Ukraine Update 1 March, 2022 (Early Afternoon)

Good Afternoon!

-The Russian defense ministry has released a statement warning that it will be carrying out strikes against specific targets in Kiev and is advising residents nearby to leave the area at once. The targets in the crosshairs are the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the 72nd Main Center for Information and Psychological Operations (PSO). “In order to suppress information attacks against Russia, the technological facilities of the SBU and the 72nd main PSO center in Kyiv will be hit with high-precision weapons,” the statement said, according to TASS. “We call on Ukrainian citizens attracted by Ukrainian nationalists to carry out provocations against Russia, as well as residents of Kyiv living near relay nodes leave their homes.” Relay nodes include television towers and earlier this morning, videos of Kiev’s largest tower being attacked were visible across numerous media and social media platforms. The fact that this attack was made in broad daylight came as a surprise to some observers.  More attacks are expected in the coming hours as darkness has arrived in Ukraine.

-The Polish government has confirmed it will not be transferring some of its air force’s combat aircraft to the Ukrainian air force. Slovakia’s defense ministry also stated officially that its aircraft are not going to Ukraine. So, the EU push to get member-states to send MiG and Sukhoi warplanes, similar to what the Ukrainians fly, to replace losses suffered by the Ukrainian air force, is officially dead. The Polish government grew anxious yesterday as reports that Polish airbases would be used by the Ukrainian pilots surfaced in the media. It is unclear whether or not this played a role in the program, or if the deal even truly existed in the first place. Disinformation and rumors are simply rampant at this point in the conflict.

-Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s impassioned speech to an emergency session of the EU Parliament was very well received. The Ukrainian president is pressing for a fast track to EU membership for his country, and at least in the short term, the Union looks determined to push the membership request through if at all possible.

-The situation in Odessa remains unknown at this hour as the fog of war continues to hang over the city and surrounding area. News of an aborted Russian amphibious assault this morning has been followed up by reports of Russian sailors staging a mutiny aboard the amphibious group’s ships or in their home port of Sevastopol. Photo and video coming out of the city show scenes of civilians hunkering down and preparing defenses around the city. An amphibious landing is certainly possible, as is an attack from the west out of Transnistria, where a sizeable force of Russian troops is positioned.

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