More to ignore, Book 48..........

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: 'The Russians have turned our whole city into a death camp'
Mark Sumner

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A makeshift cross marks the site where four bodies were buried together in Bucha.

The atrocities in Bucha were only uncovered after Russian forces withdrew rapidly under fire from advancing Ukrainian troops. Now, as Ukrainian forces go town to town across northern Ukraine, more horrors are being discovered. Survivors are telling stories of civilians gunned down without warning, of homes set on fire for no reason, and of people being taken from their homes and executed, apparently for the amusement of the occupiers.

In Borodyanka an apartment building above a shelter holding hundreds of people was blasted into ruins, and despite being told of the situation, it appears Russian forces made no effort to remove the rubble that they had generated. Ukrainian workers are clearing the wreckage now, all too aware of what they are likely to find. The destruction in the town, 20 miles northwest of Kyiv, is considered the worst seen anywhere so far

Of course, the world hasn’t seen everything. In Mariupol—where Russian forces deliberately bombed an opera house labeled with the word “children” and where thousands have been taken away to unknown locations inside Russia—weeks of shelling are now being followed with weeks of fighting street by street, while over 100,000 people remain trapped inside the tightening circle. With limited communications, Mariupol isn’t producing the steady stream of images seen early in the invasion. What’s happening in the city, especially in the sections now occupied by Russia, is impossible to say.

But there are horrible clues …



Even before the tanks rolled across the Ukraine border, there were reports of these crematory units being seen on the ground with Russian forces. The assumption was that they were to be used to incinerate the bodies of Russian soldiers lost in battle, disguising the extent of their own losses. Similar units were reportedly seen following fighting in the Donbas region in 2014 and 2015. At the time, Ukrainian officials reported that multiple such mobile crematoria were being used to incinerate dozens of bodies per day.

Based on what’s been seen of the cruelty of forces involved in this invasion, it’s very easy to believe the claims coming from Mariupol. However, it is not possible at this point to know if there is any truth behind these reports. But the mayor of the besieged city put it in the starkest terms imaginable.

“The scale of the tragedy in Mariupol is something the world has not seen since the time of Nazi concentration camps,” said the mayor. “The Russians have turned our whole city into a death camp.”

......
From the first day of the war, Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy made it clear that Ukraine was ready to surrender the idea of joining NATO as part of a peace agreement with Russia. Instead, Zelenskyy proposed that Ukraine make a separate agreement with several other countries that would promise to offer assistance in case Ukraine was attacked. That would allow Ukraine to meet Russian demands that it not join NATO, but wouldn’t leave the nation standing on its own in case Russia decided to come back for another bite.

At the first two meetings between Russian negotiators and Ukrainian representatives in Belarus, Russia seemed to be accepting of this idea. But at the talks in Istanbul, Russian demands appeared to be that Ukraine strip itself of weapons, not join NATO, and not be allowed to be a part of any security pact. Essentially, that Ukraine stand helpless against any future attack. Which was not exactly the right demand to make when Russian forces in Ukraine were losing.

Since that point, Zelenskyy has seems to have put the idea of Ukraine joining NATO squarely back onto the table. However, it seems he’s still negotiating an alternative.



In light of the discoveries in Bucha and elsewhere, it’s become clear that even if civilians are not killed outright by a Russian military that has deliberately targeted hospitals, homes, schools, and shelters, what happens to civilians when a village or town is occupied by Russian forces can be even worse. So it’s understandable that Ukrainian officials are working desperately in an effort to evacuate civilians who remain in Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts. These are the areas where the most intense fighting is expected to occur in the near future, and where Russian forces are advancing to occupy new locations.

Both special trains and busses are now engaged in a full time effort to shuffle people from these oblasts to Kyiv and points west.
.........
We can only hope that those Russian soldiers who were involved in Bucha were also the ones given this assignment.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Wednesday, Apr 6, 2022 · 9:44:07 AM EDT · Mark Sumner
I hate to keep hammering this particular horror. But there are reports that when Russians occupied the town, there were noises coming from the basement where residents of the apartment block had sheltered. But Russian troops threatened to shoot anyone who tried to dig them out.

