The American Political Scene and Aid to Ukraine

My bias on this blog is to stay away from politics, but sometimes it can’t be helped. The U..S. is providing about half the international aid to Ukraine. I have not done the exact math on this comparing U.S. military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as compared to our NATO allies, plus the EU aid (which is sometimes left out of people’s calculations), plus aid outside of NATO/EU (like Japan, South Korea and Australia). So, haven’t done the exact math in a while, but I gather the U.S, portion is around half. Therefore, what is going on in the House of Representatives and the 2024 U.S. presidential election is worth noting. If Ukraine losses half of its military and humanitarian aid, this does affect its ability to conduct on this war.

First, while the current president supports aid to Ukraine, as do the leaders of both parties in the Senate, the current Republican Speaker of the House does not (although he does support aid for Israel). His latest statement on the subject was that it was not an “urgent need” compared to aid for Israel. Furthermore, three of the top four Republican candidates for President do not support additional aid to Ukraine.

It is uncertain to what extent the Republican controlled House opposes aid to Ukraine. There are currently 212 seats held by Democrats (who mostly support aid to Ukraine) and 221 seats held by the Republicans (and 2 vacant). The total amount of support committed by the U.S. to Ukraine is at least $133 Billion. 

In January the Gallup poll (3-22 January) says that 65% of Americans support the war in Ukraine. 31% clearly do not. This is pretty much the same figures as in August 2022 (66% vs 31%). Among self-identified Democrats the split was 81% to 16%, among independents it was 59% to 38% and among Republicans it was 53% to 41%. So, according to the Gallup poll, the majority of Republicans support Ukraine. On the other hand, 47% of the Republicans polled said that the U.S. is doing too much to help UkrainePrevious polling from Washington Post shows that 52% of Republicans want to reduce aid to Ukraine or “…want their member of congress to opposed additional funding.” 

The leading two contenders for the Republican presidential nomination are both opposed to extensive aid for Ukraine. Ron Desantis said that it was a not a “vital” U.S. interest. He got immediate pushback from six U.S. Republican senators, but it is clear that there is a very definite split in the Republican Party on this issue. It is a long way until November 2024. We will have to see how this develops.

Eleven Republican members of the House did propose in February a resolution (“Ukraine Fatigue Resolution”) to cut aid to Ukraine. There is a clearly a vocal minority that is opposed to supporting Ukraine, along with both leading Republican presidential candidates. The “Ukraine Fatigue Resolution” is worth a read. It is here: Text – H.Res.113 – 118th Congress (2023-2024): Ukraine Fatigue Resolution | Congress.gov | Library of Congress.

A letter was issued on 20 April (Hitler’s birthday) calling for an end to unrestrained U.S. aid to Ukraine. It was signed by three senators (out of 100) and 16 members of the house (out of 435). There is a vocal minority opposed to this war, but it is clearly a minority. 

Meanwhile, a Republican House member submitted a resolution in April recognizing the borders of Ukraine as being the 1991 borders. This was supported by 13 Democrats and 5 other Republicans. 

On 13 July, the House took a vote on cutting off aid to Ukraine. The vote was 358-70 rejecting the amendment. All 70 opposed votes were Republican. See: Here are the 70 House Republicans who voted to cut off all US military aid to Ukraine (msn.com).

The U.S. resolved its “debt crisis” in June with the debt limit being suspended until 2025. Defense spending is capped at $886 billion, or 3.5% increase over the previous year. This matches the current administrations budget request. Spending on defense is limited to a 1% growth in 2025, or up to $895 billion. 

In September, a shutdown of U.S. government was delayed for 45 days (until mid-November), then the Republican Speaker of the House was thrown out of office for the first time in the U.S. history and a new speaker has finally been appointed, although house business was shut down for three weeks (did anyone actually miss them?). New additional aid for Ukraine has not been passed.

The second Republican primary debate occurred on 27 September. Four candidates clearly and strongly indicated that they support Ukraine (Christie, Haley, Pence and Scott). The Republican Party seems to split on this issue. Recent polling shows the majority of Americans still support Ukraine.

A few dates to keep in mind for the American political campaigns: 1) the third Republican primary debate is scheduled for 8 November, 2) Donald Trump currently leads the polling for the Republican Party presidential nomination by significant margins. He is currently in a civil trial in New York concerning his businesses. A summary judgment was issued on 26 September that his companies had committed fraud, 3) no start date has been set for the Fulton County Georgia case, but four of the defendants have pleaded guilty under a plea agreement. The other 15 defendants, including Donald Trump, will be going to trial soon, 4) the Iowa caucuses will be on 15 January 2024, 5) the Nevada primary will be on 6 February 2024, 6) the New Hampshire primary is scheduled for 13 February 2024, 7) 24 February is SC primary, then MI, 8) The date for the DOJ Special Council criminal trial for charges related to the 6 January incidents in now scheduled for 4 March. We gather Trump’s former chief of staff has taken a partial immunity deal with the government and will be providing testimony, 9) on 5 March 14 states will hold their primaries and between 9 – 23 March another 15 states/territories will hold their primaries. The Republican nominee could be decided by then, 10) 25 March is the trial date for Donald Trump’s New York Stormy Daniel’s related case, 11) 20 May is the trial date for Donald Trump’s classified documents case, 12) last Republican primary is 4 June 2024. I actually do think this is war related news as the currently the three of the four leading Republican presidential candidates do not support Ukraine.

Former VP and Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence was in Ukraine in July. He fully supports the war effort. A couple of days ago, he suspended his campaign. There are for practical purposes, only 6 real contenders are left, and two of them may not yet make the stage in Florida come 8 November.

The False Lessons of Modern War

Hard to ignore an article that name checks Trevor Dupuy and I. Attached is an article by William F. Owen in the British Army Review, Autumn 2023 Issue. I hope I am not breaking some copyright by posting it up: Owen, The False Lessons of Modern War-Why Ignorance is Not Insight (2023). It is available on-line here: The false lessons of modern war: Why ignorance is not insight – Issuu. The full title of the article is “The False Lessons of Modern War: Why Ignorance is not Insight.”

