Today’s items of interest and/or concern from Poutain’s Ukrainian Ulcer:
· Here is the ISW assessrep for 8 Mar 22.
· Though Sergey Shoygu is now the “former” minister of defense in Russia, Foreign Affairs gives insight as to the rise of the military’s status within Putin’s inner circle and its influence in political decisions. (Published on 26 February 2022.)
· “Nice secrets! It would be a shame if something happened to them.” –Anonymous. Anonymous declares war on Russia, leaks information from the Ministry of the Interior, attacks a space research institute, shuts down over 2500 Russian propaganda/disinformation sites, and even claims to do a database dump of the Ministry of Defense.
· “You can’t sanction me! I’m sanctioning you!” Russia imposes import/export bans for countries on Putin’s naughty list.
· As John K noted earlier, Poland sends its MiG-29 fleet to Ramstein to go to Ukraine… US DoD and State Department indicate unwillingness to send some loaner jets.
· Unsubstantiated reports of another Russian field commander KIA. The Twittershepere has been about two to three days ahead of the mainstream news, and so far, has been incredibly accurate. By way of example, today, WTOP reported on the FSB whistleblower that the CEO of Bellingcat reported on Saturday.
· WTOP reported that today was the first day that Russia did not attack refugees fleeing from Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy, among other places.
· I spy with my little eyes… a Chinese state media reporter imbedded with Russian Army units… (see screenshot lifted from Twitter)
· Now, Jomini of the West, aka @JominiW on Twitter, gives you Russian traffic and Ukranian weather on the “eights”.
o It is snowing in eastern Ukraine near Kharkiv. Normally, this would fall in the “water is wet” category because we would expect that Russian Army units would be prepared for the physical and mechanical effects of winter on the steppes. But they’ve been a surprising lot as of late. This is significant because we’ve already seen Russian units lacking cold weather clothing for soldiers. Further, given their recent mechanical and logistics woes, it begs the question about their ability to keep their engines running in the extreme cold. It is too early to tell if the weather will stall operations in the East, but odds are not in the Russian’s favor given recent performance.
o The push east of the Dnieper towards Kyiv has made progress in recent days. As we’ve noted prior, this comes at the expense of leaving pockets of resistance to the rear of the Russian line of contact. While some units are pushing forward, Russia is putting a bit more emphasis on eliminating pockets of resistance near Sumy that keep picking off their logistics units. Looks as though they’ve learned their lesson that logistics actually matters.
o Fighting continues in suburbs of Kyiv, and so far does not appear to have bled into the city proper.
o In the South, Mariupol is completely surrounded, but appears to be holding out for now. It appears that Russia has, once again, used the cease fire time to move forces into better positions around the city. At least they aren’t shooting at civilians today.
o Elsewhere in the South, Russian forces continue their attempt to envelop Mykolaiv.
Eric (Token Army Guy)