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President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Ukraine is expecting a Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine at any moment. Russian airstrikes on Thursday hit the city of Kramatorsk, a center for resupplying the Ukrainian army to the east of Bakhmut where heavy fighting has been taking place for weeks. It is thought that the Russians will begin with heavy artillery shelling of the towns along the front lines between Donetsk and Bakhmut and follow that up with what Ukrainians are predicting will be human wave assaults using relatively untrained Russian conscripts to try to overwhelm Ukrainian defenses.
This may be why Russian artillery shelling tapered off to less than 75 percent of what it had been in recent months, presumably to conserve ammunition for the expected offensive.
In a Thursday speech on the anniversary of the defeat of the Nazi army in World War II, Putin swore that Russia will not let up until it has conquered Ukraine and called his military operations there a “war with the West.” Putin’s appointment several weeks ago of Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov to lead his war against Ukraine may have been a first step in the expected offensive.
Western nations are said to have been rushing supplies of ammunition and combat materiel to the eastern front in Ukraine in recent weeks in the expectation that Russia has been planning a new offensive. The expected offensive may also be the reason that CIA Director William Burns met recently in Kyiv with Zelensky and his top military officials, to prepare them with the most recent U.S. intelligence about Russian moves behind the lines in eastern Ukraine.
It’s very cold in eastern Ukraine right now, miserable weather for a war. It’s useful to remember that the Ukrainian army is miserable defending land that belongs to them, while the Russians are miserable in a place they are not familiar with, fighting a war the purpose of which they don’t understand.
Ukraine is Putin’s Vietnam. Johnson and Nixon sent in new generals to replace others that weren’t winning the war for them. Military history repeats itself too.
Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.
Days after provoking backlash for circulating inert 40-millimeter grenades inside the U.S. Capitol, House Republicans are again facing fierce criticism for their latest stunt to own the libs — donning assault rifle lapel pins, despite there being over 58 mass shootings in 2023 alone so far.
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA),who came under fire late Thursday after he took credit for the assault rifle-shaped lapel pins members of the House GOP were spotted wearing during meetings and on the House floor.
His stunt came days after another House Republican, Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL), distributed dummy grenades with a logo of the Republican Party to his colleagues inside the People’s House.
A photo posted to Twitter by Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) showed Reps. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) and George Santos (R-NY) wearing the pins inside the House chamber.
\u201cWhere are these assault weapon pins coming from? Who is passing these out?\u201d— Rep. Jimmy Gomez (@Rep. Jimmy Gomez) 1675282579
Luna, Gomez added, was photographed wearing the pin “less than 48 hours after her state experienced a mass shooting.” Eleven people were hurt in the shooting — which occurred in Lakeland, Florida — and the suspect is still at large, Lakeland police said, according to CNN.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) expressed disgust that Republicans had chosen to wear the pins during National Gun Violence Week.
\u201cWhile gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children in our country, @GOP members are wearing assault rifle pins during #GVSurvivorsWeek. Shameful.\u201d— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@Congresswoman Cori Bush) 1675305341
“Weapons of war have no place on our streets, much less on our lapels,” Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) tweeted Thursday.
Clyde, an NRA-backed gun rights advocate and gun store owner, responded to the fallout with a video expressing glee at “triggering” his Democratic colleagues while reminding “people of the Second Amendment of the Constitution and how important it is in preserving our liberties."
\u201cApparently I\u2019ve been triggering some of my Democrat colleagues\u2026\u201d— Rep. Andrew Clyde (@Rep. Andrew Clyde) 1675374507
Twitter users reacted quickly, circulating photos that showed Clyde -- who got slammed after he compared the Capitol attack to a “normal tourist visit" -- cowering behind a Capitol Police offer as the mob of Trump supporters breached the halls of Congress on January 6, 2021.
Also circulating was a photograph of Clyde with Capitol law enforcement pushing furniture against the door to keep the invaders out, prompting a Twitter user to wonder aloud why the Republican would resort to such a measure to keep “tourists” out.
\u201c@Rep_Clyde Should have handed out barricade pins. \ud83d\ude44\n"Tourist visits" scare you, why?\u201d— Rep. Andrew Clyde (@Rep. Andrew Clyde) 1675374507
A former Metropolitan Police officer injured in the attack, Michael Fanone, lambasted Clyde months after the Trump-led attack on Congress for fleeing “like a coward” when the officer tried to shake his hand.
“I extended my hand to shake his hand. He just stared at me,” Fanone told CNN’s Don Lemon. “So I introduced myself. I said that… I was a D.C. Metropolitan police officer who fought on January 6 to defend the Capitol. And as a result, I suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a heart attack…
“At that point, the congressman turned away from me” and “pulled out his cellphone," the officer continued, adding that once the elevator opened, Clyde “ran as quickly as he could, like a coward.”
Despite Clyde saying nothing more of the pins in the face of public outcry, critics on Twitter have continued to drag the lawmaker, using his cowering photo.
\u201cThis is GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde cowering behind security guard on Jan. 6th. Now he\u2019s passing out plastic assault rifle pins for @HouseGOP to wear in place of American flags. So patriotic!\u201d— Dr. T (@Dr. T) 1675472131
@Rep_Clyde andrew clyde pissing himself on January 6 2021 is all you need to know https://t.co/ZdQdHAeSth— Ned Pyle (@Ned Pyle) 1675452038