(Image by NEIVANMADE)
45 Azovstal defenders are coming home now.
It is now a good day.
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) May 6, 2023
As a result of another prisoner exchange, 45 Ukrainian defenders were released from captivity today. Ten officers, and 35 privates and sergeants.
42 are service members of the National Guard of Ukraine who defended "Azovstal." pic.twitter.com/Qnq8kFClum
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) May 6, 2023
Coming home pic.twitter.com/I6mrwqIqOY
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) May 6, 2023
Here is President Zelenskyy’s address from earlier today. Video below, English transcript after the jump:
We must return and will return all our people from Russian captivity – address by the President of Ukraine
6 May 2023 – 19:35
Good health to you, fellow Ukrainians!
Today is an important day for our warriors, the Day of the Ukrainian Infantry.
It is a professional holiday for defenders that always deserves special attention.
The largest component of the Ground Forces, those whose resilience is crucial for defense. Those whose effectiveness is especially important.
I had the honor to congratulate our infantrymen today, to present state awards to the warriors and honorary decorations to our brigades for their courage and bravery. The 10th separate mountain assault brigade, the 14th separate mechanized brigade, the 56th separate motorized infantry brigade… Thank you, warriors, for your performance! I thank each and every one of you who has the honor to serve in the Ukrainian infantry!
Today I handed over the Order of the Gold Star to the family of our Hero, Captain Valerii Hliebov. He was killed in action. He was the commander of the motorized infantry company of the motorized infantry battalion of the 93rd separate mechanized brigade “Kholodny Yar”.
This chevron, the chevron of the Hero of Ukraine, was given to me by his daughter Victoria. I will keep it. It is a great honor for me.
Today, our team managed to bring back 45 more of our warriors from Russian captivity. 42 male defenders of Ukraine and 3 female defenders. They all defended Azovstal. National Guardsmen. 35 privates and sergeants, 10 officers.
We must return and will return all our people from Russian captivity! I am grateful to our team involved in exchanges. Budanov, Yermak, Usov, Malyuk, Lubinets. Thank you, guys!
Today I met with representatives of Utah, one of the strongest states in America. We discussed our cooperation, and this is a good example of how a particular state can help protect freedom and people. Humanitarian support, assistance in reconstruction, political cooperation. We have enough opportunities to work together for the common interests of Ukrainians and Americans.
And one more thing. Today, the Prime Minister of Ukraine and the First Lady of Ukraine are representing our country in the United Kingdom, where the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla took place.
On behalf of the entire Ukrainian people, I congratulate Their Majesties, true friends of Ukraine, on this historic event that begins a new era of the British monarchy. I wish King Charles III many years of successful reign, and the people of the United Kingdom – prosperity and joint victories with us.
It was an honor for me to meet His Majesty in person in London, I remember our conversation, I remember the sincere emotion for Ukraine and Ukrainians. And thank you for your support! Thank you to all the British people!
Thank you to each and every one who helps protect life and freedom!
Glory to all our warriors who are now in combat! Glory to our beautiful people!
Glory to Ukraine!
Not every Soldier makes it home.
Not so long ago, Danylo Nudga, a talented young man, was sculpting clay houses and selling them on social media to fund the purchase of his dream—a vinyl record player.
The body of this 21-year-old soldier who died heroically near Bakhmut is being returned home today. pic.twitter.com/6TOYikzhbJ
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) May 6, 2023
We now have confirmation from reliable sources that the Ukrainian Air Force’s air defense elements, using one of the newly arrived Patriot batteries, brought down a Kinzhal targeting Kyiv two days ago.
Ukraine's air defenders shot down Kinzhal, a hypersonic aeroballistic russian missile, for the first time since the attacks began. This was done by operators of Patriot air defense system. pic.twitter.com/V2YqZE5QEU
— Ukrainian Air Force (@KpsZSU) May 6, 2023
Just something important to remember: the kinzhal, despite Russia’s claims of making a new supermissile, is not anything particularly special. It is simply an air launched variant of one of their existing ground based munitions upgraded to hypersonic. That the Patriot had no trouble bringing it down is not surprising given the decades old examples of them doing it with other hypersonic missiles and rockets in other conflicts. It is also a very graphic example of why we need to provide Ukraine with many more of these to further enhance their air defense capabilities.