Trevor Dupuy is namechecked in the article: “Much was less than certain, yet paradoxically, a book written in 1978, Trevor N Dupuy’s Elusive Victory, had got far more right than later writers were to get wrong.” That is a pretty strong endorsement. 

He then footnotes the book in his third footnote, referencing losses in 1967.

In the following paragraph he states: “Simply put, no conflict today comes even close to these types of losses, yet the myth persists that war and warfare are becoming ‘more lethal.’ They are not, and a large body of literature proves it.” His footnote to this paragraph then states “See the collected work of Trevor N Dupuy and Christopher Lawrence, Understanding War, War by Numbers and Attrition.”

I like this guy, but I have never met him. He is certainly welcome to present at the third HAAC: The Third HAAC – October 2024? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

A few other quotes from the article worth mentioning:

  1. “Lessons should be a product of analysis, not observation.” (I put this sentence in bold for a reason).
  2. “Observations have often been wrong” (this is his following sentence)
  3. “Warfare in the Russo-Ukrainian War is two or three generations behind the standard competent, well-trained armies should aspire to operate.”
  4. “…fires lead manoeuvre in contrast to the opinions of the ‘manouverist approach.” (spell check is complaining about the British spellings).
  5. “Fast forward to today and the war in Ukraine; there is far less to be learned than in 1973.”
  6. “Why should the lessons from Ukraine be removed from the specific context of the participant’s differing training and equipment level and be relevant to the British Army?”
  7. “Is something that is a lesson for the Ukrainians a lesson for everyone else?”
  8. “In sharp contrast, the current war in Ukraine sees much-outdated equipment in ad-hoc combat formations, not seemingly underpinned by NATO equivalent training, doctrine and organisation levels.”

I will let you read the rest, but this is a definitely an article worth reading, even if you find yourself not in agreement with all parts of it. 

I do want to thank Dr. Shawn Woodford for bringing this to my attention.

 

P.S.

Elusive Victory is available here: TDI Books For Sale (dupuyinstitute.org)

Understanding War is here: TDI Books For Sale (dupuyinstitute.org)

War by Numbers is here: War by Numbers : Nebraska Press (unl.edu) or here: War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat: Lawrence, Christopher A.: 9781612348865: Amazon.com: Books

Attrition is here: TDI Books For Sale (dupuyinstitute.org). Inventory is getting low for this one.

Of Rockets and Hospitals

Below is a new blog post from our friend William (Chip) Sayers. As it about the current fighting between Hamas and Israel, I am almost afraid to post it, as anything you say is going to offend someone somewhere. But… we push forward, in the spirit of open discussion, putting the usual disclaimer that this is Chip Sayers’ personal evaluation and does not represent the position of The Dupuy Institute, and so on and so forth.

His posting:

Of Rockets and Hospitals

Recently, a Gaza City hospital was reportedly destroyed with great loss of life. At first, the Israeli Air Force was blamed — with all the footage of buildings collapsing after IAF strikes, it seemed the logical explanation. However, a second narrative sprang up when an audio file of what was purported to a Hamas guerilla reporting to his leadership that the strike was actually by a malfunctioning Hamas rocket inadvertently falling on the hospital. If one blindly believes one side or the other, this is a simple problem: the bad guys did it and are trying to shift the blame to the good guys. For the rest of us with more critical minds, we want to know if this is something that can be teased apart to reveal the truth.

First off, we need to explore motive: why would either side deliberately do this? The Hamas audio file clearly portrays the incident as an accident, so motive is not a factor on their side — they didn’t mean to do it. 

Israel’s position in more complex. Two weeks into this war, Tel Aviv has more worldwide support than they have enjoyed in decades, primarily it seems, due to the savage nature of Hamas’ surprise attack and a clear attempt to intimidate Israel through deliberately repulsive inhumane actions. This support may not last long and any misstep by Tel Aviv could cause it to vanish altogether. Certainly, the deliberate bombing of a Palestinian hospital would qualify as a massive misstep. Therefore, it seems highly unlikely that Israel would risk so much for so little advantage. Indeed, what advantage could be derived from such a strike? Even if Netanyahu was hell-bent on genocide, this would be a bad move at this stage of the war.

If Israel did this, it is far more likely that it was a mistake — similar to the U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade twenty-four years ago. In that particular case, we had paid little attention to Yugoslavia for the previous decade and our files were in pitiful shape [Chip would probably know this due to his background]. Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy had moved without our notice. I’m sure the Dept. of State knew exactly where it was, but Dept. of Defense, not so much. Could this have been the result of a similar mistake? Possibly, but Gaza isn’t a backwater that Israeli intelligence has ignored for the previous decade. Further, hospitals — particularly in wartime — have distinct signatures: lots of traffic, including multiple ambulances at any given time, 24-hour service, plus they are usually distinctively marked. So, it seems unlikely that it could have been a case of misidentification.

If this was not an intentional act, could it have been some kind of mistake? The strategic bombing campaign against Germany in WWII is replete with examples of bombers — even lead bombers — being hit at the moment of bomb release which cause the deadly payloads to go astray. In December, 1972, a USAF B-52 infamously damaged the Bac Mai hospital in Hanoi in a similar occurrence. Further, the bombs themselves can be damaged such that fins are bent or fail to deploy, causing the missile to go astray. Even GPS-guided bombs can malfunction or fall to human error with unintended consequences. On 5 December 2001, Hamid Karzai, future President of Afghanistan was almost killed when an attack controller changed the batteries on his GPS kit just before a strike and inadvertently ordered the bomb onto his own coordinates. Could this have been a malfunction or mistake on the part of the IAF? Yes, absolutely.

Could this have been caused by a Hamas rocket? Yes. In fact, it’s inevitable. While some of Hamas’ rockets are factory-made in Iran, it appears that the vast majority are “homemade” in small sheet-metal shops on-site. While the designs have been largely standardized, the potential for malfunctions is fairly high. When tens of thousands of rockets are launched, a certain percentage of them are inevitably going to go astray. In point of fact, Hamas and Hezbollah actually depend on the fact that these things land indiscriminately among the general population of Israel. While a portion of Hezbollah’s rockets are guided to one degree or another, the vast majority of both group’s are not, so many of the attacking rockets may be malfunctioning without anyone being the wiser. It’s actually surprising that more “short rounds” of Hamas rockets haven’t been reported falling on Gaza.

