Russo-Ukrainian War 3/17/22

Russian warships visible from the coast of Odesa. (image via Liveuamap)

The Ukrainian army has gone on the offensive, pushing against a Russian military that has begun facing desertions and loss of morale. Though a previous offensive in the Donbas was reported as early as March 2nd, this new counter-offensive has been launched by troops in major cities, most notably Kyiv. With fighting in previously contested areas, Ukraine’s army could potentially recapture entry-points, making an encirclement of the city impossible.

In Odesa, ships have been spotted on the horizon, starting a psychological ‘siege’ of the city. Shelling has been reported as a landing-craft loom in front of the port. Odesa’s capture could put Western Ukraine at risk, as well as an increasingly fearful Moldova.

Ukraine’s cities continue to be full of civilians, many of who have been unable to evacuate under Russian fire. Russian troops have repeatedly targetted or mined evacuation routes while opening corridors directly into Russia, routes few wish to take. Hence, many have begun volunteering in various capacities, whether being armed for combat, erecting defenses, or even creating improvised body armor.

The reality is Ukraine’s military is carefully vetting those it gives equipment to, with background checks and registration of all weapons. Given the role of saboteurs and Russian infiltrators in the onset of the war, these actions come as no surprise.

The international brigade has also begun seeing combat as more and more supplies are ferried into the region. President Biden recently doubled down, addressing that while Putin’s attacks on supply convoys would make deliveries harder, NATO allies would give even more materiel, including anti-air defenses Ukraine desperately needs.

Ultimately, the only way Putin will be able to change the tide of war is to escalate. This is what U.S. Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken warned of today, gravely citing the real and serious potential for a chemical attack as Putin’s next move to create a false-flag operation.

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