15 Events that Defined the War in Ukraine - Modern DOCUMENTARY

15 Events that Defined the War in Ukraine - Modern DOCUMENTARY

Show Video

Russia started its aggression against  Ukraine in 2014 despite promising to   respect its sovereignty in many treaties,  including the Budapest Memorandum of 1994.   In February 2022, Russian president Putin hoped to  win an easy victory and end Ukrainian sovereignty   and freedom, but his foolhardy full-scale  invasion backfired. More than a year later,   the war is still raging on, with tens of  thousands of soldiers and civilians dead   and millions displaced. But how did  we reach this point? Here is a video   with 15 key events that defined Russia’s  unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine. We had to make sure we chose events that really  happened, and that we got the full picture,   which is where our researchers come in. But for  the average news reader that isn’t a practical   option, which is why we’re glad to say that we’re  sponsored today by Ground News. It’s the news  

service that tells you what all the big players in  news are saying, which helps you get a handle on   the kinds of narratives being produced, and what  kinds of people are getting access to what kinds   of information about the world. For example, I’m  here on this story alleging serious war crimes   against the Wagner Group. On the right we see how  many news outlets have talked about this so far,   and the left-right political affiliations of  those sources. Then you get a list of all the   stories in question, which you can go read if  you like, but most interesting is that Ground   News assesses not only the sources’ partisan  position, but the balance of fact vs fiction,   and who controls the source, which gives you a  head start seeing conflicts of interest, bias,   and the possible origins and motivation of  misinformation. Similarly, they give you the  

news that some publications don’t with their  Blindspots analysis - you can see lists of   stories that are only shown to certain political  affiliations, helping you avoid falling victim   to polarization, and seeing why people tend to  view certain stories the way they do. In short,   you’ll be armed to face the modern news  industry and get a better view of what’s   actually happening. To get started, go  to ground dot news slash kings generals,   or you can get the same services on your phone  with the Ground News app. See the world from  

outside the news industry bubble and you’ll  never want to go back in, try Ground News today. 1. BATTLE OF KYIV  When Russia launched its full-scale invasion  in February 2022, Kyiv was the key target.  

Capturing Kyiv would have expedited the fall of  the Ukrainian government and potentially inflicted   a decisive blow on the resolve of the Ukrainian  army and its people to defend their country.   Kyiv was arguably the crown jewel of the new  Russian imperial project aiming to restore   the old borders of the Soviet Union. A lot was at  stake for Ukraine. All allies of Ukraine expected   a quick capture of Kyiv and, in general, had  low confidence in the ability of the Ukrainian   army and government to withstand the Russian  pressure. Remember that in February 2022,   the Russian army was still considered the second  strongest army in the world, its elite units   and its enormous stockpile of tanks and armored  vehicles were still intact. On 24 February 2022,  

the Russian army moved from the city of Chornobyl,  along with the Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts,   Ukraine was considered doomed. Footage of  ambushed and destroyed Russian tanks during   its advance seemed nothing more than a consolation  prize for the valiantly defending Ukrainian army.   Very soon, Russian operatives started their  diversions inside Kyiv, while the elite airborne   units of the Russian army were fighting to take  over key airfields in Hostomel and Vasylkiv in   the outskirts of Kyiv to create a foothold near  the capital. Within a few days, the Russian army   reached Irpin, Bucha and several other towns near  Kyiv. But Russian losses kept mounting as the 72nd   Mechanized Brigade, territorial defense units,  volunteers, National Guard units and newly arrived   international volunteers proved themselves  a tough nut to crack for the Russian army.  

Through the combination of successful  ambushes, the destruction of key bridges,   which delayed the Russian units, and a fierce  defense of Ukrainians, Russians were stopped.   Even the infamous 40-mile-long Russian tank  and armored column could not make a difference.   Several times they were on the brink of breaking  through into Kyiv, such as during the battle   of Moshchun in mid-March, but were eventually  repelled with severe losses. Russian advance in  

the Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts was significant  but still fell short of threatening Kyiv.   The Russian advance halted, and with it, their  momentum disappeared. It became clear that the   Russian force dedicated to capturing Kyiv  was way smaller than they would have needed.   They decided to switch their focus to Donbas,  where they still stand a chance of success.   Thus, in early April, the Russian army withdrew  from the Kyiv, Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts under   the pretext of the Gesture of Good Will. To  this day, the Russian propaganda claims that   the Russian army could have captured Kyiv had it  wanted to do so, or that Kyiv was actually never   a target, but whatever they are trying to sell,  and however they are trying to portray this,   it does not matter. Ukraine won the battle of  Kyiv and achieved arguably the biggest upset  

of modern military history and took a huge step  towards, at the very least, not losing this war. 2. INITIAL RUSSIAN ADVANCE, CAPTURE OF KHERSON  While the end-game of the Russian invasion of  Ukraine still puzzles analysts, simultaneous   attacks on several axes indicated the intention  of Putin. There was an assault on Kyiv through   Chornobyl, Chernihiv oblast and Sumy oblast;  on Kharkiv from Belgorod; on North Luhansk from   Russia and the occupied portion of Donbas; on  Kherson and the Zaporizhia oblasts from Crimea.  

