From Jamie Peipon: In the last 11 days, russia has attempted about 200 strikes on Ukrainian targets. In particular, their missiles and kamikaze drones are going after power plants and other civilian infrastructure. Frustratingly, Iran is helping them. They have now agreed to sell not only their kamikaze drones, but also additional surface-to-surface missiles. Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, has proposed cutting off diplomatic ties with Iran. Looking to Iran to support their “special military operation” is a clear sign of desperation. The reason russia is resorting to Iran’s help is because no one else is willing to participate openly. Even more disturbing are reports that Iran has sent some of their own to Crimea in order to train russians on the use of their drones. Right now, russia, Belarus, and Iran are all actively and openly participating on the ground in the war against Ukraine. It will be interesting to see what type of consequences there will be.
In the short term, we do know that the NASAMS integrated air defense system is on its way and should arrive in one to three weeks. There will apparently be two NASAMS delivered and each one consists of 8 or more launchers. It seems that Ukraine will soon have one of the most dense air defense systems in the world when these will be combined with the other defense systems making their way there.
The UK’s minister of defense made a hasty plan to visit D.C. today. Another minister in the UK’s defense department said that the conversations Mr. Wallace would be having today were “beyond belief.” No one really knows what that means, but it does make the talks sound urgent.
This afternoon a russia-installed governor in the Kherson region said there is nothing to worry about, everything is fine, and the Ukrainian counteroffensive around Kherson is all a bluff. He was just towing the party line. But the line changed this evening and he had to change his story and say that russia was trying to evacuate the city of Kherson. The new head of russia’s operations in Ukraine also made a speech today in which he said, “Our plans in the city of Kherson will depend on the tactical military situation that is already very uneasy. We will seek to protect the lives of civilians and our service members. We will act in a timely manner, without excluding the most difficult decisions.” I’ve been writing about it for weeks, but it seems like we are still inching ever closer to russian withdrawal from Kherson and a major Ukrainian victory as they will hopefully take back the one major city that russia was able to occupy since February 24th.
Lastly, the Lieutenant Colonel that was in charge of russia’s largely unsuccessful mobilization effort was found dead at his home the far eastern russian town of Primorsky. Police are investigating suspicious circumstances and apparently have not ruled out “suicide” as the cause of death. It certainly is interesting that those close to putin who seem to publicly fail in some task keep turning up dead. russian social media channels are also reporting about a Security Council meeting tomorrow. They suspect that martial law may be declared along with full closure of the russian border. These rumors have been circulating since the beginning of the mobilization, but there seems to be a lot of chatter about it today.
“Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
when the glory of his house increases.
For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
his glory will not go down after him.
For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed
—and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—
his soul will go to the generation of his fathers,
who will never again see light.
Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.”