Ukraine update: Russia begins new, more brutal phase of their assault

Ukraine update: Russia begins new, more brutal phase of their assault

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is now in a new phase, and it is the one observers feared Putin would turn to after the humiliating performance of Russian forces in the first days of the war. After surrounding Ukrainian cities, Russia is shifting to artillery attacks on civilian areas, attacks on television broadcasting towers, and the apparent use of large-scale thermobaric weapons. The original plan of swiftly rolling into Kyiv to install a Russia-friendly puppet regime has failed; now come the brutal repression methods of past Russian military campaigns.

Russia’s forces are still grappling with apparently severe food and fuel shortages due to the incompetence or corruption of their senior officers. As Ukriane’s military continues to be worn down by the far larger Russian forces it will likely itself shift as planned from large-scale organized defensive efforts to guerrilla tactics targeting Russian supply routes and other targets of opportunity. Food is also reportedly running out in Kyiv, which has been cut off from new food deliveries.

Tomorrow will likely see images of far more widespread devastation as Russian artillery begins their assault on the most populated Ukrainian areas. Today’s updates:


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 1:05:34 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

Claims are being made, on multiple sources, that Ukraine scored a massive victory in the south, overcoming a convoy near Mykolaiv and destroying a large number of vehicles, including a high number of the GRAD multi-rocket launch systems that have been so devastating when used in urban areas.

However, this claim should be viewed with considerable skepticism until there is better proof. Video supposedly associated with these claims appear to be from another region, and the number of GRAD units reported in the convoy would seem extremely unlikely.

That’s not to say this didn’t happen, just … wait for details and better evidence.


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 1:13:01 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

CBS is reporting that in meetings today, officials in the U.K. and member of Congress in the U.S. were given a long timeline for the end of fighting in Ukraine. Both expected a seizure of Kyiv to take weeks, not days. After which, fighting would go on, as long has been suspected, with the Ukrainian military breaking up into smaller units.

And ultimately, this…

“The U.K. foreign secretary estimated it would be a 10-year war. Lawmakers at the Capitol were told Monday it is likely to last 10, 15 or 20 years — and that ultimately, Russia will lose.”


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 1:23:50 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

Nexta reports that Russia is jailing children for creating antiwar posters. 

#Russia, 2022 pic.twitter.com/NSUmbLbQVm

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 2, 2022


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 1:52:45 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

There are reports that Russia is launching a massive airborne invasion, presumably meaning parachuting troops to areas that would bypass the spots where convoys have been halted. If so, it’s not clear that dropping them at Khakiv — just 25 miles from the Russian border, and 50 miles from a major Russian military base — makes sense. However, Kharkiv held out against heavy fighting again on Tuesday, so this could be the case.

It seems more likely that any major assault by air would target Kyiv and simply ignore Kharkiv. But then, nothing about how this war has been managed seems to make sense.

❗️”A #Russian landing force has landed in #Kharkiv. A battle between invaders and #Ukrainian defenders began”, Security Service of Ukraine

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 2, 2022


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 1:56:22 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

Additional sources seem to confirm that Kharkiv is currently the target of a major assault by airborne forces. 


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 2:05:01 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

It has to make some sense, to someone, why you would engage in a nighttime airborne assault against dug in defenders at a spot you’ve been unable to dislodge with multiple columns of armor. A reason why you’d shuttle paratroops just 40 miles from their starting point and drop them onto a position that isn’t a primary objective, even if you take it. Why you’d make a nightime assault (risky) with paratroops (risky) in an urban area (risky) that’s well defended.

But someone will have to explain it to me. Because I don’t have a clue.


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 3:23:43 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

That air assault on Kharkiv apparently included Russian forces storming a … hospital. Few details on whether there is still any concerted combat in the area, but Kharkiv is once again being pounded by Russian shells or MLRS — likely from equipment across the border in Russia.


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 3:25:40 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

Meanwhile, Kherson — which effectively fell to Russian forces in the last 24 hours — is suddenly the scene of fighting against on Tuesday night. It seems that Ukrainian forces have re-entered the town and engaged Russian forces in a small arms duel.

Unlikely that this represents a serious push from Ukrainian forces to retake the town. More likely they will damage Russian positions, along with the confidence that Russian forces seemed to have during the day, and leave again before sun rise.


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 3:27:37 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

Not exactly a sign of great confidence in your people or your economy.

⚡️Vladimir Putin signs decree to prohibiting Russians from leaving the country with more than $10,000 in foreign currency. The move follows the sanctions the U.S. and allies have imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 2, 2022


Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022 · 3:57:48 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

This appears to be one of those Russian convoys lost today near Kharkiv. In this short video, it appears not so much destroyed as simply stuck in the mud. Most of these vehicles don’t appear to be GRAD systems, but SPGs or mobile artillery. Something like 2S19 Msta, These can fire a massive round (each shell is over 6” in diameter), at a rate of about about one each ten seconds. Guns like this were a major part of what Russia used to crush cities in Chechnya. 

But these don’t look like they’re going anywhere soon.

Харьковское направление, видео загружено 14 часов назад pic.twitter.com/53Yy14i3ev

— IgorGirkin (@GirkinGirkin) March 2, 2022

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