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68RR 03-06-2022 12:11 PM

Some info from the Ukraine
My friend John R Bruning is a Writer by profession. He was imbedded with the Grunts in Iraq and Afghanistan. John has been getting some pretty good info from his "friends" he made back then. His posts can easily be found on facebook

John R Bruning is with Darl Stephenson.
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John R Bruning
Mid-Morning Update:
My dear friend Darl Stephenson sent me a link to some remarkable information on what has happened to the Russian drive northwest of Kyiv and that massive 40 mile long column of vehicles we've seen images of from sats and drones.
According to this source, the Ukrainians waited until the Russians had shoved the better part of 3 divisions down a highway through a flood plain. There's at least one tank division in the mix, along with major elements of an airborne division. The estimate is somewhere around 60,000 men with thousands of vehicles.
When they entered the flood plain, the Ukrainians opened their reservoirs and deluged the area with water. Other reports on line suggest hundreds of Russian soldiers were swept way by the flood. That seems a reach. But, it looks like these vehicles were trapped on that main highway with no way to operate off-road now. Batteries are dying on the vehicles, their tires are Chinese-made and failing. The analysis Darl sent suggests the area around the convoy will be under water or impassible until June.
If this is true, trapping 60,000 men and thousands of vehicles with a flood has to rank as one of the singular coups in military history.
Additional support to this: The Russians are sending pretty much anything with wheels to Ukraine. Some photos of a train carrying a mix of old military vehicles and civilian trucks are attached. This would explain why there are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Three mech/armor divisions use massive amounts of fuel, vehicles to transport that fuel, and other supplies as well.
Darl's link here:
Ukraine Thread Part 3 – Day Eight of the Russian Column Held Hostage (by the usual Russian incompetence) – – Chicago Boyz
Ukraine Thread Part 3 – Day Eight of the Russian Column Held Hostage (by the usual Russian incompetence) – – Chicago Boyz
Some Chicago Boyz know each other from student days at the University of Chicago. Others are Chicago boys in spirit. The blog name is also intended as a good-humored gesture of admiration for distinguished Chicago School economists and fellow travelers.
This can't be combined with what you've already added to your post.

