Connect with us


Exclusive: Ukraine update: Let's take stock of the current front lines –



no image description available

#Ukraine #update #Let039s #stock #current #front #lines

no image description available
This brings back memories of cold, muddy, winter days out in the German woods during my Army years. This is a German MLRS launcher, in action in Ukraine.

As I noted yesterday, what was Russia’s five axes of attack at the start of the war has been gradually whittled down to a single front in The Donbas. Still, it’s a long front line, across two different oblasts (which collective make up the Donbas), with several directions of action. So let’s take a look at what should be the front lines for the foreseeable future (unless Ukraine surprises everyone with a new push into southern Kherson oblast or even Crimea).


Let’s go clockwise, starting from the north. 

Svatove/Starobilsk (northern Luhansk oblast)

This is perhaps the most strategically consequential of the currently active front line. It is the gateway toward a great open expanse of mostly empty agricultural steppe, and the last logistical line from Russia’s Belgorod (it’s main supply hub this war), into Ukraine itself. 

(Old map. Only one village remains between Ukrainian forces and Svatove)

If you look closely, every single road and railway in northeastern Ukraine runs through either Svatove or Starobilsk. Every. Single. One. And what’s more, once Svatove falls, it’s an open shot toward Starobilks, giving Russian defenses very little to ward off a strong Ukrainian push. 

When Svatove and Starobilks are liberated, that entire swatch of red Russian-held territory will turn yellow. That’ll be great for morale, but it will do more to help end the war than almost any other Ukrainian victory. Remember that this is a war of logistics, and this is Russia’s most important supply rail line. 

Kreminna (Luhansk oblast)

There was great hope Ukraine could blitzkrieg their way into Kreminna after Russian lines around Izyum collapsed, but alas, this is where Russia held the line, and continues to do so to this day.


There are forests to the city’s west that are, according to Russian Telegram, under Ukrainian control. Liberating Kreminna opens up Rubizhne, Severodonetsk, and Lysychansk to Ukrainian attack. For their part, Russia keeps attacking this line from the Lysychansk direction in the south, attempting to disrupt what, for the moment, seems to be a cautious Ukrainian approach. 

Now, I argued months back, when Severodonetsk and Lysychansk where still in Ukrainian hands, that this wasn’t a particularly strategic area, and I questioned the fierce (and costly) Ukrainian defense. I still question all the lives lost over this corner of the front. Once Ukraine liberates Svatove and Starobilsk to the north, supplying this area will become a serious problem for Russia. Yet whether it’s Ukraine cautiously probing ahead, or Russia trying to push Ukraine back, this is a lively part of the front. 

Bakhmut (Donetsk Oblast)

What can I write about Bakhmut that we haven’t already written dozens of times? Wagner war-crime’ing mercenaries rule this corner of the front, and send wave after wave of prison cannon fodder to die in corpse-littered fields. It’s positively medieval, and disconnected from any broader strategic goal beyond “Wagner does whatever it wants, and ignores Russia’s larger goals.” Maybe it does so because Russia lacks any broader strategic goals. Or maybe it thinks gaining meters per day here and there is great advertising for its deadly services. 


There is quite literally zero strategic value to Bakhmut. It is not an important logistical hub.The big twin fortress cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk to its west are well beyond Russia’s means to threaten. If Wagner were to somehow capture Bakhmut, Russia could get a few days of propaganda value from it, but that would be it. It does nothing to disrupt Ukraine’s war progress. 

Still, we can safely assume that Russia won’t fully capture Bakhmut militarily. There’s a river running right through it. 

River running through eastern third of Bakhmut highlighted 

If Wagner can’t get beyond the trash dump in the town’s eastern edge, what makes anyone think it can cross an actual river without functioning bridges? As is, this approach is a death sentence to any advancing Russian. (This video alone has at least three dozen dead Russians littering the battlefield east of Bakhmut. As usual, no need to click. It’s disturbing.)

Avdiivka/Donetsk (Donetsk Oblast)

While we’ve touched on this area from time to time, we haven’t really focused on it as much as other active fronts. 


What’s amazing about this front is that it’s RIGHT ON TOP of Russia’s pre-February front lines, and literally abuts one of the two regional capitals Russia still holds (the other being Luhansk city). Like Bakhmut to the north, Russia has sent wave after wave of fodder into this meat grinder (this time, local militias from Russian-occupied Donbas), and like Bakhmut, they keep ending up deceased, littering fields as far as the eye can see.

