More to ignore, Book 101...

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Weeks Deep In a Litter Box Hoax, You’re So Nuts You Got Banned From Newsmax? I’m Honestly Impressed.

ShowerCap

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Not that anybody asked, but life trapped inside the shitty Ken Kesey fanfic that is American society is, um, not awesome. I’m gonna leave such a Yelp review when we come out the other side of this madness.

And we are gonna come out the other side, by the way. Which I only mention because many seem to’ve wandered into one of those of patches of despair n’ defeatism Dems are so fond of wallowing in. I certainly respect such a time-honored tradition, but, y’know…finish up your smoke break, okay? There’s stuff to do.

Because admittedly, Republican batshittery has been accelerating at an absolutely ungoddamnsettling rate. They’re really ****in’ going for it, the fashy little creeps. One poll goes their way, they get reeeeeeal cocky. Suddenly these platform-averse lightweights can’t stop bragging about their revanchist plans.

It’s not so much a coherent doctrine as a manifesto smeared on the walls in crap. They’re gonna pass a national “don’t say gay” law and hand Ukraine to Putin gift-wrapped and put Fauci on trial and kick Democrats off their committees and then they’re going to make it illegal for Ivermectin to not cure Covid and once that’s all wrapped up, America won’t have any problems at all prosperity forever CHECKMATE LIBTARDS!

Oh, and we can’t forget the debt ceiling. Either Democrats agree to draconian cuts to the safety net, or McCarthy’s gang of incontinent howler monkeys blows up the global economy. I guess we’re pretending there’s some MAGA mandate for Paul Ryan-style austerity? I wouldn’t do that, fellas. If you really wanna try replacing your base’s health insurance with the Hunter Biden’s Laptop Variety Hour, just remember: you’re also the ones that sold them the torches and pitchforks.

Anyway, you better give Marjorie Taylor Greene a really fancy uniform, Kev, with tassels and shiny buttons, oh, and POWER, too, lots of it, or you’ll be sorry. Let’s quote her directly:

“I think that to be the best speaker of the House and to please the base, he's going to give me a lot of power and a lot of leeway, and if he doesn't, they're going to be very unhappy about it."

Ah, the not-particularly-thinly-veiled threat of mob violence. Wonder where she picked up that trick? Nuthin’ “semi-“ about that, folks. That is a bona fide American fascist, and her star is on the rise.

As she ascends in Republican politics, here in the run-up to the midterms, Marj is bringing her particularly unhinged brand of anti-Semitism with her, with plenty of help from Kanye West, and, of course, the Dotard himself. You knew it would come to this, it always does, but it’s still pretty terrifying to witness......
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Speaking of Kanye, there’s nothing quite like the wingnut grifter feeding frenzy that descends on a mentally ill rich dude who loses his Twitter account for hate speech. For the eminently reasonable investment of a couple of tacky t-shirts, Candace Owens bailed out her husband’s somehow-even-crappier-than-Truth-Social online bigot gathering hole…anyway, the line to pick this asshat’s pocket forms to the left......
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Boy, if there’s anyone anywhere who is decisively not impressive enough to talk about himself in third person, it’s Utah Senator Mike Lee, but there’s a lot of unearned self-confidence in the Republican Party these days, I suppose........
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Somehow, despite deploying sophisticated tactics like “pitching a fit at your own witness,” John Durham lost his pathetic excuse for a case, to the consternation of the seething resentment cult that expected him to have Hillary Clinton in irons by now. JFK Jr.’s not coming back either, sorry. It’s hard on their poor, little minds, because the law’s so different here in the real world than it is in the shows they watch on teevee. The…news shows.

Like, there’re people who watched or heard Joe Rogan and Tulsi Gabbard jabber about furry kid litter boxes, and walked away believing they’d gained valuable information about the world around them. I would be mad if they had kids shitting in litter boxes, too. But that’s not actually happening. So. ......
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I’d be super mad if I thought the Democratic Party was a sinister cabal that trafficked children for satanic rituals, but believing that is like believing Duck Tales is a documentary show.......
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I can only imagine how furious I’d be if I believed half the shrieking horseshit clogging up Lara Logan’s brain. She got banned from Newsmax, folks. BANNED from NEWSMAX. That’s like getting kicked out of a Mike Lindell sex party for being too creepy........
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Anyway, the great thing about made-up problems is they can lessen or worsen or disappear completely, depending on the needs of the moment. Should these bastards take power, they’ll run for re-election swearing they made America great again, cuz you never hear about kids shitting in litter boxes anymore.......
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Probably their very most favorite fake thing to believe is that there’s no conceivable way voters might reject any of the deranged nincompoops they nominate for office. Tucker Carlson is only too happy to platform Kari Lake’s insidious lie that her victory is the only possible legitimate electoral outcome. And surprise, surprise, you’re already seeing voter harassment in Arizona, by self-deputized vigilante nitwits, trained and deployed by prominent conspiracy theorists, like Cleta Mitchell, John Eastman, and Steve Bannon.

