A long and though provoking post from one of the top posters on MoA, PavewayIV. What do you think?
"Still trying to make sense of the awkward handling of 1) Polish missile strike, 2) repeated shelling of Zaporizhzhia NPP.
(My) base assumption is that the US totally controls Zelensky, and anything the AFU does is either by US/NATO direct command or with US/NATO consent. Any time Zelensky or the AFU doesn't stay in their lane, western intelligence/military knows about it almost at once. Zelensky knows that, knows where his financial lifeline and arms supplies come from... thus, behaves unquestioningly. Some might argue that Zelensky has some autonomy from his US/NATO overlords so the rest of my argument will not apply.
Now suppose AZOV/ADIAR and the rest of the ultra-nationalist militias were never really absorbed by the Ukraine military (AFU, interior ministry Stazi, National Guards, etc.), Suppose they are still acting largely on their own impetus for their own reasons with their own oligarch financing. They were and remain only nominally under control of Zelensky and the military chain of command, but act on their own whenever they want.
After all, who's going to stop them? They essentially are in league with the SBU Gestapo, so no problems there. Zelensky as CIC? Hardly, they only seem to tolerate him as a somewhat-reliable arms supplier. AFU? Guards? Isn't AZOV/ADIAR the punisher battalions in the rear that shoot deserting AFU/Gurads?
Now consider how AZOV/ADIAR can act with impunity towards *their* rabid, psychopathic ultra-nationalist ends.
Russians took Zaporizhzhia? Shell it to punish (or irradiate) them. But [insert any logic against shelling ZNPP here]? Sorry, but AZOV/ADIAR is willing to take that risk... because it will kill Russians or prevent them from ever using ZNPP. Maybe the Russians will leave (or honor a 'Safety Zone') and AZOV/ADIAR can take it over and threaten Armageddon. Or build a few dirty bombs - whatever.
In any case, AZOV/ADIAR going rogue and shelling ZNPP explains Zelensky's crazy denials - he doesn't know because the 'real' AFU is NOT under orders to shell the plant and/or they are reluctant to report back to Zelensky that it's really AZOV/ADIAR gone rogue. Maybe AZOV/ADIAR is forcing small AFU units to shell the plant under threat of execution, and AZOV/ADIAR will come back and kill them all if they squeal. So all the AFU chain of command above them knows is that they didn't do anything or know anything about ZNPP shelling.
US/NATO getting cold feet in Ukraine? AZOV/ADIAR solution: launch an S-300 (or 'something') into Poland to turn up the heat. Does AZOV/ADIAR have S-300s or something? Doesn't matter. A little group of them show up to an AFU installation and 'encourage' the crews to light a few off towards Poland. And if the crews say anything, well... AZOV/ADIAR knows where their families live. This explains Zelensky's initial confusion/denial that Ukraine fired anything into Poland. Zelensky could find out the unit that fired it from debris (presuming S-300) so he insists on sending a Ukraine team to look at it. He'll never admit it was a Ukraine S-300, but he needs to know for himself if it was one of his.
Now keep in mind that the US had an AWACS right on the border all day and knows precisely where the missile was launched from. Poland quickly kicked out the firemen and had it's spooks sifting through the soil collecting fragments - they have to know by now exactly what it was and have all the serial numbers, etc. If US/NATO and Poland already know it was a Ukraine missile but not fired under the orders Zelensky or the AFU, then they have a bit of a dilemma. I'll call it the head-chopper dilemma for reasons below.
Now if AZOV/ADIAR have gone rogue on their own genocidal frenzy and Zelensky can't control them, then what does the US do? It can't use the SBU Gestapo to purge the ultra-nationalists because the SBU is compromised, too. Neither Zelensky nor his military commanders can do anything because they would get whacked... or worse. The US can't send in JSOC kill teams because the Nazis are everywhere, including Kiev, and there's hundreds of leaders. 'Regular' Ukrainians seem tolerant of AZOV/ADIAR because they're useful and effective. If the US decapitated the Nazi leadership, a lot of Ukrainians would be seriously pissed off.
In the mean time, AZOV/ADIAR knows they're untouchable and will continue to wage war on *their* terms against Russia. There will be no negotiations with AZOV/ADIAR - there's nothing to negotiate. Their 'terms' are exactly what Zelensky has parroted: all Russian troops leave Ukraine, all land returned to Ukraine. Until then, shelling a NPP, fomenting NATO entry into the war or just torturing and executing Russian POWs (and 'disloyal' Ukrainians) provides plenty of entertainment. There is no one 'leader' that they all follow, and nobody to negotiate with. They're driven by ideology alone.
Which brings me back to the US head-chopper dilemma from Syria. What do you do when your efforts to hide radical head-chopper jihadis fail? Once too many YouTube videos come out of 'FSA' moderate head-choppers doing what they like to do - chop heads - then the whole public support thing falls apart. There's no way to fund 'just' the FSA good guys to fight Assad. You pull the plug on the whole project, lick your wounds and take over some oil fields and granaries to punish Assad.
See why the US might be obsessed with hiding the most serious AZOV/ADIAR provocations/war crimes? If the US admits that Zelensky has no control over them, then the US taxpayers are going to get plenty pissed off that we're funding terrorists (directly or indirectly) that are trying to provoke WWIII or irradiate Europe. I would think the Europeans would be plenty worried about this too, but they seem to have a high tolerance for suicidal insanity committed by their leaders. I assume many have caught on by now but are in the same position as I am: what do you do when your own government has gone rogue?
Worse of all, if this has happened (AZOV/ADIAR effectively gone rogue) but the US is afraid to admit it or do anything about it, then you have the Head-chopper Paradox: what do you do when you depended on them for earlier political/military gains, and you still desperately want to 'win' (Depose Assad, Chase Russia out of Ukraine) but now they've become inconvenient and insolent? Head-choppers gonna head-chop.
Now, you're desperate to 1) hide this fact from the American/European public at all costs, and 2) somehow distance yourself from responsibility for their war crimes that you enabled, Walking away isn't an option like it was in Syria. These guys are a serious problem, shelling ZNPP and lobbing rockets into Poland is only the beginning. They'll do more and have to be stopped. But you're arming them to the teeth even better than you're arming the AFU (because AZOV/ADIAR takes what they want first, including financial aid). You can't send NATO in to 'defend' Zelensky and the AFU from the head-choppers that put them in power. You know how sensitive westerners are to the sight of their own dead soldiers.
The 'solution' to the Head-chopper Dilemma in Syria was to walk away and let Russia clean up our mess. I don't think that's going to work in Ukraine. It's clear that US/NATO are terrified and paralyzed - sending more arms and money is just going to make the problem worse."