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Emrys

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Current location: Scotland
Member since: Mon Sep 7, 2009, 12:57 AM
Number of posts: 5,900

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A few of tomorrow's newspaper front pages







Cornered in an awkward interview with Suzannah Reid ...

Johnson desperately attempts an "Angela Rayner" manoeuvre:



https://twitter.com/BestForBritain/status/1521402180363767808
Best for Britain
@BestForBritain

[email protected] asks PM what he would do to help pensioner Elsie who can’t afford to stay at home because keeping heating on is too expensive & travels round London on bus all day

Johnson says that as London mayor he introduced the 24hr freedom bus pass

[Twitter video]


It excited a few reactions:
https://twitter.com/alanferrier/status/1521451303318212609
Alan Ferrier 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇺🇦
@alanferrier

"Boris asked me to check that you're warm enough."


https://twitter.com/MattHighton/status/1521406360189030400
Matthew Highton
@MattHighton

Boris Johnson showing he’s the sort of man who, if told by Susanna Reid people had been eating out of bins to stay alive, he would proudly announce he was the one who decided to empty bins less in order for people to have more access to food.


https://twitter.com/JimMFelton/status/1521405614970355712
James Felton
@JimMFelton

We’re keeping pensioners warm by making them take unnecessary bus trips all fucking day, vote Tory

James Felton
@JimMFelton
I’m sure the elderly riding maskless packed busses to try not to freeze to death will have no consequences during a pandemic


https://twitter.com/MrMichaelSpicer/status/1521444491672104960
Michael Spicer
@MrMichaelSpicer

Thanks to my free helmet scheme, people are protected whenever I decide to attack them with a baseball bat.


https://twitter.com/susannareid100/status/1521476863092310018
Susanna Reid
@susannareid100

The Prime Minister has had his say. The commentators have had theirs.

Now have yours. My full Downing St interview with Boris Johnson:

The Conservative Party and Putin's Russia: a story of total moral failure [Twitter video]

It's a 10-minute video, but worth the investment of time:
https://twitter.com/ByDonkeys/status/1509414334828589059
Led By Donkeys
@ByDonkeys

The Conservative Party and Putin's Russia: a story of total moral failure

[Twitter video]


Just in case anyone imagines any new leaves are being turned over by our glorious party of government ...
https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1509561435331960833
BBC Politics
@BBCPolitics

"Both Will Smith and me having our wives attacked - at least I didn't get up and slap anybody"

Chancellor Rishi Sunak tells @BBCLauraK he finds criticism aimed at his wife over shares she owns in a company operating in Russia "very upsetting"

#BBCNewscast https://bbc.in/35upXng

[Twitter video]


Somebody needs to tell Sunak he needn't compete so hard in the Utter Crassness Heats during the jostling for position of Johnson's successor. He likely has it in the bag given his inability to grasp mere commoners' household economics anyway.

If she likes Russia so much, why doesn't she go live there?

Sorry, I'm relishing throwing back a line that was regularly chucked at we Western peaceniks when we were trying to do something about impending nuclear armageddon back in the 1980s.

I may not tire of doing this any time soon.

PMQs: "... what first attracted the Prime Minister to the billionaire Russian oligarchs?"

https://twitter.com/JonJonesSnr/status/1504149656468606976

Jon Jones
@JonJonesSnr

If you missed it, here's the video of the best PMQs question ever asked by @MattWestern_

Great work, Matt. 👍

[Twitter video with subtitles]


For our American friends, this is a riff on a legendary question the late great Caroline Aherne's character "Mrs Merton" asked UK celebrity magician Paul Daniels' wife Debbie McGee during Merton's spoof talk show.



Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on way home to UK. UPDATE: Now back in the UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman detained in Iran nearly six years ago, is on her way to the UK, her MP has said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was at the airport in Tehran, Tulip Siddiq told BBC News.

She is in a holding room with fellow British-Iranian detainee Anoosheh Ashoori, she said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in 2016 - accused of plotting to overthrow Iran's government, which she denied.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-60756870


Latest reports from a number of sources are that her plane has now taken off safely.

No doubt Johnson and Truss will preen and gloat later when she finally lands, but nobody should forget that her captivity might have ended years ago had Johnson not opened his stupid gob at the wrong moment, and even then, her and her family's ordeal could have almost certainly been cut short if the government had settled its debt to Iran earlier.

UPDATE

https://twitter.com/RespectIsVital/status/1504278906819551233
Alex Tiffin
@RespectIsVital

NEW - The moment you have all been waiting for!

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashouri reunited with their families.

#NazaninIsFree

[Twitter video]


It looks like the Ratcliffes' reunion took place behind the privacy screens, but here they are:

Intelligence Committee's brutal swipe at Boris Johnson for ignoring Russian cash fears

The Committee savaged the Prime Minister for ignoring their repeated calls to ensure the UK is 'no longer a safe haven for the oligarchy and their enablers'
...

The Committee sent the Prime Minister a copy of the Russia report along with a detailed classified annex more than two years ago highlighting the need to disrupt "illicit financial activity".

...

At the time, the committee said the Government was "slow to recognise the existence of the threat" of Russian meddling and influence.

...

"As the Intelligence and Security Committee made very clear in its 'Russia' report, the UK has been welcoming Russian money for many years with few questions - if any - being asked about the provenance of this considerable wealth.

"When we sent our report, together with a detailed classified annex, to the Prime Minister over two years ago, we highlighted then that there was an urgent need for the UK Government to disrupt this illicit financial activity, and questioned the efficacy of the measures which were in place.

"It is hoped now that this new legislation is at least the first step toward giving the authorities - and in particular the National Crime Agency which leads this effort - the necessary clout and greater powers to ensure the UK is no longer a safe haven for the oligarchy and their enablers."

...

It says the scheme allowed a route for dirty money to be "recycled" in "what has been referred to as the London 'laundromat'.

And it's not just money that was laundered.

It says the money was invested in building influence across the UK establishment - including "PR firms, charities, political interests, academia and cultural institutions" - all of whom were "willing beneficiaries of Russian money."

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-intelligence-committees-brutal-swipe-26475989


I can't be the only person who's incandescent every time I see Johnson on TV braying about how Russia and these horrible oligarchs have to be hemmed in, knowing that he's partied, accepted favours from, and been in league with a number of them for years, and quite likely still is, as goodness knows what kompromat they have on him.

Now the shit's hit the fan in spectacular fashion, he can't be allowed to wriggle out of this corrupt mess he's been party to for far too long.

He's already sold the country down the river and indirectly and directly consigned too many to misery and death. When will enough be enough?

UK ignored warnings over contractor behind Ukraine visa 'chaos'

TLSContact had ‘sole focus’ of making money while ‘human aspect’ was ‘not at all valued’, Home Office watchdog was told last year

Priti Patel ignored warnings that the Home Office contractor which told desperate Ukrainian refugees to wait weeks for visa appointments had the “sole focus” of making a profit and a history of squeezing cash out of applicants, openDemocracy can reveal.

It was claimed yesterday in Parliament that TLSContact’s visa centre in Rzeszow, Poland, had turned away applicants who had queued in freezing temperatures for hours, saying it had no slots available until the end of April. Reports on social media claimed the firm had been pressuring Ukrainians to pay for extra services beyond its basic free appointments.

The Labour MP Clive Efford slammed the situation as “complete chaos”.

Now it has emerged that the home secretary was told by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration in November 2021 that TLSContact was so hell-bent on making profit that its use posed a risk of “reputational damage” to the UK. The firm has been handed government contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds since 2014.

A lot more here: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/ukraine-visa-chaos-contractor-tlscontact-priti-patel/

Professor of Strategic Studies sums up how screwed Russia's assault seems to be

An analysis by Phillips P. OBrien, Professor of Strategic Studies, University St Andrews, Scotland, author of How the War was Won and Second Most Powerful Man in the World. Editor in Chief, War in History:

A tweet thread on why we are almost certainly overestimating the amount of strength the Russian Army has on hand, and the amount they can actually get to Ukraine when their first force losses get so high that it starts becoming combat ineffective. Yes, its logistics. @BoringWar

The Russian Army, like the Soviet Army before it, has manifested significant logistics problems for decades, and if anything the preliminary evidence is that the problem might be worse than expected. You can start with this report.

Soviet Logistics in the Afghanistan War
https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA233559

Basically Soviet logistics as shown in Afghanistan were too rigid, top heavy and wedded to doctrine. What it means is that when things went wrong, there was signficant problem adjusting. The way Soviet logistics was so road centric (and weak for that) is telling



Since the end of the Cold War, the Russians have undertaken nothing at all close to their deployment to attack Ukraine, which would be a challenge to any force. But is probably doubly for them as their logistical development also seems not to have progressed much.

Indeed the Russian Army now seems to have fallen prey to one of the great temptations of many militaries created by dictators--lots of flashy weapons but little consideration about how to deliver them (few trucks).



Indeed looking at this @WarOnTheRocks estimate, they Russians will struggle at 90 miles from working railheads. And they still suffer from the inflexibility mentioned by earlier reports at Afghanistan.

Feeding the Bear: A Closer Look at Russian Army Logistics and the Fait Accompli - War on the Rocks
https://warontherocks.com/2021/11/feeding-the-bear-a-closer-look-at-russian-army-logistics/

Here is another article highlighting the significant truck problem faced by the Russians (and their reliance on civilians to keep going--which will be a real handicap in any protracted war in Ukraine).

