental news:

Two Russian oligarchs, their wives, and their children were found dead just a day apart, prompting police investigations into whether the incidents were suicides or a result of foul play.

Vladislav Avayev and Sergey Protosenya were found dead in their homes, with officials suspecting domestic disputes in both cases, according to reports from local outlets in Russia and Spain. Each was framed as a murder-suicide, police said, although that is not confirmed at this time.

You wonder whether this was indeed a domestic matter, or the FSB nipping a plot in the bud with the extra violence to send a message. 

May 9th will be interesting. 

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  1. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    The word is that Putin is conscripting captured Ukrainian prisoners.  That may be a really bad idea for Putin, but great news for Ukraine.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Back on April 1, the Russians accused the Ukrainians of attacking an oil depot near Belgorod. They were quite upset. Who knew military incursions on sovereign territory could be so triggering?

    • #2
  3. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Here is a clip on those mysterious fires and explosions.

    • #3
  4. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    I saw the news story about the lab and chemical plant fires.  There was also a news story last week about a bunch of fires at the meat processing facilities in the US.   Are these all a thing?  Are the they two things?  Or, are they common things that are being elevated incorrectly?    Same for the Russian oligarchs.  Are they murdered all the time or are these cases unusual??

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    I saw the news story about the lab and chemical plant fires. There was also a news story last week about a bunch of fires at the meat processing facilities in the US. Are these all a thing? Are the they two things? Or, are they common things that are being elevated incorrectly? Same for the Russian oligarchs. Are they murdered all the time or are these cases unusual??

    Hard to say.  When I went to search for news on the topic of the meat processing fires, the top search result was one of Putin’s U.S. propaganda outlets.  But there are also other articles that don’t seem to be from that kind of source.

    As for the oligarchs, that, too, is hard to say. Putin had about 100 journalists murdered before his media became as complaint compliant as Biden’s.   But  who in this country knows the names of any of them besides Anna Politkovskaya?  I certainly don’t.

    • #5
  6. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    James Lileks: May 9th will be interesting. 

    My concern is if Putin realizes he can’t finish the Ukraine by May 9th, he’ll resort to nukes . . .

    • #6
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Stad (View Comment):

    James Lileks: May 9th will be interesting.

    My concern is if Putin realizes he can’t finish the Ukraine by May 9th, he’ll resort to nukes . . .

    That’s Putin’s concern, too.  Maybe that concern accounts for his recent body language.

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Zelenskyy is warning us about Putin’s possible use of tactical nukes:

    The likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine is growing, local experts say.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “all of the countries of the world” should prepare for the possibility of tactical nuclear weapons on CNN earlier this week.

    Tactical nuclear weapons are typically described as smaller nuclear weapons that can be used in a targeted way on the battlefield, used at shorter ranges for “tactical” attacks use during military operations.

    Harvard scholar Oleh Kotsyuba and Northeastern University professors Mai’a Cross and Pablo Calderon explained why Putin would use tactical nuclear weapons and what the outcome might be during NBC10 Boston’s weekly series, “Russia-Ukraine Q&A.”

    Putin is under mounting pressure to secure a victory. After failing to take Kyiv, the capital, in the early weeks of its multipronged invasion, Russia has since narrowed its objectives by focusing on the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting since 2014.

    “There’s been the possibility of a nuclear escalation from the beginning but in some ways, it’s more possible now,” Cross said. “Mainly because the Russian military is weakening and there’s a kind of growing desperation I think on the part of Putin to be able to say that, in some way, he has won.”

    Meanwhile, Russia’s annual Victory Day, celebrated on May 9, is drawing near. The holiday commemorates Russia’s World War II triumph with troops parading through Moscow’s Red Square alongside military hardware including intercontinental ballistic missile launchers. 

    “Putin needs some kind of a victory,” Kotsyuba said, pointing to the holiday. “The question is, of course, ‘What is the real goal of using a tactical nuclear weapon?'”

    • #8
  9. Hank Rhody is a different guy altogether Member
    Hank Rhody is a different guy altogether
    @Misthiocracy

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    The word is that Putin is conscripting captured Ukrainian prisoners. That may be a really bad idea for Putin, but great news for Ukraine.

    Ethnic Ukrainians or Russian-Ukrainians?

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    MarciN (View Comment):
    MarciN @MarciN 4 Hours Ago

    Zelenskyy is warning us about Putin’s possible use of tactical nukes:

    The likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine is growing, local experts say.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “all of the countries of the world” should prepare for the possibility of tactical nuclear weapons on CNN earlier this week.

