The Wall Street Journal reports that Russia is pivoting its focus in Ukraine. They’ve suffered heavy losses and a lot of resistance and are now focusing on the Donbas Region.
It appears that they can’t capture or even surround the Capitol of Kyiv, according to the Journal.
STORMING OF DONBAS
Russia does not have full control over Donbas and the fighting has been savage. Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Saturday that the country’s forces were fighting to take two villages around Donetsk, a major city held by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.
Moscow claims it is nearing the end of the first phase of its military operation in Ukraine. “Our forces and resources will focus on the primary objective: full liberation of the Donbas,” said Sergei Ruskoy, head of the Russian general staff’s main operational department.
Ukraine’s military is regrouping to probably prepare for a renewed offensive in the contested area that stretches from Luhansk along Russia’s southern border with Ukraine to the west of the port city of Mariupol.
There is street fighting in Mariupol.
Russia wants the territory to secure a “land bridge” between western Russia and the Crimean Peninsula to expand control of Donbas, according to Isabel Coles and Evan Gershkovich writing for the Journal.
HORROR IN MARIUPOL
The fighting in Mariupol has gone on for eight years with more than 14,000 lives lost until the invasion last month.
Russians were shelling residential buildings in Luhansk on Friday. Three people were killed. Food and other essentials are delivered to people hiding in basements and bomb shelters.
There is fighting in Kherson, the regional capital where Russians were pushed back. That’s where Russia will now concentrate. It is also where the most battle-hardened troops can be found, reports the Journal.
Personally, I think one of the reasons that Russian troops are bogged down is because they’re used to invading and going scorched earth, leveling the place as they did in Syria and elsewhere. But they usually aren’t watched as closely as they are now. Everything they do means more terrible news coverage for them. They’ve lost the PR battle.
Despite saying their focus is on the contested region in Donbas, they are shelling Lyiv in the West.
While Putin says he only wants Eastern Ukraine, Donbas region. He bombs Lviv. A western city completely across the country and in the opposite side of the country.
— Cody Langford (@RealCodyLang) March 26, 2022
There are fears that Russia would go nuclear.
The financial system in Russia has survived and they do seem to be able to export their oil and gas. One of the US goals was to destroy the rouble but it seems to be doing okay.
Jake Sullivan thought he could weaken China’s support of Russia and sway India, but neither has happened. The meeting in Rome didn’t work. Sullivan couldn’t trap China. Russia is not isolated.
CLIPS FROM UKRAINE
Soldiers and equipment are pouring into Ukraine.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 26, 2022
War is terrible and cruel.
In a truly sickening display of cruelty, Ukrainian soldiers film themselves calling a mother of a dead Russian serviceman to describe what’s left of him after an artillery strike, all the while mocking her reaction. pic.twitter.com/WCa01tyBd7
— Russian American Daily (@RussiaUSA) March 25, 2022
In #Mariupol, east #Ukraine, 9 days ago a #Russia|n soldier shot an 11-year-old girl in the face. The bullet went through the jaw, damaging the tongue and larynx, but the girl survived and is now safe.
What kind of army is this that shoots at kids?
— Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) March 26, 2022