Count me amused by the Westerners voicing shock and outrage over the fact that Russia is using a group of former convicts to help fight the new Nazis in Ukraine. This was not Putin’s unique idea. He obviously is a Lee Marvin fan:
See the principle? If it is American convicts fighting Nazis, that is a good thing. But if it is Russian convicts doing the same thing in the 21st Century, it is baaad!!
But wait, there is more. Do you remember this scene from the HBO series, The Pacific?
Blood thirsty Marines who escaped from insane asylums and prisons? Sounds like potential recruits for Wagner.
Newsweek has its panties in a knot and is looking for a fainting couch as it decries Russia’s Wagner Group — a contract military unit (e.g., like Blackwater?) because it includes former Russian convicts:
The grinding assault on the city and its surrounding area is a rallying point for Russia’s military bloggers and propagandists, and a showcase of the capabilities of the Wagner Group and leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, one oligarch ally of President Vladimir Putin whose profile has increased dramatically since February 24.
Prigozhin and his Wagner fighters—their ranks swollen by the mass recruitment of Russian convicts—seemingly have another target in their sights: the Mozart Group NGO which is helping train Ukrainian troops and evacuating civilians from the front lines, including around Bakhmut.
The Mozart Group is under the command of a retired U.S. Marine Colonel, Andrew Milburn. It is trying to train Ukrainian troops to fight the Russians. Shades of The Pacific! A friend of mine, a retired Marine General, knows Andy but only worked with him after both left active duty. My friend says Milburn is a solid guy. Retired Colonel Milburn insists that his Mozart Group has nothing in common with the Wagner Group:
Milburn dismissed Prigozhin’s description of Mozart as a private military company. “People call us a PMC because that’s all they have as a frame of reference,” he said. “We don’t carry weapons, our tasks are humanitarian—and I mean, seriously, legally humanitarian.”. . .
The Mozart Group’s name was intended as a counterpoint to Wagner, whose fighters adopt neo-Nazi imagery and have developed a reputation for extreme brutality in operations in Syria, Libya, and the Central African Republic. Previously used as a deniable, shadow arm of Russian foreign policy, the group has emerged as one of Moscow’s more effective and feared formations in Ukraine.
Milburn, to his credit, speaks candidly about the dire plight of the Ukrainian forces fighting in the meat grinder of Bakhmut:
“Bakhmut is like Dresden, and the countryside looks like Passchendaele,” he said, referring to the German city destroyed by allied bombing in World War II and the infamously muddy and bloody World War I battlefield. “It’s just a horrible and miserable place.”
Ukraine closely guards its casualty figures, but its forces are believed to be suffering badly around Bakhmut.
“They’ve been taking extraordinarily high casualties,” Milburn said of the units training with Mozart. “The numbers you are reading in the media about 70 percent and above casualties being routine are not exaggerated.”
Despite their “tremendous morale,” Milburn said the defenders “have an acute ‘regeneration problem,’ which means getting new recruits into the line as quickly as possible.” This means those being thrown into the fight have little beyond basic training.
“Typically about 80 percent of our intake who are coming off of the line have never even fired a weapon before,” Milburn said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
The Mozart Group’s training mission is akin to the crew of the Titanic trying to bail water from the sinking ship with a thimble. None of their training will make a bit of difference on the battlefield in terms of the tactical situation with one exception — their training may help some of the poorly trained and equipped Ukrainians survive.
Milburn minces no words in confirming the catastrophic casualties the Ukrianian forces are suffering — 7 out of every ten soldiers are killed or wounded. It underscores the reality that the Russians are firing six artillery rounds for every one round fired by Ukraine.
Here is a Ukrainian unit confirming Col. Milburn’s assessment. They are not cowards. They are fed up with crappy leadership and indequate supplies:
“This is a message we are conveying to the command of the Airborne Troops and the command of the AFU from the 3rd Airmobile Company of the Separate Airmobile Battalion of the 25th Secheslav Airmobile Brigade.
We were sent on a combat mission to hold separate combat positions. We did not receive proper armament and artillery support. As a result, 70% of the company was killed or wounded. We did not have and do not have combat equipment and proper armament. We did not even have the equipment to evacuate the injured, due to which several wounded did not survive.
We spent more than a month in the trenches transmitting coordinates never fired upon by artillery. Platoon sergeants fled their positions in the first days and were transferred by Chief of Staff Kipinach, now acting battalion commander.
We are demanding the transfer of the entire unit.”
Here is the video:
So the United States is sending billions of dollars of military gear and weapons to Ukraine and the guys on the front lines are not getting any of it? Marjorie Taylor Greene is right. We need an audit. What the hell is Zelensky and his gang of thieves doing with all of the U.S. aid?