(Image by NEIVANMADE)
NEIVANMADE has a new project, so check it out:
Check out these exclusive images from #NEIVANMADE for the @SAVEnergyinChornobyl and @ukrposhta project. It showcases the endangered Black Stork nesting on a ruined atom, representing the belief that even after the worst tragedy, life will inevitably prevail. pic.twitter.com/3MKCRw6Qe5
— NEIVANMADE (@neivanmade) April 26, 2023
Another 44 Ukrainians were released from captivity today. 36 privates and sergeants, 6 officers, and two civilian hostages. pic.twitter.com/JoNUiPcj3m
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 26, 2023
This is why they fight!
A Ukrainian POW freed from russian captivity.
📷 @yurasov_vitaliy pic.twitter.com/1twHHjpaF3
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 26, 2023
This is also why they fight!
This what we’re fighting for.
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 26, 2023
Here is President Zelenskyy’s address from earlier this evening. Video below, English transcript after the jump:
Now there is an opportunity to give new impetus to relations between Ukraine and China – address by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
26 April 2023 – 22:25
Good health to you, fellow Ukrainians!
First of all, I would like to thank our entire team involved in the exchanges.
We managed to return 44 more people from Russian captivity to Ukraine. Most of them are servicemen. From various directions. Among them are defenders of Azovstal and Mariupol, other cities in Donetsk, Kherson, Kharkiv regions… Most of them are privates and sergeants. Some are officers. Two of them are civilians.
And it’s important that the team works on all those who are in captivity… Even if it is particularly difficult, as with some categories of captives. And these are not only prisoners of war who are difficult to return, but also, for example, civilian captives – one of those difficult categories.
We remember everyone. And even if there is no exact information about a particular person, about what happened to them or where they might be, they are still being searched for and everything is being checked as much as possible. Ukraine must return all its people.
I am thankful to all of you guys who coordinate this work: Budanov, Yermak, Lubinets, Usov, Malyuk, Klymenko… I thank each and every one who helps in the Main Intelligence Directorate, the Office, the Security Service of Ukraine and our other structures.
Of course, I am grateful to all our warriors on the frontline who are replenishing the exchange fund. Every Russian prisoner of war is an opportunity to exchange our people.
In total, 2279 Ukrainians have already been returned from Russian captivity during the full-scale war.
I spoke with the leader of China today. It was a long and quite rational conversation. It is usually said that such conversations open up opportunities. Now there is an opportunity to give new impetus to our relations – Ukraine and China.
There is an opportunity to use China’s political influence to restore the strength of the principles and rules on which peace should be based. Ukraine and China, as well as the vast majority of the world, are equally interested in the strength of the sovereignty of nations and territorial integrity… In compliance with the main security rules, in particular, the inadmissibility of threats with nuclear weapons and the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world. We are equally interested in ensuring that the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is finally fully secured and that nuclear power plants are never used for military purposes again, which is exactly the kind of cynical use Russia is trying to make the norm.
It is very important that China shares our view of freedom of navigation and trade. I briefed Mr. Xi Jinping on our efforts to restore seaborne food exports. And I heard words of support for our Black Sea Grain Initiative and its extension, as well as support for our humanitarian efforts, in particular the Grain from Ukraine program.
Of course, an essential part of the conversation is our views on ways to restore a just peace. I presented the Ukrainian Peace Formula, its specific points. We agreed to continue our communications.
Today, I took part in a conference in Rome dedicated to the reconstruction of our country. This is a special format of communication between government officials and representatives of industry and business from our countries, Ukraine and Italy. This is a special format of communication between the governments and representatives of industry and business of our countries, Ukraine and Italy, for us to be able to directly attract to Ukraine those who personify the economic power of Italy.
I thank Mrs. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for this conference and for her words of unflagging support for Ukraine. It is important that we are already planning our cooperation in 2024. In particular, this concerns the upcoming Italian presidency of the G7, as well as the preparation of a major donor conference on recovery.
I had a separate phone call with Giorgia. The key topic was defense cooperation and support for our warriors. Thank you, Italy!
These days, we are also working with our partners to coordinate defense and supply activities. It is very important for Ukraine that everyone who works with us to defend freedom clearly understands what prospects our strength has and what we can do. The better we understand each other, the easier it is to work for a common victory. For obvious reasons, we are not disclosing the details of such communication in public yet.
One more thing.
Today I spoke with IAEA Director Grossi. The anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster is the right day to remind everyone in the world how fragile our security is. And even more so when the threat of a radiation catastrophe at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, artificially created by Russia, has been looming every day and every minute for more than a year already.
Only Ukraine’s full control over the ZNPP can restore full security not only for our country, but also for the entire Europe and the whole world.
Radiation does not recognize state borders, just like the Russian Federation. And only full compliance with the rules can guarantee safety.
I would also like to thank Mr. Grossi for his initiative – a very important social initiative – of such a special medical support program for the personnel of all our nuclear power plants. Thank you for supporting our people!
Thank you to everyone who helps us fight against aggression!
Glory to all Ukrainian warriors who are now in combat, at combat posts and on combat missions!
Glory to Ukraine!