Had all of these offensives succeeded, Russia  would have undoubtedly moved to occupy,   at the very least, the left bank of the river  Dnipro and the key city of Odesa. Perhaps more.   This overly ambitious and optimistic plan fell  well short of being executed as Ukraine offered   a level of resistance which virtually nobody  expected from them. Russia suffered heavy losses   and was defeated in the Battle of Kyiv and had  to leave all of northern Ukraine by April 2022.  

Russia failed to capture Kharkiv. Since the  expectation from the Russian army was a quick   victory everywhere all at once, setbacks in Kyiv  and Kharkiv overshadowed a significant advance of   the Russian army in the south and the east of  Ukraine. On March 2, Russia captured Kherson,   the only regional center they had managed  to occupy since the start of the war.  

They advanced from there to the right bank of  the river Dnipro, along with capturing large   swathes of the Zaporizhia oblast. By May,  they had completed the capture of Mariupol.   A significant portion of the Kharkiv oblast  was taken under Russian control. The initial   Russian advance culminated in the summer when  Russia finally captured Sieverodonetsk and   Lysychansk after months of fighting. This put all  of the Luhansk oblast under Russian occupation.  Russia achieved several strategic  goals in the war's first 3-4 months.   They created a land bridge between Russia and  Crimea. They created a bridgehead on the right   bank of Dnipro to threaten strategic Odesa.  They ensured the blockade of key Ukrainian  

ports instrumental for Ukrainian exports. But time  showed us that the Russian occupation force was   too small to protect its initial success. 3. WESTERN SANCTIONS As we have already pointed out on numerous  occasions, virtually everyone predicted a   quick victory for Russia at the start of the  war. Western pundits argued that the United   States and the European Union would add a  few more irritating sanctions on Russia,   which would fall well short of having a  decisive impact on the Russian economy,   similar to what happened after the annexation  of Crimea in 2014. The common theme of analysts  

was that very soon after Russia won the war,  everything would return to business as usual.  But the overachievement of the Ukrainian army  on the first days of the war, the refusal of   president Zelensky and the Ukrainian government  to give up without fighting changed the script   and the narrative. Even though this seemed  very unlikely, just a few days into the war,   western countries decided to disconnect major  Russian banks from the SWIFT international   payment system, which was seen as the most  painful sanction to be imposed upon Russia.  

Russian assets in western countries worth  some 1 trillion dollars were frozen.   Almost all major western corporations  have stopped doing business in Russia.   Import of several Russian commodities was banned,  along with the export of western technologies and   spare parts necessary for maintaining Russian  industry. The European Union even agreed to  

ban sea oil imports and impose a price  cap for Russian oil and gas. Considering   Europe’s long-term dependence on Russian  energy exports, this was a remarkable step.  Have the Western sanctions worked? If the  goal was to force the Kremlin to withdraw   from Ukraine immediately, this has certainly not  worked. But arguably, the more realistic goal is   to gradually degrade the Russian economy to the  point when waging war would become unsustainable.   As the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell  told the European Parliament, “the sanctions   are a slow-action poison. It takes time”. In  2022 the Russian economy shrank only by 2.2%,   according to the IMF, or 4.5%, according to the  World Bank. The Russian Central Bank has been  

using available resources to stabilize the ruble  and the Russian economy in general. Additionally,   energy prices soared last year due to the  unpredictability of the war, which has ironically   allowed Russia to make huge profits from energy.  Russia has been diverting its economy from Western   markets to mostly China and India, and although  this is a long process, these two countries have   already been purchasing much of the Russian energy  commodities. For instance, India has had a 16-fold   increase in oil imports from Russia since the  start of the war. However, both of these countries   buy Russian energy at a considerable discount,  lower than even the price cap imposed by the West.  

As a result, the Russian economy has been running  considerable deficits in January and February,   with the budgetary revenues down by almost 30%. The Russian economy is standing for now,   but as energy prices have had a downward  trend and the Western countries are trying   harder to eliminate loopholes in sanction  regimes, it may start suffering more.   It is too early to make a definitive judgment  on the effectiveness of western sanctions,   but in the short-term the Russian economy has  surely not crumbled under the sanctions regime. 4. BATTLE OF MARIUPOL Before the invasion, Mariupol   was an important industrial center of Ukraine and  one of the key ports for Ukraine’s global trade.   It became the target of Russian aggression in  2014, when their proxies first took control of the   city before being expelled by Ukrainian forces.  But when the Russian invasion was launched,  

Mariupol again became the focus of the Russian  army’s attention. It started being shelled on the   very first day of the war. Very soon, the Russians  advanced on the city, and by March, Mariupol was   surrounded. The city's siege had begun, and it  was under uninterrupted shelling and airstrikes.   Several attempts to evacuate civilians failed as  a humanitarian disaster unfolded in front of the   world. On March 9, a Russian airstrike destroyed  a maternity ward and a children’s hospital.  

