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Member since: Fri Jun 7, 2019, 02:43 PM
Number of posts: 5,376

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Senior US Defense Official: Putin "still has 95 percent of the combat power that he started with"

Russia has launched “nearly 670” missiles since the beginning of their invasion of Ukraine, a senior US defense official told reporters on Tuesday. Almost half of the missiles launched have been fired from Russia, “the other half largely from inside Ukraine,” the official said. “A little bit more than 70” missiles have been fired from Belarus, and “only a half dozen or so” are coming from the Black Sea, the official added.

Putin has “nearly 100 percent” of the combat power that he amassed for this invasion inside of Ukraine and Putin “still has 95 percent of the combat power that he started with,” the official added.

“The combat power available to him if you count his estimated losses just in terms of aircraft and vehicles that are either inoperable or not moving or not available to him, he still has a lot of combat power available,” the official said.
“Very little of the nation of Ukraine is not covered by some sort of Russian surface-to-air missile capability, and they are also conducting offensive air strikes through missiles launched by aircraft as well as by mobile launchers,” the official said. While Russians have more control of the airspace in some parts of the country, “up in the north more than anywhere else,” they don’t have control over the entire country, and the space overall remains contested, the official said.


The reason President Zelensky sounds desperate in his pleas for more assistance is because things simply are that desperate.

Please remember that the heroic Ukrainian armed forces are still fighting a much stronger and better armed opponent.

"Russian forces are likely completing preparations for an assault to seize Kyiv"

Russian forces are engaged in four primary efforts at this time:

Main effort—Kyiv (comprised of three subordinate supporting efforts);
Supporting effort 1—Kharkiv;
Supporting effort 1a—Luhansk Oblast;
Supporting effort 2—Mariupol; and
Supporting effort 3—Kherson and advances westward.
Main effort—Kyiv axis: Russian operations on the Kyiv axis consist of a main effort aimed at encircling the city from the northwest, west, east.

Main effort—Kyiv axis: Russian operations on the Kyiv axis consist of a main effort aimed at encircling the city from the northwest, west, east.

Russian forces are likely completing preparations for an assault to seize Kyiv from the east and west within the next 24-96 hours. The Russians are setting conditions for the attack by concentrating supplies and reinforcements, attempting to advance and stabilize their lines, and attacking the city with air, artillery, and missile fire likely intended both to demoralize and to damage Kyiv’s defenders. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on March 6 that the Russians have started accumulating the resources they would need to storm the capital.[1] The General Staff noted that Ukrainian forces retain a coherent defense of the city at this time.[2]


The heroic Ukrainian armed forces are like a rubber band that is getting stretched to its breaking point.
The reason President Zelensky sounds so desperate in his pleas for more assistance is because things simply are that desperate.

Baltics, in Russia's Shadow, Demand Tougher Stance From West

Source: NY Times

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Demanding assurances that the Baltic States will not become Russia's next battleground, Lithuania's president firmly told America's top diplomat on Monday that warnings to deter Moscow from further aggressions are "no longer enough."
Hours later, Latvia's foreign minister dismally predicted that Russia's invasion of Ukraine would shatter any belief that the region could ever let down its guard against President Vladimir V. Putin. "We have no illusions about Putin's Russia anymore," Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said. "I don't see any good reason to assume Russia might change its policy."

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken is likely to get a similar earful on Tuesday in Estonia as he tries to convince Baltic leaders, who are also part of NATO, that the United States is doing all it can to stop Russia's assault on Ukraine from spreading across Europe -- while remaining careful not to set off a wider war.
But Baltic leaders appear unsatisfied with the level of military support the United States is providing to help deter Russian advances, either to Ukraine directly or to its allies in Europe. Mr. Rinkevics also said international sanctions against Mr. Putin's allies could be toughened, and he called on European states to stop the oil and gas imports from Russia that have become Moscow's economic lifeline.

Russia provides 10 percent of the world's oil and more than a third of the European Union's natural gas. Western sanctions are largely engineered to allow companies in Europe to continue to buy Russian energy, and the White House has resisted more aggressive penalties for fear that they would drive up the price of gasoline and other energy costs for Americans.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/07/world/europe/baltics-russia-ukraine-war-blinken.html

In light of events in Ukraine, the Baltic states apparently no longer feel simply being in NATO is a strong enough deterrent against Russian aggression.

Stocks Plunge, Materials Surge in Latest Turmoil: Markets Wrap

Source: Bloomberg

The turmoil on global financial markets intensified Monday as U.S. stocks plunged the most in 17 months and commodity prices relentlessly powering higher as the fallout from war in Ukraine threatened to the global economy.

