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SITREP 7/4/23: Final Hour of Zelensky's Terror Ploy
The most exigent matter on the table is once again the brewing Zaporozhye plant showdown. It’s now believed by some that Zelensky is planning to carry out the ZNPP falseflag in the next few days on the eve of the big NATO summit in Vilnius, which is on July 12. The purpose would be to galvanize the NATO members and shape the entire policy discussion of the summit around Ukraine and the “nuclear disaster”.
For such a plan to work, the ZNPP would have to be blown well in advance to give it at least a few days lead time to shape the proper narrative of ‘fall out’ and nuclear consequences which can be used as the catalyst to bring reluctant NATO members to heel and cement their solidarity with Ukraine, as well as ideally issue some major demarche like the fabled activation of ‘Article 5’ Ukraine so breathlessly dreams about.
There’ve been a variety of developments in this direction. Firstly, a special American nuclear-sniffing plane has arrived in Europe “just in time”:
❗️❗️The WC-135R Constant Phoenix special nuclear monitoring board has arrived in Europe to take atmospheric air samples and control radioactive emissions ❗️❗️
Everything is going to the fact that the Ukronazists will still strike at the NPP in the event of a final failure of the counteroffensive. Of course, under full control and with the approval of the United States and NATO. 😡
"Nuclear sniffer" has arrived in Europe. A special aircraft WC-135R Constant Phoenix of the US Air Force was deployed on June 30 to the Chania airbase in Crete. It is from this base that RQ-4B Global Hawk reconnaissance UAVs and RC-135W Rivet Joint aircraft fly to the Black Sea region.
WC-135R is designed to collect information about radioactive radiation and control nuclear tests. The rarest visit of a special board may be connected with the preparation of a nuclear catastrophe by Kiev at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
Telegram channel "Resident":
"Our sources report that a provocation at the ZNPP is planned from July 5 to 9, so that this event becomes a trigger in the West and radically changes the agenda of the NATO summit. British intelligence suggests that the General Staff use the situation for Operation D-Day, to conduct a landing operation on the left bank of the Dnieper.
This follows another spate of Western MSM articles beating the doomsday drums:
Including this NYPost article detailing where they believe the fallout will go:
Ukrainian propaganda even claims civilians are buying up all the stores and evacuating in light of the threat:
Ukrainian TV plays the emergency signals denoting a nuclear accident to scaremonger their audience:
In a video (which can be seen here, but is not subtitled), a Russian advisor to the nuclear energy agency which operates ZNPP made the following alarming claim for an impending attack:
This is what I warned about a year ago.
Advisor to the head of Rosenergoatom Renat Karchaa: Today we received information that I am authorized to voice. On July 5, at night, at night, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will try to attack the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant using long-range precision weapons, as well as kamikaze unmanned aerial vehicles. At the same time, they plan to drop ammunition from an aircraft, which is equipped with radioactive waste, taken out on July 3 from the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant to one of the military airfields of Ukraine. The backup plan for the release of radioactive substances provides for the use of a high-precision projectile "Tochka-U" with a warhead filled with radioactive waste. That's the way things are.
Understand very carefully what he’s suggesting, at least as I see it. Recall that I had previously noted it is exceedingly difficult to actuate a real nuclear disaster on the ZNPP in the same way as the Chernobyl incident. Chernobyl was an extremely rare case where the entire containment vessel “blew” from over-pressurization due to a stress test they were conducting on it. There is no real way to access the ZNPP containment vessel. Even a cruise missile strike would not breach that vessel because it’s contained inside the heavy concrete containment building and you would have to do several large strikes that penetrate the same spot just to breach it.
You could however hit the nuclear waste storage casks which sit out in the open, though it’s questionable how radioactive they are given that they are spent waste (well, certainly radioactive but not as much as the live fuel).
They’re located at two spots in the open, here:
💥The NPP and the place of storage of spent nuclear fuel💥
The used fuel is stored in the spent nuclear fuel dry storage system.
The complex of the Zaporozhye NPP is designed for 380 ventilated storage containers. On satellite images, you can count 173 containers full of radioactive junk, which the Nazis can strike at 😡
But absent striking those, it would be very difficult to hit and breach a containment vessel. Let’s do a brief overview of why that may be.