Russia doesn’t even appear to have any armor left, sending waves of unprotected infantry to be picked apart by Ukrainian artillery and drones. It’s gruesome. But it’s tough for Ukrainian defenders as well, as Russia still has plenty of artillery left to do its murderous task as they try and clear a path for their foot soldiers.

There is, at least, some strategic value to this Russian effort—they want a buffer zone around Donetsk for the inevitable Ukrainian counter-offensive. At the moment, Donetsk city is very exposed. (Not that Ukraine is likely to attack it head-on. That hasn’t been their approach so far, and no reason to engage in such a costly assault.)

Pavlivka/Vuhledar (Donetsk Oblast)

I recently wrote about Pavlivka here. That Naval infantry unit banging its head against the town has apparently been completely annihilated. 


At last report, Russia has the southern half of Pavlivka, while Ukraine has the northern half under fire control—meaning that any Russian venturing across that line gets snuffed out by artillery. That report claims Russia’s dead-to-wounded ratio is 1-to-1, which means that they don’t have a functioning medavac system. For a competent army, that ratio would be closer to 1-to-4 or even higher. For the U.S., it was 1-to-7 in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

So why the Russian desperation to move forward on this approach? Logistics. 


155mm tube artillery means that Ukraine can keep that rail line shut with its most plentiful artillery munition. Still, even if Russia has some success and pushes Ukraine back several dozen kilometers (spoiler alert: not gonna happen), HIMARS/MLRS rockets, long-range self-propelled artillery, and long-range precision-guided munitions could still keep the line shut. 

So while there’s some logic to the Russian attempts, it’s not particularly good logic. And even then, Russia’s inability to put together anything more substantive than suicidal infantry charges means that all Russia is doing is exchanging the lives of its own for cheap Ukrainian ammunition. 

So there you have it, a quick reorientation of the current front lines.

Putin so pathetic. 


Oh my f’n god that looks miserably cold: 



Exclusive: Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 –




Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832

#Today #Supreme #Court #History #January

1/26/1832: Justice George Shiras Jr.’s birthday.

Justice George Shiras Jr.

The post Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 appeared first on

Continue Reading


Exclusive: Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good –




Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good

#Liberals #Mad #McCarthy #Named #MAGA #Republicans #Subcommittees #COVID #Government #Weaponization #Good

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced members named to two select subcommittees – one investigating the origins of COVID and another looking into the weaponization of the federal government – and Democrats are livid over the addition of certain MAGA lawmakers.

“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not go after them,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“The Members selected to serve on these subcommittees will work to stop the weaponization of the federal government and will also finally get answers to the Covid origins and the federal government’s gain of function research that contributed to the pandemic,” he added.

McCarthy notes that the weaponization subcommittee is necessary because congressional Democrats and the Biden administration engaged in a “dangerous pattern of the government being used to target political opponents while they neglected their most basic responsibilities.”

RELATED: Conservative Victory: Dan Crenshaw Loses Race To Chair Homeland Security Committee to Freedom Caucus Member Green

MAGA Members Named to House Select Subcommittees

A couple of names that showed up on the House select subcommittees raised the ire of Democrats, particularly those associated with the MAGA movement.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) continued reaping the fruits of a kinship with McCarthy that would make Frank Luntz blush, being named to the COVID-19 subcommittee.

Greene celebrated the appointment, stating her intention to investigate the role of gain-of-function research, the Democrat “authoritarian” lockdowns, the ineffective vaccines forced on the American people, and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role.

Greene will also be sitting on the House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees.

Also named to the COVID subcommittee is former White House physician Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who has consistently challenged President Biden to undergo a mental fitness evaluation.

Jim Jordan (R-OH) will chair the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government after being rejected by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the January 6th panel.

RELATED: White House Terrified of MAGA Republicans Being Named to Committees Investigating Biden Administration

Liberals Aren’t Happy

Liberals on social media responded with outrage over MAGA Republicans representing their constituents on the select subcommittees.

Because see, it would be better to have completely partisan sham committees like the January 6th debacle.


Democratic Congressman Don Beyer dismissed both panels as “devoted to conspiracy theories.”

This is fine by us, since these days “conspiracy theories” mostly just means “the media hasn’t admitted it yet.”

