Ukraine Update–Day 7

It has been a week since the troops of ‘Vlad the Invader’ crossed the border into Ukraine and things are not looking hopeful for a peaceful end to this incursion…..

Day 7 went something like this….

Russian Offensive. With the ever closer huge column of troops, tanks, APCs, artillery, and support vehicles approaching Kyiv comes the fear that the encirclement of the capital city will soon be complete and violent street to street urban warfare will soon ensue. Other areas of eastern Ukraine are under attack as well. In the north, south, and along the eastern frontier. The cities of Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Kherson are all under attack. Kharkiv and Kyiv are still in Ukrainian hands . . . for now. The Institute for the Study of War provides an map with a daily update of Russian occupied areas of Ukraine.

Informative Map Resource. An article published about a week before the invasion, provides a series of maps that describe the pre-invasion composition and disposition of Russian forces around Ukraine and beyond. “Russian Buildup Near Ukraine Features Potent Weapons Systems, Well-Trained Troops”, The Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2022.

Russian Strategy and Tactics. The offensive did not start off well. Perhaps the Russians were a bit optimistic on the numbers of troops and tanks needed to deliver a ‘shock and awe’ campaign and achieve its objectives. Certainly the logistics train has not supplied enough fuel, food, and ammunition for the troops fighting in the various areas of Ukraine. The inability to knock out the air defense and air force of Ukraine has also met criticism.

“Russia’s military strategy thus far has holes in it big enough to drive a Russian tank through . . . if it hadn’t run out of gas.”

Ukraine Evac Volunteer, March 1, 2022.

Artillery and MLRS. A long-time Soviet strategy was the use of massed artillery and rocket fire to prepare for the advance of infantry and tank formations into enemy territory. The Russians still rely on this in their doctrine. A recent inventory to their weapons systems is the TOS-1 MLRS Heavy Flamethrower System. This weapon will cause terrible damage to those on the receiving end. The MRLS and thermobaric weapon is mounted on a tank chassis.

Current Russian Disposition. Estimates of pre-invasion Russian strength were between 150,000 to 200,000 arrayed along the border of Ukraine. These troops were in encampments along the Belarus, Russian, and Russian-occupied Crimea borders. It is estimated (Mar 1) that at least 80% of these troops are now in Ukraine. In addition, there are some ‘private actors’ involved in the offensive – the shadowy Wagner Group (mercenaries) is reported to have hundreds of fighters now in Ukraine.

Kharkiv. The second largest city located in the northeast of Ukraine is encircled and under attack. It is on the receiving end of artillery and rocket barrages. Kharkiv is cutoff from any troop reinforcements and resupply of ammunition, food, and other essential equipment. With a population of 1 1/2 million the fear of large numbers of civilian casualties may be realized as Russian troops try to enter the city proper.

Crimea Axis. The move north of Russian forces from Russian-occupied Crimea has had some success. It appears the area just north of Crimea has been secured. Some elements of these Russian forces have moved towards the Ukrainian city of Mariupol located on the coast of the Sea of Azov. It is anticipated that other forces from the Crimea axis will push towards the coastal city of Odessa on the Black Sea. News reports say that the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson is under attack and may soon fall into Russian hands. The city is located north of Crimea and sits on the Dnieper River where it flows into the Black Sea. Kherson is on the road to Odessa.

Moldova a Target? A recent briefing by Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko has shown a battle map live on TV. Some analysts have taken a close look at the briefing map and came away with the conclusion that there will be a move of Russian troops from Odessa to and beyond the Moldova border. The unrecognized breakaway state of Transnistria is located in Moldova along the Ukraine border. There are currently Russian troops based there. Watch a video clip of the briefing entitled “Russia’s secret plot to invade second nation leaked”, news.com.au, March 1, 2022.

Ukrainian Defense. The citizenry of Ukraine are stepping up to defend their homeland. Apparently some older Ukrainian women are ready to help defend their country by joining the ‘Babushka Battalion‘. (Aljazeera, Feb 14, 2022). Some of the larger Ukrainian cities are now under siege. While fighting in an urban environment is difficult for both defender and attacker there are some tactics and techniques that can sway the outcome of the battle. (Task & Purpose, Feb 28, 2020).

