Patterico's Pontifications


Ukraine-Russia Roundup

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:59 am

[guest post by Dana]

While Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov didn’t say it out loud, the maps did:

Russian defence ministry maps presented on Tuesday appeared to show rapid withdrawals of Russian invasion forces from areas in eastern and southern Ukraine where they have been under severe pressure from a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The ministry’s daily video briefing made no mention of any pullbacks, but on maps used to show the location of purported Russian strikes, the shaded area designating Russian military control was much smaller than the day before.

In northeast Ukraine, where Russia suffered a rout last month, its forces along a frontline running some 70 km southward from Kupiansk along the River Oskil appeared to have retreated some 20 km to the east, as far as the border of Luhansk province.

This would mean they had vacated the last remnants of Ukraine’s Kharkiv province – where Russia for several months maintained an occupation administration – but for a small patch between the town of Dvorichna and the Russian border.

In southern Ukraine’s Kherson province, Russia’s line of control on the right bank of the Dnipro river had shifted 25 km southward on the map, to a line running westward from the riverside town of Dudchany.

Both areas are battlefields where Ukraine has been reporting advances, albeit without giving full details.

Certainly to President Putin’s chagrin, Russian media is not sugar-coating the humiliation of Russia on the battlefield:

“I’ve been told that I make people depressed with my news,” Alexander Kots from the pro-government tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote on Telegram. “Allegedly people need something positive. There won’t be any good news any time soon, the timing is wrong. Not from the Kherson frontline, not from the Luhansk one as it happens.”

Ukraine “is introducing well-prepared reserves, realizing its advantage in both personnel and intelligence data,” he said Tuesday, adding that Russia’s so-called “special military operation,” meanwhile, is undergoing an “operational crisis.”

This isn’t the first media correspondent in Russia to push back against the narrative that the Kremlin is pushing, so we know it’s significant. And speaking of correspondents pushing back against the powers-that-be, remember the reporter who took a dramatic stand against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and while on state-controlled television, held up a sign that read “NO WAR”? Well, as a result, she was placed under house arrest in August. But according to reports, she has escaped and is currently on the run (note that the source is TASS, so…):

She had been charged with disseminating false information about the Russian military after participating in a protest in July, according to Russian state-run news agency TASS. Her detention was supposed to last until Sunday.

Ovsyannikova’s ex-husband said that she had escaped house arrest with her daughter on Saturday, TASS reported. Her lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov, said he could not confirm those allegations…

Ovsyannikova has been added to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs’ “wanted list,” TASS reported on Monday.

And while Russia is praising Elon Musk’s inflammatory Twitter poll, in which “he asked followers on whether, and which, parts of Ukrainian territory should be formally handed to Russia,” Zelensky tweeted out his own poll:

Ukraine’s outgoing ambassador to Germany was much more direct and simply told Musk to “fuck off,” adding that this was his very “diplomatic reply” to Musk.

[Ed. Honestly, it was a bit confusing seeing Musk’s poll, given that he was happy to provide Ukraine the indispensable Starlink system so quickly after Zelensky requested it. I’m guessing that this was just another bid for attention from the billionaire who wants for nothing…After all, it’s Twitter...]

Yesterday, President Biden spoke to President Zelensky and announced a $625 million security assistance package to Ukraine.

The president also reaffirmed U.S. support of Ukraine, saying that we “will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Ukrainian territory.”


During the conversation with Zelensky, Biden also affirmed the U.S.’s “continued readiness” to impose sanctions on any entity that supports Russia’s annexation, and welcomed an agreement that allowed the safe export of grain from Ukraine, the White House said.


25 Responses to “Ukraine-Russia Roundup”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. the indispensable Starlight system…

    Should be Starlink.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  3. If only Putin knew how badly his generals are mismanaging the war.

    nk (282728)

  4. If only Putin knew how badly his generals are mismanaging the war.

    If only Americans knew how badly their leaders are mismanaging their money:

    US Money Committed to Ukraine Has Already Exceeded Cost of First 5 Years Afghan War

    In the roughly four months since Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States spent more money keeping Russia at bay than it did in the first five years of the Afghan conflict.