House Judiciary Democrats lambasted McCarthy for having “sold out our democracy to empower MAGA extremists.”

Richard Stengel, a former Obama administration official, also took the dismissive ‘conspiracy theory’ path.

The ‘Weaponization’ subcommittee, Stengel claims, is “a body that creates rather than investigates conspiracy theories and which will eventually undermine itself.”

We literally just watched the January 6th sham create highly directed and produced filmography rather than evidence, doctored actual evidence, created conspiracy theories, and admitted they wanted to tell people what they should believe.

If Democrats are mad about MAGA Republicans serving on committees to provide a counterpoint to Democrat and media lies, then McCarthy is most definitely doing the right thing.


Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”

Continue Reading


Exclusive: Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare –




Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare

#older #mass #shooters #California #gunmen #rare

The gunmen in both of the recent shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, had an unusual profile compared to most perpetrators of violent crime: They were both senior citizens.

The Monterey Park gunman, who killed 11 and injured nine before fatally shooting himself, was 72. The Half Moon Bay gunman, who killed seven people before he was arrested in what police have characterized as an act of workplace violence, is 66.

Mass shooters of that age are rare, especially those with no prior criminal record, as was the case with the Half Moon Bay gunman. (The Monterey Park gunman had one arrest in 1990 for illegal possession of a firearm.) According to data from the National Institute of Justice, mass shooters between 1966 and 2021 were on average 34 years old, and those over the age of 60 accounted for a little over 3 percent of all mass shootings, which are defined as shootings in which four or more people are killed.

The notion that people “age out of crime” is one of the most well-documented phenomena in the field of criminology. The California shootings should be seen as exceptions to that principle, not as nullifying examples, according to Ashley Nellis, co-director of research for the Sentencing Project, which advocates for criminal justice reform.

“The predictability of age is probably the most reliable point of data that we have about people who commit violent crime. Young people are just substantially more likely, and by extension, older people are substantially unlikely, to commit crime,” Nellis said. “It’s certainly a cautionary note to anybody who would be jumping to make policy based on these two events.”

Research has repeatedly shown that criminal activity increases throughout teen years, reaches its highest point at age 17, the oldest that someone can be charged with a juvenile crime, and subsides thereafter throughout life. Property crime peaks at a slightly younger age than violent crime. But even chronic offenders would be statistically likely to stop committing crime by around the age of 40, Nellis said.

There are a lot of theories as to why that might be. Typical milestones associated with getting older, like graduating or getting married, may put people on a trajectory that veers away from criminality. Brain development isn’t complete until the mid-20s, hindering decision-making that might lead to crime and risky behavior. Young people have less financial security, and people in poverty are more likely to commit crimes. Some crimes might be physically demanding, and older people just might not have the strength to carry them out.

But both gunmen in the California shootings buck the archetype of a violent criminal, and their motives still aren’t entirely clear. Investigators have said that the Monterey Park shooter frequented the dance studio where he killed his victims and that the Half Moon Bay gunman, who lived and worked as a forklift driver at a mushroom farm, was angry at the coworkers he shot. Previously, there have been mass shooters as old as 70, including a gunman who opened fire at a church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and killed three people last June.

Though age can sometimes factor into the decision to impose a less harsh sentence on young offenders, the Half Moon Bay shooter’s advanced age won’t have any bearing on the length of his sentence, as is standard practice in the US.


He will be charged with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murder and sentencing enhancements for each count because of his use of a firearm, the San Mateo County district attorney announced Wednesday. If convicted on those charges, he could be facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (He won’t face the death penalty, given that California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, placed a moratorium on executions in the state in 2019.)

Life sentences without parole have become increasingly common in the US over the last few decades. But Nellis argues the age of older offenders like the Half Moon Bay shooter should be considered a mitigating factor when making sentencing decisions — especially given that the use of executive clemency to release them early has become nonexistent, as she writes in a 2022 report.

“Regardless of age, somebody who does commit an act of violence like this is likely to be rehabilitated, be reformed, be ready to return to society within 10 years,” she said.

Recidivism is unlikely among older people, according to data from the US Sentencing Commission, and keeping them in prison comes at a high taxpayer cost, which includes health care bills that balloon at the end of life. It’s difficult to say how much those who’ll decide the fate of the Half Moon Bay suspect will take that data into account; his initial arraignment is Wednesday.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2022 Talk Of News.