Assassination Attempt on Zelensky. Ukrainian officials say that they were informed by discontented Russian Federal Security Service agents who “have no desire to take part in this bloody war” about an attempt to assassinate the Ukrainian president. The attempt was by the Kadyrovites, a Chechen paramilitary organization. “Ukraine foils assassination attempt on Zelensky by Chechen special unit”, The Jerusalem Post, March 1, 2022.

West Sends Weapons. The anti-armor and anti-aircraft weapons being sent to the Ukrainian armed forces will make a big difference in the battlefield calculus. The Stingers and anti-tank weapons are reducing the effectiveness of Russian aircraft and Russian tanks.

Social Media Platforms Take Action. Google has banned two Russian outlets on YouTube – Russia Today and Sputnik. Facebook has pulled ads from some Russian accounts and it is adding warning labels to content from the Kremlin’s websites. It is also changing up its search function to diminish the traffic heading to state-controlled Russian Facebook accounts. TikTok, a Chinese platform, has allowed pro-Russian propaganda on its site. Read more in “Big tech grapples with Russian state media, propaganda”, AP News, March 1, 2022.

Russia and Social Media. Some Russian media platforms in Russia have been taken offline – by the Russian government. The opposition media outlets of TV Rain and Echo of Moscow have had their access blocked. Russia has been ‘losing the hearts and minds’ battle. Slawomir Sierakowski tells us why in “Putin’s empire of lies”, The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, March 2, 2022.

Social Media and News Coverage. Many of the video clips shown on network and cable television news programs come from TikTok, Telegram, and other social media platforms. Some of it is propaganda and disinformation. Much of it is recycled video clips of past conflicts (Ukraine 2014). Learn “How CNN geolocates and verifies social media footage from Ukraine”, CNN.com, February 28, 2022. Read also an interesting article about Russian propaganda and search results in Google News. “The surprising performance of Kremlin propaganda on Google News”, Brookings Institute, March 1, 2022.

Russia Under Cyber Attack. State and non-state actors are hitting Russia hard with cyber attacks. In the latest cyber attack against Russia a group of hackers called NB65 claims it has taken control of the Russian Space Agency. Some hackers are targeting Russia’s satellites. “Prominent hackers target Russia’s satellite infrastructure”, Cyber News, March 2, 2022.

The Belarus Card. Russia is going to use influence operations to justify intervention on the part of Belarus into the Russian-Ukraine war. Look for a ‘false flag’ operation where a ‘provocative attack’ is conducted by Ukraine against Belarus that gives that nation cover to launch attacks against Ukraine. Currently Belarus forces are mobilized and staged for entry into Ukraine. Russian forces have been using Belarus as a staging and support area and have launched attacks from Belarus into northern Ukraine.

NATO and EU. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization seems more united than it has been in many years. Granted it supported the Afghan mission for two decades after invoking Article five. But it has not shown this must resolve in standing up to Russia in a long time. Estonia and Latvia are sending needed war supplies – anti-tank weapons, ammunition, and fuel. And those MiG-29s for Ukraine? May not be happening after all. Ukraine may see an accelerated admission into the European Union.

U.S. Troop Movements – ABCT. An entire armored brigade combat team is being deployed to Europe from the United States. The 405th Army Field Support Brigade in Kaiserlautern, Germany will be outfitting the ABCT with vehicles and equipment for the 1st ABCT of the 3rd Infantry Division based at Fort Stewart, Georgia. It appears that the arriving ABCT will link up with their vehicles and equipment at Grafenwoehr, Germany. Learn more how Army prepositioned stocks in Europe are activated to support the deployment of the ABCT. (Army.mil, Mar 1, 2022).

Russia’s Isolation Grows. As a major economy and large nation in the global system Russia has been taking part in “. . . intricate supply chains, banking, sports, and countless other threads of deep connection.” Until now. It is now experiencing isolation from the international financial community. The international sports scene is shunning Russia. Its airplanes are no longer allowed to make many international flights. Even its commercial ocean-going vessels are finding a lack of safe harbors. When the always neutral country of Switzerland turns its back on you, then you know you have a problem. “From banking to sports to vodka, Russia’s isolation grows”, AP News, March 1, 2022.