Leaving this alone until there is more actual news from the site. Miracles remain possible.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Wednesday, Apr 6, 2022 · 9:58:29 AM EDT · Mark Sumner
This is in eastern Belarus nearing the Russian border. It’s possible this could be Russian equipment that was in northern Ukraine now being shifted around to the east. However, this could also be part of the ongoing Belarusian “let’s move stuff around to make it seem like we’re busy” program.

The ‘V’ symbol on of these vehicles was associated with some, though not all, Russian forces that entered Ukraine from Belarus. Almost all of these vehicles appear to be trucks suitable for supply transport. The exception seems to be at least one 9A52-4 Tornado Multi-Launch Rocket System which is built on the chassis of a Ural or KamAZ truck.

What’s not seen in this convoy is any armor. Though it’s unclear just how much heavy equipment actually escaped across the border when Russia was fleeing from Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts. Somewhere between one-third and one-half of all the tanks Russia took into Ukraine in the first month of the invasion have been destroyed or captured.

 

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Wednesday, Apr 6, 2022 · 10:13:06 AM EDT · Mark Sumner
Igor Girkin is a former member of the Russian FSB who was a leading figure in Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine and the occupation of Donbas and Crimea. At one point, he was the unofficial leader of the entire Russia-supported “separatist movement” in eastern Ukraine. He may even have been directly involved in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, leading to charges that he is a war criminal.

Needless to say, anything coming from Girkin is
highly suspect.

But Girkin seems to have lost his spot in the hierarchy of Russians trying to carve off a chunk of Ukraine. And he’s bitter about it. So lately Girkin tends to post bits about Russian failures, or just “no comment” tweets showing Russian troop movements.

On Wednesday, Girkin tweeted this video, which proports to be in the area of Kommunarovk in Donetsk oblast. This would be well inside not just a Russian occupied area, but inside the area held since 2014. It appears to show burning oil storage tanks.


This could be a result of a helicopter attack, like the one against an oil depot across the border at Belgorod, Russia. Or it could be a missile strike. Or … it might not even be an oil tank.

But if it is, it could be a sign that Ukrainian forces are making a strategic effort to limit access to fuel for Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. In response to the earlier attack on Belgorod, Russian officials issued restrictions on civilian fueling in the area.

The fuel in the tanks may be easily replaced. But the storage and associated facilities that make it possible to have sufficient fuel on hand are less easily replaced.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Wednesday, Apr 6, 2022 · 10:50:55 AM EDT · Mark Sumner
This is still more dead Russian gear that is unlikely to make the charts on Oryx, because no one is on the ground to actually catalog each item. Still, this is a lot of dead hardware, right in the area where Russia is staging the next big fight.



FPqJgGYWQAElJD3


Wait! What’s that lurking on the upper right of that bottom image. Is that a Ukrainian tractor hunting it’s prey?
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Today, the United States, with the G7 and the European Union, will continue to impose severe and immediate economic costs on the Putin regime for its atrocities in Ukraine, including in Bucha. We will document and share information on these atrocities and use all appropriate mechanisms to hold accountable those responsible. As one part of this effort, the United States is announcing devastating economic measures to ban new investment in Russia, and impose the most severe financial sanctions on Russia’s largest bank and several of its most critical state-owned enterprises and on Russian government officials and their family members. These sweeping financial sanctions follow our action earlier this week to cut off Russia’s frozen funds in the United States to make debt payments. Importantly, these measures are designed to reinforce each other to generate intensifying impact over time.

The United States and more than 30 allies and partners across the world have levied the most impactful, coordinated, and wide-ranging economic restrictions in history. Experts predict Russia’s GDP will contract up to 15 percent this year, wiping out the last fifteen years of economic gains. Inflation is already spiking above 15 percent and forecast to accelerate higher. More than 600 private sector companies have already left the Russian market. Supply chains in Russia have been severely disrupted. Russia will very likely lose its status as a major economy, and it will continue a long descent into economic, financial, and technological isolation. Compared to last year, U.S. exports to Russia of items subject to our new export controls have decreased 99 percent by value – and the power of these restrictions will compound over time as Russia draws down any remaining stockpiles of spare parts for certain planes, tanks, and other resources needed for Putin’s war machine.


