Ukraine Tries to Grab Headlines

Ukraine tank disabled in cross border attack on Belgorod Province on March 12
Ukraine tank disabled in cross border attack on Belgorod Province on March 12.

By David Sole

The Ukrainian military has tried to grab headlines with bold military strikes against the Russian Federation itself. These tactics, however, are insignificant when one considers the battlefront situation along the line of contact. They have also been a crushing failure.

Since the fall of Ukraine’s stronghold of Avdeyevka on February 19 the Ukrainian troops have been in retreat. Attempts to stabilize a new line of defense west of Avdeyevka, with large numbers of reserve troops being sent in, has been unsuccessful and while fighting continues it is costing the Ukrainians dearly in casualties and weapons loss.

To take attention away from these defeats Ukraine has sent a number of heavily armed groups to directly cross the border into the Belgorod and Kursk provinces of the Russian Federation.  A large number of drone attacks have also been sent across the border.

Russian media reported that troops armed with tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery crossed into Russia along the Belgorod border on March 10. Video of this incursion and subsequent fire-fight were shown on Russian TV. Russian forces counterattacked resulting in “around 70 Ukrainian troops were either killed or severely wounded, while five tanks, three howitzers, one multiple rocket launcher and several pickups and APCs were destroyed.”

In the Kursk region of Russia another cross border attack took place on March 12 preceded by a mass drone attack. The governor of Kursk reported that 11 drones were shot down by air defense systems. During the following hours, units of Ukrainian soldiers crossed the border near the town of Tyotkino. These troops, accompanied by tanks, were pushed back by Russian border defense units.

A second Ukrainian cross border attack took place in the same area of Kursk province just 2 days later. This group also came under heavy attack by Russian troops. On March 14, another attack in Belgorod province, on the village of Kozinka, was stopped by the Russians. The Ukrainians were confronted as they entered the village. Approaches to the village were “remotely mined” by the Russians to stop any reinforcements from arriving. The Ukrainian unit was then driven out of Kozinka and cut down outside the village.

The Ukrainian units included Russians who have formed militia units trained and armed by Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that these recent attacks on Russian soil have cost the Ukrainians over 1,500 casualties, 18 tanks and 23 armored vehicles.

The United States, determined to keep their Ukrainian proxies fighting Russia, are scrounging around to find ways to provide weapons. The big spending bill to send $60 billion of aid to Ukraine continues to be held up in Congress as the Democrat and Republican feud continues. But NBC News reported on March 12 that: “The White House will provide $300 million in additional weapons to Ukraine….The package will be made available through presidential drawdown authority, of PDA, which pulls weapons from existing U.S. stockpiles….[including] anti-aircraft missiles, ammunition, artillery rounds and anti-armor systems…” Alarmingly, “the Pentagon was considering giving Ukraine urgent weapons, including the powerful [long-range ballistic] missiles, without waiting for Congress to approve funds.”

The New York Times reported on March 11 that “Ukraine could deploy F-16s as soon as July.” Some of the planes are already stationed at a NATO training base in Romania. President Biden had to give his OK for U.S. allies in Europe to transfer these fighter jets into Ukraine. Training of pilots continues in Denmark but these pilots have not yet arrived at the Fetesi base in Romania. No one expects that a few F-16s will change the balance of forces on the battlefields. Russia has decisive air superiority as well as extensive air defense systems.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply