More to ignore, Book 97....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: As Ukrainian forces enter Lyman, hundreds of Russians may still be trapped inside

Mark Sumner

All through Friday into the evening, Russian sources on Telegram were repeating the same stories: Ukrainian forces were everywhere; Russians troops were trying to escape, but the artillery was gone; the armor was gone; the officers were gone. Ukrainian forces were coming at them in waves, and even though the Russians were bravely holding their ground and mowing the Ukrainians down with machine guns, the Ukrainians just got back up and kept coming. Because drugs. Or zombies. Or zombie drugs. In any case, the Ukrainians were unstoppable killing machines. Please send help.

At the same time, Russian
fan channels were telling a very different story. Russia had reinforced Lyman. Ukrainian soldiers were dying by the thousands. Russia forces had lured Ukraine into a “killing field.” Lyman would ever remembered as a disaster for Ukraine. Lyman was a clever trap. Lyman was Russia forever.

On Saturday morning in Ukraine, this was Lyman.



This is actually the northwestern edge of Lyman, along the road that runs west into Drobysheve. Similar videos show Ukrainian forces entering Lyman at its southeastern corner and raising the blue and yellow at that edge of the city.

What’s notable in both videos is the silence. There is no sign of continued fighting. No booming artillery. Not even small arms fire. On Saturday, there are reports that Ukrainian forces have reached the center of the small city. The Ukrainian military has now officially announced the liberation of Stavky, Drobysheve, Yampil, and Kolodyazi, confirming the map as it appeared on Friday morning. There has not yet (as of 8 AM ET, 3PM in Kyiv) been any official announcement concerning the liberation of Lyman. However, that seems to be a technicality at this point.

Ukraine has taken Lyman. Any Russian forces remaining are completely surrounded and confined to an area in the north central part of the city.

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Only a very small area remains in which Russian troops may be still hiding.

There are also reports that Ukrainian forces have entered Zarichne and Torske, with Russian forces retreating from that area. Fighting reportedly continues outside of Kreminna, and there are reports of Russian forces also leaving that location in large numbers.

While some reports indicate that as many as 5,000 Russian and LPR forces remained within the shrinking “pocket” at Lyman, that seems highly unlikely. Any Russian forces that remain likely number in the hundreds. On Saturday afternoon in Ukraine, there are continued reports of fighting in Lyman. Though why any Russian forces would be fighting at this point seems unfathomable.

It now seems possible to put together something of a picture of what happened in the last 48 hours from a mixture of sources. As the perimeter around Lyman tightened, Russian forces that had been in Yampil and Drobysheve first went into Lyman, then began withdrawing along the road to the east. There was an effort to remove heavy equipment, including the artillery that had backed the Russian position in Lyman over the last two weeks. Within hours, many of the Russian infantry began to follow, but all of this made for slow progress down relatively small roads.

Throughout Thursday and Friday, those Russian forces issued many requests for reinforcement or rescue, and were sent assurances it was on the way. There are even messages from the Bakhmut area complaining that Wagner forces left the front lines there to go to Lyman. However, if any of those forces ever made it to Lyman, it doesn’t get mentioned. Most likely, any relief force that was sent never got closer than the intersection between Torske and Zarichne, where they may have helped to temporarily hold Ukrainian forces back from the road.


As the escaping forces ran a gauntlet of Ukrainian artillery, anti-tank weapons, and heavy machine gun fire, they took significant losses. Damaged armor clogged the route. They were also slowed because the road leading into Lyman had been mined or damaged at several locations.

At some point, Russian troops (some reports suggest members of BARS-13) blew up the bridge across the Zherebets River north of Torske to prevent Ukrainian pursuit. This may have helped some escape to the east, but it also trapped the forces following them, leading to an intense fight near Zarichne as those forces attempted to find a way out.

Here is how one Russian source describes it.

The media and the government Telegram channels are beginning to casually admit there was some problem at Lyman, but they’re not making a big deal about the situation. Actually, it’s a disaster.

It seems likely that most of the Russian forces that were in Lyman didn’t either escape or remain in the city to be taken prisoner. They’re simply dead on the field somewhere to the east.

