Russia-Ukraine War: Live Updates – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Ukrainians have launched profitable however restricted counterattacks east and northeast of Kyiv, blows which will have sped up the Russian pullback as soon as it turned clear to Moscow that its forces wouldn’t have the ability to take Ukraine’s capital, in keeping with Western diplomats and impartial navy analysts.

The Russian pullback is actual, these officers and analysts say, an indication that Moscow’s preliminary technique has failed within the face of grave planning failures, logistical issues and fierce and efficient Ukrainian resistance. However they warning that it’ll take some days to make certain of what Russian forces are doing.

The brand new analyses come after Pentagon and NATO officers had initially raised doubts in regards to the Russian withdrawal, arguing that it might be only a repositioning of forces or an opportunity to refit and resupply forces in Belarus, away from Ukrainian assaults.

Frederick Kagan, a navy professional with the American Enterprise Institute, mentioned the Ukrainian counterattack that started final week seems to have satisfied Russian commanders to vary their technique.

“The counterattacks in all probability prompted the Russian choice to surrender on Kyiv,” Mr. Kagan mentioned. “The counterattacks demonstrated that the Russians have been really not going to have the ability to maintain the positions they occupied anyway. And they also made the choice to retrograde in good order slightly than be chased again.”

Credit score…Rodrigo Abd/Related Press

Continued air and missile strikes on Kyiv and Chernihiv could also be geared toward protecting the Russian retreat and protecting stress on the Ukrainian authorities, slightly than a renewed assault on Kyiv or different cities within the area, analysts say.

Janes, an impartial protection intelligence agency, reported that a number of Russian models had withdrawn from Kyiv, transferring towards Belarus. Janes additionally reported that Ukrainian counterattacks had efficiently reopened a highway to Sumy, splitting aside one of many Russian fronts.

One European diplomat, talking on the situation of anonymity to debate candidly intelligence assessments, mentioned whereas it’s onerous to inform what Russia’s shifting technique can be, preliminary indicators are its new, narrower targets embody increasing the quantity of territory it occupies in Japanese Ukraine, and probably consolidating management over the southeastern Ukrainian coast between Donetsk and Crimea, together with the besieged metropolis of Mariupol.

Whereas officers and analysts count on Russia to maneuver forces to japanese Ukraine, not all the troops pulling again from Kyiv are more likely to be redeployed there, Mr. Kagan mentioned. Most of the forces assembled to assault the capital have been inexperienced, poorly organized and incompetent in battle.

“The forces which are round Kyiv are largely fight ineffective, and we don’t count on to see these forces turning up with important fight energy within the east anytime quickly,” he mentioned.

As a substitute, models of the First Guards Tank Military, a extra skilled and fewer badly broken unit, usually tend to be moved from close to Kharkiv after which used within the combat towards the Ukrainian military in Donetsk, Mr. Kagan mentioned.

Russian forces now appear to be pursuing a method to encircle Ukrainian positions within the nation’s east, in keeping with diplomats and analysts. To date the Ukrainians have efficiently stored their provide strains open, and Russia’s pullback from Kyiv could permit Ukraine to bolster its models within the east, the European diplomat mentioned.

And Russia’s encirclement technique could face important issues. To execute it, Russian commanders might want to stretch their provide strains and skinny out an already skinny pressure, making it onerous to guard these provide strains from Ukrainian assault.

“The larger the pressure you encircle, the extra forces required to do this,” Mr. Kagan mentioned. “It’s going to be very difficult. At present, the Russian penetration is itself very skinny. The Russian strains are additionally very lengthy, and we’ve seen that film earlier than. They tried lengthy strains of provide from Sumy to Kyiv and that resulted in tears for the Russians.”

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