Yes, the same Steve Bannon who just received a 4-month sentence for contempt, and the same John Eastman whose emails were deemed, by a federal judge, to’ve triggered the crime fraud exception to attorney-client privilege. Criminals, is what I’m saying. Criminals are organizing their own, personal voter intimidation armies.
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Gosh, Cap, when you put it like that, it sounds kinda scary.

Yeah, it does. Lotta folks on the Right are saying and doing some pretty freaky shit these days. I know it’s horror movie season, but if you really want to send a chill down your spine, check out the shit they’re test-driving over at The Federalist. And “Lauren Boebert is honored to be serving during the end times” laps Wes Craven on his best day.

They’re getting restless over there. They want to get to part where they get to hurt people. They want to start locking up the groomers and the sluts and that internet cow that made fun of Devin Nunes and the BLMers and the deep state and I hope you don’t think this stops because it doesn’t.

You see, they have no choice but to impose their values on the rest of us, for we are sinners and they are godly, anyway, another one of their candidates got arrested, for, um, well, for masturbating next to a preschool playground, but I believe we were discussing Republican moral purity, which we can all agree is beyond reproach.......
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Gotta appreciate Ron DeSantis’ casual corruption in using Hurricane Ian as an excuse to ease voting rules…but only in Republican areas. Another authoritarian strut down the runway, casting flirty glances at the megadonor class. Same lemon-fresh new power grab scent, with a fraction of the fuss........
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I had some really witty, insightful things to say about Liz Truss, but I already can’t remember who she was. Liz Tuss, Lizzzzzzz Trussssss…nope, not ringing any bells, though I feel strangely compelled to make lettuce jokes, and I have the same headache I used to get every time I got cornered by a libertarian at a college party.......
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In Ukraine, Putin’s now just snatching dudes off the street and feeding them straight into the front line meatgrinder, hoping the West runs out of bullets before he runs out of dudes. Oh, and trying to outsource as much of his debacle as possible to Iran, before that regime collapses. Pretty standard superpower shit......
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Yeah. It’s a lot. It’s a whole ****ing lot, and I get why it’s discouraging, but if it makes you feel any better, the aforementioned real-world legal system has been tap-dancing all over these maniacs’ balls, more or less constantly. From Capitol rioters to saucy subpoena-dodgers like Lindsey Graham, the slow n’ steady law keeps catching up to these ****s.

Especially the chap on the other end of that attorney-client privilege exception. So many depositions and dismissals, people have trouble figuring out where to send the new subpoenas. I guess he stole highly classified state secrets about China and Iran. Just like he stole from the Secret Service. Or from his own foundation. He’s got a pocketful of purloined restaurant mints right now, I guarantee it. He’s a thief, that’s all, and of the pettiest type imaginable.

…and they worship him for it.....
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Well, that’s my spooky bedtime story, muah hah hah…hoo. Anyway, I’m hearing the siren song of the hazy IPA I picked up yesterday, so I’ll sign off here. You stay safe out there, we need ya to VOTE IN THE GODDAMN MIDTERMS, y’know…


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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One of the Floridians arrested this summer for allegedly voting illegally in 2020 had his charges tossed out by a Miami judge on Friday, dealing a significant blow to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ much-hyped but increasingly shaky crusade.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor did not have the jurisdiction to charge Robert Lee Wood, 56, and his two felony voter fraud charges were dropped.

The statewide prosecutor, who issued the warrant for Wood’s arrest, is limited to prosecuting crimes that involve two or more judicial circuits. Wood’s attorney, Larry Davis, harped on these guidelines, arguing the agency could not charge his client because Wood’s alleged crimes—registering to vote and casting a ballot despite being ineligible—both occurred in Miami-Dade County.

Prosecutors countered that Wood committed the offenses in Miami-Dade and Leon County, home to the state’s capital, because his voter registration form and ballot were certified in Tallahassee, a second judicial circuit.

But a judge rebuffed that argument Friday, stating that Wood took no part in transferring his voter application or ballot elsewhere, and thus was ineligible to be charged by the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor.

