Patterico's Pontifications


Zelensky Says Ukraine Needs Weapons: Give the Man What He Needs

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Hopefully we are going to give them what they need. But I have my doubts.

The need is obvious:

It looks like the Biden administration is slowly lumbering towards the right decision, but I worry it could be like Lucy with the football. Case in point:

The Biden administration is poised to dramatically expand the scope of weapons it is providing Ukraine, U.S. officials said Tuesday, with the Pentagon looking to transfer armored Humvees and a range of other sophisticated equipment.

The new aid package could be worth $750 million, these people said. Like others, they spoke on the condition of anonymity because the transfer has not yet been finalized.

Preliminary plans circulating among government officials and lawmakers in Washington also included Mi-17 helicopters, howitzer cannons, coastal defense drones and protective suits to safeguard personnel in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear attack, the officials said, though they cautioned that it was not immediately clear if all of those items would end up in the final aid package.

Mi-17 helicopters! Good. They need those. Wait, what’s this?


An earlier version of this article reported that Mi-17 helicopters could be among the new arms transfers slated for Ukraine. After it was published, a U.S. defense official said that had been ruled out. The article has been updated.

This has been the typical pattern for weeks. Ruled out . . . why? Civilians are being slaughtered helplessly. It would be difficult to make up greater monstrosity: a soldier raped a baby and videotaped himself doing it. That really happened. And you’re dithering about giving the man helicopters.

Give the man what he needs.

77 Responses to “Zelensky Says Ukraine Needs Weapons: Give the Man What He Needs”

  1. Ukraine Situation Report: Slovakia Donating MiG-29 Fighters Is Fine By The U.S.

    The U.S. government has no objections to Slovakia transferring its fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets to Ukraine, a senior American defense official said today. This comes after a previous plan to give Poland’s MiG-29s to the Ukrainian Air Force collapsed after authorities in the United States said they would not directly facilitate the delivery of the fighters via an American base in Germany.
    The United States “does not object” to any country, including Slovakia, sending fixed-wing combat aircraft to Ukraine, a senior U.S. defense official told reporters earlier today. The Pentagon had said this was the U.S. government’s position back in March in relation to the proposed transfer of Polish MiG-29s to the Ukrainian Air Force. However, American authorities had said they were not interested in playing a direct role in the delivery of the Polish jets, ostensibly due to concerns that sending fighter jets to Ukraine would risk a particularly serious escalation in tensions with Russia and a belief that Ukrainian forces could make better use of additional ground-based air defense systems.

    Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger had floated the idea of sending his country’s MiG-29s to Ukraine yesterday, adding that there would be a need for certain security guarantees before pursuing any such transfer. Though the Slovakian Air Force is set to get new U.S.-made F-16C/D Viper fighter jets in the next few years, its 12 Fulcrums, which have been significantly upgraded over the years, are the only fixed-wing combat aircraft currently in service in the country. It’s not clear how many of the jets could potentially be headed to Ukraine.

    ……..The U.S. military, as well as other NATO allies, could possibly offer to deploy fighter jets to help guard Slovakia’s airspace as part of a new plan to give its MiG-29s to Ukraine.

    …….. Over the course of the fighting so far, Russian forces have struck two key military aviation repair facilities in Ukraine, causing significant damage to both.
    In the meantime, foreign military aid besides fighter jets continues to pour into Ukraine. The U.S. government says that it expects to finish delivering an $800 million military assistance package that President Joe Biden announced last month by mid-April. Two cargo planes arrived in the region just yesterday with machine guns, grenades, body armor, and more for transfer into Ukraine, according to a senior U.S. defense official.

    A senior U.S. defense official said today that a “significant amount” of a batch of 100 Switchblade loitering munitions, more commonly referred to as “suicide drones,” has arrived in Ukraine and that these weapons are now in use in the field……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  2. As President Zelenskyy told us at the outbreak of war, what the Ukrainian military and civilian defense really needs right now is ammunition. This apparently continues to be a massive issue. Some of our country’s manufactures have stepped up to help, but plenty more is needed. And since ammo for some of the Soviet-era heavy weapons is no longer being made, what is desperately necessary as this post points out is modern weaponry for Ukraine.

    Clearly the Biden Administration believes that sending upgraded weaponry to Ukraine will be seen by Russia as a hostile act, and as I pointed out last month, they are thus letting Putin have in effect a veto over our policy. It’s clear that we should be wary about inviting an unstable and evil mind like Putin’s to consider a nuclear response, but at some point we have to let Russia know that we’re all-in on supporting their adversary.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  3. Pentagon asks top 8 U.S. weapons makers to meet on Ukraine -sources

    The Pentagon will host leaders from the top eight U.S. weapons manufacturers on Wednesday to discuss the industry’s capacity to meet Ukraine’s weapons needs if the war with Russia lasts years, two people familiar with the meeting said on Tuesday.
    The Pentagon has said that the most useful weapons are smaller systems such as Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, which Washington and allies have been shipping to Ukraine on a nearly daily basis.

    The intense usage, as well as the battlefield effectiveness displayed by Ukrainian forces, has driven interest in restocking these weapons.
    To speed up U.S. government approval for sales and transfers of arms produced by American defense contractors, the Pentagon has re-established a team to respond to the increased demand.


    Pentagon revives team to speed arms to Ukraine and allies, sources say (3/11/22)
    The Pentagon’s office of Acquisition and Sustainment, the weapons buyer for the U.S. Department of Defense, has been fielding increased demand from European allies hoping to ship weapons to Ukraine through third party transfers or to buy arms to bolster their own defenses, the sources said.