Here’s a Ukrainian-sourced article detailing the possibilities. Though it’s full of their slant and propaganda, it has a few useful pieces of information:
Termination of the reactor cooling system at ZAES
And the first thing to understand is that there will be significant differences between the accidents at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the possible disaster at Zaporizhia in any case. This is due to the fact that RBMK reactors were used at the Chernobyl nuclear power Plant, and VVER - 1000 reactors were used at the ZAES, which are considered much safer and much smaller in size. In particular, the reactor itself is located in the middle of a sealed "cylinder" with a height of more than 50 meters, a diameter of 45 meters and a wall thickness of 1.2 meters.
They go on to state that if the reactors were operating normally, meltdown can occur in about two and a half hours. But Russia has put the reactors at ZNPP into cold shutdown as of June 9th, 2023.
At the same time, the time interval is determined by Russian nuclear scientists in the conditions of reactor operation, and at the ZNPP all reactors are stopped from June 9, 2023. It was then that the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate gave an order to transfer the last 5th power unit of the ZNPP to the "cold zupin" state, before that it was in the "hot zupin" mode. As of June 28, it was reported that the occupiers were preventing the transfer of the power unit to Kholodny Zupin.
All other power units of the Kholodny Zupin NPP were withdrawn from August 18, 2022 to February 10, 2023. That is, the time that will pass from the moment of stopping the cooling system at the ZNPP to any consequences can be considered quite large.
But they believe that even with a shut down reactor, the following can occur:
This process no longer strongly depends on whether the power units are in a "cold shutdown" or not. And during the simulation, the scenario of power failure of the cooling system was also considered. After that, after 8 hours, the shells of the fuel elements will be damaged. After 11.5 hours, the water from the pool will completely evaporate, and after 20.5 hours, the concrete floor of the pool will be burned with melt to a depth of 1.2 meters. This process will be accompanied by the release of hydrogen, but it must be absorbed by the plant's security system, which does not depend on power supply.
But recall the first part: the type of reactor used in ZNPP is considered ‘much safer’ than the Chernobyl reactor, owing to the fact that the pressure vessel itself is much smaller in the center of the large containment building, which has a height of 50 meters to the ceiling, a diameter of 45m and a wall thickness of 1.5m.
So, breaching this building and successfully hitting the small “sealed cylinder” of the reactor would be very difficult without massive amounts of successive strikes hitting the same spot. However, it’s perhaps possible to somehow damage the cooling equipment, pool, pipes, etc., discussed above, and create a meltdown from lack of cooling, though I’m not certain about this as such pipes could be subterranean and built into the pool, which would mean hitting them could be implausible.
But do we know for definite the status of the six reactors at ZNPP? There are headlines like the following which appeared to confirm that on June 10th, Russia shut down the last of the reactors:
Five out of six reactors at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is occupied by Russian forces, are already in a state of cold shutdown, in which all control rods are inserted into the reactor core to stop the nuclear fission reaction and generation of heat and pressure.
The plant had actually been operating with two of the reactors online up until recently:
As it stands, Zaporizhzhia was placed in a cold shutdown in September 2022. Operators have since restarted two reactors in hot shutdown mode, producing low levels of power to keep the plant operational. Perhaps this is why the IAEA has proposed a “protection zone” for Zaporizhzhia, in which both Ukraine and Russia would agree to refrain from firing at the plant, and heavy weapons would be removed from the area. Grossi correctly recognizes that an agreement of this nature must come from both countries and that their cooperation is essential to move toward any measure of stability.
So now, back to the original question. If you’ve noticed, the threat articulated by Renat Karchaa with specific intelligence he had received was that Ukraine plans to hit the plant with missiles armed with radioactive waste that has previously been taken out of a different nuclear plant. The reason for this is obvious: given that I just explained how difficult it is to actually create a full blown “disaster” in the form of a ‘full meltdown’, this plan would then call for simply spreading detectable radiation over the plant in order to manufacture the narrative that Russia has initiated a plant meltdown/disaster.
Recall that it was my own theory weeks ago which stated that Ukraine would not need to create an actual disaster there because the media would shore up whatever narrative is required by NATO and the West. It seems my forecast was on the right track. The ‘Constant Phoenix’ plane simply needs to get a measurement of radiation drifting from the general vicinity and all the appropriate media campaigns and NATO agendas can be immediately activated with zero oversight.
Noteworthy is that only two countries have previously bombed nuclear plants before, U.S. and Israel:
In 1981, Israel conducted an airstrike on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear research reactor, which was linked to a research facility Israel suspected of developing nuclear weapons. Ten years later during the first Gulf War, allied bombers attacked two Iraqi nuclear research reactors, one of which was fully operational and had built up a radioactive inventory. Although there were no significant radiological consequences from either attack, in both cases, the facilities were safeguarded by the IAEA — demonstrating that compliance with the IAEA’s rules offers no protection against hostile actions during combat operations.
Zelensky even made a new address from another southern Nuclear power plant:
The Ukrainian side continues to escalate the situation around the Zaporozhye NPP.
Zelensky said that Russia allegedly has a plan to “remotely detonate” the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant after the Russians transfer control of the nuclear plant to the IAEA and Ukraine.
I note that ZNPP can return under the control of Ukraine only by military means. To do this, the Armed Forces of Ukraine need to break through the front and enter Energodar.
So far, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are not carrying out offensive operations in the direction of Energodar, but there is more and more information about the plans of the Ukrainian army to attack the city through the shallow Kakhovka reservoir.
And as of this writing, he’s released another ominous speech indicating that Russia has now mined the roof of the ZNPP with explosives:
Even RT is covering the threat and Rosenergoatom advisor’s statements:
And for those interested, RT’s even released a documentary on Ukraine’s terror attacks on the ZNPP plant, covering the whole arc from the beginning with a lot of exclusive footage:
Recall that Rafael Grossi equivocated when asked about a potential Russian attack on the plant. While confirming his team did not see anything the plant being “mined” by Russia, he stuck to the company line by leaving the door open to a potential Russian attack.
Though the IAEA also released this statement today:
Anyway, the stated window of attack is July 5-9, with some specifically stating July 5th, which logically would happen at night to give the least amount of visibility to Russian cameras/systems in documenting the culprit. So if there’s any truth to the rumors, tonight could potentially be the night.
With that said, we’ve seen that the Air Defender exercises of last month came to a conclusion without the rumors of a falseflag panning out. But it must be remembered that my theory, at least, specified that something would only happen during Air Defender if Ukraine could develop enough of an offensive pressure so as to give plausible credence to a potential Russian ‘falseflag’ of some sort. But Ukraine’s offensive faltered so much that they could not plausibly tie such a falseflag into an adequate narrative.
The same likely goes for the ZNPP scenario right now. The ideal situation would be for Ukraine to actually have made inroads and have Russian forces retreating so that a putative “Russian attack” on the ZNPP plant would have been believable in some dimly logical way. But the fact that they weren’t able to effect any sort of retreat or offensive success means to me the chance of a ZNPP falseflag would theoretically remain low. However, given that the big upcoming NATO summit is one of Ukraine’s last chances to make a splash before Europe potentially goes cold on Ukrainian support, that is the only thing keeping the chances of a desperate falseflag afloat in my view.
But I just wanted to be clear about my stance: which is that, technically, Ukraine did not sow the appropriate ground circumstances to successfully carry out the ZNPP falseflag. For it to have worked correctly they would have made much greater offensive inroads to ostensibly construct the narrative that Putin is “desperate” and his forces “on the retreat”. However, like I said, given their desperation it is possible they will just go for it anyway; I simply think the chance is lower than it would’ve been if they had actually succeeded in prepping the correct groundwork.
For now, we’re in the 11th hour and can only wait and see. So let’s turn to some other updates.
I wanted to comment on some of the Wagner developments to wrap up that situation.
Firstly, it’s been reported that “Putin has seized Prigozhin’s empire”, at least that’s how the West is characterizing it.