As long as Russia continues its brutal assault on Ukraine, we will stand unified with our allies and partners in imposing additional costs on Russia for its actions. Today, the United States is announcing the following actions:


Full blocking sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, and Russia’s largest private bank, Alfa Bank. This action will freeze any of Sberbank’s and Alfa Bank’s assets touching the U.S financial system and prohibit U.S. persons from doing business with them. Sberbank holds nearly one-third of the overall Russian banking sector’s assets and is systemically critical to the Russian economy. Alfa Bank is Russia’s largest privately-owned financial institution and Russia’s fourth largest financial institution overall.

Prohibiting new investment in the Russian Federation.
President Biden will sign a new Executive Order (E.O.) that includes a prohibition on new investment in Russia by U.S. persons wherever located, which will further isolate Russia from the global economy. This action builds on the decision made by more than 600 multinational businesses to exit from Russia. The exodus of the private sector includes manufacturers, energy companies, large retailers, financial institutions, as well as other service providers such as law and consulting firms. Today’s E.O. will ensure the enduring weakening of the Russian Federation’s global competitiveness.

Full blocking sanctions on critical major Russian state-owned enterprises. This will prohibit any U.S. person from transacting with these entities and freeze any of their assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction, thereby damaging the Kremlin’s ability to use these entities it depends on to enable and fund its war in Ukraine. The Department of Treasury will announce these entities tomorrow.

Full blocking sanctions on Russian elites and their family members, including sanctions on: President Putin’s adult children, Foreign Minister Lavrov’s wife and daughter, and members of Russia’s Security Council including former President and Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
These individuals have enriched themselves at the expense of the Russian people. Some of them are responsible for providing the support necessary to underpin Putin’s war on Ukraine. This action cuts them off from the U.S. financial system and freezes any assets they hold in the United States.

The U.S. Treasury prohibited Russia from making debt payments with funds subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
Sanctions do not preclude payments on Russian sovereign debt at this time, provided Russia uses funds outside of U.S. jurisdiction. However, Russia is a global financial pariah — and it will now need to choose between draining its available funds to make debt payments or default.

Commitment to supporting sectors essential to humanitarian activities.
As we continue escalating our sanctions and other economic measures against Russia for its brutal war against Ukraine, we reiterate our commitment to exempting essential humanitarian and related activities that benefit the Russian people and people around the world: ensuring the availability of basic foodstuffs and agricultural commodities, safeguarding access to medicine and medical devices, and enabling telecommunications services to support the flow of information and access to the internet which provides outside perspectives to the Russian people. These activities are not the target of our efforts, and U.S. and Western companies can continue to operate in these sectors in Russia. When necessary, relevant departments and agencies will issue appropriate exemptions and carveouts to ensure such activity is not disrupted.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Media critic Eric Boehlert dead at age 57 after tragic bicycling accident
Jen Hayden

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Longtime media critic and former Daily Kos contributor Eric Boehlert has died at the age of 57 after a tragic bike accident in New Jersey.

Soledad O’Brien broke the news on Twitter.



Boehlert was a media analyst who consistently challenged the narratives propagated by traditional media. He launched his Press Run newsletter in early 2020 and drew widespread praise for his efforts to hold the media accountable.



Boehlert was well-known in the blogging community. He was a senior fellow at Media Matters for 10 years. He wrote Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press in 2009.

Boehlert joined the Daily Kos community in 2007 and later become a regular contributor as a media analyst. His final contribution at Daily Kos was a blistering critique of the media’s inability to hold Donald Trump accountable, titled: “2019, the year the press tried—and failed—to stand up to Trump.” That was just one of the many insights he brought to our audience and elsewhere.

More recently Eric Boehlert was a guest on ‎Daily Kos' The Brief: Has the political press learned anything in its coverage of the Trump Republican Party?

You can see his full Daily Kos history of thought-provoking media critiques here.

His final post at Press Run was Why is the press rooting against Biden?



The news of Eric Boehlert’s death is reverberating around the internet and there will be more to say in time, but let’s hold Eric’s family and friends in our thoughts for a moment.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Spring rains are coming, as Russia is increasingly desperate to show progress
kos

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Babushkas and Dedushkas greet Ukrainian soldiers as their town is liberated.

