Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?

Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?


Written by Julian Macfarlane, Tokyo based investigative journalist, writer, author, geopolitical and military analyst

I didn’t intend for this post to get so long. But, in combination with recent events, including Russian battlefield successes and increased Ukrainian losses – not to mention articles on strategy by Larry Johnson and Moon of Alabama— which I think muddy the waters rather than clarify – I took another look at strategy.

Most of that will be in a Special Article for my coffee buyers which is almost finished and which will hopefully address some of the issues raised in this post.

The special article on Biden’s State of the Union address has similarly morphed as economic and industrial considerations evolve— along with the beginnings of social unrest in the dis-United States of America. I am not a linear thinker.


My frequent Commenter and good friend Occupy Schagen, whose opinions I greatly respect, has sent me this:

My “Cassandra” is pointing at the Intentions surrounding Odessa. They are rising fast.
7 massively Huge Missile Attacks at Odessa in 3-4 days. There is now an Army group South.


Possibility 1.

Russia is retaliating on recent US-ATACMS attacks on Crimea, with a threat for the Crimea Bridge and on other attacks on “Russian Territory” and maybe on the activity of Naval Drones against the Russian Navy last year.
But that does not explain the Macron (and others) Intentions pointing at South-East Ukraine also.
Further is Ukraine again aggressive along the Kherson Dnieper-line, as they have before.
I point out that the Ukraine (Right/West) side of the Kherson Oblast Dnieper is High ground and the opposing Russian side low and muddy and so more difficult to defend or even to attack from.

Possibility 2.

Russia’s “Plan” is after,
1. Getting all of Donbass and create a full operational space towards West and North from there, the MAIN Offensive,

2. will NOT be Kharkov or Kiev (they may take some buffer-room along the Border),
But towards Zaporizhia City and the bridges over the Dnieper there.
The real Target is to Cross the river and march WEST towards Transnistria, Cutting the Supply to Odessa from the North and securing the Zaporizhia NPP.
An offensive towards Mikolaev & Odessa will be too slow because of many rivers and Fortifications that have been made there.

3. The Supply towards Odessa from the South (Rumania) will then be cut by a combined Naval Air-Invasion on the Black Sea Coast South of Odessa, straight to Transnistria, that will have to fulfil Supply needs for that the later phase in the invasion.
That way Odessa will be in a Cauldron and can be starved, or wait until the Russian civilians rise against the NAZI’S. The Main Supply line for military equipment for Kiev was from the South. That will be blocked too. Leaving a railway from Poland with a different width than the EU has as only supply-line..

4. The Grain-export from Ukraine across the Black Sea and the Regular Attacks on Crimea will be shut down then. The Black Sea will be a Russian Lake again. Strengthening the band with Türkiye.

Possibility 1. has a 25% probability.
Possibility 2. has a 60% probability
The rest is for a 15% probability to go for the Dnieper, from Zaporizhia towards Kiev, as NATO believes. Combined with Possibility 1, it is then 40% probability.

I think this is very GOOD analysis, which like all such leads in various directions.

Odessa, Moldova, Romania

There are a couple of important points.

1.) increased international attention given to Odessa and control of the Black Sea. As Occupy says, this is implicit in Macron’s statements. But, also, in rumors abounding about the need for American battlefield support for Romania—where there is no battlefield (yet) – and CIA activities in Moldova.

Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?

Moldova’s Opposition Forms ‘Victory’ Bloc with Gagauzia, is Sending a Signal to Europe and NATO

In Moldova, opposition groups have signed an agreement to form the “Victory” bloc, including the Șor Party and four other parties. Gagauzia has also joined the bloc. This move sends a signal to both Europe and NATO.

The “Moldova-Romania” project is important for NATO to ensure its presence on the Black Sea. NATO needs access to the ports of Odessa, which are hindered by Transnistria and Moldova. Russia opposes this project and is taking countermeasures.

Moscow is signaling to Moldova the possibility of a political settlement through the opposition, emphasizing the importance of maintaining control over Odessa. InfoDefense English (Telegram)

Russia guarantees ethnic Russian Transnistria and has a token force stationed there.

