“Key Takeaways March 22-24
- Kyiv remains firm that Russia must return Crimea and Donbas to Ukraine, despite Kremlin claims that Zelensky is willing to discuss recognizing Russian control over these temporarily occupied territories.
- The Kremlin increased its rhetoric accusing the West of posing an existential threat to Russia and refusing to rule out the use of nuclear weapons in the event of threats to Russia to deter the West from further supporting Ukraine.
- Western leaders continued to sound alarms about potential Russian chemical or biological attacks in Ukraine.
- The Kremlin continues to undercount Russian deaths in Ukraine, which have likely passed 10,000 dead since February 24.
- Western sanctions are successfully disrupting Russia’s military industry and energy exports.
- Russian forces are likely forcibly relocating Ukrainian citizens to Russia to establish control over occupied areas and gain political leverage.
- The EU and NATO announced both short- and long-term plans to increase military defense spending, troop deployments to Eastern Europe, and military assistance for Ukraine.“
Ukraine Conflict Update 19 | Institute for the Study of War (understandingwar.org)
I doubt the veracity of most, if not all, of the points made.
Why? Should I consider you a Russian partisan?
Because the ISW is stuffed with neocons who haven’t gotten anything right for years.
William Raiser. OK. Hard bigotry on your part. People are irredeemable? You do not believe anything that Keane or Petraeus say?
No, but you could consider me a “rootless cosmopolitan”. By that I mean I try to see geopolitics from a somewhat detached perspective, to try seeing past various sides’ self portrayal as embodying all that’s good in the world while depicting the other as evil incarnate. Nations do exactly as parties in a contentious divorce (most are) do; everything gets depicted as black and white.
This characteristic of mine often maddens my friends who so badly want me to see things their way.
When this business reaches the “afterwards” stage, we’ll all get to see things better. Y’know: hindsight is always 20/20.
Russian figures for losses are probably true but only for the military. They probably don’t count the guards, LNR & DNR irregulars, Chechens and assorted mercenaries. They also don’t count POWs and deserters. So they could actuallly have higher losses than the Ukrainians claim and the declared numbers would be true.
Also, if the snipers are getting so many senior officers, presmably they are picking off junior officers in disproportionate numbers too.
If the frostbite at Mykolayev wasn’t trenchfoot, it will be now. The thaw is coming. They have been told to dig in and there is rain over Kiev. May they all get trenchfoot in their leaky boots and thin acrylic socks. Ukrainian boots look better.
“…Ukraine is negotiating security guarantees with the United States…”
I can’t wait to see these presented to the Senate for a vote.
Russian chemical weapons… A creative story given that they destroyed the last in 2017.
I think that today (March 26) may have been an important day in the battle for Mariupol. I get this off of Twitter videos. At 4:16 a.m. Russian tanks were shown in action, said to be going towards the city center on an identified street, Troyiczka. I find that you can get so-so (it is internet ranked just like here) fast shawarma at No. 42, Troyiczka. (I checked on what shawarma was and found there were 30 shawarma restaurants in Charlottesville! This made me feel like maybe I was turning into Rip Van Winkle. When did this happen? Then I realized it was Charlottesville, Indiana. Didn’t know they had one. I was sure there wouldn’t be anything like this in good old C-Ville, since pizza never even got to Columbia, S.C. till 1947. I find there are ten places that are into shawarma! So I got sidetracked in images. Then I realized that that was what that was I gobbled down in a couple of places right on the street like Jedda and Istanbul. Now I want some. Too bad.
At 5:20 pm today the white-bearded Chechen commander of “Kadryov’s spetsnaz” stood in front of the city hall of Mariopol and announced that the city was taken by his Rosvgardia troops. There would only be a “sweeping clean operation” left to do. The announcement was celebrated with a burst of gunfire from a Chechen who stood next to his commander for the purpose of this obligatory Asiatic celebration. The police station was also shown.
Then another Twitter account showed the Ukrainian Deputy Commander of 503 Battalion of Marines captured and interviewed. He was caught trying to escape. He said that his entire battalion had broken up into small groups who were trying to find a way out of the trap. Outside the city, there were Russian roadblocks. Men in cars were being ordered to take off their shirts to see if they had any tattoos. (Just like the SS armpit blood-type tattoo.)
The commander of all Azov forces in Mariupol was also captured if I have that right. He looked like the real thing. Angry citizens accosted him before he was gotten into a car. Only one soldier escorted him. I expect that there will be a court of inquiry and a trial. It turns out that all along Mariupol has been regarded as a very pro-Russian city.
There have been a number of captures or death of ranking soldiers and also of well-known media military celebrities, including someone named Dennis “Stalker”, a handsome, charismatic-looking kid.
Further Twitter info clarified some things. As I see it, the city has ongoing if limited fighting in a suburb that is being dealt with by the DPR troops. More important could be the situation in the Azovstal steelworks complex. This is one of the largest steel- works in Europe and was ordered built by Stalin in the 1930’s. It has, or had, six blast furnaces, many open hearths, rolling mills, etc. It has been the headquarters of the Azov battalion in Mariupol. It is said to have a very large supply of stored munitions and weapons. There are videos of what the TOS I A does to a target when it is firing thermobaric missiles. They do indeed cover many football fields. The steel plant is a total loss. It was thought that the Azov battalion there will fight to the death. They might not.
One of the most interesting things I noticed today was how you can misread a video. Looking at the footage of the port of Berdyansk and the sunken ship, I assume a Ropucha (Toad) named Orsk, I realize that there was a large fuel storage tank completely undamaged going back to the Russian Marines landing there some weeks ago. Consider the ones burning in Jedda. The port of Berdyansk is completely undamaged. Nothing happened here. That landing was not opposed by the troops there! Those spruce Russian APCs I noticed some while back with unusual camouflage paint on them were offloaded in the normal way, I think. Treason!
Berdyansk must be another very pro-Russian port. I wonder how many Ukrainian troops were there.