The Russo-Ukrainian War of 2022 – Day 2 (ground actions)

I changed the title of my previous post to “Day 1.” Again, my focus here is on the ground actions. What I am interested in is what ground are they going to take and what ground are they going to hold. Right now, this attack looks pretty unrestrained, but who knows what are Putin actual objectives or at what point he will decide he has done enough. I gather the degree of resistance by the Ukrainian Army may influence these decisions.

We are looking six major areas of operations right now.

1. Kiev

2. Odessa

3. Kharkov

4. The Donetsk and Lugansk provinces.
5. Mariupol.
6. Crimean border

Here is what I have heard/seen from open sources:

1. Kiev (pop: 2,962,180): The Russian Army is reported to have reached the northern outskirts of Kiev (the Obolon district). They have also occupied the defunct nuclear power plant at Chernobyl (I wouldn’t want to be those troops). Vladimir Zelensky vowed last night to stay in Kiev. So, it does look like they intend to hold and fight for the city (see picture above). Very different than what we saw in Afghanistan. 

The Antonov/Hostomel airport has become a real right. Apparently, Russia did an airmobile operation to put troops within 15 miles of the capitol. This is the group of Matthew Chance ran across, and they were so nice as to let him film them. Ukraine counterattacked against what would have been an isolated “forward detachment” (the head of our Kursk research team, Col. Sverdlov, wrote the influential book “Forward Detachments in Battle”). They have retaken it according to some accounts. By the end of today, I gather it was back under Russian control.

There are lots of twitter feeds on this fight. Recommend you check @RALee85 and @TrentTelenko.

This is a decent news report from AP: https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/sorting-fact-disinformation-russian-attack-ukraine-83106752

2. Odessa (pop: 1,015,826): There were reports of a landing there yesterday. I still have no idea of the size or location of the landing. I see not yet seen any clear reports on the subject for today. Was this a raid or a permanent landing?

3. Kharkov (pop: 1,433,886): How serious are Russian ground operations? Are they trying to surround and isolate Kharkov? It appears the Ukraine army in this area are putting up a fight. It does appear that most of the videos of captured Russians and destroyed Russian vehicles are coming from there.

4. The Donetsk and Lugansk provinces: Of course, Russia has recognized these “people’s republics.” They only control half of their provinces. The rest of the provinces under control of Ukraine and defended by the Ukrainian army. I gather their desire is to expand their control and take the rest of both provinces, but these are well defended. Not sure how serious will be their attempts here. So far, we have not heard much from this area.

5. Mariupol (pop: 431,859): This city of part of the Donetsk Oblast (province/county) and is on the route to Crimea. Are Russian going to try to drive through there to create a land connection to Crimea? Maybe, but it is well defended. Not sure this will be a high priority. The mayor is reporting fighting in the area, but I gather none at or near Mariupol.

Afternoon update: There are reports of an amphibious landing of several thousand troops in or near Mariupol.

6. Crimea & Kherson (pop: 283,649): It appears that they are fairly serious about their operations in the area north of Crimea. It looks like they entered Kherson yesterday and raised the Russian flag over the administrative building in the middle of the city. So it does appear that Russia controls the area from the Crimea to Kherson. Such an operation complicates the defense of Mariupol.

Afternoon Update: Twitter accounts report over 100 Ukranian vehicles in convoys in this area were destroyed, but that Ukraine has re-occupied the area between Crimea and Kherson. I assume this is because Russia does not have manpower deployed to hold all the areas they have moved through.

Later Update: It looks like Kherson is back under control of Ukraine. This video is worth watching in its entirety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSCYjnwJtfk

In general, the news is lagging, as it is in the middle of the afternoon there. Will update this post as I find more information. 

The Home Front: There were a number of decent sized protests against the war in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg that I saw videos off. According to reports, Russia arrested more than 1,700 protesters. There are videos on-line of protesters and protesters being arrested.

Casualties:

Russian Losses include:

4 soldiers captured in three separate incidences (video evidence)

1 Su-25 (attack jet) crashed (Russian claim)

1 An-26 (transport plane) crashed, crew killed (Russan claim)

1 Ka-52 (assault helicopter) destroyed (video evidence) 

1 T-80 (tank) destroyed (video evidence)

1 BMP destroyed (video evidence)

450+ casualties (UK estimate) – note probably 25% or less of casualties are killed, so maybe less than 113 killed.

 

Ukrainian Losses include:

137 soldiers killed, including 10 officers (Zelensky)

14 Soldiers surrendered (Russian claim)

25 Civilians killed (U.N. High Commisiooner)

Updates: Ukrainian Su-27 shot down over Kiev (video evidence)

 

Also, there is one video on youtube called “fight between Russian Sukhoi Su35 v Ukrainian Mig29 over Kyiv.” If true, it shows that at least some of Ukrainian air force has survived the initial attack. AhirTech has posted many other interesting videos.

There are people doing a better job of this on Twitter, including @RALee85 and @Oryxspioenkop, neither who are known to me. I have not taken the time to exhaustively search their material. I am still working on my first cup of coffee this morning. Maybe later.

 

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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