Ukraine–Day 36

Russia sez it his pulling back a bit…the West says they are just re-grouping……

But after the war of words and the accusations….how is the war going?

I gotta take a short break from research….

I’ll be back on Friday with our usual coverage of the Ukraine War. For now, here are some highlights from the past 24 hours. The Russians have withdrawn some (20%?) of the forces arrayed around Kyiv and they are now reorganizing and refitting in Belarus. They will likely be committed to the Donbas region. The Ukrainians are conducting limited counterattacks with some success in the north and in the south. Mariupol is being devastated by Russian aerial attacks. The Russians are slowly advancing in Mariupol and may capture the citys in a few days. More Russian units are arriving in Ukraine from the country of Georgia and Russia.

But what about this repositioning?

Russia said earlier this week that it would “fundamentally” cut back military operations near Ukraine’s capital—but so far, it appears that they are sticking to the pledge about as well as they stuck to their claim that they weren’t planning to invade Ukraine. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Wednesday the US has seen “the repositioning of a small percentage of the troops and the battalion tactical groups that Russia had arrayed against Kyiv” but there is no sign that Russia plans to de-escalate the conflict, ABC reports.

Kirby said less than 20% of troops in the Kyiv area are being “repositioned,” apparently to prepare for deployment elsewhere in Ukraine, while others are establishing new positions and the city is still being bombarded. The mayor of Chernihiv, another city Russia had promised to scale back attacks on, said Wednesday that Russia had kept up its bombardment, targeting civilian infrastructure instead of military buildings. In other developments:

  • Zelensky doesn’t believe Russian promises. In his nightly address Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that although talks are continuing, he doesn’t believe Russia’s promise to de-escalate the fighting, the Guardian reports. He said the war is at a “turning point” and thanked President Biden for an additional $500 million in aid announced Wednesday.
  • Fresh attempt to evacuate Mariupol. The BBC reports that dozens of buses have been sent to Mariupol in a new effort to evacuate civilians trapped in the shattered city. Russia has declared a one-day ceasefire in the city but it’s not clear whether it will hold. Previous attempts to evacuate civilians and deliver humanitarian aid have been thwarted by relentless Russian bombardment.
  • Spy chief says Russian troops are refusing to carry out orders. Jeremy Fleming, director of Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency, said Thursday that morale is so low among Russian troops some are sabotaging their own equipment and refusing to carry out orders, the New York Times reports. “We know Putin’s campaign is beset by problems—low morale, logistical failures, and high Russian casualty numbers,” Fleming said. He said some Russian aircraft had been accidentally shot down by their own side.
  • Kremlin denies Putin has been misinformed. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pushed back Thursday against US intelligence reports that the Russian leader is being misinformed about the true state of the invasion, the AP reports. “They simply don’t understand what’s going on in the Kremlin, they don’t understand President Putin, they don’t understand the mechanism of decision-making, they don’t understand the way we work,” said Peskov.

This conflict is turning into a clown show….

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Is The West Unified On Ukraine?

Since the Russian forces of ‘Vlad the Invader’ entered into Ukrainian territory and started destroying and killing…the reports from the MSM has told us that the West, maybe the world, is unified against Russia…. but is that true?

Well not exactly…..

Edward Luce thinks what Russia is doing in Ukraine is “barbaric” and the West’s united condemnation is laudable. But in an essay at the Financial Times, Luce warns that the West is, again, “mistaking its own unity for a global consensus.” Consider the recent UN vote in which 141 of 193 condemned Russia’s actions. That sounds overwhelming, but “the 35 that abstained account for almost half the world’s population,” writes Luce. “That includes China, India, Vietnam, Iraq and South Africa. If you add those that voted with Russia, it comes to more than half.” What’s more, some big nations that seem to be on the anti-Russia side of the ledger are, in fact, “hedging their bets.” In this camp, Luce puts Saudi Arabia, which along with the United Arab Emirates, snubbed President Biden on a request to ramp up oil production.

Much of the world is waiting to see how the war plays out, because “everybody loves a winner,” writes Luce. “The bigger abstainers, such as India, which has quadrupled its oil imports from Russia at a discount compared to this time last year, would adjust their stance, which is causing anguish in Washington.” The West is claiming the moral high ground, but others don’t see it that way, or they see the West’s stance as hypocritical given military actions in Iraq and elsewhere. So, yes, the West’s “response to Putin’s barbarism has been admirable,” concludes Luce. “But it is inevitably selective. The more Western governments grasp how large parts of the world see them, the better able they will be to practice effective diplomacy.”

(Read the full essay.)

The media would have us believe that the world is in complete agreement on the conflict, that Russia is the aggressor, which it is, ….but sadly the world is not in complete agreement….the media has failed to generate worldwide cohesion against Russia for their invasion of Ukraine.

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Ukraine–Day 35

The conflict has turned into a stalemate…..and both sides are trying to find a way out of this quagmire…..

Is it just me or does the public seem to be becoming indifferent to this crisis?

How does that war go today?

While the Russian offensive seems stalled, it still has significant combat power in Ukraine and it may have the capability to sustain that combat power if the logistics flow is fixed. It is refining its ‘goals’, to something more attainable; the capture of parts of eastern Ukraine along the Russian border. A senior Russian defense official said that his military planned to cut back military activity near the Ukrainian capital (Kyiv) in an effort to increase trust around the peace talks. This is likely just a move to reposition units to the eastern regions of Ukraine. The units pulled back will reorganize and resupply themselves before being committed to forward areas. There will likely be more Russian activity in the east and south of Ukraine over the future weeks.

The Russian military will continue to use mass artillery and missile strikes to compensate for its lack of forward progress on the ground. According to the commander of European Command (EUCOM), Russia has fired ‘multiple’ hypersonic missiles into Ukraine against military targets. (Defense One, Mar 29, 2022).

Fight for the Skies. The air war has not followed the usual flow that have been observed in past conflicts. Most wars start off with both sides fighting for the skies and one side finally establishing air superiority. Then the side with the advantage in the air moves on to support the ground effort with close air support. This hasn’t happened in the Ukraine War. There are too many air defense systems in the area of operations employed by both sides of the conflict.

Drones. However, drones are making an impact – especially those used by the Ukrainians. It is still cold out in Ukraine and the Russians are living in field conditions. The tank crews keep their massive steel hulks warm by running the engines. That provides a heat signature at night for the armed drones of the Ukrainian military. In addition to the armed drones wreaking havoc on Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers (APCs), and fuel trucks are the surveillance drones (ISR) scouting out the terrain for Russian units, vehicles, and convoys. These ISR drones feed information into the situation overlays of the Ukrainian operations centers for planning purposes and to artillery units for targeting data.

