From Jamie Peipon: In the picture, you can see a small area outside the city of Bakhmut in the eastern part of Ukraine. These places are literally being wiped off the face of the earth. You can see that the buildings are at worst: flattened, and at best: entirely unlivable. But you can also see that even the surrounding fields are scarred with the black pockmarks that are the result of incessant shelling. Nothing is surviving that. Ukraine is still significantly “outgunned” by russia across most of the front lines. Those black pits are indicative of just how much artillery firepower russia has. They have so many shells that they can just keep firing them practically indiscriminately. Ukraine, on the other hand, does not have that luxury for multiple reasons. Firstly, because of their love for their own people and land, and secondly, because of the nature and amount of ammunition they have, Ukraine is focused on precision strikes. Nevertheless, Ukraine has still been more effective.
There have been what appear to be very early reports about a new Ukrainian push. The Kreminna-Svatove front has been far more active than usual and some of the sources are saying things like, “I can’t say more, but something is happening.” As always, we have to wait to see what might materialize.
I wrote yesterday about the mail bomb terrorist attacks in Spain. Other packages were received today. Ukrainian embassies in Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, and Poland, as well as consulates in Naples and Krakow received packages that were soaked with blood and contained animal eyeballs and other body parts. The content is foul, and the implicit threat is evil enough. Add to that the fact that whoever this was is willing to mutilate animals in order to send these packages. “Coincidentally,” animal protection groups in Astrakhan, russia (located about 300 miles from the border with Ukraine) uncovered sixty mutilated dogs, missing various body parts and with their eyes gouged out. It is not really possible to directly connect the events, but if that isn’t where these packages originated, it is quite a coincidence. Yet… nothing in this paragraph compares with the atrocities committed against actual human beings throughout Ukraine.
Lastly, on the weapons front, the US recently announced a contract for producing new NASAMS (anti-aircraft platforms) for Ukraine. Production is supposed to take close to 24 months for all of the promised units which is good news for long-term support, but a tough pill to swallow when air defense is so critical right now. In a surprising turn of events, the US is working with the manufacturer and two countries (Qatar and Oman) who have just received their previously-ordered NASAMS to try and get them to deliver their NASAMS directly to Ukraine and then having the manufacturer backfill the units to the donating countries. This would get these systems in place months, if not years, faster than they would arrive otherwise.
“They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves.
My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!”