As I suggested last night, the storm track shifted way south over night. When I went to bed the 11 PM update had it coming in over St. Pete Beach, over the top of St. Pete into Clearwater than into the Pinellas County part of Tampa Bay, out over the top of the bay, then right over my house. The overnight update had moved it to landfall just north of Bradenton then SW to NE over the Hillsborough County part of Tampa Bay, right over MacDill AFB, then through SE and east Tampa and into Polk County. Both of these tracks were worst case scenarios. We’re talking the hurricane causing a 13 foot storm surge at the top of Tampa Bay – think hurricane created tsunami! The 11 AM update moved landfall about 45 miles south just below Sarasota and just above Venice. And the 5 PM update moved it either farther south. And the track completely misses Hillsborough and Pinellas counties as it goes east of us. Good for those of us in the Tampa Bay area, not good for people in the Port Charlotte area!!!! Unless it the track moves way south over night, which is still possible, Port Charlotte and the barrier islands around it are going to get the storm surge that everyone was worried Tampa Bay would get.
If you’re in an evac zone in the greater Port Charlotte area, GET TO HIGHER GROUND NOW!!!!!!
Before anyone asks, we’re all set here. Without the storm surge concern, we’ll be sitting tight. The house is hurricane prepped. We’ve got plenty of food. The brand new generator is all ready to go if needed. I’ve got plenty of fuel for it. We’ve got plenty of bottled water left over from Irma in 2017, let alone the subsequent four hurricane seasons. My combat field medic kit is fully stocked. I’ve got enough water bricks to fill up another 50 gallons of water if need be. We’re all set. But those in the immediate path need to get out ASAP because the forecasting had the storm going north of you and now your evacuation window is small and growing smaller.
And on to tonight’s update.
Here is President Zelenskyy’s address to the UN from earlier today. The video is below, English transcript after the jump:
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the meeting of the UN Security Council, convened at the initiative of Ukraine, in a videoconference format and called on the international community to respond decisively to Russia’s violation of international law and order.
During the speech, the Head of State drew the attention of the meeting participants to the fact that Russia already violates the rules of the world, despises the UN Charter, and it is only a matter of time before it destroys this last international institution that can still act.
“I urge you to act now. Anyone in the world can now name hundreds of examples of how Russia violates the international legal order and destroys the body of international law. It constantly provokes escalation and constantly responds to any proposals for talks with new brutality on the battlefield, even greater crises and threats to Ukraine and the world. And these are obvious things,” said the President.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that among the violations committed by Russia are ignoring the IAEA’s call for the immediate de-occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, nuclear blackmail, the announcement of mobilization, which first of all affects the indigenous peoples, the holding of a so-called referendum in the occupied territory of Ukraine, as well as the attempt of annexation of seized Ukrainian territories.
According to the President, there is only one way to stop all this. First of all, a complete isolation of Russia in response to what it is doing is needed.
“A state that is implementing a policy of genocide right now, keeping the world one step away from a radiation disaster, and at the same time threatening nuclear strikes cannot remain a permanent member of the UN Security Council with veto power. Russia must be excluded from all international organizations. If such exclusion is complicated by the procedure, its participation must be suspended,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.
In addition, he believes new tough global sanctions against the Russian Federation are needed. It is also important to continue supporting Ukraine in the war with Russia.
“It is in Ukraine and in this war that not only our independence is being defended, not only the right to life for our people, but also international law as such. Ukraine must receive all the necessary defense and financial aid so that the aggressor loses,” the Head of State emphasized.
The President stressed that Ukraine must receive clear and legally binding guarantees of collective security – it is the independence of our country that is of such fundamental importance for many elements of global security, so the world needs a corresponding security architecture.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized: “Russia’s recognition of these sham referenda as allegedly normal, implementation of the so-called “Crimean scenario” and another attempt to annex the territory of Ukraine will mean that there is nothing to talk about with this President of Russia. Annexation is the kind of move that pits him alone against the whole of humanity. Such a clear signal is now needed from every country in the world.”
He urged the members of the UN Security Council not to delay the proposed actions, as a clear signal is now needed from every country in the world.
Brig. Gen. Ryder, the DOD Spokesperson, held an on the record briefing today. Transcript with Q&A below:
BRIGADIER GENERAL PAT RYDER: Good afternoon, everybody. A few items to pass along, and then we’ll get right to your questions.
So tomorrow, Secretary Austin will depart to California and Hawaii, and in California, he’ll meet with sailors and Marines at Naval Base Point Loma and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, respectively. While in Hawaii, he’ll meet with several of our key Indo-Pacific allies, to include his counterparts from the Philippines, Japan and Australia to discuss our shared commitment to preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific. Secretary Austin will also meet with Rear Admiral John Wade, who leads the Joint Task Force Red Hill, to receive an update on the effort to safely and expeditiously defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.
In addition, this afternoon, Secretary Austin will welcome His Excellency David Kabua, president of the Republic of Marshall Islands, for a meeting on the U.S.-Marshall Islands strategic and security relationship. The secretary looks forward to the discussion, after which we’ll provide a readout.
Separately, the department continues to watch closely as Florida prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Ian, an extremely dangerous storm that’s expected to bring heavy rain, wind and storm surge to the state’s west coast. As of this morning, the Florida National Guard has more than 3,200 soldiers and airmen on state active duty, with another 1,800-plus in the pipeline. Florida has pre-positioned Guard soldiers, airmen and equipment at bases and armories around the state in preparation for deploying them to areas impacted by the storm. These Guardsmen will provide route clearing, search-and-rescue teams to support flood control and security. Aviation assets like helicopters are also on standby to assist as required.
Additionally, five neighboring states are prepared to make an additional 2,000-plus Guardsmen available, should the need arise. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, is the lead federal agency on this response, and the Department of Defense remains in close communication and coordination with FEMA as Ian’s landfall becomes imminent.
In preparation for the storm, the DOD has approved Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, also in Georgia, as incident support base federal staging areas. For questions concerning individual DOD bases I’d refer you to the individual services, who can provide you with the most up-to-date information about their personnel and their efforts.
Finally, later today, the department will release our latest report on civilian casualties in connection with the United States military operations in 2021. This report is released annually by the department, and this is the fifth year of its release. As you know, the DOD is committed to improving our approach to mitigating and responding to civilian harm, and on August 25th this year, the secretary released the Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan, which lays out a series of actions DOD will implement to mitigate and respond to civilian harm. The protection of innocent civilians in the conduct of operations remains vital to the ultimate success of our operations, and is a significant strategic and moral imperative. This report will be posted to the defense.gov website today.
And with that, I’m happy to take your questions. We’ll go ahead and start with Lita. Yes, ma’am?
Q: Thanks, Pat. A couple just quick follow-ups. Last week, you said you were going to check back on whether any of either the PDA, USAI — any of the funding associated with Ukraine would expire at the end of this fiscal year. Do you have an answer to that yet? And…
GEN. RYDER: Sure.
Q: I’ll give you, if you can — OK.
GEN. RYDER: So what I would say is as I understand it, so the — the USAI money, as we talked about, is two-year money, so — and that is an appropriation so that — that would not be affected. The PDA money is, as I understand it, an authorization, which means that authorization is good until the end of the fiscal year. I would highlight that it’s not the end of the fiscal year yet, so there’s still time, potentially, to — to employ that authorization. Should we come to the end of the fiscal year, as you know, the administration has asked for supplemental funding, and so essentially what we would look to do is use that new authorization to purchase PDA, should we go into a — a separate fiscal year.
Q: So just a couple other things. And do you know the exact amount that you think will expire? I mean, you’ve got literally just a couple of days.
GEN. RYDER: Yeah.
