12/3/2023 – War update and commentary

From Jamie Peipon (Day 312): The aftermath of Ukraine’s successful attack in Makiivka yesterday continues to develop. The physical aftermath can be seen in the picture below. There’s nothing left of the building. Official russian government sources say that there were 63 soldiers killed in the attack. The reason for such a low number could be because they haven’t finished trying to pull victims from the rubble. Or… they could just be lying. Ukrainian official sources and most of the unofficial russian sources agree that the number of casualties is easily in the hundreds. More details emerged today about how there was a great deal of equipment and vehicles on the premises that were also destroyed. Also, a few sources have reported that they had been using the basement of this building to store ammunition. Now… I don’t have any military experience, but it seems to me like sleeping right above a big pile of explosive ordnance is not a great idea. I guess those decisions are better left to the professionals.

Family members of the survivors have taken to social media confirming that hundreds have died. They also are saying that soldiers had is now gone and, in some cases, they are saying without sarcasm that soldiers are walking around in flip flops and nothing else. The russian families are now trying to crowdsource equipment for whoever is left as they are not confident that any other help will be coming their way.

It is hard to say just how influential this type of attack will be on morale. Regardless of the “official” 63 deaths, social media is filled with larger numbers and that is surely what people will be talking about. I imagine that there are not many worse feelings for a soldier than knowing that your enemy can hit so many of you in a place well behind the front where you felt relatively safe. It is a reminder of Ukrainian range, firepower, and resolve to remove all the occupiers from their land.

Meanwhile, russia’s strategy to freeze Europe and cause the price of natural gas to skyrocket has also been a disaster. At the moment, Europe is experiencing the warmest heatwave in recorded history. European natural gas is actually trading at prices less than it was at this time last year. Even Germany, who seemed to be the most dependent on russian energy are reporting that they are no longer importing any natural gas from russia. Their oil imports from russia accounted for 40% and is now below 20% with a plan to phase that out by the end of 2023 as well.

The flipside is that while there have been freezing temperatures in Ukraine, it has not been cold enough for a hard freeze. This is keeping things muddy and is likely limiting any potential Ukrainian counterattacks.

“You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open;
repair its breaches, for it totters.
You have made your people see hard things;
you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.
You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
that they may flee to it from the bow.
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer us!”

2 responses to “12/3/2023 – War update and commentary”

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