Russia is blaming its dead soldiers

Russia is running short of weapons: Jeremy Fleming’s message to the security community after the September 11 attack in Ukraine and the threat of nuclear retaliation

Jeremy Fleming, the director of Government Communications Headquarters, told the’Today’ program that they believed that Russia was running short of weapons.

The cost of people and equipment to Russia is staggering. Russian commanders on the ground know that their supplies are running out. Russia’s forces are exhausted.

Russian strikes left at least 19 people dead in Ukrainian cities on Monday and wreaked havoc on critical infrastructure.

The violent strikes follow Putin’s announcement of immediate military escalation in September, in which he threatened the possibility of nuclear retaliation.

Fleming said that any talk of nuclear weapons is very dangerous, and that we need to be careful about how we talk about that.

“I would hope that we would see indicators if they started to go down that path. But let’s be really clear about that, if they are considering that, that would be a catastrophe in the way that many people have talked about,” he added.

In a speech later Tuesday, Fleming will also say Russians are increasingly counting the cost of the invasion of Ukraine and are seeing “how badly” Putin “has misjudged the situation.”

His decision making has been flawed because of little effective internal challenge. It’s a high stakes strategy that is leading to strategic errors in judgement. Fleming will give an address at the annual security lecture in London, where he will say their gains are being reversed.

“They know their access to modern technologies and external influences will be drastically restricted. He will say that they are feeling the cost of his war of choice.

The Battle of Makiivka, Ukraine: The War on the Front Line Revisited: CNN’s Boris Rozhin

Shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day, a Ukrainian strike on the occupied city of Makiivka killed dozens of troops, with Russia’s Ministry of Defense claiming its soldiers’ cell phone use exposed their location.

According to both Ukrainian and pro-Russian accounts, the strike took place just after midnight on Sunday, New Year’s Day, on a vocational school housing Russian conscripts in Makiivka, in the Donetsk region.

Russian officials said that four Ukrainian-launched HIMARS rockets hit the vocational school where its forces were housed, apparently adjacent to a large arms depot. (Another two HIMARS rockets were shot down by Russian air defenses).

Video of the attack is being shared widely on Telegram and an official Ukrainian military channel. It shows a pile of smoking rubble, in which almost no part of the building appears to be standing.

The high command is unaware of the weapon’s capabilities, according to a former official in the Russia backed Donetsk administration.

A Russian propagandist who blogs about the war effort on Telegram, Igor Girkin, claimed that the building was almost completely destroyed by the secondary detonation of ammunition stores.

Girkin has long decried Russian generals whom he claims direct the war effort far from the frontline. A Dutch court of mass murder found him guilty for his involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the death of over 700 people.

Boris Rozhin, who also blogs about the war effort under the nickname Colonelcassad, said that “incompetence and an inability to grasp the experience of war continue to be a serious problem.”

David Andelman is a commentator for CNN who won a Deadline Club Award twice for “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen”. He was formerly a correspondent for CBS News in Europe and Asia. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinion on it.

The US and its allies have already sent nearly $50 billion in aid and equipment to Ukraine’s military over the past year. To rebuild its own stockpiles and to keep up with the increasing demands on its soldiers, the Defense Department is racing to re-arm and embarking on the biggest increase in ammunition production in decades.

If the account is accurate, it’s the cell phones that novice troops used that allowed Ukrainian forces to target them most accurately. Ukraine, however, has not indicated how the attack was executed. The implications are bigger and deeper for how Russia is conducting its war now.

It is telling that days after the deadliest known attack on Russian servicemen, President Vladimir Putin called for a temporary ceasefire, citing the Orthodox Christmas holiday. The move was rightly dismissed by Ukraine and the US as a cynical attempt to seek breathing space amid a very bad start to the year for Russian forces.

The high mobility cannonball system has a range of 80 kilometers. Ukrainians have continued to plead that a long-range 300-kilometer hims has been authorized. (The Biden administration has worried that the longer-range system could expand the war beyond Ukraine’s frontiers and lead to an escalation of hostilities.)

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, one of the biggest surprises has been the willingness of Western countries to give up more sophisticated military equipment in favor of the Ukrainians, which left European militaries’ stock cupboards looking rather bare.

The reality that Russia cannot communicate adequately is the main reason why Russia has not been able to break up or move large arms depots.

It’s a view shared by other experts. James Lewis, director of the strategic technology program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me in an e-mail that the Russian army practices bad security communications.

A lot of Russia’s warBlogging is casting doubt. “As expected, the blame for what happened in Makiivka began to be placed on the soldiers themselves,” said a post on the Telegram channel known as “Grey Zone,” linked to longtime Kremlin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group of mercenaries. “In this case, it is to 99% a lie and an attempt to throw off the blame.”

Indeed, a number of the most recent arrivals to the war are inmates from Russian prisons, freed and transferred immediately to the Ukrainian front. One can only imagine how appealing the use of cell phones would be to prisoners accustomed to years of isolation with little or no contact with the outside world.

On Putin’s Last Push to End the War Against the Kremlin: A Defense Minister Blatantly Trying to Smealot a Military General

What happens when the blame begins shifting from the military to Putin himself, since he hasn’t done enough to change the leadership at the top? The last change was the promotion of an army general previously in charge of the brutal bombing of Syria to the position of overall command of Russian troops in the Ukraine front.