However, it is true that Russia has apparently cut off all Prigozhin’s businesses and closed up the Wagner St. Petersburg HQ. The sign for ‘Wagner Center’ being taken down days ago:
Most interesting about this episode was that Putin himself revealed the full extent of Prigozhin’s funding, through his various oligarchic businesses.
So, Prigozhin’s companies were paid a massive several billion USD equivalent for their various services, which included Prigozhin’s ‘Concord’ catering services that according to some provided substandard rotten food to the Russian army. Here’s a thread detailing some of it:
Concord also has the dubious title of being the MOD's most-sued contractor, with 560 lawsuits being filed in 2022 alone for supplying the Russian army with food contaminated with bacteria, insects and worms, and scams such as substituted ingredients.
6/ Concord's several thousand employees – who were engaged in feeding the military and supplying food to hospitals and to the occupied areas of Ukraine – have been dismissed with 'resignation letters', which are communicated strictly verbally, and no severance pay.
7/ It's unclear what impact Concord's demise will have on military food logistics in occupied Ukraine. The situation is already reportedly very bad, with frontline troops complaining they lack food and water. It's unlikely that Concord's services can be replaced immediately.
8/ Similarly, Prigozhin's Patriot Media Group has shut down virtually overnight. Four sources have told ON that employees of the group's outlets, which included RIA FAN, Nevskie Novosti, Ekonomika Segodnya and other publications, were told to stop working from 3pm on 30 June.
It appears Prigozhin was the typical oligarch getting fat off every contract imaginable, and when Russia threatened to cut off his funds, he went rabid. As per my previously laid theory that his coup attempt may actually have been a much wider Western-intel plot to overthrow Putin, there’s been a few new interesting details. One of them was revealed by a Georgian politician, who stated that Georgian militants wanted to time a new military breakthrough into Abkhazia with Wagner’s coup. They even allegedly planned to go all the way to Sochi:
❗️During the Wagner rebellion, Georgian oppositionists planned to enter Abkhazia, South Ossetia and even Sochi on tanks
Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling party Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia, said
This obviously seems to suggest a level of clandestine coordination that was likely meant to be a much broader and devastating event launched to topple Russia all at once. But once they saw that no one internally was standing against Putin, it was presumably shelved.
But a potential contradiction to this was the fact that the CIA chief reportedly called his Russian counterpart to make certain they understood that the CIA had nothing to do with this:
💥💥💥According to the Wall Street Journal, a few hours after the Wagner mutiny, CIA chief Bill Burns spoke with SVR director Sergei Naryshkin to convey a message of non-involvement.💥💥💥
I guess that says something for that CIA that anytime a coup happens around the world they have to actively specify that, “hey, this one wasn’t us!”
The big question, of course, is if that’s the case, why is Prigozhin still walking, if any of the above is true. It appears that Russia may see some use in him yet, as Wagner has now constructed a large base in Belarus which is giving Kiev and the West quite a few fits:
The reason is, it converges with a lot of recent rumors that Russia is planning something big in the north. Could Prigozhin and Wagner have been sworn to carry out a large sacrificial fixing action to wash away their sins?
New rumors swirl around the fact that Ukraine has been dismantling important factories in both Kharkov and Sumy, and shipping them West, in similarity to Stalin’s famed WW2 tactic of moving everything east of the Urals:
TG-channel "First Kharkovite" [Первый Харковский] clarifies the information of the war correspondent Aleksandr Sladkov about the removal of civilian and industrial property from Kharkov to Lvov. And it didn't start yesterday or the other day.
The huge Kulinichi bakery concern has already been moved to Lvov, the remains of the Malyshev plant [which built and refurbished tanks], an aircraft plant, the FED machine-building plant, the Kommunar plant and many others have been scattered around other cities in Ukraine.
Businessmen from among the "trans-Ukrainians" sell or export their property in advance, save their skins and business. After all, behind most of them stretches a train of crimes that no war can write off for them.
Currently, work is underway in the city to dismantle the equipment of the Aquaizol plant, load it onto railway platforms and send it to the Ivano-Frankovsk region. This is one of the largest factories specializing in the production of roofing materials. The process of exporting the enterprise caused protest moods among employees, as 95% of them will be fired without compensation and social benefits.
