Russia and Ukraine Current Events

Mendel

Senior Member.
10% of Ukraine's population has fled the country, half of them towards Poland.
Article:
In the first five weeks, more than four million refugees from Ukraine crossed borders into neighbouring countries, and many more have been forced to move inside the country.

Total Refugee influx from Ukraine in neighboring countries**
Location name​
Source​
Data date​
Population​
PolandGovernment3 Apr 2022
2,451,342
RomaniaGovernment3 Apr 2022
643,058
Republic of MoldovaGovernment3 Apr 2022
394,740
HungaryGovernment3 Apr 2022
390,302
Russian FederationGovernment29 Mar 2022
350,632
SlovakiaGovernment3 Apr 2022
301,405
BelarusGovernment3 Apr 2022
15,281

**The accumulated data in this table is higher than the total number of refugees fleeing Ukraine presented above since it also takes into account people crossing the border between Romania and Moldova.
SmartSelect_20220405-064820_Samsung Internet.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces continue to make little to no progress in frontal assaults to capture Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, their current main effort of the war. Russian units in Donbas face growing morale and supply issues. Additionally, the Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol have outperformed ISW’s previous estimates and continue to hold the city. Russian efforts to generate replacements from reservists and feed damaged units from northeastern Ukraine into frontal assaults in eastern Ukraine are unlikely to increase their chances of success.

Ukrainian forces control the entirety of Kyiv and Zhytomyr oblasts as of April 4, though the Ukrainian General Staff warned that Russian aircraft based in Belarus will likely continue to strike targets around Kyiv.

Efforts by Russian forces advancing from Izyum to capture Slovyansk will likely prove to be the next pivotal battle of the war in Ukraine. Russian forces likely intend to cut off Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine and will need to take Slovyansk as their minimum step to do so. If Russian forces take Slovyansk, they will then have the option to advance directly east to link up with Russian forces fighting in Rubizhne—a shorter drive that will not isolate many Ukrainian forces—or advance toward Horlivka and Donetsk to attempt a wider encirclement of Ukrainian forces. Both options could enable at least limited Russian breakthroughs in Luhansk Oblast. If Russian forces are unable to take Slovyansk at all, Russian frontal assaults in Donbas are unlikely to independently breakthrough Ukrainian defenses and Russia’s campaign to capture the entirety of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts will likely fail.

Luhansk Battle Map Draft April 4,2022.png
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
10% of Ukraine's population has fled the country, half of them towards Poland.
Article:
In the first five weeks, more than four million refugees from Ukraine crossed borders into neighbouring countries, and many more have been forced to move inside the country.

Total Refugee influx from Ukraine in neighboring countries**
Location name​
Source​
Data date​
Population​
PolandGovernment3 Apr 2022
2,451,342
RomaniaGovernment3 Apr 2022
643,058
Republic of MoldovaGovernment3 Apr 2022
394,740
HungaryGovernment3 Apr 2022
390,302
Russian FederationGovernment29 Mar 2022
350,632
SlovakiaGovernment3 Apr 2022
301,405
BelarusGovernment3 Apr 2022
15,281

**The accumulated data in this table is higher than the total number of refugees fleeing Ukraine presented above since it also takes into account people crossing the border between Romania and Moldova.

Some of the Russian data might be illegal deportations against their will. Some of those have jumped on busses in St. Petersburg and headed to Tallinn. Some of those have jumped straight on a bus to go back to Ukraine - that well known "I'd rather be in Russia" behaviour trait.

Ukrainian war refugees deported to Russia from southern Ukraine are entering the European Union through Estonia by bus, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), NGOs and transport companies have said.

Russia has been deporting thousands of Ukrainian citizens from areas of active fighting, such as the besieged city of Mariupol, according to media reports.
...
A representative from Baltic Shuttle bus company said more than 50 percent of its customers on the line are Ukrainians leaving Russia. Departing buses are usually full.
...
Describing the problems they face [Head of the Estonian Refugee Council] Janson said: "They are facing problems sometimes on the Russian side of the border, being interrogated, mobile contents downloaded, etc. On the Estonian side, there are no problems with entry, but there is a question of how they can prove that they left Ukraine after February 24, which is the eligibility period for getting temporary protection, since there was apparently no passport stamping when they entered Russia."

A representative of the Estonian Human Rights Council also confirmed the organization had been in contact with people who have been deported to Russia from Mariupol and subsequently fled to Estonia.
Content from External Source
-- https://news.err.ee/1608551848/ukrainian-war-refugees-deported-by-russia-entering-eu-via-estonia
Asked if people were forcibly removed and about how people leave Mariupol [Asylum lawyer at the Estonian Human Rights Center (Eesti Inimõiguste Keskus) Uljana Ponomarjova] said: "Yes, so they say to us. They are forcibly removed because there is no other possible way to go somewhere else, to the Ukrainian side, they [Russian forces] are blocking the roads, it's not safe. They are just putting them on buses and taking them away. This is the only way to escape for them. They are not letting them stay and they are not letting them go to the Ukrainian side."
Content from External Source
-- https://news.err.ee/1608552118/huma...ukrainian-deportees-traveling-through-estonia
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces continued to redeploy forces to the Izyum-Slovyansk axis and eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours and did not secure any major advances. Russian forces completed their withdrawal from Sumy Oblast, and Russian forces previously withdrawn from northeastern Ukraine continued to redeploy to Belgorod, Russia, for further deployment to Izyum or Donbas. The Ukrainian military reported that Russia plans to deploy elements from the Kyiv axis to Izyum, but these units will not likely regain combat effectiveness for some time.
DraftUkraineCoTApril6,2022.png
Sumy Oblast Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyi confirmed on April 6 that Russian forces have completely vacated Sumy Oblast, confirmed by local social media users.

Russian forces continued to redeploy forces to the Izyum-Slovyansk axis and eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours and did not secure any major advances. Russian forces completed their withdrawal from Sumy Oblast, and Russian forces previously withdrawn from northeastern Ukraine continued to redeploy to Belgorod, Russia, for further deployment to Izyum or Donbas. The Ukrainian military reported that Russia plans to deploy elements from the Kyiv axis to Izyum, but these units will not likely regain combat effectiveness for some time.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported on April 6 that Russian forces began using the railway between Valuyki station (Russia) and Kupyansk station (Kharkiv Oblast), which Russian forces began repairing on March 21.

Russian forces with heavy air and artillery support continued assaults on Ukrainian positions in Mariupol in the past 24 hours. The information environment in Mariupol remains restricted, and we cannot confirm any further territorial changes. Independent Ukrainian media reported that international Red Cross aid was unable to reach the city on April 6.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported on April 6 that Russian forces are attempting to improve their tactical position in the southern direction and may use Transnistria, the illegally occupied Russian territory in Moldova, to support this effort. Russian forces in Transnistria will not be able to independently threaten Odesa and Russian forces around Kherson are highly unlikely to renew offensive operations towards Mykolayiv and Odesa in the near future. However, the US and NATO should take a strong stance on any potential Russian military use of its illegally occupied territory in Moldova against Ukraine.