    The rapid response team was revived in recent days to coordinate and cut through the bureaucracy around sales and transfers while prioritizing requests from allies, the sources said.

    The previously unreported effort comes as the Pentagon works to respond to a rapidly changing landscape for arms deals and transfers. The Pentagon made use of the rapid response team during the Trump administration.
    The operation is being run in cooperation with the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees weapons sales and transfers to other countries for the Department of Defense.

    According to an email seen by Reuters, DSCA recently asked the defense industry for devices that can be used to disable or shoot down drones that were either in stock or could be ready for delivery in 120 days.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. Again, this:

    As Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks told me last week, “We are afraid not of Russian tanks, but of Western weakness.”

    Dana (5395f9)

  5. KGB says, “Pay that man his money.”

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  6. The transfer of weapons to Ukraine isn’t just about need, it’s about capability. Are the Ukrainians capable of using the weapon system and maintaining it?

    In this case, if the Ukrainians don’t have trained pilots and maintenance crew to care for the Mi-17 helicopters, then don’t send them.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  7. The transfer of weapons to Ukraine isn’t just about need, it’s about capability. Are the Ukrainians capable of using the weapon system and maintaining it?

    In this case, if the Ukrainians don’t have trained pilots and maintenance crew to care for the Mi-17 helicopters, then don’t send them.

    According to the article in post #1, Ukraine has more pilots than aircraft. Maintenance can be done outside the country.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. The Administration approach on the Ukraine is to be painfully certain that all NATO is in agreement on the steps taken. That does give doves like Macron and (in particular) Germany some veto power on the weapons going to the Ukraine. That might be the explanation why promises suddenly become inoperative.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  9. The Washington Post should not be using its unauthorized sources in the government to tell Putin what weapons Ukraine is and is not going to get.

    nk (1d9030)

  10. ‘Give the Man What He Needs’

    Give? Give?? Has the United States put Ukrainian Freedom Fighter War Bonds on sale yet to finance any of these freebees??? Nope. So let raise taxes instead– or ask the Afghan Taliban to send over some of that U.S. weaponry abandoned last August– or maybe just, ‘put it on Uncle Sam’s credit card financed by borrowed $ from China’ instead.

    Who is going to pay for these ‘gives’??? The brass will want inventory tapped replaced as is.

    This has been the typical pattern for weeks. Ruled out . . . why?

    Mission creep: Vietnam. Old Joe doesn’t want to be sucked deeper into another proxy war like LBJ was. But the MIC may have other, more lucrative ideas now that the Afghan war cash cow is done:

    Pentagon to meet with military contractors to discuss ongoing aid to Ukraine

    The Pentagon is convening eight of the top U.S. military contractors to discuss the assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.

    Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks announced the meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, during a Tuesday event with the Defense Writers Group, according to New York Times. Representatives from Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin Corporation will be at the meeting, the outlet noted, though it’s unclear who else will be present. The United States has provided $1.7 billion in military aid since the start of the invasion and $2.4 billion since the beginning of the Biden administration. The most recent package was announced last week, and it was for $100 million for the use of Javelin anti-armor systems.

    This military assistance has come in more than 1,400 Singer anti-aircraft systems, 5,000 Javelin anti-aircraft systems, and 7,000 other anti-armor systems, according to a new fact-sheet from the administration. Hicks did not specify what weapons the Pentagon wants these companies to provide to Ukraine. – source, msclkid=f850d229bb5111eca8074be246dd68e0

    Madness. This is why European nations have modern infrastructure with efficient transit systems, national healthcare systems and can take August off for vacations— they let the U.S. carry the cost burden- and it is a 20th century mind set that has to end. America has bailed out Europe with blood and treasure three times in 100 years through two hot land wars and one cold war; this one is not America’s war to meddle in. NATO commitments aside, it’s Europe problem to manage. Start w/France. Airbus produces some fine military helicopters; check out the list of French weaponry: let France send Les Freebees:

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  11. Without additional weaponry, this war will become an endless bloodbath, spreading misery, suffering, and destruction. Mariupol, Bucha, Kramatorsk – the list will be continued.

    That’s what Biden seems to be defaulting to, because he’s afraid of the alternatives:

    Worst possible outcome, according to Biden:

    Ukraine losing and being conquered.

    Second worst possible outcome, according to Biden:

    Ukraine winning, because Russia could nullify its victory by shifting to chemical or nuclear weapons.

    Preferred outcome, according to Biden:

    Ukraine and Russia negotiating an armistice. But Putin has just said negotiations are at a dead end.

    I would guess that Putin wants the United States to pressure Ukraine to agree to a West Ukraine and an East Ukraine – that doesn’t mean Putin is completely ready to settle for that.)

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  12. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a visit to Kyiv on Saturday. The White House people don’t want to say that Biden is not going, but no, he’s not going.

    Great Britain has sent some weapons better than what the United States is prepared (or was, till now) to send.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  13. It’s clear that we should be wary about inviting an unstable and evil mind like Putin’s to consider a nuclear response…

    Nuke chatter by Russia is a poker bluff- feeds nervous media chatter, is part of Russian policy to keep the West off balance, but not really card to play in Eastern Europe. Russia has experience w/a glowing example not to ever play it close by: Chernobyl.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. 8. The greatest dove is Biden. Now, very few other people in Washington.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  15. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a visit to Kyiv on Saturday.