Another example is the American tobacco company Philip Maurice, which also moves its factories to Lvov, leaving thousands of people without work. The most industrialized city of the Ukrainian SSR and its first capital are being ripped off before fleeing, to be left naked and barefoot, and people beggars.
DDGeopolitics note: This is not 100% confirmed. The Ukrainians have never abandoned anything so easily, especially a major city like Kharkov. Even if there is nothing physically there, they will fight for it. If true it does perhaps indicate the intention to start offensive action, ensure that military industries are moved at a further remove from where they can be hit or disrupted by Russian missiles and air strikes. Finally it might indicate the UKR fear the Russians will attempt a major offensive in the area that could seriously threaten Kharkov.
I agree with the fact that simply moving strategically important industries does not mean that Ukraine is going to abandon cities like Kharkov. It’s simply a very pragmatic decision in anticipation of Russian offensives in that zone. This is in reaction to other rumors that state Russia is planning such offensives. For instance, a British defense expert:
🇬🇧🇷🇺 Clark: Russians are preparing to attack Kharkiv - 180 thousand soldiers concentrated around Liman and Kupjansk
▪️While 🇺🇦Ukrainian forces continue their offensive on all fronts, 🇷🇺Russia is preparing a serious counterattack, claims the former director of the British Royal Institute for Defense Studies, Professor Michael Clarke. Clarke states that the Russians are massing serious forces around ✖️Kremena in the north.
🗣"While the Ukrainians are preparing an offensive, the Russians are trying to enter Kharkiv north of them. "Tens of thousands of soldiers are piling up, so that Russia has its counterattack ready," warns the British analyst, quoted by Politika.
Ukrainian spokesman for the eastern grouping Serhiy Cherevaty also confirmed these facts, stating that a massive grouping 180k Russian forces are concentrated on the Kremennaya-Kharkov front:
So, in light of all that, is it possible Wagner could actually be used from the northern vector to tie down Ukrainian troops while Russia launches its own Summer-Fall northeastern assault for Kharkov? They’ve already been conducting a stealth offensive there, gaining new territory every day towards the Torske-Lyman vector, so it’s only a question of whether they’ll continue the slow pressure campaign or launch a more decisive effort there.
In the meantime, Medvedev announced that no new mobilizations will be needed:
"No new wave of mobilization will be required. The President clearly, clearly and concretely said that there will be no new mobilization, there is a planned recruitment of military personnel for a contract."
And the reasoning is that we have an update on the recruitment situation:
"According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, from January 1 to July 4, more than 185,000 people were accepted into the ranks of the RF Armed Forces, from which about 109,000 people are in the reserve, the rate of recruitment under the contract increased to 1400 people a day, the attempted armed rebellion did not change the attitude citizens for military service in the SMO zone – Medvedev"
If you’ll recall, the last time we left off closer to the middle of June, Russia had given a recruitment number of 156k. Now they appear to already be up to 185k. And furthermore, clarity is given on the most burning question I myself had regarding how many of those will be for the newly planned army/corps/reserves. This unequivocally states that 109k of the 185k are for the ‘reserve’, and further confirms that they are continuing the recruitment, at a pace of 1400 people per day, which is now equivalent to an unprecedented 42k a month. I’ll have to crunch these numbers again to get a good picture of the battlefield in a future report, but these are very good signs if the numbers are accurate.
But to get back to the Wagner situation for a final point. One thing that’s peeved me during this whole charade is the baseless admonishments revolving around Wagner being ‘Russia’s top fighting force’, which is typically aimed at discrediting Putin for squandering Russia’s most ‘effective force’ in an effort to ‘prop up Shoigu’.
Let’s get one thing straight: Wagner is not and has never been Russia’s top fighting force. In fact, they’re not even in the top 5 of Russia’s best or most elite units. Wagner was effective for two reasons: they were the best armed and supplied and they were given a huge amount of prisoners to use as ‘cannon-fodder’.
