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bluewater

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

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Mariupol evacuation corridors 'in the hands of the occupiers' as mayor tells everyone to leave

Source: CNN

Ukrainian forces "continue to maintain circular defense" in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the Ukrainian general staff said early Tuesday, even as Russian forces consolidated control around the southeastern port city.

On Monday, the mayor of Mariupol said that evacuation corridors had come largely under the control of Russian forces, after weeks of bombardment left the city in pieces, killed an unknown number of civilians and forced hundreds of thousands of residents from their homes.
"Not everything is in our power," said Mayor Vadym Boichenko, in a live television interview. "Unfortunately, we are in the hands of the occupiers today."

We need a complete evacuation from Mariupol," Boichenko said. "Our most important mission today is to save every life ... And there are hopes that we will succeed. For example, there are 26 buses that have to go to Mariupol to evacuate, but unfortunately, they haven't received permission to move," he said.

"And this game is played every day. A cynical game like, 'Yes, we are ready. You can drive there,' but in fact it does not work," he said. "Our heroic drivers under the fire are trying to reach the places where Mariupol residents can be picked up, and they are waiting with the hope that they will have such an opportunity. But the Russian Federation has been playing with us since day one."


Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/28/europe/mariupol-mayor-ukraine-occupiers-intl/index.html




Local resident Valentina Demura, 70, next to the building where her apartment was destroyed in Mariupol, on March 27.

"You should go back to constantly demoralizing us about Mariupol..."

I am sorry some people feel that way, but I am too shaken to post funny memes about this war.


There are now 3.8 million Ukrainian refugees in the E.U.

Source: Washington Post

About 3.8 million Ukrainians have sought refuge in the European Union since the Russian invasion, half of whom are children, though the pace of new arrivals is slowing, E.U. officials said.

The latest update on the largest refugee crisis since World War II came after E.U. ministers met in Brussels on Monday to discuss the bloc’s response.

The majority of those fleeing the Russian invasion have traveled to neighboring countries, especially Poland, though about 1 million have traveled elsewhere in the bloc, Ylva Johansson, the E.U.'s commissioner for home affairs, said at a news conference in Brussels on Monday. The pace of new arrivals is down to about 40,000 a day from a peak of 100,000 a day, she said.

The E.U., which has been less-than-welcoming to previous waves of refugees, is offering those fleeing Ukraine something called “temporary protection,” which will allow them to live, work and access social services across the bloc. Johansson said about 800,000 people have registered for it, noting that the E.U. is working on a system to better track and register new arrivals.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/03/28/russia-ukraine-war-news-putin-live-updates/#link-75QCP3AKWJAKZASCAB2U7CDU44



Because of the brutal Russian invasion, Ukraine's GDP is expected to drop 55% this year:


The Ukrainian government estimated on Monday the economic losses from the Russian invasion, which has been underway for just over one month, at nearly $565 billion (€515 billion)

Ukraine’s economy minister, Yulia Svyrydenko, said on Facebook that the estimate includes immediate damage plus expected losses in trade and economic activity.

"It should be noted that every day the numbers change and unfortunately they are increasing," said Svyrydenko, who is also a deputy prime minister. Damage to public and private property -- with Russian forces resorting to fierce bombardments that have levelled some cities as their invasion has stalled -- was the biggest element.

Svyrydenko estimated gross domestic product in 2022 would be down by $112 billion (€102 billion), which would be a drop of more than 55 percent of Ukraine's economic activity last year.

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20220328-live-new-round-of-ukraine-russia-talks-expected-in-turkey-catastrophic-situation-in-mariupol




Ukraine is not rich, Ukraine was the third poorest country in Europe in 2021

15 poorest countries in Europe with the lowest GDP per capita

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita reflects the average wealth of each resident in a given country. It is obtained by dividing the country's gross domestic product, adjusted by inflation, by the total population. Here is a ranking of European countries by wealth.

1. Kosovo - GDP per capita $10,766
2. Moldova - GDP per capita $12,325
3. Ukraine - GDP per capita $12,377
...
11. Russia - GDP per capita $26,456

https://www.msn.com/en-xl/africa/other/15-poorest-countries-in-europe-with-the-lowest-gdp-in-2021/ar-AAPplFU


so much for twitter threads claiming the opposite as a reliable news source...



