The Chicago Journal

Bakhmut a pivotal area in Russian invasion

Bakhmut More than a year later, Russia has still not removed its soldiers from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian army decreased its positions in Bakhmut in the latter weeks of February and early March.

Notwithstanding the redeployment, they have not turned over control of the city to Russian forces.

Instead, the strategy is likely to cut mortality while luring Russian forces.

The conquest

President Vladimir Putin of Russia has declared war on the Donbas area, namely the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Bakhmut in Donetsk, he claims, is the solution.

“We understand that after Bakhmut, they could go farther,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

“They could go to Kramatorsk. They could go to Sloviansk. It would be open road for the Russians after Bakhmut to other towns in Ukraine in the Donetsk direction.”

Ukraine has retained Bakhmut for as long as necessary.

Focus on the city

They beefed up their soldiers with special forces on Sunday, while Russian fighters from the Wagner mercenary outfit invaded the northern suburbs.

His top commanders, according to Zelensky, want to continue the defense operation and improve their position in Bakhmut.

Despite his lack of detail, the Center for the Study of War decided that Bakhmut had hampered the Russians by diverting their focus away from other sectors of the front.

“The Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut remains strategically sound as it continues to consume Russian manpower and equipment as long as Ukrainian forces do not suffer excessive casualties,” said the Study of War.

“Russian forces are unlikely to quickly secure significant territorial gains when conducting urban warfare, which usually favors the defender and can allow Ukrainian forces to inflict high casualties on advancing Russian units – even as Ukrainian forces are actively withdrawing.”

Crunching some figures

Ukraine lost one soldier for every seven Russians in Bakhmut, according to Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.

According to US White House officials, as of February 17, the Wagner Group, which has centered its operations in the Bakhmut area, has sustained 30,000 casualties, including over 9,000 fatalities.

Russia is anticipated to commit 190,000 soldiers to the February 24, 2022 strike.

They’ve acquired 316,000 since then.

Ukraine is said to have slain about 150,000 Russian servicemen.

But, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Kyrlo Budanov, told USA Today that Russia’s fatalities made mounting a big attack after spring difficult.

“Russia has wasted huge amounts of human resources, armaments, and materials,” said Budanov.

“Its economy and productions are not able to cover these losses. If Russia’s military fails in its aims this spring, it will be out of military tools.”

Read also: Lloyd Austin traveled to Baghdad in a show of support

Controlling the withdrawal

Ukraine began its pullout from Bakhmut on February 28.

A tactical withdrawal, according to presidential adviser Alexander Rodnyansky, was not out of the cards.

“So far [our troops] have held the city but if need be, they will strategically back because we’re not going to sacrifice all of our people just for nothing,” he elaborated.

Serhiy Rakhmanin, a Ukrainian Parliamentarian, added along, saying:

“I believe that sooner or later, we will probably have to leave Bakhmut. There is no sense in holding it at any cost.”

“But for the moment, Bakhmut will be defended with several aims,” he added.

“Firstly, to inflict as many Russian losses as possible and make Russia use its ammunition and resources.”

Halting advances

Despite Zelesnky’s assertion that their forces had control of the sector of the front, Ukraine’s army general command claimed on March 1 that Russian troops were still marching towards Bakhmut.

Two days later, Ukrainian soldiers began blowing up bridges near Bakhmut, indicating a limited withdrawal.

One bridge connects the city’s eastern and western halves, while another runs west of Bakhmut to Khromov.

If Bakhmut surrendered, Ukrainian forces planned to obstruct Russian advances in the city and postpone quick deployment.

Russian military problems

Wagner CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin declared in a Telegram video:

“Units of the private military Wagner have practically surrounded Bakhmut. Only one route [out] is left. The pincers are closing.”

Prigozhin is also having issues, stating on social media that the Russian military ministry is not giving him enough ammo to complete the mission.

In a letter, he emphasized the need of providing ammunition to the commander of Russia’s military assault in Ukraine.

“On March 6, at 8 o’clock in the morning, my representative at the headquarters had his pass canceled and was denied access to the group’s headquarters,” he wrote.

The Russian defense ministry, on the other hand, has been wary of Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has boasted about the capabilities of his organization while insinuating that the Russian military is weak.

Prigozhin claimed possession of half of Bakhmut on Wednesday, and geolocated footage corroborated his assertions that Ukraine had been forced to the west side of the river.

Russian aircraft collides with US drone over Black Sea Tuesday

Russian aircraftAccording to the US military, a Russian aircraft shot down a US Air Force drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday.

The propeller on the American MQ-9 Reaper drone was damaged before it was taken down by the Russian aircraft.

What happened?

On Tuesday, the US European Command announced that the Reaper drone was joined over international waters by two Russian Su-27 jets.

Later, over the Black Sea, one plane purposefully flew in front of the unmanned Reaper drone, throwing gasoline on it many times.

Once the Russian aircraft impacted with the drone’s propeller, the US military was forced to land the Reaper drone in international waters.

The Russian aircraft flew in the region of the drone for 30 to 40 minutes before striking it just after 7 a.m. CET, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder.

CET stands for Central European Time.

General James B. Hecker, commander of the United States Air Forces in Europe and Africa, released the following statement:

“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9.”

“In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”


The incident is the first direct physical contact between a US military jet and a Russian aircraft since Moscow invaded Ukraine in early 2022.

The incident is anticipated to aggravate relations between the two countries.

Russia’s actions have been branded as “reckless, environmentally unsound, and unprofessional” by the US.

Russia’s envoy to the US, Anatoly Antonov, claimed that Moscow does not desire a fight with the US.

He was summoned to the State Department after the drone was shot down, where he stated:

“We prefer not to create a situation where we can face unintended clashes or unintended incidents between the Russian Federation and the United States.”

Read also: Kupiansk residents unmovable in the face of the Russian war

Breaking down the incident

According to Assistant Secretary Karen Donfried, Anatoly Antonov was inside the State Department for more than 30 minutes.

He appeared to be communicating US concerns about the issue, exchanging words about it despite their disagreements.

“It seems to me that it was a constructive conversation on this issue,” said Antonov.

“I have heard her remarks, I hope that she has understood what I have mentioned.”

Antonov also said that Russia informed him about the area, which he characterized as a zone for special military operations.

“We have warned not to enter, not to penetrate,” he explained, asking what the US would have done if a Russian drone flew close to New York or San Francisco.

Anatoly Antonov reiterated the Russian Ministry of Defense’s denial of the occurrence.

They denied that the Russian aircraft crashed with the drone in a statement released on Tuesday.

The aircraft was scrambled to identify the flying item after it was seen over the Black Sea, according to the statement.

They went on to say that the drone took off unguided and lost height.

“The drone flew with its transponders off,” explained the ministry.

“Violating the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the special military operation, communicated to all users of international airspace, and published in accordance with international standards.”


National security advisor Jake Sullivan briefed President Joseph Biden on Tuesday morning, according to National Security Council communications coordinator John Kirby.

According to Patrick Ryder, Defense Department officials have yet to discuss the episode with Russian authorities.

According to Ned Price, a spokesperson for the US Department of State, the US has spoken at high levels with allies and partners, informing them of what has happened.

He claimed that the US was unable to remark on the Russians’ intentions with the moves.

In the end, what happened matters less than what was planned.

Yet, Kirby noted that Russian aircraft encountering US planes over the Black Sea was not unusual, and that prior contacts had occurred in recent weeks.

He did, however, say that the Tuesday episode was exceptional since Russia’s activities were “unsafe, unprofessional, and dangerous.”

According to Ryder, the US Military Department is attempting to declassify images from the event.

He also stated that the Russians had not been able to recover the downed drone.

In addition, John Kirby indicated that the US took procedures to protect interests in respect to the drone.

“We obviously don’t want to see anybody getting their hands on it beyond us,” he said.

Kirby went on to say that the US disputes Russia’s statement and that people should take what they say about what’s going on in and around Ukraine with a dose of caution.


US and Russian aircraft flew over the Black Sea throughout the Ukraine conflict.

Yet, the Tuesday gathering is a one-of-a-kind meeting that might blossom at a critical moment in the struggle.

Before the clash, the United States utilized Reaper drones to monitor the Black Sea.

According to the Air Force, Reaper drones can fly as high as 50,000 feet.

Drones have sensors as well as the capacity to collect intelligence and conduct long-term surveillance.

Kupiansk residents unmovable in the face of the Russian war

Kupiansk Russia’s devastation and invasion of Ukraine began over a year ago and show no signs of abating.

