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December 01, 2023

Ukraine Finally Starts To Build Defense Lines

After wasting ten-thousands of men in hopeless battles the Ukrainian comedian has finally acknowledged that his army's performative 'counter-attacks' and hold-to-the-last-man defenses have made no sense.

Politco's Dreamer of the year finally calls for building defensive lines:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for a faster buildup of major defensive lines amid Kyiv’s stalled counteroffensive and concerns that Russia could attempt to take more territory.

Zelenskiy urged greater speed and efficiency in building defenses in a video statement on Telegram after a meeting with key military and security officials Tuesday evening. He encouraged local communities to pitch in and pledged to make money available for the effort.

“Our country will definitely have enough mines and concrete,” he said. He didn’t provide details on where the fortifications would be built or how extensive they might be.

It took the Russian army several months and lots of money to build its extensive defense lines in the southeast of Ukraine.

Zelenski has neither the time nor the money to build solid lines but he wants many of them (machine translation):

According to Zelensky, he held a meeting on fortification in all major directions – first of all on Avdiivka and Maryinsky, as well as on Kupyansk and on the Kupyansk – Liman line, in Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.

In addition, fortifications will be built along the entire border with Russia and Belarus.

"We will work with our partners to strengthen our defensive lines," the president added.

Earlier, Zelensky already spoke about a "special" meeting of the Stavka, where they discussed strengthening the fortification.

Comments Strana (machine translation):

This is quite a landmark statement. It sounds like an announcement of the construction of large-scale defensive lines-similar to the one that Russia has built in the south.

And more broadly, this can be interpreted as a transition to a defensive strategy, which began to be talked about more and more often after the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine actually stopped, and the Russians themselves switched to large-scale attacks.

But officially, the authorities do not talk about the transition to defense, and the main thesis remains that the APU is preparing to attack, and there is no deadlock (which even the commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny wrote about) at the front.

Zelenski called for private companies to build the new fortifications. In the context of Ukraine that means more corruption - lots of it - as government officials will ask for kick backs for any contract they may sign. Previous attempts of privately build defense lines had ditches that were too shallow and of little utility. Some concrete was poured but in the wrong places and shapes.

There were reasons why Ukraine failed last summer to overcome the Russian defense lines. It lacked the artillery support, air-superiority and sheer mass that is required to achieve that. But Russia has all of that - an enormous amount of heavy siege artillery (200 mm and beyond), a ridiculous superiority in the number of unmanned drones and manned fighter planes and lots of new contract soldiers. Any lines the Ukrainians can build will be overcome by superior Russian forces.

Yes, passing Ukrainian minefields will be difficult. But there are ways and means to do such.

Thanks to its previous lunatic attempts the Ukrainian army has lost too many men to hold each and every line. And while the Ukrainian army will have to defend everywhere, the Russia one can choose the one or two local fronts where it wants to breach the defense lines to pass through them.

What is planned now is too little too late to save Ukraine.

Posted by b at 14:13 UTC | Comments (162)

Washington Green Lights Resumption Of Israel's Killing Spree

Yesterday U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Israel. He gave a green light to the radical Netanyahoo regime's intent to genocide more people in Gaza.

Israel agrees to protect civilians when Gaza war resumes, Blinken says - Washington Post

TEL AVIV — The Israeli government agreed to form a “clear plan” for averting civilian deaths before resuming its assault of southern Gaza, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday, a sign of the intensifying U.S. pressure that Israel faces to recalibrate its approach amid the war’s grave humanitarian toll.

Blinken said to tell Israel to change strategy for southern Gaza, suggest it won’t have months to win war - Times of Israel

According to leaked remarks from today’s war cabinet meeting, attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Blinken told Israel it cannot operate in southern Gaza in the way it has done in the north — a presumed reference to the heavy air bombardment and crushing ground operation — and indicated that Israel has weeks, not months, to complete its declared mission of destroying Hamas.

Scoop: Blinken warns Israeli officials global pressure will grow longer war goes on - Axios

Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Gen. Herzi Halevi told Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Thursday that the Israeli military operation in Gaza, including in the southern part of the enclave, is expected to take "more than a few additional weeks," three people with direct knowledge of the meeting said.
Blinken didn't ask Israel to stop the operation but expressed concern and said the longer the high-intensity military campaign goes on, the more international pressure will build on both the U.S. and Israel to stop it, one source said.
What they're saying: Netanyahu said in a statement after the meeting with Blinken that Israel will continue the war until it achieves three goals: freeing all of our hostages, completely eliminating Hamas and ensuring that no threat like this will ever come from Gaza again.

The last aim is of course only achievable if Israel removes all Palestinians, by murder or forced ethnic cleansing, from Gaza.

This morning, shortly after Blinken left, the Netanyahoo regime resumed its bombing of random people in Gaza.

As the U.S. is unwilling to use its power to prevent Israel from committing further war crimes it is up to the resistance, Hamas, Hizbullah, Badr and Houthis, to bring the U.S. and Israel, and anyone who supports, them to their senses.