“Here the crime, if there was one, occurred exclusively in Miami,” Hirsch wrote in a motion to dismiss. “The ‘related transaction’—the merely ministerial transmission of completed forms to Tallahassee—was not a crime.”

Friday’s decision opens up the possibility that others charged with voter fraud in Florida may soon have their charges dropped, too, just months after DeSantis gleefully announced their arrest.....



 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Ukraine update: Russian authorities in Kherson order 'immediate evacuation'

Mark Sumner

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An astounding image of how quickly an area can return to something like normal. Three guesses as to where this is. No peeking.

Here. Before we do anything else, here’s the invasion of Ukraine in a nutshell. This war is a tiny girl, hiding under a desk, and explaining, “I saw a robot today. It was flying. I saw it. It wanted to kill me.”




On Saturday, the messages that Russia is departing from Kherson city, and from the whole portion of Kherson Oblast lying west of the Dnipro River, grew only louder. Official messages from the occupation government calling for “immediate” evacuation of all officials, as well as the civilian population, are circulating widely.

As they’ve been departing, Russian forces have been taking away all they can carry. That includes washing machines. It includes furniture and fixtures stolen from homes and apartments. It includes the contents of stores and gear from television studios. It includes children even younger than the girl in the video above.

Back in July, as Ukraine both reached positions where Kherson was in the range of extended artillery and began to employ weapons like HIMARS that were capable of both greater range and precision, there were thoughts that rather than target Russian military assets that were inextricably mixed with civilian locations inside Kherson, Ukraine would go for the bridges. Just days later, Ukraine did exactly that, striking both the Antonivskyi Bridge east of Kherson, then the Kakhovka dam bridge west of Nova Kakhovka. From that point on, Russia’s ability to stay in Kherson was in serious doubt.

Almost immediately, as Russia began trying to support its forces in the west with ferries and makeshift bridges constructed by stringing together barges, there were rumors that Russia’s departure from the area was imminent. If Russian forces along the front line were expending ammunition and equipment faster than it could be resupplied, then Ukraine didn’t have to actually stage an assault on Kherson. It only had to wait.


Some other plans were apparently discussed, such as trying to hold onto a smaller area around the city of Kherson. However, the damage to the Kerch Bridge in Crimea at the start of this month, and the Ukrainian push down from the north that liberated over 1,000 square kilometers in three days, finally seemed to place enough stress on this already tightened supply that Russia was left with no other choice than departure.

In the last weeks, there have been multiple signs of Russia’s leaving Kherson. Some of those have been as predictable as increased theft of washing machines. Some have been much darker.




The possibility of a humanitarian disaster in Kherson—one that doesn’t involve a tactical nuke or an exploding dam—is still hanging out there. Russian soldiers who have watched thousands of their own companions die in an attempt to hold onto Kherson, are now being told to pack up and leave. Collaborators, Russians lured into Kherson with the promise of jobs in the occupation government, and military officials who were running day to day operations are all leaving. In fact, they are reportedly leaving today.

As the Associated Press reports,

Russian-installed authorities ordered all residents of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson to leave “immediately” Saturday ahead of an expected advance by Ukrainian troops waging a counteroffensive to recapture one of the first urban areas Russia took after invading the country.

Those authorities have apparently already hopped onto ferries and beat it out of Kherson. Ukrainian forces are still kilometers away from the city. There have been no reports of Ukrainian forces making a major advance toward the city, though there have been reports that Russian forces have been reduced, and Russian artillery fire has all but stopped, along the front lines in Kherson.

Right now, there are still thousands of Russian troops on the west side of the Dnipro River. The city of Kherson appears to be without any civilian leadership. It’s unclear to what extent there is any military leadership remaining. It’s just the citizens, and thousands of Russian soldiers who have been defeated in months of bloody fighting. That’s not a good formula.


There is no doubt that Russia would like to make an “orderly retreat” in which it takes with it as much military equipment (and washing machines) as possible. There’s also no doubt that Ukraine would like to prevent this. Tanks and artillery that don’t make it across the river, are tanks and artillery they don’t have to fight another day. On the other hand, Ukrainian military commanders are likely to be reluctant to risk their forces in attacking positions that are about to be abandoned. However, if there are signs of Russian soldiers taking their anger out on the civilian population as they depart, Ukraine is certain to plunge in.

Kherson stands on the brink of liberation. But it may not get there without passing through yet another bath of chaos. It’s a good time for everyone to hunker under a desk.
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From the WTF breaking news desk, there have also been reports that Russia has also ordered the evacuation of Belgorod. However, this doesn’t seem to be actually the case. Apparently small numbers of people were evacuated from some towns and villages along the Ukrainian border, this was spread into the media, and now there are many reports that the whole of Belgorod Oblast, including the city of Belgorod, is being evacuated. These reports have become so widely repeated that there are traffic jams of people streaming out of towns in the region.

