Russo-Ukrainian War – 2/26/22

A Russian tank featuring experimental SLAT armor, destroyed in Chernihiv. The Ukrainian MoD claims to have captured two operators, one of them being the Chief of Staff of unit 41659. SLAT armor was seen on many Russian tanks during the build-up to the war, but has so far proven ineffective in combat.

The third day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been less intense than the last two, though a significant change has occurred; Russia’s targeting of civilians, civilian infrastructure, and according to U.S. intel, targetting the families of Ukrainian soldiers. Attacks like the first opening salvo on cities around Ukraine are being repeated, this time with MLRS systems and other artillery units.

The resistance in Kyiv and the rest of Ukraine has only increased, even as more are shuttled from the fighting via trains from the city. Those who have stayed to fight report a grim sense of responsibility and indicate a will to fight till the end. This morning, Kyiv came under heavy assault but was spared the intensity of the last few night’s attacks this evening, being remarkably quiet for the first time in days. This is likely to change as Russian forces array their units to better siege the city.

Shockingly, Russia attempted an air landing again, with helicopters being intercepted. Reports of a paratrooper attack are not entirely confirmed and may have been flares, but were responded to by Ukraine’s army.

Across Ukraine, the night has not been so quiet. Heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine, particularly the cities of Sumy and Kharkiv, has created a tense gridlock. In Kyiv’s early morning, Russian troops advanced into Kyiv, led by Russian special forces units. As this article is being typed, they are reportedly under heavy fire.

Russian Spetsnaz marching into Kharkiv coming under fire from the Ukrainian military. Russia’s use of special forces on frontlines is indicative of low-morale, as reinforced by footage of surrendering troops and a general lack of knowledge regarding news of war.

Russian Casualties

Russia continues to hide the true extent of its casualties, as the Ukrainian MoD reports up to 3,500 dead. Recently, TASS, a Russian media company, reported the same figure but promptly retracted their statements. Regardless of Russia’s propaganda, footage from Ukraine has shown dozens of Russian corpses today, and intercepted recordings from Russian troops have revealed a panicked, undermined army.

Intercepted frequencies from what is believed to be Russian ground units – we can only speak with certainty to the distress in the responder’s voice.

Rest of the World

Today, all members of the E.U. agreed to block Russia from SWIFT, with signs of alienation by the Chinese government showing an increasingly isolated Russia it will soon stand alone against the world. Overwhelming support for Ukraine has continued as military materiel arrives from NATO countries.

A referendum in Finland recently reached 50,000 signatories, meaning the government will consider the prospect of joining NATO. Should Finland choose to continue its stance of an ‘open door’ to NATO, it would be prudent to join while the most destructive elements of the Russian military are concentrated to the south. Previous NATO leadership has confirmed that Finland meets all the requirements for NATO membership, and while procedures would take place in the background, official membership could be granted overnight.

On the other hand, India has continued its poorly-disguised support of Russia. After abstaining from condemning Russia in the U.N.’s vote yesterday, it was reported that Indian oil refineries have begun buying Russian crude oil, a move that many thought would be done by an increasingly wary China.

In the U.S., Donald Trump gave a speech in which he condemned Russia’s actions for the first time. Though his remarks come too late for many, the public support may be the reasoning for exceptionally high polling among Americans advocating for a NATO intervention.

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