A Blog by Jonathan Low


Oct 1, 2022

Russia Formally Announces Its Troops Have 'Withdrawn' From Lyman

Russian troops are advancing in reverse. There's no sugar-coating this news for Putin. JL 

DW reports:

Russia's military has acknowledged its withdrawal from the strategically important town of Lyman in Donetsk. The town is in the area Vladimir Putin unilaterally declared as annexed Russian territory. The pullback is a major upset for President Putin, who proclaimed the annexation of the Donetsk region, along with three other regions just a day earlier. "Troops were withdrawn from the settlement of Liman to more advantageous lines," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

2nd Russian Official In Kherson Killed By Ukrainian Missile Within 5 Days Of 1st

Being a Russian collaborator in Kherson is almost as dangerous as standing near a tall building's window in Moscow. JL 

RIA Novosti reports via RFE/RL:

Russian-imposed authorities in Ukraine's Kherson region said on September 30 that the Moscow-appointed deputy governor of the partially occupied region, Aleksei Katerinichev, was killed in a Ukrainian missile strike. Five days earlier, state media outlets in Russia reported that former Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksiy Zhuravko, who joined the Russian side after Moscow troops took some parts of the Kherson region in March, was killed in a Ukrainian missile attack. 

The Reason Russia's Iranian Drone Impact Has Been Disappointing

Many of the Iranian drones have failed due to maintenance and operational issues. In addition, Ukrainian forces have figured out how to shoot them down - and even attacked the base where Iranians were training Russian operators, killing most of them. JL 

James Bickerton reports in Newsweek:

Iranian-made drones being used by Russian forces in Ukraine have suffered from "numerous failures on the battleground." the Russians are using Iranian Shahed-136 loitering munitions, also known as kamikaze drones, along with Mohajer-6 drones, which can carry out airstrikes or reconnaissance. The Air Force Command of Ukraine's Armed Forces said that  it had shot down four Shahed-136 drones over the southern Mykolaiv region.

How A Famed Russian Regiment Getting Destroyed Again In A Putin War

The 752nd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment - the Guards designation is a signal honor in the Russian army - is about to be annihilated for the second time in one of Putin's wars. 

First surrounded in Putin's 1994 attack on Grozny, in Chechnya, the 752nd now finds itself in Lyman, Ukraine and about to suffer the same fate. JL 

David Axe reports in Forbes:

Among the thousands of Russians reportedly trapped in Lyman are members of the 752nd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment. It’s a regiment with a tragic tradition of getting cut off, surrounded and all but destroyed. The 752nd GMRR was one of two regiment-size units that, on New Year’s Eve in 1994, got enveloped in Grozny during the first of Russia’s two bloody wars in Chechnya. The 752nd GMRR barely survived the First Chechen War. Its chances in Ukraine aren’t much better.

As Ukrainians Take Control of Lyman 5,000+ Russians May Be Captured or Killed

The humiliation of Putin's army continues. Dozens of Russian tanks and artillery have been abandoned in or around Lyman, while thousands of Russian soldiers are dead or captured. JL 

Mark Sumner reports in Daily Kos:

Ukraine has taken Lyman. Any Russian forces remaining are surrounded (in) an area in the north central part of the city. While some reports indicate that 5,000 Russian and LPR forces remained within the shrinking “pocket” at Lyman, Russian forces that remain likely number in the hundreds. As the escaping forces ran a gauntlet of Ukrainian artillery, anti-tank weapons, and heavy machine gun fire, they took significant losses. Damaged armor clogged the route. They were also slowed because the road leading into Lyman had been mined. "Government channels are beginning to admit there was some problem at Lyman, but they’re not making a big deal about (it). Actually, it’s a disaster."

Only 18.5 Percent of Homes In Worst Hit Florida Counties Have Flood Insurance

Fewer than half the homeowners in Florida have flood insurance despite water damage being the biggest cause of destruction from hurricanes - and only 18.5% of the homes in the areas hit hardest by Ian have it. 

Some of these people mistakenly believe their homeowners insurance will cover it - which it almost certainly does not (wind damage yes, flooding no). Some are just playing hurricane roulette - hoping they dont get hit - or assume the federal government will swoop in and make them whole - which, again, almost never happens. The problem in Florida is that powerful real estate interests continue to press for more development and weak zoning, making the state even more vulnerable. JL

Christopher Flavelle reports in the New York Times:

In the counties whose residents were told to evacuate, just 18.5% of homes have coverage. Regular homeowners’ insurance policies typically don’t pay for damage caused by flooding. The low takeup rates for federal flood insurance in areas hit by Hurricane Ian mean it will take longer for those communities to rebuild, imperiling their economies and prolonging suffering. “These people believe their homeowners’ insurance policy will cover them. Or they think federal disaster aid is going to make them whole.” But federal disaster aid is less generous than people assume.

Sep 30, 2022

Why Taking Back Crimea Is Now A Logical Ukraine Objective

With the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory as well as the sabotage of gas pipelines to Europe, Putin has signaled that he respects no law but raw power. 

With Ukraine beating his invasion army on all fronts, it is time to consider more audacious goals both to free captured territory and to further undermine Putin's regime. JL 

Ashish Sen reports in the Center for European Policy Analysis:

The counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces in Kherson in Southern Ukraine suggests Ukrainian forces intend to eventually converge on Crimea. “Crimea is the prize. Victory will be when that last Russian soldier walks along that long bridge and [the Russian troops are] gone from Crimea. Once Ukrainians are able to get HIMARS or other rocket launching systems within range and they start putting a rocket on Russian bases in Crimea, then it is just a matter of time.”