Welcome to the show! In this episode, we’ll be discussing several topics, which you probably haven’t seen in the news. As I always say, our media does a terrible job covering our military and potential hotspots, so I’m hoping to fill this void.
But, in addition to ending the podcast with some awesome motivation and wisdom, we’ll cover:
Timestamp: 1:42. Britain prepares to send long-range missiles to Ukraine. Or have they already? Also, what are these missiles? What can they do? And what is their range?
Timestamp: 7:31. Britain wasn’t the only country announcing new weapons deliveries. The U.S. provided a $1.2 Billion package for air defense and artillery support.
Timestamp: 8:19. Also, Ukrainian President Zelensky said his country needs still more time before launching its counter-offensive.
Timestamp: 10:11. Senior Ukrainian officials fear counterattack may not live up to hype.
Timestamp: 13:33. Russians running already? Appears so, in at least two major instances.
Timestamp: 19:58. Russia launches 'biggest' kamikaze drone attack to date.
Timestamp: 21:50. As an update to last week’s story, the following has already happened, but I still felt the need to report it. The head of Wanger, Yevgeny Prigozhin, apparently got the ammunition he needed and said the assault on Bakhmut would continue. But that was before Ukraine pushed back more Russian troops and Prigozhin ended up screaming about it, as documented above.
Timestamp: 23:28. Russia held its big annual parade and celebration, celebrating the end of World War II, and wow, was that a dud.
Timestamp: 27:49. Ukraine says its newly fielded U.S. Patriot system downed a Russian hypersonic missile.
Timestamp: 30:20. The United States and China held a series of high-level meetings this weekend. I’ll share both the good and bad news from that.
Timestamp: 35:11. Arab League readmits Syria as relations with Assad normalize
Timestamp: 37:04. I cover five news briefs that you need to keep your eyes on for the coming days.
Timestamp: 40:11. The best part of the show. The motivation and wisdom part.
Timestamp: 48:49. And if you want to learn more about me, my hope for the country (and for those listening), and about the 11 books I’ve written, jump to here on the podcast.
Welcome to the View from the Front podcast. If you just happened to stumble by, let me say a quick word about what we’re doing here.
For those who don’t know, my name is Stan R. Mitchell, and I’m a prior Marine and journalist.
Every week, I primarily do three things with my podcast:
Work to highlight what our military troops are doing around the world, while also trying to better educate Americans about looming hotspots and foreign policy news you absolutely should know. (Why I focus on foreign policy...)
Attempt to unite our country and remind us of how lucky we are to live in America. Our division and animosity toward each other is dangerous, and I want to do my small part to remind us that more unites us than divides us, and that most Americans are good and not screaming, crazy extremists like you see on the news all the time. (My thoughts on the division in this country...)
Finally, I always share plenty of motivation and wisdom at the end of the episode, because I want to do my small part to help encourage you and lift you up. Life is certainly hard, and I think it’s fair to say all of us need all the motivation and encouragement that we can possibly get.
In this episode, we’ll be discussing several topics, that I think will really interest you, and that I almost guarantee you haven’t seen in the news!
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Enough of the sales pitch, I hope you enjoy today’s edition. Again, you should listen to it from the player above.
Russia and Ukraine news:
Britain, which has prided itself on being ahead of its Western allies in introducing new weapons systems to Ukraine, now appears poised to send Kyiv the long-range missiles the Biden administration has long denied it.
Most likely, the news involves the missiles known as Storm Shadow missiles, which are cruise missiles that can be mounted on Ukraine’s Soviet-made jets. As a reminder, the much-vaunted HIMARS (or High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) has a range of about 50 miles.
Additionally, the Storm Shadow missiles have a warhead of 990 pounds compared to the HIMARS warhead weight of 200 pounds (in most cases).
But does Ukraine already have them?
