I was all set to start writing last night’s post when the site went down. So I got cleaned up and racked out. But we’re back.
And we begin with a message from the Ukrainian MOD:
Run, Rabbit, Run! pic.twitter.com/7A5eKfWKXm
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) August 31, 2022
Here is President Zelenskyy’s address from earlier this evening. Video below, English transcript after the jump:
Today was a really busy day.
I held a meeting of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. All relevant leaders were there: Zaluzhny, Monastyrskyi, Budanov, Maliuk, Danilov and others. I think it is obvious what issues we considered. The military reported on the situation on the frontline, on the development of the situation.
I will not reveal the details now. I will say only one thing: on behalf of our intelligence, I want to thank all our people who support us very strongly in the south of our country, and especially in Crimea. The intelligence officers are grateful for the information provided and will use it to the maximum. Let the enemies not forget whose peninsula they are staying on. Temporarily staying.
The fighting in Donbas remains fierce – the hot spots in the region have not changed. Our guys are holding their ground. I am grateful to every warrior for resilience!
Today I held a meeting with representatives of the Parliament and the Government of Ukraine regarding the current plans of the state’s work.
I took part in the work of a very respectable forum in the Czech Republic, in Prague, called Forum 2000. It was founded by Václav Havel and is attracting significant attention in Europe.
I addressed the participants of the forum and urged them to strengthen the support of our state in this war and the protection of all of Europe from Russian pressure. In particular, the issue of limiting European visas for citizens of Russia should be finally resolved.
I think it is humiliating for Europe when it is considered as just one big boutique or restaurant. Europe is primarily a territory of values, not primitive consumption. And when the citizens of the state that wants to destroy European values use Europe for their entertainment or shopping, for the vacation of their mistresses while they themselves work for the war or to simply silently wait out the immoral fall of Russia, which is happening right now, this is completely contrary to everything which Europe was united for in general.
The European Union was intended to maintain peace on the continent. Work for peaceful and democratic development of European countries. Europe cannot become morally deaf. And none of the European leaders will be able to justify the fact that the money allegedly doesn’t smell for them with the consequences of COVID.
Because if there is such deafness, if there is such a loss of the ability to distinguish the smell of blood on bills, there will be no Europe, there will be no peaceful Europe.
I am grateful to those Europeans who understand that in wartime it is the duty of any normal person to fight for the aggressor to lose, for the occupation to end, for the Russian military to leave Ukrainian land.
Today I want to thank all our agricultural workers, port workers, diplomats and government officials who returned the status of a real guarantor of food security in African countries to Ukraine.
23 thousand tons of Ukrainian wheat under the UN World Food Programme have already arrived at the port of Djibouti. And they will be delivered to the people of Ethiopia, where there is the worst drought in the last 40 years and millions of people are on the verge of starvation.
We are also restoring the relevant connections with the countries of the Arabian Peninsula – almost 40 thousand tons of wheat are headed to Yemen.
And in general, more than 1.5 million tons of our food have already been exported by sea from the three ports that became operational thanks to the grain export initiative. We are doing everything for the world to feel the importance of Ukraine and be grateful to our people.
I signed the decree on awarding our warriors today. 149 combatants were awarded state awards, 15 of them posthumously. We will always remember our heroes!
Eternal glory to all who fight for Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!
Here is today’s operational update from Ukraine’s MOD:
The operational update regarding the russian invasion on 06.00, on August 31, 2022
Glory to Ukraine! The one hundred eighty-ninths (189) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
In the Volyn, Polissya and Siversky directions, the situation remains unchanged. On the latter, the enemy carried out mortar and artillery shelling in the areas of the settlements of Hai in the Chernihiv oblast and Dmytrivka and Kindrativka in the Sumy oblast.
In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy fired from barrel and jet artillery in the areas of the settlements of Duvanka, Klynove, Sosnivka, Dementiivka, Ruska Lozova, Ruski and Cherkaski Tyshky, Velyki Prohody, Tsirkuny, Petrivka, Stary Saltiv, Peremoha, Shestakove, Bayrak, Nortsivka and Shevelivka .