Here’s the initial response from President Zelenskyy regarding his call today with President Xi:
I had a long and meaningful phone call with 🇨🇳 President Xi Jinping. I believe that this call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine's ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 26, 2023
Here’s the official Ukrainian readout from President Zelenskyy’s call today with President Xi:
President of Ukraine had a phone call with the President of the People’s Republic of China
26 April 2023 – 18:33
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a phone call with the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.
During a productive hour-long conversation, the heads of state discussed a full range of topical issues of bilateral relations. Special attention was paid to the ways of possible cooperation to establish a just and sustainable peace for Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy reaffirmed Ukraine’s unwavering position on adherence to the “One China” policy and thanked the President of the People’s Republic of China for China’s support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The President expressed gratitude to the Chinese side for the humanitarian assistance and noted that Ukraine properly cares about the safety of Chinese citizens in our country.
The parties discussed ways to strengthen the Ukrainian-Chinese partnership.
“Before the full-scale Russian invasion, China was Ukraine’s number one trading partner. I believe that our conversation today will give a powerful impetus to the return, preservation and development of this dynamic at all levels,” the President of Ukraine emphasized. This should be facilitated by the resumption of the work of the bilateral intergovernmental commission and the appointment of the Ambassador of Ukraine to China.
The President of Ukraine emphasized that today Ukraine honors the memory of the victims of the Chornobyl accident – the largest man-made disaster in the history of mankind. He emphasized that the ongoing Russian occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the use of the plant as a cover for military strikes at our cities and villages demonstrate that Moscow does not respect the fair interest of all people of the world to live in guaranteed safety from any nuclear or radiation threats.
In this regard, the Head of State called on China to play an effective role in the settlement of the security issue around the ZNPP.
“This will be in line with the essence of the Budapest Memorandum,” he emphasized.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy briefed the Chinese leader on the situation at the front: “The situation at the front is difficult, but we are standing. And we will continue to liberate our land. We did not start this war, but we have to restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country. Within the internationally recognized borders of 1991. Including Crimea. This is fully consistent with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”
The Head of State specifically focused on the devastating consequences of the Russian invasion, emphasizing the abduction of twenty thousand Ukrainian children by Russia.
The President of Ukraine outlined the content of the Ukrainian Peace Formula and informed about the ongoing diplomatic work on the organization of the Global Peace Summit.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed hope for China’s active participation in efforts to restore peace.
“Nobody wants peace more than the Ukrainian people. We are on our land and fighting for our future, exercising our inalienable right to self-defense. Peace must be just and sustainable, based on the principles of international law and respect for the UN Charter. There can be no peace at the expense of territorial compromises. The territorial integrity of Ukraine must be restored within the 1991 borders,” the President of Ukraine said.
The parties emphasized the importance of efforts to establish peace.
The Head of State separately emphasized the importance of all states refraining from supporting Russia in the war. This should apply to military-technical cooperation, including the supply of weapons.
“Russia converts any support – even partial – into the continuation of its aggression, into its further rejection of peace. The less support Russia receives, the sooner the war will end and serenity will return to international relations,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.
The President of Ukraine emphasized the readiness of our country to remain a guarantor of global food security. Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that Ukrainian ports are currently hostage to Russian aggression and are blocked by the aggressor state, and our export routes are blocked with them.
In this context, the parties expressed joint support for the need for proper implementation and continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed about the implementation of the Grain from Ukraine global humanitarian program.
The leaders of Ukraine and China agreed to maintain a regular dialogue.
Here’s some thoughts from senior members of Zelenskyy’s team:
And this from Zelensky's foreign policy advisor and deputy head of his administration: https://t.co/a1z502Lr73
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) April 26, 2023
Here’s the PRC’s official readout:
President Xi Jinping Speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the Phone
On the afternoon of 26 April, President Xi Jinping spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the phone at the invitation of the latter. The two sides exchanged views on China-Ukraine relations and the Ukraine crisis.
President Xi noted that China-Ukraine relations, after 31 years of development, have reached a level of strategic partnership, boosting development and revitalization of the two countries. Xi commended President Zelenskyy for stating, on multiple occasions, the importance he attaches to developing the bilateral relationship and advancing cooperation with China, and thanked the Ukrainian side for its strong assistance to the evacuation of Chinese nationals last year. Mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is the political foundation of China-Ukraine relations. The two sides need to look to the future, view and handle the bilateral relations from a long-term perspective, carry forward the tradition of mutual respect and sincerity, and take the China-Ukraine strategic partnership forward. China’s readiness to develop relations with Ukraine is consistent and clear-cut. No matter how the international situation evolves, China will work with Ukraine to advance mutually beneficial cooperation.