On March 16, hundreds were killed in an airstrike  on the Dram Theater of Mariupol, where civilians   had taken shelter. By mid-March, Russians  were already making gains inside the city,   with chances of the Ukrainian defenders breaking  the encirclement diminishing to non-existent.   Russians gradually advanced deep into the  city by methodically destroying all pockets   of resistance. The Ukrainian air force conducted  several helicopter missions to provide military   and medical supplies to besieged defenders of  Mariupol, which surely boosted their morale,   but in the grand scheme of things, was not nearly  enough to change the situation. Ultimately,   the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, a huge facility  with a vast network of buildings and underground   tunnels, became the sole pocket of resistance,  where the Azov regiment and remaining Ukrainian   defenders continued fighting. Their defiant  resistance continued until May 20, when Ukrainian  

soldiers had no other option but to surrender.  The Azovstal resistance was not only a symbolic   act of courage by the Ukrainian defenders, which  won the sympathy of many worldwide. It also fixed   a significant portion of the Russian occupation  force in Mariupol, which could have been used   in the Zaporizhia oblast or Donbas, enabling the  Russian army to capture more Ukrainian territories   at the time Russians were still advancing.  Still, Russia captured Mariupol after months of   fierce fighting, completing the important task of  creating a land bridge between Russia and Crimea.

5. MOSKVA CRUISER SINKING Despite the fact that Ukraine had almost   no navy and no one expected this, the Black Sea  became one of the theatres of the war in Ukraine.   Russia has historically strived to make the  Black Sea its internal lake and enjoyed a   strong presence in the Black Sea at the start of  the war in Ukraine with the Soviet-made Moskva   cruiser as the flagship of the Russian Black Sea  fleet. The Black Sea Fleet has been used for the   naval blockade of Ukraine, for support of ground  operations of the Russian army and for the capture   of the Zmiinyi Island at the beginning of the war.  As the Ukrainian navy was significantly weakened   by the capture of its vessels and defections to  Russia during the illegal annexation of Crimea in   2014, along with losing some of its vessels  at the beginning of the Russian invasion,   it has not posed a major problem for the Russian  navy. But the 1936 Montreux Convention allowed   Turkey to close the Straits in wartime, which  caused a far greater problem for the Russian   presence in the Black Sea during this war, as  it couldn’t bring new ships to the Black sea.  

On 14 April 2022, the Moskva cruiser was sunk  a day after being struck by Ukrainian Neptune   anti-ship cruise missiles. Russia did not mention  Ukraine in its official statement regarding the   incident stating that it occurred due to an  explosion of ammunition on board. The number of   casualties of the Moskva sinking is still unclear  as claims range from 40 to 600. To this point,   Russia has not been able to replace the Moskva  with two other missile cruisers of a similar class   it possesses due to the Montreux Convention. After  the sinking, Russia was forced to move its Black   Sea Fleet further away to about 80 nautical  miles from the Ukraine-controlled territory,   effectively making any landing operation against  Odesa or Mykolaiv impossible. Moskva was the  

Russian ship with the most advanced  anti-missile and anti-air capabilities   and had to defend smaller ships, so its sinking  complicated the naval operations considerably.  Russia also suffered reputational  damage caused by the Moskva sinking.   The Russian Black Sea Fleet was perceived  to be safe from any threats from Ukraine,   but the Ukraine-made Neptune missiles begged to  differ. The Moskva cruiser had a symbolic meaning   for Putin personally, as he had sailed on it on  several occasions, and this incident was a huge   morale boost and propaganda win for Ukraine during  the toughest first several months of the war.

6. BATTLE OF SEVERODONETSK When Russia withdrew from   Kyiv and North Ukraine in early April,  it refocused its efforts on Donbas.   By then, most of Luhansk oblast was already  under the Russian occupation, but Ukraine still   controlled Lysychansk, Severodonetsk and several  other towns nearby. It was a Ukrainian-controlled   salient which stuck like a sore thumb for Russia,  and in April, they gathered some 12.5k troops and   a massive artillery force to capture it. In May,  Russia captured the towns of Popasna and Rubizhne,  

crucial for the control of Severodonetsk. But the  Russian advance was not coming easy. For instance,   on May 10, the Ukrainian army destroyed at least 1  Russian Battalion Tactical Group when it tried to   cross the pontoon bridge across the Siverskyi  Donets river near Bilohorivka, with dozens of   tanks and IFVs destroyed. Still, despite heavy  losses, Russians continued making steady gains.   In late May, they took the battle into  Severodonetsk. Despite some successful   counter-attacks of the Ukrainian army  inside the city, the Russian firepower   advantage was immense and decisive. On June 9,  the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk oblast Serhiy   Haidai reported that Russia had captured 90% of  Severodonetsk. The Ukrainian commander-in-Chief   Zaluzhny blamed the Russian advance in this  section on a “tenfold advantage” in artillery.  

