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The Donbas is ideal AFV terrain and therefore the Ukrainians are losing men, material and ground. Lots of. Because of the Russian tactic of heavy artillery stonks followed by AFV column attacks on what's left. Basically the classic Russian strategy that has served them well in the past.

US Himars (High mobility artillery rocket systems) en route to Ukraine have been put forward as a game changer.

But politics seems to have diluted the actual response and use:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/02/bidens-pledge-to-send-rocket-systems-to-ukraine-is-no-silver-bullet

They are still going to be very useful though...

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There are some interesting news posts and videos breaking from ( mainly ) Ukrainian on line alternative news resources reporting that Putin suffered catastrophic injury during an operation to remove a tumour and is now on life support. 

It may be propaganda. It’s not been confirmed by any major news agency.

There are also reports from Russian internal opposition sources that Navaly has disappeared within the penal system and was not made available/produced  to meet with his lawyers for  a scheduled meeting earlier.

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36 minutes ago, John Wright said:

There are some interesting news posts and videos breaking from ( mainly ) Ukrainian on line alternative news resources reporting that Putin suffered catastrophic injury during an operation to remove a tumour and is now on life support. 

It may be propaganda. It’s not been confirmed by any major news agency.

If true let's hope he is replaced by someone more reasonable who will end this madness.

36 minutes ago, John Wright said:

There are also reports from Russian internal opposition sources that Navaly has disappeared within the penal system and was not made available/produced  to meet with his lawyers for  a scheduled meeting earlier.

This is disturbing but hardly unexpected. 

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4 minutes ago, manxman1980 said:

If true let's hope he is replaced by someone more reasonable who will end this madness.

This is disturbing but hardly unexpected. 

If they are true it’s likely the two are connected so that opposition can’t coalesce around Navalny.

Of course the old joke is that it can’t be announced because no one has plucked up courage to tell Putin.

Any Kremlin insider successor is likely to be even more hardline. They’re in that paranoid rabbit hole of believing that NATO and Ukraine are an existential threat. And over the last 20 years NATO and the West haven’t done anything apart from make that appear true.

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The view of a Professor of History at Yale Uni on "Hunger Politics". Make of it as you will:

Russia has a hunger plan. Vladimir Putin is preparing to starve much of the developing world as the next stage in his war in Europe.

In normal times, Ukraine is a leading exporter of foodstuffs. A Russian naval blockade now prevents Ukraine from exporting grain. If the Russian blockade continues, tens of millions of tons of food will rot in silos, and tens of millions of people in Africa and Asia will starve.

The horror of Putin's hunger plan is so great that we have a hard time apprehending it. We also tend to forget how central food is to politics. Some historical examples can help. The idea that controlling Ukrainian grain can change the world is not new. Both Stalin and Hitler wished to do so. For Stalin, Ukraine's black earth was to be exploited to build an industrial economy for the USSR. In fact, collectivized agriculture killed about four million Ukrainians. Notably, as people began to die in large numbers, Stalin blamed the Ukrainians themselves. Soviet propaganda called those who drew attention to the famine "Nazis."

Actual Nazis had related ideas. They liked the idea of controlling Ukrainian agriculture. This was in fact Hitler's central war aim. Hitler wished to redirect Ukrainian grain from the Soviet Union to Germany, in the hope of starving millions of Soviet citizens. So the Second World War was fought for Ukraine and in considerable measure in Ukraine, between dictators who wanted to control food supplies.

Russian memory politics prepared the way for a 21st-century hunger plan. Russians are told that Stalin's famine was an accident and that Ukrainians are Nazis. This makes theft and blockade seem acceptable. 

Putin's hunger plan is, I believe, meant to work on three levels. First, it is part of a larger attempt to destroy the Ukrainian state, by cutting off its exports. Putin's hunger plan is also meant to generate refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, areas usually fed by Ukraine. This would generate instability in the EU. Finally, and most horribly, a world famine is a necessary backdrop for a Russian propaganda campaign against Ukraine. Actual mass death is needed as the backdrop for a propaganda contest. 

When the food riots begin, and as starvation spreads, Russian propaganda will blame Ukraine, and call for Russia's territorial gains in Ukraine to be recognized, and for all sanctions to be lifted. 

Russia is planning to starve Asians and Africans in order to win its war in Europe. This is a new level of colonialism, and the latest chapter of hunger politics. 
 

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On 6/18/2022 at 1:14 PM, P.K. said:

The view of a Professor of History at Yale Uni on "Hunger Politics". Make of it as you will:

Russia has a hunger plan. Vladimir Putin is preparing to starve much of the developing world as the next stage in his war in Europe.

In normal times, Ukraine is a leading exporter of foodstuffs. A Russian naval blockade now prevents Ukraine from exporting grain. If the Russian blockade continues, tens of millions of tons of food will rot in silos, and tens of millions of people in Africa and Asia will starve.

The horror of Putin's hunger plan is so great that we have a hard time apprehending it. We also tend to forget how central food is to politics. Some historical examples can help. The idea that controlling Ukrainian grain can change the world is not new. Both Stalin and Hitler wished to do so. For Stalin, Ukraine's black earth was to be exploited to build an industrial economy for the USSR. In fact, collectivized agriculture killed about four million Ukrainians. Notably, as people began to die in large numbers, Stalin blamed the Ukrainians themselves. Soviet propaganda called those who drew attention to the famine "Nazis."

Actual Nazis had related ideas. They liked the idea of controlling Ukrainian agriculture. This was in fact Hitler's central war aim. Hitler wished to redirect Ukrainian grain from the Soviet Union to Germany, in the hope of starving millions of Soviet citizens. So the Second World War was fought for Ukraine and in considerable measure in Ukraine, between dictators who wanted to control food supplies.

Russian memory politics prepared the way for a 21st-century hunger plan. Russians are told that Stalin's famine was an accident and that Ukrainians are Nazis. This makes theft and blockade seem acceptable. 

Putin's hunger plan is, I believe, meant to work on three levels. First, it is part of a larger attempt to destroy the Ukrainian state, by cutting off its exports. Putin's hunger plan is also meant to generate refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, areas usually fed by Ukraine. This would generate instability in the EU. Finally, and most horribly, a world famine is a necessary backdrop for a Russian propaganda campaign against Ukraine. Actual mass death is needed as the backdrop for a propaganda contest. 

When the food riots begin, and as starvation spreads, Russian propaganda will blame Ukraine, and call for Russia's territorial gains in Ukraine to be recognized, and for all sanctions to be lifted. 

Russia is planning to starve Asians and Africans in order to win its war in Europe. This is a new level of colonialism, and the latest chapter of hunger politics. 
 

With Ukraine now receiving and successfully using Harpoon missiles with a range of 100 miles, it will be very difficult for Russia to blockade Odessa.  

The Ukrainians have mined the whole area to stop a seabourne assault.  Again with the Harpoons (and Russia's incompetence) this now looks very unlikely. 

However, the mines are a double edged sword.  They stop Russian military boats coming in, but also Ukrainian cargo boats going out.  Will be interesting to see if the Ukrainians trust the Harpoons enough to clear the mines. 

It's a bit more complicated at the other ports however. 

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I see the Orcs have deliberately fired a missile to strike a shopping centre.

A sign of desperation perhaps? Or a warning...

Nato plans huge upgrade in rapid reaction force 

Nato has announced plans to massively increase the number of its forces at high readiness to over 300,000 troops.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-61954516

As a Russian Staff Officer once remarked about the UK Light Assault elements:

"The bastards get there so quick...."

 

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