President Xi pointed out that the Ukraine crisis is evolving in complex ways with major impacts on the international landscape. On the Ukraine crisis, China always stands on the side of peace. Its core stance is to facilitate talks for peace. He noted his proposals of four points about what must be done, four things the international community must do together and three observations. On this basis, China released its Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis. China did not create the Ukraine crisis, nor is it a party to the crisis. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible major country, China would not sit idly by, nor would it add oil to the fire, still less exploit the situation for self gains. Everything China does is aboveboard. Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way forward. There is no winner in nuclear wars. On the nuclear issue, all relevant parties must stay calm and exercise restraint, truly act in the interests of their own future and that of humanity, and jointly manage the crisis. With rational thinking and voices now on the rise, it is important to seize the opportunity and build up favorable conditions for the political settlement of the crisis. It is hoped that all parties would seriously reflect on the Ukraine crisis and jointly explore ways to bring lasting peace and security to Europe through dialogue. China will continue to facilitate talks for peace and make its efforts for early ceasefire and restoration of peace. China will send the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs to Ukraine and other countries to have in-depth communication with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. China has sent multiple batches of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and will keep providing help to the best of its ability.
President Zelenskyy congratulated President Xi on his re-election and commended China for its remarkable achievements. He expressed confidence that under the leadership of President Xi, China will successfully address various challenges and continue to move forward. China upholds the purposes and principles of the UN Charter in international affairs and has significant influence on the international stage. The Ukrainian side is committed to the one-China policy, and hopes to advance all-round bilateral cooperation with China, open up a new chapter in Ukraine-China relations, and jointly safeguard world peace and stability. Zelenskyy shared his views on the current state of the Ukraine crisis. He thanked China for providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and welcomed China’s important role in restoring peace and seeking diplomatic solution to the crisis.
There are still no operational updates from the Ukrainian MOD.
Today is also the anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster:
The anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster is the right day to remind everyone in the world how fragile our security is. And even more so when the threat of a radiation catastrophe at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, artificially created by 🇷🇺, has been looming every day and… pic.twitter.com/D9GHZiomx2
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 26, 2023
Commander of the 127th Territorial Defence Brigade, Roman Grischenko, reporting from Bakhmut on 26 April 2023. pic.twitter.com/0Aewk1vc5N
— Dmitri (@wartranslated) April 26, 2023
Spokesman of the 10th mountain assault brigade Nikita Shandyba said that the Ukrainian forces are preparing a “surprise” for the Russian forces in Bakhmut. What, can only be guessed. pic.twitter.com/IA7KutxbVH
— NOËL 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) April 26, 2023
Colonel-General Syrskyi has given an interview to Interfax Ukraine. Here are some machine translated excerpts:
Commander of the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces Colonel-General Alexander Sirsky answered written questions from the agency «Interfax-Ukraine»
The hottest is now in Bakhmut, but the enemy’s offensive in the East continues in several directions at the same time. What is the situation there?
Indeed, the enemy is advancing in the east in several directions at the same time. Now the fiercest battles continue in the area of the cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka in Donetschina. The enemy does not leave attempts to surround and capture these settlements, despite the colossal losses in living force and technology.
The enemy is also active in the Kremin direction, trying to displace our troops from the Serebryan Forestry south of Kreminny, thus creating favorable conditions for the development of an offensive in the direction of Lyman. OTU military units “Liman” repel enemy attacks, inflicting significant losses on him. And, in fact, in the Lyman direction, our fighters do not allow the enemy to advance. To strengthen our defense capabilities, troops regrouped here and reached positions in the fortification sense.
In other areas, the situation is controlled, without features.
Why do you think the enemy is making the most of his efforts in all areas of the offensive?
Indeed, Bakhmut remains the object of the enemy’s main efforts from all other directions. For Russia, eastern Ukraine is the only part of the front where it has made at least some progress with the beginning of the « Great Offensive». The plan to conquer Ukraine in three days « was transformed into nine-month attempts around a small town. After a series of defeats in northern and southern Ukraine, the Russian leadership needs to demonstrate at least the slightest success in the occupation of Donbass. Without mastering it, the occupiers will not be able to develop an offensive in the direction of Kramatorsk and Sieverska. Therefore, Russian propaganda presents the battles for Bakhmut as the second «battle for Stalingrad». They like to make such parallels. And to achieve its goals, the Russian will not spare either human or material resources.
What is the military expediency of such a long defense of Bakhmut or in simple words – what does it give us?
The battles for Bakhmut are important not only for the enemy but also for us. After all, for several months in this direction, we restrain the enemy’s offensive and do not allow him to increase the front. In addition, we inflict significant losses on the enemy – destroying their most professional units, weapons and military equipment.
Further maintenance of Bakhmut is important to our defense for several reasons:
the city is an important defense hub, the maintenance of which ensures the stability of the defense of the group of troops as a whole;
Bakhmut is a well-placed natural fortress, surrounded by rivers and located on hills, which promotes defense;
also the protection of the city is facilitated by the presence of multi-storey buildings and developed infrastructure on the left bank of the river Bakhmutovka, where our troops are defending;
the battle to master the city is a specific type of combat that requires special skills and creates difficulties for troops that led the offensive in the conditions of the forest-step;
Bakhmut is part of the Konstantin-Kramator agglomeration, the maintenance of which excludes the enemy’s exit to the flanks and rear of groups of our troops in the Lysychan and Donetsk directions.
Has the tactics of Russian troops in the east changed in recent times?
Of course, the enemy analyzes the results of his actions, draws certain conclusions and improves the tactics of using troops.
