(Image found here; h/t Steeplejack)
Seven hours of sleep and I feel significantly improved! So we’re back to a more or less regular update tonight.
Also, thanks for everyone who tried to answer my question last night. Allison Rose got the correct answer in first; please see Anne Laurie on the mezzanine level to collect your prize! Unfortunately, these only come in medium. I do not know why. If they came in all the sizes, or at least one that would fit me, I would actually order one. If anyone sees someone selling something similar, especially without the QR code on the back, where the money goes to help Ukraine and/or Ukrainians, please let me know! If someone can find a legit vendor selling a Ukrainian national hockey team jersey, that would do too!
Here is President Zelenskyy’s address from earlier today. Video below, English transcript after the jump:
Good health to you, fellow Ukrainians!
Today in Kyiv, a new plaque dedicated to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen was unveiled on the Walk of the Brave. It was really a great honor and simply a pleasure for me to take part in this unveiling, in the recognition of Mrs. Ursula’s bravery. She is one of the central figures of the European policy towards Ukraine, she is one of those thanks to whom the European space and European values are now really being protected.
Today Mrs. Ursula has visited our country for the third time since February 24. And every time her visits open a new stage in the rapprochement of Ukraine and the European Union. We discussed all the key points in our relations. But now I want to highlight the issue of integration, the movement of our country towards full membership in the EU.
Whatever the circumstances, we will still implement every detail of our arrangements to open the possibility of membership negotiations. Already in November, we are to fulfill the seven recommendations of the European Commission, which we received when we obtained the candidate status. The assessment by the European Commission of our progress in integration should begin as soon as possible. And next year, we should clarify the key issue: when we can start membership negotiations. The Ukrainian side will do everything for this. And as elements of rapprochement, we consider such things as the regime of the EU internal market for Ukraine, as the unification of our institutional work, for example, at customs – in joint customs control between Ukraine and EU countries. We are already working on this.
Today I thanked Mrs. Ursula for the support already provided – macro-financial, sanctions, defense. We also discussed energy cooperation, which is extremely important for Ukraine and for every EU country on the eve of this winter, which Russia will try to use against all of us in Europe.
I told about a new and particularly vile tactic of Russian terrorists – attacks on energy and hydrotechnical infrastructure. Just during the stay of the President of the European Commission in Ukraine, the Russian army launched new missile attacks on Kryvyi Rih, on the Kirovohrad region. In both cases – on hydrotechnical structures. The purpose of these strikes is completely clear. These are attacks on people, on the normality of life in Ukraine. The terrorist state is trying to show that it can allegedly compensate with such strikes for the cowardice and incompetence of its military, for the failure of its efforts to avoid sanctions and economic isolation.
In response, we must show that there will always be a tough and principled reaction to every manifestation of Russian terror. That is why the eighth EU sanctions package is needed – we talked about it with Mrs. Ursula. A principled decision by the United States of America regarding the terrorist state, the legal recognition of this status is also needed, and we discussed this, by the way, recently during the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Kyiv. We also discuss this issue during contacts with congressmen.
Progress is needed in providing Ukraine with air defense systems. We already have agreements with certain countries, our diplomats are working with others. I want to emphasize that without providing us with a sufficient number of sufficiently effective air defense systems that will protect the Ukrainian skies, Russia will continue to feel impunity and provoke new local and global crises. Therefore, protecting Ukraine from Russian missiles is truly a basic element of global security.
In general, supporting Ukraine with weapons, ammunition and finances is crucial for peace in Europe. The better support we have, the sooner this war will end. I talked about it with the representatives of the leading think tanks of Poland, Britain, France and the US who arrived in Kyiv. Real protection of freedom and common values of the free world is possible now only as a result of Ukraine’s victory in this war.
I also spoke about further support for Ukraine with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As always, very substantive, specific. We discussed various security issues, including Russian missile strikes, defense assistance, training of our military, prospects for the developments on the battlefield, restoration of critical infrastructure before the winter period. I am grateful to Mr. Prime Minister for the support already provided to us, in particular financial, for the funds for the purchase of gas. And for understanding the steps we need to take to ruin Russia’s terrorist plans.
An important IAEA resolution was adopted today – a resolution demanding that Russia cease all actions against the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant at the plant itself, at any other nuclear facility in Ukraine. Although international organizations are often limited in their ability to respond, we see that the IAEA clearly identifies the source of radiation danger, namely: the Russian military presence at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, Russian actions against the nuclear power plant. Therefore, the complete demilitarization of the plant, the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from there is the only thing that can ensure the implementation of this IAEA resolution. And this is also a basic element of global security. As long as Russian soldiers remain at the nuclear power plant, the world remains on the brink of a radiation disaster – worse than even Chornobyl. And it is the joint responsibility of everyone in Europe and the world – to remove the Russian presence from the territory of the ZNPP.