Ukrainian Military Intelligence reported increasing Russian censorship in an effort to combat growing morale problems among Russian troops. Ukraine’s GUR reported that Russian officers are intensifying censorship of their troops and restricting access to the internet due to low morale. The GUR claimed that Russian commanders complain about increasing Ukrainian influence over the information consumed by Russian soldiers. The GUR claimed to have intercepted an extract from an order issued by the Deputy Commander of the Western Military District for military and political work, which blamed low Russian morale on the internet and social media. The document reportedly instructs Russian officers to either ban or severely censor all messages received by personnel, as well as access to the internet. Draconian measures to restrict access to information among Russian personnel will likely further exacerbate low morale and desertion rates.

Note that many of these items are based on Ukrainian government claims, and align with Ukrainian propaganda interests.
 

obiwanbenobi

Active Member
Now is the time to put pressure on all fronts that Ukraine can - to keep any troops from redeploying. Of course massing of troops does make it easier for them to be attacked and disrupted further. Choices, choices... Counter attacks into Russia itself to disrupt resupplies and regrouping. Make it plain that Russia has no safety to regroup anywhere within a reasonable distance of the border. Balarus sitting duck troops. No sleep, no peace. Just like they've done to Ukraine. Attack their fuel depots. Force them to figure it out that giving up is the best course of action they can take.

Perhaps just obvious to me. Is it bunk? :)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Counter attacks into Russia itself to disrupt resupplies and regrouping. [...] No sleep, no peace. Just like they've done to Ukraine. Attack their fuel depots.
Their staging area is Belgorod, and the camp there as well as a fuel depot (allegedly) have been attacked (or sabotaged?). I expect the Russians have strengthened their anti-air defenses as a result.

Ukraine is already "pressuring" Russia as they'd like to throw back the enemy; hard to imagine how they could do more than they're doing already. Russia posturing in Belarus and Transnistria is probably an attempt to bind Ukrainian troops on these borders and to prevent those Ukrainian troops from re-deploying east and southeast as well, at little cost to the Russians.

I expect Ukraine would like to clear Kherson (and thus all of Ukraine west of the Dnipro), but it's urban warfare, so it's likely difficult and costly/deadly.
 

CaptainCourgette

Active Member
Nows the perfect time for Moldova to take back Transnistria, :) J/K I've been there and its even more Russian than Russia, no resemblance to Moldova at all, though its just as poor.
I would like to see an uprising in Belarus, you would think this would be a near ideal time (once the russian troops leave)
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Nows the perfect time for Moldova to take back Transnistria, :) J/K I've been there and its even more Russian than Russia, no resemblance to Moldova at all, though its just as poor.
I would like to see an uprising in Belarus, you would think this would be a near ideal time (once the russian troops leave)

A friend made a documentary on Transnistria a few years back: Source: https://vimeo.com/108998395
. It left me very confused, it seemed as if there was an awful lot of LARPing going on. The Moldovan embassador was invited to the first public screening, and during the Q&A he indicated he was viscerally offended by it. I really couldn't tell who, if anyone, directors included, wasn't just trolling. It's a region that's often forgotten about, but I like to think of it as the first slice of Russia's still-ongoing salami strategy (a /Yes Minister/ reference, easy to google). Lots has been forgotten about - most people think that Crimea in 2014 was the first attempt to take a slice from Ukraine, because they've forgotten, or never even heard of, the aborted Tuzla incident in 2003.

I'll see your Belarus, and raise you Kuril - I've always wondered if Japan was a little hard done by after WWII, and maybe they could give the Russian strategists something to think about - everyone loves eastern fronts, right?
Japan will once again describe Russia's decades-long hold over a string of disputed northern islands as an "illegal occupation" in an annual foreign policy report, a draft showed Thursday
Content from External Source
-- https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...russian-held-isles-as-illegally-occupied.html
 

CaptainCourgette

Active Member
Yes perfect time, but would you want it to happen. Looking on google maps they look nearly untouched by humans. Better to leave it pristine.
Also theres prolly 1 of 2 outcomes
1. Hey we were meant to be expanding the russian empire, instead we are losing land. Lets get rid of Putin
2. Wow we really better double down on Ukraine otherwise the whole war looks in vain

Also Chechnya would be a perfect time for an uprising. 3rd times a charm?
Speaking of which did you read the story about their odious dictator/leader getting caught out recently misrepresentating where he was
Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/ukraine/comments/tqusgv/the_head_of_chechnya_republic_kadyrov_desperately/

I can see why Putin likes him, all shirtless tough guy photo-ops without actually risking his actual life
 
Now is the time to put pressure on all fronts that Ukraine can - to keep any troops from redeploying. Of course massing of troops does make it easier for them to be attacked and disrupted further. Choices, choices... Counter attacks into Russia itself to disrupt resupplies and regrouping. Make it plain that Russia has no safety to regroup anywhere within a reasonable distance of the border. Balarus sitting duck troops. No sleep, no peace. Just like they've done to Ukraine. Attack their fuel depots. Force them to figure it out that giving up is the best course of action they can take.

Perhaps just obvious to me. Is it bunk? :)
Genius!
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Ukrainian forces continued to hold out against Russian assaults in areas of southwestern and eastern Mariupol as of April 8. The Ukrainian Mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryushenko, issued a statement on April 8 denying Russian claims that they captured central Mariupol on April 7.[5] Andryushenko said Russian forces control a quarter of the city, including the Drama Theater and SBU headquarters, but that this does not constitute the entire “city center.” Andryushenko highlighted that most videos of Russian forces have been geolocated to Mariupol’s outskirts and said Ukrainian forces control the Primorsky District (southwest Mariupol), part of the east bank of the Azovstal District (central Mariupol), the coastline southwest of the city down to Azovs’ke, and several factory areas.

Social media footage depicted Russian and proxy forces conducting assaults on the Azovstal Steel Plant from April 7-8 and pro-Russian sources claimed 3,000 Ukrainian forces remain in the facility, confirming that Ukrainian forces retain a foothold in eastern Mariupol, which Russian forces previously claimed to have captured.[6] Ukrainian forces additionally released footage geolocated to eastern Mariupol of combat with Russian forces on April 8.[7]

Mariupol Battle Map Draft April 8,2022.png

Ukrainian counterattacks have likely taken further territory west of Kherson, threatening Russian control of the city. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces launched unsuccessful counterattacks against Ukrainian positions west of Kherson on April 8.[18] A Canadian volunteer fighting with Ukrainian forces claimed on April 8 that his unit is fighting in Belozerka, 15km west of Kherson, but ISW cannot independently confirm this claim.[19] Mykolayiv Oblast Governor Vitaliy Kim said on April 8 that Russian forces only control Snihirvka (north of Kherson) in Mykolayiv Oblast, confirming previous reports that Ukrainian counterattacks have largely pushed Russian forces back into Kherson Oblast.[20] Kim stated that Russian forces continue to shell Mykolayiv and are attempting to spread fakes that they will attack Mykolaiv with thousands of tanks and 5,000 troops, which Russian forces do not possess in Kherson. Russian forces in the southern direction remain on the defense and continue to lose ground to effective Ukrainian counterattacks.

