My summary on how things stand.
With Russia having failed miserably to capture Kyiv and the northern border region around Belarus, it’s focus has shifted to eastern Ukraine. Desperate to trumpet something for his disastrous decision to fully invade Ukraine, Putin needs a victory, no matter how hollow it maybe.
Having withdrawn its invasion forces from Kyiv and Sumy regions, Russian forces in the northern Kharkiv region are currently trying to advance south & cut off Ukrainian forces in the Luhansk Donbas region. From the south around Mariupol & in the Donetsk Oblast (province), Russian forces are likewise pushing hard to defeat & cut off Ukrainian forces. As we’ve come to expect, in and effort to advance, Russia’s reducing towns and villages into rubble. That’s reducing homes of the Russian speaking Ukrainians into rubble – the very people Putin claims he’s liberating from Ukraine.
On the Black Sea south coast area, Russian forces located around the city of Kherson are trying to capture more territory, thereby increasing the size of the land border area to occupied Crimea. It’s a cast-iron certainty Russia will soon try to capture the city of Odesa and the coastal area around it. This would totally cut off Ukraine’s access to the sea and also give Russia a land border to Moldova. Keeping with cast-iron certainties – should Russia acquire access to Moldova, Putin will surely either invade it, or overwhelm the small country with fifth column puppets and a constant deluge of propaganda & disinformation.
Russian general spills the renewed invasion beans.
We knew it already, but always nice when Russia reveals its official plans. In Russian state media, Maj Gen Rustam Minnekayev was quoted as saying Russia’s aiming to take full control of southern and eastern Ukraine. That goal would allow Moscow to form a large land bridge to Crimea, which it annexed in 2014. He also said it would give Moscow access to the Russian-backed separatist region of Transnistria in Moldova. BBC article on this.
In Mariupol: Over 50 days later and having turned the city into an apolcaliptic wasteland, Russia’s still unable to capture the entire city. Seen below, Ukrainian forces are holding out in the vast Azovstal iron and steel works. Needing the tens of thousands of Russian troops tied up around Mariupol for the wider eastern offensive, this week a no doubt frustrated Putin ordered attempts to capture the Azovstal works to stop and for the area to be blockaded. However, it’s always advisable to ignore anything Putin says, as Russia’s still heavily shelling and bombing it and according to Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, Russia’s continues to attack it with ground troops, this despite large numbers of civilians taking refuge there.
Yesterday April 23rd, Odesa got a taste of the horrors to come. Eight people were reported killed and numerous injured when Russian missiles struck a residential area in the city. Seen below, the dead included Valeria Hlodan and her three-month old baby daughter Kira. Little Kira lived one month without war, two months living in a war, then Russia killed her. In a post on Valeria’s social media, Valeria said the period since giving birth to Kira had brought her “a whole new level of happiness”. BBC report on this.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t hold back during his Saturday’s news conference in the Kyiv metro, describing those Russians who had planned and carried out the Odesa attack as “bastards.” Visibly angry, he said the baby was just one-month-old when the war started. “It’s simply horror… they just don’t care,” he added, stressing that the Black Sea city was struck on the eve of Orthodox Easter – a major festival in the Orthodox calendar.