Ukraine Update–Day 8

The continuing series on the day’s Ukrainian conflict……Thanx to SOF News……

‘Vlad the Invader’s’ Ukraine saga continues…..

(For your reference)

Map of Ukraine CRS April 2020

Russian Campaign Update. Russian casualties have been in the thousands. Some estimates say that there have been 5,800 casualties. It may be less. Russian troops are grappling with shortages of food, fuel, and morale in Ukraine. Road conditions and vehicle maintenance is having an effect on the ability of the Russians to move; this is affecting their logistics and sustainment operations. Over the past few days the Russians have been consolidating and resupplying their units – so in some areas of the conflict there has been an operational pause. Russia has reported that the invasion has cost its military almost 500 killed and 1,600 wounded. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry puts the Russian casualties at ten times that number.

Air Dominance. Many military analysts are wondering what happened to Russia’s Air Force – U.S. officials and other national security experts are stumped. The inability to rapidly win Ukraine’s airspace has limited the Russian war gains thus far. The Russian air force has played a surprisingly limited role in the first week of the Ukraine invasion. However, many experts believe that the Russians will assume a more prominent role in the air in the coming days. Most of the Russian aircraft attacking Ukraine are coming out of Belarus from the north. The Russians have launched (as of Mar 2) roughly 450 short-range and medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles since the start of the war.

Kyiv. The Russians continued their advance on Kyiv along two axes. One approach has been from Belarus, moving south along the west bank of the Dnieper River and the other from Russia moving south along the east bank of the Dnieper River. The capital city appears to be Russia’s main effort. The intent of the Russians is to take the capital and then announce the establishment of a puppet regime. Kyiv experienced some heavy shelling in the early morning hours of Thursday (Mar 3). The forward elements of the long convoy watched by the world has reached the outskirts of Kyiv.

Kharkiv and Mariupol. The border city of Kharkiv in the northeast of the country also was subjected to shelling by the Russians and is almost encircled. The coastal city of Mariupol is also besieged, being attacked from the south by forces coming from Russian-occupied Crimea and from Donetsk in the east. The capture of Mariupol would go a long way to establishing a ‘land bridge’ between Russia and Crimea – surely one of the main goals of the Russian invasion. The siege of Kharkiv is tying down Ukrainian forces in the east.

Kherson. A city north of the Crimea peninsular has fallen to the Russians. The mayor of Kherson has met with the Russian commander who plans to set up a military administration. This city on the coast of the Black Sea is a jumping off point to the city of Odessa further west along the coast of the Black Sea. After heavy fighting Ukrainian forces pulled out of the city toward Mykolaiv, a city to the northwest of Kherson. The Russians, once reinforced with more troops, fuel, food, and ammunition, may strike out towards Mykolayiv and Odessa. There is a Russian amphibious landing force posed to strike the Odessa region consisting of four large landing ships and three missile boats. It is unknown if this poses a real threat or if it is just a feint to tie down Ukrainian forces in the Odessa region.

Current Russian Disposition and Future Operations. The farther the Russians get into Ukraine the longer its supply lines are. Ammunition, fuel, food, and reinforcements will take longer to get to the center of Ukraine. Along the way they will be subject to attacks and ambushes by cutoff Ukrainian soldiers. Many Russian advances are constrained to main avenues of approach because of the muddy conditions of the countryside. The Russians have deployed about 82% of the combat power that was initially staged on the Ukraine borders into Ukraine.

Russian EW Capabilities. A recent article provides details on Russian Army electronic warfare capabilities, doctrine, and activities in Ukraine at the operational and tactical levels. The Russians are attempting to electronically attack Ukrainian airborne radars, military radio nets, civilian cell phone networks, and civilian radio traffic. Currently, it appears that cellphone coverage in Ukraine has not been diminished to a great extent. The author of this article concludes that “So far, the Russian Army’s electronic warfare acumen seems a shadow of its former self. Russian Army EW equipment maybe under-performing and may not have the confidence of army commanders.” “Rah Rah Rash Putin?”, by Dr. Thomas Withington, Armada International, March 2, 2022.

More Ukrainian News. Civilians, when they can, are being evacuated from the battle zone areas. All trains from eastern and southern Ukraine are evacuation trains and people can travel for free. Ukrainian authorities say citizens don’t need to declare captured tanks and military equipment for tax purposes. Seized tanks and other military equipment would not be counted as part of a citizen’s income. (Business Insider, Mar 2, 2022).

Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces. A former commander of Special Operations Command – Europe (SOCEUR), Mike Repass, provides us his thoughts on the many Ukrainian civilians that are stepping up to fight the Russian invasion. Repass says that this didn’t ‘just happen’ – careful planning, coordination, and training took place over the past several years to ensure this would happen. Read “Ukraine’s stirring self-defense is no accident”, The Washington Post, March 1, 2022.

The Resistance and Legal Status. A lot of print is being given to a future Russian occupation and growth of a Ukrainian insurgency. A recent article explores the legal questions of a resistance comprised of civilian volunteers. Two Army officers who work in the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy at West Point provide some answers. “Legal Status of Ukraine’s Resistance Forces”, Lieber Institute West Point, February 28, 2022.

A Miscalculation. Alan Malcher reaches back into history to set the stage for what awaits Russia if it stays on as an occupying force in Ukraine. “Resistance in Ukraine: Putin’s dangerous miscalculation”, LinkedIn, March 2, 2022.

Starlink is Active. Elon Musk promised to supply Starlink kits to Ukraine to provide an internet capability via satellite. It didn’t take long to make good on his promise. The country is facing some connectivity problems but the SpaceX founder says that his satellites will help out a bit. Starlink has a network of about 2,000 satellites in low earth orbit that provide high-speed broadband internet by connecting with user terminals around the world. “Elon Musk says Starlink is active in Ukraine amid internet disruptions”, Fox Business, February 26, 2022.

VOA – Not Welcome. The Voice of America Russian-language news site may be blocked. It has received notice to remove content that Moscow deems ‘illegal’. “Russia Media Regulator Moves to Block VOA”, Voice of America, March 2, 2022. Read more about the Russian lid on social media in “Media Crackdown in Russia”, U.S. Department of State, March 2, 2022. 45 minutes.

British Shortwave Radio Service. The BBC is launching a shortwave radio service for Russia and Ukraine. The service will reach audiences with a daily shortwave transmission for two hours in the evening and two hours in the morning. It will be difficult to disrupt this type of radio signal.

Podcast – Waging War in a Networked Age. A podcast aired that was devoted to how modern networks and media are influencing what has become a major shooting war between Russia and Ukraine. Cyberlaw Podcast – Lawfare, March 1, 2022,

UN Vote. The United Nations Assembly voted on a resolution demanding that Russia withdraw from Ukraine. 141 nations voted for the resolution. The countries of North Korea, Eritrea, Syria, and Belarus voted against the resolution.

New DOJ Task Force. The U.S. Justice Department has established a task force to enforce U.S. sanctions against Russia. The new interagency law enforcement effort would enforce the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures aimed at Moscow. This new organization would be targeting the crimes of Russian officials, government-aligned elites, and those who aid or conceal their unlawful conduct. “DOJ launches ‘KleptoCapture’ task force to target Russian oligarchs”, Washington Examiner, March 2, 2022.

U.S. Missile Test Postponed. The Pentagon has delayed a long-planned test launch of an American Minuteman III rocket. The SECDEF has decided on this action so that the launch could not be misunderstood or misconstrued. Air Force crews test four Minuteman III rockets per year from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. The tests are planned years in advance and publicized to avoid miscalculations. The dummy warheads splash down near Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. “Austin Postpones Test of Minuteman III Missile”, DoD News, March 2, 2022.

Russian Billionaire Loses Yacht. A very rich Russian is one yacht short now. His 512-foot long boat, valued at $600 million, has been seized by the Germans in the northern city of Hamburg. European Union sanctions are what set in motion the seizure. “Germans Seize Russian Billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s Mega-Yacht”, Forbes, March 2, 2022.

Waltz on Ukraine. Representative Mike Waltz (R-FL) provides his perspective on the likelihood of Ukraine’s success in stopping the Russians. He says that the west “. . . must continue the flow of food, medical supplies, small armaments, stinger missiles, night vision, secure communications, body armor, and deployable radar systems to stall Russian armor in the cities and cut off their supply lines”, “Ukraine vs. Russia: Here’s How Zelensky and his country win”, Fox News, March 2, 2022.

Rubio on Ukraine and Twitter. The senator from Florida is doing a lot of tweeting about the Ukraine and people are following his Twitter account to stay abreast of the changing situation of the conflict. “Marco Rubio is tweeting through the Russia-Ukraine war – for a reason”, Politico, March 2, 2022.

Seth Jones – What the West Should Provide. Sanctions and diplomacy alone will not save Ukraine. It needs weapons and intelligence to oppose the Russians and ultimately, down the road, Russian-installed puppet rulers. Read more in “How the U.S. Can Back Its Promises to Ukraine”, The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2022.