A Russian Tochka-U missile struck a civilian evacuation point at the Kramatorsk rail station on April 8, killing at least 50 and wounding around a hundred evacuees.[11] Russian attempts to deny the strike are completely false. Pro-Russian Telegram channels and the Russian Ministry of Defense initially claimed Russian forces conducted precision strikes on railway stations in Donbas before deleting the claims once heavy civilian casualties emerged.[12] Russian and DNR sources claimed both that the strike did not occur and that Ukrainian forces launched the strike as a false flag, ludicrously claiming that Russian forces do not use the Tochka-U missile—despite the fact Russia designed the Tochka, has demonstrably used it in previous strikes, and confirmed reports that Russia’s 8th Combined Arms Army (operating in Donbas) is equipped with the missile.[13]

The Ukrainian General Staff confirmed on April 8 that Russian forces have completely withdrawn from Sumy Oblast, confirming reports from local civilian authorities on April 6.[21] Local authorities warned civilians to not return home and stay away from Russian equipment, much of which has been mined.[22] Ukrainian explosives disposal efforts will likely take weeks or months, with Ukrainian National Police Head Igor Klimenko stating on April 8 that Ukrainian forces have cleared more than 3,000 explosive devices from Irpin alone.[23] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that four Russian battalion tactical groups (BTGs) remain on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border to fix Ukrainian forces in place, though these forces remain highly unlikely to launch new offensive operations.[24]
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
The international response to Russian atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine, likely distracted the Kremlin from threatening rhetoric in response to Poland’s offer to station US nuclear weapons in Poland. Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kacyznski stated on April 2 that Poland would like the United States to increase its troop presence in Europe from 100,000 to 150,000 and that Poland would be open to stationing US nuclear weapons on its territory.[54] Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov warned on April 3 that troop buildups in Europe would heighten tensions and argued that nuclear weapons in Poland were “anti-Russian” and a cause for concern.[55] The Kremlin likely intended to escalate that rhetoric and may have begun to discuss stationing Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus. However, the Kremlin media apparatus has instead focused on containing the fallout from Russian atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine.
 

DavidB66

Active Member
"Russian attempts to deny the strike are completely false. Pro-Russian Telegram channels and the Russian Ministry of Defense initially claimed Russian forces conducted precision strikes on railway stations in Donbas before deleting the claims once heavy civilian casualties emerged"
I think that's a very important point to highlight. So often in these situations (like the shooting down of a civilian airliner some years ago) there are claims and counter-claims, and any neutral outsider is likely to think 'six of one and half a dozen of the other', or 'a plague on both their houses'. For the Russians, in the court of world public opinion, it isn't necessary to convince people that they are right, just to sow doubts among the undecided, and they are past masters at that.

Of course, it is desirable to have a reliable source, and in this case the cited source is the Moscow bureau chief of the Financial Times:

Source: https://twitter.com/maxseddon/status/1512370386100527110
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
So often in these situations (like the shooting down of a civilian airliner some years ago) there are claims and counter-claims,
The downing of MH-17 is a striking parallel, here's the original TASS item:
Article:
DONETSK, July 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The mlitia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have brought down a military transport Antonov-26 (An-26) plane of the Ukrainian Air Force on the outskirts of the town of Torez, eyewitnesses said.
It was DPR militia as long as they thought it was an AN-12, once it became clear that it was a civilian airliner, Russia changed their tune. It then took 4 years to prove who did it.


Of course, it is desirable to have a reliable source
Yes. I like the ISW updates because they're conservative in what they accept as truth, and they give sources for everything.
 

scombrid

Senior Member.
Remember the agent Will Wiley obfuscating the MH17 issue here? They had the noise machine in every corner of the web on that one. Will Wiley also showed up at Internet Infidels and our local surfing forum had a user with the alias Ionn. Sick of them.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces bisected Mariupol from the city center to the coast on April 10, isolating the remaining Ukrainian defenders in two main locations—the main port of Mariupol in the southwest, and the Azovstal steel plant in the east. Several geolocated videos released by pro-Russian accounts on April 10 confirm that Russian assaults from downtown Mariupol captured the fishing port west of the Azovstal steel plant, likely confirming Russian control of the city center as well.[5] Petro Andryushenko, an advisor to Mariupol’s mayor, reported on April 10 that Russian forces are setting up checkpoints in central and northeastern Mariupol to detain or kill Ukrainian citizens that resist the Russian occupation.[6] Andryushenko additionally stated that Russian forces are building crematoria and digging mass graves for Ukrainian civilians in Mariupol, but ISW cannot independently confirm this report. Russian forces continued assaults on both pockets of Ukrainian defenders in the last 24 hours without any major gains.[7]

Mariupol Battle Map Draft April 10,2022.png
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol claimed late on April 11 that Russian forces used drone-delivered chemical weapons against Ukrainian troops in Mariupol on April 11.[16] Victims reported shortness of breath and ataxia. ISW cannot independently confirm these reports. However, DNR Defense Spokesperson Eduard Basurin said Russian forces would likely use unspecified chemical weapons against Ukrainian forces in Mariupol earlier on April 11.[17] Basurin said Russian forces should use “chemical troops” against Ukrainian defenders of the Azovstal Steel Plant to “smoke moles out of their burrows” due to the difficulty of storming the facility. Kremlin media outlets amplified Brasurin’s claim prior to the Ukrainian claim of a chemical attack.
Mariupol Battle Map Draft April 11,2022.png
 
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obiwanbenobi

Active Member
The bunk I am mostly seeing lately is the complaints and threats from Russia over Finland and Sweden joining NATO. Threats to increase resources along the border of Russia or to stage nuclear weapons.

