(March 5) We continue to watch the war between Ukraine and Russia. What you will read will create an important archive containing the military, strategic and political issues of this period, in which we witnessed historical times.
Before the start of the operation, when the USA and the UK said that “Russia will attack Ukraine in its entirety”, the world, especially the European countries, greeted this claim with caution. The operation began and it was said; Russia overthrows Zelensky, seizes Kyiv in a few days for this, consolidates its influence in Donbass, perhaps by uniting the Crimea region with the Donbass and expanding the area it controls in that region. But what happened was this; Kyiv resisted, Zelensky began to show strong leadership. Special-vanguard units, which were in front of the armored and motorized units, which were stated to approach 6 km from Kiev, suffered many casualties and could not advance. When these failed, the main forces withdrew and this was a waste of time, a reason for a change of operation plan and tactics. Later, we heard high-pitched, even nuclear threats, and saw the conflict near the nuclear power plant. There was also the issue of establishing a diplomatic table, such as the ceasefire negotiations initiated in Belarus; which continues, albeit a desperate effort, a third will be made. Repelling the Russian troops attacking Kiev, Zelensky requested Air Power from the United States and its partners (including NATO), and moreover, demanded the creation of a No-Fly Zone. In response, the United States and its partners continued to impose sanctions on Russia, targeting all elements of national power and prestige. While this was going on, intelligence was given to the Ukrainian army with the support of large amounts of weapons and ammunition, and this situation continues.
In the meantime, let’s express it right away, Zelensky’s request for Air Power and the No-Fly Zone request cannot be met at this stage. If the USA, Europe and NATO actually enter this war, it means a World War has started. As a matter of fact, Putin gave warnings today that ward off this issue.
Zelensky wants weapons and ammunition from the USA and its partners. Ukraine needs more armored vehicles, smart/guided weapons against aircraft and helicopters. After all, such aid reaches Ukraine.
Let me remind you, some of the tactical, operative and strategic points of the first 10-day evaluations covering the period from February 24 to March 5, 2022 were as follows:
- The war has dragged on, and it looks like it will, longer than the Putin-led delegation expected.
- With the pressure created by Russia in all its aspects, the level of negative impact of Ukraine on the total scale of the national power elements is about 25%. This is a value that should be considered.
- There is no actor who is on the verge of “declining” on the sides (the USA and its partners, Russia under Putin, Ukraine under Zelensky, the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian army). Wartime tends to get longer. If the war exceeds 3 months, actors close to withdrawal will approach the critical threshold, Putin, Zelensky and the Ukrainian people will be.
- Conventional Combat is at the operative level. What to watch: The leadership status of Putin in Russia and Zelensky in Ukraine, the global influence of the USA and its partners, the critical cities of Kyiv, Kharkov, Odessa and Mariupol at the moment. Tactical City Battle will begin. If the Ukrainian war cannot be resolved in the short/medium term, the risk of Guerrilla War will continue to increase. Assassination of the leader (Zelensky) in terms of Shadow War is on the agenda.
- The Global Economic War continues. The USA is the winner. The Global Information War is developing in favor of Ukraine and its partners with the United States supporting it.
- In terms of strategic level warfare, Russia is under nuclear threat. The state of the war at the strategic level is at the level of “threatening”. The constant mention of nuclear weapons on the Russian side is an important issue that deters the US and its partners. It is desired that the Third World War does not break out.
- In the operation, propaganda, disinformation and cyber warfare methods are applied at the strategic level.
- Russia is in a position to control 60% of the border region (including the Black Sea) of the country by combining the 4 pocket regions (Kyiv, Kharkov, Mariupol, Kherson) it occupied.
- Russia could not seize the Ukrainian air power, and the support of the USA and its partners can reach the operational areas with transport planes. However, Ukraine’s lack of air power does not allow active defense, surface troops (except for operations in cities) may remain unprotected in the field.
Now let’s build on these assessments and move forward, improving our grades.
As the war in Ukraine drags on, Russia’s military strength in the region is not enough. Military power in the region does not have enough assets to take over big cities like Kyiv and Kharkov. The most important problem is the damage to civilians. Putin doesn’t want that. Therefore, his hands were tied until a solution was found. If the war goes on like this and there is no peace, the Russian army will begin to destroy the cities.
Russia stopped the operation for 5 hours for civilians to leave for 2 settlements (Mariupol city and Volnovaha village) in Ukraine today. It was hardly implemented, but besides the general message of giving the world a humane image, what else could the Russians have thought of? Also, although my and many other experts’ assessments were not that way, Putin was saying that “the operation is proceeding as planned.” Let’s look at both then: This is a new method or situation. It seems that it will be repeated in other residential areas as well. Where civilians leave, a heavy attack will be launched even if the settlements are destroyed.
Apart from those who put pressure on Kiev, Russia has surrounded four cities in the north. Currently, Ukrainian forces continue to hold Kharkov, Chernihiv and Mariupol and Sumi. However, the news from Sumi is critical, street clashes started in the city. In the south, in the Black Sea, Russian forces are advancing towards the port city of Mikolayev. If Odessa is under naval blockade and Mikolayev is captured by Russian troops just north of the city, it will be difficult for the city to breathe.
Russia continues its attacks on the Kyiv and Kharkov regions with planes and missiles. Artillery fire and aircraft/helicopter attacks are carried out in order to set fire to the troops in the forward directions of these cities.
Russian President Putin made a speech saying, “If there is a No-Fly Zone, we will consider it a cause of war.” Similar statements by Putin were also about “sanctions”: “Sanctions are like a declaration of war.” Let’s read together the two topics; Putin wants to say to the United States and its partners, “Don’t be the one who started the Third World War.”
The Russia-Ukraine War will produce many results. Let’s express one here: The concepts of global media, social media reporting, disinformation, nation-state, censorship, freedom, autocracy are intertwined. Surely there will be a result.
The number of refugees leaving Ukraine is 1.2 million today, and this number may reach 1.6 million in the next 1-2 days.
- May apply more forceful pressure primarily on Kharkov, Chernihiv, Mariupol and Sumy, among the cities it targets, in order to complete its operation to encircle Ukraine on the borders of Belarus, Russia and the Black Sea;
- In order to seize the capital, he can continue the kind of operation that will approach the city from the north of Kyiv;
- After reaching the first target and while the operation on the second target is in progress, he can increase the pressure on Odessa, for this he can send another unit north towards Kropi in order to control the highways to Mykolayiv and Odessa;
- To clear the way for Dnipro, it can advance its troops to its next target after Mairupol, towards Zaporizhzhia, where the nuclear power plant whose training facility was attacked the previous day is also located;
- The situation in Kyiv, especially in large settlements, may gradually turn into a big urban war, as this situation prolongs the duration of the war, Putin may ask his army to be more destructive in order to break the resistance before it takes longer, if this possibility occurs, human casualties may increase.
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