European Crypto Capital in Crisis: Part 10 Kharkiv Continues to Repel Russian Troops, Thermobaric Vacuum Bomb Usage, and Russia Announces New Strikes in Kyiv

By Cje95 | Chronic Illness and Crypto | 2 Mar 2022

As the Russian invasion enters day 6 the Russian strategy seems to have shifted. Putin thought that it would be a quick trip really and must have thought Ukraine would react like Georgia did in 2008 but that is not the case. For whatever reason Putin seems to have forgotten Ukraine has been preparing for this since the illegal seizure and annexation of Crimea. Several headlines have made news since the last article from indiscriminate usage of missiles and aerial attacks, thermobaric bomb usage, and much much more. 


Kharkiv Overcoming the Odds

While it is natural for attention to be captured by the ongoing attacks on the Ukrainian Capital of Kyiv a different city has been gaining more and more attention over the last 36-48 hours. Kharkiv is the second-most populous city in Ukraine and unlike Kyiv which has airfields and other military locations around it Kharkiv does not have any military infrastructure whatsoever. The city is also located very close to the Russian border and was expected to fall immediately when the invasion began but they gravely miscalculated Ukrainian resolve and battle hardiness. 


A couple of days ago some Russian forces were able to break through the lines however they were quickly neutralized and since then there have not been any reports of Russia breaking through. Yesterday this city was the focus of what was initially a rumor but was later confirmed to be cluster munitions being shot at the city and surrounding homes. This was a shape escalation by Russia as there is still internet and press in the city who were able to capture the attacks and investigate the areas after the attack. Russian air raids in recent days had mostly been at night so these attacks during the day were a deviation from what had been occurring. 


Sadly today they managed to one-up their inhuman attacks. A video has gone viral that showed a government building and moments later a missile not strike the building but strike the area in front of it right by the street. Cars that had been driving down the road were completely destroyed and to make it worse a few minutes after the attack they then struck the same area. This is done for one reason only and that is to kill first responders and those trying to resume people who could have been buried but alive. Doing this is a way to sow fear and terror into a civilian population. The initial death toll was 10 with over 50 injured however the mayor did say they were expecting to find more dead as they dug through the rubble. Hours after this attack though young Ukrainians were out cleaning up the streets where the attack took place showing that they were not backing down or giving up. 


Thermobaric (Vaccum) Bomb 

Last night after a closed-door security briefing with members of Congress the Ambassador to the US from Ukraine made the public announcement that Russia had used its thermobaric bomb. While it has not been officially stated that is something I believe could be announced tonight during the State of the Union Speech President Biden will give to Congress. The word is that it was used about 100 km west of Kharkiv in the direction of the Capital Kyiv. It has been confirmed that the launch vehicles Russia uses for this bomb have been observed moving into Ukraine around this area giving this report more umph even though it did not need any.


What is a thermobaric or vacuum bomb? While bombs are scary and even nukes are scary thermobaric bombs are absolutely terrifying. This type of bomb is a two-stage weapon and uses oxygen as a fuel for the explosion and literally consumes all the oxygen in the area hence the nickname vacuum bomb. When launched its first stage spreads a vapor into the air the second stage ignites this fuel. This weapon leverages the air we breathe and results in not only a more powerful but also a longer burning explosion. When this explosion occurs it is known to be able to vaporize a human body. Even if you are able to duck the initial explosion the vacuum part will get you. This bomb can cause people's lungs to explode. I have to admit I did not know something like that was possible until I realized it creates a true vacuum so your lungs and internal organ explode to create equilibrium.


These weapons have existed in some form going back to World War II and the US used them not only in Vietnam but actually in one particular strike against the Islamic State in Afghanistan in 2017. Reports have come out previously that Russia has provided them to Syria's Regime and that they have used them as well. 


The biggest issue with these bombs that runs in parallel to cluster munitions is that they are indiscriminative. They are not precision strikes they are ant-area weapons and it would be one thing to see them being used along the fronts of a conventional war or even in open space this is not occurring. It has been proven that cluster munitions are being used in cities in populated areas where civilians will be harmed or killed. The reports of the vacuum bomb are the same that it was used in a city something that is a war crime. 