Very clarifying table. Kinzhal isn’t a true hypersonic missile. So be wary of drawing sweeping conclusions from its alleged interception. https://t.co/J5uVZLKRxZ
— Shashank Joshi (@shashj) May 6, 2023
Here’s a full size grab of the image from the tweet above that shows that the kinzhal isn’t even close to a real hypersonic. It’s over in the second column from the left.
Nizhny Novogorod, Russia:
Someone decided to reach out and touch Zakhar Prilepin earlier today. They killed his driver, but only injured him.
Pictures are now surfacing from the scene of the car bomb attack on Zakhar Prilepin
Look at that crater pic.twitter.com/45286zin1e
— Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) May 6, 2023
Tight* with Zakharchenko.
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) May 6, 2023
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has the details:
The pro-Kremlin writer and political activist Zakhar Prilepin was wounded in a car bombing in the city of Nizhny Novgorod on May 6, the state-run TASS news agency reported.
According to reports, Prilepin’s driver died in the explosion which occurred in the region of Nizhny Novgorod, about 400 kilometers east of Moscow.
Once a left-wing dissident, Prilepin has become one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken supporters on the right and backers of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. It is the third explosion involving prominent pro-Kremlin figures since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
In August 2022, a car bombing on the outskirts of Moscow killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of prominent Kremlin-connected far-right ideologue Aleksandr Dugin. Russian authorities alleged that Ukraine was behind the blast.
Last month, an explosion in a cafe in St. Petersburg killed a popular military blogger, Vladlen Tatarsky. Officials once again blamed Ukrainian intelligence agencies for orchestrating it.
TASS quoted Prilepin’s spokespeople as saying that he was “OK.” No details were given about the extent of his injuries.
Gleb Nikitin, the governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region, later said on his Telegram channel that Prilepin had “minor fractures” and that “there is no threat to his health.”
Quoting unnamed sources, Russian news outlet RBC reported that Prilepin was traveling back to Moscow on May 6 from Ukraine’s partially occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions and stopped in the Nizhny Novgorod region for a meal.
Police are investigating the incident, the report said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the United States and NATO were to blame for the alleged car bombing but did not provide any proof to back that claim.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) told Ukrainian media that it cannot confirm or deny involvement in the attack or other incidents inside of Russia.
YahooNews! has an interview with MG Budanov, the director of Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence. Here are some excerpts: (emphasis mine)
KIYV, Ukraine — The light is dim and the windows are sandbagged. Classical music plays on an unseen speaker somewhere. The man sitting at the large wooden desk, in this fortified bunker office on the Rybalsky Peninsula, on the edge of the Dnipro River, has a pistol holstered at his side.
“They’ve been trying to charge me with terrorism since 2016,” Maj. Gen. Kyrlo Budanov, the chief of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, said. “But I want to begin by saying that the things they call ‘terrorism,’ we call liberation. And this began not because I went mad and started killing people in Moscow. It happened because they invaded our country back in 2014.”
“They” refers to the Russian government. On April 21, just a few days before Yahoo News sat down with Ukraine’s most recognizable spymaster, the Lefortovo District Court of Moscow arrested Budanov in absentia. He stands accused of creating “a terrorist community,” the “illegal acquisition of weapons by a group of persons,” and “the illegal acquisition of explosive devices by a group of persons.”
The implication is that Budanov’s intelligence service, more commonly known by its Ukrainian acronym HUR, was behind a string of audacious and lethal attacks inside Russian territory — or what the Kremlin considers to be Russian territory. These include the August car-bomb assassination of Daria Dugina, daughter of Russia’s notorious far-right theorist Aleksandr Dugin, in central Moscow, and the suspected truck bombing in October that partially dismantled the Kerch Bridge, Russia’s only direct link from the Black Sea to occupied Crimea.
