The Russian army advances slowly but advances on three fronts. From the north it descends towards Kyivmain objective, where fighting continues in the suburbs: in particular in Gostomelnear to Antonov airporta freight terminal Moscow tries to conquer from the first hours of the conflict, and also in Bucha, Vorzel and Irpinwhere casualties put figures to horror.
Vladimir Putin’s men are targeting the capital from the northeast, from the area of Chernhivheavily bombed but still controlled by Ukraineand from the north, from Belarus: after conquering the area of Chernobylthe Russian vehicles were trapped about thirty kilometers from the capital, forming the long convoy of more than 60 kilometers that, on the one hand, shows the power of the Russian army, but on the other reveals all the logistical problems, starting with the shortage of gasoline and food.
For this reason, during the weekend the General Staff of Russia has ordered an operational pause to reorganize and coordinate the offensive toward Kyiv: Fuel supplies are arriving from Belarus for tanks and vehicles that have been standing still for days. The capital braces for siege as the Russians, according to US intelligence sources, are recruiting Syrian foreign fighters skilled in urban guerrilla warfare.
An infallible communications system… with failure
To the east, the Russian army besieges Kharkovthe second Ukrainian city, which still resists despite the missiles that have rained incessantly for days: there, according to the Ministry of Defense in Kiev, the Russian Major General, Vitaly Gerasimovthe man who led the troops of Putin. The news would have been communicated to Moscow through insecure lines that the Ukrainians would have intercepted: the encrypted telephone system Wascreated last year by the Russian Defense and which was supposed to resist “in any conditions” seems to be not working.
In the south, however, the Russian soldiers gain positions more quickly and control a fairly large area. The troops that left crimeathe southern region annexed by Putin in 2014, they moved west, where they controlled the Kherson area -conquered on March 2-, and headed for Mykolayivsubject to heavy bombardment, but also to the north, where they have reached the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, bombed and taken by the Russians, and to the east.
On the eastern front, conquered Melitopolthe Russians have been besieging the city for days Mariupola strategic port in the sea of azov that would open the way between crimea and the donbasthe other region where the fighting continues to be intense: in the self-proclaimed -and recognized by Moscow- separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, clashes between pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian civil and military resistance continue.
The rain of missiles intensifies
On the ground, the battle has slowed down, confirms the Ministry of Defense of Kyivbut the Russians have intensified the rain of missiles on the main cities of the country: the Pentagon claims that they have fired more than 600 in the first 13 days of the conflict, and that they have used old, heavy and imprecise bombs that are even more dangerous for the civilians.
They still do not have control of the skies but they bomb the whole country: in addition to Kyiv and Kharkov, Sumy, Mykolayiv and Mariupol they are very affected. Everywhere there are dozens of civilian victims, at least 474 according to the UN, everywhere the humanitarian corridors, open in word, are closed by fire. Russian bombs have also hit the port of Odessain the southwest.
In the entire western part of the country -essential to guarantee the supply of arms to the Ukrainian resistance, which has already received some 17,000 anti-tank systems: the deliveries arrive very quickly-, Russian activity is only aerial: here it is thought that the army of Lukashenko He could have intervened after the appearance of some photos in front of a map of Ukraine, but for now no movements have been reported.
In recent days, however, the Russians have improved and increased the use of the air force, surprisingly absent in the first phase of the conflict, reports Franz Stefan Gadyexpert of International Institute for Strategic Studies. They have attacked military airports, perhaps to prevent aircraft deliveries by Western allies, and communication facilities: the television tower in Kharkov has been completely destroyed and they will try to cut off exchanges between Zelensky and his generals.
“Despair” in the Russian troops
The General Staff of Moscow it seems to have used all the forces deployed on the Ukrainian border, some 190,000 soldiers, but the morale of the troops seems to be very low. According to the British defense minister, ben wallace, the Russians are suffering heavy losses in men and equipment – the Ukrainians claim to have killed 11,000 soldiers, more likely between 2 and 4,000 according to a “conservative” Pentagon estimate – and are “desperate”, so they would have “increased the brutality of the attacks.” From Moscowstill according to Wallace, continue to accuse Ukraine of having developed nuclear or biological weapons, but it is more than anything an “excuse to justify the invasion”.
The General Staff of USA he is more cautious and unhurriedly analyzes the behavior of the Army. They confirm the delays, they are surprised by the errors and losses, they notice an obvious lack of coordination, but they warn: Putin he has a powerful war machine, capable of overwhelming the adversary. The generals of kremlin they are correcting the approach, learning from mistakes made on the ground: convoys of vehicles escorted by helicopters are beginning to be seen to reduce the impact of Ukrainian ambushes.
The losses and logistical problems are there, argues the Pentagonbut they are amplified by the excellent propaganda of Kyiv and Western communications, aimed at frustrating Russian soldiers and encouraging Ukrainians: the men sent to Ukraine they are young, inexperienced, have little food and are exhausted, but Putin it is absolutely capable of breaking military and civilian resistance.
No one expected Ukraine’s tenacity, not even many Ukrainian generals thought it could last that long considering the ratio of forces in the field: the Russian army has 900,000 men and is eight times larger than the Ukrainian one. The defenders are subjected to Russian artillery and bombardment, but are more motivated and take advantage of their knowledge of the territory to fight back: they organize into light units that collide with the Russian columns and scatter, slowing down the advance and destroying hundreds of vehicles. Resistance wears down men Putin beating constantly, even in the middle of the night, not letting them sleep, stifling their morale, has been reported to the New York Times the General Marchenkocommitted to defending Mykolayiv.
An estimate of Oryx speaks of 130 tanks, 84 armored vehicles and hundreds of vehicles destroyed, as well as dozens of Russian planes shot down: the Ukrainians, according to a US intelligence report, have managed to hit planes carrying Russian paratroopers, use American anti-tank missiles and Turkish drones. They then rely on hand-built barricades of buses and trams, which have slowed the progress across the country and in particular of the dragon that snorts towards Kyivin Molotov cocktails to hit enemy vehicles and in tractors, with which the Ukrainian peasants recover and tow their prisoners of war: the vehicles abandoned by the soldiers of Putin.
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