Q: And then I’ll…
GEN. RYDER: Sure. So right now, we have $2.275 billion until September 30.
Q: And then on Ukraine, two things: Have you seen any change or any movement by Russia to ready their nuclear forces in any way? I know that this is a repetitive question, but just to ask it again. And have you seen any shifts in Russian force posture overall as these annexations votes start to get released? And anything about any more troops coming in, any effort to shore up areas — anything like that?
GEN. RYDER: Sure. So broadly speaking, you know, as — as we’ve said, we obviously take these threats seriously. But at this stage, we’ve not seen anything that would cause us to adjust our own nuclear posture at this time. And as — and as we’ve said previously, our focus continues to remain on supporting Ukraine in their fight and working closely with our allies and partners.
In terms of Russian force posture, broadly speaking, without getting into a detailed operational update, no, no major shifts other than we continue to see, particularly in the Donbas region, the Russians’ attempt to conduct offensive operations in — in that area, with Ukraine successfully holding the line.
Q: I want to go back to the nuke question first. Are you — can you say categorically that the United States has not seen any movement by tactical nuclear Russian military units that would cause alarm?
GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Tony. So I don’t want to get into intelligence specifically, other than to again just say that we’ve seen nothing that would indicate that we need to change our posture.
Q: Shifting gears to the NASAM — on Sunday, there was a great deal of international confusion about whether the United States had delivered NASAM systems to Ukraine. This is based on a faulty Face The Nation transcript, that they later corrected, but it caused a tither throughout the world. Can you give us a reality check here? When will the first NASAMS actually be delivered? Won’t it take about two years from the August 26th contract date?
GEN. RYDER: So — and I briefed this a couple weeks ago — yep, absolutely — so just to clarify, the U.S. has not delivered NASAMS to Ukraine at this stage. We expect the first two to be delivered within the next two months or so.
Q: Two months?
GEN. RYDER: Two months or so, right. That’ll be from tranche three. And then the remaining six that were part of the USAI are expected to be delivered in the future. I don’t have a date to provide but those will be longer term.
Q: May I ask — because the contract, when it came out in August, said it would be completed by August of 2024, implying two years.
GEN. RYDER: Again, I think there’s — nothing’s changed. I think it’s two different tranches of NASAMS that we’re talking about here. So we can get you the details, but again, the first two are expected to be provided within the next two months or so.
Q: Are they going to come from U.S. stocks, from the…
GEN. RYDER: No, these are the ones produced by industry, as I understand it. OK.
Q: On the civilian casualty report, obviously I haven’t seen it, could you give us kind of the broad outlines of that report? I’m assuming the numbers must be relatively low cause there’s not much happening abroad.
But also, I’m wondering if some of the changes that we’ve seen recently on trying to reduce civilian casualties, is that going to be reflected in this report? And how should we view that?
GEN. RYDER: Sure. No, I appreciate the question. What I would ask you to do is download the report, take a look at it. Certainly, again, after this briefing, we can get that to you and then be happy to entertain a more detailed discussion.
Given the fact that — you know, the scope of the work, I don’t want to necessarily provide you with half information here from the podium. So we’ll make sure to get that for you right after this. Thank you.
Let me go to Carla and then I’ll go to Kasim.
Q: Thanks. On Ukraine, concerning the Nord Stream pipeline, there leaking. European officials are saying it was sabotage, pointing to Russia. Ukraine has said it is — it was Russian sabotage. Russia is pointing to the United States. What can the Pentagon say about that? Do you have any evidence that vessels in the Baltic Sea could have been responsible for this?
GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Carla. Seen the press reporting on this at this point but I don’t have any information on it to provide. We’ll continue to monitor closely obviously. Thank you.
Q: Sure. I had two questions.