Today I want to thank all the representatives of the State Emergency Service, utility services, construction workers, police officers, military personnel, representatives of local authorities, business representatives – everyone who is involved in eliminating the consequences of Russian missile terror, who helps those who suffered from the strikes. In Kryvyi Rih and the Kirovohrad region, in Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia, in Mykolaiv and the Donetsk region – in all the cities and communities that Russia tortures with its missiles.
The terrorist state has already used more than 3,800 different missiles against us. But no missile will bring Russia closer to its goal. There will be no subjugation of Ukraine. And each missile brings Russia closer to greater international isolation, greater economic degradation and even clearer historical condemnation.
And finally. A mass burial site was found in Izyum, Kharkiv region. The necessary procedural actions have already begun there. There should be more information – clear, verified information – tomorrow. Tomorrow there will be Ukrainian and international journalists in Izyum. We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to. Bucha, Mariupol, now, unfortunately, Izyum… Russia leaves death everywhere. And it must be held accountable for that. The world must hold Russia to real account for this war. We will do everything for this.
Eternal memory to all those whose lives were taken away by the occupiers! Eternal glory to everyone who fights for Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!
Here’s the British MOD’s assessment for today. The mappers appear to still be on leave. Or skiving off the lazy gits…
Here is former NAVDEVGRU Squadron Leader Chuck Pfarrer’s most recent assessment of the situation in Kherson:
CLARIFICATION: @nick_cordoba has reported that the Mayor of Mykloiav indicates that the village of Kiselyvka is still occupied by RU forces. Nee information is always welcomed.
— Chuck Pfarrer | Indications & Warnings | (@ChuckPfarrer) September 15, 2022
— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) September 15, 2022
— Oliver Carroll (@olliecarroll) September 15, 2022
But here is the rub: “When Russians took Izyum they shelled heavily + people died on the streets. Municipal services didn’t know who they were but buried them.” 2/4
This coincides with my own hunch, which I wrote in tweet, that evidence from Izyum not happy days, but did not support “Bucha” conclusion — i.e. mass, systemised war crimes against civilian population. Less so “two Buchas” as govt adviser Heraschenko claimed and some reported 3/4
The ombudsmen is very clear in interview: “I don’t want to call it Bucha. Here people were buried in a more civilised way.” 4/4
You can’t make this up – some of the Russian units in Ukraine used (probability are still using) “Atlas of the Automobile Roads of the USSR” for directions. This is the second largest army of the world. pic.twitter.com/P9FfuxnOt8
— Ia Meurmishvili (@iameurmishvili) September 15, 2022
Putin met with Xi today. And whether Putin realizes it or not, he is now the junior partner to Xi and Russia is now a vassal state in its relationship to the PRC.
Then talks about Ukraine. "We understand your questions and your concern in this connection." Translation: Uncle Xi has not been happy. pic.twitter.com/47FOep4YPp
— Sergey Radchenko (@DrRadchenko) September 15, 2022
But check out Xi Jinping's comments to his "old and dear friend." Xi: "We are prepared, with the Russian colleagues, to show an example of being a responsible world power and play a leading role so as to take the world onto the trajectory of sustainable and positive development." pic.twitter.com/3ExA8y11JT
— Sergey Radchenko (@DrRadchenko) September 15, 2022
Conclusion. Putin looks desperate. Xi looks like he is calling the shots. The whole relationship is rapidly becoming very, very lop-sided.
— Sergey Radchenko (@DrRadchenko) September 15, 2022
For those looking for it, here’s the video of Prigozhin trying to recruit inmates to work for him as private military contractors (read mercenaries) and go fight for Putin in Ukraine.
