Propaganda only works so long.
Ukraine’s military asserted on Monday that it had killed the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in a missile attack last week, which, if confirmed, would make the strike among the most damaging for the Russian Navy since the sinking of the fleet’s flagship last year.
There was no immediate comment from Moscow’s Defense Ministry on the status of its fleet commander, Adm. Viktor Sokolov, who is one of the most senior figures in the Russian Navy. Ukraine’s claim could not be independently verified.
Ukraine’s special operations forces on Friday said they had struck a headquarters of the Russian fleet in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, a storied port that is now under regular bombardment from Ukraine’s long-range missiles and exploding drones. Fleet officers were holding a meeting there at the time, the Ukrainian military said.
Russian sources say that no one was in the very exposed building when the Ukrainian missiles hit. The real headquarter is underground in an unknown place.
Today there was an expanded Board meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow (machine translation):
Opening the meeting, the Defense Minister briefly highlighted the situation in the special military operation zone.
“Groups of Russian troops,” he said, ” continue active operations to defeat the enemy. Thanks to the professionalism and courage of the personnel of the 25th and 138th motorized rifle brigades in the Kupyansk direction, the control zone near the settlements of Sinkovka and Petropavlovsk was significantly expanded. As a result of effective fire damage, the armed forces of Ukraine are suffering serious losses along the entire line of contact.
During the current month, more than 17 thousand people, more than 2,700 weapons and military equipment were destroyed, including 7 American Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 77 American M777 artillery systems, 51 self-propelled artillery installations from Germany, France, Poland and the United States of America, as well as two German Leopard tanks and one English tank “Challenger”.
The commander of the Black Sea fleet, Adm. Viktor Sokolov, took part in the briefing via a live TV link.
Dmitri Alperovitch @DAlperovitch – 10:29 UTC · Sep 26, 2023
Russian MoD released a photo of a claimed meeting today between Shoigu and military commanders, with Black Sea Fleet Admiral Sokolov participating (bottom on the left) and not dead as has been alleged No way to verify the date of the photo though
And now video of Shoigu’s speech. I think this is now a pretty good proof of life that Sokolov didn’t die on the strike on Black Sea Fleet HQ
—Another whopper comes from the neoconservative Institute for the Study of War:
ISW @TheStudyofWar – 4:03 UTC · Sep 25, 2023
6/ Putin may have ordered the Russian military command to hold all Russia’s initial defensive positions to create the illusion that Ukrainian counteroffensives have not achieved any tactical or operational effects despite substantial Western support.
As one commentator remarked:
“Putin orders Russian army to win battle to create the illusion of having won battle”
The White House has put out a letter with a list of demands Ukraine has to fulfill to receive further aid.
The “DELIBERATIVE // PRE-DECISIONAL WORKING DRAFT – SUBJECT TO REVIEW” five page letter includes the “Priority Reform List – Reforms Linked to Conditions on U.S. Assistance”.
It demands a complete reform of major Ukrainian power structures and the insertion of designated foreign personnel. It sets 3, 6 and 12 month limits for certain reforms to be achieved.
Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) Reform : Implement newly enacted law #3277-IX by standing up the Advisory Group of Experts with the meaningful participation of Venice Commision, EU, and U.S. nominated experts and supporting the vetting process of CCU judge candidates. *Passage of #3277 was one of seven requirements for Ukraine to begin EU accession process.
Ministry of Defense (MOD) : o Without undermining readiness, re-design both military armament and public procurement processes and procedures reflecting NATO standards of transparency, accountability, efficiency, and competition in defense procurement.
o Invest in Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) initiatives.
Ministry of Strategic Industries / Ukraine Defense Industry (formerly UkrOboronProm) : Stand up UDI supervisory board that complies with OECD standards, including participation by foreign defense experts. Build stronger institutional connections (e.g., liaison or procurement offices) with MOD and General Staff planning, to ensure UDI’s work is aligned with the country’s most pressing needs. Ensure NATO standards of transparency, accountability, efficiency, and competition across the defense industrial sector. Institute transparency procedures (even taking into account wartime needs for secrecy) to allow later audit and avoid even the appearance of politicization or corruption in defense production.
I believe that the Ukrainian government currently has very different problems and priorities than those dreamed up in some offices in DC.
Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.
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