A quick housekeeping note: today was nuts. I expect that the rest of this week and most likely all of next week will be as well. So depending on how things go day by day will determine whether I’m able to do proper updates or just brief(er) ones.
Reuters reports that Ukrainian air defense was, once again, punching way above its weight class last night:
April 4 (Reuters) – Ukrainian defence forces destroyed 14 out of 17 Iranian-made Shahed drones Russia launched overnight, Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday, with 13 drones destroyed over the Odesa region in the country’s southwest.
“In total, up to 17 launches of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) attacks were recorded, presumably from the eastern coast area of the Sea of Azov,” the command said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.
Ukraine’s South military command said one drone hit an enterprise in the Odesa region, causing a fire, which was eliminated by the morning.
“According to preliminary information, there were no human losses,” the command said in a statement.
Here is President Zelenskyy’s address from earlier today. Video below, English transcript after the jump:
Russian aggression proves that only collective preventive security guarantees can be reliable – address by the President of Ukraine
4 April 2023 – 22:42
Good health to you, fellow Ukrainians!
I have just addressed the Parliament of Chile – another country that heard Ukraine, heard what we are striving for. It does not matter what the distance is between our nations. We equally value life and defend the international order. We must deprive rashism of even the hope of support in Latin America.
I also addressed the governors of the US states – this is the first time that I delivered such a special address to the representatives of each state elected by the citizens. I thanked them for their support, emphasized how we, together with America, can not only win the ongoing battle, but also prove that freedom and cooperation always restore normal life after the strikes of aggression.
I also had several international conversations with our partners today.
I thanked Canada and Mr. Prime Minister Trudeau personally for the unwavering support. For another manifestation of it – financial assistance in the amount of 2 billion 400 million Canadian dollars, which our budget has already received. The situation on the battlefield and the security needs of our country were discussed in detail.
In order to drive the enemy out of our land faster and thereby end this war faster, we need to mobilize the world, our partners, all the peoples who do not agree with the chaos that Russian aggression is bringing to the world even more.
I spoke with Ursula von der Leyen, Mrs. President of the European Commission. Our steps in European integration, our joint measures that we are preparing… The new sanctions package of the European Union, which must continue the line of pressure on Russia, pressure to reduce its terrorist potential, its threat.
Today, by the way, a historic event took place for our region, for all of Europe, for the entire Euro-Atlantic community. Finland becomes the 31st member of NATO. The alliance is getting stronger on the eastern flank.
I congratulate all the people of Finland and Mr. President personally on a reliable security guarantee – a collective guarantee.
Russian aggression clearly proves that only collective guarantees, only preventive guarantees can be reliable. That’s what we always talked about. We also talked about speed – the speed of security decisions matters. Now we can see how fast the procedures can be.
By the way, this year’s NATO Summit in Vilnius deserves to be quite ambitious. The more ambitious the one who protects freedom, the less opportunities for aggression the one who wants evil has.
The day will come when security will be guaranteed for our country as well.
I am constantly in touch with our commanders who are confronting the evil state on the battlefield. A special format of our military meeting was held today. General Syrskyi – regarding Bakhmut, Commander-in-Chief, Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate – regarding the overall military situation. The Ministry of Defense – regarding the supply of ammunition and everything else according to the needs of our defenders. Decisions are already being implemented.
We have also been preparing all day for the international events planned for this week. They are important, brave, ambitious. As it is a rule for Ukraine.
We also keep the internal situation under control, in particular regarding spiritual independence. We also guarantee it. No one will succeed in breaking Ukraine – neither from the outside nor from the inside.
I thank everyone who is fighting for Ukraine! Avdiivka and Bakhmut, Maryinka and Krasnohorivka, every hot direction… I thank you, warriors!
Thank you to everyone who helps Ukraine!
I would like to highlight two decisions today.
The U.S. is providing a $2.6 billion defense support package. Ammunition for HIMARS, for air defense, for artillery is just what we need. Thank you Mr. President Biden, thank you Congress, thank you every American!
And the second decision. Today, the work of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Russian crimes against Ukrainians has been extended. Each such international legal step brings the Rashists closer to inevitable, fair responsibility.
Glory to Ukraine!
Finland is in NATO:
Sincere congrats to Finland & President @niinisto on joining NATO on the 74th anniversary of its founding. NATO became the only effective security guarantee in the region amid Russian aggression. We expect #NATOSummit in Vilnius will bring Ukraine closer to our Euro-Atlantic goal
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 4, 2023
I expect Sweden will get there after the Turkish election. Either because Erdogan will relent if he’s reelected since he’s using this issue as part of his campaign or if he’s defeated the new government will drop the opposition.
Here is a machine translation of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s most recent operational update:
Here’s the new military aid package for Ukraine from the US:
-Additional munitions for NASAMs
-Nine counter-Unmanned Aerial System 30mm gun trucks
-10 mobile c-UAS laser-guided rocket systems
-precision aerial munitions
— Lara Seligman (@laraseligman) April 4, 2023
Here is former NAVDEVGRU Squadron Leader Chuck Pfarrer’s most recent assessment of the situations in Avdiivka and Bakhmut:
AVDIIVKA AXIS /1950 UTC 4 APL/ North of Avdiivka, RU forces have continued incremental progress toward Novobakhmutivka. West of Avdiivka, UKR forces again repelled RU assaults in the vicinity of the O-0542. RU forces were also defeated at Pervomaiske. pic.twitter.com/1uu0nEFeBo
— Chuck Pfarrer | Indications & Warnings | (@ChuckPfarrer) April 4, 2023
BAKHMUT CITY /1930 UTC 4 APL/ In Bakhmut, RU forces were reported to have been driven south of Korsunskogo Street in heavy combat. UKR forces were also in contact along the T-05-13 HWY, and in the vicinity of the soccer stadium. RU forces were rebuffed at Bohdanivka & Ivanivske. pic.twitter.com/KZ6dJMF8EA
— Chuck Pfarrer | Indications & Warnings | (@ChuckPfarrer) April 4, 2023
BAKMUT AXIS /1215 UTC 4 APL/ RU forces continue efforts to seize the city of Bakhmut. The ferocity of this combat is reflected in the report that UKR forces broke up 32 attacks in the urban area. UKR forces also repelled RU assaults at Orikhovo-Vasylivka and Ivanivske. pic.twitter.com/FAIs77xMnr
— Chuck Pfarrer | Indications & Warnings | (@ChuckPfarrer) April 4, 2023
Coordinates of impact:
48°34'33.12"N, 37°58'8.28"E#Bakhmut #Donetsk #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/9m8Kau7gMx
— (((Tendar))) (@Tendar) April 4, 2023
Here’s the full text of the first tweet:
I reported yesterday that Russians got pushed back and behind the Korsunskogo Street in Bakhmut and here we have visual evidence, and what evidence indeed.
An Ukrainian UR-77 fired right into Russian positions and triggered the charge which pulverized them.
It has to be noted that Ukraine didn’t possess a single one of those vehicles before the full-scale war. All UR-77 in Ukrainian services are captured vehicles. Ukraine has at least 13.
#Ukraine #Bakhmut #Donetsk
📽24hrs old pic.twitter.com/87Pm0Y8uTx
— АЗОВ South (@Azovsouth) April 4, 2023
Given the source, take the following with a large grain of salt:
When asked about Bakhmut, Prigozhin says the decision to conduct the "meat grinder" in Bakhmut was made by Wagner commanders, but he also credits Sergey Surovikin for his role supporting the operation when he was the commander. (h/t @KofmanMichael)https://t.co/1DHPAJlXte pic.twitter.com/lVEHGhVyln
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) April 3, 2023
Here’s the translation of Prigozhin’s post from his Telegram channel. There’s audio at the link if you understand Russian and want to listen to him.
