A Blog by Jonathan Low


Nov 27, 2022

Iranian Drone Experts Training Russians In Crimea Killed By Ukraine

In the contemporary, connected, world there are few secrets and even fewer actions for which there are not consequences. JL 

Julian Borger reports in The Guardian:

Ukraine’s top security official has confirmed that Iranian military advisers have been killed in Crimea, and warned that any other Iranians on occupied Ukrainian territory in support of Moscow’s invasion would also be targeted. “They were on our territory and if they collaborate with terrorists and participate in the destruction of our nation we must kill them.”

Where Will Ukraine Attack the Russians Next?

The Russians are digging in south of Kherson and in eastern Donbas. The question is which front is less likely to put up a stiff defense in the short term while providing optimal strategic value in the long term. 

Either way, the Russians do not appear to have sufficient forces to defend for long once the Ukrainians decide. JL 

Stavros Atlamazoglou reports in 19fortyfive:

In the south, the Ukrainian military is setting up the conditions for the liberation of the eastern bank of the Dnipro River after the liberation of the western part of the Kherson province and its capital, Kherson City. The south of the Donbas is the only place in the entire battlefield where the Russian military retains some sort of offensive initiative. But Moscow hasn’t been achieving anything with that initiative. The Russian military is desperately trying to hold its ground in the east and prevent the Ukrainians from advancing forward and liberating more territory.

How This World Cup's High Tech Tracking Ball May Change Soccer

By providing lots of new performance data to measure for players, teams, tactics, games. JL 

Ben Dowsett reports in Five Thirty-Eight:

All tournament long, match balls will contain a sensor that collects spatial positioning data in real time — the first World Cup to employ such a ball-tracking mechanism. This, combined with existing optical tracking tools, will make VAR (video assistant referees) and programs like offside reviews more accurate. Any time the ball is kicked, headed, thrown or tapped, the system picks it up at 500 frames per second. Data is sent in real time from sensors to a local positioning system. Teams and players could use the data for next-generation tactical analysis; broadcasts could use it to visualize the game and draw in new viewers. Fans could have access to new stats

How Ukraine Fighting Is Determining the Future of US Warfare

US interventions in Vietnam, Afghanistan and, to a lesser extent, Iraq, are regarded as wasteful and ineffective, if not total failures. 

The US support for Ukraine, by contrast, is proving to be a hallmark of success. The US and its allies are providing their clearly superior weaponry and tactical guidance, but without having to commit their own troops. This may be a model for the future: only supporting those peoples who demonstrate that they are willing to fight for themselves. JL

Phillips O'Brien reports in The Atlantic:

American military aid to Ukraine has been remarkably effective, especially in comparison with the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan. America providing a high level of military support without deploying American forces is not just the best way to help Ukraine and thwart Putin. (And) the US intervention has helped reinvigorate NATO. It offers a model for how the U.S. should define (future) military involvement. The US should avoid direct fighting overseas to the extent possible and intervene in wars only to support peoples and nations that want to fight for themselves. Ukraine proves the U.S. can provide more effective strategic aid than any other country without having to rely on its own troops. 

Ukrainian Hospital In Kherson Stymied Russians With Fake Covid Outbreak

The story of unarmed resistance at Tropinka hospital in Kherson has been repeated in many areas that were under Russian occupation. 

Though there were some collaborators, most Ukrainians appear to have found ways to stymie the Russians. JL 

Ian Lovett reports in the Wall Street Journal:

A battle for control of the hospital raged through the entire occupation. The Russians detained two doctors, banned Ukrainian symbols and put hand-picked people in charge. To thwart them, the staff faked a Covid-19 outbreak, hid equipment and spied for Ukrainian forces. Before the Russian withdrawal from Kherson, officials showed up at the hospital, eyeing equipment to steal. Employees took computers home so the Russians couldn’t swipe them. The staff’s resistance was part of an eight-month, mostly unarmed campaign by Kherson residents to keep the city out of Moscow’s full control

As Combat Pace Increases With Winter Freeze, Russia Doesn't Have Enough Troops

Mud season in Ukraine in ending and the ground is beginning to freeze, making it easier for heavy military equipment to maneuver. This will likely lead to an increase in combat, especially in Donbas.

But Russia doesn't have enough troops either to attack or to defend against Ukrainian forces, raising questions about what they will do against the better-equipped and trained Ukrainians. JL 

Khaleda Rahman reports in Newsweek:

The overall pace of military operations in Ukraine may increase in the coming weeks but as temperatures drop and the ground freezes." (But) Russia is unlikely to be able to gather forces of sufficient quality to capture the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Russia has ramped up its attacks on Ukraine's critical infrastructure after suffering a series of battlefield setbacks nine months into its invasion. "However, Russia is unlikely to be able to concentrate sufficient quality forces to achieve an operational breakthrough."

Nov 26, 2022

Reports That Kremlin Plotting To Assassinate Belarus' Lukashenko To Use His Army vs Ukraine

Lukashenko has avoided committing his troops because he knows his people oppose the invasion of Ukraine. 

So even if the Kremlin plot succeeded, it might backfire, leading to revolution in Belarus, tying down even more Russian troops. JL 

Ukrinform reports:

Sources within the Russian military say the Kremlin has made a decision on a radical “solution” to the issue of dragging Belarus into Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. “On the instructions of President Vladimir Putin, the Russian military intelligence may attempt to pursue either an assassination attempt targeting Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko or its imitation, with the aim of prompting (Belarus) to finally order his troops to directly engage in the war on Ukraine. Russian is looking into Lukashenko’s death and his replacement by Stanislav Zas, who is “fully loyal to Russia and under GRU’s control.”