Small SOF Drone Unit with Big Impact. A specialized force of 30 soldiers on quad bikes helped stop the 40-mile Russian convoy in its tracks. Night ambushes were carried out by a team of Ukrainian special forces and drone operators roaming up and down the Russian convoy. The unit was equipped with night vision goggles, sniper rifles, remotely detonated mines, and drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras and small 1.5kg bombs. “The drone operators who halted Russian convoy headed for Kyiv”, The Guardian, March 28, 2022.

Maritime Activities. An amphibious landing force on several ships is still positioned in the Black Sea off the coast of Odessa to land a substantial element of Russian naval infantry. The Russian blockade of Ukrainian shipping continues. There are a lot of merchant ships stranded in Ukrainian ports. The United Nations is pressing for their safe passage out of danger so that the world’s food supply is not threatened.

World’s Grain Supply. Some 30% of the world’s grain comes from Russia and Ukraine. Most of the grain departing Ukraine goes by ship via the Black Sea and on into the Mediterranean Sea. However, Russia is currently blocking 94 ships with food from leaving Ukrainian ports.

Ground Fight. The Ukrainians are on the offensive in many areas of the country. The suburban town of Irpin (northwest of Kyiv) has been taken back from the Russians. Kharkiv is still being resupplied and the city of Sumy is receiving supplies. Even Kherson in the south seems to be contested due to a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Russia has been deploying banned anti-personnel mines in the Kharkiv region according to a new report by Human Rights Watch published on March 29, 2022.

Tank Division Reduced. According to Ukrainian defense officials, the Russian 4th Guards Tank Division has suffered a huge defeat just 15 miles from the Russian border. Due to a lack of fuel and food the division became less capable and was overwhelmed by Ukrainian infantry units armed with anti-armor weapons. See “Ukrainians Obliterate the Elite Russian 4th Guards Tank Division 15 Miles from Russian Border”, SOFREP, March 28, 2022.

Kyiv. In the initial days of the invasion the capital city of Ukraine was considered the primary objective of the Russians. However, the attack was stalled by the Ukrainians. It appears that some Russian units are being withdrawn from the Kyiv region back to Belarus for a subsequent repositioning to other conflict zones in Ukraine, most likely the eastern sector. Over 2 million of its 4 million residents have fled the city.

Mariupol. The fall of this city to the Russians may happen within days. The Russians continue to advance street by street, block by block. This city had a pre-invasion population of about 430,000. There are reports that thousands of residents have been forcibly evacuated from the city by the Russians and are now headed to distant Russian cities.

Mykolayiv. This city is suffering from constant missile attacks by the Russians. It is contested and there is a lot of fighting around the perimeter of the city. Reports on social media on Tuesday (Mar 29) stated that a large column of Russian troops were headed to Mykolayiv from Kherson. Located on the west bank of the Dnieper River close to the coast of the Black Sea, Mykolayiv is a strategic objective for the Russians that is on the road to Odessa located further west along the coast of the Black Sea.

Situation Maps.  War in Ukraine by Scribble Maps. Read an assessment and view a map of the Russian offensive campaign by the Institute for the Study of War.

Negotiations. Talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials held on Tuesday (Mar 29) covered a wide range of topics. These included Crimea, the Donbas region (eastern Ukraine), and security guarantees for Ukraine. Ukraine is looking for international security guarantees to ensure another Russian attack does not occur in the future. Most observers believe that the parties are getting a little closer to an agreement. One result of the negotiations over the past few days resulted in a prisoner exchange. One group returned were the Border Guards on Snake Island who were told to surrender by a Russian warship. They responded with “Russian warship, “Go **** ********”.

“Ukrainians are not naïve, we see risks in peace talks. Of course, we see all the risks. Of course, we don’t have a reason to trust the words of representatives of a country that wages war against us.”

President Zelensky

Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Crisis. As of March 30, over 3,900,000 refugees have left Ukraine according to data provided by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). Almost seven million have been internally displaced. This means about 25% of Ukraine’s population has left their homes. About 2.3 million Ukrainians left for Poland. More than 12 million are in constant danger due to being close to conflict zones or cities under siege. A significant proportion of the population is in need of clean water, food, medicine, and shelter. Almost one million are lacking access to electricity. Read a report on the humanitarian crisis provided by ACAPS, March 29, 2022, PDF, 9 pages.

U.S. Intelligence. The United States intelligence community miscalculated on how long the Afghan army and Afghan government would hold out against the Taliban last summer – many feeling that the government would hold out until the spring of 2022. The same intel gurus also erred on their predictions about how quickly the Russians would take Kyiv – some saying that the conflict would last just a few days. Up to this past Friday, most national security observers were predicting a long fight that would grind away at the Ukrainians as the Russians pumped more tanks, artillery, and troops into Ukraine. Now, the ‘experts’ don’t seem that sure. Hopefully, the intel guys are making up for their faulty intel forecasts by passing info to the Ukrainian military that is helpful to the targeting of Russian formations in Ukraine.

WhatsApp Messages from Ukraine to Russia. Audio recordings, phone calls, and WhatsApp messages are being sent by Ukrainian telecom specialists to dissuade troops from deploying to Ukraine. “Inside Ukraine’s Psyops on Russian and Belarusian Soldiers”, New Lines Magazine, March 29, 2022.

U.S. Cyber Attack on Russia? The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused the United States of “. . . waging a large-scale cyberattack against Russia.” A US spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council says that it hasn’t happened. Hmmm. (Russian Foreign Ministry, Mar 29, 2022).

Navy Growlers to Europe. The United States is sending six EA-18 Growlers to be based at Spangdahlem in Germany. They will be flying missions in support of “eastern flank deterrence and defense”. The typical mission for the EA-18 is electronic warfare and radar jamming to suppress enemy air defense. According to a DoD spokesman, the Growlers will be based in Europe to reinforce deterrence capabilities of NATO’s Eastern Flank, and will not engage Russian assets. The aircraft are from VAQ-134 based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. About 240 personnel from the unit will deploy, including air crew, aircraft maintainers, and pilots. “6 Navy ‘Growler’ Aircraft Headed to Germany to Support Deterrence Mission”, DoD News, March 28, 2022.