We publish a request from the editors of the publication « Notepad » and the answer:
Dear Evgeny Viktorovich!
Today, the Bahmut operation and the actual climax of the capture of Bakhmut ( administration assault ) have become one of the key events of this confrontation on the SVO.
Can you tell who made the decision to conduct the operation “Bakhmouth Meat grinder”?
We publish a comment by Eugene Prigozhina:
« The decision to conduct the Bahmut operation, the so-called « bamut meat grinder », was made by the commanders of the ChVK « Wagner ». The direct participation in its development and implementation was taken by Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin, at the time when he led the group. And so the huge number of decisions that were made, I would take to his account ».
The 59th brigade repulsed an attack south of Avdiivka. The Russian tanks did not survive. pic.twitter.com/xOmx1qI6yD
— NOËL 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) April 4, 2023
Germany’s Vice Chancellor steps up and does the right thing:
"It took too long and it was too late… I feel deeply ashamed". Robert Habeck erobert die Herzen der Ukrainer mit richtigen Worten. Gar so schlecht wie ihr glaubt denken wir übrigens gar nicht über euch, eure Hilfe wissen wir zu schätzen. pic.twitter.com/cSz14Ewv9W
— Yuliya Seidel (@JuliaSeidel17) April 3, 2023
His statement translates as:
“It took too long and it was too late… I feel deeply ashamed”. Robert Habeck conquers the hearts of the Ukrainians with the right words. By the way, we don’t think about you as badly as you think, we appreciate your help.
Please, do go ahead and keep publicly documenting your ongoing war crime/crime against humanity:
Russia’s children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova complained that her «adopted» Ukrainian child from Mariupol runs after her other children, shouting «I’ll eat you, you little Moskal» because that’s the way Ukrainian children are raised. pic.twitter.com/tuQHWuFzVm
— Saint Javelin (@saintjavelin) April 4, 2023
I’m sure everyone has noticed by now that the Starlink Snowflake is trying to meme his way out of a lawsuit by dogecoin investors. There have been some unintended consequences:
— Aric Toler (@AricToler) April 3, 2023
That’s enough for tonight.
Your daily Patron!
Today they wrote a dictation on mine clearance. And I constantly felt that it was sad that we should write about war, not spring. I am grateful to all partners, especially @UNICEF_UA who are going through this difficult path with us❤️ pic.twitter.com/QLPPVhdPuV
— Patron (@PatronDsns) April 4, 2023
Ambassador meets 🐕 Ambassadog.
Our Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom meets @PatronDsns in Ukraine.
This good boy protects children from the risks of mines and explosive ordnance and helps raise awareness about mental health. pic.twitter.com/0jJGaIiG1S
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) April 4, 2023
And a new video from Patron’s official TikTok!
Adam, thanks for posting early. You get a clear shot at the BJ assembly before a deluge of news later tonight, including elections around the country and TFG’s Florida nonsense and whine fest.
And, as always, thanks for the thorough and informative reports. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Re: Sweden and NATO, isn’t Hungary also being obstructionist? Do you think they’ll back down if Erdogan or his replacement does so after the elections?
Could one of the BJ experts explain to me the difference between the missiles and the rocket salvo systems that the Ministry of Defense reports separately? It seems that there are very few missiles being fired of late. Is this because of shortages?
I was curious what it cost Russia to have 14 drones shot down. I knew the Iranian arms were cheap, but damn, it’s bargain-basement destruction compared to cruise missiles, etc. Anyway, good on Ukrainian defenses to have managed an 82% attrition last night.
After that video of the Bakhmut explosion, my mind started singing “It’s Raining Men”.
I ain’t apologizing.
West of the Rockies
I’ve noticed the last few days that when I click on a Twitter link I get a quick half-second cartoon image of a dog. Anyone else getting that? Maybe it’s just BJ links.
West of the Rockies
I wonder about that, too.
