I love this sort of thing.

Russian offensive military campaigns in eastern Ukraine have been partly behind a 90% increase in Russian casualties recorded by Ukraine, according to an intelligence update from the UK Ministry of Defence.

Russia has been carrying out offensive operations in the area of Avdiivka, a small city just to the north of Donetsk.

We’ll note first that UK intelligence has been just a wee bit biased. So if they say 90%, well, take it with a tablespoon of salt.

But let’s assume this is true. What that means is that on shifting to offense from defense, while attacking one of the most heavily fortified areas in Ukraine, Russian casualties have slightly less than doubled.

Which is dog bites man. It’s what you’d expect.

The question is advancement. Maps are quite different from different sources and so are casualty lists but it’s clear that this is slow work.

The bottom line is that Avdiivka is more heavily fortified than Bakhmut. Russia isn’t going to take it easily or quickly unless there is a Ukrainian collapse. Understand clearly that the US and NATO are running out of arms to send to Ukraine, and that artillery shells and missiles intended for Ukraine are now being sent to Israel.

The Palestinian/Israeli war is turning out to be a big plus for Russia and if the war expands, especially if the US becomes more directly involved, Ukraine may find itself out of equipment and ammunition. America is particularly like to go to war if Iran declares.

Without equipment, even the best fortifications won’t stand.

Meanwhile, in Palestine, the 17 trucks of relief were not, in the end, let in. Most Palestinians are down to about a liter of water a day, and not clean water either. Food is running out. The Israeli army has still not invaded Gaza. I would guess they are waiting for deprivation to do its work, and reluctant to allow any aid in because some of it would be used by Hamas fighters.

Israeli morale appears to be shaky, and they are very wary of invading a built up urban area with 40K entrenched fighters. Since they don’t feel they can win that battle as it stands (at least without shattering casualties) they are engaging in siege warfare. Unfortunately, there are 2 million civilians.

All hospitals in Gaza have been told they must evacuate, and are refusing. Anaesthetics are almost entirely out, so operations are being carried out without anaesthesia. Vinegar is being used as a disinfectant in some cases.

To call this a humanitarian disaster is to understate the case, but at least the Israelis have managed to make Russia look civilized.

I would expect massive breakouts of disease given the water and sanitation issues, especially if this goes on for weeks to months, as seems likely.

The Israeli end game appears to be genocide or full ethnic cleansing. We’ll see if they stick it out and if other forces allow it. Even US friendly states like Qatar and Jordan are becoming restive: Jordan’s King straight up refused to meet with Biden, which is amazing.

At least one Iraqi militia is moving to the border with Israel, and I expect many are. Hezbollah is being held back, I suspect, by a reluctance to have Lebanon subject to full bombing again, but have forced Israel to create a five mile DMZ on their border and to evacuate settlers.

I still think an OPEC embargo would be the simplest way to force an end to this, but if a military solution is desired, I’m sure Hezbollah and other potential antagonists want a simultaneous declaration of war.

The joker remains Israel’s nuclear weapons, with threats to glass Iran, and so on. The simplest solution would be to get a nuclear umbrella from Pakistan or Russia, but even that might not work if Israel thinks it is about to lose. To avoid that, a reciprocal threat would have to be made: a promise to not kill Israeli civilians unless nukes are used. Ugly, but Israel is, at least, acting like a mad dog.

This seems likely to drag out for quite some time, which is very bad for the civilians in Gaza.

If you ever wondered what you would do if a genocide was likely or occurring, you now know.

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