How Can You Tell Whether Russia has Invaded Ukraine?

By Dmitri Orlov, of Club Orlov.  Orlov – a Russian engineer who lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union – now lives in the United States.
Last Thursday the Ukrainian government, echoed by NATO spokesmen, declared that the the Russian military is now operating within Ukraine’s borders. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t; what do you know? They said the same thing before, most recently on August 13, and then on August 17, each time with either no evidence or fake evidence. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

You be the judge. I put together this helpful list of top ten telltale signs that will allow you to determine whether indeed Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday, or whether Thursday’s announcement is yet another confabulation. (Credit to Roman Kretsul).

Because if Russia invaded on Thursday morning, this is what the situation on the ground would look like by Saturday afternoon.

1. Ukrainian artillery fell silent almost immediately. They are no longer shelling residential districts of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is because their locations had been pinpointed prior to the operation, and by Thursday afternoon they were completely wiped out using air attacks, artillery and ground-based rocket fire, as the first order of business. Local residents are overjoyed that their horrible ordeal is finally at an end.

2. The look of military activity on the ground in Donetsk and Lugansk has changed dramatically. Whereas before it involved small groups of resistance fighters, the Russians operate in battalions of 400 men and dozens of armored vehicles, followed by convoys of support vehicles (tanker trucks, communications, field kitchens, field hospitals and so on). The flow of vehicles in and out is non-stop, plainly visible on air reconnaissance and satellite photos. Add to that the relentless radio chatter, all in Russian, which anyone who wants to can intercept, and the operation becomes impossible to hide.

3. The Ukrainian military has promptly vanished. Soldiers and officers alike have taken off their uniforms, abandoned their weapons, and are doing their best to blend in with the locals. Nobody thought the odds of the Ukrainian army against the Russians were any good. Ukraine’s only military victory against Russia was at the battle of Konotop in 1659, but at the time Ukraine was allied with the mighty Khanate of Crimea, and, you may have noticed, Crimea is not on Ukraine’s side this time around.

4. There are Russian checkpoints everywhere. Local civilians are allowed through, but anyone associated with a government, foreign or domestic, is detained for questioning. A filtration system has been set up to return demobilized Ukrainian army draftees to their native regions, while the volunteers and the officers are shunted to pretrial detention centers, to determine whether they had ordered war crimes to be committed.

5. Most of Ukraine’s border crossings are by now under Russian control. Some have been reinforced with air defense and artillery systems and tank battalions, to dissuade NATO forces from attempting to stage an invasion. Civilians and humanitarian goods are allowed through. Businessmen are allowed through once they fill out the required forms (which are in Russian).

6. Russia has imposed a no-fly zone over all of Ukraine. All civilian flights have been cancelled. There is quite a crowd of US State Department staffers, CIA and Mossad agents, and Western NGO people stuck at Borispol airport in Kiev. Some are nervously calling everyone they know on their satellite phones. Western politicians are demanding that they be evacuated immediately, but Russian authorities want to hold onto them until their possible complicity in war crimes has been determined.

7. The usual Ukrainian talking heads, such as president Poroshenko, PM Yatsenyuk and others, are no longer available to be interviewed by Western media. Nobody quite knows where they are. There are rumors that they have already fled the country. Crowds have stormed their abandoned residences, and were amazed to discover that they were all outfitted with solid gold toilets. Nor are the Ukrainian oligarchs anywhere to be found, except for the warlord Igor Kolomoisky, who was found in his residence, abandoned by his henchmen, dead from a heart attack. (Contributed by the Saker.)

8. Some of the over 800,000 Ukrainian refugees are starting to stream back in from Russia. They were living in tent cities, many of them in the nearby Rostov region, but with the winter coming they are eager to get back home, now that the shelling is over. Along with them, construction crews, cement trucks and flatbeds stacked with pipe, cable and rebar are streaming in, to repair the damage from the shelling.

9. There is all sorts of intense diplomatic and military activity around the world, especially in Europe and the US. Military forces are on highest alert, diplomats are jetting around and holding conferences. President Obama just held a press conference to announce that “We don’t have a strategy on Ukraine yet.” His military advisers tell him that his usual strategy of “bomb a little and see what happens” is not likely to be helpful in this instance.

10. Kiev has surrendered. There are Russian tanks on the Maidan Square. Russian infantry is mopping up the remains of Ukraine’s National Guard. A curfew has been announced. The operation to take Kiev resembled “Shock and Awe” in Baghdad: a few loud bangs and then a whimper.

Armed with this list, you too should be able to determine whether or not Russia has invaded Ukraine last Thursday.

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  • jadan

    A real feel good story! All the bluster and bullshit and murder of innocents from Obama & NATO comes to naught. The idea that the conspirators are trapped in Kiev, CIA, Mossad, and other scum, gives me joy. Maybe these cockroaches will be rounded up and subjected to interrogation. Then the real story can be told to the world and the US imperial bully will be less a bully in the future.

