FRIDAY 29 APRIL 2022
- Russians made two attempts early in the war to storm the compound where Zelensky and his family were.
- Zelensky senses the world’s attention flagging.
- Biden has asked Congress for $33 billion for Ukraine.
- Former U.S. Marine was killed in Ukraine, fighting alongside the Ukrainians.
- Hospital within the steel plant was hit by a missile and largely destroyed. It makes it impossible for them to treat the wounded.
THE TELEGRAPH: Ukraine the Latest, Podcast
These notes are from a discussion with reporters in the region.
- There is fierce fighting for the Donbas.
- There are small incremental gains for the Russians.
- There are a lot of forces around the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.
- Ukraine has not been able to take forces out of that Southern region and reinforce the troops in the Donbas.
- The Russians aren’t advancing as much as was expected even in this second round, phase.
- Reporter in Ukraine: UN Secretary General, Guterres mouthed truths, but it left a lot to be desired. “I just expect better…from the UN.” Guterres just not saying enough.
- Kyiv came under shelling for the first time in weeks while Guterres was visiting. Demonstrates the contempt with which the Russians hold the UN.
- There was hardly any coverage of the UN visit to Moscow in Russia.
- One reporter argued that if Russia is removed from the UN, how do we get large nuclear powers around a table talking. The isolation of Russia may not be productive.
- There are countries where they do not agree with the perspective of Western countries. India and China do not agree with the EU, UK perspective. There’s no easy answer.
- The UN reflects the world order. When the world order breaks down, the UN breaks down.
- Reporter in Ukraine: Guterres made the statement: “I hope this city will be spared.” But what he failed to note was who is attacking the city that it needs to be spared? Russia is not mentioned. “He should say more.” He should “point the finger at Russia.”
- Reporter: If you start to remove powers like Russia from the UN it will not represent the world but just Western interests.
- Reporter argues, that we saw this happen with the International Criminal court. It is not considered a legitimate institution in some countries of the world because it did not take on Western powers. (Note: US officials have stated that they didn’t support the court because it might prosecute US officials for war crimes. Someone noted that the International Criminal Court might make it impossible for a few very rich and powerful men and their families to vacation.)
- Diplomacy is pretty much irrelevant now in the war against Ukraine.
- Passing Biden’s massive allocation of money will take Republicans. It reflects that the US doesn’t think this war is going to be over quickly. It’s a signal to the Kremlin that the US will continue to support Ukraine even if this goes on.
- There is reporting that the head of the Russian armed forces, Valery Garasimov, has been moved to Ukraine to either take control of the entire theatre (and replace Dvornikov), or take control of efforts in the Donbas. If he has been moved, it is “absolutely staggering.” What Putin is doing is taking a man from a policy position and putting him into an operational position. This does not always work.
- The reporter asks what this move says about other general, Alexander Dvornikov, who was overall theater commander. What went wrong? (Note: Dvornikov was supposedly put in charge of operations in Ukraine earlier in April to centralize control). Did Putin expect a result in the last couple of weeks from Dvornikov that he didn’t get?
- The reporter wonders if Dvornikov now in charge of the fighting in Donbas?
- Dvornikov, Alexander and Valery Gerasimov
- This is a top-down control in theatre. This speaks to problems.
- Gerasimov developed what is called the “Garasamov doctrine.” The doctrine is about combining various efforts into one war effort.
- It remains to be seen if this man, a policy leader, can become an operational field commander.
- It is still unclear exactly what role he has been assigned.
- Time Magazine has published an article about Zelensky. At the beginning of the war, Zelensky was in a poorly reinforced place. The US and the UK were encouraging him to leave Ukraine and go to somewhere like Poland. This was in part because of their assessment that Ukraine would fall in a matter of days
- Dolphin pins have been established by satellite. Dolphins can find things under the water. They can spot mines under the water, submarines. But the most successful use of the dolphins always involves killing them. You can strap explosives to the dolphins. This option exists “if you have a heart of stone.”
- We should watch how the Russians celebrate May 9. We should watch what Putin says on this occasion. Are they happy with holding on to what they have or move forward with more ambitions?
- If the Donbas falls, it will be very significant.