UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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DAY 377

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 377

March 7,2023

KEY TAKEAWAYS TODAY: BAKHMUT “UTTER HELL” YET UKRAINE WILL DEFEND

Above: A Czech company, Inflatech Decoys, specializes in manufacturing inflatable decoy war vehicles and weapons systems.  It recently added blowup HIMARS with thermal footprints to its product line for shipment to Ukraine.”If you lead the enemy to destroy my piece of equipment by something that is four, or maybe 20 times more expensive, then you are winning economically,” the company’s CEO said. (Reuters)


Above:  US marine with 155mm artillery shells. In January 2023, the US announced its intention to increase production capacity for artillery shells by 500% over two years in order to supply Ukraine and Western allies. March 7-8 this week, EU defense ministers will convene to discuss how to accelerate the supply of 155mm ammo to Ukraine.  (Photo: The Defense Post)


Above: Ukraine with foreign partners is training specialists in forensic archeology ahead of years of investigating Kremlin war crimes and atrocities. (General Staff)


Above: The defense of Bakhmut will continue for now.  (RFERL)

THE DEFENSE OF BAKHMUT 

  • On Tuesday, ISW concentrated on the defense of Bakhmut, reporting that Ukraine will continue to defend Bakhmut for now. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated at the end of the day on March 6 that he has ordered reinforcements to Bakhmut following his March 6 meeting with Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Zaluzhny and Commander of Ukrainian Ground Forces Syrsky when both commanders recommended the continued defense of Bakhmut and asked for reinforcements to the area.
  • Statements made by Ukrainian officials regarding Bakhmut are likely meant in part to address concerns regarding the costs of Ukraine’s continued defense of Bakhmut. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated on March 6 that he would not view a Ukrainian withdrawal from Bakhmut as a “significant strategic setback,” possibly intimating that he favors such a withdrawal.
  • Some Western reports have recently suggested that Ukraine is expending its own elite manpower and scarce equipment on mainly Wagner Group prison recruits who are cannon fodder – an exchange to Ukraine’s disadvantage even at high ratios of Russian to Ukrainian losses.
  • Wagner’s leader suggested on March 6 that he thinks the Russian Ministry of Defense is using the Battle of Bakhmut to destroy the mercenary group. He claimed that he wrote a letter to the commander of Russian forces in Ukraine with an urgent appeal for ammunition but the Wagner representative was denied access to Russian headquarters and could not deliver the appeal.
  • ISW analysts assessed that badly damaging Wagner’s ultranationalist influence, power and reputation in Russia would be an important step in the long-term “restoration of sanity” in Russia. That is an aim in both Ukraine’s and America’s interests and it raises the stakes in the Battle of Bakhmut beyond matters of terrain and battlespace geometry.

KREMLIN MANPOWER PROBLEMS CONTINUE

  • The Kremlin is returning to previously unsuccessful volunteer recruitment and crypto-mobilization campaigns to avoid ordering another unpopular involuntary reserve call-up. Western officials previously reported that Putin had been delaying announcing a second mobilization since January and was leaning towards conducting “silent mobilization” out of concern for the stability of his regime.
  • Continuing recruitment drives may indicate that the Kremlin is running out of combat-ready reserves to continue offensives beyond the Battle of Bakhmut and its failed offensives around Vuhledar and in Luhansk Oblast.
  • Russian sources continue to complain of lack of resources for its invasion forces including a lack of firearms, optical equipment, transportation, fuel, spare parts and battlefield medical support.
  • Chechen Kremlin-backed warlord Kadyrov is recruiting DNR fighters into his units in an effort to increase his influence in occupied Donetsk Oblast. Kadyrov appears to be conserving his forces by only performing policing measures without participating in combat, while other Russian armed formations are suffering significant personnel losses.

General Staff’s Daily Video Digest with English subtitles

GENERAL STAFF DAILY ENEMY LOSSES

Above: Vuhledar, Donetsk, was the stage for the war’s biggest tank battle where Ukraine destroyed at least 130 enemy tanks and APVs.  (Censor.net)

Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces estimated enemy losses since February 24, 2022 (with daily additions)

  • Liquidated personnel, 154,830 (+1060)
  • Tanks, 3,432 (+9)
  • Armored personnel vehicles, 6,714 (+11)
  • Artillery systems/MLRS, 2,456/488 (+23/0)
  • Anti-aircraft warfare systems, 253 (+3)
  • Aircraft/helicopters, 303/289 (+1/0)
  • UAV operational-tactical level, 2,095 (+9)
  • Cruise missiles, 873 (0)
  • Warships/boats, 18 (0)
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks, 5,323 (+16)
  • Special equipment, 236 (+2)

GENERAL STAFF CIVILIAN MISSILE STRIKES

Above: Pokrovsk, Donetsk, in February. (Associated Press)

Glory to Ukraine!
The 377th day of the Russian large-scale invasion has begun.