Primir, in each brigade ( regiment ) on the basis of motorcycle-shooted mouths reinforced with tanks, flamethrower, mortar and anti-tank units formed separate assault units “Storm” are designed to recover lost positions. To create favorable conditions for assault operations, the enemy actively uses tank and artillery units (, including from closed firing positions), inflicts a powerful fire defeat on our troops, destroys positions after which they go to attack assault units. In the course of assault actions, the UAV is necessarily used, so that the enemy corrects the fire of artillery, and the commander of the group is able to effectively manage subordinate personnel.
In urban conditions, the enemy uses long-term artillery fire to fire on the object of attack. The object of attack is directly stormed by a group of up to 10 people with small arms. Combat equipment is extremely rare. Usually performs an offensive in 3-4 “ waves”. The losses of the assault group are promptly replenished by the evacuation group from distribution points. Assault group commanders use smartphones with special software “Alpine Quest GPS”, which shows the coordinates of the positions of our fire extinguishers, attack objects, routes to them, as well as the tasks of neighboring units.
How does the use of Western weapons and military equipment on the battlefield affect the course of hostilities?
Ukraine’s defense forces receive a wide range of foreign weapons from partner countries, as military international technical assistance, to adequately effectively combat and defeat enemy groups. This has become an extremely important issue, as troops experience a chronic shortage of defenses to Soviet-made missile systems and artillery systems, as well as loss of weapons and military equipment.
With the receipt of foreign missile systems and artillery systems, the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to seize the operational initiative, to turn the war in our favor.
Western-made missile complexes allow high-precision missile strikes on important enemy objects, which certainly demoralizes it.
Artillery guns of foreign production by certain types of ammunition provide fire at a range of up to 30 km, and high-precision – up to 40 km. In addition, the ammunition war kit for artillery guns provides for their various equipment, including one that allows remote demining of the terrain and damage to armored targets with the help of self-targeting combat elements.
The equipment of technical means of artillery reconnaissance and unmanned aerial complexes, including foreign production, with artillery systems allows to adjust the fire and hit targets in real time, which saves ammunition and increases the effectiveness of goal damage.
The presence in foreign weapons of equipment to determine its location and automated gun fire control system, increases the efficiency of fire tasks and gives an advantage over the enemy.
A line of ammunition, including high-precision, foreign weapons allows the enemy to be effectively destroyed in both rough and urban areas under fire restrictions and prohibitions in order to minimize associated losses.
That is, the use of missile weapons and artillery, which came from partner countries as military international technical assistance, has a positive effect on the course of hostilities, namely:
gives confidence to the personnel of the Defense Forces of Ukraine in the success of operations, battles and significant motivation to conduct hostilities to destroy enemy groups;
the use of high-tech, high-precision weapons by missile troops and artillery of the Defense Forces of Ukraine significantly impairs the moral and psychological state of the enemy;
increases the effectiveness of damage to enemy objects both at the front edge and in its operational depth;
allows to conduct enemy reconnaissance in real time.
Much, much, much more at the link!
Today, in the Kherson region, 5 LANCET and 1 Merlin-VR UAVs were destroyed, reports the Air Force of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/SLrCHX52Ec
— NOËL 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) April 26, 2023
Slovyansk via The Financial Times:
It was Good Friday and Yulia, a local shopkeeper in Slovyansk — the eastern Ukrainian city Russian forces first invaded nine years ago — was hoping to sell enough Easter bread to keep her store running.
“Business has not been good,” she lamented, arranging the bread. Had it not been for the soldiers buying her merchandise, she would have had to follow other shop owners in her street who boarded up their stores and left.
Just 25 miles away, Ukrainian and Russian forces are entrenched in one of the longest battles of the war, over the now largely flattened city of Bakhmut.
“We are all worried because the frontline is getting closer,” said Olha, another employee at the shop. “We see what they have done to Bakhmut . . . It was erased from the face of the earth.”
Yulia said she stayed in what she described as a “ghost town” because her husband was fighting on the nearby frontline. He returns home between rotations to see her, their daughter, and their infant grandson.
Two days before the Financial Times visited the city, Russian S-300 missiles struck a school playground and several blocks of flats in Slovyansk, terrifying residents, who fled to basements and bomb shelters, Yulia said. Some decided it was finally time to leave, following more than half of the city’s prewar population of around 100,000 residents who had already evacuated.
Yulia and Olha said they would stay as long as Ukraine remained in control of Slovyansk. They both asked for their surnames not to be published out of fear of what Russian troops might do to them if they reach the city before they are able to leave.
“War has always been in our heads because of the occupation in 2014,” Yulia said. “I don’t know anyone who is not obsessed with the war and consumed by fear.”
Nine years ago, after the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea, Slovyansk was the first mainland Ukrainian city to fall under the control of a group of “little green men” — Moscow forces in unmarked green uniforms. They captured its government offices and declared it part of a new Russian protectorate state they called the “Donetsk People’s Republic”.
