The Ukrainian advance from Kharkiv is now just 10 km from the Russian border, and is beginning to threaten the rear areas of the Russian forces in Izumi. Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant has not been fully pacified. Disinformation continues as Russia claims extensive losses in the attack on Snake Island. Belarus indicates that it may enter the war but analysts see it as non-serious.
The sinking of the Russian flagship Moskva last month after it was struck by Ukrainian missiles was a blow to national pride and a real loss for the Black Sea fleet. But it has not threatened Russia’s supremacy on the Black Sea or its effective blockade of all Ukrainian ports.
“It is unlikely that the Ukrainian Navy can meaningfully capitalize on the event to break the blockade,” according to an assessment published last week by the Center for European Policy Analysis.
The blockade is strangling Ukraine’s economy and threatening to deepen the global food crisis while Russia’s dominion in the northern Black Sea continues to present Ukraine with military challenges.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine called on Tuesday for the international community to intervene to restore operations at the port of Odesa, which he said has been forced to close for the first time since World War II. His government estimates that it is costing Ukraine $175 million every day, the Ukrainian prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, said on Monday.
One reason Russia paid such a high price to secure the port city of Mariupol is that it provides control of the coast of the Sea of Azov, which links to the Black Sea. Now, the Sea of Azov is essentially a pond surrounded by Russia and Russian-controlled territory, including Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.
Beyond the blockade, Russia has targeted critical infrastructure across Ukraine to wreak havoc on the economy in an attempt to cripple the government.
The ability to fire a steady stream of Kalibr cruise missiles from warships at sea and reach anywhere into Ukraine — like the recent strikes of train infrastructure around Lviv and warehouses around Odesa — has been one of the Russian Navy’s major contributions to the war.
As Ukraine begins amassing more sophisticated and capable weapons, the war at sea could shift, Benjamin Armstrong, the principal associate of the Forum on Integrated Naval History and Seapower Studies, wrote recently in an analysis for War on the Rocks, a digital foreign affairs publication.
The Ukrainians may be soon able to employ a naval strategy that can “limit the advantages the Russians established in the early weeks of the war while at the same time giving Ukrainian naval forces the opportunity to impose costs on Russian forces.”
SASC Chairman @SenJackReed
on US intelligence sharing in #Russia
"Intelligence officials are understandably cautious about revealing hard-won insights on adversaries, but this strategy has proven highly effective..."
"...This is a great example of competing effectively in the information domain, and I hope we will continue to make use of this kind of creative tradecraft" per @SenJackReed
"The Chinese threat is beyond anything we've ever dealt w/before" per SASC Ranking Member @JimInhofe
in his opening statement
's unprovoked agression against #Ukraine
shows the danger posed by the nuclear armed #Russia
..." he adds, also citing dangers from #Iran #ISIS
: "The next month or 2 of fighting will be significant" per @ODNIgov
Dir Avril Haines
Even if Russia is successful in reinvigorating its efforts, "we are not confident that the fight in the #Donbas
will effectively end the war"
NEW-US intel believes #Russia
will not be content w/a victory in just eastern #Ukraine
"We assess Pres. #Putin is preparing for prolonged conflict in #Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond. the #Donbas" per @ODNIgovs Haines
"We assess that Pres. Putin's strategic goals have probably not changed, suggesting he regards the decision in late March to refocus Russian forces on the #Donbas as only a temporary shift to regain the initiative after the #Russia|n military's failure to capture #Kyiv" - Haines
Putin also wants to encircle #Ukraine
forces form the north & the south to the west of the #Donbas
"in order to crush the most capable & well-equipped #Ukrainian
who are fighting to hold the line in the east, per @ODNIgov
"While the #Russia
|n forces may be capable of achieving most of these near-term goals in the coming months, we believe that they will not be able to extend control over a land bridge that stretches to #Transnistria
& includes #Odesa
without launching some form of mobilization"
's calculus - "Putin most likely also judges that #Russia
has a greater ability & willingness to endure challenges than his adversaries" per @ODNIgov
's Haines "He is probably counting on US & EU resolve to weaken as food shortages, inflation, energy prices get worse"
NEW: US intel sees little hope for #Russia
talks to bear fruit
"As both Russia & Ukraine believe they can continue to make progress militarily, we do not see a viable negotiating path forward, at least in the short term" per @ODNIgov
's Haines call #Russia
invasion of #Ukraine
a "war of attrition," warns "#Putin
faces a mismatch between his ambitions & Russia's current conventional military capabilities"
"The next few months could see us moving along a more unpredictable & potentially escalatory trajectory" per @ODNIgov
's Haines on #Russia
"At the very least, we believe the dichotomy will usher in a period of more ad hoc decision-making in #Russia
..." per @ODNIgov
"The current trend increases the likelihood that Pres #Putin wil turn to more drastic means..."
"Drastic means" could include imposing martial law, reorienting production means or "potentially escalatory military actions" to free up resources, per @ODNIgov's Haines
's Haines warns of "likely flashpoints" in coming weeks as #Russia
tries to interdict Western security assistance to #Ukraine
, retaliation for sanctions
"... involving a major dispersal of mobile, intercontinental missiles, heavy bombers, strategic submarines" per @ODNIgov
"We otherwise continue to believe that Pres. #Putin would only authorize the use of nuclear weapons is he perceived an existential threat to the Russian state or regime" per @ODNIgov's Haines
But "with tensions this high there's always an enhanced potential for miscalculation, unintended escalation, which we hope our intelligence can help to mitigate" per @ODNIgov's Haines
re #Russia #Ukraine #nuclear
|n military capabilities have been used to violate the sovereignty & integrity of #Ukraine
, & they pose an existential threat to US national security & that of our allies" per @DefenseIntel
's LtGen Berrier
Sanctions impact on #Russia
- "We expect their GDP will fall, about 10%, possibly even more, over the course of the year" per @ODNIgov
"The majority of the #Russia
|n ppl continue to support the special military operation" per @ODNIgov
's Haines "I think, frankly, it's just very hard for information to get into Russia, to the Russian ppl"
learning from #Russia
"It's going to take some time for them to sort out all elements of diplomatic information, military, economic that has occurred w/this crisis" per @DefenseIntel
's LtGen Berrier
"I think they're [#China
] thinking about future operations probably against #Taiwan
& how difficult that might be" per @DefenseIntel
's LtGen Berrier
"They're probably also thinking abt the scrutiny they would come under..."
has attacked #Ukraine
in cyberspace, aimed at some command&control, per @ODNIgov
"We have not seen the level of attacks...that we expected" she says, suggesting there could be concerns about collateral damage, need to maintain access for intel
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