    Not a coincidence, Sammy; likely has something to do w/his deep domestic problems w/’Partygate’ and calls for his resignation:

    Boris Johnson fined over secret parties thrown during UK lockdown

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being fined by the police over secret booze-fueled parties thrown while his government forced the rest of the country into strict lockdowns, his office announced Tuesday. The 57-year-old leader was told Tuesday that he was among 50 being fined over the “Partygate” scandal, including at least one other senior member of his cabinet, finance minister Rishi Sunak, Downing Street confirmed.

    “The prime minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have today received notification that the Metropolitan Police intend to issue them with fixed penalty notices,” a government spokesperson said. “We have no further details, but we will update you again when we do.”

    Others facing fines included Johnson’s wife, Carrie Johnson, according to the Telegraph. Police had investigated 12 alcohol-fueled parties at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office in 2020, some of which the British leader was photographed enjoying. While the cabinet staff partied, the rest of the country was barred from meeting families — some even kept from saying goodbye to loved ones at funerals — while thousands were fined up to $13,200 for breaking the controversial restrictive rules. It was not clear how much Johnson and Sunak were fined.

    But Tuesday’s announcement immediately sparked fresh calls for their resignations. “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public,” opposition leader Keir Starmer tweeted. They must both resign,” he said, calling their Conservative party “totally unfit to govern.” Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, also tweeted that “Boris Johnson must resign.” “He broke the law and repeatedly lied to parliament about it. The basic values of integrity and decency – essential to the proper working of any parliamentary democracy – demand that he go. And he should take his out of touch chancellor with him,” she tweeted. Other members of Parliament called for a vote of no confidence in Johnson’s leadership. A support group called COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice insisted there is “simply no way” Johnson can remain in power.

    “After everything it’s still unbelievably painful that Boris Johnson was partying & breaking his own lockdown rules, while we were unable to be at loved ones’ sides in their dying moments, or in miserable funerals with only a handful of people. We were following the rules,” the group tweeted. They said it was “shameless” that Johnson and his colleagues “lied about it, and would have continued to do so if the police hadn’t intervened.” “If they had any decency they would be gone by tonight,” the group said. -source,

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  16. #14 — I don’t believe Biden is the big dove here on the Ukraine. His off message ramblings go in a hawkish direction not in a “let’s wait and hope somebody else does it” direction.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  17. @16. Never forget:

    “Because Putin knows if I am President of the United States, his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over. I’m going to stand up to him. He’s a bully…” – Joe Biden, 2020.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  18. Our political structure makes us a very fickle and sometimes downright ephemeral ally.
    Israel has learned to function with it, but countries in need of military assistance, no matter how dire the situation should run the video of Sen. McCain’s declaration of “we are all Georgians now” or Mrs. Obama’s #bringbackourgirls. That is about all you should expect- vague puffery.
    Ukraine is fortunate to have gotten Javelins and access to intelligence, lucky that the people who measure the political for this President felt it was politically advantageous for Biden to deliver this level of assistance.

    If that sounds too cold, calculating and cynical, so be it

    steveg (e81d76)

  19. Zelensky “I need ammunition not a ride!” Biden I wanted to deter putin not provoke him. Damn! he invades anyway. Zelensky why don’t you leave so ukraine will fall quickly and I don’t have to send supplies. Joe biden vietnam war draft dodger and iraq war chicken hawk. The neo-cons the same.

    asset (940b41)


    Keep in mind this is a startling number of conflicts already raging just 22% into the 21st century- yet only a few of them have been beamed and looped 24/7 on your gadgets daily and regularly as that in Ukraine. But that doesn’t mean the carnage is any less devastating in those less covered. It goes w/o saying that the destruction is awful, tragic and horrid to view. War is failure.

    But an old colleague at CBS liked to remind staff that television is a very promising medium which can bring the world into your home– and one day we’d get it right; but the camera sees a scene through a straw- and magnifies the sights and sounds as it pans, zooms and records what it is pointed at. We choose what we wish to see- and if we can’t handle the program, change the channel- to ‘Yellowstone’… or ‘Gilligan’s Island’ … or switch everything off and read a book.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  21. The Washington Post should not be using its unauthorized sources in the government to tell Putin what weapons Ukraine is and is not going to get.

    nk (1d9030) — 4/13/2022 @ 11:27 am

    Democracy dies when the WaPo sabotages it.

    norcal (68b459)

  22. Will the United States Run Out of Javelins Before Russia Runs Out of Tanks?

    The United States has supplied Ukraine with thousands of Javelins, the anti-tank missiles that have become the iconic weapon of the war, but the U.S. inventory is dwindling. The United States has probably given about one-third of its stock to Ukraine. Thus, the United States is approaching the point where it must reduce transfers to maintain sufficient stockpiles for its own war plans. Production of new missiles is slow, and it will take years to replenish stocks.
    The United States has not published figures about its Javelin inventory, so this must be deduced. According to the Army budget books, total production has been 37,739 since production began in 1994. Every year, U.S. forces use some missiles for training and testing. Thus, there may be 20,000 to 25,000 remaining in the stockpiles. These 7,000 systems represent about one-third of the U.S. total inventory.
    ………The United States has been buying Javelins at the rate of about 1,000 a year. The maximum production rate is 6,480 a year, though it would likely take a year or more to reach that level. The delivery time is 32 months; that is, once an order is placed, it will take 32 months before a missile is delivered. This means that it will take about three or four years to replace the missiles that have been delivered so far. ……
    One system for which inventories and replenishment rates are limited is the Stinger anti-aircraft missile. According to the White House fact sheet, the United States has provided 2,000 Stingers to Ukrainian. The United States has not purchased any since 2003. At that time, the total production was stated as 11,600 missiles (from the FY 2000 budget documents). With testing and training losses of 1 percent a year, the remaining inventory would be about 8,000. So, the United States has sent about a quarter of its inventory to Ukraine.

    In 2003, the last time the United States procured Stingers, production rates were stated as 275 with standard shifts (called “1-8-5”) and 720 at maximum production rate. Production lead time was 24 months. That means it will take at least five years to replace the inventory drawdown (two years for lead time and three years for production).
    According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) The Military Balance, the Russians have 2,800 tanks and 13,000 other armored vehicles (reconnaissance and infantry fighting vehicles) in units with another 10,000 tanks and 8,500 armored vehicles in storage. Open-source intelligence indicates that the Russians have lost about 1,300 armored vehicles. The bottom line is that the Russians are not going to run out of armored vehicles anytime soon.

    What the Russians may run out of are trained crews and morale if the Ukrainians chew up enough armor. ……..

    ……..So, it is a race. Will Russian combat losses produce a battlefield stalemate before Ukraine runs out of its most effective anti-tank weapons?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. 74% Of Americans Think Worst Of War In Ukraine Is Yet To Come, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; More Than 8 In 10 Think Vladimir Putin Is A War Criminal
    Thirty-nine percent of Americans approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while 48 percent disapprove.
    Roughly two thirds of Americans (68 percent) think the United States has a moral responsibility to do more to stop the killing of civilians in Ukraine, while 24 percent do not think the United States has a moral responsibility to do more to stop the killing of civilians in Ukraine.

    Democrats say 77 – 14 percent, Republicans say 67 – 25 percent, and independents say 66 – 28 percent that the United States has a moral responsibility to do more to stop the killing of civilians in Ukraine.

    About three-quarters of Americans (74 percent) think the United States has a moral responsibility to help refugees fleeing Ukraine, while 21 percent do not think the United States has a moral responsibility to help refugees fleeing Ukraine.
    A slight majority of Americans (52 percent) say the United States should do more to support Ukraine, but not if it means increasing the risk of the United States getting into a war with Russia, while 19 percent say the United States should do more to support Ukraine, even if it means increasing the risk of the United States getting into a war with Russia, and 22 percent say the United States is already doing enough to support Ukraine.

    It is clear from these results that there is no public support for transferring weapons systems (or engaging directly, like a no-fly zone) that would increase the risk of direct confrontation with Russia. It is hard to understand that while 48% of those polled disapprove Biden’s handling of the Russian invasion, only 19% favor doing more even if it means a risk of direct confrontation. That’s quite a disconnect. A clear majority (74%) essentially favor the current policy.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  24. I still want to know which Russian oligarchs have not been sanctioned and why.
    I’d like to have the chance to cross reference them with what is in the Hunter Biden laptop data

    steveg (e81d76)

  25. Appalled (1a17de) — 4/13/2022 @ 12:08 pm

    I don’t believe Biden is the big dove here on the Ukraine. His off message ramblings go in a hawkish direction not in a “let’s wait and hope somebody else does it” direction.

    Biden, for political reasons, wants to appear to be doing more than he is. He is very strong with words.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  26. Putin has appointed General Aleksandr Dvornikov, who previously was in charge of Russia’s forces in Syria, to be in charge of what he will do in Ukraine.

    Dvornikov’s military reputation is often cited in the international press for the harsh conduct of his military campaigns, particularly in Chechnya and Syria where he was described as the “Butcher of Syria” for his “scorched earth” campaigns.[14][15] According to retired admiral James G. Stavridis,[1] “The appointment of this new general indicates Vladimir Putin’s intent to continue this conflict [in Ukraine] for months, if not years…He is the goon called in by Vladimir Putin to flatten cities like Aleppo in Syria… He has used tools of terrorism throughout that period, including working with the Syrian forces, torture centers, systematic rape, nerve agents. He is the worst of the worst.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  27. NYT review of what Russia did in Bucha

    As the Russian advance on Kyiv stalled in the face of fierce resistance, civilians said, the enemy occupation of Bucha slid into a campaign of terror and revenge

    A Wall Street Journal op-ed says the worst of it came from the “Wagner Group”, which because they are composed of Russian nationals is not technically a mercenary force.

    …The Wagner Group has left a trail of atrocities everywhere it’s gone: Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, Mali and now Ukraine. And other nations are following Moscow’s example.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)


    Russian mercenaries, deployed in the guise of unarmed military advisers, led government forces into battle during an offensive to oust rebels from several towns in January and February, the report found. And as well as committing abuses, the Russian operatives established themselves in the major mining centers of a country with large reserves of diamonds….The Central African Republic turned to Russia in 2017 to wrest control of its diamond trade from the rebels, and to help end a conflict that has killed thousands and displaced over a million people since 2012.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  29. The Taliban had great fun killing Mi-17 helicopters with Stingers. Not sure that’s something still useful. The problem with old Soviet equipment is that it’s Soviet, and old.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  30. Do you know what the Geneva Conventions says about captured mercenaries, outside the official chain of command?

    Not a thing. I think you can boil them in oil.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  31. The neo-cons the same.