Despite several allies, including the US, rallying behind Ukraine, the Russian military continues to pour into the country.

As a result, residents across the country are being urged to escape in order to avoid the approaching invaders.

Residents of the Kupiansk neighborhood in Kharkiv Oblast in northeastern Ukraine were instructed to flee days earlier after reports of heavy fighting in the area.

The call for evacuation

Oleh Syniehubov, the Chief of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration, issued the evacuation demands on a 24/7 national telecast.

According to Syniehubov, the Russian military regularly bombs cities, towns, and villages in the Kupiansk Hromada.

“Regarding evacuation from the Kupiansk front, which is currently the hottest: it is where the frontline is currently located, and enemy forces are relentlessly trying to attack the positions of our forces.”

“That’s why we announced mandatory evacuation. We are trying to explain this to local residents.”

“The Oblast Military Administration and volunteer organizations are making efforts to evacuate everyone who wants to leave unsafe locations.”

Additionally, according to Syniehubov, the evacuated residents got humanitarian assistance as well as free lodging in safer districts of Kharkiv Oblast and other Ukrainian provinces.

Remaining citizens

Despite evacuation instructions, numerous residents have decided to stay put.

Some 2,500 people have stayed in Kupiansk, where the front line has never moved too far.

Liuba and Serhei stayed even after shelling damaged their neighbor’s house in February.

“This is our home,” Liuba said. “Not the Russians’. Besides, it’s getting warmer, and with the rainwater we collect from buckets, we will survive.”

Read also: Bakhmut a pivotal area in Russian invasion

Russia inches closer

According to Kupiansk police head Konstiantyn Tarasov, the sound of artillery, both entering and exiting, has become dangerously closer since mid-February.

Russian forces are less than 5 kilometers from a city they took at the start of their invasion before losing it to Ukraine’s counteroffensive in September.

This Monday, Ukrainian officials ordered the urgent evacuation of Kupiansk’s most vulnerable residents.

“We have put signs up everywhere about the free evacuation with the phone numbers to call,” said Dmytro Kovalov, a volunteer in the evacuations.

“As shelling has intensified, more people have been registering. But then the internet was cut for two days so they couldn’t get in touch.”

“That’s why we started just blindly visiting addresses, knocking on doors. But some people refuse to go,” Kovalov continued.

“They don’t want to leave their houses behind, and they hope that the Russians will be pushed back.”

Most days, authorities claim they manage eight to forty evacuations, with those who stay choosing to do so.

According to a police spokesperson in Kupiansk, the city still had 350 minors and 363 people with disabilities as of last week.

The city

Apart from the ongoing shelling, Kupiansk is difficult to reach owing to the year-long destruction to the city’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

The main market has also been devastated, leaving the few survivors to rely on cardboard boxes to buy and sell what they could.

Its configuration is helpful since it allows them to easily pack their stuff if the sound of shelling may be heard close.

Lida is one among those who choose to stay in Kupiansk.

Last year, she was under Soviet control for six months.

When selling yellowed smoked fish, Lida claims to be an expert in the sound of approaching and departing artillery.

“We are not rats,” she said regarding her decision to stay. “Besides, if we go, who will take over?”

A missile shattered the ruins of a makeshift medical facility not far from Lida.

“This is what the Russians do as they seek to move closer to the city center,” said Tarasov.

“Targeting the few civilians left as they try to survive.”

Despite the Russian threat, Lida seems unfazed.

“What’s the difference? They are shelling Kharkiv as well. Is there any certainty I will stay alive there? No.”

“So, we will stay here and hide where we can, behind the houses, or somewhere.”

Most structures in Kupiansk, on the other hand, have been battle-worn by the frequent bombing, with many completely destroyed.

There aren’t many places for the survivors to run or hide.

Joe Biden goes the extra mile in act of commitment to Ukraine

Joe Biden Since more than a year ago, Washington has helped Ukraine thwart Russian assaults.

The United States’ support for Ukraine was demonstrated by President Joe Biden’s trip to Kiev on Monday.

Biden’s clandestine visit revealed his commitment to supporting the nation in its conflict with Russia.

The news

Due to his timing, Biden’s covert journey to Kyiv was extremely significant for the invasion.

Reports state that the invaders are getting ready for a spring offensive as Ukraine works to quickly recapture the area.