Semyon Pegov, who blogs under the alias WarGonzo and was personally awarded the Order of Courage by President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin two weeks ago, attacked the Ministry of Defense for its “blatant attempt to smear blame” in suggesting it was the troops’ own use of cell phones that led to the precision of the attack.

He questioned how the Ministry of Defense could be “so sure” that the location of soldiers lodging in a school building could not have been determined using drone surveillance or a local informant.

A month before, the defense ministry made a change when Gen. Bulgakov was replaced by Col.Gen. Mikhail Y. Mizintsev. The location of the arms depot, adjacent to the Makiivka recruits, would likely have been on Mizintsev’s watch.

Sergei Shoigu, who is also Putin’s defense minister, told his forces in a video that their victory was inevitable in the Makiivka attack.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, said that the international community will continue to support Ukrainians until Russian President Putin ends his war of choice.

Bush said many allies in Europe are increasing their orders for US military equipment because of the war. He added that foreign military sales are usually known well in advance, but that is not true of the need in Ukraine.

As the war in Ukraine stretches into its second year, the US and its allies face an acute problem – Ukraine is burning through ammunition faster than the US and NATO can produce them.

The NATO Secretary General said on Monday that theUkraine’s current rate of expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production, which is putting our defense industries under strain.

How to Run a Successful Ammunition Plant: How the Scranton Army Will Respond to the Ukrainian War and the Nuclear Arms-Churning Problem

“The combination of no immediate threat and the financial pressures on European governments over the past couple of decades led to a conspiracy of dressing the shop window while letting the stockroom empty out,” said Nick Witney, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

policymaking can sometimes be based on assumptions of the best-case scenario, as demonstrated by the upcoming ammunition crisis. After all, taking no action, in the short-term at least, is often cheaper than taking action.

Running full-tilt, as it was on a recent January morning, the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant churns out roughly 11,000 artillery shells a month. That may seem like a lot, but the Ukrainian military often fires that many shells over just a few days.

The plant is getting a huge expansion due to new defense spending from the Pentagon. It’s investing in new high-tech machinery, hiring a few dozen additional workers and will eventually shift to a 24/7 schedule of constant production.

“It’s certainly ramped up over the last year. As we bring in more modern equipment, it’ll be able to ramp up even further,” said Todd Smith, senior director of General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, which operates the plant for the Army.

The Army is going to increase the number of shells they produce by 500%, according to Doug Bush. Much of that increase will be fulfilled by the Scranton plant, which makes a large share of the country’s supply of artillery shells.

Bush told CNN the Army intends to double the production of Javelin anti-tank missiles, make roughly 33% more Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) surface-to-surface medium-range missiles a year, and produce each month a minimum of 60 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles – which were “almost not in production at all,” according to Bush.

Stinger and Javelin missiles are some of the most critical and relied-upon munitions by Ukraine to thwart Russian ground advances and aerial assaults, who previously told the US that it needs 500 of each every day.

“The war hinges heavily on defense industrial production, and these are critical investments that the US and ultimately Ukraine will benefit from, but the question is, were they made too late to affect what could be the decisive phases of the conflict this year,” said Michael Kofman, director of Russia Studies at the Center for Naval Analyses, a national security research non-profit.

The war in Ukraine has left the US with a large amount of work to do in rebuilding its own inventories, which some experts think is dangerous.

The weapon systems that we have in key locations so we can pre-position them if necessary, is one way we want to deter conflict, and it’s one part of our overall deterrence strategy. “That’s not where we’re at right now.”

The Pentagon is working to speed things up as best it can. Part of that effort involves changing the way it structures work order for the country’s large defense contractors. The military is not always on year-to-year contracts and it is difficult for partners to plan ahead with production and staff in order to meet the needs of the military.

Jones said that if the Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force moved what it had allotted in budget to a different platform, there would be no defense company in the right mind to start producing weapons.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that they were going to deliver the support they had promised to Ukraine. We are going to put skills into the hands of trained Ukrainian forces so they can be implemented on the battlefield.

Last week, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced a bill to end US support for Ukraine, a measure supported by a handful of far-right lawmakers including Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar. GOP sources, however, have told CNN that it’s only a small group of Republican lawmakers who are against funding aid to Ukraine.

According to sources, Kevin McCarthy has since apologized to senior defense hawks in the House for suggesting that Republicans would slow down funding for Ukraine if they assumed majority control.

The Prigozhin Problem and the Defense Ministry’s Overcoming “Second Operation” on the Crimean Crimea

If all goes according to plan, in a year production rates in the US will be much higher than they are now, Bush said. And while the hope is that the conflict in Ukraine is over long before then, Bush is confident the US military and industrial base would be ready for whatever comes next.

Prigozhin believes there is enough ammunition supply in Russia, as “the industry has reached the required levels” and can provide for the country’s needs but said he “can’t solve this problem despite all of my acquaintances and connections.”

Prigoyev said he was told to “go and apologize to someone high up” who he has a “difficult relationship” with.

In January, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced another reshuffle of the commanders leading the war in Ukraine, amid mounting criticism over its handling of the military operations in Ukraine.

Prigozhin has praised Gen. Surovikin for managing an orderly withdrawal of Russian forces in the southern Kherson region last year but has been critical of the larger handling by the Ministry of Defense and other top Russian generals of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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