More to ignore, Book 102...

Ten Thousan Marbles

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UPDATE: Thursday, Oct 27, 2022 · 4:14:50 PM EDT · Mark Sumner
Moving up by Kupyansk to take a close up look at goings on in the neighborhood. For the first two weeks after Ukrainian forces completed liberating the east bank of the Oskil River, and as forces started moving toward Svatove from the west and south, there didn’t seem to be much concern about cleaning up the map around Kupyansk. That appears to have changed in the last few days.

Ukraine has liberated additional villages in northeastern Kharkiv oblast, confirmed the liberation of some towns and locations close to Kupyansk, and is now apparently moving east of the PO7 highway.

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Exactly why Ukraine is moving this way at the moment isn’t quite clear. This is a mostly dirt-road region, not particularly on the way to anywhere, and it’s definitely mud season. Maybe Russia is using them to base artillery to contest the highway, but it’s hard to see how Russia could do much to supply these locations, either.

Fighting is currently reported near Pershotravneve (though darned if I can spot how you get there from here) and near Orlyanske. That second location could mean that Ukraine has already liberated two villages near Kyslivka. Unless they cut cross country. But this could be an area where Ukraine picks up some additional ground over the next few days. It would be nice to clear up that last corner of Kharkiv Oblast, and if they keep going long enough, they do hit a paved road going south.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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A senior Russian government official raised the possibility that Moscow could shoot down commercial Western satellites being used to help Ukraine's war effort, as Russia pressed ahead with its bombing campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure.

If acted on, the threat would inevitably raise fears about spiralling escalation of the eight-month-old conflict and the risk of direct confrontation between Russia and the West.

Konstantin Vorontsov, a senior Russian foreign ministry official, said the use of Western satellites to aid the Ukrainian war effort was "an extremely dangerous trend".

"Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike," he told the United Nations First Committee, adding that the West's use of such satellites to support Ukraine was "provocative".

"We are talking about the involvement of components of civilian space infrastructure, including commercial, by the United States and its allies in armed conflicts," said Vorontsov.

He did not mention any specific satellite companies, though Elon Musk said earlier this month that his rocket company SpaceX would continue to fund its Starlink internet service in Ukraine, citing the need for "good deeds".....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine unveiled the Delta situational awareness system to NATO. It provides the military with various data about the enemy and helps to coordinate forces on the battlefield. The Ukrainian technical solution was presented by officers of the Center for Innovation and Development of Defense Technologies of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine together with Mykhailo Fedorov, Minister of Digital Transformation.

Mykhailo Fedorov informed about the presentation on his Facebook account and other social media.

The presentation took place during the NATO TIDE Sprint closed event, which is held twice a year in the USA and Europe. It’s currently being conducted in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. Tide Sprint is one of NATO’s key platforms, where experts, scientists and developers from more than 30 world states share experience and opportunities for adapting the Alliance to digital transformation.

This time, Ukrainian specialists were invited to share their experience of using digital solutions and modern IT developments to gain an advantage on the battlefield during the war with Russia. In particular, to talk about the situational awareness system, the creation of which is at an initial stage in the Alliance member countries.

This regards a unique Ukrainian development — the Delta system. This software is being developed at the Defense Technology Innovation and Development Center of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense with the support of the Ministry of Digital Transformation and foreign allies.

According to the developers, Delta provides a comprehensive understanding of the battle space in real time. It also integrates information about the enemy from various sensors and sources, including those from intelligence, on a digital map. The Delta doesn’t require any additional settings and can work on any device: on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....Now for the truth that you are unlikely to hear on cable TV: Nobody knows with certainty what’s going to happen, especially with a closely knotted Senate. As veteran political forecaster Charlie Cook wrote last week, “Why so many people offer such confident predictions about the Senate continues to baffle me.” In an interview, Democratic political consultant Tim Hogan colorfully described this current period of intense nervous speculation about the election as “hot-take Christmas.”.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Paul Pelosi, husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 'violently assaulted' at his home

Laura Clawson

Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is in the hospital after “an assailant broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and violently assaulted” him early Friday morning, spokesman Drew Hammill said in a press release. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Pelosi’s assailant is in custody. The motivation for the attack is not yet known but is under investigation. The speaker was not in San Francisco at the time.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Reports of advances near Svatove, vastly undermanned Russian positions in Kherson

Mark Sumner

Early this morning, there were a series of reports from the Svatove area that Ukrainian forces had made a sudden breakthrough north of the city and were advancing toward Nyzhnia Duvanka. The reports suggested that Ukrainian forces had pushed from the areas around Berestove and Kuzemivka, broken Russian lines, and moved “deep” into Russian-occupied territory.

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There were multiple reports in the last month suggesting that when Ukraine moved for Svatove, it wouldn’t coming at the city directly, but seek to take Nyzhnia Duvanka and approach from the north, so this fits right in with those claims. However, not long after these reports first appeared, other sources denied that this breakthrough had happened. Then silence.

Right now, I can’t confirm anything, or even get good second source claims on either advance or no advance. It’s worth remembering that at least two previous “too good to be true” reports of Ukrainian advances turned out to be actually underselling the level of breakthrough. Is this another? Maybe. So, as I’ve said way too many times, stay tuned. It’s likely there’s action going on, but it may not be as hugely successful as the first reports indicated. Or maybe it was. Or maybe it’s nothing. We’ll know soon. There’s no doubt Svatove remains a target in the north, and Ukraine is advancing toward the city from multiple locations.

In the meantime, there are also reports that Ukraine may have liberated a string of towns further north, closer to the crossing at Kupyansk. Expect an update on this soon

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Is Russia withdrawing from Kherson, or is it reinforcing the area? The latest assessment from the U.K. Defense Intelligence joins other sources in coming down somewhere squarely in between. As with other sources, they indicated that Russia is, in fact, moving in new troops. But, also, as with other sources, they state that these new troops are the poorly trained, poorly equipped “mobilized reservists.” And take special note of how few troops the U.K. believes are really being sent:


“Russian officers described companies in the Kherson Sector as consisting of between six and eight men each. Companies should deploy with around 100 personnel.”

That’s not a withdrawal, but it’s certainly a long, long way from a dedicated defense.

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Multiple reports on Thursday, including one from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, suggested that what Russia intends to do in Kherson is put up a token resistance, turning the mobilized troops into “great martyrs” while avoiding claims that Russia had abandoned a city that it had declared “Russia forever.” That’s not nearly as attractive as the idea that Russia was going to roll out of Kherson and leave the city to advancing Ukrainian forces, but it’s a whole lot better than claims that Russia was going to fill the Kherson region with reinforcements and fight for every inch tooth and nail.

So let’s hope that these claims, which are coming from the analysts paid to do this work, are more reliable than the reports that were flying through Telegram and Twitter two weeks ago.


On the other hand, many of those claims about what happens next in Kherson also included Russia setting up extensive artillery positions on the eastern bank of the Dnipro to “punish” the city across the river. Let’s hope they’re wrong on that part.
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While waiting to find out more about what’s happening north of Svatove, here are some details on what’s happening just to the southwest.

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Location of one of the fights in the Svatove area.

Messages overnight identified the location of one of those battles taking place near Svatove as Popivka—a village so small (as in, about a half dozen houses) that I didn’t previously have it on the map. The area has reportedly been all but razed over the past day in an artillery duel between Ukrainian and Russian forces, showing again that no place is so remote or bucolic that it can’t be destroyed by war.

Between the slightly larger Nezhuryne and Popivka is a road. It’s the same road that runs north from that intersection east of Lyman, through Nevske and Makiivka, before angling east at this point to connect to the P66 highway. Considering current weather conditions in this part of Ukraine, it’s almost certain that Ukrainian forces are attempting to advance along this road. Popivka is just 2km from where that connection happens and just over 5km from the outskirts of Svatove. This is tantalizingly close. However, there are still reports of heavy Russian reinforcement in the area, and those fleeing from Popivka and Nezhuryne report very intense fighting.
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If you want a lesson in how even a difficult image can be geolocated, it’s hard to do much better than this article from Bellingcat, in which they walk through how they started with a group photo of some people standing on the steps of a building, and worked it up to a street address in Moscow. That street address — Znamenka 19 — happens to be where the programmers behind missiles being launched into civilian neighborhoods in Ukraine are located. There, in nice clean uniforms, and a nice, undamaged building, they sit and target areas in Ukraine where pensioners, pregnant women, and 5-year-olds on their way to kindergarten are going to die.

Once again, that address is Znamenka 19. And yes, it is available on a map. With latitude and longitude.
.........

It’s hard to imagine a more mismatched pair of well-known people than this, or two people who have used their fame in a more diametrically opposed fashion. But maybe it will happen.


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As I was writing this morning, fresh Telegram and Twitter reports were indicating that Ukraine has successfully cut the P66 highway north of Kreminna, presumably in the area of Chervonopopivka and Zhytlivka, where fighting was going on Thursday.

Here’s a repeat of yesterday’s map from that area.

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This could be a “two update” kind of day. Now I’m just waiting for details so I can update the maps.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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UPDATE: Friday, Oct 28, 2022 · 10:46:18 AM EDT · Mark Sumner
And ten minutes later, it looks like the P66 highway hasn’t be cut near Chervonopopivka at all. However, it does look as if Ukrainian forces have advanced to cut the highway at the intersection east of Ploshchanka. There are multiple reports pointing to this location.

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Reports that Ukraine has actually crossed the P66 near Ploshchanka.

If correct, this would also suggest that the town Ploshchanka has been liberated, but I’ve left it as “in dispute” here while moving out the area of Ukrainian control to show the reported area of breakthrough. Not only would Ukraine holding this highway block the flow of supplies and forces between Kreminna and Svatove, it also gives a nice paved route into either.
 

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UPDATE: Friday, Oct 28, 2022 · 1:32:56 PM EDT · Laura Clawson
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins says her office is working closely with police and “will proceed with the appropriate charges.”

Scott says they cannot take questions and will update when they have more information.

.......
UPDATE: Friday, Oct 28, 2022 · 1:31:55 PM EDT · Laura Clawson
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott sketches out the details: Police were dispatched at 2:27 AM and found the suspect in the act of assaulting Paul Pelosi with a hammer—initially both men had hands on the hammer but the suspect wrenched it away and continued assaulting Pelosi. The suspect is 42-year-old David Depape. He will be charged with multiple felonies after medical treatment.
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UPDATE: Friday, Oct 28, 2022 · 12:19:55 PM EDT · Laura Clawson
If CNN’s report that the attacker yelled “Where is Nancy?” is accurate, this was an assassination attempt on the official second in line to succeed the president.
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UPDATE: Friday, Oct 28, 2022 · 10:47:43 AM EDT · Laura Clawson

The United States Capitol Police, FBI, and San Francisco police are carrying out a joint investigation of the attack.
 

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....Pelosi was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where he is recovering from surgery on his head, a source at the hospital with firsthand knowledge says. Previous reports citing a hospital source said he was undergoing brain surgery.....