Ukraine Update: Blogger Fined for Anti-war post in Russia.



Ukraine: The Latest by the Telegraph (12/16/22)

  • A bridge near Melitopol important for transport of Russian supplies has been damaged in Ukraine.  There is no sign of a blast and the suggestion is that something has happened underneath.  (From the Telegraph Newspaper) There is no sign of missile damage, hinting this could have been caused by Ukraine’s special forces.  It is now probably unusable for heavy military hardware to cross. 
  • Russian effort is still concentrated in Bakhmut at the moment.  The Russians are losing a lot of people for little gain.  Bakhmut is north and east of Melitopol.  Wagner Group troops are believed to be the primary combatants in Bakhmut.
  • The Ukrainians may be attempting to split the Russian forces through and damage the Kerch bridge again, that would isolate Russians in Crimea.
  • Russians are centralizing command around Donetsk. 
  • Peskov, Russian spokesperson, has been demanding that Ukraine recognize the occupied territories as Russian. The Ukrainians, he has said, must take into consideration “…the realities that have developed on the ground.”  Commentator calls this “wishful thinking” on the part of the Russians.  Russia is not shaping events on the ground now. 
  • Putin will not be holding his annual press conference this year.  This is a tradition in which Putin answers pre-vetted questions from international as well as Russian journalists.  The Kremlin is uncomfortable with the losses in Ukraine and is afraid of unscripted questions that might be asked of Putin.
  • Russians don’t want to risk further exposure of just how bad the situation is.
  • Outside officials may be allowed to go to the Zaporizhian region. 
  • There are reports of Russia using decades old ammunition.  They are turning to North Korea for weapons.
  • Reading Material on the War against Ukraine.
  • Owen Matthews “Overreach.”  New book about Russia/Ukraine
  • Spectator Articles about Russia/Ukraine
  • Overreach about Russia/Ukraine
  • Russia has an addiction to imperial conquest.” Says, Matthews.  Even after Putin, there’s nobody waiting to take over who would be reassuring.
  • 1000 years of Russian History.  “Russia: Myths and Realities.” By Roderick Braithwaite
  • Easy to read, 250 pages. 
  • Putin sees himself as Catherine the Great. 
  • Readable cozy read on Ukraine, “Borderland” by Anna Reid,
  • This book for the beginner on Ukraine.
  • “The Gates of Europe” the go-to work. 
  • About the war, “In Times of Trouble.”  By Anna Matveeva
  • Snyder’s “On Tyranny”
  • “Dark Continent” Mazalla.  This book argues that seeing the 20th century as an inevitable march toward democracy is false.  Democracy is fragile.
  • “The Confidence Trap.”  Why democracies usually advance.  Why dictatorships are persuasive. 
  • “A History of Europe” on the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • “A People’s Tragedy.”  How small groups with an extremist view have distorted Russia.  Russian revolution.
  • “Orderly and Humane” Germany, governments try to move ethnic groups around within countries.  Russians are doing it in Ukraine.  Moving populations might be necessary after the war. 
  • “In Isolation” written by person who spent time in jail in the Donbas.  What makes people in this area different from those in the rest of Ukraine.  This is an account of every day life.  He describes the area as being run by “opportunist gangsters and competing militias” running the area.  Good for understanding the “average” Soviet man.  They see the West as uncertainty rather than opportunity.  This is a traumatized region and it will be difficult to govern the area if it is re-taken by Ukraine.
  • Final Thoughts
  • The geography lends itself to a push down into the central area of Ukraine.  These are shaping activities for larger operations. 
  • Gallotti’s book “Putin’s Wars.”  How Putin has run the military over time.  The Russian army relies on railroad resupply. 
  • An Instagram user described a dream about Zelensky and is now facing a fine, for expressing disapproval for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The Telegram

  • There are blasts in Kyiv.
  • The US will soon send Patriot missile defense systems to Ukraine. 

Other Sources

  • Russians shelled the Kherson region.


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