    Overall, the United States has promised at least $54 billion in spending related to the war, some to support NATO nations, part to support Ukraine through “tradition channels” and other funding to support U.S. military in Europe, according to Fox News. Direct military-related spending on the Ukraine war has reached $8 billion

    According to, through 2006 the United States spent $7.4 billion in the first five years of its fight against the Taliban. The peak year for costs was 2011 when the U.S. spent $11.4 billion in its 20-year war that ended with the debacle of the evacuation from Kabul last summer. –

    Meanwhile… initial estimates of Ian storm damage costs to Americans in Florida: $100 billion .

    “Round-up the usual suspects.” – Capt. Louis Renault [Claude Rains] ‘Casablanca’ 1942

    DCSCA (2ed6d4)

  5. Why Russia (probably) blew up the Nord Stream pipeline: To send a message that Europe is vulnerable

    …….By blowing up the pipeline, Russia put Europe on notice that it had other options besides nuclear warfare to raise the stakes. It could in fact, attack vulnerable infrastructure in the region including other pipelines and communications cables. And Norway, which provides oil and gas to Europe, clearly got the message:
    Norway isn’t alone in worrying what infrastructure project could be next:

    The Nord Stream leaks serve as a warning that any one of the numerous gas, power and telecommunication cables crisscrossing Europe could be a target, as NPR’s Jackie Northam put it. Taking note, countries like Norway, Denmark, Italy and Poland have ramped up security and surveillance around their own undersea pipelines in recent days.

    There are about 730,000 miles of pipelines around the world, enough to circle the Earth 30 times, says national security analyst Juliette Kayyem. And that’s not including wires connecting the internet, which she says amount to “another million miles of cable, essentially.”

    ……..A former US intelligence official told Business Insider this was likely the point Russia was making.

    Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former US senior intelligence officer who led strategic analysis on Russia for the National Intelligence Council from 2015 to 2018, told Insider she believes the leaks were a result of “intentional” sabotage “executed by Russia.”…

    “It was a relatively inexpensive way to send a very informative signal to the West. Should we expect these things to continue? Absolutely,” Kendall-Taylor added, underscoring that Russia’s struggles on the battlefield in Ukraine are directly tied to this.

    The more “degraded Russia is in terms of its conventional military, the more it will double down and rely on non-conventional tools,” Kendall-Taylor said, which include cyberwarfare, chemical weapons, biological weapons, even tactical nuclear weapons — but also “acts of sabotage like this.”


    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  6. @5. Sober up:

    Biden vows US will ‘end’ Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if Ukraine invaded by Russia

    President Biden vowed Monday in a joint news conference with Germany’s chancellor to “bring an end to” the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine. Biden promised to prevent fuel from flowing directly from Russia to Germany through the newly constructed Baltic Sea pipeline just moments before Chancellor Olaf Scholz gave a unified but noticeably less enthusiastic nod to the idea.

    “If Russia invades — that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine, again — then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,” the president said in the White House East Room.

    “We will bring an end to it.”

    DCSCA (2d06cf)

  7. Ukraine’s outgoing ambassador to Germany was much more direct and simply told Musk to “fvck off,” adding that this was his very “diplomatic reply” to Musk.

    MEMO to Ukraine’s outgoing ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk:

    Back at you, you ungrateful steaming cowardly, corrupt piece of sh!t– HOW the hell did YOU escape the ban on Ukraine males, 18 to 60 denied the freedom to leave Ukraine in the first place? A bribe or two?

    Now STFU and camo-up:

    Elon Musk helps Ukraine with SpaceX’s Starlink satellites

    Elon Musk says SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are now active over Ukraine after a request from the embattled country’s leadership to replace internet services destroyed by the Russian attack.

    Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites helping Ukraine drones destroy Russian tanks

    Starlink satellites sent into space by Elon Musk’s SpaceX are helping Ukrainian military drones destroy Russian tanks and army trucks, according to a report…

    Musk sent Starlink terminals into Ukraine at the request of Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who has said the broadband internet service “keeps our cities connected and emergency services saving lives” in the event of outages. SpaceX sent a shipment of Starlink terminals to provide Ukraine with internet access. “Important warning: Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine, so probability of being targeted is high,” Musk tweeted earlier this month. “Please use with caution.” Musk has also been engaged in Twitter feuds with Russian officials and allies of the Kremlin.

    More proof that the difference between Ukraine’s Bug Moran gangsters and Putin Capone crime syndicate is: nothing.