On June 24, the Ukrainian forces withdrew from  the city, as their defensive positions were   becoming untenable and the risk of encirclement  growing. A few days later, Lysychansk fell too.  The capture of Severodonetsk was the culmination  of the Russian offensive in the second phase   of the war. With this victory, the Russian army  took all of the Luhansk oblast under its control,   which was an important propaganda win. But they  also took heavy losses in the process, something   the Ukrainian army would take advantage of in  just two months. Moreover, the Russian artillery  

advantage in the battle of Severodonetsk prompted  the United States to finally agree to Ukrainian   requests to supply them with HIMARS MLRS, which  helped Ukraine to turn the tide in this war. 7. HIMARS O’CLOCK; TANKS FOR UKRAINE! The Russian aggression against Ukraine   began in 2014, but the west only started supplying  weapons in 2018. Even as the United States and   Europe were ringing alarm bells about the imminent  Russian invasion, their military assistance to   Kyiv remained limited. Initially, weapons provided  to Ukraine were mostly defensive, such as Javelin  

and NLAW portable anti-tank weapons and  Stinger portable anti-aircraft weapons.   The goal of these supplies was to limit the impact  of the massive superiority of Russia in tanks,   armoured vehicles and military aircraft. These  weapons are also suitable for guerilla warfare,   which is what many military commentators  expected the war to evolve into.  

Instead, these weapons played a key role in  stalling the initial Russian advance. Ukrainians   destroyed scores of Russian tanks and armored  vehicles in ambushes with Javelin and NLAW,   often targeting the first and the last vehicles  in long Russian columns, making it very difficult   for all the vehicles in between to move. Stingers  destroyed several Russian military aircraft, which   was the first step towards denying air superiority  to Russians. But as the Russian Blietzkrig-Z   failed, they switched to their usual tactic of  massing artillery in their targeted sections,   and shelling them into obliteration. This tactic  enabled the Russian army to progress in Donbas,   notably capturing Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk in  the summer of 2022, which remains the last major   success of the Kremlin in Ukraine as of 31st of  March. This prompted the United States to supply  

HIMARS MLRS with a precision-guided munition of  80 km range around the same time. HIMARS became   a game-changer for the Ukrainian army. News  of the destruction of Russian military bases,   ammunition depots, oil depots and other military  assets started flowing almost daily. Russia could   not afford to use the same tactic anymore and  eventually was forced to withdraw its military   assets deeper into the occupied area outside  HIMARS's range. This halted the Russian offensive   and enabled the Ukrainian army to finally catch  the momentum and liberate large swaths of land in   several months. As Russia retaliated with drone  and missile attacks on the critical Ukrainian   civilian infrastructure, the West started  supplying air defence systems to Ukraine. 

But by late 2022, the Ukrainian advance stalled  too. It became evident that Ukraine would need   to improve the tank and armored vehicle capacity  of its army to launch another counter-offensive.   After months of negotiations, Western allies  finally agreed to cross the self-imposed red   line of not providing western-made tanks to  Ukraine, as the United States pledged Abrams,   the UK pledged Challenger 2, while Germany and the  EU members promised Leopard 2 main battle tanks,   along with dozens of other significant military  deliveries. According to different estimates,  

Ukraine’s allies have provided military assistance  worth 40-50 billion dollars within a year since   the start of the full-scale invasion, the lion's  share of which belongs to the United States at   around 30 billion dollars. It is impossible  to understate the significance of this aid,   as Western military support has enabled the  Ukrainian army first to stop the Russian   army and then launch its own offensives. It has  given Ukraine a chance actually to win this war.   Ukraine is currently discussing the delivery  of fighter jets and long-range precision   weapons with its western allies, who are so far  reluctant to cross another self-imposed red line.   But if the first year of the war has taught us  anything, it is that while the West may be slow   in reacting to Ukrainian needs and is proceeding  with the utmost caution, it eventually delivers. 8. KHERSON COUNTER-OFFENSIVE After the capture of Severodonetsk   and Lysychansk by July 2022, the frontline  stabilized in Ukraine for a bit. It seemed  

like the Russian assault capabilities had been  diminished after months of costly battles, while   Ukraine was waiting for more Western military  support and an opportune moment to strike.   The Ukrainian political and military leadership  started telegraphing their intent to launch a   counter-attack on the occupied portion of the  Kherson oblast on the right bank of Dnipro.   Obviously, deception is a key component of the  art of war, and it was strange that Ukraine had   been so open about its intentions. But  their statements about Kherson prompted   the Russian command to transfer some of its  forces in Kharkiv oblast and Donbas to their   bridgehead on the right bank of Dnipro, which  may have been the Ukrainian intention all along.   In July, Ukraine started using HIMARS against  Russian bases, logistical lines, ammunition and   fuel depots and other components of its military  infrastructure on the right bank of Dnipro.  

