Sunday, February 27, 2022

That War in Ukraine

Well, I make no pretense at this being a "smart military blog," so please take whatever I have with a grain or two of salt. But it looks like the Ukrainians are going to, at the very least, give Putin a bloody nose. This is yesterday's but it appears true today as well, from Stacy McCain, UKRAINE: Kyiv Survives Another Day

The good news is that the Ukrainian capital did not fall to the Russian invaders Friday night, but it is becoming a battle in earnest:

Street fighting has broken out in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, as Russian forces advanced on the city and Ukrainian officials urged residents to take shelter.
. . .
Civilized nations do not do this to their neighbors, obviously. There has been talk of a negotiated ceasefire, but Putin appears to be offering unacceptable conditions, so that the offer to negotiate is just a pretext to shift blame to the Ukrainians. Putin is talking like a madman

Stacy sings the praises of Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's duly elected President,  "What a Real President Looks Like." Either way it goes, he’ll be a historic figure. I'll say, from stand-up comedian to President of a country of 44 million, to a resistance leader. Stacy also counts  The Blessings of St. Javelin

This image of a saint wielding an FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile has become an iconic symbol of the Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion. When you see video of destroyed Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers, chances are it was a Javelin that did the damage.

The Javelin is quite a sophisticated weapon, so much so that a single missile costs more than $80,000. It is a “fire-and-forget” weapon; once the target is acquired through the sighting system, the missile locks onto the target and as soon as it is fired, the crew can run for cover or change their position. However, because of the missile’s “soft launch” technology, the location of the Javelin crew is not revealed to the enemy forces, who may not even know what hit them, much less where it came from. Besides which, when one of your tanks gets blown up by an armor-piercing missile, your first thought is probably, “Let’s get the hell out of here,” rather than attempting to mount a counterattack.

You’ve seen news about the Russians being “bogged down” because of “unexpectedly” strong Ukrainian opposition? St. Javelin, baby!
. . .
Basically, if the crew gets a good “lock” on the target, this sucker will hit it at a range of two miles or more. When President Zelensky says he needs “ammunition” to defend his country, it’s more Javelins he needs the most urgently, and the Biden administration will have to answer for why it didn’t supply Ukraine more of these weapons in the weeks leading up to the Russian invasion. By the way, some of my conservative friends have noted that in Ukraine’s war against Russia, liberals have finally discovered a “nationalism” they can endorse.

 Juanita Broaddrick@atensnut "The Javelin missiles that are doing the damage and holding off Russian troops were provided to Ukraine by the Trump Administration"

Sure, anyone could see that Putin is a maniacal killer, a former KGB agent who is deluded with thoughts of a new day for the old Soviet Union, even before he invaded Ukraine. It must have been a huge surprise to find the kind of unwavering resolve coming from Ukrainians that has slowed his path to Kyiv and seizing control of Ukraine. The question is, is Vladimir Putin descending into mental decline now?

It is very unusual for someone like Rubio, privy to classified information, to be saying something so damning against a world leader without offering more context. Rubio is the vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a go-to person in Republican foreign policy discussions. Has he heard something in a closed session meeting from a spy or infiltrator that provides some evidence of the possibility of Putin’s mental decline? Perhaps we’ll learn more when the time is deemed appropriate.

"Those Ukraine girls really knock me out"

Or maybe he has received a fatal cancer diagnosis, and is determined to go as far as he can in restoring the Russian imperial legacy before he dies. Either way, a danger. 

At Insty, GOOD: Ukrainian “go f*** yourself” soldiers may be alive. But a reminder that early war reports are often wrong. And WELL: Putin Puts Nuclear Deterrent on ‘Special Alert.’ Related: West unleashes SWIFT bans, more crushing penalties on Russia. 

“The United States and European nations agreed Saturday to impose the most potentially crippling financial penalties yet on Russia over its unrelenting invasion of Ukraine, going after the central bank reserves that underpin the Russian economy and severing some Russian banks from a vital global financial network. . . . The central bank restrictions target access to the more than $600 billion in reserves that the Kremlin has at its disposal, and are meant to block Russia’s ability to support the ruble as it plunges in value amid tightening Western sanctions. U.S. officials said Saturday’s steps were framed to send the ruble into ‘free fall’ and promote soaring inflation in the Russian economy.”

If they’re as good at that as they have been with inflation in the U.S. economy, they should succeed admirably.

Also: Police detain anti-war protesters in Russia.

We should not have to tolerate Putin's behavior for the sake of oil, trimming our sanctions to protect his oil trade. Frack like crazy, and restart the Keystone XL pipeline, and supply Europe energy if needed. It would be good for our economy too. 


Chechen general Magomed Tushayev, the president’s right-hand man, killed near Kiev. “The Armed Forces of Ukraine have assured that shortly after 8:30 p.m. they have “neutralized” the Chechen general, Magomed Tushayev. Apparently, he could have been killed near Kiev, in the area known as Hostome. Tushayev He was in charge of the 141 motorized regiment of the so-called Kadyrov guard: one of the most elite units in Chechnya and whose contingent would be made up of about 400 men. Magomed Tushayev, was known as one of the Lords of war and its loss is a severe blow to the Chechen contingent that was moved to Kiev to support the Russian army in the capture of the Ukrainian capital.”

Or this one, NYPo, Who is the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’? Story of Ukrainian ace pilot goes viral

Unconfirmed reports of an ace Ukrainian fighter pilot have gone viral, with social media users dubbing the fighter the “Ghost of Kyiv.”

Supposedly downing as many as six Russian planes in the first day of combat, the Ghost of Kyiv — and their MiG-29 Fulcrum — quickly became a folk hero in a war breathlessly watched online.

At Marca,  Former Ukraine president confirms the 'Ghost of Kyiv' is real. He would, wouldn't he. I hope it's true. 

Ever the contrarian, sundance at CTH countenances skepticism in The First Casualty of War Is the Truth – The Current Western Propaganda for Ukraine Is Epic in Scale

When we shared yesterday that all interested observers should be very wary of the information from media sources around Ukraine, there was a reason for that. Question everything. Take nothing at face value.

If you have never experienced the propaganda push surrounding war, the totality of the inbound bullsh*t can be destabilizing, overwhelming and unnerving. It’s one of the reasons why CTH doesn’t share immediate information. Everyone has an agenda.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of agitprop and disinformation starts flying about at the start of a war. So much chaos and confusion. I wouldn't believe anything you read or hear for a few weeks until things settle down more. Lot's of pro-Ukrainian stories have already turned out to be hoaxes.