Russo-Ukrainian War 3/31/22

Ukrainian Spetsnaz soldiers during an exercise (Image via Andriy Ageer)

The decision to abandon attacks on Kyiv (and the evidence of troops moving towards Belarus) has been a forced decision, likely tied into the general repositioning operations being done by Russian forces as they lose more and more ground in the world. Though Russian forces continue to hold territory, Ukrainian forces have begun liberating areas near Kyiv and Kherson and are expected to continue to do so unless Russia escalates using some form of severe, devastating force.

Western intelligence and statements by the Ukrainian government have continued to downplay Russia’s seemingly benign commitment to withdrawing from Kyiv. Citing a general Russian failure, Zelenskyy warned that Russia could not be trusted, especially as it continued shelling Kyiv. Though he has applauded Turkey for its leadership and willingness to serve as a guarantor for Ukraine’s sovereignty, he sees little hope in Russia’s current negotiations to be worthy of consideration. His words contrast those of Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, who has spoken of a broader consensus with Ukrainian diplomats.

Russian troops recently withdrew from the Chernobyl Power Plant, and Western intelligence has suggested that soldiers are being treated in Gomel, Belarus, for acute radiation poisoning following exposure to radioactive dust while entrenching themselves in the exclusion zone.

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