Saturday 25 March 2023
• Crimea is Ukraine. Blinken evidently discussed yesterday the notion that there might be ways (negotiation) for Ukraine to get back Crimea other than through direct fighting. I seriously don’t know how this might take place. Russia is not going to negotiate away Crimea and the notion that Ukraine should settle for taking back the land of Crimea without also taking the port of Sevastopol, is fanciful.
• Ukraine the Latest Podcast, notes that there is evidently some discomfort among Western allies at the notion of trying to take back Crimea militarily. There may well be “stern debates” about this. Some Ukrainians and some in the West think the way to win this war is to take Crimea.
• Article: Telegraph https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/03/24/ukraine-reclaim-crimea-force-kyiv-secretary-state-antony-blinken/
Ukraine: The Latest Podcast, the Telegraph
This is one of the very best podcasts about Ukraine. Give it a listen.
Friday 24 March 2023
• Ukraine’s counteroffensive is evidently going to happen in April. This comes just after Xi’s visit and fears of a stalemate in the war.
• More fighting around Bakhmut. An attack on an “invincibility” shelters that provide food and electricity to civilians.
• Article about Invincibility shelters: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/03/24/ukraine-russia-war-putin-news-donetsk-bombarded-missiles-latest/
• Russians are training in Belarus and have recently deployed soldiers trained there to fight in Ukraine.
• Belarus’s continued support to Russia is a concern to Ukraine.
(Note: There is an active, if weak, opposition movement in Belarus.) Article: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/03/olympic-organisers-face-growing-pressure-suspend-belarus-attempt/
• There are reports that Prigozhin is to shift the focus of Wagner Group from Ukraine. This comes on the heels of discord with Moscow over the Russian military capabilities and supplies of ammunition. This shift has dire possibilities for Africa, where Wagner has been active on behalf of Russia in the past. Prigozhin has been highly critical of the Russian military’s capabilities in Ukraine.
• Article: Telegraph https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/03/23/yevgeny-prigohzins-wagner-group-refocus-africa-failures-ukraine/
Royal Family Soft Power
• William visited refugees in Poland. British soft power support for Ukraine is important.
• (Irrelevant note: broadcasters leaving entire syllables out of words, socsecurity, politization)
• Russia reacted to the royal family visit by expressing concern that Britain was supplying depleted Ukrainian ammunition to Ukraine. (Note: There is no evidence that William’s visit was connected to any such transfer of weaponry, and depleted uranium shells are evidently not any different from the usual ammunition).
• Biden also visited Poland. This is support for Poland’s approach to the war.
• Zelensky is arguing for increased sanctions and increased and accelerated supply of weapons. They need long-range missiles, among other things.
• Strengthening supply chains in a long war. Will this may well be too late for the upcoming counter-offensive.
• Article Dmitry Medvedev: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/former-russian-president-dmitry-medvedev-warns-of-nuclear-apocalypse/ar-AA18ZH3o
• Medvedev has made a statement saying that any effort by Ukraine to take back Crimea will be grounds for Russia’s use of any weapon at its disposal.
• He is also arguing that if any country tried to arrest Putin, such as Germany, they would send missiles at the office of the President.
• The Kremlin has rebuked these comments about Germany to some extent.
• Florida Gov. DeSantis’ statement about Ukraine: described Putin as a “war criminal” now. This is a change in tone from a statement he made to Tucker Carlson a week earlier.
• DeSantis claims now he was “mischaracterized.”
• 17 children were returned to Kyiv who had been taken to Russia. This is a little bit of the picture in terms of the number of children taken to live in occupied territory within Ukraine and Russia.
• Children were sent to a “summer camp” and then never returned. Various excuses were made. A charity worked out a way to get the children released through a third country.
• This is a pattern, especially at the beginning of the war. Children are sent to summer camp and not returned.
• Why are the Russians letting these children go? There are 43 camps identified where children are being held. There is “reeducation” going on. The children are told that they are Russian and that Ukrainians will lose the war. Threatened to be taken to an orphanage if they support Ukraine.
• Some are told they were abandoned by their parents.
• Putin was indicated in part for child abduction by the ICC.
• Some of the parents have to travel to get their children back.
• Some parents close to the line were approached by the principle of the high school to move children and then couldn’t get the children back.
• Parents had to travel to these camps, sometimes through several other countries, to demand their children.
• Note: These are children who have parents. For orphans there are no families to demand their return.
• Article in Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/03/23/russia-beat-children-sticks-having-pro-ukraine-views/
Re-shuffling of Ukrainian staff.
Minister of Education has been replaced. Previous minister resigned, there was unhappiness with his activities. New minister’s father was imprisoned by the Russians for dissent. He is quite pro-democracy, a soldier himself. He is a teacher.
• The leader of the state-owned railway company, has been moved to another, more important position. This may be a move towards getting ready for reconstruction.
• This counter-offensive will begin. The war needs to end this year because next year represents changed geo-political situations.
• The post-war strategy is already being worked on in Ukraine.
“Nobody is going to break us. We are strong. We are Ukrainians.” Ukrainian translator on Ukraine: The Latest
Ukraine must win.
Crimea is Ukraine.