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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

We Think We Know Why Putin’s War for Eastern Ukraine is Failing

Ukraine Tanks
Russian tank using defensive measures to stop missile attack. Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot.

On day 65 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian forces continue to struggle in eastern Ukraine, failing to achieve a breakthrough. The Ukrainian defenses hold across the frontline, and in some places, the Ukrainians have been retaking lost territory.

In Mariupol, the Ukrainian defenders in the Azovstal steelworks plant are holding on. 

Not Going According To Plan

On its daily estimate of the war, the British Ministry of Defense assessed that the Russian military has been suffering heavy casualties and achieving little gains in its renewed offensive in the east. 

“The Battle of Donbas remains Russia’s main strategic focus, in order to achieve its stated aim of securing control over the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. In these oblasts [provinces] fighting has been particularly heavy around Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, with an attempted advance south from Izium towards Slovyansk. Due to strong Ukrainian resistance, Russian territorial gains have been limited and achieved at significant cost to Russian forces,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.

The Ukrainian military hasn’t just been putting up a stiff defense, it has been counterattacking in places. Over the last few days, the situation around Kharkiv, the second-largest Ukrainian city, has been tilting in favor of the Ukrainian forces. Ukrainian troops have entered the occupied town of Rus’ka Lozova and completely liberated Kutuzivka; the former is just 15 miles from the Russian border.

“russian [sic] enemy did not conduct active offensive operations in the Izyum [sic] direction. its [sic] main efforts were focused on conducting reconnaissance, identifying the defensive positions of units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine and their destruction by artillery fire. In the Donetsk and Tavriya [sic] directions, in order to prevent the regrouping of Ukrainian troops, russian [sic] enemy fires at positions from artillery, mortars and rocket-propelled grenade launchers along the entire line of contact. russian [sic] occupiers continue to blockade Ukrainian units in Mariupol, near the Azovstal plant,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense stated in its daily operational update.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 23,000 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 187 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 155 helicopters, 986 tanks, 435 artillery pieces, 2,418 armored personnel carriers, 151 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), eight boats, 1,695 vehicles, 76 fuel tanks, 72 anti-aircraft batteries, 229 unmanned aerial systems, 31 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems. 

Reports also indicate that Russia is using dolphins to protect its naval bases in the Black Sea. 

Weapons and More Weapons 

Meanwhile, the supply of weapon systems to Ukraine continues at a frantic pace. U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed a $33 billion security, humanitarian, and economic aid package to Ukraine. More than $20 billion of that package would go toward the needs of the Ukrainian military, security services, and law enforcement. But the U.S. hasn’t been the only one providing Ukraine with weapons. 

Poland, which shares a common border and hatred of Russians with Ukraine, has been one of the largest contributors compared to gross domestic product of military aid to Ukraine. The Polish have sent air-to-air missiles and spare parts to refurbish and replenish the fleet of the Ukrainian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets. In addition, they have sent hundreds of T-72 main battle tanks, which are very useful to the Ukrainians because they already operate that type of tank and thus required almost no time to familiarize themselves with the machine. 

Summary Executions 

The U.S. claims to have evidence that proves that Russian forces are executing Ukrainian troops while they are trying to surrender. The U.S. accused the Russian military of summarily executing Ukrainian soldiers who were trying to surrender.

“We now have credible information that a Russian military unit operating in the vicinity of Donetsk executed Ukrainians who were attempting to surrender, rather than take them into custody,” Beth Van Schaack, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice stated during a United Nations Security Council meeting. 

Russian forces have already committed heinous atrocities and war crimes against Ukrainian civilians across the country. 

“If true, this would be in violation of a core principle of the law of war: the prohibition against the summary execution of civilians and of combatants who are hors de combat by virtue of surrender, injury, or other forms of incapacitation,” Van Schaack said.

Ukraine Russia

Ukrainian tank firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Ukraine

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

“These reports suggest that atrocities are not the result of rogue units or individuals; they rather reveal a deeply disturbing pattern of systematic abuse across all areas where Russia’s forces are engaged,” the U.S. ambassador added. 

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.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 8:37 am

    If failure is thousands of Ukrainian prisoners of war, the destruction of 95% of Ukrainian equipment and the occupation of new cities every day, where the flags of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Russia and Chechnya fly, then what is luck? Everyone in the world understood what the outcome would be. One lie will not convince anyone.

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

    • Pleiades

      April 30, 2022 at 6:55 pm

      Gibbering nonsense from a fully fledged loon. Putin ain’t paying you enough for that pathetic BS Alex, LMAO

  2. Ulf Larsen

    April 29, 2022 at 9:45 am

    If I understand you right then Lend-Lease is a US trap. Does that mean it was wrong for the Soviet Union to received such assistance during the Second World War? From an European point of view it seems that Lend-Lease was useful in stopping & defeating Germany.

  3. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 10:55 am

    What is the second world war?
    But we can talk about it:
    When was Lend-Lease launched, what did it consist of, and how did the USSR pay off later? Who won in economic terms? That’s right – the US and Britain. The whole world was destroyed, however, these two wars did business in the second world war.

  4. CK

    April 29, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    Beginning to think Patton was right, we should have taken the Soviets right after we cleaned up the Nazis. Looks like it would have saved a lot of people a lot of headaches!

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