@West of the Rockies: No, I get it too, not via BJ.
Generally, the distinction between rockets and missiles is guidance. In a lot of ways, a rocket is like a gun. You can aim it at a target, but once you pull the trigger everything is up to how well you aimed and how straight it flies. A missile has some kind of on-board smarts that guide it to its target. The smarts might just be an ability to steer so it hits coordinates you entered before launch, or it could include the ability to track the target so it can hit it even if it moves.
Note that missiles cover a lot more technology than rockets. Some missiles are basically rockets with some added smarts. Other missiles (cruise missiles) are more like drones except they are fire and forget weapons instead of requiring operator intervention. The exact distinction between missiles and suicide drones can get a little bit fuzzy, since there are some missiles (e.g. the TOW missile) that depend on feedback from the launcher for steering.
Gin & Tonic
@West of the Rockies: That’s Elmo trying to meme his way out of a fraud suit.
West of the Rockies
Thanks. Kinda glad it’s not just me.
@West of the Rockies: Yep, I see it, too.
@West of the Rockies:
Nope. It’s Elon being Elon. He loves him some Dogecoin, so he’s changed the Twitter logo from the old bird to the Dogecoin doge. This may be related to him having been sued by Dogecoin “investors” who claim he’s been pumping and dumping it.
Not that I know anything about it, but 14 out of 17 does sound very good to me. How much do each of those drones cost, I wonder? They could’ve just flushed the rubles down the toilet…if they can find one.
That explosion in Tendar’s video…damn. Kaboom, indeed.
Speaking of Latin America as Zelenskyy did: “A group of South American volunteers announced the creation of the Bolivar Battalion in Ukraine.” They speak Spanish in the video with no subtitles, but just the idea of it is great. Love to see that kind of support come from so far away! If any Spanish-speaking jackals wanna give a rough summary, I’d appreciate!
Thank you as always, Adam. Your “brief” updates are still very substantive :)
@West of the Rockies: it’s an image of a shiba inu that serves as an identifying meme of dogecoin…..
Which… depending upon what you believe, will be the new means of procuring payment for the use of the platform and a way for Musk to infuse money into his platform and it allows him to “rebrand” from the “bird” or “birdsite” that stood for Twitter.
also a possible issue is that a shiba inu image is also in constant use by NAFO against the Russians and Ukrainian cyber efforts at countering Russian disinformation….
another theory is that the shiba inu image was a belated April Fools joke that was rolled out in typical Musk fashion, late and given little thoughts as to any possible conflict and blowback….
To repeat NotMax’s line from yesterday:
Putin dreamed of ending NATO, and now it’s Finnished.
NAFO is taking credit, : )
picked up the ball and are running with it,…..
others have pointed out that like the blue checkmark, it’s still there because the one guy who knew the code, was fired a while ago.
West of the Rockies
Well, I hope that anything that can blow up in Elmo’s smug mug does so.
@Roger Moore: Thank you very much. That is quite helpful and solved a puzzle for me.
So the Shiba-Inu that pops up in Twitter is the Dog(e) of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that started as a(n explicit) joke, but which people started taking seriously.
The $44billion-loser did some sure-looked-like Dogecoin market-manipulation around the time of his appearance on Saturday Night Live. I think he’s being sued by people who got screwed by his public jerking the price around, perhaps related to that.
It delights me no end to learn from Adam’s post that Tankies are assuming the Twitter Shiba-Inu is the NAFO-mascot Shiba-Inu, and that the NAFOs are responsible.
@West of the Rockies:
Read the post; it’s basically a splash screen of a Dogecoin dog.
There’s also this Dogecoin jumps as Musk’s Twitter flips logo to Shiba Inu dog April 4, 2023), and a big lawsuit that he’s trying to get dismissed:
Musk will be arguing change in the Twitter logo + the annoying splash screen is a Musk joke, or maybe he already has.
