Discover more from The View from the Front. By Stan R. Mitchell.
The Stan R. Mitchell report for 5/3/22.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!
Not a whole lot has happened in Ukraine since our last newsletter. The Russians are bogged down, and even being pushed back in some areas.
Some civilians from Mariupol at the Azovstal steel plant have been rescued. That is great news, and the defenders that remain are still somehow holding out.
Here’s the latest news I saw about the situation just prior to publication.
I know I’m probably holding out to the impossible, but the below map gives me some hope.
Ukrainian forces appear to be about one hundred miles from Mariupol and the defenders at the steel plant. (Look roughly in the middle of the map.)
Part of me wishes the Ukrainians would do an all-out push to rescue those trapped there, but I have to remind myself that every town and city currently occupied faces horrendous threats. Russian troops are sending people to filtration camps, as well as sending them all the way to Russia itself.
Families are being separated, men are being executed, and women and girls are being raped.
These realities, as horrific as they are to consider, are just the facts.
But the Ukrainians are taking the fight to the Russians now.
Speaking more broadly than merely the area of Mariupol, it’s remarkable how things have changed in Ukraine since the early days of the invasion.
Take a look at these two maps.
And it’s just beginning. The Russians have no idea what they are in for as with each passing day, the Ukrainians grow stronger. Take this news, for example.
The devastation this artillery will bring is nicely laid out in the article below.
Even in this age of modern – and often over-engineered – weapons systems, artillery has proven its worth time and again on the battlefield. During the 2017 fight to drive the Islamic State group from its former capital of Raqqa, Syria, a Marine artillery detachment fired so many 155 mm rounds in support of Syrian Democratic Forces that they burned out the barrels of two of their M777 howitzers.
Russia’s issues are stark. Besides fielding conscripts and lacking the motivation that comes naturally from fighting to defend their homeland, additional new details emerge almost daily of how pathetic Russian equipment truly is.
Take for instance what their troops ride in.
Look how cramped this vehicle is. AND, how there are fuel tanks literally in the back door, just waiting to get shot up.
While it’s true Russia could impose a draft and bring in additional troops several months from now, it would take too long to train them for them to have much effect, in my opinion. And the Russian economy is about to get hit again. With an even bigger impact than all the previous hits it’s taken.
Europe is looking seriously now to places like Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, and the Republic of Congo for its energy needs.
Daniel Yergin, an energy historian and vice chairman of S&P Global, summed it up perfectly in an article to the Washington Post: “Two months ago, the Europeans could not possibly have imagined shutting the door on Russian energy, and now it’s only a question at this point of how long will it take. And it’s happening faster than would have been imagined possible only two months ago. Putin in eight weeks of war has destroyed what he spent 22 years building: integrating Russia into the world economy.”
You can read the entire article below, though admittedly there will be short-term pain for Europe with this situation, as the article lays out.
It seems that someone within Russia’s boundaries will surely try to take out Putin soon. The insanity of this invasion proves more and more mad and fatal with every passing day.
While we’re on the topic of Ukraine, I wanted to take a much closer look at how drones and missiles are completely re-shaping the battlefield.
And they’re often field-expedient/modified and not even used as designed.
Take for example this item, where a Russian helicopter is shot down by a Ukrainian anti-tank missile. (Probably more punch than needed, but still deadly effective.)
And then there’s this.
I wanted to show how the Ukrainians are doing these attacks, by sharing this excellent thread by @ChrisO_wiki.
(He’s referring to this tweet.)
It’s kind of crazy to think that these drones are the new snipers of the 21st Century, but it’s also hard to disagree.
These drones are completely transforming the battlefield.
Moving along, we’ve talked some about the expansion of NATO. Following up on that, here is an article that explains some of the details involved in that happening, and how it will take some time to occur.
Enough news for this edition. Let’s end with some motivation and wisdom.
First, a relevant, on-topic tweet that shows we can ALL do something to help those causes that we care about. Even if you’re a small child.
And here are some more generic, typical motivational ones.
That’s it for this edition.
As a reminder, please be kind and endeavor to love your fellow Americans. We need to pull this country together, and that starts with all of us.
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The view from the front: military matters and motivation. is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
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Stan R. Mitchell
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