The Pentagon is sending a team of weapons experts to Ukraine to inspect US weapons being used by Ukraine in its war against Russia. This move comes as midterm elections approach and Republicans voice concerns about how well Ukraine is using US military support. More specifically, there is growing worry that some weapons and other material is being illicitly diverted and ending up in the hands of arms dealers with questionable reputations, or nation-states the Pentagon would rather not see in possessiion of US weapons. To be fair, oversight is a good idea at this point. With billions of dollars in material and monetary aid having been shuttled to Ukraine since February, 2022 and Republicans on the verge of recapturing at least the House of Representatives next week, questions on accountability and the lack of oversight will only continue to grow if not addressed. The Pentagon, and the White House by extension hope the weapons experts arrival in Ukraine puts the matter to bed before January.
A joint decision by the United Nations, Turkey and Ukraine was made to stop merchant ships moving through the Ukrainian crop-export route after Russia said on Monday the vessels were not safe using it. Shipments have been leaving Ukrainian ports since Russia suspended its participation in the Black Sea export agreement signed in July. A mass Ukrainian drone strike on Sevastopol late last week is the root cause behind Russia’s move. The UN plans to issue an update on the crop-export route tomorrow, but for now all ship traffic moving through this area appears set to come to a halt on Wednesday.
Author’s Note: Brief update on Ukraine for this 1st day of November. Later in the week I might double back and discuss the target shift from tactical to strategic that is going on as the Russia-Ukraine war nears the winter months.