Patterico's Pontifications


Open Thread: Ukraine Resists Russia In Mariupol

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:27 am

[guest post by Dana]

NOTE: Comments section not fully functional yet. You can post comments and updates are happening but won’t show up on Recent Comments toolbar at right side of page.

Ukrainian troops, dug in, continue to defy the odds:

A Russian ultimatum to Ukrainian troops in Mariupol to surrender or die expired on Wednesday afternoon with no mass capitulation, but the commander of a unit believed to be holding out in the besieged city said his forces could survive just days or hours.

Ukraine said it had so far held off an assault by thousands of Russian troops attempting to advance in what Kyiv calls the Battle of the Donbas, a new campaign to seize two eastern provinces Moscow claims on behalf of separatists.

In a video, the commander of Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, one of the last units believed to be holding out in Mariupol, asked for international help to escape the port city’s siege.

“This is our appeal to the world. It may be our last. We may have only a few days or hours left,” said Major Serhiy Volyna in a video uploaded to Facebook. “The enemy units are dozens of times larger than ours, they have dominance in the air, in artillery, in ground troops, in equipment and in tanks.”


In the ruins of Mariupol, site of the war’s heaviest fighting and worst humanitarian catastrophe, Russia was hitting the last main Ukrainian stronghold, the Azovstal steel plant, with bunker-buster bombs, Kyiv said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said an estimated 1,000 civilians were sheltering at the plant. He said he remained ready to swap Russian prisoners of war in exchange for safe passage for the trapped civilians and Ukrainian soldiers.

Dozens of civilians later boarded a small convoy of buses in Mariupol that then departed to Ukraine-controlled territory, two Reuters witnesses said.

Mariupol city authorities said earlier on Wednesday they were hoping to evacuate about 6,000 people under a preliminary agreement with Russia – the first in weeks – on establishing a safe corridor.

In an ongoing effort help Ukraine hold off Russia’s advance, last week President Biden pledged an enormous $800-million military aid package:

The newly announced assistance includes a wide range of weapon systems for the Ukrainian military designed to help them fight off the superior heavy forces Russia is putting into the field. The transfer includes Howitzer artillery, armored personnel carriers and Mi-17 helicopters, and a dozen advanced radar systems. It also sends the Ukrainians multiple tank-killing systems, including 500 Javelin missiles, 300 Switchblade drones and thousands of other anti-armor weapons.

The desperation of trapped Ukrainians is just heartbreaking:

At the same time, Reuters is reporting that there are expected protests today at the G20 meeting in Washington:

Western nations are preparing to stage coordinated walk-outs and other diplomatic snubs to protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at Wednesday’s meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington, their officials said.

While some in Western capitals argue that Russia’s actions should mean it is excluded from global meetings altogether, that is not a view shared by others in the Group of 20 big economies, including notably China and Indonesia, which is chairing the group this year.

Moscow confirmed on Tuesday Finance Minister Anton Siluanov would lead Russia’s delegation at the talks despite repeated protestations by Western diplomats that they could not go ahead as usual during a war in which thousands of civilians have died in bombardments by Russian troops.

This sums up my feelings about this, and I’m pretty sure yours as well:

I also wanted to post part of Alexander Navalny’s Twitter thread addressing France because it certainly speaks to Americans who also call themselves conservatives yet support Putin and his invasion of Ukraine:

Finally, CNN has vetted different charities that are providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. If you are interested, go here to see what charities are on the list and how you can help.


31 Responses to “Open Thread: Ukraine Resists Russia In Mariupol”

  1. This is just overwhelming.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. Ugh, I posted right on top of you. Apologies.

    To answer Bill Browder’s question: This is the sort of thing that you have to accept when you enter into a multilateral organization. You have to expect the ugliness of thugocracies like China nd Russia to have each other’s back. I forget who it was, but some years ago a pretty prominent U.S. politician suggested that we form a new G-20 but only invite in actual liberal democracies. But of course that would open up its own problems, I suppose.

    JVW (37f1d8)

  3. No. This is ‘overwhelming’ and ‘heartbreaking’:

    They are just not being beamed into your homes 24/7 on TeeVees and interweb hand gadgets looped 24/7.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  4. History rhymes:

    – September 1950 — Truman sends the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) Indochina to Vietnam to assist the French. The President claimed they were not sent as combat troops, but to supervise the use of $10 million worth of U.S. military equipment to support the French in their effort to fight the Viet Minh forces. Following the outbreak of the Korean War, Truman announces “acceleration in the furnishing of military assistance to the forces of France and the Associated States in Indochina…”. and sends 123 non-combat troops to help with supplies to fight against the communist Viet Minh.