Intel and Putin. Many observers are speculating on the intentions of Putin with regard to Ukraine. Is it possible that the U.S. intelligence community knows what’s up? “Can Intelligence Tell How Far Putin Will Go?”, War on the Rocks, February 28, 2022.

OSINT and Ukraine. From high-resolution satellite images to TikTok videos, governments no longer control information from the front lines. Open source intelligence has changed the geopolitical and military environment. Governments no longer control the technology that puts eyes on the battlefield, which means they no longer can control the narrative. Read more in “How Open-Source Intelligence is Helping Clear the Fog of War in Ukraine”, BuzzFeed.News, March 2, 2022.

Russia’s Economy and Military Power. There have been various academic efforts to measure military power based on economic strength. David Uren, a senior fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, breaks this down for us in “Measuring Russia’s Economic and Military Power”, The Strategist, March 3, 2022.

Wishful Thinking. The editor of FDD’s Long War Journal, Bill Roggio, has some disquieting news to share. He believes that “Wishful thinking has the upper hand in the battle to shape Western perceptions of the war in Ukraine”. He says the sympathy for the Ukrainians has blinded people to the fact that the Ukrainians are outnumbered in troops and outgunned in weapons. While Russia may have hoped for a knockout punch, they will quickly transition to careful follow-on assaults following Russian doctrine. “The West’s delusions about this war”, FDD Long War Journal, March 2, 2022.

Declassifying Intel. Jack Harrington, an intelligence fellow with the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in D.C., provides us with an informative article about the pros and cons of revealing intelligence information in an attempt to shape world events. “Intelligence Disclosures in the Ukraine Crisis and Beyond”, War on the Rocks, March 1, 2022.

Day 8 closes and the conflict rages….Russia is still playing a waiting game to see if the recent tactics work and they could avoid a massive troop influx to gain the upper hand.

More to come….probably more deadly news to come….

I Read, I Write, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

More From The ‘Can’t Fix Stupid’ Files

Shall we take a break from Ukraine…..well if you insist.

The Right just cannot stop trying to out stupid the other members….this time it is not Taylor-Greene but another female member of the House, Lauren Boebert of Colorado…..she seems to think the the US needs to act more like Russia with our neighbors…..

Some Canadian politicians are unhappy with conservative firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert, who compared the invasion of Ukraine to the way Canada cleared protesting truckers from its capital. The remarks came as the Colorado congresswoman was being interviewed by Fox Nation over the weekend at the CPAC convention, reports the Guardian. Boebert praised Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky for embodying what she called a “live free or die” philosophy. “I pray for Ukraine, and I wish them the best,” Boebert said. “But we also have neighbors to the north who need freedom and need to be liberated, and we need that right here at home, as well.” More:

  • “[It] is sad to hear you compare free & democratic Canada to the invasion of Ukraine,” tweeted Anthony Housefather, a Liberal member of Parliament, per the Washington Post. “If you would like to learn about Canada please reach out.” Another Liberal member of Parliament, Ryan Turnbull, tweeted that he was “speechless.”
  • Bruce Heyman, former US ambassador to Canada under President Obama, tweeted: “Reckless, dangerous and crosses every line of diplomacy and decency. Boebert would have been expelled from the
    @GOP before Trump but now the darling of CPAC.”
  • Boebert previously expressed strong support for the truckers’ demonstration, which began as a protest against vaccine mandates, notes Insider. “The Freedom Convoy is representative of a people’s yearning for freedom—something so many thought may have been all but lost to decadence,” she tweeted on Feb. 15. “I’m glad to see the will to fight for liberty is still alive and well!”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lauren-boebert-canada-liberated-like-ukraine_n_621befeae4b0d1388f16985a

Since I wrote this draft Boebert made a bigger ass of herself at the SOTU…..

She and her idiot cohort Taylor-Green heckled Biden several times….with stupidity like ‘build the wall’…all in all they made complete asses of themselves.

Boebert is another of those far right idiots that came to DC to perform not to govern…..these people spend their time trying to out crazy each other.

I have seen nothing about her and the other ilk that says they want to govern and have the best interest of the nation at the heart of their stupidity.

They prove every time they open their mouths that ‘You cannot fix stupid”.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Where Oh Where Have The Warplanes Gone?

The popular meme around the Ukraine conflict is the idea of establishing a ‘no-fly zone’ over the nation…..

First, so far I have not seen any reports of Russian air superiority much less many shots of Russian planes at all…….

My question is if Russia has such a massive air force…..where are they?

