Ukraine Today

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I think the takeaway from this article is exactly as I previously said: if there is to be a settlement where Ukraine loses any territory, it has to come along with really strong security guarantees + eventual NATO membership.

To elaborate on this: I see two possible scenarios for the world depending on how this conflict is concluded.
1. China agrees to continue playing by the existing rules and respect the status quo and pressures Russia to follow suit. Ukraine is restored to its internationally-recognized borders. Ukraine remains neutral as a buffer state. China and the West get involved in peacekeeping and post-war stabilization on the beleaguered territories.
2. China supports and emboldens Russia to break the status quo. The world goes back to the Entente and Dreibund, Axises and Alliances ruleset. Ukraine is eventually partitioned and each part is engulfed by a respective side. There are many signs that the West is experiencing structural fatigue (moral more than resource-related) of being the force that keeps the world order together, so the second route is very probable. Ironically, this scenario is worse for the world but probably better for Ukraine (the part that gets lucky, at least).
Unfortunately, No. 2 looks more likely with the prospect of a different potentially republican US president.

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Unfortunately, No. 2 looks more likely with the prospect of a different potentially republican US president.

There's a possibility that the Republican party fractures along existing fault lines between die-hard Trumpers, core Republican demographics, and disillusioned voters who see the party as a sinking ship. The states they won in the last election have gone even further to the right and will likely stay that way, while some of the states that flipped against them or were very close are shifting to the right at the state government level but not at grass roots. Georgia, for instance, flipped to the left in 2020, and the state government there has been pushing current hardline conservative initiatives despite that. Some changes have also been on long-standing hot issues, which tends to mobilize opponents more than supporters. We're a ways out yet so only fools will call it one way or another, but I think the Republicans right now are their own worst enemies and it's going to become apparent.
I love everything about this image.
Looks like Wagner failed to meet the promised 9th May victory parade deadline for Bakhmut.

If you can't deliver what you've promised Putin, make sure someone else is to blame.

“We were supposed to take Bakhmut by May 9. And knowing that, military bureaucrats almost completely cut our shell supplies on May 1,” the statement claimed.

on May 10, Wagner’s forces will retreat rearward and pass their front-line positions to Russia’s official army, Prigozhin said.

UPDATE: Apparently, Wagner retreating would be traitorous, but it’s ok for regular brigades to flee:
“Our army is fleeing. The 72nd Brigade pissed away 3 sq km this morning, where I had lost around 500 men,” Prigozhin said.
Ukraine’s Third Separate Assault Brigade said on Wednesday: “It’s official. Prigozhin’s report about the flight of Russia’s 72nd Independent Motorised Rifle Brigade from near Bakhmut and the ‘500 corpses’ of Russians left behind is true.”

No details of how many £2m storm shadow cruise missiles have been donated ATM.
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Wagner boss denies leaked documents claiming that he tried to deal with Ukraine Intelligence, swapping Russian positions for territorial concessions in Bakhmut.

Leaked US intelligence accessed by The Washington Post indicates that Wagner Group financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin offered to disclose the locations of Russian positions to Ukrainian intelligence in exchange for Bakhmut. The Washington Post reported on May 15 that Prigozhin offered the Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) information about Russian troop positions in exchange for a Ukrainian withdrawal from Bakhmut, and two Ukrainian unnamed officials confirmed that Prigozhin had spoken to GUR officials on numerous occasions. GUR officials reportedly rejected Prigozhin’s offer because they did not trust Prigozhin, and some documents indicate that Kyiv suspects that the Kremlin is aware of Prigozhin’s communication with Ukrainian intelligence. The Washington Post reported that Prigozhin urged Ukrainian officials to attack Russian forces and revealed the problems that the Russian forces are facing with morale and ammunition stocks. The Washington Post published an interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on May 13 about GUR Chief Major General Kyrylo Budanov’s interactions with Prigozhin and his operatives in Africa in which Zelensky did not confirm Ukraine’s contacts with Prigozhin.
Sounds like desinfo from the US side.
Would WaPo allow to be used to plant desinfo? I bet every media does want a "breaking news" story as long as everything is alleged.
Documents were leaked back in January by Teixeira onto Discord. Unlikely to be a plant, more likely to be a sanctioned approach to win Bakhmut pre 9th May deadline - Putin‘s unscrupulous.
I don't think it's all lies, just the claim that Prighozin would betray Russian army disposition, that seems aimed to discredit him (not hard to do, but this is a new low).
Ru troops disposition is not exactly a secret anyway so the whole premise is somewhat questionable.
But I can imagine him giving away locations of commanders he dislikes.

We know for a fact that Wagner has direct contacts with GUR if only because Wagner participates in PoW exchanges separately from Ru MoD.

In either case, this is likely a non-issue in the grand picture. Lately, Prigozhin has been saying things that would end up in defenestration for any other person. So we can assume WP being caught in psyops bs.
It's kind of a win win either way whether it's an information campaign or not. Those where it's impossible to know what's true and isn't and it really could go either way are the best kind, and in this case it doesn't matter what the truth is.

Humvees without dirt on their tyres magically appear after the Belgorod raid to embarrass Ukraine with their US backers.
"Sky News has been able to geolocate the images to the Belgorod checkpoint and can confirm from previously released drone video that the two Humvees in the photo were not there earlier this week."
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You can go and buy an HMMWV, even as a civilian. It's just a car, and a pretty ****ty ride at that. I could go get one tomorrow, paint a little Ukrainian flag on it, and roll it into a ditch for a photo op. Look at me, I'm Peter Propaganda.
You can go and buy an HMMWV, even as a civilian. It's just a car, and a pretty ****ty ride at that. I could go get one tomorrow, paint a little Ukrainian flag on it, and roll it into a ditch for a photo op. Look at me, I'm Peter Propaganda.
Orion Private Army confirmed!

you know, you could just buy a bunch of toyota trucks and equip the passengers with rpgs. DIY Tanks!
It's impossible to know at this point.
We're on the verge of a counteroffensive that could be huge or may not even actually happen for all we know. So everything is a psyop right now.

But the obvious logic is that we're now shaping the battlefield to our advantage before the supposed attack commences. Russian initial offensive was so successful because we had to defend a huge border with few resources and Russians formed attacking fists that went in deep almost unchallenged. We are probably trying to do something similar here. The current frontline is around 600km long. But if Russia proper territories are also fair game for the incursion, this makes the frontline twice as long, thus making their defense in each sector twice less tight.
Seems to be playing to Prigozhin’s plans for self-aggrandisement.
Good news if they redeploy outside Ukraine and intensify internal command and control splits.
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