UKRAINE MUST TAKE BACK CRIMEA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (06 03 2023)
Political strategic level
Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, promised yesterday that "the aggressors who started the war on our continent will not go unpunished". Speaking at the "United for Justice" conference in Lviv, Mrs Metsola reiterated the EP's support for initiatives to gather evidence of possible crimes committed by Moscow and its forces.
Following a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and students of the Ivan Franko National University in Lviv, the European leader tweeted: "The future of Ukraine and Europe rests on the shoulders of young people".
We can also promise you that if we win the war, we will liquidate and isolate all war criminals. And that is why we believe that students who think for themselves will not repeat the mistakes of their teachers - they will learn not to lie, above all to themselves.
The African Olympic Committees said yesterday that Russian and Belarusian athletes should be allowed to participate in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. In a statement posted on Twitter, the Association of African National Olympic Committees said its members "unanimously decided to support the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in all international competitions".
The influence of the Kremlin's soft and hard powers on the African continent is evident. This is further proof of the need to kick the Kremlin's backside in all areas, be it geography, sport or art.
The Russian mass media are reporting that Western countries are ready to provide security guarantees for Ukraine in the event of a military conflict. The West is not opposed to Ukraine joining the European Union, but Kyiv will have to comply with certain requirements. The UK, Germany and France are seeking to sign a defence agreement between Ukraine and NATO, which will give the Kyiv government greater access to advanced military equipment, weapons and ammunition. This step is intended to encourage Ukraine to enter into negotiations with Russia.
Well, we are likely to see a situation soon where the West and Russia seek peace talks and Kyiv avoids them. All sides will be forced to negotiate when/if neither side manages to gain a clear advantage on the front line, which is quite likely.
The US is testing Ukrainian pilots to see how long it would take to train them to fly F-16 fighter jets. Two Ukrainian pilots are currently at a US military base where their skills are being tested in flight simulators. Some allies believe that the Russians have a large number of anti-aircraft systems that could easily shoot down F-16s, and that it is therefore not worth giving these fighters to Ukraine.
How? What? Then why does the US produce fighters that are so easily destroyed by the enemy? No, dear friends, the US produces its fighters precisely in response to enemy technology. There is no doubt about it - Ukraine needs Western fighters to win.
We have been saying this since the early days of the war, and yesterday, Ben Hodges, the former head of the US Armed Forces in Europe, confirmed this position. According to the General, for the Ukrainian offensive to be successful, the enemy needs to be neutralised by longer-range missiles before the tanks advance, and the tanks need to be covered by assault aircraft. And assault aviation needs fighters to cover it.
The problem, Hodges argues, is that Washington thinks in a very "linear way", it is lost in the details and is "not focusing on what matters most". The most important thing is the liberation of Crimea. Ukraine will never be safe as long as Russia occupies Crimea. The world will not invest in the reconstruction of Ukraine unless there are full guarantees of security. Russia will continually disrupt or block shipping lanes to and from the Sea of Azov, as it is doing now. Russia will blockade Odessa. This means that the main effort should be focused on the liberation of Crimea.
General Kiev recommends that Crimea should be the main target. The Donbass is important, but let the Russians continue to kill there and let the Ukrainians mobilise forces to liberate Crimea. The General says that the Pentagon is making a mistake by insisting on giving the Ukrainians this or that weapon to push the Russians back. "We don't need to push them back. They will pull back on their own when they lose Crimea". Hodges calls for a very clear calculation of the capacity needed to prevent Russia from rebuilding the Kerch bridge, as well as hitting Sevastopol, Dzhankoy, Saky.
"You need to isolate Crimea so that the Russians cannot rebuild the Kerch Bridge, or the so-called land bridge from Mariupol through Melitopol into Crimea. You can cut it off by destroying bridges, transport routes. And only after that with land forces. I think that in May and June, the armed formations that Ukraine is currently preparing should not be thrown into the battle for Bakhmut, but intelligently deployed in the direction of Melitopol and Mariupol in order to cut the land bridge. And then more HIMARS can be pulled out and start hitting Sevastopol, Dzhankoy, Saky, all those places."
