Situation Report 26 – April 2022 : Diplomat Magazine

At the grand strategic political and diplomatic level, at the invitation of the US, 40 countries are meeting at a security summit in Germany to discuss further arms supplies to Ukraine and the country’s longer-term security once the war is over.


Coming out of the summit, in a major policy turn, Germany will reportedly authorize tank and armoured vehicle deliveries to Ukraine.


The US and Britain have reportedly provided Sweden with security guarantees during its NATO application process.


The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.


Lavrov has warned NATO not to underestimate the elevated risks of nuclear war and said he viewed NATO as being engaged in a proxy war with Russia by supplying Kyiv with weaponry.


US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called Russia’s rhetoric about the potential use of its nuclear weapons “very dangerous and unhelpful.”


The International Criminal Court will take part in investigating allegations of war crimes in Ukraine.


On the ground, the two strategic oil storage depots at Bryansk so key to Russian war logistics were hit by Ukrainian TB-2 drone strikes. UK Defence Minister James Heappey said strikes on supply lines in Russia were a “legitimate” part of war.


The UK estimates that 15,000 Russian troops have been killed since the war started. Likely three times that number are wounded or about 45,000 soldiers meaning out of an original force of 190,000 plus invaders Russia is down 60,000 dead and wounded. 


Russian troops have likely lost more than 500 tanks and 300 armoured vehicles, according to the specialised blog Oryx, which lists material losses in Ukraine on the basis of photographic and video evidence collected on the battlefield.


Belarus announced major military exercises with Russia starting tomorrow as more military assets were observed moved near the Ukrainian border.


Russian and Belarusian forces continue “demonstrative actions” to fix Ukrainian forces around Kyiv in place.


Kharkiv remains isolated and heavily damaged by Russian forces.


Russia is also continuing to build up troops in the northeast, intended to partially blockade the heavily hit city of Kharkiv. 


The UK Ministry of Defence has warned that Russian forces are attempting to encircle heavily fortified Ukrainian positions in the east of the country.


On the Izyum to Rubizhne axis Russian troops are pushing down multiple parallel roads within supporting distance of one another bringing more combat power to bear than their attacks around Kyiv and to the north. 


Russian forces are advancing from Izyum southwest toward Barvinkove and southeast toward Slovyansk, and west and south of Rubizhne.


Ukrainian officials reported heavy fighting continuing in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and six enemy attacks have been repulsed in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. 


In Donbas, an entire Ukrainian Battalion has reportedly surrendered to Russians in Lyman. In Donotroisky, Russian units forced Ukrainian paratroopers of the 25th Airborne Brigade to abandon positions they have held since 2014.


Russian troops continue to struggle to penetrate prepared defenses to take Avdiivka, just north of Donetsk City, or to advance through Popasna. 


Russian forces are focusing particularly on the Kramatorsk and Sloviansk towns in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, and on Kryvyi Rih in the southern Kherson region.


Two Russian air-launched guided missiles hit the city of Zaporizhzhia in central Ukraine Tuesday. 


Russian forces carried out air raids on Ukrainian positions in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where more than 1,000 civilians are also sheltering. 


A third mass grave has been discovered near Mariupol.


The city of Kherson has fallen to Russian control.


Russia announced it will stage a referendum in the broader occupied Kherson region on Wednesday, asking people to approve the “independence” of a new entity called “the Kherson People’s Republic.”


Russian forces tried to advance toward the city of Mykolaiv with increased shelling and artillery but two attacks failed. 


Russian forces conducted a false flag attack in Transnistria to amplify Russian claims of anti-Russian sentiment in Moldova, but Transnistrian forces remain unlikely to enter the war in Ukraine.


The two motorized rifle battalions Russia has maintained in Transnistria since the end of the Cold War are not likely sufficient to mount a credible attack on Odesa without significant reinforcements. 



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