I picked a good week to go on vacation, as Russia’s defeat at the Battle of Kyiv (and the Battles of Chernihiv and Sumy as well) led to the mass Russian withdrawal from Ukraine’s north over the past week. The horrors they left behind are beyond comprehension, though the Russians may have their own solution to the “problem” of their war-crime’ing rampaging hordes:


[A]n unconfirmed Ukrainian military intelligence report suggests that Moscow could soon send the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 35th Combined Arms Army, a unit that reportedly committed war crimes in Bucha, into the fight in eastern Ukraine in the hopes that guilty members of that brigade and witnesses of its war crimes are killed in combat with Ukrainian forces

If only this single unit was guilty of all the war crimes. It wasn’t the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade that bombed hospitals, schools, residential buildings, and other residential non-combat targets in cities around Ukraine. And it’s certainly not the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade that has turned all of Mariupol into rubble.

There has been much speculation over the past several days over the fate of those Russian units previously operating near Kyiv. We know that units in the Sumy and Kherson areas have been redeployed toward Izyum, including the remnants of the famed 4th Guards Tank Division (GTD). In fact, if you’re thinking, “I thought half the division was wiped out,” because that’s what I speculated when last writing about them, turns out I was wrong. They’re likely closer to around 40% of their pre-war strength. Russia is throwing the tattered remnants of once-proud units into the meat grinder.

As for those Kyiv-area units, the humane thing would be to disband what’s left and send those soldiers home. Or, at worst, give them a month to recover as their units are rebuilt from reserves. We saw what they left behind after their withdrawal, and by all indications, most of those units are combat ineffective. As the Brits put it, “Russian units that left Kyiv will need significant re-equipping before redeploying to the Donbas.” But what they need and what Russian high command will do are two different things, and the Pentagon estimates that two-thirds of those forces will be redeployed to the Donbas front. In short, this is an act of desperation:



Those forces are broken. And they’re being sent into combat just as intense, if not more so, than what they saw around Kyiv.

At least in Kyiv they were somewhat protected by 1) Ukraine’s defensive posture, and 2) natural river barriers. Yes, they bled and died from repeated ineffective charge after repeated ineffective charge, but it was Ukraine that was in desperate plight, under relentless artillery bombardment and assault. It wasn’t until very recently that they began to face Ukrainian counter-attacks. In Donbas, they face not only the same entrenched enemy, with the same incompetent leadership that will march them to their likely deaths, but also exposed flanks and an aggressive Ukraine able to confidently counter-attack, heavy Ukrainian artillery, and a new generation of battlefield weapons on their way (like Switchblade killer drones). Oh, and they get to do it with poorly maintained equipment from pilfered reserve stock.

Don’t count on Russia’s logistics to get any better, as Ukraine is still doing a great job of taking them out en masse.



(Note the Ukrainian tractor in the upper right, circling in toward the chum.)

Remember all those pictures of trashed supply lines attempting to run through the Sumy region to the eastern edge of Kyiv? Well, we’re about to see it all over again, as Russia really appears to be attempting the maneuver I mocked just a few days ago:

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Instead of a head-on assault on the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, they are attempting to loop around and cut them off, over hundreds of kilometers of terrain with exposed flanks on both sides. As I wrote:

Attempting such an exposed push over barren open terrain, through 160 kilometers (100 miles) of hostile territory seems suicidal. That hasn't stopped Russia before, but it does seem they are trying to reset. Four axes of attack were too much? Okay! Let’s go down to two! Hmmm, I wanted to come up with two more examples, but I’ve got nothing. Maybe “avoid long unsustainable and indefensible supply lines” can be added to the list.

Doesn’t look like we’ll be adding anything to the “Russia learned its lesson” list anytime soon. Here we are now, with Russia behaving … suicidally:



That emerging salient heading south, attempting to cut off dug-in Ukrainian positions, is going to get chewed up like this:



That moonscape open terrain (more good pictures here and here) makes it impossible for Russia to sneak up on anyone, anywhere, and will be a drone operator’s dream come true. Ukrainian artillery can safely operate west of the salient, shooting and scooting, protected by Russia’s fear of flying their planes anywhere covered by air defenses.

