Ukraine Update 11 March, 2022

  • Videos making the rounds on social media Friday evening appear to show large-scale Russian rocket attacks against the Ukrainian city of Nikolayev (Mikolaiv). Fear is growing that the city will soon be entirely in Russian hands, setting the stage for it to be a multi-direction attack on Odessa, 115 kilometers southwest of Nikolayev. At present, Russian forces are closing in on Odessa from three directions. If the city falls, Ukraine faces the danger of losing its entire Black Sea coastline to Russian control.  
  • Ukrainian intelligence is claiming 18 Russian Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) have been rendered combat ineffective due to losses, with 13 others entirely destroyed. As with the majority of similar claims by the Ukrainian government or military, this one is currently lacking independent confirmation. Until it is confirmed, this information should be taken with a hearty grain of salt.
  • A purge of Russia’s FSB (Federal Security Service) appears to be underway. Numerous reports from Moscow earlier today claim that Vladimir Putin’s dissatisfaction with the intelligence service’s dreadfully inaccurate estimates of Ukrainian resistance has led to the arrests of Col Gen Sergei Beseda, head of the foreign intelligence branch of the FSB and his deputy. Changes ae apparently coming to the FSB in light of its failures, which are partly responsible for the Russian military’s dismal performance in Ukraine so far.
  • The eastern axis of Russia’s land offensive in Ukraine is picking up momentum as it moves closer to Kiev. The danger facing Ukraine capital has increased significantly over the last day as indications of a major Russian assault in the near future grow more solid and numerous.
  • Reports have surfaced about a core of Ukrainian government officials having arrived in Poland to lay the groundwork for a Ukrainian government-in-exile, should it become necessary. I will discuss this more tomorrow. However, given events over the past 36 hours, Ukraine’s government is making preparations should the worst-case scenario come about.

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