Quite a busy weekend in the ETO. Here are some of the highlights:
· The ISW assessrep for 27 March 2022.
o According to ISW, the Kyiv encirclement has failed to the point where the Eastern Military District Commander is personally directing rotation of combat ineffective units out of the fight. This is a stunning development as the HQ echelons at work were previously at the Combined Arms Army level.
o Our favorite OSINT integrator is back with some excellent analysis (Figure 1 below).
o Main takeaways from all of the attached pictures and assessreps is that Russia’s announcement of their “original plan going according to plan” isn’t just propaganda (Figure 8 below). They are somewhat telegraphing their punches, and that is reflected in the today’s attached assessments. While the Kyiv offensive is an abject failure (Figure 2 and 3 below), the Russians will not give ground, and they will at very least continue to use their present positions to pummel the capital with artillery. The likely intent of this is to tie down Ukrainian forces while Russia shifts its focus from the capital towards consolidating its gains in the East in the Donbass region (Figure 4) and Southeast in Mariupol (Figure 5) and in the.
o The Russian offensive near Sumy (Figure 6 and 7) represents a potential tipping point for both Ukraine and Russia. The Russians are still pushing significant assets to capture the city and the Ukrainians continue to push back. The largest problem for the Russians near Sumy is their extended LOCs which are vulnerable to Ukrainian ambushes.
o During the Russian military dog and pony show, Russian generals put up some figures for the number of Ukrainian Army assets that they say they’ve destroyed while admitting to some of their own losses (Figure 10). More on the Russian losses below. Russian claims of Ukraine are so exaggerated (no surprise) to the point where some of some of their claims are twice the number of the assets actually owned by Ukraine (e.g. TB2s).
o A reporter from the military news site, Task and Purpose, provides some sobering thoughts on the difficulty that lies ahead for Ukraine, and at least in some cases, how the Russians are adapting to continue the fight.
o While the first article in the previous bullet partially discusses plummeting Russian morale, two key events underscore just how bad Russian Army morale really is. Reports now confirm that a brigade commander who was injured in the opening days of the war was actually run over by his own troops and succumbed to his wounds, and the Commanding General of the 49th CAA who died on Friday was also killed by his own soldiers. Between “fragging” incidents reminiscent of American experiences in Vietnam and Putin’s Stalinist purges of the military, Russian generals may want to start considering switching careers to something safer like deep sea fishing or roughnecking.
o Russians are now taking old T72s out of mothballing to put them into service. This would be similar to the US dusting off M60s to replace Abrams losses.
· The Ruble to USD exchange rate is currently 96:1. Over the weekend, it saw a slight weakening, but rebounded. This is the second weekend where that has occurred. The announcements of new sanctions appear to have little to no immediate effect on the Russian economy.
o At least one positive impact of the sanctions is that one of Russia’s main tank factories has to shut down operations due to supply chain problems. Maybe in another month, we’ll start seeing the Russian Army dusting off T55s and T34s.
· Finally, Figure 11 shows an open source analysis of potential nuclear strike sites plotted against prevailing wind patterns. Looks like the DMV may still fair better than Russian generals, but not by much. Scary stuff.
That is all for today.
Eric (Token Army Guy)