    DCSCA (2d06cf)

  8. Memo to Ukrainian soldier says Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites ‘changed the war in Ukraine’s favor’ as they’re helping troops stay online amid Russian strikes

    Know the players:

    Andriy Yaroslavovych Melnyk (born 7 September 7, 1975) is a Ukrainian diplomat who has served since January 12, 2015 as the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany. He will remain in office until the end of September 2022, after which he will move to Kyiv. [Camo-up, coward!] Andriy Melnyk was born in 1975 in Lviv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. Melnyk was appointed a Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany by a decree of President Petro Poroshenko.

    On June 29, 2022 Andriy Melnyk gave an interview to Tilo Jung where he denied the interviewer’s claim that Stepan Bandera’s followers were “involved in the killing of 800,000 Jews” during World War II, to which Melnyk replied “there is no evidence that Bandera’s troops killed hundreds of thousands of Jews. There is zero evidence.” Melnyk called this claim a narrative pushed by Russia that is now being supported by Germany, Poland, and Israel. After an official protest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a statement on 1 July 1, 2022 in which it was declared that this was Melnyk’s private opinion. On July 1, 2022 the Embassy of Israel in Berlin published a statement on Melnyk’s interview which criticized him for “a distortion of historical facts concerning the Holocaust.” Felix Klein, the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism in Germany, reprimanded Melnyk and appealed to Ukraine to seek rapid admission to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), this intergovernmental organization is dedicated to the study of the Holocaust. Klein regretted that the Ukrainian government had so far been negative about an IHRA membership.

    On July 9, 2022 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine announced that Melnyk had been dismissed from his position as ambassador to Germany. Melnyk was dismissed along with several other of Ukraine’s ambassadors; president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “this rotation is a normal part of diplomatic practice”.He will remain in office until the end of September 2022, after which he will move to Kyiv.

    DCSCA (2d06cf)

  9. I appreciate Musk making Starlink available, and it’s a notable operational advantage for Ukrainian forces. Thank you, Elon…BUT…

    Musk doesn’t understand Crimean history, and it still remains that Russia has no right to any Ukrainian territory per the Budapest Memorandum.

    His “compromise” would Russia in a better position than before he invaded, and he doesn’t deserve that kind of reward.

    Also, every reclaimed Ukrainian city shows varying degrees of Russian atrocities, the latest being a box of pulled dentures, concentration camp style, near Izyum. Why would any city want to be on the wrong side of Musk’s compromise?

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  10. Flashback-Nord Stream 2 was never opened:

    Nord Stream 2 cost $11 billion to build. Now, the Russia-Europe gas pipeline is unused and abandoned-March 2022
    By November last year, however, there were further signs of trouble brewing when the German energy regulator temporarily halted the certification process that would allow it to start operating the pipeline. The suspension came as Russia was amassing tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine’s border (although the regulator cited legalities as a reason for the suspension).

    The final nail in Nord Stream 2′s coffin came in February following Russia’s fateful decision to formally recognize two pro-Russian, breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine. That prompted the German government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz to stop the certification process altogether.
    “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has killed off the Nord Stream 2 project. In short, it would be unthinkable for Germany or any other European country to do a U-turn and authorize the pipeline after Russia’s behavior,” Kristine Berzina, senior fellow and head of the geopolitics team at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, told CNBC Wednesday.
    “A prerequisite for the certification of the Nord Stream 2 operator is a positive assessment from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action that security of supply is not jeopardised,” it told CNBC in a statement Tuesday.

    “This condition is no longer fulfilled,” the regulator said, adding that it “cannot certify the company at this time” and that operating the pipeline without certification would be unlawful.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  11. Musk suffers from Asperger’s and sometimes doesn’t get the mood of the room.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  12. a box of pulled dentures

    For what earthly reason? New, custom-fitted dentures are terrible enough.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  13. @9. BUT nothing: Andriy Yaroslavovych Melnyk, the ungrateful,. cowardly ‘diplomat;’ the slob w/t questionable take oh history can GFHS– after he camos up and is sent to… “the Russian Front.”

    DCSCA (aea2e1)

  14. Here’s an interesting video of a captured pro-Russian combatant. It’s one more reason why Ukraine should win.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  15. Russia’s Nuclear Bluster Is a Sign of Panic
    Any threat to use nuclear weapons by a country that possesses them has to be taken seriously. That’s particularly true of Russia, a country whose military doctrine has always entertained the deployment of relatively low-yield nuclear weapons in a war. To be clear, low-yield can mean a detonation equivalent to 5,000 or 10,000 tons of TNT. When Soviet war plans for Europe were revealed after the Cold War, analysts blanched at the magnitude of the nuclear assault the Soviet general staff had contemplated as the preparatory bombardment for a potential drive to the English Channel.
    To yield to nuclear blackmail, however, would be folly. Give in now, and anyone with nuclear weapons will learn that the secret to success in a negotiation is to froth at the mouth, roll up one’s eyes, and threaten a mushroom cloud. To yield to Putin would be, as Churchill said in a different but not entirely dissimilar context, to take “but the first sip from a bitter cup.” What then to do, and to threaten to do, particularly if Russia does indeed detonate one or more nuclear weapons, either as a signal or against some Ukrainian target?

