Saturday, June 22, 2024

Russians Retreating From Around Kyiv, Refitting in Belarus 

Roughly two-thirds of Russian forces used to target Ukraine’s capital departed Kyiv and are refitting in Belarus, a senior defense official speaking on background said today.

“We assess that they are largely consolidating themselves in Belarus prior to some level of redeployment back into Ukraine,” the official told Pentagon reporters.

That does mean, however, that about a third of the forces President Vladimir Putin used to invade his neighbor are still near Kyiv. The official cannot predict when or if the nearby group of remaining Russian units will retreat to join the other of their forces already consolidated in Belarus.

“What we continue to believe is that they’re going to be refit, resupplied, perhaps maybe even reinforced with additional manpower, and then sent back into Ukraine to continue fighting elsewhere,” the official said. “Our best assessment … is that they will be applied in the eastern part of the country in the Donbas region.”

Putin launched more than 125 battalion tactical groups into Ukraine Feb. 24. Looking across the country, the majority of those units are still in Ukraine.

In Bucha, a town on the western outskirts of Kyiv and scene of heavy fighting, Ukrainian troops found evidence of Russian murders of local civilians. “We can’t independently confirm the reports of atrocities in Bucha,” the official said. “We have no reason whatsoever to refute the Ukrainian claims about these atrocities. Clearly, they are deeply, deeply troubling.”

American officials warned that the Russian invasion of Ukraine would be brutal, “and they have proven to be that and then some,” the official said.

While the Russian retreat from Kyiv is heartening, no one is calling this a Ukrainian victory; though, Putin’s goal to overthrow Ukraine’s elected government has been thwarted. “Mr. Putin made it clear he didn’t … acknowledge Ukrainian sovereignty,” the official said. “He made it very clear that he was after regime change in Ukraine. A key piece of achieving that regime change was taking the capital city. He has failed to do that. … They’re moving away from Kyiv.”

But that does not mean Kyiv is out of danger. The capital can still be hit by air attacks and long-range fires. “Nobody is taking this [Russian retreat] for granted,” he said. “Nobody is spiking any football here. The truth is, we’re not sure exactly what the long-range goal here is.”  

In the meantime, the United States is delivering weapons and supplies to the embattled Ukrainian forces. There is a new $300 million pot of money that can be used to get these needed capabilities into Ukraine, a process that is being rushed.

“Everything we’re doing with respect to Ukraine is being expedited — everything,” he said.

- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest news

Impact of CPEC 2.0 on Gilgit Baltistan (POJK)

Washington, DC - Despite financial and security concerns, Pakistan and China have launched CPEC 2.0 with a renewed emphasis...

‘Born in the USA’ Turns 40 − and Still Remains one of Bruce Springsteen’s Most Misunderstood Songs

Elton John, Adele and R.E.M. did it. So did Rihanna and the Rolling Stones. If Donald Trump tried to...

High Interest Rates Aren’t Going Away Anytime Soon – a Business Economist Explains Why

Christopher Decker, University of Nebraska Omaha The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at its May 1, 2024, policy meeting,...

Tibetan Advocacy and Hope: Conversation with Ven. Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende

Venerable Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende, member of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile from the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism...
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Election-Angst and the Best of Bad Choices

*Huge thanks to Kit Nicholson for research, writing, and retaining hope in what is to come. In November of 2020,...

Echoes of Cochin: The Enduring Legacy of Kerala’s Jewish Community

The Cochin Jews: A Historical Overview The Cochin Jews, a distinctive Jewish community, have called the Malabar Coast of southwestern...

Must read

Echoes of Cochin: The Enduring Legacy of Kerala’s Jewish Community

The Cochin Jews: A Historical Overview The Cochin Jews, a...