U.S. intelligence has attributed Dugina’s killing to the Ukrainian government, although not specifically to the HUR. Asked about this allegation, Budanov said, “Don’t continue with that topic. All I will comment on is that we’ve been killing Russians and we will keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine.”
Officially, the HUR claims no responsibility for any cross-border attacks, of which there have been many documented examples. It adopts a Mossad-like air of menacing ambiguity whenever they occur.
On some matters, though, Budanov is unambiguous. “As of today, Russia has no military, economic or political potential to create another attempt for a serious offensive anywhere in Ukraine,” he said. “Besides that, it is completely capable of waging serious defensive operations, and this is the very problem we are about to face,” referring to Ukraine’s anticipated counteroffensive.
Budanov believes that Russia’s supply of missiles are running low, almost to the point of exhaustion. “They are trying to accumulate certain stocks and have them ready in order to try to disrupt our offensive, but the truth is that they have taken their stocks almost to zero.”
As with Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, Budanov declines to offer details of where and when that campaign will be. But he is equally confident that occupied Crimea “will be liberated because our victory is impossible without liberating Crimea.”
Policymakers in Washington have long fretted that a recapture of Crimea, assuming such a thing is even feasible, would be something Russian President Vladimir Putin could not tolerate and would prompt him to undertake a massive retaliation, possibly with weapons of mass destruction, but Budanov is not swayed by those fears.
“I’d like to underline here that it is unpleasant for me to recognize the following, but it’s the truth,” Budanov said. “Unfortunately, the Russian Federation knows how to work with the information space. That is why any event — imagine a rocket that falls into the Kremlin — they will show it as a victory for Russia. They will claim that they’ve prevented the biggest catastrophe to mankind by having that rocket fall into the Kremlin, that this missile has actually demolished the building it was supposed to and has even helped them. It sounds like a joke, but indeed, Russian society is accepting of such stupidities.”
Much, much more at the link!
MG Budanov understands his adversary far better than anyone in DC and, as a result, he is not deterred by the almost fifteen year old influence campaign that has led to Russian information dominance in US and European news media. Russia has so successfully won this portion of its information warfare campaign that seven years after it successfully interfered in both Brexit and a US presidential election and almost fifteen months into its re-invasion of Ukraine, its framing and narrative events still dominates American news. And, as a result, American policy making, strategy development, and decision making.
Before anyone asks what should be done about it, I did something about it between January and April 2013. I did an in depth assessment of it to make sure my boss, the Commanding General of US Army Europe and his senior staff were aware of it and it was pushed up to the Commanding General of US European Command/Supreme Allied Commander Europe to ensure he and his staff were aware of it. It was the US European Command required reading of the week. Those gentlemen and their staffs took it seriously. I’m sure if someone went poking around they could find the paper on the server. But in the end, fat lot of good it did anyone. The US military, despite the oft stated maxim, is NOT a learning organization. Nor is the US government.
The Guardian has reporting from Kherson in advance of the awaited counter-offensive:
The price of liberation is high. In the village of Posad-Pokrovske in southern Ukraine, a place once on the very frontline of the war, almost every house is damaged by shell fire.
Outside a blue-painted church, Father Viktor Kravchuk, 61, has laid out the sheets, quilts and clothes he has rescued from his ruined house to air in front a little cemetery that is a tangle of blossoming lilac.
Mykola Barkov, a volunteer, helps Kravchuk clear out a ruined room with a sagging, broken ceiling where, before the war, the priest hosted his church group meetings.
Kravchuk tells the story of the village, describing the brief Russian occupation there at the beginning of the war – how after the Russians were pushed out, the village became a frontline position for Ukraine’s soldiers, who were hit by Russian shells for months.
It was only last November, the priest says, when the Ukrainian army swept through the province and into nearby Kherson city, that the daily threat to the village was removed.
“When the Russians came, at first they asked us why we didn’t greet them with bread and salt,” he adds. “They didn’t understand how we saw them as occupiers. But of course it was worth it.”
The sweeping Ukrainian advances of last autumn, which saw Kyiv retake Kharkiv province and large parts of Kherson province down to the dividing Dnipro river, were achieved with limited resources.