Posted by b at 8:09 UTC | Comments (199)

November 30, 2023

Palestine Open Thread 2023-290

Only for news & views directly related to the war in Palestine.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 15:49 UTC | Comments (116)

Open (Neither Ukraine Nor Palestine) Thread 2023-289

News & views (not related to the wars in Ukraine and Palestine) ...

Posted by b at 15:48 UTC | Comments (94)

Good Riddance

The ghoul is finally dead:

May he grill in hell ...

Posted by b at 12:51 UTC | Comments (145)

November 29, 2023

Ukraine Open Thread 2023-288

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The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 13:45 UTC | Comments (175)

On Gaza Biden Has To Climb Down More Than He Already Has

Shortly after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 the Biden administration argued for the complete ethnic cleansing of Gaza:

US 'actively working' to establish safe corridor for Gaza civilians: White House - Yeni Safak - Oct 12, 2023

The US is in active talks with Israel and Egypt to establish "safe passage" corridors for civilians in Gaza to flee ongoing Israeli airstrikes, the White House said Wednesday amid an expected ground offensive in the besieged enclave.

"We're actively discussing this with our Israeli and our Egyptian counterparts, we support safe passions for civilians. Civilians are not to blame for what Hamas has done. They didn't do anything wrong," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at the White House.

"We are actively working on this with Egyptian and our Israeli counterparts. Civilians are protected under the laws of armed conflict, and they should be given every opportunity to avoid the fighting," he added.

By October 29 Biden was forced to call off those plans.

President Biden @POTUS - 21:23 UTC · Oct 29, 2023

I also spoke with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to share my appreciation for Egypt facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

We reaffirmed our commitment to work together and discussed the importance of protecting civilian lives, respect for international humanitarian law, and ensuring that Palestinians in Gaza are not displaced to Egypt or any other nation.

The U.S. president then started to call for a 'pause' in the fighting. This was seen a rejection of a longer term ceasefire as was demanded by other authorities.

There are now signs that he had to give in to pressure to dump that line too:

Joe Biden @JoeBiden - 22:00 UTC · Nov 28, 2023

Hamas unleashed a terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace.

To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek.

We can’t do that.

There are two reasons for this retreat. The first is that Hamas has, arguably, won the war:

Elijah J. Magnier 🇪🇺 @ejmalrai - 5:45 UTC · Nov 29, 2023

This is how I read it: @Netanyahu is in trouble and can't achieve his objectives. The army is incapable of controlling Gaza without thousands of body bags on both sides.

Biden is bringing the ladder. End of Gaza MILITARY war. Reconstruction war starts.

It is time for Netanyahoo to climb down just as Biden himself has already done.

The second reason for Biden's turn around is the outrage within the Democratic party about his one sided take on the issue:

Cont. reading: On Gaza Biden Has To Climb Down More Than He Already Has

Posted by b at 11:43 UTC | Comments (269)

November 28, 2023

Palestine Open Thread 2023-287

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The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 14:08 UTC | Comments (212)

November 27, 2023

Ukraine SitRep: High Losses, Political Infighting, Blocked Borders

How many losses did the Ukrainian army have in its war against Russia.

We, so far, did not have any answer to that. The Ukrainian military has given no realistic account of its own losses while its claims of Russian losses are obviously exaggerated.

The Russia military is likewise giving no numbers for its own losses. But its daily reports give estimates of Ukrainian ones. These are currently around 650 per day plus/minus 200 depending on the intensity of the fighting.

Some western observers, foremost retired Colonel Macgregor, say that Ukraine's unrecoverable losses have exceeded 400,000 men. But he does not name his sources.

Now a new chapter in the war between the Ukrainian president Zelenski and the Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian army, General Zaluzny, may have given us an answer. Yesterday this news item found its way to the Strana news site (machine translation):

Zaluzhny didn't provide the plan of war-2024 and has to leave-the people's Deputy from "Servants of the people"

The commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, does not have a war plan for 2024, and therefore must resign.

This was stated by Deputy head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense, MP from Servant of the People Mariana Bezuglaya on her Facebook page, referring to a "non-public discussion" with the military.

"Yes, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine could not provide a plan for 2024. Neither big nor small, neither asymmetrical nor symmetrical. The military simply said that they need to take at least 20 thousand citizens a month, " she writes.

Zaluzny has no plans for 2024 because there is nothing he can do about the upcoming defeat of the Ukrainian army.

Every time he urges to stop defending positions that can not be held, like Bakhmut and Avdeevka, the political leadership tells him use all reserves and to keep holding. Every time he urges to build strong defense lines and to retreat to them he gets overruled. There is thereby nothing, except one number, that he can plan for.

That number is the one of the irretrievable losses of the Ukrainian army is experiencing. Zaluzny needs 20,000 new men per month to replace the losses and to keep his army going.

Cont. reading: Ukraine SitRep: High Losses, Political Infighting, Blocked Borders

Posted by b at 11:30 UTC | Comments (336)

November 26, 2023

Palestine Open Thread 2023-286

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The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 14:22 UTC | Comments (281)