FULL DISCLOSURE: Sourced from Russian State-Controlled Media
MOSCOW, 8 April 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute.
The specifics of the missile strikes of the last three days on the military infrastructure of Ukraine practically leave no doubt about the preparation of active actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the republican armies of Donbass against the largest Ukrainian group, which continues to occupy the most fortified in 8 years of conflict territory between Donetsk-Gulyai Pole-Slavyansk-Lisichansk. In addition, attention is drawn to the persistent, despite the loss of helicopters, attempts by Ukrainian forces to organise the evacuation of certain important persons from the blockaded Mariupol.
As has been noted more than once, the main advantage of the Russian forces attacking the vastly superior in number Ukrainian army is the ability to manoeuvre and strike deep into the enemy’s rear. Accordingly, in order to achieve the necessary effect, it is necessary to deprive the enemy of the advantage of opposing their own tools of the same kind.
On the morning of April 6, rockets from the air and land destroyed five fuel bases in the area of Ukrainian Radekhov, Kazatin, Prosyanaya, Nikolaev and Novomoskovsk at once. As the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation emphasised, fuel was supplied from these facilities to the Ukrainian group in the area of Kharkov, Nikolaev and in Donbass.
In the evening, another fuel base in the Chuguev district, which also supplied fuel to the Ukrainian grouping, was destroyed near Kharkov. Along the way, a cluster of foreign-made military equipment and weapons was destroyed at the Lozovaya railway station in the Kharkov region.
In combination with other strikes that took place earlier – on fuel tanks in the area of Odessa, Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk and other cities, it is difficult to deny the existence of an explicit intention to deprive the Ukrainian group of fuel altogether.
The logical question “Why wasn’t this done before?” has a fairly simple answer option. The destruction of Ukrainian fuel reserves makes it impossible not only to manoeuvre the remaining mechanised units and military equipment in general but also creates risks for the sowing campaign, which must begin no later than in a couple of weeks.
There is a need for special reasons in order for the Operation Z plan, which was initially emphatically humane, to be adjusted in this way. The most obvious one will be the clear unwillingness of the Ukrainian political leadership to negotiate peace terms, as well as the inability of the UAF and other nationalist groups to negotiate. In particular, due to Kiev’s fault, the planned exchange of prisoners of war on Wednesday was disrupted.
“Taking into account Kiev’s disinterest in saving the lives of its servicemen, Mariupol will be liberated from the nationalists by units of the Russian Armed Forces and the Donetsk People’s Republic,” Major General Konashenkov commented on the situation.
Another event is connected with Mariupol, which may indicate a reduction in the interest of the Ministry of Defence in the peaceful resolution of difficult situations during the special military operation.
On the evening of April 5, the Ministry of Defence officially confirmed a new attempt to evacuate the leadership of the “Azov” national battalion from Mariupol with the help of two Mi-8 helicopters, both of which were shot down. The previous flight to Mariupol took place a week earlier and ended similarly.
The persistence of attempts by the Kiev regime, regardless of losses, to fly certain valuable persons out of Mariupol, allows us to make a variety of assumptions – for example, about the presence of military advisers from NATO countries in the city, whose confirmed detection can give Russia a certain trump card in international dialogue. Especially if NATO representatives caught red-handed will comment on the reasons for their presence in Mariupol and in Ukraine in general.
However, it may turn out that even the discovery of a whole NATO headquarters with generals in Mariupol will not have a serious impact on the information picture, except for the use of NATO officers to exchange, for example, for pilots Buta and Yaroshenko.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, in an interview with COPE radio on April 5, actually admitted that Russia opposes the whole of NATO in Ukraine. Borrell’s statement that the countries of the European Union will continue to supply weapons to Ukraine because they “do not want it to lose”, since “wars are won by weapons and the economic weakening of the enemy”, is difficult to understand otherwise.
In such a situation, it would be excessive gentlemanliness on the part of Russia to show unilateral humanism to Western instructors, advisers and mercenaries fighting on the side of Ukraine. Moreover, the official recognition of European bureaucrats of an open economic war against Russia also removes all moral restrictions on symmetrical measures on the part of Moscow.
Kiev will certainly need weapons. In total, 125 Ukrainian aircraft, 93 helicopters, 408 unmanned aerial vehicles, 227 anti-aircraft missile systems, 1,987 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 216 multiple rocket launchers, 862 field artillery and mortar guns, as well as 1,888 units of special military vehicles have been destroyed since the beginning of the special military operation.
It is interesting to note another “Bayraktar TB-2” was destroyed in the Taranovka district of the Kharkov region. Since the drones of this type originally available in Ukraine were destroyed in the first days of April, we can talk about at least one more delivery from Turkey.
The probability of a major battle, the task of which will be the final cleansing of Mariupol and the defeat of the Ukrainian grouping in the still occupied territory of Donbass, remains the highest of all possible scenarios.
The course of this battle will largely depend on how much Ukrainian warehouses, fuel supplies and command posts will suffer. Therefore, we should expect further strengthening of missile strikes and the work of the Russian Aerospace Forces.