SUMMARY UKRAINE– WEEK 13
Disclaimer! Information regarding the Ukraine war is based on western media and intelligence, which is very deliberately being utilized as means in an information- and narrative war to undermine Russia and Putin’s war narrative. This does not necessarily mean that the western reports and news are mis-or disinformation, but it is important to remember that they serve a strategic purpose.
Intelligence reports suggest that Russian forces continue to be demoralized and bogged down, while Putin is ill-informed. The British intelligence agency GCHQ has reported that Russian troops refuse to carry out Putin’s orders, that they are sabotaging their own equipment and that Putin has made strategic errors and misjudgements because his advisors are afraid to tell him the truth.
Ukrainian forces continue to hold the city centre in Mariupol, but Russian troops gain ground in the southern parts of the city with heavy shelling. However, both Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement regarding evacuation corridors for civilians from Mariupol. The Red Cross will facilitate the transports. Simultaneously, Ukrainian officials state that Russian troops are not allowing any humanitarian aid to enter the city.
Ukrainian forces have been relatively successful in counterattacking Russian troops northwest, east and northeast of Kiev. However, Russia continues to pose a significant threat due to its striking capacity over the capital.
US and Ukraine officials report that Russian troops are withdrawing from the occupied Chernobyl area, with a significant dose of radiation. However, this has not been confirmed and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will conduct an independent investigation. Ukrainian officials have previously accused Russian troops of acting irresponsible around the Chernobyl area.
Russia reports reductions in its military activity around Charkiv and Chernihiv. Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, has stated that the goal of Russia’s invasion has always been to liberate the Donbas region. Nonetheless, Ukrainian officials report that heavy shelling and missile strikes have continued in both cities, as well as in the Donbas Region. Furthermore, NATO has stated that Russian forces are not withdrawing, but regrouping, and Ukrainian president Zelensky has repeatedly stated that Russia is planning a major offensive in the Donbas region.
This week’s negotiations: Ukraine proposed a 15-year bilateral negotiation with Russia on the stats of Crimea and a pledge of neutrality, meaning no military alliance and no hosting of military bases.
Ukrainian general reports that Russian forces may be regrouping in Belarus. Movement of Russian military equipment has reportedly been spotted in Belarus. Ukraine officials has stated that Russia is attempting to concentrate missile systems in Belarus, for potential use against Ukraine. Furthermore, British military intelligence suggest that Russia is redeploying troops from Georgia to Ukraine.
Russia has accused Ukraine of a helicopter attack on an oil depot inside Russia. This has not been confirmed by Ukraine, raising questions about whether Russian negligence is to be blamed. However, it would be the first attack on Russian soil since the outbreak of the war if confirmed.