68RR 03-06-2022 12:14 PM

Morning Update:
Disclaimer: I'm not a professional intel analyst, I'm not in Europe. I'm just a military historian and writer living in rural Oregon. These are my observations on the most important developments in Ukraine over the weekend.
1. Russian ground forces spent the day largely trying to consolidate and resupply again. There were no major Russian ground operations around Kyiv, Kharkiv or west of Kherson in the South. Supplying the front line units has been very difficult for the Russians, due to their own logistical deficiencies, but also because the Ukrainians are launching attacks against their resupply columns and blowing bridges in their rear areas.
2. Russian losses continue to be extremely heavy. In fact, their air losses are unsustainable--they're losing between 7-10 fixed & rotary wing aircraft a day. To date, the Russians have lost about 100 aircraft and drones in less than two weeks of fighting. There is no way for the Russians to quickly replace these losses, nor can they financially sustain them with a defense budget of $120 billion a year. The war is costing Russia well over $20 billion a day, and a Russian analyst for their FSB (Federal Security Service) leaked an assessment which states if the war drags into June, the Russian economy will be destroyed. Additionally, the Russians are losing roughly 1,000 men a day, killed in action, according to Ukrainian estimates. There's a small army of open source analysts in the West who are literally counting wrecked vehicles, identifying their type and geolocating them to pinpoint their GPS coordinates. They're in general agreement that Ukrainian estimates of Russian losses are pretty accurate.
3. Visa and Mastercard have unilaterally suspended operations in Russia effective last night. The Russian banks are scrambling to tie into alternative payment and credit systems, including a Chinese one, but this will take time and require new cards to be issued apparently. This is a very significant development, as it is an ongoing example of corporate activism that was not factored into the sanctions equation. Other companies pulling their operations include Airbus and Boeing, who have denied access to their on-line manuals and technical support to the Russians now. Public pressure is mounting on McDonalds to suspend operations in Russia.
4. Earlier this morning PST, eight Russian cruise missiles struck an important airfield in central Ukraine. President Zelensky announced that the attack totally destroyed the facility.
5. The safe passage corridors negotiated the other day have not worked, as the Russians continue to shell those routes, killing civilians as they flee. The effort to get people out of Mariupol in the South seems to have broken down entirely for the moment. The fact is, the war is turning increasingly brutal and violence toward civilians is increasing. Families are being shot at checkpoints, there are unconfirmed reports of Chechan and Russian troops raping and killing women. The Russians are using area weapons, including a short range, Cold-War era ballistic missile called the SS-21 Scarab (OTR-21 Tochka). The firepower arrayed against Ukraine's key cities is horrific. The Russians used such attacks to try and break the morale and will to resist in previous conflicts, including Syria. So far, it is stiffening resolve in Ukraine, but thousands of civilians have been deliberately targeted and killed.
6. The Ukrainians have announced they have had 20,000 foreign volunteers sign up to fight in their international brigade. This includes 3,000 Americans.
7. US Secretary of State Blinken was in Moldova and Poland this weekend. He met with the Ukrainian Sec. of State on the Polish border. Reports indicate that Blinken may be trying to broker a deal that would in fact get those 28 MiG-29s in Poland to Ukraine. Additionally, it was reported at 0630 PST that Blinken and members of the EU are now looking at banning Russian oil imports. This would have a catastrophic effect on the Russian economy, and cause another spike in global oil prices.
8. There is a report that the Belarussian Deputy Minister of Defense and chief of staff, Major General V. Gulevich has resigned in protest over the decision to send Belarussian troops into Ukraine. Additionally, his alleged resignation letter states that refusal to follow the orders to invade Ukraine has been widespread within the army, so much so that battalion assault groups cannot be formed.
9. The Russian Military of Defense summoned the Croatian military attache in Moscow to deliver a letter of protest to him over the fact that there are now 200 Croatian nationals fighting in Ukraine as volunteers against the Russians. The Croatian attache refused to even touch the letter and would not accept it.
10. As I've been typing this, another Russian SU-25 has been reported shot down. Videos are surfacing of Stinger-armed Ukrainians rushing to street corners to fire these missiles at low-flying helicopters and attack aircraft. The Ukrainians have captured several downed aircrew, including one wounded aviator who was photographed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when his unit was deployed to the region previously. Of note--that particular Russian aviator was extremely overweight. Of the 300 Russians captured so far, a good many of them appear unfit and very overweight.
11. The footage emerging of the massive and growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is simply heartbreaking--and enraging. These are ordinary, average Europeans who were just living their best lives and have suddenly found their world torn apart. They are fleeing, as their grandparents and great grandparents did, from an absolutely horrific level of violence deliberately leveled against them. They are carrying their cats and dogs with them, a few possessions in a back pack or duffel, and making their way West. Over a million now. In Lvov, at the train station, a young Ukrainian woman sat down at a piano placed outside and played for the waves of men, women and children fleeing the war. The song? She played "What a Wonderful World" as flakes of snow fell, and families with nothing left sought safety in the west.
Watch that here: https://twitter.com/MichalM.../statu...46901697679363...
12. Today there are large protests in Russian cities against the war. The bravery it takes to oppose the Putin regime, risk prison and the violence inflicted on them by the Russian riot police is pure national redemption for them. Some video of this is here:
For an idea on how fearful the regime is about these demonstrations, take a look at the police (and police dogs) in Moscow: https://twitter.com/JamesAA.../statu...37354154180610...
So far today, there have been a reported 2,000+ protesters arrested, making almost 11,000 imprisoned since the wa

