Day 21 of the military situation in Ukraine
On the 21st day of the war, Ukrainian reports are doing the rounds in Western media that Russia has suffered "massive losses". This makes objective analysis difficult.
Published: March 16, 2022, 11:55 am
“According to the Ukrainian General Staff, the Russian army has already lost up to 40 percent of the units that have been involved in fighting since the Russian invasion on February 24. These troops have either been completely crushed or have lost their fighting strength, the general staff in Kiev announced in a situation report on Wednesday night. It did not give a concrete number. The information cannot be independently verified,” the German daily FAZ reported.
The military situation does not correspond to the official statements of the Ukrainian General Staff. A glance at several maps show that the Russian offensive operation is progressing and territorial gains are being made daily. The ring around the capital Kiev continues to tighten, strong Ukrainian troop formations are encircled in eastern Ukraine and large parts of the country in the north-east have been taken and the entire south is already partly or threatening to fall into Russian hands.
The military intelligence service of Great Britain, for example, confirmed the assessment of the Ukrainian general staff. The NZZ summarises its analysis concisely: “Russian forces in Ukraine have great difficulty in dealing with Ukrainian terrain and are mainly tied to the road network,” writes the UK’s military intelligence service in its latest situation report on Wednesday morning.
“It is hardly possible for Russian units to move in open terrain. Accordingly, the control of occupied areas would mainly concentrate on towns and roads. Effective Ukrainian resistance and the lack of air superiority would also ‘slow down and drastically limit’ the Russian advance. As a result of losses suffered, the Russian army is having difficulty conducting offensive operations.”
There is no doubt that the Ukrainians will resist and fight based on too little information and the wrong overall picture; the defenders may be resisting the Russian advances with all means at their disposal, but in vain.
The situation remained relatively stable on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Air strikes were reported from several towns. The fiercest fighting continues to be reported from Mariupol, where the Russian army is trying to establish a blockade on the western and eastern outskirts of the city and completely isolate the port city. According to Ukrainian sources, the Russians suffered huge losses in the process.
In the Odessa region, the coast is said to have been shelled by Russian ships, but no landing operation has taken place so far.
But independent maps show the Russian army’s extensive territorial gains, in contrast to cartographic representations by Western media. The tactical approach of Russia’s formations confirms the earlier assessment of military expert Hagen Eichberger from Deutsche Militärzeitschrift, stating that a “second wave of the Russian attack” could be expected.
According to information from Kramatorsk, Ukrainians did not have enough fuel and ammunition left to retreat from the Donbass. The option of retreat was proposed by the command of the US Army in Europe. According to the US military, the released forces could be used to strengthen the defense of the Dnieper and the battles near Kharkov. But the analysis of the situation showed that such a maneuver was no longer possible. Now, as our interlocutor noted, Ukrainians are left to hold the line and hope for a miracle.
US intelligence urged the General Staff to withdraw troops from the eastern front so as not to repeat the fate of Mariupol, when a military group of 20 000 was surrounded and subjected to methodical destruction.
Since the beginning of the special operation of the RF Armed Forces in Ukraine, Google has significantly cut off media traffic in the Russian Federation broadcasting a pro-government point of view.
As a result, the user does not see an adequate information picture, since the emphasis is significantly shifted towards pro-Western publications. Russian outlets, including RIA Novosti, RT, TASS, Lenta.ru, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Izvestia, and Channel Five have been censored by Google.
It is reported that Russian media lost around 90 percent of traffic, and at peak values almost everything. Thus, the absolute majority will receive news from pro-Western publications. Thus, in the public mind, a certain picture of the world is formed which does not correspond to reality.
US intelligence warned the General Staff that Russia could transfer part of the military from Nikolaev and Kherson to the eastern front in order to speed up the encirclement of Ukrainian troops. According to Western intelligence, the battles for Mariupol will last another 2-3 days, and after that, an operation will begin to encircle the eastern front, which now counts 37-45 thousand soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
On March 16, the defense of the Severodonetsk-Lysichansk agglomeration in the region of Donbass collapsed. Forces in Severdonetsk were cut off from their counterparts in Lysichansk.
A series of Russian strikes also destroyed the Kiev Automation Plant near the city. “This is a key enterprise of the military-industrial complex of Ukraine, which specializes in the development, production and repair of special gyroscopic and navigation equipment. The plant is included in the list of Ukrainian enterprises that are not subject to privatization. Included in the list of enterprises of strategic importance for the economy and security of Ukraine.”
Russian paratroopers managed to cross the Irpen River, gain a foothold on the eastern bank and come even closer to Kiev, said Yevgeny Poddubny, military commander of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.
A hint of the actual situation in Ukraine is that the neutral status of Ukraine is now being seriously discussed at the talks in conjunction with Russia’s demands for security guarantees, according to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.
In an interview with Fox News, war reporter Steve Harrigan spelled out that it was over for Ukraine.
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) March 13, 2022
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