Air raid sirens were audible across Kyiv during the visit, and President Volodymyr Zelesnky and Biden were observed strolling through St. Michael’s Church.

The US President arrived at the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv at 8 am local time after a lengthy journey from Washington.

Biden was greeted and praised for visiting by Zelensky.

President Joe Biden said that the US will give $500 million in help to Ukraine during the visit.

The package includes the following:

  • Artillery ammunition
  • More javelins
  • Howitzers

Moreover, Biden stated that this coming week, the US will penalize Russia once more.

“One year later, Kriv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands,” said the US President.


In an effort to turn the tide of the war, Western nations other than the United States have sent tanks, guns, and ammunition to Ukraine.

With his personal visit, President Joe Biden clearly conveys US support for Zelensky and the Ukraine.

President Vladymyr Zelensky has been working to rally his country and enlist help for the past year.

American officials claim that the infusion of arms will provide Ukraine a tactical advantage against Russia and raise Zelensky’s negotiation power.

What conditions the Ukrainian president will be open to during future peace negotiations are as of yet unknown.

The US, like other nations, has decided not to comment on potential settlement terms, stating Zelensky will make the final decision.

High stakes

President Joe Biden made a symbolic trip to Kyiv the day before Russian President Vladimir Putin was supposed to deliver a speech to commemorate the conflict’s anniversary.

According to Biden, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was failing.

“Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided,” said Biden as Zelensky stood beside him.

“He thought he could outlast us. I don’t think he’s thinking that right now. He’s just been plain wrong.”

“One year later, the evidence is right here in this room. We stand together.”

As the war reaches its second year, President Joseph Biden gave a justification for his trip to the Ukrainian capital at the presidential palace.

“I thought it was critical that there not be any doubt, none whatsoever, about US support for Ukraine in the war,” said Biden.

“The Ukrainian people have stepped up in a way that few people ever have in the past.”

Read also: Mike Pence joins Trump and Biden in holding documents

In order to show the wide, political support in Washington, the US president said:

“For all the disagreement we have in our Congress on some issues, there is significant agreement on support for Ukraine.”

“It’s not just about freedom in Ukraine,” he continued. “It’s about freedom of democracy at large.”

Planning for the upcoming months of hostilities was the main topic of Biden’s talk with Zelensky, according to national security advisor Jake Sullivan.

“The President was very focused on making sure that he made the most of his time on the ground, which he knew was going to be limited,” said Sullivan.

“So he was quite focused on how he was going to approach his conversation with President Zelensky and in part how the two of them were really going to look out over the course of 2023 and try to come to a common understanding of what the objectives are.”

Others visit Ukraine

Following the meeting between Zelensky and other European leaders in Kyiv, President Joseph Biden was keen to travel to Ukraine.

The following leaders visited Ukraine:

  • French President Emmanuel Macron
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  • British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
  • Former British Prime Minister

The respective secretaries of state and defense, Anthony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, also went to Ukraine to show their support.

Leading members of the White House, including CIA Director William Burns, visited the Ukrainian capital this month.

Also, on Mother’s Day in 2022, Dr. Jill Biden, Biden’s wife, traveled to Ukraine.

She met Zelensky at a school that had been transformed into a makeshift housing for displaced Ukrainians in a tiny village in the southwest of the nation.


President Joe Biden wants to show his support for Ukraine as the conflict’s anniversary on February 24 draws near.

The question of how long the West and the United States can survive is still open.

This was Biden’s eighth trip to the city, and each one had been more crucial than the last, he said.

Also, Vladymyr Zelensky was informed of the US’s “here to stay” stance by President Joe Biden, who made it clear that this was the purpose of his visit.

“We’re not leaving,” said Biden.

Sam Bankman-Fried says he donated to the Republican party

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, shared that he had donated to both political parties.

The revelation

Sitting down for an interview with Tiffany Fong, the FTX founder revealed that he donated to both parties, saying:

“I donated to both parties.”

“I donated about the same amount to both parties,” said Bankman-Fried.

Democratic donations

Since the crypto exchange’s 2019 launch, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been known to support Democratic candidates.

In 2020, SBF was one of Joe Biden’s most prominent campaign donors leading to his presidency.

He gave $5,220,000 from FTX US and $6,242,800 from Alameda Research.