The S&P 500 sank almost 3% for its worst day since October 2020, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index dropped 3.7%. Nickel surged 90% to a record on worry over potential shortages, oil settled at the highest in a decade and wheat approached records after a 7% jump. Earlier, the Euro Stoxx 50 and Germany's DAX index closed in bear markets. The spread between two-year and 10-year Treasuries briefly dropped below 20 basis points, a level not seen since March 2020 and a bearish sign for the economy.

Russia's war on Ukraine and the sanctions from U.S. and European allies on Russian assets have sent a jolt through financial markets that were already unsteady after two years of the pandemic and the threat of central banks pulling back on stimulus. Investors have grown leery of owning riskier assets as surging commodity prices exacerbate inflationary pressures that could force policy makers to tamp down growth.

"The longer oil prices and inflation remain elevated -- and thereby threaten an early demise of this economic expansion and bull market -- the more investors will trim their exposure to equities," wrote Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. "Investor uncertainty should elevate the angst."

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-06/stocks-face-oil-risks-amid-talk-of-russia-embargo-markets-wrap

Not good news would be an understatement.

I'm old and live off a modest amount of savings and investments in the market and this is starting to really frighten me.

It is apparent that a protracted war in Ukraine will lead to tens of thousands of civilian deaths in Ukraine and severe economic consequences for Europe and the US. Half measures to end this conflict are simply not good enough.

Pakistani premier hits out at Western envoys' joint letter on Russia

Source: Reuters

ISLAMABAD, March 6 (Reuters) - Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan hit out on Sunday at Islamabad-based Western envoys who last week urged Pakistan to condemn Russia's actions in Ukraine, asking them if they thought Pakistan was their "slave".

The heads of 22 diplomatic missions, including those of European Union member states, released a joint letter on March 1 urging Pakistan to support a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

"What do you think of us? Are we your slaves ... that whatever you say, we will do?" Khan said while addressing a political rally.

In the event, Pakistan, a traditional ally of the West, abstained from voting as the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly reprimanded Russia for invading Ukraine.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/pakistani-premier-hits-out-western-envoys-joint-letter-russia-2022-03-06/

It's helpful to know who your real allies are.

The South Asian country of Pakistan is home to over 212 million people and is the fifth-most populous country in the world.

Pakistan is believed to have a stockpile of approximately 160 warheads, making it the 6th largest nuclear arsenal. Pakistan is actively developing nuclear weapons, and experts project that it may have the 5th largest arsenal by 2025 with 220-250 warheads.

Pakistan has the 17th largest economy in the world based on GDP PPP.

Russian forces increase shelling, Ukraine says

LVIV, Ukraine — Russian forces stepped up their shelling of Ukrainian cities in the center, north and south of the country late Sunday, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich said.

“The latest wave of missile strikes came as darkness fell,” he said on Ukrainian television.
He said the areas that came under heavy shelling include the outskirts of Kyiv, Chernihiv in the north, Mykolaiv in the south, and Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.

Kharkiv officials said the shelling damaged the television tower and heavy artillery was hitting residential areas.
In Chernihiv officials said all regions of the city were coming under missile attack.

Arestovich described a “catastrophic” situation in the Kyiv suburbs of Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin, where efforts to evacuate residents on Sunday failed. He said the government was doing all it could to resume evacuations.


Zelenskyy Says The West's Sanctions On Russia Are Insufficient

Source: Huffington Post

In a video statement Sunday evening, Zelenskyy heaped criticism on Western leaders for not responding to the Russian Defense Ministry’s announcement that it would strike Ukraine’s military-industrial complex, while telling employees of these defense plants not to go to work.

“I didn’t hear even a single world leader react to this,” Zelenskyy said. “The audacity of the aggressor is a clear signal to the West that the sanctions imposed on Russia are not sufficient.”

Zelenskyy called for organizing a “tribunal” to bring to justice those who order and carry out such crimes.
“Think about the sense of impunity of the occupiers that they can announce such planned atrocities,” he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced Sunday that its forces intend to strike Ukraine’s military-industrial complex with what it said were precision weapons.

Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/volodymyr-zelenskyy-west-sanctions-russia-insufficient-ukraine_n_62253c5ee4b02186be2343ef

Blinken says White House discussing prospect of a Russian oil ban as pleas increase

Source: MSN

U.S. leaders showed increasing support for a ban on Russian oil imports on Sunday, indicating what could be a step forward in heeding one of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s pleas, as the invasion of his country continues.

