MONDAY 16 MAY 2022
- Russia fired long-range missiles on Western city of Lyiv.
- After destroying Mariupol victims are offered money if they agree to blame Ukraine.
- Russian shelling causes explosion at ammonia nitrate warehouse in Kharkiv.
PODCAST: UKRAINE THE LATEST
- There are exercises continuing in Belarus. At the moment there is no evidence that they are more than exercises. This will fix Ukrainian forces in the area.
- Lukashenko wants to avoid direct military participation and thereby avoiding Western sanctions.
- Ukrainian troops are on the border with Russia. They are able to affect Russian resupply. But if they start shelling that resupply, it raises risks.
- Russians are losing the support of Israel.
- Finland and Sweden joining NATO would have been unthinkable six months ago.
- Ukraine purposefully flooded a village, Demydiv, in order to stymie the Russians. This contributed to the defense of Kyiv.
- More killings discovered in Bucha.
- Phosphorus bombs. P bombs are used by many armies as smoke creators. Incendiary devices to create fires. White Phosphorus is used for smoke. On the front of tanks there are tubes which can distribute smoke. This allows the tanks to escape. It is perfectly legal to use. It is not legal to use them as an anti-personnel role in civilian areas. In the past the Soviet Union classified white phosphorus as a chemical weapon. The Russians are setting off blasts which shower and then explode (over the steel plant) when they hit the ground. This is another type of white phosphorus being used.
- White phosphorus was used in Syria. It’s not classed as a chemical under the conventions. But the effect is to kill indiscriminately, through fire, works similarly to chemical weapons. It’s a legal grey zone.
- Russia has made belligerent statements about Finland joining NATO, but they are having trouble crossing a river in Ukraine. They are not going to invade Finland. The have used so many resources. It is no longer conceivable that Russia can do anything (in terms of conventional warfare) to prevent this. What is expected is cyber and possibly assassination retaliation.
- Finland and Sweden will add a great deal to NATO. They both have sophisticated military capacity.
- NATO needs Turkey. We need that position on the Black Sea. There is an opportunity to draw Turkey further into the alliance, but it will require compromises that people are not likely to be happy with. Turkey seems not quite comfortable with Russia or with the West.
- Russia has to hold Snake Island. Eyes on the Southwest. The expected massive encircling effort by Russia just has not come about.