Marines from Norway to the Eastern Flank. U.S. Marine air assets participating in the Cold Response 22 exercise in Norway will be deploying to Lithuania. The deployment includes ten FA-18s as well as C-130s. See “400 Marines deploy in Eastern Europe as part of US response to Ukraine War”, Marine Times, March 29, 2022.

UK’s Starstreak Missiles. The Ukrainians are now ready to use the Starstreak high velocity missiles against the Russians. The missiles are now in the hands of the Ukrainians and they have received training on their operation. The MANPADs can be launched from the shoulder or when mounted on a vehicle. Learn more in “All You Need to Know About the Starstreak Missiles Now in the Hands of Ukrainian Troops”, The War Zone, March 28, 2022.

Canadian Veterans Assist Former Interpreters. Some former Ukrainian interpreters (numbering around 25) who assisted Canadian forces deployed to Ukraine over the past several years are getting help. A small group of Canadian veterans are now in southeast Poland assisting in the evacuation and support of these former interpreters. “Veterans who rescued Afghan interpreters bring Canadian Forces interpreters out of Ukraine”, Global News (CA),

Red Line Needed. The Russians can’t achieve success on the battlefield with its armor and infantry. But they can level Ukrainian cities and force them to submit with their artillery and missiles. Perhaps a ‘no atrocities’ red line is needed; meaning the indiscriminate bombardment of civilians in Ukrainian cities will not be tolerated by the West. Air strikes using air-launched stand-off weapons against Russian artillery and missile launch positions in Ukraine would result in crossing the red line. Kevin R. James goes into detail on this topic in “The West must draw a red line for Russian in Ukraine”, The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, March 30, 2022.

More Weapons Needed. The Russians may have been ‘stalled’ in their offensive to take Kyiv and other major cities in eastern Ukraine; but they are still on the offensive. They will concentrate their forces in the east and south of Ukraine and continue with their missile, propaganda, and cyber attacks. The Russians will also be bringing in more troops from the far east, Georgia, and mobilized reserve forces. The Ukrainians can prevail but need more weapons at a faster pace. Stephen Blank is a Senior Fellow at FPRI’s Eurasia Program and a book author. He provides his thoughts in “What Ukraine Needs Now”, Real Clear Defense, March 29, 2022.

And the saga goes on……

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Will There Be Peace?

The war in Ukraine has dragged on for over 30 days…..there have been meetings to try and find a diplomatic settlement of hostilities…..that is where I would like to write about and the games being played in the name of peace.

Ukraine and Russia have been meeting in Turkey to discuss the possibilities for an end to this conflict….

Zelensky has signaled that he is willing to ‘compromise’…..

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country was willing to “compromise” over the country’s Donbas region. A core Russian demand has been that Ukraine gives up its territorial claim to the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. However, Zelensky then appeared to contradict himself saying he would prioritize the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine.

The earlier statement was first time Zelensky has signaled a willingness to negotiate about giving up territory. Last week, he told CNN, “There are compromises for which we cannot be ready as an independent state. Any compromises related to our territorial integrity and our sovereignty.”

(antiwar.com)

After an offering from Zelensky…..

Russia’s military announced Tuesday that it would “drastically” reduce operations near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv as talks between the warring sides in Istanbul made progress towards a peace deal.

Speaking to reporters following the talks, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said that “a decision was made to drastically … reduce the military activity on the approaches to Kyiv and Chernihiv.” He said Russia expects “relevant key decisions will be taken in Kyiv and the conditions for further normal work will be created.”

Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s head negotiator, described the Istanbul talks as “constructive” and said the Ukrainians delivered an outline for a peace proposal that will be relayed to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Under the potential deal, Ukraine would vow not to join NATO or any other military alliance and vow not to host foreign military bases or develop nuclear weapons.

In exchange, Ukraine wants Russia not to block its EU bid and wants security guarantees similar to NATO’s Article 5, the mutual defense clause of the military alliance that outlines “an attack on one is an attack on all.” Ukraine wants guarantees from Russia, the US, the UK, China, Turkey, France, Canada, Italy, Poland, and Israel.

(antiwar.com)

After hearing of this turn I waited for the ‘pundits’ to pee on the parade…..and they did….

“Actions speak louder than words” seems to be the quick response to Russia’s announcement during Tuesday peace talks that it would “fundamentally” cut back military operations around the capital of Kyiv, which it got within about 12 miles of, and near the northern city of Chernihiv. A roundup of caution and skepticism:

  • President Biden told reporters, “I don’t read anything into it until I see what their actions are. We’ll see if they follow through what they’re suggesting.”
  • An unnamed US official told the BBC, “Yes, we have seen the Russians begin to draw away from Kyiv, but we have little confidence at this stage that it marks some significant shift or a meaningful retreat. The Russians are still pounding Kyiv with airstrikes. Time will tell.”
  • The AP counts US Secretary of State Antony Blinken among those who are skeptical. “There is what Russia says and there’s what Russia does,” he said while in Morocco Tuesday, “And what Russia is doing is the continued brutalization of Ukraine.”
  • Ditto UK PM Boris Johnson, whose office released a statement saying in part, “We must judge Putin’s regime by their actions not their words,” Johnson’s office said. “Putin is twisting the knife in the open wound of Ukraine in an attempt to force the country and its allies to capitulate,” per Radio Free Europe.
  • But the Washington Post reports a top Pentagon general told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday there were indications of “shifting dynamics” on the ground near Kyiv that seemed to lend credence to the idea of Russian troops cutting back.
  • Lawrence Freedman, emeritus professor of War Studies at King’s College London, reframes the offer, telling the New York Times, “De-escalation is a euphemism for retreat. Russia is adjusting its goals to reality … it’s not a ruse to say that they are concentrating on the Donbas [a mostly Russian-speaking region in eastern Ukraine], because in reality that’s all they can do.”
  • A French defense analyst pushes that forward, telling the Times that in order for Russia to make gains in a negotiation, it has to be in a more threatening position. “This is a chance for the Russians to consolidate, to regroup, to remove themselves from places out of reach logistically, where they have already run out of food and ammunition. … [Putin] will rebuild his army and continue.”

The one disturbing report, at least for me, was the US position…..

the State Department signaled that the US is discouraging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from making concessions to Russia in negotiations that are aimed at ending the fighting in Ukraine.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Zelensky has “made it very clear that he is open to a diplomatic solution that does not compromise the core principles at the heart of the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine.”

When asked to elaborate on his point, Price said that the war is “bigger” than Russia and Ukraine. “The key point is that there are principles that are at stake here that have universal applicability everywhere,” he said.