In the Donetsk direction, the enemy does not stop trying to enter the administrative border of the Donetsk oblast. To date, fierce battles continue in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions, in the Kodema, Zaytseve, Piski, Pervomaiske and Maryinka areas.
In the Slovyansk direction, enemy units continued shelling from barrel artillery and multiple rocket launcher systems near Dolyna, Krasnopilla, Bohorodychne, and Virnopilla. Enemy aircraft struck near Virnopilla.
In the Kramatorsk direction, the enemy shelled the areas of the settlements of Vesele, Berestove, Bohorodychne, Tetyanivka, Zakitne, Mala Piskunivka, Hryhorivka, Verkhnyokamianske, Spirne, and Ivano-Daryivka with mortars, tanks, and rocket artillery. Areas near Spirne and Ivano-Daryivka were hit by enemy aircraft.
In the direction of Bakhmut, shelling from artillery of various types was recorded near Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Soledar, Yakovlivka, Zaytseve, Mayorsk and Kodema. With offensive actions, the enemy tried to advance in the directions of Bakhmut, Vesela Dolyna and Zaitseve, but was unsuccessful and retreated. Attempts are being made to establish control over the settlement of Kodema, fighting continues.
In the Avdiivka direction, the enemy fired mortars, tanks, barrel and rocket artillery near Avdiivka, Opytne, Umanske, Pervomaiske, Staromykhailivka, and New York. With offensive actions, it tried to improve the tactical position in the directions of Krasnohorivka and Maryinka, traditionally suffered losses and retreated.
In the Novopavlivsk direction, enemy fire was recorded near Novomykhailivka, Paraskoviivka, Prechystivka, Zolota Nyva, Velika Novosilka, and Blagodatne.
In the Zaporizhzhia direction, enemy is using tanks, rocket and barrel artillery, the enemy carried out shelling along the contact line. The enemy is regrouping units and units of the 3rd Army Corps on the temporarily occupied territory of the Zaporizhzhia region with the aim of resuming the offensive in the specified direction.
In the South Buh region, the enemy continued shelling military and civilian infrastructure in the areas of the settlements of Oleksandrivka, Lyubomirivka, Novomykolaivka, Lupareve, Chervonyi Yar, Novohryhorivka, Stepove, Pervomaiske, Kiselivka, Partyzanske, Kvitneve, Chervona Dolyna, Kobzartsi, Ternivka, Andriivka, Osokorivka, Olhyne, Ivanivka , Trudolyubivka, Dobryanka, Potyomkine, Knyazivka and Topolyne. The Andriyivka district and the Plotnytske tract were hit by air strikes.
The enemy’s naval group in the waters of the Black and Azov Seas continues to carry out the tasks of reconnaissance and blocking of civilian shipping. The threat of missile strikes on objects and infrastructure elements deep in the territory of Ukraine continues.
The enemy suffers significant losses in manpower.
We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine! Together we will win!
Glory to Ukraine!
Here is the British MOD’s assessment for today:
And here is their updated map for today:
Here is former NAVDEVGRU Squadron Leader Chuck Pfarrer’s most recent assessment and updated map regarding the situation in Kherson. They are from yesterday with the oldest one first:
KHERSON /1345 UTC 30 AUG / Information continues to evolve. Sources indicate that a multi-pronged UKR attack is developing on multiple axes of advance. UKR continues to interdict crossings of the Dnieper, making reinforcement, resupply or withdrawl difficult for RU commanders. pic.twitter.com/vb3ExhZm7y
— Chuck Pfarrer (@ChuckPfarrer) August 30, 2022
CRIMEA IS UKRAINE: @SamRamani2 reports that Zelensky advisor Mykhailo Podolyak has stated that Ukraine is maintaining evacuation routes for civilians wishing to leave Crimea. The Kerch bridge has been clogged with RU colonists departing Crimea. https://t.co/ae5wPowcS0 pic.twitter.com/qvMgSrrJET
— Chuck Pfarrer (@ChuckPfarrer) August 30, 2022
And his latest assessment regarding the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant:
ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR PLANT /30 AUG/ A UN delegation including inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left Vienna on 29 AUG, intending to inspect the RU occupied Nuclear Power Plant at Zaporizhzhia. It's unknown of they will be allowed to enter the facility. pic.twitter.com/veJtdiyU9V
— Chuck Pfarrer (@ChuckPfarrer) August 30, 2022
The Kyiv Independent has more details:
Ukrainian forces continue to target Russian strategic positions in Kherson Oblast amid a new ongoing southern counteroffensive that could be a major turning point in the war.
