Monday, February 28, 2022

CNN repeats what I stated just yesterday....

US officials fear the worst is yet to come for Kyiv
As for the troops left on the border, it's possible that Russia has planned the attack in waves in an effort to exhaust the Ukrainians with the first wave and then demolish them with a second wave of fresh troops, according to two sources familiar with the intelligence. It's also possible, according to one of those sources, that Russia has simply moved cautiously after facing a tougher fight than expected.


What I wrote yesterday:

So this would fall in line with two different possible and competing concepts 

  • That Putin is getting desperate and now bringing in the last of his reserves because he has no other choice.  
  • That Putin was simply softening up Ukrainian resistance with a less than robust first wave of disposable under-equipped soldiers and that his real attack would come with better more elite reserve troops.

Of course in the comment thread, I had one person suggest that what I was offering was simply "incorrect". No argument as to why. Just the general statement that it was incorrect to suggest that Russia would have a second line of attack.  Another got stuck repeating the same argument from the same military expert over and over and over as if there was no other possible arguments out there. An argument that suggested the convoy on it's way was proof that Russia was failing?

But what a difference a day makes, huh? The idea that a second wave of Russians was proof positive that Putin was screwing up has given way to the reality that screw up or not, eventually the Ukrainians will run out of people and bullets and they will likely run out way sooner than the Russians. That regardless of the strategy involved, that a three mile long convoy of heavy artillery, more supplies, and more troops was not a good thing for Kyiv.

Talks begin between Russia and Ukraine as the Belarus military looks to join Russia

Questions about whether Kyiv is surrounded are raging as well 

Lots of moving parts when it comes to war. What exactly is being discussed between the leaders is not yet known. They could be negotiating a ceasefire, negotiating the separatists areas, or just biding time and playing games. 

Putin seems to be placing more resources in and around Kharkiv which observers believe is a pretense to isolating the the eastern portion of Ukraine and adding Ukraine's second largest city into a larger section of land that would include the separatists area already pretty much Russian occupied. With Crimea and the two separatist areas, much of that area is now under Russian control already. Perhaps there is a deal to be made with Putin backing off Kyiv and Ukraine as a whole, and Zelenskyy giving up some of that eastern region as a "new" country that would obviously be under Putin's thumb.

Meanwhile, the press secretary in Kyiv told the world that their city was basically surrounded and that nobody was getting out or in. This was heavily disputed almost immediately and some were literally calling the press secretary out as a "liar".  Of course piecing together a variety of sources and what some are claiming satellite imaging is showing, there are Russian troops that advanced "around" Kyiv and may be setting up blockades on as many roadways as they could. I suspect that the press secretary probably told a damaging truth because he didn't know any better. Either way, Russians are expected to have that city encircled or surrounded in the coming days, especially if Belarus enters the fray. 

The Belarus involvement would be hard on Ukraine. First, from a psychological standpoint, it would suck to have other former Soviet soldiers invading your territory. It's one thing to fight the Russians. It's another to have a neighbor take the other side. Second, Belarus is no more than 150 miles from Kyiv and at the very least provides more pressure from the north and north west. Belarus is said to only have about 50,000 in their armed forces, but they do have some very well trained combat units. 

At this point, the undermatched Ukrainians are still standing. They may look like Rocky at the end of the first Rocky movie, but they appear to have the same sort of heart and drive to go the distance. Whether they can keep up the resistance as food, medicine, and supplies start to dwindle is anyone's guess. But who wants to bet against them at this point?  

Sunday, February 27, 2022

This could be bad news...

9 min ago

Satellite images show more than three-mile-long Russian military column on roadway to Kyiv

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy.

As Ukrainians continue to repel Russian advances around Kyiv, new satellite images show a more than 3-mile-long Russian military convoy is on a roadway that heads toward the capital city.
According to Maxar, the convoy was seen on satellite images on Sunday around 10:56 a.m. local time on the P-02-02 road near Ivankiv, which is about 40 miles (60 kilometers) northwest of the Ukrainian capital. The P-02-02 road goes toward Kyiv.
Maxar identified fuel and logistical trucks, in addition to tanks, infantry vehicles and self-propelled artillery moving in the convoy.
So this would fall in line with two different possible and competing concepts 
  • That Putin is getting desperate and now bringing in the last of his reserves because he has no other choice.  
  • That Putin was simply softening up Ukrainian resistance with a less than robust first wave of disposable under-equipped soldiers and that his real attack would come with better more elite reserve troops.
Either way, it cannot be good for Kyiv if a three mile long military convoy is approaching the capital city. It does not appear at this point in time that any Ukrainian planes are taking off or that they have any sort of long range weapons to attack the convoy in question. Perhaps that was the point of this convoy coming in now rather than at the beginning. 

