Ukraine War, October 22, 2022: Russia withdrawing from right bank of Dnipo River near Kherson; Biden passive as Russia takes down Ukrainian electrical grid; Russian public opinion about the war

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on TheTrenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) Benoît Vitkine, “En Russie, « la mobilisation remet en question les fondements du pouvoir poutinien »; Dans un entretien au ‘Monde’, le sociologue russe Lev Goudkov constate que l’attitude de la société russe vis-à-vis de l’« opération spéciale » en Ukraine relève plus de l’absence de résistance ou d’opposition, que d’un soutien réel. Propos recueillis par Benoît Vitkine (Moscou, correspondant),” Le Monde, le 20 Octobre 2022 (mis à jour à 17h52);

2) Benoît Vitkine,”In Russia,’mobilization calls into question the foundations of Putin’s power’; In an interview with ‘Le Monde’, Russian sociologist Lev Goudkov notes that the attitude of Russian society towards the ‘special operation’ in Ukraine is more due to the absence of resistance or opposition than real support. Interview by Benoît Vitkine (Moscow, correspondent),October 21, 2022 (5:52 pm);

3) James Kilner and Jessica Abrahams, “Russia’s hold on Kherson city weakens as it abandons west bank of Dnipro; Ukraine’s military says Russian forces are using barges to move equipment across the river and have 2,000 soldiers covering the retreat,” The Telegraph, October 22, 2022 (7:31pm);

4) Kelly Kasulis Cho, Adela Suliman, David L. Stern, Nick Parker and Robyn Dixon, “Ukraine live briefing: Zelensky underscores scope of Russian attacks; Kremlin-backed Kherson authorities urge evacuation,” Washington Post, October 22, 2022 (updated at 5:35 p.m. EDT;

Analysis

Benoît Vitkine, in an interview with Lev Goudkov, the head Russia’s leading independent polling organization, provides Goudkov’s nuanced interpretations of the Lakoda Center’s polling results related to the war. Goudkov answers some of the criticisms of poll results in authoritarian Russia.

Meanwhile, on Saturday James Kilner and Jessica Abrahams of The Telegraph reported that Russian forces were withdrawing from the West bank of the Dnieper (Dnipo) river, heralding a potential Ukrainian advance to the city of Kherson.

Kilner and Abrahams report,

Control of Kherson is also strategically important and will allow the Ukrainian army to push on to occupied Crimea.

“Kherson is a key to the entire southern region, which would allow Ukraine to target key supply routes for the Russian forces,” said Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov.

President Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have warned that Russians have placed explosives on the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, which is 35 miles upstream from Kherson, and that they may be planning a false-flag operation that would lead to its being blown up. If the dam is destroyed Kherson and some 80 other settlements would be exposed to devastating flooding.

One resident said she viewed destruction of the dam as unlikely, as it would also cause flooding on the eastern side of the river to which Russian forces are retreating.

The Washinton Post team provide an excellent overview of the current situation and recent developments.

Today, Russia continued its missile attacks aimed destroying Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure.

The Post team reports:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday warned that Kremlin-backed forces will continue to focus on destroying energy stations in a bid to destabilize the nation they invaded in February. Russian missile attacks struck his country’s north, south, east and west Saturday in a “barrage” of at least three dozen rockets that wiped out power to nearly 1.5 million people.

They also reported on the pathetic response of the Biden administration to these events:

Washington sees no evidence of Moscow ending the war soon, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Friday alongside his French counterpart. Instead, he said, the Kremlin is “doubling and tripling down” on its aggression in Ukraine. “Every indication is that far from being willing to engage in meaningful diplomacy, President [Vladimir] Putin continues to push in the opposite direction,” Blinken said.

That’s the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the Biden administration’s reporter-at-large.

We have warned repeatedly of the weakness of the Biden foreign policy team, and called repeatedly for it to be strengthen by bringing in seasoned senior people to help Biden get a grip.

The U.S. is in a nuclear confrontation with Russia, and all the Biden administration can do is repeat the news headlines, while in the face of Putin’s nuclear threats and escalatory military actions, the U.S. and NATO are doing…NOTHING.

Wake up, Mr, President. There is a war going on, with developments at the speed of war, not the speed of the Senate.

Wake up, Mr. President!

You are in a nuclear confrontation with Putin, as Russia is taking down the electrical infrastructure of Ukraine every day!

Mr. Biden, you must respond forcefully to Putin’s nuclear threats and military escalation. TODAY!!! This is war, and timing is critically important.

Authorize and deliver the long-range artillery rockets (ATACMS) for the HIMARS artillery units today, and deliver them tomorrow!

Authorize the transfer to Ukraine by NATO countries of fighter jets, and make the transfers begining tomorrow!

Call Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the phone, and tell him to transfer the modern tanks and armored personnel carriers he is refusing to deliver, TOMORROW!

You must demonstrate to Putin with actions that he cannot continue to escalate his military actions against Ukraine without provoking a strong NATO response.

The Trenchant Observer

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