Meanwhile, rasputista, that famous Ukrainian mud, is about to show up in a big way. Mud has already had a major impact on the war, as the mild winter kept the ground from being frozen as might’ve been the case pre-climate change. But things are about to get even tougher for armor. Look at the coming forecast for the Izyum area:

weather.png


Not only are those surprisingly warm temperatures melting off the last of the winter snow, but the spring rains are coming. Expect to see a lot more of this:



Rain will make field maneuvering nearly impossible, restricting Russian armor to roads, making them easy pickings for Ukrainian ambushes, artillery attacks, and drone strikes. On the plus side, it gives any Russian wanting an easy out a clear way to walk away from the war. “Abandoned” Russian equipment is the best Russian equipment. No one dies, Ukraine gets additional equipment and ammunition for its army, and we get to cheer the farmers towing that stuff away.

Note that the rain can be a double-edged sword, restricting Ukraine’s ability to counterattack. So we may be entering a period where nothing much moves, except relentless artillery and air strikes from both sides, trying to degrade static, well-defended positions.

In other words, we’ll be back to what the Donbas front looked like since 2014, except with a bit more territory under Russian control. Has that been worth 20,000 dead, billions in lost equipment, economic devastation, and the international shattering of the Russian bear myth? No matter what Vladimir Putin and his propagandists at home and in the West might say, a stalemate in a region they already controlled is a devastating loss. And desperation to show any progress is clearly leading to stupid decisions, like trying to encircle Sloviansk and Kramatorsk from the west.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Wednesday, Apr 6, 2022 · 12:41:30 PM EDT · Mark Sumner
Ukrainian forces are hitting hard at the northern end of the area Russia has occupied on the western bank of the Dnieper River. Several small towns have been recaptured, but Russia doesn’t seem to be simply fleeing for the bridge at Nova Kakhovka.

Instead, they have pushed forces again along the highway that runs north from Kherson to Snihurivka. That positions these forces directly east of Mykolaiv. If this is a sizable force, it could cause Ukrainian troops to hurry to cut off the threat. If it’s a smaller force, it’s way overextended.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Bringing a Switchblade to a tank fight
Mark Sumner

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Destroyed armored vehicles on a street in Bucha. April 5, 2022.

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Western nations were extremely careful about the types of military hardware they sent to Kyiv. Food and supplies? Check. Small arms and ammo? Okay. Weapons designed specifically to take out tanks and other armored vehicles? That last one took a few years worth of thinking. Even something like body armor was the subject of deep discussion, as the U.S., NATO, and other members of the EU pondered just what did, and what didn’t, fit under the ill-defined oxymoron of “defensive weapon.”

Over the last month, it became clear that the Russian army was definitely not going to just roll into Kyiv to a welcoming parade. Over that same month, the Ukrainian military showcased how modern weaponry could take apart armored convoys deployed in a way that was either overconfident, or just plain sloppy. It also became increasingly obvious that not only does Ukraine have a chance to win this war outright, but that seeing Russia lose decisively benefits something like 194 out of the world’s 195 nations.

Add in images of maternity hospitals being shelled and shelters being bombed; and even before the revelations of atrocities that came with the Russian withdrawal from the area around Kyiv, many nations began to quickly move the markers on what weapons were acceptable to give to Ukraine. It’s safe to say that items which would never have been considered on Feb 24—like a trainload of Czech T-72M1 tanks—are now on their way to being used by Ukrainian forces.

The U.S. might not be sending any tanks or F-16 fighter jets (for all the reasons that Markos laid out), but it has definitely backed way they hell away from debates of the past. The U.S. has issued two new packages of military hardware to Ukraine since the invasion began, including a heavy dose of Javelin anti-tank weapons and Stinger anti-aircraft weapons.

In the last big package that President Biden put together, Ukraine was allocated 800 more Stingers, 2,000 Javelins, 1,000 missiles for hitting lightly armored vehicles, and a whopping 6,000 AT-4 anti-armor systems. Like the Javelin or Stinger, the AT-4 is a soldier-carried weapon, and it’s definitely capable of taking out a tank. It’s actually a Swedish weapon, one that the Ukrainian forces have already been using with some success. They seem to like them.



For the U.S., that was on top of 600 Stingers and 2,600 Javelins that had already been sent. There are now far more anti-tank weapons in Ukraine than there are tanks. Which is just the way it should be. Those weapons are going to keep coming.

