It is the sixth day of the war in Ukraine, and the indiscriminate shelling of civilians has only increased, as local resistance within occupied settlements underscores the biggest obstacle in Putin’s way; the war of control.
In Berdiansk, which was captured on the 27th of February, civil unrest has seen Russian forces unable to calm citizens, as even warning shots do nothing to dissuade citizens. The police force was disbanded following non-compliance with Russian aggressors. Hence Russia’s garrison in the city has been unable to collaborate or even connect with sympathizers as citizens demand their exit. Protests also occurred in the occupied city of Melitopol, with civilians blocking a convoy of Russian troops.
These actions were part of the larger Kherson offensive, in which Russian troops have been confirmed within the city. Though they do not have complete control, fighting is likely to escalate soon, as invaders capture means of transportation in an attempt to strangle freedom of movement.
Mariupol remains surrounded, and today, cluster munitions were alleged to have been used by Russian forces during the escalation of shelling across Ukraine.
In Kharkiv, shelling has escalated significantly, with a missile striking the heart of the city, Freedom Square. Videos of an orange sky, with constant MLRS strikes and cluster munitions, showcase the horrors Russia inflicts on Ukraine for no other reason than cowardice, remembering the embarrassment it faced in its failed incursions to take the Russian-speaking city.
In Kyiv, the Kyiv TV Tower was partially damaged, the missile killing five civilians. Russian attacks continued as the massive, 40-mile convoy closes in. Likely tomorrow, reports of heavy fighting and brutal urban warfare will begin surfacing as soldiers and residents of Kyiv defend the capital to the end.
In the West, Biden’s State of the Union address was marked by anti-Putin rhetoric, receiving thundering applause from both sides of Congress. He announced a restriction of American airspace for Russia and mobilized 60 million barrels of oil.
U.S. intelligence, after suggesting that Russia’s nuclear deployments were a farce, also predicted an imminent supply-chain collapse for Russia’s food. Russian military rations captured by Ukrainian forces have been poor and expired, with one package expiring in 2015. Ironically, Russian conscripts who surrender are far better off than those who do not, being given warm food and water. These commodities are far less likely for Kadyrovites or members of the Wagner Group, who have been hunting Zelensky in Kyiv.
Finland discussed joining NATO, with more political parties expressing approval. Negotiations seemed to agree on discussing the matter further, and it is unlikely any immediate decision will be reached for a while.
Most concerning of all, Lukashenko spoke in front of a map of Ukraine, within which troop movements were detailed. Assuming these are accurate, they paint a foreboding picture; after landings in Odesa, Russian forces would press onwards to Transnistria. Such a move would violate Moldova and, should Putin decide to, could subject the nation to an invasion.
Despite this, Russian’smilitary capabilities continue to be weak. NATO forces could mobilize in minutes. It is expected that any conflict with NATO, barring nukes, would end rapidly in a Western victory, with American and European military assets on high alert. Nevertheless, in the unlikely but possible scenario that Putin commits suicide by nuke, he knows very well that though Western society could be rebuilt, all the people and history within the borders of the Russian Federation would be lost in an instant, doomed by the megalomaniac interests of a single man.
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