When Wagner attempted to fight outside of Bakhmut, in the open steppes of the flanks near Kleeschevka, Berkhovka, Ivanovske—what happened? They were wrecked badly. They failed to take most of these areas, particularly Ivanovske, which they were desperately gunning for as it would have given an extremely favorable control over the main road. There were videos at the time of piles of Wagner corpses in the open fields here, why? Because they were not effective outside of the city.
In those open fields they suffered the same fate as every group has suffered thus far, whether AFU or Russia, trying to fight in open minefields, in areas under 24/7 drone surveillance and artillery fire-control. The fact is, fighting in the city is far easier because Wagner gravely outgunned the AFU with inordinate supplies of thermobaric Shmel rockets, their own daily allocation of Iskander and Kalibr missiles, their own airpower and TOS-1 systems, etc.
Let’s take an example: Bakhmut total area: 41km2. Mariupol total area: 244km2. Bakhmut population: 71k. Mariupol population: 422k.
Mariupol is a city about 5++ times bigger than Bakhmut. Russian naval marines and Chechen forces took the city from Ukraine’s most elite and fanatical Azov forces in about 1.5 to 2 months while suffering few casualties. Wagner took a city 1/5th the size from a bunch of geriatric territorial defense riffraff in 8 months while suffering 20k casualtues (as per Prigozhin). And that makes Wagner elite? Hardly. In fact, if Prigozhin’s numbers are true, that means in Bakhmut alone Wagner has nearly as many casualties as the entire Russian army in all of the SMO.
Wagner does not even come close to comparing to Russian VDV Airborne, who took Kherson entirely within days. Nor to Russian marines and several other Russian units I can name. Does that mean Wagner is bad? No, of course not. And I’m a big fan of Wagner, don’t get me wrong. Most of them are die hard patriots and are great fighters. But let’s not be ridiculous. Anyone who thinks they’re the most elite Russian fighting force simply doesn’t know much about war-fighting or military in general.
And spare us the off-quoted but completely wrong comparison to Russian marines who were said to have failed and shown ‘incompetency’ at Ugledar. I’ve proven before that even MediaZona counted their losses as less than 100 casualties, the couple hand-selected videos of one small convoy being disabled was used to completely misrepresent the Ugledar assaults. Sorry, but <100 casualties on one week-long assault doesn’t compare to 20,000 casualties over 8 months of ramming your head against one small town. Russian marines are much more elite than Wagner, but in the customary tradition of marines around the world—including those of the U.S.—are for some reason relatively under-equipped and given hand-me-downs from the rest of the army. And don’t get me started on the VDV, it’s not even a serious comparison.
The fact is, Prigozhin is a showman and an effective salesman of his force. He’s done all the right things in building a mythos and aura of invincibility around Wagner. And it’s good, I’m glad he did it because it’s a very beneficial thing to have. Enemies fear Wagner because of their reputation, just look at AFU’s ground commander, Syrsky, trying to calm his troops near Bakhmut weeks ago, by telling them now that Wagner’s gone they don’t have to be so fearful anymore:
But a lot of that reputation has more to do with brutality off the field—recall the infamous sledgehammer video. Units like the Russian VDV are professional outfits, and are known for treating prisoners with respect. Recall that Prigozhin himself announced that Wagner stopped taking any prisoners whatsoever in the last few weeks of the Bakhmut fight, and this was later ‘confirmed’ in a released audit, which showed that the last month or so had no prisoners taken, while every previous month numbered in the dozens/hundreds. With such ‘brutality’, it’s easy to see why the AFU feared Wagner’s reputation. Such gimmicks and sleight of hand are fine but real skill and combat effectiveness are a different thing.
However, the last thing I’ll say is that, I think the top Wagner units within the organization can be very elite, particularly because many of them laterally stem from Russia’s own elite ranks. It’s simply that Wagner as a whole is a very uneven organization for obvious reasons: there is a small highly elite core of maybe 5k that’s then padded out with tens of thousands of spotty penal-battalion troops. Russian marine/VDV and other units simply have more uniform consistency in their training and quality and thus are more effective as a whole, particularly when we’re talking about fighting in open areas as opposed to urban combat. But they can do that too: just look at Mariupol. Recall famed 810th Guards Black Sea Fleet Naval Infantry commander codename ‘Struna’, best known as ‘Red Backpack Man’, and how his group dominated Azov in Mariupol with minimal losses:
And I’ve never seen Wagner units impose themselves like the famed 76th VDV air assault on Gostomel:
Now, a last few sundry items.
