Russia will prevail in Ukraine by the sheer weight of its military strength, analysts agree. The unknown is the cost that the conquest and occupation will have. From the outset, operations are not running as smoothly as the kremlin. “The Russian armed forces are performing well below their level, although they will probably manage to exhaust and defeat the Ukrainian forces simply by sheer force of numbers and brutality,” reports the Institute for War Studies (IWS) who directs David Petraeus, former director of the CIA and American general -already retired- with a long military career in the highest command positions of the United States Army. There are signs that Moscow is mobilizing reinforcements from the Arctic to Siberia and even from as far away as the Pacific coast, at the other end of vast Russia. “Worrying,” says the ISW in its report. “These indications suggest that the Russian General Staff has concluded that will need more forces than initially concentrated to invade Ukraine and achieve Moscow’s last military objectives”.
From the Arctic to Siberia
In the last hours, the account that hides under the name of Igor Girkin they have spread images of military movements in the Arctic and the extreme east of Russia. This account, with the apparently ironic nickname of one of Ukraine’s fiercest Russian nationalists, has spent weeks disseminating images with very accurate information on Russian military movements. It is not possible to independently confirm its veracity, but its previous history offers an acceptable degree of confidence. “They are mobilizing everything they have, that indicates desperation,” says Guillermo Pulido, an expert in geostrategy and Russian military doctrine. This recording of a convoy corresponds, according to Girkin’s account, to Khabarovsk, on the banks of the Amur River, near the border of the Russian Far East with China. This other transported in train cars corresponds, according to Girkin’s account, to Belomorsk, in the vicinity of the White Sea (Arctic Ocean). Both places are thousands of kilometers from Ukraine, as is Tyumen, in western Siberia, north of Kazakhstan, where this transport with military elements has been recorded and broadcast in a Tik Tok account. This night train that transports armored vehicles has been recorded in Vologda, 500 kilometers north of Moscow. Another Tik Tok account, tweeted by Girkin, shows soldiers boarding a civilian train in Omskcentral Siberia.
Rochen Consulting, an open source intelligence analysis team (OSINT), gathers in the March 3 report rumors that would point to a general mobilization and even the declaration of martial law in Russia. It would be a radical change, because so far the Russian media have not talked about ‘war’ but about ‘special military operation‘. For now, the Russian Duma has approved a decree to punish with up to 15 years in prison whoever publishes false information about his army.
160,000 soldiers, enough to conquer Ukraine?
Western estimates of the Russian military deployment in the Ukraine offensive are around 160,000 men out of an active force of 900,000 soldiers, far greater than anything the Kiev government can put on the ground. Ukraine is larger than the Iberian Peninsula and has 44 million inhabitants.
Comparison of military forces before the invasion of Ukraine.niusdiario.es
The war becomes more brutal
Russia is adapting its offensive and it seems that it is not just sending reinforcements. American military analysis Michael Kofman detects a change in air strategy. “At first we saw sporadic use of the air force,” he comments on his Twitter account, “but today [jueves 3] we could be at a turning point as we see increased use of tactical aviation against Ukraine. As Russian forces become more frustrated, we will see more use of air power in the coming days.” consequences on the ground We see them in these images of an alleged Russian bombing in Chernigov denounced by a Ukrainian deputy. The latest figures speak of 47 dead [advertencia: este vídeo contiene material gráfico que puede herir su sensibilidad].
33 people killed in a missile strike in Chernihiv, just hours ago.
Why is everyone in the West pretending not to see these horrors?! pic.twitter.com/8xiB29Nstx – Inna Sovsun (@InnaSovsun) March 3, 2022