Moldova, which is officially is neutral, controls one bank of the Dniester River, the Transnistrians the other, although the Dniester Estuary is nominally overseen by the UAF, with the Port of Odessa just two hours away.

Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?

The Russians, as I reported before, are building a “river navy”, with antecedents going back to the Dnieper Flotilla and the Danube Flotilla used in WWII. The Danube estuary and port of Ismail, a little further west of the Dniester could figure in flotilla activities.

Such flotillas have multiple functions, especially in amphibious landings. They also serve as floating artillery. You can imagine how useful they could be on the Dnieper.

Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?

Apart from that, the Russians have the means to encircle and take Odessa from the North and Northeast, as well as Mykolaiv, using land forces, if they want to, as Occupy says.

The question is: at what cost?

In 2022, I had thought after Mariupol that they would want to do this — to control the entire Black Sea. But I was wrong— at that time anyway.

The Russians had different strategies from what we in the West expect — which we have seen unfold over time in the destruction of at least 3 NATO armies.

Back in the Spring of 2022, they had effectively hamstrung and defeated one NATO army— and no doubt looked to negotiating an agreement that would give them what they wanted, a kind of new Minsk.

Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?

Things have changed … and continue to change.

The SMO as war

The “SMO” is now more of a real war.

Let us keep in mind that in 2022, the Russians had committed a fairly small force, with much of the fighting done by DPR and LPR forces, the Chechens and Wagner.

But now Russia is building its forces=—aiming at 1.5 million men under arms after 2025. Donbass, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhie have become Russian republics — which means that the regular Russian military can be deployed rather than just “contract’ soldiers as in 2022.

Not that the Russians don’t have enough volunteers. Shogiu estimates a force of about 750,000 “contract” soldiers in 2024.

At present, Russia has about 500,000 troops in Ukraine in addition to about 190,000 LPR and DPR troops. For the first time, it outnumbers the UAF.

Russia has built a new major airfield near Belgorod, which will enhance air operations over the east bank of the Dnieper. And has taken positions in Kharkov, creating a “security zone” about 10 kilometers into nominally Ukrainian territory.

For the time being it is focusing on central Donbas, Chasov Yar and Krasmahorovka, and other major nodes in the Maginot Grid, taking its time —making steady progress, while also taking a village at a time

Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?

The Ukrainians have been losing up to 1000 men a day and that number is increasing-now—2000, even 3000. They are conscripting radiologists from kids’ cancer clinics, and also the mentally ill, disabled, and young girls=-=- apparently for mine clearance!

Most important, they are drawing on reserves from — you guessed it! — Odessa and Kharkov. Except that in Kharkov reserves are in short supply—the Ukrainians have to expend precious manpower to try to counter the Russian border incursion.

As the Russians “demilitarize” the Ukraine, the Nazis are doing their best to depopulate it—demonstrating not only their malignancy him and corruption — but incompetence. From the beginning, they fed the public lies. Now, the public realizes they were poison.

Human beings go with the flow. But happens when there is either no flow at all — or a polluted flood destroying your home?

In a conventional war, if the Russians wanted to end things quickly —they would take Odessa as Occupy says. This, however, is a new kind of war.

The great commanders, like all successful practitioners, were above all sons of their age. In Napoleon’s epoch it would be fatal to imitate the techniques of Frederick the Great, and now the application of the techniques of Napoleon’s epoch will lead only to failure. Successful action must frst be appropriate to time and place, and for that it must be in accord with contemporary conditions. If our understandings do not change in correspondence with the progress of the military art, if we stay frozen to one point and bow before unchanging laws, we gradually lose sight of the essence of things. Deep ideas become harmful prejudices. Alexander Svechin.

If the Russians followed Western strategies, it would mean:

a.) greater expenditure of resources

b.) more Russian military casualties

c.) more civilian casualties

c.) more damage to civilian infrastructure

It would mean attacking large cities.

Sun Tzu advised against attacking large, fortified cities for good reason. One reason was that he was Chinese—and they were Chinese cities!

After Melitopol, Kherson, and Mariupol in 2022, I had assumed the Russians would attack west to Mykolaiv and Odessa to secure the Black Sea.

Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?