Mach1 03-06-2022 02:02 PM

Great post

68RR 03-07-2022 12:08 PM

Evening Update:
1. Russian Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky, commander of the 247th Guards Air Assault Regiment, was killed in action over the weekend.
Unconfirmed reports indicate the regiment has been wiped out by Ukrainian forces. the 247th was part of the 7th Guards Airborne Division, and considered an elite unit. It was a veteran formation that had seen much combat in the Chechen wars, Georgia and the Donbas. The regiment has its own museum in Stavropol.
2. Huge protests in Russian today resulted in shocking displays of brutality on the part of the Russian police and the arrest of over 4,000 protesters nationwide. If that number is accurate, there are at least 14-15,000 protesters in prison now. Police are now stopping people on the streets of Moscow and examining their phones to see what they are posting and the sites they have visited.
It remains to be seen if a Totalitarian regime can arrest its way out of increasing domestic unrest.
3. Ukranian air defenses have downed several Russian aircraft today. Here is the destruction of an SU-25.
4. Russian aircraft and vehicles are using commercial GPS units to navigate. This has been seen in some of their latest-gen attack aircraft, as well as among captured gear found on dead Russian soldiers. One 247th Guard Air Assault Regiment's captain was killed in action and his GPS system found, complete with his home address. The Ukrainians posted photos of it on Twitter.
5. The flooding story is true, though it may have been magnified. There was a choke point in the road net being used by the Russian convoys at the city of Demydiv, and everything east of the road is under water right now in front of the dam. At very least, this has impaired their off road movement considerably in that area.
6. Ukrainian counter attacks around Kharkiv have recaptured several towns and inflicted heavy losses on the Russians.
7. Russian losses for March 6 now are estimated to be over 11,000 men killed. Chief of the UK Defense Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin went on the BBC today and painted a picture of deteriorating morale in the Russian forces engaged as a result of their units being "decimated" by Ukrainian defenders. He also commented that many of the men whose vehicles are trapped in that 40 mile long convoy are now just living in the woods, having abandoned their gear. He also pointed out that the Russians have lost more men in 10 days than the UK did in 20 years in Afghanistan.
8. US defense officials report that the Russians now have committed 95% of the 200,0000 troops arrayed against Ukraine. They have fired 600 cruise and ballistic missiles.
9. Russians are trying to raise their own international brigade composed of Syrians, North Koreans, etc. to fight in Ukraine. Sort of an all-star team of international outlaws and fellow traveler scum.
10. This Russian POW video is pretty eye opening:
11. Pentagon sources state the Russians have made no appreciable gains in the last 24 hours.
12. Ukrainian civilian drone pilots have flocked to help their army. they're using DJI drones to assist in reconnaissance and intelligence gathering, and some of them are also capturing shoot downs, firefights and other combat moments. There are thousands of them apparently in use now.
More tomorrow.

68RR 03-07-2022 02:32 PM

More. The Su loss posted above end up being a Su 34.