The United Kingdom has supplied Ukraine with multiple Storm Shadow cruise missiles, giving Ukrainian forces a new long-range strike capability in advance of a highly anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, multiple senior Western officials told CNN.
“The UK has previously said that it will supply Ukraine with long-range weapons, this will now include a number of Storm Shadow missiles. The British Government has been clear that this is only in response to Russia’s deliberate targeting of civilian national infrastructure and is a proportionate response,” a Western official told CNN.
Speaking at his headquarters in Kyiv, President Zelensky described combat brigades, some of which were trained by NATO countries, as being "ready" but said the army still needed "some things", including armoured vehicles that were "arriving in batches".
"With [what we already have] we can go forward, and, I think, be successful," he said in an interview for public service broadcasters who are members of Eurovision News, like the BBC. "But we'd lose a lot of people. I think that's unacceptable. So we need to wait. We still need a bit more time."
The Ukrainian military has spent nearly 15 months exceeding the world’s expectations. Now, senior leaders are trying to lower those hopes, fearing that the outcome of an imminent counteroffensive aimed at turning the tide of the war with Russia may not live up to the hype.
“The expectation from our counteroffensive campaign is overestimated in the world,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in an interview this past week. “Most people are … waiting for something huge,” he added, which he fears may lead to “emotional disappointment.”
The planned counterattack — made possible by donated Western weapons and training — could mark the most consequential phase of the war, as Ukraine seeks to snatch back significant territory and prove it is worthy of continued support.
Offensive military operations typically require overwhelming advantage, and with Russian forces dug into heavily fortified defenses all across the 900-mile-long front, it is hard to gauge how far Ukraine will get.
Russians running already?
It also appears Russia is evacuating some towns as the approaching Ukrainian offensive nears. (It’s almost like Russia knows it’s about to get hammered.)
Polohy is one of over a dozen frontline settlements that occupying forces announced Friday would be emptied of civilians. A Russian occupation official, Yuri Balitsky, said “we cannot risk the safety of people and will provide funds for organized travel, lump sum payments, accommodation and meals.” He added children would undergo rehabilitation and rest in children’s camps,” echoing the language of previous incidents that Ukraine has dubbed forced deportation and on which the International Criminal Court based a war crimes indictment against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukrainian officials have said the evacuations are being used to provide cover for the departure of Russian troops, and claimed civilians are being sent to the coastal town of Berdyansk, and Russian soldiers to the heavily destroyed city of Mariupol.
It is as yet unclear what impact these evacuations – which on Sunday Russian occupation officials said amounted to 1,600 people – will have on Moscow’s ability to hold frontline towns. But it is a sign of possible weakness, and in during past Ukrainian offensives, Russian positions have collapsed very suddenly, even as their spokespeople were articulating their avowed defense. At the best, these mass departures are recognition by Russian forces that the fight ahead of them will likely be intense.
While we’re on the topic of Russian troops running…
From the story:
The Ukrainian military said the latest Russian raids - which lasted for more than four hours and were launched shortly after midnight - saw Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones swarm across the country.
Kyiv's Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said nearly 60 drones had been launched by Russia, describing it as the "biggest" such attack so far.
He added that all 36 drones had been destroyed over Kyiv, but five people had been injured by falling debris from downed drones.
The following below already happened and already failed since the last podcast, but I did feel the need to mention it.
Moving from the capitol of Kyiv to the eastern front in the Donbas region, the head of Wanger, Yevgeny Prigozhin, apparently got the ammunition he needed. (Or perhaps it was all a ploy.)
Russia is trying to take the city before its big annual parade and celebration, celebrating the end of World War II.
Speaking of parades and celebrations…
From the story:
Ukraine said Saturday that a U.S.-supplied Patriot battery was used to intercept an incoming Russian hypersonic missile over the capital, Kyiv, in what is believed to be the first downing of the sophisticated Russian weapon and Ukraine's first use of the U.S. defense system.