(antiwar.com)

Now why would the US be opposed to a deal that would end hostilities?

Think about it for you have the answer just bring it forward.

Without a deal then this conflict could turn into yet another endless war…..

An endless war in Ukraine is possible, but it will be dangerous and with the potential to escalate into an all-out conflict between Russia and Nato which might in turn escalate into a nuclear exchange. The likelihood of this occurring has increased for two reasons since the Russian invasion of 24 February. First, the Russian army has shown itself much weaker than anybody expected, increasing the chance of the Kremlin using tactical nuclear weapons to even the odds.

Second, Putin’s historic blunder in starting an unwinnable war in the first place shows that the Kremlin is a very poor judge of the situation on the ground in Ukraine. Equally important, the Kremlin wholly underestimated the furious reaction of the US and the rest of Europe to the invasion. The danger is that these serial misjudgments would in the future extend to the prospect of Russia using nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Ukraine Could Turn Into Another Endless War, Especially if NATO Decides More Than Just Peace is Needed

Personally, I think that if both sides can calm down and look at the bigger picture they can come to some sort of ‘peace’….but that would mean that looking forward would solve some of the problems.

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Ukraine–Day 34

34 days and the news is about the same as it was yesterday and the day before…..

The rocket’s red glare….the destruction….the death and the refugees…….same song….different day…..

Ukrainian forces have stopped the Russians in the Kyiv area. The Russians are continuing to advance . . . slowly . . . in the seaport of Mariupol. The Russians appear to be focused on reaching the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. More than 1,370 missiles have been launched against Ukraine. Most of the cruise missile strikes are coming from inside Russia or Belarus. Russia is sending some of its troops that have been based in the country of Georgia to Ukraine.

Wagner Group. The press continues to note the use of the Russian’s Wagner Group in Ukraine. Russia is sending (or has sent) over 1,000 members of the private military company into the conflict. There are reports that up to 400 members of this group are operating in Kyiv to try and decapitate the Ukrainian government. There have been at least three attempts on the life of Ukrainian President Zelensky. Read more in “Putin’s Hitmen: How Mercenaries Serve the Kremlin at the Expense of Stability”, Georgetown Security Studies Review, March 28, 2022. See also “Wagner Group mercenaries deployed to eastern Ukraine: UK intelligence“, Washington Examiner, March 29, 2022.

Casualties. The Russians have suffered significant casualties. Some estimates say that the total is more than the Russians lost during the ten-year war in Afghanistan – and this in only one month in Ukraine. Olga Ivshina, a BBC World correspondent, breaks down the casualties by type (airborne, armor, officer, etc.) and from which units and regions of Russia, in her Twitter feed.

More than 510,000 Ukrainian citizens have returned from foreign countries since the Russian invasion. Almost 80 per cent of them are men, most who join the Ukrainian military. A Ukrainian bank is offering 100,000 rubles to Russian soldiers who surrender their weapons and equipment. The Russians have occupied the city of Kherson, located north of Crimea, but the Ukrainians are conducting a counterattack to try and take the city back.

Kyiv. One of the suburbs outside of Kyiv to the northwest, Irpin, has been retaken from the Russians on Monday (Mar 28) according to Ukrainian defense officials. This town has been the scene of heavy fighting for the past month. The capital city of Ukraine is considered the primary objective of the Russians. The capture of Kyiv would allow Russia to put in place its puppet government. Although the Russians recently stated that Kyiv is not an objective for the Russian invasion they continue to build up forces in the vicinity of the capital. On the north and northwest the Russians are still about 15 to 20 kilometers away. To the east and northeast, they hold positions about 55 kilometers from the Kyiv city center.

Kharkiv. The second largest city of Ukraine is Kharkiv located in the northeast of the country. There have been no significant changes in the tactical situation for Kharkiv, although it continues to receive heavy shelling. The city is not encircled and continues to receive supplies from the interior of Ukraine.

Mariupol. Located on the Sea of Azov, the coastal city of Mariupol is under siege by the Russians. This city is situated along the coastal road network that would provide Russia with a land bridge between Russia and the Crimea. It is estimated that more than 5,000 civilians have been killed by the Russians in this city. Over 150,000 residents have fled the city, most going to western Ukraine or other European countries. The evacuation routes from the city may soon be under Russian control. Stavros Atlamazoglou writes about Mariupol – “Russia’s New Military Strategy for Ukraine: Conquer Mariupol?”, 1945, March 28, 2022.

Situation Maps.  War in Ukraine by Scribble Maps. Read an assessment and view a map of the Russian offensive campaign by the Institute for the Study of War. For those interested in what languages are spoken in Ukraine – Language Map of Ukraine.

Negotiations. President Zelensky says that his country is prepared to discuss ‘neutrality’ in talks with Russia. Talks are taking place in Istanbul, Turkey between representatives of the two nations on Tuesday (Mar 29). There are no plans for a Putin – Zelensky meeting. Among other demands, the Russians want to see the annexation of Crimea and independence of Dongas recognized by Ukraine. There are indications that the negotiations are getting closer to some sort of agreement. Three of Russia’s initial demands may no longer be in play: “denazification, “demilitarization”, and legal protection for the Russian language in Ukraine. The United Nations is proposing a humanitarian ceasefire that will allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and evacuation of civilians from the contested areas. (UN News, Mar 28, 2022).

Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Crisis. As of March 29, over 3,800,000 refugees have left Ukraine according to data provided by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). The European Commission Emergency Response Center (ERCC) has published a map depicting the population displacement and casualties caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine (Mar 28). Over 2.2 million have gone to Poland, 275,000 to Slovakia, 350,000 to Hungary, almost 600,000 to Romania, and near to 400,000 to Moldova. Poland has received over 60% of the refugees. The European Council has adopted an implementing decision introducing temporary protection due to the mass influx of persons fleeing Ukraine. The rights include residence, access to the labor market, housing, medical assistance, and access to education for children.

Biden’s Message. The president delivered a fairly good speech this past Friday (Mar 25) in Poland. His speechwriter(s) should be commended on the performance . . . as he was saying all the right things. Not a lot of substance, but some excellent soundbites. That is . . . until he goes off script. A lot of discussion has taken place in the U.S., in Europe, and in Russia about his off the cuff comment: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power”. Biden hasn’t back tracked on his statement saying “I make no apologies”

Cyber Operations in Ukraine War. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been characterized by a relative lack of major cyber operations . . . at least compared to what was expected. Read an accounting of those cyber activities that have taken place. “Tracking Cyber Operations and Actors in the Russia-Ukraine War”, Council on Foreign Relations, March 24, 2022. Another report says that a Ukrainian internet service provider used by the country’s military was hit with a cyberattack on Monday (Mar 28). Services have been restored.

