The Russo-Ukrainian War of 2022 – Day 7 (ground actions)

Well, nothing much changing on the ground yet. Some shelling of Kiev and Kharkov, but no fighting in the cities that we are aware of. Russia continues to occupy three cities, Berdyansk (pop. 107,928), Melitopol (pop. 150,768) and Kherson (pop. 283,649).

The big story is what appears to be the coming major attacks on Kiev and Kharkov. These are going to start either today or tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. It does take time to deploy all the reinforcements. This appears to be properly organized and supplied attacks with artillery support, and so forth. So far, they just appear to be shelling them. Not sure for what purpose.

I don’t think Kiev nor Kharkov are fully isolated. CNN is reporting that Kiev is accessible. Is Russia going to try to surround one or both cities before going in (which does take some manpower) or are they just going to try to go in, under the assumption that under major pressure, the Ukrainians will fold? While the Russians are clearly concentrating considerable force to the north of both Kiev and Kharkov, is it not known to this writer how many trained Ukranian forces are defending each of these cities, is it 4,000 or 40,000? 

In a real sense, this first phase of this campaign is over, and Russia clearly did not win it. Having tried for the cheap and easy victory using “forward detachments,” now comes the serious fighting to either isolate and/or take Kiev and Kharkov. This is a new second phase of the campaign. My sense is that if these two cities hold out, then this war will probably be terminated sooner rather than later.

There may also be a push on Mariupol from the forces to the east and the west of it. They already have the city wholly or partially enveloped. Not sure they have the strength to take it or will try.

It does not appear that Belarus has committed any forces to the war, although Russia has been able to freely use their territory and facilities.

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/Kherson

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

1. Kiev (pop: 2,962,180): The reinforced Russian Army is in the northern outskirts of Kiev (the Obolon district). They have also occupied the defunct nuclear power plant at Chernobyl and the large Antonov/Hostomel airport north of Kiev. They appear to be at the northern and eastern outskirts of the city, maybe four miles from the center of the city. The center of the city appears peaceful.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky remains defiantly in Kiev. I gather the city is still open to the west and the south.

Update: Chernigov (pop. 285,234) it located to the NNE of Kiev. The Russians have pushed columns past the city and down to Kiev, but the city remains under Ukrainian control. It is reported that all exits from the city have been mined.

2. Odessa (pop: 1,015,826): Appears to be safe and secure for now. Have seen reports of the locals building up the defenses there.

3. Kharkov (pop: 1,433,886): Kharkov is being shelled but it does not look like the Russians have tried to re-enter the city. Not sure if it has been completely isolated.

4. The Donetsk and Lugansk provinces: 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. There was an amphibious landing of at least 2,000 troops behind it and they have occupied Berdyansk and Melitipol. Mariupol is partly encircled and the power to the city is down. Not sure if Russia is going to attack it. 

6. Crimea & Kherson (pop: 283,649): I gather Kherson fell to Russia over the last two days. I gather it was contested through, and there are still parts of the city under Ukranian control. Mikolaiv (pop. 476,101), the city on the Southern Bug River just west of Kherson, is still under Ukranian control. The Russians appear to have gained control of a lot of the area just to the north of Crimea. Not sure how secure is that control. There are Ukrainian protesters in Berdyansk. A certain amount of Russian occupation forces are going to be tied down. They didn’t have overwhelming force to start the offensive.


I will update this post during the day as I find more information. 


The Home Front: Count of detained protesters is 6,817. Protests continue. At least 800 people have been detained in Belarus. 

Exhange rate: 104.4 rubles to a dollar. 

Price of oil (Brent crude): $112.66 (at 08:48 EST)

Casualties: The UN is reporting at least 136 civilians dead in the war (the previous day they reported 406). Ukraine is claiming over 2,000. Ukraine is reporting over 110 soldiers killed. Russia is claiming to have captured 572 soldiers (which is entirely believable). Update: Russia reports 498 troops have been killed and 1,597 wounded. This is a 3.21-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio, which seems a little low (see link below). Ukraine is reporting almost 200 Russians captured. U.S. officials are claiming around 2,000 Russian soldiers killed and 3,000 captured. Have no idea of the validity of the U.S. figures.

Update: Wounded-To-Killed Ratios | Mystics & Statistics (

Also see Chapter 15 (Casualties) in War by Numbers.

Update: Russian Troop Deaths Expose a Potential Weakness of Putin’s Strategy

It is clear that at least 1,000 people have died in this conflict. It may get a lot a bloodier if there are direct assaults on Kiev and Kharkov.

There are people doing a better job of this on Twitter, including @RALee85 and @Oryxspioenkop and @caucasuswar, none of whom are known to me.

The attached map is from Wikipedia giving the military situation as of 13:36 (UTC), Wednesday, March 2, 2022. View with caution.

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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.
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.
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).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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