So, what can the actual damage to the hospital tell us? Well, for one thing, it tells us someone is lying. It is almost inconceivable that 500 people died in that strike given the damage reported. Had the hospital collapsed entirely, that would be a high figure. But there is no significant structural damage to the building to be seen and a very small crater in the pavement (2-3 feet deep by about as wide), consistent with the detonation of a relatively small rocket warhead detonation. A dozen, two dozen, maybe a handful more deaths could have resulted, but 500 is patently ludicrous. In a perfect storm of circumstances, a 2,000lb bomb might have done that kind of damage, but it would have had to be an airburst detonation roughly 30-50 feet above the ground. That would almost certainly have been a preplanned act with deliberate fuzeing to kill the maximum number of people. We have seen no evidence whatsoever that the IAF has made other attacks in a similar fashion. A malfunction or mistake with a 2,000lb bomb would have involved a bomb fuzed to detonate after penetrating deep into the ground — which matches what we have seen thus far as they have brought down building after building with such attacks. Had one of these attacks gone astray for whatever reason, there would be a crater in evidence — on the order of 30 or 40 feet wide by 20 feet or more deep, nothing like what we’ve seen.

The evidence is leaning towards a Hamas rocket, but an IAF bomb cannot be ruled out. The question remains, who benefits? Clearly, it’s Hamas. U.S. support has weakened already, with Congressmen and college students protesting Israeli “war crimes.” The narrative that Israel did this serves to give the sides a moral equivalence in some minds. On the other hand, Israel has everything to lose and nothing to gain by such butchery.

And this, my friends, is a good example of intelligence analysis. You take disparate fragments of information, paste them into a framework that tells a plausible story, and you make a judgement call. Hopefully, the analyst has his or her judgment backed by plenty of relevant experience. There are no crystal balls and only on the rarest occasions does the enemy reveal his evil plans within earshot of some collector. And even then, you always have to be suspicious that he’s feeding you the information for his own nefarious reasons.

My own call? Hamas did it. They may have even done it deliberately — we saw that happen often enough 25 years ago in the Balkans. However, we won’t get that paranoid. The likeliest explanation is a malfunction, and I’m sticking with my story.

The Third HAAC – October 2024?

We are definitely hosting a third HAAC. The tentative date is Tuesday-Thursday, 8-10 October 2024. The tentative location is the same conference area in Tysons Corner, VA (near DC). 

Anyhow, already putting together a list of presentations and presenters. The first HAAC had 32 presentations by 23 speakers and 2 group discussions. The second HAAC had 37 presentations by 29 speakers and 2 group discussions. More is better. Looking for new presenters and for all of our old presenters to return.

Email me at LawrenceTDI@aol.com.

 

The Schedule for the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17 – 19 October 2023

This is the thirteenth provisional schedule for the second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC). We have 37 presentations scheduled by 28 speakers and two group discussions planned. Each slot is an hour long, so planning for a 45-minute presentation and 15 minutes of discussion.

The conference is at 1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350, Vienna, VA 22182. This is basically across the street by Tysons Corner Shopping mall and the Marriot Hotel on Route 7. It is right off the Route 7 exit from 495 (the Beltway). It is at the corner of Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) and Old Gallows Road. It is in the building above the restaurant called Rangos. Parking is in the parking garage next door to it.

Conference description is here: The Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17-19 October 2023 in Tysons Corner, VA | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Costs, Hotels and Call for Presentations: Cost of the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17 -19 October 2023 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and Hotels for the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17-19 October 2023 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and Call for Presentations for the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17-19 October 2023 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

The cost of the conference is $150 for entire conference or $60 a day. Please pay through PayPal (www.paypal.com) to SRichTDI@aol.com. The conference is priced to cover the costs of the conference facility. We are also set up to take credit card payments by phone. Call The Dupuy Institute during working hours at (703) 289-0007.

We are set up for virtual presentations and virtual attendees. We are exploring the costs of having the presentations professionally recorded.

 

Schedule: Pike and Gallows Conference Center

Updated: revised 16 October 2023

 

 

Day 1: Analysis of Conventional Combat

0900 – 0930    Introductory remarks – Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI)

0930 – 1030    Studying Combat: The “Base of Sand” Problem – Dr. Shawn R. Woodford

1030 – 1130    A Cautionary Tale: Alternative Interpretations of the Same Data – Jim Storr – virtual

1130 – 1230    Land Operations – consistencies and discrepancies between theory, historical analysis and doctrine – LtC. Trygve Smidt (Norway)

1230 – 1400    Lunch

1400 – 1500    Temporal and Geographic Patterns of Fatal Casualty Rates in WWI and WWII – Sasho Todorov, esquire  

1500 – 1600    The French Air Force in the 1940 Campaign – Dr. James F. Slaughter

1600 – 1700    Force Ratios – Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI)

1700 – 1800    Grinch in Ukraine – Carl Larson

 

Evening (1900):    Group Dinner – Rangos

 

 

Day 2: Analysis of Unconventional Warfare

0900 – 1000    Iraq, Data, Hypotheses and Afghanistan (old) –  Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI)

1000 – 1100    Evidence of Fabricated Survey Data Collected during the War in Iraq – Dr. Michael Spagat (Royal Holloway University of London)

1100 – 1200   Urban Warfare (old) – Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI)

1200 – 1300    Lunch

1300 – 1400    The Right Way to Do Risk Analysis: A Primer and Update, With Examples from Pandemics – Dr. Doug Samuelson (InfoLogix)

1400 – 1500    Close  Combat Overmatch Weapons (SLAMMER) – Joe Follansbee (Col., USA, ret.)

