The Russians send (more) Marines
The Russian 155th Separate Naval Infantry Brigade, based in the port city of Vladivostok, and the 40th Separate Naval Infantry Brigade, out of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, are heading west to “make up for the losses” suffered in Ukraine.
The hull numbers on the Russian ships, shown in photographs released by Japan, suggest the ships were the Alligator IV-class Nikolay Vilkov; the Ropucha I-class Oslyabya, and Admiral Nevelskov; and the Ropucha II-class Peresvet. All four belong to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet and make up the entirety of its major amphibious units.
They will likely be transported west on train cars. It would be a pity if the Ukrainians derailed these critical Russian naval infantry assets.
The Azov BTN
Okremyi zahin spetsialnoho pryznachennia Azov or the Azov Special Operations Detachment of the Ukrainian National Guard gets a lot of negative publicity in the press. Do they deserve it?
In its early days, the Azov volunteer group was a special police company of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, led by Volodymyr Shpara, the leader of a nationalistic party in Ukraine. In a world where nationalism=bad and globalism is good, it’s difficult to tell whether they were “good or bad” in Ukraine, where good would equate with the infamous Hunter Biden and the American power elite.
In March 2015 Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced that the Azov Regiment would be among the first units to be trained by United States Army troops in their Operation Fearless Guardian training mission. US training however was withdrawn on 12 June 2015, as the US House of Representatives passed an amendment blocking any aid (including arms and training) to the battalion due to its nationalistic orientation, which they referred to as a “neo-Nazi background”.
Ukraine decided to turn all volunteer battalions—both the Territorial Defence Battalions associated with the armed forces, and the Special Tasks Patrol Police of the interior ministry—into regular units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the National Guard, respectively. Azov is one of the latter.
In January 2015, Azov Battalion was officially upgraded to a regiment. More recently, they’ve accepted foreign recruits.
It’s a regular unit of the Ukrainian Army, yet, whenever the press covers them, it refers to them as “Nazis”.
Communications Breakdown (h/t Claudio)
(Radio Liberty) “We have no communication. We have no walkie-talkies. Nothing,” a bedraggled Russian soldier tells his interrogators in a video published by Ukrainian defenders this month and posted to YouTube.
A mere three weeks into the war, such statements, along with intercepted chatter, captured equipment, and images of cheap, handheld transceivers, suggest that an inability to communicate — up and down the chain of command and across branches of the Russian military — is impeding Moscow’s war plans.
And while military fortunes can swing quickly, in even major offensives like the one launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 to “demilitarize” and subdue Ukraine, many Western military experts suggest that the Kremlin and its planners’ botched key aspects of the early weeks of the invasion.
The Russian advance and operational performance is abysmal given the amount of armor, rotors & aircraft, absolute control of the Black Sea, etc. You should read the whole article.
The Ukraine Army listens to the Russian Army as they broadcast on unsecured (cheap) Chinese handheld radios…and there is a back story as to why this is the case.
Channeling Uncle Joe
The Russian Economy’s Impact (maps)