But the key target of HIMARS strikes were bridges  across Dnipro, including the Antonivka bridge,   which enabled Russians to transfer  troops and equipment to the right bank.   These HIMARS strikes severely crippled the Russian  military infrastructure on the right bank putting   their troops in the region in a precarious  position. They also forced the Russian army to   relocate some of its military infrastructure  to the left bank out of range of HIMARS.   The strikes continued throughout July and August,  gradually weakening the Russian military strength   in the area. While both Ukraine and Russia  attempted several minor assaults on the   right bank of Dnipro in this period, it  led only to minor changes on the ground. 

On August 29, a large-scale counter-offensive  was finally launched by Ukraine on the right bank   of Dnipro. The Ukrainian army immediately broke  through the first line of defence and liberated   several villages and towns. But the Ukrainian  advance was initially slow and the government   officials called for patience and not to expect a  quick victory. Heavy fighting with slow Ukrainian   progress continued in September, when Russia  announced the annexation of the Kherson oblast.   In early October, Ukraine achieved an important  breakthrough, rapidly advancing along the bank   of Dnipro for up to 30 kilometres. Ukrainian  assaults were accompanied by regular HIMARS  

strikes on the Russian military infrastructure and  logistical lines in the area, further crippling   their capacity to defend the occupied areas. On  October 18, the new Russian commander in Ukraine,   Sergei Surovikin, admitted that defending Kherson  would be difficult. Steady, but slow Ukrainian   advance continued. The Ukrainian command would  have preferred the liberation of the right bank   of Dnipro to be accompanied by the surrender of  the formidable Russian contingent in the area   but chose to progress slowly to prevent any  surprises, which allowed the Russian troops   to start leaving this area in early November.  Finally, on November 11, the Ukrainian army   entered the city of Kherson putting an end to the  Russian occupation on the right bank of Dnipro.  The Kherson counter-offensive is one of the most  important victories of Ukraine in this war. The  

anticipation of the counter-offensive forced  the Russian command to relocate troops from the   Kharkiv oblast, enabling the Ukrainian army to  launch another counter-offensive there as well.   Both of these resounding victories  demonstrated to the world that   Ukraine is capable of both valiantly defending  itself and conducting successful offensives.   This was an important morale boost for  the Ukrainian army and society while   demonstrating to Ukraine’s western allies that  further military support would not be in vain.

9. KHARKIV COUNTER-OFFENSIVE Although Russia failed to capture Kharkiv,   it occupied a significant portion of the Kharkiv  oblast in the initial offensive at the start   of the war. By the time the Ukrainian army  stabilized the situation, important logistical   hubs of the Kharkiv oblast, like Izium, Balakliya  and Kupiansk, were under Russian control. Kharkiv   was regularly shelled, and battles continued  for months without much to show for either side.   It increasingly seemed like both sides had  deprioritized this front. And the Ukrainian army   took advantage of this masterfully. For months the  Ukrainian government and army officials, including  

president Zelensky, told the world about their  intention to counter-attack in the Kherson oblast.   Evidently, Russia took the bait and redeployed  some of its troops from the Kharkiv oblast to   the right bank of Dnipro. On the eve of the  Kharkiv counter-offensive, several Russian   Telegram channels warned about the increased  Ukrainian deployment activity on this front,   but for some reason, the Russian command chose  not to react and prepare in any way. Moreover,   Ukrainians launched several notable HIMARS strikes  on Russian military infrastructure in the occupied   Kharkiv oblast in preparation for their assault. On September 6, the Ukrainian army launched  

its counter-offensive, which surprised the  Russian army. Unlike in Kherson, this time,   they managed a quick advance by bypassing  Russian positions and attacking their rear,   forcing the Russian troops suffering from poor  morale and being undermanned to panic and flee.   On September 8, Ukrainians liberated Balakliya.  Two days later, they took Izium without much   fighting. Russians were being routed and  leaving large amounts of military equipment.   By September 13, Ukrainians liberated all  the territory west of the river Oskil.   Russians intended to create their new defensive  line there, but Ukrainian progress continued.  

