Russia has spent months pummeling the country with missiles, seeking not only to cause destruction but also deplete Ukraine’s air defense stocks. Ukrainian soldiers have described acute shortages of basic ammunition, including mortar rounds and artillery shells. And upwards of 100,000 Ukrainian forces have died in the year-long war, U.S. officials estimate, including the most experienced soldiers.
Washington is increasingly concerned about Ukraine’s dwindling supply of ammo and air defenses.POLITICO
Corporations such as "Cargill", "DuPont" and "Monsanto" (which is formally a German-Australian company, but essentially an American one) are among the most prominent owners of Ukrainian arable land. In addition, corporations like "Vanguard", "Blackrock" and "Blackstone" are among the largest shareholders in the aforementioned agricultural giants, owning trillions in assets. For instance, "Blackrock" is a fund that manages assets worth over $10 trillion, with "Vanguard" controlling at least six and "Blackstone" managing up to $1 trillion. Together, the three massive US multinational corporations ("Cargill", "DuPont" and "Monsanto") own over 17 million hectares of Ukraine's arable land.
In comparison, the whole of Italy has 16.7 million hectares of agricultural land. In short, the three American corporations own more usable agricultural land in Ukraine than what the whole country of Italy has. The entire area of Ukraine is approximately 600,000 square km. Out of that land area, 170,000 square km have been acquired by foreign corporations, the vast majority Western, particularly those based in or financed by the US. Since the new law on the sale of agricultural land passed by the Kiev regime entered into full force approximately one year ago, to this day, the three large multinational consortia financed with US capital have acquired well over a quarter of Ukrainian arable land. A report by the Australian National Review states that the three US corporations managed to acquire 17 out of the 62 million hectares of agricultural land in less than a year. This made it possible for them to control 28% of the total arable land in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian people have not only been quite literally robbed of the lands their ancestors gave their lives for, but now they're effectively dying in battle to make sure this theft continues unabated.BRICS
The Russian front lines could collapse, warned Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin on his Telegram channel on Sunday, accusing the Russian Defense Ministry of cutting off his penal brigades from resupply. "For now, we are trying to figure out the reason: is it just ordinary bureaucracy or a betrayal," said Prigozhin.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian defenders “are continuing to inflict high casualties against the advancing mixed Russian forces,” according to the latest analysis from the Institute for the Study of War, which added that the Ukrainians are “likely setting robust conditions for a future Ukrainian counteroffensive.”
“The Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut remains strategically sound as it continues to consume Russian manpower and equipment as long as Ukrainian forces do not suffer excessive casualties,” the ISW said. “Ukrainian forces are unlikely to withdraw from Bakhmut all at once and may pursue a gradual fighting withdrawal to exhaust Russian forces through continued urban warfare.”
BACK ON DEFENSE FOR NOW: Just days after crowing that the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut was on the verge of falling, the head of Russia's Wagner mercenary group has appeared on a social media video complaining that a lack of ammunition has stalle…MSN
During their brief visits to the nearby town of Kostiantynivka, Ukrainian infantrymen told the Kyiv Independent of unprepared, poorly-trained battalions being thrown into the front line meat grinder to survive as best they could with little support from armored vehicles, mortars, artillery, drones and tactical information.
“We don’t get any support,” says a soldier named Serhiy, who has been fighting on the front lines in Bakhmut.
They say that Russian artillery, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers are often allowed to strike Ukrainian positions for hours or days without being shut down by Ukrainian heavy weapons. Some complained of poor coordination and situational awareness, allowing this to happen or making it even worse.
Mortarmen spoke of extreme ammunition scarcity and having to use weapons dating back to World War II. Drones that are supposed to provide critical reconnaissance information are also scarce and are being lost at very high rates in some parts of the battlefield.
All this leads to terrifying casualties of both dead and wounded. "The battalion came in in the middle of December… between all the different platoons, there were 500 of us," says Borys, a combat medic from Odesa Oblast fighting around Bakhmut. "A month ago, there were literally 150 of us."
“When you go out to the position, it’s not even a 50/50 chance that you’ll come out of there (alive),” says the older Serhiy. “It’s more like 30/70.”