Day 12 - March 7 - Regrouping or just gutted?
Relatively speaking, today was a pretty mild day in the Russia-Ukraine war. The main forces seemed to to stay more or less put. The Russians hit a Mykolaiv residential district with Smerch rockets, which makes very little sense, particularly if the Ukrainian General Staff is right.
According to them, the Russians are reorganizing units so they can make some more pushes. The single largest one still seems to be trying to break into Kyiv, with something like 7-8 BTGs. I can't make sense of it, the area appears now to be crawling with Territorial Defense carrying AT weapons, and the Ukrainian regulars are there in force.
At present, if the GenStab is telling the truth, the Russians are holding a belt of villages to Kyiv's northern outskirts, while the Ukrainians are opposite in their own line of villages. The Russian attack is supposed to hit Vyshegorod - i.e. - the next village south on the Chernihiv highway. No maneuvering, no seeking weak points, no misdirection. Just push vehicles down the road into ever-tighter urban terrain full of infantry just waiting for someone to do that. Given the way the Russians have been trained to attack, and the way the Ukrainians are handling their drones and artillery, the main outcome of more RU pressure on this line has to be more Russian dead.
Meanwhile, at the same time, the Russians have been firing rockets and artillery and dropping bombs at/on all manner of civilian infrastructure. I assume this is Putin's campaign to terrorize the population by destroying standard of living. The problem is, munitions don't grow on trees, so if the RF is going try to develop its military attacks further, wouldn't you think they would be saving up ammunition to make that happen? So how serious, exactly, could these future moves be. Supposedly, there are 17 BTGs swanning around east of Mykolaiv and maybe they're going to head for Dnipro, or maybe the Kaniv crosssing, or maybe Zaporizhia and ITS nuclear plant.
But in the south especially, it seems like the Russians seem to be trying to compensate for inflexible artillery by calling in air support. This has been, again, if the General Staff is to be believed, in yet more Ru aircraft losses, and absolutely horrific helicopter losses - about 20 in the last day, apparently near Mykolaiv. According to one report two Ukrainian Su-25 pilots gunned a Russian helicopter base and wiped out most of what was on the ground, before getting shot down themselves.
I am really getting the feeling that someone in the Kremlin has decided the flyboys aren't doing enough, and they should, because the enemy Ukrainians are near their tipping point
An army running out of ammunition at the outset of a war is a commonplace. So is the fallacy that blasting civilians will end a war by breaking public will to resist. These are real issues the Russian army is facing in Ukraine, and it's not getting easier.
I think the real problem the Russians have is just heavy losses, particularly in combat troops. If the Ukrainian numbers are roughly accurate, then they probably have suffered 10,000 dead and 30-40,000 wounded, of whom at least 30,000 were hospitalized. This has already started to undermine the Belarusian health system in areas proximate to the fighting - they are running out of beds to treat the wounded. Practically all Russians hit have relatives and loved ones who are upset about that. So now we're seeing reports of the Moscow and Petersburg police running out of jail space to lock up demonstrators.
How does Putin control this? Can he control it? If he pushes forward his troops take a new wave of losses. The combat units are probably, on average, at half strength or less. If the UAF is set up, it really is looking like the Russians can't do much against those defenses except pound it with heavy artillery, or attack it and get chopped up themselves. So although the RU may have all these BTGs floating around the battle map, many of them have to be close to half strength. Maybe less. How do you dig Ukrainians out of holes with a force like that? Why would you try?
If he stays put the Ukrainians dig in and pick the time and place to counterattack. Reportedly, the town of Chugaev, with its UAF airfield attached, this is Kharkiv sector, was retaken by yesterday evening.
Mariupol is another example of, possibly, the RU army just digging itself deeper in a hole. Here a group of Crimea-based units have cut off the town, and the civilians are in awful conditions: no power, no heating, diminishing water, food running out, escape practically impossible. This is Putin's goal, right?
Well, at the same time, two pretty strong units, the Azov National Guard Regiment and 36 Marine brigade, are in the city in force. They are on familiar ground, they know the ranges, and if the Azov news feed is to be believed over the last 48 hours the Russians have lost something like 8 tanks and a bunch of other equipment, and several dozen killed soldiers trying and failing to break into the defenses. The references to Thermopylae and Donetk Airport are there for anyone wishing to see them. If the Russians fail to take the city, they are at the end of a 150 km+ no alternative supply line, just begging to be cut.
Sooner or later, the Ukrainians are going to mass forces and start making moves of their own in the south. Russian air might counter it, but, see above, Russian air does not seem to have supremacy of anything in this war. Theoretically, Ukrainian has a solid reserve of combat support units - artillery engineers and units like that - that it should have mobilized at the outset of the war and from which I certainly haven't heard a peep. Are the Ukrainians capable enough to amass a mobile operational reserve and then commit it where the Russian lines are loose. The area Kherson-Zaporizhia-Tokmak-Melitopol seems to be begging for a move like that.
My guess is the trigger would be immediate threat against Kyiv removed, which it ain't yet.

scootro 03-07-2022 06:10 PM

Ukrainians are screwed

68RR 03-07-2022 08:30 PM


Originally Posted by scootro (Post 1756450)
Ukrainians are screwed

I hope you're proven wrong.

dcs13 03-07-2022 08:36 PM

The worlds response to the Russian invasion has been interesting..
I can only imagine how unpopular this "war" is within the Russian rank and file troops.. The literally have no dog in the hunt and could give a crap about Ukraine. The Ukrainians on the other hand have everything to lose. Momentum can be a hell of a game changer...
I thought it was a PR campaign when they had Condie and the bunch on the sunday shows saying Putin was losing his marbles.. I think they may be right. He's up there in years and wants to be remembered as Putin the Conquerer who brought down the west.. He never counted on dissension in his own country and military...
Gonna be interesting how this unfolds. The Ukrainians are getting good with those Turkish drones..

AnthonyS 03-07-2022 08:51 PM

Most people are getting screwed over by all of this. Some are losing their lives or loved ones. I’d love to know who stands to gain in all of this and have people unite to stop them. Sadly I think too many just don’t care as long as FB, Twitter and TMZ tell them they are politically correct.

Trip McNeely 03-07-2022 08:55 PM

Has anyone noticed the parallels with this situation and cancel culture within the US here recently? I mean it's really eerie. Orange man bad has become Putin and everyone that is assumed to be associated with him is being cancelled. Things that make you go hmmmmmmm. Cancel culture has become the new super weapon.

AnthonyS 03-07-2022 08:57 PM

Being PC is now the highest virtue one can achieve thanks to social media.

dcs13 03-07-2022 08:59 PM


Originally Posted by Trip McNeely (Post 1756455)
Has anyone noticed the parallels with this situation and cancel culture within the US here recently? I mean it's really eerie. Orange man bad has become Putin and everyone that is assumed to be associated with him is being cancelled. Things that make you go hmmmmmmm. Cancel culture has become the new super weapon.

Good analogy ... its interesting to watch

68RR 03-07-2022 09:27 PM

My thoughts are that China is licking their chops waiting for Putin and Russia to fail and collapse. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere of WW2 is in their dreams.

Shaggin Wagon 03-08-2022 12:35 PM


Originally Posted by 68RR (Post 1756458)
My thoughts are that China is licking their chops waiting for Putin and Russia to fail and collapse. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere of WW2 is in their dreams.

I had always thought China egged him on and knew he would fail, that way they would own that hemisphere alone.

ram57ta 03-08-2022 01:06 PM


Originally Posted by Shaggin Wagon (Post 1756463)
I had always thought China egged him on and knew he would fail, that way they would own that hemisphere alone.

So if that ends up being the case maybe Putin and China nuke each other and they both fail 🤔

Labora 03-08-2022 02:26 PM


Originally Posted by ram57ta (Post 1756464)
So if that ends up being the case maybe Putin and China nuke each other and they both fail 🤔

We kicked Russia out of our world banking system, leaving them with China to deal with. They might just become pals...

dcs13 03-08-2022 07:33 PM

This story has been circling the drain for a few days, but it looks like we're admitting our involvement .. How fucking stupid are we ??? fucking around with biological weapons..

BLAKE 03-08-2022 10:13 PM

These updates are fascinating.

