Russia launches 70 missiles on Ukraine and Ukraine’s air defense shots down 51. There’s no reason to panic, electricity is gradually being restored.
Here’s what we know:
The departure of the parent of the company known as “Russia’s Google” would be a setback to President Vladimir V. Putin’s efforts to develop homegrown substitutes for Western technology.
KYIV, Ukraine — Standing before a map of Europe’s energy grid a few weeks ago, the head of Ukraine’s energy utility marveled at the complexity of what he called the largest interconnected machine humankind had ever devised.
Think of the Ukrainian power grid like a nation’s roadways, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the head of the utility, Ukrenergo, said after waves of repeated Russian strikes had caused rolling blackouts in parts of the country. The latest barrage, on Wednesday, left millions without power the following day.
Russian forces have been blasting the highways, offramps, on-ramps, side streets and country lanes for weeks. But there are still other back roads that can be used to move around the country. Engineers have been able to use these to push energy to keep the grid stable.
But Mr. Kudrytskyi, like other Ukrainian officials, acknowledged that the country was in uncharted territory, with its energy grid deliberately targeted and its energy utility company working in real time to repair a complex system as more missiles rain down.
The day before the latest wave of missile strikes this week, Mr. Kudrytskyi said that it was very hard to predict what would happen because there are so many factors involved, including the success of Ukrainian air defenses and the speed at which repairs can be carried out.
“A lot depends on the state of the power system at the specific moment of the hit, for example, what was the level of consumption at that moment,” he said during a news conference.
“I want to note: It is far from a fact that a blackout awaits us,” he said. “The Ukrainian power system has already demonstrated its resilience many times.”
But he said that he was under no illusions and that utility workers were preparing for worst-case scenarios.
Former President Trump, and others in the US including some Democrats as well as Republicans, have criticized continued US support for Ukraine in its war with Russia. They have called for military and financial support to Ukraine to be cut, even ended. They downplay the risk from Russia and argue that the money should be spent at home.
Yet from numerous perspectives, when viewed from a bang-per-buck perspective, US and Western support for Ukraine is an incredibly cost-effective investment.
Altogether, the Biden administration received Congressional approval for $40bn in aid for Ukraine for 2022 and has requested an additional $37.7bn for 2022. More than half of this aid has been earmarked for defense.
These sums pale into insignificance when set against a total US defense budget of $715bn for 2022. The assistance represents 5.6% of total US defense spending. But Russia is a primary adversary of the US, a top tier rival not too far behind China, its number one strategic challenger. In cold, geopolitical terms, this war provides a prime opportunity for the US to erode and degrade Russia’s conventional defense capability, with no boots on the ground and little risk to US lives.
The Ukrainian armed forces have already killed or wounded upwards of 100,000 Russian troops, half its original fighting force; there have been almost 8,000 confirmed losses of armored vehicles including thousands of tanks, thousands of APCs, artillery pieces, hundreds of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and numerous naval vessels. US spending of 5.6% of its defense budget to destroy nearly half of Russia’s conventional military capability seems like an absolutely incredible investment. If we divide out the US defense budget to the threats it faces, Russia would perhaps be of the order of $100bn-150bn in spend-to-threat. So spending just $40bn a year, erodes a threat value of $100-150bn, a two-to-three time return. Actually the return is likely to be multiples of this given that defense spending, and threat are annual recurring events.
The US military might reasonably wish Russia to continue deploying military forces for Ukraine to destroy.
But the West is looking for ways to surge production of anti-armor weapons and new air defenses, and is dipping deep into reserves of artillery ammunition as the Ukrainians pop off 5,000 to 6,000 rounds a day at entrenched Russian positions in the south.
The fighting in Ukraine is “an industrial capacity war,” new Swedish Defense Minister PAL JONSON told NatSec Daily on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Forum over the weekend. Sweden, he said, will reach NATO’s baseline of spending 2 percent of GDP for defense by 2026, two years sooner than the country’s original plan.
That extra money won’t necessarily mean more gear right away. Countries across Europe have announced tens of billions more in defense spending since Russia invaded Ukraine, but the defense industry hasn’t had the time to increase capacity or hire new workers yet, as companies await new contracts.
That spending “is going to put more pressure on the defense industrial base, and if we’re gonna have to ramp up production, I think dialogue between the government agencies and defense industrial bases will be important,” Jonson said.
