Russo-Ukrainian War 9/15/22

A new U.S. aid package granted $600m in artillery and rocket systems ammunition. However, Ukrainian and European leaders have increasingly called on countries like the United States and Germany to provide tanks to ensure continued success in Ukraine’s counteroffensives.

The counteroffensive in Kharkiv reiterated Ukraine’s readiness to liberate territory but also highlighted Ukraine’s materiel needs: the assault was largely comprised of mechanized units puncturing deep into enemy lines. Though at times advancing units reportedly ran into logistics concerns, by Ukraine’s own admission, the rapid assault was made possible by armored vehicles, which Ukraine will need en-masse for future operations. Already, some analysts are looking at a potential push from Zaporizhzhia to Melitopol, which would split Russia’s military and break the Crimean land bridge (and, for that matter, potentially allow for targetting of the Kerch Strait bridge).

Ironically, Russia has provided a copious amount of tanks to Ukraine through soldiers abandoning vehicles in the hasty retreat from Izyum. Many of these tanks were largely intact and, as in Kyiv, were repurposed for Ukrainian use. However, Russia’s tanks face many failures and shortcomings compared to their more advanced Western counterparts. Many in Ukraine hope to receive the famed German Leopard tank or even the legendary American Abrams.

In Izyum, a mass grave containing 400-500 corpses was found, with forensics experts called to provide autopsies and discover whether they died due to Russian war crimes. Given the scale of Bucha and dependant on conclusions in Izyum, the grave provides a worrying outlook on the situation in large cities like Kherson, Melitopol, and Mariupol, where Russia has had ample time to try and hide evidence of war crimes.

In the Kharkiv region, Ukraine has reportedly crossed the Oskil river. A confirmation has not yet been received, but it seems Ukraine’s forces are conducting operations northeast of the river.

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