    The West’s economic sanctions arsenal is far from empty. The United States, in particular, has not brought out the biggest weapon of all: unlimited secondary sanctions on anyone doing business with Russia, save under licenses granted by the U.S. Treasury. Nor has it moved yet to confiscate the roughly $300 billion Russia has in accounts held abroad. Use of nuclear weapons by Russia would justify that and more.
    The fight in Ukraine is not, despite what some have said, an existential war for Russia. No one is claiming Russian territory, and no Ukrainian army is going to drive to Moscow. It may very well be an existential fight for Vladimir Putin as a leader and even as a human being, but that is a separate matter. He has not been put in a corner, but rather has put himself in one. For him to use nuclear weapons, many others—hundreds, if not more—have to go along……….
    ………The sooner the ultimate shock is delivered and Russian forces shattered and driven from occupied land, the quicker the suffering ends, and the more swiftly the uncertain cloud of nuclear threats dissipates.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  16. Musk suffers from Asperger’s and sometimes doesn’t get the mood of the room.

    Which CLEARLY disrupts the electronic of the Starlink systems. =sarc=

    WASHINGTON – SpaceX has sent “thousands” of Starlink satellite internet kits to Ukraine, company President Gwynne Shotwell told CNBC on Tuesday. Elon Musk’s space company began sending Ukraine shipments of Starlink satellite kits — which come with an antenna, a mounting tripod and a Wi-Fi router — shortly after Russia invaded.,a%20Wi-Fi%20router%20%E2%80%94%20shortly%20after%20Russia%20invaded.

    Ukraine remains a corrupt craphole. T’was never enough for Bugs Moran either.

    “More, more, I’m still not satisfied!” – Tom Lehrer

    DCSCA (aea2e1)

  17. OT- Tip of the cap to the former Soviet Union; 65 years ago today, October 4, 1957, w/their successful launch of Sputnik 1. The birth of the Space Age changed life on Earth forever. This 7 minute video is worth a watch- if only to revisit the triumph- and the global impact the lofting of a man-made satellite had around the world.

    DCSCA (aea2e1)

  18. Russian Media Watch:

    Russian Reporter Left Speechless Amid Kherson Retreat: ‘Disaster’
    “Friends, I know that you expect me to comment on the situation. However, I really don’t know what to tell you,” Roman Saponkov wrote in a Telegram post on Tuesday for his more than 61,000 followers, according to a translation. “The retreat from the north of the right bank of the Kherson region is a disaster.”

    Saponkov listed several areas in the region that he said had been “abundantly watered with the blood of our soldiers.”
    The Russian retreats in Kherson mean that Ukraine has now made gains on at least three fronts in recent weeks…….


    Rip Murdock (dee8eb)

  19. Illia Ponomarenko noted that while Musk was incorrect in his proposal, his gift of Starlink more than offset the misstep. Ponomarenko noted Ukrainians don’t cancel friends for incorrect off the cuff remarks

    steveg (97395e)

  20. When the undersea pipeline first sustained damage, I was hoping the Russians would blame Ukraine… a country without a navy. Very disappointed in Russian propaganda.
    My top 3 list of possibles are Russia at 80%, UK at 15%, USA at 5%.
    Russians are known for their chess expertise but someone out on the internet noted, the Russians played gas too early and Europe was able to stockpile, and then Russia mobilized forces too late.
    Maybe makes tactical nukes into Ukraine, but near neighboring nations, more likely than before the Putin genius lightbulb backup generator kicked in (starter motor was stolen by kleptocrats)
    Given the accuracy and maintenance standards of the Russians seen thus far, I might be better off moving closer to Vandenberg AFB rather than further

    steveg (97395e)

  21. Russian Media Watch:

    Top Putin Crony Admits They Want ‘to Grieve and to Panic’ Over Ukraine
    Appearing on Sunday Evening With Vladimir Solovyov, head of RT Margarita Simonyan was so furious about Russia’s latest defeat in Ukraine, she admitted not wanting to even come to the show. Her recipe for boosting the morale was simple: total disgrace and brutal punishment for those who dare to disappoint fellow imperialists. Seething with anger, Simonyan recited: “Cowardice, willful abandonment of strategic positions without coordination with higher command, the collapse of command and control of the troops, inaction of power.” She qualified that these charges led to the execution of General Dmitry Pavlov, his deputies and other commanders of the Western Front during WWII.