In a post on Telegram, Ukrainian Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said the Patriot destroyed the Kinzhal, a type of missile that can travel up to ten times the speed of sound to evade air defenses.
Oleshchuk said the Russian missile was shot down during a night-time attack on Kyiv earlier this week. "Yes, we shot down the 'unique' Kinzhal," he wrote, adding that it had been launched from a Russian MiG-31K aircraft.
The United States and China held a series of high-level meetings this weekend.
I looked on the Department of State website, but couldn’t find any press releases or releases of any official remarks. Just this from Twitter, so I think this silence pretty much speaks volumes:
On the other hand, China seems intent on pinning all blame on the United States, according to this AP article.
China’s foreign minister told the U.S. ambassador on Monday that Washington is responsible for the downturn in relations between the two countries and must “reflect deeply” before ties can return to a healthy track, an official said.
Qin Gang’s comments follow a suspension of serious dialogue on a range of issues between the world’s largest economies, increasingly at odds over tariffs, attempts by Washington to deprive China of cutting-edge technology, and China’s claims to self-governing Taiwan and large parts of the South and East China Seas.
China’s Foreign Ministry quoted Qin as telling Ambassador Nicolas Burns that a “series of erroneous words and deeds by the U.S.” since a meeting in November between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping “have undermined the hard-won positive momentum of Sino-U.S. relations.”
From the story:
The meeting may pave the way for more senior-level exchanges after high-level contacts between Beijing and Washington were frozen following the discovery of a suspected surveillance balloon floating over the United States in February.
The balloon, which Beijing claimed was for scientific purposes, caused Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a trip to Beijing that was seen as a key step in arresting a worsening rivalry between the two countries. Beijing and Washington have been at odds over Taiwan, U.S. curbs on Chinese technology and Beijing’s partnership with Moscow throughout the war in Ukraine.
Middle East news:
From the story:
The Arab League readmitted Syria on Sunday after more than a decade of suspension, consolidating a regional push to normalise ties with President Bashar al-Assad in a move criticised by Washington.
The decision said Syria could resume its participation in Arab League meetings immediately, while calling for a resolution of the crisis resulting from Syria's civil war, including the flight of refugees to neighbouring countries and drug smuggling across the region.
While Arab states including the United Arab Emirates have pressed to end Assad's isolation, some have been opposed to full normalisation without a political solution to the Syrian conflict, seeking conditions for Syria's return.
World news briefs:
Motivation and Wisdom:
Let’s end this edition with plenty of motivation and wisdom.
Guys, you need to hear this. At least one of you out there needs to hear this.
Life is passing you by. You only get one shot at life, and you’re letting it slip through your fingers, day by day. Life has beaten you down, kicked you in the face, ignored you, punished you, rained on you, assailed you with illnesses and injuries, burdened you with debts and levels of despair that I know are breaking your spirit.
But you have to get up? Do you hear me? You have to get up.
You’re going to get up, get up now, and start fighting back. Do not let despair win. Get up and take a step to confront those things facing you now.
Do it now.
And let these following items lift your spirit and take you to a higher level. You can do this.
You’re meant to do this.
And you have to do this. For yourself. For your family. For your creator.
With all of that being said, I truly hope these help pick up your spirits, revive your hopes, and make you a better person.
As a reminder, please be kind and try your best to love your fellow Americans.
So many men and women have sacrificed, fought, and died to keep this country together the past 240-plus years. Please work daily to unite our country again. The vast majority of Americans are decent, loving, great people.
Also, please try to be a better person each and every day. Try to be kinder on social media and how you interact with others with whom you disagree.
Please join me again in our next episode, and please stay safe until then.
And with that, I’m out.
Love and peace,
Stan R. Mitchell
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my books. I’ve written a CIA/Marine sniper series, a detective series, a private investigator series, an action-packed Western, a motivational self-help book about President Obama, and two realistic war novels: one about World War II and one about Afghanistan. You can find all of these books on Amazon.