Ukraine’s Volodmyr Zelensky addressed the UN Security council before Thursday’s meeting with President Biden and US lawmakers in what is essentially a roadshow to keep the Ukraine defense funded. Zelensky proposed a peace summit with Moscow with the aim of keeping bi-partisan backing for the war. Financing this business in Ukraine; Zelensky’s timing is terrible as the Congress is going into another shutdown spectacle. GOP lawmakers sent a letter to the White House asking specific questions regarding aid to Ukraine.
Perhaps the 4717 can help:
- How is the counteroffensive going? As well as can be expected, if you fold in the Battle for the Black Sea, even better. See below.
- Are the Ukrainians any closer to victory than they were 6 months ago? Yes. Ukraine has largely opened the Black Sea and Russia is recruiting housepainters in Cuba to press into the army while buying old ammo from North Korea.
- What is our strategy? Good question, Kev, and not exactly Biden’s strong point. Still, The US has found a relatively cheap way to sap both Russia and China before they come at us. And…
- What is the president’s exit plan? Without boots on the ground, you just ease up on aid when US aims are met: namely Russia is a hollowed out shell of itself and the façade of Chinese unstopability collapses from the inside.
In short, aid to Ukraine is expensive, but it is really the cheapest way the United States is going to get out of is business without almost ensuring a nuclear war at the end of this decade. Trust us, it will be worth the money. Think of the kids!
In a sea change in what will be called the Battle of the Black Sea, commercial vessels have resumed using Ukraine’s main port of Odessa without asking permission from Moscow. A first since the war began. The naval battle has hotted it up since Russia exited the Black Sea grain agreement. In response, Ukraine has declared all major Russian ports on the black sea to be a “war risk area” including Novarossiyk, its largest commercial point and a major critical gateway for its oil headed to the global market.
With Russia’s much vaunted navy getting the worst of Ukraine’s domestic missiles and homemade drones; including pack-flat cardboard drones from Australia — picture if Ikea made attack drones and shipped them! Last week an attack on a naval base in Crimea destroyed the drydock, landing craft and a Kilo- class submarine, one of only six Russia has in the Black Sea Fleet.
The dwindling size of the Russian Black Sea fleet matters, as because Turkey controls the Dardanelles, the only entry point into the Black Sea, and will not permit military vessels to pass. In short, Russia move ships from other fleets to replace the vessels it has lost.