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Sherman A1

Sherman A1's Journal
Sherman A1's Journal
March 7, 2022

RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, MARCH 6

Mar 6, 2022 - Press ISW

Fredrick W. Kagan, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko

March 6, 2:00 PM EST

The military situation on the ground has not changed significantly in the past 24 hours. Russian forces continue to mass for renewed offensive operations east and west of Kyiv, west of Kharkiv, and toward Mykolayiv-Odesa but have not yet initiated new large-scale ground attacks. Russia has increased aerial and artillery/rocket attacks on civilian positions and infrastructure, including known evacuation corridors. Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted a second counter-attack in two days, this time near Mariupol. The Ukrainian air force and air defense forces continue to operate, inflicting damage on Russian ground forces and disrupting Russian air and missile operations.

Key Takeaways

Russian forces spent the past 24 hours largely regrouping and preparing for renewing offensive operations around Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Mykolayiv.

The Ukrainian General Staff reports the presence of a large concentration of Russian forces west of Kharkiv that it assesses will launch a wide offensive southwest toward the Dnipro River, although no such offensive has begun as of this publication.

Main effort—Kyiv axis: Russian operations on the Kyiv axis consist of a main effort aimed at enveloping and ultimately encircling the city from the west and supporting efforts along the Chernihiv and Sumy axes to encircle it from the northeast and east.

Russian forces near Kyiv have continued to concentrate in preparation for resuming offensive operations both east and west of the city. They have conducted limited movements to advance the western envelopment but have not gained much ground.

Much More at Link

https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-6

March 6, 2022

Mapping Russia's Most Costly Tank Losses Ukraine War

This YouTube seems to be a decent and most recent accumulation of Russian losses it also shows several different vehicle types. Not everything on the battlefield is a tank despite media reports to the contrary.

March 5, 2022

UKRAINE CONFLICT UPDATE 15

Institute for the Study of War, Russia Team

with the Critical Threats Project, AEI

March 4, 2022

ISW published its most recent Russian campaign assessment at 3:00 pm EST on March 4.

This daily synthetic product covers key events related to renewed Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Key Takeaways March 4

Russian forces have advanced rapidly on the eastern outskirts of Kyiv, likely from the Sumy axis, and may attempt to encircle and/or attack the capital on the east bank of the Dnipro in the coming 24-48 hours.

Russian troops did not press a ground offensive against Kharkiv in the last 24 hours but have instead diverted forces to the west and southeast, likely supporting efforts against Kyiv and in and around Donbas respectively.

Russian troops have surrounded Mariupol and are attacking it brutally to destroy it or compel its capitulation.

Russian forces have renewed their ground advance on Mykolayiv, having secured Kherson city, likely to set conditions for a further attack toward Odesa. Russian naval infantry are likely poised to conduct amphibious landings near Odesa when Russian forces have secured or are close to securing a reliable ground route from Crimea to Odesa.

Much more at link:

https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/ukraine-conflict-update-15

March 5, 2022

RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, MARCH 4

Fredrick W. Kagan, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko

March 4, 3:00 pm EST

Russian forces continue their focus on encircling Kyiv. The western envelopment remains bogged down but Russian troops have moved more rapidly from the east and are arriving in the capital’s outskirts on the Sumy axis. The speed of the advance from the east is likely to slow as Russian forces leave sparsely-inhabited and flat terrain and enter the more congested and built-up eastern suburbs. Russian mechanized forces around Kharkiv appear to be supporting operations toward the east and west of the city, likely weakening their ability to encircle or seize it.

The Russian military has concentrated considerable combat power around Mariupol to encircle and ultimately seize or destroy it. The purpose of this effort is not entirely clear. The capture or destruction of Mariupol will not likely materially affect the outcome of the war, whose decisive operations are more than 600 kilometers northwest around Kyiv. Russian forces have also renewed their ground offensive west from Crimea toward Odesa, currently focusing on advancing from Kherson to Mykolayiv, and seized the Zaporizhya Nuclear Power Plant north of Crimea. The continued pursuit of objectives along three diverging axes by the same group of forces in Crimea has hindered the Russian military’s ability to generate decisive effects on any of the three.

Key Takeaways

Russian forces have advanced rapidly on the eastern outskirts of Kyiv likely from the Sumy axis and may attempt to encircle and/or attack the capital on the east bank of the Dnipro in the coming 24-48 hours;
Russian troops did not press a ground offensive against Kharkiv in the last 24 hours but have instead diverted forces to the west and southeast, likely supporting efforts against Kyiv and in and around Donbas respectively;

https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-4

March 4, 2022

Peace Time: Conscription Extinction

March 3, 2022: The February 24 Russian invasion of Ukraine is revealing to the rest of the world problems the Russian military has suffered from for over a century. It’s all about conscription and, since 1917, the Russian government not trusting their troops and Russians now going to extremes to avoid being conscripted. This widespread opposition to peacetime conscription was unique to Russia. Other European nations adopted conscription as early as the 1800s, but none had as much popular dislike of conscription and some very real reasons to avoid conscript service.

