The Russo-Ukrainian War of 2022 – Day 9 (ground actions)

There is really nothing surprisingly new today. I will put the updated sections of this daily post in italics.

No real change for like the fourth day in the row. Shelling and missile strikes in and around 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).

There was a sense that Russia was moving up forces on Kiev and Kharkov to either isolate or assault these cities. So far neither has happed at either city. I gather neither Kiev nor Kharkov are fully isolated. Not sure Russia is going to try to at this stage. They appear to be holding while working on Mariupol.

They have isolated Mariupol. The city has been without power since 1 March. I gather the Russian forces in that area are not overwhelming. Not sure they have the strength to take it or will try. Instead, it appears that they are going to try to starve it out. The vice-mayor said yesterday morning on CNN that they could hold out for five days. This is now a city far enough away from the other fighting grounds, that I assume there will no real attempt to relieve it. 

So, it does appear that this is the first “siege” of the campaign. Is the future of the Russian offensive? Is the next one at Kharkov? 

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.

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 yet again this morning 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 it has been completely isolated.

Sumy (pop. 259,660) looks in danger of being isolated. The Russians have taken Konotop (pop. 84,787).

4. The Donetsk and Lugansk provinces: So far, we have not heard much from this area.

5. Mariupol (pop: 431,859): Day 3 of the siege? This city of part of the Donetsk Oblast (province/county) and is on the route to Crimea. Mariupol is partly encircled and the power to the city is down. It appears they are going to keep it isolated and besiege it. The vice-mayor of this city said on 3 March that they can hold out for five days. I do not expect any significant relief columns.

6. Crimea & Kherson (pop: 283,649): Kherson is under Russian control. Yesterday Ukraine was claiming that there were still parts of the city under Ukranian control. Not sure if that is the case today. 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. This may be the end of their expansion in this area for now until they take Mariupol.

Russia has taken Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is making everyone nervous. It is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

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

 

The Home Front: Count of detained protesters is claimed to be 7,359. Protests continue. At least 800 people have been detained in Belarus. 

Update: 11,569 medical professionals have signed a letter protesting the war, using their names, title and affiliation. 

Exchange rate (updated): 107.99 as of 10.42 AM EST. It was 124.75 rubles to a dollar when I checked it this morning, but this was a brief spike. Not sure what the exchange rate will be if Russia ever opens its stock market. 

Price of oil (Brent crude): $113.84 (at 09:03 EST). The last report I saw, 52% of the Russian government revenue comes from oil (even though it makes up only 7% of their economy). There is a strong desire on the part of the west to bring this price down, as it undercuts their budget.

Casualties: The UN is reporting at least 331 civilians dead in the war. 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). Russia reported yesterday 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 but suspect the Russian casualty figures are understated (because they kind of always are).

UpdateWounded-To-Killed Ratios | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

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

It is clear that at least 1,500 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.

End of the War:  While Ukrainian and Russian delegations are talking, I don’t expect much from this in the short term. As Mariupol is supposedly four days away from falling, I suspect the Russians will not be interested in negotiating until they have taken it. It is part of the Donetsk province.

The attached map is from Wikipedia giving the “Military situation as of 4 March 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.
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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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