Ukraine has launched counter-offensives, allegedly surrounding 10,000 Russian soldiers

Claims of Ukrainian counter-offensives around kyiv began more than a week ago. We now have our first objective observations confirming that, yes, the Ukrainian military is on the move. And the Russians near the Ukrainian capital could be in deep trouble.

For three weeks, after expanding its war against Ukraine beginning on the night of February 23, the Russian army steadily advanced the roughly 50 miles from the border with Belarus to the outskirts of kyiv. A separate southwestward advance from Russia into northeastern Ukraine reached the city of Chernihiv, 80 miles north of kyiv.

A Russian air assault on Hostomel airport near the capital, which began on the first day of the overall war and was carried out by Mi-8 assault helicopters carrying hundreds of paratroopers, ended in disaster for the Russians. Russians.

But the main ground assault, led by the Russian Combined Arms Armies 29, 35, and 36 west of kyiv and CAA 2 and 41 east of the capital, was more successful in the short term. The Russians surrounded and besieged Chernihiv while creating an incomplete and very loose cordon around Kyiv for a distance of a dozen or more miles.

That success was fleeting. The Kremlin had planned a quick capture of kyiv and the immediate collapse of the Ukrainian government, all in two or three days. When that didn’t happen, flaws in the Russian military’s planning became apparent.

Units were poorly led, poorly equipped and, most critically, poorly sustained. The Russian military never had enough trucks for its logistics battalions to keep up with a fast-moving invasion force. That shortfall steadily worsened as the war stretched into its second, third and fourth weeks, and Ukrainian drones and missiles began taking out trucks by the dozens.

The result is that Russia’s attempted encirclement of kyiv stalled as the Kremlin rushed to reinforce the shattered and starving battalions. “They’re not really trying to move forward right now,” a senior US defense official said. saying of the Russians Thursday. “They are taking more defensive positions.”

As the Russians dug in, a general mobilization added tens of thousands of fresh troops to the ranks of the Ukrainians. Ukrainian battalions began to roll east from the relative safety of the west of the country. Around March 19, these battalions made contact with the Russians west of kyiv.

It was then that the momentum of the war may have begun to change. The first rumors that Ukrainian battalions had launched a counteroffensive west of kyiv were indistinguishable from propaganda. On Thursday, however, we saw the first strong evidence of that operation, in the form of NASA fire detection satellites.

Satellites from the Fire Information System for Resource Management, or FIRMS, recorded a very revealing pattern of fires around Hostomel and Irpin, just west of kyiv.

The flames indicated heavy fighting along the highways through Hostomel and Irpin towards the capital. A similar pattern of fires was evident further to the northwest, along the main supply routes connecting the Russian military with its railheads in Belarus.

The flames tell a story of sustained clashes between reinforced Ukrainian battalions and idle, exhausted Russian battalions. The advantage seems to lie with the Ukrainians, who on Wednesday They stated that they had released Makariv, a city 30 miles west of kyiv.

As the Ukrainians close in on the Russians from the west while maintaining a strong defensive line to the east, they are creating a pocket, encircling the Russian vanguard that, just a couple of weeks earlier, had threatened to encircle kyiv.

This pocket, which allegedly contains around 10,000 Russian soldiers from CAA 35 and 36, is extremely vulnerable. As the Russians run out of food and ammunition, they may begin to surrender. a lot—or risk annihilation.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive is not limited to the region west of kyiv. A separate effort is also underway on the other side of town. On Tuesday, the Russians were just 12 miles east of kyiv. Two days later, they had withdrawn a further 20 miles to the east and north, according to the Pentagon.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive around Kyiv does not immediately relieve pressure on the besieged cities of Chernihiv and Kharkiv in the east and Mariupol in the south. It does not immediately help the Ukrainian forces. fighting to free the southern city of Kherson from the Russian occupiers.

But that could change. If the Ukrainian military can close off and eliminate the pocket of Russian troops west of kyiv, commanders could shift forces east and south to launch or reinforce counteroffensives there.

More broadly, the Ukrainian operation around kyiv underscores the conclusion reached by many war observers after just two weeks. Russia is no longer winning. And it could actually be losing.

Previous post Tata Elxsi gains 5% and reaches an all-time high in a weak market
Next post Warren Buffett on investment mistakes | Smart Switch: Personal Finance
%d bloggers like this: