Ukraine’s dark winter?

Something big is about to go down in Ukraine. This will be the first of a two-part post, once we know more. But for the present, we deal with what has taken place in the last few weeks there. A distinct change in the character of the conflict in Ukraine has been noted. Starting at the end of August Ukrainian forces backed and partially manned by NATO forces launched counteroffensives, first in the Kherson region and later in the Kharkov Oblast. The latter was hailed in Western media as a great success to obsequious fanfare. Across social media, Ukraine supporters were gloating on ‘the knockout blow to Putin’ and how his fall was imminent (not likely, BTW) and Russian supporters were initially thrown into panic. As is usual in such cases, the media reporting was a psyop. The truth on the ground is somewhat different, which we will examine here.

What follows will not be easy for Western readers to read, much less accept, if one’s only source of news has been mainstream reporting. But over the next few months the reasoning being outlined in the following paragraphs will become clear. Instead, to know something closer to the truth, one must read contrarian voices to the MSM narrative:

“Alexander Mercouris and Alex Christaforu of The Duran, Brian Berletic of New Atlas, Dima of Military Summary, Moon of Alabama, Andrei Martyanov, Larry Johnson…This group often, in a much smaller version of the Iraq War and pre-financial crisis blogospheres, promote and critique each other’s work. There are some other prominent commentators who present their own views and don’t interact much/at all with these YouTube and blog commentators, such as Scott Ritter, Douglas MacGregor, and the Twitterati like Russians with Attitude and @AZmilitary1.”

We might add The Saker’s blog to that list, as well as occasional interviews with Jacques Baud on The Postil. These men are ex-military-intelligence scions, mostly retired and who live in the West. Some of them have had direct military experience. A few of them have more intimate knowledge of Russia, too. They know the ins and outs of NATO, the CIA/MI6 duo and have watched this situation as it presents in Ukraine now evolve over years. The CIA has used Ukraine as a its proxy, as a means to keep Eastern Europe destabilized and against Russia for the past 75 years (must-read for background).

To the present, these current Ukrainian counteroffensives (COs) have been hailed as game-changers in the West. Indeed, they were. They have changed the character of the conflict markedly. It is claimed in the West the Russians were caught completely off guard with the Kharkov CO and routed. On the Russian side it is claimed, and not without reason, that what happened in Kharkov especially was a planned retreat that has resulted in a trap for Ukraine, where Ukrainian troops are now being steadily ground down, with high casualty rates. There are also reports on Telegram channels that the Russians have now begun to retake the territories in Kharkov recently overrun by the Ukrainians – a counter-counteroffensive. What is the truth?

The chart for the Russian Special Military Operation (SMO) is below, with transits (bigger):

The chart marks the start of the Kharkov counteroffensive, the more important of the two. There are several points of note. Saturn had nearly reached the point of the start of the SMO by its retrograde transit. At the same time, transiting Ceres opposed both the transiting and natal placement of the SMO chart. Ceres had opposed the natal Saturn at the start of the Kherson CO, with transiting Saturn not yet within orb. But of even greater moment was the beginning of the retrograde transit of Uranus square the natal Saturn. What we see with these combinations is that September marks a fundamental change in the hostilities and a turning point. But this chart cannot be read in isolation.

The chart for the Kharkov Ukrainian CO is shown below, with directions and transits to Ukraine’s chart, below (bigger):

This chart tells Ukraine’s story as a result of these COs. They were not Ukraine’s idea. They were the result of political pressure from the West, who are now pushing Ukraine to show some gumption in the fight and that they can hold their own against Russia, even reverse Russian gains. To hear it from the Western press that is exactly what is happening. But on the ground circumstances are quite different: Ukrainian forces are being pounded. What seemed to be a success for Ukraine in Kharkov was a Pyrrhic victory. They will eventually be pushed back.

That the Ukrainians are not doing well at all is shown by several factors in the chart. Firstly we note the transit of Neptune opposite Ukraine’s Mars, indicating a weakening of force. It also indicates a military deception. The Neptune transit also activates a direction of Uranus by sesquisquare to Ukraine’s Mars. We thus have the combination, Nep=Mars/Ura: “Cunning and deceitfulness, a low and mean way of acting, the desire to harm other people, a person with bad intentions. – A swoon or fainting fit when overtaxing one’s strength, a fit of rage or frenzy, also raving madness, (a car accident).” Well, it is war, after all, and deception is a big part of warfare. But it was the Russians who provided the deception:

Maskirovka is a Russian word meaning literally “masking” or “disguise”, but in the context of Russian military doctrine, it incorporates a wide spectrum of undertakings designed to deceive the enemy regarding strengths, weaknesses, disposition of forces, and the intentions of those forces.

In its simplest expression, it echoes the famous dictum from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War:

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

The Kherson counteroffensive was straightforward and the Russians held their ground because it was strategically important, being the gateway to Crimea. Plus, the Russian positions were well fortified. Kharkov was a different matter. It was not so strategically important save for one or two cities – which did not fall, incidentally – but would have been a big victory for Ukraine had they been able to pull it off.

What happened in the days leading to the Kharkov operation is that the Russians made a strategic retreat. It was controlled and planned beforehand. The main troops and the civilians who wanted to leave were withdrawn a couple of days beforehand. The Russians provided the Ukrainians – actually NATO – with a tempting target, ill-defended, with a weak front. The Russians had only a few of their National Guard troops in the area. It was a cake walk, so NATO thought. The Ukrainians and NATO thought they had captured what was a large piece of territory and routed the Russians, when in fact they had been lured into the open, in what is now effectively a closing trap, where they are being savaged. We are told nothing of this in the West.

Instead, we see the other side of the Neptune transit to Ukraine’s Mars – the psyop. We hear about ‘the great victory for Ukraine’. From the just linked article regarding this ‘great victory’:

“Delusional reports of hundreds of abandoned tanks, thousands of casualties, and tens of thousands of captured Russian soldiers are circulating widely, willingly believed by those whose biases find them pleasing. Western think-tank monkeys and retired-generals-for-hire move from one mainstream news studio to the next spouting fantastical nonsense about next liberating the Donbass, then Crimea, followed by deposing Putin and hauling him before a tribunal at The Hague.

And if that were not enough, many have even begun to openly discuss the long-desired western pipe dream of dismantling Russia altogether; cutting it up into a dozen or more smaller republics that will then obediently fall in line with the rest of the “rules-based world order”.

These generals and think tanks are only now beginning to see the other shoe drop. The Ukrainian forces went all the way to the Russian border at one point, where they had started to shell villages in Russia. Then the gloves began to be loosened. On September 11 – in a symbolic poke at the US/NATO forces – Russia began putting the lights out in eastern Ukraine in Ukrainian-held areas. The Donbas had no trouble with their lights.

Within the space of a couple of hours Russian Kinzhal (‘Dagger’) missiles launched from the Caspian and Black Seas began to take out power stations. And those strikes continue. They have also bombed the Karachun dam on the Inhulets River in Krivoy Rog area, the birthplace of Zelenskyy. That city is now without running water and is flooded. The dam the Russians hit was a legitimate military target, by the rules of war.

The Ukrainians had lowered the water level by means of that dam so they could place pontoon bridges across the river. The increased flow of excess water from the destroyed dam has washed away those pontoon bridges, cutting off access and/or resupply to the troops of the counteroffensives in Kherson and a rumored counteroffensive to retake the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the latter which has now been placed in cold shut down.

There is a major point to all the preceding that has to be taken into account, relating to propaganda. What we hear about the Russian SMO in the Western media, which is by and large controlled by the Americans, is designed for several purposes. We might list the main points as follows:

  • To keep the Western public onside in its support for Ukraine. If the truth of the conflict were known to the public at large support for the Western side of the war effort would quickly dissolve. Ukraine would be forced to negotiate, and the West to admit defeat.
  • To keep the Europeans onside with their sanctions. This also leads to Europe’s deindustrialization and impoverishment as part of NATO doctrine – keeping the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down. This in turn benefits the United States in the short term, keeping its control of Europe and increasing its market share in Europe. The sanctions reduce the EU as an economic competitor to the US.
  • It gives Western leaders a better chance of being re-elected, being shown to be ‘supporting our Western values’ and in supporting a Ukrainian force the West falsely hopes can defeat Russia. Supposedly it will help the Democrats at the midterms in the US, though that is increasingly being thrown into doubt as inflationary pressures bite harder and harder and the NYSE sees increasing instability.

The American propaganda machine is something to behold. A recent article from John Pilger lays it all out, relevant to the current conflict:

“I think of this as I look around at the propaganda now consuming Western societies. Of course, we are very different from Germany in the 1930s. We live in information societies. We are globalists. We have never been more aware, more in touch and better connected. Are we? Or do we live in a media society where brainwashing is insidious and relentless, and perception is filtered according to the needs and lies of state and corporate power? The United States dominates the Western world’s media. All but one of the top ten media companies is based in North America. The internet and social media — Google, Twitter, Facebook — are mostly American-owned and controlled…

In the years before he died in 2008, the playwright Harold Pinter made two extraordinary speeches, which broke a silence. “US foreign policy,” he said, is “best defined as follows: kiss my arse or I’ll kick your head in. It is as simple and as crude as that. What is interesting about it is that it’s so incredibly successful. It possesses the structures of disinformation, use of rhetoric, distortion of language, which are very persuasive, but are actually a pack of lies. It is very successful propaganda. They have the money, they have the technology, they have all the means to get away with it, and they do.”

In accepting the Nobel prize for literature, Pinter said this: “The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

Read the whole article. And the sector of the populace most susceptible to this influence (stated in the article) are the more affluent liberal, educated bourgeoisie classes, the ones who have been virtue signalling with Ukrainian flags since the SMO started and who believe Putin and Xi Jinping to embody the world’s evil.

Coming back to the astrology, this sort of brainwashing about recent counteroffensives is shown as the other side of the Neptune transit to the Ukrainian Mars – the battle for hearts and minds. But mention was made of the Russians now hitting Ukrainian essential infrastructure. Where is that in Ukraine’s astrology? Looking at the Ukrainian chart, when the Russians started to hit Ukraine’s electrical grid transiting Saturn was square to Ukraine’s Meridian axis, the cusps of the 10th (government) and 4th (infrastructure) houses. Transiting Ceres opposed transiting Saturn at the time and also squared that axis. This marked a sharp turning point in the conflict. You will not hear about this in the Western press.

Where is this leading, then? Armchair warriors like to speak of WWIII and nukes, but more likely is the collapse or capitulation of Ukraine in the meantime. NASA Worldview satellite pictures taken from last year and then on 6 Sep this year showed the effects of the Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian power stations.

As of the 16th, the Russians continue to hit infrastructure, but they are taking their time about it. Saturn turns direct on 23 October, square to Ukraine’s Pluto. It will again square that nation’s Meridian axis on 7 December, with Ceres having transited to Ukraine’s Mars. Directed Saturn will be semisquared to Ukraine’s Ascendant, with the directed Ascendant squared to Ukraine’s Pluto. That combination of factors looks like a capitulation. If Russia continues to hit Ukraine’s infrastructure, even at this slow pace, it will be nearly impossible for Ukraine to continue until then. How do we know this?

I am a licensed electrician and machine tool tech. Here is what will happen if the power and substations continue to be hit by Russian missile strikes: Once enough of them have been hit then the remaining electrical grid will be plagued by blackouts, will become overloaded and unstable, with brownouts causing havoc on domestic and industrial appliances and equipment. Fires will pop up everywhere from overheated electrical and electronic components.

Before very long the nation will go dark. A stopgap measure would be to buy power from neighboring states, but that will not last very long, either. Doing so would in turn place too much of a drain on the grids of the neighboring states. And in that, all the Russians need do is hit the main feeder pylons coming into Ukraine. Keep in mind energy supplies have been cut to Ukraine’s neighbors, too, due to sanctions.

This is infrastructure that is not easily replaced. Major Ukrainian industry, especially if it has a military component to is, has been largely destroyed. The transformers that have been taken out in strikes are not easily replaced. It’s not like one can order large 110 – 330 kV transformers from Amazon or buy off the shelf from Wal-Mart. The same goes for hydroelectric and steam turbines and generators, which have an even longer lead time to manufacture. Those things take weeks to months to build, if one has the facilities. That infrastructure is irreplaceable in the short or even medium term. Perhaps a picture of what the Russians are doing now starts to come into focus. They have turned up the pain dial a few notches, as The Saker likes to call it.

