55 weeks of war, with offenses and counter-offensives ahead.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmitry Kuleba blasted the West for not giving Ukraine weapons fast enough. "If anyone in the world thinks that the way this or that country behaved – or treated Ukraine at the darkest moment of its history – will not be taken into account in building future relations, these people just don’t know how diplomacy works,”
As Russian offensive power seemed to peter out across Ukraine’s eastern front, mercenary forces from Russia’s Wagner Group doubled down on attacks against the Ukrainian defenders of Bakhmut city in the Donetsk region during the 55th week of the war.
Ukrainian Colonel Oleksiy Dmytrashkivskyi said Russian ground attacks had decreased over the past week across the front from a high of up to 100 per day to below 30 per day, while there were between two and nine attacks at night. Dmytrashkivskyi believed Russian forces had suffered significant manpower and equipment losses.
The United Kingdom’s defence ministry in its latest intelligence update reported that fighting had also slowed round Vuhledar in the Donetsk region, and the only recent success had been seen in the battle for Bakhmut.
“Over the last week, Russian attempts to assault the Donetsk oblast town of Vuhledar have almost certainly slowed. This follows repeated, extremely costly failed attacks over the previous three months… Russia’s only recent tactical success has been in the Bakhmut sector,” the ministry said.
Other NATO countries are considering sending planes such as the MiG-29 - a model which dates from the time of the Soviet Union - which Ukrainian pilots are trained to fly.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov condemned the plans, saying that the aircraft would not affect the outcome of Moscow's "special military operation", as it calls the war.
He said they would only "bring additional woes for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people".
"Of course, during the special military operation, all this equipment will be subject to destruction," the spokesman added.
The Polish and Slovak pledges are a positive move for Ukraine - which has more pilots than planes - but will not make a decisive difference.
Western military officers remain skeptical about modern fighters. Their focus is on helping Ukraine win the battle on the ground.
The front lines are swamped with air defence systems on both sides. The Russian air force is much bigger than Ukraine's and it hasn't been able to gain control of the skies.
For successful counteroffensive actions, Ukraine needs, in particular, modern long-range air defence equipment and modern multipurpose fighter aircraft.
Source: Yurii Ihnat, Spokesperson of the Air Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on air of the national 24/7 news broadcast
Quote: "To achieve success in counter-offensive operations, [the Armed Forces of Ukraine – ed.] need to stop the enemy (its offensive actions), then gain air superiority, and this can be achieved with modern powerful air defence systems and modern fighter aircraft, which will ensure this dominance in the air over the occupied territories and disrupt logistics supplying the enemy with fuel and ammunition.
Then the counteroffensive operation will be successful.
For this purpose, in fact, we need modern long-range air defence systems and modern multi-purpose fighter aircraft, which can quickly provide us with what I named."
NATO estimates that Russia loses 1,500 soldiers in the fights in Ukraine daily. This number includes both killed and injured members of personnel.
Source: European Pravda with reference to a top NATO official who preferred to remain anonymous
Dan Sabo, correspondent of The Guardian, cites his source which states that Russians suffer most significant losses in the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.
Ukraine loses "an order of magnitude less" soldiers but specific numbers were not revealed. In addition to this, NATO estimates that "several thousand" shells are used by both sides every day.
NATO cannot predict for how long the battle of Bakhmut will continue. At the moment, heavy fighting is ongoing on the frontline in the city along the Bakhmutka river which has turned into a "killing zone".
As of the beginning of March, Western intelligence estimated Russia's losses in the fights for the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast to be 20,000-30,000 of recruits of the Wagner Group PMC in the last few months. Killed soldiers are estimated to be about a third of this quantity.
Then NATO estimated Russia's losses in the battles for Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast to be five times higher than Ukraine’s losses.
2007 Rally of Eurasian Youth movement:
"The event was opened by Spiritual leader Alexander Dugin: “As Heraclitus said. War is the Father of things!
The audience chanted slogans: “Glory to the Russian weapons; Death to the orange bastards! (Ukrainians).”