As the war enters a new phase, the Kremlin’s troops are continuing their onslaught in the eastern Donetsk Oblast, while signs of hope appear at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, occupied by Russia since early March and used by Russian troops to shell Ukrainian-held territories.
Early on Aug. 31, a delegation of 14 experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headed to the Russian-held nuclear plant, embarking on one of the most complicated missions in its history.
But on its way to the Zaporizhzhia plant, Moscow’s forces refused to issue special passes to let the nuclear inspectors through its occupied territories at a checkpoint, BBC Russia reported. Local collaborator Vladimir Rogov said on Telegram that the watchdog’s experts could have reached the plant “safely (and) quickly” if they had headed to the plant through Russia instead.
The details of the IAEA’s expected visit to the Zaporizhzhia plant on Sept. 1 are unclear, including how quickly Russian forces will allow them to pass through checkpoints in their occupied territory and for how long the inspectors plan to be at the industrial site.
The plant, still operated by Ukrainian engineers living in the occupied town of Enerhodar, is in the middle of an active battlefield where frequent shelling has heightened fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
“We have a very, very important task there to perform, to assess the real situation there, to help stabilize the situation as much as we can,” IAEA director general Rafael Grossi said during a briefing before departing Kyiv.
As the long-awaited mission headed to the Zaporizhzhia plant, Russia continued its indiscriminate shelling across Ukraine, with attacks intensifying in the east.
In a convoy of armored S.U.V. vehicles, the IAEA delegation arrived in the afternoon in the Ukrainian-held city of Zaporizhzhia, which lies across the Dnipro River from the plant.
While Grossi said the mission had secured safety guarantees from both the Russian and Ukrainian militaries, its trip was far from safe.
Ukraine had repeatedly called for a permanent IAEA presence at the plant, to which Moscow’s envoy to the agency Mikhail Ulyanov responded by saying that Russia “welcomes this intention.” But it remained unclear when such a mission would begin or whether Russia is fully on board with the idea that could potentially shed light on the alleged abuses to Ukrainian personnel if Kyiv’s accusations prove to be accurate.
As the nuclear inspectors set off for the Zaporizhzhia plant, the exiled mayor of occupied Enerhodar Dmytro Orlov posted photos of the damaged city council administration building after what appears to be Russian shelling on Aug. 31.
In the days leading to the IAEA’s visit, an anonymous senior U.S. military official said that the U.S. believes that Russian forces are firing artillery from positions around and in the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia plant.
After meeting with Grossi to discuss the mission, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he hopes it will help prevent what could be a world-scale catastrophe.
“The risk of a radiation disaster due to Russian actions does not decrease,” Zelensky said on Aug. 30.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that a controlled shutdown of the plant would be the safest option.
More at the link.