    – 1951 — Truman authorizes $150 million in French support.

    – November 1, 1955 — President Eisenhower deploys the Military Assistance Advisory Group to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. This marks the official beginning of American involvement in the war as recognized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

    – July 8, 1959 — Chester M. Ovnand and Dale R. Buis become the first two American Advisers to die in Vietnam.

    – January 1961 — Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pledges support for “wars of national liberation” throughout the world.

    – May 1961 — JFK sends 400 United States Army Special Forces personnel to South Vietnam to ‘train South Vietnamese soldiers’ following a visit to the country by Vice-President Johnson.

    – October 1961 — Following successful NLF attacks [National Liberation Front for South Vietnam- hello Zelensky], Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara recommends sending six divisions 200,000 men to Vietnam.

    – August 1, 1962 — JFK signs the Foreign Assistance Act of 1962, which provides “… military assistance to countries which are on the rim of the Communist world and under direct attack” [Hello, Joey!].

    – 1963- The earliest reported use of drugs among US troops in Vietnam was recorded in 1963. During this time the most commonly used drug was marijuana, which was sometimes used in the form of hashish.

    – May 1963 — Republican Barry Goldwater declares that the U.S. should fight to win or withdraw from Vietnam. Later on, during his presidential campaign against Lyndon B. Johnson, his Democratic opponents accuse him of wanting to use nuclear weapons in the conflict. [Nutbags pitch salty shells from Peanut Gallery.]

    – September 2, 1963 — Kennedy criticizes SV’s Diệm regime in an interview with Walter Cronkite.

    – November 1, 1963 — Military officers launch a coup d’état against Diệm, with the tacit approval of the Kennedy administration. Diệm and Nhu escape the presidential residence via a secret exit after loyalist forces were locked out of Saigon, unable to rescue them.

    – November 1963 — JFK had increased the number of military personnel [in Vietnam] from the 900 that were there when he became president to 16,000 just before his death.

    – August 1964 – USS Maddox is allegedly attacked by NV patrol torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin (the attack is later disputed); LBJ to calls for air strikes on NV patrol boat bases. Two U.S. aircraft are shot down and one U.S. pilot, Everett Alvarez, Jr., becomes the first U.S. airman to be taken prisoner by North Vietnam.

    – March 8, 1965 — First U.S. ground troops arrive in Da Nang composed of 3,500 US Marines of the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa. [Hello, pro-Ukrainian U.S. Senate!]

    – July 28, 1965 — In a nationally televised speech, LBJ announces decision to send an additional 50,000 American troops to South Vietnam, increasing the number of personnel there by two-thirds and to bring the commitment to 125,000. Johnson also said that the monthly draft call would more than double, to more than 1,000 new young men per day (from 17,000 to 35,000) for enlistment and training in the U.S. Armed Forces. [Call Rotor-Rooter, that’s the name, and away go troubles down the drain, eh, Lyndon?!]

    – 1966 — LBJ expanded the number of troops being sent into Vietnam to 385,000. [Hello Warsaw, Poland; and ‘we won’t come back ’til it’s over over there, eh Lyndon?!]

    – October 1966 – Secretary Of Defense McNamara initiates ‘Project 100,000′ significantly reducing recruitment standards for the U.S. military in the face of rising manpower needs. [Dumber army; stupid move, eh Bob?]

    – January 30, 1968 – General Westmoreland’s public reassurances that “the light at the end of the tunnel” was near were countered when PAVN and NLF forces broke the truce that accompanied the Tết holiday and mounted their largest offensive thus far, in hopes of sparking a general uprising among the South Vietnamese. [Light at end of tunnel is oncoming train.]

    – March 16, 1968, three companies of Task Force Barker, part of the Americal Division, took part in a search and destroy operation near the village of My Lai, in Quang Ngai Province. [The Ugly Americans.]

    – April 20, 1969 – The Big Dick orders the withdrawal of 150,000 U.S. troops from South Vietnam over the span of 12 months, citing Vietnamization; [can you say Ukrainization, Joe?] U.S. troop presence peaks at over 540,000.