Report – U.S. Assistance to Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion in February 2022 the United States has authorized a total of $1.35 billion to provide immediate security assistance to help Ukraine. Much of this aid is focused on meeting the threats posed by Russian aircraft and armored vehicles. In addition, billions of dollars have been appropriated to replenish DoD equipment stocks sent or to be sent to Ukraine. A recent report by the Congressional Research Service provides more details. U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine, CRS IF12040, March 28, 2022, PDF, 3 pages.
https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF12040

US Weapons Production. The US military stockpiles of Javelin missiles (anti-armor) and Stinger missiles (anti-air) are being depleted as they are sent to Ukraine. The Defense Department plans to increase the production of these weapons so it can restock its shelves and continue to send some to Ukraine. (CNN Politics, March 29, 2022).

India – Staking Out That Middle Ground. Despite international isolation of the Kremlin, India continues to maintain its supportive relationship with Russia. A great concern of India is China; and India, thinking long-term, sees Russia as a counterweight to China’s ambitions in Asia and the Pacific region. India also relies on Russian weapons to meet its defense requirements. And then there is the Russian oil that could help India’s economy. Read more in “India Preserves Relations with Russia After Ukraine Invasion”, The Soufan Center IntelBrief, March 29, 2022.

Volunteering for Ukraine Duty? There have been numerous volunteers from the United States that have headed to Europe to take part in the fight against Russian aggression against Ukraine. So what is the legal status of these volunteers? Are they breaking any U.S. laws or regulations? Find out more in U.S. Nationals and Foreign Military Service, Congressional Research Service, CRS IF12068, March 28, 2022, PDF, 3 pages. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF12068

Understanding Putin. There are three major issues to consider in why Russia invaded Ukraine, and they revolve around what goes on in the mind of the Russian president. The first is Putin’s perception of why the USSR collapsed 30 years ago and the resulting humiliation of losing the Cold War. The second is Putin’s views about the eastward expansion of NATO and the alleged threat to Russia. The third is why Putin thinks Ukraine is part of Russia. Paul Dibb, a professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, details these three points in “Putin’s revanchist excuses for going to war”, The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, March 29, 2022.

Proxy War. The U.S. and Europe are currently engaged in a ‘proxy war’ with Russia. These types of ‘conflicts’ will sometimes escalate into general war. But it may be the West’s best option. “A Proxy War in Ukraine is the Worst Possible Outcome – Except for All the Others”, War on the Rocks, March 28, 2022.

Food as a Weapon. The conflict in Ukraine is threatening the world’s food system. Russia and Ukraine supply 30% of the world’s wheat. Over 40% of the wheat from Ukraine goes to African nations. According to the European Union’s Agriculture Commissioner, Russia is intentionally attacking Ukraine’s agriculture infrastructure. In 1932 and 1933 the Soviet Union used starvation as a tactic against the people of Ukraine and millions died. Almost 4 million Ukrainians died during the efforts of Stalin to impose collectivism and tamp down Ukrainian nationalism. Read more in “Weaponizing Food”, Articles of War, Lieber Institute West Point, March 28, 2022.

Same war….different day…..

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What’s Next For Putin?

The MSM has generated a continuing saga with an off the cuff statement…..calling for a coup against Putin (not really but the media has made it so)….

But the question has been asked….what will Putin do next?

After the guns fall silent….I ask what is next for Putin and/or Ukraine?

If things do not go well in Ukraine could “Vlad the Invader’ seems to have an old idea…the partition of Ukraine….

If I remember properly I believe back in 2003/2004 Biden was a proponent of partitioning Iraq into 3 ‘states’….a bad idea for Iraq….

Now I have read about a similar idea from Putin about Ukraine…..

Since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, most western media accounts have assumed that his goal is to conquer the entire country, overthrow the elected government, and replace it with a pro-Russian regime. These reports, and the maps that accompany them, often fail to take into account the different regions of Ukraine, and how Russia may covet some more than others.

This is the same fundamental error that accompanied early reports on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which often overlooked internal ethnic and religious territoriality in those countries, and used top-down political and military analysis that treated them only as unitary states. It wasn’t until later in those wars that maps of ethnic and sectarian divisions began to explain the patterns of resistance to U.S. occupation. Like those two countries, Ukraine is not just a piece on a geopolitical chess board, but a place, with its own rich diversity and relationships among peoples.

Moreover, western media tends to treat the Ukraine conflict only in the light of the 20th-century Cold War, assuming that the former KGB agent Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union. Yet Putin has said the exact opposite, in a flourish of anti-Communist rhetoric that preceded the invasion. His vision is clearly of a renewed Russian Empire, but analysts from recent settler-colonial states have difficulty understanding that memories can extend many centuries earlier than the mere 74-year life of the Soviet Union.

Is Putin Heading Toward a Partition of Ukraine?

Let’s leave Ukraine in the rear view mirror, for now…..

Will Putin be happy with a victory in Ukraine?

Some say no….that his relentless assault on Ukraine is only the beginning…..

Turn your attention to Moldova to the west of Ukraine…..

Moldova | History, Population, Map, Flag, Capital, & Facts | Britannica

The thing is that there is a friend in this region other than Belarus….Transnistria

Map of Moldova with Transnistria y Gagauzia marked (see online version... |  Download Scientific Diagram

This break away region is Russia friendly…but that is for another post, no doubt)…..

Here is a video from Belarus that claims that Russia has further desires in Eastern Europe….

Is this a reality or just posturing?

Is ‘Vlad the Invader’ really that bloodthirsty?

I think not.  His army has proven that they are not up to invasion successfully.

But we shall see.

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Ukraine–Day 33

I am trying to return to a more normal posting schedule….please bear with me while I try to get up to speed again…..thanx.

n an apparent shift in campaign objectives, Russia has decided to focus on the areas of eastern Ukraine along the Russian border. It stated in a recent press conference that Kyiv is no longer an objective, although the Russian troops arrayed around much of Kyiv have not departed. Russia is moving reinforcements from the country of Georgia, a country that was invaded by Russia in 2008. Now that some of Russia’s forces are in defensive positions, they are emplacing mines in front of their perimeters. This will slow down Ukrainian counterattacks and pose a problem for Ukraine far into the future.

