Ukraine War Update
There have been headlines suggesting that the long-awaited Russian summer offensive began and that Ukraine is close to losing the whole game. That appears to be clickbait.
Russian armor, supported by infantry and artillery advanced further South of Popasna and captured Myronivs’kyi.
There is fighting ongoing in Lyman after Russian forces entered the city’s outskirts. (see the map below)
The advance into the suburbs of Lyman was about a one-mile push from where static lines had been. The move into the Popasna area was about four miles. Ukraine has at least four divisions in this general area. It’s far from being a ‘pocket’ and to date Russian Armor, liberally used, has taken some hard beatings to achieve very modest success.
The Russians have reportedly used thermobaric weapons, and artillery to pound Ukrainian forces into submission, but their accuracy is not good. They hope to make up in quantity what they lack in quality.
If that’s the best that Russia can do, then they’d best cut their losses and go home. The overall map is very static with little pushes here and there. The Russians gave up their ambitions to seize Kharkov/Kharkiv, in the same way, that they gave up on Kiev. They still hold a lot of the Black Sea coast and have devoted heavy forces to keep it. The borders of Donbas – long contested territory is the only place where they are trying to implement some sort of offensive strategy and they lose a battalion of armor every time they push. It’s not like they don’t have old tanks to push into the wood chipper, and expendable draftees to use as cannon fodder, but they spend a great deal to accomplish very little. Nothing has changed in that regard.
This just in (a further update)
The red aircraft icon is discussed below.
Russian Loss of Aircraft and Pilot in combat over Ukraine
(Daily Mail) A Russian Air Force Major General has been shot out of the sky above the Luhansk region (about 100 miles southeast of Kharkov/Kharkiv), marking the latest in a long line of high-profile military losses sustained by Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.
Major General Kanamat Botashev, 63, was enjoying retirement when Russian tanks rolled across the border on February 24 and had not flown since 2012.
His Su-25 fighter jet was hit by a US-made Stinger missile at around 8:25 am on Sunday morning in the Donbas skies, and he was unable to eject.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported a Su-25 had been downed in Luhansk, and one of Botashev’s former colleagues confirmed his death to BBC Russian Service.
It is unclear why a retired general – the highest-ranking pilot to have been shot down in the war – was at the controls of a fighter jet worth £9million.
Botashev’s former colleague told the BBC that ‘he simply could not stay away’ when offered a chance to fly, but the loss of such a high-ranking, elderly, general suggests the Russian air force does not have enough pilots capable of conducting sorties over Ukraine.
The retiree is the 10th Russian general believed to have died in Ukraine, while more than 40 colonels have been killed in bloody fighting.
Succession in Russia
Vladimir Putin has promoted his former personal bodyguard to be the Kremlin’s new Emergencies Minister, months after his predecessor mysteriously fell to his death from a waterfall.
Major-General Alexander Kurenkov, 49, nominated today by Putin, is the sixth bodyguard of the Russian president to be appointed to a high government office.
The last man to hold the post was Yevgeny Zinichev, also an ex-Putin guard, who died falling down a 90ft waterfall amid suspicions of murder.
USS Connecticut Grounding Report
(The Report) (h/t Claudio for bringing this to my attention)
Disciplinary Action: Rear Adm. Christopher J. Cavanaugh, Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, further recommends that the Commanding Officer (CO), Executive Officer (XO), Navigator (NAV), Officer of the Deck (OOD), Assistant Navigator (ANAV) face “nonjudicial punishment” for violation of “Dereliction of Duty” and “Improper Hazarding of a Vessel” for negligence and that the administrative chain of command initiate detachment for cause.
Last week, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is barred from receiving Holy Communion due to her pro-abortion stance — marking an escalation in a decades-long tension between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Democratic politicians on abortion.
Cordileone has written to the Speaker of the House, informing her that she should not present herself for Holy Communion at Mass and that priests will not distribute communion to her if she does present herself.
Based on Catholic doctrine: If Nancy Pelosi dies outside the church, she goes to hell. This is a core belief of the Roman Catholics, which makes them unpopular in various parts of the world.
I have never known a left-wing Catholic when push came to shove, and he/she/it absolutely positively had to choose between his love of leftism and his lukewarm loyalty to Christ, to choose Christ over politics.
Judging by past actions the Catholic Church will cave on this issue before any left-wing leader will cave. But miracles have happened before, and we can pray for them to happen again.
A Mystery at the White Wolf Mine
I am in the process of thinning the forest on the mine property. The area is heavily forested primarily with Ponderosa Pines, Noble Fir, Various Juniper, and a few Pinions. As part of the process, I marked some 500 large trees that I want to keep with bright plastic tape.
Some of that tape has been ripped off the trees, or maybe it fell off? I didn’t know what was going on until I arrived home yesterday evening and an elk was next to the house. Note the photo.
She posed for a picture next to the tree with the ribbon on it. I snapped it with my cell phone and then she reached up (brazenly) and tore off the ribbon.
In the picture, the elk is standing next to the old logging road that divides the upper and lower property.