The Other McCain

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Ukraine: Irpin Mayor Says Town Is ‘Liberated,’ Others Say … Eh, Maybe

Posted on | March 29, 2022 | Comments Off on Ukraine: Irpin Mayor Says Town Is ‘Liberated,’ Others Say … Eh, Maybe

Before explaining the map above, showing the locations of Ivankiv, Borodyanka and Bucha, let’s first get this news out of the way:

Oleksandr Markushyn, the mayor of the city of Irpin, just 8km from the Ukrainian capital ofKiev, confirmed on Monday, March 28, that “Irpin has been freed from the evil of Moscow!”. His announcement came after Ukrainian military forces recaptured the city that had been besieged by the Russians.

This is not the first time Mayor Markushyn has claimed this, however. He said the same thing a week ago, but his pronouncement was followed by a week of fierce fighting in Irpin. According to the New York Times, other sources say there may still be Russian troops holed up in Irpin, and the Ukrainian forces will have to do a house-by-house search to clear the town. At any rate, Irpin is the closest the Russians have come to Kyiv, and if they’ve been driven out of there, the remainder of the Russian advance force would be hunkered down in Hostomel and Bucha. And this gets us to what that map is about: In order to supply their troops in the vicinity of Bucha, the Russians must be able to send convoys of trucks from Belarus via Ivanik and, while their are alternative routes available, the crossroads town of Borodyanka is crucial to this Russian supply line. Ever since last week, when some observers began to speak of the Russians around Bucha being trapped in a “pocket,” I’ve been searching for news of fighting near Borodyanka, with little success.

The other avenue of attacking the rear of the Russians around Bucha would be up the western bank of the Dnieper River, via Demydiv, but I haven’t found any reports about fighting there, either. So the tactical situation in Ukraine remains unclear, and this report by Barbara Morrill at Daily Kos expresses more certainty about what’s happening — including maps — than I can endorse. Meanwhile, in cleaning up after his gaffes last week, Joe Biden may have made a new disclosure:

President Joe Biden appeared to reveal that the U.S. is training Ukrainian forces in Poland — stating for the first time since the war began that American troops are actively teaching Ukrainians to fight and kill Russians.
The United States has been providing billions of dollars in weapons and other assistance to Ukraine, with much of that aid going through Poland. The president spent part of last week in the country, meeting with U.S. troops stationed in the southeast and delivering a speech about the West’s unity in the face of Russian aggression.
But to date, the Biden administration has painstakingly made the case that that is as far as they’ll go. On March 22, Jake Sullivan denied that Americans were “currently” training Ukrainians. “We do, of course, have U.S. troops defending NATO territory,” he continued.
That’s not what Biden said Monday. After delivering remarks about the White House’s new budget request, Biden answered a reporter’s question about comments he made when meeting the 82nd Airborne in Poland, in which he implied American forces would be going to Ukraine. Biden denied that’s what he meant, adding: “We’re talking about helping train the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland.”
Pressed again, Biden said, “I was referring to being with, and talking with, the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland.”

Are Ukrainian troops being trained in Poland, and are U.S. troops training them? Seems like an important question.



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