They're already invading another country, what does it matter now what they threaten? IMO I'd say, go ahead. Weaken yourselves further, NATO has enough resources to counter whatever you wish to spend on this foolish shift and you'll just continue the downwards spiral of turning your economy into a backwater for the world to look at and say, "Oh Russia, you had such potential and now look at you all dressed up in military dictator fatigues..." *sad*

If Russia really doesn't want us to arm and support Ukraine then perhaps they should withdraw? That's really the most effective way for them to stop this and to stop NATO from gaining more allies. However, I guess it is too late. The gig is up. We now see that Putin wants Ukraine and will likely keep after it no matter how much he destroys his country by doing it.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian officials alleged that Ukrainian forces fired mortars into and conducted airstrikes on the Russian region of Bryansk on April 13 and 14.[44] ISW could not independently confirm these reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be purging elements of his intelligence service and blaming close allies for Russian intelligence and planning failures in the lead-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov reported on April 12 that Russian authorities transferred Colonel-General Sergei Beseda, a senior official in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and the head of the Fifth Service, from house arrest to the notorious Lefortovo Prison.[45] Beseda was reportedly placed under house arrest before March 19 due to the early failures in Russia’s invasion.[46] His Fifth Service is the de-facto foreign intelligence arm of the FSB and the branch responsible for political subversion in Russia’s near abroad, including Ukraine. Anonymous sources told the Moscow Times that the Kremlin is questioning Beseda for his failure to create a viable pro-Kremlin opposition in Ukraine to aid Russia in its invasion. Bellingcat reported on April 11 that the FSB also fired or arrested around 150 officers from the Fifth Service over intelligence failures in Ukraine.[47]

Former Russian parliamentarian Ilya Ponomarev claimed on April 11 that Russian military sources told him that longtime Putin ally Vladislav Surkov is under house arrest in Moscow.[48] The arrests of Surkov and Beseda, as well as the FSB purges, indicate that Putin is increasingly skeptical of the advice that led to Russia’s failures in Ukraine. However, purging longtime intelligence officials with Ukraine expertise may harm the Kremlin’s ability to monitor Ukrainian leadership and to make informed military decisions. Such purges could also harm morale in the rest of the FSB, leading to generally worsened intelligence provisions.

The arrest of Viktor Medvedchuk, Russia's key political proxy in Ukraine, will likely provide a morale boost to Ukrainian forces and a political boost to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukrainian forces captured “Putin’s man in Ukraine,” pro-Kremlin Ukrainian Member of Parliament Viktor Medvedchuk, on April 12 following his escape from house arrest in February.[64] The Kremlin may have intended to appoint Medvedchuk as the head of a Russian proxy regime in Kyiv after Russian forces overthrew the Ukrainian government early in the invasion. Zelensky said on April 12 that Ukrainian forces captured Medvedchuk disguised as a Ukrainian soldier during an attempt to flee Ukraine.[65] Zelensky said Medvedchuk wearing a military uniform places him under the laws of war and offered to trade Medvedchuk for Ukrainian POWs.[66] The Kremlin responded that Medvedchuk is not a Russian citizen in a likely attempt to downplay the political importance of his arrest. [67] First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Konstantin Zatulin criticized Ukrainian officials on April 13 as “engaged in the trade of their own citizens” for offering to exchange Medvedchuk for captured Ukrainian soldiers.[68] Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov falsely claimed on April 13 that Medvedchuk had never had a ”behind the scenes” relationship with Russia.[69]

The ISW "diplomatic update" is interesting this week.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
In other news, Ukrainian partisans are operating in the South:
Article:
Ukrainian partisans have likely been active in the Melitopol region since at least mid-March. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that “unknown patriots” killed 70 Russian personnel in Melitopol on April 12, while the Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that Ukrainian partisans killed 70 personnel in the area from March 20 to April 12—a more likely report.[22] ISW has previously assessed that growing Ukrainian partisan activities are likely tying down Russian forces in the region but we have not previously seen reports of specific Ukrainian partisan actions.


(Reposted due to thread split.)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces likely captured the Port of Mariupol on April 16 despite Ukrainian General Staff denials on April 17, and Russian forces have reduced Ukrainian positions in the city to the Azovstal factory and a few isolated pockets. Russian and DNR forces released footage on April 16 confirming their presence in several key locations in southwestern Mariupol – including the traffic control center of the port, the prosecutors building, and the Main Directorate of the National Police in Donetsk region – and have likely reduced the center of Ukrainian defense in southwestern Mariupol.[4] The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed on April 16 that Russian forces cleared the entirety of urban Mariupol and that “the remnants of the Ukrainian group are currently completely blocked on the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant."[5] Isolated groups of Ukrainian troops may remain active in Mariupol outside of the Azovstal factory, but they will likely be cleared out by Russian forces in the coming days and the Ukrainian General Staff’s claim at 6pm local time on April 17 that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian assault on the port is likely false.[6]

Russian forces likely seek to force the remaining defenders of the Azovstal factory to capitulate through overwhelming firepower to avoid costly clearing operations, but remaining Ukrainian defenders appear intent on staging a final stand. Russian forces conducted heavy air strikes in Mariupol, including by Tu-22M3 strategic bombers, in the past 24 hours.[7] Ukrainian forces in the Azovstal factory refused a Russian ultimatum to surrender by 1pm local time on April 17.[8] The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed Kyiv denied Ukrainian forces the option to surrender and ordered Azov Regiment troops to shoot surrendering Ukrainian personnel, part of the Kremlin’s ongoing information operation to falsely portray the Ukrainian military as a minority of ”nationalists” forcing the rest of the military to fight on.[9] Russian forces will likely complete the capture of Mariupol in the coming week, but final assaults will likely continue to cost them dearly.

Mariupol Battle Map Draft April 17,2022.png
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
In the Google Maps service, all military and strategic objects of the Russian Federation became available in maximum resolution. Now a variety of intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, command posts, secret ranges, and more can be seen with a resolution of about 0.5 meters per pixel. Until now, they were displayed at times in worse quality, which did not allow to disassemble and examine all the details.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian cruise missiles struck a Ukrainian vehicle repair shop in Lviv, western Ukraine, killing civilians in Lviv for the first time in the war. Social media users depicted several missiles striking a warehouse and railway junction in Lviv and killing several civilians on April 18.[4] The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that Russian forces destroyed a logistics center in Lviv used to store weapons arriving in Ukraine from the United States and European Union on April 18.[5]

Russian forces likely began large-scale offensive operations in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on April 18. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian General Staff, and the Ukrainian Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council all stated that Russian forces began a new phase of large-scale offensive operations in eastern Ukraine on April 18.[12] Russian forces concentrated on Popasna, Rubizhne, and Marinka.[13] Luhansk Governor Serhei Haidai stated that Russian forces captured Kreminna, directly northwest of Rubizhne, but did not make any major gains elsewhere along the line.[14] Social media footage depicted heavy fighting ongoing in Rubizhne and Popasna.[15] Russian forces conducted heavy air and artillery strikes along the line of contact.[16]

The Ukrainian General Staff reported on April 6 that Russian forces began using the Valuyki-Kupyansk railway to reinforce Izyum, and several Russian units fighting in Izyum (including the 252nd Motor Rifle Regiment, 752nd Motor Rifle Regiment, and 237th Tank Regiment) are permanently based directly in or near Valuyki.[20]

Kharkiv Battle Map Draft April 18,2022_0.png

Ukrainian forces continued a successful counterattack (begun on April 16) southeast of Kharkiv, taking several small towns on April 17-18. Ukrainian forces reportedly seized Bazaliivka, Lebyazhe, and Kutuzivka and claimed to capture several unspecified villages near Izyum.[18]
 

CaptainCourgette

Active Member
Article:
In the Google Maps service, all military and strategic objects of the Russian Federation became available in maximum resolution. Now a variety of intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, command posts, secret ranges, and more can be seen with a resolution of about 0.5 meters per pixel. Until now, they were displayed at times in worse quality, which did not allow to disassemble and examine all the details.
Any idea if you can see the date of when the images were taken?, I just see 2022, which could mean an hour ago or 3 months ago
 

Mauro

Active Member
Funny piece of news from TASS:

Truth about Russia’s success in special operation in Ukraine to be defended — Kremlin​


"We should be prepared to see many forgeries in the future," Novikov said at the opening of Russia’s first historical national school forum Truth Makes Might at the Victory Museum on Tuesday. "The special military operation will be completed. The Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics will be completely liberated from the neo-Nazis, from the influence of nationalist battalions that are deeply entrenched there, that have barricaded themselves during the past eight years and been getting ready to fight."


