Insane in the Ukraine

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Sun Sep 11, 2022 7:59 pm

Oh, yeah, I didn't mean to take anything away from Ukraine or imply that they didn't do this very well. It's just that the Russians are SO SHITTY it's hard to not look at that.

TBH I wouldn't actually worry about nukes now. Even if he's gone full lunatic, that's a suicide move right now, both abroad and domestically. Is it impossible? No. But he can't just go out and throw nukes with his bare hands, and the armed forces are probably as low as they've ever been in terms of being loyal enough to blindly go along with something that everyone now knows would be crazy and suicidal.


I hear you. I think this is the correct angle, as saying "I don't think Putin is stupid enough to use a nuke" is wrong. I think Putin is absolutely stupid and reckless and desperate (or will be) enough to use one. Actually getting his men to fire one is another matter.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 8:13 pm

I'm pretty sure he was always too cowardly to use one, as he knows what the consequences would be. I can't say that for 100% by any means, but "It was always a bluff, and a shit one at that", isn't all that extreme of a position to hold.



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Even the DarthPutin twitter account (always good for a laugh) has stopped ending each tweet with "I remain a master strategist."
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 8:14 pm

And yes, the Russians will also feature in those same army textbooks to come, in a section titled "What not to do: A comprehensive guide"

...and then 100 years from now, kids will rediscover this war and make memes videos about it the way history nerds do for the Russo-Japanese war.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 8:53 pm

I had a notification from an actual decent person I used to know replying on the old MTG boards, so I peeked at the thread on the war and the tankie trash were actually responding to the events of the past couple days with "Well, Russia did have a very good 4-5 months there" and like, I'm not gonna bother going there and dunking on them because fuck that, but holy shit.

ARE
YOU
FOR
REAL

This followed the only discussion about the war in the past 3 months being about how SUSPICIOUS it was that PBS's "documentary" about how all the weapons going to Ukraine were being "sold on the black market" was pulled. You know. The one that was a complete lie, fed to PBS by a single skeezy Russian plant that no one bothered to verify.

SAY IT WITH ME, C-O-P-E!
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 9:33 pm

Zelenskyy's address to Russians after the Kharkiv power plant strikes.

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Ah, but Russia is generous in defeat, comrades!


*intense, prolonged snickering*
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 10:26 pm

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 11:09 pm

Russian TV on the 9th

and today
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Mon Sep 12, 2022 3:18 pm

ISW again with the massively delayed updates, lol. Can't blame 'em there must be an insane amount of info to pour over (and strip out any opsec-related details).

Still not so much as a word out of Putin regarding the rout itself.
President Vladimir Putin and his senior officials have been silent in the face of Russian forces’ worst defeat since the war’s early weeks when they got repelled from the outskirts of Kyiv. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov side-stepped a reporter’s question if Putin still had confidence in the military leadership.

“The special military operation continues. And it will continue until the goals that were originally set are achieved,” Peskov said.

Putin was later shown on state TV chairing a meeting on the economy at which he made no reference to the retreat and said Russia was holding up well in the face of Western sanctions.

“The economic blitzkrieg tactics, the onslaught they were counting on, did not work,” he said.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Grath » Mon Sep 12, 2022 5:39 pm

Mongrel wrote:

This is true, but not in the way he wants it to be. I've heard whispers that now Ukraine isn't gonna be content with just getting Crimea back, they're gonna want Russia to demilitarize.

Friday wrote:
TBH I wouldn't actually worry about nukes now. Even if he's gone full lunatic, that's a suicide move right now, both abroad and domestically. Is it impossible? No. But he can't just go out and throw nukes with his bare hands, and the armed forces are probably as low as they've ever been in terms of being loyal enough to blindly go along with something that everyone now knows would be crazy and suicidal.


I hear you. I think this is the correct angle, as saying "I don't think Putin is stupid enough to use a nuke" is wrong. I think Putin is absolutely stupid and reckless and desperate (or will be) enough to use one. Actually getting his men to fire one is another matter.

