The Heartbeat of Ukraine
WAR UPDATE – 3/26/23
Day 396 of a 3-day war. Kyiv is still standing tall and Russia is still a terrorist state:
Are they gone yet? Well –
170,550 (+660) are gone and they won’t be coming back. It’s a good start. (This number will be updated in the morning EST)
Operational Report of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
👉”Thanks to professional and coordinated actions, our defenders repelled more than 85 enemy attacks on these [fronts].”
👉Russians launched one missile attack and 16 air strikes, carrying out more than ten attacks from multiple rocket launch systems. The probability of launching missile and air strikes on the entire territory of Ukraine remains high because Russia continues to use the terror tactics.
👉On the Volyn, Polissia, Sivershchyna, and Slobozhanshchyna fronts, the operational situation has not changed significantly, and no signs of the formation of offensive groups of the occupiers have been detected. In Belarus, combat training activities of Russian army units are ongoing. Russia continues to maintain its military presence in border areas of the Kursk and Belgorod oblasts.
👉The enemy shelled the settlements of Novovasylivka, Bachivsk, Atynske, Volfyne, Myropilske, Pokrovka, Popivka of the Sumy Oblast, as well as Tymofiivka, Veterynarne, Hraniv, Kozacha Lopan, Hlyboke, Gatyshche, Kolodiazne, Dvorichna, Zapadne, and Kamianka in Kharkiv Oblast.
👉On the Lyman front, the Russians conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the area of the Synkivka and Vesele settlements. They conducted shelled Kupiansk district of the Kharkiv Oblast; Makiivka, Nevsky, Dibrova, Bilohorivka in the Luhansk Oblast, as well as Kolodiazi, Lyman, and Vyimka in the Donetsk Oblast.
👉On the Bakhmut front, the enemy continues its assault on the city of Bakhmut and the Ivanivske district of the Donetsk Oblast. The invaders shelled the settlements of Vasiukivka, Bondarne, Zaliznianske, Minkivka, Novomarkove, Hryhorivka, Bakhmut, Ivanivske, Maiorsk, and New-York.
👉On the Avdiivka and Mariinka fronts, the Russians carried out offensive actions in the direction of the settlements of Novokalynove, Avdiivka, Sieverne, Pervomaiske, and Mariinka. It failed. Novokalynove, Krasnohorivka, Kamianka, Avdiivka, Netailove, Mariinka, and Heorhiivka of Donetsk Oblast were subjected to numerous enemy attacks.
👉The invaders shelled the areas of Novomykhailivka, Vuhledar, and Velyka Novosilka of Donetsk Oblast on the Shakhtarsk front.
👉The enemy continues defensive actions on the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson fronts. He shelled the settlements of Olhivske, Malynivka, Huliaipole, Novodanylivka, Novoandriivka of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast and Kherson, Zolota Balka, Mykhailivka, Beryslav, Vesele, Kozatske, Mykolaivka, Lvove, Antonivka, Blahovishchenske and Dniprovske of the Kherson Oblast.
👉The Russian invaders continue to suffer huge losses. This forces them to set up their hospitals on the premises of civilian medical institutions.
👉Thus, in the village of Novovasylivka, Pryazovsky District, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russian occupying forces used the local hospital as a military hospital. As of 25 March, about 200 wounded Russian invaders are being treated there. Civilians have no access to medical facilities.
👉The aviation of the defense forces of Ukraine struck three areas of concentration of personnel and military equipment of the occupiers; units of Rocket Forces and Artillery hit three clusters of manpower, a radio-electronic warfare station, and an ammunition storage point.
▶️Ukrinform news agency, citing Andrii Demchenko, spokesman for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, on the national joint newscast. Quote from Demchenko: “According to the information we obtained, slightly over 4,000 Russian military personnel are currently deployed in Belarus. Most of them are either taking part in joint [military] exercises or undergoing training.
–This number is slightly lower than before because Russia has withdrawn those units that completed their training from the Belarusian territory back to Russia in order to deploy them to other areas, including eastern [Ukraine], where full-scale hostilities are taking place.”
☢️Putler’s Attempted Nuclear Intimidation:
📌The French Foreign Ministry has called for the cancellation of the agreement on deploying Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. “France condemns the statement of the Russian President on the agreement between Russia and Belarus on the deployment of nuclear weapons there. France called on Russia to “show the responsibility that is expected of a nuclear power and withdraw from this destabilizing agreement.”
📌The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland has called Russia’s intention to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus a step to draw Minsk deeper into the development of Russian military
📌Minister of Defense of Lithuania, Arvydas Anusauskas stated that “the international society should not be distracted by Putin’s statements about the placement of nuclear weapons in Belarus because protection of a NATO country against the threat of such weapons is guaranteed regardless of its location.”
