However, another significance of Putin’s decision – and much more weighty – is the fact that an official transition to a state of war would allow him to mobilize many reserve forces and officially put into force the forces of conscripts, who can officially not participate in military operations. Apparently, this is likely to be the main reason for Putin’s decision on the issue, given the dramatic erosion of Russian military forces in more than two months of fighting in Ukraine.
The British Ministry of Defense said this morning in a daily briefing: “Despite the doubling of investment in the Russian army and its security in 2018-2005, Russia has failed in its attempt to take over Ukraine.” According to the report, failures in strategic planning and operational execution prevented Russia from translating its great power advantage into a battlefield victory.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 03 May 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/xvqMIBbfFS
— Ministry of Defence (@DefenceHQ) May 3, 2022
“Now, the Russian army is considerably weaker, both physically and ideologically, due to the invasion of Ukraine,” London added. It was further estimated there that due to the heavy sanctions on Russia, it would have great difficulty in renewing and restoring the military force – and its ability to organize its forces would be severely impaired.
Yesterday it was estimated in London that Russia “will take years” to compensate for the severe damage its army has suffered in the fighting in Ukraine so far. According to the Americans, 93 Russian battalion combat teams are operating in Ukraine, and at the beginning of the war more than 120 were drafted into the battle. It was also said in Washington that the battalions that are now operating also suffer from a particularly lacking cadastre.
Russia is expected to annex large territories from Ukraine within days
In addition to the assessment regarding Putin’s decision on the matter, the US expects that Russia will annex large areas in the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kherson regions within days. The Russians are expected to hold fabricated referendums in areas under military control – and will inevitably show results in favor of annexation to Russia.
“This is a move that is straight out of the Kremlin’s moves,” Carpenter said. He mentioned that in 2014 Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula after a referendum in which 97% voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation. So many in the West have argued that the referendum is nothing short of a “scam,” and most of the world refuses to recognize the peninsula as an official part of Russia.
Russian fighting in eastern Ukraine and the south continues against the background of assessments regarding possible annexation of territories. A senior official in the Washington Department of Defense yesterday described Russia’s fighting in the East as “very cautious and very lukewarm,” and even called it “anemic.” According to reports, the Russians are having a hard time showing real progress on the battlefield and are forced to retreat in a short time from many occupied territories.
“Many of the territories that the Russians have declared occupied in the east of the country have been re-occupied by Ukrainian military forces,” the Pentagon said. At the same time, after it had already been seen in recent days that the Russians had managed to gain military control over most of the area of the city of Kharkov, in the last day there are reports that the Ukrainians have managed to repel them up to 40 km away.
In parallel with reports of the fighting difficulties of the Russian army in eastern Ukraine, the Pentagon last night confirmed that the commander of the Russian army, General Valery Gersimov, has been visiting the front in recent days. Washington has said it is unable to determine whether Gersimov was injured during his visit to the front, as reported in Ukraine, but argued that it is certainly possible to get the impression that this is an attempt to monitor and closely monitor developments. Western media outlets commented on reports of Gersimov’s injury and said the Ukrainians had received early intelligence about his visit and attacked the position he was in with more than a hundred people.
The evacuation of civilians from Mariupol will continue – weapons from the West will continue to flow
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zalansky said tonight that he estimates that the evacuation of civilians from the Azovestel steel plant in Mariupol will continue today. So far, although more than a hundred civilians have been evacuated – mostly women and children – the heavy Russian bombing of the factory has resumed and has continued all the time, including into the night. Regarding the situation in the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria in Moldova, in Washington it was said yesterday that “there are no indications” of a Russian intention to invade there.
The Western effort to strengthen and arm the Ukrainian army continued, and in the last day alone, 14 aircraft loaded with military aid landed in Ukraine. An additional 23 aircraft from another five countries are expected to arrive in Ukraine soon. To date, more than 70 of the 155 mm Hubitzer cannons, which the United States has transferred to Ukraine, have been transferred to Ukraine.
According to a Department of Defense report, U.S. military instructors are constantly continuing to train Ukrainian forces using the new weapons being transferred to them from the West. For example, it has been reported that in recent days 50 more Ukrainian gunners have been trained to operate the Hobitzer artillery, and now the number of talented gunners in the Ukrainian army stands at 220. In addition, 20 Ukrainian fighters have taken an expedited course to operate the new glider. Phoenix GhostDeveloped by the US Air Force specifically for the military needs of Ukraine.
The New York Times reported last night that theCIA Has launched a new campaign to encourage Russian citizens to provide intelligence on their government activities through the Darknet network. The American intelligence organization has started distributing on YouTube, one of the social networks that have not yet been banned for use in Russia, messages in Russian that guide citizens on how to contact Washington through the dark web.
“We provide explanations in Russian on how to contact theCIA Safely, through the Darknet or by replacing theVPN “For all those in Russia who are trying to reach us and protest against Putin’s unjust war,” said Susan Miller, a spokeswoman for theCIA. The assessment in the US is that many Russian citizens are interested in sharing information with them that will help undermine Russian fighting efforts in Ukraine, but are afraid to do so due to the major threats to their lives.
Following the removal of Germany’s opposition to imposing an embargo on Russian oil imports, the EU is expected to discuss this on 10 May. The union has announced that it is formulating a new sanctions package against Russia, and many more banks in the country are expected to be eliminated from the international clearing services SWIFT. At the same time, more and more Western embassies are reopening in Ukraine: Denmark and Hungary announced yesterday their return to Kiev, France announced this two weeks ago, and in May the US and British embassies are also expected to return.