On day 44 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, both sides are preparing for the next phase of the war. The Russian military has finally fully withdrawn from the northern parts of Ukraine and is repositioning its forces to the east. The Ukrainian military is doing the same, sending its best units to the Donbas region in the east to await the next Russian attack.
The Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol continue to hold off the Russian assault. Russian long-range strikes continue throughout Ukraine.
Preparation for Battle
In its daily estimate of the war, the British Ministry of Defense assessed that all Russian forces in the north had withdrawn back to Russia and Belarus. But before they are combat-ready again, these units would need to spend at least a week for rest and refitting after the heavy fighting they saw.
“In the north, Russian forces have now fully withdrawn from Ukraine to Belarus and Russia. At least some of these forces will be transferred to East Ukraine to fight in the Donbas. Many of these forces will require significant replenishment before being ready to deploy further east, with any mass redeployment from the north likely to take at least a week minimum. Russian shelling of cities in the east and south continues and Russian forces have advanced further south from the strategically important city of Izium which remains under their control,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 19,000 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 150 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 135 helicopters, 700 tanks, 333 artillery pieces, 1,891 armored personnel carriers, 108 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), seven boats, 1,361 vehicles, 76 fuel tanks, 55 anti-aircraft batteries, 112 unmanned aerial systems, 25 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems.
Over the past week, the rate of Russian casualties that the Ukrainian military is claiming has slowed down significantly. This is most likely a result of the ongoing Russian repositioning of forces in eastern Ukraine. Of course, official numbers should always be considered with a grain of salt as each side will try to boost its success and downplay its losses.
Russian Strikes and Sanctions
A Russian strike against the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk killed and wounded scores of people. On Friday morning, a Russian missile struck Kramatorsk, where thousands of people were trying to board trains to evacuate to the western parts of Ukraine. According to Ukrainian officials, the indiscriminate Russian attack killed at least 39 people and wounded close to 90, including civilians.
The sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow also continue. The European Union joined the U.S. and the G7 in the fifth wave of sanctions after the Russian war crimes in the suburbs of Kyiv surfaced. According to the European Union, European countries have frozen almost €30 billion (approximately $33 billion) of Russian and Belarusian assets and blocked transactions valued at over €196 billion (approximately $214 billion).
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.
April 8, 2022 at 8:21 am
Dear author, you are already delirious with these fake Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and just copying the same thing everywhere 🙂
Tell your readers, please, about Lieutenant General of the US Army, head of the Allied Land Command Roger Cloutier, who cannot evacuate from Mariupol in any way – this is very interesting!
from Russia with love
April 8, 2022 at 9:23 am
author, why is it so stupid to lie? Ukrainian rocket hit Kramatorsk Tochka U. There is a photo of part of the rocket. these missiles have long been removed from service with the Russian army and are in service with the Ukrainian army. the flight path of the missiles at the site of the fall of the booster and warhead has already been established. the rocket was flying from the southwest. there are only Ukrainian troops.
I wonder what the author can say about this bloody crime of the Ukrainian junta against the citizens whom they call their own?
April 8, 2022 at 10:17 am
author. Very good article on why it is so easy to lie for Russians by Finn intel officer Martti J. Kari at Ricochet website. When Mongols ruled area of Russia it was necessary to lie in order to stay alive. So Russian ease of lying was developed over 100 years and stays with them to this day. They have always had dictator telling them what to do after that. Czar, communists, now the little big man Putin. So they launch rockets and easily tell you they come from Ukrainians or Switzerland or some other crazy story. Many russian trolls are so shamed finally they try to regain honor. That’s why so many can’t look in mirror any more and end it.
April 8, 2022 at 4:11 pm
First of all, considering that Russia had been using MRLs against Ukrainian cities, leveling them to the ground as they did with Grozny and Aleppo, you have no right to complain.
Second, Russia has Tochka-U, and misuse or malfunction of a system pulled from the storage is not out of the question.
Third, a railway station in the Russian-held territory is a fair game to prevent the arrival of reinforcements.
Fourth, Russians had been firing on the evacuees in _all_ Ukrainian cities. Deliberately. Hospitals, theaters, you name it. After what the Russians did to the civilians, in all its engagements, Russians should be less vocal about a military target that happen to have civilians at the time of a strike.
April 8, 2022 at 4:46 pm
When I wrote the previous comment, I thought that Kramatorsk was under Russian control. It does not appear to be. So, correction: all parties, except Russia, agree that the strike came from Russia. These days, the trajectory of a missile is trackable.
April 9, 2022 at 12:13 pm
There were no fire missions for the Russian forces in Kramatorsk on April 8 and were not planned. There are no Tochka-Us in service with the Russian army – they are only in warehouses and as museum exhibits. Rockets of this type are used only by the Ukrainian armed forces.
Experts support the ministry’s position with their own theses. Tochki-U have been officially withdrawn from service due to the transition to Iskanders, there is not a single video of the combat use of Tochki-U by the Russian military or the forces of the self-proclaimed Donbass republics.
The inscription “For Children” found on the rocket and the confusion in Kirilenko’s initial message only confirms that the strike was a poorly crafted Ukrainian provocation.
According to one version, on April 8, servicemen of the 19th missile brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out “obviously criminal orders” of the command and fired at the railway station in Kramatorsk.