While the fronts do not appear to have shifted significantly today, there have been several important developments. Infantry assaults on cities appear to have largely subsided today, with actions being fought primarily in the surrounding countryside instead of outlying city districts. Bombardment by aeroplanes, missiles, and artillery continues. Operations in the south front have continued apace, where Russia’s veteran troops have been seeing consistent success.
Kharkiv was again the site of intense fighting, with persistent Russian bombardments from artillery and air power. A deadline has apparently been set for the evacuation of civilians and foreign nationals via a ‘humanitarian corridor’. At present, with Kharkiv defended strongly by the Ukrainian army and yet to be cut off or surrounded, prolonged bombardments would appear to be the only way for the Russians to make progress here.
In this incredible footage, a Kharkiv resident was interrupted on his cigarette break by a precision strike from a Russian close air support fighter, likely an SU-25 or SU-34. We remind readers that smoking is bad for your health.
Night bombing of Kharkiv
The Special Operations Force of Ukraine has apparently announced on social media that it will no longer take Russian artillerymen as POWs, due to repeated shelling of civilian populations in Kharkiv. Ukrainian special forces have undergone military training in the Southern United States by the CIA since 2015. Execution of surrendered or surrendering soldiers is a war crime, as is shelling civilian areas.
It is a sad fact of war that the rules of ‘humane’ warfare quickly disintegrate as the severity and duration of the fighting increases. From a soldier’s point of view, the distinction between humane and criminal methods of killing people can seem rather divorced from their everyday reality. In this conflict, for the first time, both sides are plugged into social media and the realities of war are brought much closer to home than in previous conflicts.
Ukrainians are hiding in the metro stations of major cities, where they are protected from conventional artillery strikes. This scene has become daily life for thousands of people.
With Russian forces queued for miles outside of Kiev, fighting in the city outskirts appears to have been less intense today, with action taking place through artillery and missile strikes or in the rural areas to the west of Kiev. The Zhytomyr-Kiev highway appears to have been reopened by Ukrainian troops, but there is relatively little footage by which to assess the situation at present. According to statements from ‘an unnamed US defence official’, who has been prolific over the past week, Ukrainian resistance formations and sabotage groups have been delaying Russian convoys north of Kiev. It is worth noting that the Ukrainian territorial defence force is explicitly trained in guerrilla activities in anticipation of a Russian occupation; by a curious historical coincidence, a similar training regime was employed for CIA-trained Ukrainian dissidents of the USSR in 1949.
A Russian helicopter was downed in fighting near Babyntsi to the northwest of Kiev, while a jeep was destroyed in nearby fighting.
Several cruise missiles were launched towards the Ministry of Defence building and Kiev railway station, near the city centre. At least one was neutralised by Ukrainian air defence. Damage includes a burst water main.
Russian forces from the northeast salient allegedly attacked the Ukrainian town of Kruty, and were repelled by territorial defence forces (i.e. Ukraine’s trained militia formations). The militia was extremely proud of itself — and if it repelled an assault of the regular Russian army, it should be:
The Battle of Kruty will now be a glorious page in our history. In the year 2022, the glorious Ukrainian army completely defeated the superior forces of the Russian aggressor and put them to flight. Military traditions acquired. Honoured in battle. These days we are taking revenge for the years of Russian and Soviet occupation of Ukraine. And we are rewriting history. Ukrainian Mova Zalіznih Chobit.
There does not appear to have been an infantry assault on Chernihiv today.
The Russians appear to be consolidating their positions near Sumy, as no major fighting took place there today. The highways leading to Sumy are very close to being completely cut off, with Ukrainian territorial defence forces in Okhtyrka and Romny holding the roads open. A drone strike on the road near Okhtyrka neutralised a Russian mobile artillery vehicle earlier today.
While footage from the surrounded Ukrainian city is scarce, pro-Russian separatist forces allegedly captured Shirokino earlier today, just 6km from Mariupol. The separatists have been uploading footage of groups of captured Ukrainians, but we are currently treating footage of captured troops from both sides with scepticism since such videos are easy to stage. Separatists have also released videos showing off captured Ukrainian paraphernalia, including a Ukrainian Marines flag.
Britain’s ITV news left Mariupol today, and released footage of passing through a foggy Russian checkpoint manned by several main battle tanks (MBTs). The news crew had ‘run out of power, water, and food’ and so decided to leave the city. Unless the defenders of Mariupol have made significant stockpiles, the city is likely to fall within the next day or so.
Russian troops scatter civilian protesters with gunfire; it remains unclear whether there are casualties. The incident takes place at Enerhodar, south of Zaporizhzhia, close to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station. We believe that Russian troops in this sector are veteran formations and unlikely to have much patience for peaceful protests.
Kherson has fallen to Russian troops. Most of the city had been occupied yesterday, and we believe the occupation is now complete. How the Russians intend to secure their captured cities is an open question at this point.
According to Ukrainian reports, the Russians today launched an air assault on Mykolaiv airport with 4 helicopters’ worth of paratroopers, who were soon surrounded and taken prisoner. Earlier reports suggested an amphibious assault had taken place. Videos purporting to show captured Russian paratroopers and ground troops have been released.
Mykolaiv is in a location where a combined arms air-land-sea invasion may be practicable, however it is doubtful that the Russian commanders and units on the ground possess the experience and coordination to successfully execute such an assault.
A Bangladesh-flagged bulk carrier was allegedly struck by a Russian missile close to Mykolaiv today.
A Russian ship was sighted off Odessa, likely a frigate; reason for close approach unknown.
The Lisichansk Brewery was hit by a rocket strike today, causing a large explosion. We at the Ukraine Observatory would like to remind readers that alcohol can also be bad for your health.
A gas pipeline was burst by Russian shelling southeast of Kharkiv; local authorities have asked rural residents to reduce their energy consumption in response.
We try our best, but the Institute for War and its large staff are rather better at creating daily war maps than we are. Check the maps out here:
A large shipment of US Stinger missiles reached Ukraine today, as well as a sizeable assortment of infantry weapons from Spain.
Fourteen Ukrainian members of the French Foreign Legion allegedly absconded to fight in Ukraine; they were apprehended on a bus in Paris and banned from leaving the country.
Supplies and volunteers from NATO countries continue to enter Ukraine, presumably via the major highways and rail routes leading from Poland to Kiev.
Photo Credit: Фото Дмитрий Муравский, Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. CC 2.0.
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