Then, Ukraine’s nimble assault brigades moved in convoys of private cars to reach the locations where they would muster. Short on armour, artillery and ammunition compared with Moscow’s lumbering forces, they turned disadvantage to their favour.
With Ukraine on the brink of launching a spring counteroffensive, the scars of last autumn’s push are a reminder of what is at stake.
While the trenches occupied by the Russian forces, before they fled east across the river from Kherson, are collapsing slowly in upon themselves, there are new excavations now, busy with Ukrainian soldiers.
Minefield warning signs dot the countryside, while in graveyards across the region families visit those killed in the fighting. In a field not far from Kherson’s eastern outskirts the remains of a downed fighter jet, its sleek geometry buckled, has foundered in the long grass.
The evidence that more war is coming to Ukraine – and soon – is supplied by the roads, full of military traffic. Troop transports and newly supplied vehicles from western allies are moving, apparently confirming the statements of senior officials that the counteroffensive will come imminently and that they are “almost ready”.
Underlining that claim, a series of Ukrainian drone attacks in the past week have struck fuel and logistics depots in the Russian-occupied areas.
Along the southern Dnipro river around Kherson, Ukrainian artillery batteries have stepped up targeting of Russian positions on the far side of the river, while in a number of locations Russian military correspondents and bloggers say they have seen reconnaissance-in-force assaults designed to probe for weak spots.
What is also clear is that this will be a different kind of offensive, the light brigades of last year superseded by bigger and more heavily armed formations which will pose new organisational challenges to fight.
Former Australian general and military analyst Mick Ryan recently outlined how he thought the counteroffensive would unfold. “I would emphasise there will not just be one big push, but probably several different offensives,” wrote Ryan. “This is because both the south and the east present opportunities for offensive action. But it is also because the Ukrainians will want to deceive Russia about their main effort.
“But this [offensive] will be different from those that have preceded it. This time, the Ukrainians will have to fight through more dense obstacle belts established by the Russians in the east and south.”
It has not only been on the Ukrainian side that preparations for the impending fight have been in evidence. On Friday, Russia announced the evacuation of 70,000 people from areas near the frontline in southern Ukraine, blaming a recent intensification of Ukrainian shelling.
Much, much more at the link!
Destruction of a Russian 2S19 Msta, 152.4 mm self-propelled howitzer. On the left bank of the Kherson region.
PS: By a team that was equipped with a NAFO pickup, thanks to your participation in the campaign that was on this channel🤗. https://t.co/kao6ZJb266 pic.twitter.com/c7tYSn1uVx
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) May 6, 2023
The 72nd Mechanized Brigade of Ukraine destroys Russian military equipment in the Vugledar direction. Several infantry fighting vehicles and Grad MLRS https://t.co/EV3spBWZbF pic.twitter.com/0ACh57EeFA
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) May 6, 2023
Dzankhov in Russian occupied Ukraine:
Today in the morning, an explosion was reported in Crimea, somewhere in Dzhankoi area. pic.twitter.com/4i8tWrdJPb
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) May 6, 2023
I’d like to say that’s enough for tonight, but the regular update material is literally bleeding over into the daily Patron:
Today, terrorists shot 6 of my colleagues from the SES in the Kherson Region. 2 more were wounded. My colleagues were doing their job, and the terrorists were just looking to kill another unarmed person. We will never forgive. Never. #RussiaisATerroistState
— Patron (@PatronDsns) May 6, 2023
I want to help with my Fund for the wounded colleagues. And I hope I’ll also collect enough money to help the families. If you can help, I will be grateful. https://t.co/vWmpAUK81v
Pay Pal: [email protected]
— Patron (@PatronDsns) May 6, 2023
A new and more upbeat video from Patron’s official TikTok!
Очікування/реальність :)) #песпатрон
The machine translation of the caption is:
Expectations/reality :)) #песпатрон
Adam, I don’t remember seeing you post this [if you already did, sorry, not trying to repost on purpose], but it seemed interesting and topical: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/putins-eurasian-fixation-reveals-ambitions-beyond-ukraine/
It’s not so much news to us, b/c we’ve been attending the seminar (me, since “The Maskirovka Slips”) for years now. But still, interesting to read.