One, I wanted to get your assessment of the Iranian drones that we have seen. We saw videos out of Ukraine that they’ve hit Odesa, in targeting civilian infrastructure and targeting the Ukrainian Armed Forces. What’s your assessment of the damage that these drones are doing? And can you give us more information about what types of drones that we’re seeing? And do you anticipate any additional deliveries of these sorts of weapons from Iran?
GEN. RYDER: Sure. So we do assess that the Russians now are using the Iranian drones that we’ve talked about in the past — that were delivered to Russia, that we do assess that they are now using them in Ukraine.
In terms of their effectiveness, I don’t want to provide a battle damage assessment here from the podium or get into specific intelligence, other than to say again we’ve seen them employ them.
I – we’ve also seen reports of the Ukrainians shooting down some of these drones. Again, I’m not going to get into specific numbers but we assess that those are credible.
And so I think, again, it’s just indicative of the Russians employing a capability that we know they’ve sought out from Iran and they’re using the way they indicated they would use them, right, for both kinetic attacks and ISR.
But beyond that, at this point I’m really not going to be able to get on to more detail.
Q: Have you see the missiles from North Korea arrive in Russia yet?
GEN. RYDER: So beyond the information we provided before, which is that we have indications that Russia is seeking support from North Korea for ammunition, I’m not going to have anything further at this stage.
OK. Let me jump out to the phones here and then I’ll come back in the room. Let’s go with Heather from USNI.
OK. Let me go back to the room here. Oren?
Q: General, I was just wondering if you could give a bit more detail, you mentioned at the end of Lita’s question, Russian offensive operations, particularly in Donbas. Is that the only place at this point they’re trying to conduct or conducting offensive operations?
Are they having any success there whether it’s a couple of kilometers or none at all? And have their operations been able to affect in any way Ukraine’s counter offensive, disrupt it in some fashion?
GEN. RYDER: So again, recognizing that really the Ukrainians are the right folks to talk in detail, generally speaking what you see is, again, in the Donbas region there, the Russians with elements of the Wagner group attempting to essentially take territory. I think I’ve mentioned previously we’ve seen hundreds of meters, in some cases, but nothing that I would consider significant.
The Ukrainians have, so far, done a good job of holding the line there and repulsing those offensive operations. The way I would characterize the north and the south on the Russian side is essentially defensive at this stage. The Ukrainians continue to make deliberate movement forward.
And so, yes, that’s where I’d leave it. Thank you.
OK, let me go back out to the phone and I’ll come back in the room here. Phil Stewart from Reuters.
Q: Hey there, thanks. Listen, I realize you can’t go into intel matters but there’s quite a lot of concern about the Russian nuclear threats. I’m wondering, you know, does the statement that the Pentagon does not see anything that would cause it to adjust this nuclear posture mean that there hasn’t been any Russian activity? Is that definitive?
And also how does the Russian threats of nuclear escalation play into how NATO’s nuclear alliance is thinking about moving forward with its support to Ukraine? Thanks.
GEN. RYDER: Yeah, sure. So Phil, I’d say to your first question, I’m not going to have anything different to provide other than, again, we have not seen anything — or have any reason to adjust our posture at this stage.
In terms of the impact on U.S. and international unity and efforts to support Ukraine, as we’ve said before, our focus will continue to be on working together to support Ukraine as they fight to defend their country.
And so I don’t see any change in that at this time.
Thank you. OK. Dan.
OK. Let me go back up to the phone. Luis Martinez, ABC.
Q: Hi, sir. Just two quick questions. One on Hurricane and one on Ukraine. Do you have a — do you know how many ships or how many forces or bases have been reorganized or moved around as a result of, in advance of, the hurricanes coming?
GEN. RYDER: I don’t have that right in front of me, Luis, but we can get that for you.
Q: OK. And on Ukraine, it’s actually more a Russia question, you’ve spoken in the past about how the Russian mobilization may not impact the battlefield. Can you talk to us about these images that we’re seeing inside Russia of these long convoys at border checkpoints, people being upset with these local mobilization officers. What does that speak to? What is the Pentagon’s take on that? Thanks.
GEN. RYDER: Well, it’s certainly something that we’re keeping an eye on as it relates to Russia’s overall readiness and ability to mobilize forces, primarily, again, because this is part of the broader conflict in Ukraine and certainly could impact future conditions there on the battlefield.
As for the response of the Russian people, that’s really not for me to say. I think you can all watch that and make your own conclusions on that. From a operational standpoint, from a military standpoint, as we discussed previously, leading and managing any large military organization is a monumental undertaking in and of itself which requires a high degree of expertise when it comes to things like logistics, sustainment, recruiting, equipping, et cetera. And so again, we just continue to see some of the challenges that the Russian military faces and will continue to face. All that said, it is something that we will have to continue to take seriously, and I know the Ukrainians will continue to take seriously in terms of what the impact will be longer-term on the battlefield. Thank you.
OK, let me go to J.J. Green, and then I’ll come back to the room here.
Q: General, thank you for the chance to ask this question. You’ve spoken before about Russia trying to pull — trying to claim itself as the victim and using that as a call to try to rally support, but these long lines that Luis talked about seem to suggest that that may not be working, but that may just be a small slice of what’s really going on. Do you have a broader picture of how this immobilization is going?
GEN. RYDER: Well, again, yeah, to your earlier comment there, I mean, if we step back in terms of what we’ve all been watching play out over the last year or so, Russia invaded Ukraine, not the other way around. And so it — they are the aggressor here, and clearly have not achieved their strategic objectives when it came to their initial military aims within Ukraine. And as a result, you know, we’ve seen them struggle with command and control. We’ve seen them struggle with logistics. We’ve seen them struggle with sustainment and with troop morale. And now with this mobilization, it’s an effort to address the overall manpower challenges that the Russian military is facing. And again, it adds another level of complexity to an already-challenging systemic situation when it comes to employing these troops.
So we’ll continue to keep an eye on it. In the meantime, our focus, the U.S. focus is working very closely with the international community to support Ukraine in their fight, which will continue to be a tough and difficult fight in the days ahead.
GEN. RYDER: Thanks, J.J.
Q: Thank you, General. Two separate questions, first on the mobilization. There are, you know, reports and video footage of, as you mentioned, Russia having a challenging time, actually employing these troops and sending them out and supplying them, essentially, whether it’s ballistic vests or medical equipment. A lot of these troops are having to go and procure these themselves. Does the DOD assess that the Russian military wouldn’t even be able to sustain a full mobilization, since they’re having so much trouble with a partial one?
GEN. RYDER: So, you know, I don’t want to necessarily overstate it and say that we’re — you know, or comment on Russia’s ability to fully mobilize. I think undoubtedly, based on what you’re seeing on — you know, play out in the open press is that they will have challenges meeting those numbers. All that said, you know, we’ll continue to monitor and we’ll continue to see how this plays out. Thank you.
Let me do — yeah, go ahead.
Q: All right, then, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that they have spotted Chinese and Russian ships off the coast of Alaska. I’m curious what the DOD is seeing on that front, and if that’s a common occurrence that’s been happening, or has that spiked recently?
GEN. RYDER: So we’ve seen Russia and China, you know, sail together before, and so my understanding is that those — sailings, — they were sailing in international waters, so no issues there. But obviously, you know, we’ll continue to monitor that and in the meantime, you know, I’d recommend you contact the Coast Guard. They may have additional information on that. Thank you.
All right, let me jump back out to the phone here real quick. I’ve got Caitlin from the New York Post.
Q: Hi. I’ve actually been asked and answered. Thank you so much.
GEN. RYDER: All right, Jeff Schogol, Task & Purpose?
Q: Thank you. In August, a senior military official estimated that the Russians have suffered 80,000 casualties. Can you provide an updated estimate of how many casualties the Russians have suffered, and include a breakdown of how many of those are killed?
GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks for the question, Jeff. I don’t have any updates to provide today beyond what we’ve provided previously. Obviously, the battlefield continues to be a very dangerous place and a lot of casualties, but I don’t have any specific numbers to provide. Thank you.
GEN. RYDER: OK, let me go to Sylvie, AFP.
Q: Hello. Thank you. I would like to follow up on Phil’s question on the nuclear threat. You say that you don’t see anything that would make U.S. change its nuclear posture. Do — what would trigger a change of posture? Would it be simple Russian movements, or would you wait for Russia to use a nuclear weapon?
GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Sylvie. So I don’t want to necessarily get into our tactics or our procedures other than to say that we maintain a whole host of capabilities and proven processes to address any potential threats of that kind. So in the meantime, again, just to reiterate, we’ve seen nothing that would cause us to change our posture. We’ll continue to monitor this very closely. We’ll continue to take it very seriously. But in the meantime, again, there — we’ve seen nothing that would indicate a need to change our particular posture. Thank you.
OK, let me go to Fadi, and then Jim.
Q: Thank you, General. So we’re watching two events unfolding at the same time today, the end of the so-called referendum in the territories that were occupied by Russia. On the other hand, you have the mobilization regardless of the type of challenges the Russians are facing. Is your assessment that the Russians still have the appetite or the strategic objective of capturing additional Ukrainian territories, or in light of the referendum and the mobilization, the aim of this additional manpower is to hold what they have now inside of Ukraine?
GEN. RYDER: Yeah, so two things on that. One, you know, first of all, ultimately, that’s for Russia to decide. However, we’ve seen no indication that they have any intention of changing their overall aim, which is to take over Ukraine, right?
And so I think, again, what we saw from the, you know, earlier part of this conflict was they were not able to meet those broader strategic objectives, and so they scaled back and changed those objectives. And so this latest effort to conduct the sham referenda are an effort to essentially try to change the narrative and distract from the fact that they are not meeting their objectives.
All that to say, no indication that they intend to stop fighting anytime soon, and as I’ve mentioned, and others have mentioned, Russia could end this conflict tomorrow, but in the meantime, we’ll continue to support the Ukrainians in their fight to defend their country and their sovereign territory. Thank you.
Let me go to Jim and then I’ll go back out to the phone.
Q: Yeah, thanks, General. In the past, you’ve been talking about the Russians not learning from their mistakes and not, you know, fixing their logistical problems or fixing their personnel problems. And it strikes me that the Ukrainians are learning from this and their tactics, techniques and procedures have gotten actually better as they’ve gone along in the last six months.
What’s the difference? Why is one side learning, the other side not?
GEN. RYDER: Yeah — no, I appreciate the question, Jim. So I — you know, I don’t want to try to get inside the minds of the Russians or the Ukrainians, other than to say you’re right, the Ukrainians have improvised, overcome and adapted very well on the battlefield. And I think in part is they’re defending their sovereign territory, they’re fighting for their homeland. They have something very dear to fight for and against a neighbor who has invaded them.
So in terms of why the Russian military has performed so poorly, that’s a question they’ll have to answer. It is a fact, and in the meantime, we’ll just continue to support the Ukrainians in their fight. Thank you.
Q: Just a follow up on Russia, we have seen for over months Russians have faltered a lot on the battlefield, they lost a lot, they give a lot of casualties — but we haven’t seen Russians show — using their advanced arms that they have showcased for a long time, like S-400s, Su-35s, and all other advanced missiles. What is the assessment? What is the insight at the Pentagon? Why Russians are not using those?
GEN. RYDER: Yeah, I really — Kasim, I really can’t answer that. That’s a — really a question for the Russian military to address. Yeah, I really can’t answer that. So — OK, thanks very much, everybody. Appreciate it.
