More to ignore, Book 102...

Ten Thousan Marbles

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FRONTLINE and The Associated Press go inside Russia’s war on Ukraine, tracing a pattern of atrocities committed by Russian troops with a focus on the Kyiv suburbs, such as Bucha, where some of the most shocking carnage was found.

From award-winning director Tom Jennings, producer Annie Wong, AP global investigative reporter Erika Kinetz and her AP colleagues, the joint documentary draws on exclusive original footage, as well as interviews with Ukrainian citizens and prosecutors, top government officials and international war crimes experts.

FRONTLINE and the AP uncover exclusive and harrowing evidence that links possible war crimes in Bucha through the chain of command to one of Russia’s top generals — evidence that prosecutors hope might help build a case against Russian President Vladimir Putin in court. But the joint investigation also explores the challenges of trying to hold Putin and other Russian leaders to account.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Judge asks DOJ whether she should reveal how Trump has been preventing testimony from former aides

Mark Sumner

The chief judge of the District Court in Washington, D.C., is considering making documents concerning Donald Trump’s connections to Jan. 6 open to the public. In this case, the documents relate to how Trump has attempted to prevent former advisors and staff members from testifying before a grand jury hearing evidence related to Jan. 6.

When it comes to Trump and court battles, it can be difficult to keep up. This time, it’s not Trump’s theft of government documents, his tax fraud, or his subpoena to appear before the Jan. 6 select committee that’s in the news. It’s that other Jan. 6 investigation, the one being conducted by the Justice Department, that has already resulted in at least 928 arrests, 412 guilty pleas, and 21 people found guilty at trial. There are still dozens, if not hundreds, of trials to come — including the trial of Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy that Brandi Buchman has been following with live daily coverage.

But the DOJ’s Jan. 6 investigation doesn’t just include the people who assaulted police, smashed through windows, invaded the Capitol, and physically threated lawmakers. It also includes those who planted the seeds for that day, and who planned to disrupt the lawful completion of the election process by lying about election fraud, attempting to interfere with state officials, and pushing slates of false electors. Those people are basically known as Trump’s entire campaign and White House team. The DOJ wants the grand jury to hear from those people. Trump has been interfering. And now Judge Beryl Howell is considering showing everyone just what’s going on.
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On Wednesday, The New York Times reported on efforts to force two former Trump lawyers—Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin—to testify. Trump has claimed that both attorney-client privilege and executive privilege mean that Cipollone and Philbin don’t need to appear. The DOJ has argued that, as the law makes clear, privilege claims cannot be used to cover up a crime. In this case, both Cipollone and Philbin are known to have been directly involved in organizing slates of false electors who could be put forward on Jan. 6 as an excuse to halt the compiling of electoral votes.

The fight over these two attorneys is just one of many times that Trump has tried to block an appearance before the grand jury. Last week, a panel of federal judges turned down an attempt by Trump to block testimony from Marc Short, who was chief of staff for Mike Pence.

In September, 40 subpoenas were issued to former Trump officials, aides, and advisors in one of the clearest signals that the Department of Justice was closing in on how Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election led to the violence of Jan. 6—and how that effort involved a whole host of potential crimes. Those subpoenas included former Trump speechwriter Stephen Miller, campaign strategist Mike Roman, Trump attorney Boris Epshteyn, social media director Dan Scavino, former police commissioner turned election fraud conspiracist Bernard Kerik, and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Trump has tried to block the appearance of all these officials, generally using arguments of executive privilege. In fact, the cases that are making their way through the courts now are not those related to the September subpoenas, but a group of officials, including Short, whose subpoenas went out back in June. As Politico reports, it’s been a four-month effort to bring those officials in front of the jury, with Trump filing one appeal after another in an effort to prevent their testimony.

Hours after the court ruled that Trump could not block Short’s testimony, the former Pence chief of staff had his say before the jury and went home. But that’s just one name on a long list, and dealing with Trump’s efforts to prevent former associates from testifying is seriously slowing the pace of the proceedings.

Both Politico and The New York Times have asked Chief Judge Howell to unseal documents related to what is being called “Trump’s secret battle” to prevent the grand jury from hearing from his former aides. Judge Howell has now asked the Department of Justice for their opinion on whether Trump’s meddling should be made public.