For the first time, a video emerges of a recruitment talk for Wagner by Prigozhin in a Russian prison camp. Absolutely bonkers. “Nobody goes back behind bars. If you serve six months, you are free. If you arrive in Ukraine and decide it’s not for you, we execute you.” pic.twitter.com/9rlAbhKaQW
— Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) September 14, 2022
This is a very interesting and, I think, on point thread from the head of political philosophy at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences:
1) radicals – a sizeable but extremely loud minority that actively supports war, is engaged, follows the news and in rare cases even goes to the frontlines (15-25%). This is the audience of the milbloggers, Telegram channels and vampires like Solovyov or Skabeeva 2/25
— Greg Yudin (@YudinGreg) September 14, 2022
2) dissenters – a sizeable minority that categorically opposes the war. It is banned from Russian-based media and generally depressed (20-25%) 3/25
3) laymen – a passive majority that is completely depoliticized and doesn’t want to have anything in common with politics & war (50-65%) 4/25
Laymen are the bulk of yeah-sayers when asked “Do you support the President’s decision to conduct the special military operation or are you a national traitor to be put in prison for 15 years?” 5/25
The laymen are the those carelessly enjoying their lives while people are dying in Ukraine. It is obviously deplorable but the upside of it is that these people are completely unwilling to participate in war actively in any way https://twitter.com/hebelowski/status/156870599919608449… 6/25
Laymen try to shield themselves from any news about war as hard as they can and know very little about the defeat in Kharkiv (many of them wouldn’t even tell where Kharkiv is located). The mainstream radio and TV news are protecting them from this information 7/25
Importantly, as TV started promoting hard war propaganda, the viewership went down. Precisely because laymen want their soap operas, nutritionists, and standup, rather than boring news from the frontlines https://dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11140879/A-quarter-Russians-stopped-watching-state-TV-BORED-Putins-propaganda.html… 8/25
Conversely, the radicals are seriously affected by Ukrainian counter-offensive. They exploded in finger-pointing and blaming military leadership, each other, and even Putin for this defeat. For the first time, there is a heated discussion between them 9/25
There is a variety of tones in this discussion – from relatively optimistic “we should unite around Putin and take revenge” to completely fatalist “the war is lost, no matter what”. But: all of them demand total mobilization of Russian society and more aggressive war 10/25
They are united by the belief that Russia would have easily conquered Ukraine, but for some reason (treason, incompetence, generosity) it wages the war with one hand tied 11/25
However, this discussion is significant. For the first time people start realizing that Putin is not invincible. Hard to overestimate how important this myth is for Russia. Belief that Putin will prevail no matter what paralyzes all independent action 12/25
The radicals are getting angry at the laymen for continuing with their normal life as troops are dying for the survival of the country under NATO’s assault. The laymen are angry at the radicals for trying to politicize their lives, e.g. introduce war propaganda to schools 13/25
I have seen people taking Boris Nadezhdin’s statements on Russian TV as a sign of a crack in the dominant narrative. https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1569070513909022720… This is not the case 14/25
Nadezhdin is an old liberal from the 90s, a comrade of Boris Nemtsov. Nemtsov decided to mount a real opposition to Putin (with a dismal outcome). Nadezhdin opted for playing along Putin’s rules of fake opposition and joined one of his puppet parties https://spravedlivo.ru/10032415 15/25
The benefit of this strategy is that you are regularly invited to these shitshows as a strawman to be humiliated. This is how you gain national recognition, (helps on the election day!) 16/25
However, Nadezhdin himself was obviously against this war from day one, and he is clearly against Putin, too – this is just something you cannot say openly on Russian TV. There was no change at all in his attitudes because of the recent setbacks 17/25
The brave statements of local MPs calling to impeach Putin are no sign of change either. They belong to dissenters and protested against the war as much as they could. This call is a farewell gesture – last week their term ended, many of them were not even allowed to run 18/25
Still, current situation puts Putin in a precarious position. He is dependent BOTH on the passivity of the laymen and the engagement of the radicals. That’s why he sells two contradictory narratives – one about an existential war and another about things running as usual 19/25
Now, the radicals’ demand for total mobilization is totally unacceptable for the laymen. However, the defeats on the frontlines make Putin’s reluctance to put the country on wartime footing unacceptable for the radicals 20/25
Putin’s strategy has been targeted mobilization – recruiting people among the radicals while leaving the laymen to their own devices. There is some room for him to continue with that strategy, but military defeats will make it increasingly strained 21/25
Putin is unlikely to yield to demands to declare mobilization now. It requires political mobilization first. Now is a bad moment. Even volunteers go to Ukraine to join a winning army and earn some $, not to face a strong opponent. The draftees will be even less enthusiastic 22/25
To sum up, balancing between depoliticizing society in general and mobilizing the radical part of it simultaneously will be increasingly difficult for Putin as the major defeat is looming 23/25
Can Putin sell a defeat as a victory? No. Radicals will not hesitate calling it a defeat, and laymen will not forgive him the distortion of their everyday life 24/25
Putin will not survive the military defeat in a war where he staked the whole country 25/25
That’s enough for tonight.
Your daily Patron!
Never mind. Testing videos here on Twitter. I made a bet with the TikTok fairy that it is better to make a video for Twitter. So what do you think? 😀 pic.twitter.com/Y5RqBMKUZL
— Patron (@PatronDsns) September 15, 2022
And a new video from Patron’s official TikTok:
The caption translates as:
And how are your pets resting? 😅 #dogPatron #PatronDSNS #SlavaUkraini