"I am certain that our army will cope with this task, but after that the truth about their victory will have to be defended," Novikov said.
https://tass.com/politics/1439719

As Romans used to say, excusatio non petita, accusatio manifesta: "he who excuses himself, accuses himself".
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Russian forces likely began large-scale offensive operations in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on April 18.
So far, there haven't been any large-scale gains.
Luhansk Battle Map Draft April 12,2022.pngLuhansk Battle Map Draft April 21,2022.png

Article:
The Kremlin declared victory in the battle of Mariupol. Russian forces will attempt to starve out remaining Ukrainian defenders in the Azovstal Steel Plant rather than clear it through likely costly assaults. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared victory in the battle of Mariupol on April 21 despite the continued presence of Ukrainian forces in Mariupol’s Azovstal Steel Plant. In a staged, televised meeting, Putin ordered Shoigu to halt assaults on the plant to limit Russian casualties, claiming Russian forces have already captured the entirety of the city. The Kremlin will spin the (still incomplete) capture of Mariupol into a major victory in Ukraine to compensate for stalled or failed Russian offensives elsewhere.

The Kremlin’s reduction of the pace of operations in Mariupol is unlikely to enable the deployment of significant combat power to support other offensive operations in the coming days and weeks. Statements from US officials that Russia has not yet removed a dozen battalion tactical groups (BTGs) from Mariupol despite Putin’s claimed victory do not capture either the status of these Russian forces or other constraints on their use.[1] ISW has consistently assessed that Russian BTGs have taken high casualties in the battle of Mariupol, are degraded, and are unlikely to possess their full complement of personnel (800-900 at full strength). As with Russian operations elsewhere in Ukraine, reporting on numbers of BTGs without additional context and analysis of the combat power of these units is not a useful evaluation of Russian forces. While it is unlikely that all 12 reported BTGs were involved in the final fighting around the Azovstal plant, it will still take some time for those units that were engaged in final assaults to disengage for redeployment elsewhere. Some portion of these Russian forces will be necessary for several other missions—including maintaining the siege of the Azovstal plant, securing the rest of Mariupol against any remaining pockets of Ukrainian forces and likely partisan actions, and possibly redeploying to support Russian forces maintaining control of southern Ukraine. Russian forces will certainly be able to redeploy some units from Mariupol to offensive operations elsewhere—but Ukrainian forces have succeeded in tying down and degrading a substantial Russian force, and the Kremlin's declaration of victory has not inherently freed up 12 BTGs worth of combat power for other operations.

Mariupol Battle Map Draft April 21,2022.png

The Kremlin declared victory in the battle of Mariupol on April 21, though some Ukrainian forces remain in the Azovstal Steel Plant. Russian President Putin held a televised meeting with Defense Minister Shoigu (in his first confirmed public appearance since March 11) during which Shoigu claimed “the entirety of Mariupol is under the control of the Russian army” and stated Russian forces have “securely blocked” the "nationalists and foreign mercenaries” (Kremlin language for Ukrainian forces) remaining in the facility.[2] Shoigu claimed that Russian forces would require 3-4 days to finish clearing the Azovstal plant, after which Putin stated a final assault is unnecessary and ordered a full blockade of the facility to save Russian lives. The “meeting” was a managed Kremlin messaging effort claiming victory in the battle of Mariupol to be able to claim a major success without the likely costly operations required to clear out remaining Ukrainian defenders.[3] Local sources reporting fighting continued around the Azovstal plant in the last 24 hours despite Putin’s statement, but Russian forces did not conduct any major assaults against the facility.[4]

Ukrainian officials called for a local ceasefire to allow Ukrainian defenders and trapped civilians to leave Mariupol, though Russian forces will likely instead attempt to starve the remaining defenders into submission. Ukrainian Mayor of Mariupol Vadym Boychenko called for a ceasefire to allow civilians trapped in the plant to leave on April 21.[5] Deputy Ukrainian Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk expanded on this call, stating around 1,000 civilians and 5,000 wounded soldiers (with an unspecified number of unwounded soldiers) remain in the Azovstal plant.[6]

Luhansk Battle Map Draft April 21,2022.png

Russian forces continued offensive operations in eastern Ukraine but made only marginal gains on April 21. Russian forces continued to focus their assaults on Rubizhne, Severodonetsk, and Popasna and likely made local advances in Rubizhne, though Russian claims to have captured the entirety of Rubizhne are likely false.[7] The Ukrainian governor of Luhansk Oblast reported on April 21 that Russian forces control approximately half of Popasna, and street fighting is continuing across the city.[8] The Russian Ministry of Defense additionally claimed to capture Kreminna, west of Rubizhne, but ISW cannot verify this claim.[9] Russian forces are continuing to deploy reinforcements to eastern Ukraine to support further offensive actions.[10]