Ukraine’s Main Directorate of (Military) Intelligence reports that the Russians have begun a stealth conscription in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
#ГУРинформује ‼️The occupiers plan to strengthen the defense of Crimea with “Muscovites”, “Peterians” and conscripts ▪️As it became known, even the military commissariats of the Moscow and Leningrad regions, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, received instructions regarding the mass conscription of local residents . ▪️ Military units stationed in Crimea will be equipped with “Muscovites” and “St. Petersburgers” drafted during the covert mobilization. ▪️In addition, for the purpose of resupplying the military units of the Russian Federation stationed in the temporarily occupied territory of the Republic of Crimea and strengthening the defense of the Crimean Peninsula, it was decided to send the commander of the Southern Military District, Army General Oleksandr Volodymyrovych DVORNIKOV (the so-called “Syrian Butcher”) to Crimea 1,200 conscripts. ▪️Since combat operations are not being conducted on the territory of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Crimea, these servicemen are not offered to sign a contract, which may indicate cost savings and reluctance to pay all the allowances specified by the legislation of the Russian Federation. 1,200 conscripts will serve and die under the blows of Ukrainian troops and at the hands of “partisans” for a conscript’s salary, which is about 5 thousand rubles (about 82 US dollars). The saving of state Russian funds will also take place due to non-payment of compensation in the event of the death of servicemen, because the participation of conscripts in hostilities is denied by the Russian Federation.
CNN has reported that the US assisted the Ukrainians with their current counteroffensive in Kherson through wargaming.
In the buildup to the current Ukrainian counteroffensive, the US urged Kyiv to the keep the operation limited in both its objectives and its geography to avoid getting overextended and bogged down on multiple fronts, multiple US and western officials and Ukrainian sources tell CNN.
Those discussions involved engaging in “war-gaming” with Kyiv, the sources said — analytical exercises that were intended to help the Ukrainian forces understand what force levels they would need to muster to be successful in different scenarios.
The Ukrainians were initially considering a broader counteroffensive, but narrowed their mission to the south, in the Kherson region, in recent weeks, US and Ukrainian officials said.
Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told CNN that “the United States has routine military-to-military dialogue at multiple levels with Ukraine. We will not comment on the specifics of those engagements. Generally speaking, we provide the Ukrainians with information to help them better understand the threats they face and defend their country against Russian aggression. Ultimately, the Ukrainians are making the final decisions for their operations.”
Officials say they believe there is now increased parity between the Ukrainian and Russian militaries. But western officials have been hesitant to label the nascent Ukrainian operation — which appeared to begin on Monday in the southern province of Kherson — a true “counteroffensive.”
How successful Ukraine is likely to be in regaining lost territory remains an open question, sources familiar with the latest intelligence tell CNN. Ukrainian officials have already said this offensive will likely be a slow operation, and punishingly cold winter weather is coming and then an early spring mud, both of which could force pauses in the fighting.
More at this link.
Ukrainska Pravda is reporting that at the current rate of use, Russia is going to run out of a lot of ammunition and equipment by the end of the year:
KATERYNA TYSHCHENKO — WEDNESDAY, 31 AUGUST 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Russia will face an acute shortage of shells, artillery and armoured vehicles by the end of 2022.
Source: The Insider, Russian non-governmental media outlet.
Quote: “Six months of war has led not only to colossal irreparable losses in manpower, but also to a huge waste of weapons and military equipment for Russia. Guided missiles are already very scarce; shells for artillery and armoured vehicles will be exhausted by the end of the year; and the state of military aviation precludes a full-scale air campaign.
Because of the sanctions, Russia cannot continue full-scale industrial production of weapons and replenish its rapidly depleting stockpiles.”
Details: According to the analysis by The Insider, during six months of aggression against Ukraine, Russia had to use at least 7 million shells, not including the losses at frontline storage sites that resulted from Ukrainian strikes.
“If the intensity of the war remains at its current level, Moscow will face a tangible shell shortage by the end of 2022 and will have to reduce its use of artillery in order to save munitions,” the article says.
More at the link!
The Pentagon Press Secretary, Brig. Gen. Ryder, gave a for attribution on camera briefing this afternoon.
Turning to Ukraine, as you might have seen on Friday, a contract was awarded to Raytheon for the National Advanced Surface-To-Air Missile System, or NASAMS. This $182 million contract is in support of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, specifically, Tranche Three, which tasked the Army with the procurement and delivery of two NASAMS. As other contracts are awarded in support of the USAI, we will be sure to share that information.
And finally, on a scheduling note, the secretary and the chairman will travel to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, next week to host an in-person meeting September 8th of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. This will be the fifth meeting of the UDCG, the third in-person and the second at Ramstein since this group was formed in April. They will join ministers of defense and senior military officials from 50-plus nations around the world to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and continue our close coordination on providing the Ukrainian people with the means necessary to protect themselves against Russia’s unprovoked and illegal aggression.
And with that, I am happy to take your questions. Let’s start with Lita.
Q: Thanks, Pat. So take — so one quick clarification on what you just said. At one point there was, I thought, a suggestion that one of the NASAMS may move more quickly. Does this mean that neither — that no NASAMS yet are in Ukraine, or been sent to Ukraine? Is that just — just want to clarify.
GEN. RYDER: Correct, to my knowledge, those will be manufactured by the contractor and then — and delivered when — when complete.
Q: Okay. Can you give us a — a sense of the Pentagon’s assessment at this point of the counteroffensive that Ukraine has said that is going on, particularly in the south, and whether you’re seeing any significant changes of hands, in any of the property there? And second question: Are there any specific weapon systems or equipment that the U.S. military right now is going to have to go out and reorder because of the PDAs? Is there anything — any shortage anywhere that you all are seeing because of the PDAs?
GEN. RYDER: So — so on the latter piece, certainly, we’ll — we’ll aim to get you any detailed information on that note. But I will say that I’m not aware of any specific shortages at this time. Again, we will continue to maintain an open dialogue as — as early as next week again in terms of what Ukrainian needs are in the fight.
In regards to fighting in Ukraine, what I would tell you is that we are very sensitive to not getting ahead of the Ukrainians. I think you’ve heard some of their public statements, not the least of which is their president talking about the need for operations security. And so certainly from this podium, I’m not going to talk about tactical-level battlefield detail.
What I will say is that we are aware of Ukrainian military operations that have made some forward movement, and in some cases, in the — in the Kherson region. We are aware, in some cases, of Russian units falling back. But again, in order to preserve operation security and to give the Ukrainians the time and the space that they need to conduct their operations, I’m not going to go into that level of detail from the podium.
The last thing I would say on that is that our focus, as you know, remains on working with the Ukrainians and our allies and our partners around the world to ensure that they have what they need to fight against Russia in their homeland. Thanks, Lita.
Next question? Yes, ma’am?
Q: Thank you. Good to see you, sir.
GEN. RYDER: Good to see you.
Q: Yeah. I’m Janne Pak with USA Journal Korea. I have quick questions. Recently, some fighter jet have appeared in the South Korea air defense zone, and Russia and China are conducting joint military exercises now. Also, reporting that North Korea and China are conducting joint exercises. How do you assess these?
GEN. RYDER: Well, certainly, it is the right of all militaries and all nations that have militaries to conduct exercises. Our — our own military obviously conducts exercises. It’s certainly something that we’ll keep an eye on, given the — the nature of those nations, and in — in some cases, the instability that they are seeking to cause in various regions of the world. But again, not surprising, but something we’ll keep an eye on.
All right, let me go to the back of the room there. Is that Lara back there? All right.
Q: Thank you. I got the nosebleeds here.
I wanted to ask you two questions. One, I wondered if you could give us an update on the fighting around the Zaporizhzhia Power Plant? And can you tell us how and if the UN team has been able to get inside the power plant to do their job?
And then secondly, I just wanted to ask you about the Taiwan Strait and if you could tell us the significance of sending — the U.S. Navy sending cruisers to transit the Strait? I believe that’s not a normal operation.
GEN. RYDER: Sure. In terms of the power plant, you know, as has been said by others, we certainly welcome, first and foremost, the IAEA’s presence in the region. And, you know, to my knowledge, I know that they are in the vicinity of the plant. I do not know whether or not they have embarked for — or arrived at the plant yet.
And in terms of the fighting in the region, again, to the best of our knowledge, we do continue to see sporadic shelling in the region and we call on all sides to — to ensure that the safety of the power plant, for obvious reasons, and — and would also call on Russia to enable the IAEA team to be able to get in there and do their work.
