Jun 062023

Thomas Cole The Course of Empire – The Savage State 1834



I had some discussion with Andrew about this article, since the December 2022 WaPo article he refers to was not the first time Kiev’s plans to blow up the dam were mentioned. There was this, for instance, 2 months earlier. Then again, Andrew is right in saying that the WaPo piece is the first where people other than Zelensky mention it. And we agree that now blaming the attack on Russia is really out of left field. Those darn Russkies keep on aiming for their own feet. And that’s the only thing(s) they can hit.



Andrew Korybko:
The partial destruction of the Kakhovka Dam on early Tuesday morning saw Kiev and Moscow exchange accusations about who’s to blame, but a report from the Washington Post (WaPo) in late December extends credence to the Kremlin’s version of events. Titled “Inside the Ukrainian counteroffensive that shocked Putin and reshaped the war”, its journalists quoted former commander of November’s Kherson Counteroffensive Major General Andrey Kovalchuk who shockingly admitted to planning this war crime:

“Kovalchuk considered flooding the river. The Ukrainians, he said, even conducted a test strike with a HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates at the Nova Kakhovka dam, making three holes in the metal to see if the Dnieper’s water could be raised enough to stymie Russian crossings but not flood nearby villages. The test was a success, Kovalchuk said, but the step remained a last resort. He held off.”

His remark about how “the step remained a last resort” is pertinent to recall at present considering that the first phase of Kiev’s NATObacked counteroffensive completely failed on Monday according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. Just like Ukraine launched its proxy invasion of Russia in late May to distract from its loss in the Battle of Artyomovsk, so too might does it seem to have gone through with Kovalchuk’s planned war crime to distract from this most recent embarrassment as well.

The abovementioned explanation isn’t as far-fetched as some might initially think either. After all, one of complexity theory’s precepts is that initial conditions at the onset of non-linear processes can disproportionately shape the outcome. In this context, the first failed phase of Kiev’s counteroffensive risked ruining the entire campaign, which could have prompted its planners to employ Kovalchuk’s “last resort” in order to introduce an unexpected variable into the equation that might improve their odds.

Russia had over 15 months to entrench itself in Ukraine’s former eastern and southern regions that Kiev still claims as its own through the construction of various defensive structures and associated contingency planning so as to maintain its control over those territories. It therefore follows that even the most properly supplied and thought-out counteroffensive wasn’t going to be a walk in the park contrary to the Western public’s expectations, thus explaining why the first phase just failed.

This reality check shattered whatever wishful thinking expectations Kiev might have had since it showed that the original plan of swarming the Line of Contact (LOC) entails considerable costs that reduce the chances of it succeeding unless serious happens behind the front lines to distract the Russian defenders. Therein lies the strategic reason behind partially destroying the Kakhovka Dam on Tuesday morning exactly as Kovalchuk proved late last year is possible to pull off per his own admission to WaPo.

The first of Kiev’s goals that this terrorist attack served was to prompt global concern about the safety of the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which relies on water from the now-rapidly-depleting Kakhovka Reservoir for cooling. The International Atomic Energy Agency said that there’s “no immediate nuclear safety risk”, but a latent one can’t be ruled out. Should a crisis transpire, then it could throw Russia’s defenses in northern Zaporozhye Region into chaos.

The second goal is that the downstream areas of Kherson Region, which are divided between Kiev and Moscow, have now been flooded. Although the water might eventually recede after some time, this could complicate Russia’s defensive plans along the left bank of the Dnieper River. Taken together with the consequences connected to the first scenario, this means that a significant part of the riparian front behind the LOC could soon soften up to facilitate the next phase of Kiev’s counteroffensive.

In fact, the geographic scope of Kiev’s “unconventional softening operation” might even expand to Crimea due to the threat that Tuesday morning’s terrorist attack could pose to the peninsula’s water supply via its eponymous canal. The regional governor said that sufficient supplies remain for now but that the coming days will reveal the level of risk. While Crimea still managed to survive Kiev’s blockade of the canal for eight years, there’s no doubt that this development is disadvantageous for Russia.

The fourth strategic goal builds upon the three that were already discussed and concerns the psychological warfare component of this attack. On the foreign front, Kiev’s gaslighting that Moscow is guilty of “ecocide” was amplified by the Mainstream Media in spite of Kovalchuk’s damning admission to WaPo last December in order to maximize global pressure on Russia, while the domestic front is aimed at sowing panic in Ukraine’s former regions with the intent of further softening Russia’s defenses there.

And finally, the last strategic goal that was served by partially destroying the Kakhovka Dam is that Russia might soon be thrown into a dilemma. Kiev’s “unconventional softening operation” along the Kherson-Zaporozhye LOC could divide the Kremlin’s focus from the Belgorod-Kharkov and Donbass fronts, which could weaken one of those three and thus risk a breakthrough. The defensive situation could become even more difficult for Russia if Kiev expands the conflict by attacking Belarus and/or Moldova too.