United Nations Drama. Russian’s foreign ambassador to the United Nations attempted to speak during a conference in New York at the UN. About 90% of the attendees got up and walked out. Sign of the times.

SOTU. During the U.S. State of the Union speech there were signs of blue and yellow in the audience. Colors of Ukraine. President Biden announced a ban on Russian aircraft flying through American airspace.

Poland Accepts War Refugees. Two pedestrian refugee crossings were opened up along the Polish Ukrainian border. There are long lines of people departing Ukraine on foot. Poland and the Polish people have been very supportive of the Ukrainian refugees. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) has estimated that over 500,000 people have fled Ukraine. The bordering countries of Poland, Slovakia, Moldova, Hungary, and Romania are accepting refugees.

Humanitarian Corridor? The Ukrainian health minister is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to organize the delivery of food and medicine to areas of Ukraine. This may, if allowed by the Russians, bring needed humanitarian aid to Russian occupied areas as well as Ukrainian held areas.

Putin – Unbalanced or Cagey? Over the past year national security observers and leaders of various nations have expressed concern and caution over the state of mind of President Putin. His decision to invade Ukraine and recent announcements of increasing the readiness of Russia’s nuclear forces have people scratching their head. “Reading Putin: Unbalanced or cagily preying on West’s fears?”, AP News, March 1, 2022.

Urban Warfare. Military analysts are watching the upcoming fight for the large cities of Ukraine. How this plays out – a superior conventional force fighting to take embattled cities from a weaker defending force augmented with civilians given weapons. Read more on this in “The Two Debates in Military Circles the War in Ukraine Could Help Settle”, by John Amble, Modern War Institute at West Point, March 2, 2022.

Bleeding Russia. James L. Bruno provides his thoughts on how to make Vladimir Putin pay a heavy price for his invasion of Ukraine. He describes how it was done in the 1980s with the ill-fated Soviet Union intervention in Afghanistan in 1979. By the time the Soviet Union exited Afghanistan ten years later some 15,000 had been killed and 35,000 wounded. The failure in Afghanistan led to, in part, the fall of the Soviet empire (CIA report, 1999). Read more in “How to Make Russia Bleed”, Dispatches from Exile, February 28, 2022.

‘Shock and Awful’ – Lessons From the War. William M. Arkin, an author and national security journalist, provides a detail account of the first days of the Russian offensive and points out some lessons that the Pentagon and U.S. national security establishment should be taking notes on. “Shocking Lessons U.S. Military Leaders Learned by Watching Putin’s Invasion”, Newsweek, March 1, 2022.

AS the Ukrainians enter into the second week of the invasion things will get worse before they get better.

The spirit of the Ukrainian people needs to stay strong and defiant.

They can prevail….they MUST prevail….

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26 thoughts on “Ukraine Update–Day 7

  1. The Russians have admitted to 450 of their troops killed and over 1,000 wounded. To counter this, Ukraine claims to have killed 7,000 enemy soldiers. (BBC 6pm news) 1 million Ukrainians and foreigners resident in Ukraine have now left the country, and as of tonight, Britain will issue one-year visas to any refugees asking to come to the UK.
    And I still haven’t seen any front line combat footage from either side. How strange is that?
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Very strange. I keep switching from report to report and still all I see is burnt out vehicles and rubble….I fear the worse is to come chuq

  2. The basis by which Israeli strategic foreign policy endeavors to negotiate with India and the countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

    The non-alignment movement (NAM) promotes neutrality and opposes military alliances. The NAM provides a forum for developing countries to interact constructively with developed countries. The Panchsheel Resolution: POLICY OF RESISTING COLONIALISM, IMPERIALISM, RACISM:

    i) Mutual respect for another’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
    ii) No retaliation against one another.
    iii) No intrusion into each other’s personal lives.
    iv) Equality and mutual benefit
    v) Coexistence in harmony.

    Israel rejects and opposes attempts by foreign nations to determine the international borders of the Jewish State by any foreign nations who does not share a mutual international border with Israel. Distant foreign countries who attempt to determine the international borders of any other country which they do not share with an international border, whether conducted through “diplomacy” on an Ambassador level, or by means of the UN General Assembly resolutions and\or Security Council, that all such attempts violate international law by the crime of imperialism, and possibly racism.