68RR 03-09-2022 06:45 AM

Tuesday Afternoon Update:

1. Biden Administration announced a ban on Russian oil and energy imports into the US. Russian oil accounts for 8% of our oil imports--about 670,000 barrels a day. This is not an inconsequential move, and the cost to the US population will mean steeply higher prices across the board. Already, the average cost to fuel a long haul truck has gone from $900 to $1400. So we will not just see higher prices at the gas pump. Additionally, the loss of Ukrainian wheat on the international market has increased prices for that grain in some places of the world by 70% already.
Losing 8% of our imported oil without domestic oil production increasing to make up the deficit will require increased production from other nations like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico and Iran.
This may be why the US delegation working on a new deal with Iran has been giving the Iranians most of what they have asked for, without asking for much in return. Several US members of the negotiation delegation quit in protest. But it looks like to keep energy supplies flowing to Europe and the US, Iranian oil is going to be needed.
2. The UK and the EU both announced soon after that they will cut Russian oil imports by two-thirds over the course of the next year. Many European nations, especially Germany, are heavily dependent on Russian oil.
3. The Russians have made noise that they will shut off the Nordstream 1 pipeline in retaliation for the sanctions. That would be a significant blow to the German economy.
4. In the last three days, the rhetoric from Putin has been getting increasingly apocalyptic. He announced that the sanctions are "akin to an act of war" and warned the West that sending military and mercenary aid to Ukraine "would be catastrophic" and result in "global collapse." A lot of observers just blow this off as rhetoric designed to deter the West from the course of action its nations have embarked upon. My personal opinion is that Putin means it. These are not empty threats.
5. Ukraine's resistance has striped bare some massive failings in the Russian military, which makes use of his conventional forces in the future far less a threat than it had before. Additionally, the longer the fighting continues, the more the Russian military capabilities to face the West in conventional conflict degrade. Russian cannot easily replace its losses of material and equipment. It cannot easily replace or produce the precision guided munitions like cruise missiles and smart bombs they've already used.
This is actually a very destabilizing development, as it means Russia will have to rely more on its nuclear arsenal for deterrence, or for any battlefield victory against NATO in the event the conflict widens.
6. Lots of talk now that the Ukrainians might actually win a stand-up conventional fight. The Russians have committed about 200,000 troops to the war now. While their vehicle losses have been extremely heavy, keep in mind the Russian Army includes 12,500 tanks, of which about 8,500 are more modern T-90s. While there have been some of their -90s spotted on the Ukrainian battlefields, the Russians have been using older equipment, T-72s and T-80s, for the most part. Long term, I think it is impossible for Russia to win this with military effort alone, due to the growing insurgency we are already seeing behind their front line troops. For now, the conventional fight still favors the Russians, though it is nowhere near a forgone conclusion yet.