Adam L Silverman
@Chetan Murthy: I included something in an update at the beginning of April about the “new” policy concept. I had not seen this post by Michta, which was just published.
@Adam L Silverman: I remember some famous Russian telling his Western interlocutor: “You look at us; we seem white like you, but inside, we’re nothing like you, think nothing like you. We are Russian, and are completely unlike you.” Putin seems to be really leaning heavily on that. What would perplex any rational person, is why, if they feel this way, they insist on vacationing, educating their children, and stabling their wives, mistresses, and families, in the West. Surely they’d want to keep their dependents and their *money* back home, and away from the corrupt, decadent West.
Creating a massively armed state, with modern arms, that has an even greater than ever blood grudge against you, seems like a pretty big self own. Leaving aside that now that the treaties and hand shakes are violated and Ukraine has the ability to nuke up fast this all falls into “your genius plan, was not so genius afterall”. Even if Russia keeps the territory they stole they are going to end up with a western military that is very much hostile and itching for a fight that can go nuclear at any point they want. This is not a good outcome. They’ve also managed to terrify the crap out of countries like Poland who are now also itching for a fight while the fighting is good and drawn the fucking Finns and Swedes into NATO.
This is a shit show.
Nice to see Zelenskyy’s acting chops are still in fine form. (No offense meant to any Utah jackals, but…you know.)
That last paragraph you highlighted from Budanov is almost chilling in its accuracy. And far too many people both inside and outside of russia seem happy to keep the wool tugged down snugly over their eyes.
FLOTUS and her granddaughter at the coronation in blue and yellow! You love to see it. And a pic of them seated with Olena.
Thank you as always, Adam.
Adam L Silverman
@eversor: I expect that nuclear proliferation in many, many states is currently out of control and also currently compartmentalized. The key lesson to be learned here is if you have a nuclear arsenal, the US and NATO will let you do whatever you want.
A shit show, indeed. As you hint, there’s the possibility of a contemporary Operation Nemesis, with a larger target list. If it happens, it would probably be by one or more private actors, not by the Ukrainian state, given the interview above that says killings will stop when the war is over.
Gin & Tonic
@eversor: Ukraine’s capability to produce nuclear weapons is not as near as you seem to think. And they are not “itching for a fight” – they just want to be left in peace.
Adam, I wanted to tell you that I had a discussion about Ukraine with someone recently and they asked me how I was so knowledgeable about what was going on since they know I don’t read the news. I could only tell them to come here, search your name, and start reading. I know you hear this often in these threads, but this service you do in providing us with timely information in a single place is invaluable. I look forward to when you no longer have to do it, but I wish there was more I could do to offer my thanks to you while you do.
One thing I would like to ask is whether there might be one evening before the offensive officially kicks off where you could offer a deeper dive into more of your professional opinion and assessment of where the war stands, and what you would expect for the counter-offensive? I for one would deeply appreciate a trusted, experienced voice laying things out in a way that brings some measure of coherence to what we’re reading and seeing.
If not I totally understand, and it dims my appreciation for your (free!) work not at all. Thank you again.
The same two writers also just did an interview with Defence Minister Reznikov for Yahoo News:
@Adam L Silverman:
More like the US and NATO can’t do anything to stop you. In 2023 any Ph.d. Physicist knows how to make nuclear weapons, as a friend who got her Ph.d. in Mathematical Physics from CalTech keeps telling me.
@Adam L Silverman:
Also North Korea. (That in part was a John Bolton special.)
But Russia bears a lot of blame. And especially for their vile use of nuclear weapons as information weapons.
@Alison Rose: It’s only fair to note that Zelenskyy’s address is translated into English by a machine. There may be a bit of nuance in the Ukrainian word which was translated “strongest”- nuance that did not make it into the English translation.
Adam L Silverman
@Damien: You are most welcome. Thank you for the kind words. I’ll try to answer your question tomorrow night.