    Yeah, that damn McCain. A draft dodger like his dad.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  32. It’s clear that we should be wary about inviting an unstable and evil mind like Putin’s to consider a nuclear response…

    Or “Dad is drinking again. We should be very quiet so he doesn’t hit Mom like he did last time.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  33. I’m willing to bet that if AOC were drafted, she’d manage not to go.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  34. Oh no.
    She’d go. Gravitas.
    She’d be great on the team that looks for reasons to court martial warfighters for process crimes
    If I was in charge of Selective Service I’d find a way to drop her but snag her boyfriend to shove shells into a howitzer

    steveg (e81d76)

  35. Ukrainian fighter pilots in old jets take on better-equipped Russians
    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed to the United States and other NATO allies to establish a no-fly zone over the country — a step that leaders in the military alliance refused to take, citing fears of touching off a world war with Moscow. Now Zelensky is pushing for more advanced air-defense systems and jets.

    ……..The gap between the weapons Ukraine wants and what Western countries are willing to supply has become a key tension nearly two months into the fighting.

    Nowhere is that divide more evident than in the proposed air materiel transfers. Juice (a 29 year old Ukrainian pilot’s call sign) flies the MiG-29, which is a Soviet-era staple of the Ukrainian air force. But he said Ukrainian pilots are “just targets” for Russian adversaries who fly far more advanced jets. Obtaining more outdated MiGs would not improve Ukraine’s position in the skies, he said.
    …….The jets Poland offered to transfer them are even older — some date back to the late ’80s — than their current stock.

    “I think the Ukrainians are right — you’re basically a target in the air if you don’t have any of that modern capability,” said Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, a retired U.S. Air Force general. “It’s not just an airplane up there. You have to have all of that sophisticated equipment on it to make it really a viable air platform.”
    If Western countries are hesitant to give Ukraine modern jets its pilots haven’t trained on, Juice said they should at least consider sending more advanced air-defense systems. He said those are much easier to learn how to operate.
    ……..Juice said the fight in the sky doesn’t feel fair when he’s going up against a more modern Russian jet. He often has to just avoid his adversary entirely to stay alive. Sometimes, he and his fellow pilots manage to trick the Russians into flying into an area where the Ukrainians have an air-defense system ready and waiting.
    “We are just trying to do something nonstandard, and sometimes it’s successful and sometimes it’s not,” Juice said. “Sometimes they’re just stupid and Russians are just showing their incompetence and underestimating our training.

    “But in general, we cannot gain a real air superiority, unfortunately.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)


    Oh look, Elena Baturina

    On February 14, 2014 Baturina wired $3.5 million to Rosemont Seneca Thornton, an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden.

    · Between April 4 and April 5, 2014, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer sent emails about meeting with Baturina potentially relating to a business deal in Chelsea, New York.

    · On April 13, 2014, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer discuss the potential business deal involving Baturina. Archer wrote that Baturina “confirmed green light to fund deposit.” Archer continued, “Just spent two hours on the phone with Kiev. I am confident at this point this is a good, if not life changing, deal if the Uk[raine] doesn’t collapse in the meantime.”

    steveg (e81d76)

  37. She’d be great on the team that looks for reasons to court martial warfighters for process crimes

    My suggestion:

    Kevin M (38e250)

  38. “But in general, we cannot gain a real air superiority, unfortunately.”

    What they CAN do is air denial with SAMs. I would think that Israel would be tripping all over themselves to help but they are in bed with Putin so they can kill a few extra terrorists. For a country whose entire existence rests on their moral capital, they are being incredibly short-sighted.

    Then again, Ukrainian Jews were in the worst of all places when the choices for all Ukrainians were “Hitler or Stalin?” and I think that some hostility remains. The fact than many American Jews have roots in Ukraine (e.g. my wife) complicates matters further.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  39. Doesn’t seem like a FOV (Friend of Vladimir) to me:

    Russia’s wealthiest woman, Elena Baturina, is married to Yury Luzkhkov, who was the mayor of Moscow for years.
    In 2010, Luzhkov was removed from the mayor’s post; Baturina and their daughters left the country.
    Baturina soon sold almost all of her assets in Russia including a construction company called Inteko and a cement factories.
    The Russian government seized land she owned in an exclusive area of Moscow. She filed a lawsuit, unsuccessfully demanding $1 billion in compensation.
    Baturina, who now lives in London, owns hotels in cities like Vienna and Dublin, real estate in Europe and USA, and invests in renewable energy.

    nk (1d9030)

  40. The whole world was the neo-Soviet kleptocracy’s enabler. And, besides, beating up on women is something Russians do.

    nk (1d9030)

  41. The best way to end the slaughter is to send in more arms. LOL.

    kaf (5ae0b3)

  42. The best way to end the slaughter is to send in more arms. LOL.

    Yes, it is. Sorry you can’t see that. When they come to kill you, I hope you are armed.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  43. @31 John Mccain was never a neo-con. He was always a conservative in the goldwater tradition. Ukraine has hit the russian black sea fleets flagship moskva with two neptun missiles. Russians announce ship is on fire and crew is abandoning ship with rescue difficult because of bad weather.

    asset (b56b77)

  44. Clearly the Biden Administration believes that sending upgraded weaponry to Ukraine will be seen by Russia as a hostile act,

    Is there a possibility that the US is sending weapons but is keeping it quiet?

    Mattsky (55d339)

  45. John Mccain was never a neo-con. He was always a conservative in the goldwater tradition.

    Uh, no. A vast, vast gulf. I guess from over there we all look alike. But I do credit you with the sense to keep an eye on what goes on outside the bubble. Not everyone does. But except for a few folks here, we’re not very hard right. GOLDWATER was hard right. McCain was not.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  46. The best way to end the slaughter is to send in more arms. LOL.