Read also: Sam Bankman-Fried Faces Downfall with FTX Collapse

Republican donations

SBF cited the Citizens United Supreme Court case while talking about his donations to the Republican Party.

“All my Republican donations were dark,” said Bankman-Fried.

“In practice, no one can fathom the idea that someone actually gave dark [money].”

Dark money

Political finance tracking website Open Secrets refers to “dark money” as spending that influences political outcomes, where the source of the money is undisclosed.

Sam Bankman-Fried explained that he chose to donate dark money to avoid attention from the public.

He also explained that journalists “freak the **** out if you donate to Republicans.”

The former FTX CEP labeled journalists super-liberal and said he didn’t want to start a fight.

SBF explained and said they conceded in the primary because there were good and bad candidates compared to the general election.

However, Bankman-Fried didn’t expand on what he considers a good or bad candidate.

Ukraine rumors

Sam Bankman-Fried also cleared up rumors that he was helping Ukraine launder money for the Democratic Party., a nonprofit, non-partisan election organization, also called the allegation false.

The group wrote an article dismissing the conspiracy theory, saying:

“There is no evidence to support the claim that Ukraine invested in or gave money to FTX.”

Sam Bankman-Fried says he can’t think of why Ukraine would launder funds for the Democratic Party or how anyone would launder funds.

“I wish I were a part of an international conspiracy that interesting,” said SBF.

Read also: Elon Musk says SBF didn’t contribute to Twitter buy

Other notes

After the company’s collapse, several US officials called for an investigation into Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX.

The US Financial Services Committee requested that SBF appear in Washington to testify on December 13.


SBF hid Republican donations so media wouldn’t ‘freak the fuck out’

Russia threatens Europe, says it may cut gas

Russia now threatens to cut gas supplies to Moldova, a country on the southwestern border of Ukraine.

As a result, Europe is bracing for potential cuts in its gas supplies from Russia.

The news

On Tuesday, Gazprom, a state-owned Russian gas giant, announced it would halt deliveries to the country on Monday.

They cited claims that Ukraine is holding back some of the gas flowing through its territory.

The company said it would cut gas flows through the Sudzha transit point equal to claims Ukraine is blocking it from reaching Moldova.

Gazprom shared the news through its Telegram account, saying:

“The volume of gas supplied by Gazprom to the GIS Sudzha for transit to Moldova through the territory of Ukraine exceeds the physical volume transmitted at the border of Ukraine with Moldova.”

Read also: US gas prices to suffer another increase edging to $4

Ukraine responds

Despite Russia’s allegations, Ukraine denied withholding gas supplies from its neighbor.

Ukrainian state-owned energy company Naftogaz responded to the claims on Tuesday with a tweet:

“Gazprom accused Ukraine of stealing gas. Once again. In short: this is not true.”


The Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) also issued a statement on the matter.

They said the Russian gas received at the Sudzha entry point for transport to Moldova was routed to exit points along their shared border.

According to the operator, Moldova has initiated a “virtual reverse” of some Russian gas imports to Ukraine.

However, they did not give a reason.

Analysts said the opposite is a joint trade agreement, in which some of the gas destined for one site is diverted to be stored or sold to another buyer.

Olga Bielkova, Director of Government and International Affairs at GTSOU said:

“This is not the first time Russia has resorted to using gas as an instrument of political pressure.”

“It manipulates facts to justify its decision to limit further the volume of gas supplies to European countries.”

Meanwhile, Hennig Gloystein, director of energy, climate and resources at Eurasia Group, says that Moldova has traditionally stored some of its gas in Ukraine.

“So the argument that it is being held in Ukraine by Ukraine is moot,” said Gloystein.

Read also: 50 Consecutive Days of Gas Price Drops Show Positive Signs


Although Moldova is not a member of the European Union, it is applying to join the Union.

Russia supplies the country with over 5 million cubic meters of gas a day, a small fraction of the gas that the Union uses every day for its homes and businesses.

However, the move raises the specter of a further reduction in gas supplies to the European Union via Ukraine.

Russia also sends gas to Europe via the TurkStream pipeline from Turkey to Bulgaria.

Natural gas prices in Europe rose 4% on Wednesday.

However, at $128 per megawatt-hour, gas remains 64% below record highs at the start of 2022.