But more on point, because of the brutal Russian invasion, Ukraine's GDP is expected to drop 55% this year:


The Ukrainian government estimated on Monday the economic losses from the Russian invasion, which has been underway for just over one month, at nearly $565 billion (€515 billion)

Ukraine’s economy minister, Yulia Svyrydenko, said on Facebook that the estimate includes immediate damage plus expected losses in trade and economic activity.

"It should be noted that every day the numbers change and unfortunately they are increasing," said Svyrydenko, who is also a deputy prime minister. Damage to public and private property -- with Russian forces resorting to fierce bombardments that have levelled some cities as their invasion has stalled -- was the biggest element.

Svyrydenko estimated gross domestic product in 2022 would be down by $112 billion (€102 billion), which would be a drop of more than 55 percent of Ukraine's economic activity last year.

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20220328-live-new-round-of-ukraine-russia-talks-expected-in-turkey-catastrophic-situation-in-mariupol


Alexander Vindman on Vladimir Putin and sending jets to Ukraine

MARCH 23, 2022

Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, 46, served in the U.S. Army and as director of European and Russian affairs for the National Security Council during the Trump administration. He testified in the first impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump. He lives in Virginia with his wife and children. This interview was conducted March 8 and has been edited for clarity and length.



So you don’t buy into Putin’s warnings that that would release catastrophic consequences?

He is very effective at preying on hopes and fears. For a long time, he preyed on our hopes that we could have a normal relationship, that the largest country in the world, by territory, was going to be a partner, whether with regards to climate change or terrorism. With very little progress. We put all our eggs on the promise, the hope, of a good relationship instead of committing to relationships that actually could bear fruit.

He’s also been very effective at preying on our fears. Extremely effective. This idea that somehow he’s a madman or somehow we’re lurching toward nuclear war — why would he pick a fight with a much, much more capable adversary if he’s already bogged down in Ukraine? And it is an absurd notion that sending over Cold War-era aircraft in NATO’s inventory to Ukraine to pilot is going to precipitate World War III. On what basis would Putin want to increase the prospects of mutually assured destruction? None. The guy loves himself. He sits a football field away from his closest allies and closest advisers because he doesn’t want to get sick. He is not suicidal. For him, this is all rational, based on the fact that he got away with things for so long.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2022/03/23/ukraine-russia-putin-war-alexander-vindman/?itid=hp_magazine


Lt. Col. Vindman has a proven track record of being honest, informed, and insightful.

Much more of this interview at the link.





Why has the Crimean Bridge, also called the Kerch Strait Bridge, not been blown up?

The Crimean Bridge, also called the Kerch Strait Bridge, or colloquially the Kerch Bridge, is a pair of Russian-constructed parallel bridges, spanning the Strait of Kerch between the Taman Peninsula of Krasnodar Krai and the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea.[d] The bridge complex provides for both road and rail traffic, and has a length of 19 km (11.8 mi),[e] making it the longest bridge Russia has ever built,[17][f] and the longest bridge in Europe.[18][15][19]

Having been considered since at least 1903, planning for the bridge began in 2014, after the Russian annexation of Crimea. In January 2015, the multibillion-dollar contract for the construction of the bridge was awarded to Arkady Rotenberg's Stroygazmontazh. Construction of the bridge commenced in February 2016;[a] the road bridge was inaugurated by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 15 May 2018 and opened for non-truck cars on 16 May and for trucks on 1 October.[7][20] The rail bridge was inaugurated on 23 December 2019 and the first scheduled passenger train crossed the bridge on 25 December 2019. The bridge was opened for freight trains on 30 June 2020. A record traffic was recorded on 15 August 2020 and amounted to 36,393 cars.[21]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_Bridge






This bridge is the main, no - make that the ONLY, railroad and highway link connecting Russia and Crimea.

Its strategic importance in conveying troops, equipment and supplies into Crimea and then on to southern Ukraine is simply immense.

Why is it still standing?

Surely, Russian air and missile defenses can't possibly be so impenetrable that this bridge cannot be destroyed, right?!?