    The Charter of the UN does not empower this post WWII establishment organization; the UN has no mandate to negate the internal domestic Sovereignty of any nation. How much more so, foreign powers possess no mandate to determine or establish the international borders of any non-neighboring countries with which they share no common border. The human disaster known as WWI, came as a result of imperialist entangling alliances wherein nation states who shared no common border committed their respective nations to go to war if a distinct country came under attack by some imperialist Great Power who too shared no common borders with the nation that it attacked. Germany conducted war against France by first invading Belgium.

    Furthermore, any attempt to transform a stateless refugee population into an independent nation; any attempt to carve up one nation by means of an international proxy alliance, with the objective to establish any refugee non nation into a nation cut, away from any actual pre-existing nation, like British imperialism did with the artificial borders of India and Pakistan, Iraq and Kuwait, such actions define criminal militarism, colonialism and imperialism. Attempts of criminal imperialism, flagrantly/impudently\ violate International law. The illegal US military invasion into the Vietnam Civil War, the Iraq\Kuwait border dispute, and Afghanistan, these most recent examples, they serve as disgraceful attempts of Great Power imperialism.

    No foreign nation(ies) possess any moral mandate to determine the international borders of other countries to whom they do not mutually share a common border. How much more so, any and all attempts by any foreign country(ies) to impose or determine the Capital City and\or the borders of that Capital City, which any sovereign country has chosen as their Capital; which that People rule and establish order within their society and civilization. No foreign power, which includes the United Nations General Assembly or Security Council, has the power to unilaterally declare the borders or Capital City of any sovereign country on the Planet Earth.

      1. An applicable metaphor “propaganda”…if and only if this foreign policy position paper somehow excludes or takes out of context some surrounding “other” larger “context”.

      2. If one nation signs the UN charter they elect to abide by the rules of law…if they do not want to follow them then they should get out of the organization…hiding behind some random excuse for the miss treatment of others around them is just dishonest. chuq

      3. Yea right. The slaughter and blood diamonds in Africa prove that a dictator does what ever he bloody well pleases and the UN never expels these nations from the rolls of the UN.

      4. You are right and there are other countries that do just as bad….that is the failing of the UN….and from other countries that could do more are easily swayed by religion, cash and ignorance….that is the failure of nations that pretend to act in a moral way….all countries no matter there positions of favor with this country or that. chuq

      5. Time to validate that both the League of Nations and its bastard spawn the United Nations – failures.

      6. You are right because many countries will not act in a responsible way….it is the individual nations that made them a failure….not the idea behind them. chuq

      7. Don’t Care. United Nations = failed loser. Remember Nasser telling the UN to pull out of the Sinai just prior to the June War in 1967. And the UN violating the peace keeper agreement signed with the Israeli pull out of the ’56 capture of the Sinai. From that moment, it became obvious that the UN needs to shut its door for ever.

      8. There are so many other reasons for the UN to go…..and so many countries that need to be ostracized from civil society chuq

      9. The victors of WWII imposed and established the UN by a simple decree. Hence what goes up MUST come down.

      10. Most nations hate the UN because they know they are violating human rights and do not like to be criticized. chuq

      11. And allow nations to act anyway that they feel good……Civility needs to find a home….nations will crap on anyone they feel is ‘inferior’….that cannot be allowed not who their patrons are. chuq

      12. Do not know understand your last communique. Before the 20th Century Nations conducted diplomacy just fine without a UN.

      13. After WW1 the world wanted to try and stop such insanity nations acting anyway they want without consequences….the problem is nations still think they know best and that they are always right…..they are barbaric and still act as if they are bullet proof….in some cases they are as long as they have a powerful ally allowing them to act like they are all that and their shit don’t stink…..they learn NOTHING from their history. chuq

      14. The League of Nations – the last and only point of President Wilson’s pie in the sky peace proposals which Britain and France accepted. If a player only hits the ball 1 out of 14 attempts – every MLB team would send that player to the minor leagues.

        Likewise hold that the American people should dismantle Wilson’s Federal Reserve and National income tax. Wilson’s stamp upon American society and history needs to go.