However, both advocates and skeptics of proving Ukraine with better weaponry were surprised when the $800 million package that Biden signed onto contained “100 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems.” These turned out to be not some form of observation drone — though those are far more useful and deadly than they may seem — but sets of AeroVironment’s Switchblade drone.

There are two types of Switchblades, the 300 and the newer 600. Both are “loitering munitions,” in other words, drones that can be launched and circle an area for several minutes before finding their target, locking in, and driving home. Unlike a larger Turkish Bayraktar, the Switchblade doesn’t fire a missile. It is a missile. One with good cameras and a lot of smarts.

The reaction in Ukraine, and among those supporting Ukraine, was one of considerable excitement. This class of weaponry is become more common, and it can be extremely effective in tasks like taking out artillery that is sitting back to shell a city safely out of reach of counter-fire.

There may be no better way to see how important this system is than to check in with Clint Erhlich. If you’ve forgotten who Erhlich is, he’s a favorite of Tucker Carlson, Charlie Kirk, and right wing media in general. Ehrlich frequently pops up on television, radio, and podcasts as a “military analyst” or “Russia expert”.


That expertise brought Erhlich these amazing insights:

Feb 15: “I'll put my reputation on the line: There is now zero chance that Russia suddenly invades Ukraine.”

Feb 23: “Many people are predicting that a Russian invasion of Ukraine will look like the failed Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. They're wrong. The world will be shocked by the swiftness of Russian victory. We're about to witness a Sputnik moment.”

Feb 24: “Before this conflict, many people were speculating that Ukrainian troops would have a morale advantage, since they'd be defending their homeland. As we're seeing, that overlooked the role that Russian shock and awe would play. I'm not blaming the Ukrainians. Just being honest.”

Erhlich then went on to explain, at length, in many tweets, why everyone should be cheering for a “swift Russian victory” to minimize Ukrainian casualties. You know, like how the casualties were minimized in Russian-occupied Bucha.

So, with that background of accuracy behind him, what did Erhlich think of sending Ukrainians some Switchblade drones? Well, he thinks it’s really bad news … for Joe Biden.


Mar 30: “If it's only delivering Switchblade 300s to Ukraine, it's not fighting the proxy war effectively. And if it thinks Russia won't react to a covert delivery of Switchblade 600s, it's dead wrong.”

Notice that over the last month Erhlich has continued to swim in the Russian propaganda tank and is calling this a “proxy war” for the United States. And notice that the only good Switchblade, in his opinion, is no Switchblade at all.

That’s how you know they’re good.

Both the Switchblade 300 and 600 have their potential targets. How this type of weapon will work out in Ukraine isn’t clear, but we did learn one thing on Wednesday. Not only have the first examples of this weapon arrived in Ukraine for a trial, but when defense officials let slip that Ukrainian military were in the U.S. for training, at least some of that was being trained on how to use the Switchblade system, likely in connection with the Puma observation drone, which the U.S. is also sending.

It’s very possible that in the next few days we’ll see the first results of a Switchblade system being used in Ukraine. While any new class of weapons becoming involved in a war is never anything that should generate a lot of excitement, after Bucha, and Borodyanka, and what we already know has happened in Mariupol, that feeling seems a lot more justified.


Erlich was right about one thing — the faster this war is over, the better. So long as Russia loses.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Wednesday, Apr 6, 2022 · 5:15:48 PM EDT · Mark Sumner
In terms of an overview of events on Wednesday, this is probably one of the days when the fewest positions have changed hands. Most of the action has been in the area north of Kherson, where Russia appears to have reoccupied at least part of Snihurivka, while Ukrainian forces recaptured a whole series of villages and towns farther north.

But the day has — so far — not generated the kind of large moments that might have been expected either around Kherson or in Russian salient that runs through Izyum.
 

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The British unit of Russian bank VTB will be placed in administration in the coming days, subject to a licence being granted to do so by United States sanctions authorities, a judge at London's High Court said on Wednesday.

Judge Timothy Fancourt told the court that the London-based VTB Capital plc unit was unable to operate and pay its debts due to Western sanctions imposed on VTB since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The order to appoint administrators would not be sealed until the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a licence permitting the action, the judge added.....
 

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