Again, we can hope that the convoy in question is also nothing more than the same under-equipped and underskilled soldiers that are "reported" to have been fighting in the Ukraine cities. Of course that also requires us to believe all the reports that Russian soldiers are unskilled and underequipped. If one thinks a little deeper about these rumors, they start to fall apart once you realize that Russia has over a million people in their military and spends over 60 billion a year (versus 200,000 soldiers and 5 billion for Ukraine). In fact, only three countries (United States, China, and India) spend more than Russia.

Hard to imagine a country that has 1 million soldiers and spends 60 billion dollars a year would be running out of soldiers and supplies within the first 4-5 days. 

Trump wins CPAC 2024 GOP presidential nomination straw poll, with DeSantis second

Trump captured 59% of ballots cast, DeSantis received 28% in the anonymous online straw poll
Trump, who’s repeatedly flirted with making another presidential run in 2024 to try and return to the White House, captured 59% of ballots cast in the anonymous online straw poll, according to results announced by CPAC on Sunday afternoon. The former president, who remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party as he continues to play a kingmaker's role in GOP primaries, won 55% support a year ago in the CPAC Orlando straw poll.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in a distant second in the new survey, at 28%, up from his 21% standing in both CPAC straw polls from last year. No one else among the 19 names listed on the ballot cracked 2%. Trump’s strong performance comes on the unscientific survey as no surprise. CPAC, long the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives, has become a Trump-fest since his 2016 presidential election victory.

Funny thing how liberals keep suggesting that Trump is losing his hold of the Party and celebrating as if this is a good thing for them, even as they suggest that he is the worst candidate that the GOP could offer.  So if he is such a bad candidate, why do they root so hard against him winning the nomination and/or hoping he gets charged with some crime prior to 2024.  Almost seems like they are afraid to see him as the nominee. 

At the end of the day, he is still going to be favored for both the GOP nomination and the general election if he decides to run again. Unless, of course, the Democrats can find new leadership between now and then.

Russian forces stalled or advancing or a little bit of both depending on your source...

Thinks are either going according to plan or Putin is furious
The US continues to see Russian forces face “stiff resistance” and see their momentum slow in the northern part of Ukraine, while Russians are having a “little bit more success” in the south, a senior US defense official told reporters on Sunday, citing fuel shortages and logistical issues.
The US is seeing the most resistance in the Russian advance on the city of Kharkiv, the official said. The Russians are “facing some logistics challenges as well on their advance down north to Kyiv,” the official added. The official noted that the Russians would learn from their logistical issues and find ways to overcome them.

This latest CNN story is from about 10 minutes ago and might be giving a fair assessment. Yesterday I watched a high ranking US military commander suggest that Russian troop advance initially bypassed the major population centers, looking to surround them first rather than march right in. The fighting we heard about was from smaller reconnaissance missions meant to gather and provide information. This official suggested about half of the 150,000 troops amassed at the border had entered Ukraine, while the rest appeared to be almost waiting in reserve. 

From what we can determine since then, Russian troops have bombed things like power grids and such and have most definitely started a slow advance into these cities.  The underlying plan (based on what this military commander suggested) was a more methodical method of almost laying siege to these cities, taking out power and blocking supply chains. Whether this was the original plan or not is a topic of argument, but it appears to be what is happening now.

The expectations probably might have been that Zelenskyy would have abandoned Kyiv once Russian troops advanced across the border. In fact, our own Administration offered Zelenskyy to assist with any sort of evacuation of th city, but the Ukrainian President refused. Once it was clear that the Russian army would face resistance in these cities, the plan to simply march right in may have given way to the idea of surround and lay siege. 

Negotiations have been on the table, but both sides seem to be reluctant to give in to the demands of the other side. What might be an acceptable peace agreement at this time is unknown. In fact, I cannot see a manner in which both sides are placated in any agreement. 

Sunday Funnies II

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