Video is here, a little over 20 minutes. AC is Alex Christoforu, AM is Alexander Mercouris. Some notes, bold added.
AC, Ukraine update: Russians moving toward Avdivka, the heavily fortified city that is responsible for the shelling of Donetsk City; referendums coming up in Sept in Zaporozhia and Kherson; the nuclear power plant crisis w/Zelensky basically saying they're going to shell the Russian soldiers at the nuclear power plant because Russians are shelling the nuclear power plant; and this incredible article in the Guardian from Simon Tisdall, that we have to take Putin down, i.e., get regime change in Russia by any means possible. I think this is an outright admission that they've lost, and all they have left is to go after the Russian president.
AM: I think the biggest thing about the Ukraine situation is what hasn't happened, the Kherson offensive. Hearing hints in Western media it isn't going to happen and today in the Economist, the single most hardline anti-Putin outlet in Britain, is also increasingly skeptical there will be one.
Russian advances, we see them approaching Avdivka, gradually enveloping Bakhmut, further north they captured a town called Udiv (?), which looks to be the first step in the encirclement of Kharkiv. which looks increasingly like a major Russian objective. It's Ukraine's 2nd largest city, major industrial center, Russian-speaking, historical part of Russia.
So the war is being lost. Report earlier today that the railway system in Ukraine is becoming clogged as Ukrainian troops are transferred from the frontline in one area to the frontline in another, to keep the defense line from collapsing.
We're getting increasingly bizarre statements from Zelensky in his nightly videos. So we have these attacks on the nuclear power station which is extraordinarily reckless. I'm getting the sense they're also proving very embarrassing for Ukraine's Western sponsors. Because everyone knows who's really doing them. And you got this bizarre comment from Zelensky yesterday; I think the attacks are in part to interrupt Russian military operations, but I wonder if there isn't an element of blackmail about them: keep sending the arms and the money or we're going to do something really desperate.
You're getting the neocons and the neoliberals - and Tisdall is a neoliberal - they see the writing on the wall and come up with these crazy ideas. Tisdall's piece was off the scale, dropping all kinds of hints about how Putin should be taken out without actually spelling them out. It suggested kidnapping and more extreme things, things that no government should consider doing.
AC: he also did a lot of trying to excuse the losing in Ukraine, suggesting NATO should have put boots on the ground, without realizing that NATO was never going to get involved because NATO would have lost the war.
A lot of analysts who criticize us have not completely understood the difference between how Russia sees what's going on in Ukraine and how the collective West sees it. Because the collective West believes this is a war, but Russia has only called it a special military operation, they have not declared war nor are they using the full force of their military. People gloss over that.
NATO might have said, if we get involved Russia might actually declare war and Russia might just beat us and that would be the effective end of NATO, so why should we risk it, we've got this nice grift going.
AM: Remember NATO always ruled out any military intervention, I think for the reasons you gave. From estimates I've seen the Russians have only committed 10-15% of their armed forces to this SMO, which means 85-90% still in reserve. This doesn't count their nuclear forces (?), their air force which has played a marginal role. You did a video about the Ukrainians running out of HIMARS and Ukraine was reportedly allocated about 1/3 of the total US stockpile. NATO was never going to risk a nuclear war.
But I don't think Tisdall is unique, I follow the neoliberals and neocons very closely. Their hysteria is intensifying, and when they lose the war, as they will, they'll come up with the narrative "we didn't do enough, next time we need to go in more aggressively" which is what Tisdall is already saying. They never acknowledge all the precipitating events and our role in them that led to where we are.
AC: Zaporozhia, the million dollar question. Everyone knows Ukraine is shelling the nuclear power plant, why don't the Russians do something about it?
AM: I think this is the way with the Russians. They step back and think about it. There was a meeting of the Russian Security Council (the top deciion-making body in Russia) the day before yesterday. The Russians provided no information about the meeting except the list of people who were there. Speculation is they were working out a plan for dealing with this situation. I suspect that's the case and we'll see their response soon.
I think August is the inflection point in the war, it's been a war of attrition up to this point but once the month has ended the war of attrition will end and we'll return to a war of movement. With a very weak Ukraine, and with the Russians having cracked Donbass they'll be able to act much more forcefully in all sorts of places, Kharkiv in the north, Odessa in the south.
I think by September we will see the tempo of the war intensify markedly, perhaps more troops brought in from Russia. Reportedly they've been training various new volunteer brigades.
there doesn't seem to be anything here