Sitrep for February 24-27 (as of 02:30 p.m.)
The situation on the frontline
Russian forces are reported to have increased the intensity of attacks towards Lyman, but without progress so far.
In the Bakhmut direction, the RuAF managed to capture the settlement of Yahidne (southeast of Berkhivka) and then began to advance towards Bohdanivka, bypassing Bakhmut from the north and moving towards Chasiv Yar.
Despite the fact that the main supply routes were cut, Bakhmut, apparently, will not be captured in the coming days. The intensity of combat activities has decreased there, probably due to the “shell hunger,” which affected not only Wagner Group mercenaries but also regular units, which largely consist of low-motivated mobilized soldiers.
Moreover, in the near future, we expect the thawing process to increase, causing slush, which is already affecting the course of combat activities. It should be noted that at the moment, the thaw will interfere more with the advancing Russian forces than the defending Ukrainian ones.
An appeal made by draftees from Irkutsk has appeared. They claim that they are being threatened in order to fight as assault infantry.
VChK OGPU Telegram channel [the name is a reference to the VCHK and OGPU, which were intelligence and state security services of the early Soviet Union] has obtained documents, on the basis of which the Ministry of Defense supplies the Wagner Group with ammunition. Every procurement is authorized by General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the RuAF; this fact explains why Gerasimov was the one blamed by mercenaries for under-delivery. According to the documents, the ammunition was signed off to the 22nd Separate Guards Special Purpose Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces for subsequent transfer to the 78th Reconnaissance Center (apparently, for training exercises), but in fact, was sent to the Wagner Group. The aforementioned brigade’s deployment site (Bataysk) is situated rather close to the border with Ukraine, which is the reason why it has been chosen. The fact that the ammunition is sent specifically to the Wagner Group is corroborated by the transfer of 240mm artillery rounds for 2S4 Tyulpan self-propelled heavy mortar. In the Armed Forces of Russia, such mortars can be used by artillery brigades but in no way by special forces brigades.
Germany has decided to supply Ukraine with four additional modern Leopard 2A6 tanks from the Bundeswehr reserves.
The first Leopard tanks have already arrived in Ukraine from Poland. Furthermore, Prime Minister Morawiecki stated that 60 promised PT-91 tanks (upgraded T-72 variant) will be sent to Ukraine in the next few days.
The Ministry of Defense of Belarus has released a video showing a unit of Iskander missile systems of the Belarusian Armed Forces being relocated to a designated area as part of "combat readiness measures." Notably, part of the cab is hidden in the video. In a photo report of Vladimir Solovyev’s [Russian propagandist] visit to Belarusian troops on Feb. 4, 2023, it was claimed that the stars on the cab were applied by Russian military personnel and indicate the number of combat launches of the system. It logically follows that these missile systems were transferred to Belarus by Russia after strikes on Ukraine.
On Feb. 26, the BYPOL Belarusian organization stated that at the Machulishchy military airfield, which was used by the Russian military, two partisans attacked a Beriev A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft with two kamikaze drones. After that, they left the territory of Belarus and are now safe. There is no video or photographic evidence of the attack yet.
The Belarusian Hajun monitoring project, citing its sources, reports that the Belarusian military found drone control panels near the airfield.
Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the incident and referred to the fact that the Belarusian Government has denied the incident.
The Fighterbomber Telegram channel, close to the Russian Air Force, initially denied the incident but later updated the post, adding, “Not everything is so rosy and unambiguous.”
Croatia is planning to transfer twelve Mil Mi-8MTV-1 helicopters and two Mil Mi-8T helicopters, which were retired from the Croatian Armed Forces to Ukraine. The recent transfer of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Ukraine may have motivated Croatia.
The Ministry of Energy of Sweden will transfer a batch of generators and energy storage devices with a total weight of over 62 tons to the Ukrainian Ukrgazvydobuvannya company [the largest Ukrainian gas producer]. Since the start of the full-scale invasion, Sweden has already transferred 665 tons of energy equipment and various materials.
Ukraine has enlisted the support of the first country in Latin America, Guatemala, in the creation of a special international tribunal investigating the crimes of Russia.
There are M113 armored personnel carriers (15 units) in service with the Guatemalan Army, as well as different types of trucks, 120mm ECIA mortars (18 units), and several dozen anti-aircraft guns. We call for being consistent and providing Ukraine not only with political but also with military aid.
The New York Times reports that Bulgaria will resume production of Soviet-era 122mm shells specifically for the Ukrainian Army.
On Feb. 23, Donetsk was attacked. Several areas were hit, and houses and civilian infrastructure were damaged. The second strike hit the rescue crew that arrived at the aftermath of the first one in the Petrovsky district; as a result, 4 paramedics were killed, and 10 rescuers were injured. The pro-Russian side claims it was a deliberate HIMARS strike, hence a war crime. At the moment, we believe there is no sufficient evidence to back such claims. Firstly, it is not clear yet whether the drone which recorded the second strike belonged to the Ukrainian side and adjusted the fire or to Donetsk authorities or law enforcement agencies. Secondly, we cannot prove that those carrying out the attack knew about the presence of the rescue crew at the site. It is also possible that the attack was carried out (with non-precision artillery shells) at the building, which could have been a military facility (impact points of prior hits are evident).
There is a video showing military equipment being carried by semi trucks owned by the Ukrainian postal and courier company Nova Poshta. This may motivate Russia to attack the company's facilities.
Ex-host of Fake News show on TV Rain Masha Borzunova has launched a YouTube show devoting the first run to the analysis of Russian propaganda in entertainment.