A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Dec 6, 2022

US Plans "Dramatic" Increase In Ammunition For Ukraine and Its Own Use

Congress has appropriated funds for the US to triple artillery ammunition production in the expectation that Ukraine's battle against Russian invasion will continue "indefinitely." JL 

Joe Gould reports in Defense News:

The U.S. Army is seeking a “dramatic” ramp up in monthly production of 155mm artillery shells. “Funding is already in place, contracts are underway to triple 155mm production. There’s funding on the Hill, in the supplemental, to more than double that again." The push comes as the U.S. has supplied Ukraine with more than 1 million artillery rounds, and as Pentagon officials see the war in Ukraine continuing indefinitely. the Army is paying to expand production at its ammunition plants. Army officials also aim to contract with defense firms outside the U.S. for artillery shells for Ukraine. The army is also doubling production for the precision munitions.

Russian State-Owned, 2nd Largest Bank Hit By "Unprecedented" Cyberattack

Although Ukraine has not admitted it is responsible for the cyberattack on Russia's VTB bank - and it may not be, directly - it is interesting how forces allied with Ukraine are increasingly turning Russian tactics and weapons against it. Effectively. JL 

Yahoo Finance reports:

Russia's No. 2 State-owned VTB bank said it was repelling the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, in which hackers attempt to flood a network with unusually high volumes of data traffic in order to paralyse it. VTB said the majority of attacks had come from abroad, but that it was particularly concerned by traffic from Russian IP addresses. It said it would hand over all identified Russian IP addresses to law enforcement. "The bank's technological infrastructure is under an unprecedented cyber attack."

Russia Shocked War Opponents Actually Shoot Back: Airfields, Bakhmut, Kreminna

The New York Times and other pearl-clutching, victim-blaming western news organizations seem to worry more about the threat of Ukrainians defending themselves creatively than Russian war crimes.  

Yeah, imagine the nerve of those Ukrainians. JL 

Mark Sumner reports in Daily Kos:

A Ukrainian drone hysteria has half of Russia staring suspiciously at the skies. The exchange between the two countries is still hugely lopsided, but Russians seem shocked at the idea that someone might actually shoot back.In addition to attacks on Russian airfields, Ukraine is  “flooding” Bakhmut with reinforcements, including Special Forces units at the forefront of counteroffensives in Kharkiv and Kherson. (And) as fighting continues along the P66 highway, Ukrainian forces in the woods to the south are reported to be even closer to Kreminna. 

Crypto Hypocrites Demanding 'Freedom" Now Blaming Govt For Not Regulating FTX

After years of screaming that the government was interfering with the natural wealth creation opportunity represented by cryptocurrencies, these same crypto advocates are now whining that the government should have regulated FTX to prevent its failure. 

The reality, of course, is that crypto was established to evade taxes and oversight, though the risks are now becoming apparent. JL 

James Surowiecki reports in The Atlantic:

More than mere hypocrisy is at work in the case of crypto. Advocates are trying to create the impression that Bankman-Fried got away with his scheme thanks to regulatory failures, because they’re worried that FTX’s demise will end up tarring the entire industry as a scam. What happened at FTX shows that self-regulation is not going to protect investors. The company’s collapse is damning for crypto because it demonstrates how fragile these supposed multibillion-dollar businesses can be. FTX fell apart not because of fraud, but because a sell-off in the value of its fake currency.

How Ukrainian Air Defenses And Winter Limiting Russia's Ability To Continue Fighting

Improved Ukrainian air defense and Russia's reliance on sub-optimal visual guidance as well as unguided 'dumb' munitions are making it difficult for Russia to mount air support for ground attacks. 

This, in turn, reduces the chances of success for Russia's continued invasion of Ukraine because these handicaps increase the risk for Russian troops and limit their ability to prevail. JL 

Isabel Van Brugen reports in Newsweek:

In recent months, the number of sudden attacks by Russian tactical combat aircraft over Ukraine has "reduced significantly." Russian attacks are being limited by Ukrainian air defenses and the colder winter weather. Putin's air force is now conducting tens of missions daily, after losing more than 60 fixed-wing aircraft since the conflict began. In March, Russia was flying 300 missions a day in Ukraine. "With Russia's ground attack tactics reliant on visual identification and unguided munitions, the Russian air force will continue a low rate of ground attacks through the winter weather."

Ukraine Drones Hit Russian Airfields For 2nd Day As Putin Rages At His Military

Drone attacks suspected of originating with Ukraine's military struck targets deep inside Russia for a second day, humiliating the Kremlin and raising serious questions about the efficacy of Russian air defenses. 

Putin is reportedly furious and has threatened to punish the Russian officers 'responsible' for failing to defend the bases,  letting the attacks succeed. JL 

Jamey Keaton reports in AP via ABC:

A fire broke out at an airport in Russia’s Kursk region bordering Ukraine after a drone hit the facility. In a second incident, an industrial plant 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Ukrainian border was also targeted by drones. The attacks on Russian bases — more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) from the border with Ukraine — were deeply embarrassing and exposed the vulnerability of some of Russia’s most strategic military sites, raising questions about the effectiveness of their air defenses.

Dec 5, 2022

How Cold Weather Gear and Equipment Give Ukraine A Winter Advantage Over Russia

NATO countries have been sending cold weather gear to Ukraine since the weather began to turn in October. The country has provided most units with rudimentary but effective stoves for their tents and dugouts. 

But new Russian conscripts are reportedly having to buy their own winter clothing, sleeping bags and tents. Discomfort could be a crucial factor. JL 

Dan Sabbagh reports in The Guardian:

A key element of the winter struggle will be who has the best kit. Donations have been pouring in from western allies. Canada said it would send 500,000 items of winter clothing, Germany 100,000 warm jackets, Britain 25,000 full sets, with Nordic countries also contributing. The real questions come for the Russians. Russian media are full of stories of newly mobilised conscripts in the frontline having to buy their own thermal gear and sleeping bags, even stoves for basic heating.  “It is easy to become demoralised in the cold."