    – October 15, 1969 – Hundreds of thousands of people attend mass protests across the U.S. for the United States’ withdraw from the Vietnam War.

    – December 1, 1969 – The first draft lottery since 1942 is held.

    – April 30, 1970 – The Big Dick announces 2,000 U.S. troops were sent into Cambodia, reversing his April 20 decision to withdraw 150,000 troops. [Tricky Dicks pull tricks!]

    – June 3, 1970 – The Big Dick withdraws half of the 31,000 troops in Cambodia to fight in South Vietnam.[ For it, before against it, eh Dick?! 😉 ]

    – June 13, 1971 – The Pentagon Papers begin to be published. [Oops! The U.S. government lied; people died!]

    – July 26, 1971 – Kissinger announces plans for $7.5 billion in aid to be provided for Vietnam, and for the removal of all U.S. troops within nine months. [Our German Dr. K likes to spend USA K!]

    – January 13, 1972 – The Big Dick announces plans for 70,000 U.S. troops to be pulled out of Vietnam, half of the remaining forces.

    – February 21, 1972 – The Big Dick meets Mao; becomes the first president in US history to meet with a Chinese Communist leader face to face.

    – August 29, 1972 – Nixon announces the further withdrawal of U.S. troops in South Vietnam to only 27,000 by December 1, 1972.

    – January 27, 1973 – U.S. troops to be withdrawn from South Vietnam in 60 days due to the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.

    – March 29, 1973 – The last American combat troops are withdrawn from Vietnam.


    COSTS: More than 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam, and more than 150,000 were wounded. South Vietnamese deaths topped 1 million, and North Vietnamese losses ranged between 500,000 and 1 million. Based on the current dollar value, the Vietnam War cost the U.S. equivalent of about $1 trillion. The United States pays $22 billion per year in war compensations to Vietnam veterans and their families.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  5. History rhymes:

    It doesn’t rhyme here.

    The key difference is intelligence. In Vietnam and Cambodia, (and also in Afghanistan – and in Iraq by 2004_ the United States did not know the order of battle of the enemy forces nor could it overhear any of its communications.

    There also were sanctuaries. There are sanctuaries here too (Belarus and Russia) but this has not reached a point where that would matter.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  6. Mariupol has been compared to the Alamo, Thermopylae and Masada.

    The war itself has been compared to the American Revolution.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  7. To answer Bill Browder’s question: Since we haven’t broken off diplomatic relations (and don’t want to, for fear – in the beginning, on Biden’s part at least – that that would be a step along the way to World War III) this is to be expected, but Russia won’t be treated normally there.

    Interesting point: Biden and maybe the State Department experts, have their own ideas as to what could escalate this or not, and the United States is not listening to what Russia says, either way. It’s all in-house theory.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)


    12/16 Finally, Putin has created, supports and takes advantage of an actual terrorist state in Chechnya, where murder, kidnapping and intimidation are simply the norm.

    Any connection to actual terrorist attacks in France and other places in western Europe?

    The Islamic State (IS) militant group on May 12 claimed through its Amaq news agency that the suspect was one of its “soldiers.”

    Who really is “ISIS” anyway, now?

    A Putin propaganda point has been that the West and Russia must be united to fight ISIS. That was what Mike Flynn was saying.

    If you want to make out that terrorism is a danger, it helps to secretly sponsor it. And Putin did that already in 1999.

    I suspected the whole Charlie Hebdo attack in 2015 (which involved a person loyal to ISIS acting together concert with persons loyal to al Qaeda – who in both cases did not use the current name of the terrorist organizations they thought themselves affiliated with – the al Qaeda peole said their organization was al Qaeda in Yemen instead of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the ISIS guy said it was ISIS, instead of Islamic State, and these two organizations were not co-operating with each other) was secretly organized by the Russian intelligence.

    They would have gotten names of people in France they could recruit from lists of terrorist members in France whose names they had been given to them by the French government.

    Nothing about it ruled it out.

    For some of the confusion at the time, see:

    A member of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who spoke to The New York Times on the condition of anonymity, said the joint timing of the two operations was a result of the friendship between Mr. Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers, not of common planning between the Qaeda group and the Islamic State.