Even the United States, which rarely used peacetime conscription, had it during peacetime for about fifteen years between 1940 and 1973. Americans tolerated conscription in wartime as long as all young men were subject to it. During the civil war it was possible for families with money to pay a relatively large sum to keep their sons out of uniform. This led to violence in many areas. By 1940, when peacetime conscription was once more used, there were no problems with selectivity. The “who should serve” problem returned in the 1960s. This is often attributed to the unpopular Vietnam War (1965-72) but conscription was also unpopular during the earlier (1950-53) Korean War. Both wars were unpopular with most Americans because the United States was not threatened with attack, unlike the two World Wars. In Korea the government used reservists as much as possible and kept the war from escalating, so few conscripts were sent into battle. The 1960s was different because the large Baby Boom generation, of children born after World War II, were reaching 18 in large numbers throughout the decade and even without a war in Vietnam, there would have been growing popular support for eliminating conscription because there were far more young men available for conscription than the military needed. Even with the Vietnam War, by 1970 politicians had to heed demands for an end to peacetime conscription and that was done by 1973. Britain, alone among European nations, also had a tradition of avoiding peacetime conscription. Britain had conscription during World War I but dropped it in 1920. Conscription returned in World War II but despite the Cold War, Britain ended conscription in 1960.

When the Cold War ended unexpectedly in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, European voters began demanding an end to conscription. That happened throughout Europe during the 1990s, but was reversed after 2014 when a much-reduced Russian military again became a threat. This was a different threat because post-Soviet Russia had a military one fifth the size of the Cold War Soviet forces and most of the troops were very reluctant conscripts who only had to serve one year. Even that was worth a large bribe, if your family could afford it, to buy an exemption. One of the many causes of the Soviet Union collapsing was increasing public protests against Russian conscripts being killed in an unpopular eight-year war in Afghanistan. Some 15,000 Russian died in Afghanistan, most of them conscripts. There were unprecedented public protests by parents who had lost sons as well as parents who did not want their conscripted sons sent there.

In the 1990s there were more protests, this time by Russian voters in a democratic Russia that sent thousands of conscripts into the Caucasus to put down a Chechen uprising. Many conscripts were killed and Russian leaders finally remembered that they lowered their losses in Afghanistan by depending more on commandos and airborne troops, who were all volunteers. Some of those volunteers were conscripts who felt up to the challenge of being a spetsnaz commando or paratrooper and the Afghans feared these troops. By 2014 Russian leaders realized that getting conscripts killed in combat outside of Russia was not worth the political trouble and formed all-volunteer combat units that were only about ten percent of the military and that was but one of many problems that still existed in the Russian military.

https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htpeace/articles/20220303.aspx

March 3, 2022

RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, MARCH 3

Mason Clark, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko

March 3, 4:00 pm EST

The Russian military has continued its unsuccessful attempts to encircle Kyiv and capture Kharkiv. The Russians continued to attack piecemeal, committing a few battalion tactical groups at a time rather than concentrating overwhelming force to achieve decisive effects. Russian commanders appear to prefer opening up new lines of advance for regiment-sized operations but have been unable to achieve meaningful synergies between efforts along different axes toward the same objectives. They have also continued conducting operations in southern Ukraine along three diverging axes rather than concentrating on one or attempting mutually supporting efforts. These failures of basic operational art—long a strong suit of the Soviet military and heavily studied at Russian military academies—remain inexplicable as does the Russian military’s failure to gain air superiority or at least to ground the Ukrainian Air Force. The Russian conventional military continues to underperform badly, although it may still wear down and defeat the conventional Ukrainian military by sheer force of numbers and brutality. Initial indications that Russia is mobilizing reinforcements from as far away as the Pacific Ocean are concerning in this respect. Those indications also suggest, however, that the Russian General Staff has concluded that the forces it initially concentrated for the invasion of Ukraine will be insufficient to achieve Moscow’s military objectives.

Operations to envelop Kyiv remain Russia’s main effort. Russian troops are also continuing three supporting efforts, one to seize Kharkiv, one to take Mariupol and secure the “land bridge” connecting Rostov-on-Don to Crimea, and one to secure Kherson and set conditions for a drive west toward Mykolayiv and Odesa.

The Russian attack on Kyiv likely consists of a main effort aimed at enveloping and ultimately encircling the city from the west and a supporting effort along the axes from Chernihiv and Sumy to encircle it from the east.

