Russia Pounds Ukraine, Targeting Supply of Western Arms (“Part 2”)

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After fierce defenses by Ukrainian troops thwarted Russian attempts to seize the Ukrainian capital at the start of the war, Russia now claims its target is the Donbas, a predominantly Russian-speaking industrial zone in eastern Ukraine surrounded by a separatist conflict since 2014.

Russian forces focused on Russian attacks away from northern Ukraine and the capital Kyiv, are now trying to take full control of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine to build a land bridge from Russia to Crimea, which was seized in 2014.

Russia’s annexation has concentrated most of its military force in Ukraine, trying to seize territory in the country’s east and south, but has continued to attack cities and villages across Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said on Tuesday that Russian forces were now trying to break through defenses on most of the front lines in eastern Ukraine.

 Ukrainian and U.S. officials say Russian troops have attacked Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, from the east; from southern Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014; and from Belarus to the north. A senior Pentagon official said three Russian armies and troops were moving rapidly towards Ukrainian cities.

One headed south from Belarus to YIV; another headed towards Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine; and a third headed south to Kherson, near Crimea. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to outline Russia’s military operations, said the United States expects all of the Russian forces to be assembled in the conflict to now be located between 3 and 30 miles from the Ukrainian border. in the East.   “

While some combat troops retreated to Russia for supplies, Russia has deployed thousands of additional soldiers around Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, the official said. The affected train station is in the Ukrainian government-controlled Donbas region, but the Russian Defense Ministry blamed Ukraine for the attack.

Discussing the Pentagon’s assessment, a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that while Moscow tried to target critical infrastructure around the western city of Lviv, especially railroads, the state had not had “a tangible impact on Ukraine.” 

Both Ukraine and Russia rely on the rail system to transport military personnel and supplies, but the Russian attack on critical infrastructure in the west “has no discernible impact on Ukraine’s ability to replenish Ukrainian forces,” the official said. A senior Pentagon official said Wednesday that despite Russia’s efforts, “this has not affected the Pentagon’s ability to continue funding Ukraine.

Russia is concentrating most of its military efforts in Ukraine on trying to capture territory in the east and south of the country, but it continues to strike cities and towns across Ukraine. And on Tuesday and Wednesday, those strikes targeted electrical substations, railroad facilities, and other infrastructure in western and central Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the attacks on the rail infrastructure are meant to disrupt the delivery of Western weapons — Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu griped that the U.S. and its allies are “stuffing Ukraine with weapons.” A senior Pentagon official said Wednesday that despite Russia’s efforts, “there’s been no impact to our ability to continue flows into Ukraine. We’ve seen no indications that any of this Western aid has been impeded or even struck.”

“There’s no indication at all that there’s a Russian impediment to the flow” of U.S. arms to Ukraine, the Pentagon official said. “Our focus is on getting it to them. Their focus is on getting it into the fight and using it. And that’s happening.” Ukraine has 81 of 90 promised U.S. howitzers, and “we know that they are using some of those howitzers in the fight,” the official said, “but I think I’m just going to demur” on the specific number.   “

It continues to look as if Putin is destined to lose the war with Ukraine. No matter what he has thrown at the Ukrainians so far they have been able to hold their own with weapons supplied by the west and its NATO allies, mostly weapons supplied by the US. I would sincerely hope that if he crossed the red line with the US by using chemical or even tactical nuclear weapons, the United States stays true to its warning of the use of these types of weapons “would be met with the appropriate force”.

God Bless the United States, God Bless the Veterans

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