However, some of those Russian forces clearly did fight their way through, because they lived to repeat the “Ukrainian drug zombies” story after retreating all the way back to Valuyki, across the Russian border. (Russians claiming that Ukrainians had been drugged into unstoppable killing machines without fear is a story that has been told since near the start of the invasion).


Russian sources insist they did not leave behind thousands of troops in Lyman, but indicate that there may well be hundreds. If so, we’re going to know very soon. Ukrainian forces will also get a good look at just how effective Russian forces were in getting all that heavy equipment out of the city. It’s unclear how intense any fighting in Lyman is at this moment.

Meanwhile, the Russian fan channels are already back in business, explaining how Lyman is a great victory for Russia. They’ll still be making those claims when Ukraine liberates Crimea.

............
There are reports this morning that Russia has kidnapped Ihor Murashov, the director of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant at Enerdorhar. Reuters reports that Murashov was blindfolded and driven to an unknown location. The IAEA is predictably concerned, and was told that the director was being “detained” so that he could “answer some questions.”

Recently, Russia has indicated it wants to shut down the plant, which is the largest in Europe and accounts for a fifth of all electricity produced in Ukraine. Workers there have been told to prepare for a shutdown, after which they are to be placed under the authority of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear directive. They will then have to compete for their jobs against imported Russian workers.
............

To the north, along the eastern bank of the Oskil River, Ukrainian forces have reportedly liberated
another Lyman — Lyman Pershyi. If these reports are accurate, this would close the gap between the bridgeheads at Dvorichna and Kupyansk.

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Ukraine joins its two northern bridgeheads across the Oskil.

Fighting continues at locations to the east of the bridgehead. That includes reports of fighting at Pischchane, which is several kilometers away from previous reports of Ukrainian movement and well down highway P07 that leads to Svatove.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces also continue to move to the south. There were reports on Friday that Ukraine has reached Kruhlyakivka, putting this southward advance only 15km north of Borova. With the liberation of Lyman, Borova remains the last large town in Kharkiv Oblast still occupied by Russian forces.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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'Conservative' now just means 'hates America' and CPAC made that brutally clear

Mark Sumner

On Friday, in a widely condemned speech in which he laid claim to territory of a neighboring country, Vladimir Putin only spent about 15 minutes talking about Ukraine. In the rest of his speech, Putin spent his time attacking the West for “perversions” that have “completely moved to a radical denial of moral norms, religion, and family.”

“Do we really want perversions that lead to degradation and extinction to be imposed on children in our schools from the primary grades?” asked Putin. “To be drummed into them that there are various supposed genders besides women and men, and to be offered a sex change operation?”

That familiar sounding passage was just one part of a tirade in which Putin waved away his own atrocities while providing a list of reasons that the West, and the United States in particular, had to be crushed. It was a speech full of vast conspiracies going back centuries, of claims to be leading an anti-colonial movement while annexing territory at gunpoint, and of threats on every conceivable scale. Including nuclear. It was a ridiculous and revolting speech, one that inverted the idea of justice and drew heavily from fascist themes going back a century.

But it certainly had it’s supporters.

In his speech, Putin not only claimed that primary school kids are being offered gender reassignment surgery, he declared that America was denying the proper role of men, plotting the “overthrow of faith and traditional values,” killing religious freedom, and creating “a reverse religion that is outright Satanism.”

Putin went on to blame the United States for blowing up the Nord Stream pipeline, and laughed at how politicians trying to use less fossil fuels have to “convince their fellow citizens to eat less, wash less often, and dress warmer at home.” Then he talked about how, in the West those who question the government are “immediately declared enemies, extremists and radicals.”

In other words, Putin delivered a typical evening with Tucker Carlson, or Sean Hannity, or any other Fox host. It’s little wonder that those at CPAC were singing the praises of Putin … even as Putin was threatening to use nuclear weapons and declaring that he was going to crush the West. Because why not? They want that too.