EDIT ADDED:
A poster down thread suggested that this bridge might be out of range of Ukrainian jets or missiles.
If that is the case, does that mean we, the US and NATO, are afraid to give Ukraine missiles that _could_ reach this vital link?

Is it the case that we are afraid to give Ukraine missiles that would allow them to strike Russia itself? Hence they only get anti-tank weapons and short range stinger anti-aircraft missiles?

That said, isn't Crimea internationally recognized as sovereign Ukrainian territory? So, at least a portion of this bridge could be attacked since it indeed inside Ukraine, right?







Russia reasserts right to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Source: The Guardian

The Kremlin again raised the spectre of the use of nuclear weapons in the war with Ukraine as Russian forces struggled to hold a key city in the south the country.

Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president who is deputy chairman of the country's security council, said Moscow could strike against an enemy that only used conventional weapons while Vladimir Putin's defence minster claimed nuclear "readiness" was a priority.

The comments on Saturday prompted Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in an appearance by video link at Qatar's Doha Forum to warn that Moscow was a direct threat to the world.
"Russia is deliberating bragging they can destroy with nuclear weapons, not only a certain country but the entire planet."

Russia has approximately 6,000 nuclear warheads - the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. In an interview on Saturday, Medvedev said Russia's nuclear doctrine did not require an enemy state to use such weapons first.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/mar/26/russia-ukraine-war-zelenskiy-hails-powerful-blows-by-ukrainian-army-as-russia-hints-at-scaling-back-offensive-live?filterKeyEvents=false&page=with:block-623f02a38f08d422c5d5de58#block-623f02a38f08d42



As Putin loses even more men and equipment in his brutal invasion of Ukraine, I feel it is more and more likely that he will lash out and escalate to using tactical nuclear weapons as he falls into the "sunk cost fallacy" trap. Like a gambler on a massive losing streak, I feel Putin will keep "doubling down" and ultimately resort to the most horrific weaponry in his arsenal.

Because of the "sunk cost" fallacy, I feel confronting Putin as soon as possible with the direct over whelming military superiority of the US and NATO would actually lessen the chance of nuclear escalation and save lives in the process by halting Russia's attack on civilians and cities.

It would increase the possibility that elements inside the Russian government and military would act to remove Putin from power before Russian losses reached a point of no-return.

Russian forces secure a partial land corridor, Ukrainian officials say, but have had few recent terr

Source: NY Times

Russian forces secure a partial land corridor, Ukrainian officials say, but have had few recent territorial gains.

Even as Ukraine’s military said on Friday that Russian forces had secured a partial land corridor from Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, analysts say there has been little in the way of large scale territorial gains elsewhere in Ukraine in recent days.

About a month into Russia’s invasion, the Ukrainian government and military directly said for the first time that its intelligence showed the Kremlin believed the invasion had entered a new “protracted” phase, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

Since the war began, Moscow has considered the securing of a land corridor from Russia to the Crimean Peninsula a key strategic aim. Ukraine’s defense ministry said in a statement that Russian forces had been “partially successful” in securing enough territory around the besieged southern port city of Mariupol to move troops and supplies between Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and Russia.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/03/25/world/ukraine-russia-war#russian-forces-secure-a-partial-land-corridor-ukrainian-officials-say-but-have-had-few-recent-territorial-gains



This is a significant admission from the Ukrainian officials.

If the besieged city of Mariupol is taken by the Russian invaders, which experts expect it will in the coming weeks, this land corridor to Crimea would be significantly strengthened.

45% of Ukraine population worry about accessing food: UN

Source: Anadolu Post (Turkey)

As Russia's war on Ukraine enters its second month, the UN World Food Program said Friday it estimates that 45% of the people in Ukraine are worried about finding enough food to eat.

“Food is one of the top three concerns, along with safety and fuel for transportation,” WFP spokesman Tomson Phiri said at a UN news conference. “The country’s food supply chain is broken. The existing systems that feed the tens of millions trapped inside Ukraine are falling apart: trucks and trains destroyed, airports bombed, bridges fallen, supermarkets emptied, and warehouses drained.”