Fight for the Skies. Apparently, some of Russia’s precision-guided missiles are not that precise. Some are failing to launch, many miss their intended targets, and some that do, fail to detonate. The United States has estimated that the missiles have between a 20% to a 60% failure rate. On Saturday (Mar 26) a record 70 missiles were fired by Russia on Ukraine. The US DoD estimates that as of Friday (Mar 25) the Russians have launched over 1,250 missiles into Ukraine.

Maritime Activities. Floating sea mines are going to pose a problem for maritime traffic in the Black Sea for some time. (Naval News, Mar 27, 2022). An amphibious landing force of several ships is still positioned in the Black Sea off the coast of Odessa to land a substantial element of Russian naval infantry. The Russian blockade of Ukrainian shipping continues. See also “New Heights of Russian Hypocrisy and “Unlawfare” in the Black Sea”, CIMSEC, March 25, 2022.

Russian Generals and Upward Mobility. By some counts, at least seven Russian generals have been killed in Putin’s War. At this rate, if this war continues, the number of senior officer promotions will accelerate in the Russian army.

Russian Artillery – MIA. One aspect of the war in Ukraine that deserves further study is the lack of effectiveness of Russia’s much-vaunted artillery. Considered a mainstay of the Russian offense, the artillery support seems deficient. Perhaps the striking of civilian infrastructure is diverting the artillery barrages from being used during tactical operations. Read more in “Russian Prototypes, Cope-cages, and Missing Artillery”, Vantage Point North, March 27, 2022.

Russian Armor. The tank columns of the Russian army have been decimated by the Ukrainian forces. Small, roving bands of Ukrainian soldiers are ambushing the tanks using anti-tank weapons. Many tanks have been stuck in mud, out of fuel, or victims of Russian tank crews abandoning the fight. “With Captured Tanks, Ukraine Now Has More Armor Than When The War Began”, by Howard Altman, Coffee or Die Magazine, March 26, 2022.

Russian Comms. There are some apparent deficiencies in the planning and execution of the communications plan for the invasion of Ukraine. Some units are relying on unencrypted push-to-talk radios and cell phones. Some units have their comms systems up and running while others do not. The Ukrainian military and intelligence services are taking advantage of the poor communications practices of the invaders. “Russian troops’ tendency to talk on unsecured lines is proving costly”, The Washington Post, March 27, 2022.

Conducting some limited counterattacks, the Ukrainian military has put up a successful defense of many of the cities the Russians had attempted to capture. But now “the real hard task begins”. Read more in an article posted by Andrew Milburn from Kyiv in “Russia’s war in Ukraine is far from over”, Task & Purpose, March 26, 2022.

Ukraine’s Intel Chief Speaks Out. Howard Altman interviews Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, the defense intelligence agency head, on how the war is progressing and the intelligence coups that have helped the Ukrainian military face off against the Russians. “Ukraine’s Intel Chief: We have sources in the Kremlin, but we need jets”, Coffee or Die Magazine, March 27, 2022.

Starstreak System. The skies over Ukraine will soon get a little bit more dangerous for Russian pilots. The British Starstreak system – a shoulder-mounted missile used against low flying jets – will soon be on the ground in Ukraine. “British-made Starstreak missiles are ready to be deployed in Ukraine”, MSN.com, March 26, 2022.

Insurgency and Resistance – a Critical Role. Russian forces are still slowly advancing. They are not likely to give up much of the territory that they currently hold, unless the Ukrainian military forces them off that terrain. So the war, in those occupied territories, may become one of insurgent versus counter-insurgent. While there are plenty of fighters that will conduct guerrilla operations in the enemies rear – they won’t last long without the support of the civilian population. This means an underground, shadow government (on the local level), and auxiliary are critical. An Army Civil Affairs officer explains in “Oft Forgotten but Critical Elements of Ukrainian Resistance”, War on the Rocks, March 28, 2022.

Donbass. The bulk of the Ukrainian army is concentrated in eastern Ukraine and the Russians are attempting to secure all of the area referred to as Donbas. They are likely attempting reposition their forces, shorten their supply lines, and cut off Ukrainian forces in the east from their own supply lines. The key objective in this ‘new plan’ is the besieged city of Mariupol.

Mariupol. The Russians continue to make small, incremental advances into the city. Located on the Sea of Azov, the coastal city of Mariupol is under siege by the Russians. France and Turkey are in talks with Russia to assist in a joint humanitarian mission for Mariupol. Over 100,000 residents remain in the seaport on the Sea of Azov.

Kyiv. At one time, the capital city of Ukraine was considered the primary objective of the Russians. The capture of Kyiv would allow Russia to put in place its puppet government. But now, with the successful defense of Kyiv, Russia seems to have moved the goalposts. Apparently, according to a briefing by Russian defense officials a few days back, Kyiv was never the primary objective; just a way of keeping Ukrainian troops tied down and away from the eastern front. However, Ukrainian officials are wary of recent Russian statements and say that it is too early to dismiss the danger to Kyiv. Residents of Kyiv are in a lighter mood although the air raid sirens are still blaring through the night and missile attacks continue.

Kharkiv. The second largest city of Ukraine, Kharkiv, continues to experience Russian shelling with Grad and Uragan missile launch systems. The city is holding out and still has open supply lines to the west.

Mykolayiv. Located on the west bank of the Dnieper River close to the coast of the Black Sea, Mykolayiv is a strategic objective for the Russians that is on the road to Odessa located further west along the coast of the Black Sea. It now appears unlikely that the Russians will take this city. The Ukrainian forces have been conducting limited counterattacks around the city.

Situation Maps.  War in Ukraine by Scribble Maps. Read an assessment and view a map of the Russian offensive campaign by the Institute for the Study of War.

Negotiations. The talks are continuing. On Saturday Turkish President Recep Erdogan claimed that Ukraine and Russia were nearing consensus on four of Russia’s demands. Ukraine’s membership in NATO and the status of the Russian language are two key points of the negotiations. More talks will take place on Tuesday (Mar 29) in Istanbul, Turkey.

Chornobyl – A Constant Worry. When the Russians attacked and took control of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine there was a concern that a radiative leak could occur. Thus far, that has not happened. However, there are some worries about radioactive materials that may fall into the wrong hands. “Dirty bomb ingredients go missing from Chornobyl monitoring lab”, Science.org, March 25, 2022.

Chinese Disinformation. Beijing has amplified Russian conspiracy theories to spread disinformation about the war in Ukraine to a global audience. It has been parroting the Kremlin’s talking points to include the need to conduct a “de-Nazification” of Ukraine. “Chinese Disinformation Seeks to Support Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine”, The Soufan Center IntelBrief, March 28, 2022.

