First up, Mariupol.
The mopping-up of Mariupol continues. On 30 and 31 March, DPR and Russian Federation units achieved significant success in destroying the manpower and equipment of the Azov regiment’s defending units.
SouthFront has a lot of videos of some relatively routine military actions that you can see on their site. I’d recommend you go check them out. For the most part, what’s happening today in Mariupol is what has been happening for the past few weeks.
The AFU grouping in Mariupol is dissipated and operates in isolated fortified areas.
In their turn, separate units of the Azov regiment continue active defence operations in the heavily fortified industrial area of the Azovstal plant. Casualties on both sides are reported.
What’s more interesting is the utterly absurd plan that the Ukrainian Command launched to get some Azov Battalion commanders out of the city.
On the morning of 31 March, another attempt was made to evacuate the Azov Regiment commanders from the Azovstal plant using two Mi-8 helicopters. A DPR official said that both helicopters were shot down. Notably, the helicopters were allowed to land on the territory of Azovstal, and were shot down after taking off with the evacuees on board.
One helicopter went down near Rybatskoye. The crew and passengers were found dead. The helicopter was tentatively identified as Mi-8MSB, tail number 864, of the Poltava 18th Aviation Brigade. The second one went up in smoke but continued on its way. Reports are now coming in that the landing site of the second helicopter has been found. There are three survivors from the crew and passengers of the second helicopter.
There are a few pictures that are more than a little grisly of the crash. I refuse to show such things on this site, which is why I’m showing you this picture of the destroyed helicopter, because I don’t think there are any bodies here.
Ignoring the harsh reality of war, I’m just stunned by the stupidity of Ukrainian High Command. How could they expect helicopters to fly through an enormous buffer zone of Russian troops, land in Mariupol, and fly out without getting shot down? I’m not saying such things are entirely impossible, but the odds of success here are going to be extremely low, and failure means everyone onboard the helis die.
This was the second attempt to evacuate the Azov commanders by helicopters. On 28 March, Russian air defence forces shot down a Ukrainian Mi-8 over the sea.
Making this even more ridiculous, they tried this previously and, surprise surprise, it didn’t work. But for some reason, who knows what, they are gluttons for punishment and tried again.
The only relatively sane reason is that Mariupol is going so badly, that a mission with even a 10% chance of success, possibly much lower, gave a higher chance of survival for the commanders than the absolute certainty and inevitability of Russian success.
I can certainly believe it either way. But it is yet more reality intruding upon the resurgence of the “Russia is losing somehow,” narrative.
LVIV, Ukraine, April 1 (Reuters) – Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out an air strike against a fuel depot in the Russian city of Belgorod on Friday, an incident the Kremlin said could affect peace talks, but a top Kyiv security official denied responsibility.
Russia’s defence ministry said two Ukrainian helicopters struck the facility in Belgorod, some 35 km (22 miles) from the border with Ukraine, after entering Russia at extremely low altitude at around 5 a.m. Moscow time (0200 GMT).
They don’t say which kind of attack heli they used, but the attack does show one of the few advantages that helicopters have over fixed wing aircraft. Since they can takeoff and land vertically, they can be staged from a wide variety of places. Unlike our joke “fighter” planes, which need 10,000ft, pristine, concrete airbases to operate out of, these helis just need any patch of ground that the fuel and arms trucks can get to.
This is why the Ukrainians still have some helis operational, but no fighter planes. It’s just hard to destroy all the random patches of ground the helis could be in at any moment in time. Of course, most of the same benefits would be accrued with STOL planes, but that wouldn’t make our MIC filthy rich, so we don’t have any of those anymore.
The resulting blaze forced the evacuation of some people but late in the day Belgorod mayor Anton Ivanov said fire services were extinguishing the last remnants.
“There is no threat to human life and health. All residents can return to their homes,” he said in an online post.
Luckily no one was injured or killed in this attack. And of course the (((Ukrainians))) are denying the attack.
Earlier, defence ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said he would neither confirm nor deny a Ukrainian role.
“Ukraine is currently conducting a defensive operation against Russian aggression on the territory of Ukraine, and this does not mean that Ukraine is responsible for every catastrophe on Russia’s territory,” he said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin had been briefed about the incident. Peskov said the strike could jeopardise Moscow’s peace negotiations with Kyiv.
Ukraine’s Danilov retorted: “He says it doesn’t help talks, but does it help talks when they kill our children, our women – these outrages they commit on our land? These people are kind of sick.”
Good thing that the Russians are the only people who have murdered “women and children.” Oh wait.
Turns out indiscriminately blanketing towns with artillery leads to a lot of child murder. That’s true even if its done by the “anti-terrorism forces.”
And of course, we’ve seen the atrocities committed against Russian POWs, such as the man who had his kneecap shot.
A video shared widely online as early as March 27 purports to show, according to its caption on YouTube, Ukrainian soldiers shooting Russian prisoners of war (POW) in their legs. The FRANCE 24 Observers team analysed the video and was able to pinpoint its location. Despite some suggestions that the scene was staged, we have found no evidence to question the authenticity of the events shown in the video.
I’m getting tired of these people and their lies. But as the TDS guys have said, as horrible as the war itself is, there’s something kind of delicious about the fact that this isn’t some legal talmudic bullshit, but an actual war. It will be settled not by bullshit arguments, but by strength of arms. All the constant reality denying bullshit of neo-feudalism is, for one instant, gone. It is replaced by the cold hard reality of the cruise missile.
At the end of all this, Putin will win. If he mounts Zelensky’s head on a wall then this website will turn into an unapologetic Putin shill operation.