Putin’s War, Week 65. G7 Calls for War Crimes Trials and Reparations, F-16 Pilots Start Training, and Russia Is Invaded – RedState

Putin’s War, Week 65. G7 Calls for War Crimes Trials and Reparations, F-16 Pilots Start Training, and Russia Is Invaded – RedState

Week 66 of Putin’s War comes to an end, and the waiting continues. The fighting along the line of contact has dramatically diminished. More rain in Ukraine has made off-road mobility problematic.

That’s not to say nothing happened. The United States agreed to allow NATO nations to transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine to replace battle losses and upgrade the Ukrainian Air Force. Don’t be surprised if French Mirage and Swedish Grippen fighters are also in the mix. Switzerland has agreed to sell its stock of Leopard tanks to Germany, which will send them to Ukraine. This is because Switzerland is being very legalistic in its support of Ukraine. A Russian dissident corps supplied by the Ukrainian Army invaded Belgorod Oblast, Russia, forcing the Russians to evacuate a nuclear weapons storage site. And Volodymyr Zelensky was a special guest at the G7 summit, receiving unambiguous support.

Here are some of my past updates.

Putin’s War, Week 64. Patriots Score Big and the Scene Is Set for Offensive Action

Putin’s War, Week 63. Chechens Replace Wagner in Bakhmut, Storm Shadow Arrives, and Russia Says ‘Family Guy’ Is a Meany-Pants

Putin’s War, Week 62. Kremlin Droned, Russia Dissed by Friends and Allies, and Ukraine’s Offensive Takes Shape

Putin’s War, Week 61. Xi Calls, Prigozhin Sounds El Degüello, and Surprise Attacks at Sevastopol, Kherson, and (Maybe) St. Petersburg

Putin’s War, Week 60. Leaked Documents, a Russian Troll Exposed, and More Pieces Fall Into Place

Putin’s War, Week 59. Russia Goes ISIS and Waiting for General Mud to Take a Break

Putin’s War, Week 58. All Dressed Up and No Place to Go

Putin’s War, Week 57. Waiting for Godot.

Putin’s War, Week 56. Putin Indicted for War Crimes, Xi Visits Moscow, and Sevastopol Attacked for a Third Time

Putin’s War, Week 55. Russia Drops US Recon Drone, Ukraine Suffers From ‘Loose Lips’ as It Doubles Down on Bakhmut

Putin’s War, Week 54. More NordStream Melodrama, Russia Shows Diplomatic Weakness, and the Bakhmut Flipflop

Putin’s War, Week 53. Zelensky Blows a Big Play, Moscow Dodges a Drone Attack, and Russia’s Spring Offensive Fizzles

Putin’s War, Week 52. US and China Face off, Prigozhin Goes for the Jugular, Mystery Weapon Strikes, and Happy Anniversary

Putin’s War, Week 51. Russia’s Slow-Mo Offensive Gets Underway

Putin’s War, Week 50. The Calm Before the Storm

Putin’s War, Week 49. Waiting for the Russian Offensive

Putin’s War, Week 48. The Logjam Breaks and the Leopards Are About to Roam the Ukrainian Landscape

Putin’s War, Week 47. Gerasimov Shakes Up the Russian Army and the Russian Spring Offensive Looms

Putin’s War, Week 46. Putin Shakes up the Army Command, Prigozhin Shows How It’s Done, and Western Tanks for Ukraine Are on the Way

Putin’s War, Week 45: Putin Declares a Cease Fire, Zelensky Gets Putin’s Terms for Peace, and if You’re Fighting a War, Leave Your Cell Phone Home

Putin’s War, Week 44. Drones Strike Russian Strategic Bomber Base…Again… Prigozhin Makes His Move

Putin’s War, Week 43. Zelensky Visits the Front Lines and Washington, Putin Tries to Push Belarus Into War

Putin’s War, Week 42. Ukraine Gets the Nod to Strike Targets in Russia and Some Tools to Do It With

Many more are available at this link.

Politico-Strategic Level

G7 Statement on Ukraine

The G7 summit concluded this week. As a surprise, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was present and addressed the group.

Much to my surprise, the joint statement by the G7 leaders, even Brazil’s Lula da Silva, who avoided being seen with Zelensky, pretty much tracks with Zelensky’s speech. Here are excerpts. I encourage you to read the whole statement.