    • OJohnny

      Who were the US Imperial bullies when Germany was giving Russia a haircut in WW2? Seems America came running to Russia’s help.

      • jadan

        Those were the good old days, weren’t they, when the US was the light of the world, defender of democracy…..creator of the A bomb and the only nation to use one ( the old dirty, non-strategic nuke ). What is this “haircut” you’re talking about? Murder of 20 million people is a haircut? If Joe Stalin could speak beyond the grave, he’d tell you the US did fuck-all to help the USSR. The Russians did it themselves while the Americans were pissing around in Italy and France.

        • OJohnny

          Look at the complete list of the US Lend Lease to the SU.
          If you refuse to listen to Zhukov, the Soviet’s own “Super General” there will be no reasoning with you. The Soviets had a huge army, but they couldn’t properly be fed, clothed, transported or armed.

          Soviet Weapons Losses in 1941 (The First Six Months Of The War)

          72% of all Tanks.
          34% of all Combat Aircraft.
          56% of all Small-arms and Machine guns.
          69% of all Anti-Tank guns.
          59% of all Field guns and Mortars.

          Take it from Zhukov:
          “It is now said that the Allies never helped us . . . However, one cannot deny that the Americans gave us so much material, without which we could not have formed our reserves and could not have continued the war . . . we had no explosives and powder. There was none to equip rifle bullets. The Americans actually came to our assistance with powder and explosives. And how much sheet steel did they give us. We really could not have quickly put right our production of tanks if the Americans had not helped with steel. And today it seems as though we had all this ourselves in abundance.”

  • ClubToTheHead

    Wolf! Wolf! Do I hear another cry of Wolf?

    Kiev is laughable.

    Another great posting by Dmitry

  • Carl_Herman

    Wow; this is sharp. Thanks, GW!

  • truthtime

    Its really sad to see all this anti-Russian rhetoric. I mean what is this, the 1950s? And surely Americans can’t have forgotten that the Iraq War (both) were based on lies – which is now apart of the Historical Record.

    I’ve read a lot about many cultures and countries, and Russians are great people. I’ve been lucky to meet many people in my life that come from all over the world, I’ve met a Palestinian (who was a friend), a Ukrainian, and many Russian folk.

  • OJohnny

    What a bunch of BS this article is. If you buy into it, I’ve got a bridge to sell you…or free lifetime 1st class passage on the Titanic. If you want to know what is going on here, Just look at the Georgia model.

    This article is about the biggest bag of propaganda I have seen in a long time. If you buy it I’ve got a bridge to sell you, and unlimited 1st class passage in the Titanic. This piece is based on the full control of the Ukraine. The Russians have not gone that far…….yet. If you want to know what I think is going on, one only has to look at the Georgia model. Currently 20% of Georgia’s internationally recognized territory is under Russian military occupation. Russia does not allow the EUMM monitors to enter South Ossetia and Abkhazia in violation of the Six Point Ceasefire Agreement.

    The report prepared by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, raised concerns that Russia “not only failed to withdraw, it expanded territory under its control beyond the pre-war conflict zones” and Russia “established a troop presence in 51 villages it did not control before the war and conducted military patrols on territory it did not previously hold”.[39] The report also describes Russian military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia:

    “Russia also deployed new weapons systems, such as attack helicopters and tanks where they did not exist before the war. By October 2010, Abkhazia and South Ossetia became host to “Smerch” type offensive rockets, “Tochka-U,” and S-21, a tactical rocket that can carry nuclear, cluster, or chemical agents up to 150 kilometers. S-300 surface to air missiles were based in Abkhazia. Russia signed 49-year lease agreements with automatic 5-year renewals in Gudauta and Tskhinvali. Russia has built 5 permanent military bases in South Ossetia manned by approximately 5,000 security personnel. Another 5,000 are based in Abkhazia. Both deployments include regular army troops, border guards and FSB personnel. Russia’s Ministry of Defense revamped its military command in the North Caucasus, linking it to Russian forces in Georgia.” Currently 20% of Georgia’s internationally recognized territory is under Russian military occupation. Russia does not allow the EUMM monitors to enter South Ossetia and Abkhazia in violation of the Six Point Ceasefire Agreement.[38]

    The report prepared by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, raised concerns that Russia “not only failed to withdraw, it expanded territory under its control beyond the pre-war conflict zones” and Russia “established a troop presence in 51 villages it did not control before the war and conducted military patrols on territory it did not previously hold”.[39] The report also describes Russian military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia:

    “Russia also deployed new weapons systems, such as attack helicopters and tanks where they did not exist before the war. By October 2010, Abkhazia and South Ossetia became host to “Smerch” type offensive rockets, “Tochka-U,” and S-21, a tactical rocket that can carry nuclear, cluster, or chemical agents up to 150 kilometers. S-300 surface to air missiles were based in Abkhazia. Russia signed 49-year lease agreements with automatic 5-year renewals in Gudauta and Tskhinvali. Russia has built 5 permanent military bases in South Ossetia manned by approximately 5,000 security personnel. Another 5,000 are based in Abkhazia. Both deployments include regular army troops, border guards and FSB personnel. Russia’s Ministry of Defense revamped its military command in the North Caucasus, linking it to Russian forces in Georgia.”

