Ukraine–Day 43

“How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print”……….Karl Kraus

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed”…… Dwight D. Eisenhower

The center is holding….the East is dire……

A Long War? Many international observers of the Ukraine War believe the stage is set for a long-term conflict in Ukraine. Putin’s goal of extending the Russian empire by incorporating all or most of Ukraine into Russia’s borders will not be side-tracked with the temporary set back his army has experienced during the ‘Battle for Kyiv’. During testimony before Congress this week, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, predicted that the conflict will likely last years.

Ground Campaign. Russia has abandoned its planned capture of the capital of Ukraine. Its forces have retreated or been pushed back by Ukrainian forces from the Kyiv area. They have repositioned to the north across the Belarus border to refit, reorganize, and resupply. These units will likely move in a circular, clockwise direction into Russia, and then into the Donbass region to continue to fight.

Video – Armed Resistance in Ukraine. The concept of national resistance is where individual citizens participate in an organized struggle under state leadership to resist an aggressor attacking that nation. Ukraine has taken that concept and put it into action. Stephen J. Flanagan, a Senior Political Scientist, explains in this 2-minute long video. (Rand Corporation, March 30, 2022.

Kyiv. The region around Kyiv and most of the northern part of Ukraine has seen the departure of Russian units. Left behind is a path of destruction, burned out Russian tanks and APCs, boobytraps and unexploded ordnance, and dead Ukrainian citizens.

Kharkiv. The city was once again shelled during the night hours of Wednesday into Thursday morning (Apr 6-7). The second largest city of Ukraine, Kharkiv, located in the northeast of the country.

Mariupol. According the the Mariupol City Council, Russia is using its crematoriums to erase evidence of its war crimes. The bodies of residents killed in the conflict are being collected and burned. The fight for the city is still ongoing, with Ukrainian defenders holding out long after most military observers had predicted its capture to the Russians.

Russian-Occupied Kherson. In Kherson the actions of the Russians have been brutal. Numerous protests have occurred in the city of almost 300,000 residents; activities that are usually broken by Russian soldiers firing live rounds, tear gas, and stun grenades. The Russians are hunting down the protesters and detaining them. There are numerous checkpoints, Russian looting of shops, and shortages of food. The Ukrainian army is attempting to mount a counter-offensive that will recapture the port city. “Tear gas, arrogance, and resistance: Life in Russia-occupied Kherson”, The Christian Science Monitor, April 6, 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. View more Ukraine SITMAPs that provide updates on the disposition of Russian forces.

Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Crisis. Around 7.1 million people have been displaced internally in Ukraine. More than 4 million have fled the country seeking refuge in Europe. Another 4,000 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities on Wednesday (Apr 6), many from Mariupol. Ukrainians continue to flow across Ukraine’s western borders into neighboring countries. More than two million are now being hosted by Poland. The New York Times (subscription) reports that at least 2,000 Ukrainians are in Mexico along the United States border awaiting entry; a process that shouldn’t be too difficult as there about 100,000 people a month crossing the southern border.

Europeans have been exceptionally welcoming to the Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion – many opening their homes to the refugees. Resources are appearing on the internet providing housing assistance to Ukrainian refugees. An interactive map by CrisisReady shows the population density changes in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. The maps can be used as a “signal” about population changes related to the Ukrainian invasion.

UNHCR Operational Data Portal – Ukraine Refugee Situation (Updated daily).

IO in Russia. The propaganda battle within Russia is being won by Putin. His popularity ratings in Russia has risen over the past few months. This is the result of a steady flow of disinformation from the Russian state controlled-media and the curb on private media organizations.

Informing Russians and Ending the War. Information operations will play a decisive role in the outcome of the war in Ukraine. Information can help the Russian population to realize the true case of the sanctions and the true cost of the war. But more needs to be done to get that message across to the people of Russia. Tod C. Helmus and Andrew Radin explain in “Keeping Russians Informed About Ukraine Could Help End This War”, The RAND Blog, March 14, 2022.

Shortwave Radio and the Narrative. FM and broadcast television can only travel to just beyond the horizon. However, shortwave can travel vast distances. A shortwave signal cannot be hacked, bombed, and is very difficult to jam. The BBC World Service has begun a daily shortwave broadcast directed to Ukraine but that can also be heard in southeastern Russia. Radio Free Europe played a key role in the Cold War providing truthful broadcasts to the Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Perhaps it is time for RFE to return to its roots and follow BBC’s lead in restarting shortwave services to Ukraine and southeastern Russia. “Why the BBC World Service’s New Ukrainian Shortwave Service Matters”, The RAND Blog, March 25, 2022.

Agricultural Commodity Prices Rise Worldwide. The last 18 months has seen wheat, corn, and vegetable oil prices rise dramatically around the world. The Russia’s invasion of Ukraine comes at a time when global food and energy prices are already elevated. Russia’s attack on Ukraine has disrupted Black Sea agricultural exports of fertilizer, grain, and other agricultural products. The prospects for spring planting and winter crop harvesting in Ukraine remain uncertain. Read an international agricultural trade report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service on how the Ukraine conflict is contributing to high commodity prices and food insecurity published on April 6, 2022.