“We underline that a just peace cannot be realized without the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops and military equipment, and this must be included in any call for peace.”

“We commit to continuing our security assistance to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s aggression, tailoring our support to Ukraine’s needs.”

“We reaffirm our strong commitment to ensuring that Ukraine has the economic support it needs.”

“We remain united in imposing coordinated sanctions and other economic actions to further undermine Russia’s capacity to wage its illegal aggression.”

“In line with the commitment made through the REPO Task Force, we will continue to take measures available within our domestic frameworks to find, restrain, freeze, seize, and, where appropriate, confiscate or forfeit the assets of those individuals and entities that have been sanctioned in connection with Russia’s aggression. We are taking steps to fully map holdings of Russia’s sovereign assets immobilized in our jurisdictions. We reaffirm that, consistent with our respective legal systems, Russia’s sovereign assets in our jurisdictions will remain immobilized until Russia pays for the damage it has caused to Ukraine.”

“In this context, we reiterate our commitment to holding those responsible to account consistent with international law, including by supporting the efforts of international mechanisms, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

“We hereby pledge, from Hiroshima, the “symbol of peace”, that G7 members will mobilize all our policy instruments and, together with Ukraine, make every effort to bring a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine as soon as possible.”

Invasion of Russia Winds Down

A few days ago, a Russian corps fighting for Ukraine kicked off an invasion of Belgorod Oblast and gave the Russians a bit of a scare. The operation seems to have ended, and there doesn’t seem to have been a lot of bloodshed on either side. We will see if the operation had the desired effect of forcing Russia to move troops, artillery, and aircraft from the war in Ukraine to defend its borders. Read my post on Russia Evacuates Nuclear Weapons Stockpile as ‘Dissident’ Invasion of Russia Continues.

Training for Ukrainian F-16 Pilots Begins

One of the biggest stories of the last few months was the decision by the United States to permit allied nations to transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine. Read my post here: US Announces Ukraine Will Get F-16 Fighters as Antony Blinken Takes Control of Policy.

Training Ukrainian pilots, estimated to take four or five months, will start in early June.

Poland Readies to Support a Coup in Belarus

Belarus has been under a lot of pressure from Putin to enter the war and create a second front (Putin’s War, Week 43. Zelensky Visits the Front Lines and Washington, Putin Tries to Push Belarus Into War). President-for-Life Aleksandr Lukashenko has thus far resisted the effort to send his poorly trained and motivated army against an estimated 50,000 Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces. Lukashenko is also facing political unrest as many Belarusians sympathize with the Ukrainian cause.

The former commander of Poland’s Army, Lieutenant General Waldemar Skrzypczak, a former deputy defense minister, made waves saying the Polish Army was standing by to support a military coup against Lukashenko. (The translation is via browser.)

Poland is preparing for an armed coup in Belarus and participation in its military support, said former Deputy Minister of National Defense General Waldemar Skrzypczak.

“We are preparing for an uprising in Belarus, as it will happen,” Skrzypczak said on the Polsat TV channel.

He clarified that it was a military operation.

“We must be ready to support the troops that will conduct an operation against Lukashenka,” the general said.

He specified that this could happen after the success of the Ukrainian offensive.

As a reminder, Skrzypczak has also correctly claimed that part of Russia is historically Polish; see Former Head of Poland’s Armed Forces Follows Putin’s Example and Says Part of Russia Belongs to Poland.

While making a territorial claim on Russia was a good troll, we should pay close attention to this statement for two reasons. First, the actions of the Polish government over the course of the war give the impression that they care chomping at the bit to have a go at Belarus and Russia. I think Lukashenko’s reluctance to get involved in the war is a direct function of his fear that the Poles would then enter the war. Given the political turmoil in Belarus, this call for a coup could get a positive answer.

More Fallout From Russia’s Kh-47 Fiasco

Last week I posted about three of the development team for one of Putin’s wonder weapons, the Kh-47 hypersonic missile, being arrested for treason; see Putin’s War, Week 64. Patriots Score Big and the Scene Is Set for Offensive Action. This was after that missile that had been puffed up as a weapon that gave Russia military superiority failed miserably in its encounter with the Patriot air defense system. Now there is an update; they’ve been accused of selling secrets to China.