Given the state of the rest of Russia's military, I would be amazed if any of their nukes still contained fissile material or had the ability to be launched.

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Mon Sep 12, 2022 8:41 pm

With the equipment losses Russia's suffered, one might argue that if Russia hasn't already been demilitarized, they soon will be. I'm only half joking!

What I'm wondering about is what's going to happen with Sevastopol. The city was technically never given to Ukraine, but if Crimea is taken, will they be content with letting the Russians keep it? Perhaps only if that city, specifically, is totally demilitarized, with the permanent removal of Russia's Black Sea naval base there.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Tue Sep 13, 2022 12:07 am

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All memes aside, as fun as they are, the first rule of war is never underestimate an opponent. This isn't over. I can only hope and pray that Ukraine continues to kick ass and Russia continues to be comically terrible.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Tue Sep 13, 2022 5:22 am

LOL so for the first time ever in the war ISW had to skip a day just to process all the information they took in (it being the 11th may have also had something to do with it, but no other holiday or similar events had previously delayed reporting).

- Newly arriving Russian soldiers flat out refusing to fight, at least in the north.
The Ukrainian General Staff reported that the Russian military command has suspended sending new, already-formed units to Ukraine due to recent Russian losses and widespread distrust of the Russian military command, factors which have caused a large number of volunteers to categorically refuse to participate in combat.[3] This assessment is still unconfirmed, but low morale due to Ukrainian counteroffensive success may prove devastating to the Kremlin’s already-poor ability to generate meaningful combat capability.

The deployment of these newly formed units to reinforce defensive lines against Ukrainian counteroffensives would be an operationally-sound decision on the part of Russian military leadership; and the delay or potential suspension of these deployments will afford Ukrainian troops time to consolidate and then resume the offensive, should they choose to do so, without having to face newly arrived and fresh (albeit undertrained and understrength) units.


- Russian sources claim the fight for Kharkiv Oblast has largely stabilized at the Oskil River (runs north-south, through Kupyansk though the Ukrainians at least have the whole of Kupyansk). However, Russian forces are not reinforcing this line, and in fact Russian troops were observed redeploying much further away It's very possible that only local proxy militia troops remain for many kilometres east of the Oskil and they have been effectively abandoned by Russia - God help the poor bastards, let's hope they're smart enough to just surrender instead of dying for literally nothing.

No doubt some of them are desperate to stay out of Ukrainian hands because of horrible things they've done, but others still believe the steady diet of lies they've been fed, scared the Ukrainians are the ones who will torture them, or that they're trying to protect civilians in occupied areas from "nazis" and "conquerors"; many of these guys were not exactly the brightest lightbulb in their village back home.

- The Ukrainians are going to use digital facial recognition to trace and arrest any war criminals linked to any available images or footage, which should give a relatively high identification rate so long as they have some data. As we've seen, it's possible to trace perpetrators from seemingly small amounts of information.

- This map is faannnnnnnntastic

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- Nearly all of the relevant rail network which was supplying all Russian forces in the north and east was west of the Oskil River (i.e. now back in Ukrainian hands).

- The Russians have abandoned so much equipment, so quickly, that the Ukrainians are actually struggling to recover it all.

- Some Russian units retreated so fast there were several friendly fire incidents, as the guys in the lines behind had no idea who was coming at them so fast. Many other Russians forces in the north have reportedly changed into civilian clothing to desert entirely, or at least escape the front lines. Calls are being intercepted again, so many Russians are genuinely terrified and in despair, and are receving nothing - no ammunition, no food, nothing. Which again, come on guys just fucking surrender. Fuck, it's not worth it.

- Some Russian troops have been intercepted saying the Ukrainians' counter-battery fire is "beastly" and "extremely accurate". Hm. Guess those new radars helped - but I bet some significant reallocation was also made to improve this, as it was previously noted as a glaring weak spot for the Ukrainians. Russian forces have also observed the extremely tight coordination between all branches of the Ukrainian military in complex combined-arms operation and commented on it.

- On that note, in places where Russian forces are still fighting, the Ukrainians are firing shells with leaflets calling for surrender. An unofficial report says there are currently 5,000 Russian POWs in Ukrainian hands.

- Russian sources have also confirmed further documentation to the effect that the Ministry of Defence has paid out death benefits for 50,000 Russian soldiers - and are projecting further payments at 8,000 such death benefit payouts per month (!!!), which, it should be noticed, is absolutely NOWHERE near the number of new troops (of ANY level of training) their meagre recruitment efforts are producing, even taking all possible sources into account.

- This is completely insane, someone frag this piece of shit.
Russian forces continued ground attacks in Donetsk Oblast on September 12. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian ground assaults on various settlements around Bakhmut and Avdiivka.[24] The continued ground attacks in this area far from the counteroffensive frontlines are noteworthy because Central Military District Commander Colonel General Alexander Lapin was given responsibility for the western grouping of forces that had been in Kharkiv Oblast following the loss of most of that oblast to Ukrainian forces. Lapin has shown no indication that he intends to alter his ongoing limited offensive campaign despite suddenly receiving responsibility for a collapsing front. He appears instead determined to continue attacks that have no meaningful chance of securing operationally significant, let alone decisive, gains. Russian forces continued routine fire along the line of contact in Donetsk Oblast.[25]


- The IAEA announced that the secondary reserve power lines to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are back online, which means that the plant is no longer relying on emergency diesel generators to ensure the operation of safety and control equipment.

I don't think I ever explained that the plant actually relies on external power (or emergency backups) for much of the operational equipment and facilities so that a plant shutdown would never hinder emergency efforts. There's a small local conventional power plant in surrounding Enerhodar, which is normally the primary source, but it also has main line transmission connections to the Ukrainian grid. This is why cutting the plant entirely off from INCOMING power transmission is dangerous. In peacetime it's a sound, triply-redundant safety measure so that the need to power the plants own facilities is never a question an operator would have to face in an emergency.

The Ukrainian employees have also been shutting down several main reactors over the past week, and running the remaining ones at a low "idle" as it were. So in general the danger of a major nuclear accident at Europe's largest nuclear plant has been decreasing (roughly since the IAEA team arrived - funny how that works, huh?), though the chances of a spiteful strike or sabotage by the Russians is not impossible.

- Down south, the Russians have withdrawn from roads, a rail junction, and a town north of Kherson City which form a natural defensive line. This leaves Kherson directly open to a major drive into the city from the north. The famously bombed Chornobaivka airfield is also up there right in the path of the Ukrainian army as it's northwest of town. LDR and DNR troop sin particular have abandoned their posts to head to the Dnipro. As well:
Spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command, Natalya Humenyuk, stated on September 12 that Russian forces located along the right bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast are attempting to negotiate for surrender under the auspices of international law.

That's the EAST bank, which is supposedly the safe side for the Russians. Unclear if they're negotiating to surrender only the forces n the west side in the pocket, or we're looking at a larger surrender.

- At least some large Russian formations in Kherson have lost so many troops that the remainder are refusing to fight.

- Russian forces have also been observed looting e-bikes, mopeds, and motorcycles in Kherson to flee in the event of a military collapse.

- In general, occupation authorities, administrators, and technicians brought in by Russia are beginning to flee back to Russia or head towards the puppet republics in numbers large enough to hinder occupation administrations in a very notable way. Proclamations are being issued and security forces have been continually been increasing crackdowns to try and uncover partisans, but disorganization was already bad without administration personnel fleeing as it was.

- The outskirts of Taganrog, the first Russian city immediately east of Mariupol and Ukraine's portion of the Azov coast, were supposedly hit by a major Ukrainian strike. A minor story for now, but it could be another prelude to a southern coastal offensive.

