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)

Russia took control of Lypove and Vasylivka (NW Popasna) and have taken up positions on the Bakhmut – Lysychansk road.
Ukraine counterattacked in Toshkivka after having lost the town and retook it. There is a pincer movement underway south of Lysychansk in an attempt to surround a Ukraine strong point. 

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.

MGEN Kanamat Botashev

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.

Su-25 Frogfoot

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.


Pelosi’s Fate?

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.


  1. As we continue to watch actions in the Ukraine, there was an interesting point made at the UN by the Russians on May 13th. In comparison to previous broad statements concerning the bio labs, this is more pointed and has some interesting details about the activity in Mariupol and the Ukrainian drones capable of dispensing aerosols.

    For some unknown reason, Google didn’t want to search this particular article easily.

    • It’s an interesting article. The US and friends of US shot callers in the pharma and bio weapons industries will not want the bandaid ripped off this issue, but it needs to be.

    • ” A question begs itself – what for? Why does the United States need a collection of dangerous pathogens that can spread in the rivers of that region? “

      • It’s a great question. And those labs — do they kick back to Hunter and the Big Guy? This is the problem that you get into when your own government is as corrupt as the Ukrainian government.

          • Ed’s very right. Markers were invented for forestry and livestock marking. Then some redneck said “Looky here (pthaat splash) we-all can shoot each other as a game!” And the sport took off.

            And militarized, too. With stingballs and hardballs and pepperballs and CSballs and other things.

            But all started as a marking system for industrial agriculture use.

          • When I was in the Navy, we’d freeze the paintballs. They didn’t mark/print worth a damn, but they really hurt when they hit. Of course OPFOR is shooting the same thing at you.

  2. no word on casualties on the sub? i doubt it was a natural obstruction they hit….63 y/o rooskie general suiting up? gee whiz, putie must be desperate. or the old warrior wanted to go out like a soldier?

    • I wonder if this will be like the dozen generals that have supposedly been killed to much fanfare, but show up again and get ignored.

      63 would have to be too old to fly a combat jet wouldn’t it? It’d be too physically demanding.

      • At 63, he had retired from active service. There is undoubtedly a back story. Maybe they were so short of pilots that they needed him. Or maybe he still wanted to feel valued so he strapped himself into a Su-25 and had the stroke to pull it off. Maybe he had cancer and wanted to go to God like a soldier? Lots of questions, but the stinger got him and he didn’t eject.

  3. A quick correction: To be excommunicated (“out of communion”) with the Catholic Church does not automatically imply that one goes to hell after death. It’s very serious, to be sure, and implies that one is cut off from God’s grace operating through the Church and the sacraments on earth: but the Church can’t judge the state of someone’s soul. Ultimate salvation or damnation is between the individual and God. There have been saints who were excommunicated for a time, thanks to wrong-headed authorities, who were later restored to communion. There have been those who died excommunicate, but the Church makes no judgment about what happened to their souls. The Church can make mistakes, after all.

    • Thanks for the clarification, Peter. I’m not Catholic so I’m bound to make mistakes where doctrine is concerned.

      • What it does mean is that the Official Roman Catholic Church does not provide any support to said excommunicate until such time the excommunicate un-excommunicates.

        The denial of Church support used to mean a lot more when The Church had more power over the secular world. Kind of like being shunned by the Amish, but worse because The Church was everywhere. Well, until modern times.

        Heck, Pelosi can stay “Catholic-Lite” and go Episcopel or Church of England and she’ll be happily accepted by some churches of those sects.

  4. By far you post the best analysis of what is going on in Ukraine, thanks, it helps get a more complete picture of things

    USS Connecticut, read the report, couldn’t figure much out because of the redactions but there is a good analysis at

    Sure looks like the CC should have been removed the first time the boat hit something.

    Pelosi’s Fate: She and all the other faux Catholics that support abortion should have been denied communion decades ago, why did it take so long?

    Elk: She thought you were just providing a low hanging snack and is probably ticked off at you that it didn’t taste good. My wife used to call the deer and the occasional elk we saw that made regular stops at our garden long legged rats.

  5. Setting aside the secondary doctrines of Catholicism, arrogance of mind and self-importance of position leads those calling themselves Catholic or Christian to believe while simultaneously allowing or promoting (funding) the death of the innocent, that they are untouchable, even by God. They are not, and will be judged accordingly despite those of us watching wanting the wrath to descend immediately (Acts 5:1-11). This mentality was on full display last night when the President in Name Only gave his angry talk to the nation from whatever was being put into his earpiece, blaming us for what happened while invoking the Almighty’s name. Disgusting is the polite term. 2A is the target.

  6. How many acres do you have?
    Some places the lots are small and surrounded by public land so you can’t (legally) do much.

      • I’ve got 5 acres here. The biggest thing I miss in here in the desert is trees.
        I’d love to have more acreage, but it hasn’t worked out yet.

        • The Coconino National Forest was established in 1908 and there were a few patches of patent land where there were mines, timber camps, cattle marshaling yards, railroad right-of-way, and homesteads. I bought patent (deeded) land that is surrounded by the national forest, which makes it feel as though I own more land. There are about 20 wild turkeys that roost near the place, but across the fence in the national forest. They come onto my land to peck and do what turkeys do. I don’t know how I got onto turkeys, but it’s all sort of the same whether on my private forest or the national forest.

  7. Yes, Russian losses are ALL out of proportion for what they ‘claim’ to have done. Re the trees, the elk think the tape is ‘edible’ since it’s red (much like berries), concur with paint on the culls.

    • If you ever plant bushes/plants that create red fruit, you can try painting some rocks red and scatter them around several weeks before the fruit ripens. Supposedly, this will train any birds to avoid those red things. Saw it elsewhere but haven’t tried it yet myself.

      • Also makes it easy to find them after you throw them at the birds and the deer. If you use a sling or a sling-bow or a sling-crossbow or a spud-gun, you can pick up the rocks and the birds and the deer…

  8. Well, now we know what elk eat ! Delicious plastic surveyor’s ribbon is the basis if the ecosystem, we need to make more plastic to Save The Environment.

    Seems to me that Ukraine’s main problems in the war are that it’s going to be hard for them to force a decision, and that although they kill a lot more Russians than they lose of their own people, Russia has a lot more of them to lose.


  9. Interesting what elk notice that “doesn’t belong’. Grabbed the game cams we set on a back trail after being out for a month or so. Coyotes, mulee’s, a moose, one bear in the dark, even a large bobcat (first one we’ve caught). No lion though we cut tracks in mid-Winter snow, although probably watching me.

    Then, a hundred pictures and a dozen short vid’s of two bull elk walking by, turning, see the camera, spending the next ten minutes fiddling with the camera, up close and personal. Really funny.

  10. Well done, WSF…your comment wins the internet award for today. Karen of the forest, LOL. In related news, Pelosi has just formed a new house committee to launch impeachment proceedings against the Archbishop. Hell hath no fury.

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