    • jadan

      If it weren’t for the relentless cold war manipulations of the US there would be no problem in Ukraine, or Georgia. Good advice to all countries that border Russia: try to emulate the neutrality of Switzerland and if you get a nationalist blowhard who wants to do deals with NATO, don’t elect him. Russia won’t hurt you.

      • OJohnny

        So if any independent country decides to join the EU (no one said anything about NATO they can expect a huge land grab from Russia? Is that the way it works?

        • jadan

          When the USSR collapsed, what was the justification for the continued existence of NATO? There is no “land grab” happening on Russia’s borders. You’re parroting propaganda.

          • OJohnny

            And your an naive idiot …or an out and out right lair. I was in Georgia 2 years ago and have a sister and brother-in -law in the Ukraine as we speak. Putin is up to his old tricks. Take a bite here take a bite there, against the will of the country they are invading. In the past when America has gone to war with an aggressor like Japan…we spend billions rebuilding that country and their economy. After WW2 Russia invaded country after country and imposed that awful Communism on them. In the 80’s we kicked the Russians asses and help free all of those countries. Now your back with your nasty Russian boots picking on those little countries imposing your fucktard style of dominance stealing their land and putting up military bases where you have NO right to.They did not invite you…get the fuck out.

          • jadan

            Where is Edward Snowden finding asylum, and why does he need asylum? Who wants to kill him? What country has nearly 1,000 military bases all over the globe and spends more on war preparations than all other nations combined, including that bad ole Russia you’re so paranoid about. You’re living in the past, at a time when the US was widely admired and actually did good things. The US invaded Ukraine with black money to promote its regime change policy. “Porky” is a Nazi oligarch. The cold war is over. If you want to demonize Putin, don’t make a religion out of it. No Russian asses were “kicked” by the US. You think that fool, phony actor Reagan, defeated Communism? Bull. Communism collapsed of its own dead weight. It’s hard for Americans who have never experienced war to understand the nightmares of Eastern European nations. Stalin created a famine in Ukraine that killed millions. It is easy not to trust any Russian, I imagine, but this Nazi, Poroshenko, is better? You’re boring me, friend.

          • OJohnny

            I didn’t say we kicked Russian asses in the literal sense……just the wallets that were in them.

          • OJohnny

            Speaking of Snowden…..Tell me what would happen to any Russian who was privy to top secret information of the Russian Gov. and did what he did. Trust me they would be in some Russian gulag torture chamber, dying the death of a thousand cuts. Your Russia has quite a history of torture and death to it’s own people. A little history of the history of Stalin to name one might enlighten you.

    • jadan

      If it weren’t for the relentless cold war manipulations of the US there would be no problem in Ukraine, or Georgia. Good advice to all countries that border Russia: try to emulate the neutrality of Switzerland and if you get a nationalist blowhard who wants to do deals with NATO, don’t elect him. Russia won’t hurt you.

  • Party Like 1999

    How can you tell that Henry Kissinger and a bloodthirsty gang of rightwingers and zionists run national security policy for what is called a golf playing media fraud and international financial swindle called “Obama”?
    .
    Your first clue is when Obama admitted he has no plan (and no clue).
    .
    This is because Obama clearly needs no plan. Kissinger (Obama’s boss) and Likud (the Democrat Party boss) got surplus plan out the ass. Several plans in fact and they apparently involve lots more ISIS beheadings and a couple nuclear wars.
    .
    In fact, it’s doubtful that Obama and Holder will even have the clout to find a bunker to squeeze into given how low down on the power totem pole Kissinger and the rest have them in their food chain.

  • mirageseekr

    Both parties in government are corrupt to the core. They use the media to peddle their propaganda. Has anyone else noticed that on MSM, CNN and FOX there are very few stories you can comment on anymore? Just another form of censorship here in the land of the free. They have decided that they will simply tell people what to think as they didn’t like people communicating and putting the pieces together.

  • UnwelcomePest

    What a closet Russian nazi and a liar at that. Progressives shilling for the proto fascist Russian regime reviving old imperial glory is nothing but disgusting. How do you expect people to take you seriously after this?