Russian forces in the south resumed offensive operations toward Mykolayiv on March 3 after securing Kherson on March 2, but do not appear to pose an imminent danger to Odesa. Russian forces likely seek to force Mariupol to capitulate by destroying critical civilian
infrastructure and killing civilians to create a humanitarian catastrophe—an approach Russian forces have repeatedly taken in Syria.[1]



https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-3

March 3, 2022

THE WARGAME BEFORE THE WAR: RUSSIA ATTACKS UKRAINE

In the two weeks prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Marine Corps University ran a four-day wargame to simulate the first several days of just such an invasion. One of us ran the wargame while the others played the Ukrainian and Russian forces. Despite a few stark differences, the current Russian offensive is playing out in ways eerily similar to that simulation.

By the time the wargame ended, the overall situation appeared very much as it does on the ground in Ukraine, with only two major deviations. First, the Russians have pushed harder out of Belarus to the west of the Dneiper — north of Kyiv — to strike the city from the rear. And secondly, the Russian assault in Kherson was temporarily halted, as the axis of advance in the south for a time turned northeast toward Mariupol. Both of these actions were, however, discussed by the players in the wargame.

Another difference was in the impact of the Russian air and missile campaign. In the game, Russian operations began with a series of missile and airstrikes, aimed at eliminating Ukraine’s air force and destroying the country’s integrated air defense system. Thus, the Russian players’ primary focus, during the first few days of the campaign, was aimed at gaining freedom of maneuver in the skies — air dominance — along with destroying Ukraine’s coastal defense systems. So, although the number of actual strikes made by the Russians in the conflict’s first 24-hours tracked almost exactly to what was employed by the Russians in the wargame, the impact was substantially different. In the wargame, every strike was focused on eliminating Ukraine’s air force and air defense network. In real life, the Russian strikes appear to have been more widely spread over a range of targets. Thus, the Russians employed far fewer munitions than required to cripple Ukraine’s air defenses or to significantly degrade their ability to control forces in the field. In short, unlike in the game, the Russian attacks were damaging but insufficient to overwhelm Ukraine’s defenses.

Much of the Ukrainian air force was destroyed on the ground as a result of Kalibr and Kh-101 cruise missile strikes, special operations-enabled targeting and direct action, and air strikes. The surviving remnants were overwhelmed and destroyed in the air, some being shot down by long-range air defense systems in Russia, with ranges extending into Ukrainian airspace. This stands in stark contrast to what Russia has achieved in its actual operations. Going into the fifth day of the war, Ukraine’s air defenses are still functioning, even if at a reduced level of effectiveness. Moreover, by all accounts, the Ukrainian air force remains in the fight, and in combination with the remaining air defenses is having some success in contesting Ukraine’s airspace. At present, the Russians appear to possess air superiority, but the reported 30+ sorties the Ukrainians are launching daily have denied the Russians the level of air dominance that they achieved in the wargame. Primary initial targets in the wargame were Ukrainian S-300 systems around Kyiv, the Dnieper River bend, Kherson, and Odessa. Secondary targets were Ukraine’s dozens of BUK (SA-17) systems. The damage done to Ukraine’s air defense system was extensive, neutralizing the core integrated air defense network in the first two days, although the dispersion of Ukraine’s BUK systems assured a residual anti-air capability. Moreover, at the cost of 30 to 40 aircraft, in the wargame, the Russians gained air dominance, as the Ukrainian air force was virtually wiped out by day three of the wargame. There were likely some residual survivors, but Ukraine’s ability to operate at the squadron level was neutralized.

https://warontherocks.com/2022/03/the-wargame-before-the-war-russia-attacks-ukraine/

March 3, 2022

Ukraine Conflict Assessment 13

Institute for the Study of War, Russia Team

with the Critical Threats Project, AEI

March 2, 2022

ISW published its most recent Russian campaign assessment at 4:30 pm EST on March 2.

This daily synthetic product covers key events related to renewed Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Key Takeaways March 2

Russian forces resumed offensive operations against Kyiv’s western outskirts on March 2 after pausing for resupply from February 27 to March 1 but failed to secure any additional territory.
Russian forces launched offensive operations in Zhytomyr Oblast, expanding their envelopment of Kyiv further west than ISW previously assessed—likely to outflank stronger-than-anticipated Ukrainian resistance and limited Ukrainian counterattacks in Kyiv’s outskirts.
Russian forces renewed advances toward northeastern Kyiv on March 2, reaching a line approximately 65km from the city center on that axis.
Russian forces assaulted central Kharkiv and continued to heavily bombard the city on March 2, likely increasing civilian casualties.