Here is the British MOD assessment for today:
And here is their updated map for today:
Here is former NAVDEVGRU Squadron Leader Chuck Pfarrer’s most recent assessments regarding the situations in Kherson and Lyman (2 updates, most recent first regarding Lyman):
KHERSON/2110 UTC 27 SEP/ UKR has solidified its air defense network in Kherson oblast. On 27 SEP, a Russian Su-25 was interdicted by UKR air defense. The wreckage fell within UKR lines indicating the the Su-25 may have been attempting an intruder mission. pic.twitter.com/GjRbey5BON
— Chuck Pfarrer | Indications & Warnings | (@ChuckPfarrer) September 27, 2022
LYMAN / FLASH TRAFFIC / 2330 UTC 27 SEP / UKR forces reported to have registered advances north of Lyman. RU units are falling back in some disarray. Heavy combat reported at Shandryholove. FEBA within 3.5 Km of critical junction city of Zarichne. pic.twitter.com/G08WcnEoUb
— Chuck Pfarrer | Indications & Warnings | (@ChuckPfarrer) September 27, 2022
LYMAN AXIS/ 2010 27 SEP/ UKR forces are reported to be in contact at Shandryholove. UKR has consolidated gains north of the Lyman urban area, and have engaged RU occupiers within the rail complex at Lyman. Reports from RU and UKR sources has been used in this map. pic.twitter.com/59WBS8rchg
— Chuck Pfarrer | Indications & Warnings | (@ChuckPfarrer) September 27, 2022
So part of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline appears to have blown up/been blown up in Danish waters:
L’eau bouillonne dans la zone au-dessus de la fuite du gazoduc Nord Stream en mer Baltique
— Antoine Llorca (@antoinellorca) September 27, 2022
Reuters has details:
OSLO, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden on Monday registered powerful blasts in the areas of the Nord Stream gas leaks, Sweden’s National Seismology Centre (SNSN) at the Uppsala University told public broadcaster SVT on Tuesday.
“There is no doubt that these were explosions,” SNSN seismologist Bjorn Lund told SVT.
Russian state backed TV’s favorite useless idiot has thoughts!
After suggesting the US blew up the pipelines, Tucker starts listing possible options for the Russian retaliation pic.twitter.com/XvmHolSSg4
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 28, 2022
This guy needs a 72 hour observational hold!
The mobilization is going well…
What’s happening is actually beyond insane.
It’s been over 7 months, but sometimes I still can’t believe my eyes and ears.
A giant meat grinder not seen in Europe since 1945 — and for the sake of NOTHING but a handful of old corrupt farts wishing to stay in power forever.
— Illia Ponomarenko🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) September 27, 2022
A woman, who appears to be with long-term military experience, is giving instructions to mobiks on what to take with them. This includes everything that is not armour and uniform, that is, tourniquets, medicines, and women's pads. pic.twitter.com/2geWXw8gmq
— Dmitri (@wartranslated) September 26, 2022
Here's full translation of his address. 1/2: "Hi everyone, the first tank regiment is here. We were officially told that there would be no training before we will be sent to the war zone. The regiment’s commanders confirmed this. On September 29 we’re will be sent to Kherson".
— Mark Krutov (@kromark) September 27, 2022
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 26, 2022
As I wrote the other night, I’ve seen nicer homeless shelters.
I finally got a chance to read the Time article about General Zaluzhny. Here’s a taste, but I do recommend the whole thing.
It would be easy to underestimate Valeriy Zaluzhny. When not in uniform, the general prefers T-shirts and shorts that match his easygoing sense of humor. When he first heard from aides to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in late July 2021 that he was being tapped to lead the country’s armed forces, his stunned response was, “What do you mean?” As it sank in that he would become commander in chief, he tells TIME in his first interview since the Russian invasion began, he felt as if he had been punched “not just below the belt but straight into a knockout.” George Patton or Douglas MacArthur he is not.