In terms of the Taiwan Strait, what I would tell you — for — for those that weren’t tracking, on August 28th, we did conduct a Taiwan Strait transit. It was the U.S. Navy Cruiser Antietam and Chancellorsville. I would say that the transit demonstrates the United States commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and that we will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere that international law allows.
There were no unsafe or unprofessional interactions to report during that transit, and so, again, we will continue to operate wherever the international law permits us to do so.
Q: If I could follow up, though — why — what — what was the reason you chose cruisers to go through the Strait? And it’s usually destroyers is my understanding.
GEN. RYDER: So what I would tell you, Lara, is I would get with the Navy or with Indo-Pacific Command, who certainly can come back to you on that. We do have these capabilities in the area, but in terms of the specifics on the ship, we’ll have to get back to you on that.
Q: Can I follow up on Zaporizhzhia —
GEN. RYDER: Sure.
Q: It’s interesting that you said that — I’m quoting here — “we call on all sides to ensure the safety of the power plant for obvious reasons.” Are Ukrainians, as well, endangering the safety of the plant —
GEN. RYDER: I would just say as we see fighting in the region, obviously it — it is something to be cognizant of. Clearly, this is the Ukrainians’ homeland and we do know that, you know, there are Russians in the vicinity there, but — but we would want to ensure that the inspection team can get in there and do its work.
Q: And a question on the Middle East — I — I think you addressed a similar question, I think — I believe last week, but we’re seeing clashes in Syria between U.S. forces and — and junta associated or aligned with — with Iran — northeast, an attack on al-Tanf, in the south yesterday, we had the incident with the sail drone, with the IRGC Navy. And of course, obviously what happened around the Green Zone, although it was related to the internal political issues inside of Iraq.
But are you concerned that there’s maybe a pattern of escalation that — that warrants a review of — of force posture and — and protection, especially in Syria and Iraq?
GEN. RYDER: Yeah, so — so to address the latter part of your question, I’m not going to make policy from the podium.
In terms of escalation, I would say right now no, when it comes to Syria. You know, we talked about that a little bit last week. Again, we’re going to do what we need to do to protect our forces in the region as they conduct their missions — in the case of Syria, supporting the defeat ISIS mission — but at this stage of the game, no, not concerned about escalation.
Q: (All right ?). You mentioned the NASAMS early on — technical question — but the contract says, buried in there, that delivery is expected in 2024 — August 23rd of 2024, two years later, two years from now. Can you explain to the best you can that sense of lack of alacrity there?
GEN. RYDER: Sure, absolutely. So as you look at the security assistance that we’re providing to Ukraine, you can really kind of look at it through two lenses. One is providing their immediate needs for the fight that they’re in right now. But there is also — and Dr. Kahl talked to this a little bit last week, there is also the aspect of providing enduring security support and Ukraine’s enduring security posture. And so we’re not necessarily just focused on right now, but it’s also ensuring that they have what they need in the future to be able to sustain deterrence and provide for their own protection.
Q: Whenever this system comes up in discussion, readers or listeners should not assume this is for the immediate fight. But this is down the line.
GEN. RYDER: Correct.
GEN. RYDER: Correct.
Let me quickly go to the phone and then I’ll come back to Jennifer back there. Let’s go to Brandi from FedScoop.
Q: Thanks, General Ryder.
We saw news yesterday that the Navy interrupted an attempt by Iran to seize an unmanned vessel in the Persian Gulf. Have you seen any evidence of such behavior from Russia or Russia trying to capture unmanned coastal defense vessels that the U.S. sent to Ukraine?
And secondly, can we get an update on how those unmanned vessels are being used by Ukraine?
GEN. RYDER: Sure. On your first question, no. I’m not aware of anything like that at this time.
And then I’m sorry, your second question?
Q: Second question, can you provide anymore information about how those unmanned coastal defense vessels that were sent to Ukraine I believe around April about how they’re being used?
GEN. RYDER: We’ll have to get back to you on that one. I don’t want to get into specific details in terms of operational movements, but let us take a look on that, Brandi, and if there’s anything we can provide we’ll come back to you. Thank you.