1500 – 1600    Chemical Weapons in Syria – Jennifer Schlacht, M.A. – virtual

1600 – 1700    Group Discussion: The Next Middle East Wars

 

Evening (1900):    Group Dinner – BJs

 

 

Day 3: Other Analysis of Warfare

0900 – 1000    Addressing the Decline in War Question with New Disaggregated Data – Dr. Michael Spagat (Royal Holloway University of London)

1000 – 1100    The Application of the Scientific Method to Military History – Clinton Reilly (Computer Strategies, Australia) – virtual

1100 – 1200   The Future of TDI and work of the conference (new) – Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI)

1200 – 1300    Lunch

1300 – 1400   The Red Army’s Offensive Operations in Ukraine, 1943-44 – Dr. Richard Harrison

1400 – 1500    Russian Information Warfare Against Western Democracies Since 2013: A review and update – Dr. Doug Samuelson (InfoLogix)

1500 – 1600    Wagner Group structure and new infantry tactics – Carl Larson

1600 – 1700    Group Discussion: Russo-Ukrainian War

 

Evening:    Happy hour – Rangos 

 

 

Schedule: Einstein Conference Room

 

Day 1: Poster and Book Room

Opened at 0800

 

Afternoon Day 1: Air Warfare Analysis

1400 – 1500    French Aerial Bombing Problem 1914-1940 – Dr. James F. Slaughter

1500 – 1600    Temporal and Geographic Patterns of Fatal Casualty Rates in WWI and WWII (part 2 or overflow presentation) – Sasho Todorov, esquire 

1600 – 1700    Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45 – Daniel Horvath – virtual

 

 

Day 2: Analysis of Conventional Combat – all virtual

0900 – 1000    Unburdened by History: Understanding Russia’s Growing Influence in Haiti – Dr. Christopher Davis (UNCG) – virtual

1000 – 1100   World War 2 Operational Research Revisited – John Magill (UK) – virtual 

1100 – 1200   The Stochastic Salvo Model for Naval Combat: Applications to Aircraft Carrier Combat in 1942 – Geoffrey Clark – virtual

1200 – 1300    Lunch

1300 – 1400    Machine Learning the Lessons of History      Dr. Robert Helmbold – virtual (repeat)

1400 – 1500    The Promised Land: Four Thousand Years of Mid-East Conflict? – Dr. Robert Helmbold – virtual

1500 – 1600    Operation “Sea Lion”: Simulating the German 1940 invasion of England – Dr. Niall MacKay (University of York) & Dr. Ian Horwood (York St. John University) – part 1 – virtual

1600 – 1700    Operation “Sea Lion”: Simulating the German 1940 invasion of England – Dr. Jamie Wood (University of York) & Dr. Chris Price (York St. John University) – part 2 – virtual

 

 

Day 3: Researching Operations

0900 – 1000    The AEF and Consolidation of Gains Operations During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive – Dr. Christopher Davis (UNCG) – virtual

1000 – 1100    Wargaming 101 – William Sayers – virtual

1100 – 1200    The Red Army’s Plans for a Preemptive Attack in 1941 – Dr. Richard Harrison

1200 – 1300    Lunch    

1300 – 1400    Penetrate, Dis-Integrate and Exploit: The Israeli Counter-Offensive at the Suez Canal, 1973 – LtC. Nathan A Jennings, PhD – virtual

1400 – 1500    Competing Proxy Strategies in the Russo-Ukrainian War and a War of Attrition – LtC. Amos Fox – virtual

1500 – 1600    1) Patterns of Explosive Weapons Use in Ukraine – and – 2) IED Attacks Targeting State and International Armed Actors: Trend and Patterns 2013-2022 – Chiara Torelli (AOAV) – virtual

1600 – 1700    A Naval Power Index: The U.S. Navy vs three challengers – Imperial Japan, USSR and PRC China – Geoffrey Clark – virtual

 

 

The presentations from all three days of the first HAAC are here: Presentations from the first HAAC – all three days | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Hamas-Israeli War – Day 3

Israel formally declared war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas on 8 October (although not against Gaza). It was done by the Israeli security cabinet. I have not seen a declaration. The last time they declared war was in 1973. The last time anyone in the world formally declared war was when?

Israel as ordered a complete siege of the Gaza Strip. The defense minister said: “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.” The Gaza Strip does have a 6.8 mile (11 kilometer) border with Egypt. Speaking of Egypt, there is a report that an Egyptian intelligence official told AP that the Israeli government was warned by Egypt 10 days before the Hamas attack that “something big” was being planned by Hamas. The office of Israeli Prime Minister has called the claim “absolutely false’. 

Israel has regained most of the areas that Hamas penetrated. Gun battles continued through the night of 7/8 October. Israel claimed on 8 October that it took back 29 areas from Hamas (up from 22 that they said Hamas took on 7 October). Israel retook the Sderot police station on 8 October, implying that Hamas had taken it the previous day. They are now trying to secure the border areas. As of 9 October (today) there are still some Hamas fighters in Israel and fighting is going on near the Gaza strip but on the Israeli side (maps below are from Wikipedia).

Israel is saying that up to 1,000 Hamas fighters “infiltrated” into Israel. How in the world did that happen? The Israeli army has 126,000 active personnel, while the Gaza Strip has a border with Israel of 32 miles (51 kilometers). They could not protect that border? In contrast, the U.S. border with Mexico is 1,954 miles long (3,145 kilometers).

The Hamas attack on 7 October looks well planned, greatly assisted by a lack of Israeli defensive forces in the area. Hamas took the border crossings in the east of Gaza (Erez Crossing) and were able to advance into Sderot from there; and they took the border crossing in the south-west corner of Gaza (Kerem Shalon), advancing out of there to attack an Israeli music festival. They breached the walls in other areas of the strip. The fact that these two border crossings were not well defended is mystifying.

From there I gather they overran one or two Israeli army bases and the main police station in Sderot (pop. 30,553 in 2021). They then ranged far and wide across the civilian areas, roaming uncontested for up to ten hours. This is a major league failure by the IDF. The lack of a quick and immediate response is also mystifying.

Israel has reported that 85 soldiers, 37 police officers and 5 ISA (Shin Bet – Israel Security Agency) members have been killed. IDF published the names of the soldiers. Photographic evidence is showing one Israeli Merkava tank destroyed and at least five captured. Clearly the bases were not well defended.

A significant number of Israelis were captured. The Israeli Government Press Office stated on the evening of 8 October that the number of hostages in Gaza is over 100. The Israeli ambassador to the U.S. said on 7 October that dozens of Americans are among the hostages. 