U.S. Foreign Fighters. The U.S. State Department says that is is not a crime under U.S. law for an individual to go abroad for the purpose of enlisting in a foreign army. However, if recruited or hired in the America then it could be a violation and result in the relinquishment of U.S. citizenship. In addition, DoS is advising against Americans to travel to Ukraine, noting that Russia intends to treat captured foreign fighters as ‘mercenaries’. Despite these warnings thousands of American citizens, most with military experience, are looking to go to Ukraine to participate in the fight against the Russian invasion. “Regardless of the Warnings: Some U.S. Veterans Look to Join the Fight in Ukraine: ‘This Is What I Do’”, People Magazine, April 4, 2022.

Security Assistance and Ukraine. Overhauling Ukraine’s procurement institutions has facilitated the recent surge of security assistance to Ukraine. A lot has change from seven years ago when Russia’s military seized Crimea. U.S. security assistance provided from 2014 to 2020 ($2 billion) has certainly made a difference. “The Ukrainian Military Has Defied Expectations. Here is How U.S. Security Aid Contributed”, The RAND Blog, March 29, 2022.

All the info one needs to have a grasp on the situation in Day 43…..

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Next Up, China

For now the conflict in Ukraine is turning into a stalemate… the State Department needs to keep the defense industry in the fray… China is now the new focus, it has been a focus for a long time but it makes the news again…..

China has been identified as the number one “threat” facing the US in the Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy (NDS), which was sent to Congress on Monday.

The full NDS is still classified, but the Pentagon released a fact sheet on the document that says it “will act urgently to sustain and strengthen deterrence, with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as our most consequential strategic competitor and the pacing challenge for the Department.”

The fact sheet outlines four priorities for the Pentagon:

  1. Defending the homeland, paced to the growing multi-domain threat posed by the PRC
  2. Deterring strategic attacks against the United States, Allies, and partners
  3. Deterring aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary, prioritizing the PRC challenge in the Indo-Pacific, then the Russia challenge in Europe
  4. Building a resilient Joint Force and defense ecosystem

The Pentagon says that while China is the focus, Russia poses “acute threats” because of its invasion of Ukraine. “We will collaborate with our NATO Allies and partners to reinforce robust deterrence in the face of Russian aggression,” the fact sheet reads.

The fact sheet says that the Pentagon will “remain capable of managing other persistent threats, including those from North Korea, Iran, and violent extremist organizations.”

The Biden administration’s focus on China is demonstrated by the uptick in US military activity in Southeast Asia. According to a report from the Beijing-based South China Sea Probing Initiative (SCSPI), the US conducted nearly 1,200 surveillance sorties over the South China Sea in 2021, about a 20% increase from 2020.


An uptick in military activity in SE Asia?

Where I have I heard that before?

After weeks of little news about China other than they support Russia in the Ukraine mash-up….the US is return to lathering up the warhawks with dire predictions.

How long before this is a problem that will need our full attention?

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

“Legitimate Political Discourse”

Note:  I wrote this post before the Ukraine thing fired up… I thought I would step back from the war to look at what is happening in this country.

The GOP continues to downplay the insurrection of 06 January….they have been on the hunt for a tagline that would explain the treasonous acts committed that day and now they have a new one….’legitimate political discourse’.

“Legitimate political discourse” is an interesting phrase. Three weeks ago the Republican National Committee (RNC) voted overwhelmingly to call the violent putschist Capitol Rioters of January 6, 2021 ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.” That was their phrase for fascist marauders who:

+ Said “we’re going to take out country back” as they headed to physically assault the legislative branch of the US government.

+ Screamed “Hang Mike Pence” while invading the US Capitol to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election.

+ Constructed gallows intended for the execution of Pence and other elected officials on the steps of the Capitol.

+ Chanted “USA, USA” and “Fight for Trump” while beating Capitol police officers, defacing monuments and paintings, breaking windows, denting doors, stealing government documents and computers, and wiping feces on Capitol walls and looking to kidnap, beat, and kill Congresspersons and Congressional staff.

+ Screamed “stop the steal” to falsely claim that Joe Biden’s election was fraudulent and to justify an attempted putsch meant to install their Dear Cult Leader Donald Trump as a de facto dictator.

+ Carried the Confederate Flag, symbol of Black chattel slavery and slaveholder secession, into the halls of Congress.

It was all very consistent with the prompting of the wannabe president-for-life and “instinctive fascist” Trump, who helped spark the riot by telling his supporters on January 6th to go down to the Capitol and “fight…fight like Hell. If you don’t fight like Hell,” Trump added, “you’re not going to have a country anymore.” At the same “Save America” rally before the Attack on the Capitol, Trump’s demented mob lawyer Rudy Giuliani told “Stop the Steal” protesters to engage in “trial by combat.”

On “Legitimate Political Discourse”

The GOP is trying to do what they do best….rewrite history….whitewash the ugly if you will.

Every Red State legislature is doing this on multiple fronts……from education to abortion to race and now the acts of treason…..

This LIE should be confronted on every level and at every turn….

The failed coup on 06 January was nothing noble it was affront to our very laws and the republic….this lie should not be allowed to continue.

But the fools that stormed the Capital we doing nothing…..the coup is taking place in plain sight…..with the help of the Supreme Court and the Senate….chamber….then SCOTUS…..a conservative body that is forcing their values on the rest of the nation.

The Senate does nothing to help the situation by being a no progress

Ignorance cannot prevail!

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”