    I wonder who that person really was.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  9. In cuba, vietnam, nicuragua, iraq and afganistan we were supporting a corrupt side who soldiers wouldn’t fight for corruptions. In afganistan the commander of the northern alliance who’s troops would fight was brushed aside for karzi who though corrupt would take orders from the U.S. Sam with diem in vietnam. Both somoza and batista were corrupt and I can’t even explain what went on in Iraq after cheney took over. As for ukraine now you know you know how jews felt watching helplessly the battle of the warsaw ghetto and americans watching the fall of bataan and corregidor.

    asset (0accad)

  10. @5. Except it does. And those who fail to see it are doomed to repeat it.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  11. Ukraine has at least 20 more fighter jets in the air, after parts were delivered
    A senior defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under terms set by the Pentagon, would not say whether all of the repaired jets are Soviet-origin MiGs, which are part of Ukraine’s arsenal. Earlier in the conflict, there was also a high-profile push, primarily from Poland, to augment Ukraine’s fleet with more such warplanes. The official also indicated that an offer has been made by a third-party country to send Ukraine whole fixed-wing aircraft to augment its fleet, but noted that that has not happened yet.

    Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday that the Ukrainians had received aircraft “platforms and parts,” without specifying the amount or type of platform.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  12. Re: Expelling Russia from the G-20:

    I believe it requires a unanimous vote to do so, and since the group contains China, India, and Saudi Arabia, all of whom would presumably vote against expulsion, it is a moot question.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. Russia rejects calls for a cease-fire to enable evacuations, saying Ukraine only wants time to arm.
    The rejection, delivered at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Ukraine, came just hours after the U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, called for a four-day cease-fire to allow for evacuations in battle zones and safe corridors to bring in food and medicine.

    Civilians, including children, remain trapped in the eastern Ukraine region of Donbas, where Russia has begun a new and more fierce offensive, as well as in the devastated port city of Mariupol, where Ukrainian defenders are making a last stand from the bunkers of a steel complex.

    Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, told the Security Council that calls for his country to establish humanitarian cease-fires were “insincere, and in practice they merely point to an aspiration to provide Kyiv nationalists breathing room to regroup and receive more drones, more antitank missiles and more MANPADS.” He was referring to man-portable air-defense systems, which are essentially highly mobile surface-to-air missiles.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. Pointless futility is what the UN does best.

    nk (1d9030)

  15. Well, Many people in Ukraine hate Nalvany because he used a slur for Ukrainians in 2014 and asked the Kremlin to look in to how to exterminate them during the Crimea incident

    steveg (e81d76)

  16. #14
    They do blue helmets well and are good at the pedophilia in Africa

    steveg (e81d76)

  17. Navalny tried some compromising with evil. Maybe that’s why Putin left him alone for awhile.

    Putin has now, after his second surrender ultimatum expired, given orders on television for there to be no assault on the besieged in Mariupol (because of the possible loss of Russian soldiers) but for there to be a bloackade instead, Some attacks on the ground continue.

    They acrually do want to surrender – their ground (but not themselves) – but this could be very difficult to arrange as Russia violates all agreements.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  18. This is interesting if true…

    NEW: U.S. does not assess that Russia has removed about a dozen battalion tactical groups from Ukraine’s besieged city of Mariupol, despite Putin declaring victory there: senior U.S. defense official.

    It’s relevant because Mariupol was supposed to fall, thereby freeing those BTGs to maraud elsewhere in Donbas.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  19. I suppose this could be geolocated

    It is supposedly a video of Russian troops leaving the Mariupol area, and its clearly from the Southern Ukraine (no snow, green, spring is underway) but could also be some random bearded Russian waving his arms and yelling about passing armored vehicles anywhere

    steveg (e81d76)

  20. 18. I wouldn’t expect the Russian brigades to be removed if Putin is morphing this into a siege/blockade. In fact more may be needed around Mariupol.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

  21. Illia Ponomarenko:

    “Interpreting it for you guys from Putin’s into human language: “Our forces in Mariupol are extremely exhausted after over 50 days in fierce urban combat, and we just can’t spend even more time and resources to zerg rush this 5-km wide steel plant turned into a giant fortress.”

