Use this open thread to discuss issues related to the Saker Blog but not being discussed in other live threads. All moderation policies are in effect.
We have a grind in the Ukraine. It looks like slow and methodical progress is being made but I don’t think this is necessarily bad, except for our own peace of mind. Where most of the non-kinetic work is being done is in restoring and normalizing smaller towns and cities that the Russians liberate. What is being reported is that Russian managers are now routinely being brought on site of these towns and cities to establish order and normal civilian function. They restore Russian Television, and Internet, get cleaning up done, start rebuilding, demine, and provide emergency food stocks for normal life to continue. There are rumors all over the netisphere that the status of Donesk and Lugansk will soon more formally change to Russian influence. We cannot speculate and will have to wait to see but what is clear is the de-nazification is in full progress.
Slow and methodical? But is it so? Take a look at today’s Russian Mod report and the sheer size of a complete demilitarization: https://t.me/mod_russia_en/1329
And then take a look at the latest map from Riafan.ru. We may have to say slow and methodical but another descriptor comes to mind: Slow, Methodical and Total.
I am reminded of a descriptor that Andrei Martyanov uses. He explains that the Russian way of warfare is netcentric where every moving part or incoming or outgoing is immediately visible to the complete planning network. As such, it can adapt as it goes. We do not have the luxury of this view.
Azovstal: There are reports (both from a LDNR commander and some panicked Ukie commander) that there has been a breakthrough into Azovstal. The leader of “Azov” said that the troops of Russia and the DPR broke through to “Azovstal” yesterday, there are heavy battles, and the situation is critical:
Here is the panicked Azov Commander: https://t.me/intelslava/27893
Azovstal is still being fiercely missiled and bombed, yet during daytime, humanitarian corridors are open. The siege (where no fly can enter or leave – Putin), has now reached deathly critical mass for whoever or whatever is hiding below. The militants are offering to exchange civilians for food and medicine and nobody will be allowed to leave, except in exchange. “Vyacheslav Volodin: 66.6 kg for a person’s life. As it became known, the militants in Azovstal offered to exchange civilians who were there for food and medicine. The indicated terms of the deal are fifteen hostages per ton of food, as well as medicines.” ” What will those who defended these freaks say now? ”
Finally, it appears that the Russian MoD has decided that any US/NATO aircraft which delivers weapons to the Ukraine will be considered as a “legitimate target” by the Russian military. We need more information here.
Use as open thread.
Compiled and commented by Amarynth
UPDATE: This is yesterday’s Readovka map. If you want to know how the maps advanced, please go and compare with Andrei’s (The Saker) updates from early March. Now please do not make too much of the maps. They are an indicator of what happened in the past, and surely not a crystal ball for the future. It is a visual ‘feel’ of where things stand and not an absolute. The Readovka maps are also designed to look spectacular.