This is just the latest in a string of cases of Russian scientists allegedly transferring military secrets to China.

Last year, laser specialist Dmitry Kolker was arrested in Siberia on treason charges but died two days later of cancer. His lawyer Alexander Fedulov told Reuters last week that Kolker was accused of passing secrets to China, an allegation that the scientist’s family denied.

Alexander Lukanin, a scientist from the Siberian city of Tomsk, was arrested in 2020 on suspicion of passing tech secrets to Beijing, Russian state news agency TASS reported at the time. Last year, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Valery Mitko, a scientist heading the Arctic Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, was also accused in 2020 of passing secrets to China, where he had travelled regularly to give lectures, TASS said at the time. He died two years later at the age of 81 while under house arrest.

Another Mysterious Death

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Petro Kucherenko died of an unexpected heart attack on a flight home from Cuba.

According to the New York Post, Kucherenko had made some impolitic statements.

A senior Russian official who reportedly criticized the Kremlin’s offensive in Ukraine as a “fascist invasion” and lamented the ”degree of brutalization of our state” has died of undisclosed causes after a flight from Cuba.

“‘Save yourself and your family. Leave as soon as possible. You cannot imagine the degree of brutalization of our state. In a year you won’t recognize Russia at all. By leaving you are doing the right thing,’” Super quoted Kucherenko as saying, CNN reported.

Super said he asked Kucherenko if he also wanted to flee, to which, he said, the minister answered: “It is no longer possible to do so. They take away our passports. And there is no such world where they will now be happy with the deputy Russian minister after this fascist invasion.”

Kucherenko also reportedly told the journalist that he was taking “antidepressants and tranquilizers” to cope but that it wasn’t “really helping.”

“It doesn’t help much. I hardly sleep. I feel terrible. We’ve all been taken hostage. Nobody can say anything. Immediately crushed like aphids. Leave soon, Roma. And save everyone,” he allegedly added.

This is another in the unending series of “unexpected” deaths of prominent Russians; see Defenestration ‘Suicides’ up Under Vladimir Putin—Coincidence or Something Else? and 6 Russian Oligarchs Commit Suicide in Mysterious Outbreak of Epstein Syndrome.

Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Top ICC Prosecutor

Earlier this year, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin; see International Criminal Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Vladimir Putin. I’m not a huge fan of the ICC, but if the Nuremberg Court was anything other than “victor’s justice,” then Putin’s culpability for “crimes against peace,” (plotting and waging an unprovoked war of aggression), crimes against humanity (the forcible deportation of Ukrainian citizens and removal of children from their parents for adoption by Russians), and war crimes are on par with some of the people who went to the gallows on October 16, 1946.

Russia has countered by issuing its own arrest warrant for the ICC’s top prosecutor.

Stalin’s “No Retreat” Order Returns

On July 28, 1942, as the Red Army was disintegrating, Josef Stalin issued Order 227, that criminalized retreat or surrender. Fifteen months into its invasion of Ukraine and facing an imminent Ukrainian offensive, the Russian Army has resurrected an updated version of that order.

Welcome to Tbilisi

The Republic of Georgia has just reopened its borders to flights from Russia. The first one got an unexpected welcome from the citizens of the capital.

Russia Claims the Destruction of Patriot Missiles

In the aftermath of Patriot’s first combat action against a near-peer competitor (Patriot Leaves Skeptics Wordless, Russians Embarassed, and Kiev Littered With Pieces of Putin’s Wonder Weapons), Russia claimed at least five Patriot missile systems had been destroyed. One of the better OSINT guys on Twitter, @DefMon3, has been counting up Russian claims of destruction versus weapons delivery.

Both sides inflate the number of losses inflicted upon the enemy. However, the Russians differ from the Ukrainians because they don’t even make a pretense of being serious, and they show what they think of their supporters’ intelligence by putting out numbers that would make Goebbels blush.

Putin Does History

One of the underlying themes of the war in Ukraine is that Vladimir Putin and many like-minded Russians do not believe Ukraine to be a real country. Instead, they see it as an artificial construct carved out of Czarist Russia and given independence without any historical basis. To accentuate this point, Putin gave a short explainer on television to prove his point. It didn’t turn out particularly well.

Last Week on Russian State Television…

These are clips of talk shows on Russian state television to give you a feel for what is being said there. When reading this, keep in mind these opinions are somewhat scripted and fall within the range of discussion the Kremlin permits. I’d suggest the theme in these shows is to move the Overton Window of acceptable outcomes for the Ukraine War.

 

Operational Level

Mystery of the Massacre of Russian Aircraft Solved?

Ten days ago, the Russians admitted losing two fighter aircraft and two airborne electronic warfare platform helicopters, and 11 airmen in just a few seconds over Bryansk Oblast, Russia; see my coverage at Four Russian Aircraft Were Shot Down Over Russia in a Couple of Minutes and No One Is Giving Straight Answers.

At the time, speculation was that a Ukrainian air defense system had been moved close to the border, and the four aircraft lured into an ambush.

Then this factoid appeared in an unrelated article by Natasha Bertrand of CNN.

Interest was piqued because there have been zero reports of Patriot shooting down fixed-wing aircraft, but all four Russian aircraft shot down were within range of known Patriot locations.

So the search was on to find any reference to downed Russian fighters after the arrival of Patriot. There was only one such case: the downing of four aircraft over Russia. Yesterday, a quasi-official Russian Air Force Telegram channel stated that as a fact.

Today, it seems like we may have another one to add to that tally.

If this report is accurate, Patriot is the only Ukrainian air defense system with that range.

The implications of these engagements are very significant. First, it means that Patriot has converted the entire battlespace to a high-threat environment for Russian aircraft.

Drone Attack in the Black Sea?

Yesterday, the Russian Navy announced that the Ivan Khurs, a Yury Ivanov-class surveillance ship assigned to the Black Sea Fleet, was attacked by three Ukrainian sea-going drones some 80 miles northeast of the entrance to the Bosphorus. Allegedly, the ship was patrolling pipelines to protect them from another nefarious attack by the “Anglo-Saxons;” see Photos Place Russian Submarine Rescue Vehicle and Mini Sub Near Nord Stream Explosion; Sy Hersh Hardest Hit.

The Russians claim the attack was foiled and released this video.

There are three problems with the video. First, it isn’t unmanned. If you play the video at full screen, you can see what appears to be a person’s head in the cockpit. Second, the Russians claim the attack occurred at 5:30 a.m. local time. Sunrise in that area is about 5:38 a.m. Beginning Morning Nautical Twilight (BMNT) starts at 4:25 a.m., and Beginning Morning Civil Twilight begins at 5:06 a.m. (See definitions here.). The video is not via night vision goggles, and the attack was supposed to have happened just before sunrise. While there would have been enough ambient light to see shapes, you couldn’t get this degree of resolution. Third, though the Ukrainians have used unmanned sea-going drones in previous attacks (Ukraine Carries out Extensive Drone Attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Sevastopol Homeport), those do not resemble the boat in the video. At this point, I’m not sure what we’re seeing in this video, but I’m pretty sure it is not what we’re told it is.

Not to be outdone, the Ukrainians released their video of the alleged attack.

Real or CGI? I can’t tell you the answer.

In an attempt to dispel the rumors, Russian-affiliated Twitter accounts released images allegedly of Ivan Khurs returning to port.

https://twitter.com/WarMonitors/status/1661744300630368256

Neither image shows the side of the ship allegedly struck by the alleged Ukrainian drone. We have no proof of the date of the video. So they prove nothing beyond a ship alleged to be Ivan Khurs moving under its own power at some point in time.

Absent some more definitive evidence, I’m not sure any of this is real.

Utility Workers

Russia’s war on Ukraine’s electrical grid has been covered in several of my updates (see Putin’s War, Week 39. The Battle of the Generators). The strategy had two components. First, inflict suffering on the Ukrainian population by forcing them to spend the winter without heat, and second, deprive Ukraine of income from the sale of electricity. The Russians now seem to have branched out into attacking civilian electrical repair crews. This is a war crime, but this is the Russian military, and that is how it conducts itself.

Prisoner Exchange

Eight Ukrainian officers and 98 enlisted men were exchanged for an undisclosed number of Russians outside Bakhmut. This continues the program of regular exchange of prisoners, which is an anomaly in this war.

South Korea Sending Ammunition to Ukraine?

Months ago, I reported the South Korean government had agreed to transfer hundreds of thousands of 155mm artillery ammunition to Ukraine. For a lot of reasons, the transfer stalled (see Putin’s War, Week 37. Kherson Liberated and Winter Comes). Now it is reported that ammunition transfers have started.

Combat Operations
Artillery

I’ve posted on the subject of wear-and-tear on field artillery pieces. Once you fire more than 7,000 rounds +/-, tube wear becomes a problem. The first symptom is that the rounds land consistently short because gas escapes between the round and the tube. The lateral spread increases because the round is not gripping the rifling as it should. Eventually, this can happen.

Artillery on both sides is suffering from wear. The difference is that Ukraine’s artillery is serviced by workshops outside the combat zone and returned to action. Russia has limited capacity to replace tubes, and it is much more of a logistics challenge for the Russians to do the needed maintenance because their depots are much further away.

Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP)

Here are some combat videos.

This one is interesting because you can watch a Javelin fired in top-attack mode (in the treeline right of center at 0.52) and trace its flight until it demolishes a BMP at 0:54.

Northern Front
Kharkiv

This is an interesting development. One of the indicators of where the Ukrainian offensive will hit is the location of the new brigades fresh from training and equipping in Germany, the UK, and Sweden.

In my view, Kharkiv is not a great location for an offensive because it is laced with north-south running rivers with ridges in between. This leads to three possibilities. First, this is a head fake. Sending a new brigade to Kharkiv and making sure it is announced might divert the Russian military’s attention from the most likely axis of attack, Tokmak-to-Melitopol. Second, this indicates the coming Ukrainian offensive may be on two axes, not one. I’m sort of a mass+maneuver guy who doesn’t approve of multiple attacks that can’t support each other. The Russians did that in February 2022, and we see how that ended up. Third, my worse fears have been realized, and the Ukrainian Army has succumbed to a “share the wealth” mindset where everyone gets some of the new brigades instead of consolidating them under one commander.

We’ll see soon enough what this means.

Donbas

Bakhmut

After seven months, the city of Bakhmut is mostly in Russian hands. Most reports indicate a thin strip in the southwest remains under Ukrainian control. While there is no denying that it would have been more favorable to Ukraine if the city had been held, I stand beside my statements over the last seven months that Bakhmut is useless as anything other than a totem. This, by George Barros of the Institute for the Study of War, is mostly where I line up on this.

I will tell you what it doesn’t mean. This is from tech mogul David Sacks, a close friend of Elon Musk and, in my view, a major Russian propagandist. It shows that you can be a billionaire and still be profoundly stupid about a lot of things.

What is the significance of Bakhmut? Here’s what the MSM should be telling you:

1) Regional transport & logistics hub: Bakhmut gives Russia access to key roads and rail. It places larger cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk within easy range of Russian artillery. Hence Zelensky’s earlier comment that the loss of Bakhmut would give the Russians an “open road” to rest of Donetsk.

My first advice would be to recommend that he buy a map and look at it. Bakhmut is not a transportation hub. This is a rail map of Ukraine with Bakhmut marked.

Even if it were a transportation hub, it is on the front lines and within visual observation of the Ukrainian Army. The whole city, including the railyard, has been rubbled. Nothing is going to move through there.

Once you leave Bakhmut, you must cross a water obstacle and climb a 300-meter ridge to go anywhere.

Putin's War, Week 65. G7 Calls for War Crimes Trials and Reparations, F-16 Pilots Start Training, and Russia Is Invaded

I’m not going to argue with Zelensky’s comments, just point out that Bakhmut doesn’t lead anywhere. Neither Soviansk nor Kramatorsk are within artillery range. Soviansk is over 40 miles away. Kramatorsk is only in range if you park artillery in Bakhmut, which would be a terrible evolutionary strategy.

2) Unique defensive fortifications: Bakhmut’s network of subterranean salt mines and tunnels (100+ miles) contributed to its defensibility. It also provides an underground complex to stockpile weapons, munitions and equipment. Ukraine has other lines of defense but Bakhmut may have been unique.

The underground salt mines are in Soledar, not Bakhmut. If Bakhmut were in any way unique in defensibility, the Russians would have bypassed it and continued moving west rather than losing seven months fighting to control the city.