That was a major concern during NATO’s latest summit in Brussels last month, where cables describing closed-door meetings seen by POLITICO showed deep concern over the industry’s ability to meet countries’ needs in the short term.
“The solution will be difficult because this is about prioritization,” between weapons systems, countries, and each country’s ability to balance domestic needs and military spending, NATO’s top officer, Adm. ROB BAUER, told NatSec Daily. “That’s a political discussion, how we’re going to spend more money.”
It’s not just Ukraine and NATO nations that are struggling to replenish their stockpiles.
“The sanctions are hitting Putin more and more,” KAJSA OLLONGREN, the defense minister for the Netherlands, told NatSec Daily at Halifax. “We know that while they may be testing Ukrainian air defenses, at the same time, they’re depleting their own stocks and we have to make sure that they cannot rebuild and that their industry is really severely hit by not being able to get the things they need.”
The Pentagon is also rushing to make changes. In August, it threw together a “tiger team” co-chaired by SASHA BAKER, the department’s No. 2 policy official, and acquisition chief WILLIAM LaPLANTE, to develop a roadmap to speed up foreign arms sales, partially due to the experience in trying to restock European allies. The work is expected to wrap soon, two people familiar said.
The effort comes as the U.S. looks to compete with other countries that are positioning themselves as alternatives to expensive, often slow-to-arrive U.S. weaponry. Since July, South Korea has sold billions worth of fighter planes, tanks and rocket systems to Poland, which has emerged as a steady customer for the American defense industry. Several other would-be customers are looking at systems that Seoul has promised it can deliver more quickly than the Americans.
“We said, ‘if no other country is able to provide [weapons quickly] we will go with the Koreans because we see the situation as very dynamic,” Gen. RAJMUND ANDRZEJCZAK, chief of the Polish armed forces, told NatSec Daily.
“On November 23, around 1:40 p.m. in the village of Zeleny Yar, our fighters eliminated the enemy’s S-300 missile complex. Eyewitnesses heard first two powerful explosions, then a third, even more powerful one,” he wrote.
After that, the occupiers began searches, took residents out of their homes, checked their phones, and, according to Fedorov, automatic rounds could be heard in the area.
Earlier it was reported that at night the enemy fired missiles at Vilniansk, one of them hit the hospital, destroying the maternity ward. A 2-day-old infant was killed.
www.ukrinform.net/…Russia launches 70 missiles on Ukraine on 23 November, and Ukraine’s air defence shots down 51, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “On 23 November, the terrorist state once again carried out a massive missile attack on critical infrastructure facilities in Ukraine using strategic aircraft and vessels of the Black Sea Fleet. 10 Tu-95MS missile-carrying jets launched missiles from the Volgodonsk district of Rostov Oblast [Russia] and the Caspian Sea, as well as from two small missile-carrying boats from the Black Sea.
The Air Force reported that Russia has launched around 70 Kh-101/Kh-555 and Kalibr cruise missiles over Ukraine. Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defence systems and forces destroyed 51 Russian missiles. Ukraine’s defence forces also destroyed five Russian Lancet UAVs in the south of Ukraine.”
- In the last two weeks, Russia has likely redeployed major elements of the VDV (airborne forces) to the Donetsk and Luhansk fronts in the Donbas. From September to October, most of the severely weakened VDV units were dedicated to the defence of Russian-held territory west of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.
- Some VDV units have likely been reinforced with mobilised reservists. Although these poorly trained personnel will dilute VDV’s supposedly elite capability, Russia will likely still allocate these units to sectors deemed especially important.
- Potential operational tasks for the VDV include supporting the defence of the Kremina-Svatove area in Luhansk Oblast or reinforcing offensive operations against the Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut
- Since September, Russia has likely launched hundreds of Iranian-manufactured uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) against Ukraine. These have been a mixture of one way attack (OWA) UAVs and more traditional reusable armed systems.
- Russia has largely used these weapons against tactical military targets and the Ukrainian electricity grid. However, recently Russian commanders likely also wanted Iranian-sourced UAVs to prioritise medical facilities as targets of opportunity, and strike them with guided munitions if identified.
- Russia likely conceived of the UAV campaign to make up for its severe shortage of cruise missiles, but the approach has had limited success. Most UAVs launched have been neutralised.