(The map is Ukrainian. No, the Russians did NOT target central Kharkov with heavy artillery and the Russians attacked Kiev with just enough forces to tie up UAF forces there. Their real objectives were in the South.)

Mariupol was positionally strategic. Odessa, Mykolaiv, and Kharkov were not—at the most, tactical nuisances—at that time lacking Western long-range precision weapons.

Mariupol had a population of 446, 000. Mykolaiv, close to 500,000 and Odessa close to a million. Mariupol had to be taken—as I said, it was strategically located— and in war as in business location is everything.

But taking it came at a cost. It is being restored—but it is a ten-year project, with thousands of people displaced.

Long term, the Russians want Ukraine to become Novorossiya – New Russia. For that to happen it is better to let the Banderites kill themselves and all who support them, while minimizing destruction and civilian casualties—rather than doing an American “shock & awe” campaign.

In the case of Odessa, the Russians are increasingly able to neutralize UAF capabilities in Odessa using intelligence from the local resistance. They are also degrading their military supply lines.

Push and Shove

Push, however, could come to shove— if NATO troops get involved, say, using Romania and Moldova as springboards.

Then the Russians will have no choice but to allocate forces to give NATO the blooding they deserve.

It won’t come to that. NATO has resources for no longer than 2 weeks. And the Americans don’t want to see their young men and women coming home in body bags.

That’s my thinking —but I have been wrong before….

In any case, it makes more sense to me to liberate the rest of Donbas and Lugansk, then the Zaporizhya and Kherson oblasts. With full control in these two oblasts the Russians are better positioned to cut UAF supply lines to the north of Odessa and the Odessa oblast.

Establishing a force on the west bank of the Dniester, say the historic port of Tatarbunary, home of the Bolshevik Romanian revolution of 1924, would put pressure on Odessa Port.

Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?


But that would tie up Russian forces there.

Details, details…..

Natural DeNazification

Nazism is a disease.

It is virulent in early stages. But has a high fatality rate, which means it is self- limiting. We see that in the Ukraine.

In Odessa, Odessans remember the CIA supported Odessa Massacre of 2014.

Julian Macfarlane: Odessa?

How many in Odessa and Kharkov support Russia?

If referenda were held now, I am sure a majority would vote to join Russia. If it’s held later — with Western Ukraine collapsing— even more would go with the winner.

Odessa’s Anti-Maidan activists were “99.9 percent” locals, Polishchuk recalled – while 90 percent of pro-Maidan forces consisted of radicals brought into the rebellious city in the wake of the February 2014 coup in Kiev.

Resistance is muted, of course. But it is there— as we can see from SBU attempts to identify who is telling the Russians what to strike, where and when.

The more active the SBU anywhere in Ukraine, the negative popular sentiment.

In Russia, of course, everyone still remembers the Great Patriotic War. Now, they realize how the disease mutated and spread to the West.

Further advances in the Donbas will render Kiev defenseless—and the Russians will cut supply lines to Odessa from the north and west. It is most likely that the Banderites will flee Kiev for Lvov—and from there to Europe.

And Ukraine will once again be Russian.

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Viet Hochi min beats the USofA

russia will 100% have to take odessa, because most of the new missile/drones attacks on crimea are coming from odessa


agreed the military situation makes this imperative


this fool knows nothing. he speculates, like all amateurs. stay in japan, enjoy the sake…


stfo jerking garbo, mind your business and send more money to zelensky, you cuck

Antony Blink Blink

did we all see stinkie blinkie rocking out in kiev….ahahahahahahahahah ahahahhahahah what a shit show the yanks have become

Last edited 1 month ago by Antony Blink Blink

‘cortez the killer’ would have been a more appropriate neil young song choice. at least try and acknowledge murika’s ongoing blood drenched worldwide neo colonial theft and destruction.

there’ll certainly be no ‘rockin’ in the free world’ as long as pax-murika continues to prevail, as there’s no free world possible under these despotic psycho-yanks.

one day the global majority will wake up and give these yanks the kicking they richly deserve.


le prelungeste agonia.

an american ally

he only knows three chords but that’s two and a half more than he knows in foreign policy.