    It’s not the very best, but as long as NATO declines to send in its elite cadres of genetically modified invisible brain-eating vampire ninja zombies to suck out the brains of Russian soldiers as they sleep ….

    nk (1d9030)

  47. Give AOC 2 choices for her service and make sure one of them is Fort Hood. She’d balk at first but probably crave the attention from all the real dudes

    urbanleftbehind (688102)

  48. Is there a military specialty for those unable or unwilling to serve? Maybe one where she would lounge under a palm tree all day, drinking rum colas and strumming “Preciosa” on her charango? If socialists could do anything besides talk, they would not be socialists.

    nk (1d9030)

  49. Although the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, basing it on an interview of and quoting John Arquilla, who recently retired as a distinguished professor of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.gave a good account of why Ukraine is so successful

    the fact remains that the best defense (and the one with least casualties to the defending side) is aerial bombing before the offensive starts.

    Incidentaly, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, in saying in 1944 “Make peace, you fools! showed how out of touch he was. That was something appropriate for Germany in the first World War – Hitler had committed too many crimes for anyone to make peace with him.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  50. President Biden seems to have given instructions (or is telling the oress he has) to send Ukraine everything it needs. But this is going slowly, and may have caveats.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  51. “Caveats” is putting it mildly. There are powerful interests opposing and impeding weapons to Ukraine or just looking for a piece of the action. Just one Iron Dome battery could have saved Mariupol, for example, but Israel is both protective of its technology and its relationship with Putin. The Poles and the Slovakians would have wanted to be paid in American aircraft for their obsolescent Mig-29s and Mi-17s. Our military-industrial complex wants to peddle its own goods. Our current foreign aid recipients don’t want “their” money going to Ukraine. And the omnipresent profiteers who never let a crisis go to waste.

    nk (1d9030)

  52. Just one Iron Dome battery could have saved Mariupol, for example, but Israel

    Is that realistic and would it be effective?

    Not likely.

    “The larger the country is, you need a much larger number of radars and interceptors. Israeli is a small country, in that regard it’s an advantage to missile defense. That’s not the case in Ukraine,” he said, noting that Saudi forces, with their more advanced missile defense capabilities, are still struggling to prevent Houthi strikes because of the large territory they have to defend.

    … Russia is “using all the weapons in its arsenal,” including ballistic and hypersonic missiles that cannot be stopped by a short-range system like Iron Dome.

    Does Israel even have Iron Domes on a shelf to sell? How long does it take to make and train people to operate the Iron Dome? Do you want to insert the IDF into the fight by operating them? Russia has bases and troops in Syria. Syria has a border with Israel. Israel has good reasons for not wanting to piss off Russia.

    Mattsky (55d339)

  53. Ukraine says it hit Russia’s top Black Sea warship in missile strike
    Late Wednesday, Odessa state regional administrator Maxim Marchenko said a Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship cruise missile had struck the Moskva, causing serious damage. Hours later, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that a key ship in its Black Sea fleet had sustained significant damage, but it did not address the Ukrainian claims.

    Instead, the Russians said they would investigate what caused the fire, which they said detonated the ship’s ammunition. All of the ship’s approximately 500 crew members were evacuated to other Black Sea fleet ships in the area, Russia said.

    Russia’s Defense Ministry later said that “the fire on the cruiser Moskva has been localized” and that “explosions of ammunition have been stopped,” the RIA Novosti news agency reported. It said the ship is maintaining “buoyancy” and that its “main missile armament” was not damaged. The ministry added that efforts are underway “to tow the cruiser to the port,” RIA Novosti reported.

    Ukraine said in an update that the Moskva “was severely damaged” by a Neptune missile that caused a fire. “Other units of the ship’s group tried to help, but a storm and a powerful explosion of ammunition overturned the cruiser and it began to sink,” the Ukrainian military said.

    Adding to the confusion, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN that senior Ukrainian officials were not sure what was true. …….

    Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said early Thursday in an interview on CNN that “there was an explosion” on the ship, but he added that the United States could not immediately determine whether the ship was struck by a missile.

    “We’re not quite exactly sure what happened here. We do assess that there was an explosion, at least one explosion on this cruiser. A fairly major one at that, that has caused extensive damage to the ship,” he said. He added that the vessel was still afloat and was probably headed to Sevastopol to undergo repairs.
    The Ukrainian account seems more plausible, said Mark Cancian, senior adviser for the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Although warships are prone to experiencing explosions, “given that there’s a war going on and the Ukrainians have this anti-ship capability, it’s more likely that it was caused by these cruise missiles,” he said.

    The Neptune is a locally made anti-ship missile based on an older Russian missile, the KH-35, which Ukraine was involved in producing. It has a longer body, larger booster and more fuel than its Russian predecessor. Fired from a truck-mounted launcher, the missile has a maximum range of 173 to 186 miles.
    “The loss of not just a principal surface combatant in the Russian navy, but also the fleet flagship, would amount to more of a psychological blow to the Russians,” said Collin Koh, an expert on maritime security at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  54. If socialists could do anything besides talk, they would not be socialists.

    That’s unfair. They are also very good at ordering other people about, and blaming hoarders and wreckers for anything that goes wrong.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  55. Does Israel even have Iron Domes on a shelf to sell?

    Foreign sales

    It should be noted that these are point-defense systems, with coverage for maybe 50-60 square miles. You’d need a half dozen systems to protect a big city (e.g. Los Angeles), but one would probably handle Mariupol.

