Reports from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, has suggested that Ukrainian troops are counter-attacking Russian forces in some areas.
According to Local Authorities in the town of Makariv, West of Kyiv, Ukrainian flags are flying there once more.
A UK Defence Analyst disclosed that the fightback could force Moscow to change its tactics. In addition, a US Defence Spokesman said Ukrainians are reversing battlefield momentum in some parts of the south.
Volunteers and Ukrainian troops in the small Southern town of Voznesensk, destroyed an armoured convoy and pushed back Russian forces. In Kherson, close to the Crimean Peninsula, which is the first city that fell to Russia, reports suggested Ukrainian forces are also trying to recapture the territory.
However, the latest assessment from the UK Ministry of Defence revealed that Russian troops in Ukraine are moving in from the North and South to “envelop Ukrainian forces in the east of the country”. According to the Defence Ministry, “Russian forces are likely reorganising before resuming large-scale offensive operations”.
Russian bombardments continue, but Ukraine gaining grounds
Russian forces also continue to bombard the Southern Port city of Mariupol, although the Port area itself is said to have suffered relatively little damage.
Justin Bronk, from the UK Defence and Security Think Tank, the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), said that the Ukrainian pushback came as the Russians tried to compensate for their lack of progress so far.
“The Russians have quite visibly failed to take the whole of Ukraine across multiple positions of advance. So now they are trying to pull their resources back and consolidate them and concentrate them on one push at a time – in particular around Mariupol and the south.”Justin Bronk, UK Defence and Security Think Tank, Royal United Services Institute (Rusi)
Bronk pointed out that if the Russians took Mariupol, which has been besieged for weeks and is low on supplies, then they might look to redistribute troops and ammunition, first to Ukraine’s Eastern Donbas Region and then possibly to the North-eastern city of Kharkiv.
But as Ukraine pushes Russian troops around Irpin, which is about 20km (12 miles) from Kyiv, and other suburbs along with Makariv, it could hamper Moscow’s plans to capture Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, Bronk added.
“Essentially, what [Ukrainian forces] are trying to do is cut off an entire side of the attempted encirclement of Kyiv, which would force the Russians to either try to break north and abandon those positions or for Russia to reroute significant combat power to try to break through and release their own forces there.”Justin Bronk, UK Defence and Security Think Tank, Royal United Services Institute (Rusi)
Updates by Pentagon
Reports on the Ukrainian counter-offensive provided by the Pentagon on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, intimated that it has seen increasing signs in recent days that Russians are being dislodged from areas they previously held.
Pentagon Spokesman, John Kirby, averred he is unable to confirm reports from Ukrainian Officials that they have retaken at least one town and expected to take more in the coming days. However, he said it would be “consistent with the kind of fighting and the kinds of capabilities we have seen the Ukrainians use”. He said Russian forces have “stalled” and are running out of fuel and food.
There are also communication problems between air and ground forces, with some Russian fighters resorting to mobile phones to speak to each other, Mr. Kirby said.
“They are slowed,” he said, adding that this was partly due to “their own ineptitude”.
Another Pentagon Official, speaking anonymously, told the reporters that some Russian soldiers laid low with frostbite because they did not have the appropriate cold-weather clothing for the terrain.
The official disclosed that because of losses and other problems, Russian Forces inside Ukraine are now below 90% of their available combat power.