In such efforts to block testimony, Trump has consistently lost when it comes to the official results in court. However, his actions have often so slowed processes that by the time the final appeal was put down, the value of testimony or documents was so reduced that Trump’s “loss” is questionable. Trump has become the exemplar for how unlimited money and an unlimited stream of unscrupulous lawyers can keep anything in court perpetually, even when there is no real justification. Appeal. Lose. Appeal. Lose. Appeal. Lose. Change the basis of the appeal and start over. With weeks or months passing between each step, Trump can lose every case and never take a scratch.

These efforts reveal an obvious weakness in the legal system that can be easily exploited. So far, there doesn’t appear to be any effort to address this weakness.

However, Howell—like “special master” Judge Raymond Dearie in the documents case—is taking action to move things along more quickly. In a Sept. 28 ruling, she dismissed efforts by Trump to delay any hearings until after he had exhausted his appeals based on executive privilege. Howell ruled that hearings would continue, even as Trump tried to defend his all-encompassing view on privilege.

Will it help move things along if more information on Trump’s interference with the grand jury becomes public? Probably not. It’s not as if Trump can be shamed. But it would provide some greater insight into just how Trump has been moving to prevent testimony, and what kinds of claims he is making. That could be interesting, and it might even help the
next prosecutor and the next judge in dealing with Trump’s infinite bag o’ monkey wrenches.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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1608ckCOMICabortionisttrial.png
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Merrick Garland announces most progressive Department of Justice policy in decades

Walter Einenkel

On Wednesday, hidden under the fog of traditional media outlets worrying about Democratic candidate John Fetterman’s post-stroke recovery, while accepting Mehmet Oz’s career of quackery, President Biden’s Department of Justice made a very important announcement. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland formally codified the FBI policy banning the use of subpoenas, search warrants, and other legal measures against news journalists in most circumstances. This is a codification and expansion of rules the U.S. Attorney General announced as a temporary step last year.

When Garland first took over U.S. Attorney General duties, one of his first orders of business, as has been most agencies’ directors in the Biden administration, was to fix some of the abuses the disgraced Trump administration participated in. These included secretly collecting Washington Post reporters’ phone records. But let’s be clear, the Obama administration was also guilty of going after government whistleblowers who spoke to the press. Before President Obama, there was the second Bush administration with its use of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, as an excuse to go after everybody’s freedoms, including the press’. And it is the fact that it has gone on for so long that makes Wednesday’s decision that much more important and progressive.

In his statement on the matter, Garland said, “These regulations recognize the crucial role that a free and independent press plays in our democracy. Because freedom of the press requires that members of the news media have the freedom to investigate and report the news, the new regulations are intended to provide enhanced protection to members of the news media from certain law enforcement tools and actions that might unreasonably impair news gathering.”

Attorney General Garland makes this move after openly supporting the importance of codifying protections for a free and independent press in a democratic society. In June, speaking at a press conference, Garland told reporters he would continue working to end the Trump-era practice of punishing and threatening free speech, but that he believed that Congress needed to create legislation that would allow such protections to endure. “I personally will support working with Congress to develop legislation that would make protections for obtaining the press’ records part of the legislation.” That legislation has still yet to materialize, but this is an important step in the right direction.

In a memo sent to all DOJ employees, Garland also promised that the new guidelines would be followed up: The “Criminal Division's Office of Enforcement Operations will provide comprehensive training across the Department regarding the new policy's substance, standards, approval levels, and consultation requirements,” he wrote. What this move does is create more meaningful steps for federal law enforcement to take and consider when they try to get private information from the press. It also expands the definition of what is protected to include reporters being able to freely do their job of actually investigating matters of national importance. According to The New York Times, the expansion of Garland’s new policy came after working with various news organizations to discuss what is both reasonable and most important to a free press.


Those conversations led to several adjustments about potentially critical issues, like how “news gathering” is defined. According to participants, the Justice Department originally intended to define it in a way that was limited to the passive receipt of government secrets. But the final version now covers the act of pursuing information.
The regulation defines “news gathering” as “the process by which a member of the news media collects, pursues, or obtains information or records for purposes of producing content intended for public dissemination,” including “classified information” from confidential sources.

No surprisingly, all of those right-wing and libertarian pretend-left-wing types who hide behind the intellectually vacuous “First Amendment warriors” banner seem to have forgotten to cheer this very clear win for the First Amendment. I guess they were too busy salivating over the chance to make a ton more money licking a new billionaire’s feet?