On Monday, 9 October, the Israeli government confirmed that more than 900 Israeli civilians had been killed and another 2,150 wounded. Reports are that several Americans (4?) have been killed. The rescue service Zaka said it removed around 260 bodies from the Supernova music festival in the desert near Gaza. Israeli officials say more than 250 people have been killed there.

The U.S. said today (9 October) that nine Americans have been killed in Israel and others are missing. UK is reporting that more than 10 British citizens are killed or missing. Nepal has reported that ten of their citizens have been killed. The French are reporting one woman killed and several others are missing. Cambodia (1) and Ukraine (2) have confirmed that some of their citizens have been killed. Thailand is now reporting that 12 of its citizens have been killed and 11 captured. Others that may have been killed include 4 Argentines, 1 Chilean, 1 German (captured a music festival), 2 Paraguayans and one Canadian killed and two others missing. Thailand says 11 of its citizens have been abducted while Mexico says 2 have been abducted. One Chinese citizen appears to have been abducted from the Supernova festival. Brazil is reporting three missing from that music festival. One Irish woman is missing as are two Tanzania students. 

Israel did strike back, with some 400 targets struck in Gaza during the night of 7/8 October and it is said that more than 800 targets have been hit in Gaza by the evening of 8 October. Gaza Strip has an area of 141 sq. miles (365 sq. kilometers) and a population of 2,375,259. Population density is 16,853 per sq. mile (6,507 per sq. kilometer). This is more than the population density of Washington DC (11,281 per sq. mile) and the size of Gaza Strip is twice the size of Washington DC (68.35 sq miles). Going to be pretty hard to strike 800 targets and not injure at least 800 civilians. The Palestinian Health Ministry was reporting for 7 October) that 232 people in Gaza Strip had been killed and at least 1,700 had been wounded. Have no idea how accurate their reporting is. The Hamas-run health ministry is saying as of 8 October that 413 Palestinians have been killed and 2,300 have been wounded. I assume that is cumulative. It is reported that 7 Palestinians were also killed in the West Bank. On 9 October, the enclave’s Health Ministry has said that 687 people have been killed and 3,700 other wounded from Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes. There has also been 17 people reported killed in the West Bank and 6 in Lebanon. Again, I have no idea how accurate these figures are.

Don’t know how many missiles hit Israel, but some done. Israel said more than 3,500 were fired by Hamas on 7 October. Their latest reports appear to be saying over 2,200 missiles were fired. Don’t know what percent of those were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. Rockets were still being fired on 8 October.

Israeli artillery did fire into southern Lebanon with artillery on 8 October, probably in response to something. Hezbollah responded with some rocket attacks. So far the fighting has been limited to firing in the area of the Shebaa farms. Several people were reported as wounded. The danger is that Hezbollah could join the war. 

The U.S. carrier Gerald R. Ford is moving to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Second HAAC is next week, 17-19 October

Just a reminder that the second HAAC is next week. So far we have received payments from 10 people, including one (discounted) student. Please make your payments to PayPal to SRichTDI@aol.com. You can also make a credit card payment by calling (703-289-0007) or emailing me at LawrenceTDI@aol.com I will be on travel from Wed through Sunday (11-15). 
 
 
 

 

Hamas-Israeli War – Day 2

Well, it is kind of a war now, with the Israeli cabinet saying they are in a state of war. They then formally declared war. When was the last time someone actually formally declared war?

Israel has regained most of the areas that Hamas penetrated. Gun battles continued through the night. Israel took back 29 areas from Hamas (up from 22 that they said Hamas took yesterday). Israel retook the Sderot police station, implying that Hamas had taken it the previous day. They are now securing the border fence. There are still some Hamas infiltrators in Israel, with it being reported that 5 had been picked up today, including one in Sderot.

Israel is saying that up to 1,000 Hamas fighters “infiltrated” into Israel. How in the world did that happen? The Israeli army has 126,000 active personnel, while the Gaza Strip has a border with Israel of 32 miles (51 kilometers). They could not protect that border? 

A significant number of Israelis were captured. It appears to be dozens. The Israeli ambassador to the U.S. is saying dozens of Americans are among the hostages. The Israeli Government Press Office is now (evening 8 October) saying that the number of hostages in Gaza is over 100.

Reports are that several Americans (4?) have been killed. As of 8 October, Israel is reporting at least 300 Israelis killed by Hamas. Israeli media outlets are saying at least 700 Israelis killed. The rescue service Zaka said it removed around 260 bodies from a music festival in the desert near Gaza. By the evening of 8 October, the Israeli government confirmed that more than 700 Israelis had been killed.

Among the reported dead is 10 Nepalese citizens, and France, Cambodia, Thailand (2), Ukraine (2) and the UK have confirmed that some of their citizens have been killed. It is also reported that 4 Americans may have been killed along with 2 Argentines, 1 Chilean and 1 German. Thailand says 11 of its citizens have been abducted while Mexico says 2 have been abducted. Israel has reported that 57 soldiers, 34 police officers and 5 ISA (Shin Bet – Israel Security Agency) members have been killed. IDF p[ublished the names of the soldiers.

Israel did strike back, with some 400 targets struck in Gaza during the night of 7/8 October and it is said that more than 800 targets have been hit in Gaza so far. Gaza Strip has an area of 141 sq. miles (365 sq. kilometers) and a population of 2,375,259. Population density is 16,853 per sq. mile (6,507 per sq. kilometer). This is more than the population density of Washington DC (11,281 per sq. mile) and the size of Gaza Strip is twice the size of Washington DC (68.35 sq miles). Going to be pretty hard to strike 400 targets and not injure at least 400 civilians. The Palestinian Health Ministry was reporting yesterday (7 October) that 232 people in Gaza Strip had been killed and at least 1,700 had been wounded. Have no idea how accurate their reporting is. The Hamas-run health ministry is saying today (8 October) that 413 Palestinians have been killed and 2,300 have been wounded. I assume that is cumulative. It is reported that 7 Palestinians were also killed in the West Bank.

Don’t know how many missiles hit Israel, but some done. Israel said more than 3,500 were fired by Hamas yesterday (7 October). Don’t know what percent of those were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. Rockets were still being fired on 8 October.

