Dress Up Day

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

Though it escaped much notice, It was dress up as a Ukrainian civilian day for the Russian Army, north of Kyiv yesterday. In a field abandoned were found hundreds of jackets and hats and guns. Utility belts and helmets, anything and everything that could be used to identify them as Russian soldiers. “Gee, but it’s great to be in the Army.” Vladimir Putin is repositioning his troops. It’s rare that you find that kind of Rosetta Stone of Putinism on public display. When Vlad began to say that he was repositioning the troops a week or so ago. It was because he already knew, the Army was done and was fading away.  

He’s saying he is repositioning, so the Russian public won’t ask, what ever happened to that army north of Kyiv that we used to have? Where did that army ever get off too? While at the same time venting his rage at his soldiers. Fuck you! You guys’ suck! Walk home, see if I care! I’ll give you a ride home after you win something. See if you can get that job at the Post Office now!

And while it seems beyond reason, it has actually been the Russian policy for hundreds of years. With your shield or on your shield. “In the Russian army, it is more dangerous to go backwards than it is to go forwards.” – Joe Stalin  The land of the serfs and the peasants and Serf’s up. The Czar would let his soldiers freeze or starve on the battlefield, without guns or bullets. (See: 1917) After all, they’re only Russian peasants and there are millions and millions of them. To be Russian is to suffer.

The Gypsies are famous for their colorful painted wagons and singing and dancing traditions. The Russian’s are famous for their ability to suffer. The E-ore of modern Europe. To suffer the North winds and the April snowstorms. To suffer hundreds of years under cruel Czars, under bondage and peonage wage slavery. Replaced by Soviet Authoritarianism disguised as beneficent Communism, with the cruelest Czar of them all. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

In the old days of the British Empire. They sentenced their convicts to Australia, with its sunshine and great beaches. In Russia, they sentence their convicts to more Russia. Not having a Devil’s Island, your penalty is five years in Siberian Russia! You’re lucky it’s only a first offense fella, or you’d get twenty years in Russia! The worst penalty they can think of is to make you stay.

A gruesome video of Ukrainian troops retaking a town with dead bodies lying in the street. Men of military age dressed as civilians, shot and some with their hands tied behind their back. It all looked very peculiar, until I saw that field of empty uniforms. “Yuri, how come you are in your street clothes? Where’s your helmet and your rifle?” I think I know what their crime was. When you are running away as if your life depends on it, it does. Desertion from the army carries stiff penalties. Especially from officers looking for expedient measures to solve nagging legal problems today.

It’s foundational size failure. Regimes have fallen for much less. Putin didn’t just lose the war; he lost the army. He lost the air force. A failure of tactics, of logistics and intelligence. An everything you know is wrong moment. The new modern war where the most dangerous place to be on the battlefield is inside of a tank. And your preferred method of war is sending hundreds of tanks. Like wearing deer piss spray during the rutting season, boy are they ever going to be all over you!

So, Putin draws back a nub of broken pottery and dirty dishes. Units lacking proper equipment and missing their equipment altogether. Units wiped out or hiding in the woods. A Georgian unit was said to have put it to a vote. And the whole unit voted to hitchhike to try and make their way back home. The illusion of the Russian military power is now shattered. Any salesperson working on commission selling Russian military hardware, will now starve. You couldn’t sell those helicopters, buy one get one free. Turns out, Biff wasn’t so tough after all.

On paper the Russian army is huge. But that’s if you count the reservists and the Jr. ROTC cadets and janitors, secretaries, and such. Not near of the same fighting caliber as the crack troops that attacked Ukraine. Without the same level of equipment as that equipment left along the highways and byways of Ukraine. The flower of their army gone and all that is left now is the stem. Think British army after Dunkirk. “I got my helmet and my boots, and I still got four bullets left over in my pocket.”

If the reports are true that Russia has lost 141 aircraft, they barely have enough planes left to cover their own bases. Losing a similar number of helicopters, explains why the signup sheet for flight school is empty. Losing hundreds of front-line tanks, they fall back on wheezing Soviet era mosquito stranglers with the built-in smoke screen defense. The trucks are gone and the good tanks and the radar guided missile trucks. The fuel trucks and the cargo ships and navy patrol boats, all gone.

But the Russians have hired 1,000 mercenaries to come and fight in Ukraine. Syrians and others from the Middle East. Under the terms of their contract, they are paid well compared to a Russian conscript. If they get killed, the Russian Government will give their widow $2,000 plus $600 per month, for the next six months. Under the terms of their contract, the mercenaries are to be used only to guard bases and government installations and not to fight in combat.

You can trust us, has the Russian Government ever lied to you? We would never put you in harm’s way carelessly. We have our own soldiers for that!

Putin is repositioning his troops from existent to nonexistent. Repositioning his armor from tangible to imaginary. Repositioning the air force to using only stealth aircraft invisible to the naked eye. Repositioning the Navy ships to stay the hell away from Ukraine. Of course, the military being the military,  they have to devise a powerful name for the operation. Operation “Dynamo” or Operation “Overlord.” Or maybe just, “Operation Enduring Screw Up” or “Operation Fubar.”

“Oh, and remember: next Friday… is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.” – Bill Lumbergh

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