      15. The Right to self-determination was a beautiful idea but the world did.does not want to hear it…….Wilson was a dick but he had good ideas for the world….as far as the Fed and income tax goes no comment for that has nothing to do with Ukraine….could be a debate at a latter date. chuq

      16. A dick, its good for peeing and fucking. Don’t want no Wilson “dick” or British “dick” or French “dick” hanging over me. The British and French empires accepted and incorporated the League of Nations into the post war Versailles peace plan. Hitler rejected the Versailles peace plan as total bull shit. On this score, this Jew agrees with Adolf the genocidal madman.

      17. Nothing about Hitler should be agreed with on any level.

        This thread has gone as far as it can on avoiding Ukraine…..with that in mind time for some sleep….TTFN chuqw

      18. No. Hitler lead the mass murder of my people. But this terrible war crime has no connection with the issue of the vile Treaty of Versailles. The one has no connection what so ever with the other.

      19. No shit. The Roma people, wow 80 million people senselessly murdered. Hitler, a petty tyrant in the days of Stalin.

      20. Yo Lobotero, do ya think that the domino effect, just some game where College Student with allot of time on their hands, cause they certainly don’t learn, try to make a domino effect that puts them into the Guinness book of world records?????

        The vile British and French (Hitler played no part in this filthy work of shit) Treaty of Versailles produced a horrific domino effect that shaped the foreign policy decision made by the family of morons – Bush #1 and Bush #2 of Dr. Suess racist fame!

        The clarification of French and British dicks hanging over the heads of the American people …. the 1st and 2nd invasions of Iraq!!!!!

        What??? How could the 1919 Treat of Versailles cause the domino effect which inspired to Morons who got democratically elected, (gee this sounds allot like the current President who has alzheimer’s disease), to up and decide … “Gee I could have had a V-8!”

        Why did the idiot #1 forge an “international military force ie New World Order” (This same idiot referred to candidate Reagan’s proposed economic policies as “Voodoo Economics”.), demand that Saddam pull his troops out of Kuwait?

        So great to be pissed on by the French and British dicks!! Purple rain by Prince of 1984. The Purple rain protest held in Cape Town on 2 September 1989, four days before South Africa’s racially segregated parliament held its elections… Ya want to understand current political politics ya have to look at it as seen through the prism of previous Foreign policy decisions taken by earlier governments!!!!

        Failure to do this makes a person a shallow reactionary news paper addict. Like current US news in any way shape or form does not express the Party propaganda line. Proof the 3+ years of Russia-gate Obama/Clinton bull shit spewed out of the butts of the Fake media. Rachel Maddow comes first to mind, with Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters the head of the sham parade.

        Returning to the moron Presidents Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, what inspired these men to make war against Iraq?

        The terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations awarded the “Palestinian Mandate” to the British empire. What lands did the “Palestinian Mandate” include? HaHaHa American reactionary morons (measure for measure …. idiots elect morons for President), they never ask this critical question.

        The League of Nations “Palestine Mandate” included all or most of the lands of … present day Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel!!!!!!!! Bet ya did not know this FACT?!

        Now the imperialist British empire, it did not suit their strategic interests to allow Iraq to have access to the Sea. So the British surgeons took out their long carving knives and chopped of the land of Kuwait from the land of Iraq! This British loved this sort of shenanigans. They did the same with the artificially created “borders” which established India and Pakistan. Five wars, the result of British dicks hanging of both India and Pakistan.

        But the British dicks peed upon the American people too. Saddam thought that he could re-unite Kuwait within the original borders of Iraq. Bush #1, that obedient puppy dog, demanded that Saddam respect the British strategic imperialism which unilaterally pulled the country of Kuwait out of the hat like a rabbit! Kuwait as an independent country never existed before the British denied Iraq through this artificial border a port. This decision land lock Iraq forcing it not not have a navy.

        What the British did with Iraq and Kuwait … surprise surprise they did the same thing with Jews and the so called Balestinians. No nation of Balestine has ever existed in all human history. No currency nor Capital City of Balestine. Yet 100s of UN condemnations of Israel for our refusal to grant refugee populations a nation which they never had!!!!!

        Bush #2 wasted trillions of dollars on Iraq. He instituted primitive torture of captured prisoners on par with the Spanish Inquisition!!! And silly American wave their flags and bemoan the National multi-trillion dollar debt that make unborn generations into serfs.

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