3) “Fortress Bakhmut”: Bakhmut became a rallying cry for Ukrainian resistance. Zelensky called it “the fortress of our morale” and gave a Bakhmut flag to the US Congress. “The fight for Bakhmut will change the trajectory of our war for independence and for freedom,” he said.

If this is true, the Ukrainian military will start disintegrating, and the war will end in short order. If that doesn’t happen, then it is safe to call this statement bullsh**.

4) “Operation Meat Grinder”: Russia may have used Bakhmut as a trap to lure in Ukrainian troops and generals, causing them massive casualties and imperiling the Ukrainian counteroffensive. Prigozhin videos claiming the Russians were running out of ammo (which were eagerly reported by MSM) may have been part of the trap.

There is no doubt that Bakhmut was a meatgrinder. The unanswered question is who won the war of attrition. Mike Ford and I have had several discussions on this, and our consensus is that Ukraine fought here so long because they were killing a boatload of Russians. Most official Western sources believe the Russians lost many more troops than Ukraine in Bakhmut. YMMV. Drawing any inference between the seven months of fighting in Bakhmut and the upcoming Ukrainian offensive is just pig ignorant. The Russians didn’t lure the Ukrainians in, as Bakhmut was already under Ukrainian control. All evidence indicates that Ukraine used Bakhmut as an economy of force operation. While the fighting was going on in Bakhmut, the Ukrainians carried out two major offensives, in Kharkiv and Kherson. I may be wrong, but I seriously doubt the Ukrainian high command made tactical or strategic decisions based on Prigozhin’s videos.

There is nothing here that I haven’t said in my updates multiple times. Bakhmut was a symbol. It would have been cool if Ukraine had held it, but it is meaningless corpse-littered real estate to both sides.

Avdiivka

The Russians have attacked Avdiivka and the surrounding area daily for several months. Those attacks have stopped.

Soledar

Soledar is a salt-mining city located just north of Bakhmut. The Russians took that city after a prolonged fight back in January; see Putin’s War, Week 48. The Logjam Breaks and the Leopards Are About to Roam the Ukrainian Landscape. The Russians are now laying minefields east of the city between Soledar and the main Russian defensive belt.

 

Southern Front
Zaporizhzhia

Storm Shadow

I posted about the arrival of the British Storm Shadow cruise missile in the theater of operations two weeks ago; see Putin’s War, Week 63. Chechens Replace Wagner in Bakhmut, Storm Shadow Arrives, and Russia Says ‘Family Guy’ Is a Meany-Pants. Now we have another example of its use. The target here was a Russian military barracks deep behind the lines in Mariupol. Take all the crowing about casualty numbers with a grain of salt, but Storm Shadow is putting Russian military targets that were previously immune to attack at risk.

War Memorial Stolen

I am just putting this out here. I’ve no idea why stealing a World War II tank from a mass grave site in Melitopol makes any sense.

Rear Areas
Crimea

Partisan Activity

Derailing trains in Crimea is becoming a frequent occurrence. The only way Russia can combat this is by dedicated railway security units. This, in turn, diverts men needed on the line of contact to rear area security.

What’s Next?

You’re as tired of reading this as I am writing it. We wait. The rain has pushed a start date for any Ukrainian offensive into early June. Despite the political setback of losing Bakhmut, I still see a very favorable environment for offensive action. Approximately nine new brigades have come home from training in Western Europe. The influx of anti-aircraft systems protects Ukrainian cities and, just as importantly, Ukrainian artillery and mechanized units from Russian observation and drone attacks. Patriot has shown it can reach 50-plus miles into Russian territory and kill aircraft. Storm Shadow is striking headquarters and logistics facilities deep behind the lines.

To be clear, it is more important for the Ukrainians to do this right than tomorrow. If this offensive breaks through Russian defenses, and if handled properly, it can do just that; then political pressure will mount on Putin to call an end to the war. On the other hand, if it fizzles or the Ukrainians try to do too much, they are going to see the second-guessers who are smarting from the transfer of M1, Challenger, and Leopard tanks, HIMARS, F-16s, Storm Shadow, Patriot, etc., to Ukraine regain some influence. If that happens, we are headed towards a frozen conflict of our own making.

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Originally Posted on: https://redstate.com/streiff/2023/05/25/putins-war-week-65-g7-calls-for-war-crimes-trials-and-reparations-f-16-pilots-start-training-and-russia-is-invaded-n748985
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