As Vladimir Putin purges his house and begins to plan for the next phase of his plans for Ukraine's conquest, it looks like this week is going to be a dark one for Ukrainians. The United States and NATO are trying to get Volodymyr Zelenskyy what he needs.
The intrigue of British media reports about the alleged house arrest of FSB foreign Intelligence figures Sergey Beseda, and Anatoly Bolyukh is undoubtedly a fascination for Kremlin watchers. According to reports, Vladimir Putin is unhappy that the FSB underestimated the strength and tenacity of Ukrainian resistance. He also predicted that the Russian military would be welcomed with open arms by the Ukrainians. The India Times and Times of Israel also report that Oleksiy Danilov, Ukrainian Secretary of National Security and Defense Council, has reported that Putin fired eight generals because they failed to meet their “special military operations” objectives. This is the Russian euphemism of its invasion of Ukraine.
The reality is that things are not always as they appear when you look at Russia's happenings. The Kremlin is a place where intrigue can be found. The ability to read the tea leaves of rumors can be used by entire wings of buildings in Western intelligence services. Even more concerning is the dreadful consequences. Moscow is indicating that it, (a)considers the Ukrainian government (and military) a problem that must be destroyed; (b) does not consider the Ukrainian people to be friendly and (c) is determined to change the military tactics required to conquer Ukraine. Putin wants it to happen – or else.
The next generation of Russian generals has begun to reduce Zelenskyy's resistance. The process began with the declaration of the pipeline of military aid flowing into Ukraine as legitimate military targets. In my previous analysis, I asked how far back this legitimacy would reach. This question was answered when Russia attacked the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security in Lviv, Ukraine which is located near the Polish border. The West has been sent a clear message: All supply lines for Zelenskyy's aid, even those that may be operated by NATO members, are now under attack.
John Kirby, a Pentagon press spokesperson, made an extra effort to emphasize that the US wasn't present at the international base during the attack. He appeared on ABC's “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday and this is what he had to say:
KIRBY: The training facility was not staffed by any American service personnel. As you all know, we had already left several weeks prior.
ABC: What can you tell us about this strike? The deputy mayor was there. Do you have anything else to add?
KIRBY : I believe he has more context than us right now. These strikes were carried out overnight, early morning here and overnight there. We know there was damage to the training facility. We are still talking with Ukrainians to find out what they think. This is the third military facility or airfield the Russians have attacked in Western Ukraine within the past few days. They are clearly expanding their target lists, at least in an air strike perspective.
Despite the threat, Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser, stated that the US will continue supplying weapons to Ukraine during his appearance on CBS' Face the Nation.
“We are confident in our ability to continue to provide substantial amounts of military aid, weapons and supplies to the front line in Ukraine. We have been able to accomplish this so far, and we believe we have a system that will allow us to continue to do so, regardless of Russian threats. We believe these weapons make a significant contribution to the Ukrainian defense. We are not providing the tools. These fighters' courage, bravery, and frontline skills are what ultimately makes the difference. The bravery, bravery, and skill of ordinary Ukrainian citizens standing up for their cities and towns is what makes the difference. We will continue to support them in our efforts to make Ukraine a strategic failure for Vladimir Putin.
It is unknown how far this supply resolution will go. Sullivan reiterated America's reluctance to increase its involvement.
“What President Biden made clear is that there will be no U.S. military force operating in Ukraine. There are currently none. We will defend NATO territory to the fullest extent, while we provide military support to the Ukrainian fighters who bravely defend their homes and cities.
The Ukrainians are tired of this “send parts, hope for the best” strategy. Demytro Kubela, Ukraine Minister for Foreign Affairs, spoke on CBS Face The Nation about the ongoing saga of Polish Mig-29s being transferred to his country.
MARGARET BRENAN: President Biden approved an additional two hundred million dollars in weapons. But those are small arms and anti-aircraft. Congress has promised to send more money in your direction. Which types of weapons are you looking for? What are the most advanced systems?
