Air bombardment continues as ground forces have not made new gains. A recent guided missile strike at Lviv broke a relative calm in the western sector. “The increasingly static nature of the fighting around Kyiv reflects the incapacity of Russian forces rather than any shift in Russian objectives or efforts at this time.”
More activity occurred at the periphery with a major speech by Biden prompting MSM disinformation on a Biden comment interpretable as urging regime change.
Russian forces continued their unsuccessful efforts to move into positions from which to attack or encircle Kyiv, claims by First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Sergei Rudskoi on March 25 notwithstanding. The Russian military continues to concentrate replacements and reinforcements in Belarus and Russia north of Kyiv, to fight for positions on Kyiv’s outskirts, and to attempt to complete the encirclement and reduction of Chernihiv. Russian activities around Kyiv show no change in the Russian high command’s prioritization of the fight around Ukraine’s capital, which continues to occupy the largest single concentration of Russian ground forces in Ukraine. The Russians have not claimed to redeploy forces from Kyiv or any other part of Ukraine to concentrate on fighting in Donbas, and we have observed numerous indicators that they have not done so. The increasingly static nature of the fighting around Kyiv reflects the incapacity of Russian forces rather than any shift in Russian objectives or efforts at this time.
Ukraine said Saturday that the United States does not object to the transfer of war planes to Kyiv to help it fend off the Russian invasion, after the Pentagon previously rejected an offer from Poland.
Officials in Washington "have no objections to the transfer of aircrafts. As far as we can conclude, the ball is now on the Polish side. We will look further into this matter in our conversations with Polish colleagues", Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in written comments to AFP
His comments come shortly after a meeting in Poland with Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov and US President Joe Biden, who was visiting the NATO member to shore up US support for the country bordering Ukraine.
- Russian forces continue their unsuccessful efforts to secure positions from which to attack and seize Kyiv despite the supposed reframing of the Russian military’s priorities by First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Sergei Rudskoi on March 25.
- The Russians will likely make important progress in seizing the city of Mariupol in the coming days and will probably take the city in the near future. The scale of Russian losses in the fight for Mariupol will determine whether the city’s fall will permit Russia to renew large-scale combat operations in eastern Ukraine. It is too soon to tell, but current indicators suggest that Russian losses have been and will continue to be high.
- The Ukrainian General Staff continues to report on challenges Russia faces in finding both troops and equipment to continue the war. The General Staff reports generally match observed patterns and indicators within the Ukrainian battlespace and are likely largely accurate, although we have little independent verification of their details.
- The captured city of Kherson appears to be resisting Russian control in ways that are driving the Russian military and national guard to concentrate forces on securing it. The requirement to secure captured cities can impose a significant cost on over-stretched Russian forces and hinder their ability to conduct offensive operations.
Russian forces are engaged in four primary efforts at this time:
- Main effort—Kyiv (comprised of three subordinate supporting efforts);
- Supporting effort 1—Kharkiv;
- Supporting effort 1a—Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts;
- Supporting effort 2—Mariupol; and
- Supporting effort 3—Kherson and advances northward and westward.
Main effort—Kyiv axis: Russian operations on the Kyiv axis are aimed at encircling the city from the northwest, west, and east.
Subordinate main effort along the west bank of the Dnipro
Three weeks into Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, nearly half of Americans (47%) approve of the Biden administration’s handling of the Russian invasion, while about four-in-ten (39%) disapprove; 13% say they are not sure.
Roughly a third of Americans (32%) say that the United States is providing about the right amount of support to Ukraine as it fights to hold off the Russian invasion. A larger share – 42% – say the U.S. should be providing more support to Ukraine, while just 7% say it is providing too much support. About one-in-five (19%) say they are not sure.
The new Pew Research Center survey, conducted March 7-13, 2022, among 10,441 U.S. adults on the Center’s American Trends Panel, finds wide partisan differences in views of the administration’s handling of the crisis and the level of support the U.S. has provided to Ukraine.
However, virtually identical shares in both parties – 51% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and 50% of Democrats and Democratic leaners – regard the Russian invasion as a “major threat” to U.S. interests.