    Would using tactical nukes on CNN really be so bad?

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    MarciN @ MarciN 4 Hours Ago

    Zelenskyy is warning us about Putin’s possible use of tactical nukes:

    The likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine is growing, local experts say.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “all of the countries of the world” should prepare for the possibility of tactical nuclear weapons on CNN earlier this week.

    Would using tactical nukes on CNN really be so bad?

    Misplaced modifiers are so much fun. :-) 

     

    • #11
  12. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    MarciN @ MarciN 4 Hours Ago

    Zelenskyy is warning us about Putin’s possible use of tactical nukes:

    The likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine is growing, local experts say.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “all of the countries of the world” should prepare for the possibility of tactical nuclear weapons on CNN earlier this week.

    Would using tactical nukes on CNN really be so bad?

    He already got CNN+.  

    • #12
  13. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    MarciN @ MarciN 4 Hours Ago

    Zelenskyy is warning us about Putin’s possible use of tactical nukes:

    The likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine is growing, local experts say.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “all of the countries of the world” should prepare for the possibility of tactical nuclear weapons on CNN earlier this week.

    Would using tactical nukes on CNN really be so bad?

    He already got CNN+.

    And it’s not like the devastation would be total, anyone standing behind Brian Stelter would be safe.

    • #13
  14. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Stad (View Comment):

    James Lileks: May 9th will be interesting.

    My concern is if Putin realizes he can’t finish the Ukraine by May 9th, he’ll resort to nukes . . .

    which May 9th?   Perhaps 2023 is the deadline.

     

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    James Lileks: May 9th will be interesting.

    My concern is if Putin realizes he can’t finish the Ukraine by May 9th, he’ll resort to nukes . . .

    which May 9th? Perhaps 2023 is the deadline.

    Not likely, if Putin apparently thought he could win in just days, if not hours.

    But then again, claiming he REALLY meant 2023, could be a not-very-credible CYA.

     

    • #15
  16. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    James Lileks: May 9th will be interesting.

    My concern is if Putin realizes he can’t finish the Ukraine by May 9th, he’ll resort to nukes . . .

    which May 9th? Perhaps 2023 is the deadline.

    Not likely, if Putin apparently thought he could win in just days, if not hours.

    But then again, claiming he REALLY meant 2023, could be a not-very-credible CYA.

     

    It can be a deadline now without having been a consideration then.

    • #16
  17. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    The British SAS has spent some time training Ukrainians. The rumor is that the alleged “sabotage” attacks have all the marks of a behind-the-lines British SAS operation.

    • #17
  18. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    MarciN @ MarciN 4 Hours Ago

    Zelenskyy is warning us about Putin’s possible use of tactical nukes:

    The likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine is growing, local experts say.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “all of the countries of the world” should prepare for the possibility of tactical nuclear weapons on CNN earlier this week.

    Would using tactical nukes on CNN really be so bad?

    He already got CNN+.

    Pssst!  CNN+ was the tactical nuke.

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    MarciN @ MarciN 4 Hours Ago

    Zelenskyy is warning us about Putin’s possible use of tactical nukes:

    The likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine is growing, local experts say.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “all of the countries of the world” should prepare for the possibility of tactical nuclear weapons on CNN earlier this week.

    Would using tactical nukes on CNN really be so bad?

    He already got CNN+.

    Pssst! CNN+ was the tactical nuke.

    Maybe.  But it may have never been intended to really be successful, just a way to extract a few hundred megabucks before Discovery took over and prevented them from doing it.  At least that may explain why they did the quick launch and then quick shutdown.  Presto, they just made 300-million-plus disappear!

    • #19
  20. Captain French Moderator
    Captain French
    @AlFrench

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “all of the countries of the world” should prepare for the possibility of tactical nuclear weapons on CNN earlier this week.

    Maybe that’s what happened to CNN+

    Edit: should have read ahead.

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    MarciN @ MarciN 4 Hours Ago

    Zelenskyy is warning us about Putin’s possible use of tactical nukes:

    The likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine is growing, local experts say.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “all of the countries of the world” should prepare for the possibility of tactical nuclear weapons on CNN earlier this week.

    Would using tactical nukes on CNN really be so bad?

    Overkill. Three or four thermobaric bombs ought to do it.

    Six, tops.

    • #21
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