War of Attrition.
Programming Note: News Items will be off tomorrow. It resumes distribution on Thursday.
1. Russian attacks struck Kyiv, Odessa and other locations across Ukraine as Moscow appears to be shifting its battle plan to compel Ukraine to relinquish claims to its southern and eastern territory. The Ukrainian government on Monday rebuffed Russia’s demand to surrender the embattled port city of Mariupol, where intense fighting continued. As its military offensive against Ukraine has stalled, Russia is increasingly bombing civilian areas in what is evolving into a war of attrition aimed at pressuring the government in Kyiv into granting concessions and acquiescing to Moscow’s demands. “Live,” updating war coverage is here and here. (Sources: wsj.com, nytimes.com, theguardian.com)
2. Russia is sending “low-quality” reserves to the front lines in Ukraine to replace its losses, according to a military assessment released Monday by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Analysts at the Washington think tank said Moscow was deploying “low-readiness” troops originally stationed in Russia’s Eastern Military District. The ISW said that Russian forces stopped offensive operations near Kyiv on Monday, instead opting to reinforce their defensive positions. Western officials said recently that the Kremlin’s troops have been largely stalled outside major population centers in the face of fierce Ukrainian attacks on their supply lines. (Sources: washingtonpost.com, understandingwar.org)
It is believed that the Russian Air Force is facing inventory problems with their precision-guided munitions. In addition, some of their munitions are failing to launch, not hitting targets, or failing to explode on contact. Ukrainian drones have been having great success against Russian targets. Drones as simple as the cheap, commercial ones available online to more complex ones like the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 are taking a toll on the Russians. One of the more favorite targets are Russian convoys that are parked along the side of a road at night. The Ukrainian drone unit, Aerorozvidka, was started in 2014 by model plane enthusiasts. The unit is now flying up to 300 missions a day. (Source: sof.news)