Russian forces likely conducted local attacks on Ukrainian positions west of Kherson on April 21 but did not secure any new territory.[13] Ukrainian military sources reported on April 21 Russian forces are preparing to conduct a “referendum” to create a “Kherson People’s Republic” on April 27.[14] The Kremlin likely intends to create one or more proxy states in occupied southern Ukraine to cement its military occupation and set conditions to demand permanent control over these regions.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
The Kremlin continues to falsely blame Ukrainian forces for planning or conducting “provocations” in areas where Russian forces intend to commit or have already committed atrocities. The Kremlin likely seeks to introduce doubt into future attributions of war crimes and to diminish global support for Ukraine by blaming Ukrainian forces for crimes already committed by Russian forces. The Kremlin likely also intends to negatively portray Ukrainian forces to the Russian population to maintain domestic support for the invasion.
  • Russian officials claimed on April 15 that Ukrainian forces regularly use civilians as human shields and that Ukrainian forces plan to carry out an attack on the Lozova train station in Kharkiv Oblast to provoke retaliation from Russia.[16] Russian forces conducted a missile attack on a refugee-filled train station in Kramatorsk and blamed Ukrainian forces on April 8.[17]
  • The Russian proxy Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) claimed on April 15 that Ukrainian special forces intended to stage a terror attack on an April 16 rally in the city of Luhansk.[18] LNR officials claimed that Ukrainian forces organized the rally. No such attack took place.
  • Russia’s Ministry of Defense claimed on April 19 that Ukrainian forces were planning several independent attacks on civilians across Ukraine including shooting civilians that surrender in Mariupol; shelling civilians in Zaporizhia, Odesa, Sumy, and Kharkiv Oblasts; and executing Russian civilians in Odesa.[19] Such false claims indicate that Russian forces may have killed civilians in some named areas and intend to blame Ukraine for their deaths. No fighting has taken place in Odesa since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24; the Kremlin likely intends claims regarding Odesa to further Kremlin claims of a Ukrainian genocide against Russians.
  • Russian First Deputy Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyansky claimed that Russian forces did not know there were civilians in the Azovstal steel plant prior to April 18 and argued that “radicals and Neo-Nazis" placed civilians in the plant to be used as human shields on April 19.[20]
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed on April 20 that Ukrainian “neo-Nazis” have been using schools in Kherson as headquarters since February 24.[21] The Kremlin will likely amplify any reports of Ukrainian forces operating near civilian infrastructure to justify Russian targeting of Ukrainian civilians.
  • The LNR claimed on April 20 and 21 that Ukrainian nationalists are planning to attack churches with Tochka-U missiles along the frontlines near Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, and Kharkiv on April 24, Orthodox Easter.[22]
  • Ukraine’s Odesa Regional Military Administration Spokesperson Sergei Bratchuk claimed on April 18 that Russian forces are planning to strike at Kherson with multiple rocket launchers as part of a false flag operation to justify an upcoming Russian “referendum” to create a Kherson People’s Republic.[23]
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces conducted precision missile strikes against five Ukrainian railway stations in central and western Ukraine on April 25 in a likely effort to disrupt Ukrainian reinforcements to eastern Ukraine and Western aid shipments. A series of likely coordinated Russian missile strikes conducted within an hour of one another early on April 25 hit critical transportation infrastructure in Vinnytsia, Poltava, Khmelnytskyi, Rivne, and Zhytomyr oblasts.[1] Russian forces seek to disrupt Ukrainian reinforcements and logistics. The Kremlin may have additionally conducted this series of strikes—an abnormal number of precision missile strikes for one day—to demonstrate Russia’s ability to hit targets in Western Ukraine and to disrupt western aid shipments after US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s surprise visit to Kyiv over the weekend. However, Russian precision strike capabilities will remain limited and unlikely to decisively affect the course of the war; open-source research organization Bellingcat reported on April 24 that Russia has likely used 70% of its total stockpile of precision missiles to date.[2]

Local Ukrainian counterattacks retook territory north of Kherson and west of Izyum in the past 24 hours. Russian forces continue to make little progress in scattered, small-scale attacks in eastern Ukraine.

Russian forces continue to consolidate control over occupied Mariupol. Deputy Ukrainian Prime Minister Iryna Verushchuk said that Russia continues to refuse to engage with evacuation efforts, denying Russian claims that Russian forces opened humanitarian corridors to facilitate evacuations from Azovstal.[6] Advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko stated that Russian troops are using former police officers who were mobilized into the militia of the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) to patrol the streets.[7] Russian artillery continues to inflict massive damage on civilian infrastructure in areas of Mariupol that are already under Russian control.[8]

Russian forces likely conducted a false flag attack in Transnistria (Russia’s illegally occupied territory in Moldova), but Transnistrian forces remain unlikely to enter unsupported actions in Ukraine. The Transnistrian Internal Affairs Ministry reported that unknown forces targeted the Ministry of State Security with two grenade launchers on April 25; Transnistrian officials stated the attack was “an attempt to sow panic and fear in Transnistria.”[21] The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) claimed the attack was organized by Russia’s FSB ”to instill panic and anti-Ukrainian sentiment” and that the FSB will carry out further provocations in Transnistria, though ISW cannot independently confirm this claim. The Kremlin (or local Transnistrian actors) may seek to depict threats to Russian speakers in Moldova to echo a common Russian talking point. The Moldovan government has not commented on the claimed attack as of publication.

Regarding the last item, I expect it's possible that some people in Moldavia think that now's a good time to get rid of the Russians; but in that case, I'd have expected them to publish some kind of revolutionary call to arms, like terrorists generally like to do. The immediate future should show whether this remains an isolated incident.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
In the first five weeks, more than four million refugees from Ukraine crossed borders into neighbouring countries, and many more have been forced to move inside the country.
The number of refugees passed the 5 million mark on April 19th, according to https://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/ukraine , with still over a million refugees in April.

Article:
The Russian Federation launched a military offensive against Ukraine on 24 February 2022. As of today, more than 5 million refugees have fled Ukraine, making this the fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II. A further 7.7 million people have been displaced internally within Ukraine.
Some 13 million people are estimated to be stranded in affected areas or unable to leave due to heightened security risks, destruction of bridges and roads, as well as lack of resources or information on where to find safety and accommodation.
Many people who are trapped are unable to meet their basic needs including food, water and medicines. The delivery of life-saving aid remains challenging, with a lack of safe humanitarian access. We continue striving to reach hard-hit areas with life-saving assistance as part of inter-agency humanitarian convoys.
UNHCR continues to call for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, respect for international humanitarian law, and for neighbouring countries to continue keeping their borders open to those fleeing.

UNICEF and WASH partners reported that 1.4 million people are currently without running water across eastern Ukraine and that an additional 4.6 million people across Ukraine are at risk of losing access to piped water.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Some Ukrainians are returning to Kyiv.
Article:
The reported numbers of individual crossings back into Ukraine are not necessarily “returnees” and this cannot draw conclusions yet on definitive trends. These movements can be pendular considering the situation remains highly volatile and unpredictable.

To understand the drivers of such movement and intentions, 518 interviews were conducted with people crossing to Ukraine from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova. Interviews were conducted in neighbouring countries at western border checkpoints and reception centers, including railway stations, and began on 3 April. This factsheet includes cumulative responses from 3 April to 19 April.

Interviewees were selected purposively to gain a broader understanding of experiences and intentions, while sample is not statistically representative, results should therefore be considered indicative of short/long-term Ukrainian movement back.

The map on the right shows assessed checkpoints, as well as percentage of respondents by reported oblast of destination.

SmartSelect_20220426-070928_Samsung Notes.jpg
SmartSelect_20220426-070958_Samsung Notes.jpg
SmartSelect_20220426-071113_Samsung Notes.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces have adopted a sounder pattern of operational movement in eastern Ukraine, at least along the line from Izyum to Rubizhne. Russian troops are pushing down multiple roughly parallel roads within supporting distance of one another, allowing them to bring more combat power to bear than their previous practice had supported. Russian troops on this line are making better progress than any other Russian advances in this phase of the war. They are pushing from Izyum southwest toward Barvinkove and southeast toward Slovyansk. They are also pushing several columns west and south of Rubizhne, likely intending to encircle it and complete its capture. The Russian advances even in this area are proceeding methodically rather than rapidly, however, and it is not clear how far they will be able to drive or whether they will be able to encircle Ukrainian forces in large numbers.

