North (assessed Russian Federation Armed Forces (RFAF) Main Effort).
- RFAF have occupied previously contested areas on the western bank of the Dnieper and continued to reinforce forces in vicinity of Irpin river on the same flank.
- Surrounding districts of Kyiv remain under siege and heavy bombardment, strategic assets, Precision Guided Missiles (PGM), were used to target reinforced areas such as Podilskyi district.
- Attempts were made to break through Ukrainian lines towards Kyiv. Heavy losses are reported on both sides and the front line remains contested.
- Russian troops entered the village of Lukashivka, without any resistance.
- The partial blockade of Chernihiv continues.
- Ukrainian armed forces (UAF) continue to aggravate RFAF progress by attacking logistic supply lines, they have reportedly cut off supply routes to Brovary and in Sumy managed to ambush several convoys.
With the caption: The effect of bombing of civilian infrastructure in Podilskyi, SOURCE: @Publika_ge
- The area of Bezruky, which lies north of Kharkiv, remains contested.
- Kharkiv city continues to suffer heavy artillery bombardment.
- Izium is contested on two flanks, RFAF now control the northern areas but have been unsuccessful in taking the south.
- Russian troops reached Dernachi, but failed to take it.
- UAF continue with the same tactics, isolating offensive forces by attacking supply chains. These attacks are successful in part but are failing to reduce significant pressure on Izium and surrounding areas.
- Heavy fighting continues in the vicinity of Sievierodonetsk and Popasna. Most of Rubizhne and Kreminna is still under Ukrainian control. All attempts to bypass the cities or advance into the outskirts have failed so far.
- Due to the pressure on Mariupol, situated between the eastern and southern axis, the eastern axis has mostly seen RFAF consolidation.
- There is a little to no movement towards Velyka Novosilka and Vuhledar. Russian artillery shelled Marinka and Avdiivka, which later endured a failed breach.
- Russian forces consolidated gains around Volnovkha and captured Stepne near Novotroitske.
- Ukrainian forces report the ambushed of RFAF convoys heading towards Zaporizhzhia, destroying most of the vehicles.
- RFAF main effort, outside of Kyiv remains Mariupol where extreme pressure is now being exerted where Russian naval elements have been used to shell the city.
- UAF made up of Marines and National Guard have thus far been able slow the advance. RFAF reportedly offered a withdrawal corridor to all Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol. Ukrainian forces refused.
- The Russian control of Mykolaiv is disputed, they control several villages to the north but the forward elements of RFAF have been temporarily defeated – this enabled a short pause in offensive action. RFAF also reported to have targeted a UAF fuel deport using Kinzhal (Kh-47M2) missile, in Kostyantynivka, approximately 5km north of the city.
- RFAF have captured Novovorontsovka and Kochubeivka.
- Other RFAF elements have pushed north towards Kryvyi Riha and have started to encircle the area.
Imagery analysis conducted prior to reports of Russian Naval Strikes, SOURCE: @detresfa_
- The humanitarian situation in Ukraine continues to gather notable media attention. Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, posted on Twitter that over 10 million Ukrainian citizens had now either been internally displaced, or sought refugee status overseas. This is especially pertinent in Mariupol, where up to 350,000 citizens are reported to be encircled by RFAF and unable to leave the city. Aid agencies, including Red Cross and UNICEF, stated that it is difficult to gain access to the city to deliver essential humanitarian supplies. Consequently, it continues to be the leading story across several primetime news media bulletins.
- Senior Turkish officials reported that Ukraine and Russia are close to an agreement on fundamental issues. Turkey, acting as a mediator in negotiations, refused to disclose specific details on the talks. Scepticism from Western leaders is still evident, suggesting that Russia is failing to fully participate in the talks. UK officials have however expressed a degree of encouragement over developments on the talks, but with the caveat that an agreement must be on Ukraine’s terms.
- China’s relationship with Russia has been a dominant media topic across multiple international media outlets. Senior Chinese officials stated that it would take the necessary action to de-escalate the conflict, whilst continuing to avoid making condemnatory statements towards Russia. China’s ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, used a recent platform on CBS to highlight the importance of China’s relationship with Russia to find a solution to the conflict, whilst distancing itself from allegations that it is considering providing military assistance to Russia.
- The operational pause has finished. Offensive action to take and hold Kyiv will continue to accelerate, however, this will be a protracted stage of the operation lasting no less than 48 hours.
- Similar to Kyiv, pressure on Mariupol will continue to increase. Now facing attack from a maritime front, Ukrainian forces will find it hard to defend the city for longer than 72hrs.
- The concerns raised by the Red Cross and UNICEF are indicative the humanitarian challenges in Ukraine. Whilst there’s been some notable success in implementing humanitarian corridors in Mariupol and Sumy, the operational reality is high risk. MSRs and travel corridors are likely to be susceptible to RFAF activity, including obstruction. Plus, there have been instances where citizens have been able to leave besieged areas, only to be relocated into other locations which are highly likely to be along an RFAF axis of advance. For citizens and agencies alike, this does not alleviate the humanitarian situation and reinforces the importance of establishing mechanisms to facilitate the safe extraction of citizens, and the enablement of humanitarian operations into front-line locations.
- RFAF will continue to consolidate and bombard potential future targets while their main effort is achieved.
- Ukrainian attacks on RFAF logistics are well publicised but are unlikely to reduce timelines significantly.
Kyiv and Mariupol are the main effort for RFAF in the short term. This stage of the operation will be both difficult but key to the outcome of the conflict. As the situation in Kyiv unfolds, we will be better able to interpret Putin’s intent for the medium to long term. Pressure will mount on the international community to step up support as a European Capitol begins to fall. China will be lobbied from both sides during this period and more comments to the international press are likely. Where possible China will adhere to the current status quo. Other talks and negotiations are likely to follow the same format, although encouraging they are unlikely to make progress whilst RFAF objectives are still to be met. It is however likely that humanitarian aid will be supported in limited windows, which is still important for Russian Information Operations. That said these will be fragile and totemic compared to the scale of need.