📌Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, sees the possible deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus as a threat to European security. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has officially responded to Russia’s intention to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
📌Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement about the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus has drawn criticism and accusations from the German government. Following the Russian President’s announcement on Saturday evening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany said that Russia was “further attempting nuclear intimidation”.
📌Reuters reported that the US Department of Defense said on Saturday that there are no indications that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
The Department of Defense said they have seen reports of Russia’s announcement and will continue to monitor this situation.
“We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture nor any indications Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon. We remain committed to the collective defense of the NATO alliance.”
📌A statement by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry published on 26 March, reported by European Pravda: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that Russia’s intention to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus is yet another provocative step by Putin’s criminal regime and undermines the principles of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the nuclear disarmament architecture, and the international security system as a whole.
–Ukraine is calling on Belarusian society to prevent the implementation of these criminal intentions to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which will further turn the country into a hostage of the Kremlin and have catastrophic consequences for its future.
–“We call on the G7 states and the European Union to warn the Belarusian authorities of the far-reaching consequences for Belarus if it agrees to deploy tactical nuclear weapons from Russia on its territory.”
–Ukraine expects effective measures to counteract the Kremlin’s nuclear blackmail from the United Kingdom, China, the United States and France, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, which have a special responsibility to prevent threats of aggression using nuclear weapons.
–“We demand that an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council be convened immediately for this purpose.”
Reporting and Analysis by the Institute for the Study of War:
📍The outcomes of wars often are, in fact, determined on the battlefield with negotiations that merely ratify military realities. Putin likely has one such example vividly in his mind—World War II in Europe.
📍Putin initiated the current war and is the key actor who must decide that he cannot achieve his aims by military power and must instead engage in a negotiated resolution of the conflict if the war is to end in this fashion. The war will protract as long as Putin believes that he can impose his will on Ukraine by fighting or by breaking the Ukrainians’ will to fight following their abandonment by the West.
📍Putin continues to make clear by word and deed that he has come to no such conclusion yet despite the failures of his major military efforts this winter.
📍This would be an appropriate moment for Putin to conclude that Russia cannot impose its will on Ukraine by force and that he must seek a compromise settlement. He has clearly come to no such conclusion, however.
📍Putin is instead doubling down on his commitment to overpower Ukraine militarily and/or protract the war by mobilizing Russia’s defense industrial base and renewing various crypto-mobilization schemes to generate renewed combat power.
📍The continuing of Russian offensive operations around Bakhmut and Avdiivka, as well as along the Luhansk and western Donetsk front lines, is a further indicator that Putin remains committed to victory in a protracted war whose outcome is determined in large part by military realities on the ground. These attacks have now become not merely pointless, but actually harmful to Russian preparations for the next phase of this war,
📍Putin’s continuation of these Russian offensive operations in the current operational and strategic context amounts to strategic malfeasance. It expends scarce Russian combat power in pursuit of operationally meaningless gains rather than setting conditions to receive and defeat a Ukrainian counter-offensive that everyone appears to expect imminently.
📍Putin’s stubbornness in clinging to these offensive operations could make sense, however, in a protracted conflict during which Western support for Ukraine wanes or ends. Putin might even mean these operations to set conditions for a negotiated settlement on terms he has already articulated that include international recognition of Russia’s annexation of all of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson oblasts; Ukrainian “neutrality;” the “de-militarization” of Ukraine; and the “de-Nazification” of the Ukrainian government.
📍A successful series of Ukrainian counter-offensives, not just one, is thus almost certainly necessary but not sufficient to persuade Putin to enter negotiations on terms other than the achievement of all of his stated objectives.
📍Multiple major Ukrainian operational-level victories are therefore likely essential to creating any prospect of a negotiated settlement of the current conflict or forcing Putin to accept unfavorable military realities absent a formal settlement.
📍There is reason to expect that Ukrainian forces can, in fact, make gains through counter-offensives.
📍It is far from clear that Putin ever will accept these military realities, however. He may resolve to continue fighting, with or without a pause, as long as it takes to achieve all his aims. His rhetoric and actions, as well as his past patterns, certainly suggest this possibility. A negotiated settlement may therefore be unattainable because Putin will not accept the reality that he cannot actually conquer Ukraine.
📍Ukraine and the West will have to create military realities that permit a cessation of hostilities on terms that they can effectively impose on Putin in that case.
📍It is not a given, nevertheless, that Putin will continue fighting regardless of cost until the day he dies. Putin is nevertheless putting no terms for negotiation on the table now other than Russia’s total success.