To be absolutely clear, the military-strategic dynamics of the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine still favor Russia for the time being, though that’s precisely why Kiev carried out Tuesday morning’s terrorist attack in a desperate attempt to reshape them in its favor. This assessment is based on the observation that Russia’s victory in the Battle of Artyomovsk shows that it’s able to hold its own against NATO in the “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” that the bloc’s chief declared in mid-February.

Furthermore, even the New York Times admitted that the West’s sanctions failed to collapse Russia’s economy and isolate it, while some of its top influencers also admitted that it’s impossible to deny the proliferation of multipolar processes in the 15 months since the special operation began. These include German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, former US National Security Council member Fiona Hill, and Goldman Sachs’ President of Global Affairs Jared Cohen.

The military-strategic dynamics described in the preceding two paragraphs will inevitably doom the West to defeat in the New Cold War’s largest proxy conflict thus far unless something major unexpectedly happens to change them, which is exactly what Kiev was trying to achieve via its latest terrorist attack. The reason why few foresaw this is because Kovalchuk admitted to WaPo last December that his side had previously planned to blow up part of the Kakhovka Dam as part of its Kherson Counteroffensive.

It therefore seemed unthinkable that Kiev would ultimately do just that over half a year later and then gaslight that Moscow was to blame when the Mainstream Media itself earlier reported the existence of Ukraine’s terrorist plans after quoting the same Major General who bragged about them at the time. Awareness of this fact doesn’t change what happened, but it can have a powerful impact on the Western public’s perceptions of this conflict, which is why WaPo’s report should be brought to their attention.



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Home Forums Kiev’s Long Term Plans To Blow Up The Kakhovka Dam

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    Thomas Cole The Course of Empire – The Savage State 1834     I had some discussion with Andrew about this article, since the December 2022 W
    [See the full post at: Kiev’s Long Term Plans To Blow Up The Kakhovka Dam]


    Ukraine cut off the canal to Crimea when they controlled it.

    Russia restored water supply when they took control.

    Russia, being in control of the dam, could simply open all the floodgates.

    The canal depends on the dam

    Because #oppositeworld, the party that wants the dam to provide a water supply to Crimea blew it up to cut it off. And the party that wanted the water supply to Crimea cut off – and DID so in the past so long as they had the power to do so – is presumed not to have been responsible.

    Makes sense.

    That’s just how Russians work. They have the off switch on their own pipeline, so they blow it up to cut it off instead of flipping their own switch. They are in possession of a nuclear power plant and can therefore plant explosives directly on/in it with precision OR meddle with safety mechanisms directly to cause it to melt down, but instead, they shell it with artillery to achieve this. Silly dastardly cunning stupid Russians!

    Maybe the Ukrainians need a sufficient reserve to be able to launch a counteroffensive and are a bit low, therefore flooded the lower Dnieper to free up some of the forces sitting behind it?

    Few understand that the Maginot Line WORKED. It allowed a large area of front to be manned effectively by less men, freeing up French forces for mobile operations. ie the static defense system’s main utility was to facilitate mobile operations.

    The Germans didn’t “go round” it until they’d already won the battle of France and were mopping up. French forces went around the Maginot, then got cut off and defeated in Flanders.

    So I could see that – flooding an area so more forces can be redeployed elsewhere. Can’t launch an offensive without sufficient reserves, gotta get them from somewhere.

    Alternatively, if Russia wanted to mount an offensive, the lower Dnieper area doesn’t appear to be particularly favorable. I was just going over Von Mellenthin’s Panzer Battles, Guderian’s Panzer Leader, and Manestein’s Lost Victories, looking at the late 1943 crossing of the Dnieper (by the Soviets)

    They didn’t seem to have any desire to advance westward close to the Black Sea, but advanced well north of there. So if Russia wanted to forestall any Ukrainian attack over the lower Dneiper to concentrate more forces in the north, that would make some sense as well.

    IF blowing the dam was done to free up reserves for an offensive, it would involve pre-planning. Whoever was responsible would be first to launch a counteroffensive. That area won’t stay flooded forever.

    Unless someone inside the Ukrainian forces wanted to forestall a bloodbath by preventing a planned attack across the lower Dnieper – “See, boss? we can’t attack now.”

    I’m just a guy with a bunch of history books, what do I know. But from my amateur perspective, if I were the Russians, I’d be happiest sitting behind my defensive positions. Let the Ukrainians cross the river into my minefields and firing solutions, further into my AA umbrella. Let them throw their best troops into a fight with their backs to a major river. In fact, IF I were going to break the dam and flood that area, AFTER a Ukrainian crossing would be the perfect time to do it.

    I guess the Ukrainians could be thinking first break the dam, let things flood, let the flood subside, and then cross having neutralized that threat?

    I’ve seen various pro-Ukraine bloggers predicting big-arrow movements across the Dnieper followed by taking Crimea, but basically they CANNOT win while that dam is there, because if they start to win, the dam can always be blown and then they lose absolutely everything they threw across the river.