The Russian Army Depends On Civilians to Keep It Supplied. This Could Be A Problem In Ukraine.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2022/01/14/the-russian-army-depends-on-civilians-to-keep-it-supplied-this-could-be-a-problem-in-ukraine/?sh=3696717f72e3

If anything, early indications in Ukraine are that the Soviet Logistics problems are worse than expected. There are the basic problems of tire maintenance that has doomed some of the most expensive equipment Russia possesses. See @TrentTelenko for a few great threads

There is indications that basic rations have not been kept up to scratch, with soldiers given food seven years out of date, and at the same time running out of food already and having to loot from Ukrainian civilian supplies.

Putin's troops given food 7 years out of date as low morale and military flaws hinder invasion
https://inews.co.uk/news/ukraine-russian-troops-low-morale-military-weakness-hinder-putin-invasion-1494160

Clearly there is Ukrainian understanding of these weaknesses, which has led to their very effective and constant efforts to attack Russian convoys--and guess what they are doing. Destroying large numbers of precious Russian trucks.
https://twitter.com/UAWeapons/status/1500187833688104969
And if Ukrainian claims are anywhere near the truth, they are destroying some of the most important--fuel trucks. As of today, the Ukrainians have claimed to destroy 60 Russian fuel carriers--which would be a significant blow. aa.com.tr/en/russia-ukra….

Ukraine claims over 10,000 Russian soldiers killed since war
https://www.aa.com.tr/en/russia-ukraine-crisis/ukraine-claims-over-10-000-russian-soldiers-killed-since-war/2524783#:~:text=Ukraine%20claimed%20on%20Saturday%20that,its%20neighbor%20on%20Feb.%2024

One of the reasons the famous 40-mile convoy is such a disaster is that much of it is valuable trucks--which are probably out of fuel, with dead batteries, stuck in the mud and not salvageable. You can scan the convoy here.
https://twitter.com/ForcesNews/status/1500114659738857479
Why does this all matter--it reveals that almost certainly that Russian combat strength started significantly below the stated levels, and is dropping fast as damaged but not destroyed equipment still in Russian hands cant be repaired and resupplied.

And all of this will get worse as Russia's weak link of trucks further wastes away. It is impossible to calculate how far below stated levels of strength Russian forces are because of these logistic difficulties. A very conservative guess would be around 25%

Iam getting that figure from my own calculations in How the War was Won on WWII logistics for the Luftwaffe. Regularly one quarter of Luftwaffe aircraft were out of commission because of basic logistical problems. As the war went on, it was much higher than 25%.

btw, logistic difficulties might also help explain the incredibly deficient performance of the Russian Air Force. Both seeming to have insufficient supplies of directed munitions (thus having to use large numbers of dumb bombs), which means they have to fly low and be shot down.

Also might explain how relatively few Russian planes overall they can maintain in operations. Much fewer in number than expected before the invasion started.
https://twitter.com/Justin_Br0nk/status/1499800575365500930
So, we give a very false idea of the realities of war when we talk about number of troops, AFVs, planes that the Russians deployed for the invasion. They started with fewer in combat conditions than we know, and it looks like Russian truck support is suffering hugely.

Logistics, as it always does, will play a significant role in determining this war, right now the signs are not good for Russia, but people are mostly ignoring it and talking, as always, about tanks and planes....

Retweeted this but probably should have put this here. This should terrify the Russians if it means what it could mean. They are already running out of trucks.
https://twitter.com/JimmySecUK/status/1500177643504910337
Ukrainian path to victory is clear. Go for every Russian truck they can see, particularly fuel trucks. Russian Army will freeze in its tracks.

Btw. Replacing military grade trucks with civilian ones is catastrophic on many levels. You have to stick to better roads, they are less robust and you can’t stock spare parts for all the different models

We might be about to witness a logistic collapse

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1500213943012319252.html


Original Twitter thread here: https://twitter.com/PhillipsPOBrien/status/1500213943012319252
To add to OBrien's closing points, a cold snap is forecast for Ukraine in the next week. This will be bad news for the population deprived of power, but even worse for the Russians' continued assault, given how bogged down their vehicles already are outside the dryer south and the fact it looks like their reinforcements may largely be ordinary civilian vehicles of various types.

I LIKE this idea!

https://twitter.com/ManMadeMoon/status/1499838020320575490

Duncan Jones
@ManMadeMoon

I think the US and EU may need to consider placing sanctions directly on those British government officials working to protect Russian oligarchs from UK sanctions.


Somebody help me here.

If various countries have been seizing Russian oligarchs' multi-million-pound yachts seemingly willy-nilly, then presumably arguing the legal tosses later, how the hell are there "legal problems" that have to be carefully negotiated before the UK government can seize oligarchs' London Moscow Road etc. mansions and other assets?

https://twitter.com/RhonddaBryant/status/1500168628326518790

Chris Bryant
@RhonddaBryant
This is what the UK should be doing.

Italy seizes yachts and villas from Russian oligarchs, say state sources

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/mar/05/italy-seizes-yachts-and-villas-from-russian-oligarchs-say-state-sources-ukraine-invasion-sanctions
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