Adam L Silverman
@Bill Arnold: No argument from me.
@Gin & Tonic:
Agreed. Acquiring the (weapons grade) fissionables for nuclear devices requires significant effort and the possibility of the existence of a weapons program being externally known, and making deliverable devices has similar disclosure risks.
Accurate but it is also a mistake to over-estimate your enemy’s capabilities since that leads to being overly cautious. Classic example is the German High Command and Hitler getting their knickers in a twist during Fall Gelb and stopping the Panzer encirclement of the French and British forces in Belgium and then stopping the ground attack on Dunkirk. The evidence we have is the Russians can’t do maneuver warfare. We also have evidence even with over-whelming artillery superiority they can’t even conduct basic infantry fire and movement with any skill.
@Anoniminous: There’s a huge difference between “know how to make a nuclear weapon on paper” vs. “can procure weapons-grade fissionables and can make an actually-will-work weapon”. It’s obviously something that’s surmountable, but it’s not trivial.
(someone with a degree in Mathematical Physics is most likely a theoretician, so their skill set would skew towards the “on paper” end of the spectrum…)
you gotta stop reading Nazi Generals post war takes on how they could have won “but for these meddling kids!”
They were polishing their nobs as hard as they could post war to avoid Nuremburg and trying to land another job and get whisked away to anywhere but ruined post war Germany.
Fall Gelb and Dunkirk were paused, because Nazi logistic’s couldn’t keep up, because they relied on horses.
Nope, she knows what she is talking about. The science is known at the BS or MS level these days, depending on the university.
Atomic weapons may be nearly 80 year old technology, but that doesn’t mean that new PhDs can make them in their basements.
Richard Rhodes’ masterful “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” talks a lot about the various issues involved. I liked the bit about Fermi’s pile of carbon blocks under the stands at Stagg Field in Chicago. He needed boron-free carbon to make the block because boron has a huge cross section for thermal neutrons (meaning boron would suck them up before a sustained chain reaction could be obtained). Figuring out how to make mass quantities of boron-free carbon was one of the many materials science problems that had to be quickly solved along the way.
the science of making a nuclear weapon has long been known. The ‘science” is not hard, it’s published and simply a matter of reading.
The mechanics and process are hard, and hard to hide.
Be off just a micrometre in your implosion explosives or containment shell and you have at best, a dirty bomb, not a nuke.
There is a reason why most of the “grey zone” people who tried to make “garage nukes” died.
@Jay: It was also “we would have won except for that meddling idiot Hitler!”
For military history aficionados who are interested in this topic, I highly recommend Jonathan House’s videos on YouTube. (He’s not just some random YouTube guy- he’s a retired professor of military history at the US Army Command and General Staff College.)
@Andrya: Yeah, it’s often clear that machine translation isn’t 100% accurate to the tone or meaning of the original. I was mostly making a joke.
@Chetan Murthy: Huzzah!
They’re “Western” given their disdain for their own ethnic minorities scattered to to the east and south, and love of all things European and American–the toys and possessions of the uberrich.
OTOH we have our pockets stuffed with “Nazis” and lord knows how we’ll use them to take Russia down a peg or three.
@Alison Rose: Sorry! I have mild autism, and sometimes I treat jokes like they were seriously meant.
The area of operations was well within the capabilities of German logistics. Van Creveld states in “Supplying War” the Halt order was from OKW’s fears, not logistics.
@Jay: @Anoniminous: I’ve heard two theories as to why the Germans didn’t take out the enclave at Dunkirk.
I don’t want to hijack/misdirect this thread, but I would welcome comments on this issue.
To many people’s surprise German historians were and are much better on World War 2 than English speaking historians. Until Citino and House came around American historians and Army strategists ‘bought’ the Halder, Manstein, Guidarian, & etc. line of BS. Glantz is pretty scathing about the lack of quality research and analysis from American military historians. Even in 2023 there are piles upon piles of Wehrmacht documents nobody has bothered to sit down and read.