    Video of burning tank in Mariupol from Russian unit shifted down from Kyiv.
    So they disengaged, transported south and were put straight to work.

    from Institute for the Study of War

    “Russian forces did not take the operational pause that was likely necessary to reconstitute and properly integrate damaged units withdrawn from northeastern #Ukraine into operations in eastern Ukraine.”

    steveg (e81d76)

  22. Darth Putin:

    My “de-nazification operation” has killed another holocaust survivor.

    steveg (e81d76)

  23. I think Darth Putin twitter feed is fantastic

    “My war is going to so well that when my defence minister gives a briefing people’s reaction is “oh, Putin hasn’t had him executed yet?”

    “Day 56 of my 3 day war. I have honored 64th Motor Rifle brigade for their glorious, brilliant, victorious rearward advance from Kiev that was entirely part of the plan

    I remain a master strategist”

    steveg (e81d76)

  24. “Day 55 of my 3 day war. I went a whole day without losing a General. Proud of myself.”

    “New Russian warships will be fitted with glass bottoms so they can see old Russian warships.”

    steveg (e81d76)

  25. Ukrainian finds Russian drone tangled in overhead wires.
    Goes Ukrainian farmer

    steveg (e81d76)

  26. Putin should listen to bruce springteen’s born in the usa. Especially the part where he sings he’s all gone their still there.

    asset (d4a30c)

  27. 22. From the article:

    Soldiers marched thousands of residents, including Vanda’s own mother, to a ditch where they were executed in a mass grave.

    The little girl escaped by hiding in a basement when German SS officers arrived at her home to take away her mother.

    She survived the rest of Mariupol’s Nazi occupation by spending the next two years in a hospital, which her father – who was not Jewish – had managed to get her checked in to.

    Here she apparently died of exposure — snipers guarded water sources.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  28. Is the guy in the photo wearing a party hat?

    steveg (e81d76)

  29. Here’s a “sanction” that might have some teeth inside Russia:

    After 1991, there were no investigations into the crimes of communism. Lose again and there will be.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  30. I haven’t said anything yet about DeSantis’ war against Disney, which started because they disagreed with DeSantis on some bill or other, but the practical fiscal effect is to raise taxes on Orange and Osceola County property owners, and Disney gets a cut in their tax and debt load. DeSantis and the Cancel Right didn’t think this through.

    6/ The bigger issue for everyone else is the tax revenue. Disney already pays the same local property taxes as every other landowner. Reedy Creek added its own tax on top of that to pay for its projects. That tax – $163 million per year – is illegal outside of the district.

    7/ When Reedy Creek goes away, that tax goes away, and Orange and Osceola Counties can’t do anything to get it back.
    However, the counties will now be responsible for all of the services Reedy Creek provides and all of the debt it has accumulated.

    8/ They can’t raise sales taxes or impact fees. So, the counties will have to raise property taxes. They must tax every property equally – not just Disney – and therefore it’s expected that property taxes in Orange County will rise as much as 25% next June.

    9/ Osceola, much smaller and less wealthy, is still working on its figures, but it’s going to be a hit to them as well. Many of that county’s residents work for Disney or have jobs derived from WDW. They’ll be paying their employer’s taxes now.

    10/ Lawyers largely agree that the state followed all the laws while doing this. They agree Disney may sue, but probably doesn’t have much ground to stand on. Some believe a vote of residents or delegates from the district is required to make this legal.

    11/ That doesn’t appear to be the case here because a vote was never held to implement the district 55 years ago.
    Essentially, Disney will lose some control of its property, and get a $163 million per year tax break and ~$1 billion of debt passed onto taxpayers.
    12/ Some things will be negotiated – Disney still controls Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, two actual towns within RCID. Lawmakers might backtrack from this plan during the next session now that they’re realizing what they’ve done.
    /15 (Addition): There is the question of whether the county CAN raise property taxes by 25%, well above the 10% or 3% cap the state imposes. If not, that likely means budget cuts unless the state steps in.
    I’m following up on this.

    16/ ANSWER: the cap is only on the assessed value of the home. The county would pass the 25% increase as a millage rate.

    DeSantis is not a conservative. He’s a Big Government right-winger, willing to use the power of his office to punish enterprises that go against his grain.

    Disney may have a workaround because, since they control the towns of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, maybe they could annex DisneyWorld, thereby putting the whole park under municipal control, but IANAL.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  31. Is there anybody who would benefit from this change?

    Somebody lobbied this through.

    Sammy Finkelman (bfe3de)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.0900 secs.