9/4/2022 – War update and commentary

From Jamie Peipon: Kherson is the big topic for speculation today. In the picture, you can see the regional administration building in the city of Kherson. Today, the russian flag came down from above the building; but Ukraine’s armed forces have not made it to the city yet. Pictures have also emerged of what allegedly shows russian forces pillaging the Kherson Art Museum as well. Some russian sources are reporting that troops have withdrawn from the right (northwest) bank of the Dnipro river. They are claiming that several formations remain, but that the majority have already left. Some Ukrainian sources seem to agree with this, while others describe russian forces as “hiding.” This all seems very sudden so there is some suspicion that this may be a trap to lure Ukrainian forces into moving too quickly into the city in a way that overextends them.

Western officials also have expressed opinions on the situation in Kherson. The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, said today that he “’certainly believes the Ukrainians are capable of taking back Kherson and the occupied area of the region to the west of the Dnipro River.” In addition, an unnamed western official (cited by the war correspondent of the Economist) has also weighed in saying that russian commanders are demonstrating “terrible leadership” by leaving leaderless and demoralized soldiers on the right bank to face Ukrainian attacks while the leaders retreat across the Dnipro. The same official offered additional details saying that “the retreat is going to be presented as an evacuation so it won’t be presented as military retreat … when it goes ahead, we expect another uptick in pointed domestic criticism of russia’s national leadership.”

General Sergei Surovikin has only been russia’s commander in Ukraine since October 8th. He has nothing to show for the first weeks of his tenure and is stuck in a pretty difficult spot. He appears to be in a lose-lose situation as his options are either to withdraw troops from Kherson, or he can leave them there and get them killed. This is the result of the russian system of decision making. The president stands at the top and often steps in to publicly make important decisions. But if something is not going well, he has to blame it on someone just below him rather than taking responsibility himself. The dictator can never take responsibility, because it is unfathomable that he could ever appear weak or wrong. He is basically a con artist who must always appear in control. Projecting confidence is practically the most important factor for maintaining support. Eventually, though, you start losing your best people when they have to keep taking all the falls. Some analysts are saying that this decision-making process is what might finally topple the current regime. Dictator putin stands at the top of the pyramid for the military, economy, and every other important sector in the country. If he eventually becomes overwhelmed by the sheer volume of fires that he has to put out, he may begin to lose the confidence of the people around him which could require him to take fairly drastic measures. This could include the possibility of naming a replacement and fading towards the background. That person would be the ultimate “fall guy,” but it would also be the beginning of the end for putin.

Lastly, I wrote yesterday about the enormous fundraiser for the 50 British armored personnel carriers. Well… that fundraiser closed in less than 36 hours having raised over $6 million which was enough for 60 of those Spartan APCs. That’s a tempo of almost $50 donated per second from the moment they started… and this is after eight months of everyone giving all they’ve got to the war effort. Ukraine will not be worn down.

“Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
for I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it
on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
do not depart from its marketplace.”

One response to “9/4/2022 – War update and commentary”

  1. We say, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Proverbs says, “Pride comes before a fall.” Jesus says, “He who exalts himself will be humbled.” That’s a lot of wisdom which will come true in God’s timing!


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