On the same day, they established a bridgehead  on the East bank of Oskil near Borova.   3 days later, the strategic town of Kupiansk  was liberated. Almost every day, the news of the   liberation of numerous towns and villages would  flow. Russians struggled to establish a solid   front, and the Ukrainian advance continued until  October 1, when the Ukrainian army retook Lyman.   The new front emerged along the Svatove-Kreminna  line, which is still the case as of late March.  The Kharkiv counter-offensive was a huge success  for the Ukrainian army. They liberated over 500  

settlements and 12k square kilometres of Ukrainian  land. This devastating success forced the Kremlin   to conduct an unpopular mobilization and speed  up its sham referenda on occupied territories.   More importantly, just like it was  in the Kherson counter-offensive,   the Ukrainian army proved that  it is capable of attacking too.

10. ATTACK ON THE CRIMEAN BRIDGE  The morning of 8 October 2022 brought astonishing  news to everyone following the war in Ukraine.   Despite apocalyptic warnings by the former  president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev and   other Russian officials, Ukraine heavily damaged  the Kerch Bridge through a still unclear method.  

Let’s give a little context about the  importance of the Kerch Bridge. This   bridge connects the Taman Peninsula of Russia  with the illegally annexed Crimea. It consists   of a highway and railroad, which became the  key supply line connecting Russia to Crimea.   Putin opened the bridge personally in 2018 to  highlight its symbolic and strategic importance   to Russia. It was supposed to demonstrate that  Crimea is now home to Mother Russia forever.   Only Ukraine had other ideas about this. The incident footage shows that a truck   carrying explosives exploded on the highway  bridge, simultaneously causing the explosion   of 7 fuel tanks on the railway bridge. Other  reputable sources claim that the blast may have  

been caused by maritime drones or missile strikes.  Whatever the source of the explosion on the Kerch   Bridge has been, it has caused significant damage  to both bridges. This has delayed the delivery of   supplies to Crimea, and one has to remember  that while there are other supply routes to   Crimea through the occupied Donbas and Zaporizhia  oblast, the Kerch Bridge is a crucial alternative,   and Russia cannot afford to lose it, if it  intends to keep Crimea under its control.   Russia is currently conducting very active  repair works on the bridge, intending to   restore its full operability in July 2023. It is also worth noting that the retaliation   of the Kremlin to this embarrassing and  painful attack demonstrated that the only   remaining tool of escalation for Russia is  the nuclear weapon, the probability of use of   which is extremely unlikely. Yes, Russia struck  several Ukrainian cities with cruise missiles,  

which was tragic to all victims of these attacks  in retaliation. But Russia has been attacking   Ukrainian cities throughout the war anyway, and  the retaliation demonstrated that Medvedev’s   regular warnings about the nuclear apocalypse  should be taken with a huge grain of salt. 11. RUSSIAN MOBILIZATION  In hindsight, it is now absolutely clear that the  size of the Russian occupation force at the start   of the war was small and inadequate to its grand  ambitions of capturing almost all of Ukraine.  

Evidently, the initial Russian strategy  relied upon a false premise of the weakness   of the Ukrainian statehood and its army, which  was supposedly going to crumble in the face of   the elite Russian VDV (airborne troops) and a  never-ending stream of Russian tanks. The size   of the Russian army sent to take over Ukraine in  February was estimated to be between 150 and 200k   troops. As Russia sought to capture all of Kyiv,  Kharkiv, Donbas, and Odesa, while employing very   poor tactics such as continuous frontal assaults  and facing powerful Ukrainian resistance, they   started taking heavy losses. Crypto-mobilization  efforts, such as the recruitment of inmates by  

the Wagner PMC and the creation of volunteer  battalions by republics of the Russian Federation,   have not been sufficient to change this situation  radically. And as the Russian offensive momentum   stalled in the summer of 2022, it became evident  that Russian lines had been stretched extremely   thin, with the number of soldiers nowhere near  enough to hold huge swathes of occupied territory.   One of the key reasons behind the Russian  disaster in the Kharkiv counter-offensive   was that the Russian army simply did not have  enough men to defend, hence they were routed.   There was news of lost territories  almost every day in September 2022,   and the Russian public was increasingly unhappy.  This prompted Putin to use one of the last  

remaining cards up his sleeves to escalate  and turn the tide of the war - mobilization.   He ordered a partial mobilization on 21  September 2022, despite promising not to   do that on numerous occasions before that. The exact number of people to be mobilized   was not reported and is still debated. The defense  minister Shoigu stated that 300k reservists would   be mobilized, while some claimed the number  to be much higher at 1.2 million people.   Russian military conscription offices conducted  a chaotic execution of the mobilization order,   evidenced by numerous tragicomic videos  demonstrating poor accommodation and supply   of the Russian mobiks. Some mobilized were  sent to the battlefield almost immediately,  

