10/4/2022 – War update and commentary

From Jamie Peipon: For most of the month of March, Dasha and I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) go to sleep until the sun came up in Kyiv. Lately, we haven’t been going to sleep until we see how many cities Ukraine has liberated. Yesterday and today, Ukraine was again successful in their counteroffensive maneuvers. This time, the largest swath of land from which the occupiers were cast out was in the northeastern part of the Kherson oblast. Last night there were rumors that russia’s defenses there had completely collapsed. There was panic on russian social media. It got bad enough that russian forces were actually requesting air support on social media. Now… I’m no military expert… but it seems to me that communicating that need via a channel that I can read from about 6,000 miles away is probably not the best way to run a combined arms operation.

What happened last night and into today was significant but not the total rout we might have hoped for. At one point, the fleeing russians blew up a bridge that finally slowed down their pursuers in the south. But Ukraine has not been idle in the east as they’ve pushed on, it seems, towards the next russian defensive line and are moving toward Svatove. Once there, and by most accounts they’re close, the section of the border that is farthest to the east will be less than 100 miles away… in Mississippi terms, that’s less than the drive from Jackson to Starkville. What you can see in the picture above is that it can still be challenging to chase the occupiers down. The picture is the view through the windshield of a Ukrainian truck, following another Ukrainian truck through a minefield. There is a narrow area through which they can drive, but one wrong move and they won’t be driving any further.

There has been talk of the active fighting freezing, both literally and figuratively, as winter sets in. It is worth consideration because winter’s onslaught in Ukraine is undefeated. Overnight low temperatures are already in the 40s. However, it is also good to remember that this invasion started in February, which is still very much winter in Ukraine. The high temperature on February 24th was only 39 degrees and the fighting was about as hot as it could be at that point. I think that russia is hoping for an operational freeze more than anyone at this point, hopefully Ukraine can continue to successfully operate as the temperatures drop.

Back in the early days, I wrote about babushkas taking out russian drones by lobbing jars of pickles in their general direction. Now Ukraine is continuing to press the Biden administration for the provision of long-range ATACMS surface-to-surface missiles. As I’ve written before, these missiles are fired by the HIMARS equipment that has already been provided to Ukraine. The difference is that the ATACMS missiles have a longer range and would put bring some very juicy targets into the crosshairs. Apparently, the US has been concerned about them being used on targets in russia. In order to mitigate that concern, Ukraine is now reportedly offering the United States “full and ongoing visibility” of their list of targets in exchange for the ammunition. Essentially, this would give the US veto power when it comes to using these missiles.

The president/war criminal of the kremlin is set to celebrate his 70th birthday on Friday. Some in the west have started talking today about how he just cannot accept defeat and are trying to come up with an “off ramp” for him. I think the off ramp already exists: leave Ukraine and the war is over. Interestingly, it seems like there would be public support for that in russia. According to a recent poll, almost 60% said they would support putin if he decided to attack Kyiv again… however, 75% said they would support the president if he withdrew the soldiers and just ended the “special military operation” today. Another question that seems worthy of consideration is to ask why it is that putin cannot accept defeat, but Zelenskyy can? Surely there has been no ruler in history who actively fights while being more than willing to accept defeat. putin has earned a living by picking fights and waiting until he is offered an advantageous off ramp. Ukraine does not intend to keep feeding into this toxic relational system that putin has developed.

“Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
our belly clings to the ground.
Rise up; come to our help!
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!”

One response to “10/4/2022 – War update and commentary”

  1. Dear Jamie,
    That is great loving support of you and Dasha to stay awake until the sun comes up in Kyiv! I cannot imagine the pain of being so far from home during this horrific war. But you both are still there with your prayers and dedication! Especially, with helping with driving and Crates for Ukraine and these amazing updates on the war! Thanks so much!


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