Russia’s undercover army and local collaborators who joined their ranks terrorised the city’s residents during their three-month occupation. Politicians, international conflict monitors, journalists and residents who spoke against the occupation were rounded up and jailed. Many were beaten or tortured and several were executed by firing squads, according to witnesses and documents discovered by journalists after Slovyansk was liberated in July 2014.
“The difference between then and now is like the difference between the earth and the sky,” Olha chimed in, referring to the intensity and frequency of Russia’s latest attacks. “They drop bombs on us.”
Slovyansk came under air strikes and artillery attacks last summer, as Russian troops closed in, following the seizure of nearby town Lyman. But Ukrainian troops managed to dislodge them and push them back during a flash counteroffensive in autumn, providing a brief reprieve.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that if the Kremlin’s troops capture Bakhmut, it could be a stepping stone to push towards Slovyansk and its sister city, Kramatorsk, just 10 miles south.
Sensing tougher times ahead, the mayor of Slovyansk, Vadym Lyakh, has urged residents to evacuate the city. His counterpart in Kramatorsk has done the same. But fewer people than they would like have heeded the advice.
“People are leaving little by little, but I would like to see it happen more actively,” he told local Ukrainian media earlier this month. He estimates that somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 people remain in Slovyansk.
When Russian forces were closing in last summer, the population fell to just 20,000. But upwards of 30,000 returned in recent months, believing that the situation had improved.
Much more at the link!
From The Kyiv Independent‘s Illia Ponomarenko:
And here we go with the first video showing MIM-104 Patriot in Ukrainehttps://t.co/c6iFqFYwSO
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) April 26, 2023
Here’s the full video:
And here’s the machine translation of the summary the Ukrainian Air Force posted below the video:
Since April 2023, the Patriot air defense system has been on combat duty in Ukraine!
Modern western technology has its own peculiarities, but our defenders of the sky are quickly mastering it and are ready to destroy the Russian occupier!
The Air Force has finally received what it has been longing for – a weapon against “ballistics”!
Glory to Ukraine!
Together – to victory!
In other defense acquisition news:
The Ukrainian Defense Industrial Complex is developing unmanned torpedoes:
-TLK 150: electric motor, range 100 km, 20-50 kg of explosives.
-TLK 400: range 1200 km, 500 kg of explosives.
-TLK 1000: range 2000 km, 5000 kg of explosives.https://t.co/zuqpzGNNGZ pic.twitter.com/gPAPAZUbYv
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) April 26, 2023
/3. P.S: There is currently no information on what stage of development the project is at.
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) April 26, 2023
As a national security professional who has sat through every single lesson of Defense Enterprise Management now known as Defense Management in the resident course at the US Army War College I can confidently say that it is at the on display stage of development!
Last night in comments Anonymous at Work asked:
Thoughts on Rep. Joe Wilson (You Lie!-SC)’s resolution to support Ukraine until the 1991 borders are restored? Is it a serious effort to force Republicans to show support or go home?
It is important to remember that Congressman Wilson retired as a colonel in the US National Guard from South Carolina. He originally served in the US Army Reserve. I think his service history is sufficient explanation for supporting Ukraine. I have no idea if it is a serious effort to force Republicans to show support, let alone just support, Ukraine. And given the current national security, foreign policy, and defense policy divides within the GOP as well as whatever the conservative movement is today, I doubt it would have much effect. I expect that as soon as former President Trump secures the GOP nomination for president, the official GOP position will become the position that Trump holds now. And that elected Republicans, and those seeking higher offices or their first office, will either vocally support Trump’s position or just stop talking about it or engage in a variety of attempts to avoid having to do so. It is for this reason that Governor DeSantis is once again trying to get to Trump’s right on the Ukraine issue:
.@GovRonDeSantis calls for 'cease-fire' in Ukraine.
Reporting by @AGGancarskihttps://t.co/p5NFRPmiHP#FlaPol
— Peter Schorsch (@PeterSchorschFL) April 25, 2023
From Florida Politics:
Florida’s Governor is calling for a cease-fire in Russia’s war with Ukraine.
In comments made to Nikkei Asia, Ron DeSantis called for a cessation of hostilities, lest a situation happen such as the entrenched bloodshed in World War I.
“You don’t want to end up in, like, a Verdun situation, where you just have mass casualties, mass expense, and end up with a stalemate.” he said. “It’s in everybody’s interest to try to get to a place where we can have a cease-fire.”
More than 300,000 people died in Verdun.
DeSantis also suggested the fight was Europe’s fight, not so much America’s concern.
“The Europeans really need to do more. I mean, this is their continent. The U.S. has provided security for them. And yes, Poland — there’s some that are doing stuff, and that should be appreciated. But Germany, they’re not doing anything,” DeSantis said.