‘Conversational Receptiveness’. Some Harvard University colleagues are reaching out to the Russians about Putin’s War. Using a crowd-sourcing method of sending emails to Russians, they hope to educate Russians about the war – providing information not available in their government controlled media. The approach used by www.mail2ru.org encompasses the lessons of research on receptiveness to opposing views. “Blending technology with psychology to engage Russian people on the Ukraine war”, Harvard Kennedy School, March 22, 2022.

Biden’s Visit to Europe. The U.S. president made a decent display of leadership during the visit to NATO, European organizations (G7), and then to Poland last week. He has his detractors, of course, who will point out various gaffes and slips of the tongue. But overall, he seemed to say what Europe needed and wanted to hear. A speech in Warsaw, Poland on Friday (Mar 26) caught the attention of the world when he said “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” The president of France was not thrilled with those words – he is currently working with Putin to bring an end to the conflict.

“A dictator bent on rebuilding an empire will never erase a people’s love for liberty. Brutality will never grind down their will to be free. Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia. For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

U.S. Forces in Europe. Currently the United States has about 90,000 troops in Europe, many of them positioned in Eastern Europe. There are discussions on the need to send more troops on a temporary basis to shore up NATO’s eastern flank. “Pentagon reconsidering troop levels in Europe amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, Military Times, March 25, 2022.

German Military Aid. A shipment of 1,500 “Strela” anti-aircraft missiles and some MG3 machine guns arrived in Ukraine on March 25, according to the German Press Agency. Food, medical supplies, and 50 medical transport vehicles were also provided.

Norway-Russian Border. A 200 kilometer long border shared by two countries is a possible flashpoint in this new Cold War 2.0 era. The Kola Peninsula is a strategic area of the world for Russia. Russia’s fleet of ballistic missile submarines pass by the North Cape to head to their Atlantic Ocean patrols. Despite the possibility of conflict, tensions along the border remain low. This is in part, due to a direct line of communication between the Norwegian Joint Headquarters near Bodo and Russia’s Northern Fleet in Severomorsk. (The Barents Observer, Mar 21, 2022).

Informal Military Equipment Shipments. Citizens across Europe are augmenting the supply of military and other equipment heading to Ukraine. Some are with non-profit groups that have been established in past years and others are with newly-formed volunteer groups. Read more: “Inside the secret transfer of military equipment to Ukrainian soldiers”, Stars and Stripes, March 18, 2022.

Belarusian Volunteer Battalion. A lot of foreign fighters have joined the Ukrainian military to take part in the defense of that country. Some have come from the country located to the north of Ukraine and allied with Russia – calling themselves the Belarusian Volunteer Battalion. (The Kyiv Independent, Twitter, Mar 26, 2022).

Video – Spirit of America. Jim Hake, the founder and CEO of the Spirit of America, talks about the work his group is doing to assist members of Ukraine’s military. “Jim Hake on Supporting Ukraine’s Military”, Washington Journal, C-Span, March 27, 2022.

GSMSG. A U.S. volunteer group, many who are Special Forces veterans, is now operating in Ukraine. Dr. Aaron Epstein, the founder of GSMSG, and 10 other members of the organization are now on the ground in Ukraine providing training in emergency medical services. The Global Surgical and Medical Support Group was founded in 2015. It is a non-profit organization made up of more than 1,500 volunteers. Recently it has been focused on training Ukrainians on being able to handle combat injuries. GSMSG has also translated the US Army’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care course into Ukrainian and it has been viewed by over 20,000 viewers online. The organization has been utilizing the U.S. Army Special Forces model of developing host nation capabilities. “US special ops veterans, medical professionals training Ukrainian soldiers, civilians in combat care”, Fox News, March 27, 2022.

How to Defeat Russia. An Australian special forces veteran, Adrian McKenzie, expresses his frustration in not being able to help but then proposes how the Ukrainians (and the west can defeat Russia). “Full-spectrum warfare and Russia’s path to defeat”, The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, March 28, 2022.

Europe’s ‘Hot Peace’ is now ‘Cold War 2.0’. Graeme Dobell explores the consequences of Putin’s War and how it has drastically changed international relations not only in Europe but in Asia as well. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine killed Europe’s hot peace”, The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, March 28, 2022.

Ukraine Invasion – Could Have Been Prevented. The president of Latvia argues that if NATO had reacted more strongly in 2008 to the Russian invasion against Georgia and the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Moscow would not have troops threatening Kyiv today. He says the West has been naïve about Putin. Latvia suffered for over 50 years under rule by the Soviet Union before getting its independence. (USNI News, Mar 25, 2022).

Who Is Putin? John Mac Ghlionn provides us with his perspective on the Russian president. “The Misdiagnosis of Vladimir Putin”, Small Wars Journal, March 27, 2022.

Putin’s Dream Evaporates. The attempt by the Russian president to reverse the course of history and re-establish the Russian empire – returning to the days of glory of the Soviet Union are dashed. His ‘three-day war’ is now into its second month. Some reports (NATO officials and Ukraine MoD) say Russia has lost more soldiers in one month than almost ten years during the Afghanistan conflict. “The number that puts Vladimir Putin at risk”, by Peter Bergen, CNN, March 27, 2022.

There is always tomorrow……

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“lego ergo scribo”

The Pro-War Media

This post may find a bunch of haters for me…..but what the Hell…..I have always spoke my mind and I refuse to change now just to keep the peace.

The MSM has turned an off the cuff comment by Biden into a days story when he said “Putin cannot stay in charge” (paraphrase)….personally I do not think he was calling for a coup just speaking a thought….but the media took it an ran….and ran……

From the start of the Ukraine/Russia conflict I have ranted about the media coverage…..as a Conflict analyst I find it lacking in depth…..

The Reporting On Ukraine

Let me explain.

War is Hell….as someone once observed….it is the ultimate obscenity…..filled with death and destruction and yet the MSM is laser focused on the refugees.

Do not get me wrong this conflict is bringing chaos, death and people fleeing for their lives….it is horrible that people have to uproot their lives and flee for safety….but that is the same with every conflict….there is nothing unique about this one.

For me it appears that the MSM is showing the horror of the refugees to promote more intervention by the West in the Ukraine conflict….for if they show the results of the attacks it could promote a more vocal antiwar movement and a more non-intervention position.

Watch your favorite MSM news….endless refugee stories, usually the same story different people, and the actual footage of the war is lacking….only the successes not the failures.

