Center for Defense Strategies: Russia’s war against Ukraine. March 5 overview

6 March 2022, 01:15 PM

Humanitarian aspect

One of the main events - the humanitarian corridor used by the Ukrainian side to evacuate more than 200,000 civilians from Mariupol and Volnovakha was interrupted. 

The Russians continued shelling along the route of civilian evacuation and ignored all appeals of the Red Cross to stop terrorizing civilians and facilitating the evacuation of victims of the shelling. This confirms that the Russian occupants were planning to use the silence period to regroup and then move their forces.

Video of day

As of 4:45 PM, Russia had officially resumed fighting in the evacuation corridors, cynically accusing Ukraine of unwillingness to continue the "silence regime."
In addition to disrupting the evacuation "green corridor," the occupants are preventing from leaving a humanitarian convoy carrying medicines, including insulin, and food for the needs of the temporarily occupied cities.
Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukraine railway company) continued to evacuate civilians, with more than 30 trains running from Kyiv on 5 March. At the same time, occupants blew up the railroad tracks in Irpin, evacuation by train is impossible, people are being taken out by buses.

Ordinary Ukrainians continued to fight the occupation. During the day there were
numerous protests, townspeople stopping Russian vehicles and blocking roads. Such moral pressure demoralizes the occupants and slows their advance deep into Ukraine.

In particular, numerous rallies in Kherson forced the occupants to leave the city center. They failed to successfully create a “picture” for Russian television with “grateful Kherson residents”.

Since the beginning of military operations, 1.2 million citizens have left Ukraine (source -UN).

More than 100,000 Ukrainians left abroad yesterday 4.03.22. But in the meantime,
citizens continue to return to Ukraine to join the terrorist defense and resistance, including almost 67,000 Ukrainians who returned as of 5.03.

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, border guards have
allowed more than 800 shipments of humanitarian aid from Western countries.

Nuclear and energy security
Despite Russia's terrorist actions in shelling Ukrainian nuclear power plants, as of 5:03 AM all nuclear power plants operate without failures and uninterruptedly produce electricity for the country's needs. Radiation background on the territory of Zaporizhzhya region remains unchanged and does not threaten the life and health of the population.

Banking system
Banks and the entire financial system of Ukraine now work without days off.

International
The White House is considering a possibility of banning Russian oil imports, - a move that has a wide support in Congress. Biden administration seeks to synchronize its actions with Europe and secure supplies from alternative sources in order to mitigate the negative effects on households and economy. Adopting a synchronized decision with Europe will be a powerful blow to Russia’s key foreign currency source.
Despite the unambiguous refusal of the USA and other NATO allies to secure a no-fly zone in Ukraine’s airspace, some congressmen and former military call not to abandon this idea, especially after the attack on Zaporizhzhia NPP.

It’s being said that introducing a no-fly zone is hypothetically possible in the western part of the country, as there are no Russian troops there. Given the broad support of this idea by regular Americans (74%, according to Reuters-Ipsos), the discussion will only intensify as news appear of new war crimes committed by the Russian army.

In the light of Putin’s direct threats regarding the conflict between Russia and NATO, the US is unlikely to change its position on this issue, however, this allows to pressure the West into expanding the range of immediate defense assistance aimed at neutralizing threats to common Ukrainians and industrial buildings, damaging which is dangerous if not to the whole world, then definitely to the European continent.

A tougher position on Russia will be one of the main themes of presidential elections in 2024.

Even Donald Trump, who until recently used to praise Putin’s work, called his
actions in Ukraine a Holocaust.

“This party has no place for Putin supporters. There is only place for freedom fighters”, noted former Vice President Mike Pence.

A competition between Republicans and Democrats for the most adequate Moscow policy opens up a possibility for Kyiv to start a long-term comprehensive cooperation on building defense capacities.

Situation in Russian Federation
Foreign media are leaving Russia en masse after the country began enforcing a law that prohibits calling the war in Ukraine a war (CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, ABC, CBS, and NBC).

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The economic sanctions against the Russian elite, the mass withdrawal of businesses and the withdrawal of capital from the territory of the aggressor country proved to be a rather effective tool for the rapid depreciation of the ruble and the beginning of a rift in Putin's entourage. The Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine confirmed that Russian oligarchs had begun publicly speaking out against Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Social panic is intensifying. Russians rushed to spend rapidly depreciating rubles on still available foreign goods. Russia is beginning to impose restrictions on the sale of a number of socially important goods in one hand. In Nizhnekamsk, factory workers went on strike because they had not been paid their salaries due to the ruble's collapse.

Due to a sharp capital outflow, money transfers abroad up to $5,000 per month are restricted, and it is forbidden to physically take out more than $10,000 in cash.

JPMorgan predicts that the negative economic shock will cause GDP to decrease by 35% in the second quarter and by 7% in 2022, and the growing political and economic isolation will reduce Russia's growth potential in the coming years.
A financial panic has begun among ordinary Russians. The payment systems PayPal and Payoneer stop working in Russia.

Operational situation
The occupants continue to focus their efforts on encircling the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Mykolayiv. They try to reach to administrative borders of Luhansk and Donetsk oblast and create a land corridor up to the TOT of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, though they are gradually losing offensive potential.

