Over the past weekend the big news was that a Russian bridge in Crimea was destroyed or damaged….a blow for freedom?
The only bridge connecting the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian mainland appeared to have been badly damaged Saturday after an apparent truck explosion. The New York Times reports the blast on the 12-mile bridge over the Kerch Strait caused a fire and the collapse of part of the bridge into the sea, and (unverified) footage circulating online shows the aftermath. The paper notes that the resulting damage “could have a profound effect on Russia’s ability to wage war in southern Ukraine.” According to Russian investigators, three people were killed during the blast, which Reuters notes may have been occupants of a car near the truck when it exploded.
Other video online, also unconfirmed, appears to show the moment of the explosion, which doesn’t seem to be viewed as an accident by either Russian or Ukrainian officials, though no one has yet taken responsibility. In a statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the incident an “emergency” and said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been briefed, per the Times. Reuters notes that an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that the explosion was just “the beginning,” though he didn’t cop to Ukrainian forces as the ones who’d caused it. Vladimir Konstantinov, chief of Crimea’s Kremlin-installed parliament, was more direct in his assessment.
“Ukrainian vandals were able to reach the Crimean bridge with their bloody hands,” he said, per the Times. The bridge not only was a vital thoroughfare that Russia used to transport supplies for its war in Ukraine—it was also symbolically important to Putin, who drove a truck across it when it opened in 2018. The BBC notes that Ukrainian politicians and activists are celebrating the explosion, which came the day after Putin’s 70th birthday. Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security Council, tweeted a photo of the burning bridge, next to a video of Marilyn Monroe singing her famous “happy birthday” song to JFK in 1962. “Good morning, Ukraine!” he wrote.
As yet unconfirmed?
I think I may have an idea.
US special operations forces are on the ground in Ukraine as part of a broad covert operation that includes CIA personnel, The Intercept reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed US intelligence and military officials.
The report said that the US withdrew its CIA and special operations assets from Ukraine shortly before Russia’s invasion, although one US official said the CIA “never completely left.”
The CIA initially predicted that Kyiv would fall quickly to Russia, but after it became clear that wouldn’t happen, the Biden administration sent its covert assets back into Ukraine.
The report said that US clandestine operations inside Ukraine “are now far more extensive than they were early in the war, when US intelligence officials were fearful that Russia would steamroll over the Ukrainian army.”
Several current and former intelligence officials said that there “is a much larger presence of both CIA and US special operations personnel and resources in Ukraine than there were at the time of the Russian invasion in February.”
The Intercept report said the covert operations inside Ukraine are being conducted under a covert presidential finding that indicates President Biden has quietly notified Congress of a “broad program of clandestine operations inside the country.” The report said that the finding President Biden is using is an altered version of a finding originally during the Obama administration.
It’s not clear what the US personnel are doing inside Ukraine or where exactly they are operating, but the presence risks provoking Russia. The covert operations contradict President Biden’s pledge not to send troops into Ukraine, which he said before Russia’s invasion could spark a “world war.”
Maybe it was something that Zelensky wants from NATO…..
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday called for NATO to launch a “preventative strike” on Russia to prevent Moscow from using nuclear weapons, a move that would almost certainly spark World War III and possibly nuclear war.
“What should NATO do? Exclude the possibility of use of nuclear weapons by Russia,” Zelensky said via video link at an event hosted by the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank.
“But the most important, I’m again addressing the international community, is how it was before February 24: preventative strikes, so that they know what will happen if they use [a nuke],” he said. “And not the opposite, waiting for Russia to strike and then saying ‘oh, that’s how you are, now you can take it from us.’ Reconsider how you apply pressure, the order of application.”
We all know what he meant….he meant the US should pull an offensive strike on Russia….
Well maybe we did, right?
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“lego ergo scribo”