More to ignore, Book 69.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Izyum may be a 'distraction,' but it's one Russia can't ignore
Mark Sumner

The Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kherson area is continuing, but as Ukrainian forces advances into positions that Russia has fortified and reinforced, they’re running into an issue. It’s not that need to send them 1,000 new artillery, a million more rocket launchers, and whatever else is being demanded on social media today. It’s the problem every army has: advancing into a prepared defensive position is extremely difficult. Doing so without taking heavy losses requires that the attackers hold a significant numeric advantage over the defenders. In most cases, that number is somewhere above three to one. If you add up all the forces in Kherson oblast, Ukraine holds no such advantage.

It’s still possible to advance without holding that kind of edge. Ukrainian forces do have the advantage in that they are fighting for their homes, while Russian soldiers—or LNR conscripts—definitely are not. There have also been multiple reports indicating that Ukrainian morale far exceeds that of the “can we go home now?” Russians. These things count.

But they don’t count as much as having the right number of people at the right place. Which is exactly what Ukraine has been concentrating on doing in Kherson.

The lengthy front on Kherson oblast includes dozens of towns and villages. It is the most open, most featureless, most treeless area of combat in the whole invasion. There are a few geographic obstacles, like the Inhulets River, but for the most part what’s going on in Kherson is a game of maneuver. Ukraine is looking for the places where they can press through the Russian lines by achieving localized advantage.

This heat map gives a pretty good sense of how Russian forces are deployed in Kherson. It’s not that they’re spread thin on the ground, but they are trying to hold a large area with a lot fewer forces per square kilometer than the area from Izyum over to Severodonetsk.

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Because they have good visibility of the battlefield (and accurate, frequently updated intelligence) Ukraine doesn’t have to look for points of weakness the way that Russia has done in some areas. That’s the method known in militarese as “probing by fire.” The simple description for that is sending people out until they get shot, then noting where the shots originated. Russia has carried out a seemingly infinite number of these “probes” since the war began. You do not want to be a member of one of these probing forces.

Attacking in a thousand directions at once (see what Russia is doing at Popasna) is rarely a good idea. But in Kherson, Ukraine is making multiple attacks work for them by pinning Russian forces down at locations they very much want to hold—Vysokopillya, Snihurivka, Kyselivka—then moving around those positions to take villages and towns that were more lightly held.

Ukrainian counterattacks in Kherson oblast have also seen some of the first examples of something that’s been missing in much of this invasion: Tanks acting like tanks. That is, lining up and heading cross country in formations, largely ignoring roads and utilizing what terrain there is to stay hull-down as they press enemy positions. That’s how Ukraine captured numerous villages around the bridgehead south of Davydiv Brid, and what’s happening now at the far south of the line.

All of this has brought Ukraine to where they are now, brushing up against more securely held Russian positions. The good news is that, because they’ve been able to maneuver and flush Russia from weak positions, Ukraine now has options in terms of direction of approach. Some Russian positions, like Kyselivka, are all but encircled.

However, to press through the points where Russia is solidly entrenched, Ukraine is going to have to concentrate forces. So don’t be surprised to see some of those current points of attack fall silent, or even Russian announcements that it has rolled back some of the Ukrainian advances.

The obvious place to drop troops in large numbers is down south, where Ukrainian forces are approaching Russian fortifications at Tomyna Balka and Chornobaivka, which are only a few kilometers from Kherson. If Ukraine can crack Russian defenses at either of those locations, they might actually be positioned to go into Kherson proper. But Russia also knows this, and there’s no doubt that Russia is also willing to sacrifice some of those outlying villages to get its troops into position to resist an attack near the city. And Ukraine knows that, so it might…

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That’s where we are. The two forces in Kherson oblast appear to be roughly equal. Ukraine has been playing a game of maneuver that allows it to grab back territory and confront Russia at multiple points. However, as Russia loses ground and falls back toward Kherson, its forces become more concentrated and opportunities to find a gap become few. What ends up happening here may end up being defined by what happens elsewhere in Ukraine, and whether either side feels it can peel off additional forces to give them that edge necessary to advance without taking heavy losses.