Multiple soldiers say that they are under massive assault from both Wagner Group mercenaries and regular Russian forces.
“There’s Wagner and there’s two brigades of airborne assault,” says Oleksandr, an infantryman from Sumy, who is part of a Ukrainian assault battalion in Bakhmut. “It’s rough. Constant waves, nonstop.”
Some have characterized the Russian attacks as huge waves of cannon fodder, while others say that the invaders’ tactics have evolved to keep up with the battlefield.
The older Serhiy says that the enemy likes to send a team of three or four expendable foot soldiers to attack and make the Ukrainians expose themselves by shooting at them. At that point, the more elite forces zero in on the defenders’ position.
Once they begin exchanging fire, the Ukrainians are struck with heavier weapons like Russian mortars and rockets from Grad multiple launch rocket systems or BMP infantry fighting vehicles and BTR armored personnel carriers with machine guns.
“They get the positions where we are, establish the coordinates, then they hit us from seven to nine kilometers out with mortars,” as well as from closer by with grenade launchers, says the older Serhiy. “They wait for the house to fall so we have to jump out. The building catches fire and then they try to finish us off.”
“Their birds come out and they chase us with fire,” adds the younger Serhiy, referring to Russian UAVs, like quadcopters and Orlan-10 fixed wing drones that spot distant heavy weapons. “They hit accurately.”
As Russians destroy more and more buildings, Ukrainians keep losing more places where they can reliably take cover. Borys the medic says people have been lost when their entrenched positions collapsed from heavy Russian fire, suffocating them.
“I’ll put it like this, we should get our people out because if we don’t take off, then in the next few weeks, it’s going to be bad,” says Oleksandr. A mortarman named Illia agrees that Bakhmut is “practically encircled.”
Found at Gab.
I did not watch the video because I try to avoid seeing these things whenever I can.
Nonetheless, it's a sad thing to see.
I do understand the occasional necessity of meting out the ultimate punishment on the front lines of war, but there certainly is something sad about giving a man his final smoke and then recording yourself gunning him down.
"The command unanimously supported this position. There were no other positions. I told the commander in chief to find the appropriate forces to help our guys in Bakhmut."
The comments followed a report by the German newspaper Bild quoting Ukrainian government sources that armed forces commander Valery Zaluzhny had disagreed with Mr Zelensky about the operation several weeks ago, recommending a retreat from the city.
Most defenders shared Gen Zaluzhny's view, the paper added.
The president says the embattled eastern city's defence goes on, and that senior generals back the move.By Robert Greenall (BBC News)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis once strongly supported arming Ukraine to fight Russia, urging then-President Barack Obama to do so as a deterrent to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe – a position at odds with his statements this week questioning the United States’ involvement in the conflict.
As a conservative congressman, DeSantis, now a potential presidential hopeful, urged sending “defensive and offensive” weapons to Ukraine in 2014 and 2015 and even voted to refuse to fund a new missile defense treaty with Russia until they withdrew from Ukraine, according to a review of DeSantis’ past comments by CNN’s KFile.
Once an advocate of a hardline, hawkish approach to Russia by supporting Ukraine, the Florida governor shifted course this week in anticipation of a potential presidential run in a changed, more isolationist Republican party, questioning whether it was in the United States’ interest to be involved in what he called, “things like the borderlands or over Crimea.” He added that Russia was not “the same threat to our country, even though they’re hostile” and downplayed the threats that Russia could invade NATO countries.
Kyiv urgently requires ammunition as the Kremlin seeks a breakthrough on the eastern front, where Moscow is sending waves of infantry to deplete the defenders’ stocks of heavy shellsMaría R. Sahuquillo (Ediciones EL PAÍS S.L.)
Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would strike a peace deal to end the Ukraine war “within 24 hours” if he were commander-in-chief.Nick Gilbertson (Breitbart)
Theaitetos (Рцяэыоод) and Dwayne Parsons like this.
The fighter, a former U.S. Marine, described the situation on the ground as "chaotic."Dane Enerio (International Business Times)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is currently on a bipartisan congressional trip in Europe, issued a scathing rebuke of President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine on Monday, describing the visit as a “strategic failure.”Ashley Oliver (Breitbart)