Russian forces on the Izyum axis likely benefit from the absence of prepared Ukrainian defensive positions against attacks from the Kharkiv direction toward Donbas. Ukraine has prepared to defend the line of contact with Russian-occupied Donbas since 2014, and Russian troops continue to struggle to penetrate those prepared defenses—as shown by repeated Russian efforts to take Avdiivka, just north of Donetsk City, or to advance through Popasna, just beyond the original line of contact.
Luhansk Battle Map Draft April 26,2022.png
Note the advance east of the river Oskil.

Article:
Russian troops continued to attack Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol, including in the Azovstal Plant, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that there is no more fighting in the city. Ukrainian forces likely still hold important positions beyond the plant itself, and Russian forces continue to fight outside the plant, bomb the plant, and assault positions near the plant. Putin’s order not to chase Ukrainian defenders into the tunnels and catacombs of the facility evidently did not preclude continued efforts to secure at least the entire perimeter of the plant and likely also the important M14 highway that runs along it to the north and northwest.

Russian forces likely conducted additional false flag attacks in the illegally-occupied territory of Transnistria on April 25-26. In addition to the grenade attack on the Transnistrian Internal Affairs Ministry that ISW reported on April 25, explosions were reported in Percani and Maiac on April 26.[21] Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin claimed that the explosions necessitate the next stage of the Russian military operation for the benefit of Transnistria and similar Russian border regions.[22] The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) claimed on April 26 that Russia is likely preparing an attack on Transnistrian civilians and that the explosions were planned provocations by the Russian FSB to ”instill panic and anti-Ukrainian" sentiment.[23] The GUR stated that Russia may wish to involve Transnistria in the war in Ukraine either to capitalize on Transnistrian reserve forces or to launch attacks on Ukraine from Transnistrian territory.[24] The recent activity in Transnistria is consistent with earlier reports that the airbase at Tiraspol was likely preparing for Russian aircraft on April 6 and 7.[25]
Moldova Battle Map Draft April 26,2022.png

I have a hard time understanding why the situation in Moldova is getting talked up, based on what appears to be isolated guerilla/terrorist attacks. Russia might be using Moldova as a diversion, binding Ukrainian troops to its border if they're threatening a troop deployment there. Putin is hopefully not about to occupy Moldova, an as yet neutral country it does not even share a border with. If the West wants Moldova to abandon its neutrality and join them, now would be the best time to scare Moldova into doing so.
Article:
Russian forces shelled areas in Sumy Oblast near the Russian border between April 23 and 26. The Ukrainian Border Guard reported that Russian forces fired over 15 times at five different settlements in Sumy on April 26.[26] Head of the Sumy Regional State Administration Dmytro Zhyvystkyy previously stated that Russian forces carried out “provocative shelling” of communities on the border with Russia on April 23.[27]
While the Russians have withdrawn from Sumy Oblast, that doesn't mean it's 100% safe there now. Note the item does not say whether the shelling was directed at civilian or military targets.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The US is sharing intelligence with Ukraine.
Article:
In a statement, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said, “We are regularly providing detailed, timely intelligence to the Ukrainians on the battlefield to help them defend their country against Russian aggression and will continue to do so.”

“There has been a lot of real-time intelligence shared in terms of things that could be used for specific targeting of Russian forces,” said a former senior intelligence official familiar with the situation. The information includes commercial satellite images “but also a lot of other intelligence about, for example, where certain types of Russian units are active.”

Ukraine continues to move air defenses and aircraft nearly every day with the help of American intelligence, which is one reason Russia has not been able to establish air dominance. In some cases, Ukraine moved the targeted air defense systems or planes just in time, the officials said.

“The Russian military has literally been cratering empty fields where air defenses were once set up,” one U.S. official said. “It has had an enormous impact on the Russian military’s ability on the ground.”

While U.S.-Ukrainian cooperation had been building since Russia seized Crimea in 2014, the Biden administration shifted into high gear in the weeks before the Russian invasion, when a U.S. military team visited to assess the state of Ukraine’s air defenses. The Americans provided Ukraine with detailed advice about how to disperse their air defense systems, a move that U.S. officials say helped Ukraine prevent Russia from seizing control of the skies.

Once the invasion got underway, lawyers in the U.S. defense and intelligence bureaucracy imposed guidance that in some cases limited the sharing of targeting information that could enable lethal Ukrainian strikes against Russians. But as Russia’s aggression has deepened, and under pressure from Congress, all of those impediments have been removed, officials say.

Ukrainian forces have used specific coordinates shared by the U.S. to direct fire on Russian positions and aircraft, current and former officials tell NBC News.

Those early shoot-downs helped thwart the Russian air assault operation designed to take Hostomel Airport near Kyiv [...].

One Western intelligence official noted that it’s not only the intelligence that has proven decisive — it’s the performance of the Ukrainians in using it. The source said Ukrainians have fought the Russians with agility and courage, and when they have received actionable intelligence, they have moved with astonishing speed.

McLaughlin said the Ukrainians have made clever use of so-called open-source intelligence — commercial satellite imagery and intercepts of Russians talking openly on unencrypted radios.

“The fact that there is so much open source [intelligence] available means that those collecting classified intelligence can focus on the things that are really hard and not publicly available.”
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Ukrainian forces likely conducted drone or possibly missile strikes on Russian logistics centers in Belgorod and Voronezh on April 27. Russian sources and social media reported multiple explosions early on April 27, which Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mikhail Podolyak later euphemistically confirmed were Ukrainian strikes, stating Russian cities cannot “sit out” the invasion of Ukraine and “the disarmament of the Belgorod-Voronezh warehouses is a natural process.”[2] Ukrainian forces will likely conduct further cross-border strikes to disrupt Russian logistics, which the Kremlin will likely falsely frame as an escalation or somehow a war crime.

Russian forces are stepping up “filtration measures” in occupied territories and abducting Ukrainian citizens, likely for use in future prisoner exchanges. Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on April 27 that Russian forces are conducting large-scale “filtration measures” in Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk Oblasts.[1] The “filtration” targets men of military age, former military and law enforcement personnel, and pro-Ukrainian activists for interrogation, torture, and possible execution. The GUR reported Russian forces are additionally shipping Ukrainian hostages to Crimea to “replenish the exchange fund,” seeking to exchange Ukrainian civilians for Russian military prisoners in future prisoner swaps. The GUR additionally speculated that Russian forces may be preparing to use Ukrainian civilians to portray Prisoners of War in May 9th Victory Day celebrations, noting that Russian forces conducted similar propaganda efforts in Donetsk in 2014.