  • The occupiers are concentrating their main efforts on conducting offensive operations in the Kupyan, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiiv and Shakhtar directions. Yesterday, Ukrainian soldiers repelled more than 140 enemy attacks.
  • In total, the enemy launched 50 air strikes and 5 missile strikes. In particular, during airstrikes, the enemy used 11 Shahed-136 UAVs, 9 of which were shot down. Also, the occupiers fired 59 rocket salvo fire systems, in particular, at populated areas. The threat of missile strikes remains highly probable throughout the territory of Ukraine.
  • During the past day, the areas of Senkivka and Karpovichi settlements of Chernihiv region were shelled; Starikove, Golyshivske, Pavlivka, Volfyne and Grabovske in the Sumy region and Veterinarne, Strelecha, Krasne, Ternova, Ohirtseve, Vovchansk and Budarky in the Kharkiv
  • The enemy conducted artillery shelling of Putnykovo, Figolivka, Dvorichna, Hryanikyvka, and Krokhmalne settlements of Kharkiv region; Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka, Nevske, Chervonopivka and Dibrova – Luhansk and Terna, Yampil, Rozdolivka and Fedorivka in Donetsk
  • In the direction of Bakhmut, the enemy, despite significant losses, continues to storm the city of Bakhmut and its surroundings. Over the past day, the enemy made 37 attacks near the village of Dubovo-Vasylivka alone. Artillery and mortar attacks were recorded in the areas of Zaliznyanske, Orihovo-Vasylivka, Dubovo-Vasylivka, Chasiv-Yar, Bakhmut, Ivanovske, Stupochki, Druzhba, Toretsk, Mayorsk and New York settlements.
  • On the Avdiyiv and Shakhtarsk directions, the occupiers unsuccessfully carried out offensive actions in the direction of the settlements of Novokalynove, Krasnohorivka, Kamianka, Severna, Pervomaiske, Nevelske and Maryinka of the Donetsk In particular, Krasnohorivka, Kamianka, Avdiivka, Tonenka, Severne, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Maryinka, Vugledar and Velyka Novosilka came under enemy fire.

Support the Armed Forces! Together we will win! Glory to Ukraine!

KHARKIV-LUHANSK

Above: Warning signs posted due to extensive enemy mining of civilian areas in Izyum, Kharkiv.  Izyum was liberated in September but still suffers the physical and psychological devastation caused by six months of inhuman enemy occupation.  The Associated Press looked at the challenges facing the city and its citizens. 

  • The enemy is trying to break through the defenses in the Kupyansk and Lymansk He led unsuccessful offensive actions in the direction of the settlements of Hryanikyvka, Nevske, Bilogorivka and Fedorivka.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northwest of Svatove on March 5 and 6. Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai stated on March 5 that Russian forces tried and failed to break through Ukrainian defenses near Svatove. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations near Hryanykivka (54km northwest of Svatove).
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations near Kreminna on March 5 and 6. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations near Nevske (17km north of Kreminna), Bilohorivka (10km south of Kreminna), and the Serebrianska forest area (10km south of Kreminna).

DONETSK

Above: “Located astride two major crossroads, Bakhmut, which had a pre-war population of 70,000, has been almost completely destroyed during intense fighting.” (RFERL)


Above: A Ukrainian tank in the village of Chasiv Yar, about 30 minutes by road due west of Bakhmut. (The Guardian)

Aerial footage of Bakhmut from Associated Press. (View the video)


Above:  In the fog of war, UK’s Defense Intelligence offers one of many equally credible but somewhat varying assessments of the situation in Bakhmut.  

  • Russian forces continued ground attacks in and around Bakhmut on March 6 and secured gains but still have not succeeded in encircling the city. Geolocated footage posted on March 6 shows Wagner Group infantry hanging a Wagner flag and posing in front of the T-34 tank monument in eastern Bakhmut, confirming the Wagner has advanced westward along Maksyma Horkoho street towards Bakhmut’s city center.
  • Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks on Bakhmut itself; northwest of Bakhmut near Zalizianske (7km northwest), Dubovo-Vasylivka (6km northwest), and Orikhovo-Vasylivka (10km northwest); and west of Bakhmut near Ivanivske (5km west).
  • Russian forces continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline on March 5 and 6. Russian troops conducted unsuccessful offensive actions towards Avdiivka itself; around Avdiivka near Krasnohorivka (9km north of Avdiivka), Kamianka (5km northeast of Avdiivka), and Severne (5km west of Avdiivka); on the northwestern outskirts of Donetsk City near Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, and Krasnohorivka (the Krasnohorivka just northwest of Donetsk City and not the Krasnohorivka north of Avdiivka); and on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City near Maryinka and Pobieda.
  • Russian forces concentrating near Krasnohorivka and Vodyane on the northwestern outskirts of Donetsk City are comprised of heavily degraded and poorly reconstituted elements of three separate military districts suggests that Russian forces will be unable to pursue successful offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast in the near future.
  • Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks in western Donetsk Oblast on March 5 or 6. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in the western Donetsk direction on both March 5 and 6 but did not specify where these offensive actions occurred

ZAPORIZHZHIA-KHERSON-CRIMEA

Above:  View of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhya, from across the Kakhovka Reservoir.  “Nearly a year after Russia’s March 4, 2022 seizure of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, the facility remains in a precarious state. The site has endured fire, structural damage, and five temporary losses of all offsite power as the result of shelling, and the grid connection remains fragile.” (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

  • Ongoing efforts to stabilize the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant have stalled amid deteriorating conditions at the plant. Russian authorities are operating the ZNPP in a way that damages the equipment and facilities. Russian authorities struggle with a “catastrophic” shortage of personnel to operate the ZNPP and employ personnel without proper training or credentials.
  • Energoatom reported on March 6 that Russian authorities made plans to loot the ZNPP of specialized equipment in case Russian forces withdraw from the plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency stated that unspecified “military action” near the ZNPP has increased in recent weeks and reiterated calls to establish a safety and security zone at the plant.
  • The occupiers continue to exert pressure on the residents of the Zaporizhzhia region to renounce Ukrainian citizenship for Russian. In some localities, people who do not have Russian citizenship cannot receive payments, in particular, salaries. Payment must be made exclusively through cards of Russian banks issued only to Russian passport holders.
  • Russian milbloggers are increasingly concerned that Ukrainian forces may conduct a counteroffensive in southern Ukraine. Zaporizhzhia Oblast occupation officials claimed on March 6 that Ukrainian forces have massed 12,000 troops for an offensive push towards the Sea of Azov coastline in late March or early April.

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