Israeli artillery did fire into southern Lebanon with artillery today (8 October), probably in response to something. Hezbollah responded with some rocket attacks. So far the fighting has been limited to firing in the area of the Shebaa farms. Several people were reported as wounded. The danger is that Hezbollah could join the war. 

Photographic evidence is showing one Israeli Merkava tank destroyed and at least five captured.

The U.S. carrier Gerald R. Ford is moving to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Gaza Strip barriers torn open

One of the sad things about being a military historian and defense analyst is that not only are you never suffering from a lack of cases to examine, but the world keeps just adding new wars, conflicts, political violence and terrorist incidents. I fear I will never become obsolete.

Hamas tore through the Gaza Strip barriers today, proving once again that 1) barriers are useless if not properly defended, 2) stubbornly refusing to resolve an issue means it keeps coming back up, and 3) intelligence services are far from foolproof.

Anyhow, on Saturday morning (7 October), the Jewish sabbath, Hamas attacked the Gaza Strip barrier. Hamas unleashed a massive barrage of rockets. More than 3,500 according to the Israeli military. Hamas fighters then broke though the barriers along the Gaza Strip in multiple locations. They used explosives to break through the border fence, fighters to assault select points, and even bulldozers to take down fences. They then crossed with motorcycles, pickup trucks, paragliders and speed boats along the coast. 

According to AP News Service, Hamas fighters “rolled into” as many as 22 locations inside of Israel, going as far as 15 miles (24 kilometers) inside Israel. In some places the Hamas fighters roamed the streets of the towns, gunning down civilians and soldiers. The Israel rescue service Saka said at least 200 people were killed and 1,1000 wounded. This makes this the bloodiest fight for Israel since the 1982-85 Israeli Intervention in the Lebanese Civil War. 

Meanwhile, the Israeli air force launched airstrikes at Gaza. At least one 14-story building went down. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that at least 232 people in Gaza Strip have been killed and at least 1,700 have been wounded. I gather in both cases the majority of casualties were civilians. 

Added to that Hamas has taken two dozen or more hostages, both civilians and soldiers, based upon the videos I have seen. There are pictures of at least nine people gunned down at a bus shelter in the town of Sderot and roomful of Israeli’s executed in a kibbutz.

Among the hostages, an elderly Israeli woman was seen brought back to Gaza on a golf cart and another woman on a motorcycle. Hamas was parading captured Israeli military vehicles through the streets of Gaza. Hamas is claiming to be holding dozens of Israeli soldiers captive. There appears to be some truth to that. AP journalists saw four civilians, including two women, taken from kibbutz of Kfar Azza. Other videos show a half-dozen or more Israeli civilians rounded up by Hamas on the street and loaded into trucks. I assume they are now in Gaza.

Israel is claiming that Haas will pay an “unprecedented price” and is moving four divisions of troops to the Gaza border. There are supposedly 31 Israeli battalions already in the area.

We shall see how this plays out. Does Hezbollah join in (distinctly possible)? Does the PLO join in (maybe)? Do Arab-Israeli citizens protest? This conflict is probably going to be bloody, with the majority of losses on both sides being civilians.

Internationally, most likely the reproachment between Israel and Saudi Arabia will be tabled.

The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 589

No movement to report on the ground. It is looking like this “spring” offensive is over, although the weather is still favorable for operations. To date, neither side has really achieved what they were hoping. The real issue now is whether the support for this war will be maintained by Ukraine’s allies or the Russian populace as it appears this war is heading to a third year.

The Ukrainians are supposedly through the first defensive line in this area south of Orikhiv, but have not been able to exploit this. Ukraine still has another 30 or so days to do something, but right now not much is going on. So, we could be in for an “October surprise” but I doubt it.

The discussions on Prigozhin and Wagner, the grain deal, prisoner exchanges, reinforcements, etc. are in the Day 552 post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 552 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

I will put any changes/updates since my last post in italics. A link to a blow up of the map is here: Wikipedia mapIt is dated 5 October. The last dated update on the map was 11 June 2023, although it has clearly been updated to show Klishchiivka in Ukrainian hands.

Russia currently occupies five cities since that start of the invasion: Lysychansk (pop. 95,031), Severodonetsk (pop. 101,135), Mariupol (pop. 431,859), Berdyansk (pop. 107,928) and Melitopol (pop. 150,768). Kherson (pop. 283,649) was retaken by Ukraine on 11 November 2022.

 

Weather: Kharkiv at 5 PM: It is 62 degrees (17 Celsius) and partly cloudy. Rain forecasted for four of the next ten days. There is 0.05″ expected on Saturday.

Kherson is 68 degrees (20 Celsius) and mostly sunny. Rain forecasted for four of the next ten days. There is 0.20″ expected i the next 24 hours.

Ukrainian Army Build-up: At least 10 M-1s are in Ukraine. They were confirmed to arrive by 25 September. Also, the first 10 of a 100 Leopard Is (older, less armored version of the tank) have arrived in Ukraine.

It is claimed on 18 July that the U.S. and its allies have now trained 63,000 Ukrainian troops. The current Ukrainian armed forces are certainly in excess of 300,000, so over 80% of their troops have been trained by themIt is reported that some of the troops are learning how to use some equipment from YouTube videos.

Since the start of this offensive four months ago, Ukraine has lost at least 5 of its 71 Leopard IIs, with at least 10 out for repairs. They lost their first Challenger II on 5 September. These are not heavy armor losses, which are often lost at a much higher rate than personnel losses during offensive operations (see Dupuy: Attrition).

Russian Army Build-up: Nothing new to report. Russian morale is suspect, with an officer flying a Mi-8 defecting in August. In his interview, he claimed that his family was smuggled out of Russia by Ukrainian operatives before he defected.

The U.S. is now saying in September there are 200,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. The Ukrainian defense intel guys were saying at the same time that it is over 420,000. That is kind of the lower and upper limits of my guesses. So, both figures look good, but obviously at least one is wrong.

Seen some convoluted math on twitter that calculated Russian dead, Russian recruitment and Russian strength. The only way they could get that to work was to use a wounded-to-killed ratio of 2.4-to-1. That is lower ratio than what the Soviet Union had in World War II (Battle of Kursk figures, 1943), before they had penicillin. It looks like they had to assume the lower wounded-to-kill figure to make the math work. They probably need rework their estimates. I seriously doubt they have any hard evidence to justify such a low wounded-to-killed ratio.