He said the WFP is deeply concerned that families in embattled areas, especially Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, have even greater problems finding food. “Lack of access to conflict-hit areas and a lack of humanitarian partners on the ground are the biggest obstacles to providing life-saving assistance to families inside Ukraine,” Phiri noted.

“The encircled city of Mariupol is running out of its last reserves of food and water.”



Read more: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/russia-ukraine-war/45-of-ukraine-population-worry-about-accessing-food-un/2546044



The UN food agency says that one out of five people in Ukraine are already short on food and are forced to use coping strategies like reducing the size and number of meals and eating less food.

Adults are not eating for days so children can have food.

Zelensky chief of staff: Ukraine 'very disappointed' in NATO summit results

Source: The Hill

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said Thursday the country has been let down by the emergency NATO summit in Brussels over the Russian invasion.

"We are very disappointed," Yermak said during a video call with the Atlantic Council, The Washington Post reported. "We expected more bravery. We expected some bold decisions."

Ukraine was hoping NATO would agree to a no-fly zone over Ukraine or supply the country with fighter jets, Yermak said, two moves that President Biden has explicitly ruled out as potentially drawing the U.S. into a bigger fight with Russia.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/international/599786-zelensky-chief-of-staff-ukraine-very-disappointed-in-nato-summit-results



Why would Ukraine be disappointed in NATO after billions of dollars of arms and supplies have been sent in the last month and even more are on the way?

Well, perhaps because the lives of the Ukrainian Armed forces are not an unlimited resource?

Perhaps because 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries?

Perhaps because another 6.5 million civilans have been forced from their homes inside Ukraine?

Perhaps because constant inhumane shelling by the Russian invaders is reducing Ukraine's cities to rubble?

In short, perhaps because the US and NATO response is insufficient compared to the desperate plight of the Ukrainian people and nation, well, at least from the perspective of President Zelensky and the Ukrainian government.

Russia says it has gained control of Ukrainian city Izyum

Source: The Hill

The Russian military has claimed to have taken control of the Ukrainian city of Izyum, according to reports from Moscow-controlled media outlet RIA-Novosti, reports CNN.
https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-03-24-22/h_06b96d507a50cd49edfa54b51e04a671

Ukraine, however, has denied this claim, and Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi's adviser Lyudmyla Dolhonovska told CNN that the battle against Russian invasion and takeover of Izyum is "still going on."

Izyum lies on a main road between Kharkiv and the Russian separatists areas of Luhansk and Donetsk in the east of Ukraine, notes CNN.
The city has had a blockade on communication since intense battles for control of the city began last week.

The first documented images and videos of the damage in the battle for Izyum have begun to be released, depicting shelled buildings, bodies left out in the street and mass destruction, CNN reported.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/international/russia/599713-russia-claims-to-have-gained-control-of-ukrainian-city-izyum



This is part of the Russian invaders' attempt to trap an estimated 40% of Ukraina Armed Forces in a pincer movement in eastern Ukraine.

Experts say the Ukrainian army could still withdraw westward to avoid encirclement but conceding territory in the east.

Their plan "B" is besieging Ukraine's major cities to tie up troops while pressing this offensive in eastern Ukraine that is more readily resupplied.

As for the actual state of the battle the OP also provides a link to CNN's report which in turn provides links on the current situation:

[div class"excerpt"]First images emerging from Izyum show widespread destruction and bodies in the streets
From CNN's Paul P. Murphy, Celine Alkhaldi and Josh Pennington

Izyum, an eastern Ukrainian city about 72 miles (116 kilometers) southeast of Kharkiv, has been cut off from nearly all communications since intense battles between Russian and Ukrainian forces broke out there last week.

Now, the first videos and images have emerged from the city.

They show widespread destruction, charred and bombed-out buildings, and bodies left lying in the streets.

CNN has geolocated and verified the authenticity of the videos, which were uploaded to social media on Tuesday. The population of Izyum was around 54,000 people.

Some context: A senior US defense official told CNN earlier Tuesday that Ukrainian armed forces were fighting to knock the Russian military out of the town after the Russians moved in from Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.

https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-03-23-22/h_745f4e75986366a4394693ac7828477f







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