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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A breakthrough in electric vehicle fast charging battery design from Penn State has enabled a 10-minute charge time for a typical EV battery.

The record-breaking combination of a shorter charge time and more energy required for longer travel range came from heating the battery to a Goldilocks Zone which has proven difficult for engineers thus far.

Their findings are hoped to accelerate the sale of EVs, and were announced on October 12th, in the journal Nature.

“The need for smaller, faster-charging batteries is greater than ever,” said Chao-Yang Wang, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State and lead author on the study.

“There are simply not enough batteries and critical raw materials, especially those produced domestically, to meet anticipated demand.”.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Three Michigan militiamen convicted on state charges in Whitmer kidnap plot, adding to tally

David Neiwert

When a jury earlier this year acquitted two of the 14 men charged in the bizarre plot by a group of far-right militiamen to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, there was immediate concern that we might be seeing a repeat of the disastrous failed prosecutions of other right-wing extremists. However, the subsequent convictions in August of the two ringleaders in the retrial of the same federal case alleviated some of those fears.

The state prosecutions of some of their cohorts on lesser charges lagged behind that federal case, and did not begin until earlier this month. On Wednesday, the results came in for the first of those trials, and this time around the verdict was clear: All three men were convicted on all charges, and relatively swiftly.

Joe Morrison, 28; his father-in-law, Pete Musico, 44; and Paul Bellar, 24, were all found guilty of providing “material support” for a terrorist act as part of their activities with the “Wolverine Watchmen” paramilitary group. They were also convicted of a felony gun crime and membership in a gang, based on evidence that their militia was a criminal enterprise.

The jury spent only about five hours deliberating before returning with the verdict. Judge Thomas Wilson ordered all three to remain behind bars to await sentencing, which is scheduled for Dec. 15.

Each of the men faces as many as 42 years in prison: The providing material support and gang membership conviction carry sentences of up to 20 years apiece, and they can run consecutively; while the felony gun conviction carries an additional two years.

As in the federal prosecutions, jurors in Jackson, Michigan, heard evidence demonstrating that the men had considered Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions “tyrannical,” and had first participated in armed protests in Lansing in the spring and summer of 2020 during which they had first formed a plan to attack the Capitol and kidnap state officials. The men had ranted extensively about the “Boogaloo,” their hoped-for civil war, and hard participated in some of the paramilitary preparations for the kidnapping attempt.

"They promoted terrorism, they sought out terrorists and when they found them, they trained them," Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani said during closing arguments. She described how Bellar provided medical and firearms training, how Musico had provided facilities and personnel, and how Morrison provided facilities, personnel and advice to ringleader Adam Fox, convicted in the federal trial. Morrison, she said, taught Fox about a number of facets of running a militia—operational security, how to vet recruits, and how to lead firearms training sessions—despite knowing that Fox was planning violence.

"These three defendants had been pushing toward violence for months," Doddamani said. "Even if they weren’t going to do an act of terrorism themselves, they were more than happy and willing to help someone else."

“The facts drip out slowly,” state Assistant Attorney General Bill Rollstin had told the jurors in closing arguments, “and you begin to see — wow — there were things that happened that people knew about. ... When you see how close Adam Fox got to the governor, you can see how a very bad event was thwarted.”

Afterwards, defense attorneys told reporters they were surprised that the jury returned their verdict in relatively short time. Leonard Ballard, Morrison's attorney, called the trial "fair but disappointing."

"It’s hard to know what the jury is going to latch onto," Ballard said. "Walking out yesterday I thought a not guilty verdict was coming back."

"Instead of only reacting to known threats, it is imperative that law enforcement be proactive in order to save lives," Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. "This office will not sit idly by and watch while armed terrorists plan acts of civil unrest with the intent of causing mayhem and murder. These are not merely acts of ‘harmless chatter’ and 'wishful thinking.' These are criminal conspiracies to conduct dangerous acts, and it is incumbent upon law enforcement to treat this activity as such. Make no mistake, the quick actions of law enforcement saved lives. We are pleased the jury clearly understood that."

"Those who seek to sow discord by pursuing violent plots will be held accountable under the law," Whitmer commented in a statement. "This trial is another stark reminder that we must take an honest look at the state of our politics. Politically motivated plots, threats and violence are increasingly common against public officials as well as everyday citizens. They are the logical, disturbing extension of radicalization, hatred, and conspiratorial thinking that festers in America, threatening the foundation of our republic.”

She later noted on Twitter that the verdicts were cause for optimism: “No threat, no plot, no rhetoric will break my belief in the goodness and decency of our people. And these verdicts are further proof that violence and threats have no place in our politics.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Arizona conspiracy cranks are staking out ballot boxes because they have no actual lives to live

Hunter

2022-10-242.png

THIS IS THE BEST POSSIBLE USE OF MY TIME AND I WILL NO DOUBT GO DOWN AS THE GREATEST HERO IN ARIZONA HISTORY

Arizona Trump supporters have gotten themselves a new hobby in these last weeks of the 2022 elections: showing up just outside the legally protected 75' perimeter around public ballot drop boxes in Maricopa County to watch voters turning in their ballots. Sometimes while sporting tactical vests and/or weapons. Sometimes while capturing videos of the voters that arrive or taking pictures of their license plates.


This has led to confrontations, of course. Any reasonable voter would feel that a group of people videotaping them at a ballot box, sometimes in action playtime militia outfits, was meant to be intimidating. And anyone doing the ballot-box stakeouts is by definition not "reasonable" by any stretch of the imagination. The sole reason any of these Arizona Trumpites are holding evening stakeouts of the local ballot box scene is because they were convinced by far-right conspiracy theorists that "mules" were secretly dumping a bajillion illegal votes into the boxes when nobody was looking.

There are already surveillance cameras at Arizona ballot drop boxes, however, and those security videos are available online via the Maricopa County Elections Department itself. You can watch them while sitting on your couch!

Uncovering an evil ballot-stuffing scheme by sitting your human ass down just outside the perimeter where it would be illegal is, therefore, only useful if you think the "mules" stuffing ballot boxes won't show up on video cameras. Are these mules supposed to be vampires? We’ll run with that if that’s what it takes, but if you think you're going to catch the secret liberal vampire mules by showing up and, uh, taking pictures of them with your own camera instead of the one the county’s using, I don't know what to tell you.

Then there are the people showing up with guns in order to confront the supernatural mule vampires. That's some serious hubris, there. That's just asking to be sucked.

What we have here, in the end analysis, is a group of Arizonans who have absolutely no life. No common sense. No knowledge of how to defeat vampires, how to defeat mules, or how to defeat mules that are vampires or vampires that are mules. No other useful hobbies. And that is a damn shame, because Maricopa County, Arizona, is a bustling metropolis with a great many things to do, so long as your definition of "things to do" relies on the accoutrements of an unending suburban hellscape hot enough to light your dog on fire if you leave them in the sun too long.

I would
like to help these people. It could be argued that it is our civic duty to help these people, who are trapped in their decaying lives, their minds a humid fog of conspiracy theories, their family lives stagnant and merciless. When other communities find themselves facing groups of night-roaming disaffected malcontents, we say things like "what about midnight basketball?" or "this is why Trump should never have been allowed to open a casino here." But what of these Americans, who have been exposed to Dinesh D'Souza at near-lethal doses?

How can we reform them? Or even comfort them?

Here's a thought: What about knitting? It doesn't have to be normal knitting, it can be outdoor competitive midnight knitting. It can be
tactical knitting. It can be a drinking contest: You can drink as many beers as you can knit beer cozies for; the competition ends at sunrise or whenever the first knitting injury happens.

You can put laser sights on the knitting needles. It will make a satisfying military glow, as you dazzle your drinking buddies with your tactical needle-clicking.

No? Hmm. A book club? A
midnight book club. Everyone can sit around a portable propane heater—if it's too hot, switch it off, but sitting around something is sort of vital for long-term nighttime activities—and read aloud from one of Donald Trump's own scriptures, er, books. Discuss the contents. Imagine yourselves talking to the man himself, as he tells his ghostwriter how to punch up each made-up anecdote about his personal brilliance. Does it give you the shivers? No?

Would putting laser sights on the book help?

I'm going to be honest here, I don't have a good grasp on what people who trust Dinesh D'Souza might do in their free time if it's not watching ballot boxes or putting laser sights on things. This isn't in my wheelhouse. Perhaps somebody else can suggest some appropriate hobbies, but sitting around in the Arizona evening waiting for camera-invisible vampire mules to arrive and thwart conservatism's dreams of one-party glory really sounds so tedious that I can't imagine anything that
wouldn't be a better use of somebody's conspiracy-addled time.

Quick, I think I saw JFK at the grocery store across the street. He was putting tactical laser sights on all the bread loaves. Go find him and help.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Jan. 6 Rioter who Attacked Officer Fanone gets 7.5 Years in Jail

ericlewis0

From Mother Jones:

On Thursday, a US District Court judge sentenced a January 6 rioter to seven years and six months in prison for dragging DC police Officer Michael Fanone into the angry mob at the Capitol, an act that resulted in one of the most brutal attacks that day. Albuquerque Cosper Head, a 34-year old man from Tennessee, was responsible for forcibly moving Fanone from a tunnel into a crowd of angry rioters who proceeded to beat him and shocked him with a stun gun at the base of his skull.
Before sentencing, Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Head, “He was your prey. He was your trophy.” Head, who declined to address the court, is one of the hundreds of Trump supporters charged for their roles in storming the Capitol in a violent attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.
The ex-construction worker, who pled guilty in April, has received one of the longest sentences of the convicted insurrectionists so far, second only to an ex-NYPD officer who was given nearly ten years last month. Head’s sentence is only six months shy of the maximum eight years for these charges.

www.motherjones.com/…

So nice to have a sentence in the Jan. 6 riots that feels like justice. Officer Fanone’s story is one of the most sickening of that entire day. Fanone received enough traumatic brain injury to prevent him from ever working as a police officer again. He was beaten and tazed to within an inch of his life, and the guy sentenced today is the most responsible for it.

Three cheers for the Feds! Now do TFG.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The House Ways and Means Committee is set to receive former President Donald Trump’s IRS tax returns in one week after a federal appeals court on Thursday declined Trump’s request to hold up the release.

The Supreme Court could still intervene if Trump appeals.

A three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decided they won’t put the handover of the former president’s tax returns on hold after the full appeals court rejected Trump’s request that they review an earlier decision allowing for the release of the returns......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: The idea that Ukraine has no choice but to take Kherson in a 'great battle' is wrong

Mark Sumner

It may be the oldest story in warfare. It’s certainly among the oldest that anyone ever bothered to record in songs, poems, or prose. Someone holds control over a city. Someone else wants it. Now what?

For a few days last week, hope was so thick you could practically walk on it. When word came of evacuations in Kherson, it really did look as if Russia meant to not just move out its officials and quislings, but its military. There were videos of ferries shuttling military units to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, both at Kherson and Nova Kakhovka. There were official statements from the Ukrainian ministry of defense citing abandoned Russian positions near the front line. There were statements from Russian military bloggers, including the Telegram channel associated with the Wagner mercenary group, whining about how Russia was leaving Kherson without a fight.

It really did seem as if the only question was whether Ukraine should just wait until the last Russian climbed onto a boat, or whether they should swoop in early to capture a bounty of equipment lined up at the docks. That didn’t happen.

Instead, the conventional wisdom has flipped 180 degrees in less than a week. Rather than waving bye to Russians retreating across the Dnipro, everyone—from Ukrainian officials to television analysts—are now expecting Ukraine and Russia to face off for The Mother of All Battles III: Kherson Showdown. The number of articles in the last few days saying that Ukraine will face a “tough fight” in Kherson likely exceeds Russian casualties in the war. This Newsweek article is typical, with the inclusion of this stomach-dropping quote:


"The Russians are going to leave behind nothing but dust," one former resident predicted. "The only question I have is whether it will be worse than Mariupol, or only as bad as Mariupol."

The article points out that Russia is fortifying the city, filling it with “fresh-faced” recently mobilized troops, and backing it with ranks of artillery located over on the eastern bank, where they don’t face the supply issues that are currently making guns go near-silent along the Kherson front lines. Once Ukraine begins fighting in Kherson, the theory goes, Russia will artillery the city to rubble — Russian troops and all—giving Ukraine an, at best, pyrrhic victory; turning all those incompetent, untrained Russian soldiers into ‘great martyrs’; and leaving behind a ruin that’s more of a burden than a prize.

But Ukraine doesn’t have to follow Russia’s plan. There are other ways to take a city, and when it comes to legendary victories, it’s those other ways, not hammering through defenses, that have earned a place in history.

One of those is simply an extension of what Ukraine has already been doing: siege warfare. Battles conducted by siege are so old that they’re a major theme in the epic of Gilgamesh. And even then, they were clearly something that had been around so long they had already grown both conventions and countermeasures. For Ukraine, sieging the city of Kherson means doing more of what they’ve already done: Restrict Russia’s ability to supply its forces on the west side of the Dnipro, engage at a level that tests those locations and keeps Russia expending ammunition, and take territory when it's clear that Russia has either fallen back or can no longer defend a location. As for the artillery that Russia has reportedly put in place across the river, emplaced artillery is practically the definition of dead artillery on a modern battlefield, even without HIMARS. If Ukraine doesn’t have a good idea of how to deal with massed artillery at this point, this whole war effort is in trouble.

It’s not a strategy that makes people who want to daily update their maps with newly liberated villages (ahem) all that excited, but it’s a strategy that minimizes both Ukrainian losses and damage to civilian infrastructure. No one says Ukraine has to capture Kherson this week, or this month. Just keep up the squeeze and let it come when it comes.


And, of course, there’s the other way to take a city; the way we really remember. What way is that? It’s a wooden horse filled with silent soldiers. It’s forces discovering that a flood—or a drought—has opened the way to an area that defenders haven’t bothered to protect. It’s those bastards who sneak into one end of the city while everyone is celebrating at the other end. It’s doing something clever and new that doesn’t fit the script for how everyone knows this is going to go down.

Ukraine is going to liberate Kherson. Liberating Kherson that still looks like Kherson, and doing it without losing unnecessary numbers of Ukrainian troops is the challenge.

But hey … how nice is it that all anyone is talking about is just the details of how Russia is going to lose?
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When it comes to what’s going on in the northeast right now, there are reports of battles all up and down the line from near Kupyansk to just north of Kreminna.


screencap.jpg


Going from south to north, the first of these fights (it’s unclear if it's a skirmish or a battle) is taking place north of Kreminna, with Ukrainian forces pushing toward the P66 highway in the area of Zhytlivka. Many analysts are now predicting that the capture of this area, the isolation of Kreminna, and the restriction of Russian troop movements along the highway are critical for taking Svatove and points east. Russia seems to understand this as well. That’s why both sides have reportedly been pushing more troops into this area, and why Russia has tried to push west to disrupt Ukrainian plans.

Now that Ukraine seems to hold all the towns along that smaller road to the west, it’s been moving to find the right point to hit Russian locations to the east. Zhytlivka may be that place. However, there’s an issue beyond just Russian forces in the area, and it’s one that you’ll hear again today: Mud. It’s been raining, and there are no good, well-paved highways shooting over to the east at this location. There’s a nice valley through the hills, which would work great in dry weather, but it’s not dry weather, and it won’t be for a while. So things are moving at the speed of slog. Some Ukrainian vehicles reportedly got mired trying to make this trek on Wednesday and had to be dragged back.

As might be expected, fights are going on right there in the Svatove area. In the last few days, fighting has reportedly moved east of the village of Nezhuryne, which puts Ukrainian forces very close to the highway intersection overlooking Svatove. However, the area is reportedly backed by three rings of Russian forces. It seems amazing that Ukrainian forces should get this close just plunging in from the west, rather than attempting to encircle Svatove. If they can press just one or two kilometers from the current position, they might not need anything else to break up the Russian hub.


Ukrainian forces have also reportedly been engaged in fighting further north. After largely ignoring the area northeast of the highway from Kupyansk, that’s changed in the last couple of days. But at both the reported locations, Ukraine is again facing the issue of trying to make progress on poor road conditions and in driving rain.

Military channels on Telegram are already warning that the weather conditions today are bad enough that no one should be expecting any rapid movements. But then, this could be exactly the kind of day when someone gets surprised. Maybe it won’t be a wooden horse. Maybe it will be some well-armed ducks.

.........
Ukraine hit two fuel depots at the same time in the occupied city of Shakhtarsk. The flames have been spectacular. In addition to damaging the tanks and the loss of fuel, at least one of these strikes also damaged a number of train cars and rail tracks through the city.


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Well, this is horrific. The reduction of Soledar using thermobaric weapons. These things are rat bastards.

 

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