Russo-Ukrainian War 3/29/22

Civilians in Kyiv, Ukraine, arm themselves for battle with Russian forces with the support of their government.
The yellow tape at the left arm marks officially members of the Territorial Defense Unit of Ukraine.

Russia claims to be pulling back from Kyiv following negotiations in Turkey between Ukrainian and Russian diplomats. The delegation was shadowed by Roman Abramovich, who had previously handed a letter from Zelenskyt to Putin that enraged the dictator, who claimed he would annihilate Ukraine. Abramovich and members of the Ukrainian diplomatic staff were poisoned on March 4th following negotiations in what was widely believed to be a warning by warmongering Russian lawmakers.

Some evidence of Russian withdrawal has been observed, with Russia moving munitions and troops back into Belarus. It is unknown where these troops will be redeployed. Still, many analysts see the possibility of these Russian troops entering the Donbas to help push Eastern and Southern Ukraine, both of which have faced Ukrainian counterattacks in recent days.

Others have called the entire Russian military operation near Kyiv a feint to distract from advances in the Donbas. Given the mass-casualty air operations conducted near Hostomel at the onset of the war,r, such an analysis seems unlikely.

It is feasible that Russia’s declaration to abandon its assault on Kyiv is more of a necessary acknowledgment of their broader strategic failure in the region. This seems to be what the Ukrainian and American governments are espousing, with both Zelenskyy and the Pentagon reiterating that Russia’s word could not be trusted; so far, artillery attacks on Kyiv have not ceased.

Regardless of what comes next, unless Putin escalates with a WMD on the city, it seems Russia’s war goals now definitively have moved past regime change.

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