Which is why this is the question to ask and the context in which to ask it:
Help me understand this. We were raised on the ideals of western freedom and values. Now that we have russia invading Ukraine we have that classic story of a free, smaller nation standing up to an oppressive, backwards regime. A classic underdog coming out on top kind of tale. A… pic.twitter.com/7byUbzoEYA
— NAFO Orwell🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@OrwellsShaddow) April 25, 2023
Here is the full text of the tweet:
Help me understand this. We were raised on the ideals of western freedom and values. Now that we have russia invading Ukraine we have that classic story of a free, smaller nation standing up to an oppressive, backwards regime. A classic underdog coming out on top kind of tale. A free, democratic nation, fighting against a kleptocratic backwards dictatorship. Why the hell would anyone in the west support russia? Right wingers: russia has a 14% church attendance, highest HIV rate in Europe, one of the highest divorce rates, some of the highest abortion rates out there, selling its resources and future to communist China, if you’re looking for a “based and trad” nation, this ain’t it. Left wingers: russia legalized domestic violence, despite the comparable to the west amount of gay people is actively persecuting gay and trans people, top 1% is immune to any persecution, minorities are actively discriminated against. If you’re looking for your “communist equality heaven” this ain’t it either. There is literally no reason to support russia no matter what beliefs you hold.
In Murmansk, Russia has once again attacked itself!
Russian military supersonic fighter MiG-31 crashed in Murmansk region, Russia pic.twitter.com/3E4dtsgJMI
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) April 26, 2023
/3. The MiG-31 sank in Lake Bolshaya Imandra, leaving only small fragments on the surface. pic.twitter.com/zHdg2tkMTk
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) April 26, 2023
That’s enough for tonight.
Your daily Patron!
Гарний тренд😊 #песпатрон #патрондснс
And the machine translation of the caption:
A good trend 😊 #песпатрон#патрондснс
Really hasn’t been paying attention very much has he. Either that or he is reading very old news releases. Germany has really upped their contribution. I won’t go into what all the other nations are doing. And I bet he couldn’t even locate Slovenia on a map.
The attitude of republicans towards Ukraine and Russia reaffirms my belief that had today’s republican’s been in office in 1941, they would have been pro-Hitler literally up until the day of pearl harbor.
The Republicans of that time were pretty much pro_Hitler.
Um, a lot of actual Republicans of that era were pro-Hitler
When I saw the news notification about Zelenskyy’s call with Xi, I was honestly amazed. I don’t necessarily expect a sudden 180 from Xi, but I am glad he was at least willing to have the conversation (and I hope it irritated putin). I also love how Zelenskyy discussed it in his nightly address, all the nudge-nudge about China’s influence and strength and such. Like, I’m gonna say nice things about you, how are you gonna respond? And who knows…what we do know is that Zelenskyy is an incredibly persuasive and incisive speaker.
United24 has audio from an intercepted call from an orc in Kremenna to a relative. “It’s a living hell here.” Yeah, well, y’all could get the fuck out and that would solve that problem, wouldn’t it, Sparky?
Thank you as always, Adam.
I’ve been wondering where you were. Glad to see you again.
Gin & Tonic
Lot of meat tonight, Adam, thanks. But I’ll have to get back to it after the Knicks game.
@Baud: @Alison Rose: Yes, what Baud said. Glad to see you back.
@Citizen Alan: As long as Hitler in that counterfactual didn’t make the mistake of declaring war on the US after Pearl Harbor, they probably still would have been afterwards.
@Baud: I was taking a breather. Thank you :)
@MagdaInBlack: Merci :)
@Gin & Tonic: I’ve never cared much about basketball, but then I found out Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode is a huge Knicks fan so now I care a little bit about the Knicks.
Shhh don’t tell anyone else I admitted that.
Steve in the ATL
@Citizen Alan: the Bush family financed Hitler, even after we were at war with him.
@Steve in the ATL: Lindbergh’s daughter didn’t find out about her father’s antisemitic speeches until she was in college.
I imagine that many Americans today didn’t realize he was not only antisemitic, but admired Hitler.
Why is the machine translation of Colonel-General Syrskyi’s interview transcript so much worse than usual? Is it military-idiom-heavy?
E.g. “motorcycle-shooted mouths reinforced with tanks, flamethrower, mortar and anti-tank units”.
I am not complaining; machine translations are enormously helpful for international understanding and very much better than e.g. 10-15 years ago.
Vatnicks, Orc’s and Ruzzians are probably going to try to claim a CBW attack.
Which is how a nation-state fails.
“A growing number of analysts predict that his stalled Ukraine invasion could be the catalyst for a wave of social and economic upheaval in Russia that loosens Putin’s grip on power within the next decade. Nearly half of top foreign policy experts and global strategists say Russia will become a failed state or break up completely by 2033 due to economic collapse and social upheaval, according to a survey released Monday by the Atlantic Council, an independent think tank focusing on international affairs.”
@Anoniminous: A failed state with a lot of nuclear weapons.
I am not sure if breaking up is a good idea – isn’t the eastern territories of Russia generally small populations and can’t leverage the population centers on the western side?
Having their own country seems challenging to me – but who knows. Maybe they can join China
Gin & Tonic
@Alison Rose: There is still time to avoid becoming a Knicks fan, which is mostly heartbreak.
But they closed out the Cavs tonight, which is good.