📍The choices before Ukraine and its Western backers at this time are thus relatively straightforward. Ukraine can unilaterally cease fighting even as Russian attacks by ground and air continue, which would lead to disastrous defeat (and which almost no one is advocating). Ukrainian forces can continue fighting in a very constrained way seeking only to hold what they now have, which will encourage Putin to continue his efforts to pursue outright military victory. Or they can launch successive counter-offensive operations with the twin aims of persuading Putin to accept a negotiated compromise or of creating military realities sufficiently favorable to Ukraine that Kyiv and its Western allies can then effectively freeze the conflict on their own regardless of Putin’s decisions. Those are the options facing Ukraine and the West as long as Putin continues to believe that he can impose his will by force of Russian arms over however long a period he is willing to fight.
For the full report is at the following url: https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-26-2023
🔥Russia on Fire:
–There is a huge fire in the Dzerzhinsky district. Blood-red flames rose from the ravine. It looks so epic that it has already acquired myths and legends that have been dispelled by the Ministry of Emergencies.
–A powerful explosion has rung out in the Russian city of Kireyevsk, Tula Oblast. Residents report a 5-metre-deep hole, and two people were injured.
🛑The number of people killed as a result of a missile attack on the city of Zaporizhzhia on 22 March has increased – an 18-year-old died in the hospital. A teenager born in 2004 died in the hospital. Doctors fought for the victim’s life for two days, but could not save him. #warcrime May his soul rest in peace.😢
▶️According to Vitaliy Barabash, chairman of the Avdiivka City Military Administration Public utility workers will be evacuated from Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, where active military operations continue.
✅Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that a second group of Ukrainian artillery crews are completing their training on British 155-mm AS-90 self-propelled howitzers. More than 1,000 British military personnel are participating in the program based at UK Ministry of Defense sites in the North West, South West and South East of Britain.
▶️Péter Szijjártó, Head of Hungarian Foreign Ministry, said that Budapest’s call for a ceasefire in Ukraine and beginning of peace negotiations does not suggest they believe that Russia should claim all the Ukrainian territories it currently controls. I don’t know what this guy is playing at but he is walking a very fine line and quite frankly I find it more than annoying. Perhaps he sees himself between a rock and a hard place???
▶️A petition calling for 20 May to become Mariupol defenders commemoration day has garnered more than 25,000 signatures in two days. The petition appeared on the president’s website on 23 March. It was started by Kateryna Prokopenko, the wife of Denys Prokopenko, commander of the Azov Regiment and Hero of Ukraine. Over 25,000 people signed the petition in two days. Now Volodymyr Zelenskyy has to consider it.
🛑The National Resistance Center reports that the Russian occupiers are threatening the locals and administering show punishments (aka torture) of those who refuse to obtain Russian passports in the occupied parts of Kherson Oblast. #warcrime
🍿Tonight’s episode of the Russians are batshit crazy and morally bankrupt. Tonight’s theme: But what about what the West did?
🔘Putler: “The collective West are the ringleaders and instigators of the current conflict. They supported the 2014 bloody armed coup in Ukraine and are now handing Kyiv regime millions more munitions, hardware etc. They have crossed all red and even dark red lines.” Another example of Putler’s alternate reality.😵💫
🔘FM Lavrov: “One can expect anything from the US. Striving to secure their hegemony, they have already crossed all the bounds of decency: diplomatic, ethical, and any other.” Has anyone else noticed that Lavrov really likes the word hegemony? He’s running out of material.🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡
🔘Igor Kirillov: “After the use of depleted uranium shells, large areas of crops on Ukrainian territory will be contaminated, and radioactive substances will be spread through vehicles to the rest of the territory.” 🙄 The Russians continue to try to justify stationing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus with pure bullshit.
That’s it for tonight folks. Keep those words of support and prayers coming for our Ukrainian friends. Find ways to help! #SlavaUkraini #StandWithUkraine #braveukraine #UkraineWillWin #russiaisaterrorisstate #RussiaIsCollapsing #PutinIsaWarCriminal #FuckPutin #fucklukashenko #fuckIran #FuckChina
Reported by: Christine Stuermer
“📍Ukraine and the West will have to create military realities that permit a cessation of hostilities on terms that they can effectively impose on Putin in that case.”
Biden simply must abandon the failed “trickledown” approach to weapons provision. Ukraine must clear its land completely of orcs this summer.
Then the North Korea solution must kick in: a demilitarized zone along all of Ukraine’s borders with Russia and Belarus. In South Korea the US has 35,000 combat troops permanently stationed. The US must decide whether to provide the same, with numbers chosen to reflect size of area, or simply provide Ukraine with the nuclear deterrent that they took away from Ukraine under false pretenses.