- Arguments are developing on Russian TV, in telegram channels, and all sorts of other places on whether to shoot or spare Russian generals, who are starting to band together to openly oppose Putin, and this argument is getting hotter, not colder. Comparisons are being made to the massive Soviet purges of the late 1930s.

- Pickled Igor reminding everyone that, while a useful source of information, he is also a nazi shitbird and a war criminal. His being rebuked so publicly by proxy troops is new though, as that was how he made his bones in the first place.


- Related: Kadyrovites are active in Kherson and the rest of the south as well. They're not fighting in any battles, but instead have set themselves to catch deserters, harass local Ukrainian civilians while searching for artillery spotters, and generally committing war crimes. The ones on the west bank of the Dnipro are starting to panic, unsure if they will escape the pocket. Which, good, fuck these guys.

- As Christo Grozev's Wagner contact hinted at two days ago, Putin has ordered various oligarchs to form private military companies. Putin is effectively no longer counting on the Armed Forces. The oligarchs will not receive any state funding and are expected to be entirely out-of-pocket on this one - are you, uh, sure about this cunning plan of yours, Vlad?

- Ripple effects in Europe. The Serbs are backing off their neighbours, as they now understand they will have fuck all nothing in terms of backing from Russia if they try anything. Serbia versus all of the EU is not the odds they like. Orban is also looking like he's looking for a hole to crawl into for a while.

- In the continued absurdity of this real life "level up to get powerups" paradigm of arms shipments, Germany is FINALLY (possibly? probably? maybe?) preparing to send tanks and other major weapons, in large quantities. But, you know, don't believe it till that shit's in Ukrainian hands. That said, better late than never, as any modern western weapons will help ensure Ukraine will be more than strong enough to deter any possible Russian attacks in future. The same goes for US lend-lease, which has not been part of the military aid to date.

- Russian representatives called for a meeting of the UN Security Council, requesting Ukraine to return "illegally captured" tanks, artillery, APCs, missile systems, radars and ammo. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

- Oopsies!

(Russian aviation in particular is being hit hard lately - I suspect many Russian pilots have been sent up with impossible jobs against strong Ukrainian ground forces with widespread anti-air capabilities)

- Other stuff


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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Tue Sep 13, 2022 1:36 pm

Mark MacKinnon at the Globe managed to scoop a really sweet interview: From his hospital bed, Ukrainian commander details troops’ stealthy recapture of Kharkiv region
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Tue Sep 13, 2022 3:30 pm

- Russian representatives called for a meeting of the UN Security Council, requesting Ukraine to return "illegally captured" tanks, artillery, APCs, missile systems, radars and ammo. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:30 pm

Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:29 pm


Z%rø wrote:Russia wants control of that area because of their naval base. Having Ukraine become part of the EU (or just more western leaning) turns that into a problematic situation.

Optimistic: Russia gains control the Crimea region then they can keep it and Ukraine keeps its independence. Of course this isn't the best for the indigenous people of the region who were previously persecuted by Stalin, but it doesn't lead us to war.

Pessimistic: It doesn't stop with Crimea.


From page one of this thread. Anyway, this is why I always look at people who tell me I'm a pessimist like it's an insult or a mental disorder like they have a mental disorder.

Thinking that bad things can happen because they have happened before, a lot, like a lot, like we're talking a lot, like holy jesus fuck did anything even good happen in history at any point? a lot, is NOT a mental disorder.

You know what might be, though? Thinking that bad things can't happen because they haven't happened in your lifetime and you're 30.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Tue Sep 13, 2022 9:11 pm

It's going to be sort of funny if the end result of eight years of meddling, war, and attempted genocide by Russia, is to lose the only thing they legitimately had in Crimea, and which they wanted to expand.

I honestly don't know if Ukraine will demand Sevastopol or not. They legitimately don't want any Russian territory - the fighting is over as soon as Russians are no longer on Ukrainian soil - but Sevastopol is like the one corner case exception where shit gets weird.