Totally uncoincidentally, Donald Trump went on his failing social media platform this week to join Putin in blaming the United States for the sabotage of the two pipelines (spoiler alert: Russia did it), and to offer himself as the leader of a group that would officially sanction Putin’s land grab in Ukraine through “negotiations.” Carlson was right on this same topic, devoting his show not only to claims that the United States was responsible for the pipelines, but doing some highly dramatic pearl-clutching over the idea that Russia could possibly be involved.



Putin stood on the stage and called for “the collapse of Western hegemony” and said that “The battlefield to which fate and history have called us is the battlefield for our people, for great historical Russia.” The bussed in apparatchiks responded with resounding applause.

But no one appears to be more enthusiastic about returning Ukraine “to it’s historic motherland” than the people at CPAC. Because the destruction of America is their goal as much as Putin’s. And if that means supporting Putin in his military invasion and annexation of a neighbor, they will certainly go there, explicitly tweeting out a message that the United States should let Putin have his way.

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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There is no shortage of reasons Republicans are expected to retake the House this year, including President Biden’s low approval ratings and the long history of struggles for the president’s party in midterm elections.

But there’s another issue that looms over the race for the House, one that doesn’t have anything to do with the candidates or the voters at all: the fairness of the newly redrawn congressional maps.

You might assume that the House map is heavily gerrymandered toward Republicans, especially after Republicans enacted aggressive gerrymanders in critical states like Texas and Florida. Many of you might even presume that this gerrymandering means that the House isn’t merely likely to go to the Republicans, but that it’s also out of reach for Democrats under any realistic circumstances.

In reality, Republicans do have a structural edge in the House, but it isn’t anything near insurmountable for the Democrats. By some measures, this is the fairest House map of the last 40 years......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Only a few mins here. Ran out of ammo and backed off south. Am a bit traumatized and need some sleep. I have no idea what is going on except we engaged a lot of elements headed to Kreminna. They have to be coming from Lyman and Zarichne. Right now we are in a safe area, it seems.

I have never seen so many dead, soon to be dead, and wounded people in my life. People begging for help, but no way we can help them. We have little to help them with, a small medical kit each, no morphine, and no time to render any kind of useful aid. No idea if they will live or die. You just keep moving.

One guy had obviously stepped on a mine by the side of the road. One leg was gone at mid-thigh, the other one was broken lower down and his foot was backward. He was trying to crawl somewhere on one good knee, trailing flowing blood out of a busted artery. Unless he got help quick, he was gone. He was talking calmly in Russian, saying over-and-over, “I will be home soon mother.”

Christ. You and your guys ok?

Yeah, just tired and mentally warped. At one point, we were running down the side of the road and —— slipped in a pool of blood running into the ditch from a still living Russian laying across the stripe (dead people don’t bleed very fast…only gravity feed), and he slid onto the shoulder and got up cussing with blood all over him. “get me some water, this ****ing **** probably has some kind of fulminating disease.” We almost fell over laughing.

Are we talking hundreds? Were they on foot or vehicles? There’s a video on Twitter somewhere purportedly from west of Kreminna. Actually just audio, nonstop gunfire.

Lots, just us, maybe 140 dead Russians. Like hunting squirrels in a pecan orchard. I have to think Lyman is under our control, but we have no info on that.


We all got split-up into smaller groups, too much contact going on to stay together. here with about 20 guys, trying to make contact with someone to get ammo.

Lot of people on foot, some running down the road, some trying to make their way through the forest to the south of the road. A half-a-dozen Russians came into the woods where we were in a hide to catch our breath and eat, they almost ran into us, but as usual, were moving fast and talking. We cut them down before they knew what was happening. They had little ammo, no med kits, very little food, and no info at all on them except for their phones and some family stuff. Trying to get intel off stiffs here is a very disappointing exercise......
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I came away shaking like a leaf, not scared, just wired and sick of killing people. On the way back —— got in a stream and washed off, and vomited his guts out. I was looking at his eyes and he was seeing things way back home.


How long ago did this happen? Is it still going on?

It is still going on. We had to back out to try to get resupplied. Artillery is going over our heads. We have to try to sleep, get ammo, and get back up there.....