Zelensky Ukraine

Ukraine President Zelensky appealed for more weapons to arrive faster, saying things could become very difficult for Ukraine if Russian forces broke through front lines in Donbas, the eastern region where Severodonetsk is the main city not in Russian hands.

Media reports said:

Britain has promised to send its first long-range missiles to Ukraine after a similar U.S. pledge which triggered Vladimir Putin to threaten to strike new targets.

The Kremlin warned the West that any supplies of long-range weapons to Ukraine, including from Britain, would force them to increase efforts to push back Ukrainian troops further from Russia’s border.

Sievierodonetsk And Lysychansk Are ‘Dead Cities’

Weeks of intense fighting have taken a devastating toll on the eastern Ukrainian cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, Zelensky said on Monday.

They are both “dead cities”, Zelensky declared. Ukrainian forces are outnumbered by Russian troops in Sievierodonetsk, where battles are taking place from street to street amid heavy shelling. Russia is aiming to capture Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk so it can have control over the entire Luhansk region.

Zelensky visited Lysychansk on Sunday, and resident Oleksandr Lyakhovets told Agence France-Presse that soon after the president left, a Russian missile hit his apartment building. “They shoot here endlessly,” Lyakhovets said, adding, “It’s a horror show.”

Ukraine’s Position Has ‘Worsened’ In Severodonetsk

Russia escalated its assault on the battlefield Monday, pummeling a city that has emerged as a key battleground in the east as Moscow expanded sanctions against those who have condemned its actions during the war.

The fight for Severodonetsk has “worsened for us,” Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said in a televised interview. Russian forces have been shelling and expanding their footprint in the city, though Ukrainian troops remain in control of its industrial zone.

The creeping losses come as the West scrambles to send Ukraine more firepower as fighting in the country’s eastern Donbas region intensifies.

It will take at least a few weeks for Ukrainian forces to be trained in how to use the longer-range weapons, U.S. officials have said, and it remains unclear whether the West’s combined efforts to arm Ukraine with more powerful systems will be enough to beat back Russia’s recent advances.

New Russian Air Defense Systems In The Black Sea

The British Defense Ministry reported Monday that Russia is likely have installed new air defense systems in the Black Sea, south of Odessa on Snake Island. The antiaircraft missile units believed to be stationed there would provide cover for its ships operating in the area.

Dead Bodies of Ukrainian Fighters

An AP report said:

Russia has begun to turn over to Ukraine the bodies of Ukrainian fighters killed during the siege of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

The remains are undergoing DNA testing to verify identities.

Ukrainian Victory Not In The Cards, Says Former Top U.S. Official

Ukraine would not be able to win against Russia, and the U.S. must persuade Kiev to negotiate with Moscow to end the conflict, Hugh De Santis, who oversaw NATO and arms control policy planning in the Reagan administration, has insisted.

Defeating the Russian forces on the battlefield and restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity, including taking back Crimea, ‘would be condign punishment for Russia’s unprovoked invasion,’ De Santis wrote in his opinion piece for The National Interest magazine on Saturday (To End the War, NATO Must Push Ukraine to Negotiate with Russia, The National Interest, June 4, 2022, https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/end-war-nato-must-push-ukraine-negotiate-russia-202787).

‘But would it be worth the cost of more carnage in Ukraine, the possibility of a wider war in which chemical or tactical nuclear weapons might be used, further disruption of the world economy, and renewed European polarization?’ he asked.

According to De Santis, the answer to that question is negative.

De Santis served on the Policy Planning Staff of U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and was responsible for NATO and arms control on the Policy Planning Staff of Shultz. He later directed the European Security Project at Carnegie Endowment and chaired the Department of National Security Strategy at the National War College.

 ‘A Ukrainian military victory is not in the cards, and a negotiated outcome is the only realistic goal,’ he insisted.

Because of this, ‘the U.S. and its allies must persuade Kiev to bring this war to an end, including by imposing limits on further military aid as leverage,’ De Santis suggested.

Zelensky and ‘his advocates in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states’ should come to terms with the fact that Ukraine will become a neutral state and that it would have to hand over the Donbass and Crimea to Russia for the peace talks to be successful, he pointed out.

Current high-ranking US and EU officials have also recently identified negotiations as the preferred outcome of the conflict as Russian forces continue their steady advance in the Donbass.

Last week, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said that “a negotiated outcome is a logical choice, but both sides have to come to that conclusion on their own.’

A few days before that, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell urged the bloc to increase deliveries of weapons to Ukraine and apply even more sanctions against Russia, but explained that it should be done to help Kiev strengthen its position in future peace talks with Moscow. Just over a month ago, Borrell was insisting that “this war must be won on the battlefield” by Ukraine.

The former top U.S. official wrote:

‘But thousands more civilians have perished, including 10,000 in Mariupol alone. The war has also ravaged Ukraine’s infrastructure and, although precise figures are hard to quantify, the Kyiv School of Economics estimates that the aggregate damage is approaching $100 billion. Even if the war ended tomorrow, the International Monetary Fund reckons that the Ukrainian economy will contract by 35 percent this year.’

He wrote:

‘Amply supplied with arms from the United States and its NATO allies — artillery, Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, drones, and now the M777 howitzer — Ukrainian leaders and military commanders are increasingly confident of victory over the Russian invaders. Buoyed by supportive rhetoric from NATO members — such as calls from U.S. political leaders to weaken Russia and persevere until victory is won and the Estonian prime minister’s declaration that “peace can’t be the ultimate goal” — Ukrainian officials have pleaded for even more lethal weapons.

‘NATO’s transfer of more advanced weapons, however, could also be self-destructive. Having lost the Cold War in 1991, a paranoid Putin may resort to the use of chemical or tactical nuclear weapons to avert a second humiliating defeat by NATO. A strike against the territory of Poland or one of the Baltic states, as Biden has promised, would invoke NATO’s collective defense clause in the Washington Treaty and expand the war precariously beyond Ukraine.

‘Even if confined to Ukraine, however, protracted warfare will further roil the world economy and financial markets already weakened by Covid-induced supply chain disruptions. The cost of energy has risen dramatically in the past three months. This has contributed to higher inflation and rising interest rates, which are raising the cost of servicing foreign debt in developing countries. Reduced supplies of wheat from Ukraine and Russia have also sent prices skyward, posing a challenge for poor countries in Africa and South Asia to feed their people and maintain social order.

‘In addition to these dire social, economic, and military consequences, continued warfare will erode the possibility of creating a peaceful and stable Europe. Having come to the defense of Ukraine, the United States and its allies must persuade Kyiv to bring this war to an end, including by imposing limits on further military aid as leverage. A Ukrainian military victory is not in the cards, and a negotiated outcome is the only realistic goal. To achieve it, Zelenskyy and his advocates in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states must accept that Ukraine will be a neutral state and that it will concede to Russia the Donbas oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as Crimea. Given the sentiment of Russian separatists in the Donbas, retaining the region would be fraught with continuing tension in the future.’

The article said:

‘The accession of territory in the Donbas would help bring Russia to the negotiating table. As odious as Putin is, the focus of peace talks should be on restoring European stability rather than treating Russia as a pariah, which would be politically and militarily counterproductive. As part of a broader peace settlement, NATO should agree to open an ongoing dialogue with Russia on mutual security concerns encompassing military deployments and exercises in countries bordering Russia and its Kaliningrad enclave on the Baltic Sea.’

Ukrainian Military Units Continue Rebelling Against Commanders

A report in A Son of the New American Revolution (28 May 2022 by Larry Johnson, https://sonar21.com/ukrainian-military-units-betrayed-by-their-commanders/) said:

‘When I wrote this piece initially last week, I identified 6 Ukrainian units that filmed themselves rebelling against their chain of command. These “rebellion” videos came on the heels of the surrender of more than 2500 members of the AZOV battalion at Mariupol. Now the number is 12 – that is 12 different units in the Donbas. They all voice the same complaints about their chain of command for not properly supplying them with the weapons and equipment they need to fight. This is not your normal troop bitching about conditions. All soldiers in all wars throughout history have passed the time complaining about lousy food, terrible weather, inept commanders and stupid decisions. What you see below is unprecedented in my memory.

These soldiers still believe in fighting for Ukraine but are not keen on being used as a Russian punching bag. They believe their commanders are asking them to commit suicide. Below you can watch videos of soldiers from 12 units presenting a formal demand to President Zelensky and the Ukrainian General in Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This is appearing on Ukrainian social media. It is not a Russian propaganda piece. Here are the units:

  • 13th Battalion of 58th Motorized Infantry Brigade
  • 2nd Company of the 46th Rifle Battalion
  • 3rd Platoon of the 46th Infantry Battalion
  • 115th Brigade
  • 3rd Platoon of the 115th Brigade
  • 71st Jaeger Infantry Brigade
  • Ukrainian 14th Brigade: 6th Battalion, 4th, 5th, and 6th companies
  • Cherkasy Territorial Defense
  • 95th Separate Airborne Assault Brigade
  • 30th Mechanized Brigade 3rd Battalion 9th Company
  • 57th Motorized Brigade
  • 18th Marine Battalion of the 35th Brigade
  • 13th Battalion of 58th Motorized Infantry Brigade
  • 2nd Company of the 46th Rifle Battalion
  • 3rd Platoon of the 46th Infantry Battalion
  • 115th Brigade
  • 3rd Platoon of the 115th Brigade
  • 71st Jaeger Infantry Brigade
  • Ukrainian 14th Brigade: 6th Battalion, 4th, 5th, and 6th companies
  • Cherkasy Territorial Defense
  • 95th Separate Air Assault Brigade
  • 30th Mechanized Brigade 3rd Battalion 9th Company
  • 57th Motorized Brigade
  • 18th Marine Battalion of the 35th Brigade

I know this is a ton of material. Those of you who believe this is all stage managed by the Russians need to explain why this is being posted on Ukrainian social media accounts. These are real Ukrainian soldiers and they are taking major risks in speaking up. This is not just one or two disgruntled privates bitching about cold chow. The members of each unit clearly felt the need to be seen supporting their spokesman.

If you took the time to watch each one you come away with enormous respect for the courage and integrity of the men speaking. I believe they are patriots who have been deceived into fighting for a false cause. But they are brave, honorable soldiers.

Being brave and honorable does not immunize one against thermobaric and conventional artillery blasts pounding the ground around your fox hole or trench. We are not talking metaphor. The blast waves pummel the body and brain of those subjected to these barrages. It is because to the stepped up Russian offensive that these Ukrainian troops are speaking up. I think the Ukrainian expression is, “Черт, нет, мы не пойдем” (i.e., Hell no, we won’t go).

At a minimum, I think this may account for rumors about coup plans to oust Zelensky. Zelensky clearly is losing critical support among the Ukrainian troops. I think it is only a matter of time before commanders start to follow.

Larry C. Johnson writes about himself:

“I am a bona fide Son of American Revolutionaries. At least 24 of my ancestors, men and women, fought to free the American Colonies from British rule. Some died for the cause of liberty. Though two and a half centuries have passed since my great grandfathers and grandmothers took up arms, the principles they fought for remain valid and relevant to the 21st Century. This blog, which remains affiliated with Sic Semper Tyrannis, is dedicated to the pursuit of truth without regard to partisan advantage.”

He claims to be “a veteran of the CIA and the State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism, and founder of magazine BERG Associates (est. 1998).

He also claims that he has been vilified by the right and the left.


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