Oddly enough, Russia’s big companies are collecting their own mercs. Gazprom has sent some to replace or support Wagner troops in Ukraine. Naturally Wagner’s guys do not like it when Gazprom orcs want to retreat.
title: “Ukrainian counterattack has to break through 3 lines | The Dnipro crossing potential |Ukraine Update”
I’m sorry, but I can’t follow White Boots logic. How exactly does a cease-fire in Ukraine provide disaster relief to Ft. Lauderdale? I mean, he is supposedly governor of Florida, pudding-drenched hands and all, so I sorta thought he might give at least a flicker of interest in what’s happening there.
Gin & Tonic
Earlier today I saw a galactically stupid tweet from Elmo’s buddy David Sacks on the Zelensky-Xi conversation, which somehow was apparently intended to (and did) insult Biden. I spent a few minutes that I’m never getting back trying to figure out what that dope’s point was, but then moved on. I’m sure interested readers can find it; I’ll pretend it doesn’t exist.
Would it be unconstitutional to deport all billionaire white South Africans?
If Russia fails it will be from a combination of internal dynamic forces as pushed along by Putin’s stupid Ukrainian war.
@Gin & Tonic: As a USMNT fan, I’m accustomed to sports-related angst.
@Gin & Tonic:
It would be unconstitutional not to.
@Gin & Tonic: That’s not good. I was in the kitchen making dinner, and I had to ask my husband if he actually enjoys watching Cleveland sports, since he swears at the tv so much.
@Alison Rose: Yes, I continue to be very impressed w/ Zelenskyy & team’s pragmatism toward the “straddling” powers, seeking every opportunity & using every leverage to maximize Ukraine’s interests, tailoring tactics & rhetoric to each audience/interlocutor to maximize potential effect. Of course, Ukraine is fighting for its national survival, its leaders cannot afford to be anything other than pragmatic in the utmost.
My read of the call is as follows:
1 hr is not that long, considering the two-way translation required. For instance, Xi-Biden calls tended to last 2.5 – 3 hrs, & I think Xi & Macron met for 5 hrs face to face. OTOH, it is longer than a 30 min courtesy chat.
I am rather surprised that it happened now. I thought if it was going to happen it would have happened sooner following Xi’s visit to Moscow (though that might have miffed Putin). I was wondering what they could possibly talk about that would not be awkward, but they managed to focus on the bilateral relationship to mutual benefit.
I have seen suggestions that the Xi was pressured into the call w/ Zelenskyy due to the brouhaha w/ the Chinese Ambassador to France. This is probably not true, leadership level calls typically need weeks of prep. Xi might have given private assurance to the procession of European leaderships that recently visited Beijing that he would call Zelenskyy, w/o committing publicly to a time frame. However, the exact timing of the call might have been influenced by the brouhaha.
Not a surprise that Russia was not mentioned in either side’s read out. Xi & the Chinese government feels that the entente w/ Russia is a critical component of its foreign policy strategy in the environment of rapidly intensifying Great Power Competition w/ the US. China had always stated that it respected the sovereignty & territorial integrity of “all countries” (which would include Ukraine but not most of the time not explicitly stated), this is the 1st time the stance has been directly & unambiguously linked to Ukraine, by Xi himself.
It was quite smart for Zelenskyy to focus on the bilateral relationship w/ China. Instead of trying to move the immovable — shift China away from its entente w/ Russia, desist from purchasing Russian commodities or selling Russia dual use items, he is trying to maximize what Ukraine can gain from China. If China (& India/Türkiye) can help fund the Russian invasion by buying Russian commodities at discount prices, China (& India/Türkiye) can help fund the Ukrainian defense by purchasing Ukrainian commodities at market prices. Furthermore, as Russia continues to try to degrade Ukrainian infrastructure, Ukraine needs to continue to repair the damage. Chinese can be a supplier w/ good cost/benefit ratio for critical goods: power generators (including distributed renewable energy such as solar/wind), power distribution equipment, construction equipment, etc. The Ukrainian economy & government finances are under extreme duress, so each Hryvnia needs to extend as far as it can go. Chinese wares can be had at “good enough” to excellent quality & relatively cheap price. They can also be had at mediocre to terrible quality & dirt cheap prices, that’s where Procurement needs to do its homework. Ukraine can continue to procure dual use goods (such as the drones that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are utilizing so well) from China & ask the Chinese government not impede Chinese enterprises from trying to make money.
I think Zelenskyy’s bottom line is China resists from selling weapons & munitions to Russia. Chinese calculation is mainly impacted by its relations w/ the EU & the US, & the fact that China is actually not invested in Russia victory in Ukraine (it is invested in preventing a regime collapse in Russia), but Zelenskyy is trying to add just a bit more weight on the scale.
The language on ultimate peaceful resolution by both parties are largely pablum for internal consumption, as best aimed at staking out seat at the future negotiating table & positions for the negotiation, or boxing the other into certain positions. Everyone will be waiting to see the Ukrainian offensives this year go.
It was interesting to see One China Policy mentioned in both read outs. I posted before about the difference between the One China Principle that the PRC proclaim & the One China Policy that the US & most of the West follows. I would have thought Ukraine signed up to the One China Principle when it established diplomatic relations w/ the PRC. Typically, Chinese read outs will only say the interlocutor remain committed to “One China”, if the foreign leader was talking about One China Policy. Ukrainian members of Parliament have been promoting ties w/ Taiwan for democratic solidarity. Perhaps Zelenskyy is signaling to Xi that Ukraine is willing to be less conspicuous in playing footsie w/ Taiwan if China is willing to be more helpful to Ukraine.
