Russo-Ukrainian War 4/23/22

Ukrainian forces fighting in Mariupol in March. Despite heavy casualties/surrenders and a ‘hopeless’ position trapped inside of Azovstal, Mariupol’s defenders have continued to hold the steel plant and launch occasional sorties against Russian forces. (image via Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs)

Russian missile strikes in Odesa killed several people, including a 3-month-old child, as Russian forces continued to advance near Kramatorsk and Ukrainian lines in the Donbas.

There is serious concern that in light of provocations by the Russian government, particularly in levying accusations of American/Ukrainian false flags, Russia could potentially be preparing a nuclear or chemical strike to advance its new push for Southern Ukraine. Whether on Azovstal, Odesa, or to punch through Ukrainian lines in the Donbas, such a strike could have massive implications regarding NATO interference in the war, pushing a reluctant central Europe into taking serious steps against Russia.

Some U.S. analysts have predicted that, unless nationwide conscription is enforced, the Donbas offensive will be Russia’s last possible offensive, after which it will have exhausted its capabilities to advance with fresh troops.

Some Russian forces have been moved from Mariupol to fighting elsewhere in the Donbas. Still, there are reports of renewed Russian assaults on the Azovstal plant, despite earlier announcements by Putin regarding a pause in operations given their costly nature. Operations against Azovstal could theoretically require WMDs, depending on supplies within the tunnels for both defenders and civilians. Yet, given Russia’s military blunders to date, a tunnel to tunnel of Azovstal could occur, regardless of effectiveness.

Additionally, two Russian generals were reported killed by Ukraine following a strike near Kherson, and the Russian MoD has seemingly yet to confirm the casualties.

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