Opening Outline – John Moran
1 WAR REPORT, APRIL 19, 2023
Heavy clashes have been reported overnight in Zaphorizne and Kheerson provinces on the southern front. Russian military report that a large RECCE in Combat was carried out by Ukrainian forces into Zaphorizne.
RECCEs in Combat can somstimes be mistaken for an actual offensive and right now Russians are jittery becasue of the much heralded Ukrainian Spring Offensive. Because of sthe size of the attack there was some alarm that this might be the Spring Offensive long-promised bh the Ukraininans.
The recognissaince group was repulsed by the defending Russian army forces with heavy losses on the retreating Ukrainians, they report.
Heavy shelling is reported in the Kherson province. Russian forces have evacuated the civilian population further east out of danger should any offensive take place.
Very heavy fighting is also reported from Bakhmut, Ugledar and Kupiansk.
In Bakhmut, fighting is now taking place in the centre of Bakhmut, as the Ukrainian garrison fights for every room in every building.
In Ugledar, heavy fighting is also rreported with little ground gained by either side in this endless slugfest.
Fierce fighting is also reported from Kremmenya where Russian forces are attempting to clear out a large forested area.
In recent attacks, Russia has employed increased air support to attack targets on the ground using very heavy munitions, containing from 500 to 1,500kg of explosives.
This is happening becasue of the attrition of Ukraine’s air defences in numerous attacks all over Ukraine. A number of military commentators have said the use of these weapons could noiw be a “gamechanger”.
2 MAIN STORY
Twitter CEO Elon Musk has revealed in an interview that governments around the world have had “full access” to Twitter, even now.
In an excerpt of his Fox News interview with host Tucker Carlson, Musk told Carlson that he was shocked to find out about the government’s ability to read users’ direct messages on his platform.
“The degree to which government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on on Twitter blew my mind,” Musk, who recently founded an artificial intelligence company called X.AI, told Carlson in the interview set to air on Tuesday. “I was not aware of that.”
“Would that include people’s DMs?” Carlson asked Musk.
“Yes,” Musk replied to Carlson.
The Twitter boss promises to block this access as soon as he can. for Gmail.
It has not been revealed if govt agencies (CIA, FBI, NSC) had similar access at Gmail or Google.
Nor has it been revealed if Irish Govt has also been spying on Twitter or Gmail users. Nobody will even ask them, such is the supine nature of MSM journalism today.
The West’s Mother of all sanctions against Russia are has been described as the most monumental miscalculation in modern history.
The sanctions have not brought the Russian economy to its knees, as was widely predicted. Instead, it’s the Western economies that are reeling, their economic growth all but stopped.
Russia, meanwhile, is not only surviving but thriving, acquiring more potency and prestige throughout Asia, Africa and South America than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
According to the IMF, the Russian economy will grow faster than Germany’s or the UK’s this year. Next year, it will also grow faster than those of the U.S., Japan, Italy, and much of the rest of the West, its growth in GDP per capita will exceed that of the advanced economies as a whole, and it will achieve the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio among the G20 nations.
Russia’s unemployment rate of 3.5% is the lowest since the Soviet Union fell. Russia’s economic performance is all the more remarkable since Russia is simultaneously fighting an expensive proxy war against the combined weight of the armories of the West.
Perhaps we might ask the West to sanction us.
Emmanuel Macron has faced a storm of criticism from the hawks in the United States as well as some EU members after standing by his remarks that the bloc should be independent from Washington’s militaristic foreign policy.
The statements come at a time that Macron is facing waves of strikes and protests at home over his deeply unpopular pension reforms, measures introduced after the eruption of the Ukraine war.
The United States is now seeking to provoke China into a military conflict with Taiwan by sending weapons to Taipei and holding high level talks with separatist forces in violation of the One-China principle.
The French leader initially said the European Union should not be dragged into another crisis in China being initiated by the United States over Taiwan. He warned that Europe should end its policy of being “caught up in crises that are not ours”.
Keep an eye on Macron. He will contact President Xi when he has a plan for peace in Ukraine. Remember, the great China Belt and Road initiative will go right through Ukraine on its way to the rest of us in Europe.
The FBI is reportedly investigating a former US Navy noncommissioned officer who was identified as a pro-Russian propagandist who allegedly played a key role in spreading intelligence documents uploaded online by suspected leaker Jack Teixeira.
Sarah Bils, 37, a veteran who served at Whidbey Island in Washington state, was outed as “Donbass Devushka,” which translates to Donbas Girl, an online personality behind a vast network of pro-Kremlin blogs, podcasts and fundraising accounts.
While Bils touted herself online as a Ukraine-born woman backing Russia’s invasion and spreading misinformation against Kyiv, she was actually born in New Jersey and now lives in Oak Harbor, Washington, Malcontent News first reported with information from the pro-Ukraine North Atlantic Fella Organization (NAFO) .
Bils told the Wall Street Journal Sunday that she is just an administrator for the Donbass Devushka persona, but noted that there were about 14 others “all over the world” who run her vast network.
The Journal reported Monday that Bils’ activities are being investigated by the feds, but the extent of the probe is unclear.
The Telegram account linked to the persona had posted four of the allegedly leaked documents from the Department of Defense on April 5 that resulted in Teixeira’s arrest last week.
Bils claimed the documents were posted by another administrator.
In the Daily Mail, in a reproach to silent parliamentarians which also applies in Ireland, Peter Hitchens asks: “Who decided to send the SAS to Ukraine? What are they doing there? What would happen were they to be killed by Russian forces, or captured by them? And what was a British surveillance plane, capable of carrying 30 people, doing over the Black Sea last September, when a bungling Russian pilot almost shot it down, only failing because his missile was a dud? What would have happened if the missile had worked, and many British servicemen and women had died?
Nobody will answer these questions when I ask them. Once upon a time, we had a proper Parliament in which brave, indomitable MPs such as the late Tam Dalyell would pursue such matters. Perhaps, even now, some courageous man or woman is getting ready to step into Tam Dalyell’s shoes. I do hope so.
The same might be said for the Dail, with not a peep out of anyone because of the heavy propoganda mounted here. Note eg, RTE News`s captions, all of which still contain the yellow and blue colours of Ukraine.
7 Another war crime in Donetsk bombing
A pregnant woman died outside a church she was leaving in Donetsk city, the latest in the daily war crimes/ Ukraine and her allies must take responsibility for these attacks, which are using western donated weapons and ammunition. Again not a peep out of anyone in the West over targeting civilians.
8 All roads lead to Donbass
Presidents Putin and Zelensky both made surprise visits to Donbass yesterday. Mr Zelensky visited the Ukrainian troops in Avdeevka, site of the daily bombing of Donetsk city, while Mr Putin visited
All monks at the Monastery in Kiev at the centre of a religious freedom row are now facing the prospect of being forcefully eviction. The evictions are expected to be imminent, according to reports.