On Tuesday, President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared before the U.N. General Assembly to deliver statements about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and call for united action in facing down territorial aggression.
Biden’s statements denouncing the war drew applause from the assembly. “If you allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?” asked Biden. “I would respectfully suggest the answer is no. We have to stand up to this naked aggression today and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow. That’s why the United States, together with our allies and partners around the world, will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their freedom.”
The speech from Zelenskyy, which expanded on the theme of defeating Russia as a necessity to see that “no one in the world will dare attack any nation,” also drew widespread and sustained applause. But the more important meeting may have happened on Wednesday morning, when Zelenskyy appeared before the U.N. Security Council where Russia, undeservedly, holds one of the permanent seats.
For those who missed it yesterday, here is Biden’s speech.
And here is Zelenskyy.
“Please, hear me,” said Zelenskyy. “Let unity decide everything openly. While Russia is pushing the world to the final war, Ukraine is doing everything to ensure that, after Russian aggression, no one in the world will dare to attack any nation. Weaponization must be restrained. War crimes must be punished. Deported people must come back home. And the occupier must return to their own land. We must be united to make it. And we will do it. Slava Ukraini.”
Then came a critical meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday morning. It’s safe to say that were Russia not a member of that council, the situation in Ukraine would be vastly different. Without Russia’s presence to veto every action designed to limit its own aggression, the U.N. might have moved much more firmly from the outset of the war to make the invasion more costly for Russia
But Russia, perched in the chair that formerly belonged to the Soviet Union, not only throttles even the most limited proposals, it regularly uses the Security Council as a platform to spread propaganda, excuses, and denial of the war crimes it has committed (and is committing) in Ukraine. Those are just some of the reasons Ukraine is not alone in seeking to have Russia removed from the Security Council.
On Wednesday, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia tried to use that seat in a typical Russian way—he tried to interrupt Zelenskyy. Actually, Nebenzia interrupted four times before Zelenskyy had even started, protesting Ukraine’s right to speak and claiming that the Ukrainian president’s statement would be “nothing but a spectacle.”
Nebenzia did not get applause. What he got was laughter, as Albanian President Edi Rama drew praise for handling the matter.
When Zelenskyy got to speak, he told the council that he would not have come there if he didn’t have a plan for ending the war. He sketched his long-standing 10-point peace plan that includes security guarantees for Ukraine and a special commission for the prosecution of war crimes.
But most of Zelenskyy’s plan can be relayed very simply, and isn’t far from the deal proposed by Rama (and Biden): Russia has to get completely out of Ukraine. Then there can be peace.
Norway is sending 50 M548 transports to Ukraine. This is one of many vehicles that is based on the M113 armored personnel carrier, but none of the others do such a good job of looking like a cross between the Jupiter 2’s Chariot and the Very Hungry Caterpillar. Seriously, this thing wins the award for too-cute-to-shoot. Although that probably won’t work in the field.
Norway has really stepped up its support of Ukraine. It has not just become one of the leading nations in supplying Ukraine with what it needs to push Russia out, it has also pledged $7 billion to help Ukraine rebuild after the war is over. Whether you measure it per capita or based on GDP, they’re putting us to shame.
Let’s take a look at Deep State’s analysis of where Russian units are positioned:
Unsurprisingly, the bulk of Russian troops are engaged at the front line. However, not all red rectangles are created equal. Many of those units lined up around Verbove and Robotyne have been getting the #$@% kicked out of them since the spring. Some are operating at reduced strength, with poorly trained prisoners filling in vital gaps. But the biggest point, and the reason for scaling the map out to this point, is to make clear just how little Russia has left in the backfield.
Why aren’t those third and fourth rows of trenches filled with waiting soldiers? Because there’s no one to fill them. What Russia has now is what Russia has on the line.
Ukrainian forces have been battered as well, and the number and position of Ukrainian reserves has been kept deliberately vague. But one of the reasons that Ukraine has been making progress around Robotyne and Verbove is the simplest: fresher troops in more complete units.
Once again, Ukrainian general staff reports nothing going on around Kupyansk. Remember that big Russian push, with over 100,000 men, that was going to fling Ukraine back across the Oskil? Didn’t happen. There’s also nothing but crickets from Svatove and Kreminna down to the area north of Bakhmut.
South of Bakhmut, Russia reportedly made another failed attempt at regaining ground between Klishchiivka and Andriivka, as well as another failed assault about 5 kilometers to the south. Which sounds like the kind of action this Russian soldier was complaining about when he said that Russian commanders keep getting sucked into traps.
The key part:
In addition to his actual advancement on the ground, the enemy worked out the situation with Andreevka in the media [space] quite well. As a result, we have hysterical attempts to recapture the ruins of Andreevka. Equally hysterical attempts to counterattack occur in the surrounding area.
At Marinka, near Donetsk, Ukraine reportedly repelled 10 Russian attacks—which is about a daily average in this area. And … that’s it for Russian actions. This is a notably short list, one in which Russia doesn’t even seem to have made a run at regaining any ground in the south.
But part of the reason that Russia is standing still is because Ukraine is not.
This Russian propagandist is right about two things: Building effective drones has become ridiculously easy and there will definitely be more in the future. Whether it will be effective to flood the zone with this kind of drone is something we don’t know yet. The whole world is watching what’s happening in Ukraine and strategy textbooks are being rewritten every day.
Watching the daily evaporation of Russian artillery is my new favorite pastime. There’s no doubt that, thanks to drones and better counter-battery fire, Russia could not engage in the kind of artillery march it used to capture cities like Mariupol, Severodonetsk, and Lysychansk. Russia is losing hundreds of artillery systems per month and the average rate of loss is still increasing (expect some math on this soon).