Like I said yesterday, my guess is Ukraine lets Russia keep the city (no need to give them an excuse for war later), but they will probably occupy it or at least blockade it, and demand total unilateral demilitarization of the city as a condition for it remaining in Russian hands.

--------------

EDIT: Well, I was certainly mistaken about Sevastopol! It was very much included with Crimea, and the Russians not only held no territory there, the only presence they legally had was the leasing of their naval base in the city! The reason Ukraine was cited as having "no navy" early on in the war, was because the base and port facilities were SHARED with the Ukrainian Navy, whose headquarters were in Sevastopol.

So, assuming things go well, Russia will end up losing their entire naval base in he Black Sea. I'm sure they'll set one up on the portion of the coast which is still Russian, but being denied Sevastopol will be a huge blow to Russia's historical sense of self (which, good riddance).

Also tripped over this neat article which goes into the two-decade history of how Russia never stopped fucking with Ukrainian territorial integrity, and used international treaties and agreements to keep their toeholds in Ukrainian territory.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby atog » Tue Sep 13, 2022 9:32 pm

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby JD » Tue Sep 13, 2022 10:10 pm

There's this manga called Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku, or Legend of Koizumi, which ran from 2006 to 2015, and features former Prime Minister of Japan playing mahjong to settle diplomacy with world leaders. Here's Putin:

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mazian » Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:03 am

Mazian wrote:Meanwhile, within Russia itself, the most dangerous job per capita remains "oil company executive": eight of them have now died under suspicious circumstances just this year, with the most recent one falling out a window.


It keeps happening:
Another Russian energy boss has died in mysterious circumstances after "falling overboard" from a boat, according to local media reports.


On the one hand, I can't imagine what advantage there is in purging the one industry that's still bringing in serious foreign revenue; it sure didn't work well for Venezuela. On the other hand... okay, I can imagine a lot of advantages for everyone else. Good job, keep it up.

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Wed Sep 14, 2022 5:03 am

Okay...

- The Kremlin's official acknowledgement of a military defeat in Kharkiv oblast is the first time in the war that Russia has actually admitted outright to defeat. Initially they were framing it as a change in priorities, but threw this out immediately when it became clear it wasn't going to fly, making it clear that the Kremlin still values a thin veneer of credibility. Since the Kremlin has shifted into ensuring blame for this fiasco is shifted away from Putin as much as possible, they're very obviously looking for scapegoats, with senior military leadership as the obvious candidates. As a result, the Ministry of Defence and the Kremlin are seeing quite the drop in relations.

- The Russians just fired Lt. General Berdnikov, Commander of the 'western military district'. Doesn't matter if you've never heard of hi, because he’d had the job for all of 15 days.

- Politics and other skulduggery
Several members of the Russian State Duma expressed concern about the dire situation on the frontlines in Ukraine during the Duma’s first plenary meeting of its autumn session on September 13. Leader of the Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov stated that Russia needs to announce full mobilization because the Russian “special military operation” is a war.[7] Zyuganov said that one can end a “special military operation” at any time, but that a war can end only in victory or defeat, and “we have no right to lose” this war. Leader of the “Fair Russia—For Truth” Party Sergey Mironov called for social “mobilization,” in which regular Russians would pay attention more to the war in Ukraine, rather than for full military mobilization. Leader of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party Leonid Slutsky also noted that Russia will continue to fight in the geopolitical “scrum” with the West. All three MPs had publicly advocated for Putin to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR) before the February invasion and were instrumental in setting information conditions for the invasion itself.[8] The MPs also discussed a December date for the next hearing on a bill that will simplify the delivery of the semiannual conscription notices.[9] The bill, which is likely to pass, will allow Russian military recruitment centers to send out conscription notices via mail instead of presenting them in person and will oblige men who have not received a notice in the mail to show up at the local recruitment center anyway.[10]

The bill could further facilitate the ongoing crypto mobilization campaign, which aims to promote recruitment into contract service via deception, coercion, or promised financial rewards. Recruitment centers throughout Russia have been delivering unofficial summonses that look like conscription notices via mail and phone calls, but many men are aware that Russian law requires military recruitment centers to issue conscription notices in person.[11] Russian men who have responded to the unofficial summonses have recounted recruiters attempting to persuade or pressure them into signing a military contract. The bill legalizing mailed conscription notices will facilitate this dishonest practice. Both the bill and MPs’ statements may evoke fear of general mobilization among men, which could incentivize some to sign military contracts and receive financial bonuses for volunteering, as opposed to being conscripted and forced to serve without such compensation.


