Ukraine: Z has now become zero, writes Peter Polack

Russian operations in Ukraine have now become a reprise of another invasion, the decimation of the French GM 100 convoy at Mang Yang Pass in Vietnam as the French forces withdrew, in June 1954, after the Dien Bien Phu debacle.

How the tables have turned as the once heralded invasion force runs away from simple, everyday, even polite Ukrainians hardened into concrete, never to fear or weaken, in the years ahead.

The inured citizens of Irpin dislike silence more than the repeated explosions of merciless Russian shells.

The Ukrainian teams with anti-tank missiles no longer shout with joy when a tank is hit. Several weeks into the invasion they are now settled into the assembly line destruction of retreating Russian columns. Just cool, calm concentrated small arms fire to follow up the resounding strike of victory on another vehicle with a V or Z.

First year cadets of the Ukrainian military outmatch the Russians and Chechens on the battlefield. The steely resolve of patriotism over incursion. Weakened Russians are more intent on plunder or rape before combat success and why not, their masters are doing the same. The height of military incompetence as retreating Russians try to evacuate bodies when massive amounts of munitions and machines are left behind. Those actions are a mere veil covering humiliation.

The cartoon character Princess ZaZa Royale had a branded following using the letter Z who eventually defected after a series of lies and ultimately, betrayal. Cattle are also branded to discern ownership on the way to the abattoir, also Mariupol, where flies penetrate the sealed siege line to pitch on the cadavers of Russian conscripts lying in the open of the Ukrainian no-go area of resistance.

Z has now become zero.

Battleship Putin has become the Battleship Potemkin.


Peter Polack is a former criminal lawyer in the Cayman Islands for several decades. His books are The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War: South Africa vs. Cuba in the Angolan Civil War (2013), Jamaica, The Land of Film (2017) and Guerrilla Warfare: Kings of Revolution (2019). He was a contributor to Encyclopedia of Warfare (2013).

Polack worked as a part-time reporter for Reuters News Agency in the Cayman Islands 2014-19. His work has been published in Small Wars Journal, Defence Procurement International, American Intelligence Journal, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center magazine, Military Times, Foreign Policy News, EU Today, Radio Free Europe, VOA Portuguese, South Africa Times, Africa Monitor, Folha de Sao Paulo, NODAL Cultura, Caribbean Life, Jamaque Paradis, History Cooperative, INews Cayman, Jamaica Gleaner, Miami Herald, Reuters and The New York Times. His latest book entitled Soviet Spies Worldwide: Country by Country, 1940–1988 will be published by McFarland in 2022.

The book is a compendium of Russian espionage activities with nearly five hundred Soviet spies expelled from nearly 100 countries worldwide. In April 2021 he completed Only the Young Shall Die by with Jack McCain USNR about raising the age of military enlistment.

He is currently doing research on a curated collection entitled War In Pictures of almost 1,000 images throughout several conflicts over many centuries.


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