    Which brings me back to thinking, Ukraine would be best served by blowing the dam and flooding the lower Dnieper area for a northerly offensive, considering they cannot actually attack in that southern area. Not sanely anyway.


    Here’s a most interesting question:

    Look at a map. Most of the Dnieper is controlled by Ukraine.

    What’s happening to dams and locks upstream of the damaged dam?

    Are the floodgates being OPENED or CLOSED?

    Is Ukraine attempting to limit a humanitarian disaster by CLOSING all the locks and floodgates upstream? Or are they OPENING them wide?

    Furthermore, what was the positioning of those locks and floodgates for the past few weeks? For instance, totally closed, then opened wide? Normal the whole time? Some other thing?

    I looked around a bit, couldn’t find anything one way or the other.


    Seems we are flooded with information, the sources of are many. One source, Prigozhin has been strangely vocal this past month about the Russian MoD.

    There is a telegram channel, Prigozhin_hat (400k+ followers) , that recently uploaded this long interview with Victoria Tolkacheva (Not sure who she is yet)


    Not many translations or commentary available as of yet.


    Victoria Tolkacheva’s full interview with Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner’s leader at his training base.

    – About the capture of the Armed Forces of Ukraine of the previously abandoned positions in the Bakhmut area: the enemy has an understandable standard tactic: they feel the defense, fit in and increase their efforts.

    – Mobilization is needed, long-term training of the fighters is needed, and what is happening now is chaos.

    – About Belgorod: to stop what is happening, a public trial of all those involved under the law is needed.

    – Prigozhin wrote a statement to the prosecutor’s office that it was necessary to initiate a process, to carry out an investigation into the murder of Russian citizens, on the fact of the genocide of the Russian population, on the fact of transferring the territories of the Russian Federation to the enemy

    – The Belgorod region asks PMC “Wagner” to come. First we must go out, and then we will not be able to go there, since we will be blocked and we will not be allowed. If Wagner gets there, nothing can be hidden, and now they just deceive and say that everything is more or less in order there. They wanted to block and destroy us in Bakhmut, that’s why there were explosives on the way. Of course, they are afraid, because it is very close to the region of Belgorod to Rublyovka, and suddenly we will go to ask where our ammunition is.

    – Who gave the order to undermine the back roads is a separate issue. The lieutenant colonel extracted the wrong units, not the territories that could stop the enemy. They mined along the PMC withdrawal routes. The FSB and other agencies are carrying out a deep control over this lieutenant colonel.

    – About the fact that public methods to solve relationships and reveal problems delight the enemy and do not bring anything good to our side: for almost a year they remained silent and went like sheep to the slaughterhouse, but society should know when the problem is total. It is necessary to express and not correct mistakes. The first thing to do is to restore the army’s respect for itself. Next, the military leaders that they are, must be in the trenches with the soldiers.


    Can’t speak to truth or accuracy of claims, but Russia is claiming that upstream dams under Ukrainian control have been opened:

    Ukraine Destroyed Kakhovka Station to Transfer Units to Offensive Area – Russian Defense Minister Shoigu

    “The Ukrainian forces destroyed the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant to transfer some military units from the Kherson direction to their offensive area, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

    Shoigu also said that last night “the Kiev regime committed another terrorist attack” when it destroyed the station’s facilities, adding that this action led to “flooding of large areas.”

    “The purpose of these actions, according to available data, is as follows. After failing in offensive operations, in order to strengthen its potential, the enemy intends to transfer units and equipment from the Kherson direction to the area of their offensive operations, thus significantly weakening its positions in the Kherson direction,” Shoigu said, adding that Kiev also targeted the station to prevent Russia’s military offensive.

    According to the minister, Ukraine has started to build up defensive positions on right bank of the Dnepr river, “which indicates their intention to go on the defensive here.”

    Increased Water Discharge From Middle Dnepr HPP Indicates That Kiev Planned Sabotage – Shoigu

    “The Ukrainian authorities have discharged water from the Middle Dnepr Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) for an even greater flooding of territories, which indicates that Kiev planned a large-scale sabotage in Novaya Kakhovka in advance, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

    “In addition, according to the available data, the discharge of water from the Middle Dnepr HPP has been significantly increased, which leads to even greater flooding of territories. This fact testifies to a large-scale sabotage planned in advance by the Kiev regime,” Shoigu said.

    On the one hand, it’s what one WOULD see if Ukraine blew the dam. On the other hand, it’s what Russia WOULD claim if they blew the dam. No help there. But it’s been raised as an issue.


    taradiddle | ˈtarəˌdɪd(ə)l | (also tarradiddle)
    noun informal, chiefly British
    a petty lie: no sane person would make up such a taradiddle.
    • [mass noun] pretentious nonsense: this taradiddle from him about his new radio show.
    late 18th century: perhaps related to diddle.

    New word for me had to look it up. Found here:

    #257: Of theory and practice

    …and yes I know the shill part but who isn’t in this world of fiat? Besides those who read and comment only.

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