68RR 03-09-2022 06:45 AM

Ukrainian Situation:
1. The Russians have made no significant gains in the past 48 hours. Lots of talk about what is going on, and many predictions suggest they will renew offensive operations within the next 12-96 hours. Other analysts are saying that the Russian situation is so bad they cannot continue major offensive operations. My best guess is there is a little bit of both going on here. The Russians have established a chain of forward operating bases west and northwest of Kyiv. These will be their forward supply points, where their wounded will be treated, etc. That has taken time to do, and they've invested the time because the first effort to take Kyiv failed. Additionally, the way Russian command & control seems to work is very cumbersome, and it is taking them on average about 72 hours to flex to counter Ukrainian moves on the battlefield. For example, if a particular bridge needs to be protected in the rear of Russian column, word is sent up their chain of command and it takes three days to get troops tasked with that bridge's security. By then, the Ukrainians have destroyed it. So basically, we're seeing a more nimble military in Ukraine's, and Russia's not very agile or capable of quick reactions to battlefield developments.
All of this has been interpreted by some Western observers as a collapse of the Russian offensive. There is evidence of that for sure, don't get me wrong. However, I think we're seeing a slow-ponderously slow, military shifting postures and preparing for a massive set-piece battle to take Kyiv.
2. The Russians are adapting to the battlefield. They were caught by surprise at the fierceness of Ukrainian resistance, and now they are flexing to meet the threats. Two examples: 1.) they are now escorting fuel tanker truck convoys with attack helicopters, something we did in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a move designed to deter or kill any Ukrainian guerrillas attempting to ambush these vital vehicles.
They clearly have not been able to protect all their convoys however, as plenty have been hit in the last 48 hours still. Plus, the MPAD (shoulder-launched anti-aircraft rockets) threat to Russian helicopters is very real, and the more Stingers, the more the Russian combat aviation units will suffer losses.
Another example of adapting to the environment: Russian truck drivers are now putting "hillbilly" armor on their vehicles. They're covering the front of their trucks with lumber and logs, which will not protect them against anti-armor rockets, but may afford these unarmored vehicles protection from small arms fire. Tankers have put "cope cages" on top of their turrets in an effort to protect their tracks against Javelin missile strikes. Evidence of wrecked tracks suggests this has been useless. The Javelins destroy the tanks anyway.
A final one: They've tried pushing resupply convoys off road, sometimes following rail embankments. This may have worked a few times, but in at least one case, local Ukrainian guerrillas detected their new routes and savaged a convoy.
3. The last 48 hours has seen a resupply and deployment of surface-to-surface missile systems into Belarus. These are short to medium-range missiles that can hit anywhere in Ukrainian territory. Somewhere around 30-50 missile reloads as well as some launchers have been spotted on highways moving into and through Belarus. See the map to show where these missiles can strike in Ukraine.
4. Russians are now employing at least one armored train to deliver supplies and vehicles in the South around Mariupol. Until this weekend, there was little sign the Russians were utilizing the Ukrainian rail net to resupply their forces. This is a development that will surely result in Ukrainian irregular forces targeting rail lines and rail bridges in the days and weeks to come.
5. Some follow ups:
a.) The Flood: The Ukrainians did indeed open their reservoir northwest of Kyiv and turned the Russian line of march into a gigantic swamp. Here is some overhead imagery showing just how much the ground around the Russian line of march was affected.
b.) The airfield attack at Kherson seems to have been a combined effort that involved Ukrainian Marine infantry, artillery and two SU-25 attack jets. Lots of conflicting reports came out of the operation as a result. No visual confirmation yet of the 30 helicopters claimed destroyed on the ground, but the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense included them in their running total of Russian losses, so they think they're destroyed.
6. There have been 9 local Ukrainian counteroffensives, mainly south of Kherson, but also around Karkhiv and near Luhansk. These seem to have been limited successes and resulted in the destruction of considerable Russian equipment.
7. The Deputy Chief of Staff of Russia's 41st Combined Army was killed apparently by a Ukrainian special operations unit. Major General Vitaily Garasimov. He was a veteran of the Second Chechen War and Syria. He is the third general (two Russian, one Chechen) to be killed in 12 days of fighting. The last US general to die on a battlefield was in 1970 during Vietnam.
8. Over the weekend, it was announced that the NATO & US effort to supply Ukraine delivered over 17,000 more anti-tank weapons in 6 days. The reason why the Ukrainians are holding out is the national morale and resolve of the Ukrainian people, the military reforms Zelensky undertook when he came into office that included sacking a bunch of moribund or corrupt generals, US/NATO training of its armed forces since 2014, and the weapons the West has been sending since 2018.
9. 27 policy experts, including former US ambassadors to Ukraine, Russia and NATO, have called for a limited No Fly Zone over Ukraine to protect civilian evacuation corridors from attack.
If the Biden administration or NATO implements this, it will mean open, conventional war with Russia with an extremely high likelihood of escalation. First, the evacuation corridors have not been threatened by Russian air attack. They've been mined or hit by artillery. So this is just an excuse to get NATO aircraft into the fight. Second, the Russians have made it clear that a No Fly Zone will mean war. Putin said as much the other day.
It alarms and astonishes me that so many people in our foreign policy establishment seem determined to push us into armed conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian situation is horrific and Putin must be stopped or tied up for years in an insurgency there, but risking the destruction of Europe, Russia and the United States, along with potentially hundreds of millions of lives over this conflict is insane. If NATO enters this fight in any capacity beyond what it is doing now, it means the end of our world and our daily lives as we know it.

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