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Why Ukraine is losing American weapons on the battlefield

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The aftermath of Russia’s invasion, which commenced a year and a half ago, has witnessed the United States furnishing Ukraine with over $47 billion worth of military support.

While this assistance proved instrumental in restraining the Russian onslaught, it fell short of achieving Kyiv’s aspiration of reclaiming the entirety of Ukrainian territory.

The latest appeal from the White House for an additional $13 billion to sustain military aid underscores the extended commitment needed to bolster Ukraine’s defense.

Unlike the initial phase of the conflict, where apprehensions of escalation dictated the supply of equipment, the current aid package incorporates some of the most formidable and expensive items from the U.S. arsenal, such as M1 Abrams battle tanks, Patriot missile defense systems, and HIMARS rocket launchers.

Regrettably, a substantial portion of these assets has already been obliterated.

Estimations suggest that up to 20% of the weaponry deployed by Ukraine during the initial stages of its recent counteroffensive, including numerous Western-supplied platforms, were either impaired or destroyed within the first fortnight.

This disheartening attrition rate has compelled Ukrainian forces to recalibrate their strategies and could potentially strain the global capacity to sustain their war effort.

The prevailing narrative highlights the intense challenges encountered by Ukraine as it endeavors to breach a well-fortified adversary’s defenses.

This endeavor is inherently arduous and results in elevated casualties, both in terms of personnel and equipment. Despite their persistent efforts, Ukrainian forces are yet to overcome these defenses, indicating the rigorous nature of the conflict.

Fighting vehicles

Among the assets bearing the brunt of this battle are the American Bradley fighting vehicles, which have played a pivotal role in safeguarding Ukrainian troops during the counteroffensive.

While the U.S. committed to sending 190 of these vehicles, photographic evidence documented by the open-source blog Oryx reveals that at least 23 have been obliterated, with an additional 21 sustaining damage and 5 being abandoned.

The scale of destruction extends beyond Bradleys, encompassing more than 60 M113 armored fighting vehicles, 57 Maxxpro mine-resistant vehicles, and over 100 Humvees.

These losses collectively amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in value. Such attrition levels, though disheartening, align with projections from military experts who anticipated the formidable challenges posed by Russia’s entrenched defensive positions and evolving tactical approaches.

Evolving tactics

As a response to these setbacks, Ukrainian tactics have evolved.

The initial emphasis on vehicular assaults against Russian positions has given way to a strategy focused on wearing down enemy defenses through sustained artillery barrages from a distance.

This approach has yielded some reduction in equipment losses, with a drop from 20% to 10% after the initial two weeks of the counteroffensive.

However, this methodical approach, while preserving costly combat systems, entails gradual progress and heightened ammunition expenditure. The protracted nature of this attrition-based conflict implies prolonged hostilities and more casualties for Ukrainian forces on the front lines.

Ukrainian officials, acknowledging this shift, now discuss the prospect of triumphing through attrition, although skeptics caution against underestimating the high cost of such a strategy.

While Russian losses have also been substantial, with more than 2,200 tanks lost since the conflict’s outset, Ukraine’s predicament is accentuated by its relatively limited inventory.

 

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BREAKING: Shots ring out at Trump rally

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Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after loud noises rang through the crowd.

Trump was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck. There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams rang out from the crowd. The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

His motorcade has left the venue.

In a statement, Trump says he is “fine” and says he is being checked at a medical facility.

Donald Trump was safe, the U.S. Secret Service and his campaign said on Saturday after multiple shots rang out at a rally by the Republican presidential candidate in Pennsylvania as video showed Trump grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.
The former president had just started his speech when gunshots erupted and Trump and other rally attendees hit the deck. Secret Service agents swarmed around him and live video showed blood on the right side of Trump’s face and ear.
 
Trump repeatedly raised his fist in the air, with an American flag visible behind him, as security ushered him away.
“The Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former president is safe,” a spokesperson for the agency said on X after what it called an incident.
“This is now an active Secret Service investigation and further information will be released when available.”

A map of the site, showing where the alleged gunman was situated compared to Donald Trump.

CNN reported that Trump was injured, but gave no other details. It was not clear how or what injuries he may have sustained.

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NASA astronauts phone home, confident Boeing’s Starliner will return to Earth safely

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Stranded NASA astronauts express confidence in Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, assuring its capability to safely transport them back to Earth from the International Space Station.

The astronauts, over a video call to NASA, highlighted Starliner’s enhanced safety features and testing protocols as reassuring factors for their safe return.

“I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem…”, said Sunita “Suni” Williams, one of the stranded NASA astronauts.

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Franchising vs. Independent: key differences to choosing the right SMB model

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With latest Australian Federal budget, many SMB’s are weighing their options when selecting a suitable business model.

Franchising provides brand recognition, operational support, and economies of scale but involves ongoing fees.

Independent businesses offer full control and profit retention but face higher costs and regulatory challenges.

For risk and reward, the franchising model reduces risk through established practices and support but involves ongoing fees and profit-sharing with the franchisor.

On the alternative, independent businesses retain full control of profits but face higher risks and responsibilities in managing the business.

Sonia Shwabsky, CEO at Kwik Kopy Australia, joins to share her key insights on SMB’s. #featured

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