In any case, don’t expect either Kherson or Khariv to suddenly break open and be done. In both cases, the last steps are going to be the most difficult. And Kherson is going to be a very tough nut to crack without causing massive damage.



screencap.jpg


At Izyum, Ukrainian forces continue to hold villages in the woods west of the city and threaten to attack Izyum proper. Pro-Russian sources have dismissed this thrust as a means of distracting Russian forces from the “real fight” closer to Slovyansk and Severodonetsk, and … sure. But taking Izyum would be a huge deal, so there’s little doubt Russia will reposition forces in response.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive in this area isn’t just restricted to those woods. They’re pressing Russian forces south of the highway to recapture a pair of villages and continuing to stand tough south of Izyum. There have been reports that Russia has moved forces up the east side of the Siverskyi Donets River from Lyman, bringing them across the river at Izyum, then directing them south. If so, they’re running into a big roadblock at Bohorodychne where Ukrainian forces reportedly have a strong defensive position that has allowed them to press back multiple Russian attempts.

Russia may view Ukraine’s attack on Izyum as a “distraction,” but it’s one they can’t ignore. Because not only does Izyum still form one of their biggest forward bases, and not only is it still part of an important supply route, right now it’s still the best river crossing Russia has. Ukraine knows just where to poke if it wants to take the pressure off areas to the east.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Saturday, Jun 18, 2022 · 1:45:59 PM EDT · Mark Sumner
Confirming what’s blowing up in all these images, or even who did the exploding, is going to take some time. But since it seems to be “images of mushroom clouds” day on Twitter ...

There are reportedly over 500 civilians still beneath this plant.



The blast in Mykolaiv is reported to be a Ukrainian ammunition depot struck by Russian missiles.




The blast at Synel'nykove reportedly resulting from more missiles that hit … a pig farm. Indications are that the pigs are okay. Seriously.



There are early reports that this was an attack on a fuel depot, possibly by Russian aircraft.



None of these are nuclear blasts. Please resume breathing.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Judge Luttig explains why he spoke slowly, carefully, exactingly and deliberately on Thursday
AKALib

Judge Michael Luttig’s testimony on Thursday rankled quite a few folks who watched his slow and deliberate speaking style in front of a national audience. Many folks, including some here, were speculating wildly that he had suffered a stroke at the hearing or was recovering from an earlier stroke or illness; some felt that his testimony was a “disaster”. OTOH, many understood that his slow speaking style was no accident; it was intentional and purposeful, given the gravity of the situation which was well covered in his powerful meticulously written statement.

Judge Luttig today responded to a tweet from Joe Hanag of Vanity Fair, where Joe praised Luttig’s style and tried to explain the reason for his deliberate speech. Judge Luttig took notice of that twitter thread and wrote this detailed explanation, which is a delight to read and shows the intellectual depth, wit and humility of the honorable retired Judge. Please take a look --












Here is a clip from the hearing, where he very clearly laid out his opinion on the dangers that our Democracy faces from trump and the republican party.



Judge Luttig also issued a call to all of us to defeat these enemies of Democracy. The danger is real and we need all hands on deck to save our Democracy.

It’s also a lesson to us to be more deliberate in our thinking and responses, avoid focusing on superficialities and avoid following the herd. At the same time, we can acknowledge that we make mistakes and we can support our fellow Democrats rather than mock or bloody each other up.

So, let’s do our part in educating the electorate about Jan 6 and the coterie of criminals the GOP has become. We must also make it clear to the American public that the entire republican party is rotten to the core; voting for them will mean an end to American Democracy and will be the beginning of a dystopian future.

The November elections are coming and we have to win the House and Senate. Let’s keep our eye on the ball and not get distracted by little things or the need to be entertained. Let’s resolve to keep encouraging, inspiring and impressing on people to Get Out and Vote.

Let’s keep writing and talking about the Jan 6 insurrection and the hearings day after day. Let’s not let it slide out of our collective conscience. If we feel dismayed or dejected at Biden or Schumer or Garland or other Democrats, for whatever reason, then let’s turn that frustration into action. Let’s lend them a hand, let’s do our part. Let’s write about the issues on social media, discuss them with friends and family, and spread the message; let’s neutralize the negative reporting of the right-wing disinformation machine. Let’s support each other and amplify the voices of reason and wisdom. Let’s volunteer and join a local progressive group. Let’s donate what we can. Let’s rise and make a difference. We will feel better and history will thank us.

For Judge Luttig’s powerful written statement, check out diary — “Judge Luttig issues powerful statement ahead of January 6 committee testimony.”
 

Lion8286

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Any updates on Ukraine, Marbles? Nothing good to report in the US. Told you Biden is a disaster.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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WATCH Tucker Carlson's INSANE Accusation that Stephen Colbert's Staff 'Committed Insurrection'
News Corpse

Holy Shih Tzu! When Fox News Senior Bullshucking correspondent, Tucker Carlson, devolves into unbridled hysteria he really holds nothing back. And on Friday night he was so incensed by late breaking news that he interrupted his regularly scheduled schizophonic schtick to report on a matter that would surely alter the course of humanity.

As usual for Fox "News," they were regurgitating a story that they picked up from other credible news organizations. Fox doesn't actually do journalism. The story that titillated Tucker on this occasion was one that has international consequences. ABC News reported that several staffers for Stephen Colbert's Late Show on CBS had been arrested for being in a congressional office building without proper authorization:

"In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS said the production team was at the Capitol Wednesday and Thursday to record a comedy segment featuring Triumph [the Insult Comic Dog].

"'Their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed,' the network said. 'After leaving the members’ offices on their last interview of the day, the production team stayed to film stand-ups and other final comedy elements in the halls when they were detained by Capitol Police.'"

So this was essentially a case of having stayed beyond the period of time that had been previously approved. But to Tucker Carlson it was the same sort of domestic terrorism that was committed by Donald Trump's shock troops on January 6, 2021. Carlson raged that...

"This is almost beyond belief, but just before this show aired we learned that last night producers for Stephen Colbert's show on CBS committed insurrection at the United States Capitol. Adam Schiff, the congressman from California who spent the last year and a half telling you that unauthorized violations of Capitol space are a coup - Adam Schiff illegally gave producers from CBS access to the Capitol.

Then the group, which includes the show's senior producer, director, comedian and writer, remained in the Longworth House office building after hours. And the point of them being there was for them to harass sitting members of congress. [...] It’s exactly like what happened on January 6th, So, we’ll take a close look at what the punishments are.""



WOW! that is one heck of a deranged outburst, even for Carlson who is known for them. For him to equate what these seven comedy professionals were doing with the deadly insurrection by hundreds of hostile thugs incited by Trump is spectacularly preposterous. Colbert's crew did not break through barricades and, in the process, injure more than 140 police officers, five of whom died. They did not shatter windows or bust through locked doors. They never threatened to kill or hang anyone. They didn't vandalize the premises causing $30 million dollars in damages.

Carlson's tirade also accused Rep. Adam Schiff of "illegally" giving producers from CBS access to the Capitol. That's a lie. Carlson claimed that the purpose of the visit was "to harass sitting members of congress." That, too, is a lie. The only thing that Carlson accomplished with his histrionics is to reveal that he doesn't know the difference between a violent insurrection and a harmless overstay of a permitted visit by a few funny people.

Then again, it is never Carlson's intent to provide honest accounts of anything. He works overtime to disinform his already dimwitted viewers with blatant falsehoods covering a wide array of subjects. For example...
There's much more where that came from. But why waste everyone's time. It will be fun to see what Colbert has to say about this on Monday.
 

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