9/30/2022 – War update and commentary

From Jamie Peipon: Yesterday there were conflicting reports about whether putin would make any announcements about the results of the votes in Ukraine for fear that announcing a “victory” during the civil unrest caused by the mobilization was not quite the clear-cut PR triumph they were hoping for. But, as you can see in the picture above, russia is insistent on emphasizing the “dumb” in “referendum.” In that picture, you can see a stage that is being hastily constructed on Red Square in Moscow. It reads: “Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhe, Kherson – RUSSIA!” It seems that they are preparing a festive announcement for tomorrow afternoon. I do wonder if there will be any men of mobilization age in attendance. Will there be a recruitment station ready to take the enthusiastic supporters of the annexation off to war in Ukraine? In any case, putin apparently attends to announce that these Ukrainian regions are “officially” part of the russian federation tomorrow afternoon. I count at least four problems with this: 1. Donetsk is Ukraine. 2. Luhansk is Ukraine. 3. Zaporizhzhe is Ukraine. 4. Kherson is Ukraine.

The most ridiculous of the referenda took place in Zaporizhzhe. This oblast is not even close to being fully occupied by russia. russia doesn’t even claim that they do. They don’t even control the capital city of that region. And yet, they’ve held a referendum (at gun point… in the area they control) and have declared it to be russian territory. With that strategy, russia could hold a vote tomorrow in Brighton Beach and declare the state of New York part of russia, too.

However, the point of the referenda is not really to be reasonable. Rather, it is to clothe a WW2-level land grab in lawful, democratic garb. Eight years ago, the world believed that the referendum in Crimea was a sham. But over the course of eight years, I’ve heard lots of people start looking back on those events as if maybe it really was the will of the people in Crimea. It wasn’t and it isn’t.

In better news, Ukraine is tightening the noose around Lyman. They have been methodically taking ground around this city and, functionally, Ukraine has the city surrounded. There is one path out of the city for the russians, but Ukraine has that road dialed in and there is practically no chance for them to escape. Even russian military sources are saying that the battle of Lyman has reached a “critical point.” There are apparently around 3000 russian soldiers in the Lyman pocket and they will either be destroyed or they will have to surrender. Many believe that the pocket will finally collapse tonight or tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon would just be too perfect because, of course, it might put a bit of a damper on the “annexation celebration” that russia has planned.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation
and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you.”

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