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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Putin’s New Ukraine War Plan Is Clear: Conquer (or Destroy) Donbas

Russian T-72 tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Russian T-72 tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

On day 45 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military continues with its organization of forces to the east of Ukraine. The Ukrainian military is also refitting and regrouping its forces to counter the anticipated renewed Russian assault on the Donbas.

Meanwhile, indiscriminate Russian long-range strikes are wreaking havoc on Ukrainian cities and civilians.

An Ongoing Repositioning  

In its daily estimate of the conflict, the British Ministry of Defense assessed that the Russian military is going to place more emphasis on southern and eastern Ukraine in an attempt to create a land corridor between annexed Crimean and the Donbas. Ukrainian resistance, however, continues to thwart the Russian plans, while Moscow keeps relying on long-range fires to terrorize the Ukrainian people.

“Russia continues to hit Ukrainian non-combatants, such as those killed in yesterday’s rocket strike on Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine. Russian operations continue to focus on the Donbas region, Mariupol and Mykolaiv, supported by continued cruise missile launches into Ukraine by Russian naval forces. Russian air activity is expected to increase in the south and east of Ukraine in support of this activity. However, Russian ambitions to establish a land corridor between Crimea and the Donbas continue to be thwarted by Ukrainian resistance,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.

Moreover, after 45 days of war, the Russian military finally appointed an overall commander for the war. General Aleksandr V. Dvornikov will oversee the next phase of the invasion and the Russian military’s attempt to capture the Donbas.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Saturday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 19,100 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 151 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 136 helicopters, 705 tanks, 335 artillery pieces, 1,895 armored personnel carriers, 108 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), seven boats, 1,363 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.

The Russian casualties claimed by the Ukrainian military have been steadily falling over the past week, a reflection of the ongoing repositioning of forces from the north of the country to east. But once the Russian reorganization finishes and Moscow launches its anticipated renewed assault on the Donbas, the numbers are expected to rise again.

Putin’s War of Terror

From the beginning of the invasion, the Russian campaign has been characterized by indiscriminate targeting of civilians. Whether that is a result of a lack of precision strike capabilities, such as the so-called “smart bombs,” on the part of the Russian military, or an intentional attempt to terrorize Ukrainian cities and put pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his government to negotiate matters little to the dead women and children in towns and villages across Ukraine.

The latest indiscriminate strike came on Friday in the Ukrainian city of  Kramatorsk. There, a Russian missile struck the train station of the city that was packed with civilians looking to escape the incoming Russian assault and flee to the western parts of Ukraine. More than 50 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in the attack.

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 InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise 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.