As Russia Pushes And Implements Siege Tactics In Ukraine, The Number Of Casualties Rises.

Russian forces pushed into a vital Ukrainian port city on Wednesday, but Moscow’s military offensive in the north remained delayed due to resupply issues and unexpectedly robust resistance, according to analysts and Ukrainian government officials.

Overnight and into Wednesday, Russian air and artillery strikes were reported in cities across Ukraine, including Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Russian state media reported that Russian troops had taken control of Kherson, a strategic port in southern Ukraine where the Dnieper River meets the Black Sea, citing Russian defense authorities. While the mayor of Kherson admitted that Russian tanks and personnel were in the city, he also stated that it was still in Ukrainian hands, while also requesting a humanitarian corridor to evacuate the wounded and dead. Battles are now taking place, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, and “the city is not completely occupied.”

The Russian assault on Kherson is part of a larger plan to lay the ground for an assault on Odessa, Ukraine’s Black Sea port city. According to a report released Tuesday by the Institute for the Study of War, “Russian activities in the south do not appear to pose an imminent threat to Odessa within the next 24 hours.”

Seven days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Moscow’s invasion, beset by logistical obstacles as well as a fierce Ukrainian retaliation, has not progressed as swiftly as some had feared, keeping major Ukrainian cities in the hands of the government, including Kyiv, the capital. However, the situation on the battlefield was changing on Wednesday. As Ukrainian officials announced they had begun to receive shipments of promised weapons from partner countries, which might hinder Russia’s intentions, Russia continued to pivot toward what human rights groups have warned are fatal siege tactics that Moscow has used in other combat zones, including Syria.

Since the start of the conflict last week, the UN has recorded the deaths of over 130 people, including 13 children, largely as a result of shelling and rocket fire. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the actual death toll is likely to be much higher.

Russia unleashes more artillery as a convoy reaching the Ukrainian capital appears to be halted.

Germany opened its stockpiles this week, and Australia indicated it will provide Kyiv with roughly $70 million in “lethal military assistance,” including missiles and unspecified weapons. Ukraine reported on Wednesday that it had received a shipment of Turkish drones, which it has been using to attack advancing Russian tank columns in recent days. Turkey, which is attempting to preserve stable relations with both Russia and Ukraine, has said nothing about the shipment.

Ukrainian officials reported a growing Russian barrage across the country, particularly against civilian areas. The city council of Mariupol, in southern Ukraine, accused Russia of shelling homes, hospitals, and a migrant hostel. The city, which is in a key location that may allow Russia to build a land bridge from southern Russia to Crimea, which Moscow controls, was still under Ukrainian authority on Wednesday, according to the city council.

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Another night of airstrikes descended on Kharkiv, with social media videos alleging to show explosions at the regional police headquarters and in residential areas, which could not be independently verified. According to a local official, Russian paratroopers landed and engaged Ukrainians in a firefight at a medical clinic.

As Russia turned to siege tactics, a large column of Russian troops and tanks north of Kyiv stayed stalled and sat “days, not hours” behind schedule, according to British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. Wallace said the impending convoy had been hampered by logistical supply chain issues, low morale, and Ukrainian resistance in media interviews Wednesday morning.

“When any army on the move takes longer to do things, your logistical supply chain is stretched. If you’re given enough rations for two days and it takes you six you’ve suddenly got a problem. And I think what we’ve seen is a lot of those issues are coming to bear,” he told Sky News. The Ukrainians, he said, have also been “carrying out a very clever plan. We’ve seen footage, we can’t verify, but we’ve seen footage of Ukrainians using UAVs to attack petrol train convoys, to go after logistical lines, we’ve seen lines blown up, all the things you and I think of when it comes to resistance.”

Others said that it was too early to predict how long the Russian ground offensive would be postponed.

The war in Ukraine isn’t going as planned for Russia.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces are “getting crucial supplies and reinforcements that may permit considerably more quick and successful operations in the coming 24-72 hours.” “However, the Russian campaign surrounding Kyiv remains badly coordinated, with elements of several different battalions combining into what appear to be ad hoc groupings rather than working under regular regiment or brigade headquarters,” the statement continued.

“Russian logistical and operational failures around Kyiv will be difficult to remedy quickly and will likely continue to cause friction and reduce the effectiveness of Russian operations even as supply issues are addressed and reinforcements come into the fight. It remains too early to evaluate the likely effective combat power the added Russian troops will bring.”

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