    Israel has sold them to Azerbaijan to counter Armenia’s Russian-built Iskander missile system (the same one used against Ukraine).

    Kevin M (38e250)

  56. Without going into details, I have heard that there is pressure on US military suppliers to get producing, and to hurry development of new systems. I think there is concern about more than just “what Ukraine needs.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  57. Howitzers, Helicopters, Humvees Headed to Ukraine
    According to (Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby), the array of equipment that will be sent to Ukraine as part of the new drawdown package is broad. It includes 18 155 mm Howitzers, along with 40,000 artillery rounds. Also included are the AN/TPQ-36 counterartillery and AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel air surveillance radar systems.

    To move Ukrainian troops around the battlefield, the package includes 100 armored Humvee vehicles, 200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, and 11 Mi-17 helicopters. The helicopters will augment the five Mi-17 helicopters sent to Ukraine earlier this year.

    Additional Switchblade drones, Javelin missiles, medical equipment, body armor and helmets, optics and laser rangefinders, and M18A1 Claymore mines are also included in the package.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  58. 56. Kevin M (38e250) — 4/14/2022 @ 9:50 am

    I think there is concern about more than just “what Ukraine need”s.”

    If there enough now to handle whatever Russia, China, North Korea and Iran could throw at the U.S. and allies it’s not a problem, because whether Russia uses its equipment in attacking Estonia or Poland, or is using it up now in attacking Ukraine, it’s the same.

    But if there never was enough (Stingers, for instance) to handle the sum total of whatever could be thrown against U.S. ad allied supplied forces, then there’s a problem.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  59. Mattsky (55d339) — 4/14/2022 @ 8:40 am

    Does Israel even have Iron Domes on a shelf to sell? How long does it take to make and train people to operate the Iron Dome?

    In the final anlysis, they need it themselves.

    Do you want to insert the IDF into the fight by operating them? Russia has bases and troops in Syria. Syria has a border with Israel. Israel has good reasons for not wanting to piss off Russia.

    Not really, if Russia keeps losing; and if Russia wins, there’s no guarantee the de-confliction agreement will hold.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  60. Breaking-

    Russia says flagship missile cruiser has sunk after explosion off coast of Ukraine

    The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet sank after an attack from Ukrainian forces triggered a “significant explosion” as the vessel floated off the coast of Ukraine, U.S. officials said Thursday, with Moscow offering a competing claim about the cause of the destruction.

    Russia’s Defense Ministry acknowledged the sinking but said its missile cruiser — the Moskva — had been damaged after a fire. …….

    The explosion occurred Wednesday, when the ship was roughly 75 miles from Odessa, a seaside hub in Ukraine’s south, a senior U.S. defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon. Odessa’s governor said the Moskva was hit by a Ukrainian anti-ship missile, an assertion backed by another American official familiar with the matter, who confirmed the strike but could not verify the specific weapons system used.

    Russia, meanwhile, said the fire on board caused ammunition stocks to detonate, forcing the evacuation of at least some of the 500-person crew. As the Moskva was being towed to port, it sank due to a “heavy storm,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. It was not clear whether any crew members died in the incident. After the explosion, several other Russian warships in the northern part of the Black Sea repositioned farther from shore, the U.S. defense official said.

    Experts and analysts said Ukraine’s claim of a successful strike was more credible than the explanations emerging from Moscow. …….
    Ukraine’s military said its forces had fired a Neptune anti-ship missile at the Moskva, and the U.S. defense official said the claim was plausible, adding that artillery rounds and missiles aboard the ship could also have been involved in an explosion, or that the ship could have struck a mine.


    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  61. What Ukraine may need, as well as fancy weapons, is trucks:

    Think about modern warfare and it’s likely images of soldiers, tanks and missiles will spring to mind. But arguably more important than any of these is something on which they all rely: the humble truck. Armies need trucks to transport their soldiers to the front lines, to supply those tanks with shells and to deliver those missiles. In short, any army that neglects its trucks does so at its peril.

    Yet that appears to be exactly the problem Russia’s military is facing during its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, according to experts analyzing battlefield images as its forces withdraw from areas near Kyiv to focus on the Donbas.

    Since Ukraine has interior lines, giving them an advantage in trucks might pay off big.

    (During World War II, the United States gave the Soviet Union more than 300,000 trucks, which were essential to supplying the Soviet army, especially as it advanced.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  62. Start a AVG group – like they flying tigers in the late 1930’s. Two dozen “Gifted” F35’s two dozen gifted AH64 and 50 missile carrying drones all in Ukranian colors. soviets will suffer irreplaceable losses

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  63. What I like about Old Testament warfare is that the winners thanked God for winning and blamed their own sinfulness for losing.

    nk (1d9030)

  64. We cannot bomb Russia’s oil fields, factories, ports, and granaries. But we can produce close to the same effect by denying them imports and more importantly exports. Which we have not come even close to doing. We really need genuine, tough, economy-destroying sanctions. Forever.

    nk (1d9030)

  65. I would make this exception to limiting Russian imports. I see that makers of some luxury goods are stopping them going to Russia. I think this an error for two reasons: First, the money spent on luxury goods can’t be spent on weapons.

    Second, seeing the kleptocrats with those fancy handbags and such will alienate the ordinary Russian, who will be suffering, from the leadership. (Near the end of World War I, the existence of war profiteers alienated ordinary Germans from Kaiser’s regime, and helped undermine it.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  66. The sinking of the Moskva continues the fine art of Russian seamanship.