- No OWA UAVs strikes have been publicly reported since around 17 November 2022. Russia has likely very nearly exhausted its current stock but will probably seek resupply. Russia can probably procure UAVs from overseas more rapidly than it can manufacture new cruise missiles domestically.
When Vladimir Putin switched off the gas taps to Europe, Germany more than most feared a winter of blackouts. Ministers scrambled to secure alternative supplies, painfully aware that a heavy dependence on Russian gas had left this industrial nation woefully exposed.
But fast forward a few months and, as lights sparkle in the Christmas markets, there is a sense of tentative optimism in the Glühwein spiced air. Germany’s hastily assembled strategy to manage without Russian gas appears – for now – to be working.
“Energy security for this winter is guaranteed,” the Chancellor Olaf Scholz told MPs in the German parliament on Wednesday morning.
Not only are the country’s gas stores full; the result, in part, of a frantic – and expensive – buying operation on the world’s markets.
But, up on Germany’s windswept North Sea coast, engineers have just finished building – in record time – the country’s very first import terminal for liquified natural gas (LNG).
Germany is rightly notorious for its ponderous bureaucracy; this kind of project would normally take years, but the authorities slashed away at red tape to enable completion in under 200 days.
In a watershed moment in the war in Ukraine, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that designates Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Out of the 596 members of the European Parliament, 494 voted in favor of the resolution, 58 against, and 44 absented.
The vote comes after another day of Russian missile strikes all across Ukrainian urban centers and critical infrastructure. Moscow is targeting the Ukrainian energy grid in particular in an attempt to make the life of Ukrainians harder, with winter just around the corner. However, such actions will only likely increase the Ukrainian resolve to fight rather than deter them.
U.S. President Joe Biden has suggested in the past designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism but has thus far not taken any action. Should the administration decides to follow the European Union’s example, Russia would be joining a rather unglamorous list of countries that is comprised of Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
1. Take care of yourself. Ensure you have security measures on your account. Be careful what you share. No good to anyone if you’re scammed, doxxed or banned.2. Be nice to other fellas. We are massively diverse, so if you really don’t like something just don’t follow or mute. Do NOT attack them unless they’re a genuine fake fella, which is super obvious.3. Article 5. This is best used rarely. Yesterday I called it to help a 🇺🇦 minister who was getting horrible nonsense on a post about his daughter. Don’t use it on fellas, don’t use it whenever you get attacked by one 6 follower account.
4. Continue to be yourself. Post things you like, have fun, it boosts engagement and gives everyone a break. Also, follow different people, learn about other people and countries.5. Take a break! No harm in having time off. There’s no 10s of thousands of us. When we started this was not the case. Now it’s rare for me to not find fellas already under nonsense posts.6. Choose targets wisely. A 5 follower account isn’t worth it and engaging can boost them. Replying to them is different, that can be fun. But also know when to block and stop. Mocking disinfo under news articles or big accounts is more useful.7. Mock, don’t argue. 99/100 times they arent going to change their mind. NAFO works because we don’t dignify nonsense.8. Don’t force rules! If you don’t like something a fella says or does, move on. Otherwise we can have disputes and lose focus. NAFO is more than you.9. Be tolerant. We will all have our own views, beliefs, backgrounds. I personally engage with accounts with wildly different political views. But I don’t tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia.10. Remember why we’re here. To help Ukraine and fund the Legion (or other causes). It’s not about followers, who makes the best meme, or whatever.
If anyone has anything to share please do!
Oh I thought of one extra thing. Be vigilant with your followers. The days of blindly following back any fella are behind us. Check their profiles before you follow back at least. Fake fellas are about.
People seem to be supportive of this. I’ve pinned it on my profile so if you ever need to share it with someone, it’s there.
@mentionshas some solid expansions to this thread. See it as the “further reading” to NAFO 101 to understand why I said what I said
I said don’t debate. But do debunk! If someone say a grayzone journalist is pronouncing nonsense, someone says “8 years of shelling Donbas”, Elon says crap about Crimea, get the facts and debunk, and throw a meme too. That’s actually good.Two more things (Christ I’m like Colombo here)
1. Report really offensive stuff but don’t engage if you value your sanity. You can report for misinfo, abuse, racism etc. Remember to add context, report multiple tweets in one report. That’s more effective.
2. Be careful how fast you follow fellas. Twitter has limits. Pace yourself!
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