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 The Russians have withdrawn some (20%?)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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