bravo, tot inainte, spre dunare! mociolacu si mociuca vor sa vina sa lupte. nue ne vrea raul, fondurile nue ingroapa competiția. administratia fondului de mediu sustine si finanteaza masinile in recall de foc, de fum de scânteie si masinile care nu trec testul elanului. calitatea nu are loc. cantitatea si pomenile au deschidere larga. programele naționale distrug producătorii clasici de energie. o iarna cu temperaturi de – 18 grade le. doresc.


vine si randul odesei. o triunghiularizare va scoate din joc ce o protejeaza in jur.


vedem curand provenienta p at riot, dacă le au de la japonezi, sudcoreeni, sau europeni. un atac va fi o surpriza.


mociolacu : tineretul roman merge la vot si e f activ… la europarlamentare… normal… uita ca 25% din tinererul roman prefera ursoaica. uita ca tinererul roman nu face copii! de ce nu face copii? de cat de bine o duc in romania. instabilitatea si saracia sunt acum aduse de nue. nue nu mai e cea din 2007. acum nue te omoara prin politici.


dupa securizarea teritoriului ursoaicei la un nivel la care rachetele m o tan nu mai ating tinte, da vine si vremea odesei.


premierul slovaciei un om antirazboi a fost impuscat. nue omoara oameni. m o tan la fel omoara oameni. nue ne executa pe. noi ca romani si natie.


este nou ales, le a zis clar europenilor : slovacia nu merge la. lupta contra ursoaicei!


posibil la aceasta ora 5 pm ora bucureștiului sa fie deja exit premierul slovac


lui mociolacu i s au scumpit dstegentii! e destept? bubuie! sa manance chimie si sa scoată pe dos detergenti. taxarea industriei petroliere si petrochimice in europa nu rămâne fara rezultate negative.


usa,france and british are liars their call fleeing ukrainian nazi terrorist pull back and retreating.same gin their used to tell us that france economy is stronger then russia economy.but now we have seen that both britain,france,germany and italy economy is far behind russia.


actually, whole west economy is behind brics.


disagree, the raf must take kiev first and foremost.


too many casulties. it would be more likely that the people would rise up against the usurpers. that is, zelensky and everyone since 2014. petro poroshenko has publicly admitted that his presidency was not legitimate.


the most certain way to keep ukraine out of nato is to conquer it entirely. but i don’t know what the best strategy is, a boxing match can be won in any part of the ring, the victor will control it all if the opponent is knocked out. when peace is agreed the turks can open the straits and donated ukrainian ships would be allowed to pass if odessa remains ukrainian.


there are a lot of rivers between the front lines and odessa, i will take a lot of convincing that odessa will be a feasible target any time soon. an amphibious operation is out of the question and even if it succeeded it would be a logistical nightmare to supply. the rf has already had to abandon their bridgehead on the western bank of the dniepr because of logistical difficulties, i can’t see them wanting to re-create that situation.


so much rubbish in that post. the assumptions are completely wrong. russia stated right from the start that the goal was to return the territories of “novorussia” to russia. see what this means on the map. the western side of kyiv is not part of the picture and the map picture is therefore stupid.

the people’s republics of donetsk and luhansk were self-declared regions – not under russian control, as the story claims.


the author of the story clearly influences his opinions by the propaganda produced by the western media, not by the facts


why expend military forces taking odessa by force? the russians will automatically gain odessa when the ukrainians sue for peace.

Edgar Zetar

all the scenarios proposed here had a huge amount of complexity. the top two world military powers are fighting in ukraine. russia was very cautious since the beginning because russia knows u.s.a is number 1. i agreed that the special military operation it’s starting to look more than a real war. u.s.a had restarted the military industrial complex m.i.c so this is going to continue and the world is going to receive all kinds of military weapons in the next years ahead.

Edgar Zetar

diplomacy has failed, the supreme hegemon should reconsider their steps and realize the only way out of this is having mutual security pacts and collective security involving all countries in disputes openly. but they won’t retreat they will double down for sure, the system wants war at all costs, the expansionist agenda of take it all and control everything will continue.

an american ally

looks to me like ukraine is destined to be landlocked just like it landlocked moldova.


this is very good analysis but a question arises in 1942 germany took all of ukraine in 28 days yet russia cannot even secure crimea after two years could the author explain this