This is an interesting story (a quick search does not show it linked previously):
Russian Bitcoin Wallets Allegedly Exposed by Apparent Hacker – A mysterious bitcoiner used the OP_RETURN field to call out wallets controlled by FSB and GRU. (Danny Nelson, Apr 27, 2023)
Citing nutters, doesn’t help your case.
There is a reason why when you do a horseback tip into the high alpine, you have 4 pack horses. The gear for a human camping can easily be carried on one, the other 3 are to feed the horses. At 3km/hr and 4 horses needed to pull a 4tomn load weight wagon, that’s three boxes of 105mm shells, (5 per box) per wagon. 96% of the rest is needed to feed the horses and 1% is needed to feed the driver.
The engineering is not, though.
@Anoniminous: Thanks! I would also recommend Robert Citino’s videos on YouTube. He also is not some random internet guy- he works for the National World War II Museum. Now I will stop, because I REALLY do not want to hijack this thread!
@Andrya: No worries at all :)
while the Nazi military was a “zero sum” system, where every Stuka Gobbel’s got was part of a tank that the Army didn’t get, or part of a sub Canaris didn’t get, and there was tons of infighting,
and yes, the reality of the Nazi High Command including the Mustachioed asshole were sniffing their own copium about being able to achieve a peace with Britain,
the reality is, Rommel had his guys siphoning fuel out of cars, French and British vehicles to keep going, because their supply chain could not keep up. The Dunkirk “pause” was the 4th, to try to allow their supply lines to catch up.
Mike in NC
@Andrya: I’m watching a series called “World War Weird” on Amazon and they promote the idea that Hitler considered the British to be fellow Anglo-Saxon types who could be won over to support the Nazi cause.
Google Scholar has thousands of references to the Halt Order. The most recent consensus seems to be:
” …. the most plausible explanation for the decision to halt the Panzers can be found in the preoccupations of both Hitler and [von] Runstedt with the dispersion and condition of the Panzers, the terrain of Flanders and the casualties that a battle there would produce, and the planned drive south to capture Paris.”
Hitchens, Richard. “Dunkirk: The German Decision to Stop the Panzers.” The Mirror-Undergraduate History Journal 18.1 (1998): 55-76.
@Mike in NC: I don’t have a reference for it immediately, but I have read that Hitler expected German-Americans to rise up if the American government participated in the war against Germany- hence his disastrous decision to declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor. I really, really hope that at some point Hitler noticed that “Eisenhower” is a German name.
Gin & Tonic
@Andrya: It’s correctly translated, with no nuance. He simply said “one of the strongest.”
Btw, the “patches” are crap,
@Bill Arnold: What, it’s not just “get 10 kilograms of Pu-239, form it into a sphere, cut the sphere in half with a hacksaw, and set up a mechanism to push the two halves together again”? What am I missing?
(Do I need a sarcasm tag?)
Gin & Tonic
@Ken: I think I see a little problem with the sequence of steps.
Wombat Probability Cloud
@Ken: You have to wear heavy gloves. Otherwise, you got it.
@Jay: The NAFO cartoon video below that nasty bit of fake video or real propaganda is really funny. Well the end bit with Donbass Dave ushka Sarah Bils as a lizard that gets eaten is a bit gross, but even the USNI news credits NAFO for tracking her down!
ETA: I bet that BJ commenters could identify all the cartoons that were used. Not that anyone needs to.
The analysis; the Mysterious bitcoin transactions were done Feb 12 (pre-re-invasion) through April 2022, and not noticed publicly until recently. (Some blatant disrespect for GRU/SVR/FSB is apparent.)
Bitcoin in War: OP_RETURN Callouts of Russian Military Bitcoin Addresses Point to Blockchains’ Growing Role in Geopolitical Conflict (APRIL 26, 2023, CHAINALYSIS TEAM)
Card-carrying theoretical physicist here, and owner of a copy of Bob Serber’s “Los Alamos Primer”, as well as a small library of books on the development of the bomb.
