This is about the worst possible time to be a Ukrainian Nazi. I hate to have to bring them up again and again. Luckily, I won’t have to keep doing so for much longer: they are going extinct rather rapidly. But while they are doing so, truly horrible things are going on. To recap, the purpose of Russia’s Special Military Operation in the Ukraine, is demilitarization and denazification of the Ukraine… and providing security to Donetsk and Lugansk regions… and Kherson region, and Zaporozhye, and Kharkov, and Nikolaev… and Odessa… and then holding referenda in any and all of the above on them joining the Russian Federation. Call it mission creep. But it’s the right kind of mission creep from the Russian perspective: Russia’s borders are creeping in the right direction and encompassing more and more of the historically Russian lands. These were part of the Wild Field first settled by Russians under Catherine the Great, putting an end to foreign incursions by Poles and Turks and raids by nomadic tribesmen.
But what about the initial goals of demilitarization and denazification. The way the demilitarization is going is described by boring charts regularly published by Russia’s Defense Ministry: so many tanks, howitzers, APCs, mortars, rocket launchers, drones and helicopters destroyed. By now 267 population centers, large and small, have been liberated, although some of them are still being shelled using mortars and artillery. By now, the Russians have destroyed much of the initial, Soviet-legacy war materiel and are busy chewing through the NATO-supplied western armaments.
At this rate, the Ukrainian forces will have nothing to fight with. Already artillery shells and mortars are being rationed, each firing just a handful of missiles a day, just enough to dissuade the Russians from overrunning their defensive positions. Already several of the larger NATO countries, which were at first willing to provide weapons to the Ukrainians, are having second thoughts; first, because, instead of being used in combat in the Ukraine, these weapons are showing up on international black markets, very reasonably priced; and second, because they are becoming rather short of weapons.
So much for demilitarization; but what about denazification? Here we are forced to introduce a new vocabulary word. Previously, really bad battlefield losses were often referred to as a decimation—after Latin “decima” or one-tenth. Losing a tenth of a company or a battalion was generally considered bad enough for morale to plummet enough to force a retreat or a capitulation. But recent and current battlefield losses among the Ukrainians have often amounted not to a tenth but to half the armed contingent! Thus, instead of decimation, we have to introduce a new Latin term: dimidiation.
The Russians are attempting to expel the Ukrainian Nazis and occupy and annex the territory with minimal losses. To this end, they use a combination of artillery, drones and electronic countermeasures. The around-the-clock artillery barrages, with trainloads of shells delivered to the frontlines on a daily basis, are being used to disassemble hardened concrete bunkers along the Ukrainians’ defensive lines and to dimidiate the Ukrainian troops hiding therein. The artillery fire is being made extremely accurate by the use of small, inexpensive drones, which allow its aim to be perfected. Electronic countermeasures deafen and blind the Ukrainian troops, rendering them unable to communicate with their command or to obtain battlefield intelligence.
Finding it hopeless to accurately target the Russian forces, they instead fire randomly in the general direction of nearby civilian areas, specializing in targets that can’t possibly fire back. Just recently a Ukrainian tank, on what is still Ukrainian-controlled territory in the former Mennonite colony called New York, pulled up to a kindergarten called “Goldfish” and fired its cannon at it, point blank.
But this is a trifle; far more serious are Ukrainian efforts to destroy civilian infrastructure and industrial installations. As a result of these efforts, parts of Donetsk remain with electricity and water for days on end as crews rush to restore service, working under sporadic bombardment. The Ukrainians have also taken to shelling bridges across the Dnepr, hoping that this will slow the Russians’ advance.
And the most heinous such effort of all is the Ukrainian shelling, from across the Dnepr, of the Zaparozhskaya nuclear power plant. With its six relatively modern Russian-built reactors, it is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and has formerly supplied fully a quarter of the Ukraine’s electricity needs. The reactors themselves are protected by shells of steel and concrete several meters thick that are unlikely to be breached by the shelling, but there are also spent fuel pools on site that have to be continuously cooled using circulation pumps, and these require an intact electricity supply. These can potentially be damaged to a point where the spent fuel assembles burst into flame and contaminate much of Central and Western Ukraine, as well as much of Eastern Europe, with long-lived radionuclides, driving up cancer rates for many generations.
That the Ukrainians are bombarding the nuclear power plant using US-supplied weapons and, quite obviously, with US-sanction, illustrates the utter contempt the Americans feel for the well-being of their European allies. And, for all we know, the Americans’ European vassals may even welcome the possibility of another Chernobyl on which to blame their economic fiascos. The cynicism behind such calculations is simply breathtaking!
It is useful to look back and see whether reality matches predictions. Back on March 10th, 2022 (which seems like ages ago) I wrote the following on the subject of denazification:
“There are three phases; two of them are taking place right now, and one will take place once peace is established on the entire territory of the former Ukraine. Phase 1 is to physically kill the Nazis; the Russian military is taking care of that, with hundreds of dead Nazis accumulating daily. Phase 2 is to have the Nazis run off to the European Union: if they like their Nazis, they can have their Nazis. It would be a supreme irony if it ends up that Germany is forced to organize concentration camps for Nazis and to herd all of these loose Ukrainian war criminals into them.
“And then there is Phase 3: taking care of those Nazis, near-Nazis, Nazi sympathizers and various assorted criminal types who stay and go into hiding, trying to blend in with the civilian population. Well, the civilian population is sure to remember who held them hostage and tortured them while the Russians tried to organize humanitarian corridors for them to escape or to deliver humanitarian aid to keep them fed! All that’s needed will be to offer a financial reward to anyone who reports them. In many cases that won’t even be needed: we live in the age of Big Data and the Russians are recording every phone call and every text message. All the Nazis have been pinned down to a location, voice-printed and their photos have been fed into face recognition software. Quoting George W. Bush, ‘they can run, but they can’t hide.'”
Now, a mere five months later, we see that Phases 1 and 2 are coming right along, with lots of Ukrainian Nazis scattered to the four winds of the European Union and beyond while somewhere around five hundred of their brethren are dispatched to their maker on a daily basis. Phase 3 turned out to be a nonevent on the territories the Russians have liberated because the locals have generally refused to provide shelter to the Nazis who attempted to hide in their midst and these were rounded up and sent to prison camps together with the other Ukrainian POWs. It seems too early to tell how it will turn out in the rest of the former Ukraine… and beyond. After all, those who provided arms, training, intelligence and money to the Nazis are not exactly free of the Nazi contagion. Where will the Russian denazification operation have to end? Will it be another instance of mission creep? Or perhaps the Europeans will wake up and take care of their own Nazis without Russian help? We should certainly hope so!
(Please subscribe to Dmytry’s blog)