Reports of heavy rocket artillery firing on the eastern parts of the city of Mariupol have been widely reported, with the death toll rising to 27 people.

It looks like another of Putins’s moves to link up with Crimea, 200 miles to the west of the pocket and give Russia a “land bridge” which he needs to protect the Crimea from everyone else.

The widespread use of Grad Multiple Launch Rocket Systems indicates that this is a planned action with significant logistical support that it involves extensive use of Russian troops, though Grad fire has been widely used throughout the conflict. There have been indications that Russian forces, including Russian Marines, have moved into the eastern Ukraine pocket controlled by pro-Russian forces, giving the Russians offensive options. Heavy artillery preparations frequently precede Russian attacks, particularly by concentrated MLRS attack. Given the amount of munitions needed to supply concentrated fire, the Russians tend not to use them casually. The presence of Grad missiles indicates the possibility of artillery preparation for a broader offensive.

The attack comes days after the Russian forces secured the Donetsk Airport. “Holy Crap, Batman; what’s going on here?”

Obama was discussing Foreign Policy with GloZell Green who knows more about it than he does. She said the Castro’s put the dick in dictator. Brilliant. She has the kind of courage the President lacks. She’s also onto the KGB tactics, she would probably call them the Secret Po-Po. Po-po is her name for the police.

Mariupol, Ukraine gives Putin the land he needs to easily protect the Crimea using land forces. It belongs to Ukraine but so did the Crimea until Putin took it and no one did anything about it.

Read more: Red Alert: Rocket Fire Could Signal New Offensive on Mariupol | Stratfor
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