Opposing forces: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Economics and the Home Fronts: The complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 380 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)Price of oil (Brent Crude) is back down, now at 84.26 as of 11:44 AM EST. Ruble continues to drop and is now at 100.26 to the dollar.

Casualties: The last extended casualty discussion was in the Day 560 post here: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 560 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). This is a reduced posting.

We do have reported U.S. intel reports that claim that Russian casualties are up to 120,000 killed and Ukraine casualties are close to 70,000 killed. For various reasons, I really don’t buy into these higher figures. This is discussed here: The New York Times casualty reports | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

The UN is reporting as of 10 September at least 9,614 civilians confirmed dead in the war. Updated chart from the UN provided the following chart showing civilian losses by month through August.

Don’t have updated figures from the UN for the month of September, but on 5 October, a shop and cafe in the village of Hroza (pop. 330), near Krupiansk, was hit by an Iskander ballistic missile killing 52 civilians. They were gathered for a memorial service.

More than 60,000 people have died in this conflict: 32,656 or more (Russian Army – Mediazona count as of 22 September) + 16,000 or more (Ukrainian Army – old U.S. DOD estimate) + 9,614 (Civilians) + 4,176 (DPR in 2022) + 600 (LPR April 2022) = 62,145. It may be in excess of 120,000 total deaths depending on Ukrainian and Russian military deaths and the real count of civilian losses. Suspect Russian killed is at least 60,000 and Ukrainian military deaths are at least 45,000.

The head of Chechen, Ramzan Kadyrov, age 46, is ill and reported to be in a comma. A recent video shows him in a hospital but conscious and talking: Ramzan Kadyrov Appears in Hospital Video Amid Health Speculation | Watch (msn.com).There were reports six months ago over his health: Top Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov ‘seriously ill from suspected poisoning’ (msn.com). I gather there are no longer any Chechen troops on the front line.

Ammo: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

The U.S. was reporting in August that it is now producing 24,000 155mm shells a month. This is up from 14,000 before the war. The Pentagon is now saying that they will be producing 100,000 shells per month by 2025 and are currently producing 28,000 shells a month. They expect to be producing 57,000 a month by next spring.

They are reporting that Russia may be able to increase artillery production to 2 million shell a year. I gather they are producing around a million a year now (see: Russia ramps up artillery production but still falling short, Western official says | Reuters). Not sure what percent of Ukrainian shells are “smart” rounds vice what percent of Russian shells are.

Air Power: Previous discussion of air power is in the Day 443 post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 443 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Also see Day 560 post for additional material: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 560 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Ukrainians will began training on F-16 this month according to Zelenskyy. I gather this will not be a quick process, as there are a limited number of Ukrainian pilots available with a good command of English. The U.S. did confirm this week (on 18 August) that we will allow third parties to provide Ukraine with F-16s. This includes 42 from Netherlands, their entire inventory. Russian indiscriminate use of SAMs continues to haunt them. It also includes 19 from Denmark. Norway will also be providing some F-16s.

The U.S. will start training Ukrainians on F-16 in Arizona come October. It will probably be a while before Ukraine has the planes. The Dutch are now saying 6 to 8 months. Still, these 61+ F-16s will give Ukraine some capability to contest the air space.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian drone campaign against Russia has continued. On 29 August, drones attack Pskov airport near Estonia. According to Russians 4 IL-76 transport aircraft were damaged. According to photographic evidence, at least two were destroyed.

Naval War: Ukraine launched UK Storm Shadow cruise missiles and sea drones at Sevastopol yesterday (13 September). Some were intercepted but it appears that the Russian 4,012-long-ton (full load) landing ship Minsk and a kilo-class attack submarine B-237 (3,040 tons) were damaged. It appears that Ukraine is trying to make Crimea untenable. This does not regain the peninsula but may have a negotiating advantage.

The Ukrainians also attacked two Project 22160 patrol ship (1300-1700 tons) in the southwestern part of Black Sea on 14 September.

Ukraine also attacked and may have hit the Bora-class guided missile corvette (1,050 tonnes) Samum using one of their “sea baby” drones. This is one of the largest air cushion or surface effect ships (SES) (i.e. a sidewall hovercraft) ships in existence. It is also a catamaran.

The Ukrainians also hit the Russian naval headquarters in Sevastopol on 22 September using at least two British supplied Storm Shadow cruise missiles. The Ukrainians claimed 34 Russian officers killed, including the commander of the Black Sea Fleet and 105 soldiers were wounded. The Russians claimed that only 6 were injured and no one killed. Russia did show a video show the commander looking very alive. On 25 September, Russia announced it was demolishing the HQ building.

By its use of missiles and drones, Ukraine has wrestled partial control of the western half of the Black Sea. There have now been over a half-dozen ships that have sailed from Odesa to Bosporus even though no grain deal is in place.

Missile Defense: Discussion of previous missiles attack is in the Day 443 post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 443 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). It was updated in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

End of the War: Looks like this war will be continuing onto until at least fall of 2023. Complete write-up of this section is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 380 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Atrocities: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 355 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Updates are provided in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Ukrainian reforms: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 355 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

The attempts to clean up corruption and reform the government has gotten serious. The Ukranian defense minister, Reznikov, has finally been replaced as of 3/5 September. This looked like something that had to happen. Two weeks before Zelenskyy removed all the officers in charge of recruiting over corruption issues. He has also conducted a review of the military medical commissions. Zelensky is also pushing a bill in the Rada (their parliament) to define corruption during wartime as treason. They have also detained a prominent Ukrainian oligarch (Forbes estimates that he is worth $1 billion) who owns the TV station that aired Zelenskyy’s old show “Servant of the People.” He is being investigated for fraud and money laundering.

The new defense minister is Rustem Umierov, who is Muslim. He is from a Crimean Tatar family. He was sworn in by the Rada on 6 September.