Regarding the omnipresent Shibus, I just figured that NAFO expansion was proving itself non-negotiable.
@dmsilev: People I’ve been reading say that Hungary leader Orban is merely having a snit fit about criticism of him from Swedish politicians. He’s expected to fall in line once Turkiye comes out for Sweden’s accession. That seems to be expected no matter who wins Turkiye’s Presidential election.
The are two minor candidates besides President Erdogan and Mr. Kilicdoroglu, leader of a six-party opposition bloc. So there may be a runoff May 28 if no one gets past 50%.
Does anyone know of any technical pieces about the “counter-Unmanned Aerial System 30mm gun trucks” being supplied to Ukraine? Not seeing details in quick searches, which is mildly interesting.
@Bill Arnold: They sound similar to the German Gephards that Ukraine has been using for a few months now. That’s a tracked vehicle with two rapid-firing 30mm cannon guided by electro-optical tracking. They are used for point defense against the low-and slow-flying Shahed drones. The “trucks” could be one cannon systems
Did your source say who was providing them?
The US is providing them. In the second of two tweets Adam linked above:
@Bill Arnold: There’s probably a write-up of that system somewhere. There are a lot of publications in this field. I was looking up weapons supplied to Ukraine by Turkiye the other day, and I kept running into new sites. Army Times may have an article.
The advent of drones has spurred development a lot of new systems to counter them, in addition to bringing old systems like the Gephard back into use. The Army’s 30mm gun truck sounds new
Ed. Looks like Jay’s got a link.
Wombat Probability Cloud
@Jay: I love the “Shop Now” button on that page.
Back in 2021, the US Army tested a Bushmaster 30mm RWS, with “smart shells”, electro-optical guidance and a “drone gun”, mounted to the bed of a F-150, to see if it could take out small to medium drones, while on the move. It was tested against solo’s and swarms. Apparently it works. As far as I know, it hasn’t been fielded as a integrated weapon system, just as a RWS that can be “stuck on” anything with a 24V electrical system.
The Ukrainians already use technicals equipped with (it is reported) manual machine guns and spot(search)lights for defense against drones. Such US systems would be a serious upgrade.
Ah for those who don’t know the term: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_(vehicle)
Yup, the real “biggie” is the 30mm shells. They have both a highly sensitive proximity fuse, and a command dentonated system. The RWS system’s Electro-Optical system can dentonate them with in inches of the drone, (or ground target), rather than older systems which pretty much have to hit something.
If it isn’t a Hilux or Landcruiser, it’s not a “Technical”, it’s just a “sparkling gun truck”.
Technical Alignment Chart
parody of the genre.
Yesterday DailyKos had a nice writeup about an early battle of Russia’s drive to Kiev:
Thanks. :) NATO (and, crucially, the US) having our back is a great relief and much appreciated, especially under current circumstances; personally I wouldn’t have minded this happening much earlier, but what can you do, vox populi vox Dei.
@West of the Rockies: Nonsense that Elon is doing in connection a dogecoin problem he has. Should be gone by now.
@Bill Arnold: Thank you for the Wiki link AND for the parody. It is beautiful.
@Jay: Further thanks to you for last nights explainers.
I have seen US$ 20 000 quoted for the Iranian Shahed 136 (Geran-2); kind of dirt cheap and makes shooting them down with much more pricey SAMs a questionable proposition, which, I suppose, is much the point of these; fortunately the Ukrainians have found effective ways to deal with these without depleting their precious SAM stocks (which are needed to keep Russian planes out of their airspace (which is crucial for continued success in the war)).
@Jay: Icing on the cake: the Shiba Inu image bothered Michael Tracey!
Indeed. There had been similar criticism from Finland, but once the Turks indicated that they’d ratify Finland’s accession Hungary hurried to beat them to it.