If Russia stops exporting via Ukraine, Europe will lose more than 4 billion cubic meters of gas between December and March.

Even if that happens, Europe probably has the resources to endure in the short term.


Russia threatens to cut supply of gas through Ukraine

Biden’s Ukraine strategy the subject of several Liberal Democrats in a letter

More than two dozen liberal members of the House are requesting US President Joe Biden to change course in his strategy for Ukraine.

Instead, they suggest that he pursue direct diplomacy with Russia to end the conflict that’s been going on for months.


A group of 30 Democrats sent a letter to Biden earlier this week.

They praised the President’s efforts to support Ukraine without direct US involvement.

However, they propose more vigorous efforts to end the war through diplomacy, believing it necessary to avoid lengthy conflict.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal led the group and helped with the letter.

“Given the destruction created by this war for Ukraine and the world, as well as the risk of catastrophic escalation,” the letter began.

“We also believe it is in the interest of Ukraine, the United States, and the world to avoid a prolonged conflict.”

“For this reason, we urge you to pair the military and economic support the United States has provided to Ukraine with a proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to see a realistic framework for a ceasefire.”

Read also: The Russia-Ukraine War: How the Drones Are Used

The situation

The letter was written at a crucial time in the Russia-Ukraine war.

Russia is targeting more civilian infrastructure to cut off power to Ukrainian citizens before winter.

Meanwhile, US lawmakers are questioning Ukraine’s continued financial and military support.

Some Republicans threatened to halt aid if they win Congress in the November elections.

However, Liberal Democrats argue that direct attempts to involve Moscow in diplomacy were necessary during the war.

They also raise it in the letter.

“We are under no illusions regarding the difficulties involved in engaging Russia given its outrageous and illegal invasion of Ukraine and its decision to make additional illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory.”

“However, if there is a way to end the war while preserving a free and independent Ukraine,” the letter continued.

“It is America’s responsibility to pursue every diplomatic avenue to support such a solution that is acceptable to the people of Ukraine.”

Read also: US continues to aid Ukraine, announces $1 billion military assistance package

Russia and Ukraine

John Kirby, the Strategic Communications Coordinator at the National Security Council, confirmed that the White House received the letter.

“We certainly appreciate the sentiments expressed by these members of Congress,” said Kirby.

“We have been working with members of Congress throughout this entire process, especially when we have needed additional funding to support Ukraine’s defense needs.”

John Kirby says there is no sign that Russian President Vladimir Putin will engage in serious diplomacy to end the war.

“When you see and listen to his rhetoric, and you see the other things,” Kirby started.

“Be they atrocities, the war crimes, the airstrikes against civilian infrastructures that the Russians are committing; it’s clear Mr. Putin is in no mood to negotiate.”

John Kirby says it’s up to the country and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to decide when to return to negotiating.

“Mr. Zelensky gets to determine when he thinks that’s the right time,” he elaborated.

“[And] Mr. Zelensky gets to determine because it’s his country, what success looks like, what victory looks like, and what sort of terms he’s willing to negotiate on.”

“We’re not going to dictate that,” Kirby concluded.


Liberal Democrats call on Biden to shift Ukraine strategy


A Russian tourist’s vacation photo gives away the military’s artillery location

The Russia-Ukraine war rages on, with the first one penetrating further into Ukrainian territory.

As the Russian troops advance, their whereabouts will soon be determined.

A photo recently posted on the Internet accidentally revealed the Russian air defense.

The holiday photo

A Russian tourist took a vacation photo while visiting a beach in occupied Crimea.

The man, wearing only a speedometer, has his right arm raised in greeting in a landscape shot – to the left of the image is a military truck.

The truck turned out to be an active S-400 air defense system positioned around the salt lake of Yevpatoria near the Black Sea coast.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, the photo gave an idea of ​​the location of Putin’s anti-aircraft defenses.

Ukraine reacts to the photo

When the photo surfaced, the Ukrainian defense decided to shed some light on the situation via Twitter:

“Maybe we are being too hard on Russian tourists… Sometimes they can be really helpful.”

“Like this man taking pictures at Russian air defence [sic] positions near Yevpatoria, in occupied Crimea. Thank you and keep up the good work!”

Citizen journalists quickly located the area where Russian forces arrived around July 20.

How the Russians reacted

On Sunday evening, Mikhail Razvozzhaev, the Russian-appointed governor of annexed Sevastopol, sent a warning telegram to Russian tourists, which reads:

“I remind you: try to shoot less photos and do not upload of how our AD works. If you are filming or taking pictures, at least don’t reference to the area.”

Officials say the warning came shortly before a drone attacked the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.

Social media footage on Friday night showed smoke rising from one location in Sebastopol, the same location as the fleet.

Mikhail Razvovhayev, the governor of Sevastopol, said on his Telegram channel that a drone attacked the building.

The Russian news agency Tas received news of the governor’s comments, stating:

“I am at the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters now. A drone hit the roof here 25 minutes ago. Unfortunately, it was not downed. There are no casualties.”

Despite Razvovhayev’s statements, Russian officials stationed in the area reportedly claimed that the drone was shot down over the city thanks to the efforts of local defense forces.

The Ukrainian government has not commented on the attack.


Speedo-wearing Russian tourist inadvertently reveals location of Putin’s artillery in Crimea

The Russia-Ukraine War: How the Drones Are Used

Russia and Ukraine used a wide range of weapons and technologies, but drones were the main weapon for both sides.

Thousands of drones were used during the invasion to locate, launch missiles and direct artillery fire on the enemy.


As both sides use different technology, Ukraine has deployed a military drone, the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2.

Drones are the size of small aircraft with cameras and can be armed with laser-guided bombs.

Dr. Jack Watling of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) research center says Ukraine started with Bayraktar’s fleet of “less than 50”.


According to Dr. Watling, Russia mainly used Orlan-10, a small and simple UAV.

“Russia started the war with some thousands of them, and may have a few hundred left,” he said.

Orlan drones have cameras and can carry small bombs.

Drone effectiveness

Two drones helped locate enemy targets and directed artillery fire.

“Russian forces can bring their guns to bear on the enemy within only three to five minutes of an Orlan-10 drone spotting a target,” noted Dr. Watling.

However, without it, the attack can last 20-30 minutes.

Dr. Marina Meron, a defense researcher at King’s College London, noted that drones have allowed Ukraine to expand its limited military.

“If you wanted to seek out enemy positions in the past, you would have had to send out special forces units to do it,” she says. 

“You might lose some troops. Now, all you’re risking is a drone.”

When the war broke out, the usefulness of Bayraktar drones was widely praised in Ukraine.

“They were shown attacking targets, such as ammunition dumps, and played a part in the sinking of the [warship] Moskva,” Dr. Miron said.

Though widely applauded, many Bayraktar were destroyed by enemy defenses over the course of several months.

“They are largely, relatively slow-moving, and fly at only medium altitude,” Dr. Watling pointed out.

“That makes them easy to shoot down.”

Non-military drones

The high price makes it difficult to replace the drone. For example, the Bayraktar TB2 is priced at $2 million.

As a result, Ukraine uses small commercial models like the DJI Mavic 3, which costs just over $2,000.

A Ukrainian drone manufacturer speculates that the country has deployed 6,000 drones, but there is no confirmation.

Commercial drones can be equipped with small bombs, but are mainly used to identify and directly attack enemy forces.

Commercial drones have a range of only 30km and a travel time of 46 minutes, making them less powerful than military drones.

“Ukraine doesn’t have as much ammunition as Russia,” says Dr. Miron.

“Having ‘eyes in the sky’ to spot targets and direct artillery fire means they can make better use of what they have.”

Drone suppliers

The White House says Russia has acquired Sahid military drones from Iran.

Houthi rebels in Yemen are using the same drones to attack targets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has received a shipment of 700 “Kamikaze” Switchblade military aircraft from the United States.

Drones are filled with explosives and hover in the air until they find a target.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX also offers satellite communications in Ukraine which offers a safe relationship between drones and operators.

DJI stopped delivering drones in Russia and Ukraine.

Payments for Ukrainian drones

In addition to US donations, Ukraine has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the purchase of 200 military drones.

“As well as large drones like [Bayraktar] TB2, they are looking for small, fixed-wing reconnaissance drones,” said Dr. Watling.

Ukrainian winner of the Eurovision Song Contest “Kalush Orchestra” sold the trophy for $900,000.

They donated money to invite UAVs to purchase three Ukrainian PD-2 drones.


Ukraine conflict: how are drones being used?