Ukraine’s rail system is electric – no juice, no trains, no large troop transport, no resupply. Yes, one could use diesel locomotives as a stopgap. What happens when the diesel stops? Fuel depots and refineries will be hit, too. They also require electricity to run. With no power, the water pumping stations stop. Even deeper domestic wells that rely on electric pumps would stand idle. The Russians have sent a clear message and warning (video, 5:10) to NATO and Kiev with these strikes – keep on with what you are doing and your situation will go from bad to worse very quickly.

There would be no electric lighting except for the few homes that have solar panels. Those families would become very popular. And internet and phone services? – forget it. Welcome to 1800. Sanitation suffers and disease would rise. The public outcry from all this would be great. Do we think the regime would last or that the Europeans would run to help Ukraine? Europeans face their own problems. That leads to the next point.

The Russians are not especially concerned about Ukraine, truth be known. Russia could end the war in short order and win militarily. Ukraine is not the issue. NATO, however, is. What appears to be going on – keeping in mind the Russian General Staff keeps its cards very close to its chest – is that Russia is disarming and draining NATO via NATO’s Ukrainian proxy.

It is in the interests of Russia to drag this out for a few more months, or maybe to November, to a point where the Europeans finally (hopefully) say enough is enough and throw off the control of Washington. Russia has slowly been turning off the gas to Europe during this conflict and European families are doing it tough now seeking to pay their bills, for everything. It has been a fascinating process to watch, albeit painful, sitting here in Europe.

The purpose of the EU/Washington-imposed sanctions was supposed to ‘weaken’ Russia (cause the collapse of ‘Putin’s regime’). Exactly the opposite is taking place. Despite what we hear from our media parrots in the West, Russia is doing just fine. Russia is far from collapse, local and regional elections in Russia have favoured Putin’s party, it is making very lucrative deals with most all of Asia’s nations and Putin’s popularity is still at over 80%, even after these counteroffensives. A few Russians have also taken to trolling the Europeans about Europe’s looming lack of hot water, jokingly offering hot water tours.

There are Russia supporters who would dearly love to see Russia take the gloves off fully and decisively end this conflict, showing the world the weakness and ineptitude of NATO. Likewise there are people in the West who would like to see the same regarding Russia. The Western media continues to keep the latter’s hopes up. It won’t last much longer. Putin has often been criticised for being too soft and dovish when it comes to military matters. The West sees this as weakness and incompetence. Many people outside the West see the Russian actions for what they most likely are – strategic patience and Sun Tzu’s Art or War.

At least for now, Russia controls the conflict in Ukraine. They are on their own timeline. The alleged great success of the Kharkov counteroffensive is quickly turning out to have been a trap set by the Russians. As Larry Johnson likes to call it, this great Ukrainian ‘victory’ is a dog that ain’t barking.

With all the Western journalists in Ukraine covering the SMO on the Ukrainian side we would be seeing glowing reports, especially videos, of victorious and celebrating Ukrainian soldiers, Russian prisoners, destroyed and captured Russian equipment, so on and so forth and in endless succession if the counteroffensive had indeed been such a great success. We see none of that. NATO’s supposedly ferocious Ukrainian dog just ain’t barking. It’s something to think about.

And as a result of the failures of the Ukrainian army in Kherson and Kharkov, Washington is seeking to distance itself from responsibility for Ukraine’s defeat. There has been a shift in the rhetoric in Washington in recent days, with Washington saying it is up to Zelenskyy as to whether or not to hold talks with Russia – a clear departure from March when Boris Johnson was sent to Kiev to tell Kiev to shelve negotiations with Russia, as his visit then was interpreted outside the West.

If things continue as they are, as seems to be the case at the moment and from Ukraine’s astrology, it may be a long, cold and dark winter in Ukraine this year. And then, it has just come to our attention that the four Ukrainian oblasts – Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – currently under control of the Russians and by and large Russian-speaking regions, will hold referenda starting on the 23rd for admission to the Russian Federation. Of course, the West would never accept the results if those people vote to leave, but it would change the character of the conflict from that point on, probably at least from the SMO to an anti-terrorist operation. These referenda will take place when transiting Saturn exactly squares Ukraine’s Meridian axis. Hold on to your seats!

To be continued…

Featured pic from Time

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