The Russian Air Force is ranked third in the world by the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, whose ranking takes into account factors like modernization, logistical support, and attack capabilities. By the numbers, it’s also third, with its current active inventory of about 3,800 aircraft coming in behind only the US Air Force and US Army’s fleets, reports Flying Magazine. So … where is it? It’s the question Reuters is asking after a week in which it says Russia has “act[ed] far more delicately with its air power” than expected, “so much so that US officials can’t exactly explain what’s driving Russia’s apparent risk-averse behavior.”

An unnamed senior US official says it’s believed Russia is only using about 75 aircraft currently, and the RUSI think-tank in London on Monday wrote “the roughly 300 modern combat aircraft … positioned within easy range of the main contact zones in northern, eastern, and southern Ukraine appear to have largely stayed on the ground throughout the first four days of fighting.” Just as perplexing is the fact that Ukraine’s air force is still airborne. As RUSI wrote, as with “almost every military conflict since 1938,” the expectation was that one of Russia’s first steps would be to wipe out Ukraine’s air force and air defenses, but Ukraine’s air force fighter jets are still in play.

RUSI shares a number of possible explanations, among them that what Russia wrought on Aleppo and Homs was the kind of indiscriminate bombing that didn’t seek to minimize civilian casualties; it’s possible the air force could be on deck, waiting for a change in strategy. Foreign Policy flags some perspective from Seth Jones and Philip Wasielewski of the Center for Strategic and International Studies ahead of the invasion, who noted that “the Russian military also has limited experience in coordinating a large number of aircraft that will support the ground attack”—what occurred over Syria and Chechnya “do not compare with the number of sorties that could be required in Ukraine across a front possibly several hundred miles wide.”

Are they waiting until the air power is needed?

Will we see the planes in action soon?

Can the Ukrainian air force handle the possible influx of Russian air force?

Many questions to be answered later as the situation becomes more violent and more destructive.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ukraine No-Fly Zone

The big Ukrainian ask of the West is the implementation of a ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine. 

There are many Americans that also think the best thing for the US is to impose a “No-Fly” zone over Ukraine to help the people fight against the troops of ‘Vlad the Invader’…..and the case keeps being made by Ukrainian lawmakers as well as the president of that country.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is urging President Biden and NATO to impose a “no-fly zone” over “significant parts” of the country, telling Axios in a statement that Ukraine “can beat the aggressor” if the Western allies “do their part.”

(axious.com)

Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandra Ustinova continued to make the case.

“We need to protect our sky, and that’s why we need a no-fly zone,” Ustinova said. “I know this is something that nobody wants to talk about because everybody is scared of Vladimir Putin. … My only question here to the international community would be, what is the red line for him? What is the red line when you actually step in? How many children have to die?”

On Friday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., called for the implementation of a no-fly zone, stating that it would “disrupt Russias air [operations] to give the heroic Ukrainians a fair fight. It’s now, or later.”

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., joined him on Monday.

A No-Fly Zone?

A terrible idea!

Why?

First how many know what is actually meant by a ‘no-fly zone’?

A no-fly zone refers to any region of airspace where it has been established that certain aircraft cannot fly.

It can be used to protect sensitive areas, such as royal residences, or brought in temporarily over sporting events and large gatherings.

In a military context, a no-fly zone is designed to stop aircraft from entering banned airspace, usually to prevent attacks or surveillance.

It has to be enforced by military means.

That could be surveillance, pre-emptive strikes against defensive systems or bringing down aircraft which enter the restricted area.

A no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean that military forces – specifically Nato forces – would engage directly with any Russian planes spotted in those skies and shoot at them if necessary.

(bbc.com)

An article as published in Vox.com…..

This is a catastrophic idea. Stripped of cant, the US announcing a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be an American declaration of war on Russia — the first major conflict between the two nations that, put together, control 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

“A No Fly Zone is not a magical umbrella that prevents planes flying in a given area. It’s a decision to shoot at planes that fly in a given area,” explains Olga Oliker, the International Crisis Group’s director for Europe and Central Asia. “To put in a no fly zone is to go to war.”

This would put NATO and the US in direct action against Russia if the ‘zone’ is to be enforced….now is that really something the US needs to do?  (Think Afghanistan and Iraq)

It started to sound like Ukraine is begging for the US and NATO to go into direct confrontation against Russia…..

I understand the urgency that Ukraine has assigned to this issue….they are just trying to survive…I can sympathize with their desire and their plight….but I still do not think the US needs a new war to contend with right now.

But all this depends on how much lobbying and cash is passed around in DC…..I remember how Wilson was conned into WW1….will Biden be that easy?

The ‘No-Fly Zone’ is a really bad idea.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”