The physics of a fission bomb has indeed been explicated in detail, but the engineering and industrial processes required to turn those principles into a practical, deliverable weapon are incredibly complex. When the US Government didn’t even know whether a bomb was practically achievable (1940), it created an industrial manufacturing infrastructure under Groves’ direction whose size rivaled the US automobile industry of that era. That included industrial chemists, metallurgists, mechanical engineers (the separation plants were unbelievable monsters stood up in the space of months), electrical engineers, aerodynamicist, explosives experts, high-speed photography experts, I’ll stop, the list goes on and on.
The best that a clever physicist could do to facilitate the creation of a fission bomb, if directed to do so by a national entity, would be to manage a huge project with many deputies who would be teaching her/him a lot of essential new material. If that person could do half as well as Oppenheimer did not knowing whether a weapon was in fact possible, they’d have done well indeed.
@Carlo Graziani: except, and correct me if I’m wrong about this, you don’t have to actually figure all that out. You can just call up Pakistan offer them some money and they’ll send you all the details and plans for how to do it.
@Ken: Technically, you would have to put them together and compress them inward a bit to get criticality. So maybe some kind of multiple hose clamp configuration that you could tighten around the core really tight and really fast to implode it.
@Chetan Murthy: It’s nothing like a food recipe. You have to set up major industrial infrastructure, including reactors that operate outside IAEA scrutiny, and create industrial procedures that allow you not to poison or fatally irradiate your workforce. You have to test your product, because what kind of lunatic orders a nuclear strike with a weapon produced by an untested process?
I don’t want to argue that it’s “too hard” — obviously, Israel, India, South Africa, North Korea, Pakistan, possibly Taiwan, have all had success. I’m just pushing back on “the physics is known now, what’s the big deal?” Knowledge of the physical principles is just the beginning of a long and arduous road.
Used to, sort of,……
@Carlo Graziani: My (limited) point is that you don’t have to figure out the engineering: you can purchase the plans and expertise, and merely implement somebody else’s plan, with their mentoring along the way. That’s what PK sold to DPRK, after all. And as for the IAEA, given that you’re talking about *Russia* as the worst-case, I don’t think that that’s such a problem. And hell, it might convince your Western backers to, y’know, offer to bring you under their nuclear umbrella.
nope. PK sold some of the tech for nuclear weapons to the DPRK.
It still took 30 years for the NORKs to turn what Khan sold them, (basically, just one step in the process, centrifuges) into what may be a bomb.
@Adam L Silverman:
Not to be pedantic, the Kinzhal is essentially the air launched version of the Iskander SRBM w/o the booster stage. The ground launched Iskander is already hypersonic (which just means speed of Mach 5 or more) on reentry, so there is no upgrade to hypersonic. In fact, all modern ballistic missiles are hypersonic weapons.
The Kinzhal is supposed to have maneuverable reentry, which makes it more difficult to intercept, but that does not mean it is impossible to be intercepted. The Patriot PAC3 system is specifically designed to intercept SRBMs, included maneuverable reentry, but there are limitations, too. The farther the intended target is from the Patriot battery, the lower the interception rate. So can’t really judge either way from one data point.
@Geminid: Yesterday a Russian official in Crimea claimed that they had shot down a Hrim-2 missile. This might just have been a counter-brag: “You say you shot down a Kinzhal, but we shot down a Hrim-2 so there!”
A month ago, the Russian MOD made a similar claim about intercepting a Hrim-2. While it’s unclear if the Hrim-2 ever entered into production, the Russians seem worried by the prospect. I guess we’ll find out soon enough if it’s a real threat.
As you know, the Hrim-2 (or Sapsan) missile is designed to carry a nearly 500kg warhead up to 500 kilometers, with relative accuracy. The program was begun 10 years ago but was suspended for lack of funding after one test flight in 2018. Ukraine’s government announced the program’s resumption in 2021 but there has been hardly any news about it since. Reports are that designer Pivdenne has a large underground Soviet-era manufacturing facility.
@Damien: I want to second what Damien said in the first paragraph…I post a lot of this stuff on my FB page, and people who read it want to know how I find this stuff. I just tell them where to access BJ and have at it, but a lot of them don’t know how to find and collate info, so they just follow me. The MSM is doing an incredibly poor job of getting this stuff out to normies…