The Ukrainians are in discussion whether to hold elections next March. I think they absolutely must do so, especially in light of the lack of support for Ukraine by significant elements of the U.S. Republican Party. See: Presidential Elections – 2024 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Other Issues:

U.S. Support for Ukraine: Write-up on U.S. support for Ukraine is in the Day 443 post here: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 443 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). It is going to be a long campaign season until November 2024, so certainly we will revisit this issue at some point. The total amount of support committed by the U.S. to Ukraine is $133 Billion.

The U.S. resolved its “debt crisis” with the debt limit being suspended until 2025. Defense spending is capped at $886 billion, or 3.5% increase over the previous year. This matches the current administrations budget request. Spending on defense is limited to a 1% growth in 2025, or up to $895 billion. The shut of U.S. government was delayed for 45 days (until mid-November), the Speaker of the House was thrown out of office for the first time in the U.S. history, a new speaker will not be appointed until next week so all House business has stopped, and new additional aid for Ukraine has not been passed.

The second Republican primary debate occurred on 27 September. Four candidates clearly and strongly indicated that they support Ukraine (Christie, Haley, Pence and Scott). The Republican Party seems to split on this issue. Recent polling shows the majority of Americans still support Ukraine.

A few dates to keep in mind for the American political campaigns: 1) the third Republican debate is scheduled for 8 November, 2) Donald Trump currently leads the polling for the Republican Party presidential nomination by significant margins. He is currently in a civil trial in New York concerning his businesses. A summary judgment was issued on 26 September that his companies had committed fraud, 3) the tentative start date for the criminal trial in Fulton County Georgia is October 23 at the request of two of the defendants. The other 17 defendants, including Donald Trump, will be tried later, date not yet not declared, 4) the Iowa caucuses will be on 15 January 2024, 5) the Nevada primary will be on 6 February 2024, 6) the New Hampshire primary is scheduled for 13 February 2024, 7) 24 February is SC primary, then MI, 8) The date for the DOJ Special Council criminal trial for charges related to the 6 January incidents in now scheduled for 4 March, 9) on 5 March 14 states will hold their primaries and between 9 – 23 March another 15 states/territories will hold their primaries. The Republican nominee could be decided by then, 10) 25 March is the trial date for Donald Trump’s New York Stormy Daniel’s related case, 11) 20 May is the trial date for Donald Trump’s classified documents case, 12) last Republican primary is 4 June 2024. I actually do think this is war related news as the currently the three of the four leading Republican presidential candidates do not support Ukraine.

Former VP and Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence was in Ukraine in July. He fully supports the war effort. On 13 July, the House took a vote on cutting off aid to Ukraine. The vote was 358-70 rejecting the amendment. All 70 opposed votes were Republican. See: Here are the 70 House Republicans who voted to cut off all US military aid to Ukraine (msn.com). There are 222 Republicans in the house, so this is a minority opinion in the party supported maybe a third of Republicans in the house. It is also the opinion that appears to be held by their two presidential nomination front runners.

Also, see the Day 443 posts for previous reports on the EU, NATO, Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh. On 20 May, Lavrov’s daughter (Lavrov is the foreign minister of Russia) attended a wedding in Georgia. There were protests by the Georgians, with her car egged. She was forced to leave because of the public reaction.

European Support for Ukraine: A pro-Russian candidate and the Smer party won 42 out of 150 seats in the parliamentary elections for Slovakia on 30 September. Their party leader, Robert Fico (b. 1964), has until 16 October to form a government. Their leader has promised to not send a single bullet to Ukraine. See: Opinion polling for the 2023 Slovak parliamentary election – Wikipedia. He has since moderated his position.

Ukraine is gotten into an argument with some of its eastern European allies over exportation of cheaper grain. Poland was threatening to cut off military aide to Ukraine. They are also threatening to send all the Ukrainian migrants home. It appears that they are now working it out.

Belarus: It has been reported by Ukraine that Russia has completely withdrawn their ground forces from Belarus. Nuclear weapons are discussed in the Day 560 post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 560 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

NATO: As of 4 April, Finland is a member of NATO. Sweden is still awaiting approval from Hungary and Turkey.  As of 10 July, it looks like Erdogan of Turkey has finally agreed to let Sweden into NATO. Hungary is not expected to block this. Erdogan, age 69, won the election on 28 May with 52% of the vote. Voter turn-out was 84%. Next election is in five years. See Day 443 for more info. Meanwhile, the head of NATO is supporting renewal of talks about Turkey joining the EU.

Nagorno-Karabakh: Azerbaijan has taken the capital of Karabakh, the town of Khankendi (pop. 75,000 in 2021) and closed down the Lachin Corridor. This was a two-day offensive covering 19 and 20 September that took the rest of the country. This ends the conflict for the moment, with Azerbaijan having completely taken the Nagorno-Karabakh area between its war in 2020 and the events of the last week. The President of Artkakh (Karabakh) issued a decree of 28 September to dissolve all state institutions from 1 January 2024. The state effectively does not exist now, having first come into existence in late 1991, as the Soviet Union was breaking up.

There were Russian peacekeepers, around 2,000 in the area. They were unable to stop Azerbaijan and took casualties. The deputy commander of the Russian peacekeeping force has been killed, as were at least four other officers. It kind of shows that Russia is currently not able to control the Caucasus. One wonders what is next.

Protests continue against the Armenian government in Yerevan. They started on 19 September with thousands protesting and are continuing. On 25 September 140 protesters were arrested. It appears both the protestors and the government are western leaning, but there is general dissatisfaction with the government over having lost the war in Karabakh. The protesting appears to have died down after 25 September. The Armenian parliament voted on Tuesday (3 Oct) to join the ICC (International Criminal Court). The ICC currently has arrest warrants out for Vladimir Putin.

As of 28 September Kazakhstan has said it will comply with sanctions against Russia. Kazakhstan is a member of the Eurasian Union. It was Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych’s decision to join the Eurasian Union vice EU that led to the protests in late 2013 that resulted in his overthrow in 2014, the Russian-supported successionist war in Ukraine in 2014, followed by the Russian seizure of Crimea in 2014.

Meanwhile, on 27 September, one American and two Russian astronauts/cosmonauts landed in Kazakhstan after their joint space mission. They have been in space 371 days. The record is 437 days.

Sections on Kazakhstan, European Support, Iran and Miscellaneous were last reported in the blog post for day 408 here: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 408 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). They have been removed from this post.