But is the MSM seriously pro-war?

The dominant media narrative is that the US government (and all Americans) must “stand with Ukraine” in the latter’s resistance to Russian aggression. The identification with Ukraine’s cause is now nearly total, and it is infused with arrogant righteousness. Noticeably missing is any sense, once so powerful in US foreign policy and general discourse, that America’s interests often are — and should be — distinct from the interests and objectives of any foreign country.

The emotionalism and shallowness is most evident with the television coverage of the conflict. American viewers are inundated with images of exploding shells from the invading Russian forces, sights of desperate, tearful refugees (mostly women and children) fleeing the invaders, and shots of other determined Ukrainian civilians arming themselves to defend their country. Television is a visual medium that always tries to evoke emotions among viewers, but that element has become truly over‐​the‐​top regarding treatment of the Ukraine war. Providing a deluge of images showing traumatized civilian refugees adds little to anyone’s understanding of the roots of the conflict, its underlying issues, or its likely outcome.

Indeed, prominent media outlets have been guilty of circulating transparently crude Ukrainian propaganda. Some of the material they’ve telecast turned out to be fake. A widely circulated image of a Ukrainian girl verbally confronting Russian troops actually was that of a Palestinian girl confronting Israeli troops. 2015’s Miss Ukraine was not taking up arms against the Russian invaders, despite a well‐​covered photo op. A closer examination of the image showed that she was brandishing an Airsoft gun. Some images of aerial combat footage of Ukrainian pilots battling Russian aggressors were from video games.

https://www.cato.org/commentary/us-press-again-becomes-conduit-pro-war-propaganda#

“If it bleeds, It leads”  Is the mantra of the MSM….journalists love war…..

The overwhelming majority of U.S. journalists have taken a more subdued position on the war, identifying with Ukraine against the aggressor Russians, but stopping just short of cheerleading. Even so, journalists can’t hide the seductive draw of the bloodworks. They can’t help themselves. They love war.

That’s a strong charge, so let’s quickly qualify. Accusing journalists of loving war is a little like accusing windshield wipers of loving rain. War, like rain, is inevitable. Journalists exist to report on bloody conflict just as wiper blades were invented to protect our vision from inclement precipitation. This isn’t to imply that the profession’s love of combat causes war. There were wars, you’ll note, long before there were reporters. All those claims that a war-mongering William Randolph Hearst and his New York Journal promised to “furnish” the Spanish-American War if his photographer would only provide the pictures are pure myth.

War Sells. The news business has learned from experience that when war arrives, news interest spikes. Because it deals with life and death, war finds a pre-sold audience, and as long as combat lasts, the audience sticks around. The weekly audience for the BBC’s English-language website in Russia soared 252 percent during the first week of the war. Combined prime-time ratings for Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN increased by almost 50 percent during the first week of the war. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt gained 8 percent. Even when there’s no new news to view, as I can attest, the war audience leaves the TV on in the background in case something new does happen. During the early days of the Gulf War, the fear of missing out on some new bulletin inspired me to get up every night at 2 a.m. to watch the latest.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/03/17/why-journalists-love-war-00018137

Then there is this from Consortium News…..

“President Biden’s been clear that U.S. troops won’t fight Russia in Ukraine, and if you establish a no-fly zone, certainly in order to enforce that no-fly zone, you’ll have to engage Russian aircraft. And again, that would put us at war with Russia,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier this month. (The administration plan is to bring down the Russian government through a ground insurgency and economic war, not a direct military one.)

But pressure on the White House from Congress and the press corps is unrelenting to recklessly bring NATO directly into the war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, hailed as a virtual superhero in Western media, has vacillated between openness to negotiating a peace settlement with Russia and calling for NATO to “close the skies” above Ukraine. To save his country he appears willing to risk endangering the entire world.  

Meanwhile, Western corporate media, depending almost exclusively on Ukrainian sources, report that Russia is losing the war, with its military offensive “stalled,” and in frustration has deliberately targeted civilians and flattened cities.

Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia

Do not get me wrong….let me clear…..what is happening in Ukraine is deplorable….but any war is deplorable in my book….I think the media should report the war not be a conduit for the defense industry to secure massive profits.

Any thoughts?

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A Special Thank You

I am back from the chaos of the last few days….after finding her husband dead Thursday morning my daughter is handling it much better….my granddaughter is also making it better….they needed that time to decompress from the tragedy.

I would like to give my deep heart felt thank you for all my readers that offered up the kind words and condolences…….my daughter wishes the same as well.

My daughter is planning a memorial to his life for family and friends….I told her to take her time in the prep there is not a hurry…..

Today is Monday and I should return to normal posting….well as normal as I can for I am till dealing with another family issue

Thank you again for your friendship and kind words in our time of need….you all have a special place in my heart.

Good-bye Philip you will be missed.

Lewis And Clark

Note:  This is a draft I was holding but due to the death in the family I post it now…..

It has been awhile since I gave my readers some history….I will try and rectify my oversight.

We Americans do not remember much of history but I bet everyone knows the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of exploration of the newly acquired land out West that we purchased from France.

The movies that most will remember and think that the romantic adventure was all about exploration…..

Sadly those cinematic offerings are shirt on accuracy…..

It’s a story many American children are familiar with. President Thomas Jefferson had just bought millions of acres of land from the French — the famous Louisiana Purchase — and he needed someone to go explore this wild western territory. To that end, he recruited Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who gathered a team of brave men to go on a journey to the Pacific and back. The Lewis and Clark expedition, or the “Corps of Discovery” as it was known at the time, closely documented the flora and fauna of the uncharted West and befriended the many Native American tribes they met along the way. In particular, they made friends with the young Sacagawea, who served as a guide and translator for the Corps.

This common story, while not entirely false, is highly inaccurate. The real expedition was far more brutal — from violent conflicts with Natives to the whipping of enlisted men. This article will fill you in on all the grim details you weren’t told about in school.

Read More: https://www.grunge.com/235028/the-messed-up-truth-about-the-lewis-and-clark-expedition/

Like most of the history we are taught in school is sanitized to make it seem more noble than it actually was…..

The way that some useless politicians and equally useless individuals are trying to whitewash our history to make it seem like all was blue skies and unicorns…..

I have stated many times that ALL our history should be taught….the good, the bad and the ugly……denying our history does not make it fact.

A country of people running scared of their true history.

History should not be sanitized….it should be taught in all it’s glory and all it’s ugliness….we have had 200+ years of misinformation.

Be Smart….Learn Stuff….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”