Today's Liberal News

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Ukraine Update: Danish anti-ship Harpoon missiles on their way to Ukraine

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After two days of futility, Russia finally picked up some new ground today.

Updates: 🇷🇺 advanced further South of Popasna and captured Myronivs’kyi. There is fighting ongoing in Lyman after 🇷🇺 forces entered the city’s outskirts. pic.twitter.com/AiS5Ys7cqT— Ukraine War Map (@War_Mapper) May 24, 2022

Lyman’s fate is sealed, on the wrong side of the Donets. Hopefully civilians have fully evacuated.

Ukraine update: Seriously, stop panicking about Popasna

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As usual, War Mapper has the best visualizations of daily battlefield changes: 

Updates: 🇷🇺 captured Novoselivka, Northwest of Lyman. 🇷🇺 continued its advances in the vicinity of Popasna, taking control of the villages of Viktorivka and Vyskryva. pic.twitter.

Ukraine Update: Seriously, stop panicking about Popasna

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As usual, War Mapper has the best visualizations of daily battlefield changes: 

Updates: 🇷🇺 captured Novoselivka, Northwest of Lyman. 🇷🇺 continued its advances in the vicinity of Popasna, taking control of the villages of Viktorivka and Vyskryva. pic.twitter.

Ukraine Update: Russia’s lone truth teller strikes again, so why does Putin keep him around?

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There has been no further updates on the big news of the day—reports by Russian sources that Ukraine had crossed to the east of the Donets River, directly threatening Russian supply lines at Vovchansk. Ukraine doesn’t announce liberated towns until days after the fact. Russia doesn’t know what half its troops are doing at any given time, why give them a head’s up? It also prevents the embarrassment of losing territory after announcing a liberation.

Ukraine Update: American artillery proved decisive in Russia’s Bilohorivka bridge-crossing disaster

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For all the sturm und drang of today’s fighting, changes on the ground were scant. Ukraine officially picked up a small town here, Russia did the same over there. While much of the front line was on fire (Ukraine claimed 14 separate attacks), the situation on the ground remained essentially unchanged. @War_Mapper’s updates on Twitter are always great, if you want to see today’s changes.

Ukraine Update: American artillery proved decisive in Russia’s Bilohorivka bridge-crossing disaster

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For all the sturm und drang of today’s fighting, changes on the ground were scant. Ukraine officially picked up a small town here, Russia did the same over there. While much of the front line was on fire (Ukraine claimed 14 separate attacks), the situation on the ground remained essentially unchanged. @War_Mapper’s updates on Twitter are always great, if you want to see today’s changes.

Ukraine Update: Russia’s river-crossing debacle is beyond belief

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It’s said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. If that’s the case … Russia qualifies. 

We saw it in the early days of the war in Hostomel airport northwest of Kyiv. Russia made an unsupported airborne landing on the base. Got wiped out. Tried it again. Same result.

Ukraine Update: One side knows how to fight a war, and it’s not Russia

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This past Monday, a local Telegram account gave us the first inkling something was happening near Kharkiv, in Ukraine’s northeast. The account claimed that Ukraine had pushed Russians out of Staryi Saltiv, well east of the last known Ukrainian positions around Kharkiv (as well as complained that withdrawing Russians had run over his aviary). It’s as if Ukraine had leap-frogged a whole string of villages en route to the key city on the Donets.

Ukraine Update: Russia vowed to refocus its war effort, but it’s as scattered as ever

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Mark Sumner wrote earlier today about the incredible shrinking Russian army. It’s an important read, as it explains why Russia is stuck on all fronts in Ukraine despite having a seemingly overwhelming numerical and equipment advantage. The bottom line, as it turns out, is that Russia doesn’t have a numerical and equipment advantage. 

Russia didn’t gain any ground today, anywhere. They are stuck stuck.

Ukraine update: How could Russia make use of a general mobilization?

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I wrote an entire update earlier today on the possibility that Ukraine had taken a key city near Kharkiv, in Ukraine’s northeast. Looks (indirectly) confirmed. 

This appears to be confirmation from official US Defence sources that Ukrainian troops have retaken the strategic town of Staryi Saltiv. That town is 40km NE of the centre of Kharkiv (a circle showing 40km is mapped below) and had been rumoured recaptured by Ukraine today. https://t.co/t6ntAn726m pic.twitter.

Ukraine Update: Russia is stuck, and they can’t even blame it on the mud

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For the second straight day, Russia lost more ground than it gained. Ukraine is pushing Russian forces around Kharkiv toward the international border. Mark Sumner made this map for his last update—blue cities taken the last couple of days, yellow ones under current Ukrainian assault. 

Mark searched the names of all the villages NE of Kharkiv on Google and social media to get a handle on that Kharkiv front. All the villages.

Ukraine Update: To mobilize or not—Putin’s lose-lose choice

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Today’s April 29 report really amounts to “zip.” A small village northeast of Kharkiv liberated by Ukraine was the only territory to change hands. On the main Donbas front, Ukraine General Staff reported repelling 14 attacks, none gained purchase. And yet again, we see Russia incapable of organizing a single, massive, coordinated push to crack Ukrainian defensive lines.

Ukraine Update: With modern Western artillery on its way, Ukraine’s job is to just hold

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The old adage that “if it’s too good to be true, it likely is,” definitely applies in this war, as I spent much of the day trying to verify fantastical claims from both sides. I even had to enlist Mark Sumner at one point to help me sort through one rumor of a major Ukrainian breakthrough toward Mariupol. Turns out, no one is making big sweeping gains. It’s all “lay down artillery until defenders get the f’ out, walk in.

Ukraine update: It’s groundhog day, as Russia learned no lessons from its Kyiv failures

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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy felt like Groundhog Day, answering the same questions “what do you need?” from world leaders time and time again. Writing about this war feels the same way. 

The first five weeks of the war, we didn’t just talk about Russia’s logistical struggles, but of Ukraine’s abilities to capitulate on those struggles for maximum chaos and destruction.

Ukraine update: The heavy weapons spigot has finally opened for Ukraine

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: 

“I like new questions,” he said. “It’s not interesting to answer the questions you already heard.” He is frustrated, for instance, by repeated requests for his wish list of weapons systems. “When some leaders ask me what weapons I need, I need a moment to calm myself, because I already told them the week before. It’s Groundhog Day. I feel like Bill Murray.

Ukraine Update: It’s time to appreciate the massive logistical effort to support Ukraine

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On March 7, the United States announced that it would send 400 troops to Lithuania to compliment 600 already there. On April 7, we saw American artillery passing through Poland.

A train of military equipment straining towards the border with Ukraine was seen at the railway station Gniezno (Poland) The following equipment can be seen on the platforms: ▪️American tracked command and staff machine M577 ▪️American self-propelled artillery 155mm pic.

Ukraine update: Stunning news as Ukraine reportedly sinks Russia’s Black Sea Fleet flagship

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(I’m basing this report on early information. The fog of war is thick. So approach everything with appropriate hesitation and skepticism.)

The day’s big war news is … it’s big. Ukraine has sunk the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the guided missile cruiser Moskva—the very ship Ukrainians told to go fuck themselves on the first day of the war.

Ukraine update: Both Russia and Ukraine face difficult choice as Phase II of the war begins

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Today was rough, with too many gruesome pictures of dead civilians in liberated towns. The United States warned that Russia had kill-lists of people they wanted eradicated once they took control, and apparently it included even small town mayors. In one little settlement, the mayor was murdered along with her son and husband—the latter tossed into a sewer to bloat and decompose.