while others went through the training process,  the effectiveness of which is difficult to assess.   Although the execution of mobilization has  been heavily criticized even in Russia,   the sheer number of people brought to  fight in Ukraine, trained or untrained,   well-equipped or poorly equipped, made a  difference. They bolstered Russian lines,   and enabled them to create reserves, which  prevented the Ukrainian army from liberating   any further territory after the Kharkiv and  Kherson counter-offensives. Some argue that the   Kremlin will order another mobilization very soon,  but there has been no confirmation of this yet. 12. RUSSIAN ATTACKS ON UKRAINIAN INFRASTRUCTURE When Ukraine managed to catch the offensive  

momentum in this war in the fall of 2022, Russia  made two important decisions to regain the   initiative. First, they conducted mobilization to  bolster the ranks of the occupation force. Second,   the Kremlin decided to launch a campaign of  mass strikes against the Ukrainian civilian   infrastructure. Make no mistake, Russia had  been striking Ukrainian cities, their civilian   infrastructure, residential buildings, bridges  and other objects since the start of the war.   But since October 2022, Russian strikes have  started being more systematic and regular.   One of the main targets was the Ukrainian  energy infrastructure, which aimed to cripple   the Ukrainian power supply to industries and  households. The idea was to hit the Ukrainian  

energy infrastructure hard throughout cold months  and leave ordinary Ukrainians without heating and   power, which was going to supposedly make them  force their government to acquiesce to Russian   demands. Russians have been using Iranian-made  Shahed kamikaze drones , cruise missiles,   Iskander ballistic missiles, S-300 air defense  missiles and even Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic   missiles against Ukrainian cities throughout  this period. These pushed Ukraine’s western   allies to finally start supplying western-made  air defence systems such as Patriot, IRIS T,   and NASAMS, which have helped Ukraine to mitigate  this threat. But Ukraine still struggles to shoot   down Kinzhal missiles, S-300 missiles, as  it lacks the weapons to do that. Ukraine’s   energy infrastructure was under extreme duress for  several months, and at times, households would be   without power for several days in a row. It has  caused a few small-scale spontaneous protests.  

But since February 2023, the Ukrainian government  has seemingly managed to stabilize the situation.   The power supply to households has become much  more stable and regular. This has been possible   for several reasons, such as the apparent  inability of Russia to sustain the intensity   of strikes on Ukrainian cities it had in October,  November and December and significant support from   Ukraine’s allies in supplying the country with  generators, other energy supply facilities and   financial help to alleviate this problem. So  far, Ukraine has been able to avoid the worst   and seems to have adapted to Russian missile  and drone strikes to minimize their impact.   13. BATTLE OF BAKHMUT 

Bakhmut is one of many cities in the densely  populated industrial region of Donbas of Ukraine.   Back in 2014, some clashes occurred in the  city, but the Ukrainian forces quickly expelled   Russian-backed troops from Bakhmut. Following  their defeat in the battle of Kyiv, the Russians   switched their primary focus to Donbas. After  the fall of Popasna in May 2022, followed by the   capture of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk, Bakhmut  became the main target of Russia in Donbas.   It is important to remember the context here.  Since it became clear that the Ukrainian  

government would not fall and that capturing  Kyiv, Odesa, and other big cities was more of   a pipe dream than a realistic goal, the Kremlin  changed its narrative, switching the focus from   Ukraine overall to specifically Donbas. Capturing  Donbas and reaching the administrative borders   of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts became a more  achievable goal that Russia started to pursue.   Bakhmut is a strategically important logistics  hub of Donbas, so capturing it is a must for the   Russian army if they intend to move on Sloviansk  and Kramatorsk, as is expected from them. 

Fighting in and around Bakhmut started in August,  when Russian forces advanced to the city's   outskirts, gaining ground in villages and towns  around Bakhmut. But the back and forth between   Russian and Ukrainian armies continued until  November, as sides repeatedly captured and lost   the same ground. Even as Russia suffered setbacks  in the Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts, Wagner and   other units continued assaulting Bakhmut, but  until November, the battle of Bakhmut was mostly   a slow-paced trench warfare with significant  Russian losses. That is when Wagner and regular   Russian units went on an offensive and started  to grind gradually through Ukrainian defenses.   The significance of Bakhmut for Ukraine became  further evident when Zelensky visited it in   December amidst heavy fighting. The biggest  Russian breakthrough occurred after Wagner's  

occupation of the small town of Soledar in  January. Since then, the Russian army has been   expanding its area of control around Bakhmut.  Ukraine now has only one supply line to Bakhmut   left, and in March, the Ukrainians withdrew from  the eastern part of Bakhmut to more advantageous   defensive positions on the Zabakhmutka river.  Different reports indicate that the United States   has advised Ukraine to withdraw from Bakhmut  completely to the next line of defense, but so   far, the Ukrainian command has decided to stay  put and fight. As of late March, Bakhmut holds. 14. BUCHA MASSACRE Bucha is a small town near Kyiv. Before  