    This was the previous high water mark of the Russian Navy

    If you don’t have time to read it:

    Baltic Fleet voyage to fight the Japanese at Port Artheur starts with flag ship running aground and a destroyer colliding with a battleship.
    The Baltic fleet now off coast of Denmark begins firing on approaching small boats convinced the Japanese fleet is in the Baltic. They not Japanese, the Russian miss all their shots which is good because the boats were bringing the fleet great news, the Russian Admiral has been promoted.
    And it goes down hill from there

    steveg (e81d76)

  67. Heh! Good link, steveg. The whole thing is worth reading.

    nk (1d9030)

  68. I suspect that little quarter is being given on either side now.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  69. We cannot bomb Russia’s oil fields, factories, ports, and granaries

    We can give Ukrainians the weapons to do some of those things.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  70. nk (1d9030) — 4/14/2022 @ 5:16 pm

    [I submitted this comment once before, but I do not see it, so here goes again]

    Same here, nk.

    felipe (484255)

  71. The Ukrainian forces in Mariupol are being slowly bludgeoned to death.

    steveg (e81d76)

  72. The sinking of the Moskva continues the fine art of Russian seamanship.

    I would also add the Kursk disaster.

    Over four days, the Russian Navy repeatedly failed in its attempts to attach four different diving bells and submersibles to the escape hatch of the submarine. Its response was criticised as slow and inept. Officials misled and manipulated the public and news media, and refused help from other countries’ ships nearby. President Vladimir Putin initially continued his vacation at a seaside resort and only authorised the Russian Navy to accept British and Norwegian assistance after five days had passed. Two days later British and Norwegian divers finally opened a hatch to the escape trunk in the boat’s flooded ninth compartment but found no survivors.

    An official investigation concluded that when the crew loaded a dummy 65–76 “Kit” torpedo, a faulty weld in its casing leaked high-test peroxide (HTP) inside the torpedo tube, initiating a catalytic explosion…….
    A four-page summary of a 133-volume, top-secret investigation revealed “stunning breaches of discipline, shoddy, obsolete and poorly maintained equipment”, and “negligence, incompetence, and mismanagement”. It concluded that the rescue operation was unjustifiably delayed and that the Russian Navy was completely unprepared to respond to the disaster.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  73. The media loves to write about “Crippling sanctions” but rarely notes that Russia has internal reserves and is also still selling oil and gas to Europe, so the actual “crippling” is a ways off.

    The current sanctions will become “crippling” after Southern Ukraine has been crushed… literally and figuratively.

    Javelins and NLAWS may keep Russian troops from making long mechanized drives into Ukraines interior, but they aren’t going to root out the Russians in and around Mariupol.

    At this point I’d say that the type of weaponry NATO is currently providing Ukraine is possibly designed to leave Russia in control of the two new republics and most of the Azov/Baltic coast

    steveg (e81d76)

  74. Russia warns U.S. to stop arming Ukraine
    The diplomatic démarche, a copy of which was reviewed by The Washington Post, came as President Biden approved a dramatic expansion in the scope of weapons being provided to Ukraine, an $800 million package including 155 mm howitzers — a serious upgrade in long-range artillery to match Russian systems — coastal defense drones and armored vehicles, as well as additional portable antiaircraft and antitank weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition.
    Russia experts suggested that Moscow, which has labeled weapons convoys coming into the country as legitimate military targets but has not thus far attacked them, may be preparing to do so.

    “They have targeted supply depots in Ukraine itself, where some of these supplies have been stored,” said George Beebe, former director of Russia analysis at the CIA and Russia adviser to former vice president Dick Cheney. “The real question is do they go beyond attempting to target [the weapons] on Ukrainian territory, try to hit the supply convoys themselves and perhaps the NATO countries on the Ukrainian periphery” that serve as transfer points for the U.S. supplies.

    If Russian forces stumble in the next phase of the war as they did in the first, “then I think the chances that Russia targets NATO supplies on NATO territory go up considerably,” Beebe said. “There has been an assumption on the part of a lot of us in the West that we could supply the Ukrainians really without limits and not bear significant risk of retaliation from Russia,” he said. “I think the Russians want to send a message here that that’s not true.”
    Such an attack would be “a very important escalatory move, first and foremost because it represents a threat to the West if they aren’t able to keep supplies flowing into Ukraine, which by extension might diminish Ukraine’s capacity for self-defense.” That risk “shouldn’t be downplayed,” (said Andrew Weiss, a former National Security Council director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs, and now vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), noting the added risk that an attempt to strike a convoy inside Ukraine could go awry over the border into NATO territory.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  75. Russia has no legitimate military targets inside or outside Ukraine. Ukraine’s territory is “legitimately” Ukraine’s and only Ukraine’s “legitimate” government can say what “legitimately” enters it or “legitimately” travels across it, and that’s without even saying that Russia’s invasion is an illegal war to begin with.

    nk (1d9030)

  76. @74. So what can Vlad do other then telling Joe to knock it off?? If you were Vlad, what would you do knowing the dementia riddled POTUS wanders on stage trying to shake hands with invisible people? Fund waves of illegals to flow into America’s southern border– and then plan to plant missiles in Central and South America w/allies: Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0… Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua — all long-standing allies of Russia — have voiced support for the Russian leader. And this time, it’s Squinty McStumblebum who will blink.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  77. Biden is the only President we have, so we are stuck.
    He should go to Ukraine and tell Vlad I’m the head of the USA visiting a sovereign nation and I’ll do the f what I want, stay for a couple weeks and enjoy the weather.

    steveg (e81d76)

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