Okay. Let me do another one on the phone here and I’ll come back to the room. Let’s go to J.J. Green, WTOP.
Q: Yes. Hi, General. Thanks for taking the question.
I’ve been hearing that the U.S. military was involved in some way in helping Ukraine prepare for this counteroffensive. Can you confirm that? In what way might the U.S. have helped them prepare for this?
GEN. RYDER: Yes. Thanks for the question, J.J.
What I would tell you is that as we’ve said before we have a routine military-to-military dialogue with Ukraine at many levels, and I’m not going to comment on the specifics of what those engagements are, but generally speaking as we’ve publicly commented on in the past it’s providing the Ukrainians with the information they need to better understand the threats that they face to defend their country.
But it’s important to point out here that ultimately it is the Ukrainians that are making the final decisions when it comes to operations. Thank you.
Q: To Ukraine with questions on shipments. I was wondering if you could update us on the pace of shipments. It’s been awhile since we’ve had an update on sort of how many flights are regularly going in. I think it was 8 to 10 quite some time ago. Is it the same pace? Has it picked up, slowed down?
And then there have been — and this is a more specific question. There have been some speculation that the drawdown package announced on August 19 was to assist in a counteroffensive. Can we get an update on what from that drawdown package has gone in? What remains to be shipped?
GEN. RYDER: Thanks, Oren.
So in terms of the rate of security assistance into Ukraine, we can get back to you with some more specifics, but I would say that this is something that obviously we continue to take very seriously and U.S. Transportation Command continues to do amazing work working with U.S. European Command and others to get that assistance to the Ukrainians as quickly as possible. Certainly we’re seeing the affect of that assistance on the battlefield.
And then I’m sorry, your last question?
Q: Just wondering on the drawdown package announced on August 19, if you’d be able to update us on what from that package has gone in and what remains to be shipped?
GEN. RYDER: Well, let me get back to you on that one.
Okay, let’s go to Tony with Inside Defense.
Q: Thank you, sir.
My question’s about the status of funding for Ukraine. Is DOD running out of aid for Ukraine? And also, as DOD ponders what or how much it might ask next from Congress, does it want more money for PDA, to send the weapons directly to Ukraine, or is it now sort of seeking more money for USAI, where the weapons might not arrive for a couple of years?
GEN. RYDER: So to answer your first question, no, we are not running out of aid. And in — in terms of the — the breakdown between PDA and USIA (sic), you know, we’ll — we’ll — let us get back to you on that. I will say that certainly as we look at what the requirements are for Ukraine from a policy standpoint and from a procurement standpoint, generally speaking, we are going to use the mechanism that best supports the needs of Ukraine, working very closely with our allies and partners.
So we’ll — we’ll take a look at that. If there’s anything beyond that to provide, we’ll certainly give that to you.
That’s all the relevant stuff regarding Ukraine or Russia.
— Ukrainian News24 (@MarkRid89403375) August 31, 2022
One of the 🇺🇦 pilots has made a footage of the MiG-29 fighter jets combat operations.
🇺🇦 pilot Ivan dedicates this video to major Yevhen Lysenko, his fallen brother in arms, who heroically died in an aerial fight against the 🇷🇺 invaders on March 9. pic.twitter.com/eUVYIAboDr
— Ukrainian Air Force (@KpsZSU) August 30, 2022
Lord, guard and guide the men fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!
— Mary C. D. Hamilton (1915)
Your daily Patron!
I think @oleksiireznikov is waiting like me too 🤭
— Patron (@PatronDsns) August 30, 2022
Speaking of Minister of Defense Reznikov:
My personal salute to #NAFOfellas. I’d like to thank each person behind Shiba Inu cartoon. Your donations to support our defenders, your fight VS misinformation is valuable.
I’m changing my profile picture for a few days. Cheers @marlowc2324
NAFO expansion is non-negotiatiable! pic.twitter.com/SapxtsVsS5
— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) August 30, 2022
NAFO expansion is non-negotiable!
— Pete (@BravoKilo6464) July 15, 2022
And a new video from Patron’s official TikTok:
And the caption: