Hello everybody! This afternoon I’ll start with unimportant news. At least according to latest appearances of top of Putin’s propaganda-industrialists. Correspondingly, and for everybody’s information: the Prigozhin/Wagner ‘mutiny’ was instigated by the aggressive NATO expansion, and CIA too, and they didn’t say a word to Russia so the Russians can go killing each other. Shame on the West. And that the West was involved was confirmed by nobody less than Pudding, when he announced that Wagner was always fully financed by the state. Which means: by Putin. Therefore, the entire affair is unimportant. A disagreement between two boyars. Happened time and again in the history of the Russian telenovela. Which is why, on 27 June, Pudding rushed to decorate Shoygu for suppression of the entire affair, too…
1. "the Russians hit the place with two S-300s..." - nope, those were Iskanders. Nobody would expect to hit such a target with s-300.
2. "...why did they arrest him only after the attack, why not before it?" - no wonder. The informant was seen to shoot photos of parking cars (perhaps, they used surveilance cameras) and had been identified. After the attack it can be done relatively easily. But to observe the whole town all the time to prevent the attack - well, you would definitely need thousands of observers to do it. There are places where filming is strictly prohibited (if one tried he would be immediately detained). The restaurant was obviously not among them.
I love when you report about what's going on in the front. Not so much your editorializing.
You seem to be saying that Russia can't be prosecuted for war crimes because the US passed a law that it's people can't be prosecuted.
Let's talk about international law.
It doesn't exist.
Might makes right. There is NO enforcement mechanism for any international law. The only way to enforce "international law" is by having enough nations agree to do it.
No UN/EU/ICCJ or any other body can do anything to enforce any judgement.
"Laws" without enforcement are not laws. So, there is no international law.
But... like I said... you can get enough countries together to try and force an outcome.
So let's cut to the chase. Stop the charade of international courts and just enforce secondary sanctions on anyone who does ANY business with Russia.
That means India, China, Hungary, Israel, Turkey... the list goes on.
Enforce economy crippling sanctions on ALL of them until they either:
1. Stop trading with Russia.
2. Impose a tariff/tax on all goods traded in/out of Russia. With Ukraine as beneficiary.
(This is what will happen after the war anyway to make Russia pay for reconstruction.)
You only need the 5 of the G7 to agree to this. As long as one of those five is the US.
This is enough market share for any country to have to weigh... destroying their own economy... or destroying Russia's.
If we had done anything similar to this 12-14 months ago... the war would be over.
But Europe sold it's soul to Putin via energy. So here we are.
Trading Ukrainian lives for Russian energy. It has NOTHING to do with international law or criminal courts. Definitely nothing to do with Bush or the US.
Secondary sanctions. That's the key.
PS.. if I hear another politician say there is no legal mechanism to seize Russian assets I'm going puke. Why do we care about what's "legal" regarding Russia? Was it legal for Russia to murder two 14 year old girls at a pizza restaurant this week? Legal to rape and murder in Bucha and Irpin? Legal to invade Ukraine in 2014, Georgia 2008, Moldova 1992, and on and on and on. Fuck Russia, Fuck Putin. Beat him at his own game. Don't talk about international law stopping a man who doesn't care about "International Law".
You might want to add the destruction of the Kakhovka dam as well to that list. Complicated as the atrocities and the fuck ups are, I think there's one thing that politicians and non political figutes can somewhat share that factor into how apathetic everyone is; they don't care about that when they have 'bigger' things to worry about. It may sound blunt and harsh, but that's what I've witnessed every time I tell a friend of colleague about the Kakhovka dam and wonder why we don't do much more or condone the Russian's further, they just seem disinterested or concerned with their own smaller worries that they believe takes bigger precedence than some far flung country in their eyes.
"It's not my nation being invaded and destroyed by another country, so why should I care?". This logic may not apply to all but it definitely applies to plenty of people and places, and I doubt it's gonna change until their the ones who have guns pointed at their faces or it actually affects them enough to care about it
Any civilian piece or form of infrastructure that houses military personnel or equipment is a valid target. The action that comes after is decided only by the proportionality of your response. Example1: you discover a machine gun nest located at the 3rd or 4th floor of an apartment building, you are allowed to put a couple of tank shells or RPGs through that building but you are not allowed to bring down the building. Example2: you discover an enemy command post located in the basement of a house or apartment building, you are not allowed to bring down the building unless you can proove you have exhausted all other less destructive means and the existence of that command post is causing you a lot of casualties and hindering your operations. Even a civilian hospital, which is not marked as such or has a machine gun emplacement on the roof or any form of defensive engineering works around it or is used to store military equipment, is a valid target.
In a category of their own are buildings and structures that represent a form of art, cultural heritage etc. which require different circumstances and higher command chains to give the OK. Usually, political OK is also required in this case, besides the military one. Another category is represented by dams, power plants etc, but even these ones can bacome valid targets, given some circumstances.
I’ve been to that restaurant a few times. Keep in mind it is basically the only restaurant in the city that I know of. That means it is busy with all kinds of people: journalists, humanitarians (me and my colleagues), soldiers, regular civilians, etc.
There were soldiers there each time I went but it was equally full of all other types. It’s a damn shame but not a surprise that it was bombed. After reflecting on it, we should have stayed away, but you tend to get more comfortable than you should in these situations until things go wrong.
Thanks Tom for the update, things are looking good to me and I agree 100% about F16's vs EW unit artillery and shells, my thought are that Ukraine would be better served with A10's and Apache Longbow's routing out trenches and tanking out tanks and artillery is what they do
Thanks Tom for the update.
1) Regardless of what we call it, an offensive or not, do you think this is it from the ZSU side? Is this nothing more but a slightly less bloody version of the VSRF winter offensive or something is going to happen?
2) Where is the, supposedly, rebuilt 1st GTA of the VSRF? Is it involved in any actions?
3) You sometimes state that some unit suffered massive losses, got mauled etc. However, even official ZSU daily reports show that for most days in the past month, the VSRF casualties where ~500, same as any "quiet" day since 24th Feb. What do you mean by massive?
4) Is PSU shooting any missiles & drones with their fighter planes? How common is it?
They used an Iskander - a ballistic system capable of delivering tactical nuclear weapons - to blow up a pizza parlour in the (hope of) killing 12 foreign volunteers.
I know this is par for the course in terms of Russian targeting and has been for a long time, but it still needs repeating how nuts all this is. Do they have any sort of recon-targeting complex whatsoever? Just seems to be a conveyor belt from factory to "employment" (fire and forget)
"are foreign volunteers in Ukraine something like ‘holier than holy’ because they’re volunteering to help defend the country, or helping Ukrainian civilians…?"
I think the difference is just Ukrainians do know Ukrainian and so read/listen reminders about it every day until they remember it, while foreign volunteers read/listen non-local news mostly, and so didn't get enough of reminders.
Said the wise man...
I really hope after this war, Syrians get some sort of international help. I think Ukrainians will be the best placed people to understand what they are going through. Otherwise, there's news Ukraine may be finally getting ATACMS and DPCIM artillery. These may be serious game changers
Thank you Tom.
BTW - everyone in Ukraine and ruzzia seems to agree that it was indeed Il-22m11 shot down by Wagner. The video might be from another time however.
I can recall last year's shelling of a restaurant in Donetsk, during which the former head of the Russian space program, Rogozin, who was celebrating his birthday there, was wounded in the ass by a shell fragment and several civilians from among the restaurant staff were killed. I don't remember the coverage of this "terrorist attack" in the world's leading media, although the circumstances are very similar, civilians were killed.