I doubt much will happen until Putin bites it. After that I will place no bets.
@japa21: The dumbshit studied *history* at *Yale* and he doesn’t know (or, more certainly, he pretends to not know) the actual history of *why* we induced our European allies to be unable to independently mount real warfare (and hence, to have lackluster militaries overall). I mean, he has no fucking clue about the basis of American hegemony, that same hegemony that pays such outsize fucking rewards to the gazillionaires he wants to service as President.
Zelenskyy has been an impressive diplomat. Everything he does is in the direct interest of Ukraine. He doesn’t hesitate to scold or cajole allies into sending aid, and he’s always gracious when he receives it. In the case of China, he knows that they heavily favor Russia, but he engages on the off chance that it will keep them from sending critical military support to Putin.
I should add that the Chinese plan to send a special envoy for Eurasian security is most likely performative for the time being, aimed at soothing the Europeans. It would be similar to Chinese special envoys to the Middle East & the Horn of Africa. Opportunities for breakthroughs like the Saudi-Iran rapprochement is rare.
Li Hui, the appointed envoy, was Ambassador to Russia from 2009 – 2019, and & a significant figure in Chinese diplomacy circles.
@Alison Rose: are you catching them on their tour?
I noticed that too. I was wondering, however, how that phrase was rendered in the Chinese language version of the readout, as opposed to in MFA’s official English translation. Have you had a look?
Probably, but there have been reports that some of the wingnut politicians who play dumb for the rubes (Rhodes scholars affecting a cornpone accent, etc.) do seem to get dumber over time, according to journalists who’ve interacted with them. So it’s not impossible that working to ingratiate himself to the dumbest people alive has actually made Meatball Ron that stupid.
@Redshift: some rhodes scholars were always dumb. Source: I know a few
@japa21: @Baud: In fairness, it wasn’t just Republicans. There was substantial anti-British feeling, among both Irish and German immigrants and descendants of immigrants, as well as admiration for the Nazi model, and for how it had brought prosperity to Germany in less than a decade. There was also a fair amount of admiration for the Soviet Union and for Stalin in the U.S., which probably drove more support for Nazi Germany and its politics among people who feared a Communist Revolution here.
Basically, there was a good deal of disillusionment with the staying power of democracy, and a disturbing strength to the argument that a democratic social order was no way to manage modernity, particularly as the Fascist powers—or, alternatively, The Soviets—were demonstrating more successful alternatives. Not terribly different from what we hear from certain political quarters in our own day.
In his masterful trilogy The Age of Roosevelt, Arthur Schlesinger argued persuasively that Roosevelt saved world democracy from the threat of its pernicious competitors by infusing credibility into it, through the positive action of New Deal institutions and reforms, and through the persuasiveness of his political rhetoric in its defense. I believe that he’s essentially correct in this. And I think that this is another hopeful lesson for our times.
@Carlo Graziani: Chinese reporting says Zelenskyy reaffirmed Ukraine’s commitment to “一个中国政策“, or One China Policy. Looking at the joint communique issued by China & Ukraine at the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, as well as joint declarations between Chinese & Ukrainian leaders since, it appears Ukraine took/takes the position that the PRC is the sole legal representative of China, & that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, which would be in alignment w/ the One China Principle that the PRC advocates. (Not surprising that Ukraine would take this position as a freshly independent state coming out of the collapse of the USSR, since the USSR had affirmed the One China Principle.)
Perhaps One China Policy means different things in China’s different diplomatic partners. Certainly the One China Policy in held by the US & most of the West are meant specifically to differentiate China’s One China Principle, though there is a range of flavors to the One China Policy, both in conception & execution.
@Carlo Graziani: Some of the New Deal institutions & programs were influenced by programs in Nazi Germany, as well. However, Roosevelt absolutely helped to preserve both democratic (however deeply flawed) & the capitalist (however deeply flawed) system by reforming them, & thus preempt either Fascist or Communist revolution.
For those interested, not directly Ukraine-related but Ukraine and Russia are both quite active against each other:
North Korea’s “Vibes-Based” Targeting – PLUS: Iran Cries Havoc and Lets Slip the Dogs of Cyber (TOM UREN, Seriously Risky Business, APR 26, 2023)  (emphasis mine)
Also, for those who missed it (Gin & Tonic mentioned on 3 April), Head Fancy Bear pranked with sex toys:
Hackers send sex toys to Putin’s ‘Fancy Bear’ cyber warfare boss in humiliating prank – A Ukrainian hacker collective group calling itself Cyber Resistance broke into GRU intelligence chief Sergey Morgachev’s personal email and managed to order sex toys on his account (Michael Moran, 14 APR 2023)
 Page has spider web audio :-) Spider silk can vibrate at a wide range of frequencies. When the spider ‘plucks’ the silk strands of the web it creates ripples in every direction, longitudinal vibrational waves that the spider can feel in each of its eight legs.