Zelenskyy on Saturday spoke with members of Congress, asking for actions to knee-cap Russia and aid the Ukrainian resistance to Vladimir Putin's attacks. Though White House leaders initially appeared resistant to one of his major asks — sanctions on Russian oil imports — the U.S. secretary of State on Sunday morning struck a less averse tone. He said he spoke with the president and other Cabinet officials on “exactly this subject” the day prior.

“We are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil, while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil on world markets,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “That's a very active discussion as we speak.”

Previously, White House press secretary Jen Psaki had told reporters Friday that the administration was looking at actions to cut U.S. consumption of energy from Moscow, but added that the White House was “very focused on minimizing the impact to families” and expressed concern that a ban could raise gas prices.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/blinken-says-white-house-discussing-prospect-of-a-russian-oil-ban-as-pleas-increase/ar-AAUGQmR

Could someone explain this to me?

I was told by my Senator's office that the US and NATO could not and would not intervene directly to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine because, in their exact words, "it would lead to WWIII".

OK. Many people elsewhere have made the same point. I accept this.

I then asked if we would be providing as much military support as possible and would we impose immediate sanctions on the Russian economy, since those take time to become effective.

I was told in no uncertain terms that that was exactly what the US position is.

So, could someone explain to me why as Russia is indiscriminately shelling Ukraine's cities and killing thousands of civilians, why as the heroic Ukrainian military is fighting for the life of their country, why as President Zelensky is issuing more and more desperate pleas for increased support why are we now still only "discussing prospect of a Russian oil ban"?

Is the situation in Ukraine not yet dire enough that, as the article stated, "White House press secretary Jen Psaki had told reporters Friday that the administration was looking at actions to cut U.S. consumption of energy from Moscow, but added that the White House was “very focused on minimizing the impact to families” and expressed concern that a ban could raise gas prices."

Gas prices?!? That's our concern right now? This far into the invasion?

Are the 169,000 heroic members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces getting the credit they deserve?

Honestly, I don't think so.

There are more articles asking "Why hasn't Russia conquered Ukraine yet? It's been a week after all..." than there have been about the heroic resistance and extreme professionalism of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Sure, we have the puff pieces that might be good for morale about plucky farmers stealing artillery with their tractors but what I am not reading so much about is the bravery and dedication of the officers and enlisted personnel that have fought incredibly skillfully on the front lines across Ukraine.

I would like to see more attention focused on them and hear reporting on their stories in depth, not just in a passing line about "stiffer than expected resistance". And I don't mean made up feel good bullshit that turned out to be footage from a video game.

There are literally tens of thousands of heroes in Ukrainian uniform fighting against much better armed professional soldiers, not just "raw conscripts", and their achievements should be highlighted much much more.

I believe in a desire to mock and denigrate the Russian invaders that the reporting is also inadvertently downplaying the valor and sacrifice of the Ukrainian military.

In our honest elation at the level of courage being displayed in Ukraine, can we take the sacrifices being made by the professional military, the number one target of the Russian invaders, more seriously and not just laugh and guffaw about bungled Russian this and plucky Ukrainian grandmothers that?

Sorry if I have expressed this poorly and have failed to get my point made clearly, but this is something I feel strongly about.

Is the Russian invasion stalled? Are the heroic Ukrainian people winning?

Russia continued to make advances on Saturday in southeastern Ukraine, pushing into the areas around Melitopol and continuing to move toward Mykolaiv, another strategic port city on the Black Sea.

On Friday Russia attacked the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, and Ukrainian officials said the plant is now under control of Russian forces.

Russian forces... are now reportedly pushing toward the South Ukraine nuclear power plant. These are Ukraine’s two largest nuclear power plants, together responsible for one-third of Ukraine’s electricity generation.

Ukraine has a total of four nuclear power plants consisting of 15 reactors that generate roughly 50 percent of the country’s electricity. After nuclear power, coal is the largest source of electricity generated in the country. Many of Ukraine’s coal-fired power plants lie in the Donbas region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.
Control over Ukraine’s electricity generation would give Russian forces another tool in their effort to gain control of the country.


Apparently, the Russian invasion is on going and relentless. The 169,000 strong Ukrainian ground forces have been fighting heroically but are being ground down.

This is just day 9 of the Russian invasion so perhaps it's informative to remember that it took the US 19 days to capture Baghdad in the Iraq War. What will the situation on the ground be in the Ukraine in ten more days? Or twenty?

Putin badly miscalculated the amount of resistance the Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian people would put up, but that does not mean that Ukraine has repelled the Russians or even stopped the invasion.

President Zelensky has been making daily and sometimes hourly statements on how desperate the situation actually is for Ukraine.

I believe him whole heartedly and he's not anywhere as optimistic as some posters here on DU are.

Ukraine needs more help now, the entire country is in danger.

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