12/22/2022 – War update and commentary: Zelenskyy thanks US in DC

From Jamie Peipon (Day 300): Lot’s going on in Washington today, but here’s another picture from Bakhmut. As Zelenskyy said in his speech tonight, “last year, 70,000 people lived here in Bakhmut, in this city, and now only a few civilians stay. Every inch of that land is soaked in blood; roaring guns sound every hour.” These are a couple of those civilians who are taking this little tree home as they prepare to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. Hope springs eternal.

The kremlin seemed mildly outraged by this visit. Dmitriy Peskov, the kermlin’s spokesman, said that nothing good could come from Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington and that russia “saw no chance of peace talks with Kyiv.” He also added that this trip would cause the conflict to deepen and could backfire on Kyiv. He said that the expanding range of weapons that are being supplied “does not bode well for Ukraine.” It is hard to believe that anyone can take these guys seriously when their words are so far removed from reality.

I’ve written several times about guys online who monitor every single piece of equipment lost from both sides by geolocating video footage posted to a variety of social media platforms and visually confirming the model of each unit lost. They can’t count every single loss, but only the losses for which they can find visual confirmation so their numbers are necessarily incomplete. But even by their visually-confirmed numbers, russia has lost over 40% of the tanks it is claimed to have in active service. Other types of equipment have also been significantly reduced. The fact that russia refuses to withdraw in the face of these losses underscores how deeply they believe that NATO is a defensive alliance that has no interest in attacking them despite their talking points to the contrary. If they truly believed NATO was an existential threat to their existence and was hungry to claim russian land, they would leave tanks (and missiles, and planes, etc.) in reserve.

Encouragingly, Zelenskyy was greeted with a standing ovation from the whole Congress. At multiple times throughout his speech, the Congress would rise again to their feet in supportive applause. There were those who were less enthusiastic, but they were the vast minority. This seems to indicate to me that there is widespread, bipartisan support which should be encouraging to Ukrainians. That said, a new Congress begins its work in the new year, and it will be interesting to see how supportive they will be.

The overall tone of the speech was one of thankfulness. Zelenskyy repeatedly expressed his thanks to the executive and legislative branches of government as well as to both parties. He thanked every single American family. He thanked cities, and citizens, and those who have welcomed and helped Ukrainians, and those who flew Ukrainian flags, and all those who acted to help Ukraine. By my count, he said “thanks” at least nineteen times in a 25-minute speech.

“Forth today the Conqu’ror goeth,
who the foe, sin and woe,
death and hell, o’erthroweth.
God is man, man to deliver;
his dear Son now is one
with our blood forever.”

2 responses to “12/22/2022 – War update and commentary: Zelenskyy thanks US in DC”

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