Yet when the history of the war in Ukraine is written, Zaluzhny is likely to occupy a prominent role. He was part of the Ukrainian brass who spent years transforming the country’s military from a clunky Soviet model into a modern fighting force. Hardened by years of battling Russia on the eastern front, he was among a new generation of Ukrainian leaders who learned to be flexible and delegate decisions to commanders on the ground. His dogged preparation in the run-up to the invasion and savvy battlefield tactics in the early phases of the war helped the nation fend off the Russian onslaught. “Zaluzhny has emerged as the military mind his country needed,” U.S. General Mark Milley wrote for TIME of his counterpart last May. “His leadership enabled the Ukrainian armed forces to adapt quickly with battlefield initiative against the Russians.”
That initiative has now taken a key turn in Ukraine’s favor. In Kyiv’s biggest gains since the war began in February, a lightning counteroffensive in the country’s northeast in early September stunned Russian troops, who fled in disarray and ceded vast swaths of occupied territory. Combined with a second operation in the south, Ukrainian forces say they wrested back more than 6,000 sq km from Russian control in less than two weeks, liberating dozens of towns and cities and cutting off enemy supply lines. The Ukrainian army’s deft game of misdirection, touting a counter-offensive in the south before attacking in the northeast, caught Russia off guard. And it validated the Ukrainians’ arguments that intelligence collaboration and billions of dollars in weapons and materiel supplied by Western allies would yield results on the battlefield.
The sudden victories came at a critical point in what had become a grinding war of attrition. As the economic pressures built across Europe and around the world, skeptics were beginning to doubt whether Ukraine could endure a protracted fight. The dramatic rout rattled Moscow, forcing Kremlin propagandists to admit the setback and upping the military and political pressures on Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Sept. 21 he responded by announcing the first mass conscription since World War II, a partial mobilization of up to 300,000 citizens.
Ukrainian and U.S. officials alike believe the war will be longer and bloodier than most imagine. Putin has shown he’s willing to sacrifice his troops and commit atrocities to exhaust his adversary. In a menacing speech, he warned that he was “not bluffing” when he threatened to use everything at his disposal to defend Russia—an allusion to nuclear weapons. The recent Ukrainian offensive may be a turning point, but it is not the decisive blow. “In hindsight, we’ll look at this like the Battle of Midway,” says Dan Rice, a U.S. Army combat veteran and leadership executive at West Point who serves as a special adviser to Zaluzhny, referring to the pivotal 1942 clash that preceded three more years of war.
Zaluzhny is just one of many Ukrainians responsible for the grit and progress of the nation’s outmanned army. Other key officers include General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, who led the defense of Kyiv and, more recently, the counteroffensive in the east, and Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service. But after the President, Zaluzhny has become the face of the war effort. His persona is omnipresent on Ukrainian social media. One widely shared image shows the “Iron General” kneeling in front of the sobbing mother of one of his soldiers, head bowed in grief in front of a casket. In another he flashes a grin presiding over the wedding of one of his servicemen during a lull in the fighting. Fan channels on Telegram have hundreds of thousands of followers, with many changing their profiles to a photo of the general with his hands held in the shape of a heart. “When Zaluzhny walks into a dark room he does not turn on the light, he turns off the darkness,” one viral TikTok video jokes.
It’s hard to predict where the war is headed or the part Zaluzhny will play in the end. But perhaps for the first time, it now seems possible that the army he commands could achieve victory.
Much, much, much more at the link!
A little shopping might be nice!
Winter is Coming
And Ukrainian soldiers need our help
Our goal is to buy $1M worth of generators, sleeping bags, thermal clothing, and medical kits before December
This week, we ordered 100 generators worth $100,000
— Saint Javelin (@saintjavelin) September 27, 2022
I think that’s enough for tonight.
Your daily Patron!
The wrong tag to author 🤭 @dorosh_raw is the author of this photo ☺️
— Patron (@PatronDsns) September 27, 2022
And a new video from Patron’s official TikTok account!
The caption translates as: