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Defense and National Security – Ukraine Makes Profit, But Russia Rattles West

Ukrainian forces appeared to be making gains over the weekend in areas that Russia recently claimed to be annexing, but US and Western officials are on edge over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent threat to use nuclear weapons.

We will detail the recent victories for Ukraine and the US rating, plus the beginning of the among the most high-profile trials of those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, the New Hampshire governor’s decision to deploy his state’s National Guard at the US-Mexico border, and a US airstrike in Somalia being a top-Shabaab leader.

This is Defense & National Security, your nighttime guide to the latest developments in the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. register here.

Ukraine breaks Russian lines in key region

Ukrainian forces appeared to be making gains in Kherson Oblast over the weekend, the latest setback in areas Russia claimed on Friday to annex.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his late-night speech on Sunday that the country’s military liberated Arkhanhelske and Myroliubivka, small settlements near the region’s border.

The American Review“They’re also making gains in the south, George, certainly incrementally, but they’re making gains in their counteroffensive south in Kherson Oblast and not too far from the city of Kherson,” White House National Security spokesman John Kirby told George Stephanopoulos on UKTN’s “Good Morning America.”

“They’re definitely moving here,” Kirby continued. “And as you’ve heard President Biden say, we’re continuing to make sure we can give them the weapons and capabilities they need to continue that kind of progress.”

A major escalation: Russia annexed Kherson Oblast and three other regions of Ukraine on Friday, a major escalation in the seven-month war condemned by US and Western officials.

Ukrainian Profits: Outside the cities claimed by Zelensky, the Institute of War Study suggested that Ukrainian troops also take positions in Zolota Balka and Kreshchenivka, which are in Kherson Oblast close to the Dnipro River.

“With numerically superior tank units towards Zolota Balka and Oleksandrivka, the enemy managed to forge deep into our defences,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said during his daily briefing on Monday.

  • Ukraine also appears to be regaining control of Lyman, a major transportation hub in the east of the country that is part of a region annexed by Russia.

  • Ukraine’s defense ministry said on Sunday that the city has been “completely cleared of Russian occupiers” after videos were posted on social media showing Ukrainian soldiers capturing the city and flying the Ukrainian flag after driving out Russian troops.

The Pentagon’s Opinion: A senior US military official told reporters on Monday that the Ukrainians’ taking back Lyman was a “major operational feat” as Russian forces used the city as a logistics hub.

  • “It affects the ability to supply troops along the front lines of troops… in the Kharkov region near Bakhmut and as far south as Kherson,” the official said.

  • They added that Russian troops pushed out of Lyman appear to be falling back toward the city of Kreminna “to hold the line”.

Recent gains…: Ukrainian forces have made significant territorial gains in recent weeks as part of a counter-offensive, although those gains have mainly occurred in northeastern Ukraine as troops struggled to break through in the south near Kherson.

…And threats: The counter-offensive pushed Russian forces back to the border in some northeastern areas, embarrassing Russian President Vladimir Putin, who responded by summoning 300,000 reservists and threatening the West with nuclear weapons.

Read the whole story here

More from The Hill:

Prosecutors file sprawling Oath Keepers case

Federal prosecutors on Monday filed their comprehensive case against Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and four other members of the far-right militia for using seldom used seditious conspiracy charges in one of the most high-profile trials of those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

  • Rhodes is on trial alongside Oath Keepers Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell, each charged with conspiracy to use force to overthrow the government – a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

the accusations“They concocted an armed insurrection plan to destroy a foundation of American democracy,” US Attorney General Jeffrey Nestler told jurors of the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Nestler said the group broke a 200-year tradition of “working together to do whatever it took, up to and including the use of force” to facilitate the peaceful transition of power from the administration of former President Trump to that of President Biden. to prevent.

a long distanceMonday: Monday’s opening argument set the tone for a case expected to last more than a month, detailing the two months of planning leading up to January 6 and the days after, including instructions from Rhodes to his followers to remove any incriminating evidence of their time in the Capitol.

Opening speech: The government presentation showed that members of the Oath Keepers were training in front of the Capitol that day, with reports from Watkins that she needed her crew to be “fighting fit.” Prosecutors also showed footage of the group using a “stack formation” to enter the Capitol and played back messages from members bragging about reaching the building and chatting with police.

Read that story here

Also from The Hill:

NH gov deploys National Guard at US-Mexico border

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R) will deploy two units of his state’s National Guard near the US-Mexico border Monday afternoon, his office said.

“New Hampshire is grateful for the heroic men and women of our National Guard,” Sununu said in a statement.

Sununu is the latest GOP governor to call attention to border security after the number of migrants surpassed 2 million last fiscal year, a record.

  • Three Republicans — Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — have in recent weeks transported or flown migrants into Democrat-controlled cities to criticize the Biden administration’s border policies and burden felt by overwhelmed frontier communities.

  • Those efforts sparked anger among Democrats, who claim the relocations are cruelly turning migrants into political pawns.

Implementation details: Sununu’s office said the deployment will consist of about 164 soldiers, who will monitor along the border but are prohibited from coming into contact with migrants in the country illegally.

The National Guard is tasked with notifying customs and border guards of any border crossings they encounter.

Read more here

Al-Shabaab leader killed in US airstrike: Pentagon

US forces carried out an airstrike in Somalia over the weekend that killed a top leader of the extremist group al-Shabaab, the Pentagon said Monday.

In conjunction with the Somali government, the US Africa Command (Africom) carried out the airstrike on Saturday, October 1, near Jilib, about 370 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.

  • Africom did not name the target of the attack, although the Somali Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism on Sunday identified the killed militant as Abdullahi Nadir.

  • Nadir, who was “long wanted” according to the Somali government, had a $3 million bounty on his head.

The Greater Effort: The Somali government has announced “all-out war” against al-Shabaab, which controls large parts of the country in the south and center of the country.

To help with that, President Biden announced in May that 500 US troops would be redeployed to Somalia to help train, advise and equip partner troops.

Saturday’s strike is at least the fifth since early August, with the most recent on September 18. In that strike, Africom claimed it had killed 27 al-Shabaab terrorists who attacked Somali forces.

Read the whole story here


  • The New Democrat Network will host a virtual discussion on “The Nature of America’s Current Conflict with Russia” at 1 p.m.

  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin welcomes Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa at 2:30 p.m.

  • US Institute of Peace will hold a talk on “What Comes Next for Russia, Ukraine and Europe’s Peace and Security” at 3 p.m.



That’s it for today. Check out The Hill’s Defense and National Security pages for the latest coverage. See you tomorrow!

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