• Guests may view all public nodes. However, you must be registered to post.

UA-RU-NATO Reports | 4/1-4/30 2024

Ukraine has developed super-drones which can fly more than 1,000km, a minister said, after a big oil refinery was hit deep inside Russia.
The drone attacks by Ukraine reportedly hit Russia’s third biggest oil refinery and a drone factory nearly 800 miles (1,200km) from the frontline, say military sources.

“The flights are determined in advance with our allies, and the aircraft follow the flight plan to enable us to strike targets with meters of precision,” the source said.
Western countries are helping Ukraine to fly kamikaze drones deep inside Russian territory, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing a Ukrainian source close to Kiev’s drone program. An unnamed official who spoke to CNN described how Kiev uses UAVs with longer ranges and “more advanced capabilities” to strike targets located more than 1,000 km (621 miles) from the border.
“The flights are determined in advance with our allies, and the aircraft follow the flight plan to enable us to strike targets with meters of precision,” the source said.

From Business Insider:
Russia's military is 'almost completely reconstituted' as it goes into overdrive to shore up losses in Ukraine: US official
Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said Russia has "almost completely" restored its mlitary.
He made the remarks on Wednesday as he spoke on Indo-Pacific security.
Reports differ on how well Russia is faring in revitalizing its bleeding military after heavy losses in Ukraine.
Russia has "almost completely" reformed its military capabilities after taking heavy losses in Ukraine, a top US official said on Wednesday.

"I think we have assessed throughout the last couple of months that Russia has almost completely reconstituted militarily," Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said at a talk hosted by the Center for a New American Security. Campbell co-founded CNAS, a Washington-based think tank.
He said Moscow suffered initial setbacks during the Ukraine war but has "retooled and now poses a threat to Ukraine."

"But not just to Ukraine," Campbell said. "Its newfound capabilities pose a longer-term challenge to stability in Europe and threatens NATO allies."

The deputy state secretary pointed to Russia receiving industrial and commercial support from China as he spoke in a larger discussion on Indo-Pacific security.

China, the US' main rival in the Indo-Pacific, has also been Russia's largest trading partner, with $240 billion in commerce between both nations last year.

Governments and think tanks have offered differing analyses of how Russia is revitalizing its hard-hit military. Russia lost an estimated 315,000 troops in the first years of the war, according to UK intelligence. It's also burned through much of its aerial and support inventory, war analysts say.

In the wake of those losses, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has sent his nation's military-industrial complex into overdrive, focusing its economy on producing shells, weapons, and equipment.

Campbell's remarks appear to be one of the most optimistic Western assessments of the Kremlin's production push thus far.

In December, the UK military published an intelligence update saying it would likely take Russia 10 years to replenish its ground troops with highly skilled forces, citing a "transition toward a lower-quality, high-quantity mass army."

And in January, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Russia was building a military that could attack NATO, but likely would only reach such a capacity in "five to eight years."

Lithuania has put that estimate between five to seven years.

Others say Russia is making steady progress. The Royal United Services Institute, a London-based security think tank, said in February that Moscow had bolstered its troops in Ukraine from a disorganized 360,000-strong force in 2023 to a better-trained 410,000 soldiers in 2024.

"Although the Russian military's aspiration to increase in size to 1.5 million personnel has not been realized, recruiters are currently achieving almost 85% of their assigned targets for contracting troops to fight in Ukraine," researchers wrote.

The report highlighted that Russia is also rapidly producing about 1,500 tanks and 3,000 armored vehicles a year but is unlikely to sustain that capacity because much of this production comes from refurbishing older vehicles.

The Institute for the Study of War, based in Washington, said the RUSI report indicated that Russia may be able to sustain its heavy losses for another two years.

Meanwhile, Ukraine suffers from waning US support as congressional leaders lock up billions in aid — including much-needed ammunition and weapons — over domestic politics.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that his country's exhausted ammo stocks are severely handicapping its forces as Russia advances slowly in the east.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, who previously blocked a $60 billion package to Ukraine, recently proposed a plan to use frozen Russian assets to fund Kyiv. It's still not clear how much congressional support that plan will get.

The US State Department and CNAS did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent outside regular business hours by Business Insider.
I'd like to see a source on that.
Source: McCaul to Action

An interview between Julia Ioffe & Michael McCaul
Sounds like you think you’re kind of between a rock and a hard place where the guys on your right flank want to give nothing, and the guys in the administration don’t want to give enough, in your view. So how do you navigate that?

We can write it in the bill, just keep putting pressure on them. Blinken seems very—I was with him right after the invasion—he was all in for the MIGs going in. It’s not him. In my judgment, it’s Jake Sullivan and the White House. It’s a very timid response. I like the Colin Powell Doctrine. You’re all in or you’re all out. Don’t go halfway. You know, we’re giving Putin exactly what he wants. That’s a stalemate. A war of attrition. And he has more bodies to throw in.

A lot of people have drawn this distinction between Tony and Jake. What do you think is Jake’s logic in this?

Jake is—he’s overly cautious. He’s very timid. And he’s bought into this notion that, well, if we give them too much, then Russia’s going to use a tactical nuke on us. Well, most intelligence I’ve seen is they’re not going to do that. Because that would be a game-changer for everybody.
Source: McCaul to Action

An interview between Julia Ioffe & Michael McCaul
Overall, we rate Puck.News Left-Center biased based on editorial positions that moderately favor the left. We also rate them Mostly Factual rather than High due to a lack of hyperlinked sourcing and a failed fact check.

It should be noted that McCaul is a Republican, and Jake Sullivan is a Democrat, so it is within the realm of possibility that McCaul exaggerated things.
It should also be noted that even if true, Sullivan may just be listening to Medvedev a tad too much, if the US government seriously believed the Russians were going to nuke America, things would be very different.