According to the Pentagon, Russia has already fired about 500 missiles at Ukraine,
including 230 Iskander ballistic missiles (70 of them were used from the territory of
Belarus). CIA of Ukraine published a list of Belarusian pilots involved in the attacks on Ukraine. The combat sorties were conducted from the Lida military airfield and were aimed at striking civilians and infrastructure in Ukraine.

In these ten days of war, Ukrainian air defenses has destroyed at least 43 Russian aircraft and 45 helicopters; continues to destroy enemy aircraft and conduct air strikes against convoys of occupants' equipment and manpower.

Situation at Zaporizhzhia NPP and Energodar
- Radiation levels on the territory of Zaporizhzhia region remain unchanged and do not threaten the life and health of the population. Zaporizhzhia NPP is in operation.
- Energodar city authorities continued to work in the city council premises, which were robbed by occupants last night. Occupant troops left the city in the direction of Zaporizhzhia.
- Zaporizhzhia prepares to defend itself.

Kyiv and Kyiv region
• The occupant fired rockets at houses in Bila Tserkva, victims reported. The missile strike damaged at least 15 private homes involving elderly people and children.
• The enemy is trying to take control of the area northwest of Kyiv. Fighting continues in the Bucha district (Bucha, Gostomel). The enemy used the regime of silence declared from 09.00 AM on March 5 for shelling and insidious attack on the cities of Bucha and Irpin.

Border with Belarus
There is no evidence of occupants’ advance or active actions in our territory. The military leadership of the Republic of Belarus has reinforced the state border with Ukraine. According to available information, on the opposite side of the border there are still combat-ready units of the Belarusian Armed Forces, which are ready to go on the offensive. At the same time, the moral and psychological state of the personnel continues to deteriorate considering ideas of possible war participation. Many servicepeople, whose contracts expire this Spring, has served their resignation notices. The special services of the Republic of Belarus continue to "motivate" the personnel with long prison terms.

Sumy
The Russians shelled Sumy in the morning, in particular hitting infrastructure facilities. Sumy is controlled by Ukrainian government.

Chernihiv
Shelling of Chernihiv continues. Russian aircraft has been shot down. On the outskirts of Chernihiv, on March 5th another enemy attack aircraft was shot down, reports by North military command. The pilot of the downed Russian SU-25 aircraft was detained in

Zaborovka area.
The concentration of up to 3,000 reservists arriving to replenish losses in the border
districts of Belgorod Region near the village of Bessonnitsa was noted in the border
districts with Ukraine. The moral and psychological state of the reservists is low as they do not understand the sense of the mission and fear of being killed fast.
Near Chernihiv, an Su-25 aircraft was shot down, which was bombing civilian targets in northern Ukraine. The pilot was taken prisoner.

Kharkiv
Kharkiv is under close fire since 9 AM. Ukrainian Armed Forces units are launching
counterattack near Kharkiv. The Russian military in Kharkiv region completely destroyed the village of Yakovlivka. The airstrikes destroyed the entire village, which has 45 houses, 21 of which were completely destroyed and 24 were seriously damaged. Four people were killed.

Three BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers and two 152 mm “Akatsiya” artillery guns were seized by one of the AFU brigades near Kharkiv. All this equipment from the 200 Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces is already in service with the Ukrainian army. In total, our troops to the west of Kharkiv
seized more than 30 units of military equipment.

Kherson
Mobile operators re-established mobile communications in the Kherson region.
Numerous demonstrations by citizens in Kherson forced the occupants to leave the city centre.

 Mykolaiv
The residents of Mykolaiv managed to took back Kulbakino airport. A military convoy attempting to enter the city in the morning was also defeated. The enemy retreated in the direction of Kherson. A lot of equipment has been abandoned.

Marines and Ground Forces units shot down four enemy helicopters. One enemy Su-25 was shot down near Ochakov. The pilots were taken prisoner. It should be noted that the downed plane flew its "laOdesa".
A detachment of landing ships and fire support vessels of the Russian Navy are off the western coast of Crimea (about 20 units). The threat of troops landing near Odessa still remains.

Units of the 810 corps are arriving in the Novoozernoye area to be loaded onto
large landing ships. The occupants continue to attack Odessa from the air with cruise missiles and aircraft. The Ukrainian Armed Forces air defense system shot down one Russian aircraft.

Mariupol
The aggressor continues to blockade Mariupol, firing artillery at the city's infrastructure and residential areas to intimidate the population. In violation of the requirements of International Humanitarian Law, they move armed units along the agreed "green" corridors to evacuate civilians. Mariupol is a place of humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented scale.

Total enemy combat losses from 24.02 to 05.03 are estimated at:
Personnel - more than 10 thousand people,
Tanks - 269 units,
AVFs - 945 units,
Artillery systems - 105 units,
MLRS - 50 units,
Air defense means - 19 units,
Aircraft - 39 units (to be specified),
Helicopters - 40 units (to be specified),
Automotive equipment - 409 units,
Light speedboats - 2 units,
Tanks with petrol - 60,
UAV - 3.
Centre for Defence strategies is the Ukrainian security think tank working in security and defence.  

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