There is an EU-wide spat with Hungary: member countries are supposed to be democracies where rule of law applies and this has been increasingly questionable with them. Holding up Finland’s and Sweden’s accession might have been an attempt to get leverage there, but instead it has worked out to a change to merely air their grievances with little gain except maybe impressing some in the domestic audience.
In my view, the straight-up economic argument comparing the price of measure and counter-measure is quite misleading, despite its superficial appeal.
The problem with it is that as an enterprise, all war is an investment in waste—a whole-of-nation effort to take economically-productive resources and literally destroy them, in an effort to subtract resources from the enemy. This environment subverts much of the logic of economic reasoning, because “return on investment” is victory, or survival, to which each contender ascribes infinite value. No balance-sheet approach can capture such cost-benefit analyses.
In the specific example of drones versus drone-countermeasures, what matters is not the relative cost, but rather the relative availability, and probably the necessity to kill more destructive weapons than drones, the latter being an assessment that does not map well onto relative acquisition cost. Those are the real “economic” constraints.
Can I just say, as a supporter of NAFO’s important mission and as a dog lover, that Shiba Inus are a contemptible breed, a dog with delusions of cathood. They max out the “Awwwww!” cuteness score, which is a bizzarre figure of merit to wish to optimize in a dog, while scoring a goose egg on the things that one ought to value a good dog for. They are stubborn, high-maintenance, pint-sized escape artists that shed like a wig in a food-processor. Anyone who thinks that they really want one really wants (and deserves) a cat instead.
The ideal dog is a German Shepard. Your counterarguments are simply misinformed.
wrong, Shiba’s are great “dogs”, all dogs are great, all dogs are good, even the Corgie/Frenchie/Dachshund I met today.
Dusts the floor in his spare time.
@Carlo Graziani: Quite. Although the price of an item usually reflects the amount of resources that go into making it, money is an imperfect measure here as there tend to be other relevant constraints; with SAMs no amount of money can’t buy huge amounts immediately, same with other war gear (or much everything, really, but it is unusual to need huge amounts of something all of a sudden like N95/FFP2 respirators were needed with the start of the COVID-pandemic).
I read a few twitter feeds each day although I’ve never set up an account. And that little dog showed up today in the upper left corner of any twitter feed I open. Of course I hadn’t realized it was a NAFO dog—I thought it was a corgi. Duh…
@Carlo Graziani: re #48: I shall keep these words, and ponder them in my heart.
@way2blue: Noticed the same. They have apparently replaced the bird logo with a Shiba Inu one. A larger version also flashes up in the middle of the screen when initially opening the page, as a splash screen of a sort. This sort of thing has me thinking that something like Twitter really ought be run as a public utility* as opposed to a private corporation subject to the whims of one person.
* as a, say, co-op or mutual company controlled by its users
Okay: am I the only one to notice that Patron’s handler is pretty cute?
@Carlo Graziani: I have no dog in the fight about Shibas. However, you are absolutely correct about German Shepherds. We had two. Wonderful dogs!
ETA: I had to write the comment in Text. The edit was in Visual. Arrgghh.
ETA2: Our last German Shepherd was an escape artist who could put a Shiba to shame. She once jumped out of a second story window to get out. And shedding? No dog beats a GS for that! Our first one killed a vacuum cleaner.
Roger Moore: Ok, I’m confused. How does proving how easy it is for him to pump Dogecoin anytime he wants get him out of the pump and dump lawsuit? Is his argument that the plaintiffs are making money again so they should thank him?
From what I have read, discovery of his financial records should expose that he shorted the decline and made a profit from it. It seems like a textbook case of Musk being able to control when the crypto goes up and down with his public statements. Manipulating the stock with Twitter now just proves it.
Bruce K in ATH-GR
@Shalimar: I was under the impression that a major factor in his putting the Dogecoin dog in its place on Twitter was to divert top-ranked searches of “Musk” and “doge” away from the Dogecoin lawsuit.
Bit of a Streisand effect there, I think.
The Pale Scot
If it’s not Scottish it’s Krap!!