There’s increasing proof that Russia is now regularly shooting down Storm Shadow missiles, as a new shootdown video had been released as well as new photos showing one of the shot-down missiles still fairly intact:
All the most sensitive parts like the warhead and guidance are intact which means Russian engineers will have a field day with this recovery.
The first ever photo of a live JDAM-ER on a Ukrainian Mig-29 has been released:
And it was followed by only the second ever photo of a Russian UMPC ‘planning bomb’, aka ‘Orthodox JDAM’:
Russian Geran drones struck an SBU HQ in Sumy, which Ukraine tried to lie about. But then Zelensky released a statement admitting it:
In the last report we covered Russia’s big Iskander strike on a Kramatorsk mercenary meeting point, dubbed a ‘pizzeria’. Now, we have the first official Western confirmation, as an American mercenary was reported killed by his family in that very attack:
Furthermore, you’ll recall last time I posted a patch from that incident that showed what appeared to be an American air-defense battalion from Okinawa. I had surmised that American mercs are manning the NATO AD in Ukraine, though one commenter suggested that the ‘Primus Inter Pares’ motto on the patch was not exclusive to that one American AD unit and is reportedly used in other units.
However, since then, a new patch has been revealed to show that very motto superimposed over a NATO IRIS-T air defense. This appears a much more naked confirmation that Western mercenaries are in fact manning the NATO gear:
Also, one interesting thing I’d never considered in light of the mass usage of new Russian ‘Orthodox JDAM’ glide-bombs is the fact that much of remaining Ukrainian western AD, at least in the SHORAD category, is comprised of IR missiles. This includes both the American Avenger and the IRIS-T above, which uses AIM-9 Sidewinder IR-only missiles. But the Russian glide-bombs have no propulsion, which means they generate no heat/IR. So guess what that means? They’re essentially invisible to much of the remaining Ukrainian AD, which spells even more devastating trouble for the AFU as only missiles with radar guidance can potentially pick them up. I guess that’s why Raytheon is so desperate to get more AD to Ukraine as soon as possible:
Also, an interesting thing I learned is that these UMPCs can reportedly go as far as 70-80km if launched from 35-40k feet (12km) altitude and nearly Mach 1 in speed.
With all the nuclear talk, a new poll shows that only 11% of Russians back the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine:
The OSCE declared Wagner a terrorist organization today:
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Tuesday has adopted a final declaration, in which it called Russian Federation a state sponsor of the Wagner Group private military company, a terrorist organisation.
In the final document of the meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Vancouver, it is indicated that the actions of the Wagner private military company on behalf of the Russian government can be "fairly characterised as terrorist."
The declaration also "calls on member states to strengthen international norms that clearly recognize the terrorist nature of the Wagner group and its actions" and "the responsibility of Russia as a state sponsor of this terrorist organisation."
Arestovich explains how Russia will surely be defeated not in the current counter-offensive, but by the second or third one:
Zaluzhny essentially confirmed that American/NATO generals are running Ukraine’s operations, as he told the WashPost that he’s got General Milley on the line “24/7”:
🇺🇦The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Zaluzhny, complained in an interview with The Washington Post, saying that Western partners are driving them forward for meat assaults, without giving aviation and supplies:
"...Western allies expect quick successes, although they themselves would never start without air superiority - while Ukraine has not received modern fighters."
"We're on call 24/7 with US Chief of Staff Mark Milley. I can call and say, 'If I don't get 100,000 shells a week, 1,000 people will die. Get into position" "- he said.
And lastly, I’ll leave you with this video. You’ll recall last time I posted Putin’s huge reception in Derbent, Dagestan, where he was mobbed by women and men alike. But one heartbroken little girl went viral on social media after crying that she had missed him, waiting in line and did not even get a chance to see him. Putin heeded the call and invited her and her family to the Kremlin. Though it’s not subtitled, you can fairly get the gist of the emotional moment:
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