The Ukraine update: what happened last night
Russia is changing its tactics – this is jeopardizing long-term success
The Russian army is currently losing ground in the battle for Bakhmut. Now those responsible are trying to take countermeasures and are pushing fighters from other locations to the front in Bachmut. As the military experts of the US think tank “Institute for the Study of War” analyze, the Russians want to secure their hard-fought areas there. The front line is no longer stable, and complete capture of the city is no longer guaranteed.
But what prevents a defeat for Bachmut in the short term and possibly still enables a victory could cost the Russians dearly, according to the “ISW” researchers. Because the soldiers are missing at other crucial points where the Russian army is arming itself for the Ukrainian counter-offensive. “Short-term tactical concerns could undermine long-term success,” write the “ISW” experts.
So Russia is changing tactics to hold or even conquer Bakhmut. The calculus: Putin needs a victory before the Ukrainian counter-offensive brings a few defeats. Only: Despite great efforts and high losses, the Russians have not managed to take Bakhmut to this day. Months ago, efforts began to be scaled back. The Wagner mercenaries were no longer allowed to recruit prisoners and were given less and less ammunition. So now the about-face: But Bachmut. At what price?
Britain and Netherlands for fighter jet coalition for Ukraine
Ukraine is a step further in its efforts to acquire modern western fighter jets for its counter-attack against Russia. Britain and the Netherlands want to build an international coalition to help Ukraine procure US F-16 jets, a British government spokesman said Tuesday night, according to the PA news agency. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that France also supports it. He sees the efforts to strengthen the Ukrainian Air Force as a positive development.
The United States, however, has so far refused to send the F-16 fighter jets requested by Ukraine. This position was confirmed by US officials several times. Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian leadership have been trying for months to obtain modern combat aircraft from Western allies. So far, all of Ukraine’s partners, above all the USA, have largely held back on this issue.
A UK government spokesman said: “The Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak) and Dutch Prime Minister (Mark) Rutte agreed to form an international coalition to provide Ukraine with air combat resources, from training to procurement of F16 jets.” By the Dutch The government initially gave no confirmation of this.
On his short tour of Europe in the past few days, Selenskyj seems to have received support for the intended fighter jet coalition in France as well. “Yesterday in Britain we agreed with Rishi (Sunak), the Prime Minister, that we are working on a coalition of fighter jets – training, aircraft, results,” Zelenskyy said in his evening video address on Tuesday. “Yesterday this was supported by French President (Emmanuel) Macron, and today by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte,” he added. “A good start for the coalition! I thank all of you!”
However, on Sunday, Macron, like Chancellor Olaf Scholz, reacted cautiously to Selenskyj’s repeated calls to deliver fighter jets.
During Zelenskyy’s visit to the UK, Sunak announced that London wanted to train Ukrainian pilots on Western jets “quite soon”. The prime minister announced the establishment of a flight school for Ukrainian pilots. This would allow them to be trained on different types of aircraft. On Tuesday, Sunak reiterated that Ukraine has its rightful place in NATO, according to the government spokesman.
Zelenskyj: We show what the power of the free world means
After the renewed heavy rocket fire on Ukraine, Zelenskyj emphasized European cohesion. “Russia is trying hard to improve its ability to kill. We make every effort to improve the protection of our population. And thank you to all the countries and leaders who are helping us improve our overall air defenses. We show what our 100 percent means and what the power of the free world means,” said Zelenskyj via video link at the Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik on Tuesday.
Scholz does not want to break bridges to the “other Russia”.
At the Council of Europe summit, Chancellor Scholz spoke out in favor of not cutting the bridges to the “other Russia” beyond President Vladimir Putin and his government. At some point, Russia’s war against Ukraine will end, said the SPD politician at the start of the top meeting, to which more than 30 heads of state and government from a total of 46 member countries were expected.
“And one thing is certain: it will not end with a victory for Putin’s imperialism.” Because Ukraine will be supported until a just peace is achieved.
Russians are advancing in Bakhmut – Ukrainians are advancing around Bakhmut
A paradoxical frontline situation developed in the fighting for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. While Ukrainian troops continue to advance on the fronts around the city, Russian troops continue to push back Ukrainian defenders inside the city, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar told Telegram. “Within a few days, our troops have cleared around 20 square kilometers north and south of Bakhmut of the enemy, who in turn is advancing inside Bakhmut and completely destroying the city with its artillery.”
With the advance of Ukrainian troops on the flanks of the Russian armed forces, the “mousetrap” indicated by the Ukrainian army commander Olexander Syrskyj could close further for the Russian soldiers.
Kiev: Around 400,000 Russians deployed in Ukraine
According to estimates by the Ukrainian military intelligence service, around 400,000 Russians are currently deployed in Ukraine. The purely military component consists of around 370,000 soldiers, said secret service chief Kyrylo Budanov on state television in Kiev. There are also around 20,000 members of the Russian Guard, an elite paramilitary unit in the Russian Federation. Private groups provided almost 7,000 more fighters. The latter includes the Wagner mercenary group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin.
The losses suffered by Russian troops since the invasion of Ukraine began in February last year are estimated in Kiev at almost 200,000. However, it is not clear from these statistics, which are updated daily, whether this only refers to the dead or also to the wounded. Actual figures on troop strength or casualties are not published by either conflicting party.
That will be important on Wednesday
At their summit in Reykjavik, the 46 countries of the Council of Europe want to decide on a register for war damage in Ukraine. In this way, all damage caused by the Russian war of aggression should be documented so that Russia has to take legal and financial responsibility for it. All member countries, but also observers and other states could then join the register.
The idea goes back, among other things, to a resolution of the United Nations. French President Macron also campaigned for the register: “I call on all states to join it and actively contribute to its development.”