KULEBA: The highest demand is for planes. Fighting-fighting jets and attack aircraft are the most in demand. Unfortunately, Russia's air force power and Ukraine's are incomparable. Yes, they shoot us down. We cannot stop two things happening if we lose control of the sky. We can't stop Russian bombers from destroying our cities and killing civilians. We cannot also destroy Russian columns that are heading towards our major cities via the roads. We need more planes to achieve these two goals. This is the most urgent issue. Offhand, we don't get all the explanations given to us, and why we shouldn't be given these planes. We will continue to press our- and all corners, and request assistance from the United States as well as other partners.
MARGARET BRENAN: Last Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the United States gave the green light to Poland's decision to supply fighter jets to Ukraine. That was followed by President Biden's spiked comment a few days later. Are you sure that any country would give you fighter jets in return?
KULEBA : Its – well, frankly, everything that has happened over the fighting planes in the past week is kinda a diplomatic mystery. Everyone is willing to do it. But, nothing is happening. We aren't getting the planes. It's like a pingpong game in which each side throws the ball to their opponent and then gets it back. This kind of ping pong diplomacy is not possible. We need planes to save our lives and stop Rus-to-stop, to end Russian dominance in the skies. As Ukrainian foreign minister, I ask for a common ground and offer Ukraine the necessary defense.
KULEBA – I – To my mind, this logic is flawed since drones and planes do not escalate. Is this the logic? Anti-tank weapons and planes do not have an escalatory effect. What else can Russia do to make it clear that they have already reached the top of escalation? As I said in the beginning they used weapons that were not allowed under international conventions. We are afraid of an escalation. We must-we need to defend our own defense. The second thing I hear is that planes can't be supplied to Ukraine because their partner only supplies defensive weapons. Sorry, all weapons that are given to us are defensive, as they are being used for defense of this country. And I don’t know what else could happen. What atrocity must be committed to allow foreigners to forget all these flawed arguments and provide us with the resources we need.
My military analyst roots have noted that the Russians are changing their campaign strategy to impede Ukraine's ability to fight its ground war. The Ukrainians will need more sophisticated weaponry to stop these attacks as well as to block Russia's supply lines to maintain a balance in warfare. Russians now use deeper-reaching missiles with tight center error probability (CEP), accuracy, just like those used to attack Lviv's ICPS station. New generals, new tactics. It will require more advanced air defenses to stop them, according to the orders of US Patriots and Israeli Iron Domes. Their weak link is still the Russian system's ground game, but only so long as the Ukrainians have the resources to wage their own. The Kremlin's redesigned Kremlin team does not wait for NATO and the US to think about our belly buttons.
The Russian “broadening target sets” doesn't just apply to military supplies. With the change of guard at the Russian military leadership on the 11th March, the civilian shelling and shooting increased significantly. According to Hollie MacKay, a common Russian story was that the Russians claimed military units were operating on the ground of the civilian center. This made it a legitimate target for military operations. This is a weak excuse that can be used for propaganda to portray the Russians as heroes. This is a weak excuse to raze every building, neighborhood, hospital, train station and church in Ukraine. It is not heroic. It is deliberate and in line with the ominous signs of Kremlin intrigue discussed at the beginning.
In the case of indiscriminate firing, American journalist Brent Renaud incurred the cost with his life in the Kyiv suburb Irpin. This is an area RedState had previously reported. Renaud is among many civilians who are caught in the midst of intense ground warfare. This is a sad reminder of the dangers that Ukraine's civilian population faces when the Russian military resorts terrorism to weaken the will to continue. The Russian military targets the Ukrainian population, as per the Kremlin tea leaves.
This was Minister Kubela's interview.
“What we have seen in the last three weeks are a series of war crimes, crimes against humanity, deliberately committed. When they bomb schools, maternity homes, hospitals, and other civilians trying to evacuate from war zones, it is clear that they want to tear us down.
There was no way to end the conflict, so Pope Francis observed, Sunday, March 13th, that there wasn't a solution.
“The only way to stop this unacceptable armed aggression is to reduce cities into cemeteries.”