the war in Ukraine, most people outside of Ukraine  probably did not know about the existence of this   inconspicuous town. We first heard about this  town, when Russia assaulted it at the start of the   war. Then we read about a humanitarian catastrophe  in Bucha, as sides fought fiercely for control.   Ukrainian media started reporting  about Russian soldiers' indiscriminate   killing of civilians in Bucha. On March  9, the Ukrainian government evacuated 20k   residents from Bucha amidst heavy fighting. Rumors  and reports of atrocities continued circulating,   but the scale of the tragedy inflicted on  Bucha by the Russian army became apparent   only as the 64th Separate Motorized Brigade, the  76th Guards Air Assault Brigade, and other units   withdrew from the town and the Ukrainian forces  moved in. According to the Ukrainian government,   458 civilians were killed in Bucha, while the  UN confirmed the killing of 73 civilians and   investigated 105 cases. Civilians were killed  indiscriminately. Some of them were killed in  

their homes during door-to-door raids. Apparently,  others were killed on the streets while they   were minding their own business and going on with  their daily routines. There were signs of torture,   mutilation, and rape on some bodies. Russians  tried to hide traces of their atrocities by   burning bodies and digging mass graves. Of  course, Russia denied its responsibility and  

claimed that this was fake news spread by  enemies of Russia and that everything was   orchestrated in order to blame the Russian army.  But international human rights organizations,   prominent media outlets, and satellite footage all  pointed at the Russian army as the perpetrator.   Similar atrocities have been revealed in other  temporarily occupied towns like Izium and   Trostyanets too. The Bucha massacre was shocking  in itself, by being such an unspeakable tragedy,   but it was not shocking in terms of the history  of the atrocities committed by the Russian army.

15. GRAIN DEAL Even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine,   food prices were hitting record highs on the  market due to the pandemic-caused disruption   of supply lines and a hike in energy prices. But  the war in Ukraine could have turned it into a   full-scale crisis with potentially disastrous  consequences in the poorest parts of the world.  At the start of the war, Ukraine had 10% of  global wheat exports, along with being the   world's largest exporter of sunflower oil  and one of the largest exporters of corn.   Russia and Ukraine combined had 27% of  global wheat export and 53% of sunflower and   seed exports. Many African countries imported a  significant portion of their wheat from Russia and  

Ukraine, with 15 of those countries having more  than half of their imports from the warring sides.   Since Russia blockaded Ukraine's maritime  trade routes, Ukraine could not export its   wheat to global markets. The matter was further  complicated as Ukraine placed naval mines on   its shores to prevent Russian assault from  the sea. Along with that, in response to the   Western sanctions, Russia decided to stop  exporting fertilizers to global markets. 

In April 2022, the UN and Turkey started mediating  between sides to avoid a global food crisis.   Negotiations continued for almost 3 months when  on July 22, the warring sides finally signed the   Grain Deal. Russia and Ukraine did not sign any  agreement with each other, instead choosing to   sign separate mirror agreements with the UN and  Turkey. The deal envisaged the safe export of  

wheat and fertilizers from Odesa, Chornomorsk  and Yuzhne through a special corridor in the   Black Sea. Turkey assumed the responsibility of  inspecting all vessels carrying relevant produce.   The agreement was signed for 4 months, but  since then, it has been renewed several times,   most recently on 18 March 2023. At one point on 29  October 2022, Russia suspended its participation   in response to Ukraine’s attack on the port of  Sevastopol, occupied by Russia. But Russia’s   refusal to participate was basically ignored, as  Ukraine continued exporting its products with the   UN's and Turkey's approval. 4 days later, Russia  confirmed the resumption of its participation in   the grain deal claiming that Ukraine agreed  not to use the special corridor for military   needs. Ukraine refuted this claim stating that  no further guarantees were provided to Russia,   as Ukraine does not intend to use the corridor  for military uses anyway. While the Grain Deal was  

later criticized by Russia under the pretext that  the majority of the Ukrainian export ended up in   Western countries, it was still a major positive  step for stabilizing the global food market. Unfortunately, the war rages on, so we will  continue this series. If you don’t want to miss   any episodes, make sure you are subscribed and  have pressed the bell button to see them. Please,   consider liking, subscribing, commenting,  and sharing - it helps immensely. Recently we  

have started releasing weekly patron and youtube  member exclusive content, consider joining their   ranks via the link in the description or button  under the video to watch these weekly videos,   learn about our schedule, get early access  to our videos, access our private discord,   and much more. This is the Kings and Generals  channel, and we will catch you on the next one.

2023-05-01 17:33

Show Video

Other news