From Jamie Peipon: I’ve been writing more and more frequently about Ukraine’s battlefield successes, but it is important to remember that that success comes at a very high price. In addition, the russian atrocities continue. In the picture above you can see what is left from a residential building in the city of Zaporizhzhe. This city is under Ukrainian control but is also the central city of one of the four regions about which putin signed a meaningless paper saying they belong to him. Apparently, in putin’s mind (which is a dangerous place into which to wander for speculation) that is a russian city. Yet he is bombing residential areas with S-300 surface-to-air rockets that aren’t even designed for the way they’re being used. He’s going out of his way to harm these areas he pretends to care about as he fired seven such rockets at residential buildings in the early hours of the morning while people would be home sleeping.
Tomorrow morning the winner of the Nobel Peace prize will be announced in Norway. Interestingly, Zelenskyy is the current favorite. According to Alfred Nobel’s wishes, the prize is awarded to whomever “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” A leader at war might not be the obvious choice for the “peace prize,” but I think a case can be made that Zelenskyy has done some amazing work for the fraternity between nations. It may not be what Nobel originally imagined, but I think you can also make the case that Zelenskyy has significantly reduced at least one standing army (to the tune of 60,000+ according to Ukraine’s count). While winning the prize would be little more than a slight boost to morale, it would be entertaining for Zelenskyy to win it on putin’s 70th birthday, which also happens to be tomorrow.
Militarily, it appears that Ukraine is clearing the liberated territory and regrouping before pressing on. What is interesting is that they’ve been forcing russia to fight on two major fronts: north and south. Due to the shortage of men, russia is probably doing their best to shift men and equipment back and forth along the fronts, but all they can do is guess. They’re all but guaranteed to guess wrong every time because of the intelligence systems in place that are allowing Ukraine to see each move russia is making. Whenever russia shifts, they end up protecting one at the expense of the other.
Most recent attention has been on the areas around Kherson in southern Ukraine. However, some analysts are beginning to turn back towards the north. The reason being is that the terrain there is very similar to the Kharkiv region through which the Ukrainian armed forces pushed in a matter of days in September. Open source intelligence has seen no indication that the occupiers have been able to reinforce that are in western Luhansk which may mean that it will be ripe for the picking if Ukraine has the manpower, ammo, supplies, and morale to make it happen.
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.”