Sunday, May 28, 2023

Bakhmut and the Battle of Moscow; Leader of cross-border raid warns RUssia to expect more incursions; UKRaine has enough weapons, counteroffensive to begin 'soon'; UKR could use F-16s to intercept aircraft over RU, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo: /Prigozhin Press Service/Associated Press
WSJ: Bakhmut and the Battle of Moscow:
Putin’s elites have stopped caring if the West knows the wheels are coming off.
War is not a sporting event, and Russia’s laboriously completed occupation this week of the city of Bakhmut is not the equivalent of a touchdown.
Probably the best way to understand the battle of Bakhmut is to think back to about week five of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion. This is the moment when his troops gave up on trying to capture the capital of Kyiv, thereby abandoning the objective that was supposed to make the venture a paying proposition in the first place
When the battle of Kyiv ended, the battle of Moscow began—how to disguise or explain failure and survive it. From this the battle of Bakhmut follows: Yevgeny Prigozhin, operator of the mercenary Wagner Group, apparently decided the way to increase his prestige was to announce his intention to take the city to dramatize his group’s alleged success against the failures of the Russian military.
He apparently saw that when the regime shake-out comes, it will be about blaming the corruption, incompetence and treason of certain military leaders for the Ukraine failure. Bakhmut, a prize lacking military value, was his way to establish himself among those entitled to point fingers rather than having fingers pointed at them.
The war has dragged on miserably, but by now the implicitness of defeat permeates Russian TV coverage, even if the word isn’t used. The implicitness of defeat permeates the commentary of the anointed milbloggers, freelance pro-war commentators who have been granted or granted themselves permission to criticize the military’s performance.
The perception of defeat explains the online behavior of Mr. Prigozhin. In a world where the Russians believed in victory, he would not be indulged to behave the way he has, nor would it be in his interest to be heard ranting at length and with specificity about the betrayals of the general staff, calling for their heads, showing heaps of Wagner bodies and blaming their deaths on the military establishment for deliberately withholding ammunition.
Take the weirdest moment yet, when the Washington Post reported that leaked U.S. intelligence indicated that Mr. Prigozhin had approached his counterparts in Ukrainian military intelligence with a deal: They surrender Bakhmut to Wagner and he will provide the Ukrainians with targeting information to destroy Russian army units. --->READ MORE HERE
Leader of cross-border raid warns Russia to expect more incursions:
The Russian commander of a militia that conducted a raid on a Russian border region this week said on Wednesday his group would soon launch more incursions into Russian territory.
Denis Kapustin, who described himself as the commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC), spoke to reporters on the Ukrainian side of the border with Russia a day after Moscow said it had repelled the raid on the Belgorod region.
Kyiv has said the attack was carried out by Russian citizens, casting it as homegrown, internal Russian strife. Two groups operating in Ukraine - the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and Freedom of Russia Legion - have claimed responsibility.
The Russian military said it had routed the militants, who carried out their attack using armoured vehicles, and pushed those who survived back into Ukraine.
Kapustin said two of his fighters had been "lightly wounded", and that total losses on his side for the operation were two killed and 10 wounded. Moscow claimed it killed over 70 'Ukrainian nationalists'.
Kapustin also said the fighters had taken a Russian armoured vehicle and anti-drone gun as trophies.
"I think you will see us again on that side," said Kapustin, who introduced himself by his call-sign White Rex. "I cannot reveal those upcoming things, I cannot even reveal the direction. The ... border is pretty long. Yet again there will be a spot where things will get hot."
He was asked repeatedly about Western media reports that his militia had used U.S. military equipment that was meant to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia's invasion, but declined to answer directly.
"I know exactly where I got my weapons from. Unfortunately not from the Western partners", he said. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Intelligence chief: Ukraine has enough weapons, counteroffensive to begin 'soon'+++++

+++++Ukraine could use F-16s to intercept aircraft over Russia, expert says +++++

We are doing all we can to ensure that new fighter jets will be in our skies as soon as possible − Zelenskyy

Freedom of Russia Legion explains how they got Western equipment

Ukrainian air defense uses Patriot systems in ways that surprised the US – expert interview

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Against Russia Could Play Out in Four Ways

US approves $285 million sale of NASAMS air defense system to Ukraine

Norway says it will help train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 jets

NYT: US officials believe Ukrainians likely behind Kremlin drone attack

Netherlands wants to give Ukrainian pilots F-16 training as soon as possible

Russia’s Wagner boss says over 20K troops have died in Bakhmut, Ukraine

Ukraine joining NATO in midst of war 'not on agenda' -Stoltenberg

Half of US public approves of Washington’s arms deliveries to Ukraine in 2nd year of Russia’s war

Russia: Warship guarding Black Sea pipelines attacked by uncrewed Ukraine craft

Japan to provide 100 military vehicles to Ukraine

Switzerland takes step towards sale of 25 Leopard 2 tanks back to Germany

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