Russian forces are also stepping up occupation and “filtration” measures in Mariupol to consolidate control of the city and turn it into a propaganda victory.[5] Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that the Kremlin will hold a press tour in Mariupol on April 28 for Kremlin-loyal outlets – including foreign journalists – including faked witness testimonials about the course of the battle.[6] Andryushchenko separately reported that Russian occupation forces are increasingly restricting civilian movement in Mariupol and “resorting to physical coercion and blackmail” to force Ukrainian citizens to work for the occupation regime.[7]

Russian occupation forces continued preparations to announce the creation of a “Kherson People’s Republic” (KNR) amid widespread Ukrainian resistance. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on April 27 that Russian forces are printing ballots and conducting a census for a “referendum” and preventing civilians from leaving the occupied territories.[23] Multiple Ukrainian government sources reported that Russian forces are taking several steps to crack down on possible resistance, including reports by the Pivden Operational Command on April 26 that Russian forces are appointing collaborators to local government positions; reports Rosgvardia forces stepped up filtration measures in Kiselivka and Stanislav; and reports that Russian forces are attempting to identify the places of residence of Ukrainian security personnel.[24] Local social media users additionally shared footage of a large protest against the creation of the KNR in Kherson’s Freedom Square on April 27.[25] The Kremlin likely intends to create further proxy states modeled on the DNR and LNR in Kherson and elsewhere to consolidate its control over occupied Ukrainian territory – both by creating an occupation government and by falsely claiming in negotiations that the territory is occupied by “independent” states, not Russian military forces.

Russian forces also continued to prepare for a likely false-flag missile attack against the Moldovan territory of Transnistria, which is illegally occupied by Russian forces. The Kremlin mobilized Transnistrian proxy forces on April 27 as Russian state media began setting rhetorical conditions for the possible recognition of the self-styled Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) in Transnistria. Russian media is increasingly reporting that Transnistria may need to “protect the interests of the republic” by declaring its independence, echoing language used by the Kremlin prior to its recognition of the DNR and LNR in mid-February.[26] Ukraine’s Pivden Operational Command directly claimed on April 27 that Russian forces are preparing to conduct false-flag missile strikes into Transnistria to accuse Ukraine of attacking the unrecognized republic.[27] Local Transnistrian officials and media reported unconfirmed gunshots and several claimed incidents of Ukrainian drones crossing into Transnistria; ISW cannot independently confirm these claims.[28] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Transnistria announced a “red level” of threat, increased the readiness of its forces, and strengthened checkpoint security on April 27.[29]

In the light of my previous post, it looks likely that the first strikes on Belgorod in late March mark a step up in intelligence sharing: it is easy to imagine that intelligence on Russion forces in Russia was one of the mentioned restrictions on sharing that had then been lifted.

The reports on the "filtration" measures seem one-sided, I'd like to learn more about this.

I'm likewise skeptical about the "Kherson People’s Republic” (KNR), this was first reported 6 weeks ago, and has anything tangible happened since then? For comparison, the Krimean referendum took less than 4 weeks after the occupation, though the situation in Kherson is obviously more difficult for Russia.

The situation with Transnistria remains unclear. German radio reported yesterday that an ammunition depot in Transnistria was hit. I'm starting to lean towards the idea that Ukraine is simply trying to hit Russian forces wherever it can reach them. (I'm imagining Ukraine occupying Transnistria and returning it to Moldavia for a huge propaganda victory, but realistically that's not going to happen.)
 

CaptainCourgette

Active Member
In the light of my previous post, it looks likely that the first strikes on Belgorod in late March mark a step up in intelligence sharing: it is easy to imagine that intelligence on Russion forces in Russia was one of the mentioned restrictions on sharing that had then been lifted.

The reports on the "filtration" measures seem one-sided, I'd like to learn more about this.

I'm likewise skeptical about the "Kherson People’s Republic” (KNR), this was first reported 6 weeks ago, and has anything tangible happened since then? For comparison, the Krimean referendum took less than 4 weeks after the occupation, though the situation in Kherson is obviously more difficult for Russia.

The situation with Transnistria remains unclear. German radio reported yesterday that an ammunition depot in Transnistria was hit. I'm starting to lean towards the idea that Ukraine is simply trying to hit Russian forces wherever it can reach them. (I'm imagining Ukraine occupying Transnistria and returning it to Moldavia for a huge propaganda victory, but realistically that's not going to happen.)
I think the Strikes on Belograd and on the other oil depots nearby were by the Ukranians, but Transnistria? I doubt that was the Ukranians. The only possible positive is the Ukranians hope to get Moldova or Romania to invade, but thats very unlikely.

The negative for Ukraine is that if Transnistria joins then Ukraine has to draw troops away from elsewhere in Ukraine to fight another front and all the logistics involved in that.
From a few days ago
https://www.reuters.com/world/moldo...omments-by-top-military-commander-2022-04-22/
The Moldovan foreign ministry said it had summoned Moscow's ambassador on Friday to express "deep concern" about comments by a top military commander, who suggested the country's Russian-speaking population was being oppressed.
Pretty much a reason Russia gave before they invaded Ukraine
Personally I think its most likely someone/a group in Transnistria who wants to shake things up.

FWIW I've been there and the people just look totally different compared to those in Moldova just 30 KM away, I have never seen such a stark difference in how the people look so close together anywhere else on the planet. In Moldova they look Romanian, in Transnistria they look Russian.
It used to be the richest part of moldova but because they have been stuck in limbo for the last 30 years, standards of living have dropped a lot compared to Moldova or Ukraine
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The negative for Ukraine is that if Transnistria joins then Ukraine has to draw troops away from elsewhere in Ukraine to fight another front and all the logistics involved in that.
Yes, exactly.
Personally I think its most likely someone/a group in Transnistria who wants to shake things up.
The Transnistria things started happening after the Russian rhetoric of keeping South Ukraine to have a future land bridge to Transnistria. To some people in Moldavia, this may look like Moldavia is going to become Ukraine 2.0 (since Russia was never content with the 2014 borders in Donbass either), and then the idea of some violent Moldavians may be to throw the Russians out early?

In that case, it would be up to Moscow to escalate or de-escalate the situation now by clarifying its intentions. The "oppression" rhetoric points toward "Ukraine 2.0" and won't be helping the situation in Transnistria; it's really aimed at the Russian populace.
 

obiwanbenobi

Active Member
with the cat let out of the bag and Russia no longer respecting international laws if i were Moldova i'd be disinviting the Russian troops right now, because later on it only gets worse.

those in the breakaway region of Transnistria who are not happy to be peaceably a part of Moldova can go to Russia. bye bye and good riddance. that is what should have been happening in Donbas but of course Russia arranged pretexts to get involved and now Ukraine is paying the price. from more recent history it was pretty clear that Donbas was losing without Russian support and can be recaptured at a great cost. i'm not sure if Ukraine is willing to fight for that but i'd support them in doing so.

yes, it's easy for me to say such things from thousands of miles away, but to me it seems rather obvious. don't let troublemakers get a foothold in your neighborhood.
 
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