Russia Announces New Strikes in Kyiv

In what I can only assume is an effort to save face the Kremlin has announced that it will carry out "precision strikes" in Kyiv aimed at communication infrastructure. This was then followed by the huge communication tower being struck by multiple missiles. Incredibly the structure still stands and while channels were knocked out Ukraine did announce that they were going to be able to get some of them back up rather quickly. While other strikes have been reported out of Kyiv the attack on the tower was one that has captured headlines but really it might be a moot point. 


While a lot has been made about the poor planning by the Russians for this invasion as their tanks have run out of gas and soldiers surrender because they are starving nothing really sticks out more than the fact Russia still does not have the air space locked down. This failure has allowed for not only the traditional media to get out what is happening but Twitter, TikTok, Instagram. The world is able to clearly see the indiscriminate firing upon civilians and the shelling of apartments located nowhere near any sort of military or fortified position. This failure alone could be the very reason why the Russian invasion fails as the outside world sees what is occurring and it will slowly but surely penetrate into Russia further fanning the flames of the protests that have been cracked down on. 


Even with these towers and communication centers getting hit a whole new issue has arisen with SpaceX and Elon Musk having sent truckloads of terminals with more on the way. These have been tested and have begun to be deployed across Ukraine as they are being brought in along with arms. Now with a satellite network that has thousands of satellites Russia has no easy out to stop communication and information from getting out. What is expected though is they will use this ruse as a reason to start striking everywhere they feel like. Since they have stopped caring about civilians nothing is off the table any more in Russia's eyes even with these sanctions collapsing their currency and locking out a ton of the war chest Putin has built up since 2014. 


Final Thoughts

Something that sounds like a sick joke has also occurred in Kyiv. Remember the Russian pretense for the "special military operation" was to "de-nazifi" Ukraine. Well, not only one but three missiles have now been confirmed to have hit a sacred Jewish memorial in Kyiv. While from what I can gather no injuries or deaths have been reported the symbolism of what was hit THREE times cannot be lost. The place hit is called Babyn Yar and during the Nazi occupation and the implementation of the Final Solution 200,000 Jewish people including the elderly, women, and children were gunned down in the area and it is their final resting place. Roughly the entire Jewish population of Kyiv lies there making what has occurred even more disgusting. 


Russian and NATO ally Turkey has further turned against Russia with its latest comments about Russia's absurd and unreasonable demands on Ukraine. This is huge because Turkey controls access to the Black Sea and the Black Sea is something that is very important to Russia. They also have worked together in Syria and have offered to help mediate between the two countries but so far Russia has ignored them. A country to keep an eye on is Mexico as this morning their president announced they would NOT sanction Russia. While each country is entitled to its own enforcement the choice they are making is one that could carry huge consequences. Cash crops Mexico relies on could easily end up being protested against and cause detrimental damage to Mexico's already fragile economy. 


Sanctions have finally begun to rain down on Belarus for its participation in this human catastrophe. Which one could really argue has become part of Russia at this point. In an attempt to show what I can only assume is good faith Belarus has warned Ukraine that Russia could resort to unguided bomb attacks ie carpet bombing. While the argument has been made that this is already occurring a significant change has occurred and that the unguided part. Previous attacks have been with cruise missiles and multiple other forms of aerial attacks but the unguided part is a significant change. 


Sadly unless an announcement is made that catches a lot of us off-guard by President Biden this war in Ukraine is only going to get worse. Almost 700,000 people have already fled blowing away the numbers that Europe faced during the previous refugee crisis. The war is entering a stage where retired military members are stating that Russia could resort to bulldozer-like tactics bombing cities pretty much flat and then sending in ground troops to take out whatever defense is left. The idea of this war getting anymore bloody or being prolonged is horrible. 

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Graduated from Texas A&M in May of 2020 had dabbled in crypto since 2017 but dove in at the end of 2019. December of 2020 packed up and moved to D.C.! Huge sports fan, space nerd, and international newsreader! Follow me on Twitter @Cje95_

Chronic Illness and Crypto
Chronic Illness and Crypto

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