Russia seems to be getting extremely fearful. Almost like they think they’re going to be held responsible for what they’ve done in Ukraine. And Syria. And Georgia. And Chechnya. And...
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UPDATE: Saturday, Oct 22, 2022 · 12:09:45 PM EDT · Mark Sumner
If you haven’t found the answer in the comments, the image at the top was taken in Bucha.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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UPDATE: Saturday, Oct 22, 2022 · 1:22:00 PM EDT · Mark Sumner
Seeing more reports of Ukrainian forces liberating towns in Kherson area. Searching for confirmations and hoping to have an updated map soon. Probably will do another Ukraine Update in a couple of hours.
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UPDATE: Saturday, Oct 22, 2022 · 12:57:49 PM EDT · Mark Sumner
Russia has apparently ordered officers and medical personnel to evacuate the filtration camp at Beryslav. There have been horror stories out of this area. Don’t be surprised if Russia takes steps to burn or blow up incriminating evidence here.
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UPDATE: Saturday, Oct 22, 2022 · 12:50:47 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

The Ukrainian general staff has confirmed Russia’s withdrawal from the Chkalove area.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Ukraine update: In Kherson 'organized withdrawal of troops of the first line is impossible'

Mark Sumner

Those days when a Russian position is clearly crumbling? Those are the best days.

On Saturday evening in Ukraine, Russia has once again targeted electrical production and transmission facilities with missile and drone attacks, causing blackouts that involve a large percentage of the population, including the majority of Kyiv. However, this appears to be about the only “good news” on Russian state media and Telegram channels. Because the situation in Kherson appears to be coming to a head sooner than expected.

On Saturday morning, Russian officials called for “immediate evacuation” of the city of Kherson. Officials seem to have followed this order by swiftly hopping on a boat and departing. There have also been reports that over the last two weeks Russia has been subbing in freshly mobilized troops for experienced fighters, while getting the forces who know which end of a rifle to hold across the river. There are also efforts reportedly underway to evacuate Russian personnel from the filtration camp at Beryslav.

Over the course of the day, these withdrawals appear to have become evident on the front lines. There are multiple reports of abandoned Russian positions, some of which have even been confirmed by the Ukrainian general staff (which is usually reluctant to report anything happening near the actual front line). It’s possible that the front line in Kherson is simply collapsing. That may be particularly true if those reports that the line has been replaced by inexperienced and recently mobilized troops. As soon as those guys no longer had someone holding a gun to their back, running away likely seemed like a Real Good Thing.

Ferries are reportedly doing frequent and rapid trips across the river on Saturday night in Ukraine, with Russians hoping to get as much across they can, while keeping an eye out for incoming HIMARS fire.

As Wagner Group Telegram channel GrayZone puts it: “The situation is even worse than in the Kharkiv region after the breakthrough to Balakliya. In fact, the implementation of an organized withdrawal of troops of the first line is impossible.”

GrayZone worked this into a lengthy post that included such stirring phrases as “a tale of the city of the Scythian sun has not yet sounded in our ears, but the air has already been saturated with a familiar unpleasant aftertaste that leaves a lump in the throat.” That could be Google Translate straining at the seams. Or a lot of vodka. In any case, they also took this opportunity to complain about Russian leadership wasting drones on civilian targets, and to metaphorically roll their eyes at the scheme to blow the Nova Kakhovka dam then blame it on Ukraine. Because nobody, not even pro-Russian military bloggers, would buy that story.

Every single source now seems to expect that the end of Russian occupation in Kherson isn’t going to be measured in weeks or months. It’s a matter of days. How many days is the only question. And it’s not going to be an orderly withdrawal with Russian tanks all neatly ferried across the Dnipro. It’s going to end with Russian forces clawing, or maybe shooting, to get that last spot on board.

What’s especially interesting, is that these Russian sources can see where things are going next, and understand well enough what caused them to lose the largest city they had managed to occupy in this invasion.


“The enemy has absolutely no motive to blow up the hydroelectric power station. The Armed Forces of Ukraine plan to take Melitopol in the spring. It plans to open a battle front in the Zaporozhye region, and also to attack from Kherson. So I subjectively believe that the enemy has no goals to destroy the already abandoned city [Kherson], which we simply do not have the opportunity to defend, not so much due to the smallness of forces and means, but in broken logistics. “

Right now, there are a lot of reports of Russian positions being abandoned, but little visual confirmation that Ukraine has moved into these locations. In part, that may be because it’s currently 11PM in Kyiv. When the sun comes up, expect to see some images and videos from locations that have been on the red side of the line for months.

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Reports that Russia’s front line in the north is collapsing.

Right now, there are reports that Chkalove and Charivne have been abandoned. The Chkalove claim has been supported by the Ukrainian general staff. It seems unlikely that these locations would be reported unless this also means that Ukrainian forces were currently there on the ground, but that still needs confirmation. Those locations cut deep into the formerly Russian-occupied area and make it possible for Ukraine to encircle any Russian forces that may remain in the area of Bruskynske. But there may be no one, as there were unconfirmed reports on Friday that this town was back on the Ukraine side of the divide. On Saturday, there are unconfirmed reports that Ukrainian forces have entered Mylove on the east, and have moved as far down as Chervomnyi Yar near the center of the line, several kilometers behind what has been the front over the last three weeks.

If all of this is confirmed, it seems that Russia’s northern line in Kherson is gone, and it’s not clear where, of if, Russian forces will form up again.

At Snihurivka, local sources report a large explosion at midday. Reports are that this was not a matter of Ukraine hitting the location with artillery or HIMARS, but Russian forces in the town blowing up remaining ammo as they prepare to withdraw. Departing Russian troops reportedly didn’t have time to take ammunition, because they were busy loading up TVs, refrigerators, and (of course) washing machines. Again, let’s hope these reports are accurate.


Honestly, while everyone on the front lines over the last months deserves praise, the real heroes of Kherson could be the guys in the backroom; the intelligence officers who (with help from the U.S. and others) correctly identified the weakness of the Russian’s supply situation in the west and what steps could be taken to exploit that weakness. Ukraine has been fighting to liberate Kherson since just days after the city was taken. In April, Ukraine’s dilemma in the area became clear—how to retake the city without resorting to the kind of tactics that Russia had used in taking Mariupol or would use at Severodonetsk. Ukraine wanted to liberate Kherson and, as much as possible, preserve the city and protect its people. How could it do that if Russia set up artillery in the middle of town and shelled Ukrainian positions with a quarter million human shields all around them? And how could they get there at all with Russia creating a set of nested fortresses along each highway?

Dammit if Ukraine didn’t find a way.

It’s still a long way to Kherson. In fact, Ukrainian forces have been closer to the city at least three times over the last eight months. But this time it’s not just momentum and hope that are propelling Ukraine forward.




Meanwhile, near Bakhmut…




There are reports that Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the area is extensive enough that it can’t be measured by looking at what specific stores are held. Ukraine may have taken back the town of Zaitseve, thought this is still awaiting confirmation.


How is Bahkmut going? Not well if you’re Russian.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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UPDATE: Saturday, Oct 22, 2022 · 11:58:55 AM EDT · Mark Sumner
With all the emphasis on Kherson, there hasn’t been a lot of coverage in what’s happening up along the edge of Luhansk Oblast where Ukrainian forces had been working their way to Svatove. But that’s not because nothing is happening.

Russian forces have made multiple attacks toward the villages of Terny, Zarichne, and Torske in Donetsk Oblast near Lyman. Russia understands that if it can get one Russian flag into Lyman, even for a minute, it will represent a PR victory by “countering the counteroffensive.”

Russia claimed to have retaken this area and be moving “on to Lyman” last week. They were lying. There was another big push on Wednesday, followed by an attack on Friday. Ukraine still appears to hold all these locations. However, pulling forces down to defend this position has apparently succeeded in slowing Ukraine’s careful advance toward Svatove.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces that crossed the river at Kupyansk seem to be divided between continuing the advance to the southeast, and finally moving against some of the Russian locations very close to Kupyansk on the north.

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There are a couple of areas that keep popping up in reports that aren’t actually in a town, but seem to be determining what comes next at Svatove. One is a patch of woods along the P07 highway between Volodymyrivka and Kryvoshyivka. The road in the area is screened by trees and this, along with the woods, is reportedly providing enough cover for Russian forces to strike vehicles attempting to move along the road toward Kuzemivka to the south. This is slowing Ukraine’s development of this area and any attempt to move east from that location.

To the south, Ukraine is reportedly pushing over a ridge near Kovalivka what would allow them to hold a similar commanding position over the P07 highway south of the Svatove intersection. This could potentially help in cutting off connections with those Russian forces that are causing trouble to the south.

There are enough pieces in motion, especially at the north and south ends of the line, that reports of locations changing hands should be expected in the next day or so. Stay tuned.