Kharkiv: Russia still pressuring in North. Izium: Russia attempts to move on Barvinkove, Dolyna (pushed back), Bohorodychne (not very successful). Ukraine advancing from West, to relieve pressure on Sloviansk (not aiming to cut off yet). Lyman: Russia trying to find options to cross river Siversky Donets, 2 directions simultaneously – Raihorodok and Siversk.
Sievierodonetsk: Street battles, Russia attacks on Borivske. Situation is hard, but controllable. Popasna: a lot of activity North, attempts to cut off Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway. Komyshuvakha: has changed control already 3 times, other locations are similar – any announcement doesn’t mean much, as control can change next day. Zaporozhye: no changes.
Russia’s tactical objectives are to cross river Siversky Donets in multiple locations, capture Siversk, and cut off road Bakhmut-Lysychansk, surround Lysychansk-Sievierodonetsk, advance on Sloviansk. No significant changes and progress in East, Russians are unable to complete their objectives effectively, and in near future.
Kherson: Ukraine has gained permanent foothold on Left (East) coast of Inhulets river, after joining from multiple river crossings, showing ability to move, despite enemy having advantages. Russia attacked for a week and was repelled.
Poland provided 260 tanks, Ukraine wish for double that (500 against 1000 of Russia would be adequate).
MLRS – 300 total of all types, including BM-21 Grad / RM-70 Vampire.
M270 and M142 HIMARS should be enough only 60 as these are heavy systems.
Artillery: At the moment 250 pieces received, however some of them are Slovakian 152mm DANA.
US additional assistance [link]:
18x 155mm howitzers + 18x trucks, 36 000 rounds, additional missiles for HIMARS , 4x tactical recovery vehicles, Spare parts and other equipment, 2x Harpoon anti-ship missile systems, 1000x secure radios, 1000x night vision/thermal/other optical devices.
Slovakia will provide Mi-17 helicopters. Canada, Poland and Netherlands will provide additional artillery. Germany will provide 3 MLRS Mars II.
Total about 18 heavy MLRS (M270 or M142) pledged currently (2 divisions), enough to make life for 🇷🇺 army very complicated in 1-2 directions. In reality Ukraine needs 2x – 3x times more, however this is good for start.
155mm howitzers, if assuming Canada, Poland and Netherlands send 18 more, total 36 would help to cover 1 direction, and gain local advantages. Amounts pledged are less than desired, deliveries in August, which puts possible Ukrainian offensive at least 2-3 months away. US is planning to provide 350 Bradley IFV to Greece and 89 to Croatia. If Ukraine would get half of that, changes would be significant.
Russia decreasing natural gas supplies to Europe, expecting that energetic, food and refugee crisis would achieve similar effects, as nuclear weapons usage. After failing blitzkrieg, Russia is now preparing for long attrition war, in position similar to Iran, expecting weakness of West (which is clearly demonstrated). Goal is not to win Ukraine, but for West to start pushing for Minsk-3 style agreement.
The Guardian published poll for European opinion, 35% want peace faster, 22% want justice for Ukraine, 20% who can’t decide [link]. Russia’s propaganda’s task is to swing those 20% into wanting peace over justice. 73% called Russia guilty, 58% want to decrease dependence on Russian energy. Possibility for further sanctions, however Russia will try to outplay and increase calling for peace.
China issued law, allowing to use military without declaring war, but this unlikely threatens Taiwan. Hypothesis – The West starting to understand, that Putin and Xi can’t be fought in war, rather trying to use economic weapons, and redistributing markets, like oil and gas.
Goal seems to show Russia’s lack of perspective in war with Ukraine, forcing to sign peace, retreating to positions on February 23, persecute criminals, partially remove sanctions, yet keep weakened Putin’s regime under control. Similar mistakes have already been made in history – USSR was not kept in control, withdrawal from Afghanistan did not turn out well.
This will not work for Ukraine. Even with tiny military assistance, Ukraine will sooner or later concentrate enough forces, to start doing significant military offensive in 2 directions, which would have direct impact on Russian politics. For example, Russian citizens would feel recapture of Kherson very painfully, probably enough to start discontent. Arestovych would want more, but this is well within capabilities of Ukraine.
Macron called for negotiations (what he probably thinks), which is borderline opinion of current Western attitude, however US would not agree to ceding of Ukrainian territories. If Macron keeps sending CAESAR howitzers, he can say all he wants.
Vote for EU candidate status in 2 days. No actual benefits, but significant moral victory for Ukraine and defeat for Russia.
No broadcast tomorrow.