- Full mobilization looks ever more distant. With the severe degradation of Russian training capabilities, huge equipment and supply losses, massive losses in the officer corps, and even shortages in basic kit. Currently there are "no indicators that preparations for full conscription have been ordered or are underway."

- The Kremlin is also trying to maintain credibility by cozying up to Russian milbloggers and adopting their narratives. Milbloggers are returning the favour by advertising Telegram channels covering frontline developments 24/7 and urging readers to subscribe if they “believe” in Putin. The main danger here is that a common demand among milbloggers is a massive missile campaign against Ukraine, with constant high volume barrages.

It's not clear that the Russian military can actually support such efforts for long, but it's not clear that it can't, either. But the will is certainly there among some of the civilian and military leadership. Recall that in Syria, the Russian military systematically attacked power stations, water facilities, hospitals, bakeries(!), and schools, in a vicious campaign straight out of the pre-Geneva Conventions era.

- Russian milbloggers are also increasingly worrying about Ukrainian counter-offensives in different areas along the Donetsk-Zaporizhia frontline, and preemptively identifying vulnerable Russian positions, though it's not clear that this will have any effect since those vulnerabilities tend to be known. Local authorities have been voicing similar fears.
Russian sources are increasingly voicing concern that Ukrainian troops are pulling forces southwest of Donetsk City and near the eastern Zaporizhia Oblast frontline. A member of Zaporizhia’s occupation administration, Vladimir Rogov, claimed that the accumulation of Ukrainian forces in the Zaporizhia direction is “colossal” and unprecedented.[41] Russian milbloggers further claimed that Ukrainian troops are amassing near Vuhledar (45km southwest of Donetsk City), where they stated fighting is ongoing.[42] ISW cannot independently confirm if Ukrainian forces are indeed in this area, but the Russian milblogger discourse about the area southwest of Donetsk City indicates a pervasive sense of nervousness over perceived Russian vulnerabilities in Donbas and southern Ukraine.


- Panic has yet to subside. Russian authorities in Crimea urged their families to flee to Russia, while employees of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) are selling their homes on the peninsula and are urgently evacuating their families due to Ukrainian counter-offensives.

- Russian weakness is increasingly affecting regional disputes, as the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict over Nagorno-Khabarak (ethnically Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan), is looking like it might devolve into open conflict again, without Russia imposing peace on the area.

- Ukrainians are sending small detachments across the Oskil risver to fuck with the shaky Russian defences on the east bank. The Russian defenders have received no supplies or reinforcements of note, and are not likely to hold their line at the river when it comes to that.

- Not much specific information on Kherson as usual, but available social media accounts and local accounts state that the Ukrainians have hit the Kherson suburbs with missile or air-to-ground strikes.

- Ukrainian forces have shot down their first Iranian drone. Reportedly, neither side is particularly impressed with them.

- Mark Hertling with a great breakdown on the Kharkiv offensive (thread isn't too long), why the Ukrainians will need to rest a bit even though everyone excited for more gains, possible events or pitfalls which might cause some disruptions, and two links to excellent articles (Politico & The Atlantic) on the offensive. This first post might sound a bit ominous, but really it's just an accounting of reasonable, practical considerations the Ukrainians must take into account (and I have no doubt that they already are).


- Doggos (second pic is a simple puppy video... literally the opposite of something requiring a CW... Twitter has some odd flagging, I gotta say)
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