    Simonyan added: “We’re terribly concerned, terribly upset, I didn’t even want to come here, because to grieve and to panic would amount to helping the enemy …….
    She sternly added: “This territory, three times the size of Belgium, is saturated with every kind of weapon, all sorts of instructors, all of the will, force and might of the entire collective West. If anyone in the Army doesn’t understand that, perhaps we should revisit the first topic and replace these people.” Simonyan clarified that unlike the host, Vladimir Solovyov, she is against summary executions, but her repeated references to Stalin’s tactics suggested otherwise.
    The head of RT admitted that when she sings the state anthem of the Russian Federation, which is set to the same music as the anthem of the former USSR, she uses the Soviet lyrics. Simonyan stressed: “These words fit this moment. Comrades Generals, I ask you: don’t disgrace this anthem, our faith and our desperate desire to keep these people with us, to keep these territories with us, and return to normalcy as an even bigger Russia.”
    (On Friday’s Russia’s NTV show The Meeting Place) political editor Maxim Yusin bitterly noted that despite their statements on live TV, all pundits share different takes in private: “You say, ‘after the rest of the territories will be liberated.’ It’s very difficult to argue with dreamers, who live in their own world. …….. I think anyone will honestly admit that they don’t know whether the mobilization will help us or not to change the course of military actions. So far, things aren’t going so well.”

    Peremoha Ukrayini!

    Rip Murdock (dee8eb)

  22. Ukraine’s New Offensive Is Fueled by Captured Russian Weapons
    Ukraine’s rapid breakthrough in the Kharkiv region a month ago ended up putting hundreds of pieces of Russian armor into Kyiv’s hands, military officials say, as the Russian army left behind its heavy weapons and warehouses of supplies in a disorganized retreat.

    Some Russian pieces of equipment were ready for immediate use, while others are being repaired to return to the front. Tanks, vehicles and guns too damaged to salvage are being cannibalized for spare parts. Crucially, Russia has also left behind large quantities of Soviet-standard artillery shells that had nearly run out in Ukraine.

    This haul is helping power Ukrainian forces as they retake parts of the eastern Donetsk region, including the town of Lyman, and push further east into nearby Luhansk. Kyiv has regained more than 4,000 square miles of land in the east over the past month, in addition to advances in the south.

    One Ukrainian battalion, the Carpathian Sich, seized 10 modern T-80 tanks and five 2S5 Giatsint 152-mm self-propelled howitzers after it entered the town of Izyum last month, said its deputy chief of staff, Ruslan Andriyko.
    The chief of staff of a Ukrainian artillery battalion on the Kharkiv front said his unit now operates four recently captured Russian 2S19 Msta 152-mm self-propelled howitzers, alongside American-made guns, and now has abundant Soviet-caliber ammunition.
    Combined with weapons taken during Russia’s retreat from Kyiv and other parts of northern Ukraine in April, these recent gains have turned Moscow into by far the largest supplier of heavy weapons for Ukraine, well ahead of the U.S. or other allies in sheer numbers, according to open-source intelligence analysts. Western-provided weapons, though, are usually more advanced and precise.
    Ukraine has captured 460 Russian main battle tanks, 92 self-propelled howitzers, 448 infantry fighting vehicles, 195 armored fighting vehicles and 44 multiple-launch rocket systems, according to visual evidence compiled from social media and news reports from Oryx, an open-source intelligence consulting firm. The real number is likely higher as not every captured piece of equipment gets filmed.
    At Izyum, Ukraine gained more advanced Russian armor, such as T-90 tanks and BTR-82 infantry fighting vehicles with automatic cannon. ……
    Western allies haven’t sent Western-made tanks to Ukraine. But Kyiv has received around 230 upgraded T-72 tanks from Poland and a few dozen more from the Czech Republic…….

    Peremoha Ukrayini!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. #24 Here’s the same WSJ article at the MSN site.

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

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