https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/ukraine-conflict-assessment-13

March 3, 2022

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 2

March 2, 4:30 pm EST

Russian forces resumed offensive operations in support of their envelopment of Kyiv on March 2 but made few territorial advances. Russian forces resumed offensive operations on both axes of advance toward Kyiv after largely pausing for 72 hours to reinforce and resupply their troops north and west of Kyiv. Russian operations to envelop Kyiv are Moscow’s main effort. Russian troops are also undertaking three supporting efforts, one to seize Kharkiv, one to take Mariupol and secure the “land bridge” connecting Rostov-on-Don to Crimea, and one to secure Kherson and set conditions for a drive west toward Mykolayiv and Odesa. The three supporting operations were active in the last 24 hours; Russian forces likely captured Kherson and began a bombardment of critical civilian infrastructure in Mariupol in a likely effort to force the city to surrender while making few territorial gains in Kharkiv.

The Russian attack on Kyiv likely consists of a main effort aimed at enveloping and ultimately encircling the city from the west and a supporting effort along the axes from Chernihiv and Sumy to encircle it from the east. The long Russian column of combat and logistics vehicles observed north of Kyiv in the last 48 hours is likely now supporting attacks directly into the city from positions Russian forces maintain in Kyiv’s northwestern outskirts. However, Russian forces are more likely to prioritize the envelopment/encirclement in the coming days, rather than a direct assault into the city.

Russian forces resumed frontal assaults on Kharkiv on March 2 and continued using area-attack weapons, dramatically increasing the damage to civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties. Russian ground forces appear to be conducting another frontal assault on Kharkiv from the northeast rather than enveloping the city and will likely face protracted Ukrainian resistance.

Russian forces in the south likely secured Kherson, began bombarding civilian infrastructure in Mariupol in a likely attempt to force the city to surrender without a direct assault, and appear to be holding their positions south of Zaporizhya. Russian forces will likely resume offensive operations towards Mikolayiv in the next 24 hours but do not appear to pose an imminent danger to Odesa. Russian forces likely seek to force Mariupol to capitulate by destroying critical civilian infrastructure and killing civilians to create a humanitarian catastrophe – an approach Russian forces have repeatedly taken in Syria.[1] A Russian drive north through or near Zaprozhya to cut off Ukrainian forces fighting along the line of contact appears very unlikely in the next 24-72 hours.

https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-2

March 2, 2022

Russian Offensive campaign Assessment , March 1

This is a fairly long read with more at the link provide. It seems to be a very authoritative grouping of information and while perhaps not fitting into the Drama Cable News and Twitter feed hyperbole narratives it gives some insight into current operational conditions.

Frederick W. Kagan, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko

March 1, 3:00 pm EST

Russian forces are completing the reinforcement and resupply of their troops north and west of Kyiv and launching an envelopment of the capital likely aimed at encircling and ultimately capturing it. This effort will likely accelerate in the next 24-48 hours. Russian operations against Kyiv are Moscow’s main effort. Russian troops are also undertaking three supporting efforts, one to seize Kharkiv, one to take Mariupol and secure the “land bridge” connecting Rostov-on-Don to Crimea, and one to secure Kherson and set conditions for a drive west toward Mykolayiv and Odesa. The three supporting operations are active, with the operation against Mariupol making the most progress in the last 24 hours.

The Russian attack on Kyiv likely consists of a main effort aimed at enveloping and ultimately encircling the city from the west and a supporting effort along the axes from Chernihiv and Sumy to encircle Kyiv from the east. The long Russian column of combat and logistics vehicles north of Kyiv is likely setting conditions for the envelopment to the west, although it could also support attacks directly into the city from the positions Russian forces maintain in Kyiv’s northwestern outskirts. Russian forces are more likely to pursue the envelopment/encirclement than a direct assault into the city.

The Russian military has continued using area-attack weapons in the city of Kharkiv, dramatically increasing the damage to civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties. Russian forces have not reportedly attempted large-scale ground operations against Kharkiv in the last 24 hours but are likely instead using air, missile, and artillery bombardment to set conditions for a renewed ground attack sometime in the next 24-48 hours. Russian ground forces appear likely to conduct another frontal assault on Kharkiv from the northeast rather than attempt to envelop or encircle the city.

Russian forces in the south appear to be holding their positions south of Zaprozhya, fighting to reduce Ukrainian positions in Kherson and seize that city, and encircling Mariupol to set conditions to seize it. Russian operations in the south do not appear to pose an imminent danger to Odesa within the next 24 hours. A Russian drive north through or near Zaprozhya to cut off Ukrainian forces fighting along the line of contact also appears very unlikely in the next 24-72 hours.


https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-1

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