Ben Hodges believes that Crimea, not Donbas, is the Kremlin's Achilles' heel, or, as we say, the life needle of the Kremlin's hydra in a bloodless pig. By crushing the Russians in Crimea, Ukraine will achieve a major effect in a single blow: it will deprive Moscow of a strategically important peninsula, it will demonstrate the Kremlin's impotence, it will deal a moral blow to an occupier who, after the loss of Crimea, will find it difficult to hold on to the Donbas.
This is the only way that Ukraine can prevail for the time being, and the Donbass will return later. This could happen as early as this summer. However, everyone must realise that Crimea is the decisive factor.
"We need to set ourselves this task, because the result will be Ukraine's inability to feed millions in Asia, Africa and Latin America. And millions of Ukrainian refugees will be forced to stay in Europe because they will have nowhere to return to. So it is important to take the right decisions based on practicality and not on emotion.
The General's warning about the sea of refugees threatening the world, the rational planning and deployment of military resources, and the urgent provision of frontline weapons demonstrates that we are not alone in thinking this way. As we see Ben Hodges' phrases being installed on the lips of Western leaders, we hope that these words will change their thinking too. We regret that the cowardly knaves of the politicians who are currently in charge of our destinies, shaking for their glory and their furniture, are clouding their ability to see the way out of the impasse.
There is always a way. Only the blind cannot see it. It is not true blindness, but the result of fear. Our so-called leaders are afraid. They are afraid of dying, afraid of losing their social and material position, which today is more valuable than moral principles or the Ten Commandments. Leaders who tremble will never take the first step, even if victory is at hand, because they are gripped by an eerie, primitive fear. Putin knows this. And that is the great misfortune of our civilisation.
China is increasing its defence budget to 7.2% (USD 224 billion) and it will be slightly higher than last year. At the same time, Beijing has set an official economic growth target of "around 5%" in 2023, in order to revive the world's second largest economy after years of stagnation.
Ukrainian troops make an orderly withdrawal from Bakhmut. The tactics used in the retreat from Lysychansk and Severodonetsk are reportedly being used, when "fierce resistance" was only simulated and the Russians invaded long-abandoned areas.
The heavy losses and setbacks have reportedly led to a conflict between the top Russian military leadership. The disagreement is said to have escalated after Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu began demanding the occupation of Vuhledar.
It is our deep conviction that this is a regular psychological operation by the Kremlin aimed at lowering the guard of the Ukrainian troops and finding the 'guilty party' for the failure of the Russian army's offensive. This move is usually followed by a mock roguery - replacing one general with another, hiding one face with another. This is likely to happen in the near future.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence, the intensification of "close combat" at Bakhmut is an indication of Russia's lack of weaponry. Russian troops are being ordered to storm Ukrainian concrete fortifications armed only with "firearms and shovels".
Shovels and automatic weapons - how far we have come from the algorithm of the First World War.
In six months, Britain and its partners have trained more than 10 000 Ukrainian recruits to fight to NATO standards. We hope that these soldiers will develop into skilful warlords who will finally bury the Russian style and tactics in Ukraine
Last day, Ukrainian troops repelled 95 Russian attacks.
Terrorist Russian forces continue to violate international law by artillery strikes and shelling of civilian targets and homes and attempts to destroy critical Ukrainian infrastructure.
The Russian invaders have carried out 31 air strikes, 8 rocket strikes and more than 70 barrages of volley rocket systems.
The Drisks are behaving like the descendants of the Mongol hordes in the occupied territories, exploiting the local population as slaves. In Volnovakha (Donetsk region), the occupiers have set up a repair base for defective military equipment at a local vocational school, forcing students to work for a pittance.
Last day, the Ukrainian Air Force launched 12 strikes on the occupiers' concentration centres, with rocket and artillery units hitting 3 command posts, 4 concentration centres and an enemy air defence system.
During the day, the air defence forces shot down 5 UAVs.
Pictured is a bunny: the handiwork of Oleksiy Strebkov, an officer of the Azov Regiment, a captured but later liberated defender of Mariupol, Azovstal, for the benefit of the writers of these reviews.
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