Ukraine update: Ukraine retakes territory; Koch Industries says it will stay in Russia

Ukraine update: Ukraine retakes territory; Koch Industries says it will stay in Russia

Today saw major developments with the Ukrainian recapture of a town 75 miles into Russia-held territory, yet another indication that the stretched-thin nature of Russian advances may be rendering their territorial gains tenuous at best. Ukraine is also using more artillery attacks, which might suggest that weapons held in the western edge of the country to defend against a Russian incursion there are being redeployed to batter now-stagnant Russian positions.

Here at home, Republicans continue to struggle with the new task of distancing themselves from a dictator beloved by much of their white nationalist base. And Koch Industries, bankrollers of the party’s march toward authoritarian crookedness, is resisting public pressure to shut down Russian operations like so many other companies have done. Go figure.

Some of what you may have missed:

Friday, Mar 18, 2022 · 2:58:35 AM +00:00


This is some ingenuity here. It’s not a fancy Turkish drone, or American killer Switchblade suicide drones. This is is … this: 

This is an unguided munition. This is an old Soviet RKG-3 cumulative grenade, to which stabilizers were attached so that it fell accurately on top. At first they were made a volunteer, and then began to make a centralized in Mayak enterprise

— Y V (@in_memoriam818) March 18, 2022

Ukrainians took old Soviet-era grenade, 3D-printed stabilization fins and attached them, then jury-rigged a commercial drone to carry several at a time and drop them on targets. And it somehow works!

Friday, Mar 18, 2022 · 3:44:12 AM +00:00

Mark Sumner

⚡️Ukraine’s Air Force: Fourteen Russian aerial units destroyed on March 17. According to Ukraine’s Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukraine’s air defense destroyed seven aircraft, one helicopter, three UAVs, and three cruise missiles.

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 18, 2022

Friday, Mar 18, 2022 · 3:46:09 AM +00:00


We wondered earlier where Ukraine got the troops for its counteroffensive toward Kherson. Now we know

Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive towards Kherson. The operation was supported by elements of 28th Mechanized Brigade that arrived to Mykolaiv from Odesa. Ukrainian troops pushed alongside road M-14 and liberated Posad-Pokrovske (in Kherson Oblast).

Ukraine must be feeling pretty confident of Odesa’s safety, and this essentially guarantees it. 1,500 Russian marines, if indeed they are floating off the coast of Odesa (they could be decoys to pin down defenders) wouldn’t get far in the city of 1 million. The only other Russian forces putting the city in danger where camped off the wrong bank of the Southern Bug near Mykolaiv, and they’ve now been pushed halfway back down to Kherson. What’s more, here we see Ukrainian artillery shelling targets overnight. 

Ongoing artillery battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces between Kherson and Mykolaiv, where Ukrainian forces have been launching counterattacks in recent days.

— Woofers (@NotWoofers) March 17, 2022

This doesn’t look like a Ukrainian army happy to simply keep Mykolaiv out of Russian artillery range. They’re softening up targets down the road, trying to break Russian morale, and with a coordinated uprising inside Kherson, there’s a scenario in which Ukraine marches back into the city with little bloodshed. 

Lots of chatter (all rumors) that Ukraine is looking to bust the siege of Mariupol. Retaking Kherson would give Ukraine a chance to cut off Crimea (and supplies) from Russian troops operating north and east of it. This would force Russia to move troops from Mariupol back toward Kherson, making any move on Mariupol easier for Ukraine. Fingers crossed that I wake up to some good news on this front. 

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